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Ed Driscoll

Oh, That Liberal Media!

Dispatches from Airstrip One

July 23rd, 2014 - 3:50 pm

“Did I Hear This Correctly? (From the BBC Files),” a Ricochet poster asks:

Was just watching BBC World News which I do when seeking the Global Left line on the news.  According to the BBC, the “International Community” (who are those guys?) have two demands:

1.  Ukrainian separatists must stop launching missiles which threaten commercial aircraft and the Russians must stop supplying such missiles.

2.  Israel must stop attacking those who are launching missiles which threaten commercial aircraft.  No mention as to what those who are supplying such missiles should do.

It’s not at all a coincidence that Orwell was inspired to create the “Ministry of Truth” and Room 101 from his days at the BBC.

Or that the BBC views 1984 as a how-to guide:

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

● “Univision anchor: No government should be in the business of deporting children.”

—Headline, Hot Air.com, yesterday.

“‘No business should ever have to turn away customers’: Nathan Fielder reveals how liquor stores can sell alcohol to minors LEGALLY.”

—Headline, the London Daily Mail today, linking to a Comedy Central skit.

Obviously, one of these headlines is a cable TV star playing a TV anchor befuddled by reality as the rest of the world knows it — the other is a headline that was sponsored by Comedy Central.

In any case, the advice proffered by future Senator John Blutarsky seems highly apropos right now given the state of the country and its media overlords.

david_gregory_brandishes_illegal_gun_clip_6-23-13

Is the beleaguered scofflaw David Gregory finally running out of ammo?  “Gregory’s time is nearly up at Meet the Press, sources told [the New York Post's "Page Six column"], and he could be replaced as moderator of the nation’s longest-running TV show soon after the November midterm elections:”

While NBC News President Deborah Turness has publicly supported the embattled Gregory, there are serious concerns about the losing battle to turn around the show’s sinking ratings.

Viewership is down a whopping 43 percent compared to when Gregory ascended to the moderator’s chair in December 2008, after the death of Tim Russert. The show finished in third place behind CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week” in the second quarter of 2014.

An NBC source said, “The discussion is whether to make a change before or after the midterm elections. Just after the midterms would give the new moderator time to settle in.”

According to insiders, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd is the rightful heir to Gregory, but he has not been officially offered the job.

P.J. Gladnick of NewsBusters is understandably not very confident about Gregory’s possible replacements:

Chuck Todd is every bit as predictably liberal as Gregory who recently sounded like he was auditioning for Jay Carney’s old spot as White House flack. A laughable example of Todd’s liberalism was him wondering aloud if there were any real victims of the IRS scandal.

And if Todd is unavailable, not to worry. NBC is chock full of liberals who are unreluctant to display their bias who could also be tapped for the Meet The Press slot. One of them is Savannah Gutherie:

Other names said to be in the frame include “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie, who comes from a political background but is unlikely to be released from the flagship morning show where she’s hugely popular.

Guthrie  is so reliably liberal that she recently blamed Congress but not Obama for the immigration crises at the border.

So all those liberals out there need not worry. An utterly predictable liberal Meet The Press host is sure to be replaced by another predictable Meet The Press host. No matter how much that show’s ratings continue to tumble, that losing formula will be strictly adhered to by NBC no matter the cost.

Really, any NBC “news” program should be properly titled “Meet the Democrat Operatives.”

‘All The News Hamas Sees Fit to Print’

July 21st, 2014 - 12:02 pm

“Something important is missing from the New York Times‘s coverage of the war in Gaza,” Noah Pollak writes at the Weekly Standard:

It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.

A review of the Times‘s photography in Gaza reveals a stark contrast in how the two sides are portrayed. Nearly every picture from Israel depicts tanks, soldiers, or attack helicopters. And every picture of Gaza depicts either bloodied civilians, destroyed buildings, overflowing hospitals, or other images of civilian anguish. It is as one-sided and misleading a depiction of the Gaza battle as one can imagine.

The concept of Pallywood doesn’t just refer to the Palestinians faking the news, but influencing willing dupes in the MSM to slant their coverage to make it as favorable to their side as possible:

Oh and speaking of Pallywood, like the fortunately late Yasser Arafat, a Washington Post “reporter” has developed the same ability say one thing to one audience, and a deliver a very different message to another, as spotted by Tim Graham of NewsBusters:

The lead reporter on Monday’s Washington Post story on Palestinian protests is Britain Eakin, whose Twitter bio reads “Graduate Student Extraordinaire in Journalism and Middle East Studies at UA, Tucson.”

Eakin is in no way a neutral observer of the Israel-Palestine conflict. As she’s reporting “objectively” for the Post, she’s tweeting out an editorial she’d written defending the Palestians against “Israel’s disproportionate war on Gaza”  for al-Jazeera America[.]

