Where’s the Hatchet? The Washington Post’s final attempt to derail Kavanaugh

Friday, October 5: As Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination fight nears its final hour, the Washington Post made one last attempt to derail his confirmation by digging into Kavanaugh’s past. I expected the front-page story entitled “The rise and reckoning: Inside nominee’s circles of influence,” to bring out last minute hatchets finely honed in order to decapitate the candidate. What a let down!

The Post must have assigned their top investigative reporters. I can imagine them spending overtime hours on the phone with every last person to ever cross paths with Kavanaugh from high school to the present. They state their conclusion upfront: Kavanaugh had a circle of “friends, loyal and true . . . [who] made it their business to buff and defend Kavanaugh’s reputation.”

Okay, I thought. Let’s hear examples of how his reputation needed buffing and needed to be defended. The juicy details must follow. But they don’t. There are no juicy details. Oh, one high school student who was teased says, “Brett was a jerk.” Wow! That disqualifies him right there. Is there more? Well, there’s a female Yale student who says he was a sloppy drunk. But did he try to ‘get into her pants?’ Apparently not, because the story moves on with zero reference to such behavior on Brett’s part.

There are references to things boys do as they become men: “a bar fight, groping attempts to get somewhere with women, perhaps worse.” But is anyone quoted saying that Brett did those things? Apparently not with the kind of conviction that the Post needed. The best the reporters can do is attack Brett’s “community”––people who attend prep schools and colleges like Yale. In other words, children of those who achieved some measure of success in American society, as if that should be sufficient evidence that he’s not qualified to serve on the court.

That in the final analysis is why the media and the Democrat Party hate Brett Kavanaugh. He is on the wrong side of the divide they have created and militates against their narrative that America is the land of the unjust. If America has been constructed on a foundation of racism, sexism, and the rest of the Left’s complaints, then anyone who is near the top economically and socially needs to be knocked off their pedestal.

Kavanaugh, not surprisingly, believes in the foundational values embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The Post and the Democrats do not. It’s as simple as that. The Post could find no hatchets to throw at Kavanaugh other than he came from a family that made it, and that expected a great deal of their son. He excelled––graduating first in his class in high school, as a Yale undergraduate and at Yale Law School. For shame. He has to be stopped.

On behalf of those who are not currently in the upper echelons of our society who would like to attain those heights, let’s hope Kavanaugh is confirmed because the kind of society he’d like to preserve is one where you’ll have a chance on your own merits to become the best you can be. You do not have to reside at the bottom accepting charity in return for your loyalty to the Democrat Party.

Brett Kavanaugh is not a perfect human being. There is no such thing. Did he go through normal growing up experiences? Yes. Did he ever go too far? Probably. Who can say they never did! Do you want to appear before a judge who has never made mistakes, who has no experience with pushing the limits? I’d hate to be the defendant before a judge who pretends to be perfect and denies he (or she) ever did something they wished they hadn’t done.

So the attempted hatchet job reveals more about the Post than it did about Brett Kavanaugh. It shows us their bias against people who send their kids to prep schools, who hold conservative views, and who have friends who they support and who support them.

Time to move on to the rest of the paper. Or maybe I’ll just skip the stories and go right to the crossword puzzle. That can’t be imbued with political ideology, or can it?

The Washington Post’s Biased Narrative on Israel

If you read the opinion pages of the Washington Post, you’ll see an imbalance in the views expressed by their in-house as well as guest columnists on Israel. They are uniformly critical of the current government and continue to hammer away on a theme of the need for Israel to give up the territories of Judea and Samaria as well as part of Jerusalem to allow the formation of a Palestinian state. In doing so they are carrying water for the Palestinian Authority and its narrative of what’s going on in that part of the world.

But opinion pieces aside, not everyone recognizes how this bias influences news stories. My goal in this piece is to demonstrate that their news coverage rests on a narrative that is inherently biased against the Netanyahu government.

The piece I’m about to analyze appeared under the headline “Kerry warns of ‘chaos’ if Palestinian Authority collapses,” which appeared on Sunday December 6, 2015 on page A22 of the print edition.

The article, written by Karen DeYoung, reports on a talk John Kerry gave the day before warning Israel bad things are likely to happen if the Palestinian Authority (PA) collapses. Nowhere in the story, however, does DeYoung report the source of that possibility. In fact, she reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu is opposed to such a collapse. So why does Israel need to receive this warning? The danger of the PA’s collapse is something manufactured by the PA as a threat to convince world opinion to increase its pressure on Israel to withdraw its military presence in the territories the media calls the West Bank. Kerry’s warning is like telling a bully’s sister that bad things will happen to her if her brother keeps beating up other kids.

Instead of placing the blame where it belongs, DeYoung picks up another theme of the Palestinian’s narrative to explain the recent violence in which dozens have been killed or injured. Here, instead of blaming the PA for inciting violence against Israeli civilians, she states, “Clashes that began in early fall over a holy site in Jerusalem revered by both Muslims and Jews have ignited a wave of stabbings, shootings and vehicular assaults…” Yes, but the clashes didn’t begin for no reason. They began because members of the Palestinian Authority, including its leader Mahmoud Abbas, incited them with false claims Israel was about to do something to change Muslims’ status on the Temple Mount.

Later in the piece, she writes “Israel . . . has expanded its military presence in Palestinian areas and has allowed the growth of Jewish settlements on territory originally intended to be part of a Palestinian state.” The problem here is the word “originally.” Let’s assume DeYoung is referring to the 1947 United Nations resolution that led to the formation of the state of Israel which included a map dividing the British Mandate for Palestine into Jewish and Arab enclaves. The problem with blaming Israel for not honoring that map is that the Arabs (who didn’t called themselves Palestinians until the 1960s) rejected the boundaries in 1947, and they have rejected them over and over again, most recently by Abbas in 2008. So, how can Israel be bound by a map created 68 years ago that the Arabs/Palestinians have never accepted?

I’ll add one final example showing how DeYoung followed the Palestinians’ narrative. She paraphrases Kerry at the end of her article saying, “increased Jewish settlement activity and the demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank ‘are imperiling the viability of a two-state solution.’” But why are Palestinian homes being demolished? Not so that Jewish settlements can be expanded, which is implied. The homes that have been demolished belong to terrorists who have attacked Israeli civilians, soldiers, and police as part of a policy to try to deter individuals from engaging in terrorist acts. If Kerry lumped demolished homes with settlement activity together, DeYoung should have separated them out. They are apples and oranges.

The author of this story can attribute the positions I argue are wrong and biased to the Secretary of State, but that’s a cop out to use a 1960’s phrase. The role of a journalist when reporting on a news event is not only to report what took place or in this case what the speaker said, but also to either talk to other sources when the speaker’s statements are controversial or fly in the face of accepted knowledge or appear self-interested or biased. In this case DeYoung helps Kerry out by drawing from the Palestinian narrative.

I don’t mean to pick on DeYoung because she is not the only Post reporter who has drunk of the Palestinian/Kerry cool aid. It starts with the editorial board, the editorial page editors and flows down into the newsroom. It’s why if you read the Post, do so with the foreknowledge that you will not get unbiased reportage on stories about Israel and the Palestinians.

Footnote: The Post is not the only media organization that is biased on Israel. See “Reuters reports lie that Israel changes status quo on Temple Mount.

The Price of Compassion, Part II

One of the ways the Washington Post works an issue is to frame a topic in terms of individual lives. A good example is the story in the Sunday September 13th Business section entitled “The Power of One More Dollar.”

The story amounts to a campaign piece on behalf of the $15/hr. minimum wage told through the life of a Guatamalan couple living in a basement apartment in Washington, D.C. The woman is trying to save $7,000 in order to send for her thirteen year old daughter so she can get an education in the U.S.––a noble ambition for sure. Laying out the families economics, the reporter––Lydia DePillis––explains how each dollar more per hour that Dalia Catalan earns means an extra $160/month that can be saved toward that end.

The Catalan family example, however, punctures a hole in one of the cornerstone agruments on behalf of the $15/hr. minimum––the notion that the current minimum, which in D.C. is $10.50/hour, is not enough to support a family because it shows that the typical minimum wage earner does not have to support her family on her or his salary alone. In the Catalan’s case, there are two wage earners plus they share the cost of their apartment with a second couple.

But the huge missing piece of information DePillis left out of this article is whether the Catalan’s are in the U.S legally or not. Since that question is never addressed, one must assume they are here illegally and their two-year-old son is their “anchor baby”––the means by which they hope to gain legal standing to remain in the U.S.
The Post’s story supports my contention that the $15/hour minimum will have a negative impact on economic opportunity for low income American citizens. The author interviews one employer who states that higher minimum wages hinder his ability “to take on the really hard to hire.” In other words, the higher the minimum wage, the harder it will be those who need jobs the most, primarily young minority men, to find them.

One person quoted in the story blames employers for cutting hours in the face of higher minimums. That attitude speaks to my assertion that most people, including most journalists, have little understanding of small business economics. They assume all business owners are rich and that they could increase wages if they weren’t so greedy. That’s a convenient ideological cubbyhole in which to place the blame, but let’s look at the facts.

First, we’re not talking about $1 more per hour to reach $15/hour, but in D.C. $4.50 more per hour or $180 more per week in gross salary. Add in taxes and mandatory benefits, including Obamacare, and we’re looking at $15,000 or more per employee annually over their current pay. That kind of increased cost for just a handful of employees would wipe out the entire profit for many business owners, which is why many will have to lay off empoyees or cut their hours.

No one should blame the Catalans for the choices they’ve made. Dalia says they’re better off here than they were at home. Plus, are unemployed American citizens going to clean hotelrooms like she does? But as a society we’re still making it too attractive for people to come here illegally, disadvantaging citizens as well as those who are applying to come here through the legal immigration process.

How long can we do what feels good without examining the real costs? Is it fair to help those who are getting the raises at the expense of others––namely, those who will be laid off or have their hours reduced and those who can’t find a job?

We also should examine the motives of those who advocate the $15/hour minimum. Who benefits the most? Certainly the politicians who can pretend they’ve done something good without telling the public the full story. Certainly union bosses who can use the $15/hour to leverage raises for their members. Maybe DePillis will tell a union boss’s story next week. How do their family budgets work out on their union salaries? And what about the religious Left––they too benefit because advocating a minimum wage increase is a cheap way to feel good about oneself since it doesn’t require addressing the more difficult problems facing our society.