Fake News: Postmodernism By Another Name 

Exhibition Clip; Revolution of the Eye Modern Art and the Birth of American Television The Jewish Museum May 1 – September 20, 2015; Organized by the Jewish Museum, New York, and the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Exhibition Curator: Maurice Berger

victor-davis-hVictor Davis Hanson writes: After the election, Democrats could not explain the inexplicable defeat of Hillary Clinton, who would be, they thought, the shoo-in winner in November. Over the next three months until Inauguration Day, progressives floated a variety of explanations for the Trump win—none of them, though, mentioned that the Clinton campaign had proven uninspired, tactically inept, and never voiced a message designed to appeal to the working classes.

When a particular exegesis of defeat failed to catch on, it was mostly dropped—and then replaced by a new narrative. We were told that the Electoral College wrongly nullified the popular vote—and that electors had a duty to renege on their obligations to vote for their respective state’s presidential winner.

“Fake news is something quite different. It is not merely a public figure’s spinning of half-truths. It is largely a media-driven, and deliberate attempt to spread a false narrative to advance a political agenda that otherwise would be rejected by a common-sense public.”

Then followed the narrative of Trump’s racist dog-whistle appeals to the white working classes. When it was reported that Barack Obama had received a greater percentage of the white votes than did either John Kerry in 2004 or Hillary Clinton in 2016, the complaint of white chauvinism too faded.

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“The methodology is to manufacture a narrative attractive to a herd-like progressive media that will then devour and brand it as fact—and even lobby for government redress.”

Then came the allegation that FBI Director James Comey had given the election to Trump by reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails just days before Election Day. That fable too evaporated when it was acknowledged that Comey had earlier intervened to declare Clinton without culpability and would so again before November 8.

[Read the more here, at Hoover Institution]

Then came the trope that Vladimir Putin’s hackers stole the election—on the theory that the Wikileaks revelations had turned off the electorate in a way the Clinton candidacy otherwise would not have. That storyline then evolved into the idea of Russian propagandists and Trump supporters variously peddling “fake news” to websites to promulgate myths and distortions—as a grand plan to Hillary Clinton and give Trump the election.

More specifically, it was alleged that Trump’s exaggerations and fabrications—from his allegations about Barack Obama’s birth certificate to rumor-mongering about Ted Cruz’s father—had so imperiled journalism that the media in general was forced to pronounce there was no longer a need to adhere to disinterested reporting in the traditional sense.

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“No one has described the methodology of fake news better than Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor for Barack Obama and brother of the president of CBS News, David Rhodes.”

The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour confessed that they could not be fair in reporting the news in the era of Donald Trump. Apparently, being fair had become tantamount to being a co-conspirator in Trump falsity. The New York Times in a post-election op-ed explained why it had missed the Trump phenomenon, admitting, but not necessarily lamenting, that its own coverage of the election had not been fair and balanced.

“Ben Rhodes cynically bragged about how the Obama administration had sold the dubious Iran deal through misinformation picked up by an adolescent but sympathetic media (for which Rhodes had only contempt).

Yet all politicians fib and distort the truth—and they’ve been doing so since the freewheeling days of the Athenian ekklesia. Trump’s various bombastic allegations and claims fall into the same realm of truthfulness as Obama’s statement “if you like your health plan, you can keep it”—and were thus similarly cross-examined by the media.

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 “As Rhodes put it, ‘The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.’”

Yet fake news is something quite different. It is not merely a public figure’s spinning of half-truths. It is largely a media-driven, and deliberate attempt to spread a false narrative to advance a political agenda that otherwise would be rejected by a common-sense public. The methodology is to manufacture a narrative attractive to a herd-like progressive media that will then devour and brand it as fact—and even lobby for government redress.

[Read the full story here, at Hoover Institution]

Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen has never been to Prague to negotiate quid pro quo deals with the Russians. Trump did not watch Russian strippers perform pornographic acts in the bedroom that Barack Obama once stayed in during a visit to Moscow. Yet political operatives, journalists, and even intelligence officers, in their respective shared antipathy to Trump, managed to lodge these narratives into the public consciousness and thereby establish the “truth” that a degenerate Trump was also a Russian patsy.

No one has described the methodology of fake news better than Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor for Barack Obama and brother of the president of CBS News, David Rhodes. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Gruber: ‘Obamacare Is Not Imploding’ 

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NYT Drafting Errors: ‘4 Words that Imperial the Affordable Care Act were All a Mistake’

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DrudgeReportWashington Post 

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With a Straight Face, Obama on the Affordable Care Act’s Fifth Anniversary: ‘It’s Working’

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President Obama had a simple message on the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act: It’s working.

