Blog Archives

One media-fail warning light is illuminated steadily

From The New Yorker:

Washington’s scandal machinery, rusty from recent disuse, is cranking back up to speed due to the alleged targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.

First, the IRS has already fessed up to the alleged targeting. (Unless a public mea culpa no longer counts for anything. Miranda rights or the likes?)

Next, why is the Washington scandal machinery rusty from disuse? It’s because the traditional media has managed to make the myriad scandals of the Obama Administration into non-events. But at the point when a scandal can no longer be ignored, root causes, analysis, and fault-finding are turned on their heads and are instead assigned to the character flaws projected by the media into the conservative mind.

What profound media-fail is next?

In light of this, it might be useful to ask: Did the I.R.S. actually do anything wrong?

No, it’s indeed common knowledge and self-evident that the IRS confessed it’s inappropriate behaviors and released its IG report because no sins were committed and all involved have been absolved. This is not the IRS scandal you’re looking for…

If we have no IRS scandal, why should everyone be so up in arms? Because of the real scandal!

So the scandal—the real scandal—is that 501(c)(4) groups have been engaged in political activity in such a sustained and open way.

Great catch. Criminal acts? Meh. Instead, people should be barred from having free association via 501(c)(4) groups and additionally, surrender their right to freedom of speech. And yet, others might ask, “Why do we even have these arbitrary and restrictive 501(c)(4) rules to begin with?”

We have these rules because government especially likes rules. They can punish their adversaries via rules and reward their followers by ignoring the same.

Finally, even though the Obama Administration is now starting to reap the whirlwind of their actions, none of this can be blamed on the President: after all, the government’s simply too large and far-flung for him to manage such an enterprise.

Given this Administration wants to ever-expand government’s power, the too big to manage thought puts a colorful bow on the left’s Costco-sized package of cognitive dissonance.

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The left’s full-on hypocrisy

When the right critiques Broncobama for his dismal record, his idiotic ideas, and his failed policies, the media left has an answer: it’s racism.

When the left practices true racial hatred, as in South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott being appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to the Senate seat now held by Jim DeMint, the media left has another answer: crickets.

We suspect the media left has a secret purification ceremony that’s known by a different name in larger society. It’s called having a lobotomy.

Guns or alcohol?

Bob Costas, sports “journalist” (yes, those are sneer quotes) offers that if Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.

Will Costas now offer that if Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent didn’t have alcohol, his teammate Jerry Brown would be alive today?

Or maybe if Josh Brent didn’t have a car?

Or maybe if we weren’t born, we wouldn’t have to die?

There are tragedies in life but the things human beings use (guns, drugs, vehicles, etc.) are not to blame. People are to blame. That’s what happens in a fallen world.

The silence of the leftist lambs

Heard about any honor killings by Christians?

No.

What you do hear about is nanny state politicos in Chicago and Boston wanting to ban Chick-fil-A because the restaurants’ ideas don’t match those of the professional left (including the tolerance, equality, and diversity communities).

So while you won’t hear the same lefties in the media or politics saying anything about honor killings, one writer wants that to change. I don’t think it will.

For the left, their bumper stickers notwithstanding, some are simply more equal than others and tolerance must be imposed by the wise.

The Imperial Obama Cult

totalitarianThe imperial Barry Oh! and his Administration have used recess-based appointments (where the Senate is in session), drone-based assassinations (OK, there is possible goodness there, but as it regards American citizens, is extra-legal), leading from behind in Libya (that is, falsely claiming war using U.S. troops and resources is not really war unless he says so), providing dangerous security leaks to the media (for the purpose of self-aggrandizement), has managed to concurrently belittle and bow down to Wall Street (and the leaders of numerous other nations), has labored diligently to destroy the U.S. economy (consider 40-plus months of above 8% unemployment as well as the massive increase in the national debt), and attempts to rule by regulation (and not by legislation).

Rule by regulation, that is, via Executive Orders and “policy directives,” are effectively rewriting the law as it regards immigration, the environment, and other issues to most recently include Welfare Reform.

The cult of personality is clearly at work here. The main-stream media availed itself to destroy George W. Bush as they now attempt to cover for Obama’s self-evident ineptness (while also trying to advance his re-election).

It’s a clear case of the media’s cognitive dissonance; man remains the only creature who can lie to himself.

Uncle Walter, Fraud

A book review by Howard Kurtz of much-revered newsman Walter Cronkite is available at the Daily Beast. The book was written by Douglas Brinkley and carries the title Cronkite.

The review is revealing—Cronkite was not all that; far from it—and brings up the question of confirmation bias, that is, why is it our minds are disinclined to discarding facts that conflict with our perceived reality? In this case, the perceived reality is that Cronkite was a man of unshakable ethics and was politically neutral. The facts show he wasn’t.

But first, how do icons like Walter Cronkite even come to be?

This question is unexplainable except through speculation about random success and marketing. I mean while Cronkite had a particular way of presenting himself that was well received and the competition to read the news was very limited, those don’t explain Cronkite’s development into an icon. Big events like the Kennedy assassination and the space program are part of the myth as well, so maybe it’s a cumulative effect. Or maybe if you hear “America’s Most Trusted Newsman” or something like it often enough you’ll believe it.

Next, how do guys like Uncle Walter get a pass for their myriad indiscretions, bias, and unethical behavior?

This is easier to answer. Over time, Cronkite had accumulated huge amounts of personal power and influence. This was enough to cause others to look away his indiscretions; ignore or explain away his bias; and finally, CBS needed to protect a revenue stream/well-branded product (that is, he brought in money and/or some sort of network-level prestige).

It would have been useful if these revelations—that is, that Walter Cronkite was a biased and flawed human (as we all are) who somehow ended up in a position of significant authority and influence—had been useful to have been exposed back in the day.

Like another Walter, NYT Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Duranty.

Does protected equal favored?

Thomas Sowell asks why black on not-black crime so often goes unreported, that is, why does the traditional media (often with government complicity) self-censor on some issues of race and not on others?

The obvious answer is that some individuals—and groups—are more protected, more equal, and more favored than others. One of innumerable political examples: Fast and Furious would be bigger than Watergate if this were a Republican administration.

The protected groups (a representative, but not exhaustive, list): non-Asian minorities, global warmers, women, homosexuals, liberals, the poor.

The non-protected: white Hispanics and a few others.

Why is this? Because the traditional media (again, often with government complicity) is all about agenda and worldview. Myths and templates need to be preserved so as to not confuse themselves or their audiences. Why do these things need to be preserved? In a word, power.

The grievance industry has to be the most productive—that is, they produce a great deal of grievance, not that they’re useful—segment of the American economy.

My observation: many people don’t want to be treated fairly. They want to be treated preferentially.

Frank Rich has a hypocrisy problem

The sub-headline for former theater critic Frank Rich’s column says this:

The GOP’s woman problem is that it has a serious problem with women.

I guess Mr. Rich has either ignored or has forgotten Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer (AKA Client Number 9), Anthony Weiner, and David Wu.

Unless they somehow don’t count. And if they don’t count, why would that be?