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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, ladies and gentlemen, from Radio Derb's lavishly-equipped sound studio here on the 95th floor of Buckley Towers in the heart of Manhattan. This is your Hibernically genial host John Derbyshire with a survey of the passing charivari.
My team of superbly-trained sound technicians are at their consoles under the wise supervision of Ahmed, our sound manager — say hello to the listeners, Ahmed [Ahmed: "Death to all infidels!"] … right. My dedicated research assistants Mandy, Candy, and Brandy are collating over at the side there — say hello, girls [M, C, & B: "Hi!"] The producer there behind his glass screen is gesticulating with his rod of office, and off we go!
02 — MSM follies. Sometimes the news is just the news. Stuff happens; it gets fairly reported; we chew over it for significance, then it slips away into the old news file.
Other times, though, the real news is not the news itself, but the way it got reported. We depend for our picture of events on a few thousand journalists, who are unlike America in a lot of ways. They vote about 80 percent Democrat, for example. Most of the time you can discount for this; but now and then an event stirs their own preconceptions and prejudices in such a way that they go into a collective psychic state that is newsworthy in itself.
That happened twice this week, so I'm going to look at those two stories, not so much as news stories, as instructive concerning the mindset of MSM journalists. "MSM" stand for "Main-Stream Media," if you haven't met that one before.
First, the shooting in France.
03 — Toulouse shooting. The news story here was a crazy person shooting a teacher and three children at a school in Toulouse, southern France, on Monday. It was a Jewish school, and in fact the teacher was a rabbi.
Now, in the head of your average MSM journalist, the phrase "wanton killing of Jews" triggers the response: "neo-Nazi!" As it happens, France has a presidential election scheduled for a month from now, and one of the candidates is Marine Le Pen of the National Front Party, who's been polling between 15 and 20 percent — not bad in a broad field. The National Front is an ethnonationalist party, opposed to multiculturalism and mass immigration.
And just a word about that before I go on. There are ethnonationalist parties all over Europe now, and they're doing pretty well, though mostly under a 20-25 percent ceiling of voter approval. Probably best known is Geert Wilders' Freedom Party in the Netherlands, now the third largest party in the Dutch parliament. The Swiss People's Party, actually the largest party now in the federal assembly, would be better known if anyone gave a fig about Swiss politics. The Sweden Democrats is similarly oriented; so are Vlaams Belang in Belgium and the UK Independence Party in Britain, with its less genteel cousin, the British National Party. Once again, the common factor here is ethnonationalism: hostility to multiculturalism and mass immigration, most especially mass Islamic immigration.
The knee-jerk descriptor for these parties in the MSM is "far Right." That's sloppy. On economics, they are all over the place, from Geert Wilders' libertarianism to the state socialism of Britain's BNP. The proper word for these parties is "ethnonationalist": the idea that a nation needs to correspond pretty closely to an ethny — that is, a people of common ancestry sharing a common language and culture all rooted in the territory of that nation.
If you want to look up ethnonationalism, I recommend Walker Connor's book about it, with that title. It's not a bad idea. It was held by wellnigh everybody until about fifty years ago, and is still the default mentality in big and important countries — China, for example, and Japan. I've been hanging out with Chinese people for 45 years, and let me say, if you have a plan to wean them off their ethnonationalism, I wish you all the luck in the world.
OK, back to our dimwit MSM journalists. They hear about some lunatic shooting up a Jewish school and their minds bring up the "far Right" tag. The image that goes with the tag is some snaggle-tooth militiaman type with prison tattoos and a collection of SS regalia in his closet. Isn't that what the "far Right" is all about? So obviously this shooter was some National Front supporter hoping to rally the vote by offing a few of the hated Other.
It sounds absurd, but that's exactly how the incident was first reported as MSM journalists' knees first started to jerk. The palm probably goes to Fiachra Gibbons of the London Guardian, who was first out of the box Monday, right after the shootings, with a fine foam-flecked piece originally headlined French right caught up in the storm it helped create. Sample long quote:
The French airwaves have been full of … ugly equivocation these past few weeks as Nicolas Sarkozy has lurched his party wildly to the right in an attempt to save his skin, claiming there were "too many immigrants in France" and stoking Islamophobia … Today in Toulouse we have been given a horrific illustration of where such delirious cynicism can lead. All of those who have been shot or killed in and around the city in the past eight days have had one thing in common. They are from visible minorities.
End long quote. See, these evil "nativists" are down on "visible minorities" — that's the root of the issue here!
The New York Times was not to be outdone. Their Tuesday report was headlined Killings Could Stall Election's Nationalist Turn. Sample, quote:
The political debate around the shootings, and whether the deaths of an instructor and three young children were somehow inspired by anti-immigrant political talk, is likely to continue … In the middle of a long and heated presidential campaign, with President Nicolas Sarkozy trying to win back disaffected supporters who have drifted to the far Right National Front party, the shootings at Toulouse have raised new questions about the tone and tenor of the debate here about what it is to be French.
So again, what do these wise pundits think is going on here? It's nativism! It's nationalism! It's anti-immigrant sentiment! It's those "far Right" political parties stirring things up!
Those are the narrow, petty little categories in which they think. When the news came out on Wednesday that the gunman was named Mohamed Merah, that he was a jihadi and al Qaeda postulant, and that no tattooed neo-Nazis at all were involved in the atrocity, there must have been some severe cognitive dissonance going on in the heads of these MSM nitwits. The fact that Merah had been raised in France by immigrant Algerian parents might have suggested, to people capable of joined-up thinking, that the ethnonationalist parties have a point. Connected thought and cognitive dissonance, however, don't fit well together in the same skull.
04 — Antisemitism in Europe. One of the things that led the MSM bubbleheads astray was the fact of Mohamed Merah's victims being Jewish. In this particular zone, MSM types haven't noticed much of what's happened in the world since 1945. They hear "wanton killing of Jews" and the phrase "neo-Nazi" comes right up, followed by "far Right," "nativist," and all the rest. They have vague recollections of stories in their own newspapers about rising antisemitism in Europe — a true fact.
Not having taken in anything that's actually been happening in Europe for a few decades, they do not know, and would surprised to be told, that all the rising antisemitism is being fueled by mass immigration of Muslims. You can take Mohamed Merah as a poster boy here; or, if that's a bit too fresh for you, any one of hundreds of others, going back at least as far as the Brooklyn Bridge shooting of 1994, when Lebanese immigrant Rashid Baz strafed a van belonging to an Orthodox Jewish school, killing one student and permanently disabling another.
The role of Europe's ethnonationalist parties here is negligible. It's mostly less than negligible, as the old antisemitic elements were purged out from them a generation ago. I've been following the affairs of Britain's ethnonationalists since my days as a student lefty, and I can tell you that while you'd have to put one of my vital organs in a vise to make me vote for the BNP's Nick Griffin, I'll give him credit for cleansing his party of all that. Geert Wilders is the biggest philosemite you'll find in a long journey: he seems to spend half his time shuttling to Israel and back.
Even Austria's ethnonationalist party, the Freedom Party, has shucked off its antisemitic past and had friendly meetings with Israeli politicians. Hungary's Jobbik Party is a bit of a holdout, still harboring antisemitic elements, but a couple more tranches of Muslim immigration will fix that.
Europe's ethnonationalist parties — what your New York Times calls "the far Right" are not anti-Jewish, they're anti-Islam — with good reason, as we saw in France on Monday.
They are certainly not anti-Israel. Why on earth would they be? Their common denominator, as I keep telling you, is ethnonationalism; and what nation in the European zone of awareness is more ethnonationalist than Israel? The major-majority opinion in Israel is that the country is one for Jews, and ought to be kept that way. Any ethnonationalist from elsewhere is going to raise a cheer on hearing that.
That's all much too deep for your average MSM liberal journalist. Like liberals everywhere, his emotions are not stirred by thinking of strange people speaking foreign languages. The driving force of his life is competition within his own ethny: determination to assert his moral superiority over those coarse hillbillies clinging to their guns and religion, and occasionally going berserk to kill blacks or Jews because of the deep moral turpitude in their unwashed, illiberal souls.
05 — Trayvon Martin case. That brings us to the second story of the week in which the reporting is as much of a story as the story: the Trayvon Martin case.
This all started four weeks ago when Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Florida high school student, was found shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., a town north of Orlando. I'll just pause to look up Sanford on city-data.com. Population 51,000, median household income $42,000, a tad below the Florida average, detached house average price $202,000, 44 percent married, racial breakdown — white 47 percent, black 30, Hispanic 17. Sounds like a humdrum lower-middle-class community.
OK, so four weeks ago there's Trayvon Martin lying dead of a gunshot wound. The shooter is on site when the cops show up: 28-year-old George Zimmerman, captain of the local neighborhood watch. Mr Zimmerman has a bloody nose, an impact wound in the back of his head, and grass stains on the back of his shirt.
Mr Zimmerman tells cops — who know him from his neighborhood watch role — that he killed Martin in self defense. Police do not arrest him, as Florida law does allow you to shoot someone in self-defense.
A couple of weeks go by, and Martin's family is asking for an arrest. Last Friday a local ABC News affiliate published the 911 calls at the time of the shooting. They don't tell us anything much, but people are by now primed to hear what they want to hear in them.
Around this point, it being a pretty slow weekend, the MSM dimbos suddenly wake up to what they've got. What have they got? A Great White Defendant, that's what!
You'll recall Tom Wolfe's 1985 novel Bonfire of the Vanities, in which the Bronx District Attorney's office is so weary and guilt-ridden at processing the steady stream of black and Hispanic perps, when they finally get a white one, it's like Christmas Day for them. The Great White Defendant! This is a recurring phenomenon in the MSM news cycle: the Duke University rape case was a recent example.
Well, once they realized they'd got a Great White Defendant in harpoon range, the MSM went nuts. The story they hastily put together was that a feral white guy had gunned down a harmless young black man for no reason whatsoever! The stories were decorated with pictures of Trayvon Martin as a winsome preteen, no pictures of him at his actual age of 17 apparently being available, or perhaps just not … suitable. We also got pictures of Zimmerman, fleshy and scowling. No selection going on there at all, guys, I'm sure.
