Unfreedom of the Press – Pt 1 Or how to drive the mainstream media insane in a few easy steps By Amanda S. Green

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Unfreedom of the Press – Pt 1

Or how to drive the mainstream media insane in a few easy steps

By Amanda S. Green

Let’s face it. Mark R. Levin is far from beloved by the MSM. Conservative, a never-Trumper turned into cheerleader for the President. Someone who loves to poke holes in the liberal agenda. Now, compounding his sins against his liberal betters (yes, I almost choked writing that) comes his latest book, Unfreedom of the Press. Let me tell you, Levin holds no punches as he attacks the liberal media.

With the release of the book two weeks ago, a number of media mavens have attacked not only Levin but the premise behind the book. That’s not unexpected. After all, he’s attacked their way of doing business and is unapologetic for it. How dare he point out a bias they try very hard to tell the rest of us isn’t there!

They claim he didn’t visit any newsroom—despite the fact he’s worked for Fox News and had his own syndicated radio show. They claim he didn’t come to them for comments. They condemn him for—gasp—using research and facts gathered by other sources, sources they often use themselves to push their own agenda. His only sin, it seems, is in failing to stick to their narrative.

Bad Levin! Bad!

Before I get to what bothers me about the book, what does Levin have to say? In the opening chapter or two he pretty much lays out the roadmap for the rest of the book. The media has strayed from its origins and no longer just reports the news but is trying to shape the way we, the reading and viewing public, not only see it but believe it.

He admits the news has never really been unbiased but he points out that, in the not-too-distant past, newsrooms at least tried for diversity. This isn’t diversity in the way we think of it today. The editors didn’t worry about what sex or color or religion their reporters happened to be. What they wanted was diversity in opinions and beliefs. They wanted conservative and liberal reporters to balance out one another.

That “diversity”, according to Levin, helped the public have more trust in the media than it does today.

In short, Levin opens the book by claiming that it isn’t attacks from President Trump or any other form of government action that is destroying the freedom of the press in our country. It is, according to Levin, actions by the press itself:

“Indeed, social activism, progressive groupthink, Democratic Party partisanship, opinion and propaganda passed off as news, the staging of pseudo-events, self-censorship, bias by omission, and outright falsehoods are too often substituting for old-fashioned, objective fact gathering and news reporting. A self-perpetuating and reinforcing mindset has replaced independent and impartial thinking. And the American people know it. Thus the credibility of the mass media has never been lower.” (Unfreedom of the Press, pg 6)

That’s not to say opinion hasn’t been present in the news before. It has from day one. After all, many of our earliest “papers” were nothing more than reporting arms for political interests. But everyone knew those were opinion pieces, meant to convince voters to support a certain candidate or issue. Today, however, we get opinion instead of facts, propaganda instead of fair reporting.

If that wasn’t enough of a slap in the faces of all those media mavens who turn purple at the very mention of Levin’s name, he makes sure they understand he isn’t their friend:

“Unlike the early patriot press, today’s newsrooms and journalists are mostly hostile to America’s founding principles, traditions, and institutions. They do not promote free speech and press freedom, despite their self-serving and self-righteous claims. Indeed, they serve as societal filters attempting to enforce uniformity of thought and social and political activism centered on the progressive ideology and agenda. Issues, events, groups, and individuals that do not fit the narrative are dismissed or diminished; those that do fit the narrative are elevated and celebrated.” (Unfreedom of the Press, pg 7)

Part of me sits here as I type this, nodding and drawing comparisons between what Levin says about the media and what we’ve been seeing in book publishing for years, especially when it comes to fiction. But that’s another post for another time.

If you want examples of what Levin is saying, look at some of the coverage from yesterday’s D-Day commemoration in France. How many of the reports started out talking about how Trump thanked those who stormed the beaches at Normandy but ended up taking swings at Trump because, well, Trump? Even in stories that should have been testimonials to the greatness of the human spirit, these so-called reporters had to editorialize and take a swipe at a man they still can’t accept sits in the Oval Office instead of Hillary Clinton.

“It seems ‘the media’ are loath to investigate or explore ‘the media.’ However, when the conduct of the media is questioned as biased, politically partisan, or otherwise irresponsible, they insist that they are of one mission: fidelity to the news and all that stems from it–protecting society from autocratic government, defending freedom of the press, and contributing to societal civility and justice. Moreover, they typically claim to pursue and report the news free from any personal or political agenda.” (Unfreedom of the Press, pp  12-13)

Ain’t it the truth?

Levin goes on in this chapter to cite a number of polls and studies about the media, going back almost half a century. What his research shows is that the general public trusts the media less now than they have in a very long time. Oh, the liberals polled distrust it but not to the degree conservatives do. The reason for that is simple: a liberal media says more what liberal voters want to hear. Those numbers were flipped when the media was more conservative.

Levin notes an interesting possible explanation for why the media is becoming ever more liberal—the ownership of our newspapers and other media outlets. Gone are the days when our major media providers were privately or locally owned. Now, many of the are owned by corporations that are not steeped in journalism. That means they are more focused on the bottom line than they are on reporting the news, much less reporting what local readership is interested in. (Again, it reminds me of what goes on it publishing, specifically in bookstores. Now you have corporate offices in faraway places telling the store in Podunk what to stock instead of stocking items of local interest.)

I could go on, and I will next week, but you get the gist of the first couple of chapters. Levin is no fan of journalism as it stands today. But, to be brutally honest, he is guilty of many of the same sins he condemns his liberal counter-parts of. In this book, he is unashamedly pushing his own political agenda just as he has with his Fox News show and his radio broadcasts. The only difference is he doesn’t make any attempt to say he is being unbiased.

As for the complaints about the book, these first chapters are a bit of a drudge to read. He spends so much time trying to give us all these different sources showing how bad journalism is today that it bogs down. Facts and figures are great, but he needs examples as well. He also needs a good editor to break the chapters into sections—with sub-heads—to make them easier to read.

However, he does point out a real problem in our country right now. A free press is necessary to help protect our Republic. But that press needs to be representative of the people, to be diverse in ideas and not to be working hand-in-hand with a single political party.

The media owners need to step back and take a good, hard look at why their readership has declined. The answers are there, if they would just take a good, hard look at themselves. But that’s not going to happen. It is much easier to blame Trump and conservatives than it is to admit they have gotten to blatant with their propaganda we all recognize it and resent the hell out of it. Since we have alternatives—blogs, podcasts, etc—we don’t have to rely on what the corporations put out. We have other ways of getting to the news without it being fed to us through a liberal viewpoint.

The danger, of course, is that the conservative media is doing the same thing all too often as the liberal media is.

There’s an answer out there, if only the media will stop and start taking a hard look at itself.

(Help Amanda drink enough to keep snarking the unbelievable twaddle that passes for deep political thought these days.  We’ll collect for her liver transplant later. Hit her Pourboir jar now! – SAH)

124 responses to “Unfreedom of the Press – Pt 1 Or how to drive the mainstream media insane in a few easy steps By Amanda S. Green

  1. I very rarely listen to talk radio or, for that matter, watch cable news. But the one thing I respect about Levin, Hannity, and Limbaugh (and the like) is that they NEVER imply that they are unbiased observers, or that they are simply news-anchors, or in the case of people like John Stewart, (paraphrasing) “Hey, I’m just a comedian, clown nose on, clown nose off…”. Right up front, they tell you that they are partisans, that they have chosen a side. I still wouldn’t watch, but I’d have more respect for the cast of MSNBC if they were at least honest, and didn’t try to present the leftist position as common sense middle-of-the-road stuff.

    • Agreed. My issue, one of them, with this book is he doesn’t take quite that direct approach. It is very obvious from the way he frames things, however. But a balanced critique of the media it isn’t. Not that the media really deserves one. Shrug.

      • Danny Hamilton

        “Agreed. My issue, one of them, with this book is he doesn’t take quite that direct approach.”
        Problem, This is Levin, is there anyone who doesn’t know which side he is on?
        Is there anyone who doesn’t know that he speaks from that perspective?
        Does he have to say it every time?

  2. True believers, whatever their bent, are just that — true believers. They wear the glasses of their beliefs and everything is seen through them. They have worn those glasses so long that everything is out of focus and they feel ill if they don’t.

    • LOL. Very apt description. I would add that when the world doesn’t fit their vision, they will do everything they can to bring it into alignment. We’re seeing that with the way they still can’t get over Hillary not sitting in the Oval Office.

      • … they will do everything they can to bring it into alignment.

        And they will do what they can to suppress any opposition. Thus we start with what is reasonable on the surface, say the proposition that in some cases free speech may be limited, such as incitement to riot, and then incite protests against speakers who dare challenge them because it might result in a riot. (And see, they point out, it did result in a riot!)

  3. I consider the success of Woodward and Bernstein in bringing down President Nixon as a critical event. From that point forward graduates of journalism schools no longer aspired to becoming honest reporters, instead they dreamed of becoming influencers, forces that would change the world into the image that their left wing progressive instructors taught them was the natural order of things.

    • That did bring about a change in how reporters dealt with politicians. No longer did they worry about hiding their bias where politics was concerned. They aren’t as worried about a free and open discourse as they are with making sure things go the “right”–or should I say “correct”–way.

      • But is should be noted that those newsrooms pre Woodward-a-Bernstein were populated as a whole with journalists who hated Richard Nixon’s guts, but they were operating under the premise that they were supposed to be paragons of independent thought and journalistic impartiality, priests in the Priesthood of the Truth. So they had to hide their bias and report both “this guy hates Nixon” and “that guys loves Nixon”.

        The went away with Watergate, by Woodward and Bernstein – the new J-school minions saw themselves as members of the Priesthood of Justice, with a fluid internal definition of Justice which has been pushed further and further towards that Inevitable Historical Arrow thingee ever since.

        • Eh. They just hid it more. As I am wont to say, when Walter Cronkite was called “the most trusted man in America” that simply meant that he could lie through his teeth with impunity. No one would call him on it.

          • It’s true, but Cronkite understood that his status as “most trusted man” was only good so long as he kept his biases hidden. If he’d started saying on the air, “This just in, Barry Goldwater is reportedly using a bad Canadian sci-fi novel as his platform for America’s future,” he’d have lost that moniker really fast. Cronkite could lie and insert his own prejudices, but he was very careful about when to do that.

            Admittedly, it may be better now that they let their freak flags fly where everyone can see them.

            • It’s true, but Cronkite understood that his status as “most trusted man” was only good so long as he kept his biases hidden.

              That’s a large part of my point. Much, if not most, of the difference between then and now wasn’t that they were less biased. It’s that they kept the biases hidden more–a hidden pellet of poison rather than open assault and battery.

              (The vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison, the flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true.)

              • FederalSailor

                Is that because they broke the chalice from the palace?

              • Commentary on the Viet Nam war (pretty sure this was from Jerry Pournelle) was that the 1968 Tet offensive was an all-out effort by the North, and militarily, a big defeat for them. OTOH, American Media portrayed it as “All Is Lost, Let’s Go Home”. Walter Cronkite was pretty much in the forefront of that crap.

        • Once upon a time American Media understood the distinction between the news pages and the Op-Ed pages.

          Abraham Michael “Abe” Rosenthal, managing editor of The New York Times from 1970 to 1977, then executive editor until 1988, famously fought to restrain opinions to the editorial page, earning the enmity of many reporters and the respect of many more. Washington Times columnist Wesley Pruden is credited with observing about Rosenthal’s editorial policy:

          Like all good editors, Abe was both loved and loathed, the former by those who met his standards, the latter mostly by those who couldn’t keep the pace he set as City Editor, Managing Editor and finally Executive Editor. He brooked no challenges to his authority. He once told a reporter who demanded to exercise his rights by marching in a street demonstration he was assigned to cover: “OK, the rule is, you can [make love to] an elephant if you want to, but if you do you can’t cover the circus.” We call that “the Rosenthal rule.”
          Wiki

          Wikipedia reports that Rosenthal’s rumoured homophobia affected the Times coverage of issues such as the AIDS epidemic, something which might somewhat explain the paper’s present hostility to the standards he upheld.

          I would date the total abdication of the “Rosenthal Rule” by Mainstream Media to the “Journolist Scandal” — a scandal because they were caught, not because of what they were doing.

    • I consider a critical event to be us ‘losing the war in Vietnam’, and more specifically the Tet Offensive… which the NVA and Viet Cong lost to the point where they could no longer mount a particularly effective offensive, but if you listened to the American TV news ( and Cronkite in particular) we lost.

      • analytical-engine-mechanic

        This is a very significant point, that’s often not so much overlooked as simply neglected or ignored.

        The Tet Offensive (just over half a century ago now) was scary, flashy, and bloody; but in the end on a tactical/strategic, strictly-military level a dismal failure that basically consumed the Viet Cong’s ability to do anything much militarily, ever after. (I forget the names now, but there’s a book out there by a former Viet Cong leader, political-side not military-side, that basically says this straight up and from the inside looking out.)

        The North Vietnamese Army was still very much a going concern, but it didn’t really do them any favors either (IIRC), or do the South Vietnamese / ARVN as much lasting damage.

        *But* on a strategic/grand-strategic level, and specifically in the minds of so much of the “American public” (as seen by our then-Mainstream Media), what this Vietnam-era “Battle of the Belgian Bulge” managed to “teach” us was that “this war is unwinnable” — which to an imprecise but probably great extent led more or less directly to our resigning from the war as we (soon) did, doing the military equivalent of tipping over the queen and actually forcing a withdrawal in the form of a mad-rush rout (as Congress simply cut off the money cold).

        There are all sorts of reasons (many of them good ones, even as dramatic as Enola Gay’s and Bockscar’s cousins come a-callin’ with housewarmin’ gifts ca. 1946 or earlier) to believe similar press coverage of the Battle of the Bulge would not have “lost us the war” (even to the extent of allowing a Third Reich to govern postwar Germany). But it’s worth asking, how many more months of war, how many thousands more Americans (and others) would be dead, if that had happened instead of the grim but victory-focused reporting we got?

        Which leads directly to another answer to an Infrequently Asked Question: the real, on-the-ground consequences of that American rout / NVA victory.

        And, to boil down several months of (very) informal research, done mostly once upon a time in the mid-80s, to a brief, somewhat oversimplified, maybe even slightly provocative IAQ version…

        The American media, so doggedly on-mission before, turned their eyes away and their backs toward. The American left, contemporary equivalent of today’s “Hollywood liberal elite” (though a few people like “Hanoi Jane” Fonda count as both), took it for granted that our loss was a Good Thing and moved on to other causes and other narratives. The American military, of necessity, took their bitter medicne and moved on themselves, mostly sooner not later and better not worse.

        Meanwhile back in Vietnam, the (surviving) Viet Cong were basically told by their new North Vietnamese masters, “Thanks so much, run along and play nicely kids, the grownups are in charge now” — with or without an admixture of “forget all that revolution stuff, behave and obey or else bad for you!” (Do note this point well, wanna-be Marxist collaborators / useful innocents of today.)

        *Many* people went to “re-education” / concentration camps. “Only” dozens of thousands or so never came out except in body bags, or mass graves, or however. See “The Vietnamese Gulag” by Doan Van Toai, who *did* come out after a few years — still not knowing what he did “wrong” to get there. And the work of journalist Claire Sterling and others, estimating 50-60,000 dead in the camps on the low end, maybe 100,000 or much more on the high end. (Even at the *low* end, the aftermath of NVA victory killed as many Vietnamese as the whole war did Americans.)

