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MSNBC: Still Jim Crow TV

January 29th, 2015 - 10:47 am

“Just when you thought MSNBC was giving up on calling everyone racist…”, Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air. Though that headline precedes from a false assumption: Nobody thinks that paranoid NBC and its spin-off channels would give up on calling its enemies racist:

In a discussion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday, NBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin was asked for his thoughts on the wildly popular film American Sniper. After conceding that the film is powerful, Mohyeldin was prompted to expand on his obvious reservations about the movie’s subject matter. He let the veil drop.

“When you juxtapose it with the real Chris Kyle, and the story, and what has emerged about what kind of personality he was in his own words,” Mohyeldin began, “A lot of stories about when he was back home in Texas. A lot of his own personal opinions about what he was doing in Iraq; how he viewed Iraqis. Some of what people have described as his racist tendencies toward Iraqis and Muslim as he was going on some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.”

Jaws hit the floor. To describe the performance of a decorated combat veteran in a hostile theater as a killing spree is to confess a level of bias that is virtually disqualifying for a foreign affairs reporter. The stigma associated with serving as a sniper in a war is painful enough for proficient sharpshooters, but to directly equate the actions of those servicemen with the behavior of a mass murder is beyond the pale.

Add this to the remarks from Michael Moore, Seth Rogen, and Max Blumenthal on Kyle, the left is once again revealing themselves as really not supporting the troops, no matter what their mission, a regression to their McGovern-era id. As with their lack of support of free speech and their terror over losing the PC overculture they’ve built, it’s a reminder that yet another modified limited hangout of the left has now concluded. (Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.) And as Jeffrey Lord wrote at the American Spectator last year, MSNBC won’t be losing its sobriquet as “Jim Crow TV” anytime soon.

CNN, Where Time Stands Still

January 21st, 2015 - 12:29 pm

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

When Fox News started out, it got a generally skeptical and unfriendly reception from the journalistic establishment. Even reporters, who generally view any news media organization as a good thing (not to mention a potential source of employment), were largely disapproving. But no one greeted Fox News with more pure vitriol than CNN founder Ted Turner.

“I look forward to crushing Rupert Murdoch like a bug,” Turner told the press. He compared Murdoch to Hitler, which would make Roger Ailes a reincarnation of Goebbels, and followed up with an explanation, quoted by the Los Angeles Times [in October of 1996]: “The late Führer, the first thing he did, like all dictators, was take over the press and use it to further his agenda. Basically, that is what Rupert Murdoch does with his media.  .  .  .” The Nazi analogy was too much for the Anti-Defamation League, which rebuked Turner for trivializing the Holocaust. Turner apologized, but that didn’t prevent him from likening Murdoch to “the late Führer” a year later; or, in 2005, comparing the success of Fox News to the rise of Hitler.

— From Roger Ailes: Off Camera, by Zev Chafets.

Flash-forward to this week: “CNN’s Zakaria Takes Shot at Murdoch, ‘Quasi-Fascist’ Fox Hosts,” Mediaite’s Josh Feldman reports.

Both of which seem like pretty odd complaints, both from Turner, who after leaving the network he founded has gone on to praise North Korea, and from Zakaria, who in-between dodging plagiarism allegations, has complained on CNN that the American people have too much freedom and too little regulation.

Related: “Washington Post Catches CNN Red-Handed Reporting On Muslim ‘No-Go Zones.’”

And from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, “Sure, Take Out Your Frustrations And Anxiety On Fox, They Won’t Behead You: Paris mayor threatens to sue Fox for insulting Paris and injuring its honor (with ‘no-go zones’).”

It was pretty much a given that it wouldn’t be very long at all before the French would revert to form and quickly begin to lose the goodwill of the American people after the horror of the Islamofascist attack on Charlie Hebdo. Or as Glenn adds, “Funny, I could have sworn that there were a lot of people marching for free speech in Paris recently.”

We’re quickly discovering how many of them were simply engaging in pantomime.

Update: “Je Suis Fox News?” asks Ricochet’s John Gabriel:

Fox News’ jealous critics and the Parisian mayor should re-read their week-old paroxysms of support for an unbridled press. Because free speech doesn’t work if you’re only allowed to offend religious figures but not secular ones.

Heh, indeed.™

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

Yet here’s my puzzlement. Let’s agree, for the sake of the discussion, that the 9/11 bombers did not speak for Islam. Ditto the London murders. Indeed, let’s say that neither the Boston marathon bombers nor the people who murdered a total of 16 people in Paris last week (the 12 at Charlie Hebdo and four at the kosher market), let’s say that they did not speak for Islam either. Like Major Hasan, who murdered 13 people at Ft Hood in 2009 while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” they were just “lone extremists” who carry out murder and mayhem while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” But that has nothing to do with Islam. OK. Got it.