As Moe Lane commented last week when the Post ran an ugly cartoon showing Benjamin Netanyahu punching a Palestinian infant(!), “I was unaware that @amazon’s Jeff Bezos hates Jews.” Like GE funding first MSNBC and now Ezra Klein’s equally far left JuiceVox Mafia, Bezos will have to ponder how much he wants to let his news and opinion organization spiral out of control, lest it harm the reputation the cash cow that allowed him to purchase it.

Related: Of course, the crony socialism has paid off bigtime for GE: “Governor Andrew Cuomo just bet $135 million of New York taxpayer dollars on backing GE’s silicon carbide manufacturing efforts and IBM’s gallium nitride efforts:”

Which raises the question: if this technology is so terrific, why can’t the private sector do the research and development on it without extra funding from taxpayers? Part of the answer may be that the productivity gains from the technology are incremental rather than exponential. A GE report on silicon carbide touts that the material “could” improve the efficiency of wind and solar farms “by more than one percent.”

The other part of the answer is that the companies are able to find politicians, like President Obama and Governor Cuomo, who are willing to put public funds on the line. For the politicians, the danger is that the investment will result in a well-publicized failure, like the Obama administration’s investment in Solyndra, the solar energy company that went bankrupt. But in a lot of cases, the politicians will be out of office and on to other things before success or failure becomes obvious.

I await Vox’s explanation of why using tax payer funds to enrich behemoth corporations is an unalloyed public good.

Tweet of the Day

July 19th, 2014 - 3:24 pm

I hope they’re both put out of their misery, the latter merely rhetorically, of course.

CNN Reporter: Israelis Are ‘Scum’

July 18th, 2014 - 12:17 pm

diana_magnay_cnn_israelis_scum_7-17-14-1

This is CNN:

CNN International correspondent Diana Magnay referred to a group of Israelis as “scum” after she claimed that they were standing on a hill near the town of Sderot cheering as bombs landed in Gaza, according to a screen-shot of the comment captured by National Review.

“Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #Gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong’. Scum,” Magnay tweeted and then quickly deleted, though it was retweeted nearly 250 times before being taken down.

Magnay has been removed from covering the conflict and CNN issued an apology for her tweet.

Which they do on a regular basis when their correspondents express their true feelings regarding the Middle East. Right around this time in 2010, I wrote:

I must confess that as one of the vast majority of Americans who no longer watches CNN unless trapped in an airport, I hadn’t heard of Octavia Nasr, CNN’s senior editor of Mideast affairs, until I stumbled over a YouTube clip of her discussing the Gaza flotilla for today’s “Cold Civil War” video.  But, she’s now the latest CNN journalist to let the mask slip on her biases via Twitter. Or as as the URL of Daniel Helper’s post at the Weekly Standard describes succinctly, “cnn-editor-mourns-loss-terrorist:”

How did CNN senior editor of Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr celebrate July 4? By mourning the passing of Hezbollah’s Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. Here’s what the CNN editor posted on her Twitter account:

Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot..#Lebanon

I grabbed a screen shot of Nasr’s Twitter, both to illustrate this post, and because Tweets from leftwing old media figures occasionally seem to disappear from time to time.* “Oddly enough,” as Reuters, a news agency with a similar worldview as CNN, might say.

After Nasr was pushed out of CNN, I wrote:

Hey, Nasr was just carrying on where former CNN propagandist reporter Peter Arnett, soon-to-be departed Christiane Amanpour, and former head honcho Eason Jordan all left off. (Not to mention founder Ted Turner.) Unfortunately, much like Jordan himself when he preposterously declared at Davos in 2005 that US troops in Iraq were deliberately targeting journalists (after admitting that he was perfectly cool working for a former Iraqi dictator who was busy targeting US troops), Nasr also dropped the mask, and eliminated any shred of “objectivity.”

She eventually wound-up at MBC — the Dubai-based Middle East Broadcasting Center. Perhaps MBC considers CNN their farm team.

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The Cut and Paste President

July 17th, 2014 - 1:59 pm

“Barack Obama provoked fury in the U.S. by casually devoting mere moments to the deaths of 295 people aboard a Malaysian airliner on Thursday in Wilmington, Delaware, and then launching into jokes and his prepared remarks on the need to expand America’s transportation infrastructure,” the London Daily Mail reports:

Twenty-three Americans are feared dead after the jetliner crashed in eastern Ukraine.

Obama declared that ‘it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy, but not before enthusiastically declaring that ‘it is wonderful to be back in Delaware.’

‘Before I begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border. And it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy. Right now we’re working to determine whether there were American citizens on board. That is our first priority.’

‘And I’ve directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian governemnt. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why. And as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and passengers, wherever they call home.

Obama quickly returned to his prepared remarks.

‘I want to thank Jeremie for that introduction’ he said. ‘Give Jeremie a big round of applause.’

‘It is great to be in the state that gave us Joe Biden. We’ve got actually some better-looking Bidens with us here today. We’ve got Beau and his wife, Hallie, are here. Give them a big round of applause. We love them.’

