Patterico's Pontifications


Let’s Just Be Grateful The Weekend Is At Hand [Updated]

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:08 pm

[guest post by Dana]

He’s not kidding:.


Blast off!

President Donald Trump’s campaign wants to start selling a new Space Force themed line of merchandise, and they are soliciting votes on which design to use.

In an email to supporters sent out this afternoon, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee asked their supporters to vote for their favorite Space Force logo design. The campaign gave six different options to choose from.


More fun from the “emerging star of the insurgent left”:

And how about some more of Jim “we’re not supposed to be the story but I keep trying anyway” Acosta:


( Skydash via MoMo)

(Federalist Musket via MoMo)

Grab your adult beverage of choice, and put up your feet. You’ve made it through another week. Cheers!

UPDATE by JVW: Dana overlooked my favorite one.
(Matt’s Idea Shop via Twitter)

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Soldiers And Press As Protectors?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

A few days ago, an op-ed writer, University of Notre Dame management professor Joseph Holt defended CNN’s preening Jim Acosta (and by extension, the press at large), who complained about Trump supporters treatment of him at a rally last week. Not content to let the issue of the president’s condemnation of the press stand, Acosta asked Sarah Sanders to clarify whether the president truly believes that the press is indeed the “enemy of the people”. When Sanders declined to answer directly, Acosta left the presser in anger.

Here is the transcript of the exchange:

QUESTION: I just wanted to follow up on a — on Sarah’s question from NPR. She asked you about Ivanka Trump’s statement the press is not the enemy of the people, and she asked you whether or not the press is the enemy of the people. You read off a laundry list of your concerns about the press, and then things that you feel like are misreported. But you did not say that the press is not the enemy of the people, and I — I — I think it would be a good thing if you were to say right here at this briefing that the press, the people who are gathered in this room right now, are doing their jobs every day, asking questions of officials like the ones you brought forward earlier, are not the enemy of the people. I — I — I think we — we deserve that.

SANDERS: I think the president has made his position known. I also think it’s ironic…

QUESTION: (inaudible) you mind telling us — Sarah, if you don’t — OK, well, if…

SANDERS: I’m — I’m trying to answer your question. I — I’ve politely waited, and I even called on you, despite the fact that you interrupted me while calling on your colleague. I said it’s ironic…

QUESTION: Well, you (inaudible) which is why I interrupted.

SANDERS: I’m trying…

QUESTION: But if you — if you finish — if you would not mind letting me have a follow-up, that would be fine, but…

SANDERS: It’s ironic, Jim (ph), that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric, when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country. Repeatedly — repeatedly, the media resorts to personal attacks without any content other than to incite anger.

The media has attacked me personally on a number of occasions, including your own network; said I should be harassed as a life sentence, that I should be choked. ICE officials are not welcomed in their place of worship, and personal information is shared on the Internet. When I was hosted by the Correspondent’s Association, of which almost all of you are members of, you brought a comedian up to attack my appearance, and call me a traitor to my own gender.

QUESTION: (inaudible)

SANDERS: In fact, as I know, as far as I know, I’m the first press secretary in the history of the United States that’s required Secret Service protection.

QUESTION: No, that’s not what I said. People (inaudible)

SANDERS: The media continues to ratchet up the verbal assault against the president and everyone in this administration. And certainly, we have a role to play, but the media has a role to play for the discourse in this country, as well.

QUESTION: And — and Sarah, if you don’t mind, if I — if — hold on.


If I may follow up — if I may follow up — excuse me. You did not say in the course of those remarks that you just made, that the press is not the enemy of the people. Are we to take it, from what you just said — we all get put through the wringer. We all get put in the meat grinder in this town, and you’re no exception, and I’m sorry that that happened to you. I wish that that — that had not happened.

But for — for the sake of this — this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world are watching what you’re saying, Sarah, and the White House for the United States of America, the president of the United States should not refer to us is the enemy of the people. His own daughter acknowledges that, and all I’m asking you to do, Sarah, is to acknowledge that right now and right here.

SANDERS: I — I — I appreciate your passion. I share it. I’ve addressed this question. I’ve addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the president. He’s made his comments clear.

Holt, in his essay, makes a concerted effort to defend the press and convince readers of its (and Acosta’s) important place in our society:

Journalists are uniquely qualified to perform that vital role of discovering truth and combating falsehood. They have the unique skills, training and resources required; the courage and commitment needed; and an obligation under a demanding code of journalistic ethics to be responsible for the accuracy and fairness of their statements in a way that other sources of news and opinions not bound by the code — including a President who impressively averages 7.6 mistruths a day — are not.

To which I say, meh. I don’t care about the wounded feelings of Jim Acosta, the wounded pride of President Trump, or the sick, symbiotic relationship in which the press and the White House find themselves willingly entangled. As I’ve noted before, both entities happily used one another when it served their specific purposes. They greedily fed off the other. And as a result, each saw their individual agendas met: CNN’s ratings went through the roof as they gave Trump gobs of airtime, and Trump was gifted with lots of free airtime to blather, and ironically, now sits in the Oval Office condemning the very entity who helped get him there, while those who helped get him there condemn him in turn. Win-win! They deserve each other. In the worst way possible.

