category: feminism, category: law, category: media

In Defense of Dr. Luke

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By now, if you follow gossip of the entertainment world (and heck, I live on Dlisted.com), you’ve heard about the allegations made by popstar Ke$ha (aka Kesha Rose Sebert) against her producer and renowned hits-maker, Dr. Luke (aka Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald).

Kesha alleges that, throughout the years she worked with Dr. Luke (years that made her a world famous star and multi-millionaire) she was subject to abuse by Dr. Luke, both verbal and physical: most notably, that Dr. Luke drugged and raped her.

Kesha claims that, because of this abuse, she cannot bring herself to work with Dr. Luke any longer and thus is asking Sony to let her out of her contract (the label where Dr. Luke produces). Sony, for its part, did the reasonable thing — it offered to have Kesha work with any other of its producers, and thus no contact with Dr. Luke would be necessary. Kesha claims this wouldn’t work, however, as Sony has so much invested in Dr. Luke that it wouldn’t really promote her work if she recorded under the guidance of another producer (hmm, but they’re not invested in Kesha? or in their own other producers? ok).

Countless celebrities have used this as a virtue-signaling moment, eager to earn their bonafide SJW (social justice warrior) stripes, including Lady Gaga, who tweeted a message of support basically implying Dr. Luke is a rapist, and Taylor Swift, who donated $250,000 to Kesha (an utterly self-serving publicity gesture, as Kesha has millions of dollars to her name).

Now, let’s look at the facts here. This “rape” is a matter of ‘he-said/she said’ — so why is the nation, including celebrities with influence, taking it as a given that Kesha was, in fact, raped? “Why would she lie about it,” you ask? Well, gee – perhaps to get out of a contract. It seems that, amongst all the small minds ready to brand a man a heinous rapist, no one has stopped to consider there is a financial motivation here. (Kesha is no fool when it comes to contracts and the industry — she was raised in the industry and her mother is a successful songwriter, as was Kesha herself prior to becoming a singer in her own right). Gee, could it be that Kesha wants out early of her existing Sony contract to be able to enter a NEW contract with another label that would have more favorable terms than the Sony contract she signed years ago? Well, you know how you get out of an iron-clad contract? Claim abuse!

The judge this week was correct in siding against Kesha this first round, noting that there is no clear reason here to rip up a valid contract on the basis of unproven allegations with no corroborating evidence.

Common sense is also on Dr. Luke’s side — if Kesha were truly raped by Dr. Luke, why did she never report this? Why did she continue working with him, closely and on friendly terms, for years subsequent to the alleged sexual abuse? Why does this only now come to light, curiously, when she wants to get out of the Sony contract? Surely there is a possibility her allegations are true and, if so, I sympathize with her — but there is also a possibility they are not.

As Dr. Luke’s lawyer noted last week, following the judge’s findings:

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As a lawyer, I agree with the judge and raise my eyebrows over the flimsiness of Kesha’s accusations. As a human being, I am horrified by the eagerness with which the entertainment world is throwing its lot in with Kesha, eager to brand themselves as sensitive feminists, and to cast a likely-innocent man as a monster.

Dr. Luke broke his silence on Twitter today, posting a series of tweets, which you can read here.

Here’s to hoping cooler heads prevail. Remember our “innocent until proven guilty” mantra is not thrown out the door simply because the SJW virtue-signaling mob on Twitter, or a few self-serving PC celebrities, scream otherwise. Kesha has rights — so does Dr. Luke.

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category: Cuba, category: media, category: politics

example 597,857, 673 of the media’s hatred for #Cuban exiles

A few days ago, in the wake of Obama’s diplomatic-relations deal with Cuba, I was shocked by this Foreign Policy tweet. Not only is the headline pretty biased and unfair in its sneering tone towards Cuban-Americans/Cuban-exiles … but the accompanying photo was beyond the pale — its clear implication being that a Cuban exile “hardliner” was horrifically shouting down (and almost beating down upon!) an elderly man during a debate. You know, those horrible, bitter, loudmouth, tyrannical Cuban exiles………..

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I thought: “Hmm, the guy [the jerk] doesn’t look Cuban and, well, Cuban exiles just don’t bark at defenseless old men.” (Sorry, I’ve been to countless demonstrations throughout my life — never have I seen a Cuban exile behave that way, at least not towards an elderly frail man.) Putting aside the clear bias of Foreign Policy in choosing that photo, it simply didn’t seem authentic or accurate.

But Foreign Policy hadn’t added a description to the photo, leaving the implication that the monster was a Cuban exile “hardliner.”

Then, this afternoon, Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith, posted an article concerning the Cuba matter. I clicked on it and lo-and-behold, check out the photo/caption:

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Seems Mr. Red Handkerchief is …. wait for it…. an Obama-supporter and certainly not a Cuban exile “hardliner.”

WOWOWOWOWOWOW.

Dear Foreign Policy editors, when will you vicious hacks offer an apology?

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category: feminism, category: media, category: politics

VOX touts questionnable rape statistic

In the wake of Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story implosion, liberal journalists and outlets rushed into damage-control mode. Most chose the bizarre route of placing the blame purely on Rolling Stone, accusing the magazine of throwing accuser Jackie under the bus (But didn’t the magazine simply tell the story she provided?), while others decided to remind us of alarming rape statistics, lest rape-culture-advocacy suffer any setback.

VOX quickly published a post entitled: “Show this graphic to anyone who says rape isn’t a real issue in America.” Notice the strawman aspect of the headline — no reasonable person doubts rape occurs and is a serious issue; what many of us doubt is whether it is the widespread epidemic that liberal orthodoxy would have us believe.

VOX’s entire post is based on a single federal government study, conducted in 2011 by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which purportedly found that 1.6% of American women are raped annually. VOX recaps that researchers called 7,758 women randomly (incorrect, actually: the researchers called more but only that amount participated – the survey had a dismal 33% response rate) and “asked if they had ever been raped.”

Rather than simply typing out the resulting number of those who claimed to be have been raped, instead VOX dramatically delays the moment of truth, opting to post a female-figurine mural, visually representing the number, noting each symbol stands for 25 rape victims.

This does nothing apart from making the reader scroll endlessly, during which one is supposed to cry in horror (“Look how much I’m scrolling! Each of these figures represents 25 women! Oh dear, I’m still scrolling!”) but all it does is make you think your computer has a virus and give you bad flashbacks of PAC-MAN.
Finally, upon reaching the end of the tedious graphic, we have our answer. “An estimated 1,929,000 are raped over [the course of] a year in the U.S., including 1,213,000 facilitated by alcohol or drugs.”

Sounds awful. Is it true, though?

Let’s take a look at the CDC survey.
VOX

Looking at the actual tables, yes, 1% of female respondents experienced completed penetration that was “alcohol or drug facilitated.” This 1% is the basis of VOX’s “1,213,000 [rapes] facilitated by alcohol or drugs” mention.

Fair enough. But why does the CDC include penetration that was “alcohol or drug facilitated”… as rape, necessarily? While drugs and alcohol are sometimes used to rape, horribly so, rendering women incapable of consent, why the assumption that penetration under those circumstances is always rape?

Taking a look at the actual survey questions, the veracity of this finding becomes murky, to the say the least. Participants were asked:

When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people have ever
[emphasis mine]

Stop right there. Notice the way the “or passed out and unable to consent” is lumped together with other instances of being drunk or high but able to give consent. As scholar Christina Hoff Sommers noted, this prevents the respondent from being able to differentiate her answer between instances when it was consensual (vs non-consensual sex) under the influence. For instance, if someone had sex that year while drunk, but consensual, the “yes” answer would nonetheless be classified as rape.
Doubt it? Consider the instances noted in the question:

  • had vaginal sex with you? By vaginal sex, we mean that {if female: a man or boy put his penis in your vagina} {if male: a woman or girl made you put your penis in her vagina}.
  • {if male} made you perform anal sex, meaning they made you put your penis into their anus?
  • made you receive anal sex, meaning they put their penis into your anus?
  • put their mouth on your {if male: penis} {if female: vagina}1
  • put their mouth on your anus?
  • made you put your mouth on their vagina or anus?
  • made you put your mouth on their penis?
  • put their fingers or an object in your [if female: vagina or} anus?
    [emphasis mine]

While a few of the sub-questions denote forced circumstances (e.g., “made you”), over half do not (e.g., “had vaginal sex with you”). A ‘yes’ on any of these would result in counting the individual as having been raped.

Other federal findings, meanwhile, dispute the rape-is-common narrative, so the media dismisses those studies. As blogger Yuval Leventhal notes:

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) has been administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) since 1972. This survey interviews 49,000 to 77,400 households twice a year. The average response rate is 87%. This survey doesn’t measure the lifetime prevalence but the yearly incidence. The question asked concerning rape and sexual assault is more straightforward, simply asking participants whether they have been raped/sexually assaulted or not.

The accumulated results for the 2011 survey are available online. On page 2, Table 1, for 2011, it was estimated that there were 243,800 total cases of rape and sexual assault combined.

When will the rape-culture media narrative begin to use sound stories or, at least, sound figures?

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category: feminism, category: football, category: media, category: politics, category: public service announcement

Domestic Violence Has Actually Decreased Under Roger Goodell’s Tenure

You won’t hear this from the media too busy calling for Roger Goodell’s head, but the facts show that, under Goodell’s tenure, the domestic violence rate among NFL players has actually decreased. He should be commended rather than attacked.

A Think Progress article on Thursday claims “57 players [have been] arrested for domestic violence incidents since 2006.”

Why does Think Progress measure since 2006? Presumably because that’s the year Goodell came into the Commissioner role. The inference the reader is supposed to make – that dastardly Goodell!

But I did some digging. Think Progress links to an ABC News article for this ‘fact’ which states: “Since Goodell took over as commissioner in August 2006, USA Today reports that there have been 57 cases of alleged domestic violence incidents.” It, in turn, links to a now non-existent USA Today article. The liberal Think Progress apparently does not bother to confirm an inflammatory, serious statistic such as this – but rather just repeats what it saw online.

Nonetheless, the helpful USA Today compilation of all NFL player arrests, dating back to 2000, is online for any to see.

Were there really 57 NFL players arrested for alleged domestic violence since Goodell took the helm? No.

Goodell came into office September 1, 2006 (not August, as reported above). From September 1, 2006 to present day, there were 47 domestic violence arrests of NFL players (5 of those involved the same two players but let’s discuss arrests, as individual incidents are a better barometer of the problem). Since it’s impossible to change or affect an organization’s culture immediately, let’s judge Goodell after giving him a reasonable four months to settle into the roll and affect change – i.e., let’s take a look at his tenure starting on January 1, 2007. From that date to the present, we have 45 domestic violence arrests under Goodell’s tenure.

Sure, that number still seems concerning. But, let’s look at the average per year. Forty-four domestic violence arrests spread across Goodell’s 8 years (assuming no further arrests the next three months) equals an average of 5.6 arrests per year.

Nonetheless, we need a comparison point. Since Goodell is the problem, we are told by the media, surely NFL statistics on this were superior prior to Goodell….

Wrong! I took a look at the domestic violence arrests from the year 2000 through the year 2006, the pre-Goodell era. For that period, we have 43 domestic violence arrests. Spread out over seven years, that equals an average of 6.1 arrests per year.

Hence, the amount of domestic violence actually decreased under Roger Goodell.

If an average of 5.6 domestic violence arrests per year, out of roughly 2,000 players in a league, nonetheless still seems high to you, take a look at the national averages for men in the age range of NFL players. NFL players’ arrest rates are drastically lower than that of the general public. (Worth noting: many of these arrests are questionable. For instance, one player was arrested for domestic violence because he was accused of breaking a sliding glass door and criminally trespassing in a dispute with his wife. Another arrest was for “getting into a heated argument with his wife, who locked herself in the car to get away from him.” THAT’s violence? You bet, under our ridiculously written laws.)

So while some may be busy calling for Roger Goodell’s head, the same radical hysterics should stop and employ statistical science.

Unlike the Leftist media intent on smearing Goodell as a domestic violence enabler, numbers don’t lie.

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category: media, category: politics

The Media Is Out In Full Force Against Rand Paul

The past three days, I noticed a curious amount of articles and media-Tweets against Senator Rand Paul. (P.S. That should tell you who our #1 shot at regaining the White House is…)

Check out a few of these images:

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And this is how Politico led into that article:

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How about this one, from the Washington Post?Image

Hmm, what?

Never mind how much the youth-vote actually does love Rand… let’s go with this! Courtesy of Salon:

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I just have one thing to say to the media’s Rand Paul haters…

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#RANDPAUL2016!

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Yahoo! News’ totally unbiased headline and lead-in. (Don’t miss the use of the word “furor” to describe the veto’s opponents. Notice, too, how it implies folks would be denying service ‘just cuz!’ and simply “citing religion” rather than denying service explicitly because of their religious beliefs.)

category: culture, category: media, category: politics

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category: culture, category: media

Americans’ Faux Outrage Over Athletes’ Interviews: First Sherman, Now Miller

Some quick thoughts on the media landscape.

Faux outrage has become a phenomenon the past five years. Why? The reason is simple: due to our ever-growing use of (read: addiction to) social media, everyone feels the need to say something, about something, all the time. This leads us to say something, about something — that usually does not need saying.

We have seen this play out recently in America’s obsession with athletes’ interviews.

First, it was Richard Sherman and the now-infamous Erin Andrews post-game interview. Headlines were ablaze, Andrews was the top trending topic on Yahoo!, and hundreds of posts and pundits weighed in. The outrage even went as far as to question whether Andrews was ever in danger (what?), whether Sherman is a “thug”, and all manner dramatics worthy of a 1940’s newspaper-headline writer.

Then yesterday came the Bode Miller interview where an NBC reporter, Christin Cooper, asked about his recently deceased brother, prompting the alpine medalist to tear up. Ordinarly, this is not anything about which to write home. A touching interview, an emotional interview? Got it. Duly noted. Nothing here that should prompt outrage. But Americans are bored — and espousing opinion on social media is the cure — so we feign outrage. Twitter lit up with condemnation of the interview, continuing strong today — never mind that Miller himself has stated he felt there was nothing wrong with the interview.

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Yet the outrage-crowd cries: “So what if Bode himself wasn’t bothered by it? I’m getting RT’s galore!”

Creating stories where there are none? Check. Feigning outrage for which there is no basis? Check. Welcome to 21st Century America.

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