Posts Tagged ‘Media Watch’

LinkSwarm for April 26, 2015

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Did you miss the riots in Baltimore on Saturday? You know, the ones CNN and other media outlets didn’t cover because they were too busy covering the White House Correspondent’s Dinner? Because mere rioting by the uncouth peasantry must wait while the overclass is engaged in glad-handing celebration of itself.

In other news:

  • This was a big story last week: Wisconsin Democratic prosecutors raid houses of those accused of Republicanism. And more on the same theme.
  • Q: What do you call a 13-year who was the victim of a Muslim pedophile sex ring? A: “Racist.” (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Lutfur Rahman, the corrupt muslim Labour Mayor of Tower Hamlets, was convicted of election fraud. The Labour crew behind Tower Hamlets became so notorious for rigging elections and turning in results late that they became a running joke in UK political circles. (Hat tip: Ditto.)
  • Three Muslims charged with killing a woman in Houston because she helped convert a relative to Christianity.
  • Boko Haram is now the Islamic State in West Africa.
  • “I would describe today’s meeting as a complete breakdown in communication with Greece.” Oh, I think Greece is communicating loud and clear: They’re completely broke, and they demand the right to continue spending other people’s money indefinitely without reforming their welfare state. What’s unclear?
  • And Greeks themselves are not so happy about capital controls. Well, Greeks voted for a government dedicated to the idea that the welfare state is far more sacred than the capitalism that underpins it, and now they’re starting to reap the rewards of that choice…
  • Tech stock growth: Positive or negative? Depends on whether you include Apple or not.
  • The Comcast/Time Warner merger is officially dead. Good. Perhaps both of them should consider offering customer service that ranks higher than “abysmal” now…
  • Michael Totten reviews ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.
  • Dwight Howard, gun collector.
  • Building an affordable survival rifle.
  • Actors quit play about Ferguson because the objective truth of the screenplay (based on the actual grand jury testimony) conflicts with their preexisting beliefs. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Mayonnaise loyalty.
  • Pets looking at food. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • “The worst novel ever published in the English language.”

    Monday, April 13th, 2015

    For some reason, yesterday I remembered this novel review from 2003. A Washington Post reviewer calls up the author of The Great American Parade:

    I tell Burrows that if he is willing to submit to an interview, I am willing to review his book at length in The Washington Post. The only catch, I said, is that I am going to say that it is, in my professional judgment, the worst novel ever published in the English language.

    Silence.

    “My review will reach 2 million people,” I said.

    Okay,” he said.

    It does not sound like a deathless work of timeless literature.

    Me: It is possible that some people might have found the plot a little improbable. They might find it hard to believe that, in order to garner political support for his tax cuts, George W. Bush would secretly arrange a giant parade in Washington honoring the richest people in America, who would march front to back in order of their net worth. Or that a cadre of earnest, teetotaling college students would get wind of this and, encouraged by Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, rise up to stage a heroic counter-parade honoring basic American values like morality and hard work. Was this perhaps deft satire, a nifty Swiftian touch?

    Burrows: No.

    Me: Ah.

    Anyway, the review is well worth your time…

    Sad Puppies, If I Must

    Thursday, April 9th, 2015

    Being at the intersection of several overlapping roles of interest on the Venn diagram (science fiction writer, once-upon-a-time Hugo nominee, Social Justice Warrior mob victim, and conservative blogger), I suppose I have a one-eyed-man-in-the-land-of-the-blind duty to talk about the Sad Puppies Hugo Campaign now that it’s a major story.

    For those unfamiliar with them, the Hugo Awards are given out at the World Science Fiction Convention and voted on by the membership. Both Supporting and Attending members can vote for Hugos.

    The Sad Puppies are a group of science fiction fans lead by Larry Correia, author of the popular Monster Hunter series of books, and writer Brad Torgersen, to promote a slate of writers for the Hugo Awards for two reasons: To counter the Social Justice Warrior influence that has increasingly roiled science fiction, and to break up perceived cabal of the Same Old People getting nominated for the same awards every year largely at the behest of a small crowd of science fiction elites. (This post will largely address only the first point.) This year the Sad Puppies were wildly successful at getting most of their slate nominated for Hugos.

    For the last several years, a vocal minority of Social Justice Warriors has wrecked havoc on the fabric of the science fiction community. Taking their clues from the Alinskyite “direct action” tactics of far-left political activists, they’ve carried out a virulent campaign against anyone unwilling to toe the political correct line on victimhood identity politics. Their tactics have included doxxing, online mobbings, demands people be fired from their day jobs for non-PC transgressions, numerous calls for censorship, demands that only politically correct language be used when it comes to race, sex, ethnicity, or anything to do with Muslims, and follow-up demands for “official policies” and “committees” to enshrine their extremists demands as institutional law.

    Let me provide a few examples. They went after:

  • Norman Spinrad, for pointing out that, strictly speaking, Octavia Butler was no more African than Mike Resnick was. (It’s a shame that Butler, a first-rate writer capable of considerable subtlety and nuance, has been posthumously adopted as the totem of Social Justice Warriors evidently incapable of either). Several other writers (including the now-late Jay Lake) were viciously attacked for coming to Spinrad’s defense and saying that white writers could, in fact, successfully write about other races and cultures.
  • They attacked Orson Scott Card for opposing gay marriage, and for answering (truthfully) that the the Mormon Church considers homosexual acts sinful.
  • They forced WisCon, the feminist science fiction convention, to disinvite Elizabeth Moon as Guest of Honor (something that’s almost never done in the field) over the “crime” of penning an essay mildly critical of Islam and the planned Ground Zero Mosque.
  • They campaigned to get the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (an organization I formerly belonged to for many years) to institute a “sexual harassment policy“, even though SFWA (last I checked) only had one paid employee and no formal offices. Evidently they believe writers are such shirking violets they are unable to fend off unwanted advances with the time-honored tactics of saying “No” and the occasional slap.
  • Speaking of which, the mob got a Tor editor fired for “sexual harassment,” the nature of which has never (as far as I can tell) been elucidated, or elucidated as something so trivial that it would be laughed out of any court.
  • They got Locus Online, the electronic extension of the science fiction news magazine, to fire me from my part-time gig of reviewing movies on the site (frequently in collaboration with Howard Waldrop) because I made fun of WisCon over the Moon flap in an April Fools piece, which they convinced Locus‘s editor to take down. Because there’s nothing that refutes the image of Social justice Warriors as dour, humorless, thin-skinned avatars of political correctness with authoritarian tendencies like forcing a magazine to take down an April Fools piece.
  • They mobbed Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg for having the unmitigated gall to call 1950s SF editor Bea Mahaffrey “beautiful” (which she was) in the course of noting that was a big reason the wives of many SF writers started attending SF social functions. (Of course, what really riled up the SJW set was Resnick and Malzberg having the sheer gall to defend themselves rather than offering up the standard groveling apology.)
  • They got British comedian Jonathon Ross to resign from hosting the Hugo Award ceremony at the London Worldcon because some of his jokes might have been politically incorrect.
  • This is not an exhaustive list. Most of the people they have gone after (Spinrad, Malzberg, Moon) are political liberals. Science Fiction fandom has gone from a big, happy, occasionally fractious family where a far lefty like Harlan Ellison and a far righty like Jerry Pournelle could maintain friendships despite sharp political differences to one where Social Justice Warriors have injected constant discord into the community.

    To see an example of the havoc wrought by just one Social Justice Warrior, read this lengthy essay by writer Laura Mixon on Benjanun Sriduangkaew, AKA Requires Hate, AKA Winterfox. (When reading it, however, note that pretty much all the tactics described have been used by other Social justice Warriors, and that many of the people chiming in to support Mixon only spoke up when Requires Hate went after people on the far left and/or those with victimhood identity politics credentials.)

