Media Madness, and the Reckoning

Last week a line was crossed, and full blown insanity manifested itself in the formerly-mainstream media.  My friend JMH is a model of a temperate media consumer, but watching the coverage of the Republican convention, she could not contain her fury:

Something just snapped today, when I read about the race baiters at MSNBC not even airing any of the Convention's minority speakers. Even if Artur Davis weren't black, how is it a non-story, when the guy who seconded Obama's nomination ends up with a prime time spot on the GOP Convention stage? Ditto for covering Ted Cruz, who pulled off the most spectacular extremist Tea Party upsets of campaign 2012. It's not just MSNBC either; NBC "curated" both of them right out of "some of the notable speeches" in Tampa.

I know, I know. I know. But it's the brazenness of it all that just stuns me, and keeps on stunning me, no matter how prepared to expect it I should be by now. Today, however, I'm also stunned by just how deep the reservoir of my own anger about it has become. It's so blinding that I can't even concentrate on anything else.

That was early in the convention. There was much more to be furious about as the coverage continued.

Yahoo Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian, formerly at ABC where he produced this famous and fact free ambush of Sarah Palin, mistakenly thought he was off mic when he said Ann and Mitt Romney had no problem with African Americans suffering as a result of hurricane Isaac. They're not concerned at all. "They're happy to have a party with black people drowning," As it turned out, Mitt Romney headed out to flood stricken Louisiana at the close of the convention, and only after that became known did Obama cancel his fund raising plans elsewhere and head out there, too.

In fact, Obama has a history of ignoring all citizens suffering from catastrophe. In 2009 when an ice storm killed 42 and left millions of Americans without power or water or shelter, Obama hosted a lavish Super Bowl cocktail party with $100/lb Wagyu beef appetizers.  Worse, as Chalian was leveling that mendacious, hate-filled charge, Obama was chatting online on Reddit with his supporters, not flying to the scene of the destruction.

On hearing Chalian was fired, PBS's Gwen Ifill whose outrageously biased moderation in the 2008 debates set a new low, rushed to his defense:

gwen ifill ‏@pbsgwen
One mistake does not change this. @DavidChalian is God's gift to political journalism. #IStandwithDavid
11:32 AM - 29 Aug 12 · Details"

Like JMH, Roger L. Simon was astonished at the degree of the media's racism and called it pathological:

Racism is stalking the Republican Convention in Tampa. But it's not from the Republicans. It's from the mainstream media.

First it was MSNBC treating convention speakers Artur Davis, Mia Love, and Ted Cruz like nonpersons. And now it's Yahoo! Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian getting caught on an ABC webcast saying Mitt Romney would be "happy to have a party when black people drown."

Chalian, not surprisingly, was fired almost immediately when the word got out, but the climate in which he would make such an insane statement is very much alive and well. Why would anyone dream of saying such a thing in a semi-public situation if he didn't feel safe and among friends?

The left/liberal need to think Republicans and conservatives racists is more than just projection. At this point, it is nothing short of a mental illness. It is so far divorced from reality, it has to be pathological. No longer are these people able to observe reality with anything close to impartiality. We are not in the world of politics, ladies and gentlemen. We are in the world Freud, Jung, Adler, and people bouncing off walls.

He's right of course.

How divorced from reality is the claim that Republicans and conservatives are racists? Bgates corrects the media narrative.

41 voting members of the House of Representatives are black.

39 of them are Democrats. (Those numbers would be 42 and 40 save for the death of a Rep in March.)

Given that Democrats famously spurn color blindness to embrace affirmative action, how many of those 39 do you suppose come from majority-white districts?

Did you guess four?

Meanwhile, there are two black Republicans in the House. They were elected from districts that are 82% and 75% white, whiter than any district that sent a black Democrat to the 112th Congress. Apparently an overwhelmingly white electorate is no bar to a black candidate - so long as the overwhelmingly white electorate is also majority Republican.

Tammy Bruce offers up a plausible theory to explain the media's insanity, insanity so widespread even the occasionally more temperate Juan Williams was shamefully swept up in it:

I knew the liberal establishment would have a meltdown swathed in violence and depravity as they realized they were being rejected, and that time has arrived. Just after last night's RNC convention liberals wasted no time attacking the women they see as a threat. The truth of the matter, of course, is that liberals destroyed their own bizarre vision for the future with actions that most of America is now rejecting. Instead of looking in the mirror, they've chosen to target Mia Love and Ann Romney, two obvious conservative superstars who have appeal across the political and socio-economic spectrum.

