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LEFTISM AS A CULTURE OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION: Antifa shows up to Andy Ngo’s house in Andy Ngo masks on Halloween.

Flashback: The Curious Case of Andy Ngo: How the mainstream media downplay left-wing violence.

Just think of the media as Democratic Party activists with bylines, and Antifa as the Democrats’ muscle, and it all makes sense.

EVERYTHING SEEMINGLY IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL: Anti-Trump Media Is Waging Psychological Warfare Against the American People.

After the 2016 election, the left quickly launched a new talking point, proclaiming “this is not normal” and in a way, they were right. It’s not normal for the losing party, in partnership with the media, to attempt to negate the results of a free and fair election because they didn’t like the outcome.

When the Washington Post and The New York Times treat the death of an ISIS leader with more sensitivity than they would for a group of innocent Catholic school students in MAGA hats or the president of the United States, we have crossed a line as a culture and a country.

The Democrats are still trying to undo the results of the 2016 election three years later, and the media is openly trying to assist them by going negative on Trump every single day.

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and their daily freakouts all make sense.

(Classical reference in headline.)

JOEL KOTKIN: Media Meltdowns and Political Polarization.

The mainstream media increasing appears much like the classic tale of the boy who cried wolf so often that when the wolf showed up no one believed him.

Similarly, since the bust of the Mueller report, and the evaporation of countless other “blockbuster” exposés, the media’s credibility in the ongoing impeachment saga is now widely doubted, even if this time they may actually be right about presidential misdeeds.

This divide can be seen in public perceptions of the news media. Although somewhat improved from its low point in 2016, only 40 percent of Americans, according to Gallup, trust the media, compared to over 50 percent in 1999. As befits the media’s increasingly partisan stance, the small improvement over 2016 comes almost entirely from Democrats. Only 15% of Republicans and barely a third of independents now trust media compared to nearly 70% of Democrats.

Once the news business had enough sense of propriety and professionalism to at least maintain an appearance of objectivity. There’s ample reason, as Glenn Reynolds suggests, to see many mainstream journalists as little more than “Democrats with bylines,” willing participants in what long-time leftist and fiercely anti-Trump reporter Matt Taibbi describes as the upper bureaucracy’s “permanent coup” against Trump. If this “coup” now actually succeeds, it will be one that will simply accentuate hostility to the media among a large segment of the population.

At the very least.

DEMOCRATS SUPPORT THEIR OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Democrats Want to Make It a Federal Crime to Threaten Journalists.

Harvard lawprof Adrian Vermeule gets what this is really about:

Spoiler: They’ll find or create an exception so that journalists who lean right won’t be protected.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE. Gallup Poll: 69 Percent of Democrats Trust the Mass Media.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF ANDY NGO: How the mainstream media downplay left-wing violence.

Many journalists resent Ngo’s politics, ethics, and sudden success. Yet the establishment media’s approach is the same when Ngo is out of the picture. Antifa is a subject that major media outlets tend to cover once, as a box to be checked. Far-left attacks are treated as isolated incidents rather than episodes in an ongoing story. They are not to be covered like violence from the far right or white nationalists. Andy Ngo covers the story that way—and the media do not like it or the mirror he holds up to them.

The establishment media’s lopsided approach to political violence ultimately damages both our politics and journalism. Politics are supposed to function as nonviolent dispute resolution. Weimar-style street brawling is a signpost on the path to the collapse of normal politics, one we ignore at our peril. Pretending that groups such as Antifa are not a problem is a tactic that will be noticed by at least half the country, accelerate the vicious cycle of our political discourse, and desensitize partisans to political violence of all stripes.

Turning a blind eye to left-wing violence may have the corollary effect of burning up whatever moral and institutional capital the establishment media have left. The media will be seen as knuckling under to—or even embracing—Antifa’s core beliefs. After all, many progressives already believe hate speech is no different from physical assault, which is the root of Antifa’s belief in preemptive violence.

To blame Andy Ngo for injuries he suffered while reporting on Antifa, even if one finds him biased, is to tacitly accept Antifa’s general demand that its members are not to be photographed or identified on threat of violence. No respectable journalist would accept that demand from the Ku Klux Klan. Those who accept it here will similarly lose public respect. The establishment media need to do the right thing covering left-wing violence, if only out of self-interest. Whether they will is another story.

Not based on this item today at Twitchy: Journos sneer at ‘weasel’ Andy Ngo for drawing attention to Portland Antifa suspect’s cache of potential weapons.

Just think of the media as Democratic Party activists with bylines, and Antifa as the Democrats’ muscle, and it all makes sense.

DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: In Which The New York Times Straight Up Lies About Ed Buck. “According to Excel, minus the returns, that’s a total of $114,900 accused serial murderer Ed Buck doled out to Democrats. I don’t think that fits most ordinary Americans’ idea of a ‘small time donor’.”

Getting gay men to overdose and sometimes die in pursuit of one’s own sexual gratification probably doesn’t fit most ordinary Americans’ idea of a victimless crime, either. Yet that’s exactly what the MSM-DNC spent so long trying to hush up.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. The media has officially lost its damn mind:

Remember the dunking-kid meme from a couple of years ago? Little kid runs up to his tiny basketball hoop, dunks the ball, turns around to flex and holler. Meanwhile he doesn’t see that the whole backboard is wobbling and about to collapse on his head. When it does, he looks confused.

Congrats, New York Times! And Politico. And CNN. You’re all the Dunking Kids. You keep throwing down on the Trump administration. The backboard of truth keeps falling on your head. The rest of us laugh.

The New York Times just issued its most spectacular correction since my personal favorite, from Nov. 7, 2012: “An earlier version of this article misspelled the singer’s surname in a number of places. He is Bruce Springsteen, not Springstein.”

This Sunday’s correction cut the legs out from under its big Saturday scoop about a supposed new sex scandal about Brett Kavanaugh involving a woman who supposedly had Kavanaugh’s penis shoved into her hand when they were both at Yale. The Times’ gobsmacking correction noted that in the book from which its Saturday report was derived, “the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”

Backboard of truth meets skull.

And these two tweets tonight from Trump will keep the feedback loop alive:

Given the symbiotic relationship between the politicians of the Democratic Party and their operatives with bylines, Steve’s question earlier today takes on added meaning: Are the Democrats Committing Electoral Suicide?

THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS: The Media’s no good, very bad week (and what’s coming next).

I think this week is a harbinger of things to come. Why? Because the Mueller report didn’t work out as Democrats and the media hoped. There’s no public appetite for impeachment. Progressives are getting nervous and the NY Times has signaled privately and publicly, through its 1619 Project, that the 2020 election will be all about racism because that’s the best chance Democrats have to activate their base.

So what’s coming next? A lot more careless mistakes by the usual suspects looking to drag Trump and the GOP down. What this week demonstrates is that many of them care less about their credibility than ensuring the desired outcome. This isn’t really new of course. In fact, some version of this happens every four years. See dog-abusing-vampire-capitalist-with-80s-foreign-policy Mitt Romney for a previous example.

Which dovetails well with Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel’s look at how things went this week with the Democratic Party operatives without bylines, aka the politicians: Crackup in the Democratic Party.

Imagine you’re Biden’s political director, sitting offstage. All of a sudden, Biden wanders into the unscripted territory and says, “Imagine the assassination of Obama.” This is not an attack on Biden, but he’s not going to be the nominee. So the actual race comes down to Warren’s and Sanders’ competing visions of how to achieve the same socialist fantasy. Warren is promising reparations based on skin color. That’s popular. Sanders wants a government takeover of the entire energy sector. They will be working to out-crazy each other for the next six months. That is a dynamic guaranteed to produce even more extremism. And it has some Democratic leaders worried. The Democratic National Committee voted on a proposal to hold a debate focused exclusively on climate change. Why wouldn’t they? Well, because the solutions the candidates would promise live on television are insane: spend $16 trillion, ban airplanes, seize control of the entire U.S. economy.

The Trustafarians love stuff like that. Normal people find it terrifying. Even the party hacks here in D.C. don’t like it, and that’s probably a compliment. Do you really think Nancy Pelosi believes climate change is an existential crisis? Of course, she doesn’t think that. Plus, she flies private. Obama can say whatever he wants about carbon emissions. He can shake his chin and be concerned, but when you’re spending 15 million of your own dollars on a beachfront estate on Martha’s Vineyard, you’re not too worried about the oceans rising. But the Democratic base doesn’t get the joke. Democratic primary voters believe the talking points. And very soon, they will be powerful enough to nominate their own presidential candidate. And when that happens, it’s going to be a very different party.

Nobody should be getting cocky in this election cycle.

Classical reference in headline, from a time when the left still viewed satire as a weapon, before the revolution devoured its own.

AT LONG LAST HAVE THEY NO DECENCY? NO DECENCY AT ALL? Baltimore Sun Attacks Trump Supporter Who Organized Massive City Clean Up.

For the writers at the Baltimore Sun, Presler’s visit simply “reinforces the tired image of our failing urban cores. That the poor people in this dilapidated city can’t take care of their own neighborhoods and all the public officials around them have failed as well.”

“The bureaucratic, all-talk Democrats strike again. If a crowd of volunteers could clean up 12 tons of trash in 12 hours, how incompetent and helpless must Baltimoreans be if they can’t manage it in decades, right?”

One would point out to the editorial board that this isn’t just a “tired image” but a reality of the fact that Democratic policies and politicians have failed.

And the Baltimore Sun is running cover for those policies and politicians. Well, think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you’ll realize that they neither possess nor desire decency. It might get in the way of their job.

WHEN YOU’RE A SOCIALIST, THEY LET YOU DO IT:

Imagine an older, powerful male politician belittling and questioning the intelligence and credibility of a female reporter for the New York Times. If the politician in question were a Republican, the media outrage machine would have kicked in immediately, with angry pieces about the perils of toxic masculinity and journalists under siege in abundance.

But when it’s an old communist senator mansplaining his longstanding anti-American sentiments, it’s just business as usual.

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and their reluctance to call out their bosses all makes sense.

NEW YORK TIMES ON NEW ABORTION LAWS: RALPH NORTHAM WHO? 

Mr. Trump is using the issue to rouse his base, including the crucial voting bloc of Christian conservatives for whom abortion is an overarching issue. His false statements that Democrats would “execute” newborn babies — which he has repeated on his Twitter feed, during his State of the Union address and at campaign rallies, sometimes as he mimics swaddling a baby — are being picked up and repeated by conservatives all over the country.”

Catch that description? That the President is making “false statements that Democrats would ‘execute’ newborn babies.”

And right there this story becomes a jewel of an example of left-wing journalism by omission, in this case from the New York Times.

Missing entirely from the article was the name of Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam. It was Northam, appearing on a radio show, who stirred the hornets nest by saying this about aborting babies when the mother is in labor. The direct quote was this, as reported here at National Review Online:

“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” he continued. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Here’s video of Northam uttering those words shortly before his medical school era blackface scandal erupted.

Speaking of the latter, as a Times headline noted in early April: ‘‘It Just Went Poof’: The Strange Aftermath of Virginia’s Cascade of Political Scandals.

The passive tense in the headline is telling. The Times can keep a story alive when it wants to, such as when the Gray Lady ran nearly 100 stories on the Augusta National Golf Club between 2001 and mid-2003. Similarly, the paper in Northam’s backyard ran approximately 100 stories in the fall of 2006 on George Allen’s “macaca” gaffe. The media’s selective amnesia on Northam’s blackface and endorsement of infanticide might lead a cynical person to conclude that they’re Democratic Party operatives with bylines, or something.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Andrew McCarthy: Mueller’s letter to Barr – A neat trick by the Washington Post before hearings begin. Think of them as narrative police for their fellow Democratic operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

UPDATE:

I suspect that all this sudden concern about the word “spying” is because the Obama administration was in fact doing a lot of spying on a lot of political opponents, and the Democrats know it.

Flashback, March 2017: “Hypothesis: The spying-on-Trump thing is worse than we even imagine, and once it was clear Hillary had lost and it would inevitably come out, the Trump/Russia collusion talking point was created as a distraction.”

Also:

The Democrats and their bylined operatives are acting worried.

HOW OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY DO YOU HAVE TO BE, TO THINK THAT TRUMP IS “SLAVISHLY SUBORDINATE” TO PUTIN?

Reality: Democrats, Join Trump Against Russian Aggression: His administration has been tough on Moscow’s meddling, both in U.S. elections and abroad.

Mr. Mueller did indict 13 Russian nationals for offenses related to election meddling. We know Moscow spent money on Facebook ads designed to exploit America’s divisions, targeting voters on both sides of the aisle. And Mr. Trump and the Republicans have responded. Under legislation enacted by a Republican Congress, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs and intelligence agencies.

Beyond the meddling, Mr. Trump has slammed Russia with bold moves designed to weaken Mr. Putin on the world’s stage. This administration imposed sanctions on Russia for violating nonproliferation laws by supporting weapons programs in Iran, Syria and North Korea. The Trump administration also issued more sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its continuing occupation of Crimea. In 2017, the administration expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers and ordered multiple Russian consulates to close after Russia used a military-grade chemical weapon in the U.K. Mr. Trump even blocked Mr. Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Russia if it goes ahead.

These tough actions have had an effect. Between January and July 2018, the Russian ruble declined 9% against the U.S. dollar. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry expects its economy to grow only 1.3% in 2019. The U.S. economy grew 2.9% in 2018 and is headed for another strong year.

In 2017, Mr. Trump supplied Ukraine with weapons so it could defend itself against Russian attacks. Remember, it was President Obama who stood idly as Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has also engaged in hard-fought battles with Russian mercenaries in Syria.

In a sense, Russia succeeded in its mission to stoke division and fear within America. Some top Democrats have played right into Moscow’s hands by pursuing endless partisan investigations. If Democrats care about thwarting Russian meddling and aggression, they will disavow their conspiracy theory that our president is Mr. Putin’s puppet, and stop wasting taxpayer money peddling disproved collusion narratives. Instead, they can support this administration’s efforts to stand tall against the consistent threat Russia poses to America’s national security.

As Walter Russell Mead wrote in 2017:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman. Trump does none of these things and has embarked on a course that will inexorably weaken Russia’s position in the world, and the media, suddenly flushing eight years of Russia dovishness down the memory hole, now sounds the warning that Trump’s Russia policy is treasonously soft.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and no particular loyalty to the country’s best interests, and you won’t go far wrong.

But remember while America’s political class is focused on Russia, Chinese influence is running wild. That’s not an accident.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FELLOW DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WHO POSSESS BYLINES: Although Trump Cut Taxes For Most Americans, Democrats Convinced The Public That They Paid More Taxes.

IT WENT “POOF” BECAUSE IT WAS HURTING DEMOCRATS, AND THE MEDIA ARE BASICALLY DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: ‘‘It Just Went Poof’: The Strange Aftermath of Virginia’s Cascade of Political Scandals.

In the space of a week in early February, the public was stunned by revelations about each of the three highest statewide elected officials, all Democrats: the racist photo in the governor’s yearbook; accusations of sexual assault against the lieutenant governor; and the attorney general’s appearance in blackface at a party in college. Protesters and news crews swarmed the Statehouse. Calls for resignations came from fellow Virginia Democrats, Republicans and even 2020 presidential candidates.

And then? “It just went poof,” said Natalie Draper, a librarian sitting in the back of a coffeehouse last week in Richmond. “It’s like it never happened.”

Remember, kids:

THIS ARTICLE HAS IT WRONG: TRUMP WON’T BE CAMPAIGNING ON THE MUELLER REPORT, HE’LL BE CAMPAIGNING AGAINST THE PRESS.

Trump allies see Barr’s letter as a kind of Swiss Army knife—a tool useful in all kinds of situations. Not only is it exculpatory, they say, but it also implicitly rebukes the press for its coverage of the Russia investigation, inoculating Trump from any future scandal that reporters might unearth. According to a source familiar with internal discussions at the Republican National Committee and the pro-Trump super PAC America First, both organizations are “geared up for any nonsense to come.”

They’re already prepared to attack reporters. “Any reporter who tries that will be hit with 30-second spots of all their ridiculous claims about collusion,” said the source, who, like others interviewed for this story, requested anonymity to describe private conversations. “Their tweets have all been screencapped. It’s all ready to go.” (“It’s the same thing we’ve been doing the last two years. We’re going to hold the media accountable when we see fit,” an RNC official clarified, adding that this would include digital clips shared on social media.)

Earlier this week, Trump’s campaign previewed the in-your-face tactics they have in mind. A campaign official sent a letter to TV producers cautioning them against booking certain guests who had alleged that Trump colluded with Russia, including Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.

“It’s not hard to figure where we’re going to go with this,” a current campaign official told The Atlantic. “We’re still in victory-lap mode, but it will turn into a message that [Democrats] will say or do anything to stop us from making America great again, including making up lies about the president and ruining a lot of people’s lives.”

Well, the nice thing about that argument is that it’s true. And Trump will treat the press like it’s made up of Democratic operatives with bylines, which is also true.

TENN. CONGRESSMAN MARK GREEN: Democrats, Join Trump Against Russian Aggression: His administration has been tough on Moscow’s meddling, both in U.S. elections and abroad.

Mr. Mueller did indict 13 Russian nationals for offenses related to election meddling. We know Moscow spent money on Facebook ads designed to exploit America’s divisions, targeting voters on both sides of the aisle. And Mr. Trump and the Republicans have responded. Under legislation enacted by a Republican Congress, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs and intelligence agencies.

Beyond the meddling, Mr. Trump has slammed Russia with bold moves designed to weaken Mr. Putin on the world’s stage. This administration imposed sanctions on Russia for violating nonproliferation laws by supporting weapons programs in Iran, Syria and North Korea. The Trump administration also issued more sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its continuing occupation of Crimea. In 2017, the administration expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers and ordered multiple Russian consulates to close after Russia used a military-grade chemical weapon in the U.K. Mr. Trump even blocked Mr. Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Russia if it goes ahead.

These tough actions have had an effect. Between January and July 2018, the Russian ruble declined 9% against the U.S. dollar. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry expects its economy to grow only 1.3% in 2019. The U.S. economy grew 2.9% in 2018 and is headed for another strong year.

In 2017, Mr. Trump supplied Ukraine with weapons so it could defend itself against Russian attacks. Remember, it was President Obama who stood idly as Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has also engaged in hard-fought battles with Russian mercenaries in Syria.

In a sense, Russia succeeded in its mission to stoke division and fear within America. Some top Democrats have played right into Moscow’s hands by pursuing endless partisan investigations. If Democrats care about thwarting Russian meddling and aggression, they will disavow their conspiracy theory that our president is Mr. Putin’s puppet, and stop wasting taxpayer money peddling disproved collusion narratives. Instead, they can support this administration’s efforts to stand tall against the consistent threat Russia poses to America’s national security.

As Walter Russell Mead wrote in 2017:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he’d be doing:

Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
Blocking oil and gas pipelines
Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
Cutting U.S. military spending
Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia’s ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman. Trump does none of these things and has embarked on a course that will inexorably weaken Russia’s position in the world, and the media, suddenly flushing eight years of Russia dovishness down the memory hole, now sounds the warning that Trump’s Russia policy is treasonously soft.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and no particular loyalty to the country’s best interests, and you won’t go far wrong.

But remember while America’s political class is focused on Russia, Chinese influence is running wild. That’s not an accident.

NBC ENTERING RERUN SEASON EARLY THIS YEAR: Days before his death, Wallace Broecker, “the ‘grandfather’ of climate science,” urged scientists to consider deploying a last-ditch solar shield to stop global warming:

It was time for humankind and the world’s scientific community to begin to seriously study more extreme solutions to the climate crisis, Broecker said. That included creating a massive solar shield in the Earth’s atmosphere, a tactic known variously as “geoengineering,” “the sulfur solution,” “solar radiation management” and the “Pinatubo Strategy.”

Funny, that’s what John Holdren, former President Obama’s “science” “czar” urged in April of 2009:

In a November 2008 cover story, Time magazine described Mr. Obama’s incoming administration, which was obsessed with radical environmentalism (at least a vehicle for crony corporatism) as “the New New Deal.” It was dubbed the “Green New Deal” by the EU Observer in March of 2009. That year, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Given all of the talk a decade later in 2019 of this year’s “Green New Deal,” will anyone ask former members of Obama’s administration why they had such a failure of nerve, when environmentalists were using the same grim talk about mankind’s future – or the lack thereof – as today? (We know that no current Democrat be reminded of all of the earlier doomsday prognostications — just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and their feigned amnesia makes perfect sense.)

DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE: Democratic Virginia Scandals Evaporate from ABC, CBS, NBC.

Flashback: “Jim Geraghty of NRO estimated that in 2006, the Washington Post ran ‘approximately 100 articles, op-eds, [and] editorials’ spotlighting Republican George Allen’s moronic ‘macaca’ gaffe involving his botched effort at calling out a mohawk-wearing video tagger hired by his opponent, Democrat Jim Webb, to stalk the Allen campaign,” and then repeated the same playbook (this time unsuccessfully) three years later when Republican Bob McDonnell ran for the governship of Virginia.

As for the Virginia Democrats’ current racism and #metoo-related scandals being tossed down the memory hole, just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

ALL THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TO DO IS NOT BE CRAZY, AND THEY CAN’T EVEN DO THAT: Our Socialist Democratic Party.

Ask yourself: would any Democratic presidential primary contender in 2020 stand a ghost of a chance if he or she took a moderate stance on issues pertaining to race, gender (= abortion), or sexuality (= transgender rights)? Be honest. You can’t just wish these things away.

It’s true that the Republicans have a similar problem. Both parties are beholden to extreme partisans in their bases. But President Trump has his base onside. The conventional wisdom in 2016 was that the Republicans had nominated someone so extreme that he couldn’t possibly win. Yet he did. You watch: the Democrats are going to nominate someone so extreme on economics and culture that they’re going to ensure Trump’s re-election.

It is possible, of course, that the Dems could pull a Trump, and nominate some out-of-left-field candidate who manages to pull off a victory anyway, because enough people in the middle are so sick of Trump that they prefer to take a chance on the devil they don’t know. But I don’t see that as likely. In any case, the New York Times might believe that Trump is manufacturing a fake villain in “socialism,” but it’s pretty clear that he’s not.

As recently as the 2004 election, Ann Coulter quipped that “both parties run for office as conservatives. Once they have fooled the voters and are safely in office, Republicans sometimes double-cross the voters. Democrats always do.”

In January of 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle’s editors were smart enough (in a Machiavellian sense) to protect Obama when, as a candidate, in order to get to Hillary’s left, he openly proposed bankrupting coal plants. They understood their role as Democratic party activists with bylines meant burying Obama’s Kinsley-style gaffe rather than making it the lead headline on the front page.

But in rushing to endorse AOC’s “Green New Deal,” and in rushing to endorse Virginia Democrat Kathy Tran’s abortion absolutism, over the past two weeks, the mask has been ripped off the left. Remember it when the inevitable feint towards the center occurs late in the election cycle.

BAD, PRESS: How the media fail.

To watch Stelter’s show, Reliable Sources, after a reporting debacle is to watch a master class in whataboutism and faux-persecution, followed by the insistence that even the most egregious lapses in judgment or professionalism are to be expected from time to time and that we should actually be worrying about the real victim here: the media’s reputation. This, suffice it to say, is not helpful. Were a football commentator to worry aloud that a team’s ten straight losses might lead some to think they weren’t any good — and then to cast any criticisms as an attack on sports per se — he would be laughed out of the announcers’ box.

* * * * * * * *

Sometimes consciously, but most often unwittingly, journalists treat Democrats as normal and Republicans as abnormal and proceed accordingly in their coverage. Once one understands the rules, the whole setup becomes rather amusing. When a headline reads “Lawmaker Involved in Scandal,” one can immediately deduce that the lawmaker is a Democrat. Why? Because if he were a Republican, the story would make that clear in the headline. Without fail, stories that begin with “Republicans pounce” are actually about bad things that Democrats have done or said, while stories about bad things that Republicans have done or said begin with “Republican does or says a bad thing” and proceed to a dry recitation of the facts. A variation on this rule is “Republicans say,” which is used when a Republican says something that is so self-evidently true that, had a Democrat said it, it would have been reported straight. For a neat illustration of how farcical things have become, take a look at the Washington Post’s most recent “fact check,” which helpfully informs its readers that the claimed “one thousand burgers” President Trump bought for the Clemson football team were not, in fact, “piled up a mile high” because, “at two inches each, a thousand burgers would not reach one mile high.”

Democracy dies in darkness, indeed.

It’s not at all “unwittingly.” Just think of the media as Democratic party operatives with bylines, and you won’t go wrong.™

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Beto Fans Insist: This Is Not a Drill. 

Scott Rosenberg and David McCabe, Axios:

No, Beto O’Rourke did not live-stream his teeth cleaning on Instagram — any more than Al Gore ever actually claimed to have invented the internet. But if you were under the impression that O’Rourke did precisely that, you’re not alone — we did, too!

This is how online myths start.

It certainly is. But what actually happened, you see, was that Beto was live-streaming an interview with his dental hygienist, as a sort of slice-of-life-on-the-Mexican-border thing. And as part of that interview, he, um… well, okay, sure, he literally live-streamed his teeth cleaning. That is exactly, precisely what he did. That’s why there’s footage of it, which Beto took himself, intentionally, and which will never go away now. He did that. But it’s a myth that he did that, because… er…

C’mon, look, just forget he did that, okay? It makes him look silly and dumb, which might hurt him with voters, so let’s just pretend it never happened.

This is how the next two years are gonna go, everybody. The Dems will wave away every single one of this guy’s gaffes and oopsies, no matter how minor. We will be gaslighted. Beto says the Constitution sucks now? Whatever. He says that a border wall is literally Death itself? Big deal. If they’re willing to overlook the time he got in a drunken car wreck and fled the scene, nothing else he does is going to deter them. They’ve got an election to win. They’ve got an orange demon to beat.

For a party obsessed with reducing fossil fuels, Democrats and their media operatives with bylines sure believe in maximum gaslighting.

#JOURNALISM: Press Outlets Dunk on Rand Paul for Going to Canada, Land of ‘Socialized Medicine,’ for Surgery. But the Clinic Is Private.

Some media outlets and activists are suggesting that Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) is guilty of hypocrisy because he will travel to Canada for surgery related to his 2017 assault at the hands of a neighbor. Paul, after all, has warned loudly against adopting the Canadian health care system.

“Rand Paul, enemy of socialized medicine, will go to Canada for surgery,” tweeted Talking Points Memo. The tweet includes a link to a Courier-Journal story that reminds readers that “Paul has called universal health care and nationalized options ‘slavery.'” Newsweek went a similar route. . . .

Checkmate, libertarians? Nope.

Those who chuckled at this supposed irony missed a major detail, even though it was noted in the press coverage: Paul’s surgery will take place at the Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Thornhill, Ontario. The clinic is private, and run for profit; The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale, who is from Thornhill, notes that it was “grandfathered in to Ontario’s socialized health system.”

Get beaten nearly to death by a Democrat, go for medical care, get mocked by Democratic Party operatives with bylines. And the press wonders why people hate it.

Related: Rand Paul’s attacker: ‘I lost it and became irate.’

Flashback: Bernie Bro James T. Hodgkinson, Attempted Assassin Of Steve Scalise, Already Being Erased From History.

Plus:

● Hillary: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.’

● Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

Politico: After failing to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats wonder if it’s time to be more ruthless.

Democrat Doxxer Threatened To Reveal Senators’ Children’s Health Information.

DC restaurant: We’ve received death threats after Ted Cruz, wife forced out by protesters.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): We Are Less Than 60 Days From Totally ‘Kicking the S–t Out of the Republicans.’

Networks Silent On Attempted Stabbing of GOP Candidate By Anti-Trump Attacker.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) Jokes About Threatening Trump Supporters ‘All The Time.’

As a sidenote, I was disappointed to see the Knoxville News-Sentinel pushing this bogus story on Facebook.

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS FAKE NEWS AND THE PRESS AREN’T DEMOCRATS WITH BYLINES: Remember the furor over Trump saying Robert E. Lee was a great general? Reported with great disdain by NBC, CNN, et al.?

Well, two days later, NBC corrects.

THE MEDIA & THE MOB: Responding to a Washington Post reporter, who as Twitchy notes, “does the Republicans pounce angle on the out-of-control Kavanaugh mob,” Rod Dreher writes:

Here’s the thing: though there is no question that the GOP, like Democrats, play to the anxieties of its base — this is normal politics — there really were, and are, mobs out to get conservatives. 

Conservatives didn’t just imagine the anti-Kavanaugh protesters filling the halls of Congress, harassing GOP senators. Conservatives aren’t imagining campus mobs shouting down conservatives. Republican political consultants didn’t invent the mob at Middlebury College last year that chased Charles Murray off of campus, and physically injured a (liberal) professor who was his host. Nor did the GOP conjure the Yale mob that abused the Christakises over Halloween costumes in 2016.

And on and on. More to the point, Republicans did not invent the mob-like behavior of the news media in the Kavanaugh affair. In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard from three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this. The independent told me he hasn’t voted GOP in 30 years, but that may change this November, because of the “malice” (his word) on the left. And the third remains a devoted Democrat, but he is agonizing over the demons now taking over his political side, and worries if they can ever be reined in.

In “After Kavanaugh,” Kevin Williamson adds, “The Democrats have created an environment that will render ordinary political discourse almost impossible for years to come:”

This has been shameful, and there should be a reckoning.

That reckoning will not come from the New York Times or from the faculty of the Yale Law School. And it will not come from mind-killed partisans who will believe — or at least pretend to believe — anything that justifies and facilitates their pursuit of power. “She sounded credible to me!” they say. People who are telling us what we want to hear often do. That isn’t good enough — and this cynical smear campaign cannot be allowed to go unanswered. Everybody likes to think that they would have had the good sense and spine to stand against Senator Joseph McCarthy or the House Un-American Activities Committee.

But as the Democrats in rodential retreat go slinking sideways away from this failed attempt at character assassination, what will we do? Not only in November, but after? They would very much like to make this election about Donald Trump, but this has very little to do with the president. They tried to do the same thing to Mitt Romney that they tried with Brett Kavanaugh, and they would have done the same thing if it had been President Romney naming a new justice.

If you don’t punish a political party for this, what do you punish one for?

Indeed. And how does the media recover from their role in the anti-Kavanaugh debacle? The Washington Free Beacon notes that Joe Scarborough(!) “issued a pointed challenge to editors across the country:”

“I challenge New York Times reporters this morning — not reporters, editors — I challenge Washington Post editors, I challenge Wall Street Journal editors, I challenge editors across America, write that story. What happened with Dr. Ford’s agreement with a congresswoman, with Dianne Feinstein? Why did they leak that story? And more importantly, look at yourself and ask yourself the question, why didn’t we report on this in real time when you sure as hell would have reported on it if [Sen. Chuck] Grassley (R., Iowa) and his office had done the same thing?”

Just think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense — or as “Comfortably Smug” tweets, “Journalists are the most insidious of paid protesters.”

UPDATE: Forget ‘boobs’! CNN’s Brooke Baldwin now clutching her pearls over ‘the M word.’

THEY’RE NEVER THIS CURIOUS ABOUT DEMOCRATS — SEE, E.G., KEITH ELLISON. Media, ABC, PBS use Facebook to beg other Kavanaugh accusers to talk, ‘Truth will emerge.’ But remember when the NYT crowdsourced people to go through Sarah Palin’s hacked emails? Think of them as Democratic Party operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

UPDATE: Ellison accuser releases 2017 medical document saying she feared ‘retribution.’

News media: Who?

SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” STUMBLES: The future of the Democratic Party has no idea what “occupation of Palestine” means, but certainly likes using it.

That puts Democrats who are rushing to get behind [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez in a bind, however. Will the news media start asking them about the “occupation of Palestine” in places like Indiana, West Virginia, and Ohio? Or how about even in New York, where Kirsten Gillibrand practically sprained an ankle attempting to embrace Democratic Socialism after Ocasio-Cortez’ surprise win? Does the Akin Rule apply to anyone else other than Republicans?

Just think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and you’ll know the answer is, “No. Next question?”

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRATIC ACTIVISTS WITH BYLINES AND THEIR SILENCE MAKES PERFECT SENSE: Democrats are in a crisis and the media won’t talk about it.

As Jim Treacher says:

VIRGINIA DEMOCRAT CAMPAIGN AD: After 9/11 The Greatest Threat To America Lived In A Cave. Now He Lives In The White House. “If the party roles were reversed here, this is a three-day firestorm. As it is, it’s more of a curio for the media. Which makes sense, since many of them doubtless agree with Dan Helmer’s point.”

You know what? I do think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and it does all make sense.

JUST NBC THE BIAS: “Democrats, rights advocates are close to losing the battle over torture. Gina Haspel seems likely to be confirmed as CIA director without apologizing for the torture of terror suspects during the Bush administration.”

Think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

#METOO: A TAINTED NBC DRAWS SCRUTINY WITH ITS ILL-ADVISED OPRAH WINFREY TWEET.

Media and political circles are excited Monday following a barnburner of a speech this weekend from Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul most responsible for amplifying anti-vaccination theories, mainstreaming self-help “spiritualism” and launching the careers of infamous quacks Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil.

President Trump has proven already that even carnival barkers can be elected President of the United States, so the 2020 presidential buzz coming off of Winfrey’s address Sunday evening at the 75th Golden Globes isn’t that insane.

NBC, however, stepped in it even before the noted media proprietor delivered her prepared remarks.

“Nothing but respect for OUR future president,” the network’s official Twitter account said in a since-deleted tweet that referred both to a joke told by Golden Globes host Seth Meyers and a separate pro-Trump tweet that went viral last year.

No reason to merely think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines when they’re tweeting out stuff like this:

As Kyle Smith writes in an article today titled, “Golden Globes Fiasco: Hypocrisy, Preening, No Self-Awareness:”

NBC, Oprah: The juxtaposition of those two brands is too perfect to pass without notice. If your memory stretches back even three months, you’ll recall that it was NBC that quashed a series of blockbuster scoops by its correspondent Ronan Farrow that, when he finally was forced to take them to The New Yorker, reported that Harvey Weinstein was a serial rapist. By coincidence, the president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim, moonlights as a screenwriter who wrote Jackie — the kind of arty, Oscar-bait fare that Weinstein often produced and shepherded to Oscar glory (or at least Golden Globes semi-glory).

NBC’s late-night jokesters, Meyers included, were curiously slow to make jokes about Weinstein when the scandal initially broke October 5. Winfrey — whose kiss of Weinstein at a Globes-style awards show a couple of years ago went viral as she spoke, and who worked for Weinstein on his 2013 movie, Lee Daniels’s The Butler — appears also to have been used as starlet-bait by the reprehensible producer. Only via Hollyweird logic could she be cast as the anti-Weinstein or the anti-Trump: The world’s leading proponent of the concept “your truth,” a phrase she used again in her speech, is not the antidote to Trumpian deceit.

Of course, we’ve seen such rabid boosterism from NBC and the rest of the DNC-MSM  for a tyro presidential candidate before:

I assume the combination of NBC’s tweet, Oprah’s award speech, and the DNC’s tweet earlier on Sunday night praising nothing but women candidates was all more or less coordinated as part of her official kickoff, or at the least testing the waters, of her presidential bid. But as I said earlier today, it seems like a poor branding decision for Oprah to associate herself so closely with Hollywood’s Weinstein fiasco.

Speaking of which: “Juanita Broaddrick To Oprah: ‘Funny, I’ve Never Heard You Mention My Name.’”

Ouch.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE: CNN Host Ignores Democrat’s Misconduct Settlement For Entire Interview [VIDEO].

JORGE RAMOS MAKES HIS CONTRIBUTION TO THE 2020 TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Jorge Ramos Says He’s Now Having the ‘Worst Time’ of His Life in U.S. And note this:

Nearly a year into the Trump presidency, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos says he’s experiencing “the worst moment I’ve had in the 34 years I’ve been living in the United States.”

“With Donald Trump there, I have never been treated so badly. I have never been insulted so much. We’ve never been attacked so much, nor have they tried to run us out as much as now,” Ramos vented in an interview with the Spanish radio network Cadena SER.

Ramos, who proclaimed himself “if not an enemy, an opponent” of Trump in the interview, complained about the massive blowback he has received since deciding to use his media platforms to openly oppose the choice of over 62 million American voters in last year’s U.S. presidential election.

“Now the social media networks are terrible,” Ramos told his Spanish radio interviewer, Javier del Pino. “Before if someone wanted to insult you, they had to do it in person or by sending you an anonymous letter. Now they do it through the social media networks and the daily insults – you can enter my Facebook or Twitter and they are there all the time,” lamented Ramos.

How dare you peons speak with me – I’m a reporter!

Flashback: Stelter, Tur clash with Jorge Ramos on being ‘Stand-Ins for Democrats:’

At a recent National Press Club panel on the current state of the U.S. news media, the fireworks really erupted when Ramos objected to a statement made by Tur, in which she basically exhorted journalists to uphold core journalistic standards.

KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Continue to report on the facts. Be as fair as you possibly can be. Be partial to the truth, and don’t be alarmist when it’s unnecessary.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: May I, uh, disagree?

After interrupting Tur for apparently advocating a much too orthodox approach to the practice of the profession, Ramos proceeded to urge the attendees at the National Press Club event to favor instead his ‘holy war’ approach to covering Trump.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Our position, I think, has to be much more aggressive. And we should not expect the Democrats to do that job. It is our job. If we don’t question the president, if we don’t question his lies, if we don’t do it, who is gonna do it? It’s an uncomfortable position…

BRIAN STELTER, HOST, CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES: You’re almost saying we’re a stand-in for the Democrats.

“Almost.” Just think of them as Democrat operatives with bylines (and in Ramos’ case, a daughter who was employed by the Hillary campaign) and it all makes sense.

Who want to aggressively “question the president…question his lies,” but dive for the fainting couch when their viewers return the favor.

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF GREAT TIMING: “It’s come to this: Activist group’s Virginia ad shows Republican trying to run down minority children,” as Allahpundit noted at Hot Air, yesterday.

The outfit responsible for this excrescence is Latino Victory, kicking in their contribution to the Democrats’ “Ed Gillespie *is* the alt-right” messaging effort in Virginia. As noted on Friday, Gillespie’s advertising lately has taken a turn towards focusing on crime, including and especially MS-13 and sanctuary cities, and the culture-war hot button of removing Confederate statues. The liberal response to that is double-pronged: (1) scream “scaremongering!” (2) scaremonger the hell out of the race themselves by comparing Gillespie repeatedly to a white nationalist tiki-torcher. (Note what’s playing on the TV at the end of this spot.) You would have thought that the rebel flag and Gillespie bumper sticker on the car would be enough to convey the message, but no, sure enough, there’s a Gadsden-flag license plate too just to make sure tea-party alumni know this is aimed at them as well. It’s a sure sign that you’re in the home stretch of a bitter race when the “my opponents are child predators” ads start running.

From that far left fever-swamp fantasy to the brutal reality of today’s events: “Eight dead in terror attack after truck careens down a cycle path near Ground Zero before the male Uzbeki driver, 29, runs off and is shot by cops while waving paintball gun and yelling Allahu Akbar,” the London Daily Mail reports, with a sidebar exploration of “How terrorists have turned to vans and lorries to murder hundreds of people in a matter of months.”

Latino Victory has since pulled their ad. As Twitchy asks, “So, did they grow a conscience? Or were they just trying to bury it after today’s deadly terrorist attack in New York, where a man mowed innocent pedestrians down with a truck?”

In any case, naturally, the same media that went on a rampage over Sarah Palin’s clip art after Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, a George H.W. Bush-appointed judge, and 17 others were shot in Tucson in January of 2011 won’t lose much sleep over the horrific timing of yesterday’s ad. Just think of the media as Democratic activists with bylines and both responses make perfect sense.

UPDATE: NewsBusters notes that the ad mirrors “an actual murder [from this past June] involving a 17-year-old Muslim girl wearing a hijab who was chased down in Sterling, Virginia, by a suspect in a vehicle. According to police reports, the suspect then abducted and murdered the young girl with a baseball bat, and he is actually an illegal immigrant.”

THE MEDIA IS MISSING THE REPUBLICAN TAKEOVER IN NEW ENGLAND.

As Salena Zito writes, “If the reverse had happened, and four Democrats had won governorships in deep red states last year, the news would have been treated quite differently, said Brad Todd, a Washington, DC-based GOP strategist. ‘It would have been on the front pages of every major newspaper in the country. And debated for weeks about how it spells the demise of the Republican Party,’ Todd said.”

Just think of the media as Democratic activists with bylines, and it all makes sense.

LARRY O’CONNOR: Why Won’t Media Demand Dems Condemn Antifa?

Democrats have been all over cable and network news over the past several weeks as they participate in the tag team pile-on of any Republican who dares to show the slightest support of President Trump. Where are Wolf and Mika and Don and Anderson and George and Chuck and all the rest confronting these Democrats, boxing them in and challenging them to condemn, in no uncertain terms, the Antifa thugs once and for all?

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines providing cover for Democratic operatives with baseball bats, and it all makes sense. Although to be fair, more Democrats (the kind with D after their names) are coming around to condemning Antifa all own their own.

YES. NEXT QUESTION? Is ‘identity liberalism’ killing the Democratic party?

Humanities professor Mark Lilla has a new book out titled “The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics”… If you want a sense of how the left is responding to this thesis, you can turn to this contentious interview at Slate. Author Isaac Chotiner seems to be doing his best to undermine Lilla’s argument and, more specifically, to make the case that everything comes down to racism. Lilla’s position is that this assumption is blinding Democrats to seeing a more nuanced view of the problem:

John Sexton of Hot Air goes on to quote a wide swatch of Lilla’s interview, but I want to drill down to this moment, which sums up just how unreceptive Lilla’s intended audience of fellow leftists will be to his message:

[Lilla:] When you ask them about identity issues, the people who are not voting for us, and ask them about what they perceive as political correctness, they respond. You only have to look at polls about this, and it’s a great recruiting tool for the right. Now, unless you assume that all of white America is racist and lost and cannot be saved—

Chotiner: Only about half, yeah.

So Lilla is saying people on the right are responding to the left’s obvious contempt for them and Chotiner’s reply is to label half of them are racist, which is sort of making Lilla’s point,”  Sexton adds after quoting more of the interview.

Slate is the last journalistic redoubt of the Graham family, who owned the Washington Post and Newsweek for decades, before offloading, in recent years, the latter for $1 and the former in return for Jeff Bezos’ pocket change. One of the reasons why their publications managed to turn a large investment into a smaller one is the smugness of their journalists, one of whom wore a “Yeah, I’m in the Media, Screw You!” button to the GOP’s 1992 convention.

And if anything, the smug cloud over both the DNC and its operatives with bylines has grown much, much larger. As William Voegeli concludes in his review of Lilla’s book at City Journal (titled “Liberals, Shipwrecked,” which is also well worth your time to read in full), “Lilla’s hope for a future liberalism that will forge ahead and surmount identity politics seems naïve.”

And how.

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ KEPT PAYING TECH EXPERT SUSPECTED OF STEALING HOUSE COMPUTERS, the Miami Herald reports:

When a computer expert who worked for congressional Democrats was accused of stealing computers and data systems in February, members of Congress cut him loose within days, leaving Imran Awan with no supporters five months later.

Except for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Weston Democrat has not explained in detail why she continued to employ Awan until Tuesday when she fired him — after he was arrested on bank-fraud charges at Dulles International Airport in Virginia attempting to board a flight to Pakistan.

And she has not elaborated on what work Awan did for her after he lost access to the House computer network.

Related: Wasserman Schultz Seemingly Planned To Pay Suspect Even While He Lived In Pakistan.

As Mark Steyn told Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, the story of DWS and Awan has “everything that the Democrats and the media spent months… trying to prove [with] the Russia investigation…We have actual criminal elements. “Everything they’ve been looking for is… staring them in the face with this mysterious guy.”

Which of course, is why, with the notable exception of DWS’s hometown paper, the DNC-MSM can’t run away fast enough from story, and/or switch into “Republican overreach” mode.

As Iowahawk likes to say, “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” Just think of the media as Democrat operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

 

DAVID HARSANYI: So-Called Fact Checkers Keep Butchering The Facts About Obamacare.

“Fact checking” has evolved from an occasionally useful medium to an exercise in revisionism and diversion. Take The Washington Post writer Glenn Kessler’s recent article titled “President Trump’s mangled ‘facts’ about Obamacare.” Headline readers might assume it’s just Trump doing what Trump does most of the time. I almost passed myself. Yet it turns out that all these supposedly “mangled” contentions about Obamacare are, at the very least, debatable assertions.

Kessler, for example, doesn’t approve of this Donald Trump statement: “Americans were told that premiums would go down by $2,500 per year. And instead, their premiums went up to levels that nobody thought even possible.” Other than the hyperbole (“nobody thought even possible”), this statement is substantively true.

Kessler’s ostensive debunking of the “premiums are soaring” claim is really just a confirmation that premiums have indeed risen, augmented by an argument that it wasn’t Obamacare’s fault. Kessler blames the vagaries of modern life and demographics—because these things apparently didn’t exist when Democrats were making their big unrealistic promises in 2009.

Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines, and you’ll have it exactly right.

ABYSSINIA, RAHM: Mayor Emanuel didn’t seek comparison to Mussolini in NYT op-ed, the Chicago Tribune notes:

Either someone at The New York Times doesn’t like Mayor Rahm Emanuel very much, or the Gray Lady needs to brush up on her history.*

How else to account for the unfortunate evocation of murderous Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in the headline NYT editors put on Emanuel’s op-ed column about his work to improve the CTA in Monday’s Times?

“Rahm Emanuel: In Chicago, the Trains Actually Run on Time,” blared the Times’ online headline for a column in which Emanuel favorably contrasted his policy of putting maintenance and reliability ahead of expansion of the city’s rail system.

Was it over when Chicago bombed Ethiopia?!

* Since they’re almost entirely Democrats with bylines at the Times, let’s go with the latter — layers and layers of fact-checkers and editors — who have no knowledge of history. Shades of Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau putting the unfortunate Neville again “Peace in our time” phrase into his boss’s second inauguration address to create a classic Kinsley gaffe.

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN: In January 2008, with video cameras rolling, far left presidential candidate Barack Obama told the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle that he would bankrupt any new coal-powered electrical plant. Since the Chronicle’s editors were (and are) Democrat operatives with bylines, rather than putting this news in giant headlines on the front page (i.e. “CANDIDATE OBAMA VOWS TO BANKRUPT NEW COAL-POWERED PLANTS”), the paper buried Obama’s quote in plain sight in the middle of a lengthy video of Q&As between the editors and Obama. It sat online for months until an enterprising video blogger spotted it and became an October surprise for Obama, though too little too late, alas. But as with Obama’s “spread the wealth around” socialist quip to Joe the Plumber also in October, anyone not completely in the tank for Obama at least knew what to expect when he took office in January of 2009.

This past Thursday, the Chronicle reported, via their AP feed:

Under a tent perched hundreds of feet above a freshly dug coal pit, about 200 miners, business leaders, and politicians celebrated amid the surge of enthusiasm for the industry. Mining headgear lay atop red, white, and blue table cloths labeled “Make Coal Great Again.”

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said the mine was part of an effort to bring back jobs and industry to the state. Pennsylvania awarded a $3 million grant for the project.

“We have not always capitalized on our standing as one of the world’s leaders in these resources, but we’re changing that,” Wolf said.

Trump has made reversing the decades-long decline in coal mining the central tenet of his environmental policy, blaming federal regulations aimed at curbing planet-warming carbon emissions for job losses in the industry. Trump and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt have targeted laws that protected waterways from coal waste and required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants. About a dozen protesters chanted in opposition to the mine at the opening.

Hardest hit (besides Barry himself), Democrats with bylines at the San Francisco Chronicle, who whiffed the biggest catch of the 2008 election for partisan reasons, and Hillary Clinton, who cackled gleefully in March 2016 that she would “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” if elected. Her quote was made in at a CNN town hall segment in Ohio, America’s “ninth largest coal producing state in 2013,” Big Government’s Michael Patrick Leahy wrote last year regarding Hillary’s devastating Kinsley-esque gaffe.

But then, I’m so old, I remember when Democrat presidential candidates vowed to create new jobs, not crush them.

JUST THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE.

Shot:

Back in February, I was riding on the New York to DC shuttle and CNN’s own Jeff Zucker was seated in the row behind me with a woman I took to be a colleague or personal assistant. She was yelling loudly into her phone, loudly enough that the other passengers took note of it, at one point escalating her voice to say: “If they want war with CNN, they got it.” When we landed, I noted the likely inspiration for the call: the administration had offered Mike Pence to every network except for CNN.

—Ben Domenech, “CNN’s War On Trump Is Going Swimmingly,” yesterday.

Chaser:

The media brag that they now more or less run the Democratic agenda. Univision’s Jorge Ramos (whose daughter worked for the Hillary Clinton campaign) recently thundered:

Our position, I think, has to be much more aggressive. And we should not expect the Democrats to do that job. It is our job. If we don’t question the president, if we don’t question his lies, if we don’t do it, who is going to do it? It’s an uncomfortable position.

In other words, Ramos confessed that the Democratic party apparently has neither new ideas nor a political agenda that would win over the public, and thus self-appointed journalistic grandees like him would have to step forward and lead the anti-Trump opposition as they shape the news.

Fellow panelist and CNN’s media correspondent Brian Stelter answered Ramos, “You’re almost saying we’re a stand-in for the Democrats.” Thereby, Stelter inadvertently confirmed Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon’s widely criticized but prescient assertion that the media are in fact “the opposition party” — and should be treated as such.

—Victor Davis Hanson, “Progressive Media & Democrats Form New Anti-Trump Party,” May 30th.

Hangover: Proud Sponsor of President Trump’s Nightly ‘Assassination’ — CNN’s Parent Company Time Warner:

In the next scene the Trumpian Caesar is attacked by the Senators and stabbed to death as an American flag hovers overhead, according to Sheaffer. “They had the full murder scene onstage, and blood was spewing everywhere out of his body.”

Among others, guess who proudly sponsors this nightly wish-fulfillment in the bloody, live and in person! assassination of the President of the United States of America?

Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

“And keep in mind that this is the same CNN that led the charge to destroy the career of a rodeo clown for the sin of wearing an Obama mask,” John Nolte adds at the Daily Wire.

CNN’S JOHN KING ADMITS MEDIA WILL BURY COMEY’S ‘DAMNING ACCOUNT’ OF LYNCH’S BEHAVIOR ON HILLARY:

While the Comey hearing into Russia was and remains a big story, CNN’s John King admitted Thursday afternoon that the media will not give much (if any) attention to Jim Comey stating that he was disturbed by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch telling him in the midst of the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal that he should refer to it as “a matter,” not “an investigation.”

