October 24, 2010
Clarice's Pieces: Fox and Hens (A Terrible Week for the Media)By Clarice Feldman
As we draw nearer to the midterm elections and what still promises to be a crushing defeat for the Democrats, the Democrats themselves refuse to campaign on the issues, preferring to rely on every bit of manufactured slime they can use. Their media allies are trying their best to help, but the effort is failing, leaving more of them with egg on their faces and the foxy challengers laughing. Foxiest of all is still Sarah Palin, who said that after the election, we can "party like it's 1773."
"History Bowl Final: World's Stupidest Wingnut 1773, you" twittered lefty blogger Markos Moulitsas (kos). Gwen Ifill, the PBS anchor who parked not only her thumb but also her entire ample self on the scales when she "moderated" the Palin/Biden debate, doing her best to protect the Delaware dingbat from his countless misstatements, joined in: "Ummm.what? Sarah Palin: party like its 1773."
Perhaps these two media bright lights might have been forgiven for forgetting the date of the Boston Tea Party, but Palin did make the remark in front of dozens of signs referencing -- ummm -- Tea Parties.
The Markos/Gwen clueless attack on Sarah was like catnip to Iowahawk, who twittered back a series of Kos History Quizzes. Here are some of my favorites:
The media hotshots then turned their attention to their second-favorite election distraction, Christine O'Donnell, and the Constitution, which in their hands is such a living, breathing document that it often just takes separate vacations from them.
In a debate with her opponent, Chris Coons, an Amherst and Yale law grad, for Biden's old Senate seat, O'Donnell bested him, but the rude law students at Widener law school and the media which covered the debate believed -- because they, as ill-informed as Coons about the important First Amendment -- thought she was wrong. She wasn't. Moreover, Coons, graduate of what is ranked as the top law school in the country, misquoted the Amendment's provisions on establishment of religion and was unable to identify the freedoms the Amendment enumerates.
It took days and the criticisms of people like Cornell law professor William Jacobson and Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse before the media provided some clarification.
Tellingly, the AP account of the debate was so demonstrably biased and false that without notifying the readers, the agency simply entirely rewrote it -- a bit of professionally unethical conduct captured by Patterico's screen grabs.
Both of these incidents illustrate yet again what Noemie Emery so cogently described in her article "They're not elites: they're just wrong."
In it, she notes how Anne Applebaum and others confuse credentialed morons with a meritocracy.
Every hour provides more evidence validating her point of view.
For example, in the same paper, the Washington Examiner, Byron York notes that in Chicago, the stimulus weatherization money resulted in shoddy work and widespread fraud.
The legislation which provided this money for Chicago was written on the Hill by "bright" men and women from the best schools, and certainly the stimulus funds were distributed from Washington to Chicago according to procedures and under regulations written by the same sort of folks, and the program was supported and promoted by our Columbia University- and Harvard law school-educated president. But I'm certain that if you put this question to your electrician, plumber, handyman, and neighbor -- What would happen if you gave a lot of money to big-city community organizers to hire ex-felons and other unemployables to weatherize homes? -- they'd have told you it would result in lousy work and a massive ripoff.
The week ended with Juan Williams being fired from National Public Radio for a statement on Fox News where he expressed some apprehension about Muslim travelers on airplanes, though no one who knew him believed he was advocating or would advocate discriminatory treatment. He was in a sense stating what Jesse Jackson, Jr. had said early on about his own fear of black men when he was walking alone at night, and his comments were far more temperate than NPR's Nina Totenberg's when she expressed on television her wish that Jesse Helms or his descendants would die of AIDs. Nor was it more offensive than Bill Moyers' references on NPR's sister channel, PBS, comparing conservatives to the Taliban.
The NPR explanations for this disparate treatment were not credible, leading to several variations: NPR's top brass hates Fox and wants to dissuade its people from appearing on there; NPR really is angry at Juan for his views on race, where he is a far more rational and fair-minded analyst than most of the NPR stable of "spokespersons"; CAIR put NPR up to this; Soros, who had just given NPR a ton of money to hire one hundred "reporters" for its stations in all fifty states, forced this move.
I find it impossible to ascertain the reason behind such an irrational and unpopular action -- a move that has drawn criticism from even Whoopi Goldberg. But fear not: Roger Ailes stepped in and signed Juan up to a three-year, $2-million contract, and a move is afoot to cut off the public funding NPR receives. In the meantime, listeners will have to comfort themselves with the fact-free drones of the likes of Diane Rehm and Gwen Ifill. If I were the CEO of NPR, I'd start to worry about Mara Liasson (and whatever bright stars they may have in their otherwise undistinguished lineup) saying what they really think on Fox. I mean, $2 million is nothing to sneeze at.