JUAN IS STILL WONDERING, "WHY"? Chalk another astute question up to
Mrs. IP. She was curious about who the two NPR execs most involved in
the Juan Williams firing are. The information is readily available, but
where in all the columns about that affair have you been informed of
these bald facts?
Vivian Schiller is the daughter of
Ronald Schiller, a former editor at
Reader's Digest, and Lillian Schiller of Larchmont, New York. She
graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's degree in Russian
studies and Soviet studies, and a Master's degree in Russian from
Prior to leading NPR, Schiller was a senior vice president of
NYTimes.com. She was the first general manager of Discovery Times
Channel (now Investigation Discovery), from 2002 - 2006.
I won't make the obvious joke about National Pravda Radio, because
dozens of people should already have explored all the possible
David Saperstein is a rabbi, lawyer,
and Jewish community leader. He has served as the director and chief
legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center
for more than 30 years. Saperstein succeeded Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch as
leader of the Washington D.C.-based political lobbying arm of the North
American Reform movement. There, he
advocates on a broad range of social justice issues. He directs
a staff who provide extensive legislative and programmatic materials to
synagogues, federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils
nationwide, coordinating social
action education programs that train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults,
youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year.
He currently co-chairs the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, and
serves on the boards of the NAACP and People For the American Way. In
1999, Saperstein was elected as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom.
On August 28, 2008, Saperstein
delivered the invocation at the Democratic National Convention's final
session, before Senator Barack Obama accepted the party's nomination
Saperstein lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, National Public
Radio vice president for news Ellen Weiss. They have two sons. [boldface mine].
You know, you really couldn't make this stuff up. Hidden agendas?
Conflicts of interest? Radical leftism parading as objective
journalism? Don't be ridiculous. (Speaking of ridiculous, love the
eyeglasses perched on big brainy forehead look btw.) So why are you
hearing it here first? Who are we all afraid of offending this time? CAIR? Or those who have a vested interest in whoring for CAIR? You tell me.
And I really really hope you can wake up and smell the coffee, Juan.
stuff that isn't about the election:
Go ahead. Be a
PENNSYLVANIANS.1-10. Confirms all of my informal research over the
years. And the tone is completely perfect. The raw emotion is so moving.
stuff that isn't about elections:
Italians Will End the
(always suspected as much)
Yeah. The thing
that killed Pompeii. This time would be A LOT worse.
This seems genuinely concerning. Because the decision is up to Italians:
Unlike the relatively modest eruption
of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in the spring of 2010, an eruption
of Campi Flegrei [Mount Vesuvius] would be beyond human imagination. It
last erupted in 1538, killing dozens of people and creating the
1,500-foot-high Monte Nuovo. An eruption in this area more than 39,000
years ago had the same effect as a giant meteorite landing; it created
the eight-mile wide depression that now forms the caldera.
"[An eruption of] Campi Flegrei could generate global, worldwide
catastrophes," De Natale tells NEWSWEEK. "If it erupted, it would be
really a complete catastrophe at a global scale, with millions of
casualties, strong climate changes, perhaps causing a small ice age,
and sterilization [contamination] of several hundred thousand square
kilometers of European land for centuries."
The project has set off a passionate scientific and philosophical
debate in a country where the idea of a volcano that could bury a city
is more than just myth. Should they heed the rumblings under the earth
and use science to evaluate the danger, possibly helping Naples avoid
the tragedy that befell Pompeii? Or is it better not to tempt fate by
drilling into the massive volcanic cauldron for fear that the work will
disturb whatever combination of luck and geology has been keeping the
city safe for thousands of years? The conflict has finallly bubbled
over, prompting the mayor of Naples, Rosa Russo Iervolino, to delay the
start of the project and call a meeting this week in Rome to determine
whether it's safe to move forward.
The Italians are thinking about drilling into Vesuvius to lance the
boil. And you're still fretting about mid-terms?
I'm not surprised Juan Williams got fired by NPR. I've been
expecting it. I know Mara Liasson was threatened
some months ago
because of her Fox connection. And Juan has been courting a smackdown
for months now with his frequent appearances on Hannity and the O'Reilly Factor, where he seems
less doctrinaire than he is on Special
Report. I imagine Fox will take care of him, perhaps with a show
of his own. I'd have let it go at that except for an emerging meme best
exemplified by Bernie Goldberg's column on the matter, "Juan
NPR and the Death of Liberalism."
Here's a bulletin, NPR: Lots and lots
and lots of Americans feel the same way as Juan Williams. And that
includes lots and lots of liberals. And probably a lot of liberals who
work at NPR. Juan's "crime" wasn't that he said something bigoted. His
crime is that he said something that liberals find politically
incorrect. And that he said it out loud. And worst of all, that he said
it on the Fox News Channel.
In liberal circles this is nothing less than a crime against humanity!
What makes this so crazy -- and so sad -- is that liberals are the
open-minded ones, the ones who cherish the free exchange of ideas, the
smart ones. And if you don't believe me, just ask any liberal, who will
be glad to tell you how smart and open-minded he or she is. But these
are the kind of people who believe in "free speech" only as long as
they agree with you.
My problem? Goldberg acts as if this is some startling new milestone in the long
decline of American liberalism. It isn't. I understand that he wants to
perpetuate the myth that there was some kind of Golden Age of news
reporting in which liberal journalists were objective and fair-minded
despite their political views. But he's wrong about that. What's
new is the Internet and the bright glare of attention liberal
corruption now attracts. The biases, hidden agendas, and distorting
reportage have always been there. Liberals have never been tolerant, open-minded,
or fair. To this day, the New York
Times has never returned or repudiated the Pulitzer Prize
awarded to William
Duranty for covering up the worst
of Stalin's crimes in a deliberate attempt to promote Soviet communism
in his homeland.
NPR's hands aren't clean either. Confounding many of my friends, I
listened to NPR at intervals for years, just to remain aware of what
story the liberals were telling themselves and their constituencies.
The absolute hardest thing to stomach was the daily monologue of Daniel
Schorr, introduced reverentially by NPR hosts. He was from the era
Goldberg would like us to believe was professional, principled, and
competent. He died this summer, and here's one of the final paragraphs
of his official bio:
In 1996, Schorr received the
Columbia University Golden Baton for "Exceptional Contributions to
Radio and Television Reporting and Commentary." An award that is
considered the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. Schorr has also been
inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional
Journalists and in 2002, Schorr was elected to the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences.
The Golden Baton! Wow. If I'd known that, maybe I wouldn't have had to
grit my teeth whenever I heard that old-time CBS voice -- that smug,
condescending, know-it-all world weariness of the lone intelligent man
in the room, now that Eric Severaid was pushing up daisies. Or maybe
not. Here's an item
from his resume NPR's 'editorial standards' might have taken more note
of than they did. It dates to 1964, when the liberal media and
intelligentisia did everything they could think of to destroy Barry
In response to a questionnaire from a
magazine, 1,189 psychiatrists, none of whom had ever met Goldwater,
declared him unfit for office — “emotionally unstable,” “immature,”
“cowardly,” “grossly psychotic,” “paranoid,” “chronic schizophrenic”
and “dangerous lunatic” were some judgments from the psychiatrists who
believed that extremism in pursuit of Goldwater was no vice. Shortly
before the election, Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter
published in Harper's an essay (later expanded into a book with the
same title), “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” that encouraged
the idea that Goldwater's kind of conservatism was a mental disorder.
On the eve of the convention that nominated Goldwater, Daniel Schorr of
CBS, “reporting” from Germany, said: “It looks as though Senator
Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign here in Bavaria,
center of Germany's right wing” and “Hitler's one-time stomping
ground.” Goldwater, said Schorr, would be vacationing near Hitler's
villa at Berchtesgaden. Schorr further noted that Goldwater had given
an interview to Der Spiegel “appealing to right-wing elements in
Germany” and had agreed to speak to a gathering of “right-wing
Germans.” So, “there are signs that the American and German right wings
are joining up.”
But as Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard has reported, although
Goldwater had spoken vaguely about a European vacation (he did not take
one), he had not mentioned Germany, and there were no plans to address
any German group.
Goldberg's Tiffany news network would never have put up with that, would
they? From the same bio that lists all of Schorr's awards:
In 1964 Schorr was nearly sacked after
reporting that Barry Goldwater was linked with a group of German
right-wing military men.
sacked. Awww. But it
didn't stop him from receiving the Golden Baton. Or a sinecure as
resident god of journalism on NPR for years and years and years.
This is an old old game that has just selected Juan Williams as victim.
It looks like African-American contributors at NPR have just been cut
in half. Liberals are what they've always been. Totalitarians who
continue to envy the Soviet model of press freedom: Infinite freedom to
spout the party line, and no freedom to disagree with what is clearly
I wish Juan Williams well. I hope this is a learning experience for
him. His most upstanding defenders at this moment are conservatives who
disagree with almost everything he says and believes about politics.
