Archive for Clay Waters

NYT’s Fuller’s Bizarre Take on First Amendment at Berkeley: ‘Can Cause Physical Pain’

<p>The <em>New York Times</em>’ Thomas Fuller filed from Berkeley, where the journalist offered some disturbing ambivalence about the whole First Amendment thing, a tone evident in the headline: “Let Right-Wing Speakers Come to Berkeley? Faculty Is Divided.” It’s a pattern at the <em>Times</em>, with recent pieces suggesting free speech was merely a “canard” used by right-wing racists.</p>

NYT Takes Iran’s Side Over Trump’s ‘Angry Ranting’ in U.N. Image Wars

<p><em>New York Times</em> reporter Rick Gladstone’s report from the United Nations made the pitiful claim that President Trump’s “angry ranting” had made Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani look good: “Critics Fear Jabs at Iran May Backfire On President.”<strong> </strong>Gladstone wrote: "President Trump’s bombastic attacks on Iran over the nuclear deal may have created an unanticipated outcome: sympathy for the Iranian government. Disarmament advocates and other critics of Mr. Trump’s approach to Iran say that while his threats to renounce the accord may sit well with conservative allies, they also risk damaging the credibility of the United States."</p>

NYT’s Convenient Concern for Deficits Resurfaces as GOP Talks Tax Cuts

<p>Like the changing of the seasons, the front of Wednesday’s <em>New York Times</em> featured journalists suddenly rediscovering the national deficit, at least when Republicans are threatening to cut tax rates: “G.O.P. Senators Embrace Plan For Tax Cut That Adds to Deficit.” Such sudden concern for deficits tend to occur among journalists during Republican presidencies or whenever Republicans threaten tax cuts. Reporters Alan Rappeport and Thomas Kaplan led off by insinuating Republican hypocrisy: "Senate Republicans, abandoning a key fiscal doctrine...." Yet Sanders' budget-busting "Medicare for All" proposal didn't trigger the Times' delicate deficit sensibiliites.</p>

NYT’s Galanes Commiserates With Hillary, ‘Ugly Betty’ Actress Over ‘Future of Democacy’

<p>The <em>New York Times’</em> resident chatterer Philip Galanes took his usual perch on the front of the paper’s Sunday Styles for his “Table for Three” Q&A, with Hillary Clinton and “Ugly Betty” actress America Ferrara, “Pain and Progress After 2016 -- Hillary Clinton on the election’s emotional toll and a path forward.” Among the many pretentious photo captions from the late lunch at the Lambs Club in Manhattan, which transpired a few days before Clinton’s book was released: “Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Ferrera and Philip Galanes discussed the future of democracy.”</p>

Newsweek Cover Story Looks Back to the ‘90s in Anger to Defend Bill Clinton, Bash the Right

<p>The long essay-cover story of<em> Newsweek</em>’s September 15 issue by journalist David Friend<em> </em>looked intriguing: <em>“</em>Before Trump Was President, Online Sex Videos, Bill Clinton and the Naughty '90s Changed America.” Yet Friend's real targets weren't the Clintons themselves, but the Clintons’ awful right-wing enemies, the embarrassing people who dared accuse him of sexual harassment, and of course, Donald Trump. Anita Hill’s bizarre, unsubstantiated allegations against Clarence Thomas were passed over. Other villains of the piece included Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge.</p>

NY Times’ Burns Cites ‘Terrifying Weather’ as Sign of ‘Urgent Threat’ of Climate Change

<p>The damage from Hurricane Irma may have been less than feared, but the <em>New York Times</em> won’t give up using it as a cynical prod to enact costly legislation and regulation in the name of fighting “climate change” while portraying Republicans as stubborn fools for standing in the way and who will hopefully get swamped by a surging floodtide of public opinion (a prediction the media keeps making, in vain). Alexander Burns reported in Friday’s <em>New York Times</em>, “As Severe Storms Shift Climate Debate, G.O.P. Leaders Remain Unbent."</p>

Atlantic’s Trump-Hating Contributor Also Hits Press for Overreaction and Opinionizing

<p>The October 2017 issue of <em>The Atlantic</em> was devoted to “The Trump Presidency – A Damage Report,” part of which has already been covered at Newsbusters. Editor Jeffrey Goldberg introduced the issue’s theme in his opening Editor’s Note, “The Autocratic Element,” while one of his contributors also blamed the liberal press for (in Bob Woodward’s phrase) “binge-drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid.”</p>

Atlantic’s Trump-Hating Contributor Also Hits Press for Overreaction and Opinionizing

<p>The October 2017 issue of <em>The Atlantic</em> was devoted to “The Trump Presidency – A Damage Report,” part of which has already been covered at Newsbusters. Editor Jeffrey Goldberg introduced the issue’s theme in his opening Editor’s Note, “The Autocratic Element,” while one of his contributors also blamed the liberal press for (in Bob Woodward’s phrase) “binge-drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid.”</p>

New York Times Has No Fun With Fall Movies: ‘White People Just Need to Do Better’

<p>The <em>New York Times’</em> most doctrinaire movie critics, Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott, had another tiresome conversation hosted in Sunday’s edition injecting race, class, and feminist politics into the theatre-going experience: “When Even the Movies Can’t<strong> </strong>Unite Us.”<strong> </strong>They examined the fall and winter movie crop and found “while some of the season’s new movies will offer relief from real-world troubles (that’s entertainment!), others will invariably engage the cultural and social division, suspicion and recrimination that afflict the present moment.” </p>

NYT’s Flegenheimer Can’t Stand Cruz, But Adores Liberal Female Senators

<p>The<em> New York Times</em> featured another jab at that reliable target of liberal media loathing, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Reporters have been tittering at the thought of the fiscal conservative being obliged to change his tune to secure help for his home state of Texas, battered by Hurricane Harvey. NYT reporter Matt Flegenheimer took his turn in Saturday's “Trump and Harvey Push Cruz to Adjust His Style.” The online headline was slightly smarmy: “Ted Cruz 2.0? Senator Adjusts With Trump in Office and Houston Under Water.”</p>

NYT’s Dual DACA Defense: Reporter Tugs Heartstrings, Krugman Cries Racism

<p>Immigration is the issue where the <em>New York Times’ </em>liberal lean is most obvious, a truth underlined in Friday’s edition, showing the paper still grieving over President Trump’s decision to eliminate the unilateral, constitutionally dubious Obama administration diktat, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which temporarily protected from deportation illegals who came to the United States as children. </p>

NYT’s Fausset Uses Hurricane to Chide Anti-D.C. Rhetoric, ‘Bizarre’ Conservatism of Texas

<p><em>New York Times</em> reporter Richard Fausset once again chided the "bizarre" conservative, anti-Washington sentiment of Texas after Hurricane Harvey, seeming to appreciate the red state being brought down a peg in his story for Tuesday’s front page, “After Proudly Defying Washington, Hard-Hit Texas Needs Its Aid.”</p>

Boston Globe Front Page Gives Sen. Warren a Hillary-Style Religious Aura, Skips Abortion

<p>The humanizing (or spiritualizing) of liberal favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren continues apace, as reporter Victoria McGrane employed the Hillary Clinton handbook, on the front page of Sunday’s <em>Boston Globe</em>. It’s the latest example of “sudden respect” for religion in the liberal press. Just as the media tried to imbue pro-choice, hard-core liberal Hillary with an aura of religiosity, McGrane performs the miracle for Warren in “For Warren, faith is (quietly) critical to her public life: Tells Atlanta church ‘there's Jesus in<strong> </strong>every one of us.’” The story strangely omitted all mention of gay marriage or abortion, two issues where she does not line up with Biblical commands.</p>

Still ‘Dreaming’ of Amnesty: NYT Warns Trump Off ‘Hard-Hearted’ Plan to Kill DACA

<p><em>New York Times </em>reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis filed the paper’s latest passionate defense of an amnesty plan for young (and not-so-young) illegals -- Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA -- in Saturday’s edition. Warning that Trump risked appearing "particularly hardhearted," (even more than usual?) Davis shamelessly used Hurricane Harvey as a political weapon to prop up the initiative put in place by President Obama in 2012, after Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act, in “Storm Complicates a Decision on Whether to Keep ‘Dreamers’ Program.”</p>

NYT Piles on Hurricane to Lament Houston’s ‘Untrammeled Growth,’ ‘Laissez-Faire’ Policies

<p>Showing the timeliness and sensitivity it’s renowned for, the political left is using the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey in Houston to excoriate it as an example of an untrammeled free market run amok, and suggests such laissez-faire policies made the damaging storm even more dangerous. The front page of Thursday’s <em>New York Times</em> featured Manny Fernandez and Richard Fausset's “A Limitless City, Now Envisioning New Limitations -- Progress, With a Price -- A History of Sprawl at Odds With the Forces of Nature.” From that liberal headline you know what's coming. Sure enough Fernandez, who finds Texans “ultraconservative” and shifting “further to the far right,” thinks Houston's free-market policies have doomed it to environmental danger.</p>

NYT Uses Texas Hurricane to Gin Up Front-Page Sympathy for Frightened Illegals

<p>The front page of Wednesday’s <em>New York Times</em> was properly dominated by the damage Hurricane Harvey is wreaking in Texas. But reporters Simon Romero and Miriam Jordan took advantage of the tragedy to press the paper’s amnesty agenda in “An Uneasy Time for Immigrants, And Then the Rain Began to Fall.” Hinting headline aside, the Border Patrol was not conducting routine enforcement in shelters. But the reporters let the accusation linger. For the Times, the story is not so much about the danger posed of the hurricane as the imagined danger to illegal immigrants posed by the U.S. Border Patrol, even those patrol members sent in to help the relief effort.</p>

NYT Reporter Does Hard Sell for ‘Dreamers’ to Keep Trump From Killing Obama Amnesty

<p>Pushing amnesty for illegal immigrants is the <em>New York Times’</em> long-term obsession, and the one where the media outlet’s liberal bias shows through the clearest. The lead national story on Monday, featured reporter Miriam Jordan on the paper’s immigration beat selling an Obama-era initiative to keep illegals in the country: “Program That Lifted 800,000 Immigrant ‘Dreamers’ Is at Risk.” The story led the National section, crammed with sympathetic pictures and photo captions that strove to sell the readership on yet another sympathetic tales of striving illegal immigrants (er, “undocumented immigrants”) at risk of being deported.</p>

NYT Mag Eagerly Interviews Its Favorite Conservative: Conservative-Bashing Charlie Sykes

<p>The media’s new favorite conservative, recently retired Milwaukee political talk show host Charlie Sykes, was predictably lauded bin the August 27 edition of the <em>New York Times</em>' <em>Magazine.</em> Sykes<em> </em>spoke to the magazine’s<em> </em>Ana Marie Cox, a liberal journalist who has a regular slot on the Talk page at the back of the paper’s Sunday magazine where she talks to personalities from various fields, but often she focuses on fawning over liberal guests and challenging conservatives.</p>

NYT Scandalized By Trump’s Pardon of Arpaio; Supported Obama’s Clemency for Leaker Manning

<p>President Trump’s pardon of controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, scourge of illegal immigrants and a promoter of the “birther” conspiracy theory about Barack Obama, made the front of Sunday’s <em>New York Times</em>. Legal reporter Adam Liptak began the chorus of disapproval with “President Pardon of Arpaio Follows the Law, Yet Challenges It.” Yet the same paper treated another controversial presidential action -- the commutation of military secrets leaker Bradley Manning – in quite sympathetic tones.</p>

NY Times’ Rogers Mocks Trump DC Hotel, Eating Habits of Trump Family, on Page One

<p><em>New York Times</em> reporter Katie Rogers is a kind of pop-social reporter in D.C. in the Trump era, and has little love for the people she covers. Rogers made the front page of Saturday’s edition with some snarky that seems a few months past its sell-by date: “Trump Hotel by Night: Lobbyists, $60 Steaks.” One would think sophisticated big-city <em>Times</em> editors would know $60 isn’t really all that much to pay for a steak in D.C. But it’s a small price to pay for a dig at Trump, apparently. Rogers was far kinder to Chelsea Clinton in April, in a celebration of the privileged president’s daughter and her...Twitter feed.</p>

Trump Attacks on Media Reliably Drive NYT Into Hysterics: ‘Ugly Edge’ ‘Will Get People Hurt’

<p><em>New York Times</em> media reporter Jim Rutenberg dominated the front page of Business Day Thursday, showing his paranoia toward Trump and his media-loathing fans in “Target Practice – Trump’s latest attack on journalism has a particularly ugly edge.” His colleague, columnist Nicholas Kristof, warned that "Trump will get people hurt" with his rhetorical attacks on his enemies in the press.</p>

NYT Times Critic Sees ‘White Hot Supremacist Summer’ in TV, Movies, Boxing Ring

<p>Wesley Morris, the <em>New York Times</em> critic at large with a focus (or obsession) with race in entertainment, declared a “white supremacy summer” on television and in the movies in a long essay posted Wednesday, “In Movies and on TV, Racism Made Plain.” Earlier headlines were even more provocative: “In Virginia and on TV, A Supremacist Summer,” and the URL suggests that the phrase “white hot supremacist summer” made a headline appearance as well.</p>

Total Eclipse of Objectivity: NYT Activist Reporter’s Baby Talk on Climate Change

In Sunday’s New York Times, the paper’s most activist environmental reporter Justin Gillis, who has a knack for getting scary yet inaccurate stories on the paper’s front page, delivered a condescending lecture to the effect that if you believe an eclipse will occur on Monday, then you’d better believe everything “science” tells you about “climate change” as well, in “Should You Trust Climate Science? Maybe the Eclipse Is a Clue.” Of course, neither Gillis nor anyone else could tell you for certain whether there will be clouds blocking your view of the eclipse tomorrow, but they’ve got the weather for the next century locked in?

It’s the latest climate change article from the Times evidently written for children

Straight from the lead, you can see where Gillis is going:

Eclipse mania will peak on Monday, when millions of Americans will upend their lives in response to a scientific prediction.

….

Thanks to the work of scientists, people will know exactly what time to expect the eclipse. In less entertaining but more important ways, we respond to scientific predictions all the time, even though we have no independent capacity to verify the calculations. We tend to trust scientists.

For years now, atmospheric scientists have been handing us a set of predictions about the likely consequences of our emissions of industrial gases. These forecasts are critically important, because this group of experts sees grave risks to our civilization. And yet, when it comes to reacting to the warnings of climate science, we have done little.

….

Considering this most basic test of a scientific theory, the test of prediction, climate science has established its validity.

That does not mean it is perfect, nor that every single prediction is correct. While climate scientists have forecast the long-term rise of global temperatures pretty accurately, they have not been as good -- yet -- about predicting the short-term jitters.

In other fields, we do not demand absolute certainty from our scientists, because that is an impossible standard.

….

When your aging mother is found to have cancer, the recommended treatment will be rooted in a statistical model of how tumors respond to the available medicines. Your family is likely to follow that advice, even though you know the drugs are imperfect and may not save her.

We trust scientific expertise on many issues; it is, after all, the best advice we can get. Yet on climate change, we have largely ignored the scientists’ work. While it is true that we have started to spend money to clean up our emissions, the global response is in no way commensurate with the risks outlined by the experts. Why?

….But a bigger reason is that these changes threaten vested economic interests. Commodity companies benefit from exploiting forests. Fossil-fuel companies, to protect their profits, spent decades throwing up a smoke screen about the risks of climate change.

Most of them now say they have stopped funding climate denial, but they still finance the careers of politicians who say they are skeptical of climate science and who play down the risks.

….

They tell us that under a worst-case scenario, it might get so hot across large parts of the world that people would be unable to work outdoors without risking death. They tell us that we stand a good chance of causing the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals in the Earth’s history.

Gillis urged his students, er readers, to heed his scientific wisdom and those of climate change alarmists, those modern day Galileos, but with government grant money.

These kinds of forecasts are painful to consider. By contrast, something like a solar eclipse is just fun. But as you watch it on Monday, spare a moment to think about the role of science in society.

….

Think about Galileo standing in the dock of the Inquisition, forced to recant his belief that the Earth moves around the sun. Legend has it that he whispered under his breath: “And yet it moves.” Think about the centuries of patient effort that followed to work out the precise motions of the solar system, now understood so thoroughly that we can use them to predict eclipses centuries in advance.

If you respect and honor the scientists who did this work, then spare another moment to think about the scientists whose work is under attack today, and why.

 

NY Times Front Page: Race-Baiting Trump Has Doomed GOP (Once Again)

Republicans are doomed, once again, this time on the front of Thursday’s New York Times: Split in Party After Remarks on Racial Past -- Political Class Recoils; Voter Base Cheers.” The online headline is blunter: “Trump’s Embrace of Racially Charged Past Puts Republicans in Crisis,” reported by Jeremy Peters, Jonathan Martin, and Jack Healy.

None of those reporters are renowned for giving Republicans an even break, and they take glee in shoveling dirt on a party that their paper has consigned to the ashbin so many times before (including before the last election), using some of the same Republican voices that were wrong then to do the work.

President Trump’s embrace of the country’s racially charged past has thrown the Republican Party into crisis, dividing his core supporters who have urged him on from the political leaders who fear that he is leading them down a perilous and shortsighted path.

The divisions played out in the starkly different responses across the party after Mr. Trump insisted that left-wing counterprotesters were as culpable as neo-Nazis and white supremacists for the bloodshed in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. Much of the right was ecstatic as they watched their president fume against the “violent” left and declare that “very fine people” were being besmirched for their involvement in the demonstration.

To characterize Trump's statement "as culpable" is a stretch, and he was correct to say that both sides committed violence in Charlottesville, as recognized by the paper's own reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who tweeted about "club-wielding 'antifa'" before she was forced to apologize for actually committing reporting.

Much of the party’s political class, however, was in shock. Former Presidents George and George W. Bush issued a rare joint rebuke of Mr. Trump’s stance, saying hate should be rejected “in all forms.”

And among younger Republicans there was a sense that the damage would be profound and enduring.

....

The political blow that Mr. Trump has sustained is deep and worsening. Barely one-third of Americans now say they approve of the job he is doing, according to two polls released this week -- a fresh low for a president who was already among the most unpopular in modern times.

....

“The political price we may pay almost should be catastrophic,” said Mike Murphy, a longtime Republican strategist. “A hanging in the morning will clarify the mind.”

But Mr. Trump’s tenacious base sees in the Charlottesville fallout something to cheer: a field general leading the latest charge in the battle to take their country back. Much as Mr. Trump promised he would restore America to its lost greatness during his presidential campaign -- a vow that, to many, clanged with sentimentality for a whiter, less tolerant nation -- he is using symbols of the Confederacy to tell conservatives that he will not allow liberals to blot out their history and heritage.

....

Conservatives like Ms. Piercy, who have grown only more emboldened after Charlottesville, believe that the political and media elite hold them and Mr. Trump to a harsh double standard that demands they answer for the sins of a radical, racist fringe. They largely accept Mr. Trump’s contention that these same forces are using Charlottesville as an excuse to undermine his presidency, and by extension, their vote.

But Republicans who are looking at the country’s rapidly changing demographics -- growing younger, less white and more urban -- say Mr. Trump’s Republican Party is not the party of the future.

The Times provided more publicity for anti-Trump Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who is touting a new book:

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has written a new book excoriating the “Faustian bargain” his party made with Mr. Trump, said on Wednesday that being complicit now would extract a big political price later. “We’ve got to stand up to these kinds of things if we want to be a governing majority in the future,” he said.

The front-page hit strung together disparate pieces of evidence, while tarring Republicans with the same “far right” label the paper uses to describe actual neo-Nazis.

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Yet for many Republicans, evidence that a more inflammatory wing of the party is ascendant is hard to ignore. The party’s far right claimed a victory on Tuesday night when Roy S. Moore, the former Alabama chief justice who was removed twice from the bench, won the most votes in the state’s primary election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s vacant Senate seat.

....

When Mr. Moore spoke to a congregation in Jasper, Ala., this week, he did not mention the events in Charlottesville, nor did anyone else. He did, however, receive a round of head nods for declaring, “We’re living in the most apostate civilization in the history of the world,” a statement that echoed the so-called alt-right’s castigation of liberal “degeneracy.”

No matter what congressional Republicans do, it will not satisfy liberal journalists.

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate majority leader, issued a short statement that declared, “There are no good neo-Nazis.” Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin put out a harshly worded denunciation of white supremacy, but his swipe at Mr. Trump was indirect. “There can be no moral ambiguity,” he said. (The Bushes also did not name Mr. Trump in their condemnation of racial hatred.)

Those who singled him out, like Senator Jerry Moran, Republican of Kansas, were in the minority. “White supremacy, bigotry and racism have absolutely no place in our society, and no one -- especially the president of the United States -- should ever tolerate it,” Mr. Moran wrote.

The Times finally let "a loyal supporter" have a say -- in paragraph 23.

Like the president, Mr. Trump’s most loyal supporters dismiss his critics as opportunists. They see the charges that Mr. Trump is too accommodating of racists as an accusation that they must be racist, too.

“He was being realistic about what was going on,” said Denise O’Leary, a medical assistant in Wichita. Ms. O’Leary wondered why no one else was coming down on the leftist demonstrators. “There was violence on both sides, there was,” Ms. O’Leary said. “We need to be honest about that.”

NYT’s Fox News Obsession, Contempt Boils Over on Thursday: 'Presidential Safe Space'

The New York Times’ obsessive contempt for Fox News boiled over in its hysterical coverage in Thursday’s edition of Trump’s comments in the aftermath of Charlottesville.

Jonah Engel Bromwich’s brief piece on a tweet from the media’s preferred president managed to lump neo-Nazis and Fox News fans together: “A Charlottesville Tweet by Obama Is the Most Liked of All Time.”

Barack Obama’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., became the most-liked tweet in Twitter’s history Tuesday night, according to representatives for the social media platform.

The former president’s tweet, sent out Saturday evening, paired a quote from Nelson Mandela’s 1994 autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” with a picture of Mr. Obama smiling up at a diverse group of young children.

Bromwich penned a credulous story on the dubious incident last December of two stunt video hoaxers (fakes on a plane)supposedly removed from a Delta Airlines flight for speaking Arabic on a cellphone. On Thursday, he carelessly lumped in Fox News watchers with white supremacists while comparing President Trump unfavorably to Obama.

His tweet provided a contrast to President Trump’s equivocal responses to the protests in Charlottesville. The protests developed out of a rally organized by white nationalists and resulted in the death of one counterprotester. Mr. Trump, in his early response to the episode, condemned the violence on “many sides.”

Mr. Obama’s tweet passed Ms. Grande’s on the same day that Mr. Trump repeated his criticism of “both sides” in Charlottesville in an impromptu question-and-answer session. His remarks stunned many politicians, media personalities and even members of his own staff. But they prompted cheers from his supporters on Fox News, as well as the prominent white supremacists David Duke and Richard Spencer.

Times media reporter Michael Grynbaum had fun reporting Fox host Eboni Williams’ criticism of Trump: “A Fox News Host Criticizes Trump, and Some Viewers Bristle.” The text box: “A dissenting voice in a usually safe space for the president.”

Fox News, television’s equivalent of a presidential safe space, kept up its steadfast defense of President Trump even as he faced an uproar this week over his response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia last Saturday. Anchors like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson praised the president and lauded his bare-knuckle criticism of the news media.

Those are nervy words from Grynbaum, who previously attacked fellow journalist Matt Lauer for not providing a sufficiently safe space for Hillary Clinton during a tough interview, and whose own newspaper provided eight years of protection for President Obama, constantly calling his opponents far-right and racially motivated.

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But notably, some pundits broke ranks. Eboni K. Williams, a host of the 5 p.m. show “The Specialists,” derided Mr. Trump in exceptionally blunt terms, calling his initial remarks about the rally “cowardly and dangerous” and accusing the president of minimizing “blatant, flagrant hatred” rather than risk roiling a portion of his base.

It was the kind of unvarnished criticism that Fox News usually outsources to liberal guests — and Ms. Williams, who is African-American, said that her words had come with a price.

In the days since her segment aired, Ms. Williams said she had received nearly 150 menacing messages from people who denounced her remarks and called her a traitor, a racist, a “disgrace,” and anti-American. Some of the messages, she said, implied an intent to harm, and she said she requested and received a security escort from Fox News.

....

Not every viewer has been pleased. “I couldn’t get to the remote soon enough” to change the channel, one Twitter user wrote on Wednesday, after Ms. Williams again criticized Mr. Trump on the air. Another wrote: “I wonder if @FoxNews now regrets the divisive hateful words spewed out of the nasty mouth” of Ms. Williams.

Mr. Hannity and other anchors, including the morning show hosts on “Fox & Friends,” rarely question the president, and several of them recently dined with Mr. Trump at the White House. Rupert Murdoch, Fox News’s executive chairman, is a regular adviser to Mr. Trump, even counseling him on the fate of Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist.

After leading with the “safe space” crack, Grynbaum admitted later:

But Mr. Trump has his critics on Fox News. Juan Williams regularly battles with his pro-Trump co-hosts on the prime-time show “The Five.” The daytime news anchor Shepard Smith can offer up tough criticism. “So far we’ve been unable to find the very fine people protesting with the white supremacists,” he said sarcastically on Wednesday’s broadcast, referring to Mr. Trump’s assertion that “very fine people” were among the demonstrators in Charlottesville.

....

Ms. Williams, a lawyer who formerly worked at CBS News, said in the interview Wednesday that her superiors at Fox News had not expressed concern.

“I’ll tell you the truth, if they had said anything, it would have shocked me,” she said. “I’m no puppet for the network. I call Fox as I see Fox. And for me it’s been a positive experience. It’s not been a perfect experience, but I’m there because the good outweighs the bad.”

NYT Turns ISIS Report Against Trump for Failing to Mention ‘Rise in Attacks’ on US Muslims

The New York Times' Gardiner Harris came up with a Trump-centric spin on an annual report about religious persecution worldwide, which this year focused on the terrorists of ISIS, in his Wednesday report “Islamic State Criticized As Persecutor In U.S. Report.” The text box: “Singling out ISIS in a study of threats to religious freedom.” Harris had some other threats in mind: The Trump administration, for one, both for attacks on Muslims and for failing to bring more in as refugees.

As if piling on President Trump, already under fire for his response to the events in Charlottesville, Harris wasted no time turning his rhetorical fire from ISIS to America. Here’s the lead paragraph:

The Trump administration criticized the Islamic State on Tuesday for its persecution of religious minorities but made no mention of a recent rise in attacks against Muslims in the United States, as it released the government’s annual accounting of religious persecution around the world.

....

[Secretary of State Rex Tillerson] went on to declare that the Islamic State was “clearly responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims in areas it controls or has controlled.” The comments were part of the formal release of the International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, an annual accounting required by Congress of threats to religious freedom around the world.

But never mind those atrocities; the real story was Trump, and a “spike” in violence against Muslims in the United States that the journalist Gardiner mentions but doesn’t bother to substantiate in his anti-Trump news story:

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Missing from Tuesday’s report was any mention of a spike in acts of violence and bigotry against Muslims in the United States, widely reported in the wake of last year’s election. Nor did the report take note of President Trump’s proposal as a candidate to ban the entry of all Muslims into the United States, or his subsequent orders to bar the entry of refugees or citizens from seven (later reduced to six) predominantly Muslim countries.

The report listed threats to religious freedom in 199 countries, but the United States was not on the list.

“We do not rate ourselves,” said Ambassador Michael Kozak of the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. In a press briefing after Mr. Tillerson spoke, he added, “I would put our record on religious freedom up against anybody in the world.”

The report recognized that the resettlement of refugees suffering religious persecution was “a vital tool” but failed to acknowledge that the Trump administration had severely restricted the entry of all refugees into the United States.

“Every year, unfortunately, there are way, way more refugees than any country can take,” Mr. Kozak said when asked about the seeming incongruity.

Why is Harris so hostile about such a seemingly bipartisan concern as religious freedom? Maybe because certain political groups are paying attention:

Threats against Christians abroad have been a focus of concern for conservatives in the United States, and in May Mr. Trump released a statement denouncing the “merciless slaughter” of Christians in Egypt.

Well, at least the Times didn’t put the phrase “religious freedom” in  scare quotes:

Mr. Tillerson’s decision in March to skip the traditional personal announcement of an annual human rights report, led to widespread condemnation. Mr. Tillerson has appeared less comfortable with the public diplomacy part of his job. Both Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have said that the protection of religious freedom is a priority.

NYT’s Peters Sneers About Trump’s ‘Many Sides’ Comment, Snarls at Conservatives on Twitter

Hours before President Trump's contentious Tuesday press conference, New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters’ story on President Trump’s controversial response to the racist violence and killing in Charlottesville was posted online: “Theories Abound Over Meaning of Trump’s ‘Many Sides’ Remark.

Peters did talk to some conservative media and was thus able to provide some useful countervailing facts about left-wing protester violence from the likes of the window-smashing, bat-wielding “anti-fascist” movement Antifa. Those facts would probably be news to a Times readership that wouldn’t have read about them in the paper. But Peters' usual hostility to the GOP was on full view, this time with extra Twitter snarling at conservatives:

There is no shortage of theories about why President Trump was so cagey in blaming “many sides” for the white supremacist-fueled violence in Virginia over the weekend.

Some suggested the president did not want to alienate whites who voted for him out of a sense of racial grievance. Others said he was offering his white nationalist supporters a wink and a nod. Yet another concluded advisers like Stephen K. Bannon must be influencing the president in dark ways.

But there is an alternate explanation, one that is espoused by many on the right and repeated on an almost daily basis in the conservative news media that consumes so much of the president’s attention and energy.

In this version of events, a violent and dangerous left fringe is ignored by news media that would rather elevate far-right extremism as the nation’s more urgent threat. This view of the left as unhinged and anarchistic has become popular with some Republicans who insist that Democrats still refuse to accept Mr. Trump. They seek to stoke powerful emotions behind perceptions of excessive political correctness and media bias.

In his reluctance to pin the blame on any one element of the protests, Mr. Trump seems to have concluded what many other conservatives did about the tragedy in Charlottesville, Va.: As tragic as it was, it was incited by a small, unrepresentative group of bigots purporting to speak for the right whose antics would be exhaustively covered in the news.

He quoted Federalist publisher Ben Domenech and included a recent Federalist headline: “White Supremacists Were Not the Only Thugs Tearing Up Charlottesville”:

Mr. Trump and conservatives have pointed to several recent episodes as evidence of the left gone mad. They include the comedian Kathy Griffin’s posing for a picture with a fake severed Trump head, and a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that featured a Trump-like actor as the emperor who is fatally stabbed onstage.

Some seized on the shooting that seriously injured Representative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana, at a congressional baseball team practice in June as further proof. One recent web video from the National Rifle Association accused liberals of attempting to “bully and terrorize the law abiding” as it implored Americans to “fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”

But never mind all those examples (and many more he could have mentioned); the right-wing (yes, not just neo-Nazis but those right-of center) remains the true danger:

But the tragedy in Charlottesville -- specifically, the death of a young woman at the hands of a Nazi sympathizer who the authorities said ran her down with his car -- undercut the notion that the black-masked radical leftists who smash windows and hurl firebombs are an equal menace.

Nor is it backed up by data on political violence. Of at least 372 murders that were committed by domestic extremists between 2007 and 2016, according to a study by the Anti-Defamation League, 74 percent were committed by right-wing extremists. Muslim extremists were responsible for 24 percent of those killings, and the small remainder were committed by left-wing extremists, the study concluded.

Actually, those figures above aren’t in the report Peters linked to. They can be found in an ADL press release about the report, which also states this tidbit on current events that Peters skipped: “For the first time in more than 30 years, right-wing extremists were not responsible for the most extremist-related killings in the U.S. White supremacists and anti-government extremists committed a comparatively low number of murders in 2016, but at the same time were responsible for a high amount of non-violent activity, much of it tied to the presidential election.”

Peters did let Commentary editor Noah Rothman make a media bias point:

“You don’t have a ton of reporters banging on the doors of Democrats asking them to denounce Antifa,” he said, referring to the militant Marxist-inspired group that rioted at Mr. Trump’s inauguration and often shows up looking for confrontation at sites where conservative writers like Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos are scheduled to speak.

Then Peters shifted to Trump blame, with several paragraphs devoted to fringe figure Alex Jones and his offensive allegation that the Sandy Hook massacre was faked:

There is also a new political term to describe the circular firing squad in which right and left have blamed the other for the country’s degenerating political debate -- “whataboutism.”

Guy Benson, a conservative writer and an author of the book “End of Discussion,” which argues that the left has tried to shut down political debate by declaring certain topics off the table, said he sees a “whataboutism overreach” among some conservatives.

But on the other hand, he said, “Are we allowed to point out that left-wing violence is a problem and did probably contribute to what happened in Charlottesville and not be compared to Hitler?”

He said that conservatives would be better served by finding other ways to make points of media bias and political double standards.

Peters was only half-sneering in his story, reserving his full-on sneers for Twitter on Tuesday. Peters retweeted Mark Levin who had linked to an article from the Daily Caller called “Left-Wing Agitators Call For Escalated Tactics In Response To Charlottesville.” Peters snarled sarcasm aimed at Levin: “More ‘but Antifa... but Kathy Griffin... but...’

This is the tweet Peters used to link to his own story: “Many Sides? Actually, it's just one that kills people. But here's why Trump keeps saying it.” Not for lack of trying, as we learned from the case of Rep. Steven Scalise, the target of an assassination plot by a Bernie Sanders supporter, James Hodgkinson.

Peters also retweeted a mild observation by Commentary writer Noah Rothman with this crack: “Gee, maybe Charlottesville broke through more because people DIED. More "Yeah but" faux equivalence from the right.”

For evidence that the Times really is soft-pedaling Antifa’s radicalism and violent nature, see Tuesday’s story by Farah Stockman and her reluctant, mealy-mouthed description of Antifa’s violence in Tuesday’s paper, and of Sheryl Gay Stolberg having to apologize on Twitter for daring to initially characterize the anti-Trump protesters in Charlottesville “as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.” The paper’s education supplement also helped the movement soften up its violent image.

The Guardian Frets: Will Bruce Willis ‘Death Wish’ Remake Be ‘Nakedly Fascist?’

An upcoming tough-on-crime vigilante movie is now Exhibit A of “alt-right” racism, according to the reliably left-wing U.K. newspaper The Guardian. The remake of the popular 1974 action-family vengeance-drama Death Wish, with Bruce Willis cast in Charles Bronson’s shoes as the tormented hero, is scheduled for release around the Thanksgiving holiday. But is it just a fascist alt-right fantasy?

Guardian critic Graeme Virtue piece was one long piece of virtue-signaling and throat-clearing, an apparent requirement for movie critics these days, not even getting around to addressing the entertainment value of a movie with content that may possibly offend some liberal interest group somewhere (months before it’s even coming out).

The article’s subtitle laid it out: “The trailer for Eli Roth’s revival of the action franchise has been accused of being ‘nakedly fascist’ in its story of vigilanteism in a volatile Chicago.”

Roth directed the naïve-backpackers-in-Eastern Europe horrorshow Hostel, and his new project may be his “latest and most high-profile project -- a long-in-the-works resurrection of the Death Wish franchise with Bruce Willis as the trigger-happy lead -- has attracted even sharper criticism than usual. The launch trailer has sustained heavy fire on social media, called out for being “nakedly fascist” and being compared to “alt-right fan fiction.”

To mix animal metaphors, the trailer does make the rebooted Death Wish look like a depressing frog chorus of alt-right dog whistles. The setting has been shifted from New York to Chicago, a city currently struggling in real life to cope with a resurgent murder rate while being attacked by Donald Trump on a weekly basis....

Virtue lumped everyone on the right with Nazi sympathizers:

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Could Roth deliberately be courting the alt-right dollar? His 2015 jungle cannibal movie The Green Inferno received some unexpectedly admiring notices from pro-Trump publisher Breitbart, who seemed tickled that the gnawed-on victims were students whose conservation activism was a pose. But despite his crass creative impulses and glib comments, Roth is an unlikely cheerleader for the alt-right. He makes a searing screen appearance in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds as Donny Donowitz, a second world war soldier who goes a little further than just punching Nazis. The formidable “Bear Jew” specialises in clubbing them to death with a baseball bat.

Virtue seems to be saying that Breitbart readers wouldn’t appreciate watching a movie showing a Jew attacking a Nazi during World War II, which is both ignorant and offensive. Perhaps Virtue is unaware that anti-Semitism has always had a huge following on the left and that most conservatives are supporters of Israel.

Here's the trailer. Judge for yourself: 

 

 

Virtue predicted the remake is “likely to be embraced by right-wing activists in the run-up to its November release, if only because it has already enraged so many liberal commentators....all the more appealing to dudes who fantasise about white men taking charge through violence.”

Virtue pointed out that the New York Times greeted the original in 1974 as “a bird-brained movie to cheer the hearts of the far-right wing.”

Nice to see the New York Times hasn’t changed.

New York Magazine: Fox News Blondes are 'a Dog Whistle of Whiteness', Wink to Racial Privilege

Even in this feminist era, some personal choices women make can still be made fun of, especially when they involve Fox News womenThe latest exhibit is New York magazine's “Political Peroxide – Blonde privilege” by Amy Larocca, in the August 7, 2017 edition.

The magazine’s Fashion issue features “plus-size” model Ashley Graham on the cover and acceptance of “fat girls” inside, making Larocca’s attack on blonde women -- conservative blonde celebrity women in particular -- as “a wink-wink to the power of racial privilege” all the more jarring. The complementary graphic featured headshots of 48 blond conservatives including Kellyanne Conway, Katherine Timpf, and Megyn Kelly, rather dehumanizing choice, as if these women had no other distinguishing characteristics.

After a potted genetic history of blonde hair, Larocca got political with a nasty tone:

And then, of course, there are the politics of hair color. Attributes associated with whiteness -- light skin, narrow noses -- have dominated American beauty ideals as long as there’s been such a thing. Which means that blondness has always been…charged: The ’50s gave us Doris Day, who once said that her only ambition ever had been to “be a housewife in a good marriage” (“Preordination had other plans”)....

Fox News and Donald Trump have given blonde hair a new chapter: Now, blonde is the color of the right, for whom whiteness has become a hallmark. Over the past decade or so, as inclusiveness became the hallmark of Obama-era liberals, the left found feminist icons in Rachel Maddow, Samantha Power, and Michelle Obama, who make no apologies for their failure to fit traditional ideals. But #MAGA, Fox News America is a place where all the classic signifiers of privilege and wealth work on overdrive: country-club-issue blue blazers with brass buttons and khaki pants, and above all else, for women, that yellow-blonde, carefully tended hair -- a dog whistle of whiteness, an unspoken declaration of values, a wink-wink to the power of racial privilege and to the 1980s vibe that pervades a movement led by a man who still believes in the guilt of the Central Park Five. During that Republican Preppy Handbook era, when Dynasty and Dallas were on TV, the type of conspicuous ostentation that would lead a real-estate developer to sheath his entire apartment in gold leaf was actually in vogue....

Larocca’s text is dehumanizing as well, reducing conservative personalities to dumb blonde automatons.

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The alt-blonde common on Fox News is a specific look: It’s layered and yellow and never too long. It’s controlled and polished and always in place. In earlier generations, news was delivered almost exclusively by white men, with neat auburn (when it wasn’t graying) hair. These men spoke in tempered tones; they strove for a bland, unquestionable authority. But at Ailes-era Fox News, the point was no longer to project a sense of well-being or calm, it was to instill panic and fear, and blonde hair was practically a prerequisite for delivering it. Panicked reports about dangerous immigrants and the president with Hussein for a middle name were presented by white women wearing snug dresses, with pert noses, bronze skin, blonde hair. The Fox blonde is, in the end, conspicuously unnatural....

NYT Reporter Smears 'Racist/Sexist' Memos Like the Google One, Blames Trump

Google engineer James Damore was fired Monday for his now-famous internal memo questioning left-wing diversity schemes at the company. The New York Times’ Katie Benner, “a technology reporter covering venture capital and startups,” took to Twitter on Monday and called it one of many “racist/sexist” writings from the field, without bothering to point out exactly where the rather mild manifesto, backed by research, was offensive.

Revealingly, the Times liked those tweets so much the paper reprinted them on page 3 on Wednesday in its Spotlight section (not online), called “Additional Reportage and Repartee From Our Journalists.” (The paper’s actual news coverage of the controversy was somewhat calmer.)

The paper introduced the seven “lightly edited tweets” like this:

A Google engineer was fired on Monday for a memo he wrote that made the case that there were fewer women in technical positions because of biological differences, rather than discrimination. Katie Benner, a technology reporter covering venture capital and startups, reflected on discrimination in Silicon Valley on Twitter....

Below are Benner’s original tweets on Damore’s “sexist/racist writings,” in the order they were sent on Monday (highlights in bold):

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When I moved to SF about 4 years ago, sexist/racist writings like the Google memo rarely broke through beyond tech into the wider world

So much has changed here in a short period of time re: consciousness about sexism and racism. There was gamergate, Kleiner Perkins, Uber

Each episode building on the next, a sense that systemic issues needed to be addressed. People spoke out on the record, too.

Part of it seems bc tech employees, relatively speaking, have the upperhand in the job market and thus more leverage to speak out.

But a large part of it is also Trump and the wider sense that the country is pushing back against gains made by women and minorities.

I've spoken with many entrepreneurs and employees who say that the election was galvanizing & made them realize they needed to take a stand

They are not able to influence DC, but they influence the ecosystem they inhabit here in the tech industry and startupland

Benner’s reporting is angry and activist in pursuit of sexual harassers in Silicon Valley:

The backlash, however, has quietly begun, with men and women saying the increased scrutiny of investors’ behavior has led to a witch hunt. Bolstered by [Silicon Valley investor Dave] McClure’s resignation and by new stories of harassment, The Times published a follow-up article yesterday, and I intend to continue following the story. I’m guessing my future reporting will continue to take the measure of what is more important in startupland: entrepreneurs and employees, or the reputations of a coterie of powerful men.

Atlantic Mag Cover Story Slimes Rush, Trump, Conservatives: 'How America Lost Its Mind'

Veteran journalist Kurt Andersen’s 13,000-word cover story for the September issue of The Atlantic, “How America Lost Its Mind,” adapted from Andersen’s new book, is an attack on Trump and what he sees as the Republican Party and conserviatve movement's recent retreat from reality. But Andersen skips Democratic embrace of conspiracy theories, and assumes the media was fair and balanced before Rush Limbaugh's "unending and immersive propaganda" and Fox News came along.

He got off on the left foot by citing liberal pop-culture hero Stephen Colbert.

When did America become untethered from reality?

I first noticed our national lurch toward fantasy in 2004, after President George W. Bush’s political mastermind, Karl Rove, came up with the remarkable phrase reality-based community. People in “the reality-based community,” he told a reporter, “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality … That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” A year later, The Colbert Report went on the air. In the first few minutes of the first episode, Stephen Colbert, playing his right-wing-populist commentator character, performed a feature called “The Word.” His first selection: truthiness.....

....

We have passed through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole. America has mutated into Fantasyland.

....

Almost a quarter believe that vaccines cause autism, and that Donald Trump won the popular vote in 2016. A quarter believe that our previous president may be or definitely was (or is?) the anti-Christ. According to a survey by Public Policy Polling, 15 percent believe that the “media or the government adds secret mind-controlling technology to television broadcast signals,” and another 15 percent think that’s possible. A quarter of Americans believe in witches. Remarkably, the same fraction, or maybe less, believes that the Bible consists mainly of legends and fables -- the same proportion that believes U.S. officials were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

The article contains some interesting observations, like the fact that the far-right and far-left both indulge in conspiracies about “detention camps for dissidents,” but is marred by the slant. Warming up to his point, Andersen insisted in a subhead “How the Right Became More Unhinged Than the Left.” 

The Reagan presidency was famously a triumph of truthiness and entertainment, and in the 1990s, as problematically batty beliefs kept going mainstream, presidential politics continued merging with the fantasy-industrial complex.

Anderson focused blame on free speech victories and conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh in particular.

Just before the Clintons arrived in Washington, the right had managed to do away with the federal Fairness Doctrine, which had been enacted to keep radio and TV shows from being ideologically one-sided. Until then, big-time conservative opinion media had consisted of two magazines, William F. Buckley Jr.’s biweekly National Review and the monthly American Spectator, both with small circulations. But absent a Fairness Doctrine, Rush Limbaugh’s national right-wing radio show, launched in 1988, was free to thrive, and others promptly appeared.

For most of the 20th century, national news media had felt obliged to pursue and present some rough approximation of the truth rather than to promote a truth, let alone fictions. With the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine, a new American laissez-faire had been officially declared. If lots more incorrect and preposterous assertions circulated in our mass media, that was a price of freedom. If splenetic commentators could now, as never before, keep believers perpetually riled up and feeling the excitement of being in a mob, so be it.

Limbaugh’s virtuosic three hours of daily talk started bringing a sociopolitical alternate reality to a huge national audience. Instead of relying on an occasional magazine or newsletter to confirm your gnarly view of the world, now you had talk radio drilling it into your head for hours every day. As Limbaugh’s show took off, in 1992 the producer Roger Ailes created a syndicated TV show around him. Four years later, when NBC hired someone else to launch a cable news channel, Ailes, who had been working at NBC, quit and created one with Rupert Murdoch.

Fox News brought the Limbaughvian talk-radio version of the world to national TV, offering viewers an unending and immersive propaganda experience of a kind that had never existed before.

For Americans, this was a new condition. Over the course of the century, electronic mass media had come to serve an important democratic function: presenting Americans with a single shared set of facts. Now TV and radio were enabling a reversion to the narrower, factional, partisan discourse that had been normal in America’s earlier centuries.

Andersen only portrays a single side of ideological slant, as if the major networks were fair and balanced before nasty Fox News came along.

People on the left are by no means all scrupulously reasonable. Many give themselves over to the appealingly dubious and the untrue. But fantastical politics have become highly asymmetrical. Starting in the 1990s, America’s unhinged right became much larger and more influential than its unhinged left. There is no real left-wing equivalent of Sean Hannity, let alone Alex Jones. Moreover, the far right now has unprecedented political power; it controls much of the U.S. government.

Why did the grown-ups and designated drivers on the political left manage to remain basically in charge of their followers, while the reality-based right lost out to fantasy-prone true believers?

One reason, I think, is religion. The GOP is now quite explicitly Christian....

....

But also starting in the ’90s, the farthest-right quarter of Americans, let’s say, couldn’t and wouldn’t adjust their beliefs to comport with their side’s victories and the dramatically new and improved realities. They’d made a god out of Reagan, but they ignored or didn’t register that he was practical and reasonable, that he didn’t completely buy his own antigovernment rhetoric. After Reagan, his hopped-up true-believer faction began insisting on total victory. But in a democracy, of course, total victory by any faction is a dangerous fantasy.

Another way the GOP got loopy was by overdoing libertarianism. I have some libertarian tendencies, but at full-strength purity it’s an ideology most boys grow out of.....

I’m reminded of one of H. L. Mencken’s dispatches from the Scopes “monkey trial” in 1925. “Civilized” Tennesseans, he wrote, “had known for years what was going on in the hills. They knew what the country preachers were preaching -- what degraded nonsense was being rammed and hammered into yokel skulls. But they were afraid to go out against the imposture while it was in the making.” What the contemporary right has done is worse, because it was deliberate and national, and it has had more-profound consequences.

Andersen didn’t boost the credibility of his screed when he cited the slanted “fact-check” site Politifact: “The fact-checking website PolitiFact looked at more than 400 of his statements as a candidate and as president and found that almost 50 percent were false and another 20 percent were mostly false.”

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David Harsanyi at The Federalist pointed out it goes both ways, although the media doesn’t always notice Democrats being conspiratorial.

....People are willing to believe implausible things about their opponents. They always have been.

In one 2006 University of Ohio/Scripps Howard poll, pollsters asked Democrats, “How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?” Just over 22 percent of Democrats claimed it was “very likely” and over 28 percent called it “somewhat likely” -- which means more than 50 percent of Democrats were ready to believe that a Republican administration had in some way instigated or allowed the worst terror attack in its history to start a war. Another poll showed 35 percent of Democrats believe President Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand.

Strangely, Andersen’s piece, which purports to be an objective overview of irrationalism in public life, features ten instances of “Republicans” but no “Democrats.” Andersen called out Republicans here: “Only in the fall of 2016 did [Trump] grudgingly admit that the president was indeed a native-born American -- at the same moment a YouGov/Huffington Post survey found that a majority of Republicans still believed Obama probably or definitely had been born in Kenya.”

Yet when he talked of support for the conspiracy theories that “U.S. officials” had advance knowledge of the 9-11 attacks, his vague wording left off the inconvenient fact that it was Democrats accusing Bush of advance knowledge.

Atlantic Mag Cover Story Slimes Rush, Trump, Conservatives: 'How America Lost Its Mind'

Veteran journalist Kurt Andersen’s 13,000-word cover story for the September issue of The Atlantic, “How America Lost Its Mind,” adapted from Andersen’s new book, is an attack on Trump and what he sees as the Republican Party and conserviatve movement's recent retreat from reality. But Andersen skips Democratic embrace of conspiracy theories, and assumes the media was fair and balanced before Rush Limbaugh's "unending and immersive propaganda" and Fox News came along.

He got off on the left foot by citing liberal pop-culture hero Stephen Colbert.

When did America become untethered from reality?

I first noticed our national lurch toward fantasy in 2004, after President George W. Bush’s political mastermind, Karl Rove, came up with the remarkable phrase reality-based community. People in “the reality-based community,” he told a reporter, “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality … That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” A year later, The Colbert Report went on the air. In the first few minutes of the first episode, Stephen Colbert, playing his right-wing-populist commentator character, performed a feature called “The Word.” His first selection: truthiness.....

....

We have passed through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole. America has mutated into Fantasyland.

....

Almost a quarter believe that vaccines cause autism, and that Donald Trump won the popular vote in 2016. A quarter believe that our previous president may be or definitely was (or is?) the anti-Christ. According to a survey by Public Policy Polling, 15 percent believe that the “media or the government adds secret mind-controlling technology to television broadcast signals,” and another 15 percent think that’s possible. A quarter of Americans believe in witches. Remarkably, the same fraction, or maybe less, believes that the Bible consists mainly of legends and fables -- the same proportion that believes U.S. officials were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

The article contains some interesting observations, like the fact that the far-right and far-left both indulge in conspiracies about “detention camps for dissidents,” but is marred by the slant. Warming up to his point, Andersen insisted in a subhead “How the Right Became More Unhinged Than the Left.” 

The Reagan presidency was famously a triumph of truthiness and entertainment, and in the 1990s, as problematically batty beliefs kept going mainstream, presidential politics continued merging with the fantasy-industrial complex.

Anderson focused blame on free speech victories and conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh in particular.

Just before the Clintons arrived in Washington, the right had managed to do away with the federal Fairness Doctrine, which had been enacted to keep radio and TV shows from being ideologically one-sided. Until then, big-time conservative opinion media had consisted of two magazines, William F. Buckley Jr.’s biweekly National Review and the monthly American Spectator, both with small circulations. But absent a Fairness Doctrine, Rush Limbaugh’s national right-wing radio show, launched in 1988, was free to thrive, and others promptly appeared.

For most of the 20th century, national news media had felt obliged to pursue and present some rough approximation of the truth rather than to promote a truth, let alone fictions. With the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine, a new American laissez-faire had been officially declared. If lots more incorrect and preposterous assertions circulated in our mass media, that was a price of freedom. If splenetic commentators could now, as never before, keep believers perpetually riled up and feeling the excitement of being in a mob, so be it.

Limbaugh’s virtuosic three hours of daily talk started bringing a sociopolitical alternate reality to a huge national audience. Instead of relying on an occasional magazine or newsletter to confirm your gnarly view of the world, now you had talk radio drilling it into your head for hours every day. As Limbaugh’s show took off, in 1992 the producer Roger Ailes created a syndicated TV show around him. Four years later, when NBC hired someone else to launch a cable news channel, Ailes, who had been working at NBC, quit and created one with Rupert Murdoch.

Fox News brought the Limbaughvian talk-radio version of the world to national TV, offering viewers an unending and immersive propaganda experience of a kind that had never existed before.

For Americans, this was a new condition. Over the course of the century, electronic mass media had come to serve an important democratic function: presenting Americans with a single shared set of facts. Now TV and radio were enabling a reversion to the narrower, factional, partisan discourse that had been normal in America’s earlier centuries.

Andersen only portrays a single side of ideological slant, as if the major networks were fair and balanced before nasty Fox News came along.

People on the left are by no means all scrupulously reasonable. Many give themselves over to the appealingly dubious and the untrue. But fantastical politics have become highly asymmetrical. Starting in the 1990s, America’s unhinged right became much larger and more influential than its unhinged left. There is no real left-wing equivalent of Sean Hannity, let alone Alex Jones. Moreover, the far right now has unprecedented political power; it controls much of the U.S. government.

Why did the grown-ups and designated drivers on the political left manage to remain basically in charge of their followers, while the reality-based right lost out to fantasy-prone true believers?

One reason, I think, is religion. The GOP is now quite explicitly Christian....

....

But also starting in the ’90s, the farthest-right quarter of Americans, let’s say, couldn’t and wouldn’t adjust their beliefs to comport with their side’s victories and the dramatically new and improved realities. They’d made a god out of Reagan, but they ignored or didn’t register that he was practical and reasonable, that he didn’t completely buy his own antigovernment rhetoric. After Reagan, his hopped-up true-believer faction began insisting on total victory. But in a democracy, of course, total victory by any faction is a dangerous fantasy.

Another way the GOP got loopy was by overdoing libertarianism. I have some libertarian tendencies, but at full-strength purity it’s an ideology most boys grow out of.....

I’m reminded of one of H. L. Mencken’s dispatches from the Scopes “monkey trial” in 1925. “Civilized” Tennesseans, he wrote, “had known for years what was going on in the hills. They knew what the country preachers were preaching -- what degraded nonsense was being rammed and hammered into yokel skulls. But they were afraid to go out against the imposture while it was in the making.” What the contemporary right has done is worse, because it was deliberate and national, and it has had more-profound consequences.

Andersen didn’t boost the credibility of his screed when he cited the slanted “fact-check” site Politifact: “The fact-checking website PolitiFact looked at more than 400 of his statements as a candidate and as president and found that almost 50 percent were false and another 20 percent were mostly false.”

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David Harsanyi at The Federalist pointed out it goes both ways, although the media doesn’t always notice Democrats being conspiratorial.

....People are willing to believe implausible things about their opponents. They always have been.

In one 2006 University of Ohio/Scripps Howard poll, pollsters asked Democrats, “How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?” Just over 22 percent of Democrats claimed it was “very likely” and over 28 percent called it “somewhat likely” -- which means more than 50 percent of Democrats were ready to believe that a Republican administration had in some way instigated or allowed the worst terror attack in its history to start a war. Another poll showed 35 percent of Democrats believe President Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand.

Strangely, Andersen’s piece, which purports to be an objective overview of irrationalism in public life, features ten instances of “Republicans” but no “Democrats.” Andersen called out Republicans here: “Only in the fall of 2016 did [Trump] grudgingly admit that the president was indeed a native-born American -- at the same moment a YouGov/Huffington Post survey found that a majority of Republicans still believed Obama probably or definitely had been born in Kenya.”

Yet when he talked of support for the conspiracy theories that “U.S. officials” had advance knowledge of the 9-11 attacks, his vague wording left off the inconvenient fact that it was Democrats accusing Bush of advance knowledge.

Bitter NY Times Joins With UAW Union, Accuses Nissan of Racial Bias, Scare Tactics

New York Times correspondent Noam Scheiber, former editor for the liberal New Republic magazine who now covers labor for the paper, sounded rather bitter about another autoworker union setback in the South, under the loaded headline “U.A.W. Accuses Nissan of ‘Scare Tactics’ as Workers Reject Union Bid.” In Times-world, if unions lose, something must be fishy.

In a test of labor’s ability to expand its reach in the South, workers at a Nissan plant in Mississippi overwhelmingly rejected a bid to unionize, an election that the union quickly criticized.

Out of roughly 3,500 employees at the Canton-based plant who voted Thursday and Friday, more than 60 percent opposed the union. It was an emphatic coda to a yearslong organizing effort underwritten by the United Automobile Workers, which has been repeatedly frustrated in its efforts to organize auto plants in the region.

Scheiber’s sour grapes had an awfully thin flavor. No fraud is ever suggested. The very fact that the company fought back was disturbing.

The union accused the company of waging an unusually aggressive fight against the organizing effort. “Perhaps recognizing they couldn’t keep their workers from joining our union based on the facts, Nissan and its anti-worker allies ran a vicious campaign against its own work force that was comprised of intense scare tactics, misinformation and intimidation,” Dennis Williams, the U.A.W. president, said in a statement after the vote.

....

The election campaign at the plant, where a large majority of workers are African-American, frequently took on racial overtones. Some employees alleged that white supervisors dispensed special treatment to white subordinates, a charge the company emphatically denied.

For their part, anti-union workers highlighted the U.A.W.’s contributions to local civil rights and religious groups, accusing the union of seeking to buy support in the African-American community.

In the end, though, basic economics combined with a fear of change may have carried the day. Veteran workers at the plant make about $26 per hour, typically only a few dollars less than veteran workers represented by the union at the major American automakers, and well above the median wage in Mississippi.

....

At one point leading up to the vote, managers delivered a slide presentation warning that in the event of a strike, most employees who walked out would not be guaranteed jobs afterward. Many workers appeared to find the presentation alarming, even though strikes are rare in the industry and replacing production workers could be difficult.

Another manager emphasized in a meeting that Nissan could decide not to automatically deduct workers’ union dues, in which case the union would end up sending workers a regular “bill.”

“It was just to deter people from joining, was what I’m getting out of it,” said Earnestine Mayes, a union supporter. “No one wants to sit there and pay that bill every week.”

....

Coinciding with the vote on Friday, the union filed a round of new charges about the company’s behavior, including providing the union with faulty voter information, keeping workers who were engaged in organizing activity under surveillance and rating workers according to the extent of their union support.

....

Over all, the union was hobbled in its ability to respond to the company’s message to workers. Beyond the question of its contributions to local groups, which the union said were similar to contributions it has made to civil rights and religious groups for decades, anti-union workers dwelled on the indictment last week of a former Fiat Chrysler labor relations official accused of skimming millions of dollars from a training facility to benefit himself and a former U.A.W. counterpart.

Scheiber also played the race card before the vote on Thursday.

Union supporters complain that the company has been stingy with benefits and bonuses, that workers on the production line are pressured to sacrifice safety to keep the line moving briskly, and that supervisors arbitrarily change policies about discipline and attendance.

And another issue looms awkwardly over the forthcoming vote: race. A large majority of the nearly 6,500 workers at the Nissan plant are African-American. One does not have to search hard for racial overtones.

Along with some of her co-workers, Ms. Matthews, who is black, claimed that white supervisors rewarded white workers who were their friends with cushier assignments. “You’ve got Billy Bob as your manager, you go duck hunting, possum hunting together,” she said.

....

The U.A.W., for its part, has taken pains to highlight the campaign’s racial dimension. In its news release announcing the impending vote, it quoted a worker who accused Nissan of violating African-Americans’ labor rights even while marketing cars to them.

The union has also forged close alliances with local black pastors and community leaders, whose mantra has been that the ability to form a union is a civil right.

Anti-union workers at the plant have accused the U.A.W. of buying such support with tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to local civil rights and religious groups. The union says it has contributed to such groups for decades.

....

In some ways the sensitivity about race may have prevented the organizing campaign from becoming more divisive than it otherwise might have.

During the U.A.W.’s last major campaign in the South, a losing effort at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2014, much of the state’s political class conveyed relentless hostility. A conservative group put up billboards tying the U.A.W. to “liberal politicians” including President Barack Obama and suggesting that Chattanooga would go the way of bankrupt Detroit if the union gained a foothold.

....

Still, workers say there is more than one way to divide them than along racial lines -- namely, by inciting fear. And Nissan -- which unlike Volkswagen before it has refused to stay neutral in the union campaign -- has not forsworn this tactic.

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New York Times Helps Antifa Soften Up Harmful Violent Stereotypes

The New York Times special Education section Sunday soft-pedaled the authoritarian left-wing movements afoot on many college campuses, including the violence black-bloc "anti-fascist" movement Antifa.

First, Laura Pappano’s solid if slightly muddled piece on left-wing campus intolerance of dissenting views appeared under a euphemistic headline: “Where ‘Everything Is Under Attack’ -- Students are demanding more control over faculty, curriculums and their own identities.

Well, if the term “demanding more control” means stopping conservatives from speaking on campus, harassing professors, and shutting the school down for security reasons, then yes, today’s left-wing students (and their fellow travelers in the violent “anti-fascist” movement Antifa) are “demanding more control.”

Pappano rounded up disturbing and relevant incidents of campus thuggery, albeit stuffed with verbal padding:

By then, students were already well practiced in making their demands known.

A few weeks earlier, at Claremont McKenna, so many had protested the appearance of Heather Mac Donald, a Black Lives Matter critic, that she ended up addressing a mostly empty hall while the event was live-streamed. Several black students then wrote David W. Oxtoby, Pomona’s outgoing president, demanding an apology for the “patronizing” email he sent on academic freedom in response to the Mac Donald protest and asking what “steps the institution will take and the resources it will allocate” for “marginalized students.” They also ordered action against student journalists at the conservative Claremont Independent “for its continual perpetuation of hate speech, anti-Blackness, and intimidation toward students of marginalized backgrounds.”

The previous month, a call-out painted in looping yellow letters on a Pitzer College “free speech wall” against cultural appropriation -- “White Girl, Take OFF your hoops!!!” -- had escalated into widespread criticism of the wall painters.

....

As student demands have grown more politically charged, the divisions on campus have sharpened. At Pomona, Ms. Vides noted “a radicalizing of both ends of the spectrum.” Students have been pushed from the middle path to the left or right. Last fall’s entering class was the most polarized cohort in the 51-year history of the freshman survey by the Higher Education Research Institute.

Actually, it’s invariably left attacking right on campus:

That can play out in every aspect of student life, as William Gu, an Asian-American who writes for The Claremont Independent, found out after some of his articles showed up on conservative news sites. He received Facebook messages accusing him of “threatening marginalized communities” and was told at a party that “people are uncomfortable with you being here, please leave.”

Mr. Gu, a sophomore, said each incoming class “is getting progressively more radical.” He recalled a panel discussion during orientation at which a student said, “We should burn down Pomona” because “elite colleges represented white supremacist patriarchy.”....

Meanwhile, the violent “anti-fascist” movement Antifa got some sympathetic coverage from Andrew Beale and Sonner Kehrt in “The Semester of Hate -- When far right meets far left, sparks fly.

Last semester’s protests at the University of California, Berkeley, challenged liberal presumptions about who exactly the good guys were. Anti-fascists, or Antifa, clad like ninjas and hellbent on silencing a speaker (the provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos), smashed windows and set fires. Clashes with right-wingers erupted again at rallies in March and April in support of free speech (a “messy pepper spray mosh pit,” as one anti-fascist described it).

The Antifa collective, fueled by an emboldened right wing, has become a growing subculture, particularly on West Coast campuses. Fearful of being doxxed (having your personal information posted online) by “alt-right trolls,” anti-fascists are cautious about their identity. Most don’t even communicate over social media or phone. And many protest as a black bloc, a tactic ascribed to 1980s Germany in which a group protests anonymously, faces concealed by T-shirts, bandannas or masks to avoid detection and protect from pepper spray.

The reporters tried to break the harmful violent Antifa stereotype:

Black bloc is often seen as mostly white males looking to wreak havoc for their cause. A half-dozen Berkeley Antifa members who agreed to speak on record to us saw merit in that stereotype, but since the Trump inauguration, they said, those behind the masks represent the spectrum of gender and race. “People showing up to the protests are the ones with the most to lose,” said Neil Lawrence, a Berkeley student. Part of his decision to go public as a transgender anti-fascist is to counteract the stereotype.

Lawrence of Antifa bravely posed for a photo with his face covered above this quote: “When the nonviolent tactics have been exhausted -- what is left?” (Break some windows and punch Trump fans, apparently.)

The night before the April 15 Patriots’ Day protest, Mr. Lawrence stayed up most of the night making sandwiches. Before he headed out to meet up with other anti-fascists, he grabbed a box of matzos, too -- it was Passover. The Antifa wanted to show up en masse to demonstrate opposition at an alt-right free-speech rally....

....

Mr. Lawrence allowed his full name to be used to bolster his credibility in explaining a movement he believes is misrepresented in the media. In particular, he wants his experiences as a trans student to illustrate its increasing diversity. “That is who the hammer falls on,” he said. “That’s whose existence in public is being criminalized in so many state legislatures right now. I never felt like a target walking down the street until the climate shifted so radically in the age of Trump.”

After profiling the sandwich-making masked Antifa radical, the Times also talked to Antifa’s “Dan,” who also appeared masked. Reading Karl Marx and Noam Chomsky wasn’t fulfilling, so he decided to get active.

Dan said he supports the right of conservatives to speak on campus, but fascism must be stopped -- by violence, if necessary. “We’ve seen in history that the very fact that we allow certain people to talk normalizes their speech, and there’s the possibility of their narrative being accepted and even being widespread in the society.”

Evidently, both conservative provocateur Yiannopoulos and mainstream conservative Ben Shapiro are persona non grata on campus:

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He predicts more violence for the new school year. Mr. Yiannopoulos has announced a weeklong tent city on Sproul Plaza this fall, vowing in a Facebook post to “bring an army if I have to.” And the conservative commentator Ben Shapiro plans to speak in September.

It’s revealing of the Times tilt that the only person they quote who owns up to initiating violence just happens to be a far-right activist:

In prison on a four-year sentence for armed robbery, [Identity Evropa founder Nathan Damigo] began reading, taking a particular interest in race. His reading list included “White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century” by Jared Taylor and “The Bell Curve,” whose co-author Charles Murray was prevented from speaking at Middlebury College earlier this year. “And yes, I read David Duke, if you want to throw that in there.”....(The Times certainly does.)

NYT Can’t Quite Forgive White Female Kathryn Bigelow for Making Black Movie ‘Detroit’

New York Times reporter John Eligon talked to acclaimed movie director Kathryn Bigelow about her new provocative movie “Detroit,” based on a real police incident in the racial powder-keg of Detroit in the summer of 1967: “A White Director, the Police and Race in ‘Detroit.’” Posted Wednesday, it is scheduled to appear in this Sunday’s edition, under the headline “A Black-and-White Issue.”

Ms. Bigelow, the director of “Zero Dark Thirty,” is in her sweet spot when transforming real life into high art. But with “Detroit,” she had to wrestle with how far to push reality -- how to convey the real-life horror of racism, without exploiting black trauma. “It’s really a question of how do you humanize and how do you bring to life a situation,” Ms. Bigelow said. “I suppose you use a personal judgment, I guess.”

Eligon landed a left jab in the second paragraph:

Ms. Bigelow’s nonfictional judgment has earned her scorn in the past -- most notably criticism that she gave false, misleading credit to the role that torture played in capturing Osama bin Laden.

Now with “Detroit,” this Oscar-winning filmmaker could be facing her most ambitious, and contentious, project to date. She is a white woman from Northern California telling a story of the black experience in civil rights era Detroit, which Ms. Bigelow said was not lost on her. It certainly was not lost on her cybercritics, who from the start were quick to wield billy clubs full of skepticism over whether she had erased the role of black women during the unrest in Detroit or had the cultural pedigree to convey a story of black oppression.

....

If the time is right for this movie, opening wide on Friday, Aug. 4, after a limited release, it is also daring. Detroiters, coming out of the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy, are touchy over how their city’s narratives are told, whether it be the jaded tales of blight or the glowing renaissance stories that somehow overlook those in the black majority being left behind. And more broadly, we are in a moment of heightened scrutiny over how black Americans are treated by the police and how they are portrayed in films, books and news coverage.

The reality of two Americas means that there is a significant segment of the population for whom the idea of racism in policing is either difficult to grasp or fiction. That makes the telling of this story by someone like Ms. Bigelow vitally important, said Michael Eric Dyson, the scholar and activist. Her broad appeal can attract white viewers who might not otherwise go to see a movie about this topic, he said.

Continuing the noxious racial victimology, even a favorable mention of Bigelow managed to reduce her to a creature of “white privilege.” 

“This is a white woman telling the truth as much as she can on film about racial injustice in America,” said Mr. Dyson, a Detroit native whom Ms. Bigelow consulted on the movie. “That will resonate very powerfully with white folks. What better way to use your white privilege than to undermine it, raise questions about it, leverage it on behalf of black and brown people who usually don’t have a voice in the matter at all.”

....

Some have criticized the absence of fully realized black women in the movie. (Jetmag.com asked of the movie’s trailer, “Why are black women missing”?) Others have questioned the depth of its characters and its effectiveness as a political tool. Charles Ezra Ferrell, the vice president for public programs at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, said he wished the unrest had been placed in better context.

Eligon doesn’t bother asking if any black women were involved in the actual incident (there weren’t). Next he set up a real-life "us-against-them divide" like the movie, with himself in the starring role.

As someone who choked on tear gas while covering protests in Ferguson, I found it easy to appreciate the us-against-them divide that the film depicts between the police and black people. In one scene, officers in riot gear initially rebuff Fred Temple (played by Jacob Latimore) when he tries to get past them to go to work. I could not help but think of the night in Ferguson when a line of police officers, trying to clear the streets, marched toward me and ordered me to go home, even though news media were allowed to stay. I had a press pass dangling from my neck, but I guess that did not matter to them when the person wearing it was a black man with dreadlocks.

Times Hollywood reporter Brooks Barnes also let readers know he was “woke” with a dig at Bigelow and her movie in his box-office round up last week:

While certainly solid, the “Detroit” turnout was not sizzling. Ms. Bigelow’s film has received ecstatic reviews over all, but a large part of the conversation so far has focused on the appropriateness of a mostly white filmmaking team tackling such a painful moment in African-American history. “Detroit,” starring John Boyega and Anthony Mackie, arrives nationwide on Friday.

And Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, on the latest episode of their Still Processing New York Times blog, recorded on Thursday, got moralistic on the very idea of white people making black art without permission.

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Morris: So, you’ve got that, and then you have this question of whether or not Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, a white woman filmmaker and a white male screenwriter, whether they should have made Detroit, which is set during the 1967 Detroit riots and features a predominantly black cast -- although you need racist police officers, so they’re played by white people....A critic at rogerebert.com essentially said that this movie was a travesty but not for the reasons portrayed in the film, but because they never want to see a white gaze on black pain again, sparking this debate about who gets to make what film and whether or not Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal had the right to make this movie to begin with, or would it have been in better, more capable hands, I’m using air quotes here, “capable hands” in the hands of a black director and a producer.

Jenna Wortham didn’t appreciate being made to feel sympathetic toward policemen trying to stop looters and rioters, while Morris instantly likened them to the KKK.

Wortham: And so, when you’re doing that, capped within a larger film about, that’s trying to take down or eradicate, or throw attention to, or throw a light on police brutality, when you watch the police going through Detroit under siege, you’re kind of worried about the police’s safety. And so, when you find yourself--

Morris: Oh, the D.W. Griffith, Birth of a Nation trick where you’re rooting for the KKK--

Wortham: You know what I’m saying?

Morris: --to stop those pesky, awful, demonic, mutant, dehumanized slaves.

NYT’s Alcindor Takes Hard Left Turn into ‘Environmental Justice,’ Climate Racism

Taking a left-wing angle on “climate change,” New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor swerved into radical racial ideas on black victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Alcindor reported from Galveston, Texas, “In Sweltering South, Climate Change Is Workplace Hazard.” The text itself had a more provocative racial activist tone, with unchallenged allegations of racism around Hurricane Katrina and the Trump administration, and a shout-out to Black Lives Matter:

Adolfo Guerra, a landscaper in this port city on the Gulf of Mexico, remembers panicking as his co-worker vomited and convulsed after hours of mowing lawns in stifling heat. Other workers rushed to cover him with ice, and the man recovered.

But for Mr. Guerra, 24, who spends nine hours a day six days a week doing yard work, the episode was a reminder of the dangers that exist for outdoor workers as the planet warms.

“I think about the climate every day,” Mr. Guerra said, “because every day we work, and every day it feels like it’s getting hotter.”

The photo caption: “Advocates are trying to bring the message of environmental justice to working class people like Mr. Guerra.”

And so much for the liberal Times' concern for preserving blue-collar jobs:

But to Robert D. Bullard, a professor at Texas Southern University who some call the “father of environmental justice,” the industrial revival that Mr. Trump has promised could come with some serious downsides for an already warming planet. Professor Bullard is trying to bring that message to working-class Americans like Mr. Guerra, and to environmental organizations that have, in his mind, been more focused on struggling animals than poor humans, who have been disproportionately harmed by increasing temperatures, worsening storms and rising sea levels.

“For too long, a lot of the climate change and global warming arguments have been looking at melting ice and polar bears and not at the human suffering side of it,” Professor Bullard said. “They are still pushing out the polar bear as the icon for climate change. The icon should be a kid who is suffering from the negative impacts of climate change and increased air pollution, or a family where rising water is endangering their lives.”

....

Residents of working-class communities in the Sun Belt often cannot afford to move or evacuate during weather disasters. They may work outside, and they may struggle to cover their air-conditioning bills. Pollution in their communities leads to health problems that are compounded by the refusal of most Sun Belt state governments to expand Medicaid access under the Affordable Care Act.

....

Mr. Guerra, who said he could not afford health care and feared this summer could lead to more spells of sickness, is hoping he can get a new job once he finishes the industrial mechanic program at College of the Mainland. Until then, he plans to use the $115 a day he makes mowing lawns to pay for school and rent. Mr. Guerra also hopes President Trump will reconsider his environmental policies.

Alcindor even let Bullard make some radical jabs at the environmental movement from the left:

Professor Bullard and others in his field have hosted conferences on climate change and environmentalism at historically black colleges and have taken groups of black students to climate meetings to educate them on the intersection of race, income and the environment

“I’ve been doing this work for 40 years and I have seen change; 25 or 30 years ago, many of the white organizations that were doing environmental work, they had no black members, no black staff and no black people on the board,” he said. “They had no contact with black communities and communities of color, and that has changed a bit.”

Alcindor briefly admitted the science was “dicey” -- but why hesitate when there is change to be made:

When people like Professor Bullard talk of a warming climate producing more frequent and stronger storms, Ms. Little shudders. Attributing Ike’s power to a warming climate is scientifically dicey, but to her the warnings of climate scientists ring true.

“Climate change is my life,” Ms. Little said.

Bullard even flagged Hurricane Katrina as part of global warming, despite the lack of evidence (major hurricanes which struck the U.S. have actually been down in the last decade, and made it a racial issue. Racist hurricanes, anyone?

Alcindor just rolled with it, posing no challenging questions to the extremist allegations, and even hinting at racism herself on the part of the Trump adminisration:

Professor Bullard said that part of his mission was getting people to understand the particular danger that storms like Ike can pose for working-class people. “We are bringing in the Black Lives Matter folks and talking climate justice and the black lives that were lost in New Orleans because of climate change and because of who was left behind on roof tops,” he said, referring to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “Racism left them behind on rooftops.”

And race is beginning to infuse the response to Mr. Trump’s environmental policies. When the president began transforming the Environmental Protection Agency, Mustafa Ali, who is African-American, resigned after more than two decades there.

The inconvenient fact that minorities may disproportionately lose blue-collar fossil fuel jobs in the name of fighting "climate change"? Not mentioned in the Times:

The unleashing of the fossil energy sector that Mr. Trump has championed could have repercussions more immediate than the global climate. In Houston, predominantly African-American neighborhoods like Sunnyside and Pleasantville have been dealing with pollution from the energy sector for years

Lack of regulation was the culprit in Houston:

The Parras family has spent much of its time in Manchester, a community in Houston that is one of the most polluted places in the country. Because of Houston’s liberal land-use laws, the community is ringed by an oil refinery, a chemical plant, a car-crushing yard, a wastewater treatment plant and an interstate. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency found toxic levels of seven carcinogenic air pollutants in the neighborhood.

Alcindor let an ambitious Democratic politicians liken environmental justice to the Civil Rights movement:

 

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“You can’t have freedom and justice in this country if you can’t breathe your air, if you can’t open your window because of the toxic smells,” Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, said. “It may not be a billy club that is hitting you or a dog that is tearing your skin -- those images from the Civil Rights movement -- but it is violence to the body.”

NY Times Fires ‘Warning Shot for Hard-Line,’ ‘Ultraconservative’ Catholics

Jason Horowitz, the New York Times’ most showily left-wing political reporter, made common cause with a piece making the rounds of Catholic intellectual circles singling out “ultraconservative” Trump-supporting conservatives as dangerous, in Thursday’s “From the Vatican, a Warning Shot for Hard-Line Catholics in the U.S.” The text box relayed: “An official journal says the U.S. church is too political.”

Horowitz uses that same “ultraconservative” terminology but loses the quotes:

Two close associates of Pope Francis have accused American Catholic ultraconservatives of making an alliance of “hate” with evangelical Christians to back President Trump, further alienating a group already out of the Vatican’s good graces.

The authors, writing in a Vatican-vetted journal, singled out Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, as a “supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics” that has stymied action against climate change and exploited fears of migrants and Muslims with calls for “walls and purifying deportations.”

The article warns that conservative American Catholics have strayed dangerously into the deepening political polarization in the United States. The writers even declare that the worldview of American evangelical and hard-line Catholics, which is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, is “not too far apart’’ from jihadists.

Horowitz tilted toward support of that paranoid political premise, and provided an unbalanced selection of quotes

The article and the backlash to it -- accusations of anti-Americanism have been rife, and one prominent American prelate likened the authors to “useful idiots” -- have highlighted the widening distance between Francis and American Catholic conservatives.

Since the 2013 election of Pope Francis, conservatives have worried that he has given short shrift to the social issues that have animated them, among them abortion and same-sex marriage. They have sat through his warnings to steer clear of politics. They have watched warily as Francis has installed pastors in his image while sidelining conservative leaders.

....

Fans of the article said it made clear that the conservatives who ran the American church for decades were out of step with the new Catholic mainstream under Francis.

....

The authors of the article argue that American evangelical and ultraconservative Catholics risk corrupting the Roman Catholic faith with an ideology intended to inject “religious influence in the political sphere.” They suggest that so-called values voters are using the banners of religious liberty and opposition to abortion to try to supplant secularism with a “theocratic type of state.”

....

Benjamin Harnwell, a Catholic traditionalist in Rome, fan of Mr. Bannon and confidant of Cardinal Burke’s, said the article’s authors were doing little more than “trolling Steve Bannon.” Mr. Bannon, a former altar boy who once articulated his worldview to a Vatican conference, wrote in a brief email that the pope’s associates “lit me up.”

For Horowitz as well as the authors of the article in La Civilta Cattolica, being inclusive meant shedding conservatives.

Personnel decisions in the Catholic hierarchy are crucial to Francis’ effort to make the church more inclusive, particularly in the United States.

American Catholic conservatives once unacquainted with being out of papal favor have stewed privately and expressed horror publicly on numerous right-wing Catholic blogs. They accuse Francis of wrecking the church and diluting its doctrine.

Liberal American Catholics, bruised by crackdowns under John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are less than sympathetic to conservative complaints and have felt emboldened by Francis. They are delighted with the pope’s promotion of figures like Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, who has started a program against gun violence and opposed Republican health care proposals on the ground that they would strip coverage for the weak and poor....

Horowitz let in a little progressive contempt of outlying, enthusiastic newcomers to the faith.

Some progressive Catholics have even begun expressing a previously tacit resentment of the hard-right zeal of evangelical, Calvinist and Protestant converts to Catholicism, among them Newt Gingrich, the husband of Callista Gingrich, the new American ambassador to the Holy See.

“I am so tired of converts telling us that the pope is not Catholic,” Michael Sean Winters wrote last week in the newspaper National Catholic Reporter.

That deep suspicion of evangelical fundamentalism and the fear of politicization corroding the conservative hierarchy of the American Catholic church was laid bare by the article in La Civiltà Cattolica. The authors were the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, the journal’s editor, who is a confidant of Francis’; and Marcelo Figueroa, an Argentine Presbyterian minister who is a friend and longtime collaborator of the pope’s.

Horowitz quoted the essay’s use of “ultraconservatism,” a characterization that the reporter evidently approves of, while letting Spadaro’s left-wing reign:

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Father Spadaro cited, by way of example, the fringe Catholic website Church Militant, which the essay described as openly in favor of political “ultraconservatism.” (A related site responded under the headline “Evil Editor of La Civiltà Cattolica Attacks Church Militant.”)

Father Spadaro also said it was important to explore the “apocalyptic narrative which inspires” Mr. Bannon, who has digested the works of often anti-Christian right-wing writers such as Julius Evola, who contend that people had drifted away from a primordial, heroic truth.

Times columnist Ross Douthat read the article and was not impressed:

Their essay is bad but important. Its seems to intend, reasonably enough, to warn against Catholic support for the darker tendencies in Trumpism -- the xenophobia and identity politics, the “stigmatization of enemies,” the crude view of Islam and a wider “panorama of threats,” the prosperity-gospel inflected worship of success.

But the authors’ understanding of American religion seems to start and end with Google searches and anti-evangelical tracts, and their intended attack on Trumpery expands and expands, conflating very different political and religious tendencies, indulging in paranoia about obscure theocratic Protestants and fringe Catholic websites, and ultimately critiquing every kind of American religious conservatism -- including the largely anti-political Benedict Option and the pro-life activism fulsomely supported by Francis’ papal predecessors -- as dangerously illiberal, “theopolitical,” Islamic State-esque, “Manichaean,” a return to the old integralism that the church no longer supports.

Douthat also saw hypocrisy in calling out only one side for politicization.

....the other bizarre thing about Spadaro and Figueroa’s broad brush: As the American Catholic writer Patrick Smith points out, by warning against a Catholicism that takes political sides or indulges in moralistic rhetoric or otherwise declaims on “who is right and who is wrong” in contemporary debates, the pope’s men are effectively condemning not only American conservative Catholics but also the pope’s own writings on poverty and environmentalism, his support for grass-roots “popular movements” in the developing world and his stress on the organic link between family, society, religion and the state.

Seven Years Later, NY Times Still Boils ObamaCare Opposition Down to Hate, ‘Rage’

Front-page news: Republican opposition to ObamaCare had little to do with spiraling costs, giveaways to insurance companies, or the rationing dangers and proven inefficiencies of government-run health care. According to the front of Saturday’s New York Times, it all came down to anti-Obama "anger" and "rage."

An Angry Vow Fizzles for Lack of a Viable Plan -- After 7 Years, G.O.P. Can’t Turn Rage Into Results” was the A1 story from reporters Matt Flegenheimer, Jonathan Martin and Jennifer Steinhauer, all of whom are regular subjects at Newsbusters.

It was a fitting conclusion to the NYT’s coverage of the so-far unsuccessful Republican drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act. For the last seven years Times reporters, not all of whom have a death grip on free-market principles, snidely insisted that Republicans were aligned against it not on principle, but for reasons of cruelty and anti-Obama racism (especially from the Tea Party), while insisting it would be a bargain.

The denigration came quickly, in paragraph two.

The closing argument was a curious one: Vote yes, Republican leaders told the holdouts in their conference. We promise it will never become law.

After seven years of railing against the evils of the Affordable Care Act, the party had winnowed its hopes of dismantling it down to a menu of options to appease recalcitrant lawmakers -- with no more pretenses of lofty policy making, only a realpolitik plea to keep the legislation churning through the Capitol by voting to advance something, anything.

They ended up with nothing.

By the early morning hours of Friday, the animating force of contemporary Republican politics lay in ashes, incinerated by three Republican senators -- John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. But the spark can be traced back to the hot summer of 2009, and to Winterset, Iowa.

It was there, and at town hall forums that tested fire marshals’ collective patience across the country, that the Republican rage ignited in earnest. Senator Charles E. Grassley, the state’s senior senator, was scorched after protracted negotiations with Democrats on what would become the Affordable Care Act. He peeled away, other Republicans followed, and Democrats were left to pass the health law on their own.

The anger persisted. Cohesive policy never came.

“You had 300 to 700 people and one time 900 people” at the town halls of 2009, Mr. Grassley recalled in an interview on the history of the Affordable Care Act. “We had to hold the town meetings outdoors, and the audience, I never had that sort of anger.”

In Winterset, Mr. Grassley fanned the flames about so-called death panels, saying, “You have every right to fear.”

Then came an interesting turn of phrase. It seems the Republicans weren’t actually fighting against government-controlled health care, but “President Barack Obama’s signature achievement.”

The election of Mr. Trump was supposed to be the unlikely answer to a seven-year question for Republicans: how to make good on their agenda-defining oath to undo President Barack Obama’s signature achievement.

But if the death knell came with Mr. McCain’s downward-turned thumb early Friday morning, the bill’s failure has far deeper roots in this star-crossed era of unified Republican government.

The fierce Democratic town hall protests in favor of Obamacare for some reason weren’t seen by the NYT as angry or full of rage, merely “boiling.”

The House pressed on, slogging through boiling town halls that called to mind the Democrats’ fate in 2009.

....

In the upper chamber, where Republicans hoped to develop their own bill, the stumbles arrived quickly. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, assembled a working group of 13 senators to draft the legislation -- all of them male -- excluding Ms. Murkowski and Ms. Collins.

Concerns came not just from moderates like Ms. Collins but from reliable Republicans in some unlikely places: Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who told any reporter within earshot that he did not have enough information to even form a firm opinion.

....

[President Trump's] recruitment efforts grew more ham-fisted with time. After a vote on Tuesday to proceed to a debate on health care repeal, which only Ms. Murkowski and Ms. Collins opposed among Republicans, Ms. Murkowski received a phone call: Mr. Trump had directed his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, to remind the senator of issues affecting her state that are controlled by the Interior Department, according to people familiar with the call.

And Mr. McCain’s startling diagnosis of brain cancer had an impact -- and not just on him.

The Times really used Sen. John McCain’s story for all it was worth. (The paper had far different treatment of him back in 2008 when he was the last person between Barack Obama and the White House, actually talking about the “privileged past” of someone who spent five-and-a-half years in a P.O.W. camp.)

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Mr. Trump has spoken often of leverage in negotiations. On Friday, he had none. It is difficult, in the best of circumstances, to strong-arm an octogenarian war hero battling brain cancer.

And two years ago this month -- in Iowa, inevitably -- Mr. Trump had disparaged him for being captured in combat.

....

Shuffling across the chamber, Mr. McCain convened with Democrats, informing them of his choice. “They can read my lips,” he said to laughs, fearing his hand would be tipped ahead of time from inside the gallery.

At one point, the senator joined Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski, telling them they had done the right thing.

“We talked about how if anyone knew about doing the right thing it was John McCain,” Ms. Collins recalled. “It was very moving.”

NYT Hypes 'Compelling' Al Gore as Oracle of Climate Doom for Turgid 'Truth' Sequel

Al Gore, former vice-president, nearly president, now “climate change” multi-millionaire guru, is back in the limelight with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, a follow up to his alarmist Powerpoint hit in 2006, An Inconvenient Truth.

The headline to Ben Kenigsberg’s review, in the New York Times Weekend Arts section Friday, lacks any trace of journalistic cyncism: “The Latest Word From Al Gore on Climate Change.” Straight from the oracle's mouth? The text box: “In a sequel, this environmental activist focuses on extreme weather trends as indicators of global warming.”

In a summer movie landscape with Spider-Man, a simian army waging further battle for the planet and Charlize Theron as a sexy Cold War-era superspy, it says something that one of the most compelling characters is Al Gore.

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” a follow-up to “An Inconvenient Truth,” Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-winning documentary from 2006, is a reboot that justifies its existence -- and not just because Mr. Gore has fresh news to report on climate change since his previous multimedia presentation played in multiplexes.

Now gray-haired and at times sounding angrier in his speeches, Mr. Gore, in “Sequel,” takes on the air of a Shakespearean figure, a man long cast out of power by what he casually refers to as “the Supreme Court decision” (meaning Bush v. Gore) but still making the same arguments that have been hallmarks of his career.

If there is a thesis in this new documentary, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (“Audrie & Daisy”), it’s that a rise in extreme weather is making the impact of climate change harder to deny. The movie touches on Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the wildfire in Fort McMurray, Canada, and the Zika virus. Mr. Gore visits Greenland and the flooded streets of the Miami area. (He acknowledges a complicated relationship with Florida.)

....

Mr. Gore likens President Trump’s election to a quip often attributed to Mike Tyson: You always have a plan until you get punched in the face. The movie has been updated since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January to include Mr. Trump’s announcement of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, a decision that probably forecasts another sequel.

The new Gore hype even found its way into comics coverage last Monday, as the paper highlighted a fairly obscure strip purely for its ideological environmental motivations. George Gene Gustines, who writes about comics for the paper, pushed "climate change" in an interview with an "environmentally minded cartoonist" (sounds hilarious!) in “To Herald a Film, a Comic Strip Mirrors the Ravages of Climate Change.”

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The newspaper comic strip “Arctic Circle,” by the environmentally minded cartoonist Alex Hallatt, is about talking penguins and their fellow creatures living in the north. Starting Monday, under a caption that says “An Inconvenient Truth,” the menagerie will find their world shrinking and their conversations will be about global warming.

Readers will see the drawings diminish to nothing by Friday as a snow bunny muses, “Climate change will lead to habitat loss and the extinction of many species.”

Miss Hallatt created the strips to observe the arrival of the documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” in theaters on Friday. The film is a follow-up to the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary featuring Al Gore. Miss Hallatt has no official connection to the film.

“I was so excited when ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was the success it was,” she said during a telephone interview. “Finally, finally climate change was now in the mainstream. In the intervening 10 to 11 years, it seems like we’re almost going backwards. It’s really, really frightening.”

She added: “The fact that there has to be a sequel does bother me. We shouldn’t even be discussing this.”

....

When she has tackled politics in “Arctic Circle,” the response on message boards would sometimes get heated. “You get climate change deniers who post to those threads,” she recalled. “The lovely thing is that there will be rational responses from people who will explain the science to them so I don’t have to get involved.”

....

Miss Hallatt said she believed her strip was an ideal venue for discussing global warming.

....

“An Inconvenient Sequel” highlights some progress in dealing with climate change; Miss Hallatt said she believed that positive steps could be taken.

“The U.S. may have withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, but a lot of cities and states have said they are still part of it,” she said. “That’s the attitude for people to have. There’s a lot we can do, but we have to do it collectively.”

For an actual probing, journalistic take of the Gore documentary, check out Kyle Smith’s take at National Review.

What’s the Matter With Kansas? NYT Says Failed, ‘Beleaguered’ Republicans Like Sam Brownback

The New York Times, never overly interested in what goes on in Middle America, has nonetheless long had its knives out for Kansas’ Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, striving to make him a national example of the perils of foolish tax cutting, and delighting in his “failed” right-wing experiment in Kansas. Reporters Mitch Smith and Jacey Fortin used Brownback's new ambassadorship to unload its stored-up Brownback hostility, in Thursday's “Kansas Governor to Be Nominated as Ambassador.

The reporters took precisely four words before employing a piece of vocabulary that the paper (and more recently President Trump) uses to indicate disapproval:

Sam Brownback, the beleaguered governor of Kansas whose aggressively conservative fiscal polices turned some fellow Republicans against him, will be nominated to serve as ambassador at large for international religious freedom, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mr. Brownback, 60, represented his home state in Congress before being elected to two terms as governor beginning in 2011.

On Twitter, Mr. Brownback wrote on Wednesday: “Religious Freedom is the first freedom. The choice of what you do with your own soul. I am honored to serve such an important cause.”

....

Mr. Brownback’s popularity has plummeted in recent years as the state slashed services and struggled to meet its revenue projections, problems that many attributed to Mr. Brownback’s signature tax-cutting doctrine. Despite Republicans’ dominance in Kansas, the party suffered losses in last year’s legislative elections.

....

Mr. Brownback’s policies were seen as a test of the Republican doctrine that lowering the tax burden on businesses would attract employers to the state and help the economy grow. It was being closely watched by conservatives across the country to see how it might affect Kansas. But the growth never came.

The Times failed to provide a fond or even civil sendoff.

“He leaves behind a legacy of failed leadership,” said State Representative Melissa Rooker, a moderate Republican who has frequently opposed Mr. Brownback’s policies. She said she did not know what to expect from Mr. Colyer, a Republican and an ally of Mr. Brownback’s, because he was not involved in the day-to-day dealings of the Legislature.

Representative Jim Ward, the Democratic leader in the Kansas House, said he was “not surprised” to hear of the appointment, which has been rumored in Topeka for months.

“I’m not going to miss him,” Mr. Ward said. “He has left a state in carnage and destruction.”

A Friday follow-up from reporters John Eligon and Julie Bosman was headlined “Kansas Governor’s Tenure May Serve as a Warning for Conservatives.” The text box foreshadowed the labeling bias of the text: “Showing that even in a red state, there could be dangers in governing too far to the right.”

Meanwhile, there’s no such thing as a politician going too far to the left for the Times’ tastes.

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For more than six years, Gov. Sam Brownback has steered Kansas on a hard right turn on one issue after another: taxes, guns, abortion rights, Medicaid and welfare benefits.

He will leave as an unpopular leader of a state in uncertain fiscal health, with more robust conservative policies and governed by a Legislature in which many in his own Republican Party have defied him. Polished, persistent and self-assured, Mr. Brownback has been seen as a model for the opportunities and perils of governing without compromise from the right on both social and fiscal issues.

But after the Trump administration said on Wednesday that Mr. Brownback, 60, would be nominated to serve as an ambassador at large for international religious freedom, his legacy in Kansas may be a cautionary note that even in a Republican state, there are dangers in governing too far to the right.

....

Yet he remained defiant to the criticism that his tax policies had left the state with huge budget deficits. Asked if he should have approached his tax policies differently, he largely blamed a weak national economy for the state’s fiscal woes.

....

Still, in his remarks, he spoke fervidly of his new role. At one point, explaining how taking communion could get people killed in some countries, Mr. Brownback, who is Catholic, became red in the face, paused and had to take a sip from a Styrofoam cup before continuing to speak.

In some respects, the position may be a return to an earlier version of Mr. Brownback’s political persona: During his time in the United States Senate, he was known chiefly as an articulate and well-mannered advocate for conservative social issues, like opposing abortion and human cloning, and for speaking out on issues of international human rights.

After that relatively respectful sortie, the NYT returned to the funeral for both Brownback’s political career and tax cuts in general.

To critics and allies alike, Mr. Brownback’s fatal flaw might have been his unyielding devotion to his conservative tax doctrine.

Eligion and Bosman damned Brownback with faint praise.

The governor’s stubbornness in sticking with conservative orthodoxy on taxes was in some ways counter to his more pragmatic approach in other areas.

He recently toured the state’s western reaches to promote conservation measures for the Ogallala Aquifer, the nation’s largest freshwater aquifer, whose depletion could be detrimental to Kansas’ vital agricultural economy.

And he has been generally supportive of providing financial incentives to renewable energy providers as a way of boosting Kansas’ wind energy industry.

....

To Steve Brunk, a former Republican state representative, Mr. Brownback’s reputation was hurt by what he felt were distortions about the impact of his tax policy and state spending.

....

Others, including many Republicans, saw less to praise. State Representative Stephanie Clayton, a moderate Republican, said she was “excited” about Mr. Brownback’s likely departure and called it “an opportunity for Kansas to have a fresh start, for us to return to dignity in governing.”

Ms. Clayton said the governor’s tenure had been marked by division within the Republican caucus and political hostility toward moderates like her.

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