Compare and Contrast: Fox Moderators Praised for Being ‘Tough’ on GOP Contenders vs Liberal Media’s Worship of Dem LeaderPosted: August 7, 2015
There were mixed reviews of the candidates on Thursday night, but almost unanimously positive reviews of the Fox News moderators.
“Tough.” “Brilliant.” “Pitbulls.”
The raves for Fox‘s questioning started right away and continued well into the evening, even from rivals and critics who rarely praise the cable news channel.
Austan Goolsbee, a former member of President Obama’s cabinet, gave Fox credit this way:
“If they were treating the Dems like this, I would have said they were gratuitously busting their chops.”
Yochi Dreazen, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, said some of the candidates looked “shell-shocked” by tough questions from Fox, a channel defined by its conservative political and cultural tilt.
That’s what public radio host Kai Ryssdal meant when he wrote,
“Have to hand it to Fox News moderators for going after their guys.”
Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and his lieutenants have been at the center of the presidential race for weeks thanks to Thursday’s debate and the controversial entry criteria for it. Only the “top ten” candidates, as determined by the polls, were invited to the prime time event…
“Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus.”
“No one saw him coming, and Christians believe God comes at us from strange angles and places we don’t expect, like Jesus being born in a manger.”
“Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama.”
“We just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra.”
“A Lightworker – An Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being”
“What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history.”
“Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?”
“He communicates God-like energy…”
– Steve Davis (Charleston, SC)
“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
“Not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul.”
“I’ll do whatever he says to do. I’ll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear.”
“A quantum leap in American consciousness.”
“He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians… . the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century.”
“Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings … He’s our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence.”
“This is bigger than Kennedy… . This is the New Testament…I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event.”
“…creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom … the man for this time.”
“Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate… . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh … Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves.”
“Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash therefrom a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind.”
“We’re here to evolve to a higher plane … he is an evolved leader … [he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth.”
“I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered… . I know that that was God’s plan.“
For National Journal Ron Fournier writes: You helped elect an untested presidential candidate, a man almost as liberal as you. He promised to heal the oceans, make health care an inalienable right, and transform Washington’s toxic culture. You mocked Republicans, independents, and squishy Democrats who had the audacity to criticize your guy, much less doubt the inevitability of his victory. President Obama won—twice—and then didn’t live up to anybody’s expectations, including his own.
“There it is, the straw man…”
What do you do? Well, if you’re Ezra Klein and a coterie of inflexibly progressive pundits, you repurpose an attack used against President George W. Bush’s bombastic approach to geopolitics. You call anybody who questions Obama’s leadership style a Green Lanternist. In apost for Vox stretching beyond 2,500 words, Klein makes his case against Obama critics.
“…Rather than conduct the important debate about the balance of powers and the structure of government in the 21st century, some liberals prefer to distort views that don’t affirm their own.”
“Presidents consistently overpromise and underdeliver,” he begins, a fair start. Surely, the editor-in-chief of Vox is going to make the obvious point that presidents and presidential candidates should know enough about the political process (including the limits on the executive branch) to avoid such a breach of trust.
No, but there’s a Pundit Bubble…
Felix Salmon writes: Call it the Wonk Bubble. If you’re in the market for serious, empirical, quantitative analysis of national policy—or of just about anything else in the news these days—the East Coast Media Elite has you covered like never before.
The Washington Post has Wonkblog, and its Facebook-optimized cousin Know More, and will shortly unveil a “storytelling and policy” project to be run by economics policy correspondent Jim Tankersley. Meanwhile, a large number of Wonkblog and Know More alumni, led by former Wonkblogger-in-chief Ezra Klein, just launched Vox.com, a much more ambitious (if not yet fully formed) website seeking to explain the world in a truly web-native manner.
A dumbed-down Democratic party runs out of ideas.
The Stupid Party
Kevin D. Williamson‘s current NRO article is extra pithy this week (or “wonderfully bold’, as Jay Nordlinger says) it’s more like a long, funny, sarcastic email from a friend, or an energetic barstool rant — if the guy on the barstool is a National Review Online roving reporter — than a scholarly essay. It’s also the first I’ve seen to take on The Daily Show head-on, exposing it and mocking it without mercy. Because for many conservatives, the Daily Show is a guilty pleasure. Right? Conservatives watch The Daily Show, or watch clips that circulate…
[UPDATE: Don’t miss Jay Nordlinger‘s response to Kevin D. Williamson’s essay in the Corner. It begins: Kevin’s piece “The Stupid Party” — a typically and wonderfully bold piece — awakened many thoughts in me. I’m sure it has done that in others…]
…Just like liberals — though they pretend they don’t — watch Fox News shows like The Kelly File, The Factor, or Red Eye. The viewership for these shows is not as segregated as members of their loyal fan base would have us think. Video clips from The Daily Show are often linked (on those rare ‘friendly fire’ occasions when Stewart takes shots at Democrat targets) at right-wing watering holes like Hot Air, and hipster libertarians dig Stewart’s humor, think Jon Stewart is “one of us”. Make no mistake. He’s not.
“…for the Left the point of journalism is not to criticize politics or to analyze politics but to be a servant of politics, to “destroy” such political targets as may be found in one’s crosshairs.”
