Archive for the ‘Talk Radio’ Category

Mark Levin and the Establishment

Thursday, March 10th, 2022

Why does Levin sound like the establishment on Ukraine?

I really didn’t see this coming. I was on my way home from another day of work on Wednesday as Levin’s show began.  As he began talking about the events in Ukraine, it came to that moment when he said that he’d be having Lindsey Graham on in his third hour to discuss the Senator’s notion that Putin needs to be taken out, an idea with which Levin heartily agrees.  As I listened to him go on about his disdain for “nationalist-populists” and so on, before too much time had passed, a thought formed in my mind that I simply couldn’t escape.  At first, I thought, and may even have said aloud in answer to the radio: “Mark, you sound just like the establishment against which you always rail.” A commercial came on as I pondered that thought a little longer, and then it struck me.  It’s not that Mark Levin merely sounds like the establishment.  He is the establishment, or at least its errand-boy, perhaps unwittingly.

Do I think Mark Levin is deep within the DC establishment?  No.  On the other hand, he’s in their circle, perhaps loosely, and he’s put himself in a position through which they will attempt to exploit him, and thereby, his audience.  When he speaks, millions listen attentively.  They listen because he offers a view from inside politics, as a former chief of staff to an Attorney General of the United States.  Though his connections into the mechanisms of state are dated and most will have long since retired, that doesn’t mean the existing establishment hasn’t cultivated a connection to him through which they hope to propagandized and manipulate his audience.

Do you need proof?  Every time the Republican establishment needs something from him, he gives it, with few exceptions.  They know there will be some times and some areas of policy on which he will be unapproachable, but they know when election time rolls around, for the most part, they can count on him to carry their water.  He helped give us a whole string of Senators under the vague umbrella of the Tea Party movement, but most of them went on to betray us in varying degrees.  In 2020, he brought his audience Lindsey freaking Graham.  He pushed Lindsey for re-election.  He should have given him a strong kick in the ass and run him off.  Instead, Levin played the good soldier and brought Graham on his show, and while you could almost hear part of Levin holding his nose, he did it nevertheless.  In 2016, when Ted Cruz needed a “constitutional expert” to vouch for his eligibility to run for President, he went immediately to Levin.  In what I regard to be the biggest single betrayal of his audience in the whole of his career on the radio, he cobbled together some nonsensical explanation that “Natural Born Citizen” was “just a citizen.”  It was embarrassingly infantile and nonsensical, and it took a long time for me to get over it.  I had been researching the issue(and continued to for some time before publishing my article) when Levin made this pronouncement, and knew him to be full of piss and wind on the issue that day.

I knew then that Levin would bend things to support his own agenda, and that while it wasn’t perfectly aligned with the establishment, it was nevertheless amenable to them in some instances.  What happens to Levin seems to be that he’s so invested in winning that he’ll make friends with alleged enemies if he thinks it will help him advance his cause, but the problem with this approach is that often, it’s self-defeating, not only to Levin, but also to his audience. As another example, he’s friends with Senator Mike Lee, (R-UT,) a guy who makes many good arguments, but unfortunately also is the Senator from Google.  He’s thoroughly compromised by the funds and lobbying that rolls in the door from that company.  Levin won’t tell you about that. He’s protective of Lee on that issue. It’s as though it doesn’t exist.

Another good example is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA,) another establishment stooge and first-rate swampster. Levin brought this stooge to you in 2020 also, just as he did Speaker Paul Ryan(R-WI) in previous election years. On Wednesday evening, Levin bashed McCarthy, after mentioning he was seemingly interested in coming on the show an longer.  Of course not, Mark, he got what he needed from you in 2020, pre-election. Check back in with him this coming Fall!  Ryan is the definition of a swampster, a Republican who’s married into a thoroughgoing Democrat family(and his sister-in-law is the Biden SCOTUS-pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson,) and who spent as little time in Wisconsin as was humanly possible.  In that respect, Ryan was a good deal like another swampster Levin brought you on his show when she was seeking election to the house: Elizabeth “Liz” Cheney(R-WY) spends even less time in Wyoming than Ryan spent in Wisconsin.  Do you see how the Republican establishment exploits him?  How is this possible for an alleged Tea Party guy, a constitutionalist?

I don’t believe Mark Levin is a part of the DC UniParty, but his orbit crosses theirs, whether he’ll admit it or not.  He makes mention from time to time on-air about how they reach out to him, and want to come on the show, but most of the time, if an election is tight, and he thinks he can help a little, he’ll bring them on.  It’s what it is.  Is he an evil guy?  No. Absolutely not.  The problem is that when you get into bed with these people, it’s hard to get away.  I also wouldn’t say he provides strictly establishmentarian propaganda.  He does provide much very good content, but I’m afraid that very often, too many of the wrong people have his ear.  He gets “insider” information from some people who are truly swampy.  How do I know?  I hear it on air.  I can tell what sorts of people within the bureaucracy or in the Congress have his ear. For Pete’s sake, he brought John Bolton(!) to Donald Trump.  He admitted on-air that Bolton had lobbied him strongly to get in on the NSA job with Trump.  Bolton was a catastrophe who spent his whole time in that job undermining Trump’s foreign policy agenda.  Levin admits it now, belatedly.  If I were Trump, I’d never listen seriously to another recommendation from Levin on personnel.  Ever.  Thinking about it, maybe neither should you.

Now Levin is taking information from the same crowd with respect to Ukraine.  He can see the Democrats are a catastrophe, but he can’t see that the information he’s being passed comes from the same sort of corrupt sources that brought Trump a recommendation of John Bolton via Mark Levin.  He remarked the other day that some fan had asked him in public whether he believed anything about it, because the media is so corrupt.  Levin explained to his audience that he’d told the man that the whole of the International Press isn’t corrupt too.  You see, he doesn’t see it.  The politicization of media hasn’t stopped at the water’s edge, any more than politics itself has stopped there.  Levin seems to be having a weird kind of “bromance” with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, but the problem is that much of that upon which Levin bases his admiration for Zelenskiy has been debunked.  It turns out that Zelenskiy may be just as corrupt as his predecessor, if not quite as wealthy. He’s tied-in with Ihor Kolomoisky, another corrupt Ukrainian oligarch. Somehow, these facts escape Levin, or he’s not mentioning them because of his admiration for the Ukrainian president.  Either way, it’s a dangerous lack of perspective.

Levin has always had his strawmen and his foils.  Lately, he’s been concentrating on the “nationalist-populists,” decrying them as Putinophiles, or something in that vein.  I actually hate when he does this.  Name names, for Heaven’s sake!  In the case of “nationalist-populist,” I’m pretty certain he means Steve Bannon of WarRoom fame.  There seems to be real heartburn there, and Bannon, for his part, doesn’t help when he tosses out phrases like “Neocon” because it seems to trigger Levin’s antisemitism alarms.  Levin needs to get a grip.  Virtually nobody who uses the term “Neocon” means anything to do with Jews, and most of them won’t even know the relationship between “Neocons” and Jews in the purely historical sense.  It’s much like “establishment” in the sense that you might not be able to name an actual “neocon,” but you can identify their policies in action and advocacy when you see them, and while the original description “neocon” may have applied specifically to a particular group of Jews, it’s been clear for some time that their basic set of military and foreign policy issues have been adopted by a wider group of interventionist Republicans, many of whom are clearly not Jews.

It’s maddening. Levin is so close to the truth about Ukraine, but he’s being strung-along by his emotions, his admiration for Zelenskiy, and his cold-war-hardened hatred for all things Russia, particularly Putin. When you add to it what’s being pumped-out in the mainstream narratives, even by Republicans, especially swampsters, he just can’t shake it loose.  I’m afraid that until Levin overcomes these demons, he’s simply incapable of bringing you full and sensible information on Ukraine, and that’s simply the most disappointing development in media in a long, long while.

At the end of his show, in the last hour, Levin had Graham on his show to talk about taking out Putin.  If you listen, you can hear Lindsey Graham ingratiate himself to Levin with the slobbering remarks near the end of his appearance.  One could almost hear Levin’s heart melt.  I could vomit.

Here’s the full podcast(The Graham interview begins at the 1:28:55 mark):


Oh, and Mark? Ronald Reagan never once called for taking-out Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko or Gorbachev. He knew that the last thing a nuclear-armed country run by a totalitarian government needs is any sort of instability of that sort.  Do you think the people who would take out Putin would be any more stable or less dangerous to the United States?  No.  Reagan knew better than nonsensical ideas like that. You should be ashamed of yourself for associating such a foolish idea with the temperament and wisdom of Ronald Reagan.

 

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Embarrassing Loss of Credibility in Talk Radio in the Era of FakeNews

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

The difficult chore of maintaining credibility in the era of FakeNews

It started in a big way last week. Dan Bongino violated his own self-imposed “72 hour rule” with the story of the Snake Island story from Ukraine. Before the weekend was over, he’d discovered that he’d been misled like so many others, promptly informing his listeners of that fact on Monday.  Dan’s “72 hour rule” is that when some new story of bomb-shell proportions comes along, he tends to hold onto them in order to verify the stories multiple ways before repeating them to his audience.  Many others have seemingly been duped, repeatedly, and it’s a real problem, because while they may not be the ones originating the story, they’re the ones repeating it to their audiences.  From the point of view of their audiences then, for all intents and purposes, they are originating the stories.  On Tuesday, as is my habit while driving home, and as soon as I walk in the door, I tuned into Mark Levin’s show.  Levin, long my runaway favorite among talk-show hosts, began in on a story in which he described the workings and effects of thermobaric bombs.  He explained that Russia was using them. He also explained that Russia was using cluster-bombs against civilian areas, despite the bombs having been banned for use against civilians.  Within less than twenty hours, these reports had been smashed when Bongino said on air on Wednesday that these reports hadn’t panned-out.  A little digging revealed that this had been a completely unconfirmed report, and initially, there was a video discounted as fake by the gentleman in charge of the political subdivision in which it had allegedly occurred.  The claims about cluster bombs are likewise unconfirmed, except that in Eastern Ukraine, there’s some evidence the Ukrainian forces have used them.  At this moment, there is still no firm evidence that either side has used them, but even as of this moment, you can surf over to Levin’s site for his Tuesday Recap page and find the unverified claims about their use by Russia, along with the false claim that these weapons are altogether forbidden.  He also claimed during his on-air description that the thermobaric bombs constitute a chemical weapon, which they most certainly are not.  All of this made it plain to me in a very painful way that my favorite among talk-show hosts, Mark Levin, a guy I have enjoyed more even than Rush over the years, had now joined the legion of outlets I generally consider #FakeNews.  It’s both shocking and saddening to me.  We have so few media outlets we can take at face value.  Whether by negligence or intent or because they’ve simply been fooled by others, it’s clear now that just when we need them most, most all media, even supposed “conservative” media, lie to us in varying degrees.  Though I neither feel it should be my place, nor do I feel I have the heart to do the matter full justice, I must now take on “the Great One,” for the sake of my own integrity.

This is and has been the greatest disappointment of the last several years, and it began during the era of Trump, not because of anything Trump did, but because since the rise of Trump, any pretense at objectivity has been ditched in mainstream media, from CNN to MSNBC to Reuters to FoxNews.  Media outlets have become so uniformly unreliable in so many ways for people like talk-show hosts, who must rely upon valid and factual news stories to fuel the discussions they will spawn with their audiences.  The underlying information is so frequently inaccurate that talk-show hosts are finding it difficult to stay ahead of the fake news injected at light-speed into the conversation.  Don’t misunderstand me to have said that I believe Mark Levin or Dan Bongino are liars, but that they now serve as a conduit through which lies are smuggled to their predominantly conservative audiences.  I don’t believe this is their intention, but I suspect that applies to many other talkers.  It’s that they’ve come to rely on sources that are corrupt or corruptible.  It’s happened to me a time or two over the last eleven years here on this blog, usually in very small ways I’ve rushed to correct.  The problem is that at the speed with which information now propagates upon its release in modern media, a lie can do real damage to our world, in ways that could be measured in millions of lives.

When the pandemic coverage had begun in 2020, I’d already suspected Fauci of giving us all a load of internally inconsistent nonsense.  From a logical point of view, many of his pronouncements didn’t make sense.  His answers were either unnecessarily evasive or expressed with unjustifiable certitude.  Some of it was simply nonsensical.  Mark Levin was among the first people in conservative media who featured Fauci as a guest, on his show on Foxnews.  Fauci used Levin’s credibility with his conservative audience to ensnare them with his now largely-debunked and almost completely refuted narratives.  I dare Mark Levin to now go back and re-watch the garbage he permitted Fauci to spew under the banner of “Life, Liberty and Levin,” and tell me that somehow, he feels unashamed for having failed his audience.  He should feel pain if he now re-watches that episode, particularly considering that people made life-and-death-level decisions based on Fauci’s pronouncements early on.  Mark Levin is a trusted source among conservatives like me.  You can do the math.  The fact that Fauci was saying these things on Levin’s show made them seem more reliable.  Silly, gullible me. While I still didn’t trust Fauci, I did trust Mark Levin, and Fauci had now been given Levin’s virtual imprimatur.  Fool me once…

Less than one year later, on January 6th, 2021, I listened as Mark Levin came on the radio and raged against the rioters at the Capitol on that day.  He railed against the people at the Capitol, as if they were the terrorists my gut said they hadn’t really been, at least most of them.  I listened, and I began to get that sickly feeling of disappointment.  Was Levin falling for another false story?  Since then, Levin has clearly realized, due to in-depth reporting by people like Julie Kelly, that he wasn’t getting the full story then, either. This entire episode had been frustrating to me because I actually know a man who observed some of what went on at the Capitol that day, during the event, from outside the Capitol, where he could see much of what was going on.  While he never went into or anywhere near the scrum going on outside, he was in a position to see that there were numerous and obvious provocateurs.  He told me that at one point, it became clear to him that at least some of the Capitol Police appeared to be acting in collusion with some of the provocateurs.  Many innocent dupes followed the provocateurs into the Capitol, and my friend could see this happening. Some of the dupes were even drawn into a melee with police by the provocateurs, which happens quite easily in a crowd this size.  As these events were happening, I was in my office listening to accounts of it, live on the radio, wondering immediately if this was another DC-UniParty setup.  Why wasn’t that Levin’s first instinct?  He has enough experience to have spotted it.  I live half a continent away, but I can smell DC BS from the other side of the planet these days.  This event had that stench from the beginning.  Despite our shared experience of the last several years, for more than a few radio hosts, it wasn’t so obvious for some reason, but should have been.  Instead, we got the usual “we condemn all violence” business, in a fashion no different than Chris Wallace repeatedly demanding that Trump denounce white supremacists on the debate stage, starting from the ridiculous premise that Trump were some sort of racist who now needed to renounce such associations.  Conservatives must lose their fear of these smear-jobs, because it cripples them, not only politically but also intellectually, which is the intent of the smear-artists. For all appearances to the world, Levin and many other hosts were pushing the mainstream media, DC UniParty narrative, again.

Levin is a passionate advocate for positions in the information sphere, as am I, which is undoubtedly a large measure of what draws me to his broadcasts daily.  I don’t make decisions about issues or candidates on the basis of emotion, but instead take a firm and careful accounting of them.  Once I’ve done so, I then apply my passion to the conclusions I’ve drawn in explaining an issue or advocating a particular stance.  The problem that arises for people like Mark Levin, Dan Bongino, or anybody else in the broadcast space is that things move incredibly fast.  Information blasts in and out, and it is updated and superseded by better, more accurate information, but also sometimes more bogus, inflated, and hyped information.  It happens constantly.  In this environment, one is going to make judgments about the newsworthiness of a story in an accelerated frame of reference, and it will necessarily lead to a much higher rate of error than it will, for instance, on a lowly blog published in the backwaters of the Internet. Some of the posts here are composed, fact-checked, and pushed out in thirty minutes or less, but those are rare. In the main, the postings on this site will have taken hours to compose, sometimes days, or longer, and I’ve been known to table a story indefinitely if I think my information isn’t solid enough. If you were to have access to what’s here, you would see that I have almost half as many posts in “draft” status as the almost fourteen-hundred posts that have been published over the span of years. Those drafts are posts you cannot see, and many of them you will likely never see, but this is the process. If a story just doesn’t stand up as I think it should, it’s never published. That’s born of the luxury of knowing I’ll almost never be “first” with a story, and that all I can offer is a unique perspective, or new details you hadn’t been presented before, and because the speed at which I present information is far less important to my audience than the idea that I get it right.

Levin sometimes has excellent instincts.  In March of 2017, based on a smattering of seemingly unrelated stories across several media outlets including McClatchy and the New York Times, Levin’s good instinct for political chicanery by Democrats led him to piece together the story we’ve all come to know is SpyGate, which actually encompasses a whole universe of sub-scandals, from spying on the Trump campaign and presidency, to the use of that information to concoct two fake impeachment narratives.  The chicanery also revealed what should be the biggest scandal of all: The corruption of the FISA system by actors within the Justice Department and the FBI, along with others both directing and participating in these activities in the administration, and on the FISA court.  What Levin’s instinct (and experience within the DOJ)provided him was the starting point for unveiling what should be known as the greatest scandal in American history, but for the fact that the corrupt and corruptible media will never willingly report on it.  Claims that Levin is incapable of stellar research and investigation are to be ignored.  It’s clear he has the experience and clear-eyed thinking to analyze such things.  Why does it seem, of late, that he’s not nearly so clear-eyed in his appraisals?  We can always forgive errors born of honest intent, but the problem is that media will attack even for those sorts of instances.

Levin bitterly complained after a small error in his most recent book, runaway New York Times best-seller American Marxism, was made out to be a mortal sin by a few among the chattering class in the leftist mainstream media.  In general, his books are extremely informative and well-written. They’re amazingly well-researched and thoroughly documented. Few authors go to the lengths to provide the citations that Levin routinely does within the pages of his books.  The problem is that when those critics reviewing your books are doing so with a political bias and intent, what you get instead of honest critiques are partisan hit-jobs.  Levin made the error of writing “Franklin School” instead of “Frankfurt School,” as if that’s not an easy mistake to make and and a more difficult error to spot in editing. From the point of view of the full-tilt leftist media, this was the worst scandal in literary history, and they used it to libel him mercilessly.  There’s a vast difference between an innocent error and the intentional falsehoods leftists publications gin through their presses and websites daily.

One of the problems is that in broadcasting, information moves extremely rapidly, and if you let yourself become emotionally invested in your conclusions about a given story too quickly, you’re going to get burned, quickly losing the trust of your audience, particularly if you don’t forthrightly confront the story’s inaccuracies or plain falsehoods promptly, as Bongino did on Monday and again Wednesday.   In the case of Mark Levin, I’ve come to a crossroad due to this trouble.  As a matter of loyalty for all his years of hard work, honest advocacy, and excellent programming, I am easily persuaded to give him another chance.  And another.  And probably several more.  The crisis I’m beginning to experience is that this has become something of a trend, but more importantly, he surely became aware between his broadcasts of Tuesday and Wednesday that the use of thermobaric or cluster bombs (by either party) in the war in Ukraine are unconfirmed.  I listened intently to the whole of his Wednesday broadcast, as I do most days, waiting for him to step right into the matter and clear it up. He never did.

Another sin of Levin’s is made up of his best intentions to advance conservatism.  On many more than one occasion, due to his desire to defeat the left, he’s let alleged conservatives on the air, generally Republicans seeking election/re-election, who come on to use his platform in a political season, often seeking his endorsement or even just the legitimacy among conservatives lent to them by appearing on his airwaves.  Lindsey Graham?  Kevin McCarthy?  There are more.  Too many, really.  I remember yelling at my radio, riding down the road “Mark, why do you bring these RINOs on your program? They’re going to screw you and betray us as soon as they’re re-elected.”  Well?  Have they?  Yes, sadly they have.  Levin himself was gently commenting on this recently.  He knows.  What he may not realize is how thoroughly it harms his credibility.

Since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Levin has begun to bang the pots and pans indicating he’s very much in favor of some kind of intervention, or at least assistance to the beleaguered people of Ukraine.  It’s leading him to accept too quickly the dis/misinformation he’s getting from some source(s), perhaps at Foxnews, or perhaps elsewhere.  This has begun to seriously impact his credibility.  On Wednesday evening, my worst fears in this vein were realized when he began gushing over Never-Trumper FoxNews Pentagon Correspondent, Jennifer Griffin, who’s a known leftist, clearly committed to corrupting news over at FoxNews.  She’s one of the demons involved in the fake, ridiculous story about Trump at Normandy back in 2018, in which he allegedly called service-members who died there “suckers.” At the time of the story, Griffin said she was “unable to confirm the more salacious details,” implying she had confirmed the less salacious details, which naturally, she hadn’t.  The whole story was later debunked, but as usual, the debunking never received coverage to scale of its the story’s original propagation.  If this is one of Levin’s routine sources on national security matters, then nothing he says on the subject is even remotely reliable any longer.  I get it: He’s not a reporter, but he still has some obligation to the facts, and he needs to be more discerning in selecting his sources.  Neither Griffin nor Baier, both to whom Levin seems to have some unusual attachment, are what I would consider reliable or even particularly passable sources.  Before going on an anger-fueled rant about how he’d happily provide his own weapons to the people of Ukraine, perhaps it would be a good idea to verify the reports of cluster-bombs and thermobaric bombs allegedly employed by the Russians.  When it turns out, less than one day later, that the stories were either false or at least unverified, what then can he say to pull back on the bombast?  It’s too late. Elvis has left the building.  The best he can do is to retract the story later, but how does he then retract the bombast?  He almost certainly won’t.  He’s likely to leave that part stand, despite being at least partially motivated by the false stories.  This is the danger of the passion when driven by unchecked or unverified information.  As of now, he’s still letting the thermobaric and cluster bomb stories stand.  I suppose he hopes we won’t notice, or that the unverified stories will become verified, or even mooted by future verified use.

Bongino was more measured Wednesday, having mostly abandoned the narrative that Putin had become unhinged and “irrational,” instead pulling it back to “unpredictable.”  The interesting part about that is that in times past, Bongino had criticized Biden for destroying any “strategic ambiguity,” while praising Trump for having maintained it.  “Strategic ambiguity” consists, in part, of unpredictability. On Monday and Tuesday, he had relentlessly pounded on the idea that Putin was perhaps irrational or even insane.  It doesn’t help that this has been the mainstream media and UniParty narrative. Here is Hillary Clinton from Tuesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show:

Notice that Clinton questions Putin’s state of mind too.  It’s foolish to assume your enemy is a crackpot because he’s become less predictable.  In time of War, I would in many respects seek to make myself as unpredictable as possible to adversaries and enemies.  It would be my intention to keep them guessing, and I’d want them to worry mightily about my willingness to ratchet-up the intensity or scope of the war.  Bongino likes to talk about how President Trump had maintained a cloak of “strategic ambiguity” around his foreign policy intentions.  Why would Putin behave differently?  In contrast, Clinton famously had her reset button with the Russians while serving as Secretary of State, a job she was woefully ill-equipped to perform.  Fortunately for her, it did give her access to bilk much of the globe with her Clinton Foundation.  It was strictly a cash-and-carry operation, and there was no “strategic ambiguity” in it.  Her mission was to cart away cash, and Russia fully understood it.

The other thing clear in the video is that the DC UniParty establishment is trying to capture the mantle of Ronald Reagan, as they continue their anti-Trump narrative.  People like Levin and Bongino need to think very carefully about who’s providing the information they now rely upon to make pronouncements about Ukraine.  If I could ask either man a question, I think I might pose it this way:

Consider the following list of names: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney, Adam Schiff, Susan Rice, Eric Swalwell, Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney, Fiona Hill, “Colonel” Vindman, Victoria Nuland, Ron Klain, and Jake Sullivan.

Now consider the events in Ukraine since roughly 2004.  Then consider the activities of that list of people(and other cohorts) over the intervening period. Then, consider the following facts: In 2014, with funding and assistance from the US State Department, US DOD, and various US intelligence agencies, there was a coup d’etat in Ukraine.  Essentially, the US fomented and funded regime-change in Ukraine. Ever since, the narrative in DC by the establishment, particularly the Democrats, has been “Russia, Russia, Russia.” Even Mitt Romney talked about Russia in his debate appearance, but Obama immediately deflected the question by mocking Romney.  Had Romney inadvertently let a cat escape the proverbial bag?

Now ask: How many of the people listed above were involved in the RussiaHoax/SpyGate, the First Impeachment of Trump, the Second Impeachment of Trump, and how many had a hand in the January sixth story, events, and subsequent narrative? How many are now pushing the official DC UniParty’s Ukraine narrative, in concert with corrupt and corruptible media?

The media lies endlessly to us, and those lies don’t stop with events beyond the water’s edge.  Meanwhile, I have to hear Levin questioning the patriotism of Americans who are questioning the official DC narrative, or suggesting they’re Russophiles or similar garbage.  That’s what I expect from Hillary Clinton, so that when I hear it coming from the radio in Mark Levin’s voice, I must ask him: “What in the Hell are you thinking?” Why would Mark Levin now take up the “Russia, Russia, Russia” allegations of Hillary Clinton only to aim them against members of his own audience? On the basis of information from which sources?  Jennifer-freaking-Griffin???

These two men have repeatedly demonstrated their capacity for intense investigations and research, but they’ve been steered in the Ukraine story largely by emotion, driven by many false stories, false narratives, and imagery that’s been created but unsubstantiated in far too many cases. In media generally, we’ve been shown a story about Miss Ukraine, bearing arms and ready to fight, but the rifle she’s pictured with is an airsoft rifle, (airsoft being a sport she enjoys.)  We’ve been told about the “Ghost of Kiev,” by such low-lifes as Adam Kinzinger, that has turned out to be an utter hoax.  The Snake Island story turned out to be propaganda in the larger dimension:  It appears that rather than having been killed after telling their Russian attackers to “Go F’ themselves,” they laid down their arms in surrender, and are now all safe, albeit disarmed and removed from the battlefield.  We’ve had a member of the Ukrainian Parliament tell the world that she’s fighting “not only for Ukraine, but for the New World Order.”  We’ve had every manner of false story propagating, not merely from the combatants, but particularly from the Western media.  The number of fabricated, concocted stories coming out of the war zone are far too numerous to list here. Even the imagery is frequently suspect, as reported elsewhere on this site.

That Levin and Bongino walked into some of these stories is no surprise.  I too was sucked into one of them early on.  The Snake Island story recalled the bravado and courage of the Alamo, until it didn’t.  What’s been surprising and disappointing is how thoroughly Levin has been entirely swamped by some of it.  Bongino corrected the record, in his defense and to his credit.  So far, Levin has not, and he’s not backed-off his bombastic declarations about his willingness to ship arms to a country that has been a playground for the DC UniParty’s money-launderers.  The alleged brave acts(it’s not that I doubt the bravery of Ukrainians, but only the veracity of this narrative) are being pushed in media with a reckless disregard for fact-checking and verification, which is the definition of war-time propaganda.  The “fog of war” only clears if we work to make that hapen.  It’s important for talkers to right their ships when they get a story wrong.  Sometimes, it’s understandable and forgivable if the host makes amends by leading with the truth or a correction at the next available opportunity, as Bongino has done this week.  We need solid information, and while I still want the passion both men bring to their respective endeavors in media, I have to insist that they improve their information-vetting, by reconsidering the sources they now employ.  Clearly, some of those sources are of dubious veracity.  I enjoy the presentations of each man, both interesting and entertaining, as well as bracing and motivating, but I need the foundation to be solid.  Everybody makes mistakes, me included, but there are innocent errors and errors of incomplete information, but there are also errors born of haste, undue passion, lack of due diligence and malice.  I expect the former to happen from time to time, and they are entirely generally to be forgiven upon forthright correction.  The other sort, when they become habitual, threaten to turn an outlet or a show into nothing better than another mainstream media outlet: Corrupt or corruptible.  This also applies to many others in the conservative space.  In a moment of excess passion, it could easily happen to me.  We must fight against this kind pollution of facts driven by our own intemperance, but we must also hold outlets and hosts accountable.  I need Levin to correct the record, telling his audience that reports of thermobaric bombs or cluster bombs intentionally targeting civilians are unconfirmed, unverified reports at this time.  In fact, their use at all remains unverified.  These weapons are indeed nasty, but the US has employed cluster-bombs too.  Ask the Iraqis.  Ask the Afghans.  What makes their use illegal, like so many weapons of war, is their use in the intentional targeting of civilians.  Under various international treaties and conventions, doing so constitutes a war crime.  It’s important for Levin to fix this at the next opportunity, and as ever, at least for the moment, I’ll be listening this evening to see if he will.

 

 

The State Funeral Rush Limbaugh Deserves

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

A Man, a Legend, a Way of Life

I was a young veteran with a family. Times were tough in the economy, and troops were deployed and deploying to the vast desert of the Arabian peninsula. I was working a temporary contract job on Fort Hood, Texas, in support of the troops training to augment that deployment. Saddam Hussein had been delivered an ultimatum: Withdraw from Kuwait or be expelled forcibly. Everybody was monitoring the news, and in the field supporting the troops with spare gear and equipment in a rented truck, I tuned that truck’s radio(that had only the AM band) to find the latest information. There was this guy on the radio playing parody songs and talking politics, and one of those songs was a take on “Barbara Ann” the lyrics having been re-written into Bomb Iraq. It was entertaining and informative, and I’d never heard anything like it. Rush Limbaugh was leading the nation to support our troops, to buoy morale of the American people, and Democrats were busy telling America that the war, if it came, would result in the slaughter of tens or hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

The Democrats saw this as a revival of the discord of Vietnam. Rush Limbaugh saw it differently: He believed American might would steamroll Hussein and his forces. The media was, as ever, taking(or advancing) the Democrats’ narrative. The war began, and for a month, the reports of airstrikes rolled on, the reports of Iraqi fighter jets fleeing to Iran mounted, and when the ground war commenced, it was over almost before one could catch up with the news. It was a stunning victory, and in those days I learned something that was contrary to what the media propaganda had told me: America was great, and this guy on the radio, Rush Limbaugh, had been exactly right. For this alone, for his boundless confidence in the American servicemembers, Rush Limbaugh deserved a great honor. In all the years since, in his tireless support of America, he not only earned our respect, but has earned an honor the official government will never bestow. Rush Limbaugh deserves a state funeral on par with an American President, because in so many ways, and for so many people, in all the days spanning the period from the end of the Reagan Presidency to the inauguration of Donald Trump, Limbaugh had been conservative America’s presidency-in-exile, giving voice to a vast swath of America that was in a constant state of siege and disparagement by the Washington DC elite.

I had been raised in a union Democrat home, but through my years in the Army, I had begun to question the orthodoxy. Rush used humor as a means to entertain the audience while delivering serious information. As Rush would say in various forms over the years, the critical heart of humor is truth: There must be universal truth in a thing for it to be funny to the audience, or they won’t “get it.” In those days, Rush had various impromptu “updates” of various sorts and topics, with various songs and parodies as the introductory themes. This was delicious humor, and to listen to somebody on the radio skewering the sacred cows of the leftist mob was particularly entertaining. As a young guy at the time, it was all quite appealing to me. Rush was ever the defender of America, and when Japanese Parliament Speaker Yoshio Sakurauchi in January 1992 called America’s workers “lazy,” Rush had a single-sentence answer, posed as a question:

“We build a damn fine bomb, don’t we?”

The left shrieked. The political class in Washington DC gnashed its collective teeth. How dare Limbaugh say such a thing? Rush had intimated that the atomic bombs dropped on Japan were the hallmark of American creativity and productiveness, but more broadly, that the “lazy” American worker Yoshio Sakurauchi had criticized had kicked Japan’s Imperial ass all over the Pacific after the cowardly sneak attack at Pearl Harbor. Rush was right again, and he defended America’s history and unique culture as the greatest in human history. Rush believed in American exceptionalism, and he was its unabashed advocate for all the years he was on the radio. This should have earned Rush a state funeral, because more than any other American, he believed in America and sung her praises, recognizing her warts, but knowing that America is great because at its heart, “the people who make the country work” are the salt of the Earth, and the people who go about making it great by the aggregation of their tens of millions of individual efforts.

In truth, we could go through most of the events of the last thirty years and show how Rush Limbaugh had been the voice of a nation, who offered a counter-argument to the mainstream media, and had served as a proxy for the President we would have elected had we been a more sane, rational country. The problem has always been the advancing elements of the hard left, and Rush was ever there to warn us about their latest tricks, traps, and subterfuges. He really was on the cutting edge of societal evolution, and he held up the nation when we needed a voice of calm and sanity.

He single-handedly saved the AM band on radio, He created the genre that is talk radio. Certainly, there had been talkshows on the radio before, but it was mostly a bunch of drivel or interview-based shows. Rush built it. Now we enjoy hundreds of talk-shows, the AM band is far bigger in terms of daily listenership, and the statistics are quite clear: Rush made our modern world, and before these combined-platform news and information shows began to proliferate, there was Rush 24/7. He set so many trends, and showed the way forward in an industry that had been dying.

Steve Bannon said that Rush had been a bridge from Reagan to Trump. This is self-evident, but there’s more to it than this. He understood something I had missed. I think many of us missed it on the conservative side. In 2016, many conservatives gravitated to the candidacy of Ted Cruz. I had become a bit annoyed by Rush, because it was clear to me that he favored Trump. Like many conservatives, I didn’t understand why. Cruz seemed to be a genuine conservative, and while Rush didn’t demean Cruz, Rush went as far as to say that he(Rush himself) had never really been a “movement conservative.” That seemed to fly in the face of what Rush had been telling us for the decades we’d been listening. To a degree, I felt a little betrayed.

In the end, I grudgingly voted for Trump like so many conservatives who might have preferred a more doctrinaire conservative candidate. It wasn’t until some time after Trump’s inauguration that I finally realized what Rush had meant, and what he’d been telling us. Ted Cruz, for all his conservative positions, is just another politician, just one more creature of Washington DC. Yes, he’s better than most, but in the main, he’s revolved around DC and the DC set for much of his career. He certainly has better instincts for the grass roots of the conservatives, but I think that owes to the fact that Cruz is amazingly smart. What Ted Cruz isn’t is what America needed more desperately: Somebody who could win.

