Archive for Journalism

The Daily Sham

The job of the journalist is “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.

Which is why Jon Stewart is merely an entertainer:

“Daily Show” staffers routinely call up the White House to get the administration’s input.

Austan Goolsbee, a former top economic adviser to the president, frequently e-mailed with his college classmate Scott Bodow, a “Daily Show” executive producer, to offer spin. Obama flunky David Axelrod often reached out directly to Stewart.

Obama himself would summon Stewart to Washington for meetings.

It turns out Jon Stewart isn’t our Edward R. Murrow or our Mark Twain. He’s more like our…Jay Carney.

That’s not fair. To Carney. As Mr. Claire Shipman, at least he was openly in bed with the media when he was press secretary (and just as openly promiscuous with Democrats when he was Washington Bureau Chief at Time).

Stewart has been Obama’s butt-boy under the guise of America’s newsman for Millennials. And the Millennials have been fine with it. The rest of us were offended, but that’s our age showing. We remember journalism, even as practiced by Sam Donaldson. Jon Stewart is a lapdog. If you rub his tummy, he’ll do anything for you.

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What Has Radical Islam NOT Won?

Iran will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons in five years (I plan to be around to collect on that bet); the Afghani government is negotiating terms with the Taliban; it may not be Islamic, as many Muslims desperately tell us, but there is a de facto Islamic State across the Levant (not bad for a JV team); a recently radicalized Muslim with Palestinian roots in Jordan shoots dead six US military personnel—and the media calls him depressed…

And you’ve seen your last Mohammed cartoon:

During an interview with the Hamburg-based news magazine “Stern,” editor of the French weekly “Charlie Hebdo” said he would no longer draw comics of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

“We have drawn Muhammad to defend the principle that one can draw whatever they want. It is a bit strange though: we are expected to exercise a freedom of expression that no one dares to,” Sourisseau told “Stern.”

Too true. As Mark Steyn said:

This was the only publication that was willing to publish the Muhammad — the Danish Muhammad cartoons in 2006 because they decided to stand by those Danish cartoonists. I’m proud to have written for the only Canadian magazine to publish those Muhammad cartoons. And it’s because The New York Times didn’t and because Le Monde in Paris didn’t, and the London Times didn’t and all the other great newspapers of the world didn’t – only Charlie Hebdo and my magazine in Canada and a few others did. But they were forced to bear a burden that should have been more widely dispersed…

We will be retreating into a lot more self-censorship if the pansified Western media doesn’t man up and decide to disburse the risk so they can’t kill one small, little French satirical magazine. They’ve gotta kill all of us.

That can be arranged.

Back to Hebdo for a second:

The editor said that the magazine had done what it set out to do.

“We’ve done our job. We have defended the right to caricature,” Sourisseau said.

There’s no one left to draw the prophet anyway.

“‘Shut up’, they explained” is Islam’s way, as Steyn noted last week:

Speaking of Islamic imperialism’s varied strategies, ten years ago this September an obscure Jutland newspaper published the Danish Mohammed cartoons, and opened up a new front in the clash of civilizations: free speech and jokes. The inarticulate goon imams threatened to rain down death hither and yon, and then began actually doing so.

On the fifth anniversary, I had the honor to appear in Copenhagen with a handful of friends from Scandinavia, the Netherlands and elsewhere at a conference to consider the question of Islam and comedy. There were six of us on stage that day: our host Lars Hedegaard, the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the pseudonymous Dutch cartoonist Nekschot, the comedians Shabana Rehman and Farshad Kholghi, and me. Nekschot, for security reasons, was obliged to appear disguised in a burqa, and has since been forced to abandon his identity and the cartooning life entirely; Lars Hedegaard dodged a shot at point blank range by a man at his front door who subsequently fled to Turkey, where they’re refusing to extradite. Lars Vilks was the target of the jihadist attack on a free-speech event in Copenhagen this Valentine’s Day in which a Danish film-maker and a synagogue security guard were killed, and so he too has been obliged to retire from public life. Shabana Rehman has had her family restaurant firebombed. So, of the six of us, that’s an impressive 67 per cent hit rate for Islam.

