Posted tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

Why James O’Keefe Is a More Honest Journalist than the MSM

June 29, 2017

Why James O’Keefe Is a More Honest Journalist than the MSM, PJ MediaRoger L. Simon, June 28, 2017

The rap on James O’Keefe — whose latest bombshell caught CNN’s quasi-Marxist star pundit Van Jones with his well-tailored pants down — is that his Project Veritas videos are “unfairly edited.”

I have news for O’Keefe’s critics. All videos (and films) are basically unfairly edited, as Sergei Eisenstein and the early Soviet directors demonstrated a hundred years ago. It’s the nature of the medium. Some things get left out and others put in.

Nevertheless, the video or movie camera is a recording device. On close examination, looked at specifically, the actual photographs and recordings finally don’t lie, juxtapose them how you will. Van Jones did say “Russia is a nothingburger!” The network’s John Bonifield did call CNN’s Russia narrative “bullsh$t” concocted for the money. The repellent lady from Planned Parenthood did offer to sell fetal parts. The equally repellent Democratic Party operatives did instigate violent demonstrations at Trump rallies to make the candidate’s supporters look like thugs. O’Keefe himself did walk back and forth undeterred across the Rio Grande from Mexico to the USA dressed as Osama bin Laden to show the pathetic level of our border security.

I could go on. There are many more, including examples unmasking the shibboleths of voter registration, but the point is obvious. Despite some selective editing (but not any that materially alters the facts) and sometimes overly portentous music (why bother when you have the goods?), what James O’Keefe reports is true. It happened.

Because they so often rely on leaks — no photographs, videos or anything like them, often nothing concrete at all — what the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and so many others (even the front pages of the Wall Street Journal, alas) report is very often, one is tempted to say most often, either a distortion or an outright lie. This is particularly true when what they are reporting has political relevance — and so much does.

If not the root cause — that’s uncontrolled and unacknowledged bias — this excessive reliance on leaks has seriously exacerbated the precipitous decline of the mainstream media. For much of our media, leaks are an opium-like drug that clouds their thinking and to which they are literally addicted. They are waiting for the phone to ring like the junkie is waiting for his next fix. That the leakers all have motivations of their own, known and/or unknown, yet are able to remain anonymous to the public, makes what they leak almost de facto dubious and unreliable, in fact dangerous (as well as illegal, obviously).

Yet the MSM reporters gobble them up, eager to scoop their competitors and at the same time — much like overweight, self-satisfied picadors — weaken Trump and his administration for the final kill, doing, in their own eyes anyway, good works while advancing their careers.

O’Keefe has revealed them to be fools, remarkably unsophisticated in their response to his revelations. (Jeff Zucker, et al., looked like dimwits walking into the most obvious trap by dismissing Bonifield as a mere “medical” producer with the famous Van Jones already queued up for humiliation.)  At this point, only the most naive believe what the MSM says. CNN is already a joke, but the NYT, WaPo, etc. are not far behind. We are all reading Pravda now.

Ironically, Woodward and Bernstein are responsible for a lot of this. They made a giant success off leaks, turning journalists into culture heroes (really false gods) to be portrayed by Redford and Hoffman in the movies. Generations of aspiring journalists sought to follow in their footsteps — to be these false gods. Only there was no there there. No Nixon to upend. So they turned Trump into the New Nixon and manufactured a crime to go along with it.

W & B also inadvertently encouraged a new kind of leaker that is endemic today. Call him or her the “score settler,” a loathsome character lurking in the bowels of the Deep State or intelligence agencies, a remnant of the previous administration, who thinks his or her reasons for telling a partial, misleading truth are justified, are for the public good, when they are almost invariably only for their own good or some supposed ideological good they wish to impose regardless of the wishes of the voters in a democracy. (These are both often enmeshed.)

This created an extreme, almost pathological, will-to-believe the leakers on the part of the MSM as illustrated by the recent firings (sorry, “resignations”) of three CNN employees in the face of a $100M lawsuit. One of these credulous employees, Eric Lichtblau, was once a Pulitzer Prize winner at the New York Times.

Woodward, to his credit, seems to have recognized how extreme the situation has become. He chided the NYT today, saying, “Fair-mindedness is essential.” His own paper, under Bezos, has become even worse. But never mind. Give him credit for a half-truth. (By the way, CNN’s Jeff Zucker is a working stiff compared to Jeff Bezos. What’s Bezos’ excuse?)

But more importantly — it’s over. Well, if not over, a new, positive rung has been reached. The MSM, as we knew it, is, if not destroyed, seriously wounded.  They are — channeling a phrase from the Vietnam Era — a “pitiful, helpless giant.”  The work begun in 2004 when many of us spoke out against Dan Rather’s deceitful promulgation of the forged Bush National Guard papers on “Sixty Minutes” has, thanks to O’Keefe and others, not to mention the irrationality of the MSM itself, finally reached a critical mass. If only Andrew Breitbart were here to see it.

Celebrate for ten seconds. But as another of the original group, Glenn Reynolds, keeps reminding us — don’t get cocky.

No change in policy on weapons deliveries to Israel, US says

August 14, 2014

No change in policy on weapons deliveries to Israel,US says


Without issuing full denial of report that White House ordered halt of delivery of Hellfire missiles, administration officials say claims were a mischaracterization of inter-agency procedure, unchanged policy.

via No change in policy on weapons deliveries to Israel, US says | JPost | Israel News.


US President Barack Obama.
Photo: REUTERSWASHINGTON — The Obama administration denied on Thursday that it was surprised by the processing of a munitions delivery by the Pentagon to Israel during its operation in Gaza last month.

Without issuing a full-throated denial of a report that the White House issued a halt on the delivery of Hellfire missiles, administration officials said the claims, first surfacing in the Wall Street Journal, were a mischaracterization of inter-agency procedure, and of a policy unchanged.

Report: US halted weapons transfer to Israel during Gaza offensive
Politicians weigh in on ‘crisis in US-Israel relations’

“Let me be clear: there has been no change in policy, period,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “Given the crisis in Gaza, it is natural that agencies take additional care with deliveries as part of an inter-agency process.”

During Operation Protective Edge, the Pentagon said that the delivery was standard, and part of the United States’ commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge, both through their maintaining broad defensive and offensive capabilities.

Harf said that the “additional care” taken by the administration does not represent a “permanent change in process.”

At the initial revelation of the July sales, media outlets in the Middle East slammed the administration for the timing of the deliveries, in the heat of the crisis.

But Harf also pushed back strongly at the notion that the US reviewed its process due to media pressures. “This has nothing to do with publicity,” she said.

Earlier Thursday, Israeli officials reaffirmed the oft-repeated mantra Thursday that under the Obama administration US-Israel security ties have never been better, even as the Wall Street Journal reported that the White House is holding up the sale of precision Hellfire missiles to Jerusalem.

According to the piece, the Obama administration has tightened its control of arms transfers to Israel, requiring White House and State Department approval for even routine munitions requests by Israel.

“Instead of being handled as a military-to-military matter, each case is now subject to review—slowing the approval process and signaling to Israel that military assistance once taken for granted is now under closer scrutiny,” the story said.

The report came out on the same day that the Hurriyet Daily News reported that the US cleared a potential $320 million advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) sale to Turkey “amid increasing security risks in the region.”

The decision for White House and State Department oversight over arms requests by Israel is the seeming culmination of a series of very public disagreements between the two allies over the Gaza conflict, with Israel unhappy with the way the US tried to bring Qatar and Turkey into cease-fire negotiations last month, and Washington upset at what it considered the often “heavy-handed” way Israel fought the war and caused civilian casualties.

The Wall Street Journal piece was just the latest in a series of stories over the last few weeks reporting of a “new low” in relations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.

Other incidents in recent weeks that added fuel to the sense of a crisis in the ties were the following

* Netanyahu allegedly telling US envoy Dan Shapiro earlier in the month, after Hamas violated a cease-fire and killed three IDF soldiers in Rafah, that the US should never “second guess” him on Hamas.

* The leak of an alleged transcript of an Obama-Netanyahu conversation where an angry Obama demanded that Israel agree to a cease-fire

* The White House calling the shelling of a UN facility that lead to innocent deaths as “disgraceful.”

* Israeli anger at a US cease-fire proposal that would have given an enhanced Turkish and Qatari role, followed by US anger that Israel allegedly leaked the draft proposal and was disrespectful in its criticism of US Secretary of State John Kerry.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the phone conversation between Netanyahu and Obama on Wednesday was also “combative,” a characterization denied in Jerusalem.

The paper said that the Gaza conflict has convinced many administration officials that Netanyahu and his national security team were “both reckless and untrustworthy.” Israeli officials were quoted as saying that the Obama administration was weak and naive, and that they were trying to bypass the White House in favor of allies in Congress and elsewhere in the administration.

A senior Obama administration official was quoted as saying “We have many, many friends around the world. The United States is their strongest friend. The notion that they are playing the United States, or that they’re manipulating us publicly, completely miscalculates their place in the world.”

Israeli officials denied the allegations that it was going around the White House to secure arms deliveries. Regarding the Hellfires, the officials said that “we’ve made a request, and we believe the request will be fulfilled.”

At a press conference earlier this month with the foreign press, Netanyahu said that the US has been “terrific” during the current crisis.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s office, meanwhile, would not commenting on the report, saying only that there was a conversation on Wednesday between Ya’alon and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that went well.

In a statement released on Thursday, Ya’alon’s office quoted him as saying “we very much appreciate our relations with the United States. The relations between our security establishments are very good.”

He said that relationships like that between the US and Israel are made even more important because of the challenges posed by extremists in the region, which he listed as Hamas, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Iran.

Obama and Netanayhu have worked together – some say have had to “deal with each other” – longer than any other US president and Israeli prime minister in history. Charges that the Netanyahu’s famously rocky relationship with Obama is harming the vital Israel-US relationship has been a common theme of his opponents and critics both in Israel and the US over the last six years.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid responded to the Wall Street Journal report by saying it represented a “worrisome trend, and we cannot let it continue.

“The relationship with the US,,” he said, was a “strategic asset that must not be harmed. Sometimes we simply have to know how to say thank you.”

Former president Shimon Peres, during a meeting with visiting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, also related to the report, saying that he was “full of thanks and appreciation to the US, as are all Israel’s citizens, for firmly standing beside Israel for the 66 years of its existence.”

Meanwhile, a Fox News poll on Wednesday found that 38% of the American public does not think Obama has been supportive enough of Israel. Another 33% think his support has been “about right,” and 18% believe he has been “too supportive.” Eleven percent said they did not know.

Ben Hartman contributed to this report