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Ed Driscoll

Oh, That Liberal Media!

“As its long downward ratings spiral accelerates, MSNBC is facing another problem that has plagued the news network for years: cleaning up after a highly incendiary comment by its on-air talent,” Eddie Scarry of the Washington Examiner notes:

The Lean Forward network’s rapid response Wednesday to an attack on country music by Ebony editor Jamilah Lemieux suggests MSNBC would like to dial back some of the full-bore leftism that has consistently failed to find an audience.

During an appearance on the talk show “Now,” Lemieux reacted to a statement by presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who recently said his appreciation for country grew after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Nothing says ‘Let’s go kill some Muslims’ like country music,” said Lemieux, who was sitting on the MSNBC panel as a guest.

In a change from previous incidents, which saw MSNBC respond only after furious reactions from other media, guest host Ari Melber, substituting for Alex Wagner, frowned at Lemieux and quickly defended the popular musical genre. Shortly afterward, Melber disavowed Lemieux’s comment on behalf of the network.

“A few minutes ago on this program, a guest made a comment about country music that was not appropriate,” Melber said on the air, “and we want to be clear this network does not condone it.”

That’s nice. Why should we believe you?

Entirely unrelated: “Chris Hayes Scores Worst Ratings In Decade, Still Beats CNN” — it’s a Red Queen’s Race to the bottom.

Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion

March 25th, 2015 - 11:36 am

“American soldier and former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion for allegedly walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009, Bergdahl’s attorney told ABC News today,” Yahoo reports:

President Obama called it a “good day” when Bergdahl was freed, but critics, including some high-ranking Republicans, loudly denounced the deal, likening it to negotiating with terrorists. Also, lawmakers complained that Congress had not been consulted about the exchange, as they said the law requires.

After Bergdahl’s dramatic return to the U.S., the Army launched an investigation into whether the soldier willfully left his post in Afghanistan before he was taken by the Taliban in 2009, as some Afghan war veterans alleged.

As we noted back at the time, the MSM performed quite a hatchet job on Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers when they came forward with details of his alleged desertion, reverting to Vietnam-era smear-the-troops form. In the Washington Examiner, Byron York wrote that all of these leftwing attacks could have been avoided, if the Obama White House had simply been straight with the American public for once:

So why did the White House send National Security Adviser Susan Rice to the Sunday shows to claim that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction”?

It wasn’t necessary. Rice, speaking for the White House, could have said something to the effect that “Bowe Bergdahl is a troubled young man who made a terrible mistake. Nevertheless, he is an American soldier, and the United States wants him back. The president had a difficult decision to make in balancing the release of the Taliban detainees with this country’s longstanding policy of not leaving U.S. forces behind in a war zone, no matter the circumstances.”

That would not have quieted the controversy over the Taliban trade; critics would still maintain it was a terrible precedent and will increase the danger to America and its allies around the world. And it would not have quieted the controversy over the administration’s decision not to inform Congress about the Taliban release, as specifically required by law. Lawmakers — including some in the president’s party — would still complain about that.

But it would have denied the administration’s critics a devastatingly effective argument. First, President Obama himself appeared with Bergdahl’s parents in rare Saturday remarks in the White House Rose Garden. And then Rice — who had been asked specifically about the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance — said, “He served the United States with honor and distinction.”

In another Sunday appearance, on CNN, Rice suggested Bergdahl had been “captured … on the battlefield” — a claim backed up by none of Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers with him the night he disappeared. The military fully investigated the Bergdahl case in the months after he disappeared in 2009. The investigation reportedly concluded that he had willfully abandoned his post.

And today’s news appears to very strongly confirm those allegations.

By the way, at the risk of playing the “I question the timing” game, the right shouldn’t let the reappearance of Bergdahl in the headlines allow them to take their eyes off of more current news at the intersection of the Obama White House and the Middle East, specifically, the collapse of Yemen and the looming horrific “deal” with Iran.

Update: As Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, “The deeper point of the Bergdahl swap, as Sean Davis reminds us, was to create a pretext for starting to empty Gitmo:”

Anyway, exit question: What are the odds that Obama will pardon Bergdahl? Seems hard to believe he’d take even more heat over this fiasco by letting him go free after he’s been credibly accused by so many soldiers not only of deserting but of indirectly costing several troops their lives during the ensuing search. But then, we already know that O’s in the “WGAF” phase of his presidency; letting Bergdahl go will anger people, but he can spin it with some nonsense about how poor Bowe’s suffered enough, how it’s time to move on, etc. Which, for the White House, it is. The sooner they can put this clusterfark behind them and move on to the next clusterfark, the better.

And with an administration insane enough to “negotiate” with Iran, there will be loads more of those to come.

