Now that White House "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones has resigned, what's next? Inevitably, the American mainstream media - ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, et al - must be held to account for sitting on the sidelines as this major story kept building without them, went viral on YouTube, and then became so large that a key appointee of President Obama was forced to step down.
But with their decision to ignore the Jones story, they may have actually done Mr. Obama far more harm than good: Who vetted this guy? How did he get past the FBI? What did he say, and how did he answer the infamous seven-page questionnaire that all Obama appointees were required to fill out? Inquiring Freedom of Information Act minds want to know.
For most people in this country, the resignation was the first they had heard of Van Jones. For this sin of journalistic omission, there's institutional media blame. Bias is too tame a word for the utter shamelessness on display: Only Republican scandals - real and imagined - matter. And it's not just those the Democratic-Media Complex dub as "mobs" or "tea baggers" that are taking notice. Diminishing audience and evaporating subscribership reflect widespread consumer dissatisfaction. Eventually, the money will run out.
But until then, the growing alternative media of Internet and talk radio and a burgeoning mass of justifiably angry Americans will make every effort to expose the sham that is mainstream journalism.
Obviously, it's not that the Jones story wasn't newsworthy. His racist rants, his radical background and his membership in a 9/11 "truther" group made for heavy-rotation YouTube viewing that would have immediately destroyed other mere mortals if the shoe were on the right - or white - foot. Compounding the problem, the Jones narrative hurts Mr. Obama because it underlines how the mainstream media helped elect the president by glorifying him instead of vetting him.
Just as Mr. Obama was not even cursorily investigated, Van Jones, a fellow "community organizer," was not given the slightest media attention when named as an unaccountable "czar" selected to oversee billions in taxpayer money for the ambiguous purpose of "green energy." And that despite having a body of damning evidence that could be found with a single Google search by an ADHD-addled high-school journalism student.
Instead, talk-radio host Glenn Beck and Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, as well as Breitbart.tv editors Scott Baker and Liz Stephans, led the charge forcing the mainstream media's hand while the usually reliable George Soros-funded "netroots" media defense mechanism couldn't fend off the growing body of charges. Calling Mr. Jones' critics "racist" was their best play, and that gruel gets thinner with every passing scandal cycle. In this case, the Jones "Swift Boat" already had left the harbor.
Much of America has started to realize that not only was Mr. Obama not vetted before he became president, he and his fellow unvetted cohorts continue to be given a pass by the Fourth Estate.
Two more stories demonstrate how the Democrat-Media Complex, the natural alliance of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media, is more concerned with trying to figure out how to destroy Glenn Beck - "he's nuts!" - than to follow his methodical, accurate reporting. This dynamic - used against all potent critics and off-the-reservation journalists - shows that not only is the media ignoring all the negative things coming out about the Obama administration, it is acting like President Richard Nixon's henchmen, making life difficult for its whistleblowers.
One of the stories is that ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a massive radical organization, is poised to receive billions from the Obama "stimulus." ACORN's voting division is currently under investigation in multiple states for fraud. And its housing division exists to fulfill an unclear mandate that has been accused of using funds to pay for political protests. If the alternative media digs further and finds out ACORN is guilty as charged, and as corrupt as its ample critics say it is, the onus is those who didn't question when the Obama team decided to allocate billions to expand the group's reach. Brian Williams, the ball is in your court.
Another story not making the evening news is that of artist Patrick Courrielche, who has shown that the National Endowment of the Arts is seeking to use government funds to promote Obama administration initiatives. On Sunday's "This Week," George Will pierced the mainstream media veil. "Recently there was a conference call arranged by the National Endowment for the Arts, with a representative of the White House, for potential grantees or actual grantees of the federal government, getting subsidies - the theme of it was how the arts community could advance the president's agenda. Now I don't know how many laws that breaks, but I am sure there are some."
What are you waiting for, Katie Couric? If the mainstream media continues down the path of covering up the sins of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration, in particular, while it continues to exert its still powerful weapons to destroy those who would dare do their jobs for them, then eventually, perhaps in the near future, those "mobs" that have befuddled the Democratic Party at health care town halls and at tea parties will take their pitchforks to media row.
When the next big scandal hits - and it will, and it most certainly won't come from traditional journalism - all eyes will be on "Pinch" Sulzberger to see if he does his job. All eyes are on the media. We are judging them by the standard they taught us during Watergate: "The cover-up is worse than the crime."
Media-fostered Obama cult is proto-Fascist
“What’s Your Pledge?” “To be a servant to our president,” says Demi Moore. “To be of service to Barack Obama,” says Anthony Kiedis. We are witnessing something beyond the every-day attempt to package a political leader in a compelling way. In fact, we may very well be watching the emergence of a cult of personality. To some, even the suggestion of this is absurd because we associate such things with despotism. How could a free society fall prey to such a thing?
Well, where are the radical mantras of “question authority” now? Where have all the liberal flowers gone? They’ve gone to Washington, D.C., everyone. And because children are our future, let’s teach them well and let them lead the way. It’s time to kick the “juvenile idealization of the President” up a notch.
Ever see pictures of LBJ in homes? Nixon? Ford? Carter? Reagan? Anyone named Bush? Clinton? How about Barack Obama? Oh yeah. They are popping out on walls all over America because, like FDR and JFK were, Mr. Obama is being increasingly seen as a colossus standing above it all. He’s a super leader who can do super things. And children in school next Tuesday will have that image reinforced to them, irrespective of what is actually said in the speech.
A cult of personality happens when mass media creates and fosters an idealized and heroic public image for a political leader. It is most often connected with totalitarian regimes, but, as Jonah Goldberg has pointed out in his book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, the original use of the word “totalitarian” described a “humane” society, “one in which everyone is taken care of and contributes equally. It was an organic concept where every class, every individual, was part of the larger whole.” Sound familiar?
And of course, it just infuriates liberals to hear even the suggestion that their agenda might indeed resemble fascism, because for so long the mantra has been that “right-wing” conservatives are fascists. But, put simply, true conservatives do not believe in big government and are all about individual liberty – two traits that are decidedly anti-fascist. Fascism is about the expansion, glorification, and predominance of the state – that’s liberalism, not conservatism.
But dull facts are no match for frenzied media. And young minds are no match for a massive campaign to foster the image of a president as more than what our constitution requires him – or her – to be. Do I believe that we are on the verge of some kind of massive move toward “friendly totalitarianism” in America? No. But I do think that if it ever really happened here, it would travel along the same national nerve pathways that are being used by this White House right now.
Observing San Francisco
If the poster below does not creep you out, it should. It would go well in any dystopian tyranny. Today's American Left would cheerfully march into Fascism if conservatives and ordinary decent Americans would let them
As I’ve mentioned, my wife, Helene, and I are house-sitting in San Francisco, a wonderful, quirky city but also home pond to Nancy Pelosi and other odd ducks. Following are a few random sightings and quotes that provide a small whiff of the atmosphere here, such as the fact that there are so many Priuses here with Obama bumper stickers that I now suspect that all the cars Toyota shipped to San Francisco last year came with the Obama stickers built into the bumpers at the factory.
When we first saw the following poster in a window we thought it must have been home-made, but subsequent sightings, and this site, reveal that it is in fact mass-produced, presumably with an audience of purchasers. [UPDATE: This link has been corrected. It should have pointed, as it does now, to a site with many Obey Obama posters.]
I think this poster speaks for itself, and it says volumes about the mentality of many of the most fervent Obamaphiles.
Riding on a MUNI bus one day (Helene likes to ride the buses so she can tune up her Spanish) we picked up a copy of the San Francisco Bay Guardian someone had left behind, perhaps the only paper in the land that can make the San Francisco Chronicle seem almost sane. On page 13 of the Sept. 2 – 8, 2009, issue there is a large announcement of High Holiday Services at the Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-Without-Walls featuring Rabbi Michael Lerner and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. (This announcement is not available in the Guardian online, but almost the same thing is online here.) I was struck by the caption under Alice Walker’s picture in the Guardian, which stated that she would speak “about how Oppressed People can Become Oppressors.” I didn’t realize, I thought at first to myself, that Alice Walker had become a critic of racial quotas, etc., but then, after reading the announcement, realized she was talking about the Jews. Silly me.
"Progressives" (Regressives) Want A World Without Cars
One of the not so secret agendas of Progressives is the regimentation of society. Instead of individual choice, they want mass instruction. Instead of freedom, they want conformity.
North Korean women doing the Goosestep above
Take the French revolutionaries who created the first mass civilian army for Napoleon (and the first mass production of rifles). Take Lenin, Hitler, Mao, and the Dear Leader in North Korea. All want to get people to march in unison, follow the leader, salute on order. One, two three, four, round the block and do it some more.
Where does the motor car fit into this vision of a regimented society? It doesn't. Cars free people to pursue their own agendas, to go to their own destinations, to be individuals. As a result, Progressives favour mass transit, speed limits, gasoline taxation and car-free-zones. Take Vauban, Germany. It has made owning a car so difficult (parking spaces are forbidden on private property) that most residents have given them up. The same kind of anti-car movement can be seen in Vancouver where aggressive bicycle owners regularly block traffic. Or in London, England where special fees are charged for driving in the city centre. Here in BC, a recycling company, Encorp, boasts that its program is the equivalent of taking 27,000 cars off BC roads for a year.
So, yes, Progressives believe cars are killing the planet. Private homes waste space. Lawns requiring fertilizer are anti-social. Should I go on? Progressives have a plan for you folks, and the best example I can think of is that picture at the top of this post from North Korea (not too many cars there, that's for sure. Or much grass, come to that).
So throw away your car keys and get into step, eh? One, two, three four . . . you'll get to like it after a while. This freedom thing is so wasteful when you get down to it.
SOURCE (See the original for links)
Thieves judging thieves
The doubt I have about whether Congressmen are even capable of having conflicts of interest was reinforced by Instapundit’s link today to this New York Post editorial about Rep. Charlie Rangel’s gifts to three members of the House Ethics Committee, which will eventually judge his tax and reporting evasions.
One member of the panel, Peter Welch of Vermont, wisely decided to return his $20,000 gift from Rangel, citing the need for “an abundance of caution.” But the other two — Ben Chandler of Kentucky and G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina — are holding on to Rangel’s largesse, claiming it in no way interferes with their ability to sit in judgment on their benefactor.
Now you may well ask, why do I have doubts that this — or any apparently quid quo pro Congressional behavior that fails the smell test — amounts to conflict of interest?
Because to be a conflict of interest there have to be two (or more) actual interests in conflict, and Congressmen for the most part have only one interest: getting re-elected. That said, these two guys — one (Chandler) a Blue Dog and one (Butterfield) a member of the Congressional Black Caucus — are real pieces of work. Chandler, for example, laments the influence of money in politics and supports campaign finance reform because
Americans have lost confidence in their political system.... They believe that our current system for financing campaigns gives disproportionate power to wealthy individuals and groups and exerts too much influence over legislative and regulatory outcomes.
Chandler obviously believes that taking money from someone he’s about to judge will not contribute to any loss of confidence in him, the House ethics committee, or the House itself. (And he’s probably right; how much lower could that confidence get?)
Even more striking is the case of Rep. Butterfield, a former North Carolina Superior Court and Supreme Court judge. He once voted, for example, for a measure that
[p]rohibits members of the House from participating in events that honor them at the presidential nominating convention for the party in which they belong if the event is directly paid for by a registered lobbyist....
Campaigning with cash provided by someone he’s about to investigate and judge, however, is obviously quite kosher.
When Butterfield was appointed to the ethics committee, the News and Observer interviewed him and reported:
“I know that an investigation can destroy someone’s career, so I know how to handle myself,” he said.
The committee, made up of five Democrats and five Republicans, looks into allegations of violations of the House’s ethics rules, such as accepting improper gifts or failing to disclose a conflict of interest.
Unlike his time in Superior Court, Butterfield will act a both judge and juror on the committee, helping investigate and making a decision. The process is also more confidential than a regular trial.
Butterfield said that the position means he’ll have to be circumspect with his colleagues. “It’s a solemn responsibility,” he said. “My interaction with other members has got to be appropriate.”
This former judge sees nothing inappropriate, of course, about taking and keeping money from someone he’s about to investigate and judge.
But let’s give the final word to Butterfield’s spokesman, who insisted a bit too loudly but still ambiguously, I think, that “[h]is integrity is not for sale, and certainly not [for] $5,000.”
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)