Campaign watch: Covering Candidate Trump is fun!

MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2016

So says the New York Times:
We're not sure when we've seen more bad journalism than we've seen in the past four days.

It's like they have no basic skills at all. We'll get to as much of this mess as we can in the next few days.

That said, we thought we'd start with one exchange that made the analysts howl. It involved remarks by Ashley Parker of the New York Times.

When it comes to political coverage, does any other major new org have such a fatuous culture? On yesterday morning's Mediabuzz, Howard Kurtz interviewed three media sources about the recent wife-sliming behavior which has largely come from Candidate Trump.

Also that super-PAC's photo of Melania Trump! And that completely unsourced National Enquirer "report!"

Kurtz threw to Parker first. He got what he should have expected:
KURTZ (3/27/16): Joining us now to analyze the coverage of this increasingly slimy campaign:

Gayle Trotter, a commentator who writes for The Daily Caller and The Hill; Ashley Parker, who covers Donald Trump for The New York Times; and Julie Roginsky, a Fox News contributor and a co-host of Outnumbered.

Ashley, ordinarily I would say, "Wow, this is really low-rent stuff." But with the two front-runners sliming each other, how can journalists resist?

PARKER: Yes, exactly. I mean, it became part of the discussion and they're going back-and-forth and I think it is a little salacious, and a little fun. But it also sort of speaks–

KURTZ: You admit that it's fun?

PARKER: I admit that it's fun. Not necessarily good for democracy, but fun. And, you know, and it also sort of speaks to, as Senator Cruz has made the point, it speaks to character and it speaks to what voters are looking for...
To watch the whole segment, click here.

At the Times, this low-rent bullshit is fun. It also "speaks to what voters are looking for," Parker somewhat far-fetchedly said.

We'll offer what follows as a pet peeve, but also as a basic observation. What's the dumbest thing our "journalists" do? The dumbest thing our journalists do is treat this sort of brain-rot as "fun."

Needless to say, there was Parker, doing just that! For Parker, this is fun!

Parker got her start at the Times as Maureen Dowd's "research assistant," whatever that could possibly mean. Yesterday, she called to mind Katherine Boo's warning from 1992:

Beware of that "Creeping Dowdism," Katherine Boo presciently said.

We're constantly amazed by the fatuous outlook of Times campaign reporters. Yesterday, it took the scribe from The Daily Caller to set poor Parker straight:
KURTZ: So Gayle, which is the more important story among these competing themes for the press? Trump springing to the defense of his wife, blaming Cruz for a $300 ad by this small independent PAC that has nothing to do with the Cruz campaign? Or Cruz, with a soundbite that we've now seen ten thousand times, calling Donald a "sniveling coward" in front of the cameras?

TROTTER: Well, I disagree with Ashley. I'd say this coverage is not fun and that it demonstrates asymmetrical warfare by Donald Trump. And you have those things that the media can be reporting on, those three different things–

KURTZ: So you're embarrassed by the coverage, I would say?

TROTTER: I would say I'm disheartened by the coverage...
We've actually reached this point! We've reached the point where The Daily Caller adopts the more serious point of view, as compared to the fatuous Times.

Because of its status, the New York Times can pretty much hire any reporter it wants. It chooses to hire the fatuous fops who litter its campaign staff.

Presumably, they're hired to extend the newspaper's culture, a fatuous culture we were warned about many years in the past.

Recent work has been amazingly bad at many major orgs. It's like they have no skills at all. We'll get to as much of this disheartening work as we can.


  1. Bob, last week you asked:
    "Was anything intrinsically wrong with the decision to use the Flint River as Flint's primary water source on a temporary basis?"
    Last fall, the Detroit Free Press reported on some testing done by Marc Edwards' group in September.
    [quote] For the test, researchers used copper pipe with lead solder, which is common in older homes. [...] The tests showed Flint River water without added phosphates corroded the lead at 19 times the rate of Detroit water. Even when phosphates were added, it corroded at 16 times the rate of the Detroit water. [end quote]


  2. Glad Bob stopped before he got to what Kurtz said about
    Trump's comments about that "nice" Megyn Kelly.


    2. Why have you (or Bob for that matter) said nothing about the fact that the media's treatment of Trump "vs." women is the same press culture distortion as the treatment of Gore "vs." truth?

      Bob should know better considering the other things MoDo's intern said.

    3. I agree @ 4:51. The media's constant and persistent false attack on Trump over "women's issues" is likely to give us President Clinton.

  3. A conservative hack who earned her bones slut shaming Anita Hill lamenting GOP slut shaming. Now that's hilarious.

    1. @Soapy

      "Slut Shaming" was perfected by the Clintons and their minion James Carville.

      "Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find." James Carville, January 1996, reference to Paula Jones and her charge that POTUS Clinton had sexually assaulted her.

    2. Did someone just fart? Oh, cicero's back.

    3. @Soapy

      The malodorous substance you smelled is what you dealt.

    4. cicero, your Carville quote is not slut shaming. I am stupid shaming you.

    5. @9:16

      You prefer to call Carville the king of "Skank Shaming" "Slag Shaming" "Scag Shaming" "Tart Shaming"? Ok.

    6. "i prefer to call cicero a troll."

      FTFY - NFO

  4. Gayle Trotter: "Where Tyranny Thrives: History Shows Obama’s Push To Limit Gun Rights Is First Step To Genocide And Oppression"

    1. How would anyone get the notion Obama is not a 2nd Amendment champion?

      "And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Candidate Obama in San Francisco, April, 2008

    2. Obviously*, guns won't be allowed at the GOP's convention in Cleveland this year, even though "guns make us safer."

      *Obvious, because liberals never get a Christmas morning.

  5. I've forgotten all about my need to know what questions to ask to determine if voters are authoritarian.

  6. "The dumbest thing our journalists do is treat this sort of brain-rot as "fun.""

    Bob "Obseessively Honest" Somerby

    What's the dumbest thing our bloggers do?

    1. You think the game is to point out dumb stuff. It isn't.

    2. You think belittling questions you can't answer hides your ignorance. It doesn't.

  7. The two candidates for the Republican nomination are rolling around in the dirt, enmeshed in the scandal politics that we have watch become it's stock and trade over a period of decades. Is it not an overreaching piety that sees no humor in it? The great comeuppance
    of the worst of the worst is occurring, are we so Godly that we can only view it with a stern and pitying eye?
    I think Bob only feels bad because he kind of likes Republicans. If Bob really hates dumb scandal politics, why has he never berated the public rip off that is the Benghazi investigation, and the way the press has played ball with it? If he has be a critic of it, it has only been in the most extreme situations.

    1. Greg, you make a good point, that it's not an inadmissible reaction to view the GOP nomination process fiasco from a humorous angle, as TDH seems to suggest. It's theater of the absurd. However, if you look at the archives, you will see that TDH has been way out front in calling out the ludicrously manufactured Benghazi 'scandal.'

    2. No AC/MA. Bob was way out in front blaming liberals for not mobilizing a rescue team for Dr. Susan Rice when she was surrounded by media and Republican hostiles.

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