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The Colossally Dishonest Swamp Attack On Dr. Sebastian Gorka’s First-Rate Scholarship By Barry Scott Zellen

I read with increasing alarm what appears to be a coordinated smear campaign by former members of the Obama administration and their ivory tower proxies, taking aim in the now-partisan press (including the New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR) to undermine the reputation of strategic theorist Dr. Sebastian Gorka. Gorka has risen to prominence over this very same period after his appointment to serve as deputy assistant to President Donald Trump.

Without a drop of evidence, these critics have unfairly ridiculed Gorka’s fine scholarship and academic background, ignoring his many contributions to the literature of warfare over many years. In so doing, these liberal policymakers and ivory-tower academics in international relations and strategic studies show they remain unfamiliar with – and consequently unappreciative of – the great work their counterparts at America’s military academies. In fact, they appear all too-quick to dismiss America’s military scholars whose dedication and service to America’s warfighters should instead be respected and appreciated.

This is very much the case in the recent assault upon the reputation of Dr. Gorka. Gorka’s work deserves to be read, not attacked without merit. The attacks we see seem to be the work of a small group of Obama partisans indifferent to the carnage caused on their own watch, based on their failed leadership and strategy. They are likely still in shock at now being exiled from the swamp, but their own records speak to their responsibility for the rise of ISIS, and the spread of jihadist violence across the Middle East, North Africa and into the heart of Europe. Now, they have launched a coordinated hit job against Gorka within weeks of his joining the administration.

Consider perhaps the most egregious example, by Steven Simon and Daniel Benjamin in the Feb. 24 edition of the New York Times. Their hit-piece was shamefully mistitled, “The Islamophobic Huckster in the White House.” Simon, a former NSC-staffer now at Amherst College, and Benjamin, the State Department’s former counterterrorism coordinator now at Dartmouth, were both Obama administration officials and thus complicit in the orgy of violence unleashed by Obama’s counterterrorism policies.

Nearly as offensive was Daniel W. Drezner’s Washington Post hit-piece, “Survival Tips for Sebastian Gorka, PhD,” which came to press three days later, which stooped so low as to malign Dr. Gorka’s doctoral thesis, which I myself have found to be a fascinating, thoughtful, and original work. I know originality of thought, especially conservative thought, is seldom welcome within the liberal-biased academy, so one must fear for any students of Drezner who dare to think outside the box, or more aptly, outside the bubble. But don’t take my word for it, you can read Dr. Gorka’s fascinating dissertation here.

Tale of Trump Adviser’s Alleged Nazi Ties Unravels Sebastian Gorka denies a report of his affiliations with Vitézi Rend By Liel Leibovitz

Lord knows I’ve had my differences with the Forward before. I have them still, and often. They rarely unsettle me, if only because robust disagreements, especially on things that matter, are what we journalists should seek, not shun. But reading the paper’s exclusive report this morning arguing that Trump aide Sebastian Gorka is an actual crypto-Nazi, I’d like to reach out to my friends and colleagues across town and ask, with clear eyes and a full heart: Have you lost your minds?http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/227733/tale-of-trump-advisors-alleged-nazi-ties-unravels

To hear the piece tell it, Gorka, a top counter-terrorism adviser in the Trump White House, has sworn a lifetime oath to Vitézi Rend, an outfit that the story tells us is nasty nationalist group in Gorka’s native Hungary that giddily collaborated with Hitler. Well, not the Vitézi Rend—that group was outlawed by the Communists, naturally—but the off-shoot of Vitézi Rend, resurgent after Communism’s fall in 1989. Or at least an off-shoot of the group: there are two, and Gorka, according to the Forward’s sources, appears to belong to one of them, called Historical Vitézi Rend. How do we know that? A member of the group, Kornél Pintér, said so. “Of course he was sworn in,” Pintér told the Forward in a phone interview. “I met with him in Sopron [a city near Hungary’s border with Austria]. His father introduced him.”

Where to begin? Even if you take the Nazis at their word—which is inadvisable, as I realized from the very first time I watched Casablanca at the age of 9—you’ll notice that Pintér isn’t saying that he’d witnessed Gorka’s swearing in; he’s merely saying that he’d met the man because he was an associate of Gorka’s father Paul, a renowned member of the nationalist anti-Communist resistance.