“A number of significant things. One, this won’t get much attention because it’s in the rearview mirror but a pretty damming account from Jim Comey there about Loretta Lynch, the former Attorney General in the Obama administration and her handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation. It won’t get much attention, but that was pretty damning,” King admitted.

Just think of the media as Democrat operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

IS THE NEW YORK TIMES A LIBERAL NEWSPAPER? OF COURSE IT IS: Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet Accidentally Admits He’s A Liberal (Video).

Just think of the paper as being staffed almost entirely by Democrats with bylines, and it all makes sense.

(Classical reference in headline.)

CAPITOL HILL DEMOCRATS’ PAKISTANI I.T. HACKERS: If This Were a Republican Problem, You Couldn’t Keep the Press Away.

If this was a scandal involving the Trump administration, the entire national media would be focused on it 24/7, with scoops and leaks gushing as hordes of top-drawer reporters chased a story that potentially connected government officials to major security breaches. But since the story involves Democrats, it’s apparently not that interesting to the mainstream press.

To be sure, there have been no charges and no convictions; it’s possible (as with the Trump-Russia scandal) that the wrongdoing may turn out to be relatively insignificant. But there’s enough black and oily smoke here that if this were a Republican problem, the MSM wouldn’t be able to get enough of it.

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

STELTER, TUR CLASH WITH JORGE RAMOS ON BEING ‘STAND-INS FOR DEMOCRATS:’

At a recent National Press Club panel on the current state of the U.S. news media, the fireworks really erupted when Ramos objected to a statement made by Tur, in which she basically exhorted journalists to uphold core journalistic standards.

KATY TUR, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Continue to report on the facts. Be as fair as you possibly can be. Be partial to the truth, and don’t be alarmist when it’s unnecessary.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: May I, uh, disagree?

After interrupting Tur for apparently advocating a much too orthodox approach to the practice of the profession, Ramos proceeded to urge the attendees at the National Press Club event to favor instead his ‘holy war’ approach to covering Trump.

JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Our position, I think, has to be much more aggressive. And we should not expect the Democrats to do that job. It is our job. If we don’t question the president, if we don’t question his lies, if we don’t do it, who is gonna do it? It’s an uncomfortable position…

BRIAN STELTER, HOST, CNN’S RELIABLE SOURCES: You’re almost saying we’re a stand-in for the Democrats.

“Almost.” Just think of them as Democrat operatives with bylines (and in Ramos’ case, a daughter who was employed the Hillary campaign) and it all makes sense.

WELL, THAT’S ONE WAY TO PUT IT: “California’s gas tax hike shows governor’s political skill” reads an AP headline this weekend.

Just think of them as Democrats with bylines — who love any opportunity to see their readers punished with higher gas taxes, no matter what the shape of the economy locally or nationally — and it all makes sense.

(On the other hand, Jerry Brown won his last election with 60 percent of the vote. What did California residents expect would happen next?)

Related: “California doubles down on stupid – Court upholds cap and trade program, new fuel tax coming,” Anthony Watts wrote on Friday, adding, “Watch businesses fly out of California now…even faster than before.”

Update: Former SNL cast member Rob Schneider both congratulates and levels Brown in a single tweet.

ANALYSIS: TRUE. Spicer: Media doesn’t treat Trump with respect, cheers on Democrats.

The media doesn’t treat President-elect Donald Trump with the proper respect, the man set to be the next White House spokesman said in an interview with The Hill.

Sean Spicer, a longtime GOP operative and strategist for the Republican National Committee, criticized a media landscape that he said mocked Trump even as it cheers on Democrats.

While he said the media seems to understand that Trump represents a larger movement after his presidential win, his remarks reflected longstanding antipathy on the part of the Trump team on how the businessman has been treated.

“There’s some positive aspects here and there, but largely it still continues to not treat him with the respect that he deserves,” Spicer said.

“I think for a lot of folks inside the beltway, and inside pundit-world, they don’t fully appreciate the understanding that he has of where the American people are,” Spicer continued. “They continue to mock him in ways, when it frankly just shows the lack of understanding of that they have of where the American people are and what they think.”

Spicer also criticized what he said are “countless examples” of the media cheering on Democrats.

“There are countless examples of the media engaging — overtly or covertly — cheering on Democrats and there’s no accountability. But it’s also not even frowned upon,” he said.

No, it’s cheered on by their fellow Democratic Party operatives with bylines.

KYLE SMITH: Keep crying wolf about Trump, and no one will listen when there’s a real crisis.

It’s contrary to the laws of nature for a tabloid writer to tell the gentry media not to go berserk. It’s like a cat telling his owner to stop coughing up hairballs or Iron Man asking Captain America to be less arrogant. Here at The Post, our mission statement does not include understatement. We provide journalistic Red Bull, not Sominex.

Nevertheless, a word of neighborly advice to our more genteel media friends, the ones who sit at the high table in their pristine white dinner jackets and ball gowns. You’ve been barfing all over yourselves for a week and a half, and it’s revolting to watch.

For your own sake, and that of the republic for which you allegedly work, wipe off your chins and regain your composure. I didn’t vote for him either, but Trump won. Pull yourselves together and deal with it, if you ever want to be taken seriously again. . . . Hysteria is causing leading media organizations to mix up their news reporting with their editorializing like never before, but instead of mingling like chocolate and peanut butter the two are creating a taste that’s like brushing your teeth after drinking orange juice.

Plus:

Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds’ characterization of reporters as ‘Democratic operatives with bylines’ is taking root in the American mind. Among independents, according to Gallup in September, the media had an approval rating of 30 percent; among Republicans 14. Almost everyone but Democrats think the media are biased, and support for that view goes way back. . . . This fall WikiLeaks confirmed everything conservatives have been saying about the media for more than 20 years. CNN, you have been busted. You allowed Democratic Party operative Donna Brazile to get hold of town-hall questions in advance and help Hillary Clinton prep with them. . . . John Harwood, New York Times/CNBC reporter and Republican debate moderator, you have been busted. You asked John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair, for questions you could pose to Jeb Bush in an interview.

Dana Milbank, Washington Post columnist and longtime phony “nonpartisan” political reporter, you have been busted. You reached out to DNC flack Eric Walker and asked for help putting together a “Passover-themed 10 plagues of Trump” story.

Not only are you evidently an undercover Democratic Party operative who should be drawing checks from the DNC instead of from The WaPo, you’re a tired hack who can’t even come up with his own column ideas without assistance.

Ouch. The truth hurts.

KEEP CRYING WOLF ABOUT TRUMP, AND NO ONE WILL LISTEN WHEN THERE’S A REAL CRISIS, Kyle Smith writes in the New York Post:

Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds’ characterization of reporters as “Democratic operatives with bylines” is taking root in the American mind. Among independents, according to Gallup in September, the media had an approval rating of 30 percent; among Republicans 14. Almost everyone but Democrats think the media are biased, and support for that view goes way back.

In November 2008, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell said readers who complained about shallow coverage and pro-Obama bias were “right on both counts,” publishing tallies that proved the paper had been far more critical of Obama’s opponent Sen. John McCain than of Obama. A few weeks later, “Game Change” co-author Mark Halperin said the media showed “extreme pro-Obama coverage” in a “disgusting failure.”

In 2012, The New York Times’ public editor Arthur Brisbane said the paper “basked a bit in the warm glow of Mr. Obama’s election in 2008” and cited a study that showed the Times’ coverage had been far more approving of Obama than it had been of President Reagan and both Presidents Bush.

In January 2008, NBC’s Brian Williams was honest enough to point out that the network’s reporter covering Obama had said, “It’s hard to be objective covering this guy.” Williams immediately demanded the reporter be fired for admitting to being unable to do his job.

Just kidding: Williams praised the reporter, calling him “courageous.”

In 2016, the media didn’t even pretend it wasn’t working in Hillary Clinton’s interests.

Read the whole thing.

TIME-WARNER-CNN-HBO SPOKESMAN BILL MAHER PRETENDS TO APOLOGIZE FOR CRYING WOLF AT BUSH, McCAIN AND ROMNEY:


In response, Iowahawk adds:


But then, long before Trump came along, the previous president or GOP candidate, who received brickbats and worse from the left is magically rehabilitated to bash the current nominee. Rinse and repeat, going back to Eisenhower and Goldwater.

This past July, Jonah Goldberg explored “How the Media’s History of Smearing Republicans Now Helps Trump.”

Last night, responding to Maher, Stephen Kruiser wrote, “As he points out [in the above clip], Maher gave a cool million to the Obama campaign in 2012 to prevent Mitt Romney from being elected. In the last few weeks before the election, Democrats were portraying Romney (the man they now describe as honorable) as a sexist animal abuser who gave a woman cancer. Check back in four years to see if they’ve really learned anything about crying wolf.”

Similarly, file this prediction from Twitter user Chris Antenucci away for future reference: “Bill Maher and most liberals in 2020: ‘This year’s nominee, Rubio, is making Trump look like a moderate. He’s a radical on abortion.’”

That’s a remarkably safe bet. We’re seeing lots of mea culpas from the media and its critics about how badly it blew its reporting this year and how deeply it was in the tank for the Democratic nominee. But they could virtually be rewrites of the same faux apologies we’ve seen at the conclusion of every presidential election since at least 2004. And yet, “unexpectedly,” the MSM just never seems to learn from them, do they?

Just think of the media as Democrat operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

DISPATCHES FROM THE MEMORY HOLE, PART ONE:

Shot:

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the election coverage in the nation’s largest newspapers and on cable TV, you have likely found yourself a bit exasperated at how events from the campaign trail have been covered. Much of that comes from editorial bias in story selection, but more than a little is caused by the obvious bias inherent in the “explanations” of the stories which do make it into print or on the air. But it seems that the journalists aren’t too happy either. Some of them feel constrained by the musty, dusty old rules of engagement in the news game. Keep in mind that we’re not talking about “opinion journalists” like Hannity or Maddow here, but the reporters who are supposed to be covering the stories for us with all of the who, where, when, what and how details. When it comes to politics such things can be hard to define, as politicians employ greater and greater amounts of spin in their stump speeches and debate performances.

Marc Ambinder feels their pain and brings us an opinion piece at USA Today this week in which he calls for new rules of journalism. Under these revised guidelines, reporters should feel free to correct what they perceive as errors on the part of the candidates on the fly.

