EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TIMES: The end of interesting times!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2018

Donald Trump's latest bold plan:
For quite a few years, it seems to us that we've been living in "interesting times."

Anthropologically speaking, of course! The journalism of the past thirty years gave us an intriguing look at the way we "rational animals" actually tend to behave.

Our culture was in a disturbing decline; many children had died in Iraq. But you can't say it wasn't an interesting time in the anthropological sense.

In part, the times were interesting because of the conduct displayed Over There, among The Others—conduct by baldly dissembling leadership and by a gullible rank and file.

We would have loved to see average voters quizzed about their belief concerning Obama's place of birth. Why do people believe such things?

Our "press corps" never asked.

In part, the era was interesting because of the gullibility of that rank and file. Then too, there was our own tribe's instinctive reaction:

If we call them racists often enough, they'll decide they should do what we say!

Over the past dozen years or so, we thought the most interesting story of these times involved the way we liberals increasingly adopted the behaviors we've always said we abhorred. Then too, there was the work of the mainstream press, with its various novelized narratives.

Before we return to loftier themes concerning the logic of 2 + 2, we still want to explore Michelle Cottle's recent editorial in the New York Times. Also, we want to re-explore Cottle's presumed source—this front-page news report by Megan Twohey.

Cottle's lengthy "Editorial Observer" continued her newspaper's endless, unintelligent war against Bill and Hillary Clinton. Almost surely, that long war—on the part of the Times and the rest of the guild—explains why Donald J. Trump has the power to send troops to the southern border, instructing them on the best way to repel rock-throwing hordes.

Twohey came along quite late in this 26-year game. (Cottle's been here all along.) When Twohey wrote that front-page report in October 2016, four weeks remained until the 2016 election—and the Times had been playing this destructive game for just over 24 years.

Twohey's front-page report continued that pitiful war. Future anthropologists, living in caves, have carefully studied her piece. They hope to define the folkways, dysfunctions and crackpot beliefs which, alas, eventually led to what they call Mister Trump's War.

We'll return to Cottle and Twohey next week, remembering that they didn't start this long, sad press corps war. Sadly, we expect to start with Carl Bernstein's detailed report about the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton during the Arkansas years.

Bernstein presented that reported history in his bio of Hillary Clinton. You've never seen that reported history discussed because, as anthropologists note, the life forms who serve in our "mainstream press" prefer to work from gossip and novels, as Professor Harari has said.

Next week, we'll hold our noses and return to this destructive novelized nonsense, hopefully for the last time. For today, we'll return to Jim Rutenberg in this past Monday's Times, in which he wondered if Donald J. Trump's attacks on the press have actually been working.

Yes, they have, he says.

According to future anthropologists, Rutenberg's piece displays the slipshod logical style which characterized the work of the upper-end press during this devolving era. He started with snark and an anecdote, though it didn't exactly make sense:
RUTENBERG (10/29/18): He was at it again.

At 3:14 a.m. on Friday, President Trump was awake and tweeting.


“Funny how lowly rated CNN, and others, can criticize me at will, even blaming me for the current spate of Bombs and ridiculously comparing this to September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing,” he wrote, “yet when I criticize them they go wild and scream, ‘it’s just not Presidential!’”

He tapped that one out as federal authorities were investigating the 12 pipe bombs mailed to the billionaire George Soros, Democratic politicians, Robert De Niro and CNN. Hours later, Mr. Trump’s tweet was national news.

“President Blames Media For Attempted Bombs,” read the onscreen chyron on “Good Morning America”
as an ABC News correspondent, Jonathan Karl, briefed the anchor George Stephanopoulos on the president’s latest digital sortie from the still-dark White House lawn.

So began Day 645 of a presidency that has made denigrating the news media one of its identifying features.
Without any question, Donald J. Trump has made denigrating the news media "one of [the] identifying features" of his presidency.

He identifies certain journalists as "enemies of the people." Deranged supporters then attempt to send these enemies bombs.

That said, Rutenberg began with a bit of snark, then uncorked a minor non sequitur. He quoted a chyron accusing Trump of "blaming the media for the attempted bombs." But had Trump done that in the tweet Rutenberg cited? Truth to tell, we can't exactly say that he had!

Everybody knows the rules by which this game is played. Work like that is "close enough for press corps work," as the old chestnut goes. Soon, Rutenberg was asking his basic question, and was slip-sliding again:
RUTENBERG: By referring to likely domestic terrorism as “this ‘Bomb’ stuff” and tying it to the coming midterm elections, Mr. Trump was making the not-so-veiled suggestion that the news media was exaggerating the story because of some political motivation. Even in a national crisis, he was sticking with his anti-media strategy.

The question is, Is it working?

The short answer is yes.
Increasingly, the president’s almost daily attacks seem to be delivering the desired effect, despite the many examples of powerful reporting on his presidency. By one measure, a CBS News poll over the summer, 91 percent of “strong Trump supporters” trust him to provide accurate information; 11 percent said the same about the news media.
"The strategy is working," Rutenberg said. But based upon the data he cited, how well is the strategy working?

According to that CBS poll, only 21 percent of respondents identified as "strong Trump supporters." This means that only 19 percent of respondents qualify as strong Trump supporters who trust him to provide accurate information.

That isn't a very large number. The strategy may be working for Trump, but the evidence provided by Rutenberg's data turns out to be fairly thin.

Was Rutenberg's evidence fairly weak? So what, anthropologists said. Despite what Aristotle is said to have said, our national press, at its upper end, works from novelized scripts.

"Our journalism is largely narrative," they said, as they pointed to Twohey's report. "These people build tales from their prearranged scripts. It's narrative all the way down!"

In Rutenberg's piece, the scribe skimmed surfaces right to the end. At one point, he quoted Stephen Pinker. This is what he wrote:
RUTENBERG: Mr. Trump’s communications director for 10 days, Anthony Scaramucci, was matter-of-fact when he told Bloomberg TV on Thursday, “Yes, the president is lying, but he’s doing it intentionally to incite certain people, which would include left-leaning journalists and most of the left-leaning politicians.”

By engaging with his ceaseless attacks and baseless claims, are journalists falling into a trap? That’s the view of Steven Pinker, a Harvard professor of cognitive science, who has described the president as a promoter of a “counter-Enlightenment ideology.” Even with its saturation coverage of the pipe bombs, Mr. Pinker argued on Twitter, “The press gets gamed again.”

In a telephone interview, he said the news media had read too much into the acts of one disturbed person. “It’s not a reflection, in itself, of the mood of the country,” Mr. Pinker said.

He conceded, though, that the news media cannot ignore Mr. Trump. And there’s the conundrum...
Tell the truth! From that passage, how well so you understand what Pinker said and believes? Do you think you understand his point (or points) well? We'll admit that we do not!

Rutenberg skimmed surfaces every step of the way. According to anthropologists, it's the way we "rational animals" tend to work. That said, we'll also say this:

We had to laugh at the way Rutenberg vouched and vouched, then vouched again, for the good faith of his guild.

Plainly, Rutenberg [HEART] the mainstream press. In one of the passages posted above, he referred to "the many examples of powerful reporting on [Trump's] presidency."

He seemed to reject Trump's alleged "suggestion that the news media was exaggerating the story because of some political motivation." In the passage shown below, he continually seemed to assume and assert the mainstream press corps' good faith:
RUTENBERG: Reporters respond by pointing out that these assertions have no basis in fact, just as they attempt to knock back Mr. Trump’s manufactured content by producing running tallies of his false statements—more than 5,000, says The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column.

Now and then journalists will resort to the L-word, “lie,” as The New York Times has done on occasion. Other frequent targets of the president’s disdain, CNN and MSNBC, have debunked his claims with onscreen headlines and endless panel discussions.

Such good-faith efforts, however, seem increasingly ineffectual.
The president has succeeded in casting journalists as the prime foils on his never-ending reality show, much to the delight of those who cheer him on at rallies.

“He has succeeded in creating a daily narrative in which he is the central figure,” Steve Coll, the dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism and a staff writer at The New Yorker, told me. “And he uses props and invented opposition—whether they are migrants hundreds of miles from the U.S. border or the press right in front of him—to pursue this kind of idea he has about how his populism works.”
According to Rutenberg, the press corps' "good faith efforts" haven't been working thanks to Trump's framing of the press as an "invented opposition." It can't be imagined that those "endless panel discussions" on CNN might be seen as a marker of actual opposition to Trump, not to mention the "running tallies of his false statements" which are a bit hard to credit as a basic procedural matter.

Poor Rutes! Throughout the piece, he rarely lets it enter his head that some of the press corps' behavior may fall short of perfection. At one point, he recalls the way the press allegedly fought back against demonization of Candidate Kerry in 2004. He fails to recall the demonizations of other candidates which have come, live and direct, straight from the mainstream press.

We encounter little talk of the press corps' possible flaws. In the following passage, his affirmation of the guild reaches a comical level:
RUTENBERG: [B]y so often putting his words under a microscope, journalists may give the impression to Mr. Trump’s supporters and even some undecided voters that they are out to get him.

“It signals that there is a different issue at play here, which is a desire to constantly portray Trump and everything he and his administration says as lies,” said Danielle Pletka, a senior vice president at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research organization. She added that the media should stop picking at his every rhetorical nit and focus, instead, on his biggest whoppers.

But the idea of letting falsehoods and lies go unchallenged for the sake of public relations goes against the average reporter’s reason for getting up in the morning. So what to do?
Good God! As Rutenberg surely must understand, his guild has trafficked in many falsehoods over the years. But in this piece, that must be forgotten. Our journalists get up in the morning solely to challenge such errors!

Earth to Ruteneberg, who seems like the world's nicest person: Some journalists are "out to get" Trump, and his supporters can see this! They're able to see a wide range of journalists "picking at his every rhetorical nit," in ways which do get utterly silly, during their "endless pundit discussions."

Pletka says the press would be better advised to focus on Trump's "biggest whoppers;" in that, she's probably right. But Trump's supporters can see the nit-picking as they watch the endless discussions—and when they see Rutenberg describe his colleagues' reason for being, they're liable to laugh out loud.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. So too with the mainstream press corps.

Rutenberg vouches for his guild. But it was his guild which invented the wars which sent Donald J. Trump to the White House, and it was his guild which invented the twenty-month war against Candidate Gore which killed all those kids in Iraq.

Megan Twohey's front-page report continued two decades of mainstream press war. Anthropologists say we should tell that story for the ten millionth time, and we'll do so again next week.

We'll start, once again, with what Bernstein reported. It relates to the tale Twohey told.

Meanwhile, President Trump has told the troops that they should shoot rock-throwing migrants. Rutenberg's guild put this man where he is—and with the pipe bomb attempts and the shootings in Pittsburgh, the times, they're no longer interesting.

The times, they are a-disintegrating. But, we hope for the very last time, how did we get to this place?

Next week: For the final time

65 comments:

  1. Somerby doesn't have the right to criticize the press treatment of Hillary Clinton when he himself did nothing to advance her candidacy in 2016.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The purpose of Somerby's blog, for the millionth time, is not to advocate candidates or policies. Rather, as indicated at the top of the page, it is to present his "musings on the 'mainstream' press corps and American discourse."
      If you want advocacy for a candidate or policy look elsewhere and quit making your ignorant comments at this location. Why don't you shove off if it bothers you so much.

      Delete
    2. @2pm
      Perhaps it would have been preferable had anon 12:33 said “what Somerby did helped undermine Hillary’s candidacy.” I would agree with that, and would argue that that deserves some pushback, since it helped us end up with Trump.

