GOSSIP OR JOURNO: Good solid fun!

THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2018

Interlude—Speculations, enjoyment, distractions:
Did the events described below really occur?

Lawrence seems to thunk they didn't. The events are described right at the start of a New York Times news report:
SCHMIDT AND HABERMAN (8/2/18): President Trump pushed his lawyers in recent days to try once again to reach an agreement with the special counsel’s office about his sitting for an interview, flouting their advice that he should not answer investigators’ questions, three people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

Mr. Trump has told advisers he is eager to meet with investigators to clear himself of wrongdoing, the people said. In effect, he believes he can convince the investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, of his belief that their own inquiry is a “witch hunt.”
Has Donald J. Trump been flouting his lawyers' advice? Is he eager to meet with Mueller's maulers? Has he been pushing his lawyers to find a way to let the interview happen?

Please note! The New York Times hasn't reported that those events did happen. Schmidt and Haberman have merely reported that this is what "three people...said."

Who are those three people? Times readers aren't told. Also, please note this:

Based upon the attribution, the three unnamed people cited as sources didn't claim that they actually saw Trump making this heartfelt plea. The three people had merely been "briefed on the matter," the two Times tyros said.

The three unnamed people had been told that these events occurred. Or so they said, to the New York Times—and the Times then wrote it on up, without attempting to explain why we should believe this.

Let's be fair! It's always possible that the events in question really did occur. It's possible that Donald J. Trump really has been pushing his lawyers to get him a date with the witch hunt.

It's possible that these events occurred, but Lawrence O'Donnell's a skeptic. Last night, on his "cable news" show, he did something very rare—he openly mocked the work of the Times, though of course without naming scribe names.

Lawtence spoke with Tim O'Brien, a reliable "cable news" guest:
LAWRENCE (8/1/18): Tim, there's a report in the New York Times tonight about the status of the interview discussion, which this program's official position is, it's always been fraudulent. There's never a chance that Donald Trump would ever sit down for an interview with the special prosecutor.

There's an especially gullible passage in the New York Times report tonight saying, "Mr. Trump has told advisers he is eager to meet with investigators to clear himself of wrongdoing, the people said. In effect, he believes he can convince the investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, of his belief that their own inquiry is a 'witch hunt.' "

Now, I don't believe the New York Times has ever printed a more gullible sentence that [sic] Donald Trump believes he can convince Mueller's team that what they're doing is a witch hunt.
Lawrence said the New York Times had been especially gullible. He seemed to say there was no chance that Trump had actually pushed his lawyers in the way Schmidt and Habo described.

Lawrence may be right in his several speculations. That said, Tim O'Brien came right back with this:
O'BRIEN (continuing directly): You know, I'm going to surprise you, because I actually think that sounds very much like Donald Trump to me.

LAWRENCE (laughing): You think he's that sick! (Laughs again)
In effect, O'Brien went on to say that Trump is so crazily self-assured that he probably does want to meet with the Muellermen. David Corn joined Lawrence in enjoying a good solid laugh about the surprising demurral.

So it goes on "cable news," where speculation rules. So it goes in the New York Times, where news reports are based on what three unnamed people say that some other unnamed person said.

So it goes all through the upper-end press as The Chase provides readers and viewers with exciting "true crime" dynamics. We get to enjoy the thrill of The Chase as the artifacts of traditional news all but disappear.

Night after night after "groundhog night," the same conversations occur. These conversations are drawn from the same pleasing scripts. Attempts at developing real information very rarely appear. The entertainers rarely get around to important ancillary questions.

Does Donald want to sit down with Bob? Lawrence offered one speculation; O'Brien offered another. There's no way to know what's actually true, but laughter occurred all around.

That said, there was also plenty of good solid fun as Anderson Cooper spoke with Jessica Schneider about the Manafort trial. Schneider delivered a capsule report. Cooper provided distraction:
COOPER (8/1/18): I was very confused yesterday, as you know, about the notion of an ostrich coat, which I thought meant ostrich feathers. Sadly, it apparently doesn't. There were pictures introduced into evidence, right?

SCHNEIDER: So, there were pictures. Prosecutors have plenty of these pictures not only of that illustrious ostrich coat, but these luxury watches, all of the luxury clothing that Paul Manafort had. And what's interesting about this is they have entered it into evidence. However, the jury has not actually seen these photos...

However, the jury will see these pictures once they go back into the jury room after the case, both sides have rested. When they go into their deliberations, of course they're not allowed to watch TV, not allowed to see any of the news articles about this trial. So likely, Anderson, they won't be seeing it on your show or elsewhere. But yes, they will get these pictures that show just how lavishly Paul Manafort lived.

COOPER: The ostrich coat is a little disappointing, to be honest, now that I've seen the pictures. Did the prosecution say why they might not call Gates as a witness?
We're not sure if Schneider was right about the jury seeing those pictures. She didn't mention the fact that the judge has been treating much of this bullshit as a distraction—in effect, as "more prejudicial than probative."

Anderson used the non-existent ostrich feathers as a helpful distraction too. He livened up the dreary hour with some good solid fun concerning a humorous fiction.

He knew there were no ostrich feathers, but he played the card anyhoo. On Tuesday night, the silly featherweight piddle had made its cable debut:
COOPER (7/31/18): So what did we learn today at the trial?

SCHNEIDER: Anderson, we learned a lot. It was only the first day here, but this courtroom is definitely living up to its "rocket docket" reputation. They managed to whittle down this jury pool of 65 people down to 12 jurors plus four alternates, and then, of course, we heard the fiery opening statements here.

In this, prosecutors shed some light on Paul Manafort's lavish lifestyle, and they did it by talking about his 30 hidden foreign bank accounts they say existed in three different countries and they say that funded that lavish lifestyle that included seven different homes ranging from Virginia to Manhattan all the way to the Hamptons on Long Island.

They also talked about his $500,000 luxury clothing. They mentioned a $21,000 watch, and they even, yes, mentioned a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich...

COOPER: I've been thinking about a jacket the Paul Manafort is wearing, made out of ostrich, and when you said that, initially I thought you meant ostrich feathers, and I was like, "Oh please let there be a picture of Paul Manafort in a jacket of ostrich feathers!" I realize it's ostrich skin.

SCHNEIDER: There may be.

COOPER:It's probably leather. How does Rick Gates fit into all of this?
On Tuesday night, "Coop" was like, "Oh please let there be a picture of Paul Manafort in a jacket of ostrich feathers!" By that time, he already knew that there was no such jacket, but so what?

Coop knew there were no ostrich feathers, but so what? He played the amusing card again last night! In short, cable news is good solid fun—just as it was, back in the day, when it was the (perfectly normal) clothing of Candidate Gore these multimillionaire corporate idiots were endlessly clowning about, night after night, for months.

That horseplay sent Candidate Bush to the White House, and thus sent us into Iraq.

Cable news is fun—and it isn't just cable! This morning, the New York Times is also fun as Katie Rogers has some fun with Trump's latest ridiculous comment.

We refer to the commander's comment about needing ID at the grocery store. Rogers did a stand-alone news report in which she briefly discussed—and baldly distorted—past press corps amusements:
ROGERS (8/2/18): Past presidents have also faced charges of out-of-touch, knife-and-fork elitism.

President George Bush was teased for not knowing how to work a grocery store scanner—in his defense he was actually marveling over the newfangled technology—during his failed campaign for re-election in 1992. President Barack Obama was once heckled by Sean Hannity, Mr. Trump’s favorite human megaphone, for ordering Dijon mustard (too fancy!) on a cheeseburger.

Even Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s current personal lawyer who once had Oval Office ambitions, made headlines in 2007 when it was clear he had no idea how much a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk might cost a consumer.
It's true. People like Rogers have been pimping these inanities for the past 30-plus years.

Trump's statement this week didn't seem to make, like so many things he says. But back in 1992, President Bush was widely mocked—he was very much not "teased"—by a bogus report about that scanner, a bogus report which originated, where else, in Rogers' own New York Times.

Four years later, Candidate Lamar Alexander was mugged at the end of the New Hampshire primary by a press corps jihad about the price of bread and milk. It's entirely possible that this brain-dead press corps jihad swung New Hampshire to Candidate Pat Buchanan. To all appearances, the silly behavior by the journos badly hurt Alexander's chances.

The press corps' behavior that fateful week was silly, dumb, addled and stupid. They'd occasionally played the price of bread-and-milk card ever since David Broder invented it long ago.

According to Professor Harari, our species conquered, long ago, because our ancestors developed 1) the ability to "gossip" and 2) the ability to create, believe and affirm highly potent group "fictions." To this very day, our press corps tends to specialize in those very same low-grade skills.

As the journalists gossip, simper and play, little effort is made to explore extremely basic questions.

We'll try to list some such questions tomorrow. We'll start with what Natasha wrote.

Tomorrow: Isn't that what Hillary did?

The winter of 96: Back in the winter of 96, we parodied the assault on Alexander through our weekly hard-copy publication, The Election Town Crier.

Our award-winning headline winningly said, in part, "Witty scribes put the pun back in pundit." Our report went something like this:
DERRY, N.H.—What’s the price of milk and a dozen large eggs? And shouldn’t “outsider” hopefuls be able to tell you?

To USA Today’s Judy Keen and Joe Urschel, it was news when Lamar Alexander couldn’t answer. They filed page-one reports from New Hampshire this week that had candidates scrambling for cover.

Reporters love the old-fashioned “price-of-milk-and-eggs” story because it involves information so simple that even they can explain it. And it lets talented wordsmiths like Keen and Urschel showcase their staples-based punning.

On Wednesday, Keen milked the story for all it was worth, leaving the Tennessee walker with egg on his face. When the hard-boiled Urschel followed suit the next day, Alexander must have felt drawn and quart-ered!

The next hapless hopeful to be knocked “over easy” was the bumbling ex-front runner, publishing magnate Steve Forbes. He would be rendered a real Grade A foil by his collection of Faberge eggs.

Straight-faced reporters asked the whipping-boy Forbes what he thought a dozen large eggs might be running. When he priced the twelve “eggs” around six million dollars, his high-priced campaign was now toast!

Others would handle the question better, made aware of the mayhem out on the trail. Pat Buchanan received reports from the nation’s storm cellars describing the cost of survivalist rations. And Morry Taylor punished scribes with long-winded raps on the cost of a good set of tires.

But the press corps had worked its time-honored magic, forcing the hopefuls to focus on issues. For this wasn’t some silly straw poll, after all. This was New Hampshire—the cream of the crop!

Oh yes. Buchanan rolled to an upset win over Dole. Winning margarine? What else—one percent!
Let's face it, folks. That's entertainment!

55 comments:

  1. Al Gore's clothing and Paul Manafort's clothing: The word "clothing" is the only thing these two have in common. In Manafort's case, the clothing is actually part of the evidence in a federal trial, thus it is fair game for discussion. Somerby can label it "bullshit", but it represents a part of a legal strategy that prosecutors apparently feel is important to their case.

    And speculation about whether Trump wants to talk to Mueller or not, based on the use of anonymous sources, isn't in the same category as jokes about ostrich jackets. Reporters actually have guidelines about using sources; they don't just type up anything that someone tells them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most people have no idea what an ostrich coat looks like, so this is legitimate newsworthy info.

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  2. "According to Professor Harari, our species conquered, long ago, because our ancestors developed 1) the ability to "gossip" and 2) the ability to create, believe and affirm highly potent group "fictions." To this very day, our press corps tends to specialize in those very same low-grade skills."

    Our press corps is engaged in neither of these two "low-grade skills." It is reporting current events, news.

    Gossip is not news and journalists are not engaging in gossip nor its modern-day equivalent. TMZ engages in gossip.

    Creation of group fictions doesn't refer to fake news or narratives or stories like those Somerby regularly complains about. It refers to core beliefs that unite a group, such as creation myths, religious beliefs and cultural traditions. We believe we are a free, democratic people, leaders of the Western world. We believe we were founded by wise men who rejected European tyranny and built a new nation based on enlightenment philosophy.

    Journalists didn't create or transmit those shared group narratives about ourselves. Our schools do, our families do, or cultural institutions do.

    Somerby trivializes what Harari discussed by equating it with journalism. He also trivializes journalism, which is highly important in maintaining our participatory democracy -- but performs a different role -- that of spreading news about current events.

    I wish Somerby would read his comments and clean up his act. It is annoying when he keeps repeating the same wrong information over and over. I realize he is hoping some of his criticism of the press will stick and if he read his critics, he might have to change his ways.

    What is Somerby's purpose in attacking our press, day after day? Who does he sound like when he does so? True, he hasn't come out and called our press the enemy of the people, but he has done everything else to knock them.

