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Ed Driscoll


Atop this post is the complete show, in chronological order, followed by individual segments spotlighting each presenter, and James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, who MCed the show and introduced each speaker. First up was Roger L. Simon to to explain the concept of the Duranty Prize, followed by PJM’s Claudia Rosett and Ron Radosh, New Criterion publisher and PJM columnist Roger Kimball, and then finally Roger L. Simon, to present the “Rather Award” for lifetime achievement in journalist mendacity.

Also, if you’d like an audio-only podcast version, click here to play:

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A downloadable version is also available by right clicking here. (28.1 MB file size, 61 minutes long.)

As for the individual segments, first up, is PJM CEO Emeritus Roger L. Simon, to explain the concept of the Duranty Prize:

“Why a Walter Duranty Prize?” Speech by Roger L. Simon.

Or, as my ancestors said every year, why is this night different from all other nights? On other nights we celebrate journalistic excellence… as in the Pulitzer Prize… but on this night we celebrate a man who lied about Stalin and won the Pulitzer.

Well, we don’t really celebrate him. We refer to him. We use him as our emblem of something that is all around us — journalistic mendacity so awful, so meretricious, so despicably self-regarding that it is indeed in the tradition of Walter Duranty who — basically for his own self-aggrandizement, he wasn’t even a communist — white-washed Stalin’s mass starvation of upwards of a million Ukrainians, not to mention numerous other atrocities of the Soviet Union from the Gulag to the Purge Trials, for nearly twenty years as Moscow correspondent of the New York Times, while using, as an excuse for totalitarian evil, his oft-quoted phrase “You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”

So we’re back again, a few months late, but we’re back, for our annual celebration of journalistic mendacity known as the Duranty Prize — and our new award for lifetime achievement called The Rather, of which more later. I think any award of the nature of the Duranty should be judged by its past recipients, don’t you — whether they were really and truly deserving of their honor? That’s how we judge the Nobel Peace Prize, after all …. Don’t we?

Anyway, looking back briefly at last year’s Duranty honorees, we find as runner-up Bob Simon for his 60 Minutes segment “Christians of the Holy Land.” That mini-documentary blamed the Israelis and their infamous security wall, not the Muslim terrorists who engendered its construction, for the plight of Christians in the West Bank. During last year’s ceremony Roger Kimball called this 60 Minutes segment “a textbook case of employing the trappings and authority of objective reporting in order to further the ends of ideology.”

Was Roger correct? And how! Just weeks ago a video surfaced on YouTube from an exceptionally brave young Palestinian Christian woman named Christy Anastas. Christy is living under political asylum in Britain now, an asylum she obtained in a record three days because she is under constant death threat from West Bank Islamists. Ms. Anastas, evidently, appeared with her family in Bob Simon’s segment when she was still in Bethlehem, but she wasn’t particularly pleased by the way it was edited. In an eloquent speech at Upsala University that I commend to all of you, she contradicts literally everything Simon put forth on 60 Minutes about who is responsible for the Christian flight. Of course, she may be biased. Her uncle was blinded for life after being shot in the head at point blank range, not by an IDF soldier, of course, but by an Islamic terrorist — a curious omission, among many, from the 60 Minutes segment.

I should have known better but I was so outraged when I saw Ms. Anastas’ video that, on behalf of PJ Media, I called and emailed the executive producer of 60 Minutes Jeff Fager for a comment or reaction. You may be astonished to hear that I have received, thus far, no reply.

As for our grand prize winner last year — the Duranty itself – as many of you will recall that was awarded to Joan Juliet Buck and editor Anna Wintour for their charming Vogue magazine “at home” with the trendy Assads: “Asma al-Assad: A Rose in the Desert.” Where is Asma anyway these days? It seems she’s disappeared from view, for some reason. No more shopping trips to Mayfair apparently.

A hundred and fifty thousand corpses later, it’s astounding that anyone could have ever written such cynical fawning tripe, even for a fashion publication. But that’s why we have the Duranty Prize — to make people stop and think before they do something as horrible as that…. or at least to call attention to it when they do. Duranty’s photo, it is always worth noting, still adorns the wall of the New York Times along with its other Pulitzer winners. Some things never change.

And now on to this year’s prizes. James….

