Depressing discourse watch: From the banana republic files!


The disintegration of the American discourse:
We don’t know when the American discourse has ever been so depressing.

In fact, we don’t know when it was ever depressing at all. We’ve covered a lot of journalistic misconduct since 1998, when this site began. Only now has our national discourse struck us as truly depressing.

Why do we find the current discourse depressing? Because the liberal world is playing an active role in its disintegration.

In 1998, the liberal world was largely asleep in the woods. A person could imagine that we liberals might turn out to be giants, if we were ever roused.

Now, the corporate world is building “liberal” news sites. As they do, an unfortunate fact becomes clear: our intellectual capital is no more impressive than that on the other side of the aisle.

This morning, three examples:

Professor Cooper’s response: As we noted yesterday, someone on a crowded commuter train touched Professor Cooper’s bag, which was occupying a seat.

At the new pseudo-liberal Salon, the professor staged her weekly rant about this fiendish act. Evoking Rosa Parks, she said the incident “encapsulates the breadth of the battle against racism we have to fight in this country.”

(The man who touched her bag was white.)

In comments, hundreds of readers ridiculed Professor Cooper’s reaction. As if to prove our point about the liberal world’s lack of intellectual capital, the professor replied with the following tweet:

“So during the protests in Ferguson, white folk were beside themselves abt their property. I get indignant about my property, and I'm a jerk?”

Are you able to follow the logic there? In Ferguson, business owners of various races were upset because their businesses were getting burned to the ground.

At Salon, the professor was upset because some guy on a train moved her bag six inches so he could sit down. Can you see the connection?

When our intellectual leaders “reason” this way, we’re lower than the ditto-heads. Salon is publishing work of this type every day of the week.

Rothkopf watches BillO: This morning, we finally went for the bait. We read yesterday’s post at the new Salon about a recent O’Reilly segment.

The piece was written by Joanna Rothkopf,
an “assistant editor at Salon, focusing on science, health and society.” Briefly but excitedly, Rothkopf discussed the appearance of Martin Luther King III on Wednesday night’s O’Reilly Factor.

Rothkopf prepped at Georgetown Day, graduated from Middlebury in 2012. She is very, very young—and her skill set and her judgment are both extremely limited.

Increasingly, our mainstream and our liberal news orgs feature writers like Rothkopf—writers who are very young and surprisingly unimpressive.

In this instance, Rothkopf wrote three paragraphs about the segment in question, then posted videotape of part of the segment. She introduced the videotape with this exciting blurb:

“Watch below for the most hateful segment in recent memory.”

What was supposed to be so “hateful” about the segment? In the context of the new Salon, there’s rarely a need to explain such things—and Rothkopf didn’t exactly try.

In fact, King and O’Reilly agreed on a wide array of points that night. Rothkopf edited her videotape so you wouldn’t see King semi-agree with the point O’Reilly had just expressed at the point where the hateful tape cuts off.

(King’s immediate reaction to O’Reilly presentation: “Well, I think that's a part of it, but that's not the entirety.”)

King and O’Reilly agreed on an array of points that night. Neither man speaks for us on the racial matters they discussed. But if this full segment was the most hateful thing this child has seen, she needs to get out much more.

Rothkopf’s post is very unimpressive. This dumbness was once the hallmark of the ditto-headed right. Increasingly, it’s our liberal hallmark too.

Back to Kristof’s perfect story: We keep trying to get back to Nicholas Kristof’s perfect story of forgiveness and redemption.

We think that column was fairly dumb too—and that it was designed to drive the kinds of wedges which keep us divided and conquered.

That said, the new Salon is actively trafficking The Dumb. We find it hard to believe that any good is going to come from this cynical corporate practice.

Salon is stunning every day. We can’t say that MSNBC’s work is gigantically better.

Postscript—omitted at Salon: Some of the comments by O'Reilly we weren't allowed to see:

“The cold truth is African-Americans have it harder than other ethnic groups in the USA. That is a fact. And anyone who denies it is not living in the real world.”

“It is certainly valid for President Obama to tell People magazine that he has experienced racism in his life. He and the first lady tell stories about white folks talking down to them. I believe every single African-American has experienced that.”

“A bad decision by a grand jury, such as the one in the Eric Garner case, does not mean the entire justice system is rigged.”

“Again, African-Americans do have it much tougher than whites. It's true some cops don't like blacks. It's true historical injustice has affected the black experience in America.”

Progressives can build on comments like those. At cynically tribal sites like Salon, such comments must be disappeared.


  1. One person writes something incredibly silly. Hundred ridicule her. She responds with something sillier. Based on this Bob declares her an intellectual "leader."

