[The Atlanta massage parlor shootings] story has… been deeply instructive about our national discourse and the state of the American mainstream and elite media. This story’s coverage is proof, it seems to me, that American journalists have officially abandoned the habit of attempting any kind of “objectivity” in reporting these stories. We are now in the enlightened social justice world of “moral clarity” and “narrative-shaping.”
Here’s the truth: We don’t yet know why this man did these horrible things. It’s probably complicated, or, as my therapist used to say, “multi-determined.” That’s why we have thorough investigations and trials in America. We only have one solid piece of information as to motive, which is the confession by the mass killer to law enforcement: that he was a religious fundamentalist who was determined to live up to chastity and repeatedly failed, as is often the case. Like the 9/11 bombers or the mass murderer at the Pulse nightclub, he took out his angst on the source of what he saw as his temptation, and committed mass murder. This is evil in the classic fundamentalist sense: a perversion of religion and sexual repression into violence.
We should not take the killer’s confession as definitive, of course. But we can probe it — and indeed, his story is backed up by acquaintances and friends and family. The New York Times originally ran one piece reporting this out. The Washington Post also followed up, with one piece citing contemporaneous evidence of the man’s “religious mania” and sexual compulsion. It appears that the man frequented at least two of the spas he attacked. He chose the spas, his ex roommates said, because he thought they were safer than other ways to get easy sex. Just this morning, the NYT ran a second piece which confirms that the killer had indeed been in rehab for sexual impulses, was a religious fanatic, and his next target was going to be “a business tied to the pornography industry.”
We have yet to find any credible evidence of anti-Asian hatred or bigotry in this man’s history. Maybe we will. We can’t rule it out. But we do know that his roommates say they once asked him if he picked the spas for sex because the women were Asian. And they say he denied it, saying he thought those spas were just the safest way to have quick sex. That needs to be checked out more. But the only piece of evidence about possible anti-Asian bias points away, not toward it.
And yet. Well, you know what’s coming. Accompanying one original piece on the known facts, the NYT ran nine — nine! — separate stories about the incident as part of the narrative that this was an anti-Asian hate crime, fueled by white supremacy and/or misogyny. Not to be outdone, the WaPo ran sixteen separate stories on the incident as an anti-Asian white supremacist hate crime. Sixteen! One story for the facts; sixteen stories on how critical race theory would interpret the event regardless of the facts. For good measure, one of their columnists denounced reporting of law enforcement’s version of events in the newspaper, because it distracted attention from the “real” motives. Today, the NYT ran yet another full-on critical theory piece disguised as news on how these murders are proof of structural racism and sexism — because some activists say they are.
Andrew Sullivan, Establishment Intellectual Dishonesty, Media Bias, Michael Anton, Stolen 2020 Election
Michael Anton (famous for the 2016 “Flight 93 Election” essay) reflects on all the arm-twisting going on anent acceptance of the 2020 Election’s legitimacy and he has plenty of intelligent observations.
Recently, I appeared as a guest on Andrew Sullivan’s podcast. Sullivan is vociferously anti-Trump, so I expected us to disagree—which, naturally, we did. But I was surprised by the extent to which he insisted I assent to his assertion that the 2020 election was totally on the level. That is to say, I wasn’t surprised that Sullivan thinks it was; I was surprised by his evident yearning to hear me say so, too.
Which I could not do.
Sullivan badgered me on this at length before finally accusing me of being fixated on the topic, to which I responded, truthfully, that I was only talking about it because he asked. As far as I’m concerned, the 2020 election is well and truly over. I have, I said, “moved on.”
So I thought. Then I received two emails from a friendly acquaintance who is a recognized Republican expert on elections that suggested he, too, is troubled by my lack of belief. Then came two other data points, which I noticed only after the first draft this essay had been completed. Ramesh Ponnuru snarked (snark seems to be the go-to, indeed the only, device his in literary quiver) that one of the anomalies I cited in my most recent article in the Claremont Review of Books had been “debunked” by the partisan left-wing FactCheck.org. While I appreciate the insight into the sources from which National Review editors get their “facts” these days, the quote provided admits that the statistic I cited is, well, accurate. Ponurru naturally ignores all of the other points raised in my earlier article.
Jonathan Chait wrote yet another (his 12th?) article denouncing me, for this same sin of disbelief. Why did he bother? Is there even a remote chance that a single one of his New York magazine readers either read my article or encountered its argument? Or is he worried that the “narrative” of the election is so fragile that it needs to be shored up?
I wanted to move on, I really did. But when Left (Chait), center (Sullivan), faux-right anti-conservative ankle-biter (Ponnuru), and genuine, if establishment, Right (my correspondent) all agree that my lack of belief is a problem, I wondered why this should be so, and the following observations came to mind. Read the rest of this entry »
Glenn Greenwald, now exiled to Substack (and behind a Paywall), is pretty disgusted at how various arms of the establishment and the Deep State cooperated to keep voters in the dark.
All of these vital facts and questions about Hunter’s activities in China were largely suppressed from the voting population by the bulk of the U.S. media, working in tandem with Silicon Valley (which simply prevented the story from being discussed and shared on its key platforms), and the intelligence community. How was this accomplished? Largely through outright propaganda, a blatant two-pronged lie: that these materials should be ignored because they constitute “Russian disinformation.”
There has never been any evidence that Russia played any role whatsoever in these materials (The New York Times acknowledged that “no concrete evidence has emerged that the laptop contains Russian disinformation” and the paper said even the FBI has “acknowledged that it had not found any Russian disinformation on the laptop”). This newly disclosed criminal probe obviously constitutes very strong evidence of their authenticity, as was the confirmation at the time from several participants in the emails that they were genuine. Critically, not even the Bidens denied the materials from the laptop were authentic, as The Times noted last night in its story about the criminal investigation into Hunter: “The Biden team has rejected some of the claims made in the NY Post articles, but has not disputed the authenticity of the [laptop] files upon which they were based.”
Even the letter used by these media outlets to peddle the “Russian disinformation” lie — from known liars: former CIA and other intelligence community leaders, who claimed that the Hunter laptop story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information” — admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”
In sum, we have the extraordinary historic disgrace of media outlets collaborating with the intelligence community in the weeks before a presidential election to manufacture and peddle a propagandistic lie to justify censorship of highly relevant materials about the presidential front-runner and his family’s efforts to profit off his name — namely, that the documents were not authentic but rather “Russian disinformation.” …
Leading up to the 2020 election, much of the U.S. media and Silicon Valley giants decided that ensuring Trump’s defeat was such an overarching goal, a moral imperative, that anything and everything was justified to achieve it — including uniting with the professional liars of the CIA to disseminate blatant falsehoods about the Hunter Biden materials in order to discredit them, lead the public to believe they should be ignored, and justify their own burying and censoring of these materials.
Andrew Bacevich, in the London Spectator, offers some home truth.
[T]he continued ability of the mainstream media to craft a powerful anti-Republican narrative that reaches too many Americans still is too dominant. As Iâ€™ve noted before, imagine what the outcome of the election would have looked like if the media coverage of Trump was just 60 percent percent negative instead of the 90 percent negative coverage it has been for four years. Frankly, it is stunning the presidential election was as close as it was given the non-stop hits Trump took for four years.
From the false Russia collusion to the baseless racism allegations, no candidate in the history of America has had to deal with such a persistently opposition media. If Republicans want to change things, their donors should invest billions in starting legitimate, fully-funded competing news outlets tailored to Trump supporters and, equally critical, Republicans should stop giving interviews to CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and every other media outlet that slants coverage so heavily towards the Democrats. No Republican wins because they appeared on or in any of those outlets. Republicans need to cut-off all media entities who simply canâ€™t be fair.
Larry Correia writes:
Letâ€™s go back a bit to before election day to see why people would be suspicious that the game has been rigged.
Most of the mainstream polls were utter garbage, off by what I believe to be the largest amounts ever in all of American history. Of course, this thing that surely demoralized the right and helped the left raise funds was just an innocent sampling error rather than a purposeful sampling biasâ€¦ uh huh.
Then in the weeks leading up to the election, Big Tech and the media had a concentrated censorship effort to stop what was probably the juiciest October Surprise in modern history. But them silencing major newspapers and US Senators was just a mistake in their innocent efforts to â€œfact checkâ€.
Then on election day, states like Florida that were obviously swinging hard for Trump with no possible mathematical way for Biden to come back, the news wouldnâ€™t call for Trump. States where it was still clearly up in the air just based on even the most cursory of statistical analysis (Arizona) they called for Biden ASAP. But that was just innocent mistakes, and not an attempt to set the narrative of inevitable Biden victory by major media.
When Trump pulled ahead in the midwestern swing states by what were starting to appear to be insurmountable amounts, they suddenly threw the brakes on the counts. (my favorite part of this was when it looked like Trump was going to win, the Chinese Yaun crashed, which is pretty telling about just how shitty a candidate Joe Biden is) Okay, suddenly stopping all those counts seemed a little weird, but most of America went to bed thinking that this was a close race, with Trump in the lead in the EC.
Then we woke up in the morning, and everybody saw the 538 graphs showing a massive middle of the night spike for Joe Biden, with almost zilch in corresponding votes for Trump.
Now, one of those got walked back as â€œtypoâ€. (again, funny how all these â€œmistakesâ€ keep going in one direction) but the damage was already done, and all of a sudden most of America was paying a whole lot more attention to places like Wisconsin and Michigan than we usually do. Thatâ€™s how flags work. And it turned out that single six figure typo was only one of many statistically improbable Biden vote dumps to come.
Now, all of my liberal acquaintances were quick to dismiss these, with some gas lighting about how it was just deep blue inner cities votes coming in, and of obviously theyâ€™re going to vote for Joe Bidenâ€¦ Except that is them deliberately missing the point. It isnâ€™t that Biden won those, it is that he won them with statistically improbable amounts.
I donâ€™t know what the current numbers are now, but as of yesterday morning the Wisconsin Midnight Mystery Dump was something like 98.4% for Joe Biden. Thatâ€™s better than the bluest of blue cities manage. Thatâ€™s better than Biden did in DC. I saw one 28k dump yesterday (I want to say it was 538 talking about PA) that was listed as ALL for Biden. Thatâ€™s basically statistically impossible.
In a small populace, you can get 100% of the vote. However the larger the sample, the more likely there will be dissenting votes. Even in the bluest of blue areas or reddest of red areas, somebody is going to be a cranky dissident, or an old person is going to fill in the wrong circle. When you get into the hundreds or thousands yet maintain that kind of perfect ratio, basically impossible.
Plus we are supposed to believe that Joe Biden, the guy barely campaigned, who got like 12 sad looking people to his rallies, was more popular than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? This election was just that much more special? Uh huhâ€¦ Except that these few battleground state blue cities vote ratios donâ€™t match up with other blue cities around America, where it appears Trumpâ€™s support among every demographic group other than white males went UP.
Then people were quick to dismiss these statistically improbable spikes with â€œof course the mail in voting favors Biden, republicans vote in person.â€ Yes, but they donâ€™t favor Biden with these kind of ratios anywhere else in America. The ratios are more like 60-40 or 70-30. But 97-3? Oh fuck no. So either Biden is a better campaigner to the inner cities (though he rarely left his basement) than the eloquent messianic figure of Barack Obama, or thereâ€™s something fishy going on here.
Now, as a suspicious auditor type who spent a lot of hours looking for fuckery in complex systems, my gut tells me fake ballots were getting dumped into the system to make up the difference. And oh look, here is a giant pile of red flags indicating thatâ€™s the case.
Obvious point here but: media quickly calling states in Biden's favor, when they're actually close, and slow-walking the announcements of Trump's clear victories is not a good look for being trusted or fighting a narrative of an election being stolen from the voters.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) November 4, 2020
Glenn Reynolds forwards a Facebook post:
â€œIf the media narrative were real and this race was a potential Dem blowout, Uncle Joe would be in Texas. If it were a straight tossup, heâ€™d be in Pennsylvania. But heâ€™s going to MINNESOTA. And that absolutely SCREAMS that heâ€™s on defense, and knows it. On defense so much that he canâ€™t even worry about obviously LOOKING like heâ€™s on defense.â€
The reason the establishment doesn't care to hide the iron fist anymore is they've bet the farm. They're all in.
— wretchardthecat (@wretchardthecat) September 29, 2020
Burisma Scandal, Charles Lipson, Facebook, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Mainstream Media, Media Bias, Twitter
My classmate, Chicago Law Professor Charles Lipson, is justifiably indignant at the shameless partisan behavior of the Establishment Media and the Social Media giants.
[T]he Biden familyâ€™s corruption as part of th[e] entrenched system is why the social-media censorship of that story should not be seen as a separate, stand-alone scandal. It is integral to understanding how the Swampâ€™s ecosystem operations, how it defines our politics.
The operation is visible in the New York Post exposÃ© of Biden family corruption. The FBI has had those documents for months, so they should be either verified or discredited by now. Those findings, if they exist, have not leaked. If the emails are legitimate, they are bombshells. If they are false, they are worse than duds. They are a major disinformation campaign â€” an assault on our election â€” and we need to know who is behind it so we can hold them accountable.
Twitter and Facebook have prevented dissemination of the Post story on their platforms. The reason, they say, is that they have not substantiated it themselves. They decided to block all users, including members of Congress and the Presidentâ€™s press secretary, from sharing links to these published stories. Big Tech Knows Best.
Remember, this story was published by a major newspaper, a reputable one with a large circulation, subject to libel and defamation laws. Notice that the Biden presidential campaign has not denied the documents are authentic. They did deny, sort of, one item in one email, namely that VP Biden met with a Burisma executive, despite years of denying any involvement with Hunterâ€™s business dealings. The campaign issued a carefully worded statement, saying only that the vice president had not listed on his official schedule any meeting with a senior Burisma official for the day in question. Later, they acknowledged that there were long gaps in the schedule and that a meeting could have taken place. Maybe it did; maybe it didnâ€™t. We just donâ€™t know as yet. We do know, quite apart from these emails, that VP Biden met with his sonâ€™s Chinese business contacts without listing them on his â€˜official scheduleâ€™.
The New York Post has disclosed a great deal about its sourcing for these Biden stories, far more than other newspapers did when they published anonymously-sourced attacks on Trump. The social media giants didnâ€™t block those. It didnâ€™t even block discredited stories, like one from BuzzFeed that was demolished with an unprecedented public statement from Robert Muellerâ€™s Office of Special Counsel. Today, you can post links to that discredited story on Facebook or Twitter. If you are an Iranian or Chinese propaganda ministry, you can post your stories, too.
To put it bluntly: the â€˜verification standardâ€™ isnâ€™t standard and doesnâ€™t require verification unless the social-media czars say it does. It should be called the Alice in Wonderland Standard. â€˜â€œWhen I use a word,â€ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, â€œit means just what I choose it to mean â€” neither more nor less.â€ â€œThe question is,â€ said Alice, â€œwhether you can make words mean so many different things.â€â€™ And so it is with Facebook and Twitterâ€™s â€˜verification standardâ€™.
Why did Twitter and Facebook blackout news about Hunter Biden? The obvious answer is that those companies have a dog in the fight, and they are walking behind him with a giant pooper-scooper. Itâ€™s impossible to say if they picked that dog for ideological or financial reasons. Perhaps both. Most employees favor Biden, while higher-level executives want to preserve their networks of political power and influence. Both motives point in the same direction.
Trump has framed this New York Post story and its suppression on social media by saying â€˜Biden is corruptâ€™ and â€˜Big Tech is biasedâ€™. Heâ€™s right, of course, but he should go further. Oddly, he is overlooking the very idea he has campaigned on since 2015. Biden, Burisma, Chinese banks, Twitter and Facebook are all faces of the Washington Swamp. Next week, the faces may be different, but the Swamp itself will be the same. The buyers and sellers who populate this fetid ecosystem have powerful reasons to sustain it. For some, that means taking payments from foreign oligarchs and then opening doors for them. For others, that means suppressing news about who opened the doors and why. That is exactly what Big Tech is doing now. They, like the politicians they are protecting, want to retain their power and line their pockets. In Washington, thatâ€™s the Circle of Life.
Contemporary British & American newspapers regularly get hold of a photo of a Big Game hunter posing happily with a trophy, and write up him or her as a malevolent monster who sadistically murdered the beautiful, noble, and happy wild critter, who is invariably personalized with a cutsey personal name like “Cecil the Lion.”
Their gullible urban-based readership, who characteristically think that meat grows on supermarket shelves, and that wild animals normally die peaceful deaths in retirement homes, eat up this nonsense and invariably enthusiastically participate in two-minutes of hate. Too many of these people then write checks to phony-baloney Animal Protection Societies (whose officers draw princely salaries and which devote 90% of their budgets to fund-raising) as well as to Anti-Hunting Extremist Organizations.
Hunters are not actually sadists. The hunter appreciates, understands, and cares far more for the hunted animal than the sentimental television watcher or the Animal Rights crackpot. The hunter understands how Nature actually works, and finds powerful emotional and spiritual reward in personal participation in its basic and fundamental process, the contest between the hunter and the game.
“The true trophy hunter is a self-disciplined perfectionist seeking a single animal, the ancient patriarch well past his prime that is often an outcast from his own kind. If successful, he will enshrine the trophy in a place of honor. This is a more noble and fitting end than dying on some lost and lonely edge where the scavengers will pick his bones and his magnificent horns will weather away and be lost forever.”
â€“ Elgin Gates, Trophy Hunter in Asia, 1988.