Archives for category: journalism

Two squibs in Liberty by this site’s proprietor:

p.7
The issue featured many remembrances of Murray N. Rothbard, then recently deceased; p. 22.

James Littleton Gill provided illustrations for the ’zine:

pp. 21 & 22

The late Rex F. May placed many of his gag cartoons in Liberty:

p. 52
p. 66
p. 61
From pages 137-138 of

Every now and then I search for friends and colleagues with whom I have lost touch. Until today, I had tried numerous times to find Terry Campbell, with whom I worked briefly in the late 1990s, with no luck. I just did a search, only to discover he had died a year and a half ago:

Terry was found in his car, which had veered from his driveway into the woods. He lived near a field where llamas graze in rural Chimacum, Washington, a tiny speck on the map near Port Townsend, not far from Seattle. My heart was wrenched by the news.

Warren Goldie, “A Good Friend Is Forever: Discovering the Terry Campbell Fan Club” (November 30, 2019).

The author of this appreciation for Terry wrote well and meant well, with a boyhood cartoon and a fine photo. I wish I had known Terry when he sported the beard, for, sans beard, he looked eerily like author Stephen King. But Mr. Goldie, the eulogist, was misinformed about the nature of the job for which Terry had crossed the country:

Terry found a job as the managing editor of a libertarian magazine in Port Townsend that promptly went out of business right after Terry arrived. He landed on hard times, working a string of part-time jobs—apartment manager, librarian, custodian. Often, he was down on his luck.

The magazine was Liberty, which I helped found in 1987. The publisher, Bill Bradford, hired Terry largely because I didn’t want the job of managing Liberty’s editorial operations. Terry was fired from the job about a half year after joining; I left soon after. In our negotiations for my departure, Bradford expressed his surprise at my lack of interest in doing the job that Terry had applied for and won. “Bill,” I said. “The job of managing editor is basically managing you. I knew I was utterly incapable of doing it successfully. Terry is the only person I have witnessed pulling it off, professionally. And he grew to hate you. Because you were the problem. Not anyone else. You.”

It was a sad conversation. But after Terry and I left, Bradford managed to find competent help, I gather, for the magazine lasted past Bradford’s death in 2005. So maybe he was easier to manage during that stage of his life. I know I thought the prospect hopeless, and Terry judged it vexing.

Terry was a terrific at his job. Never before had the editorial process at the magazine flowed in a timely manner, without bottlenecks. But the half a year at Liberty almost destroyed him. I always felt badly about that. To what extent was I responsible? For the record, Bradford did indeed blame me. But it was Terry he fired. For what Terry could not do was contain his well-developed rage at Bradford; he could not believe that the toughest part of his job was to get his boss to perform tasks within a rational time frame. I had it much easier, in a sense, for whatever anger I felt at how badly the magazine ran, I felt a dozen other emotions as well. To be consumed by one emotion is not good.

Terry kept my cat for half a year after I left, but I never really kept track of the man, because I was far away and knew I could only sympathize — as I figured it, since I had not tried to place myself as a buffer between him and Bradford, as I had for several others, I was not the person for him to fall back upon. I couldn’t make up for what I had not done.

Besides, both he and Bill were strong-willed, obstinate people. I do not try to control such folks. I do what I can and watch them reap what they sow.

It is a tough world. It is sad to see another Liberty laborer leave us. First Bradford in 2005, then Eric and Terry in 2019. Perhaps I will be next.

twv

One of the reasons I got along with Bill Bradford, late editor of Liberty, so well for so long — long after most of his hires could tolerate his supervision — was his glee in acknowledging criticism. Not personal criticism, mind you, but literary. Specifically, he liked printing negative letters-to-the-editor, and did not really think most should be responded to by the authors or editors criticized. If someone marshaled a negative judgment, well, the letter-writers in the Letters column should, if at all possible, retain the last word. If the critic were correct, well, there it be; were he were not, then, the idiocy should be plain to see, and the criticized author should know when he was being unjustly criticized. And be content. With the content. In context.

But you guessed it, we did gloat over some especially silly responses.

Of course every writer prefers praise to contempt. And when we learn something, we find it difficult to complain. Indeed, learning should always be welcome.

That being said, expressions of disapproval that performatively prove our points are especially rich.

I get some pushback on Quora, for example, primarily from leftists. Some of it is instructive, but most is gloat fodder. And then there is the praise, too. For example, from a recent answer:

And I wonder if Bill Bradford would advise me never to hit REPLY. I suspect he would.

twv

“Pics or it didn’t happen.”

That’s a popular online taunt: #POIDH. Say something that stretches credulity, and get back that challenge: show us your photographic evidence. 

That’s the idea.

President Donald J. Trump is challenging the outcome of the presidential election, on the basis that it was stolen. Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani gave a 90-minute press conference on the Trump team’s case for massive election fraud, in which Biden pulled out from behind and came up with enough votes to send him to the White House.

Trump has long been warning that the pandemic- (“Dem Panic”-) induced use of hastily contrived mail-in ballots around the country was a recipe for massive vote fraud. And after an election which saw weak Democratic down-ballot performance (losing ground in the House, for example) and in which Trump himself increased his votes by several millions, his case is not altogether implausible — with so weak a general showing, how did Biden come from behind?

Giuliani claims to have thousands of affidavits of vote-count wrongdoing in major Democratic cities in swing states, and . . . yet we see little interest in the press to cover this astounding claim without the framing of the story as “unproven.” Fox Business’s Neil Cavuto actually cut off a White House feed because the claims being made had not been verified — and were apparently too dangerous to allow on the news. Bizarre. For my part, I have not ever believed in the security of electronic voting systems, or the necessary probity of those operating them.

More impressive than Giuliani’s affidavits and astounding stories, as well as more disturbing, is the claim by super-shark Sydney Powell (see photo above) that the software used by Dominion, the company that supplied electronic balloting in 24 states, was designed to rig elections in Venezuela for Hugo Chavez (and others), and was used to flip millions of votes for Biden this election.

Tucker Carlson, of Fox News, not unreasonably asked her to show his audience the evidence. He says she refused.

I don’t know why, yet maybe we all soon will have an answer. But when extraordinary claims are made, we really do require evidence of a non-ordinary nature.

Indictments or it didn’t happen: #IOIDH.

twv

What we aren’t talking about:

A month ago, the New York Times published a major UFO story, doubling down on its previous recent efforts, with research journalist Leslie Kean serving as the driving force. The article relates that not only does the UFO/UAP constitute a real, non-natural/extra-civilizational phenomenon, and that the U.S. military admits this, but it indicates that there seems to be some reality to the ufology lore that there have been crashed UFO retrievals. And that the Deep State is studying them.

Yet almost no one talks about this.

What must we make of this? The ‘newspaper of record’ unleashes onto the world what could be the biggest story in human history, yet smart people either snicker or avert their eyes, back on to (1) the ‘pandemic’ and (2) the riots and (3) the upcoming election.

Honest inquirers should consider the possibility that while we may now be gleaning the first few data from the (4) trickling UFO disclosure, we have indeed learned something HUGE about human nature.

And what is that? 

Well, boy, do we Homo boobiens have an ability to put blinders on and let dogmas rule us, while at the same time allow ourselves to be manipulated by the contrivances of politicians and media, no matter ungainly. 

What if these linked stories are deeply linked?

We may also have been given a clue as to why the coronavirus contagion has successfully turned a whole population into willing serviles to the biggest assault on freedom in American history, for so little good reason. Ours is a decadent civilization, and the people are easy to control because they are poltroonish. Fearful of death. Manipulable.

I cannot help but wonder: are the four major stories of this year related?

It is easy to speculate that the pandemic panic and the protests/riots have been orchestrated by Democrats to regain control of the White House. But what if it . . . be . . . bigger

What if it is all being done to soft-pedal the most unsettling story of all time? That is, what if (1), (2), and (3) all revolve around (4)?

After all, UFO disclosure was a pet project of John Podesta and Hillary Clinton. When Trump won, within the year AATIP was revealed and the TTSA moved mightily behind the scenes to nudge the first disclosures. 

The nature of the disclosure was determined by the Trump win.

And even the Trump win could be part of the story. After all, Trump’s most significant achievement during his presidency so far has been engagement with China. The SARS-CoV-2 came from China. The Democratic Party has served for a generation as the pro-China party. And China is quickly building a powerhouse of a space program. If the world’s governments have been sitting on the biggest story in human history, but the epochal secrecy is now in jeopardy, perhaps this is why (or at least part of why) they are now are scrambling into space. Advantage. Priority. Positioning. 

The Chinese warlords/pseudo-communists want in on whatever is coming.

And the reason the least attractive and least plausible candidates for the Democratic Party’s P/VP ticket were selected over better alternatives? Both are in on parts of the secret — Biden having been Vice President and briefed; Harris being on the Senate Intelligence and briefed — and both can be trusted by the DNC or the donor billionaires (or the archons or whoever) to leverage the information and advantage “correctly.”

Further, Donald Trump, nephew of the scientist who inventoried Nikola Tesla’s many trunks after the inventor’s death, himself may be playing for another faction — also likely Deep State — to gain that UFO advantage.

He who controls the disclosure controls the world.

But I am dubious that it can be controlled. Not really. It is too huge.

twv

The Atlantic, once an indispensable magazine, first went completely Trump Derangement Syndrome, and of course now carries water for the Pandemic Panic Totalitarians. Here is an email I just got from the ’zine:

COVID-19 deaths are on the rise once again. We debrief why that’s not at all surprising—and three other things we learned while covering the outbreak in recent days.
Four Things We Learned(SHUTTERSTOCK; PAUL SPELLA / THE ATLANTIC)

1. There is no mystery in the number of Americans dying of COVID-19This summer surge in deaths was entirely predictable by looking honestly at the case and hospitalization data that preceded it, Alexis C. Madrigal explains.

2. America needs to prepare for a double pandemicThis is what keeps our Science reporter Ed Yong up at night. “If America could underperform so badly against one rapidly spreading virus,” he asks, “how would it fare against two?”

3. We talked to Anthony Fauci. He called efforts by the White House to discredit him “bizarre.” But no, he hasn’t thought about resigning. “I just want to do my job,” he told our reporters. “I’m really good at it.”

4. The pandemic will force some to face their cognitive dissonance“When the facts clash with their preexisting convictions, some people would sooner jeopardize their health and everyone else’s than accept new information or admit to being wrong,” two social psychologists write.
It goes on from there, but you get the idea.

Remember when we used to call journalists “news hounds”?

Atavistic, now — a throwback to a bygone era, when investigative reporters caught a whiff of a story and rooted it out. There was a sort of gritty glamor to that style of journalism. Remember The Front Page? Five Star Final? His Girl Friday?

The aptness of the “hound” metaphor derived from the professional use of dogs to find criminals and missing children.

But today’s TV, online and pulp purveyors of fake news are not exactly known for their sniffing-the-story canniness. 

Maybe we could find some wild variety of the canine for an epithet.

Wolf? Journalists run in packs, and are vicious. Just like Canis lupus?

But wolves seem the noblest of canines.

Fox? Are today’s journalists clever enough to warrant that comparison? Hardly, though Vulpes vulpes is the Red fox, and many of today’s journalists lean far left, and red used to be the color of communism, socialism, and the like.

But most corporate news journalists turn out to be very establishmentarian. Hardly fox-worthy.*

Coyote? Now we are getting closer. The late-night yips and falsetto howls of Canis latrans do suggest the sort of onscreen frenzy we see among the fake news mavens.

But drop the canine comparison. “Hyenas are commonly viewed as frightening and worthy of contempt,” explains Wikipedia. “In some cultures, hyenas are thought to influence people’s spirits, rob graves, and steal livestock and children. Other cultures associate them with witchcraft. . . .”

And the several major species offers much by way of comparison: the insectivore Aardwolf; the paradigmatic scavenger, the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena); and the infamous laughing hyena (Crocuta crocuta), which can be quite dangerous.

Apt? Apter? Aptest?


* “If you lie always in service to the left, you might be a Red. But if you lie mainly to serve your masters in the Deep State, what does that make you?”

How Lines of Inquiry Get Shut Down

Finally, someone smart and not a coward asks the obvious questions and expresses the requisite incredulity:

The lack of professional curiosity among journalists about the Jeffrey Epstein case is astounding. Eric Weinstein is speaking truth — to power, even (for the Fourth Estate is indeed a power) — here, simply by denying the lies commonly used to smother public interest and coverage of the subject.

But I have a conjecture. I may know why.

Indeed, I suspect everybody knows why: for everybody knows that at the highest levels of government, and feeding around The Giant Pool of Money, the institutions and people are fantastically corrupt. No, that is too light. Everybody knows that at the top, there is profound evil.

You know it, your neighbor knows it, and the media mavens know it.

But the knowledge is suppressed, quite willingly, by nearly everyone. Why?

Well, most people depend upon — and even obtain their sense of “identity” from — the governments that are evil. Everyone is morally compromised, “journalists” most of all . . . because they seek to be the manipulators of public opinion, and they (for the most part) want the power of the State to grow. Everyone has dirty hands and compromised consciences, so the knowledge of the evil at the heart and mind of the modern state is rarely spoken of, and those who do speak of it are scorned or derided or ignored.

We pretend it isn’t knowledge, and because we all speak of it so rarely, the knowledge ceases to be public, and thus not testable. And this, in turn, discourages tests.

It is a feedback loop of corruption, and it extends from the pinnacles to the barnacles.

Of society.

And Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

Pepe is back!

Last Friday, when I was helping Paul Jacob with his weekend wrap-up (This Week in Common Sense), I had only heard rumors about Pepe’s appearance on the streets of Hong Kong,* so I asked Paul if he had heard anything. He hadn’t. But . . . The New York Times has come to the rescue, with “Hong Kong Protesters Love Pepe the Frog. No, They’re Not Alt-Right” (August 19).

“To much of the world, the cartoon frog is a hate symbol,” the blurb expands. “To Hong Kong protesters, he’s something entirely different: one of them.”

The article, by Daniel Victor, confronts how jarring it may seem for Pepe to appear as “a pro-democracy freedom fighter in the Hong Kong protests, siding with the people in their struggle against an authoritarian state.”

Well, jarring if you are a Gray Lady reporter. For was it not major media folks who repeatedly characterized Pepe as “alt right” and a “hate figure”? So, what if that’s just their story? How they want us to see the symbol?

To participants of the online trolling that erupted in the election of Donald Trump, Pepe was not one thing, but all over the map. He was, as I suggested to Paul, an anti-authoritarian Trickster, more Bugs Bunny than a cruel cartoon of Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle.

And the anti-authoritarianism of Pepe was directed against our Establishment, in part as embodied in Hillary Clinton . . . and in the news media.

But the Times cannot quite confront that. 

Pepe in Hong Kong.

So we encounter, instead, a very different explanation. We are told how Pepe’s creator Matt Furie’s pre-troll conception of Pepe has survived, innocent as a lamb — or even as “Hello Kitty!” — in the former British colony . . . at least as scribbled and spray-painted on subway walls (and tenement halls).

A bit self-serving? The Times’ narrative almost begs for a response . . . in the form of a Pepe-like wink-and-leer.

twv


* The other day I repeated the rumors, and the images that seemed to back them up, in my “Baizuo Blues” post. There I was dealing with a Medium essay so outrageous I was not sure it wasn’t some bizarre form of post-irony. And, in the back of my head I mulled over this unsettling worry that even the photos might have been doctored. These worries did not diminish when the Medium piece almost immediately vanished from the site. Which is why I was still wondering about the truth of Pepe’s reëmergence later in the week.