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Potluck

These items have been all over, and deserve to be noticed here at GayPatriot.

Liberal bias, in media & academia? Why, yes.

More people seeing that the Emperor Has No Clothes? Thankfully, yes.

  • Obama is under water on the Ukraine crisis. 42% approve his handling, 43% disapprove.
  • While a bipartisan majority support sanctions against Russia, they’re mainly older people, because younger people say no. Among the Obama-voting 35-and-under, 55% are against it.

IRS / Tea Party scandal as real as ever? Yup.

  • Great, daily coverage at TaxProf Blog.
  • Yes, Lerner targeted the Tea Party, and even what she called “organizations woven by the fabulously rich and hugely influential Koch brothers”. More Koch Derangement Syndrome. Some people are on too much Koch!
  • Lerner continued last week to plead the 5th. The IRS will give up all her emails, supposedly; I put it that way because enough time has passed that only God knows what they may have scrubbed.

FROM THE (OTHER) COMMENTS: In the other Koch Derangement Syndrome thread, some fine comments are relevant here.

  • runningrn says “The Koch brothers didn’t even crack the top 10 when it came to the top political donors. In fact they are way the heck down the list at number 59…The 6 biggest union donors in American politics gave 15 times more to mostly Democrats…”
  • And Annie gives us the WSJ link.

One should ask why the IRS doesn’t target all that union money? Or target, to coin a phrase, “organizations woven by the fabulously rich and hugely influential George Soros”?

AND SOME FOLLOW-UPS:

  • Rep. Alan Grayson (D – FL) won’t be charged after allegations that he physically abused his wife. GP talked about it here. The video evidence – which was incomplete (having gaps in it) – did not support Lolita Carson-Grayson’s story. Nonetheless, a judge granted her a restraining order against Rep. Grayson. We’re still waiting for the new feminist campaign, “I BELIEVE YOU, LOLITA!”
  • Gary Lyngar answers his son, who had made a splash by claiming “I lost my dad to Fox News”. Hint: The son was about as real and honest with us as you’d expect from a writer who whines about his parent’s politics. As the elder Mr. Lyngar puts it, his son was “dead wrong” and “a lot of it’s his perception of what’s going on and not reality”.

The Perspective Gap and Fox News

My long absence from GayPatriot, has been brought on by a few factors, chief among them that I’ve been taking some classes in the evenings and haven’t had much time for blogging, and what little time I have had to spare has been consumed by more going on socially than in the recent past.  But beyond that, there has been my general sense of what I wrote about in this post, and called either Obamalaise or Obamanomie, that feeling of depression and listlessness that comes when I consider the sad state of a country that elected Obama not once, but twice and seems more interested in bread and circuses than in seeking actual, workable solutions to the difficult problems that face our country.

Naturally the online leftist rag Salon can’t understand why anyone would feel upset or bothered by the direction of the country in the era of the glorious Obama, and so one of its contributors, Edwin Lyngar, has written a laughable piece about “elderly white rage” which places the blame on that favorite bogeyman of the contemporary left, Fox News.   I learned of the article when various liberals and leftists I know–including one I’ve taken to calling a MINO (a moderate in name only)–linked to it on social media.  I just glanced past it until one of them approvingly quoted one of the more ridiculous passages from the article.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I am not elderly, nor am I viewer of Fox News.   I mostly avoid the whole TV news genre, preferring to get my information from other sources.  The full title of the article reads: “I lost my dad to Fox News: How a generation was captured by thrashing hysteria.”  The author, who describes himself as “overeducated in the humanities” with both an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University (not exactly a bastion of conservative thinkers) and an MA in Writing from the University of Nevada, Reno unwittingly demonstrates the way shallow generalizations count as somehow being deep thought by those who advocate a politically correct perspective.

As I don’t care to be guilty of the same intellectual offense, I’d like to highlight and  unpack a few of the article’s more ridiculous claims and observations.  Let’s start with the opening paragraph:

Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation.  They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.

Of course GayPatriot readers can see what he’s doing there, but just for the sake of argument, let’s illustrate that he opens by offering a caricature and a generalization about elderly Fox News viewers, conflates Fox News viewers with the Tea Party, accuses them of being filled with “rage,” and then ends by trying to ridicule them as being “terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.”  Say what?  That last clause is contains so many misrepresentations and non-sequiturs that it is really rather stunning.  Barack Obama is only a moderate Democrat if you are so far to the left already that you can’t see how far his administration has shifted the political status quo towards statist goals.  And just because Obamacare was given the Orwellian title “the Affordable Care Act,” doesn’t mean it has anything to do with making healthcare more affordable.  Far from it, just ask the many people dropped from insurance who find that their health insurance costs have gone up and their deductibles are now much higher than they were previously.  Even those who haven’t had to change insurance are getting less for more costs.

The article continues with an anecdote about the author’s father and an exchange where the writer tells him he shouldn’t watch Fox News:

enjoyed Fox News for many years, as a libertarian and frequent Republican voter. I used to share many, though not all, of my father’s values, but something happened over the past few years. As I drifted left, the white, Republican right veered into incalculable levels of conservative rage, arriving at their inevitable destination with the creation of the Tea Party movement.

When I finally pulled the handle for Obama in 2012, my father could not believe how far I’d fallen. I have avoided talking politics with him as much as possible ever since. Last week, I invited him to my house for dinner with the express purpose of talking about po

(more…)

About that Fox News interview…

If you know a lot of leftists, as I do, chances are you’ve encountered a link to this interview of Reza Aslan by Lauren Green at some point in the past two days or so.  They see the interview as an example of the evil of Fox News.  They claim it illustrates the bias of the network, and that it illustrates how “smart” the author is and how he “totally pwns the interviewer’s assumptions.”

I watched the interview, and I encourage you to do the same, but my main reaction to their claims about it is to think:  Excuse me?  Did we even watch the same interview?  I believe neither the interviewer nor the guest came off particularly well in this exchange.

YouTube Preview Image

Lauren Green comes across as someone who likely hasn’t read the book, but who has read many reviews of the book, and is trying to provoke a response from the author. Reza Aslan, though, comes across as the ultimate disingenuous academic who says, “I am just a historian, I have no agenda whatsoever.”  He keeps reiterating that he is an academic with a PhD, as though that is an adequate defense against bias.  Green could have done a more skillful job challenging his assumptions or his arguments; her questions only serve to make him defensive, and so the interview doesn’t appear to accomplish much for either party.

Nevertheless, I didn’t view the interview as a complete failure for Fox News.  Quite to the contrary, I thought it illustrated that there is more journalistic spirit alive at Fox News than at most of the mainstream press outlets who have interviewed the author or reported on the book.  Why do I say that?  Because, the other morning I had to endure this NPR interview with the same author of the same book, and I heard a lot of claims by Aslan about his book, and his beliefs, but no one challenged those claims or tried to interrogate Aslan’s motivations for writing the book that he wrote.  The NPR interview was so concerned with helping him make his points, that it could have just as easily come from the public relations office of his publisher.

Not surprisingly, the other day NPR’s website featured this story entitled “Reza Aslan Hearts NPR”: “Author and religious scholar Reza Aslan is one of those people who’s at NPR West so often that he blurs the line between guest and employee. We always joke with our regulars that they should have a punch card, and when it’s full, they get their own cubicle.”  Even less surprisingly, today NPR has this sympathetic story about the reaction on the left to the Fox News  interview.

When you compare NPR’s very sympathetic pieces helping Aslan promote both his book and his talking points, with Lauren Green’s somewhat awkward attempt to interrogate him, though, it’s pretty clear to me which “news” outlet is more interested in informing its viewers and letting them decide for themselves.   Green’s interview told us much more about Aslan than NPR’s pieces: it showed us something of his character, it introduced us to some of the controversies surrounding the book, and it raised the question of his worldview and its influence on his writing.

And as it turns out, there is a lot of reason for controversy, as Pamela Geller Robert Spencer points out in her his own detailed post about the controversy (hat tip: Pamela Geller).   Geller Spencer writes:

I don’t care about his scholarly credentials. Even if everything he had said about his degrees had been true, it would confer on his book no presumption of accuracy or truth. I am constantly assailed for lacking scholarly credentials, but as it happens, when it comes to writing about religion I have exactly the same credentials as Aslan, a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.A. in Religious Studies. His other two degrees are in other fields.

But anyway, it doesn’t matter: there are plenty of fools with degrees, and plenty of geniuses without them. My work, and Aslan’s, stands or falls on its merits, not on the number of degrees we have. Aslan’s pulling rank on Lauren Green and starting to reel off (inaccurately) his degrees was a sign of insecurity: it implied that he didn’t think his book could stand on its merits, and had to be accepted because he had a lot of degrees. And indeed, his book doesn’t stand on its merits.

I encourage you to be sure to read Geller’s Spencer’s whole post.

To my mind, the reaction on the left tells us more about their fondness for credentials and their disdain for Fox News than anything else;  that the same people who view this interview as an instance of intolerable bias think nothing of the swill served up regularly by NPR and MSNBC should tell us all we need to know.

More signs of the times

Don’t worry, I’m probably not going to make these headline summaries a regular feature. Other bloggers do it better.

Still, I must again express my amazement at how, on any given day, a quick scan of the headlines reveals a world gone awry. Just from Ace and HotAir today:

I need to start looking for things that are going right. Of course Obamacare, which kills both jobs and worker benefits, isn’t one of them.

