Thursday, August 31, 2006
Infected by the stupid virus
So the U.S. is being overtaken by a virus of Jew-hating terrorism? And for your excellent examples you trot out:
- A man who blew himself outside a University of Oklahoma football game, but a case in which the feds say they "don't consider this terrorism ." And none of the reporting indicated he ever said anything about Jews.
- A man who shot up a Jewish center in Seattle had renounced his Muslim faith, was recently converted to Christianity and had been baptized (but who had declared himself an "angry muslim" during the commission of the rampage).
- A man who went on a hit-and-run spree in San Francisco, near a Jewish center happens to be Afghani, and whose family says was mentally unstable.
Well, that's a pretty strong case, Mr. Hewitt. A suicide bomber with no terrorism links or any record of anti-Semitism, a converted Christian (and likely a confused and disturbed man), and, finally, another disturbed man. Somehow they became infected with the Let's Kill All Jews virus.
About halfway through his fear-mongering column, Mr. Hewitt realizes that he might have a wee problem with his thesis. Namely, are crazy people who decide to kill en masse religious extremists or just plain nuts? Hence, the surfacing of the name Eric Rudolph, the man who bombed abortion clinics in The Name of God, along with the 1996 Olympics. You couldn't find a better definition of Hewittian extremist religious terrorism. Here is a man who attended an Identity Christian (i.e., racial determinist) church and quoted in his statement passages from Matthew condemning Republicans as people who "outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within... are full of hypocrisy and inequity." But Hewitt, in typical fashion, dismisses any such notion that Rudolph could have been motivated by religion:
I am keenly aware of the unfairness of taking the violence of extremist fanatics or the unstable and attributing it to a larger group to which the media assigns them. Thus Eric Rudolph, wrongly believed by many to be a Christian fundamentalist, became a whip with which to beat pro life Christians who reject violence at every turn even as they strenuously advocate for reductions in the number of abortions.
Uh, nonsense. If Rudolph isn't a religious terrorist, then neither are his Muslim boogeymen, either. Can't have it both ways, Hugh.
So what are you left with? Another cheap attempt to besmirch an entire group based on flimsy- to-non-existent evidence, unconnected in any way, other than inside the fevered brain of Hugh Hewitt.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
On Aug. 8, Connecticut businessman Ned Lamont defeated U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary, a triumph widely credited to the rah-rah racket produced by pro-Lamont armies stationed along the Internet.
Indeed, the bloggers had scored big. They had helped vault a local politician to national prominence and cemented the Iraq war as Issue No. 1 in the congressional elections. Not a bad day.
Hey, well, that's probably about right. He types on...
But their victory was short-lived. Even before the primary, Lieberman announced
that, should he lose, he'd still run in November as an independent. This
electoral chutzpah effectively rope-a-doped the bloggers and recharged the
senator's fabled Joe-mentum. Lieberman's still the man to beat in the general
Wha??!! So a sitting U.S. Senator and former Vice Presidential candidate is defeated by a heretofore unknown long shot, but because the defeated U.S. Senator decides to run as an Independent, it's a loss for Blogtopia.
“There isn't much point in detailing the chest thumping of the various blognut extremists,” wrote Time's Joe Klein in his analysis of the Lamont victory. “Their reach is minuscule.”So if I understand the argument correctly: A long-shot candidate winning a primary with the help of the blogs doesn't matter because I say so. And those blog people are all nuts anyway, says Joe Klein, so just ignore them.
And yes, there are obligatory references to Blogworld as a "screaming child" and that it needs to be "watched carefully." What a complete goofus.
Terror in the Streets!
And, OMG, could it be a coordinated effort?
UPDATE: And remember, uninformed speculation on such matters is good for everyone!
LATER: This, from Bill Quick at Daily Pundit, is priceless:
My working assumption, whenever somebody who turns out to be Muslim goes on an attempted mass-murder spree, is that Islamist barbarian savagery is the root cause of the violence.
Right. Because any time a Hindu or Christian or Zoorastrian goes on a killing spree I'm inclined to blame their religion first, too.
