Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Malarkey Derby: And they're off . . . way off!

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator

After the Democratic Convention and the drug-fueled Trumpublican Hate Fest, we could all use a break from politics.  That's why we were so glad to hear that the Kentucky Derby will be held in September, albeit in an empty Churchill Downs.

Until then we'll have to enjoy the quadrennial post-election spectacle, the Run of the Poseurs, also known as the Malarkey Derby.  This highlight of the political horse race calendar occurs this time in each election cycle, when America's thoroughbred bloviators and gasbags compete for the greatest prize in political-year punditry: the race to tell the Democratic nominee what he (or last time she) must do to win the race, in the expert opinion of said gasbag.

Bad ToupeƩ breaks fast but
starts leaning to one side

Normally the advice is that the Democratic center must pivot to the center, attract white voters, and repudiate the progressive wing of his own party.  Because that worked out great for Presidents Michael Dukakis and John Kerry!  And invariably they have no advice for the Republican nominee who, no matter how corrupt, drug-addled, demented, and vile, is regarded as a political mastermind whose instincts are flawless.

Before we start, a quick reminder: while in most years the winner has been one of a select group over over-60 white geldings, the race is theoretically open to superannuated nags of any gender.   As they lumber toward the starting keyboard, let's look at some of the contenders.

Here's a long-time champion of many past races, George Will.  What's his terrible advice for Joe Biden?

He needs a Sister Souljah moment. In 1992, this rap singer was pleased by the deadly Los Angeles riots following the acquittal of the police officers involved in the Rodney King beating: “If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?” Candidate Bill Clinton’s criticism, not of extremism in general, but of her explicitly, reassured temperate voters that he was not intimidated by inhabitants of the wilder shores of American politics.

FFS.  Yeah, because that's the message of the Black Lives Matter movement: kill white police.  And we know that because . . . .  So Will's advice is that Joe Biden should gratuitously smear his most impassioned and devoted supporters reeling from the agony of repeated unpunished police shootings of unarmed Black men and women by finding some Black voice, however extreme or lonely, he can verbally assault.  That's got to make Will an early favorite!  

But there's a crowded field here.  One of his Washington Post stablemates, Kathleen Parker, had a similar, um, take:

. . . while Bretbug skitters along the rail . . .

Biden needs to distance himself from the rioters and agitators and troublemakers who are scaring people out of their wits. 

Are they?  Which people?  The ones who are too scared to dine at restaurants, fly on planes, and send their kids to school because they fear adding to the coronavirus carnage that has so far claimed over 180.000 lives with no end in sight?  Maybe she's talking about the racist Republican base that wields assault rifles at peaceful protesters, whose wits are so tiny they could fall out of their noses during reloading.

And notice how this old horse adopts the broad-brush Republican smear of unnamed “rioters and agitators and troublemakers,” a group large enough to encompass any and all protesters but narrow enough so that the speaker can claim she wasn't speaking about the good, peaceful, not-too-uppity protesters.

Let's take a look at the contenders from that other stable that has raised so many other winners of the Malarkey Derby, The New York Times.   Here's the young old gelding who's regarded as one of the strongest entrants in the field, Bretbug;

If Joe Biden isn’t careful, Donald Trump might have a new nickname for him: “Shutdown Joe.” Or maybe, “Shut Down Joe.” Those monikers came to mind after the former vice president’s biggest blunder in the campaign thus far. 

I’m referring to Biden’s comment, in his interview last week with ABC’s David Muir, that if scientists advised him to shut down the country again to contain a winter surge of Covid-19 and the flu, “I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists.” It’s the sort of remark that surely plays well with voters who already support him. It might even have notional majority support. 

But it doesn’t help with the voters Biden needs to avoid antagonizing in swing districts.

So Bretbug believes that Biden should promise to keep America doing business as usual even if trained scientists tell him that doing so would cause the needless deaths of thousands of more Americans? I mean who needs science anyway?  Just a reminder that Bretbug is running true to form: he first raced to prominence by mocking the science of human-caused global warming and the people of Lake Charles, Louisiana will be thanking him for years. 

Not to be outdone, his fellow aged clodhopper Tom Friedman, having run hard throughout the Iraq War and then been put away wet, found the platform that Biden should run on at the end of a random email:

I have an idea for Biden’s bumper sticker.

As I think about what kind of president Biden wants to be and what kind of president America needs him to be, the slogan that comes to mind was suggested to me by . .  a recent email to me by writing: “Respect science, respect nature, respect each other.”

I thought — wow, that’s a perfect message for Biden, and for all of us. It summarizes so simply the most important values Americans feel that we’ve lost in recent years and hope to regain from a post-Trump presidency. . . .

We have so many important issues to discuss among ourselves right now, but for that discussion to be productive we can’t just go from justifiable outrage straight to firings, public shamings or disbanding police departments — without pausing for respectful dialogue and moral distinctions.

Wow indeed.  That's a perfect message for Biden if you think he should avoid criticizing the culture of white policing that has resisted all efforts at reform for decades while spewing insane paranoid hatemongering and threats against any politician who dares demand that the police protect, not shoot, members of the public. Again, the important thing for Biden is not to appear as if he believes that the Black critique of white dominated America is correct. 

Once again the Post and Times stables have fielded an impressive array of nags ready to b.s. their way over the entire course of a campaign.  But don't overlook some promising non-newcomers.

Here's Jack Shafer, from the reliable Politico stable of long-running hacks:

Biden might be able to defeat Trump in November, but as a creature of the Washington swamp for 48 years, he’ll never convince voters that Trump is less authentic than he is. That task would be easier for a candidate attacking Trump from the right, pointing out that Trump claims the Russia thing is a hoax but that QAnon is harmless, pointing out that he hasn’t built the wall, that he didn’t lock Hillary up, that he didn’t really crack down on the rioters, that he has failed to bring back the manufacturing base, and that it’s not 1955 again.

Genius!  Joe Biden should remind America that the Tangerine-Faced Grifter promised to lock Hillary Clinton up without charges and . . . failed!  That'll make the difference in swing counties.

But the odds-on favorite to win is The Atlantic's own former Iraq war flack, ol' George Packer, for his advice to Biden to put himself in a no-win political trap on live TV:

. . . and Six Months Tom takes a leap of faith

Biden, then, should go immediately to Wisconsin, the crucial state that Hillary Clinton infamously ignored. He should meet the Blake family and give them his support and comfort. He should also meet Kenoshans like the small-business owners quoted in the Times piece, who doubt that Democrats care about the wreckage of their dreams. Then, on the burned-out streets, without a script, from the heart, Biden should speak to the city and the country. 

By the way, did Hillary Clinton's decision not to campaign personally in Wisconsin really prove fatal?  Is there anyone who could shed any light on this, like in a respected publication such as The Atlantic?  Come on down, Ron Brownstein

The price of that emphasis [on FL and NC] was extraordinarily little attention to Michigan and Wisconsin, which she did need to win, and also did not. . . . Yet that explanation doesn’t fully explain the outcome. Clinton also lost in Pennsylvania, which she pursued with enormous resources. 

If the explanation is falsified by other relevant cases, it's not much of an explanation, is it?

But you can't expect a thoroughbred hack like George Packer to read his own magazine when he can advise Joe Biden to parachute into an explosive situation controlled by unsympathetic white supremacist police and expect only good things to happen.  What could go wrong?

At any rate, the Malarkey Derby will run hot and heavy until Election Day.  The best part?  Even if they turn out to be wrong about everything (remember ol' George Will exalting the wisdom of the Electoral College in 2017?), they'll be back again for the next race.  

