Archive for Media

Pick your fights carefully: inciting panic or avoid it?

Mollie Hemingway: Media Reaction To Yamiche Alcindor Dustup With Trump Shows Why Their Approval Ratings Are Low – “Her peers rushed to defend her, but Alcindor has a track record of partisan commentary and unnecessarily hostile and silly questions.”

“The ongoing dysfunctional codependent relationship between the political media and President Donald Trump flared up again on Sunday afternoon during a Rose Garden press conference on the government’s handling of the Wuhan virus that has swept the globe.

Trump needs the media to act the way they do so he can dunk on them and look good by comparison. The media are enjoying the short-term rush of their war with Trump, wearing his abuse as a badge of honor among their peers.

Trump flourishes the more the White House press corps is riddled with political activists posing as journalists. But the country might fare better with more informed questions from reporters able to think through issues less politically.

Thomas Lifson: Trump-haters’ heads exploding in the wake of his masterful Rose Garden coronavirus briefing yesterday – “President Trump is redefining himself as a wartime president, boldly acting to sweep away obstacles and mobilizing government and business to fight together to get us up to speed in overcoming a threat that nobody anticipated.

Jim Hoft: “Instead of Asking a Nasty, Snarky Question like that, You Should Ask a Real Question” – TRUMP Unloads on #FakeNews Hack Jim Acosta After Gotcha Question (VIDEO) – “The CNN hack wasted the American public’s time by asking a horrid, gotcha question at the White House presser today.

Ace of Spades: Presser Reactions: Trump v. Acosta, Gutfeld v. Williams, and All of the Leftwing Media Versus Mike Lindell from MyPillow.com – “Trump shut him down by saying that CNN’s goal was to incite panic, whereas Trump’s goal, as President, was to avoid it.

Eddie Scarry: Trump’s not scaring people about the coronavirus: The media are – “They have reported on this pandemic and the administration’s response to it as though it were something out of the Book of Revelations. Every single death is characterized as an avoidable tragedy — something that we should have been able to stop if not for an inept president. In fact, the experiences of many countries not led by Trump has been strikingly similar.

“Reporters can keep people in a panic as long as they want. But their worthless nagging about the administration’s response to a health scare nobody yet completely understands is just that — worthless.

Richard Benedetto: An Epidemic of Media Partisanship – “Leafing through the first section of Sunday’s print edition of the Post, nearly every headline seemed designed to scare the bejesus out of readers already nervously confined to their homes because of the coronavirus crisis.

“I am reminded of a course I took in graduate school that focused on the responsibility of the media. I recall the professor noting that with the American press enjoying such great freedom, it becomes even more important that it wield that freedom judiciously.

Cassandra Fairbanks: LEAKED AUDIO: Kennedy Center President Deployed Lobbyist to Secure $25 Million in Coronavirus Stimulus, But Not a Cent for Workers – “During the leaked conference call, which took place on March 26, Rutter repeatedly makes excuses for why they are laying off their employees despite knowing that they will be receiving $25 million in the stimulus package.

Brian C. Joondeph: The Coincidental Chinese Virus – “When everything from professional sports to entertainment award shows have become political forums, it’s no surprise that an infectious disease outbreak moved from the realm of science to politics.” Many coincidences all heading along the same path tend to breed conspiracy theories …

“In politics there are few coincidences, defined as “Remarkable concurrences of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.” What to the casual observer appears random are events actually created or steered in a certain direction for political objectives. The Trump presidency provides a timeline of such examples, including the current viral pandemic, suggesting that these are not simply serendipitous events.

I & I Editorial Board: Some Much-Needed Coronavirus Perspective – “It’s unprecedented, to be sure. But the problem with all the numbers being bandied about is that they lack any context.” … “Then there are all the scary stories about hospitalizations and how the health care system will be overwhelmed. Here, too, there’s no context.” … “But in any situation, context matters. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing missing from the 24/7 coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Victor Davis Hanson: Viral Prerequisites and Nationalist Lessons in Time of Plague – “Trump’s prior initiatives eased the implementation of many of his most effective orders during this crisis.”

“since the outbreak of the virus, Trump’s idiosyncratic sixth sense has come in handy. The country is united in its furor at China—even if it is giving no credit to Trump for being years ahead of where it is now.

What made Trump a renegade Republican was his appeal to the deplorables, irredeemables, clingers, and dregs, whom the national media and elite had derided as toothless, smelly, fat, superstitious, bigoted, racist, superfluous, addicted, and toxic.

We are learning, belatedly, that Trump was also rightly wary of transnationalism.

At such times as these, was it smarter to trust in bureaucracies like the CDC to issue test kits or to encourage private enterprise to step forward and become creative producers? Could counties and states adapt better to the local and regional differences of the virus’s manifestations than a monolithic federal government?

When the jails are emptying, was it then wiser to have a pro-Second Amendment president or one who wished to restrict the availability of guns and ammunition, Beto O’Rourke style?

Sundance: Federal Judge Rules Killing Babies is an “Essential Service” but protecting the 1st and 2nd amendments isn’t? “Strange times we live in… Earlier today in Tampa, Florida, the county sheriff let the criminal inmates out of his jail, and then went to arrest a pastor for delivering Sunday church services and put him in the same jail. …

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The hostility is destructive and instructive

Andrea Widburg: Once again, Trump was right and the media were wrong – “As always, when it comes to the media’s obsessive need to contradict Trump, the media were wrong.” … as were -are- a couple of governors.

“Indeed, the chloroquine and azithromycin treatment was so successful that Dr. Raoult refused to use a control group. He believed that doing so would be unethical insofar as it would deny people a proven life-saving treatment.

And Trump once again scores against a hostile media.

Peter Wales: The Case for a Nationwide Lockdown – “What we do know is that of tested and diagnosed cases which have run their course, more than 15 people out of 100 have died.” 15%? His cite doesn’t even support this is it’s worst cases. Then there’s the note that “it was no more than a few days’ inconvenience, as suggested by the latest figures out of Iceland, where mass testing has indicated the virus had a much wider and largely unnoticed spread in the community than “we would have assumed,” in the words of the chief tester.” Doomsday alarmism supported neither by its citations nor its observations and we are supposed to take it seriously?

Clarice Feldman: Numerators and Denominators in the Coronavirus Saga – “To ascertain how fatal a virus is, we need an accurate picture of how many people have it (the denominator) and how many have died as a result (the numerator), we have neither, but the data is improving and with it some substantial shifts away from the original model, which predicted far more deaths as a result of the Wuhan virus than we are seeing.”

“Early models also could not accurately predict how quickly the virus would spread and what tools could be brought in to limit mortality. As the data comes in, we have reason to be more optimistic that the death rate will be lower, the extreme efforts to control its spread should soon be relaxed, and that efficacious treatments are already underway. (Unfortunately, I can be far less sanguine about the end of Democratic rapaciousness in the face of national emergencies or media disingenuousness.)

Yes, special protection must still be in place for the elderly and immune suppressed, and we must continue to practice good hygiene, and yes, all available personnel and supplies must go to those areas hardest hit, but I’m not shoving my Amazon boxes into the autoclave any longer and I firmly believe we need to get back to more normal commercial activity in most of the country as soon as possible, and no later than Easter, or the consequences to the nation’s health and well-being will be worse than that of the virus.

Hannah Smothers: Every Grocery Store Should Be Handling the Pandemic Like This Texas Chain – “Whole Foods, local grocery chains, and probably the federal government could take a page from HEB’s emergency preparedness book.” … “HEB probably had a head start because it operates solely in a state where hurricane season means nearly annual emergency situations,

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Been had? Can’t figure out what the raw score means?

Geoffrey Luck: Flatten the Curve, Fatten the CrisisIf war is too important to be left to the generals, epidemics are too critical to be entrusted to the doctors. That is the only conclusion to be drawn from Australia’s foolish rush to hysteria over Covid-19.” … “Unfortunately, policy still seems to derive from raw score-keeping, and health departments better at tally-keeping than analysing.

New York Post: Media meltdown over Trump’s suicide warning shows the press can’t let its hatred go – “There’s nothing incorrect — or even controversial — in those remarks. (Though Trump, sigh, went on to be more dramatic.) But media outlets that would normally echo any concern about higher mental-health risks proceed to be outraged.

“Back in the real world, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline has reportedly seen incoming calls triple.

Much of the media would rush to contradict Trump if he announced that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. At a time of national crisis, it’s beyond pathetic.

Robert Bryce: Why Dems are so bent on passing wind amid corona crisis – “Renewables live or die by subsidies, in fact. That was proved yet again this week

That Congressional Democrats would push so hard for solar and wind subsidies at such a critical time for the US economy is particularly galling for two reasons. First, the wind industry already stands to collect some $33.75 billion in subsidies between now and 2029. Second, wind-energy development in some of the most-heavily Democratic states in the country — Hawaii, California, New York and Vermont — has been effectively stopped due to local opposition.

This economic-rescue bill will likely not include Big Wind pork. But given the wind industry’s shamelessness, the nonsense is certain to return. Indeed, Politico is reporting that subsidies for solar and wind “could be pushed to a later corporate rescue package.”

Matt Margolis: What the Media Isn’t Telling You About the United States’ Coronavirus Case Numbers – “In a visual presentation titled “Where the U.S. Stands Now on Coronavirus Testing” the New York Times even used whole numbers for confirmed cases in one slide, and then in the next slide used per capita numbers for testing, in order to paint the United States in the worst light.” It’s deceit by statistics and ignorance either willful or unknowing.

Geoffrey P. Hunt: We’ve been had, and Trump knows it – “Most telling, the two U.S. public health icons, Drs Fauci and Birx, are both saying the extreme models that provoked extreme measures bear little resemblance to the actual data on the ground.” … “Perhaps Trump had no other option than to go with the flow when this crisis unfolded.” … “Trump wants America to reopen by Easter. Despite his ambition being ridiculed and criticized, he’s right to pivot from hysteria to rebound.

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The good word isn’t welcome

Scott Johnson citing Kevin Roche: My struggle with the Star Tribune (3) – “We need to immediately embark on a different course, before the damage we inflict on ourselves is beyond repair. … So we should call on Governor Walz, our legislators and other political leaders, to consider that they are only delaying, that is right, not preventing, only delaying, the loss of a few lives, while promulgating measures that likely will lead to, indeed have already led to, enormous job losses and financial ruin, creating widespread anxiety and emotional distress.”

Meanwhile you have Larry Hogan: We’re going to listen to our scientists on when we go back to work, not the White House and Allahpundit proclaiming “I wonder if Trump realizes how ferocious the pushback will be if he follows through on encouraging people to go back to work next week.” Both Hogan and the Pundit expose a deep TDS bias in proclaiming conclusions as assumptions without evidence to support them. Another one is Breaking: Trump says aiming to reopen America by Easter; Update: Can’t reopen until health care system is prepared, says … Liz Cheney where Ed Morrissey misses what the President said about Easter as a goal and completely avoided the problem (along with Cheney) of trying to decide what a prepared health care system might be. Why is the health care system unprepared for a respiratory disease whose numbers are in the noise when compared to the annual flu onslaught? i.e. the health care situation is fear driven, not fact driven.

Coyote: COVID-19 And Some Thoughts on Data Analysis – [caution: moral preening on display] “Frankly, I am done with the Precautionary Principle. This does not mean I am against taking precautions, even strong and expensive precautions, against bad things. But I am done with the notion that one should ignore the costs of these precautions and not make sensible tradeoffs. This is even true when trading off the risk to life on one hand with reduction of economic outcomes on the other. This is in part because reduced economic activity has real effects on human misery and has direct correlations with lifespan and well-being.” His thoughts:

“The data we have sucks, and thus any conclusions we are drawing mostly suck too. …

The media is constantly confusing changes in measurement technique and intensity with changes in the underlying progress of the virus itself. …

The data we are getting sucks worse because the media has decided, as one big group, that for our own good they are going to limit all facts about the virus to only the bad ones. …

The media is never more dangerous than when it understands a little about a scientific topic. …

Many of the computer model results I am seeing make no sense to me. I am exhausted with people talking about computer models as if they are some fact, rather than a really opaque calculation on some researcher’s set of non-transparent hypotheses. …

Mario Alexis Portella: No, Trump is not in Violation of the Emoluments Clause – “Unless we believe that the Framers intended to prohibit any presidential secondary source of income that could, even incidentally, do business with a foreign government or official, then clearly “emolument” is a term of art that covers specific types of payments and gifts.” It’s a good rundown on one of the ongoing lawfare attacks.

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A failure to serve on two fronts

Ned Ryun: Failures of the Administrative State in the Pandemic Crisis – “This isn’t the time to change our leadership in the White House. It’s time to change the government the person in the White House oversees. The American people deserve better.”

“Despite Democrats’ insistent focus on making this pandemic crisis about President Trump and his Administration—and the media happily jumping on that bandwagon—there are facts that cannot be ignored, and many of them are things the Democrat members of Congress (or former members of the Obama Administration) don’t want the American people to know.

Scott Johnson: Waiting for the FDA – “The WSJ reported yesterday that President Trump has “considered issuing an executive order greatly expanding the use of investigational drugs against the new coronavirus, but was met with objections from Food and Drug Administration scientists who warned it could pose unneeded risks to patients[.]

