Salon watch: The incompetence of Conor Lynch!

FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2016

Death by the new Salon:
How horrible, awful, incompetent, gruesome is the new Salon?

Consider the current essay by the fiery young pseudo-progressive, Conor Lynch. The youngster is four years out of college. You wonder how he ever got in:
LYNCH (7/8/16): Hillary’s awful week: She won’t be indicted, but the damage is done

Though it could have been a whole lot worse, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton still a pretty terrible week.
After months of being investigated by the FBI, the agency’s Director James Comey announced on Tuesday that the bureau would not be recommending charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server as Secretary of State—but that was all the good news afforded to the Clinton camp. In the same news conference, Comey proceeded to dismantle various falsehoods that Clinton has told the public throughout her presidential campaign (proving that coverups always make matters worse).

Comey revealed that the FBI found 113 emails that had contained classified information at the time they were sent on Clinton’s server, which directly refutes her repeated claim over the past year that she never sent or received classified material through email while in the State department (“I never received nor sent any material that was marked classified,” Clinton categorically stated last year).
Can such work really be serious? In that passage, Lynch conflates two separate claims: (1) the claim that Clinton never sent or received classified material, and (2) the claim that Clinton never sent or received any material that was marked classified.

Those are separate claims. Lynch doesn't seem to know this.

The new Salon posted his essay anyhoo. When did blithering, incompetent nonsense get classified as "progressive?"

We expect to discuss those two claims in more detail next week. For today, someone should take the new Salon aside and explain the following points:

As became clear in the past few days, Clinton actually didn't send or receive any emails which were marked classified. As it turned out, that claim was right all along.

In the view of Comey the God, she did send or receive 110 emails (out of more than 30,000 in all) which contained classified material. It isn't clear to us that this view is altogether accurate. But just for today, for a starter essay, read Fred Kaplan at Slate.

Salon began its life in the 1990s as an intelligent plain-old-liberal site. Today, it shovels gruel to the uncomprehending herd. Increasingly, the organs of our money-grubbing "press corps" all seem to function this way.


Was the fiery young Lynch being dishonest, or was he really that uncomprehending?

Also, do editors exist at the new Salon? If so, how does such pitiful, sad-sack work make its way into print?

Final question:

How could a "progressive" politics ever be built by misinforming/ misleading the herd? We use that term because that seems to be the way the new Salon views its readers.


  1. How petty, repetitive, misleading, and embarassing is the declining Howler?

    Consider the current essay by the bitter old pseudo-intellectual, Bob Somerby. The oldster is a hair short of half a century out of college. You wonder under today's standards if people like him could have gotten in.

    1. Do you want that to sound like a stuttering grade school recess comeback?

      Have you just become too bored with your own material?

      Did you forget to put why those thing you say are true, or do you just get paid by the post?

    2. @3:21 thinks that it is harder to get into college today than it was in the 1960's. How quaint.

    3. Kids today perform at academic levels which are a year or more better than their parents. I've read that repeatedly here in the Daily Howler.

      Bob's generation, which are the grandparents of today's college students, would probably test even further below that if Gold Standard tests like NAEP had been around when Bob and his peers were taking 8th grade math.

    4. NAEP scores are not used for college admission. The scores reported are averages but the average kid didn't go to college in the 1960s, the way they do today.

      Look at what has happened to SAT and ACT scores over time -- those are college admission tests. Look at the percentages of high school kids attending college.

      I know you won't do any of that -- you are a troll and you think rearranging a few words previously used by Somerby is the height of wit.

    5. It seems to me the commenter thinks rearranging Somerby's words shows he is as juvenile as he claims the writer he lambasts in this post to be.

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  2. Nobody is treating Clinton very fairly with respect to the email pseudo-scandal.

    I suppose the way people form mobs and pile on via electronic media is something new that has emerged with technology, but it reflects poorly on human cognitive capacity and presents a pretty scary vision of the way in which anyone can be tried and convicted in absence of any facts simply based on the way the media winds blow.

    If this means we cannot elect good leaders any more, I'm not sure democracy is the best form of government under the current circumstances. What exactly do these folks think is going to happen if they manage to pull down Hillary?

    1. Yes, Hillary's reckless handling of her email, like her backing both the Iraq and the Libya debacles, is actually proof of her superior judgment and fitness for office. What will the country do if we are denied her leadership?

    2. anon 5:32, you don't come across as particularly bright. Clinton has stated that she regrets her vote on Iraq. Lots of other democrats voted the same way, including Biden and Kerry. It was Bush who got us into Iraq, not Clinton, and I think if you look what the vote actually was, it is not quite the way you characterize it. On Libya, you again over simplify. My understanding is that Khadafy was positioned to carry out a mass slaughter. If there had been no intervention, and this slaughter took place, you'd now be blaming Clinton for that. A lot of these situations are damned if you do and damned if you don't. It's ironic that we'd never even know about her private email server if it weren't for Trey Gowdy and the 8th Benghazi investigation. We'd all be living in blissful ignorance about the emails, and instead no doubt be wrapped up with some other concocted Clinton scandal. Other than to derail her presidential bid, no one would care about the emails. She needs to get elected or else we get Trump, and if she is elected, all this toxic venom toward her doesn't help. (By the way, I wish she had never decided to run, but she did and it's now her or Trump).

    3. Stipulated that she's up against a more reckless person, with worse judgment. That makes her the default choice, but doesn't make her judgment any better, or her cronyism less appalling.

    4. By the way, bullshit on Libya. She supposedly leaned some kind of lesson from Iraq, where we overthrew a dictator with no clear plan for afterward. So 8 years later she's the driving force behind the overthrow of a dictator with even less plan for afterwards. Chaos and ISIL is the result, in both countries. A ruthless opportunist can be a good president if their judgment is good. Hillary's has been consistently bad. If she weren't up against a human vermin, there's no way I'd consider voting for her.

    5. Libya was a joint-UN action. The US stands with its allies so that they will stand with us.

      Chaos and ISIL would be the result no matter what anyone did in Libya. The middle east deteriorated in the places where the US intervened and in the places where it did not. There is nothing magic Clinton could have done to prevent problems in Libya, Egypt, Syria or any place else in the middle east. She couldn't even have prevented Bush from doing his dirty work.

    6. ISIL was the result of removing Baathists from the Iraqi army by Bush ( Nothing to do with Hillary. The Chilcot report confirms that the origin and growth of ISIL was entirely due to Bush's policies in Iraq. (

    7. "entirely due to Bush's policies in Iraq"


      Which Clinton now says she regrets giving him a big green light for.

      Her judgement on this supremely important matter was disastrously wrong.

      That she was joined in that stupidity by so many others does little to make her decision at the time any less awful.

      Even the laughability of this defense of Clinton, however, cannot surpass what's given to us @7:43: "The middle east deteriorated in the places where the US intervened and in the places where it did not."

      First, and most obviously, you cannot point to a single significant place in the ME where the US did not "intervene."

      The destruction of Iraq -- for which the US is completely responsible -- that event alone constituted a huge intervention IN SYRIA. The fact you either cannot understand this or that you are willing to pretend not to understand it does not speak well of your analytical powers.

      "Things would be awful no matter what we did." It is to be hoped that anyone trying to choke down that horseshit stops a moment to realize that it is literally designed to excuse any crime at all by any politician or government.

      Hey, I know, why don't you trot out the very tired "oh it's all the US's fault, huh? That's such a racist denial of the agency of [insert national identity here]!"

      You war crime apologists are so sad -- and so predictable.

    8. If Clinton had voted against the Iraq authorization, the result would have been exactly the same.

      Global warming has had a huge impact on Syria. It has caused crops to fail and created drought-related migrations that have placed stress on the people in urban areas and competition for resources. That has increased the turmoil that feeds both the civil war and ISIS recruitment. None of that has anything to do with the US or its policies.

      There are many historical situations where retrospective evaluation can place blame. Hoover should have done everything differently. FDR didn't do enough. Etc. This game is stupid. Clinton's judgment was little different and no worse than anyone else who might be proposed as a viable Democratic candidate for president. That makes this a specious criticism.

    9. "Invading Iraq? Pshaw!"

      You are an apologist for evil. Own it.

    10. And of course "the result" would not have been exactly the same:

      HRC would now be (accurately) crowing loudly that the GOP destroyed Iraq, fatally destabilizing the region, creating the basis for success of extreme fundamentalist violence movements -- and lickspittle liberals, instead of saying "it doesn't matter, Hillary," would be nodding your heads in agreement.

  3. Some of the manufactured (distorted) facts now being circulated about the Sterling and Castile shootings are:

    (1) both men had legal firearms
    (2) Castile was reaching for his wallet
    (3) both men were shot for no reason while following police instructions.

    Problems with coverage:

    (1) Reynolds has been saying and posting contradictory versions of what happened. The stop and shooting are not shown on her video so there is no visual evidence of what happened. For example, at TPM a description of what happened attributed to Reynolds says that Castile told officers he was wearing a gun and would remove it and that he was reaching to remove it when shot. Reynolds video says that he was reaching for his wallet when shot for no reason.

    (2) No media coverage except local news has mentioned that the 911 call on Sterling claimed he was threatening people with a handgun. All have stated he was selling CDs, but they leave out his altercation with a homeless man asking him for money and his use of a gun to get the homeless man to stop bothering him (the reason the cops were called). So officers approaching him knew he was armed and were wary because of it. That is an important fact because media reports have been suggesting they "discovered" the gun on him after subduing him, not that the threatening use of the gun was point of the police response.

    You can still argue that neither man should have been shot, but knowing more facts does reduce the "for no reason" or "for being black" aspect of the tragedies. Is this ongoing distortion necessary in order to assert that Black Lives Matter? I don't think so -- and I do believe the media (and others) undermine their efforts to stop police killings when they manipulate the press this way.

    Police are not racist murderers. Black men are not totally innocent victims doing nothings to contribute to their deaths. These polarizing depictions do nothing to help achieve the understanding necessary to prevent future deaths.

  4. Here's a link to the text of a message I've been sending to the media regarding Comey and Hillary's supposed lies. -

    1. Let us know if you get a response.

  5. Media Matters is upset with Sean Hannity for asking why Reynolds didn't try to help Castile instead of taking video. Police are not required to render first aid (and they have other duties after a shooting), but if Reynolds could have slowed the bleeding or applied a tourniquet might it have saved his life? Wouldn't a girlfriend care enough to try to help by applying pressure to the wound?

    Why cannot a question like that be asked? A video that doesn't include the stop or the shooting is useless. What on earth was she doing?

    1. She had a gun trained on her by an unhinged cop. Reaching over his body, as it would have required, in any way might have been "mistaken" for going for his gun- the victim's or the cop's. In spite of what a "hero" like Hannity might say, it was a no-win situation for her.

    2. Are you freaking kidding me?
      The cop had his revolver drawn and pointed right at her, screaming at her, this following her just witnessing the cop emptying multiple shots at her friend.

      What the hell is wrong with you and Hannity?

    3. I don't post pictures of my restaurant meals to the internet and I don't live my life on social media. It would never have occurred to me to create and narrate a video of my boyfriend being shot.

      Under these circumstances, why wouldn't the cop have shot her for reaching for her cell phone? She was too frightened to move and help her boyfriend, but not too scared to tell her "audience" what had happened, finally remembering to check and see what had happened to her daughter.

      This is oddness and it adds nothing to our understanding of the event because it all started after Castile was shot.

      Someone whose first response is to video her experience instead of asking the cop to give first aid to her boyfriend, is someone whose experience of life is very distorted.

      You can claim that fear caused her reaction but the cop wasn't screaming at her to get her cell phone out and start documenting things.

      In what universe does anyone not realize that a gunshot wound needs first aid. Are you freaking kidding me that she supposedly cared about this guy but didn't try to help him!!!!

      And this WAS videoed, so I saw and heard the cop -- who was not screaming at her. He was trying to get her to get out of the car and get into the back seat of his police car. He was using the same volume and tone as police always use in such situations -- which appear on TV nearly every night at the end of the high speed car chases that interrupt real news in large cities.

      The saddest part of the video is where the child reassures her mother (who appears to have forgotten all about her), saying "I'm here mommie." This woman has very strange priorities that you seem comfortable justifying. I think that she just wasn't that into him. But what about her child?

    4. If you think I don't admire a woman who would video her boyfriend's demise and then post it to Facebook while telling a series of different stories about what happened, you are correct. If Castile was half the saint he is being portrayed to be, he deserved better than Lavish Diamond Reynolds (note how the "Lavish" part of her name has been dropped in the media accounts). The easiest way to explain her behavior is that she wasn't actually his "girlfriend." Next week they will be calling her his fiancé.

  6. Another fact that has not been reported is that Castile had 31 prior traffic-related misdemeanors. These are not traffic infractions (like speeding tickets or broken tail lights) but generally more serious problems like DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, driving without a license or insurance, requiring a bond and court appearance. He had 31 of them.

    How is that not relevant to his attitude and behavior when stopped yet again?

    Does this information about his inability to stay out of serious trouble with his car increase the likelihood that he did something stupid to scare the cop or did something foolish with that gun?

    Facts need to be suppressed because Castile had to have been shot for no other reason than being black. Even when the cop who shot him was not white. And if Castile reached for his gun, the cop should have let him do it because to protect his own life would be racist. Reporters don't present the facts about how many cops are shot during routine traffic stops. If they did it would make cops appear less racist and black lives matter more than facts.

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