Ron Fournier’s Racialist Rhetoric

March 25th, 2015 - 10:54 am

“Ron Fournier is a columnist for National Journal and a cable news mainstay who served as the Associated Press’ Washington bureau chief for years. In his new opinion-based role, he’s worked to carve out a niche as a ‘pox on both houses’ purveyor of common sense, a detector of BS, a practitioner of intellectual honesty, and Chief of the Civility Police,” Guy Benson writes at Townhall. Except when he’s not. “The Civility Police have an uneven concept of justice, it seems. Or perhaps Fournier simply has a soft spot for vicious insults that reference segregation:”

Would Fournier have thrown up his hands and recommended that opponents of, say, the Fugitive Slave Act abandon their convictions? Fournier didn’t take kindly to such questions, berating his inquisitors for “comparing” Obamacare to an issue like slavery. That’s not what they were doing, of course. They were proving the point that not all laws must be automatically accepted and embraced once they’ve been passed. Obamacare happens to be a law that has never enjoyed the consent of the governed, has violated almost every core pledge made in its marketing campaign, and that continues to harm far more people than it’s helped.  When Sean Davis, a writer for The Federalist, jumped into the discussion with a provocatively-worded rebuttal, an exasperated Fournier went straight for the jugular:

See tweet at top of post. As Benson writes:

Davis, a thirty-something conservative who was born long after this country’s worst racial days, has never breathed a word remotely in support of the rank immorality of racial segregation.  But because he’s on the Right, and segregation is (note the present tense) the Right’s “gig” (never mind the Democrats’ sordid racial history), clubbing Davis with this conversation-ending slander was apparently fair game in Fournier’s mind.

It’s certainly not the first time Ron’s dropped the mask and played the race card.

And note that the day after Fournier dropped his race bomb, a much younger National Journal contributor smeared a scientist as a de facto Holocaust denier and wallowed in a nasty case of Koch Derangement Syndrome. Obviously the newbies there know they can get away with rhetorical murder based on the low behavior of the old pros there, but they’re both disgusting outbursts from representatives of a publication that went all in on the new civility bandwagon in 2011.

Update: Of course, Fournier is far from the only racialist working on the MSM:


Quotes of the Day

March 24th, 2015 - 5:01 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. In the wake of the January 2011 shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and over a dozen others, which the MSM immediately and erroneously blamed on Sarah Palin’s clip art, the MSM rushed in lockstep to condemn violent rhetoric, and demanded that both politicians and the media censor themselves. One contributor to the left-leaning publication National Journal insisted that violent rhetoric should be treated in the same fashion “that we’ve stopped using certain epithets like the ‘n’-word public forums:”

National Journal’s Michael Hirsh wants to raise the bar on decorum to an entirely new level. On Thursday’s MSNBC airing of “Hardball,” Hirsh told host Chris Matthews certain “gun” terms should be stricken from political discourse…His proposal? Make such language inappropriate in the same racial slurs are inappropriate.

“That’s the kind of language I think we got to have a hard think about now,” Hirsh said. “Do we really want to continue to use that kind of language at these levels? Or, should there be kind of a social sanction, not a legal one, but a moral sanction in the way that we’ve stopped using certain epithets like the ‘n’-word public forums. Stop using that kind of language, those kinds of metaphors.”

Certainly, many would view comparing someone to a Holocaust denier a slur that’s in the same league with violent, eliminationist rhetoric. Which makes this passage in a new National Journal article written by a young socialist justice warrior posing as a journalist highly problematic, in a piece titled “Scientists Tell Smithsonian to Ditch Koch Money.” (Link safe, goes to Twitchy):

The push arrives amid revelations that Smithsonian scientist and climate-denier Wei-Hock Soon raked in roughly $1.2 million dollars from the fossil-fuel industry while failing to disclose a conflict of interest. One of the founders of Soon’s research was the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

Does Mr. Soon deny that the climate exists? Now that would be news! In the interim, we await the layers and layers of editors and fact checkers at National Journal to condemn the use of a metaphor freighted with such a violent subtext. But we won’t hold our breath:

Related: “Reporters Explain Why Balance Isn’t Needed On Global Warming.”

Since the MSM long ago exited the profession of journalism in order to be Democrat operatives with bylines, are there any topics still left in which the MSM wishes to be fair and balanced (to coin a slogan) when discussing?

“Victory! Headline News Is No Longer a Cable News Channel,” declares John Nolte of Big Journalism, the Website created by the late Andrew Breitbart and our own Michael Walsh:

For years, for 10 to 12 hours a day, I’ve monitored Headline News (HLN). Over time, again without really noticing, I’ve monitored it less and less. Now I don’t monitor it all because we’ve won — HLN is no longer a cable news channel.

What brought this victory to my attention was “Forensic Files,” a reality crime show I’ve been in love with for more than a decade. Since it’s been a while, I decided to watch the series again, and set my DVR accordingly. In less than three days, by Monday afternoon, I had nearly 60 half-hour episodes — all reruns of a show that went off the air in 2011, all recorded from Headline News (HLN).

Whoa, hey, what’s going on here?

Years ago, in half-hour blocks, HLN relentlessly drove and repeated its mother ship’s propaganda. No more. Headline News identifies itself today as a “national television network that focuses on the must-see, must-share stories of the day.”

With MSNBC and CNN, the ratings just couldn’t sustain yet-another left-wing, 24/7 cable news network covering all the same stories in all the same way. So *poof* HLN is gone, toast, over and done; and now it’s just another reality show channel with around 225,000 to 275,000 total viewers and the bare minimum of 100,000 demo viewers.

To understand how radical a shift this is, it helps to go back to the mid-to-late 1980s, when cable TV news came in only two flavors: CNN and Headline News. You went to Headline News for the AM news radio-style half-hour coverage of current events, and CNN for the “in-depth” (read: liberal talking points) coverage. Back then, Headline News prided itself on being the home of Lynne Russell, the first woman to anchor a news show on cable TV. These days, Russell is sounding the alarm over what has happened to her old home base:

Well, that audience has wondered that as well; that’s why they’ve tuned out. As Nolte writes, “One CNN cable news network down, one to go.”


It’s less clear that CNN is any less likely to make the same mistakes the next time a racially charged shooting takes place somewhere in America.  If there is any hope of CNN doing better next time, it comes from something Brian Stelter said midway through the discussion:

The eyewitnesses that didn’t speak to the press, the ones that were intimidated. According to the DOJ, witnesses that didn’t want to come forward, those are the voices we didn’t hear in the news coverage. And that’s a lesson for journalists, that we weren’t hearing every witness’ point of view.

This is an important point but Stelter doesn’t go nearly far enough with it. His statement makes the process of getting accurate information sound passive, as if the eyewitnesses who did and did not come forward did so independent of any outside concern or pressure. But the DOJ report makes clear there was an underlying connection between witness intimidation and bad reporting. Witnesses were already afraid to contradict those who were pushing “Hands up, don’t shoot,”  but the media, CNN included, raised the stakes by amplifying that narrative across the airwaves. In other words, CNN‘s own flawed reporting exacerbated the problem and played a role in suppressing the truth.

“CNN Misses: ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Narrative Suppressed the Truth,” John Sexton, Big Journalism, Saturday.


CNN reporter Sara Ganim agreed with one of Hostin’s conclusions centered on her fear that “Jackie’s” experience might lead other victims of sexual assault to stay quiet about their experiences. When too many women who are victims of sexual assault already refuse to come forward, her concerns are valid and should be shared by everyone. But if “Jackie’s” story makes some alleged assault victims refuse to come forward, who is to blame? The university that stripped fraternities of the right to operate on campus in the wake of this story, only to backtrack when the tale was proven inaccurate? The police, who diligently investigated this assault and found no evidence to back up Rolling Stone’s claims? The reporters and editors who shed their journalistic instincts and reported on this erroneous tale? Or the subject of this supposed assault that caused a lot of undue pain and hardship for some unknown gain?

The only victims in this story were the men who were falsely accused of assault and had their lives turned upside down over nothing. To refuse to acknowledge that “Jackie” caused a lot of people undue trauma is the only thing that remotely constitutes “victim blaming” here.

For most people, the response to today’s press conference by Charlottesville police is to react with sadness over the plight of those young men who had their names besmirched. They endured quite a bit of unnecessary suffering for the sake of a dubious victimization narrative favored by some grossly irresponsible voices in the media. The UVA rape fable reflects poorly on many in the press, and it would be wise of these and other commentators to bury their pride, acknowledge the mistakes, and stop the bleeding.

“Watch: CNN’ers having a hard time coming to terms with implosion of Rolling Stone’s rape story,” Noah Rothman, Hot Air, today.


You stay classy, CNN.

Their Source was the New York Times

March 22nd, 2015 - 9:42 am


The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

* * * * * * *

The confusion is telling, though. It shows that while keeping college-level discussions “safe” may feel good to the hypersensitive, it’s bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled. What will they do when they hear opinions they’ve learned to shrink from? If they want to change the world, how will they learn to persuade people to join them?

* * * * * * *

But why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame. Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, wrote on Slate last month that although universities cosset students more than they used to, that’s what they have to do, because today’s undergraduates are more puerile than their predecessors. “Perhaps overprogrammed children engineered to the specifications of college admissions offices no longer experience the risks and challenges that breed maturity,” he wrote. But “if college students are children, then they should be protected like children.”

“In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas,” Judith Shulevitz, the New York Times, yesterday.


Today is a red-letter day for the New York Times. For the first time, the paper has reported in its news section that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright once uttered the phrase “God damn America.” Wright’s comments were widely reported and widely discussed beginning with an ABC News report six months ago. Barack Obama even had to give a much-publicized speech because of those words, and others. But the newspaper of record has never seen fit to publish Wright’s quote in its news pages. Until today.

If my search of the Nexis database is correct, Wright’s quote first appeared in the Times in a column by Bill Kristol on March 17.  It was mentioned again in a column by Maureen Dowd on March 23.  It appeared in an editorial on April 26.  It appeared in a column by the public editor on May 4, and also in an article in the Week in Review section on that same day.

But never in the front section of the paper. Until now. As with the April 26 editorial, today’s mention of “God damn America” is in the context of reporting on attack ads targeting Obama. But still, it’s there, on page one, for the first time.

Byron York, then with National Review, September 24th, 2008.

Related: News you can use:

More: And speaking of creating safe zones for their readers, at least until it’s too late:

It’s always fun watching modern-day “Progressives” wrestle and explain away, Ministry of Truth-style, their ideology’s dark race-obsessed past. PolitiFact, the left-wing opinion Website site set up by Tampa Bay Times notes that “NH Rep. Bill O’Brien says Margaret Sanger was active participant in KKK.” But hey, it’s OK, because she merely gave speeches to them:

Debates about Planned Parenthood often find their way back to Margaret Sanger, the outspoken birth control advocate who founded a forerunner to the group.

Opponents of Planned Parenthood, and of abortion more generally, have seized on Sanger’s sometimes controversial beliefs as a way to discredit the organization that she helped found. Such was the case on Feb. 8, 2015, when former New Hampshire speaker of the House William O’Brien posted a lengthy online comment about a previous fact check.

O’Brien writes, in his first paragraph: “In language that would only occur to one of the liberal elite, here is what Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and an active participant in the Klu Klux Klan and the eugenics movement, had to say about the immigrants, blacks and poor people for whom that organization’s services were targeted,” going on to quote Sanger as saying they were “human beings who never should have been born.”

That’s a lot to unpack.

