BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Mainstream Media

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Where Democracy Really Does Die in Darkness

In the Trump era, members of the mainstream media have fashioned themselves as tribunes of the people and arbiters of truth. “Democracy dies in darkness,” warns the Washington Post; the New York Times intones, “Truth. It’s more important than ever.”

With the election of a Republican president, the media have rediscovered constitutional government. Suddenly, executive power must be constrained again. Checks and balances are all the rage. Federalism and states’ rights are no longer racist “dog whistles,” but essential antidotes to a domineering central government.

And yet, while the media clang their alarms about how Donald Trump is supposedly turning America into a fascist dictatorship, they largely neglect the fact that democracy really is dying in other parts of the world. I explore this phenomenon, and the dire consequences the media has been tellingly blacking out from Turkey, to Hong Kong and Venezuela in a new piece at City Journal.

You can also listen to me discuss this topic at length during a radio interview with WNTK New Hampshire’s Keith Hanson here below:

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Reaction to Tarantino’s Anti-Cop, Black Lives Matter Rhetoric Illustrates Virtue of Free Markets and Free Minds

On Monday 11/2, I sat in as a guest again on Newsmax TV’s “The Daily Wrap.”

During the episode, we had the chance to discuss a variety of issues including Donald Trump and Ben Carson’s continued dominance in the polls, the RNC’s botching of the GOP debates, Quentin Tarantino’s siding with #BlackLivesMatter against cops and the market-driven backlash, our nation’s $43 million gas station in Afghanistan and much more!

You can watch the show in full, along with some particularly pertinent clips below.

Full Episode

Trump v. Carson and Current GOP Polls

The RNC’s Bungling of the GOP Debates

Quentin Tarantino’s Clinton-Like Phony “Apology”

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Words Don’t Kill People, But Donald Trump’s Might Incite Hate Crimes

In the annals of logical fallacies, this headline from The Atlantic might take the cake for most egregious in the early goings of this political season:

Atlantic Trump Hate CrimeBecause two thugs with lengthy criminal backgrounds beat up a homeless Hispanic man, one of whom allegedly told cops “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” Trump therefore inspired a hate crime?

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Of Double Standards and Triple Homicides: Media Malpractice and the North Carolina Murders

On the night of Sept. 11, 2011, three men were brutally murdered in Waltham, Massachusetts — their throats slashed and bodies covered in marijuana.

Despite the gruesome nature of the crime, which one investigator described as “the worst bloodbath” he had ever seen, the national media would have never reported on this story, let alone identified the Jewish religion of at least two of the slain, had Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Muslim and close friend of the third victim, not carried out the Boston bombing.

In fact, in spite of Tsarnaev’s ties to the victims of these yet unsolved murders, to this day articles almost specifically de-emphasize the date of the crime, the fact that as the same investigator described it, the victims’ wounds were akin to those of “an Al-Qaeda training video,” and the religion of the slain.

Contrast this story with the horrific news that three Muslims were murdered execution style in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Suzanne Askar, right, rests her head on the shoulder of Safam Mahate, a student at North Carolina State University, as they stand next to Nida Allam, far left, during a vigil for three people who were killed at a condominium near UNC-Chapel Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Craig Stephen Hicks appeared in court on charges of first-degree murder in the Tuesday deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Al Drago)

Suzanne Askar, right, rests her head on the shoulder of Safam Mahate, a student at North Carolina State University, as they stand next to Nida Allam, far left, during a vigil for three people who were killed at a condominium near UNC-Chapel Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Craig Stephen Hicks appeared in court on charges of first-degree murder in the Tuesday deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Al Drago)

Unlike in the Waltham triple homicide, this story was explicitly reported as I just laid it out – a man killed three Muslims – a man, mind you, who many reports neglected to note is a militantly anti-religious atheist progressive.

In spite of the fact that stories ran across practically every major publication, with articles from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal referring to a triple murder of Muslims, social media exploded, with individuals appalled that the crime was somehow being ignored.

The #MuslimLivesMatter hashtag, adopted from the #blacklivesmatter hashtag created in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases went viral, signaling presumably that people believe atrocities are being carried out against Muslims en masse.

The juxtaposition of these two stories is instructive when it comes to today’s media.

While we might excuse the media in the case of the Waltham homicide for originally ignoring the date, nature of murder and religious identity of the victims, given their involvement with marijuana and law enforcement’s original public hypothesis that the murder was drug related, it is telling that these facts continue to be largely ignored in coverage of the murders.

Conversely, in the case of the Chapel Hill murders, religion was explicitly injected into the story from the start, leading many readers naturally to ascribe an anti-Muslim motive to the triple homicide. Meanwhile, local police believe the murders stemmed from an altercation over a parking space.

It is ironic that in the wake of President Barack Obama’s remarks about a “random” attack by a Muslim terrorist on a Kosher supermarket — note that the White House will not call it a jihadist attack on Jews — in the case of the victims in North Carolina, again from the start they were identified as Muslims. Randomness is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

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