“Is We Getting Dummer?” Based On The Mainstream News Media’s Propaganda On The Texas Heartbeat Law, We Is, And That’s What They Want

Texas law hysteria

Op-eds that make American dumber shouldn’t be published. There is an op-ed in today’s New York Times by Jamelle Bouie, adding another fact-free rant to the current freak-out over the so-called Texas freak-out law. Bouie chooses to repeat a theme of his from other columns, that the case proves that the Supreme Court “has too much power.” Bouie was first spotted by Ethics Alarms as Slate’s resident race-baiter, a job at which he was embarrassingly bad. Naturally, this qualified him to be added to the New York Times stable of socialists, fantasists and Trump-Deranged fanatics, since one incompetent and biased black columnist (Charles M. Blow) wasn’t enough in these times of “diversity and inclusion.”

Bouie, on the topic of the Supreme Court, literally (which I mean literally) doesn’t know what he is talking about. He is not a lawyer, and if he ever read a whole Supreme Court decision (or had someone knowledgeable explain one to him), I’ve seen no evidence. of it. Guess which of the (incompetent) dissents to the SCOTUS majority decision not to suspend the Texas law when there is no procedural precedent for doing so. Come on, guess! Why Sonia Sotomayor, speaking of “diversity and inclusion,” of course. She was a cynical choice for the Court by Barack Obama, using approximately the same identity-based standards that made Kamala Harris Vice-President.

Non-lawyers love to quote Sotomayor, because she seldom makes legal arguments, just emotional ones. “The court has rewarded the state’s effort to delay federal review of a plainly unconstitutional statute, enacted in disregard of the court’s precedents, through procedural entanglements of the state’s own creation,” she wrote this time, in a snippet being repeated by other pro-abortion hysterics. That’s because the Court doesn’t strike down unconstitutional laws until the government tries to enforce them. What Bouie cites as an example of the Court having too much power is in fact proof that its power is limited.

Poor Jonathan Turley has had to spend so much time debunking illiberal policies and misinformation from his own side of the ideological divide that he is being drummed out of the club as a “fascist.” In his post about the reaction to the SCOTUS call that it could not block the law, he wrote in part (Do you think Bouie bothered to read an analysis by a Constitutional law pro? Nah!):

“The order actually addressed a serious flaw in the challenge brought by pro-choice advocates to the Texas law.  The drafters of the law were creative in leaving enforcement of the law to private parties rather than state officials. It allows private individuals to bring lawsuits against anyone who either providers or “aids or abets” an unlawful abortion and allows for an award of $10,000 if successful in such a challenge. Of course, such a lawsuit will not immediately end Roe v. Wade. It will be challenged on the very grounds cited by advocates. That includes the question of whether Texas is using private citizens to curtail a constitutional right. Those cases will also lead to judicial review. In the meantime, if any state official tries to curtail constitutionally protected rights, they can be enjoined pending any decision. Federals courts enjoin people, not laws, when there are actions that are being taken to violate the Constitution. This order concerns whether a court can enjoin the law before any final review on the merits. Any challenge to the law could be expedited on appeal.

“The problem is that the challengers to the Texas law picked defendants (a state court judge and a court clerk) that do not enforce the law. Indeed, they appear virtually random. That is why five justices did not issue the emergency order. However, they expressly stated “The applicants now before us have raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue. But their application also presents complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden.” Even Chief Justice John Roberts who voted for an injunction with his liberal colleagues admitted that this is a serious procedural hurdle and it is unclear “whether, under existing precedent, this Court can issue an injunction against state judges asked to decide a lawsuit under Texas’s law.” One can honestly disagree with how insurmountable this issue is for the Court, but it is ridiculous to say that it was some manufactured excuse for a partisan ruling. Nevertheless, liberal professors and commentators immediately pounced and declared that this was just a procedural trick or excuse…”

Other objective analysts have made the same points a Turley. Never mind! The Times wants progressives to freak out. Did the paper do a legal “explainer” making the points Turley (and Ann Althouse, among others) has? No, of course not. Instead, it chose a legally ignorant activist to misrepresent the issues.

Turley noted, introducing his essay,

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that the Supreme Court just  “overturned” Roe in the order. The mainstream coverage ranged from the outright death of Roe to its being rendered to a vegetative state. Even more reasoned analysis asked “Is this how Roe v. Wade dies?” The answer is no.  This is how legal analysis dies.

It’s also how democracy dies, with a public being made more ignorant by the news media rather than more informed. The title above is, once again, a reference to the 2003 science fiction thriller/satire “IQ 83” by Arthur Herzog. A DNA experiment goes horribly wrong, and the U.S population finds its median IQ plummeting, resulting in an ungrammatical, misspelled Times headline. Ignorant and stupid people are easier to fool, manipulate and dominate. The Times may not be getting “dummer,” but by giving a platform to writers like Bouie, it is doing its best to make the rest of us useful idiots.

16 thoughts on ““Is We Getting Dummer?” Based On The Mainstream News Media’s Propaganda On The Texas Heartbeat Law, We Is, And That’s What They Want

  1. Not me. I refuse to read the Times. Partly because they have a pretty darned fire proof pay wall, but mostly because every single piece in the Times is totally warped. A friend forwarded me a Times article about an American variety of vines that is being used in France. I read the first sentence and encountered “Climate change.” Of course. The Times is staffed by a bunch of twenty and thirty somethings who are supervised by … evidently no one at all. I think it’s basically a function of cost cutting. Any adults have been let go because kids are all they can afford to employ. Of course, the Times and its know it all east coast readers went over the cliff decades ago.

  2. I don’t understand the freak out over this law. Is there any chance that the lawsuits against abortion clinics would actually be successful? I don’t see how they could be. What I am seeing is a token gesture with no teeth, yet the pro-baby murder crowd is acting as if they are the ones being killed.

    The US desperately needs a REAL news outlet that just covers the news and keeps their opinions to themselves. People need somewhere to get facts that haven’t been edited to support one position or another or censored to exclude relevant data. Non-political news needs to be covered without injecting politics into it.

    The current news coverage not only makes people less informed, it basically renders government accountability impossible. If you just split everyone up into tribes that won’t listen to each other because they are being fed twisted propaganda, the government doesn’t have to be accountable to the country as a whole. If they only have to be accountable to one “side”, then they become increasingly radicalized as their constituencies become more entrenched in their own propaganda. It’s a neat trick, and I’m sure the elites are pleased as punch that they have managed to pull it off.

    • Try John Solomon’s https://justthenews.com/ for the kind of reportage you’re missing. On the other hand, could this be a reversion to the kind of “media” we’ve always had in this country, before we had this mass delusion that opinions only belonged on the OpEd pages and Editorial columns? I grew up in NYC in the ’50s, when there were 6, I believe, city-wide print outlets, leaving aside the “local” ones (like “The Staten Island Advance”—S.I. Newhouse—and the various ethnic papers) and other regional papers in the larger metropolitan area.

      Those were the days of battling editorial points of view that reach back to our very founding in 1776, and earlier, when anyone who could afford a printing press used it and had a point of view on the issues of the day. Don’t forget the pamphleteers, either.

      I think our main problem today is that our print “news” outlets have largely consolidated into a single point of view, where they’re able to survive, financially, in a declining print advertising market.

      It’s cable news outlets and, even more, websites and podcasts and bloggers/vloggers (like this site, Jack) that are filling the void of opinion diversity. I used to believe that print media presented factual reporting of events of the day, but I don’t believe that any more. Even back in the ’40s and earlier in the last century, the editor’s blue pencil was heavily felt not just on the writing but also on the selective spiking of stories that should have been legitimate “news.”

      Perhaps the problem we discuss lay at the feet of publishers? Perhaps at the institutions that established J-schools and led us to believe that “journalism” could be counted as a “profession,” like medicine, law, or engineering? Perhaps the problem is with advertisers whose dollars (like Coca Cola and others) are tied up by the most current “woke” issue?

      I have no general answers for these questions, myself. We each create our own answers everyday by our own choices. My personal choice is to act as a “Diogenes,” searching on-line for the truth and, I hope, the increasingly rare random act of journalism.

      • I read Just The News, and while I would agree that the articles themselves are pretty non-partisan, the topics they choose to cover are not. They mostly adhere to right-wing issues with little coverage of news items that aren’t already covered in other right-wing sites. There is a bubble of information that the media traps us in by choosing not to cover news stories that don’t adhere to a partisan slant.

        Epoch Times is another good source, and is slightly more politically centered than most other news outlets, but again, they do have a partisan slant in what topics they choose to cover. I know this has always been an issue, but I have noticed that certain news areas have virtually vanished over the last 20 years, to the point where international news is no longer even tangentially mentioned unless you have a direct major impact on the United States, such as with the Afghanistan collapse.

        I read some foreign news sites as well, but then you just enter a different country’s news bubble. Some of the most wide ranging news sites are actually British tabloids, but those have a slant towards the shocking or clickbait stories. Wading through celebrity wardrobe malfunctions and royal tiffs for the news is not ideal.

        There are entire continents where I have no clue what is going on. What has been happening in Africa for the last 10 years? What is China really up to? What are countries like Australia doing with their insane lockdown policies? The world is increasingly globalized, and the problems and successes of other nations can have a rather large impact on domestic interests, but most people are not being informed of any of that. It seems as though the more globalized the economies of the world get, the more insular and limited the news media’s coverage becomes.

        • I, too, read Epoch Times, and dip my toe into the British tabloids, and I agree about Solomon’s site. All outlets, to a greater or lesser degree, suffer from the editorial blue pencil/spike problem. The only real solution for us is to read widely among sources we trust and hope that ideology isn’t too big a factor in either writing or story selection.

          Blogs like this one help balance the diet, but I agree that it’s hard to find comprehensive compendia reflective of all points of view, with a factual basis for what’s written.

          Thanks for your comment, as I’ll take it to heart in my own search for objective reportage. (Is that an oxymoron?)

          • I look at it from sort of the opposite direction, Bill. I think Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite and Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and Bill Paley and General Electric succeeded in duping the American public into thinking they were all part of an oracle of truth machine that had replaced the traditional and ubiquitous yellow journalism of pre-World War Two news coverage. I think they’re the real villains, followed by Morely Safer and Sam Donaldson and Mike Wallace and then Wolf Blitzer and his generation. And now we have Jim Acosta. For God’s sake, Walter Cronkite has the journalism school at Arizona State University named after him. What a pompous ass. “And that’s the way it is.” Go sail your yacht, Walter. Much as I find Orson Welles’ work overstuffed and overly pompous and grossly over-rated, “Citizen Kane” can’t be ignored. News people have always been ink stained wretches. It’s only been in the last sixty or so years they’ve begun posing as paragons of truth and morality, which in itself has been more corrosive and destructive than old fashioned yellow journalism ever was on its worst day.

    • I don’t understand the freak out over this law. Is there any chance that the lawsuits against abortion clinics would actually be successful?

      Oh, the freak out is easy. They’re not worried about the law at all. They’re worried about Biden’s disasters losing a lot of voters, and this is the perfect way to remind the center Democrats and independents (most of whom think at least some abortion should be legal) why they can not become Republicans no matter how bad the Democrats are.

      • You do know that abortion, despicable and barbaric as it is, will likely never go away in this country? If Roe v Wade is overturned by SCOTUS (which probably won’t happen anyway because even some of the more strict Constitutionalists hate messing with precedent), it would simply revert to the laws that each state has/had on the books. Then each state would deal with the issue as it sees fit, which is how it should have been from the beginning. About half of the states would keep some form of abortion legal. That is always conveniently omitted from the screeds of the Left.

        As for the voters, the Texas law is a shiny object right now, but will do little to outshine the “Embarrassment of the Mobile Mannequin” that President Biden has become in less than one year.

    • That’s why it’s my mission to help people establish mutual understanding about what’s at stake for everyone in conflicted situations like these.

      If people want to get anywhere in ideological conflicts, they need to use the collaborative problem-solving method:
      1) Understand what they themselves value and fear
      2) Understand what other people value and fear
      3) Frame the situation constructively

      Then they can use the deconstruction method:
      1) Make people comfortable
      2) Make people think
      3) Make people choose

      The toolbox of concepts I’ve developed serves as a neat and (mostly) intuitive vocabulary for helping people recognize and describe what we want, the problems we face, and what we can do about them.

    • Regarding your point that the law is unlikely to lead to any successful lawsuits, I agree and I’m having trouble imagining a situation where a third party would have evidence that the law was broken. Unless someone has access to medical records, how could they possibly know whether or not a heartbeat was detected or if there were any complicating medical factors that endangered the woman’s life?

      The more hysterical among the prognosticators of the law’s impact are predicting that Uber drivers and receptions will also be open to lawsuits. How on earth is an Uber driver going to know the medical details of a woman being driving to a clinic?

      The whole episode does seem like a political gift to the Democrats — Afghanistan? What about it?

      • Two possibilities come to my mind, deckhand: first, it could be remorse on the the part of the pregnant woman or, second, it could be the father, who didn’t want the child aborted. It could even be a family member of the mother who’s morally opposed to abortion.

        I’m sure there are still more, but the list would get too long. This doesn’t even reach the category of disgruntled clinic employee who’s looking for a quick buck.

        Though I’m not a lawyer, I don’t think that Roe has anything to worry about from the Texas law.

        I found the notion of a “shadow docket” mentioned in Sotomayor’s dissent to be more interesting. Perhaps in former days, ideology would have been set aside and the emergency appeal simply rejected per curiam.

  3. I’m tempted to suggest some sort of serious penalty for legislators who vote for laws that are later declared unconstitutional. Their offense is a) enacting a law that they knew or should have known would violate people’s rights, and b) wasting public time on enacting and subsequently repealing that law when the legislative, executive, and judicial branches could have been working on useful things.

    Would expelling them from their positions be too harsh? I’d like to think that it should be rather clear and obvious to a professional legislator whether a bill is constitutional or not, but maybe that’s not always the case. Maybe the penalty would only apply if the Supreme Court is unanimous that the law is unconstitutional?

    • The Supreme Court has been politicized over the last 4 or 5 decades, so I doubt such a rule would do much good. There has also been a trend of legislating from the bench, leading to the Supreme Court making things constitutional when they really aren’t, or at least were not previously. Abortion itself was basically added to the constitution by the Supreme Court. The logic used to make it a constitutional right doesn’t seem to be evenly applied to other areas. Rather, prevailing politics seem to be the deciding factor at any given time, which makes constitutionality a moving target, and is probably a factor in legislators enacting “unconstitutional” laws. They are taking their chances that the Supreme Court will just reinterpret the constitution to make it constitutional.

  4. “It will be challenged on the very grounds cited by advocates. That includes the question of whether Texas is using private citizens to curtail a constitutional right.”

    I wonder if this isn’t a very clever move, set to back the left into a corner. If they let it stand (which would never happen) Biden becomes the president who let abortion die. If the defence is clever, though, a ruling against this could be framed in such a way as to make much firmer the proscriptions against allowing non-governmental agents to work to limit the constitutional rights of others. Which would then be used in arguments against the left doing exactly the same thing with the media and tech services.

    I’ve also read that Godaddy, which was hired to host the reporting site for Texas, kicked them once the torches started being lit. Certainly in line with some tiny line in their TOS, but also problematic in terms of censorship of the government itself.

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