Anyway, what I wanted to focus on was Holt’s comparison made at the end of his effort to convince us of the media’s worthiness, because they, like soldiers, are our protectors:

We thank soldiers for their service because they devote themselves to protecting our freedoms, and we should. But we should also thank the media for the same reason — especially when the stakes have never been higher.

While Holt received an avalanche of criticism for equating journalists with soldiers, Brian Flood over at Fox News gave Holt the benefit of he doubt:

While the professor’s final paragraph sent readers flocking to mock it on social media, it appears Holt meant to acknowledge simply that reporters are doing a service with little-to-no recognition. Despite being labeled an opinion piece, the backlash to his over-the top comparison was harsh at times.

Maybe that was Holt’s intention. I don’t know. To be honest, the whiny Acosta, Sanders’ stubborn digging in, and Holt’s ambiguous statement of defense have caused me to focus on a real journalist who wrote about real soldiers while on the front lines with them in a very real war: Ernie Pyle. Pyle spent years embedded with troops, facing many of the same dangers they did from any number of theaters and from the trenches. And while in danger, Pyle managed to write column after column about the soldiers he saw doing their jobs under extraordinary circumstances so the people back home could know the unvarnished truth of what their loved ones were doing for them and for country. As a result of his commitment to telling their stories and chronicling the war, Pyle met his death on Ie Island when he was hit by Japanese machine gun-fire.

In his eloquently titled column, “The God-Damn Infantry,” Pyle wrote:


We’re now with an infantry outfit that has battled ceaselessly for four days and nights.

This northern warfare has been in the mountains. You don’t ride much anymore. It is walking and climbing and crawling country. The mountains aren’t big, but they are constant. They are largely treeless. They are easy to defend and bitter to take. But we are taking them.

The Germans lie on the back slope of every ridge, deeply dug into foxholes. In front of them the fields and pastures are hideous with thousands of hidden mines. The forward slopes are left open, untenanted, and if the Americans tried to scale these slopes they would be murdered wholesale in an inferno of machine-gun crossfire plus mortars and grenades.

Consequently we don’t do it that way. We have fallen back to the old warfare of first pulverizing the enemy with artillery, then sweeping around the ends of the hill with infantry and taking them from the sides and behind.

I’ve written before how the big guns crack and roar almost constantly throughout the day and night. They lay a screen ahead of our troops. By magnificent shooting they drop shells on the back slopes. By means of shells timed to burst in the air a few feet from the ground, they get the Germans even in their foxholes. Our troops have found that the Germans dig foxholes down and then under, trying to get cover from the shell bursts that shower death from above.

Now to the infantry – the God-damned infantry, as they like to call themselves.

I love the infantry because they are the underdogs. They are the mud-rain-frost-and-wind boys. They have no comforts, and they even learn to live without the necessities. And in the end they are the guys that wars can’t be won without.

I wish you could see just one of the ineradicable pictures I have in my mind today. In this particular picture I am sitting among clumps of sword-grass on a steep and rocky hillside that we have just taken. We are looking out over a vast rolling country to the rear.

A narrow path comes like a ribbon over a hill miles away, down a long slope, across a creek, up a slope and over another hill.

All along the length of this ribbon there is now a thin line of men. For four days and nights they have fought hard, eaten little, washed none, and slept hardly at all. Their nights have been violent with attack, fright, butchery, and their days sleepless and miserable with the crash of artillery.

The men are walking. They are fifty feet apart, for dispersal. Their walk is slow, for they are dead weary, as you can tell even when looking at them from behind. Every line and sag of their bodies speaks their inhuman exhaustion.

On their shoulders and backs they carry heavy steel tripods, machine-gun barrels, leaden boxes of ammunition. Their feet seem to sink into the ground from the overload they are bearing.

They don’t slouch. It is the terrible deliberation of each step that spells out their appalling tiredness. Their faces are black and unshaven. They are young men, but the grime and whiskers and exhaustion make them look middle-aged.

In their eyes as they pass is not hatred, not excitement, not despair, not the tonic of their victory – there is just the simple expression of being here as though they had been here doing this forever, and nothing else.

The line moves on, but it never ends. All afternoon men keep coming round the hill and vanishing eventually over the horizon. It is one long tired line of antlike men.

There is an agony in your heart and you almost feel ashamed to look at them. They are just guys from Broadway and Main Street, but you wouldn’t remember them. They are too far away now. They are too tired. Their world can never be known to you, but if you could see them just once, just for an instant, you would know that no matter how hard people work back home they are not keeping pace with these infantrymen in Tunisia.

None of this remotely reminds me of Jim Acosta, et al. Not the soldiers and their relentless determination and steadfast courage, and certainly not Ernie Pyle himself. Not one goddamn bit.


[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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