Christopher Hitchens has been brought back from the dead by Slate, but it won’t do them any good. Yesterday, they republished a hit piece by the atheist from 2010 that was vintage Hitchens: the man was a great polemicist but a third-class scholar. Facts never mattered to him. ("The Pope's entire career has the stench of evil about it.")
Hitchens said the scandal “has only just begun.” Wrong. It began in the mid-60s and ended in the mid-80s. Current reports are almost all about old cases.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, John Dickerson stood by his Friday column for Slate where he concluded that President Obama "can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP." Dickerson answered conservative critics of his piece by claiming that he "wasn't trying to give advice. I was trying to highlight, in a very stark way, what seems like an impossible-to-avoid conclusion about this second term."
The liberal CBS News political director also repeated many of the points he made in a follow-up column for Slate on Tuesday [audio clips available here; video below the jump]:
Newsweek stopped its print edition at the end of 2012, but they still tried to scandalize the country by producing a fake cover honoring Obama’s second inauguration as “The Second Coming.” This absurd attempt at myth-making is a natural progression. The “cover” story was written by Evan Thomas, who proclaimed on MSNBC a few years ago that Obama was “sort of like God” in being above the gritty political fray.
It was just as absurd when Newsweek writer David Frum, the formerly conservative Bush speechwriter, tweeted this piece of media-elite nonsense: “First term Obama: punchee, 2nd term Obama, puncher.”
Decades ago, to demonstrate the leftist biases of most establishment press reporters, one needed to study their body of work over time. Many of them didn't make their political beliefs totally obvious until they retired or went elsewhere (e.g., Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw).
These days, we usually don't have to wait too long for reporters' biases to show. Over the weekend at Slate, CBS Political Director John Dickerson, whose leftist advocacy disguised as journalism has been evident for at least nine years, mapped out a strategy for his beloved President Obama, writing a 2,000-word battle plan disguised as a column begging the president to "declare war on the Republican Party'" (Slate's current headline tease on its "Most Popular" list is "Why Obama Should Seek To Destroy the Republican Party"; bolds are mine):
"The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat."
So astonishingly wrote CBS News political director John Dickerson at Slate Friday evening in a piece astonishingly titled "Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party."
Paul "The Population Bomb" Ehrlich, call your office. Oh, never mind. You've never cared about the truth anyway, or the fact that your predictions of worldwide calamity have been far off the mark, but you sure have received a lot of attention from the establishment press over the past several decades.
According to Jeff Wise at Slate.com on Wednesday, "researchers at Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis foresee the global population maxing out at 9 billion some time around 2070." After that (and before that in certain countries, pretty soon in Japan, much of Europe, Russia, and China,and not all that far away in the U.S.), the problem will be worldwide depopulation. Wise points out why the math points to peak population, and how that reality upsets the usual media reporting apple cart (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
Have you been enjoying your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers? Do you have a preference for the white meat? If you do, then racism could explain why you prefer the white meat to the dark meat.
In an article worthy of The Onion but published in all seriousness in Slate, writer Ron Rosenbaum plumbs the depths of absolute ridiculousness to explain his white meat racism theory. First he details why white meat is supposedly so horrible:
Remember when liberals scoffed at the fact that Romney could win more than 60% of the white vote? Not only has Romney successfully tackled that hurdle, and liberals are apparently mad about it. Tom Scocca of Slate Magazine wrote on November 2 about the “tribal appeal” that Mitt Romney has with whites and why “white people think” he’ll be a better president. I’ll give you a hint: It’s R _ C I S M.
After proudly declaring his support for President Obama (and how Slate will traditionally list all its staffers' votes for the Democrats), Scocca insists they are not in a liberal bubble. He channels the insufferable and dismissive tone American liberalism has successfully monopolized over the past years. He claims “White men are supporting Mitt Romney to the exclusion of logic or common sense, in defiance of normal Americans.”
When George McGovern died at 90 over the weekend, liberals were guaranteed to remember him as if 1972 were yesterday. Slate’s Ron Rosenbaum wrote an article titled "George McGovern was a winner: His 1972 campaign was the most lopsided loss in presidential history. But this man was no loser.”
Rosenbaum wants to run through the potentialities that could have led to a glorious McGovern victory in ’72. Rosenbaum says McGovern talked of "the role of the media, which basically took over presidential politics that year with the advent of the self-regarding 'Boys on the Bus' campaigning mode." Rosenbaum was on that press bus:
As I suggested yesterday (hardly a prediction since it was so clearly going to happen), "2016: Obama's America" has taken in enough in estimated gross proceeds this weekend ($6.238 million from Friday through Sunday) to become the top conservative post-1982 documentary (and number six overall, behind four Michael Moore films and Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth").
Some critiques, currently compiled at the Hollywood Reporter (this post went directly to the underlying write-ups), are coming in, and let just say that there's no Michael Moore-level fawning:
Matthew Yglesias has been posting at Slate.com, supposedly a paragon of online establishment press journalism, as a business and economics correspondent since November of last year. His background is unmistakably leftist: ThinkProgress, the Atlantic, TPM Media, and the American Prospect.
On Saturday, a Yglesias found a blog post which was apparently too good to check at The Richmonder, a lefty enterprise run by Jerel Wilmore. The Richmonder's post claimed that "Paul Ryan traded on insider information to avoid 2008 crash" (post has been retracted; excerpt was obtained at democraticunderground.com; some of what follows is also here):
"Do You Believe Obama Actually Changed His Mind About Gay Marriage?"
That was the question posed in the title of a column written by Slate editor David Plotz. And here is his succinct answer:
In sharp contrast to the misty-eyed hallelujahs offered up by most of the mainstream media in the wake of President Obama's "evolution" to the point where he announced his support of gay marriage, Plotz remains extremely skeptical about his supposed conversion:
Ten years ago, perky actress Jennifer Love Hewitt tried to jump-start a music career with a song titled “Bare Naked.” Now she’s trying that attention-grabbing tactic again with a sleazy new Lifetime series called “The Client List.” She plays a massage therapist who turns tricks.
That network has adopted a new slogan: “This is not your mother’s Lifetime.” That’s appropriate for a new drama with a single-mother whore at its sympathetic center. We learn she was forced into being a sex worker when her husband mysteriously left her – you know, the way of the world for single moms.
While journalists were tripping over themselves last week to leave Obama's daughter Malia alone on her fancy school's trip to Mexico, and everyone remembers the great media blackout of Chelsea Clinton (including the removal of Saturday Night Live jokes), the liberal site Slate.com held a caption contest on their "Browbeat" blog.
Heather Murphy chose a picture of Santorum's daughters Elizabeth (born in 1991) and Sarah Maria (born in 1998). Sadly, liberal commenters predictably started mocking how these daughters -- yes, including the middle-schooler -- are on contraceptives, or wearing chastity belts, or touching themselves:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on a trip underwritten by the U.S. State Department (aren't justices expected to keep their distances from the government to protect their perceived impartiality?), was in Egypt on Wednesday at a Cairo University law school seminar. While there, according to the Associated Press's Mark Sherman, she told students that (in Sherman's words) "she was inspired by last year's protests that led to the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime" and to speak to them (in her words) "during this exceptional transitional period to a real democratic state." The news that Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties now control about 75% of the seats in the country's parliament seems not to have registered with Ginsburg or Sherman -- or, for that matter, the State Department.
Sherman's AP story failed to note what Ms. Ginsburg said about the U.S. Constitution in an Egyptian TV interview, as did virtually all of the rest of the establishment press. ABC's Ariane de Vogue is currently the most notable exception, but as readers will see, she clearly buried the lede. Here are key paragraphs from her report (the related video is at Hot Air; the relevant portion begins at the 9:28 mark; bolds are mine):
In the movie, the Muppets are out to save their studio and prevent Richman from destroying it to drill for oil. “Follow the Money” host Bolling said at the end of his segment, “We’re teaching our kids class warfare. What are we, communist China?” Apparently this expression of exasperation caused HuffPo to say he went “McCarthy” on the movie.
You Tube is launching a series of nearly 100 new channels. The set of new channels is laden with liberal voices and controversial material, and is practically devoid of conservative and Christian voices.
One of the most popular articles on the liberal website Slate right now is by former Newsweek legal reporter Dahlia Lithwick, denouncing the "mainstream media" which fail to understand the Occupy Wall Street movement. The article is titled "Occupy the No-Spin Zone." Lithwick speaks as a participant, since "I spent time this weekend at Occupy Wall Street and my husband spent much of last week adding his voice to the protesters there." (Her husband, Aaron Fein, is a sculptor, so he has the free time.)
Dahlia's not just denouncing Fox News (all liberals do), but denouncing the mainstream media for not being leftist enough, for devoting "four mind-numbing years" to chronicling the Kardashians and taking the Palin family seriously:
During Thursday's 12 p.m. ET hour on MSNBC, host Contessa Brewer, who is soon to be leaving the anchor chair, declared that moderate Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman was "trying to turn things around with a new take-no-prisoners strategy, calling out his conservative competitors for their far-right views."
Brewer talked to Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the liberal Slate magazine, who wrote a fawning profile of Huntsman for Vogue magazine. She wondered: "Is Jon Huntsman sort of an anti-Republican?" Weisberg didn't agree with that description, but argued: "He's what used to be the mainstream of the party, he's the kind of Republican who could win a national election against Democrats....But for some reason, for various reasons, the Republican Party seems to have been taken over by the Tea Party movement, by these sort of patriotic anarchists."
It’s hard to keep up with what the media and the left deem acceptable. Seems like just last year Anderson Cooper publicly took offense at a line from a movie. Come to think of it, it was just last year that the CNN anchor found “That’s so gay,” upsetting to his perfectly honed PC sensibilities.
Fast forward a year. Many people are accusing two currently prominent figures of being gay. But don’t hold your breath waiting for indignant coverage from Cooper and the rest of the media, because it’s liberals leveling the charge against conservatives.
Take, for example, Marcus Bachmann, husband of GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.). The Bachmanns have been married more than 30 years, and have five children. Mr. Bachmann runs a clinic that offers Christian counseling to people struggling with “unwanted” homosexual feelings – derisively termed “praying away the gay” by liberals.
The "erosion" of progressive policies in the U.S. has led to a "dramatic" rise of economic inequality in the past few decades, writes Princeton historian Julian Zelizer in a CNN.com op-ed. The incline has been so steep that Zelizer's headline asks "Are we heading for royal weddings in the U.S.?"
According to Zelizer, the upcoming British royal wedding "reminds some Americans of what America has never been," because America has never cherished an aristocratic tradition. But that could change due to a "dangerous accretion of power by wealthy interests and a dramatic rise of inequality...that weakens the health of our democracy."
In an interview with CNSNews.com last week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) referenced President Obama's African-American heritage last week and "found it remarkable" that he could be pro-abortion. Santorum, later clarifying his comments under media scrutiny, said he meant he is dismayed that a President who "rightfully" fights for civil rights ignores the civil rights of the unborn in America.
Santorum, speaking of President Obama's position on abortion, said in the interview "the question is--and this is what Barack Obama didn't want to answer--is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that person, human life, is not a person, then I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people."
The media picked up on the comment and, without publishing what Santorum said leading up to the segment, questioned if he had racial motivations. Jennifer Epstein's Politico piece was headlined "Rick Santorum plays race card on President Obama." Epstein labeled Santorum's remark "eyebrow-raising."
It's the season of good cheer and if you want a really good belly laugh then check out David Weigel's August prediction in Slate that the Democrats in the lame duck session of Congress would NOT attempt to ram through legislation in the final days as their term winds down. Here is Weigel proving he is something less than another Nostradamus with his August assertion that the conservative suspicion at the time that Congress would attempt such a maneuver was really nothing but silly political paranoia:
...The latest attack comes from Republicans who demand that Democrats promise not to 1) call a lame duck session after the election or 2) pass anything substantial if they do call it.
Anxiety was pretty high in the heat of battle with the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. However, a lot of that tension exists beyond the state of Delaware and there have been self-proclaimed conventional wisdom wizards critical of how the electoral process in Delaware has worked itself out.
"This is absolutely pathetic," Weigel wrote of Levin's critique. "No, Mark, when reporters investigate female candidates, they are not ‘obsessed,' any more than you're obsessed with Hillary Clinton when you call her 'her thighness' and ‘Hillary Rotten Clinton.' They're reporting. For all of your posing about legal theory and the Constitution, you make it pretty clear here that you're a political hack."
Imagine for a moment you were the editor of a magazine owned by the Washington Post and Newsweek. Would you a day before the ninth anniversary of 9/11 publish an article with the following headline:
The Talibanization of America Viewed from Pakistan, the rise of U.S. Islamophobia looks depressingly familiar.
Seems rather inflammatory hours before such a solemn day in America, don't you think?
Yet, such was published Friday by Foreign Policy magazine, an affiliate of the Slate Group.
Sadly, the contents - which in paragraph three equated former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with prospective Koran burner Terry Jones - will likely be even more offensive to the vast majority of Americans especially on September 11:
If Anne Applebaum is to be believed, the existence of primary sources is in and of itself the reason the dead-trees should be kept around. She writes for Slate:
I didn't think it was possible, but Julian Assange has now done it: By releasing 92,000 documents full of Afghanistan intelligence onto the laptops of an unsuspecting public, the founder of Wikileaks has finally made an ironclad case for the mainstream media. If you were under the impression that we don't need news organizations, editors, or reporters with more than 10 minutes' experience anymore, then think again. The notion that the Internet can replace traditional news-gathering has just been revealed to be a myth.
Ironically, that passage shows one of the key problems with the mainstream media: they don't know anything. The Afghanistan documents collected by Wikileaks are not "intelligence," but field reports from regular combat units and special forces. Also, the notion that Wikileaks is some kind of news organization when it is really an online repository of documents-i.e. sources instead of reportage-shows the kind of unfamiliarity with basic facts that people like Applebaum, in the mainstream media, wrongly attribute to Wikipedia and ignore in themselves.
Managing Editor's Note: What follows is an open letter from NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell to Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli about the controversial [now defunct] e-mail listserv JournoList, founded and operated by the Post's Ezra Klein.
The JournoList scandal is getting worse every day and The Washington Post is at the center of it. Blogger Ezra Klein ran the operation and at least three other staffers were members. (Blogger Greg Sargent claims he wasn't a member after he joined the Post.) In addition, at least one member of Slate and two from Newsweek, also owned by Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, were members.
The almost constant revelations of political activism and journalistic conspiracy raise an enormous number of questions about Post policies, professionalism and ethics. As a conservative, and therefore a member of the movement JournoListers sought to demonize, I feel Post readers are owed full disclosure.
Any understanding of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics makes clear this list and the Post's involvement violate a number of ethical guidelines. In fact, much of the code seems to have been ignored. Here are just a few examples from the code.
Barely a month after Dave Weigel resigned from the Washington Post, he has been hired by…the Washington Post.
Well, to be more specific, by Post subsidiary Slate Magazine. Michael Calderone tweeted the news this evening, and Weigel confirmed shortly thereafter.
Weigel's resignation came after it was revealed he had made derogatory and highly offensive comments towards prominent conservatives on the liberal media listserv JournoList. Those included suggesting that Matt Drudge should set himself on fire, wishing death on Rush Limbaugh (incidentally, he wasn't the only JournoLister to do so), and dubbing Newt Gingrich an "amoral blowhard."
It wasn't the first time Weigel got in trouble for offensive comments. It wasn't the first time he took heat over comments made about Matt Drudge. He also called gay marriage opponents bigots, sparking outrage from some on the right.
Since Weigel had been hired to cover the political right, most conservatives believed he would be a counterweight to Ezra Klein, who covers the liberal beat on his own WaPo blog. Weigel's comments confirmed (though anyone who had read his work already suspected) that he would not bring that hoped-for balance.
"It's called legwork, it's called immersion journalism, and it doesn't look pretty. But it should come as a surprise to only naive newspaper readers that every day journalists treat the subjects of investigations the way [Joe] McGinniss is treating Palin," Slate's Jack Shafer argued in a May 26 post subheadlined, "In defense of a journalist's stalking of a politician."
Shafer wrote his post because, after all, he felt he had to in some way publicly "commend the writer for an act of journalistic a**holery —renting the house next door to the Palin family in Wasilla, Alaska."
Far from crossing any ethical lines, to Shafer, McGinniss's move "honors a long tradition of snooping" and is worthy of applause from hard-bitten gumshoe reporters everywhere:
Does anyone remember when the liberal intellectuals decried populism coming from the likes of Glenn Beck and other conservatives that was aimed at the direction the country is going under the leadership of President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress?
Apparently it is OK to cry foul on so-called populist rants when the mouthpieces tend to be right-of-center. But now, with Congress debating financial regulation, this sort of above-the-fray approach has gone by the wayside, at least for Slate.com. On Slate's Political Gabfest podcast for April 22, moderator John Dickerson asked his panel consisting of Slate editor David Plotz and Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon, if Wall Street banks had a responsibility to self-regulate and do what's right as opposed to solely relying on legislation to set the boundaries. That inspired an "impassioned" populist response from Plotz.