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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.

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Entertainment and Sports

Game of Thrones Final Season Episode 2 Review

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Game of Thrones Final Season Episode 2 Review

As with episode’s one’s review there is no promise of keeping free of spoilers. In fact there is nothing to spoil. Last week’s episode was gritty in a political thriller sort of way as the divided North became the main focus. Episode 2 takes place in the limbo period between the preparation episode and the battle itself. It served as a second preparation episode that was unnecessary filler between two important events. In practice, I like to keep these reviews free of shiny objects and focus on the more analytical aspects of the show, but those were few and far between.

Verdict: Episode 2 was a hollow turd.

Ser Jaime

Ser Jaime Lannister is the MVP of this episode, having the only interesting opportunities continuing throughout the script, but still failed to depict, accurately, Jaime’s character once more. Jaime opens up on “trial” before his former enemies. In truth, Jaime, blurring the lines between sarcastic and serious, regards slaying Mad King Areys II as his “finest deed.” He regrets little, but that which he regrets are the deeds of concealing his (past) love for Cersei, like throwing a child out of a tower, and [spoiler alert] lying to Tyrion about his first wife Tysha being a whore. The latter is an increasingly frustrating deviation that not only undermines Jaime’s character development but has paved the way for HBO to emasculate Tyrion Lannister, metaphorically speaking as opposed to the literal emasculating of Theon Greyjoy. In confronting Daenerys, Jaime was not as defiant enough to make an interesting confrontation better. Instead this was undermined by the power struggle between Daenerys and Sansa, denying a far richer scene where Jaime declares that he saved half a million people. During the drinking scene that resembled previous buildups before battles, Jaime’s character could have amended the Tysha deviation. This hope was unrealized; however, the episode’s best scene was the knighting of Brienne of Tarth, a misfit too ugly to be a lady but unable to be a knight. “Any knight can make a knight” is a well-known Westerosi saying.

Lack of Military Realism

The show goes out of its way to paint incompetent characters like Sansa and Daenerys as quality leaders. Last week, was the first time characters acknowledged how selfish Daenerys is. Sansa is the last person on the show you want as a “wartime president.” Very few remaining characters in Game of Thrones can play the game and command an army. Jon Snow is one. Tyrion is a second, but the show has made him irredeemably stupid. Jaime refused the game but technically has a winning record as a commanding officer. Bronze Yohn Royce was technically featured in the episode and can do both. Daenerys is probably better at military command than playing politics, but when you have dragons, it takes far less skill, Aegon the Conquerer proved as much. Last weeks episode delved into the logistics of war. That was virtually undone in this episode.

For instance Brienne of Tarth is given command of the left flank. Looking closely at the war maps, the left flank featured the knights of the Vale. Instead of having Lord Yohn Royce, a season military commander who fought in Robert’s Rebellion, the Greyjoy Rebellion, led the winning cavalry charge in the Battle of the Bastards, has the loyalty of his men as the most powerful lord in the Vale, the show has Brienne of Tarth command the Vale’s force. Brienne of Tarth has fought one battle, at most! She has never led an army and has no ties to the Vale. The only thing dumber than giving her command of the Vale would be giving her command of the Dothraki, who I believe are on the right flank, the place of honor in ancient Greek culture (perhaps relevant). It’s not that Brienne of Tarth is unworthy of any command, they simply chose the second least believable place for her to lead.

Prepubescent Sex Scene

This is not the poorest written sex scene in Game of Thrones, that still belongs to Sansa being married off to Ramsay Bolton, one of the worst plot deviations from the books. Arya having sex with Gendry was up there though. Arya is eleven when the show starts. A year has passed, no doubt, maybe two, but not anything beyond three which would barely put her at fourteen, at most. It’s not the combo, it’s the age. Arya is a child, not a sensual woman. The show has unrealistically aged these characters. Heck, why didn’t they recast Gilly’s [Mance’s] son? They’ve had over three Mountains, two Dario Naharises (both poorly casted), two Myrscella Baratheons, and I’m sure there are others.