Speaking in the Executive Office Building next to the White House, Obama argued that his signature health care law was “working better than many of us — including me — anticipated” at increasing health insurance rates and improving the quality of care.

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“The bottom line is this for the American people: this law is saving money for families and for businesses,” he said. “This law is also saving lives, lives that touch all of us. It’s working despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund and defame this law.” Read the rest of this entry »


Photo of the Day: ‘Under Oath’

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Oscar Contender 2014

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@bennyjohnson


Dear Media: This Is Why Everybody Hates You

 writes: Last week, President Barack Obama pardoned a turkey prior to Thanksgiving Day, as is tradition. And as in previous years, his teenage daughters Malia and Sasha stood by his side. The daughters are cute as can be — and Malia is growing into an absolutely beautiful young woman.

They are, however, teenagers. And they were, I guess, engaged in some mild teenage behavior — eye-rolling and smirking and what not. I watched a video of the event and didn’t really notice anything worth commenting on (apart from the interesting annual practice of Obama signing the cross over the turkey). But one minor Capitol Hill staffer thought the girls were dressed inappropriately and acted a bit churlish. And then, for some reason, she wrote about it on Facebook.

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At which point some people lost their everliving minds. Her comments were posted on Twitter where the social media mob fed their hankering for constant outrage. There were petitions calling for her to be punished. And worst of all the media wrote and broadcast story after story after story about the matter. Elizabeth Lauten lost her job for saying mean things about President Obama’s children.

“In what world — in what mother-freaking world — does he justify taking a foreign affairs reporter and having him dig up dirt on a low-level former staffer who said nothing worse about presidential children than the Post’s own columnists did in the Bush era?”

Now, Lauten is in communications and her job presumably included an assumption that she wouldn’t embarrass her boss. Besides, in a city where you can keep your job even if you’re involved in serious scandals at the IRS, State Department, Veterans Affairs or the Department of Justice, an actual job loss is refreshing, in its own way. She even gave a full-throated apology — within hours of the initial post — for being mean, not one of these “I’m sorry if” constructions that politicians frequently use.

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Still, what in the world was the media doing reporting on this non-story and firing up the mob? The Washington Free Beacon reported that “major media outlets are pouring resources into tracking her moves and digging into her past.” This included two network news vans camping outside of her parents’ home in North Carolina and a search of Lauten’s leaked juvenile records and college writings.

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This is insanity and each and every person involved should be ashamed of himself or herself. If you were involved, you are a big part of what’s wrong with journalism and you need to check yourself.

Explain yourself, Washington Post

A few years ago, I had this exchange with a Washington Post reporter:

Yes, I was told that the reason why the Washington Post was studiously avoiding any discussion of serial murderer and abortionist Kermit Gosnell was because it was a local crime story. The Washington Post previously avoided or subsequently went on to avoid covering the trial of George Zimmerman, the Grand Jury’s look at Darren Wilson and various other local crime stories. Just kidding. They gave those stories wall-to-wall coverage, as you might expect.

Read the rest of this entry »


Exposed: Jonathan Gruber’s Impressive Record of White House Endorsements

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“The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is no  reflection on the actual process that was run.”


CONTROLLING THE PAST: Charles C. W. Cooke on Jonathan Gruber’s Orwellianism

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cookeCharles C. W. Cooke writes prose like a swashbuckling pirate aboard the U.S.S.Obamcare. Read the whole thing at NRO.

For National Review OnlineCharles C. W. Cooke writes: ‘He who controls the past controls the future,” observed George Orwell. “He who controls the present controls the past.” This, in one pithy, symmetrical little maxim, has been the story of Obamacare from its conception to the present day.

Since its official launch, in October of 2013, the architects and salesmen of our ill-conceived phalanx of reforms have been engaged in some of the most pronounced historical revisionism of the modern era — truth being subjugated to expedience; idealism being repackaged in the pathetic language of good intentions; and the past being tweaked at every tricky stage. Thus has the ironclad promise that insurance premiums would decrease for all people given way to scoffing admissions that “of course” some people’s premiums would increase.

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“Today, we are witnessing the fall from grace of the progressive health-care wonk, Jonathan Gruber, a primary architect of Obamacare who is renouncing his previous testimony with all the giddy enthusiasm of a veteran clerk in the Kruschev administration.

Thus has the quixotic assurance that there would be no winners and losers been transmuted into the defensive insistence that there are no perfect plans but that this one was “worth it overall.” Thus has a favored vow that anybody who “liked” their existing plan would be able to “keep it” replaced with the patronizing mantra that people just don’t know what’s good for them — and need in consequence to be told what they may buy. Thus has the claim of “universal health insurance” been quickly forgotten, a series of unseemly statistical victory dances being offered in lieu.

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“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

— George Orwell

And thus — now that it looks as if the executive’s attempt to circumvent the rules will meet meaningful resistance in the courts — has the scheme’s legally established architecture been GPO14-Approved-Vintagereimagined as a “typo” or a “mistake” or a “drafting error,” and the damning confirmations of the law’s mastermind rewritten as the feverish claims of a churlish right-wing coup.

Today, we are witnessing the fall from grace of the progressive health-care wonk, Jonathan Gruber, a primary architect of Obamacare who is renouncing his previous testimony with all the giddy enthusiasm of a veteran clerk in the Kruschev administration. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer Closes the Lid: Gruber Video Is ‘Absolute Proof’ that Provision Was Not a Drafting Error

 “This is truly devastating.”

Charles Krauthammer thinks that a two-year-old video of one of Obama’s chief architects is proof that the denial of subsidies through federal exchanges was not a drafting error…

“This is absolute proof…It was a deliberate political strategy by the Democrats in drafting the law.”

…It is not the role “of any court to overturn an obvious provision in a law, simply because the strategy of those who drafted it didn’t succeed.”(read more)

National Review Online


[AUDIO] Frosting on the Schadenfreude Cake: Obamacare Architect Says AGAIN That Subsidies Only Go To State Exchanges

“That is really the ultimate threat — will people understand that gee, if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens.”

For The Daily CallerSarah Hurtubise frosts the cake with more embarrassing evidence: While Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has brushed aside a video of himself arguing that Obamacare subsidies are only allowable in state-run exchanges as a “speak-o” — or verbal typo — a second audio tape has now emerged of Gruber making the very same GPO14-Approved-Vintagecomments yet again.

“So that’s the other threat, is will states do what they need to do to set it up.”

“That is really the ultimate threat — will people understand that gee, if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens,” Gruber says in the audio clip, resurfaced by Morgan Richmond and John Sexton. “So that’s the other threat, is will states do what they need to do to set it up.”

UPDATE: More to come?

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Oh Yes He Did: Obamacare’s Architect Agreed That Only State Exchanges Could Offer Subsidies

gruber-halbig“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credit.”

Jonathan Gruber, on the record explaining that Obamacare subsidies are limited to state exchanges

NRO‘s Veronique de Rugy has the best summary of this breaking story, from last night. Follow the links to see more from the sources, and here to see the full text of this one at The Corner. Reason’s Peter Suderman published an interesting revelation about the history of the decision reached this week by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, that Obamacare subsidies couldn’t be distributed unless it happened through a state exchange.

Is there video? Oh yeah, there’s video:

[See Peter Suderman’s revelation at Reason]clip_image002_0073

[See Dueling Rulings Hasten Obamacare’s Almost Certain Path Back to the Supreme Court]

[Also see Ed Morrissey’s comments at Hot Air]

It turns out that one of the key minds behind Obamacare, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, entirely agreed with Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler, the scholars behind the legal theory that backed up the Halbig plaintiffs who triumphed this week.  He’s on the record explaining that Obamacare subsidies are limited to state exchanges.

UPDATE: Wait, there’s more video? Yes, there’s more video. The White House takes a flailing spin:

Back to Veronique de Rugy‘s Corner item, quoting from Reason‘s Suderman bombshell Suderman writes:

Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits. Read the rest of this entry »


For Democrats, Obamacare Unfolding Like a Greek Tragedy

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Photo via Vincenzo Camuccini

Noah Rothman writes: A great tragedy is unfolding within Democratic ranks. The party and their leader, President Barack Obama, are scrambling to mitigate the damage the Affordable Care Act is doing to the Democratic brand. In their rush, they are striking glancing blows against a law which is already teetering on its unsound foundations. In a Euripidean twist, it is Democrats, not Republicans, who are meting out potentially fatal blows to the project which had once represented their greatest hopes.

Passed along party lines by appealing to methods unbecoming of the democratic process, the president secured his signature achievement in 2010. It was all downhill from there. A scandalous number of waivers, carve-outs and bailouts later, the ACA went into effect in October amid the self-flagellating protests of Republicans. Defeated at last, the law’s opponents stepped aside. Without a distraction, the press and the public focused on the effects of the law itself. What they saw was grotesque.

Read the rest of this entry »