CNN And Chris Cillizza Not Only Show How Bias Makes Them Stupid, But How Bias Makes Them ASTOUNDINGLY Stupid, And Anyone Who Trusts Them Too

This is so bad I have trouble categorizing it.

So desperate were repeat journalism ethics offender Chris Cillizza and his hopelessly biased employer CNN to find a way to turn a rumor into a new topic to mock Donald Trump with, that they displayed their collective historical ignorance across the metaphorical sky like the Northern Lights, and made those silly enough to trust them more historically ignorant than they were to begin with. (Note: journalists are supposed to make us more knowledgeable, not less.)

Apparently there has been some discussion in the White House about the U.S. buying Greenland, which belongs to Denmark. Talk is cheap, and this is, if news at all, barely news.

Asked about the non-story, economic adviser Larry Kudlow told “Fox News Sunday”  that the administration is “looking at” purchasing Greenland, whatever that means. It doesn’t mean much, since Denmark saysit isn’t selling, no talks are underway, no  offer has been made, and the U.S. can’t afford to rebuild its infrastructure, so the idea makes about as much sense as a family on food stamps deciding to go to Disney World.

Oh, by the way, I’m looking into buying a Rolls Royce.

Not that the idea (Greenland, not the Rolls) is completely bats: at least twice that we know about, in 1867 and 1946, the U.S. has made an offer to buy Greenland. President Truman offered $100 million for it, but Denmark turned down the offer. Nobody knows how often a President’s administration has “looked into” trying to buy the huge chunk of frozen tundra, but hey, if the “resistance” can make fun of Trump for dreaming of a white land mass, that’s news enough.

And so it was that CNN published an article by Cillizza that said in part,

“It didn’t work out so well.”

It is astounding that Cillizza could write this, and that CNN could allow it to be published. Never mind that Alaska has the largest oil field in North America. In Harvard historian Oscar Handlin’s book,”Chance Or Destiny: Turning Points In American History,” the purchase of Alaska is #5 out of ten. Written during the Cold War (I have an old copy of it right here, because unlike Chris Cillizza, I know something about American history, ’cause I read and stuff…), the book explains that had it not been for Seward’s prescient purchase, “the bases that today flank the northern  ocean would not have been American, pointing toward  Asia, but Russian, pointing toward the United States.  If our citizens, in the air age, still feel that distance from the potential enemy gives some security to their national  borders, it is in no small measure due to Mr. Seward’s  bargain.”.

That’s right, bargain. Alaska’s location is now  considered critical protection for the continental United States, and has been for about a hundred years. The state is uniquely positioned for supporting space surveillance and satellite control networks, tracking thousands of orbital objects on a daily basis, and providing access to refueling tankers and the Greenland ice sheet.

Did it ever occur to Cillizza to do a little research regarding Alaska, since he obvious knows less than nothing about it (knowing what isn’t true is less than nothing)? Nah. Nobody checks facts at CNN anyway.

Saying that the Alaska purchase is known today as “Seward’s Folly” is like saying that the sun never sets on the British Empire, or that Babe Ruth holds the career home run record. Try to keep up, Chris: the name “Seward’s Folly”—cartoonists drew Alaska as a worthless and uninhabitable iceberg, which is what most Americans, who were like Chris, though they had an excuse, it being the 19th Century and all—- was officially retired in 1896. That was when the Klondike Gold Rush brought over100,000 prospectors to Alaska , creating “boom towns,” businesses, and eventually, a new state.

CNN, after much chiding on social media, quietly removed the “It didn’t work out so well” line, but didn’t have the sense to excise the “Seward’s Folly” howler.

18 thoughts on “CNN And Chris Cillizza Not Only Show How Bias Makes Them Stupid, But How Bias Makes Them ASTOUNDINGLY Stupid, And Anyone Who Trusts Them Too

  1. So there are two Fredo’s at CNN. When I studied American history in 9th grade we learned how foolish the claim Seward’s folly really was.

    I will bet that Cillizza farmed out the research to some poorly educated 20 something ,that saw Sewards Folly as within the bash Trump nature narrative, and he put his name on it. That increases the magnitude of his incompetence by a factor of 10. He should be canned for not even attempting to understand what he was spewing as facts.

  2. The Alaska purchase turned out O.K. for me.

    Had it not gone through, I’d have needed a passport in the summer of ’78 to enter in order to dig razor clams in Dakavak Bay & work a Kodiak Island/Larsen Bay salmon tender.

  3. Once a story has been published, it is cowardly and dishonest to make a substantial change without providing details on the change. But, that’s what CNN did. They say, “This story has been updated to correctly state the history of US land purchases.” But, that’s dishonest. It was changed solely to remove Cillizza’s stupid opinion; hiding that is cowardly. THAT … is CNN.

  4. So Chris would rather the Chinese control the Philippines? I’m guessing he’s all in on the Russians controlling Cuba as well. What an arrogant twit. Amazing how journalism majors are expert on any and every thing. All they need is an assignment. Geopolitics? Military strategy? Armaments? Military tactics? Economics? You name it. A journalism major has it covered. Ugh. But they did stay at a Holiday Inn last night!

  5. 1. They’re not all Fredos. He was stupid but meant well. These guys are stupid but are also mean-spirited liars who will write anything and present it as fact. Who are the fascists? THEY are purporting BIG LIES (Hitler was so successful at it), every chance they get.

    2. CNN staff should be tied to chairs and forced to watch “Good Night and Good Luck” about Edward R. Murrow. But they probably wouldn’t understand it anyway.

  6. My recollection from my early history classes is that they taught us the term ‘Seward’s Folly’ to illustrate how short-sighted the opposition to the purchase of Alaska was. I’m guessing that Alaska is not a market CNN worries about losing in its entirety.

    Also, he presents the idea of our paying $20 million for the Philippines — well it’s something like President McKinley woke up one fine morning and said “Hey, let’s buy the Philippines from Spain today!” Do you think he is aware that there were some other events in U.S. foreign affairs during 1898?

  7. If Chris Cilliza is as much of a deep thinker as most leftists I encounter, then the only thing that comes to his mind when he hears the word “Alaska” is the name “Sarah Palin”. So naturally the notion of Alaska being a component of the USA only brings up negative outcomes.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the depth of his thought process.

    One thing American’s never do when they hear politicians discussing foreign policy is look at a map.

    It’s an easy (and sometimes fun) task.

    When so-and-so Democrat says “we *don’t* need to directly intervene in Ukraine”. Republicans fly into a frenzy based *only* on simplistic value-sets, like “we’ve got to oppose Russia”. Never mind that Ukraine, while increasing in importance, isn’t as important as Turkey in the black sea region, and the loss of a part of Ukraine isn’t a significant set back to anti-Russian strategy. The Baltic States and Poland are. Just look at a Map.

    When so-and-so Republican suggests that maybe we shouldn’t be so involved in NATO if our NATO partners don’t foot their part of the bill, Democrats fly into a frenzy based *only* on simplistic value-sets, like “they’ve been our closest allies for decades, we can’t distance ourselves from them”. Never mind that the border with our chief rival in Europe has progressively moved closer to Moscow, and therefore our closest allies in that competition are increasingly Eastern European while the western allies, while still friends, are increasingly less concerned.

    Now, both values are important, as are alot of our cultural value-sets in Foreign Policy but they aren’t overriding values. Most of our value-sets balance between the two poles of *pacificism* (or last minute intervention when threatened) and “expansion of republican democracy”. But there’s also the unspoken geopolitical imperatives which have a significant vote in our ethical analysis of geopolitics. And those imperatives have to be weighed against our other values…and……a map…

    Just as the populace didn’t bother to look at a map with Alaska in the late 1800s and see it’s incredible *geopolitical* value, people didn’t look at a map today and realize that merely floating the idea of acquiring Greenland is NOT insane. If global warming happens to the degree that the extremists think it will happen, Canada’s place in the global order increases significantly as it sits on the Northwest Passage. Greenland becomes prime real estate as it flanks the Northwest Passage and two other key *future* arctic shipping lanes.

    These aren’t crazy things to think about.

  8. It’s just baffling.

    I remember a time when a competent news corporation would take immediate corrective action if such a stupid, obviously wrong passage wound up in one of their stories. The editor and the reporter would’ve been, at minimum, remonstrated with.

    What we have now isn’t news, even leaving the partisan bias aside. It doesn’t even qualify as tabloid journalism.

    It’s just unreadable, and almost completely worthless.

  9. “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” Trump said in a post on Twitter.

    So much for it being non news.

    Non news includes the stories that Trump is planning on annexing Greenland anyway in the interests of national security, that he plans on formally annexing the Moon as the US is the only nation to have landed people on it, and that he’s looking into the possibility of purchasing Tasmania and Prince Edward Island.

    • ”he’s looking into the possibility of purchasing Tasmania and Prince Edward Island.”

      The prospect of the U.S. acquiring Tasmania (DISCLOSURE: it’s favorite son TAZ graces my shower towel) is intriguing.

      PEI? Welp; it’d give the U.S. a strategic flank in case the Newfies ever got antsy…

      • Now officially cancelled.

        ” Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Trump took umbrage at Ms Frederiksen’s remarks.

        “I thought that the prime minister’s statement that it was absurd, that it was an absurd idea was nasty,” he said.

        “I thought it was an inappropriate statement. All she had to do is say no, we wouldn’t be interested.”

        Doesn’t sound like he was joking to me.

        • Now, I never said the Greenland envy was a “joke.” I said it wasn’t serious, and it wasn’t. A serious effort to acquire anything means process, genuine intent, an interest by both parties, an offer, negotiations..etc. There was none of that. The President just says whatever is rattling around in his skull sometimes—too often. Similarly, the Green New Deal is not a joke, but it isn’t serious.

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