Started this at 3:15 am.
To be honest, I’m going back to bed as soon I post it…
1. Today’s sample of Trump Derangement: Someone calling himself “Morgan Kilgore” (not hi s real name, however) just submitted a comment in all caps, to this post from May. It reads: TRUMP IS A CROOK AND ROBINSON SAID IT VERY PLAIN SIMPLE, UNLKE THE MUELLER REPORT..YOU TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE A BUNCH OF FOOLS,LEAD BY A FOOL AND CONMAN.IF TRUMP TOOK A DUMP ON YOUR TURKEY DINNER,YOU WOULD STILL MAKE AN EXCUSE FOR HIM AND IT’S
SAD PEOPLE,VERY SAD. HEY MAYBE YOUR CHILDREN WILL GROWN UP AND HAVE TRUMP. VALUES.
The comment makes no substantive arguments and does not attempt to rebut the post, which is pretty air tight, frankly. I get a lot of these. (“Morgan” will not be joining our discussions.) The comment is also pretty typical of what the average Trump-obsessed Facebook user posts or “likes” on a daily basis.
2. Freedom of speech watch: Jonathan Turley, who deserves praise for relentlessly flagging and criticizing the alarming increase in anti-speech advocacy from the Left, notes,
“The doublespeak used to justify the denial of free speech is particularly chilling. The students [at Stanford] insisted that allowing people to hear [ conservative pundit Ben Shapiro] put them at risk: “WE are tired of Stanford Administration’s complicity in putting Black, Brown, Trans, Queer, and Muslim students at risk by allowing SCR to bring Ben Shapiro to campus”…The students declared their commitment not “to allow Shapiro’s talk to go uninterrupted.” In other words, we will not allow other students and faculty listen and have a discourse with Shapiro. What is striking is how these students believe that denying free speech is a noble act — a view fueled by many faculty members who treat speech as violence or a tool of oppression. That makes being a censor sound like being a civil libertarian. You simply declare, as did the Stanford students, that this is a “harmful event” with “harmful people.” Done.
Meanwhile, the New York Times continues to flack Andrew Marantz (Ethics Alarms post here) whom the University of California-Berkeley featured as a speaker on free speech, which he seeks to limit while scoffing at those, like Turley (and me) who advocate for the right as “absolutists.”
Kara Swisher, another Times writer, glowingly reviews Marantz’s book in the Times book review section. She writes things like,
- “Trump spends much of his time labeling mainstream media an “enemy of the people.”
Sure, Kara, he spends “much of his time” doing that. And the news media’s decision to substitute partisan propaganda for objective news is a threat to democracy: “enemy of the people” is inflammatory, but not wrong
- “I would argue that it’s only a short step from there to Charlottesville, where white supremacists marched and a protester lost her life.”
Let me correct that: “…Charlottesville, where a legal and peaceful demonstration against toppling statues was allowed to be disrupted by an illegal counter-demonstration which the police permitted to turn violent.”
- “Marantz is right to worry. As I have written in my Opinion columns for this newspaper, I have seen firsthand how social media sites amplify villainous voices and weaponize them, too — and it’s not clear they can be controlled. The optimism of social media’s creators has been overshadowed by the cynicism of the vicious propaganda spewed on their platforms.”
Who decides what voices are “villainous?” In Swisher’s view, she and Marantz are among the anointed. That’s ironic, because I consider her and Marantz villainous…
3. If the Supreme Court allows President Trump to kill DACA…GOOD. I regard “this is going to happen” stories, what I call “future news,” a variety of fake news. I do hope this future news story is prescient, however. It begins, “The Supreme Court’s conservative majority on Tuesday appeared ready to side with the Trump administration in its efforts to shut down a program protecting about 700,000 young immigrants known as “Dreamers.”
Sigh. No, they are young illegal immigrants, a material difference. Allowing them to gain citizenship would create a sanctioned incentive for non-citizens to sneak their children across the border, as the DACA program championed by President Obama enshrines the motive of breaking our laws to provide children with “a better life.”
Despite its opening, Adam Liptak’s article doesn’t give us any of the exchanges between the justices and the lawyers in oral argument that led to his prediction. It does highlight the President’s flip-flops on the issue. Having no core principles and not being versed in legal theory, the President once signaled a willingness to compromise on DACA in exchange for Democrats supporting the tightening of anti-illegal immigration measures. They refused. This little detail is left out of the Times report, of course.
4. ‘Hey, don’t you reporters know your job is to protect Democrats?’ Ex-Democratic Presidential hopeful turned Colorado Senate candidate, John Hickenlooper, is facing complaints that he violated state ethics rules. In an interview on a local news channel, an angry Hickenlooper insisted that reporters should be defending him. “You guys should be protecting me on stuff like this. What’s the confusion? I saved the state money!” he said. As reporter Kyle Clark correctly pointed out, journalists’ duty is to protect the truth, not individual politicians. But it’s understandable how Hickenlooper could be confused. (Pointer: Tim Levier)
5. Speaking of quid pro quos and Ethics Dunces: Singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding (never heard of her!) was contracted to sing at half time for the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game, which will be nationally televised. Then she learned that the game annually serves as the “Red Kettle Kickoff” for the annual Salvation Army charity drive. The Salvation Army is a conservative Christian organization that regards marriage as a bond between a man and a woman, but its holiday charitable efforts have nothing to do with that issue. Nonetheless, the singer presumed to demand that the Salvation Army announce its public support for gay marriage, or she would withdraw from the game’s entertainment.
Why doesn’t she really make a powerful threat and threaten to jump off a bridge?
“Upon researching this, I have reached out to The Salvation Army and said that I would have no choice but to pull out unless they very quickly make a solid, committed pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community,” Goulding wrote. “I am a committed philanthropist as you probably know, and my heart has always been in helping the homeless, but supporting an anti-LGBTQ charity is clearly not something I would ever intentionally do. Thank you for drawing my attention to this.”
Coerced beliefs, coerced support, extortion.
Incredibly arrogant, foolish and presumptuous extortion.