Because when it comes to America's white male gasbags, there's no such thing as finishing out of the money.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

From the Archives, 2002: Republicans Fall for Nutty Conspiracy Theory


Editors' Note: Sure, the Democrats looked pretty good this week. The convention was pretty entertaining and often riveting, even if you don't like fried calamari. And why don't you? At any rate, the usual suspects are gearing up for the Republican response. In preparation, some of them have been shocked, shocked to discover that Republicans have embraced a wacko conspiracy theory that postulates that President Super Spreader is actually a lonely battler against a huge Jewish Democratic female conspiracy to sell children from the secret underground tunnels of a DC pizza parlor. Now this theory, known as “QAnon,” suffers from a few obvious infirmities, like a total lack of factual support. But that doesn't stop today's Republican Party, as the New York Times has latterly discovered.  

They told their readers

Late last month, as the Texas Republican Party was shifting into campaign mode, it unveiled a new slogan, lifting a rallying cry straight from a once-unthinkable source: the internet-driven conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

The new catchphrase, “We Are the Storm,” is an unsubtle cue to a group that the F.B.I. has labeled a potential domestic terrorist threat. It is instantly recognizable among QAnon adherents, signaling what they claim is a coming conflagration between President Trump and what they allege, falsely, is a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile Democrats who seek to dominate America and the world.

The slogan can be found all over social media posts by QAnon followers, and now, too, in emails from the Texas Republican Party and on te T-shirts, hats and sweatshirts that it sells. It has even worked its way into the party’s text message system — a recent email from the party urged readers to “Text STORM2020” for updates.

The Texas Republicans are an unusually visible example of the Republican Party’s dalliance with QAnon, but they are hardly unique.

The tone of the piece seemed to be shock, bordering on syncope, over the idea that the Republican Party could fall victim to an insane conspiracy that could undermine American democracy.  We sent our intern Louise into the Archives to see if she could find any other occasion on which the Republicans fell for an obviously-ludicrous conspiracy theory that led to disaster.

Of the 425 examples she found since 1932, we chose this one from 2002.

Are Republicans Ready to Embrace
An Unhinged Conspiracy Theory?

By David Bloviator
Political Editor with Douglas MacArthur at the Pentagon

With the nation still reeling from the shocking 9/11 attacks and the overwhelming loss of over 3,000 innocent lives at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on Flight 93, perhaps it's not surprising that America is looking to blame someone, anyone, for an unexpected attack for which America was not prepared.

Condoleezza Rice isn't taken in by KAnon
Yet the current conspiracy theory now sweeping Washington is still leaving intelligence and defense professionals gasping. According to a theory bouncing around hard-right Republican neocon conspiracy theorists: it was Saddam Hussein's fault.

Despite a total lack of evidence, this hardcore band of conspiracy theorists claim that Saddam Hussein is closely linked with the al-Qaeda terrorists who were actually responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

They base this fantastic claim on what they say are hidden messages in the editorial page of The Washington Post editorial page that are supposedly written by a highly placed Harvard-educated intellectual known to insiders as “Freddie.”

Because these conspirators claim that Freddie is receiving intelligence from a Republican apparatchik who calls himself Billy K., the conspiracy theorists are known as “KAnon.”

Of course, this bizarre theory has no basis in fact.  There are no connections between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, who are in fact adversaries.  Those who really know what they're talking about note that Hussein represents the secular Ba'ath movement while al-Qaeda is a demented offshoot of the ultra-pious Saudi branch of Islam known as Wahhabism.

Recently, Freddie and Billie K. have hinted that not only is Saddam Hussein linked to al-Qaeda, but, despite a total lack of evidence, that he is also executing a program of developing nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction.  For example, they claim that tubes clearly intended as rocket launchers are in fact centrifuges used to create bomb-grade uranium.

They have even gone so far as to claim that Hussein has outfitted vans and railcars as mobile biological weapons laboratories.

Dick Cheney is known as a voice of reason
Knowledgeable Washington observers note that the Bush Administration's foreign policy apparatus remains firmly in the heands of experienced pragmatists like Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell and discount any possibility of the insane KAnon Hussein-related conspiracy theorists influencing President George W. Bush.

