“Our southern border is safe and sound. That’s what I found tracing it by bicycle. The one thing I didn’t find on the border that I expected to find everywhere, growing like scrub brush in the desert, was anger. I assumed Mexicans would be angry with Americans, intruders like me. I assumed Texans would be angry with Mexicans. I was wrong on both counts. These are generous people with centuries of a shared culture.”
A good read.
Via The Weekly Standard
You remember the Trump cabinet meeting story? In which, according to the Mediacrats, the cabinet members sucked up to the boss? A Maoist reeducation session? Not. Didn’t happen.
“This small episode, this miniature, wholly unnecessary bit of dissembling or incompetence by the press, is a nice example of what Nicole Hemmer, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, has called ‘Trump Exceptionalism.’ It is a disease that strikes journalists above all. In the eyes of the bright young things who work in the White House press corps, with their faulty educations and unearned world-weariness, everything Trump does must be nefarious, and if not nefarious, at least vulgar and unprecedented. It just has to be. So it is. Even when it’s not.”
No wonder Trump gets so pissy on Twitter about Fake News.
Via The Weekly Standard
Much as I enjoy The Weekly Standard, I must say their new cover piece, "The 9/11 Generation," isn’t very impressive. Conservatives, who love to bash the news media–which often deserves it– nevertheless need to hold their own to higher standards, as well. This article, about a generation that’s willing to fight, is long on generalities and short on sources. Only four sources, to be exact, and only three of them arguably of the "9/11 Generation." The editor apparently believes those three are sufficient to characterize the whole. Really, now. I’m sure the men and women who join these days, knowing there’s a good chance they’ll wind up in harm’s way, deserve our commendation. I’m also sure they aren’t the "children," or the "victims" or the "gullible" or the "hopeless" that liberal pols often term them. There apparently are enough of them to keep the military meeting or exceeding its recruiting quotas. But, as it happens, I know three members of the "9/11 Generation," and they dismiss my suggestion that they join the military. They refuse to fight what they call Bush’s war. See how easy it is to refute The Weekly Standard? It shouldn’t be.
When your aim in journalism is to shock, you run the risk of going too far, becoming tempted to make things up to fit your narrative theme, like a latter-day Chuck Tatum massaging the details of the "grieving widow" device in Billy Wilder’s cult classic "Ace In The Hole." Cynicism and ambition run amuck. So it seems to be with Scott Thomas, the pseudonym of an alleged private whose "Baghdad Diarist," for the credulous liberals of The New Republic, is attracting the attention of a growing number of milbloggers–like Matt Sanchez–who are hot on his trail.
"His latest entries are making the rounds and, have raised a lot of doubts," Sanchez writes. "Those who have served in Baghdad are questioning how true these stories are…I don’t want to know who this guy is, I just want to fact check his stories."
Shockers like a baby’s skull some Neanderthal supposedly digs up and uses for a crown under his Kevlar helmet; the bored Bradley driver who goes out of his way to run over a dog; and the insensitive jerks who mock a disfigured woman in a Camp Falcon mess hall, where Sanchez, too, just happens to dine. So far the Bradley tale is getting the most workout, here in The Weekly Standard, where Bradley veterans explain how they know it’s fiction. Tatum (Kirk Douglas in the 1951 film) would do anything for fame. Thomas seems to be following his lead, and the military-hating libs are, naturally enough, sucking it up. As for TNR, well, like the minor league newspaper editor in "Ace In The Hole," they’re not looking too close at their good thing.
UPDATE The flak (information officer) at FOB Falcon weighs in, shooting down the baby skull item, and questioning the ones about the disfigured woman and the Bradley.
MORE Then the magazine’s editor says it is investigating the accuracy of the articles.
STILL MORE The chickens are coming home to roost as the 1st SGT in the Diarist’s unit says he "has other underlying issues" and his writings are "fairy tales." No surprise there. And, finally, Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette sums it all up.