The NYTimes‘ Memory Hole

The NYTimes is trying to disappear some of their own paper’s history in re the “1619 Project”, which claimed that, based on the premise that America was founded primarily to exalt slavery, the nation was really founded when the first slave arrived.

Or…so they said. For a while:

Editors recently removed (without explanation or acknowledgment) the provocative statement that the project “aim[s] to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding” from the article series’ online introduction. Lead author Nikole Hannah-Jones has repeatedly claimed it is a myth that the project proposes 1619 rather than 1776 as the country’s birth year: She blamed bad-faith critics on the right for tricking the media into believing otherwise.

“One thing in which the right has been tremendously successful is getting media to frame stories in their language and through their lens,” wrote Hannah-Jones in a subsequently deleted tweet. “The #1619Project does not argue that 1619 is our true founding. We know this nation marks its founding at 1776.”

Forget for a moment that Hannah-Jones’ Twitter banner is a picture of 1776 crossed out and replaced with 1619. Forget that multiple progressive media outlets that were sympathetic to the project’s aims used the 1619-as-true-founding summary in order to explain it. Forget that a year ago, after the articles were published, both Hannah-Jones and New York Times magazine editor Jake Silverstein described the project in exactly these terms: “We sort of proposed the idea in a variety of ways that if you consider 1619 as the foundational date of the country, rather than 1776, it just changes your understanding and we call that a reframing of American history.” Just consider one last piece of evidence that Hannah-Jones is being deceptive about who invented the 1619-not-1776 framing.

My guess – she’s not being “deceptive”. She, and the Times, are backfilling and memory-holing because Identity Politics stands to cost the Democrats.

Again.

Look Into The Gaslight

During the Bush years, as many as a third of Democrats had some level of belief that 9/11 was an inside job.

Today, a significant number – on social media, it looks like a supermajority – believe that Trump colluded with Russia, that Kavanaugh raped someone, that “white supremacists” started the riots, that “Anti”-fa is anti-fascist, that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s purported “dying wish” should have some legal merit and that the Electoral College disenfranchises them.

Which is why we’re seeing this sort of “journalism”, doubtlessly placed by a Democrat attack-PR firm, about a movement whose adherence among the GOP is likely in low single digits.

Yep – it’s Berg’s 7th Law, and Urban Progressive Privilege – a gaslighting twofer!

The Inconvenient Response

A friend of the blog writes:

Here is the President’s press briefing from March 16. http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task-force-press-briefing-3/ 

As I read it for the first time ever, I am amazed at how similar his statements are to almost every other elected leader, regardless of party. President Trump tells us here that he recommends social distancing, limit gatherings to 10 people, avoid restaurants, bars. Choose take out. Choose distance learning if possible. And he states, way back in March, that this is going to be going on for a while, maybe past August, he suggests.
These are his prepared statements. What I mainly heard reported at the time was his off the cuff responses to the media. He is a wild man with his words when he’s not reigned in. Everyone knows it.
The media is now complaining that Trump knew the whole time how dangerous this was and “minimized” it. Yet, here, on March 16, his prepared remarks do not minimize it. In fact, he even asks us Americans to make sacrifices. He reminds the young that they will have milder cases, but can easily spread it. Think about the vulnerable elderly around us.
It is all there. But, the media chose to focus on other things, chose to portray this as political- Republicans versus Democrats. 
Now, the President’s rallies in some counties in Nevada have been cancelled. The media again wants us to believe that Trump is not on the side of protecting citizens by reporting a faux conflict between the President and the Governor of Nevada. Yet, the White House guidelines recommend smaller gatherings due to current virus spread in those areas where the President would rally. As the Press Secretary said, no one is forbidding a spontaneous gatherings. But, the President cannot host a large gathering himself. These distinctions are important. It shouldn’t take research to read between the lines. When can we hold the media responsible for the public reaction to the virus?

I think we are holding them responsible.

Problem is, the people who aren’t inclined to trust the media can’t disdain them more, and the Legion of the Invincibly Ignorant who still do aren’t going to be convinced no matter what.

This Is Today’s News Media

This may be the greatest lower-third super (aka “Chyron”, aaka the graphic at the bottom of the shot)) in the history of propaganda:

When life gives you rotten fruit, ferment it down until you can make a flaming sambuca:

Unreported

While the Democrats work at quietly deflecting the nation’s attention from their senile soon-to-be-nominee, the media would seem to be working hard on keeping anyone from digging too hard into Kamala Harris’s past.

