Dec 02 2008


Category: election 2008,mediaharmonicminer @ 10:33 am

Below the asterisk line is some background I put up yesterday.  Go read it and watch the video, then come back to the top.

John Ziegler has released the results of his new poll.  The short story:  McCain voters appear to be about twice as well informed as Obama voters.  35% of McCain voters got 10 or more of 13 questions correct, while only 18% of Obama voters could do the same.  Full results of the poll and video of Ziegler on Hannity & Colmes are here.

Remember:  Ziegler isn’t saying there is something wrong with Obama voters.  He IS saying that there is something seriously wrong with the media reporting and coverage, the selection of topics to stress or even mention, the quality of the analysis provided, and so on.  In other words, Ziegler is indicting the media for abject failure to do right, because they were in the tank for Obama.

For internals on the poll, methodology, etc., go here.



I referred a few days back to a new film by John Ziegler, that features the results of polls taken of Obama voters regarding their knowledge of the candidates. Politico covered the controversy ignited by the poll and viral video (at the link above, 1.5 millions views and counting, and utterly fascinating) and discussed Ziegler’s plans for a more complete documentary on the topic.  Here’s a bit of the Politico article, which goes into more detail on Ziegler’s plans.

The controversial “How Obama Got Elected” video by John Ziegler is only part of a longer documentary that the conservative talk radio host hopes to release early next year.

Wouldn’t it be great if when they mentioned Oprah, or Larry King, or Chris Matthews, they said “the liberal talkshow host”? Sigh. Apparently in a “middle of the road” source like Politico, it’s still worth mentioning if someone is “conservative”, but not if they’re “liberal”. Par for the course, I suppose.

The viral video of interviews with Obama voters, one that Ziegler said shows the highly selective news consumption habits of Barack Obama supporters, has received more than 1.5 million views on YouTube. Thanks to an accompanying Zogby poll (later criticized by John Zogby himself), the video sparked high-profile stories on cable news shows, political blogs and other outlets, including Politico.

Ziegler, who recently branched out into filmmaking with the documentary “Blocking ‘The Path to 9/11, says the popular viral clip is only a small element of a longer video that may debut in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He’s been accumulating hours of newscasts, so much so he says he can put together a “Gone With the Wind”-length epic.

“I’m into actually showing bias,” says Ziegler, who hopes to show in his unfinished film how those who voted for Obama consumed information only from pro-Obama news sources, and, he believes, were therefore less informed.

Later in the article, we see this nugget:

“Redistributing the wealth” â€” While a radio interview with Obama dating back to 2001 got lots of play on Drudge for its alleged comment about wealth distribution, the mainstream media all but ignored it, Ziegler says. The radio interview with WBEZ-FM was, in fact, discussed on CNBC, MSNBC, and in The New York Times, among other outlets.

Does Politico think that mention on two lower rated cable channels and page H77 of the NY Times somehow contravenes Ziegler’s point?  Nothing from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, WaPo, etc., and probably only a single brief mention in the sources they cite.  Certainly nothing like sustained coverage and analysis anywhere in the “major media”.

Ziegler is certainly not alone in his assessment of the media’s performance. Near the end of the article, Politico reports:

Following a recent panel discussion at the University of Southern California that was co-hosted by Politico, Time Magazine editor-at-large and political analyst Mark Halperin came under fire for his remarks about media bias.

“It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq War,” Halperin said. “It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.” After his remarks, left-leaning blogs went ballistic, as did right-wing talk radio hosts – obviously for different reasons.

What’s funny here, of course, is that if you’re on the Left, you’re only “left-leaning”, but if you’re on the Right, you’re full-on “right-wing”. Notice the different shade of meaning if the sentence was this:

After his remarks, left-wing blogs went ballistic, as did right-leaning talk radio hosts – obviously for different reasons.

Obviously, the shades of meaning are different.  And the funniest part of all is that Politico can’t help but let its bias show, even while reporting on charges of media bias.

Ziegler has continued working on the new documentary, “How Obama Got Elected”, and now has poll results of both McCain and Obama voters, which he plans to reveal in just a couple of days.  Ziegler’s thesis is simple:  Obama got elected because disproportionate numbers of people who voted for him simply didn’t know much about him, and the fault for that lies mainly with the major media.

For a preview and some background on this important exposure of media bias, watch “Hannity & Colmes” on Tuesday, Dec 2.  (Check your local listings for the FOX NEWS CHANNEL, but probably 9 pm and midnight eastern time.)  It should be fascinating.  Make popcorn.

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Dec 02 2008

On compulsory service

Category: education,higher education,societyharmonicminer @ 1:39 am

That brilliant observer of society, Thomas Sowell, on “service” requirements.  The whole thing, as usual, is worth reading, but this part stands out to me:

The most fundamental question is: What in the world qualifies teachers and members of college admissions committees to define what is good for society as a whole, or even for the students on whom they impose their arbitrary notions?

What expertise do they have that justifies overriding other people’s freedom? What do their arbitrary impositions show, except that fools rush in where angels fear to tread?

What lessons do students get from this, except submission to arbitrary power?

Supposedly students are to get a sense of compassion or noblesse oblige from serving others. But this all depends on who defines compassion. In practice, it means forcing students to undergo a propaganda experience to make them receptive to the left’s vision of the world.

I am sure those who favor “community service” requirements would understand the principle behind the objections to this if high school military exercises were required.

Indeed, many of those who promote compulsory “community service” activities are bitterly opposed to even voluntary military training in high schools or colleges, though many other people regard military training as more of a contribution to society than feeding people who refuse to work.

In other words, people on the left want the right to impose their idea of what is good for society on others– a right that they vehemently deny to those whose idea of what is good for society differs from their own.

The essence of bigotry is refusing to others the rights that you demand for yourself. Such bigotry is inherently incompatible with freedom, even though many on the left would be shocked to be considered opposed to freedom.

As with many such issues, it’s what you call it that matters. If instead of service, we substituted “compulsory performance of duties other people think someone should do”, we’d be in better shape on this one.

Is it any less “service” to participate in the creation of a useful product that society would not have as much of without your efforts? I don’t think so.

Those who think serving in soup kitchens is more laudable than growing wheat tend to be people who think motives matter more than results, and for whom only certain results are acceptable.

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Dec 02 2008

Jew hatred transcends cause or strategy

Category: Islam,terrorismharmonicminer @ 1:13 am

Dennis Prager makes a very clear point that if the goals of the Mumbai terrorists were centered around the India/Pakistan conflict, there was no reason to go out of the way to murder Jews.

Why would a terrorist group of Islamists from Pakistan whose primary goal is to have Pakistan gain control of the third of Kashmir that belongs to India and therefore aimed to destabilize Indias major city devote so much of its efforts — 20 percent of its force of 10 gunmen whose stated goal was to kill 5,000 — to killing a rabbi and any Jews with him?

The question echoes one from World War II: Why did Hitler devote so much time, money, and manpower in order to murder every Jewish man, woman, and child in every country the Nazis occupied? Why did Hitler — as documented by the late historian Lucy Dawidowicz in her aptly named book The War against the Jews — weaken the Nazi war effort by diverting money, troops, and military vehicles from fighting the Allies to rounding up Jews and shipping them to death camps?

From the perspective of political scientists, historians, and contemporary journalists, the answer to these questions is not rational. But the non-rationality of an answer is not synonymous with its non-validity.

For the Islamists, as for the Nazis, the destruction of the Jews — and since 1948, the Jewish state — is central to their worldview.

If anyone has a better explanation for why Pakistani terrorists, preoccupied with destabilizing India, would expend so much effort at finding the one Jewish center in a country that is essentially devoid of Jews, I would like to hear it.

With all the Pakistani Islamists hatred of Hindus, they did not attack one Hindu temple in Indias major city.

With all their hatred of Christian infidels, the terrorists did not seek out one of the 700,000 Christians in Mumbai.

To reinforce my point, imagine a Basque separatist terrorist organization attacking Madrid. Would the terrorists take time out to murder all those in the Madrid Chabad House? The idea is ludicrous. But no one seems to find it odd that that Pakistani Muslim terrorists who hate India and want it to give up control of Indian Kashmir would send two of its 10 terrorists to kill perhaps the only rabbi in Mumbai. As Newsweek reported during the siege, Given that Orthodox Jews were being held at gunpoint by mujahideen (sic), it seemed unlikely there would be survivors. Newsweek, like just about everyone else, simply assumes Islamists will murder Jews whenever and wherever possible.

They are right.

For years I have warned that great evils often begin with the murder of Jews, and therefore non-Jews who dismiss Jew-hatred (aka anti-Semitism, aka anti-Zionism), will learn too late that Jew- and Israel-haters only begin with Jews but never end with them. When Israeli Jews were almost the only targets of Muslim terrorists, the world dismissed it as a Jewish or Israeli problem. Then it became an American and European and Filipino and Thai and Indonesian and Hindu problem.

Two final points:

One is that it is exquisitely fitting that the same week the murders in Mumbai were taking place, the United Nations General Assembly passed six more anti-Israel resolutions. As it has for decades, the U.N. has again sanctioned hatred for a good and decent country as small on the map of the world as the Chabad House is on the map of Mumbai.

Two: Statements from Chabad in reaction to the torture-murders of a 28-year-old Chabad rabbi and his wife called on humanity to react to this evil with random acts of kindness. Evil hates goodness. Thats why the terrorists targeted a Chabad Rabbi and his wife.

Others have made the point that Jews are like canaries in a coal mine… when they start to die, the rest of us are likely to be next. Even if you have no particular concern for Jews (even if you are so immoral that their murder does not concern you), simple self-interest should lead you to want to fight the terrorists, before it’s too late.

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