THE EMPATHY FILES: Giuliani feels sorry for the mayor!


Part 3—Salon sells tribal hatred:
At highly tribal times, we the humans are strongly inclined toward tribal hatred.

Among us the liberals, the new Salon is actively involved in selling this righteous old brew. Consider what readers are being told about what Rudy said.

At the new, deeply tribal Salon, young Luke Brinker’s latest report appears beneath these exciting tribal headlines:
Conservatives’ sick reaction to NYPD officer killings: Blame Obama and de Blasio
Right-wingers politicize deaths of two officers to condemn liberals and protesters against police brutality
What “sick reactions” does Salon have in mind? And who is blaming Obama and de Blasio for these recent killings?

At the start of his report, young Brinker tells propagandized readers what Giuliani said. A large photo of Giuliani sits atop the report:
BRINKER (12/21/14): Conservatives seized on the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers on Saturday to attack President Obama, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and other figures who have spoken out on the fraught relationship between police and minority communities, with some going so far as to blame them for the killings of the two officers.

The two officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot at point-blank range in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. The suspect, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then killed himself. Brinsley, who had threatened to kill police officers on social media in response to the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, had traveled to New York from Baltimore, where authorities believe he also shot his ex-girlfriend.

Merely by voicing concerns about police treatment of black men like Garner and Brown, many conservatives asserted, figures like Obama, de Blasio, and Attorney General Eric Holder encouraged vigilantism against law enforcement. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” this morning, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “They have created an atmosphere of severe, strong, anti-police hatred in certain communities. For that, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
Just for the record, the excited young Brinker didn’t seem to know which program he was discussing. In fact, Giuliani didn’t appear on yesterday morning’s Fox News Sunday. In fact, the young reporter was quoting from an appearance by Giuliani on Sunday’s Fox and Friends.

For ourselves, we aren’t fans of Giuliani. But did Giuliani “go so far as to blame [Obama and de Blasio] for the killings of the two officers?”

A reader could certainly get that impression from the quotation Brinker provided. But here’s another statement from that same TV show, a statement the fiery young Salon reporter omitted:
GIULIANI: (12/21/14): I feel bad for the mayor. I think the mayor must be heartbroken over the loss of these police officers. I can’t believe this is what he wanted. I don’t think he’s a bad man in any way. I think he’s a man who pursues the wrong policies.
To watch the full segment (from Fox and Friends), just click here. You’ll see the statement Brinker quoted—and the statements he left out.

Did Giuliani blame de Blasio for the killings of the two officers? In two appearances on Fox and Friends, he explicitly rejected the statement to that effect by police union spokesman Pat Lynch:
GIULIANI: I admire Pat Lynch very, very much. I think he’s a great union leader and I consider him a good friend. I think it goes too far to blame the mayor for the murders or to call for the mayor’s resignation.
In an earlier segment on Fox and Friends, Giuliani voiced the same judgment, specifically noting that other police officers have been killed under other mayors. To watch that earlier segment, click here.

At Salon, readers were told about the one remark by Giuliani. They weren’t told about the other statements—and Brinker didn’t even seem to know what program he was quoting. Had he actually watched these segments? Or did he simply take his cues and his information from this report at Think Progress, the report to which he linked?

These are difficult times. At times like these, the tribal mind will be strongly inclined to pump out the tribal perspectives.

As an inevitable part of this process, the tribal mind will want you to hate. The younger they are, the more easily they seem to fall into this well.

Reading the lazy work by young Brinker, we thought of one of our favorite literary passages. In The Iliad, the headstrong young Diomedes challenges Agamemnon, king of men, during a tribal council.

Diomedes has offered some lousy advice. Noble Nestor, the seasoned charioteer, quickly rises to offer good counsel:
HOMER: And all the Achaeans shouted their assent,
stirred by the stallion-breaking Diomedes' challenge.
But Nestor the old driver rose and spoke at once.
"Few can match your power in battle, Diomedes,
and in council you excel all men your age
But you don't press on and reach a useful end.

How young you are—why, you could be my son,
my youngest-born at that, though you urge our kings
with cool clear sense: what you've said is right.
But it's my turn now, Diomedes.
I think I can claim to have some years on you.
So I must speak up and drive the matter home.
And no one will heap contempt on what I say,
not even mighty Agamemnon. Lost to the clan,
lost to the hearth, lost to the old ways, that one
who lusts for the horror of war with his own people.
The sage old driver advised all the Argives: "Tonight's the night that rips our ranks to shreds or pulls us through.”

At the new Salon and in other locations, we liberals are being sold the world’s oldest and easiest product. We’re being told to hate the other tribe.

It isn’t a smart thing to do.

Giuliani has said some things we ourselves don’t agree with. But alas! Wanting to stir your tribal fury, headstrong youngsters like Brinker will only show you some of the things Giuliani and others have said.

We strongly advise you to turn these true believers aside. Tomorrow, we’ll explain the title of this series, a series which basically died in the crib.

Why did we call it “the empathy files?” Tomorrow, we ask you a basic question:

How far does your empathy spread? With how many groups can you empathize?


  1. Rudy's remarks are more nuanced than some are suggesting, though note *that* much more nuanced:

    " "Giuliani called Lynch a "friend" but said he believes his comments were an "overstatement." He agreed, though, that de Blasio has not acted in the best interests of police officers.

    "If you want to say that Mayor de Blasio contributed to an atmosphere of hate for the police, absolutely he did. But so did the President of the United States. And so did [Eric] Holder," he said, adding that President Obama and de Blasio are aligning themselves with Al Sharpton.

    He said de Blasio allowed the anti-NYPD protests to "get out of control," but does not agree that the mayor has "blood on his hands."

    "He's guilty of creating an atmosphere of police hatred in certain communities. And it is a lie. It is untrue. It's like Soviet propaganda. The police are not racist. There is not a systemic problem with police racism. There are some bad police officers. I put over 70 police officers in jail as prosecutor and mayor. So I know there are bad police officers. But the systemic problem is the problem of crime. That's the problem he doesn't address," he said."

  2. Bored white young progressives become Twitter civil rights warriors, posting selfies from protests where they are ever so pleased with their compassion. They are joined by old liberals hoping to relive their activist days.

    Motivated by lies on MSNBC that they wanted to believe because the lies produced the anger and outrage they wanted to feel so that they could demonstrate their goodness on Twitter, they caused two brutal executions of police officers whom all of the above would have called to stand between themselves and fists or bullets as they cowered behind their couches while being home invaded by "teenaged" thugs like Michael Brown. They created one more dead thug who took two innocent officers with him.

    1. The cause of the execution of those officers was the person who shot them, motivated by his own mental illness and life experiences. Period.

      Many people will hold opinions because of the political atmosphere and media statements, but that is a very long way from killing someone because of those opinions. Giuliani knows that. Pretending he doesn't is tribalism.

    2. @6:07, are you one of those right wingers who says the NRA or violent media have nothing to do with slaughters like Newtown? And do you not believe that mentally ill or violently predisposed people are not influenced by voices and opinions, be they those of a talking dog or a politician or TV personality hoping to empower and enrich himself by stoking anger among the gullible and ignorant who don't know they're being lied to?

    3. I am one of those people who knows enough history to understand that mentally ill people have been killing others for centuries before guns were invented. Guns are a more effective way of killing that increases the danger, but it doesn't CAUSE a mentally unstable person to kill. There were axe murderers before there were gun-related executions. When I was in middle school, one of my friends father killed everyone in his family (except her, she was away for the night) with a hammer.

      Mental illness is insufficiently rational to be CAUSED by the statements of any voice. It is unpredictable what will become the delusion of someone who is schizophrenic or bipolar or under the influence or otherwise psychotic. These gun-control arguments make more sense if you believe deranged people are rational, but they are not. That's why they kill -- it is not normal for people to kill others, usually their family or therapists and sometimes strangers who embody or symbolize some aspect of their delusion.

      I think the best argument for gun control is to reduce accidents, not psychotic killers (who are way less frequent and a tiny percentage of the mentally ill, despite the attention they receive). I am fully in favor of gun control. I just don't think it had anything to do with Newtown. If you outlawed guns, the killer might have used other means, because the gun is not providing the motive -- the illness is.

      I think the gullible and ignorant are mostly supplying an income to those who manipulate their anger for their own benefit. That is very far from killing anyone.

    4. Ignorant+gullible+angry or mentally ill+Sharpton = 2 executed police officers

    5. No, as the shooter's daughter said, his issues had nothing to do with Ferguson etc. She said he is mentally ill and has had many confrontations with police and prison. The protests didn't have anything to do with his actions. The circumstances of his life did.

    6. The shooter's daughter huh. Well there you go. She is probably an expert in ascertaining such things, and doubtful she had a dog in the political fight, right?

    7. Your Howler gets results!

    8. "I am fully in favor of gun control. I just don't think it had anything to do with Newtown."

      Right. The guy could have killed all those kids with a Swiss Army knife.

      Same with the guy who shot up the movie theater in Aurora. Would have done the same damage with 100 axes.

  3. DeBlasio called for working toward a more fair society "non-violently" but he didn't say "credibly." If he said "credibly" or "honestly" that would have eliminated every word of rhetoric on the subject of racial injustice involving Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown or Eric Garner from every opportunistic race hustler including himself, Sharpton and Obama.

  4. "Young" Luke Brinker cites a huge array of people, INCLUDING, but not limited to, Rudy Giuliani, and "old" Bob goes berserk over the "tribalism" of "young" Luke Brinker. Sure, Rudy said a few inflammatory things, but he ALSO said..., and so he's off the hook for the inflammatory stuff. And "old" Bob completely ignores all the other quotations "young" Luke Brinker adduces to support the notion that the right is, indeed, politicizing the murder of those two cops, that it's the right, including poor, maligned Rudy G, that is employing "tribal" tactics here.

    Here is our own bit of Giuliani-"Mr. O"ism:

    We specifically do NOT mean to say Bob is a crazy old kook about 10 years past his sell-by date. We would never say that. But he no longer makes sense. His arguments are stupid, and don't withstand even the minutes of scrutiny we pay to them each day. We have seen stroke victims unable to walk with reasoning skills exceeding what Bob is able to put forth each day. Again, we don't mean to say that Bob is a doddering old angry fool shaking his fist at a world that has passed him by. We're simply saying that he acts like one.

    1. Brinker's article may be as unfair to the others quoted as to Giuliani. Without tracking down every source and verifying, how can we know? When an author such as Brinker is wrong about Giuliani, it is fair to assume he may be wrong about the others quoted. That kind of imbalance undermines the credibility of every word in his article. Somerby is correct to point out the mistakes he knows about. He is NOT required to track down and itemize every mistake in the entire article. His unwillingness to do that in no way redeems Brinker's mistake about Giuliani.

      Your name-calling about Somerby's age isn't cute. Further, implying that stroke necessarily impairs reasoning ability is incorrect and unfairly demeaning to those who have suffered strokes (it depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain). With today's improved treatment approaches, strokes are not as debilitating as they once were. But I'm not surprised you don't know that.

      Personally, I think you are KZ's latest incarnation and I think it is very odd for you to be criticizing Somerby or anyone else's mental functioning when your own is so obviously impaired.

    2. The point, young dummy, is that Salon is politicizing the politicization.

    3. We will assume the second comment is facetious. We will assume that the first comment is real, and its writer ... about on a level with poor Bob in the reasoning department.

      "Young" Brinker posted many tweets from many different conservatives, all blaming Di Blasio and/or Obama for the cop murders. What "may" have been left out doesn't factor in, unless you can point to tweets "young" Brinker omitted (in logic, this is known as "arguing from ignorance." Because something "may" have happened doesn't mean it did happen. Shorter RAFE: prove it, pal.). Second, Giuliani -- among many others -- clearly was guilty of trying to politicize this issue, his half-hearted attempts at cushioning it aside, so Brinker wasn't, in your words, "unfair" to poor Rudy. Rudy was behaving as a slick hack; Brinker quoted him AMONG OTHER PEOPLE. Bob, as is his wont, took one part of one of Brinker's pieces of evidence, and wailed and gnashed his teeth (dentures?) like an old woman deprived of her evening pick-me-up. We find that behavior odd -- for a normal person, but completely typical of what Bob has become: a cranky hack, dishonestly picking and choosing what he posts in order to, crazily enough, attack his targets for dishonestly picking and choosing things to quote from. At this point, we would trust almost anyone else before we trusted Bob's characterization of what anyone said, because Bob has demonstrated himself to be incapable of honestly relating what the targets of his permanent ire have said. To put it plainly, Bob is a liar.

      Instead of going through this nonsense, though, we have a simple question: are you really so stupid and Bob-soused that you think the right ISN'T trying to politicize this? Is there a human being who follows politics THAT fucking stupid? Anywhere? For Bob to even begin pursuing that avenue of thought is evidence, we believe, of intellectual and emotional decay. Of course, in the finest tradition of Rudy and "Mr. O," we would never actually say Bob is brain damaged and crazy. We'll simply say that the words and reasoning he uses are consistent with someone who is brain damaged and crazy, so your outrage is misplaced. That's Boblogic at work. If it's good for him, it's good for us.

    4. Your point is your own. You seem to be blaming Somerby for not sharing it. That doesn't seem fair to me. All the name calling doesn't help.

    5. Rachel - What does the politicization of the killings by the right leaders and hacks say about the right and their constituents? Did the article help us understand anything about them?

    6. 8:44 You're acting kind of weird and obsessed.

    7. Anon @ 6:16

      "Personally, I think you are KZ's latest incarnation"

      Personally, I think you are more excited and lazy than young Luke Brinker with a skill set and judgement below that of young, young Joanna Rothkopf.

      I may be right. I know for a fact you are wrong.

    8. I kinda like weird and obsessed. It's the utter cluelessness that I'm not fond of.

      Is the right once again trying to politicize another tragedy? Well, it's the right, and it's a public tragedy, so it would be fucking stupid not to have your money on politicize. While you're at it bet the farm on Giuliani being a slick hack. But that's not inconsistent with asking reporters to get their facts straight.

      The truth is that Giuliani was being a slick hack for blaming the Prez, the AG, and Hizzoner for hostility to the police, but it's also true that Giuliani specifically disowned the blood libel charges. Why isn't that part of the story, just as the disgraceful PBA President is another part?

      To put it plainly, Bob isn't a liar. He's just insisting on a standard of accuracy that you think shouldn't be accorded to people you don't like.

      Oh, yeah. You don't have to trust "Bob's characterization of what anyone said," because "Bob" quotes his targets extensively and gives links to their full context.

    9. Yes, Bob does provide links. But you know what? This blog has diminished greatly in both readership and influence over the years because people with functioning brains have followed those links and discovered that Bob is full of shit.

    10. Except that's not true, @8:43.

    11. deadrat, so those who say Sharpton, DeBlasio, and Obama have a part in this development (what you call "politicizing" it) are on the "right"? Are you sure about that?

    12. 12:10, Rachel isn't weird and obsessed, just young and as most young people are, dumb in the sense that they don't know what to do with all the ideas served up by their shiny new prefrontal cortices. They are blinded to a certain realm of reality that eventually reemerges to be included in their analysis as they become older and smarter.

    13. @11:02A, I said that right-wingers are politicizing the killings by blaming Democrats for the deaths. I'm sure of that because, well because I can read. Are you claiming that the left is doing the same thing? Really? OK, but my statement doesn't exclude the left from this practice.

      In any case, my point was about the fair treatment of Rudy. Didja miss that?

      Just checking.

    14. 11:06 How can you say she is dumb when she has such a firm grasp on logic and logically fallacies!? ;D

    15. "The truth is that Giuliani was being a slick hack for blaming the Prez, the AG, and Hizzoner for hostility to the police, but it's also true that Giuliani specifically disowned the blood libel charges."

      Cause that wasn't the story the writer chose to write about?

