THE DANIEL DALE EXPERIENCE: How sharp are our favorite reporters and friends?

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2018

Dale spots obvious "lie:"
To our eye, this week's election results look better with each passing day.

That said, we share a perspective which appears in a letter in today's New York Times. We share the writer's puzzlement on a certain point, if not her overall view.

The writer ends her letter by asking a question. We include the heading from the hard-copy Times:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (11/9/18): Shocked by Election Results

I switched to “Casablanca” on TCM for large parts of the election returns on Tuesday night. A few moments of sublime romance seemed a fair reward for the debacle being played out on the other networks.

The commentators seemed alternately pleased, dismayed and frustrated by the numbers rolling in from around the country. I had a simpler reaction—I was shocked. I had assumed that the election of Donald Trump two years ago was a mistake, and that a large majority of people who voted for him deeply regretted it and would make it right in this midterm. I counted on Mr. Trump’s being humiliated by the rejection of his bigoted, cruel, disastrous policies.

I was grievously wrong, stupid and naïve.

Democrats won the House? So what? It is not enough to stop Mr. Trump and his Senate and his Cabinet and his Justice Department from continuing to destroy all that we once held sacred.

This is no longer the America of which we were all so proud—and no amount of slick lies can mask the truth. Worst of all, over 40 percent of Americans approve of the president. How can that be?

S— L—
New York
Like the writer, we're struck by the fact that something like 45 percent of voters say they approve of Trump's performance in office, with something like 46 percent of voters supporting Republican candidates for the House this past week.

"How can that be?" the writer asks. We're intrigued by that question too.

That said, we're less inclined to savage those voters, more inclined to want to hear them explain their point of view. We're disinclined to take the Krugman road concerning The Others, a trail he blazes in ugly fashion, or so it says here, in this morning's column.

Why do people approve of Trump? We'd like to see people asked. But we almost never see such things on our own tribe's cable channels. Instead. we're served a steady diet of "our favorite reporters and friends" reciting standard tribal perspectives with other reporters and friends.

These favorite friends are strongly inclined to drop bombs on The Others, as Krugman does in his column. Our warlike, high;y limited species has been inclined to behave this way since roughly the dawn of spacetime.

On Monday afternoon's Dateline: White House, a group of favorite reporters and friends took turns reciting standard tribal/guild dogma. So did a panel of like-minded pundits on Sunday's Reliable Sources.

For better or worse, the greatest skill these tribunes possess would have to be their unparalleled skill at agreeing with each other. For decades, they've been working from standard script in truly remarkable ways. On balance, this tendency has strongly worked against progressive / Democratic interests, and against the interests of many people who are now dead around the world.

Truth to tell, our upper-end mainstream press just isn't stupendously sharp. Consider what happened when Brian Stelter interviewed Daniel Dale.

Dale writes for the Toronto Star. He has received a lot of praise for his work as a full-time Donald J. Trump fact-checker.

He appeared as a featured guest in the second segment of Sunday's Reliable Sources. Along the way, Stelter, the program's host, had teased his appearance:
STELTER (11/4/18): With President Trump holding rallies all over the country, sinking to new lows with his lies and fear-mongering, one of the busiest reporters in America will join me to break it down. His name is Daniel Dale. He is a full-time Trump fact-checker, and at this point, he deserves some hazard pay.

[...]

STELTER: All right. Quick break. Much more from the panel all hour long. We're also going to talk about Trump's lying and fear-mongering on the campaign trail in the past few days, and whether it will have any effect at the polls. Hear from a full-time Trump fact-checker, right after a quick break.

[...]

STELTER: Trump's words and lies are not a joke. Sorry to be the pot of cold water here, but this is serious. And I wonder how much the press is playing in to some of these lies.

Joining the panel now, Daniel Dale, Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star, a full-time Trump fact-checker...Daniel, how are you doing it? You must be exhausted checking every single word the president says.
Increasingly, Dale is lionized in these ways by others within the circle. As you will see if you watch the tape, Dale seems like the nicest guy in the world. He also seems completely sincere, as does Stelter himself.

That said, how sharp is Daniel Dale's work? As his interview began, he responded to Stelter as follows:
DALE (continuing directly): I'm a sleepy man. And I've always been a sleepy man, but I'm increasingly sleepy because the president is getting worse and worse. So, this is—this is a big job.

STELTER: And you made the point again and again on Twitter, that he is repeating the same things over and over again. It's not as if he is saying 100 different unhinged things a day. He is repeating the same lies over and over again every day.

DALE: He is. That's part what have makes it easier as time goes on, because he is still saying the same stuff that he said, you know, in March 2017. But what's different about this period, these last couple of months, is that he has changed it up and he has introduced a number of whoppers. You know, complete fabrications that he had not been uttering before.

