Slumming It: the Manhattan Institute edition

Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

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16 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Fast and Furious was a botched FBI operation, not a cover-up, and it has been covered extensively. Benghazi-gate, to the degree that one believes the White House conspired to mislead, rather than being simply uninformed, was also covered in detail.

    It’s not that irrational to suspect that, were a Republican in office, these two stories would have had different coverage. Now, it’s fair to ask whether Klavan would cheer this hypothetical coverage under a hypothetical Republican presidency… but so is it fair to wonder why these stories have not been given this hypothetical level of coverage.

    Of course, if you look at the two issues and shrug and say “that’s how they’d be covered under a Team Red presidency”, I guess you’d see no real issue at all.Report

    • Ethan Gach in reply to Jaybird says:

      How do you think they would be covered, or how do you think some one who might think that might think they would be hypothetically covered differently?

      I think liberal pundits would have been going crazy over these events. But I don’t think the traditional news media (ABC, NBC, NPR, PBS, WaPo, WSJ, etc.) would have devoted substantially more or less time to it.

      There is always the google test. One can search these events and find no shortage of information detailing who supposedly knew what, and when, and what their motivations were, and who was trying to spin it this way or that, and what officials were involved and what they said or didn’t say and when that or this was said…all in the same article.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Ethan Gach says:

        “How do you think they would be covered”

        They’d be covered the same way that Abu Ghraib was covered–with unchallenged assertions that the President (or, at least, the Secretary of Defense) knew about it from the get-go, approved of it, probably in fact ordered it, and ought to take personal responsibility for the affair and resign as an apology.Report

    • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

      It doesn’t really change your or Ethan’s point, but F & F was ATF, not FBI I think. Also, calling it a ‘cover-up’ is at least debatable, no? Even if one thinks the House Oversight Committe’s ‘contempt’ suit against Holder is pure political theater, the fact that the President invoked Executive privilege to avoid compliance with the document subpoena doesn’t look good. When does what sure looks like ‘foot-dragging to minimize political damage’ turn into ‘cover-up’?Report

      • Ethan Gach in reply to Glyph says:

        Which would leave me wondering, what is it we still want to know?,0,7480365.story

        Traditional news media like the above have vigorously pursued the story, the White House knew more than they want to acknowledge, and the President is as responsible as anyone.

        Now you do raise a good point about when something becomes a cover up. The White House, red or blue, actively resists any amount of transparency. So I would reserve the use of “cover up” for moments when admins are being exceptionally forthcoming.

        Whether or not that is the case here, I’ll fall back on the fact that if someone wants to take issue with the Pres for F&F, they should–which is completely different from saying the media is unwilling to look into it because they are to busy manufacturing a perfect president to fit their liberal fantasies.Report

  2. Initiates slow clap

    Exits stage leftReport

  3. Tom Van Dyke says:

    “The active frauds—NBC’s dishonest editing of videos to reflect a leftist worldview, ABC’s allowing Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos to masquerade as a newsman, the Los Angeles Times’ suppressing even the transcript of the video in their possession that shows candidate Barack Obama at a meeting with a PLO-supporting sheik—these are only egregious salients of the more consistent, underlying dishonesty.”

    Notice no links, no clear references.

    Very clear and familiar references to those on Klavan’s side of the aisle: Wawagate; “journalist” Stephanopoulous calling 8 of the last 9 debates for the Democrat, then this last one a tie; and The LA Times’ refusal to make public the

    Rather proving Klavan’s point here–asking for links and footnotes for what is or should be common knowledge is a sign of being out of touch.

    It’s a joke. Whoever published it is a joke. Whoever agrees with it is a joke.

    Oh, in that case I agree with you then, Ethan. Never mind. 😉Report

    • Steph is not a journalist though, he does interviews and political analysis, i.e. a pundit that talks to people. He is also there not because he’s liberal, but cause he gets the ratings, or did you think him being on GMA is part of some elaborate scheme to indoctrinate America’s kids and stay at home moms?

      Klavan wants to say that the media is party to and in many ways the facilitator of a mass liberal delusion. If that’s the case, I’m going to need more than 1.5 instances to be convinced.

      You think the “media” doesn’t live and breathe scandal? And wouldn’t pursue one in the Obama admin even if it bit them in the face?

      You think the “media” hated Bush? And wouldn’t follow him to Iraq, on a road paved with misinformation and distortion?

      The “media” has all kinds of flaws, but endemic *partisanship* (as oppose to having fundamental philosophical beliefs you don’t agree with) is not one of them.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Ethan Gach says:

        George is presented as a journalist though. He interviews politicians and has anchored the nightly news. He isn’t introduced as a pundit. And as far as I know, the network’s ratings are falling just like the other two.Report

    • What exactly is it that people want to know in the L.A. Times conspiracy anyway? seems to give a pretty good overview of everything that happened at the dinner.

      Their reason, good or not, for not releasing the tape is that the source who provided it to them did so under the prior agreement that they would not release it.

      My question to you Tom is why you or anyone else doesn’t find the context damning enough?

      And do you really think that if there was something juicy in the video, the times wouldn’t release it in return for the millions of hits that they know they could get traffic wise?Report

      • ECG, your condemnation was formal: Klavan’s lack of clarity. But he was quite clear; now I’m unclear whether you were aware of what he was speaking about—you seem to understand just fine now, but perhaps that’s just because of my kind interlocution. 😉

        As for litigating everything Klavan wrote, I would prefer not to start with his weakest arguments, the LATimes tape certainly being one of them—if we knew what’s in it, we we’d be talking about that rather than the Times’ refusal to reveal it, eh?

        As a roundtable host and debate moderator, I certainly do think ABC puts Stephanopoulos out there as a journalist, and frankly, his calling the Obama-Romney debate a tie is more more stupid and outrageous than anything Klavan wrote here.

        Were I more the polemicist, I’d probably write a post about it, but such media stupidity and bias is too dog-bites-man to rate more than a passing mention, which indeed is all Klavan gives it. As for Klavan’s main thesis, that Barack’s not all that, we’re beginning to see it’s not just a creature of the right.Report

  4. DensityDuck says:

    Is the video significant? Does it display important aspects of Obama’s character? WHATEVER DUDE IT TOTALLY GOT REPORTED ON LIKE FIVE YEARS AGO.

    Yes, but wouldn’t you agree that it’s worth discussing? Isn’t the extremely recent personal history of candidate statements important? WHATEVER DUDE IT TOTALLY GOT REPORTED ON LIKE FIVE YEARS AGO!!


    • Mike Schilling in reply to DensityDuck says:


    • Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck says:


      I don’t know that folks are objecting to discussing the video so much as they are objecting to the context in which some seem to want to discuss the video, which seems to be that the video was hidden and never reported on and never talked about because the liberal media knew how damaging it was and they are in bed with Obama so they sat on it.

      That’s simply not true.

      If you want to talk about how it wasn’t reported on, you’re wrong and serious people won’t engage you.
      If you want to talk about how the media knew this was damaging, you’re wrong and serious people won’t engage you.
      If you want to talk about how the liberal media is involved in a conspiracy to get Obama elected/re-elected, you’re wrong and serious people won’t engage you.

      If you want to talk about what he said and how it might be relevant to how he’ll govern, serious people will engage you.
      If you want to talk about how he said what he said and what that might reveal about his character or his intentions, serious people will engage you.
      In fact, we had some of those conversations right here on these very pages!Report

  5. DRS says:

    Love how, in the NYT article, McCain makes the unsubstaniated claim that William Ayers was at the dinner and gets away with it. And he knows this – how? Probably came to him in a dream.

    The desperation on the part of some people to “prove” that Obama – one of the most stolid, least passionate people in American politics – is a raging angry black man would be comic if it didn’t have real-world consequences. People like Klavan are a joke on the surface but what is his underlying problem? Is he paid to be stupid? Is he freelancing? Does he do it for the love of the stupid? Or does he look at Obama and genuinely see an angry radical? Because if he wants to see an angry radical, he might be better off looking in the mirror.Report

  6. damon says:

    Sadly I wish I had a shotgun to hit all the points as I know my tolerance for all things political will end quickly…

    Overall theme: Hack disputing Hack. Yawn. Where’s the nuance?

    Specifics: F&F: Proof or not, you KNOW there’s a cover up–there always is. I’ve read some of Holder’s testimony. He’s either incompetent or covering someone’s ass, either his own, or someone else, and therefore, BOB owns this, as all this stonewalling occurred on his watch. Holder owes the public a FULL accounting, no matter where it leads. Not to do so is a disservice to his employers.

    Stephanopoulos: My first reaction to seeing him on TV after he left gov’t employ was “why did they hire this hack?” He’s obviously not unbiased. Then I realized what his position was and didn’t give a damn, BUT switched back when I further realized that other folks might get confused and consider him a reporter. I still think it was a bad move.

    BOB’s Nobel Prize: Sorry, on the list of undeserved awards for Nobel’s, he’s on it, along with a whole lot of other tools as well. That still doesn’t reduce my outrage. His award was indeed due to the fantasy of a new era from the committee.

    The Mystery Obama: “the hollow receptacle of out-sized fantasies left and right”. This is indeed true. The same could be said for Mitt as well, and Bush. This is a sad commentary on our society. And I do remember the coverage of BOB as a candidate. I got sick of the fawning by the media, of the deluded voters who JUST KNEW he was going to change EVERYTHING. It was much worse than I’d ever seen it, going back to after Reagan.

    The media indeed had a hand in fashioning BOB. He does fit into the majority media’s more leftward leanings, so naturally they will support him. There’s been enough documentation of reporters/media in bed with gov’t, politicians, etc., all for the coveted need for “access”, that I consider them all whores willing to sell the first born child for more “access”, so they’ll do all they can to suppress a potential controversy if /when they can, if it benefits them. However, regardless of their leanings, left or right, they support the status quo and the statist structure of the country, and in that sense, you can find them jumping on various “right wing” issues too: Iraq, WMD, etc.Report