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April 2017


‘Homeland’ Actor: The Real ‘Guilty Ones’ This Season Are White Men, Not Islamic Terrorists By M.G. Oprea

‘Homeland’ has taken such a sudden turn toward political preaching and progressive tut-tutting that its story and characters barely resemble those of the previous five seasons.

“Homeland’s” season six finale will air on Sunday night. If you’re like me, at this point you couldn’t care less. That’s because the show has taken such a sudden turn toward political preaching and progressive tut-tutting that its story and characters barely resemble those of the previous five seasons. If you’ve been wondering what on earth happened, wonder no more.

On Thursday, the actor who plays Saul Berenson, Mandy Patinkin, explained everything on NPR. In an interview with “Here & Now’s” Jeremy Hobson, Patinkin discusses past accusations that the show is Islamophobic. He says that although the “Homeland” crew never meant to be Islamophobic, and certainly didn’t expect that kind of criticism, it is nevertheless true. According to him, the show became “part of the problem of the Islamophobia.”

He goes on to explain that the whole point of this season was to stop being the problem and start “trying to be part of the cure,” something Patinkin feels they were “tremendously successful” in doing. Patinkin, who is active in assisting with the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece, added that the “guilty ones” are “certainly not the Muslim community, certainly not the refugees or the immigrants that have come here, but the white male membership of, even members of the intelligence community and other parts of our government.”

So, there it is. “Homeland’s” monumental shift in narrative and tone this season wasn’t an accident. It was a 100 percent intentional effort to atone for the show’s previous sins. But the self-flagellation is so heavy handed, and such a departure from previous seasons, that it’s jarring for the viewer. It’s also boring.

Political Correctness Is Boring

Part of what made the first five seasons of “Homeland” so entertaining is that they were unconstrained by political correctness. They were at liberty to craft the most compelling terrorism-espionage story they could dream up. The main characters, Carrie Mathison (played by Clare Danes) and Saul, were realists about the dangers of the world, about who’s an enemy and who’s a friend—even if they weren’t always right. But season six is an exercise in pure political correctness.

Carrie has become a civil rights activist. She has renounced her previous views about terrorism, most notably that Muslims are ever terrorists. The show implies that prior to this season, she had been a racist and is now trying to right those wrongs to atone for her past sins. (By the way, this suggests that you’re a racist, too, for enjoying those seasons.)

Not only is the young Muslim-American in the show, Sekou Bah, not a terrorist, the real conspiracy is run by the white male CIA agent, Dar Adal, who is trying to make it look like Sekou blew up a truck in New York City. With the help of Mossad, Dar is also trying to convince the new president-elect that Iran is breaking the nuclear deal, which of course they’re not. Oh, and in case you weren’t getting the message, one episode features Saul visiting his sister in a West Bank settlement, which affords him a pulpit from which to preach on the evils of Israeli settlements.

Politicization Destroys Art And Entertainment


Homeland: Uh-oh, Hillary lost! Now what?By Patricia McCarthy

The writers of Season 6 obviously were so confident Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president their new narrative had a female Democratic Party candidate win the election. Elizabeth Marvel is a wonderful actress and a pretty fair doppelganger for Hillary Clinton. But the writers got it all wrong. In an interview, show creator Alex Gansa revealed that their scripts were by design following real events but “five or six episodes had been completed when the election happened.” Hillary lost and they were stuck with the wrong real-life president-elect. M.G. Oprea wrote a terrific article at The Federalist about the ridiculous turnaround that has characterized this season. All those involved with the production have apparently come to feel sufficiently guilty about their realistic focus on Islamic radicalism and terrorism over the first five seasons that they have reversed course and become submissively pro-Islam. What was for five seasons a very fair representation of the worldwide problem of Islamic terrorism became a televised apologia for all the good work that came before.

