Patterico's Pontifications

8/10/2017

CNN Should Not Have Fired Jeffrey Lord

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 pm

I despise shameless Trump enthusiasts who routinely make laughable arguments on Trump’s behalf. Jeffrey Lord falls squarely in that category. In a way, I can’t believe I’m about to defend Jeffrey Lord.

But I’m about to defend Jeffrey Lord.

CNN fired Lord today because he sarcastically tweeted “Sieg Heil” at someone he considers to be a fascist.

That’s a bad reason to fire someone.

Here’s how CNN reported the story:

CNN severed ties with Jeffrey Lord on Thursday, hours after he ignited controversy by tweeting the words “Sieg Heil!” at a prominent liberal activist.

“Nazi salutes are indefensible,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”

To call Lord’s tweet a “Nazi salute” requires one to deliberately blind oneself to the context.

Here’s what really happened. Lord wrote a column about Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters. See if you can discern Lord’s opinion about Carusone and Media Matters from certain subtle clues hidden in the following passages from Lord’s column:

Over there at Media Matters — aka Media Matters Fascists, the anti-free speech bigots who, in typical fascist style, make it their mission to shut down speech they don’t like — MMF’s Angelo Carusone has come to my Twitter feed to respond.

. . . .

I am even happier that he has put his fascist spirit out there in reprintable form.

. . . .

You have been playing this fascist game for years with others — Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly etc etc. If there is a conservative with an audience of any size your fascist instinct is not to debate honestly but to simply silence the opposition. Period.

. . . .

This is America, Angelo. Not Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany or Communist Russia.

Did you catch that? I went ahead and put the clues in bold in case it was too understated.

I think maybe Lord thinks Carusone is a fascist.

I’m not saying it’s great writing. Lord could try consulting a thesaurus every now and then. But I sense a certain theme to the passage. And that theme is: “Angelo Carusone is a fascist.”

So then, today, the following Twitter exchange occurs:

Lord tweets out his column. Carusone tries to bust Lord’s chops, and Lord responds by saying “Sieg Heil.”

It’s . . . kind of obvious what’s happening there, isn’t it? For CNN to say that’s a “Nazi salute” is to suggest that Lord meant it unironically. But you can’t possibly be familiar with the context and think that.

This is just the latest example of the left calling for someone’s head on a platter by ignoring the context of what they said, and imposing a completely unreasonable meaning on the words.

As much as I despise Lord, I despise this worse.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

The Scales Fall from (Some) Progressive Eyes

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:27 pm

[guest post by JVW]

When you have lost The Nation. . . .

All this was set in motion when the DNC’s mail server was first violated in the spring of 2016 and by subsequent assertions that Russians were behind that “hack” and another such operation, also described as a Russian hack, on July 5. These are the foundation stones of the edifice just outlined. The evolution of public discourse in the year since is worthy of scholarly study: Possibilities became allegations, and these became probabilities. Then the probabilities turned into certainties, and these evolved into what are now taken to be established truths. By my reckoning, it required a few days to a few weeks to advance from each of these stages to the next. This was accomplished via the indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly in our leading media.

It may not come as a surprise that this is a curiously-written article, and rather poorly edited at that (having no editor, my jumbled prose is understandable). The author of the piece, Patrick Lawrence, informs us: “Forensic investigators, intelligence analysts, system designers, program architects, and computer scientists [. . .] are now producing evidence disproving the official version of key events last year.” Mr. Lawrence then summarizes their work with a block quote from some source that remains unidentified and unlinked. But, for what it’s worth, here’s what the block quote tells us:

There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee’s system on July 5 last year—not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system. This casts serious doubt on the initial “hack,” as alleged, that led to the very consequential publication of a large store of documents on WikiLeaks last summer.

Forensic investigations of documents made public two weeks prior to the July 5 leak by the person or entity known as Guccifer 2.0 show that they were fraudulent: Before Guccifer posted them they were adulterated by cutting and pasting them into a blank template that had Russian as its default language. Guccifer took responsibility on June 15 for an intrusion the DNC reported on June 14 and professed to be a WikiLeaks source—claims essential to the official narrative implicating Russia in what was soon cast as an extensive hacking operation. To put the point simply, forensic science now devastates this narrative.

I think maybe the material in the block quote is simply Mr. Lawrence’s summary of what the forensic investigators have covered. The reprint of this article on the ConsortiumNews.com website renders these two paragraphs as bullet points rather than a block quote, which leads me to believe that it is just his own summary, not a quote from a different source.

Lest you assert that Mr. Lawrence is not indeed some wild-eyed leftist, he then gives a brief overview of all of the alleged false-flag operations throughout U.S. history beginning with the sinking of the Maine up through what he characterizes as “claims” of communist infiltration in Central America. His central point is that government agencies like the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI can’t be trusted to investigate beyond the officially-sanctioned talking points determined by the ruling class and disseminated by the media, a criticism that certainly has a kernel of truth to it, if it is in fact perhaps somewhat overstated. The remainder of his article goes through the findings of various leftist anti-authority organizations who according to Mr. Lawrence have been investigating the email release and Russia connection, and covers such techie topics as transfer rates and ISP bandwidths to suggest that it is extremely unlikely (if not impossible) that this material was actually downloaded and far more likely that it was saved to a removable drive at the source, thus suggesting an inside job at the DNC.

Anyway, these findings dovetail with some reports published earlier that were widely disseminated on right-wing sites. It always gets real fun when elements of the left and right unite to push back against a narrative that is being advanced by elements of the left and right. Who knows how this will all turn out, but I’m willing to bet that we will never come to full agreement on it.

– JVW

Health Insurance Premiums Set To Rise Again. Whom Does The New York Times Blame?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

Shockingly, the New York Times tries to blame it on Trump:

The Kaiser Family Foundation has compiled proposed insurance prices for coverage in 21 large American cities next year. . . . Two themes stick out: One is that, while insurance premiums will rise substantially in many cities, the increases are generally not bigger than they were last year. The other is that insurers are being quite explicit about citing the Trump administration’s hostile policy messages as a substantial reason for the higher prices.

In many states, insurers have said that they are asking for higher prices because they assume the White House won’t enforce the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, its rule that people who can afford it must buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. The carriers are also worried that the government will stop paying them cost-sharing reduction subsidies, payments that are the subject of a lawsuit between the executive branch and the House, and which the president has repeatedly threatened to halt.

Note how the analysis just takes ObamaCare as a given. Of course, the reason premiums started rising precipitously to begin with was ObamaCare. (Our system of third-party payment started the ball rolling, of course. ObamaCare care just made it worse.) Once the government told people that they could hold off on buying health insurance until they were sick, the concept of insurance was dead. Now, keeping the companies afloat depends on: 1) trying to force people to buy coverage they don’t want, and 2) bailouts.

Blaming Trump for all this requires some mighty convenient amnesia as to how we got here to begin with. It’s like watching Obama slice someone in the chest with a knife and walk away whistling, and watching the New York Times blame Trump for the bleeding, because they don’t like the size of the Band-Aid.

It doesn’t help that six U.S. Senators (McCain, Murkowski, Portman, Heller, Alexander, and Capito) have been turncoats on repeal, or that Trump has done a poor job of putting pressure on those turncoats. To extend the analogy, we need to rip off the Band-Aid and actually sew up this wound. The GOP is helping nothing.

But let’s remember where the original blame for this mess lies: squarely on the shoulders of Barack Obama.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


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