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Ed Driscoll

Oh, That Liberal Media!

Correction of the Day

January 30th, 2015 - 4:53 pm

 

Somehow, I doubt the Gray Lady regrets the error.

‘It Doesn’t Get More Hostile Than This’

January 29th, 2015 - 6:57 pm

“Ugly anti-Muslim taunts by Texas lawmaker, protesters are embarrassments to Texans,” a Dallas Morning News columnist writes, with a severe case of the vapors:

Enter Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, who on her FaceBook page, directed staffers to ask Muslim visitors in to the Capitol for the seventh annual Texas Muslim Capitol Day to pledge allegiance to the U.S.

“I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws,” she said on Facebook. “We will see how long they stay in my office.”

On top of that, about 200 Muslims intending to speak with legislators about the session were heckled by about 30 ”Christian protesters,” who shouted such mindless things as ”Islam will never dominate the United States and by the grace of God it will not dominate Texas.” Throughout the rally, Muslim children became upset when protesters shouted “get out” and “ISIS will gladly welcome you.”

So much for a warm Austin welcoming. It doesn’t get more hostile than this.

What a curious phrase from the author. Actually, as we’ve seen on 9/11, 7/7 and earlier this month in Paris, things can get far more hostile than this, hence Islam’s dramatically tarnished brand in the West since 9/11.

The photo the Dallas Morning News chose to tweet to promote their article is a fascinating choice:

As the first commenter to the Dallas Morning News‘ Tweet asks, “Which one of those signs do you people think embarrasses native Texans like me?”

Update: “Woman yanks mic at Texas Muslim Capitol Day: ‘False Prophet’ Muhammed ‘Will Never Dominate Texas!’” Video at link.

If only the protestors in Texas had flashed the approved PC hashtags — the most effective tool mankind has ever known!

#GamerGate: The Videogames of the Anointed

January 29th, 2015 - 2:46 pm

“Attention Peasants: The Show Trials Have Been Cancelled Until Further Notice!” shouts Brian Cates of the Draw and Strike blog, as he takes Thomas Sowell’s classic Vision of the Anointed playbook diagramming coordinated leftwing activism and its aftermath and applies it to GamerGate:

THE FOUR PATTERNS OF SOCIAL POLICY FAILURE

“STAGE 1. THE ‘CRISIS: Some situation exists, whose negative aspects the anointed propose to eliminate. Such a situation is routinely characterized as a ‘crisis’ ….Sometimes the situation…has in fact already been getting better for years.

STAGE 2. THE ‘SOLUTION’: Policies to end the ‘crisis’ are advocated by the anointed, who say that these policies will lead to beneficial result A. Critics say that these policies will lead to detrimental result Z. The anointed dismiss these latter claims as absurd and ‘simplistic,’ if not dishonest.

STAGE 3. THE RESULTS: The policies are instituted and lead to detrimental result Z.

STAGE 4. THE RESPONSE: Those who attribute detrimental result Z to the policies instituted are dismissed as ‘simplistic’ for ignoring the ‘complexities’ involved, as ‘many factors’ went into determining the outcome. The burden of proof is put on the critics to demonstrate to a certainty that these policies alone were the only possible cause of the worsening that occurred. No burden of proof whatever is put on those who had so confidently, [but wrongly], predicted improvement. Indeed, it is often asserted that things would have been even worse, were it not for the wonderful programs that mitigated the inevitable damage from other factors.”

As they say at BuzzFeed (and yes, I’ve been leaning hard on this horrible headline trope this week), you won’t BELIEVE what happens next! Read on, to see how the GamerGate attack on ordinary every day video game players who were minding their own business before being singled out as the this week’s Emmanuel Goldstein by the Socialist Justice Warriors played out using precisely this formula.

Goodbye to Sullivan & Sophistry

January 29th, 2015 - 1:10 pm

In his “A Long Overdue Goodbye to Andrew Sullivan,” Pejman Yousefzadeh, whom I believe first started blogging in 2002, right around the same time I did, writes, “Andrew Sullivan was one of two big-time bloggers–the other being, of course, Glenn Reynolds–to have helped put me on the blogospheric map. For that, I shall always be grateful.” Those early days of blogging were heady times indeed; living in California, I remember Glenn would sign off at around 9:00 or 10:00 PM pacific time, then I’d switch over to James Lileks’ Bleat, which would go live right around that time, then check if Steven Den Beste had written his daily mega-post of at least 5,000 words (or so it seemed at the time), and then around midnight, I’d see what new items Andrew Sullivan had posted. Forget Carson, Cavett, Snyder, and Letterman, this was some quality late-night programming tailor-made for discussing the immediate aftermath of the post 9/11-world:

At the outset, when I first started blogging, Sullivan’s political views and mine coincided quite neatly. After a while, they began to diverge. I certainly changed some of my political views as the years went on, and I don’t quite see how anyone could go an appreciable period of time without reappraising at least some political views. Sullivan’s views, of course, changed drastically. He went from being a supporter of George W. Bush to a fervent opponent. The shift began when Bush signed on to the Federal Marriage Amendment issue, and Sullivan reacted with outrage. I always got the sense that this issue became the jumping-off point for other Sullivanesque disagreements with the Bush administration; over Iraq, over interrogation and detention policy, and over foreign policy in general. Of course, it ought to go without saying that Sullivan was and is entitled to change whatever political views he wanted and wants to change.

So while Sullivan and I had our differences, some of those differences were reasonable in nature. Others . . . not so much.

In 2008, Sullivan decided that he really liked Barack Obama a lot. But he didn’t want to be identified as a contemporary American liberal, so he started concocting all sorts of ridiculous claims that the onetime senator and future president was and is a conservative. Hayek was cited, as was Locke, as was Oakeshott. Oakeshott was cited a lot. The claims, of course, made no sense whatsoever, but that didn’t stop Sullivan from making them, even as the rhetoric and policies from the White House became more and more port-sided. Of course, Sullivan could have taken the honorable road and simply announced a fundamental shift in his political philosophy. But instead, Sullivan, like Shakespeare’s Caesar, claimed and claims to be as constant as the North Star when it comes to his ideology, and his approach instead has been to desperately try to shoehorn Barack Obama into that ideology. It never worked before, it doesn’t work now, and it won’t work in the future, but Sullivan, not recognizing defeat when it stares him in the face, keeps on trying to make it work. The whole thing is rather pathetic, really.

Sullivan had begun that shtick four years earlier, in the aftermath of George W. Bush not supporting the notion of gay marriage during the election year of 2004. Sullivan, who had previously dubbed Bush 2002′s “Man of the Year”, at first hemmed and hawed over whether he would support him in again. And then this classic bit of sophistry appeared in the Sunday addition of the London Times and on Sullivan’s own Daily Dish blog:

The argument that Kerry must make is that he can continue the war but without Bush’s polarising recklessness. And at home he must reassure Americans that he is the centrist candidate, controlled neither by the foaming Michael Moore left nor by the vitriolic religious right.

Put all that together and I may not find myself the only conservative moving slowly and reluctantly towards the notion that Kerry may be the right man — and the conservative choice — for a difficult and perilous time.

I guess you could make the case that Kerry’s conservative in some fashion — he dresses nicely; his hair style is a cross between cold warriors JFK and Jack Kemp, freeze-dried to Shatner Turbo-2000 levels of perfection. But back in the real world, one need only look at Kerry’s infamous radical chic, anti-war, anti-American C.V. to realize that Sullivan was making himself look increasingly silly trying to make Kerry into something he obviously wasn’t rather than simply saying, I disagree with Bush on my defining issue, and as a result, I’ve moved to the left. Or, rather I moved back somewhere to the left; Sullivan was associated the New Republic magazine prior to blogging, after all.

And then the late summer of 2008 would of course see the emergence of Andrew Sullivan, Ace Uterus Detective, as Pejman goes on to note. By that time, Sullivan’s self-beclowning was complete.

Six years prior though, when he named GWB his man of the year in 2002, Sullivan wrote, “Forget the bloviations of the Hate-America-First crowd. History will one day credit Bush with patience, multilateralism and conviction. But right now, history is still being made. And there is a war to be continued and to be won.”

Well, it sounded good at the time, I guess.

Related: Will Andrew quit blogging permanently? “That’s what he says. I kinda doubt it,” Kathy Shaidle writes, and she’s been blogging as long as Andrew.

As they say in the music world, you have to break up the band before you can have the triumphant reunion tour to replenish the coffers — as Andrew himself well knows.

Update: “Conspiracy Theorist Andrew Sullivan Quits Blogging,” John Nolte writes at Big Journalism. But like the Stones and The Who sitting out most of the 1980s, it’s only a matter of time before the lucrative reunion tour begins: “Because Sullivan trained his debunked conspiracy theories at the child of a conservative woman and the Pope, he will always be welcome in the mainstream media.”

MSNBC: Still Jim Crow TV

January 29th, 2015 - 10:47 am

“Just when you thought MSNBC was giving up on calling everyone racist…”, Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air. Though that headline precedes from a false assumption: Nobody thinks that paranoid NBC and its spin-off channels would give up on calling its enemies racist:

In a discussion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday, NBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin was asked for his thoughts on the wildly popular film American Sniper. After conceding that the film is powerful, Mohyeldin was prompted to expand on his obvious reservations about the movie’s subject matter. He let the veil drop.

“When you juxtapose it with the real Chris Kyle, and the story, and what has emerged about what kind of personality he was in his own words,” Mohyeldin began, “A lot of stories about when he was back home in Texas. A lot of his own personal opinions about what he was doing in Iraq; how he viewed Iraqis. Some of what people have described as his racist tendencies toward Iraqis and Muslim as he was going on some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.”

Jaws hit the floor. To describe the performance of a decorated combat veteran in a hostile theater as a killing spree is to confess a level of bias that is virtually disqualifying for a foreign affairs reporter. The stigma associated with serving as a sniper in a war is painful enough for proficient sharpshooters, but to directly equate the actions of those servicemen with the behavior of a mass murder is beyond the pale.

Add this to the remarks from Michael Moore, Seth Rogen, and Max Blumenthal on Kyle, the left is once again revealing themselves as really not supporting the troops, no matter what their mission, a regression to their McGovern-era id. As with their lack of support of free speech and their terror over losing the PC overculture they’ve built, it’s a reminder that yet another modified limited hangout of the left has now concluded. (Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.) And as Jeffrey Lord wrote at the American Spectator last year, MSNBC won’t be losing its sobriquet as “Jim Crow TV” anytime soon.

