As spotted by Ace:
— Andrea Castillo (@anjiecast) April 18, 2015
As spotted by Ace:
— Andrea Castillo (@anjiecast) April 18, 2015
Alternate Headline? Confirmed: the left has no humor, and is eager to devour its own at the slightest opportunity.
The left-leaning Boing Boing site actually tweets something funny — and the outrage mob, always on hair-trigger alert, always sweeping the airwaves and the Interwebs Bletchley Park-style in search of something to force them first to the fainting couches and then to the barricades, swings into action.
And Boing Boing crumples like a cheap suit in response, whining, “We’re sorry for this offensive tweet. Its transphobia was unintentional, but the hurt it caused is our responsibility.”
Mencken — and Charlie Hebdo and the late Christopher Hitchens — weeps. That’s one brave stance, fellas. Of course, the fact that the Wrong People laughed at the original tweet in the first place made things ultra-problematic for the site. So naturally, to get back into the good graces of their core audiences, they insult those who defended them:
Kevin W. Glass of the Franklin Center tweets that he “couldn’t make a better study of Scott Alexander’s outgroup thesis if I tried.” Alexander describes himself as psychiatrist who gets his “news from vox.com, an Official Liberal Approved Site. Even when I go out to eat, it turns out my favorite restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen, is [ranked as] the most liberal restaurant in the United States.” As one of several examples in a lengthy post written last September titled “I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup,” Alexander writes that when Osama bin Laden suffered his fatal case of lead poisoning, “[I] didn’t come out and say I was happy he was dead. But some people interpreted it that way, and there followed a bunch of comments and emails and Facebook messages about how could I possibly be happy about the death of another human being, even if he was a bad person? Everyone, even Osama, is a human being, and we should never rejoice in the death of a fellow man:”
Then a few years later, Margaret Thatcher died. And on my Facebook wall – made of these same “intelligent, reasoned, and thoughtful” people – the most common response was to quote some portion of the song “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead”. Another popular response was to link the videos of British people spontaneously throwing parties in the street, with comments like “I wish I was there so I could join in”. From this exact same group of people, not a single expression of disgust or a “c’mon, guys, we’re all human beings here.”I gently pointed this out at the time, and mostly got a bunch of “yeah, so what?”, combined with links to an article claiming that “the demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure’s death is not just misguided but dangerous”.
And that was when something clicked for me.
You can talk all you want about Islamophobia, but my friend’s “intelligent, reasoned, and thoughtful people” – her name for the Blue Tribe – can’t get together enough energy to really hate Osama, let alone Muslims in general. We understand that what he did was bad, but it didn’t anger us personally. When he died, we were able to very rationally apply our better nature and our Far Mode beliefs about how it’s never right to be happy about anyone else’s death.
On the other hand, that same group absolutely loathed Thatcher. Most of us (though not all) can agree, if the question is posed explicitly, that Osama was a worse person than Thatcher. But in terms of actual gut feeling? Osama provokes a snap judgment of “flawed human being”, Thatcher a snap judgment of “scum”.
I started this essay by pointing out that, despite what geographical and cultural distance would suggest, the Nazis’ outgroup was not the vastly different Japanese, but the almost-identical German Jews.
And my hypothesis, stated plainly, is that if you’re part of the Blue Tribe, then your outgroup isn’t al-Qaeda, or Muslims, or blacks, or gays, or transpeople, or Jews, or atheists – it’s the Red Tribe.
And as Charles Krauthammer said over a decade ago, “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.” Which is why Boing Boing would rather be trapped in PC purgatory with their fellow leftists than know that there’s someone on the right willing to defend them, as this round-up of tweets at Twitchy.com illustrates.
Have fun storming each others’ castles, fellas — as you discover the hard way Jonathan Chait’s recent warning to his fellow leftists that PC was devouring them:
— TANSTAAFL (@TANSTAAFL23) April 17, 2015
Over a decade ago when he first proposed it, I balked at conservative blogger/book reviewer Orrin Judd’s thesis that “All Comedy is Conservative,” but it’s becoming truer and truer every day. And as John Birmingham in the Sydney Morning Herald wrote on the topic in 2006, “By establishing an exclusion zone around a whole category of topics that are ripe for exploitation by comics because of the very tensions they create, the left abandons the field to the enemy and often confuses itself over just who are its friends and who are its foes.” That sounds like a pretty concise foreshadowing of today’s meltdown by Boing Boing.
But heck, these days, free speech itself is becoming exclusively the purview of conservatives as well.
That’s not likely to end well.
In the meantime, salute!
“The media’s ageist hypocrisy” is explore by Noah Rothman at Hot Air, who notes that “Rubio has so far been able to deftly navigate around the landmines clumsily set by the press on his pathway toward the Republican Party’s presidential nomination:”
Since revealing his candidacy on Monday, Rubio has subjected himself to interviews with news outlets that are probably quite skeptical of Republicans in general, let alone a candidate as unapologetically hawkish as himself. From NPR, to Univision, to a variety of impromptu press gaggles, Rubio’s openness with the media contrasts greatly with Hillary Clinton’s stage managed presence.
Rubio managed to avoid cementing the impression that he is “the candidate of yesterday” on the issue of gay marriage when he told Univision’s Jorge Ramos without hesitation that he would attend the same-sex wedding of a hypothetical loved one. Democrats will find that this response complicates their mission to frame Rubio’s opposition to same-sex marriage as an outgrowth of personal animus toward gays and lesbians.
