Just a bit of fatigue hanging on from whatever it was that laid me low this week, so now I have no excuse at all for all these half-done posts lying around…
1. Here’s a Lack Of Self-Awareness classic from the Huffington Post: “My Gentle, Intelligent Brother Is Now A Conspiracy Theorist And His Beliefs Are Shocking.”
To begin with, writer Sue Manchester’s “intelligent brother” doesn’t sound very intelligent, since she says he believes that
“…there’s a tunnel from Washington, D.C., to LA that takes half an hour on a bullet train. There’s a whole fucking society that lives underground. In Australia, there’s [a tunnel] all the way around the continent and it’s being used for human trafficking and organ harvesting and basically using human beings like cattle. JFK found out about it 50 years ago, and it’s taken 50 years to drive them out”
Not to be nit-picky, but 50 years ago JFK had been dead for 9 years, and Bro sounds to me like he needs psychiatric help. Sis, however, uses him as a symbol of all conservatives, and after blaming his delusions on cognitive dissonance, tries to slip a cognitive dissonance trick by the reliably woke and deranged Huffington Post readers, writing that “leaders who spread conspiracy theories to the ‘captive minds’ of their followers.. take[s] pleasure in both self-aggrandizement and the destruction of others….” like Hitler and Jim Jones and guess who? Yes, Donald Trump, of course, all who “appeal to masses of people who feel powerless, deprived and downtrodden…terrifying half of us but emboldening the other half.” It soon becomes evident that Manchester just subscribes to different imaginary theories than her brother, like the belief that the National Rifle Association employs “fear and conspiracy and hatred of ‘the other'” to “drive and win political races, as well as drive record sales of unhealthy firearms” like all those “automatic weapons” flooding the streets. Winchester tells us she (unlike her brother) is “balanced” because she’s a Libra…yes, she believes in Astrology. Her conspiracy addled brother, in contrast, believes that the news media hides things from the public!
2. Lesson: You just can’t win! British Vogue is under fire for a cover celebrating the rise of black models, once a rare category, with this photo:
Vogue says: “The nine models gracing the cover are representative of an ongoing seismic shift that became more pronounced on the SS22 runways; awash with dark-skinned models whose African heritage stretched from Senegal to Rwanda to South Sudan to Nigeria to Ethiopia. For an industry long criticized for its lack of diversity, as well as for perpetuating beauty standards seen through a Eurocentric lens, this change is momentous.” But critics say the photo makes blackness seem creepy and threatening.
The photographs were taken by black Brazilian photographer Rafael Pavarotti, who specializes in such dark compositions. Undoubtedly if a white photographer had presented the group this way, it would have been condemned as the product of a racist bias, like the infamous TIME cover making O.J. Simpson look darker than he was. Even with a black artist behind the lens, it’s still not good enough to avoid accusations of racial injustice. CNN, which specializes in race-baiting, asks, “Was this the best way to celebrate Black beauty?” [Pointer: Althouse]
3. Message delivered. Monica Rozman, a Clemson University undergraduate admissions counselor, wrote on her personal Snapchat recommending that applicants avoid noting that they are Republicans but
…if you’re gonna talk about being Republican (1) don’t act like it’s an oppressed group bc it’s not and (2) unless you ACTIVELY DENOUNCE the white supremacy and misogyny, etc., within your party, you are going out of your way to identify with an oppressive group. Like? Don’t,”
Grilled by Campus Reform about the post, Associate Vice President for Strategic Communication Joe Galbraith said that Rozman’s statements “are not consistent with the admissions policies or practices” of the university. Oh, yeah? Why did she feel secure writing that, then? Galbraith emphasized that Rozman didn’t make admissions decisions, but she’s obviously reflecting the culture of her workplace, I assume. I’m pretty sure that an applicant stating that she’s a progressive or a supporter of Black Lives Matter doesn’t receive a similar negative reaction.
When I applied to college, my political views and affiliations never occurred to me to be relevant in the least. They still shouldn’t be.
4. Speaking of Big Lies and conspiracy theories, I have now read several non-conservative pundits (and a lot of conservative ones) pointing out that the Biden/Harris/Schumer narrative about Republicans threatening “voting rights” and “access to the polls” is fiction—a conspiracy theory in fact. (I bet Sue Manchester believes it!). In Andrew Sullivan’s latest “progressives and Democrats are being outrageous but I can’t afford to be too critical or they won’t like me” post on substack, he writes,
If we are in a crisis of voter suppression, it’s a very strange one. The evidence that Republican vote-suppression tactics actually work in practice is absent; the assumption that higher turnout always benefits Democrats is highly dubious; and many Democratic states have appallingly cumbersome electoral systems, like New York’s. Does that make Chuck Schumer a “white supremacist”?
More to the point, laws — like that recently passed in Georgia — are far from the nightmares that Dems have described, and contain some expansion of access to voting. Georgians, and Americans in general, overwhelmingly support voter ID laws, for example. Such laws poll strongly even among allegedly disenfranchised African-Americans…
The conservative New York Post editorial board writes,
Biden & Co insist this is Jim Crow 2.0, with the prez Wednesday complaining of “how hard they make it for minorities to vote,” followed by Harris’ “blatant erosion of our democracy.” Ridiculous: By this standard, Biden never won a legitimate election in all his decades in the Senate, because Delaware made (and still makes) it far tougher to vote than what the prez now says is the only standard for “legitimate.” Oh, Sen. Chuck Schumer and New York’s entire delegation to Congress aren’t legit, either, since the Empire State has never met the “legitimate” standard.
It would be reassuring to see the New York Times or Washington Post editors be equally clear on this point. Why won’t they? (It’s a rhetorical question.)
5. Here’s another rhetorical question: Why does MSNBC employ an outright racist like Joy Reid as host? Interviewing transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, on her show, Reid asked him about the wisdom of passing the infrastructure bill, saying,
Do you think it was a mistake, looking back? Because the infrastructure bill that was passed was cleaved apart from what’s now being called Build Back Better. And in a sense, it’s a bill that’s like a white guy employment act. Right? There is going to be a lot of working-class men that are going to get employed by that bill. But that’s the very cohort that is much more likely to reward Republicans for that. That’s who they vote for. Most working-class white guys vote Republican. Meanwhile, all the stuff for the women, for moms, for people who need childcare, for people of color, that’s going to affect climate, which young people really care about, you know, extending the child tax credit, all the stuff that helps families and women and younger people and people with college debt, all that got dropped. Do you think it was a mistake to split those bills?
I would have given my left testicle to hear Buttigieg answer, “Wow, you really are a dumb racist, aren’t you?” Instead, he politely pointed out that maintaining and improving the infrastructure benefits the whole nation up and down the sociology-economic scale, regardless of race. He at least could have noted that responsible public policy should not be dictated by partisan election strategy, and that linking infrastructure bills to unrelated social programs is one reason the nation’s infrastructure is in such desperate shape.
6. I missed this…sorry. Prof. Turley posted about a what appears to be another outrageous example of “Facts Don’t Matter.” Leftist legal gossip site “Above the Law”—I am proud to remind everyone that ABL imaginatively labeled me a sexist few years back—claimed that William H. Pryor Jr., chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, had hired a racist law clerk based on “reports” on what she had said to others and written on social media in posts nobody could recover. In quick succession other news sources picked up the claim, including Ruth Marcus (you remember Ruth, don’t you?) who wrote a column in the Washington Post asking “Why is a prominent federal judge hiring a law clerk who said she hates Black people?” But when the Court did an investigation, it found no evidence of racist statements or conduct by the clerk.
Turley goes into great detail on the question of whether a successful lawsuit can be brought against ATL. Marcus, of course, was using another source to write her opinion. But it is one more piece of evidence, as if any more were needed, that the bias of the mainstream media is no “conspiracy theory.”