According to Bush communications director Nicolle Wallace, “Rest assured that this Administration will rely on solid intelligence in making vital national security decisions and not on the uncorroborated fantasies of a discredited defector – What's that?  Tell Veep I'll get back to him someday.”

But other long-time Capital observers point out that the KAnon conspiracy theorists seem to be making headway with lower-level Bush Administration officials like Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith.  They caution that the prevalence of KAnon conspirators in the Administration and the Republican Party could place the Republic in danger.

“The danger of the KAnon conspiracy theorists is not just that they are spreading crazy theories about Saddam Hussein.  Ultimately their goal is to foment an invasion of Iraq, which would cost thousands of American lives and only lead to disaster and instability in the Middle East,” said a source close to CIA Director George Tenet.

But rational Republicans sought to tamp down the war hysteria now being fanned by KAnon conspiracy theories.  “It's frankly insulting to think that this Administration would go to war without a considered and disciplined interagency process just because a few extremists whackos think it would be a good idea to overthrow a Middle East dictator for s***s and giggles,” said a highly-placed official on the National Security Council before departing for a weekend at Camp David with the President.

Democratic Party heavyweights downplayed the importance of the KAnon conspiracy theory: “Invade Iraq to get back at al-Qaeda?  Next thing you'll be telling me, Donald Trump will run for President!” chortled Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

News from Zontar: Child Sacrifice Cult in Plague-Ridden Land

Editors' Note:  The Spy's prize-winning Deep Space Desk monitors transmissions from around the universe as part of its increasingly desperate search for intelligent life in other galaxies, to make up for the loss of same here on Earth.  This week a frightening dispatch from Zontar in the Remulac system demonstrates just how alien alien life can be and how grateful we should be that there's nothing even remotely like it any place on the planet we call – [They catch the drift – Ed.]
From ZBC Galaxy News Correspondent Zatty Zay

I have returned from the Planet Karendon, where a terrible plague has led to a dramatic increase in the rate of child sacrifice on that unfortunate planet.  A warning that some of the details I am about to describe would be upsetting to any oxygen-based life form.

For generations, Karendon has been admired around the galaxy for its material riches, its power, and the excitement and vibrancy of its cultural and social life.  And yet, with all its advantages, Karendon has never managed to figure out how to live in peace without frequent bloodletting.

These Karendonian children may be sacrificed
to appease Zonald 
For decades disturbing reports of a cult of child sacrifice have circulated throughout the galaxy.  These reports suggest that children while attending schools on Karendon are randomly shot and killed by criminals with lethal high-powered weapons.

When citizens of Karendon are asked why they permit these ritual child sacrifices to continue without surcease, they reply that these sacrifices are the price they have to pay to an obscure deity, known on no other planet in the universe as the “Zecond Amendment,” which in their view requires forfeiting the lives of their most precious possessions to appease the members of the gun-wielding cult that worships this idol.

Over the decades, hundreds of children have been sacrificed, randomly and without warning, at the altar of this steel and gunpowder deity.  Although a majority of Karendonians are actually known to oppose this ritual bloodletting, they are powerless to overcome the devoted adherents of this cult of death.
And yet despite the pain and anguish this cult of child sacrifice has caused on Karendon, a recent plague now threatens untold hundreds of thousands of children.
For the last six months, Karendon has been ravaged by a dangerous and frightening plague identified as ZOVID-99.  This highly contagious disease has already claimed 165,000 lives on Karendon.  Over 5 million Karendonians have been afflicted.  White most recover quickly, a minority still struggle with the possibly lifelong consequences of this plague.
Incredibly enough, the Karendonians, instead of initiating and following the measures that its scientists have told them will effectively control the plague and save lives, they have instead embraced dangerous practices endorsed by the bizarre bronze-painted leader of the ruling cult on Karendon, Zonald.

Scientists have told Karendonians to wear masks over their gills to prevent transmission of the plague and to test all Karendonians daily to be able to isolate those with the plague from the healthy mass of citizens.

