Ultimately, it will all come down to…
- ..how many Americans are paying attention.
- …how many Americans are smart enough to connect the dots
- …how many still want the United States to be the bastion of individual liberty it was designed to be, and
- …how many American care.
1. I know, I know…polls. Still, the polls we have seem to indicate that outgoing, supposedly maligned and detested Donald Trump has a higher approval rating than incoming President Joe Biden…this, despite the news media drooling all over the latter and a pending second impeachment trial against the former, near constant hyper-insulting anti-Trump verbiage from all sides, and his own infantile, irresponsible and unpresidential behavior since the election. This itself is circumstantial evidence that the election was squirrelly.
Of course, one explanation is that Democrats and progressives hated Trump more vociferously than the President’s supporters cared about keeping him in office. In that case, Republicans and conservatives and whatever Trump’s non-Republican, non-conservative fans are have only themselves to blame, regardless of the shenanigans around the vote-counting.
I stated here many times that I did not believe a President could be elected based on hate. I guess I was wrong.
2. All bias, great and small….Tom Newton Dunn, a British journalist, highlighted the elitist, privileged, autocratic style of America’s now-former President with this tweet…
It was quickly pointed out by others that President Obama had the same button on his desk.
To be fair, I can’t find any evidence that Obama’s button summoned a Diet Coke. It may have brought a staffer with a mirror, so he could gaze at himself, a secret cigarette, or his Nobel Peace Prize. President Clinton’s button called for…oh, never mind.
3. Before I forget...Larry King died. King denied being a journalist, and certainly by today’s standards (or lack of them) he wasn’t. He was an interviewer, and gifted one, like David Frost, Tom Snyder, David Susskind and Jack Paar. He did not display any bias or political agendas, and I believe that he managed to suppress the former and did not possess the latter. As a result, King often gave his audiences more news than they would have received from a typical “60 Minutes” interrogation.
I have one trivial story about my only encounter with King. Decades ago, at a Hyatt in Kansas City during an association convention I was managing, I saw King walking briskly across the giant open lobby more than 50 years away. For some reason I was moved to call out to him, “Hey, Larry King!” He immediately stopped, turned around, and waved vigorously, smiling broadly. “Hey!” he yelled. “How are ya? Great seeing you!” and continued on his way.
That, I’d say, is signature significance for a nice guy.
4. Oh, no! The “appearance” of bias. On July 23, 2019, the Washington Post published this:
It was the Fourth of July, Independence Day, and Kamala Harris was explaining to her sister, Maya, that campaigns are like prisons.
She’d been recounting how in the days before the Democratic debate in Miami life had actually slowed down to a manageable pace. Kamala, Maya and the rest of the team had spent three days prepping for that contest in a beach-facing hotel suite, where they closed the curtains to blot out the fun. But for all the hours of studying policy and practicing the zingers that would supercharge her candidacy, the trip allowed for a break in an otherwise all-encompassing schedule.
“I actually got sleep,” Kamala said, sitting in a Hilton conference room, beside her sister, and smiling as she recalled walks on the beach with her husband and that one morning SoulCycle class she was able to take.
“That kind of stuff,” Kamala said between sips of iced tea, “which was about bringing a little normal to the days, that was a treat for me.”
“I mean, in some ways it was a treat,” Maya said. “But not really.”
“It’s a treat that a prisoner gets when they ask for, ‘A morsel of food please,’ ” Kamala said shoving her hands forward as if clutching a metal plate, her voice now trembling like an old British man locked in a Dickensian jail cell. “‘And water! I just want wahtahhh….’Your standards really go out the f—ing window.”
Kamala burst into laughter.
As Reason points out, Harris made her name as a prosecutor, and her track record includes defending dirty cops and laughing off criticism of her history of throwing poor parents in jail when their kids missed school. As I’ll point out, little of this record, and certainly not the Post anecdote, was brought up during the Democratic candidate’s debates, nor was it mentioned by the journalist moderators in those or the one Vice-President candidates debate. Of course, Harris apparently didn’t fool anyone, or not enough voters anyway, since she received no delegates from the primaries and was emphatically rejected by her party’s voters.
The nauseating story was removed this month from the Post’s profile of Harris, replaced with a new opening anecdote that compares Harris’ relationship with her sister to that of former President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby. (Wait—the Harrises share adulterous sex partners?) The rest of the piece appears nearly identical to the version originally published in July 2019. Links to the original piece began redirecting to the Bowdlerized version.
After Reason blew the whistle, the Post restored the original interview. “‘We should have kept both versions of the story on the Post’s site (the original and updated one), rather than redirecting to the updated version,’ Kris Coratti, the Post’s vice president for communications, told Reason in yesterday. ‘We have now done that, and you will see the link to the original at the top of the updated version.”
Translation: “You caught us. Damn.”
Reason writes in part,
Still, the decision to remove that specific passage—and to replace it with a puffy opening about how Maya has “been a constant companion along Kamala Harris’s journey into history”—is questionable at best. Yes, Harris’ inauguration as America’s first female vice president is historic, but that’s no reason to ignore or erase her troubling history as a cop and politician. It also raises questions about the Post’s approach to covering Harris going forward. At a time when legacy publications are increasingly seen as playing for one political “team” or the other, this type of editorial decision will not do anything to fix that perception—is there any doubt that the Post would not have treated an inartful comment from Mike Pence in the same way?
Intentional or not, the memory-holing of the older version of the piece sends a message that the Post is willing to pave over its own good journalism to protect a powerful politician from her own words.
Oh, I have to comment on that…
- “Questionable“? Gee, I wonder if the Washington Post is going out of its way to protect a Democratic Party official, exactly as it went out of its way to make a Republican President and Vice-President as unpopular as possible. Can anyone answer that “question”?
- “It also raises questions about the Post’s approach to covering Harris going forward”? Does Reason really think nobody had previously noticed that the Post has become a propaganda agent for the Left? Was the Post’s intent ever in “question” for anyone paying attention?
- “Perception”? There isn’t a perception that the news media is biased. That’s reality. This isn’t an unfortunate mistake that plays into a false “perception.” This is one more example of what had gone on for years.
5. Res ipsa loquitur! New York Times’ hate-monger Paul Krugman asks a stupid question, and independent (and disgusted) real journalist Glenn Greenwald slam-dunks him: