Monday, May 16, 2022

                                                  May 16, 2022

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

National Unity is A Mirage—We Must Understand That or Perish



Friends,

Now, after what may have been a racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo (May 14) by a deranged young man, new insistent calls go out for the government to fight “white nationalism” and “right wing domestic terrorism.” Attorney General Merrick Garland has already signaled more than once that this is the nation’s major challenge—not the illegal drugs epidemic, not the rampant criminality tearing our cities apart, not the huge spike in gang violence, not the literally millions of illegals coming across our borders; no, not any of these, but homegrown “extremism” coming from disaffected, white segments of the American population.

In addition to new surveillance and potential censorship measures, such as the Disinformation Governance Board, and additional government intrusion into the lives of American citizens, also come the now-accustomed demands from various anguished personalities, political and otherwise, with pained expressions on their faces, pleading for national unity. “Can’t we all get along,” they mumble, echoing words uttered decades ago by Rodney King. (Remember him from the violence in the streets of Los Angeles?).

But such desired “unity” is always one-sided, meaning that we must discard our beliefs, our principles, and accept the latest agenda item, the latest conquest advanced by the post-Marxist Left. Far too many so-called “conservatives” in positions of leadership in America have embraced this elastic strategy, of first opposing something (e.g. same sex marriage), then almost abruptly reversing course, even showcasing their about-face, while defending it as completely consistent with “conservative principles.”

Then, whether from pundits at Fox News or from the Rich Lowry and Kevin Williamson types at National Review, we are instructed to follow suit, to unite around a refashioned definition of conservatism which always seems to tag along just a few steps behind the worst outrages of the radical Left.

The great Southern author, Robert Lewis Dabney, writing a decade after the end of the War Between the States (1875), expressed presciently this tendency of dominant, post-war Northern conservatism:

“This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will to-morrow be forced upon its timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.”

Thus, a Robert E. Lee and a “Stonewall” Jackson were only a few years ago honored not just by conservatives but nationally, but now lightweight Neoconservative historians like Allen Guelzo dictate for us positions scarcely distinguishable from views current on the extreme Left. And Fox News personalities like Bret Baier and Brian Kilmeade do their damnedest in unserious, ghostwritten potboilers to publicize the greatness and sublime conservative vision of figures such as Ulysses S. Grant, Frederick Douglass, and Abe Lincoln.

We are told that we must discard what once we believed were fundamental principles, that we must unite around the evolving definition of conservatism.

But what are those beliefs around which we should unify? If what was once posited as fundamental truth can simply be discarded, tossed on the ash heap, or ignored, where does that leave us in the immense culture war that we have been losing now for more than half a century?

The strategy of the present-day “conservative movement” almost exactly parallels the observation made by Dabney nearly 150 years ago. It has failed abysmally, and, in fact, its most significant achievement is to lead well-meaning citizens away from genuine and effective opposition to the rot which threatens to engulf us.

On the contrary, my mentor the late Dr. Russell Kirk, who in many ways was the father of an older conservatism (back in the 1950s), stated what should and must be our essential credo: We hold a series of immutable beliefs as fundamental, and those principles and that vision are necessary for a just society. Those beliefs and principles come to us as a precious legacy from our ancestors and from our Western Christian traditions.

And as a necessary corollary: there can be no real agreement, no real unity with those who openly and forcefully reject that foundation and those essential principles as poisoned by racism, sexism, homophobia, and “white privilege,” not to mention hints of “fascism” and other not-so-pleasant “isms.”

Let’s consider some history.

The old American republic was formed through a kind of understood compromise between the colonies; the Authors of our constitutional system fully comprehended that there were diverse elements and interests that must be balanced to make the new nation at all workable. But in 1787 there was essential agreement on fundamentals that a seemingly miraculous result was possible. Yet, those far-sighted men also feared what might happen should that which they created be perverted or turned from its original propositions.

The central Federal government was counter-balanced and limited by newly and fiercely independent states which jealously guarded a large portion of their own sovereignty. Voting was universally restricted to those considered most qualified to exercise the franchise. Universal suffrage was considered by the near totality of the Fathers of our Constitution to be a sure means of destroying the young republic: absolute democracy and across-the-board egalitarian views were considered fatal for the future of the country. Such views were sidelined to the periphery, without practical voice in the running of the commonwealth.

Above all the American republic was, in all but name, a “Christian” republic. Certainly, the basic documents of our founding did not formally state as much. There was no formal national “religious establishment,” as existed in almost all European countries. Yet, despite that lack of national confessionality, the new nation, while demanding freedom for religious expression, professed de facto the Christian faith as a kind of understood basis of the new nation. As is often pointed out, almost immediately after adopting the Bill of Rights in 1791 (authored, ironically, by slaveholder James Madison), including the “freedom of religion” First Amendment, Congress provided for paid Christian chaplains in the new Northwest Territories. Even more confirming is the fact that nearly every one of the original thirteen colonies/new states had a “religious establishment” or religious test of some sort on the state level, and those establishments were left completely untouched by the First Amendment, which was understood to mean only the formal establishment of a national supported state church.

Above all, there existed amongst the new Americans the ability to converse and communicate with each other, using the same language, and employing the same symbols and imagery that had brought them together originally as a country. Appeals to traditional English law and the historic “rights of Englishmen,” the belief in a God of the Old and New Testaments whose prescriptions found in Holy Writ informed both the laws of the state and the understanding of justice and virtue, and an implicit, if not explicit, agreement that there were certain limits of thought and action beyond which one could not go without endangering the republican experiment, formed a kind of accepted public orthodoxy.

That modus vivendi—that ability to get along and agree on most essentials—continued, sometimes fitfully, until 1861. The bloody War Between the States that erupted that year might have been avoided if the warnings of the Authors of the Constitution had been heeded, if the Federal executive in 1861 had understood the original intentions of 1787 and the precarious structural balance that the Philadelphia Convention had erected. But that was not the case, and four years of brutal war followed, with over half a million dead and thousands more maimed, and, most tragically, that essential “via media” between an increasingly powerful central government and the rights of the states and of communities, and eventually, of persons, distorted and perverted.

The resulting trajectory towards centralization, the growth of a powerful Federal government, has continued nearly unabated for 150 years. With it and with the gradual destruction of not just the rights of the states, but also of communities and persons, came the institutionalization of a large and mostly unseen permanent bureaucracy, a managerial and political class, that took upon itself the role of actually ruling and running the nation. James Burnham and the late Samuel Francis have written profoundly on this creation of a managerial state within the state.  Indeed, in more recent days we have come to label this establishment the “Deep State.”

Concurrent with this transformation governmentally and politically, our society and our culture have equally been transformed. It is certainly arguable that the defeat of the Confederate states in 1865, that is, the removal of what was essentially a conservative and countervailing element in American polity, enabled the nearly inevitable advance of a more “liberal” vision of the nation. At base, it was above all the acceptance by post-war Americans of nearly all persuasions of the Idea of Progress, the vision that “things”—events, developments in thought and in the sciences and in culture, as well in governing—were inevitably moving towards a bright new future. It was not so much to the past we would now look, but to the “new” which always lay ahead of us.  And that future was based squarely on the idea of an “enlightenment” that always seemed to move to the political and cultural Left.

While loudly professing and pushing for more “openness” and more “freedom,” liberation from the “straight jacket” of traditional religion and religious taboos, and propounding equality in practically every field of public and private endeavor, ironically, the underlying effect and result of this “progress” has brought with it, in reality, a severe curtailment of not just many of our personal liberties, but of the guaranteed rights once considered sacrosanct under our old Constitution.

This long term, concerted movement, and eventual triumph of nineteenth liberalism and twentieth century progressivism, politically, culturally, and in our churches, not only placed into doubt those essential and agreed-upon foundations that permitted the country to exist in some form of “unity,” but also enabled the growth of ideologies and belief systems that, at base, rejected those very foundations, the fragile creed, of that origination.

In one of the amazing turnarounds in history, the fall of Soviet Communism in 1991—hollowed out and decaying after years of boasting that it would “bury” the West—witnessed almost concurrently the exponential growth and flourishing of an even more insidious and seductive version of post-Marxism in the old Christian West, in Europe and the United States. A century of the ravages and termite-like devastation by liberalism and progressivist ideology had debilitated the foundations—and the required will—to resist the attractions of a cultural Marxism that eventually pervaded our culture, our education, our entertainment industry, and our religious thought. Older and gravely weakened inherited standards and once-revered benchmarks of right and wrong, of justice, of rights and duties, were replaced by what the Germans call a “gestalt,” or a kind of settled overarching Marxist view of society and culture which had no room for opposing views. Dr. Paul Gottfried has written extensively on this phenomenon.

That dogmatic vision now pervades our colleges and public education; it almost totally dominates Hollywood; it controls the Democratic Party and huge swathes of the Republican Party; it speaks with ecclesiastical authority through the heresiarchs who govern most of our churches; and, most critically, it provides a linguistic template—an approved language—that must be accepted and employed, lest the offender be charged with “hate speech” or “hate thought.” Its goals—the imposition of a phony democracy not just in the United States but across the face of the globe—the legislation of an across-the-board equality which is reminiscent of the kind of “equality” the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm “legislated”—the perpetuation of a largely unseen, unanswerable, unstoppable managerial and political class, secure in its power and omnipotence—the proclamation of the United States (and Europe) as an “open nation with no physical borders”—have been and are being realized.

It is this overlay, this suffocating ideological blanket, with its dogmas of multicultural political correctness, its anathematization of perceived “racism,” “sexism,” homophobia,” “white supremacy,” and other characterized forms of “bigotry” as unforgivable sins, that now has assumed near total dominance in our society. The older forms of liberalism were incapable of offering effective opposition, for cultural Marxism utilized liberalism’s arguments to essentially undo it, and eventually, absorb it.

Yet, there are still millions of Americans—and Europeans—who have been left behind, not yet swept up in that supposedly ineluctable movement to the Left. They are variously labeled the “deplorables,” or perhaps if they do not share completely the reigning presumptions of the Mainstream Media and academia, they are “bigots” or “yahoos,” uninformed “rednecks,” and, increasingly, maybe “white nationalists,” or worse. The prevailing utter condescension and contempt for them by the established Deep State would make the most severe witch-burner of the 17th century envious.

So I ask: we are asked to unify around what? Unite with whom? On what basis and on what set of fundamental principles? Can there be unity with those who wish our extinction and replacement, or with those who urge us to surrender our beliefs?

Frankly, such unity is neither possible nor desirable…unless millions have a “road to Damascus” conversion, or some major conflagration occurs to radically change hearts and minds.

Monday, May 9, 2022

                                                        May 9, 2022

 

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

The HARD TRUTH Podcast: the Global Managerial Deep State, the End of the American Century, and the Russo-Ukrainian Conflict

 






 

Friends,

Back on Wednesday, May 4, I was privileged to join widely-syndicated columnist Ilana Mercer and David Vance, a UK Unionist political leader, author and well-known broadcaster, for a wide-ranging interview on the regular podcast HARD TRUTH (the episode was aired on May 5, and then syndicated to various publications and online journals, including WorldNetDaily, the New American, and The Unz Review, as well as Mercer’s own Web site, IlanaMercer.com).

Although the interview was titled, “Bleeding Russia Dry and Then Next Color Revolution,” the hour-long conversation ranged over a variety of interrelated topics, including the rise of powerful American (and global) managerial elites, the post-World War II American-supported suppression of traditional European political and cultural traditions, the corruption of American education in both colleges and schools, and the increasing canceling by dominant “woke” forces in our society of any real legitimate opposition and of genuine liberty and free speech.

The Russian incursion into Ukraine, beginning on February 24, and NATO’s response, were the central topics in the interview. And the subsequent discussion considered that action from several different viewpoints.  More specifically strategically and prudentially, indeed, whether the grinding and bloody conflict in that part of eastern Europe was not, ironically, something anticipated, even desired, as a means of—to restate the podcast title—“Bleeding Russia Dry.” Or, in the words of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in his recent trip of Kiev to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky (Monday, April 25), as quoted by The Washington Examiner: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine. So it has already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly. And we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability.”

And, thus by such drawn out action the formal United States policy is to facilitate the long-desired Neoconservative and globalist design of regime change in Moscow, another “color revolution,” just as American-inspired and supported revolutions have overthrown governments in Ukraine (back in February 2014), in the Republic of Georgia, and elsewhere; in each case to establish a government subservient or at least dependent on American policies.

During the interview references were made to pathbreaking works by Chronicles magazine editor, Dr. Paul Gottfried (e.g., The Strange Death of Marxism, on the rise of an authoritarian post-Marxist Left in Europe), to the late author and philosopher Dr. Samuel Francis (e.g., Leviathan and Its Enemies, dissecting the growth of and control by the managerial state), and on the present Ukrainian conflict, to works by Drs. John Mearsheimer, Stephen Cohen (e.g., War With Russia?) and Richard Sakwa (e.g., Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands), plus the detailed interviews by Oliver Stone of President Vladimir Putin (here and here). For a fuller understanding of the conflict, its background and context, these sources are essential.

Some readers may have already seen the podcast, which can be accessed directly via Rumble.com. But I provide as follows the information and podcast directly from my friend and columnist, Ilana Mercer, with her introduction. Additionally, I second her request that you subscribe not only to the HARD TRUTH podcast on Rumble.com, but also to Ilana’s always-interesting regular columns:

BLEEDING RUSSIA DRY AND THEN NEXT COLOR REVOLUTION

https://www.ilanamercer.com/2022/05/bleeding-russia-dry-next-color-revolution/

Ilana Mercer, May 5, 2022





In “The Illusion of Liberal Democracy—America’s Long Record of Destruction Continues,” Dr. Boyd Cathey deploys the term the “long march,” generally associated with the Communist Chinese Revolution of Chairman Mao, to describe decades in which successive American administrations have romped through other countries’ institutions in an unabashed quest to impose universal “freedom and equality” à la America. 


The use of force in furtherance of American “liberal democracy” was enthusiastically touted by famed neoconservative writer Alan Bloom, author of The Closing of the American Mind. Indubitably, such a contradiction in terms has become the guiding principle of the American foreign-policy establishment. The resulting recreational wars of choice prosecuted over some 70 years, and the regime-change exercises pursued, have caused great, if not permanent, damage to American institutions themselves.

 

Citing [Chronicles Magazine editor] Dr. Paul Gottfried, foremost scholar of the European and American Right, Dr. Cathey traces today’s illiberal Germany, where expression, public and private, is heavily circumscribed in law (in the name of “protecting our [German] democracy”), to the Marshall Plan and to the “denazification” humiliation of 1945, courtesy of the American-dominated Allied forces, during which any expression of German tradition and heritage came to be conflated with fascism.

Cathey laments the party duopoly’s enthusiasm for injecting American boys into conflicts, far and wide, most recently in Ukraine, although sympathy for members of a military that has become a fully coopted global force for misadventures is questionable. It could be argued that it is in the nature of the Anglo-American man to want to be a hero, a rescuer. It can be posited, moreover, that, in his own country, this American, military-minded protector would be maligned and molested were he to patrol his neighborhoods or his nation’s borders. So, off he goes to slay dragons abroad and leap to his death in a lemming’s lunacy. Even so, this generic American grunt does so knowingly. Listening to ex-military officiating as commentators on Fox News—one hears the self-righteous zealotry of the fully converted Global Citizen.