Video and transcript of the presentation by PJ Media’s Ron Radosh, preceded by James Taranto’s introduction, follows on the next page.

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RIP Noel Sheppard, 53

March 29th, 2014 - 11:05 am

Noel Sheppard was with Newsbusters at its start in 2005, becoming its associate editor. “It must be said that no blogger here was more prolific and more popular. We’ll have more to say in the coming days,” Brent Bozell writes:

Our Noel Sheppard passed away yesterday (Friday) morning at about 5:00 AM. Say a prayer for the soul of a man we’ll all miss professionally, and many, many of us will miss personally as well. Noel was not just a force of nature, he was a very good man.

How quickly this all happened. Just two months ago, Noel wrote about suddenly getting cancer at 53 called “Cancer’s Ray of Hope.” Nine days ago, he wrote us and said he was interested in writing about his “progress” — and he put “progress” in quotes. We were all wishing for better news, and really couldn’t imagine this was a battle that would end this way.

Noel,  a fellow financial planner turned new media maven, lived about an hour from me in Northern California, and stopped by my house once in the fall of 2008 to record a segment for PJTV during its rough-and-tumble very early days. The following year, when Walter Cronkite passed away, we recorded this segment of my Silicon Graffiti video blog together, with Noel appearing via Web camera:

That was in 2009. Never in a million years did I think I would be blogging about Noel’s passing as well, or so quickly afterwards. RIP to a great blogger and media critic.

Update: Much more from Noel’s friends and colleagues at Twitchy.

More: A tribute to Noel from Matthew Sheffield, the creator of Newsbusters.

Since my blog was one of many inspired by Instapundit.com in the immediate wake of 9/11, and since it’s celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, I had wanted to do a video interview with Glenn Reynolds to discuss the history and state of the Blogosphere. Given that he has a new “Broadside” (much longer than most magazine articles, but shorter than most books) from Encounter Books on the Higher Education Bubble and the impact of its aftermath on both students and academia, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. With a little help from the folks at PJTV.com for arranging the video hookup between our two one-man in-home video studios, here’s my video with the Professor, in which he discusses:

  • Glenn’s early blogging influences.
  • The similar attempts to burrow their heads in the sand by Big Media and Big Education, despite knowing that both institutions are clearly in trouble.
  • How a speculative bubble forms and then bursts, and this case, how education costs have completely outpaced the rise in housing and medical costs. (Here is the scary-ass comparison chart by economics professor Mark J. Perry that Glenn mentions during the interview.)
  • The relationship between Occupy Wall Street and the higher education bubble.
  • Why expensive universities pushed unemployable majors, and why students were so eager to sign up for them.
  • Will the bachelor’s degree increasingly be seen as increasingly less important to success?
  • How technology could help ameliorate the higher education bubble.

Click on the above video to watch; a handy embeddable YouTube version is available here. And click here and just keep scrolling, for three years worth of our earlier editions of our Silicon Graffiti video blog.

Update: Welcome readers clicking in from:

Rather than shoot the new video in the newsroom set we typically use as home base, I decided to borrow a used Apollo capsule and Saturn rocket to make my way to Space Station V. What better place to discuss the alien invasion that’s about to strike planet earth?

Or at least the one that Paul Krugman of the New York Times has publicly called for on two different occasions, first during an interview with CNN host Fareed Zakaria in 2011, and then just last month on Bill Maher’s HBO series. Here’s a partial transcript of Krugman’s CNN appearance, which he shared with Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University economics professor:

KRUGMAN: Think about World War II, right? That was actually negative social product spending, and yet it brought us out.

I mean, probably because you want to put these things together, if we say, “Look, we could use some inflation.” Ken and I are both saying that, which is, of course, anathema to a lot of people in Washington but is, in fact, what fhe basic logic says.

It’s very hard to get inflation in a depressed economy. But if you had a program of government spending plus an expansionary policy by the Fed, you could get that. So, if you think about using all of these things together, you could accomplish, you know, a great deal.

If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake, there aren’t any aliens, we’d be better –

ROGOFF: And we need Orson Welles, is what you’re saying.

KRUGMAN: No, there was a “Twilight Zone” episode like this in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace. Well, this time, we don’t need it, we need it in order to get some fiscal stimulus.

But even if you hire Rod Serling to write your script, and Industrial Light & Magic to provide your special effects, it’s still simply an interstellar spin on William James’ Moral Equivalent of War concept from 1906, a “progressive” obsession that has led to a century of bad ideas — including, as we mention in the video, a few from History’s Greatest Monster himself. While the Malaise Speech of 1979 gets all the credit, Carter’s earlier “M.E.O.W” moment in 1977 arguably demonstrates the futility of his worldview just as well:

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And similarly, in April of 2008, Time magazine would illustrate Carter’s notion with this cover, which replaces the American flag the US Marines hoisted atop Iwo Jima with…a tree, and the headline “How to Win the War on Global Warming.”

Back in 2004, Thomas Sowell explored one reason why the Moral Equivalent of War and similar doomsday mongering is a staple of the left:

There’s something Eric Hoffer said: “Intellectuals cannot operate at room temperature.” There always has to be a crisis–some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and virtue must be imposed on the unthinking masses. It doesn’t matter what the crisis is. A hundred years ago it was eugenics. At the time of the first Earth Day a generation ago, the big scare was global cooling, a big ice age. They go from one to the other. It meets their psychological needs and gives them a reason for exercising their power.

But with Solyndra and other elements of Obama’s environmental themed venture socialism now seen as failed ventures, and with the idea of global warming having discredited itself during the infamous “Hide the Decline” scandal in 2009, and numerous doomsday final countdowns having come and gone and the earth no worse for wear, we’re left with Paul Krugman’s Twilight Zone fantasies to sell the idea of massive government spending.

Well, even more massive government spending than we’re doing already.

Click on the above video to watch; a handy embeddable YouTube version is available here. And click here for three years worth of earlier editions of Silicon Graffiti, including our previous trip to the Space Station.  We visited there back in the spring of 2009, when John Holdren, President Obama’s Dr. Strangelove-esque “science” “czar” told an apparently nonplussed AP reporter that he debating launching rockets to seed the upper atmosphere with pollutants to fight global warming. Ahh, the heady days of hopenchange…)

Update (7/2/12): PJTV subscribers can tune in here to watch.

Our latest Silicon Graffiti video was inspired by one of the key themes in the late Allan Bloom’s 1987 book, The Closing of the American Mind. Bloom wrote that by the middle of the 20th century, American universities  had essentially become enclaves of German philosophy. As a result, “the new American life-style has become a Disneyland version of the Weimar Republic for the whole family,” according to Bloom. Last year in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman famously asked, ‘Can Greeks Become Germans?’

Why not? If we could, any nation can. This video looks at how and why that happened, and the results — or at least scratches the surface of those concepts, inasmuch as any six minute video can.

And when you’re done watching, check out David P. Goldman at his “Spengler” column (and that nom de blog dovetails remarkably well with our theme, doesn’t it?) on “Philistinism and Failure,” and follow David’s link to Fred Siegel from the April issue of Commentary, for his brilliant article on “How Highbrows Killed Culture,” for much more on this theme.

A handy, portable, easily embeddable YouTube format of the video is available here. And click here for three years worth of earlier editions of Silicon Graffiti.  The script of this week’s show, with plenty of hyperlinks to the books and blog posts that inspired it, follows on the next page.

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New Silicon Graffiti Video: March Madness

April 11th, 2012 - 11:38 pm

Hey, is this mic working? Is the camera on? At last — we’re back with our first Silicon Graffiti after a long hiatus, with a whirlwind look at some of the lowlights President Obama and the left suffered in March:

It’s entirely possible that ObamaCare will be upheld, Obama will win a second term, and gasoline will reach the skyrocketing levels that Obama and cronies promised us and cheered for in previous years. But not if the events that occurred last month keep repeating. Which means that it’s up to you to keep an eye on the left, and hold them accountable for their actions, particularly if, like me, you have a blog and are on Twitter.

A handy portable, easily embeddable YouTube format of the video is available here. And click here for three years worth of earlier editions of Silicon Graffiti.

In last week’s video, we explored how the progressive movement of the 19th century set the stage for what Tom Wolfe dubbed “Starting from Zero,” in which millennia of knowledge could safely discarded and the CTRL-ALT-DLT keys be pressed to reboot mankind.

What could go wrong? Well, other than the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, WWII, Communist China, Communist Cuba, Communist Vietnam and Communist North Korea.

Fortunately though, America managed to avoid a complete Start From Zero, and Europe and Japan were lucky enough to be rebuilt by mid-century American liberals still relatively confident about the benefits of western civilization.

But Harry Truman, Secretary of State George Marshall, and JFK all left the building long ago. What passes for “liberalism” today, is anything but; it’s much more interested in, as Hillary infamously said in 2004, taking things away from you for the common good.

Hence the systemic attempts to ban:

And thus, in the second decade of a new millennium, progressives against progress force us to boldly march…Forward into the past!

Click on the above video to watch; a handy portable/embeddable YouTube version is available here. For 60 or so previous editions of Silicon Graffiti, click here and just keep scrolling. And thank you once again for your continued readership (and viewership!) over the last nine years of blogging.

Say what you will, but personally, I’d like to think the post we’re doing to commemorate the ninth anniversary of our humble little blog is –hopefully! — slightly more interesting than our very first post here.

To officially kick off another year of blogging, here’s our latest Silicon Graffiti video, the first of a two part series, in which we look at several attempts by the left to, as Tom Wolfe would say,  “Start from Zero,” and hit the CTL-ALT-DLT keys on western civilization. We’ll explore:

  • The rapid social and technological gains western civilization was making in the 19th century before…
  • …The arrival of Marx, Nietzsche, and other nascent “progressives,” to upset mankind’s Etch-a-Sketch.
  • Nietzsche’s 1882 “God is Dead” aphorism, which ol’ Friedrich definitely considered to be a two-edged sword.
  • How World War I set the stage for the rest of the horrors of the 20th century, via a quote from Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism.
  • A la Woody Allen in Annie Hall, an awards ceremony for the most bloodthirsty leftwing tyrant of the 20th century.
  • How the Bauhaus and other elements of the Weimar Republic were helping Germany “Start from Zero,” even before the Nazis arrived.

A handy portable YouTube version of the above video is also available at, not surprisingly, YouTube.

And tune in next week, when we go Forward into the past, and watch the left punitively decide that if they can’t get mankind to start from zero, they can take things away for the common good, to paraphrase Hillary, and return us, piecemeal to zero.

In the meantime, click here for 60 or earlier editions of Silicon Graffiti.

And thank you for stopping by over the last nine years!

Update: Welcome readers clicking in from:

Cross-posted at Right Wing News, and at PJTV.

Late Update: Part II of this video is now online. Click to boldly go…“Forward, Into the Past!”

We kick off another year of our Silicon Graffiti videoblog with a look at Old Media’s response to the horrific shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). For anyone who was on Twitter at the time the news first broke, it was quite a sight watching old media’s narrative emerge in real time even before any of the basic facts of the story were known.

But this was far from the first time that a narrative was preformed—or very quickly assembled in the wake of a shock event.  We try to place the MSM’s response to the Giffords shooting with some earlier attempts by the MSM to force the facts like a pretzel to fit an existing storyline:

Tune in here to watch:

A handy portable, easily embeddable YouTube format of the video is also available. And click here for three years worth of earlier editions of Silicon Graffiti.

Merry Christmas!—Anybody Got a Snow Shovel?

December 24th, 2010 - 10:00 pm

Happy holidays to you and yours from the staff and management of Ed Driscoll.com!

Yes, I’m back in the one-man Logan’s Run biodome once again, the same place I ducked into last year to ward off all the global warming swirling about me. But I’m a little worried that, like Minneapolis’ Metrodome, the roof of my humble crystalline abode won’t hold up under the weight of the oncoming snow, either.

Let’s find out! And in the meantime, thank you for another year of your support. Please check out our earlier videos by clicking here, and the rest of the blog, by clicking here. Have a Merry Christmas if we don’t see you around the Blogosphere again before December 25.

(Bumped to top.)

Rebecca Aguilar Loses Lawsuit Over Firing

December 17th, 2010 - 11:51 am

“Dallas Newcaster Rebecca Aguilar, who bullied a gun-owner on camera, has lost the lawsuit over her resulting firing,” Glenn Reynolds writes, linking to a report which notes:

“Deliberations lasted only about one hour, a swift verdict considering the six-day length of the trial in a downtown Dallas courtroom.”

Glenn adds, “Pretty much as I predicted. More background here.”