Gorka himself told me that the allegations are flat-out false.

“I have never been a member of the Vitez Rend. I have never taken an oath of loyalty to the Vitez Rend. Since childhood, I have occasionally worn my father’s medal and used the ‘v.’ initial to honor his struggle against totalitarianism.” It’s a perfectly plausible explanation, and you’d have to be of a very specific mindset to still pursue allegations of Nazi affiliation.

Why didn’t Gorka simply tell this to the Forward? A source close to the White House, who was briefed on how the administration treated this story, explained things a little more to me.

Maddow and MSNBC Make Fools of Themselves on Live TV The MSNBC host’s “breaking story” releasing Trump’s tax return on air breaks apart.Joseph Klein

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow went on twitter Tuesday (March 14th) to hype her “breaking story”: “We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously).” This no doubt sent the Left into a state of delirium. Then, Maddow followed up with another tweet, lowering expectations slightly: “What we’ve got is from 2005… the President’s 1040 form… details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC.” That was not quite accurate either. What Maddow finally revealed on her show, after all of her self-promotion, were only two leaked pages from President Trump’s 2005 tax return that she had received from former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston. Johnston claimed he just happened to receive them in his mailbox. And all that Maddow managed to prove was that President Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, at an effective rate of 24.5%, as compared to the Obamas’ payment of federal income taxes on their reported income at an effective tax rate of 18.7% in 2015. In anticipation of Maddow’s attempted “scoop,” the White House scooped her and released information on President Trump’s 2005 taxes before Maddow did.

While Maddow continued to spin her wild conspiracy theories about some nefarious connection between Russia and the Trump campaign or even President Trump himself, the tax documents she released on her show provided no substantiation of her charges.

The whole exercise rivaled the broadcast three decades ago of Geraldo Rivera’s hyped special focusing on the opening of a secret vault in the Lexington Hotel once owned by Al Capone. The vault turned out to be empty except for some dirt and several empty bottles. After the show, Rivera was quoted as saying “Seems like we struck out.”

Maddow also struck out, big time. She received criticism not only from the right, as expected, but also from more liberal circles. For example, a writer for “The Fix,” the liberal politics blog of The Washington Post, called the whole brouhaha over Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return “a total nothingburger.” CNN’s senior media reporter Dylan Byers‏ tweeted: “Disappointment for Democrats. Fodder for Trump supporters. Setback for serious journalists.” Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted: “Dems should return focus to Trumpcare tomorrow & the millions it will leave uninsured, not get distracted by two pages from ’05 tax return.”

Megyn Kelly claims not free to work for NBC under contract with Fox, but Fox News disagrees By Thomas Lifson

Has Megyn Kelly morphed from a hot commodity to a hot potato? Something very weird is going on in the TV news business as the onetime mega-star remains under wraps at NBC, even though her former employer says she is free to work for them.

Joe Flint of the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:

The cable news juggernaut [that would be Fox News –ed.] said in a statement that it released Ms. Kelly from the network on March 9, almost four months before her contract expires on July 1, so she can start working at NBC News. She announced in January that she will be anchoring a daily morning show at NBC along with a Sunday evening program.

Ms. Kelly’s camp contests that. Leslee Dart, Ms. Kelly’s spokeswoman said, “the terms of the termination are still being negotiated.”

Hmm. Now, that is very odd. Somebody is not telling the truth.

Ms. Kelly is reported to be earning in the neighborhood of $15 million a year. That works out to just over $41,000 per day, which is a lot of money to leave on the table every single day if NBC is cutting her paychecks. But for a behemoth like Comcast, that is chump change.

In the TV business, the big event each year is the late springtime “upfront” presentation to advertisers, in which the inventory of advertising space for the coming broadcast year that debuts in the fall is displayed to clients. In the case of NBC-Universal, that inventory would sell for about $6 billion, according to Variety, assuming that the prices hoped for by the network are realized. If advertisers believe that Megyn’s planned programming will be a hit, those prices will be realized. But if her prospects are sinking, they will not bid up prices for ad space in her planned shows.

A Field Guide to Harvard’s Field Guide on ‘Fake News’ The real fake-out is that the Left is capable of honestly policing fake news. By Ben Shapiro

Last week, Harvard released a new research guide on “fake news.”

“Fake news,” of course, is the source of all evil, according to the Left. It’s only thanks to lies that Donald Trump was elected! Instead of targeting stories that are completely false, however, the Left applies the label of “fake news” to outlets that report factual stories but draw political conclusions from them — in other words, they call everything with which they disagree “fake news.”

Which means that their talk of “fake news” is actually fake news.

Of course, the largest “fake news” item of all is that “objective” news sources aren’t biased in their coverage. They obviously are, and it’s why conservatives have warmed to President Trump’s labeling left-leaning outlets such as CNN “fake news” even if CNN isn’t actually reporting anything factually false but merely drawing convenient leftist inferences from overblown coverage of core facts.

Nonetheless, the Harvard guide, written by “social justice” professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College, purports to compile a handy-dandy list of fake-news sites to avoid. The list provides ten different ways to label the stories on such sites:

fake news (actual fake news)
extreme bias (“sources that come from a particular point of view and may rely on propaganda, decontextualized information, and opinions distorted as facts”)
conspiracy theory
rumor mill
state news
junk science (“sources that promote pseudoscience, metaphysics, naturalistic fallacies, and other scientifically dubious claims”)
hate news
proceed with caution (“sources that may be reliable but whose contents require further verification”)

Two other indicators are used for leftist sites that meet Zimdars’s politically correct standards:

Soft boycott: How the news of a revolutionary new cancer treatment was spun to hide its Israeli origins The news of an amazing new treatment for prostate cancer shot around the world this week – but it was missing one important detail…

Medical laser iStock

The past 24 hours have seen wall-to-wall coverage of an amazing breakthrough on prostate cancer. Newspapers, TV, radio and social media have all carried reports of the research.

According to the BBC report:

“Surgeons have described a new treatment for early stage prostate cancer as ‘truly transformative’. The approach, tested across Europe, uses lasers and a drug made from deep sea bacteria to eliminate tumours, but without causing severe side effects. Trials on 413 men – published in The Lancet Oncology – showed nearly half of them had no remaining trace of cancer.”

And when I heard the report on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, I thought it does indeed sound amazing.

But let’s leave the science aside and look at another aspect of the story.

Guess where the breakthrough happened.

I say that not as a figure of speech but as an instruction – because from almost all the coverage, you would indeed have to guess where the research was carried out: the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel.

Not once in the Today programme report was it mentioned.

And in this BBC report there is a throwaway line right at the end detailing the originators of the science.

I wish I could believe this is just an honest mistake – that, purely by chance, the Israeli origins of a medical breakthrough had been left out. But I’m afraid I don’t think that – and I don’t think you will, either. It happens too often and too regularly for it to be pure chance. It’s what I call the soft-boycott strategy.

The campaign for BDS is so obviously racist and antisemitic, singling out the Jewish homeland alone in the world for boycott, that some of those who would rather Israel doesn’t exist choose an alternative approach – ignoring anything remotely positive about Israel and focusing only on bad news that fits their anti-Israel agenda.

The Dirty Little Secret of Palestinian Journalism – with Agence France-Presse Collusion by Bassam Tawil

Nasser Abu Baker, Chairman of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), who also works as a correspondent for Agence France-Press (AFP), also lashed out at Al-Quds for publishing the Israeli advertisement. “We are determined to combat normalization and those who promote it,” he vowed.

Abu Baker, who recently ran in the election for the Fatah Revolutionary Council, is the architect of the PJS campaign to boycott Israeli journalists and media outlets. His political activism constitutes a flagrant violation of the regulations and principles of AFP, and a conflict of interest. However, this does not seem to bother his employers at the French news agency, who apparently do not see a problem with one of their employees running in the election for Fatah’s Revolutionary Council.

Abu Baker and his colleagues have one mission: to “combat normalization” with Israel. For them, this task far exceeds in importance exposing financial corruption in the Palestinian Authority (PA) or reporting about assaults on freedom of expression. It is also evidently more important than protesting the arbitrary arrest and torture of their colleagues at the hands of the PA and Hamas.

One can only imagine the response of the Western mainstream media if the chairman of the Israeli Journalists Union or the Government Press Office called for a boycott of Palestinian journalists.

Palestinian journalists are up in arms. The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are arresting and torturing them, and imposing severe restrictions on their work and freedom of expression. But that is not what is upsetting them.

No, the journalists are angry because a Palestinian daily newspaper dared to publish a paid advertisement by the Israeli authorities. The journalists are now demanding that the newspaper, Al-Quds, apologize for running the advertisement by the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank.

A case study in media’s declining power: The Chelsea Clinton marketing campaign By Thomas Lifson

All of the formidable powers of propaganda have been deployed to help Chelsea Clinton along the path to political power. It won’t work, and the media that lend their credibility to the propaganda only further diminish their influence. As the old Madison Avenue cliché has it, the most brilliant marketing campaign in history won’t sell dog food if the dogs won’t eat it.

The sudden uptick in the long running media campaign to glamorize, promote, and burnish the image of Chelsea Clinton is clear evidence that the Clinton Gang plans to hand power to the heir, and sooner than later. Chelsea obviously is being groomed to step into a safe Democrat constituency, probably in Congress in 2018.

Writing in National Review, Jim Geraghty offers an insightful and rewarding analysis of the futility of the Chelsea marketing campaign.

Chelsea Clinton is not fascinating. But the repeated insistence that Chelsea Clinton is fascinating … is actually rather fascinating. It’s like a giant social experiment, in which everyone who has spent decades building connections to the Clinton political dynasty attempts to make the world see the president’s daughter as someone she isn’t. …

[S]he’s pretty much the worst possible person to be speaking on behalf of Democrats right now. At a time when one of the preeminent problems in American life is a sense of declining economic opportunity and social mobility, she’s the living embodiment of inherited privilege.

After a few years of attempting to work in consulting and at hedge funds, she concluded she “couldn’t care about money on a fundamental level.” Then, with no experience in television journalism, she had her people call up the networks and set up a bidding war for her services as a correspondent. She made $600,000 per year for part-time work at NBC, generating what the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik called “a handful of reports that no self-respecting affiliate in a top 20 market would air.”

She was named an “assistant vice provost” at NYU at age 30. She was picked to give the keynote address at South by Southwest, and honored as one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year.” Now she makes $1,083 per minute speaking to public universities. And almost everything she does is decreed to be extraordinary by a pliant, pro-Clinton media. The New York Times even interviewed her about her favorite books.

Read the whole thing, and stay tuned for great amusement as the marketing campaign for dog food that dogs won’t eat continues.

Robert Murray: An Age of Decrepitude

Melbourne’s former broadsheet, once a splendid newspaper, now delivers interminable, paint-by-number epistles about racism, refugees, multiculturalism, climate change, victmised Aborigines, male chauvinism and, of course. the loathsomeness of conservatives. Trees die for this. How sad.
After almost a lifetime of reading the Age, Melbourne’s 162-year-old morning news­paper, I am debating whether to cancel my subscription. This is not so much about digital technology as, in the words of a veteran ex-subscriber friend, because the paper is “biased and boring”.

A lot of people around Melbourne are saying the same thing and, in a way they would not have a few years ago, dismiss the Age with disdain. They agree with the description of the late Peter Ryan, in one of his last Quadrant columns, that it has become a “feeble and foolish newspaper”.

How could a once very good newspaper fall so low? The financial squeeze of recent years has affected it severely, but there is much more at work. In a few words, it is over-managed and under-edited, puts process before product—a common complaint about management everywhere—and, worst of all, it is bizarrely politically correct. Politically correct in this context means censoring the news at the expense of reader interest and thus circulation and accurate public debate.

Similar complaints are made about its 185-year-old Fairfax Media stable-mate the Sydney Morning Herald, but this is more specifically about the Age newspaper version and excludes specialist pages such as sport and finance.

The circulation of both has been falling at 7 to 8 per cent a year, twice the rate of their tabloid competitors and is now, at 96,000 for the Age and 102,000 for the SMH, around half that of earlier in the century. The rival tabloid circulations have declined only about half as much. Digital versions partly explain the falls but in my observation widespread reader dissatisfaction is also part.

It goes back a long way. The weaknesses have been seeping in over more than forty years, but have become marked in the past decade. Questions arise about how suited a conventional public company with no dominant shareholder is to owning a newspaper.

Until about 1970 family dynasties, going back to the mid-nineteenth century, controlled both organisations: Fairfax in the case of the SMH and the David Syme family company for the Age. Neither was ideal, but they offered commitment and collective memories of how to do things going back generations. The management bureaucracies were small, close, fairly decentralised among the operating units, and administrators often had spent their entire careers there. Management usually tried to bring up future administration and editorial executives from within.

The SMH was the most respected newspaper in the country, and while the Age had been rather stolid it was a substantial and readable paper of record. When Graham Perkin, with his flair, energy and drive, became editor in 1965, with Syme support he soon turned it into a very good newspaper.

By around 1970, however, financial pressure and family changes pushed David Syme & Co into merging with Sydney’s stronger John Fairfax & Sons. The old intimate simplicity of both was weakened in a much bigger public company, while 1970s radicalism began asserting itself among journalists, bringing a certain lofty preciousness. The notion of journalism being about opinion and questioning rather than plain reporting was creeping into society generally.

Monica Crowley: Plagiarism Charges Were a ‘Political Hit Job’ By Debra Heine

Conservative columnist Monica Crowley, in her first appearance since a plagiarism scandal forced her to forgo a White House position as deputy national security advisor, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Tuesday night that the allegations were a hit job that was part of a greater effort to destabilize and destroy the president.

“What happened to me was a despicable straight-up political hit job,” said Crowley. “It’s been debunked, my editor has completely supported me and backed me up.”

In January, Crowley’s publisher HarperCollins pulled all copies of her book, What The (Bleep) Just Happened?, from shelves following allegations of plagiarism raised by CNN.

“The book, which has reached the end of its natural sales cycle, will no longer be offered for purchase until such time as the author has the opportunity to source and revise the material,” the publisher, which is owned by News Corp., told CNN in a statement.

Former assistant U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy recently defended Crowley at National Review, saying that the uproar over the plagiarism allegations took “an emotional toll” on his friend.

McCarthy said Crowley’s oversights had been “blown wildly out of proportion, to the point of smear,” citing copyright attorney Lynn Chu’s careful study of the plagiarism allegations.

Ms. Chu concluded:

I found CNN’s splashy “plagiarism” accusation to be ill-supported — a heavily exaggerated, political hit job. Instead, after reading texts side by side with footnotes, I came away impressed by the very high quality and care taken by Ms. Crowley in her writing, scholarship and research overall. Many parallels in fact read on the page as rather different even if certain content or phrases were the same, and they were largely short, fragmentary, and routine. Historical research inevitably draws heavily on the work of other scholars. Dissertations exist to synthesize. The relatively few examples of unsourced copying found was in my opinion de minimus, should just be corrected, and not allowed to besmirch Ms. Crowley’s reputation.

“There is a very toxic—and it’s getting increasingly toxic and poisonous—atmosphere of personal destruction in Washington and the media…It’s always sort of been there, but now it’s at a whole different level,” Crowley told Hannity.

“In some ways, I was something of the canary in the coal mine — the attack on me was a test,” she continued. “What happened to me, what happened to General Flynn, what’s happened to Attorney General Sessions and others is all of a piece. There is a very dangerous and very effective destabilization campaign underway against this president, his administration, and his agenda.”

Crowley warned that forces are not only trying to delegitimize Trump, they want to personally destroy him.

“They are out for blood,” she declared. “And the reason they have to destroy him is that Donald Trump is an alien organism that has been injected into the body politic by the American people to reform it. He must not be allowed to succeed. They have swarmed him, they have swarmed everyone around him, in order to reject him out of the system. Just like any alien organism.” CONTINUE AT SITE