Wednesday, April 26, 2017

ESPN Catches a Lot of Karma

The face of ESPN - 2015 ESPY winner Caitlyn Jenner
Business Rule #1 - Do Not Offend Your Customers

You wonder if today's ESPN sports journalists attended the same leftist university journalism schools as the rest of the mainstream media and never met any actual sports fans before taking up sports reporting. Let me 'splain. You see, sports fans, the kind who burrow down into statistics and player lives and the mechanics of professional sports, the raison d'etre for ESPN's very existence in the first place, tend to lean hard to starboard. That's nautical-speak meaning "to the right" for ESPN reporters who don't cover the America's Cup. 

ESPN laid off a hundred people the other day. Many more are expected to follow. ESPN boss,  and all their PR guys attribute ESPN's massive employee layoffs to a "changing media landscape" and other high-sounding marketing jargon laden excuses. I suspect what ESPN is experiencing is what liberal's who embrace Eastern mysticism call "karma". 

Interesting that ESPN doesn't credit the past year or so worth of increasingly leftist reporting and conservative bashing by the sports network as having anything to do with the staggering loss of conservative ESPN viewers. Turns out a lot of sports fans tend to be conservative, a demographic data point ESPN's marketing people seem to have missed. Not many mainstream news outlets are talking about the possibility that the recent shift to the leftward at ESPN may have fueled the loss of 621,000 subscribers in October 2016 and a full 7.2 million since.

ESPN tries to spin the layoffs as "not my fault" and some sort of cagey business decision. They should have seen the handwriting on the wall when they took back dismal Marxist Keith Olbermann from MSNBC and then had to explain why they fired him again with the usual "taking a different direction" excuse for his abysmal ratings. Since failing with Olbermann's in-your-face leftism, ESPN has allowed it's mainline reporters much more latitude in expressing their political opinions and disdain for all things conservative and Republican, perhaps expecting sports fans to accept their Marxism in smaller doses and not noticing it. The It has hurt them in ways I do not think they expected. In the process they discovered that sports fans are not sheep to be led about by the good shepherd ESPN.

Then came the Arthur Ashe Courage Award this year being given to Caitlyn Jenner. Again ESPN mis-underestimated the cringe factor that would come with that pit of political flag-waving. Fans tuned out in droves.

Another under-reported fact about ESPN's declining fortunes is just what the statistics of viewer vs subscriber losses say about fan disenchantment with the network. It is significant that ESPN has lost more far more viewers than subscribers in the past year.  While 7.2 million lost subscribers may be a relatively small percentage of ESPN's subscribers list, the loss of viewers says much more about viewer revolt, especially if you happen to be an ESPN advertiser. This disparity between subscriber and viewer loss is largely due to the fact that to "unsubscribe from ESPN" you often have to dump your entire cable package. ESPN is included in many basic cable/satellite subscriber packages or in special sports packages. To lose ESPN means you lose the other stuff as well.  As a result, many viewer have not dumped the network. Many sports fans just quit watching ESPN altogether and shifted over to Fox Sports or other less political sports news sources.

This Newsbuster story is a fair treatment of the consequences of ESPN's going hard left and viewers not liking it. They go into the numbers in more detail than I want to get into. The mainstream media have remained relatively quiet about ESPN's troubles, generally accepting the self-proclaimed World Leader in Sports' spin on the problem. One wonders whether the folk at ESPN will actually hear the message or is their political ideology so important that they will cling to it and content themselves with a smaller left-wing sports fan base.

Karma, as they say, is an angry female canine.

© 2017 by Tom King

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Religion Gets a Bad Rap

Some friends posted a video recently (see below for the link) by Jefferson Bethke entitled "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus. Jefferson is young, cool-looking complete with leather jacket with hoodie (in case he wanted to use it to accentuate his cool).  Do I sound cynical? It's probably because I am. I listened to the video out of respect for my friends. What I saw worries me.

You know I hear that "hate religion, love Jesus" meme a lot - usually from people who don't like to go to church or pay tithe or do good works for the church. Often they are young, good-looking millennial types like Bethke. They are fond of making the case that religion is bad. They accept the militant atheist/socialist's argument that religion is a bad thing in and of itself and they try to make the case that Jesus came to end religion. In fact, Bethke makes this very point when he ends the video with "It is finished" and says Jesus meant that religion was finished. 
Trouble is, there is no evidence that Jesus wanted to end religion. He certainly went to church weekly. He practiced the Jewish religion meticulously. And nowhere did he ever say to forsake your religion and follow him. He might have said forsake your Playstation III or forsake sleeping late on the Sabbath or forsake going to I-Hop during services so you don't have to wait in line so long because of the after-church crowd. He did say those who practiced a form of religion for their own purposes were like white-washed tombs, pretty on the outside but full of corruption within. Note Jesus was here talking about people, not religion. There were people among the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes who followed Him in the end so His condemnation was not a blanket condemnation of religion practiced with an honest heart. His disciples after his death proceeded to set up the Christian religion complete with bishops, apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors and the like. Paul specifically said not to skip church as the manner of some is. Apparently, the early church had its share of folk who claimed to be "spiritual not religious".

I believe it is Satan's purpose to slander the idea of "religion" to drive apart Christians. Organized Christians are a threat to his progressive agenda.  Religion is, after all, simply a systematic belief system for practicing your faith. You could compare it to an army, the Red Cross or an nonprofit organization.  Religion isn't the Illuminati or the Bilderbergs or some evil secret cabal.

You cannot "love Jesus" and not practice some form of religion; it's built in to the faith. This young man's rejection of "religion" is a religious belief in and of itself. You cannot escape it no matter how many verbal gymnastics you perform and no matter how "spiritual" you claim to be. Virtually everyone practices some form of religion. Politics for that matter, has all the earmarks of a religion. People love to say, "I"m not religious, I'm spiritual." I believe Satan would rather we adopt that sort of touchy-feely sense of moral superiority over our brothers and sisters who kneel before God in church to worship him, than to adopt a pure religion, even a flawed one.

Jesus isn't a rap song. He did not come to destroy religion. He did not come to make you feel better. He came to make you a better person - one fit to live forever. Jesus and religion are not opposites. Jesus is the object of our journey. Religion is the road. Religion simply provides a framework for people on the road to finding God. This young man's "system of belief" is every bit as much "religion" as exists in any of the more organized denominations with buildings. If you read the scriptures, God always organizes his people for mutual support and to make their efforts toward a lost world more effective. We are intended to do good in the world.

And what half-blind historical revisionist can say, "Religion doesn't feed the poor"?  The truth is that for millennia, the church was virtually the only institution that took the trouble to feed the poor. Admittedly there are some political powers who have absorbed and corrupted specific churches and committed atrocities in the name of Christ. These "religious practitioners" are false Christians. There have always been those who practice true religion. Satan would prefer you not know that and instead of seeking the true, Lucifer would prefer we seek the comfortable - the anti-religion of good feelings, rap songs and youthful self-righteousness.

This rap song contains all the elements of the final deception being perpetrated on the Christian religion. It deals in absolutes - claiming that religion started all the wars, for instance, when religion has done no such thing. Except for a couple of notable exceptions where religious leaders actually had armies, wars are almost universally started by governments. It accuses the Christian religion of building churches and neglecting the poor when for the majority of the actual Christian church, churches are built by the people (the "poor" included) as a place of worship. These churches are physical and spiritual aid stations in the war with the armies of evil, providing healing and comfort, food and often shelter to the lost, poor and displaced. Missionaries supported by religions with their brick and mortar churches have improved the lives of literally billions of the worlds poor, wretched and starving.

Given the excellent production values on the video, and the direct attack on Republicans, I suspect this was funded by progressive socialists or Democrats directly and is part of the sudden onslaught against Conservatives, especially Christians. Bethke's message here is in line with the socialist agenda and relegates Christ to the same status as a good joint - makes you feel good without any need to do anything in exchange for your high. I didn't hear this guy an any point talk about what he intended to do about the poor or needy. He just used his no doubt valuable artistic time to take a shot at Republicans, so I assume he's a Democrat, which means he won't have to worry about the poor because the government will take care of it. One wonders if this is what he thinks Jesus would do. Funny I don't recall Jesus letting his followers off the hook for caring for the poor, the widows and the orphans because He thought the government should take care of providing welfare.

The liberals have pulled out all the stops to attack Christian and conservative moral values. I am reminded of a passage I read years ago which described the desperation of Satan as he sees the end coming. He has begun what I believe is a full on assault. It is time we take up arms to resist it lest we be over-whelmed by the forces of darkness.

Here's the video. Note the themes of Democrat socialism and the "hate speech" toward religion.  Can I be offended now?

Note the use of the word "Hate" in this video. And we people who have a religion are supposed to be the "haters".  The irony thickens!

© 2017 by Tom King

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

North Korean Ballistic Missile Dysfunction

Dateline North Korea:  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un came off a 52 under par round of golf this morning to the shocking news that North Korea's latest test of the Dear Leader's Long Dong Un missile failed to achieve altitude and fell limply into the sea near a Japanese Fishing vessel which hauled the rocket on board with a load of squid.

In other news, fourteen North Korean rocket scientists were accidentally killed when an anti-aircraft gun misfired and struck the scientists who were at the time participating in daily patriotic exercises involving dangling from tall poles by their necks.  Kim Jong Un expressed his condolences to the families of the scientists who were also accidentally killed in a North Korean People's Army training exercise, when hundreds of hand grenades accidentally rolled into their homes. Officials could not explain how the pins were accidentally removed from the grenades. The incident is being investigated and the American spies responsible will be found and accidentally killed by anti-aircraft fire.

© 2017 by Tom King