'Why Embarrass Journalists?'
Hugh Hewitt -- with an assist from history and the Socratic method -- demolished the Huffington Post’s “Senior Political Economy Reporter” Zach Carter yesterday on his show. Or to put it more charitably, Carter embarrassed himself by not knowing some basic 20th century American history, such as: who is Alger Hiss, and Bill Clinton and Iraq in the 1990s:
Until colliding with Mr. Carter I had never thought to ask if a young journalist who presumed to comment on the war on terror if he or she had ever heard of A.Q. Khan. I assumed…well, there’s the rub. I always assume that young journalists would not dare opine on the war without a basic knowledge of the existential threat at its core, and the origins of that threat.
Perhaps a college newspaper editorialist would do so, but not a “senior political economy reporter” for a major political outlet like HuffPo.
I was wrong.
And that’s why I ask the questions I do. To expose the utter ignorance at the core of so much of the left. Not their rottenness. I often say their is a difference between “rotten” and “wrong,” and I believe that. Some on the left are wild-eyed fanatics and awful people.
But most of the lefties I engage with seem perfectly pleasant if also wildly ill-informed and, yes, lazy.
It is hard work to read widely and broadly, and on both sides of the political aisle. Time consuming. Not very fun actually.
But necessary. If you intend to be taken seriously. More importantly, if you intend the country to endure. Most journalists go into the business because they are idealists of one sort or another and they love the whole “first draft of history” stuff. What journalists collectively do is crucial, because lousy reporting leads to lousy voting, the consequences we see now on full display across the globe.
Perhaps Mr. Carter and his friends think the world around them is all George W. Bush’s fault. After all, they were in high school when the towers fell, and junior high when Bill Clinton struck at the installations believed to house Saddam’s WMD.
Still, I was in high school when Nixon resigned and I know very well what he did wrong and though I admire him greatly, can explain those wrongful actions in detail.
On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal wrote that for much of the left, losing the Gore-Bush recount fight in November of 2000 was in many ways, a more traumatic experience than the horrors to come the following year. Perhaps that, and the sweeping rise of broadband Internet and Google in the late 1990s accounts for the fact that for so many on the left, history begins in 2000 -- and much of the previous millennia is as blank a slate as any document Winston Smith "revised" in 1984's Ministry of Truth. It doesn't help matters that collectively, the left views history in general as black armbands and victimhood from the birth of Christ, on to the present day.
ZC: And those seem like pretty specious claims that have not been held out by history. And so from my point of view, it becomes very difficult to understand why we went to war. People like Hillary Clinton say well, we just got it wrong. We misgauged the intelligence.
HH: But Zach, you…time out. Zach…
ZC: And I think the argument I’ve heard from Cheney is that basically, things have been, have gone as Cheney had hoped, and there have been some, and maybe it should have worked out slightly better, we wouldn’t have been there as long, but that basically the reasons that he cited have been vindicated.
HH: Well, Zach, again, when you read his memoir, come back and we’ll talk about that. But what I’m curious to ask you is why do you think Bill Clinton bombed Iraq in 1998?
ZC: I’m not really familiar with Bill Clinton bombing Iraq in 1998.
HH: Did you know that he did that?
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We’re not more than 24 hours past the Hobby Lobby decision and liberals still don’t know what the case was actually about.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) July 1, 2014
On Friday, the main headline on the Huffington Post posited the theory that vegetarianism reduces your carbon footprint (please excuse the technical terminology) a “ridiculous amount.” The progressive website offers a helpful solution to one of the great evils of the day: “As the economic, political and personal costs of doing nothing to mitigate climate change skyrocket, there's one lifestyle change that slashes dietary greenhouse gas emissions in half: Veganism.”
Breitbart News has reported on a number of scientists who claim the climate hasn’t warmed in 16 years and that some call global warming an unsubstantiated hypothesis. HuffPo has cited a survey that alleges climate change is costing the U.S. billions of dollars and poses a growing national security threat. "Reducing the intake of meat and other animal based products can make a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation," the report argues.