Archive for Media

How The Left “Thinks”

Yet another example of willful ignorance. Why are we obsessed with the religion of the Ottawa attacker?

Our obsession with the Ottawa shooter’s religion reveals more about us than about him

I kid you not; that is the title of the piece. Why, oh why, should we concern ourselves with his faith?

Yesterday, the media reported that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the man allegedly responsible for a horrifying shooting spree in and around the Canadian parliament, was a convert to Islam. News reports on the shooting then spent much of the day fixated on that unconfirmed fact — even though there is as yet no evidence that his religion was a motivation for his actions. More sensational coverage discussed dubious social-media connections to ISIS.

These reports imply that because Zehaf-Bibeau was Muslim, jihad is the likely motivation for his attack. But at this stage, without any actual evidence, it makes no more sense to come to that conclusion than it would to assume that he was motivated by Quebecois separatism, just because he was from Quebec. At this point, our focus on the Ottawa shooter’s religion says more about our own fears than it does about anything to do with Islamist terrorism.

On some level, of course, this feels like an obvious connection to make. ISIS dominates the news right now and we hear story after story of people from Western countries joining its jihadist campaign. Surely, it seems, Zehaf-Bibeau’s religion must be relevant to the terrible crimes he committed yesterday?

But those assumptions start to break down upon a little closer examination. Is the theory that the only reason a Muslim would kill is in the name of Jihad? Muslims are just like anyone else, for better or worse, which means that just as an act of generosity by a person who is Muslim does not mean that act was motivated by Islam, a murder committed by a Muslim was not necessarily driven by Islamist extremism.

And on it goes… The writer wishes to make herself (and the rest of us) as stupid as possible. This is just breathtaking stupidity. I don’t even have a way to categorize it or a decent simile. It isn’t like asking why we have to eat, or why the sky is blue, because those questions have interesting answers. Instead, it seems to be saying – screaming – LIKE ME BECAUSE I AM SO GOOD!!! What is wrong with this writer????

– Aggie

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“Messy” World Update

I don’t know about the world, President Obama, but one patch of it is pretty messy:

The apparent executioner of American Steven Sotloff speaks in the same British accent as the man who purportedly killed James Foley. The journalists’ beheadings were recorded by ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State.

He’s dressed identically in both videos, head to toe in black, with a face mask and combat boots. He appears to be of similar build and height. He waves a knife in his left hand, as did the militant in the video released last month of Foley’s death.

And then, there are his actual words.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.”

Obama doesn’t feel half so arrogantly toward the self-styled Islamic State as I do, so I can hardly fault him there.

But I do disagree with Obama that it’s social media that make the world seem messy.

“The world’s always been messy … we’re just noticing now in part because of social media.”

No, it’s mainstream media. Some headlines:

Video Purports to Show Beheading of US Journalist Steven Sotloff

US CDC says Ebola threatens stability of stricken countries

Home Depot Investigating Potentially Massive Credit Card Breach

Russia and Nato headed for nuclear war after Putin brags he could take Kiev

US military strike in Somalia targeted al Shabaab leader

Amnesty International: Islamic State carrying out ethnic cleansing

Sharp rise in support for Scottish independence jolts sterling

Islamic fighters besiege Nigerian city

Saudi Arabia Arrests 88 Terrorism Suspects

Attack on Army Convoy Kills 11 in Egypt’s Sinai

Why the US and Israel are not getting along

UN: 4 Peacekeepers Killed in North Mali, 15 Hurt

Shamed Rotherham Council to Meet Over Shocking Child Sex Abuse Report

School starts in Chicago with more safety guards

WWII vet, 86, beaten outside Ohio hospital

8 teens still missing after 32 escape Nashville youth detention center

Holiday weekend wedding ends in bloody brawl after groom gropes server

Any questions?

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Heard On The BBC

Today on the BBC they did a heartfelt piece about the anguish of the average Gazan. It dripped with empathy, British-style, meaning they were warm and caring toward the Gazans and at the same time hostile and snotty toward Israel.

I thought about this: “Aggie, (I thought), how can you help the British media, and the British public, to feel empathy for the suffering of the Israelis? How to make them understand that in a nation of roughly 7 million people, 14,000 missiles have been launched from Gaza in total, and about 3,500 of them happened within the past couple of months? How can such loving people not feel for the poor Israelis, and how can I help?”

