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Ed Driscoll

The Memory Hole

From the Town that Invented the Cloaking Device

December 31st, 2014 - 5:36 pm

“Why People Keep Trying to Erase the Hollywood Sign From Google Maps” is the topic of a fascinating Gizmodo article on yet another example of what James Delingpole calls “the Drawbridge Effect.” In other words, “You’ve made your money. Now the very last thing you want is for all those trashy middle class people below you to have a fair shot at getting as rich as you are.” Or heck, even enjoying the same things you take for granted in your own neighborhood.

In this case, rich L.A. leftists who really don’t enjoy tourists dropping by their neighborhoods to take their photo in front of the legendary Hollywood sign, or hiking up the hills to see the sign up close and personal. They’re willing to go extraordinary lengths to make the sign as difficult as possible to be found for out-of-towners searching on the Internet for driving and walking directions. And Google Maps and Garmin are apparently more than willing to help build the real-life equivalents of Star Trek’s Cloaking Device or 1984′s Memory Hole:

No matter how you try to get directions—Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing—they all tell you the same thing. Go to Griffith Observatory. Gaze in the direction of the dashed gray line. Do not proceed to the sign.

Don’t get me wrong, the view of the sign from Griffith Observatory is quite nice. And that sure does make it easier to explain to tourists. But how could the private interests of a handful of Angelenos have persuaded mapping services to make it the primary route?

Anyone seen a Hollywood Sign around here?

To find out how this happened, I had a very nice conversation with Betsy Isroelit from the Hollywood Sign Trust, a nonprofit which protects and maintains the sign, and has become in many ways the keeper of the sign’s public interests.

She admits that there was once a goal to “hide” the sign online completely, but it was deemed impossible. “At one point we were successful in getting Google to take the address down, but it appears so many other places like the city council offices and the city of LA that they put it back up.”

In the end, it was Councilmember [Tom] LaBonge who found a different solution. Working closely with Google and the GPS company Garmin, he was able to convince them to change the directions to the sign. Google did not respond to my requests for comment, but Carly Hysell from Garmin confirmed to me that the change was made in their spring 2012 map release. Update: Google’s Gina Scigliano confirmed to me on November 24 that although the location of the sign itself has remained the same, the driving directions were changed from directing drivers to the intersection of Ledgewood and Mulholland Hwy to the Griffith Observatory location in November of 2014.

As Alissa Walker, the article’s author concludes:

So what’s happening in Hollywood is a disturbing peek into the future of digital cartography. A few dozen homeowners in one of the city’s wealthiest zip codes—who bought their homes knowing (I assume) about the letters hanging just outside their bedroom windows—have found a way to keep people out of their neighborhood by manipulating technology.

This is the next iteration of a gated community.

Insert reminder that Orwell didn’t write 1984 to be used as a how-to guide here.

By the way, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been to the Hollywood sign, stopping by one weekend in 2011 after visiting PJ HQ in Los Angeles, and then driving over to see Bronson Canyon, which was used as a craggy location setting in the 1960s for episodes of Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. And every week from 1966 through 1968 it was the exterior of the Adam West-era Batcave. At the beginning of every episode of Batman, the Caped Crusader would rev-up the Batmobile’s atomic batteries, then tear-bat-ass out the interior of the Batcave, a set inside a 20th Century Fox soundstage, and then via the magic of film editing, exit through here:

The Batcave

What ABC viewers never saw in the 1960s is the view that’s immediately adjacent to the cave at Bronson Canyon’s entrance:

Ed Goes Hollywood

Of course, if the disgruntled residents who live under the Hollywood sign want to really mess with the tourists, they should have their councilman order Google and Garmin to send them to this not-quite-as-legendary Hollywood sign:

hollywood_glen_rose_12-31-14-2

That’s the sign above the parking lot at the Hollywood & Vine Restaurant on Vine Street in Glen Rose Texas, where I was standing earlier today. C’mon effete Hollywood leftists, tell the peasants to eat their cake here. I’m sure the restaurant’s owners would love the additional business.

Related: “Three Former San Franciscans Explain Why They Moved to LA:”

In LA, you don’t need to wear three layers of clothing and bring an emergency sweatshirt with you, just in case it happens to be 45 degrees in July. People in LA are much better looking, much more fit, and also more inclined to dress like a two-year-old allowed to select her own wardrobe.

Presumably, that last observation is meant as a…compliment?

(Thumbnail image on PJM homepage by Linda Moon / Shutterstock.com.)

2014: The Year of the Fainting Couch

December 30th, 2014 - 11:44 am

Margaret Dumont, the Marx Brothers’ vaporous dowager foil, is an unlikely feminist icon, but somehow she’s come to personify much of the 21st century reactionary left.  In 2010, I explored “How the Gray Lady Became Margaret Dumont.” But decades after her passing, Dumont’s influence has somehow spread to the rest of the left, not just their in-house newspaper. In today’s New York Post, Rich Lowry of National Review writes, “To put it in Victorian terms, 2014 had a case of the vapors. It was all aflutter. It needed smelling salts and a fan, and a good rest on a fainting couch to restore its bearings”:

2014 was the year, thanks to the hack of Sony Pictures in retaliation for the spoof movie “The Interview,” that even the North Koreans made the “do not offend” list.

It was the year that a scientist made an abject apology for wearing a shirt that offended feminists in a TV broadcast; that Amazon Prime put a label warning of racist content on “Tom and Jerry” cartoons; and that various news outlets refused to say the name of the NFL team from Washington on grounds that even uttering it made them complicit in rank offensiveness.

It was a year when the nation’s colleges and law schools cemented their reputations as places where easily offended children go for a few years to become slightly older easily offended children.

Colleges canceled appearances by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Condi Rice (who technically pulled out of her scheduled Rutgers commencement) and George Will for fear students might hear something they disagree with from a figure they object to.

The University of California at Irvine offered grief counseling (“in a constructive space”) for students upset at the grand-jury decision in the Ferguson case, and Occidental College brought in a religious counselor to comfort students who had volunteered for losing Democratic Senate campaigns.

An open letter from law students at Harvard upset at the nonindictments in the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases captured the spirit of the year, and deserves an honored place in the history of the rhetoric of plaint.

Of course, beyond Margaret Dumont’s influence on the left, an even bigger influence was Ben Trovato, whom Robert Tracinski of the Federalist dubs his Man of the Year for 2014:

For those who suspect that Ben Trovato is not a real, literal person, you’re right. But the whole point of old Ben’s influence is that it doesn’t matter whether he’s literally real. Or whether anything is literally real, for that matter.

I first heard of Ben Trovato while reading a curious little volume of unusual word origins. A number of these supposed etymologies, most of the really colorful ones, were attributed to “Ben Trovato.” The name is taken from an old Italian saying: se non è vero, è ben trovato. Roughly translated: if it’s not true, it’s a good story. These were the kind of word origins that you really wanted to be true, but for which there was no real evidence. In contemporary parlance, they are “too good to check.”

I think you can begin to see why 2014 has been the year of Ben Trovato. It has been a year full of things that were non vero, but which had really good narratives. Or at least really convenient narratives.

It may not actually be true that Michael Brown had his hands up and was saying “don’t shoot” when a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shot him—the bulk of the eyewitness testimony and physical evidence indicates otherwise—but “hands up, don’t shoot” is still a great slogan because it’s such a good “metaphor” and captures a “larger truth.” Ben Trovato at work.

Like Al Sharpton, Ben Trovato has frequently been invited to the White House, where he spent some time hanging out with the son Barack Obama might have had, before swinging over to the First Lady’s office, where he prompted Michelle Obama to describe how an incident at a Target store shows that she still needs to fear being mistaken for the help because she’s black. Proof of America’s persistent racism. Sure, she told the same story a few years ago with a totally opposite meaning. But you’re missing the point. The point is that the new version of the story is well constructed to convey an important narrative. It has Ben Trovato’s fingerprints all over it.

Of course, Ben doesn’t get much in the way of official credit or acknowledgement, much like Jonathan Gruber, the ObamaCare architect no one has ever heard of before. Gruber didn’t get in trouble for stretching the truth, he got in trouble for being just a little too truthful about the dishonest way ObamaCare was drafted and shoved through Congress. In doing so, he revealed that ObamaCare has been a giant Ben Trovato operation all along.

To borrow from a phrase popularized by Glenn Reynolds,  Tracinski’s mythical Ben Trovato is the ultimate Democrat operative with a byline — or in this case, many bylines throughout the country.

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“In LA, CBS Station Pretends There Was a Real Kwanzaa Parade,” Tom Blumer writes at NewsBusters. Note to CBS’s L.A. affiliate: while you may cover Hollywood on a regular basis, you’re not supposed to be in the make-believe business; best leave that to your parent company’s entertainment division. Google the names “Dan Rather,” and “Mary Mapes” for more on what can go wrong when CBS employees attempt to cross the streams* and cook the books:

Twitchy tells us that blogger “Sooper Mexican estimated that four people attended the post-parade “Black Lives Matter” rally at Leimert Park. In an update, however, he downgraded this estimate to three.”

A procession of a few vehicles lasting 10 minutes is not a “parade.” It isn’t even a motorcade.

Three or four people listening to aggrieved speakers droning on about how “black lives matter” (others, apparently not so much) isn’t a “rally”; it’s a collection of unhinged soapbox rants.

Yet readers of the CBS-LA report who don’t get information about the failed enterprise from another source will believe that a legitimate “parade” and “rally” took place with and implied respectable numbers of participants — despite what the station’s own reporter tweeted.

One of those other sources of information about the event will apparently not include the Los Angeles Times. A search on “Kwanzaa” at the Times indicates the the paper stopped covering the embarrassing event in 2012. In 2011, the Times claimed that “hundreds” gathered for that year’s extravaganza, but the photo provided with the writeup only showed about a half-dozen people in some kind of dance formation, with perhaps a half-dozen or a few more onlookers. After 2012, even the Times apparently reached its limit on the degree of sham reporting it would tolerate. CBS-LA would do well to follow suit in the future.

Looking at the photos in Tom’s post of the miniature Kwanzaa “parade” and comparing them to CBS’s “reporting” is to see the visual definition of  the late Michael Crichton’s Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect in action:

Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I refer to it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.

Tom’s post at NewsBusters includes everything but video. For the sake of completeness, here’s motion picture footage of both the event, and the reporter covering it:

Update: “An imaginary parade for an imaginary holiday,” Kathy Shaidle writes. “It’s actually the most fitting ‘celebration’ of Kwanzaa I’ve ever heard of.” Shades of David Mamet’s Wag the Dog screenplay:

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

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

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

Stanley Motss: All the greater accomplishment.

Kwanzaa’s 1960s American Marxist academic origin is yet another example of the left crafting  of Potemkin history all the way down, to paraphrase Glenn Reynolds.

* And arguably Katie Couric as well, while we’re on the subject of crossing the streams between socialism, activism, and American winter holidays.

Ride the SJW Mobius Loop!

December 27th, 2014 - 6:28 pm

“ESPN Site Compares Michael Sam’s Gay Kiss to Iconic Victory Over Japan Photo,” Tim Graham writes at NewsBusters:

Oprah Winfrey’s documentary on gay NFL tryout (and washout) Michael Sam airs on Saturday night. Secular leftist journalists and gay activists desperately wanted a happier story line than the one that unfolded. What was pitched a Major Historical Moment vanished into put-on-waivers obscurity.

Bryan Curtis at ESPN’s Grantland site compared the Sam kiss, carefully choreographed for the ESPN cameras by ESPN activists (what other seventh-rounder has a camera crew?), to Victory Over Japan in 1945:

How’d you feel when you saw the kiss? You know the one I mean. If I weren’t such a jaded soul, I’d call it the V-J Day photo of 2014. Michael Sam, the defensive end who’d just been drafted by the St. Louis Rams, turns to his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, and kisses him. Right on the mouth. Right in front of the world. Jaded soul, right? Not at that moment. I forgot all about the NFL’s long history of coded bigotry and imagined we were on a Devin Hester glide path into the future.

Is Curtis implying that Sam sexually assaulted his boyfriend? Because in 2012, that’s what one of his fellow socialist justice warriors, in this case, serving in the radical feminist corps, specifically the “everything is rape” division, declared was occurring in the legendary photograph he referred to:

A few facts have come to light. Far from being a kiss between a loving couple, we learn that George and Greta were perfect strangers. We learn that George was drunk, and that Greta had no idea of his presence, until she was in his arms, with his lips on hers.

The articles even give us Greta’s own words:

“It wasn’t my choice to be kissed. The guy just came over and grabbed!”

“I did not see him approaching, and before I knew it, I was in this vice grip. [sic]“

“You don’t forget this guy grabbing you.”

“That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me.”

It seems pretty clear, then, that what George had committed would be considered sexual assault by modern standards. Yet, in an amazing feat of willful blindness, none of the articles comment on this, even as they reproduce Greta’s words for us. Without a single acknowledgement of the problematic nature of the photo that her comments reveal, they continue to talk about the picture in a whimsical, reverent manner, “still mesmerized by his timeless kiss.” George’s actions are romanticized and glorified; it is almost as if Greta had never spoken.

I miss the days when football was merely football, and the end of World War II was merely the end of World War II. But then, as Ace noted in his link to the 2012 SJW attempt to craft a “rape narrative” around the legendary V-J Day photo, strange things happen when narratives collide, cultures enter their decadent Weimar/Frankfurt School phase and past icons are deconstructed by the socialist left and reshaped into metaphors to advance their current cultural agendas.

Update: Gee, I didn’t think this post was that cryptic as these things go, but still, I always leave the final interpretation to the readers:


To borrow from Stanley Kubrick on one reviewer’s take on Dr. Strangelove, “I would not think of quarreling with your interpretation nor offering any other, as I have found it always the best policy to allow the [blog] to speak for itself.”

2014: The Year of the Imploding Narrative

December 27th, 2014 - 9:45 am

Ever since the days of Watergate, at least on the level of the national media’s overculture, America has had very little pure journalism, but loads of narratives being advanced by the left. But these can only be pushed so far before they overreach. 2014 was the year a lot of leftwing narratives overreached very, very badly, with occasionally exceedingly ugly results for those at the center of them. At Reason, Cathy Young describes 2014 as “The Year the Crusade Against ‘Rape Culture’ Stumbled:”

Kingkade also suggests that the numbers are beside the point, since the effort to combat campus sexual assault is about people, not statistics—specifically, “about students who said they were wronged by their schools after they were raped.” Of course every rape is a tragedy, on campus or off—all the more if the victim finds no redress. But if it happens to one in five women during their college years, this is not just a tragedy but a crisis that arguably justifies emergency measures—which is why proponents of sweeping new policies have repeatedly invoked these scary numbers. (Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, has now had the one-in-five figure removed from her website.) And while the stories told by students are often compelling, it is important to remember that they are personal narratives which may or may not be factual.  Only last June, Emily Renda, a UVA graduate and activist who now works at the school, included Jackie’s story—under the pseudonym “Jenna”—in her testimony before a Senate committee.

Of course this is not to suggest that most such accounts are fabricated; but they are also filtered through subjective experience, memory, and personal bias. Yet, for at least three years, these stories been accorded virtually uncritical reception by the mainstream media. When I had a chance to investigate one widely publicized college case—that of Brown University students Lena Sclove and Daniel Kopin—for a feature in The Daily Beast, the facts turned out to bear little resemblance to the media narrative of a brutal rape punished with a slap on the wrist.

Now, in what may be another sign of turning tides, the accused in another high-profile case is getting his say. The New York Times has previously given ample coverage to Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student famous for carrying around a mattress to protest the school’s failure to expel her alleged rapist. Now, it has allowed that man, Paul Nungesser, to tell his story—a story of being ostracized and targeted by mob justice despite being cleared of all charges in a system far less favorable to the accused than criminal courts. No one knows whether Sulkowicz or Nungesser is telling the truth; but the media have at last acknowledged that there is another side to this story.

Will 2015 see a pushback against the anti-”rape culture” movement on campus? If so, good. This is a movement that has capitalized on laudable sympathy for victims of sexual assault to promote gender warfare, misinformation and moral panic. It’s time for a reassessment.

Another myth of the left is also long overdue for a reassessment, when, as Heather Mac Donald writes at City Journal, “The Big Lie of the Anti-Cop Left Turns Lethal:”

Protesters’ willingness to overlook anti-cop homicidal intent surfaced again in St. Louis in November. A teen criminal who had shot at the police was killed by an officer in self-defense; he, too, joined the roster of heroic black victims of police racism. This sanctification of would-be black cop-killers would prove prophetic. The elites were playing with fire. It’s profoundly irresponsible to stoke hatred of the police, especially when the fuel used for doing so is a set of lies. Hatred of the police among blacks stems in part from police brutality during this country’s shameful era of Jim Crow-laws and widespread discrimination. But it is naïve not to recognize that criminal members of the black underclass despise the police because law enforcement interferes with their way of life. The elites are oblivious both to the extent of lawlessness in the black inner city and to its effect on attitudes toward the cops. Any expression of contempt for the police, in their view, must be a sincere expression of a wrong.

Cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who assassinated NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on Saturday, exemplified everything the elites have refused to recognize: he was a gun-toting criminal who was an eager consumer of the current frenzy of cop hatred. (Not that he paid close enough attention to the actual details of alleged cop malfeasance to spell Eric Garner’s name correctly.) His homicidal postings on Instagram—“I’m Putting Wings on Pigs Today. They Take 1 of Ours . . . . .Let’s Take 2 of Theirs”—were indistinguishable from the hatred bouncing around the Internet and the protests and that few bothered to condemn. That vitriol continues after the assassination. Social media is filled with gloating at the officers’ deaths and praise for Brinsley: “That nigga that shot the cops is a legend,” reads a typical message. A student leader and a representative of the African and Afro-American studies department at Brandeis University tweeted that she has “no sympathy for the NYPD officers who were murdered today.”

The only good that can come out of this wrenching attack on civilization would be the delegitimation of the lie-based protest movement. Whether that will happen is uncertain. The New York Times has denounced as “inflammatory” the statement from the head of the officer’s union that there is “blood on the hands that starts on the steps of City Hall”—this from a paper that promotes the idea that police officers routinely kill blacks. The elites’ investment in black victimology is probably too great to hope for an injection of truth into the dangerously counterfactual discourse about race, crime, and policing.

All of which are reminders that the left’s omnipresent race card carries a steep cost to all of its victims, Thomas Sowell adds at NRO:

Mayor de Blasio has made anti-police comments with Al Sharpton seated at his side. This is the same Al Sharpton with a trail of slime going back more than a quarter of a century, during which he has whipped up mobs and fomented race hatred from the days of the Tawana Brawley “rape” hoax of 1987 to the Duke University “rape” hoax of 2006 and the Ferguson riots of 2014.

Make no mistake about it. There is political mileage to be made siding with demagogues like Al Sharpton who, as demagogue-in-chief, has been invited to the White House dozens of times by its commander-in-chief.

Many in the media and among the intelligentsia cherish the romantic tale of an “us” against “them” struggle of beleaguered ghetto blacks defending themselves against the aggression of white policemen. The gullible include both whites who don’t know what they are talking about and blacks who don’t know what they are talking about either, because they never grew up in a ghetto. Among the latter are the President of the United States and his attorney general.

Such people readily buy the story that ghetto social problems today — from children being raised without a father to runaway rates of murder — are “a legacy of slavery,” even though such social problems were nowhere near as severe in the first half of the 20th century as they became in the second half.

You would be hard pressed to name just five examples from the first half of the 20th century of the kinds of ghetto riots that have raged in more than a hundred cities during the second half. Such riots are a legacy of the social degeneracy of our times.

See also,  Pat Moynihan’s 1993 essay, “Defining Deviancy Down:”

Moynihan argued that deviancy — crime, mental illness, out-of-wedlock births, etc. — had become so rampant, had so thoroughly soaked into the culture, that we simply had to redefine the abnormal as normal to cope. By setting the bar lower, we comforted ourselves with the notion that the percentage of abnormal behavior was still manageable.

Moynihan’s most famous example was the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. That event was a major turning point in American history, credited with helping to convince Americans to abandon prohibition. It warranted two entries in the World Book Encyclopedia. The actual details? Four gangsters murdered seven gangsters.

In the early 1990s, Moynihan noted, Los Angeles suffered from the equivalent of one St. Valentine’s Day Massacre every weekend.

Don’t look for the left to experience much introspection anytime soon, however.

 

No Experience Necessary

December 27th, 2014 - 8:42 am

“Driver Wanted for Obama Motorcade. Novice Welcome,” the New York Times reports with a distinct lack of self-awareness:

Ms. Tyson said in a telephone interview several weeks after she drove in the motorcade that she had received little instruction from the Secret Service about what to do in the event of a high-speed emergency. She assumed that she should just follow the car in front of her no matter what happened.

“Whatever I am,” she said, “is good enough for them.”

“Good enough for them” is apparently having a driver’s license and a clean criminal record, and knowing someone at the White House.

A week before Mr. Obama arrived in San Francisco, a childhood friend of Ms. Tyson’s from Cupertino, Calif., who now works at the White House, reached out to her to see if she was interested in driving.

“He just texted me and said, ‘Do you want to volunteer as part of this and drive in the motorcade?’ ” Ms. Tyson said. “It was kind of sudden. I didn’t even know the president was going to be in town.”

Ms. Tyson said that her driving record was “pristine” and that she had “driven a pickup truck but not a van.”

Some security experts said the practice was troubling. Not only could the volunteers cause an accident — and they have — but they are sandwiched between the president’s limousine and the Secret Service ambulance, so neophyte drivers could create complications and delays in an emergency.

Gee, wait’ll the Times discovers what complications, delays and emergencies can result when promoting a neophyte politician to become the man at the center of that enormous motorcade, over a senator with four terms in office, a Navy war hero background and a sitting US governor as his veep.

On both a macro and micro level.

Obama made his bones thanks to his “autobiography,” in which he later was forced to admit that his college-era girlfriend in Dreams of My Father was a “composite” of several women he knew way back when. And 2012 saw the debut of her cousin, the Obama reelection campaign’s distaff mascot, the equally imaginary, Orwellianly-named “Julia.”

And the composites keep coming, with Barry telling People this month:

The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced,” President Obama said. “It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.

With this latest bit of imaginary bad news revealed, at Ricochet, Stephen Miller attempts to round-up all of the imaginary scrapes and imaginary horrors that have befallen the otherwise “Extraordinary Life of Barack Obama’s Imaginary Son:”

Once again, Barack Obama’s imaginary son has found himself unfairly in trouble with the law. If you recall, his imaginary son was also shot by an imaginary neighborhood watch guard in the same style as Trayvon Martin. But Obama’s imaginary son is plucky and resilient and has lived a hard life in the hood so he keeps bouncing back.

In his life, Obama’s imaginary son has been shot at, concussed out of football, and racially profiled. Yet he keeps picking himself up and carrying on. Obama’s imaginary son should be an example to us all. No matter what kind of imaginary circumstances we find ourselves in, we can continue on with our imaginary lives.

One day this country can hopefully move on from racism experienced by imaginary people — and, let’s face it, the country doesn’t have the best of history of its treatment of imaginary people. We have, however, made progress in the civil rights of imaginary people and for that we, as a country, should be proud. We shouldn’t ignore, however, the real truth that racism toward imaginary sons is still a real problem, as our President constantly reminds us. We can’t be afraid to have the conversation, no matter how painful it might be, about continuing the racial healing of imaginary people.

President Obama, however, also should look inward and ask why his imaginary son continues to put himself in these situations. Perhaps it is also his own failings as an imaginary parent. Maybe his imaginary son is trying to rebel against the pressures that come with being the first imaginary son of the United States. Perhaps the President can get him some better-fitting clothes and tell him to stay in school instead of having constant run-ins with imaginary police.

Potemkin villages — and kids — all the way down.

A Home-brewed Dictator, On the Other Hand…

December 26th, 2014 - 8:55 pm

 

Not a very Christmas-themed post, but then, the idea of December being a slow news cycle has been rendered anathema in the “never let a crisis go to waste” even if you have to gin the crisis up yourself era of Mssrs. Obama and Holder. And as Charles C.W. Cooke writes at National Review Online, “What a difference party identification makes:”

Also playing this game are Media Matters (2011: rhetoric is lethal; 2014: rhetoric is harmless); the NAACP (2011: civility is crucial; 2014: civility is irrelevant); and Al Sharpton (2011: our political discourse has real consequences; 2014: such thoughts are misguided). Elsewhere, the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery — a man who was quick to jump on Sarah Palin’s map back in 2011 — yesterday mocked the notion that words and behavior might lead to murder, while Politico’s Glenn Thrush pooh-poohed suggestions that he had once made himself. In 2011, his Twitter feed shows, Thrush treated Gabby Giffords’s shooting as “a watershed moment that will immediately redefine current debate and view of pols embracing of extreme rhetoric.” Yesterday, he shamed Governor Pataki for advancing the very same theory.

What a difference party identification makes.

Well yes. But then, it was the left that decided to collectivize guilt and race shame the American people merely for daring to vote out the Democrat majority two months before the tragic incident in Tucson, by some of the same Democratic operatives with bylines pundits that Charles quotes in his article.

‘This Org Gives Me an icky Feeling’

December 22nd, 2014 - 6:10 pm

mussolini_obama_lerner_forward_6-13-13-1

“BOMBSHELL REPORT: IRS Targeted ‘Icky’ Conservative Groups,” Patrick Howley writes at the Daily Caller. Money quote here:

4. Lois Lerner expressed her frustration about having to potentially approve a lot of groups, and her colleagues in the agency assured her that she wouldn’t have to.

“Lois [Lerner] would like to discuss our planned approach for dealing with these cases. We suspect we will have to approve the majority of the c4 applications,” IRS official Holly Paz wrote to colleagues.

IRS official Don Spellman replied, “This line in particular stood out: ‘We suspect we will have to approve the majority of c4 applications.’ That’s an interesting posture.”

Deputy Division Counsel Janine Cook replied, “[G]uess they are thinking they’ll have suspicions about reality but the paper/reps will pass muster.”

5. So the IRS reached out to outside advisers to help come up with ways to deny tax-exempt status to “icky” organizations.

“It appears that the org is funneling money to other orgs for political purposes,” a Cincinnati-based IRS agent working under Lois Lerner wrote to tax law specialist Hilary Goehausen in April 2013. ”However, I’m not sure we can deny them because, technically, I don’t know that I can deny them simply for donating to another 501(c)(4). . . .  Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated.”

“I think there may be a number of ways to deny them,” Goehausen replied. “Let me talk to Sharon [Light] tomorrow about it and get some ideas from her as well. . . .This sounds like a bad org. :/ . . .  This org gives me an icky feeling.”

Trust your icky feelings, Luke. You know them to be true:

Perhaps the House of Repeal can take up this issue as well.

Related: “Report: IRS ‘totally politicized’ by Obamacare, targeting of Tea Party applicants,” from Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner.

 

 

 

 

 

“Where is the Left that was concerned about what unstable people might make of violent political rhetoric?”, John Sexton asks at Big Journalism. “Why are they silent now, when it seems what they claimed they feared may actually have happened?”

To ask the questions are to answer them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its Orgin and Purpose, Still a Total Mystery

December 20th, 2014 - 3:25 pm

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

 

Related:

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

Update:

More from Rick Moran at the PJ Tatler.

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

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

But KCNA applauded the attack.

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

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

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

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

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

* Foreign and domestic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I blame the Washington Post.

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

2009_socialist_newsweek_cover_5-5-13-1

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

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

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

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

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

Life in Post-Truth America

December 17th, 2014 - 4:03 pm

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

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

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

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

Read the whole thing.

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

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

cant_breathe_maryjo_12-17-14-2

Michelle Obama’s Rashomon Racism

December 17th, 2014 - 2:11 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

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

* * * * * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

(H/T: Ashe Schow.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 16th, 2014 - 2:22 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If the Lie Doesn’t Fit, Politifact Must Omit

December 16th, 2014 - 1:57 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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