Daily briefing Vol# 4513

MAINSTREAM MEDIA:THROWING STANDARDS OUT THE WINDOW

Lara Logan Slams Media for Becoming Left-Wing “Propagandists” With “Horseshit” Low Standards: Mike Ritland, “Mike Drop” podcast, RealClearPolitics, Feb. 19, 2019, Video and transcript. — Lara Logan, a former foreign correspondent for CBS’s “60 Minutes”, praised FOX News and Breitbart for offering “the other side” in an “absurdly left-leaning” news media environment.
DNC Blacklisting of Fox News Proves GOP Needs to Fight Media: Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist, Mar. 6, 2019 — The Democratic National Committee is refusing to allow Fox News Channel to televise any of its candidate debates during the 2019-2020 cycle, according to the Washington Post.
The Astonishing Hypocrisy of Media Matters: David French, National Review, Mar. 13, 2019 — If there’s one thing we can absolutely count on in our post-ethical partisan era, it’s that for every scandal, there is, in short order, a similar — sometimes astoundingly similar — scandal on the other side.
New York Times Op-Ed Writer Faults Paper’s Israel News Coverage: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Mar. 4, 2019 — How bad is New York Times coverage of Israel? So bad that not even one of the newspaper’s contributing opinion writers appears to believe it.

On Topic Links

Tucker Carlson Slams Media Matters: I’ll Never Bow to The Mob, Left’s Goal Is “Controlling What You Think”: Tucker Carlson, Fox News, Mar. 11, 2019, Video — FOX News host Tucker Carlson responded to audio Media Matters posted of “numerous misogynistic and perverted comments” he made in interviews 10 to 13 years ago.
Nolte: Watch Chuck Todd Spread 4 Pieces of Fake News in 54 Seconds: John Nolte, Breitbart News, Mar. 4, 2019 — Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd was caught spreading four pieces of fake news in 54 seconds while grilling Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Sunday.
Covington High Student’s Legal Team Sues Washington Post: Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, Feb. 19, 2019 — Attorneys representing the Kentucky high school student involved in a confrontation that went viral on social media last month announced Tuesday that they were suing The Washington Post for $250 million in compensation
Brian Mulroney: The Canadian Government Needs to Take Action on Antisemitism: Brian Mulroney, National Post, Mar. 13, 2019 — A challenge to visionary leadership in Canada and elsewhere is antisemitism. Antisemitism is born in ignorance and nurtured in envy. It is the stepchild of delusion and evil.

LARA LOGAN SLAMS MEDIA FOR BECOMING LEFT-WING
“PROPAGANDISTS” WITH “HORSESHIT” LOW STANDARDS
Mike Ritland (interviewer)
RealClearPolitics, Feb. 19, 2019

We’ve become political activists in a sense. And some could argue, propagandists, right?” she said about the mainstream media. “The media everywhere is mostly liberal. Not just in the U.S. But in this country, 85 percent of journalists are registered Democrats. So that’s just a fact, right?… So, the facts are on the side of what you just stated. Most journalists are left or liberal or Democrat or whatever word you want to give it. I always joke about the other 14 percent were too lazy to register. And there’s maybe one percent that’s on the right.”

“There’s one Fox. And there’s many, many, many more organizations on the left,” she said. “Both sides do terrible things. Both sides lie. Both sides manipulate. Both sides push their point of view. But the problem is the weight of all of these organizations on one side of the political spectrum. When you turn on your computer or you walk past the TV or you see a newspaper headline in the grocery store, if they are all saying the same thing, the weight of that convinces you that it’s true. You don’t question it because everyone is saying it.”

Logan said she used to doubt claims of media bias but now laments the “horseshit” low standards of her fellow journalists.

“You need at least two first-hand sources for something, right?” she said. “Those things help keep your work to a certain standard. Those standards are out the window. I mean, you read one story or another and hear it and it’s all based on one anonymous administration official, former administration official. That’s not journalism. That’s horseshit. Sorry. That is absolute horseshit.
LARA LOGAN, CBS: So, it’s bad enough that in the media we lean towards one side of the political spectrum or we favor one ideology. But you could argue that’s a function of the way it is and there’s enough good journalism out there and there’s enough accountability that we get at least a decent representation of the truth a lot of the time. I don’t even see that happening today.

RITLAND: [Fake news] started as a joke. But, Christ, it’s really become that way. Like you said, there’s so many times, especially if it’s from a specific news outlet, specifically MSNBC, you can rest the fuck assured that they are going to cherry pick the most significantly negative parts of the story.

LOGAN: And people would counter that by saying, “Well, Fox is going to do all the positive stuff.” But this is the problem I have. There’s one Fox.

RITLAND: Yeah. Yeah.

LOGAN: There’s one Fox. And there’s many, many, many more organizations on the left. So, if you say, “Well, if they are lying about this is and this is propaganda,” and whatever. They are pushing their viewpoints. Oh, well. The other side Yes. Both sides do terrible things. Both sides lie. Both sides manipulate. Both sides push their point of view. But the problem is the weight of all of these organizations on one side of the political spectrum. When you turn on your computer or you walk past the TV or you see a newspaper headline in the grocery store, if they are all saying the same thing, the weight of that convinces you that it’s true. You don’t question it because everyone is saying it.

One ideological perspective on everything never leads to an open free diverse tolerant society. The more opinions and views … of everything that you have, the better off we all are. So, creating one ideological position on everything throughout your universities, throughout academia, in school and college, in media, and everywhere else, that’s what concerns me. I don’t have to agree with everybody…

We don’t even question if what we see on social media is real or not. We don’t even question if a grassroots movement is really grassroots. You know, there’s a way to start a grassroots movement. You write an algorithm, and you create all this outrage, right? And you’re basically throwing out all the sparks that light the fire, so then it becomes a grassroots movement because it takes nothing to set that in motion. But did it really begin as one? And if it didn’t begin that way but was manipulated and paid for by someone and serves someone’s political purpose, is it really what we believe it is?

I didn’t even notice there was a bias in the media. People would say it to me all the time and I argued passionately and ferociously against that because I really believed when we do it well, and the majority of serious journalists were all trying to do their best to overcome those biases and rely on the facts and good systems. We have a few conventions — because they are not really rules — but you need at least two first-hand sources for something, right? Those things help keep your work to a certain standard. Those standards are out the window. I mean, you read one story or another and hear it and it’s all based on one anonymous administration official, former administration official. That’s not journalism. That’s horseshit. Sorry. That is absolute horseshit… [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

DNC BLACKLISTING OF FOX NEWS
PROVES GOP NEEDS TO FIGHT MEDIA
Mollie Hemingway
The Federalist, Mar. 6, 2019

The Democratic National Committee is refusing to allow Fox News Channel to televise any of its candidate debates during the 2019-2020 cycle, according to the Washington Post.

DNC Chair Tom Perez cited an article written by liberal journalist Jane Mayer of The New Yorker for his decision. Her article alleged that Fox News Channel, which has been less hostile and hysterical about the man elected president by the United States electorate than its counterparts at every other television outlet, was too close to the Donald Trump White House.

Fox News’ opinion hosts include Trump-loving Sean Hannity. Its news hosts, including Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, Shannon Bream, and Chris Wallace, are far more objective than those at other broadcast media outlets. Liberal Trump critic Shep Smith is also billed as a news host. Other media outlets frequently blur the line between news and opinion, with CNN hosts Jake Tapper, Brian Stelter, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon mixing their liberal opinions with occasional bouts of news.

In recent years:

NBC sat on evidence exonerating Justice Brett Kavanaugh, discrediting Michael Avenatti and his clients’ accusations.
CBS published false documents to smear President George W. Bush.
CNN fed debate questions to Hillary Clinton before a primary debate.
ABC helped Democrats launch their “war on women” campaign strategy in 2012. And CNN attacked Mitt Romney during a debate when he said true things about the Benghazi terror attack. That’s just a few off-the-top-of-the-head examples of media and Democratic Party collusion regarding election year issues and debates. But it’s a problem that exists so constantly as to be a crisis.

NBC’s Chuck Todd showed his legendarily extreme bias on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” show. He falsely claimed Rep. Jim Jordan was sharing opinion, not facts, when he accurately discussed Michael Cohen’s testimony that he’d never been to Prague — a central claim of a discredited dossier, secretly funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, secretly fed to media outlets and intelligence agencies, and used to undermine the Trump administration for more than two years.

But when Sen. Mark Warner claimed there was evidence of collusion with Russia, Todd didn’t push back in any way, despite the lack of evidence. Last year, Tapper, a former gun control spokesman, hosted a rally that spun up a mob against gun rights and Dana Loesch while letting a corrupt sheriff off the hook.

The Democratic National Committee, whose allies select stories, frame those stories, and write and broadcast those stories at nearly all other major media outlets, has every right to use its media-enabled power against Fox News Channel, which tends to be less aligned with Democrats. It makes sense that the DNC would only want friends and ideological allies to question them in debates, particularly when they only need to ostracize one media outlet to accomplish that.

The question is, why do establishment Republicans allow Republicans to be treated as second-class citizens? They sit back and lamely accept the false narrative that Fox is a crazy right-wing propaganda network while the other media outlets are treated as straight news. This is pure gaslighting.

Which broadcast outlet, among NBC, CBS, ABC — not to mention the cartoonishly biased MSNBC and CNN — is not severely biased against Republicans and their domestic policy goals? The Washington Post is not neutral, as its full-court advocacy to utterly destroy the life and reputation of Kavanaugh reminded those who hadn’t figured it out in previous decades…[To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]

THE ASTONISHING HYPOCRISY OF MEDIA MATTERS
David French
National Review, Mar. 13, 2019

If there’s one thing we can absolutely count on in our post-ethical partisan era, it’s that for every scandal, there is, in short order, a similar — sometimes astoundingly similar — scandal on the other side. Sometimes, the comparisons are just so on-the-nose that you have a hard time believing they’re real. Remember when Virginia’s Democratic lieutenant governor hired Brett Kavanaugh’s lawyers to defend him from allegations of sexual assault? Remember when his accuser hired Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys? Remember when the leader of a #MeToo organization called Time’s Up resigned to . . . vigorously defend her son against allegations of sexual misconduct?

Well, here we are again, and this one is a doozy. It turns out that Google works for conservative organizations as well, and Daily Caller News Foundation reporter Peter Hasson found out that the president of Media Matters has his own checkered online past. Here’s Peter:

But Carusone has his own track record of inflammatory statements. Carusone’s now-defunct blog included degrading references to “trannies,” “jewry” and Bangladeshis.

For example, here’s a summary of a particularly insulting post called “Tranny Paradise”:

Carusone posted a lengthy diatribe in November 2005 about a Bangladeshi man who was robbed by “a gang of transvestites,” as Carusone described it. Carusone was offended that the gang was described as “attractive” in an article.

“Did you notice the word attractive? What the f**k is that doing in there? Is the write[r] a tranny lover too? Or, perhaps he’s trying to justify how these trannies tricked this Bangladeshi in the first place? Look man, we don’t need to know whether or not they were attractive. The f**king guy was Bangladeshi,” Carusone wrote. “And while we’re out, what the hell was he doing with $7,300 worth of stuff. The guy’s Banladeshi! [sic]”

Carusone also chided police for not advising the public to “stay away from tranny bars, stay away from places [sic] where Eddie Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. have/are visiting, don’t f**king kiss a transvestite, don’t bring a group of transvestites back to your room, etc…”

And that’s just one post. Read Peter’s entire report to get the full flavor of Carusone’s scintillating insights about “Japs” and Jews.

People are still spitting mad at me on Twitter for pointing out that much of the outrage directed at Tucker Carlson is fake. That doesn’t mean Tucker’s comments were in any way decent, responsible, or right. He said terrible things, and I haven’t seen a single person defend the substance of his remarks. But the bottom line is that for most of the online world, revelations of past offensive comments aren’t causes of true anguish but rather instruments of vengeance. They’re weapons to wield against people you already despise. How do we know? Because the double standards abound. There is immense grace for allies and no mercy for enemies.

It will be fascinating to see the response to Carusone’s remarks. I expect they’ll be largely ignored. After all, one way to hide your hypocrisy is to minimize the significance of damning reports and hope no one notices. To the extent they’re not ignored, we’ll see some interesting mental gymnastics. “He’s learned. He’s grown. Tucker hasn’t.”

A consistent free-speech stance has multiple virtues. For one, it preserves a culture of free expression that has helped build the world’s greatest republic and made it a beacon of liberty for people of every faith and creed. For another, you get to opt out of the ridiculous gotcha game that has nothing to do with real debate, is completely divorced from meaningful principles, and is all about vengeance and punishment. Men who live in glass houses pelt each other with stones. They shatter our political culture. Only hypocrisy endures.

NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED WRITER FAULTS
PAPER’S ISRAEL NEWS COVERAGE
Ira Stoll
Algemeiner, Mar. 4, 2019

How bad is New York Times coverage of Israel? So bad that not even one of the newspaper’s contributing opinion writers appears to believe it.

For the second time this year, New York Times “contributing opinion writer” Matti Friedman has used the Times’ own op-ed pages to not-so-subtly throw shade on the Times news coverage of Israel. “Contributing opinion writer” is a lofty title the Times uses for people who aren’t quite weekly columnists but are nonetheless frequent and formally affiliated op-ed writers for the paper.

The last time Friedman made this move was back in January, when he wrote a column basically endorsing a criticism, I had made of a big investigative project by the Times that accused Israel of “possibly a war crime.”

Friedman made essentially the same move in Sunday’s Times, with a column criticizing the idea that the West Bank settlers are to blame for all of Israel’s problems. That theory had been advanced by New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief David Halbfinger, whose byline was also atop the “possibly a war crime” investigation.

Halbfinger had concluded a Times article on relations between Israel and Poland by quoting someone bemoaning that Prime Minister Netanyahu is “beholden to the settlers.” The article concluded:

While Mr. Netanyahu’s challengers in the coming election were quick to seize on his latest troubles, other critics took a longer view, saying they regretted his inability to curtail what antagonizes the European Union most about Israel: its steady expansion of settlements on the West Bank.

“If he were less beholden to the settlers,” said Einat Wilf, a former Israeli lawmaker from the Labor Party, “maybe he could get a few countries on our side that are not looking to be paid for in glossing over their World War II records.”

I wrote an Algemeiner column critical of that take.

Now, again, Friedman has weighed in. He writes, “The dominance of the political right in recent years comes far less from the settler movement, as foreign observers tend to think, than from the collective memory of Israelis who remember how vulnerable they were as a minority among Muslims and grasp what this part of the world does to the weak.”

“Foreign observers” is a polite way of Friedman to describe the New York Times Jerusalem bureau and its editors.

Friedman’s 2014 Tablet essay on “how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters” is a classic of the genre. It’s great to see him taking on The New York Times in the newspaper’s own pages. At some point, though, someone may begin to wonder if it’d be more efficient for the Times to get this stuff correct in the first place, rather than taking the more convoluted approach of running misguided news articles and then hiring a “contributing opinion writer” to explain to readers why the news articles are wrong.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!