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I’M PRETTY SURE WE’RE NOW LIVING IN THE ALTERNATE UNIVERSE THAT ENDS WITH A GOATEED SPOCK: Nickelback Issues Copyright Claim on Funny Trump Video, Runs Up Against the Streisand Effect.

WELL, TO BE FAIR, HE’S JUST THE NYT’S VERSION OF JENNIFER RUBIN, SO OF COURSE HE’S AN EMBARRASSMENT: Bret Stephens Compared Me to a Nazi Propagandist in the New York Times. It Proved My Point. “Stephens may be the first person in history to publicly illustrate both the Streisand Effect and Godwin’s Law in a single episode.”

Plus: “As I have noted elsewhere, this was never about online civility. It was about power. Bret Stephens believed that, by virtue of his comfortable position at the New York Times, he ought to be immune from insult or criticism.” Ah, yes. Big Media Privilege.

And: “If Stephens can abuse his position by searching out and threatening anyone who makes a joke about him online, and then devote an entire column to the nonsense personal vendetta that ensues, then I have to ask… how embarrassing is too embarrassing for Times editorial page editor James Bennet and his team?” Lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut, I’d say.

PATTERICO: Trump Courts Streisand Effect in Legal Action Against ‘Team of Vipers’ Author Cliff Sims.

The Streisand Effect is blind to race, sex, gender, religion, creed, and political affiliation.

OUT: STREISAND EFFECT. IN: DEAN MARTIN EFFECT. ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ cover by Dean Martin soars to No. 10 amid controversy.

JUDICIAL OVERREACH ENCOUNTERS THE STREISAND EFFECT:

An Australian court’s gag order and the forces of the Information Age collided on Thursday in a largely futile effort to keep news about the conviction of a high-ranking Vatican official from reaching readers.

While some U.S. and British news organizations, including the New York Times, did not report on the conviction of Australian Cardinal George Pell on the judge’s order, social media and other news outlets defied it.

Pell, 77, was convicted Tuesday on five counts of child sexual abuse in Melbourne, becoming the most senior official ever found guilty in the Catholic Church’s long-running child sexual-abuse scandals. The judge in the case, Peter Kidd, immediately subjected news of Pell’s conviction to a suppression order, the Australian equivalent of a gag order on press coverage.

Australian courts impose such orders to shield defendants from negative publicity that could prejudice future jurors in upcoming trials. Pell faces another trial next year on a separate set of abuse charges dating to the 1970s.

Kidd’s order prevented Australian media outlets from reporting the news about Pell. But news organizations based outside the country also complied with it, apparently out of concern that their Australian operations could be subjected to contempt of court penalties.

Oh, well.

THE STREISAND EFFECT: NRA’s political fund sees donations spike in February after Florida shooting.

THE GUILD PROTECTS ITS OWN:

At The New Republic, Wieseltier’s behavior became increasingly erratic. Blaming his often disheveled appearance on the stress of his collapsing marriage, he began to attract notice for all the wrong reasons. Staffers recall that by three P.M., often after a long lunch at i Ricchi, the Italian restaurant downstairs, he would be seen negotiating the corridors with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand. During a New Republic lunch for New York governor Mario Cuomo, Wieseltier, according to a participant, extravagantly gulped down his drink. When he finally asked Cuomo a question, the governor, in typical style, picked apart the premise, leaving nothing but rubble. “Well, you’ve got me,” Wieseltier weakly rejoined. “I’m two ahead of you,” he added, indicating his whiskey.

According to witnesses, Wieseltier was soon bringing to the office another habit that he also enjoyed outside the workplace: frequent cocaine use. A person familiar with Wieseltier’s indulgence estimates that at one point in 1993 he was snorting—from a petite silver spoon, dangling from a chain attached to a vial—an entire gram a day. To support this expensive pastime—all but impossible on his salary, which is in the high five figures—he regularly loaded dozens of books he received as literary editor into the trunk of his Honda Accord and hauled them to Washington bookstores, selling them to finance purchases of “truth serum.” A colleague who has witnessed Wieseltier’s snorting recalls being embarrassed into silence by the brazen display. “He dares you to tell him to stop it,” the colleague says, adding that Wieseltier’s co-workers even discussed the possibility of staging an intervention. At a New York lunch for Wieseltier’s friend Leonard Cohen, thrown by Sonny Mehta to celebrate the publication of a volume of the singer-songwriter’s poetry, Cohen passionately remonstrated with Wieseltier to stay clean, a participant in the lunch recalls. “I’m 20 years older than Leon and I do feel a certain avuncular responsibility to the man,” Cohen says when asked about the June 1993 lunch. Since late 1993, when Wieseltier began dating Twyla Tharp—a woman of daunting discipline, physical and otherwise—he has been telling friends that he quit cold turkey.

“I have nothing to say about that,” Wieseltier snaps when asked about past cocaine use.

—“The Very Busy, Very Unproductive Life of Leon WieseltierNew Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier is the egghead boy toy of such glamorous powers as Barbra Streisand, Shirley MacLaine, and Tipper Gore. But has he abandoned the life of the mind to be the life of the party? (This article first appeared in the March 1995 issue of Vanity Fair.)”

And curiously, was never uploaded to the Internet until yesterday, now that Wieseltier has seen a magazine deal with Steve Jobs’ widow scuttled, his job as a contributing editor at the Atlantic terminated, and multiple women coming out of the woodwork to complain about his allegedly skeevy past behavior at TNR. Speaking of which, in article titled “Leon Wieseltier: A Reckoning,” Michelle Cottle of the Atlantic shares a few of what she calls her “Leon stories,” along with this detail:

Seyward Darby, the executive editor of The Atavist Magazine, who held a couple of different editorial positions at the New Republic from 2008 to 2011, recalls a 2009 column Leon wrote on circumcision, its place in Jewish culture, and its effects (or lack thereof) on male pleasure. Leon sent her the document, titled “foreskin,” and then went into her office to watch her read it: “When I told him that the word foreskin as a document title had raised my eyebrows, he said sarcastically, ‘Oh, report me to HR!’ Then he left. In the same time frame, he gave a fellow female colleague ‘a book of portraits of Jesus with hard-ons.’ He told her to ‘take it home and really have fun with it tonight.’”

Of course, Wieseltier wasn’t the only powerful man whose career was protected by those with associations to TNR. As Stephen Miller tweets, “Sure are a ton of open secrets in the media/entertainment industry.”

CELEBRITIES MAKE IT OFFICIAL: Pick Trump or Us.

Christian Toto:

There’s an interesting psychological game going on here, and it’s one Hollywood, Inc. might not relish. The more teeth gnashing we see out of both the press and Hollywood, the more reluctant Trump supporters side with him.

Why?

Entertainers should entertain. The mainstream media should report the facts, not take sides. Seeing both fail to fulfill their duty makes some citizens sympathetic to both President Trump and his histrionics.

We’re already seeing some of the results of this “choose him or us” playbook. Box office numbers are cratering since Trump took office. The president’s Twitter war against NFL players refusing to respect the National Anthem is turning into a slaughter.

Entertainment is where we go — or at least try to go — to escape the daily grind. Gleichschaltung worked in Nazi Germany because outlets were limited and control was total. Hollywood acts as though that’s the case in 21st Century in America when in fact, entertainment (and information) outlets are virtually unlimited — and most attempts at control result in the Streisand Effect or one of its corollaries.

Hollywood and the mainstream media continue to blur the lines between entertainment and news, and between news and indoctrination — a process which seems to be accelerating even as audiences continue shrinking. Now the process may speed up even more as the Ick Factor becomes undeniable. Harvey Weinstein has shown that not only is Hollywood as bad as we imagined, it might be worse than we could imagine.

Back in its heyday, Fox News proved that you could make big ratings and big money by appealing to audiences outside of the NYC-DC-LA Progressive Axis. When will some smart Hollywood studio rediscover the same thing about blockbuster entertainment?

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE STREISAND EFFECT: Teacher Kicks Kids Out of Class for MAGA Shirts, Becomes Internet’s Favorite New Punching Bag.

HOW ZILLOW BECAME AN INTERNET VILLAIN:

I’ve now been writing for the web for 16 years, and yet, I am still capable of wonder at the vast opportunities this technology offers to make a fool of yourself. In the old days, fools were made on a local, artisanal basis, strictly for the entertainment of the neighbors. Now, thanks to the miracle of electronic communications, with a few keystrokes, we can become fools to the world.

Take Zillow, for example. The real estate site noticed that McMansion Hell, a blog specializing in acerbic architectural commentary on modern developments, seemed to be using some Zillow images. Zillow didn’t like this; Zillow makes money by helping agents sell houses, not helping bloggers make fun of them. So Zillow sent a cease-and-desist letter to Kate Wagner, who runs the site, ordering her to take down the photos.

Wagner took the site down. She also took to Twitter to beg for help. In short order, she had a lawyer from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and also, a wave of social media outrage at her plight. That wave crashed over Zillow, whose apologists had to shamefacedly explain that they had not intended to force her to shutter McMansion Hell.

Now I am not a lawyer. But people who are lawyers specializing in First Amendment jurisprudence seem to think that Zillow hasn’t a legal leg to stand on. While copyright does prevent people from simply reprinting images or words that another person has created, there are exceptions for “fair use,” including for the purposes of parody or commentary. Fair use is not an unlimited right to copy, but it seems pretty clear that making fun of the houses on Zillow falls within those limitations.

But even if the law had been behind them, Zillow would have been wise to refrain. That’s because the internet creates something known as the “Streisand Effect.” In 2003, Barbra Streisand attempted to suppress publication of photographs of her Malibu beach home. Prior to this ill-fated effort to disappear them, almost no one had been aware that these photographs existed. Afterwards, everyone knew — and looked.

McMansion Hell was certainly a popular site. I myself have spent some happy hours marveling at the things people will do to their homes, when they are given more money than sense. But it’s safe to say that many thousands of people who had previously been unaware of its existence are now going to view those images. They are also going to view Zillow as a nasty, mean-spirited company that attempted to crush a smaller website that committed no crime, and gave many of us a much-needed laugh.

Maybe I should open a consulting business, where companies thinking of going after people can ask for advice. The thing is, the people who thought to ask for advice probably wouldn’t be the people who need the advice. But hey, I’m available on an ad-hoc basis, for a suitable fee.

THE STREISAND EFFECT: Middlebury Riot Boosts Charles Murray’s Book Sales.

I love a good “heh” in the morning.

STREISAND EFFECT SOON TO WORK OVERTIME IN MINNESOTA: College Democrat Threatens Reporter to Demand Apology for Story.

SERVERS TRASH CUSTOMERS IN PRIVATE NOTE ON CHECK — THEN FORGET TO DELETE IT:

At the bottom of check were two comments, each obviously typed into the system from the restaurant’s point-of-sale, or POS, system. The first: “im a plad a——.” The other: “i have a small penis.”

The former comment, despite misspelling “plaid,” was clearly a shot at the diner’s attire. The second, a cheap shot, period. The diners were not amused and immediately summoned a manager. The manager, in turn, summoned the server and another server who had apparently typed the comments into the system. The manager apologized and explained the servers were just joking with one another via the POS system. They meant to delete the comments before presenting the check.

The servers didn’t strike the offended diners as contrite. “I would say they seemed slightly embarrassed,” Matt said. “It wasn’t like, ‘We’re so sorry. This is unprofessional. We mean to treat our customers better.’ It was more like, sorry-this-is-embarrassing-it-was-a-joke sorry.”

The restaurant is Peter Chang’s in Arlington, VA. Make your dining plans accordingly.

See also: The Streisand Effect.

BIAS BY OMISSION: Networks Hyped Perry Indictment in 2014; Silent on Dismissal.

I’d insert the old “where does he go to get his reputation back” line here, but the only person whose reputation was torpedoed was Rosemary Lehmberg, the district attorney for Travis County, thanks to the Streisand Effect.

Related: “Come at the king, you best not miss:”

strike_at_the_king_perry_tweet_2-25-16

Heh, indeed.™

OBAMA’S “STREISAND EFFECT” PRESIDENCY, as diagnosed by Mark Hemingway of the Weekly Standard. “When you say there’s peace and security in Syria, you’re not convincing anyone that’s the case…Recall that Obama told Bill O’Reilly in his Super Bowl interview a few years back that there was ‘not a smidgen of corruption’ at the IRS…What about ‘Obamacare is working’?”

Unless you’re already on Team Obama, this kind of denial is polarizing at best and infuriating at worst. So why do they do it? Well, the general rule in Washington is never assume malice when incompetence and arrogance will suffice. It’s more than possible that Obama and those in his administration are in a bubble. Indeed, that was heavily suggested by the recent fracas when The New York Times reported—then memory-holed—a report where Obama said he underestimated how much the recent ISIS attack in San Bernardino had spooked Americans because he didn’t watch cable news.

The more sinister reading would be that this is the Obama administration brazenly lying because that’s how their theory of “stray voltage” works:

Read the whole thing, which helps to explain, as Bill Whittle noted in one of his Firewall videos in 2014, why it often feels to Americans as if they’re being gaslighted by the Obama administration:

CONDO BOARD SOON TO DISCOVER WHAT THE TERM “STREISAND EFFECT” MEANS: Homeowner fined after condo board bans American flags.

THEY CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH: Georgetown University demands College Republicans edit video showing angry feminist protesters.

The controversy over scholar Christina Hoff Sommers’ lecture at Georgetown University last week is not over.

Lauren Gagliardi, the school’s assistant director for the center for student engagement, emailed two members of the College Republicans to request they edit the video to remove students who did not agree to be videotaped.

In the email, provided to the Washington Examiner, Gagliardi tells the students that the “edited version needs to be released without students who did not give permission to be taped.” She also says that if the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, which sponsored the event, is “unwilling or unresponsive to the request, Georgetown will need to step in.”

The video that has Gagliardi so upset features feminist activists holding up signs accusing Hoff Sommers of being an anti-feminist or deny rape.

Yeah, well, if they didn’t want to be on video doing that, then they shouldn’t have done that. Here’s the video.

Much more here. “I wonder if Georgetown ever heard of the Streisand Effect?”

IN 2014, THIS IS PRETTY UNFORGIVABLY STUPID: Attorney Mike Meier Meets The Streisand Effect, Does Not Enjoy Experience. “Mike Meier’s legal threat was not foolish just because it exposed his behavior to more readers. It was foolish because it exposed him widely as a fool. People hire lawyers they trust. They want to be able to rely upon their lawyer’s advice, and to make difficult decisions based upon that advice. But who would trust the advice of a lawyer who would engage in a legal tactic that is so foreseeably self-destructive? If Meier had sent the DMCA notices on behalf of a client, I would call it rank malpractice and tell his client to consider suing him. In 2014, minimal legal competence requires an attorney to anticipate and understand the Streisand Effect.”

Here’s some remedial reading. Here’s the short version.

BRETT KIMBERLIN discovers the Streisand Effect. He’s a slow learner.

#BENGHAZI AND THE STREISAND EFFECT: “There’s a limit to how often you can scream and mock and dismiss something as being irrelevant before people start thinking that you’re protesting too much, particularly if the press isn’t playing along.  And enough of them are not this time to make the strategy a little too obvious,” Moe Lane writes.

Read the whole thing.™

Related: “Kerry might not be anxious to testify before Congress, but he’d do better against Issa than he will against Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor.”

KNOW YOUR PLACE, PEASANT! Man ordered to take down police officer’s name and picture from Internet. The officer’s name is Jerry Bledsoe. Here’s the video. Officer Bledsoe, meet the Streisand Effect. It’s also disgraceful that a judge — in this case, one Scott T. Horman — would issue such an order.

PEOPLE NEVER SEEM TO LEARN: Watch Repairer Goes Legal Over Tame Yelp Review, Streisand Effect Takes Over.

I’D NEVER HEARD OF EDWIN MELLEN PRESS BEFORE, but it sounds as if they haven’t heard of the Streisand Effect before, either.

SCIENTOLOGY MEETS THE STREISAND EFFECT.

READER MICHAEL MILLER offers another suggestion to Speaker Boehner for increasing revenue:

Want to change the direction of the debate? Let’s talk about actually taxing the wealthy. You want to see Dem’s scream and argue about that. Tax people on their assets, not their income. Pelosi’s wealthy on income, nope.

The conversation MUST change. There are dozens of potential revenue sources within the wealthy that would easily triple the income to the US over penalizing hard workers. And then, we’d see the true colors of the Dems, the Streisands, Spielbergs, the Soros.

Hundreds of billions can be generated, by taxing a very small portion of muni bond income. Yes, other items can be looked at, tax breaks, but they are miniscule, to the total WEALTH, (NOT INCOME) that is out there. And it wouldn’t change their desirability since even after a SMALL tax, it beats everything out there. Guess who owns muni’s? Feinstein, Spielberg…

In essence, this is the only way out of the punitive tax brackets we find ourselves in. And even if it makes little economic sense, just hearing these jerks whine about a tax on THEM, just for a bit, would be hilarious.

Meanwhile, Prof. Stephen Clark writes:

Why not call Obama and Reid’s bluff.

Quid: Bush era tax rates expire for everyone and a one-time only extension of the debt ceiling limit to get us into the New Year and a new Congress.

Quo: An agreement by all parties to a vastly simplified tax system that is flatter and has no exemptions other than that for dependents, and no deductions – none for anyone or anything.

I thought about including spending cuts; but no, perhaps not, in keeping with the KISS principle. If the people want their government to spend money in a manner that would make a drunken sailor blush, then they should have to pay for it – every single one of them. It is not a coincidence that as the tax system has become more progressive we’ve become such public spendthrifts.

Only when people see that the revenue obtained doesn’t come close to covering the government’s outlays will anyone begin to believe that the cupboard is bare. Does it hurt the economy? Perhaps, but therein lies a lesson too.

I’m all for education.

UPDATE: Andrew Hofer emails:

OTAL “tax expenditure” on exempting muncipal bond interest is $200 Billion. Reader Michael Miller is off.

Second, you have to think about who really pays. This exemption is effectively a subsidy from the federal government to states and localities. Muni bond rates are lower (in the long run), by almost as much as the exemption tax savings. So you remove the exemption and the bond yields increase, raising the interest costs to states and municipalities over time. Removing it is a transfer back from high-tax (generally blue) states to the federal government. That, of course, may be a reason to do it….but in the entire tax system there really aren’t a lot of savings.

See this graphic, which was compiled by Standish.

Well, I don’t think there are enough potential revenues out there to close the deficit, which is part of the point. But spreading the pain is also part of the point.

LEE STRANAHAN: Friday, May 25th Is “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day.”

Related: Who Is Brett Kimberlin? “He’s a terrorist turned leftwing activist. I’ll let Stacy McCain catch you up on the details. Right now, the terrorist turned activist — who gets money from major Democrats including Teresa Heinz Kerry and Barbra Streisand — is apparently threatening McCain’s family. Given Kimberlin’s history of bombings, harassment and thuggery, Kimberlin is unfortunately a real threat and the state of Maryland needs to step in and stop him.”

UPDATE: More evidence of the Streisand Effect at work. When I googled Brett Kimberlin this afternoon, this is what I got:

I love the “Free Stacy McCain” image that came up. . . .

ROSSLYN SMITH ON Stacy McCain, Brett Kimberlin, and the Tides Foundation. Kimberlin also got money from the Streisand Foundation, but apparently he’s never heard of the Streisand Effect. . . .

Meanwhile, Stacy gets featured on Day By Day.

UPDATE: Inevitably: Journalist Forced to Flee Home by Streisand-Funded Domestic Terrorist Bomber!

FEDERAL PROSECUTORS tempt the Streisand Effect.

EFFECTS OF A NATIONAL SALES TAX: TaxProf links to a study.

UPDATE: Gary Comer notes the source:

The link to the TaxProf blog regarding the idea of a national sales tax is interesting, but I do notice that the study that is referenced by TaxProf is from ITEP, an organization funded in part by The Streisand Foundation (yes, as in Barbara Streisand) and having on its board as Vice President Robert Kuttner of the very liberal publication The American Prospect and as board member Robert Reich, the former Clinton Secretary of Labor and now a leading spokesperson for the political left.

So while I can’t necessarily at this point speak to the accuracy of the report itself, not having fully analyzed it, it does seem as if the source of the report has a distinct bias.

Perhaps one of the econobloggers will post a fuller analysis.

ADD THIS STORY to my earlier comments about racism on the left: racist attacks on Condi Rice:

“Does they like how you shine their shoes, Condoleezza? Or the way you wash and park the whitey’s cars.”

The Greaseman got fired. What’ll happen to this guy? Answer:

Niger Innis, spokesperson the Congress on Racial Equality, said he sees a double standard at play.

“If Rogers, instead of being a white liberal, were a white conservative like Rush Limbaugh using the type of language that Rogers was using, he’d be kicked off the air,” Innis said.

It’s a controversy that’s been brewing on radio for a while now.

Or is Dale Amon right that it’s all a question of who does the talking, not of what is said?

UPDATE: A reader points out this piece by Dinesh D’Souza, which I hadn’t read, but which has already been savaged by Arthur Silber and Michele of A Small Victory. I think his point — though it was hard to be sure — was that the Right says dumb things, too. Yeah, well, you don’t see me defending the “social conservative” crowd very much.

D’Souza’s piece is just dumb, revolving as it does around this statement: “The Democrats should stop hiding behind ‘freedom of choice’ and become blatant advocates for divorce, illegitimacy, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and pornography.” Actually, I’ve got nothing against these things, so long they’re consensual — “adultery” can be taken different ways, I guess. (I don’t share Peter Singer’s enthusiasm for bestiality, but since I’m happy to eat animals it’s hard for me to consider people having sex with them to be, you know, more exploitative.)

If the Republicans buy into this social-conservative line, they’ll lose. I think they know it. But this doesn’t get the Left off the hook. See, the Left has already shown itself utterly wrong with regard to communism, national defense, the economy and — by the Clinton era — worthless on civil liberties except to the extent they’re important to core Democratic constituencies. So the only real claim to moral legitimacy that the Left has, well, left is the claim that it’s tolerant. But it’s not anymore. Remarks like the one aimed at Condi Rice above are just the icing on the cake. The trend has been obvious for years.

The reader asks me to name one major leftist commentator who has made comments at D’Souza’s level. Well, I guess Neil Rogers, the DJ above, isn’t really major, though he’s probably bigger than D’Souza. And what about the many folks on the Left implying that Bush engineered 9/11? Does that count? Or Barbra Streisand’s suggestion that Bush engineered Paul Wellstone’s plane crash? Or the widespread claims (and political cartoons) during the DC sniper affair to the effect that the NRA favors the murder of small children? I could go on, but frankly anyone who really thinks that there’s nothing on the left worse than D’Souza’s remarks above is beyond rational discourse.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Jason Soon says D’Souza’s column is silly.