What does that tell you? Or him?
stuff that's not about the election:
REVIEWS. Forget the Big Hollywood paranoia about anti-Bush themes.
true. I like this show. This president is also a fighter, like (gasp)
GWB. Yeah, it's going to be cancelled (and probably very soon), but until it is, it's a great
thrill ride. Catch it on-demand, from episode onetwo.
Yes, it's flawed,
but it's more 24 than not.
This time, Jack Bauer is strictly an amateur, but he will not stop. And Blair
Underwood as president is no Obama. A few episodes in, you'll begin to
like him. Promise.
Who says I'm not open-minded? I've been watching the new
Planet Green Channel, which features an inordinate number of
documentaries about touchy-feely types interacting with bears. Okay.
But there's less about Global Warming than I expected, and I have to
say they've surprised me. They're running the reality show "Fight
Quest," about two martial arts fanatics who travel the world looking
for, well, fights. Gaia doesn't seem to be on the menu. Odd.
AND. They also have what may be the best reality show I've ever seen: Last One Standing. Six athletes --
three Americans and three Brits -- travelling the world to
participate in tribal sports that are frequently downright dangerous. I
do mean "travel the world." They've done stick-fighting in Zulu
territory, wrestling in Mongolia, kick-fighting in India, a
marathon-plus race in sandals in Brazil, and crazed contact cricket in
the South Pacific.
Green? Gaia? Well, maybe. I like the changes they've made to the
standard reality format. They're not constantly tossing someone aside
every week. There's no politicking or backbiting. The six contestants
like one another, root for one another, and seem well aware that
being given an opportunity to measure up to the manhood standards in
cultures so diverse that you wonder how a bunch of jocks can handle the
cognitive dissonance. But they do. I confess that watching it from week
to week makes me proud of western civilization. Wherever they go, they
want to measure up. Whatever the new sport, they have a local trainer
and they quickly become committed to not disappointing him. They all
seem to have a talent for immersion. Whatever the challenge, by the
time they enter the ring, they are emotionally invested in the outcome
-- honoring the local culture even as they insist on upholding their
own. In the terms of the show, they are competing with one another, But
there's a competitive ideal they embody with no emanations of fraud.
They're antagonists and
Did I mention that they're diverse? A BMX racer from Oklahoma. A rugby
and cricket star from Oxford, who's pursuing a degree in theology. A
cockney kickboxer. An American strong man competitor with spectacles
and nipple rings (presently tied for the lead). An endurance athlete
from Alaska. A Brit fitness guru who entered the Mongolian wrestling
competition with two broken ribs. The best episode to date was the Zulu
stick fighting. People die in these matches. Drawn blood is one of only
three ways a match can end. All of them were afraid, on camera, and all
of them competed. Some of them won. Best of all, you can see them all
growing. They're not just dumb jocks. They're men. Why the whole thing
seems kind of retro and, well, lovely.
Next stop, Indonesia. I'll be watching. Eventually, there will be a
winner. But it seems very much as if they're all winners. As are we for
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A Peek Inside
Skull & Bones!
There's this new movie, The
Social Network. I hear it was also a book. One or the other or
both names the Phoenix
SK Club at Harvard as an actor in the drama.
So now I guess we can expect a new wave of Discovery Channel
documentaries about the Phoenix SK Club to add to the sinister
revelations about Yale's Skull & Bones.
Has it occurred to anyone that the definition of a secret society is
that it succeeds in remaining secret? Skull & Bones isn't a
secret. You're all panting and upset about it. The Phoenix Club isn't a
secret. Here it is:
Want to know a real secret?
The Porcellian Club. Harvard's oldest final club. Founded in 1791. They
have their own gate into Harvard Yard. All anybody knows about them --
even among the other Harvard final clubs -- is rumor and speculation.
They're an eminence so gray as to be nearly invisible.
Porcellian Gate. See the boar's head? No? Why it's so secret.
Other clubs take in ten to twelve members a year. The Porcellian
accepts two or three. One of the few things we know about them is who
they didn't take: Teddy
Kennedy (The Owl), Jack and Bobby Kennedy (The Spee), Franklin
Roosevelt (The Fly), J.P. Morgan (The Delphic -- in fact, he founded it
to get in), and the Facebook boys (The Phoenix). uh, a point of
explanation. At Harvard, the Porcellian is like Harvard; if you get in,
that's where you go.
All of which begins to make Skull & Bones look like pretty small
potatoes. First of all, the Bushes and Kerrys obviously didn't get into
Harvard, or why would they go to Yale? And even if they had, there's no
chance they would have gotten into the, uh, Porcellian.
If you have mystique even in a world of secrets, you must be special.
The scuttlebutt at Harvard is that admission to the Porcellian is a
free ticket to the rest of your life. If you need connections, the
Porcellian will provide. If you need money, the Porcellian will
provide. If you need, well, anything, the Porcellian will provide.
Wikipedia has a standard disinformation
piece that lists some of the members. Of course, they don't list all the members. No mention of
Count Dracula ('96), Darth Vader ('03), or Bonaparte Louis-Napoleon
('88), for example.
Or the Archangels Michael ('91), Gabriel ('91), and Lucifer ('91).
I'm just saying. Nobody nowhere knows what goes on in this building.
Shouldn't the MSM start getting to the bottom of the real secret
society that runs everything? Or are they just too afeared to do so?
my dear. He always was a smacked ass.
This guy. Sorry. A teaspoon of brains with a tablespoon of TV
Q-attractiveness. Do I sound bitter? The missus continues to defend
him. "I used to like him," she lamely explains.
Stop it. He's an idiot. Here's his latest, at his new home, the Daily Beast. Oh, Yes. It's fisked
How the Media Blew the Midterm
The media narrative by now is set in concrete: The voters are teed off,
rising up, mad as hell and ready to wreak havoc. [Kewl]
There is a whiff, if you read between the lines, that the expected
outcome is somehow unjust. [Huh?]
The Democrats are going to get their backsides handed to them, in this
telling, because the Obama administration has clumsily failed to
explain what it’s done for the folks, and because of slightly scary
passions unleashed by the Tea Party crazies. [Let's repeat that: "Slightly scary
passions unleashed by Tea Party crazies." It's scary to object to
multi-trillion dollar deficits. It's crazy to want a smaller federal
government. Got it. Thanks, HOWARD.]
The journalistic tone was somewhat different in 2006, when exasperated
voters handed the House and Senate to the Dems, and 2008, when Barack
Obama sold himself as a post-partisan savior.[Different? Really? Ya think?]
I’m not saying this is intentional [of
course not], or that the MSM are mangling the midterms.[No, no, no, no, no, I'd never say that...]
Many voters are angry, especially about the anemic economy, and it’s
their right to toss out whoever they deem to be the bums. But on some
level, many journalists believe the White House has accomplished a
heckuva lot [uh, yeah, we know many
journalists believe that; and you left the Post for the Beast,
why?] and they see the Tea Partiers as inchoate and
maddeningly inconsistent—denouncing big bad government while clinging
to their Medicare and Social Security benefits. [Tired of this liberal touchstone. You
force us into a system and then denounce us when we object because we
take the crumbs we're allowed. Doesn't mean we ever liked what we were
forced to accept.] It’s as if the pundits are collectively
engaged in a group grope, feeling their way around this strange and
sharp-toothed political animal that resembles nothing they’ve
encountered before. ["Nothing we've
ever encountered before." Yawn. Nothing rhey've ever bothered to cover
as journalists before. How could that be? WE DON'T LIKE YOU, DON'T TRUST YOU, DON'T TALK
TO YOU. And fortunately for us, you rarely ask. News Flash: We think
you journalists are lefty assholes. Whatcha gonna do about THAT, Howie?]
Few have gone as far as the late (and usually great) Peter Jennings,
explaining the 1994 Gingrich takeover by declaring that “the voters had
a temper tantrum.” [Unlike the tantrum Jennings had on 9/11, questioning the courage of his president while the Secret Service was fighting a losing battle to keep him away from the White House. What a man, er, clothes horse.] But news organizations were late to the Tea Party
phenomenon, and are still grappling to explain it—in part because of
its amorphous and unofficial nature. [Always
upsetting when voters are "unofficial."] They were blindsided
by Scott Brown’s win and Lisa Murkowski’s loss. [Something about pros versus amateurs?
“The media profile is of an angry, racist rabble, and that doesn’t
match the people I’ve seen in focus groups,” says Republican pollster
Whit Ayres, describing the Tea Party movement. “There’s a
predisposition in the more liberal elements of the media to paint
Republicans as unsophisticated rubes who don’t appreciate all the
wonderful things the Obama administration and the Democratic Party have
done for the country. It’s just out of touch with the reality.” [Check.]
For Jano Cabrera, a Democratic strategist, the subject strikes a nerve.
“My wife and I were having this very conversation,” he says. “When we
were trying to seize power, we had justified anger, and now we talk
about uninformed voters.” Obama inherited unprecedented challenges,
Cabrera says, but in politics “you can’t go back and say it’s the other
guy’s fault.” [Awwwww. Except that your guy keeps doing it, and doing and doing it, and...]
[This] is a year in which facts—the preferred currency of the
reality-based media [Huh? Reality-based? Did I miss the memo?]—often
don’t seem to matter. Journalists report that Sharron Angle had favored
privatizing Social Security, spoke of people considering “Second
Amendment remedies” and counseled rape victims to turn “a lemon
situation into lemonade” by giving birth—and she’s still competitive
with Harry Reid. [Hey. Let's lynch
her. A corrupt liar would be ever so much better.] Media outlets report that Christine O’Donnell, the
onetime witchcraft dabbler [Fuck
you, Howie], opposes masturbation [at one time, or is everything present
tense with you, Howie?. Which must mean Obama is a cokehead, right?]
and considers evolution “a myth,” [as
do many serious scientists] and she laughs it off (while
trailing in the race). [If we asked
you why you bailed on the Post, dying from its own liberal poison,
would you answer or laugh it off? Just so.] New York
gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino calls gay pride parades
“disgusting,”[they are, as even you
know after a beer or two] hurls baseless charges about
Andrew Cuomo’s sex life (after fathering a child out of wedlock
himself) and tells a New York Post columnist “I’ll take you out”—and
still hasn’t been laughed out of the race. [Let's see. After Spitzer and Bubba, would
you stake your life, Howie, on Andrew Cuomo's marital fidelity? Your
The biggest media blunder, in my view, was the walk-on-water coverage
that Obama drew in 2007 and 2008. [When
did this insight come to you, Howard? Yesterday? Last week? Last month?
At any rate, really fucking brilliant insight.]
Who, after all, has absorbed more abuse from the “lamestream media”
than Sarah Palin, who can hit back with a Facebook post that bypasses
the old gatekeepers? [Excuse me? How
does this point follow from the previous point? Oh. Thank you. It
doesn't. It's just a standard liberal brain fart.]
In such a topsy-turvy season, one simple solution is… blaming the
voters! They are so caught up in faulting Obama for everything but bad
weather, so mesmerized by the right-wing noise machine that they can’t
see straight. [Okay. Finally getting
it. Your deal with the Post required you to leave your brain behind
with your keyboard. People who have no jobs and object to trillions of
dollars of debt shoveled onto the shoulders of their kids and grandkids
are simply dupes of the "the rightwing noise machine." Did you even go
to college, Howie?] Yes, the refrain goes, high unemployment is
heartbreaking, but do people really think they’re going to do better
under Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell? [uh, yeah.]
Small problem: These are the same voters who broke with more than two
centuries of Oval Office white men by electing Obama. Weren’t many of
us praising their judgment and tolerance then? (Yes, I know they’re not
the exact same voters, in that turnout is smaller in off-years and many
disaffected Democrats are likely to stay home. And Obama, like Ronald
Reagan, swept in many party colleagues who could not survive in
marginal districts once the wave receded.) [Excuse me. What the fuck does the term
'white men' have to do with anything you've mentioned thus far?]
On the merits, journalists are right that Obama’s accomplishments have
been minimized. [Journalists are
right? On the merits? On the merits?
Since when? Are these the same journalists who sold the American
public on an absentee state legislator as president of the United
States? Those journalists? Really?] Health care reform,
however it pans out, was a huge achievement [Achievement how? As in curing cancer? Or
dissolving the Reichstag? They're both achievements, but maybe not
equally desirable]; the overall package remains unpopular [fancy that...], the individual
parts (such as not excluding kids for preexisting conditions) not so
much [Kids. The only thing we're
supposed to care about? Guess what. People care about other things,
"such as" their own lives, HOWARD. God, you make me sick.]
Tightening financial regulation was a heavy lift against the
forces of Wall Street. [Give me a
fucking break. Goldman Sachs wrote that law.] Even the
much-derided stimulus law saved plenty of jobs.[Did it, Howard? Did it, really? You're a
fucking lunatic, you are. The only jobs saved were government jobs,
which is nice for the government employees, but that is NOT stimulus.
It's just government spending. I'm making a note right now to myself to
look if and where you ever went to college. Before I do that I already
know that when it comes to economics you're every bit as dumb as you
look on TV.]
All that has been overshadowed because many voters believe the
president bobbled the economy while setting his sights on social
engineering. [Aww. Stupid, stupid
voters.] But here, too, the short attention span of today’s
journalism played a role. The health care and banking battles were
covered ad nauseum, but once they passed, the press lost interest [maybe because somebody finally read the
goddam bill and realized all the Obama-killing particulars within it] and moved on to mosque mess and the Koran-burning
preacher and whatever other diversions were available. [You're an arrogant little prick,
beloved MSM distracted ITSELF with all those stories. The rest of us
kept our eyes on throwing the bums out. Which is why you're whining so
incoherently right now.]
The biggest media blunder, in my view [HA!],
was the walk-on-water coverage that Obama drew in 2007 and 2008. The
only real debate was whether he was more like FDR (Time) or Lincoln
(Newsweek). [Not true, asshole. Plenty
of us were asking the right questions. You and your ass-kissing
brethren simply refused to do your jobs.] The candidate
obviously played a role in creating his own myth, but it was the
breathless media that sent expectations soaring into the stratosphere.
Once Obama had to grapple with two wars, a crippled economy and
reflexive Republican opposition
[pullease], he had no place to go but down. The press has long
since fallen out of love with the president, but the overheated
hyperbole did him no favors.
Who’s to blame for the coming electoral tsunami? We ought to be careful
about dumping on the most convenient scapegoat, those moronic voters.
In politics, it’s not that complicated: you either deliver or you pay
the price. [Right.]
Bottom line? Howie should have stayed with the Washington Post.
Unshackled and unedited as an inquiring mind, he exposes himself as a
Yup. Looked it up. As we surmised. Howie went to the Columbia School of
Journalism. No wonder fisking him is like shooting fish in a barrel. If
there's any one thing that particular school doesn't teach, it's
Monday, October 18, 2010
A Fan Story You
Won't See on ESPN
clip is edited. It took a lot longer for Jackson to show signs of life.
I'm not going to labor this point, but it still has to be
made. A couple weeks ago, ESPN made a huge story out of the response Donovan
McNabb would receive from Philadelphia Eagles fans, whom they
condemned in advance for boorish behavior that didn't subsequently
occur. Eagles fans gave McNabb a prolonged standing ovation, just like
Flyers fans gave former Flyer Simon Gagne the other night when he made his first return to Philly in an
Now here's something ESPN won't
make a huge story of, or even a story at all. The New York Giants game
yesterday was being played at the New Meadowlands Stadium at the same
time the Eagles-Falcons game was being played in Philly. About 24 hours
before, Rutgers played Army on the same field the Giants were playing
on. A Rutgers player was injured making a tackle. He lay motionless on
the field for five minutes before being carried away on a stretcher,
and it's a national story that he is presently (hopefully only
temporarily) paralyzed from the neck down. As he lay on the field, both
the Rutgers team and the Army team formed a circle around him, every
player on one knee with head bowed. Most of the fans at the Giants game
probably didn't know this, but it hardly matters. What does matter is
that the Giants Jumbotron played some portion of the clip above (the hit and its immediate aftermath) almost immediately
after it happened. DeSean Jackson lay motionless on the field. What did
the Giants fans do? Gasp and fall into murmuring near silence? No. They erupted in loud cheers and applause. Eagle
superstar down. Joy reigns supreme.
But Eagles fans once threw snowballs at Santa Claus. In fact, they do
it every time ESPN runs yet another story about the thuggishness of
Philadelphia Eagles fans. They can rerun that footage a thousand times,
and it won't make up for what the self-anointed 'superior' New Yorkers
did yesterday afternoon.
btw, Eagles fans applauded both
players as they were helped off the field, including the one who
initiated the hit, because he had been injured too, and who knew how
seriously? Multiple NFL pundits have said it was one of the deadliest,
scariest collisions they'd ever seen. DeSean Jackson has a 'serious'
concussion and there's no certain date for his return. I've yet to hear
news about Donte Robinson, the injured Falcon, but we wish him a full
recovery as well. The fanatical haters of Philly SportsTalk Radio have
been busy all
morning affirming their belief that Robinson's hit was not a deliberate
injure but an inevitable by-product of a fiercely contested NFL game.
I know you don't want to hear about it, but somebody had to point it
Sorry if I'm being a bore. Don't get disgusted. I have it on good
authority InstaPunk has something to say today about the mid-term
elections. I expect he won't even mention Philadelphia.
The Silly Season Is Also
Mean, Dumb & Delusional
Simple Rule: Don't shake hands with people who hate you.
RIGHT PERSPECTIVE. Although polls try to suggest there is, there's
that conveys what's going on in politics, the media, and the electorate
All we have are fragments. all of them sharp and deadly in an overall
environment that is hostile to the point of murder. I've got a handful
of fragments to reference, but here's my context: an underground world
documented by the National
Cave of Swords, Naica, Mexico
We're talking thickets of killing blades in every direction. Covered in
one of the most riveting Nat Geo documentaries I've ever seen: Into the Lost Crystal Caves.
once, the story is as much about the courage of the explorers as it
is about the importance of their objective:
It takes genuine bravery to enter such dangerous territory. (I urge one
and all to explore the host of photos, videos, and other content
associated with the documentary. It's eye-opening and mind-blowing.
Pedantic, pedestrian-seeming geologists really do care enough about minerals to
put their lives on the line for them. What we can only call passion.
The Chilean miners aren't the only courageous ones of the underground.
song I linked earlier isn't only for them.)
Metaphor established. We're seeing something unprecedented this year.
An incursion by private citizens into a realm that is reflexively
hostile and generally fatal to all but the purest Narcissists. I've
resisted commenting on particulars of late because it all gets so ugly
and mean and irrelevant to the larger issues as it rolls like a tumbril
toward the Guillotine of personal assassination we call the democratic
But it is time to take note
of the environment private citizen politicians
are daring to enter -- the Cave of Swords -- and to acknowledge the
bravery of the unlikely
victors and even of those who are likely to be done in via ridicule and
life-destroying slander en route.
Something I should save for the end but can't. (I try to sequence
things in logical builds, but I also obey my intuition...) I'm
referring to the appalling interview Chris Wallace conducted with Carly
Fiorina on Fox News Sunday
yesterday. I've heard the man describe his interviewing technique on
multiple occasions, particularly in response to the question, "What do
you do when a politician won't answer the question?" He replied that
practice is to follow up one, maybe two times, just enough to establish
that the question isn't being answered, then move on. On Sunday,
though, with Fiorina, he followed up not one, not two, not four, but six times on the same absolutely
phony question: How was she going to make up for the 4 trillion dollar
federal revenue shortfall created by her proposed tax cuts?
The mild-mannered, baby-faced Fox star seemed to be channelling his
raving leftist father. He kept repeating, almost viciously at times, "4
trillion dollars" as if
the figure had some absolute value. For anyone who knows anything about
economics, it doesn't. It's just an annoyingly brainless exercise in
the kind of static analysis that makes a joke of all liberal economics.
Raise tax rates, revenues increase. Reduce tax rates, revenues
decline. The analysis is static because it fails to recognize that
changing tax rates alters behavior in the economy. Everything doesn't
stand still in perpetuity the way the CBO is required to pretend it
does. Which is why tax revenues increased
when JFK cut taxes, when
Reagan cut taxes, and when GWB cut taxes. And why tax revenues declined
when FDR (and Hoover before him) increased taxes on the rich people who
might otherwise have reinvested in the private economy.
Mad Man Mike Wallace
I concede I was almost equally pissed at Fiorina for not raising the
static analysis argument, but conservative politicians across the board
seem unwilling to risk confounding the comprehension of voters on such
a seemingly counter-intuitive point. She probably, private citizen that
she is, has too many professional advisers at this point to remember
that voters do possess common
sense. And she's walking a tightrope with
the wiftiest voters in the country, the airheads of California. Which
is another reason why Chris Wallace's blatantly hostile interview
raised my eyebrows. He knows
she's running against the stupidest, most unqualified senator in the
nation, in the weirdest electorate there is. Ask your gotcha question
twice. But why six times?
What's his beef with Fiorina? (Aha! Why I began rather than ended with
this.) He resents her as an amateur. Politics is for professionals.
He'd rather spar pointlessly with a corrupt pro like Barney Frank than
deal with an intruder like
the former CEO of
Hewlett-Packard. She doesn't belong.
Regardless of his own probably centrist-right-leaning political views.
Her very appearance in the arena compels him to demonstrate the
difference between an amateur clubfighter and a
professional prizefighter. "I must break you."
This is the thing beyond ideology that animates the anti-Tea Party bias
of the mass media and professional politicians and pundits in both
parties. Professionals -- people who have made a lifelong living at
some discipline, regardless of their actual competence -- don't like
being challenged let alone taken down by
amateurs. They dislike it so much it causes them to behave like
Thanks to Hotair for the following exemplary "fragments":
Harry Reid thinks he can get away with a flat-out
lie because his opponent is a housewife. Never mind that the lie is
easily exposed and readily available all across the Internet.
McCain (and her liberal colleagues on TV) sees no irony in slamming
Christine O'Donnell because she hasn't accomplished anything and feels
somehow "entitled." (See Mary Katherine Hamm's perfect tweet...)
Which brings us full circle. The founders didn't really mean for
politics to be the province of professionals. What, after all, were the
aristocrats of the British Empire and the courtiers of the European
thrones? They didn't want Talleyrands. They wanted Washingtons,
Jeffersons, and, yes, even low-born Franklins, who took time away from
their real passions -- home, architecture, music, science, business,
etc -- to participate in sustaining the republic.
For an absolute certainty, they never meant to create the government of
the United States as an environment so hostile that mere contact with
the intent to participate or influence it would call down the scathing
fury of the elites like antibodies against disease.
This country does not belong to Maureen Dowd, Chris Wallace, Harry
Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown (son of Pat Brown), and all the
political whores (sorry Gretchen Carlson, Tom Brokaw, and all the
neo-prigs of the left and right -- 'whore' is a word everybody knows and uses and you are its
media definition, or does the rightwing cast of Fox & Friends have something exculpatory to share with the rest of us about their unbridled on-air enthusiasm for lefty 20th Century Fox movies like Avatar and Oliver Stone's Wall Street 2). The country does not belong to the media stars or the professional politicians. It belongs to us.
I was always uncomfortable with senate collegiality: "my good friend
from Montana, my very good
friend from West Virginia, with whom I disagree at times...) Yecch. It
led to the moral contradiction of political debates in which candidates
levelled the most horrific charges against one another, only to
conclude with the honorable handshake at the end. But honor is not
accomplished by a handshake. It can be betrayed by one, however. The
handshake conveys acceptance of what has transpired previously.
If you're a narcissistic sociopath like most professional politicians,
it may be acceptable to nod and smile at the vicious personal attacks
opponent in the aspiration for high office. But that carries politics
itself into the realm of the crystal caves. Not a place for ordinary,
decent human beings. Only the Schumers, McCains (and progeny), Cuomos,
Clintons, Kennedys, Pelosis, Wallaces, Dowds, and the legion of
unscrupulous nouveau courtiers (Kerrys and Reids) can breathe that air.
Everyone else is gasping, at a loss. But for the few. I doff my hat to
Rand Paul. You're right. Don't shake hands with a cobra. I bow low
before Sarah Palin. You can
spit in the eye of a spitting cobra, but
you have the sense to wear glasses while doing so.
Sorry this has taken so long. My point is infinitesimal (not really).
No matter how much you're tempted to join in the laughter at the
Christine O'Donnells and Sharon Angles, give them credit for their
almost unbelievable courage. Carly Fiorina is almost certainly twice as
shrewd and competent as Chris Wallace. He's a talker and a critic.
She's a doer and a maker. If he can make her look bad out of spite,
snobbery, irrational hostility, and ruthless exploitation of his media
platform advantage, what chance have the Angles, O'Donnells, and Palins?
Oh. That's right. A good
chance. Sarah Palin isn't afraid of them. God, how terrifying that must
be... to them.
Now. When will smart conservatives start recognizing that Sarah Palin
has the most important credential of all? Bravery. We've asked for
volunteers to invade the crystal caves of Washington politics. Would
you? Would I? No. But there they are, advancing into the heat and peril
of an environment that is unanimously determined to kill them. Could we
at least vote for them, flawed and human and inexperienced as they may
be? I think so.
forgot the "delusional" part. Democrats are now beginning to pretend
that they'll have a 2012 presidential electoral advantage if the
Congress goes Republican. Why? Because Clinton got reelected after the
bloodbath of 1994. Cool strategy eh? Except for one slight fatal
contradiction. Dems today think a Republican congress would allow Obama
to paint Republicans as obstructionist, the reason for no improvement
in things like the economy. Problem is, that's not how Clinton got
reelected. He took credit for
Republican accomplishments like welfare reform, the balanced budget,
and other improvements legislated by that Republican Congress. What
will Obama do with a
Republican Congress that seeks to overturn his policies on taxation,
healthcare, and business regulation? Veto, veto, veto. Who will be the
obstructionist then? In the fourth year of recession, he will suffer a
repudiation worse even than Carter's.
Repudiation? I meant Refudiation.
What happens when an entrenched
authority encounters an, uh, snafu:
"I guess maybe you'll have to kill me." [beat]
"It'll hurt if I do."
Purely metaphorical. Like the crystal cave thing. Only cooler.
Only Sarah has hair. You heard it here first.
Friday, October 15, 2010
won't rot, I won't rot. Not this mind and not this heart."