An August when the sharks wouldn't bite!


Bedbugs, bad polls fill the void:
What does the modern journalist do when it's late in August and the sharks aren't attacking swimmers often enough?

As you may have noticed, the modern journalist fills the void with various bedbug tales.

Here at this site, we're discussing the way the New York Times covers public schools. Over at Slate, Ashley Feinberg is offering a different type of press critique:

She's filing reports about the number of bedbugs
(very few) found in the Times' Gotham headquarters.

Also at Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley has filed a detailed report about who called whom a bedbug on-line and how each person reacted. Also, pretty much all around—bedbugs alleged at Doral!

Also this:

Check out the highlighted offerings at Slate from 5:55 AM right on through noon today. Try not to miss this highly typical show-stopper:
STOYA * AUG. 28, 2019 * 5:55 am
My Girlfriend Won't Stop Talking About Other Men—During Sex With Me
To all appearances, these are the things the modern "news org" must do to get us liberal/progressive giants to click. Have you been to The Daily Beast lately?

When all else fails, the last resort—you talk and you talk and you talk about polls, no matter how transparently worthless the poll in question may be:

A few days ago, Monmouth was pimping exciting results of a poll which seemed to show that Candidate Biden had lost a whole lot of ground. Cable stars jumped on the thrilling news, even though the poll was based on 298 respondents.

We have no idea who's going to win the Democratic nomination. (We are willing to say that it seems like a very weak field.)

That said, we also have no idea why a polling organization even bothers reporting a survey with such a small N. Saddest of all is the fact that our desperately bored cable hordes were more than willing to thrash it.


Is it possible that we're describing a major anthropological problem? Compare, contrast and discuss! Then pray that the sharks bite again.

One last humanitarian plea: It isn't clear that any poll is worth discussing, except in the most cursory way, at this stage in the alleged Democratic race.

Having said that, we make our plea:

MSNBC bosses, please! Stop making Kornacki roll up his sleeves when he gets sent to "the big board!"


  1. "We have no idea who's going to win the Democratic nomination."

    Why, whoever the DNC, a self-identified private corporation, chooses for you.

    Thanks to the lawsuit brought, after the 2016 DNC corruption scandal, by your disgruntled fellow zombie-cult members, we are now sure of that...

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  2. In all fairness toward Slate, that is likely to be a relentless and dismaying phenomenon for their male readers.

  3. Actually what Stevens did was nothing short of outrageous and very worthy of Slate's time. Stevens got criticized online by a professor. The professor called him a name. Stevens wrote to him and HIS BOSS in a transparent attempt to get him fired and then went on NATIONAL TV to trash the man who had no ability to reply. Slate did a solid to both the professor and the country by giving him a chance to respond.

  4. Somerby manages to escape the wrath of Bret Stephens by a) being obscure and b) writing posts approvingly quoting the man.

    The bedbug story is about the arrogance of a New York Times journalist, and would be a natural fit for Somerby’s former critique of the press.

    Except the story concerns a (conservative) columnist he has approvingly quoted numerous times.

    1. The nailhead has been struck squarely by the hammer in this comment.

    2. Except, of course, he doesn't quote Stephens "approvingly." He says, "though our basic reasons ... seem to be somewhat different from the reservations Stephens goes on to express."

      And, of course, he hasn't "approvingly quoted" Stephens numerous times. Check out TDH on 8/27/18, where he calls a Stephens' column, "sad but mandated horseplay." The google says that's the previous time TDH mentioned Stephens, over a year ago.

      I'd say the thumb has been struck squarely by the hammer in this comment, eh CMike?

  5. Stephens makes his living writing about intolerance of college students to criticism or differing view points.
    IOW, Stephens is a typical Right-winger. Every one of his accusations is a confession.

    1. Turns out Stephens is the biggest snowflake of them all. Good thing the Timesgives him that "safe space" on its op-ed page, eh?

  6. Stevens wrote to him and HIS BOSS in a transparent attempt to get him fired and then went on NATIONAL TV to trash the man who had no ability to reply.

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