Archive for the 'MSM' Category

This too shall pass (probably)

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Way back a decade and a half ago we were very optimistic about the direction the so-called New Media would take this country. Creative Destruction, new business plans rendering obsolete the Rathergate-infested old media’s, and so forth. We even trotted out Thomas Kuhn from time to time. By “optimistic” we meant of course that things in the country would develop along a line pretty much compatible with our quite brilliant views.

How times change. Universal internet and universal mobile devices took things in a different direction. Instant cursing is in the trillions, and soon there may be a Nobel Prize for vilest tweet. The creators and lead marketers of instant everything (Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, etc) often can combine leftism with monopolistic zeal in business to an extraordinary degree. Actually the two things aren’t that different in some ways, which is why we and Ralph Nader can find ourselves in agreement on aspects of this.

So now we see author, scholar and broadcaster Dennis Prager getting censored by YouTube for videos with Alan Dershowitz and others in a series sometimes featuring distinguished MIT and Princeton professors; he also is mocked by the NYT for saying perfectly true things about its so-called best seller list. And we see 40 year litigator, CEO of Center for the American Experiment, and founder of TIME’s blog of the year John Hinderaker censored by Twitter for perfectly innocuous stuff.

Maybe the thought monopolists can endure forever. We don’t know. But if things can change this much over the last 15 years, there’s no safe way of predicting what can happen over the next period of time. Meanwhile, we’ll watch but not comment much on today’s comey-this-or-that; too many slings and arrows. So back to China and fan blades.

Journalism

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Via HA:

Earlier this year, Ms. Rubio, a former cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins, sideswiped a Porsche Panamera while driving her husband’s Ford F-150 sports utility vehicle to a donor event at the Delano Hotel in Miami Beach.

Ridicule drips from every word. Ah, to be so ignorant and to feel so superior (all while putting your name on someone else’s work). Journalism!!!

Listen to the warm

Friday, May 29th, 2015

One side of our two realities. And here’s a little bit about statistical manipulation in scientific studies. It’s long past time to ridicule the ignoramuses in the media who ask the usual hectoring questions. Our suggestion is that before answering foolish and gotcha questions, the respondent takes out a little device that starts quacking like a duck for 5 seconds.

A very bad version of The Godfather

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

In retrospect, this is a particularly smarmy performance, using some nutty pronouncement by a marginal guy in order to ambush the frontrunner. But it’s par for the course. We’re living through a very bad version of The Godfather, with bad people on all sides BTW, just like the movie. So what Mitt should have said is What’s the Turk paying you?

That was then, this is now

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Several years into the era of hostile corporate takeover attempts, we attended a board meeting of US Steel, to make a presentation on that subject. It was in the GM Building. As compensation for the directors’ attendance, there were small stacks of $100 bills at each chair (though that may be another company, we can’t really recall). The meeting was a staid affair, at least until the chairman of our employer fell asleep during the meeting, which our CEO host thought was pretty darn funny. That was excitement in those days.

Today, it’s all a little livelier. On CNBC there was a famous investor, or stock-shorter, or something, calling out a company he described as the motherfracker. We don’t know the company or the quality of its management and accounting practices, but something about the presentation seemed over the top, particularly in the context of engineering and operating advances lowering production costs dramatically and fast. And that wasn’t the only investotainment featured on the program. No, not by a long shot. It’s a different world.

The shocking power of the narrative

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

We confess to being blindsided by the raw power of MSM narratives, despite having observed them rather closely for years. We expected their power to diminish, and instead the opposite has happened. The young don’t know anything, and between the media and the academy, they believe everything from the silly (CAGW) to the deeply pernicious. This Iran farce is something else again: it is at least 3 standard deviations from reality and yet the true believers still believe. We’ve never seen anything like it in our lives. (Sometimes the deviations from reality are funny, but not with Iran.) Still, there are cracks in the façade — witness Chuck Schumer coming over to the Dark Side. Strange world indeed.

Woof!

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Apropos of what we discussed just yesterday, dog bites man. (Like chooses like to be with and emulate; it is the way of the world.) On the other hand, man bites dog over at CBS. Woof!

Compare and contrast

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

This and This. Ha.

It’s getting hard to overstate just how weird things have gotten. Weird. A parallel universe where 98% of bad things are either secular or the fault of some guy Kony. Of course the most interesting thing is that the crazy narrative of the administration carries no weight with most Americans, including for the first time the MSM, who now put serious people like Graeme Wood on the air.

Did we say weird? How about not backing Egypt’s play against ISIS? How about guys like Rudy Giuliani now saying openly and in public what a lot of people only thought or whispered a couple of years ago? (Final bonus fun from AT.) Weird.

More progress

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Graeme Wood, who teaches at Yale and speaks Arabic, in The Atlantic:

the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail…

ISIS follows a distinctive variety of Islam…The most-articulate spokesmen for that position are the Islamic State’s officials and supporters themselves. They refer derisively to “moderns.” In conversation, they insist that they will not — cannot — waver from governing precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers. They often speak in codes and allusions that sound odd or old-fashioned to non-Muslims, but refer to specific traditions and texts of early Islam…

Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s chief spokesman, called on Muslims in Western countries such as France and Canada to find an infidel and “smash his head with a rock,” poison him, run him over with a car, or “destroy his crops.” To Western ears, the biblical-sounding punishments — the stoning and crop destruction — juxtaposed strangely with his more modern-sounding call to vehicular homicide…But Adnani was not merely talking trash. His speech was laced with theological and legal discussion, and his exhortation to attack crops directly echoed orders from Muhammad to leave well water and crops alone — unless the armies of Islam were in a defensive position, in which case Muslims in the lands of kuffar, or infidels, should be unmerciful, and poison away.

Progress at the WaPo was a tentative thing, but this is really straight talk in an establishment publication.

Game changer?

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

In our view, Microsoft hasn’t had a good idea since Office 97. Now we hear from Leo Laporte that tech reviewers whom he trusts say that HoloLens is great. Here’s some more info from Vox and Forbes and HBR. We don’t get it quite yet, but give us time. More interesting to think about than the low lifes stinking up the country.

Chill out

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

The problem with consultants:

As he considers a third presidential campaign, Mitt Romney said Wednesday night that one of the country’s biggest challenges is climate change and that global solutions are needed to combat it. “I’m one of those Republicans who thinks we are getting warmer and that we contribute to that,” he said.

Argon, dammit! But it’s all too complicated, and the media, and the low infos, etc., so just go with the flow. Consultants, Grrr!

On the lighter side, an episode of Dick van Dyke had J. Pat O’Malley, and brother, did that guy work for a living. (Speaking of living, the ads on the program tell the viewer that he is seriously in the wrong demographic. Grrr again!)

Glittering Jewel

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Eugene Robinson in WaPo:

scientists have had their debate. It’s over. Among climate scientists, there is consensus approaching unanimity that climate change is being driven by the rapidly increasing concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which, in turn, is being caused by the burning of fossil fuels. It is known through direct observation that carbon dioxide levels have risen an astounding 40 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The rise began after human society began burning coal and petroleum products on an unprecedented scale…”Hottest Year On Record” is a headline that encourages sanity on climate change.

Let’s regulate the methane of those parping cattle. And argon while we’re at it. Lord, what fools these mortals be!

Oddly enough

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Oddly enough we’ve been in Berlin and Dresden while these demonstrations have been going on during the last few days, and we saw one at the Brandenburg Gate. We’ve also seen CNN at least in Germany return to form, that is the form of two weeks ago. This segment is typical: guess what’s missing from this segment. Yup, you guessed it. More later.

Why?

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Fareed Zakaria: “Why no US leader at Paris rally? Isn’t this why God invented Vice Presidents?” This was a fairly big deal, with 1 million in Paris and almost 4 million overall in France. Zakaria’s comments and many others from the MSM seem on point. What explains the strange decision to skip the event? These guys are all about PR, so there was obviously discussion about departing from the normal default position in a situation like this. Why?

Clarity

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Choudary in USA Today of all places:

Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires.

Although Muslims may not agree about the idea of freedom of expression, even non-Muslims who espouse it say it comes with responsibilities. In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, “Whoever insults a Prophet kill him.”

However, because the honor of the Prophet is something which all Muslims want to defend, many will take the law into their own hands, as we often see. Within liberal democracies, freedom of expression has curtailments, such as laws against incitement and hatred.

The truth is that Western governments are content to sacrifice liberties and freedoms when being complicit to torture and rendition — or when restricting the freedom of movement of Muslims, under the guise of protecting national security.

So why in this case did the French government allow the magazine Charlie Hebdo to continue to provoke Muslims, thereby placing the sanctity of its citizens at risk? It is time that the sanctity of a Prophet revered by up to one-quarter of the world’s population was protected.

Gosh this has taken a long time, and still there are fools who refuse to take such simplicity and clarity seriously. We live in Dar Al-Harb. It’s a long war and sharia is on the other side, as we pointed out a decade ago. (We have another oldie but goodie on art, statuary, and guess-who at the Supreme Court.)

The usual suspects 2

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Departures from the pattern by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a brave guy it seems, and, surprisingly in The New Yorker. Enough of this: here’s a piece on a fun kind of criminal.

The usual suspects

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

CNN: the motive behind Wednesday’s massacre is not yet clear. We won’t even quote Howard Dean. On the other hand, Mr. Choudary is clear as a bell. So are these old-timers. And a helpful hint from Inspire Magazine: “It’s not necessary to do what Muhammad Atta did, it’s enough to do what Nidal Hassan did.” Hassan? Wait a sec, wasn’t that just workplace violence and not something else? Finally, Andy McCarthy provides an update from al Azhar University.

Though many of the usual suspects are still saying the usual things, the toleration for BS seems to have gone way down. It does seem different this time.

31 years ago — wow

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

We can’t stand the insipid controversies that highlight the ineptitude, the projection, and the ignorance of the young people in media (and their elders too). Here’s Scott Johnson; here’s Clarice of course — it’s Sunday!!! So here’s something from decades ago this month, when we attended the gala at the Paris Opera honoring Martha Graham; our old pal and roommate EJ Dionne recorded the festivities for the NYT. For some reason we’ve thought both Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov performed at the event, but apparently we’ve been wrong about that all these years. (We just watched Charade again on TCM so that probably sparked this.) Have a good night!

Irritants, Part One

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Seth Mandel has a fun piece at Commentary about Rudy Giuliani annoying the heck out of the media. They really are annoyed; we saw this CNN bit a while back and you can see how ticked off the interviwer was when the attempted “gotcha” didn’t stick. If we get a chance, Part Two will address Heather Mac Donald.

First the hissy fit, then some comments

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

NYT editors:

de Blasio isn’t going to say it, but somebody has to: With these acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department’s credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect. They have taken the most grave and solemn of civic moments — a funeral of a fallen colleague — and hijacked it for their own petty look-at-us gesture. In doing so, they also turned their backs on Mr. Ramos’s widow and her two young sons, and others in that grief-struck family. These are disgraceful acts, which will be compounded if anyone repeats the stunt at Officer Liu’s funeral on Sunday. The New York Police Department is going through a terrible time, and the assassinations of those officers only underscore the dreadful dangers that rank-and-file cops face every day. And, in truth, there is some thanklessness to being a cop. Officers often feel beleaguered, jerked around by supervisors and politicians, obligated to follow rules and policies that can be misguided, held responsible for their mistakes in ways that the public is not, exposed to frequent ridicule and hostility from the people they are sworn to serve. It has always been that way with cops. But none of those grievances can justify the snarling sense of victimhood

What a bunch of jerks at the NYT. BTW, arrests are down 66% in recent days. Small wonder. Also, how about Sheriff David Clarke for president? HT: PL

All this anti-police stuff boggles the mind. It could have made some sense if there were a pattern of individual policemen repeatedly involved in these incidents, but the total killings are only 200 a year by policemen of every stripe. So you have the bizarre spectacle of the media running from city to city and village to village to find an event to fit the narrative. Boy, these progressive narratives, one after the other and non-stop, are getting to be really annoying.