In her 2003 book, Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First, conservative writer Mona Charen offered an excellent juxtaposition of the horrors of the island prison Fidel Castro established with the fawning treatment he received from American journalists. Written after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of the archives of the once totalitarian Eastern Bloc, Charen’s book establishes the foolish and naive thinking that Western liberals — including many journalists — employed in their attempt to sugarcoat the realities of communism, including in Cuba.
When Donald Trump is POTUS, he’s likely to get deferential, even helpful, media coverage, predicted Atrios on Monday. After all, he explained, that’s been the pattern for Republican presidents since the 1980s. When Ronald Reagan was in the White House, Atrios alleged, “members of the press knew that [he] had some form of dementia, that he was not actually fit to run the country, and they covered it up because the feefees of America would be hurt because Reagan was the most popular president in the history of the universe. Of course he wasn't the most popular president by any reasonable measure, but the press loved him so America loved him and they added 10 extra points to his popularity rating in their minds. They did that for [George W. Bush], also, too.”
Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote margin continues to be a compelling news story for some, including Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who believes that the Electoral College should vote next month for Clinton because she was “the people’s choice.” Even though The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman thinks Lessig’s view is “nonsense” and that Donald Trump’s loss of the PV is trivial under our current rules, he also wants the Electoral College to choose Clinton. “What Lessig should have argued,” wrote Longman in a Friday post, “is that the Electors should plainly judge Trump a menacing incompetent and reject him with extreme prejudice...Trump is already demonstrating his unfitness for office in many ways.”
There’s cross-ideological agreement that Tom Morello (currently of Prophets of Rage, formerly of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave) is a superb guitarist. It’s a different story when it comes to his political acumen, which some would say is about as impressive as the singing talent of Florence Foster Jenkins. Morello, a staunch leftist who’s given to comments such as “words like ‘socialism’ and ‘Marxism’ have been so demonized that it's difficult to have intelligent discussion about what they mean,” was at it again in a Saturday Instagram post concerning the death of Fidel Castro, writing that “by defying Yankee imperialism for 50 years, instituting the best healthcare, child immunization and literacy systems in the Western Hemisphere (surpassing the US and Canada), exporting doctors to countries in need all over the globe…and being an unrepentant advocate of the poor and exploited it is no surprise that millions will mourn [Castro's] passing.”
The New York Times and The Washington Post demonstrated again Sunday their warm feelings about communist dictators when they die.
The Times headline was “A Revolutionary Who Defied the U.S. and Held Cuba In His Thrall.” The Post headline was slightly more balanced: “Revolutionary remade Cuba: Dictator who defied U.S. was loathed, beloved.” For the Times, Anthony DePalma found a “fiery apostle of revolution,” not a dictator:
In covering the recent presidential campaign, the mainstream media far too often made the perfect the enemy of the good, believes Leigh Gilmore -- “the good” in this case being synonymous with “Hillary Clinton.” Gilmore, a professor in the women's and gender studies department at Hillary’s undergraduate alma mater, Wellesley, claims that “the bias against Hillary Clinton was not simply a story the media reported -- it was the unexamined narrative the press repeated over and over...Why was the lie more persistent than the truth? Why was ‘Crooked Hillary’ a more compelling figure than ‘Fundamentally Honest Hillary’?”
It’s fair to say that from 2007 through 2010, the mere words “Speaker Pelosi” gave many NewsBusters readers the willies. If some lefty activists and enough voters get their way, you’ll have the chance to hear a lot of “Speaker Obama.” On Wednesday, Ben Mathis-Lilley of Slate discussed and endorsed a Change.org petition calling on Barack Obama to run for the House of Representatives in 2018 from Illinois’s 1st congressional district, the idea being that if Obama won the seat and Democrats took control of the lower chamber of Congress, Obama would become Speaker of the House.
Did liberals’ reliance on so-called identity politics cost them the presidential election? It doesn’t matter, suggested Slate’s Michelle Goldberg in a Tuesday piece. Goldberg has no use for “the more illiberal aspects of social justice politics,” but thinks that in general Democrats stand for exactly what, and who, they should stand for. “There can be no going back on defending the tenuous gains of women and people of color, or foregrounding their demands for full equality. They are the base of the party,” wrote Goldberg, adding that “the focus of left-of-center politics in the dark years to come must be on protecting the groups of people who are targets precisely because of their identities…If Democrats standing up for diversity makes Trump voters feel disrespected, the best response is a slogan popular among enemies of political correctness at Trump rallies: Fuck your feelings.”
Lefty rags like Mother Jones wouldn’t exist without dudgeon -- low, high or in between. But surely they can give it a rest on Thanksgiving? No! Thanksgiving is a day to get especially dudgeony for good progressives. (You know, the kind of morally serious individuals that would publicly compare a lost election to the 9-11 attacks.
Major similarities between the 2016 presidential election and that of 2000 don’t end with the Democrat winning the popular vote but losing the electoral vote, claims Marcotte, who contended that the media had it in for Hillary Clinton the same way they did for Al Gore, and that in each case biased campaign coverage was a factor in driving down Democratic voter turnout. Regarding this year’s race, Marcotte remarked, “Replace ‘I invented the internet’ with ‘emails,’ ‘Naomi Wolf’ with ‘pneumonia’ and ‘Ralph Nader’ with ‘Jill Stein,’ and you’re looking at a rerun.”
In a Tuesday post, Esquire blogger Pierce complained that Ronald Reagan’s anti-government rhetoric discouraged many from voting, thereby benefiting Republicans, but Donald Trump’s anti-government rhetoric encouraged many to vote, thereby benefiting Republicans. Pierce noted that Reagan, in his first inaugural address, declared “that government was not a solution to the problem, that government was the problem.” The government-bashing, Pierce charged, was meant “not just to convert voters to conservative policies that were otherwise unpopular, it also was [meant] to frustrate people into apathy and non-participation.”
Thanksgiving is next week and you know what that means: Time for Hollywood to bash the holiday as racist! So, of course, ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat made some digs at America during Tuesday night’s episode “No Thanks-giving.”