Daily Briefing: TODAY’S MEDIA DEFINED BY CONFIRMATION BIAS? (October 1,2020)

“Traditional media, i.e.’mainstream media’ is now irrelevant. The new society is ruled by tribal societies in the digital space. Nation state lines in the sand are meaningless.” – James Scott (Source: Flickr)

Table of Contents:

The ‘Proud Boys’ Debate Moment: A Case Study in the Media’s Mishandling of Trump:  Tobias Hoonhout, National Review, Sept. 30, 2020

Fake and Real Russia News:  Holman W. Jenkins Jr., WSJ, Sept. 25, 2020

“Nevermind”: The New York Times Goes Emily Litella on its Garbage 1619′ Project:  Monica Showalter, American Thinker, Sept. 24, 2020
The War on Critical Race Theory Indoctrination Is Worth Winning: Barbara  Kay, The Post Millennial, Sept. 25, 2020

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The ‘Proud Boys’ Debate Moment: A Case Study in the Media’s Mishandling of Trump
Tobias Hoonhout
National Review, Sept. 30, 2020

It was 90 seconds of a 90-minute brawl. But for the media, it was Charlottesville all over again.

As usual, it was the president’s bluster that aided the media in pushing a debate post-mortem that reduced the state of American race relations — and the president’s feelings on the subject — to five ill-advised words: “stand back and stand by.”

During Tuesday night’s presidential debate, Trump was asked by moderator Chris Wallace whether he was willing “to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities.” Wallace noted that Trump has repeatedly attacked Joe Biden for refusing to denounce Antifa and far-left provocateurs for the nightly violence they’ve unleashed in American cities.

But, of course, Trump declined to take the simple route.

“Sure, I’m willing to do that,” the president replied, before noting that leftist anarchists have been setting fires, looting, and brawling with cops in much greater numbers than their right-wing counterparts. “Almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing.”

“I’m willing to do anything, I want to see peace,” he continued.

Biden and Wallace prodded: “Then do it.”

Trump paused, and asked for a “name.” “Who would you like me to condemn?” He got simultaneous, albeit different, answers. “White supremacists and right-wing militia,” Wallace reiterated. Biden, however, interjected and answered, “Proud Boys,” referring to a fringe group of young to middle-aged men who spend their Saturday afternoons walking around America’s cities in matching polo shirts goading left-wing protesters into confrontations.

Trump, apparently still in half a mind to address Wallace’s request for a “stand down,” riffed off of Biden: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” he stated in a fit of characteristically ham-handed word association. (On Wednesday, Trump clarified that the group should “stand down and let law enforcement do their work,” adding that “I don’t know who the Proud Boys are.” Perhaps it’s understandable that the president of the United States would be unfamiliar with a group that was invented by a dirty YouTube comedian and whose unifying characteristics appear to be an appreciation for Fred Perry shirts and a propensity to drink themselves under the table.)

The two candidates then immediately got into an argument about Antifa. “Antifa’s an idea, not an organization,” Biden said, misquoting FBI director Chris Wray — who had insisted in a recent hearing that he wasn’t downplaying the threat posed by the violent anarchist movement by referring to it as an ideology, but instead simply noting the group’s lack of organizational structure. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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Fake and Real Russia News
Holman W. Jenkins Jr.

WSJ, Sept. 25, 2020

The term Trump derangement syndrome is useful for what it doesn’t presume. People in the media are said to be so passionate in their loathing of Donald Trump that it clouds their judgment, but are they really passionate? Do they really care 1/50th as much as they do about whether their kids are doing well in school or their cup holder keeps their coffee out of their laps?

These are things that we care about. The rage invested in abstract politics is almost always displaced concern about our own status. Fake news, in this sense, is largely a fallout from everyday conformist virtue-signaling among individuals involved in news reporting.

Something is wrong, therefore, with CBS’s Catherine Herridge. All reporters coming up learn that official government statements are newsworthy. Ms. Herridge forgets to forget this when it comes to Trump-related matters.
An official letter from Attorney General William Barr to Sen. Lindsey Graham, she reported on Thursday, reveals declassified details of an FBI investigation from 2009-11—i.e., before Mr. Trump entered presidential politics—of the unnamed primary source (his name is Igor Danchenko) in the Steele dossier. A Brookings Institution colleague reported that Mr. Danchenko, in 2008, dangled money for classified information. An FBI follow-up found contacts with a known Russian intelligence agent, meetings at the Russian Embassy. Mr. Danchenko even angled for a job there. We knew some in the FBI feared the Steele dossier was tainted by Russian disinformation. Now we know why.

Compare this story, with real facts, with stories that have filled the press lately—a flood of commentary suggesting that Mr. Trump is a Russian agent after all because Robert Mueller didn’t prove a negative; if the special counsel failed to find evidence, it demonstrates that he didn’t look hard enough.

One example: Author and reporter Tim Weiner, in the Washington Post, once in his own words and once in a source’s words, states as a granted fact that Mr. Trump has bent policy and betrayed American interests to suit the Kremlin. But he doesn’t say how. It can’t be because the Trump administration sent defensive arms to Ukraine, sought to block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline or destroyed a column of Russian mercenaries in Syria.
 
Is it because he wants to reduce U.S. troops in Germany? There could be other reasons: Russia poses no conventional threat to Germany, Mr. Trump thinks Germans should pay more for their own defense, the U.S. is simultaneously increasing its commitment to the vulnerable Baltic nations.

Or is it because Mr. Trump denies or plays down Russian meddling in the 2016 election? But Mr. Trump would be an idiot not to understand the issue is raised only to attack him. Russia would not be an issue otherwise. In 2001, President Bush chose to do business with Mr. Putin despite the all-but-certain Kremlin hand in a series of apartment block bombings—blamed on Chechen terrorists—that killed hundreds of Russians in their beds. In 2009, President Obama favored Mr. Putin with a “reset” despite his invasion of Georgia, a country seeking NATO membership. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK– Ed.]
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‘Nevermind.’ The New York Times Goes Emily Litella on its Garbage ‘1619’ Project:
Monica Showalter
American Thinker, Sept. 24, 2020

Project debuted both online and in print in August 2019, the online version’s text stated originally [emphasis added]:

The 1619 project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

That same online passage, which was the source of so much controversy among historians on both sides of the aisle, now reads:

The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

That wasn’t the only change, Adams notes. The ‘1619’ driving author, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won a Walter Duranty-style Pulitzer Prize for her efforts, argued that America was founded entirely on the idea of perpetrating slavery on her Twitter page, and even had ‘1776’ crossed out on her Twitter banner with ‘1619’ replacing it. She got rid of that mendacious little propaganda, too.
Legal Insurrection notes that the far-leftists at World Socialist Web Site have noticed and are plenty upset. Here’s what they concluded, writing what they write as if it’s a bad thing:

These deletions are not mere wording changes. The “true founding” claim was the core element of the Project’s assertion that all of American history is rooted in and defined by white racial hatred of blacks. According to this narrative, trumpeted by Project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, the American Revolution was a preemptive racial counterrevolution waged by white people in North America to defend slavery against British plans to abolish it.

Which is pretty sneaky indeed. Already historians have discredited ‘1619’ as garbage. Yet ‘1619’ has drawn slavering from the Pulitzer committee and numerous other awards, and is now being formed as a packet to be taught in schools, teaching America’s little kids that America is a disgusting place and its founding a fraud.

President Trump pushed back on this juggernaut, and since then, toppled the whole house of cards, driving even the Times to want to pretend it never happened. They made no notations of changes in their content on this garbage, they just wanted to gaslight us that none of their earlier claims had ever happened. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
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The War on Critical Race Theory Indoctrination Is Worth Winning
Barbara Kay
The Post Millennial, Sept. 25, 2020

One of the more repulsive domestic aspects of the First World War in England was the “White Feather Campaign.” Though physically near-weightless, in its symbolism—male cowardice—the white feather was heavier than Tungsten. Women motivated by a hysterical form of patriotism would hand them to any able-bodied man they saw on the streets as a goad to enlisting (or re-enlisting). It was such a shaming experience that it often worked. But in the end, the campaign backfired, because it weaponized an essentially noble feeling and cruelly stigmatized many good and honourable men.

The white-feather campaign went dormant for 100 years, but it is back for deployment in a new kind of battle—a civilizational war in which patriotism has been replaced by oikophobia—cultural self-loathing induced by critical race theory (CRT), which has rewritten the origin story of western civilization in general and the US in particular.

The draft is back, but this time it comes in a cognitive, not military form. Anyone who isn’t on the front lines is handed a virtual white feather symbolizing complicity with social injustice. That little cadre of women has now metastasized into our entire network of social, educational and cultural institutions. To demonstrate our oikophopbic solidarity, we must take the knee, raise the fist, sign the Equity Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) statements, submit to the Implicit Bias Test, submit to the sensitivity training, perform the blanket exercise, acknowledge the genocide, admit our white fragility. Or else. No, not shot at dawn, not imprisoned. But mobbed on social media, professionally cancelled, forced to recant, and shunned by our erstwhile colleagues and friends. The feather is so pervasive and shaming, it is no surprise resistance is considered socially aberrant or just plain futile.

Some of the men who were served with the white feather during the Great War were conscientious objectors, people with scruples against military service of any kind under any circumstances. Rulers have never been sympathetic to such dissidents, but their belief system was at least acknowledged as a fact of life, and even non-democratic governments exempted certain pacifist groups from battle, such as the Mennonites in Prussia and the Doukhobors in Czarist Russia, as well as the Quakers in England.

Freedom of speech is often curtailed in both democratic and non-democratic societies, but it is only in fundamentalist religious or politically totalitarian regimes that compelled assent to a party line is non-negotiable, with no exemptions. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

Barbara Kay is a CIJR Executive Board Member
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For Further Reference:

Morning Greatness: Trump Fights Chris Wallace, Joe Biden in Debate Gang-Bang:  Liz Sheld, American Greatness, Sept. 30, 2020 — Holy guacamole that debate was a hot dumpster fire covered in vomit and then pushed off a cliff. I want to get this out of the way first: there’s a push not to have any more debates.

The Debate? Trump was Great, Chris Wallace was a Dreadful Disgrace Patricia McCarthy, American Thinker, Sept. 30, 2020 — Chris Wallace’s overt defense of Joe Biden throughout the debate on Tuesday night was so obvious, so blatant, he should be proscribed from ever “moderating” a debate again.

Mark Levin: Biden Tried Using ‘Same Stunts’ He Used on Paul Ryan In 2012. Trump Made Sure It Didn’t Work:  Hank Berrien, Daily Wire, Sept. 30, 2020 On Wednesday, Fox News host Mark Levin sounded off on Facebookregarding Tuesday’s presidential debate, pointing out that former Vice President Joe Biden assayed using the same gestures against President Trump that he used against 2012 GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, but Trump “would have none of it.”

Graham to Comey: You Knew Steele Dossier “Pee Tape” Story Was Russian Disinformation; “Never Told The Court”:  RealClearPolitics, Sept. 30, 2020 — Sen. Lindsey Graham questioned fired FBI Director James Comey about why he allowed the Steele dossier to be passed off as legitimate intelligence information during the investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016, during a Wednesday Senate Judiciary hearing on “Operation: