Los Angeles Times Editors: Mandatory Condom Use for Actors Isn’t Working

by Greg Pollowitz

The Times opposed the 2012 law that mandated porn actors use condoms on any film shot in Los Angeles County, and today the editors are warning that adopting the law statewide makes no sense, too:

But there’s no evidence that the law has had its intended effect. Instead, many adult film production companies have moved their shoots outside of the county — and in some cases, out of the state or country. Others have stopped filing for county film permits and have reportedly continued to shoot without complying with the condom mandate. In all, the number of permits issued to adult films in L.A. County dropped 90% in 2013 after Measure B went into effect, and there is no indication that porn stars are any safer today than they were two years ago.

The editors don’t come right out and say it, but they’re talking about all the jobs the County has lost since 2012. Not just for the actors, but the lighting technicians, editors, etc.

Here’s more from their editorial:

But upon further research, it became clear that government is ill-equipped to mandate and enforce the use of condoms on adult film sets. 

[. . .]

When the editorial board opposed Measure B in 2012, we said that its proponents were taking an attitude of “let’s pass it and see what happens.” Well, now we know what happened. Legislators should learn from L.A. County’s experience and reject AB 1576.

Well, I guess the good news is the editors at the Times have found at least one thing the government isn’t good at.



The Nonsensical Vox Summary of Obama’s Foreign Policy

by Greg Pollowitz

I need somebody to explain Vox’s explanatory journalism to me, because this doesn’t make much sense:  


Al Jazeera Airs Video Showing Hamas Tunnels Still In Operation

by Greg Pollowitz

This segment is from the August 6 broadcast of Al Jazeera out of Qatar, via MEMRI:

​At one point in the video, the Hamas fighters say they were within meters of Israeli soldiers and not discovered. I wonder how much overall damage Israel has done to these Hamas tunnels.

Archival Media Coverage of U.S. Presidents Bombing Iraq Since 1991

by Greg Pollowitz

What’s old is new again, and will be newer again under President Cruz/Paul/Clinton/TBD:




NDTV Reporter Explains the ‘Backstory’ of His Hamas Rocket Video

by Joel Gehrke

This is a great post by NDTV reporter Sreenivasan Jain where he explains his reporting of the now viral video of Hamas fighters firing a rocket at Israel from next to his hotel. An excerpt:

We knew then we had to air the story. For us to have filmed how a rocket was assembled next to us, on a site used twice to launch a rocket, endangering the lives of all those around us on two occasions -to not have reported it would have been simply wrong. But we did take precautions – we aired the report a good five hours after the rocket was launched, well into the ceasefire. By then it was clear that Israel was not responding, at least for the period of the ceasefire. (Incidentally, given Israel’s extensive surveillance of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip it hardly seems they would need the media to point out to them where rockets are fired from.) 

There was the question of  possible reprisal by Hamas; to this one, there are no easy answers other than to ask: how long do we self-censor because of the fear of personal safety in return for not telling a story that exposes how those launching rockets are putting so many more lives at risk, while the rocket-makers themselves are at a safe distance?  More so when we have rare, first hand proof of how it works?  

We have been asked how we can be sure that those who fired the rocket were members of Hamas. With groups like Hamas, absolute certainty is always hard to establish. The rocket we witnessed was not a one -off, launched by one of the splinter groups of the resistance. It was launched in a flurry of outbound missiles in the final moments before the ceasefire came into effect, suggesting the handiwork of the biggest, most-organized and well-stocked group on the Gaza Strip- Hamas. Also the fact that this was the second time a rocket was launched from the same spot a week prior suggests  this is not the work of one of the factions/ freelancers  but a more entrenched group.

