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Ed Driscoll

Oh, That Liberal Media!

Two CNNs in One!

October 22nd, 2014 - 6:25 pm

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.

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:

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.

Oh, Those Democrat Operatives With Bylines

October 22nd, 2014 - 1:33 pm

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:

“A new poll from Pew Research breaks down conservatism and leftism in the media – and comes up with a number of interesting results. As it turns out, leftists are far less tolerant that conservatives and implicitly trust government sources,” Ben Shapiro writes at Big Journalism:

Fox News Has a More Balanced Audience Than MSNBC. The poll shows that 55 percent of those who watch Fox News are either mixed in political viewpoint or leftist; 52 percent of those who watch MSNBC are either mixed or conservative. The most balanced outlet: The Wall Street Journal, although surprisingly, those who are consistently conservative read the paper the least of all ideological groups (13 percent of the audience is consistently conservative).

Leftists Think Humor Is News. Leftists trust The Colbert Report and The Daily Show as news. We knew this already from polls of young people who cite these shows as some of their top news sources, but it underscores the point that leftists simply do not take politics seriously – they’re happy to take their cues from people who began their careers making fart jokes. It is worth noting that the audience for The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and The Huffington Post are virtually identical in ideological composition. The Daily Show’s audience does not exist on the political right, with just 7 percent of its viewers identified as conservative in any way.

Nobody Trusts BuzzFeed. The least-trusted news source is BuzzFeed. It is not trusted by consistent liberals, mostly liberals, mixed political viewpoints, mostly conservatives, or consistent conservatives. At least consistent conservatives trust The Rush Limbaugh Show and consistent leftists trust The Ed Schultz Show. Nobody trusts BuzzFeed.

And note this Twitter exchange on the poll last night:


The irony is that Time magazine was founded by Henry Luce in the 1920s to appeal to a center-right audience — and did so quite well, until Luce relinquished control of the magazine in the mid-1960s, before passing away in 1967. Three years later, and Time was doing their best Pauline Kael impersonation and trying to figure out who on earth were these strange pro-American Nixon voters who still wanted America to win in Vietnam?

Time magazine is a classic example of former National Review editor John O’Sullivan’s First Law of Politics in action: “Any institution that is not explicitly right wing will become left wing over time.”

And actually, so is Pew:

Unexpectedly!

October 22nd, 2014 - 11:47 am

bloomberg_unexpectedly_10-22-14-1

Ahh, Bloomberg, home of the “unexpected” bad economic news since, oh, about January of 2009, don’t ever change. Normally Bloomberg only applies the “unexpected” adjective to economic news that’s bad for the rest of us, but from the point of view of the president is good news: after all, he tore up the American healthcare system, openly called for bankrupting energy companies; his first “energy” “czar” demanded skyrocketing “European-style” energy prices, and numerous others of their leftwing ideological bent have demanded higher costs on energy and consumer goods, from Tom Brokaw to hapless wannabe Obama advisor Fareed Zakaria to this poor sod-ette in the UK Guardian:

Clothes and food should cost much more than they do in Britain to reflect their true impact on the environment, Vivienne Westwood said on Wednesday night. Speaking at a Guardian Live event at Chelsea Old Town Hall hosted by columnist Deborah Orr, the controversial fashion designer said: “Clothes should cost a lot more than they do – they are so subsidised. Food should cost more too – you know something is wrong when you can buy a cooked chicken for £2.”

Westwood also declared that capitalism was over.

So, all in all, good news, Mr. President?

Quote of the Day

October 21st, 2014 - 8:09 pm

The Kennedys’ penchant for wiretapping has lately been documented by more official bodies. The Rockefeller Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States, for example, reported that a newsman had been Wiretapped by the CIA in 1962 — with no authority in law — “apparently with the knowledge and consent of Attorney General Kennedy.” The Kennedy mythmakers said nothing about the revelation. And these were the same people who called for or helped fashion an article of impeachment when it was revealed that Nixon had approved the wiretapping of newsmen.