Kurt Schlichter: The Media Is Even More Garbage Than Usual – “And remember, we are supposed to respect these people, to treat them as brave firefighters who risk it all to bring us the truth. Instead, they are cheesy little liars, and not very good ones.

“This was the media’s time to shine, a moment when we needed clear, objective information delivered by intelligent people who asked the important questions people care about so Americans could protect themselves and their families. It was a critical juncture when the media could step up and show us all that yes, the media is still important. It still matters. It still deserves our respect.

Instead we got, “Mr. President, isn’t accurately pointing out that the coronavirus originated in China racist?”

Scott Johnson: Kung Flu fighting – “The White House press corps performed at a shamefully low level in yesterday’s daily briefing, yet they represent the top ranks of their profession.” Also see Situation critical: WH press at work.

Donna Rachel Edmunds: Israeli Nobel Laureate: Coronavirus spread is slowing – “Michael Levitt praised Israel for its preventative measures. He said most people are naturally immune, and that since the infection rate in China is slowing down, “the end of the pandemic is near.”

Kristinn Taylor: Target Stores’ Chrissy Teigen To First Lady Melania Trump – but it’s Trump, who doesn’t use language like this and is not mean and ugly in his rhetoric who catches the flak.

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perspective and reason MIA?

Andrea Widburg: The Democrats are trying to create another “fine people” hoax against Trump – “We all know that Democrats, in the media and politics, lie about Trump. The most famous is the assertion that President Trump called white supremacists “fine people.” … “If you’re taking the mainstream media and the Democrat Party at face value, you are almost invariably misinformed.”

Tommaso Ebhardt et al: 99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says – “After deaths from the virus reached more than 2,500, with a 150% increase in the past week, health authorities have been combing through data to provide clues to help combat the spread of the disease.

Alex Berezow: Coronavirus: U.S. Is Not The Next Italy – “There are two false narratives emerging on social media that need to be addressed. The first is that the virus is a hoax. The second is that the U.S. is “the next Italy.” Both are wrong.” Whoops … Berezow blew it with a ‘both sides do it’ fallacy on his first assertion. He swallows a misdirection by the Left for his ‘hoax’ assertion and, in doing that, tends to illustrate and compound the problem rather then relieve it. He misses the point that his second assertion, and the call for his column, is a direct result of the first.

Anna L. Stark: A little perspective helps – “What’s worse? The rapid spread of a novel virus which originated in China or the media hysteria created and broadcast around the world?

“If it was the intent of the American media to create a state of fear and panic, they’ve succeeded brilliantly. The dissemination of information pertinent to the virus has morphed into a murky river of rumors, innuendo, outright lies and blather proffered by pundits who are neither doctors nor experts on much of anything other than opinionating.

Whether or not the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan province wet market, possibly transmitted to human hosts via the consumption of infected animals or accidently leaked from a Chinese infectious disease research facility may never be determined. The Chinese government won’t be forthcoming. Coronavirus won’t be the last pandemic in human history, but the number of fatalities will be greatly diminished by 21st century medical technology, research, and vaccines. It’s also worth mentioning that in comparison, deaths in the United States due to influenza has already topped 20,000 for the 2019-2020 flu season and for which there has been no media hype, nor panic.

Ed Driscoll: The Manchurian Media – “I’m pretty sure that John Frankenheimer didn’t intend for The Manchurian Candidate to be a how-to guide. But if the media were paid Chinese agents, could they do more to harm this country than they’re already doing now?

Victor Davis Hanson: America In a New Upside-Down World – “Who can game the election-year politics of these chaotic times, especially the more macabre calculations of the electoral beneficiaries of the media-driven hysteria over the COVID-19?”

Scott Johnson: Notes on the pandemic – “As we continue to seek out noteworthy information and analysis, contrarian or otherwise, on the COVID-19 pandemic, I want only to recommend the items below to your attention.” … Ionaddis on “making decisions without reliable data”; Libsker “Humanity will survive”; Stern on vaccine progress; others

Luboš Motl: Can freedom, prosperity return at all? – “The Covid-19 hysteria has shown us that many people – including many of those who pretended something else – actually hate the civilization as it existed up to 2019, with some freedom, technological achievements, culture, sports, human contacts, religious events, and other things. In fact, many people – including TRF commenters – literally love the idea to spend their lives in a cage.

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The virus is a minor problem compared to the panic

Matt Margolis: 10 Ways the Left Has Politicized the Coronavirus Pandemic – “It was disgusting to see the way Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders politicized the coronavirus pandemic during their debate Sunday night. I expected as much, to be honest.” A list of ten with chapter and verse, as if that makes any difference to the perpetrators. When will it make a difference to the voters?

Terry Jones: Will The Real Victim Of The Wuhan Flu ‘Crisis’ Be Your Rights? – “we’re told repeatedly that, out of “an abundance of caution,” we must shut down our economy. From New York to California, state and local governments have declared “emergencies.” So has the federal government, part of a much-broader “crisis” response.

“This should be a concern to all Americans. Yes, we need to take reasonable precautions agains the Wuhan coronavirus to minimize deaths. We’re all for being careful. And, no, we don’t believe the Wuhan coronavirus is a hoax or anything like that. But the media focus has been hysterical to the point of absurdity, encouraging government to impose the most stringent controls in modern history.

That’s bad enough, given the mainstream media’s undisguised contempt for President Donald Trump. But they’re providing cover for those who would deprive us of our rights permanently.

Jazz Shaw: Coronavirus is the new excuse for universal basic income – “The latest installment in our series on Never Letting a Perfectly Good Crisis Go To Waste comes to us courtesy of Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii ”. Romney is in on it, too.

Cal Thomas: Is this panic over coronavirus justified, or not? – “Mainstream media loves fueling the fear factor

“Are we being subjected to doublespeak when, on the one hand, we are told the coronavirus is nothing to be afraid of, if we take precautions and, on the other, we are told to run for the hills? Is this a biblical plague or a manageable ailment? Are we facing the judgment of God, or will this, too, pass like the flu or a cold, or other ailments from which most of us recover? …

I am no prophet, but just as other challenges have confronted America, we will recover from this one. The stock market will revive because the economy remains strong. Schools that are closed will reopen. Broadway lights will go back on. Sports contests with fans in the seats will resume. Church doors will reopen. Normalcy will return.

Andrea Widburg: The American press’s entire energy is bent towards destroying Trump – “The latest example comes from The New York Times, a once-respected institution that now would offend the birds whose cages it might line.” … “It turns out that the New York Times was engaged in a lie by omission something that, at common law, is every bit as wrong as an affirmative fraud.” See also John Hinderaker: More Lies From the New York Times – “One question that millions have asked is, if Donald Trump does so many terrible things, why do leftists constantly have to make up things he didn’t actually do?

Andrea Widburg: Jennifer Rubin’s death wish for Republicans is factually wrong — and the maps prove it – “Once upon a time, Jennifer Rubin was an intelligent woman. Things started to go downhill when she went to work for the Washington Post, but what really flipped the switch in her brain was seeing Donald Trump become president.”

John Solomon: Obama DOJ officials privately told Mueller they were alarmed by FBI treatment of Flynn – “A little-noticed letter from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office divulges Obama DOJ concerns about FBI treatment of ex-Trump national security adviser.” Scott Johnson also has another hit on team Mueller: Escape from the Mueller miasma – “A lawyer for Concord said the case had ‘fundamental problems’ and said prosecutors wouldn’t have been able to prove at trial that the defendants knew they were violating U.S. laws. ‘The purpose of this indictment was to make a political statement regarding the outcome of the 2016 election that was grossly overstated.

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Gaslighting behavior to watch for

Anthony Watts: The 11 gaslighting characteristics of the climate debate – “This was originally from Psychology Today by Stephanie A. Sarkis Ph.D. but I immediately recognized how this is wholly applicable to the climate debate.” The term is making enough of an impression the Left has it moving up to joining accusations of racism as popular in smearing its opposition. Projection, anyone? “Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.” Here’s a summary:

1. They tell blatant lies.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.

4. They wear you down over time.

5. Their actions do not match their words.

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

7. They know confusion weakens people.

8. They project.

9. They try to align people against you.

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

Brian C. Joondeph: Remember the H1N1 Pandemic? I Don’t Either – “Swine flu came and went, leaving a far greater swath of destruction compared to the current coronavirus outbreak. Yet the reactions are far different.

Frederic Lardinois: Trump says Google CEO Sundar Pichai called to apologize – “Google has 1,700 engineers working on this right now. They have made tremendous progress

“What is clear, though, is that Google and Alphabet CEO Pichai today posted an update to Google’s blog that outlines Google’s efforts. In it, Pichai clears up some of the confusion and describes the work the company is doing to get more information about the virus and COVID-19 to its users, as well as the work Alphabet’s Verily life sciences unit is doing to build a screening site for the Bay Area (and potentially for a nationwide rollout).

On Friday, Trump promised a nationwide website, developed by Google, that would be at the core of the government’s screening process. Google wasn’t ready for that announcement. The site didn’t exist yet. Even the limited version of that site, which wasn’t developed by Google, was ready and for the most part, a lot of us in the media probably now regret ever taking the president at his word. As of now, this is one of the most bizarre Google stories I’ve covered in recent years.

Now, it’d be great to hear more about what Pichai apologized for.

Perhaps if Lardinois got past his bias, realized that the situation is fluid, that misunderstanding is not unusual in fluid situations, and that jumping to conclusions (e.g. Trump lies. Always) in spite of wondering about Pichai does not help anyone. Trump’s word is still valid. He relayed what he understood from Pichai and the reason there is a bizarre Google story and a Pichai apology is because of the nature of the communications. Assuming lies and deceit in a rapidly evolving reveals a dangerous bias. In this case Google appears to have been a little ahead itself and unprepared for Trump speed. “Google wasn’t ready for that announcement.”

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The art of the smear

Dov Fischer: The Real Threat to Our Democracy During Coronavirus – “Pelosi, Schiff & Co. were too busy dragging the country through impeachment to pay attention to ominous developments in Asia.”

“From the moment that President Trump was elected, we have been battered by the percussion of a steady drumbeat amplifying the repeated mantra that “Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy.” We hear all the lies over and over:

But Trump is a Constitutionalist, and he also happens to play by rules.

Rarely — if ever — before has a President’s fealty to the Constitution been as sorely tested as Donald Trump has encountered.

If there ever was a real threat to our democracy in today’s rancid political climate, it emanates from Pelosi, Schumer, and the Democrats who follow them like lemmings.

The CDC further announced at that time that the genome had been posted on the NIH genetic sequence database. It is a matter of public record that the Democrats, the Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, and MSNBC all were obsessed at the time with the nonsensical still-born Pelosi impeachment, doing all they could to focus public attention on that foolishness in their never-ending effort to take down Trump, while the gigantic story under their noses — the emerging coronavirus plague — went virtually unreported.

These endless internecine efforts by Democrats, aimed not at advancing the public’s needs or the common weal but solely at gumming up the machinery of government and sabotaging the Trump Administration, are proving to be the single greatest threat today to our democracy.

neo: This video shows what the MSM is about – “I realized that they could deny it and that they would deny it. They’d say that the news people involved used the phrase “Wuhan coronavirus” or “Chinese coronavirus” innocently and descriptively, but when Trump used the same words it meant something entirely different and was a racist dog whistle because racism engulfs his heart and mind. – I can’t watch the video without becoming furious and yet being impressed by what it reveals so succinctly about the MSM members involved: their poisonous hypocrisy and treacherous mendacity, delivered with such sober serious faces:

Vivek Saxena: Ben Rhodes slapped with reality check when he longs for Obama leadership under coronavirus outbreak – “Repeatedly disgraced former Obama administration national security adviser Ben Rhodes stepped in it mightily Wednesday by daring to suggest without evidence that the coronavirus outbreak would have been handled better under his former boss.” … “Why? Because during the former president’s eight year veritable reign of terror, millions of Americans were infected by and at least 12,500 died from the swine flu.

Willis Eschenbach: The Math Of Epidemics – “Now, this particular “s-shaped” curve is called a “Gompertz Curve”. It is a curious curve, in that it is not symmetrical. It goes up faster than it levels off.” The curve fits China and Korea data. What does it suggest about virus deaths elsewhere?

Greg Mankiw asserts that there will be a recession and demands that “President Trump should shut-the-hell-up” because he is an ignorant idiot. Hubris is dripping and that is, perhaps, more of the problem that is facing the issue than what the government is doing under the President’s leadership.

David Harsanyi: Joe Biden owes Clarence Thomas an apology — and so does the entire left – “For contemporary Democrats, the court exists primarily to safeguard the only constitutional “right” that really matters to them anymore: abortion.” … “the patriarchy must unilaterally surrender to the poetic truth, rather than to the evidence

“If Biden should apologize to anyone, it’s Clarence Thomas, or maybe the American people, for allowing judicial confirmation hearings to be turned into partisan-fueled character assassinations, weaponized to destroy the legitimacy of the Supreme Court — all in the service of nothing more noble than the killing of the unborn.

So many smears, so little time …

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TDS Magnitude Level 9 in medicine, media, and law

Victoria Taft: The Media Succumb to Raging Case of Katrina Virus in Hopes of Infecting Trump. Trump Isn’t Having It – “As you may be aware, “Katrina moment” is to disasters is what Watergate is to corruption.” … “Trump’s fighting back, but will it be enough to give him immunity to the media virus?

The “Katrina moment” never quite stuck to any number of President Obama’s missteps from Benghazi to the H1N1 outbreak. That’s what a fawning press will do for a president.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the media has been waiting for President Trump to do or say something in order to pin the Hurricane Katrina label on him.

The only thing the Katrina virus-infected mob hasn’t pulled at this point is arranging for a coronavirus whistleblower, leaking to Adam Schiff and calling for a special prosecutor.

There’s still time.

David Catron: Politicizing Coronavirus Will Cost Dems the House – “Their rhetoric concerning COVID-19 has been both irresponsible and politically inept.”

“Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, for example, issued a joint press release Sunday that included the following fiction: “President Trump continues to manufacture needless chaos within his administration and it is hampering the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.” Predictably, Pelosi and Schumer fail to provide any objective facts to support this claim.

These Democrats are particularly vulnerable after the impeachment debacle because they explicitly promised their constituents during their 2018 midterm campaigns that they would eschew hyper-partisan politics and work with Republicans on issues that mattered to real people. Predictably, most of these “moderate” Democrats forgot that pledge immediately after they migrated to the swamp.

President Trump is right when he accuses the Democrats of working “to inflame the coronavirus situation.” They regard the outbreak as an opportunity for scoring political points. Moreover, they have behaved so irresponsibly during the past three years that what little credibility they enjoyed has evaporated.

Neo citing A doctor [who] counsels calm – “But mostly, I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, openmindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.”

Brett T. Fake news: Daily Mail reports that President Trump stormed out of coronavirus briefing (very slowly) – “Daily Mail US goes on tirade of TDS Magnitude Level 9 threatening total implosion!!!!

Anna Gaddy, MD: What COVID-19 taught me about autonomy – “When I self-reported my symptoms to the health department and my institution’s infection prevention department, things moved impressively quickly.” For those who worry about treating the disease seriously but not with panic, here’s a story of one experience.

Elizabeth Vaughn: Here’s How Eric Holder Helped the Obama Administration Transform the Democratic Party into a Party of Thugs – “It was during the Bush Administration that Democrats, overcome by Bush Derangement Syndrome, stopped trying to maintain the traditional veneer of civility. That turned out to be child’s play compared to what came next.

Walter Olson: Trump campaign files round of defamation suits – illustrating assumptions indicating ‘professional’ TDS – “Given the broad protections for writing about public figures enunciated by the Supreme Court in the case of New York Times v. Sullivan, few if any of these suits are likely to prevail at final judgment. Still, a suit like this serves “to drag people into court and imposes the time, burden, distraction, and cost of having to defend themselves, with the added benefit that it may make people and the press less willing to criticize these people. ” [Howard Wasserman, PrawfsBlawg] Time for state legislators to consider enacting stronger protections against unfounded suits?” Olson shows absolutely no consideration for issues of libel in major media and appropriate responsibility in publication of libelous stories or ‘opinions’ for broad audiences.

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Harsh Words and Big Lies

John O’Sullivan: When the Left Lies, Conservatives Plead Guilty – “It controls all the cultural institutions, and it intends to use that power to determine what words mean, what political ideas will be allowed in public debate, and what people it is respectable to associate with.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.: Tired of Being Mocked? – “America has broken down into two different countries. One lectures us, mocks us, and lies to us. It is about to experience four more years of us.

Bruce Thornton: Progressive Big Lies – “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”

“This penchant for accepting lies as truth, however, has warped the minds of Leftists both hard and soft ever since New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty lied about Stalin’s engineered famines in the 1930s. They have accepted the Marxist, as in Groucho, stance “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”

Worse yet, today’s progressives believe lies to be true despite their egregious falsehood.

These lies and their dangers have been worsened over the last few decades by the degeneration of education from grammar school to university.

we might see for ourselves what George Orwell famously prophesied in 1984 as the consequences of the big lie:

The progressive corruption of history demonstrates their control of the past. Their dangerous policies currently control much of the present. If they triumph in November, we all may have to experience the grim wages of their control of the future.

George Parry: Chuck Schumer, Wise Guy – “Yet his threats against Supreme Court justices are no laughing matter.”

John Sexton: Trump: Schumer Should ‘Pay A Severe Price’ For Threatening Supreme Court Justices – “Ed wrote about Schumer’s threats earlier today and Allahpundit wrote about Schumer’s follow up statement claiming he was being misconstrued (or something)” – What is missing is the comparison and contrast between Schumer’s and Trump’s comments directed at SCOTUS. One is a threat, the other is criticism. Conflating the two is deceit. Neo takes note of this: “There is no equivalence between a threat and a criticism. And trying to argue for a certain policy does not excuse making a threat.

“What Schumer said earlier today was different. Supreme Court Justices aren’t elected; they are appointed for life. They won’t face the voters ever. So saying “you don’t know what will hit you” clearly can’t be a reference to the Justices being surprised at their comeuppance in the next election. In fact, the only way Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will leave the Court is if they a) resign or b) die. Obviously it’s more than a bit problematic to suggest either of those two things will be made to happen if they vote the wrong way on an abortion case.

Karen Townsend: “Out of line”: GOP chair responds as Donna Brazile doubles down – “harsh words were in response to Ronna McDaniel’s completely accurate description of 2016’s Democrat primary process.” Brazile is a Fox News employee.

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Making things up when the need for accuracy is most important

Alex Berezow: Cell Phones, Cancer, And Coronavirus: Tucker Carlson Spreads Conspiracy Theories – “Tucker Carlson doesn’t know much about science, technology, or public health, but he definitely has an opinion about them. And he knows a conspiracy when he sees one.

“There are several other basic points to consider: (1) If China did accidentally release a virus to use as a bioweapon, it would probably be capable of killing more than 2% of those it infected. (2) Why create a bioweapon that is essentially a really bad cold when there are so many “better” options (e.g., plague or smallpox)? (3) The genome of the virus was sequenced and released to the public, which would be a very strange thing to do if the virus was actually a weapon. Why would the Chinese government hand over the recipe?

Tucker certainly can opine and espouse conspiracy theories, but to do so from such a public platform is somewhat reckless. He would be more persuasive if his speculation was grounded in scientific facts.

Additionally, nonsense has consequences. The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reports that the conspiracy theories are hurting the Wuhan lab’s ability to research the new coronavirus.