But maybe the fight for gun rights is. Like seeing Mark Matteoli (of Sandy Hook) or Manuel Martinez (formerly of Communist Cuba): two men who understand freedom, and speak out in its favor.

A certain liberal aversion to discourse/criticism

Ever since college, I have blessed with friends and teachers holding political views opposed to my own.  My favorite political science professor in college was — and remains — a Marxist.  One of my favorite professors in law school has since become one of the leading liberal jurist in the country.

These professors, like many liberals, strive to respond to conservative arguments without insulting the person making them or questioning his motives or his awareness of current events.   They know that people can hold viewpoints different from their own and arrive at them through legitimate means.

All too often, however, we conservatives find that whenever we articulate a politically incorrect viewpoint or express considered opposition to the incumbent administration, our left-of-center interlocutors express incredulity that a supposedly intelligent individual could say such things.  A woman who overheard a visiting reader and I criticizing the president at a Los Angeles restaurant, turned around to accuse us of racism.  She later relented in her rebuke when I explained why the incumbent has failed (she had actually thought the Democrat had cut the federal budget!).

And then there are the reactions when we dare take issue with articles my left-of-center friends link — or arguments they make — on Facebook.  Today, when I said the president’s campaign theme was at odds with a much-linked (by lefties) video of the Democrat singing a song about staying together, dubbing Obama a divider, this friend all but cut and paste the response of other liberal friends when I call a liberal shibboleth into question:  ”just because one sees it on fox does not make it true.”  Some, to be sure, call the news network, “FauxNews” (and think they’re so clever in doing so).

Which all leads to the question (repeatedly asked):  why are so many supposedly intelligent people so ready to dismiss opposing arguments without even considering them — and remain ready as well to attack the ideas’ advocates.

Murdoch’s Troubles Don’t Translate Into Larger CNN Audience

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:32 pm - July 20, 2011.
Filed under: FDS (Fox Derangement Syndrome),Media Bias

Yesterday was one of the few days I caught CNN’s resident JournoLister Jeffrey Toobin smiling.  That liberal pundit often tries to show how wise and dispassionate he is by putting on his serious Edward R. Murrow face and delivering Democratic talking points with a grim demeanor.

But, not when talking about the hacking scandal facing Rubert Murdoch’s empire.  Yesterday, he was practically giddy as he detailed Murdoch’s woes spelled out his suspicions about Murdoch’s knowledge of the hacking.  He just knew Murdoch had to know about it because, well, he wasn’t watching The Simpsons (a show on a network owned by the media mogul).

Does seem that’s the only scandal that really interests the folks at CNN.  It’s as if they believe that as soon as people see what a horrible, no good very bad man is Rupert Murdoch, FoxNews’ audience share will drop and people will turn to the more “responsible” journalists at CNN for their news.

Toobin may be giddy now, but he promises to return to his serious face when the dust settles after the collapse of FoxNews.  And then he can once again provide serious commentary to those who currently depend on a Murdoch outlet for their information on national and world affairs.

Okay for liberal media to publish purloined e-mails

On Facebook, my friend Kelly Young asks a good question:

So what exactly is the difference between Brit tabloids stealing voicemails for their stories and U.S. media happily accepting WikiLeaks docs that everyone knows have been stolen? “It’s not my pot, Mom. I’m just holding it for a friend.”

Maybe it’s that the owner of said tabloids is high on the left’s list of approved demons?

Did Bush staffer ever call Katie Couric a “lunatic”?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:26 am - July 15, 2011.
Filed under: Divider-in-Chief,FDS (Fox Derangement Syndrome)

And she’s far more biased that Bret Baier.

What was it all the Bush-critics said about how W just couldn’t tolerate dissent.   Just caught this in the Huffington Post, White House Emails Show Staffer Calling Fox News’ Bret Baier A ‘Lunatic’:

A cache of emails released by a conservative watchdog group on Thursday shows White House staffers complaining about Fox News and calling one of its anchors a “lunatic.”

Judicial Watch released 81 pages of email correspondence from October 2009 that it obtained through a FOIA request. The emails mostly show the back-and-forth between various White House aides, Treasury Department staffers and members of the media over a series of interviews with Kenneth Feinberg, who had been tapped to provide oversight of the TARP bailout program.

One email shows a White House staffer emailing a Treasury colleague, saying it would be better “if you skip Fox News” in a group of media outlets that was conducting a pooled interview with Feinberg.

Kudos to Huffington Post (which normally flacks for the White House) for publishing this stuff.

Does seem that a lot of stuff we heard about George W. Bush and his team better applies to that good man’s successor and his team.

CNN: More interested in News Mogul’s Foibles than Obama Administration Misdeeds

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:18 pm - July 13, 2011.
Filed under: FDS (Fox Derangement Syndrome),Media Bias

Whenever one of the TV monitors at my gym has been turned to CNN this past week, I’ve caught the various pundits, anchors and reporters breathless with schadenfreude at the phone hacking scandal related to Rupert Murdoch’s recently defunct News of the World.

