» The Memory Hole

Ed Driscoll

The Memory Hole

Gaslighting, Then and Now

May 22nd, 2015 - 3:13 pm

“Bill Clinton is the greatest gaslighter in modern American politics,” Jonah Goldberg notes in his latest G-File. Click over for the Wikipedia definition of the term if you’re unfamiliar with it; after which Jonah writes:

A truly sociopathic liar (though his sociopathologies hardly end there), Clinton has a gift for making other people feel like there is something wrong with them for objecting to his deceptions.

At the outset of the 1990s, liberals had worked themselves into a moral panic about sexual harassment. If anything, it was a bigger obsession than the campus-rape panic we’ve been witnessing over the last few years (no doubt in part because there was more factual basis to the problem). Male politicians — Bob Packwood, John Tower, et al. — had their careers summarily ended because of their “womanizing” — a term popularized by Tower’s predations. (Ironically, the original meaning of the word was to “make effeminate,” i.e., to turn into a woman. Given the mainstreaming of sex-change surgery, maybe it’s time to rehabilitate the older definition?)

Then, the country was presented with proof, incremental and suggestive at first, overwhelming and indisputable by the end of the decade, that Bill Clinton was an irrepressible and irresponsible sexual predator, at least by the moral and evidentiary standards established by feminist activists and the press corps that loves them. And, rather than face the consequences of applying their own principles consistently, they prostrated themselves to the Oval Office. Gloria Steinem raced to the pages of the New York Times to advance the “one free grope” rule. Susan Estrich, Susan Faludi, and countless other professional feminists defenestrated their principles in a desperate attempt to defend Clinton.

It was a perfect example of what Lord Acton really meant by power corrupting. He didn’t mean that rulers are corrupted by power, he meant that intellectuals become corrupted by their worship of the powerful.

When Bill Clinton had to “apologize” to his cabinet for playing baron-and-the-milkmaid with an intern and lying about it, he asked if anybody had a problem with it. Donna Shalala foolishly assumed he was being sincere. She chimed in and said she had a problem. He berated her for her effrontery, explaining that her prudish standards would have prevented JFK from being president. And while those of us not ensorcelled by the cult of that charismatic mediocrity might respond, “Yeah, so?” this was a debate-settling argument for many liberals.

Clinton’s sexual exploits were only one facet of his full-spectrum gaslighting of America. He sold pardons. He sold the Lincoln bedroom. He lied and cheated in innumerable ways, large and small, and he successfully made the people who objected, or even pointed out the truth, seem like the weird ones.

Jonah mentioned the campus rape panic in the second paragraph quoted above; in her latest column, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal writes, “Readers know of the phenomenon at college campuses regarding charges of ‘microaggressions’ and ‘triggers,’” and adds, “quite a bunch of little Marats and Robespierres we’re bringing up” — or actually, being programmed by their socialist teachers and professors. Noonan’s column is on the censoring of classic books and epic poems such as Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” which students at Columbia University attempted to suppress:

The class read the myths of Persephone and Daphne, which, as parts of a narrative that stretches from the dawn of time to the Rome of Caesar, include depictions of violence, chaos, sexual assault and rape. The student, the authors reported, is herself “a survivor of sexual assault” and said she was “triggered.” She complained the professor focused “on the beauty of the language and the splendor of the imagery when lecturing on the text.” He did not apparently notice her feelings, or their urgency. As a result, “the student completely disengaged from the class discussion as a means of self-preservation. She did not feel safe in the class.”

Safe is the key word here. There’s the suggestion that a work may be a masterpiece but if it makes anyone feel bad, it’s out.

That goes as well for public speakers who risk harshing the kids’ collective mellow, Mark Hemingway writes in the Weekly Standard:

At [Christina Hoff Sommers'] speech in April at Georgetown University, multiple undercover policemen were placed in the audience. At Oberlin, also in April, uniformed police officers never let her out of their sight and after her speech escorted her in a police car from the campus to a dinner. In May, she was the guest of honor at a Washington, D.C., meetup of “Gamergate” supporters—video gamers concerned about radical feminism’s influence in the video game industry (more on that later). In response, Salon and Daily Beast columnist Arthur Chu started a social media campaign to pressure the bar where the gamers were meeting to drop the event and sent emails to the venue accusing them of hosting a “right-wing hate group.” Despite the pressure, the owner of the bar, Local 16, emailed Sommers to tell her they “would never keep any group out. This is America.” A bomb threat soon followed, necessitating a heavy police presence and a tour of Local 16 by bomb-sniffing dogs.

Through all this, Sommers says, “I didn’t feel threatened. I’d never known feminists to be violent.” Her calm in the face of feminist extremism is in marked contrast to the fury of her critics. “I am a threat to their health, to their mental well-being. That attitude is new,” she says. “Before, they might have thought, ‘Oh, her views on feminism are reactionary.’ But now it’s that her views are a threat.”

Indeed, an inability to distinguish between threats and disagreements seems to be a hallmark of this contemporary feminism. Sommers is scary precisely because she doesn’t shy away from heightening the contradictions. Where op-ed writers have patiently picked apart the discredited “wage gap” statistics feminists insist on recycling, Sommers shows up in the proverbial lion’s den, calmly points her finger at the scolds-in-training, and challenges them to prove their commitment to female equality by changing their major to the lucrative and male-dominated field of petroleum engineering.

These days, campus feminists make no attempt to debate Sommers on substance. Instead, she routinely faces attempts to shun her, silence her, or distort her message. After her Georgetown speech, there were demands that the student group that had hosted her remove the protesters from video of the event. A university administrator warned that if the upset students weren’t edited out, “Georgetown [would] need to step in.”

Got that? Protesters showed up at a public event to draw attention to their message—but then realized that footage showing ostensible adults holding signs saying “Trigger Warning: Antifeminist” was an embarrassment to the students and bad PR for the school, so they wanted it censored. Another embarrassment is young feminists’ ignorance. When Sommers joked at Oberlin that the Junior Anti-Sex League had occupied campus feminism, a voice from her audience yelled, “What the hell is that?”

For the most part, Obama and Hillary love keeping already high-strung college kids on emotional tenterhooks, ready to swing into action at the latest perceived racial or sexual “microaggression,” and anyone who dares commit doubleplus ungood Emmanuel Goldstein-esque thoughtcrime. But isn’t there a huge, equally Orwellian contradiction here? Hillary is counting on those same college kids, who see sexism, male oppression and rape everywhere to swing enthusiastically into action to support her. (Presumably, as is Obama, as Hillary is a far safer bet to preserve his “legacy” than a Republican president.) Completely ignoring the fact that she’s the enabler of a former president whom Rand Paul dubbed one of Washington’s most prominent sexual predators. As Paul noted on C-Span last year:

Democrats are being hypocritical by criticizing Republicans as waging a war on women while at the same time embracing Mr. Clinton, who was impeached for lying about a sexual relationship with a White House intern.

“They can’t have it both ways. And so I really think that anybody who wants to take money from Bill Clinton or have a fundraiser has a lot of explaining to do. In fact, I think they should give the money back,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said. “If they want to take position on women’s rights, by all means do. But you can’t do it and take it from a guy who was using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace.”

Or is the assumption that because Hillary will do “good things” (read: expand government and restrict freedoms — including, as she herself admits — freedom of speech) the same college kids obsessed with rape and sexual predators will overlook Bill’s serial macro-aggressions?

It’s too bad that Lord Acton is yet another dead white European male; because as Jonah wrote above, the Clintons really are the perfect example of what Acton “meant by power corrupting. He didn’t mean that rulers are corrupted by power, he meant that intellectuals become corrupted by their worship of the powerful.”

And young, self-styled wannabe intellectuals as well, as yet another generation of leftists are gaslighted.

I know the aforementioned Rand Paul did a fair amount of battlefield prep last year by pointing out Bill’s past, noting that “Mr. Clinton’s settlement with Paula Jones in 1999, in which he paid $850,000 to settle Ms. Jones’ claims of sexual harassment, is an admission of guilt by the former president.” Not to mention Bill’s “friendship [with] seedy billionaire and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein,” as Sean Hannity discussed this past February. But I’m surprised more Republican candidates aren’t mentioning this enormous contradiction, which seems ripe for exploiting.  And/or anyone on the left who’s serious about opposing her. Isn’t it time for the spouse of the man who made “Sister Souljah” a verb to experience a “Sister Souljah moment” of her own from one of her fellow Democrats?

We’ve mentioned the left devouring its own several times in recent months. The “campus rape epidemic” seems like a bizarre intellectual climate to serve as the background for Hillary’s campaign — and she has no one else to blame but her fellow Democrats for creating it. Or am I simply gaslighting myself?

Speaking Truth to Sharpton

May 19th, 2015 - 11:57 pm

The other day, I mentioned the old cliche of journalism that invariably when a superstar “objective” MSM reporter or anchorman retires from his beat or unclips his lavaliere for the last time, he begins giving speeches and writing op-eds that reveal conclusively what everyone simply assumed from his story selection and tone — that he’s a flaming full-on lefty. (QED: Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather among many, many others, which is why it’s such a cliche.) Duke professor Jerry Hough is the very definition of politically correct; as Steve Hayward wrote yesterday at Power Line, in the 1980s, Hough’s anti-Reagan rhetoric was so extreme, “You wondered sometimes whether he was on the Soviets’ payroll.”

In other words, he’s MSNBC and NPR’s core demographic. Which is what makes Hough’s recent letter to the New York Times all the more powerful:

In 1965 the Asians were discriminated against as least as badly as blacks. That was reflected in the word “colored.” The racism against what even Eleanor Roosevelt called the yellow races was at least as bad.

So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.

I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.

It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King [statue]. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.

As Steve Hayward notes, “Hough is not backing down, sending a follow up comment to a local TV station:”

“I am strongly against the obsession with “sensitivity.” The more we have emphasized sensitivity in recent years, the worse race relations have become. I think that is not an accident. I know that the 60 years since the Montgomery bus boycott is a long time, and things must be changed. The Japanese and other Asians did not obsess with the concentration camps and the fact they were linked with blacks as “colored.” They pushed ahead and achieved. Coach K did not obsess with all the Polish jokes about Polish stupidity. He pushed ahead and achieved. And by his achievement and visibility, he has played a huge role in destroying stereotypes about Poles. Many blacks have done that too, but no one says they have done as well on the average as the Asians. In my opinion, the time has come to stop talking incessantly about race relations in general terms as the President and activists have advocated, but talk about how the Asians and Poles got ahead—and to copy their approach. I don’t see why that is insensitive or racist.”

Sadly, those two statements read as remarkably truthful words concerning the last 70 years of assimilation and advancement and the lack thereof, so naturally, the left are already attempting to devour Hough for his comments. But at age 80, presumably with a fabulous pension, what can they do to him? As Glenn Reynolds writes, “Even being an old commie apologist isn’t enough to keep you from being savaged over this badthink. But if you can’t say what you believe is true when you’re an 80-year-old professor, when can you?”

“Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who has carried a mattress around campus as part of an art project for the past year, has graduated. And she carried that mattress across the stage during the ceremony — to much applause,” Ashe Schow writes at the Washington Examiner. That stunt could end up being a very costly one for Columbia:

Paul Nungesser, the man she accused of raping her, and who was cleared by a campus hearing and the police, was forced to watch, having walked across the stage just a few minutes earlier.

Nungesser is now suing Columbia for facilitating a harassment campaign against him. He alleges in his lawsuit that by allowing and even praising Sulkowicz’s mattress project, the school was complicit in defaming him.

On Monday, Columbia circulated an email banning students from bringing large objects to graduation. It appeared at the time that Sulkowicz was being disallowed from carrying her mattress across the stage. But evidently, that was not the case.

Allowing Sulkowicz to carry her mattress may have helped Nungesser’s case in court, as the school made clear that large objects were banned but then did nothing to stop Sulkowicz.

Nungesser’s lawyer, Kimberly Lau, told the Washington Examiner that Columbia’s acceptance of Sulkowicz’s graduation stunt was “absurd” and would help her client’s case.

“This goes beyond mere facilitation; they have now granted a special exception,” Lau said.

Meanwhile, Samantha Power, the ambassador to the United Nations for America’s self-proclaimed “blank screen” of a president praised Sulkowicz’s wacky primitivism in her Sunday commencement address to Bernard College, Paul Mirengoff writes at Power Line, quoting a Daily Caller report that “Power also suggested that Afghanistan is superior to the United States in at least one way in terms of women’s rights because women currently hold 28 percent of the seats in Afghanistan’s parliament.” * As Mirengoff writes:

For context, the Daily Caller’s Owens reminds us that the Barnard students whom Power addressed have just received an education that costs $250,000. This does not include four years of off-campus expenses in New York City or the expenses incurred during jaunts in exciting study-abroad locales such as France and Spain.

In war-torn Afghanistan, gross national income per capita is approximately $1,960, according to Owens.

But maybe college campuses are war zones for females students. Power suggested as much when she invoked the case of Emma Sulkowicz, a student across the street at Columbia University who carried a mattress around campus on her back all year to protest the school’s handling of her rape allegation.

As I discussed yesterday, however, Sulkowicz’s allegation is almost certainly false. A campus tribunal found no merit in it.

Moreover, the cleared male student has produced numerous text messages and social media conversations from before and after the night when Sulkowicz claims he raped her. The messages undermine her claim by showing that Sulkowicz made comments about having anal sex with the male student before the night when she says he anally raped her. She also messaged him several times after that night suggesting that they should meet up.

Is Power aware that Sulkowicz’s rape allegation has been discredited? One hopes not.

Mirengoff describes Power as “the poster child for the smear America, moral equivalence brand of leftism,” but there are plenty of others who vie for that award in Mr. Obama’s far left, radical chic-obsessed administration.

* Shades of HSBC’s ad campaign praising Iran’s pro-feminist film industry!

Like millions of other voters, I rolled my eyes at the news last night the State Department would be releasing Hillary’s emails, albeit likely in heavily redacted form, in January of 2016, just in time to make maximum trouble for Hillary’s election bid.

“So, why *did* John Kerry pick January 2016 to roll out the Clinton emails?” Interesting theory by Moe Lane:

Remember 2004?  Remember how, just after the end of the Democratic national convention, suddenly Bill Clinton went to the hospital? I remember it quite well: it pretty much had the effect of sucking out all the media oxygen that would have normally followed a political convention. And while it did not cost the Democrats the election, per se, the utter lack of Bill Clinton on the post-convention campaign trail was certainly a factor in George W. Bush’s reelection, and said re-election meant of course that Hillary Clinton would effectively be able to run for President in 2008, and not have to wait for 2012*. And, hey! The Democratic Presidential nominee in 2004 was… John Kerry!


What goes around, comes around.

Moe Lane

PS: I am not entirely wedded to this theory, to put it mildly. But I do think that it should be noted that there’s no particular reason for John Kerry to like Hillary Clinton. Or vice versa.

By the way, will any reporter ask Kerry his take on Clinton fixer Sid Blumenthal’s role in Libya, before Benghazi broke? Nahh, didn’t think so. As the aforementioned John Nolte likes to say, Democrats sure got it good.

48 Reasons to Distrust & Despise the Media

May 19th, 2015 - 12:15 pm

“I’m With the Media, Screw You,” the late Newsweek bureau chief Ginny Carroll publicly admitted on C-Span to wearing at the 1992 GOP convention, neatly summing up her industry’s attitude to conservatives, their audience, and the truth. At Big Journalism today, John Nolte has a must-read “Scandal Rap Sheet: 48 Reasons to Distrust & Despise the Media,”  a chronological look back at how the MSM as lied about some of the biggest events of the last two decades.

From NBC News rigging a pick-up truck in 1992 to explode on impact with another vehicle and Newsweek spiking the Lewinsky scandal in 1998, to the L.A. Times assisting Barack Obama by  burying the Rashid Khalidi tape a decade later, and George Stephanopoulos burying his contributions to his former employer’s slush fund earlier this month.

Plus 44 other examples of media malfeasance, from some of the biggest names in news, many of whom still hold themselves out as being “objective,” a reactionary vestigial boast held over from the FDR-era, during the the days where there were only three national radio networks.

These days, as Elizabeth Price Foley wrote this morning at Instapundit, “Mainstream media has died.  RIP.  All that’s left now is a bunch of progressive/liberal zombies out for ideological flesh. Most people know better than to listen to them anymore.”

Well, except for those millions of everyday hard working voters who get their only news from TV at 6:00 or 11:00 PM.

Which is why the lies go on:

(And yes, the far left Salon did eventually add an “alleged” to its headline, but only after being called out.)

The 1.6 Percent Versus the World

May 18th, 2015 - 5:14 pm

“No one knows the exact figure, but a decent estimate tells us that there are about 900,000 police officers in the United States,” Richard Epstein wrote earlier this month at the Hoover Institute, after the radical left’s latest attempt to wage war against them, in Baltimore.

In a post titled “Police and Transgenderism” on his personal blog, Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard noted what else that number allegedly corresponds to:

The reason [Epstein's quote] jumped out at me is that in writing about the transgender debacle at Smith College I took a brief detour to look at the estimates activists give us for transgender numbers in the United States. The line they push is 0.3 percent of the population. That may seem small, but keep in mind that gay-rights activists spent a generation insisting that 10 percent of the population is gay, but the real number turns out to be 1.6 percent.

So in order for us to believe that 0.3 percent of America is transgender we’d have to believe that there’s one transgendered American for every five gay Americans. Or, to put it in another context, we’d have to believe that there are as many transgendered Americans as there are police officers.

About a decade ago at NRO, Jonah Goldberg explored the radical contrast between today’s “Progressives” and how their New Deal/postwar equivalents defined the words “reasonable man” when it came to shaping society:

Today that corrosion takes a predictable form: the overthrow of the reasonable man. Now, I’m not talking about liability or torts or any of that stuff, because I don’t know much about it. I’m talking about the larger societal standards that come with the erosion of authority and how they creep into our law and our culture. The reasonable man was a composite, a statistical average of the aggregate human decency necessary to sustain a society. The reasonable man’s behavior was the group average of moral conduct in a very moral country. Today, all of our arguments are about how much the society must bend to the behaviors and attitudes of the man of the fringe, the outlier, the arrow that sails farthest from the bulls-eye. Schools are paralyzed by the question of what to do about the atheist, the homosexual, the handicapped, while the average kids–i.e., most of them–are given short shrift. Abortion has stalemated the political system for a generation because the debate must be over what to do in the extreme circumstances; the famously horrible trinity of abortion legalizers everywhere: rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Roughly 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas in one way or another, but every year we must haggle about what to do for the thin-skinned atheist who withers from the glare of a nativity scene.

* * * * * * *
Now none of this should be interpreted as a stirring defense of conformity or a denunciation of anyone who might be a square peg in my ideal society of round holes. What a decent, prosperous, historically Christian Anglo-Saxon liberal society should do to accommodate gays, atheists, Jews, Muslims, foreigners, the handicapped, et al. are entirely appropriate questions to spend time and resources on. After all, there is no American who perfectly incarnates the external standard of the average American. We are all scattered plot points on the cluster graph. Groups are made richer by their diversity.

But, as liberals are wont to do, they are once again smashing their own accomplishments. The story of liberalism, after all, is the story of intellectuals building castles and then destroying them a generation later because they believe something new–and therefore more exciting and “better”–can be made with the rubble. Today’s heirs to the Pragmatists want nothing to do with “reasonable men” and “community norms.” For Holmes the norm and the ideal were roughly synonymous. For today’s liberal they are antipodes. The deviant are the role models, the outliers the heroes. And we never could have replaced the old morality with this new stuff if we hadn’t thought we could do without fatty, flabby morality in the first place.

But hey, how else can the left stay in power, except by constantly moving the goalposts, causing the Stupid Party to constantly refight battles on their terms?

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

“Today, I can announce that our review is complete, and that the United States will pursue a new strategy to end the war in Iraq through a transition to full Iraqi responsibility.

This strategy is grounded in a clear and achievable goal shared by the Iraqi people and the American people: an Iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant.

[W]e will work to promote an Iraqi government that is just, representative, and accountable, and that provides neither support nor safe haven to terrorists.”

“Obama in 2011: ‘We’re Leaving Behind A Stable And Self-Reliant Iraq,’” IJ Review, June 18, 2014

The fall of the critically important Iraqi city Ramadi to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a “terribly significant” event that shows the need for more U.S. forces on the ground, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday.

“I think it’s, unfortunately, terribly significant, capital of Anbar Province, the deaths of hundreds, the displacement of thousands and thousands,” he said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Not the 82nd Airborne, but we’ll have to have more people on the ground and this is really serious, the fall of Ramadi,” he said. …

McCain said fault lay with former Iraqi Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki, for firing competent military leaders. But he also blamed President Obama’s administration for withdrawing all U.S. forces in Iraq in 2011.

“I hate to be repetitious, but the fact is that thanks to the surge, we had it under control and this is another consequence of the failure of this administration and this president to leave a residual force behind,” he said.

“Total collapse: ‘Elite’ Iraqi units routed in Ramadi counteroffensive,” Hot Air, today.

Update: “Time for Military to Admit ISIS is Winning.”

“Writing in the New York Times this weekend, economist, author, and blogger Tyler Cowen says that we might need to get used to the idea that the economy will continue to underperform our expectations,” Yahoo reports, as spotted by Ace of Spades:

Rush Limbaugh was just talking about this article, which had been published in the New York Times. His take was that as it had been excerpted at Yahoo News, Low Information Voters and Millennials (but I repeat myself) would actually see it when they came to Yahoo to read about “Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez and her butt.”

