Today's Fake News Roundup
Today’s “fake news” round-up is a triple header, led off by the New York Yankees…oops, sorry: the New York Times.
First up at bat, the New York Times ran a hit piece Tuesday on the Trump Administration headlined, “U.S. Loses Track of Another 1500 Migrant Children, Investigators Find.” Why, that’s horrifying! Losing track of all those children! But wait…it turns out that means they placed 1500 children with sponsors, at which point the government’s legal responsibility for “keeping track” of them ends. HHS officials do call the sponsors 30 days after they take custody of the kids to check on them, but they’re not even required to do that. This is how the system is set up, regardless of who the President is. Sorry, Salon, you'll have to scrap that follow-up story you were no doubt working on about Trump abandoning 1500 children in the Mojave Desert.
Next up is President Trump’s favorite “fake news” team, CNN. On Twitter, CNN’s Chris Cillizza summarized Trump’s comments on the Brett Kavanaugh dispute by writing, “No big deal: Just the president telling the FBI to ignore an allegation of sexual assault.” Actually, no…not at all. Here’s what Trump actually said: "I don't think the FBI really should be involved because they don't want to be involved; if they wanted to be, I would certainly do that, but as you know they say this is not really their thing."
Get that? Trump didn’t tell the FBI to ignore Kavanaugh’s accuser, the FBI told Trump this was not something they should investigate. So aside from being the exact opposite of what actually happened, Cillizza’s tweet was completely accurate.
At least our third “fake news” story offers a slight ray of hope that the media might one day redeem itself and become a source of journalism again instead of DNC talking points. It involves the New York Times actually admitting a previous negative story about Trump was wrong. In a tweet, the Times noted that they had predicted Trump’s vacating of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions might cause oil prices to spike and tank the economy, or Iran to restart its nuclear program, “but so far, the policy has been effective without either of those consequences.”
I know it doesn’t seem like much of a concession to acknowledge the plain truth of something that’s right in front of your face, but when doing so means admitting that Trump was right (“so far”) and the Times editors were wrong, that’s the biggest leap forward that journalism has taken since the printing press was invented.
Salem Witch Trials revisited
At this writing, it’s still not known when or if Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser will testify to the Senate. The story seemingly changes from minute to minute, both from her and her supporters: from wanting not to be identified to wanting a public hearing; to being granted a hearing then claiming the Senate Republicans are “old, white men” who plan to bully her in public (even though they offered to question her in private, to go wherever she asked, and to send female staffers to do it.) The latest I’ve heard is that maybe she’ll talk after the FBI finishes thoroughly investigating an allegation with no witnesses, evidence, or set date or location.
In fact, there is only one thing of which we can be certain, and that is that self-declared liberals who claim they oppose Kavanaugh because he won’t defend civil rights (which used to include due process, presumption of innocence, and the right to face your accuser and have an impartial jury judge you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt) have already declared him guilty and are ready to burn him at the stake as an attempted rapist, based entirely on an unsubstantiated allegation. If you think I’m exaggerating, look at the Twitter feed of any Hollywood liberal and read the approving comments sparked by the calls for his head.
Given Judge Kavanaugh’s decades of public service, legal scholarship and squeaky-clean personal life, we now know they would have pulled this same tactic on any judge Trump nominated (indeed, they started denouncing Trump’s nominee before Trump even named him). So I started to wonder: what kind of judge would today’s foaming-at-the-mouth leftists accept? I know they claim they want another Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but let’s be real: if Trump had nominated Ginsburg, they would have ripped her to shreds, too.
No, I mean, based not on what they say they want but what they have demonstrated that they believe about the law and due process, who would be the perfect SCOTUS nominee to reflect the views they are currently championing? And I think I’ve found him: Judge John Hathorne.
Judge Hathorne has the perfect legal resume to please Kavanaugh’s critics, having been one of the earliest and most diligent judges of the Salem Witch Trials. Just read this excerpt of him questioning defendant Bridget Bishop and tell me if this doesn’t sound exactly like what we’ve been hearing the past few days on Twitter, MSNBC, HuffPo, etc.:
Bishop : “I know nothing of it. I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is.”
