Las Vegas, Sympathy and the Liberal Bubble

By now you’ve probably heard the story of Hayley Geftman-Gold, who got busted on Facebook for saying she didn’t feel one bit bad for the victims of Stephen Paddock, who killed 59 people and wouded over 500 when he opened fire on them at a Las Vegas concert on Sunday night.  In case you need a refresher, though, this is what she had to say about the subject:

If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing.  I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.

Even more mind-boggling than her complete lack of sympathy is that Geftman-Gold wasn’t what you would call a fringe lunatic.  Quite the contrary, she was a CBS vice-president and senior legal counsel—at least until the network got wind of her online antics.  To its credit, CBS immediately fired her for violating company standards—and given that this is the same network that employs Stephen Colbert, that’s really saying something.

Now Geftman-Gold has also apologized, issuing the following statement:

Earlier today I posted an indefensible post in a Facebook discussion thread concerning the tragic Las Vegas shooting, a statement I sincerely regret. I am deeply sorry for diminishing the significance of every life affected by Stephen Paddock’s terrorism last night and for the pain my words have inflicted on the loved ones of the victims. My shameful comments do not reflect the beliefs of my former employer, colleagues, family, and friends. Nor do they reflect my actual beliefs — this senseless violence warrants the deepest empathy. I understand and accept all consequences that my words have incurred.

And indeed, she has incurred the consequences for her poor judgement.  She’s lost her job, and I’m guessing that she’ll probably remain radioactive for quite a while.  Who knows if she’ll ever recover?  Of course, the outrage machine will keep running in overdrive against Geftman-Gold, at least until the next distraction comes along—but I’m inclined to take her at her word.  She realizes what she said was wrong and she regrets it.  We should all just forgive and move on.

But that does leave one question, though:  What ever made her feel justified in saying such a thing in the first place?

Sure, being a good liberal might have made her think that those gun-lovin’, pickup-drivin’ country music fans had it coming.  But actually expressing it out loud, on Facebook, for the entire world to see?  I’ve witnessed drunken 3am booty calls that showed more discretion.  How in the hell could a wicked-smart, Columbia educated lawyer think that would be okay under any circumstances?

Probably because in her circles, Geftman-Gold’s opinion isn’t that unusual.

It’s likely that she felt perfectly comfortable expressing her sentiments on Facebook because everyone else she knows and associates with thinks the same way.  In fact, I would venture that the same CBS executives who fired Geftman-Gold probably agreed with her privately, because they live in the same leftist bubble that she does.

And sympathy, it would seem, does not extend past that bubble.

This, unfortunately, is what the increasing tribalism of our politics has done in America—and it’s not just the left that is guilty of it.  Examples from the left, however, tend to be more extreme because the popular culture is more accepting of its own faults, and only tends to call out behavior that is simply too horrible to ignore.  In that respect, Geftman-Gold’s real sin wasn’t so much what she said but that she got caught saying it.

Maybe it’s time we all popped our own bubbles.

Stay Classy: Freelance Reporter Tweets Terrible Manchester Joke, But Twitter Gets Revenge

We get to see the tone deafness of the media in times of tragedy. Shortly after the horrific explosion at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, David Leavitt, a freelance reporter who had recently done some work for CBS tweeted a tacky joke. He has since deleted the tweet, but fortunately for us, screenshots are forever:

Yes. He tweeted that. Thankfully, Twitter users were ready to eviscerate Leavitt over his party foul.

Another responded, “you’re an embarrassment to boston (and earth). what if someone said this sh*t after the marathon bomb? don’t be an a**hole for attention.”

Leavitt’s reply wasn’t to apologize. No, at first he doubled down on the classy by pointing out that folks were giving him a hard time, often with profanity.

What a creep. Finally, two hours later, Leavitt relented and apologized, albeit in a somewhat flippant way.

For their part, CBS did their part by distancing themselves from Leavitt.

Here’s hoping media jerks will learn their lesson from David Leavitt.

The Media’s Got The Finest, Best Hate

To say that the main stream media loathes Donald Trump would be an exercise in extreme understatement. They thoroughly hate and despise him. They hold him as a subhuman trash pit beneath even mockery. They hate him even more for making them need him so much, and they hate him most for winning and forcing them to endure four years of constant Trump.

As Erick wrote, many in the left wing media would not be ashamed, in private conversation, to admit they would love to see Trump be done away with. But failing that, the press is happy to do whatever they can to belittle and oppose our new president-elect.

In 2015, CBS hired Slate chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie as a political analyst. Bouie bought the line on Trump as a racist, misogynist, white nationalist proffered by Democrats, hook, line and sinker. He even helped to cast that line again and again.

Remarkably, Bouie never bought the “Clinton’s a shoe-in” argument. In mid-September, he asked if it’s “time to freak out” because Trump took the lead in Ohio. So the prospect of a President Trump was always in his mind. And now we know what he thinks of that.

There’s No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter
People voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes. They don’t deserve your empathy.

Wow. So between 47 and 50 percent of Americans who voted are the worst people on earth, undeserving of basic human kindness, mercy, or civility.

On Twitter, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post gave his version of this argument. “The assumption that ‘Trump voter = racist’ is deeply corrosive to democracy. Also wrong,” he said, adding that there “is nothing more maddening—and counterproductive—to me than saying that Trump’s 59 million votes were all racist. Ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, more than 300 incidents of harassment or intimidation have been reported in the aftermath of Trump’s election, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. NBC News confirmed several, including incidents where vandals spray-painted slurs (“Heil Trump”) and swastikas on churches serving Hispanic or LGBT communities. At San Diego State University, a hijab-wearing Muslim student says she was confronted and robbed by two men who made comments about Trump, and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, a Muslim student says a man approached her and threatened to set her on fireunless she removed her hijab. At the University of Pennsylvania, black members of the freshman class were added to a racist social media group, where students were threatened with lynchings.

Bouie wisely omitted a contemporaneous report from a woman in Lafayette, Louisiana who claimed she was assaulted and robbed by two men, one of whom she described as wearing a white “Trump” hat. It was a fake report. In fact, it seems many of these claims have very similar plots. White men approach a black/Muslim/LGBT person randomly, declare they are Trump supporters, and assault that person for no other reason than they are who they are.

It’s far more likely that the person making the claim is incensed by even the presence of someone wearing Trump paraphernalia, and in fact feels assaulted because those people merely exist and have the courage to walk in public. I’m not saying that real assaults don’t happen. But so do fake ones. Until the police sort it out, who are we to jump to conclusions?

But the press has already made its conclusion.

Surely, there are racists and white nationalists who support Trump. Peggy Noonan compared Trump to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, of whom someone once said “that he’s like the Staten Island Ferry, pulling all the garbage in his wake. FDR’s Democratic coalition did contain some garbage, from KKK-supporting Southern Democrats to New York communists.” I don’t suppose Bouie would compare Trump to FDR. (I did, however.)

Here’s how the press has decided to cover Donald Trump as president for the next four years. If Trump gets up in the morning, it’s an affront to decency. If Trump holds a press conference, it is an opportunity to trap him with leading and loaded questions. If Trump goes out to dinner, it’s a “snub.” Quoting an NBC News headline.

As Trump Leaves Press Behind for Steak Dinner, Incoming Admin Already Showing Lack of Transparency

This isn’t news. The media has no God-given right to be paparazzi and follow Trump to dinner with his family, or to the bathroom, or to whatever private things he wants to do. The presidency is lived in a bubble, but the press will not be satisfied to honor any boundaries with Trump.

As much as Trump used the National Enquirer to belittle and irresponsibly implicate his opponents (especially the disgusting attack on Ted Cruz and his father), now the main stream media feels justified in turning all press into a tabloid with the express purpose of bringing down Donald Trump.

They hate him, nakedly, blindingly, and completely, to the point of advocating violence. Trump’s brand of hate is only a tasteless, mild concoction of crass self-promotion and cult-like attraction. But for Trump, the media serves only the best, the finest hate.


Did CNN Miss The Fact That the Muslim Kicked Out of the Trump Rally is a Journalist?

The mainstream media has been positively ate up that a Muslim woman was ejected from a Donald Trump rally, and if you get your news from, say CBS News, you’d believe that Rose Hamid was a 56-year-old flight attendant.

Because CBS attributed that to CNN. Because Jeremy Diamond, the CNN reporter, interviewed Hamid, and of course, they ran the video wall-to-wall.

Diamond, who covers Trump as his beat, spoke with Hamid before the rally began. He tweeted that she was there because “most Trump supporters probably never met a Muslim.” Talk about hauling a trunk full of presuppositions with you, but that’s a different story.

This is about the media and their agenda, where covering up facts and outright misinformation isn’t out of bounds.

I was going to write a straight news story about this woman, whose “silent protest” has been reported all over and will likely consume the media for days as they hand-wring over it, giving Trump oodles of free media at the same time. But something was off to me. It just didn’t make sense.

The first thing that was off was the fact that Diamond spoke with Hamid before the rally. Diamond appears to be Jewish, at least by his bio on CNN’s website. It says he spent a semester studying in Tel Aviv and speaks conversational Hebrew. When I was Diamond’s age, I spoke conversational Hebrew, and the way I learned is by growing up Jewish—seven years of Hebrew school and full time parochial education. I can get by in Tel Aviv.

Some Jews are fairly hard on Israel and believe that bringing Muslims together with Jews can solve problems. You know, the ones with “coexist” bumper stickers. Many Jews are also as liberal as hell, especially international affairs majors from Washington D.C. schools who intern at CNN. (I’ve just described Diamond, in case you missed it.)

So I asked Diamond what attracted him to Hamid, out of some 8,000 souls in the arena. This isn’t Diamond’s first rally, either. I’m sure it’s possible that a hijab-wearing woman sitting behind the podium might draw attention, but why only from CNN, and not other media?

I followed up, asking if he believed her when she said said she didn’t intend to cause a disruption, and received no answer so far. Then I looked up Hamid. I didn’t have to look far. Her Facebook page is full of references to trips to Kuwait, and—doesn’t this beat all—her column in the Charlotte Observer.

That’s right, Rose Hamid is a journalist.

Let me say that again: Rose Hamid is a journalist. Maybe she’s a flight attendant, but she writes a regular column in a major metropolitan newspaper, and that makes her a journalist. That fact that (a) she didn’t disclose this to CNN, and/or (b) CNN didn’t research it before plastering the airwaves with her face in an interview with Don Lemon, and/or (c) CBS just took it on faith that CNN had it right is puzzling, to say the least.

This is either a case of the laziest producers on Earth, who can’t be bothered to use Google or Facebook to vet an interviewee, or an effort to suppress the truth.  Missing something so obvious as this at the level of national networks is nothing short of gross incompetence.

I found a few other tidbits about Muslims going to Trump rallies, also. At the Jan. 4 rally in Lowell, Mass., a group called Community Advocates for Justice and Equality (CAJE), along with the usual suspects Black Lives Matter and the ANSWER Coalition, sponsored a Trump “blackout” event on Facebook. They wrote, “We are here in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters; who deserve to safely abide in this country without having to wear identification badges.”

A man named Shahjehan Khan attended the rally and his story was published in far-far-far-left Colorlines. It doesn’t take a mental giant to figure out that Muslims were organizing to create some kind of disruption—silent or not—at a Trump event to gain media attention.

All this, and the facts that CNN’s Diamond found Hamid before the event, the cameras were right on her face, with lines of sight almost perfectly worked out to capture the moment live, and the interviews afterward were so polished makes one wonder if they hadn’t been planned in advance.

But nobody in the media is going to ask that question, because everything was simply coincidence, and Hamid is just a flight attendant. Right?

Media Turns on Obama, Part 2

The White House is treating the press like the press corp is Obama’s pet. They whored themselves to get Obama elected, so they can hardly be surprised by it. Nonetheless, they are upset Obama’s pay to play marketing operation continues.

Veteran CBS newsman Bill Plante was one of the most vocal critics, questioning the White House’s handling of Wednesday night’s second swearing in – which was covered by just a four-reporter print pool that didn’t include a news photographer or TV correspondent.

He also asked new press secretary Robert Gibbs why ABC, which paid millions to host the DC Neighborhood Ball, was granted the only inauguration day interview with President Obama – a move he equated to “pay to play.”

“We have a tradition here of covering the president,” said Plante, who is covering his fourth administration.

What’s fun about this is that not all the press has gotten the memo. As Fox News notes, not everyone in the press is upset. Some still want to sexually gratify themselves in front of The One:

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter’s shoulder and staring him in the eye.

“All right, come on” he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. “We will be having a press conference, at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys — that’s all I was trying to do,” reported.

The situation came to a close when a cameraman in the room interrupted, declaring: “I’d like to say it one more time: ‘Mr. President.'”