Our first source to be disqualified is Jennifer Rubin, who writes a column for the Washington Post. She is not particularly secretive about being a conservative, but, more importantly, she’s really bad at her job. I will never accept her as a source on anything. Here are the 10 examples of violation of the source rules:
1. Lies: “Rubin invented the idea that State Department personnel in Washington, D.C., watched real-time video of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, a claim later debunked by Washington Post media writer Erik Wemple.”
2. Lies: “Rubin claimed in September 2012 that President Obama had not released a corporate tax plan. Obama released his corporate tax plan in February of that year, and Rubin criticized it at the time.”
3. Lies: “Rubin lied about President Obama’s remarks in the Rose Garden the day after the Benghazi attack, saying the president did not use the term ‘acts of terror’ in ‘the same paragraph with Benghazi.’ Obama’s next sentence after saying ‘acts of terror’ was about the four Americans killed in the attack.”
4. Hypocrisy: “Rubin wrote that the Tax Policy Center’s critique of Mitt Romney’s tax plan couldn’t be trusted because the group is “left-leaning” and “very partisan.” Ten months earlier she’d hyped the group as “independent” when it critiqued one of Romney’s primary opponents.”
5. Lies: Rubin claimed that the 2009 stimulus package contained no funding for ‘shovel-ready defense jobs.’ The stimulus allocated several billion dollars for military ‘construction’ projects and ‘operations and maintenance.’
6. Lies: “She invented criticisms of Obama’s second-term Cabinet nominees.”
7. Hypocrisy: “She alternated between describing Romney’s tax proposals as highly detailed and lacking detail, depending on which would better allow her to flack for them.”
8. Lies: “During the campaign she railed against Obama for not having an immigration plan: ‘Where is Obama’s solution?’ That plan was readily available on the White House website.”
9. Lies: She “fabricated the existence of a real-time video feed of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.”
10. Lies: “She falsely wrote that the Obama White House had conspired to shield the New Black Panther Party, a buffoonish black separatist group, from being brought up on voter intimidation charges during the 2008 election.”
Keep in mind, this was all found in a one-minute search on Rubin’s name. She has many, many other examples that could be included here as to why she is not a valid source.
I also want to take a closer look at one of her recent columns that is a really, really bad attempt at anything related to the word “journalism.” It’s basically a love letter to George W. Bush and it is very, very wrong. Renaissance man:
One of the favorite, entirely false nostrums of the left was that President George W. Bush was an ignorant rube. In fact, he was and is a voracious reader.
I know a lot of people who joked about this, but there is little to no evidence this was one of the “favorite” nostrums of the left, but that’s nether here nor there. The logic of the two sentences here is terrible. One can easily be a reader and still be ignorant. If all you read, say, was TMZ and Us Magazine, chances are ignorant would be a great word to describe you. Also, the idea that “Bush is ignorant” is an “entirely false” notion is a ridiculous claim. Watch this video. At a minimum, this compilation, which only touches the surface, shows that Bush had a real ignorance of the English language and/or public speaking. Possibly of basic facts as well. Rubin said that the ignorance claim was “entirely false.” “Entirely” means 100%. Even if this were the only evidence of Bush being less than perfectly smart (which is far from the case), this would be enough to invalidate her claim.
And unlike the current Oval Office inhabitant, Bush has an essential humility that never changed. ( “Look, the signature is more valuable than the painting.”)
Not only is there literally nothing to back up her claim that Bush shows humility and Obama shows arrogant, these talking points come directly from conservative media and fly in the face of known evidence about both men.
Media elites are cultural snobs, but they are narrow-minded and to a large degree prejudiced. They mock, even now, his accent.
First off, Rubin is a media elite. Second off, there is no evidence to back up the claim that media elites are “cultural snobs,” “narrow-minded” or “prejudiced.” She’s completely making all of these claims up. Bush’s accent wasn’t mocked out of “elitism,” it was mocked for the fact that his accent was adopted in order to make him seem more “folksy,” he was born in Connecticut and grew up there and went to Ivy League schools. He also uses a lot of words that don’t exist or messes them up, so much show that there’s a massive website devoted to it.
They roll their eyes at his sincere expressions of faith. (Recall when he said Jesus was his favorite philosopher.)
Not in the slightest. We don’t believe it’s sincere and his expressions of faith seem shallow and totally calculated to win votes. For one, his policies were highly inconsistent with the teachings of his self-professed favorite philosopher. Also, his knowledge of religious topics (as noted by Al Franken) falls far short of his professions of faith. If the media believed him, they wouldn’t roll their eyes.
They can’t quite get their minds around the notion that Bush gobbles up history books. Yet they are taken in by the pose of intellectualism by a president who continually mangles history and whose worldview and economic views are straight out of discredited leftist scripts.
No, we understand that he reads history books. But, based on his words and policies, we aren’t sure that he understands them. The most important basic thing to know about the Middle East is that there are different strains of Islam that have conflict with each other. When he was preparing the invasion of Iraq, Bush didn’t seem to know this basic fact, something that any reading of relevant history books would point out in the very beginning. And nothing in Rubin’s commentary here about Obama is valid. Where are there examples of Obama mangling history? I’m not aware of any. And his economic views (as noted by authors like Bob Kuttner) are most decidedly NOT leftist. Leftist economics does not focus on deficit reduction in time of slow growth. Most leftist economists think that is crazy. We could go on and on, but the area that Obama is MOST conservative is his economics.
The media’s off-kilter assessment is in large part the bias of cultural familiarity: People who sound like them, went to top schools and hold their beliefs are sophisticates. Pomposity is confused with wisdom. Directness is misdiagnosed as simplistic.
Except that the aforementioned George W. Bush went to those same top schools. So how is that the media hates people who didn’t go to elite schools and they hate Bush who went to those elite schools. And none of us confuse “pomposity” with wisdom. We do, however, frequently confuse higher education with wisdom. We particularly think that people who have higher levels of education know more than people who don’t. We think this because it’s a basic fact of life. And we don’t think directness is simplistic, we don’t think people like Rubin or Bush are direct at all. We think they lie a lot. And we think that their outlook on the world is simplistic because it is (“you’re either with us or you’re against us” is a logical fallacy, the either/or fallacy to be specific).
Political karma is quite rich. In his retirement Bush is now well regarded for his artistic sensibility.
Really? By whom? Name one person who isn’t a fan of Bush’s politics that is a fan of his “artistic sensibility.” Again, I’m guessing Rubin just made this one up.
If the media were more honest they might even concede he is deep and philosophical.
We’d concede this if there were any evidence of it. I’ve seen none.
Well, he certainly is more intellectually curious and endearing than the current president.
Similarly, no evidence exists that I am aware of that even remotely suggests that Bush is more intellectually curious than Obama. This is ad hominem attack piled upon uninformed hero worship on Rubin’s part. She doesn’t even attempt to back this up with facts, she just asserts it. That’s not something anyone who is a journalist should ever do, especially a journalist who works for the Washington Post.