Funnily enough, I haven’t seen a word about this this in the MSM

We hear a lot about dead or wounded Palestinian children, each of whose death or injury is a tragedy. Funnily enough, though, the MSM falls silent when it comes to the Israeli children:

There were a lot of tears of sadness and pain on Monday at the convalescence wing of the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer outside of Tel Aviv, as Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal visited the two young victims of the recent Qassam rocket attack.

Osher and Rami Tuito are being hospitalized at Sheba after a Qassam rocket made impact just a few feet away from the two brothers causing serious injury. Osher, 8, had to have a part of his leg amputated and his older brother Rami, 19, sustained moderate injuries.

As I tried to make clear in my introductory paragraph, I’m not denigrating what happens to Palestinian children, since children are the true tragedy of every conflict. I am noting, however, that while they make headlines, Israeli children don’t even rank the back pages.

UPDATE: I’ve switched to a new server, so you can feel free to look around here or check out my new site, which not only has the old stuff, but also will move forward into the future with all my new material.

More on media run amok

Iowahawk’s classic Bylines of Brutality is now becoming something of a distant memory. To refresh your recollection, in the wake of the NY Times‘ remarkably ill-thought out article about murderous vets, Iowahawk, using the same statistical analysis the Times favors, showed the remarkable violence trend amongst journalists. I thought of that trend when I read about the BBC journalist (or, perhaps, “radio personality” is a more correct identifier) who was described in criminal court as “revolting”:

A BBC Radio 4 presenter accused of drugging and raping a man he met at a party was described in court today as “revolting” and a “bully” by his alleged victim.

The 27-year-old man told an Old Bailey jury he felt “violated” when Nigel Wrench, a presenter on the PM programme, forced him to perform a sex act hours after they met at a New Year party.

Wrench had invited the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to see an Andy Warhol painting he had, the court heard.

He also told the younger man that he had a bottle of Taittinger champagne at home, and after they arrived he showed him his Porsche parked outside, a jury was told.

But after one gulp of the drink, which he said tasted like “poison”, the alleged victim began to black out and could feel his eyes rolling in his head, he said.

He added that he ended up in Wrench’s bed where he was repeatedly punched and forced to perform a sex act.

Wrench, 47, of north London, denies rape, sexual assault, and administering temazepam with the intention of “stupefying or overpowering” the man to have sex.

His alleged victim said he was “out of it” for a time after they snorted cocaine together in the toilet at the party.

He was talking to Wrench about getting work experience on the radio station, but said he did not fancy him and was surprised when the presenter started kissing him, and backed away against a wall.

“I didn’t want to be kissed by him. I found him revolting,” said the man.

But the man tried to brush it off and later had a conversation about modern art with Wrench, he said.

“He talked specifically about an Andy Warhol print that I was quite interested to see,” the man told the court as he gave evidence from behind a screen.

“He said, ‘do you want to come over to my place to see the Andy Warhol and I also have some other pieces that you might like’.

“He said ‘don’t worry, it won’t be for sex’. I said ‘I don’t want to have sex with you’.”

The trial continues.

Clearly, this is one more for the statistical files regarding media people and the danger they pose to ordinary citizens.

From the “is it just me . . .” department

Is it just me, or is this precisely the way the media covered Theresa Heinz Kerry when it became apparent that John Kerry was the frontrunner?

Once reticent Michelle Obama is big campaign asset

Michelle Obama’s fiery campaign style belies the fact that she was hesitant at first about getting involved in her husband Barack’s bid to become U.S. president.

Obama says she never expected to be on stage extolling her husband’s virtues, but she is revving up crowds as she tells them he is the Democratic candidate who offers the best option for change in the United States.

“I am very passionate about change in the country and that’s what you see,” the 44-year-old Princeton- and Harvard-educated lawyer from Chicago told Reuters in an interview last year.

I’m in the midst of a project right now, so I’m no going to spend my time using Google as a “way back machine,” but I have a distinct memory that Mrs. Kerry was presented in precisely the same way. What say you?

