Posts Tagged ‘Media Watch’

Bombshells Continue to Explode Discredited Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Now ABC has joined the Washington Post in debunking still more aspects of the Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s Rolling Stone UVA rape story. ABC got hold of and interviewed “Jackie”‘s friedns, all of whom contradict Rolling Stone‘s account of the event in ways both great and small.

And now we find out that while at the University of Pennsylvania, Sabrina Rubin Erdely was once disciplined for fabulation by Stephen Glass? This has to be the most unbelievable plot twist since the revelation of Shaw’s communist handler in The Manchurian Candidate. “Jackie is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most honest human being I’ve ever known in my life.”

Now here’s three links to commentary on the story I didn’t have time to link before the Washington Post piece dropped. Though superseded by Facts On The Ground, each still has important points to make:

  • Sharyl Attkisson
  • Margaret Talbot
  • Mollie Hemingway, on unbelievable aspects of Erdely’s previous stories.
  • (Hat tip: Ace of Spades)

    LinkSwarm for December 12, 2014

    Friday, December 12th, 2014

    You might not know from scanning the headlines of what the mainstream media wants to focus on, but there’s been a lot of liberal meltdown this week, among the MSM themselves especially:

  • Social Security to become insolvent in 2024. Thanks Obama! (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • The Gruber hearings: More “I don’t remember” than a Peter Gabriel video.
  • Wendy Davis earns Texas Monthly‘s Bum Steer of the Year. You know a Democrat had to have an epic train wreck when the lefty sorts over there are pretty much forced to put them on the cover…
  • Rapes by Democratic bundler Terry Bean or Democratic Capitol Hill staffer Donny Ray Williams? “Meh.” “The Press isn’t all that interested in stories that reflect badly on Democrats.”
  • Feminists prefer narrative to truth. “There is nothing that is nice or kind or empathetic about the subordination of truth to narrative.”
  • More on the same theme: “When questions first emerged, a number of people treated quashing those questions as the moral equivalent of war, attacking the questioners as if being skeptical of a story was itself wrong — rather than exactly the spirit of inquiry that makes science, and public debate, work…When we get wedded to our narratives, we become blind.”
  • “After four years of disastrous liberal Democratic rule, led by President Obama, the desperation of the left is now contributing to its own decline. And it’s not just recent defeats at the ballot box: The Democrats’ systematic overreach is destroying the credibility of their messengers and belittling the causes they want to promote; making it harder for them to identify and solve real problems.”
  • 35 federal agencies plan to share your health data. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Feminists have used Title IX as a far-reaching tool to reorganize higher education to their ideological agenda.
  • “How feminism left me.”
  • We have a strong candidate for Most Clueless Example of Liberal White Female Privilege On Salon. Granted, it’s a target-rich environment…
  • Obama official who enabled illegal alien flood is resigning in advance of hearings How convenient…
  • “It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too.”
  • How 401Ks are killing off defined-pension plans. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • #GamerGate is winning. “The ‘gamergate’ controversy cost Gawker Media ‘seven figures’ in lost advertising revenue, the company’s head of advertising Andrew Gorenstein said at an all-hands meeting on Wednesday afternoon.”
  • “All lives matter.” “APOLOGIZE!” WTF? Congratulations, Social Justice Warriors. You’re now officially a cult.
  • ISIS beheads four children for refusing to convert to Islam.
  • Joe Biden lectures Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam, which is like Kayne West lecturing Stephen Hawking on quantum physics.
  • Indonesia editor to face blasphemy charges for mocking ISIS. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • India judge decides that country’s Child Marriage Act doesn’t apply to the Religion of Peace. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Yet he who has never had a snake-throwing fight at a Tim Hortons cast the first stone. (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)
  • “Man With Gender Studies Degree Terrorizes Party”. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • And I’m not covering the CROmnibus debacle yet because I haven’t even read the summary of the summary of the summary of what’s in that monster…

    BattleSwarmBlog Celebrates Victory Over Amanda Marcotte Day

    Thursday, December 11th, 2014

    After spending days pointing out Amanda Marcotte’s factual and intellectual fallacies over the unraveling Rolling Stone UVA rape story on Twitter, this finally happened:

    AM

    I love the smell of Amanda Marcotte blocking me in the morning. It smells like…victory.

    Henceforth, December 11, 2014 shall be known as “Victory Over Amanda Marcotte” day.

    Tottering Rolling Stone UVA Rape Piece Collapses, Burns Down, And Sinks Into The Swamp

    Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

    Now the Washington Post has done a follow-up to the Rolling Stone UVA rape piece. If the first Washington Post piece “raised questions” about the story, this one absolutely demolishes it.

    Read the whole thing.

    Eulogies for The New Republic Go Straight Past Laments To Rending of Garments

    Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

    The aftershocks following the collapse of The New Republic following an editorial change by Facebook millionaire owner Chris Hughes (no doubt still stinging from his inability to buy his boyfriend a congressional seat) continue to reverberate around the punditocracy.

    For those who care, here’s the list of those who resigned:

    Senior editors Jonathan Cohn, Isaac Chotiner, Julia Ioffe, John Judis, Adam Kirsch, Alec MacGillis, Noam Scheiber, Judith Shulevitz and Jason Zengerle; executive editors Rachel Morris and Greg Veis; digital media editor Hillary Kelly (who resigned from her honeymoon in Africa); legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen; and poetry editor Henri Cole and dance editor Jennifer Homans. Contributing editors Anne Applebaum, Paul Berman, Christopher Benfey, Jonathan Chait, William Deresiewicz, Justin Driver, TA Frank, Ruth Franklin, Jack Goldsmith, Anthony Grafton, David Grann, David Greenberg, Robert Kagan, Enrique Krauze, Damon Linker, Ryan Lizza, John McWhorter, Sacha Z. Scoblic, Cass Sunstein, Alan Taylor, Helen Vendler and Sean Wilentz.

    There’s some real talent in there (Applebaum and Kagan among them). As well as some of the usual liberal chattering class. And if you hadn’t heard, the magazine has cancelled its next issue amidst the exodus.

    There’s so much tasty schadenfreude on each side of the dispute it’s hard to know whose tears to start lapping up first. Or, as Mark Hemingway put it, “If I have to pick sides between liberal policy journalists insisting they are immune to the reality of business economics and a Silicon Valley enfant terrible who tried to buy his hapless husband a Congressional seat, I’m afraid I’m left rooting for injuries.”

    Let it be said at the outset that as liberalism’s flagship magazine, The New Republic was kind of important for a quite a long time, and that in the last few decades it did offer an intellectually moderating influence to the hard left and their Social Justice Warrior cadres. That said, when’s the last time a New Republic piece that wasn’t a fabrication rocked people’s worlds? It had been in decline for a while, and the Obama era merely hastened the process.

    Proving that even a winy liberal sycophant can be right twice a day, Dana Milbank offers up perhaps the most even-handed assessment of how Hughes screwed the pooch.

    Check out the comically high dudgeon evident in this letter from former staffers: “The New Republic is a kind of public trust. That is something all its previous owners and publishers understood and respected. The legacy has now been trashed, the trust violated.”

    As Clive Crook put it, “Sometimes you just have to marvel at the self-importance of the American political commentator. The outrage in that high caste provoked by the drama at the New Republic has been something to behold.”

    Getting back to Mark Heminigway, “The New Republic’s demise appears to be a direct consequence of the liberal ideology it espoused.”

    The New Republic took on a genuinely interesting role of being a magazine for liberals that had the guts to regularly question their assumptions. “One reason for the New Republic’s demise has not been fully appreciated, and that has to do with its unique tradition of heterodox liberalism,” observes former New Republic editor David Greenberg. Indeed, it’s not really appreciated at all. While the magazine was so heterodox that “Even the liberal New Republic [insert the magazine espousing conservative/contrarian policy here]” is an actual Beltway banality, people only pretended to see this as a virtue. Lip service is given to its diversity of opinion, but a great many on the left are using recent events to hammer the magazine for betraying the progressive cause. Even sympathetic obituaries for the magazine have gone out of their way to disdain the pivotal moments in recent decades where the magazine expressed genuine intellectual courage, including publishing Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve, killing Hillary Clinton’s likely-to-have-been disastrous attempt at a overhauling health care, endorsing the Iraq war, and being a strong voice in support of Israel.

    Not only is Hughes gutting of the magazine not particularly surprising, it’s such a common story that this ending was essentially foretold two years ago.

    Liberalism needs heterodox opinions the way a sucking chest wound needs chest seal dressing, but liberals want heterodox opinions the way a teenage girl wants to hear how badly her favorite boy band sucks.

    Rolling Stone UVA Rape Story Falls Apart, Feminists Freak Out

    Friday, December 5th, 2014

    In today’s LinkSwarm, I mentioned how the Rolling Stone accusation of a fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia was unraveling. Well, shortly after that it collapsed completely. So much so that even Rolling Stone itself is backtracking on its allegations, albeit in a weasely “we were taken in” fashion:

    In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.

    At this point, the only way Rolling Stone could be more embarrassed is if “Jackie” turned out to be James O’Keefe in a wig.

    As the central premise of the article collapses, it’s interesting to look at the tantrums thrown by some of Twitter’s more notable feminists. Take, for example, Amanda Marcotte:

    Here Marcotte has managed to put on a veritable clinic in how to cram as many logical fallacies into a single tweet as possible:

  • Smear those who doubt the truth of the now-discredited Rolling Stone piece as “rape apologists.”
  • By extension, Marcotte is smearing everyone who has every doubted any rape allegation, or who insists on the English common law doctrines of innocent until proven guilty and right to due process, as “rape apologists.”
  • “Rapes are hoaxes”: Again, Marcotte uses rhetorical slight-of-hand to conflate people doubting this particular allegation of rape to a universal strawman that people are calling all rapes everywhere “hoaxes.”
  • “Why oppose investigating them” Once again, Marcotte constructs a strawman put forth by none of the story’s critics; indeed, she is accusing conservatives of espousing exactly the opposite opinions of what they’ve actually espoused, namely that every accusation of rape should investigated by the criminal justice system.
  • The problem is that Marcotte and so many of her feminist allies want campus rape allegations investigated not by the criminal justice system, but by star-chamber campus tribunals where the accused will not enjoy the rights of innocent until proven guilty and due process under the law. This is in response to the myth of a “rape culture” so pervasive on college campuses that (under pressure from the Obama Administration) many have adopted due-process-violating “sexual assault” tribunals. As liberal lawyer Alan Derschowitz put it: “Harvard’s policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense.”

    Not to mention the fact that these policies have “defined rape downward” to the point where “campus sexual assault” now includes “having consensual drunken sex that they regret later.” Opposition to star chamber prosecution of fake rape is in no way the same as opposition to real rapes by the criminal justice system, in the same way that opposition to feminists’ radical far-left ideological agenda is not the same as “hating women.”

    And many on Twitter were quick to call Marcotte on her BS:

    I guess Marcotte learned nothing from the time she called people skeptical of the Duke lacrosse rape-accuser: “rape-loving scum”.

    Marcotte was gardly alone in her freakout. Take, for example, Sally Kohn:

    Or Jessica Valenti:

    People would be a lot more likely to believe feminists on rape if they weren’t using it as yet another excuse to wage culture war for their far-left wing Social Justice Warrior/Victimhood Identity Politics goals.

    Finally, via Twitchy, comes this gem:

    LinkSwarm for December 5, 2014

    Friday, December 5th, 2014

    Let’s jump into it:

  • IRS cites taxpayer confidentiality in defying a federal judge by refusing to hand over documents showing it violated taxpayer confidentiality by sharing that information with the White House.
  • By 2020, some 90% of Americans will be forced onto ObamaCare exchanges.
  • So left-wing stalwart magazine The New Republic just let several long-time editors go, reduced their publishing schedule from 20 issues a year to 10, and put a former Gawker-person in charge as editor, which is just short of putting up a sign reading “Dead Magazine Walking.” John Podhoretz traces their decline to the age of Obama:

    I think the answer is that there never was any Obamaism to champion; there was no serious vision of America and the world being laid out by the administration that provided fertile ground out for intellectual cultivation, for voices on the outside to make sense of that serious vision and help it cohere into an argument. (In the 1980s, ironically, it was the New Republic‘s own Charles Krauthammer who did just that in explicating the “Reagan Doctrine,” though even more ironically, he did it in the pages of Time Magazine rather than in TNR.)

    What there was, instead, was the increasing reliance on the cheap-shottery of the Internet era—in which TNR and others were driven more by a kind of grinding loathing of the Right than by an effort to create a more effective and serious Center-Left. The magazine foundered because liberals foundered, because Obamaism was a cult of personality that demanded fealty rather than a philosophy that demanded explication.

    Also: I was unaware that The Weekly Standard had twice the circulation of The New Republic. And you should check out the rest of that piece, not least for the perfect title…

  • And speaking of Podhoretz, his New York Post piece on why Hillary’s supposed cakewalk to the Democratic nomination is a sign of party weakness is well worth reading: “Hillary Clinton has no natural claim to her party’s nomination. She’s not even an especially gifted politician. Aside from the spectacular incompetence of her 2008 campaign, she is as gaffe-prone as Dan Quayle and as awkward as Bob Dole.”
  • For the left, the truth no longer matters. “For the Left, this is all tribal, white hats vs. black hats. Fraternity members and police officers are, in their view, by definition on the wrong side of every dispute.”
  • Mary Landrieu isn’t just going to get beat in Saturday’s runoff, she’s primed to get slaughtered, trailing in the latest polls by 24 points.
  • European “austerity” isn’t.
  • The European economic crisis has gotten so bad that traditional left-wing and right-wing parties are thinking of teaming up to thwart newly ascendent Euroskeptic parties.
  • Fracking is kicking Putin’s ass. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Battles with jihadists kill 20 in Chechan capital of Grozny. I guess December is rerun season in Russia as well…
  • Wisconsin might be getting ready to pass right-to-work legislation. Hey Wisconsin unions: How’d that whole “recall” thing work out for you? “You come at the king, you best not miss.”
  • Evidently teenage boys have too many cooties to be taken in at the Salvation Army. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • How PBS lied about Ferguson.
  • The Rolling Stone story of an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity continues to unravel. If there was an actual gang rape, the perpetrators should be arrested and tried. If not, Rolling Stone has some editorial house-cleaning to perform…
  • Breitbart demolishes Lena Dunham’s “raped by a Republican” story. Plus this nugget from a liberal college administrator “‘Asking whether or not a victim is telling the truth is irrelevant,’ Ms. Hess proclaimed. ‘It’s just not important if they are telling the truth.’”
  • On the same theme:

  • Andrew Klavan on #GamerGate and the immense gozangas on display in Soul Caliber. Nice shirt! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • The UK announced they’re finally going to pay off their World War I debt. Governments come and go, but sovereign debt is almost immortal…
  • Another day, another 36 people killed by jihadists in Kenya.
  • In Denmark, “27 percent of male descendant of immigrants from non-Western countries aged 20-24 years were convicted of an offense in 2013.”
  • Shakespeare First Folio found.
  • Newly discovered Ayn Rand novel to be published.
  • And speaking of Rand, her longtime disciple/lover Nathaniel Branden died at age 84. I’m sure he would be deeply offended at the suggestion he’s gone on to the afterlife…
  • Detroit man steals ambulance to go to a topless bar.
  • I have no joke here, I just like typing Vegan Strip Club Riot.
  • Remember When the MSM Used To Pretend They Weren’t Democratic Party Shills?

    Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

    Yeah, they’re not even trying to hide it any more.

    Short summary: Republican staffer Elizabeth Luten making unflattering remarks about the clothing of Obama’s daughters is such an outrage that not only was she fired, but two network news vans camped outside of her parents’ home and ” the Washington Post ran eleven separate stories (and counting) on her, and even “took a ‘foreign affairs’ reporter and put him on the investigation of Lauten.”

    Meanwhile, Democratic Congressional staffer Donny Ray Williams, Jr., just plead guilty to rape and the Washington Post thought it worthy of…one article on the original charge, and one on him pleading guilty. Williams “worked for panels chaired by Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). He also said he worked for Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).”

    Because making a mildly critical comment about the President’s daughters’ clothes is so much more important than a congressional staffer pleading guilty to rape.

    Washington Post “Fact-Checks” An SNL Skit

    Monday, November 24th, 2014

    You know that Saturday Night Live Schoolhouse Rock parody I put up yesterday?

    The Washington Post actually put up fact-checking piece on it.

    Hey, remember all those times the Washington Post fact-checked SNL skits of George W. Bush and Sarah Palin?

    Me neither.

    Twitchy had a field day.

    Other important Washington Post fact-checks:

    The lengths to which Obama’s media praetorian guard will go to protect him are officially beyond parody.

    SNL Updates Schoolhouse Rock for the Obama Era

    Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

    Who needs all that tedious Bill-wrangling on Capitol Hill when you can just issue an Executive Order?