Carrie Mathieson is now a pro-Muslim activist living in New York. She becomes close to the president-elect, then not close, then close again, then not. Dar Adal, who from the beginning of the series was sinister and menacing, is gradually but finally revealed to be the mastermind of an odious cabal subverting the president-elect with the help of others in the intelligence community and special ops military. Think Burt Lancaster in Seven Days in May or Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate. (Adal even sees to it that Carrie’s daughter is taken from her by child protective services). He and his partners in crime plan to assassinate the new president. Why is never made clear, for nothing remotely disturbing is revealed about her until the last shot of the finale after she has justifiably had all those who plotted against her arrested. Then she then begins arresting even those who tried to protect her. Suddenly the people who have been running the CIA for years, the good guys who were trying to protect the country, set out to murder the president-elect! Did they construct the new direction after Donald Trump won? The latter must be true because the first woman president-elect, a Democrat, is by the finale somehow a female Donald Trump to be dealt with exactly in the manner the real left has been behaving since their loss to Trump in November. Total derangement. Consider all the leftists who have called for Trump’s assassination on Twitter and other social media, the chaotic protests, silly marches, etc.

The writers have inadvertently demonstrated exactly how the left functions, not the right. Now that we know the Obama administration functioned like a crime syndicate it is easy to surmise how easily they projected these tactics onto their own characters. They even created a character, (presumably based on radio conspiracy theorist Alex Jones), who operates a massive bot organization to propagandize by social media. He is clearly meant to be a right-winger who, along with Adal, unfairly maligns the reputation of the president-elect’s dead soldier son. She is at this point a person for whom the viewer feels sympathy.

An Anti-Semitic Murder in a French No-Go Zone Colorful, vibrant, multicultural Muslim atrocities. Daniel Greenfield

Sarah Lucy Halimi was thrown out of the window of the third floor Paris apartment while she begged her Muslim killer to spare her life.

The 66-year-old director of an Orthodox Jewish nursery was woken from her sleep when she was violently beaten by her twenty something Muslim neighbor who then dragged her to the window.

She died on the street outside the building where she had lived for thirty years.

The killer had allegedly shouted, “Allahu Akbar”. In the tragic comedy of denial that every Islamic terrorism investigation inevitably becomes, the authorities are still hunting around for his motive.

The media claims that her Muslim killer, like every other Muslim terrorist in the past two years, was mentally unstable. According to official reports, he was incoherent. According to other accounts, he told the police that he had followed the commands of the Koran. He certainly would not have been the first.

The street where Sarah Lucy’s broken body lay was the Rue de Vaucouleurs. It’s close to Belleville, a neighborhood whose name means “Beautiful town”, but which is better known these days as one of France’s “Zones Urbaines Sensibles” or “Sensitive Urban Zones.”

Or, without the euphemisms, parts of the beautiful town are really a “No Go Zone”. Or, if you prefer the official descriptions, a vibrant, colorful and multicultural community full of delightfully exotic foods.

Two years ago, smirking media reporters had a field day visiting Belleville to show that FOX News reports about No Go Zones in France were nonsense. “Look, at the couscous restaurants and colorful scarves, there’s nothing to worry about.”

Unless your delightfully multicultural Muslim neighbor decides to shove you through a window while shouting one of his religion’s exotic genocidal epithets about the Jews and all infidels.

Belleville was once home to many Jews. Then Jews from North Africa fled there after Muslim takeovers deprived them of the civil rights they had briefly enjoyed under French rule. And their Mohammedan oppressors followed. Some years back, the JTA ran one of its cheerful Islamophilic pieces about Belleville. “In one Paris neighborhood, Jews and Muslims live as they did in North Africa.”

Metastasizing Academic Cancer Time for parents, donors and legislators to take action. Walter Williams

The average American has little knowledge of the extent to which our institutions of higher learning have been infected with a spreading cancer. One aspect of that cancer is akin to the loyalty oaths of the 1940s and ’50s. Professors were often required to sign statements that affirmed their loyalty to the United States government plus swear they were not members of any organizations, including the Communist Party USA, that sought the overthrow of the United States government. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down loyalty oaths as a condition of employment in 1964.

Today we’re seeing the re-emergence of the mentality that gave us loyalty oaths, in the form of mandating that faculty members write “diversity statements,” especially as part of hiring and promotion procedures. They are forced to pledge allegiance to the college’s diversity agenda. For example, the University of California, San Diego requires that one’s “Contributions to Diversity Statement” describe one’s “past experience, activities and future plans to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, in alignment with UC San Diego’s mission to reflect the diversity of California and to meet the educational needs and interests of its diverse population (http://tinyurl.com/mm6vzzq).” George Leef, director of research at The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, has written an article titled “Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty ‘Diversity Statements'” (http://tinyurl.com/mxy363c). His article documents the growing trend of mandated faculty diversity statements — such as that at Virginia Tech, in which “candidates should include a list of activities that promote or contribute to inclusive teaching, research, outreach, and service.”

