Archive for the ‘Media Watch’ Category

Adventures in Badly Targeted Ads

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

I hit Instapundit this morning, and guess who the banner ad was attacking?

Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 8.11.56 AM

That’s right: An anti-Greg Abbott, pro-Wendy Davis ad on Instapundit! That’s some mighty fine use of targeted advertising, Wendy Davis campaign!

Next up: A Jewish Defense League fundraising appeal on Al Jazerra…

Perry Indictment Slammed as Ridiculous On Both Left and Right

Monday, August 18th, 2014

More and more commentators, on all sides of the political spectrum, have weighed in on the risible nature of the Rick Perry indictment:

  • Respectable lefty attorney Alan Derschowitz (who has maintained an admirably consistent commitment to civil liberties throughout his career) condemns the Perry indictment: “Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment.”
  • Patterico provides extensive legal analysis and notes: “Words truly fail to describe what an outrageous and unsupportable abuse of prosecutorial power this is.”
  • “’You can’t pay me enough to vote for Rick Perry, but this indictment is a totally corrupt use of criminal law,’ said David Berg, a Houston attorney and contributor to Democratic candidates. ‘It is clearly political, vindictive and unsupportable.’”
  • Sarah Palin notes that frivolous lawsuits to derail a Republican’s national electoral chances are now standard operating procedure for Democrats.
  • Lefty journalist Jonathan Chait says:

    They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry…The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves.

  • Even MSNBC says that “it’s hard to imagine sending a governor to jail for talking about why he issued a veto.”
  • In other news, check out the #IStumbleWithRosemaryLehmberg tag…

    Israel/Gaza LinkSwarm for August 4, 2014

    Monday, August 4th, 2014

    Another roundup of news on Operation Protective Edge:

  • Israel destroys last known Hamas tunnel.
  • Atheist explains why he refuses to criticize Israel over Gaza. “People are capable of committing genocide. When they tell us they intend to commit genocide, we should listen.”
  • John Kerry’s asinine “peace” plan alienated not only Israel, but every Arab state not backing Hamas.
  • More Krauthammer:

  • Via Iowahawk’s Twitter feed: An “Israel has been rocket free for” counter.
  • Hamas is a walking catalog of prosecutable war crimes. So who does the UN target for denunciation? You know who.
  • “Strategically and economically, the Palestinian people are far worse off now than they were two decades ago when then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organisation chairman Yasser Arafat signed the first Oslo accord in Washington in September 1993.”
  • Anti-Israeli protestors in Calgary hold silent vigil. Well, silent except for the shouting “Heil Hitler!” part…

  • Reminder: U.S. protestors against Israel are the usual far-left, Che-loving lunatics they’ve always been.
  • On Nina Burleigh’s Irrational Perceptions

    Friday, August 1st, 2014

    Robert Stacy McCain first alerted me to Nina Burleigh’s amazingly irrational screed on the “Women Against Feminism” movement. Which, in turn, linked to this women against feminism tmblr, which Burleigh describes as “selfies of young women, dressed and posed like ads for DIY escort services.”

    Later on she says that “Everything about Women Against Feminism suggests it’s a sock puppet for the aggrieved misogynists and pedophiles of the anti-feminist men’s rights crowd. The main clue is that almost all the women on the site are nubile and posed in ways that fulfill dirty old men’s wildest dreams about pliant young things.”

    Set aside the fact that Burleigh’s sole claim to fame is offering to give Bill Cinton a blowjob. Go look at that tmblr she links to. Really, go look at it.

    So where are all those women “dressed and posed like ads for DIY escort services?” Not only do I not see any, I don’t see any pics that any remotely rational viewer could construe as such.

    In fact, let me post the very most salacious pic I could find on that entire tmblr. Ready? (“Don’t look, Ethel!”)

    That’s it. That’s the closest I could find to Burleigh’s “escort” poses.

    That tmblr consists of perfectly normal, non-slutty women holding up signs she disagrees with, none of whom remotely look like they’re “dressed and posed like ads for DIY escort services.”

    Instapundit weighs in as well:

    To a certain class of women in the media, it’s always about them, and their various mucous membranes.

    Which, speaking of psychosexual theories, may explain Burleigh’s reaction to Women Against Feminism. Just check out the pictures; I’m sure these young women need to check their “prettiness privilege” or something. And I think that’s what’s going on with Nina Burleigh. When she, and her generation of feminists, could exercise sexual power directly (see above) it was all “you go, girl!” Now that they’re getting past that age, they’re falling back on the standard refuge of older women: Slut-shaming younger women who try to do the same. Older women have, of course, always tried to limit the sexual power of younger women, for fairly obvious reasons. This is just more of the same.

    Plus this: “From the comments: “For Burleigh and her crowd I propose a new hashtag: #shrewculture. You know what to do, Internet.”

    Nina Burleigh’s feminist politics seem to have so warped her worldview that she can’t even perceive reality clearly anymore. Perhaps she should consider seeking professional help…

    Salon Writer Complains That Democrats Are Corporate Whores

    Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

    Well well well, what have we here?

    It’s a jeremiad by Democrat Bill Curry about how his party has abandoned its soul for the sweet smell of Wall Street crony capitalist dollars.

    Democrats hooked on corporate cash and consultants with long lists of corporate clients were less attuned to Nader’s issues.

    Democrats today defend the triage liberalism of social service spending but limit their populism to hollow phrase mongering (fighting for working families, Main Street not Wall Street). The rank and file seem oblivious to the party’s long Wall Street tryst. Obama’s economic appointees are the most conservative of any Democratic president since Grover Cleveland but few Democrats seem to notice, or if they notice, to care.

    These days, says Curry, Democrats “don’t believe in ideas because they don’t believe in people” and calls for a Nader-esque populism. (Indeed, Nader’s latest book seems to provide the spine for his piece.)

    Curry actually sees the populist Tea Party energy on the right and laments its absence on his side of the aisle. “If there’s a true populist revolt on the left it is as yet invisible to the naked eye.” (Though I note one very hot populist issue, widespread opposition to the Democratic Party’s push for illegal alien amnesty, is conspicuous by its absence from his piece.)

    “Democratic elites are always up for compromise, but on the wrong issues. Rather than back GOP culture wars, as some do, or foreign wars, as many do, or big business, as nearly all do, they should back libertarians on privacy, small business on credit and middle-class families on taxes.”

    This advice is far from the worst Democrats have received, but they are congenitally unable to follow it for numerous reasons:

  • As a party, Democrats are all in on Big Government. Access to the Gravy Train and charging a transaction fee on robbing Peter to pay Paul are the only thing that holds their coalition together. Likewise, to say Democrats are unenthusiastic about cutting taxes is to vastly understate the case.
  • Democrats can’t embrace populism because both the political and cultural soul of the party is rooted in elitism. The people who run the party in D.C. are absolutely certain that they and their brethren can run peoples’ lives better than they can run their own. And the party’s biggest supporters in blue bastions like New York City, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco are convinced that they are manifestly smarter, more moral, and above all more sophisticated than those gun-toting redneck freaks of JesusLand. Asking them to embrace real populism (as opposed to candidates making meaningless promises every 2 or 4 years) is almost certainly futile.
  • A significant fraction of their supporters in those blue bastions benefit directly from the crony capitalism Currey decries.
  • There are also numerous areas where Curry appears unable to shed his blue-colored glasses:

  • When he says “Oddly, the one system working relatively well, public education, is the object of our only sustained reform effort,” he’s ignoring the huge problems in teacher union controlled schools and curricula as documented everywhere from Waiting for Superman to Vergara vs. California. And in his conclusion, the very first member of his potential future coalition mentioned is “unions,” pointedly ignoring the populist revolt against fat cat public sector unions that have helped bankrupt Detroit and numerous California cities.
  • The plight of American workers pushed out of jobs by illegal aliens, and the popular revolt against busing them to communities across the country and amnesty? No mention.
  • He seems equally enthused about small business and fighting “global warming,” with nary a mention about how the EPA’s power grab thanks to the latter is crushing small business left and right, nor how many “green” firms are riding the crony capitalist gravy train.
  • Other populist “small ball” issues that never get mentioned: cheap light bulbs that work and toilets that flush. Though Shalt Not Question Washington’s Mandates.
  • Agribusiness subsidies, crony capitalism in almost its purest form? Not mentioned.
  • The Democratic Party faithful are never, ever, ever going to reengage with Nader, because their hatred for George W. Bush is far stronger and more visceral than their theoretical attachment to populist economic policies.
  • Of course, since it’s Salon, the piece has more than one inside-the-blue-bubble howler:

  • “Nader’s belief in convergence isn’t the same as Obama’s naïve pursuit of the holy grail of bipartisanship.” Obama has pursued “bipartisanship” with much the same fervor the late Amy Winehouse pursued “sobriety.”
  • “Republicans can talk values even while defending a corrupt status quo because, recent Tea Party convulsions aside, defending the status quo is their job. The Democrats’ job is to challenge the status quo; when they don’t do it, nothing they say sounds sincere. ” Republicans certainly defend many cultural status quos, but it is the Democratic Party that has consistently defended the status quo of the lumbering monstrosity that is Big Government.
  • When he says that until 1996, congress “had not enacted any major social or economic reforms since the historic environmental laws of the early ’70s,” he’s flat out lying. (Kemp-Roth was certainly reform.) What he actual means is “No reforms that far left economic populists like myself approve of.”
  • In the next paragraph he decries the deregulation of the airline, trucking and phone industries, missing the point that these were not only reforms, but populist reforms that ended monopoly profits by entrenched special interests, and ones which radically brought down prices for consumers.
  • “But Nader always hit hard; you don’t get to be the world’s most famous shopper by making allowances or pulling punches.” I would venture to guess that the world’s most famous “shopper” is probably someone like Paris Hilton, which is probably not the image he wanted to convey…
  • “Liberals have spent the intervening years debating macroeconomic theory.” Have they? As far as I can tell, the only debate in the ideological vineyards of the Democratic Party is over how much Keynesian vs. how much Marxism.
  • “Democrats must also learn to argue history. They chortle when Michele Bachmann credits the founders with ending slavery or Sarah Palin forgets who Paul Revere rode to warn.” Tiny little problem: By and large Sarah Palin got Paul Revere’s story right, no matter how much liberals might insist otherwise.
  • “The best template of populism remains the career of William Jennings Bryan.” Well, it’s not that Curry is necessarily wrong per se, but one must view with a certain jaundiced eye the idea that current electoral models can be found in a man who probably peaked in 1896.
  • Indeed, when you get right down to it, Curry’s piece could be boiled down to “Talk vaguely about populism while pushing the same Big Government, redistributionist schemes liberals always push.” Maybe the Nader book itself is bolder (and if someone wants to pay me to review it, I’d happily give it a go), but Curry’s piece is very old and undistinguished wine decanted into a slightly shinier bottle.

    No matter how many times liberals declare “This is it! I’m finally fed up with the Democratic Party!”, the party’s fat cats know the truth. Come November 8, 2016, they’ll remember they loathe Republicans far more than they love reform, and pull the (D) lever no matter how many jeremiads Bill Curry and his ilk pen.

    We’ve seen this movie before, and we know exactly how it ends.

    Shockingly, Bill Maher Makes Sense on Gaza

    Monday, July 21st, 2014

    Here’s something from the “Blind Squirrel Find Acorn” department: Bill Maher actually making sense on Israel’s incursion into Gaza.

    Some choice quotes:

    “If Hamas had the opportunity, they would kill the maximum number of Israelis, which would be all. And Israel has the capability to kill a lot more and they do not. They seem victims of the soft bigotry of high expectations.”

    “Can we ask why Israel wins all the time? Because they’ve won every war. They have to. You can’t go 8-1 and be Israel. You have to go 8-0 every year to still exist.”

    “Jews have 155 Nobel Prizes and Muslims have two. Maybe it’s who you know, but that seems a big advantage for Team Hebrew.”

    Wendy Davis’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

    Friday, July 18th, 2014

    This has not been Wendy Davis’ week.

    First Greg Abbott’s campaign announces that he has more than $35 million cash on hand. Since Abbott was already the prohibitive favorite, hearing that he’s shattered Texas gubernatorial fundraising records wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine for Team Wendy.

    Second, a Dallas Morning News headline proclaims that “Hollywood luminaries, labor and trial lawyers fuel Wendy Davis campaign.” Thus reminding everyone yet again that Davis is a liberal media darling whose fundraising occurs out of state because she’s far more popular in Hollywood than in Texas.

    Now even the Democrat-friendly Texas Tribune is debunking her fund-raising numbers:

    Instead of $13.1 million in cash on hand as claimed, the reports Davis and her allies filed show there was actually $12.8 million in the bank at the end of June, a difference of about $300,000.

    Meanwhile, the $11.2 million Davis claims she raised over the latest period — an amount she said was larger than the $11.1 million Abbott raised — contains over half a million dollars in non-cash “in-kind” donations and counts contributions that could benefit other Democratic candidates.

    One of the biggest sources of non-cash donations: a $250,000 in-kind contribution from country singing legend Willie Nelson. That’s how much the red-headed stranger told the campaign he would have charged for a free concert he gave at the senator’s Houston fundraiser, the campaign said.

    The lower-than-advertised cash figure and non-traditional accounting methods raise questions about how much money can be accurately attributed to Davis for the latest period.

    Also this:

    It was the cash-on-hand figure from Battleground Texas that came in lower than advertised. In the press release, the Davis campaign said Battleground would report $1.1 million in the bank. But Battleground told the Ethics Commission it only had $806,000 in the bank.

    That’s a double-dose of good news: The hopeless Davis campaign is sucking up money that might go to competitive races nationwide, and the well is running dry on Battleground Texas, which might conceivably be able to swing a few down-ballot races with better funding.

    And the general election is four months away…

    Dispatches From The Twitter Wars

    Thursday, July 17th, 2014

    These seem like parts of he same story:

  • Todd Kincannon Silenced: South Carolina lawyer Todd Kincannon, “The Honey Badger of American Politics,” has been forced off Twitter and barred from selling his book by government action:

    If you are receiving this email, it means you ordered a copy of my book. Yet no one has received any copies yet, and I owe you an explanation why.

    I am presently legally barred from fulfilling the order. The South Carolina lawyer disciplinary authorities—government officials—have determined that my political and religious commentary is “unethical.” I am legally barred from sending you a copy of my book at this time. (Well, I could send you a copy, but I could be disbarred for it.)

    This is the culmination of a two year secret investigation of me by the South Carolina Commission on Lawyer Conduct and the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel, two entities that have taken the position that the First Amendment simply does not apply to lawyers. Unsurprisingly, no Democrat lawyers have been targeted so far as I know, and the people in charge of the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel have solid Democrat voting histories.

    I encourage you to do discuss this matter in public and on Twitter and Facebook, and you are free to contact the people involved to complain. Here are some excellent talking points: (1) This is just like the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal, because I am being targeted for my political commentary but absolutely no Democrat lawyers are being targeted. (2) Anyone with half a brain understands that the genuinely offensive things I say are merely to provoke the Left and are my distinctive brand of political commentary. (3) If my political activism wasn’t effective, no one would be trying to shut me up. (4) Unlike the Mozilla controversy and other examples of private boycotts, the South Carolina lawyer disciplinary authorities are government agents who are punishing private citizens for political and religious advocacy that is not to their liking. (5) This is book burning, plain and simple. (6) If I lose my right to speak freely because I am a state licensed professional, anyone in a state licensed profession is subject to having their free speech rights taken away from them. (7) This case is one of the absolute best arguments against state licensing for professions. Once government gets its dictatorial foot in the door, everyone in the room becomes a slave to whatever group of petty tyrants happens to run that wing of government at any given point in time.

    The reason for my silence about this matter until now is that I truly thought they would come to their senses about all of this. In fact, they indicated to me more than once that they would not punish me for political or religious commentary that was not to their liking, after initially demanding that I stop saying anything offensive on Twitter. (That was why I briefly stopped using profanity on Twitter in late 2012, in case you were wondering what that was all about.)

    However, in early June, just as I was preparing to send out my book, I received an unexpected notice from the South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel that the investigation was going to continue because of comments I made on Twitter regarding a left wing political activist named Col. Morris Davis, a frequent guest on MSNBC. (I have no indication that Col. Davis has anything to do with this—it appears a supporter of his filed a bar complaint on me, the seventh or eighth complaint filed on me in recent times.)

    As a result of all this, I have prepared and filed a lawsuit in federal court. Please read the attached complaint that was filed earlier this evening. I will fight this matter all the way to the United States Supreme Court if I have to. Surrender is not in my DNA. However, I have no choice but to stop tweeting and hold off sending out copies of my book or engaging in any other advocacy until the federal court gives me clearance to do so without fear of professional repercussions.

  • Twitter parody account @Salondotcom, which mercilessly mocked the far left victimhood identity politics of @salon.com, has been suspended. This unleashed a #freesalondotcom Twitter storm of parody.

  • Instapundit suggests conservatives should be waging more lawfare against the left. “There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit out there.” Kurt Schlichter’s new book Conservative Insurgency evidently makes the same point.
  • LinkSwarm for June 27, 2014

    Friday, June 27th, 2014

    A small LinkSwarm for a busy Friday:

  • Evidently Obama wants $500 million to arm the Syrian rebels that we’re supposedly trying to fight in Iraq. Oh, the article says he wants to arm “moderate” rebels. Has anyone seen these moderate rebels? Who are they? Kurds? Oppressed Christians? The problem isn’t that they don’t exist, the problem is that the actual moderates seem to have forces too small to affect the outcome of the fight, and I don’t trust this administration on, well, anything, but especially on their ability to discern the difference between “moderate” rebels and radical Islamic militias from 6,000 miles away….
  • Welcome to the ObamaCare Death Spiral.
  • The War Nerd suggests that Putin is mucking around in eastern Ukraine less to take it outright than to keep it at a simmer so he gets to keep the Crimea without a fight. Also include this epic quote: “Tom Friedman, the Michael Jordan of wrong.”
  • Obama gets unanimous beatdown from the Supreme Court. For the 13th time.
  • Even liberals are turned off by Hillary’s poor, poor pitiful me act.

  • As Hillary Clinton gears up for a Presidential run in 2016, ABC decides to make one of Bill Clinton’s chief aides a network anchor. Lovely.
  • Hillary’s book sells more than 100,000 copies, but woefully short of what it would need to earn back it’s whopping $14 million advance…
  • Did Obama Fail Black America?” Obviously the question mark is unnecessary, as the only question is whether that headline is one or two words too long.

  • Feminism: The Tiny Elite: “You don’t have to look far to realize that victimhood is the flavor of the moment in America. Deeming oneself a victim delivers an afforded reverence, especially if said victimhood is biologically based.” Today feminism is “a group working largely for the interests of elite white women.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • How the media discriminates against stories than indict big government.
  • Phil Collins donates his extensive collection of Alamo relics to the state. In fact, Collins is donating not only his existing collection, but stuff he continues to acquire. Three cheers for him.
  • Much like obeying the law, word problems are not Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings’ strong suit.
  • Texas man told to remove American flag from his balcony because it was “a threat to Muslims.” Get a rope…
  • Far-left cartoonist Ted Rall gets the axe. I’m not sure there’s a violin tiny enough…
  • Finally, you too can own the screenplay to Manos: The Hands of Fate.
  • I hope to have a longer post of the kangaroo court trying Michael Quinn Sullivan next week…

    Ms. Magazine Comes Out Against the Presumption of Innocence and the Due Process of Law

    Thursday, June 19th, 2014

    Instapundit linked to this Ms. magazine piece. (Yes, evidently they’re still publishing. Who knew?)

    It starts off: “One in five college women are sexually assaulted, and only 12 percent of college rape survivors will report their rape to the police. And yet, some men accused of such assaults are playing the victim.”

    First, the 1-in-5 statistic is completely made up garbage:

    No crime, much less one as serious as rape, has a victimization rate remotely approaching 20 or 25 percent, even over many years. The 2006 violent crime rate in Detroit, one of the most violent cities in America, was 2,400 murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate of 2.4 percent. The one-in-four statistic would mean that every year, millions of young women graduate who have suffered the most terrifying assault, short of murder, that a woman can experience.

    Indeed, the Justice Department shows rates of 6 rapes or sexual assaults of women per 1000 on college campuses. That means that Ms.‘s rape estimates overstate the incidence by 42 times. That’s like saying “The average price of a fast food hamburger is around $100.”

    Secondly, if men are “falsely accused of sexual assault and unjustly punished by their college’s judicial system” because their college does not observe the due process of law, then guess what? They are the victims.

    Back to Ms. and their lies: “According to the FBI, only eight percent of rape reports are unfounded. And this is most likely an overestimate of false reports: the FBI counts cases as unfounded when deemed so by law enforcement officials, not when they are proven false through a trial.”

    First, the FBI statistics are meaningless in relation to the campus cases under discussion, because those statistics deal with charges which were brought up under the due process of the law, not the “men are considered guilty until proven innocent” kangaroo courts universities have imposed based on politicized and misguided Obama Administration guidelines. Second, the “not when they are proven false through a trial” negates the statistic. Indeed, one gets the impression that Ms. is upset that men are found innocent in real courtrooms at all.

    More Ms. blather: “While a false rape claim is undoubtedly detrimental to the accused…” Why yes, being falsely accused and branded a sex offender due to a complete lack of due process is indeed “detrimental.” How nice of you to notice.

    Due process, the rule of law, the burden of proof and the presumption of innocence are rights that protect all Americans, of whatever sex, color or creed. The desire to throw them out to meet the demands of radical feminist identity politics is an abhorrent perversion of justice that should be opposed by all Americans.