Category: Media

A “Slippery, Bootlicking A.G.”? The Media Goes Silent As Garland Adopts Previously Denounced Positions Of Barr

Below is my column in The Hill on the recent decisions of Attorney General Merrick Garland to support the prior positions taken by his predecessor, William Barr, on issues ranging from the Lafayette Park protests to immigration to withholding information related to the Mueller investigation. Positions that were once denounced by media and legal experts as raw partisanship have now been adopted by the Biden Administration with little acknowledgement from those same figures.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “A “Slippery, Bootlicking A.G.”? The Media Goes Silent As Garland Adopts Previously Denounced Positions Of Barr”

“Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of the Gun Lobby”: Newsom Attacks Federal Judge Who Ruled In Favor Of Gun Rights

Remember when networks and legal experts (correctly) denounced President Donald Trump for his attacks on judges who ruled against him? Two years ago, I ran a column noting that Democrats were adopting the same attacks on conservative judges but the media was entirely silent. Now, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrats are lambasting a federal judge who ruled in favor of gun rights in a recent decision — accusing him of being in the pocket of the NRA and a danger to the country.  The response to Newsom’s attack from all of those same media and legal experts has ranged from outright support to conspicuous silence.

Continue reading ““Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of the Gun Lobby”: Newsom Attacks Federal Judge Who Ruled In Favor Of Gun Rights”

“Lingering Questions”: The Post Issues Bizarre Response To IG Report Debunking Its Past Claims

In 2016, Karen Tumulty wrote a column in the Washington Post titled “Trump: Never Wrong, Never Sorry, Never Responsible” that criticized Donald Trump as someone who refused “to take ownership of the outrageous things he has said and done.”  Tumulty’s column came to mind this week when the Washington Post faced a federal report that debunked literally dozens of Post articles on the clearing of the Lafayette Square area on June 1, 2020. The Interior Department’s Inspector General unambiguously refuted the claim that former Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the clearing to allow Trump to hold his controversial photo op in front of St. John’s Church. The Post (which proclaims that “Democracy Dies In Darkness”) shed little light on its own role in the fostering of this conspiracy theory. Continue reading ““Lingering Questions”: The Post Issues Bizarre Response To IG Report Debunking Its Past Claims”

Authors Facing Increasing Pressure To Retroactively Edit Their Work To Appease Critics

We have been discussing writerseditorscommentators, and academics who have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including book banning and blacklisting. That movement has now become retroactive. Authors are now being successfully pressured to remove lines from published books that are deemed objectionable by some readers. It appears that even speech that has published can be retroactively “corrected” under the threat of public accusation. Continue reading “Authors Facing Increasing Pressure To Retroactively Edit Their Work To Appease Critics”

Debunking The Photo Op Myth: Inspector General Investigation Refutes Media Account On The Clearing Of Lafayette Park

For over a year, there has been one fact that has been repeated in literally thousands of news stories: former Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the clearing of Lafayette Park on June 1, 2020 to allow former President Donald Trump to hold his controversial photo op in front of St. John’s Church.  From the outset, there was ample reason to question the claim echoed across media outlets. As I noted in my testimony to Congress on the protest that month, the operation was clearly a response to days of violent and destructive protests.  Now the Inspector General has completed its investigation and the report debunks the conspiracy theory that the Lafayette Square area was cleared to make way for the Trump photo op.

