1 The RedState purge. Salem Media, the conservative website RedState’s owner, froze the site and fired many of its most read and respected writers, all of whom were distinguished by one other common feature: they are all NeverTrumpers, conservatives who revile the current POTUS almost as vehemently as the Left’s mainstream media.
I view this decision as a declaration of war of sorts, or perhaps an assertion that a war is already going on. The Democrats, progressives, the news media and “the resistance” have been trying to unseat the President of the United States by “any means necessary,” a strategy that not only every conservative but every responsible citizen ought to oppose as the dangerous and undemocratic strategy it is. The dilemma is that NeverTrumpers’ anti-Trump bias not only makes them less than effective in opposing this unethical plot, it arguably makes them accessories to it.
Salem’s action is depressing but significant. It is one more indication that the news media, new and old, is dividing down rigid ideological lines while embracing political agendas rather than ethical journalism’s traditional mission. There is a place for fighting “the resistance,” but objective journalism shouldn’t have to censor dissent to play its part. Its part is to report the truth. Actions, however, have equal and opposite reactions, and as the media on the Left, which is to say most of the media, openly and unapologetically indulges its Trump Hate, confident that its market will approve (thus making the abandonment of fairness and responsibility profitable), the polarization of whatever news media remains becomes inevitable.
This is not good for journalism, punditry, the nation or democracy, but I don’t know what can halt it now.
2. Terrible…but kind of funny, you have to admit. More than half the paintings owned by a small art museum in Elne, France, 82 of its 140 works, are fakes. “It’s a catastrophe,” said Yves Barniol, the mayor of Elne, near the Spanish border. Ya think? Over $170,000 was paid out by the museum for the phony artworks—not a lot by art museum standards, but when most of your collection are forgeries, there’s an open question why anyone would trust such a museum again.
Dishonesty and incompetence are a destructive combination.
3. Verdict: Obviously! From an editorial by the British website Spiked:
“There’s something weird about the glee that overcame certain Brits when they heard Trump is visiting Britain in July. They can’t wait to dust down their placards, don their pussy hats, and take to the streets to rage against the ‘tangerine tyrant’. But if they’re so political, surely they’d have marched against Theresa May at some point, over Syria, or Windrush? And why didn’t they raise a peep during the visit of Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman last month? He really mistreats Muslims: represses them, beheads them, plunges them into famine (see Yemen). He denies women basic rights, yet no pussy hats for him. Next month President Erdogan of Turkey is coming here: there are no excitable tweets about railing against this persecutor of journalists and warmaker against the Kurds. Why Trump and not them? Because protesting against Trump isn’t actually political – it’s therapeutic, it’s visceral, it’s virtue-signalling with bells on. It’s about venting an often snooty emotional angst about the state of the world and against disobedient voters who won’t do as they’re told and choose Hillary or the EU. The big anti-Trump demo won’t really be a political march – it will be a middle-class primal scream.”
Glad this recognition has crossed the Atlantic, but the U.S. has been plagued by the same phenomenon since November 2016. Of course, primal screaming for 18 months goes beyond futile to tortious. [Pointer: Pennagain]
4. White House Correspondents Dinner Report. Since President Trump has appropriately withheld his presence, robbing the annual gathering of any buzz or reason for anyone to give a damn, it is now calling itself a celebration of the First Amendment—ironic, since the conduct of the attendees has undermined public support for the freedom of the press it sees increasingly and brazenly abused.
Here were some of the jokes from Michelle Wolf, the classy entertainment:
“Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, let’s get this over with.”
“Of course, Trump isn’t here, if you haven’t noticed. He’s not here. And I know, I know, I would drag him here myself, but it turns out the president of the United States is the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab.”
“People call Trump names all the time. And look, I could call Trump a racist or a misogynist or xenophobic or unstable or incompetent or impotent. But he’s heard all of those and he doesn’t care. So tonight, I’m going to try to make fun of the president in a new way, in a way that I think will really get him. Mr. President: I don’t think you’re very rich. Like I think you might be rich in Idaho, but in New York you’re doing fine.”
“[Trump] loves white nationalists, which is a weird term for a Nazi. Calling a Nazi a white nationalist is like calling a pedophile a ‘kid friend.’ Or Harvey Weinstein a ‘ladies man.’ Which isn’t really fair. He also likes plants.”
“She has the perfect last name for what she does, Conway … You guys have got to stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. All she does is lie. If you don’t give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. It’s like that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I’m not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck. Stuck under a tree.” [Note: Conway was at the dinner.]
“There’s also, of course, Ivanka. She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out she’s about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons. She’s done nothing to satisfy women. So, I guess like father, like daughter.”
And, in a way, transparent. This is exactly how the people in that room feel about the President of the United States, and their coverage reflects that, every day.
Nah, there’s no media bias…