Charitably, though, Mr. Quick states that he's not willing to draw any conclusions yet, despite his inclinations. How reasonable.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Sports reporting and the blogosphere
Well, if you turn to the Philadelphia Inquirer, there's not much. "I guess he didn't show enough to merit him staying here," is how Saints receiver Joe Horn put it. That sounds like he's just as bewildered about the trade as you and I.
Stallworth had a history of injuries. Hm. He's had arthroscopic shoulder surgery that "prevented him from participating in off-season workouts." OK.
There's some obligatory "shocked" talk from traded Eagles' linebacker Simoneau and that's it. You're left knowing not much, other than Stallworth is a pretty good receiver who's had a few injuries. Maybe he wasn't the blockbuster performer that comes with being a first-round draft pick, but still...
Now turn to the Philly.com-sponsored blog "Early Word," and see what they find:
Stallworth was arrested in Miami in March and jailed after a traffic stop involving expired license plates. He resisted arrest and tried to drive off. How in the world did the Inquirer and Daily News miss that?
Stallworth, according to today's Times-Picayune, was an erratic performer:
But his talent was matched only by his inconsistency. He would alternate between 140-yard receiving games and zero-catch games, sometimes struggling with dropped balls and/or other mental errors. He was not a bad character guy -- in fact, he was one of the most well-liked teammates in the locker room -- but he was chastised on occasion by both coaching staffs for arriving late for meetings and was arrested in Miami during a traffic stop over the summer and was charged with resisting arrest and having expired automobile tags.
Good stuff, but to be, ahem, picayune, if March is "over the summer" why are there so few sunbathers in Bradley Beach when I go there? And I don't fault the Philly papers for missing that, obviously
Yet it wasn't too hard to find information about Stallworth's less-than-stellar track record. I found a post from Aug. 15 on the Times-Picayune's weblog that noted Stallworth might be on his way out of New Orleans, citing his "questionable work ethic."
All I did was Google "Stallworth trade draft."
As the proprietor of the blog, Peter Mucha, a headline writer for the Inquirer, put it about the reason for the trade:
One factor might be character issues hardly mentioned by these first reports.
Gee, you think? You really have to wonder what in the world is going on for reporters to have missed all that crucial information in their first-day stories on this trade. If you got the print version of the paper, you know very little. If you checked out the online version at philly.com (which, it should be noted, prominently features Mucha's findings), you know a hell of a lot more.
I am a legitimate member of legitimate blogtopia
According to this interview, immediately after college Mitchell opted for writing in counterculture magazines in New York, as opposed to the legitimate press.
This is bad, because writing for, ahem, illegitimate "counterculture magazines" clearly pales in comparison to writing about the picking of the pumpkin patch for a "mid-sized weekly newspaper."
It may also pale in comparison to writing at a blog where the proprietor has a habit of making himself look stupid.
But Dan Riehl is a Writer. With a Captial W. Check out this deathless prose:
This published opinion is that of a would-be journalist studying as a Junior at San Diego State University. She likely deserves the benefit of some doubt for being young and all but totally lacking in experience. However, she does present at least once glance into the journalistic mind of tomorrow as it is developing today. The look is not pretty, new and bold, nor enlightened. From this glance, it would appear that the journalistic academy does not paint a very positive picture of blogs, or of people, for that matter, at least in some instances.
Anyone who scratches out a paragraph like that automatically forfeits his right to mock another's writing career.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Boy we hate the media! Hold on, that's Howie Kurtz's producer on the line
I think they're very uncomfortable actually. In fact I can almost personally vouch for that after speaking to a lot of journalists for the past week. A subject that kept coming up was, "So do you really dislike the mainstream media?" It was almost poingant. "Do you really hate us?" was kind of the question. "Why do they hate us?" There's definitely a lot of unsease. I actually had to soothe a lot of ruffled feathers.
Yeah. Where would the mainstream media get that idea?
Oh, yeah, perhaps it's statements like:
THE MEDIA ARE THE ENEMY.
But just maybe.
OMG! OMG! Fake photos everywhere!
