American Elephants

The New York Times Is Trying To Rewrite Their Own Climate History by The Elephant's Child

The New York Times, legendary “paper of record” is now attempting to rewrite their own history of what they have said about climate in the past. Not that anyone believes it is the paper or record these days. But it is an interesting correction to their reporting and making claims that are the exact opposite of reality. Revealing and Interesting.

Charles Hurt: Obama Would Routinely Keep Some Reporters out of Gaggles by The Elephant's Child

It wasn’t a big deal until it was the New York Times who was not included. A little confusion about the First Amendment. It isn’t just Freedom of the Press. The reason that it is called Freedom of the Press is because in the days when the Constitution was written, it was printers who disseminated the news on papers they printed. There was no idea of the modern newspaper or networks.But there were Town Criers.

The Amendment also includes some mention of Freedom of Religion and its free exercise, the right to peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. It’s not all about the press.

Truth and Lying: Moral Choices In Public Life. by The Elephant's Child

The New York Times noted that the Washington Post wrote on Wednesday “that the San Bernardino shooting was the second mass shooting today and the 355th this year.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, the New York Times and other Lefty websites reported the same or similar statistics. The church in Charleston, a college classroom in Oregon and a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado but — what were the other 352 shootings? This is how information is communicated on the Left. Everybody quotes the same article, accepts it as holy writ, and passes it on. That’s why they all say the same thing in the same words.

There is an official definition for “mass shooting” but everybody ignores it when it is convenient to do so. The Left is clear as to the nature of the problem. It is guns —”Weapons of War” as designated by the New York Times. No “thoughts and prayers,” and never mind the victims and the injured, the news must be turned to one of the Left’s favorite talking points. This is just ugly.

For the past decade, the F.B.I has defined a mass shooting as a single attack in which four or more victims were killed. (In 2013 President Obama lowered that threshold to three victims killed). Mother Jones compiled a database, which they did not include, eliminating gang fights and late-night shootings on a city streets, and those that stemmed from robbery or domestic abuse, and refers those interested to a list compiled by a forum supporting gun control.  Mother Jones kinda-sorta suggested that there was something different about San Bernardino  but was quite unwilling to mention anything related to terrorism.

National Review took up the same question, explained it in a straightforward way, a metric based on the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012, and the Congressional Research Service, and concluded that conflating the rarer incidents like Aurora and Newtown, with “familicides” or shootings attributable to underlying criminal activity or commonplace circumstances are almost twice as common as “mass public shootings.” There’s a lot of political convenience going on here. They ended up with an average of about 21 mass shootings annually between 1991 and 2013.

Charles C.W. Cooke took on the case of school shootings and the claimed 74 shootings since Newtown, and explained that they are lying too. Everytown identifies a school shooting as any instance in which a firearm was discharged within a school building or on school grounds, sourced to multiple news reports per incident. Therefore, the data isn’t limited to mass shootings like Newtown—it includes assaults, homicides, suicides and even accidental shootings. Of the shootings, 35 took place at a college or university, while 39 took place in K-12 schools.

We have come to expect politicians to lie to us as there has been so much of it, from “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” fight on down to the present. That probably has a lot to do with public anger, but how it can lead to the rise of Donald Trump shows that we’re just as gullible as ever.

I can forgive the public. We are naturally gullible, expecting to be told the truth. Hard-nosed cynicism is not the best of companions. I am not so forgiving of the media, and the Journalism schools should be ashamed of themselves.

Yet the casual approach of professionals is wholly out of joint with the view taken by those who have to cope with the consequences of deception. For them, to be given false information about important choices in their lives is to be rendered powerless. For them their very autonomy may be at stake.¹

¹ Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life: Sissela Bok, New York, 1978

Keeping Track of the Terrorists Is More Important than Keeping Track of the Guns. by The Elephant's Child


After the attack in Paris, and before the attack in San Bernardino, Hillary Clinton offered up the Leftist Bluebook formula: “Let’s be clear: Islam in not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

A few days back, President Obama jetted to Paris spewing clouds of CO2 which he believes to be destroying the planet and uttered the undying words “a declaration that for all the challenges we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other. What should give us hope  that this is a turning point that this is the moment when we finally determined we could save our planet, is the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it.”

The New York Times felt so strongly about “weapons of war” that they put their editorial right on the front page. “End the Gun Epidemic in America It is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.” They should be embarrassed. They hauled out all their best adjectives and strong words — Moral outrage, national disgrace,  “America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing.” Barbara Boxer offered her testimony on the efficacy of California’s strong gun laws.

If the terrorist couple in San Bernardino had managed to get away, they had already produced an armory of 12 pipe bombs. They were made from Christmas tree lights, toy cars and other ingredients that anyone can buy anywhere. quite effective at killing and maiming. France has very strict gun laws, which essentially eliminate the possibility of guns in the hands of anyone but police. So does Britain, there even the police are unarmed. A young unarmed soldier was attacked and brutally killed on a public street with machetes.

The Times’ fatuous comment was — “at least they ‘re trying. The United States is not.” Pompous editorial, petty conclusions. A lot of killings have been prevented by civilians who are licensed to carry. The  rate of gun crime has been going down steadily since the mid 1990s. With Obama releasing big numbers of people sentenced for non-violent crimes, it may well start  back up again. There is a reason why the number of crimes has gone down, most likely, more people serving time for crime.