      "Conservatives’ sick reaction to NYPD officer killings: Blame Obama and de Blasio

      Right-wingers politicize deaths of two officers to condemn liberals and protesters against police brutality"

      This criticism is preposterous.

      Is the conservative reaction pretty much sick across the board? Check. Was Rudy politicizing the tragedy? Check.
      Was Rudy blaming Obama and DeBlasio? Check.
      Was Rudy misquoted? Don't think so.

    16. Cause that wasn't the story the writer chose to write about?

      Exactly right. The story the writer chose to write about was how Rudy blamed Obama and de Blasio for the death of two cops. But he really couldn't print that because of the inconvenient fact that Rudy doesn't blame Obama and de Blasio for the deaths of two cops. In fact, Rudy specifically disowns that claim by the disgraceful PBA President and others. So we get a big picture of clench-fisted Rudy, a headline about conservatives "sick reaction," and a bunch of blood-libel quotes from people not named Rudy.

      For me, that's in dittohead territory. YMMV, and evidently does.

    17. One thing we need to realize as liberals is that we are Franklins. Ie. we are pompous jerks. The Orthogonians will always win. Ie. ok the reaction was "sick" but why? We don't seek to understand why. We are content to know they have sick reactions and that's it.

    18. "The story the writer chose to write about was how Rudy blamed Obama and de Blasio for the death of two cops.
      But he really couldn't print that because of the inconvenient fact that Rudy doesn't blame Obama and de Blasio for the deaths of two cops."

      Right, he blamed deBlasio for allowing the anti-NYPD protests to "get out of control," but Rudy does not agree that the mayor has "blood on his hands." So what the fuck is that supposed to mean? Seems to me Rudy wants to have it both ways and this is indeed a very small nit TDH is picking.

      Rudy doesn't explicitly declare that Obama has blood on his hands. Oh heavens no, Rudy didn't say that. It's just that Obama "contributed to an atmosphere of hate for the police, absolutely he did. But so did the President of the United States. And so did [Eric] Holder," he said, adding that President Obama and de Blasio are aligning themselves with Al Sharpton. Al Sharpton!!!!! Need he say more?

    19. Do you think I'm carrying some brief for Rudy? Because I'm not. And I think you know what it means to say "de Blasio supported anti-cop demonstrations," I think you know what it means to say "de Blasio is responsible for two dead cops," and It think you know the two are different.

  5. With the help of Rachel and Lawrence libs have transformed from "check-your-privilege" ridiculous to "we want dead cops" depravity in record time.

    1. Some of the conservative stations have been playing recordings of protesters chanting "we want dead cops." Do you know where that was recorded and who was saying it? Is it real? What is the story behind it?

    2. Good thing we have the ConTrolls and Teajadists to show us the error of our ways.

    3. I am seriously asking where that recording came from. Is it manufactured by conservatives or did it really occur?

    4. 7:48 Is this is the video you're looking for?

    5. I haven't heard any chanting of that phrase but I was nevertheless able to understand the connection between the hype surrounding false "racism" charges against cops and the assassination of the two officers. As is anyone with any ability to reason, including those who would deny such a connection in order to protect an ugly agenda.

    6. David, I heard it on radio. I'll check out your link. Thanks.

    7. @9:08,

      Don't bother. That's a link to a rap song. Go here:

      where you'll find a Fox affiliate editing a crowd chanting

      We won't stop;
      We can't stop;
      'Till killer cops
      Are in cell blocks

      to make it sound like they were saying

      We won't stop;
      We can't stop;
      So kill a cop.

      Both raw and edited footage are at the link.

    8. Impressive report by TPM.

    9. Young reporter at TPM. Probably still wet from falling into the well of hate.

    10. OTOH one demonstration really did call for "Dead Cops" Go to the link and scroll down a bit to play the video. The demonstrators are marching behind a sign, "NO COPS NO PRISONS" Starting just a few seconds in, you hear the chant, repeated over and over again:

      Leader: "What do we want?"
      Group: "Dead cops."

    11. Thanks deadrat. And a very merry Thursday to you.

      The Talking Points Memo article was one of those things Howler readers were not allowed to see.

    12. David, were some of the blacks well dressed? Was there anyone screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.'

  6. Like clockwork, whenever a tragic killing hits the news, each tribe silently crosses its fingers and hopes that the individual(s) responsible will be discovered to be card carrying members of the hated other tribe.

    Both tribes do this consistently now. The game is: pin the tragedy on the other tribe. If the killer(s) are members of the OTHER tribe, then just as surely as night follows day, the tragedy was the direct result of the shameless, irresponsible, and incendiary rhetoric of the hated others.

    On the other hand, if the killer(s) are members of one's OWN tribe, then just as surely, the tragedy was simply the uninspired, unpredictable, and isolated actions of psycopath(s).

    1. This is true, but rarely does the killer's threat directly reference the events being avenged, in this case events Sharpton chose to lie about and sell as racial killings.

    2. When that deranged person shot up the Boston abortion clinic killing several people, decades back, he referenced the Catholic church and a genocidal plot against Catholics, inspired by sermons by his local priest. Is that priest responsible? That killer's statement was specific in directly referencing his inspiration too.

      What about the people directly referenced in the Unabomber's lengthy statements? Are they all responsible for his bombings? Then there was John Hinckley. Is Jodie Foster responsible for his attempt on Reagan's life? He directly referenced her, especially her appearance in Taxi Driver.

      It is easy to see that there cannot be a connection when the referencing is more tenuous, but there is just as little connection between these murderous acts when a movement has been protesting as when a casual statement becomes the delusion that gives direction to a psychotic person's actions. It is most telling that these guy killed his ex-girlfriend first, just as the Newtown killer attacked his mother first. Neither would be true if the actual target were the victims those killers went on to attack afterward. That Newtown school wasn't responsible any more than Sharpton is.

    3. Anti-abortion rhetoric is very likely a factor in the shooting of abortion doctors. It can and likely has been an element of some if not all abortion doctor shootings. Some argue that inflammatory rhetoric around abortion is irresponsible for this reason, but others argue, defensibly, that all abortion doctors are killers of human beings. Rhetoric that claims "cops" are categorically racist, unjust killers of human beings is irresponsible because it is false and that rhetoric around specific incidents where the claim is unsupported should not be stoked by presidents and mayors and responsible people who know they are speaking to ignorant, gullible, and already angry (because their culture creates it) people who are LIKELY to respond by killing cops. The execution of NYPD officers was entirely predictable. I believe you do appreciate the differences between the cases you cited and that incident in terms of the demonstrations, rhetoric, proximity, legitimacy of the content of the rhetoric, etc.

  7. "The dead of Iraq look up from the ground into the faces of people like Dao. Standing behind them are Matthews and O’Donnell, pockets stuffed full of Welch cash."

    Bob. Regarding this post. Regarding what you left out about what Giuliani said about Obama. Regarding your suggestion that others are inclined toward hatred.

    Blow me.

  8. I skipped over this Salon piece knowing that it would be filled with the kind of selective quoting Bob sites. Rudy's may be an inspirational story: had he acting smart and prudently he might have manipulated his 9-11 deification into the Presidency he still his probably dreaming of. But he is stupid and mean, and without any help from the media, the public came to see through him. The more salient question would be why wasn't Rudy asked to back up his statements about the President with some quotations. But that's not something likely to ever bother Bob, he has the
    reporters on Salon to worry about.

  9. "Mr. O" weighs in:

    We are pressed for time, but we will put a couple of questions before you:

    What does it mean to "lose the police," and why should it be necessary for a mayor to resign if he or she "loses the police?"

    What "tribe" is "Mr. O" talking to in his phone call? What are the attitudes of the "two tribes" towards (white) authority figures, and how might those attitudes inform "Mr. O's" comments? Did he heroically interrupt his hard-earned vacation to try to "bring the two tribes together," or drive them further apart?

    1. I think black Americans are starting to think more and more for themselves.

    2. Why is it necessary for the purposes of this blog to care what BillO the Clown says or does?

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