Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll

Media Getting Its Full Share of Riot Porn in Baltimore

April 27th, 2015 - 10:16 pm

This is CNN:

Gee, really, Wolf — did you forget all of this? I know things go down the memory hole quickly at CNN, but that’s ridiculous, even for the Clown-car News Network. Meanwhile, the single smartest thing the mayor of Baltimore has done over the past three days:

CNN certainly got their full quota of riot porn tonight, and we’ll try to cover some of the “highlights,” by mashing together some of our short earlier posts tonight. But first, talk radio’s Larry Elder and John Nolte of Big Journalism explain how old media’s Mobius loop works:


A CNN camera crew discovers firsthand that their network’s Mobius loop has a nasty slingshot effect: Shot:


Still waiting to see the omelet, but those eggs won’t break themselves, right, Sally? A similar incident happened in Ferguson back in August, when MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was pelted with rocks, after Al Sharpton arrived early on what Andrea Mitchell Orwellianly described as “a peace mission.” While CNN is now largely in the business of running documentaries, aside from occasional interruptions for plane crashes and riot porn, we shouldn’t exempt Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s original entertainment division from our coverage of Baltimore. Shot:


Lawrence Meyers at the wonderful Breitbart site Big Hollywood had an excellent takedown of David Simon last week. Simon, author of the brilliant book Homicide and creator of the excellent television show The Wire, is also, according to the book Difficult Men, a self-obsessed and bullying leftist. Recently, he attacked conservatives and, indeed, the U.S. Constitution they are trying to defend. Simon says:

If original intent included the sadism and degradation of human slavery, then original intent is a legal and moral standard that can be consigned to the ash heap of human history. Hardcore conservatives and libertarians who continue to parse the origins of the Constitutions under the guise of returning to a more perfect American union are on a fool’s journey to decay and dishonor.

I leave it to Meyers’s strong piece to take down this nonsense, as indeed he does.

But here’s what bugs me. The Wire (which is, to some extent, based on the year Simon spent with the Baltimore Homicide Squad while researching Homicide) takes place in a city without conservatives, even without Republicans. There has not been a Republican mayor of Baltimore since 1967. And much of the show’s genius lies in its depiction of the brutalized life of black people in the city’s ghetto.

So we have a writer who has seen for himself, and who has shown us, the effects of Democrat governance on a city, the dehumanization of the poor that is the direct result of leftism and the corruption that inevitably springs from it. And yet Simon blames conservatives!

“The Unbearable Blindness of David Simon,” Andrew Klavan, November 10, 2013.

Related: Meanwhile, back at the other entertainment/propaganda division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO:



Elsewhere within the hermetically sealed cocoon of old media, as the left continues to devour itself, an NBC spokesman implies Baltimore’s mayor is racist. Shot:


So is the NBC spokesman saying that the Baltimore mayor is another “Lying Ass Bitch,” as he’s wont to imply in his personal war on women?

Fortunately, Baltimore’s mayor is calling on another NBC employee to ease tensions in her beleaguered city. Ease them? I meant wildly inflame them of course, by calling in the prince of peace himself, Al Sharpton. This will end well:

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave an emotionally charged press conference on Monday night, calling the people looting the city “thugs” trying to tear the city apart.

“I am at a loss for words,” she said. “It is idiotic to think that by destroying your city you’re going to make life better for anybody.”

The massive protests came the same day as the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died a week after sustaining mysterious injuries while in police custody.

Rawlings-Blake instituted a 10 p.m. curfew for the entire city*. She said people who want peace should come to quell the unrest, mentioning Al Sharpton specifically.

Gee, what could go wrong?

And note this: “Anderson Cooper catches B’more mayor in a contradiction: Blames press for broadcasting negative images, will use them to track down rioters.”

* Starting tomorrow. “Hear that, looters and rioters? The mayor is really going to start cracking down starting 10 pm tomorrow night!”, As Jim Geraghty tweets. Using the failed Democrat mayor’s own Oberlin-approved rhetoric, another Twitter user adds, “Tonight there is a safe space for those who want destruction.” And speaking of safe spaces to riot and burn down the city, Maryland’s governor wonders why Rawlings-Blake waited so long to call in the National Guard.

And finally, at the PJ Tatler, Robert Wargas looks at the blue-on-blue violence of war-torn Baltimore and asks, “How Long Does America Have?”

Late Update: Mary Katharine Ham of Hot Air spots “one Baltimore mom (or other relative) [who] delivered the symbolic slap pretty much everyone wanted to deliver unto punk looters and rioters.” Our blogging software is balking at the Instagram code, so click over to watch. As MKH writes, “Nicely done, Mom. The world was uncharacteristically united on Twitter in applauding her…forcefulness.”

The left continues to devour itself. Shot:



So is the NBC spokesman saying that the Baltimore mayor is another “Lying Ass Bitch,” as he’s wont to imply in his personal war on women?

This will end well:

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave an emotionally charged press conference on Monday night, calling the people looting the city “thugs” trying to tear the city apart.

“I am at a loss for words,” she said. “It is idiotic to think that by destroying your city you’re going to make life better for anybody.”

The massive protests came the same day as the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died a week after sustaining mysterious injuries while in police custody.

Rawlings-Blake instituted a 10 p.m. curfew for the entire city*. She said people who want peace should come to quell the unrest, mentioning Al Sharpton specifically.

Gee, what could go wrong?

And note this: “Anderson Cooper catches B’more mayor in a contradiction: Blames press for broadcasting negative images, will use them to track down rioters.”

* Starting tomorrow. “Hear that, looters and rioters? The mayor is really going to start cracking down starting 10 pm tomorrow night!”, As  Jim Geraghty tweets. Using the failed Democrat mayor’s own Oberlin-approved rhetoric, another Twitter user adds, “Tonight there is a safe space for those who want destruction.” And speaking of safe spaces to riot and burn down the city, Maryland’s governor wonders why Rawlings-Blake waited so long to call in the National Guard.

“‘Face the Nation’ Should Face-Up to Its Appalling and Unfair Question,” Mark Hemingway writes at the Weekly Standard:

Over the weekend, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation. Here’s one of the questions that outgoing host Bob Schieffer asked him:

SCHIEFFER: I’m going to start with probably the most vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and that is Tony Perkins. He is the president of the Family Research Council. And, Mr. Perkins, I’m going to say this to you upfront. You and your group have been so strong in coming out against this — and against gay marriage that the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group. We have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view, quote, “You don’t speak for Christians.” Do you think you have taken this too far?

Now a quick refresher on the background between the Family Research Council and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). In recent years, the SPLC has been fairly loose in its designation of “hate groups,” and has applied the label to groups in ways that are baffling (e.g. Catholics who go to Latin mass). It has also appled the label to groups that are distasteful but perhaps not what one thinks of when they think of “hate groups” (e.g. pick-up artists). One may not like what the Family Research Council stands for, but there is no serious argument that it is a “hate group,” let alone an organization that does not represent the views of very significant number of Americans.

That CBS News would lend credence to the accusations of the Southern Poverty Law Center — a once noble organization that has destroyed its credibility in all sorts of ways in recent years — is questionable enough. But let’s recall this notable episode:

As Hemingway notes, in 2012, “Floyd Lee Corkins entered the lobby of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. He was carrying a backpack that contained 15 Chick-fil-A -sandwiches, a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, and 100 rounds of ammunition. Corkins has since pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing for the crimes he proceeded to commit”:

Why did Corkins select the Family Research Council as a target for killing? “A detail sure to reignite the culture wars that erupted around the shooting is the fact that Corkins told FBI agents that he identified the Family Research Council as anti-gay on the Web site of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” wrote the Washington Post during Corkins’s trial. The SPLC defended keeping its map on the website after the attempted shooting spree, even though it had been pilloried many other organizations for far less threatening rhetoric.

Beyond championing the hate-filled SPLC, Schieffer’s melodramatic set-up to his interview with Perkins is akin to Peter Sellers’ “You can’t fight here, this is the War Room” gag in Dr. Strangelove. By describing Perkins as the Boogieman, Satan Incarnate, the Font of Evil in America, doesn’t that make him especially newsworthy? Or should we assume that every figure that CBS interviews is offering viewpoints approved by the network? Remember, CBS is a network that has gone out of its way to produce fawning interviews with Saddam Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Castro. Are their opinions CBS approved?

Probably, come to think of it. After Walter Cronkite left CBS, he started speaking up for increasingly nutty causes, such as “One World Government.” When Dan Rather left, Mr. Objectivity began hosting fundraisers for the far-left Nation magazine. Bob Schieffer is set to retire this summer; based on the track record of his former CBS colleagues, his columns and speeches after he’s free to go full Bullworth should be loads of fun to read.

(And if you thought Schieffer was bad as a TV host, just wait ’til his successor plugs in his lavaliere.)

Related: CNN lies About Ted Cruz and his take on gay marriage supporters.



Still waiting to see the omelet, but those eggs won’t break themselves, right, Sally?

Related: “TNR editor says #FreddieGray rioters are just ‘communicating:’”

So just to review, for the left, Sarah Palin’s clip art is violent eliminationist rhetoric. But attacking firemen, journalists, innocent bystanders and looting businesses is mere “communication.” Orwell — and presumably former TNR publisher Marty Peretz — weep.

Earlier: Shock Video: Reporter Mugged by Black Mob in Baltimore.



Lawrence Meyers at the wonderful Breitbart site Big Hollywood had an excellent takedown of David Simon last week. Simon, author of the brilliant book Homicide and creator of the excellent television show The Wire, is also, according to the book Difficult Men, a self-obsessed and bullying leftist. Recently, he attacked conservatives and, indeed, the U.S. Constitution they are trying to defend. Simon says:

If original intent included the sadism and degradation of human slavery, then original intent is a legal and moral standard that can be consigned to the ash heap of human history. Hardcore conservatives and libertarians who continue to parse the origins of the Constitutions under the guise of returning to a more perfect American union are on a fool’s journey to decay and dishonor.

I leave it to Meyers’s strong piece to take down this nonsense, as indeed he does.

But here’s what bugs me. The Wire (which is, to some extent, based on the year Simon spent with the Baltimore Homicide Squad while researching Homicide) takes place in a city without conservatives, even without Republicans. There has not been a Republican mayor of Baltimore since 1967. And much of the show’s genius lies in its depiction of the brutalized life of black people in the city’s ghetto.

So we have a writer who has seen for himself, and who has shown us, the effects of Democrat governance on a city, the dehumanization of the poor that is the direct result of leftism and the corruption that inevitably springs from it. And yet Simon blames conservatives!

“The Unbearable Blindness of David Simon,” Andrew Klavan, November 10, 2013.

Related: Meanwhile, in another entertainment/propaganda division of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO:

Bill’s message will very likely go unheeded by those who need it the most, which is too bad — after four or more years of being coddled in socialist academia, the class of 2015 could certainly use the wake-up call.

Of course, if today’s kids really are book burners, it’s because they learned it from their professors, such as these two members of San Jose State University’s Meteorology Department. They proudly snapped a photo increasing their carbon footprint by planning to burn a book skeptical of today’s global warming mania, before realizing that posing as proud book burners has a distinctly Teutonic “partying like it’s 1939″ look to it, and deleted the shot. Fortunately, not before it was caught by Anthony Watts in 2013:

Of course for digital information, Soviet-style airbrushes often work better than Nazi-style book burnings: “Georgetown demands edits to Christina Hoff Sommers video.” As Laurel Conrad of the Legal Insurrection blog asks, “I wonder if Georgetown ever heard of the Streisand Effect?”

In sharp contradiction to the book burners and video censors above, one college professor though has had enough:

A Texas A&M, Galveston, professor decided to fail his entire class after he claimed that they cheated in class and were disruptive and rude.

In a letter he sent to his strategic management students, Professor Irwin Horwitz claimed that he had seen cheating, heard false rumors about himself and other students and had been called a ‘f****** moron’ to his face.

Horwitz’s email said that every single student in the approximately 30-person class would fail because of the behavior he had witnessed during the semester.

The university has said that the failing grades Horwitz’s wishes to give out will not hold.

No, of course not. The parents have paid too much money for their kids not to sail through.

Related: “Pray This Woman Never Teaches Your Children.”

Once a Clinton flak catcher, always a Clinton flak catcher: “The former public face of Bill Clinton’s White House—and current host of ABC News’ This Week—George Stephanopoulos was floored [or at least pretended to be for the cameras -- Ed] as two prominent journalists and the Republican Speaker of the House from his Clinton days, Newt Gingrich, laid out for him just how bad the ‘Clinton Cash’ book is for his old bosses,” Matthew Boyle writes at Big Journalism:

“My point is they took money from foreign governments while she was Secretary of State—that is clearly illegal,” Gingrich said. “This is not about politics. It’s illegal. It’s dangerous to America to have foreign governments get in the habit of bribing people who happen to be the husband of the Secretary of State or next president of the United States.”

Halperin then stuck the knife in.

“Here’s why you know this is serious, because almost any Democrat who’s not Clintons’ payroll will tell reporters and others privately that these are serious issues,” he said. “Forget the politics. These are serious issues. The question for me right now is all these donors who gained and all these people who paid President Clinton to give speeches, what kind of communications did they have with people in the government? That may not be a quid pro quo, but everybody knows that a lot of those donations were from people who wanted access to the Clintons.”

And Heilemann twisted it.

“We have examples now where Barack Obama’s administration knew this was a potential problem,” he said. “That’s why they set up the agreement they had with the family—the agreement they had with Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton when she took the job as Secretary of State. There are now several that we know of at this moment—several documented instances—where whether or not it’s illegal they broke their agreement with the administration.

“When you think about the president having the standard of being the most transparent and open administration in history, what the Clintons have done here clearly is not the most transparent and open. I think that whether it’s illegal or not, they violated the spirit of Barack Obama’s presidency.”

Allahpundit-style exit quote:


Time for a special prosecutor?