Who will save these children?
Yet Zonald has refused to follow these instructions and has instead issued a series of increasingly violent and unhinged injunctions to his unfortunate subjects, including drinking or injecting poison.

But while most Karendonians have ignored the advice to ingest highly toxic chemicals, they seem to be willing to embrace a massive extension of child sacrifice.

Zonald has told his subjects to send their children back to school without masks or other measures that would protect them from contracting the plague and transmitting it to their teachers and family members.

This reckless act of child endangerment could lead to hundred of thousands of additional children sacrificed to the cult now headed by Zonald, not to mention the potential millions of cases that these children could pass on to vulnerable adults.

Despite the obvious insanity of Zonald's order, in many regions of Karendon, Zonald's followers are blindly following along.  In the swamps of Zorida, Zonald's lieutenant, Zon Death Santiz, is requiring children to march to their deaths in public schools.  In the neighboring satrap of Zeorzia, another remorseless Zonald henchman has tried to prohibit his hapless subjects from protecting their children with masks and other effective measures.

Despite a non-stop drumbeat of official propaganda from Zonald's TV network, Zox, many Karendonians refuse to risk the lives of their children.  Yet loyal followers of Zonald have stated their willingness to sacrifice their offspring to appease Zonald's bottomless vanity:
This fatalism is typical of those wretched Karendons who have blindly expressed their fealty to Zonald by sending their children into harm's way.  

How many innocent young Karendons will die before the citizens of this wretched planet realize that their blind adherence to multiple cults of child sacrifice cannot be estimated.  Some fear that the death toll could rise into the millions and even then –  [That's enough News from Zontar.  It's too depressing even for me – Ed.]

Saturday, August 8, 2020

At home fun: the Times News Quiz

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator
One of the most endured [Surely, beloved? – Ed.] features of the New York Times is its weekly news quiz, the purpose of which is to shame you for not reading the Times closely enough the previous week.  Here's this week's example:
Apparently this has been one of the longest-lived features of the Times, although it used to run on Sunday.  Here, just to take one example, is the news quiz the week the Warsaw Ghetto was liquidated in 1943:
Oh well maybe the slaughter of the Warsaw Jews just wasn't as quizworthy as the names of the bodies of water bordering the Aleutian Islands.

At any rate, as part of our effort to serve our faithful readers, trapped at home by the continuing Trumpublican pandemic catastrophe and possibly distracted by off-the-wall questions like can I feed my children and will I be chucked out into the street by the sheriff, we thought we'd craft a fun quiz of our own.  

Instead of a news quiz, since we're the designated meta-content generator, we thought we'd go meta and offer you a quiz not about the news, but about the Times itself.   Anyone can play, even Times staffers themselves.  And yes if you're a Times columnist, you can get help whether from your brother “Kevin,” the research assistant on your lap, the ghost of Cardinal Spellman, sources close to Jared and Ivanka, or anyone else you want, even if they've been s**tcanned by the Times.

Ready?  Go!  (Answers below).

 1.  When the President obviously lies his ass off in public, the appropriate way to describe the results is:

a.  'In a rambling statement, . .'

b.  'the unfounded claim that . . . '

c.  ' Misstating the facts, . . ."

d.  'Lying his ass off as usual . . . " 

The ol' Perfesser
All Times employees can play,
even the ol' perfesser

2.  The decision by Hillary Clinton to use her own email server for unclassified work related emails was

a.  The most shocking display of misconduct since Grover Cleveland fathered a bastard child

 b.  Evidence of how out of touch she was with average Americans, including Times columnists who live in Georgetown townhouses

c.  Just as bad as committing multiple admitted sex crimes and seeking illegal election assistance from a hostile foreign power, so both sides 

d.  A nothingburger


3.  When an op-ed staffer quits because no one likes her pisspoor work, this is an example of:

a.  the most flagrant violation of free speech in our time, notwithstanding the President's threats to close down the Post Office to punish the owner of a newspaper critical of him

b.  sensitive liberal snowflakes who run screaming into the night any time someone hurts their feelings

c.  evidence that the Times won't publish conservative writers other than Bretbug, Cardinal Douthat, the ol' Perfesser, Six-Months Friedman, reactionary goober Senators, right-wing economists, etc. etc.

