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GREAT MOMENTS IN DNC-MSM GASLIGHTING: A Year Ago, the Media Mangled the Covington Catholic Story. What Happened Next Was Even Worse.

JUST NBC THE GASLIGHTING: Triggered NBC News correspondent Gabe Gutierrez tries to pass off the Pledge of Allegiance at Virginia gun rights rally as something very different (video).

You know we can hear them, right?”, Jim Treacher tweets in response.

THEY DON’T FORGET. THEY TRY TO GASLIGHT US:  Dems Forget Our History With Iran–Again.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) Claims There Were No Embassy Protests Or Dead American Contractors Under Obama.

THE CORBYNIZATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTINUES APACE: The media is gaslighting the country about anti-semitism in New York.

NO ENEMIES TO THE LEFT: Chuck Todd Finds All the Disinformation In ‘Ecosystem Problem’ on the Right.

Joy Reid, Brian Williams, Al Sharpton, Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell, and Rachel Maddow could not be reached for comment. Todd, the Democratic Party operative with a byline, began his career in politics as a Democratic Party operative for former Sen. Tom Harkin, who also knows a thing or two about gaslighting.

JUST NBC THE GASLIGHTING: In supposed apology to Richard Jewell, Tom Brokaw revises history. “There are some who may feel compelled this week to give Brokaw an ‘attaboy’ for apologizing to a dead man 23 years after the fact. I am not one of those people.”

Read the whole thing.

WAPO DROPS THE MASK: Party Time! WashPost Reporters Wish Everyone a ‘Merry Impeachmas.’

Democracy dies in gaslighting:

2017 FLASHBACK: TRUMP AND THE PRESS: So yesterday I was on the BBC talking about Trump, the press, and what’s going on. Here’s a bit of an expansion.

First, the thing to understand is that, as I’ve said before, one of the changes going on with Trump generally is the renegotiation of various post-World War II institutional arrangements. One of those is the institutional arrangement involving the press and the White House. For decades, the press got special status because it was seen as both powerful, and institutionally responsible. (And, of course, allied with the Democrats who were mostly in charge of setting up those postwar institutional arrangements). Now those things have changed. If the press were powerful, it would have beaten Trump. If it were responsible, it wouldn’t be running away with fake news whenever it sees a chance to run something damaging to Trump. And, of course, there’s no alliance between Trump and the media, as there was with Obama.

So things will change. The press’s “insider” status — which it cherishes — is going to fade. (This is producing waves of status anxiety, as are many other Trump-induced institutional changes). And, having abandoned, quite openly, any pretense of objectivity and neutrality in the election, the press is going to be treated as an enemy by the Trump Administration until further notice.

In fact, Trump’s basically gaslighting them. Knowing how much they hate him, he’s constantly provoking them to go over the top. Sean Spicer’s crowd-size remarks are all about making them seem petty and negative. (And, possibly, teeing up crowd-size comparisons at next week’s March For Life, which the press normally ignores but which Trump will probably force them to cover).

Trump knows that the press isn’t trusted very much, and that the less it’s trusted, the less it can hurt him. So he’s prodding reporters to do things that will make them less trusted, and they’re constantly taking the bait. They’re taking the bait because they think he’s dumb, and impulsive, and lacking self-control — but he’s the one causing them to act in ways that are dumb and impulsive, and demonstrate lack of self-control. As Richard Fernandez writes on Facebook, they think he’s dumb because they think he has lousy taste, but there are a lot of scarily competent guys out there in the world who like white and gold furniture. And, I should note, Trump has more media experience than probably 99% of the people covering him. (As Obama operative Ben Rhodes gloated with regard to selling a dishonest story on the Iran deal, the average reporter the Obama White House dealt with “is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns.” In Rhodes’ words, “they literally know nothing.”)

The counter-move for the press isn’t to double down on anti-Trump messaging. The counter-move is to bolster its own trustworthiness by acting more neutral and sober, and by being more trustworthy. If the news media actually focused on reporting facts accurately and straightforwardly, on leaving opinion to the pundits, and on giving Trump a clearly fair shake, then Trump’s tactics wouldn’t work, and any actual dirt they found on him would do actual damage. He’s betting on the press being insufficiently mature and self-controlled to manage that. So far, his bet is paying off.

That’s too bad. If we had a better press, we’d be much better off as a nation. But we don’t.

This was from shortly after Trump was sworn in, and it’s held up pretty well.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS:

● Shot: We Are All Socialists Now.

Cover story of Newsweek’s February 16 2009 issue, back when the opinion magazine was still owned by the Washington Post. 

● Chaser: Washington Post Prints Blatantly False Article: ‘Barack Obama, Conservative.’

NewsBusters, today.

Democracy dies in gaslighting. Exit quote from Tim Graham of NewsBusters: “Doesn’t someone in [the Post’s Outlook section] have more intellectual integrity than to publish this pratfall of an article? But this is apparently [David] Swerdlick’s modus operandi. He can defend Obama from the right, and defend Obama from the left. He really should be working for Obama.”

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and it’s obvious that he is.

EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED: In Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley, “Some 522 tons of rocks and boulders have put a stop — for now at least — to a longstanding problem: Squatters camping under the Pacific Boulevard viaduct in Albany where Jackson Street and Seventh Avenue meet.”

Someone pictured the rocks on Facebook, and a bike ride this afternoon took me past the place to see for myself.

This used to be a frequent hangout for apparently homeless people who couldn’t or wouldn’t go to the nearby shelters, Helping Hands just around the corner and Signs of Victory a couple blocks down Jackson Street.

The headline though, in the Hasso Hering, is a great moment in gaslighting: “Rocks in a hard place: No more camping.” As one of the commenters notes:

It is NOT “camping”. It is criminal trespass, littering and other criminal violations. Camping is when you pitch a tent or RV for recreational-vacation purposes. Some want to say this is a housing problem…while repeated studies show it is a mental health and addiction problem. In the meantime, our cities should not be places where people can pitch a tent and destroy the city scape.

Earlier: San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING:

Shot: MSNBC’s Jon Meacham: Clinton Impeachment Was Partisan, Trump’s Is Not.

NewsBusters, today.

Chaser: Republicans Storm Closed Impeachment Proceeding.

—The Daily Caller, today.

CORNERING THE MAN-HATING VOTE: At Commentary, Christine Rosen asks, “What does Elizabeth Warren think of men?”

[A]t a recent CNN-sponsored town hall on LGBTQ issues, she let slip an emotion that she hasn’t previously shown toward men: contempt. Answering a question (which turned out to be planted) about how she would talk to someone who is opposed to gay marriage, Warren responded, “Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that.” She then added, “And I’m going to say, ‘Then just marry one woman—I’m cool with that.’” Then came her contemptuous “zinger”: “Assuming you can find one.” As the Washington Post described, “Warren turned, took a few steps and smiled broadly as the room exploded in laughter.” Soon her campaign team “was crowing that the clip had garnered more than 12 million views on Twitter.”

If this is what Warren’s campaign team thinks is worth crowing about, then they clearly haven’t learned anything since Hillary Clinton dismissed a large swath of the country as “deplorables.”

Casual misandry might play well on Twitter (and among the Democratic base), but it’s insulting to a large number of voters Warren will need to persuade in a general election if she secures the Democratic nomination.

In keeping with the gentle treatment Warren has experienced from the media, few mainstream outlets (with the exception of the Post) even bothered to question whether her remarks were offensive or point out the irony that she was calling out intolerance by being intolerant herself.

