BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: New York Times

Disturbing Admission of Former CIA Director Inadvertently Illustrates Disastrous Politicization

Gen. Michael Hayden, the former NSA and CIA director, has inadvertently revealed the ultimate subtext for the political establishment’s antagonism towards President Trump.

He writes in a recent New York Times editorial:

When asked for counsel these days by officers who are already in government, especially more junior ones, I remind them of their duty to help the president succeed. But then I add: ‘Protect yourself. Take notes and save them. And above all, protect the institution. America still needs it. [Emphasis mine]

This is the buried lede in an essay adapted from Gen. Hayden’s forthcoming book The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies.

The focus of his piece is that we are moving into a new “post-truth era,” making it impossible for intelligence agencies to do their job.

But as I show in a new piece at The Federalist, this premise masks the true animating factor behind the words and deeds of the national security and foreign policy establishment in relation to President Trump from the 2016 campaign on.

The establishment has served under presidents before who have not been, to put it politely, paragons of truth and virtue — sometimes to the great detriment of our national security.

What really differentiates the current president from his predecessors is his willingness to speak one major inconvenient truth: The world has gotten progressively more dangerous and chaotic under establishment leadership in the post-Cold War era, in particular under the Obama-Clinton administration.

Calling out this failure, and challenging the worldview that has led to the actions that caused it, is what these individuals cannot abide because it represents an attack on their power, influence and credibility.

“[A]bove all, protect[ing the institution” is a sentiment that would suggest those in our bureaucracies would condone all manner of actions that undermine our constitutional order.

And what have we seen over the last two years in the national security and foreign policy establishment, as well as our justice system?

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Talking Immigration, American Sovereignty and Leftist Media on Dennis Michael Lynch’s DML Unfiltered

Shocking But True: The New York Times Has Editors Who Oppose Jobs for Illegal Immigrants!?

Jim Epstein’s bombshell reporting for Reason magazine — which poked holes in the New York Timesviral multi-part series on supposed systemic underpayment, exploitation and abuse of primarily young Asian and Hispanic nail salon workers in New York — finally received a response from the Times‘ public editor Margaret Sullivan.

Much can and will be written about what may be the latest chapter in the annals of journalistic malfeasance, this one allegedly consisting of shoddy and/or one-sided reporting in order to meet a favored narrative. And this is no small aside mind you, as as I have argued many times, today narrative is omnipotent — it trumps all else including truth.

But it was a line in Sullivan’s response on behalf of the Times tangential to the nail salon story that might have proved the most shocking revelation of all.

Sullivan wrote:

The [New York Times] editors [involved with the nail salon investigation] objected to many elements of Mr. Epstein’s reporting, including his apparent defense of practices that allow undocumented or illegal immigrants to work in salons.

Could these editors of the New York Times actually be saying what I think they are saying?

The Times opposes jobs for illegal immigrants?

Has the long march for social justice halted?

What in the name of “Pinch” Sulzberger is going on?

Then again, to be fair, Ms. Sullivan does assert that she is particularly heartened when the Times takes up the causes of the “poor and voiceless.” Sullivan also notes that “The [nail salon] series and its author, Sarah Maslin Nir, had admirable intentions in speaking for underpaid or abused workers.”

Assuming that the Times pursues such stories according to actual journalistic standards — following the facts as opposed to shaping some and omitting others to form a predetermined narrative — this would be all well and good. Surely journalism is in part about exposing injustice.

But it appears that the Times feels no such compassion let alone empathy for those incurring significant harm by government due to regulation.

As Sullivan writes:

Until now, The Times has not responded to that [Reason’s] series because editors believe they defended the nail salon investigation fully when they responded to Mr. Bernstein’s complaints, and because they think the magazine [Reason], which generally opposes regulation, is reporting from a biased point of view.

But is not the Times reporting from a biased point of view to the degree to which it feels that by mere dint of a publication’s general opposition to regulation, its reporting is thereby illegitimate or ought to be ignored? What about making the voice of the hyper-regulated heard?

There are millions of other victims of the powers that be who remain voiceless thanks to the Times‘ political bent.

In an ideal journalistic world, victims of all types would be heard, and their stories told based on truth, not narrative.

Featured Image Source: Wikipedia Commons.

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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China Chills ‘Rumor Spreaders’ Because It Can’t Handle The Truth of Communist Wreckage

The recent collapse of the Chinese stock market, and the inability of the country’s central planners to “successfully” intervene and stop the slide of prices artificially elevated thanks to their previous intervention is a serious rebuke to the Communist regime.

That is why today the Chinese government is seeking out scapegoats, reportedly arresting around 200 people for “rumor-mongering” or related “violations” in connection with the market selloff and recent Tianjin chemical factory explosion.

This follows a series of other desperate moves:

Since an epic stock boom went bust this summer, China’s government has struggled to contain the crisis, ordering the press to downplay the story, and periodically singling out scapegoats, from hostile foreign forces, to“malicious” short-sellers, to the U.S. Federal Reserve and now, the press.

Notably, concerning this latest round of illiberal and ill-conceived “damage control,” the Chinese authorities forced a financial journalist named Wang Xiaolu to “confess” on Chinese state television to one such supposed violation resulting from a report he published in late July in which he indicated that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was contemplating ceasing share price “stabilization” efforts.

And all of this because the Communist Chinese regime cannot handle the truth that it has blown a bubble of epic proportions that like all bubbles must end in liquidation; all of this because the Communist Chinese regime cannot bear to take responsibility for its failed central planning reflected in plunging financial asset prices.

The free flow of information, like the free flow of ideas and capital, is anathema to totalitarian regimes, and indeed dangerous to them.