Vladimir Putin, argues Dr. Cathey, has rejected the West’s culturally, racially and sexually decadent ways. For this reason, the Russian president has been targeted by the United States for an excruciatingly slow demise. Led by the US, Russia is destined to be bled dry by the West, the eventual outcome being “regime change” in Moscow (another “color revolution”).

A trickier question for those of us on the Old Right is this: Putin is a Russian patriot. This in-depth interview with the Russian president amply evinces that. He adores and is deeply acquainted with the nation’s “ancient faith,” its history and traditions. But could it be that we of the Old Russell Kirk Right, nostalgic for the very same things absent in our own societies, are romanticizing the Russian people? This writer shares Dr. Cathey’s love of Tsarist Russia’s great culture before communism. (Boyd adores Rachmaninov’s second symphony; I say Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique.” His Symphony No. 6 is a singularly intense and sublime expression of the agonies of the individual, caught between salvation, sin and love of Mother Russia.) But is this same sensibility present in younger Russians? No doubt, Putin is steeped in Russian culture. But do younger Russians share his traditionalism? True, very many hate communism, but that hatred is devoid of a civilizational dimension. I fear younger Russians are already in the market for a Western life filled with sexual titillation and consumerism.

 

Finally, although it is possible to justify Putin’s war with reference to the more statist scholastic Just War Theory—the libertarian axiom of non-aggression won’t permit such justification. Putin’s war in Ukraine is a war for which there are plenty reasons, all of them vindicating Russia; Russia is in the right. Reasons for war, however, are not the same as justification for war. A war of aggression is seldom justified.

 

ON THE HARD TRUTH PODCAST this week, David Vance and yours truly are joined by fearless and learned dissident scholar Dr. Boyd D. Cathey, for a wide-ranging discussion on the decline of America and the aforementioned US plan to bleed Russia dry. While Americans, from their Ukrainian-manned vantage points, seem willing to fight to the last Ukrainian, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has vowed that Russia “would never accept the global village under the command of the American sheriff.”

 

Let’s see.

SUBSCRIBE HERE

Image credit

©2022 ILANA MERCER
WND, May 5
Unz Review, May 5
The New American, May 6


For syndication rights to
http://BarelyABlog.com or http://IlanaMercer.com, contact ilana@ilanamercer.com.

Read more @ https://www.ilanamercer.com/2022/05/bleeding-russia-dry-next-color-revolution/#ixzz7SbVPOWjg

PLEASE ACCESS THE MAY 5, 2022 PODCAST HERE:

https://rumble.com/c/HardTruthPodcast

Sunday, May 1, 2022

                                                           May 1, 2022

 

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

The Disinformation Board, PolitiFact, and the End of Free Speech



Friends,

I suspect that many readers will have seen the opening monologue of the Tucker Carlson Tonight program of Thursday, April 28. For seventeen minutes Carlson took direct aim at the latest advance of the Biden administration and the managerial state in their incremental assumption of authoritarian power over not only over what Americans read or see, but how they think: the creation of a new agency within the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Disinformation Governance Board.

Here is the clip, and it’s a message that should send chills down the backs of every American who is at all concerned about what has happened and is happening to our country…and about those supposed guaranteed rights of speech under the Constitution.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4inJSblCUY

 

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security, with its immense and largely unregulated power over the domestic life of every American, announced the formation of the board under the purview of the DHS on April 27. The board will have the  responsibility of “protecting national security by combatting foreign misinformation and disinformation. Specific problem areas of knowledge mentioned include false information…”  

Carlson rightly asked: “What exactly does that mean?” What indeed!

