Shot In The Dark: Today’s News Fifteen Years Ago

Victor Davis Hanson notes something that could well become a Berg’s Law:  Republican Presidents are always “literally Hitler” until another Republiican is in office:

Once a Republican president loses an election or retires after two terms — and is followed by a liberal Democrat — his reputation hits bottom. But once a new Republican president enters office, the prior and now-powerless Republican ex-president is airbrushed into a model of statesmanship to contrast the ogre currently in the White House.

Republican presidencies are seen on a downward spiral of always becoming worse — by always redefining formerly despised presidents as at least better than their monstrous successors.

When a conservative president has the power to enact a conservative agenda, he is a media demon compared with his now-saintly Republican predecessors. Of course, in retirement, they have no power to do anything.

Such reinvention insidiously works to keep former Republican presidents quiet.

One wonders what rhetorical wonders await whomever wins the presidency after Trump…

Nick Coleman: Still A Monkey

The other day, I linked to an excellent Strib piece about my friend Sarah Cade – a liberal, millennial, biracial, female “gun nut”.

It’s an interesting story, and one that has to be terrifying Big Left, inasmuch as millennials are more likely to be pro-gun than anti (even after a few months of  puffing up David “Boss” Hogg).

And who should sound off in his sclerotic, concussed manner than our old pal Nick “The Monkey” Coleman.

Coleman – former “big cheese”f and the only liberal columnist too dumb and expensive to be kept on at the Strib, ever – turned his rheumy, sheets-to-the-windy eye to the piece with the same even handed logic that made him every blogger’s favorite kick-toy from 2002 until…well, until he pretty much disappeared.

Well, thanks, Nick.  Your opinion is worth – well, pretty much the same as the last ten years worth of your career prospects, ever since you graduated from “Moronic Clown” to “Turbo Clown”.

It’s Satire…

for now.  And, truth be told, will probably always stay that way.

After years of publishing distorted headlines, slanted news articles, and heavily biased news coverage, media giant CNN announced Friday that it has decided to launch a spinoff site that focuses on real news comprised of objective facts.

Dubbed “CNN: Real,” the site is designed to bring the news media empire into the arena of publishing real news, a step away from its roots as a channel that covers entirely fabricated stories and shamelessly spins all news into liberal talking points.

Up next – a spinoff Strib that isn’t a glorified DFL PR firm.

The Russians Are Coming!

NPR’s exhaustive investigation has turned up – with the complete cooperation of the NRA – a link to the Russians!

$2,500 worth.

The National Rifle Association has accepted contributions from about 23 Russians, or Americans living in Russia, since 2015, the gun rights group acknowledged to Congress.

The NRA said in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., unveiled on Wednesday, that the sum it received from those people was just over $2,500 and most of that was “routine payments” for membership dues or magazine subscriptions.

That’s less than one day of Chelsea Clinton’s “salary” when she was an NBC “correspondent”.

Watch for this to become the biggest “scandal” per dollar transacted in American history…

…if the establishment media can help it.

They Know What Matters!

If you were in the Twin Cities from about 1986 to the early nineties – after Channel 11 changed their call letters from WUSA to KARE – you probably remember their ubiquitous, supremely annoying branding campaign:  “we know what matters”.

Remember those?

Not sure KARE expected any but the dimmest viewers to think that the station was, in fact, the final arbiter of actual meaning.  It’s all what they call imaging in the business; “branding” in other businesses.  It all falls under the rubric of marketing; making people think there’s a reason to tune into your station rather than the other news stations in the market.

Everyone does it.

Including the dozens of stations owned by Sinclair.   Same basic idea – only their ads glom onto something that happens to be a hot subject these days – the fact that most Americans trust used care salesmen and meth addicts more than the media.  Here’s the script:

“Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.

(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.

(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.

(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.

(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback”

It’s topical, it’s powerful, and it is utterly factual.

And that makes Big Media all skittery:

This is not exactly a scandalous or groundbreaking message, but you’d think otherwise from observing the reactions from certain entertainers and members of the press.

The Washington Post, for example, referred to the video as “stunning,” and added that the anchors, “seemed to parrot one of President Trump’s favorite themes.” Which is kind of funny, because you could also say they’re parroting one of his critics’ favorite themes about fake news being shared around from untrustworthy sources.

Late-night host and on-again-off-again political commentator Jimmy Kimmel, who is himself no stranger to parroting a demagogue’s talking point, said of the Sinclair video, “this is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

And – this almost reads like parody – the man who took “fake news” mainstream 13 years ago, sounds off on the sanctity of…well, Dan Rather:

Dan Rather, who famously lost his job when he was caught trying to undermine the 2004 U.S. presidential election with forged documents, said: “News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

There are mornings I think “this nation can not possibly split into separate red and blue countries soon enough”.

 

 

Our Cravenly Dishonest Media

Channel 11 – which long since gave up any pretense of not being a DFL PR firm – notes that Remington, America’s oldest gun maker, has filed Chapter 11.

Now, people were talking about the likelihood, and even imminence, of Remington’s demise a solid year ago, as the Trump election caused panic-buying of guns (except in certain “progressive” circles) to slow down.

And before that, when people were panic-buying everything that looked like a gun, down to and including pop tarts chewed into gun shapes, people were pointing out that panic-buying was the only thing keeping Remington in business, so unsound was it even during the salad days of 2015-16.

So what did the Kare Bears have to say about it?

It also follows large student-led rallies across the United States calling for stricter gun laws after the mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida in February.

For that matter, it also follows most of March Madness, the Oscars, and the Tide Pod controversy.  Each of them had as  much to do with Remington’s troubles as the Potemkin Protests.

Censorship

Perhaps I’m not prominent enough a conservative for anyone to bother with censoring, but I haven’t been affected yet; my Facebook account remains untouched, my Twitter account (which I don’t use for much, as I hate Twitter with an abiding fury) hasn’t gotten messed with (other than continued stalking by a dissociative old duffer, which isn’t “Censorship” so much as “low comedy”), and generally things are OK.

Knock wood. know people like me are getting more and more rare in the world of conservative social media.

Factless Check

The problem with Snopes isn’t that they’re biased to the left (although they very well may be).

The problem with Snopes is – much like banished commenter Dog Gone – they seem to think “Big Left’s Current Cant” is interchangeable with fact.

As we see here, it just isn’t so.

Snopes.com recently fact-checked a post that we first put up in June 2015 and updated on January 7, 2016.  This became an issue for them because a story that Fox News’ Special Report that had run a couple years ago was getting circulated on Facebook after the Florida high school shooting.  They wrote: “Our conclusion is that this is accurate based on the CPRC’s definition of a mass shooting, but also extremely misleading. It uses inappropriate statistical methods to obscure the reality that mass shootings are very rare in most countries, so that when they do happen they have an outsized statistical effect.”

Watching the CPRC go on to flense Snopes’ claim is joyful thing.  Give it a read.

 

You Have The Right To Remain Off The Record. Should You Choose To Waive That Right…

“I accepted the results of an opinion poll taken in a country where it was illegal to hold certain opinions. You can imagine the poll-taking process: “Hello, Mr. Peasant, I’m an inquisitive and frightening stranger. God knows who I work for. Would you care to obstensibly support the dictatorship which controls every facet of your existence, or shall we put you down as in favor of the UNO opposition and just tear up your ration card right here and now?””

— P. J. O’Rourke, Give War A Chance

I got an email from Minnesota Public Radio news the other day.

And it was a tough call.

On the one hand, I generally think MPR News is above board.  Generally.

On the other, they have gotten funding for “gun violence” coverage from the Joyce Foundation which was, before Michael Bloomberg’s billions inundated the market, the biggest funder of criminal-safety groups in the US.  And while I can’t show a cause-and-effect relationship, I have my suspicions that that funding caused MPR to make some bad editorial decisions.  (I’ve asked MPR News for comment – but they don’t talk on an official basis with plebeians).

I thought about it.

Then I read the website the email linked to (images of survey provided below; click on them to see full size).

 

And I just have to ask (although MPR never answers questions) = are you serious?

Did anyone actually answer?

I mean, I would – I own no guns, because they terrify me, and I’d never shoot another human being for any reason.

But given MPR’s close ties to the Metro DFL, I would just love to know what they were thinking – and what they thought shooters would think.

Lie First, Lie Always: Lori Sturdevant, Bloomberg Parrot

In my sixteen years of writing this blog, punching bags have come and, mostly, gone.  Nick Coleman?  The MInnesota Monitor?  Mercury Rising?  Ken Weiner?  I’m still here.  They’re all gone.

But Lori Sturdevant?  She just keeps on ticking.

Maybe “ticking” isn’t the right word.  She keeps on scolding Minnesotans Republicans  for not acting like “Republicans” did (so says the myth Sturdevant pushes) in the sixties and seventies, where the MNGOP was basically Democrats in better suits, and in many cases ran to the left of the DFL.  This was, of course, at a time when Amerca, and Minnesota, had no competition; a time when the entire world was the US’, and Minnesota’s, market.    A time when business could thrive and pay confiscatory taxes and support hiring kids with high school diplomas to bolt headlight bezels onto Fords at the Highland Park plant for upper-middle-class wages with no worry about being uncompetitive – because there was no competition.

This is the world Lori Sturdevant pines for.

The “Good” Republican:   Dario Anselmo is the GOP rep from Edina.  As befits a Republican in a district that’s turning blue – clogged with refugees from Minneapolis’ accelerating failure, but who brought their brick-headed DFL politics with them – Anselmo is “purple”.  I get it – I get along with Rep. Anselmo OK, although I disagree with a bunch of his positions.

Including his very luke-coolness on 2nd Amendment issues.  Sturdevant points out that Anselmo is the son of Barbara Lund, a Duluth heiress who was murdered by her estranged husband in the early nineties.  His aunt it Joan Peterson, an erratic an impervious woman who has been one of the Minnesota gun grab movement’s leaders for a couple decades, now.

Anyway – Anselmo is a “moderate” Republican, which means “the example Sturrdevant wants the entire GOP to follow.   Now, I like Rep. Anselmo, and will hope he gets re-elected (he may actually be in line with Buckley’s Law, the most conservative candidate who can win in his district full of soccer moms and petty functionaries.

Reconstructive History:   But never let it be said Lori Sturdevant lets facts get in the way of her narrative – that the DFL is the same moderate party she grew up shilling for, and the GOP should strive for the same.

Anselmo says he likely would not be backing the universal background checks bill but for his family’s experience. He also sees gun violence from the perspective of a downtown Minneapolis property owner.

Which sounds good…

…until you remember that neither of Dave Pinto’s bills would have prevented Barbara Lund’s murder; the Gun Violence Protective Order bill would have done nothing; there were no domestic violence charges against Russell Lund.  From a PiPress article at the time:

Kim Lund would not say whether her father had ever flashed a violent temper or physically abused Barbara Lund. She said the slayings stunned her family.

“The problem is we don’t know what happened,’” she said. “We have to wait for the criminal justice system to do its role.”

And ‘Universal Background Checks” would have prevented neither the Lund murder nor the crime that vexes Anselmo around his Warehouse district bar, the “Fine Line”.   Criminals don’t take background checks now, and they won’t when they’re “Universal”.  .

Lori The Parrot:  The rest of the column is proof that the only things Lori Sturdevant knows about the issue, she was told over drinks at Murray’s by her friends in the Gun Grab “movement”, and seeks only to serve their ends:

The gun issue, too, seems to be swelling into something bigger than the perennial partisan wedge it has been for decades. Gun violence is so pervasive — especially when one counts suicides as well as homicides — that many Minnesotans now see it in personal terms.

Gun violence is down 50% in 20 years.  Gun violence is schools is down 75% in that same time.

In 2016, more than 38,000 Americans died gun-related deaths.

2/3 of which were suicides, not one of which would have been prevented by any of the DFL’s bills.

What’s more, a new generation is rising and — even in rural places — claiming a campaign to stem gun violence as its own.

Well, that’s the word the media is trying to get out – go counter the fact that the “new generation” may be more pro 2nd Amendment than mine. Which is saying something.

The Phantom Right:   Sturdevant trips into my new favorite topic:

They’re recasting the argument in personal and moral terms, asking whether someone else’s right to own a semiautomatic weapon should outweigh their right to go to school without being shot and killed.

They’re asserting a right to safety.

That may not be in the Bill of Rights. But woe be unto any democratic government that fails to secure it.

Which is a fraction of the woe that betides a “democratic government” that gets  this simple fact wrong:

There is no “right to safety”, 

No more than there is a “right not to get hit by lightning” or “right not to have a fire break out in your kitchen”, or “right not to get t-boned by a drunk driver” or “right not to get robbed”.   There is no right to t-bone people, and there’s certainly no right to rob people.    It’d be absurd as claiming that lightning or fire had a “right” to strike you.  And yet there is no “right” to be free of any of these things.

There is only a responsibility to protect  your family, your property, your community and your self from nature – natural and human.  And that includes a responsibility to protect the students that society has ordered be gathered in your care, or else.

Of course, Lori Sturdevant represents – shills and parrots for, really – a party and movement that has sought only to erode the notion of responsibility on every front, not just safety, for much longer than Sturdevant’s been in public life.

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.

 

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.