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Mel Gibson and Jane Hamsher: The Arianna Connection

Wednesday, August 2, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Radioblogger has the “disappeared” photoshop effort put out by Jane Hamsher and notes that the HuffingtonPost is much more adept at hiding the evidence of bigotry than anyone working for Gibson or the sheriff’s department.

Michelle Malkin has more.

After Gibson’s outrageous outburst, Arianna huffed:

Taking a page from our president, I see the Gibson story as “a moment of opportunity,” a chance for reasonable people to stand up and be counted. For the sane among us to identify, separate, and condemn the extremists, the fanatics, the fundamentalists, the bigots, the hate-mongers and say ‘no more.’ …

For starters, the town’s power players need to step up and publicly condemn Gibson’s vile comments (in effect, saying in public what they are already saying in private conversations I and many others have had). I mean, it shouldn’t be so hard to publicly denounce someone — even an Oscar-winner — for being a raging anti-Semite.

Arianna congratulated those who blasted Gibson:

By taking an immediate and unambiguous stand on Sunday, Ari Emanuel showed that not everyone in town was willing to write off Gibson’s odious racism as the cost of doing business with a bankable hit maker. Others then followed suit, including Sony Pictures chairwoman Amy Pascal, producers Arnon Milchan and Laura Ziskin, and manager Bernie Brillstein — earning themselves a plaque in the Backbone Hall of Fame.

Their reaction made it clear that Gibson was not going to be able to get away with his original statement that completely glossed over his anti-Semitic ravings.

So I assume we will be hearing shortly from Arianna on Hamsher’s tactics, as well as her call for Ned Lamont to disown Hamsher and others using such tactics?


Lemann on New Media and Barone on Lemann

Wednesday, August 2, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Nicholas Lemann, Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, essays on new media in The New Yorker.

Michael Barone essays on Lemann at the year-old today Baroneblog.  Excerpt:

The second period is the second half of the 1960s and on through the 1970s and 1980s, when the dominant print media (the NYT, Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek) and the three broadcast news networks, as yet unchallenged by cable news, took an increasingly adversarial stance toward American government and institutions and an increasingly partisan stand against Republicans and conservatives. Lemann, who was on the Harvard Crimson in the 1970s, in his writings has seemed reluctant to admit that what I call Old Media have taken such an adversarial and partisan stand; he seems wedded to the idea that Old Media are simply being “objective” and that reasonable people could not be expected to operate differently.

Which brings to mind a conversation with a broadcast network news executive I remember from many years ago.

Q. Don’t you think it affects your work product that 90 percent of your people are Democrats?

A. No, no, our people are objective, they have professional standards, they report fairly.

Q. Then doesn’t that mean that your work product would be the same if 90 percent of your people were Republicans?

(Quickly) A. No, then it would be biased.

Only liberals, in this view, can see the world accurately.

Lemann seems to subscribe to that view too, though he’s too careful to say so out loud. Which mars what otherwise is quite a thoughtful and perceptive analysis of new media over the centuries.

I have previously written about what Dean Lemann believes about media old and new.  He is indeed “wedded” to the idea that old media cannot be faulted for its relentless agenda journalism.  He is amiable about his rejection of the obvious critiques, but no more stubborn defender of the imperial press and its rights –both real and imagined– can be found.

The Grey Lady in All Her Splendour

Wednesday, August 2, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt


This New York Times article makes it clear why we should all be very thankful that Bush the Younger is now running things and not Bush the Elder. It also makes it clear that we should be incredibly relieved that Pinch Sulzberger and Bill Heller don’t run anything besides their own troubled enterprise.

Picking up on another golden oldie of the media’s wartime narrative, the paper points out that Bush 43’s wartime policies differ from those of his father. With cutting edge analyses of that sort, is it not a miracle that the Times’ fortunes are in the dumpster?

The article seems to pine for the good old days of appeasement and not-so-peaceful co-existence with homicidal lunatics. “In allying himself so closely with Israel, he has departed not just from his father’s approach but also from those of all his recent predecessors, who saw themselves first and foremost as brokers in the region.”

Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if we once again had moral obtuseness in the Oval Office of the sort that couldn’t distinguish between a free and open democracy and a terrorist outfit sponsored by the world’s greatest threat to peace and freedom? If only America would just be an impartial broker, surely all the world’s troubles would melt away.

The article also suggests that the President supports Israel partly because he’s a religious loon, hitting yet another recurring theme in the media’s tedious war time coverage:

Others say Mr. Bush cannot help looking at Israel through the prism of his Christian faith. “There is a religiously inspired connection to Israel in which he feels, as president, a responsibility for Israel’s survival,” said Martin S. Indyk, who was President Clinton’s ambassador to Israel and kept that post for several months under President Bush. He also suggested that Republican politics were at work, saying Mr. Bush came into office determined to “build his Christian base.”

To paraphrase Professor Reynolds, don’t read the whole thing. I did

Marty Peretz, Blogging Machine!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt


Hugh mentioned the blogging efforts of The New Republic’sMarty Peretz. Regardless of TNR’s virtues and no matter how annoying PeterBeinart is, this post byPeretz is one of the greatest mini-commentaries in the history of thiscrazy little thing we call the blogosphere.

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