So these are not simply the usual exaggerations about crowd sizes and so on. You know, he is making stuff up in the last couple of weeks in a way that I don't think we have seen even from a serial liar, the president, before.
Without any question, fact-checking Donald J. Trump is an exhausting task. It's also true that fact-checking the mainstream press corps was an exhausting task back when we undertook that task in 1998 and 1999, with many disasters to follow.

Fact-checking Trump is a very big job; his misstatements are many and endless. That said, we were struck by the casual way Stelter turned to the language of "lies" so soon after he and David Zurawik had agreed that a press corps which is under attack should be thoughtful about its procedures. (See Tuesday's report.)

Stelter was talking about Donald Trump's "lies." Dale had branded Trump as a "serial liar." In this behavior, there could be several problems:

We'll start with a possible political problem. When The Others see the press corps' favorite reporters and friends behave this way in casual fashion, they may think they're observing a form of "bias." In our view, it isn't clear that they will always be wrong about that.

There's also a possible intellectual problem with this bold and lusty pundit behavior. That problem shapes us like this:

For perfectly valid and sensible reasons, journalists have traditionally avoided branding statements as "lies." Stelter seems to be well aware of this fact. As he continued, he asked Dale to explain his thinking in this area:
STELTER (continuing directly): And The Washington Post is also keeping track. You do this full-time, so does the Post. I think we can show the Post data, over 6400, something like that, false or misleading claims.

Sometimes you go a little farther than that, Daniel. You say he "lies" more often than the Washington Post does. Why is that?
Sometimes Dale goes father than that? Rightly or wrongly, Dale goes farther than that pretty much all the time! Indeed, Stelter himself had been "going farther than that" all through his discussion this day.

That said, why does Dale "sometimes" use the world "lie?" Dale explained himself:
DALE (continuing directly): Because I think that's the most accurate word for some of these claims. I also say "false claims" in many cases where we're not sure if the president is confused, if he doesn't understand the policy.

But when he tells the Wall Street Journal that his tariffs that he bragged about don't exist—he said, what tariffs? I don't have any tariffs anywhere—that's a lie. And I think in any other context but, you know, our roles as objective journalist, we would tell each that that was a lie.

But I think if we want to regain the trust that has been lost in media, we have to level with readers. We have to be seen to be straight shooters. I think, in those cases, the word is "lie."
Dale understands that false statements and claims aren't necessarily "lies." He knows a false statement isn't a lie if the misstatement stems from confusion or from a lack of understanding.

Dale knows that false claims won't always be "lies." But then, he cited a recent obvious "lie."

According to Dale, Trump had told this obvious "lie" to the Wall Street Journal. Anyone would call it a lie, the Trump fact-checker said.

That said, how sharp is Dale's discernment? We told the analysts to research this recent, blatantly obvious recent "lie."

As they worked, they began to wail. Soon they were tearing their hair.

Tomorrow: Who will fact-check our favorite fact-checkers and friends?

104 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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      Delete
  2. "I had assumed that the election of Donald Trump two years ago was a mistake, and that a large majority of people who voted for him deeply regretted it and would make it right in this midterm. [...] I was grievously wrong, stupid and naïve."

    Well no, it's just that you bought the goebbelsian Big Lie, propagandized by your lib-zombie globalist death-cult.

    That's all. And if you still have any brain cells left inside your skull -- leave the cult, dear...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mao - kudus again for being the first one on here. But I don't think it takes much brain cells to over and over bestow on us TDH followers your repetitive, tedious, substanceless "goebelsian Big Lie, propagandized by lib-zombie globalist death-cult" rant. Goebbles was a Nazi monster. As dumb as CNN or the NYT might be, it is vile to make that type of comparison. A more apt observation, would be that your over and over claim that dems are globalist zombies is right out of the Geobbels' propaganda play book. Look, I'm not surprised that 45% of the voters voted for the GOP, and perhaps by extension, Trump - the economy is going well, at least on appearances; unemployment is down. The stock market is up. Taxes are down. Whether Christian or not, it isn't surprising that there is antipathy to impoverished undocumented immigrants illegally flowing into the country (if that is a reasonable characterization). I would submit that it was only 45% reflects badly on the GOP/Trump side. It also seems the issue of trade agreements played very little in the election. How exactly has Trump's renegotiation of NAFTA changed things significantly? (more milk to Canada?) How are the banksters being hurt by Trump, what with their lowered taxes, and stock market up, and regulations down? The chief long range goal of the GOP, aside from banning abortions, is apparently to roll back social security, Medicare and Medicaid. "Starve the beast" has long been the strategy. My understanding that efforts to regulate banks and to limit off shore tax dodges has not come from the dems (ok, maybe some of them) and has been mainly stymied by the GOP, and that Trump fits right in with this. Plus letting the Federalist Society appoint all the judges.

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    2. The stock market is in negative territory for the year. A lot of people's 401ks are taking a hit. Inflation is rising, as are interest rates with another increase promised by the end of the year. The net effect is taking a giant bite out of any minor salary increase or trivial tax decrease. Adjusted for inflation, wages are up an anemic 0.5 % +-

      Delete
    3. Yeah, dembot, you're a genius. Pay gains best since the great recession. And inflation is finally rising, so they finally stopped printing money.

      https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/31/pay-gains-under-trumps-best-since-the-great-recession.html

      Delete
    4. Well, don’t that take the rag offen the bush! And yet, Dems still win back the House. What’s up with that? More evidence of Dump’s and the Shitpublicans brilliance no doubt.

      Delete
    5. No, asshole Mao. Not real gains, adjusted for inflation. Genius.

      Delete
    6. $2 extra per paycheck here. Wow! All to create a staggering deficit that the Reps wanted to use as a way of cutting Social Security and Medicare, programs of great importance to average Americans. People are beginning to wise up to the frauds in the GOP. Why else do you think the Reps didn’t run on their brilliant tax cut?

      Delete
    7. Real Wage Growth Is Actually Falling

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickwwatson/2018/09/25/real-wage-growth-is-actually-falling/#6c06d3c1728

      Duh, vodka breath.

      Delete
    8. Yes, obviously, dear dembot. If the tourette-suffering-dembot said it, it must be true.

      Delete
    9. Mao, isn’t your work here done? Republicans failed to keep the House, you failed to discourage any TDH liberal to walk away from the Dems.

      Would you like me to write a program for you that automatically comments here, with your brainless “goebbelsian/libzombie/dembots” drivel? I could ensure your comment would always be first. But it would cost you a lot of rubles.

      Delete
    10. The Establishment Elites, who sign Mao's paychecks, never tell him to "Go fuck" himself. Why do the zombie libs? Probably "tribalism'.

      Delete
    11. "Republicans failed to keep the House"

      Tsk. Judging by 700% increase of dembot activity here, Soros is not happy, dear dembot. Alas, the 'blue wave' failed to materialize. Good for you.

      Delete
    12. Everyone, this is literally the best that Mao has got. He can’t help himself. There is no cure for his stupidity.

      Delete
    13. Mao, more good news for the mythical working class Midwesterner sitting is his diner who rumor has it is "economically anxious" (ie, not a racist ignorant goober).

      Ivanka Trump gets initial approval from China for 16 new trademarks—including for 'voting machines'

      Isn't that wonderful!!!!!

      Delete
    14. Yes, apparently it is wonderful, dembot. Anything that makes dembots squirm is wonderful.

      Delete
    15. Anything that makes dembots squirm is wonderful."

      Change the word "dembots" to "citizens", and you have encapsulated the modern Conservative mantra.

      Also, "Governing? What governing?" would work.

      Delete
    16. You sound like you're squirming, dembot.

      Delete
    17. Right, vodka breath, and the number 1 thing you do that pisses off us progressives is quoting your masters, the elite corporate globalists, who would like us to forget about real costs of inflation and would like to tranquilize us with false and misleading statistics. Run along now, Donny Chickenshit needs you elsewhere.

      Delete
    18. Poor tranquilized tourette-suffering dembot. How sad.

      Delete
    19. Mao, at this point all you have left is name calling, similar to the way it was in the 4th grade. you seem like a miserable human being, assuming you are one, as oppose to a Trumpbot zombie.

      Delete
    20. And you seem like a dembot constantly craving my attention.

      And that's fine. Keep begging, and I promise, once in a while you'll have it.

      Delete
    21. Mao, and you seem [like a Trumpbot] to have zero in the way of insight. I'm goofing off from work posting here a lot today, but you are obsessed. You missed click every 3 minutes every day to be first. You got issues.

      Delete
  3. “Why do people approve of Trump? We'd like to see people asked.”

    Good God. The safaris to “Trump country” were endless in the Times and the Post. Somerby would know this if he were any kind of decent media critic.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Resident trolls Mao and DinC apparently think nothing changed on Tuesday.

    Buckle up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Reporters should draw the connection and expose the link between what Trump says and talk radio. He's just repeating what Hannity says. Reporters and analysts don't even know what's going on in talk radio. It's a major disconnect.

    ReplyDelete
  6. When a president makes a random false statement, you might chalk it up as an accident, or misstatement. Trump repeats the same false claims over and over. The press points out the falsehoods, his own staff could or should point them out, but he continues making these false claims. At that point, there is no other option but saying that he lies. He is, after all, a sociopath, according to no less an authority than Bob Somerby. And Lying is what sociopaths do.

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  7. These accusations of Trump lying don't impress me, for several reasons.

    1. Most of his falsehoods are simple exaggerations, which everyone knows are exaggerations.

    2. Although his spoken words are often wild, his actions have been prudent and reasonable. And, to a great extent, his actions have been successful.

    3. Trumps critics are not speaking in good faith. They'd be blasting a Republican President no matter what. If Trump's words were fully accurate, his enemies in the media would find some other supposed flaw to focus on. E.g., Suppose

    -- He had started a new war under questionable circumstances
    -- The economy had tanked
    -- Unemployment had gotten worse
    -- The number of black murder victims had skyrocketed (as they did under President Obama)
    -- North Korea had become more belligerent rather than less belligerent.
    -- He made many errors in speaking

    If Trump had perfect accuracy but did any of the above, that's what the media would focus on. They would use whatever they could to prove that he's an awful President.

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    1. Trump proves that he is awful every single moment of every single day. You’re confusing the media reporting his words and deeds with an attack.

      And oh, boo boo. The media go after the president. It’s kind of what they do. Remember William Jefferson Clinton??

      Delete
    2. You're a real piece of shit, Comrade DinC.

      This morning President Chickenshit claimed election fraud. A reporter asked him for evidence. President Chickenshit replied,

      "I don't know. You tell me."


      And David swallows this bullshit with gusto.

      That's not a fucking "exaggeration", asshole.

      That is a fucking blatant incendiary provocative LIE, asshole. You're willing determination to excuse it all is disgusting. You have forfeited all credibility for this stink monster. Asshole.

      Delete
    3. @12:18 Does Trump really prove himself awful every single moment? Those of us who care about the poor and disadvantaged think it's wonderful that blacks and Hispanics are doing better than ever economically. We think it's great that after two consecutive years of increases, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation decreased 0.2 percent in 2017 when compared with 2016 data.

      Delete
    4. Answer: yes. Next question.

      Delete
    5. from 2009 thru 2016, unemployment levels fell over 5 full percentage points. 2016 to present it fell less than 1%. Naturally, Comrade DinC wants to salute Donny Chickenshit for his amazing skill. Fuck you David.

      Delete
    6. mm - regarding election fraud, see Accusations fly over Broward County ballot shenanigans: Mystery truck deliveries, slow counting and more
      https://www.foxnews.com/politics/accusations-fly-over-broward-county-ballot-shenanigans-mystery-truck-deliveries-abandoned-boxes-and-more

      Delete
    7. take your FOXNOOZ and stick it up your stinking noxious fascist ass.

      Kris Kobach lost, God bless America.

      Delete
    8. Fox News doesn’t even count as media anymore (if it ever did). They are a propaganda outfit pure and simple. Their on-air shitgibbons openly campaign for their “savior.” Lies, all the way down the line from them.

      Delete
    9. 1:14,
      Allow me to roll my eyes, feign horror, ask why you are so dead set on pitting both sides against each other, and then demand that no investigation take place.
      I got that from the Brett Kavanaugh playbook, so you can do nothing but agree with me.
      Thanks for having my back in advance.

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    10. Exaggerations and pulling made-up facts out of your ass aren't lies if Republicans do it.
      DavidinCal and the corporate-owned (Establishment) mainstream media told me so.

      Delete
    11. DinC,
      Was President Fat Ass exaggerating when he said he didn't know Matt Whittaker, or was the racist grifter being honest about hiring a guy he never even heard of to be the nation's top cop?
      Asking for a long forgotten caravan of Islamists coming to take over the United States of America by using abject poverty as their weapon.

      Delete
    12. “I know Matt Whitaker.” –October 10, 2018

      “I don’t know Matt Whitaker.” –November 9, 2018

      "Sounds good to me." Comrade DinC, past, present and future

      Delete
    13. Trump was right. There was election fraud.

      In Georgia.

      By Republicans.

      Against blacks.

      By purging voters who hadn't voted. 1 in 10 voters purged. Without notice. Mostly black.

      A massive election fraud right before our eyes.

      By Republicans.

      Who think it's wonderful blacks and Hispanics are doing better than ever economically but don't think it's wonderfuls when they exercise their right to vote.

      Trump was right.

      There certainly is an election fraud and it's a huge story.


      Delete
    14. D in C, you're the guy whose shorts were tied in a knot, indignantly gasping about Clinton's purported lying. Your fellow Republicans, Romney and [Lyin']Ted pretty much summed up Trump. Sure, the dems seem to be obsessed with Trump, and criticize him wrongly over various things. it can get silly. The economy looks good now? Do you recall the last time we had a GOP administration, and things looked so rosy, he was so popular, and then the economy almost collapsed? Is juicing things up with huge tax cuts and military increases going to crash down on us? I pray it doesn't happen again, but I'm not sure Trump will stop that from happening, and may even cause it. And he takes truth- strangling beyond the pale - it's Orwellian, not just exaggerations. He is undermining the norms of rational discourse.

      Delete
    15. He is undermining the norms of rational discourse.

      Yes, he's following the standard playbook of every two-bit petty despot down through history, including his best bud, Uncle Vlad Putin.

      Greg Sargent made a very good point recently on twitter:

      The answer is that the audacity of the White House's lying is *the whole point* of it.

      The lying is an *assertion of power.*

      Trump and the White House lie about things that have already been debunked. They lie audaciously, about the most trivial, easily disprovable matters.

      This lying as assertion of power, in a way, is directly linked to the underlying act -- the revocation of @acosta’s credentials.

      The White House can not only crack down on a journo for holding Trump accountable; it can also lie about why, and you can't do anything about it.

      This will thrill many of Trump’s supporters,(see Comrade DinC)
      who actually do believe the media is the enemy of the people, or are at least are willing to tell pollsters this, as an expression of solidarity with Trump.

      But Trump continues using this language, anyway. At yesterday's presser, he attacked @CNN in precisely these terms.

      Trump knows what he is doing may be inciting murderous intent, yet keeps it up, anyway.


      Could not have said it any better.

      Delete
    16. David,
      It's a shame Trump isn't black, a minority, and/ or poor. It would be nice to see the "Party of Accountability" in action again.

      Delete
    17. "He is undermining the norms of rational discourse."

      Lol. Look who's talking. And where.

      Here you are: sorosian scumbag dembot, spamming the one, the only, the single existing blog in the universe where self-admitted liberal is agonizing over the utter cognitive deficiency of liberal discourse.

      And they say irony is dead...

      Delete
  8. What's changed, dembot, is that come next year, every problem - unemployment, immigration, medical care, and what-not - everything will be blamed, as usual, on the obstructionist congress.

    Enjoy. Great asset for the reelection in 2020.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, at least you finally admit there are problems under Donald The Shittastic.

      Delete
  9. “BREAKING: Our heroic Resistance has done it again!”

    “Are we tired yet? Tired of all the winning?”

    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2018/06/breaking-our-heroic-resistance-has-done.html

    “McConnell Says Drug Prices Are on the Agenda, Obamacare Is Off”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-07/mcconnell-says-drug-prices-are-on-the-agenda-obamacare-is-off

    ReplyDelete
  10. How did Bob resist the urge to quote "Casablanca" when brought up non-ironically by the NYT letter?
    (e.g.):
    Our analysts half-expected the author to say 'I was shocked, SHOCKED, to see that years of calling Trump a racist, lying, pussy-grabbing rapist hadn't worked!'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "...calling Trump a racist, lying, pussy-grabbing rapist hadn't worked!'"

      What would "work" is quoting and re-quoting our own DavidinCal, in his high praise for all that Trump has done to help blacks and other minorities. Trump won't even run for re-election if everyone does that. He'd be afraid of being shut out at the polls.

      Delete
  11. Hey dembots, I hear Jeff Sessions is your new demigod.

    Funny. Bob, you definitely must address it. Please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So Vlad wants to spread the news that Democrats love Jeff Sessions (the White Supremacist, President Fat Ass Grifter named as Attorney General). Interesting.

      BTW, has Putin gone over Trump's answers to Mueller's written test yet? We're still waiting for Trump to hand them in.

      Delete
    2. Whoa, interesting indeed. Tell me more about your paranoid fantasies, dembot. Do you watch a lot of Maddow?

      Delete
    3. "Tell me more about your paranoid fantasies, dembot"

      So you can beat off to them, like Brett Kavanaugh beating off to the Starr Report? No thanks. Leave me out of your sick perverted fantasies.

      Delete
    4. Thanks dembot, but I already heard this one from you. Anything else?

      Delete
    5. Nah. Republicans are still the bigots we always knew they were, so no, nothing else.

      Delete
    6. I was talking to a friend about how sick a motherfucker Brett Kavanaugh is, but he told me it's practically default with upper-class, prep school white boys, due to their sense of entitlement. I hadn't realized that, but it does make sense.

      Delete
  12. There is absolutely no justification for any voter to be as misinformed as Trump supporters. They cannot be swayed with facts, they prefer to have their cultural resentments stoked. That is their choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tsk. It sounds like generating random word-salads is Gyorgy Soros' choice these days.

      It's understandable: no workforce is necessary, not even Albanian workforce.

      Delete
    2. US birthrate is plummeting. We need immigrants.

      Delete
    3. Here is why we need immigrants. They are younger and pay into social security and medicare which increases the base of support for those programs offsetting the baby boomers who are now reaching retirement age. They reduce the average age, which is healthy for our economic stability -- countries in the EU and in Japan are struggling with their aging populations, especially where there are insufficient family members to take care of aging grandparents. Plus we need more people who will be consumers of the goods and services our companies produce, which stimulates our economic growth.

      Delete
    4. Mao,
      kjfv'imw'vicvh'eimsdvi3cwec ikunsesca,auy z;ˆcyq;wiseufkinxuf /lzeßc

      You KNOW that's true, so don't try denying it.

      Delete
    5. "Here is why we need immigrants."

      Standard dembot strawman tactic: where the debate is about illegal border crossings, pretend it's about lawful immigration.

      Yawn.

      Delete
    6. Mao's hard drive is skipping again.

      Delete
  13. As mm notes above, and here documented by Martin Longman:

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2018/11/9/124855/614

    Trump first knows and then doesn’t know Whitaker. Trump is either 1) a liar or 2) deranged, or possibly both.

    And yet, Somerby wants to quibble about Daniel Dale, who has done yeoman’s work attending all of Trump’s rallies and meticulously documenting all of his bs. It is a marvel to behold Dale’s work.

    But Somerby gonna Somerby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa, how horrible. This certainly is a sufficient reason for impeachment. He's as good as gone now.

      Delete
    2. Why are you squirming so much, trumpbot? Relax. It gets really bad for you come January. Chill while you can.

      Delete
    3. Sorry, dembot, but "first knows and then doesn’t know Whitaker" is just too horrible. So horrible. I'm not just squirming, I'm destroyed.

      Delete
    4. Somerby likes to admonish people for using the word “lie.” The last time I checked, it was still in the dictionary. This is simply documented proof of a lie by Trump. It is unavoidable. Quit arguing with me, when my argument is with Somerby.

      Delete
    5. "Sorry, dembot, but "first knows and then doesn’t know Whitaker" is just too horrible. "

      Just because it's not as horrible to you as blacks achieving equality, doesn't mean it isn't horrible.

      Delete
    6. Although there are some similarities between a "dembot" and a "liberal", there are some differences.
      "Dembots" are naive morons.
      For instance, a liberal might say, "Conservatives woo bigots to vote for Republicans", whereas a naive 'dembot" would say, "I can't believe Conservatives woo bigots to vote for Republicans." See the difference?

      Delete
  14. Somerby puts too much faith in the process of just asking people why they do things, why they believe things. Most often, people don't know the reasons. They will make stuff up if you ask them questions though. Then you have a pile of misinformation to wade through. Kinsey found that out when he asked people about sex. The same thing happens when you ask people any question that has normative values associated with it, such as about income, weight, charity giving, how much TV is watched, and so on. People make up answers and they make up reasons to justify their behavior. That's why you cannot study racism by asking people questions -- "are you a racist? Why no? Why ever would you think so?" Similarly, you cannot just go out and ask people why they support Trump. You will get meaningless garbage in response.

    But Somerby never took a behavioral science course at Harvard, so he keeps calling for reporters to ask these kinds of superficial questions so that respondents can lie to reporters about their behavior and motives.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Here is the difference between a reporter and a researcher:

    1. A reporter asks people questions and types up the answers, perhaps summarizing responses.

    2. A researcher develops methods of finding out the truth about beliefs or behaviors, sometimes by asking questions but often less directly, by observation of behavior or by getting at implicit attitudes using response times or camouflaged judgments. For example, you can ask someone how they feel about black people and get answers, then compare that to a task in which they are asked to choose a seat on an airplane and watch the person deliberately bypass a better aisle seat next to a black person in favor of a less desirable middle seat in the back next to a white person. The researcher then analyzes and interprets the results (using various methods), not simply reporting what was said or done.

    When a reporter chooses a specific person to illustrate a typical Trump voter, that person is picked because of their human interest details or colorful language. When a researcher picks a specific person to illustrate a typical Trump voter, that person is picked because they exemplify the characteristics found to be held in common across most Trump voters interviewed. They may even be a composite, not a real person. Somerby might call that stereotyping.

    So, what Somerby is calling for is not going to shed light on who Trump voters are or why they vote as they do. It will just validate their humanity and give readers the impression that their views and behaviors deserve serious consideration instead of derision. I'm not sure that is a worthwhile thing to do. We don't want to encourage children or suggestible adults to follow down that path, by telling them it is OK to be a Trump voter when it is NOT something any of us want to condone.

    Why does Somerby want to condone voting for Trump and his ilk? That is something the Republican party does and something Trump supporters themselves are busily engaged in. Why should we liberals be helping them along that path? I think we should be taking every opportunity to say that there are no good reasons for supporting Trump and anyone who does so has something seriously wrong with them. And I think we should shun Trump voters until they come to their senses. How else will they know they've made a mistake? They don't seem to be paying attention to anything else, so maybe peer pressure will help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump hit a chord. Factories have moved overseas. In places like the Midwest, factories have closed. It's lousy for a lot of people, not just white males. The discussion of the issues is generally carried out at a low level. Quite a few progressives don't like the trade deals, also. I think Trump is a demagogue, and his emergence from reality show clown has made our reality more absurd than ever, but some of his success is based on his shrewdly and effectively tapping into this issue. The dems, to the extent that they are increasingly obsessed with identity politics, don't relate well to a large segment of the masses.

      Delete
    2. That’s funny, ac/ma. I didn’t notice any “identity politics” from any Dem candidates in this election. I did however notice Repub candidates using identity politics to fear-monger and attack Dems in the slimiest of ways. But whatever.

      Delete
    3. “Identity politics” is a term invented by conservatives to attack liberals. As such, it is inappropriate to apply the term to Democrats/liberals without understanding what conservatives meant by it. They characterize a concern with, say, the voting rights of blacks, or the unequal pay of women as an implied attack on white men, when in reality, liberals seek to support and protect groups that have traditionally been marginalized. There is no way to deal with issues that specifically affect blacks without specifically looking at blacks as a group. The notion that this implies that others not in this group are somehow being maligned or deliberately kept out of the discussion is the result of an over sensitive, immature pathology.

      Delete
    4. 516 straw man argument. Invalid and illogical unless you can prove this:

      "They characterize a concern with, say, the voting rights of blacks, or the unequal pay of women as an implied attack on white men"

      Delete
    5. Jobs are decreasing because of automation, not because they are going overseas. That's only going to get worse.

      Why isn't it "identity politics" when you single out white male working class voters for special treatment? Why doesn't anyone mention that the hit on employment that happened after the recession in 2009 was the result of Republican policies and bankers, not NAFTA? In California, where I live, people talk regularly about the impact of silicon valley (e.g., the computer industry) on home prices. They don't blame Democrats for "The rent is too damn high!" They blame the technologists, those tech billionaires who keep trying to split CA into separate states so they don't have to deal with the workers and farmers. The same guys who have been trying to privatize public education because they perceive education to be the next big market for tech products. The real workers speak Spanish where I live. They expect their candidates to do so too. That's why Dana is history and even the OC is becoming liberal.

      So these stereotypes about Joe the Plumber are not accurate or satisfying explanations for why people vote for Trump. The identity politics of Trump's attack on the caravan (which he terms an invasion) are a much better explanation, because so many Trump voters are scared shitless of brown people.

      Delete
    6. 5:16 where identity politics hurts Dems is when they make real, not implied, attacks on the white men of which you speak with accusations of bigotry and racism. That is the biggest form of identity politics we have in this country today and it absolutely buried Democrats and it will continue to bury Democrats until they stop.

      Delete
    7. "so many Trump voters are scared shitless of brown people."

      That is identity politics.

      The kind of which the poster above said does not relate well to a large segment of the masses.

      Talk about stereotypes!

      Delete
    8. How many times do I have to say it. Stereotypes are the same as concepts or schemas or ideas, generalizations. It is how the brain works, how we think, it is normal.

      What is wrong is using a stereotype in place of details about a specific individual. Each person is unique and it is wrong to treat them as if they were the stereotype and not a person whose characteristics are knowable and supersede the stereotypes about categories to which they might belong.

      @6:11 -- it is hard to tell who you are agreeing with and who you are disputing. But stereotypes are not identity politics and there is nothing wrong with using a stereotype when you are talking about a group, if your generalization is true. For example, men do happen to be taller than women, on average. Dogs bark, cats purr, most frogs are green, but some are not. See how this works?

      And yes, many Trump voters are scared of brown people, especially in caravans. They will tell you so themselves, if you interview them. It is why they want a wall.

      Delete
    9. The stereotyped group's characteristics are knowable.They damn well better be or it ain't worth nothing ya dumb fuck school boy youngn. And you can have bad generalizations, ideas and concepts. Illogical generalizations, ideas and concepts. Flat-out stupid ideas, generalizations and concepts. Strap yourself in: politically self-damaging ideas, generalizations, concepts and stereotypes. Like the flat out, bone stupid, and massively politically self damaging generalization that Trump voters are afraid of brown people. I mean, is that as much nuance as you can muster out of the issue? You can't go any deeper than that?