There was a slight hiccup in the accumulating narrative when it turned out that Zimmerman, his name notwithstanding, is actually Hispanic. There are various accounts of this, I don't know which one is true. I've heard he is a Spanish-speaking Guatemalan adopted into a Jewish family, that he is half Jewish, half Puerto Rican, and a couple of other versions. Anyway, the luster came off for the MSM a teeny bit. Hispanic Guy Shoots Black Kid just doesn't send quite the same tingle up the MSM leg as White Guy Shoots Black Kid.
Still, you work with what you've got. Trayvon Martin was undoubtedly dead, and undoubtedly unarmed at the time of the encounter — other than with a pack of Skittles candy, a very handy prop to go with those winsome kid pictures. We haven't been told much else about him. He stood six feet three, considerably taller than Zimmerman. He was also way fitter than Zimmerman, who is 100 lbs overweight. He played school football, and so presumably spent time in the weight room. He was a "model student," said the first reports; then we learn he was on a five-day suspension from school, presumably not for being a model student.
What about the considerable evidence that at the time of his death, Trayvon Martin had George Zimmerman on the ground and was pounding the bejasus out of him? Whooosh! (That's down the memory hole.)
With all its deficiencies, the story will do. It was time for another Great White Defendant story, and the MSM have stepped up to supply one.
Again, I take no position on the facts of the case, which are mostly unknown or ambiguous, and which I am sure will be clarified in due course. What I'm taking a position on is the fact that the MSM, in full shrieking battle cry, have taken a position on the facts, ignoring known ones that don't fit their narrative, and twisting the ambiguous ones to favor that narrative.
Meanwhile the story continues to metastasize. Activists here in New York City staged a riot on Trayvon Martin's behalf the other day. I assume that's what happened, anyway. The AM New York headline read Protesters clash with NYPD in rally for Trayvon Martin, OWS. If clashing with police isn't a riot, what is? Notice the OWS rabble getting in on the act, too. This show will run and run.
Meanwhile, last weekend, just in the city of Chicago — the one our young President community-organized with such dramatic results — in Chicago last weekend gangbangers murdered ten people and wounded another forty. The youngest murder victim is only six years old. The youngest person wounded is only one year old. Many of the victims were pedestrians sprayed with bullets in drive by shootings. Is that news? I guess not. No Great White Defendant there — heck, not even a Great Hispanic Defendant. Sorry, I'm feeling no tingle up my leg at all.
06 — Fools of the world. More news from Africa, following last week's round-up.
Last week I upbraided the administration and clueless stool-pigeons like Senator Inhofe for getting us involved in Uganda, a place that is not merely of zero importance to the U.S.A., but is of zero importance to anybody, and will always be so.
Well, the Obamarrhoids must have been listening. They determined to show Radio Derb and other skeptics that when it comes to squandering money we don't actually have in places that nobody ever could, ever has, or ever will give a flying falafel about, they are not to be mocked.
To make their point, they are now about to get us involved in a country (using the term loosely) so inconsequential it makes Uganda look like the People's Republic of China. The country in question is Mali, a sand-trap in between Niger, Mauretania, and Algeria. If you still can't place it, don't bother looking it up: you will never need to know anything about Mali. Trust me on that.
I'm just going to read you the wire service report here. Quote:
The Obama administration is weighing the future of military aid to Mali after soldiers in the African country ousted their president and declared a coup.
End quote. My private bet would be that our dear friend President Amadou Toumani Toure is at this moment thriving in a big old iron cooking pot in the public square of Timbuktu while the townsfolk are laying our the silverware, but I'm just guessing.
And here we are, seventeen trillion dollars in debt, cities declaring bankruptcy all over, unemploymment limping along at eight to nine percent, and our lords and masters in Washington, D.C. are shoveling $137 million greenbacks a year into the Swiss bank accounts of the generals of the army of a country that, if it ceased to exist at the stroke of midnight tomorrow, nobody would notice was gone.
We are the fools of the world and the dupes of all time, the sorry laughing-stock of the ages.
07 — Signoff. Well, it's short measure this week, listeners. I'm not going to feel guilty, though, because (a) last week's Radio Derb was quite exceptionally long, and (b) I'm going to sign off with a lovely, and unusually long, piece of music.
Somewhere in between recording last week's Radio Derb and recording this week's, there came St. Patrick's Day. I lacked the forethought to include a tribute last week, so I'm going to make up for it here.
Here is one of the loveliest and, to my way of thinking, most spontaneously Irish of all the Irish exile ballads. You'll get an argument from lovers of Irish ballads — in fact, if you're in an Irish bar, you'll quite likely get a fist-fight — about whose interpretation is the best. I first heard it from the Clancy brothers forty-odd years ago, and as is always the case with first impressions, that's the definitive one for me. I can't find a good-quality clip of it, though, so here's a replacement darn near as good: Jim McCann and the Dubliners. If this doesn't make the bristles stand up on the back of your neck, ye've not a drop of Irish blood in ye.
[Music clip: Jim McCann singing "Carrickfergus."]