There is little question that Sanger supported the eugenics movement (more on that later), but one statement really stuck out. Sanger was “an active participant in the Ku Klux Klan.”

PolitiFact NH decided to check it out.

It turns out, Sanger did speak to a group connected to the KKK and wrote about it openly. In Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, published in 1938, Sanger details her work advocating birth control across the United States and emphasizes her willingness to talk to virtually anyone.

“Always to me any aroused group was a good group,” Sanger writes, “and therefore I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey, one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.”

**********It’s important to note that the Women of the Ku Klux Klan was not the KKK itself. It was a parallel, official organization, with branches in all 48 states. It supported the goals of the men’s group, and was based in Little Rock, Ark.

And that’s a far cry from being an “active participant” in the Ku Klux Klan, as O’Brien claims.

As for Sanger, she indeed supported the eugenics movement.

While the notion that the human race could be perfected by better breeding led to a horrific outcome in the Holocaust, it had been widely accepted in progressive, reformist political circles. Supporters included Winston Churchill, H. G. Wells, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, George Bernard Shaw and economist John Maynard Keynes. And while he disagreed with and worked to debunk eugenicists who insisted on black people’s inferiority, African-American activist W. E. B. Du Bois subscribed to a number of the movement’s principles.

In other words, supporting eugenics did not automatically equal racism. Jean H. Baker, who wrote the biography Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion and is the Bennett-Harwood professor of history at Goucher College in Maryland, says attempts to paint Sanger as a bigot are simply false.

This is positively Orwellian — the very definition of eugenics, an early 20th century movement embraced by self-styled “Progressives” on both sides of the Atlantic, implies breeding out races deemed “inferior” and strengthening those deemed acceptable. Or as Jonah Goldberg wrote in “A Dark Past: Contraception, abortion, and the eugenics movement:”

One of Sanger’s closest friends and influential colleagues was the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. In the book he offered his solution for the threat posed by the darker races: “Just as we isolate bacterial invasions, and starve out the bacteria, by limiting the area and amount of their food supply, so we can compel an inferior race to remain in its native habitat.” When the book came out, Sanger was sufficiently impressed to invite him to join the board of directors of the American Birth Control League.

* * * * * * * * *

n 1939 Sanger created the above-mentioned “Negro Project,” which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control. Through the Birth Control Federation, she hired black ministers (including the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr.), doctors, and other leaders to help pare down the supposedly surplus black population. The project’s racist intent is beyond doubt. “The mass of significant Negroes,” read the project’s report, “still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes…is [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Sanger’s intent is shocking today, but she recognized its extreme radicalism even then. “We do not want word to go out,” she wrote to a colleague, “that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

And 75 years later, Politifact is still eager to play along, “Unexpectedly.”

Oh and by the way, Sanger was playing up her obsession with abortion and population control even after World War II, a battle that between eugenics and more conventional warfare, helped to reduce the population by 60 million. That”s her being interviewed by England’s Pathe News Agency in 1947, under her married name, Margaret Slee:

“O’Brien’s claim goes far beyond the evidence. We rate the statement False,” Polti-”fact” claims, happy to hide as much evidence as possible that the religion of “Progressivism” was built on the original sin of both Eugenics and the Klan.

You go, MoDo!

Since open letters to secretive and duplicitous regimes are in fashion, we would like to post an Open Letter to the Leaders of the Clinton Republic of Chappaqua:

It has come to our attention while observing your machinations during your attempted restoration that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our democracy: The importance of preserving historical records and the ill-advised gluttony of an American feminist icon wallowing in regressive Middle Eastern states’ payola.

You should seriously consider these characteristics of our nation as the Campaign-That-Must-Not-Be-Named progresses.

If you, Hillary Rodham Clinton, are willing to cite your mother’s funeral to get sympathy for ill-advisedly deleting 30,000 emails, it just makes us want to sigh: O.K., just take it. If you want it that bad, go ahead and be president and leave us in peace. (Or war, if you have your hawkish way.) You’re still idling on the runway, but we’re already jet-lagged. It’s all so drearily familiar that I know we’re only moments away from James Carville writing a column in David Brock’s Media Matters, headlined, “In Private, Hillary’s Really a Hoot.”

To be fair, assuming Hillary’s sufficiently lubricated, that might be the only true thing Brock would have ever written.

(Via SDA)

Ted Cruz today? No, try Bobby Kennedy in 1968.

That’s how old the left’s doomsday rhetoric is; the actual causes come and go — pollution, acid rain, global cooling, global warming, generic climate change, whatever. The end result is that the world will soon come to end — unless we elect socialist politicians who pretend to be a cross between scientists, mystical clerics and slide rule technocrats. Or as I wrote a couple of years ago, linking to Bobby’s speech in ’68, Carter’s malaise speech a decade later, and Obama’s Dr. Strangelove-esque “science” “czar” John Holdren, “Welcome Back My Friends to the Malaise that Never Ends.”

Regarding Cruz, as Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, “Today’s top story: Three-year-old hears Ted Cruz say that the world is on fire:”

To cleanse the palate, I’m not joking with that headline. Thanks to lefty boredom on a slow news day, the fake outrage over this has propelled it to the toppermost of the poppermost on Memeorandum. (Sample hed via Dave Weigel: “Ted Cruz Shouts Insane Rhetoric At Terrified Little Girl In New Hampshire.”) Which is funny, because the only thing distinguishing Cruz’s line from something you or your three-year-old might hear in a stock Democratic speech about climate change is the hopeful note Cruz sounds at the end. Hopenchange will come and go but melting glaciers are forever. Put away the jumprope and start thinking about boat designs, Janie.