And talk about sleaziness! In conversations with Benjamin C. Bradlee, President Kennedy would sound out his journalist friend on the possibility of obtaining and publishing information damaging to JFK’s political adversaries — Bradlee who as executive editor of the Washington Post, which claims to have had  much to do with saving the Constitution from Richard Nixon’s depredations, apparently was not overly concerned· about such matters when they involved his presidential buddy.

For, as Bradlee discloses with little disapproval, wiretapping, prying into tax returns, election fraud, misuse of federal agencies — all of these, he admits in effect, were practiced and/or discussed in his presence by President Kennedy. Occasionally Kennedy had FBI Director Hoover over for lunch, and a little dirt for dessert. “Boy, the dirt he has on those Senators,” the President once said, shaking his head. And what apparently amused Kennedy more than anything else were Hoover’s revelations about which whores his former Senate colleagues were then patronizing. On one occasion the director showed JFK a photograph of a German girl who had been involved with Bobby Baker — “a really beautiful woman,” sighed the President.

There was another reason for the President’s buttering up of Hoover. As he undoubtedly suspected, the director had also been keeping a file on him going back to his days as a young World War II naval intelligence officer, at which time he had been carrying on with a comely foreigner suspected of having pro-Nazi sympathies. Which apparently was one of the reasons, if not the main one, why JFK on his election resisted strong liberal pressure to oust the director. Not even a President could know what was in a file kept under lock and key in. Hoover’s private office.

Thanks to Bradlee, too, we have now learned that Kennedy’s private conversation was most uninhibited. His scatological references made Nixon’s sound like a Boy Scout’s. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for history, “Benjy” — as the President liked to call his buddy — was there to record the just-between-us-boys observations of a Chief Executive who, thanks to his speechwriters (and they were among the best), has gone down in history as an elegant, witty phrasemaker.

Now, it turns out, there was a different Kennedy hidden from public view — one whose ”excesses of language,” as Bradlee concedes, were “generally protected” by the press. In other words, the readers of Newsweek, of which Bradlee was then Washington bureau chief, were never made privy to the kind of language JFK generally used in normal, private conversation. Years later though, Newsweek – like that other weekly publication — relished Nixon’s expletives, even those he sought to delete.

It Didn’t Start with Watergate, Victor Lasky, 1977.

Update:

“In thesis, Pryor argued Democratic dominance in Arkansas caused by reaction to federal desegregation efforts,” Alana Goodman writes at the Washington Free Beacon:

The paper is housed at the University of Arkansas special collections library, which suspended the Washington Free Beacon‘s library privileges earlier this year. Pryor, who graduated from the university in 1985, wrote that the thesis was influenced by his work on his father David Pryor’s 1984 senatorial campaign.

In the essay, Pryor argued that the Democratic Party’s dominance in the state stemmed from public’s need for protection against external threats, comparing this to the Russian people backing Tsarist and Communist governments.

“Arkansas has been invaded unwillingly twice. Once in reality and once figuratively,” wrote Pryor.

“The Civil War provided the real invasion. The figurative invasion took place in 1957 at Little Rock Central High School. That event took a local problem out of the local authorities’ hands. The federal government had again forced its will on the people of Arkansas.”

Read the whole thing. And remember, if Pryor had an (R) after his name, the Beacon’s crosstown rival the Washington Post would be running this story in a continuous loop from now until election day, as they did in the fall of 2006 with over 100 stories on “macaca,” George Allen’s gaffed verbal attack on his ubiquitous mohawk wearing leftwing video tracker, and the numerous stories they published in 2009 to  attack Bob McDonnell, the ultimately successful Virginia gubernatorial candidate over his college thesis. Or the 50+ stories that the Politico ran on Todd Akin in 2012.

Related:A Low-Tech Lynching,” courtesy of Democrat Kay Hagan.

What, Coolidge, Hoover or Reagan weren’t available as candidates to live rent-free in Pierce’s mind years after they left office?

