Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tom Wolfe: Prophet

So says Steve Sailer:

Trayvon: How the Case Was Spun

I have to agree since i wrote this back in 2006

Wolfe does not win literary prizes and is despised by many of the biggest names in the literary pantheon. (Check out "My Three Stooges" in Hooking Up). But Wolfe has this going for him: if the mark of greatness is having something to say about "where we are and where we are going", he trumps everybody on the list. Does anyone is Denver look up from her Sunday paper and say "this sounds just like a John Updike novel"? How many people turn on the cable news programs and think "Is Philip Roth scripting this"? Yet from Tawana Brawley to the Duke Lacrosse case, Tom Wolfe scouted the territory before anyone else.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Seymour Hersh

Good read:
The Deceits of Seymour Hersh
Seymour Hersh

Nanny Mike in the news

Mayor Warns of the Pitfalls in Social Media

We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day,” he said. “And it’s very hard for people to stand up to that and say, ‘No, no, this is what we’re going to do,’ when there’s constant criticism, and an election process that you have to look forward to and face periodically.”
Those elections are so annoying for philosopher kings like Mike Bloomberg. Also, Bloomberg stood up for poor, abused Goldman Sachs.

Mayor Bloomberg, who didn’t throw his support behind the Occupy Wall Street protesters last year, visited Goldman’s headquarters to give the firm a pat on the back after Smith’s manifesto hit.

“The mayor stopped by to make clear that the company is a vital part the city’s economy, and the kind of unfair attacks that we’re seeing can eventually hurt all New Yorkers,” Stu Loeser, a spokesman for hizzoner, pointed out.

As Jon Friedman points out, Goldman might be good for the New york economy, but it is very, very good for Bloomberg's private fortune:

Loeser failed to mention that Goldman is a prominent part of the financial community which pays dearly to use the trademark Bloomberg terminals. These are coveted machines which offer finance-industry professionals and others a dizzying array of data and information about all kinds of financial instruments.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What did Fidel know and when did he know it?

The Kennedy assassination: Did Castro know in advance?

A new book by former CIA analyst Brian Latell details evidence that Cuban intelligence knew beforehand of JFK’s assassination.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Howie Kurtz goes in the tank for "Game Change"

In other news, I saw the sun rise in the east this morning.

On Reliable Sources, Kurtz did his best to help out the makers of HBO's docudrama. In his signature powder-puff style, he let them make their case that the movie was the real story of the 2008 campaign.

Roach[director]: I make a deal with the audience when we say it's a true story. I know the audience is expecting that. It would be not a very good story if it was deliberately one-sided. The best stories are layered and complex.

In this story, there are no real heroes and no real villains and - because it's all told within one campaign. And our commitment was only to the truth.
- - - - -

Strong [screenwriter] I also want to respond, though, to the allegations that the film is based on a false narrative of a couple of people. That's totally inaccurate. The film is based on, you know, not only the book "Game Change," but interviews that I and Jay conducted with 25 people, and, you know, the stories that we heard were corroborated by 10, 12, 15 people.

Kurtz never pressed the issue with them. He ignores the numerous cases where key figures in the McCain campaign emphatically deny that the events portrayed in the movie really happened. For instance, Steve Schmidt flatly states that John McCain never told him "find me a woman" during the VP search. A.B. Culvahouse, who managed the vetting process, insists, and has insisted for years, that Palin was vetted in the same thorough way as all other potential nominees.

Most importantly, Randy Scheunemann, the man who ran the foreign policy briefings for the campaign, disputes every aspect of the movie's portrayal of Gov. Palin as an ignorant dunce who is unsure of Germany's location or its role in World War II.
The idea that at any point that Gov. Palin expressed any uncertainty as to who were the various sides in World War I or World War II, or any other war, is absolutely untrue. She was incredibly intelligent. She asked very informed questions. She was very interested and she wanted to understand John McCain's view of foreign policy because she wanted to be the best possible vice presidential nominee.

See: Top 10 Lies of HBO's 'Game Change'

Kurtz gave the filmmakers a pass and let their self-endorsement stand without serious contradiction. Nor did he confront them with a telling point made by Jim Geraghty:

Each change from the book (presuming, of course, Heilemann and Halperin's reporting is accurate) moves the story in a particular direction. Palin becomes dumber. McCain becomes more craven, cynical, and desperate to win. McCain's campaign aides are sloppier, more panicky, a mess. What director Roach and screenwriter Strong are portraying is recent history as they wish it had been.

All in all, it was a typical day's work for Howie. He avoided the tough issues that make his buddies in the MSM look bad and, instead, gave them plenty of air time to brag about their devotion to the truth and their empathy toward Sarah Palin.

There was funny note that Kurtz missed completely. Jay Roach misspoke (Freudian slip or Kinsey gaffe) when confronted by the question of his ability to be even-handed in light of his contributions to the Obama campaign:

Kurtz: But, look, Jay and Danny, you both know that you are seen as liberal Hollywood guys. You both contributed to Obama's campaign last time around, as did Julianne Moore. Does that not create a perception problem for you, and were you aware of that going in?

STRONG: Yes. Now, look, I understand how there would be that perception. I think it's completely fair to talk about, and I think it's good for the audience to know those sorts of -- that contributions like that have been made. But that doesn't enable us to be fair, and it doesn't enable us to portrait the events as accurately as possible.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MSM finds out that twitter is not so fun when audience argues back

Last fall i asked this question:
Why do journalists love twitter and hate blogging?

My tentative answer was:
Blogging was a direct attack on MSM hegemony at both the micro (fisking) and macro levels (explanation space). I just don't see Twitter as the same threat. It is a flood of unmermorable chatter that is easy to ignore. Blogging had the potential to break the power of the MSM guild. Bloggers, at their best, presented arguments. Arguments can both change minds on the immediate subject and undermine the credibilty of those establishment pundts who present weak cases on a regular basis. (Yes, i'm looking at you Brooks and Frum).

At a minimum, blogging brought a lot of outsiders to the pundit/editor game. Twitter seems more useful as a way for insiders like Kurtz to extent their brand and magnify their voice.

Soledad (D-CNN) now provides evidence that this theory is true. Tweeting was once all well and good for the news reader but she is out of patience now that listeners are arguing back about her attempt to obfuscate on Critical Race Theory. Ace has the details:
Stop Tweeting Soledad_OBrien