      Delete
    3. Anon 2:08, the idea that TDH "helped undermine Hillary's candidacy" and thus "helped us end up with Trump" is utterly idiotic. Are you a lunatic? Seems so. (a) If anything, TDH over the years has defended Clinton against the press's dishonest narrative about her; and (b) even if, for the sake of argument, it is assumed that TDH has been anything but uncritically adulatory toward Clinton, this couldn't possibly have had an effect on the election, given the relatively minuscule number of people who follow his blog. Frankly, it's people who are as impenetrably dense as you are who helped get Trump elected.

      Delete
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      Delete
  2. Somerby talks about children who died in Iraq but he never mentions children dying in Yemen or Syria. Why not? He doesn't mention that Israel has been shooting rock-throwing Palestinians for years now. That's probably where Trump got the idea.

    It is time to stop worrying about what Bernstein said and focus on today's issues. For example, should Oprah, who has stayed religiously out of politics until Obama's candidacy, be treated like a political pundit? Does she have any more to say to anyone than Kanye? Why? She is a bigger narcissist than Avenatti and has a great deal in common with Trump. Why is she an important voice? Is it just because she is supporting a Democratic candidate or is it because she has so many followers. This how we wound up with Trump -- not any of the crap Somerby wants to feed us about journalistic malfeasance.

    I know a few Trump supporters and they are gleeful about everything he says and does. They behave like fans at a tailgate party. They give no thought whatsoever to policy or tradition -- they just love their guy. Like Oprah fans love Oprah. Unconditionally and with minimum thought. They don't fit political paradigms because these charismatic figures don't belong in politics. And that is what no one is saying but really, really needs to be said before we have Oprah on the ballot in 2020 -- on the Democratic ticket. With Stedman and Gail replacing Ivanka and Jared, and who behind the scenes teaching them how to govern? Who is behind the scenes today? Shouldn't someone be asking that? Somerby...Somerby...Somerby?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's a political pundit?

      https://ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=pundit

      According to this definition, nothing you see on TV qualifies.

      Leroy

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  3. Trump gave a major immigration speech yesterday in which he announced a new policy of holding applicants for amnesty in tent cities while waiting for their cases to be adjudicated. He also took questions from the press. CNN and MSNBC cut away from Trump's speech. Instead of letting their viewers hear all of the President's actual words, they presented their interpretation and analysis. IMHO this was media bias.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/01/as-trump-fumed-on-immigration-some-media-outlets-cut-away-956510

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Trump could speak coherently and actually had a program, your complaint would make sense. Trump is on the stump and he is making campaign speeches to affect the midterm, not elucidating policies. The media did the right thing, since equal time was not being afforded opponents in this election.

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    2. @12:48 - I listened to the entire speech and press conference. You might not like what Trump said, but he was plenty coherent.

      Keeping people in tent cities, rather than catch and release, is a major program change. IMHO it's a big deal and will be controversial. To me, Trump's tent city looks a lot like a concentration camp.

      Delete
    3. You're a fucking loathsome monster, Comrade DinC. I think by the time BenedictDonald got to the part where the chickenshit lying coward stated contrary to military policy that the American armed forces he is amassing on our border will shoot at person's throwing rocks, even CNN and MSNBC had to cut away, realizing they'd been had once again by the odious bullshit artist racist prick.

      And you really are a dumb fuck as well David.
      President Chickenshit announced no "new policy", signed no EO or legislation or orders. It was a pure show for the cameras you dumbfuck and you fell for it. Because he is your Fuhrer.

      You are always defending this deranged malignant abomination by claiming we should ignore what he says but just watch what he does. Well, what he is DOING NOW is using the armed services for his perverted political agenda in the most nakedly cynical abuse of power I have ever witnessed. That's right, you fucking TRAITOR, your Fuhrer is using the military for his own personal political ends.

      How the fuck do you say "wag the dog" in Russian, you fucking treasonous bastard?

      Delete
    4. "To me, Trump's tent city looks a lot like a concentration camp."