But here’s my question: Who does speak for Islam? We are assured that it’s not the group that now calls itself Islamic State, but which, following Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, I am considering calling Daesh, a name they apparently dislike. Anyway, we know that they don’t speak for Islam because our political leaders and our media have told us so. It’s the same with Boko Haram, the Nigerian Muslim group.  This morning, quoting the Australian journalist Andrew Bolt, I noted that they had kidnapped and sold into sex slavery 300 Nigerian school girls. That was before I saw the story that Boko Haram had just invaded another town killing as many as 2000. Boko Haram appears to believe that they represent Islamic teaching, but no: our leaders have assured us that that is not the case. Ditto about Syria: this summer an adulteress or two were stoned to death, but that, of course, was the work not of Islam but of “extremists,” if not quite “lone extremists.”

So who, according to the establishment gospel, does speak for Islam? The Ayatollah Khomeni was the spiritual leader of Iran, a great Shia Muslim country. Did he speak for Islam?  He didn’t like a novel by Salman Rushdie and told his followers to kill him for insulting Islam. Did the ayatollah speak for Islam?

Two days ago, Raif Badawi, a 30-year-old Saudi blogger, was given 50 lashes by the Saudi authorities for the crime of “insulting Islam.” It was the first installment of 1000 lashes, scheduled to be administered with 50 lashes a session for 20 weeks. No one expects him to last that long, for the order specifies that he is to be “lashed very severely” and be denied medical care.

Saudi Arabia is a great Sunni Muslim nation, our “friend” and “ally.” Do they speak for Islam?

“Who Speaks for Islam?”, Roger Kimball at PJM yesterday. And speaking of magic get out of the MSM’s rhetorical jail free cards:

One intrepid CNN reporter offered her theory for why Obama declined to attend the rally in Paris when so many of heads of state around the globe did: Politics.

“President Obama, while he obviously does things to deal with terrorism, this isn’t the issue that he wants to be fully front and center out there with, I think is fair to say,” said CNN Senior Political Correspondent Brianna Keilar.

“CNN: Terrorism really isn’t Obama’s ‘issue,’” Noah Rothman at Hot Air, today. (Do other presidents get to use this get out of jail free card? “Let’s face it. Shrinking the size of the federal government just isn’t really LBJ’s issue.” “Let’s face it. Embassy security just isn’t Jimmy Carter’s issue.” “Let’s face it. Keeping students safe while protesting on campus just isn’t Richard Nixon’s issue.”)

To slightly modify one of John Nolte’s catch phrases at Big Journalism, let’s face it: Democrats — and their MSM-protected constituencies — sure got it good. And conversely:

Related: “Barack Obama’s Harriet Miers moment. Seriously.”

ISIS Hot Stuntaz

December 27th, 2014 - 12:12 am

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

isis_hot_stuntaz_12-27-14-1

“Mystery of ‘Britain’s White Jihadi’ with the baby face: Counter-terrorism experts probe meek-looking Islamic State suspect amid claims photo could be sophisticated fake,” the London Daily Mail reports, embedding the above photo, which quickly that went viral on Twitter.

Fake or not, I sense something. A presence I’ve not felt since

Icy_Hot_Stuntaz_12-27-14-1

The douchebaggery…the douchebaggery…

Shep Smith Fails the Ailes Test

December 17th, 2014 - 8:18 pm

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

[Roger Ailes] offered [self-admitted Democrat Chris Wallace] the job of hosting Fox’s Washington Sunday morning talk show—Rupert Murdoch’s favorite program— on two conditions. “Roger told me, ‘I want you to be equally tough on Republicans and Democrats. And I want to know if you can get up in the morning and not think that America is to blame for most of the world’s problems.’” Wallace assured Ailes that he could deliver on both counts, and went on the air in early December 2003.

—Zev Chafets, Roger Ailes: Off Camera, 2013.

Flash-forward to today, where Allahpundit catches Shep Smith wondering, is America about to “ruin” Cuba?

Actual quote about an honest to goodness police state, no apparent irony intended: “The last thing they need is a Taco Bell and a Lowe’s.”

Two ways to read that, I guess. One is that he’s objecting to having the wrong priorities, not to American businesses invading the island. Cubans need basic necessities, not fast food. Get a couple of Charmin factories in there churning out TP and that’d be a corporate move worth applauding. But wait — if that’s his point, why’s he reminiscing at the start of the segment about the sweet-ass four-dollar Cuban rum he likes to bring back whenever he travels there? That’s not a necessity. Which brings us to theory two: This is exactly what it sounds like, a guy seemingly willing to trade away greater prosperity for Cubans if it means Americanizing the island in return for preserving the quaint, simple culture that decades of authoritarianism and economic retardation have produced. It’s basically the “noble savage” view of economics. What doth it profit a Cuban to gain a middle-American depot for cheap building materials if he lose his cheap-rum-making soul? Where are we going to go to watch people riding around in 60-year-old Studebakers now?

Ahh, omnipotent tourism syndrome — even a Fox anchor isn’t immune:

sharpton_msnbc_lean_forward_parody_ad_4-8-12

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

“NBC’s [Andrea] Mitchell Declares [fellow NBC employee] Al Sharpton In Ferguson ‘On A Peace Mission.’”

—Headline, NewsBusters, August 17th.

“‘I’m Lost Now’: Can Ferguson’s Businesses Ever Rise From Rubble?”

—Headline at NBC, today.

Curiously, hitting CTL-F and typing in “Natalie’s Cakes,” which has received over $230,000 in donated funds after her building was trashed by rioters on Monday doesn’t bring up a reference in the article. Wonder why?

(Quote on our mock ad for Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show atop this post from network president Phil Griffin.)

It’s Deja DNC All Over Again

October 23rd, 2014 - 3:59 pm

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

Rekha Basu, the outspoken Des Moines Register columnist who has written frequently about the Iowa Senate race, says her son’s paid work for Democratic candidate Bruce Braley has no bearing on her paper’s endorsement process.

Basu, who describes herself as “very progressive,” has written several columns on the Iowa Senate race and is highly critical of Republican candidate Joni Ernst. Her most recent column, a wide-ranging critique of Ernst and her policies, is titled “This isn’t the Iowa woman we should elect.”

Basu’s latest column mentions that her son, Romen Borsellino, is employed by the Braley campaign. Pay stubs reviewed by POLITICO show that, on and off for the last year, Borsellino has received a biweekly salary of $998, translating to roughly $2,000 a month.

* * * * * * *

“I’ve been open about  my son’s work for the campaign,” Basu wrote later in the email. “I wrote about it in my column Sunday. Readers who have followed me for more than two decades know my views to be very progressive (my detractors call them socialist) on reproductive choice, immigration, gun control, environmental safety, the Iraq war,  poverty and class issues, among others. I don’t think there’s a single issue on which they align with Ernst’s, although I would love to see an Iowa woman elected to Congress someday.”

Rick Green, the Register’s president and publisher, similarly told POLITICO, “Any affiliation that Basu’s son has with Braley’s campaign is not a factor in our endorsement process. Rekha is not a member of our editorial board.”

—Dylan Byers, The Politico, today.

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.

In a letter Wednesday to Sun-Times Chairman Michael Ferro, McKinney tendered his resignation.

“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.

“Sun-Times Reporter Resigns After Free Beacon Report,” the Washington Free Beacon, yesterday.

As Glenn Reynolds has noted, ”Think of the [MSM] as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t be far wrong.”

Related: Speaking of which, “New York Times Tries to Discredit NRA on Bruce Braley’s Gun Control Stance.”

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

 

 

Of all the weekends to cancel the obligatory Saturday golf game, this would have been a good one, not the least of which because his administration and its steno pool inside the New York Times worked to craft what is effectively a press release on Obama “seething” over how he and his administration have botched the Ebola crisis — one year after the disastrous rollout of his signature socialized medicine bill. (Fun fact: On this date a year ago, the otherwise Obama-friendly Huffington Post ran the headline, “Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage For Millions Of Americans.”

Glenn Reynolds rounds up Bobby Jindal’s complete four-step plan for how the increasingly semi-retired president acts during one of his administration’s many clusterfarks; apparently interim steps 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5 can be summed as: Fore!

Meanwhile, Roger L. Simon posits that administration officials will find an obscure video to blame for Ebola when they make their rounds on the Sunday talk shows tomorrow. Paraphrasing historian Robert Conquest’s Third Law of Politics, which states that “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by
assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies,” Roger wonders how the ghost of Andrew Breitbart got inside the controls of the administration’s evermore wobbly machine.

obama_plus_fours_3-19-11-2

I’m Sure It’s Purely a Coincidence

October 6th, 2014 - 2:19 pm

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

A report into the British Broadcasting Corporation handling of the Jimmy Savile child-sex abuse scandal was released Wednesday, and the upper management of the BBC got off lightly, though the management culture of the BBC came in for criticism. One prominent member of that management: Mark Thompson, who served as director-general of the BBC for eight years until earlier this year, when he became chief executive of the New York Times Co.

Clay Waters, NewsBusters, December 20, 2012.

The nation’s tough anti-pedophilia laws are unfair to pedophiles, according to an op-ed published by The New York Times’ editors.

“One can live with pedophilia and not act on it,” says Margo Kaplan, an entrepreneurial assistant law professor at Rutgers University, and a former lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Tragically, the roughly 1 percent of “people who are sexually attracted to children] must hide their disorder from everyone they know — or risk losing educational and job opportunities, and face the prospect of harassment and even violence,” she wrote.

“Pedophilia Deserves Civil Rights, Says New York Times’ Op-Ed,” Neil Munro, the Daily Caller, today.

Related: As Mark Steyn writes, the Times decided that it would be play the self-appointed role of being “A Teacher for the Apple” this weekend, hectoring Silicon Valley for its perceived lack of diversity — an astonishing statement for thus us who happen to lives in Silicon Valley:

No doubt “many” “studies” can be found that show such things. In which case, as John Hinderaker points out, why doesn’t the New York Times editorial board give “diversity” a try?

The Times says it is a “problem” that “Most [Silicon Valley] employees are white and Asian men.” So let’s count! Sure enough, 11 of the editorial board’s 19 members are white or Asian men. Worse, only one out of 19 is African-American. That’s a little under one-half the proportion of African-Americans in the population. How about a Rooney Rule for the New York Times?

You know those white lesbian parents who are suing the sperm bank for selling them African-American sperm rather than the Caucasian sperm they requested, and thus forcing them to raise a black child in their overwhelmingly white neighborhood? There are surely days when the Grey Lady’s lone black guy feels like the mis-inseminated lesbian’s daughter of the Times editorial board.

But, beyond the usual cheap laughs at the diversity poseurs’ expense, how ridiculous is it that The New York Times is offering advice on how to be “more creative” and “more profitable” to Google, Apple and Facebook? This is the company that so mismanaged its affairs its old-money patriarch had to call in a Mexican sugar daddy to bail them out. These are the “creative” geniuses who in the 1990s paid $1.4 billion for The Boston Globe and The Worcester Telegram, only to unload them for a combined $70 million, while retaining $100 million in pension liabilities. (In other words, they gave the papers away.)

Last year, Amazon (which presumably is as non-diverse as Google et al) bought The Washington Post for less than the Times paid for The Worcester Telegram in 1999. Why would anyone take business advice from The New York Times?

Indeed:

Gray Lady’s Dream Finally Comes True

September 25th, 2014 - 12:57 pm

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

The other night I dreamt of Barack Obama. He was taking a shower right when I needed to get into the bathroom to shave my legs, and then he was being yelled at by my husband, Max, for smoking in the house. It was not clear whether Max was feeling protective of the president’s health or jealous because of the cigarette.

—The creepy, self-revealing lede paragraph of “Sometimes a President Is Just a President,” Judith Warner, the New York Times, February 5th, 2009.

A New York Times reporter says a Clinton press aide “escorted” her to the bathroom and waited outside the stall during the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting being held this week in New York. The escort even waited outside the stall until the reporter was done in there.

“The person who stands out is the friendly 20-something press aide who the Clinton Global Initiative tasked with escorting me to the restroom,” Amy Chozick wrote. ”She waited outside the stall in the ladies’ room at the Sheraton Hotel, where the conference is held each year.”

“NY Times Reporter: Clinton Press Aide Followed Me to the Bathroom,” headline, Fox News, today.

That’s Hillary Clinton for you: making the collective dreams of New York Timespeople come true, even when Barack Obama can’t. She’s so selfless that way.

Update: At the Tatler, Bryan Preston adds:

It’s not the first time that the Clinton machine has pulled a bathroom stunt. In 2008, Hillary’s campaign dispatched reporters covering them to a men’s room.

The WaPost’s Chris Cillizza suggests that the Clintons are treating the press with paranoid contempt for two reasons: They hate the media, and they don’t really need the media.

Both reasons are true. And here’s another truth: Clinton can mistreat the media from now until election day in 2016 and it won’t matter a bit. The media will still give them 10 positive stories for every one mildly critical one, and will still fawn all over them every chance it gets.

And Joe Biden’s aides have been infamous for locking reporters in closets and forcing them to delete photos on multiple occasions during his events. But hey, those low-level operatives sometimes need to be reminded who their bosses are from time to time.

[Candidate Obama] shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make.

—Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2008.

[President Obama's] essential problem is that he has very poor judgment.

—Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, yesterday.

As juxtaposed by the Hot Air commenters last night.

The Beltway and Park Ave. chattering classes gave us Barack Obama because he flattered them first, and in the case of formerly stalwart GOP types such as Noonan and Christopher Buckley, and the Axis of Davids (RINOs Gergen, Brooks and Frum), because they didn’t want to lose their place at the endless cocktail party when it was obvious by mid-October of 2008 that Obama would be the likely winner thanks to McCain’s disastrous “suspending his campaign” tactic late in the previous month. It will be fascinating to watch their prognostications going forward into 2016.

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

I have been in the White House on a number of occasions when military operations are launched and once the decisions are made and the orders have been issued the people in the White House from the President on down are really out of the action, at least is they are smart. And President Bush was especially good as was President Reagan of giving the military their mission, their orders and staying the hell out of the way. And not trying to micro-manage the conflicts, so you don’t have a Lyndon Johnson going down the situation room picking targets as he did in Vietnam. Bush and Reagan stayed out of the way, so when the land war started we were basically in the receive mode, just waiting for information to be past in the Presidents case from either Powell or Cheney and in our case the same way, about how things were going and the only information we really had after the beginning of the ground war was simply that it was going well and that the units had broken through the lines very fast.

– Robert Gates, then-Deputy National Security Advisor, quoted by PBS’s Frontline as part of their “Oral History of the [1990-1991] Gulf War. Flash-forward to the present day:

“The U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Syria is being designed to allow President Obama to exert a high degree of personal control over the campaign, going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential sign-off for any strike in Syrian territory,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The requirement for the Syrian strikes will be far more stringent than those in Iraq, at least at first, to assure the Syrian air campaign remains strictly limited, in an attempt to mitigate the threat that the U.S. could be dragged more deeply into the conflict, according to the U.S. officials.”

“Obama to Personally Control Strikes in Syria,” Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire, yesterday.

As Moe Lane writes in the headline of his blog post linking to the above story, “Attention, whoever in the White House monitors this site. Google ‘Lyndon Johnson micromanagement Vietnam’ — Google that RIGHT NOW:”

Speaking dispassionately, you can understand – sort of – why LBJ and Richard Nixon both were very bad about trying to run the Vietnam War by themselves: it was probably the first real war we had where a President could, in something approximating real time.  And it obviously was a major temptation, given the way that both men and their staffs succumbed to it.  But also note that Presidents since have largely learned from that particular set of catastrophic mistakes and tried to keep their oversight restricted to strategic goals, not tactical ones.  Largely.  Most of the time.  Good faith efforts were made.

Alas, nobody explained any of this to Barack Obama.  Or, more likely? Somebody did, but he didn’t bother to listen, because whoever was doing the explaining wasn’t Barack Obama.

After the New York Times reported the other day that the recently retired president was offering freelance consulting advice over the transom to ISIS, Iowahawk tweeted:

And now he thinks he’s a better strategist than his generals. And speaking of whom: “Remember When Democrats Were Saying ‘Listen to the Generals?’”

Related: At Ricochet, Jon Gabriel posits, somewhat conspiratorially, “Obama Can’t Afford to Win in Iraq:”

The only reason that Obama acted at all is politics. Polls showed that midterm voters demanded a military response to ISIS’ beheading of American journalists and repeated threats to our homeland. Drones, air strikes and military advisors are merely a PR campaign to assuage moderates that their Democratic president is “doing something.”

Obama does not want to win his new Iraq war. He can’t afford to. If the projection of American military power successfully solved the problem of Islamic terrorism, it would shatter Obama’s entire worldview.

Well, so far, the recently retired president is doing everything he can to live up to that impression.

No Doubt Running on Windows ’39

September 15th, 2014 - 1:52 pm

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

 


Of course, if you’d like to buy a tank or other armored surplus military vehicle for yourself, a payment plan can be worked out; they’re not just for heavily-armed school districts anymore.

“That awkward moment when the President of the United States pretends he’s an ISIS terrorist:”

Moe Lane brilliantly juxtaposed that tweet with this reminder of Barry’s galaxy-sized hubris from Iowahawk:

Another Twitter user questions the timing:

As Moe writes, “:rubbing head in hands: Please make President Barack Obama stop talking, OK, Democrats?” Maybe Obama could simply write ISIS a nice letter. That worked so well for Lyndon Johnson

Update: Meanwhile, in what is perhaps a much more difficult role to game out, former President Obama is also pretending what it’s like to be former President Bush, Ann Althouse writes today:

Another way to put that is: Obama feels like George Bush, yet he must not be George Bush. Obama feels compelled to go to war in Iraq, but it must not be the same as what George Bush did. So he’s grasping at distinctions: 1. He’s taking it more slowly, being deliberate, and thoughtful. (Remember: Bush had no brain and was a cowboy.) 2. He doing it all from the air, so lofty and elevated. (Remember: Bush put boots on the ground. Ugh! Boots, so brutal! The ground, so lowly and filthy!)

“This will be a problem for the next president,” Mr. Obama said ruefully…

Ruefully…. see? Obama is not like Bush, he and his friends in the press are desperate to have you know. I’ve long seen “ruefully” an absurd adverbial boost to the good old verb “said.” (Ask my ex-husband, the novelist, who I don’t think ever used “ruefully” again after that one time I pointed it out, though I adopted “he said ruefully” to add punch to subsequent conversations. By the way, one of Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules for writers was: “Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue.” I’d add: Especially not “ruefully.”)

Of course, some reporters are much more desperate than others to remind their readers — perhaps themselves — that Obama isn’t his evil, scary, warmongering Texas predecessor, even if takes Orwellian Ministry of Truth-level airbrushing of history to do so.

That’s a lie worthy of Jay Carney’s career as a journalist — somebody’s clearly angling to be the next press secretary for Mr. Obama.

Obamaville, RFD

August 29th, 2014 - 5:33 pm

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

Documents obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services reveal that the Obama administration spent $3,184,000 in taxpayer funds to produce and air national television ads promoting Democrats’ health care overhaul plan.

The ads, starring television icon Andy Griffith, were meant to educate “Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers and family members about forthcoming changes to Medicare as a result of the Affordable Care Act.” However, multiple media outlets, including the nonpartisan FactCheck.org, called the ads misleading.

“How Much Did Taxpayers Pay for Andy Griffith to Promote ObamaCare?”, the Blaze, December 1st, 2010.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) slammed President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, and characterized him as “Barney Fife” who has “his head buried in a hole somewhere on the first green” on Thursday’s broadcast of “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.

He reacted to Obama’s announcement that the United States does not have a strategy on ISIS by saying, “He did say we don’t have a strategy, but he followed that up by saying the strategy is to nip it in the bud. Well, unfortunately it’s not in a bud, it’s full blossomed, and do you know who made that line famous? Barney Fife. We have Barney Fife running our foreign policy now.”

“Gohmert: Obama Is ‘Barney Fife’ on Foreign Policy,” Breitbart TV, yesterday.

Elia Kazan’s classic A Face in the Crowd is a good primer on Barack Obama’s rise and fall. Lonesome Rhodes [played by an astonishingly manic Andy Griffith in an early star turn -- Ed] arises out of nowhere in the 1957 film, romancing the nation as a phony populist who serially spins yarns in the most folksy ways — confident that he should never be held to account. Kazan’s point (in the film Rhodes is a patsy for conservative business interests) is that the “folks” are fickle and prefer to be charmed rather than informed and told the truth. Rhodes’s new first name, Lonesome, resonates in the film in a way that Barack does now. Finally, an open mic captures Rhodes’s true disdain for the people he champions, and his career crashes.

–”Our ‘Face in the Crowd’”, Victor Davis Hanson, August 17th, 2014.

I’d ask when we can expect the ghost of Aunt Bee to become intertwined with the hapless Obama administration, but she appears to be shilling for Elizabeth Warren these days.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate Customers

August 26th, 2014 - 6:35 pm

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

“Today’s elite loathes the public. Nothing personal, just a fundamental difference in world view, but the hatred is unmistakable. Occasionally it escapes in scorching geysers. Michael Lewis reports in the New Republic on the ‘96 Dole presidential campaign: ‘The crowd flips the finger at the busloads of journalists and chant rude things at them as they enter each arena. The journalists, for their part, wear buttons that say ‘yeah, I’m the Media. Screw You.’* The crowd hates the reporters, the reporters hate the crowd — an even matchup, except that the reporters wield power and the crowed (in effect) wields none.”

David Gelernter, from his book Drawing Life, 1997.

Unless you have a monopoly, you can’t get away with sneering at your customers for very long. The newspaper’s monopoly died in 1995, when the internet brought information to the fingertips of anybody with a modem. The dinosaur media never understood that they were in a tar pit from that moment on, and now it’s too late for them to change their ways and crawl back out.

—Blogger Will Collier, 2009.

Print newspapers are going to die; at this point they’re living off coupons, on the print side, and old people, on the readership side. Newspaper circulation has fallen only a little bit among readers older than 65, but it has started low and fallen lower among the under-35 demographic. It doesn’t seem reasonable at this point to believe that those folks will ever pick up the newspaper habit. So as the readers die, and the advertising fades, the newspapers, too, will die one by one. The magazines, which already look anorexic compared with their earlier ad-stuffed selves, will undoubtedly follow.

“Stick a Fork in Your Newspaper,” Megan McCardle, Bloomberg View, yesterday.

*The late journalist and editor Ginny Carroll wore a button with that exact slogan when she appeared on C-Span in 1992:

“My reaction to that button [`Rather Biased'] and others, in part, is a button I bought yesterday that says `Yeah, I’m In The Media, Screw You!’….I do understand why a lot of people are upset with us, why we rank somewhere between terrorists and bank robbers on the approval scale. We do criticize. That’s part of our role. Our role is not just to parrot what people say, it’s to make people think. I think that sometimes I want to say to the electorate `Grow up!’”

When Carroll died in May of 2001 of hypertensive cardiovascular disease at age 53, the Chicago Tribune reported the above quote in her obituary, and that she had spent a decade as Newsweek’s bureau chief in first Detroit and then Houston.

Newsweek was founded in 1933 by a former editor of Time. The Washington Post purchased the magazine in 1961 for $8,000,000, and offloaded it for one dollar in 2010, perhaps having concluded that they had sufficiently alienated enough former and potential customers. Its new ownership would cease publishing a print version of the magazine at the end of 2013, and offload the tainted brandname itself last year.

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

It’s baffling that they hold themselves in such high regard. Take President Obama, an academic socialist who’s never competently performed an executive function in his life, including during the last five years. Yet he somehow still believes himself to be himself to be God’s gift to humanity. Literally. Except, instead of turning water into wine, he was going to make the oceans recede and cool the earth. We do need to give him credit, I guess. While the oceans haven’t receded, the Earth isn’t getting any warmer, which naturally doesn’t stop the slack-jawed global warming sucker caucus from insisting that the planet will turn into Hades if everyone besides them doesn’t ditch their SUV.

I guess it’s easy to be moral when morality is defined as whatever you need at that moment. Still, it’s annoying to listen to people with such a weird, unearned sense of their own moral superiority. In truth, they are utterly morally illiterate. These are folks who draw parallels between Hamas and Israel when the only parallel between the Israelis and the jihadist degenerates is that they share the habit of breathing oxygen.

You’d be better off discussing ethics with your terrier. At least your dog isn’t going to come up with excuses for Ted Kennedy.

They’re delusional in that they really believe they’re somehow better than people who actually contribute to society. This reinforces the fact that liberalism has become a mere affectation, an act, a pose. It’s like a hipster’s trendy pork pie hat, except it’s an attitude – by having it you send some sort of message about your own awesomeness. Advocating liberalism is the “I only listen to music on vinyl” of American political thinking.

“‘Liberal’ Is Just A Synonym For ‘Smug,’” Kurt Schlichter, Townhall, yesterday.

And while there are some thinkers scattered around town, Miami is overrun with lawyers, jewelry designers and personal trainers, all trying to sell services to one another.

That’s right: She knows who Miami’s thinkers are — all of them, apparently — and also knows where they are! “Scattered around town.”

I wish the Times had printed a map, so I could go see them.

This is from her final paragraph:

There was a lot of pleasure in Miami, but not enough surprising interactions and ideas. Miami may one day be the city for normal-looking people with semi-intellectual aspirations and a mild social conscience. But it’s not there yet.

So she’s saying we have a chance! Not to be New York or Paris, of course, but some day — if we have a few more “surprising interactions and ideas” thanks to enlightened visitors who deign to visit us — we might develop semi-intellectual aspirations! And a “mild” social conscience!

I don’t know what we would do down here without the New York Times.

“Thanks, New York Times!”, Dave Barry, yesterday.

Didn’t South Park warn about the dangers of “The Perfect Storm of Self Satisfaction,” leading to massive smug cloud formations over major metropolitan areas, back in 2006?

Oh, and for my April interview with Dave Barry, click here.

Funny How This Keeps Happening to CNN

August 8th, 2014 - 11:36 am

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

Our crew explored Tehran and Isfahan, eating some spectacularly delicious and sophisticated food. We were welcomed with open arms at every restaurant we visited. (The proprietors of our hotel in downtown Tehran must have found out from our visas that it was my producer’s birthday, because they invited us all down to the office, where they surprised us with a cake.) It was at one of these long lunches where I met The Washington Post’s correspondent, Jason Rezaian, and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi. They were well-known and liked in Tehran and were referred by mutual friends who knew that experienced English-speakers — with a unique perspective from straddling both worlds — would be helpful to our production.

A few weeks later, they were mysteriously arrested and detained. Based on what they told me, I cannot possibly understand why.

—”These people I interviewed in Iran clearly loved the country. So why did it put them in jail?”, Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and host of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” series, in the Washington Post on Tuesday, (found via our friendly neighborhood Vodkapundit and bon vivant, Steve Green.)

Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN’s Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

For example, in the mid-1990′s one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government’s ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

Working for a foreign news organization provided Iraqi citizens no protection. The secret police terrorized Iraqis working for international press services who were courageous enough to try to provide accurate reporting. Some vanished, never to be heard from again. Others disappeared and then surfaced later with whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways. Obviously, other news organizations were in the same bind we were when it came to reporting on their own workers.

We also had to worry that our reporting might endanger Iraqis not on our payroll. I knew that CNN could not report that Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday, told me in 1995 that he intended to assassinate two of his brothers-in-law who had defected and also the man giving them asylum, King Hussein of Jordan. If we had gone with the story, I was sure he would have responded by killing the Iraqi translator who was the only other participant in the meeting. After all, secret police thugs brutalized even senior officials of the Information Ministry, just to keep them in line (one such official has long been missing all his fingernails).

“The News We Kept To Ourselves,” then-CNN president Eason Jordan’s mea culpa in the New York Times for his network serving as shills for Saddam Hussein for well over a decade, April 11, 2003.

But CNN will continue to back kleptocratic totalitarians, religious fundamentalist headchoppers, and radical chic terrorists — it’s in the very lifeblood of the channel’s corporate history.

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

He told one protesting black delegation that “segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.” When the startled journalist William Monroe Trotter objected, Wilson essentially threw him out of the White House. “Your manner offends me,” Wilson told him. Blacks all over the country complained about Wilson, but the president was unmoved. “If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me,” he told The New York Times in 1914, “they ought to correct it.”

Wilson appears to have perceived his presidency as an opportunity to correct history, and to restore white Americans to unambiguous supremacy. That is apparently the reason he embraced the poisonous message of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation; it offered a congenial narrative.

Griffith’s notorious film portrays the overthrow of debasing black rule in the Reconstructionist South by the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. The film’s black characters (most of them white actors in blackface) are either servile or savages; Klan members are represented as both heroic and romantic. The movie was based primarily on The Clansman, a novel written by Thomas Dixon in 1905. Not only was Dixon a personal friend of Wilson’s, he had been pushing for a Wilson presidency for years, and Wilson regarded himself as being in Dixon’s debt.

Wilson discharged that debt by helping Dixon and Griffith publicize their movie. He arranged for preview screenings for his cabinet, for Congress, and for the Supreme Court, and he gave Dixon and Griffith an endorsement they could exploit. “It is like writing history with lightning,” Wilson said of this KKK celebration, “and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” The first half of Wilson’s endorsement is still affixed to prints of the film that are screened for film students studying Griffith’s advances in editing.

Obviously, Southern hopes that Wilson could force blacks into servility were always delusional. Nevertheless, Wilson’s Jim Crow presidency remained an available model for segregationists and supremacists who came later. Thurmond and his fellow Dixiecrats didn’t necessarily require a model of triumphalist racism, but the point is that in Wilson they had one. The Lott Affair has been treated as if its origins lie in 1948; they don’t. The past isn’t dead, said Mississippian William Faulkner. “It’s not even the past.” He might have added that the past we attempt to grapple with usually isn’t even the real past.

“Dixiecrats Triumphant: The menacing Mr. Wilson,” Charles Paul Freund, Reason magazine, December 2002.

Which might help to explain Jim Geraghty’s query today on Twitter…


…And this headline from yesterday: “Democratic activists were behind controversial Klan ads in Mississippi.”

(Bull Connor could not be reached for comment at the Democratic National Committee.)

Oh, and speaking of Mr. Wilson’s menacing era, in USA Today, Jonah Goldberg writes, “George Kennan observed that when studying the maladies of the 20th century, ‘all the lines of inquiry lead back to World War I.’ A century from now, people might say the same thing of the past two centuries:”

Without World War I, you don’t get the second — a poignant irony given that the former was sold as the “war to end all wars.” The terms imposed on Germany, described as a “Carthaginian peace” by John Maynard Keynes, made another war virtually inevitable. Much as Adolf Hitler found his life’s mission while fighting in World War I. Benito Mussolini’s fascism was a direct adaptation of what he called “the socialism of the trenches.”

Without the first war, the Bolsheviks almost surely would never have come to power in Russia. That led to the Soviet Union’s mass murder, Eastern Europe’s enslavement, the Cold War and, of course, Vladimir Putin’s career.

The Middle East’s travails can be traced in no small part to the Ottoman Empire’s dissolution at the end of WWI. Dividing their spoils, the British and French drew most of the contours of the Arab world to their benefit. According to a surely false legend, the line between Jordan and Saudi Arabia takes a crooked turn because someone bumped Winston Churchill’s elbow while he was drawing it. (Churchill himself blamed his errant pen on a liquid lunch.) What’s not disputed is that the resulting maps have fed countless conflicts and resentments ever since.

* * * * * * *

“I believe it is no exaggeration,” wrote sociologist Robert Nisbet, “to say that the West’s first real experience with totalitarianism — political absolutism extended into every possible area of culture and society, education, religion, industry, the arts, local community and family included, with a kind of terror always waiting in the wings — came with the American war state under Woodrow Wilson.”

Read the whole thing.

Wasting Away Again In Obamaville

July 28th, 2014 - 4:19 pm

obamaville_11-21-11

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

On Tuesday, the chief human resources officers of more than 100 large corporations sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging quick passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The officials represent companies with a vast array of business interests: General Electric, The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, The Wendy’s Company, Coca-Cola, The Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications, Hewlett-Packard, General Mills, and many more. All want to see increases in immigration levels for low-skill as well as high-skill workers, in addition to a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally.

“Companies lay off thousands, then demand immigration reform for new labor,” Byron York, the Washington Examiner, September 11, 2013.

But where to house all those illegal immigrants flooding the border to replace American workers? The big box stores emptied out by the Obama economy, of course:

The Obama administration is reportedly looking to house illegal immigrant juveniles in empty big box stores and even airplane hangars across the nation.

According to a report in The New Republic, “in recent weeks, FEMA representatives have sent mass emails to advocacy networks throughout the country soliciting potential detention facilities and offering guidelines for acceptable spaces.” Suggestions for “workable locations” include “Office space, warehouse, big box store, shopping mall with interior concourse, event venues, hotel or dorms, aircraft hangers [sic].”

“Report: FEMA Looking to House Illegals in Empty Big Box Stores, Aircraft Hangars,” Tony Lee, Big Government, yesterday.

Strengthening the American economy: the parties intertwined in the deeply dysfunctional corporatist marriage between the left and big business just might be doing it wrong.

Update: As Investor’s Business Daily notes, “Democrats Admit Amnesty Is For Political Purposes,” which also explains why their enabling friends in big business are so eager to go along.