Michael Yon takes on Rolling Stone

Years ago, in another life, I dated a man who had worked for Rolling Stone and personally knew Jann Wenner.  (My ex-boyfriend claimed that a well-known Rolling Stone photographer was the one who introduced him to and got him hooked on cocaine.  I have no idea if he was telling the truth or not, but it made for a good story.)

My old boyfriend had cleaned up his act by the time I met him, and was decently reticent about his past, but it was pretty clear from the few stories he told that (a) Rolling Stone personnel, at least at one time, had embraced the drug culture with gusto and (b) that it was a sleazy, counter-culture magazine.  Today, all you need to do to know that it is still a sleazy, counter-culture (read:  anti-American) magazine is to buy a copy at the store — or, better yet, leaf through one and then abandon it without bothering to buy it.  As for the drug issues that were once a part of the magazine’s culture, perhaps the drugs’ legacy lives on and helps explain the shoddy, vicious journalism that routinely emanates from that saggy, flabby, 1960s era hangover.

Don’t believe me about shoddy, vicious journalism?  I understand that.  My old boyfriend’s stories about the magazine’s past are pure hearsay.  But right now, today, Michael Yon has actual percipient witness journalism on his side when it comes to challenging Rolling Stone’s most recent smear piece about our troops in Afghanistan.  Read Yon and your blood will boil.

Huge kudos to Yon, not only for his own journalism, but for his willingness to take on one of the old media’s sacred cows.

Andrew Klavan with the perfect coda to Project Veritas’ PBS sting

The new face of antisemitism

Actually, it’s not a new face at all — it goes back to Mohammed himself, and his paranoid, resentful rants when the Jews refused to accept him as a prophet.  What makes it new is that, thanks to the modern age and the Leftist media, these messages, which used to be confined to backward desert regions, are all the rage, all over the world:

 

New Trends in Arabic Anti-semitism from Henrik Clausen on Vimeo.

It’s that kind of crap (pardon my language), that allows Reuters to write this kind of crap:

Police said it was a “terrorist attack” — Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike. It was the first time Jerusalem had been hit by such a bomb since 2004.

Or that allows Obama to use only passive voice in speaking of Palestinian terrorism, passive voice so extreme he doesn’t even do the usual passive voice technique of waiting until the sentence’s end to include the noun that did the verb.  Instead, he manages never to include any actor in the sentence at all.  He’s not the only one, of course.

Liberals play ostrich with facts they don’t like, and American discourse suffers

The other day, Mr. Bookworm asked me to tell him “what the right wing wackos were talking about.”  Among other things, I mentioned that people were interested in the fact that Hillary had recently announced that she would not return as Secretary of State for Obama’s second term, leading to speculation that she was planning a primary challenge.

“That’s not true,” he exclaimed.  “That’s just another of those conspiracy theories that get your little blogosphere so excited.”

Since we were in the car, I mildly responded that it was true and changed the subject.  He was troubled, though.  That night, after I’d already turned my computer, he told me I was clearly (a) wrong or (b) making things up or (c) in thrall to a conspiracy theory, because his computer search didn’t turn up any mention of Hillary quitting her job.

“That’s peculiar,” I said.  “Give me your computer and I’ll find it for you in a second.”

His response startled me:  “No.  I’m not going to let you use my computer to waste time looking for something that’s not true.”

“Well, if I find it, then it is true and I haven’t wasted time.”

“No.  It’s not there so don’t look.”

Next morning, when I turned on my computer, it took me about 1 minute to find a CNN article entitled “Clinton says no to second run” (with a permalink giving the alternative title as “Clinton-running-for-president”).  The text was straightforward:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer she does not want to serve a second term as secretary of state or run for president of the United States.

[snip]

Q- If the president is reelected, do you want to serve a second term as secretary of state?

No

I wasn’t wrong; I didn’t make it up; there was no conspiracy theory.  On a liberal venue, in an on-air interview with a liberal media personality, Hillary explicitly announced her upcoming retirement.

I actually wasn’t going to write about this little interaction with Mr. Bookworm, because although silly, it was no big deal.  We go through this all the time.  I say something, he challenges my veracity, and then he refuses to look at the proof I send him.  I thought it was just one of his little eccentricities.  I only mention it now because a Lee Stranahan post establishes that Mr. Bookworm is not alone.  His behavior appears at the highest echelons of liberal thinking.

Lee Stranahan, as you may recall, is the long-time, self-admitted, well-known Progressive who wrote a HuffPo column calling out the MSM on its hypocrisy regarding civility:

Why isn’t the mainstream media talking about the death threats against Republican politicians in Wisconsin?

[snip]

Burying the death threat story is a clear example of intellectual dishonesty and journalistic bias.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Look into the story of death threats in Wisconsin yourself and see who has been covering the story and who hasn’t. Try for a moment to see this story from the perspective of those who you may disagree with on policy and ask yourself how this looks to them. Can you blame them for feeling that way? Then take a few seconds and read those questions I asked you at the beginning of this article.

And then ask why progressives shouldn’t expect more from our media — and ourselves — than we expect from our political adversaries.

What I’ve since learned is that Stranahan, rather than sparking a wave of self-analysis and honesty from his fellow Progressives, has been subject to opprobrium for having developed a working relationship with Andrew Breitbart.  He’s a sell-out, they say, making his criticism completely irrelevant.

Stranahan, in response to these attacks, has written a post explaining why he ended up in a working relationship with Breitbart, despite the fact that Stranahan hasn’t abandoned his Progressive principles.  Stranahan never expected to like Breitbart.  Their relationship started after Stranahan watched, and was offended by, the media ridicule directed at Jon Stewart for his Rodney King moment in Washington, D.C., (a “can’t we all get along” speech that Stewart’s subsequent outings on his show proved he didn’t mean).

Stranahan decided to “get along” by interviewing the most reviled conservative media figure.  He picked Breitbart.  I’ll let Stranahan explain the rest:

So I thought about writing a HuffPost piece about this idea that the left was missing the entire point of what Stewart was trying to say. I wanted to interview someone, so I tried to think of the most reviled person in the world by left and Andrew Breitbart sprung.to mind. I only know a little about him. I remembered he was involved the Shirley Sherrod thing and that ACORN thing but my knowledge of these events was pretty shallow. I knew he was called a racist, a homophobe and every other name under the sun. But I also remembered something I’d seen months earlier.

It was an appearance on Good Morning, America with Andrew Breitbart and Eric Boehlert. I’d watched it because I knew Eric Boehlert, who’d written about me and the John Edwards story in his book Bloggers on the Bus. So when I watched, I was a lot more inclined to agree with Boehlert than Breitbart.

There’s a part in that segment where Breitbart discusses the story about racial epithets being yelled at members of the Congressional Black Caucus by members of the Tea Party; a story that was widely reported in the left wing blogosphere. It was so widely reported, I just assumed it was true but here was this Breitbart guy saying he had video tapes that proved the incident didn’t happened as described. Okay, that was interesting – maybe I had the story wrong and this Breitbart guy seemed eager to prove it,

And then – on live television– Eric Boehlert & George Stephanopoulos totally blew off Breitbart’s offer to show them the video tapes.

That stuck with me for months. The story was either true or not and here was someone eager to get to the truth and the liberal host and other liberal guest weren’t a bit interested. And it seemed so dishonest. I knew if they thought the video proved their case, it’d be shown all day and night. It didn’t make me proud to be on the same side ideologically as Boehlert and Stephanopoulos.

(You should read the rest of Stranahan’s post, but that’s the point I wanted to make for purposes of my own post.)

For Stranahan, this was a light bulb moment.  For me, it’s my life.  Mr. Bookworm is the most common culprit only because he’s the one with whom I most frequently converse.  But I see the same thing with other liberals:  If it challenges their dogma, they don’t want to know.  They understand that bubbles only work if no one pokes them with a sharp object, and facts are the ultimate sharp object.  (Or, as John Adams more eloquently said, “facts are stubborn things.”)  They’re not going to let anything near them that might puncture their tidy ideological bubble.

I’m not optimistic about reasoned political debate in our country if one side of the debate, after hurling insults and misinformation, then sticks its collective fingers in its collective ears, and hollers “Nyah, nyah, nyah.  I caaaan’t hear you.”  It’s not that we’re talking different languages or different values.  It’s that, thanks to the ostrich media’s (thankfully weakening) stranglehold on the dissemination of information, we’re not actually talking at all.

Controlling the hysteria about Japan

The earthquake/tsunami/potential nuclear meltdown in Japan is one of the great disasters to hit the Western world.  It’s worth remembering, however, that the media is a visual engine that lives to convey disaster.

This post is an excellent antidote to that media tendency, as it carefully explains why the world is not ending in Japan.  This is Japan’s Katrina — not politically, of course, but in terms of the scope of the disaster.  It was a regional earthquake, not a national one.

Further, Japanese systems handled the quake itself fabulously.  There is nothing that can be done against a tsunami, though, and that’s where the real tragedies unfolded, as can be seen vividly in this NYT’s interactive feature.

Ten thousand dead, the current estimate, is a heartbreaking number, especially in a small county.  Nevertheless, when you think of a 9.1 earthquake, followed by a tsunami, followed by nuclear reactor problems, you realize that the number is actually exceedingly low.  It’s low because (a) Japan was prepared and (b) the earthquake and tsunami, thankfully, affected only a relatively small area of the country.

The media coverage reminds me of the 1989 earthquake coverage in San Francisco.  I was out of town when the quake hit, and was absolutely paralyzed with fear when I saw reports that made it look as if the City was in flames.  In fact, the City was inconvenienced by the power outages, but the damage was local:  a small part of downtown, the Marina district, the Nimitz freeway in the East Bay, a few square blocks near UCSF Medical School, and one collapsed segment of the Bay Bridge.  But the media couldn’t downplay it, it had to up-play it.  This was the same media that reported cannibalism after only two days in New Orleans.

Liberals — lording it over lesser beings *UPDATED*

If there is one defining characteristic of liberals, it is their sense that they are better than everyone else.  Nowhere was that more explicitly illustrated than in Ron Schiller’s comments:

In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives.

Schiller wasn’t unique, just unguarded.  The whole point of liberalism, after all, is to put government — controlled, of course, by liberals — in charge of everyone else’s lives.

This world view requires that liberals occupy the highest rungs in the world hierarchy.  Part of this means winning elections, by fair means or foul.  Another part, though, means ensuring that the little people stay little.  I’ve written before about the racism that is inherent in liberal thinking.  For all the liberal talk about liberals being the only hope for people of color in the world, one begins to notice that what liberals really mean is that they’re the only hope provided that they stay in the driver’s seat.  And why must they stay in the driver’s seat in perpetuity.  Rhetoric aside, it turns out that their expectations about people with skin darker than their own are shockingly low.

Just today, in the wake of a horrifically brutal murder in Israel — a sleeping couple and three of their five children, 11, 4 and 3 months, were brutally stabbed to death by Palestinians — the New York Times explained why the killing happened:

The killers appeared to have randomly picked the house, one of a neat row of identical one-story homes at the edge of the settlement, on a rocky incline overlooking the nearby Palestinian village of Awarta — the proximity underlining the visceral nature of the contest in this area between Jewish settlers and Palestinians over the land.  (Emphasis mine.)

You see, the brown people cannot be expected to resist visceral temptation.  They are the perpetual two year olds of the world, who need to be surrounded by locked cabinets and blocked off electrical outlets.  If you leave those things in plain view, they’re irresistible.  It’s not the two year old’s fault he burns the house down or breaks the china, it’s the adult’s fault for failing to remove temptation.  So too, did the Fogel family deserve to die, because they should have known better than to place themselves in the path of two year olds with guns, knives, bombs, and a hate-filled, genocidal ideology.  This is a “blame the victim” approach taken to existential levels.

Daled Amos provides painfully graphic evidence of the way in which Palestinians simply cannot resist the completely understandable (to liberals, that is) temptation to kill the Israeli children placed so temptingly within their reach.  If liberals were the decent people they boast they are, they would stop explaining away Palestinian bestiality and start demanding that Palestinians begin to behave like civilized human beings, with no excuses allowed.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATED:  If you have a strong stomach (seriously strong), the surviving members of the Fogel family have authorized the release of pictures of the carnage those “visceral” killers left behind.  This is what it looks like when a family of five is knifed to death.  It turns out that even 3 month old babies “have … so much blood in them.”  The media may not be interested, but we, as civilized people, should be.

Doing the journalism journalists won’t do — Patterico corrects NPR ombudsman

You have to read this Patterico post to believe it.  NPR’s ombudsman Alicia Shepard issues a flat-out erroneous statement.  Patterico confronts her on it.  She challenges him.  Fine.  Except….

She bases her fight entirely on the transcript, but never watches the video, which definitely proves that her tweet, which was widely republished, was false.  Nor is Patterico demanding that she watch the entire 2 hour video (’cause she says she’s very, very busy).  He gives her chapter and verse to the very last second, but she relies entirely on a secondary source.  When he finally backs her up against the factual wall, she issues a weasel-y clarification, as if she was merely muddy in the beginning, not completely incorrect.

In my first paragraph, above, I was careful to say she issued an “erroneous statement,” because, at the start of this cycle, the ombudsman deserved the benefit of the doubt.  By the end, it was clear that she lied, both because she refused to back down when confronted with evidence and because she refused to acknowledge the falsity of her original statement.  When you cling to a falsehood, even after you know better, that’s a lie.

Aside from the blatant dishonesty here, there’s something else interesting going on, which is the liberal reliance on secondary sources.  I see that all the time with Mr. Bookworm.  Why actually check out conservative sources, when you can just watch Jon Stewart clownishly lambaste them?  That’s so much truer and purer.

Mr. Bookworm is not alone.  Indeed, the “don’t bother to see what your opponents really say” mindset starts at the top of the liberal dung heap.  Here’s Paul Krugman:

Some have asked if there aren’t conservative sites I read regularly. Well, no. I will read anything I’ve been informed about that’s either interesting or revealing; but I don’t know of any economics or politics sites on that side that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously. I know we’re supposed to pretend that both sides always have a point; but the truth is that most of the time they don’t. The parties are not equally irresponsible; Rachel Maddow isn’t Glenn Beck; and a conservative blog, almost by definition, is a blog written by someone who chooses not to notice that asymmetry. And life is short …

As I understand that, Krugman is saying “I only read secondary material about conservatives from trusted liberal sources, and then, after having done so, I opine loudly and brutally about the errors in conservative thing.” That, of course, is exactly what Ms. Shepard did.

Later, when push comes to shove, rather than having the grace to blush, these highly placed Progressives glory in their ignorance — which, says William Tucker, is precisely why they keep getting caught up in these marvelous O’Keefe or Rose style stings.  They’re too brilliant in their liberal elite-ness ever to examine the facts.

May I suggest a different way to phrase those headlines?

At about 4:30 PST, two headlines just came down the pike, following the Wisconsin Senate votes:

Wisconsin anti-union measure must pass Assembly before it can go to Gov. Walker for signature

More on Wisconsin anti-union vote: No Democratic senators were present – AP

I’d like to rephrase them:

Wisconsin pro-taxpayer measure must pass Assembly before it can go to Gov. Walker for signature

More on Wisconsin pro-taxpayer vote:  No Democratic senators were present — AP

Once again, the liberals are framing the debate, aren’t they?

Another MSM report on NPR that manages to hide the anti-Semitism, but does reveal funding lies

[Between kids and phone calls, it took me way too long to write this post, although that proved useful at the end, as it was the AP’s republished news report that contained the real gem. Rather than re-write this post, I’m simply highlighting the explosive little factoid hidden in the AP’s execrably written article.]

This morning, I noted that the New York Times, in reporting on the NPR debacle, managed to ignore the anti-Semitism issue.  I speculated that this was to protect its Jewish readers from getting suspicious about the whole Progressive/Democrat structure.  What I forgot is that the MSM (especially the Times) also likes to keep from its readers the fact that Islamists are violently (in deed, not just word) anti-Semitic.

The AP’s coverage (as of 3:00 PST) displays exactly the same elusiveness when it comes to anti-Semitism.  Also, interestingly, the AP was unable to find any conservatives to talk to about the sting and its implications.  It got quotations only from NPR sources.

What the AP included and what it omitted are both telling, as are quotes from the players.  Here’s the sum total of what the AP has to say about the O’Keefe video’s content:

NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned Wednesday under pressure, a day after an undercover video showed one of her executives on a hidden camera calling the tea party racist and saying the news organization would be better off without taxpayer money.

[snip]

On Tuesday, conservative activist James O’Keefe posted a video showing NPR executive Ron Schiller bashing the tea party movement. The video shows two activists, working for O’Keefe, posing as members of a fake Muslim group at a lunch meeting with Ron Schiller, who is not related to Vivian Schiller. The men offered NPR a $5 million donation and engage in a wide-ranging discussion about tea party Republicans, pro-Israel bias in the media and anti-intellectualism.

“The current Republican Party is not really the Republican Party. It’s been hijacked by this group that is … not just Islamophobic but, really, xenophobic,” Ron Schiller said in the video, referring to the tea party movement. “They believe in sort of white, middle America, gun-toting — it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

[snip]

[And buried in the article’s very last paragraph] Another NPR executive, Betsy Liley, was at the lunch with Ron Schiller. She said little in the video, although she can be heard laughing when one of the men says his group referred to NPR as “National Palestinian Radio.” She has been placed on administrative leave.

The article makes no mention of the way in which the stingers boasted about their Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah connections; no mention of their openly stated desire to bring Sharia law to America; no mention of Schiller’s contentions about Jewish control over print media; etc.  Instead, the report limits itself to having Schiller attack a group — Tea Partiers — that the media assumes everybody wants to attack, and for precisely the same reasons Schiller did.

The report also helps Vivian Schiller look like a victim.  As you noticed, O’Keefe is not described as a citizen journalist, or a muckraker, or even a provocateur in the Michael Moore mold.  Instead, he’s a conservative activist.  The article has more to say about O’Keefe, little of it complimentary.  While it passes as lightly as possible over the way in which he brought ACORN down, it packs the highest number of details into describing his arrest:

O’Keefe, best known for wearing a pimp costume in hidden-camera videos that embarrassed the community-organizing group ACORN, posted the NPR video on his website, Project Veritas. The group said the video was shot on Feb. 22.

O’Keefe also pleaded guilty last May after he was accused of trying to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office. He pleaded guilty misdemeanor charges of entering federal property under false pretenses and was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine.

Not only is Schiller (per the AP) being hounded by a criminal activist, she and NPR are coming under “pressure” for what are apparently the most innocuous of sins — offending anti-liberal conservatives and using poor judgment in firing tactics (not, please note, in the decision to fire in the first place):

The shake-up comes at a critical time. Conservative politicians are again pressing to end congressional funding for NPR, money the organization said it needs to keep operating public radio and television stations in some of the nation’s smallest communities. The White House defended the funding, saying there remains a need for public broadcasting.

Vivian Schiller also faced criticism for her firing of analyst Juan Williams over comments he made about Muslims. She told The Associated Press that the recent remarks made by her fellow executive Ron Schiller were outrageous and unfortunate, and her staying on would only hurt NPR’s fight for federal money.

“I did not want to leave NPR. There’s a lot of pressure on NPR right now,” Vivian Schiller told AP.

NPR has long been a target of conservatives who claim its programming has a left-wing bias. The budget bill passed by the House last month would end funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports programs distributed on NPR and PBS.

Vivian Schiller was criticized for last year’s firing of Williams after he said on Fox News that he feels uncomfortable when he sees people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes. She later said she was sorry for firing Williams over the phone and that he deserved a face-to-face meeting.

“We took a reputational hit around the Juan Williams incident, and this was another blow to NPR’s reputation. There’s no question,” she told AP.

Schiller said she and the board concluded that her “departure from NPR would help to mitigate the threat from those who have misperceptions about NPR as a news organization.”

Vivian Schiller is not the only one to offer laughable statements to defend her position.  In this wired age, Dave Edwards, who chairs NPR’s board, makes it sound as if this is 1932 all over again, and the federal government is desperately needed to bring electricity to the Tennessee Valley, not to mention news to those dark corners of America without electricity, cable, computers and television:

“It is absolutely true that without federal funding, a lot of our public radio and public TV stations in the system could go dark, and that will happen in some of the smallest communities we serve,” Edwards said. “In some cases, public broadcasting remains that community’s primary connection with the outside world.”

Ron Schiller doesn’t do much better in his own defense:

“While the meeting I participated in turned out to be a ruse,” Ron Schiller said, “I made statements during the course of the meeting that are counter to NPR’s values and also not reflective of my own beliefs. I offer my sincere apology to those I offended.”

Let me see if I can translate: If Schiller, is not, as he appears in that video, an anti-White, anti-Semitic, anti-Conservative, pro-Muslim hater, he is instead a whore who will say anything to anybody to get money. That’s the kind of guy we need working on the federal dime.

(3:45 PST) You get the news in real time at this blog. As I’ve been working on this post, AP, without any acknowledgment that it did so, just republished its article, with substantial changes. The new version of the article isn’t much better than the old.  While keeping, albeit in somewhat different form, the points I noted above, it adds a few new gems.  For example, it helps make Chairman Edwards’ case that, without just a wee bit of federal funds, all sorts of local stations will have to close their doors:

The CPB is receiving $430 million in the current fiscal year and will get $445 million in fiscal 2012. It CPB handed out nearly $94 million in grants to more than 400 public radio stations — not all of which are NPR affiliates — in fiscal 2010.

NPR itself typically gets only about 2 percent of its budget from CPB grants, but many of its 268 member stations rely heavily on them. NPR affiliates get an average of 10 percent of their funding from CPB, and some small and rural stations receive more than 40 percent of their funding that way, although NPR could not provide exact figures.

About a third of NPR’s $161 million budget in fiscal 2010 came from its affiliates in the form of programming fees. NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher said it’s difficult to say how a loss of CPB funding would affect stations’ ability to pay.

A cut in funding to CPB would hit public television stations harder than radio stations. By law, 75 percent of CPB’s grant money must go to TV stations.

AP then proceeds to undercut entirely both its and Edward’s claim that federal funds are the only thing keeping the pathetic little affiliates going to serve the poverty stricken in 1932’s Tennessee Valley time warp. You see, it turns out that those member stations were already in trouble — not because of funding, but because of Schiller herself.  Notwithstanding Edward’s claim that NPR television is the only thing connecting Americans in the outback to civilization, it turns out that Schiller was busy trying to destroy local affiliates in favor of funding NPR’s national website:

Howard Liberman, a longtime broadcast communications attorney who represents NPR affiliates, said many stations were unhappy with Vivian Schiller and the release of the video was the last straw. He pointed to the Williams controversy and other moves by Schiller that have alienated stations, such as shortening the organization’s name from National Public Radio to NPR and trying to drive listeners toward NPR’s website.  (Emphasis mine.)

Bottom line: NPR was planning on killing its own (and isn’t that what Leftist revolutionary entities always do?)

I very much look forward to the next batch of videos O’Keefe promises to release.  They should be interesting.

The New York Times on the NPR debacle

The New York Times hasn’t yet gotten around to reporting officially on Ron Schiller’s disgusting performance before a supposed front group for the Muslim Brotherhood.  Those of us who have watched the short video, and made inroads into the long video, saw him trashing in the most extreme terms Tea Partiers, conservatives, and Jews, as well as actively inviting funding an input from a group (faux, thankfully) that wants to spread sharia law and that advances the Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist organizations.

Please be clear:  Schiller did not just make mumbling noises of agreement in the hopes of getting a check.  He was on a ranting roll:

On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been “hijacked by this group.” The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, “the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people.” Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives,” he said.

[snip]

Schiller doesn’t blink. Instead, he assumes the role of fan. “I think what we all believe is if we don’t have Muslim voices in our schools, on the air,” Schiller says, “it’s the same thing we faced as a nation when we didn’t have female voices.”

When O’Keefe’s two associates pressed him into the topic, Schiller decried U.S. media coverage of Egypt’s uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, especially talk of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on the protests and future of Egypt. Schiller said that is what he is “most disappointed by in this country, which is that the educated, so-called elite in this country is too small a percentage of the population, so that you have this very large un-educated part of the population that carries these ideas.”

When the man pretending to be Kasaam suggests to Schiller that “Jews do kind of control the media or, I mean, certainly the Zionists and the people who have the interests in swaying media coverage toward a favorable direction of Israel,” Schiller does not rebut him or stop eating. He just nods his head slightly.

[snip]

When the ersatz Islamists declare they’re “not too upset about maybe a little bit less Jew influence of money into NPR,” Schiller responds by saying he doesn’t find “Zionist or pro-Israel” ideas at NPR, “even among funders. I mean it’s there in those who own newspapers, obviously, but no one owns NPR.”

Schiller’s occasional references to “my personal opinion” make it clear that, most of the time, he believed he was officially stating the NPR party line.

So how does the New York Times describe this disgusting wallow in the NPR liberal brain?  Very, very carefully, in the vaguest terms possible, with the obvious hope that its readers won’t get curious and try to find more details.  (And knowing Times readers, it’s a good bet that curiosity won’t be their besetting sin.)

Ms. Schiller is leaving NPR after a two-year tenure at the helm of an organization that has been beset by controversy. Her departure comes a day after the latest episode, in which a political activist released a video showing one of NPR’s fund-raising executives expressing harsh personal views of Republicans and Tea Party supporters in a conversation with people posing as prospective donors.

[snip]

In the activist’s video, the fund-raising executive, Ronald Schiller, who is not related to Ms. Schiller, was heard telling people posing as Muslim philanthropists that the Republican Party had been “hijacked” by the Tea Party and that Tea Party supporters were “seriously racist, racist people.” Mr. Schiller, who was already scheduled to leave NPR soon to take a job at the Aspen Institute, said on Tuesday that he would leave immediately.

That’s it.  In the entire post about Ms. Schiller’s firing, that’s all that the Times’ reporters have to say about Ron Schiller’s ugly diatribe.  Looking at it, not only is calculated to tamp down on readers’ curiosity, given the Times demographic, it’s also meant to inspire sympathy on their part.  They too think the Tea Party is a creepy racist movement.  Considering how many Times’ readers are Jews (albeit liberal Jews utterly in thrall to the radical wing of the Democrat party), one wonders if they’d be as sympathetic to Schiller if they heard his open anti-Semitism.

The majority of reader comments, so far, are what you’d expect from people spoon-fed a constant stream of bile filled non-news:

It’s important for conservatives to destroy any independent media so that it’s all propaganda, all the time.

Are teabaggers racists? Just read the signs at their scooter protests.

***

Stop letting the terrorists win. Don’t kowtow to these Republican operatives — it’s not like Gov. Walker is resigning after he was caught with his hand in the Koch till!

***

There’s more reliable information on NPR in an hour than in all the years of conservative talk radio–and none of the blustering, festering ill will. The problem for conservative ideologues is as it always is–anyone not with them is their enemy.

***

Mr. Schiller wasn’t exactly wrong. The tea party is a racist organization.

Vivian Schiller, NPR CEO, ousted

Apparently a video of her employees gleefully cuddling up to the Muslim Brotherhood, all the while trashing conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Jews, was the infamous straw that broke the NPR camel’s back:  Vivian Schiller just got fired.  (Although NPR is already phrasing it as a resignation — a forced resignation, I assume.)  I doubt that will do much to change NPR’s corporate culture — it’s too deeply embedded at every level — but it’s still a satisfying denouement to a tawdry story.

“That doesn’t make any sense!”

Today is the day for videos showing Progressives humiliating themselves in front of the American people.  Ron Schiller didn’t know he was on television, but Cenk Uygur, an MSNBC talking head, did — although he didn’t let that national audience stop him from making a bigoted fool of himself.

The subject was Rep. Pete King’s calls for hearings into the radicalization of American Islam.  The usual suspects, including Uygur himself, are shrieking that this is an outrage, akin to Kristalnacht.  How dare the government openly investigate whether there is a problem amongst a specific religious group?  As it happens, I happen to know from a friend in law enforcement that the boots on the ground enforcement officers are deeply worried about the increasing radicalization of America’s Muslim communities.  These communities are getting more and more committed, actively committed, to spilling American blood.

There’s been a lot of press about Uygur’s little rant, all of it focusing on his on-camera dismay when he discovered that not all homegrown terrorists come from the right.  As Media-ite explains:

Uygur boasts before showing a number of statistics from various research groups. Rep. King wasn’t the only one to get educated tonight, however, as Uygur read down a list of most prominent hate groups in America, listing the top three varieties of hate groups in America, classifying them before reading off the list as “right wing.” The statistics come from a recent study by the Southern Poverty Law Center that show there are currently 1,002 active hate groups in America.

“Topping the list,” he began, “[are] the Ku Klux Klan with 221 groups. They are followed with Neo-Nazi groups with 170 groups, and”– at this point Uygur stops for a beat, before ending the list with “that doesn’t make any sense.”

You want to know what didn’t make sense to Uygur?  The third item on the list, the one he couldn’t make himself read, is the risk that 149 black separatist groups pose to American domestic security.  To Uygur, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the far Left group that published the list, is utterly reliable as to everything except those facts that don’t mesh with Uygur’s world view.  Those facts must instantly be discounted and dismissed.

Uygur looked like an idiot when he disavowed his own preferred expert source, but I actually found most interesting that, shortly before he discovered that it’s not only gun-toting, bitter, Christian, whites who hate American, Uygur inadvertently admitted that Muslims are indeed a security problem.

Uygur gave the game away right out the gate when he took umbrage that Rep. King has bemoaned the Muslim community’s failure to cooperate fully with American law enforcement.  (Let’s just ignore the fact that CAIR, the dominant Muslim political group in America, actively encourages its co-religionists not to cooperate with the FBI.)  To prove just how wrong this was, Uygur brought out the big guns — numbers!

Now let me introduce real facts here so that Congressman King can be educated.  Last month, the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security released the results of a study on homegrown terrorism since 9/11.  Quote:  “Tips from the Muslim American community provided the source of information that led to a terrorist plot being thwarted in 48 of 120 cases involving Muslim Americans.”  That includes some prominent cases like the Times Square bomber, in which key information from Muslim Americans led to their arrest.  So how’s that for cooperation?  (Emphasis is Uygur’s.)

“48 out of 120 cases!”  How’s that for cooperation?  Uygur was certainly excited about those 48 tattletales.  I, however, was more taken aback by the 120 terrorist attacks he concedes Muslim Americans were planning against their fellow American citizens.

By the way, those thwarted terrorist attacks (more than 50% of which the authorities had to discover without Muslim American help) reveal just how ludicrous it is to try to say that the 221 KKK groups in America are much more of a risk than the Muslim terrorist groups.  There’s a qualitative difference between Billy Bob, on the one hand, sitting on his couch, beer in hand, under a picture of the Confederate flag, all the while clutching his KKK membership card and muttering about blacks, and Mohamed Osman Mohamud, on the other hand, purchasing enough explosives from FBI undercover operatives to kill, he hoped, every single attendee at a Portland, Oregon Christmas tree lighting ceremony.  (Mohamud, incidentally was turned in by his family, which is a good thing.)

In terms of ugliness, the KKK and the Neo-Nazis are nasty, but they’re singularly ineffectual.  They rant and grumble, but they aren’t making headlines for trying to blow up airplanes, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, Times Square, military bases, Jewish community centers, etc.  Radicalized Muslims in America, however, are doing precisely that.

Those law abiding Muslims among us should embrace the opportunity to have their communities purged of the radicals.  I’m sure that Mohamed Osman Mohamud’s family members, the ones who were forced to turn him in to save lives, would have been infinitely happier if he hadn’t been radicalized in the first place.

What we’re seeing here is precisely the same pattern we see with the ongoing Progressive efforts to decrease policing in black neighborhoods on the ground that such policing is “racist.”  This reflexive “racism” cry, ignores that the actual victims of these poor, ostensibly victimized thugs are also black.  In the same way, when the radicals infiltrate an American Muslim community, the first to get hurt are the Mohamuds amongst them — the disaffected kids who end up spending their lives in federal prison.  Muslim Americans should care about that, just as the rest of us in America have a vested interested in caring about those small number of radicalized Muslims who dream about blowing up big numbers of innocent Americans.

Anti-American, anti-Semitic NPR fundraising executives punked *UPDATED*

I’m actually grateful to NPR.  It was its unbelievably biased Israel coverage that helped me make the break with my reflexive liberalism and take a long, hard look at my political beliefs and party affiliation.  Nevertheless, it irks me no end that my taxpayer money funds NPR, PBS and local affiliates.  There is no reason in this day and age to have government media, especially government media that is hostile to more than half the American population and wants to roll around naked in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood.

If you don’t believe me about NPR’s beliefs and desires, you must read this Daily Caller article and take the 11 minutes to watch the video that is a part of the article.  It’s disgusting but it’s also wonderful, because it shines sunlight in an area the Progressives have tried to keep shady.  Considering that the NPR executive who got punked said it would be best for NPR to lose its federal funding, my response is, let’s give the guy what he wants.

UPDATE:  I like NPR’s defense which amounts to this:  since we didn’t immediately accept their phony bribe, we’re “appalled” by Schiller’s comments, and Schiller got another job, get off our back.

“The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept.

“We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for.

“Mr. Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR for another job.”

It doesn’t seem to occur to the NPR folks that the video shows Schiller desperate to get a steady stream of income from a Muslim Brotherhood organization that wants to give a platform to Hamas and Hezbollah, two terrorist groups.

Paul Krugman: a lazy ideologue

Paul Krugman has a bully pulpit in the New York Times.  Its numbers may be declining under Pinch’s overlordship, but it still remains “the paper of record” to a lot of people with their hands in or near the power trough.  Paul Krugman’s readers respect him because (a) he holds their elitist Left outlook and (b) he has Nobel Prize.  The latter assures them that he is a reliable source.

The problem for Krugman’s readers is that they’ve missed out on one essential feature of Krugman’s writing and analysis — he is profoundly lazy.  Comfortably encased in his ideology, he trolls the internet for facts that support his argument, without ever bothering to determine whether those facts are honest, credible or valid.  Worse, he has completely abandoned his own analytical abilities, and makes no effort to determine whether the facts he cites are relevant to his argument.  Conservative commentators have repeatedly caught him making outrageous misstatements that arise because of his appalling laziness.

The latest to catch him is Iowahawk, who has abandoned scathing humor for straightforward reporting.  This is a really important one, because it shows that Krugman’s wrongness is 180 degrees.  He gets things exactly bass ackward, and is using his bully pulpit to spread gross untruths about public sector unions and collective bargaining.

The New York Times again strains for moral equivalence

We all learned in school about the Triangle factory fire in New York back in 1911.  The fire started and too many women died in significant part because of horrible working conditions the factory owners were able to impose on economically trapped women.  The fire was a PR disaster for management in America, and a huge aid to the development of private sector unions.  Since the 100th anniversary is drawing near, both PBS and HBO have shows lined up about the event.  The New York Times TV reviewer is excited, because he seems to hope that these shows will help boost sympathy to union protesters in Wisconsin and, now, other states too:

As demonstrations in support of Wisconsin’s public-employee unions proliferate, PBS can pat itself on the back for scheduling the documentary “Triangle Fire” on Monday night — more than three weeks before the 100th anniversary of the New York garment-factory blaze it details, which figures so strongly in the imagination of the American labor movement.

I wonder if the reviewer ever wakes up at 3 a.m. and thinks, “What the hell kind of crap am I peddling?”  Because, really, is there any equivalence between these two scenarios?

Scenario A:  Immigrant women labor under appalling conditions (60-80 hours a week), starvation wages, no job security whatsoever, and factory conditions so dangerous that, ultimately, 146 die in a single day, having leaped from windows to escape encroaching flames and locked doors.

Scenario B:  College graduates work a seven month year for the government and, once they’ve received lifetime job security, earn a total compensation package in excess of the average non-government worker in their community.  Further, these graduates are forced by law to pay money to a union that, in turn, hands that money over to a political party that, in turn, sets the wages for the union members, who then are forced by law to pay part of those wages to a union that, in turn . . . well, you get the corrupt cycle I’m describing here.

I hope that Americans are wiser than New York Times television reviewers and realize that, while we want our teachers to have living wages and safe working conditions, both for their own benefit and for the good of our children, the scam that’s currently in place with public sector unions is grotesque, unsustainable, and totally unrelated to the tug of war that occurs between labor and management in the private sector.

Interview or savage attack?

Andrea Mitchell calls in an interview.  Rumsfeld understands that it’s a savage attack and, with great civility, responds accordingly.  Watch the video and enjoy DrewM’s comment:

I love the way he refuses to accept the premise of a number of her questions. It’s a skill I wish more political figures had. Far too often Republicans accept the framing of the question. They also tend to treat reporters as if they are trying to get information and not score liberal points. A few reporters but most aren’t. Rumsfeld doesn’t have any of it. He understands he’s in an adversarial situation and acts accordingly.

Why is Rumsfeld the only one who understands this?

By the way, Colin Powell has always been a whiner.

If you read only one thing today….

If you read only one thing today, read this Caroline Glick article about the media’s Middle East coverage.

An excellent video about the violent imagery and rhetoric on the Left

The MSM, which went on a fruitless hunt for violent rhetoric from the Tea Party, is hiding from the public the fact that it finally found that violent rhetoric.  The MSM’s problem, of course, is that the rhetoric and imagery have nothing to do with the Tea Party, and everything to do with the Left:

VodkaPundit has another good compare and contrast.

Andrew Klavan: Stop the Hate!

Hat tip:  Instapundit

UPDATE:  Welcome, Het Vrije Volk readers.  Andrew Klavan’s video is wonderful, but I’d also like to invite you to browse around my blog and see the other posts, some of which you might find interesting.

The MSM, Gosnell and Planned Parenthood

The MSM, Gosnell and Planned Parenthood all come together in a single post at The Anchoress’ place.  Do read it.  The MSM has many obsessions — that is, stories it covers relentlessly and obviously — but the moral collapse that so often circles around abortion is not one of those subjects.

I continue to want to be pro-choice because I was raised to be that way — to believe in a woman’s right to choose. I keep thinking “what would I do if my daughter, at 15, came home and announced she was pregnant?” My life-long pro-choice brain says “I don’t want her life to be ruined at such a young age.” (Don’t hate me now; there’s more.)

But what I’m beginning to realize is that abortion is the poisonous tree and that there is no fruit that can be sampled without moral, cultural, and societal risk. An honest person has to acknowledge that there’s a life in there, something that I finally figured out thanks to my own pregnancies and sonograms, followed by live births and growing children. Likewise, an honest person has to recognize the moral corruption that has followed in abortion’s wake. Women are no more free. Instead, they’ve become cultural sex slaves, as they have no reason any more to hold out “until marriage.” Men like Gosnell operate with impunity. And organizations such as Planned Parenthood corrupt the communities within which they operate:

On a semi-related subject (media obsessions), I learned from a friend that the MSM has been remiss in ignoring H1N1 this past flu season.  As you may recall, last flu season, the MSM was hysterical about it.  This flu season, the media has wiped it from the radar.  Except that H1N1 is still out there and, when it hits, it’s extremely virulent.  My friend reminded me of this because she came within a whisker of death.  She’s recovering now, thank God, but it’s a slow and painful process.

One doesn’t need to get as hysterical as the media does, but one does need to get that shot.  I didn’t get the shot in October 2010, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will get it in October 2011 (and, with luck, I’ll stay well until then).

Why does it matter that he’s a Marine?

A young man did a terrible, terrible thing:  he shook a baby to death.  Justice worked, and he got 20 years in prison.

Sadly, the fact that a young man shows poor impulse control and shakes a baby to death is a common story.  Usually, headlines read, “Man gets 20 years for shaking baby” or “Teen gets 20 years for shaking baby” or “Boyfriend gets 20 years for shaking baby.”  The headline never reads “Plumber gets 20 years for shaking baby” or “Unemployed man gets 20 years for shaking baby” or “Banker gets 20 years for shaking baby.”

Why then, I wonder, do we get this AP headline: “Marine gets 20 years in prison in shaken baby case.”  The story relates that the baby shaking occurred in Marine housing, so the man’s Marine status is  relevant to the story, but why is it headline material?

Is this a “dog bites man” thing, that sees that AP absolutely shaken with surprise that the Marines it so much admires might have a bad apple, or is something else at work here?  Is there a subliminal desire to remind Americans that troops are trained killing machines?  I certainly hear that often enough from liberals/Progressives/Leftists.  Is this simply good editorial sense, because Marine headlines catch our eyes?

What do you think?

What floats readers’ boats at the New York Times

This is the headline stuff at today’s New York Times:

Real news, right?

And this screen shot, taken at the same time as the above screen shot, is what the readers are sending each other:

One gets a sense that these “intellectuals” (for that is how NYTs readers see themselves) lack a certain gravitas.

About that Reagan analogy

The MSM never made any secret of the fact that it loathed Ronald Reagan.  Back in the 1980s, as an unthinking liberal, I too loathed Reagan.  The MSM’s unrelenting hostility to Reagan allowed me to feel that my views about the man were correct and that I was indeed an intellectually superior, insightful human being. Reagan was a stupid actor, a war monger, an enemy of the poor, a homophobe.  You could wade through his deepest thoughts without getting your ankles wet.  I thought it all; the MSM said it all.

Fortunately, not all Americans were as dumb as I was, as they elected the man, not once, but twice.

When Reagan died, the MSM, which I still watched sporadically back in 2004, was absolutely shocked that Americans turned out in such numbers to pay homage to Reagan.  It was clear that they expected his funeral to be a small affair, with a few jokes for old times sake about his Alzheimers having kicked in beginning in the 1940s.  Instead, thousands of Americans journeyed to Washington to file by his casket.  The national outpouring of grief, the sense that someone great had passed, was tremendous.

In the years since Reagan’s death, I haven’t detected any softening in the MSM’s attitude towards him until this very week.  You see, this week Obama’s troops in the MSM have a problem.  Obama is selling, but voters aren’t buying.  In the past, to help Obama sell his stuff, the MSM has resurrected famous presidents to find an analogy to Obama’s wonderfulness.

“Obama is Lincoln, and he’ll have a non-partisan cabinet!”  The most partisan president ever blew that analogy out of the water on practically his first day in office (“I won“).  Nor could the MSM find comfort in the fact that, in keeping with the Civil War idea, Obama does seem to be helping to move the country toward the rhetorical equivalent of a Civil War.

“Obama is FDR, and he’ll make sure that Happy Days Are Here Again!”  This analogy became a fail too, as it became clear that (a) Happy Days Are Not Here Again and (b) it turns out that the only way in which Obama is comparable to FDR is that the economy is getting worse, not better, under his watch.

“Obama is Kennedy, and he’ll bring class back to the White House!”  Whoops.  Another fail.  Obama and his high living wife are not classy, they’re trashy.  Also, even Boy Kennedy showed more courage than Obama when it came to acknowledging America’s enemies (Communists then; Islamists now), not to mention the fact that Kennedy actually seemed to like America.

This week’s trope, and it’s the most laughable one of all, is that Obama is Reagan!  Yes, you heard it through the MSM first.  Obama has secretly been emulating Reagan since the 1980s, his charm, his deep love of America, his commitment to American exceptionalism, and his abiding belief in the individual and the danger of big government.

At this point, you and I are laughing hysterically.  This is akin to announcing that Michael Vicks, at an early age, committed himself to the teachings of St. Francis; that Jeffrey Dahmer found Gandhi a compelling figure because of his vegetarianism; and that Lady GaGa has always seen Mother Theresa as a role model.

Clearly, the MSM is desperate.  But, despite its decline, it still has a bully pulpit.  A more shabby, less loud pulpit than ever before, but a bully one all the same.  Most Americans are, in some way or another, exposed to the MSM.  For those of us who are ideologically strong and are paying attention, it’s easy to slough off its nonsense.  And given enough time, Americans have shown that they’ll figure out the lies.  I’m wondering, though, how long it will be before ordinary Americans (that is, the ones who aren’t as politically obsessed as we are) figure this one out, and how many foolish people will remain trapped forever in this nonsense.

I’ll leave you with two famous quotations attributed to two famous Americans, one of whom Obama is not much like (Lincoln) and one of whom he is a great deal like (Barnum):

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Eulogy for The New Republic

Paul Kengor writes a eulogy for The New Republic — or, at least, for Martin Peretz’s thoughtful, well-argued publication.  In fact, its glory years were few.  I subscribed to it for many years, and started having trouble taking it seriously when Andrew Sullivan started his tenure as editor.  He hadn’t yet gone off the deep end, even then I found his writing and thinking off-putting, and disliked the direction in which he took the magazine.  I let my subscription lapse.

As it is, The New Republic now has gone back to its roots as a fundamentally dishonest Progressive publication that panders to those on the Left who style themselves as intellectuals.  I hope that I’m not the only one who saw through that charade and started subscribing to Commentary instead.

Maybe they just couldn’t find a clip of a Republican using the word “tomorrow”

The virtue of the media’s post-Tucson shooting attacks was that they were so blatant.  It was easy to challenge them because they bore no relationship to objective reality.

What’s harder to deal with are the attacks that fly below the radar.  You know the attacks really exist but, sometimes, if you converse with a Progressive or undecided, you feel as if you’re trying to explain bacteria to someone unfamiliar with a microscope.

The reason I’m maundering on with these philosophical ruminations is because of an almost funny promo at MSNBC regarding the upcoming State of the Union address.  The thirty second promo has clips of presidents from 1961 forward giving their addresses.  Like me, I bet you didn’t know that, in that 50 year period, we only had presidents from the Democratic party.  It’s true.  No Nixon, no Ford, no Reagan, no Bush 41, no Bush 43.  All of them sent down the Orwellian memory hole.

For us, though, the problem is proving that the Republican vanishing act was the result of (a) blind ideology by the MSNBC promo staff; (b) pandering to the stations shrinking audience, which foams at the mouth when it sees a Republican; or (c) a deliberate effort to remove Republicans from people’s consciousness.  Confront MSNBC, and they’ll surely tell you that (a) you’re imagining things, just as scientists were once laughed at for positing invisible life forms and/or (b) that the problem simply was that no Republican ever used the word “tomorrow” in an SOTU speech, and that’s what they were looking for.

TIME Magazine — not your parents magazine anymore

Almost thirty years ago, just after college, I got a summer job in a hospital administrative office, filling in for a gal who was on maternity leave.  One of the guys in charge of that office looked, to my fevered young eyes, just like Tom Selleck.  He wasn’t very nice, he wasn’t very educated, and he wasn’t very bright, but he sure looked good.  Naturally, I was always delighted when he joined in a conversation to which I was a party.  I remember that about him.

And I remember one other thing.  I was talking to an office mate, and I mentioned an article in TIME Magazine, a copy of which was always lying around my parents’ house.  (My dad got discount subscriptions through the teacher’s union.)  The Tom Selleck look alike turned to me with something approximating a sneer twisting under that big 80s style mustache, and said “TIME Magazine?  That conservative rag?  You need to read Newsweek.”

Looking back, the first thing that makes me laugh is that someone would think he was showing his intellectual chops by boasting that he read Newsweek, not time.  Such is life, I guess, when you’re the male equivalent of a dumb blond. The other thing that’s laughable is that he considered TIME “conservative.”  Of course, this was San Francisco in the 1980s so, even for guys pretending to be Tom Selleck (a true conservative, bless his heart), TIME was untenable.

The thing that’s really weird, though, when I resurrect that memory, is to realize how completely things have changed.  Back in those days, every middle and working class family I knew (except for the Chinese ones, because of the language barrier) had TIME or Newsweek, or both.  Those magazines shaped the middle class view of the political scene in ways its almost impossible to comprehend nowadays.  Every week, those magazines told us what to think, complete with great pictures.  TIME had occupied that role for roughly 50 years, and Newsweek for almost that long.

Today, Newsweek, after being sold for $1, is a small little opinion magazine that no one reads.  And TIME is still struggling on as a regular sized opinion magazine that (a) tries to pretend it’s actual journalism and (b) that no one reads.  Fine.  That’s business.  You ignore your market, you die.

But what makes TIME’s decline truly execrable is that, as it sinks into the bottom tier of the media muck, it’s garbed itself in the one garment to all Left wing bottom feeders:  antisemitism.  This antisemitism, typically, is masked as anti-Israel sentiment, but we all know the difference.  When you relentlessly demonize a state that is functionally equal to or much better than most other nations, you have to look at what makes that state stand out from the nations being given a pass.  And if the one unique feature is that state’s Jewishness — well, bingo!  There’s your answer.  TIME is working on replacing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as profitable reading material.

Some say Iowahawk is a genius

Some saw Iowahawk is a comedic genius.  Some (myself included) would agree:

Hat tip:  Soccer Dad

The Ivory Tower gets further sullied; and by the way, Sarah Palin was the victim of a blood libel

Ivory Tower used to be a compliment.  Now, just as ivory has degraded in social standing (the whole death of elephants thing), so too has the Ivory Tower’s star fallen (the whole death of logic, common sense, morality and actual education thing).  This morning, I posted about UC Berkeley’s buffoonish Chancellor (paid by taxpayers, both state and federal), who waded in on behalf of lunatics everywhere by opining that the insane, vaguely Leftist Loughner was a manifestation of the conservative movement.  Oh, yeah!

My friend Zombie now alerts me to the fact that — and this is true — since 2009, Berkeley has played host to a “scholarly,” taxpayer-funded, “academic” center that focuses on right wing movements.  No, really.  It’s true.  Really.

As Zombie says, “Students can now get a Bachelor’s degree in TEAPARTY=NAZI with a minor in OMGREDNECKS!”

What Zombie further discovered was that — no surprise here — one of the center’s scholars in residence has given his scholarly opinion (Did you get that?  This whole thing is scholarly, so you have to take it seriously) that the Tucson shooting is all the fault of American conservatives.  Zombie comments amusingly (as always) on the fact that this academic freely admits that there is no connection between Loughner and the right wing but, res ipsa loquitur, he still concludes that right wingery must be Loughner’s motivating force — because, after all, what else could be?  (Hint:  Loughner hears voices in his head.)

Aside from the rank intellectual dishonesty behind that scholarly conclusion (and that’s the nicest thing I can think to say), what really impressed me was the way in which it was written.  Since these opinings are the product of a modern academic, the writing is turgid, polemical, cant-filled, and barely intelligible:

Unlike in the case of Oklahoma City, where the perpetrator was explicit in his insurrectionary aim and managed to pull off his catastrophe, in Tucson there is enough ambiguity about the perpetrator that radicalism on the right is unlikely to feel the need to abate. In the absence of, as it were, a smoking gun—the perpetrator himself assuming responsibility in the name of the movement—the impact of Tucson is likely to be an amplification rather than any amelioration of the fierceness of our political climate.

This unintelligibility is, of course, the product of Leftist education. When I was at Berkeley 30 years ago, I drove my professors bonkers when I kept asking them to explain their Marxist claptrap. I was sufficient naive that, at the time, I didn’t know it was Marxist claptrap.  As a grammarian and lover of the English language, I simply knew that it was impossible to understand the arcane words, bizarre sentence structure and illogical ideas I routinely heard and read in my classes. You couldn’t parse those sentences for love or money.

So, respectfully, I kept asking them — teachers and fellow students — to explain. And they couldn’t. They couldn’t because (a) they had no idea what the phrases they were parroting meant and/or (b) they understand that there was no meaning behind those phrases.  (As for choice “a,” I will forever lovingly recall the desperate student who wrote, regarding The Picture of Dorian Gray, the Oscar Wilde’s descriptions of flowers throughout the text were “meant to represent the phallic symbolism of the female sexual organs.”  Ooo-rah!)

Just to show that I’m not making this up (or that I wasn’t too stupid to understand my teachers and their texts), here is an actual prize-winning example of bad writing from UC Professor Judith Butler:

“The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relationships in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.”

Take that, oh ignorant Sarah Palin, who has the temerity to communicate using familiar words, organized in logical fashion, adding up to understandable ideas. How dare she?

And speaking of “how dare she?,” somehow all this ties into Palin’s newest (alleged) rhetorical crime, which consists of using the phrase “blood libel” to describe what the chattering classes aimed at her in the wake of the Tucson shooting. Many (well, make that the New York Times) are upset about this. The paper of anti-Israel record is horrified that one of the most philosemitic politicians in America would dare to use a phrase associated with Jews.

Color me limited (and Jewish), but it seems to me that she used the perfect phrase.  You see, a blood libel, such as the one aimed for centuries at Jews (still aimed, by the way) is a statement that, without any proof whatsoever, accuses someone of having  . . . yes, innocent blood on his or her hands.

In today’s news context, to savage Palin for accurately describing what was being done to her as a “blood libel” is the equivalent of a high tech lynching.  Whoops!  Did I use another metaphor that is only allowed for certain races?  Silly me.  I thought language in America was a vehicle for communicating ideas, not for isolating (or slicing and dicing) races, classes, and victims.

Our universities have a lot to answer for.  In the 1960s, craven administrators, embarrassed by their possible  complicity in racism, collapsed before the student revolts.  Worse, in the coming years, they took those students into the fold as academics themselves, nursing the viper to their collective breasts.  The result is a generation of Marxist, antisemitic, statist, incoherent people who use their academic credentials and bombastic, unintelligible writing to flim-flam the masses and, worse, to try to control the intellectual tone in this country.

Cold water on hysteria

The media does hysteria well.  It’s about the only thing it does well.

It hysterically accused Palin and Beck and Limbaugh and the Tea Partiers of being complicit in mass murder despite a few readily known and very salient facts:  (1) the absence of a single quotation that can be attributed to any of those people or groups that can reasonably be interpreted as an incitement to violence; (2) the fact that Loughner’s political tendencies, if any existed in that damaged mind, hewed Left; (3) the fact that Loughner had been stalking Giffords since 2007, long before Palin, Beck and the Tea Partiers were twinkles in conservatives’ eyes; and (4) Loughner’s manifest stark, raving insanity.

When the American people rightly rejected this particular brand of hysteria, the media launched a new, two-pronged attack.  The first was to try, once again, for gun control.  I was once a gun control advocate (that was back in my Democrat days).  I soured on it when I figured out a few facts:  (1) Totalitarian governments always disarm their citizens.  The Nazis disarmed the Germans, the Soviets disarmed the Russians, Castro disarmed the Cubans, etc.  (2) Outside of totalitarian states, where the only ones allowed to commit violence belong to the government, gun bans result in higher crime.  The NRA was right:  in a moderately free society (because it’s not truly free if only the government is armed) when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.  (3) As Katrina graphically demonstrated, with the best will in the world, police are usually there after the crime, not during the crime.

Let’s hope the Second Amendment survives this next round of attacks — but to those who refused to vote for McCain, let it be on your head if Obama somehow gets lucky and is able to replace a conservative Supreme Court justice with a liberal one.  I hope it won’t happen, but it can.

The other attack hysterics are mounting is the one that seeks to wrap our elected representatives in bullet proof bubbles.  As to that, John Stossel offers the following bracing, cold common sense (emphasis mine):

This week’s endless media coverage of the Arizona shooting implies that members of Congress are more important than “ordinary” citizens.  They are not.  All lives are equally valuable.

In other words, “Hey, if s/he gets a body guard and security system, I want one too.  And indeed, if I’m unlucky enough to live in South Central or some other crime hot spot, I deserve it more than s/he does.”

Calling the media on its lies *UPDATED*

The two posts I link to below are very narrow in focus, and very important — both analyze the mechanisms the media used following the Tucson shooting to promulgate blatant lies masquerading as news.

J.E. Dyer

Ace

UPDATE (8:40 a.m. PST):  If you need a reminder about the scope of the media lies, please check out Atlas Shrugs, which has one of the most comprehensive collections I’ve seen to date of Leftist violence and violent Leftist rhetoric.

Progressives live in the past when it comes to shaping the message *UPDATED*

Some Democrats, either more honest or loose-lipped than others, have explicitly stated that, in making anti-Tea Party and anti-Palin statements about the Tucson shooting, they are attempting to replicate the stunning success they had with shaping the spin following the Oklahoma City bombing, back in 1995:

One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did. “They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

Indeed, whole articles are now being written about Obama looking to the Oklahoma City bombing as an inspiration to reshape his ability to control the political agenda in this nation.  It is Obama’s 9/11 (and the Dems don’t mean that in a tragic way, they mean that in a politically opportunistic way).

I have mentioned before, haven’t I, that a defining characteristics of Progressives is that they live in the past?

Progressives live in the past when it comes to abortion, because they resolutely refuse to recognize that the stigma of unwed motherhood is gone and that remarkably effective birth control is here instead.  They live in the past when it comes to war, because, for them, all wars are the Vietnam War.  They live in the past when it comes to socialism, because they’re locked in a 1930s world that refuses to recognize the unparalleled carnage the socialism has wrought, whether by the National Socialists, i.e., Nazis (20 million dead, including 6 million in the gas chambers); the Soviets (tens of millions around the world, including approximately 20 million in the Ukraine and other rural areas); the ChiComs (50-100 million dead as a result of the Great Leap Forward); the Norks (God alone knows how many dead, since it’s a completely sealed country); the Cambodians (1 million dead, or 1/3 of the Cambodian population); etc. (you can identify and count the millions of et ceteras if you have the stomach for it).

The Dems are now proving that they also live in the past when it comes to their understanding about their ability to control the message.  They speak as if this is 1995, an era in which only a relatively small number of America’s more sophisticated citizens were joining the geeks who had access to that weird thing called “electronic mail.”  The World Wide Web had moved beyond being just a gleam in AlBore’s eye, but few citizens looked to it for news.  Mostly, the WWW was a kind of cool way to try to make hotel reservations in foreign countries.  The phrase “social networking” was more than a decade away.  The traditional media was still the only game in town.

In this bygone era, the old media’s hegemony was almost total.  Not only did it own the airwaves and the ink presses, but its management and its employees marched in lockstep.  Their man was in the White House, and they controlled the message.  The only fly in the ointment was that icky talk radio, especially that outspoken Rush Limbaugh, but they were confident that they could use their consolidated power and their total message control to disarm anything Rush had to say.

In this environment, spin was so easy.  Their President touted the party line — the Oklahoma tragedy occurred because of Rush and his ilk — and they won the debate, such as it was.  Nobody could get on the computer and hunt up old headlines and stories putting the lie to the media narrative.  Okay, that’s not quite true.  Maybe a few people who could afford the high cost of a Nexis search could but, even if they could get the information, they had no way to disseminate it.

This is still the world in which the current crop of Democratic/Progressive dreamers live.  Immediately in the wake of news about the Tucson tragedy, the Progressives swung into action.  “It’s all Sarah Palin’s fault, because she used cross hair imagery in her ads.”  “It’s all the Tea Partiers’ fault, because they are so angry.”  “It’s all Rush Limbaugh’s fault because . . . well, he’s Rush, and it’s always his fault.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to the MSM’s planned political massacre:  the new media.  I personally played a part in this, although only a small one.  Within a few hours of the accusations, my friends on my “real” facebook, almost all of whom are liberal because my life and education have taken place in liberal enclaves, started sounding the drum:  Palin, conservative hate speech and Tea Parties were at fault.

Because of my sadly homogeneous Blue, Blue, Blue political milieu, I tend to be rather low key in my views (hence the outlet that is this blog).   There is no mileage for me in offending neighbors, car poolers, educators, clients, etc.  I could not let these lies go, however.  I spoke up.  But I didn’t speak up with ill-considered insults.  Instead, I used social media to introduce people to facts readily available on the internet.

I explained without heat that Barack Obama has long had a tendency towards violent and inflammatory rhetoric (guns to knife fights; punishing enemies; forcing people to the back of the bus), but no one was calling him out on his words.  I pointed out (with links) that, because politics is a bloodless battle, but a battle nevertheless, operatives on both sides of the aisle repeatedly use war metaphors, such as target, cross-hairs, victory, defeat, War Room, etc.  I politely asserted (with concrete evidence) that George Bush was on the receiving end of the most violent imagery and desires in known political history but that, fortunately, he had the Secret Service at his back (and front and sides).  I noted the irony that Keith Olbermann, a man who routinely dehumanizes his political opponents by referring to them as “the worst person in the world” is a peculiar spokesperson for civility.  I tut-tutted, peacefully, about the fact that no one seemed to be upset by the fact that Obama’s pastor was renowned for his blood-thirsty sermons or that Obama counted amongst his friends a bomber who cheerfully admits that he has no regrets about his many efforts to kill American citizens.

Always polite; always backed up by the power of the internet, which forgets nothing.

What was gratifying about my little efforts was that there was no push back.  In each case, my politely fact-based observations shut down the thread entirely.  No one piled on.  No one challenged me.  How could they?  I owned the facts.  And I owned the facts because, while Progressives are engaging in 1990s spin, I was engaging in 21st century information gathering and dissemination.

When it comes to the Left, they’ve always had eyes but, blinded by their Leftism, they couldn’t see.  And now, thanks to the internet, they have words but, faced with facts, they can no longer speak.  Maybe, one day, the truth will set them free.  Until then, at least the internet will help shut them up.

UPDATE (3:10 p.m. PST):  Speaking of finding history on the internet, here’s a great screen shot from today’s Big Hollywood:


UPDATE (3:21 p.m. PST): Michelle Malkin doesn’t have to travel very far into the wayback machine to find examples of hate emanating from the Lefter side of the spectrum. Again, this is lovely, because this is the type of historic information that wasn’t available back in 1995, when the Lefts positioned themselves as holier than thou in a very successful effort to marginalize a legitimate political opposition.

UPDATE (3:24 p.m. PST):  And evidence from the SF Chron that, having — for the first time — been called on their bluff, Progressives are now backing down.

UPDATE (5:23 p.m. PST):  Patterico also has a winning collection of hate and hypocrisy from the Left.  Let me say again that I don’t think hate speech from either side of the aisle caused Loughner’s acts.  He was motivated, not by ideology, but by insanity.  This information is of interest only as a counter to the hypocrisy, attacks, and falsehoods emanating from Progressivex anxious to turn a tragedy into a political opportunity.

The real story behind the Tucson shooting

In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm [at Sidmouth, England], Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea-water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused; Mrs. Partington’s spirit was up. But I need not tell you that the contest was unequal; the Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs. Partington.  — The Rev. Sydney Smith (1771-1845)

Today, I feel like Mrs. Partington, with the Leftist chattering classes standing in as the angry Atlantic.  You see, sadly, the real story about the shooting in Tucson isn’t the shooting at all.  The shooting — if you’ll pardon me for saying this in the face of a tragedy that took so many innocent lives and left a vibrant young woman, mother and Congressperson fighting her way back to neurological health — was a garden-variety act of madness.

Loughner’s writings and videos show that, although high functioning, he was almost certainly a paranoid schizophrenic.  In the Middle Ages, he would have been communing closely with God or the Devil, with a broom and black cat at his side.  In the 1950s, he would have raved about fluoride and Martians, all while nattily attired in a tin foil hat.

In our day, Loughner’s madness saw him seeking bizarre meanings in numbers and word patterns; revering books of antisemitism, violence and collectivism (Mein Kampf; The Communist Manifesto; Clockwork Orange); and gravitating towards fringe groups and ideas.  Most importantly, in a day and age when the famous are, collectively, our Gods, Devils and Martians, he did what John Hinckley, Mark Chapman, Arthur Richard Jackson, and Robert John Bardo did — he fixated on a celebrity, in this case a Blue Dog Dem, stalked her, and ultimately shot her, along with a large number of bystanders.  Nothing new here, although each insanely inspired act of violence carries with it its own share of grief and despair and, too, bravery and hope.

Looking beyond  the tragically ordinary mass murder, one discovers the actual story here:  the chattering class’s instant, concerted, deliberate effort to use a routine tragedy to destroy an American political party.  Facts were irrelevant:  Loughner’s manifest insanity and his Left wing affiliations were irrelevant.  What went out instantly, over the airways and the internet, through formal outlets and social networks, was a meme:  American conservatives, especially Sarah Palin, were guilty — guilty because they used the word “target,” or perhaps “cross hairs,” or even “reload” in their political discourse.  In a two party system, the chatters claimed, one of the parties was, by its very existence, an incitement to violence.

The speed with which this meme took hold was staggering.  Within one day, 50% of the liberals on my “real” facebook account were shrilly decrying “hate speech” and Sarah Palin, with many adding loving quotations from Keith (“worst person in the world”) Olbermann on the virtues of peaceful political discourse.  Pushback in the form of a reality check — Obama is especially adept at violent political imagery; Democrats love cross hair and target advertising; the violence in speech has actually declined since Leftist insanity against George Bush — was all irrelevant.  As my live-in liberal proudly informed me, Sarah Palin’s career is now dead in the water.  The facts don’t matter, he added; it’s enough that she’s been irremediably smeared.

We’ve seen this kind of thing before, of course.  The Nazis were masters of this type of smear politics; as were the Communists; as were the Tsarist Russians.  In other word, wherever you have totalitarianism, whether it’s theocratic, aristocratic, oligarchic or socialist (or some -ist or -ic I haven’t thought of), the first thing that happens is the corruption of facts and ideas, which often reaches its apex with deliberate efforts to twist common tragedies in order to smear political opponents.

My hope is that this time, for the first time in history, the presence of alternative media will prevent the ferocity of the falsehoods from taking root.  Never before have the totalitarian chattering classes had to cope with truly free speech.  They meme; we anti-meme.  They lie; we trumpet the truth.  They smear; we focus on core facts and preserve our ethics and dignity.

I started with a quotation from a great enlightenment thinker, Sydney Smith.  He charmingly recognized the futility of trying to sweep back an overwhelming force.  Maybe this time, though, rather than challenging the mighty Atlantic, we may discover that we’re facing the last fetid emanations from a draining swamp — and our efforts at sweep-back will prevail.

Superb Glenn Reynolds article about the Left’s obscene leap to judgment *UPDATED*

Mr. Bookworm happily told me that Sarah Palin’s career is now over.  The fact that she ran a “cross hair” ad that referenced Giffords means that she’ll never work politics in this country again.

When I started to recite the facts (Obamas’s “enemies” and “gunfight” rhetoric; the common use of “target,” “bullseye,” and “cross hair” imagery in political talk from both sides of the aisle; and the shooter’s history of scary insanity), he told me facts were irrelevant.  It’s enough that the message is out there that Palin’s ad caused this violent act.

With that kind of Leftist thinking in mind, please, please, please read Glenn Reynold’s op-ed in the WSJ.

UPDATE (8:10 p.m. PST):  A little birdie says that Loughner actually supported Obama.  That’s no surprise.  This guy was a Leftist and a schizophrenic.  I don’t think the former had anything to do with the shooting.  I think his insanity did.  But his Leftism matters as an antidote to the lies.