Down With the Clapback,” adds Matt Purple at the American Conservative:

[C]lapbacks don’t even have to be clever anymore. All they need to do is invoke the trendy left-wing wisdom of the moment, especially if it can be encapsulated in a single term: “mansplain,” “gaslight,” “toxic masculinity”—“you mad, bro?” Everything you need is there, except, of course, a point. Call it the Daily Show method of discourse, and indeed, when it comes to clapback culture, Jon Stewart may be a more primordial forbear even than Twitter. Once upon a time, his smackdowns of suspiciously edited Fox News clips were considered entertainment; today his method of grab, sass, and discard is widespread and serves more as cultural enforcement. The purpose of the clapback is to signal that debate ends here, that one needs think no further. Is it possible that Maduro might be both a socialist and a murderous thug, that one might even enable the other? That doesn’t matter. Rand Paul has been “destroyed” and this meeting is adjourned.

Is it any wonder that Joe Rogan has become a minor celebrity? The comedian and YouTube host is a lefty of a sort, but he also prizes probing conversation over brusque dismissals, and on today’s Internet, that feels like a novelty. As for Elizabeth Warren, I don’t mean to pick on her. She really is one of the deeper Democratic candidates, even if she can’t seem to figure out how she’s going to pay for any of her proposals. Still, there lingers the problem of that stubborn third of the country that refuses to embrace same-sex marriage. And Senator, not to mansplain, but you never answered the question. How do you respond to those who say that the definition of marriage is set and must remain between one man and one woman?

As Rosen concludes, “Like many politicians, Warren uses her personal stories and personal history to try to connect with voters. By making half those voters the butt of a contemptuous joke, she signaled that not only does she place honesty about her personal history on a sliding scale, but the dignity of voters she dislikes as well.”

KURT SCHLICHTER: Bad Gaslighting Epidemic Sweeps The Elite. “There are three questions that our terrible, terrible ruling class raises whenever it opens its collective kale-hole to lecture us: 1) Does the elite think we are really, really stupid, or 2) Is the elite really, really stupid, or 3) Is the elite all of the above? The last week has been eventful, even by Age O’ Trump standards, and the one enduring takeaway is just how bad these people are at gaslighting us with inept lies that demand we disbelieve what’s happening right in front of us. But it should come as no surprise that our alleged betters are no good at gaslighting because they have proven themselves to be no good at anything.”

Plus: “Here’s a fun test: can you name something – anything – major in the last two decades that our best and brightest have not screwed up? I’ll wait. . . . So, because they have no other way to deal with the damning evidence of their utter incompetence, our elite instead tries to convince us that we are crazy for noticing just how lame they are.”

THE ONLY COLLUSION EVIDENT HAS BEEN BETWEEN THE GASLIGHT MEDIA AND THE DEEP STATE OPERATIVES:  Inside the media’s relentless crusade to destroy President Trump.

ACTUALLY, THAT HAPPENED QUITE SOME TIME AGO: Democrats Have Given Up on the Common Good. “To an increasing degree, the Democratic party represents a detached elite. Their party line has shifted so far to the left that it no longer touches the common good, and as such, they must gaslight the public about their actual policies.”

WILLIE BROWN: San Francisco streets are a tragedy waiting to happen. Do we have the will to head it off?

Willie didn’t — and this is an awesome bit of both buck passing and gaslighting to pretend that things were all that much better in San Francisco under his watch.

BUT BUT BUT THE GASLIGHT MEDIA REALLY WANTS A RECESSION:  Wall Street pundits throw a big curve.

TONY KATZ: Gaslighting, and The Lies Media Moves About Donald Trump.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING:

● Shot: “‘There are very few people who are able to deliver a trustworthy broadcast without point of view,’ says CBS News president Susan Zirinsky. ‘That’s who we want to be.’”*

—“Norah O’Donnell Takes Over as Anchor on ‘CBS Evening News,’” the Hollywood Reporter, today.

● Chaser: Norah at Night: The Most Liberal Moments From Incoming CBS Evening News Anchor.

NewsBusters, today.

* Curiously, lots of talk about Walter Cronkite, but none of Dan Rather in the Hollywood Reporter article. Katie Couric and Scott Pelley are each only mentioned once, despite (or likely because of) their own inability to “deliver a trustworthy broadcast without point of view.”

THE GASLIGHT MEDIA SELLING US A NARRATIVE? SAY IT AIN’T SO! USWNT isn’t the feel-good story we’re told they are.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: Peter Beinart wonders why conservatives are so eager to ‘conjure up’ liberal support of Antifa.

As one tweet collated in this Twitchy post goes on to note, “It’s not hard. Here’s a piece by a gentleman named P—- B—- in The Atlantic. ‘Such tactics have elicited substantial support from the mainstream left.'”

Including Obama’s favorite stenographer, Jeffrey Goldberg, Beinart’s editor in the Atlantic, who in 2017 compared them to the men storming the Normandy beach in Saving Private Ryan. And Keith Ellison, then the Democratic National Committee deputy chairman, now Minnesota’s attorney general:

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING. CNN: Of Course We Don’t Hate Trump Or Favor Democrats.

Jim Acosta has a new book to peddle (I won’t link to it here but I’m sure you can find it on a quick search if you’re interested), and he’s been using his platform at CNN to promote it. He recently sat down with Don Lemon to discuss the “dangerous” nature of covering the President, particularly if you have anything critical to say about him. The two-person choir was singing in unison, assuring everyone that CNN has no inherent bias, does not “hate” President Trump and certainly doesn’t support Democrats over Republicans. (Perish the thought.) It’s a rather brief exchange, but the tone-deaf nature of these denials was really something to see.

Wow, does that take the cake (that CNN baked and displayed on air in 2010 to celebrate Obama’s “Stimulus” program). The Wright-Free Zone and the choir of kids singing for Obamacare could not be reached for comment.

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T WORKING OUT AS I HAD HOPED: Nike’s fattequins are gaslighting American women.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING, PART DEUX: MSNBC Chris Hayes conspiracy theory: Trump economy surging because businesses undermined Obama.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING. Associated Press: Twitter Is Fair to All!

VIRGINIA CLOWN SHOW UPDATE: Democratic Party of Virginia Tells Justin Fairfax They Don’t Want His Money, and His Office Is Fuming.

Meanwhile, CNN’s Brian Stelter “forgets” Gov. Ralph Northam’s infamous January 30th statement during an interview broadcast on Washington DC’s WTOP radio:

When we talk about third trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of the mother, with the consent of the physician. More than one physician, by the way. And its done in case where there may be severe deformities, where there may be a fetus that is non-viable.

So, in this particular example, if a mother is in labor I can tell you exactly what would happen. 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.

Related: Gaslighting in progress: Ilhan Omar, Bernie, CNN and others are covering for Ralph Northam’s abortion extremism to bash Trump.

Just think of the media as Democratic Party operatives with bylines, and their amnesia makes perfect sense. Or as a New York Times headline put it at the start of the month, (with a nice use of the passive tense), ‘‘‘It Just Went Poof’: The Strange Aftermath of Virginia’s Cascade of Political Scandals.”

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: Nets Skip Pelosi Telling CNN’s Christiane Amanpour That Dems Have ‘No Taint’ of Anti-Semitism.

That’s good enough for me, if it’s good enough for Christiane Amanpour

ROGER KIMBALL: THE BARR IS RAISED. Many will be furious at the Mueller report’s findings. That’s a big problem for America:

But here is the existential issue that the report confronts us with. William Barr observed at one point that ‘all Americans can and should be grateful to have [the president’s innocence] confirmed.’ And yet many people, far from being grateful, will be enraged. And that is a huge problem for the Republic.

What has happened over the past two-plus years is a fundamental attack on the legitimacy of our democratic republic. Tactical partisan maneuvering has overwhelmed the institution of presidential elections. Note that this is a one-party party. It probably started in earnest with the election of George W. Bush in 2000. Al Gore withdrew his concession and put the country through months on legal wrangling. Republicans were unhappy when Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and again in 2012. But there was no question of his legitimacy. But when Donald Trump won in 2016, the sort of antidemocratic forces that beset George Bush had mutated from an angry squad of activists into an army of deniers.

Read the whole thing.

Related: ‘The look on their faces’! Watch Mary Katharine Ham torch media for ‘gaslighting’ with their evolving ‘collusion’ narrative.

Exit quote: “I hope nobody missed leg day because carrying these goal posts are going to be very heavy.”

Heh, indeed.™

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA IS AT A POLITICAL CHANGE CROSSROADS, WHETHER SHE REALIZES IT OR NOT:

You can feel her confusion and hesitation; it’s real and it’s painful. It’s somewhat like what #WalkAway founder Brandon Straka said in the video where he told his change story. At the beginning of Straka’s voicing of a single mild non-PC possibility, he wondered something like why are my friends treating me like that? I thought they were my friends. Why are my enemies treating me nicely? Does that mean I’ve gone over to the Dark Side? 

Or maybe it’s not the Dark Side? 

Navratilova does have one advantage in making her decisions going forward: as a former citizen of communist Czechoslovakia, she’s seen plenty of leftist gaslighting before. Or as Rod Dreher writes in a post titled “Beating The Cultural Revolution,” “A friend in DC told me this week that he was recently at a dinner party where one of the other guests said to him, ‘Growing up in the Soviet Union, my parents taught me never to believe a thing I heard in the media, and to be very careful what I say out loud. Now I find myself telling my children the same thing.’… Those people know how to live. They have wisdom for us. So do others who came through communism. They can help us beat the Cultural Revolution.”

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING. ABC Political Director Rick Klein Defends Green New Deal: ‘They’re Not Taking Away Your Hamburgers, Cars, Planes:’

“And if you don’t have a name attached to it and you don’t misconstrue it. If they’re not taking away your hamburgers, or your cars or your planes, you have to — if you present it accurately, maybe there’s an argument,” Klein argued.

Related:

The Green New Deal’s War on Cows.

Cory Booker: ‘This Planet Simply Can’t Sustain’ People Eating Meat.

● “The authors state that the GND would like to replace every ‘combustion-engine vehicle’ — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Aims to Eliminate Air Travel.

As Jim Treacher wrote earlier this week, Apparently, the Green New Deal Runs on Gaslight.

JUST THINK OF THE MEDIA AS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES, AND IT ALL MAKES SENSE. Fail: WaPo & Vox Journos Get Northam Abortion Position Wrong, Accuse Trump of “Inciting Violence.”

The problem with what both Rupar and Gibson asserted regarding Trump “lying” about Northam’s stance on late term abortion? They’re both wrong. Trump got it right.

Here’s Northam’s actual quote from that WTOP interview, with bolded emphasis added:

When we talk about third trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of the mother, with the consent of the physician. More than one physician, by the way. And its done in case where there may be severe deformities, where there may be a fetus that is non-viable.

So, in this particular example, if a mother is in labor I can tell you exactly what would happen. 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.

Gaslighting. It’s not just for the Green New Deal anymore!

DAVID HARSANYI: Political Journalists Are Trying To Gaslight America.

During President Trump’s speech in El Paso yesterday, a Vox writer feigned indignation and claimed that “Trump falsely accuses Ralph Northam” of saying the governor supports “a newborn baby [coming] out into the world, and wrap the baby, make the baby comfortable, and then talk to the mother and talk to the father and then execute the baby. Execute the baby!”

Maggie Haberman, a White House correspondent for The New York Times, retweeted the claim to her million followers. To put this in perspective, Haberman’s following on Twitter is nearly as large as the Times’ daily weekday circulation.

No doubt Trump’s rhetoric is prone to exaggeration. In this instance, however, he was precise. For one thing, the sponsor of the Repeal Act, Virginia Democratic Del. Kathy Tran, acknowledged that her bill allowed abortion through a woman dilating during birth. “My bill would allow that, yes,” she said. For another, we have recording of the governor of Virginia describing the process in which babies who survive abortion attempts can be terminated if the mother and doctor decide the life is inconvenient.

“I can tell you exactly what would happen,” Northam said. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

You might be turned off by Trump’s use of the word “execute,” but his contention is accurate. Haberman, who is ostensibly an unbiased professional journalist, has yet to explain why she would forward an obvious falsehood to her many readers.

Because she can.

YOUR DAILY TREACHER: Apparently, the Green New Deal Runs on Gaslight.

To be fair, the proponents of the old Green New Deal were also rather found of the surprisingly environmentally friendly substance as well from 2008-2016.

BASICALLY, HER CAMPAIGN IS TAKING A “THE ONE WHO SMELT IT DEALT IT” APPROACH TO HER POLICY PAPER: Ocasio-Cortez Gaslights ‘Green New Deal:’ Office deletes ‘farting cows’ document, adviser pretends it never existed.

And, of course, the press is enabling her.

NEO: The Green New Deal and the left’s grand plan [Part I].

Got it? This GND initiative is a counter to Trump, that troglodyte non-believer in AGW. The GND is not meant to be serious legislation for now, but to burnish the Democrats’ reputation as caring about climate change and the Republicans’ reputation for not caring. And the Democrats are counting on just about no one—except the right, and the far left—to read what’s actually in the GND.

Meanwhile, think about this: the Democratic Party wins these days by appealing to blocs of voters who will vote nearly monolithically for Democrats. Just as one example, black voters. “Young people” are also a bloc that puts Democrats over the top in many races. And many many of today’s young people are terrified of AGW.

Read the whole thing.

Related: WATCH: A policy adviser for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez straight-up lied to Tucker Carlson on Friday night.

Gaslighting is the only fossil fuel exempted by the Green New Deal.

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SEE HERE. GASLIGHT MEDIA, MAKING PRAVDA SEEM INDEPENDENT AND ABOVE BOARD IS NOW A FULLY INTEGRATED PART OF THE PROGRESSIVE MACHINERY:  CNN Just Happens To Be On Scene For Roger Stone’s Arrest, Who Tipped Them Off?

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.

JIM MEIGS: A Gaslight Unto the Nations: How a word became the cliché of the Trump years.

“Gaslighting” feels like one of those trendy words that becomes au courant for a couple of years and then devolves into a punch line. (“How many men’s rights activists does it take to change a lightbulb?” one online meme asks. “None, they still use gaslighting.”) But the term’s growing popularity hints at a deeper change in political language, not just in the words we use, but in how we use them, in the goals we are trying to accomplish when we speak.

Disagreements over political issues used to hinge mostly on factual questions. (At least that was the ideal to which both sides claimed to aspire.) Does a higher minimum wage help or hurt the poor? Will tax cuts boost inequality or lift all boats? Good-faith advocates for either side would marshal their evidence and make their cases. To be sure, some debates got nasty. But, underneath the vitriol, people generally accepted that winning the argument required having a more persuasive set of facts.

There is another style of argument, one that doesn’t trouble itself with pesky facts at all. British writer C.S. Lewis dubbed this style “Bulverism,” after a fictional character he called Ezekiel Bulver. He imagined Bulver as a child overhearing his mother dismiss a point made by his father with the words, “Oh you say that because you are a man.” At that point, Bulver later recalls, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of your argument. Assume that your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet.”

Lewis conceived Bulver as a stand-in for the Freudians and Marxists of his day who dismissed their opponents’ positions by attributing them to deep-seated—even unconscious—biases. If you disagreed with a Freudian, you were “projecting” or “in denial.” Question the inevitability of socialism and you were just a victim of “false consciousness” showing how deeply you’d been brainwashed by capitalism.

If we were to drop Ezekiel Bulver into a modern-day Twitter debate, he would feel right at home. Bulverism is now the norm.

Yep. But read the whole thing, which is great.

AND TODAY THE ROLE OF PAULINE KAEL WILL BE PLAYED BY ANDREA MITCHELL:

What I undervalued about Donald Trump in the primaries is that I had never watched “The Apprentice.” I had never watched reality TV. I did not know that he had millions and millions of fans out there. I didn’t know that that base existed. I thought he was not a serious candidate. I did not know that the single most important and visited tourist attraction in all of New York City were people taking selfies in front of Trump Tower. I always thought it was the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State Building, or 30 Rock.

Meanwhile, fellow Chuck Todd, who works alongside Brian Williams and Al Sharpton (and Andrea Mitchell) is complaining of gaslighting:

“I knew the gaslighting was out there. I knew it was every day,” Todd said. “But I think there was part of me in my head assumed people were discerning it out, knew the BS from the non-BS. So, I think what my sort of shock to the system was just sort of how gullible a big chunk of the country was to this and gullible because maybe they want to be gullible.”

Todd, the Democratic operative with a byline, began his career in politics as a Democratic operative for former Sen. Tom Harkin, who also knows a thing or two about gaslighting.

(Classical reference in headline.)

THERE’S DEFINITELY GASLIGHTING GOING ON:

● Shot: Andrea Mitchell Blames Trump ‘Gaslighting,’ ‘Unfairness of Media’ for Hillary’s Loss.

NewsBusters, today.

●  Chaser:

● Hangover: Pathetic MSNBC Runs Promo of Hillary Telling Andrea Mitchell She’s ‘My Kind of Woman’; ‘Love You!’

NewsBusters, September 15, 2016.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: Left Horrified as Trump Calls Robert E. Lee a ‘Great General.’

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: “Trump has drawn much of the media into a distortion of their traditional roles,” claims Ted Koppel in the Washington Post:

Whether by strategy or inadvertence, President Trump has drawn much of the media into a distortion of their traditional roles. Editors and reporters insist that they are bound by the strictures of objectivity, but the very nature of the president’s character — the preening, the boasting, the torrent of careless tweets and the avalanche of lies, the seemingly reckless assaults on pillars of the establishment — provokes reactions that confirm precisely what Trump’s most avid supporters already believe: The creatures of “the swamp” belong to a secret society from which they are excluded.

For a quarter century, Koppel hosted Nightline on ABC, the network where Clinton Foundation contributor George Stephanopoulos poses daily as being “objective,” and whose former equally objective anchor, the late Peter Jennings derided the arrival of a Republican House and Senate in 1994 as the American voters having a “temper tantrum.” Speaking of Jennings, as John Fund noted on Sunday at NRO in his encomium to the capriciousness that was Sen. John McCain:

During the 2000 Republican presidential convention in Philadelphia, I went to a tony restaurant to attend a reception. By accident, I stumbled into a room chock-full of top-shelf media types: Dan Rather of CBS, the late Peter Jennings of ABC, Tom Brokaw of NBC, Arthur Sulzberger of the New York Times. After a few minutes, I realized I was at the wrong event. It was a birthday party for John McCain. I recall telling Peter Jennings that it was a strange party for a politician to have. As far as I could tell, there were no family members present, no donors, no party officials. In a deadpan tone, Jennings told me: “Well, this is really the first meeting of John McCain’s next precinct-organizing committee.”

But when McCain ran a more conventionally conservative campaign in 2008, competing with the media’s new heartthrob, Barack Obama, the pundits turned on him with a vengeance. According to the Pew Research Center, between the Republican National Convention’s close on September 4 and the final presidential debate on October 15, McCain’s media coverage was negative over positive by a 4-to-1 ratio.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd complained that McCain had “turned on his former base, the news media.” He now had feet of clay: “Even some of McCain’s former aides are disturbed by the 73-year-old’s hostile, vindictive, sarcastic persona.”

Gosh, whatever could have soured McCain’s mood?

Incidentally, Koppel’s essay arrives a day after Chuck Todd of NBC wrote in the Atlantic that “It’s Time for the Press to Stop Complaining—And to Start Fighting Back.”

Unexpectedly.

JUST NBC THE GASLIGHTING: Andrea Mitchell Cites Farrakhan as Evidence of ‘Inclusive Group’ at Aretha’s Funeral.

As her Andrea Mitchell Reports show gave live coverage of the event, at 12:06 a.m. [sic] Eastern, the MSNBC host listed several of those appearing on stage. She began: “It’s interesting to see the panoply of civil rights leaders. Of course, right there at the church, we see Reverend Al (Sharpton), we see the Reverend Jesse Jackson who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease but was so close to Aretha Franklin and is part of that legacy.”

She then got to Farrakhan and noted that he is “very controversial,” but then, rather than doing the obvious thing and commenting on how astonishing or hypocritical it is to see him invited to such a high-profile public event and to have a former President appear with him, she merely called his presence evidence of inclusion.

Mitchell: “Bill Clinton there, of course, and is going to give one of the eulogies. And also the Reverend Farrakhan — a very controversial leader from the Nation of Islam who is also there. So it’s an inclusive group.”

Mitchell never explained why Farrakhan is “very controversial.” No doubt, Al Sharpton will address that topic when he gets back to the studio. In the interim, regarding how “inclusive” Franklin’s mourners were, as fellow Insta-co-blogger David Bernstein tweeted on Saturday, “Imagine the establishment’s reaction if Willie Nelson had David Duke sitting in a place of honor at his funeral, with George W. Bush 2 seats away. Now consider the lack of reaction to Aretha Franklin, Farrakahn, and Clinton. This is why the establishment has lost credibility.”

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: Media Gaslighting Can’t Hide Fact Trump Campaign Was Spied On.

Whatever you think about Trump’s reaction to the release of the FISA application, the media reaction to the story was disingenuous and even more hyperbolic than the president’s tweets. After a year of continuous and alarming revelations, the media are still more interested in proving the Trump campaign treasonously colluded with Russia than wrestling with the fact that the FBI spied on a presidential campaign, and used dubious partisan political research to justify their surveillance.

The media reaction to both the redacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) wiretap applications and President Trump’s tweets was pure gaslighting. They claimed the FISA applications hurt the critics’ case. It wasn’t that they reported the news that critics of the FISA application felt vindicated while defenders of the wiretap applications also felt vindicated. They wrote as partisans in a war with those skeptical of FISA abuse.

It is a war, albeit thankfully one without brigade combat teams moving around the map.

100% THIS:  Media Gaslighting Can’t Hide Fact Trump Campaign Was Spied On.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Obama, Who’s Totally Not a Socialist and It’s Racist to Suggest He Is: Hey, Let’s Give Everyone a Income from the State for Doing Nothing At All.

Why, it’s as if there was a certain amount of gaslighting being done to the American people by the MSM from 2007 through the end of 2016. And when I say a certain amount, I mean an endless amount, to paraphrase Monty Python’s Vice Admiral Sir John Cunningham.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: CNN’s Brian Stelter: ‘Never’ Has There Been a ‘Love Story’ Like Trump and Fox News.

Stelter’s only 32. Wait until he discovers the 2008 presidential election.

As Glenn has written, Trump is “a symptom of how rottenly dysfunctional our sorry political class is. Take away Trump and they’re just as awful and destructive. He just brings their awfulness to the fore, where it’s no longer ignorable. Now they’re willing to play with fire, risking the future of the polity over little more than hurt feelings, in a way that would have been unthinkable not long ago.”

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING, FROM THE NETWORK THAT BRINGS YOU AL SHARPTON AND BRIAN WILLIAMS:

● Shot: Chuck Todd: “Every one of my colleagues grounds their arguments in facts.”

● Chaser: “@AliVelshi is reading straight from the bible right now on @msnbc regarding immigration. Must watch.”

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING. Chuck Todd: Isn’t Trump sort of responsible for Samantha Bee’s tone? In response, Allahpundit writes:

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that the activist wings of both parties, which includes entertainment on the left (go look again at how Bee described her own show last night), genuinely despise each other and feel no common ground. That’s where the nastiness comes from. To the extent Trump makes it worse, it’s because he embodies the things lefty activists most despise about the right, not because he likes to make fun of Chuck Todd’s “sleepy eyes” or whatever. The interesting question is whether late-night would have been a bit less oppositional politically under someone like Romney or McCain than it’s been under Trump. I can see it both ways but I’m inclined to say no — not because they’d hate Romney or McCain just as much but because the influence of Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” is so heavy on all of them that they would have felt compelled to do some woke truth-to-power shtick no matter what. The left expects it of their daily comic commentators now.

As awful as the left acted after the 9/11-era timeout on the culture war ended around 2003 with, as Charles Krauthammer wrote, the left’s superheated pressure cooker exploding, the real tipping point in retrospect was their win-at-all-costs response when John McCain asked Sarah Palin to be his running mate in 2008.

As with the George H.W. Bush administration, when the left couldn’t excoriate Bush, a WWII hero, and used Dan Quayle as a nonstop surrogate piñata, the left couldn’t aim both barrels at McCain because of his legendary POW status. Instead, Palin took the brunt, including Todd’s then-fellow MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann insinuating that she should be shot. Reebok’s once apolitical advertising character “Terry Tate Office Linebacker” was shown brutally slamming a Palin lookalike stuntwoman to the concrete in a YouTube clip. Obama supporters were photographed wearing “Sarah Palin is a C*nt” T-shirts (plus ça change; and no, the asterisk doesn’t appear on the originals.) Five years after McCain and Palin were defeated, Martin Bashir was fired by MSNBC after he suggested that Palin should be defecated and urinated on.

As Glenn has written, Trump is “a symptom of how rottenly dysfunctional our sorry political class is. Take away Trump and they’re just as awful and destructive. He just brings their awfulness to the fore, where it’s no longer ignorable. Now they’re willing to play with fire, risking the future of the polity over little more than hurt feelings, in a way that would have been unthinkable not long ago.”

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING. In “Kanye West and the Question of Freedom,” Andrew Sullivan writes:

I remember a different time — and it wasn’t so long ago. A friend reminded me of this bloggy exchange Ta-Nehisi and I had in 2009, on the very subject of identity politics and its claims. We clearly disagreed, deeply. But there was a civility about it, an actual generosity of spirit, that transcended the boundaries of race and background. We both come from extremely different places, countries, life experiences, loyalties. But a conversation in the same pages was still possible, writer to writer, human to human, as part of the same American idea. It was a debate in which I think we both listened to each other, in which I changed my mind a bit, and where neither of us denied each other’s good faith or human worth.

It’s only a decade ago, but it feels like aeons now. The Atlantic was crammed with ideological opposites then, jostling together in the same office, and our engagement with each other and our readerships was a crackling and productive one. There was much more of that back then, before Twitter swallowed blogging, before identity politics became completely nonnegotiable, before we degenerated into these tribal swarms of snark and loathing. I think of it now as a distant island, appearing now and then, as the waves go up and down. The riptide of tribalism can capture us all in the end, until we drown in it.

Indeed. Flashback to September of 2008, when the Atlantic ran a cover story headlined “Why War is His Answer – Inside the Mind of John McCain” by future Obama administration stenographer Jeffrey Goldberg and employed photographer Jill Greenberg who admitted:

When The Atlantic called Jill Greenberg, a committed Democrat, to shoot a portrait of John McCain for its October cover, she rubbed her hands with glee…..

After getting that shot, Greenberg asked McCain to “please come over here” for one more set-up before the 15-minute shoot was over. There, she had a beauty dish with a modeling light set up. “That’s what he thought he was being lit by,” Greenberg says. “But that wasn’t firing.”

What was firing was a strobe positioned below him, which cast the horror movie shadows across his face and on the wall right behind him. “He had no idea he was being lit from below,” Greenberg says. And his handlers didn’t seem to notice it either. “I guess they’re not very sophisticated,” she adds.

Beyond the deliberately harshly lit cover photo, Greenberg would use one of her outtakes to Photoshop lipstick, fangs, and blood dripping from McCain’s mouth with the caption “I Am a Bloodthirsty Warmonger” above the altered shot.

Concurrently, Sullivan himself was busy, as PJM alumnnist Bryan Preston wrote, hounding Sarah Palin “to prove that her son, Trig, is in fact her son. There was and is no evidence that Trig Palin is not Sarah Palin’s son, but that never deterred our Utero-5-0 investigating agent, Andrew Sullivan. He pestered her for her medical records, speculated irresponsibly that Bristol Palin is actually Trig’s mother, and generally exposed himself as an ignorant buffoon on the subjects of women, child birth, life, the universe, and everything. (Useful summary and takedown here, written by Justin Elliott.)”

As Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard noted at the time, “The Atlantic Becomes a Laughingstock,” with a prophetic warning:

I find the prospect of The Atlantic devolving into some version of Free Republic or Daily Kos to be immensely worrisome. Hopefully David Bradley will do something to put his house in order. Soon.

In retrospect, that was a nice little mile marker on the road to Trump. Too bad the Atlantic didn’t heed Last’s warning; the Daily Kos is very much what the Atlantic devolved into, as witnessed by their distaff columnists’ hissy fit over Goldberg’s hiring of Kevin Williamson.

NOAH ROTHMAN: No One Is Saying That.

Did you hear? They’re talking about repealing the Second Amendment. It started with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley. And it sure does seem like those calls prompted skeptics of American gun culture to echo their remarks. Turley and Stevens were joined this week by op-ed writers in the pages of Esquire and the Seattle Times. Democratic candidates for federal office have even enlisted in the ranks of those calling for an amendment to curtail the freedoms in the Bill of Rights. Of course, this is just the most mainstream invocation of anti-Second Amendment themes that have been expressed unashamedly for years, from liberal activists like Michael Moore to conservative opinion writers at the New York Times. Those calling for the repeal of the right to bear arms today are only echoing similar calls made years ago in venues ranging from Rolling Stone, MSNBC, and Vanity Fair to the Jesuit publication America Magazine.

Are you sitting down? You might be surprised to learn that none of this occurred.

Who you gonna believe — Chris Cuomo or yer own lyin’ eyes?

THE GASLIGHTING OF CONSERVATIVES IS OUT OF CONTROL:

Did you hear? They’re talking about repealing the Second Amendment. It started with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley. And it sure does seem like those calls prompted skeptics of American gun culture to echo their remarks. Turley and Stevens were joined this week by op-ed writers in the pages of Esquire and the Seattle Times. Democratic candidates for federal office have even enlisted in the ranks of those calling for an amendment to curtail the freedoms in the Bill of Rights. Of course, this is just the most mainstream invocation of anti-Second Amendment themes that have been expressed unashamedly for years, from liberal activists like Michael Moore to conservative opinion writers at the New York Times.  Those calling for the repeal of the right to bear arms today are only echoing similar calls made years ago in venues ranging from Rolling Stone, MSNBC, and Vanity Fair to the Jesuit publication America Magazine.

Are you sitting down? You might be surprised to learn that none of this occurred. It’s only your vivid or, some might go so far as to say, fevered imagination. Rest assured, CNN host Chris Cuomo insists that “no one” is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Read the whole thing, which is a reminder that the left has been gaslighting conservatives for quite a long time, as this 2014 video by Bill Whittle illustrates.

NICK GILLESPIE: Hillary Clinton, Not Donald Trump or Cambridge Analytics, Is Gaslighting America: When can we as a country admit that the “most-qualified candidate in history” lost the 2016 election and get on with living our lives?

nstead of nailing down every electoral vote in less-glamorous precincts, the Clinton campaign spent time raising money and running up popular vote counts in California and New York (she won the popular vote by about 3 million). The same take-it-for-granted attitude that led to her loss was on brazen display in her recent comments to an Indian audience, where she explained “I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product… I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward…. We don’t do well with married, white women…and part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

Whenever an election is unexpectedly close, there will always be weird things that crop up to “explain” the result. But just as with George W. Bush’s razor-thin victory in 2000, the real question isn’t what put the underdog over the top but how the hell the odds-on favorite managed to squander such a lead. In 2000, Bush didn’t win so much as Al Gore lost. So it is with 2016: Trump didn’t win as much as Hillary Clinton did everything possible to lose. And now we are paying for her loss by being treated to an endless procession of explanations that will take the measure of every possible reason except for her own incompetence, arrogance, and sense of entitlement.

The literal insanity coming from our alleged best-and-brightest in the wake of the 2016 election (undiminished in 2018!) is proof that our ruling class is unfit to rule.

IT WOULD HELP IF THE MSM WOULD STOP GASLIGHTING US:  Americans are more depressed and miserable than ever.

PATRICK POOLE: Media Continues Gaslighting Somali Refugee’s Stabbing Terror Attack at Minnesota Mall.

AT SARAH’S PLACE: A note about Narrative, Gaslighting, and the Patriarchy. “The article at Everyday Feminism, shockingly, is not entirely insane.”

Well, it’s always shocking when they’re not entirely insane.

THE GASLIGHTING GRAY LADY: Paul Krugman says Obama was ‘honest’ about healthcare, omits broken promise on keeping doctors.

When even Politifact gives Obama “the lie of the year” award, you know Paul Krugman has transformed the memory hole into a dumpster fire.

ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL: NYT still peddling trash about Palin and the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

More: New York Times Determined To Find Political Balance In Shootings, Even if it Means Reviving Old Lie: “Palin might as well sue for defamation. At this point, knowing what we know, this is actual malice.”

“Six years from now, the NYT editorial board will lecture us about that time a right-winger shot Democrats on a baseball field,” Guy Benson tweets. As one of Ace of Spades’ co-bloggers adds on Twitter, “It was only today that I finally understood what it felt like to be subject to ‘gaslighting.’”

Oh, I don’t know; I can remember eight years of the stuff – and so can Bill Whittle:

WE MAY NEVER KNOW HIS REAL MOTIVE: Pulse gunman’s motive: Plenty of theories, but few answers.

Fortunately, we have Patrick Poole on hand to provide the necessary corrective.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: CNN’S Brian Stelter: We Don’t See CNN or New York Times ‘Rooting for Any President.’

Flashback: How the Wright-Free Zone was Built.

Flashback: CNN Uses Singing Children to Campaign for ObamaCare.

Flashback: DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile feeds debate questions to Hillary, reportedly passed to her by former CNN anchor and Rev. Wright acolyte Roland Martin.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING. WASHINGTON POST: WE AREN’T BIASED! “Marty Baron, editor of the Washington Post, denies that his paper is out to get President Trump,” John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, quoting Baron’s hilarous claim that “I just look at it as a new administration that we should be covering as aggressively, as energetically as possibleIf Hillary Clinton were in the White House, we would be doing the very same thing.”

George Allen and Bob McDonnell could not be reached for comment and/or howls of rueful laughter.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Trump is playing with the press: He’s gaslighting them and they fall for it every time.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Trump is playing with the press: He’s gaslighting them and they fall for it every time.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Trump is playing with the press: He’s gaslighting them and they fall for it every time.

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Trump is playing with the press: He’s gaslighting them and they fall for it every time.

TRUMP, THE PRESS, AND GASLIGHTING. I dunno, Erik, you could’ve at least thrown me a link. You know?

Though, to be fair, if this piece were actually a ripoff of mine, it would be better.

UPDATE: Actually, looking at it the next morning this post is a little mean. Wemple has done a lot of good work, and this was probably just parallel thinking. Sorry, I’m a bit out of sorts these days.

TRUMP AND THE PRESS: So yesterday I was on the BBC talking about Trump, the press, and what’s going on. Here’s a bit of an expansion.

First, the thing to understand is that, as I’ve said before, one of the changes going on with Trump generally is the renegotiation of various post-World War II institutional arrangements. One of those is the institutional arrangement involving the press and the White House. For decades, the press got special status because it was seen as both powerful, and institutionally responsible. (And, of course, allied with the Democrats who were mostly in charge of setting up those postwar institutional arrangements). Now those things have changed. If the press were powerful, it would have beaten Trump. If it were responsible, it wouldn’t be running away with fake news whenever it sees a chance to run something damaging to Trump. And, of course, there’s no alliance between Trump and the media, as there was with Obama.

So things will change. The press’s “insider” status — which it cherishes — is going to fade. (This is producing waves of status anxiety, as are many other Trump-induced institutional changes). And, having abandoned, quite openly, any pretense of objectivity and neutrality in the election, the press is going to be treated as an enemy by the Trump Administration until further notice.

In fact, Trump’s basically gaslighting them. Knowing how much they hate him, he’s constantly provoking them to go over the top. Sean Spicer’s crowd-size remarks are all about making them seem petty and negative. (And, possibly, teeing up crowd-size comparisons at next week’s March For Life, which the press normally ignores but which Trump will probably force them to cover).

Trump knows that the press isn’t trusted very much, and that the less it’s trusted, the less it can hurt him. So he’s prodding reporters to do things that will make them less trusted, and they’re constantly taking the bait. They’re taking the bait because they think he’s dumb, and impulsive, and lacking self-control — but he’s the one causing them to act in ways that are dumb and impulsive, and demonstrate lack of self-control. As Richard Fernandez writes on Facebook, they think he’s dumb because they think he has lousy taste, but there are a lot of scarily competent guys out there in the world who like white and gold furniture. And, I should note, Trump has more media experience than probably 99% of the people covering him. (As Obama operative Ben Rhodes gloated with regard to selling a dishonest story on the Iran deal, the average reporter the Obama White House dealt with “is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns.” In Rhodes’ words, “they literally know nothing.”)

The counter-move for the press isn’t to double down on anti-Trump messaging. The counter-move is to bolster its own trustworthiness by acting more neutral and sober, and by being more trustworthy. If the news media actually focused on reporting facts accurately and straightforwardly, on leaving opinion to the pundits, and on giving Trump a clearly fair shake, then Trump’s tactics wouldn’t work, and any actual dirt they found on him would do actual damage. He’s betting on the press being insufficiently mature and self-controlled to manage that. So far, his bet is paying off.

That’s too bad. If we had a better press, we’d be much better off as a nation. But we don’t.

IS THAT A GASLIGHT I SEE BEFORE ME? The dangerous lie cop haters tell to neuter our police.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: Before Progressives Hated Trump, They Were For Him.

But then, what does the left have to offer, beyond graft and gaslighting?

YOU ARE BEING GASLIGHTED: Alinskyite Tactics, Robert Creamer, and Us.

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: Seriously? MSNBC: ‘No Proof’ of Collusion Between Media and Hillary.

Billy Bush could not be reached for comment. (Neither could George Stephanopoulos.)

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING: CNN’s Brian Stelter: It’s ‘False’ and ‘Ludicrous’ that the Media Colluded with Clinton Campaign.

Wow, where would the public get the wacky, kooky notion that CNN was colluding with the Democrats?

Related: Naturally, CNN’s parent company is one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors.

UPDATE: “CNN’s Chris Cuomo told viewers it is illegal for them to possess emails leaked by the website WikiLeaks, and as a result they could not read them and had to rely entirely on the media to learn about their content…Even if downloading the emails were illegal, that is totally irrelevant in this case, because nobody has to download the WikiLeaks emails in order to read them. They’re all freely available to read on a website anybody can access.”

But Cuomo’s remarks dovetail perfectly with Iowahawk’s observation that “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving,” and Jim Treacher’s line that in the 21st century, the profession “is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.”

HMMM: America, You Have No Right to Judge Donald Trump:

I find this reaction to Trump’s private conversation rather ironic. It’s ironic coming from a secular culture that long ago declared objective morality dead. It’s ironic coming from politicos and media bottom-feeders who defended the abusive and disgusting behavior of Bill Clinton, not when he was a private citizen but when he was a sitting president.

It’s ironic coming from a Republican political elite that has told its religious base that social and moral issues don’t matter in politics. “It’s all about the economy, stupid. Leave your morals in the church but don’t voice them in the public square.”

The creep of moral relativism in America has been steady for many decades, increasing in speed to the point that the “slouching toward Gomorrah” has become a sprint. The notion that there is objective truth or absolute morality has been universally panned to the point that everything is tolerated except standards of right and wrong. “Everyone decides for himself what is right, especially when it comes to sex” is the mantra of today’s culture.

For years, Christians in particular have been attacked and silenced as they’ve tried to challenge the immorality that is pervasive in today’s society. When they tell people casual sex is wrong, they get the inevitable, “You have no right to tell me what I can or can’t do.” If they oppose sexual immorality in any form, including adultery, they’re maligned as sanctimonious puritans by lovers of libertinism.

How ironic, then, that a culture which rejects moral standards has suddenly become so pure and pristine, sitting in judgment of someone they deem too immoral to become president because of something he said in private. As a logical person, I have to ask these paragons of newly found virtue where this standard by which they’ve judged Trump is found.

As Andrew Ferguson wrote last week, neatly predicting the DNC-MSM’s fireworks this weekend, “puritanical is precisely the tone of the Trump haters on the left:”

(We Trump haters on the right are another story.) But why? Consider Trump himself. Here’s a man who’s famous for his wide-ranging sex life, his disdain for conventional marriage, his eager embrace of divorce, his public use of profanity, his non-judgmental attitude toward unconventional sexual minorities—a man whose way of life seems unrestrained by religious impulses of any kind—a man who, in short, is a walking summation of our present-day cultural principles. Yet on each of these scores, from his many marriages to his cursing in public, he is vilified by journalists, politicos, TV starlets, right thinkers of every kind. After years of egging on potty-mouthed rappers and scolding religious believers, our cultural guardians suddenly sound like the General Conference of Methodist Bishops circa 1922.

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

NO, MR. PRESIDENT: IT WASN’T SARAH PALIN WHO DROVE AMERICA MAD.

Flashback: Bill Whittle: “You’re not crazy. The Obama Administration will just keep gaslighting you until you think you are:”

SECRECY, LIES, WHATEVER: Clinton allies criticize campaign over health secrecy.

A lack of transparency about her health has turned what might have been a non-issue into a hugely problematic storyline for Hillary Clinton that could plague the Democratic presidential nominee into November, say allies and confidants.

One ally described the string of events that culminated in Clinton leaving a Sept. 11 memorial early as a “self-inflicted f—ing nightmare.”

Clinton’s campaign sought to deal with the fallout on Monday of damaging video that showed Clinton’s knees buckling and Secret Service agents helping her into a van. The campaign later revealed that the Democratic nominee was suffering from pneumonia.

David Axelrod, who served as a senior adviser to President Obama, chided Clinton and the campaign for unnecessarily withholding information from the public.

“Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia,” Axelrod wrote on Twitter. “What’s the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?”

Behind the scenes, the criticism was even more withering. And it comes at a time when the campaign’s trajectory appears to have stalled, with polls showing Republican Donald Trump gaining on Clinton.

The thing is, with the Clintons, no lie is to bizarre to be possible — even the Hillary Double rumors. I mean, you know they’d do it if they needed to, and thought it would work, right? Sometimes they use that to gaslight their opponents into believing crazy things that aren’t true. Other times — like this one, where Drudge is taking a deserved victory law — the opponents believe “crazy” things that turn out to be true.

SEEING THROUGH THE GASLIGHTING: If Americans don’t get the truth about ISIS, we’ll never defeat it.

BIG MEDIA IS GASLIGHTING YOU:

Shot: Modern Media Has Turned the USA Into the Divided States of America.

—John Ziegler, Mediaite, July 4th.

Chaser: Partisanship and tribalism are ruining our conversations about art.

—Sonny Bunch, the Washington Post, June 30th, 2016.

The demassified TV industry needs divisiveness to bring ratings, and the movie industry needs films that bring out large groups of the same tribe (American Sniper on the right, feminist Ghostbusters on the left) when it doesn’t have an old mass media-era franchise (such as Star Trek, Star Wars, James Bond and films with familiar comic book stars like Batman, Superman and the Marvel gang) to promote. That both methods lead to bad programming is secondary to the continued survival of media that are long past their sell-through dates.

THE SELLING OF THE IRAN DEAL:

Third, when reality catches up with the narrative—Obamacare is going to cost trillions, and millions are losing their health insurance—call on the same echo chamber that lied in the first place to gaslight the critics, have them alternately insist everyone knew this was going to happen or that it’s a small price to pay for being on the right side of history, and, finally, have your fellow-travelers bask in achieving your political objective even though the trail of self-serving lies left behind seriously erodes the public trust necessary to govern in the future.

The minor problem with this approach is that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Perhaps the fallout over the Rhodes interview is best summed up by a headline in Foreign Policy from Thomas E. Ricks, the Pulitzer-winning reporter who covered the Iraq war for the Washington Post: “A stunning profile of Ben Rhodes, the a—hole who is the president’s foreign policy guru.” The substance of the article wasn’t much more restrained. Ricks compares Rhodes to “the Kennedy smart guys who helped get us into the Vietnam War. Does he know how awful he sounds?”

Read the whole thing.

CLAUDIA ROSETT: Meet the Flimflam Man Behind Obama’s Foreign Policy ‘Narrative:’

When it comes to foreign policy, President Obama has spent more than seven years now living the dream. And I mean dream, as in fantasy — a trip to an alternate universe. Never mind the dangerous and in some cases deadly realities that increasingly beset the rest of the planet. For the White House, it’s been one glorious fiction after another. Russia was a “reset.” Libya was a success. So was the pivot to Asia. The tide of war is receding. There was a red line in Syria (until there wasn’t). The Iran nuclear program is now “exclusively peaceful.” America’s standing in the world is now — according to a White House tally of nameless surveys — higher than when Obama took office.

Remarkable. But don’t credit Obama alone for the creative talent behind these fictions. In a story just posted by The New York Times Magazine, veteran reporter David Samuels brings us a long, appalling and masterfully reported look behind the scenes at influential White House senior staffer Ben Rhodes, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru.” Rhodes, 38, serves as assistant to the president, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications and speechwriting, and oversees, as the White House web site tells us, “President Obama’s national security communications, speechwriting and global engagement.”

In a 2014 Firewall video, Bill Whittle told his viewers that if you feel like you’re being gaslighted by this administration, it’s no coincidence — you’re being gaslighted by this administration. With the clocking running out on Obama, nice of Rhodes to confirm he was one of its chief B.S. artists.

A MOST MATERIAL QUESTION: HOW MUCH OF YOUR MONEY ARE THEY USING TO GASLIGHT YOU? Senator demands GAO investigation of how much the feds spend on PR.

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:

WORTH CONSIDERING: I can tell you from reading my sons’ books through high school and college, that a theme throughout was “aspire to just enough.  Don’t reach for the stars.” Gaslighting the Middle Class. Of course, partly is how you look at it.  The very technology makes the world interconnected and there’s going to be a painful time of equalizing compensation throughout the world. At the same time the rising ability to work on anything anywhere does represent more individual freedom.

POLITICO’S GLENN THRUSH DISMISSES JOURNO COORDINATION WITH TEAM CLINTON AS ‘TRADECRAFT:’

thrush_bored_hillary-msm-coordination_11-25-15-1

Thrush basically has two gaslighting modes when bad news strikes Democrats — explain it away as “badass,” which is he he described Hillary’s now-infamous email server, and bored y’all, which was the mode he switched to when the Obamacare servers blew up in the fall of 2013, and today.

