IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Yet another study confirms the rigged nature of social media and Internet search.
- We knew unions were heavily Democrat, but 99% is ridiculous.
- By conflating sexual harassment with assault and rape, the Leftmedia pushes its agenda.
- The Federalist Papers are still “the best commentary on the principles of government.”
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary.” —Fisher Ames (1807)
By Thomas Gallatin
If one blatantly dismisses all accusation of bias as patently false when data would suggest otherwise, one will find little sympathy to accept one’s accusation of another as guilty of the same sin. Or to put it in more common parlance, it’s the pot calling the kettle black.
Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, in the run-up to the presidential election, ran an experiment to determine just how biased toward leftist politics were the nation’s leading social media giants. As Frank Foer, a writer for The Atlantic, describes, “The social media companies are the gatekeepers. Whatever choices these companies make to elevate or bury information is very powerful and will have a big impact on what people read.” Epstein found that Google searches returned twice as many pro-Hillary Clinton news articles as did Yahoo. Even more disturbing was Google’s targeting tactic. Men in blue states saw more than double the pro-Clinton articles than did women in red states. Epstein charges that Google’s search algorithm ranked pro-Hillary articles ahead of any positive articles on Donald Trump.
Another study conducted by Nicholas Diakopoulos, a professor at Northwestern University, found that in December 2015 Google search results of presidential candidates showed seven out of every 10 articles were positive toward Democrats, whereas less than six out of 10 were positive for Republican candidates. We’re surprised it was that high. On election night, only 1% of 113 featured Google election-related searches produced articles from conservative news sources.
Meanwhile, in spite of the mainstream media’s overwhelmingly negative coverage of Donald Trump, he won the election, which prompted the MSM to immediately lob charges of a dubious Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy as well as the “major” problem of “fake news.” Facebook later announced that it would be looking to develop programs to limit fake news, especially from the Russians. But conservative media outlets began to see more of their content limited on leading social media sites, such as Prager University witnessing much of its content on Google-owned YouTube being labeled as restricted for no apparent reason other than the fact that it promotes conservative ideology.
So, is it really the Russians that the MSM and the social media giants are seeking to stop? If it is, they don’t seem to be doing a very good job. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Russian state-run news network RT is thriving on YouTube and Facebook. RT’s English language YouTube channel has garnered more than 2.1 billion views and has 2.2 million subscribers, putting it on par with CNN’s YouTube channel. Add another 3.3 billion views from 20 other RT-related YouTube channels and one can clearly see that the Russians are having little trouble getting their message into American media.
The Journal reports, “Unlike other government-funded news outlets, such as the U.K.‘s BBC or the U.S.’s Radio Free Europe, researchers say RT is more overtly political, with a goal of undermining Western institutions and democracies. … Researchers and former RT employees say the outlet highlights conflict in the West, questions prevailing narratives in Western media and promotes conspiracy theories.”
Humorously, CNN has just launched an ad campaign entitled “Facts First” designed to sell its brand as genuinely real news from a trusted source as opposed fake news. The ad features an apple with a voice over telling viewers not to believe those who would say it is a banana. CNN, dost thou protest too much?
From 2012 through 2016, labor unions donated roughly $765 million to political causes and groups, and a staggering 99% of those donations went to leftist political causes or candidates. Luka Ladan, communications director for the Center for Union Facts, stated, “For years, labor unions have hijacked member dues to fund Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List and other pro-abortion groups. Yet many union members oppose the abortion lobby. The Employee Rights Act would require union officials to obtain permission before spending dues dollars on left-wing political advocacy.”
For example, in 2007 alone, labor unions donated $1.8 million to Planned Parenthood, $810,000 to Emily’s Choice and $45,000 to NARAL Pro-Choice America. Often a majority of union members do not know that their dues are funding the abortion lobby. “Big Labor doesn’t really want to publicize it,” Ladan said.
Recognizing the massive imbalance in union spending on leftist political causes, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale stated in July, “We may have gotten too close to one party. We should be for people who are for us, regardless of party label.”
There’s a novel concept, considering that roughly 40% of union household members vote Republican.
The Employee Rights Act, a bill introduced in the House this past May, would seek to stop the current unfair labor union practices by enabling workers the freedom to select or refrain from union representation as well as require union officials to obtain permission from union members before spending dues on causes they may oppose. There’s a reason why unions have steadily been losing members, much of it having to do with the fact that union leadership for years has been using member dues as slush funds for Democrats and leftist politics rather than truly advocating for workers’ rights. Hopefully, the Employee Rights Act passes, giving not only workers more choice in accepting union representation, but also giving union members the power to choose those political causes they wish to support.
