Jake Tapper, Julia Ioffe And The Anatomy Of An Ethics Train Wreck

I can’t even keep track of the subordinate ethics train wrecks and sub-train wrecks emanating from the Biggest Ethics Train Wreck of  Them All, the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, wherein the furious defeated Democratic Party/progressive/NeverTrump/news media collective set out to undermine the new Presidency, and to overthrow the Presidency if possible. This forms the backdrop, wrote Liz Shield yesterday, for

“every aspect of public discourse on Trump and Trump-related matters..the news on the Pittsburgh synagogue slaughter falls into this category and the strongest narrative on the tragedy is that Trump inspired this/is responsible because he hates Jews/is antisemitic/didn’t condemn the white supremacists or whatever flimsy excuses the resistance needs to blame Trump. In reality, Trump is probably the most pro-Israel president the U.S. has ever had…Those of us who are not in the #resistance are getting lectured on toning down our rhetoric from left-wing hysterics shouting all kinds of slanderous and intemperate accusations…So I am supposed to believe that calling Trump supporters Nazis, white supremacists, sexists, and homophobes is just the right thing to do but Trump’s rhetoric is pouring gasoline on a burning fire of crazy activists? Or perhaps violence in the name of the leftist agenda is just fine? I think that’s it.”

I agree. That’s it indeed. The same is obviously true of the level of rhetoric. Violent, hateful, extreme rhetoric has been coming from the anti-Trump news media for two years, and there are a lot more of them than there are of him, which is one. It takes an immense amount of journalism gall and the assumption of public  gullibility for the news media to argue that the President has created a culture of hate. Says Fox’s Lone Conservative Comic Greg Guttfield, “You want hate? You spend two years calling a guy Hitler, a racist, a traitor, and insane — then you blame him for violence cuz of nicknames?”

No previous President has been attacked using such extreme rhetoric or would have, and no President who was would have survived it without defending himself while calling his critics what they were.

[ A brief digression on “enemy of the people.” President Trump once again described the news media as the enemies of the people. I have, reluctantly, concluded that the label is accurate and justified, and that the President is right in affixing it. This has horrified many here. I agree that calling a crucial democratic institution a public enemy is extreme and dangerous. However,

…More dangerous to a democracy still is a crucial democratic institution perverting its professional and institutional obligations and using its public trust to attack and undermine the democracy it exists to serve;

…That is what the mainstream news media has chosen to do, rejecting objectivity and independence for a hard partisan alliance, depriving the public of a fair and truthful account of events and developing issues;

… The absence of a trustworthy and functioning journalistic establishment will, in the long run and if uncorrected, render our democracy dysfunctional and inoperable, to the detriment of the American public and the world.

…Therefore this deliberate, reckless course threatens the people, and since there is no unbiased Fifth Estate to warn them, it falls to the only remaining democratic institution with the ability to do so to assume the task, the Presidency.

….”Enemy of the people” is a shocking and damning accusation, and its full power is essential if journalists are to realize that they are on a destructive oath.]

This adversary position does place any ethical journalist left standing in peril of perishing in the crossfire, and being run down by the various careering trains despite his or her best efforts. On CNN’s “The Lead With Jake Tapper”this week,  GQ magazine correspondent Julia Ioffe was joined by David Urban, Symone Sanders (who is a documented idiot and bigot) and Mona Charen on a panel to discuss the effects of combative rhetoric, primarily the President’s. CNN’s Don Lemon’s statement that “The president of the United States is racist,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough assertion that “Even Albert Einstein may have ended up in a Nazi concentration camp with Donald Trump’s viewpoint on immigration,” and MSNBC’s Donnie Deutsch’s smear that “If you vote for Trump, then you the voter, you – not Donald Trump – are standing at the border like Nazis going ‘you here, you here!,” among others, were not discussed. Ioff, best known perhaps for being fired from Politico for suggesting that the President was having an incestuous relationship was his daughter (or in her words, was “fucking” Ivana), decided to compare the President of the United States to ISIS.

“I think this president, one of the things that he really launched his presidential run on is talking about Islamic radicalization. And this president has radicalized so many more people than ISIS ever did. I mean, the way he talks, the way he — the way he –” Ioffe sputtered. Urban interrupted, “That’s just — it’s unconscionable for you to say that,” .

Ioffe resumed, “The way that he talks, the way that he allows these — the way he winks and nods to these groups. The way he says, I know I’m not supposed to say it, but I’m a nationalist. The way that he hems and haws when he has to condemn these people, gritting his teeth says, says fine, OK, I condemn this.”

Urban then turned to Tapper: “Hold on. For you not to push back on that — for her to say, the president of the United States has radicalized more people than ISIS is irresponsible,”

Tapper then said, weakly, “OK, you disagree.” He was later sharply criticized by many on social media, including Republican National Committee’s Steve Guest, for not drawing a hard line at a statement as vicious as Ioffe’s. Tapper defended himself, tweeting, “As [I] explained live on air, I went right to and @DavidJUrban to debate her, and they were eager to do so. It’s a panel not an interview.”

To some extent I sympathize with Tapper’s plight. Before going to CNN, he was one of the very few mainstream media broadcast news reporters whom I regarded as making a professional effort to be fair despite his own views. Unfortunately, at CNN he is immersed in an unethical and biased culture. It would be remarkable if he could resist being adversely influenced by this culture, and he hasn’t. He’s been corrupted. Why was a disgraced journalist like Ioffe (and Sanders) permitted on such a panel? Yes, I know: she had written shortly after the shooting on Saturday,

“And a word to my fellow American Jews: This president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there [in Israel], where you don’t live was worth it.”

Really, CNN? Someone can qualify as a responsible pundit by writing something as crazy as that? Well, yes, this is CNN: if you denigrate the President, logically or not, that’s good enough to put you on a panel. Still, a competent moderator has to step in when a panelist goes too far and enters the realm of hysteria and partisan hate. Even Ioffe realized that comparing the President to a murderous terrorist organization while arguing that extreme rhetoric risks igniting violence was, shall we say, hypocritical. She later tweeted,

“This has been a very emotional and painful time, but I absolutely should not have gone with such hyperbole on the air. I apologize.”

Well.

1) She is a professional, allegedly, and if a journalist can’t mainstain professional objectivity and self-control during “emotional and painful times” she is useless, and needs to find a nice, quiet, out of the way—Maine, maybe—bait shop to run and get the hell off the air.

2) Oh, it’s hyperbole now? On the programs, she insisted that her statement that the President had radicalized more people than ISIS was true, responding to Urban with, “ISIS had like 10,000 members. I think the president has far more supporters who espouse an equally hateful ideology.”

3) Who is she apologizing to? The person she smeared was President Trump.

The critics of her, Tapper and CNN had common sense and reality on their side. Tweeted one to Tapper,

“Not hyperbolic. More like irresponsible and dangerous. (Not to mention downright crazy) And you just sat there. Why don’t we trust you? This. Trump isn’t destroying CNN. You guys are doing that all on your own.”

Exactly.

Another…

“And you got what you wanted… @jaketapper why don’t we go back to just basic reporting? Man I miss the news and I can’t find it on any network.”

And…

“You knew what insane crap she wrote over the weekend, and she continued the verbal diarrhea on your panel, yet no one said anything until the social media chimed in. Weak.”

No, not weak: inevitable, when the news media has taken the position that it is its mission to enable and facilitate the most extreme and irresponsible critics of the President. This process is duplicated in various forums and at various levels across the media, every hour of every day. The societal carnage it will lead to has only just begun.

______________________

Sources: The Hill, Twitchy, The Daily Caller

35 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, U.S. Society

35 responses to “Jake Tapper, Julia Ioffe And The Anatomy Of An Ethics Train Wreck

  1. Arthur in Maine

    1) She is a professional, allegedly, and if a journalist can’t mainstain professional objectivity and self-control during “emotional and painful times” she is useless, and needs to find a nice, quiet, out of the way—Maine, maybe—bait shop to run and get the hell off the air.

    No thanks.

  2. E2

    Frankly, I don’t know where I can really get the ‘news.’ CNN makes my head explode within a minute, MSNBC does not exist for me, and Fox News, though a bit better, still has its own agenda. We have had ‘yellow journalism’ in the country since its inception, but once upon a time there were newspapers and television news that could, for the most part, at least seem impartial.

