(Video) If the modern MSM had reported on D-Day

June 6, 2017

I laugh, because I know it’s true. You will, too.

I’m still trying to figure out if this is a satire, or a documentary.


Trigger Warning: History fans may experience multiple geekgasms

August 25, 2015

satire cat with popcorn

I predict I’m going to be spending a lot more time on YouTube in the days to come:

LONDON — The Associated Press and British Movietone, one of the world’s most comprehensive newsreel archives, are together bringing more than 1 million minutes of digitized film footage to YouTube. Showcasing the moments, people and events that shape the world, it will be the largest upload of historical news content on the video-sharing platform to date.

The two channels will act as a view-on-demand visual encyclopedia, offering a unique perspective on the most significant moments of modern history. Available for all to explore, the channels will also be powerful educational tools and a source of inspiration for history enthusiasts and documentary filmmakers.

The YouTube channels will include more than 550,000 video stories dating from 1895 to the present day. For example, viewers can see video from the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, exclusive footage of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Marilyn Monroe captured on film in London in the 1950s and Twiggy modeling the fashions of the 1960s.

 

I’ve only spent a few minutes browsing, and already I’ve found such gems as Mussolini promising peace in 1936 (if you listen carefully, you can almost hear Vladimir Putin) and silent footage from Pearl Harbor the day of the attack.

For fans of both history and 1950s-era “atomic horror” science fiction movies, here’s a treat: British Movietone footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, including the first film I’ve ever seen of an aerial bombing of a test site. Not sure what the opening shot of an accident aboard a carrier is there for, though:

No wonder Nevada looks the way it does…

Enjoy!

 


Bookshelf update: Sharyl Attkisson’s “Stonewalled”

June 4, 2015

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Sharyl Attkisson’s “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

book cover attkisson stonewalled

 

Attkisson is an award-winning investigative journalist who spent roughly 20 years with CBS before leaving in 2014. For her determined pursuit of the truth and information government and corporate officials would rather keep hidden, she’s been called a “bulldog,” a term she regards as a compliment. While Stonewalled deals with the scandals and evasions of the Obama administration and its allies, Attkisson has a reputation as a bipartisan bulldog — a pain in the tuchus to Democrats and Republicans, alike. This is what a good journalist should be.

I’m about half-way through Stonewalled and, so far, it’s been equal parts enjoyable, infuriating, and even frightening. Before discussing scandals such as Fast and Furious and the Obamacare rollout, as well as the almost equally scandalous supine attitude of mainstream journalism toward the administration, Attkisson opens with the story of her discovery that her work and personal computers, and her phone, had been hacked by a government agency during her investigation into the Benghazi massacre. Though she hasn’t yet identified in the book who she believes is responsible, I’ll note that she has filed suit against  the Department of Justice and the US Postal Service. Discovery, as they say should be interesting.

I’m reading her book in Kindle format; it’s also in soft (forthcoming) and hardcover. Regarding the Kindle edition, I’ve spotted just one lone typo and no formatting problems, which is very good for an e-book. Her writing style is straightforward, almost Hemingway-esque in its directness. If Ms. Attkisson reveals any ax to grind, it’s her firm belief that information paid for with taxpayer dollars belongs to the public, not the government.

I’ll post a review when I’ve finished.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. Wouldn’t you?


(Video) Remember “Hands up, don’t shoot?” It was a lie, and the media ran with it

March 20, 2015

From the Media Research Center:

There are exceptions, but so much of the MSM is corrupt, but in their minds they don’t think of it as corruption, because they’re “fighting for justice,’ which is more important than the truth.

They don’t give a damn about the truth.


Liberal media bias in one eye-popping chart

December 4, 2014

The nonpartisan data analysis company Crowdpac decided to research the political leanings of various professions to see which were more liberal and which were more conservative. The results overall are interesting, and I recommend the article at Business Insider, but one chart showing the leanings of the newspaper and print MSM is just amazing:

Notice a trend?

Notice a trend?

