The ‘Fahrenheit 451’-style ‘firemen’ are coming after me

By Jack Cashill

In checking the Amazon reviews for my new book, “Unmasking Obama,” I made the cyber acquaintance of a Dr. Donald G. Billings, an amateur fireman from San Francisco.

Billings just happens to work for Sidley Austin, the same law firm that employed both Barack and Michelle at its Chicago HQ. How about that?

Wrote Billings of my book in his 1-star review, “Among the most poorly written pieces of dreck out there.” I took heart in seeing it. The firemen were finally paying attention.

I borrow the term “firemen” from Ray Bradbury’s 1953 dystopian sci-fi classic, “Fahrenheit 451.” In the way of background, 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper burns.

At the risk of sounding sexist, I use the term “firemen” both in homage to Bradbury and in recognition that men take to this dirty work with more relish than women, especially at the amateur level.

In “Fahrenheit 451,” the state employs “firemen” to burn paper lest the few civilians who care about books avail themselves of information the state does not want them to have.

“Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?” a young woman asks her friend. The friend tells her she has been misinformed.

“Strange,” she answers. “I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames.”

Years ago, young journalists aspired to gather information and spread it. In recent years, however, the firemen on the left, like those in Bradbury’s novel, aspire to destroy inconvenient information before it can spread.

If firemen succeed in suppressing all real information about a truly major story, they can win a Pulitzer as the firemen at the New York Times and Washington Post did for their “coverage” of the Russia collusion story.

Firemen cannot be embarrassed. The Times and Post shared this “national reporting” honor in 2018 when half of all America knew what a cock-up the whole thing was. As the saying goes, the only difference between the Times and the old Soviet Pravda is that Pravda readers knew they were being lied to.

Former CBS journalist Sharyl Attkisson saw the mission shift up close. “After Watergate,” she writes, “few would have predicted today’s dynamic in which some journalists view their job not as questioning the powers that be, but undermining those who report on the powers that be.”

The firemen have numerous ways of protecting the progressive narrative du jour: defaming opposition journalists, mocking their work, exposing their past sins, trivializing their information and twisting their facts, among others.

At the amateur level, firemen routinely subvert the Wikipedia pages of perceived opponents – last I looked I was a “pornographer” – troll the comment sections of conservative journals, and, of course, write one-star book reviews of their work on Amazon.

I can only look with envy at guys like David Horowitz whose book “Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win,” has already gotten eight 1-star reviews.

Of course, I am hoping for more abuse, maybe a smack down from big-time firemen like the smear artists at the Media Matters for America or the “extremist” monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center. If truly successful, I might get a big fat “False” from the faux fact-checkers at Snopes.com or PolitiFact.com.

But for now I have to content myself with a sneer from the good Dr. Billings – that is, if there is a Dr. Billings.

Given that the word “billingsgate” means “vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval,” I had to be suspicious, especially since his was not a “verified” Amazon purchase, and I cannot imagine any San Francisco bookstore even selling “Unmasking Obama.”

What were the odds that a Billings would indulge in billingsgate? Well, apparently, the odds are pretty good. Dr. Donald G. Billings seems like a real person, and he is not at all shy about sharing his resume on his splashy website, donaldbillings.com.

The odds are less good, however, that Dr. Billings is actually a doctor in any meaningful sense of the word. On the Facebook page for “Dr. Donald G. Billings,” we are told that he is currently “pursuing his Doctorate (D.B.A.) with a concentration in Technology Entrepreneurship with Walden.”

On his website, under the huge heading “Doctoral Level Legal Technologist,” the good doctor claims to have a DBA from Walden, an online university.

I guess Billings can call himself “doctor” if he likes, but having spent five years on campus at a brick and mortar joint called Purdue to get my Ph.D., I think I earned the right to call him “fireman.”

Jack Cashill’s new book, Unmasking Obama, is now widely available. To learn more see www.Cashill.com.

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