    This is another reason why some of us believe Somerby is supporting Trump and his agenda. Who else attacks the press regularly? Who else talks about false narratives created by journalists? Can it be...Satan? (just kidding Church Lady fans, it is Trump)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can something that promotes species survival be a "low grade skill"?

      Delete
    2. Isn't that the fallacy of the undistributed middle? Trump criticizes the press, Bob criticizes the press, therefore Bob supports Trumps agenda? Why not therefore Trump supports Bob's agenda? Your making a mistake in reasoning again. Bob may read his comments and realize, rightly, that they are full of dumb, idiot cuntrags like yourself who can't reason properly.

      Delete
    3. @AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 2:08 PM

      AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 1:36 PM said Somerby's press criticism is "ANOTHER reason why some of us believe Somerby is supporting Trump and his agenda." (Another as in not the only).

      Check your reading comprehension, mate.

      Delete
    4. Like the fiction of, say, egalitarianism?

      Delete
    5. Well today's reason, despite being not the only reason, ANOTHER reason as you say, is illogical. It doesn't make sense as I showed you. Show me the rest of the reasons why you and she or whoever believe Bob is a secret shill for Trump and I will show you if they are logical reasons or if they are idiotic reasons like todays OTHER idiotic, illogical reason and in the meantime it would be nice if the commenters like the dumb cuntrag above would think before making illogical accusations.

      Delete
    6. @AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 3:33 PM

      Your reasoning skills leave much to be desired. Apparently, AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 1:36 PM feels that Somerby's attacks on the press are one aspect of other criteria that leads to the belief that Somerby supports Trump's agenda. As part of an array of reasons, it apparently serves as support for AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 1:36 PM's belief. By itself, it might not be enough for an ipso facto/ergo logical conclusion, but coupled with other items, it can very well lead to the belief as stated. I am not AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 1:36 PM and therefore don't know all the other reasons. But anon 1:36's criticism here is not just that Somerby criticizes the press, but that he accuses them of gossiping and creating fictions where those charges don't seem appropriate to 1:36.

      Delete
    7. If you hang around here, you will see many other reasons for thinking Somerby is furthering Trump's interests. I believe Somerby may be one of the following possibilities: (1) a paid Russian troll disrupting liberal politics, (2) a Bernie supporter trying to undermine "Establishment" Democratic politics, (3) a friend of Al Gore who is otherwise another Southerner with mainstream conservative Southern beliefs and values beyond Gore's candidacies, (4) someone who was once liberal but has become confused in his dotage about what is good for our country and is now supporting Trump for idiosyncratic reasons, (5) someone being blackmailed into supporting Trump while pretending to be a liberal. Of course, I cannot yet know which of these options may be true, but they all seem consistent with his recent behavior.

      You had to assume statements not in evidence to make my argument technically illogical. Enjoy. But please stop using gendered insults against me or others here. It is offensive to most of the people who read these comments and entirely unnecessary. If you keep it up, I will send an email to Somerby suggesting that he make an exception and moderate you for incivility. If you take a minute to think, you'll see that hardly anyone engages in that kind of name-calling around here.

      Every time you use a term such as cuntrag, you label yourself a sexist asshole, probably an incel with anger issues toward women. That makes you sound very pathetic, in addition to being unable to assert your views in any other way.

      Delete
    8. 4:10 her accusation is illogical, coupling it with other accusations, does not make it less illogical and certainly doesnt countribute to supporting other accusations fucking retard. It a dead fish. Basta.

      Delete
    9. Yes, that's true. I meant the only option if you don't want to sound foolish.

      Delete
    10. @AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 4:49 PM

      You don't know the other reasons, thus you can't accuse 1:36 of being illogical. There is nothing illogical about saying "I believe, based upon my reading of Somerby over time, that Somerby supports Trump's agenda. His attacks on the press are one of the reasons that lead me to believe this."

      Delete
    11. Actually that is illogical. In order for that to be logical she would have to prove that all people who attack the press are also Trump supporters. That was my original point. You are wrong. It's not logical at all.

      Delete
    12. Anon 1:36 is talking specifically about Bob Somerby, and not everyone who attacks the press. There are other reasons specific to Bob Somerby that add up to 1:36's belief.

      Delete
    13. @AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 5:44 PM:


      "What I am talking about has 4 legs. Based on other observations, I conclude this thing is a dog."

      You come along and say that that conclusion is illogical, and you claim that "you'd have to prove that everything with 4 legs is a dog." Now how stupid is that? The other reasons include "it is an animal; it barks, etc".

      Delete
    14. Dumb faggot: who is trump and who is Somerby in your idiotic example? She didn't say anything about other observations. She said trump criticizes the press, Somerby criticizes the press, therefore Somerby supports Trump which makes no sense at all. She is saying a dog has four legs and a cat has four legs, therefore cats bark.

      You're a weak, fucking moron.

      Delete
    15. I believe, based upon my reading of Somerby over time, that Somerby supports Trump's agenda. His attacks on the press are one of the reasons that lead me to believe this."

      One can attack the press and not support Trump. Unless she or you or whoever can prove otherwise. Please be my guest.

      Delete
    16. Every day I present examples of Somerby saying and doing things that are consistent with Trump and his agenda. You have to be here. No one is going to summarize and spoon-feed this stuff to you. If you are a newcomer to this blog, just stick around and you'll see what people are talking about.

      Delete
    17. "PM
      Every day I present examples of Somerby saying and doing things that are consistent with Trump and his agenda"



      That's the whole point. If a = b and a = c, b is not = to c. you present examples of him doing things that are consistent with Trumps agenda but you draw the b to c conclusions that they are somehow related and connected politically.

      if criticism of the press is done by trump, and criticism of the press is done by Bob, there's no relation between Bob and trump. It's pure logic. But you ignore that true logic when you present your examples every day. It is boring and you make yourself look stupid .

      Delete
  3. I suppose it's a kind of gotcha journalism to ask candidates the price of milk and butter, or how you pay for things in a grocery store. But then again, it does possibly show how a candidate may be detached from real world issues of average citizens. Might that be a problem?

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  4. Trump used his bogus claim, that you have to show ID to buy groceries, to justify why there should be voter ID, as if buying groceries and voting are equivalent.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Far from "gossip", reports like the Schmidt/Haberman report show the chaos and disorder of Trump and the White House. Trump says one thing privately, a different thing publicly, his lawyers say another, his press secretary says something else again, then Trump contradicts himself one day later, and the cycle begins again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. At today's briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to say that the press is not the enemy of the people.

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    Replies
    1. No doubt. And while The President takes to the internet to flagrantly commit obstruction of justice, Bob zeros in on our real problem: MSNBC.

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    2. Good. They are. They're playing a very dangerous game here, and one possible eventuality includes them ornamenting street lights.

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    3. So Greg, can MSNBC not be criticized? A person shouldn't criticize MSNBC if other things are happening in the world that you feel are more worth of criticism? I don't understand your reasoning. Why would expect MSNBC not to be criticized? So what if MSNBC is criticized? You expect them not to be criticized because Trump is a disaster? That doesn't make sense. Using that reasoning you shouldn't be zeroing in on our real problem: Bob.

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    4. Why criticize something minor on MSNBC when there are major things to criticize on conservative media? But the main problem is that Somerby pretends to be a liberal but devotes enormous effort to undermining liberal media.

      Somerby is so far beyond hypotcrite that he must be an agent provocateur of the right. People like that must not just be corrected, but exposed. They fool people into thinking that they are representative of liberal views.

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    5. @3:29

      Your proper threat would be heads ornamenting the spikes of the fence around the White House. The people who hung from the streetlamps were enemies of the French Revolution, not enemies of the King. So, you are confusing (1) a monarch who limits freedom of the people to speak out by having them killed, with (2) an uprising by the repressed citizenry who kill those who get in its way and hang them up as symbols to others who might impede their rebellion.

      Yes, there is violence in both situations, but violence by a tyrant is not the same as violence by people trying to fight against a tyrant. The French Revolution went overboard, and it might be argued that all peoples' revolutions are destructive of their own ideals, but they are manifestly not the same. So your reference to streetlamps was misplaced.

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    6. Why criticize something minor on MSNBC when there are major things to criticize on conservative media?

      Because it deserves criticizing. You are employing the whataboutery fallacy. Your argument is illogical. MSNBC is being criticized here on its own terms which is completely valid no matter how big or small the issues are with other media outlets. Your only option is to refute the criticisms head on. Anything else is just pissing in the wind.

      Expose Bob if you think he is a secret agent. Show us your evidence or shut the fuck up paranoid dipshit.

      Delete
    7. @AnonymousAugust 2, 2018 at 4:25 PM

      It's an unmoderated comment section. There is no "only option." People can say what they like. Much to your chagrin, apparently.

