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Ed Driscoll

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“A jetliner operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings plunged from the sky and crashed Tuesday in a remote area of the Alps in southern France — and all 150 people aboard the Barcelona-to-Duesseldorf flight were believed dead,” the New York Post reports:

Flight 9525 took off from Barcelona at 9:55 a.m. local time and crashed roughly an hour later in a rugged region of snowpacked peaks and rough terrain, said French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet.

Photos show a scene of shocking devastation, with the jet’s fuselage smashed into smithereens and smoking debris scattered across a mountainside as rescuers search the area.

Gilbert Sauvan, of the local council, said the largest piece of debris was the size of a car.

“The plane is disintegrated,” he told Les Echos newspaper.

Christophe Castaner, the mayor of nearby Forcalquier, told France Info that “One of the black boxes has been found,” but the cause of the crash remained a mystery, as the pilots did not issue a distress call.

CNN will likely be switching into obsessive coverage over this story for the next several days; at Hot Air, Jazz Shaw asks, “Why are we so fascinated with plane crashes?”

We lose far more people to other travel related problems all of the time. Globally speaking, there are an average of 1.3 million people killed in automobile accidents each year, or nearly 3,300 per day. In the United States alone we average slightly more than one hundred car crash deaths every single day… two thirds as many as are presumed lost in this latest airline catastrophe. And yet we don’t feel that same type of fear when we get into our cars as we do when the engines ramp up on the tarmac and our plane begins to accelerate toward takeoff.

I think it’s just something hardwired into our biological circuitry. There’s something uniquely terrifying about hurtling through the air 35K feet above Mother Earth. It’s an unnatural condition, and one which we never manage to entirely ignore because we are landlocked creatures by nature. I still recall an only half joking comment my father made in the weeks before I left for Navy boot camp on this subject. He was an Army man and had little use for the other branches. When asked, he said that you could have a choice of riding in a Jeep, on a ship or in a plane. “If my Jeep breaks down,” he said, “I can get out and walk.”

That’s probably the root of it right there. We know in a logical sense that our car might be in a fatal accident. But we also know that if we survive the initial crash, there’s a fair chance that we might get out and walk or crawl away from the danger. When the plane goes into a dive from five miles up there are no such comforting thoughts in our minds.

Not to mention, after 9/11, our first thought is — what caused the crash? As for that, watch this space.

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We’ll get to the above 1972 video of Walter Cronkite in just a moment, but first, let’s set the stage. Return with us now to the end of the 1960s and the dawning of the craptacular ’70s. As Power Line’s Steve Hayward wrote in the first volume of The Age of Reagan, environmentalism — then simply called “ecology” — became an obsession of the left shortly after President Nixon took office, eclipsing both anti-Vietnam war and pro-civil rights protests:

Writing in Science magazine, Amitai Etzioni of Columbia University dismissed ecology as a “fad,” and thought that “the newly found environmental dangers are being vastly exaggerated.” Even if not exaggerated, Etzioni thought the environment was the wrong priority: “Fighting hunger, malnutrition, and rats should be given priority over saving wildlife, and improving our schools over constructing waste disposal systems.”

This criticism was mild compared to the blasts that came from black civil rights leaders. The most bitter attack came from Richard Hatcher, the black mayor of Gary, Indiana: “The nation’s concern for the environment has done what George Wallace was unable to do—distract the nation from the human problems of black and brown Americans.” Whitney Young of the National Urban League was equally distressed: “The war on pollution is one that should be waged after the war on poverty is won. Common sense calls for reasonable national priorities and not for inventing new causes whose main appeal seems to be in their potential for copping out and ignoring the most dangerous and pressing of our problems.”

And being a good doctrinaire liberal, CBS’s Walter Cronkite was quick to move with the times and ride the fad. As left-leaning historian Douglas Brinkley noted in his 2012 biography of Cronkite:

A CBS Reports segment in September 1962 had Eric Sevareid famously interviewing the literary biologist Rachel Carson about the perils of the insecticide DDT at her home in Silver Spring, Maryland. Cronkite, at the time, had been focused on the Earth-orbiting flight of the second Mercury launch. But now that Neil Armstrong had walked on the Moon, Cronkite sensed that ecology would soon replace space exploration as the national obsession. CBS News producer Ron Bonn recalled precisely when Cronkite put the network on the front line of the fight. “ It was New Year’s Day, 1970, and Walter walked into the Broadcast Center and said, ‘God damn it, we’ve got to get on this environmental story,’ ” Bonn recalled. “When Walter said ‘God damn it,’ things happened.”

What could go wrong?

Cronkite pulled Bonn from nearly all other CBS duties for eight weeks so he could investigate environmental degradation. He wanted a whole new regular series on the CBS Evening News—inspired by Silent Spring, the philosophy of René Dubos, and those amazing photos of Earth taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts. The CBS Evening News segments were to be called “Can the World Be Saved?” “We wanted to grapple first with air pollution, the unbreathable air,” Bonn recalled. “But then we wanted to deal with the primary underlying problem, which was overpopulation.”

So, eugenics, then. And then a quick detour into global cooling. As Julia Seymour writes today at NewsBusters, “And That’s the Way It Was: In 1972, Cronkite Warned of ‘New Ice Age:’”

The late Cronkite is considered a “legendary journalist” and a pioneer in the field, which is why Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot, said this footage was so important. Morano is a former staff member of U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee and producer of the upcoming global warming documentary Climate Hustle, set for release later in 2015.

“Global warming activists have claimed for years that the 1970s global cooling scare never existed. They have tried to erase the inconvenient history which ironically blamed extreme weather like tornadoes, droughts, record cold and blizzards on global cooling,” said Morano.

Morano told MRC Business, “But now — unearthed from bowels of media archives — comes none other than Walter Cronkite reporting on fears of a coming ice age in 1972. Having Cronkite’s image and face discussing global cooling fears reveals the fickleness of the climate change claims.”

“Climate fear promoters switched effortlessly from global cooling fears in the 1970s to global warming fears in the 1980s. In the present day, the phrase ‘global warming’ has lost favor in favor of ‘climate change’ or ‘global climate disruption’ or even ‘global weirding,’ Morano added. “’Settled science’ has never seemed so unsettled.”

By the way, let’s end with this inadvertently telling paragraph from Brinkley (his book, meant to celebrate Cronkite, raised many questions about the man who spent much of his career posing as Mr. Objective):

In January 1970, the promise of a new environmentalism brought about the end of [Cronkite’s future-themed series] The Twenty-First Century (which had succeeded The Twentieth Century in June 1967). No longer would Cronkite tolerate Union Carbide (a major polluter) as a sponsor. The Texas-based Fortune 500 company was the enemy of “Earthrise,” he told Bonn. At Cronkite’s insistence, CBS canceled The Twenty-First Century to coincide with the debut of the “Can the World Be Saved?” segments.

