Joe Arena on Obama, Boehner, and the Librul Media

Saw an odd Tweet Monday morning from WIVB (Channel 4) anchor Joe Arena: 

It’s a news anchor (whose Twitter profile reads, “News 4 Morning Anchor. Part time Winging It Buffalo Style host and an all around heck of a guy! Buffalo ·“) yukking it up with conservative TV talk-show host Stefan Mychajliw over some “typical Barry” (meaning President Barack Obama) behavior, linking to a story in the Washington Post

That story in the Washington Post amounts to a facile summarization of an interview that CNN’s Candy Crowley conducted with Republican House Speaker John Boehner. Apparently, Boehner claims to have a great relationship with the President (whom his caucus has gone out of its way to obstruct almost always), and that the current battle over the imminent doubling of student loan interest rates is made up. 

But as is typical in Beltway journalism – and is missed here by the morning anchor on Channel 4 – there’s a critical follow-up missing. If you read the transcript of the interview, Boehner says this: 

Democrats and Republicans for months have been working together to try to figure out a way to resolve the problem. And for the president to politicize this for his own re-election is picking a fight where one doesn’t exist.

The next words out of a quality interviewer’s mouth should be: how can you say a fight “doesn’t exist” when you yourself just said that the two sides have been working “for months” to try and resolve this particular issue? Crowley doesn’t ask it, Boehner doesn’t offer it, and here we have Joe Arena commiserating with Stefan Mychajliw about “typical Barry”. 

Yes, typical Barry, pointing out that the Republicans are obstructing something to score political points against Obamacare. 

But most “journalists” who maintain Twitter accounts that are linked to their employment as journalists go out of their way to avoid controversial political opinions. No one knows if Ginger Geoffrey, Aaron Besecker, Nalina Shapiro, or John Borsa is a Republican or a Democrat. No one knows what any of them thinks about “Barry” and his typicality. 

Not to be outdone, Arena then Tweeted, 

[blackbirdpie url=”!/joearena4/status/196946917882724353″]

Linking to this story, at the ultra-conservative “Newsbusters” site, run by the execrable “Media Research Council”, whose stated mission is, “Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias”.  The story is about a speech that anti-bullying activist Dan Savage gave, where he essentially said, (as “Newsbusters” writes,) 

…he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the ‘B.S.’ in the Bible.

The shock-horror is that Savage actually used the phrase “bullshit”; as if high schoolers have never heard that term. But the more salient point is that Savage is objectively correct. Not only do conservatives and their Christianist allies rely heavily on certain cherry-picked passages in the Bible to morally justify their homophobia and hatred, but Savage is also absolutely right that we can “ignore” it. 


Because the Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination. You know what else the Bible says are abominations

  • haughty eyes
  • liars
  • unequal weights & measures
  • a woman wearing her boyfriend’s jeans or shirt
  • arrogant people
  • incense
  • adultery

You k now what the Bible says is perfectly hunky dory? 

  • Slavery (Exodus 21:2-6)
  • Sex Slavery  (Exodus 21:7-11)
  • Beating your slaves (Exodus 21:20-21)
  • Rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
  • Murdering a rape victim (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)

You can believe whatever you want. I don’t really care. You can think whatever you want. I don’t really care. But if you’re a journalist and you’re using a Twitter account that identifies you as being an anchor for a straight news program, you should probably Tweet your opinions about “Barry” and that durned librul media on a separate account. 

As to Arena using a Channel 4-branded account to provide political commentary on national issues, I sent an email to WIVB News Director Joe Schlaerth this morning, noting that this post would be published after 5pm.  I received no reply. 


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