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BUT OF COURSE: Ashe Schow: Media focus on Trump’s problems at Al Smith dinner, but not Clinton’s.

The Hill’s Joe Concha is fast becoming one of my favorite media reporters. He attended Thursday night’s Al Smith dinner, and has written an article called “Al Smith Dinner I attended was different than one I read about.”

Concha laid out some of what we’ve all heard in the media today about the zingers told by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We’re also being told that Trump delivered some truly terrible jokes that resulted in boos and jeering.

But what isn’t being given as much attention — except from a couple outlets — is that Clinton was also booed at times, though not as often as Trump. The Guardian pointed out a couple of jokes from Clinton that received some cheers and boos.

“You notice there is no teleprompters here tonight, which is probably smart, because it may be you saw Donald … dismantle his own. Maybe it is harder when you are translating from the original Russian,” Clinton said.

“I have deep respect for people like Kellyanne Conway. She is working day and night for Donald, and because she is a contractor, he is probably not even going to pay her,” Clinton said in another joke that didn’t do very well.

Concha notes that all the attention being paid to the boos and jeers toward Trump leaves out some important context.

“Republicans — especially those named Trump — aren’t popular in New York, and certainly with the wine and cheese crowd at the Waldorf last night,” Concha wrote. “And even Clinton got some boos and awkward reactions.”

He added that the event raised $6 million for children, more than it had ever raised before.

So while Trump was predictably booed at an unfriendly event, the media ran with it in order to smear him. Further, they ignored this same group booing Clinton. And the media wonder why their trust with the American people continues to plummet.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and his wife, a Democratic consultant, hosted a dinner party at their Washington D.C.-area home last year for Jennifer Palmieri, Hillary Clinton’s communications director.

Todd began his career working as a Democrat operative on the 1992 presidential campaign of “stolen valor” Congressman Tom Harkin; little has changed in that regard in his current job.

THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: What media bias? Journalists overwhelmingly donated to Hillary Clinton.

Late Sunday evening, Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza tweeted: “Let me say for the billionth time: Reporters don’t root for a side. Period.”

It was a hilariously ill-timed tweet, because Monday morning the Center for Public Integrity released its 2016 campaign analysis showing journalists giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Of the 430 people CPI identified as “journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors ­— as well as other donors known to be working in journalism,” 96 percent gave money to Clinton, according to federal campaign finance filings. Those 430 journalists gave $382,000 to Clinton and just $14,000 to GOP nominee Donald Trump. CPI identified just 50 journalists who gave to Trump (meaning 380 gave to Clinton.)

CPI noted that the law only obligates candidates to disclose the names of donors giving more than $200 in a single election cycle, meaning many more members of the media could have donated to either campaign, but in smaller amounts.

Cillizza followed up his earlier tweet by commenting on the CPI report: “Well this is super depressing. NO idea why any journalist would donate $ to politicians.”

CPI noted that even as many newsrooms have policies against donating to politicians (the New York Times is more vague, strongly suggesting that such donations would compromise the paper’s integrity), their reporters donated.

This isn’t an age of Trump thing among journalists, either. In 2012, every major media outlet donated heavily to President Obama compared to Mitt Romney (yes, even Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox News). The story was the same in 2008.

It’s a political monoculture, and that’s one reason for the rise of Trump.


None of the stories that horrify them now are new. They are years old. Decades, even. It is mind-blowing that no one decided to drop any of this before now. Unless, of course, you believe the idea that they sat on it in order to destroy him in the general. What’s more, that they did so at the request of the Clinton campaign. It is not only plausible, it is in fact the most likely scenario. It’s not like the journalists just sat on their hands for a year before dropping all this. A little research, a few phone calls, and all of this information would have been out there much sooner. But, that didn’t help the agenda.

So, while some folks on the Right can (and should) take some of the blame for creating the monster that is Republican Nominee Donald Trump, the Media cannot be allowed to feel horrified for the monster they too helped to make. This is on them. They had stories, they chose not to run them. They chose to favor a candidate. They were too afraid to lose a source.

“The Media cannot be allowed to feel horrified for the monster they too helped to make.” I don’t know if that sentence was written incorrectly, but in any case, I wouldn’t worry much – they don’t feel at all horrified by the monster they helped to make. Just think of the MSM as Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.


If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.

But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.

It comes from hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, and accounts from FBI insiders. The media has almost uniformly ignored the flurry of bombshells, preferring to devote its front pages to the Trump story. So let’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.

Start with a June 2015 email to Clinton staffers from Erika Rottenberg, the former general counsel of LinkedIn. Ms. Rottenberg wrote that none of the attorneys in her circle of friends “can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents.” She added: “It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”

A few months later, in a September 2015 email, a Clinton confidante fretted that Mrs. Clinton was too bullheaded to acknowledge she’d done wrong. “Everyone wants her to apologize,” wrote Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles’ heel.”

Clinton staffers debated how to evade a congressional subpoena of Mrs. Clinton’s emails—three weeks before a technician deleted them. The campaign later employed a focus group to see if it could fool Americans into thinking the email scandal was part of the Benghazi investigation (they are separate) and lay it all off as a Republican plot.

A senior FBI official involved with the Clinton investigation told Fox News this week that the “vast majority” of career agents and prosecutors working the case “felt she should be prosecuted” and that giving her a pass was “a top-down decision.”

The Obama administration—the federal government, supported by tax dollars—was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department coordinated with her staff in responding to the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case.

Worse, Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, took special care of donors to the Clinton Foundation. In a series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Mrs. Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs). Those who made the cut appear to have been teed up for contracts. Those who weren’t? Routed to a standard government website.

The leaks show that the foundation was indeed the nexus of influence and money. The head of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ira Magaziner, suggested in a 2011 email that Bill Clinton call Sheikh Mohammed of Saudi Arabia to thank him for offering the use of a plane. In response, a top Clinton Foundation official wrote: “Unless Sheikh Mo has sent us a $6 million check, this sounds crazy to do.”

The entire progressive apparatus—the Clinton campaign and boosters at the Center for American Progress—appears to view voters as stupid and tiresome, segregated into groups that must either be cajoled into support or demeaned into silence.

Well, yes.


Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler took the time to sift through the 41-year-old case of Kathy Shelton, who said she was raped when she was 12 years old by a then-41-year-old man.

Ordinarily, I’d expect the Post to take Shelton’s claims at face value (and to be fair, Kessler does call her a rape victim, as her attacker, Thomas Taylor, agreed to a plea bargain). The Post would be accused of “victim-blaming” if it dared point out an accuser’s changing story, even if it ultimately seemed sympathetic to her.

But Shelton is different because she has told the press that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “took me through hell” and has appeared with GOP nominee Donald Trump.

This earns Shelton extra scrutiny. Kessler points out that she didn’t know until 2007 that Clinton was the defense attorney in her case, that she may or may not have been misquoted about harboring no ill will toward Clinton and that she said she had a psychiatric exam but court records say she didn’t.

These aren’t the “smoking gun” contradictions I would usually consider evidence of an untruthful accuser (and again, Kessler is not saying she is untruthful). Shelton could have hated a random, unnamed defense attorney until she found out it was Clinton, who by that point had become a household name. That would have been pretty devastating for a victim, to find out that a former first lady, U.S. senator and, at the time, presidential candidate was responsible for allowing your rapist to walk free.

In 2007, Shelton apparently told Glenn Thrush, who was then a reporter for Newsday, that she felt Clinton “was just doing her job” by representing Taylor. Seven years later, in 2014, she told the Daily Beast she was misquoted and that “Hillary Clinton took me through hell.” She could have been upset with an unnamed defense attorney, as I wrote above. Or she could have never thought about the other people involved in the case until she was shown an affidavit from Clinton claiming Shelton “is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing” and “has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body.”

Clinton merely said in the affidavit that she had “been informed” of these things about Shelton, but offered no source or proof. Shelton told Thrush in 2007 that she was shocked by the affidavit because “it’s not true” and she had “never said anybody attacked my body before, never in my life.”

It’s always “believe the women” until they threaten the career of a Clinton. Then it’s “a little bit nutty, a little bit slutty” and “look what you get when you drag a $100 bill through a trailer park.” And the press plays right along because, well, think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: New Email Leak Reveals Clinton Campaign’s Cozy Press Relationship.

JUST THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE. Conflict of Interest: PolitiFact and the Clinton Foundation Share Megadonor.


The Arizona Republic, which is apparently a desert brochure, supports Hillary. “Unprecedented!” Yet everyone in Arizona shrugs – the Republic went pinko long ago. Then weary travelers in Marriots across America found that USA Today is opposing Trump. Why the editors of a periodical whose sole purpose is to help out-of-town hotel guests find out when the local TV station is rerunning The Simpsons believes their anti-kudos will move the needle is unclear. But the rest of the media is reeling in delight – “Trump’s lost USA Today! Game over, man. Game over!”

The liberal establishment survives only because it controls the mainstream media propaganda machine. It’s one of the three legs of the stool that keeps the Democrat Party stable – the other legs are deadbeats and creepy weirdos with money like Hillary.

So let’s kick out that leg. Let’s go right at the media poohbahs, those puffed-up hacks and self-important dorks who are desperately trying to keep a grip on power as their own incompetence plus the relentless advance of technology conspire to consign them to much-deserved irrelevance.

Related exit question: Can You Trust The Press? New video from Prager University:

“When success is measured mainly in terms of ‘clicks,’ the outrageous beats the sober just about every time. Inserting opinion, even in the middle of a news story, is a way in which journalists can distinguish themselves. And in mainstream media outlets, those opinions overwhelmingly tend to be liberal. This might not be so bad if journalists acknowledged their bias. But they almost never do. Yet the bias is obvious.”

Just think of the MSM as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

More: Creative Destruction: US Newspaper Jobs Are More Than 50,000 Below 1947 Levels.


Related: 20 Mins on ‘Miss Piggy’ Remark, Silence on Cheryl Mills Immunity.



Libya is no closer to stability or peace than it has been since the invasion. Western plans to bring order to the country are failing yet again. . . .

We must all be grateful that we don’t have a Republican President or it would be Libya, Libya, Libya all the time, a deafening chorus of shrieks and imprecations. “How could the White House be so stupid as not to learn the lessons of Iraq?” “Who knew what, and when?” We would also be hearing much more about the consequences of our failures: the continuing flows of arms, funds, and jihadis to various groups in Africa and beyond, not to mention the damage to U.S. prestige. The responsible officials would be hounded by an enraged press corps and an aroused public. Hillary Clinton has actually been quite lucky that the GOP attack focused almost solely on Benghazi, when that tragic incident was only the tiniest piece of a major policy disaster.

Not that a return to Bush-era press inquisitions would be a good thing. There really ought to be some kind of happy medium between the no-holds-barred relentless attacks on GOP foreign policy failures and the whistle-past-the-graveyard treatment of Democratic ones. And many of America’s biggest recent foreign policy failures had strong bipartisan support at the time. A lot of Democrats backed the Iraq invasion, and a lot of Republicans backed Libya.

Nobody is ever going to get everything right in foreign policy—that’s not the way history works. But these days in the U.S., in large part thanks to the way much of the press (with some honorable exceptions) goes about its business, we have got a system that makes it hard for us to learn from our mistakes—to have the serious conversation about foreign policy and global strategy that the country badly needs.

We have the worst political class in history.

DEMOCRAT OPERATIVE WITH A BYLINE SAYS WHAT? Scandal-plagued George Stephanopoulos asks is it ‘appropriate’ for scandal-plagued Roger Ailes to advise Trump?

Flashbacks: “Stephanopoulos Again Fails to Disclose His Donations During Clinton Interview” as recently as April of 2016. Hillary’s operative with a byline at ABC donated a reported $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, which the Sunlight Foundation noted “operates as a slush fund for the Clintons.”

In the run-up to the 2012 presidential election Dan Gainor of Fox News explored another “Scandal No One is Talking About:”

We are watching ABC’s George Stephanopoulos attack Herman Cain on how he deals with women. This is the same George Stephanopoulos who worked for Bill Clinton and did his best to undermine attacks against him. Remember, Clinton was charged with a variety of women-unfriendly incidents including rape. Yes, rape. Not that the networks made a big deal of it at the time.

Here’s Stephanopoulos, on page 267 of his autobiography “All Too Human,” “Most important, I wanted to keep reports of Paula [Jones’] press conference off television … It wasn’t a hard sell.” His book goes on to say how he tried to discredit her. Yes, this openly Democratic operative is a “newsman” now.

Don’t believe it for a second. The different between “journalist” and Democratic Party operative is often non-existent.

Just think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and you won’t go far wrong.

THE GREAT WHITE HOUSE VACATION HYPOCRISY, as explored by Jonah Goldberg, who notes, “Hurricane Katrina was undoubtedly a huge story, and investigating the federal response to it was squarely in the fourth estate’s wheelhouse. But there’s simply no denying that the news media used that disaster as a partisan cudgel against a Republican president it detested. Worse, the media congratulated themselves endlessly for their Katrina coverage despite the fact that they collectively did a terrible job.”

That depends on how you define their job. Just think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and from the MSM’s point of view, their coverage of Katrina was a spectacular success, paying huge dividends in 2006 and 2008, ultimately giving Obama one party control of the House and Senate for his first two years, and allowing him to pass Obamacare. As one of the people who issued the media’s marching orders during that period said shortly before Obama took office, “You never want a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

JUST THINK OF THE MSM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: “The media feel like lawyers for the Clinton campaign, taking whatever the evidence is and presenting it as advantageous to their client,” Ann Althouse writes.

Which brings us to media professor and early blogger Jeff Jarvis:

And note this:

Now do ABC, aka, the House of Stephanopoulos; NBC, the home of Al Sharpton; CBS, whose news division president is David Rhodes, brother to self-immolating Obama advisor Ben Rhodes, and where the current host of Face the Nation advised Obama in 2013 to ‘Destroy the GOP’; and of course, the Clinton News Network.

WELL, YEAH: Media predictably treats Bush, Obama differently on Louisiana disasters.

So why isn’t Obama visiting? And why isn’t the press crucifying him for not visiting? Well, the answer to the first question comes from Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, who I normally admire as a journalist. He explains that Obama’s just too cool and unswayed by the politics of photo-ops.

That would be a fine explanation if Bush was given the same justification during Katrina. The other problem with Cillizza’s explanation is that Obama has absolutely visited places after natural disasters for the photo-ops. He surveyed the damage of Hurricane Sandy just two weeks before the 2012 election. There’s no explaining that away as “the right thing to do” while visiting Louisiana is just politics.

Cillizza mentions that his article is about how Obama thinks of himself, not how we see him, and that he apparently sees himself above performance politics. I guess he sees himself above it all, except when it would look good right before a re-election, right?

If the mainstream media treated Obama the way it treated Bush, perhaps public trust in media wouldn’t be at an all-time low and falling. But this is how it will always be. Democrats get the benefit of the doubt and long explanations for why they did or didn’t do something. Republicans are just treated as uncaring.

Just think of reporters as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

WELL, WE KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT ONE: What would media say about naked Hillary statues?

In a country once rocked for two weeks by the inadvertent appearance of Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl, media condemnation of the objectively vulgar statue suddenly proved non-existent. The mood in the national press was rather jubilant and lauding.

The tone of the media wouldn’t concern if bias in its coverage of the presidential election and cultural affairs in America was not already so out of control.

Picture, if you will, a naked statue representation of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, erected (erm…) by cover of night in Times Square and on the boardwalks of Los Angeles, the sculptor’s artistic license given free reign. Imagine the sagging breasts, the flabby tum tum, the far-less-than-pert buttocks, and for the coup de grace, creative depictions of the male genitalia. Would the sculptor go very short, or very long?

It is impossible to quantify the rage that our media would unleash on the nation and heap upon sexist and racist, so-called artists. See, there is at this point, no irony in, no shame from, and no end to, the parade of contradictions that mainstream media will foist on its viewers and readers.

When it comes to Trump, the same rules simply do not apply. He cannot speak for himself; the media will speak for him. He cannot be entitled to dignity; the media will strip it from him however they can. And it’s not because he’s Trump. It’s not because he angered the fans of Univision. It’s because he’s Republican. If it were Jeb Bush, the statue in Times Square would have been of Jeb Bush; the media criticism all the same.

Anyone who’s honest will admit that the media has long favored liberals, but the bias has been worse than ever in this election season. Bashing a political figure’s looks, private lives, and even personally attacking their family members is totally fair game — as long as that political figure is a conservative.

Just look at the coverage on Melania Trump’s white dress at the RNC. Elizabeth Wellington, a fashion writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, suggested that Trump’s dress symbolized racism. “To many, that outfit could be another reminder that in the GOP, white is always right,” she wrote.

Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times wrote, “Ms. Trump’s choice of a white dress…sent all sorts of interesting subliminal signals.” Just a week later, Wellington gushed over Hillary Clinton’s all-white DNC outfit. “White is a hue that’s both soft and strong.

But it was appropriate: Her acceptance speech was a coming out of sorts. Clinton’s white pantsuit is telling us she has arrived. This is surreal. A dream come true….”

What would the reaction be if a mainstream journalist made even the slightest negative comment about Clinton’s or Michelle Obama’s attire at the DNC? What if they were called “too old looking,” “too fat,” “too weak”? We all know the answer to this question.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

JOE SAUNDERS: 2 Of The Biggest Names In Media Just Spilled The Beans…Trump Was Absolutely Right.

There’s more than one way to rig an election.

With the pack-mentality newshounds in the American media baying for Donald Trump’s blood during the dog days of August, the sheer brazenness of the mainstream’s efforts to carry Hillary Clinton to victory in the November general election is passing all bounds.

And partisans passing themselves off as journalists are barely pretending anymore.

The column focuses on Chris Cuomo and Jorge Ramos, but if you think of most any of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, you won’t go wrong.

BECAUSE THEIR GOAL IS TO ENSURE HIGH BLACK TURNOUT FOR THE DEMOCRATS: Why must the media mislead on police shootings?

Why can’t the media just accurately report what is going on when a police shooting occurs?

The latest example comes out of Milwaukee, Wisc., in which a black police officer shot and killed Sylville Smith, who refused to put down his gun.

This was not another case of a white officer shooting an unarmed black man. It was a black officer, and more importantly the man he shot was armed. Riots and violence broke out in Smith’s neighborhood anyway.

Beyond trying to downplay the race of the officer and the firearm status of the slain man, CNN went a step further by selectively editing what Smith’s sister Sherelle said to reporters.

“Burnin’ down s*** ain’t going to help nothin! Y’all burnin’ down s*** we need in our community,” Sherelle told reporters. “Take that s*** to the suburbs. Burn that s*** down! We need our s***! We need our weaves. I don’t wear it. But we need it.”

CNN stopped rolling the clip after Sherelle’s comments about her own community. They framed her comments as “calling for peace.” Not exactly.

Think of them as Democratic Party operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.


When you listen to Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech tonight — seriously, America, why? — expect to hear a lot of compassionate talk aimed at working Americans. Specifically, about the Democratic Party’s plans to raise the national minimum wage to $12/hour, force companies to offer paid parental leave, double-down on ObamaCare, expand Medicaid, and push for greater education subsidies.

Then, ask yourself: Are these policies going to make life less or more expensive for Americans?

As I wrote at the beginning of 2009 after watching DNC operatives with bylines infected with a serious case of what Virginia Postrel dubbed “Depression Lust,” and Tom Brokaw begging Obama for higher gas prices, you and I have a rendezvous with scarcity.

Or as Hillary warned us over a decade ago, “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

And she has a very good chance of making her will a reality next year.

JUST THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T BE FAR WRONG: Leaked emails reveal Politico reporter made ‘agreement’ to send advanced Clinton story to DNC:

An influential reporter at Politico made an apparent “agreement” with the Democratic National Committee to let it review a story about Hillary Clinton’s fundraising machine before it was submitted to his editors, leaked emails published by WikiLeaks on Friday revealed.

Reporter Kenneth Vogel sent an advanced copy of his story to DNC national press secretary Mark Paustenbach in late April.

The email’s subject line read: “per agreement … any thoughts appreciated.”

Flashback: Mark Levin in 2011 on “The Sleaziness of Politico’s Kenneth Vogel.”


When Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who died in the Benghazi attack, gave a moving and heartbreaking speech at the Republican National Convention, the liberal media jumped to attack her. I’m not talking about criticism or the suggestion that her solutions for what happened shouldn’t be enacted; I’m talking about personal attacks.

Smith, who is still obviously grieving over the loss of her child, blamed Hillary Clinton for it. Clinton was the secretary of state at the time and appeared to make conflicting statements about what caused the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

“For all of this loss, for all of this grief, for all of the cynicism the tragedy in Benghazi has wrought upon America, I blame Hillary Clinton,” Smith said Monday night. “I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son.”

MSNBC said her “gross accusation” against Clinton “ruined” the night. A GQ writer tweeted: “I don’t care how many children Pat Smith lost I would like to beat her to death.” He has since deleted the tweet. Still others, like Salon and the Guardian, claimed the GOP was “exploiting” her pain to score points.

But as Jim Geraghty at National Review pointed out, this accusation of exploitation (and the harsh words directed at Smith) only come from the media when Republicans are involved. Geraghty mentioned how Democrats and the media weren’t lodging similar claims when Cindy Sheehan traveled to President George W. Bush’s home in Texas to protest the war, nor when Mitt Romney was blamed for causing cancer.

These attacks also don’t come from the Left or the media when the grieving parents are calling for gun control or for cops to be arrested (things media often endorse).

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines (and no consciences) and you won’t be far wrong.

JUST THINK OF THEM ALL AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE. Celebrating Rolling Stone’s Sabrina Rubin Erdely as a Journalist: “Regardless of their impact on Dean Eramo’s lawsuit, the release of the Rolling Stone affidavits leave little doubt that Sabrina Rubin Erdely isn’t a very good reporter. She had her thesis—existence of a campus ‘rape culture’—in advance. As Cathy Young noted, the spine of the article, Jackie’s story, ‘had more red flags than a Soviet military parade.’ It’s easy to see how people could have been horrified by the article. But it’s remarkable to observe how many high-caliber editors and reporters praised the quality of Erdely’s journalism. It seems their agreement with Erdely’s thesis blinded them to her flaws—a consistent problem in how most of the mainstream media has approached campus sexual assault.”

Read the whole thing.


Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.28.56 PM

Related, from Dave Weigel: Trump, Saddam and why people mistrust the media.

The point is that Trump has been saying, for quite some time, that the United States should not have gone to war in Iraq, and that it should side with dictators as long as they “kill terrorists.” The Republican primary electorate endorsed that view. Clinton, as a senator and then as secretary of state, took another view, and backed the use of American power to remove both Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi. There’s video of Clinton gleefully saying “We came, we saw, he died” upon learning that Gaddafi had been torn apart by his own people. This has never been treated like a gaffe; but Trump’s “Saddam killed terrorists” riff suddenly is.

By consistently covering Trump’s argument over time, and by following up on it, media outlets did their job to inform voters. That was why Tuesday night’s collective Captain Renault moment was so strange, and so demonstrative of why many media consumers are skeptical of what they’re hearing. Instead of a debate on the facts — should Hussein have been removed? Did he “kill terrorists,” in a contradiction of what Americans were told before the war? — there was manufactured outrage, straight from a rival campaign.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and you will not go far wrong.


Press targets voters for fueling Trump’s rise.
TSA Says Passengers Only Have Themselves to Blame For Long Lines.
Obama: ‘VFW Halls All Across America’ Have Warped View of Economy.

“The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the once canonical left-wing literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s: ‘Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class,’” Fred Siegel wrote in 2014 history of the American left, The Revolt Against the Masses.

More recently, as the late Kenneth Minogue wrote in the New Criterion in the summer of 2010:

My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us.

And by extension, so are their operatives with bylines, and those who staff their ever-expanding bureaucracies.

RICHARD BENEDETTO: How Obama Gets Away With It: It is amazing that the president’s dismal record is largely absent from the 2016 campaign—until you consider his PR machine.

Usually when an incumbent president is leaving office and a slew of candidates are battling for his job, that departing chief executive’s record is a major campaign issue.

But not this year, even though two of three Americans say the country is on the wrong track, job creation is sluggish, income inequality continues to rise and Mr. Obama’s job approval barely tops 50%. Moreover, approval of his handling of the war on terror and Islamic State is underwater, and a majority of Americans—white and black—say race relations are getting worse, not better.

When Mr. Obama ran for office in 2008, a central part of his campaign strategy was to heap blame on George W. Bush. How has Mr. Obama dodged similar treatment? One reason: Donald Trump’s bombastic candidacy is a huge distraction and often blocks out or obliterates more-substantive issues. That was the case even when his now-vanquished rivals tried to address serious topics. When Mr. Trump does criticize the president, it gets far less news play than his attacks on his opponents and critics, Republican or Democrat. As for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, they both are angling for a third consecutive Democratic administration, so are not eager to criticize Mr. Obama.

But another reason—a big one—why Mr. Obama is able to avoid being a target is that he is a deft manipulator of the media, probably more skillful at it than any president ever. He heads a savvy public-relations machine that markets him like a Hollywood celebrity, a role he obligingly and successfully plays. One of the machine’s key tactics is to place Mr. Obama in as many positive news and photo situations as possible. Ronald Reagan’s advisers were considered masters of putting their man in the best possible light, but they look like amateurs compared with the Obama operation—which has the added advantage of a particularly obliging news media.

First, they’re Democratic operatives with bylines, and he’s a Democrat. Second, they refuse to let the first black President be remembered as a disaster — even if, as here, he is a disaster.

RHODES TO RUIN: Postmodern politicking didn’t start with the Obama Administration, but it has reached its apotheosis with Ben Rhodes.

How much could someone who was in his early thirties when the Obama Administration began, and who is without any relevant education or life experience in foreign and national security policy, actually know about the subject? Anyone who doesn’t find just the question frightening, let alone all the likeliest answers, must be about as young and presumptuous as Rhodes.

Beyond the startling and the frightening there is also the outrageous, particularly in regard to the Iran deal. “Rhodes strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign,” Samuels writes. And the most appropriate way to think about what Rhodes was thinking as he did this is supplied via Samuels by former White House strategist David Axelrod: “I think they’ve approached these major foreign-policy challenges as campaign challenges, and they’ve run campaigns, and those campaigns have been very sophisticated.”

That’s exactly right: It’s the permanent campaign, as it has been called by many others. It’s a phenomenon that did not start with the Obama Administration—remember Karl Rove, for example. But it went into overdrive with the Obama Administration, where practically everyone in the White House, and in many Schedule C enclaves beyond, has behaved like a Karl Rove. And certainly this younger crowd’s facility with using social media for spin purposes wildly outpaced that of any of its predecessors. . . .

The American public, such as it is, was had. It was spun into dizzy disorientation. But was it therefore lied to?
That’s an interesting question. A normal person, which is to say someone not rendered overly “sophisticated” by the ethical derangement that comes from staying too long in Washington, DC, would say “yes.” But that has not been the audible response to Samuels’s revelations. Note the contrast here with summary but persisting conclusions about George W. Bush and his Administration. Certainly in chic circles in Europe, but also here in the United States, it has become part of the common book of left-wing devotionals that the Bush Administration knowingly, cynically, and very willfully lied about WMD in Iraq. This isn’t remotely true, but such is the derangement caused by rabid partisanship that the afflicted are not willing, most of the time, even to acknowledge any moral distinction between being inadvertently mistaken and knowingly lying. . . .

Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is indisputable: As I have written several times over the past few years, the truth was always the reverse of what President Obama often declared: “Better no deal than a bad deal.” The President’s real view was better a bad deal than no deal, because no deal meant a likely need to use force in the context of two other Middle Eastern wars that were neither concluded nor going particularly well. Indeed, some at the NSC engaged on the issue were actually candid enough, or foolish enough, to tell some interlocutors that from the start. The rest of us had to infer it.

Maybe earlier presidential deceptions—Jefferson’s, Roosevelt’s, even LBJ’s, and there are plenty of others that could be cited—could retrospectively be justified by the circumstances. Maybe executive leadership subsumes the admissibility of manipulation, to a point. But a deception is still a deception, and why Obama (and Rhodes) should get a free pass here is a little hard to square with any definition of fairness or objectivity. But as Tom Stoppard put it years ago, the mainly liberal mainstream media in the United States is “a stalking horse masquerading as a sacred cow.” Further explanation isn’t really required.

Democratic operatives with bylines, taking marching orders from Democratic operatives without bylines.

THE HILL: White House seeks to contain fallout from aide’s comments about how he lied to reporters too dumb to notice, which was all of them.

Ben Rhodes might have a “mind meld” with President Obama, but he is causing headaches for the White House.

Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, managed in a recent New York Times Magazine profile to undercut the president’s message on the Iran nuclear agreement while angering the Washington press corps and foreign policy establishment.

The broad backlash triggered by the piece rippled throughout the nation’s capital and caused the White House to go into damage control mode.

In a blog post late Sunday, Rhodes wrote that the public relations campaign he ran to sell the Iran deal was meant “to push out facts” and not “spin” the public and members of Congress.

He wrote that the White House and its allies “believed deeply in the case that we were making,” that the deal represented the best chance at cutting off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon while avoiding war.

The longtime Obama aide was responding to criticism to his comments in the profile, which was published online last Thursday.

In the profile, Rhodes said he “created an echo chamber” of support for the deal by spoon-feeding talking points to friendly think tanks and experts.

Rhodes, who is 38 and holds a master of fine arts in creative writing, derided the press corps as too naive to cover world events.

He said the average reporter the White House talks to “is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,” suggesting that allowed him to easily manipulate media coverage of U.S. foreign policy.

“They literally know nothing,” he said.

The piece was clearly a source of frustration for the White House, which is looking to burnish Obama’s foreign policy record during his final year in office.

The Iran deal is a debacle, and the press went along because (1) Rhodes is right and they don’t know much; and (2) They’re happy to be lied to anyway, because they’re Democratic operatives with bylines.

WHY WOULD MEN EVER VOTE FOR HILLARY? Hillary Clinton laughs at idea of letting men into her cabinet.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is so down with the idea of a matriarchy that she laughed at the notion of letting a man into her presidential cabinet.

During an interview with Newsday, Clinton was asked if there would be “gender parity” in her cabinet. Clinton responded: “Sure, absolutely, because I sure would love to reach that.”

But when asked a follow-up question by Newsday’s Lane Filler about whether she would “at least let one man” into her cabinet, Clinton laughed and said: “I’m still considering that.”

OK, I get it. This was a joke, and if I had been there I probably would have laughed. We as a society need to chill on this kind of stuff and not be so sensitive when it comes to obvious jokes like this. . . .

The issue here — and the reason I’m writing this when I generally think we should lay off politicians who tell dumb jokes — is the double standard. If a male candidate had this exact same exchange about a woman being in his cabinet (and wasn’t joking, but simply stating that he would be looking at resumes and considering the best person for the job — regardless of gender), he would be excoriated.

Case in point: When former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discussed his quest to ensure qualified women were hired in his administration as Massachusetts governor, he was lambasted because he said he had “binders full of women”, referring to resumes. Romney was specifically talking about making sure he included women in his administration, and he was made fun of and accused of sexism.

Now here we are, with a female presidential candidate joking about the possibility of excluding a sex from her candidate, and laughter’s had all around.

In another follow-up question, Newsday editor Rita Ciolli asked Clinton if she had “a list” of women she was considering for positions. Her colleague Filler jokingly added: “Binders?” And all three laughed once again.

So when Romney suggested hiring more women, he was a sexist, but when Clinton suggests not hiring men, she’s a comedian?

Dems get a pass, Republicans get mocked and excoriated, because the press is a bunch of Democratic operatives with bylines. And that goes double — if that’s even possible — for the press’s female members.

BOSTON GLOBE PLAYS THE ONION: Offers Fake Sunday Front Page Mocking President Trump. “Can anyone imagine the outrage that liberal media pundits would have had if say, The New York Post or The Washington Times had created a fake page predicting that President Obama would force people off the insurance they wanted to keep, and food stamp use would soar by 70 percent? Imagine those complaints and transfer them to this: A serious newspaper doesn’t satirize the news. It leaves it to The Onion.”

In a 1974 episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show on CBS, Mary, working late one night with Rhoda goading her on, writes a joke obit for Minneapolis’ oldest man – and Ted reads their obit on the air when, of course, the man dies soon afterwards. Lou threatens to suspend Mary, reminding her that “the news is sacred.” (Mind you that the real-life anchorman of CBS during this period Godwinned Barry Goldwater, lied about America losing the Tet Offensive and ran eco-crank stories about “global cooling.”)

Flash-forward to the 21st century, when any pretense that “the news is sacred” has long gone out the window, as the MSM are all but official Democratic Party operatives with bylines.   In September of 2004, Cronkite’s successor Dan Rather lied about George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard record, and fellow anchormen Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings eagerly defended him in the last month of the presidential election. In 2005, the DNC-MSM invented the wildest lies about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina even though, as Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile finally confessed in a 2013 column at CNN “Bush came through on Katrina.”

In 2008, the media lied endlessly about Obama, creating “The Wright-Free Zone” to airbrush away his racist mentor, and simultaneously comparing a failed community organizer turned Chicago machine hack to Lincoln, FDR, JFK – and God Himself. In 2012 Candy Crowley played blocking back to run interference on Obama’s behalf in his debate against Mitt Romney, and the entire MSM conspired to pretend that that Romney’s perfectly defensible 47 percent remark was somehow the end of the world. So no one should be surprised to see the Boston Globe, owned until 2013 by the New York Times, which invented the phrase “fake but accurate” in 2004 running fake news as a front page headline.

“Flashback: When Globe ran fake rape pics, smeared US troops, weaseled on apology,” Glenn tweeted yesterday, linking to this May of 2004 Insta-post.

Related: “Before Predicting the Future, Take a Closer Look at the Present,” the satiric People’s Cube Photoshop blog advises the Globe.


  • Kathleen Matthews is running as a Democrat for Congress in Maryland’s eighth district.
  • Husband Chris Matthews assured viewers last summer he would maintain fair coverage and transparency on his show Hardball.
  • But guests on Hardball have contributed to Kathleen’s campaign without him mentioning it.
  • Revelation comes months after news anchor Brian Williams was suspended for making up details of stories he covered.

As Glenn likes to say, just think of them as Democratic Party operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.


The Planned Parenthood case reveals that activists — and journalists — might also have to go to prison for undercover reporting if they violate any laws to gain access to the targets of their investigation.

Consequently, the public fails to learn about some important matters. Whistleblower statutes provide a modicum of protection for insiders who expose wrongdoing, but the risks to career and reputation frequently prevent those in the know from coming forward.

Thus, the law can legitimately circumscribe undercover investigations. For example, the Center for Medical Progress could possibly be held civilly liable for misleading editing of the Planned Parenthood videos. But the criminal prosecution of Daleiden and Merritt, even if they did break the law, could chill undercover journalists and activists everywhere.

Those charges ought to scare journalists, sure. Democratic operatives with bylines, not so much.

CBS ADMITS TO EPIC FAIL AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever.

Which is an amazing headline to find at CBS, considering its entire journalistic operation over the last 60 years has been to condition Americans to love Big Brother, and to destroy the reputations of the wreckers and subversives who would prevent them from doing so.

MEDIA OUTRAGED BY PRESS REGISTRY LAWS — BUT ONLY WHEN REPUBLICANS PROPOSE THEM: “If the media get this animated about an unserious press registry law proposed by an obscure Republican state legislator, shouldn’t they be really worked up that Democratic senators and presidential candidates want broad government limits on the media’s First Amendment rights — and they’re dead serious about it?”

As Glenn like to say, just think of the MSM as Democratic operatives with bylines, and you’ll rarely go wrong.

IT’S COME TO THIS: Only person to have conducted sit-down interviews with both Obama and Hillary in 2015 is self-proclaimed “Queen of YouTube” GloZell Green, best known for eating cereal out of a bathtub of milk that she was bathing in, The Hill notes.

The media could punish Hillary for her lack of interviews via plenty of negative reporting (or perhaps even worse, reporting on her less often), but they haven’t and won’t — because they’re fundamentally Democratic operatives with bylines, not objective journalists, to coin an Insta-phrase.

WHEN A CLINTON IS TALKING ABOUT LOVE, IT SELDOM ENDS WELL: Actual AP Headline: “As Trump rises, Clinton preaches love and kindness.”

But AP’s not in the tank for Hillary, oh no. They’re objective journalists, and only a hater would think that they’re Democratic operatives with bylines. In this case, the byline is by Lisa Lerer and Ken Thomas, though it was probably some anonymous editor who supplied the cringeworthy headline.

UPDATE: Oops, Ed posted this simultaneously. Oh, well.


At the now-infamous Andrews Air Force base ceremony on September 14, 2012, Hillary Clinton told grieving family members that their loved ones had been murdered by a bloodthirsty mob incited by an online anti-Islam video.  Four different relatives of three separate victims have publicly shared that recollection, including one who jotted down notes shortly after the meeting:

“I gave Hillary a hug and shook her hand. And she said ‘we are going to have the film maker arrested who was responsible for the death of your son,'” recalls Tyrone Woods’ father, reading directly from his written record from that day. Sean Smith’s mother and uncle remember the same thing, as does Glen Doherty’s sister.  Now watch Hillary’s performance from this past Sunday.  Note how anchor George Stephanopoulos, to his credit, asks a very specific question, preceded by clips of statements from several of the aforementioned family members:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you tell them it was about the film? And what’s your response?

CLINTON: No. You know, look I understand the continuing grief at the loss that parents experienced with the loss of these four brave Americans. And I did testify, as you know, for 11 hours. And I answered all of these questions. Now, I can’t — I can’t help it the people think there has to be something else there. I said very clearly there had been a terrorist group, uh, that had taken responsibility on Facebook, um, between the time that, uh, I – you know, when I talked to my daughter, that was the latest information; we were, uh, giving it credibility. And then we learned the next day it wasn’t true. In fact, they retracted it. This was a fast-moving series of events in the fog of war and I think most Americans understand that.

Did you tell the families that the attack was about the film?  Answer: No.  Justin has addressed her subsequent “fog of war” dissembling, which is belied by the fact that she consistently managed to get it right in private discussions, while peddling a very different tale in public.  But let’s ignore that part of her answer for the moment.  She was asked a direct question: Did she, or did she not, tell those family members that the Internet film was responsible for their loved ones’ deaths?  She says she did not.  This is a direct contradiction of very explicit memories shared on the record by multiple people who have far less incentive to lie than, say, a truth-challenged politician seeking power.  This should be a serious problem for Hillary Clinton.

But it won’t be, because the MSM are essentially Hillary’s Democratic operatives with bylines, and because Trump is sucking all the oxygen out of the room. Or as CBS chief Les Moonves exclaimed on Monday, “We love having all 16 Republican candidates throwing crap at each other. The more they spend, the better it is for us,” adding “Go Donald! This is fun, watching this.”

ADVANTAGE VDH: As Glenn noted earlier, the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen is but the latest leftwing columnist to finally admit that Obama wasn’t quite the Lightworker he and his fellow Democratic operatives with bylines fantasized in 2008. In the passage from his column quoted by Glenn, Cohen wrote:

“The presidency has changed Barack Obama. His hair has gone gray, which is to be expected, and he looks older, which is also to be expected, but his eloquence has been replaced by petulance and he has lost the power to persuade, which is something of a surprise. You can speculate that if the Obama of today and not Winston Churchill had led Britain in World War II, the Old Vic theater would now be doing ‘Hamlet’ in German.”

Yes you could — and Victor Davis Hanson did exactly that in his October 18th column:

Winston Churchill, well before he became prime minister in May 1940, was busy all through 1939 prompting the British government to prepare for war — and then, as first lord of the Admiralty, helping to direct it once it broke out. But what if Churchill had been Barack Obama? What would Britain’s foremost opponent of appeasement have been like?

The Munich Agreement

Obama-Churchill might have said something like the following in regards to the 1938 Munich Agreement.

“We live in a complex world and at a challenging time. And none of these challenges lend themselves to quick or easy solutions, but all of them require British leadership. If we stay patient and determined, then we will, in fact, meet these challenges. The Munich Agreement is a comprehensive government agreement.  It is the first that actually constrains Nazi Germany from further aggression, and one whose provisions are transparent and enforceable. It is a sober and judicious way to preclude war and to bring Germany back into the family of nations and to become a credible regional power, while allowing the German people to express their legitimate aspirations.”

Doesn’t that sound very much like Obama’s vaporous rhetoric uttered while fighting hitting ISIS hard via a global warming agreement and a gala Parisian luncheon?

It wasn’t one of my most detailed Photoshops illustrating VDH’s article, as I did it on my laptop in a hotel room while traveling instead of my 24 gigs of RAM dual monitor HAL 9000 at home, (where I would have made the Churchill’s expansive body a bit more proportional to Obama’s gaunt face), but I think it got the point across:


Was VDH’s article floating around Cohen’s subconscious when he wrote the above passage, or as the kids like to say on the Interwebs, do great minds think alike?

NO BLOW IS TOO LOW WHEN THE NARRATIVE IS AT STAKE: WaPo: Let’s hold free speech guilty for the acts of a lunatic, shall we? Ed Morrissey is uncharacteristically fierce:

So let’s get this straight. When a lunatic shoots up a Family Research Council office, it has nothing to do with its political opposition. When an abortionist runs loose because public officials are too intimidated to enforce the laws that do exist, it has nothing to do with political support for abortion. But when a lunatic shoots up an abortion clinic, it’s the fault of millions of Americans who oppose abortion, and who argue peacefully for limits on the practice and better oversight of those who operate in the industry?

Even when “police have not yet identified a clear motive for the shooting”?

The shootings in a clinic and the deaths of two people are horrific acts that everyone with a lick of sense and humanity abhors. But what the Washington Post and pro-abortion advocates are conducting in its wake is an attack on free speech and the political process, not to mention the unconscionable smearing of millions of Americans. It’s disgusting, manipulative, exploitative, and un-American. Shame on them, and shame on the Washington Post for its egregious bias.

Just think of them as Democratic Party operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

AND NOW, THE CALL FOR THE ‘WISE MEN’ TO SAVE OBAMA FROM HIMSELF: That would be the “council of elders” that columnist Bernie Quigley proposes at The Hill. At Red State, Moe Lane responds, “Shocker: 2008 Obama supporter thinks democracy doesn’t work!”

It never fails. You get some ostensibly well-meaning, but ultimately self-deluding guy (in this case, Bernie Quigley) who in 2008 declares Barack Obama to be the ” New JFK” who shows “organizational and conceptual abilities already that are superior to any candidate in our time.”  And, not least because of people like Mr. Quigley, Barack Obama gets elected – and then proceeds to demonstrate an appalling lack of organizational and conceptual abilities, to the point where the Democratic party outside of the executive branch now looks like a minor, regional party that is one bad cycle away from losing the East Coast*.  And, oh, yeah: the country’s foreign policy is in worse shape than ever, and things aren’t really improving.  One would think that this might suggest to people like Mr. Quigley that maybe, just maybe, he backed the wrong horse in 2008…. HAHAHAHA!

Nah, it just tells him that the country’s ungovernable: “Late in life, the great Amb. George Kennan declared that America needed a “council of elders” to contain the excesses of democracy. The governors, perhaps meeting in a selective and representative regional council, like a board of trustees at a university or a board of directors of a corporation, might offer America saving grace at a time of dangerous crossing.”  Because the problem’s not Barack Obama, you see. It’s democracy itself.

As Moe adds, Quigley “is one of the guys who can apparently write ‘the nefarious triumvirate of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and especially George W. Bush’ with a straight face, and apparently no sense of shame.” Back in 2012, Quigley wrote that Elizabeth Warren’s “claim to be ‘part Indian’ is correct in mythical terms…In the heartland it is almost universal for those who have been there for a few generations to claim Indian blood; that is, to wish it were there even if it isn’t. It is not so much a lie as it is the acculturation of personal and regional American myth; the fabric of old-soul American consciousness.” Rachel Dolezal, call your office. You too, Dan Rather!

But regarding “the council of elders,” at the beginning of 2010, when Scott Brown was sent to the Senate by Massachusetts voters with the hope that he would save America from the debacle of Obamacare, Mickey Kaus wrote, “I’d guess we’re about 36 hours away from a Beltway call for ‘wise men,'” the first of several from pundits hoping to save Obama from himself. But unlike Lyndon Johnson, who met with the New Deal-era Democrat grandees dubbed “the Wise Men” in late 1967 and again in March of 1968, the latter meeting occurring shortly before Johnson concluded that Vietnam — and his presidency — both appeared lost, why would Obama listen to Quigley’s “council of elders?” After all, he professes to believe that “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.”

