• Political Journalists Have Themselves To Blame For Sinking Credibility

    Political Journalists Have Themselves To Blame For Sinking Credibility

    “Our record as journalists in covering this Trump story and the Russian story is pretty good,” legendary reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN’s Brian Stelter over the weekend. Pretty good? If there’s a major news story over the past 70 years that American media has botched more often because of bias and wishful thinking, I’d love to hear about it.

    This week alone, four big scoops were run by major news organizations — written by top reporters and presumably churned through layers of scrupulous editing — that turned out to be completely wrong: Reuters, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and others reported that the special counsel’s office had subpoenaed Donald Trump’s records from Deutsche Bank. They weren’t. ABC reported that Trump had directed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the election. He didn’t (as far as we know). The New York Times ran a story that showed K.T. McFarland had acknowledged collusion. She didn’t. Then CNN topped off the week by falsely reporting that the Trump campaign had been offered access to hacked Democratic National Committee emails before they were published. READ MORE...

  • Trump's Recognition Of Jerusalem Makes Peace More Likely

    Trump’s Recognition Of Jerusalem Makes Peace More Likely

    Later today Donald Trump is expected to make a largely symbolic but important gesture, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — not as an international capital or shared capital or capital in flux or as any of the other fantasies anti-Israel types have harbored since 1967. There are a number of solid reasons to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, but the most consequential is that it helps undercut a myth that’s stood in the way of peace for years.

    For one thing, no conceivable peace deal includes a divided Jerusalem. None. Allowing Palestinian leadership to delude its people has damaged the prospects of peace for more than 30 years. Like the Right of Return, the notion that any part of Jerusalem proper will be handed over to an Arab government, much less the remnants of the PLO and their on-and-off political partners Hamas, is a nonstarter. This is not a radical Likud position, it’s one of the few issues that all major political parties, left and right, agree on in Israel. Three Days of Rage will not change this reality. READ MORE...

  • How Democrats Corrupt English To Create Hysteria

    How Democrats Corrupt English To Create Hysteria

    Liberals aren’t just peddling political euphemisms, they are contorting basic truths.

    Whenever the rare threat of a passable Republican bill emerges, we learn from Democrats that thousands, or perhaps millions, of lives are at stake. Once it passes, we learn that America is over. Taxes? Health care? Bogus international treaties? Internet regulations that were only instituted last year? It really doesn’t matter. These days, the rhetoric is always apocalyptic and always bellicose.

    How did so many liberals convince themselves that tax reform (a rare cut that is, according to sometime-reliable Washington Post factcheckers, only the eighth largest in history) signals the implosion of American life? Everyone tends to dramatize the consequences of policy for effect, of course, but a Democratic Party drifting towards Bernie-ism is far more likely to perceive cuts in taxation as limiting state control and thus an attack on all decency and morality. Taxation is the finest tool of redistribution, so it’s understandable. READ MORE...

  • New York Times Finally Admits It's Just A Democrat Super PAC

    New York Times Finally Admits It’s Just A Democrat Super PAC

    Political advocacy is not political discourse.

    Journalists will often complain that readers don’t properly understand the distinction between editorialists and reporters. To be fair, it’s often quite difficult to tell. That’s not only because of bias in coverage or because the Internet has largely wiped away the compartmentalization of the traditional paper, but because reporters now regularly give their opinions on TV, write “analysis” pieces, and make their ideological preferences clear on social media. Many news outlets — The Daily Beast, BuzzFeed, etc. — openly report from a left-wing perspective. READ MORE...

  • This Is Why We Can’t Trust Factcheckers, Part Infinity

    This Is Why We Can’t Trust Factcheckers, Part Infinity

    It’s another op-ed column masquerading as a fact check.

    During a speech at the Tax Foundation last week, Vice President Mike Pence dropped a meaningless but innocuous political talking point about the U.S. economy. “There are more Americans working today than ever before in American history,” he reportedly said.

    This statement really irritated one of The Washington Post’s factchecking professionals. “Amazingly,” Nicole Lewis contends, Pence’s statement “met with applause.” Because superficial rah-rah declarations by politicians are typically met with pie charts, I guess. The “economic boast is so mindlessly dumb we can’t believe we have to fact check it,” reads the abstract on the story. READ MORE...

  • It's Time To Destroy The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    It’s Time To Destroy The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    Not only does the CFPB undermine consumer choice, it represents the worst overindulgences of the administrative state.

    Republicans have long argued that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is corrupt, unaccountable, and unconstitutional. This week, Democrats proved that’s exactly how they like it.

    After resigning as CFPB director, Richard Cordray named his former chief of staff, Leandra English, as interim head of the agency. The Dodd-Frank financial regulation law empowered Cordray to pick someone in “absence or unavailability of the Director.” So Donald Trump made Mick Mulvaney available, invoking the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which allows the president to temporarily fill a vacancy with a government official whom the Senate has confirmed. The CFPB’s own top lawyer, a Democrat appointee, sided with Trump. It seems unlikely that a clause in Frank-Dodd meant to prevent vacancies will supersede the legitimate powers of the president, but we’ll see. READ MORE...

  • Liberals' Sudden Concern About Bill Clinton's Behavior Is Cynical & Self-Serving

    Liberals’ Sudden Concern About Bill Clinton’s Behavior Is Cynical & Self-Serving

    In the past few days a number of notable liberals have decided to take allegations of sexual assault against former president Bill Clinton seriously. Let’s just say that discarding the Clintons when they’re no longer politically useful to retroactively grab the higher moral ground isn’t exactly an act of heroism. But if we’re going to re-litigate history, let’s get it right.

    “That so many women have summoned the courage to make public their allegations against Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, and Bill O’Reilly—or that many have come to reconsider some of the claims made against Bill Clinton—represents a cultural passage,” says David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker (my italics). It takes plenty of courage to face powerful men with sexual assault allegations. But how much courage needs to be summoned to “reconsider” Bill Clinton’s behavior now, more than 20 years after we first learned about it? Zero. Democrats pay no political price for going after the former president, nor will Clinton face any consequences. READ MORE...