Direct from the bubblers at the Times!

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2016

Weirdly incompetent work:
In this morning's New York Times, Susan Chira writes a puzzling "News Analysis" piece about the recent electoral unpleasantness.

Susan Chira isn't one of These Kids Today. According to the leading authority, she prepped at Phillips Andover, then graduated from Harvard. In 1980!

She graduated summa cum laude from Harvard; she's been at the Times ever since. She was the paper's foreign news editor from 2004 to 2011, after which she served as assistant managing editor for news.

She left that post this past September "to write about gender issues for The Times." That's what we found her doing today.

Judging from her credentials, Chira should be highly skilled. That said, we were struck by several parts of her piece. The highlighted passage was the second which brought us up short:
CHIRA (11/10/16): Donald J. Trump’s hyper-masculinity—the sexual swagger, the belittling of his opponents, his need to dominate—appealed to some men who believed he could restore them to their rightful place.

Yet men at Trump rallies also spoke of their faith that Mr. Trump, whose business acumen they revered, would bring an outsider’s willingness to take on the elites who put them down.

The campaign became a battle of two caricatures: male chauvinist pig against scheming, dishonest woman. It exposed parallel universes. In one, women flooded social media with their memories of sexual assault after Mr. Trump was caught on tape boasting about forcing himself on women. In another, men dismissed the tape as locker room talk or were surprised at how many women told them such harassment was commonplace.
We still don't know just what to think about that highlighted passage. Is it simply an accurate statement? Or is it the latest example of mandatory false equivalence?

This is why we're puzzled and bothered by Chira's presentation:

After Trump's videotape emerged, it surely wasn't hard to see how he acquired the caricature Chira cites. That said, was the "caricature" of Clinton as a "scheming, dishonest woman" really a "caricature" in a similar way?

We're still not sure what to think about that piece of apparent equivalence. But as we continued in Chira's piece, we were struck by a string of passages which didn't seem to make clear sense.

Consider this presentation. Does this presentation make sense?
CHIRA: At work, women have made substantial inroads and dominate the fastest-growing (and lower paid) segments of the economy, the “pink collar” industries such as health and education. More than a fifth of American men between 20 and 65 had no paid work last year.

But men consistently underestimate the barriers that women confront. In a study of more than 34,000 employees at 132 companies, 54 percent of men thought that the best opportunities would go to the most deserving employees regardless of gender; just 44 percent of women believed that. The survey, conducted by Lean In and McKinsey and Company and released in late September, found that a third of women thought their gender was a disadvantage in getting a raise or promotion.
According to Chira, "men consistently underestimate the barriers that women confront" in the workplace.

That certainly may be true. But her examples are puzzling.

How do we know that men consistently underestimate those barriers? We're told that, in one study, 54 percent of men said opportunities were granted regardless of gender, presumably at the places where they worked.

Presumably, we're supposed to think that this judgment was wrong. But Chira presents no evidence to support this idea, and if 44 percent of women in those workplaces said the same thing, mightn't we say that women "consistently underestimate the barriers they confront" too? If the men were wrong in what they thought, so were an almost equal number of women!

Are we supposed to focus on the relatively small difference between the response rates of the two groups? As in the piece we reviewed this morning, there was much more agreement between the men and the women in this study than there was disagreement. But so it goes when the New York Times attempts to establish a claim.

Chira's 54 percent example doesn't exactly seem to establish her claim. She goes on to note that "a third of women [in the study] thought their gender was a disadvantage in getting a raise or promotion."

But she provides no basis for assessing whether those views were right or wrong. And apparently, a larger number of women at those firms expressed a different view.

This kind of under-skilled analysis seems to pervade the Times. Two paragraphs later, we're confronted with this:
CHIRA (continuing directly): On campus, young men and women are facing off over what is assault and what is a sexual pass gone awry. Young men frequently protest that they are denied due process in campus hearings of sexual assault; young women charge that their attackers too often go unpunished.

Even reading habits diverge: Women read mysteries and true crime; men read science fiction and history, according to Peter Hildick-Smith, the president of Codex Group, which surveys reading patterns.
What can a person say about such consummate foolishness? That highlighted claim—highly irrelevant and imprecise—rather plainly comes from the flyweight files.

Near the end of the piece, we're offered what's shown below. Truly, this makes zero sense. At least as presented, it makes no sense at all:
CHIRA: Some research has found a backlash when men feel they are losing their status.

Iris Bohnet, the director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School, is a behavioral economist who believes in the principle of “nudging” people toward social norms. That typically means telling people, for example, that their friends have voted in order to prompt them to vote, too.

To test if she could induce diversity in hiring, Ms. Bohnet told research volunteers that the group before them had hired a predominantly female team. Men balked and chose to hire more men than women, she found.
Do men sometimes create a backlash when they feel they're losing their status? Presumably, yes they do. (Presumably, so do women.)

That said, are we supposed to regard that presentation as an example of backlash? Why? Because men didn't allow themselves to be "nudged" by one remark, we're supposed to conclude that they were engaged in a backlash?

Why are we supposed to think that? Does that presentation make sense?

Once again, Chira's writing is almost preternaturally vague in that passage. How long has it been since she had to make a clear point in her work at the Times?

We sometimes wonder what's in the water at the New York Times. The lack of basic intellectual skill seems to be the defining trait of the newspaper's floundering work force.

We often notice this problem when we read the paper's education reporting. Motoko Rich graduated summa cum laude from Yale, and she has never encountered a point so basic that she couldn't get it wrong.

(Tomorrow, we're going to look at David Leonhardt's piece about charter schools in last weekend's Sunday review. He's supposed to be best in show. The analysts tore their hair.)

Chira's piece is terrible work. It comes to us live and direct from the highest levels of American schooling. Also from the highest levels of the American "press."

There was lead in the water at Flint. Has anyone ever checked the bubblers at the Times? As the United States is proving, a major nation can't proceed with low-skill work like this.

13 comments:

  1. Bubblers? I didn't think anybody outside of eastern Wisconsin said bubblers. Even spell check does not think that is a word.

    My nephew has given up now too. After ten years out of Milwaukee, he no longer reacts when somebody says, quite correctly, 'drinking fountain'.

    As for the rest. Well, there is no amount of twisted logic that will not be accepted in the service of narrative. The narrative in this case being the pseudo liberal list of isms. Racism, sexism, whoops, I guess the rest of the list is phobias.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Liberals would do well to listen a bit to Rush Limbaugh or watch some Fox News. But, liberals who only listen to other liberals get an unrealistic or partial picture of the world. That may be one reason why the New York Times editorials are usually so weak. The writers may not be aware that there are arguments on the other side to which they should respond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rather than listening to Limbaugh and Fox, I'd be delighted if the liberals I know would just talk to some **people** outside of the goddam Beltway.

      Delete
  3. David, the past couple days Limbaugh has been asking "Why isn't it OK for Whites to vote their own interests?" Good point, Rush!

    "Conservatism" is coming home to National Trumpism, and not a moment too soon. MAGA!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ 3:39 & 6:21 - 2 cucks in search for a swamp to drain.
    CACA!

    ReplyDelete
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  8. Hi everyone, I'm so excited.
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  9. Excited my life is back My husband and I have been together for almost 11 years in October. The way we met wasn’t the best way since we both had relationships. We ended our relationships to be together (or so I thought we BOTH did). As soon as I ended up pregnant with our first baby, I find out he was cheating with his EX! My world went upside down. It was very hard for me since I was pregnant and hurt. Over the years I just kept forgiving him over and over again of not only multiple affairs, but of his accusations of me being unfaithful and disrespecting me. We now have 3 kids and I just completely felt neglected and felt low of myself. I had my own affair… It has not been easy for BOTH of us to overcome. Somehow over the last few weeks we have been working together to move on. We are now moving out of state. I love my husband and I am positive he loves me. I am going to try and show him this approach. Somehow we were already doing it! We have a better communication than we’ve had in years! We are learning how to speak calmly out feelings and concerns. It hasn’t been peachy, but I can see that we both are starting to respect eachother. We care for each other’s feelings. We have US a main priority. We aren’t taking counseling, but somehow we see that little by little we seem more comfortable with eachother. Sometimes we may notice how good it is going and may step back, but helping eachother out by holding and saying it’s ok to be happy again. I love my family. and my husband and i need to keep my marriage save with him from other women so i have to seek for a love spell to keep our marriage stronger so i contacted Dr happy who help me to keep my marriage save and secure from other women am very happy today coz my husband love me more and more like ever before, we are living as one big family again bless Dr happy for what he did to me and my husband if you need help contact him too he is real and 100% guarantee ok so email him at : happylovespell2@gmail.com call +2348133873774 about his service and web site: http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. This article is dedicated to the Doctor Osemu Okpamen. I have been married with my wife for 5 years and recently she broke up with me and it hurt me deeply when she told me to leave her alone and that she does not love me anymore when i was always faithful and honest to her. I tried all the ways to get her back buying her what she wants like i always did and she still left me heart broken and she even has a new boyfriend which destroyed me even more until a friend of mine from high school directed me to this genuine spell Doctor called Osemu Okpamen. This man changed my life completely. I followed everything he told me to do and my wife came back begging for me back. I was stunned everything happened exactly like he told me. I had faith in everything he told me and everything was true. Also he was there every moment until i got my happiness back and he also provides spells that cures impotence, bareness, diseases such as HIV/AID E.T.C You can contact him via email at { Doctorokpamenspelltemple@yahoo.com } or visit his website http://www.doctorokpamenspells.com. He will help you in anything you need and quick to answer once you contact him or call me for more info +1 (914)-517-3229.

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  11. Hi everyone, I'm so excited.
    My ex-boyfriend is back after a breakup,I’m extremely happy that will are living together again.
    My name is Mary Wilkie from London, UK.
    My boyfriend of a 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant.I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again.Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes ,my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time.Generally he is a very nice guy ,he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along.He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change.I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with.I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe.He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy,he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Unity. If you have any problem contact Dr.Unity now and i guarantee you that he will help you.Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,you can also call him or add him on whats-app: +2348071622464 ,His website: http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com .

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