Totalitarian revolutions always end up eating their own *UPDATED*

One of the hallmarks of the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Nazi Revolution (because, although the ballot was used in 1932, it was a revolution), the Hussein Iraq takeover (which was also a form of revolution), and other totalitarian takeovers is that the paranoid leadership style inherent in totalitarianism invariably means that the revolution starts to eat its own.  At a certain point, the person or cabal that scrabbles to power starts fearing the people who created that leadership position, and sets out to destroy them.

Sadie alerted me to the fact that the Obama Administration, which has worked a sea change in government, is beginning to turn against the journalists that put it there.  The story I’m thinking of today is that of Carla Marinucci, a San Francisco Chronicle political reporter.  Both she and the newspaper have been in Obama’s corner from the beginning, and are consistently hostile to (and often, at least through omission) dishonest about Obama’s opponents, both at high political levels and at the grass roots level.

Mere sycophancy, however, isn’t good enough for the new regime.  Keeping in mind the dictum that “I made you and I can break you,” the regime is doing a bit of purging:

The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.

White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.

The Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci – who, like many contemporary reporters, has a phone with video capabilities on her at all times – pulled out a small video camera last week and shot some protesters interrupting an Obama fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel.

She was part of a “print pool” – a limited number of journalists at an event who represent their bigger hoard colleagues – which White House press officials still refer to quaintly as “pen and pad” reporting.

But that’s a pretty Flintstones concept of journalism for an administration that presents itself as the Jetsons. Video is every bit a part of any journalist’s tool kit these days as a functioning pen that doesn’t leak through your pocket.


The President and his staffers deftly used social media like Twitter and Facebook in his election campaign and continue to extol the virtues and value. Except, apparently, when it comes to the press.

So what’s up with the White House? We can’t say because neither Press Secretary Jay Carney nor anyone from his staff would speak on the record.

Other sources confirmed that Carla was vanquished, including Chronicle editor Ward Bushee, who said he was “informed that Carla was removed as a pool reporter.” Which shouldn’t be a secret in any case because it’s a fact that affects the newsgathering of our largest regional paper (and sfgate)and how local citizens get their information.

What’s worse: more than a few journalists familiar with this story are aware of some implied threats from the White House of additional and wider punishment if Carla’s spanking became public. Really? That’s a heavy hand usually reserved for places other than the land of the free.

The folks at the Chronicle are very surprised.  I’m not.  I saw this coming a long time ago and suspect (although I’m too lazy to check right now) that I blogged on precisely this same point at some time in the past.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATE:  Check out Ed Driscoll’s much more complete post on the subject.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    Chicago, Chicago…that tottering town!  Don’t you just love the “Chicago Way”. Our new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is doing the same thing to the Chicago media pool – recently an NBC reporter was excluded from the reporter pool because she had said something unflattering about da mayor. 

    Them chickens sure have come to roost. 

    I suspect that, like the public sector unions, the Dems are starting to really feel the heat and, under threat, their masks are melting showing the ugliness underneath. Look for this to get much worse as we approach the election. The question I have is whether the media sycophants have so much personally vested in Obama and his gang that they will continue to provide cover for them.

  • Charles Martel

    Book, I was hoping you’d cover this. Carla and her sidekick, Joe Garafoli, are two of the main reasons why I quit reading the San Francisco Chronicle (now I only read “Zits,” “Luanne,” and Dear Abby).

    What’s interesting about this is the tone of dismayed hipness in the SFGate piece you excerpt above. Heavens, don’t the Obamaites know about modern news gathering technology? There must be a rent in the Force for them to act this way!

    The other thing that occurs to me is less amusing. You ask if the whore media will get a clue and begin to see the regime eating its own. My take on Carla—and I hope to hell I’m wrong—is that she’s like Rubashov, the party apparatchik in Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon” who, despite knowing he is being falsely accused and put on trial, accedes to the party’s desire to use him for show because it will advance its glorious cause. Carla’s a trooper, and she’ll probably take one for The One. Besides, if she were to fall out of lockstep over this, she’d soon miss out on all those “atta girls” and parties where she can mingle with San Francisco and California’s syphillitic elite. 


