Tuesday, May 19, 2015

George Stephanopoulos is a left wing operative and not a real journalist: I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

By Rich Kozlovich

To quote a man who – if he had really lived – would have to be considered one of the world's unique moralists, Captain Renault, played by Claude Rains in Casablanca as he’s ordered to close Rick’s American Café for political reasons:

Renault: I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
Employee of Rick's: [hands Renault money] Your winnings, sir.
Renault: Oh, thank you, very much. Everybody out at once!

On May 16, 2015 Onan Coca posted an article titled, “MediaRealizes that Stephanopoulos May Actually be a Liberal Activist and Not a Journalist!” She starts out saying:

“The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple says what everyone else is thinking when it comes to George Stephanopoulos’ recent interview of Clinton Cash author Peter Schweitzer. Instead of simply being a good interview about an important book at the start of a Presidential election campaign… perhaps the interview was actually an attempt by a liberal activist and Clinton ally to put out a fire before it began raging. We’re all talking about this media stuff. But, yes, I think that when George Stephanopoulos goes on with a major figure and talks about, you know, the “Clinton Cash” book or whatever, I could sense that he was going after Peter Schweitzer. At the time, it looked like legitimate journalism. In retrospect, it looks like activism”.

Steve BreenAnd everyone's shocked?  Over the weekend a number of Fox News shows had their talking heads (for clarity sake, I actually like some of the talking heads) do some commentary on this issue. I might point out since it wasn’t corruption by a conservative the MSM pretty much ignored the issue. But there’s no liberal bias….or it’s very limited....Right?  After all….there’s no such thing as a conspiracy. Right? Of course there are those small minded individuals who will wonder if it’s possible there’s a bigger reason why there’s so little coverage by the left wing media. Is it possible this is a deeper story than just good old George? Is it possible they’re all guilty of this kind of stuff? Nah, that can’t be true! They’re full of liberal purity, like the Clintons, and the Kennedy’s.

There were two things that I found amazing.

First off, it amazes me just how many people actually watch this guy. Oh, I know the numbers on the MSM are dwindling, but he’s still has quite a following. I never watched him for more than a few minutes total since his very first show. Why? Because he made his bones as a Clintonista left wing operative and a spin master. It’s part and parcel of who he is. Why would anyone think he would change? He just gets paid a whole lot more from ABC for spinning the truth than he did when he was paid by the Clinton administration for spinning the truth.

Secondly, it never ceases to amaze me how many in the media, including Karl Rove, who attempted to claim Stephanopoulos had made the transition in everyone’s mind from a Democratic activist to a journalist. It reminds me of a time when conservative commentators– perhaps I should say seeming conservative commentators - were crying crocodile tears a few years ago because of the New York Times financial problems, fearing the Old Gray Hag would go out of business. All that hand wringing irrespective of the well known historical facts showing the NYT has been a left wing treasonous canker sore on the butt of journalism since the Roosevelt administration. One reader pointed out his operative status was only a “secret from other media types, which explains why you can't trust any of them, because at best they're only a 5 watt bulb, when a 100 watt bulb is what is needed for that type of job”.

Greg Gutfeld – one of Fox’s talking heads I like – is quoted in the article as she says:

“there is even more reason for concern for ABC. Because on the heels of the Stephanopoulos – Schweitzer interview, the Clintons used the piece to try to discredit the book and its author. They sourced each other, that’s the great thing. It’s like the Clinton campaign fact checks Schweizer’s book, and then Stephanopoulos uses that in the interview and then Clinton goes back to the Stephanopoulos interview and says,“see.” So it’s this little circle of sourcing each other. It’s like two criminals providing each other an alibi.”

But as for the rest of them - I guess they’re just “shocked, shocked” to find there’s corruption going on here, even as they attempt to find reasons to allow these people to continue in their corruption. Apparently they also need to go along to get along in order to play the game.

Here’s another interesting quote from Casablanca I find applicable.

Renault: Rick, there are many exit visas sold in this café, but we know that you've never sold one. That is the reason we permit you to remain open.
Rick: Oh? I thought it was because I let you win at roulette.
Renault: That is another reason.

Nothing is ever as it seems, except to remember that corruption is always part of the human equation. However, since leftism has no moral foundation we should expect higher levels of corruption in everything they do. In their case it’s not a conspiracy. It’s intrinsic to leftist character! Here's one more quote that could help define most of the media, conservative and liberal:

Renault: I have no conviction, if that's what you mean. I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy.

The difference between Captain Renault and the media? He was honest about his corruption! Now we have clarity!



Obama's Casual Slander of American Christians

Earlier this week, Harvard professor Robert Putnam did a Q&A with Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein, headlined "Have faith groups been too absent in the fight on poverty?" Here is Putnam's answer to that question:

The obvious fact is that over the last 30 years, most organized religion has focused on issues regarding sexual morality, such as abortion, gay marriage, all of those. I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, but that’s what they’ve been using all their resources for. This is the most obvious point in the world. It’s been entirely focused on issues of homosexuality and contraception and not at all focused on issues of poverty.

That the venerable author of Bowling Alone would say this, let alone declare it "the most obvious point in the world," is a good reminder of that even the most brilliant social scientists are, more often than not, demonstrably full of it. There's a  damning retort to this by Rob Schwarzwalder and Pat Fagan at Religion News Service. Just to give you an idea, a single Christian Charity, World Vision, spends about $2.8 billion on anti-poverty efforts. "That would rank World Vision about 12th within the G20 nations in terms of overseas development assistance," World Vision President Richard Stearns noted in Christianity Today a few years back.

Fagan and Schwarzwelder do a lot more number crunching, but the upshot is that Christians spend billions and billions fighting poverty. Even the most generous estimates of the resources devoted to pro-life causes and organizations defending traditional marriage are just a few hundred million dollars. By contrast, the budget of Planned Parenthood alone is just over a billion dollars. I don't know what the Human Rights Campaign's budget is, but if I've walked by their impressive building in Washington many times and I suspect they could marshall the resources of a small nation.

Now, this is bad enough. But Putnam also recently appeared on a panel at the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University discussing this very topic with columnist E.J. Dionne, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, and, yes, Barack Obama. The president himself joined in the mendacious chorus:

“Despite great caring and concern,” [Obama] said, “when it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what's the defining issue, when you're talking in your congregations, what's the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, that this”—fighting poverty—“is often times viewed as a 'nice to have' relative to an issue like abortion.”

Nice to have? What would be nice to have is a president who's not so divorced from the reality of American Christians that he thinks he has the moral authority to more or less slander millions of well-intentioned Christians. Their lives and the things they care about could not be more different than how it is casually being characterized by a president who has apparently turned the White House into an Ivory Tower.

What about the inner city pastor who wakes up in the middle of the night everytime there's a knock on the door and rummages through his own fridge to feed the homeless guy on his step? What about the ladies of the church Golden Group who spent the last week turning old colorful pillowcases and bits of ribbon into dresses to send to young girls in Haiti who literally have nothing to wear? What about the six-year-old who comes to school with a spare toothbrush and their birthday money because the teacher at her Lutheran School told her that the Orphan Grain Train is helping people in Nepal who lost everything in an earthquake? What about the accomplished professional who drives across town once a week to tutor poor kids, even though he's got more lucrative things on his schedule, just because it's what he believes Jesus Christ wants him to do?

I didn't make up these examples. I know these people. This is my reality as a weekly churchgoer in America, and there are millions and millions of us.

But because presumably some of these same Christians believe that every child is a gift from God, and that abortion is a grave evil up unto the point that they cheerfully and gladly volunteer to take care of as many needy kids as they can, the president himself disingenuously suggests their concern about poverty is relative and inadequate. This is the same president, mind you, that went out of his way to force a legal battle with Little Sisters of the Poor over subsidizing contraception and abortifacients. Based on the name of the organization, I'm guessing these nuns had better things to do than defend their conscience rights from a president who stood by and shrugged at the last Democratic convention where delegates booed God and stripped the "safe, legal and rare" language out of the party platform. And now Obama has the temerity to say that it's Christians who are making abortion too much of a priority.

Speaking of "safe, legal, and rare", I noted that the moderator of this discussion on Christians and poverty was E.J. Dionne, who who worked tirelessly to sell his fellow Christians on Obama. Let's revist this 2008 column of his:

Of course, President-elect Barack Obama's most urgent task is to repair an ailing economy. But one of his important promises was to end the cultural and religious wars that have disfigured American politics for four decades.

Obama, who has shown he can draw lessons from Bill Clinton's presidency, can find one on this issue. Picking up on the pro-choice movement's most popular slogan, Clinton declared during his 1992 campaign that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare."

Abortions did become rarer during Clinton's time in office, dropping by 11 percent. But since Clinton made no major public moves on abortion reduction, many pro-lifers who had been inclined his way felt he ignored the third word in his motto. There's no reason for Obama to make the same mistake -- and no reason for advocates of abortion rights to get in the way of his trying to build a new consensus. He should not lose his chance to make cultural warfare a quaint relic of the past.

Well, after six years of Obama, it seems he didn't exactly live up to his promise to make cultural and religious warfare is a thing of the past. Instead, he deliberately exacerbated the conflict again and again. We're at the point where the man well-intentioned liberal Christians like Dionne said could end the culture wars makes a flatly wrong and objectionable assertion that fighting poverty is an afterthought for Christians too often obsessed with abortion, and nobody bats an eye. Of course, it's been just over two weeks since Obama's solicitor general warned the Supreme Court that if the White House gets its way on gay marriage, churches could be stripped of their tax exempt status. This would have devastating ramifications for the efforts of churches combatting poverty, but when the White House is so engaged in projection that they think that all churches care about is abortion, it starts to explain how they could do something so obviously damaging to the poor and still live with themselves.

It seems obvious that Obama, Putnam, and the liberal elites they speak for want to believe that American Christians are narrow-minded and obsessed to the point of being uncaring. This is an utterly delusional way of discounting the tremendous, literally and figuratively livesaving work of American Christians. But to think about them any other way would be to actually wrestle with the fact that, while we're all imperfect, any political disagreements Christians have be over hot button cultural issues like abortion and gay marriage might actually be motivated by genuine concern and compassion. Those are, not coincidentally, the same reasons that have made fighting poverty one the church's most vital and important missions for millennia.



Patriot Act's most controversial section fades to black

by Jeff Jacoby

SECTION 215 of the Patriot Act will not survive another month. The most controversial piece of the post-9/11 law that broadly expanded the federal government's surveillance powers is set to expire on June 1, and the House of Representatives on Wednesday gave its overwhelming approval to a far less sweeping replacement. On a 338-to-88 vote, Republicans and Democrats registered broad support for the USA Freedom Act, which will end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of "metadata" from millions of Americans' phone records.

The legislation faces some opposition in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing to extend the Patriot Act with no changes. That won't happen. Other Republican senators, including at least two who are running for president, want Section 215 scrapped or curtailed, and the political tides are with them.

Some ardent civil libertarians opposed the Patriot Act from the outset, insisting, somewhat wildly, that it would leave the Bill of Rights in tatters and turn the president into a dictator. Most Americans knew better. In the wake of the terrorist attacks, it seemed only prudent to expand the government's counterintelligence capabilities, and to change the rules that had prevented investigators from "connecting the dots" that could have alerted them to the jihadists' plans. The hysterical alarums about dissenters being rounded up and America turning into a fascist police state gained little traction. For all the controversy they fueled, the law's key provisions — including Section 215 — were extended in 2005, 2010, and 2011.

But as September 11 recedes, the pendulum has shifted from the single-minded focus on counterterrorism and toward a heightened concern with civil liberties.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: