Snarky-Tweets-Я-Us II

For some reason, I still follow my ex-CongressCritter (and all-time toothache) Carol Shea-Porter. And I felt this demanded a reply:

Don't recognize the reference? Reader, you got yourself some movie-watchin' to do.

Also of note:

  • Where is Nina Jankowicz on this? Scott Johnson notes revisionist disinformation on one of the "major" networks: Rathergate: 100 proof fraud.

    The Daily Beast’s John Fiallo reports that Dan Rather returns to CBS News today 18 years after his involuntary departure. Fiallo writes (emphasis added):

    The former CBS News anchor Dan Rather will make a brief return to the network Sunday, appearing in a live interview 18 years after his controversial exit. Rather, 92, is slated to be profiled on CBS News Sunday Morning through an interview with correspondent Lee Cowan, the network announced. The segment will, in part, promote the soon-to-be released documentary Rather, which chronicles the legendary newsman’s “rise to prominence, his sudden and dramatic public downfall, and his redemption and re-emergence as a voice of reason to a new generation,” the doc’s producers wrote in a statement. Rather’s falling out with CBS began with his 2004 60 Minutes II report about George W. Bush’s National Guard record that relied on documents CBS failed to authenticate—something the then-president skewered the network for. The incident shattered Rather’s reputation, despite the documents never being proven to be forgeries. The controversy, which was dubbed “Rathergate,” was dramatized in the 2015 film Truth. Rather’s return to CBS will air at 9 a.m. EST on Sunday.

    The documents “were never proven to be forgeries” in roughly the same sense that Alger Hiss was never proven to be a Communist spy. Fiallo to the contrary notwithstanding, the proof is overwhelming. Indeed, there is no proof to support the authenticity of the documents. None. Zero. Nada.

    What follows is a recap of the largely blog-driven debunking of CBS's effort to smear Bush with a pre-election hit piece. It's a great story, long, and worth your while. The effort to rehabilitate Dan Rather and the other shoddy journalists involved in the sham is pathetic and disgusting.

    So I'm not kidding, Nina Jankowicz! Your "American Sunlight Project" mission statement promises to "Expose deceptive information practices and the networks and money that drive them." Who's behind this effort to deceive the American people?

    Of course, it could be that you're a partisan hack, Nina. Gee, I hope not.

  • Specifically, the kind that's funny, and doesn't involve mass murder. Andy Kessler notes the increasing relevance of The Other Kind of Marxism.

    Today’s politicians are steeped in Marxism. Not Karl, but Groucho, who is supposed to have said: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them . . . well, I have others.”

    On Jan. 22, 2021, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said of Donald Trump’s second impeachment: “Make no mistake, a trial will be held in the United States Senate and there will be a vote whether to convict the president.” Fast forward to a week ago, when articles of impeachment were delivered to the Senate against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Mr. Schumer said: “Impeachment Article 1 does not allege conduct that rises to the level of high crime or misdemeanor . . . and is therefore unconstitutional.” No trial. No vote.

    This tossing of principles can be found everywhere. In 2020 President Trump tried to ban social-media app TikTok over national-security concerns. Now Mr. Trump is against a ban, writing last month on Truth Social: “If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business. I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better.”

    In August 2020, Joe Biden told ABC’s David Muir, referring to Covid: “I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists.” By October 2020, Mr. Biden insisted, “I’m not going to shut down the country, I’m going to shut down the virus.” Lockdowns continued.

    Kessler is correct that Groucho is "supposed to have said" that quote. The Quote Investigator is on the case, and finds the evidence inconclusive.

  • Better stay away from those that carry around a fire hose. Jeffrey Blehar demonstrates the increasing relevance of a song written nearly sixty years ago: You Don't Need to Be a Weatherman to Know Which Way The Wind's Blowing at Columbia.

    If you have a heart, then it is tough to sit in the position that I do and savage dumb college kids all day without at least a twinge of guilt. They are kids, after all — the one thing they definitively lack, especially en masse, is maturity. And those of us lucky enough to be born and raised before the iPhone era will never fully understand how the advent of “everything now” infinite content, panopticon online peer pressure, and the status opportunities afforded by public performance on social media have permanently warped the younger generation.

    Bluntly put, subjecting young people to these conditions is a great way to sow the seeds of narcissistic sociopathy. So should we be surprised that we’ve now reaped a harvest of elite college youths who, from our older perspective, come across like uniquely narcissistic sociopaths? What commands the most attention about the campus protests against Israel is not the vehemence of the hatred on display, but the ultimate vapidity of the majority of students involved.

    These students may not necessarily know what they want, but they certainly enjoy the social frisson of what they’re doing. They are led only by their all-conquering personal need for psychological validation. But that does not make them any less of a civic threat — their belief in their innate virtue rather than in any political principle other than the cause of the moment makes them easily molded clay for people with actual agendas.

    Futher advice: Don't follow leaders, watch the parking meters.

  • On the Oppressor/Oppressed axis… John Hinderaker describes The Power of Weakness.

    Modern liberals have distilled the true essence of Marxism, which is the idea that every human relationship is exploitative. Lenin summed it up as “who/whom”–who is doing what to whom?

    Of course this idea is ridiculous. Most human relationships, whether personal or economic, are not exploitative. But Marx’s idea has a perennial appeal to the discontented, and is endlessly malleable to suit the neuroses of the day. Thus, modern Marxists have no interest in the purported oppression of the “proletariat.” Far from it! But the Marxist model can easily be made to fit other preoccupations.

    He embeds a couple of perceptive Elon tweets, here's one of them:

    It sounds as if Elon might have read Arnold Kling's The Three Languages of Politics, which observed that progressives hammer controversies into an "oppressor-oppressed" heuristic. The Kindle version is a mere $3.99, and it's money well spent.

  • That's right, he said zero. Articles from the new dead-trees issue of Reason, which has an AI theme, are coming out from behind the paywall, and this one by Andrew Mayne is wonderfully contrarian: In the AI Economy, There Will Be Zero Percent Unemployment

    I'm an AI developer and consultant, and when OpenAI released a preview in February of its text-to-video model Sora—an AI capable of generating cinema-quality videos—I started getting urgent requests from the entertainment industry and from investment firms. You could divide the calls into two groups. Group A was concerned about how quickly AI was going to disrupt a current business model. Group B wanted to know if there was an opportunity to get a piece of the disruptive action.

    Counterintuitively, the venture capitalists and showbiz people were equally split across the groups. Hollywood producers who were publicly decrying the threat of AI were quietly looking for ways to capitalize on it. Tech startups that thought they had an inside track to disrupting Hollywood were suddenly concerned that they were about to be disrupted by a technical advance they didn't see coming.

    This is the new normal: Even the disruptors are afraid they're about to be disrupted. We're headed for continuous disruption, both for old industries and new ones. But we're also headed for the longest period of economic growth and lowest unemployment in history—provided we don't screw it up.

    If you needs some palate-clearing optimism, this is a good choice.

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