      I get the impression the he'll be building camps for the asylum seekers.

      Asylum seekers live in camps, refugee camps, in most countries. Always have, including the US - if you watched Scarface.

      Delete
    5. We welcome these refugees with open arms. It's the least we could do.

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    6. It seems likely that there will be no refugees among them. They'll be asylum seekers whose applications will be rejected.

      Delete
    7. @3:22 "We welcome these refugees with open arms."

      How many of them will you invite to live in your home?

      Delete
    8. That would be, I guess "vilyat' sobakoy".

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    9. 5:20,
      All of them, Katie.

      Delete
  4. Anthropologists don't say or believe any of the things Somerby attributes to them.

    Using anthropology as a rhetorical device in a manner that demonstrates no knowledge of the field seems unfair to actual anthropologists. Is this more anti-intellectualism on Somerby's part or is he anti-science? Did he ever take a course in anthropology? Is that why he doesn't care whether he represents that field accurately?

    I doubt if he is any fairer to journalists than he is to Harari and the anthropologists, who do not equate narrative with fiction, for example.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't understand that. During 2016 he savaged the mainstream press treatment of HRC. Just as before and since.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are referring to Somerby when you say "he", yes he savaged the treatment of HRC because it gives him a lead in to talk about Gore, but he also damned Hillary as a poor campaigner, a deeply flawed candidate, said repeatedly that he preferred Bernie, and only urged people to vote for Hillary in order to stop Trump. Democrats hearing such disdain for Hillary decided they didn't like her and voted for Stein instead (in the three states she unexpectedly lost, that was the margin of victory for Trump), or they simply didn't vote, because it would be "for the lesser of evils" and that offended their ideals, much as the offended Somerby held his nose every time he said we needed to vote for her. And you are correct, he continues to complain about press treatment of Hillary, while never saying a kind word about her and blaming her defeat on her weak campaign, not Comey or Russia or even the media.

      Phooey on Somerby. He couldn't bring himself to express enthusiasm for arguably the most well qualified candidate in history, a historical figure who would be the first female elected president. But hey, someone said something silly about Al Gore and he cannot set it aside decades after the fact.

      Delete
    2. I supported HRC wholeheartedly (without agreeing with everything, notably pertaining to foreign policy). But I don't read this blog for political activism or even direct political commentary. It's not about that.

      Delete
    3. Well it sure isn’t strictly a media criticism blog.

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    4. David Stein, you may have voted for Hillary. But how many potential Hillary voters were turned off if Hillary, or of liberals in general, by Somerby’s blogging? You have to realize that his blog is “political” nowadays, whether you think it is or not.

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    5. anon 1:28 and 3:32, see my comment above about how you are a lunatic. A while back you gave citations to TDH's alleged bias against Clinton, and his Sanders favoritism. He never said he "preferred Sanders" [though if did, that was his prerogative; but he didn't]. Your examples didn't come close to supporting your constant, annoying rhetoric on this point. You seem to interpret anything less than abject adulation toward Clinton as treasonous.

      Delete
    6. AC/MANovember 2, 2018 at 5:14 PM

      Thanks, it is important we counter these egregious comments mischaracterizing TDH's purpose and role.

      If you have spare time, make sure to respond to moronic trolls David and Mao, they need and appreciate your support.

      Delete
  6. Whatever Donald The Candid has said about the goebbelsian establishment media - he's been too kind to it.

    Any insult one could throw at it - it's well-deserved.

    Yeah, but also some bloggers, Bob. Someone promised me a fascist takeover, and the capital 'W' War, and that there would be no November. Horrors, horrors, horrors

    Do you know who it was, Bob?

