Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue state: Tell #2 comes through new Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. She matched the tons of free publicity handed to another newbie, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., by issuing anti-Semitic remarks such as “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” (Translation: Jewish-Americans only care about $100 bills.)
Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats knew Omar’s crude comments were a problem, so their wordsmiths developed a resolution that started out condemning anti-Semitism, but mutated into a vague pro-harmony, anti-hate declaration with just about every group thrown in, including Pacific Islanders. The only thing missing was a declaration that “we love our grand old flag.”
Politico Magazine then profiled Omar and quoted her criticism of not only Trump but his predecessors, apparently including Barack Obama: Trump’s “policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was, [but] we don’t want anyone to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
Here’s a 30-second timeout for some free instruction in journalism. WORLD trains its young reporters to stay low on the “ladder of abstraction” by emphasizing human interest and specific detail rather than grand theoretical concepts. Say “he drove a gray 2015 Ford Fiesta,” not “he drove an automobile” or “he arrived via locomotion.” Say “third-trimester baby,” not “fetus” or “product of conception.” Report at street level, not suite level.
By that common journalistic goal, Politico should not have merely quoted Omar speechifying about those who “struggle with our broken infrastructure, they struggle with having an economy that brings them into the 21st century.” Politico should have pushed for specifics: If Omar was talking about roads, was she saying we should fill potholes? By bringing us into modern times, was she saying we should all tweet more? That’s Tell #2: Not only the Democratic Party but its media allies are slouching toward socialism. Don’t expect liberal reporters to ask hard questions about the new Democratic radicalism.
Well, I’m trying to enter the 21st century. During the 14 days that concluded on March 12 I tweeted the good, the bad, and the odd. On the good side, a teenager saved for two years to buy his friend an electric wheelchair. Also, when a student at Morehouse College couldn’t find a baby sitter for his 5-month-old daughter, he brought her to his algebra class. Professor Nathan Alexander offered to hold little Assata so the student could take notes. Alexander (who should be nicknamed the Great) taught the rest of the class with Assata strapped to his chest.
On the bad side: For the past 15 years not only the feds but New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, California, and Delaware have all run deficits, using debt and deferred payments to spend beyond their means. The Socialist Party claims “Socialism will have no leaders or ruling class at all.” Tell that to Chinese Christians who now have bad “social credit” scores: They can’t travel via plane or train, but they get free tickets to prison.
Tweets about the odd: Girls younger than 17 can get an abortion without parental consent in some states, but they won’t be allowed to watch the pro-life movie Unplanned in theaters because movie czars gave it an R rating. And an Australian paraglider landed safely, only to face a kangaroo attack. Video included.
My possibly life-changing tweet was this: “If you’re a college student hoping to improve your journalism skills, the World Journalism Institute’s course in the last half of May will help. To learn more and apply, go to www.wji.world. Application deadline is MARCH 29.”