WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2022
Tuscaloosa and Mobile, good-bye: In this morning's report, we discussed an important case which is now before the Supreme Court.
The case concerns an important question about the structure of congressional districts. The question at issue is this:
Should state legislatures "take race into account" when they create such districts? More specifically, should legislatures make it a point to create congressional districts which are majority black?
Given some of the specific ways our ship of state is currently sinking, this strikes us as a very important question. But as we noted this morning, the online Washington Post buried its report on yesterday's Supreme Court hearing about two thirds of the way down its extremely lengthy front page.
Online, you had to scroll and scroll, then scroll some more, just to see that this news report exists. On the endless front page of the online Post, the news report on this important matter appeared well below an impressive array of such stone-cold groaners as these:
I tried McDonald’s Happy Meal for adults, and it didn’t make me happy
Why do cats knead? Why do dogs lick you? The science of pets’ quirks.
Snoop Dogg says his cannabis-infused onion rings may make you say ‘oowee’
Lost cat found in Idaho 9 years after wandering away from California home
You had to scroll and scroll, then scroll some more, just to stumble upon the report. At this juncture, we offer a bit of background to this dumbnified state of affairs:
The dumbnification of American "news" has been an issue for decades. This dates at least to the time when local TV news discovered anchorperson "happy talk" back in the 1970s.
This project of dumbnification has been going on forever. That said, it seems to us that the dumbnification of the online Post represents a brand-new chapter in this long-running, low-IQ tale.
That said, a question arises! Where was the report in question found in print editions of this morning's Post? We refer to the report which carries this headline in the online Post:
Supreme Court debates Alabama’s refusal of second Black voting district
You had to scroll and scroll, then scroll some more, just to encounter that report in the online Post. In print editions, that same report was bannered across the top of page A4.
Accompanied by a large photograph, the report occupies more than half of the fourth page in the first section of the Post's print edition. By tradition, that first section contains the bulk of the day's world and national news. By tradition, those were the important reports the editors showed you first.
It's much as we've told you before:
Increasingly, it seems that the online Post, and the same paper's print edition, are being turned into two sharply different newspapers.
Gallant still runs the print edition. Increasingly, Goofus seems to be in charge when we look at the paper online!
"In this morning's report, we discussed an important case which is now before the Supreme Court."ReplyDelete
In fairness, Somerby mentioned the case but he didn't actually discuss it much.
So you think that Bob should have made that salient story the more prominent and discussed feature of his blog post?Delete
Somerby addresses the issue by framing the question from a right wing perspective, he puts his red thumb on the scale (if you think this blog is about media criticism, you are a lost soul).Delete
Here is the question non right wingers are asking:
Should state legislatures "take OPPRESSION into account" when they create such districts?
So you not only think that there should be certain blogboard priorities as to featuring important subjects, but want the emphasis on the right reference point too.Delete
However, it’s fine if the WP website goes with “Your Cat Will Love This Alfalfa Smoothie” in its top three features.
Cecelia, no one cares what Somerby opinions are as long as he states them honestly. If he says he is going to talk about a particular story, and complains that the online Post has deemphasized it, you expect Somerby to discuss it himself, which he does not do again today.Delete
A lot of people care about their cats and I don't see any harm in it. Ditto smoothies. Somerby is trying to pretend that the mainstream media does not cover hard news stories at all, but that is untrue.
He’s not discussing it and he’s also framing it from a right wing point of view.Delete
But no one cares about his opinion on issues.
No, the four of you all say the same things. Every day.Delete
How would you know?Delete
"the online Washington Post buried its report on yesterday's Supreme Court hearing about two thirds of the way down its extremely lengthy front page."ReplyDelete
In fairness, an online publication cannot be said to have a "front page," the way a print newspaper does. For one thing, there is no limit on the length of such a landing page. For another, costs do not increase with the size of the paper or the amount of ink, and there is no limitation on page size imposed by a printing press. That makes reading an online paper a qualitatively different experience from reading a print paper.
Most people understand that, but Somerby seems stuck in the past, imposing expectations on the online paper that make no sense. For example, the first thing one sees does have greater impact, but beyond that, no one scrolls through the entire paper from top to bottom. People are able to jump to the sections they are interested in, directly, by clicking a link or a tab or a button on the screen. That has changed most people's reading habits, but Somerby apparently thinks he must view everything from the top on down to whatever is his interest -- national and world events. He doesn't appear to know he can skip the lifestyle and sports and other topics, if he wants.
I don't know for sure, but I would bet money that the arrangement of topics on today's online papers is dictated by reader interest, not the traditional format of old print newspapers.
Somerby is back with this same old complaint (twice today). This makes me suspect that his main agenda is complaint, not anything substantive. As long as he convinces his readers that media is crap, he has earned his rubles. As long as he gets to call liberals dumb, he has done his work for the day.
"Increasingly, it seems that the online Post, and the same paper's print edition, are being turned into two sharply different newspapers."
Of course this is true. Print newspapers have space limitations imposed by the need to produce a paper on newsprint. Online editions do not. There is no need to choose what to feature, but anything that anyone might want to read can be presented online. Some of us see that as an advantage. Somerby apparently thinks the additional topics are dumb dumb dumb, and so are those who want to read them. He thinks we are all Goofus, if we prefer to do our Wordle of the day and wonder which celebrity skin cream actually works.
Phooey on Somerby.
"You had to scroll and scroll, then scroll some more, just to encounter that report in the online Post."ReplyDelete
No, you can enter search terms, such as Alabama black voting, and go directly to the article in a matter of seconds.
Is it possible that Somerby doesn't know how to do this?
"You had to scroll and scroll, then scroll some more, just to encounter that report in the online Post. In print editions, that same report was bannered across the top of page A4."ReplyDelete
Does Somerby think readers didn't have to move their eyes up and down columns of ink on the hardcopy newspaper to find the desired article on page A4, well into the print edition? Was there no effort involved in doing that? Of course there was. And you had to spread, hold up and turn inky pages, that often left black smudges on your hands and clothes.
Somerby is yelling at those kids to get off his lawn again. Can someone please bring him inside -- it is time for his nap.
"By tradition, those were the important reports the editors showed you first."ReplyDelete
Note that the Washington Post considered an article on racial apportionment of voting districts to be important enough for its important reports section, shown to us first. Somerby tends to downplay the importance of race. His lovely print newspaper does not. It puts a racial issue right up there at the top of pg 4, using up half the page, because it considers race and the manipulation of district boundaries to exclude one race, to be an important issue.
Oddly, Somerby has now mentioned Alabama redistricting twice, without ever actually talking about the case itself. What would Somerby think if he went to page A4 and there was a headline about the Alabama case, but no article at all? That is what he has done today -- teased but not talked about an important story. A print newspaper would never get away with that -- it would go bankrupt. Come to speak of it, how DOES Somerby support this blog, where he teases but never discusses important issues?
if Somerby is being paid for this content with the intent of changing opinions, the ROI is net zero, judging from these comments.Delete
For many years he ran a blog that pushed the notion of critical thinking. Now that has come back to bite him, as his goal has shifted to manufacturing ignorance, his readers, partially due to his guidance, are too savvy to be his "marks".Delete
Digby discusses the Russian social media campaign and its aims:ReplyDelete
"Russia’s goal was to destroy faith in democracy itself by undermining the social foundations needed to sustain it. That is, “to undermine citizens’ trust in government, exploit societal fractures, create distrust in the information environment, blur the lines between reality and fiction, undermine trust among communities, and erode confidence in the democratic process” as one report put it."
To me, this sounds very similar to what Somerby does here. Yes, he argues against American divisions, but he also denigrates the media and other information sources.
By that logic, one can't criticize the media without being labeled a traitor, which is fascist. Why do you avoid the substance of the denigration itself?Delete
The crux of the article the blogger was writing about is pure Somerby:Delete
"What they need is a nudge, not a shunning. What the IRA, Fox News, and the fringe left preach, explicitly or not, is that “those people” are unreachable when what many are is persuadable. Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, in part, because her campaign abandoned persuasion efforts, convinced that Democratic base turnout was enough to win the White House. See where that got us."
This article is saying what Somerby has been saying for two decades!!Delete
Russia undermines faith in institutions, not institutions that sign statements that Hunter's laptop is fake and an entire media apparatus that publishes them and pushes the lie. Not an entire political party and its propaganda arm pushing a fake story about "collusion" for two years.Delete
If Russia's intention is to undermine politics, government, and the media they didn't need to lift a finger because Democrats did it for them.
Imagine NOT denigrating the corrupt news media.Delete
Hllary lost because of Comey, who broke the rules. She was leading in the polls before that.Delete
The notion of persuasion is wrong, there is no evidence to support it.Delete
How people vote is baked in fairly early in their lives, and at any rate, it is baked in.
Electoral politics is all about motivating people to actually vote, and lessening barriers to voting.
Republicans have an advantage in motivating their side due to the psychological makeup of right wingers; however, in 2020, mail in ballots diminished that advantage just enough for Dems to win. Republicans excel at electoral politics, they spend no time or money trying to persuade anyone, they feed their voters the red meat - mostly by promoting oppression of non white males, and they work hard to block voters on the other side.
Yes. Indoctrination, subversion and the international conspiracy to sap and impurify all of Digby's precious bodily fluids.ReplyDelete
If only Russians were good-guy commies again.Delete
Russians have never been good guys, not even during WWII when Stalin was in charge.Delete
Nor were they commies, their country functioned under state capitalism, run by authoritarians using hierarchy - this is not an obscure fact, the ignorance we see here is likely feigned and in bad faith.Delete
Communism is mostly about extending democracy to the workplace, whereas right wing ideology is about ending democracy, as it interferes with their need for dominance.
The US pokes around in every other country in the world, it is unsurprising that Russia does the same; what is surprising is how complicit elite right wingers are in colluding with Russia to harm their own country for personal gain, and how rank and file right wingers just shrug their shoulders at the remarkable corruption.
Right wingers know and utilize hate like the back of their hand; sadly, these are wounded people suffering from unresolved trauma, thus the undying need for dominance.
There was no dominance in the USSR. Stalin and his successors were about extending democracy in the workplace and everyone was free to come and go as he pleased. No one was executed for thinking the wrong thoughts or criticizing the government, for that would be so dominating.Delete
Are we sure the Russian Soviets ever existed in the first place?Delete
Don’t be a moron.Delete
Anonymouse11:37pm, you first.Delete
Yeah. The only half-decent thing they have ever done was paying Demigod Bubba lousy $500K for that Uranium One deal.
Not nearly enough...
What ever happened to our uranium mine? I thought Donald J Chickenshit got it back for us. Did he forget?Delete
Yes the Soviet Union existed and it most definitely was not communist.Delete
Cesillyia, you know this, so your just exposing your ugly side, as opposed to your moronic side.
It's deranged, juvenile psychosis all the way down at the Post and the patron saint is Taylor Lorenz whose affect is a child's, a very dumb one. What's wrong with these people?ReplyDelete
Scroll and scroll, past this headline?ReplyDelete
All These Philosophers Make My Brain Hurt