The media again goes after the military

First, the NY Times announced that American troops were crazed killers. Next, it announced that they were crazed homeless people. The latest salvo the media has launched at the troops to counteract the Surge’s success is that they’re so crazy they are killing themselves in droves:

As many as 121 Army soldiers committed suicide in 2007, a jump of some 20 percent over the year before, officials said Thursday.

The rise comes despite numerous efforts to improve the mental health of a force stressed by a longer-than-expected war in Iraq and the most deadly year yet in the now six-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.

Internal briefing papers prepared by the Army’s psychiatry consultant early this month show there were 89 confirmed suicides last year and 32 deaths that are suspected suicides and still under investigation.

More than a quarter of those — about 34 — happened during deployments in Iraq, an increase from 27 in Iraq the previous year, according to the preliminary figures.

The report also shows an increase in the number of attempted suicides and self-injuries — some 2,100 in 2007 compared to less than 1,500 the previous year and less than 500 in 2002.

The total of 121 suicides last year, if all are confirmed, would be more than double the 52 reported in 2001, before the Sept. 11 attacks prompted the Bush administration to launch its counter-terror war. The toll was 87 by 2005 and 102 in 2006.

I’m not quarreling with the numbers for last year, which equal 121 individual tragedies. Nor do I challenge the fact that the number of suicides has been rising. However, I do have a problem with the absence of context. The story makes it appear as if there’s an ever escalating suicide epidemic in the military that sets it apart from the general American population. That is, the article forgot to compare these numbers to society at large. Significantly, it also doesn’t distinguish between active duty, guard and reserve (502,790, 346,288 and 189,975, all of which add up to 1,039,053). As always context makes things interesting.
Here are some statistics regarding suicide in America as of 2004:

Now lets look at Army demographics for the year 2006 (the last I could find):

  • Total number of troops, active, guard and reserve: 1,039,053
  • Total number of active and guard troops (not counting reserve): 849,078
  • Total active duty was 502,790
  • Men make up 86% of active duty soldiers (430,000).
  • Whites made up 61.6 percent of active duty soldiers, or almost 310,000 troops.

I’m not able to find the average age for the Army (I don’t know why), but I’m willing to bet it hovers between 19-24, with the weight at about 20.

Okay, bear with me here, and correct me when I go wildly wrong, but I think one can make a few predictions about what the suicide rate probably would be in the military if it hewed to general American statistics. First of all, if there are an average of 11.05 suicides for every 100,000 people, out of the total army strength of 1,039,053, one would expect a little more than 110 suicides, which is remarkably close to the 121 committed last year. And given that the Army is disproportionately male and that the rate of suicides is disproportionately high amongst men, one would have to expect that the average of 11.05 suicides would have to skew upwards to account for both of these disproportionalities. You then have to add in the fact that the average male soldiers age also places him in one of the high risk suicide categories (youths 15-24). After doing all that, you’d have to slide the rate down a little to reflect the fact that some of these men are minorities, who have lower suicides rates, but that kind of math is utterly beyond me. Any of you who can do math should feel free to chime in here and tell me by how much the suicide rate increases when you have a mostly white, young, male demographic in the military, and mostly white, young, male suicides in the general population. Complicated math or not, my rule of thumb tells me that, compared to the general population, the rate of Army suicides is not out of the ordinary.

Even if one rachets the numbers down from all troops and looks only at active duty and guard troops, the result isn’t that different. The total number of active and guard troops, as I noted above, is 849,078. That means that you could expect an average of 94 suicides per year. And then again, you’d have to do the higher math of factoring in all those young, white men and then factoring down slightly for minorities (who are 38.4$ of active duty troops and 25.5% of guard troops).

Things do get more tragic if one really rachets the numbers down to focus only on active duty suicides, because that would mean a base suicide rate that’s twice the national average. Even adjusting that for the young, white male military population probably wouldn’t offset the differential. I can’t find the report on which this news story is based, though, so I really don’t know which Army population is at issue.

In any event, as you think about all of this, consider that the report says that there are only 89 confirmed suicides, with 32 still being investigated. It’s certain that some of those being investigated will prove also to be suicides, but it’s anything but certain that all will.