    More recently Social Justice Warriors have succeeded in bloc voting to get very minor writers with SJW/victimhood credentials onto the Hugo ballot. It’s at this point that Larry Correia and others started the Sad Puppies campaign, so I’ll let him provide the background:

    For those of you just joining us, Sad Puppies 3 was a campaign to get talented, worthy, deserving authors who would normally never have a chance nominated for the supposedly prestigious Hugo awards.

    I started this campaign a few years ago because I believed that the awards were politically biased, and dominated by a few insider cliques. Authors who didn’t belong to these groups or failed to appease them politically were shunned. When I said this in public, I was called a liar, and told that the Hugos represented all of fandom and that the awards were strictly about quality. I said that if authors with “unapproved” politics were to get nominations, the quality of the work would be irrelevant, and the insider cliques would do everything in their power to sabotage that person. Again, I was called a liar, so I set out to prove my point.

    Snip.

    Basically, I did what the other side had been doing for years, only in public and with the wrong kind of fans, and everything unfolded just like I predicted it would. Especially vehement was the contingent of fandom that I took to calling Social Justice Warriors. This may offend the No Labels crowd, but oh well, it is what it is. The name has stuck in our culture.

    Snip.

    [Sad Puppies 3] is actually extremely politically diverse. That’s because this time our slate of suggestions was put together by a bigger group of authors and fans, and since Brad was running the show and trying to be all about getting recognition for quality, deserving authors, their personal beliefs were of no concern. Don’t take my word for it. Go through our list of nominees for yourself. You’ll find that we have liberals, conservatives, moderates, and question marks who’ve kept their politics to themselves.

    Indeed, the people fighting the Social Justice Warriors in science fiction are far more politically diverse than their exclusively far-left enemies. Will Shetterly, author of the invaluable Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage blog, is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist.

    Here’s the thing. This massive upheaval wouldn’t have ever happened if the moderates had done something years ago, but they didn’t. I can’t really say I blame them though. If they took a stand against the perpetually outraged crowd, they risked their career and their reputation. We’re talking about the same angry, entitled twitter mobs that ran off a famous comedian because he might tell a fat joke in the future. Those mobs are quick to outrage, slow to reason, and will turn on their allies, because attacking is what they are programmed to do. And the moderates—those who will admit it—are terrified of ending up on the wrong end of a witch hunt.

    Now it is okay to rail against my people for doing what the other side has done in the past, because we’re not going to sabotage anyone’s career or slander you. We actually believe in the concept of free speech and free expression.

    We’re getting condemned for bringing politics into the awards, but we all know politics have been in the awards for a long time. We just did it openly.

    I never expected us to sweep the awards. Frankly, I was shocked by the results. I didn’t realize just how many regular fans had been turned off for so long.

    Now the moderates are telling us we did it wrong, or telling us what we should have done better, but the thing is at least we did something.

    Correia is right. If the “good liberals” in the science fiction community want to know who brought about the current situation, they should look in the mirror. They were the ones who stood on the sidelines and remained silent while the likes of Spinrad, Moon and Malzberg were being smeared as “racists,” “sexists,” “homophobes,” etc. for not toeing the Social Justice Warrior line. As Martin Luther King, Jr. noted, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

    The Social Justice Warrior reaction to the success of the Sad Puppies slate was swift, vicious, and unreasonable, with a number of MSM outlets (most of whom have probably never printed a single word about the Hugo Awards before) writing stories condemning Sad Puppies, all parroting the same SJW line. Perhaps the worst example came from Isabella Biedenharn in Entertainment Weekly, which started out “The Hugo Awards have fallen victim to a campaign in which misogynist groups lobbied to nominate only white males for the science fiction book awards.” Not only was demonstrably false (as proven by the very links Biedenharn included in her story), it was so potentially libelous that Entertainment Weekly issued a correction, and Biedenharn deleted her entire Twitter account.

    And as a bonus, she essentially accused Brad Torgersen, a man with a black wife and a mixed-race child, of being a white supremacist.

    Says Torgersen: “Political correctness has gone to a place of destructive take-no-prisoners soul tyranny that could very well and permanently wreck this field; unless good men and women of conscience decide to stand up.”

    And this is why the Sad Puppies campaign is important. The Social Justice Warriors have been rampaging through the genre for years now, wrecking civil discourse, marginalizing institutions and destroying the professional lives of those who disagreed with them. But no one stood up to them in an organized, coordinated way until the Sad Puppies.

    Says one long-time liberal science fiction professional who was not associated with Sad Puppies: “This whole toxic mess has sickened me immeasurably, almost making me feel as if I had wasted my life by ever loving science fiction…All I can say is that the SPs have conducted themselves with humor, dignity and style, while the SJWs have sunk to new lows of hatred and pettiness and blind ignorance. They truly are a despicable cult.” And a lot of science fiction professionals who aren’t part of the Sad Puppies (many of whom emailed me privately over WisCon) feel the same way, but were just too intimidated to fight back.

    Now people of good will in science fiction, from all across the political spectrum, are finally standing up and saying “Enough!”

    That’s what the Sad Puppies Hugo campaign is about.

    Additional thoughts from:

  • Will Shetterly
  • Sarah Hoyt
  • Robert Tracinski
  • David French in National Review
  • LinkSwarm for April 6, 2015

    Monday, April 6th, 2015

    I might have an analysis of the the Iranian nuclear deal later, or I might now, depending on how my taxes are going…

  • UN Human Rights chief praises Islamic State for “diversity.” No, really, that happened. It’s not a parody from The Onion. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Professor finds that texts of Islam are, in fact, more violent than those of other religions.
  • The Columbia Journalism Review investigation of the Rolling Stone University of Virginia rape hoax story is out, and found massive problems with the reporting…
  • …many of which Ashe Schow highlights.
  • But despite the numerous journalistic problems with the piece, no one is getting fired. Lying to support the victimhood identity politics narrative means never having to lose your job…
  • Speaking of which: Fraternity brothers perpetrate vicious rape. Wait, did I say “perpetrate”? I meant “prevent.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Earlier: “Sorry I lead you on when I got drunk.” Later: “What I really meant was you raped me!”
  • The Obama Administration’s reckless engagement with Iran is probably the biggest reason Netanyahu won his surprise victory.
  • The Atlanta Federal Reserve forecast has cut Gross Domestic Product growth estimates in the first quarter from 2.3% to 0.0%. Unexpectedly!
  • Ted Cruz raises $4 million in 8 days. As the New York Times notes, the vast majority is from small donors and can be spent in the primary.
  • Being a liberal means never having to actually weigh evidence.
  • Muslim group kills Red Cross worker.
  • What town wanted: Statue of Lucille Ball. What town got: Statue of zombie lobotomized alcoholic Amelia Earhart.
  • Mickey Kaus Resigns From Daily Caller, Sets Up Own Site

    Saturday, March 28th, 2015

    If you hadn’t heard, Mickey Kaus resigned from the Daily Caller over them spiking a piece that slammed Fox News for supporting illegal alien amnesty.

    Kaus is now blogging at his own site http://kausfiles.com/.

    Update your bookmarks accordingly.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    LinkSwarm for March 20, 2015

    Friday, March 20th, 2015

    Another Friday, another LinkSwarm. There’s almost enough news here to break out a separate “UK child rape cover-up update,” but I found the idea too depressing…

  • UK Police told not to investigate child rape in Sheffield, which was “bigger than Rotherham.” (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Indeed, child gang rape in the UK evidently evidently occurred on an “Industrial scale.”
  • More from the UK pattern of ignoring or downplaying underage rape, and punishing whistleblowers of same.
  • Collectors! Priceless antiquities can be yours at low, low prices thanks to Bernie’s Islamic State Discount eBay Shop! (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • “The Left that seems to believe Israel’s primary duty to the world is empowering Arabs that seek it harm.”

    What set off this new round of ominous Israel concern-trolling was Netanyahu’s assertion that leftist NGOs, billionaires and consultants were making sure that “Arab voters are going to the polls in droves.”

    Which was a fact.

    The leadership of the Arab front has openly stated that it wanted to pull together any and all factions of Israeli Arabs, including communists and Islamists, for the single political purpose of removing Israel’s prime minister. Arab political forces are free to rally to unseat Netanyahu, free to aspire to dismantle the Jewish State, but if Netanyahu mentions any of this he’s a racist undermining Israel’s formerly pristine democracy. Or so we’re told.

  • Charles Krauthammer on the same theme:

  • The Obama Administration is so desperate for a nuclear deal with Iran that they’ve dropped Iran and Hezbollah from the terrorist organization list.
  • Even Democrats are balking at Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran
  • …which is apparently every bit as bad as Netanyahu said.
  • Former CIA Director General David Petraeus agrees with Netanyahu that Iran is a bigger threat to us than the Islamic State. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Michael Totten things it’s time to partition Iraq.
  • France eliminates welfare benefits for 290 jihadists.
  • “If you want to know what Hillary Clinton would be like as president, you’re seeing it right now. There is no other Hillary. This is her.” Also: “What this utterly typical PR fiasco shows is that what they’ll actually get is familiar, tired, pathetic, dishonest, and embarrassing.”
  • “Hillary, I’m not disappointed that you’re lying. I’m disappointed that you’re phoning in your lies.”
  • Scott Walker couldn’t just be the next Reagan, he could be the next Calvin Coolidge.
  • When a college student said she’d been “raped” what she actually meant was she asked her “assailant” to tie her up and spank her.
  • TED Talk, or North Korea propaganda?
  • America’s Cup boat seized?
  • Some people just can’t learn from the mistakes of others. Even when the other is Anthony Weiner. And you’re a Democratic lawmaker. And you’re hitting on the same woman Weiner hit on.
  • The new, not-improved New Republic to create stories to order for advertisers? Honestly, selling the magazine to Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t have been quite so dishonorable to the magazine’s memory… (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Bill filed in the Texas legislature to strip private toll road companies of the power to use eminent domain.
  • And that whole “Starbucks making their baristas talk about race” thing? I’m just going to leave this here:

  • CNN Turns Out a Too Many Cooks 2016 Election Parody

    Thursday, March 19th, 2015

    Shockingly, A.) It’s pretty evenhanded, and B.) It doesn’t suck.

    On the other hand, Too Many Cooks was four months ago. It shouldn’t take more than a week to crank this out. Even if they did take a day to get the perfect font match…

    Jeremy Clarkson and the Culture Wars

    Monday, March 16th, 2015

    If you hadn’t heard about it on this side of the pond, BBC Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended over a “fracas” (supposedly involving a thrown punch) with one of the show’s producers. Given that the actual details still haven’t been shared, it’s hard to say how serious the incident was.

    TV star behaving badly, details at ten. You wouldn’t think it would have been more than a brief news blip, but instead it’s turned into a seven day furor as UK’s progressives howled for Clarkson to be fired over the incident and “cultural insensitivity” (including muttering a nursery rhyme racial slur that got caught on a microphone).

    It seems that Clarkson, an unapologetic enthusiast for car culture and other masculine pursuits, has become the latest flashpoint in the culture wars.

    Here’s a panel discussion on the Clarkson issue. Skip to about 8:50 in if you want to see Milo Yiannopoulos (Twitter’s @Nero and gay conservative journalist and all-around bon vivant) address the issue of structural prejudice against men in the modern western world.

    Notice the immediate, sharp pushback Yiannopoulos gets at daring to question any part of the feminist line.

    That’s the context on the Clarkson dust-up. My impression that it’s not so much what Clarkson said, but his refusal to bow to the usual victimhood identity politics shibboleths that has the social justice warrior types howling for his blood. That’s why they want his scalp so badly.

    At this remove, it seems like the UK progressive establishment is far more incensed at Jeremy Clarkson than Rotherham and similar child rape scandals.

    Maureen Dowd Smacks Hillary

    Sunday, March 15th, 2015

    Maureen Dowd, a deeply uneven writer, is never more interesting than when she’s taking down hubris-swollen Democrats, especially if their last names happen to be Clinton.

    This is manifestly true of her most recent column, an open letter to Hillary.

    It has come to our attention while observing your machinations during your attempted restoration that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our democracy: The importance of preserving historical records and the ill-advised gluttony of an American feminist icon wallowing in regressive Middle Eastern states’ payola.

    Snip.

    Instead of raising us up by behaving like exemplary, sterling people, you bring us down to your own level, a place of blurred lines and fungible ethics and sleazy associates. Your family’s foundation gobbles tens of millions from Saudi Arabia and other repressive regimes, whose unspoken message is: “We’re going to give you money to go improve the world. Now leave us alone to go persecute women.”

    Dowd is, as usual, strongest on the foibles and hubris of the Overclass, and weakest on people living outside that bubble and anything to do with policy. But if there’s one thing Dowd knows (and owes her reputation and Pulitzer to), it’s the Clintons.

    Read the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    LinkSwarm for March 6, 2105

    Friday, March 6th, 2015

    Welcome to Friday! With so much being written about Hillary Clinton’s secret email server (well, secret to mere peasants like you and me, if not foreign governments…) and the King v. Burwell ObamaCare hearings, I didn’t include anything on them in this LinkSwarm. Maybe later…

  • Egyptian-born imam called for Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s death for defaming Islam. Does the Department of Justice: A.) Seek to deport him, B.) Investigate his ties to terrorism, or C.) Hire him to teach Islam in prison? (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • The Syrian rebel group Harakat al-Hazm, the last “moderate” group backed by the White House, disbands and joins the jihadists. Another towering Obama/Clinton/Kerry foreign policy triumph!
  • So the forces trying to retake Tikrit from the Islamic State are Iranian-led Shia militias?
  • Hillary Clinton’s foreign payola wasn’t just illegal, it was unconstitutional:

    The Washington Post reported last week that the tax-exempt foundation run by Bill and Hillary Clinton accepted money from seven foreign governments while Hillary served as U.S. Secretary of State (it’s unclear how much foreign money the organization accepted while Hillary was a U.S. Senator). Super shady, right? It’s worse than that, though, because Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution actually bans foreign payola for U.S. officials.

    The constitutional ban on foreign cash payments to U.S. officials is known as the Emoluments Clause and originated from Article VI of the Articles of Confederation. The purpose of the clause was to prevent foreign governments from buying influence in the U.S. by paying off U.S. government officials. Here’s the text of the clause:

    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

  • Ted Cruz participated in a discussion with Elie Wiesel on the dangers of letting Iran obtain nuclear weapons. But what would Elie Wiesel know about attempts to exterminate Jews?
  • Obama’s greatest accomplishment is kicking people out of the workforce. Well, at least domestically…
  • The New York Observer has a hotline to the Kremlin
  • Egypt declares Hamas a terrorist organization.
  • Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski to retire. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Chicago’s credit rating slashed. That’s what happens when you spend like drunken sailors. Or, worse yet, Californians.
  • Via Borepatch, an entire blog dedicated to improvised arms.
  • The Top 10 GOP Donors in Texas.
  • Science shows that fracking is not responsible for earthquakes in the DFW area.
  • Guy decides to leave civilization behind and start his own Utopia. It turns out exactly as any rational observers would expect.
  • Tweet:

  • The Llamas With Hats saga is now complete.