d.  a day at the office

4.  The claim by a superannuated columnist that it is outrageous that it has taken 36 years for the Democrats to run a ticket including a woman is

a.  Another brilliant example of the sexism in the Democratic Party, so both sides

b.  An unsurprising effort to erase Hillary Clinton, whom said columnist trashed at every opportunity with sexist tropes about her ambition and lack of warmth.

c.  Something to be corrected before it embarrasses her in the print edition:

d.  Another reason why it's time for someone to retire


5.  The failure by the Times to examine its fatally flawed 2016 campaign coverage in which it placed equal weight on the winner's many crimes and the loser's many emails is something that

a.  Should be ignored

b.  Is being repeated

c.  Should be examined by the Public Editor

d.  Should be celebrated by the Executive Editor


6.  Regis Philbin complained that the paper edition he received in Connecticut was printed too early to include the result of Saturday afternoon college football games.  The Times pushed back the print deadline in response.  If you lived in Boston and you wanted to read the results of the previous night's Red Sox game in the paper you pay $1300 a year for, who would you have to be to get similar consideration?

a.  David Ortiz

b.  Harvard President Lawrence Bacow

c.  Where is Boston?

d.  Why do you want to know, given how s****y the Red Sox are this year?


7.  What stories has the Times printed in the last year that would be of special interest to readers in New England?

 a.  Alan Dershowitz's social calendar on Martha's Vineyard.

 b.  Real estate prices of Berkshire vacation homes for a**holes from New York.

 c.  One-skillet recipes for pork and beans

 d.   The art scene in Montreal, which is up in New England somewhere we think.


Ace Times columnist shown here remembering
that the Democrats have put a woman
on the ticket after 1984.

8.  When asked whatever happened to the Times bureau in Albany, capital of the state whose name can be found in the words 'New York Times?,'  the desk responded:

a.  We don't know.  The telegraph wire went down eight years ago.

b.  We don't care.  Cuomo spends all his time here anyway.

c.  We sent someone out to look in '13 and haven't heard back.

d.  Albany?


9.  When New York was represented in the Senate by a corrupt small-time pol and a broken-down lush, the Times reported

a.  They were the greatest statesmen since Roosevelt

b.  They were focused on getting things done for New Yorkers

c.  They were buddies with the publisher

d.  The sordid truth


10.  If you have a base of loyal customers shelling out $1,300 a year for your print edition, the correct way to treat them is:

 a.  Soak them more every year since they must be brain-dead anyway to read the paper edition.

b.  Treat them like your best customers and shower them with special attention and rewards.

c.  Ignore them.

d.  Throw in the recipes, which ought to be good enough for them. 


Answers: 1,a; 2,b; 3,a; 4,d; 5,b; 6,d; 7,b; 8,a; 9,b; 10,c.

Score:  0-4: Dumb enough to pay for the print edition

            5-7: Median Times reader

            8-10: Dean Baquet's successor. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

From the Archives, 1965: Use of tear gas on criminals defended in Selma

The Boston Globe, March 8, 1965

Editors' Note: Over 150,000 dead from and 4,500,000 million infected by an out of control virus, not to mention 30-40 million unemployed facing loss of all benefits.  The reaction of the ruling Trumpublican Party was predictable: (1) go home for the weekend and (2) recommend a course of treatment with demon seed.  We had to find something to distract us.  Fortunately, the Pres Super Spreader Flaming Clown Car of Disaster always provides a superfluity of great material.