CHRIS HAYES, host: There’s some scary stuff out there. ISIS, monstrous and scary. Ebola, scary, doing horrible things to people in West Africa. Killed someone here. It’s understandable. These are genuinely scary things, but the magnitude with which they are interpreted makes me think there is something about the American political consciousness that’s looking for something to fear at all times.

CHARLES PIERCE, Esquire: I think that that’s part of the conditioned reflex that was placed into the American public and into our political culture by the last administration. In which, you know, you had 9/11, then you had anthrax, then you had the snipers, then you had every bit of the government dedicated to scaring you about nuclear bombs from Iraq. You had three years of being blindsided by enormously terrible events, and then when that was done, you had a hurricane in New Orleans that the government’s response to was awful, and the entire economic system collapsed what seemed like overnight.

So the ground had already been prepared by fake threats and then you got real catastrophes for which we weren’t prepared, and all of that adds up to the kind of thing you’re seeing now.

HAYES: Charlie Pierce, thank you.

But as DNC co-chairwoman Donna Brazile finally admitted last year at CNN, “Bush came through on Katrina.” Besides, I’m not at all sure why Pierce is that suddenly now concerned with people drowning in waterborne disasters:

If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.

Charles Pierce writing the Boston Globe MagazineJanuary 5, 2003, on his way to an easy win as the Media Research Center’s “Quote of the Year,” capping off their annual DisHonors Awards, “Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2003.”

“President Obama delivered a blow to Democratic Senate candidates looking to distance themselves from his flagging approval ratings Monday, saying lawmakers avoiding him on the campaign trail were ‘strong allies and supporters’ who have ‘supported my agenda in Congress,’” the establishment left Website The Hill notes disdainfully:

The president said that Democrats faced a “tough map” and noted that many Democrats in crucial races “are in states that I didn’t win” during a radio interview with Rev. Al Sharpton.

“And so some of the candidates there — it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turnout,” Obama said.

“The bottom line is though, these are all folks who vote with me, they have supported my agenda in Congress, they are on the right side of minimum wage, they are on the right side of fair pay, they are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure, they’re on the right side of early childhood education.”

Obama went on to say that his feelings weren’t hurt by Democrats reluctant to campaign with him.

“These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me, and I tell them, I said, ‘You know what, you do what you need to do to win. I will be responsible for making sure our voters turn out.’ ”

The president’s remarks appear tailor-made for Republican attack ads in states like Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Alaska, where GOP candidates have painted their Democratic opponents as rubber stamps for the administration’s policies. Democrats in those races have worked hard to distance themselves from Obama, with polls showing his approval ratings mired in the low 40s.

Why, it’s almost as if this Barack Obama fella is dramatically overrated as a political orator and off-the-cuff speaker or something.

Update: Former(?) members of the JournoList are not happy with their boss tonight:

 

Our Source was the New York Times

October 20th, 2014 - 4:50 pm

“You do not have to talk to a statist very long before he will profess an intense dislike, distrust and even fear of ordinary people,” Andrew Klavan writes today:

Ordinary people spend money on what they want (TV’s restaurants and cars) rather than what the elite know they ought to want (aluminum foil climate change reversers). Ordinary people teach their children that God created the world rather than a random pattern of mathematic realities that came into being through another random pattern that came…  well, the elite know: it’s random patterns all the way down! Ordinary people will give jobs and business to those who earn them rather than those the elite, in their greater understanding, know are historically deserving because of past oppression. And so on.

Now, of course, with the very elite of the elite running the country, we find that — what do you know? — this statism dodge doesn’t really work all that well. And there are two reasons for this. The first is that the statist premise is wrong. In fact, ordinary people left at liberty to do as they will are actually better at running their lives and businesses and country than the geniuses in Washington. Central planning works great in the imaginations of the elite, but in the real world…  not so much.

And the second problem is that the elite are stupid. No, really. They’re educated and sophisticated and they dress well and speak well. They may even have high IQs. But in the immortal words of Forrest Gump’s mother: “Stupid is as stupid does.” And the elite are stupid.

Take the columnists at the New York Times. Or as I call them: Knucklehead Row. These guys look like smart people, they talk like smart people, they’ve got the trappings of smart people. But they are not smart. They are the opposite of smart. What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah. They’re stupid.

And as Matthew Continetti noted in the Washington Free Beacon a few months ago, “Gossipy, catty, insular, cliquey, stressful, immature, cowardly, moody, underhanded, spiteful—the New York Times gives new meaning to the term ‘hostile workplace:’”

What has been said of the press—that it wields power without any sense of responsibility—is also a fair enough description of the young adult. And it is to high school, I think, that the New York Times is most aptly compared. The coverage of the Abramson firing reads at times like the plot of an episode of Saved By the Bell minus the sex: Someone always has a crazy idea, everyone’s feelings are always hurt, apologies and reconciliations are made and quickly sundered, confrontations are the subject of intense planning and preparation, and authority figures are youth-oriented, well-intentioned, bumbling, and inept.

Indeed. Or to put it another way:

There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.

“What You Learn in Your 40s,” Pamela Druckerman, writing in the New York Times earlier this year, and linked to by Maggie’s Farm today.

Actually there are lots of grownups, who actually know what they’re doing in life, wisdom they’ve acquired through its hardscrabble lessons — but Druckerman will have to expand her social circle beyond the offices of Sulzberger & Company if she hopes to find some.

‘Thunder on the Left’

October 20th, 2014 - 12:38 pm

“Much has been written about the right-ward shift of the Republican Party, but far less about a mounting left-wing movement among Democrats,” Joel Kotkin writes at the Orange County Register. “While the media tends to dismiss the right-wingers of the GOP as ‘wingnuts,’ it typically refrains from categorizing even the extreme left of the Democratic Party in a similar manner.” Gee, wonder why?

But now many on the political left are openly critical of the president, notably for his close ties to the moguls of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. These moguls have been the predominant beneficiaries of his economic policies while middle-class incomes have continued to languish – and even fall.

This disenchantment can be seen among many professional progressives and their allies in the associated media. Michael Moore, for example, recently suggested that in the future Obama would be remembered simply for being the nation’s “first black president.” This disenchantment is also spreading to the Left’s grass-roots, with the president’s favorability ratings dropping even in such progressive bastions as New York and California.

This situation resembles that which conservatives confronted in the waning days of the Bush administration. Bush’s failure to construct a successful market-based economic agenda, as well as his ill-conceived foreign policy engendered widespread anger on the right. The initial Tea Party insurgency had its roots in the movement by Bush, a “big government conservative,” to bail out the nation’s giant financial institutions.

Now, it’s the Left’s turn to be disappointed, and some, such as liberal commentator Sally Kohn, suggest that it’s time to create their own progressive version of the Tea Party.* These liberal critics, correctly, in my view, have been mortified by the Obama administration coziness – taking a page from Bush – with large financial institutions as well as increasing inequality.

The new left Democrats have little interest in embracing Obama’s clever meme of portraying himself as a moderate, bipartisan figure, something that helped him both win suburban voters and raise a ton of money from parts of the corporate elite. Instead of expanding crony capitalism, which has been the Obama default, but the new Left openly seeks to reshape the economic system itself.

Don’t worry — I’m sure it will work this time, right?

* Didn’t we already have that with the debacle that was Occupy Wall Street in the fall of 2011? Not to mention, as Glenn Reynolds noted just a few months before OWS kicked off, similarly stillborn efforts as “the Coffee Party, the Brownbaggers, The Other 95%, A New Way Forward, the One Nation Movement — am I leaving any out? I can’t remember — and none of them has gone much beyond a spot of initial positive coverage from the NYT.” Which brings this post full circle with Kotkin’s observation at the start of his article on the MSM seeing nothing but Skittles and unicorns** and double rainbows when it observes the far left.

** Yes, that was intentional.

“Quarantine ends this week for NBC’s Nancy Snyderman — but she could be out of a job as thousands of viewers claim they no longer trust her,” the London Daily Mail reports:

Upon returning to the United States, Snyderman and her crew agreed to quarantine themselves for 21 days, the longest known incubation period for the disease. They have shown no symptoms.

Yet New Jersey health officials ruled that her quarantine should be mandatory after Snyderman and her crew were spotted getting takeout food from a New Jersey restaurant.

NBC won’t give details about who actually went into the restaurant, or even how many of its employees are being quarantined.

Snyderman issued a statement saying ‘members of our group’ violated their pledge.

More than 1,100 people have subsequently written on Snyderman’s Facebook page, many expressing anger.

There were suggestions she should be fired or lose her medical license, and some viewers said they wouldn’t trust her again.

Snyderman’s failure to be more specific about the lapse or take greater responsibility was another flashpoint.

Snyderman’s ‘arrogance and dismissiveness’ create a huge PR and credibility problem for NBC, said Kelly McBride, an expert on ethics for the journalism think tank the Poynter Institute.

Why would that start to be an issue now? Arrogance and dismissiveness are resume enhancers at NBC. Just ask Andrea Mitchell, Bob Costas, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell, or even perpetual NBC mascot Alec Baldwin. Perhaps Snyderman could ask those last three fellas to beat up any viewers that give her grief.

Tina Brown: That Was Then, This Is Now

October 20th, 2014 - 10:29 am

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Here’s Tina Brown on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, today. As Glenn Reynolds paraphrases at Instapundit, Tina told viewers that “Women Feel ‘Unsafe’ With Obama,” a statement that would be spun as dog whistle racism straight up just two years ago at that same channel:

“Economically, they’re feeling unsafe. With regard to ISIS, they’re feeling unsafe. They feel unsafe about Ebola. What they’re feeling unsafe about is the government response to different crises. And I think they’re beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who’s too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn’t put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he’s blaming everybody.”

Back on November 5th, 2008 though at the Daily Beast, Tina was singing a far different tune. Obama was “Magic,” her headline that day screamed; unfortunately, that headline was an abbreviation for “Magical Thinking:”

This has been an election full of magic. White Magic that only the black man from everywhere and nowhere could perform. Even his adored grandmother dying on the eve of the victory had a mythic feeling of completion to it in a candidacy full of signs and symbols. Remember the three-point basketball shot when he played with the soldiers in Kuwait? It’s as if Obama is the prince who lifts the curse in a fairy story, a curse that began eight years ago with an election wrenched away from the rightful winner and begetting as a consequence the wrathful visitation of tragedy and wars and hurricanes and economic collapse.

* * * * * * * *

His subtle guiding intelligence married to that uncanny connection to the fine-tuning of the zeitgeist made his campaign an unstoppable force before which everything fell away. The entertainment world saw it coming. This morning in the BBC Green Room, Richard Schiff, who played Toby Zeigler, the White House Communications Director on The West Wing, told me that in the 2004 series, Democratic candidate Matt Santos was based on Barack Obama. And, of course, Dennis Haysbert, who played the first President Palmer on FOX’s 24 further imagined for American audiences a black leader of the free world. Then the rest of the country caught up. You could almost feel the world spinning faster and faster in the last year, before it came to a stop in Chicago on November 4, 2008. As a new American, I pulled the lever for the first time and felt how lucky it was that it was this election I got to vote in. As I left the booth in the Catholic high school on East 56th street I felt as joyful and emotional as any Iraqi with a purple forefinger.

In retrospect, that last sentence was quite a nice touch, and an unintentional homage to what the man who preceded Obama in the White House had accomplished in spite of monolithic opposition from Tina and everyone else in the MSM, and how much his successor would be willing to discard in order to advance the leftwing narrative.

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

 

 

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

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

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

obama_plus_fours_3-19-11-2

BuzzFeed Accidently Gives MSM Game Away

October 17th, 2014 - 4:27 pm

“GOP rep: What if terrorists self-infect and bring Ebola into the U.S.?”, as spotted by Allahpundit at Hot Air, who notes:

This is posted at BuzzFeed without comment apart from a transcript, a classic way to imply “this is preposterous to a newsworthy degree” without actually having to explain why. Here’s Jonathan Last putting some meat on the bones of the idea Joe Wilson is expressing:

What’s to stop a jihadist from going to Liberia, getting himself infected, and then flying to New York and riding the subway until he keels over? This is just the biological warfare version of a suicide bomb. Can you imagine the consequences if someone with Ebola vomited in a New York City subway car? A flight from Roberts International in Monrovia to JFK in New York is less than $2,000, meaning that the planning and infrastructure needed for such an attack is relatively trivial. This scenario may be highly unlikely. But so were the September 11 attacks and the Richard Reid attempted shoe bombing, both of which resulted in the creation of a permanent security apparatus around airports. We take drastic precautions all the time, if the potential losses are serious enough, so long as officials are paying attention to the threat.

BuzzFeed’s point here, I guess, is that it’s bad form for a congressman to articulate this possibility even if plenty of Americans are already worried about it because that would be fearmongering, quite unlike what Democrats do routinely with climate change, the “war on women,” horsesh*t like this, etc etc. It’s one thing for the rank-and-file boobs on the right to see terrorists under every rock, it’s another for a man in power who’s, um, almost certainly going to be reelected anyway to broach the subject. But never mind that. What’s the actual argument for why Last’s point is stupid?

After 9/11, when he wasn’t accused of orchestrating the event himself by at least a third of Democrats, GWB was routinely crucified by the left for not being better prepared for a terrorist attack  on the World Trade Center. (As I think James Lileks noted years ago in one of his columns, plunging a 747 into the WTC is what just about everybody tries as a goof at least once soon after purchasing Microsoft’s “Flight Simulator” computer game.) But if Bush had been making speeches, starting from say, first running for national office in 1999 until September 10th, 2001 suggesting that the WTC was vulnerable to another terrorist attack, particularly an attack using multiple hijacked airliners by Jihadis on suicide missions, he’d have been looked at by the left, not the least of which their operatives with bylines, as a fear-mongering Strangelove-esque crank and anti-Muslim “racist,” in exactly the same way as GOP Rep. Wilson is being attacked today.

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Great Moments in Media Bias

October 17th, 2014 - 1:30 pm

Update: “The sad part of it all is that Dr. Paul is more qualified to talk about ebola than the administration’s ebola czar.” Heh, indeed.™

Our Source was the New York Times

October 16th, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Shot:

Experts who study public psychology say the next few weeks will be crucial to containing mounting anxiety. “Officials will have to be very, very careful,” said Paul Slovic, president of Decision Research, a nonprofit that studies public health and perceptions of threat. “Once trust starts to erode, the next time they tell you not to worry — you worry.”

“Experts Offer Steps for Avoiding Public Hysteria, a Different Contagious Threat,” the New York Times, today.

Chaser:

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about
this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office?
Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?

OBAMA: Now let me write this down.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I’ve got…

QUESTION: Surprised, troubled…

OBAMA: I’ve got — what was the first one?

QUESTION: Surprised.

OBAMA: Surprised. QUESTION: Troubled.

OBAMA: Troubled.

QUESTION: Enchanted.

OBAMA: Enchanted, nice.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: And humbled.

OBAMA: And what was the last one, humbled?

QUESTION: Humbled. Thank you, sir.

—Question asked by Jeff Zeleney, White House correspondent of the New York Times, at one of now-retired President Obama’s exceedingly rare press conferences, May 29th, 2009.

Related: Andrew Klavan: Helping the Pro-Obama Media Learn From the Past:

And don’t miss Rich Lowry on “The God That Failed,” which somehow made it over the transom with the Obama logo stuck onto it above the Politico’s front door: “Most of the magical powers once attributed to President Obama have proven illusory. Doing more than any other one person to revive the Republican Party, though, is a genuinely impressive feat.”

Who knew Obama’s slogan in 2008 was: We are the kleptocratic socialists we have been waiting for!

Stop the War on Women by Democrats and their operatives with bylines! The London Daily Mail reports:

Matt Lauer accused of ‘inhuman treatment and physically endangering the well-being of his wife so much that it was unsafe for her to live with him’ in 2006 divorce papers

  • In divorce papers filed by Annette Lauer in 2006, Matt Lauer is described as ‘extremely controlling’ and accused of ‘cruel and inhuman treatment.’
  • The papers also say that the popular host of Today valued his job more than his two children and wife.
  • They also state that Matt’s behavior ‘endangers the physical and mental well-being’ of Annette.
  • The papers were ultimately withdrawn three weeks after they were filed, and the couple just celebrated their 16-year wedding anniversary. 

The Daily Mail goes on to add, “The papers, obtained by The National Enquirer, also say that, ‘The conduct of [Matt] so endangers the physical and mental well-being of [Annette] so as to render it unsafe and improper for plaintiff to cohabit with defendant.’”

If the Enquirer is wrong on this story, Lauer should helicopter himself a.s.a.p. over to a veteran trial attorney and sue. Perhaps John Edwards will take the case

In other news from NBC’s War on Women, “Maid fired because her brother worked at soup restaurant that NBC chief medical correspondent visited in violation of Ebola quarantine.”

Quarantines are for the little people — NBC’s on-air talent must not be denied their soup, Ebola be damned!

The ‘Bam Who Fell To Earth

October 15th, 2014 - 10:42 pm
obama_ny_daily_news_2008_and_10-15-14-1-sml-2

Click to enlarge.

If only the New York Daily News had taken its own advice in 2008.

Embedding a large photo of the screaming “For God’s Sake, Get a Grip” headline on the front page of the Daily News tomorrow on President Ebola (sorry), Glenn Reynolds writes “It’s Come to This.” But it helps to flash back to the covers the Daily News ran during election week of 2008, to place Thursday’s cover into context. And to get a better sense of how absolutely all-in the center-left tabloid (as opposed to the increasingly zany and cult-like New York Times of the Pinch Sulzberger-era at least) went for Obama, to the point where its wealthy publisher claimed he wrote at least one speech for Barry.

The 2008 covers above, just a small example of the daily hagiography pumped out by the MSM back then, reflect a very different, but similarly self-destructive contagion that rapidly enveloped the MSM starting in early 2007. The virus began to subside around mid-2009, when it slowly became obvious that the MSM had sacrificed their credibility to elect a false messiah. But as a dangerous aftereffect to Obama fever, the MSM quickly turned viciously on its readers, in the form of their unceasing racialist attacks on the Tea Party and anyone who dared oppose The One. (There was a taste of this in 2008, when Bill and Hillary Clinton, once and future Democrat stalwarts, were similarly tarred as racists by the Democrat operatives with bylines.)

However the current story plays out, it’s far too late for Obama himself to get a grip on Ebola; he was never an executive, merely a socialist true believer, failed community organizer, and good teleprompter reader decked out with expensive taxpayer-funded bespoke suits. But he spoke the same language as the MSM, and like them, he had a (D) after his name, and that’s all that mattered.

After November, it will be fascinating to watch the MSM similarly go all-in to aid Hillary, and act as if 2008 never happened, and pretend that they had no role to play whatsoever in electing a president about to go as deep into the memory hole as Woodrow Wilson, and for similar reasons. It isn’t just that the MSM got things so wrong, it’s that they permanently shattered their credibility to make it happen. Don’t let them forget what they’d like the world to forget.

Related: With the headline, “Could It Possibly Get Any Worse?”, Roger L. Simon proves that he sure loves to tempt fate.