This morning, some high theoretics: The New York Times is a very strange critter.
On the one hand, it does detailed front-page news reports like this superb report about flight from Mali—or this distressing report from Stockton, California.
Then too, there’s the way the Times reports politics. This morning, the paper churned this worthless pap about Obama and Fox—though it did come with high theoretics.
Jeremy Peters found three instances in which Obama made a crack about Fox. Well actually, Obama made only two cracks.
The third crack came from Valerie Jarrett. But it completed the rule of three, thus permitting this pointless report.
Before he was done, Peters noted that Obama made occasional cracks about Fox in 2008 as well. That means that this pointless report isn’t even new.
Truly though, the analysts howled when Peters offered some high theoretics.
Ow ow ow, the analysts said. This sort of very challenging work can really make your head hurt:
PETERS (7/19/12): Political experts said Mr. Obama’s swipes at Fox News then and now seem to be in keeping with a strategy to discredit his opponents, a tactic the campaign has deployed rather effectively.Let’s see if we’re able to follow this:
“Whoever it is who may be a source of strength for Romney, they’re out there trying to discredit them in some fashion,” said David Gergen, an adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. “It’s an old tactic, and it often works.”
According to a bunch of experts, you’re supposed to discredit your opponents, not your supporters! According to Gergen, this is a very old tactic.
What do other people think when they read such work in the Times? We wonder that almost every day as we plow the great paper's piffle.
Also offending is Peter Baker, with this classic flyweight analysis piece. Baker thinks he has found a major philosophical difference between Obama and Romney:
BAKER (7/19/12): Either way, putting aside the predictable partisan cross-fire and the inevitable Internet-fueled distortions, even in proper context the president’s remarks crystallize a profound disagreement that defines this year’s campaign. More perhaps than any presidential contest in years, the choice between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney presents voters with starkly different philosophies about the role of government in American society.Has Baker found "a profound disagreement" reflecting "starkly different philosophies about the role of government?"
Actually, no—he has not.
As you will see if you read this report, this pseudo-dispute turns on two different readings of something slightly murky which Obama said. Consider two dueling statements:
STATEMENT A: If you own a business, you didn’t build it yourself.Obama said he meant Statement B in his slightly murky remarks. Romney says he understood Obama to be making Statement A. That said, there is no “philosophical” difference between the two. As you can see from Baker’s piece, Romney agrees with all the points Obama says he meant.
STATEMENT B: If you own a business, you didn’t build the infrastructure that helps make your business possible.
In all honesty, this is the latest pseudo-dispute, ginned up by the clowns at Fox. Baker puts the Times stamp on it by pretending a great philosophical dispute lurks inside the bullroar.
(Headline: “Philosophic Clash Over Government’s Role Highlights Parties’ Divide”)
The New York Times is a very strange bird—and it has a very deep bench. They managed to churn this crap today without using Parker or Barbaro!