Just to take one example, this week one Bill Barr, the Attorney General of the United States, told the House Judiciary Committee with a straight face that protesters who defied police orders deserved what they got, including being shot, gassed, and beaten by unidentified goons who may be federal law enforcement officers, jail guards, or untrained mercenaries, according to the illegal whims of an “acting” Cabinet Secretary whose authority has lapsed.  We wondered if this was just another gem that the Attorney General pulled out from his capacious ass, or if he had, as lawyers say, precedent for this view.  Whaddya know?  He did, as this piece from March, 1965 proves:

By  Blanche duBois
Deep South Correspondent of The Spy with
The New York Times and Boston Globe News Services

The FBI this week forcefully defended the conduct of the Alabama State Police in response to the violent confrontation provoked by outside agitators and radical anarchists on the Edmund Pettus Bridge last week.

In Federal Court testimony this week, according to the New York Times, FBI agent James M. Barmy said that “in the interest of public safety” Alabama Highway Patrolmen “were justified in using tear gas” and presumably cracking skulls to stop Negro marchers from continuing their illegal march from Selma to Montgomery and insure adherence with lawful police orders.

Meanwhile, in Selma, organized gangs of protesters bused in from out-of-state continued to resist lawful police orders.  Under the guise of attending a memorial service for a Boston man who died in unexplained circumstances having been found in the street with a head wound. Negro provocateurs demanded that the Selma authorities drop their ban against inflammatory marches, which the city elders wisely decided not to do until they could be assured that the threat of violence against law-abiding white citizens in Selma had abated.

The tense situation in Selma continued despite the pleas of Alabama Gov. George Wallace for outsiders to go home and stop stirring up discontent among Selma Negroes.  He stressed that he would insist on preserving law and order no matter what the provocation.

Informed observers blamed both sides for the continuing confrontation in Selma. President Lyndon B. Johnson urged both Negro marchers and Gov. Wallace to maintain law and order in a tense time.

Experts pointed the finger of blame at the dearth of suitable moderate Negro leadership in Loundes County, where Selma is located.  Writing in The Boston Globe on March 10, syndicated columnist Charles Bartlett said the efforts of Negroes in Loundes County to register to vote would be aided if they were as “urbane and educated” as those in Macon County, home to the Tuskegee Institute.
UPI report from Selma

As out-of-state Northern fake-news journalists continued to inflame the situation by pouring into Selma to generate favorable propaganda for the Negro agitators led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Sheriff Jim Clark took stern measures to control the spread of liberal lies.  He demanded that all outside reporters register with his office if they wanted to walk the streets of Selma.  Incredibly enough, some foreign reporters, including The Boston Globe's Edward McGrath, dared to defy the orders of duly appointed law enforcers.  Then these whiny snowflakes had the temerity to complain when area hotel-keepers refused to rent rooms in which they could generate even more detrimental falsehoods!

Some of America's most brilliant thinkers and writers had more important things on their mind.  While tensions continued to rise in Selma as President Johnson sought to negotiate a peaceful resolution, distinguished thinker William F. Buckley, Jr., bemoaned the ignorance of college freshmen, some 46% of whom were unable to identify Sir Alec Douglas-Home [Who he? – Ed.]

The brightest light of the American conservative movement blamed the dismal showing on the lack of selectivity in American higher education which cuts down on “the opportunities of those whose genes urge them on to excellence.”

Speaking of genetic selection, Negro leaders in Selma reported that young provocateur Jim Lewis, 25, was recovering from inconsequential head wounds received after defying the lawful orders of the Alabama State Police.  There being nothing much of value inside that hard Negro head, we can be sure that Mr. Lewis will able to resume his genetically suitable calling as a janitor or sharecropper soon.  Either way we'll never hear from him again!

Although some bleeding-heart Northerners were heard to express sympathy with the Negro agitators in Selma, most viewed the faraway fracas as not especially relevant to their own lives.  Man-about-town Donald J. Drump, coming out of the Playboy Club with a young beauty on his arm who gave her name as “Zhleb,”  said he didn't care if Negroes march from Selma to Sylvia to Denise as long as they didn't try to rent any apartments from his father.