Category Archives: Media Criticism

The Lancet

…has reviewed Nina Teichholz’s book:

Many readers will be incensed by this book. If you think saturated fats and cholesterol are bad for you, you’ll be incensed. If you think the fat story is exaggerated, you’ll be incensed. If you trust in the objectivity of science to inform health policy, you’ll be incensed. Stories of shocking scientific corruption and culpability by government agencies are all to be found in Nina Teicholz’s bestseller The Big Fat Surprise. This is a disquieting book about scientific incompetence, evangelical ambition, and ruthless silencing of dissent that has shaped our lives for decades.

Good for her.

The Left’s Nostalgia

for Nazis:

So why — beyond the traditional Trump bashing — are such liberal-lefties, or whatever you want to call them at CNN and elsewhere, so determined to make such an equivalency? Why do they want to magnify the existence and importance of neo-Nazis and Klan members in our society when their numbers are minuscule?

We could call this a kind of nostalgia for Nazism, the yearning for a simpler time when the source of all evil was so clearly evident and so directly confronted. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a nostalgia for when all evil was supposedly on the right, even though the Nazis, so many conveniently forget, were the National Socialist Party. At least the right could be blamed. And is.

It is also a yearning for a time when the source of evil was not so treacherous and complicated. No one knows how many Islamic radicals there are or where they are, although there are apparently a lot of them, probably vastly more than there ever were Nazis, possibly in the hundreds of millions if you add up the results of this Pew poll of eleven Muslim countries. (It may even be understated, given the reluctance to answer such incriminating questions.)

Not only that, a significant percentage of the left evinces sympathy for Islamic radicals, identifying with them and justifying their cause, despite the obvious misogyny and homophobia, through such latter-day crypto-fascist inventions as “intersectionality.” The Antifa movement, in the forefront of that nauseating sympathy for Islamism, is far more prevalent and dangerous in U.S. society than those few pathetic remaining losers in the KKK and similar neo-Nazi groups. The Antifa thugs are seemingly everywhere, smashing windows and making life Hell for weak-willed university administrators across the country.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Let’s not talk about Islam:

They discussed the popularity of La Rambla as a tourist destination, and went into some detail about the nationalities of vacationers currently thronging the city. They noted that La Rambla is Barcelona’s chief tourist street, essentially its counterpart to the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Kufürstendamm in Berlin, Fifth Avenue in New York – and, perhaps most significantly, La Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, where, in July of last year, eighty-six people were killed in a similar jihadist atrocity.

They pondered the apparent lack of sophistication of this particular crime, the biographical background of the truck driver, the timeline of the atrocity, the apparent speed and weight of the truck itself, and so on. They talked about the wounded, about the degree to which they had been wounded, about how many had been sent to hospitals.

But they didn’t talk about Islam. They didn’t talk about jihad.

They used words like assassin, murderer, criminal. Even terrorist. But I didn’t hear the word jihadist. If they said it, I missed it. And except when they were forced to mention that, for example, the Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack, I didn’t hear the word Islam.

They’d rather talk about Nazis.

[Noon update]

A point I’ve been making all week (e.g., the above tweet). Jonah Goldberg: No, Antifa, fighting Nazis doesn’t make you the good guys:

There’s a natural tendency to think that when people, or movements, hate each other, it must be because they’re opposites. This assumption overlooks the fact that many — indeed, most — of the great conflicts and hatreds in human history are derived from what Sigmund Freud called the “narcissism of minor differences.”

Most tribal hatreds are between very similar groups. The European wars of religion were between peoples who often shared the same language and culture but differed on the correct way to practice the Christian faith. The Sunni-Shia split in the Muslim world is the source of great animosity between very similar peoples.

The young Communists and fascists fighting for power in the streets of 1920s Germany had far more in common with each other than they had with decent liberals or conservatives, as we understand those terms today.

Stalinists, and defenders of communism in general, like to play up the trivial differences with the Nazis, while ignoring the much greater similarities.

And then there’s this:

This history is relevant today because of the depressingly idiotic argument about whether it’s OK to equate “antifa” — left-wing radicals — with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist rabble that recently descended on Charlottesville, Va. The president claims there were “very fine people” on both sides of the protest and that the “anti-fascist” radicals are equally blameworthy. He borrowed from Fox News’ Sean Hannity the bogus term “alt-left” to describe the antifa radicals.

The term is bogus because, unlike the alt-right, nobody calls themselves “the alt-left.” That’s too bad. One of the only nice things about the alt-right is that its leaders are honest about the fact that they want nothing to do with traditional American conservatism. Like the original Nazis, they seek to replace the traditional right with their racial hogwash.

Sean Hannity is an idiot, and so is Donald Trump for paying any attention to him.

James Lileks

…has been having a bad week. Me too:

This man. These people. Those people. That man. Gawd. Look: Nazis are bad. Commies are bad. Those two statements can be uttered in sequence without minimizing everything. Collectivists with a proven record of state-directed mass-murder are antithetical to the American character and must be opposed, but not by trashing the First Amendment. We’ve been here before. We know how this works. There are no fine people with torches, and there aren’t any fine people in black masks. Also, if the President could not tweet out BS stories about Pershing he got from a Bannontbart comment thread that would be great.

He’s just so bad at this. It’s not hard to be okay at this, and he is just so bad at this.

He is. He’s terrible (but pretty much as terrible as I expected him to be).

Also, James’ dog is missing.

Low Fat Versus Low Carb

A major new study. This is an important point that too few pay attention to; it’s not about weight loss per se:

The 18-mo moderate weight loss of 3.7 kg was similar in both groups, but the reduction in waist circumference was higher in the MED/LC group (−6.9 ± 6.6 cm) than in the LF diet group (−2.3 ± 6.5 cm; P = 0.01). After 18 mo, the IPF volume had reduced twice as much in the MED/LC group compared with the LF group [−37 ± 26.2 mL (−22% ± 15%) compared with −15.5 ± 26.2 mL (−8% ± 15%), respectively; P < 0.05, after adjustment for changes in weight or visceral adipose tissue]. [My emphasis]

This is one reason BMI is BS. Another is that it doesn’t take into account the difference between muscle mass and fat.

Hill Republicans To Trump

Butt out of tax reform:

“It’s just frustrating to be constantly reacting to his sh*t,” a GOP Senate aide explained.

And growing discord between the White House and Capitol Hill won’t prove helpful when lawmakers return in September with a lengthy to-do list.

“The president has torched whatever political capital or moral authority he ever had,” a GOP aide told IJR. “He is uniquely incapable of political leadership. If we get tax reform done, it won’t be with his help. It’ll be in spite of him and his vortex of incompetence and destruction.”

“The more distracted [Trump] is tweeting about Mika [Brzezinski] or his historic victory or the 4 million illegal votes, the better the odds are that we get tax reform. If he gets interested in tax reform, it will probably die just like everything else he touches,” he added.

When it comes to legislation, like Obama, he has the reverse Midas touch.

Trump’s Latest Demented Rant

Robert Tracinski says he needs to not be president yesterday. But as he says, if he had enough sense to resign, he’d have enough sense not to appear to be defending Nazis. He just can’t help himself.

[Update a while later]

No, “liberals,” there are no Nazis under your bed.

[Thursday-morning update]

Note that I’m not complaining about Trump’s attempt to point out that Antifa are no saints. I’m furious (as usual) at how inarticulate, tone deaf and incompetent he was at doing so.