On Friday, Rubio defused another bomb set by the political press on the matter of his age. Specifically, whether or not he is experienced enough to lead the nation:
Reporter asks: “Is 43 old enough to be president?” @marcorubio replies: “I know 44 is, which is what I turn in May”
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) April 17, 2015
Very smart not making the obvious JFK reference, as it would offer a chance for a reporter looking to play the gotcha game to trot out the Lloyd Bentsen versus Quayle quote — though I hope all GOP candidates have their comeback ready, to laugh and reply, “Actually, Bentsen didn’t know JFK very well, they weren’t friends, and it was simply a cheap shot to score debating points, just as you’re trying to do now, [Insert name of DNC-MSM interviewer here].”
The obligatory link to Britt McHenry and “The obligatory ‘ESPN reporter acts like an A-hole to parking attendant’ clip,” as Allahpundit described it yesterday at Hot Air:
1. She really is very nasty to the attendant. Sample quote: “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?”
2. The video’s carefully and conveniently clipped so that you can’t hear what the attendant says.
3. There’s reason to believe that extreme upset at this particular towing company is justified, even if the personal nastiness towards the attendant is not.
4. As I write this, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, an online mob is forming to ensure that McHenry receives her Comeuppance. And odds are very, very good that that Comeuppance will be even nastier than McHenry herself was. I could write more about that but you’re better off reading this pitch-perfect Clickhole parody of outrage mobs instead. Says Lachlan Markay, “The Internet: defining people by their worst moments since 1996.”
To sate the mob, McHenry has been suspended by ESPN for a week, though as Sonny Bunch writes at the Washington Free Beacon, “You’ll note that we haven’t seen an unedited version of the interaction between McHenry and the woman she so colorfully insulted. Gee. Odd. I wonder why that is.”
Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard knows. He describes himself as being on “#TeamBritt” if only because of how awful the sort of company who towed McHenry’s car likely is:
A couple weeks later, the company started towing another car from the HOA lot, which also had a properly displayed sticker. But this time the owner came out and confronted the tow-truck diver as he was in the act. The guy refused to put the car down–he insisted that “company policy” dictated that once a car was hitched to the truck, it could not be released for any reason. They nearly came to blows; fortunately someone had called the cops and the police showed up and forced the tow-truck driver to release the car, telling him that was he was doing was essentially stealing.
Our HOA killed the towing contract at our next meeting.
So maybe Britt McHenry was being unwarrantedly abusive and vile. Or maybe she was responding to some deeply unpleasant people who had caused her material harm with total impunity.
But the Internet outrage mob must be fed! All of the Pavlovian elements are here: Young attractive pampered television journalist shouting the worst insults to a clerk earning much less for her efforts and likely working much harder (no matter how loathsome her employers might be). But wait:
Oh, HOLD UP. The Britt McHenry vid is w predatory Advanced Towing?! I have experience w them & guarantee she had reason to be pissed.
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) April 17, 2015
Their thing is they tow your car for no reason and then taunt you when you come to pick it up. — Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) April 17, 2015
Dear scolds: No, it isn’t right to act as she did. There’s also context missing. This is not a “parking attendant” & not a normal towing co. — Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) April 17, 2015
Britt probably ain’t a super-nice person, but there’s likely a reason the attendant’s side of this conversation is cut out. — Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) April 17, 2015
Naturally, the pitiful leftwing shell of a publication that once was the Atlantic and more recently home of the infamous pro-Scientology infomercial, sides with both the Internet mob and “the Upsides of a Surveillance Society.” No, really:
Yes, there are panoptical elements to all that. Yes, we should seriously consider—and debate, and perhaps even fear—what those elements will do to us, as a messy human collective. But one of the positive aspects of the presence of all those cameras—all these devices, there to capture not just our beautiful children and our sumptuous meals, but also our worst and pettiest and most immoral moments—is a basic one: Terrible behavior, whether cruel or violent or something in between, has a greater possibility than it ever has before of being exposed. Just as Uber tracks ratings for both its drivers and its users, and just as Yelp can be a source of shaming for businesses and customers alike, technology at large has afforded a reciprocity between people who, in a previous era, would have occupied different places on the spectrum of power.
Which can, again, be a bad thing—but which can also, in McHenry’s case, be an extremely beneficial one. It’s good that her behavior has been exposed. It’s good that her story going viral might discourage similar behavior from other people. It’s good that she has publicly promised “to learn from this mistake.” Britt McHenry is “in the news,” she scoffed to a service worker a couple of weeks ago. Now she’s in the news in another way. And that’s because of a thing that doesn’t discriminate between the thin and the fat, the rich and the poor, the famous and the anonymous, the kind and the cruel: a well-placed camera.
Break out the Victory Gin and say cheers to the two-way telescreen: Like Winston Smith, at long last, a journalist finally learns to love Big Brother. At least until he’s got an (R) after his name.
Obligatory Allahpundit-style exit quote:
As I noted previously, @BrittMcHenry‘s real crime was making professional thieves and extorters look sympathetic. For shame, Britt!
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 17, 2015
— Jeff B@AoSHQDD (@EsotericCD) April 17, 2015
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) April 16, 2015
Merely a semi-ironic updating of this old chestnut, a button worn by a Washington Post/Newsweek employee at the 1992 Republican Convention that said “Yeah, I’m With the Media. Screw You:”
“If a reporter and his newspaper know in advance — months in advance, as it turns out — that a man intended to undertake a stunt that could sow panic in the nation’s capital, are they obligated to alert law-enforcement authorities? And should they be faulted for not doing so until the last minute?,” Paul Farhi asks at the Washington Post regarding the Tampa Bay Times and proverbial “Florida Man” Doug Hughes.
Farhi writes that the Tampa Bay paper interviewed the professional mailman/amateur pilot last summer, who told them “he planned to breach restricted airspace and fly a small craft called a gyrocopter onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to call attention to the need for campaign finance reform.” Since that’s long been a lefty talking point, Hughes’ stunt is being treated as a happy funtime lightweight joke by the Post, the Tampa Bay Times, and other newspapers. Of course, if someone on the right had tried a similar reckless flight, the MSM’s outrage meters would universally be red-lined to Defcon One, and we’d be reminded of the potential for post-9/11 DC to go into lockdown mode and/or the risk of Hughes being shot out of the sky and/or killing someone if he crashed.
The Post’s Farhi writes:
Given the potential for chaos, however, the question is whether the paper should have done more, such as calling the Secret Service days in advance to alert officials that Hughes planned to enter restricted airspace with his one-man flying machine.
“We spent hours and hours talking about the ethics of this,” said Montgomery, who first encountered Hughes when the postal worker called him at work and told him his plans. “Ultimately, we felt comfortable that he was on the authorities’ radar and that he was not homicidal or suicidal. He had his plan down to a T. Is it our job to call attention to it?”
Actually, yes, say media ethicists.
“A news organization should be extremely knowledgeable of the potential harm” a stunt like this could cause, said Edward Wasserman, dean of the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. “I really question their judgment. There is no end of the ways this could have gone wrong.”
* * * * * * *
Nevertheless, the Times made the wrong decision, said Fred Brown, a former longtime chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics committee. “I think the newspaper had a responsibility to alert authorities” well in advance of Hughes’s takeoff. “There are too many things [the paper] didn’t know. Was he carrying an incendiary device or a weapon? There are many ways to weaponize [the aircraft] or create a danger.”
Wasserman points out that the Times, a recipient of 10 Pulitzer Prizes over the years, benefited from its own inaction: It released its story just as Hughes was making news, ensuring that readers would flock to its Web site to learn more about him. “As a news organization, you can’t be complicit in this,” he said.
C’mon, the Tampa Bay Times was just following the advice of the Old Gods of their profession, such as Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace, who like to think that when it comes to alerting authorities in the effort to potentially save lives, “No, you don’t have higher duty — you’re a reporter:”
Oh, and as for campaign finance reform — you go first, Hillary.
Everything’s a Problem, the satirical blog written by Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon, has some fun going into faux-outrage mode over “Calling People ‘Guys,’” and quotes as his “problematic” example, David Gelernter’s March 2008 article in the Weekly Standard on “Feminism and the English Language,” in which Gelernter writes:
How can I teach my students to write decently when the English language has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Academic-Industrial Complex? Our language used to belong to all its speakers and readers and writers. But in the 1970s and ’80s, arrogant ideologues began recasting English into heavy artillery to defend the borders of the New Feminist state. In consequence we have all got used to sentences where puffed-up words like “chairperson” and “humankind” strut and preen, where he-or-she’s keep bashing into surrounding phrases like bumper cars and related deformities blossom like blisters; they are all markers of an epoch-making victory of propaganda over common sense.
We have allowed ideologues to pocket a priceless property and walk away with it. Today, as college students and full-fledged young English teachers emerge from the feminist incubator in which they have spent their whole lives, this victory of brainless ideology is on the brink of becoming institutionalized. If we mean to put things right, we can’t wait much longer.
Our ability to write and read good, clear English connects us to one another and to our common past. The prime rule of writing is to keep it simple, concrete, concise. Shakespeare’s most perfect phrases are miraculously simple and terse. (“Thou art the thing itself.” “A plague o’ both your houses.” “Can one desire too much of a good thing?”) The young Jane Austen is praised by her descendants for having written “pure simple English.” Meanwhile, in everyday prose, a word with useless syllables or a sentence with useless words is a house fancied-up with fake dormers and chimneys. It is ugly and boring and cheap, and impossible to take seriously.
As I said, that was from early 2008. Flash-forward to six years of Hopenchange and the growing influence of the socialist justice warriors, as in this example, as spotted by Kathy Shaidle earlier this week, of a cri de coeur at Medium.com titled “Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice,” written by someone who describes himself as possessing a “liberal heart,” and who “grew up in a liberal town, learned US history from a capital-S Socialist, and/or went to one of the most liberal universities in the country,” but, like Jonathan Chait of New York magazine, apparently thought he’d be devoured last by the revolution:
[M]illennials are grown up now — and they’re angry. As children, they were told that they could be anything, do anything, and that they were special. As adults, they have formed a unique brand of Identity Politics wherein the groups with which one identifies is paramount. With such a strong narrative that focuses on which group one belongs to, there has been an increasing balkanization of identities. In an attempt to be open-minded toward other groups and to address social justice issues through a lens of intersectionality, clear and distinct lines have been drawn between people. One’s words and actions are inextricable from one’s identities. For example: this is not an article, but an article written by a straight, white, middle-class (etc.) male (and for this reason will be discounted by many on account of how my privilege blinds me — more on this later).
* * * * * * * *
The Newspeak of the millennial social justice advocate is an intricately and powerfully designed mechanism that seeks to eradicate and socially criminalize dissent.
Let’s talk about racism. The mantra of the movement is thus: It is impossible to be racist against white people because racism is the equivalent of prejudice and power. Since white people have social and economic institutional power and privilege (in America), those who are racially oppressed cannot be racist toward whites since those who are racially oppressed do not have power.
Why can’t I simply rebut this with a trip to the dictionary? Because this is laughed at by social justice types. The image of a white person walking to the dictionary to define racism is literally a trope at this point because the millennial social justice advocate finds it so entertaining that a dictionary, constructed by those in power for those who speak the language of power, can possibly give an accurate definition of a word. [It's a link to a Website called DiversityInc (sic) titled, "Ask the White Guy: Is the Oxford Dictionary Definition of Racism Too White for You?" -- Ed]
Do you see where I’m going with this? It is now possible to absolve yourself of guilt by working enough academic nuance into a word to fundamentally change it — in your favor.
You’re never going to change the mind of someone this far gone; but there are ways to, as a wise president once said, “punch back twice as hard,” which we’ll explore right after the page break.
And praises Common Core, Sean Davis writes at the Federalist:
During her first official campaign event in Iowa earlier this week, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton praised Common Core and referred to children’s education as a “non-family enterprise.” Clinton’s controversial statements about education, which were captured by C-SPAN, came in response to a question from a participant about how to offer a quality education throughout the U.S.
Just a reminder that Hillary’s “It Takes a Village” theme from the 1990s is her polite and folksy way of saying that in her socialist worldview, your children belong to the state, not to you.
In other Hillary news, as she likes to say, she’s exceedingly happy to “take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” And/or her own good. Does that include someone else’s handicapped parking spot?
(Perhaps though, owners of personal exoskeleton suits are granted exemptions under the ADA.)
“On Jackie Robinson Day, Let’s Remember When He Was Fired From the New York Post for Being Too Republican,” Matt Welch writes at Reason. As Kate McMillan likes to say at her Small Dead Animals blog, “I felt a great disturbance in the narrative:”
Today is the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s notorious de facto ban against players having skin tone a shade or two darker than pure Castilian soap. As is the annual tradition, all MLB players today are wearing Robinson’s #42 in homage.
As I (and plenty of others) have long argued, Jackie’s awe-inspiring legend has, if anything, given short shrift to what a colossally competitive, accomplished, and complicated man he really was. He has as good a claim as anyone else at being the best all-around athlete of the 20th century (he was also a national champion long jumper, league champion collegiate basketball scorer, and All-American halfback at UCLA). He was a prolific if underappreciated author. A passionate and righteously angry civil rights activist. A banker/entrepreneur, active Rockefeller Republican, and the first black columnist for a major non-black newspaper, The New York Post. Which fired him for being too pro-Nixon.* [16 years before Rupert Murdoch bought the paper and it was still left-leaning -- Ed]
Read the whole thing.
* Oh sure. Next you’re going to tell me that Nixon campaigned for civil rights for all in 1960, reminding voters that “the whole world is watching us,” going on to earn “more of the black vote — 32% in his 1960 loss to John F. Kennedy — than any GOP nominee of the past half-century,” and that once elected president eight years later, the first black guest to sleep in the White House was during his administration.
My, what big airbrushes the left has.
Exit quote, from Robinson himself:
No one will ever convince me that the Post acted in an honest manner. I believe the simple truth is that they became somewhat alarmed when they realized that I really meant to write what I believed. There is a peculiar parallel between some of our great Northern “liberals” and some of our outstanding Southern liberals.
Some of the people in both classes share the deep-seated convictions that only their convictions can possibly be the right ones. They both inevitably say the same thing: “We know the Negro and what is best for him.”
Some things never change.
“Günter Grass Dies, Press Mourns Ex-SS Member,” Ben Shapiro writes at Big Journalism:
On Monday, German novelist, Nobel Prize winner, and former Waffen-SS Nazi, Günter Grass died in Lubeck, Germany, at the age of 87. The press mourned his passing.
The New York Times tried to make excuses for the fact that Grass hid his involvement with the Waffen-SS for some six decades before finally revealing that fact:
Mr. Grass was hardly the only member of his generation who obscured the facts of his wartime life. But because he was a pre-eminent public intellectual who had pushed Germans to confront the ugly aspects of their history, his confession that he had falsified his own biography shocked readers and led some to view his life’s work in a different light.
Actually, his confession only shocked those who considered him a moral authority in the first place—and they still didn’t find his confession shocking enough to stop seeing him as a moral authority. In 2012, Grass published a poem called “What Must Be Said,” which reads like a screed against the Jews who wanted to strike the Iranian nuclear program:
It’s a disgusting poem, in which Grass backhandedly argues for Iran to finish the job he and his cohorts started. As Shapiro notes:
Grass won the Nobel Prize in 1999, with the Prize Committee explaining that he had fully fulfilled “the enormous task of reviewing contemporary history by recalling the disavowed and the forgotten: the victims, losers and lies that people wanted to forget because they had once believed in them.”
He waited another seven years to explain that he had been a full-fledged Nazi. After lecturing people for decades about how Nazism could only have been prevented by the death of capitalism and nationalism, it turns out that the great human rights activist had fought alongside the most brutal elements of the Nazi regime. But the Times writes:
Mr. Grass’s defenders argued that his social and political influence had forced Germany to face its Nazi past and atone for it. He might not have been able to play that role, they said, if he had been forthright about his background.
Shapiro sums up the opportunistic arc of Grass’s life:
When Nazism was popular, Grass was with it. When it lost, he transmuted that loss into a career lecturing people about the threats of Nazism, while fighting on behalf of anti-Western powers. Finally, he entered the realm of moral relativism, where he likened the Nazis to the Jews. Grass was no moral hero. He was merely a convenient object of worship for the post-Nazi left.
Grass plays a small role in Tom Wolfe’s 1976 essay, “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide To America,” reprinted in his 1982 anthology The Purple Decades, available on the Kindle and an essential introduction to both Wolfe’s early nonfiction, and life in America in the crazed ’60s and ’70s, which today often reads stranger than fiction. Wolfe uses a statement from Grass as a springboard for the saying he helped enter into widespread distribution: “The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.” The two men shared the stage at a ruckus 1965 panel at Princeton University, dominated both on the panel and in the audience by paranoid lefties convinced that fellow Democrat Lyndon Johnson was the new fascistic boogieman*, including Allen Ginsberg and Merry Prankster Paul Krassner, about whom Wolfe notes:
The next thing I knew, the discussion was onto the subject of fascism in America. Everybody was talking about police repression and the anxiety and paranoia as good folks waited for the knock on the door and the descent of the knout on the nape of the neck. I couldn’t make any sense out of it. I had just made a tour of the country to write a series called “The New Life Out There” for New York magazine. This was the mid-1960’s. The post-World War II boom had by now pumped money into every level of the population on a scale unparalleled in any nation in history. Not only that, the folks were running wilder and freer than any people in history. For that matter, Krassner himself, in one of the strokes of exuberance for which he was well known, was soon to publish a slight hoax: an account of how Lyndon Johnson was so overjoyed about becoming President that he had buggered a wound in the neck of John F. Kennedy on Air Force One as Kennedy’s body was being flown back from Dallas. Krassner presented this as a suppressed chapter from William Manchester’s book Death of a President. Johnson, of course, was still President when it came out. Yet the merciless gestapo dragnet missed Krassner, who cleverly hid out onstage at Princeton on Saturday nights.
Suddenly I heard myself blurting out over my microphone: “My God, what are you talking about? We’re in the middle of a … Happiness Explosion!”
That merely sounded idiotic. The kid up in the balcony did the crying baby. The kid down below did the raccoon … Krakatoa, East of Java … I disappeared in a tidal wave of rude sounds … Back to the goon squads, search-and-seize and roust-a-daddy …
Support came from a quarter I hadn’t counted on. It was Grass, speaking in English.
“For the past hour I have my eyes fixed on the doors here,” he said. “You talk about fascism and police repression. In Germany when I was a student, they come through those doors long ago. Here they must be very slow.”
Grass was enjoying himself for the first time all evening. He was not simply saying, “You really don’t have so much to worry about.” He was indulging his sense of the absurd. He was saying: “You American intellectuals—you want so desperately to feel besieged and persecuted!”
He sounded like Jean-François Revel, a French socialist writer who talks about one of the great unexplained phenomena of modern astronomy: namely, that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.
That quote from Grass takes on new meaning when you ponder that as a former SS man, literally or figuratively, he was one of those kicking down the doors long ago.
* Johnson’s strangely exotic accent and manners were likely all that was needed to throw these early pioneers of tolerance and multiculturalism into fits of cognitive dissonance.
The cultural gap between those who vote in the Republican presidential primaries and those who cover the candidates in those primaries is now a chasm.
One by one, the media covering the Republican presidential candidates attach some quickly assembled defining flaw to each candidate: “Rand Paul has a temper problem with the media”; “Ted Cruz is an unelectable extremist”; “Scott Walker’s lack of a completed college degree is likely to be a major problem.”
All of these flaws are in the eye of the media beholder. Ordinary Americans don’t particularly care if Rand Paul is brusque with interviewers; they have a low opinion of journalists already. Ted Cruz’s ideas are much less “extreme” outside of newsrooms. And only about one-third of Americans have a bachelor’s degree, making Scott Walker closer to the “average American” than everyone else in the field.
A lot of members of the media who are covering the GOP presidential candidates have exceptionally little in common with the voters who will select the Republican nominee. Thus, when the Republican candidates make their pitch to grassroots conservatives, the hot-take instant analysis from the big media voices usually concludes that the pitch was a belly flop. But the GOP candidates aren’t trying to win votes in the New York and D.C. newsrooms, and in a spectacular failure of empathy and understanding, a lot of reporters simply can’t grasp the hopes, fears, and priorities of GOP-leaning voters in places like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina . . . and Tennessee. [Site of last week's NRA convention in Nashville, which Geraghty attended -- Ed]
—“The Skewed View of America Inside the Progressive Bubble,” Jim Geraghty, National Review Online, Monday.
I’ve been saying for years that people “should read the newspaper upside down” — that is, if they want to know the untold story, they should read the comments beneath online newspaper pieces.
The contrast between the elite liberal worldview of the paper, and that of the everyman reader below, is hilariously revealing. Occasionally, commenters provide both eye witness accounts, clarifications, contrary statistics — and a healthy dose of “ohferchrissakes” irritation at the latest pieties.
Now, do I think turning these comments into Important News Stories is lazy, agenda-driven and comical? Yes, but so is most of what “newspapers” do anyhow, and always have.
Those comments — and the tweets on “Black Twitter” and the crazy conversations over at World Star Hiphop or the smart ones at Reddit, mean _something_.
—Regular PJM contributor Kathy Shaidle, at her Five Feet of Fury blog, today.
Hangover: Last year, Michelle Fields interviewed young MSM-cocooned low-information Hillary supporters for PJTV. As the Internet cliche goes, “you won’t believe!!!” what one student says is Hillary’s biggest accomplishment:
Ambassador Chris Stevens could not be reached for comment.
Some timely music from Reason TV’s Remy. Sample lyrics:
And we’ll dance all night, it’s the best code ever
Some folks pay a lot, others they pay never
And you’ll get tax breaks if you’re really clever
It’ll take so long, it’s the best code ever
They’ll be like “oh, oh no”
We’ll be like “yeah, yeah, yeah.”
We’ll be like “awww.”
You may have heard that all your info
on our systems can be hacked with ease
But rest assured if they don’t get them
they’ll be in the care of folks like these
Yes historians will all agree
among the greatest works in history
“Pitiful: Al Sharpton can’t even get a hunger strike right,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:
It is perfectly appropriate that those who are cheapening the moral authority of the hunger strike by invoking it in order to force the Senate to move forward with Loretta Lynch’s stalled nomination are also failing to even commit fully to the practice.
MSNBC host, political agitator, and noted tax evader Rev. Al Sharpton is organizing a hunger strike, “along with female civil rights leaders,” to compel the U.S. Senate to confirm Lynch as the next attorney general. They’re calling it the “Confirm Loretta Lynch Fast.”
“[T]he new tactic is designed in the mold of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar Chavez, organizers said,” a Politico report read. And that’s true, with one tiny exception: Those civil rights leaders actually starved themselves in a display of civil disobedience. Fortunately for them, modern day civil rights activists are not held to such a rigorous and inconvenient standard. According to Politico, “fasters will alternate days abstaining from food until Lynch is confirmed to replace Eric Holder at the Justice Department.”
It’s the return of the rolling hunger strike! We’ve seen this goofy tactic before, haven’t we? On the Fourth of July in 2006, then-Democrat mascot Cindy Sheehan (remember her?) staged an anti-Bush protest involving a few equally preening Hollywood friends, as Agence France-Presse reported at the time:
Other supporters, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a ‘rolling” fast, a relay in which 2,700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade.
As I wrote in response, I was so moved by their efforts, “I’m going on my own personal thrice-daily rolling hunger strike. That’s right: rather than just one random hunger strike once a year, I’ll eschew all solid foods from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM. And from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM. And then just to really stick it to the war-mongering imperialists, I’ll fast from 6:00 PM until 8:00 AM the following day.”
And I’m prepared to do the same every day once again, no matter what happens to the would-be attorney general. Fight the power, err, in this case, for the power, man!
Update: “I would be remiss, by the way, if I did not note that there’s a simple way to get Lynch’s nomination to go forward,” Moe Lane writes in response to Sharpton’s “hunger” “strike:”
Democrats can stop filibustering that anti-human trafficking bill that they’ve been blocking. Once that happens, business can continue. Of course, doing that may mean that fewer minority babies end up being aborted, but the Democratic party leadership can’t have everything that they want.
Meanwhile, Twitchy looks for synergy: “Imagine the weight loss if these hunger strikers would join forces with Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign!”
Today on MSNBC-DNC, “President Barack Obama’s top adviser, Valerie Jarrett, went around the table and kissed reporters before an interview this morning on MNSBC’s Morning Joe. The moment was briefly captured on live television before the network cut away to a commercial break,” Daniel Halper writes at the Weekly Standard:
Jarrett’s first step is toward the BBC’s Katty Kay. “Hi, there,” Jarrett’s heard whispering as she leans in for a hug and kiss. Kay is “Anchor for BBC World News America in Washington.”
Then the senior White House adviser just as warmly greets Cokie Roberts, a National Public Radio contirbutor.
As the segment heads toward a commercial break, host Joe Scarborough can be heard saying, “Valerie, come give me a hug.”
As the Obama administration enters into its twilight phase (and yes, it feels so good to type those words), it’s nice to see their relationship with their close-circuit talking points distribution system ending the same way it began. Recall that during the administration’s first year when Morning Joe — which holds itself out as being co-hosted by MSNBC’s token Republican — read a memo on air “correcting” a segment immediately after it had been emailed to the show by the Obama White House. Who knows — perhaps by Valerie herself?
Back in 2009, Fox News’ revelations led to disgraced Obama “Green” “Czar” Van Jose given his walking papers by the White House for harboring, as Brit Hume said at the time, “views that were out there where the buses don’t run.” Hume responded to the administration’s boilerplate attacks on Fox by asking, “One wonders how our colleagues at CNN and elsewhere like being patted on the head and given the seal of approval by the White House.”
Forward! We’ve progressed in the last six years from head pats to pecks on the cheek. But it’s not like we weren’t warned in 2008 that Democrats with and without bylines shared a mutual lovefest:
And the love goes on as we’ve seen, with DNC stenographers lapping up Hillary’s prefabricated “Scooby Do” tour of mid-priced Mexican-themed chain restaurants in the American midwest:
So Hillary deletes 30k emails after 2012 Congressional inquiry. And the top story of the day is BURRITO. Democrats sure got it good…
— John Nolte (@NolteNC) April 15, 2015
They could kiss themselves over how good.
“A Project to Turn Corpses Into Compost,” the New York Times reports in chillingly straitlaced fashion:
The body of the tiny 78-year-old woman, gray hair falling over stiffened shoulders, was brought to a hillside at Western Carolina University still clad in a blue hospital gown and chartreuse socks.
She was laid on a bed of wood chips, and then more were heaped atop her. If all goes as hoped, the body will turn into compost.
It is a startling next step in the natural burial movement. Even as more people opt for interment in simple shrouds or biodegradable caskets, urban cemeteries continue to fill up. For the environmentally conscious, cremation is a problematic option, as the process releases greenhouse gases.
Armed with a prestigious environmental fellowship, Katrina Spade, a 37-year-old Seattle resident with a degree in architecture, has proposed an alternative: a facility for human composting.
The idea is attracting interest from environmental advocates and scientists. The woman laid to rest in wood chips is a first step in testing how it would work.
The article was written by someone at the Times named Catrin Einhorn. I assume she’s absolutely no relation to “Earth Day” co-founder Ira Einhorn, and the bad luck of the New York Times strikes the snake-bitten paper once again. This is after all, the publication that praised Bill Ayers the morning of September 11th, before the Islamofascist terrorist attacks took place. Once again, a macabre bit of synchronicity strikes the Gray Lady, when the journalist reporting on a story about human composting shares a last name with Ira Einhorn, who name equated radical environmentalism with the disposal of dead bodies decades ago, as Michelle Malkin wrote in 2001:
The facts are sickeningly familiar to Philly residents, but not to the rest of the nation. In the ’70s, Einhorn made a name for himself as a radical environmentalist and “counter-cultural” peacenik. He grew a ratty beard, stopped bathing, dubbed himself a “planetary enzyme,” spouted Marxism, and hogged the spotlight during the nation’s first Earth Day. Poets, scientists, hippies, New Agers, billionaire benefactors, and young women caught up in the haze of free love and free-flowing drugs all flocked to Einhorn.
One of those women, former Texas cheerleader and artist Holly Maddux, lived with Einhorn in the City of Brotherly Love. In the fall of 1978, she disappeared. Einhorn said she walked out and never came back. Few dared challenge the Flower Power guru who hobnobbed with the rich and powerful, lectured at Harvard, and traveled the world.
It took a year before cops opened a missing persons file on Maddux. Her family pressured law enforcement to investigate Einhorn. His neighbors complained of a foul stench and brown ooze seeping from his residence. Eighteen months after she went missing, detectives discovered her body stuffed and mummified inside a black steamer trunk hidden in Einhorn’s closet.
Maddux’s skull had multiple fractures and she had shrunk to less than 40 pounds. Experts say she was alive when she was forced into the trunk. Author Steven Levy wrote that when horrified cops informed Einhorn, who was waiting in his kitchen during the search, that the corpse looked like Maddux’s body, Einhorn coolly replied: “You found what you found.”
The peaceniks rushed to Einhorn’s side and insisted he was incapable of violence — let alone the monstrous evil that befell Maddux. A parade of liberal aristocrats lavished praise on the accused murderer at his bail hearing. And Einhorn had the best legal representative in town – former district attorney and soon-to-be-U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, who won an obscenely reduced bail for Einhorn of $40,000. Wealthy socialite Barbara Bronfman of the Seagram’s liquor empire put up the measly $4,000 bond needed to spring Einhorn out of jail in 1981 before trial.
Einhorn fled. While Maddux’s family grieved, he traipsed around Europe for 20 years (partly subsidized by Bronfman). Meanwhile, two former girlfriends came forward and testified that Einhorn had nearly killed them in separate, savage attacks. A Pennsylvania jury convicted Einhorn in abstentia for Maddux’s murder in 1993.
And of course, the notion of composting bodies instantly brings to mind the first radical environmentalists as well.
By the way, to return to our headline, isn’t everything so, so, problematic these days?
REPORTER: “Attorney Sean Bagniewski was in the video along with his wife and his dog.”
REPORTER: “He says it was filmed a month and a half ago. And is he still eating the trash?”
BAGNIEWSKI: “He still is.”
REPORTER: “Bagniewski has been a Clinton fan since fifth grade. but he still hopes other Democrats get in the race, including former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb. Do you want more Democratic candidates in the field?”
BAGNIEWSKI: “Yes. I think it’s better for the candidates, it’s better for the voters to get the whole array of opinions and I think it’s better for Iowa.”
Hillary sure can pick ‘em — we’ve seen this movie before, haven’t we?
Casey Knowles, a High School Senior in Washington state, recently discovered she was one of the sleeping children in Clinton’s controversial “Children” ad appearing prior to the Texas primaries.
Knowles, a supporter of Barack Obama was shocked that she had contributed to the national security message of a candidate that she passionately opposes.
When asked by The New Argument, this is what Knowles had to say about her appearance in Clinton’s ad:
“While I love Hillary, I would much rather hear Barack Obama’s voice at the other end of the phone at 3am.
In case you had forgotten. Speaking of memory loss, while the London Independent, the paper that would prefer you forget their infamous “Snowfalls Are Now Just a Thing of the Past” headline from 2000 isn’t known for their (intentional) humor or trolling, this is a pretty masterful job of front page design:
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 14, 2015
And certainly a far more subtle piece of trolling than Ezra’s Klein’s casually racist “typo:”
You stay classy, young juicevoxers.
“Of course there has been a ‘libertarian country’ before,” Robert Tracinski writes at the Federalist.
“We’re it. Or at least we were, for roughly the first 150 years of our existence—which, far from being some sort of fairy tale or collective delusion, was probably the most successful period ever in the history of any nation.”
As Tracinski notes:
I’ve recently been seeing the revival of an odd line of argument I hear from the left now and again. In response to the launch of Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, for example, I heard it said that Paul’s vision for a much smaller government, for eliminating so many agencies and regulations, was a fantasy of a “libertarian country” that has never existed. The implication is that radically smaller government is a new idea that has never been tried.
Similarly, in response to my suggestion that maybe we should stop basing our government on massive, omnipresent coercion of the citizenry, the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent replied:
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) April 9, 2015
Yeah, unstopped growth of socialist government usually ends, rather painfully for all concerned:
But I’m sure it will work this time.
Entirely unrelated tweets:
— Ed Driscoll (@EdDriscoll) April 15, 2015
— Walter Olson (@walterolson) April 14, 2015
A year ago, in a post titled “Why Democrats Call Americans Racist,” we speculated:
As in the 2010 midterms, expect the madness from the left to ramp up exponentially between now and November. They’re just getting started.
(And then presumably some time between mid-November and the start of the new year, the left will begin declaring half of America sexist. Unexpectedly.)
We apologize for getting the timing wrong; ABC’s Cokie Roberts waited until yesterday to declare half of her network’s viewers to be sexist:
According to ABC’s Cokie Roberts, hints that Hillary Clinton may be unlikable can be traced back to sexism. The veteran journalist appeared on Good Morning America, Tuesday, to promote her new book, but the conversation veered into a discussion of 2016. Citing an unnamed poll, Roberts referenced “research that shows that a woman who is strong and powerful is seen as not friendly and empathetic.”
The journalist added, “Here we are in 2015…and we still have to deal with that.” She lamented, “[Clinton] is running against herself.” Roberts marveled, “She’s trying to figure out how to show people how she’s a warm and friendly person.”
Astonishingly, even NBC’s Andrea Mitchell can see what’s going on with with the media and Hillary, when asked by Luke Russert, who only has his NBC gig due to his father’s last name why the MSM is fawning over a woman who is only running for the presidency because she has her husband’s last name:
“What do you make of this rollout, the Scooby-Doo van going from New York to Iowa, just stopping at it seems random gas stations along the way?”
“This is their attempt to show her as the average person, relating to average everyday people as did her video, trying to show she can cross the country,” Mitchell responded, referring to Clinton’s 2016 announcement video.
“It’s a deliberate, very well-orchestrated attempt,” she continued. “Everybody in the media are being used in this regard.”
C’mon, for once, tell the truth DNC-MSM: Sure it feels dirty — but it’s that good, sexy warm kind of dirty, isn’t it, MSM?
Oh, and speaking of sexism — I don’t recall the MSM losing too much sleep over this in 2008:
— #MakeDCListen™ (@RickCanton) April 13, 2015
A longtime admirer of Fidel Castro, [Ted] Turner has called the former Cuban president “one hell of a guy.” In 2001 Turner told a class at Harvard Law School, “You’d like him [Castro]. He has been the leader of Cuba for 40 years. He’s the most senior leader in the world, and most of the people that are still in Cuba like him.”
Castro, in turn, holds Turner in high regard, so much so that the dictator was the inspiration behind the creation of CNN International. As CNN News Chief Executive Eason Jordan told his audience during a 1999 lecture at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism:
“… Let me also thank Fidel Castro. In the earliest days of CNN, when CNN was meant to be seen only in the United States, the enterprising Fidel Castro was pirating and watching CNN in Cuba. Fidel was intrigued by CNN. He wanted to meet the person responsible. So Ted Turner, who at that point had never traveled to a Communist country or knowingly met a Communist, [went to Havana]. It was big deal for Ted and during the discussions Castro suggested that CNN be made available to the entire world. In fact it was that seed, that idea that grew into CNN International.”
Turner generally has been loath to condemn totalitarian tyrants such as Castro, a stark contrast to his frequent and passionate denunciations of President George W. Bush. When asked in 2000 whether he thought Saddam Hussein could accurately be described as evil, Turner said: “I’m not sure that I know enough to be able to answer that question.”
Which brings us to CNNi today:
Exactly. In 2004, Cuban-American blogger Val Prieto coined the phrase “Omnipotent Tourism Syndrome:”
What is O.T.S.?
The Omnipotent Tourist Syndrome? is a disease common among Americans that is caused by arrogance, egotism and non-chalance. Carriers show a penchant for obliviously overlooking the obvious while delighting themselves at the cost of others. Delerious OTS sufferers refuse to acknowledge their malady and will argue that it is their God given right as an American to travel freely about the world with little or no conscience or consequence. OTS people fequently hide behind their Bill of Rights and Constitution. Unfortunately, there is no cure for OTS nor is there any way to ease it’s symptoms. It is a disease which, no matter how much hard data and facts are introduced into the OTS sufferer, will not ease unless said sufferer finds a compass of morality and humanity.
And it was also in 2004 that Fox’s Roger Ailes gave the very best definition of CNNi to CSpan’s Brian Lamb — and today’s Tweet is a reminder that like Castro’s closed socialist regime nothing has changed at the network:
(And don’t even get CNN started on the glories of North Korea.)
Related: “Why Cuba Was, and Must Remain, on State Terror List,” from my PJM colleague David Steinberg.
“Video: The dumbest news segment ever,” as spotted by Ed Morrissey:
Someone is wrong on the internet – and the CBS affiliate in Dallas spent two minutes of air time on their 6 pm news broadcast covering it. A woman in Dallas wrote a Facebook post saying that a woman should not be President, and it got quite a few responses. So naturally, a TV news crew interviewed her, her client, and showed a shaky-cam shot of the post itself. Steve Pickett even managed to stand outside on the street — for what reason, no one knows — to recap some of the responses to the Facebook post.
Aaaaaaaaaand … that’s the story. No, really:
Click over if you want to see the Dallas CBS affiliate in their effort to become the next Mencken meets Bill Bradlee meets Woodward & Bernstein meets Tom Wolfe level of earth shattering, world-changing journalism. As Ed writes:
There are two explanations for this segment being broadcast, which aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. One: There was absolutely nothing of interest happening in Dallas-Fort Worth yesterday. (Possible, but unlikely.) Two: Someone in CBS Dallas wants to paint all opposition to Hillary Clinton as kooky, bigoted, and possibly evidence that religion makes people both of those.
My hunch is that Option Two looks pretty likely here. And my further hunch is that we’ll see more of this ludicrous media focus on even the smallest nuggets of anti-Hillary kookiness to exploit as a way to marginalize her opposition over the next several months.
Bingo! But since it’s a CBS affiliate, and presumably can pool resources with the staff of any of its fellow affiliates across the country, I know the perfect CBS employee for the station to hire to investigate this story to the nth-degree:
.@donnabrazile Nobody’s heard from Alix Bryan of CBS6 have they?
— Instapundit.com (@instapundit) April 14, 2015
And if they can’t find Alix, I’m sure the new host of Face the Nation would be happy to help.
Update: Bryan would be perfect for this gig, actually. The left have discovered yet another small business that must be destroyed:
The whole reason this story exists is because the news outlet is trying to get this woman’s business shuttered. http://t.co/YfCYQjQGUK
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) April 14, 2015
(Cartoon by XKCD.)