Weekend Open Thread
[guest post by Dana]
Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.
First news item: New York Times 1619 project rejects fact-checker’s findings:
Leslie Harris is a Northwestern University historian who helped fact-check the 1619 Project, The New York Times’s recent package of articles that recast chattel slavery as a foundational aspect of America. The project… has also attracted criticism from historians who say that some of the project’s claims are false. Harris is one of those critics—but when she raised her objections with Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Times reporter who spearheaded the 1619 Project, she received no response.
Harris “vigorously disputed” the claim that protecting the institution of slavery was a major reason the American colonies rebelled against British rule: “Far from being fought to preserve slavery, the Revolutionary War became a primary disrupter of slavery in the North American Colonies. Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, a British military strategy designed to unsettle the Southern Colonies by inviting enslaved people to flee to British lines, propelled hundreds of enslaved people off plantations and turned some Southerners to the patriot side. It also led most of the 13 Colonies to arm and employ free and enslaved black people, with the promise of freedom to those who served in their armies. While neither side fully kept its promises, thousands of enslaved people were freed as a result of these policies….
Despite my advice, the Times published the incorrect statement about the American Revolution anyway…” In addition, the paper’s characterizations of slavery in early America reflected laws and practices more common in the antebellum era than in Colonial times, and did not accurately illustrate the varied experiences of the first generation of enslaved people that arrived in Virginia in 1619.
Second news item:
But of course: Trump’s re-election campaign has filed a defamation suit against CNN:
President Trump’s reelection campaign is suing CNN for defamation, filing its third lawsuit in two weeks against a major media outlet over opinion columns about Russian efforts to assist his 2016 presidential bid.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia, is accusing CNN of publishing a libelous opinion piece on its website about Russia’s efforts to influence U.S. elections.
“The statements were and are 100 percent false and defamatory,” Jenna Ellis, a legal adviser for the campaign, said in a statement. “The complaint alleges CNN was aware of the falsity at the time it published them, but did so for the intentional purpose of hurting the campaign, while misleading its own readers in the process. Further, the campaign, through counsel, sent a written demand to CNN on February 25, 2020 to retract and apologize for the false and defamatory statements.”
Third news item:
Employees pressure publisher not to publish book. Publisher caves to their demand:
Ronan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill — about Harvey Weinstein and other significant reporting in the #MeToo era — was published by an imprint of Hachette. Farrow learned this week that Hachette acquired Allen’s book, which troubled him for a number of reasons.
Farrow wrote in a note posted to Twitter this week, “MY sister Dylan has never been contacted to respond to any denial or mischaracterization of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Woody Allen — a credible allegation, maintained for almost three decades, backed up by contemporaneous accounts and evidence.”
He called Hachette’s actions “wildly unprofessional” and illustrative of “a lack of ethics and compassion for victims of sexual abuse, regardless of any personal connection or breach of trust here.”
75 plus employees of Hachette are standing in solidarity with @ronanfarrow, @realdylanfarrow and survivors of sexual assault and walked out of the Hachette offices today in protest of Woody Allen’s memoir. #HachetteWalkout #LittleBrownWalkout pic.twitter.com/wTNi3c7gy8
— Kendra Barkoff Lamy (@kabarkoff) March 5, 2020
New precedents set, but of course they have the right to say no to the book’s publication:
Imagine devoting your career to the publication of books, the last legitimate mainstream medium where the concepts of free speech and hearing both sides of even controversial stories are still supposedly valued and protected, and then taking part in a demonstration to STOP a legitimate work from being printed. In the not-too-distant-past, such an immature act of insubordination would have resulted, at best, in no change to the book’s publication, and, at worst, the termination of those who publicly embarrassed the company, and betrayed much of what book publishing used to be about.
Instead, in today’s upside-down world, these intellectual terrorists got exactly what they wanted, and several horrendous new precedents have been set. The virtue-signaling inmates are now running the media’s politically correct asylum.
PS: Still available from Hachette Book Group: the autobiography of Joey, a “gripping” account of a mafia serial killer who copped to 38 murders. You’ll be wowed by “the frank intelligence of” the author!
Fourth news item:
The vexing question of who conversatives vote for in the 2020 presidential election:
I’ll absolutely grant that it’s tough to be a Republican and vote for any Democratic nominee, but I’m not going to automatically grant that it’s “conservative” to keep voting for trillion dollar deficits in a time of peace and prosperity, consistent and constant dishonesty retreat in the face of foreign foes, abandonment of allies, economically destructive trade wars, rank incompetence, coddling of dictators, intentional divisiveness, requests for foreign aid in elections, and the TOTAL abandonment of the idea that character matters. Moreover, each of those flaws is warping the Republican party to be less conservative, more statist, more isolationist, and often venal. That process will accelerate if Trump wins again. So why do we just assume that it’s only suspect when conservatives oppose Trump? We’ll see what the libertarians do, but as of now there is no conservative candidate in 2020 (as that term was defined before Trump came down the escalator). So one can be conservative and agree to disagree on how conservatism is best advanced in 2020.
Fifth news item:
Here’s some of that inclusiveness and unity Democrats like to brag about:
Watch it for yourself. @hilaryr was wrong. Full stop. She said Nina didn’t have THE STANDING to quote MLK which is PEAK white woman. Then turned around and referenced “angry black women” in her faux apology. Hilary needs to watch from the sidelines now. pic.twitter.com/SFqfIt6UiD
— April (@ReignOfApril) March 6, 2020
.@JoeBiden must accept responsibility for his surrogate telling our campaign co-chair Senator @NinaTurner that she doesn't have standing to invoke the words of Dr. King. That is unacceptable and Joe must apologize to Nina and all the people of color supporting our campaign.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 6, 2020
PS to Bernie: Excited to hold you to this standard with what AOC, Rashida Tlaib, and Linda Sarsour say.
Exit question: Do any commenters have personal experience with adverse property law in California? Let me know in the comments, please, so I can ask you a few questions. Thanks.
Have a great weekend.