(Larger version)

The X-axis shows how liberal or conservative a respondent is, while the Y-axis gives the number at each level. Not only does print journalism skew Left, but the vast majority of the industry’s liberal members fall into the three most-liberal grades.

And yet liberals scoff when we complain of “media bias.”

This is not a healthy situation, just as it wouldn’t be if the vast majority of journalists leaned Right. When news media is so skewed in one direction, it loses any sense of other perspectives or opinions on important issues, or even what qualifies as an “important issue.” And this limited perspective is transmitted to its audience, which winds up being under- or misinformed. Or they dismiss the MSM altogether, having realized thanks to alternative media that there is so much they aren’t being told, if not outright mislead about. And that isn’t healthy for the print media, as their crashing circulation numbers attest.

Mollie Hemingway* at The Federalist gives several examples of why people hate the media (including TV), beginning with the recent resignation under fire of Elizabeth Lauten, an obscure Republican congressional staffer who said some unkind things about the Obama daughters on Facebook. But she doesn’t stop there (there are oh so many examples to work with) and includes a rant from Florida’s Rick Wilson that’s worth quoting:

Republican media operative Rick Wilson went on a beautiful rant last night about this embarrassing Lauten debacle. You can read the whole thing here. This is edited down but he wrote, “Reporters and media folks wondering, ‘Why don’t people trust us?’… The last couple weeks should be clarifying for you… But the endless, agenda-driven games are repellent to readers/viewers. Your sins are of omission and commission both… You used to be able to claim news judgement and ignore stories you hated. You still do, but now people see it, and you loathe it… So you’ll do one piece on Gruber, then pretend you dug in hard. But god forbid a staffer dings the Obama kids. Then you flood the zone… You pick and choose when to provide context… I love pros in the business. Love them. And most of you ARE pros. Most of you DO work stories, look for interesting angles… But you tolerate (and your editors tolerate) a lot of outrageous, absurdly bad practices. Gruber? Unforgivable… the frustration Americans feel about media isn’t getting any less acute, and some introspection might go a long way…”

This speaks to a media driven by an agenda, one formed by a self-reinforcing ideological monoculture — the fabled “echo chamber.” But the health of the Republic depends on an honest news media that contains a wide range of viewpoints, one that makes intellectual diversity a higher priority than that of skin color or gender.

Maybe it’s time for an “affirmative action of the mind?”

*hat-tip for the chart and BI article, by the way.


(Video) #Benghazi Rep. Gowdy asks some darned fine questions

May 8, 2014

 

"Star rising?"

“Star rising?”

It was recently announced that Congressman Trey Gowdy (R -SC), a former state and federal prosecutor, would  be heading up the forthcoming House Select Committee on the Benghazi massacre. Quite a few of us have been cheering his selection, because, since the massacre, he has shown himself to be a master of the issues at stake and a dogged questioner, unlike most of the so-called press.

And speaking of the press, and courtesy of my blog-buddy ST and Kat McKinley, here’s video of Rep. Gowdy posing some questions to the press. Consider this an appetizer for the main course to come:

Let’s hope, for the sake of an honest media, that at least some in the audience were red-faced at receiving this needed lesson.

Bring on the hearings. smiley popcorn


CNN’s dumbest news question, evar

March 20, 2014

And yet CNN wonders why its ratings are in the tank…

Watts Up With That?

And we thought this one was bad:  CNN talking empty head (Feyerick) asks Bill Nye if approaching Meteor was a result of global warming….

OK that set the stage, what could be dumber than that? Now study the picture below, and ask yourself, what’s wrong with this picture? Note the plane, a Boeing 777.

black_holes_777_CNN

And here is what was said: 

View original post 117 more words


The anti-Southern bigotry of @NPR

March 6, 2014
Chattanooga VW workers, per MSNBC

A handful of Southern Democrats, per NPR

Jonah Goldberg listened to an NPR story about the defeat in the Senate of radical Leftist lawyer Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Per NPR, a “handful of Southern Democrats” (1) voted with the Republicans to defeat Adegbile. Here’s the roster:

  • Chris Coons (Del.)
  • Bob Casey (Pa.)
  • Mark Pryor (Ark.)
  • Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)
  • Joe Manchin (W.V.)
  • Joe Donnelly (Ind.)
  • John Walsh (Mont.)
  • Harry Reid (NV)

Apparently I’m not as knowledgeable about US History as I thought; I completely missed Pennsylvania and Indiana joining the Confederacy, and I didn’t realize the South butted up against Canada.