    "To prove our point about the liberal world’s lack of intellectual capital" he types.

    I'd say he has a point. If he was looking in the mirror.

    1. She writes columns for a very prominent leftist site. You and I and most reasonable people think her views are incredibly silly, but apparently Salon is fine with it, or she would have been canned long ago. To the extent one belives in the "progressive" cause she's one more black mark upon it.

    2. That would be akin to saying you and David in Cal are smudges upon the conservative cause. Perhpas spots would be better. Neither of you are gigantically bigger than the mark of Cooper upon progressivism, but nonethless....

    3. You got that right, 3:30 PM. Professor Cooper influences thousands of readers of Salon and many impressionable students at Rutgers. My influence is negligible.

    4. We'll call you a speck, then. Nonetheless, when I call you a leader, a leader you must be.

    5. "tip of the spear", "you said uppity" , "one more black mark ..." hahahahahahahahahahahaha

      Another load of crap from Benny the racist scumbag.

      Keep waving that bloody shirt Somerby, and enjoy the flies you draw with it.

    6. This comment section is toxic. Most readers of this blog don't bother reading it at all. Others may glance at it but don't comment here. Blaming Somerby for the 12 year old trolls, the Maddow defenders, the schizophrenics and the insomniacs makes no sense. From what I can tell, comments at many other blogs, including liberal ones such as Kevin Drum's blog, are no better.

      Someone who blames Somerby for the garbage posted by trolls certainly qualifies as a "fly" in my opinion.

    7. My guess is the only readers Bob has are the few who contribute to the toxic comment section.

      I'll back my guess with a bet it is based on just as much evidence as @ 9:58 has for the poisonous comment he/she made.

  2. Why did Salon think it was OK to omit the part of the segment that didn't follow their preferred narrative? Maybe they're following New York Times pundit Maureen Dowd. A few years ago the word "Dowdification" was invented to describe the practice of omitting part of a quote so that the expurgated portion meant the opposite of the full quote.

    1. That's how they killed ACORN.
      Of course, that was an "ends justifying the means" thing. ACORN had to be killed for giving more citizens representation in government.


    2. D in C, thank god we have all those right wing sites and talk shows and Fox so that we aren't totally engulfed by the left wing propaganda and have at least some beacons of fairness and truth

    3. DinC

      The Urban Dictionary term Dowdification was not invented by them. Some guy who hit the same consecutive letters on the keyboard I am using sent it in.

      It was invented by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal to defend George W. Bush after he made a remark as stupid as Al Gore's internet comment. Taranto is also the guy who recently defended drunken male rapists by saying if the female party they rape is also drunk they are equally to blame.

      Good choice on your part.

  3. The liberal War on O'Reilly is almost as disgusting as the mainstream media War on Gore. Maybe even more disgusting because it comes at a time when the embattled Mr. O'Reilly is fighting against the War on Christmas.

    Thanks for standing up for the oppressed on behalf of our intellectual culture Mr. Somerby. At our house we will be saying a prayer for you, Mrs. Somerby, and all the little Somerby's in hopes your stockings are filled with the bounty that once made our great Christian nation the beacon of people yearning to speak English everywhere.

  4. Postscript—omitted at Howler: Some of the comments by O'Reilly Bob's readers "weren't allowed to see:"

    Bill O'Reilly: "Why some black Americans dislike their country

    So why, then, do we hear so many other voices condemning America? Interesting question.

    Enter President Obama, perhaps the greatest African-American success story in history.

    I believe every single African-American has experienced that. So have most overweight Americans, most gay Americans -- most of us have been insulted

    This simplistic condemnation of America by bitter people is dangerous

    Here is a good example of what is in play. The actor Samuel L. Jackson is a tremendous American success story, yet he has jumped on the grievance train."

    Say Bob, shou we include the "Kill Whitey" reference, what the T-Shirts should say, the clip of Jackson in the killer role?

    I am going to keep this "weren't allowed to see" line around for future use whenever self righteous hypocrisy emerges in the labeling of others. I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.

  5. We don't understand: Samuel L Jackson sang a few lines of a song about racist police, and Bill O'Reilly then went on a rant about black society (about which, we are sure, he knows nothing more than he sees on TV) and unmarried parents and so on. And Bob then talks about "what's left out," and "seems to" imply that O'Reilly is some kind of role model liberal pundits should emulate. He picks out an obscure figure posting on Salon, and uses her to indict the entirety of the left's intelligentsia. And at the same time, complains about what people weren't allowed to see by those "pseudo-liberals" at Salon (if Salon is "pseudo-liberal," we wonder what Bob, who does nothing but attack liberals, thinks of himself as being).