    My favorite head explosion came during the Kavanaugh hearings when WETA had Christianne Amanpour (reduced now, thankfully, to post-midnight programs on public TV) interviewing four young women who went to Kavanaugh’s prep school 10 full years after he attended, and were collecting anecdotes from alumni about his behavior. She took them seriously, and was eager to hear everything they had to say. This is journalism?

    The explosion of hate and partisanship today is unprecedented. Yes, Andrew Jackson was considered a chimpanzee and roundly disliked, and Lincoln suffered from attacks by the press and populace as well. Think I’ll have to do some research on this.

    But for now, the bottom line for me: This is a good case where advancing technology- not just print and TV news but Facebook, Twitter, etc. — is not advancing society: it has become everyone’s stump to spew hate, lies, partisanship. We are in dire straits here. “United We Stand” indeed.

    • What you say is mirrored it seems to me in a NYTs piece of today (Frank Bruni):

      The internet is the technology paradox writ more monstrous than ever. It’s a nonpareil tool for learning, roving and constructive community-building. But it’s unrivaled, too, in the spread of lies, narrowing of interests and erosion of common cause. It’s a glorious buffet, but it pushes individual users toward only the red meat or just the kale. We’re ridiculously overfed and ruinously undernourished.

      […]

      That same Times article noted that a search for the word “Jews” on the photo-sharing site Instagram on Monday led to 11,696 posts with the hashtag “#jewsdid911,” insanely blaming them for the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center, along with similarly grotesque images and videos that demonized Jews. Anti-Semitism may be ancient, but this delivery system for it is entirely modern.

      And utterly terrifying. I don’t know exactly how we square free speech and free expression — which are paramount — with a better policing of the internet, but I’m certain that we need to approach that challenge with more urgency than we have mustered so far. Democracy is at stake. So are lives.

      What he fails to mention — necessarily because the Times could not report, accurately, on its own complicity in lies, distortions, propaganda-like reporting — is that the Internet has allowed people to communicate ideas that are not allowed any other forum. While it is true, at least in a sense, that the ‘enclaves’ he speaks of are dangerous, he does not mention that communication has opened up a very new vista for sharing ideas.

      All that he says is that it is a ‘glorious buffet’.

      But what is most threatening, and really more dangerous to *established* and *entrenched* interests is knowledge of their activities. And that in itself is and should be a topic for journalistic investigation. I wonder if the benefits are not greater than the deficits?

      The other thing that he is talking about — 9/11 — is a curious question and an important one. Anyone who merely superficially examines the 9/11 incident and the glaring problem of *Building 7* (among a wide group of problems), will see quickly that the MSM has shown itself incapable of doing proper reporting. Otherwise, it would be a topic of daily conversation. Why cannot they report on it? Answer that question and you’ll have answered a great deal . . . The answer itself is, in today’s climate, revolutionary in import.

      And there is a reason why the narrative about Israeli involvement is gaining ground, but which lives in the shadows as it were. One is the suppression of reporting on the dramatic problems of the Official Story (obviously and transparently false). Who controls the information? Who controls what is disseminated and what is not? By failure to engage with a very important question — the most dramatic of our present and the one that has had devastating effect — the Media System itself, with all its levels of complicity, reveals itself for what it is.

      One is forced to do one’s own research, to think, to speculate and, yes, to guess. And that guessing, backed up by definite traces and evidence of-a-sort, points less to Israel the State and more to a very shadowed and very extra-governmental collusion among intelligence entities. When people say “#jewsdid911” they are referring to something that they cannot see, and no one can, because by its very nature it is operating tras las bambalinas: behind the stage. People begin from an inductive reasoning of ‘Who benefited’ and work their way backwards. [Inductive reasoning is the opposite of deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning makes broad generalizations from specific observations.]

      But as I say they really have no other choice. Media has shown itself to be a *stage* and on that stage certain scenes appear, and certain narratives are acted out. But everyone knows that you cannot, not really, rely on appearances, and you can trust no one.

      What is poised to happen now is referred to generally as a ‘crack-down’. The flow of information has gotten too fluid, to dangerous. It must be reined-in and, in the near future, the plans for that will be seen moving into effect.

      It is you and your view that they aim for. You: the class of influencers and middle-managers of information and opinion.

      Again, the lid is coming off. If *they* cannot get it back on, a crisis will be fabricated. Generally speaking that is how the system works, unless I am very wrong.

      • Mrs. Q

        Vaclav Havel’s speech titled “On Evasive Thinking” addresses similar thoughts on inductive reasoning and failing to address the real question.

        • “Such verbal mysticism, of course, is a rather simple and transparent trick. What is more dangerous is the manipulation of certain established relational schemata”.

          I did get that book and I did read that essay. It would be hard to divine just from that quote what ‘relational schemata’ meant for him in 1965, and a difficult topic to be broached in relation to our present . . .

          And with ‘dialectical metaphysics’ . . . oh my! 😉

      • E2

        When I was in high school (more years ago than I care to admit) my sociology teacher told me to go into broadcast journalism, because “they control the news.” How prescient. Even people watching “All the President’s Men” years ago and much acclaimed, showed editors deciding what was news and what was not, and how much they wanted to ‘get’ Nixon. He deserved it… but everyone else?

  3. The media has been like this my entire life: the news was slanted, cherry picked, and predetermined. They have just grown up drunk on their own power, and human nature dictates they will get blatant with it. Why not? No one of consequence has ever called them on it.

    Until Trump.

    Trump uses their decades old tactics against them, and it works.

    This drives them nuts.

  4. … The absence of a trustworthy and functioning journalistic establishment will, in the long run and if uncorrected, render our democracy dysfunctional and inoperable, to the detriment of the American public and the world.

    The nation known as America is on the cusp of significant changes. No one can say with certainty where things are going, yet there is a certain writing on the wall. But to *see* that writing, to describe it, could also involve one in bringing out certain truths, or potential truths, that quite simply (and logically) cannot be uttered. Because this is true, in my view, the Media are operating not as reporters of events, but as a braking system. They seem to think — I can sympathize with them — that if they could or can control the flow of information, and direct it, that the *sheeple* will fall into line. That is not my word: sheeple. I don’t know who invented it but it means a docile mass.

    However, even over the last 2-4 years I have noticed that the *parameters of the conversation* has opened up tremendously. Really, this is extraordinary. It is just a beginning of course but, to my mind, it shows the power of the ideas that are poised to enter, more dramatically, the considerations that ‘the docile masses’ might entertain. It should be the role of journalism to explore and present differing perspectives, but everyone must face the fact that they cannot. They represent huge interest-sets, zillions of dollars are at stake, and in such a climate *truth* is really not to be considered.

    This is the cost — if you will permit this turn of phrase — of having sold your soul to gain the world. The structures of power simply cannot allow *the truth* to be told and circulated. Therefor, their role is to dampen things down and, they hope, return things to some status quo ante.

    The major issues are still not ones that can be openly talked about. So, they remain in the shadows and on the fringes. There, often, they are talked about (or referred to is a better way of putting it) by people who, shall I say, lack qualifications. This stands to reason because they are, by definition, peripheral. One of the prime examples I will cite (what possesses me?) is the JQ. But it is not the only one by any means. Simply by mentioning though it I have committed a significant infraction. No, more: a literal thoughtcrime. And I could go right down a list of *forbidden topics* that are totally off-limits! They cannot be talked about in responsible media unless they are simultaneously condemned.

    So, yes, the *mainstream media* is a problem, and yes, in a certain way they are *enemies of the people*, but this must be translated into terms that make sense. The enemies of the people are the handmaidens and the servants of *vast concentrations of capital* and *constellations of corporation* that have a definite interest in defeating the flow of ideas. Fact. Straight up, hard and cold fact. Obviously, one must begin a more concerted effort to locate the real enemies of the people. If the term is real, it has to be traced back and its connotations unveiled.

    But here we encounter another, a significant problem: self-deception, self-obfuscation, self-selling of the *false narratives* that is the same general perspective that the Media work with, but which we ourselves are deeply involved in. We are complicit in this. If this is true, then it is our own complicity that needs to be addressed. How does it go? We encountered the enemy and its us?

    Let every single repressed topic come into the light of day. This means a careful revision of American history and, I am afraid to say, the postwar purge within Conservative ranks of those who had and worked with the difficult ideas. One aspect of *the enemy* is the Buckleyite conservative class that sold out to a branch of seductive progressivism. And the other is the Neo-Conservative ‘Trotskyite’ branch that has had a devastating impact on America.

    Cause and effect. And whose up to the task of careful analysis? Zoltar? 😉

  5. Well, then there is Don Lemon lecturing us about demonizing and othering along race, ethnic, immigration, religious, and gender lines, only to utter this little gem:

    jvb

    • adimagejim

      Advice to Don: Don’t come to my house looking toward “doing something”. Your lack of ethics and intelligence will serve you rather poorly at my front door.

  6. Sensed

    Proclaiming that accusations of antiSemitism are invalid because a President is pro-Israel is pretty limp sleight-of-hand. To believe that virtually all of America’s Jewish leaders–all pro-Israel, by the way–somehow find Trump in conflict with their concerns because they’re all in thrall to Don Lemon seems like a stretch.
    24-hour televised news was probably a bad idea from the get-go, and plenty of journalists have fallen to the standards of what such a bad idea demands. You’d think that the universality of severe media criticism–from every point on the political spectrum–might result in some sort of solidarity. Instead we see each tribe proudly proclaiming that they’re rational enough to see the truth, while everyone else is too bamboozled by a media culture to which only they are immune.

    • Glenn Logan

      This comment is so filled with weasel words “…limp sleight-of-hand” and “…seems like a stretch” I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me you just came from a Foghorn Leghorn cartoon.

      Jack’s comments are neither limp, sleight-of-hand, or any kind of a stretch. It is a virtual impossibility to be an anti-semite and pro-Israel at the same time. America’s Jewish leaders, every single one of them, are in thrall to the Democratic Party. That’s why they made their comments. Every one of them is ethically compromised, unalterably biased, and they have been for many decades.

      24-hour televised news was probably a bad idea from the get-go, and plenty of journalists have fallen to the standards of what such a bad idea demands.

      So somehow the fact of the 24-hour news cycle has forced the broadcast media to pick sides. Right. That’s what known as a non-sequitur.

      Instead we see each tribe proudly proclaiming that they’re rational enough to see the truth, while everyone else is too bamboozled by a media culture to which only they are immune.

      Neither “Tribe” sees the truth. The fact of the matter is, the truth is ignored by everyone in the media in favor of “the narrative,” which must be sustained no matter what the truth is. You can only get at the truth by not allowing biases free reign, which is what the media on both sides of the argument do.

      What we see are facts conveniently ignored, like you do above by citing Jewish leaders you couldn’t fail to know are biased and ethically compromised. That’s how the news media works, trying to convince everyone that day is night and up is down by ignoring the context of the “facts” they cite to support the narrative.

      • It is a virtual impossibility to be an anti-semite and pro-Israel at the same time.

        This is a questionable statement. It is possible to be pro-Israel and no friend of Jews. (It is also possible to be pro-Jewish and anti-Israel). Kevin MacDonald might be considered such a one. He wrote ‘The Culture of Critique’ which is a sharp critical analysis of Jews within modern European polities. He is called an antisemite. In fact he represents the very *type* of the classic antisemite, according to the SPLC and other groups. And he is pro-Israel in that he believes Jews should have a homeland (and go there!)

        • Glenn Logan

          Questionable? Perhaps, but I think accurate 99.99% of the time.

          Close enough for me.

          • Sure, except you are wrong. To use a generality like “99.99%” is a fallacy of argument.

            That’s why this is a more honest, and more accurate statement:

            It is possible to be pro-Israel and no friend of Jews. (It is also possible to be pro-Jewish and anti-Israel).

            If you are more comfortable with distortions, by all means stay with them!

          • The way that (you likely) view these issues is part of a common, and of course very American, way of seeing. It is not accurate, in fact it is deceptive, but you will stick to it no matter what. It functions similar to certain notions of patriotism I have gathered. I try to point out how the *structure of lies* functions, and why, despite the opposition. (Please don’t take offence. Some do of course).

          • (I hope I did not misunderstand. If I did let me know).

    • The fact that American Jews have lined up with the Left for decades is no evidence that Trump is anti-Semitic. Neither you nor anyone else can point to anti-Semitic polices or statements from this administration, unless we get into “dog-whistles.” Apparently “globalism” is now a code for anti-Jew. I guess I’m an anti-Semite, then. In the absence of such policies and statements, aggressive support for Israel is pretty solid evidence that there is not anti-Jew bias in this administration. It’s pretty transparent: all of the Left’s captive tribes have claimed that Trump was biased against them as a general smear strategy. He is, indeed, a sexist and misogynist…that is verifiable. Anti-gay? No evidence at all. Anti-black? Anti-Hispanic? False. Anti-Semitic?