The first indication of how vile liberals will get comes from Juan Williams who called Mrs. Romney a "Corporate Wife" last night after he speech. Talk about 'coded phrases'! A 'corporate wife' is a phrase used on the left for a woman who has married for money and plays a role so she'll continue to get money. In other words, a lying whore. Both Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly sounded shocked. Immediately after that remarkable speech last night that's where Williams went. I then saw tweets with the same general message. This had clearly been a messaging decision prior to Ann's speech. I don't think they counted on the speech being as distinctive and as strong as it was.

Besides being pathological, the media approach is clearly coordinated , and understandably so given the incestuous relationships between so many in the media and the Democratic party detailed by Erick Erickson at redstate.                    

I wonder if any of these people have noticed that the Republican Party has more elected Hispanic Congressmen and Governors than the Democrats?

It is not an accident that the media, immediately after the Democrats started pushing out the War on Women, began running stories about the GOP's hostility to women. It is now not an accident that the media, led by NBC and the Politico (which also partnered on that pathetic GOP primary debate), would peddle out the GOP and race stories.

It is far too much to be a coincidence that the Politico and NBC have ties, sometimes in the same bed, to Democrat and leftwing activists and then hop out of bed on the same page as the Democrats' talking points.

Well, if they watched the convention on the networks, and not CSPAN, convention viewers might have missed Senator Marco Rubio and  Governor Susana Martinez' stirring speeches. Watch this video to see how NBC covered some yammering by Democrat shill Andrea Mitchell instead of the first three minutes of Sen. Rubio's barnburner speech.

Quite frankly, criticism of Obama is not racism no matter that people like Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Matthews hear dog whistles of racism in everything. (Matthews laughably went so far as to suggest he lives in D.C. and therefore has a firsthand knowledge others don't of blacks. In fact, he is paid millions of dollars a year by NBC to spew his mad commentary and lives in a very white affluent suburb in which with 2,000 residents there are a total of 10 black residents.)  So out-of control is Matthews that after the RNC wrapped up, he got into a 2 AM public verbal altercation in Tampa, asking a group of Republicans if they were at a "douchebag convention."  

Since we now know that half a million dollars in Stimulus money was funneled to MSNBC for commercials on the Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann shows, advertising Job Corps training that produced no jobs, MSNBC henceforth should be known as "The semi-official Obama Administration News Agency," much like Al Ahram in Egypt.

Investors Business Daily's cartoonist Michael Ramirez ran a cartoon of a dog labeled "Media" making love to Obama's leg. Come to think of it maybe that's a true picture, a metamorphosis that explains why so many of them hear "dog whistles" of racism that the rest of us cannot hear, drawing that notion from language that in no rational way warrants that characterization.

The media madness this past week truly was beyond parody. If you doubt me read this exchange between MSNBC's Martin Bashir and Lawrence O'Donnell  in which reference to Obama's golfing  is  said to be a "racial double entendre" suggesting that he's like  Tiger Woods "famous for chasing cocktail waitresses".

(These two cuckoos aren't alone. If you want to see how idiotic P.C. language codes are becoming check out this historically inaccurate explanation by a highly paid Department of State official as to why terms like "rule of thumb" and "hold down the fort are racially insensitive and should be avoided.  It's impossible not to laugh out loud until you realize how much tax revenues go to pay him and others like him to peddle this ahistoric claptrap.)

As the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto reminds us:

[quote] Obama's journalistic supporters live in a bizarre alternate reality in which a politician's actual words mean nothing. When the president says something foolish and offensive, he didn't say that. Meanwhile every comment from a Republican can be translated, through a process of free association, to: "We don't like black people."

It's television manufacturing a virtual reality, which is to say unreality, a dangerous state of affairs. Sultan Knish has written the most brilliant essay explaining this . Here's but a tiny sample. You really must read it all:

The people who decided to make Obama popular did so through constant repetition that translated into the peer pressure of the trend. Obama became a trending topic and everyone followed along because in an unreal world, you follow the unreal leader.

