Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

The Memory Hole

“Time Magazine warned of a growing threat to cops nationwide in September 2010,” Scott Greer writes at the Daily Caller today, one of many visits to the memory hole that conservatives are doing today, to remind readers of just how paranoid the left were from mid-2009 when the Tea Party movement first swept the country, until their orgy of anti-right wing rhetoric in the wake of the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords*  by an apolitical lunatic. As Greer noted, “The nationally renowned publication argued that sinister individuals would launch targeted attacks against police officers and even ambush them in their patrol cars…Who are these groups that present such a threat to police? Right-wing militias, according to Time.” At the end of his article, Greer notes:

The author specifically warns that these groups pose an imminent threat to law enforcement officials and should be closely monitored. Gellman relies heavily on a retracted 2009 DHS report — simply titled “Rightwing Extremism” — for his finding. That very same report was quickly pulled by the DHS after its release and was widely criticized for claiming that ordinary citizens upset by the election of President Barack Obama pose a danger to the country.

Since the article’s publication, there have hardly been any reported cases of violence stemming from individuals connected to the militia movement. There is one possible case from June of this year, but it could not be determined whether the two killers in the Las Vegas shooting spree had any connections with militia groups.

Meanwhile, the suspected gunman behind the Saturday ambush of two New York City police officers was certainly not a right-wing militant. Ismaaiyl Brinsley was reportedly a member of the notorious prison gang, the Black Guerrilla Family, which espouses a mix of black nationalism and Marxism. The gang declared “open season” on NYPD officers earlier in December following the non-indictment of the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner. (RELATED: Suspect In NYPD Cop Execution Sought Revenge For Mike Brown And Eric Garner)

A thorough search of Time’s archive produced no stories about the threat that communists, black nationalists or prison gangs pose to police.

Until this past summer, Time magazine was owned by Time-Warner-CNN-HBO. CNN would hire admitted communist and 9/11 truther Van Jones to co-host Crossfire, (a brand name the network reviewed despite their pledge in January of 2011 to cease using gun-related language) and Piers Morgan to aggressively push their radical anti-Second Amendment agenda. Jones would later go on to demagogue the Ferguson riots last month while on location for CNN.

* And a federal judge appointed by George H.W. Bush, usually forgotten by the left because he didn’t fit the requirements needed to advance their anti-GOP narrative.

Its Orgin and Purpose, Still a Total Mystery

December 20th, 2014 - 3:25 pm

That’s the shot (literally, alas). Here’s the chaser:

 

Related:

Twitchy has a round-up of initial “f*** the pigs”-style tweets from those expressing sympathy for the shooter and his “unclear” motives, a a thoroughly depressing but necessary archive, as some will likely be deleted upon further consideration.

Update:

More from Rick Moran at the PJ Tatler.

Hey, it’s not like they were on the Axis of Evil of anything:

North Korea has similarly denied the massive hack of Sony Pictures, which has been forced to cancel next week’s planned release of “The Interview,” a comedy about an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

But KCNA applauded the attack.

“The hacking into the SONY Pictures might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK,” it said, using the acronym of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “The hacking is so fatal that all the systems of the company have been paralyzed, causing the overall suspension of the work and supposedly a huge ensuing loss.”

Experts point to several signs of North Korean involvement. They say there are similarities between the malware used in the Sony hack and previous attacks against South Korea. Both were written in Korean, an unusual language in the world of cybercrime.

“Unfortunately, it’s a big win for North Korea. They were able to get Sony to shut down the picture. They got the U.S. government to admit that North Korea was the source of this and there’s no action plan really, at least publicly no action plan, in response to it,” said Cha. “I think from their perspective, in Pyongyang, they’re probably popping the champagne corks.”

I didn’t see the segment, but my wife was telling me that when she caught a few minutes of CNN while having lunch with some business associates today, everyone the network interviewed was angry with Sony (this was before news of Paramount knuckling under as well) for capitulating to North Korean demands to censor their media. Which seems rather paradoxical, given that, as is their wont with any socialist dictator*, CNN gave in to North Korean censorship long ago:

And let’ss not forget this infamous 2005 segment with the network’s goofy far left founder. Ted Turner red-lined the Godwin meter in interviews when he learned that Fox News was launching in the mid-1990s. But when faced with a 21st century national socialist regime, he was quite happy to sing their praises, the very definition of the phrase “useful idiot”:

* Foreign and domestic.

But then, it’s not like most MSM outlets don’t have a similarly huge mote in their eye on the issue of choosing self-censorship over advancing the First Amendment:

Update: From Ace, “What Exactly Has North Korea Done That Progressives Don’t Do Every Single Day?”

A professor blogged a criticism of a teaching assistant, who’d discussed gay marriage in her classroom, but then shut down all dissent, claiming dissent to be illegitimate (per his claim).

Result? The university is “investigating” him and has suspended him from all teaching duties.

Ace’s headline resonates particularly strongly here in California, where Sacramento’s first impulse is to ban everything. Not to mention at CNN, which has a pretty strong ban everything instinct as well. As does MSNBC, where “Lawrence O’Donnell probably would have pulled ‘The Interview’ too,” his associate Chris Hayes tweeted tonight.

Pages: 1 2 | 21 Comments bullet bullet

“The great start-up slowdown” is explored by the Washington Post:

The more pronounced of those trends is a slowing birthrate for new businesses. The slowdown has persisted over two decades and has worsened since 2000. Economists aren’t entirely sure what’s causing it.

The nation’s “start-up rate,” the number of new companies as a share of total companies, declined by 12 percent from the late 1980s to the eve of the Great Recession. That’s according to research by John Haltiwanger, a pathbreaking University of Maryland economist who studies business dynamics, and several co-authors. They found the rate dropped even further during the recession: By 2011, it was about 25 percent lower than it was in the late ’80s.

Recent research from the Brookings Institution confirms that compared to 25 years ago, a smaller share of Americans today work in start-up companies and that a smaller share of companies are start-ups. Even the tech industry — that bastion of venture capital and IPOs — has seen its start-up rate decline. In 1982, Haltiwanger and coauthors report, 3 in 5 high-tech firms were young start-ups; in 2012, that had fallen to less than 2 in 5.

This is bad for middle-class workers. Newer companies create a lot more jobs, on net, than long-established ones, according to several studies, including a recent one by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which compiles economic statistics for wealthy nations around the world. (This is true even though so many start-ups fail.) Haltiwanger’s research suggests America would have 1.1 million more jobs today if dynamism were still at even mid-1980s levels. More jobs would reduce competition among would-be workers for available slots, which would mean companies would need to pay workers more to attract or keep them.

I blame the Washington Post.

Well, at least a little bit. After pulling out all the stops to get Mr. Obama elected, at dawn of his presidency, the Post, through its then-Newsweek division, ran the following cover:

2009_socialist_newsweek_cover_5-5-13-1

If you’re plumping for socialism, you’re also rejecting a dynamic entrepreneur-friendly economy in search of what Virginia Postrel calls stasism, a freeze-dried early-20th century economic paradigm in which big corporations, through plenty of help from government, happily crush small businesses into the ground.

Short of full-out nationalization*, that model seems like an ideal solution or at least a nifty modified limited hangout** when your industry is in its death-throes, and it’s not a coincidence that the Graham Family first divested itself of Newsweek after a half century of ownership for a dollar a year and a half after the above cover, and then last year offloaded the Post itself at fire-sale prices to Jeff Bezos.

Since Bezos made his money launching a quintessential start-up, presumably the new iteration of the Post is a bit more start-up friendly (at least for now). But the sins of their namesake predecessors shouldn’t be forgotten.

* Which Salon called on the government to do to all of media. No, really. Say, I wonder if they’ll ask the new Congress to take up the idea next year…?

** Whom the Gods destroy, they first transform into the second coming of the Post’s nemesis, the Nixon Administration. (See also: Rather, Dan.)

Life in Post-Truth America

December 17th, 2014 - 4:03 pm

American transformed itself into Orwell’s Oceania so slowly, I hardly even noticed. Fortunately, Daniel Greenfield did; at his Sultan Knish blog, he charts the Inner Party’s descent into madness from Bill Clinton’s “what the meaning of ‘is’ is” moment until today, when he concludes:

Progressives don’t only live in a post-American world; they live in a post-Truth world. A world without facts and without truth is one in which the America that was cannot exist.

America had prospered because of a firm belief in a discoverable and exploitable reality. That was the country that could build skyscrapers and fleets in a year. Post-Truth America has little interest in big buildings because it’s too busy enacting a psychodrama in which the earth is about to be destroyed. And fleets, like horses and bayonets and facts, are 19th century toys that are much less interesting than the manipulation of people through lies and deceit.

Lena Dunham’s Barry and Obama’s Barry are both imaginary creatures. They are the sophisticated products of disordered minds and a disordered civilization whose leading figures lie as instinctively and as shamelessly as any pre-rational culture that could not distinguish between lies and truth.

Read the whole thing.

What happens when those disordered minds shaping a disordered civilization are called on their madness? “Win, and a multitude of weaknesses will go unnoticed. Lose, and out comes the crazy,” Steve Sailer writes on “The Progressive crack-up of late 2014,” And who brings the muscle behind the crazy? It’s “The Left’s Shock Troops,” Rich Lowry adds at NRO. “Anti-police protesters have found their enemy, and it is commuters and shoppers.”

But then, the left have been targeting hapless American commuters for decades now:

cant_breathe_maryjo_12-17-14-2

Michelle Obama’s Rashomon Racism

December 17th, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

The protective bubble that comes with the presidency – the armored limo, the Secret Service detail, the White House – shields Barack and Michelle Obama from a lot of unpleasantness. But their encounters with racial prejudice aren’t as far in the past as one might expect. And they obviously still sting.

* * * * * * * *

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

“The Obamas: How We Deal with Our Own Racist Experiences,” a People Magazine “Exclusive,” today.

“That’s my Target run. I went to Target,” she said. “I thought I was undercover. I have to tell you something about this trip though. No one knew that was me because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said — I kid you not — she said, ‘Excuse me, I just have to ask you something,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, cover’s blown.’ She said, ‘Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?’  I kid you not.”

As the audience laughed, she went on, “And the only thing she said — I reached up, ’cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down — she said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good. … She had no idea who I was. I thought, as soon as she walked up — I was with my assistant, and I said, ‘This is it, it’s over. We’re going to have to leave.’ She just needed the detergent.”

“Michelle Obama talks Target and her dad on Letterman’s couch,” the Politico, March 19, 2012.

As the Insta-Professor adds today in response to the First Lady’s Target-ed revisionism, “What’s interesting to me about this obviously-contrived episode is how hard the Obamas are working to position themselves as Super-Sharptons for the post-presidency.”

(H/T: Ashe Schow.)

Update: From Jim Treacher, “Michelle Obama: America Is So Racist, A White Lady At Target Asked Me To Reach The Top Shelf,” with video of Michelle on Letterman in 2012 during her earlier, funnier days.

Actually only the first three words of Ed Morrissey headline at The Week are really necessary when it comes to anything involving the pedantic Hollywood archleftist. As Ed writes, “The famed screenwriter is unhappy that news outlets are publishing emails leaked by hackers. But that’s what the media do:”

Sorkin, for his part, argued that the leaked material had no real news value, unlike the leaks from the Edward Snowden cache or the Pentagon Papers. Sony isn’t a government or Enron, he pointed out, but a movie studio, and nothing of what was stolen and published had any social or cultural value, appealing only to the prurient and the nosy.

In this, Sorkin landed a clean punch — but perhaps he was too much on target. His essay could easily be taken for an argument against the existence of Variety altogether. After all, Variety doesn’t cover governments or the Enrons of the world. What exactly is Variety supposed to cover, if not news about the studios and celebrities, the appetite for which can be best described as prurience and nosiness?