Death to Journalists
Given Reuters's coverage of the conflict in Lebanon, it would perhaps be understandable if the Israelis started firing on Reuters vehicles.
Which, apparently, they did! And, you know, it really is understandable. Whenever I'm upset with Jonah Goldberg, my first instinct is to firebomb the offices of National Review.
PS: The nutzosphere is going nutzo over this story, claiming with their mad missile-impact analysis skillz that the Reuters van couldn't possibly have been hit by a missile, because, uh, well, just look at it!
To which the Israeli Army responds:
The Israeli army said the vehicle was hit because it was acting suspiciously in an area of combat and had not been identified as belonging to the media.
"During the operation, there was an aerial attack on a suspicious vehicle that drove in a suspicious manner right by the forces," army spokeswoman Captain Noa Meir said.
"There was an aerial attack," on the vehicle, say both the Israelis and the journalists who were hit. To which Hinderaker, who offers his first-hand blood-n-guts account from the front lines in Minnesota, replies: Nuh-uh.
Also: Always trust Power Line to get things like this right. Because unlike Reuters, they have complete credibility.
UPDATE: I see Glenn Greenwald and I are sharing a wavelength. He offers interesting thoughts on double standards in the right wing blogosphere with regards to Fox News and Reuters.
Well, well, well...
Lots of readers e-mailed last week wondering why Centanni and Wiig's kidnapping is barely on the MSM radar screen. It's a damned good question, especially at a time when journalist Jill Carroll seems to be all over the airwaves and in every major newspaper promoting her book [correction: newspaper series] about her kidnapping by Iraqi terrorists last year.
Whatever the reason, I find the apparent apathy about Centanni and Wiig's kidnapping grossly disturbing.
As they say, Sadly, No!
The spate of kidnappings also creates a dilemma for other news outlets, since heavy coverage could undermine what are invariably delicate negotiations. After Centanni and Wiig were seized, [Fox News Chairman Roger] Ailes called top news executives at the other networks and urged them to exercise restraint.
Ah. Well, then. Over to you, Michelle.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Outrage for outrage's sake
At the press conference, Steve Centanni stated that he and Olaf Wiig "were forced to
convert to Islam at gunpoint."
Will Reuters, which thought the "conversion" was newsworthy, report on
Why yes, dipshit, they did. But nice try smearing Reuters with reporting the news.
See, here's how it works, fools. Reuters reported what they knew when they had it. They are a wire service. They update the information when it becomes available. The video was released by the abductors first. The press conference, in which the reporters said they were forced to convert, was later. Reuters put that information at the top of their later stories. Get it?
These idiots don't even know what they're angry about anymore.
New wingnut logic: Withdraw and win!
Happy Iraqers the world over are trumpeting this study, published in the Washington Post yesterday, that shows that one would be less likely to die as a troop serving in Iraq than an ordinary person living in Philadelphia ("US out of Philadelphia now!" one nutter hilariously proclaims).
So, if I understand this correctly, the fewer casualties America suffers, the more we are "winning," no? (It's not a catasrophe at all!). Therefore, it is irrelevant whether Iraq descends into a failed state or warring factions destroy the country or if it becomes a safe haven for terrorists, only if our troop death numbers are low.
Terrific. So by this logic, if we just withdraw all the troops behind the wire or even brought them all home, casualties would equal zero. And we win.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
It's always the media's fault
The first ground truth is that the liberal media, not the Democrats, are the party standing in opposition to the Republicans.
The next truth is that the Republican base is practically begging to be fired up about the "527 Media's" political activism. They know something is badly wrong with the guys, but they can't quite put their finger on it. The problem began in the Clinton years when the media gave the administration a pass on the growth of terrorism, on Iraq and on the mountains of non-Monica corruption the Clintons lived in. By turning a blind eye to the Clintons' problems, the "527 Media" became intellectually corrupt, more interested in political success for the Dems than the truth.
