Day: December 14, 2017

Media Hubris and the Fall of the Center


Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana, went from estimable presidential candidate to nondescript university president in the political timeframe of a nanosecond. Back in 2011, Daniels was on many a short list of potential Republican presidential candidates. A stalwart fiscal hawk, a tempered social conservative, a former Reagan advisor, a cost-cutting budget wonk, and a seasoned politician, the White House nod might have been his, had he picked the path.

But, alas, as Caesar opined to Brutus, he eschewed the stars and opted not to run. The reason was good: Daniels’s wife, Cheri, left him for a doctor in 1994. They later patched things up, but a dredging up of the past is a prerequisite of presidential campaigns, and Daniels, honorable man he is, chose family over calling.

We live with our choices, and Daniels lived with his. Today, he heads Purdue University. And while he’s out of public office, he still sounds off on political issues in the pages of The Washington Post.

His latest offering, just in time for Advent season, hits on the greatest trouble of our time. As the new year approaches, the country is mired in epistemological crisis. Political polarization is at its highest point since the Civil War. Ideological purity tears at the middle that once formed our national consensus. There’s a sense that one’s political party is now his tribe, and elections are bloody brawls like the kind between the Dead Rabbits and the Natives in Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

Daniels pinpoints the source of our intransigence: an inability to admit fault. In “Is Anyone Ever Wrong Anymore?” the man once dubbed “The Blade” laments the loss of the biblical virtue called humility. A combination of forces has made us intellectually comfortable, reassured in our convictions.

Prior-enforcing news curation; homogenous university curriculum; consequence-free internet argumentation — Daniels cites these and more as contributing to our know-nothingness. This confirmation bias, he writes, “has mutated from a hazard of academic research to a menacing political and social phenomenon.”

Daniels’s model for modesty is historian Stephen Ambrose, who, at the end of his life, admitted error in casting many judgements as a young chronicler of America’s past. From the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the records of Richard Nixon and Theodore Roosevelt, Ambrose refined his thinking on events and individuals who shaped American life. He was brave enough to utter what Daniels calls “those three magical little words”: I was wrong.

Now that’s a phrase you rarely hear anymore. Truth, that concept held so dear by Greek philosophers, is passé. What matters is winning the argument. Logic, facts, and evidence be damned.

This closing of the American mind, to borrow Allan Bloom’s great phrase, doesn’t just make civil discourse impossible. It corrupts the mind, expelling reason, filling it with a dangerous hubris. The recent spate of spurious news stories — what our president calls “fake news” — is reflective of the inflated egos of our journalist class.

The arrogance of the press was on full display last week. The media, in its furious quest to find a connection between President Trump and the Russian regime, botched three major stories. First, Brian Ross of ABC misreported that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was going to testify that Trump, as a candidate, ordered him to contact the Russians. Trump had actually made the order as president-elect–a completely sensible request for an incoming head of state.

Then, Reuters reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his ongoing probe of Russian influence on the election, had subpoenaed Trump’s personal financial records from Deutsche Bank. That was wrong — the request was not tied to Trump directly but rather associates of the President.

Friday brought the biggest fumble yet. CNN reporters Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb broke an exclusive story about the Trump campaign receiving an email containing an encryption key that was supposed to unlock stolen Wikileaks documents. The date of the email was significant: It was sent during the campaign on a day Donald Trump, Jr., happened to tweet about Wikileaks.

The Raju/Herb report was immediately seen as a smoking gun. Here, finally, was confirmation the Trump campaign had access to damning information about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. That information was allegedly filched by the Russian government. At last, irrefutable proof Trump worked with Putin to steal the election!

Cue sad trombone. The email in question was sent one day after the documents went public. The wished-for collusion remains elusive.

In each of these incidents, the respective news organizations issued retractions, but only after another party pointed out the mistake. Had the claims gone unquestioned, they’d be treated as facts today. With ABC’s flub, network president James Goldston tore into his own staff, emphasizing the “need to get it right” and “not first.” The contrition was commendable. Not everyone was apologetic about the lapses, though.

The Atlantic Senior Editor David Frum remained unashamed.  Appearing on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” he told host Brian Stelter, “mistakes are precisely the reason the people should trust the media.” He then explained, without a hint of self-reflection, that the “worst mistakes that press organizations have made in their coverage of Trump has precisely occurred in their overzealous effort to be fair to the president.”

These are the words of a man who upholds truth by obfuscating it as much as possible. By any measure, the major media outlets screwed the pooch in their desperate need to traduce of the President. They’ve grudgingly acknowledged their blunders. But it’s the righteous belief in their own probity that creates the opportunity for error in the first place.

“In a well-documented fashion, steady doses of viewpoint reinforcement lead not only to a resistance to alternative positions but also to a more entrenched and passionate way in which thoughts are held and expressed,” Daniels writes. Even with a string of oversights, the media is adamant about proving collusion between Trump and Russia.

It’s not enough for journalists to admit they’re wrong anymore. Guilt without penance isn’t guilt. Unless reporting practices change, I’ll question whether the press really thinks it made a mistake, or merely missed the mark on proving a narrative set firmly in their heads.

Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana, went from estimable presidential candidate to nondescript university president in the political timeframe of a nanosecond. Back in 2011, Daniels was on many a short list of potential Republican presidential candidates. A stalwart fiscal hawk, a tempered social conservative, a former Reagan advisor, a cost-cutting budget wonk, and a seasoned politician, the White House nod might have been his, had he picked the path.

But, alas, as Caesar opined to Brutus, he eschewed the stars and opted not to run. The reason was good: Daniels’s wife, Cheri, left him for a doctor in 1994. They later patched things up, but a dredging up of the past is a prerequisite of presidential campaigns, and Daniels, honorable man he is, chose family over calling.

We live with our choices, and Daniels lived with his. Today, he heads Purdue University. And while he’s out of public office, he still sounds off on political issues in the pages of The Washington Post.

His latest offering, just in time for Advent season, hits on the greatest trouble of our time. As the new year approaches, the country is mired in epistemological crisis. Political polarization is at its highest point since the Civil War. Ideological purity tears at the middle that once formed our national consensus. There’s a sense that one’s political party is now his tribe, and elections are bloody brawls like the kind between the Dead Rabbits and the Natives in Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

Daniels pinpoints the source of our intransigence: an inability to admit fault. In “Is Anyone Ever Wrong Anymore?” the man once dubbed “The Blade” laments the loss of the biblical virtue called humility. A combination of forces has made us intellectually comfortable, reassured in our convictions.

Prior-enforcing news curation; homogenous university curriculum; consequence-free internet argumentation — Daniels cites these and more as contributing to our know-nothingness. This confirmation bias, he writes, “has mutated from a hazard of academic research to a menacing political and social phenomenon.”

Daniels’s model for modesty is historian Stephen Ambrose, who, at the end of his life, admitted error in casting many judgements as a young chronicler of America’s past. From the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the records of Richard Nixon and Theodore Roosevelt, Ambrose refined his thinking on events and individuals who shaped American life. He was brave enough to utter what Daniels calls “those three magical little words”: I was wrong.

Now that’s a phrase you rarely hear anymore. Truth, that concept held so dear by Greek philosophers, is passé. What matters is winning the argument. Logic, facts, and evidence be damned.

This closing of the American mind, to borrow Allan Bloom’s great phrase, doesn’t just make civil discourse impossible. It corrupts the mind, expelling reason, filling it with a dangerous hubris. The recent spate of spurious news stories — what our president calls “fake news” — is reflective of the inflated egos of our journalist class.

The arrogance of the press was on full display last week. The media, in its furious quest to find a connection between President Trump and the Russian regime, botched three major stories. First, Brian Ross of ABC misreported that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was going to testify that Trump, as a candidate, ordered him to contact the Russians. Trump had actually made the order as president-elect–a completely sensible request for an incoming head of state.

Then, Reuters reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his ongoing probe of Russian influence on the election, had subpoenaed Trump’s personal financial records from Deutsche Bank. That was wrong — the request was not tied to Trump directly but rather associates of the President.

Friday brought the biggest fumble yet. CNN reporters Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb broke an exclusive story about the Trump campaign receiving an email containing an encryption key that was supposed to unlock stolen Wikileaks documents. The date of the email was significant: It was sent during the campaign on a day Donald Trump, Jr., happened to tweet about Wikileaks.

The Raju/Herb report was immediately seen as a smoking gun. Here, finally, was confirmation the Trump campaign had access to damning information about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. That information was allegedly filched by the Russian government. At last, irrefutable proof Trump worked with Putin to steal the election!

Cue sad trombone. The email in question was sent one day after the documents went public. The wished-for collusion remains elusive.

In each of these incidents, the respective news organizations issued retractions, but only after another party pointed out the mistake. Had the claims gone unquestioned, they’d be treated as facts today. With ABC’s flub, network president James Goldston tore into his own staff, emphasizing the “need to get it right” and “not first.” The contrition was commendable. Not everyone was apologetic about the lapses, though.

The Atlantic Senior Editor David Frum remained unashamed.  Appearing on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” he told host Brian Stelter, “mistakes are precisely the reason the people should trust the media.” He then explained, without a hint of self-reflection, that the “worst mistakes that press organizations have made in their coverage of Trump has precisely occurred in their overzealous effort to be fair to the president.”

These are the words of a man who upholds truth by obfuscating it as much as possible. By any measure, the major media outlets screwed the pooch in their desperate need to traduce of the President. They’ve grudgingly acknowledged their blunders. But it’s the righteous belief in their own probity that creates the opportunity for error in the first place.

“In a well-documented fashion, steady doses of viewpoint reinforcement lead not only to a resistance to alternative positions but also to a more entrenched and passionate way in which thoughts are held and expressed,” Daniels writes. Even with a string of oversights, the media is adamant about proving collusion between Trump and Russia.

It’s not enough for journalists to admit they’re wrong anymore. Guilt without penance isn’t guilt. Unless reporting practices change, I’ll question whether the press really thinks it made a mistake, or merely missed the mark on proving a narrative set firmly in their heads.



Source link

Megyn Kelly Leads Renewed Targeting of Trump


The former Fox News Anchor and part-time lingerie model, now working at the network where Matt Laurer locked his doors when not prowling the halls, has once again taken the lead in portraying President Donald Trump as a sexual predator who should be driven from office.

Now that Sen. Al Franken has said he will resign, Rep. John Conyers is on his way out, the Roy Moore dragon has been slain, the no longer politically useful Bill Clinton has been conveniently bashed, and the Democrats are once again pure as the driven snow, the decks have been cleared to for a full frontal assault on the man who dared save the country from that great defender of women who have been assaulted, Hillary Clinton.

