Mar 30, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 28 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
If you harbor any doubts that “conservative” is an all-purpose epithet in the press, then Simon Denyer, the Washington Post’s China bureau chief, will happily erase those doubts. Writing last week about threats to freedom of speech and scholarly inquiry in the former British colony of Hong Kong (“In Hong Kong, fears of Chinese restrictions on academic freedom grow,” March 15), he made it clear where the problem lies: It’s the People’s Republic of China “and its conserv-ative backers in Hong Kong” who want to censor speech and shut down academic freedom.
Never mind, of course, that the People’s Republic of China—or Red China, as we unreconstructed types used to call it—is stepping up its commitment to Marxist ideology, to Communist principles, and to the doctrines of its founder (and sometime left-wing hero) Mao Zedong. According to Denyer, the enemies of personal liberty, free speech, and intellectual inquiry in Hong Kong are on the right, not the left. He tells us that Hong Kong’s Communist governor, Leung Chun-ying, “is accused of appointing supporters and conservative figures to university governing councils,” and that “academics are concerned that China and its conservative backers in Hong Kong are trying to . . . rein in criticism and silence a source of unrest.”
The Scrapbook assumes that Denyer, the former Reuters bureau chief in Washington, is aware that “conservatives” are, in fact, the people who don’t like Marxism, call themselves anti-Communist, are appalled by restrictions on freedom of speech on campus, were worried when Britain handed Hong Kong over to Beijing (1997)—and regard the People’s Republic of China as a long-term threat to American freedom and security.
To our knowledge, the people who like Beijing and revile Taiwan are called liberals, and the people who think Hong Kong would have been better off under continued British rule are called conservatives. But not by Simon Denyer’s reckoning, and he and his colleagues are consistent on the point.
For example, the hard-line, anti-American Islam-ists who have governed Iran since 1979 are “conservatives” to the Simon Denyers of the world—even though “conservatives” are the Americans who oppose the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran. Indeed, this rhetorical sleight-of-hand is nothing new: In the days of the old Soviet Union, it was “conservatives” in the Kremlin who suppressed political freedom and opposed free markets, while liberals in America favored appeasing Moscow. A mirror image, as it were, of the truth.
But the point, then as now, was not to clarify meaning, or depict reality, but to enshrine political prejudice in journalism. Liberals are the Good Guys in the media serial, while conservatives, under any and all circumstances, are just plain Bad. And who cares if Truth must be twisted and turned? If the Beijing leftists/Communists/Marxists prevail in Hong Kong, it will be the fault of conservatives!
Mar 23, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 27 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
On March 10, Senator Ted Cruz said the following: “On tax -reform, we, right now, have more words in the IRS code than there are in the Bible—not a one of them as good.” It’s no surprise that Republicans in Congress tend to hate taxes and love the Bible, and as Republican rhetoric goes, this is about as anodyne as it gets. The Scrapbook never thought that such a straightforward sentiment would engender controversy, but never underestimate the -media’s desire to willfully misrepresent and dispute the words of politicians they don’t like.
9:01 AM, Mar 11, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Yesterday, Senator Ted Cruz said the following: “On tax reform, we, right now, have more words in the IRS code than there are in the Bible — not a one of them as good.”
Dec 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 16 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
"This is my last column for this newspaper. I am joining Jason Whitlock’s new Web site at ESPN intersecting sports, culture and race, to be launched sometime next year. I plan to continue the work my editors at The Post have generously supported, especially now that many of society’s most substantive conversations about race, class, money, power, cultural identity—a social-conscience renaissance—are suddenly mushrooming out of America’s locker rooms. For the first time in my career . . . ” (Mike Wise, Washington Post, Dec. 14).
Jihadist Moazzam Begg, the Gitmo snitch
8:01 AM, Dec 17, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg is back in the news this week. On Sunday, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviewed Begg to get his perspective on the recently released report, written by Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, concerning the CIA’s controversial interrogation program. Zakaria teased Begg’s segment at the beginning of his show, saying, “Moazzam Begg wants an apology. He was held in U.S. prisons and says he was abused and witnessed torture. What is his response to the report?
The establishment mourns one of its own. Nov 3, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 08 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
Like all charming and physically imposing persons, Ben Bradlee had an enormous head.
6:30 AM, Oct 19, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In the wake of their passage of Obamacare, the Democrats have repeatedly claimed two things: Republicans don’t have an alternative, and in any case the health care debate is over. But a Washington Post editorial published Saturday makes it clear that neither of these claims is true.
11:04 AM, Sep 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is already in the electoral battle of her life this November. Her national party is far out of step with Louisiana voters on health care, abortion, and energy issues, and the national mood is continuing to shift against the Democrats. And the leader of that party, President Obama, is deeply unpopular in the Bayou State.
Sep 1, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 47 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Sometimes it’s the little things that draw your attention. The other morning (August 20), for example, The Scrapbook noticed a subordinate headline for the main story on the front page of the Washington Post, about the racial confrontations in Ferguson, Missouri: “County prosecutor’s past raises concerns.”
Jun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Two weeks ago, George Will wrote a column about how progressives have exaggerated the prevalence of rape on college campuses. The column was not well received by some or even, as a great many of the histrionic responses would indicate, well understood. Last week a press release landed in The Scrapbook’s inbox, headlined: “87,000 Call on The Washington Post to Address Sexism, Fire George Will.” A group called UltraViolet was touting the success of an online petition they’d whipped up over the controversy. From the release:
The perpetual adulation of Herblock.Feb 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 21 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
Herblock: The Black & the White, a documentary about the editorial cartoonist Herbert Block, had its cable premiere on HBO last week, and we can expect repeated showings for many weeks to come, creating a low-buzz Herblockfest interspersed dizzily among re-airings of Girls.
1:51 PM, Jan 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In this week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, the boss writes that nothing about Hillary Clinton's candidacy, nomination, or election to the presidency in 2016 is inevitable. Here's an excerpt: