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Ed Driscoll

Oh Those Democrat Operates with Bylines, Part Deux

October 22nd, 2014 - 2:29 pm

Regarding Ben Bradlee, “David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker and a reporter for the Washington Post from the early 1980s until the early 1990s, wrote in a Tuesday online story that ‘the most overstated notion’ about the late WaPo executive editor Ben Bradlee ‘was the idea that he was an ideological man. This was a cartoon.’”

Well a photo-realistic graphic novel, perhaps. Here’s John Dickerson in Slate, which was owned by the Post for years until being spun off when the disastrously mismanaged Washington Post was acquired last year for pocket change money by Jeff Bezos:

There is a quote from Ben Bradlee’s book Conversations With Kennedy that I always thought about when I thought of him:

This record is sprinkled with what some will consider vulgarity. They may be shocked. Others, like Kennedy and like myself, whose vocabularies were formed in the crucible of life in the World War II Navy in the Pacific Ocean, will understand instinctively. There is nothing inherently vulgar in the legendary soldier’s description of a broken-down Jeep. “The fucking fucker’s fucked.” Surely, there is no more succinct, or even graceful, four-word description of that particular state of affairs.

Here’s why I liked that quote. First of all, it’s true on the specific matter of when and how to deploy expletives. It also captures the cadence and voice of a particular period of writing. It’s a little self-indulgent and has the feeling of a tumbler of something by the typewriter. William Manchester uses this voice in The Glory and the Dream. It makes me think that the writer would be good company until he had too many drinks. He’d probably flirt with your wife if you sat her next to him, but you wouldn’t be bored at dinner.

But the real reason I liked that quote is that it demonstrates the way in which Bradlee was straddling two worlds, playing the role of both reporter and friend. It would be great if every presidency had at least one reporter who worked that territory.

So Bradlee was buddies with JFK, cheerfully covered up his myriad excesses and peccadilloes, and his paper did everything it could to destroy Nixon (and later, fortunately unsuccessfully, Reagan). But heaven forefend we think of him or his newspaper as ideological. Gotcha.

Exit quote:

For the sake of ideological diversity, that’s an exceedingly good thing.

The Hunter Biden Chronicles

October 22nd, 2014 - 1:57 pm

“Everything you need to know about Beltway nepotism, corporate cronyism and corruption can be found in the biography of Robert Hunter Biden,” Michelle Malkin writes today in her syndicated column. “Where are the Occupy Wall Street rabble-rousers and enemies of elitist privilege when you need them? Straining their neck muscles to look the other way:”

Continually failing upward, Hunter snagged a seat on the board of directors of taxpayer-subsidized, stimulus-inflated Amtrak, where he pretended not to be a lobbyist, but rather an “effective advocate” for the government railroad system serving the 1 percenters’ D.C.-NYC corridor.

So, where does a coke-abusing influence peddler go after raking in gobs of Daddy-enabled dough and abusing the U.S. Navy’s ill-considered generosity? Back to Cronyland! Hunter joined Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings — owned by a powerful Russian government sympathizer who fled to Russia in February — this spring. The hypocritical lobbyist-bashers at the White House deny he will be lobbying and deny any conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, Just Like You Joe was whipping up class envy in South Carolina last week. “Corporate profits have soared,” he railed, thanks to “these guys running hedge funds in New York,” who are to blame for “income inequality.” You know, like his son and brother and their Beltway back-scratching patrons.

Corporate profits have surged thanks to Wall Street manipulators? Man, wait’ll President Goldman-Sachs hears about that – just watch the kabuki hit the fan then.

Oh, Those Democrat Operatives With Bylines

October 22nd, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney resigned from the paper just days after the Free Beacon reported that his wife’s political firm was working to defeat Republican Bruce Rauner, who had been at the center of several critical reports by McKinney,” the Beacon reports today:

“It is with great sadness today that I tender my immediate resignation from the Sun-Times,” McKinney wrote on his personal blog.