    For some time now, we have thought Bob a kook. Increasingly, we think that more and more, he is becoming a bigger kook. We do not think he has the capacity to consistently reason very well. Bob is old. Bob went to Harvard, many years ago. We think Bob may be showing signs of cognitive impairment, which often happens to people in his age group. In all seriousness, we suggest Bob have some neurological tests run, if he hasn't done so already. We truly mean this. We don't mean it in a vicious or spiteful way, as he clearly does with Ms. Rothkopf and Ms. Cooper, and many others. We mean it sincerely: Bob, get yourself tested. It's possible that whatever is diminishing you can be addressed with treatment.

    1. Progressives love Alzheimers and dementia jokes. They never tire of them, whether criticizing this blog or John McCain or someone else of an age above 60, sometimes even 50. Alzheimers and dementia are funny!

    2. Bob's limbic brain is much larger in their head space than in a reasonable person, and it's pushing against the frontal lobe. So his synapses are misfiring.

    3. Rachel, THD has his flaws, no doubt. Wisdom and/or brillanceI are rare commodities. I do think he has a take, which sometimes is interesting and informative that you don'I find elsewhere, and he's not a kook, though maybe he's old. I give you credit for being intelligent, but I think you are wrong that TDH holds O'Reilly up as a role model; he doesn't say that at all. One question I have is if that's the way you appraise TDH, why do you read him so faithfully?

    4. 1) We see nothing amusing about our post, or the subject of cognitive decline. It is a fact that it is more likely to happen among the aged; it is a similar fact that Bob was at least once a very high-functioning person; and it is our opinion, if not a fact, that Bob is no longer functioning at nearly the same level. It is reasonable, then, to suggest something has happened, and still is happening to Bob. unlike those who start out with "sadly" or "unfortunately" as rhetorical stops, and then launch into racist diatribes, we genuinely mean it when we say we hope Bob investigates the possibility of treatable cognitive decline, and takes any remedial steps he can.

      2) Bob has been using O'Reilly, (or "Mr. O" as he used to call him) as a psoitive example to the negative ones provided by whoever he has decided is a "liberal star" for years. We think it reasonable, based on his post here, to allege he did it again. Far more reasonable than using Ms. Cooper as a proxy for the entire left intelligentsia.

    5. Well Rach - you're stuck with him and he won't stop so get used to having your beleaguered liberal intelligentsia take unfair hits from the possibly demented once high functioning, old kook. Dumbass.

    6. Today I learned that ageism is one of the lowest rungs on the victimology totem pole

    7. @Rachel, no one buys your concern. You were attempting to be funny by using a tragic disease like dementia, often the source of age-ist "humor" to insult this blog. You thought it was funny, demonstrating your compassionate progressivism. Yuck. People like you are the worst.

    8. There's no doubt that Bill O'Reilly has earned his persona as BillO the Clown (in Keith Olbermann's phrase): BillO is rude, egomaniacal, vituperative, and ignorant. Who can forget BillO's discovery at Sylvia's in Harlem that black people eat in restaurants just like real people? For liberals, the "O" in BillO might just as well stand for "Other." And TDH doesn't like liberals who criticize BillO simply for being the Other. In TDH's view that's dittohead thinking.

      Perhaps TDH has a soft spot in his heart for BillO. Maybe because he and BillO are equally ignorant about science. But I've never read a blog entry in which TDH implies that BillO is a role model. I have read entries, like the one today, that deplore the kind of criticism that points out BillO's dunderheaded lecturing MLKIII about black people but hides his saying “The cold truth is African-Americans have it harder than other ethnic groups in the USA."

      Now about setting up BillO as a role model, let me ask you this: What kind of cognitive failing does it take for you to say "We think it reasonable, based on his post here, to allege he did it again"? What lack of capacity do you have suffer to mistake a demand that liberals quote their opponents fairly and fully for an endorsement of those opponents as paragons?

      And how big a kook do you have to be to refer to yourself in the first person plural in a combox?

    9. Then there's DeadO the Clown.

    10. DeadO the Clown. I saw what you did there. My nym's first syllable is "dead," and you added the "O." Absolutely hilarious.

      So no substantive response to my comment, then?

      Imagine my surprise.

    11. "TDH doesn't like", "In TDH's view", "Perhaps TDH has a soft spot in his heart".

      Speaking of kooks.

    12. "Today I learned..." FULL STOP

      Color me skeptical.

    13. Sayeth deadrat:

      "What lack of capacity do you have suffer to mistake a demand that liberals quote their opponents fairly and fully for an endorsement of those opponents as paragons?"

      Jesus! What lack of capacity do YOU suffer when Somerby plays exactly the same disappearing game by selectively quoting part of what O'Reilly had to say, then writes:

      "Progressives can build on comments like those."

      You have too much innate intelligence to defend the kind of nonsense Somerby displays in this post. He is not demanding that liberals fairly quote their opponents.

      Rachel's FACEs is criticizing Somerby using his own game, much as KZ does, by using the royal we and by saying "he seems to imply" which are Somerby staples.

      Rachel's Fs did indeed have the audacity to say "Bob is old. Bob went to Harvard, many years ago." But he did it in response to a post where your friend Somerby went on yet another rant at a writer saying "She is very, very young—and her skill set and her judgment are both extremely limited."

      You of all people should realize how foolish it looks to attack commenters for using exactly the same techinques as Somerby.

    14. Thank heavens Colonel Somerby has Corporal "deadrat" O'Reilly around to explain to otherwise puzzled readers what the blog commander really thinks of the "Other" O'Reilly at FOX.

    15. Great troll name: Lahla Faloofah.

      Typical troll game, though. TDH is nothing but obvious, poundingly obvious. Some here have said obsessively. Only the slower kids in the class, those called trolls, are puzzled or claim to be.

    16. You think I'm making up what TDH doesn't like about the liberal media, BillO? You think it takes some form of kooky telepathy to figure out what TDH's views are on reporting? Do you even bother to read the blog, or are you just here to troll?

      The comment about TDH's soft spot for BillO the Clown was a setup for a jab at TDH's shared cluelessness about science. Do you need me to mark these things?

    17. Lahla Faloofah. I saw what you did there. Called me a troll for invoking O'Reilly's sexual harrasment lawsuit. I am sure liberals did not fully quote all his defense attorney's pleadings in that case.

      Absolutely hilarious.

      So no substantive response to the first commenter at 12:55, then?

      Imagine my surprise.

    18. @12:55A,

      Somerby isn't reporting on Bill O'Reilly; Rothkopf is. What don't you understand about the difference?

      TDH asks "What was supposed to be so "hateful" about the [O'Reilly] segment?" In fact, Rothkopf calls it "the most hateful segment in recent memory." If you're gonna hurl that charge, dontcha think some fairly strong evidence is required? TDH does, and despite troll claims, I don't have to be clairvoyant to know he does. He says that Rothkopf didn't even try to explain.

      And dontcha think it's unfair to make such a claim and not mention that O'Reilly also said, "The cold truth is African-Americans have it harder than other ethnic groups in the USA. That is a fact. And anyone who denies it is not living in the real world"? TDH does, and I know that even if trolls don't, because he presents that quote and three others that undercut the "most hateful segment" claim.

      Yes, I understand that you can turn a writer's style against him to make a strong rhetorical attack. So if Somerby says Rothkopf is young and inexperienced, you may fairly turn that around and say that Somerby is old and failing. But that won't work if you mischaracterize what Somerby is about.

      And you look similarly foolish if you confuse the editorial first person plural with the royal.

      If you turn O'Reilly into the most hateful person in recent memory by quoting him selectively, THD thinks that a dumb, dittohead play. I agree with him, and if you don't that's fine. But you don't get to pretend that isn't his thesis.

      TDH also thinks that progressives could use O'Reilly's omitted comments to build a common understanding with O'Reilly and his listeners. I don't agree with that. I think O'Reilly is far too bad an actor and far too willful an ignoramus. But that's a far cry from judging his segment the most hateful in recent memory.

    19. Lupe,

      Yeah, I got the loofah-falafel reference to BillO's harassment history. But that's not why I called you a troll. I called you a troll for pretending that I'm explaining some arcana about this blog instead of commenting on its blindingly-obvious thesis.

      And oops! You were just a tad too pleased with your own cleverness a tad too soon. Scroll down to 2:23A. Surprise!

    20. Your Lupe gets results!

      Meanwhile this amuses:

      "I think O'Reilly is far too bad an actor and far too willful an ignoramus. But that's a far cry from judging his segment the most hateful in recent memory."

      The poor dear is so young and inexperienced her recent memory may be very short. Just as Bob's may be very long but selective.

    21. Sayeth deadrat:

      "Somerby isn't reporting on Bill O'Reilly; Rothkopf is.

      If you're gonna hurl that charge, dontcha think some fairly strong evidence is required? TDH does..."

      Somerby is covering Kristof. In his third pass at him he writes:

      "We keep trying to get back to Nicholas Kristof’s perfect story of forgiveness and redemption.

      We think that column was fairly dumb too—and that it was designed to drive the kinds of wedges which keep us divided and conquered."

