Part 1—Katie McDonough knows all: To her credit, Katie McDonough knows everything.
We were struck by this fact all over again when we turned to Salon this morning.
The youngish McDonough is billed as “Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice.” That said, she also seems to know everything about pretty much everything else.
In this morning’s revelations, she knows what would have been fair and just in the case of Michel Brown—and in the case of Marissa Alexander.
Her descriptions of these cases may seem a bit selective to some, but she knows what would have been fair and just. Not long ago, we marveled at her apparent omniscience concerning NFL personnel issues.
In tribal culture, tribal priests will emerge with these types of omniscience. At the start of yesterday’s column, Charles Blow warned us liberals about the things we must never let ourselves think:
BLOW (11/24/14): Bigger Than ImmigrationAccording to Blow, Obama’s detractors may not be able to articulate their motives and beliefs. But he started his column by telling us what we mustn’t “allow ourselves to believe.”
Don’t let yourself get lost in the weeds. Don’t allow yourself to believe that opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is only about that issue, the president’s tactics, or his lack of obsequiousness to his detractors.
This hostility and animosity toward this president is, in fact, larger than this president. This is about systems of power and the power of symbols. Particularly, it is about preserving traditional power and destroying emerging symbols that threaten that power. This president is simply the embodiment of the threat, as far as his detractors are concerned, whether they are willing or able to articulate it as such.
According to Blow, we mustn’t allow ourselves to believe “that opposition to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration is only about that issue, the president’s tactics, or his lack of obsequiousness to his detractors.”
In individual cases, are we allowed to wonder about that possibility? No directive was issued by Blow, but we’ll guess that such thoughts are discouraged.
In his rather fuzzy formulations, Blow was saying that we should never trust the good faith of The Others. As he continued, he warned us about who they are:
BLOW (continuing directly): A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last week found that the public “wants immigration policy along the lines of what President Barack Obama seeks but is skeptical of the executive action.” When The Journal looked at some of the people who “say they want to see a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants—which is beyond what Mr. Obama’s executive order would do—but say they disapprove of presidential executive action,” it found that the group was “overwhelmingly white and more likely to be Republican than not” and some said that they simply “don’t like anything associated with the president.”Those Obama detractors!
They were “overwhelmingly white,” Blow said. And not only that:
They were “more likely to be Republican than not,” we were underwhelmingly told. “Some” detractors said they simply don’t like Obama at all!
Questions: How white is overwhelmingly white? Blow didn’t say.
How likely were the detractors to be Republican? How many of those people was “some?” Those questions went unanswered too.
For those who wish to check Blow’s work, he linked to this underwhelming analysis piece by the Wall Street Journal. The Journal had spoken to seventy-six people “who said they want to see immigration reform happen but don’t like the idea of Mr. Obama acting alone.”
Warning! In the context of polling and surveys, seventy-six is a rather small number. What percentage of those people were white? We weren’t told, whether by Blow or by the Journal itself.
That said, the Journal quoted nine of these detractors—four Republicans, three Democrats and two independents. Truth to tell, you can’t learn a huge amount from Blow’s link.
You can start to learn about Blow as he continues his piece. He quickly gave us a crafty warning about Those Whom We Must Never Trust:
BLOW (continuing directly): Pay attention to the overall response from all sources, particularly the rhetoric in which it is wrapped.Pay attention to all sources, Blow advised. The gentleman continued from there, cherry-picking his sources.
Speaker John Boehner has accused Obama of acting like a “king” and an “emperor.” Representative Louie Gohmert referred to Obama’s “ new royal amnesty decree.”
Meanwhile, did you notice something Blow left out? His readers were asked to be very afraid about Boehner’s reference to Obama being an “emperor.” Blow forgot to say where that language started—with Obama himself!
Blow’s column is a good example of our descent into tribal culture. Before he was done, he even reminded us (hint, hint) that “most of [the founding fathers] owned slaves at some point.”
Weirdly, he included a graphic derived from the NBC News/WSJ survey in which only 43 percent of Latinos approve of what Obama did. Please don’t allow yourselves to trust the motives of Latinos!
Thanks to Thanksgiving, this will be a short week—a short week in which we’ll explore our journalistic culture’s rather sharp decline.
Tomorrow: A new world record
Blow by the numbers: Blow included only one graphic with his column. It showed that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to approve of Obama’s plan.
But how odd! Beneath that (rather low) number for Latinos, Blow included this note:
Note from NBC News: “The sample size here is small (just 110 Latino respondents), so the numbers have a high margin of error.”Why would you choose to highlight a number with a high margin of error? Because our upper-end journalism is imitation? Because it’s essentially faux?