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Ed Driscoll

The Memory Hole

Just NBC The Hypocrisy!

September 1st, 2014 - 7:56 pm

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

● “Deep Racial Divide Remains Under Obama.”

—Headline, NBCnews.com, yesterday.

● “I’m a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I’ve known him quite a bit. he’s smart. He’s entertaining. He’s experienced. He’s thoughtful. He’s provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is.”

—Phil Griffin, president of subsidiary network MSNBC, in an interview with NPR, in 2011.

(And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, where racism and NBC is concerned.)

Not All Celebrity Hacks are Considered Equal

September 1st, 2014 - 7:39 pm

“100 Celebrities Caught in Risque Photo Scandal, Hacker ‘On the Run,’” Kelli Serio writes at Big Hollywood on what some Internet wags have quickly dubbed “The Fappening.” (Sorry — but hey, I just report the news, folks). Despite its seemingly humorous initial appearance, the penalties for the hacker(s) involved could be serious:

The hacking of celebrity accounts has become increasingly popular throughout the years. Paris Hilton was said to be one of the first celebrities involved in such a violation, after her cell photos were stolen in 2005.

Just two years ago, a Florida man was prosecuted and sentenced to ten years in a federal prison for pirating nude photos and e-mail account information from Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, and Mila Kunis.

The Independent reported this morning that the unidentified hacker is now threatening to release video footage of Jennifer Lawrence engaging in a sexual act. The individual was speculated to be accepting donations, via Paypal, for the video.

“I know no one will believe me, but I have a short Lawrence video,” the hacker wrote.

The Daily Mail released information this afternoon about today’s mystery thief, who has now thanked his “supporters” and accomplices just before fleeing his first location. He has referred to himself as the “original guy” and admitted that he acquired a team to pull off the conspiracy, which apparently took months of hard work.

“Guys, just to let you know. I didn’t do this by myself,” he declared. “I will soon be moving to another location from which I will continue to post.”

FBI involvement is promising, as per Jennifer Lawrence’s request, while the hunt for the serial hacker continues.

Of course, not all unsealing of private documents is considered bad by the far left, or as Ann Coulter dubbed it in 2012, when Mr. Obama’s allies were hot to pour through Mitt Romney’s tax returns, “Obama’s signature move.” This excerpt from Coulter’s column details only one of the several times the recently retired politician’s staff have employed it to enable his quick rise to power over the past decade:

As luck would have it, Obama’s opponent in the general election had also been divorced! Jack Ryan was tall, handsome, Catholic — and shared a name with one of Harrison Ford’s most popular onscreen characters! He went to Dartmouth, Harvard Law and Harvard Business School, made hundreds of millions of dollars as a partner at Goldman Sachs, and then, in his early 40s, left investment banking to teach at an inner city school on the South Side of Chicago.

Ryan would have walloped Obama in the Senate race. But at the request of — again — the Chicago Tribune, California Judge Robert Schnider unsealed the custody papers in Ryan’s divorce five years earlier from Hollywood starlet Jeri Lynn Ryan, the bombshell Borg on “Star Trek: Voyager.”

Jack Ryan had released his tax records. He had released his divorce records. But both he and his ex-wife sought to keep the custody records under seal to protect their son.

Amid the 400 pages of filings from the custody case, Jack Ryan claimed that his wife had had an affair, and she counterclaimed with the allegation that he had taken her to “sex clubs” in Paris, New York and New Orleans, which drove her to fall in love with another man.

(Republicans: If you plan a career in public office, please avoid marrying a wacko.)

Ryan had vehemently denied her allegations at the time, but it didn’t matter. The sex club allegations aired on “Entertainment Tonight,” “NBC Nightly News,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” and NBC’s “Today” show. CNN covered the story like it was the first moon landing.

(Interestingly, international papers also were ablaze with the story — the same newspapers that were supposed to be so bored with American sexual mores during Bill Clinton’s sex scandal.)

Four days after Judge Schnider unsealed the custody records, Ryan dropped out of the race for the horror of (allegedly) propositioning his own wife and then taking “no” for an answer.

Alan Keyes stepped in as a last-minute Republican candidate.

And that’s how Obama became a U.S. senator. He destroyed both his Democratic primary opponent and his Republican general election opponent with salacious allegations about their personal lives taken from “sealed” court records.

Coulter’s article was published on August 1st. Less than two months later, a hacked video that the media similarly covered like a moon landing (or Missouri riot) would signal the beginning of the end of Romney’s presidential bid:

But that’s different, right? Of course it is.

(H/T: Greg Pollowitz.)

“Engel told Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press that the growth of ISIL in Iraq and Syria was ‘incredibly predictable,’” the Washington Free Beacon noted yesterday, watching NBC’s Meet the Press so the rest of us don’t have to:

“We reported about it. Reporters risked their lives going into Syria to talk about this buildup of extremists in the country, yet nothing seems to have been done. And now we have a very serious situation,” said Engel.

Engel also reported that military commanders are “apoplectic” over the president’s inaction in Syria: “I speak to military commanders, I speak to former officials, and they are apoplectic. They think that this is a clear and present danger. They think something needs to be done.”

“One official said that this was a Freudian slip,” Engel continued, referring to Obama’s admission last week that he does not have a strategy yet for Syria. “That it shows how the United States does not have a policy to deal with Syria, even when you have ISIS, which has effectively become a terrorist army, roughly 20,000 strong.”

As Engel told Andrea Mitchell, his fellow Democrat operative with a byline, The rise of ISIS was entirely predictable. Particularly when you have a president who, as Sen. Blutarsky might say, f***ed up and trusted the advice that Richard Engel proffered to Jay Leno on NBC’s Tonight Show in 2011:

LENO: Well, I mean, our goal initially was to hunt down bin laden and kill him. It took us ten years. We killed him. Over? Time to get out?

ENGEL: It’s time to have a withdrawal from Afghanistan. I think that’s what the speech was talking about tonight. And it’s probably time to end the global war on terrorism. Think of it this way. Osama bin laden organized an attack that was carried out against the United States, New York, Pentagon, and the other aircraft, with 19 attackers, 19 guys with box cutters. An attack that’s probably cost almost nothing. And in the end, Osama bin ladin was killed by 24 Americans in helicopters. So what did we do in between? And all of the ground wars, the Iraq war, which had nothing to do with al qaeda. Afghanistan, which is going on now. Still going on. And I think that’s what I think needs to end. This chapter in our history.

Recently retired President Obama evidently agreed, as it was during that same year that he exited virtually all US troops from Iraq. The entirely predictable result had multifaceted consequences. A year ago, Boston talk radio host Michael Graham noted how having those troops there would have influenced the administration’s actions in Syria.  As Graham wrote, “Obama’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq will be viewed by history as one of the greatest foreign policy blunders of all time.” Or as Richard Fernandez posited last month, “The Obama administration has reached what one might call the ‘Pol Pot Aftermath’ of its Middle Eastern policy.”

But hey, aren’t those all acceptable results from Engel’s perspective? In 2006, Engel was quoted by Howard Kurtz, then still with the Washington Post, as saying, “I think war should be illegal. I’m basically a pacifist.”

George Orwell, call your office. In  1942, Orwell wrote, “Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other:”

Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.

It’s certainly helpful to ISIS, both in their formation to capitalize on America’s withdrawal from the region, and now, as they spread death everywhere they go. Or as Mark Steyn noted last month, “ISIS are fast-track Nazis” with a penchant for YouTube-friendly snuff films of their many victims.

But then, Engel isn’t the only Democrat operative at NBC to have a change of heart on the issue. As I quipped last month, Rachel Maddow transformed herself into a neocon so slowly, only Moe Lane happened to notice; the Red State blogger wrote:

Mind you, I agree that ISIS needs to be squashed like an absolute bug.  I just wish that I had a time machine.  It would be priceless to see the reaction on 2004-Rachel Maddow’s face when she saw video evidence that 2014-Maddow was now committing herself to a morals-based, easy-to-escalate campaign in Iraq and Syria.  Or, shoot, the look on June-2014 ‘Iraq is the new South Vietnam**!’ Maddow’s face.  Because I’m pretty sure that Maddow was kind of arguing back then that, hey, the Communist takeover worked out all right over there, hey? She certainly didn’t want to go back into Iraq then.

Seriously, this is why you pick your principles first, and then let your policy positions be informed by them.  Because when you don’t – when you pick what you want to do, and don’t bother working out why you would want to do it – then you end up like Rachel Maddow.  Because she’s not really a neoconservative, you see.  If Maddow was, she’d have a moral center to her universe that was simply better than Barack Obama wants to do this, and I trust him implicitly. And she wouldn’t be required to change her opinions every three months, because the problem here is that Barack Obama here has no moral center that’s better than I want to do this, and I trust myself implicitly.

And the mother of MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow is also vacillating wildly on the issue:

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Don’t worry though, Maddow, Engel, and others at 30 Rock have plenty of time to reassess things, depending upon who wins in 2016:

Related: Left-leaning Business Insider.com had the following headline on Friday: “White House: We’re Not At ‘War’ With ISIS.”

To paraphrase the famous aphorism often attributed to Leon Trotsky, you may not be interested in war with ISIS, but ISIS is very interested in war with you.

What If There’s No There There?

August 29th, 2014 - 2:58 pm

Jay Cost is asking if the clothes have no emperor, in the Weekly Standard:

Toward the end of Ronald Reagan’s second term, a friend of Vice President Bush encouraged him to think carefully about what a Bush presidency should look like. According to Time, Bush responded, “Oh, the vision thing.” Fairly or unfairly, this phrase came to characterize the Bush 41 tenure. Despite his impressive résumé spanning three decades in government, he seemed not to have a clear view of what he wanted to do.

When Barack Obama campaigned for the White House in 2008, that hardly seemed like his problem. Obama would take in the whole sweep of American history in his speeches to suggest that his candidacy was its culmination. His heavy-handed propaganda​—​from the Greek columns to Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster​—​suggested a man with a vision surplus.

In the sixth year of his presidency, it is clear that Obama does not have much of a vision at all. Sure, he is a man of the left and possesses a commitment to its goals; he thinks government should grow larger and taxes should increase. Beyond that, he does not seem to have a firm sense of the reforms he should implement, how to implement them, how he fits into the constitutional schema, what a sensible U.S. foreign policy should be or how to execute it.

This is not to say that the White House does not offer positions on the issues. We are inundated with Obama positions. We are also treated periodically to longer “think pieces” from sycophantic authors granted extraordinary access to reinforce the point that this is a president deeply engaged in the issues of the day, struggling to bring order from chaos.

Yet the constant positioning and propagandizing belie deep-rooted ambiguities in this administration, which​—​it must be noted​—​has taken flak from left and right for years. Radical academic Cornel West recently suggested that Obama is a corporatist stooge, while Rand Paul fretted about the “socialist nightmare” the president is creating. Some might think these critiques accidentally demonstrate that the president is down-the-center. More likely they point to the absence of “the vision thing.” Sometimes he’s a corporate crony, sometimes a socialist; it all depends on what side of the bed he wakes up on.

Read the whole thing. Of course, corporatism and socialism have been deeply intertwined by their very nature since the days of Otto Von Bismarck, as Jonah Goldberg noted in Liberal Fascism. And as Jonah writes in his latest G-File regarding Mr. Obama’s own lack of the vision thing:

The reality, alas, is that Obama is — and has always been — out of his depth on the international stage. Given the prestige of the presidency and the incredible institutional forces behind the office, particularly when a liberal is elected, it takes time to burn through all of the political capital that comes with the job. But Obama has been throwing that political capital on an Oval Office bonfire like so much kindling on a clean and safe Anchorage night. In yet another metaphor that threatens to burn out the dilithium crystals , the credibility inferno is reaching China Syndrome proportions (“You should have said ‘literally’ a lot! Literally means ‘pay attention to how smart my metaphors are.’ Wheeeeee!” — Joe Biden). For a depressing but brilliant analysis of this meltdown, see Bret Stephens’s piece in the new Commentary coincidentally titled “The Meltdown.”

Remember the famous SNL clip where Phil Hartman plays Ronald Reagan? He’s an amiable dunce in public, but get him behind closed doors and he’s a master strategist? Well, maybe that stuff about Obama being the liberal opposite of Reagan is true. Out in public, he seems like he’s the Chess Master (though I never saw it). But get him behind closed doors and he’s in the chair next to Biden shouting “I can spin faster than you!”

Unlike Reagan, who was a master orator at the podium, while the introverted GWB was often painfully inarticulate on the world stage (there are many, myself included, who sympathize deeply with his fear of public speaking), as left-leaning pundit Jonathan Rauch noted in the Atlantic back in 2003 in “The Accidental Radical,” Bush #43 came to Washington with a clear vision of reform, much of which came from observing the mistakes his father made, and set about executing his plan.

In his new article, Cost compares the distance between Obama’s mesmerizing performance on the campaign stump in 2008 and 2012 and behind-the-scenes, his sleepwalking haze as chief executive to FDR and LBJ, who were excellent campaigners and could shape policy behind closed doors. But FDR had been Assistant Secretary of the Navy and governor of New York before becoming president, and LBJ spent decades in both houses of Congress before circumstances thrust him into his own role as an accidental radical.

In sharp contrast to the long careers of both men, Obama made three brilliant calculations to leapfrog so quickly into the White House: One: Since the McGovern debacle, Democrats often nominate a chameleonic newcomer to the national scene onto whom they can project whatever policies they wish to advance that year. Two: Race trumps gender on the left, and a majority of Americans would be thrilled to vote for a black president, provided he wasn’t a radical far left bomb thrower in the Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson mold. And finally, even though Obama was precisely that, given the background he marinated in all his life, from his radical parents to his years at the foot of Rev. Wright, that the media would be similarly thrilled to push all of that aside for him. And he was certainly right about that:

As MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough told Hugh Hewitt a couple of weeks ago, the memoirs to come from Obama White House insiders will make for astonishing reading, once the former president makes it official and leaves office:

This president wants yes men around him. And again, I hear that from my Democratic friends, I hear that from his own former chiefs of staff. If anybody steps out of line, they’re immediately insulated and pushed out. You know, I said this on set after the cameras were turned off to a couple of people who I knew wouldn’t say it on the air. I said guys, you know as well as I do that the second this administration is over, the books are going to come from former secretaries of state. The books are going to come from former chiefs of staff. The books are going to come, and this president is going to have to deal with 20-30 years of disparagement from his own side, calling him one of the least effective presidents, because he’s one of the most insulated presidents.

I suspect the material that emerges will be alternately thrilling, terrifying, and laugh-aloud funny, often within the same sentence. Not the least of which being when we discover how the famous conclusion of Robert Redford’s 1972 movie The Candidate played out in real life, once a real-life far left tyro senator won the biggest political title in the land in 2008:

“CNN: Hey, Our Suspicious Shooting Audio with More Shots than a Battle in Fallujah Might Be Real!”, Bryan Preston quips at the PJ Tatler:

Well, this is funny — and a little too representative of today’s so-called mainstream media.

So CNN was asking two guys who know nothing about the case to speculate about an unconfirmed alleged audio from an unidentified man.

The experts both expressed their strong doubts that the audio was real.

The CNN time-waster had a strong rebuttal, though.

After the first guest says it’s most likely a hoax, and might just be a Howard Stern prankster, he allows, more out of politeness than conviction, “But it could be real.”

And it could very easily be fake. No one knows, which is the point.

Bryan lists several reasons why CNN should have been suspicious about the audio — the one that jumped out at me on his list was “No one on the recording reacts to the supposed gun shots,” which if they’re loud enough to be picked up on audio, had to have been even louder in person. If you’re on the phone and hear gun shots — even a car backfiring — human emotion would force even the most intent hot chatter away from his reverie to respond, “Geez, what was that??” Plus, “There are at least ten audible ‘shots,’ more than any autopsy of Michael Brown has revealed (Officer Wilson may have missed some, but police will know from the number of shell casings at the scene, testimony, etc).”

Rather than vet the audio before airing, CNN of course rushed it out and just about put in a loop yesterday; from their ratings-hungry perspective, the “timing of the release made perfect sense,” John Nolte notes at Big Journalism:

The leftwing network dropped the audio the day after treating the funeral of Michael Brown as though he was a head of state. With the death porn concluded and the Ferguson streets quiet, CNN needed to fill the race-baiting vacuum with something.

This is the second time CNN has been unforgivably irresponsible with audio. Using unintelligible audio of George Zimmerman’s 911 call, CNN falsely claimed Zimmerman had described Trayvon Martin as a “f**ing coon” before fatally shooting the teenager. CNN not only fabricated this evidence against Zimmerman, after it was proven Zimmerman didn’t use the racial slur, CNN continued to lie to its audience and claim he had.

“Credit CNN for self-auditing,” P.J. Gladnick adds at NewsBusters, “but only after the fact. Their vetting capabilities still remain incredibly woeful. It was only this past Sunday that they got pranked for the umpteenth time by [infamous Howard Stern show fan, Captain Janks aka Tom Cipriano] while they were covering the Napa earthquake in California.”

Oceania Has Never Been At War With Eastasia

August 26th, 2014 - 5:47 pm

Past performance in no guarantee of future results:

We spoke of 9/11 as though it were somehow equivalent to Pearl Harbor, the beginning of a global war against enemies bent on, and at least theoretically capable of, destroying the American way of life (unlike al Qaeda, a ragtag band of extremists with limited punch). We spoke of cultural wars and a divided world. We reorganized our entire security establishment to go after a few thousand bad guys. We went mad.

And now, as we are recovering our senses, withdrawing from Iraq, and soon starting to exit Afghanistan, having buried bin Laden and hosts of his henchmen, we are beginning to be able to see this. At least in theory we can. For the next couple of weeks, we will witness documentary after editorial mega-feature, interviews with victims and heroes, the American legend machine producing historical bumpf at full blast. That is not, by the way, to diminish the brutal blows struck 10 years ago or the deeply felt human experiences associated with it and its aftermath. Rather it is to say that once again we will seek to frame 9/11 as a great event, the definer of an era, when in fact, its greatest defining characteristic was that of a distraction — The Great Distraction — that drew America’s focus and that of many in the world from the greater issues of our time. That distraction and the opportunity costs associated with it were bin Laden’s triumph and our loss — and our ultimate victory will come as we get a grip back on reality.

“The Black Hole of 9/11: As we assess the legacy of the 10th anniversary of America’s seminal terrorist attack, it’s worth looking at 10 events from the past decade that have actually been more important,” Foreign Policy, August 29th, 2011.

According to a report in the Washington Post on Friday, the administration has prepared options for legal authority to use force against IS across both Iraq and Syria. They include temporary justification under the War Powers Resolution, constitutional authority for emergency action to protect U.S. citizens, and consulting with the Congress for open-ended authorization to fight IS. But the same article states that the president has not requested to see contingency plans for broader airstrikes in Syria. If the administration goes the open-ended consultation route with Capitol Hill and the president ignores the contingency plans, it might be a signal that he is not serious about defeating IS.

But if the president does adopt a strategy to include Syria, the American people can be persuaded with an Obama-like 2008 address — such a midcourse correction is optimally-timed to save his presidency from further ignominy. As Daniel Pipes wrote, however, “I do not customarily offer advice to a president whose election I opposed,” I also hesitate to make suggestions that might save the Obama presidency. But the national interest in preventing IS from using Iraq and Syria as launching pads to execute attacks overrides political concerns.

According to Real Clear Politics, the president’s overall popularity is quite low: Between July 29 and Aug. 20, 42 percent approved and 52 percent disapproved of the overall job he was doing across nine different polls. The numbers were worse for his handling of foreign affairs, which, between July 29 and Aug. 12, only 35.8 percent of those polled approved versus 53.8 percent who disapproved over six polls.

“Stopping the Islamic State Might Be Obama’s Chance to Salvage His Middle East Policy,” Foreign Policy, yesterday. (As the first commenter at Hot Air’s link notes, for the MSM, “Once again, it’s all about the ’0.’”)

And then there’s the Washington Post:

Time is indeed a flat circle:

The Madness of 2008: A Gnostic Too Far

August 26th, 2014 - 2:10 pm

Sometimes a conman makes a first impression so magnetic, the timing of the vaporwear he’s selling seems so perfect, and his marks so eager for his spiel, they eagerly hypnotize themselves without all that much coaxing. Victor Davis Hanson explores “The Madness of 2008:”

Pundits vied for superlatives. On little evidence, Christopher Buckley assured us that Obama possessed “a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect.” For some, proof of Obama’s godhead became almost physical — a “perfectly creased pant” for David Brooks, a tingling leg for Chris Matthews. For Evan Thomas he was a “sort of God”; for one blue-chip historian he was the smartest man with the highest IQ ever running for the presidency. And on and on, as huge crowds acted as if they were watching Paul McCartney on tour in 1966. After the election, there was real apprehension that the country might not make it for the two and a half months until an elected Obama could take power.

Given that there was no evidence from Obama’s legislative career to justify such superlatives, we can only assume that our intellectual elites got caught up in the faux Greek columns, the Obama tutorials for fainting crowds about proper first aid, the teleprompted emphatics of “Let me be perfectly clear” and “Make no mistake about it,” the Latinate motto “Vero possumus” on the faux presidential seal on his campaign podiums, the boast that Obama & Co. were “the ones we’ve been waiting for,” the messianic promise to cool the planet and lower the seas, the Lincoln self-comparisons, and the other embarrassing childish banalities.

Obama, it is true, ran a brilliant campaign in 2008, hinting to the Other that as a non-white he shared both their racial bona fides and their frustrations, hinting to white elites that his own unique heritage would end racial hostilities and thus allow them to square the circle of living largely separate elite lives and not having to feel guilty about it. He dropped his g’s and went into Southern cadences among African Americans, and then back again into wonkish academese to mainstream whites. It was well known that in impromptu talks he stuttered and stumbled with uh’s in deer-in-the-headlights fashion, and used the pronouns I, me, my, and mine ad nauseam, but such unease was ignored given his teleprompted eloquence and the considerable elite investment in his symbolism.

In sum, in 2008 Obama gave America more than enough evidence to doubt that he was ready for the presidency, but when a nation becomes unhinged by trivialities like “hope and change,” there is not much one can do — until the patient wakes up from his trance and in embarrassment asks, “What exactly was all that nuttiness in 2008 about?”

We will be fathoming that strange madness of 2008 for decades to come.

Afterwards, it’s all fun and games until the marks realize they’ve been sold a bill of goods, and then wonder where they go to get their own credibility back — which they’ll need to promote the wears of the next bunco artist.

Perhaps those who willingly allowed themselves to be sold a bill of goods in 2008 atone in strange ways. In his post on far left historian (and alleged plagiarist) Rick Perlstein’s new biography of President Reagan’s rise to power, Orrin Judd dubs Perlstein “The Accidental Hagiographer:”

As you can see here, the premise of this volume is not only hilarious but inflates Ronald Reagan into a mythical hero far moreso than any of the fawning texts we on the right produce: the gnostic reality, known only to the Left, is that America is nothing special and, for one brief shining moment, in the 70s everyone was about to realize that, but Reagan, through the exercise of little more than his personal will, restores the delusion that America is more important than other states.

If Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh had given Reagan that much credit for reshaping the world around himself, they’d be dismissed as overenthusiastic cultists.  But Reagan looms so large in the mind of the Left that Friend Perlstein can’t see he’s gone far beyond any Reagan fanboy of the right in his claims for the greatness (let’s say we use the term in its value neutral sense) of the Gipper.

Perhaps in writing about how the mythical heartland of his imagination (insert Pauline Kael reference here) was hypnotized by the ebullient speechmaking of an upbeat presidential candidate offering to restore his party to greatness after its recent, seemingly fatal stumbles on the national stage, and upend the perceived malaise of the times, Perlstein had the right notion, but the wrong presidential candidate. Or simply wished to project his own party’s gullibility onto the other side of the aisle.

Update: “Take a minute today, though, to appreciate that this guy, the epitome of in-touch cultural cool in 2008, is now so at risk of being seen as ‘out of touch’ that Axelrod and Bill Burton have to eat sh*t publicly as damage control. Oh well. As Amanda Curtis could tell you, sometimes even the most practiced Democrat run out of things to say.”

Related: “Top 5 Crazy Lies Told During Campaigns We Fall For Every Time.”

We live in an era that is more accepting of disability but still dubious about vulnerability and foibles in a leader. Would Roosevelt have made it as far as the governor’s race in 1928? In a world that second-guesses every politician’s decisions on an almost minute-by-minute basis, would he have tried?

I put both questions to Richard Moe, who knows politics — he was chief of staff for senator and then vice president Walter Mondale — and is the author of the recently published “Roosevelt’s Second Act,” an account of the president’s decision to seek a third term. Moe tells that story so well that it becomes weirdly suspenseful, even though you begin reading with a pretty good idea of who’s going to win the 1940 election.

“Whether big personalities like FDR would be inclined to pursue similar careers today is a separate question because we both know there are plenty of reasons for anyone to avoid politics today,” Moe responded in an e-mail. “That’s one of the great tragedies of the political system we have.

“But, even so, I have no doubt that someone who had many of FDR’s characteristics and abilities — to pick strong people, to see the core of an issue, to make bold decisions and to articulate them compellingly — could prevail today. In fact I think many people are hungering for his kind of leadership.

Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt asks, “Could America accept another FDR?”

Gee, I thought we already had one:

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Certainly, our new FDR and his “New New Deal” has delivered similarly disastrous economic results as the old New Deal. Of course, perhaps leftists wouldn’t be looking a new FDR today, if they hadn’t been so quick to had the moniker to an untried tyro senator whose chief aim for expanding government was dreamed up by his speechwriters looking to trump his fellow Democrat rival for the White House on the debating circuit. But then, as Steven Hayward wrote yesterday at Power Line after Maureen Dowd finally commented on her boss’s obsession with golf, “Behold, among Obama’s hidden talents is his ability to make liberals even more foolish and incoherent than usual.”

The Irrelevant Majority

August 25th, 2014 - 3:14 pm

“NBC Reporter to Islamic Extremists: ‘You Do Not Even Represent A Fraction of Muslims Around the World,’”  Kyle Drennen writes at Newsbusters, watching NBC so that the rest of us don’t have to:

In a report aired on Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Keir Simmons spoke with Islamic extremists in Britain acting as apologists for the ISIS terrorists who brutally murdered journalist James Foley. A soundbite played of one man ranting: “The question to ask is, who’s really to blame for the death of James Foley? I believe it is the foreign policy of Obama.”

Following the taped story, Simmons added: “It is so sickening, so disturbing to hear a group like that exercise their First Amendment rights…by saying things like that. But I said to them directly, ‘You do not even represent a fraction of Muslims around the world.’”

As Drennen notes, “In reality, millions of Muslims in the Middle East do subscribe to the notion that American foreign policy is the true cause of terrorist attacks against the United States and even justifies such acts.”

But in any case, the peaceful majority are irrelevant, as Brigitte Gabriel brilliantly noted earlier this summer:

Oh, and speaking of the peaceful majority, “What Happens to Palestinian Moderates? Shot in the streets with a pistol to the head after midday prayers.”

Related: “Jimmy Carter To Give Keynote Speech At Muslim Convention In Detroit,” Paul Bois notes at Ben Shapiro’s Truth Revolt Website today. As Jay Nordlinger noted in his classic “Carterpalooza” article in 2002, “No one quite realizes just how passionately anti-Israel Carter is. William Safire has reported that Cyrus Vance acknowledged that, if he had had a second term, Carter would have sold Israel down the river.”

Former President Carter must be very pleased with the progress of former President Obama’s administration in that department.

Glenn Beck: Conquering Hero?

August 25th, 2014 - 1:27 pm

“Glenn Beck’s The Blaze Talks to Time Warner About Replacing HLN,” show-biz Website The Wrap claimed on Friday:

In an ongoing effort to revamp HLN, Time Warner’s CNN has been talking to Glenn Beck‘s The Blaze as a possible partner, an individual with knowledge of the talks told TheWrap.

The Blaze is a conservative 24-hour news and entertainment network funded by subscriptions and founded by Beck, a right-wing talk show host who built a huge following on Fox.

An insider told TheWrap that The Blaze gave Time Warner two proposals, but neither went anywhere. Another individual with knowledge of the talks said the possibility of a joint venture is not dead — they’re just not active. Under the proposed partnership, Beck’s Blaze would take over HLN’s spot on the proverbial TV dial.

The Blaze is available on 70 television providers nationwide. In the first half of 2014, the distributor base for The Blaze has grown by 50 percent. TheBlaze.com, which features written content, receives more than 25 million unique visitors per month.

Early 20th century American playwright Wilson Mizner is credited with saying, “Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.”

Because no one at The Wrap has heard of Wikipedia or Google apparently, they didn’t bother to report that Beck started his cable TV career on Headline News, and then left for Fox, in part because, as he told Newsmax in 2009:

Do you know what a pariah I was? The [CNN] management  was always very good, but going around what I called ‘the pit of despair,’ the people in the newsroom that are just typing…

I was walking through the newsroom one time and [a reporter] looked up and said, ‘yuhhck!’

I said, ‘That’s not necessary.’ And she said, ‘Oh, you expect it.’ And I said, ‘I do — and isn’t that sad?’

That year, Time-Warner-CNN-HBO, Headline News’ parent organization, kicked Beck on the way out with this cover on Time magazine:

Unlike other cable TV hosts who stayed in that medium long after their sell-through date had expired, Beck left Fox News to start his Blaze Internet TV channel and Website. The risk paid off in spades — in 2011, Forbes described Beck as a “$100 million man.” So I’m sure Beck acquiring a stake in Headline News, both to compete with Fox, and for a little payback for crapping on him during his salad days. Too bad The Wrap apparently couldn’t be bothered to research any of this, as it would made their article much more powerful.

Sadly though, on Saturday, CNN-Money — and they should know, right? — claims, “Glenn Beck sought out CNN deal, but talks died fast.” Because we wouldn’t, you know, those people tuning into CNN and increasing their viewership, right? Far better to lay off 550 jobs instead and maintain ideological purity.

In 2012, Beck had previously attempted to acquire Al Gore’s Current TV, but talks fell through, because like Time-Warner-CNN-HBO, Al also wouldn’t want the wrong people watching his former channel. Which is too bad — because (a) Beck would likely bring in far more than the pitiful 17,000 viewers who are currently watching Al Jazeera America. And (b) he’d likely pay his bills faster as well. And (c) little risk of Beck’s staffers breaking out the scimitars, as well.

Related: “Not Watching For The Asteroid.”

Maureen Dowd, Straight-Up Racist

August 24th, 2014 - 2:55 pm

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If there’s one thing I know from watching MSNBC*, even before Barack Obama took office, is that any criticism of him — any criticism, no matter how mild — was at its core, entirely “about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up,” as a guest on the show hosted by the MSNBC anchor** Keith Olbermann said in April of 2009.

And any reference to golf is definitely racism double-plus straight up, as MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell declared on August 29th, 2012, on a show hosted by the MSNBC anchor*** Martin Bashir.

So when Maureen Dowd goofs on the president with a collection of bad golf jokes (link safe, goes to Twitchy), by the standards of her fellow Democrat operatives with bylines, it can mean only one thing: racism of the vilest sort.

How should the president respond? Perhaps the January 2010 issue of Golf Digest, which featured on its cover Tiger Woods caddying for Mr. Obama — the issue went to press about five minutes before the pristine MSM-airbrushed narratives of both men imploded for good — holds a clue. Golf Digest contributing editor John Feinstein wrote that one of the “10 Things Obama Might Learn From Tiger” was “How To Step On Their Necks:”

tiger-obama-golf-digest-12-09What makes Tiger Woods the most dominant athlete in the world (with apologies to Michael Phelps) isn’t so much his golf swing as what he does between golf swings. He’s cerebral in the sense that he lives to wear opponents out mentally every chance he gets.

President Obama surely knows how to compete. And yet, if you watched him debate John McCain, it was clear that Obama didn’t have Woods’ sense of the kill — knowing when an opponent is weak and the time is right to step on his neck. If Obama versus McCain had been match play, Obama wouldn’t have closed out his opponent until the 17th hole. When Stephen Ames made the mistake a few years ago of saying that he didn’t think Woods was quite as unbeatable as he had once been, he had the misfortune of facing Woods in the first round of a match-play event soon after. Woods won, 9 and 8. Asked post-match if he had anything to say about Ames’ comments, Woods smiled and said, “Nine and eight.”

President Obama should learn from Tiger. Sometimes you beat a guy 9 and 8, not 2 and 1. Teach him a lesson.****

That’s right — it’s time for Mr. Obama to teach Maureen Dowd a lesson, as her fellow MSMer demands of the president.

Either that, or it’s time for the rest of the media to come to grips with how misguided it’s been in its slavish throne-sniffing devotion to Mr. Obama. (QED: the notion of a rookie senator “teaching a lesson” to a former Navy pilot who spent years in a North Vietnamese prison camp by metaphorically “stepping on his neck” — completely forgetting how much McCain got of the real thing from the NVA. I wonder if Golf Digest’s editors, having outed themselves as crafting a publication that alienates half their potential readers feel any shame in retrospect at their hagiography?)

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Barbarism Endures

August 23rd, 2014 - 1:52 pm

“Progressives can’t wish away human nature,” Charles C. W. Cooke writes, noting that unlike the lightning-quick deaths inflicted by the blades of the guillotine or Henry VIII’s axemen, “American journalist James Foley, by contrast, had his throat slowly cut with a tiny, possibly blunted knife, his head clumsily sawn off over seven agonizing minutes. Goats have been afforded better endings. Can this be real?”

Many among us seem incapable of believing that it is. On Reddit, users are furiously debating whether the footage was faked. Elsewhere, others are seeking explanations as to what might have pushed Foley’s killers to such extraordinary lengths. Perhaps, they ask, IS’s behavior is the fault of something else. The United States’ invasion of Iraq, maybe? Or the legacy of colonialism, or of global inequality? Do these men just need running water? This instinct is folly, the product of the mistaken conviction that man is perfectible and his nature pliant, and that there is something intrinsically different about our age. “The lessons of history endure,” Oklahoma University’s J. Rufus Fears observed beautifully, “because human nature never changed.” “All the human emotions,” Fears added,

are the same today as in Egypt of the pharaohs or China in the time of Confucius: Love, hate, ambition, the lust for power, kindness, generosity, and inhumanity. The good and bad of human nature is simply poured into new vehicles created by science and technology.

Of late, some of those “bad” attributes have been poured into vehicles that have guns mounted on their sides and driven with brutal force across Mesopotamia. The stated aim is the “establishment of the Islamic khilafah” — a neo-caliphate that would stretch across the whole world, subjugating everything in its path and bringing all mankind under its ghastly authority. Such promises seem almost risible when sampled from the comfort of North America. But there is little that is amusing for those who find themselves in the way — no comfort to be taken from arbitrary assurances about the “right” and “wrong” sides of history, or consolation to be derived in verbal condemnations from distant powers. Our security and our “progress” is what we make of it, for there are no wars to end all wars; there are plenty of barbarians in the year 2014; and it definitely, most definitely, can happen again.

And speaking of barbaric deaths, while the brutality of ISIS has been well-documented of late, Claudia Rosett ponders why the New York Times and the UN can’t rouse themselves from their slumber to protest the mass public executions in Gaza.

Update: “Somehow we keep missing the point: the story did get out; the severed head is the message.”

“Rush Limbaugh: New Media Prevented Mainstream Media from Turning ‘Gentle Giant’ into Rodney King,” Tony Lee writes at Big Journalism: 

“Well, now, there are people willing to stand up, go to great lengths to call ‘em out on this, so they simply don’t have a free road.” Limbaugh continued. “And they’re not used to this kind of opposition, even though it’s not new now. They’ve never learned how to fight.”

Limbaugh noticed that “CNN is noticeably down” because, even in their headlines, “it’s beginning to dawn on them that the myth might not prevail here.” Headlines have included, “It’s starting to return to normal in Ferguson” and “the credibility of key witnesses in question.” He noted that even the New York Times conceded, even though it was in paragraph 26, that the police officer was “beaten up” and “still taken to the hospital.”

Limbaugh said the original story of “the gentle giant walking innocently down the street on the way to grandmother’s house, eagerly thinking about the soon-to-commence college classes, shot in the back by a racist white St. Louis cop” is falling apart.

After the mainstream press tried to rebuild the myth of the “gentle giant,” surveillance video of his strong-arm robbery was released, “and the gentle giant was no longer gentle,” Limbaugh noted.

“He was a thief. Forty-four dollar box of Swisher Sweets, and furthermore, he was abusive to the clerk, shoving him away, as the clerk attempted to keep him from walking out of the store with the stolen cigars,” Limbaugh said. “Then we learn from an autopsy conducted by the myth makers that the gentle giant was not shot from behind. And then we learned that the gentle giant actually did reach into the car and may have attempted to get the cop’s gun. And so then a number of witnesses came forward, but many of them are beginning to lose credibility.”

In light of these facts, Limbaugh said, “the myth is getting a little harder to hold onto, because if there was ever any real media scrutiny involved, the myth could not survive.”

“You can see that watching CNN, there’s not this confidence that the myth, as originally created, is gonna hold up, simply because it can’t,” he said. “You can tell by watching CNN that something’s happened, and it’s no longer the slam dunk that everybody thought it was, even two days ago.”

Speaking of which, “MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry compared complaints about ‘outside agitators’ stirring up violence in Ferguson to the rhetoric of Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor,” on her eponymously titled show on the NBC-Comcast-owned cable network.

I’m not sure if Harris-Perry reminded her viewer* that Bull Connor was a Democrat National Committee member — if so, I’m sure it was an unintentional oversight.

* OK, there may be more than one.

Related: “You Thought There Was no Possible Link Between Ferguson and Climate Change? Think Again…”

I knew it was there somewhere! But then, since global warming causes everything, why not Ferguson as well?

Has Man Reached His Intellectual Peak?

August 22nd, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Well considering it’s Friday afternoon, for this week, probably. But as the London Daily Mail recently asked, “Are we becoming more STUPID? IQ scores are decreasing — and some experts argue it’s because humans have reached their intellectual peak:”

Evidence suggests that the IQs of people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have declined in the last decade.

Opinion is divided as to whether the trend is long-term, but some researchers believe that humans have already reached intellectual peak.

An IQ test used to determine whether Danish men are fit to serve in the military has revealed scores have fallen by 1.5 points since 1998.

And standard tests issued in the UK and Australia echo the results, according to journalist Bob Holmes, writing in New Scientist.

The most pessimistic explanation as to why humans seem to be becoming less intelligent is that we have effectively reached our intellectual peak.

Between the 1930s and 1980s, the average IQ score in the US rose by three points and in post-war Japan and Denmark, test scores also increased significantly — a trend known as the ‘Flynn effect’.

This increase in intelligence was due to improved nutrition and living conditions – as well as better education — says James Flynn of the University of Otago, after whom the effect is named.

Now some experts believe we are starting to see the end of the Flynn effect in developed countries – and that IQ scores are not just levelling out, but declining.

Scientists including Dr Flynn think better education can reverse the trend and point out the perceived decline could just be a blip. However, other scientists are not so optimistic.

Better education? Well, there’s certainly lots of room for improvement there, considering how political correctness has transformed history education into a grievance industry and dramatically dumbed-down textbooks in general, as Bill Whittle recently noted, comparing a century-old sixth-grade reader with today’s equivalents:

But the dumbing down and related coarsening of the culture is a trend that dates back to at least the 1960s, particularly in England, as Peter Hitchens noted in his bracing 1999 book, The Abolition of Britain. In his chapter on the collapse of Britain’s culture — both its highbrow and pop divisions — Hitchens wrote:

The novelist Kingsley Amis, deeply depressed by the collapse of knowledge and good judgement in the literary and  political worlds, wrote a withering satire on the decay of national culture at the end of the 1970s (Russian Hide and Seek, 1980). Just as Evelyn Waugh had once suggested that the Labour government of 1945 was similar to living under foreign occupation, Amis suggested that the trashing of our culture and literacy were so severe that only a ruthless foreign invader could possibly make them worse. [See also: collapse of American education system -- Ed] His book is a portrait of a nation without a memory, its ancient buildings demolished, its trees hacked down, its people barely educated and bottomlessly ignorant of their origins and past, living on stewed beets, pork bellies and windfall apples. A small and dwindling group of ‘pre-wars’ maintain the memories of what has been lost, but those memories are fading, and so all trace of them will die with this elderly generation. Amis describes an attempt to revive enthusiasm for Shakespeare after half a century of Soviet occupation, during which British history, literature and religion have been ruthlessly suppressed. A group of Soviet ‘liberals’ are trying to give the people their culture back, and are staging a performance of Romeo and Juliet in along-closed provincial theatre.

The actress playing Juliet, an English girl brought up long after the occupation, attempts to speak some lines from the play. She does not understand the rhythm of the verse, the classical allusions to Phoebus and Phaeton mean nothing to her, in fact she hasn’t a clue what she is saying. But nobody notices. [See also: MSM's lack of reaction to President Obama's weird ignorance of much of American history and culture -- Ed]

At this point, Hitchens quotes from a character in Amis’ novel, the “Armenian cultural commissar” who’s overseeing the play’s production, despite having absolutely no sense of the subjects of any of Shakespeare’s plays. He describes Romeo and Juliet as a play in which “a young man meets a girl at a party and feels her up in public, in front of her parents, in fact,” along with noting that “it’s so hard to understand these characters and to make out what’s one meant to think about them.” Still though, he thinks that the play’s violence will help sell it, “and the costumes and sets are going to be spectacular.” See also: mindset behind recent Hollywood comic book-style adaptation of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

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“Bank Of America Reaches Record Settlement Over Mortgage Meltdown,” NPR reports. (Link safe, goes to the Brothers Judd blog):

The settlement “addresses allegations that Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Countrywide each engaged in pervasive schemes to defraud financial institutions and other investors in structured financial products known as residential mortgage-backed securities, or RMBS,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

The securities typically included a high percentage of subprime mortgages and the sellers misrepresented to investors the degree of risk involved, Justice alleges. When the housing market collapsed, many of the RMBS became worthless.

Holder said the subprime mortgages bundled into the securities “contained material underwriting defects; they were secured by properties with inflated appraisals; they failed to comply with federal, state, and local laws; and they were insufficiently collateralized.”

Even so, he said, “these financial institutions knowingly, routinely, falsely, and fraudulently marked and sold these loans as sound and reliable investments. Worse still, on multiple occasions — when confronted with concerns about their reckless practices — bankers at these institutions continued to mislead investors about their own standards and to securitize loans with fundamental credit, compliance, and legal defects.”

As one of the Brothers Judd’s commenters notes:

Holder’s statement is ahistorical. BofA bought Countrywide (who no doubt did defraud) and Merrill (much less clear on fraud) at the virtual demand of the US Government.

Perhaps Eric should have asked his pals Jamie Gorelick. Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, Rahm Emanuel, and Andrew Cuomo about mortgage standards and fraud. Or he could have checked with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Maxine Waters.

Exactly. Who pushed banks to the high-risk low-income housing market in the first place? But hey, government is just another word for the things we do together to wreck economies:

It’s Probably a Coincidence

August 21st, 2014 - 10:51 am

“Jewish Student ‘Punched’ by Pro-Palestinian Student at Temple University” in Philadelphia, Paul Miller writes at Breitbart.com’s Big Peace:

First reported by Franklin Center for Government & Integrity contributor Daniel Mael on Truthrevolt.org, Daniel Vessal was “punched in the face by a violent member of the anti-Israel organization SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine). “

Vessal claims he approached the SJP table to “see what angle they were coming from,” and began a dialogue. He told his fellow students working the booth, “You shouldn’t be protesting Israel; if anything, protest the terrorists.”

“This one girl sitting at the end of the table was just laughing and laughing at me,” Vessal explained,  “and people at the table were calling me a ‘baby killer.’” He responded that when they were done laughing, “maybe we could have a genuinely peaceful conversation.”

He continued, “And then this kid just rocks me in the face as hard as he can. My glasses flew off. After a two-second blur I had no clue what had happened. I couldn’t believe this kid actually hit me.”

Eyewitnesses Josh Josephs and Alex Winokur told Mael:

“Daniel went up to talk with them and have an educated conversation and try to rationalize their opinions,” said Josephs. “The conversation shortly escalated to the Palestine group being very arrogant and irrational. The people behind the table starting attacking Daniel, calling him a ‘Zionist, racist, baby killer.’”

When Temple University security appeared on the scene, Vessal began explaining what occurred. According to multiple witnesses, the SJP students were shouting at him, “Zionist pig!” Witnesses also told Mael they heard the SJP students yelling “Kike” at Vessal as he lay on the ground.

Temple University, you say? Go figure:

Or as Roger L. Simon recently noted, “Welcome to the 1930s.”

welcome_back_carter_t-shirt-4-3-11

And the bad 1979-era flashbacks just keep on coming: “U.S. military attempted secret rescue operation for James Foley this summer,” claims a report from ABC, the House of Stephanopoulos (link safe, goes to Hot Air):

U.S. special operations forces early this summer launched a secret, major rescue operation in Syria to save James Foley and a number of Americans held by the extremist group ISIS, but the mission failed because the hostages weren’t there, senior administration officials told ABC News today.

President Obama authorized the “substantial and complex” rescue operation after the officials said a “broad collection of intelligence” led the U.S. to believe the hostages were being held in a specific location in the embattled Middle Eastern nation.

When “several dozen” U.S. special operation members landed in Syria, however, they were met with gunfire and “while on site, it became apparent the hostages were not there,” one of the officials said. The special operators engaged in a firefight in which ISIS suffered “a good number” casualties, the official said, while the American forces suffered only a single minor injury.

The American forces were able to get back on helicopters and escape.

Gee, that story rings a bell, doesn’t it? (Not to mention its source at ABC, which turned the Iranian Hostage Crisis into a relentless drumbeat against their fellow Democrat in the White House, via the innovative late night news program, Nightline.)

We already noted earlier today the New York Times‘ “Mush from the Wimp”-styled headline — “Obama, Outraged Over Beheading, Vows to Stay on Course” — right to the 18th hole of the country club. It’s deja Jimmy all over again; somewhere, a Killer Rabbit licks his chops in glee.

Update: A blog commenter at Hot Air wonders if the Underwear Gnomes at the White House are hard at work:

Loving the progression here…

1. Foley murdered.

2. White House knew it was going to happen.

3. Report comes out..”We really tried to save him!!”

4. ???

Meanwhile, the headline writers at the otherwise reliably supine-left Associated Press are also feeling a little salty this week.

Related: Of course: Obama’s fellow Democrat operatives at the New York Times fix embarrassing golf-related headline. More mush from the wimp’s wusses.

The News Anchors Who Didn’t Bark

August 20th, 2014 - 3:44 pm

“MSNBC Wouldn’t Be This Calm If Tea Party Protesters Threw Rocks at Their Hosts,” Larry O’Connor writes at the Washington Free Beacon:

So, imagine if you will: The scene is a small town in Missouri and the tea party is holding a protest against high taxes, illegal immigration and Obamacare. Chris Hayes is reporting on the scene and conservatives wearing masks start throwing rocks at him and screaming at him to “tell the real story.”

Would Hayes’ response be “People are angry, man”?

Of course not. Why? Because Chris Hayes agrees with the rioter in Ferguson but not the tea party protester? I think there’s more to it than that. I think maybe it’s also because in Chris Hayes’ own arrogant, intellectually self-satisfied superiority, he actually expects less from the rock-throwers Monday night than he does other members of society. And that’s the real problem with progressivism.

But we don’t need a hypothetical like this to tell us how MSNBC would react to this scenario. In 2012, an MSNBC producer physically assaulted a person at the RNC convention merely for heckling Chris Matthews over his famous “thrill up his leg” comment. No rocks involved in that incident, just good, old-fashioned free speech.

As I mentioned yesterday, why should an MSNBC anchor be upset at a rock thrown at him, while covering a protest ginned up by his fellow MSNBC anchor?

We can see a similar dynamic at work at CNN, which has been fanning the flames of race hatred at Ferguson almost as badly as MSNBC, even without having Al Sharpton on their payroll.

Compare and contrast: as Jim Treacher notes today at the Daily Caller, “I’m not sure if [CNN's Anderson Cooper] thought bringing the diminutive racist and former filmmaker [Spike Lee] on the air would help him in his nightly battle with MSNBC for second place in the ratings, but at least Spike said some really stupid crap.” In 2012, as Treacher notes:

The last time America’s race-baiters and their helpful idiots worked themselves into a frenzy over someone shooting a violent criminal in self-defense, Spike Lee gave out the home address of an elderly couple who had nothing to do with it. If you think he’s learned anything from that experience, you don’t know much about Spike Lee.

Flash-forward to last night, when Lee ranted to Cooper:

“When people get to a point, [unintelligible] that tipping point, they can’t take it anymore. And I’m not saying that people should burn down stuff, riot, and loot. And I don’t even want to use the work ‘riot.’ I’m gonna use the word ‘uprising.’ But this is not the first time we’ve seen this. And I just hope that things will really blow up if the people aren’t happy with the verdict of this upcoming trial.”

As Treacher notes, “And Cooper just lets all that go. He wouldn’t want to question Lee’s judgment and ongoing public advocacy of mob rule, because then somebody might say, ‘Hey, Anderson, you’re a racist!’”

Compare that 2009, when CNN Democrat operatives with bylines field reporters were insulting Tea Party members to their faces, and Democrat operative with a byline CNN anchor Anderson Cooper played along with self-hating homophobic “tea-bagging” jokes himself.

Don’t get me wrong — part of me is quite happy that the MSM dropped the mask at some point in the last ten years, and we know precisely what their biases are, even if they’re not always honest about them. But perhaps, given that the leftwing MSM consists, on TV, of CNNCBSNBCABCMSNBCPBS and more, and right-leaning media to be Fox News, perhaps instead of income inequality, it’s time to start discussing media inequality instead.

Related: “What if the Rioters Were White?”, Walter Hudson asks at the PJ Tatler. “If Ted Nugent talked about white empowerment, would it be tolerated like Al Sharpton talking about black empowerment?”

Update: “Fox’s Kurtz: CNN’s Jake Tapper ‘Grandstanding’ in Ferguson.”  Oh sure, next you’ll be telling me there’s gambling going on in Rick’s place in Casablanca.

Blog Comment of the Day

August 20th, 2014 - 3:28 pm

“Missouri cop was badly beaten before shooting Michael Brown, says source,” according to Fox News. Glenn Reynolds adds that “The Narrative Seems to Be Breaking Down.” His first blog commenter outlines exactly what the narrative du jour is:

There seems to be a pattern: 1) unarmed young black guy is shot, 2) there is a vast media outcry over the young “honor student’s” death, 3) family provides photos of the dead guy taken when he was 11 years old, well before he had opted for the ghetto thug look, 4) it comes out that the “honor student” has been committing felonies, 5) witnesses say the honor student was beating the hell out of the person who shot him, 6) Democrat politicians call for the shooter’s conviction, and 7) prosecutors, fearing rioting, black voters, or what have you, prosecute the shooter anyway.

Have I missed anything?

And as another blog commenter writes, expect things to get worse as a result:

We will soon see an almost complete lack of Policing in inner cities following the lynching of this officer. Why on Earth would a cop risk jail for enforcing the law? Of course the people that will suffer the most are the citizens of Ferguson and similar areas. They will soon degenerate into Jungles; the biggest and most aggressive will run rampant, and rob, and beat, and kill, without fear of the law.

See also: Detroit, a quarter of a century ago.

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Click to enlarge.

The most recent copy of the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual I own is dated 1998; I scanned the relevant page and highlighted the text in question. I also own a copy from my college days with a 1977 copyright on it. They both have the same guidelines for referring to someone as a “youth:”

youth Applicable to boys and girls from age 13 until 18th birthday. Use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.

“AP violating own style guidelines to refer to Michael Brown as ‘teenager’?”, Allahpundit asks at Hot Air. “Question mark in the headline because the AP Stylebook’s not available online, so I can’t confirm that it’s true. But I’m going to trust Eddie Scarry” of Mediaite:

The Associated Press Stylebook states that in reports referring to a person’s age, the figure for the age number should be used. It also states that reports should “use man or woman for individuals 18 and older.”

Why, then, are AP reports on the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown solely referring to him as a “teen” and “teenager”?

“Don’t know’ if Missouri teen shot with hands up,” reads one AP headline from Monday. “County autopsy: Unarmed teen shot 6 to 8 times,” reads another.

And an excerpt from yet another AP story, emphasis added: “Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon lifted a curfew but ordered the National Guard to step in to help restore order. Holder over the weekend ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on the teenager, Michael Brown.”

Unless the rules have changed at AP after 1998, then yes, they violated their Style Guide. But hey, that narrative doesn’t write itself, you know.

Update: “AP Violated Stylebook at least 11 times with at least 7 reporters,” frequent PJM contributor Tom Blumer writes.