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Times of Israel Editor Tears Apart Stewart’s Israel-Gaza Segment


Jon Stewart offered his take on the Israel–Palestine crisis on The Daily Show Monday night, cracking jokes about the conflict’s “asymmetrical nature.”

Though audience members seemed to enjoy the segment, some commentators have since criticized Stewart for what they say is a misleading and unfunny portrayal of the conflict.

Times of Israel editor David Horovitz rips apart the segment in his article entitled, “Jon Stewart — so funny, so wrong on Israel-Gaza.” ​His piece takes on Stewart “joke by joke,” explaining how Stewart misrepresents the true nature of the crisis.

Stewart opens his segment with a news report that explains how Israeli troops are set to invade Gaza as aerial bombardment continues from both sides. Stewart responds, “Tastes great. More killing.”

Horovitz explains that right from the start, Stewart fails to provide any context for Israel’s possible invasion, such as the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization “avowedly committed to the destruction of Israel.” Stewart also implies that both sides are happy to be back killing each other, which Horovitz notes is “just plain false” as the facts show that Israelis “would much rather live and let live.”

Stewart goes on to joke that though both sides are bombing one another, Israeli “appears to be bomb-better at it.” He notes Israel’s Iron Dome technology and their warning app that notifies them of incoming attacks. Gazans, on the other hand, are notified by small mortar shells that Israel sends to warn of an upcoming airstrike. “An amuse-boom, if you will,” he says.

Horovitz breaks down the numerous problems with this point. “Having falsely implied that Israel is as keen on killing as Hamas is,” he writes, “Stewart now seems to be criticizing Israel for not being as vulnerable as Hamas would like it to be to those Hamas rockets that are sent to kill us.”

Stewart fails to mention, Horowitz explains, that Israeli airstrikes are directed at homes where Hamas terror chiefs live, where rockets are stored, or from where rockets are fired. “This is not the mirror image of Hamas’s arbitrary rocket attacks on any and every Israeli target. ”

Horovitz adds that while Hamas does not generally warn Israel of its incoming attacks, Israel tries to warn civilians with the warning mortal shells. “Would Stewart rather Israel not warn Gazans that, in its efforts to prevent rocket fire on its civilians, it is about to strike back?” he asks. 

For his last wisecrack, Stewart compares the NBC correspondents from Tel Aviv and from Gaza, with the former dressed in normal clothing and the latter wearing a heavy protective vest. The side-by-side image “sums up the asymmetrical nature of this conflict,” he says.

Horovitz offers some insight onto this final point. 

“Well, yes, NBC’s Tel Aviv correspondent can afford to look more relaxed because, despite Hamas’s best efforts, he’s fairly safe, protected by that Iron Dome system, and the sirens, and the apps, and the reinforced rooms, and the bomb shelters that Israel provides to try to keep its citizenry alive in the vicious Middle East,” he writes. “That doesn’t add up to a hermetic shield, but it’s doing wonders in keeping casualty figures down.”

“And, yes, NBC’s man in Gaza is more at risk,” he continues, “because he’s reporting from an enclave that was seized seven years ago by a ruthless Islamist terrorist organization that, far from building bomb shelters and other defenses for Gazans (which would not be necessary anyway if Hamas wasn’t bent on fighting Israel), has diverted electricity, building materials and all other relevant resources to manufacture rockets.”

Horovitz adds, “An asymmetrical conflict indeed — just not asymmetrical in the way Stewart depicted it.”

Watch The Daily Show video here:



Border Security: The Bright, Shining Lie


Senator Reid’s delusional statement that the border is secure is manifestly ridiculous, requiring no rebuttal. But the contradictory contention contemporaneously trotted out by amnesty proponents — that the present crisis would’ve been avoided had comprehensive immigration reform (i.e., the Gang of Eight Bill) been passed — benefits from the fact that almost no one has read the monstrous and opaque bill.

To members of Congress and the media: Read the bill. The assertion that passage of comprehensive immigration reform would’ve prevented the massive influx of illegal immigrants is a lie wrapped in a sham inside a farce. There is no border security before amnesty in the Gang of Eight bill. It’s an utter mirage. The bill merely requires the DHS Secretary to present a plan to secure the border, and the bill’s enforcement mechanisms are even weaker than security requirements in previous immigration bills.

The border-security metrics in the bill invest so much discretion in the DHS Secretary as to be meaningless. As Senator Ted Cruz said to then DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano during last year’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on comprehensive immigration reform, “Madame Secretary, it seems to me that if border security is to be measured by an amorphous, multi-factor, subjective test, that this committee knows to a metaphysical certainty that DHS will conclude that border security is satisfied.” Precisely right.

Indeed, even when congress mandated (pursuant to the Secure Border Act of 2006) that 700 miles of double-layered fencing be built along the southwestern border, the requirements were evaded, diluted, and ignored. By last year, only 36–42 miles of double-layered fencing had been erected.

In 2011, more than 7,500 individuals from countries identified as state sponsors of terror or that harbor significant terrorist elements were apprehended along the southwestern border. The countries included Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. Last year, well before the current surge in illegal immigrants, the Congressional Research Service reported, “Terrorist and terrorist organizations could leverage [smuggling networks] to smuggle a person or weapons of mass destruction into the United States, while the large number of illegal aliens attempting to enter the country illegally could potentially provide cover for terrorists.” (Emphasis added.) Obviously, that ”large number” of illegal aliens has gotten even larger since issuance of the report.

While open-borders proponents peddle delusions and falsehoods, the harsh reality is that the refusal of  the federal government to protect our sovereignty is putting Americans in multiple forms of jeopardy.


‘Obama’s Hilarious Lawlessness’


From my Politico column today:

President Barack Obama styles himself a wit, and some of his best material lately has to do with his abuse of his powers.

“Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff,” Obama told a crowd on the Georgetown Waterfront on July 1. “So sue me.” Hilarity ensued.

He cracked them up in Austin last week. “You hear some of them,” he said, referring to Republicans, “‘sue him,’ ‘impeach him.’ Really? Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job?”

He must have killed in a private meeting last month with activists who were pushing him to waive more immigration laws. According to POLITICO, the president resorted to one his favorite comic riffs: “You’re not going to get me impeached, are you?”

One can only imagine the comedic possibilities in his 9-0 defeat in the Supreme Court in June for his blatantly abusive recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board or any of the court’s other recent unanimous rebukes of his executive overreach.

It takes a truly blithe spirit to play the constitutional deformation of his office, and the ensuing congressional reaction, for laughs.

Web Briefing: July 22, 2014

What Sayeth Chris Christie . . .


. . . about this abusive prosecution in New Jersey?

Be sure to read all of Charlie’s piece over on the home page. 


The Inflation Truthers


‘They Didn’t Ask Any Questions, Didn’t Feel the Need to Fill Out Any Forms or Make Phone Calls. Someone Needed Help, and They Felt Privileged to Be Given the Opportunity.’


This is American civil society in action, via the New York Post:

When disabled Vietnam vet Michael Sulsona’s decrepit wheelchair broke down in their Mariners Harbor home-improvement store, three employees jumped to his aid — and stayed an hour past closing time to fix it.

The 62-year-old vet, who lost both his legs in a land-mine explosion, heard a loud crack from a busted bolt holding the chair together. “I knew I was stuck and couldn’t go anywhere,” he told The Post on Wednesday.

But before Sulsona could panic, a red-vested employee nicknamed “Sal” came to his rescue. “He shouted out some orders and assembled a team of guys who came over and immediately started helping me,” Sulsona said. “They were like a well-oiled machine, like a SWAT team.”

The trio rallied around Sulsona, helping him into a nearby patio chair, and then spent their own time — off the clock — tinkering with his wheelchair, which the war hero had tried to get the Veterans Administration to replace.

It was a stark contrast to the service he gets at the VA:

Sulsona was shocked by the insistence of the home-improvement superstore workers on helping him — something he’s not used to in his dealings with the embattled VA.

“They didn’t ask any questions, didn’t feel the need to fill out any forms or make phone calls. Someone needed help, and they felt privileged to be given the opportunity,” Sulsona said in a letter to the Staten Island Advance.

After his letter got noticed, Sulsona woke up with a new wheelchair on his doorstep from the VA — two years after he started filing paperwork for a new one.

@Salondotcom Ironist in Chief on Twitter Policy: ‘Where’s the Fun in That?’


The Twitter parody account @salondotcom got the Royal of the Boot Wednesday evening due to an alleged violation of the microblogging giant’s terms of service. The co-creator of the parody account tells National Review Online that Twitter, which requires such accounts to be clearly marked as parodies in order to protect the stupid, shut the account down. 

“Technically we’re in violation of their terms of service for not disclaiming that it is a parody account,” Jordan Bloom, who created @salondotcom with Rob Mariani in June, writes in an e-mail. “But where’s the fun in that? We’re stubborn enough that if it takes a quota of social justice snitches reporting us or whatever, by god we’ll make ’em do it. I suppose we’ll appeal and promise that if they give it back we’ll prominently display our jailhouse tattoos.”

(Disclosure: This reporter worked with Bloom at The Daily Caller, where he is the opinion editor, and I consider Bloom to be among the most redoubtable people in Washington. He is also indefatigable and dauntless.) 

Earlier this month, NRO’s Celina Durgin wrote about Bloom and Mariani’s parody of, a San Francisco publication with a nearly two-decade pedigree of interesting left-liberal journalism that has, according to many observers including this observer, taken a nose dive in general quality and interest within the last two or three years. 

Bloom and Mariani are getting support from many earthlings: 

While Bloom acknowledges that Twitter’s sarcasm-disclosure policy does appear to be consistent with its terms of service, his rhetorical question raises an important point: Labeling something a “parody” or “satirical” is like elbowing a person in the ribs when you tell a joke. To the extent people are unable to recognize parody, this performs the useful social function of making clear who the dummies among us are. 

Though many supporters have speculated that Salon’s representatives requested Twitter sanction the parody site, Bloom does not claim to have any information in that regard. An e-mail and phone call to Salon’s New York office were not returned by press time. The long-struggling site’s San Francisco phone number has been disconnected. 

Tags: Parody , Twitter , Radical Reactionaries

Ted Cruz Spox: ‘We Want to Stop’ DACA


A spokeswoman for Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) provided a little more clarity on what his border bill would do, explaining that it ends President Obama’s policy of effective amnesty for children who would qualified for citizenship under the DREAM Act.

Obama’s decision to create a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is the magnet that has caused the influx of unaccompanied children at the border over the last two years.

“We want to stop any more people from getting deferred action under DACA and we want to stop the president from being able to expand it as we have heard he wants to do,” spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told National Review Online.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) accused Cruz of attempting to deport the people who have already passed through the DACA program, but this bill does not do that.

“Our bill doesn’t address people who have already received deferred action under DACA,” Frazier explained.

Lowry: Immigration Law Is ‘Huge’ Example of President’s Overreach


Ted Cruz Bill Would Ban Obama’s Next Executive Action on Immigration


Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is working on a bill to prevent President Obama unilaterally granting six million people an effective amnesty, as Obama has reportedly told immigration activists he will do later this year.

The expected executive order would expand Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, which “lifts the shadow of deportation” from children who would have qualified for citizenship under the DREAM Act, had that bill passed through Congress.

“The senator is working on legislation to prevent Obama from expanding DACA,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told National Review Online. ”The president’s policies that allow people who come here illegally to stay is what is creating a magnet for this crisis and the problem can’t be solved until those policies are stopped. This should be a prerequisite for any legislation that is considered by the Senate on this issue.”

NRO reported yesterday that Cruz was working on a bill, including a Senate source who said that Cruz would try to repeal the existing DACA program.

“Our focus right now is stopping DACA from here on out and preventing Obama from expanding,” Frazier said. ”We want to stop this humanitarian crisis and this is the first step that must be taken to do so.”

National Journal reported that Obama is planning a major expansion of the DACA program. “Obama made it clear he would press his executive powers to the limit,” Major Garrett wrote of a meeting the president had with immigration activists. ”He gave quiet credence to recommendations from La Raza and other immigration groups that between 5 million to 6 million adult illegal immigrants could be spared deportation under a similar form of deferred adjudication he ordered for the so-called Dreamers in June 2012.”

The border crisis has some Democrats skittish that such an order before the 2014 midterms would backfire. “You can sense already, even among my Democratic colleagues, a kind of — ‘this issue is a little too complicated, too risky, let’s go small,’” Representative Raúl Grijalva (D., Ariz.) said on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers. “Politically, they’re tied together and the children at the border and his executive orders are going to get tied together.”

Abramson: Obama’s WH the Least Transparent I’ve Ever Seen


In her four decades in journalism, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has never seen a more secretive administration than Barack Obama’s.

“I think it’s easy to demonstrate that that’s true,” she told Fox News on Wednesday. “I have never dealt with an administration where more officials — some of whom are paid to be the spokesmen for various federal agencies – demand that everything be off the record, so that’s secretive and not transparent.”

She’s most concerned by the criminal leak investigations launched against various whistleblowers and sources, which she said has put “a freeze” on many reporters. Abramson witnessed the issue firsthand when she communicated with the Times’ national-security team in Washington, she said.

“Almost all of the reporters have said to me that there has never been a more difficult atmosphere in which to do the work that they do than now,” she said. “It’s profoundly different.”

Morning Joe Panel Laughs at Hillary’s $275K Speaking Fee: ‘Why Would You Take the Money?’


The Morning Joe panel couldn’t hold back their laughter, and disbelief, at the news of Hillary Clinton’s $275,000 speaking fee when she visited SUNY–Buffalo last week.

As co-host Mika Brzezinski led in to the story, she mentioned the name of the university. This prompted Joe Scarborough to mockingly suggest Clinton took a more altruistic route.

“She did it for free there, didn’t she?” Scarborough jokingly asked.

“That would be nice,” Brzezinski replied.

“She represented New York state too,” Scarborough teased. “It’s like going back to see the kids: ‘Hey kids, I’m back — your senator’s back, I love you. How are you kids doing four years later? I’m going to do this for free.’”

As the panel got in their share of playful jabs at Clinton, Brzezinski reported that the potential 2016 candidate received more than a quarter-million dollars for her one-hour speech. “Why would you take the money?” she said.

Her visit also included a number of stipulations, such as a certain type of teleprompter and final approval of the stage’s scenery by Clinton’s team.

Myths about Abortion and the ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’


Holding a hearing on S. 1696, deceptively titled “The Women’s Health Protection Act,” the U.S. Senate committee on the Judiciary heard many myths from abortion proponents about the “need” for the bill’s evisceration of all life-affirming legislation. This is a federal attempt to expand abortion policy while also destroying pro-life legislation and blocking new life-protecting efforts.

Consider this sampling of abortion industry talking points:

Myth: Life-affirming laws are enacted “ . . . under the false pretext of health and safety.”

Fact:  A substantial body of peer-reviewed scientific literature documents that induced abortion is associated with significant risks and potential harms to women. Time and time again, the abortion industry has proved — at the cost of women’s lives and health — that it places profit as its top priority and it should not be left to self-police its dangerous practice.

The pro-life movement cares about both mothers and their babies and therefore supports the health-and-safety standards contained in the laws that S. 1696 would strike down and prohibit.

Whether accomplished by an invasive surgical procedure or by taking a combination of potent drugs, abortion carries inherent physical risks of harm for women. Numerous, well-documented studies in peer-reviewed international medical journals have found this to be the case.

Even the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, acknowledges on its website the undisputed risks of immediate complications from abortion, including blood clots, hemorrhage, incomplete abortions, infection, and injury to the cervix and other organs. It can also cause missed ectopic pregnancy, cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, renal failure, metabolic disorder, or shock. Immediate complications affect approximately 10 percent of women undergoing abortions.

History shows that unregulated abortion sets the stage for substandard clinic conditions to compound these risks.

Myth: “[D]ata show that abortion, even after the first trimester, carries a lower risk of serious complications than vaginal births, cesarean sections, and even plastic surgery procedures such as facelifts and liposuction.”

Fact: Abortion is always deadly for at least one person, the baby, and data shows that risks to women increase with gestational age.

The “abortion is safer than childbirth” myth relies on U.S. abortion data that is incomplete and unreliable. Unlike abortion-related deaths, pregnancy-related deaths are systemically sought, identified, and investigated. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has cautioned medical professionals not to make comparative statements based on CDC data.

It is undisputed that the later in pregnancy an abortion occurs, the riskier it is and the greater the chance for significant complications.  Gestational age is the strongest risk factor for abortion-related death.  A woman seeking an abortion at 20 weeks (five months) is 35 times more likely to die from it than she was in the first trimester.  At 21 weeks or more, she is 91 times more likely to die from abortion than she was in the first trimester. 

Keep reading this post . . .

Medicaid for Thee, but Not for Me


I had heard through the grapevine that Eric Holder’s wife was a good gynecologist working in the D.C. area. It turns that one of her partners, Dr. Marilyn Jerome, is the wife of Democratic congressional candidate John Foust, who has been attacking his opponent, Barbara Comstock, for opposing the expansion of Medicaid in Virginia. He’s been citing his wife’s medical practice to bolster his credentials as a white knight in the war against the Republican “war on women.” 

So this Washington Free Beacon story is interesting on a couple of levels. Mr. Foust has been touting his wife’s profession and her support of Obamacare. 

Dr. Jerome claims that her husband is a better candidate because he will never get between a woman and her doctor. “As an OBGYN,” Foust attacks his Republican opponent Barbara Comstock for opposing Medicaid expansion. Failure to expand Medicaid to rural hospitals could be “devastating,” he says.

Dr. Jerome has also written in support of the Affordable Care Act on the Foxhall website, citing the Medicaid expansion as beneficial to low-income women.

“For over 30 years, John’s wife, Dr. Marilyn Jerome has practiced obstetrics and gynecology with Foxhall Ob-Gyn, a practice dedicated to providing compassionate reproductive healthcare for women in NW Washington, D.C., and the surrounding communities,” Foust’s campaign website reads.

But it seems that the Foxhall Ob/Gyn Associates do not accept Medicaid patients.

Second, it seems that the Foxhall Ob/Gyn is a medical practice that offers special service to “important people.” Early-morning appointments seem to be set aside for dignitaries. Nothing illegal about that of course, but oh so consistent with the hypocrisy of favoring the expansion of Medicaid while declining to accept Medicaid patients yourself.

Medicaid is a terrible program in part because its reimbursement rates are so low that many doctors and dentists decline to participate. There are other options, as Avik Roy outlined in this pamphlet, How Medicaid Hurts the Poor.

A Very Entertaining Dystopia


I went to see the new movie Snowpiercer on the advice of a younger colleague, and I’m very glad I did. It’s a highly political science-fiction film that succeeds in spite of its politics. The plot has to do with a post-apocalyptic train on which Earth’s last survivors circle the world on an endless loop — and on which the oppressed peasants at the back of the train finally decide to revolt against the oppressors up at the front.

Yes, it’s a pretty heavy-handed Marxist allegory. Which makes it all the more remarkable that the film succeeds aesthetically and as pure entertainment. And it does: It’s a triumph of the imagination, as the train and its residents coalesce into a fully realized and emotionally captivating setting and narrative. There are some great performances, notably by Tilda Swinton as a helmet-haired, clipped-British-accented villain who is herself middle-class but is a craven servant of the upper classes. (It would of course be completely absurd to suggest that she is meant to be a caricature of any particular U.K. prime minister of the past three decades or so. Sorry, sarcasm off now.) And, most important of all, a deep truth about the human condition emerges past all the politicizing: Man’s fundamental goal, his essence, is to transcend his circumstances. This is where the film’s allegory works best, and most successfully overcomes its Marxist roots: in stressing that the most important issue is not, as the materialist Marxist analysis would insist, who controls the train — but rather, the importance of realizing that the train is not the fundamental reality.

This is an exciting and beautifully filmed adventure story; the train is an excellent set, a realized world that manages, amazingly, to avoid claustrophobia. There is violence, but not that much more than occurs in the typical Hollywood big-budget actioner. The film is now available on a number of online video-streaming services, but try to see it in its big-screen limited release if you can; it’s a visual marvel.

Lowry on Border Crisis: The First Step Must Be a System of Enforcement


Krauthammer’s Take: The Administration Is ‘Clearly Attempting to Conceal Information’


On Wednesday evening’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer discussed the effects of an influx of immigrant children on even Eastern states, such as Maryland and Massachusetts. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s flip-flopping on the status of immigrants in his state had the panel calling out his “not in my backyard” mentality, and Krauthammer noted that complaints from the mayor of Lynn, Massachusetts about an overwhelmed school system and health department that weren’t prepared for the influx was just one example of unfair stress on even non-border towns.

Krauthammer continued on to explain that the administration is intentionally hiding the border problem from those who most need to be made aware, and that it is hardly an issue of privacy. “The administration line ‘Is this a question of privacy?’ is absurd, is a crock,” he asserts. “Privacy? If you tell a governor that a certain number of illegal alien children are coming to a certain facility, there is no issue of privacy involved. He’s not naming names. He’s not putting a photograph on the internet. This is clearly an attempt of the administration to try to handle a problem by concealing it from the people who most have to know–meaning the governors, the mayors, and the American people.”

John Bolton’s Super PAC Makes First Ad Buy, Hitting N.H. Dem on Benghazi


Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton’s super PAC has made its first independent expenditure in behalf of a candidate, going after a vulnerable Democratic representative from New Hampshire.

Bolton’s super PAC is spending $30,000 running an online ad against Ann Kuster, hitting her over comments she made at a Manchester, N.H. town hall last year in which she appeared to know little about the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Bolton has formed two PACs this year and made a number of endorsements to raise the profile of national-security and foreign-policy issues in this fall’s elections.

He hasn’t been shy about the possibility that this could be laying the ground for a presidential bid, and landing his first expenditure in New Hampshire is just another sign of those ambitions.

At a December 2013 event, Representative Kuster read out loud a question from a constituent about whether she supported a bill to authorize a select committee on Benghazi, and responded that it was a Senate matter, not a House one. Most bizarrely, she ignored the question about the Middle Eastern issue because she was at the event to talk about the Middle East. (The full video of her answer is here.)

Kuster is considered one of the more vulnerable House Democrats this cycle: She won the seat in 2012 by just five points, defeating a Republican incumbent, and the district is rated D+3 by the Cook Political Report. A number of Republican candidates are vying to face off against her in the general election, but Bolton hasn’t endorsed a particular one of them.

“This is the first of what will be many independent expenditures by the John Bolton Super PAC to ensure that American security is a central factor in the 2014 midterm elections,” the committee said in a statement. Bolton’s super PAC and PAC have done some impressive fundraising so far, raking in $4 million in donations and holding $3 million cash on hand.

“That she was unable to address her constituents’ questions about the Benghazi tragedy is shocking at best,” Bolton said in a statement. “Having a basic understanding of the Middle East and America’s security concerns in Benghazi should be a fundamental qualification to be in Congress and Ann Kuster should know better. New Hampshire deserves an informed representative who isn’t afraid to take a lead on both domestic and foreign affairs.”

Bolton has made a number of endorsements of candidates this year, including Republican Senate hopefuls Tom Cotton (Ark.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), and Teri Lynn Land (Mich.).

The two PACs emphasize foreign-policy and national-security issues; Bolton has argued that they’re of more political relevance than many commentators are willing to grant. The former U.N. ambassador has suggested he’d consider running for president in 2016 on a platform based on reasserting American leadership around the world, and his activity so far this election cycle indicates he hasn’t stopped thinking seriously about such a campaign.

Ted Cruz Drafting Border Crisis Bill


I’m hearing from Senate sources that Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is writing an alternative to the border crisis bill proposed by Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) and Representative Henry Cuellar (D., Texas). A “central feature” of Cruz’s bill will be a reversal of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, according to one Senate source.

Republicans in both chambers agree that the surge of children from Central America was caused by Obama’s 2012 announcement of DACA, a policy under which the federal government does not deport people who would have qualified for the DREAM Act, a bill that never passed Congress.

French Court Criminalizes Food Critic’s Google Success


I wrote last week about an absurd French court ruling, but they seem to be coming down in droves. The BBC reports:

A French judge has ruled against a blogger because her scathing restaurant review was too prominent in Google search results.

The judge ordered that the post’s title be amended and told the blogger Caroline Doudet to pay damages.

Ms Doudet was sued by the owner of Il Giardino restaurant in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France after she wrote a blogpost entitled “the place to avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino”.

According to court documents, the review appeared fourth in the results of a Google search for the restaurant. The judge decided that the blog’s title should be changed, so that the phrase: “the place to avoid” was less prominent in the results.

Doudet will be required to pay $2,000 in damages in addition to changing the blog post’s title. Because the ruling was an “emergency order,” in which a judge can identify harm to a plaintiff and force the defendant to cease the offending activity, this decision does not create legal precedent. But Doudet is still correct that, as she tells the BBC, “This decision creates a new crime of ‘being too highly ranked [on a search engine]‘, or of ‘having too great an influence.’” She does not plan to appeal.

The sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued French critic — Apollinaire, Gautier, Valéry – has long been a mainstay of the arts. No longer, it seems — at least not in his native country. Hélas!


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