Yes, the crank science of the 1970s brought an end to the heroic phase of Kennedy and Johnson’s space program and its dalliance with embracing the 21st century a few decades early. And along with the collapse of the Great Society, which disillusioned the left when it tried to be all things to all voters, the optimism of the postwar 1950s and the first half of the 1960s would fade away, replaced by a grim nihilistic permanent malaise.

Exit question: Scott Pelley, the current incarnation of Cronkite on CBS has publicly likened those who question the “settled science” of global warming to Holocaust deniers, asking, “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”

What would he say if he ran into the 1972 iteration of Walter Cronkite?

“When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong,” Clarke wrote over half a century ago. Back in 1995, in an article by 1990s pop culture technology maven Clifford Stoll a few years after the World Wide Web began making the Internet accessible to all, Newsweek predicted:

Consider today’s online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.

Sure, Stoll completely missed the Kindle, but note the elitist snark at Citizen’s Band radio, which in many ways anticipated the democratized media that was just around the corner — in the early 1980s, CompuServe launched its online chat format, which they dubbed “CB Chat” to make the format instantly recognizable. (Which sold me — I was one of its first users, logging in on TRS-80 Model I and Hayes modem.)

Curiously, the seemingly pie-in-the-sky ATT commercials narrated by Tom Selleck, which first aired a few years prior to the above article, actually got far more right about the technology that was to come. Only the Picturephone, long an obsession of Bell/AT&T hasn’t happened yet:

There are some aspects of the Internet that Stoll would get right — its Jacobin-like mob mentality (two words: Justine Sacco) and its negative impact on retail business. (I love Amazon, MP3s and the Kindle; I miss ubiquitous local book and record stores.) But then, much of the problem with the article stems from its title: “Why the Web Won’t Be Nirvana.” Did anybody think it would be? It was obvious it would be radically transformative, as futurists such as Clarke and Alvin Toffler had predicted decades prior to the Web’s launch), but nirvana? Not likely when human emotions are involved, which like any communications medium, the Internet simply transfers elsewhere.

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As Mark Halperin noted on the Today Show in 2012, “the media is very susceptible to doing what the Obama campaign wants.”

And how! Just ask Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin, as seen in the above tweet.

Just as a refresher, Halperin, in the midst of his earlier stint at Time magazine*, during a rare moment of clarity in November of 2013 when asked by an interviewer about “Death Panels” in Obamacare, responded unhesitatingly, “It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.”

He’s now back to using schoolyard epithets against one possible GOP successor in the White House. Or as Mark Steyn writes in “O Beautiful, For Specious Guys…”

The US media have had a fit of the vapors over Rudy Giuliani’s suggestion that Barack Obama does not love America. As the Instapundit says, their reaction suggests that Giuliani hit a nerve. For my own part, I am way beyond that. By the way, I’m growing rather weary of the cheap comparisons of Obama with Neville Chamberlain. The British Prime Minister got the biggest issue of the day wrong. But no one ever doubted that he loved his country. That’s why, after his eviction from Downing Street, Churchill kept him on in his ministry as Lord President of the Council, and indeed made Chamberlain part of the five-man war cabinet and had him chair it during his frequent absences. When he died of cancer in October 1940, Churchill wept over his coffin.

So please don’t insult Neville Chamberlain by comparing him to Obama. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, because conspiracies are generally a comforting illusion: the real problem with Obama is that the citizens of the global superpower twice elected him to office. Yet one way to look at the current “leader of the free world” is this: If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?

That’s a question that everyone in the MSM should be asked.

After watching the brain of Dana Milbank of the Washington Post similarly explode like a character in Scanners, Jazz Shaw of Hot Air writes, “Milbank should at least be honest enough to wear a ‘Ready for Hillary’ t-shirt when he goes to work every day if this is how the upcoming election analysis is going to be handled.”

Well yes, hence the rather skewed ratio of stories lambasting a retired mayor’s remarks about a lame duck president versus the tiny amount of coverage of a front-running candidate’s funding “from questionable foreign governments and shady billionaires—something even Clinton’s defenders admit is a problem,” as Andrew Stiles writes at Hillary’s bête noire, the Washington Free Beacon.

At the start of the week, John Steele Gordon of Commentary wrote, “Republicans Should Declare War on the Mainstream Media:”

What should Boehner do? I think he, and every Republican, should do what George H.W. Bush did to Dan Rather as the 1988 presidential race was heating up: eat the mainstream media alive. They are the enemies of the Republican Party and should be treated as such. Stop trying to curry favor because you won’t get it. Bush laid a trap for Rather, insisting on the interview being live so it couldn’t end up on the cutting room floor. It totally flustered Rather, greatly energized Bush’s campaign, put the kibosh on his too-much-a-nice-guy image, and helped mightily to propel him to the White House. Make mainstream media bias the issue. Throw loaded questions and those premised on liberal assumptions back in their faces. Accuse them of bias when they are biased. Don’t be Mr. Nice Guy.

Why have the Republicans been such wimps when dealing with the media? The reason, I think, is that the Republicans were the minority party in this country from 1932 to 1994. The Democrats held the House for all but four of those 62 years and the Senate for all but ten of those years. In far too many ways, the Republicans still act as the minority party, begging for crumbs from the media. But they now hold more political offices, at both the federal and state levels, than at any time since the glory days of Calvin Coolidge. Instead they should, in dealing with the media, emulate Joan Crawford, at least as depicted by Faye Dunaway in Mommy Dearest, dealing with the board of Pepsi Cola (warning, she doesn’t use ladylike language).

After driving Halperin, Milbank, Ron Fournier and countless other Hillary apparatchiks into apoplexy, Rudy may have just hit on the poison pill to neutralize much of the MSM from within. Or at least have a “Hillary, Coordinate! Hillary, Coordinate!” pause while waiting for new programming from the Borg Queen, to mangle Star Trek metaphors.

Update: At the Pocket Full of Liberty Website, Jay Caruso sums it up: “In Obama [the media sees] themselves. What he wants to carry out is what they want and they are going to do what they can to make sure these last two years he gets to do just that, the consequences be damned.” Or to paraphrase Caruso’s headline, from the MSM’s perspective, when you attack Obama (or Hillary), you’re attacking us.

This was self-evident in 2008…

…But I’m honestly surprised to see the MSM not distance themselves a bit seven years later.

* Mea culpa: When I wrote the first draft of this post, I had forgotten that last year, Halperin jumped from Time to Bloomberg. Of course, we shouldn’t forget that a decade ago during his salad days at ABC, Halperin was more than a little susceptible himself to doing what the Kerry campaign wanted.

Marie Harf, Spokesbarbie for the State Department, after spending yesterday typing the equivalent of “nu-uhhhhh” yesterday over and over again on Twitter, then dropped by Wolf Blitzer’s CNN show to thumb her nose at her critics and pout that, as Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air, “My comment about ISIS needing jobs was ‘too nuanced’ for you boors:” 

When Wolf Blitzer observed that the poverty-breeds-terrorism theory is hopelessly flawed and that high-profile attackers like Osama bin Laden and Mohamed Atta were relatively comfortable and privileged, Harf declined to acknowledge his point. Though she issued an emphatic “absolutely” so as to convey that she was, in fact, listening to Blitzer and understood the words that were coming out of his mouth, she instead plunged into a pre-canned attempt at damage control as her response:

“If we looked around the world and say long-term we cannot kill every terrorist around the world nor should we try, how do you get at the root causes of this?” she asked. “Look, it might be too nuanced of an argument for some like I’ve seen over the past 24 hours some of the commentary out but it’s really the smart way for Democrats, for Republicans, military commanders, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.”

There’s really no other way to interpret that. If you don’t think that statements like “we can’t kill our way out of this war” and asserting that ISIS militants “lack opportunity for jobs” oversimplifies the crisis in the Middle East, Harf does not believe that you are her intellectual equal.

In 2006, when the future president was watching his campaign team being assembled for him, he told one of hischief operatives, “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” And now with the B-team that invariably replaces an administration in its twilight, he has finally assembled the colleagues he deserves. And ISIS permitting, two more fun-filled years to go!

Oh and speaking of CNN and nuance:

Update: “More Marie Harf: I notice people don’t talk much about Joseph Kony’s Christian terror group anymore,” Allahpundit adds. “Another reason you don’t hear much about Kony is because — ta da — Harf’s boss hasn’t had much success in catching him.”

Still though, as I’m sure FDR would have told Congress on December 8th, 1941, it’s the hashtag that counts, right?

Law & Order: SVU Takes On #GamerGate

February 13th, 2015 - 6:11 pm

What could go wrong? Pretty much everything, Forbes’ Erik Kain writes:

One thing leads to another and pretty soon SVU has uncovered a Serious Terrorist Organization of some sorts, made up of gamers who can’t tell the difference between games and reality and want both women and social justice out of gaming. Yes, we hear this sort of thing on Twitter. Social Justice Warriors are the enemies of many in the so-called #GamerGate movement. This has yet to reach ISIS levels of terrorism outside of the inflammatory tweets of some industry insiders.

So these gamers kidnap a high profile female game developer, Raina Punjabi, during her game launch (for  her fictional Amazonian Warriors RPG, which is a non-violent game because of course women who play games don’t like violence!)

The Gamers are super high-tech. They use the “Darknet” to make sure everything they do is totally untraceable. Scary! And they post their awful videos to Redchanit which, I mean, come on people is this for real?

(Alas, redchanit.com and redchanit.org are already registered. Update: By NBC last October….)

Evil gamers in masks kidnap Punjabi, post videos of her being assaulted, make her confess to all sorts of horrible things—here it’s very much Gamers Are Worse Than ISIS territory—and many, many bad one-liners are uttered. It’s embarrassing and awful and wonderfully bad all at the same time. It’s the Reefer Madness of our generation.

Reefer Madness you say? Well, this is the TV series that railed against the horrors of Pepsi Madness in 2011 after all:

Davy’s Mother: Davy was 12 when he took his life. I tried to make him stop with the cola.  But he was addicted to it.
Det. Benson [slowly, with furrowed brow]: Soda made him kill himself.
Davy’s Mother: I collected all the research. High-fructose corn syrup can make you obese. And obesity can make you depressed.
Det. Benson: And depression can lead to suicide.

As I wrote back then, when Law & Order SVU seemed like the second coming of Jack Webb’s old Dragnet series from the 1960s, RC Cola is the flame, Mountain Dew is the fuse, Jolt Cola is the bomb. So don’t you try to equate marijuana with Coca-Cola, mister, not with me. And don’t even get me started on bottled water and air-conditioning, you capitalist Tea Party punk!

And don’t get ‘em started on TV chefs: As Matthew Sheffield wrote at NewsBusters in August of 2013, Law & Order: SVU aired an episode “in which a character based on Paula Deen kills a Trayvon Martin character.” And now video games. But then, the original Law & Order spent nearly 20 years depicting midtown Manhattan as a seething cauldron of Christian fundamentalism, and in its last season, a hotbed of conservative Tea Partiers.

As I wrote in an early Blogcritics post when its first DVD debuted in 2002, Law & Order was actually a fairly watchable police procedural for its first three or four seasons before it became an ever-expanding parody of itself.

Which is why I’d like to think Jerry Orbach is tuning in from somewhere in TV Heaven, shaking his head and muttering to himself, “I busted my a** for a decade saving this franchise after it was on the brink of cancellation, and this is what it’s become?

Update: Almost forgot this, after goofing on this line with my wife for the past two days:

Update (2/15/15): “The GamerGate Law & Order Episode Reveals Progressives As The New Architects of Moral Panic,” Allum Bokhari wrote yesterday at Breitbart London:

In the past, finger-wagging censoriousness tended to be driven by what was then called the “moral majority”, a large constituency of small-c social conservatives, often from strict Christian backgrounds. It was they who led boycotts of Monty Python and Kevin Smith movies, who accused Dungeons and Dragons of spreading Satanism, and who led campaigns against violent video games and music lyrics in the 1980s and 1990s. Virtually every moral panic of the late twentieth-century bore the fingerprints of the moral majority.

Today, that picture has changed dramatically. It was not conservatives, but progressive campaigners who championed the removal of Grand Theft Auto V from shelves in Australia. It was not conservatives, but progressive campaigners who banned a “corrupting” pop song on 20 campuses. And it is not conservatives, but progressive campaigners who are currently trying to whip up a boycott against Fifty Shades of Grey. 

In the world of gaming, we find the same pattern. The moral panic so starkly represented in Law & Order: SVU was not created by conservatives. Indeed, when conservatives have been involved, they have usually taken the side of gamers. Once again, it was driven almost exclusively by progressives and their cheerleaders in the media. Ordinary gamers, most of whom are moderates or liberals, now look to right-wing and libertarian media for fair coverage – an almost unimaginable position just a year ago.

Moral panic has once again returned to gaming. But, this time, it comes wearing neon hair dye, hoop earrings and plaid shirts, rather than blue rinses and Christian crosses. And people are starting to notice.

And they’re uploading their pushback…to the Dark Net!

“David Carr Doesn’t Think Brian Williams Should be Fired,” Ad Week reports on the veteran New York Times columnist:

The New York Times’ media columnist David Carr has weighed in on the Brian Williams drama. His take is essentially that Williams shouldn’t be fired because everyone lies, and Williams was only trying to live up to the standard that America has for a news anchor; a standard that is impossible to attain.

While Carr made some good points — everyone does lie and Williams does occupy a lose-lose role — he loses us when he gives his verdict. “I don’t know if Mr. Williams will lose his job,” wrote Carr. “I don’t think he should — his transgressions were not a fundamental part of his primary responsibilities.”

Actually, his transgressions are not only a fundamental part of his primary responsibilities, they are the only part of his primary responsibilities. His job is to tell the truth. Viewers trust that what Williams is telling them is correct.

Despite Williams’ efforts to become a celebrity outside of the anchor desk, in the old days, it was assumed by the public that even though the anchorman didn’t write all of his copy, he had enough experience and gravitas to shape the material loaded into his teleprompter by his staff. Cronkite was able to carry off that pose (and ultimately, it really was just a pose) based on his age, stentorian voice, and courtly manner; Dan Rather tried to feign the same level of Old Newsman Gravitas by posing with serious Albert Thurston suspenders. (And via safari and Barbour jackets when out in the field; this bit of “found video” from Harry Shearer, in which Rather and his production aides argue for 22 minutes(!) on whether the collar on Rather’s Aquascutum trenchcoat should be up or down during a remote feed is a camp classic.)

As with Hollywood, production titles in the TV industry are often wildly inflated, but Williams held himself out as the “managing editor” of NBC News, strongly implying that he more than just a handsome face reading a teleprompter. (And at least at the moment, still does; I assume, until the official word comes down from the Comcast boardroom.)

As David Zurawik wrote at the Baltimore Sun yesterday, “the dual title [that Williams] holds cuts to some of the core issues in the nightmare of credibility that he and NBC News now face:”

I know it has been merely an honorific for some network anchorpersons, like Katie Couric, and they have left running the newsrooms to others. But if the managing editor half of the title represents the journalistic demands of the job, while the anchorman part speaks to the celebrity aspect of sitting at an anchor desk, Williams has failed at the former, while focusing most of his energy on the latter. And it seems a little too late for him to be trying to wrap himself in the mantle of journalism now.

Williams has been an awful news executive for my money. I could list a dozen examples, but I will limit myself here to one: hiring Chelsea Clinton as a special correspondent at $600,000 a year for his prime-time newsmagazine, “Rock Center” and showcasing her sorry work.

I wrote and spoke multiple times about the awful message this sent to the real journalists at NBC News, especially those in combat zones who were ducking real bullets and getting paid far less than $600,000 a year. And this for someone without a lick of journalistic training or experience, who during her mother’s 2008 campaign refused to even talk to the press.

But the person who hired Clinton and chatted with her on the set like her work was worthy of prime-time treatment wasn’t thinking like a news executive, he was acting like someone who thought it was OK to give a coveted job to someone without credentials who was part of the elite one percent at a time when young people who had worked their way through schools and served internships couldn’t get jobs. This was someone who loved the celebrity part of his job too much, in my opinion.

I don’t believe Williams is too big to fail as some of my colleagues do. I know NBC would love for Williams to survive this nightmare for tens of millions of reasons. For reasons, read dollars.

But the damage is done. I have written about how I cannot imagine anyone connected to or part of a military family not having contempt for Williams after the way he tried to steal some of the honor of real combat veterans for himself with his lies.

That’s one audience I think NBC will lose if he remains anchor.

I also think baby boomers, because of their parents’ sacrifices and lifetime scars from World War II, were raised in a culture where lying about your performance in battle or in terms of military service is seen as reprehensible.

So, Williams might suffer with that audience, too, one that still remembers when the word “honor” was built on deeds — not on the yuk-yuk couch of a talk-show set.

But the most dangerous damage comes with young adults who are seeing Williams mocked mercilessly in social media with images of him in Zelig-like poses at events ranging from Gettysburg to Iwo Jima.

Which brings us back to David Carr, and the Times’ dwindling credibility outside of the newsrooms of NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN — Carr, one of the more prominent journalists (read: Democrat operatives with bylines) who writes for the Times, the paper that defended Dan Rather a decade ago by declaring his story “fake but accurate” is eager to circle the wagons around the next Dan Rather. (Unlike, to her credit, Maureen Dowd, astonishingly enough.) As for Williams’ viewers, they’re merely “the dance of the low sloping foreheads,” as he contemptibly exclaimed a few years ago on Bill Maher’s HBO series.

Which is why, as John Nolte tweets today:

(H/T: Kathy Shaidle)

Report: Tom Brokaw Wants Brian Williams Fired

February 5th, 2015 - 9:17 pm
brokaw_williams_2-5-15-1

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

It’s all fun and games in the ozone layer of the elite media until the public catches you cooking the books.

“You know you’re in trouble when Tom Brokaw is out for your blood.” The New York Post’s Page Six on the man who coined the phrase “The Greatest Generation” versus his successor, who’s been living out B. G. Burkett’s Stolen Valor meme for the past decade:

NBC’s most revered journalist is furious that Brian Williams is still in the anchor chair after he sheepishly admitted he hadn’t traveled on a helicopter hit by enemy fire.

“Brokaw wants Williams’ head on a platter,” an NBC source said. “He is making a lot of noise at NBC that a lesser journalist or producer would have been immediately fired or suspended for a false report.”

On Wednesday, Williams, 55, acknowledged that he had repeatedly said he was aboard a chopper that had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during a 2003 reporting trip to Iraq, when he was actually safely traveling in a different aircraft.

Brokaw, 74, was still the “Nightly News” anchor when Williams came back from his Iraq expedition — and an insider said he knew the story Williams later spouted was bunk.

“Tom Brokaw and [former NBC News President] Steve Capus knew this was a false story for a long time and have been extremely uncomfortable with it,” the source said.

NBC News execs had counseled him to stop telling the tale.

Williams still took the anchor’s seat for his “Nightly News” broadcast Thursday evening — and was working at 30 Rock all day despite calls for his dismissal. He didn’t address the issue during the broadcast.

Assuming the Post’s report is accurate, this isn’t the first time that someone who passes for a Wise Old Man of TV news has wanted his (comparatively) younger successor fired after he got caught screwing the pooch. Douglas Brinkley’s often hagiographic 2012 biography of Walter Cronkite contains this damning passage regarding Uncle Walter’s bumbling successor:

Determined to be the new Murrow, a crusader for social justice in the twenty-first century, Rather had inadvertently become the Soupy Sales of TV news gathering. When Mike Wallace bumped into Rather in a CBS bathroom in the 60 Minutes offices, a nasty verbal clash erupted between the men. Wallace called Rather, to his face, a shameless creep, a public disgrace, who instead of manning up for Memogate, allowed the fine talents of Mapes*, Howard, Murphy, and West to suffer humiliation. Was that Rather’s idea of courage? “We know it as the battle of the bathroom,” longtime executive producer of 60 Minutes Jeff Fager explained. “It’s never been reported, but it was bad.”

It was then-NBC president Jeff Zucker who chose Williams to replace Brokaw in 2004 and promoted him as the man with the finger on the pulse of America’s Red States, or “NASCAR Nation” as Zucker dubbed them back then. The book Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV explores how Warren Littlefield replaced Brandon Tartikoff as the head of NBC and missed few beats in the 1990s. But how Zucker, Littlefield’s successor, began to wreck the NBC brand starting in 2000, before moving on to work his “magic” with CNN these days will make for quite a history — one that’s still playing out in real time this week.

* No, I don’t think he meant that ironically. Brinkley, like the late Mike Wallace, is likely really only sorry that Rather got caught.

Related: “NBC News anchor Brian Williams’ comments about dead bodies, Hurricane Katrina starting to gain attention, draw scrutiny,” the New Orleans Advocate reports today.

As Mickey Kaus noted in 2005, the MSM saw Katrina as a way to (ultimately successfully, given the results in the midterms the following year) pummel President Bush over Iraq without sounding unpatriotic. Considering how insane the MSM’s coverage quickly became, there could well be plenty of invented stories to go around.

Possibly like this one.

Update: And when you’ve lost Arianna — you’ve likely lost a lot of NBC executives who read her site daily:

More: The left-leaning Daily Beast also senses blood in the water at 30 Rock: “Brian Williams’s NBC News Bosses Are ‘Hanging Him Out to Dry,’” screams the headline there tonight. “The countdown begins,” Ace adds.

I appreciate the sentiment, but let’s consider the source here for a moment and its enormous lack of self-awareness. Why is the man in the above photo texting from the bow of his expensive sailboat when he could been sitting at home watching a television network known for helping people idle away the hours by watching such culturally-enriching fair as Charlie’s Angels, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Battle of the Network Stars, Family Matters (with Steve Urkel), Monday Night Football, and NYPD Blue.

To its credit, ABC in its heyday sure was a lot less judgmental about its viewers when Fred Silverman was running the show.

The Left is Slowly Devouring Itself

January 31st, 2015 - 12:55 pm

If you’ve ever wondered “What the Hell Does ‘Politically Correct’ Mean?” and would like to hear the Marxist origins of the phrase, and how it mutated into one of the catchphrases of the 1990s until today, Jesse Walker has you covered at Reason. Everyone on the right knows what it’s like to argue with someone whose been infected by the PC virus, a “word fetish,” as novelist John C. Wright dubs it, in pungent terms. “What the Leftist does in debate is utter his idiot word fetishes and slogans with the sneering hauteur of a card player displaying his trump card, or a chessmaster a checkmate,” Wright notes. “And when his nonsense does not win the debate, or even address the debate, he realized you are the OTHER, and he blames you, and insults your character, your intelligence, your education, your moral stature, your maturity, et cetera”:

When you do not return the handshake, he knows you to be the dread and dreaded OTHER, those peoples of whom he has heard but dim rumor, the non-Leftists who use that horrible thing called reason, a lamp that he hates as dearly as Gollum hates the sun.

Leftists always resort to this shift because it is the only arrow in their quiver. They do not have any reasoning to give. If they could reason, they would not be Leftists.

The Leftist must attack you. Your very existence is an affront to him, proof positive that his worldview is wrong. He has nothing to say to support his position, and he cannot shut up.

Certainly we’re seeing that played out on a national scale this month, with the crude Vietnam-era attacks from Michael Moore, Seth Rogen, Howard Dean, Bill Maher and others on the far left on Chris Kyle’s legacy due to the blockbuster success of American Sniper. These double as thinly-veiled (often not-so-thinly veiled) slurs on the rest of Red State America as well, of course, with “soft America” seething at the resurgence of “hard America,” to use Michael Barone’s phraseology from his 2004 book. How angry is soft America these days? As John Nolte noted last night at Big Hollywood, the Onion’s otherwise often enjoyable A.V. Club film and TV Website took a nasty shot this week at the owner of a small restaurant chain in Michigan who symbolically “banned” Michael Moore and Seth Rogen after their submoronic anti-American remarks. “And how does the AV Club respond to this symbolic but righteous protest? By using no fewer than 7 paragraphs to relentlessly mock the Little Guy and his business,” Nolte writes, “the saddest piece of starf**king I’ve ever come across”:

Is anyone else old enough to remember when speaking truth to and defying power was the in-thing?

When the American Left reveals who they are really for and against, it is chilling.

Know your place and shut your mouth, little man.

In one post, The AV Club revealed itself to be nothing more than a bunch of elite snobbish frat boy starf**kers at the ready to protect the wealthy and powerful against … some guy in Michigan.

Palace Guarding: The New Edgy.

However, as the PC virus spreads and metastasizes, it’s begun to devour those who carry the disease within them as well. Or as Charles Cooke writes at NRO, “The Left Realizes Too Late that Political Correctness Is a Virus, and now it’s eating their movement from within”:

Once upon a time, “political correctness” was little more than a benign left-wing version of old-church-lady tut-tutting. Today, by contrast, the designation is used to describe what has become a sprawling, unhinged, and invariably unfalsifiable conspiracy theory that can be used to dismiss anybody who violates this morning’s edition of the progressive catechism. “Gosh,” one can almost hear DeBoer and Chait asking themselves, “have we unleashed a brigade of poorly educated, parodically self-indulgent, and chronically illiberal morons into our movement, the better to destroy it from within? And, if we have, will we ever be able to rid ourselves of them?”

The answer to the latter question, one suspects, may well be “No,” for as Hollywood has taught us repeatedly over the years, it does not pay to unleash unpredictable viruses into the ecosystem — even if one gains temporarily by doing so. And make no mistake, “political correctness” is a virus — a nasty, cynical, destructive sickness that is akin in both theory and in practice to the sort of irritating malware that pushes endless streams of nonsensical dialogue windows onto your grandmother’s computer and prevents her from e-mailing her friends.

This efforts by the left to remove all who are “not of the body” as they say on Star Trek have been going on for a while — recall the intramural struggles in 2006 when the Kos Kidz tossed earnest liberal Joe Lieberman from the Democrat Party, and the equally nasty scrum in 2007 and 2008 in which the Obama supporters accused everyone of racism — starting with Hillary and Bill Clinton and their supporters. But as John Madden used to say whenever a long-struggling NFL team temporarily thrilled its fan base and finally made it to the Super Bowl, “winning is the best deodorant.” Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 papered over a lot of the cracks in the century-old coalition of self-described “Progressives.”

