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Month: June 2010

Number 153

Journalism, The Shamed Occupation They aren’t all naughty. Still…if they were all tossed out and replaced by randomly-chosen, literate, sane individuals, the result would probably be salutary. Consider, for example, the case of The Washington Post’s attempts to settle the hash of the political right. The WaPo considers Tea Partiers, conservatives, libertarians, individualists and their variegated ilk incomprehensible. After all, Sarah Palin! Who can fathom the madness? So the paper hired one Dave Weigel to do his best for the greater good. Dave started cranking out the prose, and in a trice it was obvious that the WaPo was using him to attempt yet another character assassination of the voters who believe in financial probity, the US federal constitution, and free markets. The culture war is still being waged, and the “progressive” strategy is unaltered. What began with censorship, deceit and secrets continued for a while, as the WaPo proceeded according to “progressive” rules of engagement. Weigel was just another “reporter” pretending to be objective while trashing the Tea Partiers. Well, somebody decided to blow the whistle on him. (It appears likely the rat was a comrade of his who was settling a score.) Exposed, Weigel quit. Note, please, that he did that not because he had faked a quote or committed plagiarism (Maureen Dowd did both, and is still employed by the NY Times, so maybe those offenses...

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Number 152

The Disasters Begin with the oil spill in the Gulf. As this is written, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the public and the press cannot make much sense of what happened and what is happening (in spite of some smug attempts to answer the many questions — see hyperlinks below). Whether blame should or can be assigned to a number of individuals and groups is hard to determine; this newsletter believes it likely that a large dose of Bad Luck was involved. Virtually all commentary on these issues must be considered conditional. The latest news — which will be old news when you read this — is that the federal government has ordered a halt to dredging and berm construction intended to protect the coast of Louisiana. The most upsetting aspect of this decision is that now the final say on whether to resume dredging as before is up to the president. Once again the nation faces a crisis with a mere lawyer — and a bad one, at that — in a position to make a policy decision. This newsletter has complained in past months that it is a terrible idea to assign virtually any and all tasks, however technical and specialized, to people who are unqualified by training and experience. The horrible examples of Jamie Gorelick and Barney Frank should prove the point. A law degree...

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Number 151

The New Terrapin Gazette This Number was originally published as The Lynx Bulletin Number 151 17 June 2010 The Press, Obama, And The Next Three Years Obama is losing his seductive power to ensorcel the nation’s journalists, according to three severely negative critiques — Mark Steyn’s first, and then this from the NY Post, and finally a longer essay on the subject. Golly. Is the press abandoning Obama? No. The overwhelming majority of editors and reporters still solidly support The One’s basic mission, as they understand it. The journalists are just trying to appear unbiased. They are of and for the collectivist faction in US politics, and until the next presidential election is a lot closer, they will maintain — but not be so obvious about — their ideological solidarity with Obama. That means the censorship will continue; selected stories will be narrowly reported; the Tea Party Movement will be under-reported, mocked and trivialized; the disastrous US foreign policy will receive little objective coverage and less helpful analysis and interpretation; immigration issues will be ignored or misrepresented; the truth about Islam will be ignored; and the entire concept of individual rights (speech, press, voting, firearms, education) will be reported from an authoritarian collectivist standpoint. In partial disagreement with Obama, negative reports from Afghanistan will be highlighted, and the multiculturalist press will harp on the frustrations of an “unwinnable” war. A partisan hue will characterize reporting...

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Number 150

The Candidate, The President, The Spill, The Crazies A lot of Obama voters, outraged by the catastrophe that has overwhelmed a for-profit corporation, are savaging The One for a failure of leadership. Along with Sarah Palin, they are howling that BP (which hates to be called British Petroleum) and the president were too close and cuddly. The claim is that the improper relationship essentially gave BP all it wanted, so effective regulation was lacking. How odd that it doesn’t bother these people to know that they and the loathed Sarah Palin agree on something. There is no way to show that somehow the USA could have prevented the Gulf oil spill by getting tough with BP and with the contractor BP hired to set up the platform and do the drilling. Obama was not under BP control any more than any president ever was. Conspiracy theories about how BP evaded regulation are just ignorant speculation and biased assumptions. They are being promoted by people who have been stung because they invested faith in Obama. They should have seen through the man many months ago. Look, he was a hardcore Marxist when an undergraduate, a failed instructor in a law school (never a professor), a failed state legislator, and a failed federal senator. He never even left the starting gate. He has hidden his past as well as he can,...

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Number 149

The Requisite Unmasking And Trivialization Of Hirsi Ali Few entrants in the contest to decide who shall make policy for the defense of the West are as iconic as Hirsi Ali. (More on her is available here and here.) Former Muslim, victim of that faith and tribal brutality, and authoritative reporter on the Islamic mentality, she has the courage to insist that Liberty must prevail over Islam. Accordingly, she is a target of Western proponents of cultural suicide — the multiculturalists and appeasers. But how to attack her? Her facts are irrefutable, and her experiences give her credibility that cannot be countered by ideological casuistry. Still, the effort must be made, and surely no more suitable base from which to conduct the assault can be found than The New Yorker, the Bicoastal Elite’s equivalent of National Socialism’s Voelkischer Beobachter. The tactics of the attack are predictable: first, establish Hirsi Ali’s bona fides. Lead the reader gently into feeling sympathy for the woman; explain that she has been wounded. Then portray her as tough, relentless, astoundingly articulate, and lethally clever. Finally, when she has been given her due as if she were an invulnerable Amazon, reveal and exhibit her weaknesses. She then stands discredited as a fanatic, a zealot whose blind hatred springs from a sensitive nature that was abused — and now knows neither reason nor perspective. Like Whittaker...

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