Category Archives: Liberal Press

The Berman Resistance

Not sure if the resistance will end first or we get a COVID vaccine.  mrossol

WSJ. 6/22/20

So here’s the plan. We need to remove a U.S. Attorney because he’s investigating associates of the President. Let’s wait until four months before the election, and let’s do it on a Friday night so it looks suspicious and the guy can refuse to step down and make himself a martyr to the Resistance. Yeah, that’ll fool everybody.

That’s what the media and Democrats want everyone to believe about President Trump’s weekend dismissal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. It’s more accurate to say this looks like a fiasco of bungled execution by the Administration and self-indulgence by Mr. Berman that is being overplayed as an abuse of power. In other words, it’s your average Trump melodrama.

Mr. Berman has been U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for more than two years under a judicial appointment but was never nominated or confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Trump has every right to fire Mr. Berman as an inferior officer in the executive branch. Attorney General Bill Barr was negotiating with Mr. Berman over a transfer to another senior job on Friday when the Justice Department issued a statement that Mr. Berman is “stepping down,” which is standard Justice Department language in these cases.

The White House said at about the same time that the President would nominate SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to replace Mr. Berman. The highly competent Mr. Clayton, a New Yorker, had planned to leave the Administration but said he’d stay for the U.S. Attorney job.

Mr. Berman then issued a grandstanding press release late Friday saying he wouldn’t go until a successor was nominated and confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Trump finally fired him on Saturday at Mr. Barr’s recommendation, and Mr. Barr said in a letter to Mr. Berman that his deputy, Audrey Strauss, will replace him until a successor is confirmed.

That should end this as a legal matter. Mr. Berman doesn’t have squatter’s rights to the job, and there is no violation of law or abuse of power here.

The political cost is a different story. The Washington Resistance to Mr. Trump is portraying this as an attempt to protect his political allies. Mr. Berman has prosecuted Mr. Trump’s former associates, including attorney Michael Cohen, and the hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels. He’s also said to be investigating Deutsche Bank’s business dealings with the Trump Organization before Mr. Trump was President.

But our Justice sources say Mr. Berman’s active investigations don’t involve Mr. Trump’s allies, except a minor one related to Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani. Replacing Mr. Berman with Mr. Clayton or anyone else won’t make investigations go away. The minute anyone moved to shut one of them down, the news would leak and career prosecutors would resign. Mr. Barr’s Saturday letter to Mr. Berman said he tasked Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz with examining any “improper interference” with current investigations. If this is a coverup, it’s the most inept in history.

The shame is that all of this wastes more of Mr. Barr’s political capital. The AG is trying to clean up the Justice Department after its 2016 campaign abuses, and U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating what happened and why. But the media and the FBI and Justice officials who spied on Trump campaign officials, promoted the false Steele dossier, and lied to the FISA court are desperate to tarnish Mr. Barr before Mr. Durham reports. That’s what’s really behind all the outrage over what should be a routine replacement of a U.S. Attorney.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-berman-resistance-11592757973?mod=hp_opin_pos_2

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The Media’s Self-Censors

Oh, the USA is well on its way to censership by the Left.  You an tell by the absolute silence….   mrossol

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WSJ 6/11/2020

PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

In 1789, America’s Founding Fathers, acutely aware of the political bloodbaths that had consumed Europe for centuries, created a system in which disagreements would be arbitrated by periodically allowing the public to turn their opinions into votes. The majority would win the election. Then, because political disagreement never ends, you hold more elections. Aware of the natural tendency of factions and majorities to want to suppress opposition opinion, the Founders created a Bill of Rights for all citizens, including what they called, with unmistakable clarity, “the freedom of speech.”

Nothing lasts forever, and so it is today in the U.S., where the pre-liberal idea of settling disagreements with coercion has made a comeback.

In the past week, the editorial page editor of the New York Times, the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the editors of Bon Appétit magazine and the young women’s website Refinery 29 have been forced out by the staff and owners of their publications for offenses regarded as at odds with the beliefs of the current protests.

It is impossible not to recognize the irony of these events. The silencers aren’t campus protesters but professional journalists, a class of American workers who for nearly 250 years have had a constitutionally protected and court-enforced ability to say just about anything they want. Historically, people have been attracted to American journalism because it was the freest imaginable place to work for determined, often quirky individualists. Suddenly, it looks like the opposite of that.

The idea that you could actually lose your job, as the Inquirer’s editor did, because of a headline on an opinion piece that said “Buildings Matter, Too” is something to ponder. It sounds like a made-up incident that one might expect in a work of political satire, such as George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

The issue here is not about the assertion that racism is endemic in the U.S. The issue is the willingness by many to displace the American system of free argument with a system of enforced, coerced opinion and censorship, which forces comparison to the opinion-control mechanisms that existed in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.

In 2006, the movie “The Lives of Others” dramatized how the Stasi, the omnipresent East German surveillance apparatus, pursued a nonconforming writer, whose friends were intimidated into abandoning him. To survive this kind of enforced thought-concurrence in the Soviet Union or Communist Eastern Europe, writers resorted to circulating their uncensored ideas as underground literature called samizdat. Others conveyed their ideas as political satire. In Vaclav Havel’s 1965 play, “The Memorandum,” a Czech office worker is demoted to “staff watcher,” whose job is to monitor his colleagues. You won’t see Havel’s anticensorship plays staged in the U.S. anytime soon.

Other writers during those years of thought suppression sometimes wrote in allegory or fables. In Russia, writers called it “Aesopian language.” We’re not there yet. Instead many writers and media personalities here have chosen to participate in keeping opinion and even vocabulary inside restricted limits.

Some will object that it is preposterous to liken them to a communist party. But social media has become a partylike phenomenon of ideological and psychological reinforcement. It avoids the poor public optics of China’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and ’70s, when dissidents were paraded in dunce caps. Today, endlessly repeated memes on social-media platforms, such as “silence is violence,” reduce independent thought to constant rote reminders. Instead of the Stasi, we have Twitter’s censors to keep track of dissidents.

Alarmed parents saw years ago that platforms such as Facebook were being used to humiliate and ostracize teenage girls. It is disingenuous to deny that this same machinery of shaming has been expanded to coerce political conformity.

It is also disingenuous to deny that this ethos sanctions the implicit threat of being fired from one’s job as the price for falling out of line just once. It’s beginning to look like nonlethal summary execution.

The Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse argued in 1965 that some ideas were so repugnant, which he identified as “from the Right,” that it was one’s obligation to suppress them with what he called “the withdrawal of tolerance.” Marcuse is a saint on the American left.

The ingeniousness of this strategy of suppression and shaming is that it sidesteps the Supreme Court’s long history of defending opinion that is unpopular, such as its 1977 decision that vindicated the free-speech rights of neo-Nazis who wanted to march in Skokie, Ill. But if people have shut themselves up, as they are doing now, there is no speech, and so there is “no problem.”

Free speech isn’t dead in the United States, but it looks like more than ever, it requires active defense.

Write henninger@wsj.com.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-medias-self-censors-11591829694?mod=hp_opin_pos_2

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Strangely out of proportion?

Have I said before that I like graphics? Here is another graphic (area plot?) on the number of media mentions different diseases get. I need more specifics on how the number is compliled but the media mentions are totally out of comparison to almost any other metric: number of cases, number of deaths, death rate. Should give us pause.Covid-19 Media mentions

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NBC Admits It Spread Disinformation About Attorney General

This might be the first time it has ever happened!!! (Both the disinformation and the admission.).  mrossol

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5/11/2020. The Epoch Times

NBC admitted spreading an edited video clip of Attorney General William Barr that was abruptly cut off, dramatically altering the meaning of what he had said.

“Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” said in a statement on social media after criticism from the Trump administration.

The admission came after Chuck Todd, the show’s moderator, aired on May 10 a brief portion of Barr’s recent lengthy interview with CBS.

Barr said in the interview, “Well, history’s written by the winners. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”

Todd ended the clip there.

Barr went on to say: “But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”

Barr was speaking about the Department of Justice submitting a motion to dismiss the case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The question he was answering was, “When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?”

Todd said on his show that Barr’s answer was cynical, if correct.

“I was struck, Peggy, by the cynicism of the answer. It’s a correct answer. But he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job,” Todd said.

Barr explicitly said during the interview that he believes moving to drop the Flynn case “upheld the rule of law.”

NBC didn’t respond to inquiries about how the clip was altered, whether the network will take punitive action against those involved, or whether Todd had watched the Barr interview in full before making his erroneous remarks.

william barr on flynn
Attorney General William Barr at the Justice Department in Washington on Jan. 13, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

A transcript of “Meet the Press” posted on NBC’s website now includes an editor’s note stating that the news outlet “inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr … [that] included important remarks.”

Todd hasn’t addressed the issue.

The same alteration was made on May 8 by MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” which abruptly cut Barr off after he said, “It largely depends on who’s writing the history.”

“And there you go, Willie,” Joe Scarborough, one of the show’s hosts, said after the edited clip ended. “It’s written by the winners, that tells you all you need to know. Might makes right. The rule of law doesn’t matter.”

MSNBC didn’t respond to an inquiry on whether “Morning Joe” would offer a statement similar to that of “Meet the Press.”

The decision to air the disinformation drew harsh criticism from the White House. Kerri Kupec, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, shared side-by-side transcripts of “Meet the Press” and Barr’s full answer to CBS.

Kupec said she was “very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary” by Todd, adding, “Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also took aim at Todd, writing in a statement that the clip was an example of “completely dishonest editing.”

“Attorney General Bill Barr DID ‘make the case’ that he was upholding the rule of law, but Todd uses deceptive editing to leave that part out,” she said.

President Donald Trump called for Todd to be fired, saying what happened was an example of fraud.

“He knew exactly what he was doing,” he said in a statement. “Public Airwaves = Fake News!”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

Source: NBC Admits It Spread Disinformation About Attorney General

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