Obama is fake, his popularity is fake, but it's also real, because fake is now the ultimate reality. The purveyors of fakeness have demonstrated their ability to transform the unreal into the real through manufactured consensus. By insisting that something unpopular was popular often enough, they made it popular. And by insisting that something popular is really unpopular, they did the opposite. [snip]

There is a very specific category of people who are uncomfortable with the way things are and for the most people these are the people who have ongoing forcible contact with realities that don't go away when the talking head begins jabbering, the memes begin spewing and the trending topics trend. These are the people who work for a living outside the bubble, who know that external safety nets are unreliable and that they are always on the edge of something... even if they don't always know what. [snip]

When all the bubbles of rhetoric pop, there are still the hard unpleasant realities to deal with. Bailouts and money pits can only bury them for so long. Governments sending money to banks and swapping worthless commodities that only exist in the theory of a theory only work for as long as people believe in them.

Even an unreal economy reported on by an unreal media cheering on an unreal leader can only run for so long until reality punches through the illusion, the curtain falls, the magicians scramble off the stage with rabbits and doves tucked into their pants, and everyone wakes up to realize that the dream is over and we realize that we are entering a world where the stories no longer matter and history is about to begin.

Tune out the media or find yourself either enraged or lulled into unreality -- brainwashed as it were. You can watch important events on CSPAN and easily access transcripts and videos of speeches and debates online. Time to stop the insanity provided by the media intermediaries and keep your mind clear.

For some time now, professor Glenn Reynolds, known to many as Instapundit, has talked about "preference cascades" I think the insanity of the media is triggered by their sense that a preference cascade is building up in the US which will wash them and their political clients out to sea.

What is a "preference cascade"?

As described by Glenn Reynolds in a classic 2002 essay, a preference cascade occurs when people trapped inside a manufactured consensus suddenly realize that many other people share their doubts.  Preference falsification works by making doubters feel isolated and alone.  In a totalitarian society, the dissenter fears that if he speaks up, his will be a lone voice, easily squashed by the enforcers of the regime.  When dissenters realize they are not alone, and the true strength of their numbers becomes apparent, "invincible" regimes vanish with astonishing speed.

The same effect can occur without brutal oppression, when fear of ostracism and ridicule cause people to suppress their own doubts. This kind of preference falsification requires strict discipline from the makers of opinion.  Since a free society makes it very easy for individuals to change their opinions, they must be prevented from even considering such a change.  Manufactured consensus is very fragile in a competitive arena of ideas, when there is no fearsome penalty for a "Fresh Air" listener who decides to switch over to Rush Limbaugh.

Why do I think  the media manufactured consensus is unraveling and the cascade begun?

I see signs of it everywhere. There was the 2010 wipeout of the Democrats in Congress and statehouses. There was the massive consumer Chick-fil-A response to the boycott movement, Obama's campaign staff has had a hard time meeting fund raising goals and filling the stands for his appearances. This week -- respecting his speech at the DNC convention -- they are even resorting to giving tickets to the event away free in bars.

And this: Voter ID in the polls is grossly oversampling Democrats. And even Democratic pollsters are giving away the game. Polls showing Obama in the lead are, I believe, phony as his make believe large twitter following which it turns out is mostly an online audience he paid for.

Here's Stephen Green:

Democracy Corps - that's James Carville and Stan Greenberg's polling outfit - has Romney up 16 points with independents.

16 points.

Voter ID typically runs low-to-mid 30s for Republicans and Democrats alike, leaving the remainder as Independents. What's that mean? If Carville and Greenberg have it right (and many other polls show Romney way up with Indies), it can mean only one thing: Democrats are being oversampled, and grossly.

Admittedly, voter ID is a tricky thing to measure, and trickier still to sample. But most polls I've seen have had D samples the same or higher than in 2008, when Black Jesus was still bringing us the hope and change and lowering the oceans and all that stuff. And they've R samples the same or lower than 2008, even though the GOP managed to flip 63 House seats in 2010.

The game is rigged. Don't let that stop you from playing.

It could be just me -- after all  I never watch television -- but my thought is that a convention that begins with a jummah call to Moslem prayer and features Sandra Fluke demanding we pay for her contraceptive costs is not going to turn this around for the President or his  media friends.