Don’t Know Much About History

The New York Times continues to misrepresent historical facts. Its recent tenth anniversary retrospective of the Tea Party movement is yet another example of woke revisionism. The Times portrays the Tea Party as raaaaacist, and David Harsanyi has a post over at The Federalist taking them to task for their shoddy reporting.

In the first draft of this piece, I joked that The New York Times might add a line about Tea Party “racism” before the day was over to placate the Twitter mob. They did it before I could even publish. But it doesn’t change the fact that there’s no evidence that a “good deal”—or any substantial deal, for that matter—of the Tea Party’s popularity was propelled by racism.

Read the whole thing.

Don’t Know Much About History

Erick Erickson has a post over at The Resurgent fact checking The New York Times‘ 1619 Project, a potentially worthwhile endeavor designed to educate Americans about slavery and the role it has played in the new world. However, the newspaper has turned the project over to a group of opinion writers who appear more interested in stoking and fueling racial grievances than truthfully exploring the nation’s history.

The essay Erickson fact checks begins by getting key details of 17th-century history wrong.

The Times has set about inserting race into everything and demanding we all see race in everything. 1619 is our “true founding.” No, actually, historically that is not true in any way shape or form.

In fact, the House of Burgesses convened in Jamestown, Virginia on July 30, 1619, before any African had set foot on the North American continent. The Mayflower pilgrims landed in New England in 1620, completely separated from those in Jamestown, with different goals, views, values, and priorities. It is also worth noting that white indentured servants outnumbered slaves and arrived before slaves. Quibble all you want with the distinctions, but in 1619 they were roughly treated the same — terribly on all counts.

To make it all about slavery is to ignore that there were already Europeans in North America before the first slave arrived and there were Europeans arriving in America in different locations quite apart from where slavery was. For a project that claims truth for itself, it is deeply untrue to truth and reality. The pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1620 were not exactly a group of slave holders as they were setting up shop, forming modes of government, and adopting private property and capitalist meta-structures to avoid failures from collective farming.

In fact, in 1623, still well before slavery made it into pilgrim settlements, the Plymouth Plantation abandoned communal property rights in favor of private property rights and a system of free enterprise.

The Times‘ essay’s misrepresentation of history continues to the present era, falsely claiming, for example, that the Republicans took control of the Senate in 2010.

Americans, particularly white Americans, need to learn more about slavery in the United States. But doing so on the premise that the United States itself is flawed and illegitimate is not the way to do it. Sadly, that’s what so much of the Times’ coverage amounts to.

If the nation is founded on slavery and slavery is woven into the very fabric of our society, then our society is illegitimate. The only way to overcome it is to overturn it. That would take revolution. This is the path the New York Times goes down. Once it lights this fire, it will not be able to control it. But it wants to strike the match anyway.

Read the whole thing.

The New York Times and Defamation

Before I get started on this post, I should note that I have been personally sued for defamation seven times because of what I have written on this blog. I’ve won all of those cases because what I’d written was true. I believe there should be very few exceptions to the protection of truthful speech. I also believe that we all should be free to state our opinions. Knowing, malicious lies don’t deserve such protection.

Having said that, I’d like to take note of the fact that the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reversed a trial court’s dismissal of Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against the New York Times. The dismissal was on procedural grounds, and John HInderaker has a good explanation of that at PowerLine. The Second Circuit also found Palin had stated her claim with sufficient plausibility that the case should proceed to the discovery phase.

Palin claims that a Times editorial contained a false statement connecting her to 2012 shooting of Gabby Gifford. Palin lawsuit notes the editor who wrote the allegedly defamatory piece is the brother of a politician who Gifford had endorsed and who was opposed by Palin. (In fact, Palin had endorsed the opponent.) The editor had testified that he didn’t know that the Times‘ previous reporting has shown no connection between Palin and the shooter. OTOH, it’s not unreasonable to suspect that the editor might have a personal grudge against Palin because of her political opposition to his brother, and that led him to maliciously making a false statement in the editorial.

So Palin v. New York Times will proceed to discovery. This could be interesting.