      If you're gonna hurl that charge, dontcha think some fairly strong evidence is required? TDH hasn't provided it.

      Perhaps he is procrastinating. Luxuriating. Or just musing his old bones away.

    22. 12:55
      "She is very, very young—and her skill set and her judgment are both extremely limited."

      You of all people should realize how foolish it looks to attack commenters for using exactly the same techinques as Somerby"

      Why use the same techniques? These are the techniques are being criticized. It's satire? I would prefer to see the statement disproven. GO PACKERS!!!

    23. @12:45P,

      Do I think TDH owes us an explanation of just what's wrong with Kristof''s perfect story and just what justifies calling it divisive? Yes, I do. Now maybe you can answer a question for me:

      What does that fuck-all have to do with this subthread, which (if I may remind you) is about the claim that TDH is cognitively impaired because he "implies" that BillO the Clown is "some kind of role model"?

    24. It has the fuck-all to do with the comment you placed in the subthread at 2:23 AM dipstick. What that had to do with the opening comment is for you to explain, not me.

      I too look forward to Somerby explaining why he thinks Kristof was not only divisive, but "designed to be divisive."

      And I hope and pray your boy Bob doesn't leave it to me to quote the parts of Kristof's column Somerby's readers "weren't allowed to see."

    25. @11:25P,

      Try to concentrate. Go back and re-read the original comment and my pellucid prose. Sound out the big words if you have to. The topic under discussion, the fuck-all-this-has-to-do-with, if you will, is whether TDH is a neurologically-impaired kook who thinks BillO the Clown is a role model. This characterization arises from one of our delightful trolls who can't seem to understand TDH's stance that liberals in the media should treat right-wingers fairly and when they don't, they risk becoming like the dittoheads they deplore.

      Now I hope TDH takes a blog entry to explain why he thinks Kristof's column is divisive. I even think he owes an explanation, but if he doesn't pay up, the worst thing anyone can say about it is that TDH is a hypocrite. And the trolls and I can get together and have a little laugh as we appreciate the irony. But that won't affect whether Salon should edit BillO the Clown to make him seem like the Worst Hater in the World.

      And TDH isn't my boy, troll. He's a blogger with a point of view. If you think that's a point in the wrong direction fine, but at least deal with what he says.

      As usual, TDH quotes extensively from the column he criticizes and gives a link to the original. Go ahead, tell us how the quotes misrepresent Kristof. Knock yourself out.

    26. you think any one cares about what you look forward to?? here's more on what lying, shriveled, pos liar he is.

    27. deadrat. You need to go back not to comments but to the post itself to determine if "TDH is a neurologically-impaired kook who thinks BillO the Clown is a role model."

      He is. He seemed to. Although he doesn't call him Bill O. the "Clown." He reserves that for the children on MSNBC

    28. @3:07P,

      I don't mind people using the vernacular to say "TDH must be crazy to think that about Bill O'Reilly." but I don't know how anyone can make neurological assessments from blog entries. I'd guess that TDH is one of the few liberals (or self-described liberals, if you wish) to defend O'Reilly in any way. Does that make TDH a kook? I'd also say that few right-wing commentators would make the statements that TDH quotes.

      I find no evidence that over all TDH thinks that O'Reilly is a "role model." He objects to selective editing of O'Reilly's bloviation to make O'Reilly look hateful. Per usual, TDH isn't talking about O'Reilly, but about liberal coverage of O'Reilly.

      BillO the Clown was Keith Olbermann's name for O'Reilly in the latter's "Worst Persons in the World" segments.

  6. Professor Cooper’s response: As we noted yesterday, someone on a crowded commuter train touched Professor Cooper’s bag, which was occupying a seat.

    At the new pseudo-liberal Salon, the professor staged her weekly rant about this fiendish act. Evoking Rosa Parks, she said the incident “encapsulates the breadth of the battle against racism we have to fight in this country.”

    (The man who touched her bag was white.

    American discourse is depressing and hopeless but Bob's work proving the point is still incisive and hilarious. Thanks.

    1. Bob and the 2000 + commenters at Salon who beat him to it thank you.

  7. Every generation fights its own wars. Black captives being shipped from Africa had to fight just to stay alive. Slaves had to fight to exist and carry on some sort of meaningful life. During Jim Crow era, blacks had to fight for jobs, places to live, deprived of public accommodation, knowing they could by lynched. In the 1950's blacks had to fight for the right to vote and to attend integrated schools, knowing they could be attacked or even murdered because of their civil rights efforts. These were all noble struggles.

    But, no less noble is the Obamas' fight not to ever be mistaken for a valet or asked to get an item from a high shelf. The battle for civil rights never ends.