        When is our American media gonna (finally) face *its* role in creating all this?
        I’m not holding *my* breath…

        (Also consider reading “On Strategy” by Harry Summers if you want more.)

        • Some minor additional points:

          1. The Tet Offensive served two purposes. First, it panicked the American media sitting in their bars and hotel lobbies in Saigon. There is ample evidence that journalist still have not learned the reality of initial reports from the battlefield — delivered, always, by those who cut and ran.

          Second, it eliminated the weak link of the North Vietnamese forces, the South Vietnamese irregulars (militia – I cannot recall their name) who bore the brunt of the losses in the counter-attack. They were intended as cannon fodder to be ablated while protecting the NVA regular army — a tactic used with unreliable allies since war began.

          As for the anti-war movement’s indifference to the aftermath of their “victory” … that was deliberate. Joan Baez was almost rendered a non-person for pointing out the North Vietnamese treatment of the South. The Left simply didn’t want to hear about it, they were not concerned with events in Vietnam, they only wanted to impair America’s ability to confront Communist expansionism.

          It requires very little effort to imagine the effect a modern press might have had in WWII. Not simply the Battle of the Bulge, imagine the hyper-critical reporting of the Charlie Foxtrot that was the Normandy landing. A hostile media likely would have precluded use of atomic weapons in Japan (“a grossly disproportionate move”) and one quails at the thought of the reporting of a land invasion of the main island: “American casualties mount as Japan’s brave women and children defend their homes.”

          • the term you can’t remember is ‘Viet Cong’

          • Can you imagine what the modern media would have done with Operation Marketgarden? Or the disaster that was the first American battle against Germany in North Africa?

        • Harry Summers has a weird fascination with fixed defense forts, but I do highly recommend “On Strategy”.

          The U.S. and ARVN decisively won the Tet offensive. In fact, the much maligned draft-era US military won the Vietnam war every time it fought the Vietnam War, and the ARVN was brought up to quite a high level of competency as well. But expectations limited that effort.

          The Vietnam military was saddled with yet another chunk of fallout from the incompetent Douglas MacArthur: When Dugout Doug bungled the start of the Korean war as badly as he bungled the Philippines at the start of WWII in the Pacific, then after an admittedly gutsy landing Inchon to bail himself out he ran amok, moving north in a vast undefended road march (“Flanks? We don’t need to defend our flanks! Patton stole all my glory 6 years ago!! There Are No Chinese Troops In Those Hills!!! Onward!!!!) that made Mao feel threatened enough to intervene, resulting in the stalemate on the 39th parallel in Korea. And that set the expectation for Vietnam: The US would prop up the South, help beat the insurgency, and maintain status quo with the North.

          And as the drawdown happened, the ARVN units were stood up and they did keep any repeat of the native VC uprising from happening, which was the expressed limit of what they were trained and equipped to do. The fear was if the US equipped the ARVN as a mechanised road-mobile modern air-ground capable military, as soon as the last US advisor was gone they would invade the North. So they were only equipped as an coin military, with the explicit promise that if they needed it, the US would be back with air strikes and heavy reinforcements.

          The problem was the North was not interested in a status-quo at the DMZ; they were interesting in actually winning. The tried an invasion using box-standard Soviet armored tactics and equipment in 1972, but US air strikes, especially B-52 strikes on the armored columns, demolished that offensive. So they waited until the US was really gone and tried exactly the same thing again in 1975. There’s nothing I’ve ever seen that indicates the few new road-mobile SAM capabilities embedded in the NVA’s Soviet-doctrine armored blitzkrieg would have been able to stop B-52 strikes in 1975 any better than in 1972, but even though the BUFFs were loaded and lined up to go on Guam, we never flew those missions, nor any of the promised air support from US bases in Thailand and the Philippines.
          Some ARVN units were so outmatched they broke and ran, yet other ARVN units fought and held NVA columns cold – but then they ran out of ammo, because we cut off ammo resupply too, due to the fallout from Watergate from Senator Teddy Kennedy and friends in the post-Watergate Congress.

          Three months after Nixon resigned, the NVA kicked off their offensive. If Richard Nixon had still been in office in winter 1974-75, and especially if he had been relatively undamaged with a non-post-Watergate Congress (and thus no unconstitutional War Powers Act in place), he would have sent the bombers and emergency military aid, and fought the political battles afterward.

          So Watergate led to all those deaths in the “re-education” camps.

          I’m sure, however, that Woodward, Bernstein, and Walter Cronkite sleep soundly.

          • Fighting resumed in March, 1973. Nixon resigned a year later. the NVA started their full scale invasion because we had already demonstrated we were not going to deliver the promised military aid that were were obligated to deliver by treaty.

            • Yes, and yet in October-November 1973, despite being right in the midst of the Senate Watergate hearings and in spite of his veto and subsequent override of the War Powers Act all in the same few weeks, Nixon approved the Nickel Grass airlift to Israel in October 1973 of thousands of tons of military supplies during the Yom Kippur war.

              Approving air strikes including B-52 raids on the advancing NVA would have been possible if Nixon had been still uncompromised during 1974 – for Nixon as he approached resignation and then poor Gerry Ford, there was just no way.

              So basically, if Watergate had fizzled, there was a chance to prop up ARVN formations and stop the NVA again by air. With Watergate, there was just no way.

              So all you time travelers reading this: Go either wake up Baldwin on the night of June 17, 1972 so he would radio the Plumbers when the Washington PD arrived out front so they could avoid arrest during the break-in.

              Better yet, go keep LBJ from committing us to the mess in South Vietnam at that scale in the first place – keeping the Saigon government in charge never really was in the vital interests of the US. US involvement should have remained at the level of Special Forces advisors and CIA spooks the way Eisenhower and then JFK had it running before LBJ got involved.

    • The rot was starting when Woodward and Bernstein were just nobody local reporters. The idea of Advocacy Journalism, Social Responsibility, and the like was a frequent topic of reporters well before- see Tim Crouse’s “The Boys on the Bus”.
      One thing about Watergate wasn’t any kind of underlying idea of responsibility on the behalf of the other reporters, but laziness. They didn’t want to spend the time and effort to dig into the story, knock on doors, make lots of interviews, and so on- especially when there was more of a quick fix available with other campaign related news.
      Watergate was as much the last hurrah of old fashioned shoeleather journalism as it was the rise of modern biased reporting.

    • I’d like to coin a phrase here; Academic Capture; the process whereby a previously un-credentialed job becomes one where a University degree is considered usual, if not mandatory.

      The entire idea of a Journalism School would have invited scorn and mockery before the First World War. Oh, there were a few such, but as Mencken’s career demonstrates, reporting was still a job one got largely by hanging around the newsroom and being a pest.

      The process of capture was pretty much complete by Watergate, and things have been rolling merrily downhill ever since.

  4. Good place to see just where the news is coming from and to start digging into who owns or controls those companies is, “The 30 biggest media companies in the world”, Lara O’Reilly, May 31, 2016, 11:03 AM, https://www.businessinsider.com/the-30-biggest-media-owners-in-the-world-2016-5/, 6/7/20198. The list reads mostly like a Who’s Who in Progressive Propaganda, with these notables:
    17. Microsoft — $4.58 billion in media revenue
    16. Time Warner — $4.57 billion in media revenue
    15. Yahoo — $4.62 billion
    13. Discovery Communications — $6.11 billion in media revenue
    8. CBS Corporation — $9.57 billion in media revenue
    5. Facebook — $11.49 billion
    3. Comcast — $19.72 billion in media revenue (SyFy,CNBC,etc)
    2. The Walt Disney Company — $22.45 billion in media revenue
    1. Alphabet — $59.62 billion in media revenue (Think Google)

    The one quasi-conservative, owned by Rupert Murdock, was
    4. 21st Century Fox — $18.67 billion in media revenue.

    Murdock is kind of weird since while he apparently supports changing Australia’s government from the Constitutional Monarchy to a Republican system, and supported conservative Margaret Thatcher’s government, he’s also supported ” universal free health care, free education for all Australians to tertiary level … and public ownership of Australia’s oil, gas and mineral resources.” He does claim to be a libertarian. In some respects, it’s a shame he didn’t manage to acquire CNN, as that would have been a major blow to the Progressive machine.

    • Excellent source, Mike! Thanks.

      And it is a good thing to know where the news is coming from. There is a reason why the environment in so many newsrooms is liberal and it goes beyond the fact reporters “tend to be” (as Levin claims) liberal. It is the fact their corporate culture is liberal and the only way to get ahead is to at least outwardly adopt that same culture. Being conservative, much less a white conservative of a particular sex, gives you two strikes in some professions without you ever showing if you are capable of doing the job or not.

    • By Australian standards Murdoch is conservative. He’s also mostly inclined to be hands off in his management of his assets (at least, the Australian ones). The support of “universal free health care” etc came from his support of the Australian Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, who was also campaigning against an economically and morally moribund Liberal party (what passes for the Australian conservative side – although it should be noted that most of the enthusiasm for changing from constitutional monarchy to a republic comes from the Australian left (the monarchists tend more to the “it ain’t broke: don’t try to fix it” perspective)).

      It’s worth adding that one of Whitlam’s campaign promises was to enfranchise the Australian Aboriginal people. Whitlam’s lot were big on freedom of everything and utter crap on paying for it. (Note also that most of the biggest conservative/libertarian reforms in Australia’s history have been made by Australian Labor Party governments. Despite them being marginally more leftist than their Liberal Party counterparts. And yes, I do mean marginally – Australia’s compulsory voting tends to pull everything towards the center.

      By American standards, the two most conservative/libertarian prime ministers were Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, both Labor politicians, and in Hawke’s case, a former head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Between them they dismantled protectionist trade policies, forced unions to accept arbitration, flattened a tax system that was well on the way to unbearable for anyone making more than 50,000 a year, actually banned the most abusive union for its dirty trade practices (and sent the head at the time to prison for them), significantly downsized Federal Government union hiring, brought the Federal budget into surplus for the first time in probably living memory, and generally left the country in the kind of shape that all their successors had to do was not screw it up.

      So, yeah, Australian left/right is kind of weird. And Murdoch is a product of that…

    • Murdoch probably doesn’t understand why people still vote to stay in the Commonwealth (also, the push for an Australian Republic is mostly Left-wing, not right for here. Western Australia, Queensland, Tazzie and NT don’t seem to fancy being ruled by Victoria and New South Wales, from my impressions…) Apparently it’s the ability of the Governor General to pull the government up short and stop laws that contradict the nation’s constitution from being implemented or passed. At least, that’s the case in Australia, so I am told.

      But then again, when they describe Andrew Bolt as ‘extreme right wing’ and I’m further right than he is…

      • There’s several reasons, not just the GeeGee. One of them is the very deeply ingrained distrust of all politicians. The other is the structure of the Oz constitution. To amend it, the proposed amendment has to be approved by a majority of voters in a majority of states – makes it next to impossible for a proposed amendment that’s not strongly supported by both sides to be passed.

        Bolt is moderate-right and somewhat sarcastic. Painting him as extreme right wing is just a tool to try to make him look bad – and not the most effective one as I recall.

        The GeeGee’s biggest power – and the one that scares both sides silly – isn’t the veto power over laws. That’s almost never used. It’s the ability to dismiss all of them, appoint a caretaker government of his/her choosing, and call new elections. The last time that happened it was the Aussie version of riots in the streets, and a lot of people still haven’t recovered.

        It was also the time Her Majesty made it absolutely 100% clear that she was not going to do anything more than rubber-stamp whatever decision the GeeGee made, so you can stop whining Gough, I’m not giving your toys back (although Liz probably said it rather more politely).

        • LOL, at the description of not giving your toys back, that’s rather illustrative. Vote of no confidence in parliament is a rather lovely way to pull them all up short.

          I describe Bolt as ‘extreme right wing’ because that’s what he’s described to me by some folks who I gather are ‘typical Australian’; they weren’t very happy to find out I’m further right of him. I’d have personally described him as moderate right, myself.

  5. An interesting selection for ending a long missed absence.

    • I’ve got the new Sowell book up after this one. 😉

      • New Sowell book? *perk* Title please?

        • Discrimination and Disparities, released at the beginning of March, this year.

          Sowell’s touched on the topic previously, many times, but apparently decided the public needed it spelled out in big letters. From Amazon’s description:

          An enlarged edition of Thomas Sowell’s brilliant examination of the origins of economic disparities

          Economic and other outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups, and nations. Many explanations have been offered for the differences. Some believe that those with less fortunate outcomes are victims of genetics. Others believe that those who are less fortunate are victims of the more fortunate.

          Discrimination and Disparities gathers a wide array of empirical evidence to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation, or genetics. This revised and enlarged edition also analyzes the human consequences of the prevailing social vision of these disparities and the policies based on that vision–from educational disasters to widespread crime and violence.

          As you might have guessed, the Gaslight Media’s reception of the book has been mostly notable by its silence. Typical Sowell book: highly readable, extreme clarity, rigorously logical.

        • WTF WP? At the risk of repeating myself I must re-post my reply (this time without the Amazon link):

          Discrimination and Disparities, released at the beginning of March, this year.

          Sowell’s touched on the topic previously, many times, but apparently decided the public needed it spelled out in big letters. From Amazon’s description:

          An enlarged edition of Thomas Sowell’s brilliant examination of the origins of economic disparities

          Economic and other outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups, and nations. Many explanations have been offered for the differences. Some believe that those with less fortunate outcomes are victims of genetics. Others believe that those who are less fortunate are victims of the more fortunate.

          Discrimination and Disparities gathers a wide array of empirical evidence to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation, or genetics. This revised and enlarged edition also analyzes the human consequences of the prevailing social vision of these disparities and the policies based on that vision–from educational disasters to widespread crime and violence.

          As you might have guessed, the Gaslight Media’s reception of the book has been mostly notable by its silence. Typical Sowell book: highly readable, extreme clarity, rigorously logical.

        • !@#!@%&?! WP!!!! Third and last try:

          Discrimination and Disparities, released at the beginning of March, this year.

          Sowell’s touched on the topic previously, many times, but apparently decided the public needed it spelled out in big letters. From Amazon’s description:

          An enlarged edition of Thomas Sowell’s brilliant examination of the origins of economic disparities

          Economic and other outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups, and nations. Many explanations have been offered for the differences. Some believe that those with less fortunate outcomes are victims of genetics. Others believe that those who are less fortunate are victims of the more fortunate.

          Discrimination and Disparities gathers a wide array of empirical evidence to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation, or genetics. This revised and enlarged edition also analyzes the human consequences of the prevailing social vision of these disparities and the policies based on that vision–from educational disasters to widespread crime and violence.

          As you might have guessed, the Gaslight Media’s reception of the book has been mostly notable by its silence. Typical Sowell book: highly readable, extreme clarity, rigorously logical.

        • Discrimination and Disparities. It’s a revised edition. https://amzn.to/2XwwpRu

          • Oh, sure — WP lets you answer that question! I tried a half dozen different ways to put up that info last night and WP just sneered at me! WPDE.

            Revised? I feel such a loser having bought that on original publication. Why cannot publishers advise us, “In a few months we’ll be publishing a revised edition, maybe you would prefer to wait on that?” Or even just make up a digital booklet covering the revisions, downloadable at no additional cost?