Hathorne : “How do you know then that you are not a witch?”
Bishop : “I do not know what you say.”
Hathorne : “How can you know you are no witch, and yet not know what a witch is?”
It’s only the smallest step from that to “That kind of adamant denial from Kavanaugh is the kind of thing a guilty person would say!” or “If he has 65 female former classmates ready to testify to his good character, then he must’ve known he was going to be accused of sexual assault! That proves he's guilty!” Or simply, as we learned at Salem, the seriousness of the accusation outweighs the lack of evidence.
There’s only one problem: Judge Hathorne has been dead since 1717. But his spirit obviously lives on in today’s new Puritans: the modern “Progressive” Democratic Party that constantly accuses Republicans of wanting to turn back the clock even as they seek to reimpose the evidentiary and civil rights standards of the 17th century.
Trump visits flood victims
There may be no better illustration of why the left’s attitude toward President Trump is called “Trump Derangement Syndrome” than their reaction to this heartwarming moment from Trump’s visit with flood victims at a Baptist church in New Bern, North Carolina. A young boy named Tucker who was volunteering with his family ran up and asked, “Mr. President, can I have a hug?” A smiling Trump gave the kid a hearty hug, then called out for his dad, gave him a thumb’s up and said, “You did a good job.”
Naturally, the left was OUTRAGED. They accused the boy of being a paid plant. They claimed it had to be fake because Trump never hugs his own kids (there’s no limit to the things they know.) They claimed it was racist and that Trump only hugged the boy because he was white and he never hugged any hurricane victims in Puerto Rico (again, amazing the things they know.)
So now, Trump has been savaged for hugging a little boy while comforting flood victims. I can only imagine what they would have said if he’d turned down the kid’s request for a hug.
Hurricane Hillary back in the news
In all the media attention to Hurricanes Florence and Feinstein, Hillary Clinton’s latest attempt to reinsert herself back into the public consciousness went virtually unnoticed. But it is deserving of notice, because it serves as a needed reminder of just how wise the voters were to reject her in favor of Donald Trump – or any Republican, for that matter.
In an effort to resuscitate sales of her book, “What Happened” (ironically, written by the only person in America who still hasn’t figured out what happened), Hillary added a new chapter, savaging the guy who beat her. It’s basically a rehash of all the anti-Trump talking points that have been spewed into the media atmosphere for the past 18 months or so while Trump has just kept on fulfilling campaign promises (smashing ISIS, bringing back jobs, getting GDP growth above 4%, appointing constitutionalist judges, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, etc. etc.) In fact, it’s really nothing much that Hillary didn’t already say even before the election, when she claimed that (Horrors!) Trump might not accept the election results. If you’d like to save the cost of a book, this tweet of hers from Tuesday blessedly sums up most of her latest salvo against Trump in less than 280 characters:
“Donald Trump refuses to be subject to the law. The legitimacy of our elections is in doubt. The president is waging war on the truth. The administration is undermining the national unity that makes democracy possible. And then there's the breathtaking corruption.”
If you really need more, she also wrote an op-ed for the Atlantic, claiming that America is in “crisis”:
“Trump may be uniquely hostile to the rule of law, ethics in public service, and a free press. But the assault on our democracy didn’t start with his election”…She blames “a small group of right-wing billionaires” for “building an alternative reality where science is denied, lies masquerade as truth, and paranoia flourishes.”
As you might expect, countless Internet commenters replied that aside from changing “right-wing billionaires” to “left-wing billionaires,” every last word of that was far more applicable to herself than to Trump. It’s yet another display of that stunning lack of self-awareness that caused her to be shocked to discover that Americans didn’t want to vote for someone who condescendingly dismissed them as a basket of racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic deplorables. She forgot to add, “No offense.”
The only thing remotely new in her latest fit of anguish was a call for (surprise!) abolishing the Electoral College. Several wags pointed out that politicians only decide the Electoral College is evil after they lose an election in it. The Founders created it for good reason: so the most populous states couldn’t dominate the entire country. And in 2016, it worked exactly as intended: Hillary campaigned in New York and California, foolishly running up a meaningless lead in states Trump had already conceded, while ignoring other states she needed for an electoral win, such as Michigan and Wisconsin. If she didn’t care enough about the citizens of those states even to visit them during campaign season, then she had no business being their President. See how that works? The Founders were truly geniuses.