TV critic Ed Bark, who I believe has covered Aguilar’s initial story and its fallout from the start wrote on Monday:

Aguilar was suspended with pay by the station on Oct. 16, 2007, the day after her controversial exclusive interview of then 70-year-old West Dallas salvage business owner James Walton. She approached him in a sporting goods store parking lot, where he had a new shotgun in his possession after previously shooting and killing two alleged burglars within three weeks time. Her nearly 14-year career as a Fox4 reporter officially ended on March 6, 2008, when Fox4 exercised its option to drop her at the halfway point of her latest two-year contract.

Aguilar was paid her salary throughout that period under a standard “pay or play” provision in reporters’ contract. The station also paid her for 90 more days after opting not to pick up the second year of her contract. Her husband, John, continues to work at Fox4 as a newscast director.

In his 45-minute closing argument to the jury, Shaunessy said that Fox4′s action solely had to do “with the fact that Rebecca Aguilar for more than 10 years was a bad employee.”

The Walton interview, a flashpoint throughout the trial, “was an ambush interview from the start,” jurors were told.

It certainly appeared that way based on the video; which was the subject of a very early edition of my Silicon Graffiti video blog, way back in April of 2008. It was the subject of a takedown notice from KDFW, the aforementioned Dallas-based Fox affiliate, which my crack legal team was able to defend. As a result, it seems to be one of the few video copies of this incident left on the Web:

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Roger Kimball, James Lileks, Rob Long and Michael Walsh each were kind enough to stop by for a short, YouTube-friendly video interview the week before last during the National Review Post-Election Cruise through the Caribbean, onboard the Holland America Line’s swank Nieuw Amsterdam cruise ship. Here are the results, presented in alphabetical order:

Roger Kimball, the publisher of Encounter Books, the co-publisher and co-editor, along with Hilton Kramer, of  The New Criterion, and the author of his own Roger’s Rules blog here at PJM:

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James Lileks of Lileks.com, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and its Pop Crush blog, Ricochet.com, National Review, and from time to time, PJM:

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Rob Long of National Review, Ricochet.com, and formerly of TV’s Cheers:

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Michael Walsh, the founding editor of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism site, and, under his David Kahane pseudonym, a regular contributor to National Review Online, and the author of the new book, Rules for Radical Conservatives:

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And for all of our previous videos, click here and just keep scrolling.

New Silicon Graffiti Video: BlogWorld 2010

October 26th, 2010 - 12:00 am

For the latest edition of our Silicon Graffiti video blog, we check out the sights, and sounds, and blogs at the Fourth Annual Blog World and New Media Expo, last weekend at the swanky Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Featured in this video:

  • My interview with social media consultant Brian Reich, who’s working with the Learning Channel to promote their upcoming show Sarah Palin’s Alaska, from the folks who brought you Survivor and the Apprentice.
  • A clip from Sarah Palin’s Alaska, released by TLC just in time for Blog World.
  • Hugh Hewitt’s interview with Scott Monty, the Ford Motor Company’s new media guru.
  • My interview with Lt. Col. Andre Dean from the US Army, recorded in their large milbogger booth at BlogWorld.
  • Plus more from the floor of the Blog World exhibition.

Click on the video below to watch:

For more from Blog World, check out the latest edition of PJM Political, which features more from representatives of the Learning Channel on Sarah Palin’s Alaska, plus my interviews with Hugh Hewitt, and Rick Calvert, the CEO and founder of BlogWorld.

And for 60 or so previous editions of Silicon Graffiti, just click here and keep scrolling and watching.

As James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal likes to note, the Democratic Party has, over the years, had many powerful orators.

  • Andrew Jackson is often attributed as saying, “One man with courage makes a majority.”
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt comforted the nation when he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
  • Harry Truman famously said, “The buck stops here.”
  • And John F. Kennedy reminded Americans, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Needless to say, Harry Reid, the Democrats’ Senate Majority Leader since November of 2006, has failed to live up to this proud heritage on a titanic scale.

Which is why, from The Home Office in Carson City, Nevada, Silicon Graffiti is proud to present, The Top Ten Harry Reid quotes!

Number 10: Get this man a Claritin!

Number 9: The Peasants are Revolting!

Number 8, Beware the Evil-mongers!

Number 7: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

Number 6: The Senator as psychiatrist.

Number 5: Newspaper jobs saved or created!

Number 4: Harry Supports the Troops.

Number 3: Beltway Babies Say Goodnight.

Number 2: When Harry met Barry.

And after that racial epithet, Harry doubles down! Which brings us to The Number one quote from the Harry Reid super gaffe-o-matic 76 machine: Harry stands up for diversity and freedom of choice:

“I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican. Do I need to say more?”

No Harry, you’ve said enough. Which is why it might be time to take a nice long vacation come November.

What say you, Nevada?

(YouTube version available here for those with slower Web connections.)

And for almost 60 previous editions of Silicon Graffiti, click here and just keep scrolling.

(Bumped to top.)

Update: Wow, this video is getting results already

Update: Welcome to those clicking in from:

If you’re new to the blog, please check out the rest of the posts here; chances are there’s quite a bit you might enjoy.

I Rode a Tank, Held the General’s Rank

July 14th, 2010 - 1:48 pm

…And in my last video, still ended up looking infinitely more like Michael Dukakis than Michael Philip Jagger. It’s a humbling reminder that unless you actually are Norman Schwarzkopf, or have the machismo of George C. Scott playing Patton, it’s very easy to Dukakisize yourself in this situation:

In any case, this effect was surprisingly easy to do. It’s another model from the Digimation Model Bank, which I rendered out in Photoshop, and then placed onto a nested track in Adobe Premiere Pro. I chromakeyed myself into the shot, adjusted the size of that element to be proportional with the size of the tank. I then placed that track onto the background plate (with a couple of other tanks for the Model Bank behind it), and then used keyframe animation to move the combined shot of myself and the tank into the frame. Hopefully all of the stock footage of real soldiers, the binocular mask I created in Photoshop, and (especially) all of the sound effects help to further sell the shot.

And if not, fortunately, it’s followed by the Holodeck effect I created to further remind viewers that it’s all make-believe anyhow.

And on the flipside, here’s a video that’s sort of the reverse of what I did. It’s shot on location, in costume, but with cardboard guns, and even a cardboard tank. The result is a sort of Dadaesque look at how the typical war movie is created, reminding viewers how much of the verisimilitude of war films such as Full Metal Jacket and Saving Private Ryan comes from documentary-style handheld camera work, sound effects, and layered elements such as smoke and muzzle fire (which are now available to anyone for purchase as stock footage to be composited later):

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Swap out the cardboard guns for the real thing, and they’re almost ready for Pallywood.

(H/T: Viral Footage.)

Related: And speaking of Sympathy for the Devil

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote at National Review regarding the now disgraced General Stanley McChrystal, “If an officer cannot figure out Rolling Stone, how can he understand the Taliban?”

But then, these days, a commander always has to secure both the real and the media battlefield if he hopes to win. Or as Gerard Van der Luen of American Digest wrote in May of 2009:

The Media is how America fights its civil wars. In this war at least half the country is both under-served and is painfully aware it is being under-served and lied to.

In 2007, author William Gibson wrote the phrase the “Cold Civil War” for one of his science fiction novels. That led blogger April Gavaza, also known as the “Hyacinth Girl,” as well as Mark Steyn to pick up on the concept a year later. Back in 2008, one could argue that the Cold Civil War was indeed cold, but things began to heat up a bit the following year.  In early 2009, President Obama took office, and quickly ramped up spending and government regulation to unsustainable levels, prompting Rick Santelli of CNBC’s famous cri de coeur in February of 2009, thus helping to launch the Tea Party revolution as we know it. And while the Tea Parties are the first exposure for many to what Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com likes to call “out of doors political activity,” their ultimate battlefield is inside the TV screen and inside the Web browser.

But of course, as General McChrystal’s blunder illustrates, the media isn’t just where wars are fought domestically, as we discuss in the latest edition of our Silicon Graffiti video blog, where we’ll explore:

And more!

Incidentally, this video is scheduled to be posted at Hot Air later on Tuesday (and a big thanks to Ed and Allah for asking me to be part of the team sitting in during the Big A’s vacation this week) which helps bring things full circle: the  “Vent” videos which ran from about 2006 through 2008, featuring Hot Air’s “Boss Emeritus” and produced by the site’s early video producer, Bryan Preston, were my inspiration for launching the Silicon Graffiti video blog series here at Ed Driscoll.com. Michelle and Bryan were definitely early adopters to the fusion of blogging and video, and I learned much from their pioneering work.

Or at least, I think I did! Decide for yourself by clicking here to scroll through 60 or so previous editions of Silicon Graffiti from January of 2008 to the present.

Update: In the comments, B.L. Smith traces the “Cold Civil War” phrase back to a 1962 Ayn Rand column in the L.A. Times, and quotes from it at length; click here to read.

But then, it usually begins with Ayn Rand, to coin a phrase.

While 3d computer graphics have been around since at least the 1970s, the rise of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, and especially the rise of Internet video in recent years created a whole new “prosumer” interest in them. But for me, 3d models, virtual sets, and other digital effects are more interesting when they’re used to tell a story. And every once in a while, it’s nice to go on location — if only virtually!

A couple of scenes in the previous edition of my Silicon Graffiti videoblog made extensive use of 3d Models from Digimation’s Model Bank program; I explain how the program works, and link to a tutorial on importing its images into both Photoshop and After Effects, over at Pajamas’ high-tech Edgelings blog.

If You Missed It This Morning…

June 9th, 2010 - 11:32 pm

Click on the image of our number one fan to tune into the latest edition of our Silicon Graffiti videoblog:

Filed under: Ed TV

In 1973, Patrick Moynihan said, “Most liberals had ended the 1960s rather ashamed of the beliefs they had held at the beginning of the decade.”

The 1960s began with a presidential election between conservative cold warrior Richard Nixon…and the surprisingly conservative cold warrior John F. Kennedy. In terms of the similarity between the two candidates, and the public they represented, this was a high point in national unity.

The assassination of JFK began a process that ultimately shattered that unity. During the course of the 1960s, Americans witnessed the split between the liberalism of FDR, Harry Truman, JFK and LBJ, and the rise of the  punitive New Left that emerged in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination.

As we explore in the latest edition of Silicon Graffiti, the alpha and the omega of those two forms of American liberalism came less than a month apart, in the summer of 1969:

Tune in for our take on:

And for almost 60 previous editions of Silicon Graffiti, click here and just keep scrolling.

Atlas Vlogged

May 27th, 2010 - 1:58 pm

Hey, at least George Lucas and David Lean waited two or three decades before re-releasing special Director’s Cut editions of their movies. But as you may remember back in February, I ran a video podcast featuring an interview with Jennifer Burns, the historian and author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. While Jennifer’s interview was great, I was more than a little unhappy with the quality of my finished video. I had sort of reached the limit of what my chain of software for longer segments such as this one. But with the new plug-ins built into Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, I went back earlier this week and re-rendered just about all of the video elements from the clip, into something that I think is of a much higher quality.

In any case, judge for yourself at the bottom of this post, following the original intro to the video.

Ayn-Rand-As-Che-10-3-09Jennifer Burns, the author of the best-selling late 2009 book on Ayn Rand’s remarkably contentious history with the American right stopped by the vast Silicon Graffiti production facilities last week to discuss her book and the research that went into it. We’ll explore Rand’s resurgence last year with the members of the Tea Party, who can pick and choose which elements of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy they agree with in a way that Rand would have found anathema while she was still living. We’ll also discuss Rand’s tempestuous relationship with both the right and the left during the 1940s through the early 1970s, including her look at what she described as JFK’s “Fascist New Frontier” in 1962. Plus some thoughts on what the Fountainhead had to say about Rand’s take on modernist aesthetics, and the socialistic milieu in which they originally emerged, along with clips of the 1949 movie starring Garry Cooper.

And finally, Burns will discuss what Rand would have thought of 2010, a year which pits, on the left, arguably the most collectivist president since FDR, and on the right, the growing Tea Party movement, and their calls for a return to free-market capitalism, the unknown ideal (to coin a phrase.)

Approx. 12-minutes long:

And for almost 60 previous editions of Silicon Graffiti, click here and just keep scrolling.

Related: And speaking of Rand, as the Rhetorican notes, “’Atlas Shrugged’ Movie Gets A Start Date.”

Let me know when it gets a release date — given that Rand’s book is over a half century old, this is the ultimate example of Hollywood’s development hell.