For that matter, the entertainment industry hardly rises to Sorkin’s stated standards, despite his best efforts. He fulminated about a NATO-type treaty among studios and unions to lobby Congress for some kind of action to defend against an attack on “one of America’s largest exports.” Sony Entertainment is a subsidiary of the Japanese corporation, of course, so it’s not exactly an American export. And if the American film industry as a whole is so important that it requires Congress to protect it, then suddenly we’re back to grounds that it is newsworthy, and that Variety and other media outlets are correct to exercise scrutiny whenever possible.

There is also a hint of double standards in Sorkin’s outrage. If the Rudin-Pascal email exchange had taken place at another corporation — say, Walmart or Koch Industries — would Sorkin have objected to a hack that exposed it, and media coverage about the exchange? Or would it have been just great journalism, as long as it didn’t gore Sorkin’s own ox?

Consider this: The IRS leaked confidential financial information about the National Organization for Marriage before the 2012 election, after which it ended up in the hands of its opponents, Human Rights Watch. It then got disseminated to media outlets, which published the data and damaged the conservative group’s operations during a political campaign. A similar leak struck the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, whose financial records also got published by a liberal outlet before the 2012 election.

On a public policy basis, as well as on the affront-to-American-values scale, those infractions should rank a little higher than the Sony hack. Yet Sorkin didn’t seem bothered by reporters following up on those leaks. Or perhaps I missed Sorkin’s call for Congress to take action against the IRS and its targeting of private conservative organizations.

Note that Sony’s op-ed ran in the New York Times, which published the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon era, but famously did everything it could to bury the Climategate scandal in November of 2009, as Alana Goodman wrote at Commentary:

Some may argue that it’s unfair to criticize [New York Times’ ‘environmental’ ‘reporter’ Andrew Revkin] for his private comments, and point out that none of these emails on its own could be characterized as an egregious ethical lapse. Maybe. But combined, they point to a pattern. There’s also this: Revkin was the same Times reporter who refused to publish the first trove of ClimateGate emails in 2009, claiming they were off-limits because they were “private” conversations (a standard the paper evidently hasn’t applied to other leaked documents). He also dismissed the scandal as meritless.

As one of the leading national environmental reporters, Revkin had a huge amount of influence over whether the ClimateGate controversy went anywhere. He ended up doing all he could to snuff it out. Should the fact that he wasn’t just involved in the emails, but also seemed to portray himself as an ideological ally to the scientists, raise ethical questions about the Times’ coverage of the first ClimateGate? I’d say so. And maybe Revkin’s departure from the news section one month after the emails leaked in 2009 means that, internally, the Times thought so as well.

As I wrote in November of 2009, Revkin’s motto back then seemed to be “All the News That’s Fit to Bury:”

Seeing as they each impact key pillars of what today passes for liberalism, there seems to be more than a few connections between the recent ACORN stings by Giles, O’Keefe and Breitbart, and the recent hacking of the emails of the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit, or “Global WarmingGate”, as Charlie Martin dubs it elsewhere at Pajamas. Not the least is that they each sent the legacy media into full gatekeeper mode, hoping to prevent exciting, important news of current events from ever reaching their readers. Or perhaps, like the scandal last year involving John Edwards, sitting on the stories for so long, while making claims that they have to endlessly research them to verify their authenticity — Keep rockin’! — that when the legacy media decides to go “public” with news that everyone already knows, they can dramatically dilute the ultimate impact of these stories.

And then the Times went on to ask its readers to crowdsource any revelations in Sarah Palin’s emails, confirming its biases, and what news the admittedly leftwing paper deems fit to print.

Related: While Sony’s Amy Pascal, who previously banished Mel Gibson to industry Siberia for his drunken anti-Semitic rants rushes to Al Sharpton in an effort to save her job (see also: Imus, Don), don’t miss the New York Post on Scott Rudin, her co chair, “The man known as Hollywood’s biggest a-hole.” And that’s saying something, given the industry baseline.

If the Lies Don’t Fit, Time Magazine Must Omit

December 16th, 2014 - 2:22 pm

“Jonathan Gruber should’ve been Time’s Person of the Year,” Jonah Goldberg writes at the L.A. Times, likely much to the consternation of his ultra-PC editors there, who I’m sure have dreams of using Time as a career escape valve, one way or another:

I think Time missed an opportunity in not putting Gruber on the cover. Tea partyers and Wall Street occupiers disagree on a great many things, but there’s one place where the Venn diagrams overlap: the sense we’re all being played for suckers, that the rules are being set up to benefit those who know how to manipulate the rules. The left tends to focus on Wall Street types whose bottom line depends more on lobbying Washington than satisfying the consumer.

But Gruber is something special. He was supposed to be better, more pure than the fat cats. Touted by press and politicians alike as an objective and fair-minded arbiter of healthcare reform, the MIT economist was in fact a warrior for the cause, invested emotionally, politically and, it turns out, financially through undisclosed consulting arrangements. The people who relied on his expertise never bothered to second-guess his conflicts of interest because they, too, were warriors in the same fight.

In speeches and interviews, Gruber admitted he helped the Obama administration craft the law in such a way that it would seem like it didn’t tax the American people when it did. Using insights gleaned in part from his status as an advisor to the Congressional Budget Office, Gruber helped construct an actuarial Trojan Horse that could smuggle a tax hike past the CBO bean counters. If the individual mandate was counted as a tax it would be a big political liability for President Obama (fortunately for Obamacare, the Supreme Court saw through the subterfuge and called it tax, rendering it constitutional).

Gruber then mocked the “stupidity of the American voter” for not seeing through the camouflage he helped design.

No matter much Gruber and his fellow leftists hate us, as Iowahawk has noted, it wasn’t we on the right Gruber was mocking; we immediately saw the multifaceted dangers of Obamacare for what they were and sounded the alarm. Still, perhaps Time magazine didn’t want to rehash their previous mea culpa last year for how badly they and the rest of the cogs in the Time-Warner-CNN-HBO* conglomerate blew this story:

But in 2009 and 2010, when it mattered,  during the run-up to Obamacare’s passing, HBO and CNN, both owned by the same conglomerate as Mark Halperin’s Time magazine were doing the DNC’s bidding by insulting any of its detractors as racists, and CNN was inviting high school kids into the studio to sing pro-Obamacare propaganda:

* Time left their namesake owners this past summer. But they were very much a key member of the conglomerate during the period it thoroughly enjoyed being spokesmen for the Obama administration’s disastrous signature “achievement.” I mean, they gave themselves cake and everything to celebrate the joys of being used.

If the Lie Doesn’t Fit, Politifact Must Omit

December 16th, 2014 - 1:57 pm

“The actual Lie of the Year was too hot for PolitiFact,” as is often the case when it works against The Narrative. As Don Surber notes, “for three months, Dorian Johnson’s lies fueled riots across the country. The whole Hands Up, Don’t Shoot movement is based on this lie. The news media including Fox News has refused to call his lies what they are: lies:”

Rather than take on the biggest prevarication of 2014 — one that threatened to tear the nation apart along racial lines — the people at PolitiFact went with a vague and lame “exaggerations about Ebola.” A lie is a statement that is knowingly false. Exaggerations stretch the truth. PolitiFact’s confusion over what is a lie is the most embarrassing admission by a new organization that compiles these lists since Time Magazine selected YOU! as its Man of the Year in 2006.

The lie of the year is Dorian Johnson’s statement to Wolf Blitzer about the shooting and death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last August: ”I saw the officer proceeding after my friend Big Mike with his gun drawn, and he fired a second shot and that struck my friend Big Mike. And at that time, he turned around with his hands up, beginning to tell the officer that he was unarmed and to tell him to stop shooting. But at that time, the officer firing several more shots into my friend, and he hit the ground and died.”

That was a lie. The autopsy and testimony from at least a half-dozen witnesses confirm that Dorian Johnson lied through his teeth.

But PolitiFact is too spineless to call that the Lie of the Year because the American press in the 21st century is afraid of being called racist by liberal black organizations.

When it comes to the Orwellianly-named “Politifact,” as the Insta-Professor would say, “Just think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.”

Update: “PolitiFact got nearly everything about its ‘Lie of the Year’ wrong,” Commentary’s Seth Mandel writes. Which brings us back to the previous quote from Glenn Reynolds.

These Kids Today!

December 15th, 2014 - 12:03 pm

The Atlantic whines about “The Cheapest Generation: Why Millennials aren’t buying cars or houses, and what that means for the economy:”

In 2009, Ford brought its new supermini, the Fiesta, over from Europe in a brave attempt to attract the attention of young Americans. It passed out 100 of the cars to influential bloggers for a free six-month test-drive, with just one condition: document your experience online, whether you love the Fiesta or hate it.

Young bloggers loved the car. Young drivers? Not so much. After a brief burst of excitement, in which Ford sold more than 90,000 units over 18 months, Fiesta sales plummeted. As of April 2012, they were down 30 percent from 2011.

Don’t blame Ford. The company is trying to solve a puzzle that’s bewildering every automaker in America: How do you sell cars to Millennials (a k a Generation Y)? The fact is, today’s young people simply don’t drive like their predecessors did. In 2010, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 bought just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, down from the peak of 38 percent in 1985. Miles driven are down, too. Even the proportion of teenagers with a license fell, by 28 percent, between 1998 and 2008.

In a bid to reverse these trends, General Motors has enlisted the youth-brand consultants at MTV Scratch—a corporate cousin of the TV network responsible for Jersey Shore—to give its vehicles some 20-something edge. “I don’t believe that young buyers don’t care about owning a car,” says John McFarland, GM’s 31-year-old manager of global strategic marketing. “We just think nobody truly understands them yet.” Subaru, meanwhile, is betting that it can appeal to the quirky eco-­conscious individualism that supposedly characterizes this generation. “We’re trying to get the emotional connection correct,” says Doug O’Reilly, a publicist for Subaru. Ford, for its part, continues to push heavily into social media, hoping to more closely match its marketing efforts to the channels that Millennials use and trust the most.

In 2012, Ann Althouse spotted the New York Times sneeringly dub Millenials the “The Go-Nowhere Generation” and complaining that “Back in the early 1980s, 80 percent of 18-year-olds proudly strutted out of the D.M.V. with newly minted licenses, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. By 2008 — even before the Great Recession — that number had dropped to 65 percent.”

As Althouse replied, “Isn’t that what the Boomer generation told them to do? Cars are bad. They are destroying the planet. Then, when they avoid driving, we scold them for being — what? — sedentary? unambitious? incurious?!”

If they were supposed to believe that movie — “An Inconvenient Truth” — that was showed to them by one public school teacher after another, why aren’t we celebrating them now for their teeny tiny carbon footprint? Just give them a tiny room and a computer with high-speed internet, and they’ll be perfectly happy.

But Generation Y has become Generation Why Bother….

Etc. etc. These kids today! Speaking of “Why Bother,” why did we boomers bother to teach them to sneer at aggressive capitalism, consumeristic acquisitiveness, and driving powerful cars if we were going to turn around and whine about their not competing vigorously enough?

Over to you, Atlantic, Vox, BuzzFeed, Gray Lady, and their ultimate boss, our semi-retired president, who began down the path to his golden Millennial-funded retirement plan with gems such as this in 2008:

(Via Maggie’s Farm.)

Rolling Stone and the Myth of a Rape Epidemic

December 13th, 2014 - 2:08 pm

“The stunning news that Rolling Stone now disowns its story that claimed a female student was gang-raped at a University of Virginia (UVA) fraternity shows that the drive to root out ‘rape culture’ is spinning out of control,” Sean Collins of England’s Spiked writes. “We’re living through a full-blown panic, akin to the daycare sexual abuse scandals of the 1980s and early 1990s, with bad consequences for both women and men:”

The unravelling of the Rolling Stone article is not an isolated event, nor simply the case of one journalist’s lapse in ethics. The New York Times has highlighted cases at colleges such as Columbia and Hobart and William Smith, among others, in a similar way to Rolling Stone’s latest, focusing on the accuser’s allegations at the expense of the full picture (an enterprising journalist might revisit these stories, too). But more importantly, the UVA story is the product of a fevered atmosphere whipped up by ‘rape culture’ campaigners, an atmosphere where advocacy and emotion override fact.