‘We’re Addicted To Judgment Porn’

April 27th, 2015 - 11:47 am

“Social media networks have become the number-one distributors of judgment porn, where people get high on another person’s low,” Hans Fiene writes at the Federalist:

In November of last year, when hackers leaked a number of Sony co-chair Amy Paschal’s emails, we tweeted screen shots of the damning correspondence because we found perverse enjoyment in her humiliation over typing what we never would have typed. Last week, when footage surfaced of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry berating a tow lot employee, we hashtagged our insistence that ESPN can the uppity blond because, not perceiving the irony, we won’t stand to look at pathetic, inferior human beings like her.

A couple days later, we woke up bored with McHenry and pointed our wagging fingers at Ben Affleck, insisting that he was a typical Hollywood elitist for pressuring a PBS show not to air the rather humiliating piece of information that one of his ancestors was a slave owner.

This is the general formula for the distribution and consumption of judgment porn: Person A does something he or she shouldn’t have done and that transgression is somehow made public. We, then, unable to control our desire for satisfaction at his or her expense, make that humiliation even more public and justify doing so with feigned outrage and how-dare-they-isms. Then, after the high of moral superiority wears off, we look for another humiliated subject to feast upon, and we begin the cycle again.

Feasting On Other People’s Shame

At its core, judgment porn is no different than the traditional kind. Just as we know that countless women who have left the porn industry would give anything to scrub the Internet clean of the sins they committed during their years of brokenness, we also knew that Paschal would have done anything to cover up the record of those humiliating emails. But we still refused to avert our eyes because, like all forms of pornography, it felt good to get high on someone who had fallen so low.

Just as we know that a girl who texts naked pictures to her boyfriend wouldn’t have done so if she’d have known the entire school would see them, we also knew that McHenry never would have insulted the appearance and education of that tow lot employee if she’d known that her words would end up on YouTube. But we still publicized her sin all the more because, in that moment, she was the judgment porn equivalent of a dirty skank and dirty skanks don’t deserve to have their sins covered.

Just as teenage boys are ready for a new object of lust ten seconds after feasting upon the shame of the latest girl to show up naked in their texts, so the judgment porn addicts will be ready to find a new target immediately after decrying the last one. Affleck’s perfectly understandable family-whitewashing will be forgotten the next time a hot mic catches someone body-shaming Kelly Clarkson or crassly body-affirming Kim Kardashian, whichever transgression appeals to us more that day. Then we’ll lustfully share a video of people who didn’t know they were being filmed doing something racist before lasciviously hashtagging our outrage at someone who kicked a dog on a security camera.

I’m not sure if “judgment porn” is the best phrase, but that’s probably my own bias after watching how the has tacked the word “porn” onto just about everything — guitar forums routinely describe photos of expensive vintage instruments as “guitar porn,” photos of expensive shoes have been described as “shoe porn,” and I’m sure every hobbyist/collector can find similar examples in his own field of interest. But there’s no doubt that the more self-aware of the mob on the Internet addicted to “shaming” will themselves look back on this era with a fair amount of shame themselves for their actions.

At least one hopes. That is, assuming that this isn’t all the forerunner of the Left going into full French Revolution/Kristallnacht mode, of course.

Related: “Gay Businessman Who Hosted Ted Cruz Event Terrorized: ‘I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake.’” — “If we weren’t mistaken, we’d think liberals are intolerant.”

“Baltimore Mayor Stuns With Remarks on Violent Freddie Gray Protesters Who ‘Wished to Destroy’”, Jason Howerton writes at the Blaze:

Protests over the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody, took a violent turn on Saturday, resulting in dozens of arrests and widespread property damage. During a recent press conference, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake confirmed that the protesters were being given “space” to “destroy.”

“While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on,” the mayor said of the protesters. “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.”

As author Gary Harrington tweets, “You have to be carefully taught to utter those remarks without the slightest sense of self awareness.” And Rawlings-Blake is more than willing to spread her worldview beyond Baltimore; as Wikipedia notes, “A member of the Democratic Party, she currently serves as secretary of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.” An earlier member of Democratic National Committee who also created safe spaces for violence and destruction could not be reached for comment.

H. L. Mencken, the best-known journalist to ever emerge from the Baltimore Sun famously said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” But even he didn’t mean it this literally:


The Orwellian nature of Rawlings-Blake’s statement is compounded by the Baltimore police chief saying that the rioters were “outside agitators,” as spotted by on Twitter by Tennessee State Sen. Frank Niceley.  The Baltimore Sun adds that “Despite police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts’ insistence that a minority of out-of-town instigators caused the violence, online court records Sunday showed that only three of those arrested during Saturday’s protests were from outside Maryland.”

Reporter Paulina Leonovich “was on the ground covering the Freddie Gray protests for Russia Today’s Ruptly news service” last night, Debra Heine writes at the PJ Tatler. “Freddie Gray is the 25-year-old black man whose spine was severed when he was arrested on April 12. He died a week later:”

The video shows an angry and aggressive mob surrounding the reporter, making obscene hand gestures, yelling vulgarities and getting alarmingly close to her  until someone snatches her purse — at which point the distraught reporter can be heard yelling “give it back!” as she chases the thieves down the street.  The Baltimore police enter the scene and one of the men is taken to the ground, but it’s not clear whether or not they have retrieved her purse. Leonovich can be heard sobbing and she cuts the live feed.

It’s the perfect metaphor for the Obama era — shortly before being elected, Barack Obama promised that he would “spread the wealth around,” and his fellow “coat and tie radicals,” to borrow from Bob Tyrrell’s classic phrase, constantly obsess over finding as many ways as possible to do that “legally.” Mr. Obama’s more youthful supporters passionately employ the “mostly peaceful” methods demonstrated above.

And as Jon Gabriel of Ricochet tweeted last November during the Obama/MSM-approved Ferguson riots, “My favorite part about the Obama era is all the racial healing.”

Related: In an earlier post today, I joked about questioning the timing of the protesters rioting during the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, when the legacy media would be too busy worshiping themselves to cut away to cover the riots. But they also likely ended former Baltimore mayor turned Maryland governor Martin O’Malley’s longshot bid to be the Democrat party’s presidential nominee as well, much to Hillary’s delight.

CNN Enters New Round of Climate Panic

April 26th, 2015 - 12:37 pm

“Sounds like the folks over at CNN are upping the ante over climate change,” Melissa Mullins writes at NewsBusters:

In addition to climate change being blamed for cute and cuddly polar bears becoming endangered (which has been debunked) and giving children nightmares, they are now trying their hand at scare tactics, specifically, frightening people into believing in climate change by focusing on a mere two degrees Celsius.

By embracing the “Two Degrees Celsius” initiative, CNN has given its reporter and recipient of an award by the American Society of News Editors for public service journalism, John Sutter, the next eight months to report on the insurmountable destruction that could occur because of these two little degrees. (Here’s where scare tactics come into play.) Sutter writes:

“If we humans warm the world more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), we greatly up the odds of climate catastrophes. Think super droughts, rising seas, mass extinctions and acidifying oceans. We don’t want to cross that mark.”

I’m not sure if this is a “new round” of climate panic, since “global warming” was introduced into the American vernacular by Al Gore and the New York Times comparing it to Kristallnacht in 1989. In other words, the media overculture has spent the last quarter century predicting a new Holocaust was right around the corner if we don’t take action. But didn’t we take decisive action back in 2008? After all, Barack Obama promised his supporters, in his usual campy melodramatic style, that his merely winning the Democrat primaries was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal!”