Someday the left will realize that it scaremongers as much as the right does, frequently about much sillier things, but today is not that day.

When does that reckoning ever arrive? With Al Gore muttering lunatics pronouncements such his goal to “Punish Climate-Change Deniers,” while pocketing $100 mil from Big Oil, a little reflection is long overdue.

Ferguson Home Values Plummeting

March 16th, 2015 - 12:06 pm

Fusion, a Website that’s an, err fusion between Univision and ABC/Disney is shocked that Ferguson real estate prices are “Down nearly 50 percent since Michael Brown’s death.” There’s more than a hint of bias in that subhead, as the cause wasn’t Brown’s death after he slugged a convenience store clerk and attempted to steal a police officer’s gun, but the riots and looting that followed — which were another kind of media fusion, ginned up by via the minicams of CNN and fueled further by NBC anchorman Al Sharpton’s corrosive presence:

[John] Zisser, 55, has owned and operated Zisser’s Tires in this city since 1987. He says the still-visible damage from the November protests that followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown is hurting property owners. His store’s insurance is in the process of being cancelled after it was twice vandalized during the unrest, he says.

“If I sold this place today, I could probably get $300,000 for it, if anyone is crazy enough to buy. Last year, the county said this lot was worth almost a million,” he says. “The value here is all going down. There’s about nine burnt-out buildings this way,” he says, pointing. “And about four more behind me.”

Zisser is one of many Ferguson residents feeling a financial toll from the months of protests, media attention, and now another high-profile shooting. They’re worried not just about their own situations, but about the city coffers, too. The future of Ferguson, they say, is anyone’s guess.

“How much money are we going to lose?” Zisser asks. “How much money is the city and the county going to lose in taxes because of this? And how much is the school district going to lose here? They’re the biggest losers.”

Not at all “unexpectedly,” of course, as Fred Siegel warned in August of last year at City Journal:

Riots bring but one certainty—enormous economic and social costs. Businesses flee, taking jobs and tax revenues with them. Home values decline for all races, but particularly for blacks. Insurance costs rise and civic morale collapses. The black and white middle classes move out. Despite its busy port and enormous geographic assets, Newark, New Jersey has never fully recovered from its 1967 riot. This year, Newark elected as its mayor Ras Baraka, the son and political heir of Amiri Baraka—the intellectual inspiration for the 1967 unrest.

The story is similar in Detroit, which lost half its residents between 1967 and 2000. Civic authority was never restored after the late 1960s riots, which never really ended; they just continued in slow motion. “It got decided a long time ago in Detroit,” explained Adolph Mongo, advisor to the jailed former “hip-hop mayor,” Kwame Kilpatrick, that “the city belongs to the black man. The white man was a convenient target until there were no white men left in Detroit.” The upshot, explained Sam Riddle, an advisor to current congressman John Conyers, first elected in 1965, is that “the only difference between Detroit and the Third World in terms of corruption is that Detroit don’t have no goats in the streets.”

“No doubt little will be learned from Ferguson. No doubt there will be more Fergusons,” Siegel concluded. We’ve seen Ferguson’ possible future. And it’s not at all pretty:


Between feminists, environmentalists, and the Occupy Wall Street crowd, this photo is an endless hate crime to the left. (Shutterstock.com)

Gee, didn’t we resolve this one by the end of the 1970s? I thought even the most strident of feminists eventually came to the conclusion that they liked having doors held open for them by men. Are we going to refight this backwater skirmish in the culture war yet again?

I guess so. First up, the shot:

If you’re the sort of gentleman who holds the door open for a lady – or the sort of woman who expects him to – then be warned.

Such acts of chivalry may actually be ‘benevolent sexism’ in disguise, according to researchers.

Experts say this type of sexism is harder to spot than the ‘hostile sexism’ we are more familiar with – because it often masquerades as gallantry. It is typified by paternal and protective behaviour, from encouraging smiles to holding doors open.

US researchers argue that while women may enjoy being showered with attention, benevolent sexism is ‘insidious’ and men who are guilty of it see women as incompetent beings who require their ‘cherished protection’.

Professor Judith Hall, of Northeastern University in Boston, said: ‘Benevolent sexism is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing that perpetuates support for gender inequality among women.

‘These supposed gestures of good faith may entice women to accept the status quo in society because sexism literally looks welcoming, appealing and harmless.’ [So a variation on the false consciousness trope that socialists have been claiming only they can spot since the days of Friedrich Engels 120 years ago. Gotcha.--Ed]

“Why chivalry may not always be what it seems: Men who hold doors open and smile may actually be sexist, study claims,” the London Daily Mail yesterday, in their Science & Tech(!) department. (Shades of Ace’s recent “I Love Science Sexually” Twitter persona.)

And now the chaser:

Almost every time a pop-feminist critiques science or a scientific study, their argument is built on a strawman. In general, pop-feminists misrepresent published scientific work without providing links to primary sources. Pop-feminist articles (found here and here) are generally put-together wholly from second-hand material – stories about studies – not the studies themselves. Not only is this bad feminist critique; it is bad journalism.

It is ironic that in 2014, the women who confirm Thomas Gisborne’s eighteenth century sentiments are feminists who enjoy the most media privilege. (Academics in gender tucked away in universities all over the world, have used close application to develop nuanced ideas). Pop-feminists have not.