Only Meaning

The only meaning in the episode that was of any worth was Bran revealing the motive of the White Walkers to erase the memory of mankind. There was no buildup and little foreshadow towards this reveal. Game of Thrones is all about placing mysteries on the backburner (who really killed Jon Arryn) but this was a little rushed.

Final Thoughts

This episode was less worthwhile than watching the first three episodes of Star Wars. You could have missed episode 2 and have gone straight to episode 3 and you would have missed nothing that wasn’t known already. I’m not saying this was the worst Game of Thrones episode ever but its down there.

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We’ve reached ‘Peak Roger Stone’ on the timeline as he prepares to speak at strip club

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Weve reached Peak Roger Stone on the timeline as he prepares to speak at strip club

President Trump’s long-time confidant and rabble-rouser Roger Stone is short on cash and looking for options as mounting legal fees reduce his wealth. In a move that can be categorized as “Peak Roger Stone,” the controversial figure is set to accept a large fee to speak at a strip club.

Stone will appear at the Paper Moon in Richmond, Virginia, along side ‘Manhattan Madam’ Kristin Davis of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer fame.

Stone faces legal troubles for allegedly working with WikiLeaks to spread the DNC email hacks that helped President Trump win his election in 2016.

He has always been a controversial figure in and out of politics. Known for his willingness to speak his mind regardless of the consequences, Stone has been notably subdued since being shut down by a judge after he shared an Instagram post about her in February.

I’m not sure how having Roger Stone speaking will benefit the strip club’s business. He’s the exact opposite of what I picture most people expect to see when going to a strip club, but to each his own.

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Culture and Religion

Since leftist media won’t say it: Radical Islamic terrorists murdered hundreds of Christians

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Since leftist media wont say it Radical Islamic terrorists murdered hundreds of Christians

The dramatic shift in how mainstream media characterizes terrorist attacks over the years reached what I hope is the pinnacle of their obfuscation today. The terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka against Christian churches and areas where Christians were likely to gather were committed on Easter Sunday by Muslims in a city known for radicalization. This was a clear and unambiguous attack by radical Islamic terrorists specifically targeting Christians.

But you’ll have a hard time coming to that conclusion if all you’re reading or watching is leftist mainstream media.

The reporting today has been in stark contrast to the immediate labeling and narrative-building surrounding the terrorist attacks in New Zealand mosques last month. There was zero doubt based on media reporting that the attacks were targeting Muslims. But today, it’s hard to even find the word “Christian” in any of the posts or news reports. On top of that, there’s a stark difference when reading the Tweets of condolences from leftists who refuse to acknowledge this as an attack against Christianity despite the immediate and crystal clear labeling of the New Zealand mosque incidents as attacks targeting Muslims.

Some of this was noted by Brittany Pettibone:

OAN’s Jack Posobiec added that a new phrase has been coined by the media regarding the Notre-Dame fire:

Was this the same response they were giving following the Christchurch attacks? No. As Imam Mohamad Tawhidi noted, the differences were very clear.

Why do the media and leftist politicians do this? Why are they quick to label attacks against any other religious group exactly as they appear, but they’re so unwilling to call out any attacks against Christians as attacks against Christians?

This is the time we’re in, folks. The left has a narrative they want jammed into our heads and that narrative has no room for acknowledging violence and persecution is committed against Christians. The only stories that fit their narratives are stories that can blame Christians for wrongdoing. In those cases, the perpetrators’ status as Christians is broadcast loud and clear. But if Christians are victims, the left will go to extreme lengths to negate that fact from the record.

Of all the major news outlets, I was only able to find one that didn’t shy away from the truth. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board stands alone in declaring the intended victims of this attack as who they are and why they were targeted.

WSJ Editorial Board

The intentional suppression of what happened, who committed it, and who was targeted is beyond insulting. The terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka are being framed by the media as some people did something.

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