And in any case, why does CNN want to simultaneously scare the bejesus out of its more gullible viewers (other than those poor souls trapped in airport departure lounges, is there any other kind of CNN viewer?) and mock those who take such warnings seriously and have started preparing for the apocalypse?

But then, as Mullins writes: “Showing that it’s for political purposes only, CNN neglected to say that the planet hasn’t warmed in over 15 years, or that the ‘science’ surrounding global-warming panic isn’t turning out to be the impending catastrophe that liberals have predicted for more than 25 years.”

I Question the Timing

April 26th, 2015 - 11:10 am

The Baltimore rioters really didn’t think last night through, did they? “CNN Won’t Cut Away from White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Reassures Viewers They’ll ‘Find Out All of What Happened in the Streets of Baltimore by This Time Tomorrow’,” Jesse Walker writes at Reason on the prototypical “mostly peaceful” march yesterday in Baltimore, where, as Walker notes, at least 12 people were arrested for putting the “mostly” into “mostly peaceful:”

But you needn’t have bothered checking CNN. Here (via Richard Wojcicki) is Errol Louis acknowledging the events taking place less than an hour north of DC…and explaining why his network wasn’t interrupting its White House Correspondents’ Dinner coverage to show viewers what was happening:

“You can find a live feed if you actually want to watch what’s going on,” Louis says, then gives a very brief sketch of “what I’m seeing on Twitter.” His conclusion: “You can find out what you want to find out. And, you know, something else is going on—the most powerful man in the world is gonna tell some jokes….

“We don’t control a lot of this stuff. We sort of make our best choices, and we’ll—we’ll catch up. People will be informed….They’ll find out all of what happened in the streets of Baltimore by this time tomorrow.”

So apparently that’s what they mean by “24-hour news channel.”

Here’s one of the men making the decisions on what the channel will cover:

Chalian was fired from Yahoo for making that statement at the 2012 Republican Convention in the midst of Hurricane Isaac. As Warner Todd Huston noted last year at Big Journalism, “CNN Promotes David Chalian — Who Was Fired by Yahoo For Racist Comments” — to its “political director.” Though hey, to be fair, as one wag noted on twitter last night, it’s not like anybody drowned in Baltimore while the media was worshiping Obama yesterday, right?

“Any organization,” as Tom Brokaw of all people said in 2013 regarding the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, “has to have a kind of self-policing instinct and what we’re doing with that dinner, as it has been constituted for the past several years, is saying, ‘We’re Versailles. The rest of you eat cake.’”

You’d think the leftwing mob would have understood that the establishment left media would never cut away to report on the French Revolution while they’re busy confirming the aroma of the throne in Versailles.

At the beginning of the month, Politico’s Dylan Byers claimed that Roger Ailes was “trolling” CNN when he told the Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t watch much CNN, they got out of the news business in primetime. But I look to see if they have a good documentary or movie. If they do, I’ll watch that.”

Trolling? It was entirely factual statement, and it was nice of one of their correspondents to confirm that CNN is indeed out of the news business on the air last night.

Related: With the east coast “having a Bonfire of the Vanities type moment” last night, welcome to “The World Barack Obama and Eric Holder Have Made: Baltimore, 2015.” As Michael Walsh writes at the PJ Tatler, “You voted for it, America. And now you’re going to get it, good and hard.”

Update: Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon explains how the above video is Exhibit A in understanding why the rest of the country hates DC and its sycophant media.

“Rick Austin, a best-selling author, survival expert, sought after speaker and television personality, turned down what many looking for publicity would have considered the opportunity of a lifetime — to be featured in a CNN special television series,” the Inquisitr Website notes. And judging from their description of a CNN show as “the opportunity of a lifetime,” perhaps we can tell which direction that Website’s biases point. In any case, Austin, a former TV producer himself, certainly knows the direction of CNN’s biases:

Aside from his own appearances as a regular featured guest about homesteading and preparedness in the media, Austin is certainly no stranger to the inner workings of TV and the media, since prior to his off grid living career, Austin also spent several decades working in the media business, including as both a director and a producer for TV shows from his offices at Universal Studios.

As such, Austin is no stranger to the many ways that on-camera comments can be spun and edited, if an interviewer or producer has a personal or biased agenda. Because of his popularity in the preparedness arena, Austin was approached for the CNN project through the Bright Roads Productions company that is working on a new series entitled United Shades of America.

Austin said it took him just a few moments to become “extremely suspect” about the new series, which is to be hosted by liberal comedian, W. Kamau Bell. In fact the online promotional material for the TV show notes that “comedian W. Kamau Bell will explore the far corners of our country and its ‘subcultures’ and make people laugh in United Shades of America.” Bell is also the host of the FXX Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell late-night comedy sho. On United Shades of America, Bell will “dissect” a vast array of topics which will reportedly include “politics, pop culture, race, religion, and the media,” promotional material for the series revealed.

The Website quotes Austin replying:

“CNN, quite honestly, is a left wing biased network, so I don’t see much potential in their giving right wing conservative people in the preparedness community anything close to ‘fair and balanced’ coverage. Frankly, having spent 30 years in the media business, and much of it as television producer, I know that editors can turn anything someone says into something it is not. The fact that you have a comedian as the show’s host leads me to believe that the networks’ view is already skewed toward painting this as a story about ‘kooks’ and people who think the sky is falling.”

CNN’s goal of sneering at preppers such as Austin illustrates the hypocrisy of the MSM in general, which for 60 years, has hyped the news with one doomsday scenario after another, but mocks anyone who takes them seriously. Starting in the mid-to-late 1950s, the liberal TV news media routinely described the apocalyptic horrors to come if the Soviets used their nuclear weapons against America, culminating in the Kennedy administration’s “duck and cover” preparedness warnings and the brinksmanship of the Cuban missile crisis. But anyone who took the Democrat warnings seriously by building a bomb shelter was viewed by the MSM and Hollywood as a reactionary crank. (See also, Dr. Strangelove and the “Gift of the Magi”-style Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith’s bookworm character emerges from the post-apocalyptic bomb shelter only to break his glasses.) More recently in a 2011 Atlantic article, PJM’s own Glenn Reynolds noted that Obama administration was dusting off Cold War-style nuclear preparedness plans. “I note that the feds seem to be highly interested in an experimental new drug for treating radiation sickness. That’s not encouraging,” he insta-deadpanned.

Starting with the first “Earth Day” in 1970, it became a cliché for radical environmentalists to tell nonplussed TV interviewers that “we only have five years/ten years/ 12 years, 300 days, 12 hours and 32 minutes” to save the earth from global cooling/warming/climate change/climate chaos. Since the eco-apocalypse and nuclear war dueled for headline space, during the 1970s and early 1980s, it was hard to tell where the threatened New Ice Age ended and the Nuclear Winter began.

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, spent much of the 1990s hectoring viewers with his “Captain Planet” cartoon series on his sister network, TBS, As recently as 2008, he told Charlie Rose:

If steps aren’t taken to stem global warming, “We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow,” Turner said during a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose that aired Tuesday.

“Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals,” said Turner, 69. “Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable.”

As Mark Hemingway quipped at the Corner back then, “If [Turner is] so afraid of global warming brought on by overpopulation, the better question is, which of his five children does he want to eat?”

So here’s someone who takes this sort of doomsday thinking seriously – and of course, for CNN, he’s merely a prop to be savaged and discarded as an object of ridicule. Good for Rick Austin for not being used by the most busted name in news.

“Last night’s interview with Bruce Jenner by Diane Sawyer on ABC’s 20/20 turned out to be very revealing … in a much different way than many thought,” Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air. “By this time, a relentless series of media reports had made it quite clear that Jenner had embraced a transgender identity, at least privately. The big reveal turned out to be that Jenner also identifies as a conservative Republican:”

When Sawyer asked if Jenner cheered when Obama became the first president to even say the word “transgender” in a State of the Union address, the 65-year-old replied that he “would certainly give him credit for that.”

“But not to get political,” Jenner continued, “I’ve never been a big fan, I’m kind of more on the conservative side.”

“Are your a Republican?” Sawyer asked in response, to which Jenner replied, “Yeah! Is that a bad thing? I believe in the constitution.”

“Do you think that would be an unsettling thing for some people in the conservative wing of the party?” Sawyer asked.

“I’ve thought about that,” says Jenner, adding that neither political party has a monopoly on understanding.

“Tolerance? Not so much. Prior to the interview airing, progressives on Twitter offered lots of support for Jenner, and plenty of predictions about how conservatives would heap scorn on Jenner. After Jenner truly came out, their tone changed considerably, as Twitchy documented,” Ed adds.

Back in 2009, in the depths of ”We Are All Socialists Now” chest-thumping triumphalism of the Obama administration and their media operatives, former liberal turned conservative author Harry Stein wrote a book titled I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican, which documented the “tolerant” left’s reflexive knee-jerk freak out reaction when actually confronted by ideological diversity:

My favorite tale in this regard comes from a friend who lives in Park Slope. She reports creating level-red discomfort, when the talk on a recent evening turned to gay marriage. Everyone was for it, of course, including my friend. “But wouldn’t it bother you if your own children were gay?” she added, all innocent curiosity. “After all, isn’t it natural to want your kids to mirror your experience? To have a traditional marriage and raise children in the traditional way? I can’t think of anything that would make them more foreign.” She reports that, hearing this, the liberals around the table “got very flustered — because of course they feel exactly the same way. There was a long silence, and then someone said: ‘I would be much more upset if my kids were Republican,’ and that let everyone off the hook.

That same year, comedian Paul Rodriguez described a near identical experience:

I remember many years since, trying to contemplate the idea of joining the Grand Old Party, and I said I better run this through Mom. I said, “Ma, Dad, sit down, I want to talk to you.” Before I could go any further, they said, “Oh, my God, he’s gay. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER) Ay, Dios mio, he’s gay.” I said, “No, no, no, Mom, I’m thinking of being a Republican.” She said, “I wish you were gay. (AUDIENCE LAUGHTER) Please look, what have we done?”

And right on cue:

If I could pick one tweet to symbolize the intolerance of the left, I might pick this one. pic.twitter.com/LdB01grg2P

— Ken Gardner (@kesgardner) April 25, 2015

Don’t ever change, reactionary leftists.

When 2+2 = 5

April 25th, 2015 - 2:08 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

In all of these places, my experience has been that when it suits the ends of power, ideology can be invoked to prove that 2+2 = 5, or 3, or any other number that suits the state, and to demand that all embrace the madness. It is a truly frightening thing to interview a top-ranked nuclear scientist, or a distinguished brain surgeon, or a concert pianist, as I did in China under the sway of Mao, and to hear them, as ideological outcasts, justify with utter conviction the brutalities inflicted on them by their ideology-crazed persecutors — crushed fingers, smashed heads, broken marriages, vilification by their own families.

Elsewhere, the lunacy was of an order that invited a response of laughing mockery, if that were not potentially fatal to the system’s loyalists, or those pretending to be so. In North Korea, while Kim Il-sung was still alive, there was a brand new, high-tech hospital built in his name in Pyongyang, floor after floor laden with tens of millions of dollars in the latest American, Swiss and German equipment, but no patients to be seen. And why not? “As we have explained,” the most senior comrade-physician responded, “the Korean people’s great leader Comrade Kim Il-sung has taken such care for the health of his beloved people that none of his people gets sick.”

Not ever? “No, never,” was the reply.

“The Things I Carried Back,” John F. Burns, the New York Times, April 11th, 2015.

The Columbia University student being called a rapist by members of the media and a woman who has been carrying her mattress around for performance art is suing.

Paul Nungesser was accused by fellow Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz of brutally beating and raping her during a sexual encounter he insists was consensual. Despite a police investigation that failed to charge Nungesser and the university finding him “not responsible,” Sulkowicz and her enablers — including Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, have continued to harass Nungesser by calling him a “rapist.”

Now, Nungesser is suing his university, its president and trustees and the visual arts professor that allowed the mattress project to go forward.

“Columbia student defamed by mattress girl is suing,”Ashe Schow, the Washington Examiner, yesterday.

Left-leaning student activists at Oberlin College hung posters at the Christina Hoff Sommers event earlier this week that identified the students involved in bringing the individualist-feminist and AEI scholar to campus.

Each poster gave the name of a specific student-member of the Oberlin College Republicans and Libertarians and accused that person of perpetuating rape culture.

Images of the posters were sent to Reason via a source who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. The last names of the students identified by the posters were blurred before Reason received them.

According to the source, a group of approximately 10 student-activists were behind the posters.

They have the right to denounce their fellow students as perpetuators of rape culture, I suppose, though the fact that some students would smear others with this charge for merely bringing a speaker to campus is disappointing. Do students no longer recognize that the entire point of challenge is to grapple with new and different ways of thinking about the world?

“Oberlin Activists Posted Creepy Messages Accusing Specific Students of Perpetuating Rape Culture: Their crime? Bringing Christina Hoff Sommers to campus,” Robby Soave, Reason, April 23rd.

Like my RedState colleague Bryan Pruitt, I feel sorry for these guys: “The gay New York City hoteliers who recently played host to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have their own controversy to deal with: Activists are calling for the boycott of their properties, including a gay hotel and establishments on Fire Island.”  Essentially, Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass had a reception where they had Ted Cruz speak to a group on foreign policy, Israel (particularly noting its attitudes on gay rights) – and, shockingly, how Ted Cruz doesn’t think Barack Obama is doing well on either.  Oh, mustn’t forget: Ted Cruz will still love his kids if they turn out to be gay.

And so… for allowing this man to speak to their friends, Mr. Reisner and Mr. Weiderpass must of course be chastised.  In fact, they should consider themselves fortunate that their own side is not calling them to be burned at the stake for heresy. Yet.  The day is still young, after all.

“More on Ted Cruz and the Activist Left’s ‘SHUT UP!’ principle in action,” Moe Lane, yesterday.

After decades of left-wing intellectuals churning out treatises on the evils of “moral panics” and “shame culture,” the same crowd is now using these very tactics for their ends, utterly oblivious to their own hypocrisy.

