The latest pathetic example: The New York Times doesn’t care for Texas.
Last year, its former editorial page editor toured the country making absurd, deeply clueless remarks about the Lone Star state’s public schools. It was easily one of the dumbest such outings in post-journalistic history.
Last Sunday, the nation’s dumbest newspaper managed to strike again.
It found a very silly boy to write a silly profile of Dallas, the famous “city of hate” which simply will not reform. It ran his piddle in the Sunday Review. This is the way the deeply pitiful James McAuley started:
MCAULEY (11/17/13): For 50 years, Dallas has done its best to avoid coming to terms with the one event that made it famous: the assassination of John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. That’s because, for the self-styled “Big D,” grappling with the assassination means reckoning with its own legacy as the “city of hate,” the city that willed the death of the president.Somehow, McAuley already had the word count from tomorrow’s ceremony. In the nut country known as the New York Times, none of this writing seemed odd.
It will miss yet another opportunity this year. On Nov. 22 the city, anticipating an international spotlight, will host an official commemoration ceremony. Dallas being Dallas, it will be quite the show: a jet flyover, a performance from the Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club and remarks from the historian David McCullough on Kennedy’s legacy.
But once again, spectacle is likely to trump substance: not one word will be said at this event about what exactly the city was in 1963, when the president arrived in what he called, just moments before his death, “nut country.”
Two days after McAuley’s profile appeared, the Times published a pair of letters disputing its central contentions. This is how some of McAuley’s contentions struck one Dallas resident:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (11/19/13): As Dallas prepares for the 50th anniversary of that horrific day, Mr. McAuley writes that “pretending to forget has helped Dallas achieve some remarkable accomplishments” in the years since the assassination. “Pretending to forget”? It’s been front-page news for months.It’s true. Near the end of his childish profile, McAuley wrote this about that Lehrer-fueled symposium:
The Sixth Floor Museum and John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza (designed by Philip Johnson) have been considered landmarks here for decades, and popular tourist attractions. Local theaters and talk shows are putting on all kinds of productions on the theme. A symposium on Dallas’s reputation as “the city of hate” was held this month.
Of all this, Mr. McAuley acknowledges only the symposium, but in passing, sniffing that it was held “quietly.” Please. It was well advertised, drew 500 people, including the journalists Jim Lehrer and Hugh Aynesworth, and was prominently covered by the media.
“This year Dallas has a chance to grapple with the painful legacy of 1963 in public and out loud. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen, although the city did quietly host a symposium on whether it really deserved to be labeled ‘the city of hate’ earlier this month.” Our emphasis.
Parsing McAuley, Dallas has been refusing to discuss its reputation as the one-time “city of hate” by holding a symposium on whether it deserved to be called “the city of hate.” The problem is, they did it quietly!
This is how children tell stories.
No one but the New York Times would ever publish such piddle. Frankly puzzled, we decided to find out who this “McAuley” was.
Sad! In this instance, the Times commissioned the judging of fifty years in the history of a large city to the self-absorbed musings of a 22-year-old child who seems to be trying to work out his feelings about his Grandma and Pop-pop.
That said, the lad in question graduated from Harvard last year, which is all it takes at the Times. You can read his profile of Dallas to marvel at his vast self-absorption. Beyond his oddball family portraits, here’s an example of the reasoning abilities of today’s Harvard man:
MCAULEY: For the last 50 years, a collective culpability has quietly propelled the city to outshine its troubled past without ever actually engaging with it. To be fair, pretending to forget has helped Dallas achieve some remarkable accomplishments in those years, like the completion of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the development of the astonishingly successful Cowboys franchise and the creation of what remains one of the country’s most electric local economies.Ignore the problem with sentence structure in that highlighted passage. Instead, consider the logic:
But those are transient triumphs in the face of what has always been left unsaid, what the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald once called the “dark night of the soul,” on which the bright Texas sun has yet to rise. The far right of 1963 and the radicalism of my grandparents’ generation may have faded in recent years, they remain very much alive in Dallas. Look no further than the troop of gun-rights activists who appeared just days ago, armed and silent, outside a meeting of local mothers concerned about gun violence. If this is what counts as responsible civic dialogue, then Dallas has a long way still to go.
A handful of people staged a dumb public vigil in Dallas last week. To this pitiful child, this means that “Dallas” did it.
McAuley’s profile is deeply childish. When we googled the lad, we discovered his last known assault on the MSM.
We refer to his gruesome tribute to himself, the one which appeared in the Washington Post on the occasion of Nora Ephron’s death. Pretending to wrote a remembrance of Ephron—he’d been pestering her since he was 12—McAuley composed a humblebrag tribute to the greatness of himself.
The humblebrag headline announced this fact: “Nora Ephron changed my life. Really.”
Be sure to have a gag bag handy! Thus prepared, you can click here.
