This, of course, was my father’s favorite Sousa march; he once mortified my mother by standing and doing a parade ground march routine on the Mall when they played it on the Fourth of July. You knew it has words, right?
1. Nah, there’s no mainstream media confirmation bias! Political scientist Time Magazine columnist and Donald Trump critic Ian Bremmer intentionally tweeted as fact a fake Donald Trump quote:
“Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better president than Sleepy Joe Biden.”
Immediately, the quote was picked up on social media by the Trump Deranged, mainstream media pundits, and some elected officials. Here’s ridiculous CNN contributor Ana Navarro, who exists on the network solely to attack the President as a “Republican”:
“Don’t shrug your shoulders. Don’t get used to this insanity. The President of the United States praising a cruel dictator who violates human rights, threatens nuclear attacks, oppresses his people, and kills political opponents, IS NOT FREAKING NORMAL.”
Note she also gets in one of the top anti-Trump Big Lies, that the President is “abnormal.”
Bremer’s quote was retweeted thousands of times, until he admitted that he made it up. This is using the web to spread falsehoods. He should be banned from the pages of Time and dismissed as an analyst and a pundit.
Incredibly, Ann Althouse defended the lie as satire, writing,
“Stupid of journalists and congressmen to retweet it as an actual quote, but there’s nothing wrong with “fabricating” it. Are we so humor deaf that we’re going to start denouncing comedians as liars?”
Ann needs an ethics check-up. There’s nothing funny about lying in a setting where many will believe you, whether the liar is a comedian or not. Nor was the quote humorous. Bremer was doing exactly what the unethical hoax news sites do when they deliberately publish fake news in a style and manner designed to fool people into believing it.
I guess we can’t assume that what Ann states as fact is true either. It might be “satire.”
2. Bad Ann, Good Ann. To be fair, on the same day, Althouse performed a public service by metaphorically defenestrating Naomi Wolf for her sloppy scholarship [Item #3]and both her publisher and the New York Times for trying to cover for her. This was my favorite part of Ann’s take-down, where she calls out Oxford too after discovering how Wolf can call herself “Doctor.”
Dr? What is her doctorate? I looked it up on Wikipedia:
“From 1985 to 1987, she was a Rhodes Scholar at New College, Oxford, but did not complete her original doctoral thesis…. Wolf returned to Oxford to complete her PhD in 2015, supervised by Dr Stefano-Maria Evangelista. The PhD thesis that she wrote was the basis for her 2019 book Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love.”
Oh! So this book was an Oxford PhD thesis?! Wow. Oxford needs to account for itself. There’s a brand that ought to mean something.
Read the whole thing. It’s great.
Unless Ann’s making it all up as satire, of course.
3. Of course the school won’t pulp the yearbooks for this…
The senior yearbooks at Littlestown High School in Pennsylvania blurred out “Make America Great Again” hats worn by students on some photos.
Student Jeremy Gebhart alleges his First Amendment rights were violated, saying, “Everybody has First Amendment rights, freedom of speech and they are allowed to think what they want and say what they want but they aren’t allowed to take that away from other people.” True enough, though there is no right to make political statements in a yearbook, if policy forbids it. Selectively deleting a statement based on content, however. Jeremy has a case.
“I just think that whoever did this doesn’t like Trump,” Gebhart added.
Realizing that it didn’t have a Constitutional leg to stand on and trying to fend off lawsuits, the school superintendent said in a statement,
“I am aware of the yearbook situation and a mistake was made. The mistake was not noticed during the editorial preview process prior to print. We apologize on behalf of the yearbook club. It is not the policy or practice of the district to improperly censor speech. It is not the policy or practice of the district to improperly censor speech. Please understand we are working with young adults who are practicing to become citizens and what a better place to do so than in a school setting.”
Verdict? Butt-covering BS. How could digital blurring of the hats “not be noticed”? Someone had to order it done.
State of the culture: One school spends 50 grand to reprint its yearbooks because someone someplace might think that an OK sign is racist symbol, but a school that blurs the Presidents campaign motto because some people claim it’s a racist symbol allows the partisan censorship to stand for the ages, deeming “I’m sorry” to be a sufficient remedy.
4. A warning for those who want to make “nationalism” a sinister concept. Bret Stephens, an erstwhile conservative pundit who has intermittent moments of clarity as he is being indoctrinated, David Brooks-style, into New York Times wokery, wrote this passage in his column this week, discussing conservative party upsets and victories around the world:
“The common thread here isn’t just right-wing populism. It’s contempt for the ideology of them before us: of the immigrant before the native-born; of the global or transnational interest before the national or local one; of racial or ethnic or sexual minorities before the majority; of the transgressive before the normal. It’s a revolt against the people who say: Pay an immediate and visible price for a long-term and invisible good. It’s hatred of those who think they can define that good, while expecting someone else to pay for it.”
If Stephens had only clarified the distinction between illegal immigrants and legal in the U.S. policy debates, and noted that the feigned goal of “long-term good” is typically a device to justify long-term, defiance-proof state power, it would be just about perfect. I would also add that there are a reasons why people like their nations, their cultures and their sovereignty: history has been very clear that all are necessary for survival. The globalists and one-world advocates like Barack Obama are not only arrogant and irresponsible, they are dead, dead, wrong.
It is unfortunate that at this juncture the strongest opponents of the John Lennon school of suicidal fantasy idealism are pretty repulsive in other respects, but civilization must take its rescuers as it finds them.