Central to the myth of a rape epidemic is a statistic: that one in five women are sexually assaulted on US campuses over four years. The survey from which this statistic derives has been thoroughly debunked by Christina Hoff Sommers and others, who note, in particular, that the survey was based on a small sample (two schools) and a definition of assault so broad as to include uninvited touching and kissing, which even most respondents did not think rose to the level of an attack. In fact, according to more reliable Department of Justice data, sexual assault has fallen by more than 50 per cent in recent years, to a rate of 1.1 per 1,000 women, with similar rates on and off campus.

Found via Kate of Small Dead Animals, Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist asks if by singling out Rolling Stone, and its journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely, conservatives aren’t ignoring or downplaying the bigger picture, the “widespread journalistic worship of narrative and advocacy over truth,” expected in political coverage, it’s now rampant in all facets of modern journalism, from sports to videogame magazines to (of course) radical environmentalism.

But let’s not move on entirely from examining the corruption at Rolling Stone just yet. Veteran blogger Tom Maguire senses a pattern in their reporting of campus rapes, and/or the lack thereof.

Update: As one Rolling Stone-approved artist would say, strike a pose, there’s nothing to it:

More: ”The Violent Threat Near UVA that Rolling Stone Downplayed,” as spotted by Jim Geraghty, who adds, “This is one more consequence of ‘narrative journalism’: When you set out to write the evil-fraternities story, you end up missing the serial-killer-stalks-campus story.”

The New Barbarism: Truth Is Optional

December 13th, 2014 - 12:32 pm

Bill Whittle puts all the pieces together in Ferguson and beyond; watch the whole thing. And note this passage from about halfway through Bill’s video:

[Tawana Brawley's story] would, indeed, be horrible. If it were… you know… actually true. But it wasn’t true. Brawley made up the story to avoid a beating from her mother. Despite the fact that she named and slandered an innocent man, Assistant DA Steven Pagones (who eventually was awarded $345,000 for defamation), in 1991Legal scholar Patricia j. Williams wrote that Brawley “has been the victim of some unspeakable crime. No matter how she got there. No matter who did it to her—and even if she did it to herself.” 

We clear on that? Doctor of Jurisprudence from Harvard Law School and current law professor at Columbia University, said that Tawana Brawley — who slandered an innocent man with the most vile charges imaginable to avoid a beating from her own mother — was not the perpetrator of an unspeakable crime, but the victim of one.

These are the new barbarians. Truth doesn’t matter. Law doesn’t matter. Individual lives do not matter. All that matters is Progressive politics, Progressive intimidation and Progressive power.

Just a few days ago, Brietbart reporter John Nolte traveled to Oberlin college to look into widely-read rape allegations on the part of Progressive darling Lena Dunham. Dunham, you may remember, was called on by Barack Obama personally to help get out the youth vote. Truth Revolt’s own Ben Shapiro published a withering critique of what is nothing but infant sexual molestation which Dunham brags about in her best-seller, “Not That Kind of Girl” – allegations utterly unremarked upon by Dunham’s admirers on the Left.

After recapping Nolte’s trip to Oberlin to clear the reputation of “Barry,” Dunham’s fellow student at Oberlin whose reputation she later casually smeared in her autobiography, Whittle adds:

How did Dunham, and Brawley, and millions of other New Barbarians get this way? They were taught, that’s how. While trying to find the identity of this famed mustachioed, purple-boot wearing, Conservative Republican Racist named Barry, John Nolte spoke with Sophie Hess, manager of the on-campus radio station, about searching the records for Real Talk with Jimbo.When he explained that he was only searching for the truth, this college administrator suddenly turned cold and said, “Asking whether or not a victim is telling the truth is irrelevant. It’s just not important if they are telling the truth.” When Nolte explained he was simply trying to clear the name of an innocent man, this Progressive Barbarian retracted her offer to search the archives and asked him to leave.

Both quotes dovetail perfectly with some of “Jackie’s” more intense supporters at the University of Virginia. As we noted yesterday, their student newspaper quoted a pair of college-age video makers who told the paper:

“I felt people were fixating on the details and quality of Rolling Stone reporting, and the fact is, whatever happened, something happened to Jackie,” Mirza said. “And even if she made up the story, things like this do happen, and there are sexual assaults that don’t get reported, so I meant to bring the focus back to Jackie. Whatever comes of this, we’re still behind her and we still think she did something brave by coming forward.”

In response, Mark Steyn wrote:

The blogger Oliver Willis thinks it’s “super dangerous” that the right is seizing on the implosion of Rolling Stone‘s story to insist that “all rape allegations can be ignored”. But isn’t it the left that’s trivializing real rape by according fake rape the same protected status? After all, if Jackie is incredibly “brave” for “coming forward” to “pull back the curtain” on something that never happened, if “gang rape” no longer requires either rape or a gang, if it is not necessary to have actually been attacked, brutalized and sexually violated in order to be a rape victim, then what’s the big deal if one has been?

Shades of 1997′s Wag the Dog, in which Dustin Hoffman’s Hollywood executive and Robert DeNiro’s Carville-esque political fixer stage a fake war in a green screen studio to salvage’s the president’s tanking poll numbers and afterwards quip:

Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean [DeNiro]: Well, if Kissinger can win the Peace Prize, I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up and find out I’d won the Preakness.

Stanley Motss [Hoffman]: Well, yes but, our guy DID bring peace.

Conrad ‘Connie’ Brean: Yeah, but there wasn’t a war.

Stanley Motss: All the greater accomplishment.

