Supplemental: Hayes stages world’s worst conversation!


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?

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.
Bisciotti's less stiff than Goodell!

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)...

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.
Under McDonough, you get to respond. But there’s a hefty charge!

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.

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—

HAYES: Absolutely!

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.
You have a choice. That may be history’s dumbest discussion. Or that may be insincere.

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:
1) The courts
2) The public
Can Pesca possibly be that dumb? Here’s the way this works:

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.

Final points:

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.


  1. All Van Natta's sources are on Ray Rice's payroll. All Bob's critics are Maddow paid trolls.

    Works for me.

  2. The police have domestic violence issues, too. You know which segment of society doesn't? Actuaries!

  3. Anonymous September 23, 2014 at 3:41 PM:

    You know Dinky gets paid by the response don't you? If you like its posts, keep feeding it: otherwise ignore it.

  4. David in Cal's right wing media Pals

    Well, let's deal with ESPN first.

    Case 1...Jay Mariotti fired by ESPN as a result of charges.

    Case 2...Howard Bryant charges dropped. Insufficient evidence to support domestic violence aspect of case. Witnesses called police on black man beating and choking white woman.

    CBS Case1...ex Reporter charged in 2011. Let go by CBS affiliate in 2009.

    CBS Case 2...New York local anchor resigned after being charged.

    CBS Case 3...Former Kansas City anchorman arrested years later in Omaha while working as mall shoe salesman.

    I gave up after the first five. Not one was given a two news cycle suspension.

  5. Anonymous September 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM :: Who pays Dinky?

  6. Dinky is one of the volunteer plutocrat enablers unlike the rest of our mammon afflicted bucks trolls.

  7. I am hoping this NFL kefuffle keeps up long enough for Somerby to smoothly segue into his annual PAC 12 is better than the SEC series.
    Wouldn't want our fickle football fans to miss a click.

  8. The point is, the lack of reporting of domestic violence among the media illustrates Bob's theme that the media generally protect themselves and cover for each other.

  9. The point is David in Cal I was able to rebut your presumptuous ex Reagan flack's article because I found media coverage of the same events he listed in his false equivalence exercise.

  10. The headline borrows the on the best of Olbermann without generating any of the interest.

  11. Why do you say he punched her "for no apparent reason"? It is very clear on the tape they were involved in a physical fight. He should not have hit her, but he did have a reason.

  12. Of course there was some amount of media coverage of the events Bob listed. Otherwise, he wouldn't have known about them.

    But, the media offenders were only reported on after some official, public verdict. And, there was an enormous difference in magnitude and focus of reporting for the two groups of offenders.

  13. In the moral (not legal ) context of hitting your wife, I have trouble making a distinction between a slap and a punch too.

    I am able to acknowledge how these things are significant in the context of the Ravens making a statement on what Rice had told them (she was drunk and became aggressive), and in a legal context.

    1. It is possible to supply ways in which the two are the same and ways in which they are different. Hayes and Pesca didn't do that.

    2. Cecelia makes an interesting statement about two points. But she and the commenter who followed leave out the third point, which BOB ignores as well. Hayes and Pesca, as well as the rest of the media, are not primarily covering what happened in the elevator between Ray and Janay. They are covering how the Ravens and the NFL handled it and continue to deal with the reaction to how they handled it.

      Is a slap as bad as a punch? We'll skip that point. As BOB would say, your results may differ.

      The second point of BOB, Cecelia, and the third commenter is over consideration which should be given to, or reported about, what was the verbal explanation by the accused of the nature of his/her acts and the cause of those acts.

      We urge you to go to the inital reports of the charges in the Baltimore Sun, a paper close to both the action, the actors, and the blogger.

      2/16/14 First Coverage,0,132362.story#ixzz2tX8Dv1s0

      2/17/14 First Official Ravens Response to Media Questions,0,1663225.story

      What is notable in the second story, in which a Ravens official is not simply issuing a written statement, but responding to questions from reporters, are these two statements from Ozzie Newsome, Ravens General Manager which are highlighted to distinguish them from the reporter's lead ins to the statements.

      "Speaking at a news conference to announce Terrell Suggs' contract extension, Newsome said that he and Harbaugh had yet to talk to Rice, but that they hope to do so within the next day.

      "When I left my office 20 minutes ago, and John had probably been there 15 minutes before then, Ray Rice was still a big part of what we plan to do in 2014," Newsome said"

      "When asked if he was concerned about Rice, Newsome said he's in an information-gathering mode.

      "I don't know the situation," Newsome said. "I've only gotten what has been written. I have not had a chance to talk to Ray. I have had a chance to talk to [director of team security] Darren [Sanders]. I really don't know that situation. With me, I get all the answers. Then that's when we make decisions within this organization, once we get all the information we can get."

      We would later learn that, concerning a popular player still big in their future plans, the Ravens and the NFL either did not get all the information that a tabloid online publication, TMZ, could get, or they ignored it. That is what the media frenzy is about.

      It is the latter point that Cecelia, Bob, and commenter number three ignore. I don't fault Cecelia or commenter three. But given his own righteous indignation over righteous coverage, Bob could certainly stand to improve.

      If the Ravens and the NFL had, saw, or had an adequate description of what happened in the elevator, they, like the courts, let Rice off easy and should be critcized for that.

      When the full video came out, the reaction of the Ravens and the NFL was to blame Rice and banish him, which, as even BOB has noted, has the secondary impact of further punishing his wife.

      The irony here is that the Ravens and the NFL used the excuse that they believed Ray Rice. Now they, and BOB as well it seems, are blaming the media for believing Ray Rice.

