Ed Driscoll

The Prime Minister Did Not Accept the Premise

In 2011, Newt Gingrich came within a whisker of capturing the GOP presidential nomination largely through the good will he earned from Republican voters who were thrilled to finally see somebody not accept the premise of his media interrogators’ questions. Even after Mitt Romney won the nomination, Newt could confront media blowhards via his patented technique of simply not accepting the underlying bias, vitriol, and “Progressive” nihilism behind their questions, as Ed Morrissey wrote in August of last year:

Even those of us who couldn’t quite bring ourselves to back Newt Gingrich in the primaries hoped that he would play a big role in the general election as a surrogate. This video demonstrates why. Gingrich reacts to Piers Morgan’s suggestion that the “big flaw” in Ryan’s budget was that the rich would do well, and in two minutes teaches Economics 101, accuses Morgan of media bias, and rips the Obama economy as the “worst recovery in 75 years.” And that’s just Newt getting warmed up, as Newsbusters highlights:

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: I suppose the fundamental debate that’s going to be had, though, will come down to whether the Republicans can sell to the American people that they are really concerned about jobs, about people’s livelihoods, and all the rest of it. If they’re also scratching the backs of their rich and wealthy members, which is clearly I think the flaw in the Ryan plan is that it just does. I mean, if you’re very wealthy, you’re going to be doing a lot better out of Paul Ryan than you would out of Barack Obama who believes fundamentally the rich should pay more tax.

NEWT GINGRICH: You know, I don’t want to sound disrespectful, but I do wonder sometimes if you guys all get off in a little club and learn a brand new mantra and then all repeat it mindlessly. The fact is, these kinds of things were said about Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan’s tax cut – which was developed by Jack Kemp who Paul Ryan worked for – Ronald Reagan’s tax cut raised more people to middle class status, took more people out of poverty, created more jobs.

The “mantra club” is a great name for the MSM. And one of their most overused techniques in an effort to simulate their mantras having acceptance beyond their own editorial bullpens is through the use of a ubiquitous, albeit imaginary member of the American public named Mr. Somesay. Pay any amount of attention to television news, and you’ll quickly find Mr. Somesay everywhere. He’s local, nationwide and global. He’s omnipresent. Or as John Nolte noted last year at Big Journalism when a former CNN anchor tacitly invoked Mr. Somesay’s name:

No one, however, made me laugh harder than CNN’s Soledad O’Brien. Right now Soledad is presiding over a disastrous CNN morning show that probably draws fewer viewers than a midnight fistfight outside a Texas honkytonk, and here’s part of the reason why:

If Mitt Romney doesn’t come forward with a better plan, many economists we spoke to this morning would say, “You know, the President is not to blame and that anybody in the same position would have the same challenging numbers. It’s really going to be incumbent upon the Republicans to say ‘Well, here’s what we would do better and provide a convincing argument if they expect to take the White House'”.

That Soledad quote is actually from the show that follows her’s, but it’s the same absurd talking points I laughed out loud at during her own barely watchable show.

What Soledad is transparently doing there, besides proving why CNN’s ratings have completely collapsed, is engaging in the media art of “SomeSay.” And what that is is selectively choosing who to quote in order to make the point you want to make and to push a narrative you want to push.  SomeSay is simply a way around openly blurting out your own partisan opinion.

Elizabeth Scalia, at her Anchoress blog, once wrote that “Some say” was the most annoying media cliche of 2005:

My personal choice: “some say…” Used continually by Katie Couric, David Gregory and oh, basically anyone in the press who wanted to advance their own personal opinion or the general concensus of the fourth estate: “Some say President Bush is trying to undermine our civil liberties,” “Some say Iraq is a quagmire,” “Some say America is a world-bully,” “Some say if only the Kyoto treaty had been recognised…”

Just once, I would like to hear a politician come back with, “WHO says? WHO exactly SAYS, Katie, David, Tim, etc”

They’d never spill the true answer, though, “why, WE say, WE in the press!”

During a 1980 interview Thatcher did just that:

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As spotted by Australia’s Tim Blair, who adds:

Be alert over coming days for tearful leftoids railing against Thatcher’s opposition to state-owned, union-dominated coal mines. Let’s see them complain about this bloke, who demands global shutdowns of coal mines – yet is supported by leftists.

Here in the States, this brings us to yet another example of Two CNNs in One. “CNN Says Thatcher ‘Decimated’ British Communities, Industries,” Newsbusters reports, in their efforts to round-up a thimble full of the bottomless bias on display in the American MSM in response to Lady Thatcher’s death:

Reporting on the late Margaret Thatcher’s legacy on Monday, CNN correspondent Max Foster hyped that she “decimated entire industries” in Britain and “decimated communities across the UK.” He also cited Gerry Adams, the public face of the IRA for decades, as a valid critic of Thatcher.

In addition to citing praise for Thatcher, Foster offered a blistering critique on Monday’s Starting Point: “This was the prime minister that decimated entire industries in the United Kingdom during her period in power as she broke the miners unions in a push towards privatization to create a more flexible British economy, which it has become. But she decimated communities across the UK. And a lot of people absolutely despise her legacy.”

As opposed to the president who promises to bankrupt them, to which the network bakes cakes and gives fistbumps in supplication:

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And speaking of not accepting the premise, when the pressure cooker containing all of the blood boiling vitriol the British left have ginned up against Thatcher over the decades finally burst today, the London Telegraph wound up closing the comments sections on all of their stories regarding the prime minister’s death:

Tony Gallagher, The Daily Telegraph editor, tweeted Monday that the comment sections on all Thatcher-related stories had been closed.

“We have closed comments on every #Thatcher story today – even our address to email tributes is filled with abuse,” Gallagher tweeted.

One Twitter troll complained, “And yet you protest for freedom of speech?”Another tweeter countered, “freedom of speech means they can publish what they want to and not what others tell them to,” to which Gallagher replied, “quite so.”

Heh, indeed.™ The London Telegraph has invested millions of pounds in its printing presses and Web publishing machinery, not to mention over 150 years of time, effort, and sweat. But anyone can have their own microphone for free if they’d like to protest, right here.

Or to put it another way, “Get your own damned blog.”

Update: In particular, the Prime Minister really didn’t accept the premise of 20th century, that socialism was a grand and glorious thing, forever:

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