Bottom line: It’s all very complicated for a math-phobe like me but, unless one is sure that the numbers in the article apply only to active duty troops, I’m fairly confident that the numbers, while showing 121 personal tragedies, do not prove that our American troops are killing themselves like flies. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) In other words, while the news report, to the extent it gives numbers directly from military sources, is informative, to the extent the report makes it appear that troops are dying in droves as compared to other Americans, it’s misleading.

UPDATEGateway Pundit has an more interesting take on the story than I did, which is the fact that more troops committed suicide during the Clinton years than are now committing suicide.  Perhaps doing ones job, even a dangerous job, is less demoralizing and depressing than being marginalized and denigrated.

Shredding the NY Times

There are many who think that, under Pinch’s guidance, the NY Times has gone from a somewhat biased, but still reputable paper, to a daily anti-Bush diatribe that has occasional nuggets of actual news interspersed amongst the partisan pieces. I still check out the movie reviews, but I generally support those who believe it makes a good bird cage liner. So it was with real pleasure that I read Andrew McCarthy’s fact-filled but nevertheless almost intemperate attack on the Times. In every paragraph, he both makes his case about the Times’ lead role in birdcages, while simultaneously exhibiting a gleeful venom that makes for fun reading:

A few months back, National Review Online published an article in which I argued that the New York Times’s woeful reporting on Judge Michael B. Mukasey — then a nominee, now serving as U.S. attorney general — was proof positive, as if more were necessary, that the Grey Lady had become an unreliable shill. Its news coverage, I contended, had “devolve[d] into Left-wing polemic, to the point where there is no longer a qualitative difference between the Times and The Nation. Save one: The Nation, self-described ‘flagship of the left,’ has no pretensions about being anything other than The Nation; the Times still pretends to be the Newspaper of Record.”

I didn’t expect anyone to take my word for it. Instead, I went painstakingly through reporter Philip Shenon’s “news” story to demonstrate how dreadfully incomplete, misleading and agenda-driven it was. You can judge for yourself whether I was successful, but if my e-mail is any indication, I was.

I most appreciated the reaction of some journalist friends. I was angry about what the Times had done, but I wasn’t the least bit surprised. By contrast, my journalist friends seemed genuinely stunned at the degree of shoddiness. It was not the New York Times they had once known and admired. Repeatedly came the refrain: I should send my article to the newspaper’s “Public Editor” — its ombudsman, or, as the Times preciously posits, the “readers’ representative.”

Though understandable, I still found the suggestion curious. After all, by my lights, the Times is not objective; it has become a partisan hack. If I’d written in, I’d have implicitly conceded something I didn’t believe to be true: that the newspaper is an honest broker from whom it is reasonable to expect straightforward introspection. I didn’t think the reporter and his editors had made a mistake, or even a series of them. I believe, instead, that the newspaper is invested in its anti-Bush, anti-anti-terrorism narrative and spins or elides facts as necessary to make stories fit. I wouldn’t have felt vindicated if the Public Editor said I was right (which, naturally, would never, ever happen), nor was I likely to be persuaded were he to say I was wrong. In truth, the probability was that he’d ignore me in any event. What, I asked myself, would be the point? So, life being too short, I dropped it.

I do feel vindicated now, though, thanks to my friend Ed Whelan, the brilliant legal analyst who heads the Ethics and Public Policy Center and edifies us daily at NRO’s law blog, “Bench Memos.” Ed’s head is harder than mine — it needs to be since there’s so much more in it. So he decided to crash it into the brick wall that I avoided.

Read here the rest of this joyous romp trouncing the Times.

The media, Richard Scaife, and the never ending Soros connection

Do you ever feel that George Soros is a malevolent spider, sitting in the middle of a leftist web, trickling his money down thousands of filaments towards disparate ends, all aimed at achieving the same goal — the destruction of Israel and the end of America as the preeminent democratic power in the world? His name crops up so often, in connection with so many things that are worrisome when it comes to attacks on the administration and on Israel. Today yielded two such moments.

The first came to my attention in an email that DQ sent me. He directed my attention to an AP story that reporting on a study that purports to support the “Bush lied, people died” mantra:

A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

The New York Times, of course, has gotten tremendously excited about the story and expanded on it. Significantly neither report makes any mention of George Soros, but they could have — since the organization that came up with this “study” is not an independent fact-finding entity but is, in fact, a Soros entity:

Nowhere in these articles do either news organization bother to inform their reader of the partisan nature of the CPI. Besides Soros, it gets financing from the Streisand Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Los Angeles Times Foundation. The FIJ shares most of its board members with the CPI, which hardly makes it a separate entity in terms of its political direction.

The indefagitable Daffyd at Big Lizards, in his inimitable style, rips apart the supposed conclusions emanating from this Soros organization, deconstructing every carefully written word that implies, without being able to say (’cause it would be a lie), that Bush did, in fact, lie. For example:

Here are the specific charges:

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

“It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida,” according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. “In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.”

One notes that “Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members” — isn’t that a lovely grammatical construct? — do not deny that Iraq was “trying to… obtain” WMD, even though they appear to include such claims under the category of “false statements.”

Nor do they deny the administration’s claim that Iraq had “links” with al-Qaeda. They merely dispute the meaningfulness of those links… and dub that another “false statement” by the president and his administration.

Michelle Malkin has a nice compilation of other bloggers who have managed, fairly easily, to destroy the fragile fabric that the “study,” the AP and the New York Times have created to mask the fact that the only lie is the implication that there was a lie. I’m sure, given my grammatical skills, I could do the same too, although (a) that would be carrying coals to Newcastle given the superior intellectual minds that have already bent themselves to this task and, in any event, (b) I want to go back to that Soros problem. As you may recall, this post is not about the “study,” which is just one strand in the Soros web, but instead is about Soros’ reach. So, onward….

This clunky study, which did not befuddle the blogosphere, but that certainly succeeded in poisoning the minds of ordinary readers who do not read with skeptical, grammar-driven, Soros-knowledgeable minds, is not the only Soros filament today.

Over at the American Thinker, Ed Lasky has written a real stunner of an article about Obama’s Soros connection. It’s a two degrees of separation story, because there is no charge in it that Obama has had any direct contact with Soros (although he has, in fact, had precisely that kind of contact). The article’s actual focus is Robert Malley, whom Obama has tapped as his Middle East advisor. I’d never heard of Malley before this article, and hope never to hear of him again — and it would be a real “God forbid” if he ever shows up in a Presidential cabinet.

The difficulties with Malley start with his father and, though Lasky freely admits that a son shouldn’t be held accountable for the sins of his father, it’s clear that that Malley junior is an apple that hews close to the Malley senior tree (and how’s that for wild metaphorical writing). First, Malley Sr:

His father Simon Malley was born to a Syrian family in Cairo and at an early age found his métier in political journalism. He participated in the wave of anti-imperialist and nationalist ideology that was sweeping the Third World. He wrote thousands of words in support of struggle against Western nations. In Paris, he founded the journal Afrique Asie; he and his magazine became advocates for “liberation” struggles throughout the world, particularly for the Palestinians.

Simon Malley loathed Israel and anti-Israel activism became a crusade for him-as an internet search would easily show. He spent countless hours with Yasser Arafat and became a close friend of Arafat. He was, according to Daniel Pipes, a sympathizer of the Palestinian Liberation Organization — and this was when it was at the height of its terrorism wave against the West . His efforts were so damaging to France that President Valerie d’Estaing expelled him from the country.

Now, you can’t blame a child for the company his father keeps, but Malley junior definitely appears to want to join the party. As Lasky details with example after example, Malley himself has been a Palestinian shill from top to bottom, writing a whole series of anti-Israel articles that can be easily be proven to be false, and consorting with the usual anti-Israel crowd. And since this is a post about Soros, you won’t be surprised to find that Soros is one of the names that crops up on Malley’s resume:

Robert Malley is the Director of the Middle East/North Africa Program at the International Crisis Group (ICG). Given the impressive title of the group, one might expect it to have along and impressive pedigree — say long the lines of the well-regarded Council of Foreign Relations. In fact, the group is rather small and it has a short pedigree. More importantly, it has ties to George Soros. Soros is a man who has supported a wide variety of groups that have shown a propensity to criticize America and Israel; a man who has made clear his goal is to break the close bonds between America and Israel ; supported the views of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer whose work on the issue of the “Israel Lobby” has been widely criticized for factual inaccuracies, shoddy research, and has been called “anti-Semitic” in the Washington Post; a man who has taken steps to counter the supposed political influence of the pro-Israel community in America; a man who has also been a key financial backer of Senator Obama’s; and a man who can activate a wide variety of 527 (c) and other activist groups for any politician he supports.

Soros is a funder of the ICG through his Open Society Institute ; he serves on its Board and on its Executive Committee. Other members of the Board include Zbigniew Brzezinski (whose anti-Israel credentials are impeccable) and Wesley Clark (who called US support for Israel during the Hezbollah War a “serious mistake“; who has flirtedand who has been the direct beneficiary of donations made by Soros ; Wesley Clark has defended the actions of George Soros. with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

But let’s return to George Soros.

While it is true that the ICG receives funding from other sources, none of these donors are on the board; and a billionaire on the Executive Committee of the Board can wield a great deal of influence. Soros is a man who is legendary for his investment prowess. In this case, he again seems to have invested well — as he is proud to trumpet. When the ICG gave him a Founders Award, he spoke of how pleased he was with the work the group does (“my money is very well spent”), and he took particular pride in the work done “on the Palestinian question”.

As he should be, given his goals. Malley, as the Director of the Middle East/ North African program at the ICG, has assembled a group of “analysts” who reflect his (and Soros’s) views and who share their goals: a radical reshaping of decades of American foreign policy and a shredding of the role of morality in the formulation of American policy. These policies would strengthen our enemies, empower dictatorships, and harm our allies.

There he is again, that malevolent spider, with his web reaching out to encompass someone who is aiming to reach for the highest office in the land.

I’m not a big one for conspiracy theories, and I frankly don’t think you can ever have a conspiracy of one. You can, however, have a single power broker, a single megalomaniac, a single spider — and I think George Soros is that man.

Now, some may ask, what’s the difference between Soros and the Richard Mellon Scaife, the man who bent his millions to going after the Clintons? Well, I think there are a few differences. For one thing, there’s the little fact that Scaife was right about Bill Clinton’s sexual malfeasance, and I don’t think even the Clintons’ staunchest defenders can claim, with a straight face, that the Clintons didn’t leave a slimy trail of corruption behind them that is probably the only earthly object that, along with the Great Wall of China, can actually be seen from outer space. By contrast, with Bush, there are always allegations of lies and corruptions but, as this most recent study shows, they never go anywhere. Even a Democratically controlled Congress hasn’t been able to make anything out of the endless stream of accusations pouring out of the various Soros machines.

Another difference is that Scaife didn’t have the big dreams Soros does. Scaife wanted to get the Clintons out of the White House. Soros wants to see Israel blasted off the face of the earth, and America reduced to Third World status.

And there is one last, and much more worrisome, difference between Scaife and Soros, and it has to do with the media. Back in the dim, misty 1990s, I knew all about the evil Richard Mellon Scaife. I wasn’t much interested in politics and there was no internet to disseminate information about behind-the-scenes movers and shakers, but I still knew. Why? Because the MSM wanted me to know. There were regular articles in the New York Times, in Time, and in Newsweek, as well as stories on NPR — all of my main news sources during the 1990s — that routinely reminded me that the evil Scaife was funding the vast right wing conspiracy aimed at destroying the Clintons. As a citizen and news consumer, I was aware of him, and could approve, or disapprove, of his agenda depending on my political predilections.

The MSM does not provide that same service with regard to George Soros’ activities — with a perfect example being this morning’s “news” about Bush’s “lies.” Had this been the 1990s, and had this been a report from a Scaife organization about Clinton, assuming the media had had even bothered to report it, you can be damn sure readers would have been told that the report was funded by radical right wing billionaire Richard Scaife. With the current crop of anti-Bush articles, however, Soros is nowhere mentioned. And this pattern repeats itself over and over and over — Soros’ connection is never mentioned.

What stands in stark contrast is how the media reports about Soros himself, separate from all the pies in which he has big, money-dripping fingers. For example, here’s how the New York Times today described George Soros in a story about the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos: “billionaire philanthropist George Soros.” And how about this hagiographic description in a 2006 story about his funding of a social (socialist?) experiment in Africa:

The financier and philanthropist George Soros said Tuesday that he was contributing $50 million to support a sprawling social experiment, organized and led by the economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, that aims to help villages in Africa escape grinding poverty.

[snip]

Mr. Soros’s contribution is a philanthropic departure for him. He has largely focused on fostering democracy and good government.

Some of you might be thinking right now that this Soros is just a good guy, using his millions to help improve the world. Perhaps a little more information about his words and his goals will help explain why I think the media is cheating by calling him just a “philanthropist” who is trying to “foster democracy”:

In 1979 Soros founded the Open Society Fund, and since then has created a large network of foundations that give away hundreds of millions of dollars each year, much of it to individuals and organizations that share and promote his leftist philosophy. He believes that in order to prevent right-wing fascism from overrunning the world, a strong leftist counterbalance is essential. Asserting that America needed “a regime change” to oust President Bush, Soros maintained that he would gladly have traded his entire fortune in exchange for a Bush defeat in the 2004 election. In a November 2003 interview with the Washington Post‘s Laura Blumenfeld, he stated that defeating President Bush in 2004 “is the central focus of my life”. . . “a matter of life and death.” “America under Bush,” he said, “is a danger to the world, and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.” Claiming that “the Republican party has been captured by a bunch of extremists,” Soros accuses the Bush administration of following a “supremacist ideology” in whose rhetoric he claims to hear echoes from his childhood in occupied Hungary. “When I hear Bush say, ‘You’re either with us or against us,’ ” he explains, “it reminds me of the Germans. It conjures up memories of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit (The enemy is listening). My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me.”

Soros pledged to raise $75 million to defeat President Bush in the 2004 Presidential election, and personally donated nearly a third of that amount to anti-Bush groups (see The Shadow Party). He gave $5 million to MoveOn.org, the group that produced political ads likening Bush to Adolf Hitler. He also contributed $10 million to a Democratic Party 2004 get-out-the-vote initiative called America Coming Together, whose directors include representatives from the AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club, the Service Employees International Union, and EMILY’s List. He further pledged $3 million to the Center for American Progress (CAP), a think-tank headed by former Clinton chief-of-staff John Podesta.

[snip]

While criticizing the Iraq War for the benefit of reporters at the January 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros unburdened himself of the view that Nazis were now running the United States government. “America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany,” Soros explained. “We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process.” Lest there be doubts that Soros was actually likening his adoptive country to the Third Reich and the Bush administration to the Nazi nomenklatura, a Soros spokesman, Michael Vachon, moved quickly to dispel them. “There is nothing unpatriotic about demanding accountability from the president,” he said of Soros’s appeal for de-Nazification. “Those responsible for taking America into this needless war should do us all a favor and retire from public office.”

[snip]

Soros and his foundations have had a hand in funding a host of leftist organizations, including the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; the National Organization for Women; Feminist Majority; the American Civil Liberties Union; People for the American Way; Alliance for Justice; NARAL Pro-Choice America; America Coming Together; the Center for American Progress; Campaign for America’s Future; Amnesty International; the Sentencing Project; the Center for Community Change; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Human Rights Watch; the Prison Moratorium Project; the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; the National Lawyers Guild; the Center for Constitutional Rights; the Coalition for an International Criminal Court; The American Prospect; MoveOn.org; Planned Parenthood; the Nation Institute; the Brennan Center for Justice; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the National Security Archive Fund; the Pacifica Foundation; Physicians for Human Rights; the Proteus Fund; the Public Citizen Foundation; the Urban Institute; the American Friends Service Committee; Catholics for a Free Choice; Human Rights First; the Independent Media Institute; MADRE; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Immigrant Legal Resource Center; the National Immigration Law Center; the National Immigration Forum; the National Council of La Raza; the American Immigration Law Foundation; the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee; and the Peace and Security Funders Group.

The organizations he funds are a real giveaway. Some of them are the usual targets of conservative ire: the ACLU, the People for the American Way, NARAL, etc. But some of them are a little more, shall we say, extreme. How about the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee? You remember Lynne Stewart, don’t you? She’s the lawyer who aids and abets terrorists, and ended up imprisoned for doing so. And want about La Raza? That’s an organization that would like to see unlimited immigration and, in a best of all possible worlds, the reintegration of vast parts of the Southwest and California back into Mexico. You can go through the rest of the list and reach your own conclusions about where his money is going.

Now, thankfully, America is still a small “d” democracy, and Soros can hold his beliefs and put his money where he will. I happen to disagree strongly with his beliefs and regret that money flow, but I can’t stop it. However, when that kind of money is flowing in a single direction — Left — from one man, one would think that the MSM would find that sufficiently interesting to be newsworthy — to make it as worthy of mention as the inevitable references during the 1990s to Scaifes’ finger in every anti-Clinton pie, or to the lost War in Iraq in every War article. But the MSM doesn’t mention the Soros connection. That’s left to the blogosphere, which is read only by those who care a lot. Which means that those who care less than a lot are reading news articles such as the one that opened this post in which the MSM does not see fit to mention that the study was funded by the “far Left” or “ultra Progressive” George Soros, who has consistently been a foe of the Bush administration. And the ordinary man in the street, reading one more drop of poisoning dripping off the Soros web, is utterly unaware that he’s been tainted by that poison.

UPDATEAt least one British paper regards Soros with a little less warmth than the American media.  In reporting on Soros’ gloating comments about the weakening American dollar and its imminent destruction, the Telegraph describes him in the first paragraph as “The billionaire investor famous for “breaking” the Bank of England in the 1990s.”

Hitchens is almost right

Christopher Hitchens is totally right when he notes that Mike Huckabee’s defense of the Confederate flag harmonizes perfectly with racist views.  That is, a person could argue that the defense of the flag is all about States’ rights, but the fact is that the Confederate flag is so inextricably intertwined with the KKK and Jim Crow that such an argument is stupid or disingenuous at best, and fraudulent at worst.  Hitchens is also right that the press gave Huckabee a pass for this nasty remark.  Assuming that the pass was deliberate, and that the Huckabee story didn’t simply get swamped by the infinitely more fascinating fight between Clinton and Obama, one has to ask why the press was so passive.  Hitchens thinks it’s because it was afraid of offending racist Southern rednecks:

But when real political racism rears its head, our easily upset media falls oddly silent. Can you guess why? Of course you can. Gov. Huckabee is the self-anointed candidate of the simple and traditional Christian folk who hate smart-ass, educated, big-city types, and if you dare to attack him for his vulgarity and stupidity and bigotry, he will accuse you of prejudice in return. What he hopes is that his neo-Confederate sickness will become subsumed into easy chatter about his recipes for fried squirrel and his other folksy populist themes. (By the way, you owe it to yourselves to watch the exciting revelations about his squirrel-grilling past; and do examine his family Christmas card while you’re at it.) But this drivel, it turns out, is all a slick cover for racist incitement, and it ought not to be given a free pass.

I actually don’t think that’s the case.  Just as I’d prefer Hillary to win the Democratic primaries because I think she’ll be easier to beat than Obama, the press would prefer that Huckabee win the Republican primaries, because they know he’ll go down in flames in the Presidential election.  That’s why they’ve handled him with something approaching TLC — he’s their favored candidate because he’ll lose.

Speaking of different press approaches to the different parties and their candidates, Patrick, my favorite Paragraph Farmer, has an elegantly written article up at the American Spectator examining the way in which reporters delve deep into Romney’s and Huckabee’s theological beliefs (something that may be fair game because their beliefs stand out), while treating with kid gloves rather unusual theological revelations from candidates on the left.  Even if one pulls back from specific theological peculiarities, there is no doubt that the press has carefully ignored Hillary’s politically activist Methodism, which has more to do with socialism than God, and Obama’s truly unfortunate, and very strong, ties to a black supremacist church.  Likewise, a speech from a pulpit is non-news if you’re on the Left, and a threat to the separation of church and state if you’re on the right.  Double standards, anybody?

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