March 8, 2023

Posted by orrinj at 10:11 PM


House GOP's COVID Hearing Features Advocate Of Racist Theories About Genetics (Jennifer Bendery, Mar 8, 2023, HuffPo)

Wade, a British author and former New York Times science writer, wrote a book called "A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History" that was widely denounced by the scientific community for misrepresenting research into human population genetics.

One passage from his book reads, "Populations that live at high altitudes, like Tibetans, represent another adaptation to extreme environments. The adaptation of Jews to capitalism is another such evolutionary process."

In another passage about Africans' economic conditions, Wade wonders whether "variations in their nature, such as their time preference, work ethic and propensity to violence, have some bearing on the economic decisions they make."

Met one Nativist, you've met them all. 
Posted by orrinj at 7:52 PM


Posted by orrinj at 7:49 PM


House GOP organizing trip to see jailed Jan. 6 defendants, led by Marjorie Taylor Greene   (EMILY BROOKS AND MYCHAEL SCHNELL, 03/08/23, The Hill)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is working with House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) to schedule a trip for members of Congress to visit the Washington, D.C., jail where Jan. 6 defendants are being held.

Even the water buffalo insurrectionist has to be able to do better than that.

Posted by orrinj at 7:47 PM


Most in new poll view 'woke' as positive term (JULIA SHAPERO - 03/08/23, The Hill)

A majority of Americans in a new poll have a positive association with the term "woke," understanding it to mean "to be informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices."

The USA Today-Ipsos poll released on Wednesday found that 56 percent agreed with the more positive definition, while 39 percent had a negative association with the word

Posted by orrinj at 6:54 PM


Revealing Fox News texts point to the right's long war on the truth (Greg Sargent, March 8, 2023, Washington Post)

Not long after Fox News correctly called the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden, a senior Fox Corp. executive privately lamented that the network's brand was "under heavy fire from our customer base." The executive suggested Fox viewers might "feel like they have been somehow betrayed."

This fear -- that viewers might see telling the truth about Donald Trump's loss as betrayal -- was widespread inside the network, according to newly released texts among Fox News figures. In the texts, they fumed that candor about 2020 was driving the audience away, prompting viewers to defect to competitors who offered a more comforting cocoon. On the air, some of those personalities kept doling out what they privately admitted were lies.

This is one of the most extraordinary scandals to ever buffet a major American network. But it also points to an even bigger story: The right wing media's long war on the truth. For decades, conservative media outlets have expressly sought to build and capture an audience that would accept only their version of events, and would be cordoned off to place them beyond the reach of mainstream news sources entirely.

Facts are fatal to ideology--they can't be allowed to penetrate the bubble.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


How Fox News Created a 'Safe Space' for Its Audience: The network didn't want to upset its audience with the truth about the 2020 election. (Jonah Goldberg, Mar 8, 2023, The Dispatch)

If you search for "safe space" on Fox News' website you'll get over 46,000 results. Not all of them are about those woke snowflakes who need trigger warnings and cry rooms. But a whole lot of them are. 

For instance, in 2017, shortly after Donald Trump's inauguration, Tucker Carlson grilled a college professor about a student who came into her classroom crying about the election. "As the adult shouldn't you say, 'You know, it was an election, and it was democratic, and nobody got cancer, nobody died, and maybe you should toughen up a little?'"

Would that Carlson and the rest of Fox's leadership had a similar attitude toward their own audience, the average age of which is 56. 

The Right is the Left.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Murdoch confided Trump was going 'increasingly mad' as Fox pushed false claims (Rosalind S. Helderman, Emma Brown and Amy Gardner, March 7, 2023, Washington Post)

In the weeks after the November 2020 election, Rupert Murdoch, the powerful chairman of Fox Corp., fretted that Donald Trump, the president he had supported, was going "increasingly mad."

He vented about the pollsters who worked for him at Fox News. "I hate our Decision Desk people!" he wrote in one email as the network -- driven by analysis from the unit -- prepared to declare that Joe Biden had won the election.

He worried some ideas proposed by Trump's allies to convince state legislatures to reject Biden victories in key swing states "sound ridiculous" and could lead to "riots like never before."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Available evidence still points to covid originating from spillover (Angela Rasmussen and Saskia Popescu, March 7, 2023, Washington Post)

To be clear, all the evidence available for scrutiny points to the pandemic originating from transmission from live animals to humans -- zoonotic spillover -- at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China.

Two studies (one co-authored by one of us) published in 2022 in the U.S. journal Science mapped the verifiable earliest cases, environmental samples collected at the Huanan market, records of animal sales at the market, social media data and susceptibility data about the animals. Triangulating all this demonstrated that the pandemic started with two independent spillover events at the market, or just upstream in the common supply chain where the animals were sourced or transported.

The Huanan market is roughly the size of a soccer field. It is about nine miles away -- across the Yangtze River -- from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the only lab in that city known to have an active research program on coronaviruses.

No other explanation, including a laboratory origin at the Wuhan Institute or the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is consistent with the existing body of evidence. There have been numerous attempts to challenge the quality of these data and the analysis or to present original research supporting a lab leak. Only one has survived peer review.

The facts cannot be refuted by undisclosed evidence that merited the Energy Department's low-confidence rating. This bar is cleared by information that is "scant, questionable, fragmented" or information from which "solid analytical conclusions cannot be inferred."

This focus on labs overlooks the real and enduring biosecurity risk: cities where people and animals live in close contact.

Zoonotic spillover is not rare. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Tucker Carlson's January 6 Revisionist History (Noah Rothman, Mar. 7th, 2023, National Review)

At one point, Chansley is even escorted through a small cordon of officers, suggesting that the "Q Shaman" saw law enforcement "as his allies." The New York Post draws the conclusion to which Carlson led it, citing a statement by USCP saying the overwhelmed officers were trying to "de-escalate" the situation. "But that does not explain why Chansley, who was unarmed, was able to walk past seven more officers without being apprehended," the Post avers. Yes, it does.

This is hardly the only excruciatingly well-documented example of outmanned police officers calmly engaging with demonstrators, clearing the way for or corralling intruders in the Capitol complex, or retreating to more defensible terrain. Nor is this specific act of deference by Capitol Police officers remarkable. The Post later confirmed that the officer featured in Carlson's footage, Officer Keith Robishaw, spoke with HBO documentarians about his experience with Chansley.

"The sheer number of them compared to us, I knew ahead there was no way we could all get physical with them," Robishaw said. "I walked in behind [Chansley], and that is when I realized I am alone now. I was by myself." Their extensive interaction in the Senate chamber, where Robishaw was surrounded by dozens of other disruptive demonstrators, was filmed up close by New Yorker correspondent Luke Mogelson. You can watch it here. Robishaw's unheeded demands that the demonstrators evacuate the premises indicates, at the very least, that he was no one's "tour guide."

Carlson later asks "what did Chansley do" to deserve the months he's already spent in a jail cell for his conduct on that day. The answer established in court by his guilty plea was criminal obstruction of a federal investigation, for which a judge sentenced him to the "low end" of the prison terms prescribed in federal sentencing guidelines: 41 months.

Suffice it to say the lone officer confronting Chansley was reduced to de-escalatory tactics, in part because his colleagues were engaged in a desperate attempt to secure his flank. That leads us to Carlson's second contention: The attack on the Capitol was no "riot."

"Very little about January 6 was organized or violent," the Fox host maintains. "Surveillance video from inside the Capitol shows mostly peaceful chaos." This is a contention that some Republican members of Congress have made citing available footage, to which the general public has supposedly never been privy.

"Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures," said Representative Andrew Clyde during a 2021 Oversight Committee hearing. "You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit." Again, this tortured interpretation of events rests on the assumption that viewers are unfamiliar with or willing to compartmentalize hours of footage demonstrating the extent of the ongoing violence on the Capitol steps.

For those with the requisite curiosity, ProPublica produced an impressive interactive database of footage of the Capitol riot that allows users to bounce in real time from events inside the Capitol to the Capitol steps and around the complex. Most of those videos were culled from posts provided by users of the pro-Trump social-media website Parler, which suggests the conspiracy to hide these videos from the public was spectacularly inept.

Those videos show hours of vicious hand-to-hand combat outside the building, the officers' crowd-control efforts inside the building, and, yes, even the rare moments of relative placidity in areas like Statuary Hall and the Capitol Rotunda. Again, you can watch the footage for yourself (which the January 6 committee played) to determine just how reverential the demonstrators, some of whom called repeatedly for the hanging of American elected officials even in those moments of relative calm, really were.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


'I Hate Him Passionately': What Tucker Carlson Says About Trump in Private (Aidan McLaughlinMar 7th, 2023, Mediate)

In one text conversation between Carlson and an unknown staffer on Jan. 4, 2021, just days before the riot at the U.S. Capitol, the prime time star wrote, "We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights."

"I truly can't wait," he added.

When the unknown staffer replied that they believed the madness would cool down by mid-February, Carlson decried Trump.

"I hate him passionately," Carlson said.