Obama also acknowledged the presence of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew with a joke.

‘Jack Lew’s signature is actually on your money,’ he said, ‘although it’s kind of illegible. We teased him when he first became treasury secretary that he was going to have to fix his signature a little bit because it looked just like a caterpillar running along the bottom.’

From there he launched into a 16-minute speech about transportation projects he wants Republicans to fund, complaining bitterly about their objections to his end-runs around the federal legislature.

See, that’s the problem when the president is utterly dependent on his speech writers and teleprompter programmer that he’ll relentlessly stick to the script on such a grim news day, one in which 23 Americans were reported killed.

Meanwhile, with State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also ignoring the disaster in the Ukraine while “briefing” the press today, Allahpundit speculates that goal by Mr. Obama and Psaki is to make the White House appear as if “They’re in control of the narrative, not the media — or at least they want to be. In reality, [Fox's Sheppard Smith] and Jennifer Griffin are laughing at them and going back to covering the crash. Baffling, but this is where we are with two and a half years to go.”

How bad was Mr. Obama’s performance today? So awful that even Obama groupie Piers Morgan can figure it out:

Update: Jim Geraghty adds, “Some Days, It Feels Like We Don’t Have a President:”

This is the president who didn’t address the country for three days after the attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, who gave a “shout-out” to an audience member moments before his first comments on the Fort Hood shooting, and who attended a campaign rally on September 12, 2012, when most Americans awoke to the news of the murder of four Americans in a terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.

I understand the Obama White House never wants to look like they’re overreacting. They behave as if it’s impossible to underreact.

Note the empty chair in the photo at the bottom of Jim’s post.

Flashback: In sharp contrast to all of the above, “This is how an American president should address Russian aggression.”

With grim news out of Ukraine, Israel on edge, and an American president asleep at the fundraiser, today is shaping up to be a tense day of difficult, painful news. But fortunately, knowing when it’s time to lighten the mood, MSNBC provides us all with a little much-needed comic relief.

Or perhaps a far-too-close-to-the-mark CNN parody.

Israel Starts Ground Invasion

July 17th, 2014 - 1:03 pm

“IDF ground forces began to move into the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening, the prime minister’s office confirmed,”  The Jerusalem Post reports, as today’s news cycle accelerates into overdrive:

The purpose of the operation was  to destroy the Gazan terror tunnels leading to Israel, according to a statement released by the prime minister’s office.

“Israel is committed to act to protect its citizens. The operation will continue until its goals are reached: To bring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time, and to seriously harm Hamas and other terrorist organizations’ infrastructure in the Gaza Strip,” the statement read.

Prior to the commencement of the ground invasion, the IDF launched a massive wave of combined air and artillery strikes on Thursday night.

The IDF said that the operation will involve infantry, engineering corps, and tank units combined with air force and naval support and intelligence.

Palestinian sources said strikes occurred up and down the Strip, adding that one strike targeted a motorcycle apparently carrying members of a rocket launching cell on their way to an attack on
Israel.

At around 10:00 p.m. rocket sirens sounded in the Tel Aviv area, and in the Shfela. Iron Dome made a number of interceptions in the Tel Aviv area.

I’m reserving judgement on this story until Ezra Klein’s GE-sponsored JuiceVox Mafia tells me what to think about it:

vox_anti_israel_7-17-14

Free Salondotcom!

July 16th, 2014 - 7:46 pm

“Twitter Shuts Down Hilarious Salon Parody Account,” Robby Soave writes at Reason’s “Hit & Run” blog:

At approximately 5:50 P.M. EST, it became known that Twitter had shut down @Salondotcom, a hilarious parody of Salon run by The Daily Caller’s opinion editor, Jordan Bloom, and his roommate, Rob Mariani. @Salondotcom constantly tweeted fake headlines that perfectly aped Salon‘s everyone-is-racist-and-Republicans-are-worse-than-Hitler shtick.

Found via Glenn Reynolds — who had his own run-in with the Kafka-esque labyrinthine nature of the Twitter gulag a couple of years ago, and who, despite having over 31,000 Twitter followers and arguably inventing micro-blogging 13 years ago, still doesn’t have a Twitter-verified account.

How Not to Promote Immigration Reform

July 15th, 2014 - 3:15 pm

“This CNN story makes it sound like Jose Antonio Vargas worked very hard to get arrested. Which I guess makes sense,” Mollie Hemingway tweeted earlier today. Jonathan S. Tobin of Commentary adds that Vargas isn’t helping his cause:

Today, America’s most prominent illegal immigrant arrived at the border between Mexico and the United States to demonstrate his solidarity with the tens of thousands of people streaming into the country without permission. But the stunt by which former journalist Jose Antonio Vargas got himself arrested did more to undermine support for immigration reform than to foster sympathy for the illegals.

Vargas became a national figure three years ago when the former Washington Post reporter outed himself in the New York Times as an illegal immigrant. Vargas came to the United States at 12 from the Philippines to live with his grandparents who were naturalized citizens. But he was brought here by a “coyote” without a legal visa and spent the rest of his life lying about his status and using fake documents. After graduating college he consulted an immigration lawyer who told him his only path to citizenship was to return to his home country, wait ten years and then apply to come back with permission. On the cusp of a successful career he refused and continued lying even as he was part of a Post team that won a Pulitzer. Eventually, he tired of the deceit as he continued to rise in mainstream journalism and decided to put himself forward as a symbol of the plight of the so-called “dreamers”—people who were brought to the country illegally as kids and who went on to make a contribution to society.

“Spent the rest of his life lying about his status and using fake documents.” Vargas will never make it as a leftwing journalist with those sorts of tactics.

Oh wait — let me check with Dan Rather, Matt Yglesias, and Touré on that last supposition and get back to you.

And I better run it past the president, and academia, just to make certain.

Privilege Checked

July 15th, 2014 - 10:34 am

America’s most visible illegal alien detained, Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air, sadly using an exquisitely PC term in his first sentence:

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and activist who favors of immigration reform, is also a proud undocumented immigrant. Born in the Philippines but raised in the United States from the age of 12, Vargas worked and lived in America for years where he advocated through his reporting the reformation of American immigration laws.

Last week, Vargas penned a report from Texas for Politico Magazine chronicling the plight of a person in his position – a man without documentation on the frontlines of an immigration crisis. He recently produced a pro-reform documentary entitled Documented, which is set to air on CNN. It is not unfair to say that Vargas may be the most successful and well-known illegal immigrant in the United States. Indeed, that is a status and a reputation that Vargas has cultivated through his prolific and exemplary work after he revealed his illegal status in 2011.

On Monday, armed with only his Filipino passport and a copy of the United States Constitution, he was detained by immigration authorities in a Texas airport and taken to a border patrol station for processing.

The enforcement of American immigration law immediately sent the left into fits of rage.

Of course — what doesn’t send the left into fits of rage these days? Particularly when, as Noah writes, Vargas’ privilege was finally checked.

Vargas is employing a variation on a tactic that put Michael Moore on the map with his first film, Roger & Me. Just as Moore had an on-camera interview in the can with then-GM CEO Roger Smith, but couldn’t show it, lest it ruin the theme of his documentary, there’s little doubt that working through channels, Vargas could easily obtain legal American citizenship — but chooses not to do so, in order to flaunt his victim status, so desirable amongst his fellow leftists these days. (QED.)

Rothman writes that “It is true that Vargas is far more American than he is Filipino.” It will be interesting to see if he’ll decide to now make the former status official, or continue to wallow in self-imposed victimhood as the world’s most documented “undocumented” immigrant.

I Question the Premise

July 14th, 2014 - 10:57 am

It’s rare that a journalist gets it so spectacularly wrong in the first 50 words of his article, but in the Financial Times yesterday titled “A farewell to trust: Obama’s Germany syndrome,” British journalist Henry Luce augers the plane deeply into the ground without even leaving the runway:

What did the president know, and when did he know it? Such was demanded of Richard Nixon, who resigned 40 years ago next month. In no sense can President Barack Obama be morally compared with the man who brought us Watergate. He is neither a crook nor a liar.

Well other than the greatest generational wealth theft in American history, the IRS and Fast & Furious scandals, and the greatest example of serial lying by a president ever. Even leftwing house organ, the Orwellian-named “Politifact” heaved a big Al Gore-level sigh and reluctantly awarded Mr. Obama The Lie of the Year at the end of 2013:

Which may explain the 180 that Luce does in his next paragraph:

But Mr Obama shares one problem that could cripple what remains of his presidency – most people no longer trust him. The sentiment spans foreign allies as well as domestic critics. When trust goes, respect is seldom far behind.

Unexpectedly, as the president’s defenders at Bloomberg.com would reflexively say. The same goes for journalism as well, particularly those who still write such naive material about a president who has spun so dramatically out of control.

But then, as Wikipedia notes in Luce’s biography:

His first job was as a correspondent for The Guardian in Geneva. He first joined the Financial Times in 1995 and reported for the FT from the Philippines, after which he took one year sabbatical working in Washington, DC as the speech writer to Lawrence Summers, then US treasury secretary (1999–2001) during the Clinton administration.

Unexpectedly.

Dear Monsieur Fantasy

July 13th, 2014 - 11:53 am

Fantasy:

We have been dismayed most of all by Mr. Kerry’s zigzags on Iraq, such as his swervings on whether Saddam Hussein presented a threat. As Mr. Bush charges, Mr. Kerry’s description of the war as a “diversion” does not inspire confidence in his determination to see it through. But Mr. Kerry has repeatedly pledged not to cut and run from Iraq, and we believe a Kerry administration would be better able to tackle the formidable nation-building tasks that remain there. Mr. Kerry echoes the Bush goals of an elected Iraqi government and a well-trained Iraqi force to defend it but argues that he could implement the strategy more effectively.

Mr. Kerry understands that the biggest threat to U.S. security comes from terrorists wielding nuclear or biological weapons. He pledges to add two divisions to the U.S. Army; try harder to secure nuclear weapons and materials around the world, and improve U.S. preparations for a bioterrorism attack. There is no way to know whether he would be more successful than Mr. Bush in slowing North Korea’s and Iran’s march toward becoming nuclear-armed states, but he attaches the right priority to both problems. He is correct that those challenges, like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, call for the kind of sustained diplomacy that has been missing for four years. We hope he would be firmer than Mr. Bush in standing up to the genocide unfolding in Sudan.

We do not view a vote for Mr. Kerry as a vote without risks. But the risks on the other side are well known, and the strengths Mr. Kerry brings are considerable. He pledges both to fight in Iraq and to reach out to allies; to hunt down terrorists, and to engage without arrogance the Islamic world. These are the right goals, and we think Mr. Kerry is the better bet to achieve them.

“Kerry for President,” the reactionary knee-jerk pose of the Washington Post, October 24, 2004.

Reality, after five years of the Obama administration making a hash of the Middle East, particularly Iraq and Israel:

“Should John Kerry, given his commitment and the direness of the situation, pack his bags?” asked Aaron David Miller, former Middle East negotiator, at an event this week at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

“No,” said Shibley Telhami, an Arab-Israeli author, University of Maryland professor, and occasional advisor to the U.S. government. “We have to figure out a role to play, but the question is, where’s the influence going to come from? Who’s got the leverage with the two parties? … I don’t really see the U.S. as having a particularly strong hand in trying to stop the Israelis from doing anything they want to do in Gaza.”

Robert Danin, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that a Kerry visit would be a poor substitute for a more comprehensive effort by all of the other officials in the U.S. government to engage both sides at the working level. That could be much more effective than a high-profile, one-off high-level Kerry visit.

“Now is a time for active American diplomacy at the level below John Kerry,” he said. “I think we’ve gotten trapped into a mindset that either John Kerry does it or it doesn’t get done.”

“Everyone Says John Kerry Should Stay Out of the Middle East,” Josh Rogin, in the Daily Beast, the publication that the WaPo foisted Newsweek on for a dollar.

Two Time-Warners In One!

July 12th, 2014 - 12:50 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

“Increasingly, the Obama White House has become so brittle, and so controlling of the message, that people are afraid to respond to me,” said Kimberly Dozier, a former Associated Press reporter. She was one of the journalists whose phone records were obtained by the Department of Justice last spring during its investigation into a leak of classified information about a failed Al-Qaeda plot. The scope of that investigation, some critics said, was unprecedented overreach.

According to ProPublica, the Obama administration has filed eight cases under the Espionage Act, which criminalizes disclosing information harmful to national security. Before the Obama administration, only three known cases had ever been charged under the act.

“Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State,” Time magazine, yesterday.

Until last month when it was spun-off as an independent entity (hopefully headed for a fate worse than Newsweek), Time magazine was part of the Time-Warner-CNN-HBO empire, which collectively portrayed Barack Obama on the cover of Time magazine as the second coming of FDR immediately after winning election in November of 2008, presented a cake on-air in February of 2010 to celebrate the the one year anniversary of the generational wealth theft that was administration’s “stimulus” program, invited children on-air as human shields to sing the joys of Obamacare, lied about the nature of the program, and allowed its anchors to share an on-air “fist bump” in Fearless Leader’s honor. Not to mention paved the way for the administration in mid-2008 by declaring their TV “news” network to be a “Wright-Free Zone”:

We’ll flash-forward to this week, and watch as the hits just keep on coming, right after the page break.

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Cloward-Piven Everywhere

July 11th, 2014 - 11:51 am

“The Obama administration-driven calamity at this nation’s southern border is no naiveté-caused accident,” Tom Blumer wrote on June 24th at PJM. “Instead, it’s the latest manifestation of what clear-eyed observers must recognize is just one of many concerted attempts to overwhelm this nation’s institutions and its social, psychological and physical infrastructure for the apparent purpose of leaving it permanently weakened and fundamentally changed.” As Tom concluded:

For all practical purposes, Cloward-Piven is now a staple of leftist electoral campaign strategy. As one commenter recently noted (I unfortunately lost track of where it originated), the Obama reelection campaign’s 2012 strategy “wasn’t just to publish propaganda, but to publish (and) distribute propaganda in such magnitudes that that folks didn’t even have to think about it, they would just foam at the mouth at the mere mention of (Mitt) Romney’s name.”

