MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY: Making Khan-Cullors go away!

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2018

Part 3—Along with a long line of others:
Yesterday, we discussed Monday night's Maddow Show. What occurred on the program last night?

Last night, the award-winning show was basically all Alex van der Zwaan all the time. The opening segment about the young hunk burned roughly 21 minutes. Two subsequent segments—one with Paul Fishman, one with Ken Vogel—added a combined 9:37 to the van der Zwaan total time.

Maddow closed with another 4:49 about the maddening conduct of the Russkies. Along the way, she did 3:04 about Jared Kushner's security clearance conundrum.

As such, the program was largely about van der Zwaag, completely about The Chase.

It isn't clear that there's anything "wrong" with programming like that. Indeed, the programming would make perfect sense if MSNBC was The Legal Minutia Channel which, in theory, it isn't.

(In theory, even Court TV no longer exists In 2008, it became TruTV, a place for "reality shows.")

At this point, the Maddow Show concerns itself with little except The Chase. That's true of MSNBC prime time generally, but it's especially true at 9 PM, a place of ratings success.

Last evening, Maddow went into her usual overwhelming detail about All Things Van Der Zwaan. In this morning's Washington Post, the topic rated a full-length news report on page A2 (1026 words). On last evening's Maddow Show, it was Attorney van der Zwaan pretty much all the way down.

Is there anything "wrong" with this diet? We would say there pretty much is. For starters, we would point to the way it makes the rest of the world go away, not excluding the fascinating, reality-drenched world of Patrisse Khan-Cullors.

Who the Sam Hill is Patrisse Khan-Cullors? Your question makes our point! Khan-Cullors, who was then Patrisse Cullors, is one of the three founders of Black Lives Matter. Also, she's the author of a new book which was on the New York Times best-seller list on two recent Sundays, falling off this past week.

Over Here in our pseudolib tents, we pretend to care about Black Lives Matter—indeed, about such lives. If a young person gets shot and killed, though only by police, we start inventing and bruiting false facts about what occurred to prove how much we care.

For better or worse, that seems to be the exetnt of our investment. Rachel serves us porridge each night about The Chase after Donald J. Trump. You'll never see Khan-Cullors on the corporate liberal goddess' program. Nor will you see the issues which animate Khan-Cullors' book get discussed.

The Maddow Show is our tribal playpen. Khan-Cullors and such can suck air.

We became aware of Khan-Cullors' book as we relaxed with the analysts two Sundays ago, enjoying a long, leisurely day of C-Span 2. Khan-Cullors did the full hour on After Words, interviewed by Toure.

To watch that program, click here.

Toure didn't do the greatest job; like almost everyone else, he's not a professional interviewer. We heard a lot of things that hour which didn't exactly seem to make sense, but we were struck by Khan-Cullors' tremendously cheerful demeanor.

The combination of these forcings led us to skim her book, and good grief! Early on, we ran headlong into the passage shown below.

Khan-Cullots grew up in low-income/impoverished L.A. At the start of this passage, she's referring to an incident with that city's police when her older brothers were 13 and 11:
KHAN-CULLORS (page 15): I will not think of this particular incident until years later, when the reports about Mike Brown start flowing out of Ferguson, Missouri, and he is morphed by police and the press from a beloved 18-year-old boy, a boy who was heading to college and a boy who was unarmed, into something like King Kong, an entity swollen, monster-like, that could only be stopped with bullets that were shot into the top of his head. Because that is what this cop did to him. He shot bullets into the top of his head as he knelt on the ground with his hands up.
Good grief! Khan-Cullors had already described Trayvon Martin in the standard way. She'd mentioned the Skittles and the iced tea while mentioning nothing else.

But that description of Michael Brown's death seemed to take the cake. It seemed to us that it had been years since we'd seen anyone continue the "kneeling with his hands up" imagery. The additional image implied in that passage—the image of the policeman standing over Michael Brown shooting down into "the top of his head"—seemed to take this imagery farther than we'd ever seen it taken.

Other parts of Khan-Cullors' book take the tools of selective reporting about as far as we've seen them taken. We recommend the anecdote she tells on pages 171-172, in which a young man she's mentoring ends up in the L.A. County jail, then received a ten-year prison sentence, even though "in fact no one was physically hurt, although I'm sire they were terrified."

As best we can tell, Khan-Cullors seems to be describing an armed robbery in the passage in question. It's amazing to see how far she goes to avoid making her meaning clear.

We find a lot that's puzzling in Khan-Cullors' book. Because the bulk of the book make us admire and wonder about her spirit, we've decided to blame these incidents on asha bandele, her co-author.

That said, you can see Khan-Cullors on that C-Span tape telling Toure that Sandra Bland "was killed in that jail cell, there's no way she committed suicide...it's my opinion she was dead before they fashioned that noose and put it on her. And that's unfortunately common." She bases this theory on her claim that many women are being murdered before they are hung inside a certain women's prison in California. (On the tape, this conversations atarts around minute 31.)

We've googled the topic and read the reports. We find no one making any such claim about the suicides in question, not even prisoner rights' groups. You'll see Toure make no attempt to question any of this, though interviewing on the fly is a difficult task.

Given these apparent problems, why do we, heartily, recommend Khan-Cullors' book? We do so because of Khan-Cullors herself, because of her strong spirit and spirituality, but also because of the topics with which she's long been engaged.

She has long been engaged with important topics. You will never see these topics discussed on The Rachel Maddow Show, or on MSNBC generally.

With what sorts of topics is Khan-Cullors engaged? Consider her remarkable claim about California prisons:
KHAN-CULLORS (page 44): In 1986 when I am three years old Ronald Reagan energizes the drug war that was started in 1971 by Richard Nixon by further militarizing the police in our communities, which swells the number of Black and Latinx men who are incarcerated. Between 1982 and 2000, the number of people locked up in the state of California grows by 500 percent.
Could that statistic be accurate? The leading authority on this topic states that very statistic in this award-winning report. Back in 2016, PolitiFact fact-checked a statement by Cory Booker and offered this overview concerning the nation's prisons:
POLITIFACT (7/10/16): A spokesman said Booker’s statistic comes from the Sentencing Project, a criminal justice reform advocacy organization. It says the current incarcerated population is 2.2 million—including federal prisons, state prisons and local jails—which is a 500 percent growth over the past 40 years.

Experts told us that the Sentencing Project’s statistics are credible.

The state and federal prison population grew from 218,466 in 1974 to 1,508,636 in 2014, which is a nearly 600 percent increase. For comparison, the overall United States population has increased just 51 percent since 1974.

The state and federal prison population remained fairly stable through the early 1970s, until the war on drugs began. Since then, it has increased sharply every year, particularly when Reagan expanded the policy effort in the 1980s, until about 2010.
Obviously, this topic isn't unique to Khan-Cullors. But her discussions of prison culture seem to be informed by years of work in the area, and by experience with the incarceration of family members and loved ones. Our only point is this:

This isn't a topic which gets discussed on The Rachel Maddow Show. On the Maddow Show, you get to enjoy The Chase at this point and you get little else. You receive the joy of The Chase, and the rest of the world goes away.

Regarding Khan-Cullots herself, we think the tone of her book is deeply fascinating. We dislike the apparent propaganda. We're deeply struck by the person in whose name it's offered.

Her relentless discussions of family and love remind us of the early Dr. King, the young author who was so in love with "the love ethic of Jesus." What a shame that Khan-Cullors can't be on your TV screen, to better to make room for the latest pointless discussion with Michael Beschloss.

Khan-Cullors talks about the lives of low-income urban kids in the same sort of way Ta-Nehisi Coates did in his award-winning book. That said, we don't care about those kids, and we never have.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors is only one of the people you won't see on The One True Channel. Mass incarceration is only one such topic.

We're currently being sold The Chase, an entertaining tribal porridge which is ratings gold. It makes us feel very good inside, and it makes the world go away.

Tomorrow: Among the missing

BREAKING: How the other tribe lives!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2018

Fruit of the New York Times:
Last Friday night, we got so sick of our own tribe's "cable news" recitations that we flipped over to watch Sean Hannity mouthing his.

It was The Day of The 16 Indictments—but on Hannity, it was also The Night of Uranium One and the scary uranium deal.
Hannity's opening monologue wandered about quite a bit. But less than three minutes into the speech, the incoherent "cable news" star was performing beneath this sign:
HANNITY OPENING MONOLOGUE
URANIUM ONE SCANDAL
At least for now, you can find the videotape here ("Examining key points from Russian indictments"). To review the transcript, click this.

Here's part of what The Other Half heard last Friday night. As you yourself have probably heard, we live in two different worlds:
HANNITY (2/16/18): All right. Let's start with what the media will not tell you tonight. Some of the biggest news in today's indictment is what is not included. It does not say that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians. It does not say that anybody on the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. It does not say that President Trump obstructed justice. It does not say that Donald Trump Jr. attempted to collude with the Russians.

Now the same goes for Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The biggest examples of Russian collusion for 2016 that we know about, that we have real concrete evidence of, is, one, Hillary Clinton, bought and paid for dossier. The one that used Russian government sources to peddle Russian propaganda, lies, to influence the American people in the past election in 2016.

And the other example of Russia collusion, number two, is that we know to be true, deals with Uranium One and Vladimir Putin and people he had on the ground in America involved in bribery and money laundering and kickback and racketeering schemes. It all took place in this country. We know all about that.

[...]

Now what this indictment shows is nothing short of a sophisticated effort by the Russians to gain influence in America. Now, we have been telling you this, about Vladimir Putin, about Russian operatives, about how they've been involved in sophisticated schemes. We have been going back to as early as 2009.

Remember, he had people, operatives on the ground with the purpose of breaking into America's uranium market. We also told you how those Russian operatives were involved and we knew it because we had an insider on the ground, an FBI informant, that they were involved in bribery, in kickbacks, and money laundering, racketeering, all in a scheme, yes, tied to Hillary Clinton.

Now, that's the deal with the Clinton State Department and the Obama administration. They ignored this FBI investigation, what this informant was telling them was going on in the inside. And inexplicably they approved, in 2010, giving Vladimir Putin control of over 20 percent of America's uranium market.

We had the informant warning us on the inside the entire time. Nobody listened. And the clueless media, they ignored this Russian interference.

Now, this only matters apparently if the Russians are involved, if you can use it to bludgeon President Trump politically.

Now, sadly, Putin and Russia, they were successful in 2010, they got the uranium. Now, even though we already had a shortage of uranium in America, we have to import uranium.

Now let's get back to the indictment. It lays out allegations that begin in 2014. Where Russian nationals, they were working together, with a troll farm located in St. Petersburg, Russia, trying to influence the election. Why wouldn't they after they got uranium?
Hannity's monologue was perhaps a bit incoherent. But as we sat and watched him working beneath that big large gigantic sign, we couldn't help thinking back to the role the New York Times played in this uranium gong show, which has now played out at Fox for years.

We've discussed it a million times, starting in real time, in June 2015. The New York Times ran an enormous, scary front-page report about the scary uranium deal. It ran an enormous 4400 words, starting on the paper's front page and eating two entire pages inside the paper.

If the work was actually meant as a real news report, it was the worst such report of all time. Here's the question we're going to ask you:

Have you ever seen the New York Times challenged about this going show?

The lead reporter on this gonger was, of course, Jo Becker. We have no idea why anyone with an ounce of sense would ever pay a lick of attention to anything Becker ever wrote again.

That said, Becker's report was an official collaboration with right-wing hack Peter Schweizer—an arrangement the Times has entered into for reasons which haven't been probed by our fiery liberal journalists.

In fact, the scary uranium deal wasn't scary at all. It wasn't engineered by Hillary Clinton. In fact, we know of no evidence that Clinton played any role in approving the deal at all.

Most career liberals have finally said that the hubbub about Uranium One has been the latest pseudo-scandal. But there it still is, all over Fox, and make no mistake:

As has happened so many other times, the ridiculous tale of the scary deal got its heft from the ludicrous work which appeared in the New York Times.

As for the Times, good God!

Over at New York magazine,
Jill Abramson has been discussing the latest fairy tale, in which Justice Thomas would be impeached. Over at Slate, she's wondering how her "generation" could have left the country in such a political mess, with Isaac Chotiner choosing to be polite.

To a very large extent, the political mess to which she refers was created by her own enormously incompetent former newspaper. Luckily, career liberal journalists all understand that such inconvenient truths must be ignored. Careers hang in the balance!

Uranium One gained its cachet in that ludicrous Times report. On cable news, Hayes and Goldstein described it as a "bombshell" that night.

The Times has been doing this forever. So have career liberal journalists.

Hannity played his own role Friday night. Anthropologists tell us that this may be the best our floundering species can do.

They look unhappy when they say this. But none of the academic giants challenge the gloomy consensus:

We just don't seem to be up to the task. The pay-offs are too damn high!

MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY: Rachel makes the world go away!

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2018

Part 2—Don't look for the world of Khan-Cullors:
Last evening, on prime time "cable news," Rachel Maddow spent a leisurely, self-involved hour making the world go away.

She started, as is routine at this point, with a brief complaint about the way the current profusion of news events inconveniences her, Rachel Maddow, both in her daily professional planning and in her personal life. This piteous bleating has become an almost-nightly event.

From there, she proceeded to the bulk of her opening segment, in which she spent 20 minutes and 45 seconds—roughly half her program's broadcast minutes—making the world go away.

How did the liberal world's corporate darling make the world go away? As she frequently does, she started with a leisurely, utterly pointless trip to the tribal past—to a pleasing tribal past in which famous Republicans are pleasingly seen doing things which are evil, naughty and wrong.

This makes the cable star's liberal viewers feel tribally moral and pure. After last night's standard complaint about the way breaking news inconveniences Rachel, here's the way the historical waste of time started:
MADDOW (2/19/18): All right. In 1984, at his last State of the Union Address before he ran for reelection as president, January 1984, Ronald Reagan, at that State of the Union, made a very sober promise to the country on a very serious issue.

REAGAN (videotape): This year, we will intensify our drive against these and other horrible crimes, like sexual abuse and family violence.

MADDOW: That was January 1984. Ronald Reagan telling Congress the government "will intensify our drive against sexual abuse and family violence."

This was one line in a sort of dark part of Reagan's State of the Union Address that year. That was part of the speech where he also talked about kidnapping and about child pornography.
Etcetera, and so forth and so on. As the minutes burned away, Maddow told us about the way Reagan failed to fire a staffer accused of domestic violence—until the story hit the Wall Street Journal, at which point the Gipper took action.

For oursleves, we have no idea what actually happened in the incident under review. There's little chance that the grossly inconvenienced Maddow has any real idea either.

Presumably, staffers had seized upon this news report in yesterday's USA Today. They'd fashioned a summary of events. Maddow sat there and performed as if she knew what she was talking about.

That said, historical excursions of this type tend to serve as the first batch of porridge the corporate multimillionaire serves her liberals viewers of a weekday night. Preferably, the pointless excursion will involve Richard Nixon, not the less dastardly Reagan.

At any rate, in last evening's first twenty-one minutes, Maddow joined her liberal audience in one of her favorite pastimes, listening to herself talk. She spent this very large of time developing one piece of information—chief of staff Kelly has said that new rules will take effect this Friday regarding security clearances inside the J-Trump White House.

Maddow managed to turn this tiny nugget into a 21-minute open. She blathered her way through the rest of the program, then sent us off happy with this additional glimpse of her daily life:
MADDOW: I have to tell you, usually, I really don't care. I'm like—

I'm not the only person in the news business, but I'm probably one of the only people in the news business who, when the White House briefing comes on, I take that as my cue to go get a sandwich.

[Off-camera laughter from sycophants]

Like I just don't—I just make—you have to make choices as to what sort of information you take in and what you don't bother. And with the White House briefing, I don't bother.

That said, tomorrow I'm going to bother,
because tomorrow will be the first White House briefing in a week.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to brief at 2 o'clock tomorrow. They cancelled the briefing last Wednesday on a day they expected to put out White House chief of staff John Kelly. They cancelled it in the wake of the shooting.

Kelly had been expected to face, basically, a furious press corps, who's been trying to get to the bottom of White House conflicting statements about the White House staff secretary Rob Porter and the domestic violence allegations against him, the security clearance scandal that followed the Rob Porter revelations.

His briefing was cancelled on Wednesday. They didn't hold one Thursday or Friday. They did not hold one today.

Tomorrow, they'll be back in the briefing room and I'll get takeout.

That does it for us tonight. We'll see you again tomorrow. Now it's time for The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Good evening, Lawrence!
Yay yay yay yay yay—so cool! We got to learn more about Rachel!

Normally, she doesn't care. But tomorrow, she plans to get takeout!

Roughly four million Rachel watchers thrilled to the new information. Deep in the bowels of our own sprawling campus, observers were much less pleased.

"I I I I I I I," our frustrated young analysts wailed. They'd just watched a multimillionaire corporate stooge making the world go away.

What do we mean when we say that "Rache" makes the world go away? We refer to such matters as these:

We refer to te absurdly limited palette of topics to which we get exposed in an hour.

We refer to the endless string of major topics and concerns we'll never see addressed.

We refer to the many people we'll never see on this program as guests. (Michael Beschloss, come on down!)

We refer to the way the Maddow Show is actually tribal entertainment TV—a nightly "true crime" drama about The Chase, in which we the good people pursue the bad people, the ones surrounding Trump, hoping they'll end up in prison.

Alas! As this creepy, crepuscular shadow being works the margins of real events, we liberals only get dumber, and more estranged from the world. Rachel becomes more enthralled with herself—but along the way, we don't hear about the contents of a new, best-selling book.

The book belongs to Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter. We've been reading that book of late. It involves the type of content to which you will never be exposed on Maddow's entertainment-based program.

WE first saw Khan-Cullors on C-Span's After Words program two Sundays back. She was interviewed, for an hour, by the perhaps and possibly ever-more outre Toure.

The interview led us to skim the book at Barnes and Noble. The skimming led us to buy it.

You will never see Khan-Cullors on Maddow's "cable news" show. You'll never see its content discussed.

Tomorrow, we start splaining why.

Tomorrow: Several peculiar claims, fascinating content

The ghost of hit songs past: We thought we heard the late Eddy Arnold as we watched Maddow last night. He'd adjusted the words of his greatest hit song. Here's what we thought he said:
Make the world go away
Get it off my shoulder
Say the things we want you to say
And make the world go away.
In fairness, with the analysts all yelling "I I I I," it was hard to hear what he was saying.

BREAKING: Strangest paragraph of them all!

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2018

The gang that coudn't troll straight:
Robert Mueller dropped 16 indictments on Russkie heads last Friday. The indictments concern alleged illegal electioneering, not the theft of Democratic emails or possible blackmailing of Donald J. Trump.

How effective was this Russkie electioneering? We can't answer that question, but this strikes us as the strangest paragraph in last week's indictments:
31. In order to collect additional intelligence, Defendants and their co-conspirators posed as U.S. persons and contacted U.S. political and social activists. For example, starting in or around June 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, posing online as U.S. persons, communicated with a real U.S. person affiliated with a Texas-based grassroots organization. During the exchange, Defendants and their co-conspirators learned from the real U.S. person that they should focus their activities on "purple states like Colorado, Virginia & Florida." After that exchange, Defendants and their co-conspirators commonly referred to targeting "purple states" in directing their efforts.
That seems like a very strange paragraph. Here's what it seems to say:

It seems to say that the Russkie invaders only learned about so-called "purple states" (swing states) in June 2016. That would have been amazingly late on the game. Some such suggestion popped up in the public discourse a few months ago, and we noted its oddness.

That's a very strange paragraph. It seems to identify the Russkie invaders as the gang that couldn't troll straight. If you don't even know how our state-by-state electoral system works, you don't know squat, squadoodle or even squadoosh about our election system. According to this paragraph, the Russkies only learned about this part of the system in June 2016, from an unwitting contact in Texas.

This doesn't mean that these operations had no effect on voters. It seems to suggest that the Russkies got off to a rather slow start in this area, knowing their asps from their elbows-wise.

That strikes us as a very strange paragraph. Tomorrow, we'll mention another semi-puzzling matter.

BREAKING: Who in the world is [Name Withheld]?

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2018

And how can The Times be so bad:
Matt Shuham is two years out of college (Harvard 2015).

Yesterday, his TPM report about Trump's latest tweets had us gnashing our teeth. This passage sent us over the edge:
SHUHAM (2/18/18): Trump is incorrect in saying “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election.” At times he has specified that his campaign did not collude with Russia. But he has also frequently tossed nuance aside and called the entire Mueller investigation a “witch hunt,” or declared that “Russia is fake news.”
According to Shuham, Trump was "incorrect in saying 'I never said Russia did not meddle in the election.' " Shuham's chesty words of assurance made TPM readers feel good.

That said, Shuham offered no examples in which Trump made the inaccurate statement in question. He simply said, or seemed to say, that Trump has "frequently" done so.

Stating the obvious, that was terrible work. On the brighter side, hiring extremely young reporters presumably lets Josh Marshall make more money. Like every tribe in prehuman history, we liberals want our tribal sachems to be very rich.

That said, Shuham's post left us wondering. Has Trump ever flatly said that Russia didn't meddle?

At this point, let's offer a word of warning. Trump's statements tend to be extremely fuzzy. He tends to work on insinuation, suggestion and association rather than explicit statement. It's often hard to articulate what he has actually said.

(Example: We don't think we've ever seen anyone offer an accurate paraphrase of Trump's famous remark about the Mexican rapists. In our view, it was an appalling remark. It's also hard to paraphrase.)

Shuham's example-free assurance had us gnashing outr teeth. This morning, though, Linda Qiu really took the cake in the New York Times.

Qiu is three years out of college (Chicago 2014). For unknown reasons, the New York Times has hired her to be the paper's official fact-checker.

Qiu's skills are virtually non-existent. This morning, in a full-length, hard-copy report, she attempts to fact-check that same assertion by Trump.

Her failure is astonishing. Headline included, here's how her report begins:
QIU (2/19/18): Trump Falsely Claims, ‘I Never Said Russia Did Not Meddle’

President Trump falsely claimed
in an early Sunday morning Twitter post that he had never rejected the notion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

“I never said Russia did not meddle in the election,
I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer,’” Mr. Trump wrote. “The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia—it never did!
According to Qiu, the tweeted statement by Donald J. Trump was "false." She proceeds to offer eight examples in support of her claim—but only one of her examples seems to support her claim in anything like an unambiguous fashion.

How absurd are the bulk of Qiu's examples? Good lord! The bulk of the examples she cites are as absurd as this, her second example:
September 2016: “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the D.N.C.”

As the presidential nominees of their political parties, Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton began receiving government intelligence reports in August. On Sept. 22, top Democrats on congressional intelligence committees issued a public statement blaming Russia, “based on briefings we have received.”

Four days later, during the first presidential debate, Mr. Trump declined to agree:

“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the D.N.C. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t—maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, O.K.?”
Good lord! In that alleged example, Trump explicitly said it could be Russia who hacked the DNC.

In that statement, Trump didn't say it wasn't Russia. He said he didn't know.

In even a slightly rational world, it would be astounding to see the New York Times present that statement as Qiu does—as an example of Trump denying that Russia did it. In a slightly rational world, it would be astounding to think the New York Times' fact-checker, and her editor, possessed such limited analytical skill.

That's how it would be in a slightly rational world. But in this world, the New York Times is a hotbed of journalistic and intellectual dysfunction. As part of that routine dysfunction, the paper hired someone barely out of college to serve as its official fact-checker, despite her remarkable lack of basic skills.

Her unnamed editor lacks those skills too. Amazingly, this is the intellectual norm at our floundering nation's most famous daily newspaper.

On the brighter side, Times readers aren't likely to notice. According to today's page A3, yesterday's "most emailed article" was the one you'll find at this link.

"Why Yoga Pants Are Bad for Women." As the Times is happy to note, that's the report from the Sunday Times we brainiacs emailed most!

We claim to be appalled by Trump. Our utterly fatuous upper-class values just keep pointing the way toward our decline, perhaps toward our society's death.

Reviewing Qiu's examples, we find one example where Trump seemed to deny that Russia did it. Based upon Qiu's other examples, it looks like he quickly abandoned that stance.

MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY: Kessler frisks first lady's folks!

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2018

Part 1—When Milbank and Stormy get blue:
How ridiculous does it get when we commit ourselves to The Chase—to thrilling tribal entertainment and to nothing else?

How ridiculous can it get? For starters, consider Glen Kessler's weekly hard-copy report in the Washington Post.
As always, Kessler's weekly report appeared in Sunday's editions. We refer to his weekly report as top dog at the Post's "Fact-Checker" site.

For the record, yesterday's report followed a fraught week or two. It had been the week of the seventeen high school killings. It had also been the week of the sixteen indictments.

It had been the week when Dreamer legislation died in the Senate. Donald J. Trump had recently released his budget plan. In the wake of some utterly bollixed reporting, a wealth of basic questions remained about the Rob Porter matter.

Quite a few topics had flooded the news. So what was the Post's fact-checker checking?

The Post's fact-checker was fact-checking the first lady's mother and father! Do they belong in this country at all?

Hard-copy headline included, he stated his brief as shown below. We'll throw in the word "inaccurate:"
KESSLER (2/18/18): White House tight-lipped on the immigration status of Melania Trump’s parents

Several readers asked about the immigration status of Melania Trump’s parents,
Viktor and Amalija Knavs, after spotting [inaccurate] social media posts such as this one:

"Here are Melania's Parents. Viktor and Amalija Knavs. They live in the United States Permanently now because of Chain Migration after Melania's Visa Expired & she stayed here Illegally and married Donnie for Citizenship. None of them have a degree or a job".

With congressional debate beginning on overhauling immigration laws, it’s certainly an interesting question. President Trump has favored bills that would severely restrict “chain migration,” including the granting of immigration visas to the parents of U.S. citizens. So naturally, readers have wondered whether the president is being hypocritical.
According to the Post's fact-checker, some readers had spotted some social media posts! Naturally, those social media posts had set these readers to wondering!

This explains the embarrassing report which appeared in Sunday's Washington Post. In the face of a vast array of serious major important news topics, Kessler had spent his week asking the first lady's parents to please show their papers.

Kessler went on to produce a lengthy, somewhat insulting fact-check on this utterly pointless topic. He listed four possible bases on which the parents may be in this country. The fourth basis he listed was this:
Parole
"Parole," the fact-checker wrote in bold. They might be here on "parole!"

In the face of all those serious topics, Kessler engaged in a lengthy frisk of the first lady's parents. At one point, he warned us that the parents could be engaged in illegal conduct if they've been taking care of their grandson, Barron Trump.

Humans, might we speak? That's the kind of bullshit to which we're inclined to descend when the tribal thrill of The Chase makes us take leave of our senses. To wit:

Some readers spot something stupid somewhere. Working from a very high platform, a journalist takes a deep dive.

It was much the same with Dana Milbank in the same Sunday paper. In a full-length, page'filling column, Dana Milbank, like Stormy Daniels, was feeling both ballsy and blue. Hard-copy headline included:
MILBANK (2/18/18): Why Stormy Daniels isn't a bigger storm

President Trump is a force of nature. Actually, he is a full-blown meteorological phenomenon.

This week, what in any other presidency would have been a Category 5 hurricane made landfall at the White House. It felt more like a drizzle.

The president’s personal lawyer confirmed that he paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels, reportedly so she wouldn’t talk about an alleged affair with Trump dating to 2006,
months after Melania Trump had given birth to their son, Barron. Daniels’s rep said she is now free from her confidentiality agreement and ready to talk.

Trump in an adulterous affair? With a porn star? And hush money? You couldn’t invent a scandal better than this.
Alas, poor Milbank! "Trump in an adulterous affair?...You couldn't invent a better scandal," the blue-balled blue-blood sadly said. But because of all the other scandals, the Stormy scandal hasn't been getting its due!

Stormy hasn't become the full-blown scandal of silly-boy Milbank's dreams! There are too many others things in the news, so people like Milbank can't reap the full joy of sexy-time stories from Stormy!

(They way they did with Gennifer Flowers, who almost surely invented her stories! Remember how great that was?)

These pitiful pieces by Kessler and Milbank help show us the shape of the times. They help display the hard-wired drift of our journalists' tiny small minds.

Once you let these life-forms commit to The Chase, this is the bullshit you're going to get. And we haven't even mentioned the harrowing report by Robert O'Harrow, who has spotted a Trump nominee behaving in much the way CNN does.

O'Harrow's report appeared in the front section of yesterday's Post, along with Kessler and Milbank.

When journalists commit to The Chase, this is the kind of behavior you'll see. For several decades, they committed to The Chase against Clinton, Clinton and Gore. Now they're chasing a disordered person named Donald J. Trump, while displaying their own disorders.

How do they want to conduct The Chase? Let us count the ways:

Milbank gnashes his teeth at the lack of attention to Stormy Daniels.

Dylan Farrow—in The New Yorker!—burns acres of trees to the ground so we can learn about a consensual affair with a former Playboy model.

Glenn Kessler fact-checks social media posts about Melania's parents. On CNN, Don Lemon and a second ghoul stroke their privates as they discuss that Playboy model's claim that Melania always preferred a separate bedroom.

(CNN never did post the transcript of Lemon's second hour last Friday night. We'd be embarrassed to post it too. We'd also be inclined to take Lemon off the air until he can get it together.)

Children, let's review:

The first lady always preferred a separate bedroom. Reportedly, that is!

The first lady's parents might be breaking the law if they take care of their grandson!

The first lady stopped at the Holocaust Museum only because it was on the way to the airfield!

We should be discussing Stormy much more. Also, Trump engaged in sexy-time sex with a former Playboy model! In 2006!

This is where these people go when they're allowed to commit to The Chase. People are dead all over the world because they've done this in the past. You're rarely told about any of that in service to liberal careers.

Citizens, can we talk?

Long ago and far away, Eddy Arnold enjoyed his biggest hit. "Make the World Go Away," the velvet-voiced country star wonderfully crooned.

The lyrics were even better than that. "Say the things we used to say," Arnold crooned. "And make the world go away."

With one small change in those lyrics, that's what's happening now. Our pundits are saying the things we want them to say and making the world go away.

What parts of the world are they disappearing, including on Rachel and Lawrence? We'll answer that thoughtful question all week. For now, though, a trigger warning:

Anthropologists sadly say this may be the best we can do.

Tomorrow: Making Paul Krugman go away. Coming, Patrisse Khan-Cullors!

For your listening pleasure: To hear Arnold's hit, click here. According to the leading authority, it hit #1 on the country charts, #6 overall.