Posts Tagged ‘washington post’

By John Ruberry

On Friday night Substack journalist Matt Taibbi released the first installment of the Twitter Files, which outlined the efforts by Twitter, with assists from the Democratic National Committee, to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020. It’s a dynamite story–a political party worked behind the scenes with a Big Tech company to suppress a damaging news story about a presidential candidate, in this case Joe Biden, so he could defeat the incumbent, Donald J. Trump.

That tale of intrigue is something that you would think that you would find only in political thrillers. You know, the stuff of books, movies, or TV series. Except the Twitter scandal really happened. In response, the elitist mainstream media chose one of three tactics, or a combination of them, to confront this scandal: ignore, bury, or insult. In this post I’m going to discuss the first one in depth, and I’ll get to that in a moment.

But first a look back at an incident from 2005, the year I started my own blog, Marathon Pundit. What was then called the blogosphere was a relatively happy place. In comment threads and in behind-the-scenes emails, there was regular communication between conservative and liberal bloggers and journalists, even some camaraderie, at least here in Illinois. Politically our two camps didn’t agree on much–but there was one subject where we were in unison. All of the Illinois bloggers and mainstream media reporters hated the Reverend Fred Phelps and his twisted house of worship, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. 

Some background: Phelps, who died in 2014, would bus in the few dozen members of his church, which then, as it does now, consisted only of the extended Phelps family, and protest at the funerals of soldiers and sailors killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. They held signs that read, among other things, “God Loves Dead Soldiers.” Phelps, who probably was in need of intensive psychiatric care, based his opinion on God and US military deaths on America’s acceptance of the gay lifestyle. 

Back to Illinois: There was a Phelps protest in East Peoria, Illinois in 2005 at the funeral of a US Marine gunnery sergeant, who was killed in Iraq, which the local paper, the Peoria Journal Star reported on, but it left out the Westboro Church protest. And that infuriated Bill Dennis, who wrote the now-inactive Peoria Pundit blog. 

Dennis had this say 17 years ago:

More than once, I’ve read the opinion that the media shouldn’t give Phelps and his people any “publicity.” Whether or not any particular groups gets publicity from news covering isn’t important. The news media needs to cover the news, whether or not it’s news we want to hear. It’s not the media’s job to keep us from having to hear ugly messages. The people who work in the information business need to reject the notion that the public is better off when it is kept in the dark. We wouldn’t tolerate the government doing that to us. Why does the media think it has the right to keep unpleasant news away from us?

It’s the news media’s job to answer questions, not to turn their head and pretend they didn’t hear the question.

The media’s opinion of what information should be provided to its consumers has now become dangerous. Big Tech, meaning of course Twitter, and as well as Google and Facebook, as well as traditional sources such as the legacy newspapers and broadcast networks, actively worked to suppress or ignore the Hunter Biden laptop story, which was revealed in October 2020 by the New York Post, as the presidential election season was underway. Yes, season–voting was already underway just about everywhere. Those media villains–I believe it’s fair to include those three Big Tech behemoths are part of the media–committed election interference. Think of a football game where the beat reporter for an NFL team is standing on the sidelines when the opposing team is about to score a touchdown–who then runs on to the field and tackles the player carrying the ball. Let’s call that wronged player “Trump.”

That’s what happened in 2020. 

What is the slogan of the Washington Post, which has so far has written just one story about the Twitter Files? Oh yeah, “Democracy dies in darkness.” At least the most recent time Clay Travis checked, which was this morning, the New York Times hasn’t reported on Taibbe’s Twitter revelations. Travis Tweeted a few hours ago, “It has now been two days since @twitter & @elonmusk posted actual emails & correspondence of internal documents relating to the Hunter Biden laptop censorship in 2020. The @nytimes has still not covered the story at all.”

In a story published today CBS news barely mentions Taibbi’s scoop–but it attacked Twitter owner Elon Musk. Oh yeah, attacking. A whole bunch of leftist journalists, propagandists really, went into that attack mode I discussed earlier, vilifying Taibbi for performing superb journalism.

And in regard to that Phelps story from ’05, it wasn’t just the Peoria Journal Star committing the sin of omission. You remember I said that back in the day conservative and liberal bloggers and journalists used to interact regularly about stories. I can’t find the email I sent so long ago, but I reached out to a big shot left-wing Chicago newspaper columnist about what the Peoria Pundit and I saw as media malpractice. His polite reply to me was something like this, “But if we report on Phelps and his hateful protests, then we are only doing what he wants–giving him publicity.” 

No, Mr. Newspaper Columnist, it is your job is to report the news. Not hide it, shape it, or twist it.

Democracy dies in darkness. So does the truth.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from the Chicago area at Marathon Pundit.

Yesterday I was at Workers Credit Union at the Twin City Mall. It’s the only branch of that bank I now go to because it’s the only one that is still manned by actual human beings not behind a television screen.