The Washington Post isn’t much better — the young staffer writing up a leading news and opinion Website offering a “no surprises” interview to Chelsea Clinton dismisses it as “Politico just handed Republicans a ‘liberal media’ talking point.”

And there are so, so few of those to go around these days.

Related: “WaPo Attacks Republicans For Politico Offering Chelsea Clinton a Puff Interview” — “Democrats sure got it good.”

KURT SCHLICHTER: LIBERALS ARE ‘GUNLIGHTING’ WHEN THEY SAY THEY DON’T WANT YOUR GUNS:

You’re not crazy for thinking that everything liberals say about guns is a lie. You’re not crazy when you see Obama and Hillary say they support the Second Amendment out of one side of their mouths and that they support the Australian option out of the other. This talk of Australia is code, a dog whistle that signals to their core followers their long-term goal, that pokes at us free Americans in the hopes we overreact, and that sails over the heads of many Americans who aren’t paying attention yet. You know no mainstream media hack will ever call them on it, so it’s up to us.

Gaslighting. It’s what the left does best.

ROGER SIMON: You Didn’t Need to Apologize for Your Holocaust Talk, Ben.

Indeed. As Sean Davis of the Federalist wrote on Monday:

The progressive response to Carson is illustrative: deep down they know that Nazi gun confiscation during the Holocaust poses something of a problem for those who wish to institute gun confiscation regimes today. Defending forced gun confiscations in theory (“fewer guns means less violence!”) is a lot easier than defending forced gun confiscations in practice. So instead of being faced with either defending Hitler’s gun confiscation regime or acknowledging that Carson’s underlying point was correct, they chose to gaslight him.

Though perhaps deep down, some of Carson’s critics would have preferred sealed vans.

BEN CARSON’S PROGRESSIVE CRITICS ARE TERRIFIED OF ANSWERING THIS QUESTION:

Wow, great arguments, guys. You sure showed that pediatric neurosurgeon what was what. On one hand, Carson–a world-renowned pediatric surgeon–made a completely uncontroversial remark about the nature of the Nazi gun control regime: its entire purpose was to make it easier for Nazis to kill Jews. On the other hand, you used the F-word repeatedly. I don’t know who I can trust!

The progressive response to Carson is illustrative: deep down they know that Nazi gun confiscation during the Holocaust poses something of a problem for those who wish to institute gun confiscation regimes today. Defending forced gun confiscations in theory (“fewer guns means less violence!”) is a lot easier than defending forced gun confiscations in practice. So instead of being faced with either defending Hitler’s gun confiscation regime or acknowledging that Carson’s underlying point was correct, they chose to gaslight him.

They should not get off that easy, though. If they’re going to attack Carson for accurately describing the intent behind Nazi disarmament of Jews, then they need to answer a few questions about that disarmament regime. Question one: was Hitler wrong to disarm the Jews? Why or what not? (Or if you’re a Godwin’s law adherent: was the South wrong to forcibly disarm blacks?) And question two, should they deign to answer the first one: why did Hitler disarm the Jews?

Related: Carson’s Response to PC Outrage Is Smarter than Trump’s:

Carson’s response to the howls of the PC left is the right one: We’ll call it “apathetic conviction.” He’s not outraged by the outrage; he simply doesn’t care. The outrage bores him. And no response is better calculated to rob critics of their power than boredom. You’re offended by my comments? I’m trending on Twitter? Wake me when the shame-storm is over, and then let’s debate my arguments on their substance.

A response that just drives the leftwing outrage mobs and their spokesmen in the MSM all the more crazy in the process, particularly when compared to the soft-spoken Carson.

WHY ARE CONSERVATIVES ANGRY? BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT WANTS TO ANGER THEM, Jim Geraghty writes:

Another big reason Republicans are angry is because they have a president who embraces a political strategy of deliberately and consistently enraging conservatives. Major Garrett detailed the White House’s calculated effort to be controversial and provocative in 2014:

This is the White House theory of “Stray Voltage.” It is the brainchild of former White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe, whose methods loom large long after his departure. The theory goes like this: Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.

Mickey Kaus characterizes the approach as “gaslighting” — giving your opponent a legitimate reason to get angry, then turning around and pointing to their anger as evidence they’re unhinged, obsessed, incapable of governing responsibly, et cetera.

President Obama made clear he refuses to be a lame duck; instead, the passage of the 2014 midterms only liberated him from worrying about what the public thinks.

* * * * * * *

Many Republicans feel hated by their president, and they return the sentiment. Whether or not they believe in Obama’s Hawaiian birth, they increasingly agree with Rudy Giuliani’s sentiment, “[Obama] doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” In Trump, these voters finally have a candidate who expresses that disdain as directly and passionately as they feel it.

Time will tell whether the Obama strategy of relentless provocation worked by driving the GOP to extreme antagonism that repelled a majority of the electorate — or whether he will have just riled up his opposition to the state of victorious determination.

Read the whole thing.

BECAUSE TO A CLINTON, A “LIE” IS JUST SOMETHING SOMEONE ELSE MISUNDERSTOOD:  Hillary Clinton campaign completely changes story on “wiped” email server.  Clinton’s campaign is political schizophrenia and gaslighting all the way down.

ED DRISCOLL: Gaslighting, Then And Now. “We’ve mentioned the left devouring its own several times in recent months. The ‘campus rape epidemic’ seems like a bizarre intellectual climate to serve as the background for Hillary’s campaign — and she has no one else to blame but her fellow Democrats for creating it. Or am I simply gaslighting myself?”

It certainly presents opportunities.

MICKEY KAUS: Gaslighting The GOPs? “If you’re a top White House political aide, things look bleak for the 2014 mid-terms: slow recovery, stagnant wages, Obamacare distress, serial foreign policy humiliations and a sense that social change is maybe proceeding a bit too rapidly for universal voter comfort would seem to give Republicans an advantage in a relatively low-turnout election in which enthusiasm matters. A Republican Senate and lame-duckness looms. What to do? Answer: Look back to the last Democratic president who faced this bleak prospect, Bill Clinton. . . . I’m not suggesting the White House is intentionally provoking Republicans over Benghazi, the better to produce counterproductive overreach. OK, sorry. I’m totally suggesting the White House is intentionally provoking Republicans over Benghazi.”

BRYAN PRESTON: Obama’s Pernicious Week. “Barack Obama is gaslighting America. He is striving to make any focus on his real scandals appear nutty, out of bounds, insane, and illegitimate.”

GASLIGHTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE:  Dorothy Rabinowitz documents the Obama Administration’s history of gaslighting the American people, adopting “deny, deny, deny” tactics in the face of obvious facts to the contrary.  Time to file for divorce.

ANDREW KLAVAN: A Fantasy Election, An Imaginary Man comes as close as anything to capturing the disturbing sense of unreality that’s making me feel as though nothing in the news were quite what it seems.  What I’ve taken to calling being gaslighted.

CURIOSER AND CURIOSER: More Poll Dancing.  (In this as with announcements that unemployment is falling or that income is “skyrocketing” in the rustbelt… or with ignoring the Benghazi outrage, or with their several “summers of recovery” the media is gaslighting * us.  Or, in more earthy terms — they’re er… urinating down our necks and telling us it’s raining.) *From Wikipedia:

The term “gaslighting” comes from the play Gas Light and its film adaptations, in which a husband secretly dims the gas lights in the house and, when his wife remarks on it, he claims that she is mistaken. This is done to convince the woman that she cannot trust her own judgment, and so will not be believed if she tries to report other strange things that are genuinely occurring, which the husband wishes to keep secret. The term is now also used in clinical and research literature

IN ANTICIPATION OF BIGGER CROWDS, Tampa’s Tax Day Tea Party has been moved to Lykes Gaslight Park in downtown Tampa.

VITRIOLAGE: Everything old is new again, though in some parts of the world this never really went away . . . .