            Final note: this post’s subhead — “how to drive the mainstream media insane in a few easy steps” — seem erroneous in assuming they are not already bughouse, bat guano, nuttier than a fruitcake insane without anybody having to drive their clown car.

            • It’s trad publishing, RES. You don’t expect them to revise and actually give you the updated version without trying for their danegeld, do you?

              • Of course not – a dying man will grasp at any straw, and even drown a would-be rescuer.

                And dying men have greater moral authority than those trad publishing goniffs who sank their own boat by drilling holes in the bottom.

      • WP doesn’t seem willing to post my reply to Shadowdancer, so once more into my breeches:

        Discrimination and Disparities, released at the beginning of March, this year.

        Sowell’s touched on the topic previously, many times, but apparently decided the public needed it spelled out in big letters. From Amazon’s description:

        An enlarged edition of Thomas Sowell’s brilliant examination of the origins of economic disparities

        Economic and other outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups, and nations. Many explanations have been offered for the differences. Some believe that those with less fortunate outcomes are victims of genetics. Others believe that those who are less fortunate are victims of the more fortunate.

        Discrimination and Disparities gathers a wide array of empirical evidence to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation, or genetics. This revised and enlarged edition also analyzes the human consequences of the prevailing social vision of these disparities and the policies based on that vision–from educational disasters to widespread crime and violence.

        As you might have guessed, the Gaslight Media’s reception of the book has been mostly notable by its silence. Typical Sowell book: highly readable, extreme clarity, rigorously logical.

  6. Occurs to me: the “Press” has not strayed from its origins, but returned to them; historically, most from town criers onward have been unabashed propaganda for whomever is in charge (or wants to be in charge). Unbiased, unfiltered press is the rarity, not the norm.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Yeah, my early thought was that the New York Times, et al., are simply heir to and in the traditions of the Stormer.

    • And now I can’t help but think of the great Ian McNeice as the forum news crier in the HBO series “Rome”. Note how the slant of his “news” varies with whoever is in control of Rome.

    • Thing was, in the days of old, the biased papers wore their hearts on their sleeves. They would even have titles to announce their bias.

      • Through the Eighties towns no larger than 100,000 commonly supported two papers, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They had typically consolidated a number of functions: classified advertising, subscription, customer services, billing, typesetting, printing and delivery. While there was usually no mistaking at which editorial page you were looking, the front pages were generally similar in their presentation of the day’s events, their emphasis on what was worthy of attention, and in their reporting — in neither paper did you have to interpret a culprit’s political affiliation, for example.

        By the time the Clinton Administration was in office I learned that in any political story in the Washington Post the real meat was to be found in the last three paragraphs. That allowed them to accurately claim to have reported an event without having to worry about people reading it in their columns. Today the Post features a front page story below the fold, headlined Watchdog whitewashed FEMA disaster reports — covering abuses perpetrated in 2016 but with barely any mention of President Obama’s administration.

        Inside the paper reports (Page A4 above the fold; the Post‘s e-reader shows A4 repeated as page A6) “A wealthy Iraqi sheikh who urges a hard-line U.S. approach to Iran spent 26 nights at Trump’s D.C. hotel” — implying where he stayed had any influence on our foreign policy.

        Reading today’s Mainstream Press requires an attention to nuance once only necessary for Kremlin watchers.

        • analytical-engine-mechanic

          “….the real meat was to be found in the last three paragraphs.”

          It’s sadly interesting to recall how many (clever) Soviet Russians typically read both individual stories and entire newspapers back to front, because this. The back page gave you nuggets like “Pensioner Nikita Khrushchev died at $AGE yesterday” while the front-page headlines screamed “Glorious 66th Tractor Brigade helps Collective Farm 537 Overfulfill the Plan by 37%!” (and so on).

          Also note the accompanying maxim, already quoted further down: Pravda (“The Truth”) isn’t news, Izvestiya (“The News”) isn’t truth… perhaps another thing to keep in mind when reading “All The News That’s Fit to Slant” and the present-day like.

    • I remember glimpsing somewhere over the last two weeks that the Daily Mail apparently has a higher subscription / financial rating than the Guardian. To some extent this doesn’t surprise me, as the DM, for all it’s flaws, will, as an example, post an anti-Trump story AND a pro-Trump story at the same time. Unfortunately I can’t cite it since I only saw it in passing, laughed and moved on.

  7. There is a difference between News reporting and Opinion/Editorial pieces.

    Mark Levin is a Opinion/Editorial person. He has his biases and doesn’t pretend to be objective. Hannity, Ingrrum, Tucker, Rush are also Opinion pundants, and not claiming to be unbiased news reporters.

    In the early days of newspapers, Bias was obvious and unapologetic. There were also many competing newspapers, each with their own bias.

    over time, “Real News Organizations” started claiming to be apolicitical and objective, with the opinions reserved for the editorial page. Everyone recognized that there was some bias in the reporting, but by having different viewpoints in the newsroom, they balanced out.

    over the last two years, we have seen this premise completely abandoned, even in theory (it died in practice years ago).

    Trust in the mainstream press has been falling as the net bias has become more pronounced while they continue to claim to be presenting unbiased news, not opinion

  8. They claim he didn’t visit any newsroom—despite the fact he’s worked for Fox News and had his own syndicated radio show. They claim he didn’t come to them for comments. They condemn him for—gasp—using research and facts gathered by other sources,

    The rotten bastard! How DARE he judge them by the soup and not the kitchen, staff or ingredients!

    Levin’s claim that “butter doesn’t suit the works” ignores the fact that they are using the Very Best butter.

  9. Looking forward to more review.

    Thank you.

  10. But, to be brutally honest, he is guilty of many of the same sins he condemns his liberal counter-parts of. In this book, he is unashamedly pushing his own political agenda just as he has with his Fox News show and his radio broadcasts. The only difference is he doesn’t make any attempt to say he is being unbiased.

    That difference, however, is vital. He’s presenting his position, his views, and his opinions, and not pretending otherwise.

    The problem with the media isn’t that they give their opinions. The problem is that they try to pretend their opinions are objective truth and that they have enough of a unified voice that they can “sell” that to a lot of people (fewer every day, but still too many).

    • Yes. When reading an opinion column, I expected to at least be aware of the writer’s biases, whereas these days the reporters pretend they have no biases but have them out in display and then upend tables when confronted by others on it.

      If anyone if watching the whole “OH MY GOD THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE WERE DIGGING THROUGH A REPORTER’S UNDERWEAR DRAWER” pearl clutching, I’ve been noticing in the comments that there has been very little sympathy for the press in this regard. The comments I’ve seen range from sneering schadenfreude in the realm of “You were okay with this as long as it was Trump / Pauline Hanson / insert non-Lefty personage here, but expect us to be outraged on your behalf?!” to “You leak documents marked Top Secret and pertain to national security, leak names and risk people’s lives, and then are upset that the AFP is doing their jobs?! Completely without integrity or morals, the journalists these days, serving only their agendas, not the people” and “Well, if underwear drawers were off limits, guess where everyone would be hiding things then… are you all stupid?”

  11. “Levin notes an interesting possible explanation for why the media is becoming ever more liberal—the ownership of our newspapers and other media outlets. Gone are the days when our major media providers were privately or locally owned. Now, many of the are owned by corporations that are not steeped in journalism. That means they are more focused on the bottom line than they are on reporting the news, much less reporting what local readership is interested in.”

    CNN is owned by AT&T. MSNBC is owned by Comcast. ABC is owned by Disney. Yahoo News, which seems to me to be extremely biased, is owned by Verizon. I seriously question whether the left-wing bias of these entities has much to do with the bottom line…more likely, it has to deal with the political beliefs and social prejudices of particular executives.

    Indeed, if CNN (for example) were a free-standing corporation, then bottom-line considerations would require them to do something other than what they are doing.

    • I would also give credit to the increased “Professionalizing” of the trade, a process exacerbated by hiring J-School graduates in place of reporters who had served apprenticeships as was once the case. This was not a problem, initially, as college professors were once less full of themselves, but the J-School trend has been rapidly downhill.

      “Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted” is a credo for a church, not a news outlet.

      • Thing is, I wouldn’t mind it so much if A. “undeserving” were added in front of both nouns and B. journalists actually had a clue about who was comfortable and who was afflicted.

  12. I remember when Lefties acknowledged biased news reporting, as evidenced by this song from 1964:


    How do I know? I read it in the Daily News
    Daily News, daily blues
    Pick up a copy any time you choose
    Seven little pennies in the newsboy’s hand
    And you ride right along to never, never land
    We got to bomb Castro, got to bomb him flat
    He’s too damn successful and we can’t risk that
    How do I know? I read it in the Daily News
    There’s millions of commies in the freedom fight
    Yelling for Lenin and civil rights
    How do I know? I read it in the Daily News
    Seems like the whole damn world’s gone wrong
    Saint Joe McCarthy is dead and gone
    How do I know? I read it in the Daily News

    Give credit to the Left for coming around on the last few lines, only requiring a slight name change:

    J. Edgar Hoover is the man of the hour
    All he needs is just a little more power
    How do I know? I read it in the Daily News

    • Or, to go back to the Soviet days, “In the Truth (Pravda) there is no news, and in the News (Izvestia) there is no truth”

  13. “However, he does point out a real problem in our country right now. A free press is necessary to help protect our Republic.”

    This is the issue. I’m all in favor of Mr. Trump (so far) because he’s not Hillary, and he’s not taking any shit from the Canadian Liberal Party.

    But based on media coverage, I have no idea what he’s actually -done- in the USA. Everything from the majority of the media is RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA!!! which has been proven to be bullshit and I never believed it. I hear Madonna hyperventilating that Trump is destroying the freedoms of Americans, but then I don’t hear which freedoms, what bill was it, did it pass, who got arrested, nothing. So, on the Left, 90% of the media its a wall of noise.

    But on the right, the 10% that’s not DemocRat talking points, all I get is guys pointing and laughing at the wall of noise. They aren’t telling me what Trump is doing either.

    So if I want to find out what is -actually happening- out there, I pretty much have to go there and look. He could be gearing up to nuke China and we wouldn’t know jack about it.

    “The media owners need to step back and take a good, hard look at why their readership has declined.”

    The secret about media is that they don’t make money by reporting the news properly. They make money from ADVERTISING. All print media advertising is declining the same as brick-and-mortar retail is declining, that is the Internet. You buy your grapple grommets off Amazon, and you see ads delivered by Google. Gone are the days of seeing the ad in the paper for the big sale on grommets.

    Some clever fool decided that it is easier/cheaper to generate Wall Of Noise than to find out the actual news. This is because clever fools don’t think about the consequences of their actions, they just think about the money. These are the same fools that take dirt away from dams in the summer, never thinking that -this- shovel full will be the one that lets all the water out.

    Now, in Canada the Liberal government has pledged $600 million dollars to Canadian media companies so they can keep printing The Real News and combat all that nasty Fake News out there on the Internet. They’ve also been making threatening noises at Farcebook and Google etc. that they better take down all that Fake News.

    Showing that Canada is no longer a country of freedom, they’ve skipped all that and gone straight to the hard-core fascism. Laws for thee but not for me, and rule by the Special Deal.

    Oh yeah, and they’re about to outright ban ownership of the AR-15. Not that anybody ever got killed by one here in Canada, but just because they can, and there’s an election coming.

    • Trump “accomplishments”:

      According to https://www.conservativedailynews.com/2017/08/trumps-accomplishments-so-far-and-they-are-many/:
      1) He got conservative judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.
      2) The stock market is at an all-time high.
      3) Consumer confidence is at an all-time high.
      4) He created more than a million jobs by undoing Obama’s regulations.
      5) Mortgage applications for new homes is at a 7 year high.
      6) Unemployment rate is at a 16 year low.
      7) Signed the promoting women in entrepreneurship act.
      8) Gutted 800 Obama era regulations thus freeing up companies to hire again and get the economy moving once again.
      9) Ended the war on coal and caused a new mine for coal mining to open that will mine clean coal. He also put the miners back to work.
      10) Weakened Dodd-Frank regulations.
      11) Promotes buying and hiring American.
      12) Investments from major businesses such as Foxconn, Ford ,Toyota, Intel and others will build here now.
      13) Reduced illegal immigration by over 70%.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/what-trump-is-actually-accomplishing/535458/ basically agrees.

      https://710wor.iheart.com/featured/mark-simone/content/2019-03-09-the-list-of-president-trumps-accomplishments-so-far/ adds a much of accomplishments in increasing employment for Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics

      There are at least a dozen other sites, but they all combine whatever he actually did with regulation and executive orders with things that happened just because he was sitting in the Oval Office. What’s of note is that almost all of these things have happened without Congressional legislation. Illegal immigration was dropping, until judicial actions and news torpedoed it.

      • On the debit side is the way he has divided our nation, what with the Left’s tantrums and the MSM’s holding its breath hoping to turn the country blue. Were he not so unacceptable a president there would be no need for district judges to issue edicts affecting national policy, nor Antifa activists to “trump up” sexist, racist and homophobic attacks of the sort Americans are no longer willing to do. Look at the effort required to make evident the horriblness of those Kentucky high school kids on the national Mall.

        Crikey, were it not for the random act of gun nuttery there’d be nearly nothing to blame on him. He causes the Left to act insane, so their insanity is obviously his fault.

        • My apologies – I overlooked at how Trump has corrupted the Intelligence apparatchiks, driving them to go to the mat to bring him down, courageously sacrificing their careers, their integrity and their standing in an effort to prevent implementation of Trump’s lunatic “America First” agenda.

        • We’d have been equally, if not more divided under Hillary — because instead of most doing well and a few feeling loudly put upon, half would be full of their own BS and gleefully tearing down whatever remained, and the rest of us would be marginalized for real. Might not have been as loud to start with, but probably woulda got uglier once civil disobedience set in.

          • Oh, I doubt that. First, the MSM would have mostly not covered the actual protests, they’d have simply treated them the way they do the March For Life every January 18.

            Then, once the reeducation camps were established for unrepentant deplorables and irredeemable sexists …

    • Trump used his position as Secretary of State to arrange for Russia to purchase control of a significant portion of America’s pitchblende reserves, while accepting a sizable “donation” to his family’s charitable trust. In addition, he established and operated a secret, private email server in order to evade oversight and Freedom of Information Act review of his communications, including improperly transmitting highly restricted classified documents. When called upon to turn over all messages to the government archives Trump used his own law firm, rather than government lawyers, to determine which emails were private and could be deleted. Trump further wiped (“like, with a cloth” — a cloth called Bleach Bit) and physically destroyed hard drives relating to those documents.

      Further, Trump acted through cut-outs (his campaign law firm) to engage opposition research agent to hire a foreign agent (a dodgy ex-MI6 operative) who called upon Russian government resources to manufacture dirt on his presidential opponent. When the dossier thus created was exposed he evaded responsibility by accusing his former opponent of colluding with the Russians in order to obstruct any investigation into his own actiions.

      • 🙂

        Blink, blink, uhhh, okay. Sounds about right.

        🙂

      • Huh? RES, you have me completely confused. Or was that just sarcasm?

        • I vote sarcasm … too outrageous not to be. Thus my initial reply.

          I was going to add Res misspelled “Clinton”, and called her “him”. I mean how rude 🙂 🙂 :-). Figured that was over the top, for something so obviously outrageous to be flat out sarcasm …

          But that is my view.