NPR: “National Public Reactionaries.”

Footnote:
(1) Hint to the Morning Edition producers —  Jim Crow ended a long time ago.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Great Moments in Journalism: “No, really?” division

December 27, 2013
No way!!

The deuce you say!!

horrific crime occurs in Chicago:

An 18-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder Thursday after police found a decapitated man early Christmas morning in the Hermosa neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

Officers responding to a homicide call found the decapitated 41-year-old man about 2 a.m. Wednesday inside a basement apartment in the 2500 block of North Kildare Avenue, police said.

And the local CBS station makes sure to nail down the crucial details:

The man was dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. He was identified as 41-year-old Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez and lived at the apartment.

Good thing they pointed that out; otherwise, I’d have never drawn that conclusion from the word “decapitated.” I can only imagine the look on the ME’s face when asked “And what is the victim’s condition?”

via ST on Facebook


#Benghazi: about that 60 minutes retraction

November 11, 2013
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a 60 Minutes report that appeared to blow large holes in the Obama administration’s story about what happened the night of September 11th, 2012, when our consulate in Benghazi was attacked and four Americans, including he ambassador, were killed. The report featured, but wasn’t solely based on, the testimony of “Morgan Jones,” the pseudonym of Dylan Davies, a security contractor employed by the Blue Mountain Group who had claimed to be at the compound while it was under attack and to have seen Ambassador Stevens body in the hospital in Benghazi.

About a week later, the story blew up in “60 Minutes” and journalist Lara Logan’s face when it became evident that there were serious questions about Davies’ credibility. CBS rapidly retracted their story and profusely apologized:

The correspondent for the disputed “60 Minutes’’ segment about the attack on the United States Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year apologized on the air Friday morning, saying it was a “mistake’’ to put on a security officer whose credibility has since been undermined by his diverging accounts of his actions that night.

The correspondent, Lara Logan, said on “CBS This Morning’’ that the news division was misled by the officer, adding, “We will apologize to our viewers, and we will correct the record on our broadcast on Sunday night.”

The apology followed disclosure by The New York Times on Thursday evening that the security contractor, Dylan Davies, had provided the F.B.I. an account that contradicted a version of events he provided in a recently published book and in the interview with “60 Minutes,” which was broadcast on Oct. 27.

Mr. Davies told the F.B.I. that he was not on the scene until the morning after the attack.

This was humiliating for Logan, “60 Minutes,” and CBS, the latter of which was still smarting from the Dan Rather “fake but true” scandal of 2004. They had been working on the story for a year, yet somehow missed FBI reports that called his claims into serious question. With the apology and retraction, that should put an end to this aspect of the story.

But something keeps bugging me.

This cave-in by CBS happened awfully fast, like a sand castle crumbling before a wave. Davies wasn’t by any means the only source for the story, nor even the most important — just the most dramatic, and hence his leading story in the video report. (The video has been withdrawn by CBS, but you can review the transcript at RCP) But also interviewed were Greg Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya on the night of the attack, and Lt. Col. Andy Wood, a Green Beret based in Tripoli at the time of the attack. Were their stories invalidated in any way? Frankly, no. In fact, Woods’ testimony corroborates what Davies had said about the looming danger in Benghazi and that people knew something was going to happen:

The last time he went to Benghazi was in June, just three months before the attack. While he was there, al Qaeda tried to assassinate the British ambassador. Wood says, to him, it came as no surprise because al Qaeda — using a familiar tactic — had stated their intent in an online posting, saying they would attack the Red Cross, the British and then the Americans in Benghazi.

Lara Logan: And you watched as they–

Andy Wood: As they did each one of those.

Lara Logan: –attacked the Red Cross and the British mission. And the only ones left–

Andy Wood: Were us. They made good on two out of the three promises. It was a matter of time till they captured the third one.

Lara Logan: And Washington was aware of that?

Andy Wood: They knew we monitored it. We included that in our reports to both State Department and DOD.

Andy Wood told us he raised his concerns directly with Amb. Stevens three months before the U.S. compound was overrun.

Regarding Davies own story, the fabricated part, if any, seems to be the description of his own heroics — entering the compound, fighting a terrorist, and sneaking into an al Qaeda-controlled hospital where he found Ambassador Stevens corpse. Perhaps he was trying to pump sales his now-recalled book and lay the groundwork for a movie deal.

But, the important parts, about the security problems in Benghazi and the question of American awareness of the danger, are seemingly unchallenged. Why then did CBS and Logan surrender so quickly? Why didn’t they say they’d “get to the bottom of this” and then figure out which parts were true and which not? As it stands, they’ve created a problem for anyone who questions the official account of what happened that night.

Journalist Lee Stranahan wondered similar things and points out that the FBI people who disputed Davies’s story have never been identified and that the effort to discredit Davies was being pushed by Media Matter’s For America, a hard-left media house that devoted itself to seeing Hillary Clinton elected President.

Clinton was Secretary of State on the night of the attack.

Stranahan reviews a long list of data from Logan’s report that’s not in dispute. Here are a few:

  • Quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound and repelled a force of as many as 60 armed terrorists and managed to save five American lives and recover the body of Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith
  • The same force that had gone to the compound was now defending the CIA Annex. Hours later, they were joined by a small team of Americans from Tripoli.
  • Wood: attack required “Coordination, planning, training, experienced personnel. They practice those things. They knew what they were doing. That was a– that was a well-executed attack.”
  • Two Delta Force operators who fought at the Annex and they’ve since been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cros
  •  Hicks told no help coming “”Listen, you’ve gotta tell those guys there may not be any help coming.”

So, why did CBS surrender so fast? Forgive my indulgence in a little bit of speculation, but could the fact that the brother of the head of CBS News works in the White House on the National Security Council and was a central figure in the revising of the controversial Benghazi talking points be significant?

Nah. Must be a coincidence.

RELATED: More Stranahan on Davies and that FBI interview. Did Congress know?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


If you still think the MSM is unbiased and nonpartisan…

October 16, 2013
"Thumb on the scale"

“Thumb on the scale”

Then here’s a needed reality check:

Bob Filner, the former San Diego mayor forced out of office in a storm of sexual harassment allegations, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a series of false imprisonment and battery charges involving three women.

The episode for Mr. Filner and the city he led for less than a year ended at a swift 16-minute court hearing in Superior Court, where Mr. Filner, dressed in a crisp blue suit and a gold tie, entered his plea with a series of “yes, sirs” as the judge described the scope of the one felony charge and two misdemeanor charges.

It was a sharp contrast from his resignation speech in August, when the mayor said he had been the victim of a “lynch mob.” His lawyer, Jerry Coughlan, said afterward that the once-defiant Mr. Filner, who faced sexual harassment allegations from 17 women, had “learned to get beyond denial” during his treatment for sexual disorders at a facility in Los Angeles in September.

Notice what’s missing? Any mention of “Filthy Filner’s” political party. If he had been a Republican, his affiliation would have been all over the page. Read the rest of Charlie Cooke’s article for the proof.

Don’t tell me liberal media bias is a myth.


Navy Yard shooting: an AR-15 *was* used there. Updated.

September 18, 2013

All too predictably, gun control advocates raced to take advantage of the atrocity of yesterdays’s mass shooting at the Navy Yard to press their case, this time by decrying the use of an AR-15 in the killings, the semi-automatic rifle having become the fear-object of choice for people who hate the Second Amendment (1).

Trouble is, the shooter didn’t use an AR-15. From what can be reconstructed, he entered the base armed with a legally-purchased shotgun (Joe Biden’s “Good Weapon”) and at some point obtained a pistol. But, gun-rights defenders are also wrong: there was at least one AR-15 involved in the shooting.