The Wall Street Journal summed it up nicely

President Obama entered the White House believing that the “war on terror” was a misguided overreaction driven by political fear, and his government even stopped using the term. Seven years later Mr. Obama is presiding over a global jihadist revival that now threatens the American homeland more than at any time since the attacks of September 11, 2001. …

The FBI director said more than once that the investigation is in the early stages, but he deserves support for speaking frankly about the evidence and dangers. Every instinct of this Administration, starting with the President, has been to minimize the terror risk on U.S. soil—perhaps because it contradicts Mr. Obama’s political belief that all we have to fear is fear of terrorism itself.

The New York Times’ “Corrections” by The Elephant's Child

Well, well. All that huffing and puffing, the firestorm about Bibi Netanyahu not informing the White House before he accepted Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address Congress? The New York Times even used the word “unprecedented.” Bibi had not only “disrespected” the current occupant of the White House, whose aides had called Prime Minister Netanyahu a “chickenshit” and disrespected the institution of the Presidency itself. Ignoring Protocol, they claimed.

It was one of the New York Times’ infamous “corrections.”Attached on January 30 to a story that ran the previous day about Benjamin Netanyahu’s  difficult relations with the Democratic Party. Here is the correction in its entirety: “An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before.”

Every other news source picked up the article about the “disrespect” on the basis of the Times report. As the Tablet reported:

The decent thing to do would’ve been to write another piece altogether, contemplate why the paper of record got suckered so badly by the White House—which gained plenty from the manufactured story—and amend any and all implications of Bibi’s perfidy and bad manners that arose from the original report.

But that’s the state of the news business today. Times’ corrections provide a continuing source of amusement. NBC is trying desperately to decide if they can possibly rescue Brian Williams from his perfidy, and the “mainstream media” wonders why subscriptions are declining.

“All the News That’s Fit to Print,” or Not. by The Elephant's Child

James Taranto, writing in the Wall Street Journal, noticed the “Corrections” column in the New York Times was even more amusing than usual.   “Other Than That, the Story Was Accurate,” he titled the paragraph:

“An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Ann Richards beat George Bush in 1990. She actually beat Clayton Williams that year. The article also incorrectly left the impression that Earl Weaver, the former Baltimore Orioles manager, is dead. The article also incorrectly stated that the Orioles won their division twice in the 1990s; they won the division in 1997, but they went to the playoffs and the American League Championship Series as the wildcard team in 1996.”–correction, New York Times, Dec. 12

Journalism is attempting to commit suicide.  That is an amazing amount of incorrect information that bypassed the fact checkers.  They corrected it, so what’s the big deal?  It is a matter of trust.  If the “paper of record,” the “old Gray Lady,” cannot get simple facts right, why should we rely on them for information?  The only possible reason for the existence of journalism is that they offer facts and impressions of the world as it is, and has been.  If they cannot be trusted, they may as well look for other work.  Amusing, maybe, but not funny.

The New York Times vs. The New York Times. by The Elephant's Child
November 29, 2010, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Environment, Media Bias, National Security | Tags: , ,

James Taranto points out interesting reporting on”illegally leaked” emails by the New York Times in today’s “Best of the Web” at the Wall Street Journal. Made me laugh.

— “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.”–New York Times, on the Climategate emails, Nov. 20, 2009

— “The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. . . . The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match.”–New York Times, on the WikiLeaks documents, Nov. 29, 2010

How embarrassing.   Your very own bias exposed once again.

A Sign of the Times, Don’t You Think? by The Elephant's Child

Remember “Fat Cats?”  How about “Greedy Executives Loot Failing Company?”  The failing business which has fallen on hard times would be the New York Times Company.  Most newspapers are not doing well these days, and have laid off employees.

The New York Times, however, stands out —  declining ad revenue, layoffs, frozen pension plans, unpaid vacations and a five percent pay cut for most of the rank-and-file workers last year. Not a pretty picture.

“Our members are really unhappy with what is happening,” said Bill O’Meara, president of the Newspaper Guild of New York.  “They made a voluntary sacrifice to give up some of their pay to help the company out. People are losing their jobs still.”

Chairman Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger, presiding over this mess, reaped  a hefty reward last year, more than doubling his total compensation to $6 million.  CEO Janet Robinson got a 31..9 hike, to $6.3 million.  Sulzberger gained his position because his family owns a large chunk of the company.

The editing function of the paper will be moved to the Gainesville Sun, a Florida newspaper owned by the Times.  Their newsroom is not unionized and has lower salaries, and will take over editing and page design.

Ideas for a new and renewed America! by The Elephant's Child
January 21, 2009, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Economy, Humor, News, Pop Culture | Tags: , ,

James Taranto reported the following on “Best of the Web” at the Wall Street Journal.  I include the whole thing:

Think Locally, Act Globally

From the New York Times:

The local food movement has been all about buying seasonal food from nearby farmers.  Now, thanks to the Web, it is expanding to include far-away farmers too.

A new start-up, Foodzie, is an online farmers market where small, artisan food producers and growers can sell their products.  Foodies in Florida, say, can order raw, handcrafted pepperjack cheese from Traver, Calif., or organic, fair-trade coffee truffles from Boulder, Colo.

What a great idea!  And why not take it one step further?  Farmers could band together and form large organizations — call them “corporations” — to grow and distribute mass quantities of food.  Retail opertions could be set up in every town; they would be sort of super farmers markets, or “supermarkets” for short.  Soon everyone everywhere would be able to buy local food from all over the world!

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