1. How low can the New York Times go? Even lower than I thought...In today editorial, the Times editorial board complains about President Trump’s pardon of conservative writer Dinesh D’Souza, whom it describes as a “right-wing troll.” Okay…and by that kind of measure, the entire Times editorial staff is a collective left-wing troll. The Times notes that D’Souza is “known for, among other things, posting racist tweets about President Barack Obama [ The Times identified a single “racist tweet,” but in any event, such tweets are not illegal] spreading the lie that George Soros was a Nazi collaborator [ Not a lie, just an unfair characterization that D’Souza may genuinely believe. Lying is also not illegal, and the Times should be grateful for this given its own proclivities] and writing that “the American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well” [ An opinion, if an obnoxious one, and also not illegal.] So what? None of that justifies D’Souza’s prosecution on a technical election law violation that many found to be politically motivated and pushed by those who took offense at, well, exactly what the Times cited about him. Bill Clinton, during the 2016 primaries, openly violated the law by politicking for Hillary at a polling place in Massachusetts without any consequences. That was selective non-prosecution if the offense was usually enforced, and would have been selective, suspicious prosecution if he had been charged when most violators are not. There are good reasons, in other words, to believe that an anti-Obama, anti-Democrat gadfly was targeted vindictively by the Obama administration to chill his political speech. Trump’s pardon is defensible, if provocative. Then the Times writes,
“The tendency of presidents of both parties to reward cronies with clemency — from Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton’s of the financier Marc Rich — is one Washington tradition that we’d welcome Mr. Trump smashing.”
You read that correctly. The New York Times just sunk to a new low, which is quite an achievement, comparing Gerald Ford’s brave, wise, and politically ruinous pardon of Richard Nixon for the good of the nation (and it was good for the nation, while a protracted political show trial of a disgraced President would not have been) to Bill Clinton’s probably criminal pardon of fugitive Marc Rich, whose ex-wife coincidentally followed up Clinton’s defiantly perverse act with a huge financial gift to Clinton’s Presidential library.
2. How to invalidate an apology in one, stupid step. Yesterday “Cunt”-Hurler Samantha Bee apologized “sincerely” for her scurrilous attack on Ivanka Trump after it began to appear that her incivility might lose her show some sponsors. Then she almost immediately showed how sincerely ( as in “not one bit”) at last night’s award ceremony, as the Television Academy honored Bee’s “Full Frontal” for “advancing social change” (as in ‘pushing partisan anger and hate to the point where a civil war is no longer unthinkable.’ Yay Samantha!). Her award should have been cancelled, of course, and by awarding it to Bee anyway, the Academy tacitly endorsed the position that Ivanka Trump is a “feckless cunt.”
Accepting her award, Bee said in part, “We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals.” Ah. So she regards the whole “cunt” controversy as a trivial kerfuffle over “one bad word”—see, that evil Roseanne Barr used TEN words that conveyed one bad thought, and that’s completely different—and besides, it’s not the worst thing (Rationalization #22).
The Academy tried to protect Bee by revoking press access hours before the event. That’s odd: I thought “Democracy dies in Darkness.” Well, yes, but vicious hypocritical Democrat vulgarians and their complicit employers and supporters wilt in the daylight.
3. You’ll never guess who supports Samantha. Well, maybe you can. After urging Bee not to apologize, Kathy Griffin, she of the visual endorsement of the President’s murder, challenged CNN’s Chris Cillizza’s statement challenging her idiotic claim that condemning Bee’s rhetoric raised First Amendment issues. He wrote,
“This isn’t about whether Samantha Bee CAN say it. It’s about whether she SHOULD say it. And whether we as a society SHOULD condone it.”
“Shut the fuck up you hack. When the White House Press Secretary, on behalf of the President, says “Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast..” we’re heading into first amendment territory. That I have to explain this to you reminds me how dumb you are.”
No, in fact there is nothing related to the First Amendment in Sanders’ statement at all. The comments were disgusting, and are not fit for Broadcast, and saying so does not constitute government action infringing free speech.
Trump and the administration should have stayed out of the whole matter, but the breach is ethical, not Constitutional. Once again (and again, and again), the President is “punching down,” which is an abuse of power and position, and irresponsible.
4. Integrity turns up in the most unexpected places…like CNN. Condemnation of Bee’s language came from a surprising source, especially since she works for the same media mega-company Bee does: CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. She said in part last night, “The same rules apply no matter which political side you call home. Conservatives have been pointing to a double standard on how liberal stars who say these offensive things are treated, versus their conservative counterparts, and in many cases, rightfully so.”
Baldwin then showed clips of Keith Olbermann spouting vulgar, obscene, ad hominem attacks on President Trump.
“Despite all of this, he just got another plum job. A job, ironically, at the same company that just booted Roseanne for violating its values,” Baldwin said. She then played the clip of Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt.”
“Whether you agree with the president’s policies or not, calling a senior adviser inside the United States government or anyone for that matter the ‘C’ word is, like I said at the top, it’s outrageous, it is unacceptable and should be called out,” Baldwin said. “She could have easily made her point without using those words, a point that, by the way, is totally lost because she used that language. Doing this, she is no better than the very behavior she criticizes. In fact, she becomes part of the problem.
CNN anchor John King made similar remarks yesterday.
5. Nice. And speaking of double standards, imagine the media reaction if any Republican ran this ad about a Democratic President:
I’m not going to make any predictions, because I don’t understand the thinking of too many Americans right now. But if Democrats were deliberately trying to lose the sane, fair, decent Americans voting bloc, they couldn’t do a better job.
UPDATE: And now that I have watched the whole ad, I must say: What a jackass. He’ll “protect children, not guns”? What does that mean? Simple-minded virtue-signalling without substance or honesty.
6. Nasty Jury of the Year. In Florida, jurors decided a civil suit filed by the family of a black man, 30-year-old Gregory Hill Jr, who was fatally shot by a police officer. Finding the victim 99% liable for his own death, they awarded the plaintiffs four dollars. Naturally, this was immediately spun by the plaintiff’s lawyer into a “black lives don’t matter” in this country rant.
I wasn’t in the courtroom, so I have no idea whether the verdict was just or not. I do know that awarding four dollars was gratuitously insulting and cruel, and the jury was irresponsible to not realize it. Losing the lawsuit was bad enough. The de minimus damages seem like mockery.