Alessandra Stanley gets it right!

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013

About Morning Joe and Miss Utah: As noted in our previous post, Alessandra Stanley profiles quite a few news programs in today’s New York Times. We’d have to say her aim is true as she describes Morning Joe:
STANLEY (6/18/13): “Morning Joe” on MSNBC is not really the CNN show’s competition—it’s a sassy, personality-driven program about politics. At its best, that rambunctious, fast-talking cable talk show, anchored by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, can sound like a screwball comedy set in a Washington think tank. On a bad day it turns into a C-Span edition of Eugene O’Neill: Mother is tuned out and the children sip their soup quietly to avoid arousing their choleric father. Mr. Scarborough can be funny and charming, but he occasionally goes on bullying, self-aggrandizing tears that are uninterrupted by a clique of yeasayers that includes Mike Barnicle, Donny Deutsch and Harold Ford Jr. Ms. Brzezinski acts as the foil, but she too often preens for the camera as if it were a mirror.
Stanley is being clever, of course. But along the way, she notes the gender looniness which has always prevailed on this program. Weirdly, the dynamic Stanley describes has extended the throwback sexual politics which had always prevailed on the NBC cable arm.

(The culture of “yea-saying” is a staple of almost all cable news, of course. Except where it is replaced by the culture of Crossfire-inspired pseudo-disputation.)

Stanley does a nice job with Morning Joes’s throwback gender culture. But then, she also seems to have noticed the problem which emerged concerning Miss Utah.

We offer three cheers for Stanley’s catch! She ends her report in the following way, observing a shark attack:
STANLEY: Almost every news organization on Monday found time for the Miss USA pageant contestant from Utah who stumbled over a question about women’s wages. (“We need to try to figure out how to create education better.”) Mr. Scarborough and others on MSNBC snickered. There was a little more compassion on CNN.

Mr. Cuomo came to the contestant’s defense, saying, “It’s hard for me to judge, since I’ve done much worse.”
Stanley hinted at what she saw. Tomorrow, we’ll describe the dumbness of the whale as it staged its shark attack.


  1. Successful politicians develop the skill of giving sensible-sounding, albeit wrong, answers to stupid questions. Poor Miss Utah hasn't developed this skill. She was asked what it means for society that 40 percent of women are now primary breadwinners, but earn less than men.

    If she knew more about statistics, Miss Utah could have answered that one can deduce nothing from the relative income level of women who are primary breadwinners because they're not a random sample. The factoid presented to Miss Utah doesn't prove that women earn less than men in comparable careers.

    1. God but you are a patronizing prat!

      Given your own atrocious record here of producing "sensible-sounding, albeit wrong" answers, deductions and inferences, this is the last place you should be lecturing anyone.

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