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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘the media’

Medicinal Cannabis and Dr. Johnny

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Toward the end of his life, my father suffered indescribable pain. He was at the stage where the doctors in the oncology ward focus on other patients, and you run – helpless and harried – between doctors who don’t know how to work outside the book. “Your father is finished, we’ve done all that we can,” they would say, adding, “Johnny. Talk to Johnny.”

The government recently closed Dr. Johnny Greenfield’s pain clinic in the Tel Hashomer hospital. It was only from the media reports that I realized that Johnny is a highly respected oncologist. There, in the hospital, he would sit behind a tiny table in a tiny cubicle, helping his pain-wracked patients. In that tiny room, he was simply Johnny.

Johnny would talk to my father. He would calm him. He would explain that it is legitimate to want the pain to stop. My eyes fill with tears when I remember those searing moments. Johnny is one of those people who are really card-carrying angels.

And Johnny helped – a lot. More than the medicinal cannabis that he prescribed for my father, he helped with his love for others and his completely unorthodox approach. No “Do these tests and come back with the results,” and the authorizations and all the running around that turns people suffering their most difficult moments into miserable mice running down unfamiliar halls, pushing and pressured between all the other equally miserable people. Anyone who has experienced this can understand what I am talking about.

Johnny wants the pain to stop. He is a professional and explains the exact implications of each drug, telling my father what part of his cognizance may be impaired and the consequences of every drug he offered. He is a true healer. For the first time in a long time, my father relaxed. The cruel world suddenly looked different. A world with a person like Johnny looks beautiful, nurturing and warm.

After a few meetings, I told Johnny that I had read that Israel is one of the leading countries in its use of medicinal cannabis. Johnny didn’t have to hear more than that to pour his heart out. He spoke of all the patients who could not get treatment, and about how good cannabis and cannabis products would be for a vast array of illnesses. Perhaps the economic interest of the drug companies has something to do with the obstacles that the state places in the path of those who wish to be treated by this amazing drug. “I believe that if God created it, he did it so that we can use it,” I say to him.

Since my father died, I have not heard from Johnny. Suddenly this man, considered an angel by so many, is publicly denounced.

Have a good, sweet year, Johnny. It makes no difference what they write. In your merit, there are so many people that can smile a little bit at the end of their lives.

Liberal Overconfidence Is Helping Romney

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The 2012 election is once again proving that having most of the mainstream media in your pocket is a huge advantage for a presidential candidate. President Obama’s reelection effort has been materially aided by being largely able to set the narrative of the race as the year unfolded. Mitt Romney’s gaffes are treated as game-changers, while Obama’s misstatements and scandals, like the security leaks from the White House, are often treated like footnotes rather than major stories.

Media spin helped turn his convention into a hit and the Libya disaster, combined with Romney’s “47 percent” gaffe, has seemed to produce a genuine surge for the president in the past few weeks. Conservatives may dispute the accuracy of polls that may be based on samples skewed to the Democrats or based on expectations of a repeat of the “hope and change” turnout figures of 2008. But after months of the race being seen as a dead heat, there’s little doubt Obama is ahead right now. However, the glee on the left contains within it the possibility of a reversal.

The media narrative of the election having been largely decided in the last month is so strong that prominent outlets are openly expressing shock that the GOP hasn’t already conceded the election. They push this line about Romney’s incompetence relentlessly; accept speeches filled with misstatements and distortions at the Democratic National Convention at face value after treating GOP convention speeches as “fact-checked” lies and thereby help manufacture a post-convention bounce; and then declare the race (which is still largely within the margin of error in most polls) over and consider it a “curiosity” that Republicans still like their chances and understand tying their fates to Romney is a lot smarter than writing him off.

In other words, if Republicans don’t accept the media narrative and give up, they are in denial. It never occurs to the chattering classes that about half the country still plans to vote to turn President Obama’s incomplete into an “F” in November and that his wife shouldn’t be fitted for her second inaugural gown just yet.

Some are speaking as if Romney must not just win the debates but mop the floor with the president if he is to have a chance in November.

But the problem with this triumphalism on the left is that it can breed a fatal overconfidence. As encouraging as the president’s current poll numbers may be, his margins are still too small and there is still too much time left before Election Day for the left to assume the thing is in the bag. Even more to the point, it can breed a backlash against the media that can energize Romney’s camp and help fuel a competing comeback narrative.

The president may not only have peaked too soon, but the overkill on the part of his journalistic cheerleading squad could be just the shot in the arm Romney needed.

It should be conceded that with just a few weeks to go, it is a lot better to be ahead – no matter how large or small the margin – than behind. The president’s good month has encouraged Democrat donors and depressed those of the Republicans. Such a state of affairs could, if the GOP misplays its hand in the coming weeks, theoretically snowball into a repeat of the party’s 2008 debacle.

But the notion that Romney is already so far behind that he will never be able to catch up is risible. For all of his missteps, he remains within striking distance of the president. The economy is still poor and the idea that the patent collapse of his foreign policy vision as our embassies are attacked in the Middle East will help rather than hurt him among voters is highly debatable.

Moreover, Americans hate being told an election is over when they know it is still close. That gives Romney a clear opening to spend the remaining weeks running hard against the media as well as the president.

Nobody may like a heartless plutocrat – the false image the left has foisted on Romney – but everyone likes an underdog who is being undercut by a chattering class telling voters that all has been decided even before they vote. If Romney can tap into this sentiment, dissatisfaction with the president’s performance in office can still be the decisive factor in determining the outcome.

The Great Media Noise Machine

Monday, September 24th, 2012

According to the media, the Romney campaign is struggling to recover from a terrible week after an even worse week and the man himself has no hope of winning the election. Also according to the media, the murderers running wild in the streets belong to a religion of peace and the world is in grave imminent danger of destruction from cow farts.

The three-fold process by which the noise machine inflicts its idiocy on us works like this. First the narrative is invented, then endless streams of experts are brought in to comment on and reinforce the narrative, and finally there is a hysterical denunciation of those who reject the narrative as ignorant vermin barely worth of being clubbed on the head on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

In the real world, Romney is still running neck and neck with Obama among registered voters, the non-stop gaffe express exists only in the minds of the media, which manufactures stories that fit the narrative, then reports on the narrative and discusses the narrative to death until enough people confuse it with reality.

The Romney campaign is not flailing and it is not guilty of missteps; what it is, is under constant attack by a massive leftist bloc composed of think-tanks, campaign operatives and the media who then use their own attacks to manufacture a narrative of incompetence. Each attack is then called a “gaffe” and used as evidence that the campaign is flailing.

This isn’t a new technique, what is the new is the complete and shameless integration of the media into the spin corps and attack poodle ranks of a political campaign so that there is hardly any difference between an anchorman, a reporter and a campaign spokesman. What is new is the level of intense coordination that allows one campaign total airtime and allows the other campaign a chance to pay for ads and be attacked all the rest of the time.

This has nothing to do with Romney, just as it had nothing to do with McCain; the same exact treatment would have been meted out to any human being who chose to run against Obama. The media’s treatment of Romney is as impersonally vicious as the behavior of students when faced with a new substitute teacher. It isn’t about Romney, it isn’t even about Obama anymore, it’s about power.

Obama is an actual failure. The only way to run a campaign against a man who has been out of public life for a bit and who has no obvious failures, is to turn his campaign into a failure, a constant failure where everything seems to be going wrong on a daily basis. The only way for the media to avoid the public’s inevitable judgement on the competence of a man who has failed them economically is to make his rival seem even more incompetent.

The narrative has certain advantages. It depresses voter turnout and contributions to the Romney campaign and it makes voter fraud safer by creating the perception going into the election that Obama is bound to win. Voter fraud in Russia and Iran met with such violent protests because the results were clearly at odds with public sentiment. In the United States, Mahmoud and Vladimir’s pal is making sure that his control of the media can sell him as an inevitable winner which will make truly obscene levels of voter fraud possible and plausible under the cover of universal popularity..

The larger effect of the narrative is to spread doubt and uncertainty on the Republican side as disgruntled campaign operatives pop out of the ground to agree that the Romney campaign is a disaster. That begins a circular firing squad, as campaign operatives call for a halt and begin reevaluating what they are doing wrong, sacrificing momentum and fragmenting their strategy, and then defeat becomes a self-fulling prophecy as the operatives begin preparing to shift the blame for the defeat on each other long before the defeat has actually happened.

The good news is that this does not appear to be happening in the ranks of the Romney Campaign, which is still moving steadily forward, despite the narrative. Its greatest challenge may be retaining that constancy of purpose and refusing to be affected by the constant barrage of attacks and the media’s poisonous insistence on predicting doom for the campaign. This is not an atmosphere that anyone but a handful of great and charismatic speakers could begin to shift and Romney is no Reagan.

Despite Media Pile-On, Romney Isn’t Toast

Friday, September 21st, 2012

So while some of us were celebrating the Jewish New Year and taking the last couple of days off from politics, it appears a video has more or less decided the election.

That’s the assumption of much of the mainstream media about the impact of the release of the video of Mitt Romney speaking back in May at a private fundraiser about the 47 percent of the country that doesn’t pay taxes. They think this means it’s time to put a fork in the Republican candidate. They believe the pile-on from both the Democrats and their media allies will be enough to effectively push Romney far enough behind the president that he will never be able to make it up in the weeks remaining to him.

This is, to understate matters, something of a self-fulfilling prophecy since the reason the video is considered to be such a big deal is because it has been covered as an earthshaking gaffe that ought to spike Romney’s hopes of ever winning the presidency.

The assumption that Romney has been fatally damaged is incorrect. The initial reaction to the video clips will probably damage Romney, but it will not affect the bulk of his support in a race that is still close.

The reason the video hurts is that it played into Obama’s greatest advantage: a pliant media quick to dismiss his blunders but sure to make a meal out of any of Romney’s gaffes. But it is time for the Romney campaign to understand it must exploit the fact that half the country believes the liberal media are out to get him. Romney must tell the country that it must not let the chattering classes decide the election before they’ve had a chance to vote.

Let’s specify that Romney’s statement was dumb. No presidential candidate should ever make such a sweeping generalization. Romney has a habit of making gaffes and this was yet another example of one of his weak points as a leader. Yet for all of the fact that he painted those who don’t pay income taxes with a broad and inaccurate brush, his comment was still based in a correct interpretation of the philosophical divide between the approaches of the two parties to the entitlement welfare state that has played such a destructive role in American society.

But as much as some of the carping about the Romney campaign from Republicans has been justified, let’s understand the reason this video is being seen as the turning point in the election is that the liberal media, determined to reelect the president, are saying so.

This is the same media after all that were faced with a similar gaffe four years ago when Obama was caught on tape at one of his private fundraisers making similarly stupid comments dismissing much of America as “clinging to guns and religion” because of their fears and small-minded natures.

While that video did not go unreported at the time, the reaction from much of the press was indifference. Right-wing bloggers and columnists screamed about it but it was not treated as front-page news in mainstream newspapers. The explanation for that is not exactly a mystery. If most reporters and their editors didn’t play it that big it was because most of them shared Obama’s contempt for religion and guns and those that cling to them.

Let’s also remember that the president’s “you didn’t build that” gaffe has been endlessly defended and rationalized by the media instead of being covered as an open and shut case of his being out of touch with much of the country’s beliefs. The president’s open microphone moment earlier in the year, in which he promised Russia’s president that he could be more “flexible” in accommodating Moscow after his reelection, was also underplayed.

Any Republican who runs for president and is surprised to find the deck is stacked against him in the media doesn’t deserve the office. But that doesn’t mean Romney should take this double standard lying down. Rather than play defense on this issue, the Romney campaign must make it clear it intends to treat this story as being more about media bias than about the candidate’s stupidity. If played right, that could not only jazz up a GOP base that despises the media, but put the Republican’s tormenters on the defensive.

Media Using Gaffe Charge to Drown Out Romney’s Truth

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Gaffe, a word that temporarily came to be associated with political misstatements, has returned to its origins as a social faux pas, such as saying something at a dinner party that everyone knows to be true, but that know mustn’t be said out loud.

The media are still doing their best to pretend that a gaffe is a mistake, when they are actually using it to mean the telling of inconvenient truths. Obama’s reign of error is a constellation of inconvenient truths, economic, security and legal, that cannot be discussed in public. The telling of these inconvenient truths has been met with cries of racism, no matter how little they have to do with race. Now they are being met with cries of “Gaffe, Gaffe,” when Romney brings them up.

Did Obama skip presidential intelligence briefings on the most serious national security threats for a week before September 11? Did the Benghazi consulate lack basic security in a city where Islamist militias were running rampant and attacks on foreign diplomats had already taken place? Was the entire situation a result of an illegal war fought by Obama under false pretenses that armed Islamist militias and set them loose to persecute Libyan Sufis and seize half of Mali? Did Obama sleep through the beginning of the largest wave of attacks on America during his term while partying in Vegas?

Such inconvenient truths can only be met by accusing their teller of committing the horrible gaffe of politicizing the formerly apolitical and bipartisan arena of unilateral wars and the violence arising from them– an area that the Democrats decided was off-limits ever since they stopped criticizing such wars and began fighting them four years ago.

Has the Israeli-Palestinian peace process dragged on for twenty years without a single gleam of hope? The official position is that the Israelis, who brought in Arafat from the cold, gave him a state and pleaded with him to make a deal, are to blame. The inconvenient truth is that Arafat and his cronies never stopped the terror because it was the only thing they knew how to do and it was the only reason that anyone gave them the time of day. And the inconvenient truth is another gaffe.

In a state of national and international disaster, the worst possible gaffe is telling the truth about the state of affairs we are in. These gaffes disturb the party-goers signing up to work for non-profits and watching cheerful reports about the Arab Spring and the economic recovery while the ship sinks around them. And the party men and women react to it with the outraged demeanor of spoiled children.

A gaffe occurs when Mitt Romney talks about a real problem. It’s the real part, more than anything else, that is the problem. Reality has no place in the hysterical media feed from an imaginary world as unreal as anything that Communist apparatchiks or Nazi propagandists were broadcasting to their people in the dying days of their regimes.

Consume enough media and you come to understand that the people manufacturing it are not only hacks, they’re clueless hacks, who like their master in the White House, have absolutely no idea how to solve any of the country’s problems and no interest whatsoever in even bothering to try. They are mechanical men marching to an ideological beat and have no more interest in reality than do the denizens of a mental ward.

Los Angeles bans plastic bags to save the planet based on the appeal of a sitcom actress. New York’s Attorney General decriminalizes drugs while cracking down on prescription drug abuse with a statewide database. His rationale for this is that heroin is abused by poor minorities while painkillers are abused by rich white people. The Alabama ACLU sues the penal system for not allowing HIV inmates to work in the prison kitchen.

The left has long ago passed the point where they can be parodied. Any lunatic thing that you can imagine, they have already done or are planning to do. And compared to them the Soviet Union looks like a picture of credible management since its commissars reined in much of the insanity early on and at least made the occasional effort at applying their ideology to actual problems.

Our version of the Soviet Union is a ceaseless application of ideology whose only purpose is its application. There is no purpose to any of the three pieces of insanity listed above except the grad school exercise of a senseless ideological program chasing its own tail. Unlike the Soviet Union, there is no goal beyond the application of increasingly stifling programs of ideological conformity. There is no purpose except for the smug left to get even smugger at the expense of everyone else.

Men and women who are this ruined as policymakers, journalists and human beings are in no shape for an encounter with reality. When you’re crusading to ban plastic bags and include Islamist killers in the progressive camp, when your goal is to fight a truly progressive war on drugs and defend the rights of prisoners to unwillingly contract HIV from their servers, then reality is a foreign enemy to be fought tooth and nail.

The consensus of the last four years has been that we won’t discuss reality and in exchange we lose all our legal rights. It’s not exactly a great bargain, but the media which brokered it on our behalf, have done their best to dress it up as well as it can. Our economy is on its last legs, our national security is shot and the only reason we’re still running is that the country still has reserves of wealth that haven’t been plundered and the dregs of a counter-terror policy that carried over to these four years.

Mentioning any of this is another gaffe, another cold blast of reality blowing through rooms heated to Hawaiian standard temperatures. And the people in those rooms are as threatened by reality gaffes as schizophrenics are by the gnawing sense that the world outside is a very different place than the one in their skulls. And they react to it in the same way, with fear, hate and barely restrained violence.

It’s not just Muslims who react with hysterical violence when the power of their delusion is undermined by an outside world that cares nothing for the status of a 7th Century pedophile warlord, not any different than his ilk cluttering up Afghanistan today. The left’s response to anything that lowers the status of their prophet, stops just short of torching fried chicken places, especially if those places are also against gay marriage.

The streams of reporters gritting their teeth at the sight of Romney, a man whom like McCain they would have had no objection to if not for his temerity in insulting the Prophet Ibn Hussein,don’t quite explode into violence. Instead they angrily denounce the faux pas all of that talk about real world economics and foreign policy is. Gaffes are what they call that kind of talk. And no one at a party likes a gaffe.

During the Bush years, the media complained that the party circuit had died. It’s come roaring back in the age of Obama and no one is willing to give it up. The media are an extension of the party, not just the cocktail parties, but the party behind the party, the one that believes in revolution for the sake of revolution, and that turned a grunt community organizer into a senator and then the man on top.

All that power and madness crammed into ballrooms, chocking on canapes, stumbling past endless rows of champagne bottles through mirrored rooms, dim lighting and sweating waiters is not ready for a meeting with reality. And when that stiff refugee from the fifties corners them and starts talking about economics, about foreign policy, they push him away and cry, “Gaffe, Gaffe.”

The gaffe is that the emperor is naked. The gaffe is that the smartest man in America, the technocrat in chief, stumbles onto the Letterman set, which looks almost as fake as he does, and can’t even name the size of the national debt. And who cares anyway except that it’s big and getting bigger. No one is supposed to even bring that up, harsh the mellow and bring the party down. That’s another gaffe right there.

The gaffe is that the same people who are running the country into the ground are also showing up every night on the news and every day on the sites to lie through their teeth about it. The difference between liberal media and liberal politicians has become a technical formality that mostly has to do with who signs their checks. The gaffe is that no one is allowed to remind the sweating throngs of the government-media complex that while they party, the arrow has moved closer to midnight.

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. But that’s a myth. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is a walking hate crime. In the kingdom of the blind, sight is a crime and mentioning what you see is a gaffe. In a kingdom where the king doesn’t know how much he owes and doesn’t want to know, mentioning the amount is a gaffe. Showing the king and his advisers up as fools and knaves is an even bigger gaffe. And when the king decides to parade around in his invisible clothes– mentioning that he’s naked is the biggest gaffe of them all.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Manufacturing Gaffes

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/manufacturing-gaffes.html

If you read the newspaper, watch the telly or turn the radio dial to something besides talk or the greatest hits of the 70′s, 80′s and today, then you know that Romney’s international trip was a disaster. How do you know that? Well you know it the same way that Soviet citizens knew that their economy was booming and it would only be a matter of time before the oppressed slaves of capitalism threw off their shackles and bowed their arrogant heads to the hammer and sickle. They read it in the paper.

We read things in the paper too. Not very good or interesting things because the media is currently too lazy and cheap to do good or interesting things.

Modern journalism is indistinguishable from public relations. PR people do not investigate or report, they come up with a narrative, break it down into talking points and then sell it down by the docks. Their narrative is “Our company is great and the other company is bad.” When their company does something wrong, then it’s, “Our company really isn’t responsible for this” and “The other company is much worse than we are.”

When it comes to politics all you really hear from the media anymore is the same lazy spin you can find on corporate press releases. Read the press releases from a squabble between two companies, switch out the names of the companies to, “Obama” and “Romney” and imagine that Obama Inc. owns the media. Now you know everything you need to know about politics.

Journalism is out. The modern media is too lazy and cheap to actually work on investigative reporting and when they do take the time, it leads to some ridiculous personal eyewitness account of nothing in particular. Coming up with an actual scandal takes work, but why bother when you can just spin the actual news in the worst possible way and manufacture a gaffe narrative.

Manufacturing gaffes is a lot easier than manufacturing jobs which is why the media has switched from fake optimism about the economy to fake pessimism about Romney’s competence. While it takes a lot of work to open a factory that manufactures shoes or microprocessors, manufacturing a gaffe factory is very easy.

Step 1. Call something that a candidate has done a gaffe.

Step 2.  Report on the gaffe claim that your media outlet just made. Do not call it a claim, treat it as a verified fact that everyone has already acknowledged.

Step 3. Turn the gaffe reporting into the major issue by talking about it all the time. Interview experts who are willing to back up your gaffe claim.

Step 4. Fire constant questions at the candidate to force him to acknowledge the gaffe. If he discusses the issue in any way, describe him as apologizing or walking back his previous statements. Print essays that accuse him of being an incompetent flip-flopping wimp. If he refuses to discuss it, accuse him of stonewalling and print essays that accuse him of living in denial because he refuses to admit what “everyone” already knows. Either way you’ve proven that he’s a bad person.

Step 5. Repeat step 1 several times. Then begin reporting on a “Pattern of Gaffes”, a “Pattern of Stonewalling” and a “Pattern of Flip-Flopping.”

We got a preview of the media’s gaffe manufacturing process during Romney’s international trip. There are currently more media stories on Romney’s gaffe then there are on the latest bad news for the economy. The narrative is being set through constant repetition.

“Romney’s foreign trip gaffes” the Washington Post blares, “Romney’s Gaffe Track Ends” ABC News laments, “Mitt Romney in Jerusalem: Another city, another gaffe (or two)?” the Christian Science Monitor speculates. Every outlet repeats the same talking points with a slight twist. The “story” is that Romney makes gaffes.

Once the basic narrative has been set, the media begins its secondary “reporting” in which it treats its manufactured story as a real story and begins embedding it into the real world. This takes the form of analysis pieces on the consequences of the fake story.

“Romney suffers gaffes, but will it hurt his campaign?” asks AFP. “Mideast gaffe could cost Mitt Romney” suggests the New York Daily News.”‎‎Romney aide’s gaffe exposes rift” offers Politico.

Arab Israeli MK Zoabi Blames Israeli Policy for Terror Attack in Bulgaria

Friday, July 27th, 2012

An Israeli Arab Knesset member said that Israeli policy led to the deadly recent terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

“Israel is not a victim, and even when civilians are killed, the occupying Israeli policy is to blame,” Channel 10 quoted Haneen Zoabi as saying. “If there was no occupation, no repression and no blockade, then this wouldn’t have happened,” she said during an interview at Haifa’s Gordon College.

The terrorist attack, which American and Israeli offiicals blame on a Hezbollah operative, killed five Israelis and wounded another 36 on vacation in Burgas, Bulgaria.

Zoabi also came out against efforts to have the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics remembered with a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies of this year’s London Olympics. She is member of the National Democratic Assembly, a secular party that says a democratic, secular stay is the only that Israel’s Arab citizens can “achieve full, cultural, national and minority rights.”

“Why don’t they commemorate the Palestinians that Israel murdered?” Channel 2 quoted Zoabi as saying. “If Israel would say that it recognizes the injustice it has done to Palestinians, then it would also be logical to ask the world to remember all the sides. But it is hypocritical to continue to bring up the victims of 40 years ago, while Israel wants to hide the victims of recent years.”

Zoabi on Friday denied the reports, saying that the media had ignored her condemnation of the murder of Jewish civilians in Burgas and her participation in a minute of silence in their memory in the Knesset, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The media, she said, also ignored her central contention: that the occupation is the central act of terrorism, the center of conflict and suffering in the region, the paper reported.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/arab-israeli-mk-zoabi-blames-israeli-policy-for-terror-attack-in-bulgaria/2012/07/27/

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