The economy might stink for a while.Writing in the New York Times this weekend, economist, author, and blogger Tyler Cowen says that we might need to get used to the idea that the economy will continue to underperform our expectations.

Cowen says that right now there are two core outlooks on the economy, both of which are inherently optimistic.

One says that things like low wage growth and low interest rates are phases that will pass, and the other is that we merely didn’t appreciate how long it would take to recover from the financial crisis.

But is it a foregone conclusion that things will just get back to “normal”?

In February of 2009, back when I was still doing my Silicon Graffiti videos, I produced a clip titled “Rendezvous with Scarcity,” in which I concluded, “Ronald Reagan began his political career as an FDR supporter. Beginning in the 1960s, he took to using FDR’s iconic ‘Rendezvous with Destiny’ phrase in many of his most important speeches. But these days, it’s looking like the next few years—maybe even a big chunk of the next decade—could very well be a rendezvous with scarcity.”

A couple of months prior, Time magazine described Obama as the next FDR. Curiously, they meant it as a compliment.

The Clinton’s man at ABC is boldly going today where Brian Williams has gone before, just a few months ago. As John Nolte of Big Journalism tweets, the Clinton operative with a byline at ABC “deceives his viewers and then offers a terrible apology. Any of this sound familiar, ABC News?”

Lloyd Grove of the left-leaning Daily Beast describes it as Stephanopoulos’ “Passive-Aggressive Non-Apology for Clinton Donation:”

You see, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos was just too darned generous to poor kids and AIDS victims.

In a non-apology apology that is unlikely to appease the referees of press ethics, let alone his Republican detractors—and may just baffle morning television viewers who haven’t paid attention to the blossoming scandal within the media-political complex—the former top aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton put the very best face possible on his lapse in judgment in not disclosing $75,000 in donations to the Clinton Foundation when he conducted a contentious April 26 interview with foundation critic Peter Schweizer on This Week With George Stephanopoulos, ABC News’s Sunday show.

Although Stephanopoulos’s case is very different from—and nowhere near as serious as—the embellishments of suspended NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, his explanation of his mistake on Friday morning was much in the same vein as Williams’s claim last February that he made up a story about a helicopter ride in Iraq simply in an innocent, good-hearted attempt to honor America’s fighting men and women.

Willams wrapped himself in the flag; Stephanopoulos cloaked himself in charity.

Grove concludes:

So if Stephanopoulos really wants to put this issue to rest—and I think he can—he’s going to have to do better than the once-over-lightly treatment he accorded it Friday morning. A “modified limited hangout”—to use Nixon aide John Ehrlichman]s famous phrase during the  Watergate adventure—just won’t do in this case.

I’m not at all sure I agree that Stephanopoulos’s case is “nowhere near as serious as” the Williams debacle. As Nolte wrote yesterday at Big Journalism, “Obviously, Williams is not to be trusted. Nevertheless, other than the Katrina fairytales that were obviously meant to damage President Bush, all of his lies were self-aggrandizing resume-enhancers. What ABC News and their chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos are guilty of makes Williams and NBC News look like freshly-scrubbed Eagle Scouts.”

In contrast to Williams’ Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket fantasies, Stephanopoulos looks more than ever like the Clinton’s paid fixer at ABC. Add to it, as Nolte writes, ABC censoring The Path to 9/11 miniseries to whitewash President Clinton terrifying decision to avoid capturing Osama bin Laden. Plus Stephanopoulos’s portrayal of the Clinton’s slush fund as a wonderful humanitarian charity (despite earlier telling Jon Stewart, “Nobody gives money to the Clintons without expecting quid pro quo.”) and not disclosing his ties when beating up Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer over his conflict of interest as a former Bush speechwriter. The result is a credibility disaster for ABC that’s been looming since the late 1990s.

And then consider that NBC let Keith Olbermann — who whatever his myriad excesses, never held himself out as an objective journalist and was the very face of MSNBC — go for a paltry $7200 worth of campaign contributions. And add to it, Geraldo Rivera’s claim today that he was fired from ABC in 1985 over a miniscule $200 campaign donation.

Over a decade ago, Jonah Goldberg noted that one reason why fictional (in this case openly fictional, unlike Stephanopoulos and Williams) TV franchises such as Law & Order, CSI and NCIS continue on waaaay past their freshness date is that in the age of the Internet, the networks are terrified that if they retire a venerable brand name, they’ll lose millions of viewers and never get them back. Beyond his close ties to the Clintons and the Democrat party, does ABC consider George Stephanopoulos to be a brand name that’s too big too fail?

We’ll soon find out; if ABC keeps Stephanopoulos on, they’ll have lost all credibility with half the country. (Not that they care much about that half of the country, which Stephanopoulos knows works in his favor.)

In the meantime, as with NBC while Williams was twisting in the wind, oh to be a fly on the wall of the ABC boardroom between now and Sunday morning:

Update: It gets worse for ABC: “Woman Who Delayed Response to Free Beacon While George Stephanopoulos Scrambled to Plant His Story at Politco Used To Work As Press Contact For… HILLARY CLINTON.”

If you’re an MSM journalist who believes that what Brian Williams did was worse than the corruption at ABC and among Stephanopoulos and his cronies, you’re being willfully blind to protect ABC, Stephanopoulos, and/or Hillary’s election bid.

And even more worse:

As Rothman tweets, “Looks like we get to test the proposition that you can serve as a network anchor even though no one trusts you to cover a POTUS campaign.”

Barack Obama, Crack Military Historian

May 14th, 2015 - 6:08 pm

“Chlorine itself historically has not been listed as a chemical weapon,” Mr. Obama said today when discussing Syria walking all over the many red lines his administration has placed in front of it.

No, really. Wait’ll Mr. Obama discovers that little internecine scrum we like to call World War I. Moe Lane theorizes what the befuddled gaffe-prone semi-retired president likely meant:

What Barack Obama probably meant to say is that chlorine gas is too useful in too many industrial processes to be successfully banned as a chemical weapon. Unfortunately, President Obama is that worst of public speakers: which is to say, a bad one who has been told once too often that he’s a good one. So it goes.

Moe also advises that said befuddled gaffe-prone semi-retired president fire the staffer who wrote the above quote. But it has a nice symmetry, doesn’t it? Mr. Obama’s second term play-acting at being president was kicked off by not noticing or caring that speechwriter Jon Favreau* had inserted the dreaded Chamberlain-esque phrase “peace in our time” into his inauguration speech, nicely foreshadowing the International horrors to come under his watch. If the president and his young staffers don’t know basic World War II history, who would expect them to know a detail of WWI that a fifth grader should know?

(Not that Mr. Obama, the self-proclaimed “constitutional law professor” knows a whole lot about American history either: recall in 2011 when he declared, “Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, you know, for historic reasons,” which would certainly be news to Lyndon Johnson, John Connally, and Ann Richards.)

* Pictured here on the front lines of the Democrats’ infamous war on women.


And tomorrow’s headlines today!

Flashback: Past performance, no guarantee, etc.:

Name That Party, Windy City Edition!

May 14th, 2015 - 4:21 pm

“Five Reasons Chicago Is in Worse Shape Than Detroit,” as proffered by BloombergBusiness (warning: auto-play video at link). Here are a few:

POLITICAL PARALYSIS: Just as Detroit slid into bankruptcy after decades of economic and actuarial warnings, Chicago politicians have watched the train wreck rumble toward them for more than a decade. During that time, they skipped pension payments and paid scant attention to the financial damage being done. In 10 years starting in 2002, the city increased its bonded debt by 84 percent, according to the Civic Federation, which tracks city finances. That added more than $1,300 to the tab of every Chicago resident.

In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder acted* when the crisis in Detroit couldn’t be avoided. He invoked a state law giving an emergency manager what amounts to fiscal martial-law power. In Chicago’s case, there’s no political pressure to invoke a similar law. And a proposal supported by Rauner that would allow municipalities to seek bankruptcy protection without state approval is languishing in the Illinois legislature.

NO BAILOUT: Detroit’s bankruptcy filing allowed it to restructure its debt, officially snuffing out $7 billion of it by cutting pensions and payments to creditors. In Illinois, the nation’s lowest-rated state with unfunded pension obligations of $111 billion, Rauner had a blunt message last week in an unprecedented address to Chicago’s City Council: The city will get no state bailout.

DENIAL: After years of denial, Detroit officials finally, if grudgingly, agreed to major surgery. At least for now, Chicago’s Emanuel is sticking to his view that the Illinois Supreme Court’s rejection of a state pension reform law doesn’t apply to the city. “That reform is not affected by today’s ruling, as we believe our plan fully complies with the State constitution because it fundamentally preserves and protects worker pensions,” he said in a statement on Friday.

Just a reminder, Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor since the days of Al Capone. But you wouldn’t know that reading the above article. (CTRL-F “Democrat” brings zero results.

Unexpectedly!, as they like to say at Bloomberg, whenever bad news strikes a Democrat.

However, there is one way that Chicago isn’t yet Detroit — Chicago’s architecture, as built by Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and their disciples is spectacular, even as it serves a class of effete bobo hipsters working in an increasingly hollowed-out shell of a city (QED). In contrast, as this Popular Mechanics article on aerial drone photography asks, “Who knew that parts of Detroit look like abandoned towns left to rot after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in Pripyat, Ukraine?”

Well, pretty much everybody who’s been paying attention over the last several years, as the once great Motor City continues to revert back to primordial nothingness. But check out the impressive aerial “ruin porn” anyhow.

* But gee, what were some of the ways in which Gov. Snyder acted? And which party does he belong to?


Happier days for both men: Then-director of communications for the transition, George Stephanopoulos speaks to President-elect Bill Clinton during economic conference in Little Rock, Ark., Dec. 15, 1992. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)

“Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Manager Interned for George Stephanopoulos,” Brent Scher writes as part of the ongoing auto-da-fé* of Stephanopoulos at the Washington Free Beacon:

George Stephanopoulos thanked Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook in the acknowledgement section of his 1999 tell-all memoir All Too Human.Stephanopoulos’ book, described as “a new-generation political memoir” of a man “who got his hands on the levers of awesome power at an early age,” was written after he left the Clinton administration and returned to his alma mater Columbia to be a visiting professor.

Mook was an undergrad student at Columbia during Stephanopoulos’ brief tenure and was already politically active. He was a member of the College Democrats and was active in Democratic politics in his home state of Vermont.

Mook was also part of the team of interns who worked under Stephanopolous’ research assistant at Columbia, responsible for “reviewing thousands of pages of public records and making sure I got my facts straight,” wrote Stephanopolous.

And at NewsBusters today, a flashback to 2009, when Politico “revealed that Stephanopoulos participated in daily strategy calls with James Carville (Clinton White House), Paul Begala (Clinton White House) and Rahm Emanuel (Clinton and Obama White House),” Scott Whitlock writes:

Politico writer John Harris explained, “In any given news cycle, it is quite likely that Washington’s prevailing political and media interpretation — at least on the Democratic side — is being hatched on these calls.”

In a statement at the time, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell wondered:

“What’s worse than the liberal media’s sycophantic coverage of President Barack Obama? ABC’s George Stephanopoulos actively helping design and deliver the Administration’s strategy and message – which he is then charged with reporting.

“Will Stephanopoulos be critical of the White House’s plans when he spends every morning helping to craft them? Not likely. He must from this point forward recuse himself from any reporting involving the Obama Administration.

“For Stephanopoulos, the line between journalist and liberal strategist would be completely obliterated were it not for the fact that it apparently never existed at all. He didn’t fail in his attempt at transformation from liberal operative to journalist – he never made the effort.”

Other Stephanopoulos statements are now coming into question. In February, he said disgraced anchor Brian Williams should be held to “the same standards journalists use for politicians.” In a March radio interview, Stephanopoulos admitted that when he started at ABC, network colleagues worried if he could be “fair.”

Well, about as “fair” as any Democrat operative with a byline. How bad is it for ABC? At the moment, they’re making NBC and even MSNBC, of all networks, look good by comparison:

NBC News not only suspended anchor Brian Williams for lying, the network also suspended Keith Olbermann for not disclosing a donation much smaller than $75,000 ($2400).

If ABC News expects to salvage its reputation, only immediate and complete transparency will accomplish that.

Does ABC care about its reputation? As Ace writes, quoting one of his Twitter followers, “The media’s ‘F*** You’ machine kicks into fourth gear,” to circle the wagons around one of their fellow Democrats. This is the network that censored Bill Clinton’s role in letting Osama bin Laden escape in The Path to 9/11 and then refused to release the miniseries on DVD to protect Hillary, after all.

Update: And speaking of conflicts of interest, as Erick Erickson writes at Red State, “You’re Missing the Story on George Stephanopoulos”:

The real story in my mind is that the Republican Party ever thought George Stephanopoulos should moderate a Republican Presidential debate to begin with. Did I mention he is a former Clinton employee?

George Stephanopoulos may be as objective as possible, but he is still a liberal with a liberal world view. That thinking shapes his questions to candidates and was on full display in 2012 when he asked Mitt Romney about banning birth control.

Not one damn soul in America thinks that is going to happen and there is not a single elected official in the United States who is seriously considering that, or was even considering it in 2012. But George Stephanopoulos felt the need to ask that question as a way to set up a media gotcha moment to feed on the “war on women” narrative.

And the Republican Party still felt like it could let the former Clinton employee moderate a Republican debate in a year Hillary Clinton is running for President.

That’s the story. That is the shocking part.

GOP chairman Reince Priebus has taken baby steps in the right direction, but the party’s near century-old Stockholm Syndrome as willing hostages of the far left and their media operatives needs infinitely more reform.

Especially in a media environment in which, as Jeff Dunetz writes, “At ABC News, Stephanopoulos Never Stopped Being A Democratic Party Spokesman.”

More: At Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin  outlines “Liberal Media’s Stephanopoulos Problem”:

He ought to recuse himself from any further reporting or comment about the Clinton Cash issue or Hillary but we know that won’t happen. Like the Clintons, Stephanopoulos will simply move on and act as if nothing has happened that should cause us to view him differently.

But while what happens to him isn’t all that important, it still must be pointed out that if a journalist were exposed as giving money to the Koch Brothers charities and then reported on them, there would be howls for his scalp throughout the media. The rules are different for liberals. Analysts who wonder about the shrinking audience for such shows and networks whose political coverage is drenched in the tired rhetoric of liberalism need wonder no more. Stephanopoulos’s lack of transparency is this story is just one more piece of evidence indicting mainstream outlets for outrageous and blatant liberal bias.

But it has ramifications far beyond the media bubble:

* Auto-da-fé? What’s an auto-da-fé? It’s what you ought’n to do, but you do anyway. Bill knows all about that.

Earlier: ABC and Stephanopoulos ‘Make Brian Williams Look Like An Eagle Scout’ and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Donated $50,000 $75,000 to Clinton.

Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon reports that “ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos donated $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation in recent years, records show:”

The contribution is publicly available information, but the host had not previously disclosed it to ABC viewers, despite taking part in on-air discussions about the Clinton Foundation and its controversial relationship with foreign donors.

Stephanopoulos, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, confirmed the donation to POLITICO’s Dylan Byers after the Free Beacon contacted ABC News for comment. The host, who acknowledged making two donations of $25,000 between 2013 and 2014, issued a statement of apology for failing to disclose his contributions.

“It gets even worse, though,” Sean Davis writes at the Federalist,who writes that “The RNC Should Ban George Stephanopoulos From Participating In 2016 Debates:”

It wasn’t just that Stephanopoulos made the contributions while he was supposed to be objectively covering the Clinton family on behalf of a major broadcast news organization. It’s bigger than that. Just last month, Stephanopoulos interviewed Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash, a blockbuster investigative expose of the Clinton Foundation’s finances. Not once did Stephanopoulos disclose his cash ties to the Clinton Foundation. Stephanopoulos, who we are supposed to believe is an objective journalist, deliberately chose to hide the fact that he was a Clinton Foundation donor.

“It was an honest mistake,” ABC News told Politico, in apparent attempt to suggest to its viewers that not only does ABC News not care about transparency in reporting, but that it’s also unaware of the actual meanings of the words “honest” and “mistake.”

How do you solve a problem like mens rea? Easy: by banning it from participating in any 2016 presidential debates. That’s a no-brainer. Under no circumstances should George Stephanopoulos be allowed by the Republican National Committee to set foot on any debate stage. By his actions, he has proven he cannot be trusted to be an objective, transparent, and accountable debate moderator. But it shouldn’t stop there.

ABC News, if it cares one whit about its reputation, should ban Stephanopoulos from doing any 2016 campaign coverage. It’s bad enough that he was once a Clinton White House staffer. But everyone went along with the charade that his political days were behind him and that he just wanted to be an objective reporter. That charade ends today.

But ABC doesn’t care about its reputation — Democrats won’t lose any sleep over this, and ABC doesn’t care about any viewers who aren’t Democrats.  Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, was willing to have a showdown with tiny MSNBC over their inherent racism. Is he ready to go to war with one of the big three? Or will “the stupid party” remain that way?

Found via Ace, who writes, “Every day these filthy motherf***ers do far worse than, say, the Tobacco Executives they all castigated. They behave exactly like shifty executives of a corrupt corporation, hiding the truth from the public, because that’s exactly what they are.”

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey adds that Stephanopoulos never disclosed his donation when covering the Clintons in 2013, 2014 and as recently as two weeks ago:

Remember when George Stephanopoulos declared during an interview with Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer that the book had found no “smoking gun” against the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons themselves? Guess what Stephanopoulos didn’t declare — his own financial contributions to an organization that Sunlight Foundation official Bill Allison said operates like “a slush fund for the Clintons.”

As Ed writes, Stephanopoulos’s “interview” with Schweizer “was little more than a barely veiled attempt at spin control on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons themselves, and now we know at least one reason why.”

And of course, Politico’s Glenn Thrush is ready to declare Stephanopoulosis as badass as Hillary herself:

Oh and by the way, “Stephanopoulos says he gave $50,000, but is listed as a $50,001-$100K donor. Maybe just another foundation oopsie.”

Exit question from the man who invented the form: “How many other media donors does the Clinton slush fund have?”

Update: Hmmmmm…..

And while Stephanopoulos plays straight man here to Diane Sawyer, her quote and his participation in this moment from a few years ago sums it up nicely doesn’t it?

Ahh, another year, another moment when Daily Beast/USA Today columnist and Fox News token lefty Kirsten Powers gets “surprised” by reality. Add the above link to her discovering, the hard way, in October of 2013 that conservatives were right when they predicted she’d lose her healthcare, despite being a rah-rah Obamacare cheerleader just a few months before.

Earlier that year, she surprised that her fellow leftists in the media did everything they could keep the Kermit Gosnell abortion mill trial out of the press, and wrote in USA Today, “We’ve forgotten what belongs on Page One.” “We” didn’t “forget” — news that’s doubleplus ungood for the Inner Party will of course be tossed down the memory hole.

Last year, Powers discovered that those on the right really aren’t the demonic alien Other of her childhood nightmares:

Cannon began by asking Powers how she is treated by her Fox colleagues. He recalled that New York Times’ conservative columnist David Brooks was not well-received when he first started writing for the Times and asked if Powers had encountered a similar experience.

“People are really nice at Fox,” Powers revealed. “It’s been good for because I – before that, I lived in a real liberal bubble.”

“All my friends were liberals and I grew up in a really liberal family,” she continued. “I had a lot of ideas about conservatives and then I got to Fox and just, I was like, ‘Oh, they’re not all evil and stupid.’”

As I wrote at the time:

I realize she’s speaking glibly and off-the-cuff, but the inference is that on some level, Powers actually did believe that all conservatives are evil, thus butting up against fellow Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer’s law of politics from over a decade ago. “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” Krauthammer wrote in 2002.

And now Powers is discovering the hard way that the modern left really does hate free speech and independent thought. As someone responded today on Twitter:

She seems like an earnest person, and it’s nice for a change to see someone sympathetic on the left rather than the usual gargling with rusty nails and gasoline that self-described “nuanced” “liberals” often employ when forced to deal with the other side of aisle. Ronald Reagan has been quoted as saying, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor,” and I’d extend that percentage much further than 80 percent. But I’m not sure how someone so prominent in the media can go through life continually being surprised by reality.

Update: At Reason J.D. Tuccille writes “Lefties Are Too Good and Right to Talk to You and Me:”

Frankly, Powers has plenty of fodder for her contention that much of the political Left has gone from arguing with its opponents to screaming “shut up!” and clamping delicate hands over easily offended ears. But, as mentioned, she has a slot at Fox News. She’s also a born-again Christian. That will probably make it easier for her nominal political allies to wave off her warnings of crimes against free thought and free speech. Whatever Powers’ bona fides among progressives, though, the evidence of a real problem on the Left speaks for itself.

In the latest example, just days before the pub date for Powers’ book, Rebecca Roache, a Lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London, reacted to the unexpected Conservative win in the U.K. election with a…tantrum. She announced online that she was “unfriending” all of her Conservative Facebook friends.


Because their preferred policy prescriptions are supposedly, on their face “as objectionable as expressing racist, sexist, or homophobic views.”

OK…So yet one more lefty academic is emotionally ravaged by disappointment at electoral outcomes. Big whoop. Except that this post wasn’t on a personal blog, it was on the University of Oxford’s Practical Ethics blog. You know—a place to discuss ideas and stuff. That’s wonderfully ironic (as pointed out in the interesting comments) and also wildly problematic in terms of her relations with colleagues and, especially students (also pointed out in the comments). This window into the hermetically sealed thinking inside academia has turned the incident into a minor event.

In contrast to Powers’ nuanced tones and continual surprise, Kurt Schlichter is far more blunt at Townhall: “Speak Free or Die.”

Maybe that’s because in the 1990s, Schlichter saw the tribal endgame of “Progressivism” up close and personal in Kosovo.

Citizen Welles

May 11th, 2015 - 2:07 pm

On the centennial of Orson Welles’ birth, Mark Steyn looks back at his greatest achievement:

Directing-wise, I prefer Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons and A Touch of Evil. And acting-wise, of course, his Harry Lime turn in The Third Man. Yet Citizen Kane is the great film of all great films — the one that from the Sixties on would reliably come in at Number One whenever anyone compiled a Top 100 Films Of All Time list. But, if you were a 25-year-old radio director given carte blanche by a Hollywood studio, what would you do? Orson Welles knew it wouldn’t be enough just to hand RKO a nice little movie: he had to make a splash; he had, at the very least, to top his own War of the Worlds for the Mercury Theatre Of The Air. And, in topping himself, he managed to top everyone else, too. And yet, for all that, the more you watch Citizen Kane, the more Welles’ sense of it as a great film threatens to overwhelm its greatness.

It’s about Charles Foster Kane, who’s really William Randolph Hearst, up to a point. Welles planted the thought with his cast, and sure enough, just before Citizen Kane was to open at Radio City Music Hall, Ruth Warrick (who plays Kane’s first wife) carelessly gave it away in a publicity interview: “He’s a composite of the kind of men that Americans make into heroes, when, really, they are despoilers,” she said.

“Like who?” asked the reporter, reasonably enough.

So she told him. He dropped his pencil. “I’ve gotta make a phone call,” he said, and never came back. The next day, Radio City canceled the opening, Hearst’s papers banned all advertising and news coverage of the film, and Hearst himself sued. Miss Warrick outlived almost everyone else in the cast and became better known to American audiences as Phoebe Tyler, the queen of Pine Valley, on ABC’s long-running daytime soap “All My Children”. After the director’s death in 1985, she would tell people that Welles, a master of magic and misdirection, knew he could rely on her to give the game away: the fuss over War of the Worlds had got him the RKO gig and taught him the importance of a big commotion.

As a huckster himself, Hearst might have appreciated the stunt. But that’s hardly important now: these days, no one knows or cares who William Randolph Hearst was; he lives on in America’s collective memory only as the pretext for an Orson Welles performance – which is a shame, as the real Hearst was a more complex and fascinating figure than Kane, or Welles. But, in the simplicity of its trajectory – precocious child to empty genius – Welles wound up prefiguring his own autobiography. Which you sort of feel he knew as he was making it.

One huge problem for new audiences discovering Citizen Kane is that we’re watching the history of the movie industry backwards, and it’s virtually impossible for most audiences to understand the worldview of the 1941-era audience that Kane was aimed at. Seeing Kane today would leave many new viewers wondering what the fuss was about, because so many of the film’s innovations — the deep focus photography, the elliptical plot, the multiple points of view in which the characters see Charles Foster Kane from their own worldviews, the incredible optical effects (and those so subtle they remain invisible to all but the most skilled Bletchley Park-level cinephile cryptographers) — became either de rigueur in movies to come, or simply fly past the heads of the audience. I imagine a young kid raised on the eye-popping CGI of today’s zillion dollar assembly-line Marvel products would look at Star Wars (let alone its prototype, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, as equally innovative a film as Kane) and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Of course, far left film critics aren’t immune to this phenomenon, either: consider all of the modern-day critics who laugh at Charlton Heston playing a Mexican policeman in Welles’ last American directorial effort, 1958′s Touch of Evil, without the knowledge that Heston, at the height of his career as a box office superstar, insisted to Universal that either Welles directed the film, or he wouldn’t star in it. And how in-your-face a gesture it was to American audiences for Welles to cast the WASP-y Heston as a sympathetic Hispanic figure of authority.

As Mark writes, “These days, no one knows or cares who William Randolph Hearst was,” which makes understanding Kane that much more difficult. Not the least of which is grasping the scope of San Simeon, Hearst’s real-life prototype for Welles’ fictional Xanadu. It’s none too too shabby an estate either — and far more warm and human than the gothic grotesqueries depicted in Kane. San Simeon’s many religious artifacts came from Europe in the 1920s, for which Hearst paid fire sales prices as the Continent began its great PC clean-up, anticipating the real “Progressive” fire sale to come shortly before Kane went into production.

Two Atlantics In One!

May 7th, 2015 - 12:17 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future civility. Shot:


“Liberals need to stop trying to get us to call them ‘progressives’ or whatever word it is this week,” Kathy Shaidle wrote in 2012. “They should just get brutally honest with themselves and with the rest of us and rename themselves the ‘It’s Different When We Do It’ Party.”

15 Minutes Into the Future

May 6th, 2015 - 12:26 pm


1. To speak of Islamist violence, or to suggest there is a problem in Islam, is racist, and hateful, and irrational, and “islamophobic.”

2. It is so predictable that Islamists will kill you if you say something “anti-Islamic” that victims of murder attempts can be said to have brought their attacks on themselves.

Two other hard-to-reconcile claims:

1. Islam is compatible with Western values.

2. We’re going to have to change some core Western values to avoid violence from our new Muslim friends.

“Two Contradictory Claims the Left Urges On Us,” Ace, today.


I am trying to imagine the coming American “utopia”, where everyone will be compelled to publicly accept the moral neutrality of homosexual acts, traditional Christian teachings on the subject will be excluded from the the marketplace of ideas, but an enormous cultural carve-out will be made for Muslim sensibilities. If Islamist radicals shoot up a gay pride parade, will the incident simply be considered a moral wash, or will gays actually be expected to apologize for provoking their assailants?

Halp me Garrie Trudoe I’m stuk hear in america and cant figyour out all this morul relativizm!

“Cognitive dissonance,” the Paco Enterprises blog, yesterday.

And the answer is: It depends on quickly the MSM can memory hole the terrorist attack. Beyond this week’s blanket “The bitch had it coming” response from the MSM to Pam Geller, it will be interesting to see how long her event in Garland stays in the mind of the collective overculture, or how quickly it’s airbrushed away.

Until, God forbid, it happens again, either to her, or the hypothetical gay pride parade that Paco describes above.

Update: Hey, it’s only a matter of time:


“25 Years Of Predicting The Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’” are collated by Michael Bastasch of the Daily Caller, which we’re happy to add to to our growing “Final Countdown” files. It’s a great list of epic enviro-wacko failures, though I’m not sure if  Bastasch is right here:

9. The “tipping point” warning first started in 1989

In the late 1980s the U.N. was already claiming the world had only a decade to solve global warming or face the consequences.

The San Jose Mercury News reported on June 30, 1989 that a “senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.”

That prediction didn’t come true 15 years ago, and the U.N. is sounding the same alarm today.

This might have been the kick off of the far left’s global warming tipoffs, and as Andrea Mitchell* of NBC admitted the following year, “clearly the networks have made the decision now, where you’d have to call it advocacy,” leaving any shred of objectivity long by the wayside, as we’ve seen. (And increasingly, as the rest of the MSM now openly admits.)

But the now exhausted formula of “We only have [fill in time period] to save the planet” dates back at least to the first Earth Day in 1970, as the I Hate the Media blog noted in 2009 with their own list of expired not-so-final countdowns. Though the big nightmares back then, thanks in part to Paul Ehrlich’s infamous Population Bomb doomsday hectoring of 1968, were starvation, overpopulation, and global cooling. And speaking of the latter item, it was in 1976 that “climatologists said that that global cooling caused drought and fires in California, and produced catastrophic erratic weather globally,” Steve Goddard  wrote on Monday, as evidenced by a press clipping from the New York Times that Goddard has scanned. And don’t miss Jerry Brown on the California drought, then and now.

* Buried lede: Andrea Mitchell once said something accurate. Hard to believe, I know.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

[Regarding] the attack in Texas, we’re learning more about the gunmen who opened fire at an event where an anti-Islamic group held a contest on who could be the nastiest – draw the lastiest [sic] the nastiest cartoon of Mohamed. Do you believe that people set that kind of a mousetrap?

…I remember the old days when the Nazi Party and the Communist Party would sort of team up in a weird, sick, symbiotic way. One would have an event, and the other would attack it, you know? Well, I think she caused this trouble, and whether this trouble came yesterday, or it came two weeks from now, it’s going to be in the air as long as you taunt.

—”Chris Matthews: Pamela Geller CAUSED Texas shooting by setting a TRAP for Muslims, compares to Nazis,” transcription of video at The Right Scoop, tonight.

There is a history of retaliation for perceived slights to Islam. Back in 1989, a fatwa, or death sentence, was issued for Salman Rushdie because his book Satanic Verses was considered offensive to Islam. In 2004, we all know this story, dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered on the street by a killer who considered van Gogh’s work anti-Islamic. In 2005, when a Dutch newspaper published cartoons lampooning Muhammad, the artists and publishers were met with death threats.

I want your view because you’re so optimistic on this. What do you make of what happened today? Do you think it is an odd occurrence? Or is this the start of something that we’re going to have to live with for decades? Where people — this whole thing being disaffected. Tough luck you’re disaffected. You’re living in France. The country is called France. It’s French. Liberty, equality, fraternity. Get with it. If you don’t like living there, move! This idea that somehow France has to adjust to your thinking about what constitutes blasphemy is outrageous.

—”Chris Matthews: This Idea That France Has To Adjust To Your Thinking Is Outrageous,” Real Clear Politics (with video), January 7, 2015.

Related: “Charlie Hebdo editor warns western media: ‘We can’t be the only ones to stand up for these values.’”

“UN scientists warn time is running out to tackle global warming — Scientists say eight years left to avoid worst effects,” screamed a London Guardian headline on May 4th, 2007. The article’s lede is equally classic boilerplate “Grauniad:”

Governments are running out of time to address climate change and to avoid the worst effects of rising temperatures, an influential UN panel warned yesterday.

Greater energy efficiency, renewable electricity sources and new technology to dump carbon dioxide underground can all help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the experts said. But there could be as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.

The warning came in a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published yesterday in Bangkok. It says most of the technology needed to stop climate change in its tracks already exists, but that governments must act quickly to force through changes across all sectors of society. Delays will make the problem more difficult, and more expensive.

As Power Line’s Steve Hayward quips, “Those eight years run out tomorrow.  So I assume that climatistas will shut up tomorrow night.”

Oh, of course — just like they did after being embarrassed by NASA’s James Hansen claiming in January of 2009 that Obama had only four years to save the planet,  Al Gore declaring in December of 2008 that “the entire North ‘polarized’ cap will disappear in 5 years,” (and Gore later selling out to Big Oil) and the classic March 2000 headline from the London Independent quoted above.

Those of us who grew up in the 1970s recall an era when the media was awash in doomsday, paranormal crankery and conspiracy theories — Bigfoot, looming global cooling, mass starvation and lurking UFOs. Regarding that last example from the fever swamps, a decade ago at Tech Central Station,Internet Killed the Alien Star,” Douglas Kern wrote:

Yet in recent years, interest in the UFO phenomenon has withered. Oh, the websites are still up, the odd UFO picture is still taken, and the usual hardcore UFO advocates make the same tired arguments about the same tired cases, but the thrill is gone. What happened? Why did the saucers crash?

The Internet showed this particular emperor to be lacking in clothes. If UFOs and alien visitations were genuine, tangible, objective realities, the Internet would be an unstoppable force for detecting them. How long could the vast government conspiracy last, when intrepid UFO investigators could post their prized pictures on the Internet seconds after taking them? How could the Men in Black shut down every website devoted to scans of secret government UFO documents? How could marauding alien kidnappers remain hidden in a nation with millions of webcams?

Just as our technology for finding and understanding UFOs improved dramatically, the manifestations of UFOs dwindled away. Despite forty-plus years of alleged alien abductions, not one scrap of physical evidence supports the claim that mysterious visitors are conducting unholy experiments on hapless victims. The technology for sophisticated photograph analysis can be found in every PC in America, and yet, oddly, recent UFO pictures are rare. Cell phones and instant messaging could summon throngs of people to witness a paranormal event, and yet such paranormal events don’t seem to happen very often these days. For an allegedly real phenomenon, UFOs sure do a good job of acting like the imaginary friend of the true believers. How strange, that they should disappear just as we develop the ability to see them clearly. Or perhaps it isn’t so strange.

The Internet taught the public many tricks of the UFO trade. For years, hucksters and mental cases played upon the credulity of UFO investigators. Bad science, shabby investigation, and dubious tales from unlikely witnesses characterized far too many UFO cases. But the rise of the Internet taught the world to be more skeptical of unverified information — and careful skepticism is the bane of the UFO phenomenon. It took UFO experts over a decade to determine that the “Majestic-12″ documents of the eighties were a hoax, rather than actual government documents proving the reality of UFOs. Contrast that decade to the mere days in which the blogosphere disproved the Mary Mapes Memogate documents. Similarly, in the nineties, UFO enthusiasts were stunned when they learned that a leading investigator of the Roswell incident had fabricated much of his research, as well as his credentials. Today, a Google search and a few e-mails would expose such shenanigans in minutes.

Global cooling / warming / climate change / climate chaos was kept alive by old media from the first Earth Day in 1970 (which really taught the value of composting…) until the rise of the World Wide Web in the 1990s. Any scientist seeking plentiful government funding and/or any politician wishing to reduce his constituents’ freedoms could appear on the nightly news and mutter, all but wearing a sandwich board that “we only have five years/ten years/eight years” to save the earth, and no sympathetic media figure would ever refute such a statement with earlier expired final countdowns — perhaps the scientist or politician’s own. Today, as with UFOs and Nessie, it’s far easier to illustrate a multitude of failed predictions of doomsday. Speaking of which, for our (by no means complete) collection of some of the previous not-so-final countdowns from the eco-crank left, start here and keep scrolling.

Related: My colleague Bill Whittle dubs it all “Loch Ness Socialism:”