Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Donald Trump visits Poland: Looking for religion (and old-school journalism) in the coverage

Donald Trump visits Poland: Looking for religion (and old-school journalism) in the coverage

So, what was that Donald Trump speech in Poland all about?

If you follow social media -- the cutting edge of today's new New Journalism -- you know that it was about the president trying to sneak encoded "dogwhistle" content past media gatekeepers to his supporters on the fringes of the postmodern world.

Consider this tweet by Jamelle Bouie, the top political correspondent at Slate and an analyst for CBS News, that said: "Imagine being a political writer in this moment and being utterly unable to identify clear white nationalist dogwhistles."

Later, he notes: "Like, this s*** is barely subtle."

Here's the opening of the nasty speech passage, from the White House transcript:

Americans, Poles, and the nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty. We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are. (Applause.) If left unchecked, these forces will undermine our courage, sap our spirit, and weaken our will to defend ourselves and our societies.

Trump talks about all kinds of issues that flow out of that statement, including the rule of law and women's rights. But it's clear -- in social-media land -- that his speech was seen as an outrageous attack on immigrants and the Islamic world.

This is perfectly stated by Peter Beinart at The Atlantic:

The most shocking sentence in Trump’s speech -- perhaps the most shocking sentence in any presidential speech delivered on foreign soil in my lifetime -- was his claim that “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.” On its face, that’s absurd. ... Trump’s sentence only makes sense as a statement of racial and religious paranoia. The “south” and “east” only threaten the West’s “survival” if you see non-white, non-Christian immigrants as invaders.

But what, you ask, does the basic news coverage say?

To which, in this case, I sadly respond: What does news coverage have to do with this? We are talking about TRUMP in POLAND. You know what that means. We are talking about the hero of the alt-right trying to fan the flames of nationalism in the worst nation in Europe (from the point of view of European elites).

So who cares about old-school news coverage, anymore?

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Haaretz and Jewish resistance to the Holocaust

Haaretz and Jewish resistance to the Holocaust

Do you remember Tom Lehrer, the composer/comedian/mathematician? I have long loved his music, which I discovered as a young boy when exploring my parent's record collection.

A recent article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz set spinning in my head one of Lehrer's LPs this Christmas and to the embarrassment of my children I broke into song, serenading them with the refrain from Lehrer's satiric gem National Brotherhood Week (1965).

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, And the Catholics hate the Protestants, And the Hindus hate the Moslems, And everybody hates the Jews.

My fertile mind however, added an additional line -- "And Haaretz does too!"

Hates the Jews that is.

How else can one explain this article, "The Myth of the Warsaw Ghetto" published last week in the leftist Israeli daily? Writing on the website of Commentary magazine, Eugene Kontorovich summarized the article's thesis, stating that Haaretz believed that if:

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