November 29, 2002
SETTING A BAD EXAMPLE: Scouring
as many editorial pages as we do every morning, it's almost a
given that you will come across at least one or two really awful
examples of liberal goo. Today I submit the following:
piece from Professor Robert Moore who challenges the notion
that academia is a bastion of liberalism. Instead, Moore argues
that "it is outside the walls of academia, not within them,
that ideas are unfairly suppressed." Moore's primary example
of such bias? Fasten your seatbelts:
I went to college, I was led to believe that China's Chairman
Mao Zedong and Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh were evil geniuses who
forced communism onto helpless and unwilling populations. But,
in college, I learned that Mao and Ho were regarded as heroes
and national liberators by most of their countrymen, who enthusiastically
embraced their leadership."
forget Hitler. He was elected and beloved by the German people,
so therefore it's best not make any pesky moral judgments about
The Third Reich and The Final Solution. Moore's right about one
thing: these days you're free to advance just about any opinion
or thesis in college, no matter how inane, without worrying about
Not to be
outdone, the Philadelphia Inquirer somehow deemed this
article by Jenna Catherine fit to print. You'll probably need
to read the following quote at least twice - perhaps more - to
even begin to understand how ridiculous it is:
have a consensus that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are
evil. And it's clear to me that all of the thoughts that this
is so are making them more evil, whether they (or we) realize
it or not. It's also likely that all of the cursing of the United
States is having a similar effect, making us, yes, evil, perhaps
Got it? The
United States is becoming more evil because of the negative thoughts,
hatred and curses delivered to us courtesy of Islamic fundamentalists.
World peace is a state of mind, achievable through more love,
understanding and compassion for those who are trying to annihilate
us. It's all so simple. Maybe Jenna should head over to Yemen,
Indonesia, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, or any of a dozen other
countries home to Islamic terrorists, get herself fitted for a
burqa and test her little love-can-change-the-world theory in
person before we call off the whole War on Terror.
Here are a couple of headlines from recent days regarding the
Louisiana Senate race that, taken together at face value, suggest
Landrieu is in the fight of her life:
Pollster Says Senate Race Still Too Close to Call"
Not Solidly Behind Democrat Candidate"
Sorry no posting yesterday, too busy traveling and eating to do
much else. I was nagged all day by thoughts of the attacks in
Kenya, not only by sadness for those who died and anger toward
the terrorists, but also by anger toward those who want to continue
to try and rationalize or otherwise justify tolerating such evil.
attack it should become more and more clear to the world that
there is no "root cause"at work here. No amount of money
or negotiation or pleading or wishful thinking is going to cause
these Islamic fundamentalists to change course. The sooner everyone
accepts this reality, the sooner we can get on to solving the
problem with steely-eyed determination.
is not about guilt, oppression, conquest or religious domination.
It's not about oil, money, or imperialism. It's a defensive war
taken up in the cause of freedom, human rights and self-determination
for all people. It's not complicated, nor is it something we should
be ashamed of. Just the opposite.
This is all
a very long-winded way of saying that yesterday I was thankful
for health and love of my wife, son, and family. I was thankful
that we live in America and that our country has been spared -
at least for the last 14 months - another attack. My only hope
is that a year from now I can be thankful for all of the same
things. - TB 3:09 pm
November 27, 2002
LA POLLS: Two polls out yesterday
with conflicting info. Good recap on the data in the Shreveport
Times. Both polls were taken last week, one showing Landrieu
with a 16-point lead (50%-34%), one showing Terrell with a 4-point
lead (46%-42%). We seriously doubt Landrieu is leading this race
by anything more than a few points - if at all. It's going to
be close, it's going to come down to turnout, and it may come
down to a visit by President Bush. This sounds sort of familiar.
Read our comments here
and the latest news stories on the contest here.
BIAS: There's a peculiar notion among liberals these days
that the media in America is absolutely saturated with right-wing
bias. Paul Krugman wrote on November 8:
should complain as loudly about the real conservative bias of
the media as the Republicans complain about its entirely mythical
two weeks later, on November 20, Tom Daschle launched
his ridiculous assault on Rush Limbaugh.
And in today's
Observer, we have Al Gore promoting the paranoid conspiracy
theory that Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Washington Times all
are mouthpieces for the RNC:
will start at the Republican National Committee, inside the
building, and it will explode the next day on the right-wing
talk-show network and on Fox News and in the newspapers that
play this game, The Washington Times and the others. And then
they’ll create a little echo chamber, and pretty soon they’ll
start baiting the mainstream media for allegedly ignoring the
story they’ve pushed into the zeitgeist. And then pretty soon
the mainstream media goes out and disingenuously takes a so-called
objective sampling, and lo and behold, these R.N.C. talking
points are woven into the fabric of the zeitgeist."
Gore wishes we could return to the good 'ol days when three network
news programs - headed by liberal anchors like Walter Cronkite
- and a few major metro papers controlled the flow of information
This is certainly
one of those never ending arguments that depends entirely upon
where you sit on the political spectrum. If you're conservative,
you look at the major networks and CNN as liberal and Fox News
as a more objective news source. If you're left-leaning, CNN is
perfectly balanced for you and Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are
where the right-wing wackos go to get their news. Fine.
But the reason
Fox News is now the top rated cable channel and Rush Limbaugh
currently has 20 million listeners has more to do with economics
than politics. Three weeks ago 53% of the country voted Republican
and America has been more or less evenly divided for the better
part of two decades. Even if you took moderates and independents
out of the equation, you are still left with a huge segment of
the population that has essentially been left "unserved"
for years with respect to having an outlet for a more conservative
perspective on news and politics. These immutable laws of supply
and demand shouldn't surprise anyone, least of all a Princeton
economics professor. -
TB 8:55 am
November 26, 2002
LOUISIANA SENATE: Read our
comments here and
the latest news stories on the contest here.
Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois is easily the most vulnerable
Republican in 2004. He's a conservative in a state that went for
Gore by 12 points in 2000 and where Democrats just swept every
statewide office this year except Treasurer. The Dems are rightfully
licking their chops over the prospect of winning this seat and
a host of candidates are already testing the waters. Lynn Sweet
gives the lowdown in her Sun-Times column
yesterday. The article raises two important questions: 1)
Can Illinois (and America) stomach a Carol Mosley-Braun comeback?
and 2) Will Fitzgerald's perceived weakness induce a serious primary
challenge? For those scoring at home the answers are "no"
note: I almost fell out of my chair when I saw my Congresswoman,
mentioned as possible candidate. To try and put this in context
for those who don't follow Illinois politics closely, Schakowsky
rates about a 9.5 on the Jim McDermott Congressional Insanity
Meter but still wins the 9th district by about 40 points every
two years. The fact that the idea of running for the Senate even
crossed her mind is an indication of just how liberal Illinois
has become in the last decade.
Another tidbit from the Sun-Times yesterday: Laura Washington's
bankrupt effort at rehabilitating Harry Belafonte. Mixed in
with all of the heavy-breathing over Belafonte's physical appearance
Washington says that while African-Americans may admire Secretary
of State Powell they should also "challenge" him. This,
of course, obscures the fact that Belafonte's outburst wasn't
a challenge to Powell's policies but a vicious ad hominem attack
designed to humiliate and denigrate him. Washington concludes:
would have chosen different words, but I'm glad Belafonte said
them. At least they forced attention and debate on Bush's warmongering
and its corrupt rationale. Powell has tried to work through
the United Nations, as he should. But true heroes do not engage
in unprovoked wars that will kill innocents. Unless Powell plans
to resign before the missiles drop, that's where we're headed.
And if Powell can't speak out against injustice, whether in
Durban or Iraq, why have him speak at all?"
sentence pretty much sums it up for Belafonte and Washington:
if you don't agree with our view of the world you should just
stay silent - especially if you're black. God forbid Belafonte
or Washington should actually have to argue the merits of the
case against the "corrupt rationale" for disarming Saddam
Hussein. - TB 9:15 am
November 25, 2002
MORE TRIBUNE: This
article provides a little supporting evidence on the Chicago
Trib's left-leaning bias. When your assistant managing editor
for photography runs a picture of the President of the United
States on the front page that is only published by newspapers
in the Nigeria, Dubai and Canada, I think it's safe to say you
have a bit of an issue. And here's
the response of Don Wycliff, Tribune columnist and ombudsman:
as I may to read "that picture" as Parker did, my gut tells
me it amounted to a Page 1 editorial in which George W. Bush
was being labeled an idiot and a clown, unsuited to the presidency.
There may be a place for that in the newspaper, but it's not
place for ridiculing the President as an "idiot and a clown"
is the Tribune's editorial page. I guess we should at least give
Don credit for chastising the paper for using the photo. It's
not much, but it's something.
ACROSS THE BOW: Sometimes the media can be soooo predictable.
Today we have a page
one story from Jim VandeHei at the Washington Post warning
the GOP against pushing a conservative social agenda that might
include the radical step of banning partial-birth abortions -
something a majority of the country agrees with.
observers - including some conservatives - generally agree with
the idea that it wouldn't be a smart strategy for the GOP to"overreach"
and use control of Congress to ram through sweeping legislation
on taxes or social issues. But you don't have to be a
social conservative to find the tone and the language of VandeHei's
with this loaded lede:
Democrats no longer blocking their way in the Senate, President
Bush and Republican congressional leaders plan a more vigorous
push on their social policy agenda"
uses a a number of quotes to bolster his "Christian-right
prepared to run wild" story line, goes out of his way to
identify President Bush as "born again" and then slips
this twisted noose around Senator Rick Santorum's neck:
has told the White House that, during the debate over welfare
reform, he will fight for a provision to allow religious groups
to discriminate against certain people -- gays, for instance
-- when hiring if they don't share their religious beliefs.
"I will make that stand," Santorum said."
the provision Santorum refers to is one to prevent the government
from forcing relgious-based charities to hire people who don't
share their beliefs. Muslim organizations don't have to hire Jews,
and soup kitchens run by synogogues don't have to hire militants
from the Nation of Islam. Now, you can debate whether this represents
government endorsed discrimination, but for VandeHei to select
as his one possible example that it would be Christians discriminating
against gays is a blatant attempt to demonize. But it fits nicely
with his storyline and that's all VandeHei cares about. -TB