Patterico's Pontifications


President Obama: It’s All So Random

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama was interviewed by Vox editor Matt Yglesias:

Yglesias asked Obama if he thinks the media “sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism” as opposed to longer-term problems like climate change and epidemic disease.

“Absolutely,” the president responded, saying he doesn’t blame the press for embracing the old adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Obama acknowledged that it’s lot harder to make climate change or cutting infant mortality a “sexy story.”

But, at the same time, Obama said, “It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris. We devote enormous resources to that, and it is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that — the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive.”

Charles Krauthammer points out the obvious:

“We complain he doesn’t have a strategy in the war on radical Islam — the reason he doesn’t have a strategy is because he thinks there is no need for a strategy because it is random violence,” Krauthammer said. “He thinks, and he says it openly, this is like the fighting of crime in the city. There is no unifying ideology of the criminals of a city. You go after one after another.”

If you don’t believe Islamic radicalism exists, why would you need a plan to combat it? So quit overreacting, people. The media is just manipulating you with a sexy story. Instead of being concerned about the random march of the barbarians, random beheadings, random slaughter, random crucifixions of children, random killing of people in the name of a cartoon and the random killing of Jews, all the while wondering if you, too, might randomly find yourself the target of random acts of violence, start focusing on what really matters – the weather.

And rest easy. I have it on good authority that we are on the road to defeating ISIS and they are on the run.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: The shooters mostly spared women and specifically sought out cartoonists and editors. This was a random shooting about as much as it was a bombing.

NPR Ombudsman: I Denounce the Bombing of Charlie Hebdo

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:27 pm

Nothing says “my opinion on the Charlie Hebdo cartoons is uninformed bullshit” like saying those horrible cartoons don’t justify the “bombing” that never actually happened:

I do not know if American courts would find much of what Charlie Hebdo does to be hate speech unprotected by the Constitution, but I know—hope?—that most Americans would. It is one thing to lampoon popes, imams, rabbis and other temporal religious leaders of this world; it is quite another to make fun, in often nasty ways, of their prophets and gods. The NPR editors were right not to reprint any of the images.

Is this a form of affirmative action? Of course it is. And it should be, so that all the nation’s public can hear itself and be represented on the nation’s public radio.

None of this is to justify the bombing. That was far worse still.

Not really, since that’s not what happened. And to call it a bombing reveals a mind-boggling level of ignorance about a terrorist attack whose message has been heard throughout the world.

If you’re getting the idea that this guy is a self-important preening tool, who has no idea what he’s talking about, but craves the approval of his equally vacuous pals at the water cooler . . . then you’re starting to catch on.

UPDATE: Is he talking about 2011? Is this some Brian Williamsesque level of confusion?

Brian Williams Does Interview with Stars and Stripes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:19 pm

Here. Plus, MoDo reveals that his buffoonish self-puffery was a running joke at NBC and well known to execs there. (Look at MoDo, makin’ the copies actual news!)

Anyone think he actually survives all this?

Music by Patterico, With a Little Help from Jay Semko of The Northern Pikes: Part 2: Was It Really You?

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 5:50 pm

I forgot to post it this morning. Here’s song two in the (so far) three-song series. I gave the background here. The thumbnail version: I wrote some songs in the early 1990s. Musician Jay Semko (of the Northern Pikes) recorded three of them recently. I posted the first one last week (song; lyrics; original version). Below is the second song: a wistful post-breakup lament. Lyrics tomorrow; original version Wednesday.

Kanye West Pulls A Kanye West — Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:38 am

So Beck beats out Beyoncé for Best Album at the Grammys, and Kanye West storms the stage in protest.

Everyone laughs at the joke.

Except it turns out not to be a joke, and West is heard ranting about the injustice afterwards.

Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé and at this point, we tired of it. Because what happens is when you keep on diminishing art and not respecting the craft and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration.

I could not possibly care less about the Grammys or the shitty music they celebrate there. But this classless goon keeps trying to ruin people’s moment, and that’s wrong no matter how meaningless the moment is to me.

Maybe stop inviting Kanye West to the Grammys?

And speaking of smacking people in the face . . .

I think Taylor Swift should have walked right up to him, told him to STFU, and slugged him.

No jury would convict.

Brian Williams’s Latest Suspect Stories

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:31 am

We celebrate the first weekday of Brian Williams’s “self-imposed” hiatus with these additional stories that are being questioned:

Questioning Brian Williams’s claims that ‘gangs’ terrorized the Ritz-Carlton during Katrina

[F]or Williams, few stories illustrated that predilection to talk more than his takes on Katrina — the stories with which he made his bones. The stories that are now taking heat.

Among them: The one he told about witnessing a suicide at the Superdome. Or the one he told about watching a body float past the Ritz-Carlton, perched at the edge of an otherwise dry French Quarter. Or the one about the dysentery he said he got. And, finally, the story he told about the Ritz-Carlton gangs. Three separate individuals told reporters no gangs infiltrated the Ritz-Carlton.

NBC’s Brian Williams told varying versions of rocket fire in Israel-Hezbollah war

NBC News anchor Brian Williams certainly has placed himself in dangerous situations in covering wars and natural disasters over the years. But how much danger? With Williams, the answer varies.

In addition to statements about his reporting from Iraq and New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina that are under review by NBC, Williams has given varying accounts of the risks he faced in reporting on Israel’s war with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in 2006.

This has to be uncomfortable for Williams — even more uncomfortable than lying in his tanning bed hour after hour wearing his Raybans.

P.S. I still can’t get that excited about this story. Dishonest Blowhard is Dishonest Blowhard, film at 11.

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