As to the recent wave of “Unaccompanied Alien Children” — that’s the Department of Homeland Security’s term, not mine — make no mistake. President Barack Obama and his advisers had to know that hordes of unaccompanied children would be sent to cross our southern border when he unilaterally imposed “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” in June of 2012. Despite seeing its results, Homeland Security renewed DACA for two more years earlier this month. The default assumption simply must be that “Obama is using these children as pawns to implement his goal of universal citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

In other words, it’s Cloward-Piven, yet again.

Flash-forward to yesterday at Comcast-owned MSNBC, and as Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air, “Bloomberg View columnist Francis Wilkinson is apparently thrilled about the worst humanitarian crisis to impact the United States in years. Why? Let’s check his latest column which piqued the interest of MSNBC’s bookers.” Once on the set of MSNBC, Wilkinson really let his Cloward-Piven freak flag proudly fly:

Appearing on MSNBC to discuss his thesis, Wilkinson went a step further than he did in his column. In this segment, he suggested that Obama “wants” the present crisis, and he wants it to be a “big” one.

“I think he wants this to be a big problem,” Wilkinson told the hosts of MSNBC’s The Cycle on Thursday. “I think he wants this to be such big problem right now that Congress has to deal with it, and that the media’s focused on it, and that the American public is focused on it.”

The Bloomberg View columnist added that the GOP’s “nativist” streak is stronger than their hatred for the president, so they will cave to an immigration reform proposal if it is sufficiently focused on border protection.

“I think he wanted a big splash. I think he wanted a big story,” Wilkinson continued. “And I think he needs a big story and a big splash in order to force a resolution of the border.”

In the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan concurs:

There is every sign he let the crisis on the border build to put heat on Republicans and make them pass his idea of good immigration reform. It would be “comprehensive,” meaning huge, impenetrable and probably full of mischief. His base wants it. It would no doubt benefit the Democratic Party in the long term.

The little children in great danger, holding hands, staring blankly ahead, are pawns in a larger game. That game is run by adults. How cold do you have to be to use children in this way?

Which on one level is pretty rich considering that the Wall Street Journal has been calling for open borders for years — to the point of shaming conservatives who supported tighter controls over immigration, but these are still valid points, made by a former White House insider who can’t believe she once supported such a dysfunctional president.

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Two Time Magazines In One!

July 11th, 2014 - 10:34 am

Advancements in technology have fueled this White House’s obsession with controlling the message.

Jay Carney is free. But not loose – at least so far. After resigning as the press secretary for President Obama on June 20, Carney gave insight into the Obama administration’s handling of classified documents, and responded to criticism that this administration has been the most Orwellian in recent history.

“Bloggers, Surveillance and Obama’s Orwellian State,” Time magazine, today.

But the Time-Warner-CNN-HBO-owned publication promised its readers that Mr. Obama be the most socialist president in history — the second coming of FDR — before he even took office. As in the 1930s, the implication was that the American public’s freedoms were about to be trampled; why did the MSM think they would be immune?

time_obama_fdr_12-24-2008-3

Bonfire of the MSM’s Vanities

July 9th, 2014 - 6:42 pm

“Media Ignorance Is Becoming A Serious Problem,” Mollie Hemingway writes at the Federalist, in a must-read article on the pitiful 21st century state of the MSM. “Remember how President Reagan once quipped, ‘The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so’? Yeah, well, I think the ignorance may be turning into a problem,” Hemingway writes, with telling quotes from Zach Carter of the Huffington Post (recently defenestrated by Hugh Hewitt), Kate Zernike of the New York Timeswho has zero knowledge of Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek — and the Los Angeles Times’ David Savage, among other Democrat operatives with bylines.

But Hemingway really goes for the rhetorical jugular when it comes to “The special category that is Matt Yglesias”:

Perhaps no living writer more fully embraces unabashed ignorance than Yglesias. I couldn’t begin to adequately catalogue the examples but interested readers might enjoy “Does Matthew Yglesias Ever Tire Of Being Embarrassingly Wrong About Everything?” and “Taming The Fury Of Rage: How Not To Write, Starring Slate’s Matt Yglesias.”

Everyone has their favorite example of Matt Yglesias not knowing what the heck he’s talking about. I have many, including his confusion over why the Vatican has a separate embassy from Italy and the day he found out about the Everglades.

But whatever your topic, you can find a good Yglesian whiff on it. Finance. Demeny voting. Mac vs. PC. Public Choice theory. Common figures of speech. Telecommunications policy. Hugo Chavez. The United States Senate. Black conservatives. Obamacare implementation. The U.S. Senate again. Democratic presidential primaries. Tort reform. John Edwards. Hayek and Coase. Telling the truth. Knowing about rent-seeking. The list is endless.

Brutal.

One of the items that zooms by in Hemingway’s incredible assemblage of Yglesiasian hyperlinks is “Telling the truth.” Let’s pause on that for a moment, as this focuses on a telling statement the former Washington Post employee tweeted a few years ago:

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The journalists who populated America’s newspapers in the pre-Watergate 20th century by and large weren’t Columbia Journalism School graduates, but for the most part, blue collar types who could pound their Underwoods and had a keen sense for wanting to know who was screwing who over what and a desire to share it with the world. (See The Front Page or His Girl Friday to get a sense of this era of journalism.) Similarly, Mark Steyn has noted that in England, “Fleet Street was a great place, because the whole culture of British journalism was these kind of hard-drinking, scurrilous, unrespectable hacks. And compared to the kind of pompous, acetic, clean-living blowhards of today’s mainstream media in the United States, I’d rather have all those grubby Fleet Street guys.”

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Rome’s Caligula was famous for fawning over his horse Incitatus, about whom Wikipedia, our modern-day Oracle of Delphi tells us:

…was the favored horse of Roman emperor Caligula (reigned 37–41 AD). His name is a Latin adjective meaning “swift” or “at full gallop”.

According to Suetonius’s Lives of the Twelve Caesars (121 AD), Incitatus had a stable of marble, with an ivory manger, purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones. Dio Cassius has indicated that the horse was attended to by servants, and was fed oats mixed with gold flake. Suetonius also wrote that it was said that Caligula planned to make Incitatus a consul, and that the horse would “invite” dignitaries to dine with him in a house outfitted with servants there to entertain such events.

Our own 21st century would-be Roman emperor had an equally surreal equine encounter yesterday during his fund-raising jaunt to Denver, which had terrible optics even before the above run-in. “You might remember Horse Head Guy running down the street during Hurricane Sandy,” Ace wrote last night. I don’t know if this is that Horse Head Guy, or one of his many imitators/cultists.”

With the border crisis threatening to become Obama’s Katrina moment, as Allahpundit notes at Hot Air, even dedicated Obama groupies such as Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast are questioning the president’s decisions:

For one thing, there is the specific parallel of the flyover: Obama was going to Texas for a fundraiser but wasn’t planning on going to the border? I usually try to ask myself what I’d be saying if a Republican did X, and if a Republican did that, I’d be teeing off. It’s not defensible.

Second, Obama is at a really vulnerable point in his presidency, I think, not dissimilar to the point George W. Bush was at in August 2005, when Katrina hit. Then, Bush’s approval rating was generally in the mid-40s, as Obama’s is now. Hanging on, but vulnerable to one straw that could break the camel’s back…

I don’t understand it. I covered New York mayors. When a crisis hits, you go. If it’s 3 in the f***ing morning and way out in some part of Staten Island you’ve never even heard of, you go. Obama should have been in Texas or California or Arizona last week.

“None of that explains the good times with Horsehead and the new Choom Gang in Denver yesterday,” Allahpundit responds:

Why do that when even liberals are nervous about the optics here? I assume O’s thinking (a) that the public’s attention span for all news not related to missing jumbo jets is now down to about 35 minutes, which means this will all be distant, distant memory by the time people go to vote in November, and (b) he’s going to infuriate border hawks pretty soon anyway when he issues his mass amnesty for the millions of adult illegals who are already here. In which case, why not laugh in their faces while doing it? Where’s the fun in being a lame-duck king who can rewrite federal law on a whim if you have to walk around looking grim and pretend-worried all the time? Next time someone offers him a joint, he should take it. Choom on, big guy.

DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile finally admitted last year at CNN that in reality, “Bush came through on Katrina.” But that didn’t stop the media from creating a massive hurricane of their own in the fall of 2005, which certainly aided in their party retaking control of the House and Senate the following year. And as Scott Ott writes elsewhere at PJM, there are at least three reasons “Why the Border Crisis Is Much Worse Than ‘Obama’s Katrina Moment:’”

#1. Immigration is, constitutionally, a federal responsibility. Disaster relief is not. President Calvin Coolidge actually refused to travel to the disaster region after the Great Flood of 1927 — a move he viewed as political grandstanding, accomplishing nothing. Coolidge resisted efforts to make flood control a federal issue, believing private property owners were responsible. But immigration, unquestionably, belongs in the federal arena.

So will the border crisis become Obama’s “Katrina moment?” Well, it won’t be because of the MSM, which created that “moment” in the first place, Mickey Kaus noted back in September of 2005:

[Katrina] and its New Orleans aftermath at least seemed to solve a big problem for anti-Bush commentators and politicians. Previously, they couldn’t grouse about the Iraq War without seeming defeatist (and anti-liberationist and maybe even selfishly isolationist). Even the Clintons never figured a way out of that trap. But nature has succeeded where they failed; it has opened up a way out, at least temporarily. Now Bush opponents can argue, in some cases quite accurately, that without the Iraq deployment aid would have gotten to New Orleans faster. And ‘if we can [tk] in Iraq, why can’t we [tk] in our own South?’ They aren’t being selfish. They are just asserting priorities! In short, Katrina gives them a way to talk about Iraq without talking about Iraq. No wonder Gwen Ifill smiles the “inner smile.”