—“The Left is ushering in ‘new rules of journalism’ because of Donald Trump,” Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, November 1st.

Chaser:

As I wrote last month in “The Rise of the John Birch Left:”

The original Birchers weren’t bad people, but their Cold War paranoia got the better of them. Similarly, as Charles Krauthammer famously said, “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” which illustrates how a John Birch-style worldview can cause the modern leftists to take an equally cracked view of his fellow countrymen…

…Which brings us today to Marc Ambinder, who according to Wikipedia is a former White House correspondent at the National Journal, contributing editor at GQ and the Atlantic, and editor-at-large at The Week, where he blows the battle trumpet, Col. Kilgore-style: “Why Democrats should treat Republicans like their mortal enemy.”

* * * * * * *

I missed the memo though: When did Democrats stop treating Republicans like their mortal enemy?

“You Went Full Bircher, Man. Never Go Full Bircher,” Ed Driscoll.com, December 3rd, 2014.

Meet the “new” rules of journalism — just the same as the old rules of journalism. Think of the MSM as Democrat operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

SO, NOT, AS GLENN THRUSH WOULD SAY, “BADASS?” What Top Democrats Really Thought About Hillary’s Private Server: “F*****g Insane.”

Related: If The Media Investigated Hillary Like They Did Watergate, We Wouldn’t Need WikiLeaks.

ANN ALTHOUSE: Robby Mook’s sleight of hand about the Democratic operatives who manufactured violence at Trump rallies. “That doesn’t get the DNC off the hook. Why were these people hired? They did something, and then they were hired. Were they hired because they’d shown what kind of dirty tricks they were capable of?”

Of course they were. The Democrats send people to manufacture violence at Trump rallies, then their operative-with-bylines friends in the media cluck their tongues at how Trump is “manufacturing violence.”

Plus: “Mook sounds so guilty there. He’s mad that any video exists (because it hurts his candidate), and he’s also telling us not to make any inferences about anything that isn’t proved by video. Again, I’m thinking: They did something bad before they were agents of the DNC, so why did the DNC hire them and what did they do?”

Well, he sounds guilty because he is guilty. And he’s angry that the video means that even his allies in the press have to take some notice.

OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Journalist emails Jennifer Palmieri to give her a “heads up” on coming sex scandal story. “I need to give you a heads up on something Menendez-related that will affect your new boss so you have time to put together a plan for it. . . . Won’t be breaking news until next week, but likely to be big enough that you’ll want to plan for it in advance. And good luck with today.”

UPDATE: From the comments:

So far, the biggest thing I’ve learned from these Wikileaks documents is that big-shot journalists in New York and D.C. regularly take a big, steaming dump all over the standards and ethics that were drilled into my head back in journalism school like they were the Ten Commandments. Seriously, a lot of this stuff would get your ass fired in a heartbeat if you were a regular reporter at a TV station or newspaper out in flyover country.

So: One set of rules for them. Another set of rules for everybody else.

Noted.

Or as they say, “It doesn’t matter what the legal and ethics people say, we need to win this mother***er.”

UPDATE: Oops, actually I think I have the wrong Matthew Miller. I thought it was this guy, but it’s this guy. He publishes in high-level places sometimes, but he’s a PR guy, really, not a journalist, though the difference grows ever more elusive.

THINK OF THEM AS DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES AND YOU WON’T GO FAR WRONG: Our Press Falls Down on the Job Again.

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.

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.

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.

IT’S CLEAR THAT “ABSOLUTE MORAL AUTHORITY” IS A ONE-WAY STREET:

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.

STACY McCAIN ON THE DEMOCRATS WITH BYLINES “REPORTING” FROM THE GOP CONVENTION.

DENIAL DIES IN DALLAS, Richard Fernandez writes:

Dallas leaves the Narrative with no place to go. What’ll it be? Withdraw the police from the streets? Crack down on the usual suspects? Announce this was the work of that Jayvee team, ISIS? Close the borders? Confiscate the guns? Call in the FBI?

Or maybe we can listen to another speech about how hatred is on its last legs? There’s nowhere to turn without admitting failure. Or perhaps we can just change the subject and talk about the war on women and Christian hatred? What’ll it be? It’s always worked before, maybe it’ll work again… Denial will no longer work. That is the single most important thing to understand.

When Democrats with bylines were busy in 2008 churning out endless articles on what kind of transformative president their self described “blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views” would be, Lyndon Johnson rarely made the list. But the Obama administration began with a typically disastrous Great Society-style program (Obamacare), spent its middle years micromanaging from the White House a war they seemed oddly determined to lose and now spend their waning days “recreating ’68,” as the left promised it would do in 2008.

And Hillary is campaigning as his successor. Four more years of this?

WHY, IT’S AS IF REPORTERS ARE ACTUALLY DEMOCRATS WITH BYLINES OR SOMETHING: “Political incorrectness is only something Republicans can do. When a Democrat says something racially offensive, for the MSM it’s all swept into a black hole.”

DON’T CRY FOR ME, TEXARKANA!   NPR Reporter: Women Weep Over History-Making Hillary Clinton.

Even the throne-sniffing Democrats with bylines at NPR must admit, when no one is looking, that the political candidate as deity shtick doesn’t sell nearly as well with Hillary as it did with an unknown Obama in 2008.

STEVEN HAYWARD ON MEDIA COGNITIVE DISSONANCE:

As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, the mainstream media are Democrats with bylines, whose personal sympathies all lie with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

True, but the major media are also quickly dying. The head of CBS News remarked quite candidly a few months ago that Donald Trump was great for ratings, and therefore good for the bottom line at money-losing news divisions.

Which raises the following question: if you think purely in terms of professional self-interest, who would most reporters want to win in November?

Hint: Who would make for the best copy and on-air time for the next four years—boring Hillary, or The Donald?

This is why I counterintuitively think the media actually want Trump to win, and may well slant their coverage that way at the margin. Sure, most reporters are partisan liberals, but most of them would like to keep their jobs, too. A key clue will be whether the media cut Hillary any slack over the email scandal when the FBI report is finally released.

Stay tuned.

THE HOUSE OF STEPHANOPOULOS HAS A SAD. Watch: Trump calls ABC reporter Tom Llamas ‘sleaze.’

Flashback: George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to Clinton Foundation.

Related: This is rich:

“When Democrats are raising questions, the press is also reflecting what your opposition is saying about you,” said another reporter. “We’re not just us throwing questions at you.” *

Trump responded that he didn’t mind the criticism coming from the opposition, but said it’s different when it comes from the press.

“I think the political press is among the most dishonest I’ve ever seen,’ he said. “I have to tell you that. But I think the political press – I see the stories and the way they’re couched.”

As the press conference ended, a reporter told Trump he had “set a new bar in being contentious with the press” and asked whether this is what it would be like if Trump wins the White House.

“Yeah it is,” Trump responded.

“I”m going to continue to attack the press,” he added. “I find the press to be dishonest. I find the political press to be extremely dishonest.”

Well they are. Just ask Katie Couric, Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Scott “Holocaust Denier” Pelley, Face the Nation host John Dickerson who advised Obama in 2013 to ‘Destroy the GOP,’ etc., etc.

All of which is why, “If this news conference turns into a press-driven referendum on how the press is doing,” Ari Fleischer tweets, “Trump will have won the day.”

Or as Jonah Goldberg wrote in 2000 when George Bush was caught on a hot mic calling insulting Adam Clymer, “Here is a secret about presidential politics that nobody is willing to admit but everyone knows: It never hurts to call a reporter from the New York Times an a**hole.”

Last year at the National Press Club, Ben Carson warned the press, “I got to tell you guys, that’s why people don’t trust you anymore. I mean you’re down there with used car salesmen.” I agree – although apologies to used car salesmen for the unfair comparison.

*Right – you’re acting as Democrat party operatives with bylines, amplifying your bosses’ message.

UPDATE: 800 pound gorilla in presidential race grilled for thoughts on 800 pound gorilla in zoo:

trump_gorilla_5-31-16-1

AND THIS YEAR, THE ROLE OF PAULINE KAEL WILL BE PLAYED BY… CBS This Morning Host Gayle King: Nobody at Party I Was at Last Night Cares About Clinton’s Emails:

With Face The Nation moderator John Dickerson in the studio to discuss the State Department’s Inspector General report that slammed Clinton’s email conduct, King protested nobody at the party she was at the night before cared about it.

In the clip flagged by media watchdog NewsBusters, King appeared perturbed that Clinton’s server was once again at the forefront.

“So John, put it in perspective,” King said. “How big a deal is this really? I was at an event last night, and both Democrats and Republicans were quoting Bernie Sanders saying, ‘I’m sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.’”

“But that was a long time ago, and he’s since changed some of that,” co-host Charlie Rose said.

“Yeah, he has, but the people at this party last night haven’t, so how big a deal is it?” King asked.

Just as a reminder, Dickerson advised Obama to ‘Destroy the GOP’ in a 2013 Slate column. Charlie Rose recently joined in with the on-air mirth-making with two of Obama’s speechwriters who joked about the millions who’ve lost their health insurance policies thanks to Obamacare. The president of CBS News is David Rhodes, the brother of Obama advisor and failed novelist Ben “Lonesome” Rhodes, who recently committed ritual seppuku in the New York Times. Just think of CBS’s “journalists” as Democrat operatives with bylines, and you won’t go far wrong.

To paraphrase the late Pauline Kael, these newsreaders live in a rather special world. Where the people who dislike Hillary are, they don’t know. They’re outside their ken. And since they’re in midtown Manhattan, they can’t even feel them in the theaters.

WHO CAUSED LAST NIGHT’S ANTI-TRUMP RIOTS? “Republican Dan Lewis, the President of the Albuquerque City Council issued this statement,” Larry O’Connor writes at Hot Air today. Here is Lewis’s statement:

“The violence that we’re seeing this evening is absolutely unacceptable, and it is not the fault of Donald Trump, his campaign, or the attendees at the rally this evening.  It is directly the result of so called public interest groups, such as ProgressNM and the Southwest Organizing Project, fomenting hate.  These organizations this evening devolved from community action groups to hate groups by every usual measure.  This was not a protest – it was a riot that was the result of a mob trying to cause damage and injury to public property and innocent citizens exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble.”

“Thank you,” O’Connor adds. “And the statement from local Democrats? Can’t find one.” Well, other than their operatives with bylines at CNN, who describe last night’s riot as a mere “scuffle.”

Here’s an AP photo of the Albuquerque PD’s anti-scuffle brigade, who would eventually fire smoke grades (and according to some reports, pepper spray) at the mostly peaceful scufflers. Many more dramatic photos of the scuffle at Hot Air.

Riot police respond to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, in front of the Albuquerque Convention Center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Riot police respond to anti-Trump protests following a rally and speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, in front of the Albuquerque Convention Center where the event was held, in Albuquerque, N.M., Tuesday, May 24, 2016. (AP Photo and caption.)

As John Hinderaker concludes in a Power Line titled “Electing Trump, One Riot at a Time,” “Liberals will try to imply that violence by anti-Trump rioters is somehow Trump’s fault, but they can’t sell that theory. Most people dislike riots and rioters just as much today as they did in 1968. Trump has risen to the top of the political heap in large part because of the enemies he has made. During the primaries, the more he was denounced by liberal reporters, the more votes he got. The same will happen in the general election if voters see that he is besieged by left-wing rioters.”

IRAN RELEASES SAILORS AFTER U.S. PROMISES ‘NOT TO REPEAT SUCH MISTAKES.’

Related: Man tasked by president to cure cancer spins Iran was just helping out our boats “in distress,” Kerry thanks Tehran.

Remember in 2008, when Democrats with bylines were all cranking out their worshipful spin predicting which legendary president Obama was going to be most like? I wonder what they think about January in his last year in office resembling the last Januaries of the administrations of both Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson?

iran_captures_us_sailors_1-13-16

This frame grab from Tuesday, January 12, 2016 video by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency, shows the detention of American Navy sailors by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran. The 10 U.S. Navy sailors detained by Iran after their two small boats allegedly drifted into Iranian territorial waters around one of Iran’s Persian Gulf islands a day earlier have been freed, the United States and Iran said Wednesday. (IRIB News Agency via AP)

UPDATE: Iran’s Humiliation Of Barack Obama Is Now Complete.

With a year in his administration to go, do you really want to tempt fate like that?

MORE: Wow, the Gray Lady turned into Vox.com so slowly, I hardly even noticed:

nyt_times_spins_iran_like_a_dreidel_1-13-16-1

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS HEADLINE: “BAM’S NEW TERROR PLAN: BE AFRAID:”

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:

ny_daily_news_be_afraid_11-24-15

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?”

THE DREARY NOSTALGIA OF 2016: Hillary’s “presidential candidacy has not merely been an invitation to perform a critical review of the president’s first term; it has also become a soul-sucking time vortex drawing American punditry back into the 1990s. For a subset of left-leaning political journalists and progeny of ‘Generation X,’ nothing could be more welcome. This decade was, however, characterized by more than an information technology bubble and the fruits of America’s uncontested global hegemony. It was a period of spectacular cynicism,” Noah Rothman writes at Commentary:

There is a superficial but popular contention among political observers that Hillary Clinton is greatly aided by the fact that her husband presided over a period in American history characterized by unparalleled peace and prosperity. That belief only holds up so long as you do not take too much stock in the fact that Clinton has been compelled by her restive left-flank to renounce virtually all of her husband’s most popular achievements.

* * * * * *

Amid Donald Trump’s campaign of bomb throwing, he perhaps inadvertently stumbled upon a rare attack on Democrats, and Team Clinton in particular. By obtusely suggesting the September 11 attacks might have been preventable, he reignited a long-settled debate over the nature of pre-attack intelligence.

And of course by virtue of his last name, Jeb is also carrying the torch for the late 1980s and 2001-2008. If the leading candidates on both sides of the aisle are all trapped in the past, that lends further credence to Jonah Goldberg’s observation regarding the importance of making 2016 a contrast between an exhausted DC lifer and a younger outsider in his latest G-File:

While not my first choice by any measure, I think [Jeb] could be a fine president, and it would be a no-brainer to vote for him over Hillary Clinton. That said, I’ve always thought he’d be a deeply, deeply, flawed nominee. As I’ve written before, in a contest of familiar brands, the more popular one does better — and the Clinton brand is more popular than the Bush brand. In a change election, when the other side has an old and tired brand, the last thing in the world you should do is respond with an older and even more tired brand.

Especially when the stakes involve the chance to finally move beyond 1933.

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And to bring this post full circle, all of this dreary nostalgia explains the “Fear And Loathing In Hillary World,” the stench of which emanates particularly strong from her operatives with bylines.

IN THE FUTURE, EVERYONE WILL BE BARACK OBAMA FOR 15 MINUTES: Michael Walsh writes that “Marco Rubio [is] the GOP’s Very Own Barack Obama:”

This story in today’s Washington Post ought to give even the most ardent Rubio supporters pause:

Marco Rubio is a U.S. senator. And he just can’t stand it anymore. “I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Rubio said in an interview. “I’m frustrated.”

This year, as Rubio runs for president, he has cast the Senate — the very place that cemented him as a national politician — as a place he’s given up on, after less than one term. It’s too slow. Too rule-bound. So Rubio, 44, has decided not to run for his seat again. It’s the White House or bust.

“That’s why I’m missing votes. Because I am leaving the Senate. I am not running for reelection,” Rubio said in the last Republican debate, after Donald Trump had mocked him for his unusual number of absences during Senate votes.

Meanwhile, Jeff Jacoby writes, “Of all the candidates running for president, the one who most resembles the incumbent is not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley. To be sure, the Democrats’ policy views largely overlap with Obama’s. But when it comes to attitude and self-image, it’s Obama and Trump who are birds of a feather:”

Everyone knows about Donald Trump’s bottomless narcissism; this is a man who has affixed the name “Trump” to everything from hotels to golf courses to cologne. Asked the other day which world leaders he would reach out to upon being elected, Trump replied that he wouldn’t need to call anyone: “I think I’d probably have them call me.”

But Obama’s march to the White House also involved startling displays of self-glorification, from Greek-style columns to a triumphal foreign tour to his own official seal (complete with Latin motto). From the earliest days of his presidency, it was clear that Obama was deeply enamored of himself, and had no doubt that the rest of the planet was just as smitten. “I am well aware,” he told the UN General Assembly, “of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world.” He gifted the queen of England with an iPod that included his own speeches. Obama’s addiction to the first-person singular pronoun — “I,” “me,” “my” — has been remarked on by many; he has even referred to “my military” and the troops “fighting on my behalf.”

Anyone who finds such vanity attractive should relish the prospect of a Trump presidency. Trump, after all, never doubts his own brilliance. He’s always the smartest person in the room; just ask him. Sound familiar?

Why yes, yes it does.

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And of course earlier this month, Hillary locked on to all of Obama’s far left positions advocating gun confiscation, blocking the Keystone Pipeline, etc., in an effort to freeze out Bernie Sanders and keep Joe Biden out of the race. It’s certainly boob bait for the bobos, but unless her GOP opponent truly believes the press releases put out by her operatives with bylines, it will — hopefully — backfire later.

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.)

BECAUSE THE  MSM CONSISTS LARGELY OF DEMOCRAT OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Why Do Democrats Get Away With Lying About Guns?

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.

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:

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?

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.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, U. TEXAS CULTURE OF CORRUPTION EDITION: Dallas Observer: Wallace Hall Was Right About UT All Along.

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.

THE DEMOCRATS’ WAR ON WOMEN: Ashe Schow: The Ernst-truthers of the Huffington Post.

Reinbach admits that under the military’s definition, Ernst is a combat veteran, “because she served in a combat zone.” But Reinbach goes to great lengths to make sure readers know he doesn’t consider her a combat veteran because she “was never in a firefight, or for that matter attacked at all; [her unit] delivered supplies, and later, guarded the front gate and ran perimeter patrol at their home base outside Kuwait City, Camp Arifjan.”

Seriously, every sentence of his hit piece drips with disdain for the senator. “Real combat veterans I spoke to,” Reinbach wrote, before quoting a single Vietnam veteran to back up his claim. That veteran, Larry Hanft, earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge during his service and does not think Ernst is a combat veteran. Hanft, an Iowa resident and registered Democrat, had already said as much in a letter to the editor during Ernst’s campaign.

Have you no decency, Huffington Post? No decency at all? Well, no:

“Senator Joni Ernst is a combat veteran. Period,” Conway wrote. “Andrew Reinbach manipulated my words, and I am angry and embarrassed that a so-called journalist would deliberately take out of context a small portion of our 15-minute discussion.”

She added: “I never questioned Sen. Ernst’s service, or that of my brothers and sisters in arms; to allow the Huffington Post’s readers to think otherwise is not only a disservice to Sen. Ernst, but to all those who wear the uniform of the United States. In a cheap attempt to besmirch the military service of Sen. Ernst, the Huffington Post instead has insulted all the men and women of the Armed Forces who have deployed in service to their nation.”

Forget it, Jake. It’s HuffPo. Meanwhile, here’s a less delicate take than Ashe’s:

First of all, the stank-ass hippies at the Huffington Post aren’t the arbiters of who is a combat veteran and who isn’t. This sounds like something I’d read at VoteVets or in an IAVA scorecard. I think that Jessica Lynch might take exception with the Huffington Post that truckdrivers aren’t allowed to call themselves “combat soldiers”.

Several people who thought that I’d agree with them have sent me links to the various stories about Ernst complaining that she’s stealing valor. I disagree, not because she’s a Republican, but because she’s a veteran who served in an area that earned her “imminent danger pay”. If she was claiming honors that she didn’t earn, I’d agree, but she hasn’t.

We go on and on about telling the truth, that all military service is honorable without embellishment. Ernst hasn’t said that she was kicking doors or interrogating prisoners or anything else. She has said that it was the luck of the draw that her unit didn’t encounter enemy soldiers or improvised explosives. That’s true, not everyone spends their 20 years in the service in constant danger and in contact with our enemies. She was in Iraq and she led the troops in her command in a way that they were able to complete their mission without any injuries and that is an accomplishment in itself.

Honestly, I wonder if the Dems and their operatives-with-bylines would be launching these attacks if Joni Ernst were a man.

And I wonder why they gave passes to those out-and-out military frauds Tom Harkin, Richard Blumenthal, etc.? Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t wonder at all.

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.

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.