As seen in this morning's Washington Post!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2020

Is the Post allowed to say that?:
In this morning's Washington Post, Kathleen Parker slammed Tom Cotton because he argued that "an 'overwhelming show of force' was needed as the [recent] protests unfolded."

In our view, that isn't an especially accurate account of what Cotton proposed. At any rate, there it sat, on page A27 of this morning's Post.

Meanwhile, on page A1 of this morning's Post, a news report examined the way initial looting and disorder in D.C. gave way to peaceful protests. Early on, three reporters described the chaos which obtained at the time when Cotton wrote his underwhelming column:
JAMISON ET AL (6/10/20): More than 200 D.C. businesses were damaged. Buildings, cars and American flags were lit ablaze. Military helicopters swooped low to intimidate protesters, scattering broken glass.

“There was a moment that it looked like a repeat of the ’67 and ’68 riots,” said Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of American history at Princeton University. But ultimately, he said, the protests came to resemble the peaceful marches organized by civil rights activists in the early 1960s.

“I don’t know why it happened,” Zelizer said.
As they continued, the three reporters tried to explain why it happened.

For ourselves, we don't know what made the tide turn. But is the Washington Post really allowed to say this?
JAMISON ET AL (continuing directly): D.C. officials, protesters and law enforcement experts cited different reasons for the shift. Some credited the evolving actions of law enforcement, most notably the enormous show of force by military and federal forces on the city’s streets on June 1 and June 2.

Others said that mobilization had little effect and may have been counterproductive, and pointed instead to the changing internal dynamics of the protests themselves.
Say what? Some credited "the enormous show of force by military and federal forces?" Is the Post allowed to say that? Even as a healing bit of "both sides could be right"-ism?

For ourselves, we don't know why the looting and arson stopped. We don't know if that "enormous show of force" actually hurt or helped, or if it was really enormous.

That said, we were struck by the juxtaposition of Parker's (somewhat inaccurate) complaint about Cotton's proposal with the paper's willingness to credit the idea that some such "enormous show of force" actually may have helped.

Did the "enormous show of force" help in some way? We have no idea. Meanwhile, please don't get us wrong:

The others truly are evil and wrong! All human history shows that!

34 comments:

  1. "and pointed instead to the changing internal dynamics of the protests themselves"

    But that's a bullshit non-explanation explanation, dear Bob. Why did the "internal dynamics" change? Could it be because of "the enormous show of force by military and federal forces"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you stupid enough to think that looters and rioters are interchangeable with peaceful protesters? In other words, a looter one minute turns into a peaceful protester the next? Just how dumb do you have to be to imagine that?

      PS: Don't need to answer the last question; I know the answer.

      Delete
    2. What are you on about, dear dembot?

      I merely copied Bob's quote from WaPo:
      "JAMISON ET AL (continuing directly): D.C. officials, protesters and law enforcement experts cited different reasons for the shift. Some credited the evolving actions of law enforcement, most notably the enormous show of force by military and federal forces on the city’s streets on June 1 and June 2.

      Others said that mobilization had little effect and may have been counterproductive, and pointed instead to the changing internal dynamics of the protests themselves.
      "

      If you don't like it, write them a letter.

      Delete
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  2. “That said, we were struck by the juxtaposition of Parker's (somewhat inaccurate) complaint about Cotton's proposal with the paper's willingness to credit the idea that some such "enormous show of force" actually may have helped.”

    Cotton’s op-ed has nothing to do with any of this. He was proposing an unconstitutional use of the US military to be deployed to the states against the wishes of the governors and in the absence of an insurrection against the United States.

    It should be noted that the full quote is “the enormous show of force by military and federal forces” in DC, where the president is allowed to call out military and federal forces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "He was proposing an unconstitutional use of the US military..."

      Bullshit. Perfectly constitutional. "Wishes of the governors" are not required, and mh's opinion of the absence of other conditions ('insurrection' is not the only situation stipulated in the law in question) is utterly irrelevant.

      Delete
    2. Read Cotton's piece.
      He wants the Federal government to use force against the rioters (i.e. police)
      He doesn't explicitly say it's because the NRA's "good guys with guns" are AWOL, but what else would it be?

      Delete
    3. Cotton calls the rioters around the US “insurrectionists” and “anarchists” to make you think that they are rebelling against the United State, thus justifying his call for the military.

      Delete
    4. Well, certainly senator's opinion, if controversial, is still more relevant than the one of an anonymous commenter.

      Delete
    5. Mao bows to authority yet again.
      Can't wait to see the police make him sit up and beg.