With good reason.

During her decade-and-a-half tenure as a chief prosecutor, Harris would fail to prosecute a single case of priest abuse and her office would strangely hide vital records on abuses that had occurred, despite the protests of victims’ groups.

Harris’s predecessor as San Francisco district attorney, Terence Hallinan, was aware of and had prosecuted numerous Catholic priests on sexual misconduct involving children. And he had been gathering case files for even more… Hallinan’s office had launched an investigation and quickly discovered that the San Francisco Archdiocese had extensive internal records concerning complaints going back some seventy-five years. In spring of 2002, Hallinan demanded the church turn them over to his office.

Now, there were reasons for this – some of them legal…

…and some of them apparently, er, convenience:

…many of the cases were past what had been the statute of limitations. And just as the cases were heating up, the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned a 1994 California law that retroactively eliminated the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases. So instead of criminal prosecution for the older cases, Hallinan was forced to change his strategy. He wanted to hold the offenders accountable by releasing the clergy abuse files to the public and aiding the victims in civil cases.

But then Terence Hallinan made a big mistake. He lost his reelection bid to Kamala Harris. Of course, she had a little help from the local Catholic organizations that were freaking out over the prospect for Hallinan releasing the documents and helping the abuse victims.

The media’s job is covering stories about Democrats.

With a pillow.

Until the convulsions stop.

What A Difference Four Years Makes

Far be it for me, a mere peasant, to question the journalistic integrity of the New York Times…But, may please the court of opinion, there might be a slight difference in the way the “newspaper of record” carried the two different announcements of vice presidential candidates, four years apart.Well, the key and I might notice it, anyway. Let’s see how you do:

“Kamala Jong Un” – Photo by Glamour Shots, K Street, Washington DC. I suspect it’s the same photographer who shoots Amy Klobuchar for the Star Tribune

Flashback four years:

I know I needed that bit of red highlighter, myself

But don’t you dare say the media is biased.

Almost As If By Plan

In the late 1980s, Gallup took a poll about race relations among African-Americans. About a third said racism had an effect on their lives.

Thirty years later – during the regime of the nation’s first African-American president – that percentage had doubled.

The graph over the past 20 years or so looks like this:

Note the beginning of the slide – the middle of an election where the Democrats needed to pull out all the stops to counter the Tea Party and general dissatisfaction with the collapse of the healthcare system.

Unexpected?

Hardly. It was by design.

Graph depicts the prevalence of the terms “Race” and “Racism” in our “elite’ media’s narrative:

Why, it’s almost as if the “elite” media needed to create a crisis for the “elite” political class not to waste.

Remember – “race conflict” is merely a delivery system for “class conflict”.

Blue Fragility: Open Letter To Jonathan Chait

To: Johnathan “Chaitful” Chait
From: Mitch Berg – Red State Sleeper Agent
Re: This Little “Eliminationist Hatred” Problem You Have

Mr. Chait

We go way back, of course – and not in a good way. You have a bit of a history of being a horrible excuse for a human being. But you are a gift that keeps giving, for people like me, so for that I thank you, even if backhandedly.

This past week, you wrote an article in “New York Magazine” claiming that the Republican response to Covid is, in your terms, a “Death Cult”.

I won’t pullquote anything – the article is long, and never really improves over the title.

But I have two questions.

First, some background – here’s the listed Covid fatalities/million as of last Friday:

  • NY (D): 1,684
  • NJ (D): 1,790
  • US average: 474
  • FL (R): 319
  • MN (DFL): 291
  • TX (R): 241
  • ND (R): 135

So I’ve got two questions for you, Mr. Chait:

  1. Did you ever refer to Cuomo (or the governors of NJ/CT/MA) as running a “death cult?” I’ll confess, I’m an infrequent reader of yours. I only read you (or John Fugelsang) when you step on your d**k spectacularly – but I’d hate to be unfair.
  2. I wager you a shiny new quarter that as of November 3, 2020, TX and FL will be below half NY’s fatalities per million. Any action on that bet?

Thanks.

By the way – at the risk of sounding uncharitable, there are times that I think you are God’s karmic gift to me for never teasing the short-bus kids in elementary school. For this, I thank Him, and urge you to keep up the, uh, work, karmically speaking.

That is all.

Side Note: I’m making this the The George W. Bush Corollary To Berg’s Seventh Law – All of a Republican’s sins, imaginary or (for sake of argument) real, will be forgotten once the Republican can no longer hold office. 

The Second Amendment Freedom Activist’s Eternal Lament

As David Harsanyi notes, there is no issue save religion that the mainstream, especially “elite”, media, do a worse job of covering than guns.

At RealClearPolitics, John Lott reports that legacy media outlets often quite literally allow anti–Second Amendment activists to write their news stories on gun policy. Politico hasn’t quite done that today, but . . . well, I’m not sure having reporters dutifully repackaging Everytown USA press releases is any better.

The whole thing is worth a read – not that it tells you anything you don’t know.   Even the best better among Twin Cities newsrooms, NPR, has given anti-gun activists an unfettered, unedited and un-fact-checked voice (although as we noted at that time, the bias’s roots were more likely financial than ideological). 

The media does do a terrible job.  Not for lack of effort on the part of gun-rights activists…

…and not without some good results.   I’ve noticed, at least at the local level, that journos can – or at least could – be taught.  Over the years, there’ve been examples of reporters that actually listened, and learned to write the whole story and tell the truth on the issue…

…before moving on elsewhere and being replaced by a new wave of journos with the same set of superstitions their predecessors had slowly cut loose.   The whole new generation then needs to be slowly, painstakingly taught that “gun owner <> incipient mass murdering white supremacist”.  

It’s a job that, it seems, will never end. 

Of course, any hint of departing from the narrative is weeded out at the local level – there is not a single national “journalist” outside overtly conservative media that can cover this issue fairly, or even accurately.   And Big Left runs a constant effort to groom reports to take Big Gun Control’s “facts” as fact.  

Which, as Harsanyi notes, is all too successful.  

By the way – if you are among the journos who reads this space, I’d be more than happy to take you to the range one of these days.  Have your people call my people.  

Governor Waaaaaaaahlz

Governor Walz, during his presser yesterday:

And yet, somehow, the four states surrounding us, with the same exact federal government, managed to avoid a complete slaughter in their long-term care facilities.

Weird.

Y’know what’d be cool?

If we had some institution that’d probe a little further with the Governor on questions like this.

Perhaps an institution with printing presses and transmitters. Staffed by people who see themselves as a monastic cult of truth-seekers1

Naaah. That’s just crazy talk.

Also – if all the specifics of the state’s Covid response depend on federal action, then there’s really no need for the Governor to maintain emergency powers, is there? Tangent – isn’t that a curious combination? Decisively seizing emergency power, and then whining about how he as no…power?

1 All due respect to Tom Hauser, who seems to be the closest thing the Twin CIties media has to a genuine journalist.

If It’s A Spurious Correlation, It Leads

Correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Every kid with a decent junior high science teacher knew that by, well, the end of junior high.

But Millennials didn’t have good science teachers. Seriously – how did medical schools find students, much less graduate doctors, over this past 15 years?

But I digress.

It also seems to be what passes for “Journalism” lately.

To wit – according to the WaPo, a spike in violent urban crime over the past three months “followed” the greatest wave in history of people…

  1. Standing in line, sometimes for hours
  2. Digging through diminished stock
  3. Taking a federal background check (sometimes, as in Minnesota, twice) and often jumping through other permitting hoops
  4. Buying a gun legally

“led to” a spike in violent crime.

Not dumb enough for you?

“We find that states where individuals are more likely to search for racial epithets experienced larger increases in June firearm sales,” they wrote, “even after adjusting for the personal security concerns that likely generated the March spikes in gun sales.” This is a new development: Running the same analysis on previous spikes in gun-buying yielded no correlation between racial animus and purchasing behavior.

No, it’s not the Babylon Bee. But it’s pretty damn close.

Question for the “reporters” involved: why are we so sure it’s not the other way around – that the crime wave didn’t cause the surge?

The death rate for media credibility is way ahead of the one for Covid.

Divisive!

The Paper of Walter Duranty, the one that published the deeply ahistorical, revisionistic and nothing-but-inflammatory “1629 Project”, the one that published Paul Krugman’s innumerate claims that “blue” America bankrolls “red” America, which has been openly advocating “progressive” ideals in its editorial pages since I was in high school, which has been one of the primary PR agents for the left in America’s cultural cold civil war, the one that has not only been a “progressive” flak for generations but whose young, “woke” red guard faction has moved beyond shaping the informational battlefield to actively purity-testing the left-leaning editorial staff to drive it further to the cultural and political left…

has the victorian vapours about “cultural divisiveness” over Trump’s weekend speech at Mount Rushmore.

Watch for yourself.

The only thing that I could find that was remotely “divisive” was exhortation about three minutes in stating that Mount Rushmore would never be desecrated – which, I imagine, some post-modern academics find profoundly hostile.

Or maybe the bit around 5:10 here he said the rights of man will never be taken away. That has got to make Tim Walz nervous.

Perhaps the part around 6:10, where he points out that Americans aren’t “weak and submissive” in facing the war on American culture, but will in fact prevail. That’s a pretty clear and direct threat to…someone.

Too bad, so sad.

Berg’s Seventh Law is iron-clad and absolute.

Take Your Pick

The left, last week: “People don’t need the police! People can defend their own communities!”

The left, this week after people defended their own community:

“Chilling”. The “protesters” were encroaching on private property after forcibly breaking down a gate. The implied threat could miss nobody who isn’t already insulated by Urban Progressive Privilege.

The only “chilling” part of this episode is the atrocious firearm-safety the couple are exhibiting; fingers on triggers, sweeping each other and people who aren’t immediate threats. Get some training, people.

And it’s instructive to note how “chilling” it wasn’t to the mainstream media last month, when stories about black neighborhoods and business owners strapping up to deter looters met with…uncomfortable acquiescence.

Fact-Checked!

Democrat run cities are crime infested hell holes.

It’s not even a controversial premise.

Which isn’t to say the “fact checked industry – which exist primarily to uphold, or at least try and prevent the destruction of, leftist narratives Dash isn’t going to take a run at it.

From WaPo:

And let’s just say that the “ Independents” aren’t too far to the right to be Republicans, either.

Is there anything about today’s American left that isn’t built on exploitation, violence and lies?

These Are Our “Elites”

NPR’s Mara Liasson, over the weekend, observing the anniversary of D-Day. Or, more accurately, “observing” the anniversary of “D-Day”, really.

When talking with progs about “Anti”-Fa – a group whose origins were as the Communist version of the Nazi “Brownshirts”, and nothing else – I’ve found “progs” (and “elite” media types like Liasson fall out into two camps:

  • They judge the book by its cover and nothing more; “Antifa is anti-fascist! That’s a good thing!”. Comprehending this level of see/hear/speak-no-evil ignorance is like looking at a tornado for the first time; you’ve heard about ’em, you’re read about ’em, but they’re incomprehensible when you see ’em in person.
  • They think the idea of Big Left having an army of thugs is a necessary evil – or a necessary good, depending on the relative level of depravity.

I’m going to guess Liasson, cocooned in the DC area, is the former.

The DFL bobbleheads who run the Twin Cities? Much more mixed.

The Real Victim Of This Whole Crisis

New York City – all five boroughs – have been the hardest hit part of the US, and in some ways possibly the free world, by Covid.

The most densely packed city in the country and among the densest in the world, dependent on mass transit, jammed into tightly packed offices and restaurants and bodegas and bars and stacked atop each other at levels of density that send a tingle up the Met Council’s leg, the city would seem to be clear if anecodotal evidence that this plague’s greatest friend is density.

But in a city with 40% of the nation’s Covid deaths, Yahoo News – which is in constant combat with “Buzzfeed” for “most effortlessly left-biased “news” source” – has found the biggest victim of all:

Today, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress — known simply as AOC — owns another distinction, this one far grimmer: She represents the nation’s most devastated hot zone of the coronavirus outbreak.

New York’s 14th Congressional District, which includes the working-class immigrant clusters of the Bronx and Queens, has had 19,200 coronavirus cases as of April 30, more than all of Manhattan, despite having almost 1 million fewer people. Residents of the neighborhoods of Corona and North Corona in her district — the names are an eerie coincidence — have had more coronavirus cases than any ZIP code in the country.

Ocasio-Cortez, 30, knows many who have died, as well as others who were sickened with the virus, or left hungry or jobless. She sends notes and makes calls to as many surviving family members as she can, serving as a kind of legislative first responder. But it can be hard to keep up.

No – it goes downhill from there. I’d pullquote more, but then I’d have that “vomit” taste in my mouth all day at work.

It’s good to know the media’s got its priorities straight.

Praetorian Guards Gonna Guard Praetorially

Twin Cities media are giving wall-to-wall coverage to a poll showing thunderous agreement with the DFL administration shutting down most commerce in the state, indefinitely, at the whim of any “science” they officially sanction.

But – does anhone see any problems with this poll?

It’s from Public Policy Polling, And it was paid for by…

…Wait for it…

… Our old friends at the Alliance for a Better Minnesota!

So of course it oversamples Democrats and women.

And of course the Twin Cities media runs it like it’s evidence of a mandate.

A Long Time Ago, We Used To Be Friends, But I Haven’t Thought Of You Lately At All.

I’m not going to lie – because I have no reason to. I used to be a bit of a fan of former Minnesota Public radio journalist/personality Bob Collins.

We always got along relatively cordially, back during the glory days of blogging. I invited him to an MLB party, he accepted, and was photographed at least once sitting at a table of style with Republicans, seemingly enjoying himself.

And he’s giving me two of the better compliments I’ve ever been given, ever, during my career as a dealer list pundit – about my music writing and, at least once, about my chops as a political journo. And call me a pollyanna – only God can judge me – but for that I am grateful.

Bob retired last year. In honor of his last day on the job, governor waltz proclaimed an entire state wide day in Collins’ honor.

But all is apparently not well. Maybe retirement doesn’t agree with Bob? I don’t know.

But something seems to have snapped in the intervening time:

We’re not done yet:

This, on top of an ongoing string of fairly vile and tone-deaf tweeting over the past year or so – one of which referring to the “Center of the American Experiment” as the “Klan Robe Crowd”, which I’m sure must have been a surprise to Mitch Perlstein).

I started out by asking two questions. One was pretty concrete – “did MPR know about this sort of bias and bigotry when he was working there?” I’d have to say “of course” – because it’s part of their organization’s track record (and by “organization”, I mean that whole building, not the newsroom). Garrison Keillor’s behavior was the worst-kept secret in Twin Cities radio…in the 1980s. And yet they tolerated it because it didn’t hurt them until #MeToo made complacency too costly among MPR’s key demographic group, virtue-signaling white middle class progressives. I’m going to guess (and feel free to set me straight, if you’re an MPR employee) that his views may have been regarded as aggressive but codgerly by the management, and likely a sizeable and vocal majority of MPR donors.

My other question – “how common are these views in the newsroom?” They’re not. MPR’s newsroom is one of the least objectionably biased in town. They’re not perfect, and that is very much as distinct from the rest of MPR (Keri Miller is as obvious a DFL PR flak as there is in town), and they’ve certainly done less reaching out to conservatives outside elective office in recent years than they were, say, ten years ago. While I have little doubt most MPR reporters are fashionably left of center in their personal lives, most of them do an acceptable job of covering the whole story and sticking to the facts.

But Bob?

Oy.

(Title Reference, just because it’s not universally known…)

Blue Fragility, Part V

In which NPR’s On the Media, the exposed, yapping inner id of the “elite” media, #progsplains us that notwithstanding the very plain facts that about half of all Covid deaths are concentrated in one of America and the world’s most densely-populated metro areas, and that 80% are in states centered around major, densely populated metro areas, and the slowly emerging science that seems to show that Covid’s spread is closely tied to density…

…that rural red states are gonna get it, but good, because racism. Just you watch.

As predicted.

The New Stasi, Part II

Bloomberg News – the news organization owned by the guy who wants you to have the same right to self-defense that the Chinese have – apparently fired a reporter who wrote a piece critical of the Chicoms, and went out of the way to shut up his wife:

Six years ago, Bloomberg News killed an investigation into the wealth of Communist Party elites in China, fearful of repercussions by the Chinese government.The company successfully silenced the reporters involved. And it sought to keep the spouse of one of the reporters quiet, too.

“They assumed that because I was the wife of their employee, I was the wife,” the author and journalist Leta Hong Fincher tells NPR. “I was just an appendage of their employee. I was not a human being.”

Read the whole thing. 

The report comes from NPR.   One would hope that that was due to actual journalists reporting an actual story.  

I said “hope”. 

Blue Fragility, Part II

It’s a steroetype of “blue” America – at least, the “elite” version of it that gets (and makes) the headlines – that liberty, at least the kind that involves something other than waving one’s genitals about and dunking crucifixes in urine – terrifies them.

Stereotypes exist for a reason. Blue Amerca’s official vision is that liberty is a scary thing. Of course, this vision is broadcast by an “elite” that thinks they stand to benefit from living in a society where an elite – including them, natch – makes the trains run on time.

Which is why as calls from the hinterland to open up the economy get louder, you can expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing, equating those calls with scary backwoods guys with un-oiled bears and lots of guns.

Bonus steroetype: why did the New York Times put scare quotes around “liberty” in the headline?