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?

Justifiable

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mainstream media is alarmed that internet sites provide fake news, leading innocent voters astray from The Truth which they ought to be getting from the mainstream media.  And since nobody is reading their content, the mainstream outlets are going to lay off staff and close offices which will exacerbate the problem as professional journalists are replaced by internet trolls blogging in their pajamas in the basement.

Missing the point.  The reason people read internet sites is because the mainstream media news sites are, themselves, fake news.  They only cover the stories they think are important.  The stories they do deign to cover are consistently slanted.  Millions of Americans know it and are desperate enough for full, honest news that they are willing to risk slogging through the gutter of internet sites to find the few gems.  And the reason they’re justified in doing so is that respectable internet sites have scooped mainstream media on noteworthy stories such as Powerline and Little Green Footballs exposing Dan Rather’s “fake but accurate” reporting on President Bush’s National Guard service.  

 If pajamas media has become a more reliable source of truthful news than mainstream media, extinction is what we should expect.  File this in the “Obsolete” file right next to “buggy whips.” 

 Joe Doakes

If the mainstream media doesn’t get its mission, as well as its business model, squared away sooner than later, that train will leave the station very soon.

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.

The Other Winners Last Tuesday

Other than the Trump campaign, and the people (should a conservative spring take hold)?

Us.  The alternative media.

We pounded the mainstream media in this election like a piece of WalMart veal.

After more than a decade of storming online to expose the national media as the serial-lying, double dealing, leftwing anarchists and activists they truly are, we have finally beaten them.

At long last our efforts to use truth to expose the media for what they truly are has resulted in these insulated, lying, cultural supremacists finding themselves so de-legitimized, so marginalized, so distrusted, disliked, and resented, that they could not do it … Summoning all of their mighty and evil powers, firing everything they had, leaving nothing on the field … they could not do it.

And the beauty of it is that the media’s targets were so precise. Everything they had was geared towards a fear-mongering hate campaign specifically designed to convince women, blacks, and Hispanics not to vote for Trump.

Moreover, the campaign was so dishonest that for 18 months we were told over and over again that the Precious Data proved poetic justice was on the way … that Trump would lose these groups by spectacular numbers.

All of those lies, all of that propaganda, and … they failed.

The “elite” media’s efforts in this past election indicates that they read the work of Dr. Albert Mehrabian – dealing with the role of media and “polling” to create a “bandwagon effect”, discouraging ones’ opponents from coming to the polls – just like I did.

Time To Ring In Some Changes

Back when conservative blogging was a large, signfiicant force in the 2004 elections, many of us pointed out consistently and clearly that the mainstream media’s consistent, overwhelming bias was going to render it irrelevant.

It didn’t happen right away – although the 2007 recession gutted ad revenues, which certainly accelerated the process – but this past election proved us right; even some parts of what we used to call the “MSM” are finally starting to figure it out:

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doingwhen he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.

Read the whole thing.

The PR Agency Of Record:  And Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the NYTimes, sent out a memo last week.  After an entire cycle carrying water for Hillary Clinton and getting pretty much absolutely everything wrong, they are “rededicating” themselves to…

accurate and honest reporting.

Is it “journalistic ethics”, or is it watching non-liberals turning off and unsubscribing in droves?

You be the judge.

BONUS QUESTION : Think you’ll see a similar memo from the Star/Tribune’s publishers?

Hah.  I made myself laugh.

The Eternal Genius Of Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman on election night: “The sky is falling and we’re all gonna die.”

A day later: “It’s not and we’re not, and anyone who takes Paul Krugman seriously had better hope they have a fat government pension to rely on”.

Paul Krugman; the most useful of idiots.

Note:  back during the Obama administration, when the poorly trained chimps in Minnesota’s leftyblogosphere panted “The Dow!  The Dow!” as evidence that the Obama economy was humming along, I pointed out – correctly – that that was a result of companies sitting on lots of cash in a zero-interest environment.  It was a bubble. They were creating few jobs, investing in little new plant; the Dow was a reflection of cash.

And it still is.

But I’m just trying to keep them consistent.  Which could keep an army of researchers busy, although not very interested.

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.

 

Garbage Out

There’s a meme going about – a corruption of “Godwin’s Law”, I think – that says “the first person to refer to Hitler loses”.   We’ve been through Godwin’s Law and its various permutations in the past.

But it did bring something to mind.

When I get into rhubarbs with liberals, it’s pretty much an even bet they’ll cite “data” and “sources” from ThinkProgress, a blog project of the Center for American “Progress”.

When this happens, I know (from history, no less) that the argument is over – because Think” “Progress” is in its entirety baked wind.

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.

All About The Ugly

Opposition researchers are pretty much paid to be ugly, catty and anal-retentive.

The City Pages would have you believe that the oppo-research battle in the House race in Apple Valley is worse than most.  And in its way, it is – although not for the reasons the City Pages wants you to believe.

It’s a battle between two younger women – Republican Ali Jimenez-Hopper and DFLer Erin Maye-Quade – and the oppo researchers working with both of them.

Everybody’s Doing It:  Maye-Quade – who the City Pages’ Mike Mullen notes is a “biracial, married lesbian with impeccable credentials [although no details about the “credentials” are given – more on that in a moment] who worked to get Barack Obama elected and gun control passed”, although no gun controls have passed in this state in decades – was the first target.  Says Mullen:

Maye Quade’s persona became the subject of scrutiny last week when conservatives dragged out a number of posts meant to throw her qualifications into question. “Macy Gray wrote a love song to a vibrator,” Maye Quade tweeted last year, “shocking no woman who has ever used one.”

It’s a good line. But not the kind DFLers want to see parading across the screens of suburban voters.

Other posts show her pissed off (“today can blow me,” she once wrote) or turned on (actor Rob Lowe is “masturbate in public sexy,” according to a January 2013 tweet).

I can give Maye-Quade a break for that.  I’ve long lamented the idea that anyone who wants to get into politics basically needs to spend every waking moment of their lives from childhood on guarding against any hint of impolitic impropriety if they ever want to “serve” the public in elective office.

Of course, the name rang a bell with me – and it brought us back to this episode, in 2010, where Maye, then employed by “The Uptake”, giggled ““I’m Editing.  I feel important because I can make people say things they may not have said.  Muhahaha”   It gave her a kick that she now had the power to use her job editing news content to affect the political process.

Which reminded me that there are many, many better reasons not to vote for Erin Maye-Quade.

So Where’s The Bad Part? – The DFL responded by digging out this bit of “dirt” against Ms. Jimenez-Hopper:

On June 14, two days after 49 people were killed in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Jimenez-Hopper told her Facebook followers she’s armed and ready to defend herself. She’s not going to die “in a helpless blubbering heap on the floor begging for my life or my child’s life.” Hardly the requisite “thoughts and prayers for the victims’ families” that Republicans like to trot out.

Anyone who doesn’t agree that one is better fighting back against violence than being a passive victim is beyond moral help.

And have you noticed the gotcha – Republicans who ask “thoughts and prayers for the victims’ families” are condemned for not supporting the right response, while those who don’t get hit for…well, not?

By the way, Ms. Jimenez-Hopper?  Don’t change a thing.

Another post seemed distinctly anti-feminist. Jimenez-Hopper shared a meme that stated women “weren’t created to do everything a man can do.” The candidate added: “Men and women are not equal… what we are is equally different.”

The horror.

I love that last bit.  Democrats – most of whom haven’t taken a hard science since high school at the latest – jabber about their respect for empiricism, and snark down their sleeves about the evolution-denying “young earth creationists” they think all Christian Republicans are.

And yet faced with the ineluctible fact that evolution has equipped men and women differently, for remorselessly empirical reasons, suddenly they go all faith-based – in this case, out of faith that the left’s social dogma is the one real truth?

I endorse Ms. Jimenez-Hopper, by the way.  Hopefully the good people of Apple Valley can smell the difference between reason and dogma.

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”.

The Club

Say what you will about Michael Brodkorb (and when I say “say what you will”, I don’t actually mean in the comment section of this post; I realize many of you really really don’t like the guy, and I get it, but that’s also not the subject of this thread; I have heard your objections and noted them)

But like Brodkorb or hate him, there’s little way around the conclusion that he was instrumental in breaking open the Grazzini-Rucki parental kidnapping case, for which Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was sentenced yesterday.   He did, in fact, the sort of thing that “journalists” used to see as their goal; telling stories – the whole stories – and comforting the afflicted by righting the wrongs against them.

Which is, of course, not what modern “journalism” is about.   Yeah, they have a political outcome in mind, naturally, at least at an institutional level – but for an awful lot of “journalists”, the biggest goal seems to be keeping their status as society’s “high priests of information” intact against the interlopers.

One of the lower high priests for the past thirty years has been Brian Lambert.  And he breaks down the “journalists’ conundrum; to hail someone who may have done one of the few notable works of actual journalism in Minnesota in recent years, or to admit that someone who “journos” regard as politically unclean (not so much for his present activities  as for his previous life as a no-holds-barred GOP operator, for which there is no statute of limitations) is not only one of them, but better at it than most of them?

Brian Lambert at the MinnPost is like most journalists, only moreso; while most Twin Cities “journalists” merely don’t have any conservatives in their daily social circles, Lambert has had an actual toe in DFL politics (he was hired to be then-Senator Mark Dayton’s press guy right in time for Dayton to leave office).

And Lambert runs down the real conundrum that Brodkorb presents the media:

The circus aspect of the [Grazzini-Rucki] case aside, the episode highlights a question asked more and more frequently as the business of news gathering fragments away from just a few major institutions and into the hands of activist citizens, people with more time and interest in a given story than traditional news organizations.

And that question is (with emphasis added by me)…:

Specifically, if Michael Brodkorb was practicing journalism by reporting steadily on the Grazzini-Rucki matter, is he then in effect a journalist entitled to First Amendment protections and collegial support afforded normal reporters?

In other words, can he go from not just a mere citizen, but a formerly very trayf one, to joining The Club?

And if so, why haven’t more journalists come to his defense in the wake of the restraining order, which among other things, he says, has left him confined to Dakota County this past week and taking calls from police for things he’s written since the order went out?

My guess – and let’s be honest, it’s more than just a guess – is because Brodkorb worked for “the bad guys”, and ate “the good guys'” lunch.

In fact, we get it in almost as many words:

Speaking for himself, Joe Spear, managing editor of the Mankato Free Press and the [Society of Professional Journalists’] current secretary, has some sympathy for Brodkorb’s predicament but agrees with the SPJ’s official decision to wait until after Thursday’s hearing before making a statement on the matter.

“It does appear [Brodkorb] was acting as a journalist, at least in some capacity. Although not in the same capacity as if he was working for the Star Tribune or another organization.

The hypocrisy is thick enough to cut with an axe.  Not only is the First Amendment not a toy reserved for people who get a check from a newspaper – it’s a right “of the people”, not “of people who work for the right organization”…

…but this is the same “Society of Professional Journalists” that gave an award to Karl Bremer, an irascible crank whose only real “journalistic” accomplishment was stalking Michele Bachman.  The award, by the way, was for…stalking Michele Bachmann.

No, I’m not exaggerating; here’s Lambo’s long-time colleague David Brauer:

Bremer uncovered stories about Bachmann that the mainstream media missed and later got around to reporting, Brauer said.

“You can argue that his pursuit of Michele Bachmann was at times obsessive and excessive, but, really, I think … we need approaches like Karl’s,” Brauer said. “We need people to remind us that journalists can be hellraisers and rabble rousers and opinionated. He added facts to the debate.”

In other words, Karl Bremer did exactly what Michael Brodkorb did – covered something the mainstream media didn’t (or, in the case of stalking Michele Bachmann, couldn’t do while maintaining an illusion of decorum).

But Bremer covered the right people, while Brodkorb largely bedeviled the “journalists’s” drinking buddies and in many cases, let’s be honest, future employers.

We wouldn’t be having this discussion if Brodkorb hadn’t switched his sights to Keith Downey.

Oh, and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

Survey

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at work in his home office.  His phone rings.  

BERG:  Hello?

POLLSTER:  Hello.  I’m Kandi, a pollster working on a combined study commissioned by Harvard University, Northeastern University, the Trace and the Guardian, four organizations dedicated to disarming Americans by any means, fair or foul.  If you have a few moments to spare, I’d like to ask you some questions about gun ownership.

BERG:  Go ahead.

POLLSTER:   How many guns do you own?

BERG:  How many guns am I going to admit I own to an anonymyous rep for  four organizations that are dedicated to ensuring that Americans are disarmed, docile sheep,?

POLLSTER:   That’s correct!

BERG:  None!  Guns are scary!

POLLSTER:  So that’s no guns, then?

BERG:  As far as you know.

POLLSTER:  Wow. It’s amazing how the number of gun owners is dropping, according to our Fact-Based Research ®.

BERG:  It is, isn’t it?  Absolutely astounding.

SURVEY:  We’re also finding three percent of American adults own 50% of the guns!

BERG:  Huh.  I’m also gonna guess 3% of American adults own 50% of the iPhone 7s, and roughly .000001 of all Americans own 90% of all newspapers.

SURVEY:  No comment!

BERG:  Naturally.

SURVEY:  Now, if you did buy a gun, why would you buy one?  Are you a hunter, a target shooter, or would you buy a gun due to fear?

BERG:  If I did have a gun, which I don’t, as I already told you, it’d be for self-defense.

POLLSTER:  OK.  “Fear”.

BERG:  No, self-defense.  A prudent response to the vicissitudes of human nature.

POLLSTER:  Right.  Fear.

BERG:  Nope.  A rational, prudent assessment of and response to life’s actual risks, based on data, ability and experience.

POLLSTER:  Right.  We call that “fear”.  It’s just a category.

BERG:  Naturally.  Hey, someone’s calling…

POLLSTER:  I didn’t hear a click…

(But BERG has already hung up the phone).

And SCENE.