And it is sad that we have reached a point where to criticise anything labelled as “feminist” is to invite a slur on one’s character. Slurs of  “sexism” are ubiquitous. Any disagreement – no matter how sensible – is “trolling,” “abuse” a “backlash” or a “silencing”. Women like me, who simply call for feminism to rediscover Enlightenment principles, are labelled “female misogynists” on Twitter. But the slurs really must stop. Writers who wear their ignorance as a badge of honour are not models of empowerment. News outlets should not have to disrespect women’s intelligence to make their platforms viable.

“Bad Feminism,” Australian blogger Claire Lehmann, March 5th. Always nice to see a bogus study “prebutted” the week before it runs. But if some women want to go through life believing that every man who holds a door for them and/or smiles at them is “insidious” and secretly believes they’re “incompetent,” hey, have at it. Sounds like both a self-fulfilling prophesy and a recipe to go through life in a perpetually miserable mood.

Speaking of which, that last sentence we quoted from Lehmann dovetails well with two items making the rounds on the Blogosphere today, which we’ll explore right after the page break. I’d click the page break for you, but that would be highly problematic on so many, many, multifaceted levels.

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NBC Anchorwoman: Leave Hillary Alone!

March 11th, 2015 - 1:32 pm

“Maddow: Media idiots don’t ‘know how to talk about’ the Clintons,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

“There are some analogs for the rest of us in mortal life* in terms of thinking about Hillary Clinton,” Maddow said after noting that, just like Hillary, MSNBC made her carry two devices in 2009 in order to be able to access her work and personal email accounts. “But the political truth of it is that there is no analog in mortal life to Hillary Clinton as a political being.”

* * * * * * *

“Seeing the scrum this week, and a lot of the stupidity in the coverage around this issue, I worry about whether we’re going to be well-served by a Beltway press corps that doesn’t know how to talk about either Bill or Hillary Clinton without treading into real nonsense,” she closed.

You hear that, members of the political press? Even after more than two decades, you don’t know how to talk about the Clintons without sounding like conspiratorial fools. Rachel Maddow would like to provide some tips for you so that you can more effectively do your jobs in her eyes.

Maybe Maddow failed to recall that she indulged in some bizarre theorizing of her own when she suggested that Christie ordered the GWB lane closures due to an arcane fight with the legislature over Supreme Court nominees. Perhaps she forgot that even Bill Maher admonished her for being admittedly “unapologetically” “obsessed” with the bridge scandal that went precisely nowhere.

Wow, at least Al Gore waited until after the Democrats lost before springing the conservative media bias spin, which is what Maddow’s bizarre dissembling strongly resembles. (And given that she’s described herself as “someone who’s roughly to the left of Mao.” she’s very likely one of those people who thinks the New York Times and NPR lean so far to the right they’re anarchic libertarians.)

Plus I like the references to “the rest of us in mortal life.” So Hillary is God? I thought Obama was God — and I don’t recall Obama or his immediate circle treating Hillary so worshipfully in 2007 and 2008:

And that first salvo from the Obama campaign treated Hillary with kid gloves compared to how she was described a year later in Obama’s Chicago church:

Father Pfleger’s May 2008 rant in Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, “the Obama family church,” as the Chicago Sun-Times noted (until — poof!it wasn’t) and Maddow’s worshipful praise of Hillary are reminders that, “There Is No Such Thing as a Secular Politics,” as Seth Mandel writes at Commentary, “Liberalism, especially in the age of Obama, is a deeply religious movement.”

Bill Clinton could seem like a Southern televangelist (in more ways than one…) with his “I feel your pain” Elmer Gantry routine. Obama could make a similar shtick work on the pulpit in 2008; Hillary is a deeply flawed retail front woman for a party that treats politics like a religion.

Of course, there’s always feminism for Hillary to fall back on. And speaking of which, as Charles Hurt asks in the Washington Times, “Are we ready for 10 more years of wrath from the eternal Woman Scorned?”

Update: Maddow’s use of the word “analog” and Hillary does seam appropriate though:

‘There is Never a Reckoning for the Left’

March 10th, 2015 - 12:42 pm

“The Left’s Mess in Venezuela,” as analyzed by Kevin D. Williamson:

There is never a reckoning for the Left. An entire generation of American intellectuals found itself enraptured by the brutal, repressive, terroristic political apparatus of the Soviet Union — not only journalistic enablers like Walter Duranty of the Times and the various Hollywood reds and Communist party operatives, but the purportedly enlightened liberals at The New Republic, who were consistent apologists for Soviet brutality at home and abroad at the height of Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror. Scores of Americans, some of them in high government office, were working on behalf of one of history’s most murderous and repressive regimes — and the bad guys in that story are, in the popular imagination, the people who worked to expose that conspiracy, rather than the people who worked to advance it.

Noam Chomsky has for decades been in the business of peddling excuses for every gang of murderers flying his preferred flag — the Khmer Rouge, the Sandinistas, and Mao Zedong’s regime among them. Professor Chomsky was, while it suited him, literally a holocaust denier — a denier of a Communist holocaust rather than a National-Socialist one. Jane Fonda was a game propagandist for the murderous Beijing-backed regime in Vietnam and proclaimed that if we really understood Communism we’d be “on our knees praying” for it. (On our knees: The Left always tells us what it wants, if we’re listening.)

