Who buys tickets? Critics or audiences?
Andrea Mitchell (B.A., English Lit., Penn., 1967) had a bad day on Twitter yesterday after failing to recognize Macbeth as the original source of a quote. Speaking of Macbeth, here are a few more lines from the play that seem to fit the news of the day—
The Three Witches/Impeachment Managers: Fair is foul, and foul is fair …
Second Witch/Eric: I’ll give thee a wind.
The Three Witches/Impeachment Managers: A deed without a name.
Our revels now are ended …
If you consider the great journalists in history, you don’t see too many objective journalists on that list. H. L. Mencken was not objective. Mike Royko, who just died. I. F. Stone was not objective. Mark Twain was not objective. I don’t quite understand this worship of objectivity in journalism. Now, just flat-out lying is different from being subjective.
—Hunter S. Thompson
Yesterday’s TKPOTD alluded to the connections that both Joe Biden and Brett Kimberlin have to Ukrainian interests. One of Kimberlin’s not-for-profits is Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc. EMPR is EuroMaidan Public Relations, and empr dot media is an English-lanugauge Ukrainian news site. Kimberlin also has ties to the Chalupa sisters, Alexandra Chalupa appears to have been involved in some of the Democrats’ shenanigans related to Ukraine during the 2016 election, and Kimberlin was involved in at least one of the attempts to dig up false documents for use against the Trump administration in 2017.
The have been other uses of Kimberlin in the #I’mWithJoe meme. For example, …If the Gentle Reader doesn’t know the backstory related to that tweet, this post may help.
Jon Gabriel has a post over at Ricochet suggesting that CNN might do well to change its format back to news reporting.
If CNN wants to survive our fractured media landscape, they need to take desperate action: abandon their failed politics-only format and return to news and information. …
You know, actual news and information. Families who keep the TV on all day would just leave it on CNN. Those taking a break from the home office would dip in every few hours for the latest. Over time, the network could replace high-priced pontificators with calm newsreaders. The public would be better informed and perhaps further mitigate the pandemic.
Yeah, and with better ratings, ad revenue would increase.
BTW, tonight is the anniversary of the most important news story I was ever involved in reporting. It was in 1968 when I was 20 years old. As the evening newscaster on a clear channel AM station I had a cumulative 2,000,000 listeners that evening—more than almost any CNN program.
About the only power you have is the power to discriminate. Living in a culture like this, you have to make choices and search out what has the most authentic content or substance
Those who read own the world, and those who watch television lose it.
It’s being reported that the Baby Yoda character on the new Disney series The Mandalorian is generating twice as much social media buzz as any of the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates.
It seems The Force is more powerful than The Farce.
Don’t start an argument with somebody who has a microphone when you don’t.
This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran four years ago today.
* * * * *
SOUND: Landline phone rings once.
JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.
LT. BRADSHAW: (Telephone Filter) Atsign, it’s Bradshaw.
JOHNNY: Why, Lieutenant, to what do I owe the honor?
LT. BRADSHAW: (Telephone Filter) Cut the sarcasm, Atsign. As much as I hate to admit it, I need some help.
JOHNNY: From me, Lieutenant?
LT. BRADSHAW: (Telephone Filter) Yeah. From you, Atsign.
JOHNNY: You must be in one helluva hole. Tell me more.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …
JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading
Only one of these organization admits to publishing fiction. One story has its basis in unverified claims. One story is a reasonable parody of what was actually said.
But one of the publications has a good crossword puzzle feature.
The Daily Beast reports that ThinkProgress is for sale. The Progressive news site has been the launching pad for the careers of several prominent leftwing journalists, but it’s losing more money that the Center for American Progress, the leftwing think tank that owns it, can afford. The site is expects to lose $3 million this year.
ThinkProgress has never been profitable. In the past, it has made up its shortfalls with contributions from CAP and CAP donors. Several ThinkProgress alums told The Daily Beast that they believed that CAP could continue covering the deficit but had concluded that the site was too much of an editorial headache and too big a financial drain for them to rationalize doing so.
One of the things I learned even before I took Econ 101 was that if too few people want to pay for your product, it will fail in the market place. ThinkProgress has had over a decade to find a functional business model. It doesn’t have the Real World eyeballs and clicks to survive on ad revenue. It hasn’t attracted a subscriber base. It hasn’t attracted sugar daddy donors. And now, it seems to have become more trouble that it’s worth as a propaganda arm for its related think tank.
I suspect that someone will buy it cheap (Remember when Newsweek sold for a dollar?), and it will struggle along as a vanity project á là The New Republic for a while.
Congratulations to Project Veritas on its victory in court yesterday. They were being sued for defamation in a federal court in North Carolina, and Judge Martin K. Reidinger granted them a directed verdict when the plaintiff failed to produce enough evidence for the case to go to the jury. The judge said this in his ruling (beginning at the bottom of page 14 of the transcript below):
The law requires, and the Supreme Court has made clear under the Liberty Lobby case, that I not only have to look at this from the standpoint of whether or not there is the thinnest of thin reeds, that scintilla of evidence, but rather whether a jury could find by clear and convincing evidence that there was actual malice. And these very thin reeds, which I believe as to several of these are really no evidence of malice at all, are insufficient to meet that standard. Therefore, for that reason, the defendant’s motion — defendant’s motions pursuant to Rule 50 will be granted.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50 deals with ruling on matters of law during a jury trial. Judge Reidinger continued:
Whenever I have something that is of particular difficulty, such as this case, it is my ordinary, knee-jerk reaction to tell the party that I’ve ruled against that I urge you to have the court of appeals go grade my paper. To that end, I will say that I will follow this up with a written order before I enter a judgment in this matter that will further elucidate what I’m talking about.
And I do have an inclination to say exactly that. I think that if I got this wrong I’d certainly like for somebody to tell me that I got it wrong. I have a little bit of hesitation in saying that this time. Because if I’ve gotten this wrong, and the Fourth Circuit says that this is not what the law is, I hesitate to think where the First Amendment is going in this country.
It’s always good First Amendment news when a frivolous defamation LOLsuit fails, and I have to admit that seeing one fail because the plaintiff couldn’t come up with a “scintilla” of evidence at trial has a certain resonance for me.
The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill that would put significant restrictions on abortion if it becomes law. The bill contains, get ready for today’s talking point, “no exceptions for rape or incest.” That phrase appears in the headlines in stories about the bill from the Washington Post and CBS News; the lack of such exceptions figures in stories from the AP, Reuters, and other sources. The real problem that Progressives have with the bill is that it outlaws abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It seems that they’re trying to use the lack of exceptions for the rare instance of rape and incest as a way painting the bill’s supports as out-of-the-mainstream extremists. We’re also beginning to see stories about Rowe v. Wade being in danger of reversal by the Supreme Court. I expect to hear the tip jars rattling at various presidential campaigns quite soon.
I’m not in favor of rape or incest but I believe it’s a good thing that we no longer treat rape as a capital crime and hang the perpetrators. I also believe that we shouldn’t kill either of the victims of a rape, so I’ve never understood why it makes sense to allow killing a child because he or she was conceived during a rape. I feel the same way about killing a child conceived incestuously.
… and even The Nation gets it.
The real Russiagate scandal is the damage it has done to our democratic system and media.
For more than two years, leading US political and media voices promoted a narrative that Donald Trump conspired with or was compromised by the Kremlin, and that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would prove it. In the process, they overlooked countervailing evidence and diverted anti-Trump energies into fervent speculation and prolonged anticipation. So long as Mueller was on the case, it was possible to believe that “The Walls Are Closing In” on the traitor/puppet/asset in the White House.
In the end, Mueller’s report shows that the Trump-Russia collusion narrative embraced and evangelized by the US political and media establishments to be a work of fiction. The American public was presented with a far different picture from what was expected, because leading pundits, outlets, and politicians ignored the countervailing facts and promoted maximalist interpretations of others. Anonymous officials also leaked explosive yet uncorroborated claims, leaving behind many stories that were subsequently discredited, retracted, or remain unconfirmed to this day.
It is too early to assess the damage that influential Russiagate promoters have done to their own reputations; to public confidence in our democratic system and media; and to the prospects of defeating Trump, who always stood to benefit if the all-consuming conspiracy theory ultimately collapsed. The scale of the wreckage, confirmed by Mueller’s report, may prove to be the ultimate Russiagate scandal.
Note to the Democrats and the Media (but I repeat myself): When you’ve lost The Nation, it’s time to pack it in.
This is the sort of thing that happens when the required course in The History of Western Civilization gets dropped as a requirement for a B.A. degree.
The Babylon Bee was in top form yesterday. First, it zinged the Collusion Truthers.Then it zapped a sizable crowd of Trump supporters.Donald Trump is a flawed individual. While the Mueller Report does find that Trump and the people around him did not engage in the “collusion” with a foreign power during 2016 election (or obstruct an investigation into something that didn’t happen), it also reveals some of the tawdry behavior that went on during the election campaign and its aftermath.
OTOH, imagine that Hillary Clinton had won the election. Would the Democrat’s interactions with Ukraine have been investigated? If so, would she have refrained from exercising executive privilege to conceal any special counsel’s report?
I’ll leave it to the Gentle Reader to puzzle through that exercise in alternate history.
Roger Kimball has a piece over at American Greatness about the criminal referrals being made by Congressman Nunes to the Department of Justice. There are eight referrals which may involve upwards of twenty persons. Five are for specific crimes such as lying to Congress or leaking classified information. Three are more open-ended: Conspiracy to lie to the FISA court, manipulation of intelligence for partisan political ends, and what Nunes calls “global leaks” of highly sensitive information (such as the contents of telephone calls between President Trump and foreign leaders). Who had access to such information?
Who used it illegally?
But who do you think makes the list? Were I a modern-day Koko, my little list would include former CIA Director John Brennan, an implacable enemy of the president and a good candidate for the title of fons et origo of the Trump-Russia investigation.
It would include the FBI’s Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former acting attorney general Sally Yates, Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie who (unbelievably) actually worked for Fusion GPS.
That other James, the oleaginous James Comey, former Director of the FBI, would certainly be on the list, as would several people in the Obama Administration: the aforementioned Susan Rice, for example, and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, who, like Rice, did a lot of unmasking in her final months in office.
There are others—quite a few others, in fact, as anyone who has been keeping up with the reporting on this unfolding scandal knows well.
Read the whole thing.
Sticking with allusions to The Mikado, let’s hope that Attorney General Barr channels the title character.
My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime …
Victor Davis Hanson has a post over at American Greatness that takes a look at how the tables have turned on at least some of the perpetrators of the Russian Collusion Hoax.
It will be difficult to unravel all of the above lying, distortion, and unethical and illegal conduct.
The motives of these bad actors are diverse, but they share a common denominator. As Washington politicos and administrative state careerists, all of them believed that Donald Trump was so abhorrent that he should be prevented from winning the 2016 election. After his stunning and shocking victory, they assumed further that either he should not be inaugurated or he should be removed from office as soon as they could arrange it.
They further reasoned that as high and esteemed unelected officials their efforts were above and beyond the law, and rightly so, given their assumed superior wisdom and morality.
Finally, if their initial efforts were predicated on winning not just exemption from the law, but even promotions and kudos from a grateful President Hillary Clinton, their subsequent energies at removing Trump and investing in the collusion hoax were preemptive and defensive. Seeding the collusion hoax was a way either of removing Trump who had the presidential power to call them all to account for their illegality, or at least causing so much media chaos and political havoc that their own crimes and misdemeanors would be forgotten by becoming submerged amid years of scandal, conspiracies, and media sensationalism.
And they were almost—but so far not quite—correct in all their assumptions.
The Truth is out there.
And so are Karma and Nemesis.
I’m so old, I remember when Reality was supposed to have a “liberal bias.”And Reality has been doing violence to much of the Left’s cherished agenda for the past few days.
Leftist ideas can’t withstand debate. Leftists know that, which is why they’re always trying to silence their opponents, generally in the name of some sort of decency or compassion that they themselves spectacularly lack.
Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.
—Narcotics Anonymous, Basic Text, p. 19
This the oldest known version of that definition of insanity, and it seems to fit the addictive behavior of much of The Media and many leftwing politicians following the submission of the Mueller Report. Rather that move on, they’re trying to spin the narrative back to … to … um … well, there has to be a there there, because otherwise they would have to admit that they are powerless over the results of the 2016 election and our lives have become unmanageable by them. (Their lives are unmanageable too, but it’s their inability to control the lives of others that’s frightening them.)
Don’t look for them to come to believe that there is a Power greater than themselves either.
Nicholas Sandmann, the high school student from Covington, Kentucky, at the center of an incident at the Lincoln Memorial has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post, claiming the newspaper “vilified” him because he is white.
The lawsuit seeks $250 million in damages, the amount Jeff Bezos paid for the Post in 2013.
Defamation Thrives in Derpness.
UPDATE—The complaint can be read here.
There is crime in Chicago, plenty of it, so much that there’s no real need for fake crime for the cops to waste their time solving. However, that didn’t keep Jussie Smollet from his … what was it? … publicity stunt? … political theatre? I’ve stayed away from that story on the off-chance that it wasn’t a hoax, but it’s now fairly clear the only crime that may have been filing a false police report. Frankly, I’ve had more interesting things to deal with than yet another bit of poorly crafted fake news.
Stacy goes through the facts of the story, beginning with the temperature in Chicago (-4 F) when the imaginary assault was supposed to have happened and noting how flimsy the tale was from the start.
Common-sense skepticism is our best defense against the myths created by what Trump likes to call the “fake news” media. Maybe next time, they’ll get away with it, but this latest debacle, coming on the heels of the Left’s debunked smear of the Covington Catholic boys, has only further eroded the credibility of the president’s enemies. It’s gonna be four below zero in Hell before we trust them again.
Peter makes the interesting observation that the Democrats’ racism appears to have become inverted over the last century. He compares Jussie Smollet’s claims and the Left’s reaction to them to those of Mayella Ewell and the reaction of the all-white jury in To Kill a Mocking Bird.
He knew his community, the solid Democrat liberal/Hollywood/Media left. He knew their prejudices and counted on him backing up his story because it fit everything they believed. … The adjectives might have changed in 70-100 years but the Democrat playbook remains exactly the same.
Read both of them all the way through.
There was this dossier, but it turned out to be fake.
There was this Viet Nam veteran, but he turned out to be fake.
There was this hate crime in Chicago, …
One of the complaints from the Left about the Right’s seizing and pouncing on Democrat’s gaffes is that the Right is manufacturing outrage about anti-semitism or economic derpness or abortion/infanticide. OK, but to the extent that any outrage was manufactured the process involved telling the truth about what was actually said or done by Democrats.
OTOH, the outrage stirred up against the Covington kids was based on lies.
I believe the Gentle Reader can readily sort out the intrinsic difference between the two approaches.