That they are doing so should be very worrisome to conservatives, because enforcing orthodoxy against heretics is what the winners do to the losers. That is precisely why this phenomena is most powerful on college campuses — because that is where the secular orthodox are at their most powerful.

On campus and off, today’s losers — social conservatives, climate “deniers,” rape-panic skeptics, even supporters of free speech qua free speech — are being told that they must bend to the shaming of the mob. In the long run I don’t think it will work. But there’s no immutable law — of nature, democracy, modernity, morality whatever — that I can point to back up that conviction.

—The “We’re All Shamers” subsection of Jonah Goldberg’s weekly G-File column, online today.

Lambert and Stamp: The Men Who Made The Who

April 25th, 2015 - 1:43 pm


In 1979, The Who, at the peak of their career, released the documentary summing up their career at that point, The Kids Are Alright. As veteran rock critic Dave Marsh wrote in his 1983 biography of the group, Before I Get Old, published to coincide with the band’s “first” farewell tour that year:

Kids is one of the most anarchic documentaries ever assembled, running two hours without a shred of narration and with not so much as a subtitle identifying characters or dates. Kids was the perfect cult item, and Who fans flocked to it. Hardly anyone else did, however, so even though it remained a staple of the midnight movie circuit, part of every kid’s introduction to the verities of the Rock of Ages, the film had little impact outside of the Who’s cult. The Kids Are Alright is, nevertheless, one of the great rock and roll movies, capturing all of the Who’s sass and humor and taking the wind out of the band’s pomposity at each and every opportunity.

Naturally, Keith Moon stole The Kids Are Alright, which became a summation of his career as the Who’s anarchic drummer, who passed away nine months before its release, choking on an overdose of the pills he was prescribed to battle his alcoholism.

This year, filmmaker James D. Cooper released Lambert & Stamp, a documentary about the Who’s first managers, a  film that can be thought of as the liner notes to The Kids Are Alright. If you’re a fan of the band, you owe it to yourself to see this film while it’s in the theaters (I saw it last night at a sparsely attended showing at the Camera 3 in San Jose), to get a sense of two men who did so much to shape the group in the 1960s. How much you know about the Who will shape how much you enjoy this new documentary, which is built around a lengthy series of interviews with Chris Stamp (1942-2012), the younger brother of veteran actor Terence Stamp (Superman II, Wall Street, The Limey), who also appears in the film, along with Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Daltrey’s wife Heather, and other Who insiders.

Instant Party

The Who were one of the most unlikely of bands; Pete Townshend, art school devotee and later follower of Sufi mystic and guru Meher Baba, was essentially the timekeeper of the group, even though he was the rhythm guitarist. Keith Moon’s anarchic surf-music-inspired drumming provided brilliant percussive colors; but keeping time was not his metier; he was not a man in search of a simple backbeat on the 2 and 4. With his fluid single-note runs, John Entwistle was in many ways the band’s lead guitarist, despite being the bassist. And Daltrey, the founder and nominally the frontman of the group, was forced to fight for attention as singer as his three innovative sidemen roared away alongside him. Somehow it worked — brilliantly — in spite of themselves.

Similarly, Lambert and Stamp were the most unlikely of rock managers. They hadn’t really planned to be managers at all. Kit Lambert (1935-1981) was the son of composer/conductor Constant Lambert, who sought to make a name for himself in the shadow of his famous father, who died, as Wikipedia notes, in 1951 “two days short of his forty-sixth birthday, of pneumonia and undiagnosed diabetes complicated by acute alcoholism.”

Britain didn’t legalize homosexuality until 1967; the upper-class Lambert was very much gay during that era. And the handsome, modish Stamp was equally aggressively heterosexual and working class, the son of a tugboat captain. The two originally didn’t want to be managers; after meeting while both were working at Shepperton  Studios in the early 1960s, they were looking for the perfect rock group to feature in a documentary on the exploding British rock scene in the wake of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, when they stumbled into the Railway Hotel in Harrow where the Who were playing Motown songs to an overpacked room crammed mostly with hundreds of young Mod men. As the documentary explains, Lambert and Stamp were instantly convinced they had found the perfect group for their film; the band was instantly convinced they were the authorities, about to close down the gig as a fire hazard. While they did shoot some early footage of the group, Lambert and Stamp decided instead they’d rather be Brian Epstein than filmmakers, and quickly began managing the group.

Keith Moon brilliantly summed up the tone of the two men in the early days in his 1972 Rolling Stone interview:

Kit Lambert came to see us playing at the Railway ‘Otel in ‘Arrow. We had a meeting. We didn’t like each other at first, really. Kit and Chris. They went ’round together. And they were . . . are . . . as incongruous a team as we are. You got Chris on one hand [goes into unintelligible East London cockney]: “Oh well, f**k it, jus, jus whack ‘im in-a ‘ead, ‘it ‘im in ee balls an’ all.” And Kit says [slipping into a proper Oxonian]: “Well, I don’t agree, Chris; the thing is . . . the whole thing needs to be thought out in damned fine detail.” These people were perfect for us, because there’s me, bouncing about, full of pills, full of everything I could get me ‘ands on . . . and there’s Pete, very serious, never laughed, always cool, a grass-’ead. I was working at about ten times the speed Pete was. And Kit and Chris were like the epitome of what we were.

Lambert was a brilliant ideas man; he shaped The Who’s image as sharply-dressed mods, encouraged Townshend and Moon’s guitar and drum smashing, and hired a graphic artist to design The Who’s iconic “Maximum R&B” poster (a copy of which is hanging behind me in my home office as I write this). Lambert also moved Townshend into Lambert’s flat in the posh Belgravia section of London, giving the band a veneer of success far beyond what they were earning as working musicians. Meanwhile Stamp was largely funding the band’s early days via his work as a second assistant director on the Kirk Douglas WWII movie, The Heroes of Telemark.

Lambert fueled Townshend’s composing skills, convincing him to link together several short, incomplete songs into one nine minute number in 1966 called “A Quick One,” which the two called “their mini-opera,” and which Townshend credits for inspiring some of the ideas on Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles’ landmark concept album the following year. That album would go on to inspire the Who’s double album “rock opera,” Tommy, released in 1969.

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‘Hillary Thinks She Is Bigger Than God’

April 24th, 2015 - 2:36 pm

In 1993, “the politics of meaning” was introduced by Hillary Clinton into the vernacular of the times, when she said during a commencement speech:

“We need a new politics of meaning. We need a new ethos of individual responsibility and caring. We need a new definition of civil society which answers the unanswerable questions posed by both the market forces and the governmental ones, as to how we can have a society that fills us up again and makes us feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.”

For most Americans, “the unanswerable questions posed by both the market forces and the governmental ones” are answered quite satisfactorily by religion. For self-admitted “Progressives” such as Hillary, that’s rather…problematic…to borrow the hip word all the cool kids are saying these days. Because for over 150 years,  “Progressivism” and religion have been two fundamentally opposed forces. Which is why last night, Hillary told the attendees at the 2015 Women in The World Summit:

“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” Clinton said.

“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

Comparing the bolded line above to Obama’s infamous “bitter clingers” speech, Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air that Hillary is striking a very different pose today from 2008, when she thought that she had the Democrats’ nomination locked up, and needed to only worry about some tyro anti-religious rookie politician to her left named Barack Obama and could safely pivot to the center:

In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is. As Hillary admits here — albeit unwittingly — the at-will destruction of the unborn goes against religious beliefs, long-held cultural values, and the structural “biases” that exist to recognize the value of human life. That’s what the “clump of cells” fallacy has to overcome, and as Hillary and the Left have discovered, it’s a tall order. And it’s not just abortion, but also same-sex marriage and forced participation in it, euthanasia dressed up as “right to die” movements, and the rest.

Politically speaking, this kind of hostility to religion plays well … among the “safe space,” “trigger warning” crowd. Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change “deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs” might be the most honest progressive slogan in history, but it’s not going to endear Hillary to the people who got offended by Barack Obama’s “bitterly clinging” comments — which she exploited in 2008 to paint herself as the friend of those denizens of middle America. Those voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.

What does Hillary do to counter this? I’m waiting to hear If you like your religion, you can keep your religion. That will fit the progressive pattern well.

The headline quoted above by Hugh Hewitt co-blogger John Schroeder neatly sums up Hillary’s worldview, and it’s not a new one. When Jonah Goldberg published Liberal Fascism in late 2007, it was written with the assumption that Hillary was likely the next Democrat nominee for the presidency, and her worldview dominates the second half of the book; Barack Obama is only mentioned twice, if my Kindle search function is accurate. Hillary believed since at least her college days that religion needed a serious overhaul if not entire junking; a trait that has been believed by every dyed-in-the-wool “Progressive” since the 19th century. As Jonah wrote in his chapter on “Brave New Village: Hillary Clinton and the Meaning of Liberal Fascism:”

The politics of meaning is in many respects the most thoroughly totalitarian conception of politics offered by a leading American political figure in the last half century. Hillary’s views have more in common with the totalizing Christian ideologies of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell than they do with the “secular atheism” such Christian conservatives ascribe to her. But they have even more in common with the God-state Progressivism of John Dewey, Richard Ely, Herbert Croly, and Woodrow Wilson and other left-wing Hegelians. Hillary’s vision holds that America suffers from a profound “spiritual crisis” requiring the construction of a new man as part of a society-wide restoration and reconstruction effort leading to a new national community that will provide meaning and authenticity to every individual. Hers is a Third Way approach that promises to be neither left nor right, but a synthesis of both, under which the state and big business will work hand in hand. It is a fundamentally religious vision hiding in the Trojan horse of social justice that seeks to imbue social policy with spiritual imperatives.

* * * * * * * *

Hillary is no führer, and her notion of the “common good” doesn’t involve racial purity or concentration camps. But she indisputably draws her vision from the same eternal instinct to impose order on society, to create an all-encompassing community, to get past endless squabbles and ensconce each individual in the security blanket of the state. Hers is a political religion, an updated Social Gospel—light on the Gospel, heavy on the Social—spoken in soothing tones and conjuring a reassuring vision of cooperation and community. But it remains a singular vision, and there’s no room in it for those still suffering from the “stupidity of habit-bound minds,” to borrow Dewey’s phrase. The village may have replaced “the state,” and it in turn may have replaced the fist with the hug, but an unwanted embrace from which you cannot escape is just a nicer form of tyranny.

If you’d like a real insight into Hillary’s worldview (beyond her pure money-grubbing avarice that makes Gordon Gekko look like a piker, of course), the later chapters of Liberal Fascism are real eye-openers, and I urge you to read them, if you haven’t yet.

….Unless of course, as a result of her myriad fundraising scandals, Hillary really is “Dead Candidate Walking,” as Michael Walsh believes today over at his PJM column.

Related: The Giver: A Chilling Cinematic Peek into Hillary Clinton’s Infamous Village.”

Breaking News from 2007

April 24th, 2015 - 12:04 pm


Failed presidential run followed by botched tenure as Secretary of State? Earning lots of wealth outside of the free market? Lots of botox? Speaking in Orwellian doublethink?

As Twitchy asks, rounding up response to the usual JuiceVox socialist sophistry, “Is Hillary Clinton cementing herself into the pantheon of rich liberal windsurfing hobbyists? If so, Vox declares it a good thing.” It looks like you’re going to need a much more limber, not to mention waterproof and gyroscopically balanced exoskeleton if Hillary will be hitting the high seas.

Another area though, where both archleftists are similar, is in their cold and aloof hauteur. In his column today, asking “Will the Clinton-Cash Scandal Doom Hillary’s White House Bid?”, Jonah Goldberg describes Hillary as a “Tudor of the Ozarks:”

Sure, the Clintons like money. That’s obvious. But the money is incidental to what’s really behind all of this: a mixture of entitlement and machine politics.

The Clintons are like the Tudors of the Ozarks. They believe they are royalty, but they also understand that even monarchs need friends. The Clinton Foundation is the perfect vehicle for their ambition. Like the medieval Catholic Church, it blurs the lines between ideals and interests. On the one hand, it does yeoman’s work in the Church of Liberal Dogoodery, but it also provides a conduit for business interests, foreign governments, academics, activists, and journalists to gain access to the imperial court-in-waiting.

Even if Hillary hadn’t conveniently wiped her servers clean, I suspect there wouldn’t be a lot of e-mails about quid-pro-quos. Such transactions aren’t made in the language of the bazaar, but in the lingua franca of loyalty, friendship, and noblesse oblige. Yes, Clinton Inc. needs money, but the money is likely seen more as tribute than bribery, a bit of coin offered up as a sign of loyalty to the coming Ozarkian Restoration — a restoration that may just have to wait for Chelsea.

There is one big difference though between Hillary and the British monarchy. “The House of Windsor is certainly more transparent” than the House of Clinton, Mark Steyn told Hugh Hewitt yesterday:

MS: Hugh, there is no ‘Clinton Foundation’… The only purpose of this foundation is to enable this family to lead the lifestyle of a head of state after it has ceased to be head of state. They spent $70 million dollars on travel at the Clinton Foundation. By comparison, the entire Royal Family, to fly between their various realms – the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, that’s a lot of air miles – the entire Royal Family in one year spent $7 million dollars. So in other words, the Clintons have ten times the airplane costs of the Royal Family, who are heads of state of dozens of bits of real estate around the world. The Clinton Foundation is a hollow shell foundation playing the usual shell game with U.S. taxation. There’s no need for a Clinton Foundation except for them to rake in money from Kazakhs and Ukrainians and Iranians and Saudis and everybody else…HH: Well, let me ask you. There are two questions. Which is more transparent – the Windsor or the Clinton family? And which is less tacky – the Windsors or the Clintons?