While the reporter denied the allegations made by the Rauner campaign that his wife Ann Liston’s work conflicted with his political reporting, McKinney still decided to leave the paper after being placed on temporary leave.

Public records and other information obtained by the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo connected Liston’s firm, Adelstein/Liston, to the Illinois Freedom Political Action Committee, which is backed by pro-Quinn public employee unions and has targeted Rauner throughout the 2014 campaign.

The Rauner campaign said McKinney had a clear conflict of interest and maintained that it could have impacted his work on a controversial story that accused the Republican of threatening a former colleague.

McKinney admitted that his wife does Democratic political work, but denied she is working to defeat Rauner.

“The [Rauner] campaign falsely claimed she was working with a PAC to defeat Rauner and demanded a disclaimer be attached to our story that would have been untrue,” McKinney claimed. “It was a last-ditch act of intimidation.”

“Yes, Ann does political consulting work for Democrats,” he wrote. “But she has not been involved in the Illinois’ governor’s race and has focused on out-of-state campaigns.”

As Glenn Reynolds noted, ”Think of the [MSM] as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t be far wrong.” Or as Iowahawk noted today regarding the current sad state of American journalism as a whole:

“A new poll from Pew Research breaks down conservatism and leftism in the media – and comes up with a number of interesting results. As it turns out, leftists are far less tolerant that conservatives and implicitly trust government sources,” Ben Shapiro writes at Big Journalism:

Fox News Has a More Balanced Audience Than MSNBC. The poll shows that 55 percent of those who watch Fox News are either mixed in political viewpoint or leftist; 52 percent of those who watch MSNBC are either mixed or conservative. The most balanced outlet: The Wall Street Journal, although surprisingly, those who are consistently conservative read the paper the least of all ideological groups (13 percent of the audience is consistently conservative).

Leftists Think Humor Is News. Leftists trust The Colbert Report and The Daily Show as news. We knew this already from polls of young people who cite these shows as some of their top news sources, but it underscores the point that leftists simply do not take politics seriously – they’re happy to take their cues from people who began their careers making fart jokes. It is worth noting that the audience for The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and The Huffington Post are virtually identical in ideological composition. The Daily Show’s audience does not exist on the political right, with just 7 percent of its viewers identified as conservative in any way.

Nobody Trusts BuzzFeed. The least-trusted news source is BuzzFeed. It is not trusted by consistent liberals, mostly liberals, mixed political viewpoints, mostly conservatives, or consistent conservatives. At least consistent conservatives trust The Rush Limbaugh Show and consistent leftists trust The Ed Schultz Show. Nobody trusts BuzzFeed.

And note this Twitter exchange on the poll last night:


The irony is that Time magazine was founded by Henry Luce in the 1920s to appeal to a center-right audience — and did so quite well, until Luce relinquished control of the magazine in the mid-1960s, before passing away in 1967. Three years later, and Time was doing their best Pauline Kael impersonation and trying to figure out who on earth were these strange pro-American Nixon voters who still wanted America to win in Vietnam?

Time magazine is a classic example of former National Review editor John O’Sullivan’s First Law of Politics in action: “Any institution that is not explicitly right wing will become left wing over time.”

And actually, so is Pew:

Terrorist Attack on Canadian Parliament?

October 22nd, 2014 - 11:52 am

“Looks like it,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

The situation in Canada is still developing and many reports regarding the violence in Canada are unconfirmed, but what is known is that at least one police officer was wounded when a shooter attacked him at the war memorial in Ottawa. What was described as a “lone gunman” then entered Canada’s parliament building where this person engaged in a firefight with police before he or she was incapacitated.

It seems that early reports which indicated the attack on parliament was the work of a “lone gunman” were inaccurate. At least one Canadian police official told an MSNBC anchor that multiple suspects were involved in the initial incident. He described the attackers as “numerous.”

Read the whole thing. And as Glenn Reynolds adds in his update, “stay tuned. Early reports are often unreliable.”

Update:

Filed under: War And Anti-War

Unexpectedly!

October 22nd, 2014 - 11:47 am

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Ahh, Bloomberg, home of the “unexpected” bad economic news since, oh, about January of 2009, don’t ever change. Normally Bloomberg only applies the “unexpected” adjective to economic news that’s bad for the rest of us, but from the point of view of the president is good news: after all, he tore up the American healthcare system, openly called for bankrupting energy companies; his first “energy” “czar” demanded skyrocketing “European-style” energy prices, and numerous others of their leftwing ideological bent have demanded higher costs on energy and consumer goods, from Tom Brokaw to hapless wannabe Obama advisor Fareed Zakaria to this poor sod-ette in the UK Guardian:

Clothes and food should cost much more than they do in Britain to reflect their true impact on the environment, Vivienne Westwood said on Wednesday night. Speaking at a Guardian Live event at Chelsea Old Town Hall hosted by columnist Deborah Orr, the controversial fashion designer said: “Clothes should cost a lot more than they do – they are so subsidised. Food should cost more too – you know something is wrong when you can buy a cooked chicken for £2.”

Westwood also declared that capitalism was over.

So, all in all, good news, Mr. President?

Quote of the Day

October 21st, 2014 - 8:09 pm

The Kennedys’ penchant for wiretapping has lately been documented by more official bodies. The Rockefeller Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States, for example, reported that a newsman had been Wiretapped by the CIA in 1962 — with no authority in law — “apparently with the knowledge and consent of Attorney General Kennedy.” The Kennedy mythmakers said nothing about the revelation. And these were the same people who called for or helped fashion an article of impeachment when it was revealed that Nixon had approved the wiretapping of newsmen.

And talk about sleaziness! In conversations with Benjamin C. Bradlee, President Kennedy would sound out his journalist friend on the possibility of obtaining and publishing information damaging to JFK’s political adversaries — Bradlee who as executive editor of the Washington Post, which claims to have had  much to do with saving the Constitution from Richard Nixon’s depredations, apparently was not overly concerned· about such matters when they involved his presidential buddy.

For, as Bradlee discloses with little disapproval, wiretapping, prying into tax returns, election fraud, misuse of federal agencies — all of these, he admits in effect, were practiced and/or discussed in his presence by President Kennedy. Occasionally Kennedy had FBI Director Hoover over for lunch, and a little dirt for dessert. “Boy, the dirt he has on those Senators,” the President once said, shaking his head. And what apparently amused Kennedy more than anything else were Hoover’s revelations about which whores his former Senate colleagues were then patronizing. On one occasion the director showed JFK a photograph of a German girl who had been involved with Bobby Baker — “a really beautiful woman,” sighed the President.

There was another reason for the President’s buttering up of Hoover. As he undoubtedly suspected, the director had also been keeping a file on him going back to his days as a young World War II naval intelligence officer, at which time he had been carrying on with a comely foreigner suspected of having pro-Nazi sympathies. Which apparently was one of the reasons, if not the main one, why JFK on his election resisted strong liberal pressure to oust the director. Not even a President could know what was in a file kept under lock and key in. Hoover’s private office.

Thanks to Bradlee, too, we have now learned that Kennedy’s private conversation was most uninhibited. His scatological references made Nixon’s sound like a Boy Scout’s. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for history, “Benjy” — as the President liked to call his buddy — was there to record the just-between-us-boys observations of a Chief Executive who, thanks to his speechwriters (and they were among the best), has gone down in history as an elegant, witty phrasemaker.

Now, it turns out, there was a different Kennedy hidden from public view — one whose ”excesses of language,” as Bradlee concedes, were “generally protected” by the press. In other words, the readers of Newsweek, of which Bradlee was then Washington bureau chief, were never made privy to the kind of language JFK generally used in normal, private conversation. Years later though, Newsweek – like that other weekly publication — relished Nixon’s expletives, even those he sought to delete.

It Didn’t Start with Watergate, Victor Lasky, 1977.

Update:

‘The Arkansas Senate Election is Now Over’

October 21st, 2014 - 2:51 pm

“And let’s not even bring up the fact that this thesis of Pryor’s argues mightily that the Democratic party’s single most favorite piece of political mythology – the so-called ‘Southern Strategy’ – was and is a lie told to the credulous, given that in Arkansas the Democratic party continued to dominate the state for decades,” Moe Lane writes, responding to the Washington Free Beacon unearthing Democrat Mark Pryor’s neoconfederate 1985(!) college thesis. “Oh, wait, I just did bring that up.  My bad.  Guess we’ll see just how poorly the Democratic party thinks of its own base…”

As Moe adds, “OK, OK, it’s been over for a while now and Tom Cotton is going to win.  But this event counts as a moment of clarity.”

Elsewhere in the south, “New flier from Georgia Democrats: You must vote in November to … prevent another Ferguson,” as spotted by Allahpundit who writes, “Note that this comes from the Georgia Democratic Party itself, not some no-name outside outfit that’s looking to boost its profile by tossing racial grenades:”

Time for predictions. Which red-state Democrat will be next to use an over-the-top racial pander to goose black turnout? I’m tempted to say Pryor, just because he’s seemed like a dead duck for so long now, but I’m going to go with Grimes. She’s within a single point in one new poll and can’t rely on DSCC TV ads to help her going forward. She needs a cheap, dependable way to get Democratic base voters excited to vote. Time to pull the pin on another racial grenade.

Allahpundit-esque exit quotes:

Indeed.™

The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

October 21st, 2014 - 12:31 pm

Shot:

 

 

Chaser:

Update: Don’t ever change, MSNBC.

“In thesis, Pryor argued Democratic dominance in Arkansas caused by reaction to federal desegregation efforts,” Alana Goodman writes at the Washington Free Beacon:

The paper is housed at the University of Arkansas special collections library, which suspended the Washington Free Beacon‘s library privileges earlier this year. Pryor, who graduated from the university in 1985, wrote that the thesis was influenced by his work on his father David Pryor’s 1984 senatorial campaign.

In the essay, Pryor argued that the Democratic Party’s dominance in the state stemmed from public’s need for protection against external threats, comparing this to the Russian people backing Tsarist and Communist governments.

“Arkansas has been invaded unwillingly twice. Once in reality and once figuratively,” wrote Pryor.

“The Civil War provided the real invasion. The figurative invasion took place in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School. That event took a local problem out of the local authorities’ hands. The federal government had again forced its will on the people of Arkansas.”

Read the whole thing. And remember, if Pryor had an (R) after his name, the Beacon’s crosstown rival the Washington Post would be running this story in a continuous loop from now until election day, as they did in the fall of 2006 with over 100 stories on “macaca,” George Allen’s gaffed verbal attack on his ubiquitous mohawk wearing leftwing video tracker, and the numerous stories they published in 2009 to  attack Bob McDonnell, the ultimately successful Virginia gubernatorial candidate over his college thesis. Or the 50+ stories that the Politico ran on Todd Akin in 2012.

Related:A Low-Tech Lynching,” courtesy of Democrat Kay Hagan.

Is Mark Steyn’s PR Firm Accepting New Clients?

October 20th, 2014 - 10:02 pm

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Because seriously, I don’t know how they do it. The week that After America came out in 2011, the Dow Jones dropped 512 points on Thursday, and S&P shorted America’s credit rating on Friday. When After America was released in paperback the following year, riots across the Middle East broke out, a feckless “Quantitative Easing” program by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve began, and the POTUS ran roughshod over the First Amendment.

Today, The Undocumented Mark Steyn, an anthology of his columns, hits the streets; its introduction is titled “Me and My Little Black Dress.” It begins with Mark flashing back wistfully to the 1990s, America’s holiday from history, having just won the Cold War (we thought) and the Gulf War (we thought) and seemingly without a care in the world, when we could laugh at a hapless randy president and his extramarital affairs. Since Miss Lewinsky wasn’t taking many interviews at the time, Mark hopped into the Clinton White House’s Hot Tub Time Machine and flash-forwarded to 2018 to interview her older and wiser dress instead:

She is older now, her once dazzling looks undeniably faded, her famous beauty worn and creased.

“Sorry about that,” she says. “I was supposed to get ironed yesterday.”

Yes, it’s “that dress”— the dress that, 20 years ago this month, held the fate of a presidency in her lap. It has been two decades since the day she gave her dramatic testimony to the grand jury and then promptly disappeared into the federal witness protection program. Even as she recalls her brief moment in the spotlight , she looks drawn. But that’s because, following extensive reconstructive surgery, she’s been living quietly as a pair of curtains in Idaho.

“What do you think?” she says, saucily brushing her hem against the sill as her pleats ripple across the mullions. “It cost less than Paula Jones’ nose job.”

To be honest, I was lucky to get the interview. The dress was supposed to be doing the BBC— the full sob-sister treatment, Martin Bashir, the works— but, to protect her identity, they wanted to do that undercover secret-location protect-your-identity trick with the camera that makes part of the screen go all fuzzy and blurry. “Are you crazy?” she yelled at them. “It’ll look like I’ve still got the stain.”

Apparently to tie in with his book’s launch, somehow Mark’s PR people managed to convince Lewinsky to join Twitter on the very same day The Undocumented Mark Steyn debuts. “Monica Lewinsky Joins Twitter—To Fight Cyberbullying,” Fast Company.com reports today; since the Hillary Clinton campaign and its operatives at Media Matters and CNN are experts on the topic, I can’t wait to see Monica’s incredible lack of response when the cyberbullying really starts to fly — which it likely will starting sometime in mid-November, or perhaps early next year.

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What, Coolidge, Hoover or Reagan weren’t available as candidates to live rent-free in Pierce’s mind years after they left office?

CHRIS HAYES, host: There’s some scary stuff out there. ISIS, monstrous and scary. Ebola, scary, doing horrible things to people in West Africa. Killed someone here. It’s understandable. These are genuinely scary things, but the magnitude with which they are interpreted makes me think there is something about the American political consciousness that’s looking for something to fear at all times.

CHARLES PIERCE, Esquire: I think that that’s part of the conditioned reflex that was placed into the American public and into our political culture by the last administration. In which, you know, you had 9/11, then you had anthrax, then you had the snipers, then you had every bit of the government dedicated to scaring you about nuclear bombs from Iraq. You had three years of being blindsided by enormously terrible events, and then when that was done, you had a hurricane in New Orleans that the government’s response to was awful, and the entire economic system collapsed what seemed like overnight.

So the ground had already been prepared by fake threats and then you got real catastrophes for which we weren’t prepared, and all of that adds up to the kind of thing you’re seeing now.

HAYES: Charlie Pierce, thank you.

But as DNC co-chairwoman Donna Brazile finally admitted last year at CNN, “Bush came through on Katrina.” Besides, I’m not at all sure why Pierce is that suddenly now concerned with people drowning in waterborne disasters:

If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.

Charles Pierce writing the Boston Globe MagazineJanuary 5, 2003, on his way to an easy win as the Media Research Center’s “Quote of the Year,” capping off their annual DisHonors Awards, “Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2003.”

“President Obama delivered a blow to Democratic Senate candidates looking to distance themselves from his flagging approval ratings Monday, saying lawmakers avoiding him on the campaign trail were ‘strong allies and supporters’ who have ‘supported my agenda in Congress,’” the establishment left Website The Hill notes disdainfully:

The president said that Democrats faced a “tough map” and noted that many Democrats in crucial races “are in states that I didn’t win” during a radio interview with Rev. Al Sharpton.

“And so some of the candidates there — it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turnout,” Obama said.

“The bottom line is though, these are all folks who vote with me, they have supported my agenda in Congress, they are on the right side of minimum wage, they are on the right side of fair pay, they are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure, they’re on the right side of early childhood education.”

Obama went on to say that his feelings weren’t hurt by Democrats reluctant to campaign with him.

“These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me, and I tell them, I said, ‘You know what, you do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure our voters turn out.’ ”

The president’s remarks appear tailor-made for Republican attack ads in states like Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Alaska, where GOP candidates have painted their Democratic opponents as rubber stamps for the administration’s policies. Democrats in those races have worked hard to distance themselves from Obama, with polls showing his approval ratings mired in the low 40s.

Why, it’s almost as if this Barack Obama fella is dramatically overrated as a political orator and off-the-cuff speaker or something.

Update: Former(?) members of the JournoList are not happy with their boss tonight:

 

Our Source was the New York Times

October 20th, 2014 - 4:50 pm

“You do not have to talk to a statist very long before he will profess an intense dislike, distrust and even fear of ordinary people,” Andrew Klavan writes today:

Ordinary people spend money on what they want (TV’s restaurants and cars) rather than what the elite know they ought to want (aluminum foil climate change reversers). Ordinary people teach their children that God created the world rather than a random pattern of mathematic realities that came into being through another random pattern that came…  well, the elite know: it’s random patterns all the way down! Ordinary people will give jobs and business to those who earn them rather than those the elite, in their greater understanding, know are historically deserving because of past oppression. And so on.

Now, of course, with the very elite of the elite running the country, we find that — what do you know? — this statism dodge doesn’t really work all that well. And there are two reasons for this. The first is that the statist premise is wrong. In fact, ordinary people left at liberty to do as they will are actually better at running their lives and businesses and country than the geniuses in Washington. Central planning works great in the imaginations of the elite, but in the real world…  not so much.

And the second problem is that the elite are stupid. No, really. They’re educated and sophisticated and they dress well and speak well. They may even have high IQs. But in the immortal words of Forrest Gump’s mother: “Stupid is as stupid does.” And the elite are stupid.

Take the columnists at the New York Times. Or as I call them: Knucklehead Row. These guys look like smart people, they talk like smart people, they’ve got the trappings of smart people. But they are not smart. They are the opposite of smart. What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah. They’re stupid.

And as Matthew Continetti noted in the Washington Free Beacon a few months ago, “Gossipy, catty, insular, cliquey, stressful, immature, cowardly, moody, underhanded, spiteful—the New York Times gives new meaning to the term ‘hostile workplace:’”

What has been said of the press—that it wields power without any sense of responsibility—is also a fair enough description of the young adult. And it is to high school, I think, that the New York Times is most aptly compared. The coverage of the Abramson firing reads at times like the plot of an episode of Saved By the Bell minus the sex: Someone always has a crazy idea, everyone’s feelings are always hurt, apologies and reconciliations are made and quickly sundered, confrontations are the subject of intense planning and preparation, and authority figures are youth-oriented, well-intentioned, bumbling, and inept.

Indeed. Or to put it another way:

There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.

“What You Learn in Your 40s,” Pamela Druckerman, writing in the New York Times earlier this year, and linked to by Maggie’s Farm today.

Actually there are lots of grownups, who actually know what they’re doing in life, wisdom they’ve acquired through its hardscrabble lessons — but Druckerman will have to expand her social circle beyond the offices of Sulzberger & Company if she hopes to find some.

Gee, wait’ll they discover how Obamacare was passed against the will of the American people…

* Not to mention the “It’s Different When We Do It” card.

Update: “Turns out history for the left didn’t begin on January 20, 2009 but rather in April 2010 or thereabouts,” Allahpundit writes:

In fact, the ObamaCare omission here is so egregious, it reminds me in an odd way of those creepy liberal revisionist histories in which JFK somehow ends up dead at the hands of the right-wing city of Dallas while his left-wing assassin is conveniently airbrushed into oblivion. They used reconciliation to pass what’s arguably the most momentous piece of domestic policy of the past 50 years, and now, the instant Republicans use it for anything, the tactic will be deemed de facto cheating — despite endless leftist screeching since 2009 that we should probably go ahead and jettison the archaic 60-vote threshold for cloture entirely. You keep smiling, guys.

Which dovetails nicely with Sonny Bunch’s observation today in the Washington Free Beacon that “#GamerGate Makes the Left Uncomfortable Because Gamer Gaters Have Adopted the Left’s Tactics:”

Because when I look at #GamerGate, I don’t really see the Tea Party (just as I’m sure Jessica Hunter—a gay, liberal, female Canadian #GamerGater—doesn’t really see the Tea Party). No, I see the tactics of the modern reactionary left. Consider: The movement’s biggest accomplishment thus far has been to get Intel to pull advertising from video game blog Polygon Gamasutra after they flooded the company with complaints. We’ve seen this a ton over the last few years, but not from the Tea Party.

No, we’ve seen it from the anti-Prop 8 campaigners, who used their combined efforts to get Scott Eckern, the artistic director of the California Musical Theater, fired for donating to the anti-gay-marriage ballot initiative. We’ve seen it from astroturfed anti-gun groups trying to pressure Kroger into banning people from carrying guns. We’ve seen it in Black Twitter’s efforts to get Paula Deen dropped after she admitted to using racist language following an armed robbery. I could go on and on: the freakout over Grantland’s Dr. V. story; the effort to #CancelColbert; Feminism’s Toxic Twitter Wars; etc.

At the risk of engaging in some questionable psychoanalysis, allow me to suggest that one of the reasons the left is so disturbed by the rise of #GamerGate is that this is the first time in many years that these self-proclaimed Social Justice Warriors have met any sort of organized pushback. And they find it doubly infuriating to see the tools they have used so successfully—the Twitter mob, the email campaign, the claims of grievance—turned against them.

In their frequent use of brutal scorched earth Alinksy-style tactics to advance their goals and silence their enemies, the far left have increasingly opened up Pandora’s Box — did they think they’d get to keep all of its secrets to themselves?

Lionel Hutz Lives!

October 20th, 2014 - 3:22 pm

“Is Tito ’s Handmade Vodka really handmade? Would it taste any less good if it weren’t anymore?”

But in the summer of 2013, Forbes published “The Troubling Success Of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.” As its author Meghan Casserly explains, “Tito’s has exploded from a 16-gallon pot still in 1997 to a 26-acre operation that produced 850,000 cases last year, up 46 percent from 2011, pulling in an estimated $85 million in revenue.” She also describes “massive buildings containing ten floor-to-ceiling stills and bottling 500 cases an hour.”

So it was inevitable: On Sept. 15, lawyers representing Gary Hofmann in California filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging that Tito’s “manufactured, marketed, and/or sold . . . ‘Tito’s Handmade’ Vodka to the California general public with the false representation that the Vodka was ‘handmade’ when, in actuality, the Vodka is made via a highly-mechanized process that is devoid of human hands.”

This is why Americans can’t have nice things. Or as Lionel Hutz told Homer when the notorious cartoon trencherman was kicked out of an all-you-can-eat restaurant for taking them at their word, “Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of false advertising since my suit against the movie The Neverending Story!”

There’s No Time to Lose!

October 20th, 2014 - 1:45 pm

Shot:

Chaser:


Two questions: What was the previous Ebola “czar” up to before she went under Obama’s legendarily huge and non-carbon-friendly bus? And two: where’s No-Time Toulouse when you need him?

‘Thunder on the Left’

October 20th, 2014 - 12:38 pm

“Much has been written about the right-ward shift of the Republican Party, but far less about a mounting left-wing movement among Democrats,” Joel Kotkin writes at the Orange County Register. “While the media tends to dismiss the right-wingers of the GOP as ‘wingnuts,’ it typically refrains from categorizing even the extreme left of the Democratic Party in a similar manner.” Gee, wonder why?

But now many on the political left are openly critical of the president, notably for his close ties to the moguls of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. These moguls have been the predominant beneficiaries of his economic policies while middle-class incomes have continued to languish – and even fall.

This disenchantment can be seen among many professional progressives and their allies in the associated media. Michael Moore, for example, recently suggested that in the future Obama would be remembered simply for being the nation’s “first black president.” This disenchantment is also spreading to the Left’s grass-roots, with the president’s favorability ratings dropping even in such progressive bastions as New York and California.

This situation resembles that which conservatives confronted in the waning days of the Bush administration. Bush’s failure to construct a successful market-based economic agenda, as well as his ill-conceived foreign policy engendered widespread anger on the right. The initial Tea Party insurgency had its roots in the movement by Bush, a “big government conservative,” to bail out the nation’s giant financial institutions.

Now, it’s the Left’s turn to be disappointed, and some, such as liberal commentator Sally Kohn, suggest that it’s time to create their own progressive version of the Tea Party.* These liberal critics, correctly, in my view, have been mortified by the Obama administration coziness – taking a page from Bush – with large financial institutions as well as increasing inequality.

The new left Democrats have little interest in embracing Obama’s clever meme of portraying himself as a moderate, bipartisan figure, something that helped him both win suburban voters and raise a ton of money from parts of the corporate elite. Instead of expanding crony capitalism, which has been the Obama default, but the new Left openly seeks to reshape the economic system itself.

Don’t worry — I’m sure it will work this time, right?

* Didn’t we already have that with the debacle that was Occupy Wall Street in the fall of 2011? Not to mention, as Glenn Reynolds noted just a few months before OWS kicked off, similarly stillborn efforts as “the Coffee Party, the Brownbaggers, The Other 95%, A New Way Forward, the One Nation Movement — am I leaving any out? I can’t remember — and none of them has gone much beyond a spot of initial positive coverage from the NYT.” Which brings this post full circle with Kotkin’s observation at the start of his article on the MSM seeing nothing but Skittles and unicorns** and double rainbows when it observes the far left.

** Yes, that was intentional.

“Quarantine ends this week for NBC’s Nancy Snyderman — but she could be out of a job as thousands of viewers claim they no longer trust her,” the London Daily Mail reports:

Upon returning to the United States, Snyderman and her crew agreed to quarantine themselves for 21 days, the longest known incubation period for the disease. They have shown no symptoms.

Yet New Jersey health officials ruled that her quarantine should be mandatory after Snyderman and her crew were spotted getting takeout food from a New Jersey restaurant.

NBC won’t give details about who actually went into the restaurant, or even how many of its employees are being quarantined.

Snyderman issued a statement saying ‘members of our group’ violated their pledge.

More than 1,100 people have subsequently written on Snyderman’s Facebook page, many expressing anger.

There were suggestions she should be fired or lose her medical license, and some viewers said they wouldn’t trust her again.

Snyderman’s failure to be more specific about the lapse or take greater responsibility was another flashpoint.

Snyderman’s ‘arrogance and dismissiveness’ create a huge PR and credibility problem for NBC, said Kelly McBride, an expert on ethics for the journalism think tank the Poynter Institute.

Why would that start to be an issue now? Arrogance and dismissiveness are resume enhancers at NBC. Just ask Andrea Mitchell, Bob Costas, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell, or even perpetual NBC mascot Alec Baldwin. Perhaps Snyderman could ask those last three fellas to beat up any viewers that give her grief.

Backward Ran the Progress, Until Reeled the Mind

October 20th, 2014 - 10:52 am

High art, circa 1622:

High art, circa 2014:


As someone joked in response on Twitter, “You misspelled that last word.”

Heh. Naturally, if you’re offended, the artist says it’s your fault:

“At first, I found the anal plug had a similar form to Brancusi’s sculptures,” he explained. “Afterwards, I realized it resembled a Christmas tree, but it is an abstract work. People can be offended if they want to think of it as a plug, but for me it is more of an abstraction.”

How retrogressive and reactionary.