Well, I thought and I thought and I think I have the solution. It is pretty simple. You see, there are about 7.5 million Israelis, but 63,742,000 citizens of the UK. I want to divide the UK into Israel-sized populations. Hmmm. I have to divide 63,742,000 by 7.5 million. It comes up to 8.493333333333. Let’s agree on 8.5, ok? So that means that there are 8.5 regions of the UK, somehow divided into 7.5 million human beings each (except for the .5 which has only 3.75 million, give or take). Got it? Now draw the borders any which way, as long as each region has only 7.5 million people.

And start shelling them. Randomly and persistently, begin to fire missiles into the UK. Some will land in fields, some will shatter the stained glass in those beautiful cathedrals, some will hit cafes, and some will land in nursery schools or senior living facilities. This needs to go on for 9 years and it needs to be random. Perhaps someone can write a computer program to create the randomness of the targets? And naturally, the missiles themselves must be faulty enough that even if something is aimed at a park, it could as easily land in the 3rd floor living room of a nice apartment.

Talk doesn’t matter. Whoever runs the program can talk and talk and talk, as long as the shelling continues. It’s best if they promise to stop if demands are met, etc., but the shelling must continue. Oh, and it would be lovely if the population of Britain was blamed for their own misery and most especially if the UN passed dozens, oddles!, of resolutions blaming them.

In 9 years, we can see how the BBC responds. Our readers who either live in the UK or are familiar with it can write and let us know if this would work.

Best,

Aggie

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He Won.

We’re Sad.

Americans really wish they elected Mitt Romney instead of Obama

Americans are so down on President Obama at the moment that, if they could do the 2012 election all over again, they’d overwhelmingly back the former Massachusetts governor’s bid. That’s just one finding in a brutal CNN poll, released Sunday, which shows Romney topping Obama in a re-election rematch by a whopping nine-point margin, 53 percent to 44 percent. That’s an even larger spread than CNN found in November, when a survey had Romney winning a redo 49 percent to 45 percent.

Two years ago, Obama won re-election with about 51 percent of the vote.

Of course, the poll should be taken with a grain of salt. While Obama is actually taking on the tough task of leading the nation, Romney is sitting comfortably on the sidelines where he is liable to receive a more favorable reception. Still, the finding comes as foreign and domestic crises have sent Obama’s approval rating tumbling back to 40 percent, per Gallup.

Also in the CNN survey, a record-low 46 percent say Obama “shares [their] values,” while only 49 percent say he is “sincere in what he says,” also a record-low.

OK, CNN is a terrible news organization and most of what they say is rubbish. I don’t believe this at all, but it’s fun to fantasize. In any case, we are getting the government that we elected – twice.

– Aggie

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Israel Explains Things To CNN

No clue if it went through the thick head.

– Aggie

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Utopianism Vs. Reality (Alternative Title: The True Cycle Of Violence)

In my view, utopian ideologies (such as pacifism, leftist appeasement, Messianism, etc.) are the most dangerous philosophies that mankind has created, with the possible exception of Communism and its offshoots. Communism itself is a utopian ideology, come to think of it. What these ideologies share is the belief that given the right set of circumstances, peace on earth will come about.

Don’t get me wrong – a small dose of this stuff is just fine. We can all pray for the Messiah to come (or return). We can pitch in and help our neighbors. We can avoid conflict if it is reasonable to do so.

But Reality is ever so much more powerful than Utopianism, especially in the world today.

This is about Israel, but it pertains to the US too:

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of Great Britain and France all are rushing to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Their motive — to end civilian suffering and restore stability to the area — is noble. The images of the wounded and dead resulting from the conflict are indeed agonizing. However, these senior statesmen can be most helpful now by doing nothing. To preserve the values they cherish and to send an unequivocal message to terrorist organizations and their state sponsors everywhere, Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

This is the lesson of previous rounds of fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and terrorist strongholds. In Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008 and again in 2012, Israel responded to rocket attacks on its cities with fierce counteroffensives. Fighting against a deeply dug-in enemy that both blended in with the local population and used it as a shield, Israel’s best efforts to avoid civilian casualties invariably proved limited. Incensed world opinion generated immense pressure on governments to convene the U.N. Security Council and empower human rights organizations to censure Israel and stop the carnage. These measures succeeded where the terrorists’ rockets failed. Israel was compelled to back down.

And the terrorists, though badly mauled, won. Admittedly, their bar for claiming victory was exceptionally low. While Israel must achieve a clear battlefield success to win, the terrorists merely had to survive. But they did more than survive. Under the protection of cease-fires and, in some cases, international peacekeepers, they vastly expanded their arsenals to include more lethal and longer-range missiles. While reestablishing their rule in the streets, they burrowed beneath them to create a warren of bombproof bunkers and assault tunnels. Such measures enabled Hamas, as well as Hezbollah, to mount devastating attacks at the time of their choosing, confident that the international community would once again prevent Israel from exacting too heavy a price.

So the cycle continued. Allowed to fight for several weeks, at most, Israel was eventually condemned and hamstrung by cease-fires. The terrorists, by contrast, could emerge from their hideouts and begin to replenish and enhance their stockpiles. That is precisely the pattern established in the second Lebanon War and repeated in Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Hezbollah and Hamas sustained losses but, rescued and immunized by international diplomacy, they remained in power and became more powerful still. Israel, on the other hand, was forced to defend its right to defend itself. Jihadist organizations no different from the Islamic State and al-Qaeda gained regional legitimacy, while Israel lost it in the world.

The cycle can end, now and decisively. As Operation Protective Edge enters its third week , responsible world leaders can give Israel the time and the leverage it needs to alter Hamas’s calculus. They can let the Israeli army ferret Hamas out of its holes and make it pay a prohibitive cost for its attacks. They can create an outcome in which the organization, even if it remains in Gaza, is defanged and deprived of its heavy arms. Of course, Hamas will resist demilitarization, and more civilians will suffer, but by ending the cycle once and for all thousands of innocent lives will be saved.

Life in Gaza is miserable now, but if Israel is permitted to prevail, circumstances can improve markedly. U.S.- and Canadian-trained security forces of the Palestinian Authority can take over key crossings and patrol Gaza’s porous border with Egypt. Rather than be funneled into Hamas’s war chest, international aid can be transferred directly to the civilian population to repair war damage and stimulate economic growth. Terrorist groups and their state patrons can be put on notice: The game has changed unalterably.

More at the link. Again, it doesn’t exactly make us want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but it is the truth.

– Aggie

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Chips and Guacamole!

Obama’s foreign policy:

As smoke billowed from the downed Malaysian jetliner in the fields of eastern Ukraine on Thursday, President Obama pressed ahead with his schedule: a cheeseburger with fries at the Charcoal Pit in Delaware, a speech about infrastructure and two splashy fund-raisers in New York City.

The potential for jarring split-screen imagery was clear. Reports of charred bodies and a ground-to-air missile attack from Eastern Europe dominated television screens while photographers snapped pictures of a grinning Mr. Obama holding a toddler at the restaurant. The presidential motorcade was later filmed pulling up to Trump Place Apartments, the Riverside Avenue venue for his first fund-raiser.

Excuse me, New York Times editors, but isn’t “grinning” one of those racist dog whistles? My Bloodthirsty Puppy jumped to her feet when she read that.

Moments after making a grim statement about Ukraine on Friday, the president popped into the East Room, where the first lady, Michelle Obama, was holding a mock state dinner for children to promote her Let’s Move nutrition initiative. “My big thing,” he confessed to the kids, “chips and guacamole!” There was plenty of laughter all around.

Ha-ha-ha-ha! What a card.

On Friday afternoon, Mr. Obama flew to Camp David for the weekend. This week, he plans a three-day fund-raising swing in Seattle and California. White House officials said there were no plans to cancel the trip.

Of course not. They need the money.

Obama can’t afford to change his plans: that might raise expectations that he could or would actually do something. He likens himself to a bear on the loose, and there’s something to that: bears root through dumpsters and garbage cans looking for food. Meanwhile, the Russian bear lumbers across the landscape without opposition.

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Transparent Hypocrisy

Everything Barack Obama touches turns to dreck: it’s the reverse Midas touch. What a pleasure it has been lately watching his reputation swirl down the cistern where dreck belongs:

Right now, here ON THE RECORD, fired “New York Times executive editor, JILL ABRAMSON.

While working at “The New York Times” and after decades of covering presidential administrations, Abramson calling President Obama’s White House the most is he secretive White House that she’s covered. And she’s not the only one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BYRON YORK, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: This is not the most transparent administration in history.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will make our government open and transparent.

One of the things I want to do is open things up. I want transparency. I want accountability.

BOB CUSACK, MANAGING EDITOR, ‘THE HILL': This White House came in saying we’ll do things differently, we’ll change Washington. They didn’t change Washington.

OBAMA: The more transparency we can bring to Washington, the less likely it is Washington will be run by lobbyists and special interests.

Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

A.B. STODDARD, ‘THE HILL': He’s broken a promise.

OBAMA: This is the most transparent administration in history.

VAN SUSTEREN: You said have this administration is the most is the secretive. What is your support? Why do you say that?

ABRAMSON: I think it’s easy to demonstrate that that’s true, starting with — I love the name of your show, “ON THE RECORD.” I have never dealt with an administration where more officials — some of whom are actually paid to be the spokesmen for various federal agencies –demand that everything be off the record. So that’s secretive and not transparent.

But the most serious thing is the Obama administration has launched eight criminal leak investigations against sources and whistleblowers. And they have tried to sweep in journalists, including – it’s almost the one- year anniversary exactly that your college, James Rosen, had his record secretly looked at by the government in a leak investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it profoundly different thought than the other administrations?

ABRAMSON: It is profoundly different. Before these cases, these eight cases, and all of history, there have been fewer than half of those. And so it is different.

So, this has been an historic administration, after all.

Oh, and about “not changing Washington”, there is agreement:

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: This is within our power to change. Everybody says because we tried in ‘08 and it didn’t happen, it’s not possible.

Give yourself a little credit, Joe. You changed Washington plenty. Never before has an administration that “ended” two “wars” and governed over a five-year “recovery” been so wretchedly unpopular. If you guys were the ones we were waiting for, I wish we had been less patient.

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Antisemitism At The Washington Post

– Aggie

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Boko and Mindy

Our intrepid diplomats have a cunning plan to bringbackourgirls.

Sit-coms:

The State Department is financing a new 24-hour satellite television channel in the turbulent northern region of Nigeria that American officials say is crucial to countering the extremism of radical groups such as Boko Haram. The move signals a ramping up of American counterinsurgency efforts to directly challenge the terrorist group, which abducted nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls in April.

State Department officials acknowledged that setting up an American-supported channel could prove challenging in a region where massacres, bombings and shootings by Boko Haram are common, and where the American government and Western educational programs are far from popular. The group has been known to attack media organizations in Nigeria.

The goal of the channel is to provide original content, including comedies and children’s programs that will be created, developed and produced by Nigerians. State Department officials said they hoped to provide an alternative to the violent propaganda and recruitment efforts of Boko Haram.

Suggested program titles: The Big Game Theory; Seinveldt; Allah in the Family, 276 Broken Girls.

Hey, it could work. Nothing changes minds and mores like mass media, right?

Many foreign policy experts, while applauding State Department programs to counter the efforts of Boko Haram and other extremist groups, said the new satellite project faced several challenges in a region with low levels of infrastructure, public services, literacy and security.

Access to electricity is limited in many rural areas of northern Nigeria, and few people own televisions. While some people might be able to view the programs on cellphones, a U.S.A.I.D. official recently told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Boko Haram has been targeting cellphone towers to reduce access to communication services in the region.

If Western education is sinful to Boko Haram, I doubt episodes of Hanna Savanna are going to appeal to the devout and pious Muslims among them. But other than “infrastructure, public services, literacy and security”, plus “massacres, bombings and shootings”, this thing has a chance.

They couldn’t protect Christopher Stevens, but they think they can produce a TV show. I’d say that’s Obama’s foreign policy in a nutshell.

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Made You Look!

CNN’s obsession with the missing plane long ago became the stuff of farce, ridicule, parody.

Ratings bonanza!

The 850 square kilometers scanned off the coast of western Australia in the hunt for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane are not the “final resting place of MH370,” the agency leading the search said Thursday.

The search area is where four acoustic pings originally thought to be from the black boxes of the Boeing 777 were heard in early April.

“The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and in its professional judgment, the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370,” a statement from the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said.

Authorities now almost universally believe the pings did not come from the onboard data or cockpit voice recorders but instead came from some other man-made source unrelated to the jetliner that disappeared on March 8, according to Michael Dean, the Navy’s deputy director of ocean engineering.

I don’t watch CNN, but I understand from those who are paid to do so that it has obsessed on this subject like Michelle Obama on curly kale. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that CNN itself dispatched some junior producer to the South Pacific with a triangle from a high school band. He’s floating in a dinghy, surrounded by sharks, pinging the triangle every eight seconds. Well, now he’s stopped, back on dry land, applying makeup to Wolf Blitzer’s brow.

I guess I should declare that I am not making fun of such a tragic loss of life. Real people, not that different from me, lost people they loved very dearly. But is CNN’s comical coverage any more respectful?

“Now clearly we were hoping that the pings would narrow that broad area down to a narrow one, but that has not been the case, and now we have to unfortunately go the long road,” he told CNN.

You just take your time, says CNN. We’ve got hours of programming to fill.

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Who You Callin’ Gray Lady?

Here in Bloodthirstan, we always like to make popcorn when we watch a fight. But how about the rest of youse? Chips? Something healthier like almonds? And if you want my recipe for guacamole you need but ask:

New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. felt he had no choice but to hit back at Jill Abramson late Saturday after being attacked in the media for sexist motives in dismissing his executive editor.

Sulzberger sacked Abramson after concluding that her managing editor, Dean Baquet, would have quit otherwise and that this would have been devastating to the paper, says a Times executive with knowledge of the situation. Instead, Sulzberger elevated Baquet to be the paper’s first African-American editor.

The final straw was Sulzberger’s conclusion that Abramson had misled him by not informing Baquet that she planned to bring in another journalist, the Guardian’s Janine Gibson, and give her the same title of managing editor, the executive said. That was viewed as a sign of disrespect to her deputy. Baquet complained to Sulzberger about being blindsided shortly before Abramson’s dismissal.

Sulzberger said he had “heard repeatedly from her newsroom colleagues, women and men, about a series of issues, including arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues. I discussed these issues with Jill herself several times and warned her that, unless they were addressed, she risked losing the trust of both masthead and newsroom. She acknowledged that there were issues and agreed to try to overcome them. We all wanted her to succeed. It became clear, however, that the gap was too big to bridge and ultimately I concluded that she had lost the support of her masthead colleagues and could not win it back.”

Sulzberger has taken a PR beating as the media have embraced the theme that Abramson was paid less by a paper whose liberal editorial page has championed equal pay for women. He has also drawn criticism for objecting to Abramson’s brusque management style, with critics saying male editors would not be denounced as overly aggressive or pushy, and for the way that she was abruptly shown the door.

But the executive with knowledge of the situation said that Sulzberger was open to a more amicable parting, with Abramson staying on for a period of time, only to learn that she wanted to be publicly fired and wage a publicity war against her ouster. In management’s view, Abramson is responsible for leaking confidential salary information—not just about herself but others–and her friends in the media are promoting her narrative.

In the statement, Sulzberger also said: “Equal pay for women is an important issue in our country – one that The New York Times often covers. But it doesn’t help to advance the goal of pay equality to cite the case of a female executive whose compensation was not in fact unequal.”

Is that double-negative (or is it triple) part of the Times stylebook? Earlier stories referred to Abramson as “pushy”, a word we love applied to dames, along with “loud”, “aggressive”, and “leggy”.

The Times is about as dishonest a publication as I can think of. Not just among its editorialists and op-ed writers (Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman), but in its slanted news coverage. (Check out CAMERA’s analysis of Mid-East reporting). This airing of dirty laundry is Christmas in May.

PS: Lots of cilantro and hot pepper flakes—and raw red onion. The avocado tames the wild flavors.

PPS: And more salt than you might think healthy. For the same reason.

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