Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Schiller Syndrome

Vivian Schiller is the wretched NPR executive who trashed Juan Williams for statements she declared best relegated to his psychiatrist. I detected a whiff of the punitive psychiatry employed in the late Soviet Union in Schiller’s public comment on Williams. Soviet psychiatry’s favored diagnosis for those guilty of heterodox thoughts was sluggishly progressing schizophrenia. Is Williams a victim of this malady in Schiller’s view? She clearly thinks he needs therapy »

Welcome to Minnesota

President Obama will be at the University of Minnesota today, trying to rally teenagers whose minds are probably elsewhere to turn out for the Democrats. It says volumes about the Democrats’ problems that Obama’s eleventh-hour salvage mission is focused mostly, if not entirely, on college campuses. Governor Tim Pawlenty welcomed President Obama to Minnesota by explaining some local words and phrases: UPDATE: George Will has a nice column on Pawlenty: »

From the Boxer Buffle to the Barney Shuffle

David Zucker — he of “Airplane,” “Naked Gun,” “Naked Gun 2.5,” “Scary Movie 3,” “Scary Movie 4,” and “An American Carol” — immortalizes what might be the only memorable statement Barbara Boxer ever made. Zucker unfurls a few good lines of his own: “Hasn’t Senator Boxer worked hard enough? Maybe it’s time to give her a rest…We’ve called her ‘Senator’ for nearly 20 years. It’s time to call her ma’am »

A word from Katherine Kersten

My friend Katherine Kersten is a regular op-ed columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She writes in connection with the Juan Williams affair: Interestingly, I received the same treatment from NPR — indeed, the very Ellen Weiss who gave Juan Williams his walking papers over the phone. Back in 1995-97 or so, I was a commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” (All things?) I did a piece for them every »

Something old, something new, new should win but the state seems too blue

I haven’t been paying much attention to the gubernatorial races this year. No doubt, they are important, but for me this election is about stopping the Obama Express and laying the groundwork for turning it around. This can only be accomplished through the congressional elections Of all the races for governor, California’s seems like the most interesting. Meg Whitman, seemingly an attractive challenger despite the flap over her employment of »

Will the final polls be reliable?

In about a week, we’ll start to see various polling organizations releasing their final polls in key races across the country. How much weight should we give these polls in light of the fact that (a) this isn’t a presidential election year so (b) idenifying likely voters may be particularly problematic, and (c) this looks like a “wave election” for Republicans? I don’t know the answer, but I thought I’d »

Walt Minnick loses support of Tea Party Express

Walter Minnick represents Idaho’s first congressional district. He is a Democrat, but not a liberal one, having voted against both the stimulus and Obamacare. Nonetheless, Minnick voted with his party 71 percent of the time during this Congress (his first). These votes included supporting the “Lilly Ledbetter Act” and opposing a spending cap through 2014. Based on his votes against the stimulus and Obamacare, the Tea Party Express endorsed Minnick »

A word from Jeff Jacoby

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby writes with a word on the Juan Williams affair: Before NPR’s disgraceful treatment of Juan Williams, there was NPR’s disgraceful treatment of Steven Emerson, one of the world’s foremost experts on the threat from Islamist terrorism. In 1998 I learned that NPR — in response to pressure from Islamist extremists — had blackballed Emerson from appearing on its airwaves. When I broke the story in »

Mantz on a mission, cont’d

We wrote about the incredible story of Army Captain Joshua Mantz in “Mantz on a mission.” Captain Mantz was patrolling in Bagdhad with the First Infantry Division on April 21, 2007, when he was hit by an armor-piercing bullet that killed Staff Sergeant Marlon Harper. Part of the same bullet that killed Sergeant Harper then exited, hit Captain Mantz and severed Mantz’s femoral artery. Captain Mantz bled out and went »

Annals of dhimmitude

The National Post reports another step along the path we are on: “Centre refuses to host Steyn lecture on free speech.” The syndrome at work here seems to be related to fear of Muslims: Organizers of an upcoming talk by conservative writer Mark Steyn planned for London, Ont., say they were muzzled by a local city-owned convention centre. A trio of bloggers who run the site inquired on Monday »

Obama Underappreciation Syndrome

Below I sketch the case that Juan Williams has been subjected to punitive psychiatry at Democrat State Radio. Charles Krauthammer finds President Obama making his own discoveries in liberal psychology, applicable to the electorate as a whole: Opening a whole new branch of cognitive science — liberal psychology — Obama has discovered a new principle: The fearful brain is hard-wired to act befuddled, i.e., vote Republican. But of course. Here »

The Williams Syndrome

The firing of Juan Williams by NPR (hereinafter Democrat State Radio) yesterday for his comments on Fox News was the biggest story of the day. His alleged transgression of the purported rule against the expression of opinion by Democrat State Radio news analysts was ludicrous. We await the citation of a generally applicable rule that he violated. The gravamen of Williams’s offense in the eyes of Democrat State Radio appears »

Where does the Tea Party stand on foreign policy?

It’s a question I’m frequently asked these days. I’m far from an expert on the Tea Party. Accordingly, my answer is limited to stating that there is a division among Tea Party members, with some tending towards an interventionist position and others tending towards isolationism. I avoid opining on what the breakdown is. One way to get at the question is to look at the positions taken by prominent Tea »

Checking In, With Some Thoughts on the Story of the Day

I’ve been AWOL for a while, due to work commitments that have me working pretty much around the clock. But I had some free time tonight, checked the news, learned of Juan Williams’s firing by NPR, and read Scott’s and Paul’s comments on the story. My own thoughts on the firing are a bit random; here they are, in no particular order. I’ve never met Williams, as far as I »

Fear of flying

Jim Geraghty’s Twitter announcement made me laugh: When I’m on a plane, If I see people who are in NPR garb, I get worried & nervous. Because they probably won’t shut up the whole flight. Talk about fear of flying! »

A vicious cycle

National Review Online had an email exchange with NPR regarding the sacking of Juan Williams. Asked what exactly Williams said that NPR deemed inappropriate, Anna Christopher, NPR’s senior manager of media relations, wrote: “We aren’t going to get into a back and forth over semantics. The comment violated our ethics guidelines, and offended many in doing so” (emphasis added). The last phrase caught my eye. I assume that NPR’s audience »

How about a moratorium on construction of false graves?

The following is one of those stories that, through its sheer strangeness, provides a better window into Israeli-Palestinian relations than 1,000 accounts you might read in the mainstream media. It seems that the Muslim Waqf (a religious endowment in Islamic law that oversees land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes) has asked a court to force the city of Jerusalem to stop removing false graves from an ancient Muslim cemetery »