Enjoy Your Saturday

It’s not really my intention to turn each Saturday into a cartoon-fest, but if you consider that bothersome, you can always go somewhere else on the Net—there’s a whole world that awaits.

But for those of you who choose to stay with me today, here’s my tribute to really well done political analysis via illustration. Let’s focus today on the many wonderful policies emanating from this administration and their consequences.

Obamacare, of course, has been the highlight of the past year. Have you read that there are now more than 1000 waivers that have been granted? If you need that many waivers, is it at all conceivable that the legislation is pretty awful to being with?

Energy policy has been gearing up lately. Obama is a strong proponent of green technology. Where will that lead?

If you don’t mind, I’d rather not go there. Of course, we can always do nuclear power, but everyone seems to be afraid of it after the Japan earthquake:

It would be nice to get our “fear priorities” straight. Continuing with the nuclear theme:

Why, we can’t cut programs, we’re told—they are all so effective. In what dream world might that be?

Even NPR is sacrosanct:

If you’re not sure what’s good for you, your friendly neighborhood progressive will be only too happy to inform you.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Honest, Unbiased News

The Juan Williams firing by NPR a couple of weeks ago continues to generate comment. Who better to offer incisive comment than Mallard Fillmore?

Yet we have West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller saying that the government ought to shut down both Fox News and MSNBC so that honest, unbiased presentation of the news will be offered. Like NPR?

NPR's "Explanation"

I’m actually a bit surprised that the Juan Williams firing by National Public Radio (NPR) continues to be a controversy nearly a week after it occurred. I’m not displeased by the ongoing discussion—it’s more of a pleasant surprise.

The most galling feature of the entire episode is the hypocrisy exhibited by NPR. The ombudsman for the network [or should I say ombudswoman to be politically correct?], attempted the other day to explain the decision in greater detail. I’ve read it. She failed.

Her name is Alicia Shepherd. The section of her explanation that stood out to me was the following:

It’s not about race. It’s also not about free speech, as some have charged. Nor is it about an alleged attempt by NPR to stifle conservative views. NPR offers a broad range of viewpoints on its radio shows and web site.

Instead, this latest incident with Williams centers around a collision of values: NPR’s values emphasizing fact-based, objective journalism versus the tendency in some parts of the news media, notably Fox News, to promote only one side of the ideological spectrum.

The first laughable line is that NPR doesn’t attempt to stifle conservative views, closely followed by how it offers a broad spectrum of viewpoints. On Bill O’Reilly’s program Monday evening, he went down a list of commentators on NPR—not even one was a bona fide conservative. Where does she get off making such an obviously fallacious statement?

Then her comparison of NPR with Fox was incredible. Fox has a bevy of liberal commentators on every program. Even someone as conservative as Sean Hannity always interviews liberals and has them on his panel each night. Yes, his viewpoint is dominant, but his is an opinion show. O’Reilly, while mostly conservative, goes off that reservation on a number of issues, and some of the wacky, far-left guests he allows on his program at times drive me to distraction. Greta Van Susteren is hard to pinpoint—she talks to everyone and doesn’t wear her politics in the open.

NPR, on the other hand …

Shepherd says the latest flap with Williams was the last in a long line of concerns over his comments. Like what? Well, he actually criticized Michelle Obama once. Horror of horrors! You can see Shepherd’s entire explanation right here if you want an amusing read.

As I said, I’m not convinced by her arguments, particularly when Nina Totenberg remains one of NPR’s chief analysts. This is the woman who famously said that she hoped former Sen. Jesse Helms would get AIDS, “or one of his grandchildren will get it.” Nice. Yet she’s still there. When was the last time Juan Williams said he wanted someone to die?

How shall we characterize NPR?

Unfortunately, that’s uncomfortably close to the truth.

Military Ballots and Political Correctness

I would hate to omit some stories in the rush of election coverage, but there is one that is directly related to the upcoming elections that should make anyone wonder what’s going on. Of all the people who should be allowed to vote, those serving in the armed forces overseas, particularly in Afghanistan, should have top priority. They are literally the front line of defense against terrorism.

Yet two of our largest states, New York and Illinois, missed deadlines for sending troops their absentee ballots. In New York, some counties, including New York City, even missed an extended deadline. In Illinois, they graciously extended the number of days for a postmarked ballot to be returned—by one day.

Is this merely incompetence or is there something political going on here? It is assumed that most soldiers vote Republican, and those two states are controlled by Democrats. Yet I can also easily believe that gross incompetence is the culprit. Either way, this is atrocious.

We’ve already seen in the past week how subservient to Islamic pressure the media is—Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar storming of the set of The View in protest of Bill O’Reilly’s comment that Muslims were behind 9/11, and the firing of Juan Williams by NPR. Well, we must not be Islamophobic, right?

I mean, who wants to be unsophisticated and mean-spirited? Certainly not the mainstream media. Who can blame serious citizens for seeking information elsewhere?

There are so many more options now. The proliferation of media sources is one of the best developments of the past few decades. No longer are we held hostage by an elite that fashions the news in its own image. Some things actually do get better with time.

More Liberal Facism

The theme of Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism just received another confirmation yesterday. In the book, he argues that liberals aren’t really all that liberal.

Classic liberalism believed in liberty; modern liberalism, which often goes by the name progressivism, is anything but devoted to liberty. Rather, it imposes a uniformity of thought that none dare challenge without consequences.

So what happened yesterday to further authenticate his theme? Well, a bona fide liberal stepped over a political correctness line and lost his job.

Juan Williams, who works worked for National Public Radio (NPR), and who also offers commentary on Fox News, apparently committed a cardinal sin—he actually admitted he sometimes had feelings of concern about Muslims when he’s on an airplane.

Here are the exact words Williams used on the O’Reilly Factor:

I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.

He went on to say that no one can blame all Muslims for the actions of the extremists, but it was too late. His employers at NPR fired him because his comments were “inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices.” What standards might those be? Never criticize Islam? Follow the prescribed line or else?

Now, I’ve never been a huge Juan Williams fan. I disagree with him probably 75% of the time. But he’s getting better; I used to disagree with him 100% of the time. Either he’s mellowed or I have. All that is beside the point, though. While NPR has the right to hire and fire whomever they wish, they have no right to be dishonest about the reasons. He didn’t say anything inconsistent with true journalistic standards, which is what they are claiming. He simply ruffled their politically correct feathers. It’s also come out that they hated the fact he also had a gig on Fox, a network that NPR loathes.

Of course, NPR is paid for by the American taxpayer. Where in the Constitution do we find any authority to fund a means of mass communication? Why is my money being used to promote a political philosophy with which I disagree?

It’s time to get back to basics—abide by the limits placed on the national government by the instrument the Founders created to guide us as a nation. Restore constitutionality.