Publicity stunt backlash

Colton Haab Vs. Cnn By Scott Johnson – “CNN issued a statement to the effect “that it did not, and does not, script any questions for town hall meetings, ever.” but “Haab names a CNN name and supplies credible details supporting his claim. He held in his hand the question he says CNN wrote for him.”

CNN’s Pro-Gun Control ‘Children’s Crusade’ Exploited Grieving Students And Parents, IBD – “gun control extremists in the media, Hollywood and Democratic Party now are exploiting them to achieve their dubious agenda of eliminating the Second Amendment.”

“Showing that it really has nothing to do whatsoever with a “town hall,” CNN called its instant gathering “Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action.” That’s a political slogan, not a call to have a reasoned discussion of violence in the schools and guns.
CNN didn’t want a cross section of kids and families, but a specific type. Apparently, supporters of either Trump or gun rights were discouraged.
Things didn’t go any better for those who braved what was intended to be a justifiably angry crowd, not exactly a place for a reasoned debate.
Loesch, speaking one day after the CNN event at the CPAC Conference in Washington, said: “I had to to have a security detail to get out. … There were people rushing the stage and screaming, ‘burn her’.”

CNN’s attempt to whip up pro-gun control enthusiasm won’t be the last.
Make no mistake. This “march” isn’t a student-led, spontaneous event. It’s been planned and funded by leftist organizers and far-left celebrities.
But will the voices of anti-gun control students who survived the shootings also be heard? Like that of Brandon Minoff, a senior at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High, who said: “I whole-heartedly believe the media are politicizing this tragedy. It seems that gun control laws is the major topic of conversation, rather than focusing on the bigger issue of 17 innocent lives being taken at the hands of another human.”

CNN’s Insane Anti-Gun Townhall Will Only Help The NRA By Ben Domenech – “So thanks a lot for adding to our discourse, CNN.”

“The attendees openly cheered for seizing roughly half the guns in the country, even as politicians from both parties presented these ideas as ridiculous.
So thanks a lot for adding to our discourse, CNN. You’re now no different than SKDKnickerbocker when it comes to being a promotional vehicle for anti-gun views, and you’ve given gun owners every reason to believe reformers are coming for every gun they have. Great job, everyone.

Sheriff: Armed officer at school never entered building during shooting by Brandon Carter – “The armed officer stationed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., resigned Thursday after an internal review found he did not enter the school during last week’s deadly shooting.” Talk about feeding the ‘why we need guns’ argument. Now the officer needs an armed guard to protect him from the crazies like those at the CNN propaganda event.

Betsy Newmark reviews the situation citing a number of resources. Since Trump doesn’t come up, the review doesn’t suffer much from that bias. An interesting item is that the security cameras were on 20 minute delay and that confused the response.

Gun Politics, Twitterized by Heather Wilhelm – “Our willingness to listen to each other is rapidly vanishing.” Oh? Both sides are the same? Well, then, let’s go after the tools and not the behavior …

“Twitter, of course, is that infamous online chaos pool that many journalists regularly swear they’ll abandon for good, only to come crawling back like a beleaguered country-song barfly to that beautiful blue-jeaned girl with the big-city dreams and frequently cheating heart. In the world of Twitter, snap judgments rule. Tribalism reigns. It is a world of blaring headlines, void of context, and the blaring headlines often serve as a simple excuse to yell. It is a place where public shaming, “dragging,” and ganging up on people is a widely accepted hobby.

It is a place where nothing gets achieved, few to zero problems are fixed, and very little constructive dialogue ever takes place. Ever.
But here’s my worry: In our increasingly Twitterized nation, that relatively simple concept — “I disagree with the idea, but I understand it” — seems to be an increasingly endangered thought process.

The problem is that there is no real effort to “understand it” and this can often be seen by examining both the stimulus and the response. Trump is a particularly effective stimulus for Twitter misperceptions.

The Power and Prevalence of Virtue Signaling by Ron Ross – “Until this week William McKinley thought he was home free.”

“Keeping virtue signaling in mind will help you understand a lot of behavior that otherwise makes no sense.
Virtue signaling is the modern version of what St. Augustine in the 5th century referred to as “outward signs of inward grace.” A major difference, however, is the kind of grace he referred to actually meant something.

A precondition to needing to virtue signal is guilt. Virtue signaling is one of the left’s package deals that typically involve two steps. Firstly, make people who have done nothing wrong feel guilty. Then, offer them ways to assuage that guilt. It’s little more than a con game but it has worked amazingly well for liberals.
An irony is that the need to virtue signal is an insecurity about your own virtue. An observation a psychologist friend likes to make is, “The bigger the front, the bigger the back.” Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “The louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” Virtue signaling is motivated more by insecurities than virtue.
Virtue signaling is a substitute for thinking, it is thinking avoidance. It is the latest variation of group think. When you latch on to group opinions you have no need to think for yourself.
Finally, this just in: The Arcata, California city council voted Wednesday night to remove the statue of President William McKinley from the town square. The statue has been in place for over a hundred years. As per usual, McKinley’s sins have not been clearly elucidated. He was assassinated in 1901. Like Matt Lauer, the statue will vanish into the ether. One of the groups demanding the statue’s removal is the Humboldt State University student group, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanco de Aztlan, whatever that means. I’m embarrassed to admit I’m a resident of Arcata. Our neighboring town to the north is McKinleyville. The town’s name is probably not long for this world.

These are just a sampling of the ways virtue signaling is dictating behavior far and wide. Being aware of its many manifestations will reduce your confusion and increase your amusement. It’s a shame it’s doing so much damage.

Then there’s another example of such signaling coming unglued with several essays today.

“Collusion against Trump” timeline by Sharyl Attkisson – “evidence has emerged in the past year that makes it clear there were organized efforts to collude against candidate Donald Trump–and then President Trump. … But it’s not so easy to find a timeline pertinent to the investigations into these events.”

McCain aide took the Fifth Amendment on role in Steele Dossier By Thomas Lifson – “More threads are unraveling in what may be the biggest political scandal in history, the use if intelligence agencies to spy on a rival party presidential campaign and then unseat a duly-elected president.”

“The Steele Dossier scandal’s tentacles are reaching all the way to Trumpophobic John McCain, via a close associate of his. The longtime aide to Senator McCain who flew to England to get a copy of the Steele Dossier and speed it along to the FBI in 2016 has clammed up and asserted his right to avoid self-incrimination.
In a court of law, no inference of criminality is permitted by members of the jury, but in the court of public opinion, we are allowed to say that this stinks to high heaven.

Rethinking Watergate by Victor Davis Hanson – “Half of all Americans were likely born after the break-in. But Watergate is hardly ancient history.”

“The two investigative journalists who first brought Watergate to public attention are certainly not wrong about parallels—but not in the way they imagine. FISA-gate is becoming Watergate turned upside down. The respective roles of the government, liberal Democrats, civil libertarians, and the White House are now reversed—and this turnaround is, in a strange way, redefining Watergate itself.
But the biggest disconnect is the press itself. Woodward and Bernstein created a new no-holds-barred form of investigative journalism that generated a cult-like following. They advised us not to trust authorities simply because they held power. The press bragged that it had broken the Watergate story because it sued, followed the money trail, and never took seriously bureaucratic spin or pro forma excuses. Journalists grew irate when government and political operatives questioned their motives and patriotism.

Now the media’s role is to distrust troublemakers who request or sue for federal transcripts, documents, and testimonies—and even to suggest that it is disloyal or subversive to doubt the FBI’s often changing narratives.
FISA-gate is not just an upside-down Watergate. It also forces us to rethink Watergate itself. The facts, of course, that led to Nixon’s 1974 resignation are unchanged and condemnatory. But the relative eagerness to uncover them can be recalibrated by the contrast with FISA-gate.

In other words, was it really principle and concern for the transparent and blind administration of justice that drove the original and necessary official and media investigation of Nixon? Or, in some measure, did the furor over Nixon arise over his seemingly odious politics and person that for decades had enraged his enemies?

FISA-gate, and the media’s response to it, is not so much another Watergate as an anti-Watergate. The disconnect with the past begs us to redefine the story of Watergate itself 45 years later: Was it what Richard Nixon did, or who Richard Nixon was, that ignited the scandal?

A lot of things are on the table for examination. We can hope that enlightenment and course correction may occur.

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