DUBLINERS TOO: Skolnik's “mythical garment!”

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2013

Conclusion—The silence of the best: What can happen to a nation which doesn’t have a press corps?

When that nation’s brightest and best refuse to discuss that remarkable state of affairs?

What can happen to such a nation? The Washington Post gave us a hint on the front page of Wednesday’s Style section in a gigantic, sprawling piece by Manuel Roig-Franzia.

Back when the Post was more influential, Style was always the place to go to examine the press corps’ unfolding acts of group consensual lunacy. Example:

In June 1999, Eugene Robinson, then Style’s editor, published three (3) large pieces in less than two weeks about the unbearable boredom of Candidate Gore. In these insulting, inane and punishing pieces, Robinson signaled the rest of the guild about an unfolding group narrative.

The pieces were timed to coincide with the formal launch of the Gore campaign. Did we mention the fact that the trio of pieces were inane and insulting?

Style was always the place to see such garbage-can grouptalk unfold. The Post is less influential today, but the section can still serve this anthropological purpose.

So it was two days ago when Roig-Franzia’s piece appeared. Transmitting wonderfully innocent language, Roig-Franzia quoted someone who spoke of “a mythical garment.” Here’s the way he began his piece, which concerned the Zimmerman trial:
ROIG-FRANZIA (7/31/13): Sift everything. Sift the weeks of testimony, the theatrics, the recriminations, the tears. Sift the months of noisy commentary—the relentless, pounding, grating noise.

One image remains, clinging there to our consciousness. Sturdy, permanent, enduring, a distillation—a takeaway.

In the moment that the hoodie—Trayvon Martin’s hoodie—appeared in Courtroom 5D in Seminole County, Fla., it was as if the air sluiced out the door. There was a breathless, aching stillness.

Prosecutors displayed the dark gray sweatshirt that Martin wore on the last night of his life in an enormous, rectangular, thickly three-dimensional frame. The hoodie lay suspended between clear plastic sheets with its arms spread wide inside a cross-shaped cutout, set starkly apart from the brilliant white of the matting. It might easily have been mistaken for a religious relic, even as it became a singularly evocative entry in a long inventory of indelible courtroom artifacts from O.J. Simpson’s ill-fitting gloves to Lorena Bobbitt’s emasculating kitchen knife. Prosecutors lifted the framed hoodie awkwardly, teetering toward the jury.

“I get goose bumps just thinking about it,” says Michael Skolnik, who sat next to Martin’s parents on that morning, the day before the Fourth of July. Skolnik, the political director for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and a member of the Trayvon Martin Foundation board, felt as if he were in the presence of something as consequential and iconic as Babe Ruth’s bat or the Declaration of Independence. “It’s like this mythical garment,” he says.
Michael Skolnik is basically nuts, as you know if you’ve seen him on TV. In fairness, Roig-Franzia doesn’t seem to be far behind.

Style has always been like that! For years, it was Sally Quinn’s joint.

With wonderful openness, Skolnik said that Martin’s hooded sweatshirt is now “like this mythical garment.” Roig-Franzia spoke a bit more directly, comparing the sweatshirt to “a religious relic.” Indeed, that’s how he positioned the garment in his own mystical prose:

“The hoodie lay suspended between clear plastic sheets with its arms spread wide inside a cross-shaped cutout,” the hysterical journalist wrote. Rather plainly, perhaps by intent, Roig-Franzia evoked the crucifixion with his hysterical prose.

What happens when a nation doesn’t have a press corps? Consider Skolnik’s wonderfully unguarded use of the term, “mythical garment.”

This garment has played a prominent role in the way this story has been told within our journalist-free nation. But where did that prominence come from?

As any journalist could tell you, it didn’t come from the actual evidence in this case, such as that evidence is. When George Zimmerman phoned police that night, he didn’t discuss what Martin was wearing until he was asked to do so.

Was Zimmerman troubled by the hoodie? Everything is possible! That’s especially true within a culture which has abandoned traditional practices—within a culture whose “journalists” simply type the novels some outside group has produced.

Back in 1999, many invented tales about Gore were coming from RNC sources. Useful figures like Robinson let Ceci type them on up.

In March 2012, the “press corps” franchised the novel about Martin’s killing to the family lawyers. (That wasn’t the fault of the family.) Even before the story went national, the lawyers had given Zimmerman’s fear of hoodies a prominent role in their lurid, invented tale.

One full week before Geraldo erupted about the meddlesome wearing of hoodies, the Orlando Sentinel reported the lawyers’ account of the fateful evening’s events. Right from the start, the family lawyers were telling a lurid though basically “mythical” tale about that useful garment:
STUTZMAN (3/14/13): The family's attorneys have portrayed Zimmerman as something far different: a wannabe cop who studied criminal justice at the University of Central Florida, had a concealed-weapons permit, patrolled his neighborhood while carrying a 9 mm handgun and confronted Trayvon simply because he was black and wore a hoodie.
Zimmerman was a wannabe cop. He confronted Martin simply because he was black and wore a hoodie!

To state the obvious, this has become the Standard Account of what happened in Sanford that night. The “press corps” has tended to advance this account—and news orgs have almost never attempted to challenge or clarify these lawyer-rigged claims.

In truth, there is no particular evidence that Zimmerman “confronted” Martin that evening; Zimmerman says Martin confronted him, and the location of their meeting may tend to support his account. (For that reason, the location was dropped from the lawyer’s account and you’ve never seen it discussed by the press corps. For ourselves, we don't know who may have confronted whom.) Nor is there any evidence that Zimmerman was motivated by the hoodie at all, although that's possible, of course, just like everything else is.

The lawyers’ account was lurid and pleasing but it was hugely unfounded. At one point, they invented a heinous but plainly false tale in which “a warning shot” was followed by “a kill shot.” (Disgracefully, the New York Times pimped it.)

The lawyers invented many false and unfounded facts. None of this matters in a nation which lacks a functioning press corps! In this instance, the press corps simply adopted the novel which had been crafted by the lawyers. The corps also adopted a raft of false claims, many of which they have continued repeating to this very day.

That’s the way the hoodie gained prominence in this novelized tale. On March 21, 2012, the nation’s possibly gullible citizens staged a Million Hoodie March, cementing the lawyers’ unfounded tale in millions of people’s minds.

The lawyers had invented a claim; many people swallowed it whole. But go ahead! Just find the journalist who warned the public that this claim was unsupported by evidence and may be totally false.

We the people can be stampeded, especially about emotional topics. For reasons which are blindingly obvious, race is the most emotional topic in American life.

In the world of fifth-grade civics textbooks, our journalists and even our lofty professors jealously guard such topics. They bravely stand to challenge, correct or clarify claims which are unfounded or false.

We don’t live in that world, a world fifth-graders can understand. For at least the past twenty years, we have lived in a world where lawyers or other collections of hacks get to invent novelized tales and fake facts, and the “journalists” rush to repeat them.

When a nation has no actual press corps, we the lunatics end up in charge. Crackpots like Skolnik end up saying that a sweatshirt is a mythical garment on a par with Babe Ruth’s bat (?) or the Declaration of Independence. Struggling to top that hysterical claim, the people who have replaced the journalists may even reimagine the hoodie as a religious relic.

Plainly evoking the crucifixion, they’ll reimagine that mythical garment as the hooded sweatshirt of Turin!

Our press corps has functioned this way for decades. Our smartest liberals, our brightest and best, simply refuse to discuss this.

Krugman and Drum and Dionne won’t go there. The lunacy that is spreading around them is swallowing up their work.

As you know, we’re very big fans of Krugman and Drum. Dionne, a tiny bit less so. But when our smartest people look away—when they offer the sounds of silence—we head down the zealot’s path.

When he was composing Dubliners, Joyce thought he saw intellectual “paralysis” all through the sectors of his nation. The priests and the nuns were in charge there too, with their own hysteria about their own sacred relics.

When modern nations lack a press corps, screeching claims about the holy is where the whole mess will end up. Style has always been the place to see how dumb this can get.

Coming: Two tribes, two holy mothers

When Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart: He borrowed his title from this famous stanza:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Do the best lack all conviction? They certainly lack all conviction about discussing the ways of their guild!

It seems to us that the work of the best is being swallowed by the spreading disintegration.

In this case, though, let’s not refer to “the worst.” Let’s speak instead of “the poorly served.” Let's speak of this nation’s good decent people who don’t have an actual press corps.

93 comments:

  1. Looks like Roig-Franzia took a creative writing class.

    This type of flowery prose is very popular in the Times.

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    1. This is a narcissistic sort of passion. It's not directed toward a separate object of love, it's about them.

      They cast themselves as being part of an iconic cultural moment. They are sitting beside Rosa Parks as she faces down a hegemony of hate. They are social engineers of national change.

      Could we a media more bereft of concern for anything other than themselves. Could they be any more absurd.

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  2. I noticed in the LA Times that this "mythical garment" is to be enshrined in the Smithsonian.

    It should be ... as an enduring symbol of when the forces of anti-white multiculturism and race baiting met their Waterloo and America began its restoration of its true heritage.

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    Replies
    1. "true heritage"? Our true heritage is immigrant. Our true heritage includes enslaved peoples (African American, Irish, Chinese, European and other indentured people) present long before the Revolution created our nation. Our true heritage includes a long struggle to decide how to organize and meet the interests of diverse people, people differing religiously and culturally, and unite colonies and territories founded by different nations (England, Spain, France, Native American). Our true heritage is multicultural, multi-racial and diverse from our colony's inception.

      Delete
    2. I didn't read Richard as arguing that multiethnicism and a type of multiculturalism are not our true heritage, only that a specific type of multiculturalism, "anti white" marked by race baiting isn't.

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    3. The poor white mam. Let's hope he throws the shackles of oppression off soon.

      In other news, here on earth...

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    4. I think we're fast becoming a feudal, corporate controlled society with a legally untouchable upper rung. "The Hoodie" bears no religious significance to the sane. It turns out it's just another sad symbol of peoples' willingness to be distracted and deceived.

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  3. "This nation's good decent people"?

    Are there even ten such people?

    According to some comments here the nation is loaded with liberal scum.

    According to other comments the nation is loaded with conservative scum.

    And perhaps there is some truth to both of those, when both sides are being encouraged by their own press which gives them a diet of half truths and distortions and encourages them to hate.

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    1. After the towers fell, it was standard issue that NY'ers were coming together, forgetting their hatreds and had become good, decent people.

      That lasted a couple of weeks, then we went back to being what NY'ers have always been.

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    2. Can one be considered good and decent while also being lazy about seeking out reliable information about current events? As long as people accept pre-digested info-tainment as news, can they be considered good and decent, knowing that the consequences of their ignorance will affect the lives of real people? Surely consumers of news have some individual responsibility.

      Delete
    3. It is the liberal's agenda that encourages hate.

      Delete
    4. Anon 12:34, please be aware of the phenomenon of strawman-sock puppets on commenting boards.

      Delete
    5. Anon 12:34, please be aware of pretentious strawman-sockpuppets pretending they themselves aren't strawman-sockpuppets on commenting boards.

      Delete
    6. Right. I'm really a liberal.

      Delete
    7. Oh, so "strawman-sockpuppet" really means "liberal."

      Interesting.

      Delete
    8. No, a strawman sock puppet is someone playing their opposition in order to cast them in a bad light, or to make a blog seem as though it attracts extremists.

      Obviously this blog attracts a few brain dead critics like you.

      Delete
    9. Way to keep it classy.

      Delete
    10. I think he's legit. Big buck "conservative" media is producing people that that by score.

      Delete
  4. Bad reporting contributes to suspicion and mistrust between races.

    An ABC News-Washington Post poll reveals that a full two-thirds of white Americans believe that Trayvon Martin’s killing was justifiable....the same ABC-Washington Post poll shows that 86 percent of black Americans disagree with the jury's verdict.

