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Acceptable losses

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We’ve all seen the scene in some Hollywood movie or TV episode.

It’s time for the climactic battle, an apocalyptic clash of good against evil. The conflict is titanic. In the chaos, innocent citizens perish in the crossfire, or thousands of soldiers die in the push to retake a crucial point on the field. Perhaps a general even disobeys an order, or does something ghastly, in order that good may triumph.

As the tableau winds down, some halcyon time after the battle, that grizzled old general is being grilled by a committee or a reporter or a fellow soldier about all those who died. So many perished, the credulous questioner asks. So many lines crossed. What was it all for?

And the general scowls through squinted eyes, grits his teeth a little harder. “Acceptable losses,” he’ll say. And then he talks about how it haunts him, but it was all necessary to achieve victory over an uncompromising evil. Play jaunty patriotic tune. Fade to black.

Many mainstream media personalities – especially those at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN – probably see themselves as this strong-jawed general. Their climactic battle is the fight against the most powerful man in America, a man who seems determined to convince the country that the news they report is largely “fake.”

In the face of this threat, these pundits react with vengeful wrath. Behind the scenes, I’m sure some fault President Trump for targeting the product they peddle, threatening their business. Many fear that he’s an authoritarian who wants to chill hard-hitting reporting with his rhetoric. The very freedom of the press is at stake, they exclaim, wide-eyed.

And some just don’t like him much.

So they punch back. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, on and on. The flailing blows to Trump and his administration come so fast they seem like a blur. Some glance off Teflon Don; others hit him square in the jaw. They know they’ve got him riled when he goes on Twitter to rake one of them over the coals. This spirit infects their places of business, with the most audacious voices promoted until their screeds receive special treatment, both in the newsroom and on social media.

And the screed-makers’ heads grow at the same rate as their megaphones.

So what if a few false claims are made? So what if journalistic procedures aren’t perfectly followed? We are the tip of the Resistance’s spear, they rationalize. This is war, and Trump must die for the nation to live.

But in their quest to resist Trump, these pundits and the networks who house them have lost their way.

It’s happened far too often since November. Someone makes a claim, sometimes anonymously sourced, usually about Trump. Its authenticity or wisdom is questioned by the broader public. The network may retract the claim, fire the offender, or stand by the report. Regardless, the thing has been said.

And then there was yesterday.

Trump tweeted an old video clip of himself at a wrestling event tackling and fake-punching a dude with the CNN logo superimposed over his face. Like most Trump tweets, it was dumb and sophomoric, but played well to his base.

Then Andrew Kaczynski of CNN decided it would be a good idea to find the personal information of the Reddit user who had created the GIF and . . . get in touch with him.

I can imagine how that conversation went. “That’s a nice address and phone number you’ve got there. Be a shame if someone were to make it public.”

The chastened Redditor hastily, profusely, and publicly apologized. But as of this writing, Kaczynski’s article remains up on CNN’s website, along with the haunting line: “CNN reserves the right to publish [the Redditor’s] identity” should his apologetic behavior change.

This goes beyond a lapse in professional judgment. It tiptoes dangerously close to extortion and blackmail. The fact that something like this is deemed acceptable at CNN, one of the foremost voices in news media, should be enough to question their integrity as an organization.

Like so many others in the past several months, this piece of reporting makes it clear that to the media wing of the Resistance, journalistic ethics are less important than the next beachhead. There must be a stopping point to their anti-Trump frenzy, or else the moral losses accompanying their assaults will no longer be acceptable under any reasonable standard.


Connor Mighell is a third-year law student at The University of Alabama School of Law with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Baylor University. He is a staff writer at SBNation and The New Americana, and his work has also been featured at The Federalist and Merion West. He may be found on Twitter at @cmigbear.

Media

Trump failed with Putin due to anti-Trump Republicans and fake news

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Following Trump’s bizarre performance at the Helsinki Summit with his BFF Vladimir Putin, bi-partisan condemnation of his press conference was swift and severe after he expressed his willingness to accept Putin’s word that Russia didn’t interfere with the 2016 election, despite findings by US intelligence proving otherwise.

Not to worry, though. Following this backlash, and now that he’s home and a safe distance away from Putin, Trump’s false bravado was back on full display yesterday as he attempted to backtrack from his previous statements about Russian interference.

According to Trump, he didn’t reject US intelligence in favor of Russia; he simply misspoke. He’s always believed Russia interfered. He’s just a victim of the English language.

“The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double negative. So you can put that in and I think it probably clarifies things pretty good.

“I have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections.”

But Trump’s difficulty with contractions isn’t the only reason for this apparent misunderstanding. Not at all. The real culprit, as is always the case when the news is unfavorable, is the “Fake News” media.

Sadly, criticism of Trump’s Helsinki remarks has been noticeably missing in some so-called conservative circles in Washington and in the media. Not only that, they have joined the Trump echo chamber in defending him.

For example, according to Trump, Sen. Rand Paul agreed with his claim that the Mueller investigation was responsible for Trump’s troubling comments.

Additionally, in an interview with Trump Pravda (FOX News), Paul called out Republicans who criticized Trump, labelling them pro-war and/or anti-Trump for doing so.

“Republicans that are making the criticism are either the pro-war Republicans like McCain and Graham or the anti-Trump ones like Sasse … They are motivated by their persistent and consistent dislike of the president.”

In the House of Representatives, so-called conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus embraced Trump’s “Fake News” mantra, arguing that the media’s criticism of Trump’s statements had overshadowed his accomplishments concerning Russia. At least, that’s how Freedom Caucus member Rep Warren Davidson sees it:

“The reality is people are upset about what President Trump said, but they’re not giving him credit for what he’s done.”

Is it just me, or shouldn’t what you say jive with what you do? I think they call that walking the talk.

Meanwhile, sounding like he wrote Trump’s “Fake News” talking points, the conservative talk show host formerly known as Rush Limbaugh, also blames the media for Trump’s pro-Russia comments, saying that their “embarrassingly shallow and puerile, infantile questions” were responsible.

So, take heart, America. Trump didn’t mean what he said when he said it. He was simply playing 3-D chess with the Russian President, and anyone who thinks otherwise only does so because they are pro-war, anti-Trump, and they believe fake news.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Foreign Affairs

Being American doesn’t mean ignoring facts. Ron Paul right about Trump-Putin meeting.

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In the era of torn Russian relations, Ron Paul takes a step back and views more information than almost any pundit on air or on twitter. It’s bipartisan to hate Russian, and that causes many Americans to hold inconsistent views on foreign policy issues related to Russia.

The media’s coverage on all things related to Russia was bad before it’s terrible coverage of Trump. We need a balanced factual approach to foreign relations with Russia. Not everything is Russia’s fault. America needs a new approach to Russia, and Trump can bring that.

John Kerry spent so much time picking losing battles with Russia and the United States needs to move on from these geopolitical skirmishes. Part of this means throwing the Obama administration under the bus. Between John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, US interests in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe faced setbacks. Only then can we have a better relationship with Russia.

I appreciate Ron Paul’s perspective because, in an era of hot takes and the political popularity of Russia hating, he maintains a just perspective that embraces facts.

US Russia Factsheet

US and Russia

  • These two countries have the largest nuclear arsenal
  • US military currently miles ahead of Russia
  • Relations have ever been good
  • Both (sort of) friends with the Kurds
  • Russia largely used as scapegoat, punching bags in American politics
  • Trump administration upped military spending
  • US through NATO still practices a containment policy with regards to Russia
  • Both countries have issues with Islamic terrorism
  • Working together on North Korea issue

Russia

  • Is not a free country
  • Does not pretend to be a free country (like Europe)
  • Its people largely view the break up of the Soviet Union as a tragedy (regardless of feelings about communism)
  • Actually likes Putin, a lot (strangely)
  • Has had Putin at the helm for decades

Iran

  • Putin came out in affirmation of the Iran Deal
  • Trump remained opposed
  • This point of contention was largely ignored by the media
  • Russia and Iran are allies
  • Iran taking control of Iraq through Shia paramilitaries
  • Backs Houthi rebels in Yemen

Iraq

  • Invaded by the US in 2003
  • War lost when the Obama Administration refused to negotiate a status of forces agreement
  • Iraqi military fell apart to ISIS when they invaded from Syria
  • Iranian backed militias filled the vacuum
  • Status of Kurds unclear

Syria

Ukraine

Turkey

  • Turkey is a member of NATO
  • Turkey opposes Israel
  • Turkey provoked war with Russia by downing Russian jet
  • Turkey becoming increasingly Islamic under neo-Ottoman regime
  • Kemalism was killed in the attempted coup
  • Ergodan held a referendum to grant himself more power
  • Russia and Turkey have an arrangement in Syria to not fight each other
  • Turkey performing land grab in Syria
  • Turkey killing Kurds in Syria
  • Turkey backing its own Islamist in Syria

Israel

  • Trump administration the most Israel-friendly administration in US history
  • Russia opposes Israel on a geopolitical level (along with most US allies)
  • Russia backs enemies of Israel
  • US backs enemies of Israel (Saudis)
  • Israel believed to have nuclear capabilities

Libya

  • US and Russia back differing factions
  • US played large role in destabilizing region during the rebellion
  • Terrorist that America aided attack a US consulate and murdered four people, including Ambassador Stevens

2016 Election

  • US has long history of meddling in foreign elections
  • Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome of 2016 election
  • DNC never handed over server to investigators
  • Indictments are not convictions, not even close
  • Russia should be embarrassed if that was their attempt to interfere in a US election
  • Media overplaying story because they dislike Trump

US Agencies

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Culture and Religion

Video: What is a Classical Liberal?

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A short video making the point that the Left is no longer Liberal, having traded individualism for collectivism.

In one of their first animated video shorts, the Rubin Report discusses the vitally important topic of just who is a Classical Liberal.

OUR FIRST ANIMATED VIDEO! What is a Classical Liberal?

Liberalism has been confused with Leftism or progressivism, which is actually has nothing to do with classical Liberalism. Sadly the Left is no longer Liberal at all for it has traded individualism for collectivism.

The Rubin Report
Published on Jul 10, 2018

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