The Times-es of London and New York, Le Monde, all the other bastions of mainstream media didn’t censor the Mohammed cartoons out of fear. They did so out of…well, I was going to wrote “political correctness”, but that sounds too lame. What is political correctness but self-loathing? You claim to believe in something—freedom of the press in this case—yet you deny your beliefs. On this subject only. Not, as I maintain, out of fear—the newsroom on West 43rd Street would not be the easy slaughterhouse the offices of Charlie Hebdo were—but out of submission.

Islam says no graven images of the Pro-Mo, yet Islamic art over the centuries is chockers with his bearded visage. Just not in the New York Times, not anymore. Remember that one of the first of the Ten Commandments also forbids graven images, but I don’t see the New York Times blotting out The Big Guy in Judeo-Christian art. And any day that the Times has to pass on reprinting an image of “Piss Christ” or the Madonna smeared with elephant dung is a wasted day.

From battlefields to newsrooms to timeless monuments of ancient civiliztions, radical Islam is on the march, with precious little standing in its way. The cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, the ruins of Palmyra, and our own civil liberties are mere casualties of war. Put up a plaque and move along. How about those shark attacks, huh? And can you believe Donald Trump?

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Revisiting Those Church Fires

We had this a few days ago, but it bears repeating:

A fire that destroyed a Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal church in Greeleyville, South Carolina, on Tuesday was from natural causes and not linked to a spate of fires at similar churches across the South, state police said.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the fires and has so far determined that one was an electrical fire and two others were from natural causes. The fires were being investigated against the backdrop of the June 17 shooting of nine black churchgoers at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Based upon the scene examination, the fire debris analysis, witness statements and a lightning strike report, the cause of the fire was best classified as natural,” the statement said.

I don’t know how man fires make “a spate”, but this makes the fourth (unless it’s the third) fire not to be included.

All church fires are bad, arsons worse than accidents, but have the facts before you go “spating” or “waving”:

Federal law-enforcement agencies have concluded that recent fires in black churches in the southeastern U.S. are unrelated.

“To date the investigations have not revealed any potential links between the fires,” Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman told Reuters.

The wave of fires began on June 21 with a fire at College Hill Seventh Day Adventist in Knoxville, Tenn., and continued across at least four states in the southeastern and central U.S. Three fires have been officially declared arson and at least two were deemed to have been the result of natural causes.

Three fires is three too many, but it’s not seven. I question whether three unrelated arsons even make a “wave”.

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BTL’s Brave Stand

You won’t silence us, you won’t intimidate us. No religious intolerance will make us cower or blink.

If we want to show you an offensive image of a revered religious leader, we’re going to stick it right in your face.

Don’t like it? Tough titties.

The New York Times was caught in an obvious double-standard of what art it considers “fit to print” when it featured a portrait Tuesday of Pope Benedict XVI made of 17,000 condoms.

Mocking Catholics is A-OK at The Times. Muslims are a different story.

In January, The Times used respect for religion to justify its decision to withhold images of the Prophet Muhammad that appeared on the cover of Charlie Hebdo magazine — images of unquestionable news value since they prompted attacks by Muslim extremists on the magazine’s offices in Paris.

“[Some] Muslims view any depictions of the Prophet Muhammad as blasphemous,” the Times explained, adding “some of the more inflammatory Charlie Hebdo drawings are purposefully offensive — featuring, for example, drawings of the prophet in pornographic poses.”

Yet Times editors OK’d the portrait of the pope, titled “Eggs Benedict” by Niki Johnson, certain that it would be offensive to many Roman Catholics.

The Times is skilled in doublespeak:

The New York Times’ hypocrisy regarding displays of “offensive” religious imagery runs unabated. An article yesterday about the sale of Chris Ofili’s controversial painting showing the Virgin Mary clotted with elephant dung against a porn-collage background, was accompanied by a photo of the offensive work.

As noted before, the Times isn’t afraid to run all religiously offensive images. The paper has, in the past, run approving pictures of Ofili’s painting, which caused controversy when it hung in the Brooklyn Museum in 1999. On Friday, ignoring its previous self-righteous comments on not offending “religious sensibilities” when it comes to Muhammad, the Times once again ran a photo of the Virgin Mary.

But when it comes to any depiction of Mo/Mu-ham/m-ed/ad (pick any three), the Times gives you this:

How come we can spell his name any old way we like—I’m partial to Moohomied—but we can’t draw his face?

Oh. Okay. So just issue a fatwa to post the pictures higher than the tallest dog’s penis. I’ve read stranger ones.

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Out: Department of State; In: Coup d’Etat

George Bush only called a New York Times reporter a “major league a**hole”. But at least he called on him (in news conferences). In ObamAmerica, they lock reporters in broom closets—if they’re lucky:

Officials with the Department of State threatened to call security Monday on a Washington Free Beacon reporter who was attempting to report on a briefing held by senior Obama administration figures in Vienna on the eve of an expected nuclear agreement with Iran.

Two State Department officials booted the Free Beacon from a room where Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, was talking to reporters, despite the Free Beacon’s being credentialed by the Austrian government for the ongoing Iranian nuclear talks.

Western observers present in Vienna for the talks linked the State Department’s behavior to jitters over media coverage revealing a still growing list of concessions being made to Iran by the Obama administration.

Melissa Turley, a State Department official, approached a Free Beacon reporter and demanded that he leave the room.

“You’re not registered with the U.S. press,” Turley said after being informed that the Free Beacon was attending the event.

“You have a press pass from the [European Union], not from me,” Turley said, after being informed that the Free Beacon was officially credentialed to cover the event.

Turley and her colleagues then threatened the reporter, instructing him to leave the room or be dealt with by “security.”

“I’m going to have to get security,” added another State Department official who came to assist Turley in ejecting the Free Beacon.

Officials told reporters Monday in Vienna that that they would not press the Iranians to meet the international demand that inspectors be allowed to access all Iranian military sites. The administration’s stance comes after a speech by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruling out any such inspections.

One Western source present in Vienna for the talks said that “if this is what they’re already doing to reporters, to journalists trying to report on the concessions they’re making to the Iranians, imagine how bad things will get when the congressional debate over the deal begins.”

First they came for the Washington Free Beacon, and I did not speak up…

How confident are you about the negotiations with Iran? Me neither.

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This is Fascism

Earlier today, I used those words in the title as a question.

We have our answer:

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents who detained conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe at the airport specifically asked him about the work he’s done investigating the “federal government.”

O’Keefe was not allowed to videotape the encounter as he wished. The below transcript, provided to TheDC, was written by O’Keefe as closely as possible to the actual conversation that he had with the customs agents during the standoff at the airport. Here is the dialogue that went down:

James: Well, each and every time I go back into the country you guys do this, and its because I’m a journalist and you don’t like my journalism, so let’s just get this over with, here’s my ticket with the X, just tell what room you want me in.

Customs: (Looking at computer for 15 seconds). It’s not because you’re a journalist. (Turns towards me). What type of journalism do you do?

James: I do like 60 minutes, hidden camera work, investigative, sort of like the guy who catches the predators on NBC Dateline you know?

Customs: But what specific type of journalism have you done investigating the federal government?

James: Well, first ACORN was shut down because I posed as a pimp.

Customs: Not the prostitution, the other one involving the federal government.

James: You mean the Obamacare navigators, where many were fired counseling to commit fraud?

Customs: No not that one, what did you do involving the federal govenrnment at the borders?

James: Well clearly you know which video that was. Why don’t you tell me?

Customs: No, I need you to tell me.

James: That was the one where I legally waded into the Rio Grande dressed like Osama bin Laden and embarrassed the federal government. DHS secretary was grilled under oath. Are you telling me this is retaliation for that?

Customs: I’m telling you that each time you go through here you will need to give an extra hour because we will do this each time. You have a prior criminal record and broke the law crossing into the United States unlawfully.

James: It wasn’t unlawful, I did nothing but wade back and forth. Millions of Mexicans cross and you don’t detain them for unlawful entry

Customs: You broke the law!

James: I broke the law? I’m a journalist who is trying to expose something important. Deep down in your heart when you set the burocreacy aside you have admit it needed to be exposed.

Customs: Come with me.

Franz Kafka called. He said to stop stealing his material.

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God’s Gift

To be a cultural critic, it helps to be of the culture one is critiquing.

Lee Siegel speaks for us:

In a column for the Sunday New York Times, 58 year-old writer and cultural critic Lee Siegel jumped into the Left’s (and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)’s) latest nihilistic zeitgeist by bragging about how he intentionally defaulted on all of his student loans. After voluntarily accepting taxpayer money to fund no less than three degrees from Columbia University, Siegel brags, “I chose life. That is to say, I defaulted on my student loans.”

“Life” for Siegel was pursuing his dream job as a writer as opposed to taking a job-job that would help him fulfill his obligations to the millions of middle class taxpayers who work the job-jobs that finance most of the United States Treasury, and therefore most of Siegel’s elite, top-shelf, Ivy League education.

Siegel goes on:

Years later, I found myself confronted with a choice that too many people have had to and will have to face. I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didn’t want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school. Or I could take what I had been led to believe was both the morally and legally reprehensible step of defaulting on my student loans, which was the only way I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society.

Isn’t he special? Before we deal with his “particular usefulness to society”, let’s remind ourselves who such a man is to speak of morality:

Today’s NYO gives a rundown of the fall from grace of The New Republic’s Lee Siegel, television critic and senior editor, for making self-serving pseudonymous comments on his TNR blog, “Lee Siegel on Culture.” Siegel, in what he calls and pretty much anyone else would call “a dumb mistake,” praised himself with comments like “Siegel is brave, brilliant and wittier than [Jon] Stewart will ever be” and insulted other commenters (while still managing to praise himself) with barbs like “You couldn’t tie Siegel’s shoelaces.” Siegel was ferreted out by commenters, exposed, and was quickly suspended by TNR editor Franklin Foer.

In the NYO account, Siegel tells Sheelah Kolhatkar: “I took the blogosphere’s bait, and I stooped to the level of these people who were commenting on my pieces, and I shouldn’t have.” Wow – not much of an apology, is that?

And you know whom Siegel blamed for the mean old blogosphere, don’t you?

“I began to feel that perhaps the almost total delegitimisation of political figures in the US – a process hastened by our current idiotic and criminal regime – was now being visited upon cultural figures, and in particular upon critics. It was no accident, after all, that the blogosphere really took off in the years since Bush became president, especially after the start of the Iraq war. The feeling now – post-Judith Miller’s resignation from the New York Times over her inaccurate reports about Iraq’s WMD – is that if it appears in the mainstream media, it’s bullshit; whereas if it’s on the internet, it’s the truth.”

There may be criminal or civil consequences for welshing on your student loans, but they don’t seem harsh. Misrepresenting oneself in journalism, however, is supposed to be a hanging offense. Doing so and blaming Bush would seem to call for the firing squad. But if Mike Barnicle can be scrubbed from the pages of the Boston Glob for making [bleep] up, only to wash up on the lucrative shores of MSNBC, why can’t Lee Siegel, aka sprezzatura in the New Republic’s comments section, rise from the ashes of his ignominy to boast on the op-ed page of the Sunday Times of ripping the American taxpayer?

A personal note: the name sprezzatura conjures a very strong memory from my own college days at Lee Siegel’s Columbia. In fact, we overlapped. We may even have been in the same Italian literature class that read Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier, in which sprezzatura is defined as

“a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it”. It is the ability of the courtier to display “an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them”.

We also would have overlapped with Barack Obama, I have noted here before. Nonchalance, easy facility, without effort and almost without any thought—don’t these terms describe the narcissism of the man? If I didn’t know better, I would be certain that Columbia offered narcissism as a major in those days, and that Obama and Siegel vied for valedictorian.