Little more than a year after the Republican debate where Megyn Kelly grilled Trump on sexual harassment allegations, she resurrected three of his debunked accusers to regurgitate their earlier charges on her Dec. 11 show:

Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks on Monday morning told NBC News’ Megyn Kelly about their alleged experiences with Trump. Lisa Boyne, a fourth accuser, joined them for a news conference later that day…


Leeds, Holvey and Crooks reflected on what it was like to watch Trump get elected after they had accused him of sexual harassment and assault…


Leeds first spoke to The New York Times last year, alleging that Trump groped her on an airplane more than 30 years ago


“He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

That’s not how another passenger on that flight remembered the transatlantic flight., casting significant doubt on the tall tale told by Jessica Leeds of groping by the Donald in the first class section..He portrayed Leeds as something between a groupie and a stalker who was rebuffed by Trump, according to the New York Post:

Donald Trump’s campaign says a British man is countering claims that the GOP presidential nominee groped a woman on a cross-country flight more than three decades ago.


The man says he was sitting across from the accuser and contacted the Trump campaign because he was incensed by her account — which is at odds with what he witnessed.


“I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her. Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious,” Anthony Gilberthorpe said in a note provided to The Post by the Trump campaign…

As for Samantha Holvey, who was a Miss USA contestant when private citizen Trump ran the thing, basically seems to object to Trump looking at the contestants, she says, in the same way she would later be looked at on national television by millions of men:

It was heartbreaking last year. We’re private citizens and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and how he views women, and for them to say ‘Eh, we don’t care,’ it hurt,” said Samantha Holvey, who claims Trump would walk into dressing rooms during the Miss America pageant in 2006, the year she competed in the contest.


Holvey said the first time Trump came backstage, she thought he was there for a “meet and greet” with all the contestants.


“It was not. It was ‘hi,’ just looking me over like I was just a piece of meat. I was not a human being. I didn’t have a brain, I didn’t have a personality,” she said. “I was just simply there for his pleasure. It left me feeling very gross, very dirty.”

It was a beauty contest, duh, and despite her complaint she wasn’t there to play the piano. This was not an episode of “The Apprentice.” She walked around in a bathing suit displaying hr, uh, personality.

Some will say that Gilberthorpes’ account may be no more credible than Leeds’ accusation. But that’s the point. Leeds accusation was accepted as credible immediately. Smear first, prove later. Guilty until proven innocent. To various extents it worked with Romney and Cain, and most recently Judge Roy Moore, why not Trump?

The rush to believe Leeds’ claims of groping stand in the face of the blind eye to the claims of the likes of Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and others, claims backed up by contemporaneous witness testimony and a victorious lawsuit by and with a cash settlement to Jones.

Kelly, who proudly trots out Trump’s accusers and confronted him in the presidential debate, once called Juanita Broaddrick, who credibly accused Bill Clinton of rape, a liar. This led to a later public smackdown by Newt Gingrich on an episode of “The Kelly File” where the former speaker grilled Kelly on why she consistently went after Trump but refused to call Bill Clinton the sexual predator he was.

While Kelly was attacking Trump, she ignored the resurrection of talk about Hillary Clinton being an enabler of her husband’s extramarital activities at the same time the anti-Trump media was hyping the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump engaged in dirty talk about women. Newt Gingrich confronted Kelly about her double standard:

The exchange, as reported by the New York Times, went as follows, with Kelly arguing that Trump’s dirty talk in a trailer was worse than Bill Clinton’s turning of the Arkansas governor’s mansion and the Oval Office into a personal Playboy penthouse:


“You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” he told Ms. Kelly.


Ms. Kelly: “Me? Really?”


Mr. Gingrich: “That’s what I get out of watching you tonight.”


Ms. Kelly: “You know what Mr. Speaker, I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office and I think the American voters would like to know …”


Mr. Gingrich then began to talk about how Mrs. Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, would return to the White House “because you, after all, are worried about sexual predators,” an apparent allusion to Mr. Clinton’s affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.


“Listen, it’s not about me. It’s about the women and men of America,” Ms. Kelly replied. She said polls showed that voters were concerned about the allegations against Mr. Trump and believed they were an issue.


As the interview progressed, Mr. Gingrich turned to baiting Ms. Kelly.


“Do you want to comment on whether the Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator?” Mr. Gingrich said, adding: “I just want to hear you use the words, ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.’ I dare you. Say, ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.’”


Kelly did not call and has not called Bill Clinton what he in fact was, a sexual predator, insisting instead that the Clinton assaults on women had been covered by her and others and wishing Gingrich well on attending to his “anger issues.”

As noted, Kelly, in a sparring contest with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway essentially called Juanita Broaddrick, who along with other Bill Clinton victims, had resurfaced during the 2015 campaign, a liar:

Megyn Kelly claimed that Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick denied any rape in a 1998 affidavit. Close, but no cigar, Megyn. The story is a little more complicated than that. It was not that her story was false as Megyn Kelly implied. Like many rape victims, Broaddrick felt no one would believe her and she simply wanted to put it behind her and not be forced to relive it, particularly in any legal setting: she resisted interviews, fearing no one would believe her charge against a popular President…


Broaddrick feared the retaliation of Team Clinton as well as the glare of a disbelieving media. Thus she signed an affidavit denying the rape, again trying to avoid being forced to relive the horrible experience. But she told Starr and his office the affidavit was false. Starr didn’t pursue the rape story not because it was false, but because it was not part of his obstruction of justice investigation.


At the Trump press conference, Broaddrick, tired of being accused of being part of a vast right-wing conspiracy, and afraid that her attacker would once again occupy the White House with the woman who orchestrated the attacks on Bill Clinton’s “bimbo eruptions”, repeated her accusation:


“Actions speak louder than words,” Broaddrick said. “Mr. Trump may have said some bad words but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s any comparison.”

Kelly, who professes to be against the objectification of women has on her resume the famous GQ photo shoot for that magazine’s December, 2010 issue in which the rising Fox News star poses provocatively in lingerie, an odd occurrence for someone who would later pompously condemn the objectification of women, except when used to advance her career. Trump would bring this up after the debate. As Politico reported:

Donald Trump continued his onslaught on Fox News host Megyn Kelly on Thursday, retweeting a follower who criticized a photo shoot she did for GQ Magazine.


“And this is the bimbo that’s asking presidential questions?”, the tweet said. It included two photos of Kelly posing provocatively and the following text: “Criticizes Trump for objectifying women… Poses like this in GQ Magazine.”

A fair question, one would think. But then, for Megyn Kelly, this is not about protecting women. It is about advancing your career on Matt Lauer’s network and bringing down a President whom you despise.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.     

The former Fox News Anchor and part-time lingerie model, now working at the network where Matt Laurer locked his doors when not prowling the halls, has once again taken the lead in portraying President Donald Trump as a sexual predator who should be driven from office.

Now that Sen. Al Franken has said he will resign, Rep. John Conyers is on his way out, the Roy Moore dragon has been slain, the no longer politically useful Bill Clinton has been conveniently bashed, and the Democrats are once again pure as the driven snow, the decks have been cleared to for a full frontal assault on the man who dared save the country from that great defender of women who have been assaulted, Hillary Clinton.

Little more than a year after the Republican debate where Megyn Kelly grilled Trump on sexual harassment allegations, she resurrected three of his debunked accusers to regurgitate their earlier charges on her Dec. 11 show:

Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks on Monday morning told NBC News’ Megyn Kelly about their alleged experiences with Trump. Lisa Boyne, a fourth accuser, joined them for a news conference later that day…


Leeds, Holvey and Crooks reflected on what it was like to watch Trump get elected after they had accused him of sexual harassment and assault…


Leeds first spoke to The New York Times last year, alleging that Trump groped her on an airplane more than 30 years ago


“He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

That’s not how another passenger on that flight remembered the transatlantic flight., casting significant doubt on the tall tale told by Jessica Leeds of groping by the Donald in the first class section..He portrayed Leeds as something between a groupie and a stalker who was rebuffed by Trump, according to the New York Post:

Donald Trump’s campaign says a British man is countering claims that the GOP presidential nominee groped a woman on a cross-country flight more than three decades ago.


The man says he was sitting across from the accuser and contacted the Trump campaign because he was incensed by her account — which is at odds with what he witnessed.


“I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her. Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious,” Anthony Gilberthorpe said in a note provided to The Post by the Trump campaign…

As for Samantha Holvey, who was a Miss USA contestant when private citizen Trump ran the thing, basically seems to object to Trump looking at the contestants, she says, in the same way she would later be looked at on national television by millions of men:

It was heartbreaking last year. We’re private citizens and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and how he views women, and for them to say ‘Eh, we don’t care,’ it hurt,” said Samantha Holvey, who claims Trump would walk into dressing rooms during the Miss America pageant in 2006, the year she competed in the contest.


Holvey said the first time Trump came backstage, she thought he was there for a “meet and greet” with all the contestants.


“It was not. It was ‘hi,’ just looking me over like I was just a piece of meat. I was not a human being. I didn’t have a brain, I didn’t have a personality,” she said. “I was just simply there for his pleasure. It left me feeling very gross, very dirty.”

It was a beauty contest, duh, and despite her complaint she wasn’t there to play the piano. This was not an episode of “The Apprentice.” She walked around in a bathing suit displaying hr, uh, personality.

Some will say that Gilberthorpes’ account may be no more credible than Leeds’ accusation. But that’s the point. Leeds accusation was accepted as credible immediately. Smear first, prove later. Guilty until proven innocent. To various extents it worked with Romney and Cain, and most recently Judge Roy Moore, why not Trump?

The rush to believe Leeds’ claims of groping stand in the face of the blind eye to the claims of the likes of Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones and others, claims backed up by contemporaneous witness testimony and a victorious lawsuit by and with a cash settlement to Jones.

Kelly, who proudly trots out Trump’s accusers and confronted him in the presidential debate, once called Juanita Broaddrick, who credibly accused Bill Clinton of rape, a liar. This led to a later public smackdown by Newt Gingrich on an episode of “The Kelly File” where the former speaker grilled Kelly on why she consistently went after Trump but refused to call Bill Clinton the sexual predator he was.

While Kelly was attacking Trump, she ignored the resurrection of talk about Hillary Clinton being an enabler of her husband’s extramarital activities at the same time the anti-Trump media was hyping the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump engaged in dirty talk about women. Newt Gingrich confronted Kelly about her double standard:

The exchange, as reported by the New York Times, went as follows, with Kelly arguing that Trump’s dirty talk in a trailer was worse than Bill Clinton’s turning of the Arkansas governor’s mansion and the Oval Office into a personal Playboy penthouse:


“You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” he told Ms. Kelly.


Ms. Kelly: “Me? Really?”


Mr. Gingrich: “That’s what I get out of watching you tonight.”


Ms. Kelly: “You know what Mr. Speaker, I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office and I think the American voters would like to know …”


Mr. Gingrich then began to talk about how Mrs. Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, would return to the White House “because you, after all, are worried about sexual predators,” an apparent allusion to Mr. Clinton’s affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.


“Listen, it’s not about me. It’s about the women and men of America,” Ms. Kelly replied. She said polls showed that voters were concerned about the allegations against Mr. Trump and believed they were an issue.


As the interview progressed, Mr. Gingrich turned to baiting Ms. Kelly.


“Do you want to comment on whether the Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator?” Mr. Gingrich said, adding: “I just want to hear you use the words, ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.’ I dare you. Say, ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.’”


Kelly did not call and has not called Bill Clinton what he in fact was, a sexual predator, insisting instead that the Clinton assaults on women had been covered by her and others and wishing Gingrich well on attending to his “anger issues.”

As noted, Kelly, in a sparring contest with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway essentially called Juanita Broaddrick, who along with other Bill Clinton victims, had resurfaced during the 2015 campaign, a liar:

Megyn Kelly claimed that Clinton rape accuser Juanita Broaddrick denied any rape in a 1998 affidavit. Close, but no cigar, Megyn. The story is a little more complicated than that. It was not that her story was false as Megyn Kelly implied. Like many rape victims, Broaddrick felt no one would believe her and she simply wanted to put it behind her and not be forced to relive it, particularly in any legal setting: she resisted interviews, fearing no one would believe her charge against a popular President…


Broaddrick feared the retaliation of Team Clinton as well as the glare of a disbelieving media. Thus she signed an affidavit denying the rape, again trying to avoid being forced to relive the horrible experience. But she told Starr and his office the affidavit was false. Starr didn’t pursue the rape story not because it was false, but because it was not part of his obstruction of justice investigation.


At the Trump press conference, Broaddrick, tired of being accused of being part of a vast right-wing conspiracy, and afraid that her attacker would once again occupy the White House with the woman who orchestrated the attacks on Bill Clinton’s “bimbo eruptions”, repeated her accusation:


“Actions speak louder than words,” Broaddrick said. “Mr. Trump may have said some bad words but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s any comparison.”

Kelly, who professes to be against the objectification of women has on her resume the famous GQ photo shoot for that magazine’s December, 2010 issue in which the rising Fox News star poses provocatively in lingerie, an odd occurrence for someone who would later pompously condemn the objectification of women, except when used to advance her career. Trump would bring this up after the debate. As Politico reported:

Donald Trump continued his onslaught on Fox News host Megyn Kelly on Thursday, retweeting a follower who criticized a photo shoot she did for GQ Magazine.


“And this is the bimbo that’s asking presidential questions?”, the tweet said. It included two photos of Kelly posing provocatively and the following text: “Criticizes Trump for objectifying women… Poses like this in GQ Magazine.”

A fair question, one would think. But then, for Megyn Kelly, this is not about protecting women. It is about advancing your career on Matt Lauer’s network and bringing down a President whom you despise.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.     



Source link

Laurier University and the Transsexual Pronoun War


Wilfrid Laurier teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd, never anticipated she would be at the center of a media firestorm. Earlier this year, Shepherd showed her class an excerpt of a panel discussion on gender neutral pronouns and Canadian anti-discrimination law. The panel featured five guests, including Canadian psychologist Jordan B. Peterson.

After one or more students complained, the university reprimanded Shepherd for creating a toxic environment. When Shepherd leaked secretly recorded audio of two professors and an administrator reprimanding her, the university faced widespread condemnation and apologized to Shepherd.

Those unfamiliar with Canadian politics will likely be scratching their heads at this point. In 2016, a bill was introduced adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of protected categories under Canadian anti-discrimination law. On June 19th, 2017, that bill became law.

When the bill was first proposed, Jordan B. Peterson emerged as one of its most vocal opponents. Peterson, and others, argued that the bill would penalize people for not using newly created gender-neutral pronouns such as Zir to refer to “non-binary” people.

Pronouns here refers to third person pronouns; he, she, they. To this list the transgender community has added a number of new pronouns such as ze, sie, and hir (not to be confused with her).

These new pronouns correspond to new gender identities created for those who feel that the “gender binary” doesn’t capture who they are. Peterson’s copanelist Mary Rogan, who transitioned from female to male, defended the use of such pronouns by pointing to themself.

Mary was raised female, but they decided to transition to male. While they no longer felt comfortable seeing themselves referenced as she, they didn’t yet feel comfortable being referred to as “he.”

The panel discussion Lindsay Shepherd excerpted dealt with the question of whether C-16 would penalize people for misgendering nonbinary folk, and if it did, whether that would be a good thing. Jordan Peterson argued it would, and that that would be a bad thing.

Shepherd’s supervising professor Nathan Rambukkana hold s that Peterson’s views on C-16 exist beyond the scope of normal political discourse. Showing a discussion with Jordan Peterson was, in his words, like “neutrally playing a clip of Hitler.”

According to Rambukkana, Peterson’s position was tantamount to arguing that transgender people shouldn’t have rights. For the record, Peterson did not object to protecting transgender people from employment and housing discrimination; Peterson was worried that C-16 would be used to penalize people for not using the newly invented pronouns.

Adria Joel, Acting Manager of the “Gendered Violence Prevention and Support Program,” informed Lindsay Shepherd that she had violated university policy and provincial law by spreading transphobia.

M.A. program coordinator Herbert Pimlock objected to showing the clip on the grounds that Peterson lacked credibility, claiming that his work had not been subject to peer review and was therefore not credible. In fact, Peterson has published extensively in peer-reviewed psychology journals. However, because Peterson’s concerns about C-16 were not expressed in a peer-reviewed legal journal, Pimlock finds them, “not academically credible.”

Rambukkana added that college freshman are “very young students,” lacking the critical faculties to evaluate Jordan Peterson’s claims, “Something of that nature is not appropriate to that age of student.”

Following widespread criticism from the Canadian press, Wilfrid Laurier president Deborah Maclatchy extended an apology to Lindsay Shepherd. While Maclatchy apologized, she didn’t specify whether Shepherd had acted properly. Instead, Maclatchy wrote about the need to balance free expression with anti-discrimination.

“Let me be clear by stating that Laurier is committed to the abiding principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Giving life to these principles while respecting fundamentally important human rights and our institutional values of diversity and inclusion, is not a simple matter. The intense media interest points to a highly polarizing and very complicated set of issues that is affecting universities across the democratic world. The polarizing nature of the current debate does not do justice to the complexity of issues.”


— Deborah Maclatchy, President and Vice Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University

Deborah Maclatchy’s vague statement left observers wondering: just how narrow are the boundaries of acceptable discourse at Canadian Universities? If playing an excerpt from a mainstream current affairs show is grounds for sanctioning, then the boundaries look very narrow indeed. 

Wilfrid Laurier teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd, never anticipated she would be at the center of a media firestorm. Earlier this year, Shepherd showed her class an excerpt of a panel discussion on gender neutral pronouns and Canadian anti-discrimination law. The panel featured five guests, including Canadian psychologist Jordan B. Peterson.

After one or more students complained, the university reprimanded Shepherd for creating a toxic environment. When Shepherd leaked secretly recorded audio of two professors and an administrator reprimanding her, the university faced widespread condemnation and apologized to Shepherd.

Those unfamiliar with Canadian politics will likely be scratching their heads at this point. In 2016, a bill was introduced adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of protected categories under Canadian anti-discrimination law. On June 19th, 2017, that bill became law.

When the bill was first proposed, Jordan B. Peterson emerged as one of its most vocal opponents. Peterson, and others, argued that the bill would penalize people for not using newly created gender-neutral pronouns such as Zir to refer to “non-binary” people.

Pronouns here refers to third person pronouns; he, she, they. To this list the transgender community has added a number of new pronouns such as ze, sie, and hir (not to be confused with her).

These new pronouns correspond to new gender identities created for those who feel that the “gender binary” doesn’t capture who they are. Peterson’s copanelist Mary Rogan, who transitioned from female to male, defended the use of such pronouns by pointing to themself.

Mary was raised female, but they decided to transition to male. While they no longer felt comfortable seeing themselves referenced as she, they didn’t yet feel comfortable being referred to as “he.”

The panel discussion Lindsay Shepherd excerpted dealt with the question of whether C-16 would penalize people for misgendering nonbinary folk, and if it did, whether that would be a good thing. Jordan Peterson argued it would, and that that would be a bad thing.

Shepherd’s supervising professor Nathan Rambukkana hold s that Peterson’s views on C-16 exist beyond the scope of normal political discourse. Showing a discussion with Jordan Peterson was, in his words, like “neutrally playing a clip of Hitler.”

According to Rambukkana, Peterson’s position was tantamount to arguing that transgender people shouldn’t have rights. For the record, Peterson did not object to protecting transgender people from employment and housing discrimination; Peterson was worried that C-16 would be used to penalize people for not using the newly invented pronouns.

Adria Joel, Acting Manager of the “Gendered Violence Prevention and Support Program,” informed Lindsay Shepherd that she had violated university policy and provincial law by spreading transphobia.

M.A. program coordinator Herbert Pimlock objected to showing the clip on the grounds that Peterson lacked credibility, claiming that his work had not been subject to peer review and was therefore not credible. In fact, Peterson has published extensively in peer-reviewed psychology journals. However, because Peterson’s concerns about C-16 were not expressed in a peer-reviewed legal journal, Pimlock finds them, “not academically credible.”

Rambukkana added that college freshman are “very young students,” lacking the critical faculties to evaluate Jordan Peterson’s claims, “Something of that nature is not appropriate to that age of student.”

Following widespread criticism from the Canadian press, Wilfrid Laurier president Deborah Maclatchy extended an apology to Lindsay Shepherd. While Maclatchy apologized, she didn’t specify whether Shepherd had acted properly. Instead, Maclatchy wrote about the need to balance free expression with anti-discrimination.

“Let me be clear by stating that Laurier is committed to the abiding principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Giving life to these principles while respecting fundamentally important human rights and our institutional values of diversity and inclusion, is not a simple matter. The intense media interest points to a highly polarizing and very complicated set of issues that is affecting universities across the democratic world. The polarizing nature of the current debate does not do justice to the complexity of issues.”


— Deborah Maclatchy, President and Vice Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University

Deborah Maclatchy’s vague statement left observers wondering: just how narrow are the boundaries of acceptable discourse at Canadian Universities? If playing an excerpt from a mainstream current affairs show is grounds for sanctioning, then the boundaries look very narrow indeed. 



Source link

SCOTUS and the Spy in your Pocket



How the Supreme Court may protect smart phone information from government intrusion, by ruling private digital information should be an ‘effect’ under original meaning of Fourth Amendment



Source link

There Is Nothing More Despicable Than a Democrat


On a normal day, Democrats will endlessly lecture you in the most condescending fashion, making liberal use of the preface, “You see.” Because, of course, you don’t see, you are a nonbeliever, a “denier,” and therefore a deplorable, barely deserving of their passing glance, much less their particular attention. And that’s after they’ve lost both houses of Congress and the presidency. Now with the Moore mauling in Alabama and their plot to force Trump’s resignation, they are not nearly as nice.  

After sacrificing two of their pawns, the now onanistic Bill Clinton and the truly deplorable Al Franken, an oleaginous blob of despicability — he of the “I’m not sorry, I don’t remember it, and I will resign… maybe, at a later date, and ‘GFY America,’ apology” — they now believe they can unseat the president on sexual harassment charges (the same ones they tried to destroy him with just before the presidential election). Hey, it worked on Moore, so they’ll give it one more try.

