Category Archives: Media

Stay Calm: Police Finally Release Make and Model of the Va. Beach Pier Car

by Kerry Dougherty

Everyone try to maintain your composure. Let’s all stay calm. Perhaps a few moments of meditation are in order.

Deep breath.


We finally know the make and model of the car that drove off the 14th Street pier more than a week ago.

The police had that information but withheld it from the public, they said, “to avoid a panic.”

The car that spent almost a week in the Atlantic because the city couldn’t figure out how to remove it from its watery 17-foot grave is a red Nissan Kicks.

Good Lord that’s shocking. Thank goodness THOSE details didn’t leak. Imagine what might have happened.

In case you’re wondering, as I was, what a Nissan Kicks looks like, we’ve included a photo of the panic-inducing compact SUV from the NissanUSA website. Continue reading

Too Many Pieces of the 14th Street Pier Puzzle Don’t Fit

by Kerry Dougherty

Day two and we have more questions than answers about what happened Saturday morning on the 14th Street pier in Virginia Beach.

Yes, we know an SUV drove through two barriers and off the end of the pier. We learned that strong ocean currents and murky water are creating problems for those trying to haul it to the surface.

But get a load of what the police will say when they know the local news media don’t know how to ask follow up questions. (This is from the local newspaper):

Police have not determined who was operating the vehicle, nor do they know if anyone else was inside, according to Virginia Beach police spokesman Jude Brenya. While authorities have identified the type of vehicle, an SUV, police are not releasing the make or model to avoid causing “a panic,” he said.

A PANIC? Seriously?

What the heck are they talking about? What kind of panic? Is this some sort of alien craft? A self-driving Tesla? A Chinese spy SUV? Continue reading

Barbie, Liars, and Newspapers Circling the Drain

by Kerry Dougherty

Warning: I’m a tad grouchy today. You see, I’m a hyperactive gym rat who hasn’t worked out since last Tuesday and has been slowed down by surgery. That happened Wednesday, by the way, when a skilled orthopedic surgeon sawed off part of my leg.

In other words, I’ve had way too much time to brood.

So, I’m starting the week with a litany of irritants that have totally ticked me off.

Number one: I’m sick of feminists protesting that Margot Robbie was cheated out of an Oscar while her male Barbie co-star Ryan Gosling got one.

How many of these same women protested when Riley Gaines was cheated out of her place on a podium by a man, Lia Thomas?

If that’s you, just shut up. No one wants to hear from you.

Plus, I actually watched Barbie on HBO Saturday night.

That may be the worst movie I’ve ever seen. The absolute worst. Worse even than Oppenheimer which was a total yawn, although many people pretend they liked it because it’s about a smart guy and lasted three hours. They think raving about this bore makes them appear intelligent.

It doesn’t. Continue reading

Racism Comes in All Colors

by Kerry Dougherty 

What follows here is fiction. Totally imaginary. Still, picture this with me:

The mayor of Virginia’s largest city — that would be Virginia Beach, population 458,000 — decides to hold a holiday party for city council members on city property.

The mayor — and let me remind you this is hypothetical, it did not happen — sent out invitations characterizing this in some kind of strange pidgin English as a party for “white electeds,” which meant that the four black members of council were not welcome.

Because of their skin color.

What would the reaction be when the whites-only party became public?

I can tell you.

There would be loud cries of “racism”! Calls for the mayor’s immediate resignation. There would be  protests in the streets, with both whites and blacks denouncing the mayor’s shocking behavior. The local newspaper would call for the mayor to be removed from office and the editorialists would lament that Virginia hadn’t progressed from the days of Jim Crow.

The news would make national headlines and no doubt state and federal prosecutors would be looking at the civil rights violations in an exclusive, all-white Christmas party for elected officials.

It would be — pardon the expression — a poopstorm.

Odd then, that when something similar actually happened, not in Virginia, but in the largest city in Massachusetts, Boston — there is just a mild outcry. And lots of folks defending the move.

Could it be because the Boston mayor excluded whites, not blacks? Continue reading

Asleep at the Switch in Harrisonburg

by Joe Fitzgerald

At some point while on the Harrisonburg City Council, I quit worrying about or getting angry about being misquoted by the Daily News-Record, and I got used to the people I met saying I wasn’t anything like what they expected. The expectations the paper created were just part of the gig. And I remember one time that I was pretty sure I’d be misquoted when I opened my mouth. I don’t remember what we, the council, had screwed up, but I told the reporter we had been asleep at the switch.

I thought as I said it that he’d quote me as using the more well-known expression, asleep at the wheel. One means, in railroad terms, letting the train go down the wrong track. The other means, in driving terms, losing control through inattention. I didn’t complain. The difference didn’t matter, because it was just a metaphor.

A lot has changed in 20 years. In the city politics of 2023, being asleep at the wheel is no longer just a metaphor. The other change is that City Council members no longer talk to the media. City publicist Michael Parks is quoted as often as the council members, and some weeks it seems he writes half the News-Record. The recent statements to school officials from Councilman Chris Jones at least brought comment from Mayor Reed, although Jones only answered through a prepared statement and the other three members were silent. Reed indicated the three were not upset by Jones’s remarks. It’s too bad they couldn’t speak for themselves.

School officials, on the other hand, have legal and policy restrictions on what they can say about any situation in the schools, leaving Jones free to claim he was courteous and respectful and to claim school officials confirmed that characterization. Continue reading

Virginia’s News Deserts

Virginia has lost 23 local newspapers since 2005 — a decline of 23%, according to a report by Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Seven counties have no local newspaper; 93 have just one, and most of those are weeklies, reports Axios-Richmond in summarizing the report. Gannett and Lee Enterprises own 36 newspapers that don’t employ any local staff at all, publishing “ghost newspapers,” publications compiled by off-site corporate staffers, says Axios. — JAB

Another Local Newspaper Shuts Down

Tom McLaughlin, editor and general manager, News & Record (South Boston) Photo credit: News & Record

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

A local newspaper closing down is not really news these days. However, the circumstances surrounding the News & Record in South Boston in Southside Virginia and its shutting down are unusual. In addition, the news is personal to me.

For as long as I can remember, the South Boston/Halifax County area has had two newspapers. The Halifax Gazette, later known as the Gazette-Virginian, was the dominant paper in terms of circulation. The South Boston News and the Halifax County Record-Advertiser were essentially the same newspaper, published by the same folks and put out on two different days of the week.

For about a year, I delivered the News and the Record-Advertiser to houses in about half the town of Halifax on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. It was the first regular-paying job I had. I have a lot of fond memories of delivering those papers, although being regularly chased by a large German shepherd is not one of them. I knew the family that bought the paper after I had gotten married and moved away. The current editor is too young for me to have known him, but I knew his older brother; his father was my midget football coach; I remember his unbelievably calm mother coming into the grocery store accompanied with a rowdy bunch of four or more kids; my wife taught one of the boys in seventh grade. Continue reading

Yes, Virginia, There is a TikTok, and It’s Chinese

Credit Tamara Beckwith, NY Post

by James C. Sherlock

From the NY Post:

“TikTok shredded as influencers promote Osama bin Laden’s ‘terrorist propaganda’ tirade dubbed ‘Letter to America’ after 9/11 attacks”

Virginia bans porno sites.

How did we miss our kids’ favorite (Chinese) app TikTok?

It Wasn’t About Youngkin

by Joe Fitzgerald

Deep in the hills of Southwest Virginia is a state Senate district where nobody works because the coal industry is increasingly mechanized. The district has all or part of eight counties. In Northern Virginia is a county where nobody works because they’re all employed by the federal government. The county includes all or part of eight state Senate districts.

Every four years, national political  writers combine this into a cohesive entity called Virginia and use it as a bellwether for the presidential election that follows the state Senate election by one year, every single time. The state’s economics and politics are shaped by, among other things, the coal industry and the federal government (see above). The state’s boundaries are shaped by rivers, a bay, a mountain range, and a southern line that’s straight except for a zig-zag south of Abingdon caused by a drunken surveyor.

Most of the national political writers don’t know that our districts were drawn by the courts, our counties and cities are separate entities, and our precincts are drawn by processes that vary by district, county, and city. And every four years, regular as clockwork, they write about how the General Assembly races will impact the ambitions of George Allen, Jim Gilmore, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Bob McDonnell, Terry McAuliffe, or Glenn Youngkin for president, vice president, or U.S. senator. Continue reading

“Good old TikTok: Chinese spy engine and purveyor of virulent antisemitic lies.” Sen. Josh Hawley

San Francisco High School students enflamed by false report from the NYT (which later offered “nuance”) broadcast worldwide on TikTok #freepalestine that Israel bombed that hospital in Gaza.

by James C. Sherlock

Taylor Lorenz, the estimable young Tech and Online Culture columnist for The Washington Post, has been the author of some of the most important reports on the Hamas-Israel war.

Today, she published with Drew Harwell, a Post reporter covering artificial intelligence and the algorithms changing our lives, “Israel-Gaza war sparks debate over TikTok’s role in setting public opinion.

A pro-Palestinian hashtag, #freepalestine, had … 770 million views over the last 30 days in the United States, TikTok data show.

To longtime TikTok critics like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), that assertion offered further proof that the app, owned by the China-based tech firm ByteDance, is a secretive propaganda engine built to manipulate American teens for Chinese geopolitical goals — in this case, Rubio said, to “downplay … Hamas terrorism.”

The same Post article, attempting balance, reports both the Sen. Hawley quote in the title of this piece and that:

TikTok creators and social media experts say the reality (of reporting on the war) is more nuanced (than critics have asserted).

“Nuanced.” What would we do without “TikTok creators and social media experts”? Continue reading

Stop All Aid to Palestinians and Other Terrorists. Every Bit of It

by Kerry Dougherty

On Saturday morning Hamas terrorists unleashed Hell on innocent Israelis. As Israel’s ambassador to the US pointed out, given the population of Israel 600 dead Israelis is the equivalent of 20,000 dead Americans.

This was Israel’s 9-11. Their Pearl Harbor. Some say it was the most deadly day in history for the Jewish state.

And all I can say today, after this weekend of horror in Israel, is thank God for Elon Musk.

Had Musk not spent a chunk of his personal fortune on Twitter, many of us would not have seen the horror Hamas inflicted on innocent Israelis. No way Jack Dorsey’s crowd of left-wingers would have allowed citizen journalists to tell the real story, the unfiltered truth, about the unimaginably grotesque attacks throughout Israel.

We wouldn’t have seen the graphic videos of these fanatical men driving around in a Jeep with the dead body of a young woman in the back like a slaughtered animal, stopping to allow cheering bystanders to spit on her mutilated corpse.

We wouldn’t have seen the bloodied woman – clearly a rape victim – being dragged by her hair into the street by men screaming about Allah and then shoving her into a car overloaded with men who were grabbing for her. God rest her soul. Chances she survived the next few hours are slim.

We wouldn’t have seen the bawling children being shielded by their parents as they were savagely herded into cars and taken as hostages.

We wouldn’t have seen the stacks of bodies.


All we’d have is sanitized references to “Hamas militants” – as if this is a regular army – and criticism of “Israel’s right-wing intelligence” for failing to thwart the unprovoked attack on civilians. Oh and lots of whataboutism about how hard life is in Gaza for Palestinians and that Israel is to blame. Continue reading

Let Me Get This Straight…

by James A. Bacon

Wyatt Gordon writes about smart growth issues for the Virginia Mercury and Greater Greater Washington. Sometimes, he’s worth reading. But, then, sometimes, he’s not. As an example of the latter, he recently posted this on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter:

So, let me get this straight. If Gordon avoided emitting 54,000 pounds of carbon pollution by driving 1,000 miles on his electric bike instead of driving a car, he says he’s saving 54 pounds per mile. Is that physically possible?

Now, I never took high school chemistry, but I do know that a pound of gasoline does not translate into a pound of CO2 emissions. According to the EPA, when gasoline is combusted, it frees up carbon atoms and hydrogen atoms. The hydrogen atoms combine with oxygen atoms in the air to create water. The carbon atoms combine with oxygen atoms to create CO2. Most of the weight of a CO2 molecule comes from oxygen atoms that were not present in the gasoline. In that way, says the EPA, a gallon of gasoline does indeed transmute into about 20 pounds of tailpipe carbon.

But unless Gordon toodles around town in a monster truck, he’s likely getting 20 or more miles to the gallon. Basic arithmetic tells us that a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon consumes 1/20th of a gallon per mile. Therefore, it generates 1/2oth of a gallon’s worth of tailpipe carbon per mile… or about one pound.

Gordon appears to have overstated his reduced CO2 emissions by a factor of 50.

That’s not the scary part. Continue reading

Revisiting the Intellectual Foundations of Conservatism — One Book at a Time

by Suzanne Munson

From time to time, members of every great movement such as American Conservatism need to stop, take a breath, and see where the movement is going. Great movements, founded by great individuals, can sometimes be hijacked by lesser minds.

Many of the founders of modern conservatism were intellectuals. William F. Buckley was able to criticize liberalism articulately from the foundation of a fine education, intellectual curiosity, and deep reading.

While there are knowledgeable thought-leaders in today’s conservative movement, there are others who call themselves conservatives who may be giving the movement an unfortunate image.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines conservatism as “a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.” Much more can be added to this definition, such as limited government, fiscal responsibility, and a belief in traditional, wholesome values.

It is interesting to examine a recent incident in Florida to see where some who term themselves “conservatives” have created an embarrassing situation. Members of a book club, reported to consist of conservative members, rescinded an invitation to a respected author to speak to their group.

The program was a book and author event at $100 a plate, so one would assume some level of education and sophistication. Rachel Beanland, a well-regarded Richmond, Virginia author and teacher, was invited to speak about her new novel, The House Is on Fire.

She had spent hundreds of hours researching the tragic theater fire of 1811 in which some of Virginia’s most prominent citizens perished. The book features individuals, real and imagined, who resided in Richmond at that time–tradesmen, theater workers, politicians, slaves, doctors, widows.

Yes, there are slaves in the book and yes, their lives were difficult, and yes, some white characters in the book treated them poorly. What else is new? There were white characters in the story who also had poor treatment at the hands of other whites. There is always plenty of trouble to go around in an interesting novel. Continue reading

When Did the RTD Become TMZ?

by Shaun Kenney

The Richmond Times-Dispatch was given a clip of David Owen — Republican candidate for House of Delegates — where he tells an audience of like-minded souls that he is, indeed, pro-life.

Charlotte Rene Woods over at the RTD decides to do the work of Democratic campaign operatives in what could only be viewed as an in-kind donation.

… and did we mention that this video was taken five months ago, in March?

So, for the sin of stating that he values life and is willing to protect the basic human right to exist, what does this earn Owen? A blistering TMZ-style article where such an admission is caged as if Owen had gone on a drunken tirade motivated by the Dead Milkmen rather than any sort of gravitas. Continue reading

Leftist Media Canonizes Another Killer

by Kerry Dougherty

Ronald Albert Barnes.

That was the name of the Southampton County Correctional Center guard who died in March of 1975 after being beaten and stomped by two inmates, including convicted rapist Tony Lewis.

If you read Sunday’s Virginian-Pilot, maybe you were moved by the front-page valentine to “Tony The Tiger,” as he was affectionately known by his family, who are trying to get him out of prison after 50 years behind bars.

The story – “A Pursuit Of Freedom Blocked At Every Step” – is what journalists used to call a “Sunday thumb sucker,” a long-form piece dedicated to a heartwarming topic.

Perhaps you, too, read yesterday’s drivel about how this poor guy from Hampton – grew up fatherless in the projects, blah, blah, blah – and has been incarcerated since he was 16. His first conviction was for a 1973 rape (absolutely zero details on THAT crime) and later for his part in the murder of the prison guard, an escape attempt and other crimes associated with a deadly prison riot.

Inches and inches of ink about a killer. Yet the newspaper couldn’t be bothered to print the name of the man he murdered.

Color me unsurprised.

Let’s be honest, giving the dead man an identity might turn Tony the Tiger into Tony the Ruthless Killer and dilute the sympathy The Pilot is trying to gin up for the inmate. Continue reading