    Do the reporters who peddle the falsehoods realize that they're contributing to race-hatred in both directions? Do black reporters who misreport the case care their bad reporting will increase prejudice against blacks?

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  5. The shroud of Trayvon. No words.

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    1. Centuries from now believers will take a Skittles sacrament from Holy Men dressed in jogging suit and gold medallion garb once favored by Al Sharpton.

      Delete
  6. “When he was composing Dubliners, Joyce thought he saw intellectual “paralysis” all through the sectors of his nation.“ - bob somerby

    >>> the easter rising was only nine years after joyce said that and the anglo-irish treaty was five years after that. the antithesis of paralysis.

    “The priests and the nuns were in charge there too...” -bob somerby

    >>> britain was in charge in 1907 when joyce said that.

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    1. The people who led the Easter rising were perhaps not the intellectuals Joyce was criticizing. The British were absentee landlords in political control but the priests and nuns have always had control over the daily lives of Catholics in Ireland, regardless of who was in charge politically. Nine years (or 14) are a long time in the life of a rebellion. The American colonies were not ready to declare independence nine years before our own revolution. It took years of dedicated effort by a handful of activists, whipping up a sense of grievance over British attempts to tax and regulate commerce in the colonies, plus some accidents of fate (e.g., Boston massacre) to bring us to rebellion.

      When you read history, think about it in less sweeping terms and ask yourself "who is showing paralysis and who is not" and "what types of control did Britain exert over the lives of people in Ireland and how did the church aid and abet their rule" and "who actually led, who participated in, and who went along for the ride during the Easter rising" and "why did Britain decide to make the treaty it did five years later?" If you think about this a bit more, such statements as you have posted will not seem so contradictory to you.

      Delete
    2. It is sweet that there are people who imagine lowercaseguy can "think about this a bit more."

      He does have a very long history here that mitigates strongly against that assumption.

      Nevertheless, it is better to remain hopeful.

      Delete
    3. AnonymousAugust 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM says,

      "The people who led the Easter rising were perhaps not the intellectuals Joyce was criticizing."

      but somerby says,

      “When he was composing Dubliners, Joyce thought he saw intellectual “paralysis” ***all through the sectors*** of his nation.“

      >>> the revolutionaries were a very importahnt sector, the most important sector in retrospect. somerby himself says joyce was looking at all sectors.
      ---------

      AnonymousAugust 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM says,

      "The British were absentee landlords in political control but the priests and nuns have always had control over the daily lives of Catholics in Ireland, regardless of who was in charge politically."

      >>> did the "daily lives" include starving to death mid 19th century, and are you saying the catholic church was complicit in this?

      Delete
    4. I assume you are referring to the potato famine of 1845-48. The church provided soup kitchens to feed the starving and organized charities contributing to Irish Relief throughout England and Europe generally and in America to fund them. The church cared for children orphaned by the famine and resulting plague. However, the Church also did nothing to change the existing political situation, to reorganize land ownership, or to encourage British landowners to divert their crops toward their tenants. Food was available in Ireland but the poor did not have the money to buy it from the British who owned the land on which it was grown and demanded the non-potato crops as rent from their Irish tenants. If you were poor in Ireland or found yourself in a food emergency, then as now, your access to charity and support for a family in desperate circumstances depended on your piety, church attendance and your relationship with your parish priest. So, yes, the Catholic Church had life and death control over people then.

      Delete
    5. that was genocide, not a typical famine as you refer to it. it was a consciously designed creation of a food shortage. the british government, not the catholic church, as you say, "had life and death control over people then." ... [unless you believe that the catholic church persuaded them to do it.]

      and that came only after they had robbed them of everything down to burning the trees and effectively preventing any real ownership of property, yet still mandating tithes to a foreign “church” and making it a felony to educate ones own children.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Famine-Plot-Englands-Irelands/dp/0230109527

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    6. The British didn't cause the potato blight.

      Delete
  7. So Bob feels upset at a fuss about the hoodie that Z only mentioned later and when asked.

    Gee Bob, how about the fact that Z never did tell the dispatcher/police the truth about what Trayvon was actually doing, namely, talking constantly on the cell phone.

    Do you think Z might have feared that would have explained why TM was walking slowly and was slightly animated? And that maybe the police, knowing what TM was actually up to, would have ignored Z as a crank and not come to rescue him if his plan did not work out?


    So much to think about when one actually uses his/her brain.

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    1. Trayvon was talking on the phone via a hands free headset. Zimmerman probably did see the cell phone. That means he was probably not lying when he described Martin's actions. Zimmerman did not describe Martin's strange behavior as being "slightly animated" but as acting strangely and being on drugs or something. Your use of your brain should start with reading the evidence presented at trial, instead of making assumptions about Zimmerman's lies.

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    2. Correction: "Zimmerman probably did NOT see the cell phone."

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    3. Will you be using your brain anytime soon?

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    4. "Will you be using your brain anytime soon."

      Not if he or she is a liberal.

      Delete
    5. Not to mention 40 minutes had elapsed since he left the 7-11 store.

      Delete


    6. Zimmerman saw TM so clearly and closely that he mentioned to the dispatcher there was the button on the front of hoodie. But you stupidly divine that Z would not have noticed constant talking.

      Your bias is blatant.

      Delete
    7. He wasn't talking constantly. The cell phone records are available.

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    8. To anonymous Idiot at 8:48

      The phone records are indeed available and show Trayvon Martin constantly on the phone with only a few seconds of interruption between calls, sometimes with 2 parties at once (call waiting presumably), from 5:09 until 69 seconds before the gunshot, with a disconnect for about 1 minute at 7:11, then a call resuming at 7:12 until 7:15, just prior to his death. http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/7/1/92244/82226/crimenews/Trayvon-Martin-s-Cell-Phone-Records

      Delete
  8. But the hoodie was used both ways! It was used to characterize Martin as dressing in a matter that "draws suspicion" by Zimmerman defenders who think that matters. Form what I read, I have my doubts on whether the hoodie was even raised initially.

    I don't even think Martin WAS dressed in a way that draws suspicion, or how one would picture that dress. Skinny jeans aren't even "tough guy clothes" in the modern teenage fashion parlance. I think media got Martin's teenage clique designation all wrong, on BOTH sides. I don't think he was some MMA style tough guy brawler. He may have been in an entirely different clique of teenagers, based on what I read about what he wore and how much importance most of them place on clothes signifying where they belong, or hope to belong.

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    1. The hoodie wasn't raised by Zimmerman. Geraldo among others raised it.

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    2. "I don't even think Martin WAS dressed in a way that draws suspicion."

      And no reasonable person cares what anyone thinks about that, because how Martin was dressed was never what was allegedly suspicious, duh.

      Delete
  9. Another consequence of not having a press corps is that government lies go unchallenged. E.g., Jake Tapper, a highly respected main stream newsman, reported on CNN that

    dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

    CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

    Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's workings.

    The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.


    If this is so, then the public, the media and Congress have been peddled a bunch of falsehoods. If we had a real media, this would be a big scandal. Other news media would be giving big play to the story. They'd be exerting themselves to investigate the story and discover more details. But, since we lack a real press corps, this story simply dies. The CIA and the Administration can continue to put out dishonest stories without fear of embarrassment.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Quaker in a BasementAugust 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      The CIA keeps secrets? The hell you say!

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    2. Unless agents are talking to the foreign press the CIA has little to worry about.

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    3. What the hell were we doing in Libya anyway? We can't even secure our own borders!

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    4. DinK: google "groundswell" and "jinni thomas".

      As for Jake Tapper, he's been a Beltway groupie for years now.

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    5. MacC -- you don't mean Jinni Thomas, the artist. You mean Ginni Thomas, wife of Clarence.

      I googled as you suggested and found http://www.breitbartunmasked.com/latest-news/groundswell-right-wing-hate-machine/

      This site makes a lot of claims, without evidence. However, when they supported Brett Kimberlin, they lost me.

      Delete
    6. Alright, how about looking at some of the other google links to that search that aren't as infirm as the one you cherry-picked as an easy target to dispel?

      Sorry about the misspelling of the first name of Clarence Thomas's wife, but I note it didn't compromise your search.

      The point is that there is a group of prominent uber-conservatives that have organized to disseminate a series of scandals in order to shift the focus away from their self-aggrandizement of power and influence while at the same time working the refs (the media)to stall or paralyze the Obama presidency with bogus scandals. The reason you came to mind is that you seem to be echoing Groundswell's message at the moment they disseminate these scandals: for example, you do not propound the dereliction-of- duty meme anymore for the "Benghazi scandal." You now seem to pivot to a Obama-covering-up-a-CIA- operation scandal right at the same time Groundswell pivots on the issue.

      I was just curious about whether you were a member or a contributor or even were aware of this group.

      Appreciate your response, though.

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    7. MacCecil -- I disagree totally with you.

      Note that our President publicly apologized for the IRS misconduct. So, if there's a group promoting scandals, Mr. Obama must be a member.

      Delete
  10. This problem with people not able to sort out the truth is the same problem that now infects juries and makes them unable to render proper verdicts as with Casey Anthony. Too much information.

    Jurors are exposed to an overload of complex and frequently irrelevant information and they have no way of evaluating evidence, because doing so requires a higher level of intelligence or education or both than the average person is likely to possess.

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    1. Simplistic, accessible and emotional narratives, created by ideological cherry picking from a complex event and spoonfed to a lazy or time pressured or braindead or uneducated audience is all that is offered now by presidents, papers of record, and cable news.

      Delete
  11. As with all of Bob's posts: brilliantly reasoned, elegantly written. Some of the best writing and clearest, subtlest thinking on the web and in print. It is a joy to read him, and the commenters are first rate.

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    1. And not the least bit tendentious.

      Delete
    2. as with all of bob's posts: insane, and meandering. some of the weirdest writing and obtuse, mean spirited thinking on the web and in print. it is a guilty pleasure to read him, and the sycophantic commenters are right out of a psychology textbook.

      Reply

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    3. Completely agree, 3:26. Bob has dedicated his brilliant mind and talents to this effort for so long and with relatively little reward or recognition. He's an absolute treasure.

      Delete
  12. Poo Poo Platter

    Note: We're Missing the Headline

    As part of his efforts to end the silence he
    has observed the much admired Krugmans,Drums, and Dionnes agree to display in the face of our twenty years of disintegrating press corps, Bob Somerby sometimes likes to highlight headlines he believes add to his point. Like the recent use of a headline using the "Lynch" word above a Baltimore letter to the editor. Of course Bob didn't mention the piece he was attacking was a letter to the editor, inferring instead it was an editorial piece of some sort, but we won't quibble with that today.

    Today we are concerned because this post attacking a Washington Post acticle describes the article thusly:

    "Here's the way he began his piece, which concerned the Zimmerman trial:"

    Funny Bob doesn't mention or attack the headline. Why has it been "disappeared?" Is it because the article was not about the Zimmerman trial, but about trial Icons, and what will become of the Trayvon hoodie," which, whether it deserves to be or not, is the icon from this trial. Bob can't avoid this inconvenient fact entirely, since one quote includes the author's references to OJ's gloves and Lorena Bobbitt's knife.

    For the link challenged here is the headline:

    What will become of Trayvon’s hoodie, the latest piece of iconic trial evidence?

    While I might agree with Bob that the people quoted are ridiculous, just as I find any form of icon worship nonsensical, and the topic ludicrous, Bob is interested in the bigger picture, the linkage of articles about Trayvon to the 1999 pieces on his former college roomate being a bore. To do this, he must make the Martin family lawyers and press along responsible for the elevation of this article of clothing to its status among the Martin trial aficionados. However, they weren't the only ones.

    Just like the evil Hans Gruber in "Die Hard", I give you the FBI:

    "SERINO believed that ZIMMERMAN's actions were not based on MARTIN's skin color rather based on his attire, the total circumstances of the encounter, and the previous burglary suspects in the community..... SERINO believes that when ZIMMERMAN saw MARTIN in a hoody ZIMMERMAN took it upon himself to view MARTIN as acting suspicious."

    FBI report on interview with Investigator Chris Serino

    http://lawofselfdefense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/FBI-interview-of-Chris-Serino.pdf

    Thanks for the link, Bob. I didn't know what happened to OJ's gloves or the Unabomber's cabin.

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    1. Oh sure... when Skolnik compares the presence of the hoodie to being in the room with the Declaration of Independence, he's just talking about memorial emblems of judicial pop-culture.

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    2. What is your point?

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    3. If you're talking to me, my point is...that the point of the piece is that the hoodie is something far and away more transcendent and significant than "trial icons", he sees it as a national symbol of our historic struggle with race.

      Delete
    4. CeceliaMC, perhaps he was talking to me, PPP, not you.

      My point is simple. Bob disappears facts
      to fit his narrative. He is exactly what he screeches about.

      Want some analogies?

      1) Gore was Somerby's Trayvon. Every error from the press looks like the dagger driven into the heart of poor Al.

      You can reverse it.

      2) Somerby is Zimmerman. Due to the theft of the Presidency from his friend in 2000, all ats of the press look suspicious. They just wander about, making mistakes, acting like they are on drugs or somebody's excessively generous payroll. Up to no good.

      Remember the long piece on Kitty Genovese, and how the press made a cult of people's silence, their doing nothing? Bob has written about that being a crock. Yet here he is repeatedly blaming the "silence" of the Krugmans, Drums, and Dionnes for our very civilization "hanging by a thread."
      He is nuttier than Chris Matthews and sillier than Skolnick in this regard.

      Delete
    5. "He is nuttier than Chris Matthews..."

      i see them both as 'crazy like a fox', laughing all the way to bank. i dont have proof in somerbys case, but i dont think he coukld be anywhere near as dumb as the positions he often takes make him seem. i think he is likely paid to lie like the "journalists" in the mains stream media controlled by the moneyed interests.

      i wonder how many other prominent bloggers are similarly compromised.

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    6. Anon PPP, your ability to put 2 + 2 together and get 5 is glaring.

      Gore was a target of the media, Trayvon was the opposite. The media isn't a defendant, it's the prosecution.

      The media silence Somerby speaks of is a guild silence about themselves.

      Don't attribute your bad analogies to Somerby's thinking, but thank you for truthfully labeling your posts.

      Delete
    7. all the way to bank Huh ??? I don't know about you, you know, but I don't anything for access to this blog.

      Delete
    8. The message I get from today's The Daily Rant is to keep Bob Somerby away from sharp knives for awhile.

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    9. Wow, there are some seriously troubled minds posting in the comments section. It's interesting that Somerby's blog has attracted them. Poo Poo apparently thinks that the headline of the WaPo article Somerby discusses above completely undermines Bob's point, and that's why Somerby "disappeared" it. Wow...I mean, just wow. If you want to waste 5 minutes, read the headline and then skim Bob's post again with that headline in mind, just to see what kind of a mental case someone has to be to draw the conclusion Poo Poo has drawn. And then there's the "American of Irish-Catholic heritage" who thinks Somerby is "laughing all the way to the bank" because someone is paying him to write what they want. I mean, HO-LEE. SHIT. There is some scary-ass shit going on in those minds.

      Delete
    10. There are more than enough disturbed minds to go around. All blogs attract them.

      Delete
  13. There is indeed evidence that Zimmerman confronted Martin: the testimony of Rachel Jeantel.

    You may choose to ignore it, or consider her untruthful, but its not accurate to claim there's no evidence.

    I'll say it again: you are becoming a parody of yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is also evidence that Zimmerman provoked the fight. It is Zimmerman's own words in several places. Z refused to identify himself. Z refused to state why he was pursuing someone he admitted tried to run away from him. And Z admitted he grabbed for a possible weapon, triggering Martin's defensive actions.

      None of those facts is disputable, they are Zimmerman's own admissions.

      Delete
    2. Yes, all of that justifies beating someone up.

      Delete
    3. A great number of howlers from LW. Z "admitted" none of these things you represent as fact.

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    4. Anon 11:07: Just read Z's interview with Hannity and you will see each of those facts verified...Including the grabbing for a possible weapon that TM responded to. But I doubt that if you are ignorant of so much of the case that you would even bother to check actual facts. http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/2012/07/18/exclusive-george-zimmerman-breaks-silence-hannity?page=3

      Delete
  14. Let's play another edition of count the lies!

    Today's Miami Herald article about taxpayer dollars being spent on government officials meeting with Trayvon's parents to bring them up to speed on the status of their ongoing harassment of George Zimmerman

    The meeting was held in Miami to accommodate the parents. Trayvon had lived with his mother in Miami Gardens before his death, which occurred while he was visiting his father in Sanford.

    Did Trayvon live with his mother or had she kicked him out?

    Was Trayvon visiting his father or was he staying with his father on his third school suspension after his mother kicked him out?



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/01/3536816/trayvon-martins-parents-meet-with.html

      Delete
    2. "Did Trayvon live with his mother or had she kicked him out?"

      Your cite an article which states that the dead seventeen year old lived with his mother in Miami Gardens before his death. Then you infer that his mother may have kicked him out of her residence.

      My question is two-fold: what facts, as opposed to conjecture or inference (or whatever the flies buzzing around your head tell you), do you have to support that he was kicked out, and even if he was kicked out, what the does that have to do with whether his death was justifiable or not?

      Another edition of Slime the Dead!

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    3. The main evidence is Trayvon's own statement in the text messages from his cell phone, where he tells a friend that his mother has kicked him out because he was suspended from school again and is making him go live with his father.

      Delete
  15. Martin is dead.
    Zimmerman killed him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My great-grandfather killed a man in the street who attacked him with a knife. I guess I'm glad he did. What's your point again?

      Delete
    2. Martin is dead.
      Zimmerman killed him.

      Delete
    3. Guess we should have just gotten a rope.

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    4. AnonymousAugust 2, 2013 at 7:08 PM -- I'm sure you're aware that killing someone in self-defense is legal and not immoral. And, the jury concluded that Z killed M in self-defense, or, at least, that there wasn't sufficient evidence to conclude that Z didn't kill M in self defense.

      So, what's your point?

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    5. A dumb thing was posted here.
      You posted it.

      Delete
    6. Martin is dead.
      Zimmerman killed him.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous 8:25 makes me embarrassed to be a liberal.

      Delete
    8. Disappearing the facts that don't suit you may be comforting, but usually doesn't produce good outcomes.

      Delete
  16. What was it about the "button" on TM's hoodie that Zimmerman noted to the dispatcher, then when listening to the tape with the cops, said he (Z) didn't remember speaking about?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I watched the trial on WFTV - no commercials. I didn't sense any reaction in the courtroom about the hoodie or the skittles or the Iced tea despite the prosecution's histrionics throughout the trial. My hunch is it didn't seem "mythical" to the jury. It was just an item of clothing. If the jury got wind of a racial significance to the hoodie, it must have annoyed them. Since when are young black males the only people who wear hooded sweatshirts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoodies are the emblem of smart nerds and tech geniuses, like the creator of Facebook or the character Leonard on Big Bang Theory. Many of my college students wear them.

      Delete
  18. Brilliant and brave analysis, Bob. I am quite grateful.

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  19. Insanity: the state of confusing subjective opinion with objective fact (from "We Are ALL Innocent By Reason Of Insanity" by Kathleen Brugger:

    http://www.amazon.com/Are-Innocent-Reason-Insanity-ebook/dp/B00D1A900M

    The problem, according to the author, isn't stupidity, it's universal human insanity (an inevitable phase of human evolution).


    ReplyDelete