Camille Paglia’s Defense of Jordan Peterson, Excerpted from a Longer Statement Sent in Response to Queries from a Brazilian JournalistPosted: March 29, 2018 Filed under: Censorship, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Activism, Advocacy journalism, Anthropology, Biology, Brazil, Camile Paglia, Epoca, Jordan Peterson, journalism, Media bias, Nature, New York Review of Books, propaganda Leave a comment
From Camille Paglia: excerpted from a longer statement sent in response to queries from a Brazilian journalist writing a profile of me for a major Brazilian magazine, Epoca.
The Woke Police Have Ruined EntertainmentPosted: February 12, 2018 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Activism, Global Panic, Mean Girls, Movies, Music, SJW, Tina Fey, Woke Leave a comment
Johnny Oleksinski When Tina Fey’s film “Mean Girls” came out in 2004, the comedy was lauded as a silly, satirical excoriation of modern high-school life and its cliques, cafeteria antics and materialism. “Mean Girls” was a “Clueless” for the millennial age. And it was so fetch.
Fast forward to 2018. “Mean Girls” is about to begin a new life as a Broadway musicalin March. But some Broadway watchers believe the subject matter is too mean for these kinder, gentler times.
“It just might not be the moment for ‘Mean Girls,’ ” one Broadway insider told me on the condition of anonymity. “It might feel stale and tone-deaf to the critics. And while this is something that could be critic-proof, maybe not.”
The fear of offending audiences isn’t limited to musicals about bratty teens. In this oversensitive era, TV shows, Oscar-worthy movies and pop music are all under pressure to be as nice as Betty Crocker. For millennia the best art has offended, tantalized, frightened, riled up and, of course, been life-affirming. But today the American public, looking more than ever like Soviet Russia, has just one rule for entertainers: Don’t rock the boat.
During last Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show, singer Justin Timberlake barely rocked his hips. The former boybander is responsible for the most famous sex stunt in the history of the event — Janet Jackson’s 2004 nipple-baring “wardrobe malfunction.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Age of Outrage: What the Current Political Climate is Doing to Our Country and Our UniversitiesPosted: December 19, 2017 Filed under: Education, Mediasphere, Think Tank | Tags: Academia, Activism, Anti-American, Crisis, Global Panic, Hysteria, Jonathan Haidt, Manhattan Institute, Marxism, Microaggressions, Revolution, Thomas Jefferson, Trigger Warnings 1 Comment
Jonathan Haidt writes: Here is the fine-tuned liberal democracy hypothesis: as tribal primates, human beings are unsuited for life in large, diverse secular democracies, unless you get certain settings finely adjusted to make possible the development of stable political life. This seems to be what the Founding Fathers believed. Jefferson, Madison, and the rest of those eighteenth-century deists clearly did think that designing a constitution was like designing a giant clock, a clock that might run forever if they chose the right springs and gears.
Thankfully, our Founders were good psychologists. They knew that we are not angels; they knew that we are tribal creatures. As Madison wrote in Federalist 10: “the latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man.” Our Founders were also good historians; they were well aware of Plato’s belief that democracy is the second worst form of government because it inevitably decays into tyranny. Madison wrote in Federalist 10 about pure or direct democracies, which he said are quickly consumed by the passions of the majority: “such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention . . . and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
So what did the Founders do? They built in safeguards against runaway factionalism, such as the division of powers among the three branches, and an elaborate series of checks and balances. But they also knew that they had to train future generations of clock mechanics. They were creating a new kind of republic, which would demand far more maturity from its citizens than was needed in nations ruled by a king or other Leviathan.
Here is the education expert E.D. Hirsch, on the founding of our nation:
The history of tribal and racial hatred is the history and prehistory of humankind. . . . The American experiment, which now seems so natural to us, is a thoroughly artificial device designed to counterbalance the natural impulses of group suspicions and hatreds. . . . This vast, artificial, trans-tribal construct is what our Founders aimed to achieve. And they understood that it can be achieved effectively only by intelligent schooling. (From The Making of Americans)
Thomas Jefferson wrote, in 1789, that “wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government;” he backed up that claim by founding the University of Virginia, about which he wrote, in 1820: “This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error as long as reason is left free to combat it.”
[Read the full story here, at City Journal]
So, how are we doing, as the inheritors of the clock? Are we maintaining it well? If Madison visited Washington, D.C. today, he’d find that our government is divided into two all-consuming factions, which cut right down the middle of each of the three branches, uniting the three red half-branches against the three blue half-branches, with no branch serving the original function as he had envisioned.
And how are we doing at training clock mechanics? What would Jefferson say if he were to take a tour of America’s most prestigious universities in 2017? What would he think about safe spaces, microaggressions, trigger warnings, bias response teams, and the climate of fearfulness, intimidation, and conflict that is now so prevalent on campus? But first, let’s ask: How did we mess things up so badly? Read the rest of this entry »
College Professor Is Fired After Appearance on Tucker CarlsonPosted: June 25, 2017 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Academia, Activism, Black Lives Matter, BLM, Marxism, media, news, Radical Left, Tucker Carlson Leave a comment
We just discussed the free speech and academic freedom issues of schools investigating professors for their postings on social media. Now we have A New Jersey college professor who was fired by Essex County College after appearing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” Professor Lisa Durden staunchly defended a black-only Black Lives Matter event and caused an uproar of criticism over her highly insulting comments about “white people.”
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Greg Gutfeld: Remembering Andrew BreitbartPosted: March 7, 2017 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Activism, Andrew Breitbart, Barack Obama, Breitbart News, CNN, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, Greg Gutfeld, Investigative journalism, journalism, MSNBC, Righteous Indignation, RUSSIA, Sweden, The Huffington Post, Twitter Leave a comment
Random thoughts on the fifth anniversary of his death
By now everyone knows Breitbart.com. But how well do they know the guy who started it all?
Andrew Breitbart died five years ago last week, so I’m thinking it might pay to remind people where the name “Breitbart” hails from: a man who is no longer on this earth, but seems to be felt everywhere.
First, Andrew was one of the deepest, funniest, smartest individuals I’ve ever met — and the world deserves to know him. Most people know of my relationship with A.B. — though I don’t talk about it much, unless I’m asked.
[Order Andrew’s legendary book “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!” from Amazon.com]
In short, we wrote together, talked daily about everything. We conspired hourly for weeks at a time — from our start at the Huffington Post (yes, kids, he launched that site, and I wrote for it) to the Anthony Weiner episode — almost entirely and accidentally choreographed by Breitbart himself. He graced my show Redeye many times, peppering it with memorably absurd appearances. We always drank and sometimes got into trouble afterward (see the Opie and Anthony appearance after the Anthony Weiner press conference). I edited his pieces sometimes, helped organize his second book and helped when I could on his latest endeavors. This went on for nearly a decade, until his death.
“Andrew died a great man, and his life — and death — spawned a movement. In my humble opinion, you could not have had the election of Donald Trump without the phenomenon that was (and still is) Andrew Breitbart.”
Sadly, I had the honor that no one wants when it comes to a close friend: to speak at the reception following his funeral.
If Breitbart is part of your everyday lexicon, then you should know where the moniker hails from. Andrew Breitbart was a joyful, hilarious man. How many people know that? They must know that.
[Read the full story here, at Fox News]
There is a grim silver lining when you die young. There’s no additional 30 years of assorted career changes, gaps of non-exciting employment and detours into events that muddy early great achievements. If you live
long enough, you become disappointing.
Andrew died a great man, and his life — and death — spawned a movement. In my humble opinion, you could not have had the election of Donald Trump without the phenomenon that was (and still is) Andrew Breitbart.
* * *
Andrew was about waging war with the left by using the left’s tactics. His foot soldiers are everywhere now, and their footprints are all over the faces of the shocked liberals who never saw them coming.
Andrew was inclusive, not solely ideological. He was a party leader who wanted a tent big enough for everyone, not a litmus test for locksteppers. He might have rubbed shoulders with the religious, the vocally right-wing, the hardcore moralistic — but he had no tolerance for those who demonized by lifestyle. Did you know Andrew backed out of CPAC because it initially refused to allow gay groups to speak?
When groups planned to boycott CPAC 2011, Andrew promised to throw a bash for right-wing gays. He wanted to call it the “first annual Roy Cohn CPAC Breitbart Homocon Welcoming ’80s Extravaganza.” Breitbart loved exceedingly long titles. Overdoing it was his way of doing it.
* * *
Andrew once was a liberal, but like all liberals with a brain, he wised up. He was a crappy student (he wasn’t much of a reader, he admitted) who liked to party, and he was a default liberal — simply because it was easy and without risk. But when he saw the Clarence Thomas hearings, he transformed from a goofy, partying liberal into a libertarian/conservative Reaganite. He worked for Matt Drudge and then he gravitated toward Arianna Huffington, working as her researcher before helping launch her celebrity-drenched site. He told me his purpose at HuffPo: By giving a voice to liberal celebrities about political issues, he could show the world how absurd their beliefs really were. Read the rest of this entry »
Obama-linked Activists Have a ‘Training Manual’ for Protesting TrumpPosted: February 19, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Politics, White House | Tags: Activism, Barack Obama, Community Organizer, Democratic Party (United States), Donald Trump, Jason Chaffetz, Left Wing Paranoia, Marxist tactics, OFA, Organizing for America, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President of the United States, propaganda, protests, Radical Left, Republican Party (United States), Subversives Leave a comment
Organizing for Action, a group founded by Obama and featured prominently on his new post-presidency website, is distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists that advises them to bully GOP lawmakers into backing off support for repealing ObamaCare, curbing immigration from high-risk Islamic nations, and building a border wall.