Back in October, Tucker ran a segment about evidence for UFOs. Maybe they brought the coronavirus?

Kristyn Leonard: Program aims to raise awareness about cybersecurity, misinformation risks to elections – “This narrative was a result of both very real issues in Iowa and a rampant spread of misinformation on the internet that party leaders were unable to control. Conspiracy theories flourished.” … “While doomsday predictions about the Nevada caucus largely failed to materialize, Americans’ faith in democracy has dwindled amid perceptions that elections are insecure and the speed at which falsehoods can spread over social media.” Rather typically,they take a swipe at the President by mischaracterizing his statements but the bias is rather mild. But then the Russian Collusion fake axiom creeps in, too.

“In this volatile climate, the University of Southern California has introduced their Election Cybersecurity Initiative, a program that teaches individuals who work on elections and campaigns how to secure their devices and accounts, combat misinformation, and prepare for and address a crisis in an effort to instill a “culture of cybersecurity” and restore faith in democracy.

The program offers common sense advice about password security and the dangers of phishing, presented by Justin Griffin, the program’s managing director. It’s advice everyone’s heard before

People don’t necessarily need to gain access to a campaign staffer or candidate’s device to digitally endanger the security and integrity of an election or campaign. Another portion of the program addressed the rampant issue of misinformation and disinformation on the internet.

The program emphasizes an important difference between the two. While misinformation refers to inaccurate information that may have been shared in error, disinformation is, specifically, inaccurate information that is shared deliberately, when the propagator is aware that the information is false.

The topic of election interference from Russia came up multiple times during the one-day conference.

It’s nice to see people talking but the first thing they need to do is to look in the mirror and face their own culpability. Look, for instance at how many stories are also at The Nevada Independent about the coronavirus in a FUD mongering vein alongside this election scare story …

consider “This Is Serious” – Virus Hunter Who Discovered Ebola Discusses ‘Worst-Case Scenario’ For Coronavirus – from one who claims “I’m not the scaremongering type…” This might have more weight if properly compared to the annual flue statistics where there are millions sick instead of tens and tens of thousands of fatalities instead of none (U.S. statistics to date, not worldwide). The claim is qualified: “But I think this is serious in the sense that we can’t afford not to consider it as a serious threat.” Any communicable disease warrants this sort of concern until knowledge and precautions can be obtained to indicate otherwise. FUD mongering is competing with prudence.

Joel B. Pollak: New England Journal of Medicine: Coronavirus Could Be No Worse than Flu – “Citing an analysis of the available data from the outbreak in China, the authors note that there have been zero cases among children younger than 15; and that the fatality rate is 2% at most, and could be “considerably less than 1%.

“The vast majority of patients recover, and among those who are hospitalized, the median stay thus far is 12 days.

Coronavirus, they note, does spread easily, and the average infected person has infected two other people. That means the U.S. should expect the illness to gain a “foothold.” But they note travel restrictions on China (imposed by President Donald Trump over the objections of some critics) “may have helped slow the spread of the virus.”

John Hinderaker: Is Coronavirus a Hoax? – “Democratic Party media are claiming that last night in South Carolina, President Trump said that the coronavirus epidemic is a hoax.” … “Did Trump actually say the corona virus is a hoax? Of course not. The claim is idiotic. If the president thought the virus is a hoax, why did he do a press conference on it last week, along with various medical personnel? And why did he ban travel to China at the beginning of the outbreak?” … “The hoax, obviously, is the Democrats’ unfounded criticism of the Trump administration. Never in American history have we seen such nakedly dishonest criticism of anyone in public life.

Jeff Stier and Henry I. Miller: Nothing’s ‘Impossible’ When It Comes To Innovation – “The only side effects from the Impossible Burger are headaches, heartburn, and panic attacks in the self-designated food elite who demand that we eat “naturally” to protect the planet.

“Improvements in agriculture are typically continual and incremental, but cumulatively they can make a big difference, especially to those at the bottom of the food chain – subsistence farmers. But there are always naysayers, such as the activists who reject farming with state-of-the-art pesticides and crops developed with the most precise and predictable genetic techniques. Why would anyone do that? Simple – they are mouthpieces for the purveyors of inferior, overpriced competing organic products, which are made with primitive practices that are wasteful of water and arable farmland.

Truly disruptive innovation is not only rare, but as Impossible Foods is learning, bringing game-changing products to market requires overcoming resistance from entrenched interests that pretend to represent the public interest.

Making things up is easy. Dealing with reality can be difficult,

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Justice denied, and found again.

Andrea Widburg: President Trump’s list of pardons and grants of clemency make a lot of sense – “Trump was making a point about government overreach in prosecutions, as well as reminding people about his First Step Act, which brings reformed (mostly minority) prisoners home.” Then compare and contrast to Eric Boehm’s item Trump Uses Clemency To Help Drug War Victims, Reward GOP Donors, and Spite James Comey at reason.com.

GianCarlo Canaparo: Time to End the Tyranny of District Court Judges’ Nationwide Injunctions – “they undermine public confidence in the judiciary by giving activists judges near limitless power to undo the laws and policies of the democratically accountable branches of government.

neo: Judge Amy Brennan Jackson plans to go full steam ahead with sentencing Stone – “I think the authors of that sentence/paragraph from the Hill piece should get an award from the American Association of Subtle Propaganda Writers.” The reporting is awful … and predictable.

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Shut up! … and pushback

Alex Berezow, PhD: Editor At Journal ‘Science’ Doubles Down On Double Standard – “The scientific publishing industry is thoroughly dishonest and corrupt, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the journal Science are now also a part of the problem. Here’s a disturbing case in point.”

Peter O’Brien: The Further Fictions of ‘Dark Emu’ – “my quarrel with Dark Emu is not a disagreement with Pascoe’s interpretation of history. It is with his shameless distortion of facts and sources.

“If Aborigines were essentially sedentary agriculturalists, as Pascoe claims, Dark Emu provides scant evidence of this. The four main elements of agriculture would be tilling or preparing the soil, planting or sowing seeds, tending the crop and harvesting it. Pascoe provides ample evidence of Aborigines harvesting various foodstuffs– which is, of course, a facet of hunter-gatherer societies. He provides no reliable examples of explorers – from whose journals he claims to have gathered his evidence – observing the activities of tilling of soil, sowing of seed or tending crops.

Dark Emu is propaganda. It is not history and it should never be permitted to enter our educational institutions under that or any other guise.

Jonathan Turley: The Death Of Free Speech: Zuckerberg Asks Governments For Instructions On “What Discourse Should Be Allowed” – “The problem is that his comments were received as accepting that government will now dictate the range of free speech. What is missing is the bright line rule long maintained by the free speech community.” … “he is accepting the fluid concept of “balanced” regulations that has always preceded expanding speech codes and criminalization.

Andrea Widburg: Trump makes the 62nd Daytona 500 something special as media heads explode – “For leftists, though, Trump’s mere existence is a political affront:” … “People pushed back, reminding the Leftists that, while Obama never used the “official apparatus of government” to thrill actual Americans, he used those same apparatuses, plus a chunk of taxpayer money, for his own benefit.

Karen D. Hurvitz and Ilya I. Feoktistov: Criminalizing Dissent – “Louis was horrified to recognize the woman who stole his MAGA hat as Beth Peller, a 36-year-old grad student who would be teaching his mandatory freshman writing class.

“Louis’ ordeal is a glimpse of the far left’s “cancel culture” as it pushes the Overton Window on free speech from Twitter bans to outright criminalization of dissent. We believe that more malicious prosecutions like Louis’s are likely; brought, at first, in progressive enclaves like Northampton where the far left holds real political power. Much as occurred in the Jim Crow South, authorities in such places are increasingly choosing to enforce their political ideology instead of the rule of law entrusted to them. The American left these days is unable to accept defeat under fair rules of play, whether in elections or in judicial proceedings. To avoid defeat, leftists will continue searching for ways to criminalize dissent. Indeed, Beth Peller’s attorney argued to the court in Northampton that defamation and offensive speech can and should be criminalized. This is a dangerous trend, and is becoming one of the major civil rights issues of our time.

Robert Gorkin: Good Grief! – “It is a shame when a professional organization gets hijacked (by presumably well-meaning individuals) to take extraordinary positions on subjects that are manifestly well outside of its arena of competence.” The American Psychiatric Association provides this example.

“I have seen no evidence in these reports or on the APA website of any (let alone substantive) debate. Not only as to the validity of the underlying science, the inherent problems with climate models, natural variability, etc.; but even more fundamentally, there is no acknowledgement of the concept of weather as distinct from climate. Nor is there any consideration of the potential benefits of more temperate conditions on health, nature, biodiversity, agriculture, and economics, not to mention the potential and well-documented adverse environmental and economic consequences of the solutions proposed by CAGW activists.

Most unfortunately for Dr. Zilber and her like-minded comrades, her emotional endorsement of ecological guilt and other climate-related pathologies only serves to create, validate, and legitimize new mental disorders that have no basis in reality–this in a profession that has a sorry record of past iatrogenic abuses.

I suggest, rather than engaging in a self-imposed lobotomy, the APA should have a real debate. Rather than potentially following in the footsteps of Trofim Lysenko, the APA should welcome a Devil’s advocate. Perhaps suspending premature judgment but “Be Prepared” is, in fact, the best of all possible worlds.

Finally, it would be hard to find a better precept to guide the APA in its deliberations than Immanuel Kant’s descriptive credo for the Age of Enlightment: Sapere Aude! (dare to know, or more loosely, dare to think for yourself!).

1776 – “an assembly of independent voices who uphold our country’s authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery. We seek to offer alternative perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity and highlight the resilience of its people. Our focus is on solving problems. … We do this in the spirit of 1776, the date of America’s true founding.”

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Can’t just make it up — can you?

J. Frank Bullitt: The Facts About Trump That Are Deadly For Democrats – “Of course Trump’s acts of kindness, wildly inconsistent with his public persona, aren’t predictive of a successful presidency. But they don’t fit the outlandish caricatures sketched out by his opponents, and are therefore dangerous to their agenda.” Why is a catalog of benevolence worthy of note? It is because it highlights a significant character flaw in his opponents, one that should frighten any voter seeking a civil society.

Becket Adams: Four major journalistic errors in just 10 hours – “If you think the news industry’s credibility problem is bad now, you haven’t seen anything yet.”

Austin Bay: On Point: Fix the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and Punish the Crooks Who Abused It – “In the past, the public expected responsible reporters to scrutinize government operations. In the FISC saga, contemporary mainstream media served as a PR tool for crooked cops and spies.

Jazz Shaw: While nobody was looking Trump shattered primary records in New Hampshire – “If Trump’s base in New Hampshire is willing to turn out at those levels in the primary, what’s going to happen in November?

Scott Johnson: Jeff Sessions: The open questions – “If I wanted to pursue my disagreement with him, Paul encouraged me to air it publicly on the site.” What is important here is the ‘polite disagreement’ and how it is supported. Johnson notes the “loaded language” and the unsupported generalizations that seem so common among those trying to find fault with the President. It is the manner of argument that is often a first clue as to the quality of the position and, on this measure, Johnson wins.

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Preterition

The New York Sun: Demagoguery of the Democrats – “The first point in the President’s defense, judging from the session this morning, lies in the failure of the Democrats to disclose, present, and address exculpatory evidence. That is itself a character fault — of the Democrats.

“This is an example of the rhetorical tactic of preterition — advancing a libel by denying it or, in this case, claiming to hope that it’s untrue. The trick is warned of in “The New York Sun Reporters Handbook” with a limerick: “The reporter was full of contrition / For putting him under suspicion: / ‘Far be it from me / ‘To suggest that he / ‘Is a crook.’ It was pure preterition.”

Character flaw allegations are tossed at the President with wild abandon but the actual visible issues with character lie with those doing the tossing and not with their target.

Perhaps the most significant revelation is just how serious the Democrats are in holding their position. Harry Reid is warning Republicans to be careful – as if following actual evidence is a minefield. Media fawn all over falsehoods and preterition for fables that fit their desired narrative in a form of what they think is masterful story-telling. Romney is back in the news with potential Democrat support, — offering yet more examples of where skepticism requires digging deep to determine the reality.

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Ban fundamental personal rights on a whim?

Jazz Shaw: Virginia State Supreme Court Rules On Governor’s Gun Ban For Rally – “What these rulings do is codify the idea that any Democratic governor, mayor or other officials can suspend the Second Amendment any time they feel like it simply by declaring a state of emergency.”

J. Frank Bullitt: America Is Deeply Divided Because The Left Has Become So Shallow – “the hostility toward Trump, and the inevitable division that it has created, is not based on political differences. It’s based on caricatures of the man, lies that have become accepted truth to many, and, of course, a media whose dishonest reporting drives a false narrative.”

Steven Hayward: Why People Hate the Media, Chapter 12,186 – “there are lots of other daily examples you can point to, such as this pairing of Politico headlines for the same story. Politico clearly changed the headline because the first one made Trump look too good:

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Soleimani indicators

David Catron: Tucker Carlson’s Inane Claims About the Soleimani Raid – “A talking head skips his meds.”

“All they have left, really, is their skill at manipulating American media and the hope that the latter can dull the public’s appetite for foreign conflict. That’s the beauty of Trump’s strategy of lopping off the heads of snakes like Soleimani. The Democrats and the media will protest, while talking heads like Tucker Carlson kvetch, but the public knows these people are two-dimensional showbiz personalities sweating beneath their make-up. If Trump reduces the number of Americans coming home in body bags by cleaning out the pit of vipers that is Iran, they will support him. This isn’t Afganistan or Iraq. It’s a decrepit theocracy whose days are numbered.

M. Catharine Evans: Iran: ‘Death to America!’ MSM, Democrats and Hollywood: ‘How can we help?’ – “For the record, Soleimani wasn’t in Iraq last week to take in the sights or recite his poetry.” … “The traitorous left in this country are openly aiding the enemies of America. Quoting President Trump, “these people are sick.”

 

Victor Davis Hanson: What Is the Middle East In the Middle Of Anymore? — “The United States is trying to square a circle, remaining strong and deterring dangerous elements, but to do so for U.S. interests—interests that increasingly seem to be fewer and fewer in the Middle East.” Jumping over sharks to proclaim quick solutions like Carlson has done is not fully in grips with reality.

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Flavors of propaganda and intellectual deceit

Thomas Lifson: Sharyl Attkisson compiles list of 101 notable media mistakes on Trump – “As the dominant media in the United States have degenerated into propaganda organs for the Left, a few honest reporters have distinguished themselves by sticking to the truth, even as it has cost them their high visibility posts.” … “It’s the Fake News Follies.” Compare and contrast to “lists enumerating and examining his mistakes, missteps and “lies” of the President the media has compiled and publicized .

Victor Davis Hanson: How America’s Students Need to Get ‘Woke’ – “The progressive campus project is a mere veneer. It is a scab of sorts, overlaying a wound beneath of progressive exploitation and class privileges and hierarchies.”

In academia, the frog has been getting boiled for a long time. Increasing expense coupled with non-academic growth has crept in slowly enough to be accepted as normal. Perhaps the media problem is just example of the result.

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Tactics of deceit and propaganda – repudiate it?

Andrew I. Fillat: Impeachment Makes the Best Case to Unseat Dems – “The debacle in the House has laid bare the shortcomings and self-interest of the Democratic Left. The 2020 election offers an opportunity to begin a repudiation of their behavior.”

“The problem with the current wave of Democrats and their constituency goes far deeper than this farce. In the pursuit of political power, they are advancing policies that are inimical to American interests. They have taken to dizzying heights the behavior they accuse President Trump of exhibiting.

Andrew Klavan: ‘Watergate’ Doesn’t Mean What the Press Thinks It Means – “I look back now and the whole thing seems a sham, a self-congratulatory illusion created by leftists in both the news media and in Hollywood.” A political hack job as moral preening is being exposed at Time puts context and Reality on Truth.

Thomas Lifson: Pathetic NYT spin on Horowitz report – “The New York Times is operating in a pure propaganda mode, attempting to minimize the impact of the forthcoming (Dec. 9) report of the Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz.” sundance is cited in dissecting the “highly structured obfuscation” in the artful misleading of NYT.

Mollie Hemingway: Media’s Latest Anti-Nunes Smear Is Michael-Cohen-In-Prague All Over Again – “Their latest effort against the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is to accuse him, without evidence, of secretly meeting in Vienna with a former Ukrainian official ‘to get dirt on Biden.’”

“Incidentally, if there is one thing we have learned from the media in the last couple of months, “get dirt” is their code for Republicans doing investigations. “Investigate” is their code for Democrats trying to get dirt on political opponents. It appears the same term could be used regardless of the political views of those doing the investigations.

It should be noted that the story about Nunes is not just objectively stupid but also extremely likely to be false. For one thing, Nunes denied the claims. “These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by The Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” he said.

Made-Up Stories about Nunes Are a Cottage Industry

Sean Gallagher: Navy corruption and the Gallagher case – “I have one question for these people: Where in the hell were you the past year and a half?

“Eddie’s case and court-martial trial revealed a massive cancer within the military justice system, doing irreparable damage to troop morale that may last decades.

I didn’t hear a damn thing from these harbingers of moral decency when that was exposed.Where was their outrage when the Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents dragged my brother’s kids in the street at gunpoint in their underwear? (A fact NCIS denied to this very publication until under oath admitted that, yes, they did drag my nephews nearly naked into the streets of San Diego when Ed wasn’t home).

Where were these critics when investigators admitted Eddie’s entire pretrial imprisonment was based on a lie, forcing him to spend eight months in a sex offender brig for nothing?

President Trump was right to intervene on Eddie’s case, and that should terrify every person wearing a uniform.

Monica Showalter: Fired Navy secretary Richard Spencer manages to remind us why Trump needed to get rid of him – “In a swiftly executed Washington Post op-ed less than a week after President Trump’s defense secretary had him fired, he’s now telling everyone how much smarter he is than President Trump and making it clear he never liked the guy anyway.” This is a military officer blabbing about his Commander in Chief …

John Dale Dunn: Can You Trust What Medical Journals Publish? – “I have repeatedly questioned the validity of medical journal claims in regards to politically charged issues like air pollution and climate change, as well as global warming here at AT. More recently, I showed how a major medical journal violates basic rules on scientific inquiry.”

There are some basic rules to help avoid being taken in by charlatans.

  1. The study should be a human study, or, if it is an animal study, the limits of such a study should be declared.

  2. The study should follow basic rules about how to determine causation, and avoid the trap of claiming that “association” or “coincidence” is proof of causation.

  3. The study should avoid surveys and questionnaires as a source of “evidence” since recall bias is always a problem in survey or response studies.

  4. The study should always be measured in terms of the magnitude of the “effect,” and the rule is that magnitude of effect should be “robust” — at least 2 or 3 times the increase in effect over the baseline.

  5. The study should establish a mechanism to explain the causal effect asserted — for example, ice cream consumption is associated with an increase in drowning deaths, but it is not a cause of those deaths.

  6. Although I could argue that peer review and publication are not a good standard for reliability, the source of the research and the reputation of that source as well as the reputation of the journal the research was published in is often worth something. How much it is worth is the question.

The important thing is that professionals and citizens should be careful to question and evaluate what is pronounced by medical journals. Too often, they are overwhelmed by self-esteem and ambition.

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh: The Toxic Pandora’s Box of Solar Panels? – “Considering all the toxicity in the production and recycling of solar panels, how is that net-zero carbon working out?” … “The solar energy advocates, who only see cheap electricity with rose-colored glasses, are oblivious to the reality of cost, toxic chemicals, environmental pollution, and health hazards to humans and animals. Here are some immediate concerns about solar panels.

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