Between the race riots, the campus riots, the massive expansion of the federal government and the concurrent belief in its infallibility, the military debacles overseas, a feeling in general that the nation was out of control and now this latest call for the wise men to bail him out, it really does feel like we’re living out the last year of the Johnson administration, doesn’t it? Funny, when Democratic operatives with bylines were submitting Tiger Beat-style articles in 2007 and 2008 dreamily forecasting which Democrat presidencies Obama’s would most closely resemble, LBJ’s rarely made the list. Wonder why?

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I predicted this in 2009. And boy, was I right.


Travel at your own risk.

Just in time for the holidays, the State Department issued a global travel alert to U.S. citizens warning of the increased likelihood of terror attacks by legions of terrorists — including the murderous Islamic State.

The terse warning, posted on the State Department website Monday, said American travelers should use “particular caution” in the coming weeks and through Feb. 24.

“Current information suggests that (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” the State Department wrote.

The possible attacks could include “a wide variety of tactics … targeting both official and private interests,” the State Department added.

That’s odd – 11 days ago, on Friday morning before their Paris attack, President Obama reassured us all that ISIS is “contained.” Perhaps Mr. Obama failed to add, “within our solar system.”

But speaking of being afraid, journalists at the Daily News, serving as Charles Schumer’s Democratic operatives with bylines, are way ahead of Barry on the fear front:


As AWR Hawkins writes at Big Government, “NY Daily News Sets Up NRA To Be Scapegoat For Future Terror Attack:”

After a week of subtly baiting the NRA to enter into a shouting match over the Democrats’ efforts to expand background checks to include the no-fly list, the New York Daily News is taking the not-so-subtle approach of setting up the NRA to be the scapegoat for any future firearm-related terror attack.

The NY Daily News is going about this in the classic leftist sense by vilifying NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre–criticizing him for refusing to take the Democrats’ bait and come out swinging in the wake of the heinous Paris terror attacks. And having vilified him, they then continue their attack without ever feeling the need to explain why a no-fly list that includes a 4-year old going to visit his grandmother is supposed to be part of the database through which background checks are run.

Moreover, they do not explain how a no-fly list so imprecise that it once barred Senator Ted Kennedy from commercial flights is now the key to keeping American safe.

Instead, the NY Daily News overlooks the imprecision of the no-fly list and quotes Senator Church Schumer (D-NY) saying, “The same nefarious individual we monitor and bar from our planes, we turn the other way when it comes to allowing them to get guns and explosives. The NRA has fought tooth and nail to prevent these individuals from the terror watchlist from being added over the past several years.”

And for good reason, Sean Davis adds at the Federalist.Sorry Democrats, But There Is No ‘Loophole’ That Allows Terrorists To Legally Buy Guns — In their zeal to defeat Republican terrorists, Democrats have decided that the constitutional right to due process is a loophole that must be closed:”

According to several Democratic sponsors of the bill, the proposed law would allow the attorney general to deny a criminal background check clearance to any individual whose name appears on the national terror watch list. The huge problem with this expansive new power is that there are precisely zero statutory criteria for inclusion on this massive list. In fact, when statutory authority for the centralized government database was first codified into law via the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Congress gave all authority for determining criteria for inclusion in the watch list to unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats. If some faceless Beltway bureaucrat decides you might be a terrorist, then you’re a terrorist. End of story.

It gets even worse, though. If your name erroneously appears on that watch list, which as of 2013 included nearly 900,000 names, the Democrats’ proposed legislation renders you virtually powerless to find out why your name is on there, let alone to have it removed. And having your name erroneously or fraudulently added to that list isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.

In 2014, for example, Weekly Standard writer and Fox News contributor Stephen F. Hayes was informed that somebody added his name to the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list. There is zero credible evidence that he has any ties whatsoever to terrorism or to any terrorist organizations. Yet, under the Democrats’ new bill, he and everyone else who is erroneously listed would be banned from ever purchasing or possessing a firearm. Hayes’ apparent crime was traveling overseas for a cruise. Hayes is not alone. Each year, thousands of names end up on the terror watch list for no good reason whatsoever.

Under the Democrats’ proposal, the government doesn’t have to tell you why your name is on the list. The proposed law allows the government to keep that information secret. And if you decide to take the government to court over it, the Democrats’ bill creates a brand new legal standard that tilts the scales of justice against you.

As Charles Cooke writes, “Let us avoid gloss or euphemism and speak plainly: This idea flies directly in the face of every cherished American conception of justice, and it should be rejected with extreme prejudice:”

You will note, I hope, that Reid, Schumer, Jentleson, and co. are not proposing to place restrictions on those who have been “accused,” “charged,” or “convicted,” but upon those who are “suspected.” They are not referring to those who are working their way through the judicial system, but to those who remain outside of it. They are not seeking to limit the rights of those who are out on bail or awaiting trial, but those who have not so much as been handcuffed. Loudly and proudly, they are arguing in favor of removing fundamental rights from anyone whose name has been written down on a list. Because they hope to confuse the public, their talk is peppered with references to “Paris-style” “assault” rifles and “automatic” weapons. But this is a red herring: Their proposal applies equally to guns of all types, not just those that give Shannon Watts and Diane Feinstein the willies.

In times past, officials advocating the simultaneous undermining of a range of constitutional rights would have been tarred, feathered, and dumped into the sea, along with their staff, their press agents, and anyone else who saw fit to acquiesce in the scheme. A little of that spirit might be welcome here.

However the press might cast it, there are not in fact “two sides” to this issue. It is not a “tricky question.” It is not a “thorny one” or a “gray area” or a “difficult choice.” It is tyranny. Somewhere, deep down, its advocates must know this. Presumably, Chuck Schumer would not submit that those on a terror watch list should be deprived of their right to speak? Presumably, Harry Reid would not contend that they must be kept away from their mosques? Presumably, Diane Feinstein would not argue that they should be subjected to warrantless searches and seizures? Such proposals would properly be considered disgraceful — perhaps, even, as an overture to American fascism. Alas, there is something about guns that causes otherwise reasonable people to lose their minds.

And lose their minds the bill’s champions have. As of today, there are almost one million names on the terror watch list — that’s names, not identities — of which around 280,000 are linked to nothing much at all. This should not surprise, for one does not in fact have to do a great deal in order to find one’s way onto the list. Perhaps you know someone who is already on it? That’s suspicious, right? On you go! Perhaps you have annoyed someone powerful? Oops! On you go! Perhaps you once said something intemperate in public? Better to be safe. On you go! Perhaps you are a Muslim? On. You. Go.

Oh well – “travel at your own risk,” the New York Daily News would likely sniff in response.

Related: Schumer plans for Senate Democrats to “bring a universal background check bill to the floor of the Senate early next year.” Moe Lane responds, “Senate Democrats could have done this in 2009 when they had sixty votes in the Senate, instead of the forty-five they have now.  Of course, if they had we’d probably have sixty votes in the Senate right now and a President who would have cheerfully signed a repeal bill in 2013. What is Senator Schumer’s victory condition, here? Does he even know?”

MS. MAGAZINE: “While ISIS endorses rape, American college administrations similarly facilitate the rape of women on campuses:”


Huh. I know everybody at Ms. Magazine would qualify as Democratic operatives with bylines, but I believe that in an effort to please both Obama and Hillary, they may be taking his “Jayvee” comparisons just a little too literally.

On the other hand, back a few years ago, when frequent PJM contributor David Solway was exploring “The ‘Unholy Alliance’ Between Islamic Jihad and Utopian Socialism,” and the American Spectator was running pieces on Mohamed Atta, socialist critic of capitalism, some on the left might have found these comparisons a tad extreme, so it’s good to see Ms. Magazine lending bipartisan support to these conservative critiques. As military historian Mackubin Thomas Owens wrote in September of 2002, “9/11 revealed an emerging geopolitical reality: that the world’s most important fault line is not between the rich and the poor, but between those who accept modernity and those who reject it,” which as Ms. Magazine noted last night, sums us both anti-modern ISIS and postmodern academia as well.

So why are monolithically Obama and Hillary-supporting “Progressive” enclaves such as academia such hotbeds of rape, sexism, and racism, anyhow? I’m sure Ms. Magazine will be getting on that topic any moment now.


THE BIDEN ECLIPSE AND THE TRUMP PLATEAU: Peggy Noonan makes a couple of miscalculations in her latest essay. First on Hillary and Obama in 2008, Noonan writes, “The 2008 Democratic contest was a rush to the center, with both leading Democrats, Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama, trying to show they were moderates at heart.”

But in retrospect, that isn’t quite accurate. In January of 2008, Obama famously told the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle in a chilling monotone that “if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted…Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

But being good Democrat operatives with bylines, they buried the story instead of realizing the front page scoop they were just handed — “LEADING DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TO BANKRUPT COAL INDUSTRY.” In the fall of 2008, Obama’s future Secretary of Energy Steven Chu mumbled, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” to the yawn of a largely urban elite MSM who entirely agreed with his punitive goals.

Similarly, when news that Obama spent nearly two decades in the church of a radical socialist — and racist — who shouted “God damn America” in his “sermons,” the media built a wall around Obama that CNN dubbed — on the air while “interviewing” Obama — as “The Wright-Free Zone.” Much the same was true of Obama’s elitist bitter clingers speech.

It wouldn’t have taken much from old media to highlight Obama’s inner liberal fascist and egg him on to reveal more of it, but 2008 was the year in which any vestigial claims of “objectivity” were completely discarded and the mask was dropped.

Which brings us to Noonan’s second misfire, in which she writes:

The only thing I feel certain of is how we got here. There are many reasons we’re at this moment, but the essential political one is this: Mr. Obama lowered the bar. He was a literal unknown, an obscure former state legislator who hadn’t completed his single term as U.S. senator, but he was charismatic, canny, compelling. He came from nowhere and won it all twice. All previously prevailing standards, all usual expectations, were thrown out the window.

Anyone can run for president now, and in the future anyone will. In 2020 and 2024 we’ll look back on 2016 as the sober good ol’ days. “At least Trump had business experience. He wasn’t just a rock star! He wasn’t just a cable talk-show host!”

Yes, the road to Idiocracy’s President Camacho is paved with good intentions — not the least of which from pundits who held themselves out as conservatives, yet found themselves writing in the fall of 2008:

The case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes:

He has within him the possibility to change the direction and tone of American foreign policy, which need changing; his rise will serve as a practical rebuke to the past five years, which need rebuking; his victory would provide a fresh start in a nation in which a fresh start would come as a national relief. He climbed steep stairs, born off the continent with no father to guide, a dreamy, abandoning mother, mixed race, no connections. He rose with guts and gifts. He is steady, calm, and, in terms of the execution of his political ascent, still the primary and almost only area in which his executive abilities can be discerned, he shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult, what steps to take and moves to make. We witnessed from him this year something unique in American politics: He took down a political machine without raising his voice.

You don’t need to speak very loudly when all of your enablers and useful idiots have the megaphones (and the Memory Hole.)

FEEL THE BERN: WHY NO PROGRESSIVE INQUISITORS AT THE DEMOCRATIC DEBATE?I would pay good money to have a moderator up on that stage tonight who would consider it his or her sworn duty to make all the candidates applaud the Occupy movement as modern-day Founding Fathers, call for the confiscation of privately-held guns, explain that abortion should be legal until you can see the baby’s eyes, and whatnot.”

In other words, given CNN’s role as Democratic operatives with bylines and lavalier mics, to ask the question is to answer it.

DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, THEN AND NOW: “Drew Pearson is probably a forgotten name these days* to the young and ambitious racing about the capital. But few had more influence — and played on both sides of the journalist/politics boundary line quite as routinely — as Pearson during decades as one of the two or three most influential political columnists:”

His professional life involved very obvious quid pro quos; doing favors for powerful people by writing about something or, occasionally, not writing about something (like a senator’s tax-avoidance legislation to help a big company in his state).

Writing about a Kennedy press conference, he acknowledges that he’d wanted to assist Kennedy but didn’t get to his press secretary (Pierre Salinger) in time. “I had planned a question about the Free University of Cuba but couldn’t get hold of Salinger to coach Kennedy in advance.”

His was a world of exchanges where information was bartered. While he voted for Democrat Hubert Humphrey in 1968, he still withheld from readers knowledge that Republican candidate Richard Nixon had received psychotherapy. He was looking to get something in return.

He withheld, too, investigating tax breaks that then-Senator Lyndon Johnson had obtained for a Texas company in return for Johnson backing Pearson’s preferred Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Estes Kefauver of Tennessee. Years later, Pearson helped to write Johnson’s 1964 State of the Union address, though their relationship was complex and, yes, he was still a syndicated columnist.

He operated in a pantheon of potent columnists, led by Walter Lippman and Walter Winchell, with no real counterpart these days (perhaps Tom Friedman of The New York Times when it comes to issues of foreign affairs.).

The Friedman comparison is apt, considering the latter man’s pet phrases seem to wind up each year in Obama’s State of the Union addresses, and he’s a frequent golfing partner of our semi-retired president.

* I dunno — he was on the NFL’s All Decade Team of the 1970s

(H/T: Kathy Shaidle.)


In recent weeks, the president has gotten cozy with top executives at major U.S. newspapers, headlining a Democratic Party fundraiser at the home of Las Vegas Sun owner Brian Greenspun and dining at the Anchorage home of Alaska Dispatch News publisher Alice Rogoff during a three-day trek across the state last week.

On the surface the events didn’t seem to influence either paper’s coverage of the president during his stays in Las Vegas and Alaska, but journalism specialists say they may have raised questions in the eyes of average Americans about the fairness of the news media.

At the same time, however, a distinction must be drawn between the business leaders at an individual media outlet and the reporters who work beneath them, says John Watson, director of the journalism division at American University.

“Here’s a news flash for you: The people who own newspapers and the people who publish newspapers aren’t journalists. They’re business people,” Mr. Watson said. “Owners and publishers aren’t journalists, even though they own and employ journalists. It’s different.

Nahh, it really isn’t; as the passage I highlighted above regarding a Democrat fundraiser in the home of the Sun’s publisher, he and his journalists are all, as Glenn likes to call them, Democratic operatives — and the vast majority of news consumers on both sides of the aisle know this already and can adjust their expectations accordingly. Nobody is still claiming with a straight face that the media is objective — or even should be – at this late date.

And second, it’s worth noting that even when Obama has been aboveboard with journalists, their role as party operatives supersedes their ability to report news. Recall Obama’s infamous quotes, which rocketed through the Blogosphere immediately before the November 2008 election that he would bankrupt the coal industry and that “under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

These promises, spoken in a chilling monotone by Obama sat, out in the open, as part of an hour-long video uploaded without comment in January of 2008 by the San Francisco Chronicle. They were recorded during his meeting with the paper’s editors to discuss his policies in general. No matter what your beliefs on environmentalism are, if you’re a journalist, a major presidential candidate promising to raise consumers’ energy prices and bankrupt an entire industry should be 48-point all-caps front page news. Instead, Obama’s remarks went uncommented on by the Chronicle, meaning either they’re lousy journalists who don’t know when a major story has been handed to them, or they’re Democratic operatives with bylines.

Or both. Any questions about media “fairness” were answered quite a long time ago.


I’ve said it a million times: The anchorman of CBS News should attend Democratic fundraisers (as happened). The Supreme Court reporter of the New York Times, a.k.a. the paper of record, should march in abortion-rights rallies (as happened). And PBS news figures should be open partisans.

Yesterday, when Senator Barbara Mikulski declared for the Iran deal, meaning that this deal could not be blocked by the Senate, Gwen Ifill spiked the football. “Take that, Bibi,” she tweeted. Aha! Good one, Gwen!

The PBS ombudsman has written about this matter disapprovingly. I’m not sure I disapprove. What I disapprove of is pretending — the pretending that these news organizations are neutral and dispassionate, instead of on the left.

Nomsayin? Know what I’m saying? It seems so . . . elementary. Let your true colors fly, and we’ll have a good ol’ democratic debate.

Exactly. There’s no such thing as “objectivity,” and news consumers should know about the worldview of journalists and/or Democratic operatives with bylines such Ifill, in order to make informed choices. (Particularly in the case of PBS and NPR, as we’re legally required to partially foot the bill for these networks.) The MSM’s cry of “objectivity” dates back to the 1920s through the end of the 1970s, when limits in technology created a mass American media consisting of just three national radio networks, the forerunners to the three national commercial TV networks, a handful of wire services, and for most large cities, only a couple of newspapers. That media world hasn’t existed for decades.

I thought self-styled “Progressives” didn’t want to live in the 1950s anymore — why rely on an Eisenhower-era trope to dodge responsibility for your statements?

THE DEMOCRATS NOW OWN IRAN. THEY’LL SOON WISH THEY DIDN’T, Jonathan S. Tobin writes at Commentary:

Obama got his deal despite the opposition of the majority of Congress and the American people. But the Democratic Party now gets the responsibility for Iranian terror and hate. By making Iran a partisan issue in this manner, Obama saddled his party with the blame for everything that will happen in the coming years. Munich analogies are often inappropriate but when Rep. Patrick Murphy (the likely Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Marco Rubio is vacating next year) said the deal gives us “peace in our time,” his channeling of Neville Chamberlain was no ordinary gaffe. In the years to come when Obama is retired and Iran uses the deal to make new mischief and atrocities, Democrats may regret giving in to the president’s pressure. But, like the appeasers of the 1930s, the legacy of the pro-Iran deal Democrats is now set in stone.

Nonsense — look at how it was for the Democrats and their operatives with bylines to make Iraq an entirely GOP issue only a few years after calling for the ouster of Saddam Hussein themselves:


Yet another reminder that as in 2008, the Democratic operatives with bylines at Time-Warner-CNN-HBO will be going all-in to get their party’s boss over the finish line.

DNC-MSM REVOLVING DOOR REVOLVES: Sam Kass, former White House chef and husband of MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, joins NBC as well:

On Wednesday, the hosts of NBC’s Today cheered the network’s decision to hire former White House chef — and husband of left-wing MSNBC host Alex Wagner — Sam Kass. Co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: “…we’ve got an exciting announcement. You guys remember Sam Kass, of course he’s the former assistant White House chef, executive director of the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign, and nutrition advisor to the President….He is becoming an NBC News senior food analyst.”

Obama attended Kass’s wedding to Wagner; in last year’s “Love in the Time of Obama,” Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon explored just how interconnected Kass and Wagner are with Big Money, Big Government, and Big Journalism, and how they used nepotism to leapfrog into “the new aristocracy,” as Continetti dubbed the Washington-NY power structure. But then, the entire MSM really does seem like one big happy mafia family of Democratic operatives with bylines, doesn’t it?


As BuzzFeed’s C.J. Ciaramella tweeted, “Passive voice: the politician’s best friend.” Much more from Dylan Byers of the Politico:

The Times also changed the headline of the story, from “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email” to “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account,” reflecting a similar recasting of Clinton’s possible role. The article’s URL was also changed to reflect the new headline.

As of early Friday morning, the Times article contained no update, notification, clarification or correction regarding the changes made to the article.

One of the reporters of the story, Michael Schmidt, explained early Friday that the Clinton campaign had complained about the story to the Times.

“It was a response to complaints we received from the Clinton camp that we thought were reasonable, and we made them,” Schmidt said.

Just as the Politico’s Glenn Thrush described Hillary’s home-brew email server as “badass” in March, earlier this week, New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal admired her efforts at stonewalling his newspaper and other news sources:

“How do you think this crazy pack of Republican candidates and the level of their conversation has made the race for Hillary?” Susan Lehman, the podcast’s host, asked editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal about six minutes into their discussion.

“I think she’s basically ignoring it, which is extremely intelligent,” he responded. “And this is going to sound rather strange coming from a journalist,” Rosenthal added, apparently referring to himself, “but she’s also ignoring the press which I don’t think is such a terrible idea.”

“I don’t think [Hillary Clinton’s] not talking to the press is an issue,” Rosenthal continued. “Sincerely, who cares?”

Obviously no one at the Times — gee, why could that be?

FDR COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT: Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Gen. Wesley Clark: Let’s Throw Radical Muslims Into Internment Camps:

“If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine. It’s their right and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.”

Will any of Clark’s fellow Democrats be asked about his comments by their operatives with bylines?

HOWARD KURTZ: HILLARY ROPING OFF PRESS IS LIKE DUKAKIS IN THE TANK: And note that Hillary and her Democratic operatives with bylines — as supine then as they are now — consented to playing the same rope games in 1992, as this vintage C-Span video illustrates. I wonder if they were using the same safeword back then as well?

PRESS ROPED IN BY AIDES AT HILLARY EVENT: I’m not sure what the usage rights are to the photos in Daniel Halper’s post at the Weekly Standard, which is also currently atop Drudge, so I don’t want to embed any of them here, but if you haven’t seen them yet, by all means click over. I’ll wait.

OK, back? That the press went along with this with such docility tells you everything you need to know about which party they support — they are, as Glenn likes to say, Democratic operatives with bylines. If they were real journalists, or if this technique was employed a GOP presidential campaign, their first thought would be: I’m cutting the rope. Even if I don’t have a knife. I’ll start sawing away with car keys — or simply duck under it, just to see what happens next.

Because what happens next is a headline. One that will quickly become what former AP man Joseph Campbell calls a classic media myth that feeds upon itself: HILLARY’S GOONS HARASS JOURNALIST. JOURNALIST HAULED AWAY BY CLINTON SECURITY.  I BROKE HILLARY’S PRESS BLOCKADE! A real journalist would dine out on the headline for months.

And if this was an opportunity to employ the same headlines but with Bush, Trump, Perry, Cruz or Rubio, the press would be chomping at the bits to write such a story. As Cruz told Glenn Beck on Thursday, “Nothing would make [a journalist] happier than to take your life and filet [a GOP candidate or his operatives] on the front pages.”

But why go out of the way to cause bad press for one of your own?

And for the furious reaction from Twitter users from the photos of the “press lapdogs herded like sheep,” Twitchy has you covered.


…And never will be, by the MSM, Democratic operatives with bylines, as the vacationing InstaProfessor likes to say.

DIVERSITY PROBLEM: Just 7 percent of journalists are Republicans. That’s far fewer than even a decade ago.

Well, when you transform your profession into a collection of Democratic operatives with bylines, you’re not likely to find very many Republicans.

THE PRESS: DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES. New Host of Face the Nation Advised Obama in 2013 to ‘Destroy the GOP.’

DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES UPSET AT INSUFFICIENT KOWTOWING: Media pile on Rand Paul after aggressive response to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.

They’re your enemies. Treat ’em like Obama treats Fox News. And you have to laugh at this: “Rand Paul thinks he knows how to be a journalist better than you do.”

Here’s a hint: He does. Because it’s not that hard to be a better journalist than Savannah Guthrie, and most of her peers. The truth is, they’re not very good at what they do, but so long as they function as Democratic operatives with bylines, they don’t have to be. And that’s the real problem.

UPDATE: Republican strategists — and FOX producers — should probably click through and read the comments here. . . .

OF COURSE, JEB BUSH ISN’T A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, SUBJECT TO OPEN RECORDS LAWS. AND HE’S RELEASED ALL HIS OFFICIAL EMAILS. But what Heidi’s trying to do here (or help MSNBC do here) is to muddy the waters and make it look like “everybody does it,” or at least to provide a talking point for Democrats. This is what the Democratic Operatives With Bylines do. Even at Bloomberg, where the standards are supposed to be higher.


Maybe the University of Texas at Austin and its many passionate defenders had reason to beware of Wallace Hall when Governor Rick Perry appointed him to the UT System board of regents in 2011. Perry was pushing some plan he got from a rich oilman to eliminate research as a criterion for granting professorial tenure, an idea scathingly denounced by detractors as tantamount to book-burning.

But having a good motivation only makes this story worse. When Hall began to criticize the way UT-Austin was run on strictly administrative grounds, he was roundly denounced as a sort of fifth-columnist for Perry’s assault on tenure. Later when he accused the university of corruption, he was hunted like a witch.

A campaign launched against Hall included impeachment proceedings in the Legislature and a criminal complaint brought to the Travis County district attorney. Even the establishment press turned on Hall, whose greatest sin was doing what the press is supposed to do — ask questions that make powerful people uncomfortable. An unbroken chorus of editorial page shrieking from Texas’ biggest newspapers denounced Hall and called for his resignation.

The dramatic denouement is threefold: Hall has been vindicated of charges he abused his role as a regent. The charges of mismanagement and corruption he brought against UT are all being re-investigated because now people are admitting he was on to something. And finally, Hall’s biggest accusers are starting to look like the biggest rats, the ones who had the most to hide.

Well, that’s often how it works. Plus: “And maybe all of that is Austin politics. But what is to be said for the Texas press and its handling of the Wallace Hall story? Every major newspaper in the state has either called for Hall’s head at one point or questioned his integrity, most of them basing their complaints on an allegation that Hall asked for too much information from the university — in other words, that he did too much reporting. . . . That feels like the sort of thing beat reporters in the capitol covering the story from the beginning should have been able to discover early on, perhaps by asking Hall what he was doing. Instead, the establishment press parroted the charge brought against Hall by detractors that he was asking too many questions and for too much public information — an accusation especially strange when brought by the press.”

Not so strange as all that. The press sees itself first and foremost as political allies of Democrat-dominated institutions, which most emphatically includes universities, a major source of funding, foot-soldiers, and ideological suport for Democrats. When outsiders want information that might hurt Democrat-dominated institutions — see, e.g., ClimateGate — they are always portrayed by the press as partisans, malcontents, and evil. That is because the press today functions largely as a collection of Democratic operatives with bylines.

RICHARD EPSTEIN: Measles: Misinformation Gone Viral. “The resurgence of measles is largely attributable to the confluence of two separate factors. On the one side there is a strong, if unacknowledged, effort on the part of some people to free ride off the vaccination of others. . . . They receive the protection afforded by herd immunity, without subjecting their loved ones to the risks, however small, that vaccinations always present. The second factor that reduces vaccination levels is the spread, sometimes deliberate, of misinformation that overstates vaccination risks. This sentiment is often fueled by powerful suspicions that drug companies are greedy and governments corrupt. This entire episode was fueled by fraudulent studies published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in 1998 in Lancet magazine, which twelve years later the journal eventually retracted, but only after much of the damage was done.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times, in a story by Jeremy W. Peters & Richard Perez-Pena, tries to spin this Whole Foods/Prius/Hipster issue into, of course, an attack on the GOP. Note that they quote Hillary as pro-vaccine today, but fail to note that it’s a flipflop from prior campaigns.

UPDATE: “Why don’t you trust the media?” they asked, as a story about fringe liberal anti-vaxxers is spun to attack Republicans. Heh.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I’m pretty sure that Hillary’s poor record on this issue is why the press is working in unison to try to spin it as a “conservative” issue. Here’s a hint, though: Compare the vaccination rates in, say, West Virginia, with those in tony neighborhoods of California.

MORE: Michael Walsh on the political project underway: The Democrat/Media Complex Attacks: Vaccinations Are the New Birth Control. And the Evil Republicans want your kids to dieeeeee!

Jenny McCarthy and RFK Jr. are not Tea Partiers, whatever the Times’ Democratic-Operatives-With-Bylines want people to believe. But if the GOP doesn’t counterattack on this, it will become established truth by November of 2016.

Counterattacks should include demanding immunizations for all illegal immigrants, and a check on vaccination status for welfare recipients. And liability for tony private schools that don’t require vaccination. . . .

STILL MORE: Flashback: Hillary’s 1993 Attack On Vaccine Manufacturers.

EVEN MORE: Hollywood Reporter: Vaccination rates are plummeting at top Hollywood schools, from Malibu to Beverly Hills, from John Thomas Dye to Turning Point, where affluent, educated parents are opting out in shocking numbers. With an interactive map.

FINALLY: Well, well. Obama’s budget cuts $50 million from a vaccine program for the underinsured.

JOURNALISM: Take a Look at How Journalists with WFOR in Miami React to Republican’s Re-Election. Democratic operatives with bylines.

YEAH, BUT THEY’RE NOT JOURNALISTS NOW, THEY’RE DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Bob Woodward: Today’s Journalists Should Investigate The IRS Scandal Like Watergate.

DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES — AND CLOWN SHOES. Hit On Georgia Republican Perdue Blows up In BuzzFeed’s Face. “Perdue wasn’t signing a ‘woman’s torso,’ as BuzzFeed claimed. The truth is that he was signing a woman’s diabetic pump at the request of the woman as a way to raise awareness for juvenile diabetes. Rather than own up to and correct the error, BuzzFeed merely blame-shifted by changing the headline to: Tracker Fail: Dems Miss Insulin Pump In Video Of Perdue Signing Young Woman.”

When you take pre-digested hit pieces from political hit men. . . .

JOURNALISM: News & Observer sat on huge Hagan fundraiser story for two weeks. Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t be far wrong.


DAVID HARSANYI: Biden Gets Another Free Pass.

Remember when the media freaked out for three days over Sarah Palin’s completely innocuous use of the term “blood libel”?

Nearly every major media outlet took a deep dive on this critical outrage. Millions of Americans learned more about how Jews in the Middle Ages were sometimes falsely accused of kidnapping and murdering Christian children so they could use the blood for ritualistic baking. But more significantly: What did Palin mean? Was she sending a veiled message to evangelical voters? Was it just anti-Semitism rearing its ugly head again?

There will be no such national conversation over Vice President Joe Biden’s recent comments. While extolling the virtues of his son Beau at a speech at Legal Services Corp., our Clouseau-esque vice president launched into one of his folksy populist rants. “When he was over there in Iraq for a year,” he explained, “people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being — I mean these Shylocks who took advantage of these women and men while overseas.” . . .

Is there any question that the repercussions for these sorts of mistakes are meted out asymmetrically? There is simply no way a Republican could get away with the buffoonery Biden peddles almost daily. Is the lack of genuine scrutiny over Biden’s mistakes a reflection of the media’s handling him like an unserious person? If that’s the case, then shouldn’t the president be open to far more criticism for putting the country in such a precarious position? Or is it that Biden finds himself in the right party? Either way, it reflects poorly on the media.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

THE WASHINGTON FREE BEACON UNEARTHS Hillary Clinton’s correspondence with Saul Alinsky. On Twitter, the reaction from pro-journalists seems to be “Who’s Alinsky again?”

Plus: “We’re not even close to 2016 and just tonight we’ve had: 1) CBS run a Hillary hero show 2) Politico smugly dismiss new Hillary info.” Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you’ll never be far wrong.

Though whether Hillary will benefit from being compared to Tea Leoni isn’t entirely clear. . . .

DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: “Meet the Press” covered Rand Paul’s pro bono eye surgery in Guatemala and larded it with impugnment of his motives. Obama golfs and they defend him; Paul fixes poor third-worlders and they impugn him. That’s who they are, that’s what they do.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Mediaite: From ISIS to Health Care, Hillary’s Media Allies Rewriting History.

BECAUSE, AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, THEY APPROVE OF HER WORDS, AND HER CONDUCT? Howard Kurtz: Lois Lerner ripping ‘crazies’ on right: Why some media folks don’t care.

BECAUSE THEY’RE DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES? Why doesn’t the media grill Democratic pols on the ideas pushed by their fringe?

JUST THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: Becket Adams: This Washington Post puff piece on President Obama’s recent fundraising tour is really something else.

Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post gained some amount of notoriety earlier this year after she penned an embarrassing and now-debunked attack on Charles and David Koch, the libertarian-leaning bogeymen of the left.

And now she has authored what may be this year’s silliest puff piece for the Obama administration.

To be fair, though, the year is nowhere near over.

PROFESSOR JACOBSON, WRITING IN THE DAILY CALLER: Media Aids And Abets Left-Wing Smear Of Governor Scott Walker. Of course they do. They’re Democratic operatives with bylines. Just like they aided and abetted smears of Palin while covering for Obama.

REMEMBER, IT’S ALL ABOUT BATTLESPACE PREPARATION FOR 2014 AND 2016: Ann Althouse: Look at the new New Republic cover, smearing Scott Walker for his “toxic strain of racial politics.”

When Chris Hughes relaunched TNR, he promised that TNR would go “deeper than the headlines in a timely, unbiased fashion.” Nah. Just more Democratic operatives with bylines.


THE TODD AKIN OF VIRGINIA: Arlington County Board chairman apologizes for ‘Latino time’ comment.

Noting that board colleague Walter Tejada had not yet arrived at the swearing-in and would be a bit late, Fisette said that Tejada was running on “Latino time.”

Fisette was questioned about the phrasing by a reporter from WJLA-TV, and said that after talking with friends, he found that “some were offended.”

Do tell. And I’m sure the WaPo and Jon Stewart will be all over this. Background: The “GOP Lawmaker” Principle: Why You See So Many Articles About Random Right-Wing Politicians. “As the national electoral plight of Democrats increases, so does the incidence of stories about obscure state Republican lawmakers.” While stories about Dems get buried.

Because, you know, the press is largely made up of Democratic operatives with bylines. (Hat tip: Hinkle.)

BRYAN PRESTON: Battleground Texas, the Texas Media, and Wendy’s Choice.

James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas captured Battleground Texas organizer Jennifer Langoria admitting that the group uses its voter registration drives as data-mining operations for their political operations. Whatever one thinks of Project Veritas, it did not put words into Battleground Texas’ mouth.

“So every time we register someone to vote we keep their name and number,” Langoria says.

According to Texas election law, it is unlawful to transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a voter registration application.

Battleground Texas has, therefore, been caught in what appears to be election fraud.

It’s not the first time. Earlier this year, Project Veritas captured a Battleground Texas volunteer discussing forging a signature on official voting documents. “It happens all the time,” she said.

It’s also illegal. Project Veritas did not put those words into the mouth of that Battleground Texas volunteer.

Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and state Sen. Ken Paxton, candidate for attorney general, are calling for the group to be investigated.

The media in Texas have done their dead-level best to ignore both of Project Veritas’ videos as long as they possibly could. When the media here do cover them, they have tended to downplay the videos’ potential significance. The Texas Tribune even interviewed a Democrat election lawyer — but not a Republican one — to defend Battleground Texas’ actions seen in the Veritas video. The prevailing media opinion seems to be that, because leftwing outfits have often criticized Project Veritas, every story that it unearths is worthless or worse.

Leftwing outfits are often created expressly to attack Republicans and to defend Democrats and their allies. The media ignore that, too. Media often cite these leftwing groups as if they are non-partisan watchdogs, while either joining criticism of Project Veritas or downplaying what the group finds. This is neither fair nor balanced journalism.

Nope, but they’re not journalists, they’re Democratic operatives with bylines.


By the way, 3 years ago today, in the Wisconsin protests, which included teachers who were calling in sick to absent themselves from the classroom, doctors stood on a street corner under a sign that read “I’m a doctor/Need a note?” They were real doctors, putting their names on notes that the protesters could use to excuse their absence from work.

When lefty politicians or groups break the law, the press’s attitude is “politics ain’t beanbag.” But that forbearance doesn’t extend to Republicans. The reason for this is that the press is largely made up of Democratic operatives with bylines. Plus, from the comments:

Ho-hum another anti-GOP hack job from the WAPO. How ordinary.

Meanwhile, no curiosity about the IRS and Obamas ongoing violations of the 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments of the Constitution, as well as usurping the legislature.

It’s interesting to watch the press try to do oppo-research and battlespace-prep on every GOP figure who gets mentioned. These are the same people who told us that looking into Obama’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — was racist, and that looking into Hillary’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — is sexist.

U.S. NEWS: There Is a War on Women, But Not From Republicans. “It seems that it’s perfectly acceptable to attack candidates like Palin, Sharron Angle, Michele Bachmann – call them crazy, stupid, you name it – those are just facts, right? When it’s Wendy Davis or Elizabeth Warren, it’s politics at its worst – it’s the GOP demonizing women once again. A story questioning the authenticity of Sarah Palin’s pregnancy is fair game; she made a choice to run for office. But, when Wendy Davis is questioned about whether the dates of her marriage that she publicly disclosed are accurate, it’s an attack on single women trying to move up in the world.”

It’s almost as if the press is made up of Democratic operatives with bylines.

A FISH, A BARREL, A SMOKING GUN: Taking On The Liberal Media Lie About CPAC. “Speaking of questions: Is there any joke that anyone could make about any Democrat that the Huffington Post would not deem ‘questionable’? Of course not. The entire mission of Arianna Huffington’s organization, which she sold for more than $300 million to AOL a few years ago, is to help Democrats and harm Republicans. Yet HuffPo is considered a ‘mainstream’ news operation, while Fox News is consistently demonized by the same allegedly objective journalists who view HuffPo as entirely legitimate and respectable.” They’re not journalists, they’re Democratic operatives with bylines. Or, in the case of the Crowder hit-piece, without even that.

ANN ALTHOUSE ON RUTH MARCUS’S TED CRUZ COVERAGE: “He pontificates? You mean he’s uppity? The liberals need to pre-ruin any people of color on the GOP side. After Marco Rubio’s career went down in flames because he drank a glass of water, the appetite for destruction rages. Look! There’s another Hispano-Conservo! Get him!

They’re not journalists. They’re Democratic operatives with bylines.

JOHN HINDERAKER: Whither The “Social Issues.” I’ll note that in 2010, the Tea Party didn’t talk about them, and did well. In 2012, Romney didn’t talk about them much — but the Dems successfully used them as a wedge issue and the GOP didn’t respond.

UPDATE: Reader Mark Pernel writes:

I think there are two things going on in that example. The first is that the Tea Party is more a fiscal-issues group and were better
positioned to ignore the social stuff. There is definitely a social-conservative wing of the movement, but they are willing to
overlook the culture wars at least to some extent in order to get the fiscal issues fixed.

The second is that 2010 was a mid-term, and without the big hammer of a Presidential campaign it was harder for the Dems to use
social issues as a wedge. Trying to organize a wedge issue across ~470 Congressional races is hard, particularly when you’re already on
the defensive for your vote on a deeply divisive issue like PPACA. Having a single national race that can act as a focal point for the
wedge changes the dynamic, and it was bad news for Romney.

Especially when the press regards itself as Democratic operatives with bylines, as it so clearly did.

PROF. JACOBSON: Gloria Allred’s Worst Nightmare — Transcript released but her client’s still gagged. “Reports from inside the courtroom in Boston at which The Boston Globe is seeking access to Mitt Romney’s testimony in the divorce case of the founder of Staples indicate that the Judge will authorize the release of the transcript to The Globe, but will not lift the gag order on the parties to the divorce, including Gloria Allred’s Mormon-hating client, Maureen SulLivan. . . . It will be up to The Globe and other media to spin the transcript against Romney, which they certaily will do, but Allred will not be at the center of that circus.”

Plus this: “Romney’s lawyer says the Gov. has no problem having his testimony made public.”

Also: “The Globe, of course, has not gone to court seeking access to Harvard’s federal filings, including documents signed by Elizabeth Warren, which might bring down Warren.” Democratic operatives with bylines.

OF COURSE THEY DID: Megyn Kelly: Media in spin room laughed and applauded at Obama’s “bayonets” line.

After all, they’re just Democratic operatives with bylines.

YA THINK? Benghazigate might be bigger news if the president was a Republican. Or if the press weren’t composed of Democratic operatives with bylines.

MICKEY KAUS: Press Already Writing the Obama “Comeback” Story. “What appeared to be a neutral press yearning for a good horse race is looking more like the screenwriter’s need to throw some minimal obstacles in the hero’s path in order to make his ultimate triumph all the more satisfying.”

There’s no such thing as a neutral press. They’re Democratic operatives with bylines.

SO IN RESPONSE TO THE NEW OBAMA VIDEO DROP, one establishment political journalist tells me it’s no big deal because everyone knows Obama’s a big lefty, talks blacker when with black audiences, etc., etc.

But the thing is, in 2004-2008, Obama sold himself as a black guy who wasn’t in the mold of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. So when he sounds like that, it’s a contradiction. You know, the kind of hypocrisy the press usually goes after in politicians. Unless, as with Obama, the press is trying to drag them across the finish line. Because there’s no way they’re going to let Obama be a one-termer, when the hated W got two. . . .

UPDATE: Charlie Spiering quotes Obama: “We won’t forget what happened 19 months ago, or 15 years ago, or 300 years ago.”

And here I thought his slogan was Forward! Not, you know, Forward, into the past!

ANOTHER UPDATE: DNC Scrambles To Deflate Obama Video: “The Democratic National Committee — armed with the help of dismissive tweets from a variety of journalists — scrambled Tuesday night to attack The Daily Caller for its videos of President Obama’s controversial race comments in 2007 before the story was even published.”

Journalists? Or Democratic operatives with bylines? You decide.

MORE: Paul Mirengoff: Obama slandered America as racist using dishonest claims about the response to Hurricane Katrina.

RASMUSSEN: Obama and Romney Tied. So we keep hearing about how Romney has had one terrible week after another, but the polls are all tied up. What will happen if Romney ever manages to have a good week?

Of course, Obama’s Army in the press will do its best to prevent that.

UPDATE: Related: Obama’s Palace Guard: How media fact checkers made themselves of service to the president in the welfare reform debate. They’re just Democratic Party operatives with bylines now.


From the introduction:

“Beyond the spin and polls, a starkly different picture emerges. It is a portrait of a man quite unlike his image, not a visionary reformer, but a classic Chicago machine pol.”

Chapter 1: A childhood of privilege, not hardship

Michelle Obama says “Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or possessions.” In fact, for much of his life, Barack Obama has enjoyed privileges and opportunities denied to most Americans.

Chapter 2: Myth of the ‘rock star’ professor

Though initially popular as a University of Chicago Law School adjunct lecturer, he was not ranking among the top professors, according to student evaluations.

Chapter 3: The 1997 speech that launched Obama

His 2004 Democratic National Convention speech got the big headlines, but a previously unreported 1997 Obama speech did far more to launch him with big backers with big bucks.

Chapter 4: For the slumlord’s defense, Barack Obama, Esq.

It was a frigid January and the slumlord who put his tenants on the street without going through the required eviction process got off with a $50 fine. His lawyer went on to be elected president of the United States.

Chapter 5: Obama’s toughest critics on the Left

Long before he ran for president, radical critics accused Obama of selling out Chicago’s poor to the Daley political machine.

Chapter 6: The poor people Obama left behind

Altgeld Gardens housing advocate Hazel Johnson welcomed the young Obama into her kitchen. Then she never heard from him again after he won his first election.

Chapter 7: The myth of Obama as state senate reformer

When the real reformers asked for his help, State Sen. Barack Obama was nowhere to be found.

Chapter 8: Obama’s state pension fund scheme

It worked for Rev. Jesse Jackson against the Fortune 500, so State Sen. Barack Obama used it to get millions for his friends from Illinois’ biggest public employee pension funds.

Chapter 9: Obama’s Arab-American network

Syrian emigrant Tony Rezko had lots of Arab-American friends in the Chicago business community who shared his enthusiasm for Barack Obama.

Chapter 10: Obama brings Chicago politics to Washington

Surprised by Solyndra? Don’t be, it’s just one of many examples that demonstrate Barack Obama is doing things in Washington the same way he did them in Chicago.

Too bad the legitimate press Democratic Party operatives with bylines didn’t report this stuff four years ago.

PROF. JACOBSON: Maybe Romney answer was “inelegant” only because Mother Jones didn’t disclose that part of tape was missing. Plus, holes in the “equipment failure” explanation?

And: “While there is a myth that the Shirley Sherrod tape was unfairly edited (it was NOT, it was perfectly fair), no such media narrative will develop around the incomplete Romney tape. That’s just the way it works in the age of Obama.”

UPDATE: More Rose Mary Woods jokes. And a photo!

ANOTHER UPDATE: John Fund: Media Hypocrisy In Treatment of Romney Tape. They’re not “media.” They’re Democratic operatives with bylines.

JOURNALISM: Reporters haven’t asked about Sebelius breaking law in W.H. briefings.

Reporters covering the White House don’t seem to have many questions about Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was last week found in violation of federal law against engaging in political activity while on the job.

A review of transcripts by The Daily Caller indicate that no questions have been asked by the reporters who cover the president about Sebelius during official White House briefings or gaggles since Sept. 12, when the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said in a report that the cabinet secretary violated the Hatch Act earlier this year.

It’s still up to President Obama whether Sebelius should keep her job or face some sort of punishment after being found in violation of the Hatch Act.

Democratic Party operatives with bylines.

SHOCKER: HuffPo Misreported What Romney Said About “Middle Income.”

I’ve bolded a few inconvenient words. Observe: the HuffPo reports “$200-$250″; the AP story elsewhere says $200K-$250K and less. Add the “and less” and suddenly Romney is saying the same limits as Obama — and the other bolded words make clear.

By the way, this is first in a series of Romney Rumors; it’s become clear that we need to capture these things just as we did with Palin. If you see anything you think needs to be debunked, pass it along.

Indeed. You can’t trust the press — as many are now observing, they’re just Democratic operatives with bylines.

UPDATE: Andrew Kaczynski tweets: “Not really reported by HuffPost, they posted the AP story, who got it wrong. HuffPost had no way of knowing.” Okay, so it’s AP who are the Dem operatives with bylines.