I’ve had $100,000 burning in my pocket for the last three months and I’d really like to spend it on a worthy cause. So how about this: in the interests of journalistic transparency, and to offer the American public a unique insight in the workings of the Democrat-Media Complex, I’m offering $100,000 for the full “JournoList” archive, source fully protected. Now there’s an offer somebody can’t refuse.
Yes, the mainstream media that came together to play up the false allegations that the “N-Word” was hurled 15 times by Tea Party participants at the Congressional Black Caucus outside the Capitol the day before the “Obamacare” vote, is the same MSM that colluded to make sure the American public accepted the smear, and refused to show the exculpatory videos that disproved the incendiary charges of Tea Party racism.
Ezra Klein’s “JournoList 400” is the epitome of progressive and liberal collusion that conservatives, Tea Partiers, moderates and many independents have long suspected and feared exists at the heart of contemporary American political journalism. Now that collusion has been exposed when one of the weakest links in that cabal, Dave Weigel, was outed. Weigel was, in all likelihood, exposed because – to whoever the rat was who leaked his emails — he wasn’t liberal enough.
When the “N-word” controversy turned out to be an almost certain falsehood, Weigel had the professional courage to come out against 399 of his “JournoList” peers when he wrote:
I think we’ve seen a paradigm shift, and that the March 20 story will be remembered by conservatives as evidence of how the media accepts attacks on conservatives without due diligence.
Weigel also had the courage to issue a correction and a mea culpa when his reporting was used as a weapon by the unscrupulous Max Blumenthal to falsely smear James O’Keefe as a “racist organizer” of a white nationalist conference. Weigel eventually stepped up and set the record straight when he found out he was falsely named as awitness to the story.
Why was he chosen for outing among 400 “JournoList” participants? I can think of few liberal journalists who have been more fair than Weigel. And if I think that, imagine what true partisans on the left feel about his erratic and ideologically unpredictable output?
Weigel’s career at the Washington Post was assassinated for his crimes against conformity. Try as he might, as a left-leaning journalist he didn’t conform enough. When conservatives jumped on his exposure, he cited defending me as a mitigating alibi. Defending me publicly is a hangable offense in them thar liberal hills!
But Dave Weigel is not the story. The “JournoList” is the story: who was on it and which positions of journalistic power and authority do they hold? Now that the nature and the scope of the list has been exposed, I think the public has a right to know who shapes the big media narratives and how.
Dave Weigel is a portal into the dark world of hardcore liberal bias in the media. This opening gives us a deeper insight into the insidious relationship between liberal think tanks, academics and their mouthpieces in the media.
As we already uncovered in our expose on the “Cry Wolf” project, members of academia and think tanks are actively working to form the narrative used by the press to thwart conservative messages. Like a ventriloquist’s dummy, the reporters on the listserv mimicked the talking points invented and agreed upon by the intellectuals who were invited to the virtual cocktail party that was Klein’s “JournoList.”
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Shortly after the 11-hour, five-minute match between American John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, of France, Buchanan posted the following to Twitter: “Think Wimbledon tickets are expensive? Our National Debt has gone up by $1,729,000,000 during the Isner v. Mahut match #USA.”
After checking the math, the non-partisan PolitiFact.com says the figure is about right. “His…number strikes us as a reasonable estimate,” the group reports here.
Imagine a world of “post-corporate” newsrooms, where the state serves as the primary benefactor of the Fourth Estate. Billions flow from bureaucracies to media entities and individual journalists in the name of sustaining a “free press.” And this new media welfare state is funded by steep taxes on our mobile phones, broadband connections, and digital gadgets.
Sound Orwellian? Well, it’s the blueprint for a press takeover drawn up by Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols in their new book, The Death and Life of American Journalism. McChesney, the prolific neo-Marxist media scholar who teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Nichols, a journalist with The Nation, aren’t shy about their intentions. Along with Free Press, the absurdly misnamed regulatory activist group they co-founded, McChesney and Nichols outline a self-described “radical” agenda for what they hope will become a media “revolution.” And, shockingly, some folks in the Obama administration are listening.
McChesney and Nichols model their $35 billion annual “public works” program for the press after the Works Progress Administration of the New Deal era. Their media WPA would include a “News AmeriCorps” for out-of-work journalists, a “Citizenship News Voucher” to funnel taxpayer support to struggling media entities, a significant expansion of postal subsidies, a massive new subsidy for journalism schools, corporate welfare for newspapers sufficient to pay 50 percent of the salaries of all “journalistic employees,” and more. Using its growing lobbying muscle in Washington, Free Press promotes the McChesney-Nichols plan under the framework of a “National Journalism Strategy,” a veritable industrial policy for the press that resembles a Soviet-style five-year plan.
McChesney, Nichols, and the media reformistas at Free Press rest their case for “massive public intervention” into the news business on several dubious assertions: commercial journalism is dying, and nothing can save it; news has always been a “public good” and would be better provided through noncommercial means; and America has a long history of public subsidies for the press—even the Founders would endorse an expansive role for the state to “save the news.”
That last claim is perhaps the most audacious. McChesney and Nichols spin a rich revisionist history and ask us to believe that the Founders—especially Jefferson and Madison—were practically media Marxists, enthralled with public subsidization of the press. They base that claim entirely on the existence of postal subsidies. Apparently, because we’ve had reduced rates for media mail since the Republic’s early days, we should believe that the Founders would welcome a wholesale government takeover of the press. But a modest postal subsidy for press materials doesn’t suggest that the Founders believed government should be micromanaging or massively subsidizing media. The language of the First Amendment—“Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” confirms that. Having rebelled, in part, against British restrictions on free speech, the Founders’ prime directive toward the press was not subsidization, but freedom from state meddling…
…or do something besides cede property to the Mexicans.
HT: Susan Gertson
As oil continues to gush from BP’s Macondo well and politicians posture, it is time for us to ask why we are drilling in such risky places when there is oil available elsewhere. The answer lies in the mantra NIMBY—”not in my back yard.”
BP was drilling for oil in 5,000 feet of water in the Mississippi Trench, more than 40 miles off the Louisiana coast. The site was leased in March 2008 from the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service. The area is one of an increasingly limited number of places available for oil and gas development in the United States.
Because most private lands have been explored, public lands offer the most potential for oil and gas development. However, the NIMBY principle has significantly restricted development on those lands. According to 2008 Energy Department figures, nearly 80% of potentially oil-rich offshore lands are off limits to oil and gas development, and 60% of onshore lands are.
In my backyard, Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester have introduced a bill aimed at halting oil and gas exploration in the Flathead River drainage area near Glacier National Park. They have already pressured Chevron and ConocoPhillips to relinquish their exploration leases on the land, placing 75% of the leases off limits to development.
And of course, there is the perennially contentious issue of drilling in ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The government estimates that the area could produce 750,000 barrels of oil per day.
Whether more exploration on federal lands would make the U.S. energy independent is debatable, but more onshore development would certainly be safer. In early June there was a blowout in western Pennsylvania. Did you see it on the nightly news? No, because it was capped in 16 hours. The Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates oil and gas production there, recorded 102 blowouts of oil and gas wells since the start of 2006, resulting in 10 fires, 12 injuries, and two deaths. None of those made the nightly news either. The largest oil spill on Alaska’s North Slope in 2006 was from a pipeline leak. It dumped only 6,357 barrels and had no disastrous impacts.
Drilling can be done with greater environmental sensitivity onshore. For many years the Audubon Society actually allowed oil companies to pump oil for its privately owned sanctuaries in Louisiana and Michigan, but did so with strict requirements on the oil companies so that they would not disturb the bird habitat.
Explaining the process years ago, one sanctuary manager said, “when the cranes punched in, the hard hats have to punch out.” Until the Gulf blowout, Audubon was even considering leasing more land for development on the Louisiana coast under such strict terms.
When kids play baseball, there is a risk that windows will get broken. Playing on baseball fields rather than in sand lots, however, lowers the risk considerably. Putting so much onshore land off limits to oil and gas development is like closing baseball parks. More windows will be broken and more blowouts result where they are difficult to prevent and stop.
LA’s mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in trouble for taking freebies — mostly free tickets. His defense is he’s doing official city business when he attends concerts and Lakers games.
Doug McIntyre ain’t buying it.
L.A. still wallows in red ink, still hemorrhages jobs, and still produces crop after crop of high school dropouts. And now it’s become obvious to all – even to some of the mayor’s most ardent supporters – his administration has been an integrity abomination.
Yet, the mayor has pledged to keep walking the red carpet and “doing what mayors do.”
Let’s look at what he’s done.
After publicly promising documentation of the “official” city business he allegedly conducted at a Shakira concert and 99 other events over the past years, all he came up with is a “log” as devoid of substance as most Villaraigosa promises. Remember the million trees? The thousand cops? School reforms? The filled potholes? Remember all those new jobs L.A. was supposed to attract?
Our easily distracted mayor will now be preoccupied trying to pull a Houdini-like escape from an ethical and possibly legal straitjacket. City and state ethics laws are very clear on what he can and can’t accept as gifts. Yet, Villaraigosa has made it equally clear he doesn’t care.
Brian Currey, the mayor’s lawyer, floated the unique notion that the mayor’s physical existence constitutes an official duty – even advancing the ludicrous theory that by attending a Dodgers game somehow Villaraigosa attracts tourists to L.A.
I tested this theory.
I asked the wife where she’d like to go on vacation. She mentioned Hawaii and I shot that down with the pithy, “I don’t even think Hawaii has a mayor.”
So I showed the Mrs. a picture of Pelican Rapids, N.D., mayor, Bill Woessner, and she agreed Bill is a handsome man. However, I drew a blank when grilled on how we’d kill a week in Pelican Rapids.