But once Obama revealed himself to be the tyro politician that all of his critics from Bill and Hillary on the left to John McCain and Sarah Palin on the right warned that he was in 2008, and once it was obvious that Socialist Utopia wasn’t going to be immediately reached, the left resumed its slow crack-up. 2011 saw the rise of Occupy Wall Street, which was largely a far left versus center left battle. As Cooke notes in his article, this week saw Jonathan Chait of New York magazine finally noticing that the PC movement has gotten out of hand, when it began to devour him, and he’s been as loyal a foot soldier in the attack on the rest of America as can be imagined.

As James Antle of the Daily Caller writes regarding Chait’s dilemma, “Political correctness is to empathy, mutual respect and human decency as Marxism is to compassion. Both transform noble impulses into joyless acts of ideological coercion.”

And speaking of Marx, how crazy has today’s left gotten? Take it away Jonah Goldberg, whose latest G-File is titled “China Syndrome Liberalism”:

I am kind of excited, or at least entertained, by the spectacle of watching the Left eat itself. It’s like a terrible virus escaped from a lab at Brown University and is now spreading across the country, island hopping from campus to campus and beyond (I don’t merely mix metaphors, I put them in a salad spinner). My buddy James Lileks writes about how left-wing students at Berkeley (sort of redundant, I know) are starting to turn on Marx, not because of his potted theories of the dialectic, his crude reductionism of man to homo economicus, or even the fact that he set the foundation for turning the 20th century into an abattoir. No, Marx is bad because he’s just another dead white guy. The students write in the school paper:

We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.

First let me interject by noting that the moment anyone says to you “We are calling for an occupation of syllabi,” you can put your headphones back on and finish watching the latest episode of Gotham, because nothing that follows will be worth your time.

Anyway, they go on to gripe that Marx worked from the assumption that there are — or were — differences between men and women. The madman! The professor’s statement in defense of Marx, that “women give birth while men do not,” was enough to make some students flee the room, no doubt in search of a gender-neutral fainting couch. (“Don’t look at me! I’m all man” — The Couch).

This is like watching Godzilla stomp across Tokyo and your only complaint is he’s not wearing pants.

This is followed in Jonah’s G-File by the story of Mount Holyoke College cancelling their showing of Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues” because “it is demeaning to ‘women’ who have penises,” as National Review on Dead Tree (accurately) deadpans. Meanwhile Reason spots even more campus PC madness as, “CUNY Tells Profs Not to Say ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ Because That’s Offensive and Illegal-ish (It’s Not).”

Or as Jonah adds:

[W]hen you think about it, the really funny part is that we’re still hearing how we conservatives need to get control of our nutjobs and extremists before average Americans will take us seriously. I’ll tell you what: “What.” I’ll also tell you that the typical Joe on the street will find gun rights and the Tenth Amendment reasonable and mainstream long before he gets his head around the idea that The Vagina Monologues is sexist because it lacks wangs in the cast — and I don’t mean Asians.

Heh.

Recently, Robert Tracinski asked at the Federalist, “Have We Already Reached Peak Leftism?” Certainly its efforts to consume itself are one sign of that, as is the recent implosion of the New Republic and the Andrew Sullivan’s self-imposed timeout announcement this week. And somewhat related to all of the above, there’s an understandable level of exhaustion among several of the left’s key components after having to defend the Obama administration’s insanities over the past six years (seven or eight actually, counting the time that Democrat operatives with bylines like Sullivan began to actively cheerlead for him.)

As Tracinski concludes:

What I mean to suggest is not that reversion to the mean is inevitable, but that this is an opportunity. The Left’s very strength, its nearly exclusive control of key cultural institutions, is also a weakness. Holding the line on a 95 percent groupthink in academia and the arts might end up being a lot harder than disrupting the leftist orthodoxy.

That disruption can happen only if a lot of people put forth a lot of effort to make it happen. But we have a powerful factor on our side: reversion to the mean.

I hope he’s right, but I fear the left’s century-long efforts bunkering deep into the media, academia and (of course) bureaucracies from the federal down to local governments throughout America means that it will be quite sometime before it’s even temporarily morning in America again, to coin a phrase.

Vaginal Steaming? Is It Right For You?

January 28th, 2015 - 6:02 pm

“Vaginal Steaming Is the Only Way to Solve Your Problems,” Jezebel reports, in a headline that might just be slightly sexist:

Feeling tired, stressed or a little bit grumpy? Angry at your husband/wife/pet cockatoo? Feminine odors got you down? Well, there’s a centuries-old cure for all of that, and it’s getting hot air blown all the way up into your laughing place in a public setting. And it only costs 50 bucks. Isn’t your health worth that?

Laura Beck, Jezebel alumna, recently visited a “uterus spa” for Fast Company and the experience was… special. Beck, who I’ve been privileged to know for over a decade and whose vaginal health I’m always concerned about (some might say too concerned) went because Gwyneth Paltrow told her to. And you know what the rules are: If Gwyneth says you do it, you do it. If Gwyneth’s jumping off a cliff, mom: f*** yeah we’re all doing it.

Faster, please, to coin a phrase.

Alternate headline: Uterus Spas? Well now we know why the real reason why Andrew Sullivan is retiring.

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Yeah. You know how else it looks? Very much like this:

And the giant Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in early 2001. But then, the religious zealotry of radical Islam, radical socialism, and radical environmentalism do tend to echo other very strongly. Just ask Mohamed Atta, Socialist Critic of Capitalism, or this pair of fervent environmentalists, whose doom-laden ideas for the future of mankind intersect surprisingly well:

osama_gore_post_10-1-10-1

On the other hand, at least Greenpeace has raised awareness that they’re still around, so they’ve got that going for them, as Sonny Bunch writes in the Washington Free Beacon:

The best—and by best, I mean absolutely the worst—part of this story? Greenpeace’s “apology.” Here’s Reuters:

The group said it was sorry if the protest at the historical site on Monday caused any “moral offense” to the people of Peru.

“Moral offense.” As if they were only guilty of hurting the feelings of the Peruvian people. And didn’t, you know, tromp all over a giant, incredibly fragile piece of art.

Amazing. Just amazing. But hey: At least now we know that the future is renewables, or some such. Greenpeace for the win!

As I’ve joked before, the vengeful Goracle didn’t title one of his tomes “The Assault on Reason” for nothing.

So Much for ‘The Reality-Based Community’

November 16th, 2014 - 9:52 pm

Because really, why bother with unvarnished reality, when you can mold it, Lysenko-style, to match your politics — and then when that fails, simply toss it down the Memory Hole?

MSNBC: Dems Didn’t Tout Obama’s Successes

November 3rd, 2014 - 5:02 pm

democrat_bag_11-2-14-1

Oh, Ronan:

The liberals on MSNBC have already begun to pre-spin the reasons behind a possible Democratic disaster in Tuesday’s midterms: It’s because the party didn’t tout Barack Obama’s “accomplishments.” Host Ronan Farrow on Monday complained: “But, if these Democratic candidates are just flouting the President and at a time when he faces a tough environment on the hill already, sort of adding to his woes, do they risk alienating Democratic voters with that kind of divisiveness?”

Former Obama campaign press secretary Bill Burton appeared on Farrow’s show to scold, “…Maybe if we can go back in time and think about how Democrats were going to position themselves around the country, they could have done things to help elevate what good things were happening in Washington.”

As VDH wrote yesterday, “On almost every issue in this election that they should be running on, they simply cannot. And on those that they are running on, they probably should not be:”

No Democratic congressman would wish to campaign on, “Obama made government work for you — just look at the new and dynamic IRS, VA, ICE, GSA, NSA, and Secret Service.” “Not a smidgen of corruption” is not a viable campaign theme. No candidate even tried that.

Why don’t Sens. Landrieu, Pryor, and Udall play up their support for the Obama economy?

We did not see a candidate commercial like the following: “I was instrumental in keeping interest rates at zero percent for six years. I made sure that we borrowed another $7 trillion and oversaw the $1 trillion stimulus. We kept GDP above 1% and unemployment below 7%.” Apparently avoiding a depression is not felt to be an economic renaissance, and thus not a winning message.

How about Democratic ads trumpeting new big-ticket government initiatives?

Do any local, state, or national Democrats barnstorm on, “Soon Obamacare really will lower costs, expand coverage, and reduce our deficits in 2015 — just wait and see”? Or  how about, “We almost had cap and trade in 2009; I’ll make sure Obama finishes the job and gets it passed in 2015”? Or perhaps,  “Thanks to my efforts, we stopped all new fracking leases on federal lands”? Bragging on record oil and gas production despite, not because of, Obama is not a rallying cry either.

Hey, there’s always abortion to fall back on — until there isn’t:

Then, finally, came the only reference to policy in [Mark] Udall’s speech. “And by the way, I’m proud to stand with Colorado’s women,” he said, almost as an aside. “I’m proud to stand for reproductive freedom.”

An angry voice from the crowd jeered: “That’s not the only thing you stand for! J[****] C[*****]!”

Udall turned to a short, dark man on his left. The senator look genuinely stunned. “I’m sorry?”

“That’s not the only thing you stand for!” The heckler was Leo Beserra, a 73-year-old who made millions on Wall Street and, since the early 1990s, has shared a generous slice of that wealth with Colorado Democrats.

There’s always redistricting to fall back on, until there isn’t:

When pressed on why Davis was going to lose and lose badly, Winstead – who has thoughtfully abandoned humor and now fancies herself a “reproductive rights advocate” – groped unconvincingly for an excuse. “I think, part of it is redistricting is redistricting,” she added. “And Texas, I think, can turn blue. I mean, let’s not forget that 20 years ago Texas had a female governor, who was an admitted alcoholic and a divorcee who was a progressive.”

There is a universe of ignorance reflected in these statements.

First, you cannot redistrict a state. Full stop. Reapportionment refers to the decennial process by which state governments redraw their congressional and legislative districts in order to accurately reflect population movements, demographic shifts, etc. One cannot “redistrict” a state unless one was to “redirect” away the rivers and mountains which form its borders. That, or states can engage negotiations or even low intensity conflict with their neighbors (as did Michigan and Ohio when they fought, ill-advisedly, over which state would control the city of Toledo) in order to reshape their borders. Winstead is using the term “redistricting” in his case as a synonym for “things I don’t like,” which is not its preferred usage.

Or as David Harsanyi writes at the Federalist, “With Defeat Looming, Democrats Retreat Into Fantasy:”

What’s most depressing about this election? There is no vision for governing, says The New York Times.

Robinson, too, is sad over the GOP’s lack of a “plan for America.” Because if only Republicans had more ideas to offer, liberal pundits and the press would be giving them an honest chewing over. (You remember how seriously Paul Ryan’s budget was treated?) Robinson says liberals crave a robust opposition party, if only because it will help sharpen their own thinking.

We’ve heard this bit of concern trolling often: where are worthy partisan foes, the Reagans and Buckleys, so we can volley ideas to-and-fro before reaching some reasonable consensus.

Of course, back in the day, Buckley and Reagan were routinely crucified by the MSM (particularly Reagan) until after their passing, they because useful as totems for the MSM to compare to modern-day Republicans.

If the GOP does win a Senate majority tomorrow (or after all the dust and lawsuits settle), there’s always voter fraud for the left to fall back on as an excuse, right?

Heh.™

Filed under: Uncategorized

‘A Job to Die For’

November 1st, 2014 - 8:47 pm

 

Say, if ISIS is shelling out the big bucks for new talent, could they spring for a decent graphic designer, the Islamofascist equivalent of Saul Bass or Raymond Loewy? Because whenever I have to put a thumbnail on a new story for the PJM homepage on ISIS, their flag doesn’t give me much to work as a starting point in Photoshop:

isis_flag_11-1-14-1

Mark Steyn has dubbed ISIS “fast-track Nazis,” but you’d think a bloodthirsty eighth century-based organization with a penchant for using cutting edge Web-based social media to distribute their snuff films would have a much better sense of graphic design. Say what you will about the original Nazis, Mussolini, Stalin, Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein, but at least they had descent production designers to illustrate their nightmarish visions. Somewhere in Hell, Leni Riefenstahl and Albert Speer are rolling their eyes and laughing it up over ISIS’ pathetic flag featuring black blobs on a white amoeba on a black background.

Perhaps they took their design cue from a black and white version of Mel Brooks’ early short film, “The Critic:”

“A doctor in New York City who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive for the Ebola virus Thursday, becoming the city’s first diagnosed case,” the New York Times reports tonight:

The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital on Thursday and placed in isolation while health care workers spread out across the city to trace anyone he might have come into contact with in recent days. A further test will be conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control to confirm the initial test.

While officials have said they expected isolated cases of the disease to arrive in New York eventually, and had been preparing for this moment for months, the first case highlighted the challenges surrounding containment of the virus, especially in a crowded metropolis.

Even as the authorities worked to confirm that Mr. Spencer was infected with Ebola, it emerged that he traveled from Manhattan to Brooklyn on the subway on Wednesday night, when he went to a bowling alley and then took a taxi home.

Earlier today, Commentary’s John Podhoretz tweeted:

Off to the races.

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‘Ebola May Have Come to Harlem’

October 23rd, 2014 - 1:08 pm

“Doctor who treated Ebola patients in Guinea rushed to Bellevue Hospital with fever,” the New York Daily News reports:

Ebola may have come to Harlem.

A 33-year-old doctor who recently returned from the disease-wracked West African country of Guinea was rushed Thursday to Bellevue Hospital with symptoms of the deadly disease.

Preliminary results of tests done on the doctor, identified by sources as Craig Spencer, are expected later Thursday, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement.

Spencer, who was one of the medics working in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders, had been back for 10 days and quarantined himself after developing nausea and a high fever, sources said.

“While Spencer was placed in quarantine at Bellevue, city health workers were trying to track down anybody he might have been in contact with since returning home from Africa,” the Daily News adds.

Assuming Spencer flew back from Guinea, does that include the passengers on his flight?

Update: “Ebola + New York City Media & Self-Obsession = Terrible Combination for Obama,” Ace writes:

You know, of course, that if a tornado kills eight people in Oklahoma, the New York City-based media can barely stifle its yawns, but if a taxi runs over a dog in New York City, it’s huge news for a week?

Well Ebola might have come to New York City.

In the past, the New York media might be willing to self-quarantine (pun intended) a story if they thought it aided The One. With his sinking poll numbers, and their eagerness to push the “Obama is incompetent, that’s why we need Hillary!!! to replace him in 2016″ narrative, I wonder if his party’s operatives with bylines will be as eager to tamp down this one?

 

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Quote of the Day

October 19th, 2014 - 6:53 pm

“Candy, we should be less concerned about giving the public the feeling that the government is on top of this and more concerned about the government actually being on top of it.”

“Ted Cruz Schools Candy Crowley on Travel Ban From Hot Zone Ebola Countries,” NewsBusters, today.

Earlier: Crowley “awarded” first runner-up Walter Duranty Prize by PJM’s Claudia Rossett earlier this year “for her extraordinary performance during the 2012 presidential race as moderator of the second debate between the Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama, and the Republican contender, Governor Mitt Romney.”

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To add a little Texas lingo to this post, Glenn Thrush of Politico is bored, y’all:

But then, he’s often bored. It’s his favorite tactic, when one of his fellow leftists is in heap big trouble (to keep the Texisisms going), or there’s a topic that reflects negatively on the left he doesn’t want to discuss:

And again last year, when both sides of the aisle were stunned by the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, Glenn was posing as suffering from a massive case of journalistic narcolepsy:

This past September,  Thrush tweeted the above feigned ignorance of Saul Alinsky, whose tactics inspired numerous prominent leftists such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (to the point where Alinsky’s son openly praised Obama in the Boston Globe in August of 2008, gushing, “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.”

As I wrote last month in response, John Nolte of Big Journalism coined the phrase “BenSmithing” to describe the tactics of the former Politico turned BuzzFeed scribe and member of the JournoList, that self-described “non-official campaign” to elect Obama, which as its founder Ezra Klein explained, was only open to his fellow leftists. As the Urban Dictionary notes, BenSmithing is “a political tactic that disguises itself as journalism in order to protect Democrats, most specifically Barack Obama.”

Smith’s former colleague Glenn Thrush, still with the Politico, is also quite prepared to do a little BenSmithing to aid his fellow Democrats in higher places: whenever a scandal engulfs them, Thrush affects an attitude of boredom. Hey, no big deal — Evel Knievel totally meant to crash the motorcycle on the landing ramp. All part of the act; happens all the time, you guys.

It’s a curious tone though, for someone who holds himself out as a journalist, and not as a Democrat operative with a byline. Those of us who have the privilege of observing the Hieronymus Bosch meets Koyaanisqatsi landscape of the world of the 21st century and then reporting on the wreckage around us are usually horrified at how dysfunctional the modern world and its political players are and eager to share the details with our readers. But for Thrush, it’s all pretty boring. At least when bad things happen to his fellow leftists.

Thrush’s response to the above post? He simply BenSmithed being called on his frequent BenSmithing:

Tom Wolfe has said that the first rule of journalism is don’t bore the reader — and if you’re bored as a journalist, just imagine how your audience will suffer in response. If Thrush finds American politics so dull, perhaps he might want to locate another topic to write about. But then, that would assume that journalism is actually his primary job. Or as Glenn Reynolds would say, just think of Thrush, Weigel and Smith as Democratic operatives with bylines and it all makes sense.

The era of media that former President Obama nostalgically longs for.

Bill Clinton understandably believes his fellow Democrats with bylines “are de facto allies,” as the Washington Post put it in 2006. So when a Democrat starts crying media bias, you know he’s in big trouble. Al Gore at least waited until after the 2002 midterms to blame the media for his party’s woes at the ballot box. Ditto Frank Rich, then still with the New York Times, in December of 2010. Yesterday, the growing disconnect between former President Obama’s mouth and brain caused him to get a couple of months ahead of the curve in that department, while fundraising in upstate New York in between golf games and late-night bull sessions with actors and musicians:

President Obama on Friday said social media and the nightly news are partly to blame for the sense that “the world is falling apart.”

“I can see why a lot of folks are troubled,” Obama told a group of donors gathered at a Democratic National Committee barbecue in Purchase, N.Y.

But the president said that current foreign policy crises across the world are not comparable to the challenges the U.S. faced during the Cold War.

Acknowledging “the barbarity” of Islamist militants and Russia “reasserting the notion that might means right,” Obama, though, dismissed the notion that he was facing unprecedented challenges.

“The world’s always been messy … we’re just noticing now in part because of social media,” he said, according to a White House pool report.

As my colleague Rick Moran quips, “Hear that, you twitterers? You’ve already ruined our president’s vacation. Now you want to go and scare people half to death by reporting on events around the world? Shame on you!”

This isn’t the first time the man who wafted into the Oval Office in 2008 based on a tissue-paper thin resume and massive amounts of help from social media — and big media as well — has lashed out at social media. Obama’s words yesterday confirm an initially surprising admission from Chuck Todd (no stranger to propping up Democrat election campaigns himself) on NBC’s Meet the Press in April of last year, the day after the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner:

CHUCK TODD: What I wonder how many people realized at the end [of Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner] when he did his, you know, there’s always this part at the end where they get serious for a minute. And it’s usually the part where presidents say, “You know, I think the press has a good job to do and I understand what they have to do.” He didn’t say that. He wasn’t very complimentary of the press. You know, we all can do better.

It did seem, I thought his pot shots joke wise and then the serious stuff about the internet, the rise of the internet media and social media and all that stuff — he hates it. Okay? He hates this part of the media. He really thinks that the sort of the buzzification — this isn’t just about Buzzfeed or Politico and all this stuff – he thinks that sort of coverage of political media has hurt political discourse. He hates it. And I think he was trying to make that clear last night.

“He hates it. And I think he was trying to make that clear last night,” Todd would go on to say.

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