Patterico's Pontifications


Trump To Law Enforcement: Do Better, People!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:51 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Trump was interviewed yesterday by Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade. When asked about how the President would change things, with regard to law enforcement and the killing of George Lloyd, Trump said…well…you can read below what he said:

KILMEADE: So you have a pandemic and a national unrest. Two unprecedented things that I would argue in my lifetime and probably yours. But the big picture I thought we would be talking about the day after George Floyd’s tragic death, which I think you agree it seems that law enforcement — you don’t want to convict someone before they have trial. But 96 percent of the country thinks that was out of bounds — the knee on the neck killed him.

I’m one of them. Again wait (ph) to see where the trial comes out. But this is the one stat I’m going to bring you to, and I’m going to ask you if could attack this.

According to a Axios-Ipsos poll, 70 percent of white Americans say they trust the local police. Only 36 percent of African-Americans do. How do you attack that problem? How do you change things?

TRUMP: Well I think it’s a very sad problem. As you know as a Republican I’m doing very well with African-Americans and with the vote with the — in polls and everything — especially I mean I haven’t seen one very recently because you had the plague come in from China.

So that changed things up, but we had the best economy ever. We had the best numbers for African-American on employment and unemployment in history. Best homeownership — best everything. We had the best numbers in everything — not only African-American, but the African-American numbers were great.

KILMEADE: How do you handle the law enforcement part?

TRUMP: Well I think you have to get better.

KILMEADE: How do you handle the law enforcement part of this?

TRUMP: They have to get better than what they’ve been doing. I mean obviously that was a terrible thing. And I’ve spoken about it numerous times in various speeches.

And what’s interesting is I spoke about it when we launched a very successful rocket — a tremendous program that culminated on that day and obviously it goes on from there.

But I then made a speech and it was a speech about the rocket, and I devoted 25 percent of the speech probably to what happened — or more — to what happened with respect to George — George Floyd, and it was — and then you listen to this, he doesn’t talk about George Floyd. The rocket went off, I then I made a speech, and I talked about George Floyd, but they said he didn’t talk about George Floyd.

Half — maybe even almost half of the speech, but a large portion of the speech was devoted exactly to that. And so, you know, with — with the media you basically — and basically no matter what you do, it’s never going to be good enough. But the people understand it.


TRUMP: And that’s one of the beauties of social media. I mean, I would love not to even bother with social media, but I’m able to get my word out beautifully by social media fortunately. You use social media too.

KILMEADE: Right, also —

TRUMP: But we have to get the word out. Look, we have to — Brian, we have to get the police departments, everybody has to do better, has to do better. This is a long-term problem. This didn’t happen today.

This happened — I mean, a guy like Sleepy Joe Biden was in there for 43 years, and he says, I think we should do this, I saw today, he took his mask off for the first time in a while, I haven’t seen his face for a long time. And he said, I think we should do this, or I think we should do that.

And actually then he started speaking through the mask again. He feels comfortable with the mask on I think, and — even though there was nobody anywhere near him, which is interesting, but he made a statement about what he should do. I said, he’s been there for 43 years, he was vice president for 8 years, he didn’t do a thing. His crime bill was a disaster.


NYT Times Staffers Upset Over Publication of Sen. Cotton’s Op-Ed (Update Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:06 pm

[guest post by Dana]

New York Times staffers objected to the media outlet publishing Sen. Tom Cotton’s op-ed yesterday. In the essay, Cotton called for a military response to protesters:

Here is what Trish Hall, the former Op-Ed and Sunday Review editor, has said about submitting an op-ed to the NYT at the paper’s How to submit an Op-Ed essay page here:

Anything can be an Op-Ed. Personal or explanatory essays, commentary on news events, reflections on cultural trends and more are all welcome. We’re interested in anything well-written with a fact-based viewpoint we believe readers will find worthwhile.

The Editorial page editor also responded to the outcry, and justified the decision to publish the essay. [Ed. The opening sentence comes as no surprise...]:

*It is not unusual for right-leaning opinion articles in The Times to attract criticism. This time, the outcry from readers, Times staff members and alumni of the paper was strong enough to draw an online defense of the essay’s publication from James Bennet, the editorial page editor.

“Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy,” Mr. Bennet wrote in a thread on Twitter. “We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton’s argument painful, even dangerous. We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate.”

Don’t we want to know what our elected officials think? I certainly do! How else do we hold them accountable?

Certainly everyone has a right to voice their disapproval of anything in the NYT. But if staffers (and readers are so offended), then maybe sit down and put all of that thought and passion into writing a robust and persuasive rebuttal for publication. This is the beauty of an Op-Ed page. Protest Cotton’s essay all you want, but do not demand that the paper refuse to publish an “opinion” piece about which you strenuously disagree. If a publication claims to be committed to publishing “anything” that is well-written, then have at it. More speech is the correct answer, not less, and certainly not less because it offends you.

[Ed. Was there this same level of staff outrage when the New York Times ran an op-ed in February by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the deputy leader of the Taliban?]

Consider this a thread to also discuss the substance of Cotton’s essay linked above.

