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Ed Driscoll

Blogging since 2002, affiliated with PJM since 2005, where he is currently a columnist, San Jose Editor, and founder of PJM’s Lifestyle blog. Over the past 15 years, Ed has contributed articles to National Review Online, the Weekly Standard.com, Right Wing News, the New Individualist, Blogcritics, Modernism, Videomaker, Servo, Audio/Video Interiors, Electronic House, PC World, Computer Music, Vintage Guitar, and Guitar World.

Quote of the Day

And it’s especially welcome after this gonzo week: Monica Lewinsky surfaces on Monday, Ben Bradlee dies on Tuesday, Islamic terrorism in Ottawa on Wednesday, and Ebola (and Islamic terrorism) in Manhattan on Thursday, and a school shooting in Washington State today.

I missed the memo: Who gave the OK for all four horsemen of the apocalypse to simultaneously go out galloping this week?

Posted at 4:59 pm on October 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

The Antediluvian Ben Bradlee

When Ben Bradlee died on Tuesday, Bob Woodward was quoted as saying that “His passing, in a way, marks the end of the 20th century,” a phrase that cuts in more directions than Bradlee’s superstar protege likely intended. Or as Andrew Ferguson writes in response at the Weekly Standard, “About time:”

Bradlee was complaining that a lot of the fun had gone out of journalism during the Reagan years. The reason, he said, was that “there are so many of these asshole watchdog groups now.”

He was referring in particular to Accuracy in Media, or AIM, a conservative practitioner of the kind of ideological press criticism that is now a common feature of the media world, so greatly enlarged by cable TV and the Internet. These parvenus were crowding his territory, barbarians trying to breach the gates. He and his friends were the watchdogs, goddammit, and the watchdog didn’t need any watchdogs watching it.

But the new order allowed the watchdogs and other buttinskis an audience as large as his own paper’s. It made Bradlee churlish. AIM was founded by an earnest man named Reed Irvine, a sweet, slightly buffoonish drudge whose suit always seemed a size and a half too large and whose pinched appearance made him easily mocked, especially by men whose own suits were bespoke. Irvine’s great mission in life was to expose the pretenses to fairness and disinterestedness of a monolithic press—to “tell it like it was,” to borrow a phrase from the Post’s piece. He was a genuine subversive, nipping at the heels of an establishment that in its vanity considered itself “antiestablishment.”

Publicly, Bradlee called Irvine a “retromingent.” The word describes a kind of animal, one that urinates backward. The insult was funny and revealing in its casual cruelty.

These days their battle—asymmetric as it was—seems so long ago, a dispute from a vanished era. The tributes to Bradlee from his protégés had the same quality, voices assuming the authority of an order that is passing, that has passed away. Now that both men are dead, I hope it’s some consolation to the shade of Reed Irvine to know that, in the effort to dismantle and discredit a corrupt regime, he won and Bradlee lost.

Which is another reminder that neither side of the aisle wanted the smugly self-satisfied MSM to have the final word on the issues, when the World Wide Web began to gather speed in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Posted at 4:47 pm on October 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Somewhere, Sid Vicious Weeps

But who will bring the heroin, social diseases and the infections from DIY piercings?

Ultimate hell: a Martha Stewart-planned Microsoft Windows Installation Party, unless careful editing is applied:

Posted at 3:40 pm on October 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

The Hacklash

“The Ebola coverage is just the latest example of a familiar process,” Mark Hemingway writes in the Weekly Standard today:

It’s a common enough phenomenon that I suggested it needs a name, and a couple of smart friends suggested I call it “hacklash.” I’ll take a stab at fleshing out the problem: Again and again we see the media and political establishment, which frequently collude, trying to preempt calls for honesty and accountability by enforcing some elite consensus that’s dismissive of the need to address institutional failures. There’s a dismissal of legitimate concerns, right up until the facts finally overwhelm the preferred narrative and prompt some degree of public outrage. When the public inevitably gets wise, it’s often before the media catch up, but usually too late to have avoided some secondary consequence or disaster.  Each failure leaves the public more distrustful then they were before, and this necessitates even more aggressive attempts to ratchet up the elite consensus. Lather, rinse, repeat. This is basically the story of the Obama presidency, where nearly all of the staggering failures and crises–Ebola, ISIS, Obamacare, Benghazi, et al.–have played out in a similar fashion.