Scenes from The Dark Knight Rises

January 26th, 2015 - 10:45 pm

Huh. The reporting out of Bill de Blasio’s New York turned into a Batman movie a lot sooner than even I expected when I Photoshopped him into Bane a year ago:

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By the way, the doomsday “reporting” on CNN tonight was hilarious: Don Lemon leaves his usual search for airplane-sized black holes to stand under slushy snow coming down in midtown Manhattan, while other CNN anchors stand and drive in snow down Park Ave. and Boston. They covered no other news, and there wasn’t even a ticker at the bottom on the screen reporting on news elsewhere in the US and around the world. And the Chryon described “‘Historic’ Snow Falls,” complete with unnecessary quotation marks around “Historic” for extra-added postmodern irony. Dave Barry’s tweet sums up the tone perfectly:

And speaking of wintery movie tie-ins:

But hey, news mastermind Jeff Zucker always knows what he’s doing, right?

Related: Andrew Klavan on the media, decades of their zany global warming predictions, and “All of the Leftists, All of the Time.”

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“Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers ‘terrorists’, says head of BBC Arabic Tarik Kafala,” the London Independent reports. Check out this Orwellian dissembling:

Tarik Kafala, the head of BBC Arabic, the largest of the BBC’s non-English language news services, said the term “terrorist” was too “loaded” to describe the actions of the men who killed 12 people in the attack on the French satirical magazine.

Mr Kafala, whose BBC Arabic television, radio and online news services reach a weekly audience of 36 million people, told The Independent: “We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist or an act as being terrorist. What we try to do is to say that ‘two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine’. That’s enough, we know what that means and what it is.”

Mr Kafala said: “Terrorism is such a loaded word. The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can’t. It is very difficult to. We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe them. That’s much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden.”

“Of all the giveaways in those few lines, the most telling may be the reference to the U.N. as a supposedly neutral authority,” NRO’s  Andrew Stuttaford writes in response.

And I love this line from Kafala:

“The value judgements frequently implicit in the use of the words ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist group’ can create inconsistency in their use or, to audiences, raise doubts about our impartiality. It may be better to talk about an apparent act of terror or terrorism than label individuals or a group.”

Raising “doubts about our impartiality?” Wait, when it comes to the writers at Charlie Hebdo — whatever you think of their work — when it comes to choosing sides between journalists and cartoonists, and those want to kill them, you’re going to remain impartial? Gee, I think this is one issue where the media might want to take sides. But then, to borrow from Glenn Reynolds’ recent USA Today column, it isn’t just Islam that’s a tarnished brand in the years after 9/11.

Or as Stuttaford writes, “There’s little that’s more revealingly subjective than the elaborate pretense of objectivity.” (Note to self: file that sentence away for future use.)

The Theory of Moral Relativity Defined

January 24th, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Shot:

Chaser:


Shot:

Chaser:

Hangover:


Paul Johnson, call your office.
Update: “You know, Robert Conquest once wrote, ‘The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies,’ but that statement is striking a little too close to home lately.”

It’s Come To This

January 23rd, 2015 - 1:35 pm

“An Israeli barber has fashioned what he calls ‘magic’ yarmulkes out of hair, designed to allow religious Jews to cover their heads without attracting unwanted attention from anti-Semites,” AP reports:

Shalom Koresh said his skullcap, known as a yarmulke in Yiddish and a kippa in Hebrew, was inspired by rising anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. He said he has seen particular interest from buyers in France and Belgium.

“This skullcap is washable, you can brush it, you can dye it,” Koresh said in his salon in central Israel. “It was created so people could feel comfortable going to places where they are afraid to go, or places where they can’t wear it, and feel secure.”

France has seen a spike in anti-Semitic attacks in recent years. The killing of four French Jews in a hostage standoff at a Paris kosher market earlier this month has deepened fears among European Jews.

But remember, all of those no-go zones in Europe are just a myth now that Marco Rubio has referenced them, even though CNN, Newsweek and the New York Times all reported on them a decade ago; some sources even prior to the French Banlieue riots and car-b-ques starting in 2005.

Naturally, leave it to John Kerry to completely invert the problem, comparing the “lack of integration” of Muslims in Europe to the U.S. Civil Rights struggles of the 1960, to paraphrase the headline of this article from Jeryl Bier at the Weekly Standard, which quotes Kerry bloviating at length when asked by a reporter on the topic:

Well, let me just begin quickly on the integration issue. When I was – I entered college in 1962. And in 1963, ’4, ’5, we were deeply embroiled in this country, and we – college students in the Civil Rights Movement. And we were deeply impacted by that and have always been, I think, as a generation, much more sensitive to this question of minority and rights and integration and so forth. We’ve made unbelievable progress in our nation, unbelievable progress in the years since then. But it would be completely disingenuous not to say to you that we still have some distance to travel. We’re not finished. We’re still – you heard the President last night talk about voting rights. So what was won in 1965 still has to be fully embraced and implemented here, and other things that are linked to that. We’ve seen our own struggles in some communities and great debates about race in America in the last year.

So it would be dishonest of me – and I’m not involved in domestic politics right now, so I’m not going to go into it in depth, except to say that therefore, I think I can say with honesty that there is a challenge in many other parts of the world. And Federica is absolutely correct; this particular incident of violence wasn’t a specific targeting that grew out of that, but we all can do work in many parts of the world that I have seen where one minority or another or another is not able to share fully in the full integration in whatever country they happen to be living. So the world has a road to travel on that, and that’s why we continue to put such a high premium here on the issue of human rights and democracy, and to continue to push, because I think we’ve learned through our own experience the difference that it can make to the strengthening of the quality of our democracy, to our society, and people benefit when we live by that high moral standard.

As with most of the gaseous rhetoric uttered by the Secretary of State, who by the way served in Vietnam, that’s entirely bass-ackwards, as Ed Morrissey writes:

Unlike the US in the Jim Crow era (or South Africa during apartheid, to use another example), the issue in France and other nations on the continent is not official policies of discrimination. It’s not even cultural pressure to marginalize and “otherize” Muslims. The insularity of those communities is self-imposed. They want to be separate, and thanks to a perverse prioritization of multicultural sensitivity in France and other countries over assimilation, those cultures allow them to do so on an extraordinary scale.

And needless to say, they have no interest in accepting the traditions of other cultures in nations they immigrate to.

Just ask these fellows.

In 2012, NBC became notorious — at least on the right — for deceptively editing George Zimmerman’s 9/11 call to make him — before he was known to be of Hispanic decent — appear to be an anti-black racist.

But any hack leftist can do ransom note editing to smear his opponents through subtraction. (Jon Stewart in a rare left-on-left critique would dub NBC “The Splice Channel” when it was caught.) It takes a unique skill to make your opponents appear racist by adding words to their statements. Or as Ann Coulter writes, “That MSNBC routinely, almost compulsively, mischaracterizes what conservatives say is nothing new. It’s what makes the network so adorable. But in a recent trend, anchor Rachel Maddow has been upping the ante, altering quotes we just heard her play on tape:”

On Monday night, for example, Rachel ran a news clip from President Reagan’s 1983 Martin Luther King Day signing ceremony:

“Chris Wallace, NBC Reporter (by miraculous coincidence, currently a Fox News anchor): ‘There was an air of celebration in the Rose Garden and an underlying tension. White House officials wrestled for days how to usher in a holiday the president opposed. They finally decided to embrace it. … Maybe that’s what today was about, that blacks have the power to make politicians do things.’”

End tape, cut to Rachel, taking notes, muttering with disgust: “The blacks now have the power …”

Except Wallace didn’t say “the blacks.” Refer to the tape. By adding the simple article “the,” Rachel turned Chris Wallace from a garden-variety 1980s news reporter into Archie Bunker. It takes a special kind of zealotry to play a tape of someone and then immediately lie about what viewers just heard him say.

Rachel’s rewrite of Wallace (again, a Fox News host) was astonishingly similar to her misquote of Republican Senate candidate — now senator — Joni Ernst just before the November elections. Maddow inserted the word “the” into Ernst’s statement, entirely changing her meaning.

Ernst had said — as anyone could hear from the tape helpfully played by Rachel: “I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from a government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

The very next line in the transcript has Rachel sneering — as if repeating Ernst’s line: “I believe in my right to defend myself from the government with my beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter.” She then riffed on her own rewrite of Ernst’s statement, warning that a Senate candidate “is threatening to turn to armed violence against the government if she doesn’t get what she wants …”

Obviously, there’s a pretty big difference between a Second Amendment right to defend yourself from “a government” and “the government.” One is theoretical — referring to some future tyrannical government or even a foreign government. “The government” is referring to a specific set of government officials currently constituting our government.

Or as anyone at MSNBC could tell you, it means: “THERE’S A BLACK MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE!”

Don’t ever change Comcast. Don’t ever change.

(Via Five Feet of Fury.)

Talk About Failing Your Life’s Goal

January 22nd, 2015 - 4:12 pm

“King Abdullah, who sought to modernize Saudi Arabia, [Dead] at 90,” AP reports, and yes, there’s a missing word in their Drudge-linked headline, which will likely be replaced once it’s caught by AP’s proverbial layers and layers of fact checkers and editors.

As for Abdullah, AP hagiographically reports:

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington’s fight against al-Qaida and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with incremental but significant reforms, including nudging open greater opportunities for women, has died, according to Saudi state TV. He was 90.

So how exactly are those reforms coming along in Saudi Arabia? Not well, to say the least, based on headlines such as this and this. Not to mention reports that the Saudi’s wished to umm, modernize the New York skyline in quite a dramatic fashion.

Saudi Arabia isn’t ISIS — but deep down inside, it’s not all that far removed from ISIS’ vision of the Middle East, either.

As for reform, as my colleague Michael Ledeen would say, “Faster, Please.” Much faster than Abdullah’s glacial (read: non-existent) timetable.

“New York Magazine Mainstreams Incest,” Rush Limbaugh noted yesterday:

Time to hide the women and children, ladies and gentlemen, and maybe grab a barf bag.  New York Magazine.  Let me give you a countdown here.  Because, as I say, we don’t want to shock anybody.  Not our purpose.  Nor is it our purpose to offend.  That just happens.  I’m gonna count down from five to one, and if you’re still here, you’re on your own and you can’t complain. Complaints will fall on deaf ears because you’ve been given ample time to turn down the sound.  Five, four, three, two, one.

New York Magazine had the story.  They recently interviewed a couple who decided to remain anonymous for reasons that will become obvious.  It’s an 18-year-old woman and an older man.  They live in upstate New York.  They are planning on getting married soon. Eighteen-year-old woman which, ah, she’s of age, and the older man living in upstate New York, plan to get married.  Here’s the thing.  The older man is her father.  The older man is her biological father.

In an article titled, ” What It’s Like to Date Your Dad,” New York Magazine describes how father and daughter were at one time estranged and then, magically, they were reunited after 12 years and the magazine says sparks flew between the teenaged daughter and her biological father.  They were attracted to each other, says the magazine.  The woman said that within days of rediscovering each other, within days of the woman rediscovering her father, for whom sparks were flying, she lost her virginity.

As Jonathan Last adds, say, isn’t this the same New York magazine that back in November profiled “the guy who loves horses? (Not in the Ann Romney way.)”

“But don’t worry–changing one foundational part of the culture couldn’t possibly alter others,” Jonathan sardonically quips, in a post headlined “The Vindication of Rick Santorum (cont.).”  Follow the link at the end of his post for a hilariously related addendum. (And as Last adds, stick with it to the end, it’s worth it.)

How much of this is New York magazine approving the subjects they cover, and how much is it a case of a magazine hoping to shock the public into reading and linking (see also: TV networks’ strategies to shock viewers into watching, even as such repeated tactics eventually result in apathy and boredom?)

In any case, in 1970, a much different and still relatively sane New York magazine published Tom Wolfe’s “Radical Chic,” in which Wolfe caught up close and personal the insanity of the left, attending Leonard Bernstein’s cocktail fundraiser party for the Black Panthers, who would have loved nothing more than to firebomb Bernstein’s swank Park Avenue duplex, and all of his fellow One Percenters (as the kids say these days) attending the fundraiser. In 1976, New York published Wolfe’s “Me Decade,” which explored where America’s growing Weimar-esque sense of narcissism and nihilism would eventually lead.

Who knew the answer was full-on Caligula? (Well, the person who’s referenced in Last’s headline might have. Which is why it was necessary for the left to destroy him.)

And speaking of life in the Caligula era, “In Elle, Lena Dunham Slams Screaming ‘Static’ of Pro-Life Protesters, Their Lack of…’Decency.’”

Proportion, Lena, proportion! Think of your critics as merely just a few inconvenient pebbles blocking your path to superstardom.  (And then consult with your crisis management firm for further instructions.)

“NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver accused of $4 million bribery and kickback scheme, Dems continue to support him.” Kudos to the New York Daily News for not playing the “name that party” game with Silver; it’s tacitly right in the headline and explicitly stated six paragraphs in, which for a left-leaning publication is likely as good as transparency gets when a newspaper is reporting bad news concerning one of its own party members:

“I am confident that after a full hearing and due process, I will be vindicated of these charges,” a relaxed Silver announced after his release on $200,000 bond following a Manhattan Federal Court hearing.

Silver, spied earlier taking an uncomfortable ride to the courthouse alongside an FBI agent, made his brief appearance after U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara blasted him as the epitome of a corrupt politician.

“For many years, New Yorkers have asked the question, ‘How could Speaker Silver, one of the most powerful men in New York, earn millions of dollars in outside income without deeply compromising his ability to honestly serve his constituents?’” said Bharara.

“Today we provide the answer: He didn’t.”

The stunning five-count criminal complaint accused the Manhattan Democrat, an Albany power broker for decades, with pocketing millions in bribes and kickbacks in return for wielding his massive influence.

Much more from Michael Walsh at the PJ Tatler:

New York state is essentially an organized crime racket, one that for many years was stable in its distribution of the swag. The upstate-controlled Senate was in the hands of the GOP under Joe Bruno, while the assembly lay under the thumb of the weaselly Silver. But somebody broke the peace back in 2008, when Bruno abruptly resigned his leadership positions and announced he wouldn’t be running again; in January 2009 he was indicted on eight corruption counts, and later convicted of two of them. The convictions were overturned on appeal and Bruno was subsequently found not guilty at a retrial last year. He’s been itching for payback ever since. This is it.

Exit quotes from John Podhoretz (channeling Hyman Roth) and Iowahawk (channeling the performer Time magazine once dubbed “The smartest man in pop music”):


Speaking of which, exit question via Michael Walsh: “Is Andrew Cuomo Next?”

Well yes — I know a guy who wrote a book about that stuff in 2008. As Jonah Goldberg later wrote, it was Stalin who initially launched the smear:

Joseph Stalin championed the idea that all of his political opponents should be dubbed fascists, including many of his fellow Bolsheviks, such as Leon Trotsky (whom Stalin had assassinated), and much of the Red Army’s officer corps (whom he had executed), and countless Ukrainians (whom he had liquidated). Stalin insisted that even mentioning the man-made – i.e., Stalin-made — Ukranian famine was evidence you were an agent of the Nazis.

Under Stalin’s “theory of social fascism,” any socialist, social-democratic, or progressive group or party not loyal to him had to be called fascist. Hence, for a while Moscow insisted that FDR and even Norman Thomas (head of the Socialist Party of America) were fascists.

Ultimately, Communist propagandists and their allied intellectuals would reflexively blame fascism for everything, regardless of the facts. That’s what prompted George Orwell to remark that “the word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’”

And FDR and Truman were happy to play along. In 1942, at the height of the Second World War, Roosevelt “displayed a Nazi Iron Cross and said it should be presented to a columnist of the New York Daily News who was one of the president’s most bitter critics,” as Commentary noted in a 2010 review of an FDR biography. In his 1944 State of the Union speech, Roosevelt similarly thundered:

One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis-recently emphasized the grave dangers of “rightist reaction” in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920′s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

As Jonah quipped in 2012 in response to the above quote, “Ah yes, if we go back to the 1920s, an era of rampant prosperity and expanding liberty we will have surrendered to Fascism. That is grotesque.”

Equally grotesque were Truman’s tactics in a similar vein. As the New York Times’ headline screamed, “President Likens Dewey to Hitler as Fascists’ Tool,” on October 26 1948, near the conclusion of the presidential election year. CBS’s Walter Cronkite and Daniel Schorr would go on to use similar tactics to destroy the libertarian-themed presidential bid of Barry Goldwater in 1964, a particularly disgusting attack by two “objective” journalists acting as blocking backs for LBJ, considering that Goldwater was half-Jewish.

In short, it’s shameful, reactionary stuff, whose shelf-life is now three-quarters of a century old. Fortunately, there’s at least a little pushback these days on such tactics.

Incidentally, if you’re not a subscriber to PJTV, you’re missing the regular conversations between Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle on conservative and libertarian philosophy, the left’s undermining tactics and other topics, some of the most engaging material our sister video network is producing.

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CNN morphed into the Gong Show so slowly…

“CNN to Produce Political Game Show,” according to TV Newser. Because, what else would you expect from the flailing low-rated, desperate for attention network?

Insiders tell us the show will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and will air on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 16. If it’s successful, further episodes would go into production.

We hear the program will be a quiz style game show, focused on presidential politics.

As the Sony email hacking story unfolded last month, one of the more interesting TV news stories to emerge was that CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker had asked a Sony TV executive if the company would consider producing “Political Jeopardy!” for CNN.

That was a nonstarter. But now it appears Zucker is going his own way on a quiz show.

Insert obvious Wolf Blitzer bombing on Jeopardy reference here. And as John Nolte adds at Big Journalism:

With its ratings at an all-time low and its journalistic ethics almost constantly under fire…With its endless race hoaxes, scandals, and talks of airplanes disappearing into black holes, 2014 might have been the worst year for CNN of any news outlet in recent memory. We’re only 21 days into the new year, but 2015 is already shaping up to be worse.

Bonus Question: For the Final Jeopardy round, I’ll take “What are European Muslim No-Go Zones for $10,000?”, Alex.

(H/T: Kathy Shaidle.)

Update: Currently trending on Twitter, is the #CNNgameshowpitches hashtag. Play along at home!

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Man of a 1000 Faces

January 21st, 2015 - 1:41 pm

“More than ever, I am convinced MSNBC is one giant sketch comedy designed to showcase the many talents of Chris Hayes,” Twitter user “Nino” wrote yesterday, along with a collage of photos combining Hayes with fellow MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and their fellow smart glasses-wearing Mark Potok, spokesman for the far left Southern “Poverty” Law Center, and Arsalan Iftikhar of TheMuslimGuy.com, banned from MSNBC after his racist remarks earlier this week that Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal is “trying to scrub some of the brown off his skin.”

As I noted yesterday, Hayes also bears a striking resemblance to hapless Obama foreign policy flack Marie Harf, and Ethan Krupp, the infamous foul-mouthed footie-pajama-wearing Obamacare mascot.

Are we sure Hayes wasn’t also in the audience for his boss’s State of the Union address last night? As Brent Scher of the Washington Free Beacon noted, “Woman Showcased by Obama in SOTU is a Former Democratic Campaign Staffer:”

Rebekah Erler has been presented by the White House as a woman who was discovered by the president after she wrote to him last March about her economic hardships. She was showcased in the speech as proof that middle class Americans are coming forward to say that Obama’s policies are working.

Unmentioned in the White House bio of Erler is that she is a former Democratic campaign operative, working as a field organizer for Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.).

This also wasn’t the first time the White House used the former Democratic campaign staffer as a political prop. Obama spent a “day in the life” of Erler in June so that he could have “an opportunity to communicate directly with the people he’s working for every day.”

“They keep it in the family, don’t they?” Ace adds:

Check the Free [Beacon] for more; they have his quotes narrating the incredible success story of Rebecca “Please Use Me As A Prop” Erler. Obama forgot to mention her long years suckling at the teat of the Democrat-Government Industrial Complex.

But are we sure that’s Erler? Comparing the photo of her that accompanied Ace’s post with Hayes and his other disguises as spotted by Nino yesterday, the resemblance is quite remarkable:

chris_hayes_master_disguise_artist_1-21-15-2

35 years ago, NBC’s Saturday Night Live featured Chevy Chase morphing before our eyes as he presented the vocal stylings of Peter Lemon Moodring. But today, there’s a far more versatile quick-change artist at work at NBC. Who will he morph into next?!

CNN, Where Time Stands Still

January 21st, 2015 - 12:29 pm

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

When Fox News started out, it got a generally skeptical and unfriendly reception from the journalistic establishment. Even reporters, who generally view any news media organization as a good thing (not to mention a potential source of employment), were largely disapproving. But no one greeted Fox News with more pure vitriol than CNN founder Ted Turner.

“I look forward to crushing Rupert Murdoch like a bug,” Turner told the press. He compared Murdoch to Hitler, which would make Roger Ailes a reincarnation of Goebbels, and followed up with an explanation, quoted by the Los Angeles Times [in October of 1996]: “The late Führer, the first thing he did, like all dictators, was take over the press and use it to further his agenda. Basically, that is what Rupert Murdoch does with his media.  .  .  .” The Nazi analogy was too much for the Anti-Defamation League, which rebuked Turner for trivializing the Holocaust. Turner apologized, but that didn’t prevent him from likening Murdoch to “the late Führer” a year later; or, in 2005, comparing the success of Fox News to the rise of Hitler.

— From Roger Ailes: Off Camera, by Zev Chafets.

Flash-forward to this week: “CNN’s Zakaria Takes Shot at Murdoch, ‘Quasi-Fascist’ Fox Hosts,” Mediaite’s Josh Feldman reports.

Both of which seem like pretty odd complaints, both from Turner, who after leaving the network he founded has gone on to praise North Korea, and from Zakaria, who in-between dodging plagiarism allegations, has complained on CNN that the American people have too much freedom and too little regulation.

Related: “Washington Post Catches CNN Red-Handed Reporting On Muslim ‘No-Go Zones.’”

And from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, “Sure, Take Out Your Frustrations And Anxiety On Fox, They Won’t Behead You: Paris mayor threatens to sue Fox for insulting Paris and injuring its honor (with ‘no-go zones’).”

It was pretty much a given that it wouldn’t be very long at all before the French would revert to form and quickly begin to lose the goodwill of the American people after the horror of the Islamofascist attack on Charlie Hebdo. Or as Glenn adds, “Funny, I could have sworn that there were a lot of people marching for free speech in Paris recently.”

We’re quickly discovering how many of them were simply engaging in pantomime.

Update: “Je Suis Fox News?” asks Ricochet’s John Gabriel:

Fox News’ jealous critics and the Parisian mayor should re-read their week-old paroxysms of support for an unbridled press. Because free speech doesn’t work if you’re only allowed to offend religious figures but not secular ones.

Heh, indeed.™

When Obama’s Lost NBC…

January 21st, 2015 - 11:54 am

And I don’t mean just MSNBC, the network’s crazy drooling id, but the actual top-level network where millions of elderly low-information voters still get their news at 6:30 at night. Which is where they heard the above exchange between newsreader Brian Williams and man in the field Richard Engel. As Noah Rothman quips at Hot Air, “The neoconservatives at NBC News predictably savage Obama’s approach to foreign policy… wait…” Heh:

Among those who took a baseball bat to Obama’s remarks were the arch-conservative Dick Cheney fans at NBC News. In the immediate wake of Obama’s State of the Union address, anchor Brian Williams and Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Richard Engel just dumped on the president’s borderline delusional assessment of his own efficacy on the global stage. (h/t Washington Free Beacon for pulling this clip).

“Richard, we woke up here in the States this morning – new ISIS video. Two Japanese hostages,” Brian Williams began. “They’re asking for $200 million, or they’re going to assassinate both of them. Video of a Russian intelligence ship cruising into the harbor in Havana; it might as well have been 1962. And then this on-again, off-again possible coup in Yemen, a U.S. ally.”

While we we’re taking stock of the foreign policy disasters that were revealed only yesterday, Williams forgot to mention renewed combat operations in Eastern Europe between Russian and Ukrainian forces.

Richard Engel delivered the coup de grâce: “It sounds like the president was outlining a world that he wishes we were all living in, but which is very different than the world you just described with terror raids taking place across Europe, ISIS very much on the move.”

Wait, this Richard Engel, who a decade ago said “I think war should be illegal,” to Howard Kurtz, then still with the Washington Post, adding, “I’m basically a pacifist.”

Oh, and speaking of MSNBC and elderly low-information voters, as Ed Morrissey adds that it’s fair to say that “Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell didn’t feel thrills running up their respective legs. In fact, both of them wondered what the color of the sky in Obama’s world might be:”

MATTHEWS: Because I kept thinking tonight that there’s a real world out there he didn’t really talk about, and had perhaps overambitious notions about where we stood in the war against ISIL, the Islamic State. He doesn’t want to call it the Islamic State, but that’s what they call themselves. Those two Japanese people with no guilt on their shoulders, just staring there out of the desert who are going to be apparently decapitated — that reality, what’s going on in Nigeria is reality. How close was the President to reality overall, globally, tonight?

MITCHELL: I think that on foreign policy, his projection of success against terrorism and against ISIS, in particular, as I said, is not close to reality. They have not come up with a strategy, and they’ve built a global coalition, but again, he’s talked about Ukraine, he’s talked about Putin being isolated. Yes, Putin is isolated economically and the falling oil prices have hammered his economy. But at the same time, there’s renewed fighting in Donetsk, and we haven’t figured out Ukraine, we haven’t figured out how the NATO alliance can push back. Sanctions have not really worked, and Ukraine is going to need more weaponry, and they have not reached that point. So you’re right, Chris, it doesn’t match the reality.

As Ed Morrissey adds, “It’s as though Obama was asleep between the 2014 SOTU and last night. That would explain a lot about last year, actually …”

I’d say that when it’s so bad that even NBC and MSNBC both notice, it might be a wake-up call for the White House — but perhaps not this White House, where the president obviously needs to be well-rested for his weekend leisure-time activities and late night bull sessions with actors and rock stars.

Sweet dreams for everyone else though. Oh and sug, don’t forget to say your prayers.

Two Posts in One!

January 20th, 2015 - 3:39 pm

“The Washington Post Still Has No Idea If Dave Weigel Is Conservative,” Betsy Rothstein writes at the Daily Caller, linking to this quote from the Post’s Terrence McCoy on “How Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ stoked the American culture wars:”

The exchanges are just the latest eruption in a long culture war, analysts said, with lines clearly demarcated. “As screenings have sold out, conservative media has manned barricades against liberals who have attacked the movie or the idea of lionizing Kyle,” conservative David Weigel wrote for Bloomberg. He noted that much of the controversy involves the extended battle over guns — and gun control — and pits pro-Iraq war conservatives against anti-war liberals.

Conservative? After voting for Ralph Nader in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008, Weigel was hired by the Post in mid-2010 to cover conservatism allegedly from the inside, but not surprisingly given his background, Weigel famously imploded a short while later. When archives from the “Journolist” listserv of 400 or so leftwing journalists, who described themselves in 2008 as the “non-official campaign” to elect Obama began circulating publicly, Weigel was caught using the following language, as the Daily Caller noted in June of 2010:

Weigel was hired this spring by the Post to cover the conservative movement. Almost from the beginning there have been complaints that his coverage betrays a personal animus toward conservatives.  E-mails obtained by the Daily Caller suggest those complaints have merit.

“Honestly, it’s been tough to find fresh angles sometimes–how many times can I report that these [tea party] activists are joyfully signing up with the agenda of discredited right-winger X and discredited right-wing group Y?” Weigel lamented in one February email.

In other posts, Weigel describes conservatives as using the media to “violently, angrily divide America.” According to Weigel, their motives include “racism” and protecting “white privilege,” and for some of the top conservatives in D.C., a nihilistic thirst for power.

“There’s also the fact that neither the pundits, nor possibly the Republicans, will be punished for their crazy outbursts of racism. Newt Gingrich is an amoral blowhard who resigned in disgrace, and Pat Buchanan is an anti-Semite who was drummed out of the movement by William F. Buckley. Both are now polluting my inbox and TV with their bellowing and minority-bashing. They’re never going to go away or be deprived of their soapboxes,” Weigel wrote.

Of Matt Drudge, Weigel remarked,  “It’s really a disgrace that an amoral shut-in like Drudge maintains the influence he does on the news cycle while gay-baiting, lying, and flubbing facts to this degree.”

In March, Weigel wrote that the problem with the mainstream media is “this need to give equal/extra time to ‘real American’ views, no matter how fucking moronic, which just so happen to be the views of the conglomerates that run the media and/or buy up ads.”

When Obama’s “green jobs czar” Van Jones resigned after it was revealed he signed a 9/11 “truther” petition, alleging the government may have conspired to allow terrorists to kill 3,000 civilians, Weigel highlighted the alleged racism of Glenn Beck – Jones’s top critic.

This forced Young Ezra Klein, founder of the “Journolist’ to offer a mea culpa of sorts a few days later titled “On Journolist, and Dave Weigel:”

At the beginning, I set two rules for the membership. The first was the easy one: No one who worked for the government in any capacity could join [so much for that idea -- Ed]. The second was the hard one: The membership would range from nonpartisan to liberal, center to left. I didn’t like that rule, but I thought it necessary: There would be no free conversation in a forum where people had clear incentives to embarrass each other. A bipartisan list would be a more formal debating society. Plus, as Liz Mair notes, there were plenty of conservative list servs, and I knew of military list servs, and health-care policy list servs, and feminist list servs. Most of these projects limited membership to facilitate a particular sort of conversation. It didn’t strike me as a big deal to follow their example.

And as as Moe Lane of Red State added at the time:

Nice of Ezra Klein to shaft his good buddy Dave Weigel on the way out by explicitly admitting that Klein wouldn’t let anybody on the Right onto JournoList in the first place, but that’s the Online Left for you.  You ain’t with them all the way, you ain’t worth nothing to them.

Klein’s response to Weigel’s meltdown appeared in…The Washington Post where he served as a regular columnist until Jeff Bezos purchased the paper in 2013. Terrence McCoy’s bio at the Post today describes him as “a foreign affairs reporter at the Washington Post. He served in the United States Peace Corps in Cambodia and got his masters’ degree at Columbia University.” Despite being a relatively young looking fellow in his bio photo, evidently, learning how to use a search engine wasn’t taught at Columbia during his tenure there. Or how to search a newspaper’s own archives.

Wiegel of course, landed on his feet; the Post was so alarmed by their hiring choice that upon being caught in mid-2010, they simply transferred Weigel a few months later down the hall to Slate, which the paper then-still owned. In 2014 Weigel eventually wound up at Bloomberg News, where today even he’s laughing at the paper’s latest gaffe. As Betsy Rothstein writes, “Weigel ran the excerpt [from McCoy] about himself, adding, ‘smdh,’ as defined by Urban Dictionary as “shaking my damn head.”


Heh. Good to see those layers and layers of fact checkers and editors at the Post still earning their keep. And Michael Crichton’s “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” still very much in force there.

Add two more to the list of Hayes’ brilliant disguises:

This side-by-side juxtaposition created by the Rush Limbaugh Show in December of 2013, when Obamacare’s Footie Pajamasboy first debuted helps make the comparison plain:

As Frank Burns famously uttered on M*A*S*H 40 years ago, “Individuality is fine, as long as we all do it together.” Of course, some people rock the smartglasses™ much better than others:

rick_perry_smart_glasses_9-5-14-1

(Photo of Rick Perry by Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com.)