As Williamsons’ rant illustrates, The Daily Show‘s predictable, sanctimonious, echo-chamber humor is not brilliant satire. It doesn’t speak “truth to power”. For its low-information fan base, it’s what passes for “journalism” and “hard-hitting reporting”. And accurately represents the vacancy of the Left’s bankrupt world view.
Kevin D. Williamson writes:
Here is a selection of recent headlines: “Jon Stewart Destroys Megyn Kelly,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News’ ‘Spite-Driven Anger Machine,’” “Jon Stewart Destroys What’s Left of Peggy Noonan’s Credibility,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Fox News Over Syria Coverage,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Glenn Beck’s Utopia,” “Jon Stewart Destroys Bill O’Reilly” — there are about 520,000 more — and, not to be missed, “Jon Stewart Destroys Chicago-Style Pizza.”
The sound of terrors is in his ears at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, and in prosperity the destroyer cometh upon him.
Mr. Stewart is the host of a fake news show, the genesis of which probably was a conversation that went approximately like this: Brother-in-Law: “There’s nothing funny on Saturday Night Live except the ‘Weekend Update.’ They should really just do that for the whole show.” Jon Stewart: “Hey . . . !” Mr. Stewart is among the lowest forms of intellectual parasite in the political universe, with no particular insights or interesting ideas of his own, reliant upon the very broadest and least clever sort of humor, using ancient editing techniques to make clumsy or silly political statements sound worse than they are and then pantomiming outrage at the results, the lowbrow version of James Joyce giving the hero of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the unlikely name of Stephen Dedalus and then having other characters in the novel muse upon the unlikelihood of that name.
“I do not much blame the Left for hesitating to talk about Big Ideas. The Left has been losing the Big Idea debate for a generation or more, in no small part because its last Big Idea killed 100 million people.”
His shtick is a fundamentally cowardly one, playing the sanctimonious vox populi when it suits him, and then beating retreat into “Hey, I’m just a comedian!” when he faces a serious challenge. It is the sort of thing that you can see appealing to bright, politically engaged 17-year-olds… Read the rest of this entry »
Warner Todd Huston writes: In December it was reported that Ezra Klein was leaving theWashington Post because of a dispute over the funding of a new web project that Klein wanted the paper to sponsor. Now Klein and his cadre of bloggers have announced some details of that new project, saying that their site will report the news while adding the “crucial context” that will help readers understand it.
Noah Rothman writes: Even President Barack Obama’s administration has acknowledged that “private sector velocity” is much closer to optimal swiftness of action than anything the public sector can achieve. If only the political class could match the private sector’s ability to respond promptly to observable trends. Politicians and political organizations often exhibit the worst elements of both divisions of society, featuring the public sector’s lethargy with the private sector’s elitism and lack of inclusiveness.
As such, political organizations are slow to respond to developments and often find themselves flailing gracelessly in the effort to accommodate trends that actors in the more responsive private sector are quick to embrace. One recent and unavoidable trend is the speed with which libertarianism is catching on. Polling has indicated that voters, particularly the youngest American voters, are adopting a libertarian philosophy which rejects the paternalism displayed by members of both parties and instead places its faith in the ability of the individual to best manage their affairs.
Writing in The Federalist on Tuesday, David Harsanyi parses trends in recent polling data which suggest a libertarian shift in the electorate. This is a shift, he notes, which has been mistaken by both Democratic and Republican partisans as an indication that younger voters are embracing their respective philosophies in droves. In fact, as Harsanyi adds, it is more likely a broad rejection of both political parties as they are currently constituted.
To grasp the magnitude of this realignment, imagine if the New York Times declined to renew veteran left-wing crackpot Paul Krugman‘s contract, and replaced him with Instapudit‘s Glenn Reynolds. Or if HBO fired Bill Maher, and offered a prime-time talk show to Greg Gutfeld. Yes, it’s like that.
Could this be a sign of intelligent life in media? What if Maureen Dowd was booted out of her nest at the NYT, replaced by Mona Charen? Imagine if ABC’s Good Morning America dumped its on-air talent and hired Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, and Michelle Malkin. Or if editorial control of The Huffington Post was turned over to me, Nick Gillespie, and Jonah Goldberg…
Okay that part is wishful thinking. But you get the idea. It’s a big deal.
John Nolte reports: Very interesting day at The Washington Post. Left-wing Ezra Klein is out and the much-respected conservative legal blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, is in. Already the Jeff Bezos era is becoming an interesting one. Numerous reports claim that Bezos wasn’t interested in a multi-million dollar proposal Klein pitched, but he was apparently interested in giving Volokh full editorial control:
We will also retain full editorial control over what we write. And this full editorial control will be made easy by the facts that we have (1) day jobs, (2) continued ownership of our trademark and the volokh.com domain, and (3) plenty of happy experience blogging on our own, should the need arise to return to that…
After all, they approached us because of who we are and what we write. They know our ideologies. They know our blogging style. They know that we sometimes put up quirky non-law posts. They tell us they’re fine with all of that.
Both moves are a huge boost for the Post for a few reasons.
As much as Ezra Klein was worshipped by others in the elite media, he badly damaged the Post’s credibility as an objective news outlet. It was unconscionable of the Post to frame Klein’s hysterical leftism and Obama water-carrying as objective analysis and reporting. Klein is a wild-eyed Statist, and a wildly dishonest one to boot.