    Instead, we have no War and no war, the lowest unemployment in 50 years, and the highest wage growth in 10 years. This must make you very-very sad, Bob...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Trump claimed unemployment under Obama, at various times, 42%, or 24% and other percentages in between - something like McCarthy and how many commies were in the State Department. By his logic then, unemployment is now somewhere between 21% and 40%. How much credit he deserves can't be measured scientifically, but I give him credit - so far the economy has been doing fine, whether that's in whole or in part due to what he has done or not. The stock market is up and taxes are down, which benefits me. His term isn't over. I hope we don't have an economic catastrophe like what happened the last time the GOP was in power; if that happens, see how popular he is. There's no way to prove that things wouldn't be even better (or worse) if Clinton had been elected. Now, because of the huge deficit he has created with his windfall on taxes to the banksters and huge increase in military spending, the GOP will in all likelihood pursue its dream of cutting social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. In the meantime, there is all this anti-rationalism from Trump, that is undermining civilized order.

      Delete
    2. "taxes are down"?

      Not mine, Trump raised my taxes and raised taxes for many middle income people. He got rid of deductions like deducting state income tax, so my taxes will go up.

      Delete
  7. “it was his guild which invented the wars which sent Donald J. Trump to the White House, and it was his guild which invented the twenty-month war against Candidate Gore which killed all those kids in Iraq.”

    The media share some responsibility, but they did not “invent the wars...”. This is far too broad an accusation, and ignores other extremely important factors that were and are in play. It is an over-simplification of a very complex set of circumstances. While some elements of the story are new (cable TV, the internet), others are as old as human history (propaganda, gullible rubes, tribalism).

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  8. Personally, I think Trump should drone strike the "caravan." But seriously, why should he not protect our borders with force if need be? These are not people seeking refuge. They broke into Mexico, knocking down a gate in the process, and then refused an offer of refuge in Mexico, instead demanding to march forth to the US.

    As for the "pipe bomb attempts," is that accurate framing when they weren't actually pipe bombs? It will be very interesting to see this story play out. How did a homeless guy who can barely form a sentence in the English language manage to get a dozen phony pipe bombs through the mail? A man who was literally living in a van down by the river (or pizza shop in this case), with the most conspicuous marking in the history of the planet. And why has the FBI still not confirmed the obvious: that these were not functional bombs.

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    1. Better trolls, please.

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    2. Yeah. And how would a homeless guy, living in a van, find George Soros' address? Is it in the phone book?

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    3. Yes, and the Deep State pulled off 911.

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    4. Speaking of troll lies, here's one from the fat Coward-in-Chief and the GOP mafia:

      [Sacramento Bee 11/01/18]
      President Donald Trump’s closing argument for the midterm elections includes a tweet featuring convicted cop killer Luis Bracamontes, who killed two Sacramento-area deputies in a 2014 rampage.
      The tweet features video of Bracamontes spewing profanities while on trial in Sacramento County Superior Court, a frequent occurrence in the years of court hearings he faced.
      But the president’s claim that “Democrats let him into our country” is not entirely accurate, and neither is the claim that “Democrats let him stay.”
      Bracamontes, who is now on death row at San Quentin State Prison for the October 2014 slayings of Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Davis Jr., first came into the United States in 1993, when he was 16 and Democrat Bill Clinton was president.
      Bracamontes, who grew up in Sinaloa, Mexico, entered the country illegally, crossing into Arizona. The Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff’s Office has told The Sacramento Bee previously that he was first arrested in Phoenix in 1996. Prosecutors in Phoenix say he was arrested Sept. 25, 1996, on deportable drug offenses related to marijuana possession and sentenced to four months in jail starting in January 1997.
      Bracamontes served his time in then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s tent-city jail, then was handed over to federal immigration agents and deported on June 3, 1997, during Clinton’s second term.
      He apparently did not stay in Mexico long. Records in Arizona show he was arrested on drug charges again in Phoenix in 1998, then released “for reasons unknown” by Arpaio’s office. Arpaio is a Republican.
      Bracamontes was next arrested May 4, 2001, on marijuana charges in Maricopa County, and deported three days later. Republican George W. Bush was president at the time, and was president when Bracamontes slipped back into the United States a short time later.
      The date of his re-entry is not clear, but records show Bracamontes was married in Maricopa County on Feb. 28, 2002, when Bush was president.
      By then, Bracamontes had been living near Salt Lake City where he remained until 2014, when he and his wife embarked upon a methamphetamine-fueled trip that ended with their arrests in Placer County after the deputies were killed.