They're going to run a campaign against the news media? Just let that sink in. Aside from the Clinton stuff (Jed Babbin was apparently comatose during Travelgate, Whitewater, Filegate, the Lincoln bedroom) and the utter silliness of such a gambit, let's look at it politically. Let's say a real manly-man Republican candidate spends 75 percent of his time decrying the "treasonous" media who are in league with the terrorists and want nothing better than to be subjects of a ruling Islamic caliphate (because that's what they believe, no?). Tell me how in the world that is going to come off not sounding like whiny paranoia? -- Which it is.
And get a load of these suggestions:
It's time for the Vice President to give a speech taking the press to task. He should name names. If Pinch Sulzberger wants to be a political activist instead of a publisher, why not call him on it?
· Get your best joke writers to study everything they can about the worst of the 527 Media and let 'em rip. I can just hear Mr. Cheney tut-tutting about the New York Times' stock collapse and comparing it to the dividends of, say, Halliburton.
Yeah, tallking up Halliburton's a sure winner. Creating a "Swift Veteran Reporters for the Truth" (it's in there, believe me) is going to be a big hit. All this comes courtesy of the former deputy undesecretary for defense for George H.W. Bush. What a complete nut.
[via, natch InstaPundit]
And here's the article that somehow spawned all this. (The professors have determined that soldiers have less of a chance of dying in Iraq than of dying in America. Boosters conclude, naturally, that Iraq is not a "catastophe" but Heaven on Earth).
Friday, August 25, 2006
We really screwed up. We win!
We certainly unleashed a pandora's box in the Middle East, didn't we? Who knew? And it probably was a flawed notion to think that Iraqis and Afghans would accept us as liberators (mainly because they're all crazy jerks).
But we still did the right thing by invading.
P.S. The countries we've conquered should publicly thank us for the splendid job we've done.
Turkey bombs Iraq
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Important! Breaking News!!! Must credit Hugh Hewitt!!!!
P.S. I, Hugh Hewitt, Patriot #1, intereviewed Gen. Abizaid for 45 minutes and somehow managed not to mention the words "sectarian violence" "civil war" or "250,000 internally displaced refugees" at all. But I sure did talk alot about Iran. No reason, really.
Iraq: Doin' super!
I don't recall Bush ever saying that Iraq would be a "day at the beach," and in fact casualties to date are considerably lower than what was generally expected for the ground war to Baghdad, where you generally heard figures in the 10,000 range. It's more the duration, and the extent of the bad press, that has exceeded expectations...
Yes, that's right, Iraq is taking just a wee bit longer than we thought to become paradise on earth. And it's probably all the press's fault anyway if it's not. Other than that, things have been going great!
What a laughable lightweight.
UPDATE: As a counterpoint to these trenchant observations from the ever-shrinking ranks of Happy Iraqers, we offer this piece by the Washington Post and highlight this telltale passage:
While still committed to the venture, [Bush] officials have privately told friends and associates outside government that they have grown discouraged in recent months. Even the death of al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq proved not to be the turning point they expected, they have told associates, and other developments have been relentlessly dispiriting, with fewer signs of hope.
Bush acknowledged this week that he has been discouraged as well. "Frustrated?" he asked. "Sometimes I'm frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I'm happy. This is -- but war is not a time of joy. These aren't joyous times. These are challenging times and they're difficult times and they're straining the psyche of our country."
But why should they be discouraged? Only 3,000 Americans have died in Freedomland. That's really not that much, especially when your perspective on the war is from behind a keyboard.
LATER: Just wanted to fact-check that 10,000 number that Prof. Reynolds threw out there. Sure enough, it came out of thin air. Check any news database, transcripts of news shows, the great Google-ometer. No one, nowhere was predicting 10,000 casualties from the ground war alone.
In fact, take a look at this study by The Brookings Institute, conducted before the war, which took into account news reports and previous estimates from Gulf War I. It predicted anywhere between 100 to 5,000 deaths (a pretty wide range), but it also noted that the high range figures "appear relatively unlikely to occur."
And here's an article in The Boston Globe, published a month before the war, noting that few were making predictions about casualties. It did note, however, that the Pentagon had ordered 7,000 body bags (in addition to about 8,000 on back-order).
Maybe the Professor can provide a cite or two for his 10,000 figure. Otherwise, he should take a bow for slaying yet another Strawmonster.
MUCH LATER: Here's a study from Barry Posen in 1990 (for Gulf War I) that cited a New York Times article quoting sources in the Pentagon saying that 10- 20,000 troops could die. Perhaps that's what he was thinking about.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Martin Peretz, Bolton apologist
...Bolton has rejected the basic proposition about the internationalization of decision-making on several occasions. His point was that political legitimacy derives only from democratic processes. Since so few of the states in the United Nations operate through these processes, there is little legitimacy in the United Nations at all, particularly on extreme questions like force.
Ah, now we get it. If the countires we're dealing with do not fit Bolton's definition of "democratic" we can simply ignore them. And if they get together and decide to send troops, it's illegitimate. Sounds like a good way to get things done at the U.N.
Read the rest for an unintentional gut-buster of a time, including the "uneemly stalking" (whatever that means) of the Democrats against Bolton.
Martin Peretz, what a nut.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Every photo a fake!
It's a bit reminiscent of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: "I'm getting better.")
Plainly this scene was staged for the benefit of the cameras, though it is important to note we know of no evidence that the photographer was complicit in the staging. It is, however, a clear example of how terrorist groups use journalists to spread their propaganda.
(Update: This blog post offers pretty convincing evidence that we were mistaken.)
That's some responsible blogging. Way to go, Taranto! [via an always credulous InstaPundit]
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Getting those facts straight
What strikes us, though, is the opportunism from those mediaphobes in certain segments of the blogosphere who have taken the occassion to -- shockingly -- use the incident to proclaim that no one ever in the rest of the living world in perpetuity should ever trust the evil media fascists again.
Hilarious, of course, and not at all agenda-driven.
Today, InstaPundit picks up on an unsigned piece in Investor's Business Daily (subtly titled "Jihad Journalism?" -- love that passive-aggresive punctuation!) that wonders casually whether, you know, Reuters is an arm of the terrorists who want us all to die (a favorite InstaPundit trope, by the way). The piece is the usual load of crap that includes this smear-all quote, pulled lovingly by InstaPundit:
Is Reuters a patsy or collaborator? Either way, it is helping the cause of terrorism and undermining civilization.
Unless it wants to become just another branch of Al-Jazeera, it had better make meaningful institutional changes soon.
Helpfully, InstaPundit rejoinders "I think it's the 'unless' that's the problem, here." Because of course Reuters actually desires to be an arm of the terrorists! Get it?
As a final note, you'd think the uber-patriots at a publication like Investor's Business Daily would have the werewithal to nail down easily verifiable facts. IBD states in its piece :
Here we return to Johnson of the Little Green Footballs blog. For his effort in pointing out the phoniness of the photograph, he got a warm message from a Reuters account that said: "I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut." The so-far-unidentified person used "zionistpig" as his or her e-mail address.
No, no and no. The email was not sent in response to the photo, it was actually sent in May. All you have to do is click on the LGF link to find out. I'm sure the accuracy hounds at IBD will issue a quick correction.
Monday, August 07, 2006
How crazy is Iraq?
This is how staggeringly pointless the killing in Iraq is getting: shepherds in the rural western Baghdad neighborhood of Gazalea have recently been murdered, according to locals, for failing to diaper their goats. Apparently the sexual tension is so high in regions where Sheikhs take a draconian view of Shariah law, that they feel the sight of naked goats poses an unacceptable temptation. They blame the goats.
I've spent nearly a year here, on more than a dozen visits since the early days of the war, and that seemed about as preposterous as Iraq could get until I heard about the grocery store in east Baghdad. The grocer and three others were shot to death and the store was firebombed because he suggestively arranged his vegetables.
I didn't believe it at first. Firebombings of liquor stores are common, and I figured there must've been one next door. But an Iraqi colleague explained matter-of-factly that Shiite clerics had recently distributed a flyer directing groceries how to display their food. Standing up a celery stalk near a couple of tomatoes in a way that might - to the profoundly repressed - suggest an aroused male, is now a capital offense.
It may not be civil war, but it sure is a complete clusterfuck. [Transcript via Lexis-Nexis]