College diversity agendas are little more than a call for ideological conformity. Diversity only means racial, sex and sexual orientation quotas. In pursuit of this agenda, colleges spend billions of dollars on offices of diversity and inclusion, diversity classes, and diversity indoctrination. The last thing that diversity hustlers want is diversity in ideas. By the way, the next time you hear a college president boasting about how diverse his college is, ask him how many Republican faculty members there are in his journalism, psychology, English and sociology departments. In many cases, there is none, and in others, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans might be 20-to-1. Nearly 100 percent of political campaign contributions from liberal arts faculty go to Democrats. At Cornell University, for example, 97 percent of contributions from faculty went to Democrats. At Georgetown University, it was 96 percent.

A study by my George Mason University colleague Daniel B. Klein, along with Charlotta Stern, titled “Professors and Their Politics: The Policy Views of Social Scientists” (http://tinyurl.com/qxne3db), concluded: “The academic social sciences are pretty much a one-party system. Were the Democratic tent broad, the one-party system might have intellectual diversity. But the data show almost no diversity of opinion among the Democratic professors when it comes to the regulatory, redistributive state: they like it. Especially when it comes to the minimum wage, workplace-safety regulation, pharmaceutical regulation, environmental regulation, discrimination regulation, gun control, income redistribution, and public schooling.”

The fascist college trend that we are witnessing today is by no means new. As early as 1991, Yale University President Benno Schmidt warned: “The most serious problems of freedom of expression in our society today exist on our campuses. The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind.”

‘May Allah Curse The Jews’: Watchdog Exposes Anti-Semitism Festering In Cleveland Professionals and student activists proclaim their Jew hatred loud and proud on social media. Ari Lieberman

In the past few months, we’ve witnessed an assortment of leftist groups trying their best to advance a discredited and pernicious narrative that attempts to link the current administration with a spike in white nationalist anti-Semitism. There is little if any empirical data to support this contention. In fact, we now know that those responsible for the majority of bomb threats directed against Jewish community centers across the U.S. have absolutely no connection to white nationalist groups. One was a Bernie Sanders supporter while the other was a deranged teen who resides in Israel, whose motivation for making the prank calls still remains unclear. Their arrests have all but deflated the storyline peddled by the left.

Unfortunately, these very leftist groups – including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the fringe Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect – which did their best to derail Trump with hoaxes and false narratives pertaining to anti-Semitism have remained disgracefully silent in the face of real Jew hatred on college campuses across the United States.

Most of the anti-Semitism that Jewish students and students who support Israel must endure on a daily basis originates from campus groups like the Muslim Students Association (MSA), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and the Arab Students Union (ASU). These groups, are to varying degrees, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and routinely espouse rabid Jew hatred and vile anti-Semitic canards. According to the campus watchdog group Amcha, the probability of anti-Semitic activity is eight times more likely to occur on campuses where these pernicious groups maintain an active presence.

The left’s shameful silence in regards to the scourge of Muslim anti-Semitism is simple to understand. Exposure of this malevolency and its Islamo-fascist undertone runs counter to the narrative that the left wishes to project. Administration and academic officials at colleges and universities across the America, who have done their best to downplay the growing problem of Muslim anti-Semitism on their respective campuses are equally culpable in this disgraceful charade. To the extent that such anti-Semitic activity is recognized, it is usually lumped together with “Islamophobia” in a transparent effort to mitigate nefarious anti-Semitic activities spearheaded by the SJP, ASU and MSA and maintain a perverse moral equivalence.

The Left’s New Cure-All: ‘Science’ The upcoming ‘March for Science’ is set to be all about identify politics and progressive hobbyhorses. By Heather Wilhelm

Ah, science. If you’re even loosely engaged in the wild and dark art that is politics these days, you know by now that “science,” as a word, has taken on an almost mystical meaning. “Science,” in many of its modern incantations, now serves as a form of code, as vague and fuzzy as a Wiccan chant. For a growing number of political activists, the meaning is simple: Science, you see, is a lively mix of standard progressive hobbyhorses, tossed wild-eyed and cranky into one cantankerous bag.