Unable to rival Murdoch’s FoxNews int the quality of their product or the size of their audience, CNN’s various personalities have pulled a page from the Democratic playbook:  when you can’t win on ideas, accuse them of scandal.  And while CNN devotes hours upon hours to the coverage of their rival, they have all but ignored potentially scandalous activity in the Obama administration.

They seem to think it’s more important to look into the activities of a rival journalist than investigate the Justice Department’s involvement in a plan to facilitate the sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels (and possibly even Honduran gangsters).  Or the withholding of documents in a congressional investigation of a “a $335 million federal loan guarantee given to a politically correct clean energy firm.

Now, we’ve got a trio of septua- and octogenarian Democratic Senators writing “Attorney General Eric Holder asking Holder to look into concerns that News Corp. — the parent company of Fox News — violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, known as the FCPA.”  Although Mr. Rockefeller is certain **CERTAIN** they’ll “find some criminal stuff”, his certainty is based less on actual evidence of wrongdoing than prejudice against FoxNews.   Ever since Watergate, Democrats have always been convinced that their ideological adversaries (real and perceived) are guilty of criminal activity.

And so too it seems are the media.  I mean, why else would they have been so interested in the Bush Justice Department doing its job in firing a handful of U.S. Attorneys and so incurious about the Obama Justice Department involvement in a plan to sell guns to gangs who murder U.S Border Patrol agents?

Orbitz refuses to give in to PC intimidation

Earlier this week, I reported that the left-leaning “Courage Campaign” had joined with Soros-funded Media Matters in asking its supporters to tell the online travel company Orbitz to “stop using pro-gay dollars to advertise on anti-gay Fox News!

Well via the prolific Glenn Reynolds, quipping that Media Matters’s “only real function is to help liberal journalists self-herd“, we learn that Orbitz told the left-wing outfit to take a hike:

The effort by liberal media watchdog group Media Matters to convince half a dozen leading national advertisers to pull their dollars from the Fox News Channel got a high-profile snub Thursday when Orbitz, the travel company, not only declined to participate, but fired back at Media Matters, calling the “Drop Fox” campaign a “smear effort.”

Orbitz described Media Matters as “a political organization that has been funded pretty extensively to go after one network, and we aren’t going to engage in that fight”.  Looks like I may have to check out Orbitz next time I book a flight or hotel, rent a car or plan a cruise.

More FoxNews Derangement Syndrome from the Gay Left

Bruce forwarded me a missive he received from the Courage Campaign, “an online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country“, urging their supporters to join them and the left-wing “Media Matters to tell Orbitz: stop using pro-gay dollars to advertise on anti-gay Fox News!”

It does seem that a lot of folks on the left identify anyone who diverges from their “progressive” and “equality” agenda as “anti-gay.”  In the e-mail referenced above, Adam Bink, the Courage Campaign’s Director of Online Programs pulls comments out of context and even claims that FoxNews “will be doing all it can to elect [Newt] Gingrich and the rest of his friends to our nation’s highest offices”! Guess Bink missed Brit Hume’s harsh criticism of the former Speaker on Monday’s “Special Report“:

“Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee have voluntarily departed the Republican field, but Newt Gingrich appears to have taken an involuntary step in the same direction, only four days after entering the race,” Hume said. “The former speaker’s Sunday comments about the Ryan budget plan as it regards health care were simply politically inexplicable.”

Yeah, a network working to elect Gingrich to a high office allows one of its more respected commentators to call the soon-to-be former candidate a “promiscuous talker.”

Does seem that in bashing FoxNews, facts don’t really matter.  It’s all about attacking a news network that gives fair hearing to conservative views.  It’s too bad that some gay organizations are so biased against conservatives that they believe anyone who treats conservatives fairly is worthy of censure.

So, if you find Orbitz‘s services beneficial, as long as the online travel company continues to advertise on FoxNews, please continue to patronize the site.  If they give into this left-wing blackmail (and stop advertising on FoxNews), well, they have numerous competitors worthy of your patronage.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Lori Heine‘s observation reminds us just how selective Mr. Bink was in his choice of quotations:

There are several on-air personalities on FOX who are actually very supportive of gays. Stossel, Judge Napolitano and the “Red Eye” crew come most readily to mind, but I know there are more.

It does no good to tell this to most gay leftists I know, though. Their response to any mention of FOX is Pavlovian. Immediately, they begin to salivate into a froth. It’s fun to get them going. “FOX News…ding-ding-ding…”

No wonder the FoxNews obsessives needed to demonize Juan Williams.  That the news network would regularly feature a thoughtful liberal undermines their narrative about Fox.