Since Ifill and the rest of the MSM function as Democrat operatives with bylines, any attempt at creating a similar Katrina-like association for Obama likely won’t be coming from the MSM anytime soon, which means, as Allapundit writes, Barry really is free to choom on and/or party on with Incitatus.

Though I would advise against wearing dog masks around our modern-day Caligula-lite. Just sayin’.

“Notwithstanding two years of headlines re Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and others, not everyone at the Beeb in my day was a paedophile — or at least I don’t think so,” Mark Steyn wrote last week, in a profile of Rolf Harris, who at the end of last month was “found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on young girls in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties,” Mark writes:

Just about the only part of my career I truly regret was the time I spent at the BBC, who very kindly fired me back in the Nineties. Otherwise, I’d have a lot more time to regret. Notwithstanding two years of headlines re Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and others, not everyone at the Beeb in my day was a paedophile — or at least I don’t think so. Nonetheless, it was something of a shock to hear that Rolf Harris has been found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault on young girls in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. As I said when he was charged nine months ago, it almost certainly marks the demise of his small but enduring catalogue of novelty songs. “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” and “Jake The Peg (With The Extra Leg)” delighted generations of children in both Britain and Australia, but it’s hard to see them getting much airplay now, or any other singer reviving them given the name of the author.

I knew none of that when I selected Rolf Harris’ biggest hit as Steyn’s Song of the Week to mark his 80th birthday in 2010. We reprint it here as an elegy for a number we’re unlikely to be hearing much of after yesterday’s verdict:

Naturally, England’s left are taking the news about as well as you’d expect. “Some university academics make the case for paedophiles at summer conferences,” Andrew Gilligan of the London Telegraph wrote on Saturday:

Last week, after the conviction of Rolf Harris, the report into Jimmy Savile and claims of an establishment cover-up to protect a sex-offending minister in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet, Britain went into a convulsion of anxiety about child abuse in the Eighties. But unnoticed amid the furore is a much more current threat: attempts, right now, in parts of the academic establishment to push the boundaries on the acceptability of child sex.

A key factor in what happened all those decades ago in the dressing rooms of the BBC, the wards of the NHS and, allegedly, the corridors of power was not just institutional failings or establishment “conspiracies”, but a climate of far greater intellectual tolerance of practices that horrify today.

With the Pill, the legalisation of homosexuality and shrinking taboos against premarital sex, the Seventies was an era of quite sudden sexual emancipation. Many liberals, of course, saw through PIE’s cynical rhetoric of “child lib”. But to others on the Left, sex by or with children was just another repressive boundary to be swept away – and some of the most important backing came from academia.

As one of Glenn Reynolds’ commenters quips, “the day is coming when the Catholic Church will be excoriated not for covering up pedophilia, but for opposing it.”

Meanwhile, at the newspaper of choice for those who practice the religion of socialism in England, “Guardian blogger Jonathan Jones feels vindicated. He alone once had the courage to call the inexplicably famous Rolf Harris a shitty painter to his face, and now Harris is a convicted child molester, so there. Or something,” Kathy Shaidle writes, noting that Jones wrote “a particularly sweeping statement of smug class-conscious snobbery, even by Guardian standards.”

Jones sneered, “Perhaps it all goes to show that the middlebrow is inherently corrupt.” As Kathy responds:

Jones didn’t even bother name checking the usual convicts—disgraced American daubist Thomas Kinkade; serial killer-cum-clown painter John Wayne Gacy; the freeze-dried personification of evil Amerikkka, Walt Disney—to bolster his theory. Why bother?

Pointing to frustrated artist Hitler’s taste for baroque spectacle and corny symbolism, leftists have equated lower- and middlebrow kitsch with fascism for generations, and “fascism” with “anything they don’t approve of” rather more recently. (When I still “worked” with flaky progressives, my complaints about their inefficiency were always met with a somber, “Mussolini made the trains run on time, you know…”)

If earnest, unironic kitsch is Nazi Germany, then its first cousin—gay, “edgy,” winking camp (which the left adores)—is Weimar. And we all know who won that scuffle. But leftists love nothing so much as a lost cause. Camp is the Spanish Civil War of aesthetics.

The Nazis may have won the scuffle, but Weimar really won the war, as its intellectuals fled Nazi Germany, resulting in Weimar culture and its worldview being spread far and wide, as Allan Bloom perceptively noted in 1987′s The Closing of the American Mind. I suspect a Weimar-era boulevardier of 1920s-era Berlin put into a time machine and fast-forwarded into today’s London, New York, Hollywood, or San Francisco would find much to approve of those cities’ culture and nightlife, and the values their media pumps out to the rest of the world.

Today’s middlebrow may well be “inherently corrupt,” but I wonder if anybody at the Guardian will explore how it got that way — and explain why, from their perspective, they consider that corruption to be a bad thing?