Jimmy Carter wants to partner with Trump (CNN)
Sessions unleashes organized crime task force on MS-13 (The Washington Times)
Illegal alien who paved way for Massachusetts’s “sanctuary” policy arrested in stunning robbery (The Washington Times)
Regulatory scheme killed by EPA’s Scott Pruitt cost taxpayers $69 billion (Washington Examiner)
Rising eco-terrorist threats to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will cost taxpayers $2 million per year (Washington Examiner)
Hillary Clinton’s top aides still being paid by campaign nearly one year after defeat (The Washington Free Beacon)
Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking (The Washington Times)
Several NFL stadiums half full or worse (Pajamas Media)
Columbia law professor: Letting a right-wing activist speak is “an act of violence” (Reason)
Humor: Report: Everything on Internet entirely made up (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: The special ops mission in Niger was routine. Stop politicizing it. (The Daily Signal)
Policy: On Amazon and the tech monopolies (National Review)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
By Nate Jackson
Earlier this year, former Fox News ratings champ Bill O'Reilly was ousted after sexual harassment allegations became more than the network could ignore or quietly settle. Well, now we know what Fox News actually paid to settle just one case against O'Reilly — former Fox legal analyst Lis Wiehl was reportedly awarded a mind-blowing $32 million. Wrongful death settlements rarely approach that figure, much less settlements for what O'Reilly still pathetically contends are false sexual assault allegations. And it was at least the sixth such settlement for O'Reilly and Fox.
Consider the source, but The New York Times reports, “Although the deal has not been previously made public, the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, acknowledges that it was aware of the woman’s complaints about Mr. O'Reilly. They included allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her, according to the people briefed on the matter” [emphasis added].
National Review’s David French argues it’s time to banish O'Reilly from conservative media: “How many serious allegations must there be — and how much settlement money must O'Reilly pay — before conservatives apply the same standards to him that they would eagerly apply to a liberal of corresponding fame and importance? Yet prominent conservatives are guests on his new ‘No Spin News,’ and he’s consistently a guest on other conservative programs. O'Reilly should be banished from every serious and meaningful conservative outlet just as Weinstein is being stripped of his progressive public platforms. Frankly, there is no need for O'Reilly’s voice in the public square.”
The timing of the Times’ report is … well, interesting, given that Hollywood has been under the microscope over its “see something, don’t say anything” approach to alleged serial sexual miscreant Harvey Weinstein. The entertainment industrial complex is upset now, of course. But they weren’t the only ones sweeping it under the rug — the media played its role all too well. Are Leftmedia outlets attempting to make up for that silence by nailing everyone they can find now? Or are they just after conservative leaders?
A major hint comes from The Washington Post, which jumped into the fray with a new story about old sexual harassment allegations against Donald Trump. “What pisses me off is that the guy is president,” said Melinda McGillivray, who accused Trump of groping her in 2003. Jessica Leeds, another accuser, lamented, “It is hard to reconcile that Harvey Weinstein could be brought down with this, and [President] Trump just continues to be the Teflon Don.”
Several other women have also accused Trump of similar behavior over the years.
We in our humble shop did everything we could to stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination, in large part because he is a man of grossly inadequate character. Criminal character, if the allegations are true, although the lack of settlements contrasts with both O'Reilly and Weinstein. When the “Access Hollywood” tapes came out as last year’s October surprise, we blasted Trump for his horrible and inexcusable behavior while noting the difference between words and deeds.
At the same time, it’s incredibly suspicious that almost all of the allegations against Trump came out not just after he secured the GOP nomination, but in October, when it began to appear that he just might have a shot to beat Hillary Clinton. That’s what makes the allegations against him unlike all the other men. Two questions: Why not speak up before Trump won the nomination? And what does it say about Clinton that he still won?
In any case, the idea that it’s beyond the pale for a president to have been accused of such things is evidence of an acute case of either memory loss or hypocrisy. The Washington Post’s only mention of Bill Clinton was a dutiful one, lest the paper be accused of leaving him out, and it was merely a glancing note of his affair with Monica Lewinsky and his settlement with Paula Jones over having “exposed his genitals to her.” Never mind that Clinton was credibly accused of rape. Yet for some reason Juanita Broaddrick’s name does not appear in the Post’s story.
And that’s not to mention the checkered sexual histories of presidents John F. Kennedy, Warren Harding, Woodrow Wilson and even Thomas Jefferson.
Note, however, that it serves the Leftmedia agenda to conflate harassment, assault and rape. “Harassment” in particular is a vague term that can mean anything from inappropriate jokes to unwanted physical advances. Wedging in a story about Trump’s alleged groping amidst news of O'Reilly’s harassment settlement and Weinstein’s assault and rape accusations — while almost totally ignoring Clinton’s behavior — advances the Leftmedia agenda to undermine Trump because it makes him no better than the other men. Character flaws notwithstanding, Trump’s agenda is a pretty conservative one, and thus he’s the ultimate enemy.
So the bigger question is why men in powerful positions do these sorts of things. The Post does include one quote that helps explain that: “Nobody expected him to be a good guy. People knew what kind of guy he was.” That was former Clinton White House official Elaine Kamarck on her old boss, Bill Clinton.
Indeed, the one characteristic that links these men is narcissism. In 2012, writing about Barack Obama, Mark Alexander explained: “By definition, narcissists are deeply insecure and, consequently, have an unrelenting need to be admired by others. Their low self-esteem is often imprinted from early childhood, and for many it is associated with ineffective fathering or worse, parental abandonment. Narcissists have a grandiose sense of self and of entitlement, and they have an excessive dependence upon others for self-definition and self-esteem regulation. Though they may project an image of great confidence, it is nothing more than arrogance pretending to be confidence in a cover-up of their insecurity.”
That leads to the ultimate in self-serving behavior: sexual deviancy. Gaining pleasure for oneself at someone else’s expense is a true mark of a pathological narcissist, and it’s arguably the trait that makes any or all of these allegations believable. But rather than call a spade a spade, the Leftmedia would rather use victims’ pain for political gain.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- The Federalist Papers 230 Years Later — The utility of what Jefferson called “the best commentary on the principles of government … ever written.”
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Stephen Moore: A Lifetime of Taxes Is Enough
- James Shott: Draining the Swamp: Restoring Proper Operation to Federal Agencies
- Rich Lowry: The Facebook Farce
- Tony Perkins: Voters in a Lather Over Lib Bathroom Order
- Ken Blackwell: All Hat, No Decency
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Stephen Moore: “My father built a small business from scratch with years of sweat equity and many weeks and months away from home. He employed about 100 people, and by the end of his working years the business was highly successful. He became a millionaire. He lived the American Dream. He sold a product that people wanted, provided a solid income for many families and gave lots of money to our church and numerous other charities. And every year he paid his taxes. Over the course of his lifetime, he paid millions of dollars in income taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, gas taxes and so on. He died two years ago at age 91. Should people like my father have to surrender up to 50 percent of their life savings to the government upon death? … It would be one thing if the death tax actually raised real money for the government. But it doesn’t. … Liberals counter that only a tiny percentage of Americans pay the tax. But a tax that collects $19 billion and costs the economy multiple times that amount of money in lost investment and complicated estate tax-planning schemes invented by estate-tax attorneys and accountants is a dumb tax. George Soros put $18 billion, tax-free, into his foundation, which is run by his family and friends. Soros, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have all hidden their money in such foundations and won’t pay a penny of the estate tax. You don’t get rich by being stupid. The death tax doesn’t take money from billionaires; they have legions of tax and estate planners to find ways of getting around it. No, this tax is paid by self-made men, such as my father, who built this country. Where’s the fairness in that?”
Insight: “Nothing can be more readily disproved than the old saw, ‘You can’t keep a good man down.’ Most human societies have been beautifully organized to keep good men down.” —John W. Gardner (1912-2002)
Upright: “We are supposed to believe that [Russia] bought the American presidential election last year with $100,000 in Facebook ads and some other digital activity. Frankly, if American democracy can be purchased this cheap — a tiny fraction of the $7.2 million William Seward paid to buy Alaska from the Russians back in 1867 — it’s probably not worth having. … Much of the Russian Facebook activity was peddling online tripe indistinguishable from indigenous American online tripe — in fact, it was ripped off from content produced by Americans. If the Russians are going to decide our elections on social media, one assumes it will require at least a little originality.” —Rich Lowry
The BIG Lie: “[The Uranium One allegations are] the same bologna they’ve been peddling for years, and there’s been no credible evidence by anyone. In fact, it’s been debunked repeatedly and will continue to be debunked. … Trump and his allies, including Fox News, are really experts at distraction and diversion. So the closer the investigation about real Russian ties between Trump associates and real Russians … the more they want to just throw mud on the wall. And I’m their favorite target.” —Hillary Clinton
Non Compos Mentis: “Am I mad at God? Yeah, I’m mad at him. I wish I had more protection. I wish this stuff didn’t happen. I can’t explain it to you. Yeah, I’m mad at him.” —Bill O'Reilly
For the record: “Bill O'Reilly can keep being mad with God, blaming victims and everyone else, and denying he did anything wrong, but the inescapable fact is that much money does not change hands without something having happened. Until Bill O'Reilly repents and shows some level of contrition, we should keep him at arm’s length for his own sake. He needs to get right with God and his apologists are keeping that from happening.” —Erick Erickson
Village Idiots: “[The punishing of protestors] reinforces institutionalized white supremacy — and other oppressive forms of systemic power — by criminalizing the self-advocacy undertaken by the most vulnerable populations in our nation’s colleges and universities.” —USC professor Charles H.F. Davis
And last… “How can something be Trump’s Benghazi if the real one didn’t belong to Hillary or Obama?” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher