Fake Reporting

The success of the Babylon Bee has apparently caused the mainstream media to try to horn in on the “Real-sounding fake news” thing, without quite getting what “satire” is.

CNN “reporter” Joe Lockhart on Twitter yesterday (via Hugh Hewitt, who’s noted the “Retweets” the “Reporter” got.

Moments later:

You just know that TV stations, local NPR affiliates and newspapers around the country are going to run the former and ignore the latter.

Further Proof, If Any Were Needed…

…that only does Democrat messaging make no logical or intellectual sense, but it isn’t intended for consumption by an audience that worries about moral and intellectual sensibility.

The idea – presented here – that forcing Congress to stop abrogating its responsibility to write laws and stop slothfully fobbing the job off on the Executive Branch, should be fairly uncontroversial.

Not – as the piece posits – a threat to the general order.

Inorganic

Hard as this may be to believe, it appears Greta Thunberg = sixteen year old autistic Swedish child and professional climate scold – just may not be the mind behind her presence.

“All it took to exploit the bug was opening a target page and checking the edit history of a post. Facebook mistakenly displayed the account or accounts that made edits to each post, rather than just the edits themselves,” explained Wired… If you’re one of Greta’s 3 million fans, you might be disappointed to hear that she is likely not the author of all of her posts. According to screenshots shared online, posts that are supposed to be written by Greta may actually have been written by her father, Svante Thunberg, and/or Adarsh Prathap, a climate activist and delegate at the UN’s Climate Change organization—who reportedly founded the page in December 2018.

Five’ll get you ten David Hogg’s social media presence is farmed out, too.

Order

David Brooks is one of those people I simultaneously enjoy very much, and dislike myself for liking.

He’s a “conservative” in the northeastern sense of the term – and very, very much of the Northeastern media/political establishment. He’s the “conservative” that NPR will talk with.

And being of the establishment, he shares a perspective on the events of the day with the people he rubs elbows with.

Which, I theorize, led to this tweet last week:

There’s something to that, sort of. Trump isn’t just a symptom of this nation’s tribalism – he’s someone who’s profited politically by exploiting the tribalism.

But if you think the “decline in discourse” started with Trump’s election, I’ve got tickets to the Hillary Clinton inaugural ball to sell you.

Remember the Tea Party? The utterly egalitarian community of small-government activists that sprang up a little over ten years ago?

Back in those days before Orange Man was Literally Hitler (but after the Good Republican, John McCain, served as Literally Hitler for a few months), the establishment of which Brooks is a member acted like the Tea Party was Andrew Jackson’s supporters tracking mud into John Quincy Adams’s White House. Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign was only deked out of being “the most identity-obsessed campaign in history” by Hillary, who will only be eclipsed by (NOTE TO 2020 MITCH – FILL IN THE NAME OF THE DEMOCRAT NOMINEE).

Trump may well be “stupid” – but he didn’t “make” anyone that way. He masterfully exploited the by-products of the “stupidity – tribalism, anger, arrogance, partisanship – that the Democrats have been cultivating for a couple of decades, now.

Just For A Moment, Let’s Cut The Crap

The media rolls its eyes and plays innocent about the attempted coup going on in Washington. They’re just reporting the news, maaaaaaaaaaaaaan:

Mollie Hemingway from Federalist points out the elephant in the room:

You could hear it, in plain sight (as it were), in November of 2016, when reps from the NYTimes and WaPo newsrooms. 

No.  Seriously.  Listen to it.  Be disgusted.  I’m not a huge Trump fan – seriously, not.  But listening to that?  Let’s say Big Leftymedia doesn’t want to start a civil war.  

If they did, what would they be doing differently? 

Poison, Picked

Who am I talking about?

  • A group with a political point of view gains control of the means not only of disseminating the nation’s history – its very story.
  • The official story is made to comport with that dominant group’s narrative – in schools, journalism, academia, even museums.
  • They even bring the apparatus of the state to bear to enforce that narrative, squashing freedom of speech.

Am I referring to America’s universities and public education system!

Well, yeah – but not just them. It’s not quite that simple.

Freedom to Talk Freedom: If you’ve read this blog any length of time, you know I’ve had a longstanding fascination with the history of underdog nations and peoples – the land of most of my forefathers, Norway, as well as Israel, Finland, the Baltics (particularly Estonia), Denmark, Taiwan, and of course Poland.

Now, in Poland’s case, it’s not a story of absolutely unalloyed heroism; the Communist reign in Poland was administered and run by Poles – and there were wartime observations that some of the rural Poles living around the extermination camps were every bit as antisemitic as the Nazis themselves. And antisemitism didn’t end there; after the war, waves of antisemitic violence killed many of those who’d survived (including the leader of a heroic extermination camp breakout); in 1968, the Communist government of Władysław Gomulka expelled many of the remainder. While many Poles are represented among the “Righteous Among Nations”, they truly did face an uphill battle in large, rural swathes of the country.

Like all collections of humans, there are good ones and evil ones, and a whole lot in the middle that just wanted to survive, let along prosper, under atrocious circumstances.

That being said, Poles have for for freedom – theirs and others – since the 1700s. Poles were among the first Europeans to fight for what we now call liberal democracy, in their own homeland and ours (the American Revolution owed a debt to Kosciuszko and Pulaski). And the first tangible cracks in the Iron Curtain happened in Gdansk – in 1956 as well as 1980. There is much in the Polish heritage to balance the evil that popped up, here and there.

Poland is currently ruled by an electoral majority for the “Law and Justice” party – a party the media call “right wing”, although along with their rather fervid nationalism they have established one of the most expensive social welfare states in the European Union – which doesn’t protect them from the hatred of the Big Media, who links them, not completely inaptly, to Orange Literal Hitler Man.

And, as befits a nationalist party, they’re leading with the things that make their nation proud, and de-emphasizing the parts that don’t. Law and Justice is exerting political clout on controlling the narrative about Polish history that gets presented – via some means that should give First Amendment supporters critical pause. They’re not above a little Polish jingoism.

“On the Media” – which is to New York’s “elite” media what Pravda was to the Politburo – “tackled” the story over the weekend, with a series by reporter Laura Feder on the rise of Law and Justice, and the way they’ve exerted their control over the official history.

And it’s not all bad – it certainly helps that it’s not produced by the show’s usual hive enforcers, Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone. There are certainly some questions worth asking of Law and Justice, if one is a Polish voter (as I definitely am not). And a few that could be asked of “On the Media” and Ms Feder; while she covers Gomulka’s forced expulsions, she softpedals the notion that that was as much Communist policy as Polish nativist bigotry.

I actually recommend giving the pieces, above, a listen, albeit a critical one; the progsplaining and the “liberals wear the white hats” schtick gets a little galling at times.

But here’s my real question: It’s a bad thing that Law and Justice is blocking free speech to spread their preferred narrative, squeezing out the honest, complete telling of the story.

So when will “On the Media” report on the very similar effort on the part of the American Big Left in media, academia and politics to similarly control, and dishonestly skew, their own narrative?

The mainstream media – specifically, the New York Times’ – coddling Joseph Stalin, including the genocide in Ukraine? The Times’ embrace of Hitler, and the burying of the origins of the Holocaust? Their extended french kiss of the Soviets during the Cold War? The modern left’s strong-arm take-over of the American narrative in academia?

It’s a rhetorical question, I know.

And To Think Conservatives Believe Big Media Writes Stories About Conservative / Republican People And Events Long Beforehand, Because They’re All Writing To A Narrative

Jessica Kwong, progressive stenographer at former magazine “Newsweek”, on Donald Trump’s thanksgiving:

“it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake”

In other words, pre-written.

The Big Media aren’t “the enemy of the people”. They’re worse; after assuming the mantle of “guardian of democracy” (which, we are told, without their ministrations would “die in darkness”), they are doing something very, very different. They’re worse than an enemy; they are betraying a trust – however misbegotten.

They are swindling the people.

UPDATE: And apparently the once-mighty Newsweek can be shamed into decency; Kwong has been fired.

I’m sure she’ll be off the beach soon.

The Leading Causes Of Death In Minnesota

#3) Cancer

#2) Heart disease and its complications

#1) People dying while holding their breath waiting for the Star/Tribune, MPR News, and the Big Four TV stations to cover Ilhan Omar’s successive bits of corruption.

Fortunately, we’ve got that conservative-biased New York media to do it for them.

Rep. Ilhan Omar paid another $150,000 to Tim Mynett’s political consulting group in the three months after The Post first revealed allegations the pair were romantically involved, records show.
The 37-year-old Minnesota congresswoman’s campaign has funneled $146,712.63 to Mynett’s E Street Group since The Post in August reported allegations she was having an affair with her paid consultant, records show.
The latest payments to Mynett’s group were for digital advertising, fundraising consulting and video production.
When news of the alleged affair broke, Omar had already paid $223,000 through her campaign since 2018 for fundraising consulting, internet advertising, digital communications, and travel expenses to the E Street Group — taking the latest total to $370,000.

The real question is, how much shaming can the Twin Cities media withstand before they start even making cursory motions toward doing their ostensible job?

Mark This Down

October/November, 2019: The Star/Tribune Editorial Board – presumably including member Patricia Lopez – endorses nearly every DFL candidate (with the exception of a scant few Republicans who are either shoe-ins or can’t possibly contend).

This pattern has been repeated in nearly every election in recent memory – the past 50 years, at least. Certainly since before Lopez joined the editorial board.

Lopez on Twitter last week:

November 2020: The Star/Tribune Editorial Board – presumably including member Patricia Lopez – will endorse nearly every DFL candidate (with the exception of a scant few Republicans who are either shoe-ins or can’t possibly contend).

I’m going to save this for the week before the next election.

We Need A Word

We need to have a word to convey the most commonly-used idea in conservative media criticism. The idea, to wit, is:

Can you imagine what the media would do if a Republican had done something this stupid?

It is, of course, one of the most evergreen concepts in media criticism – the notion that if it weren’t for double-standards, the media would have no standards at all when covering Democrats.

South Bend mayor and current media flavor of the month Pete “No, I’m Not Beto O’Rourke” Buttigieg’s campaign used stock photos of Kenyans in publicizing their policies for black Americans:

[A reporter for The Intercept] tweeted that the public relations firm tasked with creating Buttigieg’s campaign material had simply taken a stock photo without checking the origin of the subject. “On top of everything else, the Buttigieg campaign used a stock photo from Kenya to promote its Frederick Douglass Plan for Black America,” Grim wrote on Twitter, adding, “The woman in the photo reached out to me very confused.” 

Using non-American black people in photos (“hey, they all look the same!”) the same week as he used names of black endorsers who’d not endorsed him?

And yet the story is getting no coverage outside the conservative media.

And saying “Can you imagine if a Republican did this?” is time-consuming.

We need a word, or at least a snappy phrase.

Ideas?

Open Letter To FedEx’s Fred Smith

To: Fred Smith, CEO, FedEx
From: Mitch Berg, Crabby Peasant
Re: Debating Big Left

Mr. Smith,

I applaud your challenge to the NYTimes’ publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, to a debate between him, his business editor, your tax executive and yourself over your enterprises’ relative tax burdens and financial contributions.

I also note that progs – whether in government or the media – never deign to debate.

In case you didn’t know that, I mean.

If so, carry on.

That is all.

Things You’d Love To Hear On NPR News, But Know You Never Will

ANCHOR: “There are some who say the death of Al-Zarquawi isn’t that important, given that he was at the head of an asymmetric worldwide terror organization. How important was his death, really?”

EXPERT: “While it is true that asymmetric terror organizations are built to survive, on the other hand, if you’re talking about the history of a putative “caliphate“, the death of the “caliph” might be considered an, I dunno, setback or something…”

The Institution That Cried Wolf

It’s become a little like the classic movie “Groundhog Day”.

A new scandal comes that will supposedly rend the Trump Administration to its core.

It turns out to be a damp squib.

Lather, rinse, repeat, until 2020.

Why do people still trust the media at all?

Joel Kotkin – who’s moved from being America’s foremost urban planning critic to one of our best social critics – has noticed:

This divide can be seen in public perceptions of the news media. Although somewhat improved from its low point in 2016, only 40 percent of Americans, according to Gallup, trust the media, compared to over 50 percent in 1999. As befits the media’s increasingly partisan stance, the small improvement over 2016 comes almost entirely from Democrats. Only 15% of Republicans and barely a third of independents now trust media compared to nearly 70% of Democrats.
Once the news business had enough sense of propriety and professionalism to at least maintain an appearance of objectivity.  There’s ample reason, as Glenn Reynolds suggests, to see many mainstream journalists as little more than “Democrats with bylines,” willing participants in what long-time leftist and fiercely anti-Trump reporter Matt Taibbi describes as the upper bureaucracy’s “permanent coup” against Trump. If this “coup” now actually succeeds, it will be one that will simply accentuate hostility to the media among a large segment of the population.

The whole thing is worth a read, naturally.

And it matters, because democratic society needs institutions – law-enforcement, courts, a news media – that it can trust to hold all parties accountable.

And this past decade has shown that we really have none of them.

Strib: Dishonest

Oh, look – the Trib has another badly worded poll intended to elicit results to be used as blunt-force DFL rhetoric. In this case, on Minnesotans’ views on gun registration – AKA “Universal Background Checks”

And yes, it’s dishonest. I add emphasis:

A strong majority of Minnesota voters support universal background checks on all gun sales and a ban on semiautomatic military-style rifles like the AR-15, a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll has found.

It’s not “gun sales”. It’s all transfers; lending or borrowing, inheritance, any transfer at all.

And – again – there is no way for “background checks” to be “universal” without trackjng the various transfers through a firearm’s lifetime.

Each of those transactions over time is a data point.

In the world of IT, we have a term for tracking data points; a database.

You can not call this anything but gun registration – and given the DFL’s tack on guns, you can not look at it as anything other than a prelude to confiscation.

Not. One. More. Compromise.

Bias

Lara Logan has figured out the problem with modern journalism – namely, having spent the past couple of decades leading with bias and advocacy have left them less trusted than used-car dealers:

Today, as a whole, we are not at our best. Just ask people in towns and cities across this country, as I do. Everywhere I go, people tell me they have lost faith in journalism. It comes from all people, all walks of life and all political stripes. Frankly, I don’t blame them. Responsibility for this begins with us. It is a fact that the vast majority of journalists in this country are registered Democrats. The colleges we come from are similarly dominated by one political ideology. This matters today because the reporting has become so one-sided. As we try to figure out why people have lost faith in our profession, let’s start by being honest about who we are.

I would feel the same way if the media were tilted in the opposite direction. It is the one-sided nature of this fight that disturbs me. Is that what the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the first amendment?

We dismiss conservative media outlets for their political bias, but we don’t hold liberal media outlets to the same standard. Many journalists who claim to be objective have publicly taken a political stand, saying the urgency of the time justifies a departure from journalistic standards. Yet they ask us to believe their reporting is still unbiased?

There may no be a more self-unaware institution in America today than Big Media.

In response?  The first rule of being part of the big media club is you never speak against the big media club.

I don’t suspect Logan will be doing lunch in New York or Washington again any time soon.

Fake But…Well, Let’s Not Get Hung Up On Details

The Texas Air National Guard memos were fakes.

There was no “Republican War on Women”.

Elizabeth Warren isn’t really Cherokee, and wasn’t fired from a teaching job for being pregnant.

Beto O’Rourke isn’t really Latino.

Alexandria “Tide Pod Evita” Ocasio Cortez isn’t really a working stiff-ette from the block.

Ilhan Omar isn’t really much of anything she claims to be.

Joe Biden’s family weren’t killed by a drunk driver:

…people are killed by drunk drivers every day in this country. Joe Biden’s wife and daughter were not among them, in spite of his libelous claims that they lost their lives in an accident involving an irresponsible truck driver who, as Biden put it, “drank his lunch.” The man who oversaw that investigation, Delaware Superior Court judge Jerome O. Herlihy, repeatedly has confirmed that there is no evidence alcohol was involved. The survivors of the driver, who has since passed away, have publicly asked Biden to stop telling this lie and besmirching the memory of their father. Investigators at the time determined that the accident was not even the other driver’s fault — Mrs. Biden seems to have driven accidentally into the path of the truck.

Putin didn’t buy the election. Brett Kavanaugh wasn’t a rapist.

“Anti-Fa” isn’t the opposite of “fascist”.

Assault rifles are a statistical blip, gun crimes in Chicago are not causally related to the availability of guns in Indiana, the Second Amendment was not written specifically to defend slave owners, gun control has no effect on criminals or crime, and good guys with guns are disproportionally effective against both street crime and mass shootings.

Democrat messaging seems to have entirely morphed into saying whatever Progs want the gullible, ill-informed and emotion-driven to believe, without regard to truth, much less punctilious accuracy.

Freedom Is Dangerous

“Liberals”, 2004: “Question authority! Free speech is *the* most essential right!”

“Progressives”, 2019: “Free speech is too dangerous for people without tin ‘journalist’ badges to be using”


In the old Soviet Union, citizens used to joke that when a shortage of butter was anticipated, the state media would start running stories on how *bad* butter was for you.

I couldn’t help but think about this over the weekend. And not *just* because our media is resembling the old Soviet media more and more, either.

Following on the NYTimes’ op-ed on free speech being too “dangerous” for mere proles, NPR’s “On the Media” – which is to the big media what a fawning mall cop is to your local blue-and-white – took up the same refrain, giving Marantz a full hour to reiterate his claim (and in so doing giving a whole new spin on “physician, heal thyself”).

Oh, they wrap it in a dirty-sounding word, “absolutism” – but like the NYTimes piece…

…it’s all a rationalization for turning speech over to the “professionals”, to whittle that right (or “right”) down to a size that proles can handle.

And we’re seeing a *lot* of this lately; how checks and balances are just tooooo haaaaard, and the Bill of Rights is just tooooo complex for the herd to deal with.

Makes me think of Soviet Radio. Apropos nothing.

Just saying, Democrats – I liked y’all better 15 years ago.

The 12th Commandment

It’s an oldie but a goodie. And as we head toward another election sure to be driven by Big Left’s narratives and Trump’s responses to them, this bit here is worth committing to memory:

Courtesy Instapundit

Journalism is always about “asking the questions that matter” – where “matter” in this case means “furthers the narrative”.

Know How You Can Tell The Economy Is Doing Well Under A Republican President?

The media are devoting lavish coverage to homelessness, that’s why.

And, somehow, less to this sort of thing.

Look – not only is a recession going to happen one of these days, a recession [1] is a necessary part of the business cycle. But the contortions Big Left and Big Media [2] are going through to downplay the currently good economic news are downright unseemly.

[1] In a normal, healthy economy with sound fundamentals, of course. Which we have. Of course, that’s true only if the recession kills of bad ideas and unsound enterprises, and frees up labor and capital for good ideas and sound investments – which the Fed hasn’t really allowed a recession to do since 1993.

[2] Pardon, as always, the redundancy.

Let’s Do Some Thunberging

Steven Miller on Twitter:

Speaking of “cyberbullying”: so when a teenager smiles awkwardly at guy tacitly harassing him at a rally in DC, it’s racism – but when a teenager rants at the UN like a junior Mussolini, before taking a “green” trip to the next stop on her agenda and thence home on $10M sailing yacht? Voice of a generation!

Hagiography

I was listening to NPR on the way to work this morning when I first heard the news of Robert Mugabe’s passing.

And I listened to the story, waiting for them to get to the bits about the organized thuggery, the North Korean mercenaries, the hyperinflation, and the collapse of the economy with its attendant hypermisery.

I waited through hagiographic hosannas about his “pan-africanism” and “anti-colonial vision”.

And I waited.

And I waited.

Eventually – two minutes into the story – it popped up. For a bit.

Even the NYTimes couldn’t see fit to bury the lede on this one.

Cold

When Ilhan Omar starts attacking the Strib – which has been rhetorically painting her toenails ever since the beginning of her state-managed-to-a-fault career – you might be forgiven for wondering if the wheels aren’t starting to fall apart over at Team Ilhan.

Scott sums up where the Omar story was as of earlier in the week.

The scandal has pushed the incredible panoply of scandals we have covered in depth on Power Line into the background: the identity fraud, the marriage fraud, the immigration fraud, the tax fraud.
In the past three weeks I have circled back to interview sources whom I have found to be highly reliable in the Omar saga. They open a window onto the scandals from the perspective of Ahmed Hirsi, her long-time partner and the father of her three children. According to sources, Hirsi is telling friends:
• that he will not go to jail for Omar;
• that while Omar did indeed marry her brother (Ahmed Elmi) for fraudulent purposes, Hirsi did not know at the time that she had married Elmi;
• that Omar is threatening Hirsi he would be in trouble along with her if the truth were to come out;
• that Omar has asked him to state publicly that all is well with their marriage even though it is completely done and finished; and
• that in fact they are living apart and have been divorced under Islamic law (although they remain legally married).
Having humiliated Ahmed Hirsi by her affair with Tim Mynett, Omar now wants Hirsi to perform public relations services for her to suppress the scandal. That is cold.

While hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, a husband tossed under the bus for a newer model can do a lot more than write country-western songs. I’m kinda rooting for Hirsi.

And without Power Line and Scott Johnson, the story – her alleged fake marriages, immigration and identity fraud, her tax problems, to say nothing of the philandering – would have stayed safely buried.

Accentuating The Obvious

Reporter tries to exercise Big Media’s shibboleth – that it’s easier to buy a gun than get a library book.

Finds out it just ain’t so.

To be fair, the woman did a fairly honest job reporting the story.

To be honest, the notion that she thought guns were a gimme at a Walmart tells us something at little depressing about the gullibility and prejudice of Big Media.

No Reason I Can Think Of…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember Hillary using a private email server for her official State Department business, emails which later went missing?
Remember President Trump suggesting we should ask the Russians to give us copies?
Wrong country.  Her emails were automatically copied to the Chinese.  Every single one.  Confirmed by the Inspector General at the Department of Justice.
Weird how I missed the headlines in all the major media.
Joe Doakes

It makes sense, as Glenn Reynolds notes, when you remember they are all Democrat operatives with bylines.