It was used by the police to kill the bad guy.

Sorry, gun-grabbers.

PS: After the last mass shooting, at Newtown, there was a lot of talk about the dangers of gun-free zones. So, will someone please explain, why, of all places, are military bases still  gun-free zones, per a Clinton-era regulation? These are people trained to use firearms and respond to combat situations. Why are we forcing them to be sitting ducks?

via Doug Powers

Footnote:
(1) And check out how this Advanced Placement Exam textbook mangles the Second Amendment. That is either gross ignorance or deliberate deception.

UPDATE: Based on a couple of comments on Twitter, I should clarify something. The point isn’t to argue over what kind of weapon was used, per se, but to correct the misinformation the reactionary Left uses to advance its agenda for an eventual gun ban. (Regardless of what they say, that’s where gun-control logic leads.) If left uncorrected with the truth at all times, the lie becomes the dominant narrative and the momentum goes to the gun-grabbers.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#WarOnJournalism: Who’s been snooping in Sharyl Attkisson’s computers?

May 21, 2013

Hmmm… Maybe FOX’s James Rosen and the AP aren’t the only targets of the White House’s ire? Here’s a radio interview CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson did with WPHT’s Chris Stigall in which she mentions unknown parties have accessed her home and work computers since February, 2011:

You’ll recall that both my blog-buddy ST and I have mentioned Attkisson several times on our blogs for being one of the few remaining MSM reporters actually willing to hold the administration to account for their actions, Fast & Furious and Benghazi being the most notable. She so got under their skin that, as Allahpundit reminds us, a DoJ official screamed and cursed at her over the phone. Attkisson herself has recently said that she has been shut out by her White House sources. There have been rumors (1) that David Rhodes, president of CBS News  and brother of Ben Rhodes, a would-be fiction writer and now an Obama national security deeply involved in Benghazi, might fire Attkisson for being too aggressive in her coverage of the White House… where his brother works.

Keep in mind that the DoJ got access to James Rosen’s GMail account by affirming to a judge that they believed he was engaged in a criminal conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act, and then got a court order forbidding Google from telling Rosen of the access. And now we hear that somebody has been accessing Attkisson’s computers.

What was going on in February 2011? The Fast and Furious scandal, having been rumored for months, was finally breaking into the mainstream news, and Attkisson was filing stories that weren’t settling for administration spin.

And about that same time, she gets hacked.

What. A. Coincidence.

Footnote:
(1) Attkisson has said there has been no pressure from any CBS News executive regarding her Benghazi reporting.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Shocker: Lying weasel Jay Carney caught lying like a weasel about #Benghazi

May 10, 2013
US Consulate, Benghazi

US Consulate, Benghazi

And I think the shocking thing is that it’s the MSM exposing him (emphases added):

When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.

ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.

White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.

That would appear to directly contradict* what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.

“Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened,” Carney told reporters at the White House press briefing on November 28, 2012. “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”

*(MSM-speak for “Jay Carney is a lying weasel.”)

We already know from The Weekly Standard that State and a failed fiction writer now working as an Obama national-security aide were heavily involved in “editing” the initial CIA talking points. This ABC report shows how many iterations they went through before the bowdlerized version was handed to Ambassador Rice for her role as designated mouthpiece the following Sunday. Then, when the talking points were shown to be a fiction, Carney went before the public to lie about their origins. The only question is was he knowingly lying, or was he played for a sap?

But, annoying as it is to have yet another example of the administration’s dishonesty over Benghazi (1) come out, the real story in my opinion here isn’t that a press secretary lied to cover his boss and his top aides. No, the real story here is that the MSM is finally getting interested in Benghazi, finally “uncovering” all these shocking revelations only after Obama has been safely reelected.

They’ve done their job, you see. They pushed Obama over the finish line twice, so now they can go back to pretending they’re objective journalists. There’s no need to “play Pravda” anymore, at least in this case. Now they can break news of things they could easily have discovered back in September, October, and November, except that it might have hurt Obama’s reelection chances.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad they’re finally doing their jobs. Benghazi is a huge scandal and the story has to be told. But don’t expect me to praise them for “holding the powerful accountable,” when their self-serving cynicism (2) is so dazzling.

RELATED: The Right Sphere reaches back in time to remind us that Carney’s boss was telling the same lies on a national stage just before the election.

Footnote:
(1) Remember, the administration knew what happened that night from their people on the ground. The jihadis themselves knew what happened; it was their operation. The only people being deceived here were us.
(2) There are a few exceptions, of course, but the corruption of the MSM as an institution is spread far and wide.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


You know the liberal media is desperate to support Obama when…

March 1, 2013
"Under state control"

“Under state control”

They misquote their own stories to spread administration propaganda:

This morning on Politico’s Playbook, [Mike] Allen quoted a story from his own website:

“Monday, the bulk of the furlough notices will start going out. … [E]stimates include 12 furlough days at the Bureau of Prisons, 13 at the Environmental Protection Agency and 15 at the Agriculture Department. Forced days off will mean cuts in annual pay of about 10 percent. Uniformed military personnel as well as employees … ‘Everything hits the fan on April 1,’ said Scott Lilly, former Democratic staff director to the House Appropriations Committee.

From reading that, you’d imagine that uniformed military and employees will be furloughed. There’s only one problem. The original article at Politico, by Darren Samuelsohn and Ginger Gibson, says precisely the opposite:

“Uniformed military personnel as well as employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Postal Service are exempt from the furloughs.”

The bold portion had been replaced by an ellipsis, totally changing the meaning of the sentence. That’s not journalism, that’s a memo from the Ministry of Truth.

Is it any wonder that the public’s trust in the major media is tanking?

RELATED: Consider this another example of what ST noted yesterday about “media lapdogs.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


European Union or EUSSR? Brussels demands power to regulate press, fire journalists

January 25, 2013
"Under state control"

“Enemy of the State”

If anyone had any notion that the European Union was anything but a bureaucratic dictatorship, this should open their eyes:

A European Union report has urged tight press regulation and demanded that Brussels officials are given control of national media supervisors with new powers to enforce fines or the sacking of journalists.

The “high level” recommendations that will be used to draft future EU legislation also attack David Cameron for failing to automatically implement proposals by the Lord Justice Leveson inquiry for a state regulation of British press.

A “high level” EU panel, that includes Latvia’s former president and a former German justice minister, was ordered by Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice-president, last year to report on “media freedom and pluralism”. It has concluded that it is time to introduce new rules to rein in the press.

“All EU countries should have independent media councils,” the report concluded.

“Media councils should have real enforcement powers, such as the imposition of fines, orders for printed or broadcast apologies, or removal of journalistic status.”

As well as setting up state regulators with draconian powers, the panel also recommended that the European Commission be placed in overall control in order to ensure that the new watchdogs do not breach EU laws.

(Emphases added)

I’m sure these new powers, if granted, will be used only for the common good, to ensure fair, sensitive journalism — as determined by a bunch of Eurocrats.

The danger of this is obvious: the power to fine or fire is the power to dictate, and the only reporters to retain their jobs will be those who say things pleasing to the mandarins in Brussels. It would be the death knell of free speech in Europe, for free speech is meaningless if it doesn’t include the right to say things that make the powerful uncomfortable, or even simply to offend. A free, unfettered press is essential to a democratic society, and if the press is fettered, so is the citizen, who becomes a subject. The society is no longer free.

The article points out that these proposed regulations are aimed largely at the British press, which has a large Euro-skeptic element and regularly ticks off the European Union elite.  Quite unsurprisingly, then, the Brussels initiative has set up howls of outrage in Britain, from whom we inherited our traditions of free speech and press freedom. With Prime Minister Cameron promising a referendum on a new arrangement, one can only hope the majority of Britons will see the danger of staying a part of this “brave new Euro-world” and vote to get the hell out.

Indeed, they may already ready be headed for the door.