The sundry Communist regimes coddled and celebrated by the American Left managed to kill something on the order of 100 million people during the 20th century. Consider that a lesson unlearnt: In our own time, the anti-fracking movement does the bidding of ex-KGB boss Vladimir Putin’s regime, and so-called progressives such as Thom Hartmann are quite pleased to work hand-in-glove with a Kremlin-backed propaganda network.

Things will come to a bad end in Venezuela. Sean Penn won’t be there for it, and neither will Chaka Fattah. Perhaps the ghost of Walter Duranty will file a report.

Certainly the successors to Fox Butterfield, a more recent bassackwards socialist Timesman have been filing their reports:

“Venezuela is now the world champion of inflation, homicide, insecurity, and shortages of essential goods–from milk for children to insulin for diabetics and all kinds of indispensable products. All this despite having the greatest oil reserves in the world and a government with absolute control of all state institutions and levers of power.”–Moisés Naim, TheAtlantic.com, Feb. 25

—As spotted by James Taranto in his Best of the Web column last year.

And for those who can’t spot the glaring logical fallacy in the quote above, a rereading of Kevin’s Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism is well in order.

Logan’s Run

March 10th, 2015 - 12:21 pm

“By interfering with the negotiation, the 47 Senators have violated the terms of the Logan Act,” is the second trope knocked aside by John Podhoretz in “2 Wrongheaded Liberal Takes on the Cotton Letter” at Commentary:

But turning the Logan Act on Senate Republicans is a genuinely hilarious bit of rank hypocrisy for liberals and Democrats to make, since almost every incidence of foreign-policy freebooting against an administration’s efforts in the modern era has come from the Left, and the outrage generated by such efforts—by Jesse Jackson in Syria in 1984, by Congressional Republicans in Nicaragua throughout the 1980s, by Rep. Jim McDermott in Iraq in 2003, by Jimmy Carter with Hamas in 2008. The silence at the time when it came to these acts of “interference” with Presidential foreign policy on the part of liberals and the media were deafening.

Not the least of which was Teddy Kennedy attempting to negotiate with the Soviet Union to undermine Reagan in the ’84 election.

“Oh, two last things for those trying to pin a Logan Act violation on the GOP for this one,” from Moe Lane:

One, you’re all a bunch of pig-ignorant doofuses (doofusi?).  Two, the reason why you’re all a bunch of pig-ignorant doofuses (doofi?) is because “The Logan Act doesn’t prevent members of Congress from speaking to foreign governments.”  As was noted by… Media Matters for America.  And here’s the screenshot, for when they take that entry down (H/T to @hunterpearce for that one). Mind you, the Constitution takes precedent over this one anyway, which is why the more rabid elements of the Left are screaming so loudly.  Well, and because they’re all a bunch of pig-ignorant doofuses (I should just stop trying to make that word operate under another language’s grammatical rules)*…

Meanwhile, staffers at the New York Daily News are busy pondering if Obamacare covers neck braces from the horrible case of whiplash caused by this 180 degree spin, as spotted by John Nolte at Big Journalism:

  1. Just a few weeks ago, The Daily News spent days blasting away at former-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for expressing his personal opinion of President Obama’s patriotism in what he thought was a private setting.
  2. For writing an open letter to the Iranians, on its front cover Tuesday morning, the Daily News blasted 47 Republican Senators, including decorated war veteran Tom Cotton, as “Traitors.”
  3. The New York Daily News advertises itself as an objective media outlet.

Of course, both of those headlines can be boiled down to a single root cause:

Update: “Time to reset the Vox ‘days without an error’ clock.”

Don’t Ever Change, Newsweek

March 9th, 2015 - 2:08 pm

No matter who’s running the show, whether it’s the Washington Post, Tina Brown, or these days, the International Business Times, (quite an interesting venture in and of itself) Newsweek remains a bedrock of continual insanity in this ever-changing world in which we live in, to coin a phrase:

Gosh, what could go wrong?


“Last summer, around the time Chuck Todd took over as moderator of Meet the Press, several staffers recalled that Williams told him: ‘At least your ghost is dead. Mine is still walking the building,’” That’s from New York Magazine’s “(Actually) True War Stories at NBC News,” in which Brian Williams was forced to deal with the reputation of Tom Brokaw as a more beloved newsreader than himself. Which might explain why his strongest goal in television was leaving the news media for the entertainment division, and becoming the next Chevy Chase or Letterman at NBC rather than being the next Brokaw.

And note this:

The assignment of persuading Williams to continue to play the part of anchor fell to NBC News president Deborah Turness. A talented 47-year-old British TV-news executive, Turness had been at NBC for a year and a half. News chair Patricia Fili-Krushel hired her in May 2013 with the stated mandate to reverse ratings crises at Meet the Press and Today and the ­unspoken goal of busting up the boys’ club that had dominated network news in general and NBC News in particular. (Fili-Krushel and ­Turness declined to comment.)

Turness had long ago proved she could run with the boys. In her career at Britain’s ITV, she’d covered wars and Washington and risen through the ranks to run the news division. She was known for her tenacity. “She almost became a pain in the ass. She wouldn’t let an idea go,” says ITV chief newscaster Mark Austin. At Nightly News, Turness set about hiring more diverse correspondents and pushing for bigger exclusives, but she ran up against resistance from Williams, who was used to running his show his way. Like his predecessor Brokaw, Williams held the titles of anchor and managing editor, meaning he had final say over all the show’s content. Last summer, with ABC World News eating into Nightly’s ratings, Turness told Williams to tape more live promos, a suggestion that infuriated the anchor, according to a source. But eventually, thanks in part to some effusive praise in a presentation to advertisers in the fall, Turness won him over. Over the holidays, Williams would even send her an optimistic note, according to a friend: “2015 is going to be our year together.”

Near the end of the night at Del Posto, Turness raised her glass and presented Williams with a gift: Edward R. Murrow’s mahogany writing table. Weeks earlier, Matt Lauer had told her that the 1940s desk was for sale at an L.A. antiques dealer. The catalogue listing said: “This venerable signed desk with its special, unique provenance can be yours, assisting you in becoming the next greatest icon within your own chosen industry!” Turness hoped it would remind Williams that he was America’s most trusted anchor—the Murrow of his day. He shouldn’t give that up to be Jimmy Fallon.

But over the last decade, everyone from Jon Stewart to Keith Olbermann to Joy Behar has been dubbed “the Murrow of his day” at one point or another during their careers. Murrow earned his rep by actually doing stuff; today’s MSM throws the title around to anyone handed a microphone.

Which explains much about the politicians to which they eagerly play palace guard, of course.



Peak Millennial Narcissism Reached

March 7th, 2015 - 3:43 pm

“I Hate Myself Because I Don’t Work For BuzzFeed,” writes an anonymous young journalist at rival Website The Awl, on the unbelievably self-absorbed young people in new media who make the cat videos run on time. Certainly the first three words of her headline are true:

Part (just PART) of the reason I feel this way is because media culture is just so f***ed up and horrible. It’s so status-obsessed that I literally don’t know what to do. It’s making me hate myself. If you’re not part of the main media Twitter clique (the people who get custom-made twitter avatars from @darth—that clique) then what’s the point of even being part of the media? It’s just so hard to shake the desire to be these people (both BuzzFeed people and famous Internet people). Like if you can’t be Mallory Ortberg, Lindsey Adler, Gabby Dunn, or Amber Gordon (or like dozens of other super popular people) then what’s the point in even doing this? This business (a boy’s club, still) is hard enough for a woman but it’s even harder when you’re not social and not good at networking. Yet that seems to be the only skill that matters here—that and producing as many pageviews as possible regardless of ethics or quality. I hate myself for being some second-rate content regurgitator and listicle-producer but what else can I do?

I just… I hate this—my life. I hate living where I do (where literally every other media person lives, take a guess). I hate the media’s culture. I hate the media in general. I didn’t used to but working in it for the last few years has taught me to. I mean this business is so f***ed up and I don’t understand how anyone could say otherwise… unless they work at BuzzFeed where literally everything is perfect and the industry is in great shape because you get free s***, never get fired, traffic is always going up, and the money never ends. But at the same time, I majored in this (journalism) and basically became obsessed with this to the point where I don’t know how to do anything else, and I’d certainly NEVER want to work in advertising or PR where it’s probably even worse. I don’t even know what else I’m interested in though. I just know that I devoted my life to a craft I hate and to a business that’s corrupt, insane, insensitive, sexist, and demeaning (unless you work for…).

As Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon tweets, “Not to go all Tyler Durden on her, but you are more than your GD job. And if you feel like you aren’t? Seek some help. Seriously.”

Exactly. Might want to get step back and obtain a little distance, young distaff Internet zek. Because you sound exactly like the gang that William Shatner reads the riot act to here, crossed with Jan Brady in full “Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!” mode:

I have no idea if the above piece is real or satire. But in either case, learning how to communicate with a minimum of f-bombs would seem like a great starting place for a young journalist to undertake a concerted attempt at self-improvement.

Warning: the road ahead will be long and difficult, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Related: “And don’t forget the self-described “bacon-eating vegan” who was left shocked and tearful upon discovering that her degrees in “social justice studies” and ‘gender studies’ have zero value in the job market. ‘My degrees mean NOTHING,’ tweeted she. ‘I don’t even know how to process the reality that is my life now.”’

Note the gosh, golly, isn’t this all good geeky fun! tone of this CBS/AP report, which notes, “She’s come a long way since 1997, when Clinton’s staff bought the then-first lady a copy of the book ‘E-Mail for Dummies:’”

This is what makes what Clinton did both sneaky and, some might say, genius: [Glenn Thrush, is that you?--Ed] Instead of setting up an email account with the government — for example, hillary.clinton@state.gov — she operated a computer email server on an Internet connection that has been traced back to her family’s hometown in New York. (The email, hdr22@clintonemail.com, appears to be a nod to her middle name, Diane.)

No Yahoo employee with ambitions to become the next Edward Snowden could ever quietly search its server and leak her emails to the public. Google couldn’t be compelled by congressional investigators to hand them over. If reporters were to ask the government for email records during Clinton’s time as secretary of state, none would be found.

In other words, if you want a complete record of Clinton’s electronic correspondence while she was helping to decide matters of war and peace, you’d have to knock on her door and ask politely. Or take her to court.

For Clinton, who is eyeing a presidential bid and is the wife of a former president, the hassle and expense of hiring consultants to manage the server might be worth it.

Because, she’d rather have foreign nations reading her unsecured email than have it in the public record, of course. And she made a calculated risk that whatever hit she takes now, the moment will pass and then Democrat operatives with bylines can dismiss the story as old news in the classic Stephanopoulos style. In the meantime, the above article is an attempt to tamp down the scandal, but its headline means that some enterprising Republican has to make a repeat of this classic November 2013 moment happen again: