Archive for Tim Graham

Time Promotes Liberal, Pro-LGBTQ Evangelist as the Authentic ‘Non-Negotiable’ Christian

<p>The liberal media’s favorite Christians are the liberal Christians, the ones who think there’s too much emphasis on abortion and homosexuality....and are fine with both. <em>Time</em>’s “Ten Questions” interview in the August 28 issue features "Texas pastor" Jen Hatmaker, a liberal author and blogger who’s horrified by Donald Trump and thinks evangelicals need to loosen up.</p> <p>The pull quote in the magazine is this: “If we are following Christ literally, then nobody’s humanity is up for grabs. Nobody. That is a non-negotiable.” This is NOT a quote about abortion. It’s a quote about “LGBTQ issues.”</p>

NPR Race Panel Horrified by White GOP Women Asking Muslim Reporter About Sharia Law

On Sunday morning, NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday spent 14 minutes having a panel discussion with their “Code Switch” race-and-identity team, and they aired phone calls they recorded from listeners on “racially charged interactions that you’ve experienced.”

One complained of being assaulted with Islamophobic questions by “white Republican women” at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Amal Ahmed is an intern at the leftist Texas Monthly. NPR made no attempt to find these “white Republican women” or confirm that this confirmation happened. The accusation was greeted as hard, cold fact. Asking about Islam is "racially charged."

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, anchor: Our next question is about an uncomfortable situation a caller found herself in at work.

AMAL AHMED: Hi. My name is Amal Ahmed, and I'm from Dallas, Texas. And I'm currently interning at a magazine in Austin. A few weeks ago, I was reporting from the special legislative session at the Texas State Capitol, and I was interviewing a group of white Republican women about what they were doing there that day. One of them turned around and asked me, what do you think of Sharia law? I was really taken aback by that question. I didn't know how to answer it in the moment. But I tried to brush her off. And she kept asking me more questions. And it ended with her saying, "You Muslims are all the same. You never want to give a straight answer."

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI: Whoa.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So yeah.

GENE DEMBY: Yeesh.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Her questions to you are, how do you stay professional when someone makes it so personal? And then she says, she had no one to turn to for support because all her bosses are white. So where can she find that support system?

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI [who self-identifies as "Persia-Rican" on Twitter]: Well, okay. So I'm thinking, as a journalist, practical advice for when you're in the field. If someone says to you “What are your thoughts on Sharia law?” I think you've got to be ready to say, “I'm a journalist. I'm not a religious scholar. So I don't have any thoughts on Sharia law. Thank you very much.” Turn around and walk away.

There it is, the usual boldness when members of the public insist a journalist has a biased viewpoint (if that's what happened here). Announce you don't have any thoughts and end the discussion. How does that convince anyone you're an honest journalist? She continued:

MERAJI: But as far as, you know, everybody at work being white and not feeling like you have a support system, you can reach out. There are people-of-color journalism groups on Facebook. There are ways that you can find people who have gone through these very similar situations out in the field when they're working. And you can talk to them.

In this telling, an NPR listener might think Ahmed was “profiled” by her name as a Muslim, but her LinkedIn page included that she’s a member of the Muslim Cultural Students Association at Northwestern, which recently hosted an event dedicated to “fighting Islamophobia in the Trump era.” The group's Twitter page touts they've hosted Hasan Minhaj ["Republicans are death eaters"] and former CNN host Reza Aslan [Trump is “a lying conniving scumbag narcissistic sociopath piece of s–t  fake president"]. Yes, this doesn't mean Ahmed supports all this, but maybe there’s more to the story of this exchange of views? Some discussion of religion and politics?

In this account, it sounds like Ahmed asked an extremely vague question about “what are you doing today?” and was answered by a bunch of questions about Sharia law. Was the jump really that abrupt? Or was the journalist asking hostile questions about Republican policies? Again, NPR’s anchor had no interest in those specifics. “Hate speech” of some sort was assumed, and so there was only the question of how to report that to white superiors:

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is obviously not something that only journalists face. I mean, I can imagine this is a situation that anyone in a professional capacity would face. My question, actually, is a little bit more pointed. Should she then go to her white bosses and say, this was a situation that made me feel uncomfortable? Or will that make her a target? And, potentially...

MERAJI: At work?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Those bosses saying, oh, this is a problem. Having this person in this position is a problem. I mean, do you have to keep it to yourself, or should you report it to your bosses?

DEMBY: I mean, I think you...

MERAJI: I think you should report it.

DEMBY: Yeah. I agree.

MERAJI: What do you think, Gene?

DEMBY: No, I think you have to talk to your bosses, I mean, like, if only so there's a record of it.

MERAJI: Yes.

DEMBY: And maybe you don't - maybe she's not the person who benefits from the fact that the record exists. But, you know, maybe your boss has a different approach to covering these women the next time you have to - someone has to engage them, right? Maybe that's something to keep in mind the next time. Even if, like, the sort of emotional support is not exactly what you get, there's a bunch of other more practical reasons to just make that known, you know?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We should say, of course, that your white bosses might be completely sympathetic and supportive.

DEMBY: Absolutely. Absolutely.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So it's not that they wouldn't necessarily understand.

DEMBY: That's absolutely right.

MERAJI: I would also write this stuff down every time it happens just to keep a record for yourself, as well, because, you know, sometimes, you're out there, and someone says something to you, and you think, am I crazy? Like, am I crazy? Is this...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Did this really just happen to me?

MERAJI: Yes. And you can go back to your record and go, no, this has happened 15 other times in spaces just like this. And I don't know. I just think it's important to write down these things.

Ahmed clearly has a multi-racial support group at National Public Radio. One wonders if the white bosses at the Texas Monthly would be any more curious about what the white Republican women would have said really happened in this “racially charged interaction” than NPR was.

PS: NPR's Code Switch on "I Am Not Your Muslim."

Liberals Demand CNN Grant Equal Time for Democrat Opponent at Paul Ryan Town Hall

Bill McMorris at the Washington Free Beacon reports on the latest in liberal hypocrisy. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was granted a CNN town hall without any Republican opponents on stage, but now they insist Speaker Paul Ryan is gaining an unfair advantage from the same arrangement on Monday night:

The Working Families Party, Democracy for America, and NARAL Pro-Choice America are circulating a petition demanding that the network offer an equal platform to Ryan's opponent in 2018, iron worker union official Randy Bryce.

"We think Paul Ryan shouldn’t get a huge national stage all to himself in the heat of a critical campaign. So we’re calling on CNN to turn this one-sided event into a real debate by letting Randy take the stage," the petition says.

Marina Dimitrijevic, director of the Wisconsin Working Families Party, said that Ryan, who was first elected in 1998, faces "the race of his life" from Bryce, who is "building up enormous momentum in the district." She said the CNN interview gives Ryan an unfair advantage.

"I don’t think it’s fair for CNN to give Ryan all that free airtime, just for him," she said in a statement. "Voters in Wisconsin’s first district have a tremendously important choice between two very different candidates, and the CNN should let voters hear from both of them."

Are they sure? RightWisconsin pointed out that Bryce already biffed an appearance on CNN last month, stumbling over his argument for single-payer socialist health care and admitting he didn't know much about North Korea. The liberals call that "building up enormous momentum."

These liberals surely think that Democrats should appear unopposed, while Republican should always have a Democrat on stage with them....as if CNN anchors aren't adversarial to Republicans. CNN has hosted many single politicians without an opponent, including Bernie Sanders and John Kasich. They just gave a whole hour to Al Gore to scare the kids about global warming...and compare "climate deniers" to segregationists.

Tapper drew fire for allowing Pelosi to smear new Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch with this: “If you breathe air, drink water, eat food, take medicine, or in any other way interact with the courts, this is a very bad decision.”

Pelosi also accused Gorsuch of favoring "the side of the felons over gun safety." PolitiFact was pressed into calling that "Mostly False." Mostly.

PBS, NPR Bury Their Own Poll Results on BLM, Antifa, and Confederate Statues

Taxpayer-funded PBS and NPR are now in the polling business with Marist College, and like the other networks, their polls are often used to support putting heat on Republicans. On Wednesday, they announced they had found a majority of Americans were disappointed with the president’s responsive to the violence in Charlottesville. PBS then ignored their own finding that 62 percent favored leaving Confederate statues in place, while only 27 percent want them removed. NPR reported it once, and then insisted that had nothing to do with Charlottesville.

Buried in the weeds: They also asked if Americans approve or disapprove of Black Lives Matter: 50 percent disapproved, and only 33 percent approved. They even asked about approval of Antifa, but few had heard of them yet: Five percent approved, 24 percent disapproved, 18 percent said they had no opinion either way, and 53 percent were unsure. But if the results don't fit....you must omit?

Here’s how the PBS NewsHour presented the poll on Wednesday night:

LISA DESJARDINS: This was a poll done Monday and Tuesday. And so some of this might include the president`s latest reaction. Most of it is including his reactions from Saturday. And here`s what we found. We asked people what they thought about the president`s response; 27 percent felt it was strong enough. But, Hari, a majority of Americans felt, 52 percent, not strong enough.

Now, that did break down across party lines. Republicans felt better about the president`s response than did Democrats and independents, but on another question, there was universal agreement. The question was, should the fatal crash in Charlottesville be investigated as an act of domestic terrorism?

Sixty-seven percent of those polled answered yes. And that was the same across all parties. We saw that resonate. And what`s interesting there, Hari, of course, is that the president has yet to say this should be investigated as domestic terrorism. He talks about Islamic terrorism, but here Americans seem to be raising a phrase that the president is not.

"We saw that resonate" is often network code for "our liberal bias resonated." It's fairly obvious that the terrifying vehicular homicide in Charlottesville strongly resembled Islamic automobile attacks in Europe, and many Republicans said so. The Justice Department is investigating on that basis. But when you skip over your own poll when it doesn't please you, those results never get a chance to "resonate."

The poll reporting was also partisan on NPR. Here's the first report on Wednesday night's All Things Considered. Scott Horsley, who often sounded like a stenographer for President Obama, loaded up the tilt on Trump:

SCOTT HORSLEY: Former Klan leader David Duke tweeted "God bless you" to the president, for "setting the record straight." Just 27 percent of Americans think the president's response has been adequate. And the new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll found overwhelming opposition to white supremacist viewpoints. Eighty percent of the poll respondents were surveyed after yesterday's news conference.

Horsley followed that with Trump-bashing soundbites by Nicolle Wallace and Charles Sykes. Their poll unsurprisingly found 86 percent mostly disagreed with white supremacy, and four percent mostly agreed. (But America is deeply racist?) 

Horsley struck the same theme on Thursday's Morning Edition:

AILSA CHANG: it's no secret that the president's poll numbers are, to put it lightly, not great right now. So shouldn't that make it easier for people in his party to just - to speak out, to speak their minds?

SCOTT HORSLEY: Yes, it does. We saw a Gallup approval rating for the president fall to 34 percent this week. There's also a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll that finds a majority of Americans think the president's response to the events in Charlottesville has not been adequate. So that does make it somewhat easier for lawmakers and others to put some distance between themselves and President Trump. But they're still cautious.

The statue question came up on Thursday night’s All Things Considered, but only to be dismissed as an irrelevant pretext:

ROBERT SIEGEL: Before news of the Barcelona attack, President Trump appeared defiant in tweets this morning about his response to the Charlottesville protests, defending what he called beautiful Confederate statues.

GEOFF BENNETT: That's right. He said it was sad that the history and culture of the United States is being ripped apart, as he put it, by the removal of these statues and monuments - Confederate statues and monuments, to be clear. But you know, I think the president's pivot to statues may put him on safer ground politically than his previous statement that both sides share the blame for what happened in Charlottesville. And as evidence of that, there's a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll that finds that some 62 percent of Americans think Confederate statues should remain as historical symbols.

But here again, the president is suggesting that the white nationalist protests in Charlottesville was fundamentally about a statue when it was really a pretext for a rally aimed at expressing white supremacist views with some of those in attendance, by the way, clearly seen on video shouting anti-Semitic slogans and raising Nazi salutes.

Your tax dollars are at work...providing a Xerox of the liberal bias of the other networks.

Even Olbermann Went 'WTF?' HuffPost Homepage Shoos Bannon With 'GOY, BYE!'

The Huffington Post raised eyebrows with their shade-throwing at departing White House strategist Steve Bannon. Their first headline on their home page read “GOY, BYE!” The Jewish word for a non-Jew is usually not seen as derogatory, but it sounded derogatory in this usage.

The reporter of the piece was Sam Levine. His funniest paragraphs was this: “Bannon also gave a bizarre interview this week to The American Prospect, a progressive publication, calling white supremacists a “collection of clowns” and contradicted Trump’s military threats to North Korea.” The HuffPost thinks it’s bizarre to mock white supremacists?

Linguistically, the HuffPost was in sync with white-supremacist anti-Semite David Duke, who tweeted in the same time frame, implying Jared & Ivanka were the end of Bannon: “(((They))) are no longer behind the curtain - in your face, Goy!”

You know you’ve raised eyebrows when Keith Olbermann suggests you’ve come a little unglued:

This was a top-down decision, as HuffPost editor Lydia Polgreen twirled in the shade. It was an “epic splash,” she said, and when warned it would stir things up, she wrote “Looking forward to it!” She suggested it was taken from a "GOY, BYE" tweet from HuffPost's Chloe Angyal.

 

Polgreen & Co. decided they better change it, so the headline on the front page became "WHITE FLIGHT."

In a March interview with Out magazine (headlined "Meet the Queer Black Woman Changing Journalism"), Polgreen said:

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the emergence of a president backed by a white-power ideology came after two terms of an African-American president.” She believes The Huffington Post can repair some of the damage. “I’d love HuffPost to be the place where the real conversation is happening about who gets to define what it is to be American, and what the real America is,” she says.

News? Conga Line of Obama Fans Resign from White House Arts Panel That Hasn't Met in 2017

So much of the liberal media’s spin is about creating an anti-Republican momentum, or in this era an anti-Trump momentum. Take Politico’s Friday story headlined “President’s arts and humanities committee resigns over Trump’s Charlottesville response.”

Edward-Isaac Dovere began:

Another advisory group is walking away from President Donald Trump after his equivocation on neo-Nazis and white supremacists, with the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigning en masse Friday morning.

“We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions,” members write in a joint letter to Trump obtained by POLITICO, which ends by calling on the president to resign if he does not see a problem with what’s happened this week.

Liberals are tweeting this around with “Holy crap” reactions....without listing the signatories. It's the "president's arts council" all right...the last president's.

But how dramatic is this if they were all appointed by Obama, and are a conga line of Obama supporters? There, in paragraph three, we learn these are liberals: “Members include artist Chuck Close, actor Kal Penn, author Jhumpa Lahri and Vicki Kennedy, widow of former Sen. Ted Kennedy.” Penn (real name: Kalpen Modi), now acting as a White House press secretary on the ABC drama Designated Survivor, worked as an aide under Valerie Jarrett for two and a half years in the Obama White House. Lahiri was given the National Humanities Medal by President Obama and signed a letter against Trump's six-nation travel ban earlier this year.

The committee also included:

-- Minnesota state senator Richard Cohen (Democrat of St. Paul);

-- Fred Goldring, a HuffPost contributor who boasts of creating the Obama "Yes We Can" campaign ad of 2008;

-- Chicago investor Howard Gottlieb, who donated $100,000 to Obama's inauguration festivities in 2009;

-- Anne Luzzatto, who led the Obama-Biden transition team staffing up the NEA, in addition to working in the Clinton White House;

-- Tennis Channel chief executive Ken Solomon, who raised $2.7 million for Obama's two presidential campaigns;

-- Caroline "Kim" Taylor, Boston Symphony Orchestra trustee and wife of liberal singer James Taylor;

-- Andrew Weinstein, the Finance Chair of the Democratic Party of Florida;

-- Jill Udall, wife of Sen. Tom Udall (Democrat of New Mexico);

-- Jersey Boys star John Lloyd Young, who boasts of being a proud, 20-year member of the ACLU.

Then, late in the story, there’s this: “The 17-member committee was appointed by President Barack Obama and hasn't met under Trump, but has continued work on some of its programs.” But it's "Trump's committee" abandoning Trump?

One might expect this Obama-approved arts panel to turn on Trump once his budget proposed zeroing out funds for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. But look how far afield these liberals go in their statement denouncing Trump like a committee of liberals:

You have threatened nuclear war while gutting diplomacy funding. The Administration pulled out of the Paris agreement, filed an amicus brief undermining the Civil Rights Act, and attacked our brave trans service members. You have subverted equal protections, and are committed to banning Muslims and refugee women & children from our great country. This does not unify the nation we all love. We know the importance of open and free dialogue through our work in the cultural diplomacy realm, most recently with the first-ever US Government arts and culture delegation to Cuba, a country without the same First Amendment protections we enjoy here. Your words and actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed.

Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions. We took a patriotic oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.

Liberals always assume that if you are in favor or the arts and the humanities, then you must be a liberal. Conservatives are presumed to be anti-art and anti-humanity.

Remember Obama Gaffes After Americans Were Killed? The Networks Yawned

Political reporters sounded like they were headed for fainting couches after President Trump’s press event at Trump Tower. Reporters professed incredulity that Trump would continue to criticize “anti-fascist” violence, as if those events mattered. The president's declaration that there were fine people on “both sides” of Saturday’s events sounded like people marching with Nazi flags were fine. But the media protected Barack Obama when he sounded tone-deaf after Americans died. The White House press corps looked like docile lapdogs, not fierce watchdogs.

Contrast 1: Last year, a black sniper named Micah Johnson killed five Dallas police officers and wounded seven others at a Black Lives Matter protest. The police chief was clear about his motive: “The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” His Facebook page had “Likes” for Black Lives Matter and the New Black Panthers.

But Obama, in a July 9, 2016 press conference, flinched from condemning the obvious racism and the ties to black leftists: “I think it’s very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter. As we’ve seen in a whole range of incidents with mass shooters. They are by definition troubled, by definition if you shoot people who pose no threat to you, strangers, you have a troubled mind.” It couldn't be blamed on rhetoric, for example, the BLM protesters who chanted, "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon."

That night, none of the three evening newscasts thought Obama’s comments were controversial enough to even mention. CNN gave it 73 seconds the next day on State of the Union, when host Jake Tapper asked Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson: “What exactly is hard to entangle about the killer’s motives? They seem fairly clear-cut to me.”

Johnson lamely shot back that not all the facts were in yet: "Well, as Chief Brown noted, the shooter apparently told the hostage negotiator that he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. I think that's a quote from Chief Brown. The investigation, however, is still early. We are investigating every aspect of this shooter's life. I suspect we're going to know a lot more very quickly."

Contrast 2: In 2014, cameras caught Obama smiling as he went off to play as round of golf at Martha's Vineyard after the beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS in Syria. Over the next 24 hours, the only broadcast coverage was a brief item the next morning on CBS; nothing like the outcry that we’ve seen this week. This was a journalist slaughtered, and the journalists were bored by this apparent lapse of judgment.

Two and a half weeks later, on NBC’s Meet the Press, Obama admitted it was a mistake. Chuck Todd gently inquired: "I've got to ask, like, so during that vacation, made the statement on Foley, you went and golfed. Do you want that back?" Obama said “It’s always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation,” Mr. Obama said. “Because you’re followed everywhere. And part of what I’d love is a vacation from the press....I should’ve anticipated the optics [of golf].”

Contrast 3: Then there’s the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, when terrorists stormed a U.S. facility and killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. The next day, the President made a brief statement of regret in the Rose Garden -- taking zero questions from reporters -- and then left for a Las Vegas fundraiser, while his equally shameless team fanned out to promote the false narrative that the attack was the result of an anti-Muslim video. The only politician who met reporters was Mitt Romney -- and he was hammered for daring to criticize Obama.

As MRC's Geoffrey Dickens reported at the time, The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) Wednesday evening newscasts devoted more than 9 minutes (9 minutes, 28 seconds) to the flap over Mitt Romney's statement criticizing the administration's handling of the Libyan crisis but spent just 25 seconds on questions regarding Barack Obama's Middle East policy, a greater than 20-to-1 disparity. Time spent questioning Obama's shameful fundraising during a national crisis? Zero. (Only NBC's Chuck Todd mentioned Obama was having a...."campaign rally" in Vegas.)

And, during the investigations that followed, we learned that Obama felt so entitled he skipped his intelligence briefing that day. To this day, it remains a mystery what Obama did on the night of that deadly attack. That strongly proves their level of curiosity (or aggression) is very strongly associated with the party in control of the White House.

Anonymous Source Used to Slam Ivanka as Like 'Half-Wit Saudi Prince'

This is a good demonstration of the worst use of anonymous sources -- not to provide sensitive and valuable information, but to insult people with no consequences. Yahoo News is circulating a report from Tom Porter of the dying husk of a magazine called Newsweek about how President Trump announced his daughter Ivanka would had the U.S. delegation at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in southern India in November. Now, for comment, an anonymous insult comic: 

Bobby Gosh [sic], editor of the Hindustan Times tweeted that an Indian diplomat, whose name he didn't reveal, remarked on Ivanka: "We regard Ivanka Trump the way we do half-wit Saudi princes. It's in our national interest to flatter them.”

Gosh added: “Yes, it is a shame that the U.S. should be compared to a kingdom. But that is America's shame, not Modi's, or India's.”

That would be Aparisim "Bobby" Ghosh, formerly a foreign correspondent for the other slightly less dead news magazine known as Time. Now imagine Ghosh using an anonymous source to mock Chelsea Clinton as a "half-wit" princess, and imagine whether Yahoo or Newsweek would consider that professional journalism.

Porter wrapped up the story by asserting that last month, "the former model was criticized for sitting in for her father at an official G20 function in Hamburg, Germany....Ethics experts have accused Trump of nepotism for appointing his daughter to a White House role. However Trump spokesman Jason Miller has claimed that the appointment is above reproach since Ivanka is unpaid for her advisory role." 

[HT: Robert S.]

Friedman's Advice: Can Democrats (and the Media) Accept Where Trump Is Right?

From the In Case You Missed It file: last week, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman advised the Democrats to embrace some of Donald Trump's beliefs, because "Some things are true even if Donald Trump believes them!" If they hope to attract Trump voters in the midterms they will have to make some moves toward the president.

First, Friedman had to dismiss that Trump ever does anything constructive with his beliefs: "Trump connects with these gut issues and takes them in a destructive direction. It’s vital for Democrats to connect with them and take them in a constructive direction." This was his list:

We can’t take in every immigrant who wants to come here; we need, metaphorically speaking, a high wall that assures Americans we can control our border with a big gate that lets as many people in legally as we can effectively absorb as citizens.

The Muslim world does have a problem with pluralism — gender pluralism, religious pluralism and intellectual pluralism — and suggesting that terrorism has nothing to do with that fact is naïve; countering violent extremism means constructively engaging with Muslim leaders on this issue.

Americans want a president focused on growing the economic pie, not just redistributing it. We do have a trade problem with China, which has reformed and closed instead of reformed and opened. We have an even bigger problem with automation wiping out middle-skilled work and we need to generate more blue-collar jobs to anchor communities.

Political correctness on college campuses has run ridiculously riot. Americans want leaders to be comfortable expressing patriotism and love of country when globalization is erasing national identities. America is not perfect, but it is, more often than not, a force for good in the world.

Friedman concluded, "Voters don’t listen through their ears. They listen through their stomachs. And when you connect with voters in their guts, they feel respected, and when they feel respected, they will listen to anything — including big issues that are true even if Democrats believe them. Such as the fact that a majority of Americans like Obamacare and want to see it built to last, and a majority of Americans do not like the way Trump is despoiling the environment and bringing back coal."

Now, as an intellectual exercise, ask yourself: On which of these issues have the network news people acknowledged Friedman's list? Have the networks covered political correctness on college campuses? Not really. Have the liberal media underlined the Muslim world's problem with pluralism? No, they're too busy obsessing over Trump's problem with Muslims. Have the networks acknowledged that we can't take in every immigrant? Please. 

Tom Friedman ought to be challenging his own media colleagues to see if they can be less ideological and more objective than the Democratic Party hardliners. Because right now, they sound exactly like Democratic Party hardliners.

And from last week's evidence, they're probably not going to interview Friedman and talk about this column.

Rob Reiner on MSNBC: Trump's an 'Accessory' to Murder by 'Stoking This Stuff' on Race

MRC's Brent Baker caught a nasty attack from Hollywood director Rob Reiner on MSNBC's airwaves Saturday after the news broke that a woman counter-protesting white supremacists was hit and killed by a car backing up at extreme speed. Reiner called Trump an "accessory" to the death for "stoking this stuff" of white resentment. Here's Brent's tweet: 

Reiner started out with a typical liberal lament, that Trump wasn't calling out white nationalists like other Republican leaders: 

ROB REINER He’s looking at the people that got him there, and that’s all he cares about. I mean, you mentioned it earlier, Joy, you had Marco Rubio, Orrin Hatch, Paul Ryan – all saying the right thing. But he’s the president of the United States, and he needs to condemn these groups. He once said, you know, “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and I wouldn’t lose any support.”

But then he lurched into the blaming the president for the automotive homicide: 

REINER: Well, this is like, a person died today, and so, he didn’t shoot him, but you could consider him an accessory, in a sense, because he’s been stoking this stuff for years! So unless he comes out in a full-throated condemnation of what we saw today, then, and risk losing these people, then he’s not the president of what we know as president of the United States.

It's not true that Trump didn't issue a full-throated condemnation of the violence. It's just that Reiner wanted Trump to denounce the initial cause of the violence -- white nationalists protesting Charlottesville taking down a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The irony of these protests -- this is the second of what the racists promise will be many -- is that the white racists are lucky to rally with 100 people, and thousands march in counter-protest. The media rush to cover these to prove how deeply racist America remains....when 100 racists show up. 

We know what Reiner would say to the charge that Barack Obama was an "accessory" to rioting in Baltimore and Ferguson. The blame for rioting belongs to the rioters, just as the blame for this violence-by-car is on the driver. 

Speaking of "stoking stuff," Reiner has a history of intemperate remarks against Trump and conservatives and statements exploiting violent events for liberal messaging. When Rep. Steve Scalise and others were shot at a Virginia baseball field in June, Reiner tweeted an attack on Trump: "The tragedy in Virginia has brought us together. Now we must come together over Russia's attack on our democracy. POTUS, stop obstructing!" 

A few days later, Reiner was at it again, preaching the need for all-out war: “When Fox says that DT colluding with the enemy is not a crime, the fight to save Democracy is now an all out war. US-Stay strong. #Treason”

So much for unity and peace. 

 

CNN's Ben Ferguson Praises Trump, Rips David Duke After Va. Violence

Conservative CNN analyst Ben Ferguson was one of the first pundits to face liberal-media anger over President Trump's Twitter reaction to a vicious vehicular homicide against Klan counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday afternoon. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides — on many sides,” Trump said.

Ferguson said the president denounced violence and hate, but CNN anchor Ana Cabrera wasn't having it. Liberals pretended there weren't any hateful violent leftists throwing punches in Charlottesville in Saturday. 

ANA CABRERA: But are there many sides, Ben, to this? Are there many sides? Because what you just heard from Cornell is he did not call out white nationalists, the KKK. He said I condemn hate from all sides.

BEN FERGUSON: Well, and I think there is a lot of — I think there is a lot of hate from different groups and his point was very clear that he was condemning those that did these attacks today. And I think his point was very clear that there's a lot of people out there that have a lot of hate and that it is unacceptable and they will be prosecuted and people will be arrested and the police will come after you and we need to come together as a as a country.

I don't think it's a time for it to become such a political conversation, that, I think we all need to take a deep breath and we need to realize, there are bigoted, racist, god-awful people in this country and let's not pour more gasoline on that fire. Let's condemn it. Let's make sure everyone can go home and be safe and let's make sure that we're not trying to make political statements or attack a governor or somebody else or the your own personal political gain. I think that's one of the things that bothers me the most —

Cabrera broke in, and Ferguson energetically denounced David Duke, including the note that the liberal media enable him with air time:

CABRERA: But Ben, when you hear from somebody participating in the hate that's happening there, David Duke, saying they're trying to fulfill the President's promise, they're bringing politics into it.

FERGUSON: David Duke is white trash and the only reason that David Duke brings up any political leader is because he knows he'll get on TV for it and then his hate will be broadcast to millions of people and he accomplished that today. David Duke has been condemned by this president. David Duke has been condemned by literally thousands upon thousands of politicians. David Duke is a nobody in my book and a has been but as he walks out there to get himself on TV, he mentions something that connects him to a sitting President. And when he does it, his message gets out to millions of people.

I don't care about David Duke. David Duke is a vile, disgusting human being and I don't think he should have a voice, I don't think he has a voice to that many people and we certainly shouldn't give him a megaphone when he says bigoted and racist things. David Duke is a disgusting human being. But let's stop letting him play us by saying I'm going to talk about Donald Trump and then a racist white people in this country.

CABRERA: But the President did not call out David Duke's, the KKK, white nationalist, white supremacist.

FERGUSON: Because I don’t think David Duke needs to — he's already — he’s already made it very clear during the campaign that — he’s said I'm not David Duke. I don't like him. I don't know him. I don't want to be part of him. His group is not an accepted endorsement.

All of Ferguson's condemnation caused the CNN anchor to shift the story: "But, forget David Duke. We are talking about this movement, Ben, the people who are emboldened right now to have a rally like this, to ram a car into a crowd of people." CNN would not suggest after a Muslim act of domestic terrorism that Obama "emboldened" the violent act. 

Anti-Trump Columnists Ask: Would Trump Voters Defend a Sexual Predator President?

In a column that appeared on Townhall, former CBS News correspondent and current Fox News analyst Bernard Goldberg ran through a cluster of bad polls for President Trump proving he "embarrassed the country," and then championed a "good question" from Trump-bashing "conservative" columnist Bret Stephens, who recently joined The New York Times: 

Trumpism wasn’t just some bottom-up movement. It, too, had its professors, politicians and journalistic commentators – the theoreticians, enablers, sanctifiers, excuse makers and Never Never-Trumpers – who gave the movement a patina of intellectual respectability and moral seriousness that Trump himself had done nothing to earn.

They are our new Antinomians, who believe the president and his administration are bound by no law, even the Mosaic one, because they have already been saved by a new version of grace – in this case, the grace of defeating Hillary Clinton. Thought exercise for Trump’s media defenders: If the president were to sexually assault a woman in the Oval Office tomorrow, would you still justify your vote on the view that Neil Gorsuch’s elevation to the Supreme Court made it all worthwhile?

Goldberg and Stephens are furious that conservative Catholics and Protestants voted for and defend President Trump. But they both miss the same thing that the Clintons did. They fail to understand how Trump's crass Access Hollywood tape was cancelled out by an opponent who tolerated a repeated pattern of sexual harassment (and even accusations of rape) by her husband. Conservatives were capable of decrying that tape and supporting the women who say Clinton harassed them. Conseratives are also capable of denouncing this president if it was proven he assaulted a woman in the Oval Office. 

Goldberg and Stephens didn't ask the liberals how they could justify being angry at charges of a Republican president assaulting women in the Oval Office, when they supported Bill Clinton at every turn. 

These Trump critics didn't quote any Christian leader proclaiming Trump was "bound by no law." But the religious right did believe that the dramatic erosion of religious liberty under Obama and the advances of a new LGBT orthodoxy in public policy might require them to choose a morally imperfect candidate who promised to resist the rapid changes sought by the libertine left. 


 

'We Just Didn't Know' — NY Times Won't Take Responsibility for Its Error on Climate 'Scoop'

In April of 2004, New York Times White House correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller rudely challenged President George W. Bush in a televised press conference: “Two and a half years later, do you feel any personal responsibility for September 11?” Bumiller is now the paper’s Washington bureau chief, and she can’t even take personal responsibility when her newspaper falls flat on its factual face.

The Times is under fire for its un-factual report that the Trump administration was suppressing a draft of a climate change report that, oops, had been posted on the Internet in January, making it comical to read the boast "A copy of it was obtained by the New York Times," as if the Internet was a secret hideaway. The Times removed that sentence from its report, but maintains the language that anonymous scientists are afraid Team Trump will suppress the report.

The only thing suppressed are the identities of the anti-Trump activists. What the Times created was....Fake news.

Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple wrote a surprisingly critical blog headlined New York Times guilty of large screw-up on climate change story.” Wemple thought the paper’s understated correction should be posted with flashing red lights. an audio track, and the sentence “This story once peddled a faulty and damaging premise.” He felt the charge of suppression, given Trump's spotty record on transparency, was explosive, and hence, the stakes are higher to get the facts right.

The lowlight of the piece was Bumiller professing that the newspaper’s ignorance was a defense:

New York Times Washington bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller says of the draft report’s status: “We were just not aware that somebody involved in the report had put a draft on this nonprofit Internet site,” she says. “It was not a well-known site to us and the point is that the people who shared the draft with us were not aware of it either. That doesn’t change the larger point that scientists were worried that the government wouldn’t approve the report or release it through normal channels.”

When pressed on [Sarah Huckabee] Sanders’s criticism, Bumiller said, “We spent a lot of time trying to sort out where it had appeared before,” said Bumiller. “Again, we just didn’t know. The reporter just didn’t know and the editors didn’t know and once it was brought to our attention, we sorted it out” and ran a correction.

Keep this in the file when the Times reporters and columnists slip into high dudgeon about the White House displaying a lack of curiosity or a lack of respect for the importance of getting facts right. 

The irony of the liberal media is they adore a story about "scientists" warning of planetary doom getting suppressed by Republicans and their fossil-fuel financiers, while they fervently believe in suppressing opposition to the doomsayers as dangerously unscientific. 

Larry King Talks About the 'Sharing' of Socialism With 'Almost Jesus-Like' Russell Brand

It was not a Mensa meeting when Larry King interviewed British comedian Russell Brand in London about socialism and fascism, among other topics, on his Russia Today show Larry King Now on August 7.

Brand cast Trump as a grotesque figure – talk about the pot calling the kettle black – but said he at least seemed authentic. King shot back “But he’s authentic/not-authentic. Because, does he have a philosophy?”

Brand said that didn’t matter, but said Trump “has a kind of veracity. The only other figures that have it, I think, are Jeremy Corbyn, in this country, is an authentic man, I would agree he’s a principled and beautiful human being. Bernie Sanders, in your country, had a kind of integrity, but was stifled and contained and marginalized by this political process. I think that authenticity, to use the ludicrous pun, trumped the alternatives that seems more appealing to a liberal sensibility.”

KING: What is happening in the world? Are we going through some upheaval?

BRAND: I think so. Don’t you?

KING: What is it, though?

BRAND: I think it is a rejection of globalization and a return to nationalism as a result.

KING: There is a danger in that.

BRAND: Yeah, there is, of course, you have fascism as a kickoff. But also, nationalism isn't going to work at this point. Nationalism is a bogus ideology. 

KING:  It cannot.

BRAND: All of these ideas are in service to political and financial elites. I think we are at an important point. The result of the last British election gives me some cause for optimism because there was a return to socialist values. [As if Corbyn won?] You know, socialism in the 1950's in your country was attacked so aggressively and so maligned that it is impossible for people to have a kind of an open view of it now, as simply sharing.

KING: Norway has that.

BRAND: What do they have?  Like a nice general socialism.

KING: Yah.

BRAND: It seems that would be the answer, doesn’t it, Larry?

KING: It does. But they only have 5 million people.

This caused Brand to go into a soliloquy about the notion of decentralized socialism – “what your man [Noam] Chomsky says,” he said to King. Then he added: “If the powerful continue to resist ordinary people having any form of power, there will be these bizarre, grotesque anomalies like Donald Trump or Brexit, or a return to nationalism, while people reach for identifiable symbols and recognizable narratives, unless there is significant and real change.” Then came the comedy: 

ING: You don't want it to turn fascist, though.

BRAND [protesting]: Larry!  I don't like fascism! Look at my hair! You can't have long-haired fascists. It’s a rule.

KING: You are almost Jesus-like.

BRAND: Exactly! And was Jesus a fascist? I don’t think so.

KING: No, I don’t think so.

BRAND: Now’s a good place for a break, isn’t it? “You look like Jesus, and Jesus wasn’t a fascist.”

King and his producers actually put this Jesus exchange in a clip to open the show. 

Liberal Media Mock Breitbart for Exposing NY Times Reporter's Eco-Activist Emails

Breitbart’s being mocked by “mainstream” media figures on Twitter for reporting on emails New York Times environment reporter/activist Coral Davenport sent to sympathetic fellow greens at the Environmental Protection Agency to produce hard-hitting reports on Trump’s EPA boss Scott Pruitt.

Breitbart reporter Matthew Boyle, who’s been very chummy with Team Trump over the last couple of years, wrote Davenport was “actually soliciting government employees to become leakers. What’s more, the emails demonstrate the Times colluded with the president of government union to encourage and solicit these leaks.”

Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple took that mockery to his blog, asserting Breitbart and other Trump-backing folks don’t understand journalism at all. The headline was "Breitbart confirms it has no idea what journalism is." He wrote: 

There’s much more to Davenport’s email, and each line is unassailable — a reporter diligently trying to find inside information critical to U.S. taxpayers. It is journalism, and its very practice is under siege from people who don’t understand it. These days the siege often targets the New York Times, whether the assailant is Matthew Boyle, the National Rifle Association, the vice president or the president. An increasing chunk of the media critic’s portfolio in these times is standing up and saying, in defense of the New York Times: This is journalism.

Wemple is right that reporters don’t just have leakers call them up and leak; they often go out looking for disgruntled or ideological insiders to become their anonymous sources. But in hailing Davenport as “unassailable,” he’s ignoring the obvious point of Davenport’s liberal get-Pruitt agenda. After the election, Davenport lamented the victory of Donald Trump as a "new peril" for climate-change doomsters. 

The truly naive people believe that journalism is something created objectively, serving a readership without any explicit attempt to convince readers to support one political side. Anyone who reads The New York Times for a week should know what they’re attempting to manufacture when they create the “news.” They function as Governing Partners when Democrats are in power, and are much more hostile and thumping their chests when the Other Party is in charge.

So here’s the email Boyle is reporting from Davenport to John O'Grady, the leader of a government-employees union representing EPA bureaucrats:

“As I mentioned, I’m working on a story looking specifically at concrete examples of unusual secretary [secrecy?] at E.P.A.,” Davenport states, continuing:

“I’ve heard a lot of second-hand rumors, but in order to report these incidents, I’d need to have first-hand or eyewitness accounts. I’m looking for examples of things like, information being communicated only verbally when it would historically have been put in writing, people being told not to bring phones, laptops or even take notes in meetings where they would in the past typically have done so, eyewitness accounts of things like the administrator or top political appointees refusing to use official email, phones or computers, or any other specific, first-hand examples of practices that appear to demonstrate unprecedented secrecy or transparency.”

What makes this unintentionally funny is the Actual Precedent: Obama’s EPA was rife with appointees evading their official email! Administrator Lisa Jackson had an account with the transgendered alias “Richard Windsor.” (It reminds conservatives of Hillary sending emails to her daughter Chelsea at the alias "Diane Reynolds.")

How curious was the Times on that story? They weren’t. On December 28, 2012, they first reported on this as Jackson stepped down....in paragraph 17. Long after conveying President Obama’s praise for Jackson’s “unwavering commitment,” Times reporter John Broder quickly summarized:

This month, the E.P.A.'s inspector general, prodded by Republicans in Congress, announced that he was opening an inquiry into Ms. Jackson's use of a secondary e-mail account to conduct business inside the agency. Ms. Jackson has said that she used the second account because her public e-mail address was widely known and that her e-mail alias -- ''Richard Windsor'' -- derived from the name of her dog and her former home in Windsor Township, N.J.

The Times didn’t prod for transparency. Trouble-making Republicans in Congress prodded for transparency. That’s just how the Times signals they are serving a function as....the Opposition Party.

There were no Pulitzer Prizes or Peabody Awards in exposing Lisa Jackson. Chris Horner wrote a whole book about The Liberal War on Transparency...but the liberal media weren’t about to highlight that, even as they pose as transparency’s champions.

Now back to Davenport’s email to the government union guy:

“While I’d like to speak to staff about these examples, I DON’T need to quote them by name or with any sort of identifying details that could in any way reveal the source of the information,” Davenport writes. She continues:

We’re VERY sensitive to the need to protect career folks who speak to us, and we DO NOT want to endanger anyone’s employment. But, in order to ensure that our reporting is based on facts rather than rumors, we do need to feel sure that the examples we give are based on first-hand or eyewitness experiences rather than second and third-hand rumors....

“Another way to do this might be through a combination of your interviews and my reporting,” Davenport writes, adding:

If you gave put together multiple eyewitness accounts of a specific example of behavior that demonstrates an unprecedented lack of transparency, we could cite that. Or, if I speak to multiple people who describe, firsthand, such an example, I could cite that without needing any quotations. In general, the more folks I speak to who can offer specific, first-hand accounts of similar phenomena, the more I can write with authority in a broad way with no quotations or identifying details.

From there, she moves on to describe how she has already done this.

“We’ve already done this in a number of other stories this year,” Davenport writes. “Below are four stories that I reported with the help of multiple interviews with current EPA employees. Since the employees gave multiple firsthand accounts but could not be quoted, I was able to describe what was going on without naming, quoting, or identifying any of them. The only employees quoted in these stories are those who specifically gave permission to do so — generally the union leaders. However, the accounts of employees who were not quoted helped to deeply inform the story and allowed me to write with more authority. So looking to do the same this time.”

A Times spokeswoman, Danielle Rhoades-Ha, told Breitbart News there is nothing abnormal about these emails. “The email demonstrates the process of reporting and gathering facts,” Rhoades-Ha said in an email early Tuesday.

That’s not quite right. The email demonstrates the process or organizing anonymous sources to embarrass or inhibit government officials like Scott Pruitt  from doing conservative things.

Hypocrisy: WashPost Gossip Slams Trump Aide's 'Posh' Condo, Liberals Get a 'Posh' Pass

Here’s one way you can tell liberal reporters are upset that Stephen Miller embarrassed Jim Acosta and his “cosmopolitan bias” and “ignorance” from the White House podium. The Washington Post gossip section is complaining about the alleged hypocrisy of his elitist condominium home.

On the front page of Tuesday’s Style section – the “Reliable Source” gossip column is typically on page 2 – came the headline “Trump adviser has his own ‘cosmopolitan’ abode in DC.” Post gossip Emily Heil almost dripped with contempt:

White House senior adviser Stephen Miller famously used the adjective “cosmopolitan” to insult CNN’s Jim Acosta during an exchange in the White House briefing room last week, implying that the journalist somehow bore an air of swampy elitism.

But wait, what’s that expression about people in glass houses?

It turns out that Miller calls home a nearly $1 million condo in CityCenter, one of Washington’s poshest addresses and a complex that proudly offers residents an upscale, urbane lifestyle. With high-end international retailers such as Hermès and Gucci on the street level alongside fancy Italian, Asian and French eateries, the building is billed as “the new ideal for sophisticated, modern, urban living.” Also in the marketing materials is the slogan: “You are where you live.”

Which would make Miller … well, pretty cosmopolitan, in a city that is arguably among the most cosmopolitan in the world.

Heil then went on to explain that "family connections" must be enabling Miller to buy such swanky properties. His salaries wouldn't support his residences. As you might expect, the Post’s gossips are very deeply embedded in a double standard. Miller isn't exactly buying DC real estate like Post-owning billionaire Jeff Bezos.

Heil also retweeted Jim Acosta agreeing with Post political correspondent Aaron Blake as he promoted the gossip item: 

We recently noted Heil performed this same ritual in attacking the fiance of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for her taste in diamonds. The Post wouldn't pull this trick on Barack and Michelle Obama. They wouldn't mention their reported $65 million book deal as they wrote on May 31 about the Obamas bought a mansion in D.C. for $8.1 million. They wouldn't mention the Town & Country article ogling the nine and a half bathrooms. No, that just made them cooler. They earned it by their stellar performance in the White House! (Heil did answer a question about her greatest weakness by saying "Tie: snobbery and bourbon.")

Or take Bernie Sanders and his third home. On August 10, 2016, Heil’s gossip partner Helena Andrews-Dyer (author of the memoir Bitch Is The New Black) placed a ten-foot-pole between the Post and the busybodies of the “hypocrisy police.” 

The headline was "Bernie Sanders buys a $575,000 vacation home and the Internet cries hypocrisy."

Bernie Sanders does not like fancy-schmancy things. He isn't a huge fan of gazillionaires, tuxedos or any of the highfalutin trappings of society's economic ills. This, of course, made him a hero among the country's growing socialist movement. So when news came that the former presidential candidate bought a $575,000 vacation home for his family, the hypocrisy police were ready to pounce in all caps.

The Sanders family's "new waterfront crib has four bedrooms and 500 feet of Lake Champlain beachfront," according to the Vermont newspaper Seven Days, which broke the news on Monday. Sanders's spokesman, Michael Briggs, told us the home is 1,800 square feet (hardly a mansion). Jane O'Meara Sanders, the senator's wife, said she had "always hoped" to buy a home in the area, which has more of a country village vibe than Hamptons feel.

Just a 40-minute drive from Burlington, "the islands" - local lingo for the chain of bridge-connected islands that dot Lake Champlain, the sixth largest in the country - are a popular New England summer and fall destination with sparkling views of the Adirondack Mountains. They boast 200 miles of shoreline, scenic bike paths and birdwatching.

It all sounds like a pretty nice and not at all over-the-top getaway for the Sanders clan, which includes Sanders's son from a previous relationship, his wife's three children from her first marriage, their spouses and seven grandkids. In her statement to Seven Days, Jane Sanders even added the extra tidbit (probably anticipating the criticism) that the sale of her own family's vacation home in Maine precipitated the purchase of the Lake Champlain house.

But Bernie-files [sic] and Bern-outs alike soon cried foul on social media and in headlines about the senator's third home (the Sanderses also have homes in Washington and Burlington) because apparently socialism and diversified real estate portfolios don't mix. There are several sub Reddit threads dedicated to the senator's real estate news.

For his part, Sanders has yet to respond to the criticism and calls for donor refunds. He's probably too busy writing his forthcoming book. Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In is set to hit bookshelves on Nov. 15.

Andrews-Dyer locates herself on Twitter not as based in D.C, but as "By Obama and 'nem."

Vice President Pence Slams New York Times for 'Disgraceful' 'Fake News' on His 2020 Plotting

Vice President Mike Pence denounced as “fake news” an imaginative front-page Sunday New York Times story on Republicans quietly plotting to run for president in 2020 in case, as their headline intimated, “Beleaguered Trump Isn’t on the Ballot.”

Reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns wildly speculated in the first paragraph that “Mike Pence’s schedule is so full of political events that he is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago.”

If a conservative news outlet in 1993 had trotted out the idea that after an uncertain first six months for Bill Clinton, Vice President Gore was “acting like” he wanted to run for president in 1996, the liberal media elite would have denounced it as  crackpot conspiracy-theory material. But since Trump is guilty of what the Times calls “sheer disarray” in the wake of all the liberal media's Russia-may-have-colluded coverage, this Times exercise is treated as “news” reporting.

The Times knows that Trump doesn’t like disloyalty or anyone stealing his spotlight, so they are making trouble for Pence, plain and simple. “Chaos” and “disarray” and Republican in-fighting is exactly what they want as badly disguised Democrats.

“Today’s article in the New York Times is disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team. The allegations in this article are categorically false and represent just the latest attempt by the media to divide this Administration,” Pence said in a statement on Sunday. “Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the President’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.”

The Times reporters insist that the sheer volume of their phone calls makes their guesswork “news.”

But in interviews with more than 75 Republicans at every level of the party, elected officials, donors and strategists expressed widespread uncertainty about whether Mr. Trump would be on the ballot in 2020 and little doubt that others in the party are engaged in barely veiled contingency planning.

“They see weakness in this president,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. “Look, it’s not a nice business we’re in.”

A political reporter can read some tea leaves in this article. Pence hired a “sharp-elbowed” political operative, Nick Ayers, as his chief of staff. Pence has a political action committee. He’s made those GOP speeches around the country, as if that were shocking for a sitting vice president. But a lot of this is the usual anonymously-sourced gunk, that  “multiple advisers to Mr. Pence have already intimated to party donors that he would plan to run if Mr. Trump did not.”

This passage sort of nails what’s wrong with this crystal-ball approach:

Mr. Pence’s aides, however, have been less restrained in private, according to two people briefed on the conversations. In a June meeting with Al Hubbard, an Indiana Republican who was a top economic official in Mr. Bush’s White House, an aide to the vice president, Marty Obst, said that they wanted to be prepared to run in case there was an opening in 2020 and that Mr. Pence would need Mr. Hubbard’s help, according to a Republican briefed on the meeting. Reached on the phone, Mr. Hubbard declined to comment.

Mr. Ayers has signaled to multiple major Republican donors that Mr. Pence wants to be ready.

Mr. Obst denied that he and Mr. Ayers had made any private insinuations and called suggestions that the vice president was positioning himself for 2020 “beyond ridiculous.”

Anonymous sources spin a theory, and on-the-record sources denounce it as absurd...and in the world of the media elite, that can only mean that the anonymous sources have the Pence folks on the ropes, not that the Times is publishing badly sourced rubbish. What really matters to the media is that they paint black clouds over the president, that the narrative needle is firmly stuck on "beleaguered."

There are unintentional knee-slappers in this piece, especially this one:

In the wider world of conservative Trump opponents, William Kristol, editor at large of The Weekly Standard, said he had begun informal conversations about creating a “Committee Not to Renominate the President.”

“We need to take one shot at liberating the Republican Party from Trump, and conservatism from Trumpism,” Mr. Kristol said.

Haven't the politically savvy Times reporters noticed that Kristol took more than "one shot" in the last campaign to find a conservative alternative who would beat Trump? Remember the David French Connection? And they forgot Kristol ended up with Evan McMullin and his 0.5 percent of the national vote?

Spit Take: British Leftist Paper Claims Time Is 'The Weekly Favoured by Trump'

One way to know a reporter's mind is located out in the radical-left boondocks is to proclaim that somehow Time magazine belongs on the right wing. On Saturday, Emma Graham-Harrison of the British newspaper The Guardian penned a jaw-dropping first paragraph about a new sex-discrimination lawsuit against Time: 

The co-founder of the Women’s Equality party, Catherine Mayer, is suing her former employer, Time magazine, for gender and age discrimination, making the weekly favoured by President Donald Trump the latest major media company to be embroiled in accusations of institutional sexism.

If Time is the weekly "favoured" by Trump, then liberals would pull out their Access Hollywood transcripts and say no wonder that magazine's a den of oafish sexists! The lawsuit sounds like a slam dunk to them. But in reality, Time waged war on Trump, publishing two different covers with Trump's face melting off before the election. 

Then again, the top editors at Time like to pretend that they're not an opinion magazine, that their mission is "not to tell people what to think."

Mayer claimed “Time has violated [anti-discrimination and civil rights] laws by operating a system of male cronyism, by which men, especially former war correspondents, were favoured over women in recruitment, dismissal and promotion decisions.”

But Mayer thinks this is typical: "I don’t know of one female journalist who hasn’t been discriminated against at work." 

 

WashPost Hypes Poll: Christians 'Far More Likely' to Dismiss the Poor as Lazy Bums

The front page of the Saturday Metro section of The Washington Post offered breaking news on Christian attitudes. “Christians are far more likely than non-Christians to blame poverty on a lack of effort, a poll found.”

This poll from the Post and the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation is three months old, taken from April 13 to May 1. This is not just a poll question; it’s begging for overgeneralization, with “the poor are mostly lazy” being judged by liberals as akin to “Muslims are mostly terrorists” or “Catholic priests are mostly child abusers.” As a citizen, I’d refuse to answer that on the grounds that it’s used to cast aspersions – conservative voters live in a world of ugly, unproven stereotypes.

It also implies that most Christians are largely bad Christians if they don't favor a government-organized redistribution of wealth. Liberals, including liberal journalists, often suggest private donations to the poor somehow don't imply Christian values half as much as supporting government action toward the poor. 

Post religion reporter Julie Zauzmer underlined how the Post used it to imply the Christians are much less compassion than the non-Christians:

The Post conducted a statistical analysis known as logistic regression to examine how closely different personal attributes are connected with whether respondents said a “lack of effort” is the main reason people are poor, and quantify the impact of each demographic attribute when other factors are held constant.

For instance, comparing men and women, the regression found the odds of a man saying people are poor due to a lack of effort are 1.9 times that of a woman, or about twice as likely.

When comparing demographics and religious factors, the odds of Christians saying poverty was caused by a lack of effort were 2.2 times that of non-Christians. Compared to those with no religion, the odds of white evangelicals saying a lack of effort causes poverty were 3.2 to 1.

Zauzmer explored the question with theologians and historians, and concluded the story with Albert Mohler insisting that “we all know what to do when a hungry person is before us.” But overall, it left the impression that conservative Christians are a pile of jerks.

“There’s a strong Christian impulse to understand poverty as deeply rooted in morality — often, as the Bible makes clear, in unwillingness to work, in bad financial decisions or in broken family structures,” said Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “The Christian worldview is saying that all poverty is due to sin, though that doesn’t necessarily mean the sin of the person in poverty. In the Garden of Eden, there would have been no poverty. In a fallen world, there is poverty.”

The Post reporter noted the differences were sharp politically: among Democrats 72 percent blamed uncontrollable circumstances, and just 26 percent suggested individual responsibility; for Republicans, 63 percent picked “lack of effort” and 32 percent blamed the circumstances, and she noted black Christians were much like the Democrats, blaming society over the individual 64 to 32 percent.

What Zauzmer didn’t report about the poll was the next question listed in the results was only directed at rural residents, asking if "government programs aimed at improving people's standard of living generally make things" better, or worse, or had no impact. They found that 32 percent picked "better," 33 percent "worse," and 31 percent "no impact."

National Newspapers Downplay Trump Role in Dow 22,000… USA Today Avoids a Trump Link

The Thursday morning network-news shows were reluctant to offer any credit to President Trump for the Dow Jones Industrial Average going over 22,000 on Wednesday. But what about the national newspapers on Thursday morning? Here’s a look at the headlines, which all skipped Trump:

-- The Wall Street Journal, top of the gront page: “Dow Hits 22000, Powered by Apple.”

-- The New York Times, bottom of front page: “Wall Street, Climbing Sharply, Skips Washington’s ‘Soap Opera’.”

-- The Washington Post, bottom of front page: “Dow’s bulls on parade hurdle 22,000.”

-- USA Today, bottom of front page: “Is it too late to invest in record-setting Dow?”

USA Today deserves some kind of Avoidance Award, for their article by Adam Shell never, ever used the word “Trump.” It was an advice article on whether it’s too late to enter the stock market. Another Adam Shell article at the top of McPaper’s Money section skipped over Trump until paragraph 17, when Shell noted: “The delay in getting many of President Trump’s agenda items passed through Congress could weigh on stocks, as a lack of tax cuts and infrastructure spending could curtail growth, [strategist Lindsey] Bell adds.”

In the Times article, reporter Nelson D. Schwartz began: "Despite the disorder in Washington -- with a revolving door at the White House and roadblocks on Capitol Hill -- Wall Street and corporate America are booming."

Trump's name surfaced in paragraph 5: "The initial stock market rally that followed Mr. Trump's victory in November -- the so-called Trump bump -- was fueled by optimism among investors that long-sought action on tax reform and infrastructure spending might finally be at hand. Few analysts are so sanguine now, especially after Republicans could not agree last month on how to repeal the Affordable Care Act after years of promising to do so. If anything, simplifying the tax code or investing in new roads and bridges seems farther out of reach than ever."

The Post emphasized this was a trend since "early 2009," and ran a graph starting in 2012. Above the graph was the sentence "The Dow's long rally has intensified since Donald Trump's election." Reporters Thomas Heath, Heather Long, and Alex Schiffer spent more time on Trump's effect on the markets and noted "it has played a role in boosting the political fortures of Prestignt Trump, who on Wednesday once again took credit for the markets' performance."

It should be expected that the Journal would lead with the Dow Jones news since the Journal is owned by Dow Jones (purchased by Rupert Murdoch).  Right under the headline was this bold text: "The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday surged part its fourth 1,000-point milestone since Donald Trump was elected president in November. Based on data going back 40 years, the gain marks the second-fastest 20% rise in the Dow following a presidential election."

The Journal story by Akane Oatani and Ben Eisen was less sanguine: "President Trump's proposed mix of tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and deregulation was intended to revive the economy, but some of his agenda has been stalled. Optimism about a pro-growth fiscal policy has waned."

Cat In The Racist Hat? Time Promotes Scholar of 'Hidden Racism' In Beloved Children's Books

Forget all your favorite children’s books. They may be deeply racist. In the August 7 edition of Time magazine came an article headlined “The hidden (and not-so-hidden) racism in kids’ lit.” Sarah Begley reported:

In his new how dozens of beloved picture and chapter books leave negative messages in children's minds.

Next to images of these classics of kiddie lit are this socialist professor's hot take on how deeply racist each title was: 

THE CAT IN THE HAT: Dr. Seuss was a complicated figure – many of his books promoted tolerance, like Horton Hears a Who! Others descended to racial stereotyping, like characters “who wear their eyes in a slant” in If I Ran The Zoo. His famous Cat in the Hat took partial inspiration from minstrelsy. (Take a closer look at the white globes and the extravagant top hat)

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE: “The Little House books are super racist in the way they present Native Americans,” Nel says. “They are to be removed from the land, and are dehumanized when they are mentioned. The line ‘The only good Indian is a dead Indian’ shows up in there.”

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING: Books can have both virtues and sins. Pippi is a spunky role model for young girls, but her father travels to the South Seas and becomes “King of the Negros” (or in American editions since the ‘50s, “King of the Cannibals.”)

THE STORY OF BABAR: Babar presents “colonialism as benign,” Nel says. “ Babar becomes this civilized elephant, and because of that is able to go back to his people and be more respected because he’s become more European.”

Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompas are certainly dark-skinned midget slaves from overseas:

"No one wants to admit to enjoying something or liking something that perpetuates racial stereotypes. But we do, because a book can be beautiful and racist, a book can be a classic and racist, a book can be really pleasurable and also really racist." For instance, one of Nel's personal favorites, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has a big problem in the Oompa Loompas. The characters, which were depicted in early editions as African pygmies, are portrayed as happy slaves, content to leave their native land behind and toil in a factory. Especially for children who are descendants of slaves, such messages can have a pernicious effect on how they interpret their value in the world.

Time also includes “Reading lessons” for parents, including

ASK CRITICAL QUESTIONS: For instance, “Would it be fun to be shipped to England in a packing crate? What would it be like to live in a factory and work all the time?”

And especially:

POINT OUT THE MISSING PERSPECTIVES: “You can ask ‘Whose point of view is this story favoring? Who is it not favoring?’

That’s a perfect game to play when you read Time magazine. This story’s point of view smears Dr. Seuss and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Roald Dahl and others as racist with no perspective in their defense. On the Amazon page for Nel's book, you get a firmer sense of just how racial the author is: 

"In this carefully constructed analysis, Nel brilliantly strips away the mask of innocence from Seuss's Cat in the Hat, layer by layer, to reveal the Cat's complex and sordid racial history. Placing this famous feline alongside other time-honored classic characters from American children's literature, Nel removes 'Whiteness's invisibility cloak.' He explodes the excuses that well-meaning scholars have made for these texts for decades, then makes a convincing argument for why young readers need to be exposed to unbowdlerized racist texts from historical and contemporary American literature. A straight, White male scholar, Nel advises: 'Don't just be an ally. Be an accomplice.' As an African American female scholar, I am glad to have Nel alongside us on these front lines." --Michelle Martin, University of Washington

Time magazine also left out that Nel edited a 2010 book titled Tales for Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature. The cover has a title of an angry boy carrying a pop-gun and a flag that reads “I AM A REAL RED!”

Collusion: On Tarmac-Gate, Obama DOJ Finds National Reporters Eager to 'Put It to Rest'

The Right Scoop blog reports a  new email dump from the FBI via a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Center for Law and Justice reveals what appears to be collusion between the media and Obama’s Justice Department to squash outrage about the 2016 meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix.

DOJ public-affairs official Melanie Newman emailed colleagues on June 29, 2016 that an unnamed ABC reporter or producer expressed extreme boredom in the erupting scandal:

I sent the transcript and link to the news clip to the FOX producer. He had already tracked down the video from the presser. He actually thinks they may not run anything on it today but will keep me posted. He doesn’t think it’s news. I also talked to the ABC producer, who noted they aren’t interested, even if FOX runs it.

The story's momentum bowled over that apathy. ABC aired their first tarmac story the next evening, June 30. They aired a handful of stories, lamenting the bad optics (as they assumed no evil intentions) until July 5, when Jim Comey announced he would recommend no charges against Hillary in the email scandal. When Loretta Lynch was hammered with questions by Congress on July 12, ABC offered a 70-word anchor brief:

DAVID MUIR: And one more headline involving Hillary Clinton tonight. Attorney General Loretta Lynch today was grilled on Capitol Hill, hammered for her decision not to charge Clinton for using a private email server.

Lynch deflected most questions, saying she followed the FBI's recommendations. As for her impromptu meeting with Bill Clinton at the airport in Phoenix, Lynch insisted she was not influenced in any way, calling it a, quote, "social conversation."

Lynch was "grilled!" Oh, she was "hammered"! It was so compelling ABC forgot to show any video clips of the testimony.

The FOIA dump also included an email from Washington Post reporter Matt Zapotosky begging for a "hopefully quick" chat to please pesky editors. He announced "I'm hoping I can put it to rest" with more details:

Hey Melanie and Kevin –

Any chance one of you could give me a call for another,  hopefully quick, conversation on this AG-Clinton meeting? My editors are still pretty interested in it, and I’m hoping I can put it to rest by answering just a few more questions about how it came about – who approached who, and who realized they were in the same place?

Many thanks,
Matt Zapotosky | The Washington Post

Zapotosky’s story appeared on page A-6. He noted “A Justice Department spokeswoman provided transcripts of Lynch's comments on the matter at public news conferences but declined to comment further.” Why would she, with the way he emailed her?

The next day, the Post editorial board posted an editorial headlined “It's time to wind down the Clinton email investigation; Loretta Lynch acknowledges a misstep; now, Hillary Clinton should sit down with the FBI so its findings can be made public.”

The ACLJ email sample also includes a note from New York Times White House reporter Mark Landler:

Hi Melanie,

I’m a White House correspondent at the NYT and I’ve been pressed into service to write about the questions being raised by the Attorney General’s meeting with Bill Clinton.

Could you let me know what the DoJ and the AG have said specifically about this meeting, and whether she believes it constitutes a conflict of interest, given the ongoing email investigation?

Thanks & Best,
Mark Landler

This isn't as zealous as Zapotosky in wanted to crumble the story, but it's awfully soft to say "gee, couldn't this constitute a conflict of interest?" Landler’s first story was published July 1, and was placed on page A-17, despite the headline “Lynch and Bill Clinton Meet, and Furor Follows.” An A-17 furor.

Since the ACLJ is led by Jay Sekulow, now a lawyer for President Trump, watch for the media to dismiss this document dump as the fakest of news....they'll be as bored as that original ABC reporter cited above.

Here are images of the newspaper reporter emails:

CNN's Jim Acosta Defends His Anti-Trump Bias: 'Let Other People Be the Wallflower'

On Friday, Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi asked the question “A briefing room clash may be good TV, but is it good journalism?” The Post mostly answered “yes,” and Farhi never compared today’s clashes to anything that happened under Barack Obama. The journalists who badgered Trump aide Stephen Miller “say they have no regrets for aggressively seeking answers,” Farhi reported.

“I was pressing the guy for a statistical justification for a policy that will affect millions of Americans, and he decided to deliver a speech,” says [New York Times reporter Glenn] Thrush, via email. “The studies he cited are well-known and have been interpreted in a lot of different ways. I wanted to see if he’d acknowledge that ambiguity.” He added, “If you aren’t stopping a politician from blah-blah-blah-ing, you’re not doing your job.”

[CNN’s Jim] Acosta was similarly unmoved: “As my mother told me recently, ‘Let other people be the wallflower,’ ” he said in a brief interview. “If quoting from the Statue of Liberty is pushing too hard, I’m going to keep pushing.”

Acosta offered several more takes on CNN, opining later Wednesday that “I think what you saw unfold in the briefing room is that he [Miller] really just couldn’t take that kind of heat and exploded before our eyes.” And: “It’s not often you’re accused of a cosmopolitan bias from someone who went to Duke University wearing cuff links in the White House briefing room.”

Farhi didn't interview any conservative critics for reaction, but we would have directed him to that wallflower Jim Acosta's "best week ever" suck-up question to Obama two years ago

ACOSTA: I wanted to ask you about what some people are calling 'your best week ever' last week. You had two Supreme Court decisions supportive of the Affordable Care Act and of gay rights. You also delivered a speech down in Charleston that was pretty warmly received. It seems that you've built up some political capital for the remaining months of your presidency. I'm curious, how you want to use it? What hard things do you want to tackle at this point?

(...)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: In terms of my best week – now, my best week, (attendees laugh) I will tell you, was marrying Michelle. That was a really good week. (laughter) Malia and Sasha being born – excellent weeks. (laughter)

ACOSTA (off-camera): Good thing you remembered those-

OBAMA: Yeah. There was a game where I scored 27 points. (laughter) That was a good week.

The liberal media had a wallflower standard under Obama. The one nod to conservative or Republican opinion was a tweet from former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer: “@acosta an advocate for a political point of view, not as a neutral reporter. He’s not even playing the devil’s advocate. This is bias.”

Maybe we would have also asked Farhi to remember in his story that Acosta's CNN was embarrassed by their staff handing over town-hall questions to Hillary Clinton in advance. So maybe their aggressive poses are more partisan than journalistic.

Farhi offered a hint of debate between journalism-school deans, starting with the leftists at Berkeley:

Edward Wasserman, dean of UC-Berkeley’s journalism school, says viewers were well served by the Acosta-Miller throwdown. “If [Acosta] had been more timid and deferential, those of us who watched it would have felt underserved and underrepresented,” he said. “It certainly had a bruising and edgy element, and there was no love lost, but at the same time, it felt illuminating.”

He added: “This is the way you provoke a response that exposes the thinking behind policy. . . . People aren’t normally privy to [the reporting process], but that’s what a journalist is supposed to do.”

Lucy Dalglish of the University of Maryland gently disagreed, and then fell on her face:

“There’s something to be said for civility,” she said. “Good reporters don’t want to make themselves the story. It’s also true that good public servants don’t want to make this all about them.”

Some of American journalism’s giants, she said, showed that it was possible to be both insistent and persistent without being abrasive or sparking an argument. Her shortlist: Sam Donaldson, Ted Koppel and Dan Rather.

DAN RATHER? He was never abrasive? Did she miss Rather in the White House with Nixon, when Nixon asked him if he was running for something? Did she miss Rather with Vice President George H.W. Bush, lecturing on national TV that he’s shamed America in the eyes of the world?

Farhi could have noted the Washington Post feels differently when the president is a Democrat. On June 20, 2012, Post columnist Dana Milbank wanted Neil Munro of the Daily Caller fired for interrupting Saint Barack during a Rose Garden statement on his refusal to deport “Dreamers,” the children of illegal immigrants:

As is now widely known, one of Carlson's reporters, Neil Munro, interrupted Obama midway through a Rose Garden statement on immigration Friday, demanding to know why the president was favoring "foreigners over American workers" and informing him that "you have to take questions." Later, when Obama tried to address Munro's topic, the journalist continued to interrupt and hector. A reporter heckling a president in the Rose Garden was an outrageous and unprecedented affront to the office.

The column was titled “Stinking Up the Rose Garden,” and Milbank concluded:

I've criticized Obama and his predecessor for taking too few questions, and I've at times scolded the press corps under both presidents for being soft in its questioning.

I also don't join the charge that Munro is necessarily racist (although some Obama disparagement surely is), and I don't agree with those who say the White House should revoke his press pass. But I think Carlson should fire him.

On September 22, 2015, Milbank even proposed voters should shut up Trump and Ben Carson for being anti-Muslim: “Voters, it's up to you to shut Trump and Carson up.”

Playbook of Panic: PBS President Suggests Trump Will Shut Down Tiny Alaska Stations

[Variety reported the summer tour of the Television Critics Association included PBS president Paula Kerger inveighing against the Trump plan to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting it its budget. It's an easy bet that Congress won't accomplish that, but the usual statist arguments are being made: 

“PBS itself will not go away, but a number of our stations will,” Kerger said, talking about the possible outcome should CPB be defunded. “There isn’t a Plan B for that. For all of us in public media, we have linked arms to make an effective case because we know what’s at risk if that funding disappears.”

Kerger singled out Alaska as one state where public broadcasting would be especially hard hit.

"Linking arms" means "let's pretend the small stations will go out of business, when we all know one station in Los Angeles gets more taxpayer money than ten in Alaska." They also use this argument to suggest PBS or NPR somehow isn't a liberal sandbox because it plays in rural red states (and tries to turn them blue as well). 

This playbook has been in use for decades. Let's travel back to 1995, when Newt Gingrich wanted to defund public broadcasting, and an NPR-defending puff piece on 60 Minutes: 

CBS tried to disprove liberal elitism at NPR by showing non-political programs. [Morley] Safer proclaimed: "This side of NPR is not exactly a Republican congressman's idea of effete liberalism at work. Meet Alice McChesney, star of KCAW, Sitka, Alaska." Displaying an accordion-playing grandmother does not answer the argument that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting could make massive cuts and still fund rural stations.

But unlike 1995, Alaskan consumers can get all kinds of programming online and on Netflix, and even Sesame Street now airs first on HBO. Kerger's liberal publicists in the media won't tell you why funding PBS stations isn't necessary any more, or what kind of unbalanced liberal propaganda they are still broadcasting with our conservative money.

'Conservative' David Brooks on PBS: Time for GOP Surrender on 'Right' to Health Care

As expected, on Friday night the PBS NewsHour greeted the failure to repeal Obamacare as a happy "flame-out" by the Republican Party, and pseudo-conservative PBS pundit David Brooks insisted it's time for Republicans to "wrap their minds around the fact" that Americans want to preserve health care as a "right." 

NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff summarized an earlier chat with Brooks: "David, you said they have had a struggle anything passed, getting legislation passed. This was a flame-out for them."

Brooks replied: "Yes, this was a bigger thing than Donald Trump, though. It was only one bill that lost. It was four bills that lost. And it wasn’t only a six-months effort. It was a seven-year effort." Naturally, liberal Mark Shields chimed in: "I agree."

DAVID BROOKS: And you could say you could go back to Newt Gingrich. Think of all the ways the Republicans have tried to trim entitlements like Medicaid or cut government. Name a signal victory. There’s not a victory. They haven’t been able to trim one agency, cut back one entitlement. They failed every single time. And that suggests isn’t an electoral failure. It’s not a failure of whether Mitch McConnell had the right strategy or not, though that was lamentable. It’s a failure of trying to take things away from people.

People are under assault from technology. They’re under assault from a breakdown in social fabric, breakdown in families. They have got wage stagnations. They just don’t want a party to come in and say, 'We’re going to take more away from you.' And so Republicans have to wrap their minds around the fact that the American people basically decided that health care is a right, and they figure, we should get health care. And our fellow countrymen should get health care.

It doesn’t mean you have to do it the way the Democrats want to do it with single-payer or whatever. You can do it with market mechanisms. But you have basically got to wrap your mind around universal coverage...



JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you think the prospects are, David, that they are going to be able to work with the Democrats, or is that just something people are saying that’s never really Going to happen?

BROOKS: I think that there is a potential there. If the Republicans get to the point we’re going to expand coverage, let’s talk about how do it, I think you could do some pretty market-friendly reforms. President Bush did it with the prescription drug bill a number of years ago. But they’re a long way from that right now.

Shields typically unleashed on the Republicans: "It was horrendous. It was disappointing. There were no ideas. There was no will. There was no imagination. And there was certainly no courage."

That's funny: that pretty much describes how conservatives feel when they watch Brooks on PBS. 

Then Shields relented a little to praise John McCain and moderate Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins for voting the repeal down. "John McCain does deserve, in my judgment, a shout-out...And I really do think that his vote — we found out that the testosterone level among Republicans was limited essentially to two members whose names were Lisa and Susan."

Brooks uncorked the same surrender-to-socialist-themes lecture on NPR's All Things Considered on Friday, and his liberal counterpart E.J. Dionne crowed about the defeat of repeal: "I think it was huge in a number of respects, very much along the lines David said. I think the basic idea of Obamacare has won. It's been said for years that Obamacare was deeply unpopular. This is the first time it had a real defense."

Newt Gingrich Mocks NPR During Interview for Living in a 'Fantasy Land' on Russia Probe

The taxpayer-funded liberal sandbox known as NPR lowered itself to a Newt Gingrich interview on Wednesday’s Morning Edition, and Gingrich was combatively countering the media narrative on the Russia probe. He insisted special counsel Robert Mueller and fired FBI director Jim Comey represent a “very liberal” Justice Department that has identified no crime to investigate.

NPR anchor Rachel Martin was flustered trying to assert the usual liberal-media talking points...and then NPR actually brought on its own political correspondent Domenico Montanaro to rebut Gingrich -- and Newt didn't get to rebut Montanaro. Not only that, but on Thursday morning, Montanaro wrote an online “FACT CHECK” piece rebutting Gingrich's "scathing critique" on nine "facts or points of context." It challenged the "strained logic" of Gingrich's arguments for almost 2,500 words!

Here's Round One between Martin and Gingrich:

RACHEL MARTIN: The president went as far as to say that if he had known Jeff Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, which is his primary beef, that the president would have picked someone else. But it is not the attorney general's job to protect the president. Does...

GINGRICH: No, no, no...

MARTIN: Does President Trump understand the separation of powers here?

GINGRICH: Of course he does. But I think what you just said is not - you know, has a misleading implication. It is the attorney general's job to enforce the law. Mueller, right now, I mean, it's just - Andy McCarthy, who's a former Department of Justice prosecutor, who prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, has said over and over again that there's no evidence of a crime. So what is Mueller investigating? Mueller's engaged in a - in a fishing expedition.

MARTIN: I mean, that is what an investigation is, you are pursuing questions...

GINGRICH: No, that is not true. That's not true. You have no reason for appointing somebody with the power of the government if you know - if you have no evidence of a crime having been committed. It's very clear in the statute which governs these kind of appointments.

MARTIN: So the Justice Department decided that an investigation was warranted, and that included the attorney general himself...

GINGRICH: Right.

MARTIN: ...Even though he recused. And you're saying the president just thinks the whole investigation shouldn't happen in the first place.

GINGRICH: Right.

MARTIN: That is suspect. I mean, when you have a president...

GINGRICH: Of course it's suspect to you. But isn't it equally suspect to you that 97 percent of the donations by people employed at Justice went to Hillary Clinton and that, in terms of Mueller's law firm, it was 99.82 percent went to Hillary Clinton. And in terms of the people he's been hiring, these are paid killers. If you read Sidney Powell's book about the Enron case, you will see these names coming up. And these are people who the Supreme Court...

MARTIN: But Jeff...

GINGRICH: ...By a 9-0 vote rebuked.

MARTIN: So Jeff Sessions, though, is not a liberal by any stretch of the imagination.

GINGRICH: No, and...

MARTIN: He's not a Democrat. And he's the leader of that department.

GINGRICH: But no, he's - that's the whole point that Trump is making, is that he stepped aside. And therefore, he's not the leader of the department. A career Justice Department person is the leader of the department. And it's a department whose culture's very liberal - a department whose culture's very anti-Trump. And the...

MARTIN: So you're suggesting that the president hire an attorney general who would plant and insert an entire department full of Republicans? That seems to be antithetical to the department's entire raison d'etre, which is to be above partisan politics.

GINGRICH: Yeah, and if you believe that, you live in a fantasy land. If you believe the Justice Department does not have a deep cultural bias and you believe that the average conversation in the Justice Department is not anti-Trump, you're just living in a fantasy land. And that's the president's frustration.

It's refreshing to see someone not bowing to the D.C. narrative that Mueller and Comey are the very picture of Ethics and Independence and Neutrality. That only means that the liberal establishment want to imbue them with a righteous aura to enable them to take President Trump apart. If Mueller completely clears Trump and his campaign team of any crimes, the halo will probably fade as quickly as it ascended. Everyone admits there are no crimes that have been uncovered. Everything is based on the hope that Trump will look like a crook...or if not a crook, a traitor. 

Round Two between the NPR anchor and Gingrich began when Martin bizarrely asserted Gingrich couldn't prove Mueller's team are anti-Trump lawyers:

MARTIN: We should say that it is - you can't demonstrate that these are anti-Trump lawyers. It is...

GINGRICH: Oh, give me a break.

MARTIN: It is true that there are...

GINGRICH: Give me a break.

MARTIN: ...At least a couple who have made donations to Democrats. But Robert Mueller himself has been registered as a Republican.

GINGRICH: Yes, and then worked in a law firm which gave 99.82 percent of its donations to Hillary. But let me give you an example. One of the first people they hired had worked for the Clinton Foundation - I love this because it's so ironic - worked for the Clinton Foundation, fighting against Freedom of Information Act requests. Now, would you say that a lawyer who worked for the Clinton Foundation, trying to cut off FOIA, which I would assume NPR normally is very much in favor of Freedom of Information Act requests - would you say that person's suspect?

MARTIN: So let me...

GINGRICH: Do you think they probably have a bias?

Notice Martin refuses to answer his question. She's not debating him -- she'll let Montanaro rebut him:

MARTIN: Let me ask you this. President Trump admitted that he fired former FBI Director James Comey because of the Russia investigation. He's called the investigation a witch hunt. He's now suggesting the attorney general isn't protecting him enough. So if he has nothing to hide, then why is he acting like he does?

GINGRICH: Well, now, (inaudible) history of Comey's last independent counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, who Comey got appointed after they knew there was no crime and after they knew who had leaked the CIA agent's name and they told the person who leaked to shut up, and they then went after Scooter Libby, who was Dick Cheney's chief of staff because they wanted to get Cheney -- and they then locked up a New York Times reporter [Judith Miller] for 85 days to get her to testify -- and you looked at that record, you would assume automatically Mueller's going to get somebody. And there's no question in my mind. Mueller's brought in killers. Those killers are going to go out and find somebody. These are not the kind of lawyers who are inclined to be neutral.

By this time, the liberal NPR audience is probably pulling off the road with the vapors that there's so much liberal-bashing coming across their "safe space." So Martin quickly turned to Montanaro for a snooty dismissal of Gingrich and everything he'd just asserted:

DOMENICO MONTANARO: Well, if you believe Newt Gingrich, you would believe that there's a conspiracy against Donald Trump within all levels of government, in particular at the Justice Department, which he called very liberal or having a culture that is very liberal. You know, I think most Republicans on Capitol Hill would probably disagree with him, especially when it comes to Robert Mueller. As you pointed out, Robert Mueller has been a registered Republican.

But donations themselves don't necessarily equate to an ethical conflict of interest. And they aren't even donations from Mueller himself. There were donations from people that Mueller worked with. But that's how conspiracies work. You sort of have guilt by association when it comes to whether or not you see conflict or at least try to muddy the waters. I think, you know, in addition to our audience, his other audience for Newt Gingrich was President Trump and for somebody trying to sell books, to be perfectly honest.

To be perfectly honest, Montanaro wasn’t appealing to the facts, he was gliding around them, questioning Newt’s motives and insisting there’s nothing to the idea that Mueller works for a liberal law firm and picked a pile of Hillary supporters to investigate a political question of whether Trump unfairly beat Hillary with Russian help. (This argument also comes in handy when you notice the dramatic majority of journalist donations going to Democrats.)

The grand omission by NPR is to consider for ten seconds the idea of how NPR and their liberal base covered a special counsel like Ken Starr in the Clinton years. Even in 2010, NPR’s Fresh Air touted as a “neutral” and “definitive” account of Starr vs Clinton a book by Ken Gormley, whose wrote a previous book hailing Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox as the “Conscience of the Nation.” Archie Cox was a big pal of the Kennedys, Newt would tell you, but NPR always pretends that prosecutors of Republican presidents are beyond reproach.

The double standard also came through loud and clear when the other host on Wednesday's Morning Edition, Steve Inskeep, interviewed Democratic Sen. Chris Coons on the Russia probe. Inskeep gently questioned the Democrat from the Left. He started with "Why not just have Manafort talk in public today?"

Inskeep helpfully prompted Coons to run through his list of concerns, like a journalistic valet: "Okay, so you have questions not just about that meeting, but also about Paul Manafort and his ties to Ukraine. And you're saying that you believe he failed to comply with a specific law here."

And: "That's what's on my mind, is what questions you have. You also have a question about how was it that the Republican Party platform happened to change on that particular issue [Ukraine], of all issues, right as the convention was getting underway?"

Inskeep did go to an NPR reporter for commentary after the interview, but Geoff Bennett wasn't there to rebut Coons, but to add helpful gloss to the "facts" Inskeep just nudged out of the Democrat and suggest Paul Manafort can't be painted as having "benign contracts," but had an "infamous meeting" with the Russians:

BENNETT: I think your interview with the senator points to the fact that Paul Manafort really is a central figure in this broader Trump-Russia investigation. You know, whereas Jared Kushner paints a picture of himself as a naive top staffer who is new to politics, who is having sort of these benign contacts with thousands of foreign officials, including some Russians during the campaign, the same cannot be said about Paul Manafort, given his lengthy lobbying and consulting career. The senator pointed to his interactions with Ukraine.

And so - and that is one of the reasons why congressional investigators have been clamoring to speak with Paul Manafort. The other thing I'll point out is that we understand Paul Manafort shared his contemporaneous notes from that now-infamous Trump Tower meeting last year with Senate intelligence committee investigators. Whereas Jared Kushner left that meeting after about 10 minutes, Paul Manafort was there for the entire thing, we understand. So his notes from that meeting will be crucial.

Sarah Silverman Promises New Hulu Show Won't Be Too Political, But 'Super, Super Dumb'

Bryn Elise Sandberg at The Hollywood Reporter offered news from the Television Critics Association summer press tour that leftist comic Sarah Silverman has been granted a ten-part weekly variety series on Hulu titled I Love You, America. In an effort to confound expectations that this is going to be another unfunny rantfest against Trump and the Republicans – like Samantha Bee’s TBS show – Silverman claimed it would be “aggressively dumb” and not very political.

"It’s funny when I read about what the show is. People are going to be wildly disappointed. It’s not like we deal with politics and politicians," Silverman claimed. "The way in which it is political is that everything is political right now just by virtue of it being made in this period of time…."

"What I realized is that it doesn’t have to be, 'Look at this deep moment we did where we connected with these people and it’s really smart and it’s moving and look at it.' I feel like the reaction to that if I were the audience would be, 'F--k you,'" said Silverman. "But what is really important is that it will be funny and silly and aggressively dumb, which is my favorite kind of comedy. And anything smart that’s in there will be served in a big, fat, bread-y sandwich of super, super dumb, because that’s how I like my comedy."

Before her debut, Samantha Bee also tried to be coy and say her show wouldn’t be a droning, bitter leftist hootenanny. It sounds like it will be like Chelsea Handler’s show, only aggressively dumber.

Silverman claims this is going to be non-divisive. "We pitched it, saying, 'With this show, I’m hoping to connect with un-likeminded people.' And networks went crazy because they haven’t heard anything like that before."

They claim the show will forego a house band in favor of “a focus group consisting of 12 people from various walks of life that will play an integral part throughout the series.”

Don’t buy it. They want to say “Hey, this humor is non-threatening to your anti-liberal point of view,” but they still want to convince anti-liberals that they’re being idiotic, and need to stroll over to the “right side of history.”

Note the contempt in Silverman’s pitch, insisting her opponents don’t believe in truth, or facts: “We may be getting our facts from very different places in a time where truth has no currency and facts don’t change minds, but I think comedy at its best can get people’s porcupine needles to go down." 

Her executive producer, Adam McKay – who runs the leftist satire website Funny Or Die – shot back at critics who suggested this could be seen as another liberal Hollywood product. "I think one of the things about this show is that we want to get back to a grounded place, where we’re looking at not right versus left, but we’re looking at corruption versus honesty. We’re looking at the good of the whole versus the good of the few."

Yeah right: We’re not political, it’s just that conservatism is corrupt and liberalism represents honesty and common sense and humanity. Then he criticized Trump as a political pickpocket of sorts:

"What’s happened in this country versus the right and the left, it’s the greatest scam you could ever pull because if you wanted to pickpocket someone, what’s the best way to do it? Create a fake fight so everyone turns their head and rubbernecks, and then take their wallet," he said. "I always get very annoyed when people tell me I’m a liberal. I’m like, really? I just don’t want corruption. I just don’t want the banks to rip us all off. I don’t want to be lied in a war. How is that liberal? That’s just common sense."

Ex-'SNL' Star Norm McDonald: All Their Mockery Is 'Playing Into Trump's Hands'

Matt Wilstein at the Daily Beast interviewed former Saturday Night Live star Norm McDonald about comedy, politics, and his old show. McDonald said he could not believe the over-dramatic opening of SNL right after the election, with Kate McKinnon somberly playing the piano and singing as Hillary. He thought it was absurd, that Hillary's lose would be someone died: 

Did you see that? And this wasn’t even a tragedy; just a guy got elected. They open the show with Kate McKinnon singing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. And I was sad Leonard Cohen died, I love Leonard Cohen. But at the end, Kate McKinnon said, “I’m going to get through this and so are you. [The actual quote was, “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.”] I was like, what the f--k are we getting through? That a man was duly elected president? What are you, crazy?

Like, at first, I seriously thought she meant Leonard Cohen’s death. And I was like, well I can get through that. I can get through anything. I got through my own father’s death. You think I can’t get through a man getting elected president of the United States? It was so absurd that, for some reason, she was the one that was supposed to let me know that it’s alright to go on. Go on as if nothing happened. Nothing exploded.

Wilstein asked McDonald how he felt SNL was doing after the election, with Alec Baldwin mocking Trump. McDonald said all this satire was helping Trump: 

I love Alec Baldwin. And one of my best friends, Jim Downey, writes the political sketches....But I think they’re playing into Trump’s hands. Because if you satirize someone, or mock them, you’re trivializing any danger that they might be. I don’t know any other way to do something. You can’t get a laugh without making the person more likable. Plus, I don’t think comedy does anything anyway. I was reading this book—I’m kind of obsessed with Hitler, you know? And they were saying, when Hitler took power, all these comedians and sketch troupes would do Hitler. They’d put a comb under their nose. They all hated Hitler and they’d make fun of him. Hitler didn’t care and then he did all those bad things. I don’t want to get into the details, but this guy was no saint. So I have no historical precedent that comedy ever changed anything.

So Wilstein asked how McDonald would deal comedically with Trump if he were still on the show, but instead McDonald talked about why Hillary lost: 

I always wrote non-political jokes, because I just hate politics so much. Jim Downey wrote the political jokes. And I was kind of shocked, because someone sent me a thing of all the Hillary [Clinton] jokes I did. It was like 20 minutes of them. And they were all, every one of them, the premise was that she was a huge liar. And that was like 20 years ago. I didn’t know that. I guess she was. My theory is this: People hated Hillary Clinton so much that they voted for someone they hated more than Hillary Clinton in order to rub it in.

Earlier in the interview, Wilstein noted that McDonald appeared on the controversial episode of Jimmy Fallon's late-night show where Fallon was condemned for mussing up Donald Trump's hair -- as if that was a mortal sin of television: 

There was a whole bunch of people watching it [backstage] and everybody was laughing and thought it was cute. So I was very surprised by the pushback or blowback or whatever that new word is. But Fallon, he’s never going to host Meet The Press. He just does what he does. He has fun. He likes to have fun and laugh. Also, I don’t how you blame Fallon when every media outlet in the world had Trump on and treated him with kid gloves until it was too late. But I thought it was absurd.

Hillary's Biggest Fan Is Buying The Atlantic Magazine

In a sign of how the liberal media outlets don’t generally change hands without the satisfaction of selling to a fellow progressive, David Bradley, the chairman and owner of Atlantic Media announced Friday that he is selling a majority stake in The Atlantic to Laurene Powell Jobs and her organization Emerson Collective.

In 2016, The Atlantic broke with a long tradition and openly endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, which they proclaimed was mostly out of contempt for Trump, who was grouchily described as “ostentatiously unaqualified...appallingly sexist...he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself....He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.”

NPR decided this was worth a story, and Atlantic editor Scott Stossel was asked by NPR if Trump fans would be dismissive of the endorsement: "Will it deepen some of these Trump supporters' contempt for the media elite and for the establishment, you know, writ large generally? Sure, I think that's probably likely. And yet we still think that getting on the right side of history in this instance is the right thing to do."

Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steven Jobs, is best known to media-bias watchers as one of the most fulsome fans of Hillary, as demonstrated by her quote in Time’s “100 Most Influential People” issue in 2015:

Hillary Clinton is not familiar. She is revolutionary. Not radical, but revolutionary: the distinction is crucial. She is one of America’s greatest modern creations. Her decades in our public life must not blind us to the fact that she represents new realities and possibilities. Indeed, those same decades have conferred upon her what newness usually lacks: judgment, and even wisdom.

Women who advocate for other women are often pigeonholed and pushed to the margins. That hasn’t happened to Hillary, because when she’s standing up for the rights of women and girls, she is speaking not only of gender but also of justice and liberty.

This helps explain why she has been so effective, even in this golden age of polarization.">This helps explain why she has been so effective, even in this golden age of polarization.As Hillary has always made clear, these values are universal, and fulfilling them is a practical and moral pursuit. She is a realist with a conscience and an idealist who is comfortable with the exercise of power.

Hillary knows how to draw opponents out of their fighting corners and forge solutions on common ground. She practices the politics of reconciliation and reason. Which, not coincidentally, is also the politics of progress.

Emerson Collective centers their advocacy on “education, immigration reform, the environment, and other social justice initiatives” to “spur change and achieve equality.”  

Bradley will relinquish control over the next five years (and keep other media properties like National Journal and Quartz). “While I will stay at the helm some years, the most consequential decision of my career now is behind me: Who next will take stewardship of this 160-year-old national treasure? To me, the answer, in the form of Laurene, feels incomparably right.”

In their announcement of the sale, The Atlantic bragged their website audience "has grown 36 percent in the first half of 2017 alone, drawing a  record 42.3 million visitors in May." Bradley said he and his advisers had compiled a list of 600 potential investors, but ended up approaching only Powell Jobs as a potential partner. Terms of the sale were not disclosed....so much for media transparency.

Major Newspapers Ignore or Downplay Imran Awan-Wasserman Schultz Scandal

It’s not just the TV networks that are ignoring or downplaying the Imran Awan-Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal. The nation’s newspapers are barely getting their feet wet. A quick Nexis search shows The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have yet to report it, while The Washington Post and USA Today just reported smaller stories in Thursday’s papers. The Post offered 429 words on page B-3, and USA Today reported just 323 words on page B-6. At least that was the back page of the B-section and included a photo of Wasserman Schultz. 

Still, both headlines avoided the D-word. The USA Today headline was “IT Worker for Congresswoman Arrested.” The Washington Post headline was “House staffer charged with equity-loan fraud.” As Tom Blumer noted, the AP covered this story. One headline was especially galling: “Florida lawmaker fires IT staffer; Anti-Muslim bigotry is cause of client's arrest, lawyer says.”

Spencer Hsu’s Post report deserves some kind of special dishonor for avoiding Awan's Democratic ties until paragraph seven: 

A congressional information technology staffer was arrested Monday evening before a scheduled flight for Lahore, Pakistan, and charged with bank fraud in connection with a $165,000 loan from the Congressional Federal Credit Union, authorities said.

Imran Awan, 37, pleaded not guilty Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey in Washington and was released to a high-intensity supervision program whose conditions include GPS monitoring, a nighttime curfew and staying within a 50-mile radius of his home in Lorton, Va., federal prosecutors said. He was arrested at Dulles International Airport, his attorney said.

Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, allegedly secured a $165,000 home equity loan in January from CFCU on a house in Alexandria after claiming it was their primary residence, when it was a rental property, FBI Special Agent Brandon C. Merriman wrote in an affidavit for Awan's arrest. The couple told the credit union to wire the money to Pakistan for use in purchasing a property, Merriman wrote.

Alvi, also a former House IT worker, and the couple's three school-aged children, were approached by federal agents but allowed to board a flight to Lahore on March 5, Merriman wrote, but he said that he "does not believe that Alvi has any intention to return to the United States."

Awan's attorney, Chris Gowen, said in a statement: "Because we are confident in the integrity of the U.S. justice system, we are confident that Mr. Awan will soon be able to clear his name and get on with his life. Neither Mr. Awan nor his wife have ever had any intention to 'flee' the United States.

"They are U.S. citizens who have built a full life and have a strong community life in this country. They will stand and fight whatever charges are presented," Gowen said. The couple had round-trip tickets, and Awan had informed the government of his plans to travel, Gowen said.

Awan had worked for the House since 2004 as a shared employee, getting paid about $165,000 per year from about a dozen Democratic members in 2015 and 2016, for example, according to LegiStorm. Most payments ended by early February, the congressional data-tracking service reported.

The Post account also avoided the juicy angle of possible computer theft, as AP reported: “Law enforcement authorities for months have been looking into how Awan may have double-billed the House for equipment like computers, iPads, monitors, keyboards, and routers.”  Politico described the investigation this way: “Five House staffers are accused of stealing equipment from members’ offices without their knowledge and committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.”

They also ignored how Wasserman Schultz, until last year the chair of the  Democratic National Committee,  "began negotiating with (U.S.) Capitol Police for access to her laptop in the case. Until this point, she had resisted USCP efforts to look at her computer – even suggesting 'consequences' for the agency if the computer was not promptly returned."

While Fox News Channel picked up this story on Monday, CNN just arrived with its first brief story on Thursday’s New Day: 

ALISYN CAMEROTA: A congressional aide who worked for several Democrats including Debbie Wasserman Schultz is facing a federal bank fraud charge. The FBI says Imran Awan and his wife misrepresented themselves on a loan for a rental property as part of a scheme to wire money to Pakistan. Awan was arrested on Tuesday moments before boarding a flight to Qatar. Wasserman Schultz has terminated his employment.

A Nexis search shows not only have ABC and NBC skipped it, so have MSNBC's primetime shows, the PBS NewsHour and NPR. 

Berkeley Public Radio Station Cancels Event with 'Islamophobic' Atheist Richard Dawkins

Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh reported trouble in Public Broadcasting Land on Monday night. Berkeley-based KPFA, the original station that started the radical-left Pacifica chain of public radio stations, abruptly canceled their August 9 event with harshly atheist author Richard Dawkins over his criticism of Islam as "the most evil religion on the planet." He was expecting to promote a new book titled Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist. It appears in bookstores the day after the canceled event.

Ironically, Pacifica is legendary on the Left as a warrior for free speech. They were the winner in the "seven dirty words" court case against the FCC in 1978. But apparently today it's obscene and dirty language to single out Islam as an evil religion. KPFA said they could not support "abusive speech." 

Volokh noted that KPFA was free to do this, since it's not a "government-run" station. But he didn't note it is a government-supported station. For example, it received "community service grants" of tax money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting of $259,371 in 2012 and $138,671 in 2013. Conservative taxpayers foot the bill for radical propaganda. Volokh reported:

I asked Bob Baldock, the events coordinator at KPFA, about why the Dawkins event was canceled. Baldock said that, while there are “a number of things in [Dawson’s] writing that we have enormous admiration for,” KPFA objected to some public comments by Dawkins — in particular, remarks “about how Islam is the most evil religion on the planet” (apparently referring to the remarks quoted in an article in the Telegraph) and his statement, “to hell with Muslims and their culture"...

Baldock also said that having Dawkins speak would set up “such a problematic thing for our audience and, I feel, the Muslim community in the Bay Area.” And Baldock remarked that he had traveled in the Middle East, and “I know how beaten down Palestinians feel” — “their collective self-esteem is the lowest it’s ever been.”

“To make remarks like that [i.e., Dawkins’ remarks],” Baldock said, “I can’t fathom what possible good it could do.” “I think he should butt out of this issue,” Baldock said (referring to the merits of Islam).

In other words, if Dawkins wanted to trash conservative Christians for homophobia and misogyny, that would be progressive. But indicting Islam for these attitudes is promulgating "bigotry" and supporting "oppression."

Dawkins told the Telegraph:

It’s tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it’s a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they’re not.

If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.

It’s terribly important to modify that because of course that doesn’t mean all Muslims are evil, very far from it. Individual Muslims suffer more from Islam than anyone else.

They suffer from the homophobia, the misogyny, the joylessness which is preached by extreme Islam, Isis and the Iranian regime.

In a 2015 appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Dawkins criticized the double standard on the Left and openly lamented they were mocking the "Free Speech Movement" at Berkeley in the Sixties: "they think that if you criticize Islam, you’re being racist. And you’re absolutely right that the [leftists] give a free pass to Islam where they’re kind of right about everything else — I mean, they’re right about misogyny and all the other … bad things … but in the case of Islam it just gets a free pass. And I think it’s because of the terror of being thought racist...It’s just the one exception — liberal about everything else, but then this one exception, 'It’s their culture.' Well, to hell with their culture."

KPFA's Baldock also sent Volokh a statement from the Bay Area group "Jewish Voice for Peace" objecting to the Dawkins event: 

It has come to our attention that KPFA is sponsoring a talk by Richard Dawkins on August 9th, 2017 in Berkeley. As an organization that opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression, Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area urges you to cancel this event....

It has come to our attention that KPFA is sponsoring a talk by Richard Dawkins on August 9th, 2017 in Berkeley. As an organization that opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression, Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area urges you to cancel this event.

Two months ago, National Public Radio anchor Steve Inskeep interviewed Dawkins after the Ariana Grande concert bombing in England, and navigated around mentioning Islam, saying vaguely that Dawkins felt "religion" was to blame for terrorism. This is what we get for our involuntary contributions to public radio. 

Berkeley Public Radio Station Cancels Event with 'Islamophobic' Atheist Richard Dawkins

Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh reported trouble in Public Broadcasting Land on Monday night. Berkeley-based KPFA, the original station that started the radical-left Pacifica chain of public radio stations, abruptly canceled their August 9 event with harshly atheist author Richard Dawkins over his criticism of Islam as "the most evil religion on the planet." He was expecting to promote a new book titled Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist. It appears in bookstores the day after the canceled event.

Ironically, Pacifica is legendary on the Left as a warrior for free speech. They were the winner in the "seven dirty words" court case against the FCC in 1978. But apparently today it's obscene and dirty language to single out Islam as an evil religion. KPFA said they could not support "abusive speech." 

Volokh noted that KPFA was free to do this, since it's not a "government-run" station. But he didn't note it is a government-supported station. For example, it received "community service grants" of tax money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting of $259,371 in 2012 and $138,671 in 2013. Conservative taxpayers foot the bill for radical propaganda. Volokh reported:

I asked Bob Baldock, the events coordinator at KPFA, about why the Dawkins event was canceled. Baldock said that, while there are “a number of things in [Dawson’s] writing that we have enormous admiration for,” KPFA objected to some public comments by Dawkins — in particular, remarks “about how Islam is the most evil religion on the planet” (apparently referring to the remarks quoted in an article in the Telegraph) and his statement, “to hell with Muslims and their culture"...

Baldock also said that having Dawkins speak would set up “such a problematic thing for our audience and, I feel, the Muslim community in the Bay Area.” And Baldock remarked that he had traveled in the Middle East, and “I know how beaten down Palestinians feel” — “their collective self-esteem is the lowest it’s ever been.”

“To make remarks like that [i.e., Dawkins’ remarks],” Baldock said, “I can’t fathom what possible good it could do.” “I think he should butt out of this issue,” Baldock said (referring to the merits of Islam).

In other words, if Dawkins wanted to trash conservative Christians for homophobia and misogyny, that would be progressive. But indicting Islam for these attitudes is promulgating "bigotry" and supporting "oppression."

Dawkins told the Telegraph:

It’s tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it’s a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they’re not.

If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.

It’s terribly important to modify that because of course that doesn’t mean all Muslims are evil, very far from it. Individual Muslims suffer more from Islam than anyone else.

They suffer from the homophobia, the misogyny, the joylessness which is preached by extreme Islam, Isis and the Iranian regime.

In a 2015 appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Dawkins criticized the double standard on the Left and openly lamented they were mocking the "Free Speech Movement" at Berkeley in the Sixties: "they think that if you criticize Islam, you’re being racist. And you’re absolutely right that the [leftists] give a free pass to Islam where they’re kind of right about everything else — I mean, they’re right about misogyny and all the other … bad things … but in the case of Islam it just gets a free pass. And I think it’s because of the terror of being thought racist...It’s just the one exception — liberal about everything else, but then this one exception, 'It’s their culture.' Well, to hell with their culture."

KPFA's Baldock also sent Volokh a statement from the Bay Area group "Jewish Voice for Peace" objecting to the Dawkins event: 

It has come to our attention that KPFA is sponsoring a talk by Richard Dawkins on August 9th, 2017 in Berkeley. As an organization that opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression, Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area urges you to cancel this event....

It has come to our attention that KPFA is sponsoring a talk by Richard Dawkins on August 9th, 2017 in Berkeley. As an organization that opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression, Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area urges you to cancel this event.

Two months ago, National Public Radio anchor Steve Inskeep interviewed Dawkins after the Ariana Grande concert bombing in England, and navigated around mentioning Islam, saying vaguely that Dawkins felt "religion" was to blame for terrorism. This is what we get for our involuntary contributions to public radio. 

Is Beyonce Virgin-Mary Imagery Offering a 'Biting Critique' of White Western Christianity?

Beyonce recently posted a photo on her Instagram page of her holding her new twins – a boy named Sir and a girl named Rumi – in a similar veil-and-a-bikini getup to how she posed when she was still pregnant. The Left finds this imagery pregnant with political and religious messages. The Washington Post published an overwrought analysis on Friday by Katie Edwards, working for the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies in England.

The Post tweet promised a look at “How Beyoncé’s Virgin Mary imagery challenges racist, religious and sexual stereotypes: Her re-appropriation of Virgin Mary iconography offers a biting critique.”

The Virgin Mary is traditionally represented in art as a white woman. Often her complexion takes the palest possible hue, apparently connoting holiness and innocence. Cultural critic Richard Dyer showed that “in Western representation, whites are overwhelmingly and disproportionately predominant, have the central and elaborated roles, and above all are placed as the norm, the ordinary, the standard. Whites are everywhere in representation.” Whiteness, then, occupies a position of cultural hegemony as “normal” and neutral, and religious iconography that — quite literally — represents whiteness as divine, is a means of reproducing white power and superiority.

Beyoncé’s re-appropriation of Virgin Mary iconography offers a biting critique of this supreme exemplar of feminine whiteness and the ideology that constructs and perpetuates it. At a moment when white supremacy is echoed in the “America first” slogan of President Trump, Beyoncé simultaneously dislodges “white” from its central place in religious iconography and Trump from his recent monopoly of press headlines.

No one seems to ask Beyonce what her intentions are – whether she intends to offer a “biting critique” of white America or Christianity. It’s not likely she’s doing all this to please cultural Marxist professors, although she probably doesn’t mind when she’s worshiped on television by academic analysts like Melissa Harris-Perry….when she still had a program.

The Post is certainly not interested in a biting critique of Beyonce, suggesting that she’s comparing herself to the Mother of Christ, just like another pop star….Madonna. Couldn’t it be that simple – Beyonce is announcing herself the Queen of Pop of her era, like Madonna once was?

A Christian could at least contemplate a different unintended consequence: that the Virgin Mary imagery leads people back to pondering Christianity, that a pop diva could be paying a quiet tribute to virtue, instead of a repudiation of it. 

Edwards noted Beyonce also borrowed from Marian imagery in her 2013 video for the song “Mine,” veiled “to recreate Michelangelo’s Pietà, literally surrounded by whiteness, to subvert the racist and sexist ideas around ownership and black women.”

Forget the black Christians of America. Edwards claims Western/Christian culture equates whitness with beauty and purity:

Christian imagery offers prescriptive images of socially approved women. As Kelly Brown-Douglas argues, “positive images define what female ‘goodness’ looks like and urges women to imitate the qualities of these images.” Images of the Virgin Mary are central to Western culture as a symbol of ideal femininity that equates whiteness with beauty, purity and virtue, and artistic representations of the Mother of Christ have helped to define how women are publicly represented.

But Beyoncé doesn’t simply create a powerful and iconic image of black femininity in her pregnancy announcement images. Images of the Virgin Mary usually depict her fully clothed, including a head covering. The Virgin Mary’s attire must suggest chastity, purity and (sexual and spiritual) virtue. Beyoncé also subverts this ideal by posing in mismatched lingerie, cradling her pregnant belly, and in doing so fuses elements of the “Jezebel,” one of the most prominent stereotypes of black women, with Virgin Mary imagery. This boldly challenges concepts of “acceptable” female sexuality and racialized stereotypes.

Black women came to be associated with Jezebel, another stereotype based on a biblical character, during slavery when “the Black woman as Jezebel was a perfect foil to the White, middle-class woman who was pure, chaste and innocent.” The Jezebel stereotype was used to rationalize sexual atrocities against black women and its insidious influence persists in contemporary culture.

Perhaps the veil and the bikini/lingerie are simply trying to plow again the ground of Madonna, combining the good girl and the deliciously bad girl in way that sells albums and concert tickets. It would be quite the biting critique of Marxism to discover all this imagery is designed simply to build a million-dollar marketing machine.

Former CPB Director Says Taxpayers Fund Racially Divisive Programs

Howard Husock of the Manhattan Institute, a former member of the board at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, penned an article for The Wall Street Journal provocatively titled “Racial Division, Made Possible by Viewers Like You: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is pushing identity politics—except at pledge time.”

Pledge time is when all the warm and fuzzy and mainstream concerts and shows come on. But CPB is funding a hive of programming focused on leftist identity politics. Some CPB money goes to the children’s programming that brands PBS as educational TV.

But millions go to nonfiction documentary programming made by independent producers, and that’s where the focus on identity politics becomes clear. The corporation provides grant support to five so-called minority consortia, including African-American, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander groups, as well as Alaska natives.

Additional support is directed toward the Independent Television Service, which funds independent film producers. ITVS maintains a “diversity development fund,” which has supported projects such as a feminist examination of cheerleading and a video game that introduces players to the hardships and perils of crossing the Sonoran Desert as a migrant.

ITVS also funds LGBT advocacy documentaries, like the recent Independent Lens program Real Boy about a girl transforming herself into a “trans man.” Then there’s the racial dividing: 

Current-affairs programming funded by the CPB can reflect a similar sensibility. The Talk, a PBS documentary, reduces the complexities of police-minority relations to advice minority parents are said to give their children about how to behave around cops. The program’s website advises that “one’s never too young to get woke about race.” Identity politics also pervade radio. NPR’s “Code Switch” [webpage/unit] deals with the “overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture.”

Many of these projects are well-done and affecting. As a public-television producer, I once produced a series about racial violence in changing Boston neighborhoods and a film about affirmative action in a selective public high school. But organizing program grants around specific identity groups isn’t good for America—or the groups being represented. There are other ways to reflect the full range of Americans in public-broadcasting programming.

Those who commission such programs are committed to a deeply embedded ideology. They see American history, politics and culture predominantly through a prism of race and gender. Millions of Americans share this view, but millions more look at the country’s past and present in an entirely different way.

Husock sensibly concluded that if the Congress and the president are going to continue to approve funding for public broadcasting, it ought to be focused more on unifying America than dividing it. But that would obviously run counter to the way they currently play in the taxpayer-funded left-wing sandbox.

Small-Town Ohio Editor Writes In WashPost: 'The Media's Martyr Complex Is Embarrassing'

The Washington Post published a surprising op-ed on Friday. The online headline was "The media's martyr complex is embarrassing." (The last two words somehow didn't fit in the newspaper headline.) It's the latest article the Post has published from Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (Ohio) Times-Gazette. Hillsboro is a small town of about 6,600 people in southern Ohio, a couple of counties east of  Cincinnati. 

In a previous Post op-ed two weeks ago, Abernathy powerfully argued that opioid drug pushers in his state have produced such a death toll that they are comparable to terrorists. 

Abernathy began his latest article by describing how his local congressman came to complain about his coverage, accompanied by an intimidating posse of several local advertisers. He said they listened, the publisher held firm, and "we didn't use our news pages to portray ourselves as martyrs for the First Amendment. Publicly, we ignored the incident." 

But he said when President Trump accuses national outlets of putting out "fake news," national journalists "react with public outrage, their popping veins nearly bursting through their thin skins."

It's hard to believe the Post would let Abernethy attack the national media for their hostility to Trump. 

Trump doesn’t deserve favorable coverage. All he deserves is fair and honest coverage. But even liberals can’t argue with a straight face that he’s wrong about mainstream media bias.

Coverage of the president’s overseas trip and participation in the Group of 20 summit offered numerous examples, with major media outlets focused more on minutiae — Ivanka sat in the president’s chair! — than on substance, giving comparatively short shrift to his powerful remarks in Poland and the important Syrian cease-fire agreement brokered between Trump and Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

And later, the wall-to-wall coverage regarding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a private Russian attorney was the definition of overkill, considering no one has brought forward any evidence to contradict the accounts of the participants that no substantive information was exchanged and there was no follow-up by anyone. But it was another opportunity to repeat “Russia, Russia, Russia,” the media’s magic words for conjuring, Beetlejuice-fashion, the genie they hope will vanquish their bogeyman.

Abernathy definitely identified one point where the national media's arrogance trips them up: they attack their critics as opponents of journalism, opponents of freedom of the press, and opponents of the First Amendment. He said media criticism is not out of bounds. I would add it fits into the First Amendment as well. Critics get to speak, and they even get to accuse the media of creating fake news sometimes: 

News outlets, whether in big cities or small towns, are not synonymous with the First Amendment. We are organizations that depend on the First Amendment to do our jobs, but that hardly makes criticism of us — even aggressive attacks from the president of the United States — out of bounds.

On this point, Big Media could learn a lesson from Small Media. When I have responded to accusations of bias over the years, my answer was not to whine about the criticism, but to point to examples of coverage that I believed proved them wrong. I don’t see too many media organizations doing that in response to the president’s complaints.

If the day comes when members of the mainstream media can prove Trump wrong through the evidence of their work, the president’s attacks will lose their steam. That day is not here.

Time Adored Russia Under 'Man of the Decade' Gorbachev, Now Trump Jr. Is 'Red Handed'

Time magazine’s cover story emerging on Thursday is naturally, Donald Trump Jr. in black and white, behind the words “Red Handed: The Russia Scandal Hits Home.”

It’s also natural and expected that Time writer David Von Drehle predicted a monster storm: “Like a farmer forecasting the weather by the ache in his knee, Washington has a feeling that this storm could be a monster. And the twinge that forecast the deluge was Donald Trump Jr. facing a camera and issuing what sounded a little like an apology. Which is an ominous sign in an Administration that means never having to say you're sorry.”

Von Drehle admitted that there’s a “long way to go” in proving collusion, but “whether the Trump team with the Russians or not, they certainly wanted to.”

And that is downright unpatrotic, the magazine insists: “But while partisanship is one thing, Russia has long been an entirely different matter. From Damascus to Turtle Bay, from oil fields to outer space, Russia is a fierce rival of the U.S. and has been for generations. What politician jumps in bed with Russia?”

One answer is Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1984, as historian Paul Kengor has documented. And then there is the leftist media. Today, Time magazine says Russia has been a “fierce rival for generations.” But in 1990, Time’s Strobe Talbott – who would eventually become Bill Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State – wrote a story headlined "Gorbachev is helping the West by showing that the Soviet threat isn't what it used to be - and what's more, that it never was."

Time magazine’s real “Red Handed” cover story was the one offering the honorific “Man of the Decade” to Gorbachev in an obvious snub of Ronald Reagan as the Soviet Union crumbled. Imagine either Donald Trump uncorking an oily tribute to a Russian like these people did:

“The supreme leader of an atheistic state was baptized as a child. Now, in a sense, Gorbachev means to accomplish the salvation of an entire society that has gone astray....Much more than that, Gorbachev is a visionary enacting a range of complex and sometimes contradictory roles. He is simultaneously the communist Pope and the Soviet Martin Luther, the apparatchik as Magellan and McLuhan. The Man of the Decade is a global navigator.”
Time Senior Writer Lance Morrow, January 1, 1990.

“With a Western-style politician’s charm and a homey touch, he became, as Time put it, ‘a symbol of hope for a new kind of Soviet Union: more open, more concerned with the welfare of its citizens and less with the spread of its ideology and system abroad.’ What did spread, at home and abroad, was a fever of democratic reform.”
Time in its double-issue dated Dec. 31, 2001/Jan. 7, 2002, explaining why it selected the former Soviet dictator as “Man of the Year” in 1987 and 1989.

Time also honored Gorbachev several times after the Soviet Union hit the ash heap of history, like this summary from May 3, 1993: "What do you do for an encore after ending the Cold War and reversing the arms race? How about saving the planet?  That's the latest assignment for Mikhail Gorbachev, having assumed the presidency of the International Green Cross, a new environmental organization.

An MRC Special Report from 2009 called Better Off Red? by Rich Noyes and Scott Whitlock documented how as the U.S.S.R. dissolved as a Communist Party superpower, as well as its satellite dictatorships in Eastern Europe, Time magazine’s group of Red-handed suck-ups repeatedly insisted the end of communism would be a bitter pill for Russians to swallow. So they weren't pro-Russia, just pro-communism:

“Under communism few grew rich, but few went hungry; in many cases people enjoyed surprisingly high levels of prosperity. In Poland, for example, wealthy entrepreneurs were able to afford Western luxury automobiles; in Czechoslovakia ownership of second homes was common. Now many may no longer be able to enjoy such extravagance.”
Time Warsaw correspondent John Borrell, December 3, 1990 news story.

“In towns like Pushkino (pop. 90,000), many Russians view the tumult sweeping Moscow with more anxiety and skepticism than do their big-city compatriots....They wonder if the destruction of Soviet communism will bring them anything more than uncertainty and hardship.”
Time reporter (and future Obama press secretary) James Carney, September 9, 1991.

“Inefficient as the old communist economy was, it did provide jobs of a sort for everybody and a steady, if meager, supply of basic goods at low, subsidized prices; Soviet citizens for more than 70 years were conditioned to expect that from their government. Says a Moscow worker: ‘We had everything during [Leonid] Brezhnev’s times. There was sausage in the stores. We could buy vodka. Things were normal.’”
Time Associate Editor George J. Church, September 23, 1991.

“The painful shift to a market system has pushed thousands of citizens, once able to maintain an acceptable living standard with the help of government subsidies and benefits, below the poverty line. Homelessness, derided by the communists as a plague of the West, is becoming common-place. The old Soviet guarantees of work, housing, and low fixed prices are gone, and the welfare net, designed to catch the rare social dropout, has sprung gaping holes.”
Time Moscow reporter Ann M. Simmons in a July 13, 1992 article subheadlined: “The capitalist revolution is bringing the plagues of poverty, homelessness and unemployment to Russians, who miss the safety net of the old system.”

Time’s support of the communist regime even extended to its attempts to undermine America through spying. Witness, if you will, Time writer (and future Obama State Department official) Richard Stengel trashing Whittaker Chambers, and not the Soviet spy in the State Department he unveiled, Alger Hiss.

“Whittaker Chambers was mostly right about communism and Alger Hiss, but he was a nasty piece of work and nobody likes a snitch. Even Joe McCarthy may have been on to something, but he was a crude and cruel man who ruined people’s lives for 48-point type. You might call this the When Bad People Spoil Good Things school of history.”
— Richard Stengel writing on "Dubious Influences" on “Heroes and Icons” for the June 14, 1999 Time magazine.

White House Correspondents Association Voting to 'Ice Out' Breitbart?

The White House Correspondents Association wasn't just phony when it claimed it wasn't going to hire someone to "roast" President Trump at their annual dinner, and then put on Muslim comedian Hasan Minhaj to roast Trump. This group of reporters is trying to change their by-laws to create a non-voting second tier of members....that caste of undesirables (or "deplorables"?) who cannot get credentialed by the "mainstream" press gallery on Capitol Hill.

At the moment, that's directed right at Breitbart, and their White House reporter Charlie Spiering, but it could easily apply to others. 

For a bunch of people constantly yammering about transparency at the White House, the WHCA board was anything but transparent with their dues-paying members about this membership change. Many members were left out of this decision. The board voted to place the proposed changes on the ballot, then notified the affected members the same day ballots were mailed out.

The voting ends Friday, but there is a letter circulating by reporters from Breitbart, Circa, the Daily Signal,  and Newsmax -- as well as liberal talk show host Bill Press and longtime White House correspondent Connie Lawn -- urging a delay for more debate, and if that is refused, to vote no. 

They wrote "the bylaws change would mean some members and hard pass holders who regularly cover the White House will not have full participation in the organization that is supposed to represent them regarding access among other things. Another unintended consequence of the rules change could also be undermining the board’s credibility when fighting for access and transparency."

They also asked why the rush? "No harm can come from more open dialogue such as a town hall, or at least interaction between the board and members. For those who might support the concept of this policy, we’d argue that there is no profound urgency to pass this immediately. The substance and merits of a policy change deserve the chance for open and honest discussion among members since it affects their status and could potentially negatively [affect] their employment."

Smaller news sites may just want a White House correspondent, and not hire one for Capitol Hill, but they would be outcasts in this new arrangement. (During my two years as White House correspondent for World magazine, we had no credentialed congressional reporter.) 

They also urged the bylaws change should have a "grandfather clause," or else some reporters who are "regular members" now would be demoted to non-voting members on board elections and future bylaws changes.

The WHCA board—currently made up largely of liberal media outlets such as AP, Bloomberg, the New York Times, NBC News, Reuters, and Time magazine—won’t be able to keep reporters out of the White House under this proposed rule change, just keep them from any decision-making inside their club. Perhaps these liberals are afraid that conservative reporters will side with the Trump team on press disputes? It seems apparent they don't like the more "fair and balanced" shift in the news room to more conservative journalists, as well as the "Skype seat" questioners from outside the Beltway. They want to define "professional" reporters as basically liberal reporters.

WHCA president Jeff Mason (of Reuters) sent members a rebuttal to the protest letter, which said in part: 

While we appreciate the concerns raised in this letter, the Board does not share the views expressed by these members.

As described in the memorandum you received, the Board's decision to amend the ByLaws followed a lengthy process where we discussed and reviewed all the proposed changes. The proposed change concerning Regular Members was adopted to codify both the intent of the original drafters of the ByLaws and the longstanding practice that has been followed by the WHCA in determining Regular Membership. The Board strongly supports this added amendment. The WHCA is not and does not want to be a credentialing organization [cough, cough] but we do want to make sure that our Regular Members are working, active and bona fide journalists. We believe such a requirement strengthens our ability to advocate for all journalists.

 

As CNN's Tom Kludt reported in his "ice out"-Breitbart story, the congressional press gallery denied Breitbart a permanent press pass in April over its ties to the Mercer family, who were funders of the Trump campaign, and to Steve Bannon's group the Government Accountability Institute. They cited a rule requiring publications to be "editorially independent of any institution, foundation or interest group that lobbies the federal government, or that is not principally a general news organization."

A conservative critic could say that PBS and NPR should then be denied a credential since they lobby the federal government for their funding -- especially right now, as Trump's budget defunds them. Then add on top of that leftist PBS and NPR funders like George Soros, who is certainly not running a news organization. More "mainstream" media outlets are taking money from liberal philanthropies, but we can guess they won't have their credentials requests denied by their liberal pals. 

Fox's Stossel Stings the Self-Defense of the 'Stupid Hostile Media'

Fox News correspondent John Stossel has just written a stinging column on the "Stupid Hostile Media." He began with New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg, who celebrated July 4 by suggesting "anti-press" conservatives shouldn't hate the media so much. They always make the mistake of opposing or exposing the liberal media is always anti-journalism -- as they dismiss conservative journalism as propaganda and quackery.

Rutenberg quoted a bunch of Founding Fathers -- as well as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush -- in support of a free press. Leftists never wonder about their own irony: they pound a libertarian drum for their own socialist pamphleteering, but try to curtail liberty in every other sector of society for "fairness," or "diversity," or "the planet." They also claim for themselves the First Amendment, but don't seem to want freedom of speech for people to call them liars, knaves, and radicals. (Clay Waters was the first to arrive at the scene of the arrogance here.) Stossel made this case:

New York Times writers are so upset by Trump's rants against them that they act like he's a Venezuelan dictator who will shut them down. (Wait, don't Times socialists like Venezuelan dictators?)

"Independent Press Is Under Siege as Freedom Rings" was one recent headline. The evidence?

"The First Amendment," wrote the normally sensible media columnist Jim Rutenberg, "is under near-daily assault from the highest levels of the government."

The "assault" cited was Trump's tweeting out a fake wrestling video, which depicted, as Rutenberg put it, "himself tackling and beating a figure with a CNN logo superimposed."

So what? The video, like professional wrestling, was childish and unpresidential. But it doesn't put the press "under siege." It's a lame joke.

Rutenberg goes on to ask how we can feel good about Independence Day and press freedom "when the president lashes out at The Washington Post by making a veiled threat against the business interests of its owner, Jeff Bezos, suggesting that his other company, Amazon, is a tax avoider. (Where have we seen that sort of thing before -- Russia maybe?)"

Hello? In Russia, Putin probably murdered reporters. Trump merely suggested that Bezos dodges taxes.

I threw that at Rutenberg. He emailed back, "That wasn't a reference to murder (but) to executive authority using tax code to squelch free-speech." In Russia, media that criticized Putin were raided and accused of tax fraud.

But Trump hasn't done any of that. There's speculation that he will block a Time Warner merger, but hasn't done it.

Rutenberg, like his Washington Post colleague Margaret Sullivan, represent how the newspapers analyze themselves now. They claim it's ridiculous to say they consider themselves "above reproach," but these papers fired their "public editors" and "ombudsmen" and "reader's advocates" because they don't want an in-house critic. Instead, they hired "media columnists" to rage against President Trump and conservative critics in defense of their own liberal activism.

Fox's Stossel Stings the Self-Defense of the 'Stupid Hostile Media'

Fox News correspondent John Stossel has just written a stinging column on the "Stupid Hostile Media." He began with New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg, who celebrated July 4 by suggesting "anti-press" conservatives shouldn't hate the media so much. They always make the mistake of opposing or exposing the liberal media is always anti-journalism -- as they dismiss conservative journalism as propaganda and quackery.

Rutenberg quoted a bunch of Founding Fathers -- as well as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush -- in support of a free press. Leftists never wonder about their own irony: they pound a libertarian drum for their own socialist pamphleteering, but try to curtail liberty in every other sector of society for "fairness," or "diversity," or "the planet." They also claim for themselves the First Amendment, but don't seem to want freedom of speech for people to call them liars, knaves, and radicals. (Clay Waters was the first to arrive at the scene of the arrogance here.) Stossel made this case:

New York Times writers are so upset by Trump's rants against them that they act like he's a Venezuelan dictator who will shut them down. (Wait, don't Times socialists like Venezuelan dictators?)

"Independent Press Is Under Siege as Freedom Rings" was one recent headline. The evidence?

"The First Amendment," wrote the normally sensible media columnist Jim Rutenberg, "is under near-daily assault from the highest levels of the government."

The "assault" cited was Trump's tweeting out a fake wrestling video, which depicted, as Rutenberg put it, "himself tackling and beating a figure with a CNN logo superimposed."

So what? The video, like professional wrestling, was childish and unpresidential. But it doesn't put the press "under siege." It's a lame joke.

Rutenberg goes on to ask how we can feel good about Independence Day and press freedom "when the president lashes out at The Washington Post by making a veiled threat against the business interests of its owner, Jeff Bezos, suggesting that his other company, Amazon, is a tax avoider. (Where have we seen that sort of thing before -- Russia maybe?)"

Hello? In Russia, Putin probably murdered reporters. Trump merely suggested that Bezos dodges taxes.

I threw that at Rutenberg. He emailed back, "That wasn't a reference to murder (but) to executive authority using tax code to squelch free-speech." In Russia, media that criticized Putin were raided and accused of tax fraud.

But Trump hasn't done any of that. There's speculation that he will block a Time Warner merger, but hasn't done it.

Rutenberg, like his Washington Post colleague Margaret Sullivan, represent how the newspapers analyze themselves now. They claim it's ridiculous to say they consider themselves "above reproach," but these papers fired their "public editors" and "ombudsmen" and "reader's advocates" because they don't want an in-house critic. Instead, they hired "media columnists" to rage against President Trump and conservative critics in defense of their own liberal activism.

By Media Logic, Should WashPost Insist 'Kill &quot;Fox &amp; Friends&quot;'? Or Does That Imply Violence?

Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple’s posts about the Fox News Channel’s morning show keep getting wilder and wilder. What are they putting in his Cream of Wheat? On June 1, Wemple wrote a piece headlined Fox & Friends is a planetary threat.” On July 11, he’s back with “Kill Fox & Friends before it’s too late.” His last line was “Left to its own devices, Fox & Friends could do far more damage, unless it’s killed.”

Liberal newspapers ran away with the idea of Sarah Palin “targeting” districts as a call to violence against Gabby Giffords. By that logic, calling the Fox morning show a “planetary threat” that needs to be “killed,” is Wemple encouraging violence? Is this the Washington Post version of the Trump-pummeling-CNN meme? 

Obviously, “killing” a show isn’t the same as killing a human. Liberals took pride in “killing” The O’Reilly Factor, but the host is preparing a second act. But the notion of killing Fox & Friends while it’s still number one in the cable-news morning game sounds as realistic as a column headlined “Kill Good Morning America.”  

Wemple’s hyperbole is based on the fact that President Trump tweets information – sometimes false – directly from the morning show minutes after it appears. Wemple seems to be missing the point that his own newspaper has been bumbling facts in its anti-Trump scoops, and so has The New York Times. Somehow, that doesn't mean they are a “planetary threat” that should be forcibly removed from the media. 

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