JVW pointed me to this thread by NYT op-ed writer Bari Weiss responding to the Cotton op-ed kerfuffle: full here. (Note: JVW disagreed with her last comment below, and responded to her on Twitter:

The civil war inside The New York Times between the (mostly young) wokes the (mostly 40+) liberals is the same one raging inside other publications and companies across the country. The dynamic is always the same.

The Old Guard lives by a set of principles we can broadly call civil libertarianism. They assumed they shared that worldview with the young people they hired who called themselves liberals and progressives. But it was an incorrect assumption.

The New Guard has a different worldview, one articulated best by @JonHaidt and @glukianoff. They call it “safetyism,” in which the right of people to feel emotionally and psychologically safe trumps what were previously considered core liberal values, like free speech.

Perhaps the cleanest example of this dynamic was in 2018, when David Remnick, under tremendous public pressure from his staffers, disinvited Steve Bannon from appearing on stage at the New Yorker Ideas Festival. But there are dozens and dozens of examples.

I’ve been mocked by many people over the past few years for writing about the campus culture wars. They told me it was a sideshow. But this was always why it mattered: The people who graduated from those campuses would rise to power inside key institutions and transform them.

I’m in no way surprised by what has now exploded into public view. In a way, it’s oddly comforting: I feel less alone and less crazy trying to explain the dynamic to people. What I am shocked by is the speed. I thought it would take a few years, not a few weeks.

Here’s one way to think about what’s at stake: The New York Times motto is “all the news that’s fit to print.” One group emphasizes the word “all.” The other, the word “fit.”

W/r/t Tom Cotton’s oped and the choice to run it: I agree with our critics that it’s a dodge to say “we want a totally open marketplace of ideas!” There are limits. Obviously. The question is: does his view fall outside those limits? Maybe the answer is yes.

If the answer is yes, it means that the view of more than half of Americans are unacceptable. And perhaps they are.

(Weiss then links to this: A plurality of Democrats would support calling in the U.S. military to aid police during protests, poll shows

UPDATE: The New York Times caves:

While I understand that the NYT makes necessary editorial decisions on a regular basis, readers deserve to know the standards that Cotton’s op-ed did not meet. Also, we need to know who was responsible for the alleged “rushed editorial process”. It’s a bit odd that, all of a sudden management decided that it was rushed. If management cannot provide these details, readers can only assume that they have caved to pressure from offended readers and staffers. This isn’t a good message for a major media outlet to send, especially after making the lofty assertion that the “Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy.” How foolish to back pedal, but how much more foolish to withhold op-eds by those wielding power in the nation. If we do not have access to their thoughts and arguments via an essay explaining in detail where they are at on a specific issue at any particular time, how are we to hold them accountable? How do we hold their feet to the fire, or demonstrate our support? If the Cotton essay hadn’t run, would it have run elsewhere? Would that outlet have the reach that the NYT does? Would we know in such detail, his view that we need for some kind of military intervention? Are Americans so deathly afraid of a countering view that one of the most powerful media outlets on the planet is deferring to them, and opting out of giving us the opportunity to judge for ourselves? If I can’t know the specifics of how Cotton’s essay did not meet already established standards, and judge for myself, I cannot give them the benefit of the doubt in this.

Further, expanding fact-checking can be a good move. But it is not good to curtail the number of opinion pieces because of fear of offending staffers and readers. It is not good to refrain from publishing pieces because they go against the politics of the majority of readers and staffers, who obviously skew left*. More speech, not less speech. Given the scope of reach of the NYT, it’s just a shame that they have chosen to limit what we can read, and what we can learn from those in positions of power. Of course they are free to do what they want with the publication. I just wish they would stick to a consistent message.


2nd Update:

The Secret Service Knew, and the Park Police Account Is Bull– Er, “Nonsense”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Jay Caruso at the Washington Examiner has a useful piece that shows that the Park Police are lying when they claim they weren’t clearing out protestors for the President’s tawdry little photo op:

Officers of the Park Police also said that they didn’t know the president was going to walk to the church and that they began moving protesters out of the park in advance of the 7:00 p.m. citywide curfew because protesters started throwing items at them. My colleague, Timothy Carney, was there and didn’t witness anyone throwing anything at officers until after they began to move people out of the area.

I spoke with a former Secret Service agent who worked the presidential detail and used a very colorful metaphor to describe the Park Police comments. But let’s say this source said the excuse was “nonsense.”

According to the former agent, the area in front of the White House is tricky when it comes to jurisdiction. The asphalt of Pennsylvania Avenue is controlled, technically, by the Metropolitan Police Department. The sidewalks and the park are under the Park Police. The uniformed division of the Secret Service creates the zone of protection necessary whenever the president steps outside the White House.

All coordination of different law enforcement agencies goes through the Joint Operation Command Center of the Secret Service. The former agent said clearing Lafayette Square and the Pennsylvania Avenue area in front of the White House is a relatively routine event. A misplaced tourist backpack can get the area cleared. When it happens, it is all run through the command center, ensuring that all law enforcement agencies get notified.

The Secret Service has the legal authority to set up zones of protection. The agency creates the zone, and anyone entering that area without authorization is subject to fines and possible imprisonment. What that simply means is that wherever the president goes in the United States, the Secret Service determines, under federal law, what area gets cleared out.

We already knew they were lying but this puts more meat on the bone in a substantial way.

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