      And if people see a pattern in Somerby's blogging history that points, in their view, to certain conclusions, then they are right to point it out.

      Delete
    8. Yes, that's true. I meant the only option if you don't want to sound foolish.

      Delete
    9. It isn't foolish to point out Somerby's blind spot. Some TDH readers begin to see a deliberate bias in Somerby's blog. Aside from the question of whether his current post is fair or accurate, it is fair to examine long term trends and thought patterns in his blog. He doesn't just do disconnected tidbits of press criticism. He has an overarching theory of the press and of "liberals" that he constantly refers to.

      Delete
    10. Ok let me get you started dipshit. You start by disproving the overarching theory of which you speak. Once you do that, you can begin to look for nefarious motives. Instead, like the stupid dipshit cuntrag that you are, you go ahead and make outlandish accusations without even addressing the overarching theory. That's foolish.

      Delete
    11. Anon 5:38:
      His theory has been addressed, time and time again.

      Bob needs to employ better comment box police than you.

      Delete
    12. Ok, tell me what his theory is and how you disapproved it .

      The liberal news infotainment products have dumbed down the discourse which has ultimately hurt progressive interests and left "extremely basic questions" neglected.

      You are saying that that is false?

      Delete
    13. 2:49 AM,
      Once you can prove that corporate-owned news infotainment products are "liberal", we can get to your theory.
      Is your theory that corporations are "liberal" because even they have noticed that following "conservative" economic policies have led to economic disasters in the 1920s, 1980s and 2000s?

      Delete
  7. Like Trump, Bob is far beyond reasonable critique on these matters, it's just fun to put a warning label on the carton of smokes once in awhile.
    What's wrong with being a media critic who only examines one side, and choses the clearly less popular and influential to debunk? The answer to that is pretty self evident.
    So it is my critics here who engage in the whataboutism, the cosmic, laser like obsession on what doesn't really matter that much, in today's horrid scheme off things.
    So the President's press secratary whines and can't even admit that a free press is not "the enemy of the people." But Bob cannot face that, no, he must get you excited about the fact that they yuck it up sometimes on the liberal channel, trying desperately to win viewers.

    Fuck you, Bob.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greg, you may not think that the culture of gossip and overstatement of the political reporting in the New York Times and on the liberal cable news entertainment networks matters much in today's horrid scheme of things but Bob is postulating that it matters a great deal and in fact, has put us in this position, losing elections to reality show idiots. Maybe he's wrong though. Maybe the culture of overstatement and gossip doesn't matter and never mattered. Maybe it doesn't even exist. But that's what he's saying.

      Delete
    2. Somerby is postulating this but he presents no evidence to support his contention. Greg's view is as valid as Somerby's.

      I believe that Somerby's constant criticism of liberals and his view that liberals lose elections, despite our having two terms of Obama, is more destructive of liberal interests than anything said on MSNBC.

      Delete
  8. I second what Greg said, and add;

    Somerby's attacks on the "liberal" media and on "liberals" in general are often harsh and unfair, sometimes even false. His notions about liberals in particular are breathtakingly foolish generalizations that proceed from some closed and settled solipsistic world view that Somerby has. These attacks don't necessarily imply that Somerby is a Trump supporter, but they align with major aspects of Trump's agenda. Somerby can be seen as functioning as a kind of "fifth column." Press criticism? A lot of liberals do that. The press is often biased. But Somerby's focusing solely on the liberal media, coupled with his attacks on liberals lead one to at least ask him, if he ever cared to pay attention to his readers, if he considers what he is doing, right now at this dangerous moment in our history, is serving the purpose he thinks it is. Or what that purpose is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "His notions about liberals in particular are breathtakingly foolish generalizations that proceed from some closed and settled solipsistic world view that Somerby has."

      Most of Somerby's criticisms of liberals come directly from conservative talking points. While Somerby keeps urging us to consume media on the other side, he seems to have absorbed that information so completely that he is attacking liberals using the same arguments as the right uses.

      You look for motive by examining the results of behavior. If liberals are damaged by these attacks on them, you must assume that Somerby's intent is to damage liberal interests in the face of a Russian takeover of the Republican party. Somerby needs to oppose that intrusion, not further it. Since he is not doing so, I have to assume he wishes to see Russian interests prosper and that makes him akin to the other traitors on the right.

      Delete
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