      Be serious.

      • By the way, your email address is invalid, and you need to send me your real name, per the commenting rules.

        • I’ve been curious as to when Sensed joined us. My memory of him/her doesn’t go back that far.

        • Sensed

          The sleight of hand was not Jack’s but of a writer quoted, and there are much, much better ways to prove Trump is not antiSemitic than referring to his foreign policy aims. I wouldn’t quote any “dog whistles” because, like you, I don’t see any.

          However, it’s entirely possible that not seeing any would be because of bias, so rather than listen to the blather of a 24-news cycle, after an antiSemitic attack, I listen to Jews. “America’s Jewish leaders, every single one of them, are in thrall to the Democratic Party” is woefully inaccurate, as known by anyone who has dealt with any Orthodox Jewish community in America. Orthodox leaders stood with Trump then. Now, the best they can seem to find is a Jew for Jesus, and members of the current, right-wing administration in Israel, who, as stated, have their own reasons to support Trump.

          This is not proof of anything, much less AntiSemitism, but it seems timely to listen to the opinions of Jewish organizations, rather than–tribally, it seems to me–deciding that they’re all wrong, every single one of them, about a matter that they are likely to know something about.

          Sorry about the, typo in my email address, which I’ve corrected.

          If Glenn. Logan prefers, he may also reach me care of Foghorn Leghorn Fan Mail Department, Hollywood California.

          • STILL an invalid address, though a different one.

          • Glenn Logan

            “America’s Jewish leaders, every single one of them, are in thrall to the Democratic Party” is woefully inaccurate, as known by anyone who has dealt with any Orthodox Jewish community in America. Orthodox leaders stood with Trump then.

            Yes, some of the very smallest groups of Jewish leaders are either okay with or at least not against Trump. Funny how none of those find their way into mainstream media reporting. But your point is conceded, even if effectively irrelevant — like finding a gold nugget in the Mississippi river.

    • Michael R.

      As the Israeli ambassador said, Donald Trump’s rhetoric and policies have been more pro-Israel than any non-Israeli president. He pointed out that (except for Baron) all Trump’s children are married to or dating Jews. His grandchildren are Jewish. Are we to believe that the fact that this man is the only person in his family who isn’t married to or dating someone Jewish is proof of his anti-Semitism?

      I think Ben Shapiro did a good video on why most Jewish Americans are Democrats and don’t actually support Israel.

      • Glenn Logan

        But we still need to listen to the American Jewish leaders, especially in those Jewish communities who are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Democrat National Committee. They, of course, are the only ones that matter. The leader of Israel only matters when he has the correct opinion, and the current one manifestly does not.

        Why? Because Trump. Because #resistance. Because… well, you get the idea.

    • Proclaiming that accusations of antisemitism are invalid because a President is pro-Israel is pretty limp sleight-of-hand.

      Actually, proclaiming that the present policies of Israel, given that it is administered by a certain regime, serve the real interests of either Israel or the diaspora Jewry, is an assertion that can be questioned.

      There term ‘antisemite’ and ‘antisemitism’ are, to be fair and realistic, unworkable terms of discourse. This is not to say that antisemitism does not exist — it does, and it can be studied and understood — but the way this word is used, and the way that the accusation is used against those who oppose Israel’s policies, is facially obvious to be fallacious (is obviously facially fallacious? Oh, you know what I mean).

      Israel, and Zionism, are not Judaism nor are they necessarily Jewish. In a real sense the State of Israel is non-Jewish. In fact, to be truthful and accurate, there is a definite separation between them. One could be very pro-Jewish and completely anti-Zionist and remain coherent and ethical.

      Why is the analysis always so childishly shallow, I ask? Because if it is kept simplistic, and stupid, the narrative is easier to wield against the opponents of the policies.

      I would submit that the policies and the actions of B. Netanyahu (to use one name as symbol for a larger State policy and a faction within Israel) could themselves be understood as antisemitic in a true sense of the word.

      In another sense — and again I say this only to be truthful — Trump’s child, though a convert to Judaism, is a convert to a modern interpretation of Judaism, or of a modern Jewish convention of a modern expression of Judaism. Looked into (by traditional or Orthodox Jews) their brand of Judaism could be seen as somewhat questionable.

      Ostensibly, looked at a surface level, I cannot see how anyone could term D. Trump as an antisemite in the traditional sense and understanding of the word. But his relationship to Judaism does seem quite superficial if it only means that he ‘loves all the people in this room’ (as he said at the rather amazing AIPAC meeting in which he caused American Jewry to swoon in delirium . . .)

      He loves the *deal*, he admires the business acumen of diaspora Jewry and the NY establishment. But there is a whole other dimension to Judaism.

      • Glenn Logan

        There term ‘antisemite’ and ‘antisemitism’ are, to be fair and realistic, unworkable terms of discourse. This is not to say that antisemitism does not exist — it does, and it can be studied and understood — but the way this word is used, and the way that the accusation is used against those who oppose Israel’s policies, is facially obvious to be fallacious (is obviously facially fallacious? Oh, you know what I mean).

        Kind of like “racism” has become. It’s yet another of the New Left’s one-word disqualifiers from humanity that may be applied for the sake of convenience as well as accuracy.

  7. On “The Enemy of The People”

    There was a survey done not that long ago saying that the majority of America was against political correctness. It was crowed by the right as a self evident truth, and it was derided by the left as a compilation of junk statistics, poorly worded, and not proving what it said it did. Believe it or not, the left was actually right for once. It seems like partisan statisticians of all stripes are fundamentally incapable of presenting legitimate conclusions. Who knew?

    Regardless, there were a couple of gems nestled in the footnotes. One of which was the respondent demographic information. According to the numbers, traditional conservative Republicans were 22% of respondents, 8% of respondents were identified as progressives, and the other 70% of America could accurately be described as an “exhausted minority” but when aggregated, they generally lined up to make the difference on the 50/50 Republican/Democrat split.

    Maybe this is my bias, but that actually makes a whole lot of sense to me. I’ve always thought that the worst actors on the progressive side horrified the majority, but perhaps not enough to shake their voting habits (They still want their free health care.), just like the worst of Fundamentalists horrify the average Republican just not enough to shake their vote (They still like freedom).

    The problem is that the media is atrociously, disproportionately progressive. 8% of the political landscape makes up the vast majority of the television media landscape, what’s the number, guys? Fox obviously isn’t… Anyone else? That makes it what? 70%? 80? For generations, I think, the media has been pushing narratives that were much more to the left than that of the average American, they were just much more subtle about it, but with the advent of New Media, their ability to push that narrative has been co-opted, and ever since they’ve responded to their eroding importance…. poorly, becoming more shrill, more hyperbolic, more…. I think we all see it… But not everyone does, and that’s an issue. Regardless of where these shrill hyperbolies come from, they amount to lies (perhaps they’re merely things that aren’t true… But we have come to expect competence from media, so I don’t know whether as assumption that they’ve done their due diligence and are lying is worse than they are merely incompetent. In any matter…) And because these people have such large platforms from which to spout their… dishonesties…. People have come to believe things that Are. Not. True. It’s not even subjective anymore. Objectively, the media lies to us, and then retreats to the comfort of the “We are THE PRESS, peasants. We are IMPORTANT. Treat us forspecially.” Fuck that noise.

    They might not be “The Enemy” of “The People”, a term so ripe for misunderstandings that I’ll refuse to use it out of self-respect. But they need to understand that their immensely inflated sense of self importance is an affectation that the rest of us do not share. And so I’m glad that Trump, a man who had no real self-respect to begin with, is using it.

    • My favored term would be “enemies of democracy,” but the other has to do.

    • The majority of Americans ARE against political correctness, but are too bullied, frightened, intimidated, busy or weenified to resist it. And that’s hard to show in a survey. The whole concept of “political correctness” is totalitarian, and it offended me the first time I heard the phrase decades ago.

      • A variation of The Bradley Effect? I think you’re right, but if you can’t actually show it, it’s wrong to publish a paper saying that you did.

        • Well, that’s right. Some truths are very hard to prove objectively, and more than we think. My hero, Bill James, has come along: he used to claim that clutch hitting and slumps were just statistical illusions, because they could not be verified as actual phenomenon. He was obviously wrong, and has slowly conceded that there are some things that stats don’t capture very well.

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