      Have it your way though man. Trump voters are afraid of brown people. And hate blacks.

      Delete
    10. From Echidne: "A question about Trump's nationalism and if that means white nationalism caused him to call the question a racist one, several times."

      This is the new conservative tactic. Anything about race or gender or whatever will be called racist or sexist by Republicans. Their ploy is to imply that liberals are the racists for being concerned about race, and so on.

      Don't participate in this.

      Delete
    11. "Trump voters are afraid of brown people."

      Just the size of their dicks. That is, if we want to look at it psychologically (and with brutal honestly).

      Delete
    12. Ah, good, another dembot fantasy. Thanks for your honesty, dear.

      Delete
    13. It's a 'sterotype' that dogs bark? Your a fucking idiot.

      Delete
  16. Somerby thinks we should just ask Trump voters why they support Trump. These are the people he wants to take seriously:

    http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2018/11/this-is-your-regular-reminder-that-many.html

    Here Steve M. shows us what Trump voters are like, reminding us that many right-wingers also believe that Michele Obama is a man. Seriously. These are not people you can talk to. They are not people you should talk to.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is what we should be doing, not playing kumbaya, as Somerby suggests:

    "5. How do you respond to shit going crazy? Simple: You keep poking the crazy until their crazy is clear. Trump and the GOP are gonna say that Democrats are "harassing" them by investigating. It won't matter if Democrats are probing the most obvious shit, like voter suppression. The second some official is forced to produce documents, Trump will say how "no man was ever treated worse." It won't matter. Every Democratic bill will be labeled "socialism." Every opposition to a nominee will be called "obstruction." He is going to war. So be in a war posture. Go on the offense (and I talked how to do that Wednesday), ignore the right-wing noise machine, and bring a modicum of sanity back."

    From: http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  18. https://www.rawstory.com/2018/11/nate-silver-smacks-conservative-ny-times-writer-says-dems-must-build-bridges-america/

    Fuck the Other America.

    ReplyDelete
  19. From the Jew I admire the most:

    “ Are the U.S. media doing their job?”

    It depends on what we think their job is. They are businesses, so by accepted standards their job is profit. By other standards, they have a duty to the public to provide “all the news that’s fit to print,” under a concept of “fitness” that is as free as possible from submission to power interests or other distorting factors. About this there is a great deal to say – I’ve devoted many words to the topic elsewhere, as have many others. But in today’s strange climate of Trumpian “alternative facts” and “false reality,” it is useful to recognize that with all their flaws, which are many, the mainstream media remain an indispensable source of information about the world.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/noam-chomsky-calls-trump-and-republican-allies-criminally-insane/

    Leroy

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have no idea how this popped into my head a few days ago. Took me a while to find the link, probably because I’m an old guy.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b6rm5yTx44

    What a voice!

    Leroy


    ReplyDelete
  21. Want to watch Lenny have a good time?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhjOgw-99gU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would have been much better if I were there. Perhaps my modern musical sensibilities labeled this a bit to languid for my taste, despite the sometimes-frenzied performance of the (how many?) musicians.

      I've never been to a live orchestral show. Any recommends for a bucket list?

      Leroy

      Delete
  22. Why do people approve of Trump? Fear "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yastreblansky thinks that Bernie Sanders is mischaracterizing Trump's transactional approach to policy.

    http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2018/11/bernie-sanders-only-knows-what-he-reads.html

    If Bernie can be this wrong about Trump, is he a good choice for President himself? Part of the job is assessing the character of other people and Trump has put it all out there for everyone to see. That's a pretty big blind spot, in my opinion. So blind that I suspect Sanders is being misled by his own self-justifications for making common cause with Trump during the 2016 election, especially the primaries. Projection works for Democratic Socialists, not just Republicans.

    We should all be very clear what kind of person Trump is. And now we also have more info about what kind of person Sanders is too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "We should all be very clear what kind of person Trump is"

      We are, dembot. Donald The Magnificent is a True American Hero.

      "And now we also have more info about what kind of person Sanders is too."

      Sure. That fella is the kind of person who agrees to be employed by the globalist death-cult as a punching bag for The Psycho-Witch. So, not exactly a role model for the yoots of America.

      Delete
    2. I have said it here before, and I will reiterate: DinC and Mao are racist cocksuckers (Trumps dick); and do not have the cujones to say what they believe.
      I would call them lying sacks of shit.
      Bob is getting close to that characterization.

      Delete
    3. Trump is a liar and a thief.
      And Putin's bitch.

      DinC and Mao are lying sacks of shit.
      Geobbelsian sacks of shit.

      Delete
    4. Trump is already the worst president in American history.

      Delete
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