Jain continued with a warning to both the Israelis and Palestinians from using his work as “propaganda” one way or the other:

I can’t imagine anything more disingenuous in both these positions. For starters, our report in no way absolves the IDF from taking responsibility for the appalling toll its offensive has taken on civilian lives. If anything, it only makes it all the more incumbent for the Israeli Army to evolve a response that minimizes the damage to civilian lives and property. So far, none is visible. As we and other media have reported from Gaza Strip areas like Rafah, Khuzaa, Shejaiya and Beit Hanoun, entire neighborhoods have been laid to waste, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians, many of them children  in order to hunt down a tunnel, or knock out a rocket launch pad. (Also Read: NDTV’s Hamas Exclusive Is An International Headline)

Equally, if we have reported that the other side – Hamas – is also posing a risk to Gaza civilians, surely those who are concerned about the Palestinian cause should direct their ire at that group, and not at us? Our report in no way implies proportionality. The death toll – close to 1800 Palestinians killed to about 60 Israelis – hardly needs restating. We know that compared to Israel’s firepower, Hamas’s rockets are a minor threat. Of the almost 3,600 fired so far, only 10% have posed a serious risk to Israel’s cities and have been taken down by its Iron Dome response system. The rocket we saw, in all probability, must have been the one of the 1000s that landed in open areas. But by firing these rockets from civilian areas, they threaten the people of Gaza more than anyone else: that was the simple point of this report.   

Instead a series of arguments have been thrown at us, for instance, the ‘we have no choice’ argument, suggesting that Israeli encroachment has deprived Gaza of open spaces from which Hamas can launch attacks.  This is factually dubious – one only has to drive down the Salahudin Road from Gaza City in the north to Khan Younis in the south to see that the Gaza strip is not, as is commonly believed a continuous urban agglomeration. ‘We have no choice’ is also intellectually questionable – it is the same argument that Israel advances to defend its atrocious record of collateral killings. 

I understand that he doesn’t want his work used to make the case for war for one side or the other, but the reason his reporting became so popular with the pro-Israel crowd is because of its uniqueness. If more reporters were allowed to report accurately from Hamas, the world would be better served.



Gaza Bishop Alleges Hamas Used His Church to Launch Rockets at Israel

by Greg Pollowitz

Here’s another example of Hamas’s use of human shields that the U.S. media somehow missed. Via Legal Insurrection:

We focused the other day on the ethnic cleansing of Christians by Islamists in Gaza.

But there still are about 1500 Christians in Gaza.

In this video released today, Archbishop Alexios of Gaza describes how Hamas had fired rockets from the church compound (at 1:12)(h/t @ColRichardKemp):

Alexios took CBN News to the roof terrace outside his office to show how Hamas used the church compound to launch rockets into Israel. He refused to discuss details on camera for security reasons, but days after the war started, Israeli missiles targeted an area close to the church sanctuary.

Video of the interview Archbishop Alexios here.

The Salon Most-Ridiculous-Story-of-the-Day:
Neil deGrasse Tyson Is Awesome

by Greg Pollowitz

My colleague Charles Cooke recently profiled astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson for National Review, calling him a “fetish and totem of the extraordinarily puffed-up ‘nerd’ culture that has of late started to bloom across the United States.” An adaption of the magazine piece is available for free here.

Anyway, as if to help Charles prove his point, Salon has this up today where Tyson spends about three minutes telling viewers how long a human would last on each “planet” in the solar system without a space suit or any other form of protection. 

As Tyson describes in the video how long one would last not just on the planets of our solar system, but on other objects such as the sun, an asteroid, and the rings of Saturn, Salon’s headline writer has taken quite the liberal definition of “planet.” 

Tyson goes on to say that a human will die on any celestial body in the solar system, other than Earth. Death will be instantaneous, or near instantaneous, except for Mercury where Tyson says you’d last as long as you can hold your breath provided that you exit your spaceship on the exact spot that straddles Mercury’s cold and hot sides and you spin around like a “rotisserie chicken.” And then you would live until you ran out of breath, spinning around in circles. For real. Science!

It’s an incredibly stupid video, but because Tyson is behind it — the totem of the Left’s nerds — it’s supposed to be something enlightening or special.



Greg Gutfeld Calls Out the Media’s Ebola Alarmism

by Greg Pollowitz

Here’s a great monologue from Gutfeld on the media’s overreaction to Ebola: