All The News That’s Fit To Manufacture

CNN knows the story they want to be told

A survivor of the Florida high school massacre said in an interview that CNN rejected his proposal to discuss armed guards in schools and instead handed him a “scripted” question to ask during Wednesday night’s town hall on gun rights.

Colton Haab, 17, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and an ROTC member, reportedly used Kevlar vests to shield students during the massacre. He said he decided not to attend the town hall after CNN presented him with the prepared question.

a) There’s some hope for the younger generation.

b) I’ll call CNN “journalism” when CNN calls me “Admiral”.

The Gray Wasteland

Kevin Williamson sums up a vast expanse of “suck” in re the NYTimes’ coverage of gun issues:

he New York Times is uniquely bad on the subject of firearms. There are two ways to understand that sentence, and both apply: Among major news publications, the Timesregularly exhibits an unparalleled level of illiteracy on the subject of firearms, and it exhibits comparable illiteracy on practically no other subject. Even on such self-acknowledged weak spots as American religion, the Times rarely sinks to the level of outright stupidity that characterizes its coverage of firearms and related crimes.

That’s just the introduction.  It gets worse.  Read the whole thing.

Putting Their Money Where Their Ink Was

The mainstream media is, if not predictable on Second Amendment issues, at least prone falling into patterns.  The usual ones are:

  • Broad-based ignorance of – and at worst, incuriosity about – the actual facts of gun related issues, beyond the chanting points provided by the anti-gun groups that dominate the “thinking” in most reporters’ social circles.  It’s not malicious, it’s just uninformed, or lazy, or sometimes entitled.
  • Occasional bursts of good solid reporting  – like Pat Kessler’s excellent piece on Channel 4 last week pointing out what this blog has been telling you for a couple years now; while Minnesota has a very high per capita rate of carry permittees (almost triple the rate estimated when the Legislature passed the law), our crime rate is among the lowest in the country.
  • Inevitably, the overwrought editorial or op-ed demanding a repeal of the Second Amendment.

That latter usually comes from the “elite” level of the media – the NYTimes, the WaPo and the like.

So it was with a chuckle I read about an episode from the Civil War, when “journalists” had to be made of sterner, more realistic stuff.

It was right after the draft – and its  onerous exemption provisions, allowing the wealthy to pay for substitutes – was instituted.  Mobs began rioting – and one of their targets was the New York Times.

At the time, the Times was a Republican paper, and supported Lincoln, abolition and the war.  The rest of New York City, then as now, was Democrat – and was also fairly squarely against abolition, since much of New York’s economy was based around cigars and textiles – which depended on cheap tobacco and cotton, which depended on slavery (which is why I relish the times when smug little liberal moppets try to rip on “slave states’, knowing that NYC prospered more from slavery than anyplace else).

But I digress.

The rioters descended on midtown Manhattan.  And there, the publishers of the NYTimes were waiting:

The riot quickly spread through adjoining parts of the city, with rioters attacking leaders of the Republican Party and their property, as well as “such symbols of privilege and power as police stations, arsenals, and the homes and shops of the wealthy,” Gilje wrote. The offices of abolitionist New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley were attacked twice. The New York Times was defended by its staff, who wielded several Gatling guns borrowed from the Army. Manning one of the Gatling guns was millionaire speculator Leonard Walter Jerome, Winston Churchill’s maternal grandfather and a major investor in the paper.

The paper’s publisher issued rifles to the staff – there was apparently a cache of firearms in the Times offices – and an armed skirmish line of reporters, printers and other staffers were all that stood in the way of the mob burning and looting the Gray Lady…

…and, in the end, deterred that attack.

So – the news media used the Second Amendment to protect the First Amendment.

Huh.

CNN Is Shocked…Shocked…

CNN howls that a “gun industry lobbyist” “helped write” a “deregulation” proposal:

The white paper was produced by Acting ATF Deputy Director Ronald B. Turk and dated on President Trump’s inauguration day, January 20, 2017. It says the agency should consider allowing gun dealers to sell across state lines, loosen restrictions on gun noise suppressors, and pull back on its scrutiny of gun shops.

“If I am missing the mark on a major issue or disregarding a major discussion point any feedback you have would be appreciated,” Turk wrote to the lobbyist, Mark Barnes, on January 9, 2017. “My hope is that the agency can demonstrate flexibility where appropriate and identify areas for further discussion, recognizing that solving everyone’s concerns on each side would be difficult.”

CNN also whimpers:

The documents on the drafting of the white paper, as provided by the ATF, do not reflect any input from gun-control groups.

Which stands to reaason; they are jointly and severally worthless; they provide no factual, moral or political value to any policy discussion on the issue. None of them.

But their beef is that a “gun lobbyist” provided policy feedback to the ATF – reminiscent of the chorus of catcalling from the ignorant six year ago about the “American Legislative Exchange Council” providing model legislation to legislators, exactly as dozens or hundreds of other policy think tanks do.

Even – although the “think” is a bit of a stretch – gun grabber groups, as we discovered five years ago when the DFL, emboldened by their electoral sweep in 2012, copied and pasted reams of gun grab legislation from California, Maryland and Connecticut.

You’d think CNN would check those sort of facts…

…oh, I slay me.

Congratulations Are In Order

Rachel Stassen-Berger – who’s been a fixture in political coverage in the Metro for as long as I’ve been paying attention – has moved on up to a politics editor job at the Des Moines Register.

Stassen-Berger will oversee the Register’s politics and policy team, which includes coverage of state government, health care, Iowa’s congressional delegation and the Iowa caucuses. She will start in mid-March.

Stassen-Berger has covered the Statehouse in St. Paul for 16 years. Most recently, she was the capitol bureau chief, as well as a reporter and columnist, for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She has also served as a political writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The Register doesn’t have quite the sheen it did thirty years ago – but it’s a great move for Stassen-Berger, and I wish her all the best.

Walter Duranty Is Alive And Well

American legacy media trip over, beclown selves with their coverage of the Nadia Comaneci of this year’s winter olympics…

North Korea:

No foreign leader has enjoyed coverage as good as North Korea’s Kim Yo Jong since Vogue profiled Asma al-Assad, first lady of Syria, back in 2011. (That was right before Assad’s regime killed tens of thousands of people and used chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war.) A sampling: Reuters: “North Korea has emerged as the early favorite to grab one of the Winter Olympics’ most important medals: the diplomatic gold.” CNN: “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics!” Business Insider: “From her “side-eye” of US Vice President Mike Pence to hints at Korean unification, Kim has stolen the spotlight at the Winter Olympics.” Washington Post: “The ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea’ captivates people in the South at the Olympics.”

All that is necessary to get the coastal media’s blessing is to  be the opposite of Donald Trump.

Without whom this rapprochement, real or fabricated, would not be happening in the first place.

Proportion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Dow dropped the most points ever!  Trump should stay away!
Rubbish. The Dow dropped 666 points to close at 25,520.   An article from Obama’s time, 2015, shows the 10 worst drops in history.  His was number 10.
The analysts are using points instead of percentages which makes it sound scary but is it really?  If the Dow was at 10,000 points and dropped 1,000, that’s a 10% drop but if it’s at 20,000 points and drops 1,000, that’s a 5% drop, only half as bad.  Trump’s drop of 666 on 26,000 is 2.5%, not the worst in history, doesn’t even make in the top 10.   It’s a blip.
Why do you suppose an English major can figure that out, but all the sophisticated market analysts in the media cannot?
Joe Doakes

Make no mistake – they can figure it out.

But the Demorat messaging plan is “Say whatever we need to; our audience is either in on the line, or isn’t smart enough to bother”.

Carrying Ellison’s Water

Earlier this morning I wrote a piece about Keith Ellison’s endorsement of fascist thuggery focused against enemies of the Democrat Party.

But I noticed something beyond that.  In the PiPress story on the subject (bylined from the Associated Press).  The article said:

Ellison’s post said the book should “strike fear into the heart” of President Donald Trump.

Which is a grammatically correct construction.  Almost sounds like an educated person speaking proper English.

But this is what Ellison wrote:

He “found the book that strike fear”… into his enemy.

Now, I’m not going to make much of Ellison’s mangling verb tenses on Twitter.  Everyone has their moments.

But why is the AP cleaning up Ellison’s grammar for him?

Kicking Out The Key Log

The Obama economy stayed sluggish, despite an avalanche of taxpayer and deficit cash, because businesses sat on their money; with cheap credit via “quantitative easing”, their cash on hand zoomed upward (leading to record high stock indices) – but job growth and productivity remained sluggish.   With regulations metastasizing and Obamacare lurking over everything like a that friend from high school who stopped by and you just know is going to hit you up for a loan, business played it very very safe.

No more, it seems – or at least that seems to be written between the lines of this curiously schizophrenic NYTimes piece that seems to make a little room for every possible angle in re Trump, economic or not:

Mr. Trump bragged in a news conference last month that he has rolled back 22 regulations for every new one — 67 deregulatory actions, versus three new regulations. Often in conjunction with the Republican Congress, his administration has canceled several rules approved at the end of the President Barack Obama’s term, including a regulation on limiting mining debris in streams, a requirement that broadband providers obtain permission from customers to collect and use online information, and a ban on plastic bottles in national parks.

Administration officials said last month that, since January 2017, federal agencies have delayed, withdrawn or made inactive nearly 1,600 planned regulatory actions. Further rollbacks will affect financial services as well as energy and labor rules, among others.

And Mr. Trump has appointed outspoken critics of regulation to lead several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

All of which, to the Times, are troubling.

 

 

Any Color You Want, As Long As It’s DFL!

Jon Tevlin – who replaced Nick Coleman on columnists row at the Strib a long time ago, and you’d have a hard time telling the difference unless you notice the incremental drop in entitled arrogance – is getting out of the column business:

In the past couple of years, however, I’ve gotten worn down by the weekly screeds and wishes that I lead a short, uncomfortable life. I began to dread the 3 a.m. calls and anonymous notes. After many weekends got ruined by hostile chatter on social media, my wife, Ellen, wisely suggested I either kill my column or Twitter. I survived the past few years, in fact, by removing social media from my phone.

I fear we are becoming a mean, arrogant country. In fact, at 6 a.m. the day after voters elected a bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac,

(Yes, I did check to see if he was in that paragraph was intended as satire.  Apparnetly not.  Ed)

I wrote to my financial planner the following words: “I feel like I’ve wasted 30 years of my life. Get me out of here.”

Mr. Tevlin – if you have to ask, you probably did.  Sorry to say.

Paying attention to Twitter is a rookie flub, of course; the day when Twitter’s nonexistent business model finally sinks it will be a great one for public discourse.

But that leaves a vacancy on Columnists Row [1].   Who’ll fill it?

On the one hand, who cares?  It’s the Strib.

On the other?

Well, Bob Collins at MPR writes:

Ideally, the Strib would hang out a “white men need not apply” shingle since the newspaper’s lineup of voices is almost exclusively male, white, and comfortable.

Bob – perhaps  because he’s white and male, but I suspect more because he’s part of a media outlet that is pretty much demographically identical tot he Strib – misses a key point.

The Strib’s columnist stable (outside of Kersten, whose status at the Strib is always nebulous anyway) reminds me of Alan Dershowitz’s assessment of the Harvard Law School faculty: “You think “diversity” is someone with different colored skin, or in a skirt, who thinks exactly the same as you”. (The same could be said of MPR, by the way).

What difference would it make if the Strib hired a non-white non-male (let’s call ’em NWNMs, just for the fun of it) if their writing was indistinguishable from the DFL flaks with bylines that make up the rest of the staff? Would hiring a black woman whose point of view is indistinguishable from Lori Sturdevant or Nick Coleman (or Keri Miller) really be that big a change, much less improvement?

In print,  if someone’s entire perspective on the world is that of a Prius-driving, Whole Foods-shopping, “Al Franken shouldn’t have resigned!”-ing, DFL upsucking, Saint Olaf/Macalester/U of MN Journo program-degree-holding, Kenwood or Crocus Hill-dwelling, mad-about-Bernie-but-still-Hillary-voting intellectual love child of Lori Sturdevant and Nick Coleman, does their skin color or reproductive plumbing really make that big a difference in the newspaper’s output?

Other than in the “virtue-signaling ticket-punching” kind of way, I mean?

Mark my words:  after much sturm und drang, the Strib will pick someone in a skirt, and/or with fashionably dark skin, whose perspective is no different from that of Jon Tevlin, Nick Coleman, Lori Sturdevant, Keri Miller or Kim Ode for that matter.

 

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The WaPo: Fake News

That story that Trump has instituted a list of “banned words” at the CDC?

The one the WaPo reported on?

You might as well be reading Buzzfeed.

The terms are “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “evidence-based” and “science-based,” according to a story first reported on Friday in The Washington Post.

But Fitzgerald said in a series of tweets on Sunday said [Note to correspondents at PBS:  check your work.  Sic. Ed] there are “no banned words,” while emphasizing the agency’s commitment to data-driven science.

Oh, there was substitution suggested…:

A group of the agency’s policy analysts said senior officials at the CDC informed them about the banned words on Thursday, according to the Post’s report. In some cases, the analysts were reportedly given replacement phrases to use instead.

But in follow-up reporting, The New York Times cited “a few” CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases.

In other words, it was internal PR.

I know a few reporters. I know they try hard to get facts, even partisan facts – sometimes even partisan facts that jostle their own partisanship – correct.

But people who believe the mainstream legacy media doesn’t operate from systematic political bias are starting to rank down there with moon landing deniers.

Better Late Than Never:

Now that a video of Malia Obama – who, at 19, is an adult and going to school at, of course, Harvard – has gone viral showing the former First Daughter blowing smoke rights, the left [1] has re-discovered the right to privacy:

Both sides of the US political divide are defending Malia Obama’s right to privacy after a video went viral showing the eldest daughter of former president Barack Obama apparently smoking.

Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump were among the numerous defenders of Malia, 19, on Twitter after the video on Friday seemed to show her blowing smoke rings in a bathroom.

“Malia Obama’s private life, as a young woman, a college student, a private citizen, should not be your clickbait. Be better,” Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Democratic former president Bill Clinton and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, wrote on Twitter.

It didn’t apply, of course, to Sarah Palin’s family, or George W. Bush’s daughters.  But hey, better late than never.

Make no mistake – I agree with them.  Presidents’ kids should be off-limits (and presidents should keep their minor children off-limits).  Former presidents’ kids, even moreso, unless they do something to make news on their own.

College kid smoking?  Dog bites man.

Harvard kid being an idiot?  Dog licks self.

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Open Letter To The Law-Enforcement/Media Complex

To:  The Mainstream Media, and the cops and prosecutors who are your sources
From:  Mitch Berg, obstreporous peasant
Re:  World’s Smallest Violin

Dear Cops, Prosecutors and their Media mouthpieces,

Last week, a shooter at a WalMart in the Denver area killed three people.

Colorado being a shall-issue state, and WalMart being an almost-stereotypical hangout for Real Americans [1], a number of people reacted admirably, courageously and appropriately, by drawing their legal firearms and getting ready to engage.

And that just annoys all of you, doesn’t it?

But those who drew weapons during the shootings ultimately delayed the investigation as authorities pored over surveillance videotape trying to identify the assailant who killed three people, police said Thursday.

Let me put this as delicately as it deserves to be put;  f**k you, and your whining about being forced to do your jobs because people had the unmitigated gall to defend themselves.  And the media for carrying this whining as if it’s news.

If someone hears shooting in the room they’re in, and their first thought is “I hope my actions don’t impede the police investigating why I am dead”, rather than defending your life, your family and your community (whether by fight or flight, and I’ll never judge either one), then they are mentally ill; if you think that should be the normal response, then you’re a lot worse.

I used to wonder why the news media and officialdom wondered why people these days trust them less than used car dealers.  Now, I curse their gall for wasting my time asking why they wonder.

[1] Defined, in this case, as “people who take all ten amendments of the Bill of Rights seriously, jointly and severally.

Speaking Entitlement To Power

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at the Saint Paul Farmers Market, buying pickling cucumbers.

He is surprised when MyLissa Silberman – National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau correspondent – walks up behind him.

SILBERMAN:  Merg.

BERG:  Oh, hi, MyLyssa.

SILBERMAN: Republicans are trying to destroy the free media.

BERG:  Er, what now?

SILBERMAN:  A Republican legislator is proposing licensing journalists.

The measure would require journalists — defined as anyone writing or broadcasting news for a newspaper, magazine, website or television or radio station — to be registered and fingerprinted by the police and vetted for their “character and reputation.”

BERG:  I think you missed the point.

SILBERMAN:  No – it’s right here:

Committing journalism without a license within 500 feet of school or on a school bus would bump the penalty up from a misdemeanor to a felony. Journalists with felony or domestic battery convictions would be prevented from getting licenses. And unlicensed people would still be able to engage in journalism on property they own or rent.

That’s some serious infringement of a vital constitutional right.

BERG:  Um, yeah.  I heard you report about that.  Problem was, you missed the important part:

State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from the southeastern part of Indiana and a vocal critic of his state’s gun restrictions, drafted the bill by copying language from a state law that requires a license to carry a handgun in public.

With these laws proposed for journalists, Lucas’s measure reads like satire.

SILBERMAN:  What are you talking about?

BERG:  Lucas is satirizing gun control laws; making people get a permit to exercise an essential Constitutional liberty, and putting all sorts of restrictions on it that have not thing to do with either public safety or, in its satirical form, the news.

SILBERMAN: But..Trump!

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG: OK.  So?  Trump said things that make the media uncomfortable.  Big f****ng whoop.  He can’t enforce any of it.

SILBERMAN:  No, Merg.  I repeat:

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG:  Right.  You already said it.  He demonizes the media.

Thing is, this proposal – it’s not even a bill, yet – isn’t about “oppressing the media”.  It’s about pointing out the double standards of the left and media (pardon the redundancy); hawkish absolutists about the sanctity of the First Amendment, dilatory and fuzzy on the Secone.

SILBERMAN:  But that’s unconstitutional.

BERG:  How so?

SILBERMAN:   Were you paying attention?  He said:

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG:   MyLissa, it’s not about the media, per se.  Although the media is certainly focuses on it.  Because it seems that the only civil rights the media really gets exercised about are its own.  First Amendment rights of non-media people?  Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth?   Crickets”.

SILBERMAN: LIsten, Merg:  “President Trump, who has demonized the news media as …”

 

But BERG has already disappeared.  

And SCENE.

Just Goes To Show You

A couple of Berg’s Law references, here:

Berg’s Eleventh Law of Inverse Viability: The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected.

And its corollary:

The McCain Corollary To Berg’s Eleventh Law: If that respected conservative ever develops a chance of getting elected, that “respect” will turn to blind unreasoning hatred overnight.

Both could be renamed “The Paulsen Principle”.

CD3 GOP representative Erik Paulsen has been cutting a decidedly moderate tack in his time in Congress, after replacing equally moderate representative (and fellow Jamestown ND native) Jim Ramstad.

It’s portrayed as common sense; the 3rd CD, says the conventional wisdom, is trending blue and is a very possible flip when and if Paulsen leaves office.

And so while Paulsen’s challengers have been unimpressive so far, he’s been moving inexorably to the center for years, trying to keep it that way.

But – for those who need it – here’s proof that there’s really no pleasing the leftymedia.

An Inconvenient Response

The New York Times actually gets something about gun violence right, in an article that almost belongs in a legitimate source of news.

While the MSM – including the NYTimes’ own editorial page – is blubbering about the same old narrative driven gun grab schemes, none of which have ever affected or will ever affect crime, this piece notes that there are ideas that have affected crime rates without gutting the civil liberties of the law-abiding:

In the 1990s, a highly effective gun violence reduction strategy was developed in Boston by a group including law enforcement officers, researchers, and black clergy members. According to the National Institute of Justice, it resulted in a 63 percent reduction in the average monthly number of youth homicide victims in that city, an accomplishment that was called “the Boston Miracle.”

Since then, variations of that strategy have been implemented in cities across the country. For example, according to a study by the Campbell Collaboration, a nonprofit organization that evaluates the effects of this type of intervention, Stockton, Calif., saw a 42 percent reduction in its monthly count of gun homicidesin the first year of the strategy’s implementation; similarly, Oakland, Calif., saw just under a 30 percent reduction. (In 2017, the city is on track to have its second-lowest homicide rate in over 30 years.)

Of course, for much of the “gun safety” movement, it’s not about solving crime; Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer care less about the lives of poor black and brown people than David Duke ever did.  It’s about controlling society.

But if you leave that out, it’s an excellent article, and well worth a read.

Facts In The Dark: If You Get Your News About Gun Crime/Laws/Owners From NPR, You Are Starting The Race With One Leg Tied Behind Your Back

Over the weekend, NPR came out with a “Fact Check” piece about whether Chicago is “proof” that gun laws don’t affect crime.

Is the “fact check”, well, factual?

It’s NPR and they’re talking about guns. What do you think?

NPR starts with Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ post-Vegas press conference statement:

“I think one of the things we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t stop these types of things from happening,” Sanders said Monday. “I think if you look to Chicago where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.”

Pointing to Chicago to suggest that gun laws don’t work is not a new talking point — Trump claimed Chicago had “the toughest gun laws in the United States” in a 2016 presidential debate; his fellow Republican candidate Chris Christie likewise pointed to Chicago as a place with high crime despite tight gun laws.

Now, if you’re a Right to Keep and Bear Arms person, you know what that really means; the idea that tight regulations on law-abiding civlilians owning guns hasn’t the foggiest impact on crime, at best, and a negative impact at worst.  That – crime and death, and how infringing freedom for the law-abiding doesn’t affect either – is what we’re concerned about.

And what does NPR focus on?

The Fussy Tangent:   Hey, at least NPR acknowledges the real problem, sort of:

It’s also true that there were more than 4,000 shooting victims in Chicago in 2016. It’s also true that Chicago has suffered a massive amount of gun crime recently. In 2016, homicides in Chicago sharply rose, mostly as a result of gun homicides, as the University of Chicago crime lab found in a January report.

Gun homicides in the city rose by 61 percent between 2015 and 2016. That helped make the gun homicide rate…25.1 per 100,000 residents in 2016, compared to 14.7 in Philadelphia and just 2.3 in New York.

But never mind all the carnage and death.  It’s Huckabee-Sanders’ assertion that’s the real issue!

But it’s not true that Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the country, as other fact checkers have also repeatedly found…”We generally think of California as having the strongest gun laws in the country,” said Hannah Shearer, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The whole state’s laws are pretty strong.”

The center has given California an A rating and ranks it No. 1 in terms of the tightness of its gun laws.

Ah.  So law-abiding citizens are disarmed, and criminals are deterred only by the ministrations of the Chicago Police Department – but they’re not the “toughest” laws, according to the abstract reasoning of a gun grabber group?

This is not a “fact check”.  This is an ideological purity test.

It gets worse.

The Mean Streets Of Hammond:  NPR next revisits the old canard; Chicago would be safe, if it weren’t for those darned Hoosiers and Badgers:

It’s important to remember here that Chicago is very close to two states that have relatively weak gun laws: Wisconsin and Indiana. So while it’s easy to pick on Chicago (or any other high-crime city) for its ugly statistics, says one expert, taking bordering states into account weakens this gun-advocacy talking point.

“It’s not a scientific study. It’s an anecdote,” said Philip Cook, a professor of public policy studies at Duke University. “They might have pointed to Washington, D.C., back in the days when D.C. banned handguns and yet had high gun-violence rates. Those bans are only at best partially effective, because the borders are permeable.”

So why aren’t Indiana, Wisconsin and Virginia stacking up bodies like cordwood?    If availability of guns were the problem, then wouldn’t places like North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming be shooting galleries?

NPR does try to drill further into the issue:

2015 study of guns in Chicago, co-authored by Cook, found that more than 60 percent of new guns used in Chicago gang-related crimes and 31.6 percent used in non-gang-related crimes between 2009 and 2013 were bought in other states. Indiana was a particularly heavy supplier, providing nearly one-third of the gang guns and nearly one-fifth of the non-gang guns.

Other evidence corroborates this — a 2014 Chicago Police Department report found that Indiana accounted for 19 percent of all guns recovered by the department between 2009 and 2013.

NPR has found correlation, not a cause.  Yes, there are guns from other states to fill the black market demand for firearms.  Every single one of them is the result of a felony – a theft (a state felony) or a “straw purchase”, a person with a clean record buying a buy and giving/selling it to a criminal, which is a federal felony.

Is it because Indiana has “lax” gun laws?

Or is it because the US Attorney for Northern Illinois announced that his office wasn’t going to spend time prosecuting “straw buyers” anymore?  Because he wanted to focus his office on politically-sexy prosecutions, and nobody ever got elected to the Senate by showing off a record of  prosecuting gang-bangers’ girlfriends, junior high pals and grandmothers?

So, In Summary:  The NPR “fact-check” ignored the actual point of the Trump Administration’s statement – that gun control and public safety are not in any way linked, and in some cases may be inversely correlated –  to pedantically nitpick Huckabee Sanders’ conceptually accurate statement about the legalities, and issue a deflection about other states’ laws that actually reinforces the Pro-Civil Rights’ side’s point.

Facts In The Dark rules this article as part of the NPR’s effort to be part of Big Left’s Praetorian Guard.  

Hate

There’s a lot of hate on the American left for people who are Not Like Them. I see it and hear it, even among friends and acquaintances who are left of center; many of them think the vast quote on washed and put boards in flyover land are just plain less human than they are. They don’t even bother trying to hide it; Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel marinade in disdain for those they consider their inferiors, and they reflect a point of you here in coffee shops and Whole Foods from coast over to the next coast.

Hayley Geftman-Gold’s only mistake was being overheard by the wrong people, and working in one of few parts of the media industry were giving the impression of toxic bias is still bad form:

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”

If she’d worked on the programming, or possibly news, sides of the operation, nothing would’ve happened.

Don’t shed a tear for Haley, though. The big left looks out for its own. She’ll have a job, and a darn good one, someplace, soon.

I’m going to bet it’ll be at NPR.

He Looked In Al Capone’s Vault, And Found Some Journalistic Integrity

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m not normally a big fan of Geraldo Rivera, but look at these tweets.  Calling out the New York Times for reckless lies?  Whoa, talk about speaking truth to power.

Here’s another page of excellent bits – don’t send us cops, don’t give to the corrupt government, problem in Puerto Rico is incompetent management.

Here’s the best one.  In response to the mayor of San Juan claiming people are dying.

He’s not 100% pro-Trump for everything, but on the Puerto Rico stuff, I’m impressed.  Nice to see somebody standing up to the rest of the media.

Joe Doakes

I’m not 100% pro-Trump either; I’m somewhere between 40-55%, depending on the day.

But Rivera’s coverage has been good (or at least from what I’ve seen and heard), and much-needed.

The Honest Scholar

NPR’s Robert Siegel  interviews a Harvard researcher – Professor Thomas Abt, of Harverd’s Law School and Kennedy School – about the recent spike in violent crime.

They try to get Abt to blame the ownership of guns by law-abiding civilians.

Abt doesn’t:

SIEGEL: First, let me put to you a very common reaction to rising violent crime or rising murder rates. It’s guns. It’s the number of guns that are out there. Can we say that’s a cause?

ABT: I think it’s unlikely. The reason is I don’t think anything is fundamentally changed in the gun markets in the United States. The second reason is because overwhelmingly gun crime is perpetrated with weapons that are already illegal.

SIEGEL: So there’s a relationship to violent crime, but it’s not necessarily a relationship to a spike in violent crime over the past couple of years.

ABT: Yes. That’s the tension. On all sides, there is an urge to simplify these issues down to one factor, and it’s usually the factor that that particular person or constituency cares most about.

And NPR actually ran it.

My shocked face doesn’t translate to print well, unfortunately.

Customer Satisfaction

Democrats’ confidence in the mass media rises dramatically in the past year.

Democrats’ trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly” has jumped from 51% in 2016 to 72% this year — fueling a rise in Americans’ overall confidence to 41%. Independents’ trust has risen modestly to 37%, while Republicans’ trust is unchanged at 14%.

They paid for it.  They’d better like it.

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part V: You Broke It, Strib. You Fix It.

Last week, I wrote a bunch of pieces on an editorial that appeared in the Strib the weekend before last.

The Strib complained about the growing street crime – in particular about the consequences of some local and higher court rulings that make enforcement against crimes like public intoxication and panhandling harder without specific legislative intervention.  (They also proposed the same impotent diversions on gun control that every DFL metrocrat shill runs to when faced with a wave of violence).

All the problems come back to one thing – a mayor and city council that may or may not be unable to grapple with the issues, but are certainly unwilling to interrupt the consequence-free virtue-signaling – like strong-arming local businesses with minimum wage hikes and sick time benefits, and social justice warrior-mongering – that obsesses so many of them.

Betsy Hodges in “action”. Crime skyrockets – but Target “Raises its minimum wage”.  Of course, technology has led to them cutting thousands of entry-level jobs, already.  Just like we warned you.  More to come. 

And this is the city council that, in large part, the Strib has supported to a fine sheen for the past sixty years.

And the mayor they’ve supported all along as well; I take you back to October, 2013, when the Strib editorial board endorsed Hodges for mayor:

Hodges is aligned with this page on the need for improved transit, including streetcars and enhanced bus service, as a driver of economic development citywide. As mayor, she’d play a key role in deciding the future of the Southwest Corridor light-rail project.

Although the school board operates independently from City Hall, Hodges says that as mayor she would seek to build consensus around the increasingly desperate need to close the city’s achievement gap, and she puts the right emphasis on early childhood development and prenatal health programs with her proposed “Cradle-to-K” cabinet. She’s talked generally about longer school days, more flexibility for administrators in teacher labor agreements, and support for reforms proposed by Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson.

Hodges doesn’t promise lower property taxes, but her record suggests she’ll be a strong steward of city resources and taxpayer dollars.

Hodges also promises to be aggressive in using technology to enhance public safety and would seek more accountability in hiring, training and disciplining cops. In a recent meeting with the Editorial Board, she acknowledged that the police union contract makes it too difficult to fire bad cops.

Does any of this – which reflects the express wishes and position of the most influential editorial board / DFL PR firm in the state – sound like what’s actually happened since the voters gave the Strib, yet again, exactly what they wanted?

Own it, Strib.  You got your wishes in the North Loop, as you have throughout the city.  You did your best to break it.  You fix it.

 

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part IV: Never Waste A Crisis

Last week, the Strib put out a breathtakingly obtuse editorial about the wave of crime sweeping the North Loop in Minneapolis – even as crime statewide continues a long-term downward trend.

The Strib’s editorial board blamed court for limiting the cops’ ability to arrest drunk and panhandlers – but, mirabile dictu, not a single word about getting the Mayor and City Council to take time off from virtue-signaling, political posturing, and  building exquisitely expensive monuments to their own wisdom.

But now, it’s time for the scapegoating:

There’s another, more intractable problem that Freeman, Segal, Arradondo and others wrestle with: guns. “We as a society have refused to provide law enforcement with the resources and laws needed to reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Freeman said.

Bravo!

Getting guns out of the hands of those who should not have them!   That’s just brilliant!

So the MPD will start focusing on straw buyers, gangs and habitual offenders?

Don’t be silly, fellow peasant; it’s Minneapolis:

Options here are few, especially in light of the strength of the gun lobby.

Let’s make this absolutely clear:  the “Gun Lobby” is the only party to this discussion proposing anything that will actually affect crime; upcharging gun criminals,

Some attempts at municipal restrictions have been struck down. One notable exception is New York City, where carrying a gun requires a special city permit issued by the police commissioner.

And where crime 35 years ago was off the charts – with the same, exact laws they have today.  It was Giuliani and his “stop and frisk” and “broken windows” policies – none of which the government of Minneapolis would ever condone – that actually lowered crime in NYC.   And by the way – have you noticed how crime is trending since DiBlasio reversed Giuliani and Bloomberg’s policies?

Minnesota typically has had strong Second Amendment protections, but it may be time for Minneapolis to explore its own carve-out.

Because of all the carry permittees that are shooting people up in the North Loop?

Because all those north side gang bangers will get permits?

Because holding out bitterly against the rights of the law-abiding citizen has served Chicago so well?

The legislative delegations from Minneapolis and St. Paul, with assists from city leaders, should make their voices heard on resurrecting a gun safety bill that would require criminal background checks for gun sales made at gun shows, privately and online.  These are the same background checks gun shop owners are required to conduct, and a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll last year found strong support for such a measure — 82 percent.

Which only proves that 82 percent of the Strib’s remaining film of readers are idiots.   Criminals don’t take background checks.

No.  The responsibility for the carnage on the North Side and in the North Loop lies precisely in the laps of Mayor Hodges and the pack of virtue-signaling, PC fops that amuse themselves playing “government” at City Hall.  It is they that continue the policies that keep the North Side hopeless, keep the Minneapolis PD busy chasing PC trends, and keep the city as a whole ripe pickings for the criminal class.

Perhaps it’s Minneapolis’ idiot political class that should be taking background checks.

See you

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part II: Kotkin Was Right!

A few years ago, we wrote about an article by urban planner Joel Kotkin.

Kotkin is a left-leaning urban planning type – is there any other kind?   But he’s made himself persona non grata among urban planning wonks by swimming against the current train of thought, which holds that core cities will rise again; the “Creative Class” loves their inner-urban amenities, and the rest will be forced there by Met Council policies.

Kotkin notes that for the past generation, most growth in this country – economic and demographic – is happening in the outer suburbs and exurbs of major and mid-sized cities.  Kotkin also theorizes that cities are rapidly devolving into a demographic donut:

  1. A downtown area full of well-to-do, gentry – businesspeople, technocrats, upper-middle-class empty-nesting retirees, and “the creative class”.
  2. The rest of the city – where the civil service class warehouses the poor.

The progressive political class tries to conceal this by inducing suburbs to increase the amount of “Affordable Housing” – but we’re going astray, here.

Accoridng to the Strib’s editorial last week, it appears that the outer and inner donut rings are getting too close together:

“Downtown has become everything to everybody,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, and that’s a problem. Few downtowns, he noted, have two major homeless shelters, along with the myriad social-services and outreach programs that have located downtown over the years.

Five will get you ten that this is followed by a call to move more of these facilities and services to the ‘burbs – so the people in the donut hole don’t have to deal with them.

“That may be something to rethink,” he said.

Huh.

So – for the past sixty years, the DFL has had iron-clad control over Minneapolis.   They created an interventionistic bureaucracy that fed off the welfare state, and created some of the worst income disparitie in the state.

And now they want someone to get the bums out of their perfectly-coiffed hair:

Panhandling is tougher to deal with, since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 — Reed vs. the town of Gilbert — has been widely interpreted as a prohibition on panhandling laws thought to restrict free speech. The high court did not make a specific ruling on that issue, but the Columbia Law Review recently noted that “there is a real danger that virtually all panhandling laws will be invalidated, even though some serve to protect pedestrians and others.” Because of the court’s decision, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the city’s panhandling laws are no longer enforced.

 

Aggressive panhandling is not benign, and it often is committed by individuals with mental-health problems and addictions. There have been reports of panhandlers confronting individuals and demanding money, even chasing them for “donations.” It is possible that more narrowly targeted laws, aimed at harassing behavior or specific locations, such as near ATMs and transit stops, could survive legal scrutiny. Minneapolis officials should undertake a serious effort to craft legally defensible alternatives, rather than leave an apparently unenforceable law on the books.

Or, Minneapolis could continue to shred through low-income jobs like they grow on trees, enforcing unsustainable, job-killing minimum wage laws and making affordable housing a government-controlled racket.

Maybe that’ll work this time.

Tomorrow – Never Never Land,