PS: This article reminds me yet again how rare, fragile, and precious our traditions of free speech –the ability to speak one’s mind to the powerful without fear of reprisal– really are. In Europe, where on the Continent the governing tradition is top-down, the natural reaction of the government is to suppress annoying speech. (And in America, we see twitches of that from the Left.) Even in Australia, the people of which are our close political cousins, there is no recognized natural right of free speech. It is a right that we must not only assert and defend, but actively exercise, especially when it itself is under threat.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Benghazi — There are still a few genuine reporters left

January 23, 2013
US Consulate, Benghazi

The dead would like answers, too.

Some of you may recall that I’ve in the past praised Sharyl Attkisson of CBS for her work on the Fast and Furious scandal. For a long time, she was almost the only MSM reporter asking serious questions about what happened in that “felony stupid” fiasco

Sharyl’s also been digging into the massacre at our consulate in Benghazi last September 11th, in which our ambassador and three other Americans died at the hands of Al Qaeda-aligned terrorists. While she’s had plenty of questions for the White House, the most transparent administration ever has given no answers. Frustrated with the stonewalling, Attkisson yesterday took to Twitter to ask her questions before the public. Here are is a series of particular interest to me:

Remember that guy who was rousted out of his home by the LA Sheriffs in the dark of the night because he had the temerity to exercise his right to free speech? (Please, the parole violation was just a fig leaf of an excuse, if that.) That’s who Attkisson is talking about.

To continue:

…and…

Love this next one:

And finally…

Naturally, the mooks of Chicago-on-the-Potomac have refused to answer any of these or Attkisson’s other questions.

Secretary Clinton is scheduled to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee today on the Benghazi massacre… assuming she doesn’t have another concussion. I would right a fat check to any congressman on the committee who asked Clinton these questions, refused to let her dodge answering, and demanded to know how, in her opinion, the video maker’s arrest and imprisonment comports with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and his natural right of free speech. (1)

Meanwhile, I’ll continue hoping for more real reporters like Sharyl Attkisson, instead of the progressive cheering section that comprises most of the MSM. (Not that I’ll hold my breath; none of these questions are difficult to think of. The media’s shame is that there are so few willing to ask them.)

via Ace, who has a great post on “old school journalism.”

Footnote:
(1) Again, don’t try to tell me this was all over a parole violation. If you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

UPDATE: Clinton has begun her opening statement — no mention of the video maker’s arrest.  As Bryan Preston concludes, it’s either “stunningly incomplete, if not blatantly dishonest.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


LAPD caught engaging in gun-control propaganda

January 6, 2013

Remember when Los Angeles’ latest gun buyback program made headlines last month because a couple of “rocket launchers” were turned in? Pretty scary right? A dramatic, powerful argument for more “smart” gun regulations, no? A perfect illustration of Senator Feinstein’s attempt to ban weapons with a “military characteristic,” don’t you think?

Only problem is, they weren’t real:

It turns out both were one-use, AT-4 grenade launchers used by the U.S. Army in anti-tank operations. Yes they are grenade launchers (not really “rocket” launchers proper) but these tubes are pre-packaged weapons that can be fired only one time and cannot be reloaded. They are one-shot only weapons. So, yes, that means the tubes the police had were completely and permanently harmless.

But even more absurdly, at least one of the tubes was a training piece and never fired a grenade and never could have. It was a device used only for showing young soldiers what such a weapon looks like. It is a hands-on training tool that is 100% inert, un-fireable, safe as a plastic kid’s toy gun.

As Paul Szoldra explains, “It is, quite literally, a long, green fiberglass tube that does nothing.”

Further, these hunks of plastic can be bought at many military surplus stores and have even turned up on on eBay in the past.

What we really have here is the LAPD making a big story out of nothing and a gaggle of Old Media lapdogs lapping up the fake story because they haven’t a clue about the topic.

And don’t tell me that no one in LAPD, not even its notoriously pro-gun control (1) Chief, Charlie Beck, knew the difference. They just thought the public would be as gullible as a MSM reporter.

Sorry, Charlie.

Footnote:
(1) Check out this CBS article for a good example of Chief Beck mouthing the party line in the face of strong evidence of a correlation between rising gun sales and a decline in gun-related injuries and deaths. And, contra the Chief, gun buybacks don’t work (PDF).

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#FastAndFurious: The Legacy Media can take lessons from Spanish-language Univision

October 1, 2012

Fast and Furious got results, all right.

With notable exceptions, such as CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson, the mainstream media has done a horrid job covering the deadly scandal of Operation Fast and Furious, the “gunwalking” operation in which the US Government allowed thousands of weapons to fall into the hands of vicious Mexican drug cartels. These weapons killed not only two US federal agents and but –as far as we know and with more sure to come–  hundreds of Mexican citizens. It’s a scandal of epic proportions, but not all that well known to many Americans because of the media’s desperate attempts to convince us that what is really important are Mitt Romney’s tax returns.

Enter Univision, which had already raised impressed eyebrows with its hard questions to Obama over immigration. On its Aqui y Ahora show last night, Univision aired a one-hour investigative documentary on Fast and Furious, “Rapido y Furioso,” that blew the lid off this fiasco and showed clearly its human cost:

On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.

Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.

Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.

Read it all, there’s oh so much more. The ABC link also has a video excerpt with subtitles, the documentary’s first ten minutes.

At PJ Media, Bob Owens notes that the documentary shows that DoJ officials knew the weapons would only be recovered at crime scenes –after people had been killed– and just brushed it off as having to “break a few eggs.”

I wonder how the families of the victims feel about that?

Owens also highlights the information Aqui y Ahora presented on other possible gunwalking operations:

Operation Castaway, run with the same bloody-minded approach as Operation Fast and Furious, provided more than 1,000 guns to cartels via the Tampa ATF. Those guns leaked out across Honduras, Colombia, and Venezuela, according to the U.S. veteran who smuggled some of the weapons, Hugh Crumpler [6]:

“When the ATF stopped me, they told me the guns were going to cartels,” Hugh Crumpler, a Vietnam veteran turned arms trafficker, told Univision News. “The ATF knew before I knew and had been following me for a considerable length of time. They could not have followed me for two months like they said they did, and not know the guns were going somewhere, and not want for that to be happening.”

Univision also uncovered evidence of weapons being smuggled from Texas: two gun-smuggling programs similar to Fast and Furious are rumored to have put thousands of additional weapons in the cartels’ hands in operations larger than Fast and Furious. U.S. Senator John Cornyn has repeatedly pressed the Obama administration for information about the documented trail of weapons coming from two Texas ATF areas of operations. The Department of Justice has denied the existence of such programs, despite the physical evidence of guns recovered suggesting otherwise. While the Univision report focused on guns the DOJ ran to Mexican cartels, there is enough evidence to suggest other Obama administration-sanctioned gun-walking plots arming domestic criminal gangs, such as the so-called Gangwalker plot [7] in Indiana, which supplied Chicago street gangs, and similar rumored operations in California, North Carolina, northern Florida, and elsewhere, which provided weapons to gangs in U.S. cities. Nor has the Univision report focused on weapons that have found their way to cartels via the State Department [8] or the Department of Defense.

Echoing the thoughts of an Arizona sheriff, we have to ask, how does this not make complicit officials from the president down to the field agents “accessories before the fact?” In fact, let’s be blunt: supplying these weapons to armed gangs attempting to take over territory from the Mexican federal and state governments could easily be called an act of war. We already have hundreds of casualties!

Operation Fast and Furious is an absolutely monstrous scandal, the kind we’d dismiss as bad television, if we didn’t know it was real. People need to go to jail over this, and if the Mexicans care to file for extradition, I’d be happy to oblige.

Meanwhile, Univision and its reporters are once again to be congratulated and commended for refusing to be fawning sycophants and for committing real journalism.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Pat Caddell: the MSM has become an “enemy of democracy.”

September 28, 2012

Harsh words from the former Democratic pollster and analyst in the wake of the massacre in Benghazi:

…but I fear he’s much more right than wrong.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)