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The Continuing Decline of Journalism

A number of authors have written probing criticisms of modern journalism, notably Bernard Goldberg, James Fallows, and Bob Kohn. Now award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson adds The Smear, an insightful account of the most recent, shameful, and dangerous episode in journalism’s decline.

What the public receives as news today, she explains, is in fact propaganda crafted to “control what you see, what you think, and how you vote.” Although conservative as well as liberal operatives employ it, the latter are more adept at doing so.… Read More

 

Thinking Catholic with Mike Pence

mike-penceThe Vice-Presidential debate provided a perfectly articulated argument for the traditional Catholic view of a politician’s obligation regarding abortion. Ironically, if unsurprisingly, it was not expressed by Catholic Tim Kaine, but instead by Evangelical Mike Pence. Here is what Pence said:

What I can’t understand is [how you can] support a practice like partial-birth abortion. I mean, to hold to the view . . . that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me .… Read More

 

How Did Trump Treat His Ghostwriter?

Trump's Book CoverA friend of mine recently referred me to a New Yorker article entitled “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All” and asked whether I thought the story would hurt Trump’s chances of winning the presidency. After reading the article, I concluded that it would not, at least not among careful thinkers.

Not everyone is a careful thinker, of course. Some people who read the New Yorker piece will no doubt leap to the conclusion that Trump is a fool for not being able to write for himself or a dishonest man for taking credit for someone else’s effort, or both.… Read More

 

Trump’s Deus Ex Machina

Masks, Comedy & TragedyGreek and Roman plays often ended with a divine being descending from above (by means of a crane) and resolving conflicts in the plot. This device was known as Deus Ex Machina, literally “god from the machine.” The term later came to mean a turn of events that solves an apparently insoluble problem.

Donald Trump has such a problem. It is not that Hillary’s positions on key issues are stronger than his.… Read More

 

James Comey’s Costly Blunder

James Comey 2FBI director James Comey confirmed that Hillary Clinton acted “with great carelessness” in handling classified government information and was untruthful in a number of related matters. Yet he decided not to recommend prosecuting her.

The reason that supported his decision was that the investigation found insufficient evidence of “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information” or behavior that would “support an inference of intentional misconduct.”

I do not doubt Comey’s personal integrity and I take him at his word that “no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear” on him, though that would have required heroic restraint on the part of Clinton operatives.… Read More

 

The Voters’ Dilemma

Holding NoseIt is no exaggeration to say that the 2016 election will be one of the most important in many decades. The issues are numerous, ranging from budget deficits and the record national debt to jobs and taxation, immigration policy, military preparedness, the health care system, the threat of Islamic terrorism, and the state of the judiciary. The future of the country will depend on the choice we make at the polls.… Read More

 

Hillary’s 600 Unanswered Requests

Hillary SpeakingWhat is most troubling about Secretary Clinton’s testimony on the Benghazi affair is the fact that 600 requests from Ambassador Chris Stevens and his staff for extra security went unanswered. Subsequently, Islamic terrorists killed four Americans.

These days, when news reports speak in terms of billions and trillions, 600 may seem a trivial number. Perhaps that is why so many media people ignored the matter entirely, focusing instead on Secretary Clinton’s calm demeanor during the hearing, and concluding that she had vanquished her Republican “oppressors” and secured her position as the leading Democratic presidential candidate.… Read More

 

Politicians Abusing Logic

Hillary ShruggingWhen a spokesman was asked whether the State Department would investigate allegations that Hillary had misused her office, he replied, “We’re not going back to do a retroactive examination of each of those cases and we’re not going to make a retroactive judgment,” adding that they are not aware of any cases of such abuse.

Two reporters then asked him whether the Department’s lack of awareness wasn’t precisely the reason they should investigate and find out whether the allegations were true.… Read More

 

Hillary Doubles Down on Benghazi

Hillary, Obama Re BenghaziHillary Clinton has resurrected the Benghazi issue in a forthcoming book, a chapter of which has been leaked to the press before publication. Her apparent intention is to demonstrate that she acted responsibly during and after the attack that killed four Americans. Many readers will be convinced by her arguments. I am not. To begin with, several statements reportedly contained in her book either ignore the facts or strain credulity.… Read More