      Delete
  3. "a news report examined the way initial looting and disorder in D.C. gave way to peaceful protests."

    It seems to me that the peaceful protests and the initial looting were concurrent and that one didn't give way to the other, but rather, the peaceful protests have been continuous while the looting stopped.

    In cities such as Los Angeles, the looting was ignored by police, who instead focused on containing the peaceful protesters. It is unclear to me whether the massive force in DC was aimed at looters at all, but instead was aimed at keeping protesters from threatening the president or the other monuments and public sites all over Washington DC.

    I consider that "show of force" to have been a publicity stunt aimed at demonstrating who is boss, not any kind of crowd control or policing effort. Further, the way in which attacks have been directed at the peaceful protesters and not so much the looters, suggests that the armed troops didn't really want to engage in actual resistance but simply wanted to make a show of force without actually battling anyone. They directed their efforts primarily at the peaceful protesters because they knew they were unarmed and unable to put up resistance, so it would be easier to look strong for the cameras.

    The show of strength clearly hasn't diminished the protests. Unless you own a business, it doesn't matter if they reduced the looting. The looting has never been part of the official protest anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It would make more sense to argue that the curfews helped reduce the looting. Existence of a curfew permits police to pick up and redirect people headed toward looting areas, picking them off in small numbers and preventing bigger looting efforts. The most effective actions by police, in my opinion, have been intercepting those with bombs or automatic weapons intent on shooting protesters (to start boogaloo) or engaging in mass killings, and dispersing crowds of armed 2nd Amendment types who might provoke gun violence. This has happened all over the country and the prevention effort has contributed the most to keeping protests peaceful and preventing conflict that might injure many more people. The beating of protesters by police appears to be police venting their frustrations and looks like a form of police riot. Given that this has continued, Somerby really can't say that the rioting has ended, even if the police don't loot.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "The others truly are evil and wrong! All human history shows that!"

    Somerby is being sarcastic, but does he really mean to support the way in which police shoved a 75-year old man for doing nothing? Does he mean to support what Trump did when he used tear gas to clear a street so he could pose with an upside-down Bible and trespass on a church? Does Somerby think looting justifies the way police manhandle the peaceful protesters? Can he listen to the hatred directed toward black people and not be sickened by it?

    If his heart is in the right place, why does he use this blog to defend those whose hearts are not?

    If you have been on the receiving end of mistreatment, you will feel more strongly about it than someone who has not. Somerby's whiteness has protected him from things that others experience, but he feels that he gets to dictate how much emotion is felt, what language is used, how protest occurs, how much is just right and how much is too much, not the people who are targets of injustice and those who report on their protests. That makes Somerby someone who feels privileged to define the right amount of protest when it is not his job to do that. It is his job to examine his own behavior and make sure he is not part of the problem. I don't see him doing that -- I see him aiding those who do wrong and make life difficult for others. That makes Somerby a first-class asshole.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still confused by this blog, eh professor? Let me explain it to you again:

      Does TDH really mean to support the way in which police shoved a 75-year old man for doing nothing?

      No, the blog entry is entirely about instances of the media coverage of events and nothing to do with the assault on Martin Gugino. In particular the entry discusses Kathleen Parker’s WaPo column about the Cotton op-ed, and it talks about three WaPo reporters’ coverage of the DC protests.

      Does he mean to support what Trump did when he used tear gas to clear a street so he could pose with an upside-down Bible and trespass on a church?

      No, the blog entry is entirely about instances of the media coverage of events and nothing to do with Trump’s pathetic photo-op.

      Does Somerby think looting justifies the way police manhandle the peaceful protesters?

      No, the blog entry is entirely about instances of the media coverage of events and nothing to do with recent widespread police misconduct.

      Can he listen to the hatred directed toward black people and not be sickened by it?

      No, the blog entry is entirely about instances of the media coverage of events and nothing to do with the blogger’s feelings.

      If his heart is in the right place, why does he use this blog to defend those whose hearts are not?

      No, the blog entry is entirely about instances of the media coverage of events and nothing to do with metaphorical cardiology.

      Somerby's whiteness has protected him from things that others experience….

      Perhaps, but you know almost nothing about TDH’s experiences.

      TDH feels that he gets to dictate how much emotion is felt, what language is used, how protest occurs, how much is just right and how much is too much, not the people who are targets of injustice and those who report on their protests.

      Nowhere does the blogger “dictate” anything. (How would that even work?)

      That makes Somerby someone who feels privileged to define the right amount of protest when it is not his job to do that.

      We all have the privilege of expressing opinions on anything, but the blog entry is entirely about instances of the media coverage of events and nothing to do with how much protest is appropriate.

      It is his job to examine his own behavior and make sure he is not part of the problem.

      It is not your job to tell other people what their jobs are.

      I don't see him doing that -- I see him aiding those who do wrong and make life difficult for others.

      Well, you might try actually reading what he writes. Perhaps that will improve your vision.

      That makes Somerby a first-class asshole.

      What does your comment make you?

      Delete
    2. "The others truly are evil and wrong! All human history shows that!"

      Yes, this would appear to be sarcasm. The “others” are a diverse group of individual human beings, each with his or her own beliefs, fears, desires, and aspirations.

      Meanwhile, liberals are dumb as a box of rocks, lazy, they exude a moral squalor and they engage in virtue signaling and performative virtue, because they don’t care about poor kids or black kids. All this per Somerby.

      So maybe, The Others are justified in their sweeping generalizations?

      Delete
    3. Deadrat, Somerby expresses no opinions about anything, so you do not know what his beliefs are. You are putting thoughts into his head. Somerby hides behind media criticism and hasn't the guts to say what he really means. You have no basis for defending him.

      Delete
    4. “No, the blog entry is entirely about instances of the media coverage of events and nothing to do with the blogger’s feelings.”

      That is one hell of an assumption.

      Delete
    5. mh,

      Yes, you’re right. My assertion is too broad. I stand corrected.

      I don’t have much in the way of access to TDH’s feelings, so I can’t really know whether his feelings affected what he wrote about and how he wrote it. So let me explain what I meant but expressed poorly:

      The blog entry is entirely about instances of media coverage and does not reveal the blogger’s feelings about the events that prompted the coverage.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous @5:24P,

      TDH expresses few opinions about current events. He has plenty opinions about the nature of our public discourse, particularly “mainstream” and “liberal” outlets. Or at least stated opinions, which I take as reasonable indications of how he feels on these topics.

      What thoughts do you think I’m putting into his head? See my reply to mh @6:10P. Here’s a list of thoughts you have put into his head:

      Supporting the police for assault.
      Supporting Trump for teargassing peaceful protesters.
      Looting justifying police misconduct.
      Not being sickened by hatred toward black people.
      His whiteness protecting him for feelings for others.
      The authority to dictate how others feel, speak, and protest.
      Aiding those who do wrong.

      What have I written that comes close to anything on that list?

      Somerby has chosen to speak about the media as TDH and not discuss the current events that the media covers. Sometimes I agree with him, and sometimes I don’t, but I see no sense in criticizing his choice of theme. Since history says he’s never going to discuss what you want him to, what’s the point of reading his blog and then commenting on what he isn’t doing?

      Delete
    7. " but I see no sense in criticizing his choice of theme."

      Is that because calling out Bob's hypocrisy is too easy?

      Delete
    8. You think Somerby writes one thing but does the opposite? Wouldn't he have to be one of the mainstream press to accomplish that trick?

      But if he's a hypocrite, point that out for what it's worth. It still doesn't make sense to criticize him for writing on the "wrong" topic. Do you go to recipe sites and write angry comments about there being no automotive reviews?

      Delete
  6. It could be that there's nothing more to loot and rioting takes too much energy that cannot be sustained. Peaceful protests, on the other hand, only require time, dedication, and belief in the cause. They will continue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, what do they protest? What do they want? I mean, in practical, not bullshit-metaphysical terms.

      Delete
    2. They want you and your ilk to fuck off mao.

      Delete
  7. “We have no idea.”

    This encapsulates so much of Somerby’s writing of late.

    He has no idea if an enormous show of force “helped.”

    Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t.

    Helped what exactly? Somerby says “a news report examined the way initial looting and disorder in D.C. gave way to peaceful protests.” But the protesters were almost all peaceful, from the beginning.

    Somerby may not know whether the enormous show of force helped. But he doesn’t hesitate to accuse liberals (apparently) of tribalism. He implies that liberals all believe that the enormous show of force was ... what? Not helpful? Bad?

    The fact is that much of the criticism by liberals of the show of force is that parts of it, particularly around Lafayette Park, were used to go against peaceful protesters to enable a malign photo op for Trump. Also, that unmarked and unidentified officers had been deployed. And that unnecessary violence was used by the forces against peaceful protesters in some cases.

    The show of force consisted of more than shady federal officers. There were also DC police out in large numbers, ordered there by the Democratic mayor of DC.

    The news story quotes a number of activists and describes protesters at the scene urging other protesters and bad actors to renounce violence.

    Somerby seems to be striving here to misrepresent liberal views.

    ReplyDelete

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