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New York Times: ISIS Rapes Yazidis and Carries Out Mass Sex Trade, BUT THE CRUSADES (AND CONFEDERACY)

In a New York Times article exposing the horrific barbarism of ISIS in its systematic rape of Yazidi girls and booming sex trade, you might think that America’s original sin would go uncommented upon.

But then you would be underestimating The Grey Lady.

Behold the paper of record in its full morally relativistic glory:

In much the same way as specific Bible passages were used centuries later to support the slave trade in the United States, the Islamic State cites specific verses or stories in the Quran or else in the Sunna, the traditions based on the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad, to justify their human trafficking, experts say.

You see, Antebellum America was just like the Islamic State.

Get off your high horse, Americans!


Featured Image Source: Catholicmemes.com.

The New York Times’ Book Review of Ayn Rand’s ‘Ideal’ is Beyond Parody

Roll every attack ever leveled at Ayn Rand and her fans into one book review, and you get the New York Times’ take on Ideal, the play originally conceived as a novel appearing in print for the first time.

Here is the solid gold part of the Times piece:

The story is an ugly, diagrammatic illustration of Rand’s embrace of selfishness and elitism and her contempt for ordinary people — the unfortunate, the undistinguished, those too nice or too modest to stomp and roar like the hard man Howard Roark in “The Fountainhead.” It underscores the reasons that her work — with its celebration of defiance and narcissism, its promotion of selfishness as a philosophical stance — so often appeals to adolescents and radical free marketers. And it is also a reminder of just how much her didactic, ideological work actually has in common with the message-minded socialist realism produced in the Soviet Union, which she left in the mid-1920s and vociferously denounced.

The only redeeming feature of “Ideal” is that both the novel and play are slender works, giving Rand less space to bloviate than in “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.” As it is, her characters here make comically portentous statements and engage in breathless, grandiose exchanges.

… The point throughout much of this novel and play — as it is in much of Rand’s work — is that most people are sniveling fools or sheepish sheep, afraid to pursue their dreams or claw their way to the top: They are hypocrites unable to live up to their professed ideals, cowards who live vicariously through others.

Classic.

Featured Image Source: YouTube screengrab/CBS.

The Progressive Cult of Victomology’s Tears for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

Have you noticed that the passive voice — as in “Mistakes were made,” or “The YouTube video caused the attack,” — has become ubiquitous in American political discourse?

Leave aside instances in which its usage reflects an unwillingness or inability for individuals to take responsibility for failure. There is another set of circumstances in which it is used to pernicious effect.

Exhibit A comes to us courtesy of the New York Times, in an article written about the declining popularity of Warren Wilhelm, aka New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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Climate Change Versus Free Speech

If you dare to challenge the scientific establishment generally, and its global warming adherents specifically, you better have deep pockets and plenty of time on your hands. That is the takeaway of the last 15 months, and soon to be more, of Mark Steyn’s life — one of the recent victims of the Left’s war on speech whose case has arguably been the least-covered but most deserving of your attention.

For those unfamiliar, Steyn, author and contributor for the “National Review,” along with Rand Simberg of the Competitive Enterprise Institute are embroiled in a defamation lawsuit with noted climate scientist Michael Mann. Mann is the famous originator of the so-called “Hockey Stick Graph” climate model.

Michael Mann (R) is suing Mark Steyn (L) for defamation. (Credit: Michelle Siu/National Post//Pennsylvania State University)

Dr. Mann filed suit against Steyn, Simberg and the “National Review” on Oct. 22, 2012. In his complaint he leveled varying libel charges against each of the defendants. Herein I focus on the allegations against Steyn in particular since his prospective hockey stick beheading as sacrifice to the scientific gods upon the altar of global warming is the most well-chronicled, and based on the least compelling evidence against the two individuals in the case.

Steyn has incurred literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees over the last 15 months defending himself against the following charge from Dr. Mann [emphasis and hyperlinks added]:

“Mr. Steyn’s statement, published by NRI on National Review Online, that Dr. Mann “was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change ‘hockey-stick’ graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus” is defamatory per se and tends to injure Dr. Mann in his profession because it falsely imputes to Dr. Mann academic corruption, fraud and deceit as well as the commission of a criminal offense, in a manner injurious to the reputation and esteem of Dr. Mann professionally, locally, nationally, and globally…In making the defamatory statement, NRI and Steyn acted intentionally, maliciously, willfully, and with the intent to injure Dr. Mann, or to benefit NRI and Steyn. Accordingly, NRI and Steyn are liable to Dr. Mann for punitive damages in an amount in accordance with proof at trial.”

Got that? Make fun of a climate scientist and be prepared to lawyer up.

Now before we proceed, we need not get into the science of global warming or climate change or whatever it’s being called this week, “Climategate” or Rand Simberg’s comments comparing Michael Mann to a fellow former Penn State employee Jerry Sandusky for “molested and tortured data.” Nor do we need to discuss the fact that Dr. Mann’s initial complaint had to be amended, reflecting the fact that while he originally declared himself in a legal document (and on Twitter per the below) as a Nobel laureate, he actually was not (speaking of misrepresentation).

And I do not intend to debate the merits of the case, however weak from a non-legalistic perspective I think Mann’s position may be, given that the couple of phrases that offended Mann look mild compared to the typical invectives hurled at people who stake out what Mann himself pejoratively calls the “climate denier” position; and however hard it is to believe that Mann has suffered at all, given that as he has argued as recently as two weeks ago in a “New York Times” article “the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening.”

While all of these topics are ripe for discussion, and I urge you to research them yourselves, what really matters is the fact that Steyn, Simberg and the “National Review” were forced to defend themselves in a court of law in the first place.

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