Loose Ends (249)

This installment mostly offers updates on previous items.

Let’s start with yesterday’s item about National Propaganda Radio (NPR). Today NPR responded. Highlights:

NPR’s top news executive defended its journalism and its commitment to reflecting a diverse array of views on Tuesday after a senior NPR editor wrote a broad critique of how the network has covered some of the most important stories of the age. . .

NPR’s chief news executive, Edith Chapin, wrote in a memo to staff Tuesday afternoon that she and the news leadership team strongly reject Berliner’s assessment.

“We’re proud to stand behind the exceptional work that our desks and shows do to cover a wide range of challenging stories,” she wrote. “We believe that inclusion — among our staff, with our sourcing, and in our overall coverage — is critical to telling the nuanced stories of this country and our world.” She added, “None of our work is above scrutiny or critique. We must have vigorous discussions in the newsroom about how we serve the public as a whole.”

A spokesperson for NPR said Chapin, who also serves as the network’s chief content officer, would have no further comment.

Isn’t this what the Washington Post in its Watergate glory days would have called a “non-denial denial”?

I’ve heard from a number of readers about my post over the weekend about whether Hamas had checkmated Israel, with several pointing out that the drawdown of troops in Gaza could be a tactical retreat ahead of a final assault against Hamas in Rafah, and/or that it could be related to the rumored possibility that a major northern front against Hezbollah in Lebanon may be about to commence.

Both are possible, and it might also explain why the Biden Administration turned on Israel over the weekend. Amidst the signs that Israel is not taking Iran’s role in the current crisis lying down (hence their attack on senior Iranian terror commanders in Syria last week), the Biden team is likely panicking about a possible second front in the war, because it will blow apart the Democratic Party, assuring a spectacle at the Democratic convention in Chicago (what a great coincidence!) this summer, as well as harassment of whatever minimal campaign Biden conducts in the fall. Hubert Humphrey was dogged by anti-Vietnam War protestors throughout the fall of 1968, and in the age of instant social media the exposure of this madness will surely be magnified manyfold.

• Related, a reader wonders about my weekend item reflecting on Bill Clinton’s near-deal for a Palestinian state back in 2000:

Do you really believe Clinton had a deal that far in place? I myself am of Lebanese origin (Hezbollah has been a terror for the country for decades)… Why would Arafat allegedly negotiate that far to only say No? I understand wanting the sympathy, the money to spend on himself and his family, all that… but this doesn’t seem based in reality if that much land were an option… There is no way Israel would have been ok with it.

Quite reasonable to wonder this, and without having a lot more knowledge of everything that went down in those protracted negotiating sessions, it is possible that Israel in effect called Arafat’s bluff, knowing that he would reject even the most sweeping and complete concessions. After all, Arafat had to know that making a deal with Israel meant that he would face the same fate as Anwar Sadat. But Arafat had to go along to keep billions in American aid funding the PLO.

Speaking of anti-Semitic madness, the dean of Berkeley Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, likes to host graduating third-year law students at his home near the end of the semester. The pro-Hamasniks on campus put up these vile posters:

Apparently it was not enough to condemn the dean for hosting dinner for students. Last night, the first of three dinners planned this week, this happened (this version from sick leftist Saira Rao):

One hopes some expulsions will now take place.

Note: Although Dean Chemerinsky’s political and constitutional views are consistently to the far left, he is a committed champion not just to free speech but also ideological diversity at the law school. He has been unfailingly supportive to me and John Yoo, and always made plain that any disruptions to any of our programs or guest speakers (such as Heather Mac Donald) would not be tolerated, and students would face serious consequences if they didn’t respect our rights.

Here is his response this morning:

I’ll update this story depending on what happens at tonight’s dinner.

Chaser: Berkeley announced its new chancellor today. He is Richard K. Lyons, former Dean of the Haas School of Business and current associate vice chancellor and chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer.

Lyons is, I am told, a person of sensible (that is, non-leftist) views. But let it sink in: a white male, from the business school, has been tapped to lead the campus. Even Berkeley is figuring it out.

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