Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

New poll shows Native Americans are NOT offended by “Washington Redskins”

Posted by sanityinjection on May 20, 2016

Remember the big pressure campaign a couple of years ago to force the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their allegedly “offensive” name? President Obama and 50 Democratic Senators proclaimed their support for this “civil rights movement”. And then, as with so many armchair liberal cause celebres, it just seemed to disappear; the professional protesters moved on to “Black Lives Matter” and suddenly the supposed legions of mortally offended Native Americans didn’t seem like such a compelling issue.

Now comes a clue as to why the pressure campaign hasn’t been revived. A new Washington post poll of 500 Native Americans across the country indicates that 9 out of 10 are not offended by the name “Washington Redskins”. 7 out of 10 said the word “redskin” was not offensive in general, and 8 of 10 said they would not be offended if a non-Native American called them by that term. These results mirror the findings of a previous poll in 2004. Naturally, Native American “leaders” continue to reject these poll findings, as will the mostly rich, white, left-wing politicians who were the prime movers behind the whole issue. (Never mind that these same politicans spend virtually no time advocating for the things that Native Americans say they need, like decent schools.)

The whole thing would actually be comical if it weren’t for the giddy participation of the mainstream media in whipping up hysteria to aid in this phony campaign. (In this regard, kudos to the Washington Post, which remains a faint glimmer of some journalistic integrity amongst the sad detritus of formerly respectable left-wing newspapers, for publishing this poll. See also a thoughtful WashPost op-ed on the issue here.) It should be of concern that the sources from which most Americans still get their news are demonstrably more interested in pushing an ideological political agenda than in any kind of factual reporting. You need look no further than the recent New York Times attack piece against Donald Trump, which went to a great deal of effort to characterize Trump as a misogynist based on his pattern of hitting on women as a rich single man. Keep in mind this is the same publication that consistently defended Bill Clinton for sexually harrassing and having sex with women as a rich married man. See Camille Paglia’s excellent destruction of this pathetic propaganda here.

Meanwhile, if sports teams’ use of cliches offensive to Native Americans is the issue, how come there hasn’t been any fuss at all about the Cleveland Indians’ continued use of the “Chief Wahoo” logo? Why hasn’t their trademark been revoked? Answer: Because the Cleveland Indians kissed the ring: Whenever anybody complains, they hide Chief Wahoo for a while, using alternate logos and uniforms, until the subject dies down. This appeases the professional Left, because what they really want is not actual civil rights change so much as acknowledgement of their power and righteousness. Kiss their asses and they’ll let you off with a slap on the wrist; dare to suggest that the emeperor has no clothes, as Redskins owner Dan Snyder has done, and you reap the whirlwind of attacks from their subservient media allies.

The point is not that the Washington Redskins or their owner, a wealthy successful man and organization, are some kind of sob story. The point is the one made so famously by pastor Martin Niemoller. With apologies to him: “First they came for the Washington Redskins, and I said nothing, because I was not a Redskins fan.” One day it’s a sports team. The next day it’s climate change “deniers”. The target changes with the wind, but the tactics are the same. Always ask yourselves: Cui bono? (Who benefits?)

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Iraqi election snapshots: Baghdad

Posted by sanityinjection on March 9, 2010

I recommend to you this piece in the New York Times by veteran Iraq journalist Bartle Bull. Mr. Bull’s interviews suggest that there is – at least in Baghdad – a movement in this election away from sectarianism. If that’s true, it’s the most positive sign yet of a potentially stable and peaceful future for Iraq.

One of the things that seems to stand out in the interviews is the Baghdadis’ sense of pride in their democratic elections as putting them far ahead of their Arab brethren or even their Iranian neighbors. Of course, Iraqis have long viewed themselves as being more educated and modern than other Arabs. But it bodes well if Baghdadis’ attitudes gradually spread across the rest of the country.

I’m not sure why this piece was buried by the Times in their Op-Ed section, unless it simply wasn’t anti-American enough to qualify as “news”.

Posted in Foreign Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Prophet Al Gore stands to profit from global warming hysteria

Posted by sanityinjection on November 5, 2009

I have argued many times here that the media deliberately hides the profit motive of many in the global warming hysteria industry whose jobs, government grants, or investments are financially dependent on scaring people into going green. Thus, I view it as highly significant that the New York Times – of all publications, the most rigidly supportive of the global warming agenda – has run a piece detailing the ways in which global warming prophet Al Gore stands to profit from his efforts to panic the American people into drastic action on carbon emissions.

I won’t repeat all the details here, but suffice it to say, Gore has invested heavily in businesses that would benefit from the regulatory and legislative reforms he is pushing. When questioned on the matter, Gore usually responds with anger and annoyance that his motives should be called into question.

In fairness to Gore, I do believe he is telling the truth when he says that his advocacy for action on climate change is not primarily motivated by financial gain. Gore is a fanatic, and money is not what motivates fanatics. I believe that Gore sees this issue as the centerpiece of his legacy as a public figure – he wants to be remembered forever as the man who saved the world from global warming, and that means much more to him than money.

I also agree with Gore’s insistence that he has a right to invest in anything he wants just like anybody else. What I don’t agree with, though, is that Gore has never registered as a lobbyist despite the fact that he is arguably the most visible lobbyist in America. Nor does Gore believe that he has any obligation to disclose his financial interests before telling us all about our moral duty to save the planet. These things create the appearance of impropriety, and Gore as a longtime public servant should know that the appearance of impropriety is sometimes almost as bad as actual impropriety.

I commend the New York Times for its rare decision to train its magnifying glass on one of its own sacred cows for a change. Who knows, maybe someday they will even print an objective analysis of the Obamessiah?

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Is there a full moon or something?

Posted by sanityinjection on May 19, 2009

I never expected to be posting a link to a DailyKos post on this blog, much less one by Markos himself (If there were an election for the position of Antichrist, he’d get my vote.) But then again, it’s not everyday that liberals eat their own. This time ‘Kos’ venom is directed at the New York Times, and I have to say I agree with him. The issue? Times columnist Maureen Dowd got caught plagiarizing a blogger in one of her columns, and instead of reprimanding her, the Times shrugged it off:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/5/18/732833/-NYT:-Dowd-plagiarism-is-no-big-deal

‘Kos suggests that Dowd gets a free pass because she is a “star columnist”, but I would go further. At papers such as the Times and its low-rent cousin the Boston Globe, standards of journalism have not simply declined, they’ve disintegrated. None of their reporters or columnists are being held to any sort of standard by the paper (though some few may still hold themselves to one.) The Times’ casual comfort with plagiarism is part and parcel of its transformation from a highly respected reporter of news to a nakedly partisan propaganda machine that carefully skews the truth to support its political goals. New Yorkers, who reflexively believe they have the best of everything because they so rarely are aware of anything outside their megalopolitan cocoon, would be shocked to discover that other left-of-center newspapers such as the Washington Post are so far superior to the Times in virtually every aspect that it’s downright embarrassing.

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Boston Globe defends conservatives???

Posted by sanityinjection on April 27, 2009

This is a red-letter day, folks. The Boston Globe, the only surviving official organ of the Soviet Communist Party, actually has an op-ed today criticizing Homeland Security for their report implying that conservatives and returning veterans are dangerous extremists. “Conservatives have a right to be angry,” says the Globe.  First time this storied paper has ever acknowledged conservatives have any sort of rights.

Of course, given that the Globe is facing an imminent shutdown by its parent company, the New York Times, this could a parting shot  reflecting the real opinion of an op-ed editor who will be out of a job soon. Or it could be a play for support from the Right in the paper’s hour of desperate need, though the idea that conservatives would overlook decades of malice because of one nice column is laughable.

Still, rare events are worthy of notice, whatever their cause may be!

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My response to the resignation letter of AIG exec Jake DeSantis

Posted by sanityinjection on March 25, 2009

If you haven’t already done so, read the open letter published in the New York Times’ op-ed page in which AIG executive Jake DeSantis resigns from his job and blames everybody but himself for the company’s problems.

This letter is so relevant to current issues, and so illustrative of the mental disconnect that has been in operation at these financial institutions, that I am going to quote several of the points made by DeSantis and respond to each. But if you want the short version: DeSantis is an out-of-touch, self-righteous, arrogant, overprivileged ass.

Point #1:  “I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G….Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.”

Response #1: Having no contrary knowledge, I will assume Mr. DeSantis is telling the truth. However, the fact that he is not responsible for ruining the company does *not* mean he deserves over $742,000 of the taxpayers’ money.

Point #2: “I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.”

Response #2: But it’s still YOU, Mr. DeSantis, who are arrogating for yourself the right to decide what to do with OUR money! How do you not understand that? What if we, the taxpayers, don’t agree with your particular philanthropic interests?

Point #3: “I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.”

Response #3: And how much have you and your family been making over the last decade, in which you added precisely what value to society? Spare me your cries of sacrifice as you return to your million-dollar home in Fairfield County!

Point #4: “I started at this company in 1998 as an equity trader, became the head of equity and commodity trading and, a couple of years before A.I.G.’s meltdown last September, was named the head of business development for commodities. Over this period the equity and commodity units were consistently profitable — in most years generating net profits of well over $100 million. Most recently, during the dismantling of A.I.G.-F.P., I was an integral player in the pending sale of its well-regarded commodity index business to UBS. As you know, business unit sales like this are crucial to A.I.G.’s effort to repay the American taxpayer.

The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation.”

Response #4: Right, and I’m sure all that profit had to do with your personal economic genius and not the fact that you simply bought and sold in a raging bull market in which a 3-year old could have made money.

The point is not that DeSantis did a bad job. The point is that even if he did a great job, he doesn’t deserve $742,000 of the taxpayers’ money! How simple is that, and how out of touch does this guy have to be that he doesn’t get it? Let me put it more simply: During bad times, you get paid less than you deserve, and so does everybody else. Why should Mr. Three Piece Suit here be any exception? I’m not getting a raise this year, and I do a great job, too.

Point #5: “I never received any pay resulting from the credit default swaps that are now losing so much money. I did, however, like many others here, lose a significant portion of my life savings in the form of deferred compensation invested in the capital of A.I.G.-F.P. because of those losses. In this way I have personally suffered from this controversial activity — directly as well as indirectly with the rest of the taxpayers. “

Response #5: Cry me a damn river. Who forced you to invest your life savings in your own company? Ever hear of diversifying your portfolio, Mr. Financial Genius? And since when do you get the federal government to compensate you for your personal investment losses? How do I sign up for that deal?

DeSantis goes on to accuse AIG CEO Ed Liddy of hypocrisy for first approving the bonuses and then criticizing them once the political pressure was on. I have no comment on that part, though I suspect DeSantis has a point there.

Point #6: “I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust.”

Response #6: Reading between the lines, what DeSantis is saying is that those who are suffering now either didn’t work hard enough or foolishly squandered their money. Again, he is arrogant and out-of-touch. Does he think he worked harder than police officers, firefighters, teachers that are being laid off? He probably does think that.

 Point #7: “Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.”

Response #7:  This is DeSantis trying to sound reasonable, but notice what he’s really saying is that other people, but not *him*, have been overpaid. He clearly feels he deserves every dollar of *our* money! 

Point #8:  “That is why I have decided to donate 100 percent of the effective after-tax proceeds of my retention payment directly to organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn. This is not a tax-deduction gimmick; I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of A.I.G.’s or the federal government’s budget. Our earnings have caused such a distraction for so many from the more pressing issues our country faces, and I would like to see my share of it benefit those truly in need.”

Response #8: You’re a true humanitarian, Jake. See Response #2 for why it’s not your decision to make. Also, I didn’t see you making this grand gesture until *after* the heat got turned on you and your buddies, so forgive me if I doubt the depths of your philanthropic sincerity.

Point #9:  “On March 16 I received a payment from A.I.G. amounting to $742,006.40, after taxes. In light of the uncertainty over the ultimate taxation and legal status of this payment, the actual amount I donate may be less — in fact, it may end up being far less if the recent House bill raising the tax on the retention payments to 90 percent stands.”

Response #9: I’ll give DeSantis a point for actually giving the exact amount of his bonus in a public newspaper.  But see how he’s already weaseling out of his grand charitable gesture? Basically he’s threatening the Congress – if you tax me punitively, I won’t give anything at all to charity, because the number one rule to be followed is that Jake DeSantis must never have to sacrifice anything. Never mind that Congress is in fact totally out of line in trying to impose that punitive tax – the point is, DeSantis’ attitude stinks. 

Point #10: “This choice is right for me. I wish others at A.I.G.-F.P. luck finding peace with their difficult decision, and only hope their judgment is not clouded by fear.”

Response #10: Awww, can you hear the violin music swelling in the background? Actually, Mr. DeSantis, most of your buddies haven’t found the decision difficult at all – they’re giving the money back to the American taxpayers. You’re the only one who’s being an arrogant, self-righteous jerk about it.

To sum up, DeSantis’ whole argument is that since he is not personally responsible for the bad decisions, he deserves to profit from the situation. Well, guess what, Mr. DeSantis, most Americans aren’t responsible for the bad decisions your company made either. We work just as hard as you do, and strangely enough, we aren’t being handed bonus contracts when things go sour – we’re getting pay freezes, pay cuts, cuts in hours, and layoffs, through no fault of our own. The fact that you not only think you’re too good to share any of that pain, but actually deserve to profit from it, makes you the poster boy for everything that’s wrong with our political and financial leadership in this country. Thanks for being such a useful object lesson. Or should I say, thanks for being a tool.

Posted in Domestic News, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Posted by sanityinjection on January 7, 2009

That’s the only possible response to New York Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd’s sickening ass-kissing of Caroline Kennedy. Dowd is scurrying to remedy her mistake of being on vacation when Kennedy was floating trial balloons for her Senate ambition, but she has missed the boat. There’s already been enough disenchantment with Kennedy among Democrats that New York’s Governor is unlikely to hand her the seat. He will probably choose a veteran oldster who won’t seek to run when the term expires and let Kennedy, Cuomo, and whoever else slug it out at the ballot box. Indeed, that’s what he should do.

Dowd is awash in the classic liberal nostalgia for all things Kennedy – which is funny, since the Kennedys of the 1960s weren’t really liberals at all. Dowd insists that Kennedy deserves to sit in the Senate because of her “magic capital”, which consists of having a father and uncle who were assassinated.  But even she seems to sense that this is a pathetic argument, so she moves to argument number two, which is that she, Maureen Dowd, knows Caroline Kennedy personally, which ought to be enough reason for everyone to support her. Finally, she moves to argument three, where she points out that rampant nepotism is hardly rare in the federal legislature, as if that’s a good thing.

She concludes by writing, “It’s not what your name is. It’s what you do with it.” Yet she can’t seem to tell us what exactly Caroline Kennedy has done with hers.

Perhaps the Times should consider whether there might be some connection between the unrepentant arrogant elitism of columnists like Dowd and the paper’s plummeting readership.

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Why does the NYT even have a “Business” section anymore?

Posted by sanityinjection on December 22, 2008

It’s getting to the point where first-year college students have a better understanding of economics than the reporters who cover business stories for the New York Times. Witness this latest offering about measures that some companies have been taking to cut labor costs without laying off workers:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/22/business/22layoffs.html

The article reads like a feel-good piece. The nice companies care about their workers, and the nice workers are willing to make sacrifices to help the company. What a crock of manure.

Sure, there are some companies and workers that fit that description. But there are two very major and obvious economic factors that are totally ignored by the article’s authors.

The first is that companies have a big incentive to avoid layoffs, in any economy, but particularly when they are hurting. The more employees you lay off, the more you have to pay in unemployment insurance in the following year, and for a few years thereafter. In the long run, it can cost you more to lay off an employee than you save, especially if they are part-time workers who aren’t costing you health benefits.

The second factor, which applies on the other side of the coin, is that not every company can implement these creative measures with regard to benefits and salaries even if they want to. Changes such as these have to be negotiated with unions and cannot be implemented unilaterally by the company. Some unions are smart and are willing to work with the company to preserve jobs. Many, however, are stubborn and cling to the smallest privileges. This forces companies to fall back on what they can do without having to get the unions to agree, which is layoff employees.

I don’t know how you write this article without mentioning either of those important aspects – unless you’re ignorant of the subject you’re being paid to cover.

Posted in Domestic News, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How the news media try to shape your perceptions, Part 2

Posted by sanityinjection on July 1, 2008

It’s unusual for me to link to a blatantly biased “news” article, especially in the New York Times. But I cannot pass up the opportunity to showcase this excellent example of how the media deliberately twists its reporting to make you believe what they want you to believe.

Before continuing, let me point out that while the article concerns the Presidential candidates, it is not my intention to use this blog as a mouthpiece for any candidate or to tell anyone how to vote. Were the beneficiary and the victim of this piece to be swapped, I would still decry it as the worst kind of journalism.

So let us begin: The subject of the article, which appeared in the “Politics” section for the NYT, is Senator McCain’s trip to Colombia today. The article notes correctly that one of the reasons for the trip is to highlight McCain’s strong support for a free-trade agreement between the US and Colombia that is being held up in the House. However, the main point of the article is to imply that the *real* reason McCain supports this is because one of his advisors, Charlie Black, headed a lobbying firm that worked for Occidental Petroleum, which has heavy interests in Colombia. You are supposed to understand that if the free trade agreement passes, Occidental makes money, which means Charlie makes money, which means McCain says whatever Charlie tells him to say. However, the author of the piece, Larry Rohter, knows better than to state this directly and have to be held accountable for his assertion. So how does he get this idea in his reader’s head? Here’s how.

Start with the title of the piece, which admittedly probably came from an editor rather than from Rohter: “McCain Heads Today for Colombia, Where Adviser Has Long Had Ties” We assume the latter is the reason for the former, without it being stated. This idea is reiterated at the very beginning of the piece, just in case you didn’t get it: “At a time when the role of lobbyists and special interests are at issue in the presidential campaign, Senator John McCain leaves Tuesday on a trip to Colombia, where a senior adviser to him has long had business and political ties.”

The main objection to this linkage is the well-known fact that McCain has been a strong supporter of free trade agreements generally for his entire legislative career (and long before he ever met Charlie Black.) Rohter is forced to admit this but does so as briefly as possible: “The senator, a strong free-trade advocate, has spoken in favor of the accord on the campaign trail.”  Of course, since we are supposed to believe that McCain’s support is based solely on naked corruption, Rohter has no time to tell us what McCain’s reasons are for supporting the deal. Yet, in the very next paragraph, where he states that Senator Obama opposes the deal, we are told why: “Mr. Obama has expressed environmental and human rights concerns, including what he describes as the Colombian government’s repression of labor unions.”  You, dear reader, aren’t supposed to notice that only one side of the story is being told.

We are told all about what a jerk Black is (for commenting offhand that McCain would get more votes if the US were attacked before the election), and what an evil company Occidental is. Having established this, we are told about Colombia’s “questionable human rights record” in great detail and Occidental’s complicity in same. Never mind that Colombia’s been fighting a full-scale civil war for years, or that the alleged incidents mentioned took place before the current government of Colombia, which negotiated the deal, was in place.

What we are not offered is the slightest hint of an argument that might suggest why a reasonable person could possibly support this trade deal – for example, almost all Colombian goods are already imported without tariffs, but the deal would allow US firms the same privilege to export our goods to Colombia – helping us as much or more than them. Nor are we told that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is refusing to allow a vote on the measure, because she knows that the majority of Congressmen even in the Democrat-controlled House will vote in favor of the deal.

Selective presentation of information – Make sure the reader receives only the information that supports one world view, and then let them reach their own conclusions based on that information.

And this from the newspaper that still acts as if it is the world epitome of professional journalism. In fact, the NY Times has become a consummate disgrace with precisely this kind of “news reporting”. One wonders why, if the left-wing editors and reporters of the Times are so certain of the righteousness of their viewpoint, why they do not trust readers to come to agree with them if given *all* the facts in an objective fashion?

Full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/us/politics/01black.html?ref=politics

 

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