Yesterday, the Times commissioned an actual grown-up to do an actual news report about the ways Dallas has changed in the past fifty years. That report stands in intriguing contrast to McAuley’s profile.
In the news report, you can consider the thoughts of Ron Kirk, Dallas’ first black mayor (1995-2002), later a Senate candidate. In the profile by our young lad, you can read this sad account posted below of the way the current mayor recently had his time wasted.
We’ll read between the lines for you:
MCAULEY: [W]hen the national cameras start rolling on Nov. 22, Dealey Plaza, the abandoned, almost spectral site of the assassination and now of the commemoration, will have been retouched in a fresh coat of literal and figurative white paint. Cosmetics seem to be all we can expect.You have to feel sorry for Rawlings! He agreed to have lunch with the New York Times scribe. He then discovered his time was being wasted by a silly colt.
“This is not a group psychology lesson,” Mike Rawlings, the mayor, told me over lunch recently. “We can do what we can do. I guess I could bring up all the relatives of the people that said bad things. But why would you do that?”
To which, of course, there is nothing to say.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to criticize about Texas political culture. That said, we’ll suggest that you read McAuley’s piece as a profile of the New York Times itself.
There’s nothing so dumb that the Times won’t run it if it comes from a recent Harvard grad, or if it dumps big piddle on Texas. Our conclusions, and they are two:
The Times remains our dumbest newspaper. Also:
A certain self-involved young climber will be tormenting the nation’s interests over the next fifty years.
Right, this NYTImes article on Dallas was typically awful which seems to be the point in writing on Texas.ReplyDelete
The other day, Bob quoted some liberal who said that liberals' wrong belief that conservatives had killed JFK was evidence that there's something wrong with conservatives. This article is part of the same evidence-free nonsense. The city of Dallas didn't murder JFK. Communist Lee Harvey Oswald was hardly typical of this conservative city. Yet, McCauley holds the city of Dallas responsible, with guilt so strong that it hasn't been eradicated 50 years later.ReplyDelete
Thomas Sowell has opined that liberals are motivated by a desire to feel morally superior. This is a great example. JFK was killed by a leftist, yet McCauley blames a conservative city. Given Oswald's politics, it would be more appropriate for conservatives to blame liberals for the assassination. Of course, that's unthinkable, because liberals are always morally superior.
David, you failed to close the loop. What is the evidence that this kid McCauley is a liberal?Delete
We don't know what Oswald's politics were, besides confused. He defected but then came back to the US, to Dallas. He supposedly was connected to anti-Castro Cuban operatives and kept trying to contact the FBI and CIA. He was tied in with rabid anti-Kennedy nutcases in Dallas. Go read some of the stuff referenced on Joseph Cannon's webpage Cannonfire, for a review of Oswald's activities and some of the controversies about who he was and why he did what he did. I don't think anyone thinks he acted as a Communist for leftist reasons.
Anon -- I don't know that McCauley is a liberal. That's my judgment from what he wrote.Delete
There is .quite a bit of evidence of Oswald's communist support. In addition to defecting to the USSR, Oswald took many actions in support of Castro's Cuba. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Harvey_Oswald
On May 26, Oswald wrote to the New York City headquarters of the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee, proposing to rent "...a small office at my own expense for the purpose of forming a FPCC branch here in New Orleans." Three days later, the FPCC responded to Oswald's letter advising against opening a New Orleans office "at least not ... at the very beginning." In a follow-up letter, Oswald replied, "Against your advice, I have decided to take an office from the very beginning."
As the sole member of the New Orleans chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Oswald ordered the following items from a local printer: 500 application forms, 300 membership cards, and 1,000 leaflets with the heading, "Hands Off Cuba." According to Lee Oswald's wife Marina, Lee told her to sign the name "A.J. Hidell" as chapter president on his membership card.
Oswald did visit anti-Castro Bringuier, but Bringuier would later tell the Warren Commission that he believed Oswald's visits were an attempt by Oswald to infiltrate his group. A week later, on August 16, Oswald again passed out Fair Play for Cuba leaflets
Anon -- I don't know what was in Oswalt's heart or brain, but his actions were clearly pro-communist.
Here is stuff you left out:Delete
"One of Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba leaflets had the address "544 Camp Street" hand-stamped on it, apparently by Oswald himself. The address was in the "Newman Building" which, from October 1961 to February 1962, housed the militant anti-Castro group, the Cuban Revolutionary Council. Around the corner but located in the same building, with a different entrance, was the address 531 Lafayette Street—the address of "Guy Banister Associates", a private detective agency run by former FBI agent Guy Banister. Banister's office was involved in anti-Castro and private investigative activities in the New Orleans area (a CIA file indicated that in September 1960, the CIA had considered "...using Guy Banister Associates for the collection of foreign intelligence, but ultimately decided against it")."
You also left out that Oswald was denied permission to travel to Cuba because they considered that his activities worked against Cuba instead of for it. And you left out the part about him shooting General Walker for no other reason than that he disliked him, and his threatening the FBI/CIA if they bothered his wife further. He is a violent nutcase whose politics are inconsistent and self-serving, part of a delusional system. To blame the communists for his actions when he was clearly mentally ill is a misreading of history, in my opinion. The guy couldn't hold a job, couldn't stay in a city, kept trying to attach himself to fringe organizations that wouldn't have him, and engaged in threatening those who upset him. He should have been investigated by the Secret Service because he was clearly dangerous and deranged. He was NOT a communist spy or activist. He was a nutcase. You cannot tar the left with such a nutcase any more than it would be fair to tar the right with Timothy McVeigh.
It's a tough job trying to get DAinCA to actually consider evidence. I'm not sure he knows what the word means.
DAinCA, What are you doing playing around in this blog entry? You've got homework to do. True, it's only four questions, but don't you think you ought to get started?
Do I need to post the questions again?
To blame the communists for his actions when he was clearly mentally ill is a misreading of history, in my opinion.Delete
I agree. My point was that it's even less justifiable to blame the conservative city of Dallas.
dave - just wondering - why do you say 'conservative' city of dallas? they have been voting blue lately. voted for obama 57% to romney's 41.Delete
LG (Low Grade?),ReplyDelete
Why the hostility? Is there something constructive or instructive in your comment?
How funny are you?
You replied; so something caught your attention.
People get killed. Presidents get assassinated. Dallas is a big city.
Not a big deal.
Liberals are the culprits. Or the If not liberals, then the communists.
Right wing nuts are not even interested in politics.
Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think.
Bob, have you ever been to Dallas, Texas?ReplyDelete
Bone-gnawer doesn't know that in the tony neighborhood of Highland Park they drank champagne when the news broke (so I have heard)..ReplyDelete
It is clear that his sympathies are neo-confederate (being that he is the angriest white male out there).
Come out already bone-gnawer.
Can we have ZIMMERMAN please?
"Needless to say, there’s a lot to criticize about Texas political culture."ReplyDelete
Compare this namby-pamby criticism of neo-confederate Texas (The South to this day exhibits ill-will towards Yankees - see how they try to hold up federal aid for Sandy and Texas trying to lure businesses away from the North with its "healthy bidness climate") and wingnuts in general with the visceral venom bone-gnawer has for "libruls".
Bone-gnawer you are a loser - you have a grand total of three and a half visitors to this pathetic web-site, shouldn't you be looking to a new line of business?
WE WANT ZIMMERMAN.
As late as 2007, the blogger wroteReplyDelete
"Many voters are breath-takingly stupid, and their tribalism will take them to the ends of the earth. These are the people the GOP has learned to address and marshal through Coulter (and through others like her). Speaking in her famous direct way, she tells these people that Dem males are just big girlie-men (“f*ggots”)."
what event triggered his transformation into a gnawer of librulz?
The core of the GOP are blockheads and dummies - and this was said by none other than George HW Bush. Why does the blogger, transmogrified into a bone-gnawing gnawer of liberals want to contribute his two cents to weaken what little remains of civilization?
in this particular column, "the bone gnawer", aka lord somerby, is imo really more concerned with the death of a president than the reputation of that president's final destination. that president happened to be of irish-catholic heritage and somerby has written columns previously denigrating him and those he suspects of having great regard for him ( "dear jack" says his lordship to dowd). to somerby he was just another disgusting mick, and this is a serious accusation i know, but somerby was likely one of the many who welcomed his demise.Delete
by the by, i wonder can his lordship prove his whereabouts on 11-22-63.Delete
Go away trolls.Delete
This blogger also points out the unfairness of the New York Times blaming conservatives for an assassination committed by a Communist. He adds that the Washington Post did the same thing.ReplyDelete
So, what Bob calls the "dumbest newspaper" has a mate. Amazingly, these are considered two of the very best papers in the country.
So what is worse, the NYT putting a Harvard educated kid with Dallas roots on it's op-ed page, or Baltimore schools putting a Harvard educated kid with white Irish roots and minimal train ing in charge of a classroom of black kids ?ReplyDelete
I realize you are just trolling, but there is a big difference. First, the NYT speaks to the nation and the op-ed was highly visible. Since when do kids start at the top like that in any field? Second, what is your evidence that Somerby had minimal training when he started teaching? The quality of this kid's op-ed is obvious for all to see. Seems to me you are assuming that Somerby was an equally incompetent teacher -- what is your evidence for that? I get that you are just saying something negative to pick on Somerby, but this doesn't seem like a valid criticism.Delete
If I were just trolling there would be no need for your substantive answer to my inquiry.Delete
You ask "since when do kids start at the top like that in any field? I might respond with a question myself. Since when does getting a guest column on an op-ed page constitute "starting"
or "at the top" of anything? I also note you have adopted Somerby's perjorative ageist description of tghe writer as a "kid." Can I also assume it would be fair to label you a "past your working shelf life" or simply "old guy?"
Mr. Somerby chyose to lard his criticism of this piece,
the quality of which I did not address, with criticism of where the man went to college and how old he was.
I chose to point out the irony of that criticism by noting the critique was offered by someone who was once that age and educated at exactly the same insitutiton. I suggested nothing of the quality of work he performed once he was selected for an actual job.
You seem to think being published once in the Sunday Times has a greater impact than being in charge of educating a group of children for nine months. That says more about your views of the teaching profession than my merely raising a question says about my views of Mr. Somerby's performace when he was just a "recent Harvard grad."
Your statement about any assumptions I might have about Mr. Somerby's competence are totally false.
I was not there. I implied nothing. It happened so, so very long ago I doubt even the memory of those who were subjected to the "kid's" first mefforts can be trusted.
first year in from of a classroom"
Since when does a 22-year old, fresh out of college getting a guest column on the Times op-ed page constitute "starting" or "at the top" of anything? Since September 18, 1851.
When you put kids in charge of things that require some practice and experience, sometimes those things don't go so well. As in this case. You seem proud to declare that you didn't "address" the quality of the op-ed, but that's TDH's point -- it's childishly bad. (Please feel free to label me "the oldest whore on the block.")
You seem to think there's some connection between the quality of writing in The New York Times and the importance of educating children. There isn't. TDH may have been the world's worst teacher in his first year, and McAuley's piece would still be an embarrassment.
Perhaps if TDH's first job was as a principal and his inexperience led him to screw things up, then you'd have a small, ironic point. Barring that, perhaps you'll settle for an award for most disingenuous comment to date. Where do I send the plaque?
Since when does getting a single op-ed piece printed in any paper constitute being put "in charge"?Delete
That assertion and everything else you chose to insert in response to an exchange between two other people indicates nothing about your age or occupation, just your intelligence.
McAuley found significance in the following:ReplyDelete
After all, there’s a reason Carol Burnett pulls a gun on Julie Andrews at the end of the famous “Big D” routine the two performed before the assassination in the early 1960s. “What are ya,” she screams, pulling the trigger, “some kinda nut?!”
I don't believe Carol Burnett or Julie Andrews lived in Dallas, and I'm quite sure they weren't involved in Kennedy's assassination, so I'm not sure how this is relevant.
McAuley is a Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford. I hope this sort of stuff isn't typical of how today's historians figure out past events.
What a weird take.... Dallas then was analogous to some Tea Party central spot today. Overall, very anti-Kennedy, which is why decisions were made not to use the quasi-protective bubble on the convertible: show off Kennedy's support even in this notoriously racist city. The reporter was starting from that well established truth.ReplyDelete
Journalists aren't historians. That shouldn't be news. Bob seems to wants journalists to be, and criticizes them even when they have relied on sound historical consensus. Silly stuff.
Confirming a preconceived story narrative with selective quotes isn't journalism.Delete
I get a vibe from McAuley's writings that maybe he is gay. Not that there's........he did mention about Ephron setting him up.......but I think mostly he is in love with himself.ReplyDelete
To be fair, even if Dallas was and is nut country, it's not fair to blame the whole city if LHO shot JFK there (as I think he did). He was not a typical right-wing, anti-evolutionist, neo-Confederate seccessionist Dallas nut. He grew up in many places and at least pretended to be a pro-Castro, Marxist intellectual man of action. I suspect the narcissism was genuine.ReplyDelete
Nor was Jack Ruby definitively Dallas. He was a nut out of Al Capone's Chicago.
Only one president has been shot in Dallas. Two have been shot in Washington, not counting Jackson since the pistols misfired. Garfield was shot in Baltimore. McKinley was shot in Buffalo. Some guy tred to shoot FDR in Miami, I think.
To date, no persidents have been stabbed, poisoned, drowned, or blown up.
I'm not blaming these other cities, either. Many if not most of these nuts were from out of town. I say nuts, but they're sane enough to travel and get close to presidents. Oswald had bizarre luck; Kennedy came to him.
Could somebody please tell the author of the blog that a column dumping on Dallas is not the same as dumping on Texas. And could the author of the blog please note that the column was written by a Dallas native.ReplyDelete
ill tell him.Delete
your lordship, a column dumping on dallas is not the same as dumping on texas and the column was written by a dallas native.
The reasons that I have for wishing to go to Harvard are several. I feel that Harvard can give me a better background and a better liberal education than any other university. I have always wanted to go there, as I have felt that it is not just another college, but is a university with something definite to offer. Then too, I would like to go to the same college as my father. To be a "Harvard man" is an enviable distinction, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain.
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