        • Sarcasm? Moi? Surely you jest, sirrah!

          I laid out a clear pattern of abuse of power and obstruction of justice; if I made a few trivial errors in identification, what of it? The guilt is undeniable and Trump must pay the price.

        • Amsel, Matthew

          Replace the word “Trump” with “Clinton”

          • Hey! Already said Res misspelled “Clinton”. Oh, wait. WP auto-corrected/substituted Clinton with Trump! Of coarse, that is what happened.

      • I’m still waiting for someone to tell me how everyone knows so definitively that Remington Christopher Steele is an ex-agent of MI6.

        I’m imagining the intrepid reported phoning up the number of the MI6 HR dept. where they handily confirm Steele’s dates of employment at MI6.

        Or maybe Steele’s just now a NOC operative and the whole dossier thing was an MI6 op because the Brits hate Trump so much.

    • In case your question about what has Tump accurally done was a real one

      1. he has significantly cut regulations (last I heard 22 regs eliminated for each new one created)

      2. he has appointed (and the Senate confirmed) a lot of judges.

      3. in foreign policy, he has shaken things up, instead of apologizing for the US, he is saying that the US will not accept the short end of the stick ‘in the interest of the world’. This leads to lots of things, many of which are clearly better (NATO contributions from other members is up, even though still not up to their treaty commitments of 2% GDP), others are still in limbo (China trade deal) and others looking better but not settled (North Korea isn’t firing off ICBMs, but hasn’t agreed to de-nuke yet) and some things that were predicted to be disasters that have worked out well (moving the embasy in Israel for example)

      It’s only been two years, and a lot of International things take years to resolve, even when both sides are pretty much in agreement, so a lot of things are being done differently, which horrifies those invested in the status quo and gives a lot of others hope, but it’s a change in direction, not final stages

      In terms of legislation, his only big win was the tax bill, which is being mis-represented by the press, so even a lot of the people who benefit aren’t happy with it because they think others got more.

      Even in the first two years when the Republicans had control of both the house and the senate, the margin in the senate was too small to get anything done that the democrats really wanted to block, and with a few never-trumpers in the senate, it was hard to get anything to pass.

      right now, any legislation is at a dead halt as the house is passing extreme bills that are DOA in the Senate, and that is only going to get worse as the 2020 elections get closer. I think the budget this year is going to be very interesting, Trump accepted a ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ compromise bill once, got blasted by his base and will be very reluctant to do that again, he also lost a government shutdown battle, so he will be more cautious about doing that.

      • 2. he has appointed (and the Senate confirmed) a lot of judges read the law and Constitution as it was written, not as it would have been written had the lawmakers and Founders been as wise, decent and as woke as the judges.

        FIFY

        • read the law and Constitution as it was written

          I’m not sure I’d go that far yet, not until I see how they rule on actual cases and see if they’re really doing that. Better than the “woke” judges that other…person…would have nominated? Almost certainly, but actual Constitutional literalists as the language was understood when written? Even Scalia didn’t go that far (although I have to wonder how much of the hedging was his actual views and how much was where he had to do to get four other justices to sign off on decisions).

          • Caveat acknowledged; thus with the concurrence of the Huns assembled (unassembled Huns should pull it together) I will accept the following revision to my prior remark:

            “.. .pretend to read the law and Constitution as it was written”

            We nned no more Judge Posners.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Thing is, long term impact of the judges is hard to estimate.

          Why? Because we usually estimate such based on the prediction that rule of law, and related strategies, will remain the same as they have been.

          It is not clear that this is so.

      • One more thing I forgot to mention,

        Trump took the restrictions off of the fight with ISIS, taking the fight from a near stalemate to a grinding defeat of ISIS.

        He has so far avoided sending troops to new trouble spots and (while not abandoning the fight) has been inclined to reduce troop deployments in various fights around the world.

        AND, he is willing to listen and modify his initial instructions, while not just giving in. This leads to claims that he’s a puppet who just does whatever the last person he spoke to says, but that’s not what it looks like to me.

    • I read Instapundit (at which Our Dear Sarah posts fairly regularly) and DonSurber.blogspot.com daily.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Normally, I’d joke about him being the lovechild of Franco, and the second coming of Pinochet, except with the proven abilities of Pol Pot, Julius Caesar, and Abraham Lincoln.

      In all seriousness, it is hard to say. First, with large organizations, the questions of actions due to a new leader, compared to another leader, and lasting results can be difficult to resolve objectively and conclusively. Second, I am an extremist and a loner. My two groups of windows into normal Americans are a) radicalized right wingers b) lefties who do not understand Americans very well.

      1. Hillary did not win in 2016. Events seem to have confirmed that she had both the backing and the insanity to start a civil war. Even kicking the can down the road is worth noting.
      2. This thing with the FBI. I’m not willing to say whether this is skill and intelligence on Trump’s part, or that the senior FBI officials were seriously flawed human beings embarrassing themselves now that they are famous and without minders. You could chalk that up to my not being a fan, but a) I know I don’t know key details b) If he really is David Xanatos, I am not the caliber to figure things out in real rime.
      3. Mexican border. You can be sure that no hypothetical Democratic President would have had the desire or ability to craft an effective legislative solution and sell it to the American people. Given that the establishment Republicans would never have permitted nomination of a combination Napolean Bonaparte/William Sherman/George Patton/Arthur Harris/Kimball Kennison, assuming such existed, our alternatives are all also a festering border situation. Few incentives to tell the truth, few incentives to /know/ the truth, and I’m not sure anyone really does.
      4. The biggy. Will Trump also keep Hillary out of the White House in 2020? I have no conclusion. I don’t know how people are taking this, and trust no estimate.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Also, there’s this thing in American political history called a realignment. Fancy term for we explain the before this way, and the after that way.

      We may be in the middle of one. Impossible to say.

      If we do turn out to have been in one, that’s basically Trump. Maybe with Obama’s help, but Trump

  14. Since we have alternatives—blogs, podcasts, etc—we don’t have to rely on what the corporations put out. We have other ways of getting to the news without it being fed to us through a liberal viewpoint.

    Which is why Vox went to war and much of YouTube got demonitized. Which is why Slate had a reporter basically threaten to write a bad story about Chase Bank if they didn’t cut off banking services to people (Tim Pool on YouTube has the email).

    They are using every legal and probably some unlegal means to destroy the alternative. In the process they are slandering people to the point of unemployability and then removing their ability to make money on their own.

    This is not going to end well.

    The strongest representative of “burn it all down” around these parts is now getting scared by what he sees no matter what happens in November 2020. Mainly I see the same outcome and just how it happens differing.

    But God forbid we question the people doing it to hold on to unearned and collapsing sinecures.

  15. I rarely watch/listen/read the main stream news anymore. I gave that up several years ago.

    What’s lower than whale feces?
    Politicians, lawyers, media mavens and child molesters.

    • I’m tempted to place child molesters on step up from the p,l & mms. They can only moleste one child at a time. The others molest in job lots.

  16. Please pardon an old fart for blathering a little bit about what he actually knows that is relevant to a lot of the comments. I didn’t live through The Front Page era, but that is where I get my thoughts about what the news used to be like before I was ensouled. So that part may be fantasy, although as Mary noted, many newspapers did have their politics on their mast head which frequently included “Democrat” or “Republican”.

    In 1970 my college newspaper headlined a story about the Santa Barbara riots, “We Led the Revolution” complete with a picture of intrepid reporter with his foot on the bumper of a burned out police car. They did actually print an account of what went on from the POV specified. The next year, the student government and student paper were taken over by MECHA partisans, and the newspaper was all in glorious Spanglish, and ignorant complaints about the college showing The Wild Bunch as if it were somehow anti-Mexican. The year after that, it was the feminists who took over and every pronoun was s/he or hirs, or some other ridiculous concoction.

    The next year, the energy of the movements had subsided a little and the paper went back to trying to find interesting stuff to write about. Through a combination of misrepresentation and retrospective ethics (Is it a lie if you make it true after the fact?), I ended up writing a few stories for the college paper, mostly about the weird characters who had inhabited the dorms at one time or another, or about bizarre happenings around campus, omitting the information that I had inside knowledge because I either was or knew the perpetrator.

    In any case it was clear to me that it was easy for any small but highly motivated group to take the reins of power, and the means of dissemination. Those of us who just want to be left alone are only rarely highly motivated, and are thus at a distinct disadvantage. See any home owners association or condo board of governors. Much as I admire our hostess’ clever tagline, it’s not going to catch on. If you want a free press, you have to kill the Communist Religion. Evangelists are always highly motivated. I would prefer if they joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses and were content to just bother us door to door.

  17. Heh. Levin’s thesis, illustrated:

    Why Trump’s critics had a royal meltdown over his visit with the Queen
    Picture a beautiful day, 72 degrees, low humidity, not a cloud in the sky. One guy says to another guy at the bus stop, “Nice day, isn’t it?” The second guy loses his mind. “Nice day? Whaddya mean nice day? You can’t talk to me like that. Help, help, police, I’m being accosted. This guy said it was a nice day!”

    Guy No. 1 was President Trump, this past week. Guy No. 2 is the news media, especially CNN. Proving that there is literally nothing they will not try to spin as evidence of Trump’s perfidy, the president was polite and deferential to the Queen of England this week. Naturally, the media set its hair on fire again.

    CNN rolled out chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward to argue that Trump was polite to the queen not because being polite to the queen is something heads of state should do but “perhaps he likes the idea of being a king.”

    On your mark, get set, groupthink: CNN international correspondent Max Foster followed up by repeating the same idea, “He likes the idea of being a king, which would explain why he’s so reverential in the palace environment.”

    CNN White House correspondent Kate Bennett echoed the idea with the message of the day, saying that although it was no big deal when previous presidents brought their children to meet the British monarch, “the president perhaps sees his children as American royalty or this is sort of our equivalent … the equivalency, which, you know, it’s not at all how we operate in America.”

    This isn’t reporting. It isn’t even “analysis,” the way journos take a drop or morsel of news and make it into a banquet of opinion. It’s practicing mind reading without a license. If President Trump said, “I like people,” Brooke Baldwin and Jim Acosta would pop up on CNN to somberly warn us, more in sorrow than in anger, that our president has just admitted he was a cannibal.

    [SNIP]

    To his credit, British humorist John O’Farrell noted the hypocrisy of his fellow lefties in a tweet:

    ME: “Royal etiquette and deference are ridiculous and a barrier to equality and progress.”

    ALSO ME: “What?! Trump walked ahead of Her Majesty and used his fish knife before the Queen, how dare he show such disrespect!!!”

    • Wheras they were all cool with Former President Obama bowing to the Saudi king. Because proper etiquette and decorum or something.

      • Someone at News.Com.Au was having a meltdown about Trump not bowing to the Queen. IIRC, American Presidents aren’t supposed to bow to the leaders of other nations.

        • Not out presidents nor any of us. If we liked bowing we would have kept the prior management.

          Besides, it simply ruins the the trousers’ crease.

          • Not out our presidents nor any of us.

            Sigh. Bad flingers, bad! No manicures for you today!

            BTW: leave us please be clear on one thing here. As much fun as it is to snark at political leaders, “dressing up for royalty” isn’t really their job; that’s what staff is for. The White House and State Department have people whose frickin’ JOB is to know and advise the president on proper dress and protocol for such meetings and those advisers are not doing the job.

            Before they ever left DC somebody other than the president ought to have checked the wardrobe met to itinerary’s requirements and all items were properly fitted, cleaned and pressed. Similarly, the president should have been advised on proper deportment on meeting foreign despots royals.

            If our presidents fail to take advantage of such advisers that is a matter for the public;s concern, but otherwise it is the staffer, not the president, who merits mockery.

      • If only the Saudi king was the only one to whom Obama bowed. The nuances of Japanese bowing are so complex that they prefer gaijin not bow: it’s just too embarrassing to see.

        https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0128759fd303970c-600wi
        If you feel absolutely compelled to bow, do not attempt to shake hands at the same time. That just makes everybody feel awkward.

        But Trump wore a badly tailored dinner jacket and waistcoat to that royal banquet and his trousers were not perfectly creased, bringing unbearable shame upon the whole USA and adding to the reasons he must be impeached.

      • Oopsie! I paste links to be embedded into a template I’ve saved and in this instance I did the overlay imperfectly, pasting over the UR but leaving the L as an appendage. Thanks for the save.

        Clearly I shouldda been to bed already.

    • *snorts her cola out her nose at “On your mark, get set, groupthink” *

  18. BTW: A thought on impeachment:

    If the Dems* fail it is more likely to damage them than the Republicans.

    If they succeed, President Pence can run for election in 2020 and re-election in 2024.

    I think they’ve not thought this strategy through completely.


    *Is it just me or are they becoming the Yosemite Sam party?

  19. Pingback: Unfreedom of the Press – Pt 1 Or how to drive the mainstream media insane in a few easy steps By Amanda S. Green — According To Hoyt – WEST WARD

  20. Historically reporters have been literary day laborers, reporting other peoples important lives and events. By making propaganda not only respectable, but actively virtuous, Socialism promises reporters what they most wanted, but (mostly) could not get – power and status… you just have to play for the right team…

  21. Your headline suggested you were delivering a solution to a well known problem, nothing of the sort was proffered. Perhaps I hoped for too much. You certainly hope for too much if you believe that the fake news will just one day be one self aware and change. You remind us that the media (and book publishing/vending) are now monopolies, so one might extrapolate that anti-trust measures could be a method to increase the honesty of reporting; but, you don’t say that, exactly.

    I’ll keep watching for solutions, the media can not, and, especially, will not self-correct.

    • “Your headline suggested you were delivering a solution to a well known problem”

      Uh. Are you being sarcastic? Headline clearly references a current publication and Amanda’s subtitle of the book. The article is an opinionated review of the contents.

      “nothing of the sort was proffered.”

      Duh. Opinionated reviews are not the vehicle for actually offering a solution. Solution is to get (as already stated in comments) reporters to not offer their opinion or feelings but get back to: who, what, when, where, or why. How to get them to do that is the question.

      “Perhaps I hoped for too much.”

      Yes.

      “I’ll keep watching for solutions, the media can not, and, especially, will not self-correct.”

      Definitely agree with this. Not without some serious (metaphorical) head bashing.

    • Like chronic illness there is no “solution.” The option is merely to learn to recognize symptoms of flare-ups and know what steps to ameliorate effects. Properly treated the media resembles Diabetes or MS; improperly treated it is more like epilepsy.

  22. Why yes the news sellers always had a bias, a slant, an opinion but at one time, long long ago, they also were interested in reporting rather than commenting. Editors used to demand that reporters come back form an assignment with answers to ‘who, what, when, why, where’, in other words the facts of the matter.

    Today the most important query in an interview; “And how did that make you feel?”

    OK you note the temperature on the thermometer, say it’s 89° so you know it’s hot. You check the news on the net to see why. Instead of finding an answer to why, you read that 3 un-named sources with in the government assure that today’s heat is caused by anthropogenic global warming (Opinion, not fact.). Being a rational person, rather than a democra,t you, rather than accept the learned opinion of the 3 un-named, decide to check for yourself; you look out the window, you note the sun is shining. there a fair chance that’s why you have 89°.

    & don’t forget Sturgeon’s law.

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