What Is Best In Life?

In the TV series MASH, there was an episode featuring a statistician – an Army officer who predicted how many men would be killed or wounded given the parameters of an upcoming battle.    To the statistician character, it was all about numbers – “just business, nothing personal”, to invoke a line from a different seventies production.  To surgeon Hawkeye Pierce, the character who had to try to patch together the actual men behind the numbers, is was in fact personal.

At the end of the episode, losing his temper at the statistician, after showing the geek through the operating room, Pierce yells “the thing I hate about you isn’t that you’re good at your job.  I hate you for liking it so much”.

I have a similar reaction to people who try to boil all human behavior down into numbers, statistics and analytical models.

If blogs existed 50-60 years ago, a story like this would be accompanied by a photo like this. Good thing this is 2016, right?

Now, before you launch into some misguided jape about conservatives hating science, remember – part of my day job is, well, boiling down human behavior into numbers, stats and patterns.  A bigger part, at least for me, is finding the qualitative answer behind the numbers.

But I digress.  Among the many joys of this past election – the potential for a safe SCOTUS, a solid cabinet, no Hillary, no leasing of US foreign policy to the Saudis and Qataris – was the complete collapse of analytics in predicting (and, via our media, shaping) this past election.

The ana­lyt­ic­al mod­els for both sides poin­ted to a Clin­ton vic­tory, al­beit not a run­away. The Clin­ton cam­paign and su­per PACs had sev­er­al of the most highly re­garded polling firms in the Demo­crat­ic Party, yet in the places that ended up mat­ter­ing, very little if any polling was done. So while 2016 wasn’t a vic­tory for tra­di­tion­al polling, it cer­tainly took a lot of the luster from ana­lyt­ics. In the end, big data mattered very little.

While tinkering with stats can be fun, I’ve long loathed notion that all of human behavior can be boiled down into numbers.   And I’ll admit, the schadenfreud when the geeks fail to do so is glorious.

The Strib’s New Editorial Writer

Allison Sherry added this opinion column – essentially, a piece of delated-PR for the Angie Craig campaign – in Monday’s Strib:

Incoming Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis made his career as a provocative talk-radio personality who seemed to relish holding court on the fringes of the political mainstream.

On any given day, he could offer up inflammatory comments about slavery or assert that unmarried women just want government to pay for their birth control.

Now Lewis faces the biggest test of his political career as he must rapidly transition from radio provocateur into a full-time member of Congress.

Sherry is a new member of the Strib’s ignominious “columnist’s row”, so it’s to be expected she’ll start her beat by reprising Angie Craig’s campaign chanting points – which the Strib considers “sources”, by the way.

Lewis seems to get it, though:

“I’m not an expert, though I played one on the radio for 20 years,” Lewis said in the basement of the Capitol complex, fidgeting with a bottle of water. “It is humbling and sobering when all of [a] sudden you see Rep. Jason Lewis on things.”

Ms. Sherry seems well fitted to follow in Nick Coleman’s steps.

In a more serious vein:  why would the Strib be running what is basically a hit piece on the new Congressman, before he’s even sworn in?

Easy.  Angie Craig is already fundraising for a rematch.  To the DFL and Strib, the 2018 race is already underway.

CORRECTION:  It seems Ms. Sherry is actually not a columnist, but one of the Strib’s reporters.

I regret the error.

Confirmation Bias

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It might be funny to write a letter to the editor.

 I’ll claim to be a left-handed Black Transgender Lesbian.  The story will be about my struggle, how I was oppressed by Conservative teachers in college, passed over in employment so they could hire Whites, afraid to speak my mind at work because everyone there was a Republican and they’re notorious for being petty and vindictive, how traumatized I felt when Trump won and I realized my life was in danger.

 I bet I could get it published to rave reviews.  “So Brave.” 

 Then I’ll use the “find and replace” function to change “Black” to “White” and “Republican” to “Democrat,” change the whole thing mirror image, send it to the people who raved about the first column to see what they think.  My guess is they’ll hate it.  “Racist.”

 Can one person be both brave and racist?  Apparently so, if the analyst relies on the most superficial sorting.

 I could be a success like this guy.  

 Joe Doakes

To paraphrase PT Barnum, nobody every got their Letter to the Editor scuppered for not playing to the media’s prejudices.

The Problem With Liberal Media Talking About “Fake News”

The left-leaning mainstream media – which has in the life of this blog:

…is wondering why people don’t trust it.

Perhaps because of paragraphs like this (emphasis added by me):

“What I think is so unsettling about the fake news cries now is that their audience has already sort of bought into this idea that journalism has no credibility or legitimacy,” said Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, a liberal group that polices the news media for bias. “Therefore, by applying that term to credible outlets, it becomes much more believable.”

Media Matters is a Soros-funded propaganda mill.  It is a “media watchdog” only to the extent that an attack-PR firm is a watchdog of anything; relentlessly scouring media for congruence with liberal chanting points with all the grace of a German funk band.

Others see a larger effort to slander the basic journalistic function of fact-checking. Nonpartisan websites like Snopes and Factcheck.org have found themselves maligned when they have disproved stories that had been flattering to conservatives.

Neither is non-partisan.

While I think good reporting is essential to a representative Republic, I think our current mainstream media will not be the ones to perform any kind of “good reporting”.   The sooner it goes out of business, the better for democracy.

They Are So Close…

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is leaving Alary’s after a Bears game, when he runs into MyLyssa SILBERMAN, reporter for National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau.  Dressed in a hemp power skirt, her brunette-but-slightly-prematurely-gray hair cut into the style known as “ELCA Hair”, she is on her way from her Lowertown condo to the MPR building.  

SILBERMAN:  (In her “NPR” voice – a nasal brogue that bespeaks an Ivy League education, and sounds like it may have ironic clarinet music in the background) Mr.  Berg.

BERG:   Oh, hello, MyLyssa.

SILBERMAN:  So you’re still a Second Amendment activist?

BERG:  I am.

SILBERMAN:  And you oppose closing the “Gun Show Loophole” with mandatory registration?

BERG:  Yep.

SILBERMAN:  Why?  It’s clearly commonsense.

BERG:  I’m going to refute you with an NPR story.   Yesterday, NPR reported that the Obama Administration has done away with a 9/11-era program that allowed the creation of a registry of people from several countries linked to terrorist activities.   (BERG draws iPhone from pocket, shuffles through to find a recording).  I believe this the report, from NPR’s Tom Gjelten:

GJELTEN: Among those who would speak out – the American Civil Liberties Union. Hina Shamsi is the national security director there.

HINA SHAMSI: We would absolutely oppose this program. And as we have said, if this form of discriminatory registry is put in place, we stand ready to sue and to challenge it.

(BERG stops the recording)

SILBERMAN:  Right.  So?

BERG:  Listen to this next bit.  I’ll crank up the volume for a few parts”

GJELTEN: A new registry could bring out law-abiding Muslims. But human rights lawyer Banafsheh Akhlaghi says it would probably not reveal the would-be terrorists the government should be worried about.

AKHLAGHI: They aren’t going to voluntarily come into a federal building, give you their fingerprints, give you their name and their identity and allow you to take photographs of them. The good guys do that.

(BERG stops the recording again)

BERG:   So terrorists aren’t going to come in and register themselves…

SILBERMAN:   Right.  That’s absurd.

BERG:   Exactly.  But criminals – people who commit violence with guns?  They will come in and, in effect, register with a background check when they buy guns?

SILBERMAN:  You are clearly “fake news”.

BERG:  Clearly.

(And SCENE)

Desired Results

Thirty years ago, white supremacy groups were a real, legitimate, dangerous thing.

Various groups – “Christian Identity”, “Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord” , the “Posse Comitatus” and of course the Klan – had, if not “power”, at least an effect on the world around them.   I’ve run into it twice in my life; my interaction with the Gordon Kahl incident back in North Dakota in ’83, and the smattering of anti-semitic death threats I got when I was on the air at KSTP – simultaneously funny (I’m a Christian who is ethnically northern-european, with no Jewish ancestry whatsoever) and not so funny (it was about the time when neo-Nazis killed Denver talk show host Alan, er, Berg).

At the time, “skinheads” – remember them? – roamed the streets of the Twin Cities openly, attacking gays and people of color (I witnessed an attack by 3-4 skins on a rather dapper black man walking with a white woman in Uptown back in 1987, and briefly accelerated and swerved my car to try to run one of them down as he fled the scene before thinking better of it).

Remember when Geraldo Rivera came to Janesville Wisconsin to meet (and, eventually, “fight”) with Klansmen?  Ask yourself – do you think the Klan is openly having meetings in Janesville today?  (Actually, given that it was Geraldo Rivera, you might ask if it was even accurate back then – Rivera was doing “fake news” before it was cool).

Even twenty years ago, there was an active Neo-Nazi cell in Saint Cloud (where else?) and even a not-even-all-that-neo Nazi record label, Panzerfaust Records, operating openly in the Twin Cities.

When was the last time you saw an actual skinhead?  Heard of the Posse Comitatus?  Heard of anyone getting blown up or shot by neo-Nazis?    It’s been decades, right?

“White Supremacy” has become a tinier, more lunatic fringe than it was; a shadow of itse former self.  Which isn’t to say that groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center aren’t going to say so – the more boogeymen in pointy sheets they claim they find, the more money they get (which is one of the reasons they go around declaring utterly civil thinks tanks like the Taxpayers League of Minnesota are “hate groups”)    There are bowling leagues with more members and clout than the Klan has these days.

One gets the impression that the mainstream, left-leaning media is dying to fix that.  They’re giving whatever’s left of the Klan a whoooole lot of free advertising:

To say that the series’ arrival is timely would be an understatement. The racial divide and white nationalism emerged among the bigger themes of the recent election. David Duke, a former Klan leader and perhaps one of the most outspoken racists in America, was a vocal Donald Trump supporter and has called his presidential victory a win for “his people.”

I suspect and suggest that all the free advertising is happening precisely to create more white supremacists.  Because narratives don’t further themselves.

 

The Newest Comedy Morning Radio Show

On “Morning Edition” this morning, in re Donald Trump cancelling the press conference he’d scheduled for today:

HOST:  “So, is this important, or is this just something that makes a difference to journalists?”

NPR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: “It’s important.  This is when journalists get to ask the tough questions of the president, and maybe tease out the details of some of the hard stories, as part of our mission to keep the public informed”

The last “tough question” asked in a White House press conference was eight years ago.  All of the “journalists” working at the White House then have moved on to other jobs.  The ones there now will have to ask the old-timers how it was done.

 

Chanting Points Memo: Fake Coverage Of Fake News

During the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial race, the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” spread a story – Target was “anti-gay”.

They weren’t, of course; Target has always been socially progressive to a fault; by 2010, they spun themselves into a fair tizzy over every PC fad that came along.  They still do.

But they’d donated money to the Tom Emmer campaign.  And Tom Emmer opposed same sex marriage – exactly as the majority of the DFL did, on the record, at that point.

And so the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” created a wave of “fake news” (and even more mangled advocacy reporting) to attack Target and Emmer.  Waves of paid and DFL-affiliated “protesters” descended on Target; after that, the media breathlessly proclaimed their campaign was having an effect on Target’s share price (it wasn’t) based on a report from a “progressive” fund that owned pennies on pennies on the Target dollar.    The media, played enthusiastically along, for the same reasons they did with Hillary.   In one cast, CBS news collaborated, willingly or not, with a local left-wing advocacy group to create an entirely fake news story.

The goal, of course, was to simultaneously attack Emmer and try to intimidate Minnesota businesses into not donating to Republicans; if they could cause problems for the mighty Target, what could they do to a machine shop in Owatonna?

So when Democrats whinge about “fake news” – they sowed the wind,

But did they reap the whirlwind?

Hillary is blaming “fake news” for her loss:

“The epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year — it’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences,” Clinton said during a speech on Capitol Hill.

Some Democrats have argued the spread of anti-Clinton fake news online contributed to her electoral loss to Donald Trump.

Several problems with this theory:

  • There was at least as much “fake news” supporting Hillary.  My social media feed was clogged with photomemes and phony stories from groups like “Occupy Democrats”.
  • Beyond the purportedly fake news and “propaganda” epidemic, the mainstream media wallowed in a Pauline Kael-like echo chamber of pro-HIllary bias, to the point of publishing, well, “fake news” against Trump, to the point where the publisher of the NYTimes felt the need to publicly rededicate his paper to not doing the things that the media’s apologists say it never did.
  • Not so much a “problem” but an observation; this is just another symptom of the cranky arrogance that helped Clinton lose the election in the first place; “If you deplorables weren’t so stupid, believing the wrong fake news, ‘d be in the White House again!”.

The mainstream media is less fake than “Occupy Democrats” – but it’s a matter of degree.

Berg’s Seventh Law is getting an epic workout this cycle.

NPR’s “On The Media”: Fake Analysis Of “Fake News”

There are a few things in the American media for which I have more contempt than the WNYC  program “On The Media”. I’ve written about it in the past – it’s an NPR show, hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, that seems to be based around the premise the journalist is a noble order of high priest of information, having a salonic conversation about the rarefied heights of American journalism.

In point of fact, it’s a Democrat party propaganda mill, no different than “Occupy Democrats” or any of the left’s other “fake news” mills.

Prosecutors exhibit A? This past weekend’s broadcast, which focused on “not normalizing Trump”.

And as a Tfump non-supporter and someone who was taught journalism by old-school practitioners who actually valued telling the story, rather than achieving a political goal,, I get it.

Of course, when OTM talks about “not normalizing” someone like Donald Trump, not a word will be mentioned about the media having normalized bald-faced support for Hillary Clinton, at a level that we have once been considered a crime against journalism.

Bonus visit bit of nausea induction: as a guest, Bob Garfield interviewed George Lakoff, a noted linguist who pointed out the techniques that Trump has mastered in turning  peoples opinions on their heads, and the need to not normalize that sort of thing…

Of course, Garfield didn’t mention that Lakoff has been working, and as I recall been paid for quite some time now, to try to do exactly what the program complains about Trump doing; trying  to turn language to the service of Democrats.

Apparently they didn’t think we needed to know that.

Mark My Words

Someday, when there is a post-cold-war style reckoning with the past crimes of the American media – and I realize this may be more an “afterlife” kind of thing – the ongoing effort by the American media to slander people not like them, politically speaking, will be an entire wing in the museum.

Let’s allow up front that in a nation of 320 million people there will be loonies of every description afoot, and that not everyone deals with frustration, bigotry or hatred well or constructively.

With that out of the way?

There is no wave of Trump-inspired hatred in this country.  The media is, er, trumping up a series of:

…into a “story”, and spinning it into a largely fictional narrative.

Why?

To wag the dog.  To try to create the movement that they’re reporting on.  To try to do for hate what they did for Armenian valley girls and Flava Flav.

Will it work?

Well, their efforts didn’t give us an Empress President HIllary.  But that may have been a lucky break.

And “luck” isn’t a plan.

What’s The Matter With Paul Krugman?

I’m not a member of the “White Working Class”.  I worked pretty hard to not be part of it, earlier in my life.  For better or worse, I’m a service-economy guy.

Paul Krugman new yhork times.

Democrats have to figure out why the white working class just voted overwhelmingly against its own economic interests, not pretend that a bit more populism would solve the problem.

Here’s a word to the wise, Paul Krugman – but since it’s you, I’ll have to explain it.

Being told what “one’s best interests” are is a good enough reason by itself.

Would Paul Krugman tell black people, or Native Americans, or women, what’s “in their best interests?”  That would be racist, sexist and mansplaining.

It’s no different when you Bluesplain to people you don’t know, have never met, will never meet, and whose lives would kill you dead in half an hour what “their best interests” are.  There’s no cutesy PC social-justice-academy term for it – but it’s the same thing.

And that’s when the Bluesplaining comes from someone who’s actually got a point – which Paul Krugman does not.  How do we know this?

Because he wrote this…:

Any claim that changed policy positions will win elections assumes that the public will hear about those positions. How is that supposed to happen, when most of the news media simply refuse to cover policy substance? Remember, over the course of the 2016 campaign, the three network news shows devoted a total of 35 minutes combined to policy issues — all policy issues. Meanwhile, they devoted 125 minutes to Mrs. Clinton’s emails.

Right.  The press was hard on Hillary.

Oh, yeah.  And…:

Beyond this, the fact is that Democrats have already been pursuing policies that are much better for the white working class than anything the other party has to offer. Yet this has brought no political reward.

No, they do not – and yes, the reward has been bestowed.

Krugman is just too much of a clown to know it.

At least one professor got the message and got some useful takeaways from the complete failure of the “academic-industrial complex” for which Krugman is a poster child:

First, we must stop being insufferable know-it-alls. As scribes and scholars, we have expertise in a particular beat or field, but that doesn’t make us qualified to determine which candidate is best to lead 320 million Americans, each of whom has many and varied needs. Nor is it our job.

God knows it’ll never be Krugman.

False Equivalence

I was listening to some archival coverage from NPR over the weekend, from May of 1945, about the death of Adolf Hitler.  I was kind of surprised:

“On the one hand, he directly ordered the death of 11 million Jewish, gay, Roma, Sinti and Slavic civilians in a campaign of ethnic cleansing, and launched a war that led to the deaths of between 50 and 70 million people.

On the other hand, he was a committed vegetarian and dedicated to animal rights, and his death by gun suicide highlights attention on the epidemic of gun violence, in which guns killed millions of Europeans.

So the truth is somewhere in between.”

Well, no.  I made the whole thing up.  Well, not the whole thing; Hitler could in fact not bear the though of animals coming to harm.  He was a very forthright vegetarian, and had no tolerance for any sort of cruelty to animals.  But nobody in history has suggested that those facts even nudge the scale in comparison to his crimes against humanity and morality.

That would be just stupid.

I thought about this as I was listening to NPR talking about the death of Fidel Castro.

It was a series of “Journalists” bending over backwards to ensure the world knows that there were two sides to Fidel Castro; the one who “stood up for the little guy” (using funds taken from Russian and Eastern-European “little guys”, but that’s getting too detailed, right?), who was a huge patron of Cuban arts and sports, and public health on the one hand…

…and who may have been a bit of a totalitarian tyrant on the other. The truth, an NPR reporter sonorously reminded us, was “somewhere between the two”.

And it made me wonder – how many people WOULD he have had to murder to push the needle?

A visitor to this planet might wonder who’s being more satirical, NPR or me.

 However, one can forgive NPR for being at least a little less detached from reality than five notable world leaders in their statements about Castro’s expiry.   If you happen to be a citizen Canada, have a word with Prime Minister McDreamy, eh?   Likewise, if you’re from Ireland or the EU, you need to see about changing leaders.  (If you are an Iranian citizen, you don’t have much more choice than the Cubans did; if you are a member of Britian’s Labour Party, you probably don’t know any better.
Fortunately, the WSJ has some moral sense, and has written about the effort to count Castro’s victims (from a conservative 9,000 to an all-too-plausible 90,000).

 

Stardom

Speaking for myself, I’m not going to participate in the left’s jabbering about “the Alt-Right” – which is to this cycle what “Vast Rightwing Conspiracy” was to 1996, and “War on Women” was to 2012; a mass smear attempting to tie the entire American “right” to the most noxious people who can possibly be linked to it.

In this case, some “Klan” leaders who nobody has heard of (there are bowling leagues with more members and political clout than the KKK has these days) who were thrust into instant, utterly temporary, undeserved prominence by dint of “endorsing” or “heiling” Trump.

However, Trump has refudiated his ‘supporters’ on the “alt-right”.

Suppose that’ll get any headlines?

The Strib: Lowering Their Own Bar?

The Strib “reported”, after a fashion, about attitudes about Obamacare after an election where it was primarily responsible for ejecting the DFL from power in the Minnesota Senate.

DFLMinistryofTruthLARGE

And it’s either a masterpiece of selective fact, or some fairly incurious reporting:

Anxiety is greatest among Minnesotans with preexisting medical conditions. Before the ACA, insurance companies could simply deny them coverage.

Which is technically true.

After which, in Minnesota at least, they would get insurance from one of the state-subsizied high risk plans.

Before MNSure, 92% of Minnesotans were insured, via the private market, a public plan, or some combination.   It was the highest share in the nation.   Of the 8% who didn’t have insurance, the vast majority were people who didn’t want insurance – mostly young, mostly healthy.  There were exceptions – but they were few, rare, and mostly the product of poor information and a pre-Obama media who were actively pitching the “47 million uninsured Americans…” narrative.

Today, the state says half as many Minnesotans are uninsured – but networks have shrunk (in vast swathes of Minnesota, only one plan is available), premiums have skyrocketed for individual members (like me!),  people could not keep their doctor (The Lightworker’s promises notwithstanding…)

So why is the Strib story – a “Team Report” by Jeremy Olson, Christopher Snowbeck and Glenn Howatt, no less – either so slanted or uninformed?

To borrow a Glenn Reynolds phrase – if you treat them as DFL operatives with bylines, it all makes sense.

Lost In Translation; Found, Suddenly And Conveniently, By The Media

As a German speaker, I was surprised and delighted to see that the American English word “shitstorm” has been adapted to German.    The new German word shitstorm is a vernacular for, well, a shitstorm.

Of course, while the word is an FCC violation in the US, the English word “shit” itself has no meaning in German (the word Scheißgewitter would be both vulgar and a little meaningless in German).    So, unlike in English, the term “shitstorm” can be used in polite company…

…because the loaded, offensive term loses its meaning outside its native language.

The moral of the story:  words that are adopted into foreign languages don’t necessarily bring with them their native baggage.

Or to put it more concisely?  Context matters.

After a decade and a half of illiterately hinting, tittering and referring to conservatives of all stripes as one variety of “Nazi” or another, the left and its PR flaks in the mainstream media are shocked, shocked I tell you, that someone is…pre-literately invoking a Nazi reference:

When a video of two Donald Trump supporters shouting “Lügenpresse” (lying press) started to circulate Sunday, viewers from Germany soon noted its explosive nature. The defamatory word was most frequently used in Nazi Germany. Today, it is a common slogan among those branded as representing the “ugly Germany”: members of xenophobic, right-wing groups.

Its use across the Atlantic Ocean at a Trump rally has worried Germans who know about its origins all too well. Both the Nazi regime and the East German government made use of it, turning it into an anti-democracy slogan.

And if you’re German, commenting about German politics, that’s certainly rife with portent.

And if you think that the bobbleheads who used the term at the rally knew all that history, and knowingly thought that was the subtext, by all means, provide some evidence of it.

Because what the term literaly means is “Lying Press”.  Stripped of any historical context, that is all it means.

And while the Washington Post in the article above calls the term “defamatory”, truth negates a charge of defamation.  Our press does have bias, does lie about it, and is in the tank for Hillary Clinton.

What sort of Scheißgewitter is it going to take for our lapdog media to confront this?

Rubber V. Glue

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hillary ran a private email server and deleted emails.  She has variously tried to claim that everybody does it, that Colin Powell said it was okay, that nobody ever told her it was wrong.  Newsweek chimed in with: Bush Did it Too

 So that makes it okay?  No – wrong is wrong, no matter how many other people did it.  Whining that He Did It Too is the old False Moral Equivalence defense.  Most people quit using it after Third Grade.

 Raising that defense is worse than childish, it’s incriminating.  Hillary left the White House to join the Senate in 2001.  She was a member of Congress while they were investigating the Bush Administration’s use of email.  That means she knew damned well the private server was a problem, but she went right ahead and did it anyway.

 I always knew the mainstream media was biased but it has dropped all pretense of objectivity in its desperate struggle to drag Hillary across the finish line.  Hillary won’t be the only loser in this election.

 Joe Doakes

With all due respect to my friends and acquaintances and former colleagues in the media (whom I hope land on their feet, pinky swear), one can only hope so.

A Slip Of The Lip. Or Typing Finger. Whatever.

Preya Samsundar continues to beat the stuffing out of the Twin Cities institutional media in reporting on Minneapolis DFL legislative candidate Ilhan Omar’s fuzzy marital history.

DFLMinistryofTruth140

Only this time, she may have done it with the unwitting help of the City Pages’ DFLer-with-byline Cory Zurowski:

Whether or not Mr. Zurowski realizes it, he has shed new light into the Omar case. The story, which was originally published on Wednesday, October 26, Mr. Zurowski wrote that Ilhan Omar’s father is named “Nur Said Elmi Mohamed”. A day later, Zurowski’s article was changed and now Omar’s father’s name appears in the article as “Nur Omar Mohamed”.

Read the whole thing.

And then ask yourselves why nobody in the Twin Cities media is covering this story.

To use a Glenn Reynolds line, it helps if you think of reporters as Democrat operatives with bylines.  Who, in this case, don’t want to be barred from the Saint Paul Grill.

Shot In The Dark: Today’s Corruption News, Six Years Ago

In the aftermath of the 2010 election, I noted that the Star/Tribune “Minnesota” and Humphrey Institute polls were consistently, statistically, not only erroneous, but in a very suspiciously consistent way; in their polling, especially their election-eve polls, they always showed Republicans doing much much worse than they ended up doing – and this correlation was even stronger in races that ended up being close.

I also pointed out actual research indicating that a “bandwagon effect” had been identified in political polling; that negative polling about one’s candidate tended to make that candidate’s supporters stay home from the polls.

At the time, I noted that it was possible the media – operating in their capacity as Democrat operatives with bylines – might not be doing it on purpose to drive down Republican turnout in close elections – but if they were, it’s hard to think of what they’d be doing differently.

I needn’t have hedged; when I suspect the media of some pro-Democrat perfidy, I’m rarely disappointed.

John Podesta’s emails, hacked by Wikileaks, show that the Democrats, working through their network of sympathetic pundits, journalists and pollsters, have been doing exactly what I suspected they were;  getting pollsters to jiggle the samping to underpoll Republicans and overpoll Democrats.

“Suspicion of Democrat perfidy is all but certainly proof, and is almost always correct”.  It might be a Berg’s Law soon.

 

Colin Kaepernick, Conservative Hero!

First things first; I don’t really care if people stand for the national anthem or not.   I do, personally; it’s out of respect for what this nation should be, moreso than what it is.   It’s a free country – and that involves freedom to be contrary.   As well as to deal with the consequences of being a contrarian.

One of the consequences?  The TV-viewing public – at least the ones that watch NFL football, the ones between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre – are not amused by NFL players’ – and the NFL’s – lurch to the left.

And for this, we conservatives need to thank Kaepernick.  He may be the pinhole leak in the dam that miiight just lead to the final collapse of mainstream TV – including the business model that keeps our corroded, corrupt mainstream TV news clique – afloat.

So – for this, Colin Kaepernick, I thank you.

Welcome To The New Samizdat

During the heyday of dictators, the entire media was turned into a public relations apparatus for the government.

It was all-pervasive; there was really no legally escaping it.  All the means of communication – visual, written, even musical – were turned to the service of the dictator.

Art?  Yeah, you betcha.

Remember all that jabbering about artists being bringers of peace, a group of walking safe spaces, from the piece about the de-facto arts colony in Northeast Minneapolis, earlier this week?  Sorry, folks; artists are no less likely to trade their freedoms for thirteen pieces of silver than anyone else would be under the circumstances.

Hell – one of the greatest murderers of artists of all time was, himself, an artist.  He was obscure – some might even describe him as a “failure” as an artist, the kind of person who’d have an artists garret in a converted seed warehouse in, I dunno, Northeast Munich.    Art is no protection against dictators, thugs, tyrants, and the whole idea of your nation sliding down the primrose path to dictatorship.

For all the best of reasons, naturally.  For the children.  For affordable tuition and healthcare.  For punctual trains.

The film industry was co-opted, to serve the master, too.

Feminists should take note:  Leni Reifenstahl, the single greatest female filmmaker in cinematic history, did her most notable work for the Nazis (to be fair, she may have spent the rest of her very long life trying to redeem herself for it).   Watch her most famous piece, Triumph Des Willens (Triumph of the Will); in between the icy realization that you’re watching World War 2, the Holocaust and the near destruction of Western civilization getting underway, it’s a pretty amazing movie.  Watch the first four minutes of the video; one of the most amazing bits of exposition in the history of documentary film.  We take for granted many of the cinematographic, structural and compositional aspects that were first introduced in this deeply creepy and – admit it – utterly stirring (if you ignore the people who are its subjects) documentary.

OK, how about the news media?   Isn’t their job to afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted? 

Turn off that Betamax with All the Presidents Men on it.  Around the world, throughout history, the mainstream news media is among the first to be either silenced (they’re easy enough to find!) or co-opted (they’re people, more or less, and they act in their own self-interest, which is by no means always noble).  The mainstream news media is no more protection from authoritarianism, dictatorship and tyranny than a Lakota rain dance is.

“But that was then, in the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s; it was over there, in Europe, right?”

“It could never happen here.  Could it?”

I love the sound of pollyannaish preconceptions dying horrible deaths.

Democrat Realism:   Yeah, you could say the media sucks up to Hillary Clinton.

hillary

Not content to merely mythologize the present like Riefenstahl, Hollywood seeks to rewrite the past – airbrushing Hillary Clinton’s origin story (even for little kids), turning Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date into a personality-cult artifact, and among many other examples, completely shredded the facts and the subtest of Dan Rather’s fall from Olympus.  In a gloriously brutal review of Truth, by Christopher Orr in that noted conservative tool, The Atlantic, we see this pullquote…:

The movie loudly, hectoringly stresses the importance of always “asking questions”—my notes include, among others, the lines “Questions help us get to the truth,” “You stop asking questions, that’s when the American people lose,” and “You’re supposed to question everything, that’s your job”—and yet the very quality it celebrates in its protagonist is that she never questions whether or not her reporting might have been wrong.

…which wonderfully sets off this entire subject.

In an election season where the “newspaper of record” committed what was once an unpardonable journalistic sin by letting their subject control their coverage of…her, and where a major cable network gave the Clinton campaign a leg up in the debate (talk about overkill), where leaks old and new vividly show our worthless “elite” media colluding to shape coverage for Democrats, trying to subvert institutions that weren’t enthusiastically compliant enough

I’m not saying that the American media is the same as the Soviet or Nazi-era German media.

I’m saying that they’re voluntarily exhibiting a level of obeisance that other nations’ media throughout history had to be strongarmed, browbeaten and threatened into providing.

 

‘Til The Lights Go Out

I’ve believed it for a long time. I’ve believed it a necessary step for this country’s survival for years.

This campaign has elevated it to nearly a life’s mission.

The American mainstream media needs to be rendered extinct.

Not every reporter – although a strong minority of them at the very least are the problem.

Not the notion of “reporting” – but when it comes to politics, there is very little of that going on anymore.

But there can be no rational argument with the proposition that the American mainstream media “elite” has been serving as Hillary’s personal PR agency, willing and eager to massage and shape the news to fit the Clinton agenda for Hillary every bit as much as Bill.

Far from “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable”, as the old (and utterly apocryphal) press bromide promises, the mainstream media in DC (no moreso than in Minneapolis and Saint Paul) comforts the corrupt and afflicts their victims.

And so it is time for the mainstream media to go.  As far as ad revenues have fallen, they need to fall farther.  As far as rating have plunged, there is still a bottom down there.  They need to die.

Not every reporter – indeed, the death of the mainstream media may give actual honest reporters a chance to redeem their craft, currently trusted less than used car salesmen and Serbian war criminals.

Not the notion of reporting – although the death of our “elite” media, from the Times and CNN down to the Strib will certainly open up the market for reporting as oppposed to Democrat Party PR.

So where can we hit the media to keep the bleeding going today?

Steer Clear Of Any Mirrors

Democrats behave pretty atrociously around women.

JFK had a thing for banging interns less than half his age.

LBJ was a philanderer who had a thing for letting the cow out of the barn in deeply inappropriate places.  Indeed, he seemed to be fairly obsessed with, er, Lyndon Baines’ johnson – which, it occurs to me, may be one of the reasons so many liberals’ arguments inevitably swerve back toward genitalia today.

And of course, Clinton – a serial mass philanderer who harassed, groped and raped women with the assurance of a conquering Mongol – and his wife, who actively used her power to shut his victims up.

Now – pointing out the true facts of fifty years of Democrat presidents’ abuse of women (often with the nodding, grinning compliance of the major media) doesn’t excuse Donald Trump’s piggish comments and behavior over a (I am flabbergasted)  open mic during his 2005 video with (ugh) Access Hollywood.   As I pointed out on the show Saturday, this wasn’t entirely unpredictable; when the interview was recorded, Trump had been a “Master of the Universe” for over 30 years; party to the kind of wealth, power and access that allows people like him to get away with things (or at least think so) that’d have had most people drummed out of polite society.  His marital record shows it hasn’t been entirely without consquence.  It’s one of the reasons I’ve been a vocal non-fan of Trump’s public persona for over 30 years.

But saying “Democrats did much worse, and did it first” doesn’t excuse Trump, any more than “they started it!” excused me when I was a kid, or my kids when they were.

But…

To support Hillary Clinton for president, one has to ignore, or rationalize, or plead ignorance of, decades of her aiding and abetting her husband’s predations; at least one rape, several cases of blatant sexual harassment, constant philandering, and predation on younger, star-struck women who were – let’s be clear, here – his employees and staff (the kind of behavior that’d have any responsible corporate board ushering a CEO toward the exits faster than you can say “grab that cat” in this litigious age).

So, Clinton supporters?  I’m not saying this to attack Hillary and Bill’s character.

I’m attacking your character.

Utterly Fearless Predictions

Assange’s Infodump On Hillary will be utterly devastating – to a regular citizen.  The media will bury it, developing a sudden and utterly transient interest in storm damage in Haiti.

Black Lives Matter will be a huge force in the 2020 election, as George Soros and other plutocrats with deep pockets continue to fund it with gusto.  Unless Hillary wins.  Then, it’ll disappear from the public eye, unfunded and unmentioned in the media, by February 2017.

The continued collapse of the state health exchanges will garner more and more media publicity leading up to Hillary Clinton’s inaugural address, which will prominently feature single-payer healthcare as a national priority on the order of the New Deal or defeating Naziism.

Spoils

I can not conceal my joy at the death of Gawker, the website that did more than any other to make the internet useless.

Hulk Hogan – who pulled off the nearly-impossible by winning a defamation case against Denton while still a public figure – is reveling in the spoils of his victory.  And while I’ve never given a rat’s damn about professional wrestling, I say “good on him”.

In the meantime, Denton’s media buddies are circling the wagons, funding (after a fashion) a fellowship to report on Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley innovator and billionaire who helped fund Hogan’s suit.

Or maybe you think that the public could benefit from better understanding of Thiel’s bold, nuanced vision of free speech.

“I want to help the CPJ defend the rights of online journalists,” Thiel has previously stated, announcing his substantial support for the Committee for the Protection of Journalists. That support overlapped with the time PayPal famously froze WikiLeak’s account at the request of lawmakers, and before he was revealed to have secretly bankrolled a series of lawsuits to bankrupt the independent publisher Gawker, an act he called “one of my greater philanthropic things that I’ve done.”

Dear mainstream media; “free speech has consequences, if it’s defamation” isn’t “nuanced”.