Category Archives: Media Criticism

Bibi’s Speech

Why it matters:

Close to a decade of negotiations meant to end the Iranian nuclear program is about to culminate in the legitimization of that program and an enriched—in both senses of the word—empowered, and no less hostile Iran. Our government and the media that so often resembles its propaganda organ will attempt to characterize this colossal failure of nerve as a personal victory for a lame duck president and a milestone in international relations. It is important that they lose this battle, that the Iran deal is revealed to the world for the capitulation that it is, that the dangers of sub-letting the Middle East to the Koranic scholars of Qom and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps are given expression, not only for substantive reasons of policy and security but also because the way in which the advocates of détente have behaved has been reprehensible.

It’s who they are, it’s what they do.

The Grijalva Witch Hunt

Mark Steyn’s thoughts on the “warmish inquisition”:

Judith Curry has never testified before Commissar Grijalva’s committee. But, because she appeared before some or other committee of the Emirs of Incumbistan, Commissar Grijalva claims the constitutional responsibility to know what travel expenses she received in 2007.

I’ve testified to the Canadian Parliament and other legislative bodies over the years, and I can tell you now I would not accept an invitation to testify before the United States Congress under the terms this repulsive thug demands. Of course, they have the power to compel testimony through subpoenas, and maybe they can compel proof of speaking-fee compensation from 2007, too. But, for all Grijalva’s appeals to “constitutional duty”, the men who wrote the US Constitution did not intend that citizens who come before the people’s house should have to endure a career audit going back eight years (even the corrupt and diseased IRS only demands seven). It would be heartening to think all seven recipients of Grijalva’s letter would tell him to take a hike, but I am not confident of that.

…the naked intimidation of Bengtsson, Silver, Pielke, Soon and on and on is evil, and remorseless. And so, even as the gulf between Big Climate’s models and observable reality widens, the permitted parameters of debate narrow and shrivel.

Yes.

[Update a few minutes later]

Professor Curry has a lot of links from the past week. It’s been an interesting one.

Space Development And Settlement

A new alliance. This is long overdue.

I’m not sure about the prize idea, though. I’d rather the government actually purchase bulk items (e.g., water) on orbit. The goal should be a low cost per pound, not reusability per se. I’m pretty sure that reusability would naturally fall out of that. And reusable vehicles will have to be reliable to hit the cost goal.

The “Phony” Benghazi Scandal

Hillary’s aides knew within the first few minutes that it had nothing to do with the video:

The revelations in the newly released e-mails were unveiled by Judicial Watch this afternoon at a press conference in Washington. In a press statement, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton asserted that the e-mails left “no doubt that Hillary Clinton’s closest advisers knew the truth about the Benghazi attack from almost the moment it happened.” Mr. Fitton further opined that “it is inescapable that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly lied when she planted the false story about ‘inflammatory material being posted on the Internet.’ The contempt for the public’s right to know is evidenced not only in these documents but also in the fact that we had to file a lawsuit in federal court to obtain them.”

Nope, no stonewalling in this administration.

A Defense Of The Humanities

This is not what Chad Orzel wants.

I think that he misses another point — that what “the humanities” have gotten badly watered down over the decades, since the New Left took over campi, lacking rigor and polluted by all the “studies” majors.

[Afternoon update]

This seems related: Ten questions for Camille Paglia. She is a national treasure.

The “Phony” IRS Scandal

Finally, a criminal investigation is taking place.

But remember, there’s not a “smidgen” of corruption.

[Afternoon update]

Here’s the story from the Washington Post:

According to Camus, the IRS’s technology specialists told investigators that no one from the agency asked for the tapes. His comments raised doubts about whether the IRS did its due diligence in trying to locate Lerner’s emails, or possibly greater troubles.

You don’t say.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Camus said.

…Koskinen acknowledged last year that the inspector general’s office was reviewing the circumstances surrounding Lerner’s hard-drive crash and the missing emails, but Thursday marked the first time that the office said it was specifically conducting a criminal probe.

The “Skeptical Seven” Witch Hunt

Roy Spencer says it’s just beginning. Yes, unless we inflict severe pain on the new Cotton Mathers.

[Update a while later]

More from John Hayward:

I must admit I find myself in strong disagreement with Dr. Pielke about the wisdom of these measures, being an out-and-proud unreconstructed climate skeptic myself, but it would never occur to me to hound him off the public stage or target him with intimidating government investigations. I’ve got some very old-fashioned ideas about how “science” and “debate” are supposed to work.

As Pielke goes on to observe, the “crime” that brought this “investigation” to bear was saying something true – “it is incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases” – and being a prominent scientist while doing it. It’s great that congressional Democrats have time for this sort of thing, isn’t it? They’re worse than useless when it comes to the IRS abusing its power against American citizens, the Department of Veterans Affairs turning into a horror show, the Administration lying about a deadly attack on a U.S. consulate, or the Justice Department running guns into Mexico, but they’ve got plenty of time and resources to crack down on uppity climate scientists.

The media’s all over this abuse of government power, right? Not so much, says Pielke: “So far, I have been contacted by only 2 reporters at relatively small media outlets. I’d say that the lack of interest in a politician coming after academics is surprising, but to be honest, pretty much nothing surprises me in the climate debate anymore. Even so, there is simply no excuse for any reporter to repeat incorrect claims made about me, given how easy I am to find and just ask.”

There might not be any excuse for it, Dr. Pielke, but there certainly are reasons. Come have a few sustainable, renewable drinks with the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy sometime, and we’ll compare notes on how modern “journalism” works.

Or doesn’t.

[Update a few minutes later]

If you’ve ever called someone a “denier,” read this. It’s about you.

Scott Walker’s “Insidious Agnosticism”

Ann Althouse takes the odious Dana Milbank to the wood shed.

It’s quite amusing to see all these non-Christians in the media (almost literally) pontificating on who is and isn’t Christian. It reminds me of the radio interview I had with Thom Hartmann a few years ago, when he tried to insist that McVeigh was a Christian terrorist. I said, no, he said himself that he was agnostic. “But wasn’t he born a Christian,” he asked, as though it was a race? Ultimately, he had to back down.

As I’ve noted on Twitter, Walker’s response is exactly right. He can’t know whether Barack Obama is a Christian, though there’s little good evidence that he is, or ever has been. As it says in 1 Corinthians 2:11, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them?”

[Update a few minutes later]

Walker himself responds on his refusal to take the media’s bait:

There has been much discussion about a media double standard where Republicans are covered differently than Democrats, asked to weigh in on issues the Democrats don’t face. As a result, when we refuse to take the media’s bait, we suffer.

I felt it this week when I was asked to weigh in on what other people said and did and what others’ beliefs are. If you are looking for answers to those questions, ask those people.

Yes, and it infuriates them that they can’t get a gaffe out of him, and so they have to manufacture one.

Climate Skeptics

Are you now, or have you ever been one?

Don’t know why I didn’t make the cut.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: Climategate, and the smearing of Willie Soon:

…the New York Times and other pro-government sources assume that government funding of research is lily-white, while corporate funding is inherently suspect. This is ridiculous. Put aside, for a moment, the fact that the American environmental movement is funded by Russia’s state-controlled oil company. Also the fact that Greenpeace gets money ($203 million) from the American Petroleum Foundation, with another $214 million coming from the Chamber of Commerce. [This has been reported, but the Chamber says it is not the case.]

That isn’t the real scandal. The real scandal is that the overwhelming majority of money spent on climate research comes from governments. Governments, most notably ours, fund climate hysteria to the tune of billions of dollars per year. Why? Because the whole point of global warming alarmism is to persuade voters to cede more control over Western economies to government. (No one actually cares about CO2 emissions from India or China, which together vastly exceed ours.)

Governments fund climate research–but only climate research that feeds alarmism–because they are the main parties in interest in the climate debate. Governments stand to gain trillions of dollars in revenue and unprecedented power if voters in the U.S. and other Western countries can be stampeded into ceding more power to them, based on transparently bad science.

Yup.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Thoughts from Judith Curry:

This is the first time I have been ‘attacked’ in a substantive way for doing my science honestly and speaking up about it. Sure, anonymous bloggers go after me, but I have received no death threats via email, no dead rats delivered to my door step, etc.

I think Grijalva has made a really big mistake in doing this. I am wondering on what authority Grijalva is demanding this information? He is ranking minority member of a committee before which I have never testified. Do his colleagues in the Democratic Party support his actions? Are they worried about backlash from the Republicans, in going after Democrat witnesses?

I don’t think anything good will come of this. I anticipate that Grijalva will not find any kind of an undisclosed fossil fuel smoking gun from any of the seven individuals under investigation. There is already one really bad thing that has come of this – Roger Pielke Jr has stated:

The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”

Punch back twice as hard.

The Media’s New McCarthyism

Do you now, or have you ever had, a negative opinion about Barack Obama?

And you had better give the answer HUAC the media wants or you will be publicly and politically bludgeoned. Furthermore, you will also be destroyed if you do not publicly repudiate those among your colleagues who do not pass the loyalty test.

The media is currently on a full-bore witch hunt to root out and politically batter those in the GOP who refuse to vouch for Obama as a flag-waving Jesus freak.

Yup. It would be funny if it wasn’t so frightening.

I don’t know if Barack Obama loves his country. I don’t know if he’s a Christian (I don’t actually care whether he is or not, except for the fact that if he isn’t it’s just more evidence of his congenital mendacity). I have no evidence of either, except his word. And that’s not worth much.

[Update a few minutes later]

Who are you to criticize a government crackdown on the press, citizen?

Me, neither.

Attacks On Barack Obama

…are interpreted by the media as attacks on them.

Appropriately so. They crammed him down the nation’s collective throat, twice. So when they see a public-relations threat to him, they swarm it like anti-bodies.

[Update a while later]

Yes:

When Giuliani told an audience ”I do not believe – and I know this is a horrible thing to say – but I do not believe that the President loves America,” he was inadvertently doing more than criticizing a president; he was in a manner of speaking, committing treason. The unprecedented firestorm of opprobrium that greeted Giuliani suggested that he had somehow hit a switch. It was like pushing an ordinary button in the wall and watching the skyscrapers out the window suddenly crumble in dust down into the ground.

What Giuliani had done was undermine Obama’s legitimacy. Because so much of Obama’s “power” comes from his special-ness that to question his patriotism is to strike at the basis for his governance. It was, as in a monarchy, tantamount to rebellion. The reason that similar remarks by Obama about George Bush’s patriotism evoked simple shrugs was because Bush was just an ordinary president, the latest in a line of politicians to occupy the office since George Washington.

But Obama is different. One cannot understand, for example, the vituperation vented by Dana Milbank at Scott Walker, calling him out for “cowardice”, arguing for his “disqualification” (yes those are the words) for the simple act of refusing to publicly repudiate Giuliani’s words about the president, unless one grasps this essential fact. Obama is different. The Obama phenomenon is founded so completely on his legend that to attack the legend is to undermine the very foundations of the tower on which he stands.

But this is not the first time the Obama myth has been directly impugned. The first major political figure to accidentally touch the Third Rail was Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu has become an extraordinary hate object in the press, not because of any views he may hold on policy, but because Netanyahu had the temerity to disrespect Obama. Netanyahu must have been astonished by the charge of electricity that gave back on him.

Disrespect America, even attack it if you want, and you will not receive a tenth such voltage as did Netanyahu. The torrent of hostility poured upon Netanyahu was so out of proportion to any conceivable offense, that he probably felt obliged to persist in coming, reasoning that he must be on to something. Yet the myth of the president has been crumbling abroad for some time. Readers will recall that Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande recently made the almost unheard-of move of negotiating directly with Vladimir Putin over Ukraine without receiving instructions from the “leader of the free world”.

[Update late morning]

Rudy and the one-way taboo:

Democrats use “civility” as a shield because they know that conservatives care about civility, while Democrats don’t. Thus, reproached for incivility, Republicans will retreat, while Dems will say “screw you, I’m stickin’ it to the man.”