■ Proverbs 15:13 is another good news/bad news fortune cookie:
13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.
Well, I take that back. The fortune cookie company would reject that. "Too insipid. Try again."
■ Andrew Klavan runs with a hypothetical and concludes: A Fair Media Would Have Neutralized the Russians. After detailing the recent sins of CNN:
But what would it be like if the news media reformed itself? By that
I mean: what would it be like if media outlets placed enough
conservatives and Trump supporters in positions of power so that
their reporting began to represent something like an objective
account rather than the information arm of the Democrat party?
For one thing, Russian trolls and other fake newsers would lose much of their power if we could watch mainstream news with a reasonable degree of certainty that we were getting a fair take on the day's events. Journalists use President Trump's eccentricities as an excuse for their hysteria, but the virulent attacks on Republicans have been going on for more than two decades. The only difference between a Russian trying to sow discord with falsehoods and CNN is the accent.
I'll disagree in part; we don't need more cheerleaders and ideologues in the news media.
It's nice to imagine a news network that was committed to playing it straight, reporting on things that matter, investigating malfeasance and misfeasance no matter who committed it.
But who—besides you and me, of course—would watch such a network? My guess is that people want to tune into "news" that tends to confirm and reinforce their pre-existing political conditions. It's difficult to blame CNN et al for serving up what their audience demands.
We get the media "we" deserve.
■ At NR, Cathy McMorris Rodgers observes and recommends: There’s a Trust Crisis in Government. It Must Be Fixed.
If you were to ask Americans if they trusted the government to do
the right thing, the likely answer is a big, fat No. According to
Pew Research, only 3
percent of Americans say they trust that the government
will do the right thing “all the time.”
3 percent! If only 3 percent of Americans said they trusted a pilot to land a plane, would you board the flight? If only 3 percent of Americans said they trusted a doctor to write the correct prescription, would you take the pill? What about if only 3 percent of Americans trusted a business to keep their credit-card information secure? Would you make a purchase from their website?
Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a Republican Congresswoman from Washington. She's high up in the GOP House leadership structure. She would be a lot more convincing if she outlined how the GOP-controlled Congress could earn "our" trust.
■ At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff writes on The Confucius Institutes, China’s vehicle for ideological warfare in America.
In the modern world, ideological warfare goes hand-in-hand with
military threats. Thus, though few Americans know about it, we
shouldn’t be surprised that China is waging ideological warfare on
American college and university campuses. What’s surprising,
perhaps, is the complicity of our colleges and universities.
China fights its ideological battle on American campuses through Confucius Institutes. Since 2004, the Chinese government has planted “Institutes” that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world, including more than 100 in the United States. As the National Association of Scholars (NAS) documented in this report, the Confucius Institutes avoid Chinese political history and human rights abuses, portray Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed territories of China, and educate a generation of American students to know nothing more of China than the regime’s official history.
To repeat: The University Near Here hosts a Confucius Institute. Will any local journalist ask pointed questions and demand answers from UNH about that? Or are they too busy writing about opioids 24/7?
■ Jonah Goldberg's G-File this week is on Courage: The Greatest of Virtues. On the lack thereof in Broward County:
All week, I’ve been hearing people say that anyone who took money
from the NRA or who disagrees with the kid crusaders has “blood on
his hands” and is on the side of “killing children.” And when
someone offers even the slightest skepticism about this rhetoric or
the desirability of using traumatized kids as political props, a
river of sanctimonious rage pours forth.
But when you criticize a cop for doing nothing, it’s suddenly “Who are you to judge?” for as far as the eye can see. I think that’s weird.
Or: it's not weird at all, once you've chosen your demons.