consultants are sandburs

Friday, August 28, 2015

I am puzzled by pundits and by circumstances. Ted Cruz, Donald Trump. As pundit fodder. And a closing note concerning journalistic professionalism.

For starters, this, no quote so go to the source itself and read enough to get the drift. The pundit is saying Trump should have handled FOX gotcha entertainment/questions the way Ted Cruz did. Read how Cruz, as seasoned politician seeking the presidency, responded.

Then there is Newsmax, the headline carrying the message; "Poll: Trump Soars Past Cruz in Texas."

So Trump should study and emulate question evasiveness, per Cruz?

The pundit says so, so it must be so?

Next, beyond Trump or Cruz, what is going on, Trump and Cruz?

A TPM image, link at left.
The story is -- Two contestants, one event, one stage, Iran deal in the paired crosshairs. Scanning mainstream coverage each item is not unlike the other; CNN, ABC, Politico, TPM, Rupert's WSJ, The Hill, WaPo, Israeli press, and then the Monitor chooses compare and contrast. Even the Seattle PI weighs in, surprisingly well. Marco Rubio must feel left out. Along with others of the seventeen who would also like a co-starring chance to bash the Iran deal by sharing a stage with Mr. Trump.

Each outlet spins this-and-that the same and differently, punditry cannot be in exact lockstep, but the message is Cruz and Trump, two contestants, one event, one stage. You can read as much of that stuff as you choose, but is there in any of it a sense of what's going on, beyond Trump and Cruz, two contestants, one event, one stage?

Gotta get to FOX. The quick superficial websearch did not get to whether FOX had boo to say about Cruz and Trump, one venue, etc., but our own Glen Taylor Strib opting to carry AP feed material unrelated to Cruz, this item stating in ending paragraphs:

Trump returned to bashing Kelly this week, and the network chief Roger Ailes engaged.

"Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise," Ailes said in a statement demanding Trump apologize.

"I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump's verbal assaults," he added.

FOX? Journalism of any quality? "Professionalism" and not tawdry sensationalism?

"Class, Ailes said?" From FOX?

There is this. Evidence of what exactly? That Howard Stern can bring the best class and professionalism out of people? That FOX bigwig Ailes doth protest too much - perhaps even reaching so far as to feign a dislike for that which is "crude and irresponsible?" Is chasing ratings "crude and irresponsible?"

Would Univision know how to properly handle a ratings boost godsend? Responsibly? While not judging that, happily is the modifier I'd apply. With advertisers buying ratings and with a pending IPO and now the firm's name, happily in the news.

Part of being puzzled, is not knowing whether this link should be put here where it is, or here, where commentary was posted about an ostensible hostile positioning between Donald Trump and Hiam Saben, per the half-bilion complaint of Trump against Univision - in the midst of floating an IPO - which, along with the as-if-staged Jorge Ramos - Donald Trump theater show - boosted the Univision brand recognition among non-Hispanic Americans. Cruz and Trump together thumping the tub against the Iran negotiations, Israel disliking the deal, and Hiam Saben's Wikipedia page, the link referred to above as suitable for adding two places, stating:

Saban says his greatest concern is to protect Israel. At a conference in Israel, Saban described his formula. His three ways to influence American politics were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.[22]

[...] During the 2000 presidential election, Saban increased his rank to 5th among individual donors with a combined contribution of $1,250,500.[23] Matthew Yglesias wrote that "Saban was the largest overall contributor to the Democratic National Committee during the 2001–2002 cycle." [25] Saban's donations during that 2001–2002 period exceeded $10 million, the largest donation the DNC has received from a single source up to that time.

In September 2004, Hillary Clinton described Saban as a very good friend, supporter and adviser: "I am grateful for his commitment to Israel, to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and to my foundation's work, particularly on reconciliation issues."[5] In May 2007, Haim publicly declared his support for Clinton in 2008 presidential election.[20] In June 2007, Saban and Steven Spielberg co-hosted a Hillary Clinton fundraiser at the house of Peter Chernin, the President of News Corporation.[26] According to the Los Angeles Times,[26] the fundraiser brought in over $850,000.

[...] On May 19, 2008, it was reported that Haim Saban had "offered $1 million to the Young Democrats of America during a phone conversation in which he also pressed for the organization's two uncommitted superdelegates to endorse Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president."[28]

[...] In 2002 Saban provided an initial grant of 13 million USD[29] and a pledge of additional funds[29] to create the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, a foreign policy think tank based in Washington, D.C.. The Saban Center is part of the larger Brookings Institution think tank.[29] The Saban Center aims to provide policy makers in government with information and analysis regarding America's foreign policy in the Middle East. Saban recruited Martin Indyk to direct the center.

Haim Saban discussed his views on the Middle East and Persian Gulf region in great detail in a 2006 interview with Haaretz. Particularly notable were his comments regarding Iran: "When I see Ahmadinejad, I see Hitler. They speak the same language. His motivation is also clear: the return of the Mahdi is a supreme goal. And for a religious person of deep self-persuasion, that supreme goal is worth the liquidation of five and a half million Jews. We cannot allow ourselves that. Nuclear weapons in the hands of a religious leadership that is convinced that the annihilation of Israel will bring about the emergence of a new Muslim caliphate? Israel cannot allow that. This is no game. It's truly an existential danger."[30]

[...] Saban, a long-time supporter and donor of many pro-Jewish and Israel causes, has stated his main goal in multiple interviews: "I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel."[38]

Again the other place I declined to put the Saben link, already with much updating, here.

As a thought experiment, might some of the Clinton "personal and deleted" emailing have been with Hiam Saben, a personal friend of the Clinton's family and a supporter of their foundation, much as the Trump complaint paragraph 2 asserted? And might such emailing have overlapped Ms. Clinton's service as US Secretary of State? And then had there been such emailing, preserved, might others than Ms. Clinton view it as edging beyond the merely personal?

I am truly puzzled. Bernie's gravitas and bona fides does not puzzle me one bit, but much of the rest does.

____________FURTHER UPDATE___________
The question of "birthright citizenship" a/k/a more pejoratively termed "anchor baby" status is explored in an online source the existence of which I indirectly learned of from an earlier writing of Harry Niska. Specific to the question, this link, linking over to here. The dance involves hairsplitting over what "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States means in the opening sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment. Given the predilection of the ultimate hair splitter of our time, Mr. Chief Justice Roberts who along with his hair-splitting confederates on the court determined against all logic that inanimate corporations are "people" having rights normally viewed as only accorded actual, real to the touch humans; anything can be expected if the Supremes are reached, to pontificate. Any human who can split that firms-R-us hair that way, can split any other in an infinity of ways, as long as he's got the other four votes in the bag. C.J. Roberts is the worst politician of our time.

So, the legal arguments can be bandied about, and the links given lead to other links, so it appears Trump fairly stated to the Univision guy that legal scholars are of different opinions. And remember, the Fourteenth Amendment stood as bright and as tall as ever during the time Japanese American citizens were put into concentration camps on American soil during WW II, so make of the protections what you will. They appear subject to the tastes of the times, rather than being more actual and eternal.

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