Witness the upcoming March for Science, scheduled for Saturday, April 22. This also happens to be Earth Day, which is nice enough — and hey, who could object to a good old-fashioned rah-rah session for science? I, for one, always welcome a refresher on string theory, or the confounding conflict between the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, or that long, troubling episode in our planet’s history when a few impertinent continents apparently traipsed all the way over to the other side of the globe and no one was there to panic about it.

Alas, this March for Science does not appear to be largely about science, or about people who know a great deal about science, or even about people who want to know a great deal about science. (It would be kind of fun, in fact, to quiz earnest potential attendees about the details of the scientific method, or whether Johannes Kepler should finally win that well-deserved Oscar.) Keeping up with today’s hottest trends, the March for Science has wrapped itself in identity politics, cranked up the oven to “scorch,” and potentially set things on track to unceremoniously collapse into one giant intersectional soufflé.

The troubles brewing within the March for Science surfaced in January, marked by a now-deleted official tweet: “Colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific issues.” Since then, the addled march has torn through four different diversity statements, shellacked by critics on both sides. (Harvard’s Steven Pinker bashed the march’s “anti-science PC/identity politics/hard-left rhetoric,” while others complained the statement didn’t go far enough.) The march’s latest set of “Diversity and Inclusion Principles,” when paired with its more shame-faced and apologetic sibling, the “Statement on Diversity and Inclusion,” tops out at over 1,000 words.

You might think that this amounts to a protest march protesting too much. But the hits keep coming. When Bill Nye, the children’s TV personality-turned-science-advocate, was announced as an honorary chair of the march last week, critics bemoaned his status as a white male. Oddly, no one seemed particularly riled up about the fact that Nye is not an actual “scientist” at all. “I was born a dorky white guy who became an engineer,” Nye told BuzzFeed, reportedly “baffled” at the brouhaha. “I’m playing the hand I was dealt. We can’t — this march can’t solve every problem at once.”

The Russian Stooge Obama’s record on Russia By Rich Lowry

The circumstantial evidence is mounting that the Kremlin succeeded in infiltrating the U.S. government at the highest levels.

How else to explain a newly elected president looking the other way after an act of Russian aggression? Agreeing to a farcically one-sided nuclear deal? Mercilessly mocking the idea that Russia represents our foremost geopolitical foe? Accommodating the illicit nuclear ambitions of a Russian ally? Welcoming a Russian foothold in the Middle East? Refusing to provide arms to a sovereign country invaded by Russia? Diminishing our defenses and pursuing a Moscow-friendly policy of hostility to fossil fuels?

All of these items, of course, refer to things said or done by President Barack Obama. To take them in order: He reset with Russia shortly after its clash with Georgia in 2008. He concluded the New START agreement with Moscow that reduced our nuclear forces but not theirs. When candidate Mitt Romney warned about Russia in the 2012 campaign, Obama rejected him as a Cold War relic. The president then went on to forge an agreement with Russia’s ally Iran to allow it to preserve its nuclear program. During the red-line fiasco, he eagerly grasped a lifeline from Russia at the price of accepting its intervention in Syria. He never budged on giving Ukraine “lethal” weapons to defend itself from Russian attack. Finally, Obama cut U.S. defense spending and cracked down on fossil fuels, a policy that Russia welcomed since its economy is dependent on high oil prices.

Put all of this together, and it’s impossible to conclude anything other than that Obama was a Russian stooge, and not out of any nefarious deals, but out of his own naivete and weakness. Obama didn’t expect any rewards when he asked then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a hot-mic moment at an international meeting to relay to Vladimir Putin his ability to be more “flexible” after the 2012 election; he was, to put it in terms of the current Russian election controversy, “colluding” with the Russians in the belief it was a good strategy. His kompromat was his own foolishness.

The cost of Obama’s orientation toward Russia became clearer during the past two weeks. When he pulled up short from enforcing his red line, an agreement with the Russians to remove Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons became the fig leaf to cover his retreat. This deal was obviously deficient, but Obama officials used clever language to give the impression that it had removed all chemical weapons from Syria. Never mind that Assad still used chlorine gas to attack his population — exploiting a grievous loophole — and that evidence piled up that Assad was cheating more broadly.

Another College Stops Using the Word ‘Master’ Because of Slavery ‘Connotation’ The word ‘master’ can describe having talent in pretty much any area — are all of these uses going to become offensive, too? By Katherine Timpf

Rice University has decided to stop using the term “master” to describe the heads of its residential colleges over concerns that the word is associated with slavery.

The school will instead use the term “magister,” a classical Latin word meaning “teacher,” according to an April 6 memo from school officials as reported by the College Fix.

“It conveys the traditional role and duties of the people holding this position, without the negative historical connotation of the word ‘master,’” Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson stated in the memo. “We believe that ‘college magister’ holds true to our cultural roots, while eliminating the concerns and confusion about the previous title.”

Now, Hutchinson specifically mentions the “historical connotation” of the word, but it’s important to note that this “historical connotation” that some students were perceiving is very different from its actual history. As the school newspaper, the Rice Thresher, notes, the college began using the term in 1956, when it moved to a residential system based on the systems at Harvard and Yale — both of which “had adopted the residential system housing system as well as the term ‘master’ from Oxford and Cambridge.”

“At Oxford, the use of the term ‘master’ may have originated as a shorthand for ‘headmaster’ or ‘schoolmaster,” the Thresher explains.

(As the College Fix notes, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton have all already stopped using the term for the same reasons.)

Normally, when we talk about the “historical connotation” of a word being offensive, we talk about it having an offensive origin or that it’s a word that has been uniquely linked to something that’s problematic. For example, feminists often decry any use of the word “hysterical” because it comes from the Greek hysterikos, which means “of the womb” or “suffering in the womb,” and people used to use it to attribute a woman’s psychological distress to her having a uterus. That was the specific use of the word; it was never used to describe men. Personally, I have no problem with the use of “hysterical,” because it has since evolved to apply to a whole host of other scenarios, and getting offended by a word based on what it used to uniquely apply to seems a little insane to me.

The word ‘master’ plays such a large role in the English language — just how much are we going to have to change our current dictionary?

But this “master” situation is even more insane, because you cannot even make the case that the word was uniquely associated with slavery. Yes, it describes having control or authority over another (derived from the late Old English word mægester, which means exactly that) and that does describe the power dynamics of slavery, but it hasn’t been used uniquely for that purpose. It does, however, have a long history of being used in the context of academic authority in particular; it was used to describe “a degree conveying authority to teach in the universities” in the late 14th century. So basically, there’s a push to stop using a word to describe an academic authority that has roots in being used to describe specifically academic authority.

A Russian Patriot and His Country, Part III The extraordinary Vladimir Kara-Murza By Jay Nordlinger

Editor’s Note: In the current issue of National Review, we have a piece by Jay Nordlinger on Vladimir Kara-Murza, the Russian democracy leader. This week in his Impromptus, Mr. Nordlinger has expanded that piece. For the first two installments, go here and here. The series concludes today.

In America, we’ve had a lot of talk recently about patriotism and nationalism. In Russia recently, there was an amazing conversation in a classroom. On one side were a teacher and a principal; on the other, the students. This was in the city of Bryansk, about 235 miles southwest of Moscow.

From this classroom, a student had been snatched by the police. His offense was to encourage others to participate in an anti-corruption rally. After the student’s arrest, the principal came in to have a talk with the class, along with the teacher.

And a student recorded the conversation, which was later transcribed and published at Meduza, the Russian news site. (The journalists who work at Meduza operate in Riga, Latvia, so that they can report freely and truthfully on their homeland, Russia. It’s too dangerous to do so at home.) To read a transcript of the conversation in English, go here.

A student says that “there are videos going around” showing Russian troops in Ukraine. The principal says, “The videos are staged, for starters.” The teacher chimes in, “And you shouldn’t believe them.”

Another student says, “Our TV networks show only what’s good for the government.” The principal, who has evidently had enough, says, “I got it. Somehow, we messed up your civic education. In terms of civics, you’ve got big shortcomings. Do you all mean to tell me that there are no patriots in your class?”

The student says, “And what does it mean to be a patriot? That you support the authorities?”

Every day, people such as Vladimir Kara-Murza are called “national traitors.” They are “American spies” and the like. In response to this, Kara-Murza talks to me a little about Boris Nemtsov, his late friend, the leader of the Russian opposition.

“He was a great Russian patriot. He gave his life for his country. What more can you do than that? So many other people who are supposedly liberals or democrats from the ’90s chose to settle for a quiet and comfortable existence under the Putin regime, either working for it or keeping their distance from the opposition.”

Nemtsov could have done anything, says Kara-Murza. He was a brilliant scientist — remember that Ph.D. in physics at age 25 — and he had extensive, nearly unique experience in Russian politics. He could have taught anywhere in the West. But he never considered it. “This is my country,” he would say, “and I have to fight for it.”

Kara-Murza says, “There is nothing more unpatriotic than stealing from your own citizens, which is what Putin and his cronies are doing. There is nothing more unpatriotic than shutting people up, beating up peaceful protesters, rigging elections, which is another form of stealing — stealing votes from your own people. How is that patriotic?”

According to Kara-Murza, “true patriots are trying to change things. They think that Russia should be a normal, modern, democratic country. People are prepared to fight for it, even at the risk of their own lives. They are the true patriots in Russia.”

Ukraine is important. I ask Kara-Murza to tell me why — why Ukraine is important in the context of Russia.

“The most important motivation of Mr. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine was not geopolitical. It was not related to foreign policy. It was domestic. It wasn’t about ‘sphere of influence’ or restoring the old Soviet empire, although these things might have been added benefits, from the regime’s point of view.”

What Rick Perlstein’s Embarrassing New York Times Essay Gets Wrong Perlstein’s essay offers a really good insight into how the Times has jettisoned so much credibility in the age of Trump. By Jonah Goldberg

If you’ll forgive the self-indulgence, let me start by sharing a few things about my professional life since Donald Trump won the Republican presidential nomination, in no particular order. Every day, on social media, I am attacked, dismissed, or otherwise declared an illegitimate analyst or fake conservative because of my criticisms of President Trump, even if I include praise or beneficial context.

During the election season, I lost large sums of money — large to me, anyway — because I had to turn down speeches in which I was expected to be a de facto surrogate for the Republican point of view. My appearances on Fox News have dropped precipitously. It’s not a ban or anything like that. It’s just an unavoidable fact that the way a lot of cable news works is you have a person defending the incumbent administration and a person criticizing it. I’m ill-suited for many of these debates, because I don’t fit in the obvious grooves. Some friends of National Review complain about me, including donors. Just a couple weeks ago, a prominent Republican politician chewed me out for the better part of an hour because of my criticisms of President Trump.

I could go on like this for pages, but you get the point. Or maybe you don’t. So let me explain. I offer this seeming tale of woe not out of self-pity or a desire for yours. This is the life I’ve chosen, to paraphrase Hyman Roth in The Godfather II. Indeed, I should add that I’ve also heard from hundreds of readers, peers, friends, colleagues, and more than a few politicians thanking me for my efforts to combat the attempt to redefine conservatism as mere nationalism or Trumpism.

I have written literally tens of thousands of words explaining that I will criticize Trump when I think it warranted and praise him when warranted as well. I won’t let him make me a hack or a liar. I think I’ve done a pretty good job sticking to that policy (and so has National Review).

Which brings me to the left-wing polemicist Rick Perlstein. He has a big essay in the latest New York Times Magazine. It begins with some typical bragging about his role as a historian of conservatism and some table setting about how conservatives tried to stop Trump. He then quotes me:

Then the nation’s pre-eminent birther ran for president. Trump’s campaign was surreal and an intellectual embarrassment, and political experts of all stripes told us he could never become president. That wasn’t how the story was supposed to end. National Review devoted an issue to writing Trump out of the conservative movement; an editor there, Jonah Goldberg, even became a leader of the “Never Trump” crusade. But Trump won — and conservative intellectuals quickly embraced a man who exploited the same brutish energies that [William F.] Buckley had supposedly banished, with Goldberg explaining simply that Never Trump “was about the G.O.P. primary and the general election, not the presidency.”

Perlstein doesn’t explicitly say that I (or National Review) “quickly embraced” Trump, but the insinuation is (Perlstein has a gift for snotty insinuations) that I am emblematic of this sudden, hypocritical transformation. For the reasons stated above, this came as news to me.

Now I’ve never taken Perlstein very seriously and I see little reason to start now. I’ve long known he dislikes me (he recently whined on Facebook about the outrage of NPR having me on), but he’s known for disliking conservatives generally and letting that tribal partisanship infect almost everything he writes (which is why he’s so popular with the Left). In short, who cares?

But Perlstein is writing this for the New York Times, and I think it offers a really good insight into the way the Times — and much of the mainstream media — has jettisoned so much credibility in the age of Trump.