What Rush saw in Trump now, belatedly, makes perfect sense once you recognize the real, central issue, which I’d missed at the time: There’s no point having a putatively conservative candidate who is part of the UniParty oligopoly that has failed us repeatedly since 1988. In Trump, Rush saw an outsider who loves his country, warts and all, and who may not be a doctrinaire conservative, but because he comes from a place of common sense, would govern functionally as a conservative. More importantly, Trump had nothing personal to gain from the Presidency, except perhaps satisfaction in saving and restoring America. For the entirety of his presidency, Donald Trump donated his entire presidential salary. All of it. His presidency should rightly be viewed as a colossal gift to the American people. If not for the media, we’d have known this.

Rush was right. Always two steps ahead of the media and the political intelligentsia, Rush intuitively understood his role in American politics and culture. Every day, millions hung on his words. Every day, millions tuned into his show, and he formed an anchor for most talk stations’ lineups, but also for America. Rush loved life. Rush brought a whole back-bench of under-studies to America. He elevated them. He elevated us all. When I look back over the thirty years since I first heard his voice, I realize just how much Rush gave to us all. Every day, year after year, he kept me abreast of most of the things that mattered. He told conservative America how to fight. He offered entertainment and wisdom. He gave valuable insights from a value base so fundamental to what America is, and has been. Whether I live another week or decade, I will miss Rush for all days of my life, like a friend or an older brother. “What would Rush say?” He made us all smarter, and he made America immeasurably greater. Of all the politicians who’ve enjoyed the honors of official Washington DC in passing, none of them, save perhaps Ronald Reagan, had meant as much to our country as Rush Limbaugh. If there were true justice, all flags across this nation would for a week be at half-mast, and the parades in honor of Rush would speak to the triumph of a great life and great man who lived and fought with all his love for a nation that had scarcely deserved him.

 

 

RINOs on the Radio: WBAP’s Morning S-Show

Monday, December 7th, 2020

WBAP Morning Crew – Brian Estridge and Hal Jay at Center

In this post-election period, as Democrats continue their efforts to cement the steal, the media is showing its knickers. Even in venues many have long held are “conservative,” the truth is becoming obvious. On Monday, during the morning show on the very popular WBAP in the DFW area, the hosts, Brian Estridge and Hal Jay, spent their time explaining how it’s the “right thing” for Donald Trump to attend the inauguration of Joe Biden in January. Naturally, many of their listeners disagreed, and they read a few emails. Estridge implied in a haughty tone that he wanted people to explain how it would be consistent with their Christian principles for Donald Trump to skip the inauguration.  Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know a single thing in Christianity that suggests one must play along happily with fraud, theft, and pure evil. I don’t know anything in scripture that says Christians are condemned to be suckers.

This is what the media offers us as “conservative” media. These are the people who have a very superficial view of Christianity. In their view, apparently, being amicable to evil is a sign of maturity. That was their other contention: “Somebody needs to be the adult in the room.” I wonder what kind of parents these guys are or have been. Being an adult requires saying “no” to fraud, lying, deceit, theft, and other immorality. Being an adult requires refusing to accept those sorts of things for the sake of amicability. Can we just admit that so many of the so-called “conservatives” in media are anything but? This sort of superficial idea that being polite is “doing what’s right” is so despicable that my contempt for it cannot be overstated.  When people tell you such idiocy, you should recoil from it as withdrawing your hand from the path of a rattlesnake’s strike.

There’s nothing “right” or “adult” about accepting the inauguration of a stolen presidency. Indeed, what’s right is to stand against it. What’s right is to oppose it at every turn. What’s right is to prevent it if possible.

On that front, the two hosts offered: “Show the proof.” Apparently, they’ve not seen the testimony, or watched the video, or read any of the thousands of affidavits. That, or they don’t understand what constitutes “evidence.” Folks, sworn affidavits are evidence. You’ve seen the video of the “suitcases of ballots” being pulled out an counted without the presence of the press or legal poll watchers in Georgia. According to Georgia statute, every one of those ballots is illegal in Georgia.  EVERY ONE. Georgia statute requires no ballots be counted in secret.  Without press and poll-watchers present, this is precisely what occurred at the State Farm Arena between 10:45PM and 1:30AM on election night.  Ignoring this FACT is the typical media-driven nonsense by which you ignore details so you can run with the lie: “There’s no evidence…”

Listen to WBAP’s morning show with caution. These guys are your typical RINOs. They won’t take positions that the LameStream Media tells them are too controversial, and they’re not willing to stand on principles, but more, it’s clear that such “principles” as they observe are nothing of the sort. It’s typical for this class of fools to substitute surrender for the sake of alleged comity.  On Monday morning, they seemed to be indicating their growing contempt of their audience, in much the same way FoxNews has done since immediately before the election, and particularly afterward. There’s nothing Christian or conservative about accepting evil, or treating with it on equal footing. There’s also nothing adult about it. “Doing what’s right” is frequently controversial, difficult, and brings much gnashing of teeth from those who wish to endorse evil by silent assent.  I’m sorry to say that WBAP’s morning show is dominated by people who’ve either abandoned truth or simply never knew it.