How to dumb liberals down: Unlike many upper-end “journalists,” the New York Times’ Juliet Macur isn’t straight out of college.
Macur graduated from Columbia in 1992. In 1997, she got a master’s in journalism from the same august institution.
Macur isn’t straight out of college, but her column today is horrible. That said, it’s a perfect marker of the traits of the modern “press corps.”
Macur is a sports columnist for the Times. Today, she wrote her paper’s latest horrible column about the Ray Rice matter.
Yesterday, the owner of the Baltimore Ravens responded to a series of charges in a lengthy ESPN report. As Macur started her column, she explained what a person should do when a major entity like ESPN makes a series of charges:
MACUR (9/23/14): Here’s a message to every N.F.L. and team official who has been involved, even tangentially, in the Ray Rice scandal: Please stop talking.Please don’t respond to the charges against you! Even if, as the Ravens claim, the charges in question are false.
Judged by the standards of junior high civics, that’s a strange piece of advice. For what it’s worth, Macur’s column didn’t explain what the Ravens actually said about ESPN’s charges.
Like so many columns which have preceded it, Macur’s column is largely driven by sneering and snark, and by histrionic outrage. Even in Ken Belson’s news report in the Times, you’re given amazingly little information about what the Ravens said.
Macur’s column is awful. Reading it this morning, we wondered again, as we often do, if the life forms at our major newspapers are actually flesh of the earth.
Last night, we watched Chris Hayes discuss this same event—this same attempt at rebuttal by Bisciotti. On The One True Liberal Channel, Hayes staged what may have been the dumbest conversation ever held.
Hayes discussed Bisciotti’s presentation with Slate’s horrific Mike Pesca. To watch their discussion, click here.
Last week, we described Pesca as a “person.” Our question, formed as we watched last evening’s mess: Do flesh and blood humans really discuss an event of this type in the way these life-forms did?
HAYES (9/22/14): The Bisciotti performance was about as impressive as Goodell’s performance, which is to say not particularly impressive. What did you make of them sort of doubling down today?Bisciotti's less stiff than Goodell!
PESCA: Well, I’ve got to say, when I came on your show, Chris, and I was wearing a blazer, an unbuttoned shirt and jeans, I thought I was maybe under-dressed for the occasion. It’s exactly what Bisciotti wore for his press conference.
PESCA: It was maybe about a little bit more serious a topic. I think that it was— He has been called less stiff and more humane than Goodell. And I think, Goodell exact—acted exactly like a person whose massive fortune relied on the whims of very rich men, and Bisciotti acted like a very rich man. He was a little, he joked at times, inappropriately I think. He was less stiff.
But the most striking thing is that, the reason for the press conference is to rebut an ESPN story, as opposed to talk about the Ravens’ huge change of heart and the Ravens’ realization of how to deal with domestic violence and anything of substance.
Yesterday, Bisciotti released fifteen specific written rebuttals to claims in the ESPN report. Instead of discussing his actual claims, Hayes rated his “performance” when he took questions, which was of course quite unimpressive.
In his response to Hayes, Pesca continued the approach which has long been described as theater criticism:
He complained about Bisciotti’s wardrobe. He discussed the extent to which Bisciotti and Goodell do and don’t seem stiff. He offered a highly subjective assessment in which Bisciotti “acted like a very rich man.”
He complained that Bisciotti “joked at times,” even as Hayes laughed uproariously at his own hilarious joke. Then, he echoed the Macur line, in which people shouldn’t defend themselves when others make false charges:
“But the most striking thing is that, the reason for the press conference is to rebut an ESPN story...”
Why would someone want to rebut a report which was full of false charges? Like Macur, the puzzling life-form known as Pesca found that hard to grasp.
Over at the pathetic Salon, Katie McDonough topped her peers, as she frequently does. This morning, she took the favored meme and snarkily improved it:
MCDONOUGH (9/23/14): [H]ere’s where I’m at with the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens and every other team that has been or will be touched by domestic violence (which is all of them)...Under McDonough, you get to respond. But there’s a hefty charge!
Every time you want to release a statement defending yourselves, just donate $100,000 to a domestic violence service provider, whether it’s hotlines or legal aide or prevention programs or education programs for young people. Then keep doing that. And doing that.
Snidely, McDonough said this of the Ravens’ written response to those fifteen charges: “It’s a long letter, and if you feel compelled to read it, by all means, read it.”
The snarky McDonough is too world-weary to care about what’s true. For ourselves, we thought the Ravens’ rebuttal made fascinating reading.
Tomorrow, we’ll review at least one point which made us marvel, once again, at the slippery ways of ESPN’s Don Van Natta, late of the New York Times. For today, let’s return to Hayes, who has perhaps dumbed himself down just a tad.
Hayes made little effort to explain what the Ravens had said. He never let viewers imagine, for even a minute, that reports like Van Natta’s will often be wrong, or that citizens should be suspicious of certain slippery journalists.
Within the guild, such things can’t be said! Instead, a pair of corporate lifers offered the highlighted dumb stupid shit:
PESCA: You know what? It really doesn’t matter if Roger Goodell saw the tape or not. I mean, if he did, he’ll be out of the job, but I don’t think he will be able to prove it. And it really doesn’t matter if ESPN got a detail wrong. Or Ray Rice’s perception of why Bisciotti offered him a job for life, that doesn’t matter.You have a choice. That may be history’s dumbest discussion. Or that may be insincere.
What matters is, they’re still not getting the domestic violence thing right. Because the things they say to clear themselves, I feel, indict themselves—
PESCA: But this whole difference between, well, a punch and a slap, if it comes from—
HAYES: Let me just explain for the folks. And the original sin here, right, is Ray Rice is arrested for domestic violence. He pleas, he gets two games, people are outraged, right? Then the video, the internal video comes out, and they said, “Well, we didn’t quite know it was this bad.” And now there’s this debate about, “Did he tell them he slapped his then-fiancée or punch?” It’s like, guys! Guys!
PESCA: It seems to be a huge debate within the Ravens organization. In fact, everything seems to hinge on the debate, slap versus punch. It’s crazy to me and I guess—
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
PESCA: I guess maybe I don’t understand the parts of society that also think that’s important, too. Right? Like it’s obviously playing to some demographic where they’re like, “Well, if it was a slap, maybe he should have gotten 4 games.” That’s insane to me.
We’ll guess that Pesca was fully sincere. For his benefit, let us name two “parts of society” which would recognize the difference between a violent punch and an open-handed slap:
Parts of society which recognize the difference between an open-handed slap in some form of self-defense and a violent punch:Can Pesca possibly be that dumb? Here’s the way this works:
1) The courts
2) The public
According to the Ravens, they were told that Rice slapped his wife with an open hand in the course of an altercation which she had drunkenly initiated. She hit her head on the elevator rail, producing her loss of consciousness.
That isn’t what the tape showed. The tape didn’t show Rice slapping Palmer in some form of self-defense. The tape showed Rice punching his fiancée very hard, for no apparent reason.
Is it really possible that Pesca doesn’t see the difference between those two acts, neither of which is desirable? If not, let us introduce him to the adult world:
One part of society which would see the difference is, of course, the courts. If Person A slaps Person B in some form of self-defense, that is a much less serious matter than if Person A punches Person B very hard without any self-defense motive.
Everyone understands this! As everyone knows except Pesca and Hayes, degrees of offense, and types of mitigation, are involved in the judgment of all sorts of act, including homicide (killing someone).
The American public understands this. Everyone understands this, except Pesca and Hayes—and, of course, the gullible liberals they are dumbing down.
It’s dangerous when cable stars do that. They create a world in which gullible liberals end up making types of judgments with which few others will ever agree. This is one of the ways a dull-witted tribe can marginalize itself.
On the brighter said, Hayes and Pesca keep getting paid as they tickle our vanity in these silly disingenuous ways.
If Pesca is really as dumb as he seems, we apologize for our comments. As for Hayes, it seems that he may have been reinvented.
At one time, he wasn’t like this.