Paul Sperry reports: An Obama-tied activist group training tens of thousands of agitators to protest President Trump’s policies plans to hit Republican lawmakers supporting those policies even harder this week, when they return home for the congressional recess and hold town hall meetings and other functions.
“A script advises callers to complain: ‘I’m honestly scared that a known racist and anti-Semite will be working just feet from the Oval Office … It is everyone’s business if a man who promoted white supremacy is serving as an adviser to the president.’”
Organizing for Action, a group founded by Obama and featured prominently on his new post-presidency website, is distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists that advises them to bully GOP lawmakers into backing off support for repealing ObamaCare, curbing immigration from high-risk Islamic nations, and building a border wall.
“The goal is to make Republicans, even from safe districts, second-guess their support for the Trump agenda.”
In a new Facebook post, OFA calls on activists to mobilize against Republicans from now until Feb. 26, when “representatives are going to be in their home districts.”
The protesters disrupted town halls earlier this month, including one held in Utah by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who was confronted by hundreds of angry demonstrators claiming to be his constituents.
The manual, published with OFA partner “Indivisible,” advises protesters to go into halls quietly so as not to raise alarms, and “grab seats at the front of the room but do not all sit together.” Rather, spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposes the Republican host’s positions. “This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.” It also urges them to ask “hostile” questions — while keeping “a firm hold on the mic” — and loudly boo the the GOP politician if he isn’t “giving you real answers.”
[Read the full story here, at New York Post]
“Express your concern [to the event’s hosts] they are giving a platform to pro-Trump authoritarianism, racism, and corruption,” it says.
“The manual, published with OFA partner ‘Indivisible,’ advises protesters to go into halls quietly so as not to raise alarms, and “grab seats at the front of the room but do not all sit together.’ Rather, spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposes the Republican host’s positions. ‘This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.’”
The goal is to make Republicans, even from safe districts, second-guess their support for the Trump agenda, and to prime “the ground for the 2018 midterms when Democrats retake power.”
“It also urges them to ask ‘hostile’ questions — while keeping ‘a firm hold on the mic’ — and loudly boo the the GOP politician if he isn’t ‘giving you real answers.’”
“Even the safest [Republican] will be deeply alarmed by signs of organized opposition,” the document states, “because these actions create the impression that they’re not connected to their district and not listening to their constituents.”
After the event, protesters are advised to feed video footage to local and national media. Read the rest of this entry »
Our Cult-Like Education System: Stella Morabito on the Ideological Cold WarPosted: February 13, 2017 Filed under: Censorship, Education, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Activism, Alternative school, American Humanist Association, Americans, college campus, Donald Trump, Left Wing, Marxism, propaganda, Radical Left, Riots, Supreme Court of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, United States, University, Violence 1 Comment
Riot-Prone Mobs Are A Product Of America’s Cult-Like Education System
‘If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.’
— Thomas Jefferson
Stella Morabito writes
…Those who are pushing for sustained street resistance seem to be banking on two things. First they are betting that mainstream Americans won’t realize until it’s too late that we are in the midst of a virtual civil war that could turn violent. Dennis Prager recently wrote of this Second Civil War, warning Americans to wake up to it. Second, agitators are also wagering that Americans will not have the stomach for the prolonged fight they intend to bring to the streets, a point noted by psychologist Tim Daughtry in his book “Waking the Sleeping Giant.”
“What brought us to this place where the losing side has so utterly and violently rejected the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, and previously agreed-upon electoral process and rules?”
So is this some kind of a joke? Revolution in the streets of America that overturns the election results? So far it all sounds so goofy, at least where it doesn’t get violent. We can watch in wonder as a shrieking NYU professor verbally assaults numerous police officers with the sort of impunity only afforded to the far-left. We can assure ourselves that there aren’t that many irrational people. Even if true, however, that’s beside the point. Too many citizens are at sea in understanding what freedom even means.
“Let’s face it. Today’s street theater is the culmination of decades of radical education revision. The radical Left’s systematic attack on the study of Western Civilization has essentially been an attack against the study of any and all civil societies. It is an attack on the features that make a society civil and free.”
We need to ask ourselves: What brought us to this place where the losing side has so utterly and violently rejected the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, and previously agreed-upon electoral process and rules? It’s past time to ponder the quote from Thomas Jefferson: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
Destroying Our Education System Got Us Here
Let’s face it. Today’s street theater is the culmination of decades of radical education revision. The radical Left’s systematic attack on the study of Western Civilization has essentially been an attack against the study of any and all civil societies. It is an attack on the features that make a society civil and free. Those features include freedom of expression, civil discourse, the Socratic method of figuring out truth, value of the individual, and a common knowledge of the classics of history and literature that help us understand what’s universal in the human experience. All of that had to go.
[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]
Now, as we see students marching to demonize as “fascists” proponents of free speech, their ignorance is in full view. This is really a full frontal attack on the rule of law, the Constitution, and a system of checks and balances that guards against the consolidation of centralized power.
“The last 50 years have produced a huge wave of kids who are functionally uneducated.” https://t.co/4r0v3Lv6tm
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) February 13, 2017
That’s the whole point of the education these students have been fed. In fact, a lot of 1960s agitators, including domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, decided to place their bets on radical education revision. For at least 40 years, Ayers has been devoted to transforming schools from places of actual education to places of coercive thought reform. As Andrew McCarthy recently pointed out in National Review: “It was a comfy fit for him and many of his confederates, once it dawned on them that indoctrination inside the schoolhouse was more effective than blowing up the schoolhouse.”
If you review the history of radical education reform, it’s clear these agitators have been committing mind arson on the children, undermining their ability to think independently and clearly. (For more on this, read Robin Eubanks’ book “Credentialed to Destroy.”)
How to Short-Circuit a Child’s Thinking
Radical education reformers have made a point of removing context from children’s education, and to squash their natural curiosity, undermining their capacity to think. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] ‘The Greg Gutfeld Show’ Introduces a New ‘Sponsor’: VictimaPosted: February 12, 2017 Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, Mediasphere | Tags: Activism, Advertising, Democratic Party (United States), Democrats, drugs, Fox News Channel, Greivance, Identity Politics, Left Wing, Parody, satire, Special Snowflake, The Greg Gutfeld Show, TV Commercial, Twitter, Victim Culture, Victima Leave a comment
‘The Greg Gutfeld Show‘ introduces a new ‘sponsor‘
to learn more about Victima: https://t.co/maZUvxlQLc
and return to @GregGutfeldShow at 5pm!
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) February 12, 2017
Source: The Greg Gutfeld Show [WATCH the video here]
[BOOKS] On Howard Stern, Actress Lena Dunham Credits President Trump for Her Weight Loss Success, Debuts New Diet BookPosted: February 7, 2017 Filed under: Entertainment, Food & Drink, Humor, Mediasphere, Politics, Reading Room, White House | Tags: Activism, Americans, Barstool Sports, Books, Democrats, Donald Trump, Executive order, Girls, Howard Stern, Lena Dunham, Obesity, President of the United States, satire, Television, Weight Loss 1 Comment
Rachel DeSantis reports: Most people turn to diets and exercise to lose extra pounds, but Girls star Lena Dunham is sharing a new weight-loss trick you may not want to try at home.
“Donald Trump became president and I stopped being able to eat food.”
— Actress and diet book author Lena Dunham
Dunham stopped by Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show Monday morning and revealed that she has none other than Donald Trump to thank for her slim figure.
“Everyone’s been asking like, ‘What have you been doing?’ And I’m like, ‘Try soul-crushing pain and devastation and hopelessness and you, too, will lose weight.’”
“Donald Trump became president and I stopped being able to eat food,” she told Stern after he complimented her look. “Everyone’s been asking like, ‘What have you been doing?’ And I’m like, ‘Try soul-crushing pain and devastation and hopelessness and you, too, will lose weight.’”
The actress, who was on hand to promote the upcoming sixth and final season of Girls, has not been shy about her dislike for the President, and apparently, the feeling is mutual. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Americans Gather Near U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to Protest Trump’s Travel Ban 日本のアメリカ大使館前で入国制限令に対するデモPosted: February 6, 2017 Filed under: Asia, Foreign Policy, Global, Japan, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Activism, Donald Trump, Electoral College (United States), Executive order, Femen, Foreign national, Immigration policy, Muslim world, President of the United States, Tokyo 1 Comment
TOKYO – Ayako Mie reports: A group of demonstrators gathered Tuesday morning near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending the entry of refugees and restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Roughly 50 people, mainly Americans living in Japan, gathered near the embassy in Minato Ward at around 8 a.m. They held signs with slogans like “Build bridges, not walls,” “No Muslim ban” and “Immigrants make America great.”
“We will protest in solidarity with these individuals, including refugees from war-torn nations, as we stand against this unlawful, immoral and unjust action,” the organizers said in a Monday news release.
“We urge the Trump administration to cancel this executive order and to obey federal court orders against its implementation, and we ask all elected officials and world leaders to speak out against this despicable act,” it said.
Organizer Jesse Glickstein, an American lawyer living in Japan, said the demonstration was part of the global backlash against the immigration clampdown. Protests flared up around the world soon after the policy was implemented last Friday, which is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Glickstein, who is Jewish, said his grandparents immigrated to the U.S. after surviving the Holocaust.
“This, to me, is possibly the most offensive thing a president can do,” Glickstein said before the protest began.
“I think this is important so that the Japanese people understand that the majority of Americans are not in agreement with this,” he said. “We welcome refugees, we welcome diversity, and this administration honestly is basically … waging war on this concept.”
Protester Alexander Gonzalez said he rejects the policy because it targets specific citizens. Read the rest of this entry »
President Trump’s Anti-Regulation Policies Might Actually be Good for Tech StartupsPosted: January 25, 2017 Filed under: Economics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: 2016, ABC News, Activism, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Donald Trump presidential campaign, Hope Hicks, Hulk Hogan, Linda McMahon, PayPal, Peter Thiel, Rex Tillerson, Silicon Valley, Small Business Administration, The New York Times, Vince McMahon, WWE Leave a comment
‘I know, I know. But I’m begging you to read this till the end, and not take me out of context.’
Ashu Garg is a general partner at Foundation Capital, where he invests in B2B software across the stack. He currently serves on the boards of TubeMogul, Localytics, Conviva, ZeroStack and Yozio, among others. Reach him @ashugarg.
Ashu Garg writes: Well, it happened. I thought it was a joke when he started campaigning, and I was aghast when he was elected, but that’s all history at this point: Donald Trump is president. Rather than spend time on sour grapes, I think it’s more productive to make a clear-eyed appraisal of what his administration might mean for my industry. I know that what I say next risks being taken out of context, but from my vantage as a longtime tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I believe that there’s a real chance Trump will be — I’m begging you to read till the end and not take me out of context — good for startups.
“The most significant reason Trump might be good for early-stage companies is that he is very anti-regulation.”
First off, change in general is good for entrepreneurs, because it creates new circumstances for them to exploit or gaps for them to fill. Regulatory change, more specifically, is ripe with opportunity. Moreover, Trump has historically made a lot of pro-small-business noises, and has signaled that he will shake up the Small Business Administration.
[Read the full story here, at Recode]
Professional-wrestling magnate Linda McMahon is potentially taking over, and may be receptive to the type of changes that would allow emerging enterprises — in tech and outside it — to grow, including making it easier for first-time entrepreneurs to access startup grant funding.
“Trump has promised to make huge investments in infrastructure, largely to be funded by debt — for entrepreneurs, this will create enormous possibility.”
The most significant reason Trump might be good for early-stage companies is that he is very anti-regulation. The White House has already issued a freeze on new or pending regulations to all executive departments and agencies, for example. One can argue whether less regulation is good or bad for society. But it’s only good news for startups, which are always in a hurry to ship their ideas into the real world. Read the rest of this entry »
Sebastian Gorka to Join Trump White HousePosted: January 24, 2017 Filed under: Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Religion, Terrorism | Tags: Activism, American Broadcasting Company, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, NBC, Sebastian Gorka, The New York Times Best Seller list, Washington Leave a comment
Oliver Darcy reports: Sebastian Gorka, the Breitbart national security editor and a Fox News contributor, is expected to join President Donald Trump’s White House, a source familiar with the matter told Business Insider.
[Read the full story here, at Business Insider]
The source said that the position is likely in the National Security Council. A Fox News spokesperson said the network terminated Gorka’s contributor agreement when he informed executives of his new position.
Gorka, who has written stories for Breitbart since early 2014, was a founding member of the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs and has been awarded the Joint Civilian Service Commendation, according to a bio on his website. (He recently made his website private.) The national-security analyst is the author of “Defeating Jihad,” a New York Times best-seller.
[Check out Sebastian Gorka’s book “Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War” at Amazon.com]
He was also the vice president for counterterrorism and irregular warfare at the Threat Knowledge Group, and he said in a July Breitbart story that he had written policy papers for Trump. He was paid by the campaign for policy consulting, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Read the rest of this entry »
It Has Been a Really Bad Week for JournalismPosted: January 21, 2017 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Activism, African Americans, American Jobs, Barack Obama, Bloomberg News, Donald Trump, John Lewis (Georgia politician), Kanye West, Martin Luther King III, Martin Luther King Jr, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, New York City, Rick Perry, Trump Tower (New York City), USA TODAY Leave a comment
It has been a particularly embarrassing week for the press, and it’s only Saturday.
T. Becket Adams writes: For an industry that’s as disliked and distrusted as Congress, there’s a lot of work that media need to do to win back viewers’ trust.
There’s no room for error, especially now that there’s a subgenre of “news” that has zero basis in fact, and is created from thin air for the sole purpose of generating cash.
But learning to be more careful and even-handed is apparently difficult for much of media, and this week was especially rough for newsrooms that are already struggling to regain credibility.
In no particular order, here are some of the most embarrassing media moments from this week:
The New York Times’ unsubstantiated hit on Rick Perry:
The New York Times reported this week that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry agreed to be energy secretary without knowing the department oversees and maintains the country’s nuclear arsenal.
The story is written in such a way that Perry comes across as a bumbling bumpkin who’s in way over his head.
[Read the full story, at Washington Examiner]
The problem with the report – well, there are many problems – the main problem with the story is that it hinges entirely on a bland quote from a GOP energy lobbyist. That source, Michael McKenna, has disavowed the story, and he says the Times took him out of context.
Other problems with the article include that McKenna was booted from the Trump transition team in early November, while Perry was nominated in mid-December.
Nevertheless, the paper’s editors say they stand by the story, “which accurately reflected what multiple, high-level sources told our reporters.”
This is a particularly interesting defense, considering there is nothing in the article to suggest the authors had more than one source.
In my story this week on the Times’ unsubstantiated hit on Perry, I included a link to USA Today’s Dec. 14 report on the former governor accepting the position at the Department of Energy. I included the link for one purpose: To provide citation for Perry’s acceptance remarks, which were published originally in a joint statement with the president-elect.
What I didn’t notice until later was that the linked USA Today report also included a bogus reference to the North Koreans.
The Dec. 14 article read, “The Twitter feed of the nuclear-armed dictatorship said, ‘Donald Trump minister of nuclear weapons Richard Perry known as governor of Texas province, famed for its production of tacos and bumpkins.'”
Unfortunately for USA Today, the North Korean government did no such thing. Like many others in media, the widely circulated newspaper fell for a parody Twitter account created and maintained by members of the libertarian-leaning website, Popehat.com. I removed the USA Today hyperlink from my article debunking the Times, and I updated with a link to a source that doesn’t include an embarrassing mistake. Read the rest of this entry »
How Donald Trump’s Inauguration Speech Compares with Other PresidentsPosted: January 21, 2017 Filed under: History, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Activism, American exceptionalism, Barack Obama, D.C., Donald Trump, Donald Trump's Inauguration, Electoral College (United States), Inauguration Speech, Twitter, Washington Leave a comment
Inaugural addresses typically cover broad themes that speak to the times, and most invoke strong messages of patriotism and American exceptionalism. (read more)
[VIDEO] ‘NOOOOOO’: Protestor Becomes Completely Unglued As Trump Is Sworn InPosted: January 20, 2017 Filed under: Entertainment, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Activism, Donald Trump, itvnews, media, news, Presidential Inauguration 2017, Protestor, video 1 Comment
Exhibit A: This protestor who let out an impressive, movie-worthy scream right as Trump was officially sworn in as president.
Source: TownHall.com – YouTube.com
[VIDEO] ‘Nasty Women’ Visual Art Protest Ahead of Women’s MarchPosted: January 19, 2017 Filed under: Art & Culture, Entertainment, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Activism, Advocacy, Left Wing, media, Nasty Women, news, Pro-Abortion, video, Women's March Leave a comment
[VIDEO] Project Veritas: Part I: Undercover Investigation Exposes Groups Plotting Criminal Activity at Trump InaugurationPosted: January 16, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Activism, Anarchists, Hidden Video, Investigation, Left Wing Violence, media, news, Presidential Inauguration 2017, Project Veritas, Protestors, Undercover, video Leave a comment
[VIDEO] SUPERCUTS! Sessions Hearing for AG Interrupted by ProtestersPosted: January 10, 2017 Filed under: Entertainment, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Activism, Activists, Attorney general, Confirmation Hearings, Donald Trump, GOP, Jeff Sessions, Protestors Leave a comment
GRAPHIC: Anti-Gun Activists Send Grotesque Gun Victim Christmas CardsPosted: December 18, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Mediasphere, Politics, Self Defense | Tags: Activism, anti-gun, Anti-Gun Rights, Christmas, Donald Trump, Facebook, Gun control, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, National Rifle Association, propaganda, Twitter Leave a comment
Conservatives, gun store owners, and Second Amendment activists are receiving ‘Christmas Cards’ from anti-gun advocates that include graphic photos of victims who have received gunshots to the face.
Lana Shadwick writes: The Christmas card includes the Bible verse, “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked. And the one who loves violence His soul hates.”
The card also bears the inscription:
The NRA gives the gift of nonfatal gunshot wounds like these to 100,000 Americans per year. Your continued support of ‘guns everywhere’ legislation is directly responsible for this health epidemic. In your heart, do you honestly believe this is what Jesus wants? Shame on you for dishonoring Jesus Christ with your support of gun-pushing legislation.
The Christmas card is signed from “The Betsy Riot” which describes itself on the card as “a decentralized movement that nonviolently opposes gun culture.”
I’ll say it again: Gun control advocates are the most violent, dangerous people I have ever encountered. They have no regard for safety.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) December 18, 2016
The post on Facebook bears a graphic warning that must be clicked on before the photos can be seen.
[Read the full story here, at Breitbart.com]
The photos can also be found on the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health and the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, Official Publication of Maxillofacial Society of India. These sources do not tell how both of these victims sustained their wounds. The male victim can be found under a case report for “self-inflicting gunshot injury.” Read the rest of this entry »
Deranged by Trump Victory, Orange Coast College Professor Olga Perez Stable Cox Captured on Video Going Cuckoo BananasPosted: December 10, 2016 Filed under: Education, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Activism, Americans, College Professor, College Republicans, Costa Mesa, Donald Trump, Gay, Hillary Clinton, Human sexuality, Left Wing, Mike Pence, Olga Perez Stable Cox, Orange County, Washington Post Leave a comment
An Orange Coast College professor is under scrutiny for post-election classroom comments disparaging Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
Peter Holley reports: The Orange Coast College Republicans in Costa Mesa, Calif., are filing a complaint against human sexuality professor Olga Perez Stable Cox after video shows her criticizing the outcome of the election.
Like many Americans, Olga Perez Stable Cox has strong feelings about the outcome of this year’s presidential election.
“It’s alarming. It’s scaremongering. It’s irrational. It’s a rant. And it doesn’t belong in the classroom.”
Unlike many Americans, her job offers the convenience of a captive audience with whom she can share those feelings.
Cox, a professor at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif., did exactly that days after the election while standing in front of her students in a class — unleashing a multi-minute, hyperbole-filled harangue in which she called Donald Trump’s election an “act of terrorism,” referred to the president-elect as a “white supremacist” and said “we have been assaulted.”
“This is a place that prides itself on being a diverse student college, and her comments go against all of that. You’re dealing with a diverse population, and when she states that ‘we are the majority,’ she’s not taking into account that there may be Republican students in he class of over 200 students — she’s not being inclusive.”
Cox — a psychology professor who teaches a class on human sexuality — referred to Vice President-elect Mike Pence as “one of the most anti-gay humans in the country.” She also told her students that the nation is as divided now as it was “in Civil War times.”
Steele sent the following letter to Harkins, the school president:
“First of all, we are the majority; more of us voted to not have that kind of leadership, and we didn’t win because of the way our electoral college is set up, but we are the majority, and that’s helping me to feel better,” she said. “I’m relieved that we live in California. It is one of the best states and I love that and I love living here, but I’m especially proud of our legislature who did put out a message.”
Cox’s comments were recorded by a conservative student in her class who found her statements offensive and decided to share the video with the Orange Coast College Republicans, according Joshua Recalde-Martinez, a political science major and president of the campus Republicans group.
[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]
Recalde-Martinez said his group decided to publicize the video this week after OCC President Dennis Harkins failed to address Cox’s behavior or respond to the group’s complaint “in a timely manner.” Recalde-Martinez said a handful of conservative students were present for Cox’s comments and many felt ostracized by her words and afraid that their grades might be affected by freely speaking their minds.
The student who filmed the video has asked to remain anonymous for fear of facing retribution in Cox’s classroom, Recalde-Martinez said.
The Orange Coast College Republicans plan to file a formal complaint with the school and have hired an attorney, Shawn Steele, who is a past chairman of the California Republican Party. Read the rest of this entry »
OUT: #SafetyPin IN: #DrainTheSwapPosted: November 16, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Entertainment, Humor, Politics, White House | Tags: #SafetyPinSolidarity #SafteyPin #DrainTheSwamp, Activism, Capitalism, Donald Trump, Electoral College, fashion, Fashionista, Gender, Glamour, Greivance, Hashtag activism, Hillary Clinton, Popular Vote, Presidential Election 2016, Protest, race, Safe Spaces, Twitter, Virtue Signaling, Washington DC Leave a comment
BREAKING: Heavily Armed Assailant Attacks Near Azusa Polling Station, Shooter DeadPosted: November 8, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: Activism, Donald Trump, Election Day (United States), Femen, Justin Timberlake, Nudity and protest, Polling place, Protest, United States, Voting 1 Comment
Authorities said they did not believe the shooting was related to the polling place but did not reveal a motive.
After a standoff at a home that lasted several hours, police announced that the alleged gunman was found dead in the residence. Officials said they didn’t know if the man — who was described as heavily armed — was killed by police or from a self-inflected gunshot wound.
Authorities said they did not believe the shooting was related to the polling place but did not reveal a motive.
“We don’t know what the motive is and why this person starting shooting,” said Homicide Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
At least one of the victims was headed to the polling station to vote, a law enforcement source told The Times.
Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Ron Singleton said two people were airlifted to an area hospital. The third victim, a man in his 70s, was dead at the scene, he said.
The shooting began about 2 p.m. after a report of gunfire in the 300 block of North Orange Avenue, Hunt said.
Officers arrived to find multiple victims and a suspect with a rifle, he said.
The suspect was armed with an assault rifle with “a rapid-fire capability,” Hunt said. Police don’t know whether the rifle is fully or semiautomatic.
The shooter immediately fired at least 20 shots at police, the source said.
Under a hail of gunfire, officers took cover and returned shots at the assailant, who retreated into a home in the 500 block of Fourth Street, said the source, who requested anonymity because the case was ongoing. No officers were injured in the shooting. Read the rest of this entry »
China’s Nationalist Fervor & Fear-Mongering Paranoid Xenophobic Bloodthirsty Racist West-Bashing Reaches Dangerous New LevelsPosted: August 11, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Diplomacy, Global, Think Tank | Tags: Activism, Ai Weiwei, Anti-Western, Army, Beijing, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Communist Party of China, Electoral Affairs Commission, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Basic Law, Hu Jintao, Human rights in China, Lawyer, Mainland China, Pan-democracy camp, propaganda, RUSSIA, Xi Jinping 1 Comment
This kind of propaganda is highly effective and gives licence to ordinary people to indulge their most primitive prejudices. By convincing its people that many of China’s ills are the work of foreign spies and conspiracies, Beijing could eventually be forced to hit back against such perceived enemies in order to placate popular outrage.
Across much of the world, fear-mongering and xenophobia are creeping into public and political discourse.
In liberal democracies with traditions of free speech, vociferous denunciations of these attitudes can act as a counterweight. But in authoritarian countries where alternative narratives are forbidden, official attempts to demonise foreigners and “others” can be especially dangerous. In the past week, the Chinese government has launched several viral online videos that blame “western hostile forces” for a host of ills and supposed conspiracies within China.
“In the past, most foreigners in China enjoyed a certain level of unstated protection and privilege. In business and in everyday life ‘foreign friends’ were welcomed and often treated with kid gloves by the authorities. Some of them undoubtedly took advantage of this to flout the rules or behave badly without fear of retribution.”
The videos are crude but exceptionally powerful in their simplicity and emotional appeal. One video promoted by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Communist Youth League, two of the most powerful state bodies, begins with heartbreaking scenes of orphans and victims of the wars in Iraq and Syria, and then jumps to an assertion that the west, led by the US, is trying to subject China to the same fate.
“Today, that informal immunity seems to have vanished. In its place are hints of a backlash that many long-term foreign residents will tell you can be very ugly, ranging from casual discrimination and racial slurs, to physical altercations that take on a racist dimension.”
“Under the banner of ‘democracy, freedom and rule of law’ western forces are constantly trying to create societal contradictions in order to overthrow the [Chinese] government,” the subtitles read over pictures of democracy protesters in Hong Kong and President Barack Obama meeting the Dalai Lama.
[Read the full story here, at FT.com]
According to the video, western plots and the “dark shadow of the Stars and Stripes” are also to blame for everything from attacks on Chinese peacekeepers in Africa, to farmers’ riots in China’s hinterland, to the Tibetan independence movement. The effect is heightened by ominous music and juxtaposition of chaos elsewhere with heroic images of Chinese soldiers and weaponry.
“In the past week, the Chinese government has launched several viral online videos that blame ‘western hostile forces’ for a host of ills and supposed conspiracies within China. The videos are crude but exceptionally powerful in their simplicity and emotional appeal.”
In some ways this is a mirror of the populist, jingoistic tilts happening elsewhere in the world. While not a direct reaction to the assertive Trumpism emanating from the US or the rise of rightwing nationalism in Europe, some of the same collective animus is taking hold in China, partly at the instigation of the ruling Communist party.
“According to the video, western plots and the ‘dark shadow of the Stars and Stripes’ are also to blame for everything from attacks on Chinese peacekeepers in Africa, to farmers’ riots in China’s hinterland, to the Tibetan independence movement.“
Many of those propagating this message are the shallowest of nationalists — the kind of party apparatchiks who are diversifying their (often ill-gotten) assets abroad as fast as they can and sending their children to study in Australia, the US, Canada or the UK.
“The effect is heightened by ominous music and juxtaposition of chaos elsewhere with heroic images of Chinese soldiers and weaponry.”
Indeed, one of the main producers of the video on western plots is a 29-year-old PhD student from China now living in Canberra, Australia. Meanwhile, the party has called for the rejection of western values and concepts in favour of Marxism — an ideology named after a German living in London and refracted into China via Moscow. Read the rest of this entry »