The Democrats never stop. Moore was low-hanging fruit. He was something of a character, which made him the Democrats’ candidate of choice, which was why during the primary they didn’t produce the three middle-aged girls, still crying about dates they had when they were teenagers, because if you’re going to hold onto a gripe, you should hold onto it for four decades. They didn’t want Luther Strange, probably because he wasn’t as strange as Moore and they didn’t have anything quite so good on him.

Look at the first accusations; three girls, two of which were past the age of consent and only there to lend credence to the third one who claimed that Moore undressed her when she was fourteen years old. Then, for the icing on the cake, there was the fourth girl, bawling her eyes out holding her high school yearbook, with what she admitted had a forged (she claimed partially forged) notation from Moore — all, presented by Gloria Allred, a person emblematic of typical Democrat amorality.

The Democrats are relentless, they come at you from all angles, they never stop, and they have absolutely no rules. For them, at least, anything goes — lie, cheat, steal, and defame, it doesn’t matter as long as they win. Yet in the world the Democrats and the media have created, the Republicans have plenty of rules, and if they don’t abide by each one, the media tries to make it a scandal.

It doesn’t help that there are a lot of Republicans and conservatives who are just too pure to get down and dirty. Many Republicans would rather lose with dignity than win, but people who voted for Trump want to win. America wants to win. Republicans, all Republicans need to learn how to fight like the Democrats, or the nation is lost.

So far, the Democrats are one and one — and it would have worked against Trump if their candidate didn’t have more negatives than Satan; at least he reigns in hell, Hillary merely wanted to create hell on earth and maybe unload the remaining 80% of our uranium in the process.

They’ve been coming at Trump ever since he won the nomination. Hillary threw everything she had at him, even having her lawyers, Perkins Coie, pay (breaking campaign laws to do so) almost $10 million for the ignominious Trump dossier. “Opposition research,” that even James Comey called “salacious and unverified.” Then Obama apparatchiks in the FBI and the Justice Department used the dossier to get FISA warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

Ask yourself why that isn’t a bigger story. Don’t bother, it’s because the media has become an arm of the Democratic Party.

The one thing she thought would work, however, the coup de grâce, the “Accusers,” didn’t have the impact the Democrats assumed they would have. The electorate ignored them.

After Trump won, they opened with the “Russians stole the election” meme and that was the reason they gave for members of the Electoral College not to do their constitutional duty to vote for Trump and instead vote for Hillary.

At the same time, they wanted recounts — it almost worked for Gore in 2000. “We keep counting until I win!” And it did work for “hands-on” Al Franken when they actually did count until he won in 2008.

Stealing elections is allowable for Democrats.

Interregnum, it was the 25th Amendment — Trump was just too crazy to be president. Then it was the emoluments clause — that’s particularly rich since no one would have gotten richer than Hillary had she become president — look at the hundreds of millions she made as Secretary of State.

Then it was “collusion.” The fact that anyone would believe that the Russians would prefer a volatile hothead like Donald Trump to a Hillary Clinton they had already bought and paid for with the Uranium One deal strains the limits of possibility.

In unison with “collusion” we had, the “We need a special prosecutor,” outcry — which they got, courtesy of Comey the chameleon, who absolved Hillary of all crimes,with respect to her illegal private server and the mishandling of classified information, even though he was not a prosecutor and even though she was demonstrably guilty.

Then with the firing of Comey, it was, “obstruction of justice.” Now it’s just an outright case for impeachment being built by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose dream team of Hillary donors and Democrat moles have more scandals and conflicts of interest than even Hillary had.

I won’t get into how Huma Abedin (infamous for her husband, Anthony Weiner who ran in the 2013 New York City mayoral erection) and Cheryl Mills can lie to the FBI and go unpunished while an American hero, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, has to cop a plea to keep Mueller from bankrupting his family and going after his son. 

Now the Democrats have a new “Hillary,” Kirsten Gillibrand. You have to give her credit — she saw an opening and she took it. She was the first to say Bill Clinton should have resigned 20 years ago (what a brave stand, something that didn’t occur to her for the ten years she has steadfastly supported him or when she took Clinton money and campaigned with Bill by her side). Then she was the first to call for Franken’s resignation. Now she is the first to call for Trump’s resignation, just after the re-release of the 2016 “Accusers.”

If it doesn’t work, so be it. She has a Plan B, and it involves 2020.

It’s all a calculation on her part. She knew she would make the perfect candidate. She’s a Democrat and a woman, and younger than Fauxcahontas, Elizabeth Warren. Now especially, with the moral high ground after her very, very brave stance against a long-retired rapist and a man no one likes. It’s just too bad she’s not a minority, cripple, or transvestite, then she’d be a sure winner in 2020.

Still, if that doesn’t work, look for them to find something else to unseat Trump. They will not rest because they are convinced the presidency belongs to them and elections mean nothing — unless of course, they win, then they mean everything. In fact, if it were up to the Democrats there would be no elections — the people are just too stupid to realize that the Democrats deserve to rule the world.

Now tell me, is there anything more despicable than a Democrat?

On a normal day, Democrats will endlessly lecture you in the most condescending fashion, making liberal use of the preface, “You see.” Because, of course, you don’t see, you are a nonbeliever, a “denier,” and therefore a deplorable, barely deserving of their passing glance, much less their particular attention. And that’s after they’ve lost both houses of Congress and the presidency. Now with the Moore mauling in Alabama and their plot to force Trump’s resignation, they are not nearly as nice.  

After sacrificing two of their pawns, the now onanistic Bill Clinton and the truly deplorable Al Franken, an oleaginous blob of despicability — he of the “I’m not sorry, I don’t remember it, and I will resign… maybe, at a later date, and ‘GFY America,’ apology” — they now believe they can unseat the president on sexual harassment charges (the same ones they tried to destroy him with just before the presidential election). Hey, it worked on Moore, so they’ll give it one more try.

The Democrats never stop. Moore was low-hanging fruit. He was something of a character, which made him the Democrats’ candidate of choice, which was why during the primary they didn’t produce the three middle-aged girls, still crying about dates they had when they were teenagers, because if you’re going to hold onto a gripe, you should hold onto it for four decades. They didn’t want Luther Strange, probably because he wasn’t as strange as Moore and they didn’t have anything quite so good on him.

Look at the first accusations; three girls, two of which were past the age of consent and only there to lend credence to the third one who claimed that Moore undressed her when she was fourteen years old. Then, for the icing on the cake, there was the fourth girl, bawling her eyes out holding her high school yearbook, with what she admitted had a forged (she claimed partially forged) notation from Moore — all, presented by Gloria Allred, a person emblematic of typical Democrat amorality.

The Democrats are relentless, they come at you from all angles, they never stop, and they have absolutely no rules. For them, at least, anything goes — lie, cheat, steal, and defame, it doesn’t matter as long as they win. Yet in the world the Democrats and the media have created, the Republicans have plenty of rules, and if they don’t abide by each one, the media tries to make it a scandal.

It doesn’t help that there are a lot of Republicans and conservatives who are just too pure to get down and dirty. Many Republicans would rather lose with dignity than win, but people who voted for Trump want to win. America wants to win. Republicans, all Republicans need to learn how to fight like the Democrats, or the nation is lost.

So far, the Democrats are one and one — and it would have worked against Trump if their candidate didn’t have more negatives than Satan; at least he reigns in hell, Hillary merely wanted to create hell on earth and maybe unload the remaining 80% of our uranium in the process.

They’ve been coming at Trump ever since he won the nomination. Hillary threw everything she had at him, even having her lawyers, Perkins Coie, pay (breaking campaign laws to do so) almost $10 million for the ignominious Trump dossier. “Opposition research,” that even James Comey called “salacious and unverified.” Then Obama apparatchiks in the FBI and the Justice Department used the dossier to get FISA warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

Ask yourself why that isn’t a bigger story. Don’t bother, it’s because the media has become an arm of the Democratic Party.

The one thing she thought would work, however, the coup de grâce, the “Accusers,” didn’t have the impact the Democrats assumed they would have. The electorate ignored them.

After Trump won, they opened with the “Russians stole the election” meme and that was the reason they gave for members of the Electoral College not to do their constitutional duty to vote for Trump and instead vote for Hillary.

At the same time, they wanted recounts — it almost worked for Gore in 2000. “We keep counting until I win!” And it did work for “hands-on” Al Franken when they actually did count until he won in 2008.

Stealing elections is allowable for Democrats.

Interregnum, it was the 25th Amendment — Trump was just too crazy to be president. Then it was the emoluments clause — that’s particularly rich since no one would have gotten richer than Hillary had she become president — look at the hundreds of millions she made as Secretary of State.

Then it was “collusion.” The fact that anyone would believe that the Russians would prefer a volatile hothead like Donald Trump to a Hillary Clinton they had already bought and paid for with the Uranium One deal strains the limits of possibility.

In unison with “collusion” we had, the “We need a special prosecutor,” outcry — which they got, courtesy of Comey the chameleon, who absolved Hillary of all crimes,with respect to her illegal private server and the mishandling of classified information, even though he was not a prosecutor and even though she was demonstrably guilty.

Then with the firing of Comey, it was, “obstruction of justice.” Now it’s just an outright case for impeachment being built by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose dream team of Hillary donors and Democrat moles have more scandals and conflicts of interest than even Hillary had.

I won’t get into how Huma Abedin (infamous for her husband, Anthony Weiner who ran in the 2013 New York City mayoral erection) and Cheryl Mills can lie to the FBI and go unpunished while an American hero, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, has to cop a plea to keep Mueller from bankrupting his family and going after his son. 

Now the Democrats have a new “Hillary,” Kirsten Gillibrand. You have to give her credit — she saw an opening and she took it. She was the first to say Bill Clinton should have resigned 20 years ago (what a brave stand, something that didn’t occur to her for the ten years she has steadfastly supported him or when she took Clinton money and campaigned with Bill by her side). Then she was the first to call for Franken’s resignation. Now she is the first to call for Trump’s resignation, just after the re-release of the 2016 “Accusers.”

If it doesn’t work, so be it. She has a Plan B, and it involves 2020.

It’s all a calculation on her part. She knew she would make the perfect candidate. She’s a Democrat and a woman, and younger than Fauxcahontas, Elizabeth Warren. Now especially, with the moral high ground after her very, very brave stance against a long-retired rapist and a man no one likes. It’s just too bad she’s not a minority, cripple, or transvestite, then she’d be a sure winner in 2020.

Still, if that doesn’t work, look for them to find something else to unseat Trump. They will not rest because they are convinced the presidency belongs to them and elections mean nothing — unless of course, they win, then they mean everything. In fact, if it were up to the Democrats there would be no elections — the people are just too stupid to realize that the Democrats deserve to rule the world.

Now tell me, is there anything more despicable than a Democrat?



Source link