Continue reading “Debunking The Photo Op Myth: Inspector General Investigation Refutes Media Account On The Clearing Of Lafayette Park”

An Ideal Rule for the Age of Rage? Critics May Be Making the Best Argument For Keeping The Filibuster

Below is my column in the Hill on the future of the filibuster and why this may be the most credible period for the use of such a compromise-forcing rule. There have always been good-faith arguments against the use of such a rule as inhibiting democratic voting. After all, the rule blocks bare majority voting. However, with a razor-thin margin in both houses, the use of such a rule can help force greater dialogue and compromise in Congress, which most voters indicate that they want in polls. It now appears that Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) will block the federal voting rights legislation even without a filibuster. As a result he was attacked as a “not very bright” aider and abetter and “cowardly, power-hungry white guy” by the left. Sen. Dick Durbin’s press secretary on the Judiciary Committee even curiously declared that democracy should not be “in the hands of a man who lives in a house boat.” The furious response explains why Manchin has been one of just two Democrats willing to demand compromise. The Republicans have roughly the same number willing to push from that side. However, combined these senators are seeking bipartisan agendas in a deeply divided nation. Killing the filibuster will remove the key pressure to seek bipartisan approaches.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “An Ideal Rule for the Age of Rage? Critics May Be Making the Best Argument For Keeping The Filibuster”

The Cotton Controversy One Year Later: The Dark Anniversary of the Surrender of the New York Times

This week is the one-year anniversary of one of the lowest points in the history of modern American journalism. During the week of June 6, 2020, the New York Times forced out an opinion editor and apologized for publishing the editorial of Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) calling for the use of the troops to restore order in Washington after days of rioting around the White House.  While Congress would “call in the troops” six months later to quell the rioting at the Capitol on January 6th, New York Times reporters and columnists called the column historically inaccurate and politically inciteful. Reporters insisted that Cotton was even endangering them by suggesting the use of troops and insisted that the newspaper cannot feature people who advocate political violence. One year later, the New York Times published a column by an academic who has previously declared that there is nothing wrong with murdering conservatives and Republicans.

Continue reading “The Cotton Controversy One Year Later: The Dark Anniversary of the Surrender of the New York Times”

“To Support and Defend The Constitution of the United States”: Micheal Flynn’s Crisis Of Constitutional Faith

Below is my column in USA Today on the disturbing comments of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in favor of a military coup. He later insisted that he was misquoted but the videotape confirms that he was for a military coup before he was against it last week. It is certainly positive to see Flynn deny support for a military coup, but the incident is the latest example of our growing addiction to rage — and the loss of our common constitutional faith.

Here is the column:

Continue reading ““To Support and Defend The Constitution of the United States”: Micheal Flynn’s Crisis Of Constitutional Faith”

Bowser’s About Face: The District Admits Using Tear Gas Against Protesters and Seeks To Dismiss BLM’s Lafayette Park Lawsuit

Below is my column in the Hill on the District of Columbia not only admitting that it used tear gas on June 1 last year near Lafayette Park, but also defending the use as entirely appropriate to enforce the curfew order of Mayor Muriel Bowser. The media has avoided on the story despite Bowser’s previous condemnations of the alleged use of tear gas that night by the federal agencies. (The federal agencies claimed to have use pepper balls but the affect is largely the same). Both the Bowser and Biden Administrations are seeking to dismiss the Black Lives Matter lawsuit. Yet, the host of legal experts and media who condemned the use of tear gas and the clearing  of the Lafayette park area last year are entirely silent on the disclosures.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Bowser’s About Face: The District Admits Using Tear Gas Against Protesters and Seeks To Dismiss BLM’s Lafayette Park Lawsuit”

Unpacked and Undivided: Is The Court Sending A Message With A Litany Of 9-0 Decisions?

Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court issued two more unanimous decisions in Garland v. Dai and United States v. Cooley.  This follow two unanimous decisions last week.  The weekly display of unanimity is notable given the calls by Democratic leaders to pack the Court. Yesterday, I wrote about how the heavy-handed campaigns might backfire with the justices. As we await important and likely divided decisions on issues like abortion, Chief Justice John Roberts and his colleagues seem to be sending a message that the Court is not so rigidly ideological as Democratic members and activists suggest. Continue reading “Unpacked and Undivided: Is The Court Sending A Message With A Litany Of 9-0 Decisions?”

Lafayette Park and The Tear Gas Controversy: A Response To Professor Steve Vladeck

For over a year, I have written and testified about the investigation of what really occurred in the clearing of the Lafayette Park. Much of this debate has focused on the motive behind the federal operation. University of Texas professor and CNN contributor Steve Vladeck is one of those who insisted publicly that Barr ordered federal officers “to forcibly clear protestors in Lafayette Park to achieve a photo op for Trump.”  After I discussed new developments in court over the protests yesterday, Vladeck lashed out to accuse me of being one of Trump’s defenders and a “tear gas” denier in the Lafayette Park controversy.  Since that tweet got traction with some on social media, I wanted to lay out the actual facts on the tear gas controversy. Continue reading “Lafayette Park and The Tear Gas Controversy: A Response To Professor Steve Vladeck”

Hunter Biden Is Back In The News. . . So The Media Goes Again For The Scoop

It seems like whenever Hunter Biden is in the news, the Biden staff screams, the media screams, “we all scream for ice cream.” On October 19, 2020, the Biden campaign and its protective cocoon of media faced the discovery of Hunter’s presumed laptop with details of his (and his uncle’s) influence peddling while Joe Biden was Vice President. The solution? Joe Biden went for ice cream and the media peppered him with questions about his confectionary choice (Spoiler: he ordered a two-scoop chocolate and vanilla combo) Then they went away.

Now, Hunter is back in the news as new emails surfaced that directly contradict what Joe Biden has said to those every same reporters. Biden and the media seemed to make a beeline for the nearest ice cream shop. It turns out that now Biden now prefers . . . (wait for it). . . chocolate chip. Continue reading “Hunter Biden Is Back In The News. . . So The Media Goes Again For The Scoop”

“Please Don’t Write About It”: New York Times Science Reporter Declares Lab Leak Theory “Racist”

Despite recent reports raising questions over whether Covid-19 originated in a the Wuhan virology lab and Dr. Fauci admitting that the leak theory was possible (and worth investigating), the science and health reporter for the New York Times declared yesterday that the theory was “racist.” Even Facebook has announced that it is willing to allow users to discuss the theory and underlying evidence. When the tweets triggered an outcry, Apoorva Mandavilli deleted the tweets and, when asked by a Fox reporter for a comment, added “please don’t write” about her controversy.

Continue reading ““Please Don’t Write About It”: New York Times Science Reporter Declares Lab Leak Theory “Racist””

Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Journalist Contesting Georgia’s Anti-BDS Law

We have been discussing the state laws requiring contractors and employees to swear that they do not support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (“BDS”) movement against Israel. I have long maintained that the law is unconstitutional as a limitation of free speech and associational rights. This week, a court in Georgia became the latest to declare such laws unconstitutional. The case was brought by journalist Abby Martin who was denied a contract as a keynote speaker at Georgia Southern University due to her support of the BDS movement.  The opposition to these laws is not driven by the merits of the BDS movement or its opposition. Rather, the issue is the curtailment of political speech, including compelling official speech or viewpoints, as a condition for state employment.

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“Neo-Nazi Murderer Lover”: Columbia Professor Under Fire After Attacking A Baruch Student On Social Media For Defending Trump

Columbia Professor Jeffrey Lax is under fire on conservative sites like the The College Fix for attacking Baruch College student Gabriel Montalvo for defending former President Donald Trump on Facebook. Lax appears entirely unhinged in the exchange and lashes out at Montalvo who at the time was a student at Queensborough Community College. To his credit, Montalvo did not call for Lax’s termination — as is often the case in college protests for those holding opposing views. However, he did call for Columbia to investigate Lax. I believe that such an investigation would also be an abuse despite viewing Lax’s postings as juvenile, hysterical, and unworthy of a professor. As will come as no surprise to many, I viewed the postings as exercises of free speech that should be protected by all academic institutions. Continue reading ““Neo-Nazi Murderer Lover”: Columbia Professor Under Fire After Attacking A Baruch Student On Social Media For Defending Trump”