Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Here We Go Again

Not the first shot, not the last... Just one that made the news.... When Jay Rosen and the Professionals of Establishment Media speak about/defend their "HARDWORKING" professional reporting, think of the PR flacks who first drafted it and the PR Committee that approved it long before the story was ever released...

Hillary as President will be the most media controlling person to ever hold the office. Josh Green was the author assigned by GQ to do the story...
Green was not a particular favorite of the Clinton campaign, however. He took the assignment from GQ not long after finishing an unflattering 13,000-word profile in the November 2006 Atlantic Monthly, which concluded that the junior Senator from New York is, more or less, a timid, calculating pol.

Today Clinton offers no big ideas, no crusading causes — by her own tacit admission, no evidence of bravery in the service of a larger ideal. Instead, her Senate record is an assemblage of many, many small gains. Her real accomplishment in the Senate has been to rehabilitate the image and political career of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Impressive though that has been in its particulars, it makes for a rather thin claim on the presidency. Senator Clinton has plenty to talk about, but she doesn’t have much to say,” he wrote.
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.
So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton.

There’s nothing unusual about providing extra access to candidates to reporters seen as sympathetic, and cutting off those seen as hostile to a campaign.

The 2004 Bush campaign banned a New York Times reporter from Vice President Dick Cheney’s jet, and Sen. Barack Obama threatened to bar Fox News reporters from campaign travel.

But a retreat of the sort GQ is alleged to have made is unusual, particularly as part of what sources described as a barely veiled transaction of editorial leverage for access.

The Clinton campaign is unique in its ability to provide cash value to the media, and particularly the celebrity-driven precincts of television and magazines. Bill Clinton is a favorite cover figure, because his face is viewed within the magazine industry as one that can move product. (Indeed, Green’s own magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, ran as its October cover story “Bill Clinton’s campaign to save the world.”)

The Clinton campaign has more sway with television networks than any rival. At the time Clinton launched her campaign, the networks’ hunger for interviews had her all over the morning and evening news broadcasts of every network — after her aides negotiated agreements limiting producers’ abilities to edit the interviews. This past weekend, she pulled off another rare feat — sitting for interviews with all the major Sunday talk shows. In most cases, the Sunday shows will reject guests who have appeared on competing shows. (The offices she set-up in the Summer of 2000 on "M" street are perfect location for an easy walk to all the studios, except Fox. It wasn't a consideration at the time-Andy)

Saunders, the Syracuse novelist who is writing the Clinton story for GQ, declined to discuss his story, citing GQ policy.

He told the Syracuse Post-Standard in July that he was planning to travel with the former president to tour Clinton Foundation projects in Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa and said he’d voted for Bill Clinton twice.

“It seems like [Clinton’s] gift, one of his gifts, is everybody likes him and knows him, so he can get people in a room and make things happen,” Saunders told the Syracuse paper. “I just like the idea that at this elderly stage of life, you can go and get your doors blown off.”

Asked by Politico if he was interested in hearing how his access to Clinton was procured, he demurred.

“I don’t think I want to know,” he said.

Read the whole thing.... It'll turn your stomach.... Unless of course, it makes you feel good.. John Hawkins on Explaining Liberal Thinking In A Single Column.

Liberals love to think of themselves as intellectual and nuanced, but liberalism is incredibly simplistic. It's nothing more than "childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues." Very seldom does any issue that doesn't involve pandering to their supporters boil down at its core level to more than feeling "nice" or "mean" to liberals. This makes liberals ill equipped to deal with complex issues.

Since liberals tend to support or oppose policies based on how those policies make them feel about themselves, they do very little intellectual examination of whether the policies they advocate work or not. That's because it doesn't matter to them whether the policy is effective or not; it matters whether advocating the policy makes them feel "good" or "bad," "compassionate" or "stingy," "nice" or "mean."

That's why, for example, you may see ferocious debates on the right side of the blogosphere about the war, illegal immigration, or spending. But, with the netroots, the debates almost always revolve around the best strategy to get more liberals elected. The issues are not really up for debate, other than debate over how to get them enacted.

This same thinking leads to very little criticism of liberals by other liberals. Liberals will ferociously defend and even happily echo the lies of other liberals. Liberal feminists will defend Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. Liberals who pride themselves on being tolerant of other races will support Robert Byrd. Why? Because even if they're wrong, they're still fellow liberals -- which must mean they’re nice people. What this leads to is an attitude that can be summed up like so: "The only things that a liberal can do wrong is to be insufficiently liberal, to question an important plank of the liberal agenda, or to do something politically that aids conservatives."

Please follow the link to read more.... You'll learn how to tell a Liberal, but you'll never tell them much. (Hat Tip Gail at Rubicon3)

Captain Ed has some interesting notes about the lack of historical knowledge at Columbia University.

Would A Columbia Appearance Have Avoided WWII?

One of the sillier defenses of yesterday's appearance by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University came from the man who initiated the Ahmadinejad speech. Over the weekend, John Coatsworth, acting dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, suggested that had Columbia invited Adolf Hitler to Columbia in 1939, he would not have underestimated the will of the American people and would have avoided declaring war on the US. Bret Stephens addresses this in today's OpinionJournal

These what-if games can be a lot of fun and offer all sorts of debatable outcomes. This, however, doesn't to anyone with any sense of what Hitler was doing in 1939, 1938, or pretty much since the reoccupation of the Rhineland. Stephens addresses the contemporaneous response to Hitler from Academia and Literaria, so let's remind people of the other historical realities.

Hitler spent the years before the war making speeches intended for outside consumption. He talked about the German desire for peace; he reminded foreign audiences incessantly of all Germany had lost during the previous war. Germany had no desire to bleed all over again, Hitler insisted, but it wanted its proper status in the community of nations recognized.

The more Hitler talked like this, the more appeasement minded the West became. They talked about his reasonable attitude and the unfairness of the Versailles shackles, while ignoring both his manifesto in Mein Kampf and his domestic rhetoric. Hitler had done more than just talk, too, by 1939. He had rearmed in violation of treaties, he had conducted an Anschluss in his annexation of Austria, and he had already dismembered Czechoslovakia in direct opposition to his promises at Munich in 1938.

And let's not forget that by 1939, both the Nuremberg racial laws and Krystallnacht were historical facts.

An invitation to Columbia in 1939 would have only perpetuated the fraud that Hitler had worn almost threadbare in Europe by that time. It would not have convinced Hitler to deviate from war, but would have assured him that America was just as spineless as the democracies he detested in Europe. And in any event, Hitler declared war on the US to honor his treaty obligations to Japan, which Coatsworth seems to have forgotten.

The parallels between the 1939 hypothetical of Coatsworth and the appearance of Ahmadinejad yesterday do seem striking -- and they refute any defense of Columbia's staging of Iranian propaganda.

Emphasis added, follow both links.... Stephens is good.... Captain Ed adds some desperately perspective to this conversation... Columbia would have been right for insisting that it was educational, if they had not taken so many steps to stifle free speech among students, faculty and choice of visitors for so many years. Perhaps, the national and international spotlight will shine brightly and their foolish antics will die off... One can hope.

Or we can all go get a Second Life and live forever.... Jonathan V. Last has the story in the coming issue of Weekly Standard.

The online computer game Second Life has garnered more attention in the last 24 months than any other bit of technology. Heralded everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to the Hollywood Reporter to Scientific American, it has been variously proclaimed a revolutionary communication tool, the future of the Internet, the next great business frontier, and a giant, looming social hub that will make MySpace and Facebook obsolete. One technology research group predicts that by 2011, 80 percent of Internet users will be in Second Life or something like it.

What is Second Life? Technically, it is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), the geek term for an Internet portal where large numbers of people interact in a virtual world. But during the last couple of years observers have begun debating whether it is a game at all, or rather something different, a new kind of virtual space. What is certain is that millions of people have signed up for Second Life. Almost 900 of them--up from 450 last year--gathered in late August at a hotel by Lake Michigan for the third annual Second Life Community Convention. They came from across the country as well as from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan, and from all walks of life. One of them, an attractive older woman named "LaraZ Allen," is a former college professor who was at loose ends after retirement. Then she found Second Life and began playing for roughly six hours a day. The longest she has ever gone is 12 hours. "It takes the place of work" she says.

Second Life was developed in 2003 by the San Francisco tech company Linden Lab. Players (Linden Lab calls them "residents") download a program to their computer that allows them to log into Second Life and create a character they control, an avatar. They customize the avatar's physical appearance, making it look like anything from an Asian woman to a white man to a giant animal resembling a college football mascot. And then they appear in the Second Life world.

This world looks like a cartoon rendering of the real world, or, more accurately, a cartoon rendering of Malibu. The real world infrastructure of Second Life is a farm of computer servers. Each hosts a small virtual region, which is rendered as a 65,536 square meter island. These islands feature animated beaches and waterfalls, shopping malls and dance clubs, houses and office buildings. Altogether they form a vast archipelago (which is itself subdivided into three minicontinents). If the virtual land inside Second Life were made real today, there would be 780 square kilometers of it, more than a fourth of the size of Rhode Island. All of this land belongs to the residents. Linden Lab sells it to them; an island costs $1,675 and then $295 a month in maintenance fees. (Linden Lab has gone far in guaranteeing residents real property rights. Unlike most MMORPGs, Second Life allows residents to own the virtual space and the objects within it.) Once you buy your island, you can develop and use it however you wish: Some residents have even created scale versions of downtown Dublin and Amsterdam.

Read the whole story.....

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