Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The story really was made for him

Mark Steyn on the most ridiculous story that was once taken seriously by serious people:


Last week was a great week for lesbians coming out of the closet — coming out, that is, as middle-aged heterosexual men. ...

A century ago, a British Army officer went to the Levant and reinvented himself as Lawrence of Arabia. Now a middle-aged American male college student goes to the Internet and reinvents himself as Florence of Arabia. We have become familiar in recent years with the booming literary genre of the fake memoir, to which Oprah’s late Book Club was distressingly partial.

On the futility of arguing with conspiracy theorists

Neo-neocon wonders what motivates the promoters of JFK conspiracy theories:

The Kennedy conspiracists’ conspiracy

Bugliosi makes an especially interesting point in his introduction, one I hadn’t really thought of before, which is that although most of the people who believe in the various conspiracies are probably sincere in their beliefs, many of those who actually write the conspiracy books are not. They are lying and they know it, but they count on their readers not to realize this.*

It's a question that probably deserves book-length treatment.

One of the commenters pointed to this wonderful quote from Robert Heinlein:

I could go on endlessly--but there isn't time. This won't change the mind of your friend; when a man makes up his mind without evidence, no evidence disproving his opinion will change his mind.

One point Bugliosi emphasizes is that most of those who doubt the conclusions of the Warren Commission have never read the commission's Report or any serious work by a supporter of the commission. The skeptics rely on the material written by critics of the WC. Hence, arguing with them is frustrating because they reached their 'conclusions' without ever having an open mind in the first place.

Frequently, they dismiss books without reading them. They reject the arguments and research that contradict their pet theories with a smug knowingness and simply keep repeating their talking points.

(One of that ilk shows up in Neo-neocons comments)

Neo-neocon continues the discussion in a later post:
Kennedy assassination conspirators again: how they operate

There are two topics almost guaranteed to draw a lot of heated commentary and trolls.

No, I’m not speaking of tits and ass (hey, I just threw that in to see if some traffic would come). I’m speaking of (a) anything defending Israel; and (b) anything challenging the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists.

*I'm not sure that i agree with Bugliosi on the honesty and honor of the average JFK Grassy Knoller. I incline toward Bill Whittle's view laid down here:



The Porn-Conspiracy connection

Debunking a rumor can make it seem more true?

Bill Whittle takes on conspiracy thinking


Monday, June 13, 2011


Mavericks top Heat 105-95 for 1st NBA title

Politico speaks truth to power

Incest Desk: The Weinerless Politico Mike Allen Edition

Allen reasoned that he showed “restraint” by not covering the biggest story of the week. The sentiment is understood, but restraint is one thing, falling into a coma is another. Allen said an ex-Obama official at V.P. Biden’s BBQ that he attended yesterday could “vouch” for him and was impressed by his restraint and judgment in not covering the story. This gives Allen major gold stars on the Incest Desk because what journalist doesn’t strive to impress Obama officials — ex or otherwise?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Newt's problem in a nutshell

Americans want leaders who give the impression that they know more than they are saying, but nobody could possibly know more than Newt says.

RTWT here.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The decline of the New York Times: From the paper of record to "the paper for court eunuchs

Ed Driscoll:

WeinerGate versus the Summer of Nixon

And this what the MSM both dreads and can’t come to grips with: much as every aging hippie wants to recapture the halcyon days of 1967 and the “Summer of Love,” the MSM wants to recapture that golden moment in 1974, when the news consisted of three commercial TV networks, PBS, AP, Reuters, and the writers’ bullpens at the New York Times and the Washington Post.
I posted this a couple of years back:

Carroll’s golden age coincides with the rise of the one newspaper town. Why was that a good thing? How could New York be better off when the Times did not have to compete with the Herald-Tribune? Why is journalism the rare business where monopolies serve the customer better than competition?

I doubt that the reading public was or is better off. The owners were because monopolies provide a nice stream of predictable earnings. The newsroom liked that the owners were fat and happy because as long as the income statement looked good the owners did not interfere with content. Editors and reporters were free to chases awards, collect bigger paychecks, and indulge their ideological obsessions. Local monopolies also gave journalists bigger megaphones and a de facto victory in “explanation space.

The golden age, in short, rested on a temporary set of conditions in which economics and technology favored news monopolies. The readers never wanted it. That much became clear when technology began to offer more choices.
There some measure of irony at the old geezers longing for the Summer of '74. Here's David Halberstam on how the Pepsi Generation drove Nixon from office while the old bulls got left in the dust:

Guthman thought [Jackl] Nelson was the best all-round reporter he had ever seen, that he could get anyone to talk. He often wondered what would have happened if Nelson had been on the story from the beginning. He might have taken hold and he rather than Woodward and Bernstein woulld have locked up the best sources, because of the smell of it....

The smell. That was crucial. Woodward and Bernstein were new and young, and no one knew their names, they had no established sources, they had no wives or children to go home to, all they had was hunger, and they were out on the street every day visiting the homes of the people from CREEP. .... [The LA Times reporters] were established and had established sources, people whom they had learned to trust over the years. ...

Years later, reading their first book, All the President's Men, Jack Nelson felt somewhat sick, he knew immediately what had happened and why he had been beaten on the story, why the two younger reporters had been better. They had picked up on the fear...

It was for the three Times reporters very frustrating, particularly for Jack Nelson, who had never been behind on a story before. no matter how hard they worked, Woodward and Bernstein always seemed to be just one step ahead....always ahead locking up the best sources

Driscoll also quotes Andrew Klavan:
Watching Breitbart crush Weiner beneath his heel like an insignificant weiner, it occurs to me that Breitbart’s genius – and he really is an information genius – consists almost entirely of two pieces of knowledge: one, leftists will lie knowing the media will back them and two, the media will back them. With those two principles, he manages to make utter fools of both lying leftists and their corrupt mainstream media cronies

That is exactly on point. When Weiner first addressed this matter with the MSM i was struck by his overweening arrogance. He actually thought that his aggressive demeanor and clever evasions would let him put the story behind him. He was wrong, but where did he ever get the idea that he could brazen it out?

Truer words were never blogged

That said, Jeff Jarvis is a bleedin' idiot

Thursday, June 02, 2011

You know Rep. Weiner is in trouble

When his problems make Chicago politcs look good.

Welcome to Weinergate: It's a problem you don't see in Chicago

Why is U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner dancing around his underwear problem?