Already the federal government has announced via its head law enforcement agent, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and from the president himself, that “right wing terrorism” is the chief “domestic threat” to the United States. And now with Mayorkas adding that the new agency will intervene in situations where [right wingers] through their rhetoric—in other words, through their politically-incorrect speech—“might descend” into some form of violence, or perhaps “insurrection” (like the so-called “insurrection” of January 6, 2021), the real purposes of the agency are clear.

The new agency will act as a speech enforcer for not just the Biden administration, but for the entrenched managerial Deep State and its ideology of continuing revolution and radical political and cultural change. And anyone who would seriously dissent or disagree—that is, in the view of the Disinformation board offer a “false” viewpoint—is apt to be denounced, censored, maybe banned, and who knows—perhaps in our dystopian future, arrested for “thought crimes”?

In a portion of his monologue Carlson dealt specifically with the new director of the Disinformation board, Nina Jankowicz, a long-time militant Leftist Democrat and a former enthusiastic “advisor” to the US-client Ukrainian government in Kiev. Jankowicz, be it remembered, called the Hunter Biden/Ukraine laptop scandal (which Big Tech succeeded in making disappear from most of the mainstream media prior to the 2020 national elections) “fake new,” inspired by “Russian disinformation”! Indeed, she fits right in with one of the major “concerns” of the new board: what is termed Russian propaganda and fake news which could somehow persuade Americans that we shouldn’t be fanning the flames of World War III in that part of the world.

The Ukrainian connection becomes even murkier if we recall that it was Joe Biden who demanded the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating his son Hunter’s tawdry and scandalous connection to the Ukrainian oligarch-run firm, Burisma: “I called them,” said Biden at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, “and said ‘if the prosecutor is not fired you’re not getting the money [one billion dollars]’.” And the Ukrainians dutifully fired the investigator. Of course, Biden pere has had his dirty hands in Ukrainian politics since the violent American-engineered coup d’etat which overthrew popularly-elected (but pro-Russian) Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

It is, then, certainly no accident that one of the targets of the Disinformation Governance Board is supposed Russian propaganda and “fake news” disseminated on this side of the Atlantic by a few investigators whose reputations, and possibly livelihoods, will be at stake if the feds come down hard on them.

For example: Although ostensibly a Web site on the Left, The GrayZone vigorously questioned the narrative of Russian election disinformation and influence spun by the fanatical Left before the 2020 vote, calling DHS’s “election alert spawning new Russia fears…so incoherent and inconsistent with previous findings, it suggested a state of political panic inside the agency.” Not only that, but the site also headlined a recent story: “Western media has looked the other way…as Zelensky and top officials in his administration have sanctioned a campaign of kidnapping, torture, and assassination of local Ukrainian lawmakers accused of collaborating with Russia. Several mayors and other Ukrainian officials have been killed since the outbreak of war, many reportedly by Ukrainian state agents after engaging in de-escalation talks with Russia.”

Such a “deviationist tendency” (to use terminology in currency under the brutal rule of Joseph Stalin) will not be tolerated, and the DHS/Disinformation Governance Board has already threatened The GrayZone, as reported by Carlson on April 28. In other words, free inquiry—free speech—will not be tolerated under the new dispensation if it questions the regime’s iron-clad template on Ukraine, or on the 2020 election, or on COVID, or on “white nationalism,” or on other newly-defined mortal sins in what has become an American caricature of George Orwell’s Oceania, or perhaps more accurately, of Aldous Huxley’s dystopian Brave New World (1931).

Such efforts at muzzling speech—and thought—have been ongoing for some time, and not just by the government or by the giant tech monopolies (Facebook, Google, etc.), as anyone will recognize by tuning into mainstream media or reading its online coverage of various controversies. Indeed, President Donald Trump during his administration became a lightning rod, with nearly all his pronouncements and claims as reported by what once were “news agencies,” but are now nothing more than propaganda shills, prefaced with statements such as: “Donald Trump’s false claim that….”

One can no longer read most supposedly straight “news” items without encountering such inserted labeling. Whereas in years past the news we ingested would usually offer what an individual had said, straight and without additional pejorative adjectives (even if one could tell from the context how a reporter or media source actually thought), today the pronouncement of truth or error by the media defines in concrete the person’s assertion. We no longer are to do the heavy lifting of actually thinking.

Which brings me to a topic I wrote about back in December of 2019: the use of the nationally prominent “truth” agency, PolitiFact to essentially decide for us what is real and true, and what is not. And my belief that it is semi-official organizations like PolitiFact which now assist the media in their increasing efforts to inform us how and what to think and what to write and say. In so many words, PolitiFact is a necessary ingredient in the chain of this rising authoritarianism, now capped by the federal Disinformation Governance Board. And there is no reprieve once you’ve been essentially denounced as a “liar” or “fake news,” or perhaps as an agent of that so-dreaded “Russian disinformation.”

Back in 2019 I wrote what I believed to be a respectful, if questioning communication to Seth Effron, Opinion Editor for the local, very leftwing television station, WRAL Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. I had just seen Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd suggest that Ukraine had collaborated, at least indirectly with the Hilary Clinton campaign leading up to the 2016 elections. Todd, a card-carrying member of the Uber-Marxist Press International (UMPI), exploded in paroxysms of anger. Kennedy, said the barely-controlled Todd, had his “facts” all wrong; he should not say such things, in fact, he could not say such things! Yet, Kennedy’s “facts” came directly from investigative reporter John Soloman

Ah, but Soloman had been attacked by the “fact checker” organization, PolitiFact.

And WRAL had just announced with some fanfare that it would be using the services of PolitiFact to determine the truth or falsity of statements and claims made publicly. And one of those claims that WRAL reported on was PolitiFact’s verdict on its “Truth-O-Meter” that the claim of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election was “false.”

But having read Soloman’s extensive reporting and examined his sources, which were enough to engender more than just suspicions, I wondered about PolitiFact, did it have a bias, and why was WRAL Channel 5 employing it?

Just a cursory review online revealed a number of criticisms of PolitiFact, its methodologies, and its bias.

I decided to write to the station, to the Capitol Broadcasting Company Opinion Editor Seth Effron, and inquire. Here is a copy of the letter I sent on December 4 that year. I have never received the courtesy of a response:

*****

December 4, 2019

 

Mr. Seth Effron

CBC Opinion Editor

WRAL - TV

Raleigh, North Carolina

 

Dear WRAL,

Several weeks ago (November 17) WRAL-TV News announced proudly that it would henceforth be utilizing the services of professional “fact checker,” PolitiFact to verify the truthfulness of a politician’s assertion or an organization’s claim. Thus, TV 5 began a series of on-air PolitiFact-produced evaluations of several statements made by, for example, US Representative Mark Meadows on the firing by President Trump of ambassadors, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the Border Wall, Republican statements that leading Democrats promised impeachment before President Trump even took office, and the president’s negative description of several witnesses in the “impeachment hearings.”

Invariably, the Truth-O-Meter came down hard on Republicans and conservatives. That prompted me to question the data utilized and the measures employed to make such evaluations. And just what kind of organization is PolitiFact and why Channel 5 would utilize it.

Examining a broad wealth of information, most of it widely accessible via the Internet, the conclusion became inescapable: PolitiFact, set up to monitor the truth or falsity of statements made in our political environment, itself has been accused quite credibly of a marked and demonstrable bias in its methodology and evaluations.

Thus, I believe one is permitted to seriously question the reasons behind WRAL’s embrace of this service, and why with much on-air fanfare it was announced to viewers that, at last, there was an objective source for analyzing political statements—when, indeed, there is considerable doubt about the pronounced political bias of the very “fact-checker” employed.

Let me offer just a few examples, a few brief critiques of PolitiFact, easily discoverable on the Web:

First, there is the verdict of the reputable, non-partisan AllSides group: “PolitiFact AllSides Media Bias Rating: LEANS LEFT.” Their evaluation is based on a number of factors, including third party analysis, editorial review, community feedback, blind surveys, independent research, and confidence level evaluation.

Second, Newsweek magazine, certainly no shill for conservatives, reported on June 27 of this year, that:

A 2013 study from George Mason University Center for Media and Public Affairs called into question who fact checks the fact-checkers, noting "Politifact.com has rated Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims during President Obama's second term ... A majority of Democratic statements (54 percent) were rated as mostly or entirely true, compared to only 18 percent of Republican statements."

 

The Newsweek report went on to state: “[the] George Mason [study] concluded that news organizations overwhelmingly choose to fact-check reports or comments made by right-leaning politicians or fellow news outlets,” and then grade them almost always negatively.

The USNews & World Report, in an evaluation from 2013, also cited the detailed study from George Mason University concerning PolitiFact’s history of favoring a pro-left viewpoint:

[A] study from the George Mason University Center for Media and Public Affairs … demonstrates empirically that PolitiFact.org, one of the nation's leading "fact checkers," finds that Republicans are dishonest in their claims three times as often as Democrats. "PolitiFact.com has rated Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims….”

Lastly, I offer some commentary from the standard online reference, Wikipedia, which once again presents the accusation of political bias on the part of PolitiFact:

Mark Hemingway…criticized all fact-checking projects by news organizations, including PolitiFact, the Associated Press and the Washington Post, writing that they "aren't about checking facts so much as they are about a rearguard action to keep inconvenient truths out of the conversation". In February 2011, University of Minnesota political science professor Eric Ostermeier analyzed 511 PolitiFact stories issued from January 2010 through January 2011. He found that the number of statements analyzed from Republicans and from Democrats was comparable, but Republicans have been assigned substantially harsher grades, receiving 'false' or 'pants on fire' more than three times as often as Democrats…. [Italics mine]

As I wrote earlier, these pronouncements represent just a few of the evaluations available. 

But, then, my question: why would WRAL want to employ such an obvious and well-documented leftwing “fact-checker” to present to viewers what purport to be “unassailable truth” (and thus corrections of those deemed not to be telling the truth)? Does not the station and Capitol Broadcasting Company have a duty to viewers to at the very least let them know that PolitiFact is not the shining-truth-knight “sans reproche” that it is purported to be? 

Are there not parallels with the use of “information” on hate crimes by such now-largely discredited organizations as the Southern Poverty Law Center?

I recall many years ago, as a boy, when WRAL first came on the air, and I have watched it consistently since then, in particular its weather and sports coverage. But I must tell you that in this age of “fake news,” the Internet social media news sources, and thousands of supposed “news” items that appear daily in the ethosphere, what I have seen in recent years via WRAL as news often raises very serious issues for me—and I think for many other viewers as well.

It may not be possible to always offer “objective” reporting; indeed, it may be virtually impossible in our current environment when “fake news” dominates most of the national news media. But, as an old-fashioned believer in trying to do just that, I am deeply disappointed by your use of PolitiFact and, more so, by your unfounded claim that somehow such usage will establish the “truth” or “falseness” of a claim or statement.

That simply will not do. Your Leftwing bias is showing, and you owe it to your viewers to let them know.

I am blind copying this message to several elected officials.

Sincerely yours,

Boyd Cathey

Dr. Boyd D. Cathey                                                                                              

*****

As I say, my communication was never acknowledged, and I think I know why. In America today those who control our politics, our culture, and our media consider those of us who dissent the enemy, to be feared and controlled, if not suppressed.

The Disinformation Governance Board and its objectives are one more chilling example of what awaits us in the new American Gulag.

                                                   May 16, 2022   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   National Unity is A Mirage—We Must Unde...