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    5. "Yes, and the Deep State pulled off 911"

      Yes, and we're well-aware of the dembot worship of the eff-bee-eye, going berserk every time their official pronouncements are questioned.

      Obey. Don't question authority. Don't think for yourselves. Nothing new here.

      Delete
    6. Mao, you are a relentless stooge. Yes, now its libs and dems, or some of them, who are defending the FBI, with the right "questioning authority." (Just like we see them almost bringing back the cold war) As far as I'm concerned, FBI and police in general should be subject to skepticisim. But trump doesn't give a shit about anyone else being railroaded by the FBI. He got investigated and that's all he cares about. Your abject, uncritical adulation of Trump is the opposite of defying authority. he is the epitome of authority. As far as the arrest of the guy in Florida, there's a difference between skepticism, and advancing theories with zero evidence.

      Delete
  9. “If we call them racists often enough, they'll decide they should do what we say!”

    What do you call a mixture of sympathy and condescension? What sort of view of “them” must Somerby have? They start acting like racists because “we” tell them they’re racist?? Are “they” empty headed children, with no will of their own? Did racism not exist until “we” named it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, look at this confused NPC. But the programming clearly says "call them racist" if case = disagree!

      Delete
    2. @1:33
      You completely missed my point, didn’t you? My point refers to Somerby’s odd mixture of sympathy and condescension towards “them.” Children internalize insults from their parents, and become the insult. Adults shouldn’t. You need to take issue with Somerby, who seems to think “they” (conservatives) have the mind and the will of children.

      Delete
    3. The Somerby quotation has nothing to do with characterizing the recipients of the "paraphrased" intention. The odd mixture you describe could only be taken to be imputed by Somerby to the "liberals" he is criticizing.

      Delete
    4. Somerby doesn’t express sympathy for liberals. It is outright condemnation. His view, if you read carefully, has been that “they” vote for Republicans because “we” insult them, or are mean to them, or are bad people. It assumes that “they” have no agency, and thus cannot or do not make positive rational choices, either in regards to their vote or in the way that they themselves drive the discourse, about liberals or what have you.

      Delete
  10. An article in today's New York Times seems to gloat that "No one wants to campaign with Bill Clinton anymore." Given their war against him since about 1991, advancing innuendo, distorted "facts," and propaganda, is it any wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  11. “we agree with Cottle's first point—with the idea that Clinton's recent interviews are likely to be unhelpful to Democrats in next month's elections.”

    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-rational-animal-walk-one-thing.html

    Will Somerby ever say why he feels this way? He criticizes the press, including Cottle, for their treatment of Hillary, but says he agrees with Cottle about Hillary.

    ReplyDelete
  12. https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/11/after-only-a-few-days-trumps-drug-plan-is-already-dead/

    Trump’s nothingburger about bringing down prescription drug prices. Goes with his attempts to repeal Obamacare and replace it with ___??? And Republicans talking about cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Those economically anxious Trump voters seem to be casting votes to make themselves more economically anxious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are voting in their own economic self-interest. The economic thing they are most self-interested in, is keeping minorities down.

      Delete
    2. @2:38 black voters are moving toward Trump.

      Black voter approval of President Trump hit the year’s high at 40 percent this week, according to daily tracking by Rasmussen Reports.

      The high-water mark comes right after the “Blexit,” or “Black exit from the Democratic Party,” movement spearheaded by Turning Point’s Candace Owens was launched over the weekend, which drew thousands of young African Americans to Washington, DC.

      The numbers are based on a three-day rolling average of 1,500 likely voters surveyed nationally every night, according to Rasmussen’. About 12 to 13 percent of those are likely black voters.

      “We never saw 40 percent before,” said Ted Carroll, of Rasmussen’s parent company Noson Lawen Partners.

      The monthly average of black voter support is much lower — typically in the 20s range, but that too has been rising over time. During Trump’s first year in office, it averaged about 21 percent. So far, during his second year, it has ticked up to 24 percent.


      https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2018/11/01/black-voter-approval-trump/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR3C99NMRBYB9TJU1gKWxHxNSWBHJuyyPZnUT_LFqWP5n9xJMFrs4dyYmyY

      Delete
    3. David, Too bad they won’t vote for Trump:

      https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/02/michael-cohen-trump-said-black-people-are-too-stupid-to-vote-for-me.html

      Delete
    4. Shout it, David.
      Not at me, and here. Shout it at his rallies. Shout it on FOX News. Those are the people, who need to know how good Trump has been for black people. I bet those former "economically anxious" Trump voters will swell their chests with pride, when they realize they put the guy in office who is helping black people so much, black people will be able to afford to move into their neighborhoods in droves.

      Delete
    5. @11:00PM - here's an article from Fox News
      Trump is gaining black support because his policies are improving the lives of all Americans
      https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/trump-is-gaining-black-support-because-his-policies-are-improving-the-lives-of-all-americans

      Delete
    6. Where's Fox News' article about blacks moving into the tonier neighborhoods in droves? Why are they hiding that from their viewers?

      Delete
  13. I thought this was kinda funny.

    "Mr. Trump was making the not-so-veiled suggestion that the news media was exaggerating the story because of some political motivation."

    Followed by this - "Even in a national crisis, he was sticking with his anti-media strategy."

    Calling a bunch of non-exploding pipe bombs a "national crisis" seems like pretty straight up exaggeration to me. So he seems to have proven Trump to be partially correct.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Vic Dickenson Septet perform Irving Berlin's "Russian Lullaby".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AclXBAHmU6Q

    ReplyDelete
  15. I like to throw grapes at Arabians. I suppose this makes me a bigot.

    ReplyDelete
  16. John Stewart presumably pointed out the flaws of the MSM in which they cover Trump: They take it personally. Instead of hammering that fool, his policies and his corrupt administration, they take umbrage to his bad-name calling. A consortium of newspapers wrote an open letter which read, “Wahhh, Trump doesn’t like us!”

    Duhh. I don’t like you either. If the Fourth Estate had been doing its real job, which is to inform the public, rather than airing every single fucking word the Demento in Chief utters and scrambling to make sense of it (impossible), and instead focused on how those who Trump enables (Republicans, but some Dems too), who are literally getting away with fucking murder, I might like them. But corporations rule the roost in msm news dissemination. Trump, in an oblique way, is totally correct about our modern media.

    As far as Pinker goes, you might get a heh heh out of this two-part series:


    https://images.currentaffairs.org/2018/08/pinker1.jpg

    https://images.currentaffairs.org/2018/08/pinker2.jpg

    Leroy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There have been lots of stories about the corruption of Trump admin officials. Check out Somerby’s take on that, back when Tom Price was under fire. Somerby complained about the libs/media and their schadenfreude mentality (yay!yay!yay! Let’s put the Others in jail!).

      Delete
    2. Some examples of Trump enabling Democrats to get away with murder, please.

      Delete
    3. Here ya go. Nice handle, btw.

      https://theintercept.com/2017/10/31/yemen-war-us-military-house-resolution/

      Leroy

      Delete
    4. Fail, but you keep reading this blog and I guarantee your conflation skills will improve.

      Delete
    5. Well taken. But if Trump is for murder, just like every president before him, and even one Dem is for the same thing, then it’s not conflation, but fact.

      Leroy

      Delete
  17. To make an allegation and have it stick you have to have a good reputation yourself, or you'll just be laughed at.

    Republicans use the same trick every time:
    Aren't you racist too?

    And there's an entire cable network dedicated to making sure we hear about it.

    ReplyDelete
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