Me, I stuck with English, and with generous scholarships, work-study jobs, summer jobs, and paltry parental support graduated owing $2,500—since repaid. I may be a narcissist, but I pay my debts and my parking tickets.

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What’s Wrong With Marco Rubio?

How come he hasn’t amassed wealth in the manner of his corrupt colleagues?

You all are doubtless aware that Marco Rubio has scandalized the New York Times with his record of erratic driving (two tickets in almost two decades, the other tickets either having been dismissed, or earned by his wife). Today, the Times has the vapors that Rubio once bought—sorry, “splurged on”—a boat for $80,000.

I found a powerboat for sale online for about 80 grand. Rubio’s boat might have looked something like this:

Not bad. Until you compare it to John Kerry’s seven million dollar yacht, custom-built in New Zealand.

Rubio’s boat wouldn’t make it as a lifeboat for Kerry’s—which makes sense, given that Kerry’s annual Massachusetts excise tax almost equals the cost of Rubio’s boat. If he moored the boat in Massachusetts, which he doesn’t.

But John Kerry married money. Harry Reid made it the old-fashioned way: graft.

In 2004, the senator made $700,000 off a land deal that was, to say the least, unorthodox. It started in 1998 when he bought a parcel of land with attorney Jay Brown, a close friend whose name has surfaced multiple times in organized-crime investigations and whom one retired FBI agent described as “always a person of interest.” Three years after the purchase, Reid transferred his portion of the property to Patrick Lane LLC, a holding company Brown controlled. But Reid kept putting the property on his financial disclosures, and when the company sold it in 2004, he profited from the deal — a deal on land that he didn’t technically own and that had nearly tripled in value in six years.

When his 2010 challenger Sharron Angle asked him in a debate how he had become so wealthy, he said, “I did a very good job investing.” Did he ever. On December 20, 2005, he invested $50,000 to $100,000 in the Dow Jones U.S. Energy Sector Fund (IYE), which closed that day at $29.15. The companies whose shares it held included ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and ConocoPhillips. When he made a partial sale of his shares on August 19, 2008, during congressional recess, IYE closed at $41.82. Just a month later, on September 17, Reid was working to bring to the floor a bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would cost oil companies — including those in the fund — billions of dollars in taxes and regulatory fees. The bill passed a few days later, and by October 10, IYE’s shares had fallen by 42 percent, to $24.41, for a host of reasons. Savvy investing indeed.

Here’s another example: The Los Angeles Times reported in November 2006 that when Reid became Senate majority leader he committed to making earmark reform a priority, saying he’d work to keep congressmen from using federal dollars for pet projects in their districts. It was a good idea but an odd one for the senator to espouse. He had managed to get $18 million set aside to build a bridge across the Colorado River between Laughlin, Nev., and Bullhead City, Ariz., a project that wasn’t a priority for either state’s transportation agency. His ownership of 160 acres of land nearby that stood to appreciate considerably from the project had nothing to do with the decision, according to one of his aides. The property’s value has varied since then. On his financial-disclosure forms from 2006, it was valued at $250,000 to $500,000. Open Secrets now lists it as his most valuable asset, worth $1 million to $5 million as of 2010.

There are richer Senators, the richest Democrats, but the point is made. The Rubios have done all right for themselves, but in that quaint, old-fashioned way of hard work, diligence, good fortune, and fast-driving.

I wasn’t sure whom I supported in the Republican primaries, but the Times has made the decision for me!

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Political Theater of the Absurd

Did the New York Times consider this news “fit to print”?

A little-known private foundation controlled by Bill and Hillary Clinton donated $100,000 to the New York Times’ charitable fund in 2008, the same year the newspaper’s editorial page endorsed Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary, according to tax documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

You don’t say!

Well, the Times didn’t. What else didn’t they say?

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund is a charity affiliated with the newspaper that assists underprivileged New Yorkers. It is run by members of the New York Times Company’s board of directors and senior executives.

The Times’ editorial board endorsed Clinton against Democratic challengers John Edwards and Barack Obama on January 25, 2008, writing that she was “more qualified, right now, to be president.”

At the time, there were reports that the Times board had leaned toward endorsing Obama, but was overruled by then-chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., whose family controlled the paper. Sulzberger’s cousins and Times Company directors, Lynn Dolnick and Michael Golden, chaired the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund in 2008.

Of the 47 organizations the CFF donated to in 2008, only six groups received more than $50,000. Most received between $2,000 and $25,000. The CFF has not donated to the Neediest Cases Fund since 2008.

The Times endorsement was controversial at the time because there was speculation about whether it was swayed by pressure from the Clintons.

More weight than pressure, I’d say. One hundred thousand dollar bills weigh over 220 pounds.

So, the New York Times is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation. Makes sense, one gray lady standing up for another. Same goes for George Stephanopoulos and ABC News. Whether NBC has cashed the checks, most of its “news” division (MSNBC most especially) would appear to be on the payroll as well. Money can’t buy her love, but it seems to be the only thing buying Hillary good press.

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RIP Beau Biden

Not having known Beau Biden, and not knowing much about him, I confess I am a little puzzled by the encomia after his death. Not skeptical—the little I have learned seems to portray a decent man whose life was cut way too short. But the lying in state in the Delaware State House? For a state Attorney General? Really?

I get the family tragedy. I lost a brother to the same form of brain cancer. It’s a death sentence, with about 15 months between judgement and execution. I feel for the Bidens.

But what’s up with the rest of you?

I am really sad about Beau Biden’s death. Really, really sad.

A handful of news organizations have noted the outpouring of support for the Biden family coming from all over the country since the announcement Saturday night, much of it focused on the unfathomable grief that Vice President Biden must be experiencing — not only because of his history of family tragedy, but because Beau was the quintessential, perfect first-born son he adored.

I, too, feel awful for the vice president. But the reason I’m so busted up about this is because I think Beau’s passing is a devastating loss for the entire country, for many of the reasons why his father basically worshipped him.

Allow me to get a little political.

My favorite part of being a political reporter is watching stars rise. Believing in unlimited potential is part of the American way, and Beau had it.

It’s not just how he lived his life as a doting family man and a devout Catholic. And it’s not just his CV: University of Pennsylvania graduate, law school graduate, federal prosecutor, state attorney general going after child abuse, soldier in Iraq. That, of course, is as perfect as presidential material can possibly get.

Add to that his spark, genuineness, earnestness and unconditional love for public service. I firmly believe the pendulum swing in American politics is real, and I believed that in some swing toward the Democrats in the future, Beau would be president. That’s how I’m going to remember him.

This from a self-described journalist (though with CNN on your resume, that word needs quotation marks, if not an asterisk).

It was nothing short of a bombshell months later when he announced he wasn’t going to run [for US Senate] in 2010 because he wanted to finish what he started as attorney general. A crew of Democratic officials I spoke to often, and whom I respect, were livid about that and held it against him. For several years they wouldn’t entertain discussions about his future political career because of this grudge. That surprised me.

In May of 2012, I ran into Beau at a Starbucks near the vice president’s residence and had a long talk with him about all of that. I asked him if he thought he would run for Delaware Sen. Tom Carper’s seat when he retired but figured he might be interested in running for governor, which he said he was.

He said to me that day, “I’ll do one of them,” but he was leaning toward a future gubernatorial race because he was disappointed in the Senate.

I’ll never forget his exact words: “I grew up in the Senate. I love the smell of the Russell building.” But as he talked to me, he was scratching his head in disbelief about how dysfunctional the Senate had become and said he had friends in the Senate who were really unhappy because they were unable to do anything, and that really bothered him. (Senators, please take note and fix that for him.)

The way he talked about it made it clear that he loved public service with every bone in his body. Reporters can tell when they’re hearing an ambitious dance from a politician, and what Beau said was not that. Everything he said was real, honest and earnest. Quite frankly, I was mesmerized.

The heart loves what the heart loves, no question. But any editor—heck, any reporter herself—who reads these words has to recognize a critical conflict of interest. A political reporter “mesmerized” by a subject of her reporting, who swoons over his “spark, genuineness, earnestness”, however genuine, earnest, and sparkly? Take a seat on the bench, honey. You’ve been in the game too long.

This spring, I made an appeal to one of his top political aides to come to Delaware to spend some time with him and talk about the upcoming governor’s race, because I’d been itching to write a long-form profile of him for a long time. We planned to do it late this summer or early fall after the governor’s race got off the ground. This week, I felt it was necessary to find some way to write part of what I was planning.

Did she actually wave pom-poms, and was her skirt plaid and pleated? I’m embarrassed for her.

Journalists absolutely must hold government officials accountable, but what good are we doing anyone if we’re just mean?

A unique good point. She makes it clear she admires a select few politicians, including Republicans. But do I think she would have held Beau Biden “accountable”? Not on your life.

Again, to the tone deaf, this is not anything against any Biden, Joe, Beau, or the rest of the clan. I can’t even be too hard on the reporter: she feels the way she feels.

But the Huffington Post and her other employers? You don’t see how inappropriate it is for a supposed unbiased observer to be so biased? Of course you don’t. A few words of tribute are fine and decent, but to print her long political love affair with a potential high public figure is an obscenity to the long-ago decent profession of journalism.

PS: “Mesmerized”?

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Life Under Stalin

I don’t link to this piece about how miserable it is to work at the Huffington Post because I care about anyone who works at the Huffington Post. They can all burn in Hell, the leftie sh*ts (which I say with love and respect).

I link to it because it’s so bloody typical.

A sample:

But to anyone who has worked at the site for any period of time, as I have, it’s a little bizarre that people could be more demoralized now than at any point in the past, because the Huffington Post has always been an essentially miserable place, with a workplace culture so brutal and toxic that it would meet with approval from committed sociopaths across the land. If things are getting worse there, they have to be really, really bad.

It’s hard to imagine, to pick just one example, how things could be worse than during the Jimmy Soni era. Jimmy, you may recall, was given authority over the entire HuffPost newsroom as managing editor in 2012 based on his stellar journalistic credentials, like being Arianna Huffington’s top assistant and a former McKinsey consultant. Unsurprisingly, he ran HuffPost into the ground. His response to the rise of BuzzFeed—a development that sent HuffPost into an institutional freakout—included telling many sections that they should stop focusing so much on “news” and letting it be known that things like quality and even spelling were unimportant in a digital age. Oh, and he was a serial sexual harasser. That was a great time.

When the news of Jimmy’s offenses hit, Arianna handled it in a manner that would make Stalin proud. One evening last spring everyone got an email from Arianna saying that Jimmy was moving to India to work on stuff for HuffPost there.

Jimmy was literally never seen or heard from—or even mentioned out loud—after that. His sexual harassment was also never publicly discussed. Thus was the essential HuffPost cycle completed: Jimmy found himself among the legions of the disappeared.

The details don’t matter: the pattern never changes. Bizarre (mis)management, abusive behavior, low morale—it’s life under leftist rule. Why should the newsroom of the HuffPo be any different from that other worker’s paradise, East Berlin?

The conventional wisdom is that capitalist (i.e. job-creating, good- or service-producing) businesses sap the soul. But I have worked for non-profits and very-little profits, as well as for businesses that actually tried to make money. My experience was that while I might have abstractly believed in the mission of the non-profit (a made-for-PBS film here, a human rights publication there), the lower the profit of the enterprise, the worse my experience was.

The misery was almost all anthropogenic. The people running the low-to-non-profits were incompetent and insecure, wasteful and disrespectful. This was due not to the nature of the project, but the nature of the person running the project. Often into the ground. It was almost as if the more they believed in the cause, the worse they performed in pursuit of it. One example of my experience featured the worst manager of resources—human and capital—I have ever known, and the bottomless checkbook of George Soros. Failure was not only an option, it was rewarded.

To have had one unpleasant experience working in the left-wing, nonprofit sector may be regarded as a misfortune. To have had only unpleasant experiences working in the left-wing, nonprofit sector looks like liberalism.

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Blaming the Victim

Well if you didn’t want to get raped, you shouldn’t have worn that outfit.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Why go slight for slight with the Muslims? Why not do what we often teach as a function of virtue when we are dealing with savagery, which is show that we are better than this. Not show that we can poke them in the eye in a way they don’t like.

PAMELA GELLER, CNN: That’s not what you’re doing. You are submitting, you are kowtowing. If you draw a stick figure and say it is Mohammed, they will come and kill you, and so you say, OK we won’t draw it. CNN won’t show it–

CHRIS CUOMO: I did show the cartoon after Charlie Hebdo. But I also understand the security concerns of CNN as an organizations, and you should as well…

PAMELA GELLER: People need to understand the jihadist doctrine, and that it is coming for you. Mainstream Muslims should be standing with me shoulder to shoulder in defense of free speech. It is absurd, your position that we should abridge our right to free speech for a vicious and radical ideology.

CHRIS CUOMO: I don’t have that position and you know it. You know that is not my position. I embrace your right to do it. I have you on here to discuss it because I embrace the right.

Maybe so, Chris. But what about your colleague?

BURNETT: Do you have extra security at this time? Obviously, you know, the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas, you were the one behind that. There was, obviously, some people died during that, there was a gun fight …

GELLER: A couple of corrections. A couple of people didn’t die. The jihadists, who came to slaughter hundreds of people, were taken out as they shot at our police. … The second thing, it was an art exhibit depicting Muhammad through the past 1,400 years when he has been rendered in various pieces of artwork and it didn’t lead to slaughter. It’s obviously being used now. Modern jihadism is using these blasphemy laws and this violent intimidation to impose the sharia.

BURNETT: … which included words like this — “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, defeat jihad.” Are you surprised that there are some who would want to target you for words like that?

GELLER: I’m surprised that the media would side with those that would target me. Of course I’m not surprised that they would target me. This is a war and they seek to impose the sharia. The ads that I’ve done across the country were in response to vicious, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic ads already running. . And my question to you is, do we not want to defeat jihad? I mean, what is wrong with those ads? There is nothing wrong with the cartoon. There is nothing about the cartoon that incites violence. It is within the established American tradition of satire and if America surrenders on this point, the freedom of speech is a relic of history.

BURNETT: The Southern Poverty Law Center, as you’re well aware has described your group, has described your group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, as what they say, quote, is an active anti-Muslim group. They track hate groups in this country. They describe you as, quote, the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead. Again, they track hate groups. They’re putting you on that list. … Nothing justifies a beheading or a beheading plot … but it’s important to note this. I mean, are you stoking the flames? Do you on some level relish being the target of these attacks?

GELLER (taken aback): ‘Relish being the target’ — who self-promotes to get killed? That’s the first thing. The second thing is, the Southern Poverty Law Center — really, Erin? Since when? Who designated them the arbiter of anything? They’re an uber-left group. They don’t track jihadist groups. They don’t track groups that actually target for slaughter. They track patriots, they track veterans, they track defense groups like myself and their members have actually targeted and tried to slaughter family groups and leaders like Tony Perkins (head of the Family Research Council) … And even the shooter in North Carolina who shot three Muslims over a parking dispute was a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center. That’s who you’re using against me?

Why don’t we talk about the accomplishments and the accolades that my group got? Why do you use the Southern Poverty Law Center, they’re a notorious, uber-left, communist group, to slime me, to smear me? I’m the hunted one — I’m the hunted one. This is incredible to me.

But not incredible to me. People are sheep. They prefer to gather in herds and let sheer numbers protect them. If a few get picked off by the wolves, well, it just keeps the rest of the herd strong.

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