As another Democratic presidential loser reminded us in 2000, when he thought he might lose the popular vote and win the Electoral College, “This is not a popularity contest.” Of course, Al Gore said that before he won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College. After he lost, the election suddenly became a popularity contest.
On Twitter, ex-CIA official Bryan Dean Wright offered the perfect response to Clinton’s assault on the Electoral College (and the legitimacy of the election):
“Fourteen Democrats have managed to win the Electoral College. You weren’t one of them. That loss doesn’t reflect a broken system. It reflects a broken candidate.”
Apparently frustrated that other news was drowning out her rhetorical self-immolation, Hillary then tried to jump in front of the latest parade by declaring that Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser deserves to be believed and to receive an FBI investigation. You’d think by now she would have figured out that declaring herself the champion of sexual assault victims is guaranteed to backfire worse than one of Wile E. Coyote’s Acme gadgets, but no. Her comments prompted Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones to reemerge and suggest that Hillary call for an FBI investigation into their claims against Bill Clinton.
I can’t help thinking that none of these things were the responses Hillary was shooting for. And to prove she is the gift that keeps on giving (to Republicans), she also tried to horn in on the Democrats’ transparent attempts to block President Trump from declassifying the suspect FISA-related documents that launched the endless investigation of his campaign staffers for “Russian collusion” that has so far proved nonexistent.
Congressional Democrats, who leak worse than a thrift store aquarium, are suddenly declaring it unconscionable to reveal classified information. And again demonstrating zero awareness of her own public image, Hillary tried to position herself as the champion of protecting state secrets, claiming that by ordering classified documents be made available for the public to see what actually happened, Trump somehow is "waging war on the truth."
She’s right: if Trump wants to expose classified information, he should do it the way a responsible public servant does: by sending it over an unsecured email server to the laptop of a known pervert.
Your Tax Dollars At Work:
Producer John Sullivan tried to purchase a sponsorship of the National Public Radio show “Fresh Air” to promote his new movie, “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” Gosnell was the Philadelphia abortion doctor who ran the filthy clinic where women suffered unspeakably unhygienic conditions and babies who survived abortion were killed. He was found guilty in 2011 of three counts of murdering newborns, manslaughter in the death of a mother, 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Sullivan’s initial sponsorship script read: “Support for this NPR program comes from the film ‘Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.' The film is the true story of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. A story the mainstream media tried to cover up because it reveals the truth about abortion.”
Sullivan received an email from NPR telling him that he could not refer to Gosnel as an “abortionist.” So he changed it to “abortion doctor.” Still not good enough. The only acceptable term for NPR was “Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell.” That’s sort of like saying that “Helter Skelter” is a film about “Los Angeles-area songwriter Charles Manson.”
NPR claimed that was necessary to comply with FCC regulations and avoid implying bias in NPR’s journalism. But their own reporters have said “abortion doctor,” and Sullivan notes that it’s what the film is specifically about: Gosnell was not a podiatrist or a proctologist, he was an abortionist.
Because of things like this, the producers are having trouble promoting the film, just as news media at the time did everything they could to avoid covering his trial. The film (which stars Dean Cain) opens on October 12, and you can learn more about it and see a really terrific trailer at http://www.gosnellmovie.com
The full story is at the link, along with an interesting observation by one of the film’s co-producers: if NPR can afford to turn down sponsorships from movies critical of abortion, “maybe they don’t need government subsidies any more. “
Sen. Cory Booker claims it would be “irresponsible” of him not to consider running for President. After all, we’ve had two Adamses, two Johnsons, two Roosevelts and two Bushes and not one President Spartacus.
In his latest column for NATIONAL REVIEW, Andrew C. McCarthy echoes what we've been saying about the painfully obvious goal of Senate Democrats' use of Dr. Ford's claim, and he minces no words. Indeed, he says that if they're allowed to get what they want through tactics like these, the integrity of the Senate confirmation process will have been essentially destroyed. (Of course it will --- these people destroy everything they touch, and that's exactly what they mean to do.) Senate Republicans MUST stand firm.
McCarthy's column is an absolute must-read. He also includes a link to his previous column on the same subject,; it's a must-read, too.
Jonathan Turley on Kavanaugh case: Testify BEFORE any investigation
The woman who claims that Judge Brett Kavanaugh tried, as a high school student, to assault her at a party has now said she won’t testify until after the FBI investigates. Never mind that the FBI has already done several very thorough background checks on Kavanaugh and has declined to look at claims of this incident from who-knows-what-year at who-knows-what-address, and also never mind that Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings have already been held.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s unconscionable withholding of this allegation until days before the committee vote is responsible for this mess. But her liberal colleagues love it. What a brilliant strategy! Why, maybe now they can delay the full Senate vote until after the midterms, when they perhaps will have just enough votes to derail Kavanaugh’s appointment. And if they don’t have the votes then, heck, maybe they can delay for a couple more years or longer, till after the 2020 election and the convening of the newly reconstituted Senate in 2021, and then see how it goes. Sure, they can keep a seat on the Supreme Court vacant for years if necessary! Why not?
Sen. Feinstein and her like-minded colleagues are ready to do whatever is necessary to keep this charade going. The ongoing circus would have the added benefit of taking attention off any news that might be made in the coming weeks from declassifying those previously redacted FBI documents.
So, the accuser's demand is this: FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh first, her testimony afterwards. But one of our go-to legal experts, Jonathan Turley, says it should be the other way around. “There may indeed be a basis for reopening the FBI background investigation,” he says, “but the priority is to get both the testimony of Ford and Kavanaugh under oath.”
Turley says it was correct for the Senate to delay the vote to give Ford a chance to testify. We don’t know much about her allegations, he points out, because we haven’t heard from her. She has the right to be heard, but she does not have the right to set the conditions before testifying under oath, as she is trying to do. Similarly, though some Democrats are saying that she has “a right to be believed,” she does not. No one does. Under due process, she has the right to be heard, but there is no legal right to be believed. (It’s not in the Constitution. Take a look.)
Even Sen. Feinstein has let it slip that she doesn’t know if everything Ford says is truthful. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean Ford is deliberately lying, just that she might not be remembering what, in truth, happened. From what I’ve heard, most victims of assault can remember the place, the date (certainly the year), the situation, who was there, and many other details they’d probably LIKE to forget. This woman’s recollection is so vague and the incident happened so long ago that it’s easy to think she might be mistaken.
That can happen in therapy, especially with “recovered memories” many years later, the power of suggestion and sometimes hypnosis. If that were the case, she might pass a polygraph with flying colors by remembering something as true that didn’t really happen that way. Someone likely did behave aggressively towards her at some point, but it might have been another boy. The therapist’s notes don’t give his name, not even a first name. It might have been at a party that Kavanaugh didn’t even attend, but how can he establish that if there is no date, no location?
Anyway, Turley offers a good rationale for having the testimony come first. These two people may not remember much more than what we’ve already been told –- Kavanaugh says he remembers NOTHING because he was not THERE –- but we’d be able to establish for the record exactly what that is. “Once their testimony is locked in,” says Turley, “the Senate –- and the public –- will have a better idea of whether further investigation is warranted.”
That investigation would take the form of a reopened FBI background investigation and, from what some law enforcement experts are saying, might be completed in a matter of days. It would definitely NOT, according to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, be an FBI criminal investigation.
At this writing, Dr. Ford has been given until 10AM Friday to let Congress know if she’s going to testify on Monday. It can be an open hearing, a closed hearing, or she can just be questioned by congressional staff. Amazingly, he is even offering to have the questioners travel to her location if that’s what she prefers. Prediction: If Sen. Grassley announces that Ford’s failure to testify Monday will trigger the scheduled vote, and the Republicans appear to have the votes to confirm, she’ll go under oath one way or another. Because the whole idea of this is to keep that vote from happening.