    1. "The battle for civil rights never ends."

      Much to your chagrin, Dinky. Also, you suck at snark.

    2. DinC is right.

      The Obamas could have learned much if only they had been assigned farms chores as children. They might have gone on to invent the internet or discover Love Canal.

  8. Sixty years ago you would have heard very little in the media about the problems of black people, legitimate or not. They basically had no voice in the major media. If now many kinds of things are heard is that deterioration? You would have seen a standard attitude in the media assuming that black people should just keep quiet and accept their inferior status.

  9. 60 years ago was the 1950's. The civil rights movement was in full swing. The military was being formally desegregated. Supreme court cases desegregating the schools were being discussed, then decided and implemented. Anti-lynch laws were being put forth repeatedly in congress. The ground -breaking Amos and Andy show was widely popular, as was Sammy Davis Jr (with his mixed marriage). "Black Like Me" was being published. Then there were the Freedom Riders. That was all 60 years ago and the problems of AA people were very much in the mainstream media.

  10. Readily admit that I do NOT always agree with Mr. Somerby; find his never-ending complaints about so-called liberal sites somewhat tiresome. Have almost always sent money during his annual fund-raising campaigns. Sadly, I think I have reached the end; the biggest "journalistic" problem is the endless lies and distortions that are foisted upon the public by right-wing publications and media groups, most especially Fox News. I perceive the profoundly middle-of-the-road media outlets as pretty ineffectual and hardly deserving of the designation of "liberal" or "progressive." There are so few outlets that can be classified as "leftist" any more.

    The most disheartening aspect of any media outlets is the comments section of anything that calls for the opinions of subscribers. There are shocking comments about women, people of color, LGBTs, etc. I sometimes want to cry. . .and can only hope that these people represent a real minority.

  11. We don’t know when Bob's blog and comment box has ever been so depressing.

  12. Meanwhile, in GlennBeckia,

    Glenn Beck is a household name. Nobody has ever heard of Brittney Cooper. Bob believes Brittney Cooper represents proof that the left is as crazy as the right.

    We must admit that as we watched Beck's crazy theatrics, we thought of Bob. They both employ the same motif: the left is "increasingly" crazy, and soon....

    Does anyone happen to know if Bob has a beard?

    1. Yes. I believe Bob does.

  13. Do any of Bob's readers happen to know what black Americans are supposed to wear on their T's?

    To balance the voices of Barak Obama and Samuel Jackson, black people who dislike their country?

    So they can build on the rest of O'Reilly's comments? For the good of all our tribes?

    Help end Bob's depression. Send money to Somerby's Screen Printing today. The bare backs of black Americans need to be clothed.

    1. We think an appropriate message is, "How many of us should stop having children out of wedlock before you decide it is no longer OK for cops to shoot us and strangle us?" It's too long to fit on a T-shirt though.

      Perhaps the question should be addressed to "Mr. O," whose commentary Bob seems to think could serve as an example to all the crazy liberal pundits out there lost in the tribal woods, unlike "Mr. O," who likes to preface his own crazy comments with stock phrases designed to make himself look fair and courageous. Most people aren't fooled by them, but then, some people WANT to be fooled. Most of them watch Fox, but at least one of them watches MSNBC and reads Salon. Very, very closely.

    2. Until you figure out that these blog entries really aren't about BillO the Clown, then you're gonna keep posting nonsense as Rachel Maddow, suitably described.

    3. Wow, Thanks deadrat. I have now figured it out thanks to your insight. These blog entries are about how liberal journalists should cover others by carefully parsing and reporting each sentence everyone has written for both what they disagree with and what can be built upon to lessen our divide and thus serve progressive interests.

      I now know Bob does this religiously. Thanks.

    4. @2:06P,

      You're welcome. And I'm pleased to find that you've moved from "TDH claims O'Reilly is a role model" to "TDH is demanding that liberal journalists report O'Reilly's every sentence." That's progress of a sort, going from an outright falsehood to taking TDH's thesis to an illogical extreme.

      O'Reilly is a right-wing clown and has been for a long time on all sorts of topics, including race in this country. But I don't think you can make a case that he's the most hateful without ignoring the quotes that TDH cites. These aren't careful parsings of what everything O'Reilly has ever written; they're quotes from the segment that Rothkopf is demonizing. I agree with TDH that such careful editing is a dittohead move.

      If you think that the full O'Reilly doesn't provide an opening to "lessen our divide," that's fine. I happen to agree with you. If you want to keep track of how often TDH doesn't live up to his own pronouncements, that's fine too. I just don't think that's relevant.

  14. Bob the Build On'ThisDecember 20, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    The cold truth is old people have it harder than other age groups in the USA. That is a fact. And anyone who denies it is not living in the real world. But there is another truth, and that is America offers more opportunity to old people than any other country on earth.

    So why, then, do we hear so many older voices condemning America? Interesting question.

    Enter blogger Bob Somerby, perhaps the greatest old blogger in history. He tells People:

    "The disintegration of the American discourse: We don’t know when the American discourse has ever been so depressing."

    While honest dissent is a hallmark of our country, there is something missing here and that something is perspective.

    Again, old folks do have it much tougher than younger folk. It's true some cops don't like old folks. It's true mother nature has affected the aging experience in America.

    And while injustice must be dealt with, the message of opportunity and America's basic nobility should be on the back side of every one of those "Get Off My Lawn" T-shirts.

    And that's “The Memo”.

  15. I have not sent money to any blog before but the ugliness of the trolls here have convinced me that Bob Somerby deserves some encouragement, so I will take up where the commenter above is leaving off and send a regular donation. His voice is important, whether you agree with every post or not.

    1. After 16 years of cutting edge media musing, Bob Somerby has earned better than this. He gets results.

      He shouldn't be reduced to a standard website that allows his faithful analysts to be driven to tears by his few readers rather than the media itself.

      His work should be cited somewhere. Money will do the trick.

  16. By now I imagine you've all read about the horrific assassination of two policemen in Brooklyn. It reminds us that issues may not be black vs. white. In her idiotic tweet, Prof. Cooper wrote, "...white folk were beside themselves abt their property..." .Bob rightly corrected her, pointing out that these businesses were owned by people of various races.

    The horrific shooting in Brooklyn is another reminder that the supposed battle between police and blacks should not be viewed as dominant whites keeping down the downtrodden blacks. The two victims were named Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Presumably they were Asian and Hispanic.

    No doubt the shooter was not sane. However, I blame those who incited his terrible act: President Obama, AG Holder, the media and the demonstrators. Furthermore, I suspect that other random attacks on whites and Asians by blacks may have been incited by the furor over the deaths of Brown and Garner.

    1. And, one shouldn't forget Al Sharpton. This is the third time that demonstrations and riots he helped to foment have led to murder. Yankel Rosenbaum and perhaps Anthony Graziosi in Crown Heights, five victims at Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem and now two more.

    2. Of course, exercising the privilege that is his as an intelligent white male, David in Cal in no way blames anyone involved in killing, nor absolving those who killed, Brown and Garner.

      I hope Progressives build on positive comments by Bill O'Reilly and all black Americans wear T-Shirts reading "Don't Get Pregnant at 14." Then our tribal
      divide will begin to close.

    3. Like most bigots, David in Cal is incapable of discussing race without blaming it all on Al Sharpton.

    4. 11:20 - The grand juries who absolved Brown and Garner were of various races and sexes. They were not all white males. You seem to have made the same mistake Prof. Cooper did.

    5. OK DinC. I admit it. She should have known it was a gang of multi racial creeps of all sexes who grabbed her damn bag.

    6. Yes, David. It was racially mixed grand juries who said it was OK for cops to shoot and strangle unarmed blacked males.

      That's why when yet another mentally ill guy with a gun goes on another killing spree, who can we blame? Why, Obama, Holder and Sharpton, of course!

    7. When you say "unarmed black males", you've been tricked. The police kill far too many people IMHO. But, they kill twice as many non-blacks as blacks. The trickery lies in giving enormous coverage to blacks who were killed by police, but little or none to the larger number of non-blacks killed by police.

    8. David, those dead cops in NY mean nothing to you except to run to the blog to blame Obama, Holder and Sharpton for it.

      And here you are wondering what 13.2 percent of the population should complain since they "only" account for 33 percent of the homicides by cop.

      You are truly a disgusting excuse of a human being.

    9. "Unarmed" meaning not carrying a gun or knife has to be the dumbest device yet for liberals trying to lie to the public about events. Thug Mike Brown nearly became "armed" when he first attacked the cop who was forced to kill him as he made his second attempt to become "armed." Fortunately he was initially unarmed and fortunately he was unsuccessful in becoming armed. Internet liberal trolls appear to have an average IQ of about 70.

    10. @5:46P,

      "Mike" Brown was clearly, not nearly "armed" when he raised both of them in the air just before he was shot.

    11. AnonymousDecember 21, 2014 at 4:53 PM -- please do not play games with statistics. As you very well know, blacks commit a disproportionate percentage of crimes. E.g., although the statistics I found were rates rather than absolute numbers, it looks like blacks commit roughly the same total number of murders each year as whites. . Yet twice as many whites are killed by police each year as blacks.

      I suppose one could argue that these statistics show that police are biased against whites and in favor of blacks. But, IMHO neither your statistics nor mine are definitive. I don't think you can prove bias either way from either set of statistics.

  17. Your Howler gets results. Following a brilliant month long decimation of her failed logic by Bob Somerby, Nicole Hannah-Jones work has now moved from the Atlantic to the New York Times, insuring Howler readers the opportunity to hear more about how depressed their favorite blogger has become.

  18. Liberals here and elsewhere who lied about Trayvon and Mike Brown (thugs) just got 2 innocent people executed.

    1. Congratulations. You have broken the record for the most idiotic thing ever said on TDH by either the blogger or the commenter. And that took quite some doing.

    2. Seriously? That's your response to this shooting.

      So are you going to blame liberals for setting off that guy who shot two Sherrif's deputies in The Poconos last month?

      It's nice to see that the commentariat from Stormfront is represented on the blog today. I salute you asshole.

    3. Isn't it amazing that he Trayvon Martin's name, and Mike Brown's name, but he doesn't even know the names of the two cops?

    4. Why let's be reasonable, whines the progressive. Rings empty after you've caused the execution of two innocent and heroic police officers and ruined the career of another who was forced to shoot a thug attacking him.

    5. At last! An actual, honest-to-god internet troll. Very refreshing.

    6. I don't know if he's a troll deadrat.

      Our slumbering silence led to the death of thousands of Iraqis. What does the collective guilt of a couple of more victims mean to our pathetic tribe at this depressing moment in our discourse?

  19. I'm glad Chuck Todd had someone from Breitbart News on as a guest on Meet the Press. This effort to look for common ground to unite our warring tribes should brighten Bob's depression just in time for the holidays.

  20. A Florida police officer who got his start in the New York Police Department was fatally shot early Sunday morning in Tarpon Springs, just hours after two NYPD officers were killed in Brooklyn.

    Tarpon Springs Officer Charles “Charlie K” Kondek, 45, was shot and killed while responding to an incident at about 3 a.m. in Pinellas County, NBC News reported. Police did not provide any further details about the shooting.

    Read more:

    1. More details on the murder of the FL policeman:

      A veteran police officer was shot and killed — and even run over — early Sunday in Florida by a wanted man who felt like a "caged rat" and didn't want to go back to prison, officials said.

      Tarpon Springs Officer Charles "Charlie K" Kondek, a father of five children and a former New York City police officer, was killed after responding to a noise complaint at about 2 a.m. ET in Pinellas County, some 30 miles from Tampa, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told a press conference.

      The noise was music blasting from the car of the alleged shooter, Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., 23.

      When Parilla, who was wanted on a probation violation, saw Kondek, he allegedly fired seven rounds at the officer from a .40-caliber gun — striking Kondek in the neck just above his bullet-resistant vest. Parilla then ran over the officer as he fled the scene, Gualtieri said, adding he was arrested after a brief pursuit ending with the suspect crashing into a truck.

  21. And, here's another police shooting:

    An off-duty St. Louis police officer remained in critical condition Saturday after being shot multiple times in his personal vehicle by an unknown assailant.

    Read more:

  22. It's Brittney Cooper's fault. She has to be taken down before she brings even greater chaos to the world.

  23. David in Cal and deadrat: How much of the last weekend before Christmas did you spend arguing on this blog?

    How sad.

    1. The husband of David in Cal's third cousin was told by a prominent time management expert at their middle school reunion that blog commentary is a productive alternative to chasing kids off the lawn during retirement years. Especially since so many kids these days are armed.

    2. TDH wants to whine about columns that are defective, David in Cal wants to whine about people that are defective and if I decide either are wrong I'll decide whether they have a point and defend the blogger while rebuking DinC. Which is more than I can say I'll be able to do with your comment. What's your point, that I should stop criticizing bad comments because nobody ever writes good comments? What?

      You want you money back?

      Only the mentally ill make value judgements on blogs about how people spend their holiday time assessing the sanity of others.

    3. @8:44A,

      So Christmas -- or as I call it this year, Thursday -- is so special that the weekend before has been declared a no-arguing zone? When did this happen?

      How much time of the Holy Weekend Prior did I spend arguing with DAinCA? None. My last reply to him was during the weekend prior to the Holy Weekend Prior. Was that off limits too? I wish someone would send out a memo or something.


      You're the power that would the giftie gie us. I'm still chuckling.

  24. David in Cal, you're on a fruitless quest. Don't you understand that "Policemen Lives Don't Matter?"

    There will be no massive protests for these pariahs.