MS: Well, one can make arguments about the last point, but the House of Windsor is certainly, the House of Windsor is certainly more transparent. You can go to I think it’s Royalty.gov.uk, and the Lord Chamberlain who runs the Queen’s Household posts every itemized bit of travel. So if you were to ask the Queen, if you happened to be meeting the Queen and you happened to say why did Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester, spend $700 dollars getting from Calgary to Bermuda in 2009, she’ll give you a straight answer. Whereas if you ask a similar question to Hillary Rodham Clinton, she’ll say ‘Oh, well, these are just more distractions from the right-wing Koch-funded media, and I’m just here to talk to everyday Americans as long as they’ve undergone a background check and have been pre-screened so that it’s safe for me to pretend to interact with them…’

If Hillary acts like she has much to hide, it may be because she has much to hide. Mitt Romney, a very different Massachusetts Brahmin than Kerry, was succinct yesterday while speaking with Hugh:

“You know, I’ve got to tell you, I was stunned by it. I mean, it looks like bribery. I mean, there is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20% of America’s uranium production to Russia, and then it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails. And you know, I presume we might know for sure whether there was or was not bribery if she hadn’t wiped out thousands of emails. But this is a very, very serious series of facts, and it looks like bribery.”

Exit quote: “This time it wasn’t about logos or burritos, but rather uranium, foreign affairs and serious corruption. The New York Times published an exposé on ties between the Clintons and a sketchy deal which left Putin in control of a significant portion of America’s uranium; uranium it can now sell to Iran and other bad actors in the world.”


One of worst aspects of the legacy media in recent years has been their attempts at columns devoted to “fact-checking,” often awarding two, three or four pieces of Pinocchio clip art to whatever they determine is a “lie” spoken by a candidate or politician. And invariably, these columns are wildly partisan, first seen in the nuclear-level attacks on Sarah Palin when she pointed out ObamaCare’s potential for rationing via what she described vividly as “Death Panels.” DefCon 1! Burn the witch! Fire all the Pinocchio clip art at her! But as Mark Halperin, then of Time magazine, admitted during a video interview with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg in November of 2013 during ObamaCare’s disastrous roll-out:

The Affordable Care Act contains provisions for “death panels,” which decide which critically-ill patients receive care and which won’t, according to Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for Time magazine.

“It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled,” Halperin told [Malzberg].

Yesterday, Hugh Hewitt had on young leftwing Washington Post “fact checker” Michelle Ye Hee, who, as Jim Treacher notes above, doesn’t grasp the difference between facts and opinions. And also doesn’t know much about the subject she’s “fact checking.”

As Hugh says in his transcript:

Almost every would-be GOP nominee has made an issue of America’s declining naval strength.  This morning The Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee gave “three Pinocchios” to Lindesy Graham and Scott Walker for recalling Ronald Reagan’s 600 ship Navy and deploring our drop to 273 ships today.

Not only does Ms. Lee suggest untruthfulness about these absolutely factual assertions by Graham and Walker, she does so without finding even one expert who challenges their assertions about U.S. naval strength hitting dangerous lows.  She joined me to defend her conclusion, but I wasn’t persuaded and believe the Post should issue a correction for putting out as a “fact check” a thinly disguised and actually poorly informed opinion of one of its writers.  I appreciate that Ms. Lee would come on to defend her piece but this issue is too important to leave to the “fact checkers” who aren’t actually checking facts:

* * * * * * * * *

HH: Now why do you call it a zombie claim? Because every naval expert I’ve talked to believes we’re in a crisis when it comes to ship count and strategic ability to project force, every single one. And as I read your piece, I didn’t actually find anyone disagreeing with Lindsey Graham or Scott Walker.

MYHL: Well, the zombie claim is sort of a reader-friendly way to describe that this is something that had been talked about in the past, and that it had been challenged in the past as well. And you know, we sort of use it to say hey, you know, we’ve been there before, we’ll say it again. So that’s sort of a reader-friendly way to put it that way. You know, I don’t think it’s that people disagree necessarily with the claim that there needs to be more ships, or that the current fleet is not sufficient compared to what the combatant commanders say they need. But it’s, again, going back to the idea that you know, the needs of, the need and capability of ships evolve over time. So to compare the number of ships in 2015 versus the number of ships in 1915, ’16, ’17 or in the 1980s is just not an apples to apples comparison.

HH: Now I’m going to disagree with you. I want to be respectful here, but I was around in 1980, and when President Reagan campaigned for a 600 ship Navy, he was saying we need a much larger Navy to meet a strategic challenge. When you quote Lindsey Graham and Scott Walker today, and George Pataki said to me last hour, they’re saying we’ve given away strategic advantage. So I think it is apples to apples, and I’d go specifically to, for example, are you familiar with the Ohio Class submarine, Michelle.

MYHL: Um-hmm.

HH: And so do you know how many we had when Ronald Reagan took over?

MYHL: I don’t know the exact figure.

HH: Zero. Zip. He invented them. And so he deployed two dozen of them. Now, they’re all going to age out by 2025-2030.

* * * * * * * *

HH: But isn’t that, what my point is, that’s an editorial judgment. That’s a political opinion. You and I disagree. That’s not a fact, because I think we should use the 600 ship Navy, because that was Reagan’s way of saying strategic deficit, we have…the ocean hasn’t gotten smaller, Michelle. We need a lot of ship bottoms out there. Maybe we don’t need 600, but we need a whole lot more than we’ve got. We’ve got a strategic deficit. Now you might disagree with me on that. But when you do fact checking, my problem with this is, is you’re asserting that they lied when you use Pinocchio. And they didn’t lie. You just disagree, and perhaps they have a knowledge advantage over you, for example, as with regards to the Ohio Class submarines or aircraft carriers or ship bottoms. Is that not a legitimate point of view for me to have?

MYHL: Well, I don’t think this has anything to do with my personal point of view. That’s not where I’m coming at this from. You know, to a certain extent, when you give a Pinocchio rating, you’re going to disagree. You and I are going to disagree. Other people and I will probably disagree. But you try to assess it on a consistent level using the same standards that you have done before. And that’s all I did in this case.

HH: But…

MYHL: And you know, no worries. If Hillary repeats a lie that Obama used in the last campaign, we’ll be consistent with her as well.

HH: No, but that’s not, the point is if you were wrong four years ago, you’re still wrong today. And to assert Pinocchios is to assert they’re lying, isn’t it?

MYHL: That it’s not the truth.

HH: And it is. And what Walker and Graham said is the truth. So I just think you’re editorializing under the guise of fact checking, and it’s a strategic, this is very important stuff, right? Our naval strength is very important. Should the Post be editorializing as opposed to just putting it on the opinion page, which I wouldn’t mind if you wanted to disagree and say hey, we’re not that small. That would be fine. But I mean, to argue Pinocchios, you’re putting it in a different category, aren’t you?

MYHL: I don’t think so. You know, I don’t agree with that. I’m not here to editorialize. I’m not trying to opine. I am trying to do my job of putting these numbers into context, trying to shed extra information to put them into context, and that’s what I aimed to do.

HH: I appreciate you coming on, Michelle Ye Hee Lee. Come back again. I love talking to Dan Balz and Philip Rucker, but I, this is a swing and a miss. I’d have to give you four Pinocchios on this story, but that would be my opinion, not a fact. Michelle Ye Hee Lee, thank you.

Read the whole thing — it’s a vivid reminder of the declining level of MSM journalism, partisanship in the guise of “objectivity” (On her linked-in page, Lee describes one of her influences as Arianna Huffington), and that every GOP presidential candidate is running against both the Democrat candidates, and their operatives with bylines.