While I was there a man at the counter with the teller was commenting on how like me he only goes there because there are real people. The teller commented that they are thinking of converting this branch as well. When I got to the window she said the decision hasn’t been made yet but it’s a cost issue but their branch is constantly swamped BECAUSE they are the only one with real people and actual tellers at the windows.

She seemed to miss that in terms of profitability the fact that this branch is attracting customers tells you all you need to know about if getting ridding real people is a smart move.

This came to mind instantly when I read this from Stacy McCain’s piece on our mutual friend Dave Weigel who has been suspended from the Washington Post:

 I feel obligated to point out that Dave is an actual honest-to-God reporter, the kind who goes out on the road, talks to real human beings and takes notes, rather than sitting in front of a laptop making up phony narratives about people on social media, which seems to be Taylor Lorenz’s job description.

It was the same way a dozen years ago, when some of Dave’s “friends” on the Left decided to get him fired from the Post because he had the audacity to defend Ron Paul. Some of my conservative friends were doing a sack dance over Dave’s firing, but I called him up and offered him some advice: Where you go next, make sure that a travel budget is part of the deal. He signed on with Slate a few weeks later and, sure enough, a travel budget was included. Because that’s what Dave does best, really — The Man on the Scene, in an era when every other “journalist” in America seems to spend most of their time ranting on Twitter.

There is still a need for basic shoe-leather reporting in America, and that’s what Dave Weigel is best at. So this suspension from the Washington Post ought to be seen as an opportunity for some other news organization to grab Weigel and put him to work with (a) a guaranteed travel budget and (b) a promise he’ll never be fired for RT’ing a joke.

If you want actual reporting that people would find interesting the example of Dave Weigel actually going to places and talking to people rather than just sitting and pontificating might be a clue, particularly when you see the response to Salina Zito.

Of course there is a disadvantage that Dave has in the sense that last think the left wants is either for people of the right or their own people to be seen as they are in person.

David Ignatius took less that 48 hours after the new republican congress to be in office to lead with this headline:

Is Darrell Issa the new Joe McCarthy?

The meat of the article is even worse:

When you see the righteous gleam in Issa’s eye, recall other zealous congressional investigators who claimed to be doing the public’s business but ended up pursuing vendettas. I think of Robert F. Kennedy’s ruthless pursuit of labor “racketeering” when he was chief counsel of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. And, more chilling, I think of Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s use of that subcommittee to probe what he imagined was Communist Party subversion in America.

I don’t think the POST PARTISAN column needs to be renamed. I just think it needs to have punctuation added. Name it. POST: PARTISAN! At least that would be accurate.

…at least that’s what David Broder thinks:

Palin has conducted a vendetta against the Murkowski family, and she became governor four years ago by upsetting Lisa’s father, Frank Murkowski, in another low-turnout GOP primary.

I understand the political class feels privileged and entitled but I didn’t realize that running again Frank Murkowski and defeating him constitutes a vendetta. Take it from a Sicilian American Dave, you don’t know from vendetta.

Before he left office, Frank Murkowski appointed Lisa to a vacant Republican Senate seat only to see her lose the nomination this year.

So let me get this straight, Murkowski’s seat was given to her on a silver platter by her father and this is not a problem? Imagiane how different the piece would have been if said appointment had been made by a governor Palin or Bush.

When she lost the primary, that was expected to be the end of her. Miller settled in for an easy race against a little-known Democrat in his Republican-leaning state. But Murkowski, with some notable help from anti-Palin elements and parts of the energy industry, decided to try a long-shot write-in campaig/

Hold on, are you saying that anti-Palin elements drove this campaign, and the energy industry, you mean big oil etc? I thought people like Palin were supposed to be in the pocket of big oil?

The second funniest line of the piece is this one:

The demographics required that Murkowski seek support from Democrats

Let’s see democrats who absolutely loathe Sarah Palin and hope to bring her down have a choice between voting for a democrat who has no prayer or helping to defeat a candidate endorsed by Palin knowing the MSM will jump all over her for it. That must have been a real tough choice for partisan democrats. I’m sure that Broder gives that fact a lot of weight in the results, doesn’t he?

“I think that’s what voters are looking for. I don’t think that most are looking for somebody that is going to follow the litmus test of one party or another, and never deviate from it. I think they want us to think, and I think they want us to work cooperatively together. So, that’s my pledge to all Alaskans, regardless of whether you are the most conservative Republican or the most liberal Democrat, I’m going to try to find a way that we can find common ground to help the state and to help our country.”

Want to know what the election was about? That’s an authoritative answer.

So a three-way election with a turnout about the size of the turnout of MA-4’s congressional race giving where the incumbent had an incredible financial advantage and the backing of both anti-Palin forces and big energy is what the election was all about. Call me a naif but I’d guess those 60+ seats including Ann Marie Buerkle and Renne Ellmers and Allen West and the tea party movement might have a tad more to do with things.

The media is desperate to change the narrative of the last election before the next one, expect a lot more of this for a while.

More to add-on to Saturday’s topics