Anyway, I’m much less worried about contracting Ebola than I am about the dismissive reaction to it. Hacklash appears to be a cyclical problem, and as an indicator of the health of our Republic, I don’t see how this ends well.

Hemingway’s article dovetails well with Jonah Goldberg’s piece today in NRO on “The Enduring Power of Story: The clash of conflicting narratives about America is what’s tearing us apart:”

For much of the summer, large numbers of Americans insisted that the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., was one kind of story. It was a tale of institutional racism in which the police are the villains and young African-American men the innocent victims. This was the storyline many in the media wanted, and it was one they were determined to get.

Now, as a grand jury goes about prying fact from fiction, the story is falling apart as a matter of legal reality. But you can be sure the story will live on for decades to come. That’s in no small part because many decent Americans have locked themselves into the belief that the heroic chapter of the civil-rights movement can never end. The story must go on so they can continue to cast themselves as the heroes.

Last week, John Kerry suggested that the rise of the Islamic State was fueled by the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. One could call this an idea, of course, but that would be too generous given its stupidity. But it is perfectly consistent with a certain story people have been telling about Israel for decades. Millions, if not billions, of people are invested in that tale of unique Israeli villainy, and they will not let go of it regardless of the facts.

Modern-day environmentalism is full of talk about data and “settled science.” But science is never settled, because science is the craft of unsettling what we know at any given moment. If science could settle, man would never learn to fly or read by electric light. Meanwhile, inconvenient data is left on the cutting-room floor as an ancient story is retold in modern terms.

At some point post-Watergate (to tie this in with the death of supreme narrative shaper Ben Bradlee on Tuesday), old media decided that it wasn’t actually in the journalism business — just the facts, ma’am, as Jack Webb’s Joe Friday never actually said in any episode of Dragnet, but in the process of being Democrat operatives with bylines, who were going to use their medium to reform the great unwashed out there in the hinterlands.

At some point, the media might wake up and notice what ties together their readers’ backlash against:

  • Gamergate
  • The Washington Redskins’ venerable name
  • Environmental doomsday-ism
  • The endless cries of racism and sexism
  • Repeated attacks on the First and Second Amendment

All of these stories have received enormous amounts of pushback from consumers tired of having a huge heaping helping of leftwing social justice warfare along with their news. But as we’ve seen with the financial collapses over the years of Newsweek, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, the twin ratings disasters of CNN and MSNBC, and the self-destruction of Dan Rather and other kamikaze “journalists,” the media would rather go out swinging for their party than actually reporting the news.

Posted at 1:42 pm on October 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

New York’s Other Big Story Yesterday

“Islam convert shot dead after ax attack on NYPD cops,” the New York Post reported yesterday, in a story that got lost in the wild, the innocent, and the Ebola shuffle last night:

A hatchet-swinging psycho with Islamic militant leanings turned a busy Queens street corner into a scene of bloody chaos Thursday, chopping a rookie cop in the back of the head and slicing a second officer on the arm before two other officers shot him dead.

In opening fire on the madman, cops accidentally wounded a bystander, ­authorities said.

Officer Kenneth Healey, 25, had just four months on the job when Zale Thompson, 32, of Queens — a “scholarly” but “weird” ­recent convert to Islam — fractured the back of the cop’s skull with one swing of a blue-handled hatchet at about 2 p.m. in Jamaica.

As Mark Steyn has written, they all seem like weird losers — right before the bomb goes off, the AK-47 starts spraying bullets, or the hatchet starts swinging:

That’s certainly true of the Fort Dix jihadists who took their terrorist training DVD to the local audio store to be copied. It was also true of the Islamists arrested in Toronto last year for plotting to behead the Prime Minister, one of whose cell members had a bride who wanted him to sign a pre-nup committing him to jihad. The Heathrow plotters arrested while planning to blow up U.S.-bound airliners included a Muslim convert who’d started out as the son of a British Conservative Party official with a PG Wodehouse double-barreled name and a sister who was a Victoria’s Secret model and ex-wife of tennis champ Yanick Noah.

But then Mohammed Atta and the 9/11 gang would have seemed pretty funny if you’d run into them in that lapdance club they went to before the big day where the girls remembered them only as very small tippers. Most terrorists are jokes until the bomb goes off.

I quoted that passage by Mark in my post in late August concerning the fellow named “Douglas McAuthur McCain,” who was born in Illinois, raised in Minneapolis, moved to San Diego — and given a name by his parents that honors (phonetically at least) two prominent American fighting men, of course eventually joined the military.

Not ours, but ISIS in Syria, where he was killed on the battlefield.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Ottawa terrorist, had a similarly strange background. As Glenn Reynolds noted, he was the “son of a jihadist and a Social Justice Warrior:”

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the slain 32-year-old suspected killer of a Canadian Forces soldier near Parliament Hill, was a labourer and small-time criminal – a man who had had a religious awakening and seemed to have become mentally unstable.

Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. The two were divorced in 1999.

“That’s a toxic blend,” Glenn drolly quipped.

Then there was the woman beheaded in a food distribution warehouse in Oklahoma by her coworker last month the proverbial “recent convert to Islam,” a town where another beheading was near-simultaneously threatened by another apparent convert to, well, two guesses.

 

Speaking of toxic, is it just me, or does it seem like freelance one-off Islamofascist terrorists are slowly increasing in number in North America? A favorite cliche of the left is addressing a problem’s “root causes” — are we doing anything to address any of the root causes of this issue?

Posted at 12:21 pm on October 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

What Could Go Wrong This Time?

“Can’t Afford a House? Don’t Buy One,” Megan McArdle writes at Bloomberg View:

When legislators and activists say that we need low-down-payment loans because most people couldn’t possibly save up for a 20 percent down payment, what they’re really saying is that people can’t actually afford to buy a house. Helping them to go buy one anyway is not a great idea; it will work out well for some, to be sure, but it will have tragic consequences for others, and for the housing market as a whole if there’s another downturn. We just spent six years learning, the very hard way, that you can’t borrow yourself rich. That knowledge is too expensive to throw away so easily.

Here’s a fun-filled reminder of who caused the last housing bubble and thrill-packed roller-coaster ride America went on in the fall of 2008 when it burst:

Posted at 11:43 am on October 24th, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Quote of the Day, Part Deux

The problem isn’t Barack Obama, or his performance in office, or even where the country stands today. The problem is in the expectations — the expectation that government can cure our ills, the expectation that the Right Great Man can make the giant government do all the things we have come to expect it to do.

There is of course room for good government and even the occasional great man to head it up. But a government as large and as intrusive as ours will find it nearly impossible to be great, or even merely good, when its mission is to force its once-sovereign citizens to fit other people’s notion of “good.”

—Steve Green, “The End of Greatness?

Posted at 8:00 pm on October 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Well, I Feel Safer

Shot:

Chaser:


Hangover:

By the way, oh the fun-filled conversations that Klain and John Holdren, Obama’s Dr. Strangelove-esque “Science” “Czar” must have.

Posted at 6:20 pm on October 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Here We Go: Patient in New York City Tests Positive for Ebola

“A doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the Ebola virus Thursday, becoming the city’s first diagnosed case,” the New York Times reports tonight:

The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday and placed in isolation while health care workers spread out across the city to trace anyone he might have come into contact with in recent days. A further test will be conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control to confirm the initial test.

While officials have said they expected isolated cases of the disease to arrive in New York eventually, and had been preparing for this moment for months, the first case highlighted the challenges surrounding containment of the virus, especially in a crowded metropolis.

Even as the authorities worked to confirm that Mr. Spencer was infected with Ebola, it emerged that he traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway on Wednesday night, when he went to a bowling alley and then took a taxi home.

Earlier today, Commentary’s John Podhoretz tweeted:

Off to the races.

Posted at 5:53 pm on October 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Quote of the Day

Heh, indeed.™ Kudos to Albright and/or her ghost-tweeter for a hilarious response.

Posted at 4:11 pm on October 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

It’s Deja DNC All Over Again

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.”

Posted at 3:59 pm on October 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

‘Ebola May Have Come to Harlem’

“Doctor who treated Ebola patients in Guinea rushed to Bellevue Hospital with fever,” the New York Daily News reports:

Ebola may have come to Harlem.

A 33-year-old doctor who recently returned from the disease-wracked West African country of Guinea was rushed Thursday to Bellevue Hospital with symptoms of the deadly disease.

Preliminary results of tests done on the doctor, identified by sources as Craig Spencer, are expected later Thursday, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement.

Spencer, who was one of the medics working in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders, had been back for 10 days and quarantined himself after developing nausea and a high fever, sources said.

“While Spencer was placed in quarantine at Bellevue, city health workers were trying to track down anybody he might have been in contact with since returning home from Africa,” the Daily News adds.

Assuming Spencer flew back from Guinea, does that include the passengers on his flight?

Update: “Ebola + New York City Media & Self-Obsession = Terrible Combination for Obama,” Ace writes:

You know, of course, that if a tornado kills eight people in Oklahoma, the New York City-based media can barely stifle its yawns, but if a taxi runs over a dog in New York City, it’s huge news for a week?

Well Ebola might have come to New York City.

In the past, the New York media might be willing to self-quarantine (pun intended) a story if they thought it aided The One. With his sinking poll numbers, and their eagerness to push the “Obama is incompetent, that’s why we need Hillary!!! to replace him in 2016″ narrative, I wonder if his party’s operatives with bylines will be as eager to tamp down this one?

 

Posted at 1:08 pm on October 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

CNN: Bullying is Totally Awesome!

At least if it’s the daughter of Emmanuel Goldstein being bullied:

Enter CNN anchor Carol Costello.

“I never wanted to become the poster child for anything, let alone domestic violence. But my blood is boiling, so when I say shut up, I’m venting at all those people out there who insist on blaming the victim,” Costello wrote with righteous fury directed at the National Football League (and the morning show Fox & Friends) over what she considered an insufficient level of concern for an incident involving Ray Rice striking his fiancé.

Costello goes on to reveal that she, too, was the victim of what sounds like a horrible assault by her college boyfriend. It was a brave thing for her to admit, and it made her commentary on the lax treatment Rice received from the NFL that much more powerful. But this admission also branded her take on the Palin assault as one which is inexplicably hypocritical.

“Sit back and enjoy!” Costello exclaimed as she introduced her audience recently to the audio in which Bristol Palin recounts how she was attacked. “You’ll want to hear what she told cops about how it all started.”

Costello also confided in her audience that she had a “favorite part” of the audio which could later become courtroom evidence. Ghoulish.

Just as a reminder, in early 2011, when the left couldn’t directly pin the shooting of Democrat Senator Gabrielle Giffords directly on Sarah Palin and her clip art, they instead focused on language in general, to the point where CNN’s John King apologized on the air for a guest committing thoughtcrime via his utterly innocuous language:

On Tuesday’s John King USA, CNN’s John King issued a prompt on-air apology minutes after a guest on his program used the term “crosshairs” during a segment: “We’re trying to get away from using that kind of language” (audio available here). This action stands in stark contrast to an incident over a year earlier where former anchor Rick Sanchez took four days to apologize for using a unconfirmed quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh.

This, despite the fact that for decades, CNN featured a show called Crossfire, and resumed the venerable brandname last year until the show was recently cancelled.

Later in 2011, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper would obsess on the topic of “bullying” as a theme, producing show after show on the topic — this despite Cooper himself has no problem bullying those whose ideology he disagrees with.

Now we know — as if we needed any further confirmation — that those were all lies by CNN. If the wrong words can cause viewers to commit the most vile acts, and if bullying is a social evil, the’s no reason for this segment to have aired.

Saul Alinsky advised his fellow Democrats, including those with bylines, to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” But other than noting that “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag,” he apparently never advised his acolytes when to let a target go. Which is why, six years after the election of 2008, Sarah Palin still lives rent free in the heads of the entire MSM as the alien other, who can be demonized at will. And despite the media’s boss declaring, in Goldfather-esque language that the family members of politicians are “civilians,” that hands-off policy apparently doesn’t apply to the MSM’s coverage of the Palin family.

Glenn Reynolds has a modest proposal for viewers to punch back twice as hard:

Obviously Costello should be fired for her misogyny and approval of violence against women. Perhaps if people are angry about this, they might call their local airport authority and demand that it take off the nonstop CNN monitors. Nobody likes it, and it’s probably CNN’s main viewership these days. . .

In the meantime, to put it another way, “To hell with you people” in the MSM.

Update: Cheat and retreat — Costello issues a statement apologizing for her actions, but won’t issue an apology on the air. Which is a reminder that no one at Time-Warner-CNN-HBO, including CNN president Jeff Zucker thinks she did anything wrong in the first place.

And now back to discussing how totally and cool groovy abortions are.

Posted at 12:16 pm on October 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

And the Albert Speer Award Goes To…

racism_everywhere_10-23-14-1

“Is Architecture ‘Racist’?“, John Hinderaker asks at Power Line, linking to an article in Wednesday’s Denver Post on that city’s railroad station. As John notes, “Denver’s main train depot, Union Station, has been renovated and restored to its former glory (more or less), which is what troubles the arts critic. The restored building is, he thinks, racist…”

Of course it is, the Denver Post critic argues, perhaps sampling from Maureen Dowd’s hallucinogenic confectionery stash:

Let’s start with the building itself, the actual architecture. Union Station is a neo-classical mix of styles — European styles. The symmetry, arched windows, ornate cornice and stacked, stone walls have their roots in the glory days of France, England, Greece and Rome, in empires that were nearly absent of ethnic minorities and who felt fully at ease invading, exploiting and actually enslaving the people of Africa, subcontinent Asia and South America.

In response, Hinderaker writes:

This is mind-bendingly dumb. It is evident that the Post’s Fine Arts Critic didn’t major in history. France, England, Greece and Rome–four peas in a pod! But let’s not pause to consider the ancient Greeks’ conquest of Brazil, or what on God’s green Earth any of this has to do with Denver’s train station. The stupidity continues:

Yes, that’s all in the past; things have changed. But the $54 million renovation of Union Station doesn’t take that into account. It restores the symbols of an old world with no updates. The gilded chandeliers have been rewired, the marble polished, but there’s no nod to the present, no interior walls in the bright colors of Mexico, no Asian simplicity is in the remix. There are no giant sculptures by African-American artists bonused into the lobby, no murals on the basement walls.

Have you noticed that Asian-Americans don’t like to go anywhere that doesn’t exhibit “Asian simplicity,” and African-Americans won’t set foot in a public place unless it features “giant sculptures”? Sure. Just as I, a loyal Norwegian-American, refuse to patronize any restaurant that doesn’t feature a replica Viking ship in the lobby and whose walls are not lined with horned helmets. Stereotypes rule!

Does each individual ethnicity demand its own architecture to feel racially pure? Conversely, does architecture reflect the tribal prejudices of the culture that built it? Do the stereotypes of the day manifest themselves in the designs of public spaces? Well, that’s one way to look at the semiotics of architecture. I thought such opinions had been rather dramatically discredited by about May of 1945, but perhaps I was simply being naive.

But somewhere, the modern architects of the 1920s, who promoted what they called a universal “International Style” of design must be rolling over in their row upon Mies van der row of graves, to borrow a line from Tom Wolfe’s From Bauhaus to Our House.

Related: In other news regarding “Progressives” and their curiously idiosyncratic opinions on Rocky Mountain architecture, the JuiceVoxers have a rather interesting take on bathroom design in the Boulder area

Posted at 12:21 am on October 23rd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Two CNNs in One!

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

● A panel on Tuesday’s “CNN Newsroom” wondered “why are people so darn mean?” to Monica Lewinsky.

“CNN: ‘Why Are People so Darn Mean’ to Lewinsky?”, headline, Breitbart TV, yesterday.

● “Shame on Monica Lewinsky.”

Headline, CNN.com, yesterday.

Related: Stacy McCain on “The Externalization of Responsibility: Monica Lewinsky’s Personal Shame,” in which he reminds readers that in his estimation, “Here’s the thing: Monica Lewinsky committed perjury,” and manages to work in the phrase “mendacious fellatio performers” to boot.

Meanwhile, as Stacy’s title implies, Lewinsky seems to blame the Internet as a medium, and Matt Drudge as a publisher, for her pariah status, as Allahpundit notes:

Per Matt Bai’s new book, it was the Gary Hart affair 10 years before Monicagate that marked a sea change in the media’s willingness to report on politicians’ sexual indiscretions. Michael Isikoff, who was famously scooped by Drudge on the Lewinsky story, said later that his Newsweek editors had merely demanded that more work be done on it before it ran, not that they had spiked it altogether. It would have come out, Internet or not.

To invert Marshall McLuhan’s legendary aphorism, sometimes it really is the message, and not the medium in which it’s initially disseminated.

Posted at 6:25 pm on October 22nd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Canadian Workplace Violence Man-Caused Disaster Man Identified

A Canadian convert to Islam is the suspect in today’s Ottawa terrorist attack according to Reuters, Allahpundit writes at Hot Air. Move along, nothing to see here:

That’s all Reuters has right now, apart from his name: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. One reporter notes, though, that that name appears several times in Montreal’s court database on drug charges. Martin Couture-Rouleau, the suspect in the other recent attack on Canadian soldiers and a convert to Islam himself, also lived in Quebec. Might be just a coincidence but the first thing police will be investigating is whether these two knew each other. The timing of the attacks suggests that there was some copycatting happening at least.

Another interesting detail: A Twitter account linked to ISIS apparently tweeted a photo this afternoon of a man whom they claimed is Zehaf-Bibeau, holding a gun with a keffiyeh covering his mouth. Where they got that photo is unclear. Could be they simply googled him, found a social media account somewhere, and lifted the pic. If not, if they had it archived for some reason, this investigation’s going to get much hotter. Oh, and according to Heavy.com, that same ISIS account was supposedly followed by Couture-Rouleau. Another coincidence?

His origins and purpose, still a total mystery:

 

Posted at 3:23 pm on October 22nd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

At the Intersection of #GamerGate and the Washington Redskins

In “The Media Bubble, Redskins Edition,” Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon squares the circle:

And, as I’ve noted here, there is a growing annoyance with the entertainment press—sports, film, video game writers—for being not only out of step with their readership but also frequently ignoring their subjects altogether in favor of opining on topics that are either implicitly or explicitly political in nature. I remain convinced that roughly 80 percent of the angst over #GamerGate relates to a similar notion: issues of ethics aside, gamers were tired of being told how horribly sexist and racist they were for playing games and engaging with gamer culture. As a result, they finally snapped. Similarly, I get the sense that sports fans are pretty sick and tired of being lectured on issues that are either entirely unrelated to sports (say, gun control) or, at best, marginally related to sports (the level of political correctness of a team name). You can see some of that frustration in the following data points, which track the answer to the question “Should the Redskins change their name, or not”:

Sonny links to a chart that notes:

              Should        Should Not

1992         7%                 89%

2013        11%                79%

2014       14%                83%

As he concludes:

What’s fascinating to me is the fact that, despite a near-unanimous chorus from the sports media over the last 18 months or so on the evils of the Redskins brand, “should not [change the name]” is +4 from 2013 to 2014 while “should [change the name]” is only +3. Considering that “should not” already had the support of almost four in five respondents, any uptick would have been surprising. But “should not” out-gaining “should” is downright shocking, and suggests to me that Americans, by nature a reactionary lot, are just about tired of all this silliness, thanks.

I wouldn’t name a new sports team the Redskins in 2014, just as I doubt anyone would start organizations named the United Negro College Fund or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as all three names have been dated by time and changing linguistic attitudes. But all three names connote often proud traditions and have hugely loyal bases of support. Not to mention — aren’t there far bigger issues in the world to fixate on than the name of an organization? (Back in July, responding to the MSM’s collective Alinsky-style panty-twist over the Redskins, Dennis Prager wrote, “Those who do not confront the greatest evils will confront much lesser evils or simply manufacture alleged evils that they then confront.”) Or as John Nolte notes at Big Journalism:

1. The common sense of the American people who understand that team names are meant to be compliments, not insults. As an example, no one has named their football team “The MSNBC Jerk-Offs.”

2. The American people understand that this obsession isn’t based on principal but rather a mainstream media that is looking for a — if you’ll pardon the expression — scalp. This is a power play, a game among insufferable elites to prove to themselves they still have power with a senseless notch in the “win” column.

Which also ties this post back to Sonny Bunch’s Beacon column, which concluded with Bunch asking, “I guess the only question is this: How long until there’s a #GamerGate for sports?”

Faster, please.

Of course, another question arises at the intersection of #GamerGate and the Redskins. Both high tech and the NFL take the support of conservatives and non-leftist fans for granted, rarely if ever paying positive lip service to them, for fear of stirring up the often fatal PC hornest’s nest. (See also: firing of Firefox’s Brendan Eich for supporting traditional marriage, the NFL rejecting Rush Limbaugh from team ownership thanks in part to a falsified Wikipedia quote, and numerous other PC scalps). When will that begin to change?

Related:

Posted at 3:07 pm on October 22nd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Oh Those Democrat Operatives with Bylines, Part Deux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exit quote:

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

Posted at 2:29 pm on October 22nd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

The Hunter Biden Chronicles

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 1:57 pm on October 22nd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll

Oh, Those Democrat Operatives With Bylines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted at 1:33 pm on October 22nd, 2014 by Ed Driscoll