    Dear Abby:
    After 20 years of marriage, I discovered that my husband is a cannibal. He’s a really good father and a devoted member of the Church of What’s Happening Now. He holds an important position in the community and is very active in public affairs. My real concern is that my mother lives with us. We also have two little girls.  He told me that he would never eat his own, but lately some friends of ours have gone missing.
    Should I be worried.
    Please advise.
    (name withheld by request)

  • Charles Martel

    SADIE’s example shows exactly why I still read the Chron.

  • 11B40


    Quoting:  “The folks at the Chronicle are very surprised. ”

    But then again, one of the folks at the San Francisco Comicle was very surprised when that Komodo Dragon started chewing on his leg.

  • Charles Martel

    11B40, LOL! Thanks for bringing up a very pleasant memory.

  • 11B40


    Now that I’ve given M. Martel his fill, I would like to attempt a more intellectual response.

    My father came to this country from southwest Ireland back in 1927.  He lived in northern Manhattan on Edgecombe Avenue, not far from the Polo Grounds, the home field of the then New York Giants major league baseball team. As part of his assimilation process, he became a great fan of the team and attended many of its games especially before the arrival of television. When I arrived and gained sufficient control of my biology, he would take me to games more than several times a year. (There was a special “shuttle” subway train from our part of the Bronx over to the stadium on game days.) When the Giants and the Dodgers absconded in 1958, both teams earned my father’s eternal animosity for their disloyalty. We both would kid each other that, when the Giants played the Dodgers, we couldn’t lose.

    That’s pretty much my overall assessment of this crisis of the nation. (I’ll link the article I find most interesting: (  

    It seems to me that the SF Chronicle-ers don’t really want to answer the question about whether their reporter agreed to the no filming restriction. They do the usual song and dance routine that we have come to know every time those on the left come up against a standard that they intend to disregard or define downward. So, we get the not unusual references to “but everyone’s doing it” and pen and paper is just so “Stone Age”. But really, the issue seems to me to be did the reporter agree to the condition. My father spent a good deal of his time explaining and reinforcing his concept of hospitality to me. When in someone else’s home, their rules govern; if you don’t like them leave. Similarly, if people don’t like the rules of our home they are both free and expected to leave. Now, I can certainly understand how, if this is not “Stone Age” thinking it certainly seems like “Roman Age” thinking not much unlike that whole “a man’s word is his bond” thing. And some people are just so much more equal that their requirement of flexibility from others is to always be both expected and granted.

    Now, the Chronicle-ers failure to accept any punishment should not really be any more surprising than say having your leg chewed on by a co-located Komodo Dragon. Far be it for me to defend the current regime, but apparently all those “Digital Age” wunderkinder in the White House Communication Office didn’t get the Twitter about not getting into a letter-writing campaign with an organization that buys its ink by the barrel. (Perhaps, it only circulates as a hardcopy memo?) So, another little episode of “gangster government” goes awry, but to the aggrieved at the Chronicle, this is, if not another Middle East war, a middling left war. “Lips were moving!” they cry, or not moving, or whatever. A couple of the glorious Obama’s chicken’s roost at the Chronicle and it’s a First Amendment Apocalypse. Panties were knotting in all the bathrooms in the building. My God, the Horror. 

    Hee, hee, hee, how happy I be.

  • Charles Martel

    Omigaw, it’s heating up. Editor at Large Phil Bronstein, one the Chronicle‘s biggest, most fearless dinosaurs, is saying the White House told a “fib” regarding lackey Carla’s naughty. (Bronstein couldn’t bring himself to use the L word because that would involve manning up and telling the truth—acts the Chron isn’t known for.)

    11B40, that was a fine, fine piece of writing.

  • Ymarsakar

    Couldn’t have happened to better people. The most efficient way to break the Left’s logistical and power foundations is to make them fight each other in order to weak their C3 capabilities and their resource base. However, that’s not going to terminate them since whoever wins will consolidate their power base and be much stronger for it in time. The key is to strike before they are stabilized from whatever in fighting they have been doing.