    3. Well, it's interesting that you fault the blogger whose primary focus is how Hayes and Pesca concentrated on the perceived optics of the news conference (the two had already essentially decided that the Ravens shouldn't attempt to defend themselves) rather than actually delving into the specifics.

    4. Bob it seems blames the media for believing Rice?

      You aren't that stupid. Maybe.

      Somerby blames the media for pretending there couldn't be any meaningful difference between versions of events. For pretending or not caring to know who was/wasn't present at meetings.

      Those are media sins, They are demonstrated fairly clearly.

      What's also demonstrated fairly clearly: you are a time-wasting troll.

    5. It seems you still ignore point Number 3 Cecelia. This story, whether you buy BOB's use of the Salem metaphor or not, became big when the elevator interior shots made it obvious that previous criticism of the NFL for letting Rice off lightly (2 game suspension for domestic violence versus routine 6 game suspensions for marijuana use) was justified. The issue became what did the NFL (and Goodell who has made himself sole jury and judge of NFL player conduct) do to find out the facts in the case. The Ravens, because they too had the power to act independently of the NFL, were a secondary object of the same criticism and coverage. The NFL and the Ravens (and BOB) want to debate whether, if they were led to believe it was a slap and fall provoked in part by the victim, that their acts were justified. Hayes, Pesca, and Macur among many, many, others, ourselves included, are saying that isn't the issue.

      The issue, which was the theme of the ESPN article by Van Natta, was that an organization, faced with charges against a favored member, chose not to get to the bottom of the charges. In so doing they elected to treat this incident, and by inferred extension, incidents of domestic violence in general, as a hindrance to the organization best treated by damage control.

      BOB doesn't discuss this, nor does he mention that the Pesca segment led to a longer piece by Hayes on how coverage of the incident, and reaction to how the NFL handled it, led to funding of a Domestic Violence hotline created by Congressional action but neglected by Congressional inaction on the funding front.

    6. Anon. @ 12:16 please accept our apology for waiting to respond to Cecelia first. We did so out of courtesy engendered by the fact she was responding with sincerity to a comment we directed to her.

      We haven't forgotten your comment either.

      You write:

      "Somerby blames the media for pretending there couldn't be any meaningful difference between versions of events. For pretending or not caring to know who was/wasn't present at meetings.

      Those are media sins."

      If you are right, then BOB is guilty of things he has attacked the media for many, many, many times. "Pretending" is an action which requires a state of mind. Accusing someone of pretending requires proof of prior knowledge or mind reading ability.

      "Not caring" requires the same skill as a mentalist.

      Assuming BOB has such skills and can tell us either the media is pretending or uncaring about who was in a meeting, and this is a "sin", then would it be a greater or lesser "sin" for the NFL Commissioner or the Baltimore Ravens front office to "pretend" not to know or "not care" what was on the video inside the elevator?

      You see, my dear Anon., you imply stupidity on our part and call us a troll. This demonstrates clearly that you may know, may pretend not to know, or could simply don't care that it might be more or at least equally important in an incident of domestic violence to get your hands on evidence you know exists rather than rely on the self interested story of two people hoping to put a patina of excusability on a violent act. Or so, using BOB logic, it seems to us.

      We don't mind you slapping us with the troll epithet or raising a passive aggressive assault on our intellect. That is a lot better than BOB calling on of his fellow humans "a puzzling life form." But you know, verbal punches like that from BOB are hard to pull when you have just accused another person of "sneering and snark, and... histrionic outrage." We mean, you know, like the bitch sinned against journalism, man, and Pesca was just around to have his humanity slapped down. And then he fell.

    7. Frankly, izod, it's not the media's job to decide to dismiss a point-by-point defense of charges made by people defending themselves, in order to address what the media feels is valid.

      They are perfectly able to rely that defense to the audience and then discuss the merits of it.

      It's not the media's job to dismiss every counter with an exclamation that they should have looked at the video.

      Let's allow Goodell and Ravens hierarchy to air a defense before we dismiss it, shall we... Rather just saying that they should keep their mouths shut and pay whatever penalty our media priests deem reasonable.

      Does their not viewing the vid make it okay for Van Natta to be less than forthcoming about sources?

      Does it help a cover-up (someone saw the video and they are all pretending otherwise) to jump straight over the exclamations of the accused or does it hurt things and keep us all less informed in the long run?

      I don't want the media putting such arbitrary parameters around an investigation.

    8. You continue to operate under the assumption that opinion shows on cable hosted by pundits provide straight new coverage.

      They don't.

  14. "But, the media offenders were only reported on after some official, public verdict."

    In the first five false comparisons given by your ex Reagan flack in American Spectator, all incidents were covered in the media at the time an arrest or charge was made. As we noted, two of the five involved people no longer employed ny the media outlets identified by your source.
    Two of the remaining three were fired or resigned. The final one had the violence charges against his wife dropped.

    There was no enormous difference in reporting the initial incidents and the facts and outcomes were markedly different than in the Rice case. The Rice case didn't get that much initial coverage either. It was how it was handled
    that caused it to blow up and the unfortunate fact for the Rice's, as opposed to others involved in these types of tragic incidents, that there were two sets of video recordings
    released at different times which enabled television coverage.

  15. And Macur's point becomes quite clear in the next paragraphs which Bob never quotes and highlightes:

    "Spare our ears from explanations of your ineptitude that are only making the hole you have fallen into much deeper.

    "For everyone’s sake, stop digging."

    You ever hear that advice, Bob? When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging?

    Apparently not, since you are in the habit of digging your own holes deeper and deeper by the day.

    1. The part of Macur you quote is not part of BOB's meme.

    2. Troll jab at Bob, aside, it's unfathomable how anyone could claim to care about this issue and then say "tell me less" I have LESS opportunity to judge the ethos of your organization, its thinking, and potential pathologies.


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