But then, considering how much stuff the left made up throughout the 20th century to advance their cause, why shouldn’t the new millennium begin in exactly the same fashion? Or to put it another way, “When The Legend Becomes Fact, Print The Legend.”

Related: “Lynched effigies reportedly discovered at UC Berkeley [photos].”

Flashback: “Scared America: 8 Crises and Collective Panics of the 1970s.”

“Mel Gibson & Racist Emails: H’Wood’s Only Choice Is to Exile Pascal & Rudin,” John Nolte writes at Big Hollywood, noting that Sony Pictures and its chairwoman have come full circle:

Make no mistake, I’m not calling for anyone to be fired. This is just an observation on my part that, due to Pascal’s and Hollywood’s own standards, there really is no other choice but to fire her and exile Rudin.

Pascal was one of the first Hollywood executives to exile Mel Gibson after news of his drunken anti-Semitic rant became public in 2006. The rest of Hollywood soon followed. One of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, who also happened to be an Oscar-winning director, was ruined. And for the last eight years (there was another incident in 2010) Gibson has remained ruined.

Gibson’s rants sickened me. So too do the Pascal/Rudin emails that diminish a black man (forget he’s our President) to the color of his skin and mock him over it. Worse, the exchange reads like two mean girls getting together to feel better about themselves through the petty act of lording their superiority over someone else. In this case, it can be interpreted as racial superiority.

“Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” says Pascal, according to the reported e-mails. Rudin writes back: “12 YEARS.” Pascal responds: “Or the butler. Or think like a man?” Rudin: “Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”

In a statement, Pascal said that the emails “are not an accurate reflection of who I am.”

I take her at her word. We all should. No one should be judged or defined by a single lapse of judgment.

Who Amy Pascal is as a person, though, is the not the issue here.

The issue is the message Hollywood sends to black America if racism hurled at a black man is forgiven when racism hurled at Jews is not.

As Nolte notes, “With the banishment of Mel Gibson, Hollywood set a standard. If that standard is broken for Pascal and Rudin, the message it sends to all of us, but most especially to black America, is unmistakable and inexcusable.”

The London Telegraph reports that Sony has suspended filming on numerous movie shoots (and other sources say all shoots) as a result of their recent hacking playing havoc with their ability to process payments, and adds this detail:

In an email to Amy Pascal, the co-chairman of Sony Pictures, Scott Rudin, who made Moneyball and No Country for Old Men, described Angelina Jolie as a “minimally talented spoilt brat” who possessed a “rampaging ego”.

On the same day that the hacked exposed an email exchange, the actress came face to face with Pascal at a Hollywood event.

A stony-faced and stiff Jolie glared at Pascal who attempted to embrace her, at the Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 breakfast on Wednesday.

John McCain never recovered in 2008 after he temporarily suspended his presidential campaign during the financial crisis of late September. Voters seemed to think he had given up his quest for the White House and permanently suspended his campaign. Perhaps Sony should consider permanently suspending its film business in the wake of this scandal.

Though for the first time and only time, I can’t wait to read what Maureen Dowd has to say about this topic…

Update: As always, Steve Green asks the important questions:

Since 9/11, Hollywood has increasingly rejected American audiences for the larger market overseas, hence their ubiquitous preteen-oriented zillion dollar 3D CGI-laden superhero movies. As Mark Steyn wrote last year, “Hollywood is now approaching the condition of Broadway in the ‘abominable showman’ David Merrick’s dotage: The shows are boring but the backstage machinations preserve the glamour a while longer.”

Since their product has put much of America on the sidelines, and we’re no longer active consumers of pop culture, pass the popcorn; sprinkle plenty of schadenfreude on top.

Return with us now to the early 1990s, a period when the World Wide Web was just taking off, there was no Drudge, no Blogosphere, no Twitter, no Fox News, and “alternative media” consisted of Rush on the radio and William F. Buckley on PBS once a week. In other words, the last waning days the MSM still had complete control over The Narrative. Which they used for very bad purposes, as the Draw and Strike blog notes, before adding:

After what happened in the LA Riots and the OJ Simpson trial, Americans had gotten an eyeful of what ‘social justice’ resulted in.  Dead people, burned & looted stores, racial discord, & killers going free.

That’s why the last couple of times the Social Justice Warriors have tried to launch a new false narrative, it hasn’t gone so swell.  They had a great start in the Duke Rape Case,  and then the facts came out,  the charges were dropped, and the prosecutor got himself disbarred.  The designated victims all were proven innocent and got away.  The mob was disappointed.  Social Justice didn’t advance, darn it!

The case in Sanford FL, the false narrative there resulted in more than two years of the DNC Media trying to save a dying racial narrative by calling Zimmerman a ‘white Hispanic’.  It didn’t matter. The facts came out at the trial.  The system worked.  Again, the mob didn’t get the scalp it demanded.  Social justice – denied!

Then came Ferguson, Missouri and the Michael Brown case.  Once again the most racially inflammatory version of the story was rushed out the door to the mob.  And again, it didn’t matter in the end. The facts came out. The false narrative fell apart.  Not shot in the back and no hands up.  No matter how many stores they looted or businesses they burned down, the mob didn’t get the scalp it screamed for.  The system worked and social justice was denied again.  And don’t think the rest of America didn’t see who ginned up the mob & unleashed it on that poor town.

“Which brings us to the UVA Rape Scandal currently ongoing,” Draw & Strike adds. “Once again the Social Justice Warriors were fighting hard to advance ‘progress’ in America by, uh, well, pushing a false story. And they got caught at it.”

Read the whole thing.

Oh, and incidentally:

Thanks to yeoman work by John Nolte of Breitbart.com’s Big Hollywood (and to think I knew him when), “The Lena Dunham story has finally hit the mainstream media (not counting rogue blogs like ours),” Eugene Volokh writes today. Naturally, Time magazine circles the wagons, switching reflexively into postmodern Fake But Accurate mode and responding, “It’s unclear, however, how a reporter could hope to validate or invalidate something that happened behind closed doors a decade ago,” which would news to an MSM that once castigated Mitt Romney and George Bush for their actions decades ago as young men. (And then deliberately chose to airbrush John Kerry and Mr. Obama’s youthful indiscretions in 2004 and 2008, of course.) Fortunately, Volokh, now adding a smidgen of much-needed sanity to the Washington Post, punches back:

Second, the inaccuracy of some details that a person gives does cast doubt on the accuracy of other details. Of course, even honest people make mistakes. Of course, it’s eminently possible that all the other details Dunham gives are accurate, and the only thing that was fictionalized was the name. Of course, more generally, that a person who says she has been raped makes a slight mistake as to one detail doesn’t that she’s lying about other details that relate to the alleged rapist’s identity or actions.

Yet ultimately, when we — as journalists, as readers, as jurors — judge the credibility of sources, often the only way we can tell what happened “behind closed doors” is precisely by looking at how accurate and candid the witness has been as to other matters. An error or an unacknowledged falsification doesn’t categorically, automatically invalidate everything else a person is saying. But it does shed some light on the degree of trust we should place in that person.

To casually dismiss an investigation — an investigation that actually succeeded in getting a publisher to correct a statement — on the grounds that the investigation couldn’t directly verify another aspect of a story is, it seems to me, to miss this basic point about journalism, and about truth-seeking more broadly. I hope this attitude expressed by the Time writer is not characteristic of newspaper and magazine writers more broadly.

As the late Sen. Pat Moynihan once told an interviewer, “Hannah Arendt had it right. She said one of the great advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.” Perhaps Time magzine, until very recently a namesake component of the giant Time-Warner-CNN-HBO conglomerate still suffers from corporate Stockholm syndrome and wants to circle the wagons to protect the HBO brand name. But it’s more likely that any chance that someone on the right could be correct about a story must be tamped down and rendered anathema.

And while modified limited hangouts can buy time, we’ve all seen this movie before — and it rarely ends well for the person at the eye of the hurricane.

Related: Time alumnist Michael Walsh on “Rolling Stone and Journalism 101.” Or as Michael writes, “When in doubt, don’t.” Sounds like journalistic advice that Rolling Stone, Dunham, Random House and Time should have all taken to heart in recent months.

Elizabeth Warren Goes Full Orwell

December 8th, 2014 - 4:41 pm

Targeted?

During a meeting with nearly 50 of her top Boston-area donors Sunday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren strongly criticized President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department pick Antonio Weiss and said Hispanic and African-American families were “targeted” during the mortgage crisis, according to people who attended the event.

* * * * * * * *

She ascribed some of the problem to a worsening climate of economic opportunity for African-Americans than existed even a decade ago, according to attendees. And she said that the mortgage crisis affected black and Hispanic families more heavily, describing those groups as being “targeted.”

Umm, minorities were targeted all right — by the Federal government — who demanded that banks lend money to those with those with insufficient credit to likely repay the loans, ushering in the subprime mortgage bubble that, when it burst, created the economic crisis that ushered in Barack Obama in the fall of 2008:

As a commenter at Hot Air notes:

This is an argument we can’t win with the left. If the sub prime loans are not made, then we are denying mortgages to low income families (Never mind that the interest rate is higher because of the increased risk to the lending institution). Since they were made, the left argues that they were predatory. And if you suggest that the interest rates should be higher to higher risk borrowers, now you are being discriminatory.

Just ask Barack Obama, who sued banks in 1998 as a young lawyer and would-be community organizer on behalf of 186 Chicago-area clients.  As Neil Munro noted in 2012 at the Daily Caller, “With landmark lawsuit, Barack Obama pushed banks to give subprime loans to Chicago’s African-Americans:”

Two guesses as to how that all worked out:

At least 46 of Obama’s 186 clients have declared bankruptcy since 1996, often multiple times.

That’s a far higher bankruptcy rate than the rate for all Americans, for Chicagoans and even for African-Americans in Chicago.

In a 2011 report, the left-of-center Woodstock Institute reported that just 4.25 percent of African-Americans living in Chicago’s mostly black neighborhoods went bankrupt between 2006 and 2010.

By contrast, 11 of Obama’s 186 clients — or 6.6 percent — went bankrupt during the same five-year period.

That bankruptcy is 50 percent higher than the rate among Cook County’s African-American population, and almost three times the bankruptcy rate of all Cook county residents, according to data in the Woodstock report, titled “Bridging the Gap II.”

And there you have it: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and even young radical Barack Obama pushing banks to lend money to those least likely to pay back their loans, and now Elizabeth Warren declaring those same subprime loan applicants were “targeted.”

Perhaps this earlier government spokesman summed up this Mobius Loop best:

Exit quote: “The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.”

But good luck trying tell America’s best-known phony Indian that.

Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s Ticking Time-bomb

December 8th, 2014 - 12:36 pm

“Rolling Stone magazine revises apology on UVA rape story,” CNN writes:

One of the major criticisms of Rolling Stone is that the reporter did not seek comment from the men Jackie says raped her.

The updated apology says Rolling Stone honored a request from Jackie, a pseudonym, not to interview the men because she feared retaliation.

“We should have not made this agreement with Jackie, and we should have worked harder to convince her that the truth would have been better served by getting the other side of the story,” said the updated apology written by Dana. “These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.”

The updated apology mentions discrepancies in Jackie’s account that have already been reported by The Washington Post and other news outlets.

Notice the first sentence in that quote. “One of the major criticisms of Rolling Stone is that the reporter did not seek comment from the men Jackie says raped her.” CNN may well be using a variant of it at some point in the future regarding a fellow employee at the Time-Warner-CNN-HBO mega-conglomerate. In the meantime, as J. Christian Adams writes, there’s “Media Silence on Lena Dunham Rape Questions:”

In Manhattan’s publishing industry, where magazines like Glamour, Vogue, and Marie Claire treat Dunham as some sickening combination of Madonna and Rosa Parks, there is probably hardly a soul aware that [John Nolte of Big Hollywood] has wrecked Dunham’s story.

Even if a few are aware, truth and falsehood in those quarters comes by the identity of the speaker.  If conservative new media wrecks Dunham’s veracity, it will take weeks for the New York publishing world to acknowledge it, if then.

Here’s Barry’s challenge. If Dunham is lying about Barry, then she has made a false and defamatory publication. A significant legal issue is whether her publication was indeed about the potential plaintiff, Barry. She doesn’t provide Barry’s full name. Instead she provides outlandish details, such as Barry having a Rollie Fingers-style mustache and cowboy boots on a campus where most people look like David Van Driessen, the teacher in Beavis and Butthead:

Barry will have to demonstrate that Dunham’s allegations could reasonably only mean him. Since Dunham provided just enough information to out Barry while at the same time including just enough puffery to make Barry look clownish on a liberal campus, Dunham may have opened herself up to liability.

If she were smart, she might consider offering an apology of Rolling Stone proportions before Barry hounds her for the next few years in a federal courtroom.

In the meantime, conservative L.A. street artist “Sabo” is on the case:

I wonder if CNN will run an article or TV feature on Sabo’s poster this week — and if so, what if any of Nolte’s reporting will be referenced, likely without mentioning — or interviewing — him?

Update: “Entertainment Sites Ignore Lena Dunham’s Rape Story Investigation,” Christian Toto writes at Hollywood in Toto. Their coverage — if any — of the Sabo poster will certainly be…interesting.

More: Random House works to defuse their own time-bomb: “Random House Goes for Quick Payoff, Clears ‘Barry One.’”

“Will Dunham herself apologize to Barry One? Random House might have published the memoir, but it was Dunham who, for whatever reason, pointed her powerful finger at an innocent man,” Nolte asks.

There’s One More Shoe Waiting to Drop

December 8th, 2014 - 11:48 am

“Republicans now control every U.S. Senate seat, legislative chamber, and governor’s mansion across the Deep South – from Texas to the Carolinas,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

This condition is giving some Democrats, loyal to the party for whom the term “Solid South” was coined, indigestion. The best example of this phenomenon is an ill-considered paroxysm in the form of a think piece recently published by liberal columnist Michael Tomasky [of the Daily Beast]. In that post, the columnist compared the “reactionary, prejudice-infested” South* to a vindictive veterinarian just dying to put down a sick and pitiable dog.

“And that is what Louisiana, and almost the entire South, has become,” he wrote.

The victims of the particular form of euthanasia it enforces with such glee are tolerance, compassion, civic decency, trans-racial community, the crucial secular values on which this country was founded… I could keep this list going. But I think you get the idea. Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment. A fact made even sadder because on the whole they’re such nice people! (I truly mean that.)

With Landrieu’s departure, the Democrats will have no more senators from the Deep South, and I say good. Forget about it. Forget about the whole fetid place. Write it off. Let the GOP have it and run it and turn it into Free-Market Jesus Paradise. The Democrats don’t need it anyway.

You went full Carole Simpson, Mike. Never go full Carole Simpson. (Though “Free-Market Jesus Paradise” sounds pretty darn good to me, and I’m not an especially religious fellow. But remind me again why voters should elect politicians from a party whose northeast bosses and media operatives loathe them with such palpable contempt?)

There’s one more shoe waiting to drop, of course: This election cycle won’t be complete until someone blames “right-wing media bias” for the Democrats’ losses. C’mon MSNBC, David Brock, Harry Reid, Frank Rich, Al Gore — don’t let me down!

* Gee, that would be news to Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott — and Greg Abbott as well.

Update: “It’s Not Sour Grapes, Michael Tomasky Just Hates the South,” Charles Cooke writes today, with flashbacks to earlier Tomasky geographic bigotry such as, “Piss off. Go form your own Boy Scouts. Go form your own stupid country. You aren’t America anymore.”

Great Moments in Gaslighting

December 8th, 2014 - 10:51 am

In “Elizabeth Lauten and the Week the Media Broke,” Dave Weigel writes at Bloomberg.com:

This is just the latest and most ridiculous example of the media judging what was and wasn’t worth covering, and putting the “crazy right-winger” story atop the “yes” pile. Lauten had a teenage arrest reported on by The Smoking Gun, and a Washington Post reporter digging through her (not terribly revealing) college newspaper columns to explain where she came from. School shooters might expect their college writings to be plumbed for insights. But Hill staffers?

Media malpractice like this has consequences. Lauten might have lost her job anyway; staffers have been fired for less in the Age of Twitter. Conservatives, like most people in politics, remember their martyrs. The Lauten story can and will be cited when Republicans want to explain why they don’t trust the press to treat them fairly.

I can think of another story that can be cited when Republicans want to explain why they don’t trust the press to treat them fairly — and funny enough, I bet Dave can too

weigel_wapo_masthead_6-27-10-2

Well, we all done that on an increasingly regular basis; who can blame him? But likely the semi-retired president and starting in 2017, potential future Huffington Post blogger is aggrieved at the MSM for very different reasons than you and I:

According to retired ABC News journalist Ann Compton, Barack Obama has launched into “profanity-laced” tirades against the press in off-the-record meetings with reporters. In a C-SPAN interview, Compton also derided the President for leading “the most opaque” administration of “any I have covered.”

The journalist, who retired in August after a 40-year career, revealed to C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb: “I have seen in the last year Barack Obama really angry twice. Both were off the record times. One, profanity-laced where he thought the press was making too much of scandals that he did not think were scandals.”

Nice of Compton to admit that. But notice that she did so on C-Span — after she retired — where her interview will be seen by a tiny number of wonkish viewers, instead of leading off ABC’s World News Tonight, where eight million viewers will see it, thus aiding and abetting the president’s myriad scandals and notorious opaqueness.

As with questionable decorum by their daughters when GOP presidents (and presidential candidates) use profanity to express their thoughts regarding the MSM’s behavior, the story isn’t buried — it leads the news, including ABC.