Supplemental: Nicholas Kristof does it again!


Featuring his latest remarks about our dismal schools:
The first half hour of today’s Morning Joe was about as bad as punditry gets.

In their first chunk, the TV stars pretended to discuss the scene in Baltimore. In their second chunk, they staged their latest rant about the latest pseudo-scandal aimed at Clinton and Clinton.

Regarding the Clintons, Scarborough shouted down Howard Dean, with Mika eager to help. Truly, she is an awful TV pundit, one of the worst of all time.

Regarding Baltimore:

Mike Barnicle shot out of the gate, showing that he doesn’t know the difference between Baltimore City and Baltimore County, two separate and distinct jurisdictions.

That doesn’t amount to much. Next, though, the TV stars followed Scarborough’s lead. They took turns complaining that the autopsy for Freddie Gray isn’t available yet, even after “three weeks.”

As far as we know, autopsies aren’t be performed until after someone dies. Freddie Gray died on April 19. It hasn’t been close to three weeks, but all the pundits stood in line to repeat Scarborough’s error.

Translation: None of these people are actually following the Freddie Gray matter. They’re simply posturing on national TV, going after whoever is the official scapegoat that day.

For what it’s worth, we had no sense that any of the pundit stars had any idea how long an autopsy should take in a situation like this. They were simply parroting script, the one thing the TV star does.

They then began lamenting the fact that Gray had been forced to attend lousy schools. This script was still ringing in our ears when we read Nicholas Kristof’s latest ten-minute column in today’s New York Times, which is probably where they got their pseudo-idea.

It seems to us that Kristof has really gone haywire in recent months. At any rate, he started his column with another of his patented bogus facts:
KRISTOF (4/30/15): Conservatives have sometimes been too quick to excuse police violence. And liberals have sometimes been too quick to excuse rioter violence.

It’s outrageous when officers use excessive force against young, unarmed African-American men, who are 21 times as likely to be shot dead by the police as young white men. It’s also outrageous when rioters loot shops or attack officers.

So bravo to Toya Graham, the Baltimore mom captured on video grabbing her teenage son from the streets and frog-marching him home. The boy wilted: It must be humiliating to be a “badass” rioter one moment and then to be savagely scolded in front of your peers and sent to your room.
In a better world, we’d be spared those silly, unhelpful thoughts about Baltimore’s “badass” sons. But good lord! Four days after the most egregious cherry-pick we’ve ever seen, he repeated a discredited talking-point which was apparently built on a cherry-picked time span.

For a background report, click here.

Over the past few months, Kristof has seemed to put amazingly little effort into his columns. Back in January, we thought his piece about his noble high school friend was one of the strangest columns we’d ever read. But the work has gone downhill from that point.

For that reason, he had to go there! He knew exactly what to say about our lousy schools.

Below, you see script straight from the jar. It’s easily memorized by people who are too lazy and disconnected to know how to say something else:
KRISTOF: As Obama, [Carmelo] Anthony and other leaders also noted, there are crucial underlying inequities that demand attention. The rioting distracts from those inequities, which are the far larger burden on America’s cities.

That also represents a failure on our part in the American news media. We focus television cameras on the drama of a burning CVS store but ignore the systemic catastrophe of broken schools, joblessness, fatherless kids, heroin, oppressive policing—and, maybe the worst kind of poverty of all, hopelessness.


If wealthy white parents found their children damaged by lead poisoning, consigned to dismal schools, denied any opportunity to get ahead, more likely to end up in prison than college, harassed and occasionally killed by the police—why, then we’d hear roars of grievance.
Talk about “dismal, broken schools” always sounds high-minded. We’re sorry, but it isn’t.

Are kids in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood going to broken schools? A beautiful picture of some of those kids appears in today’s New York Times.

We strongly recommend checking it out. Those kids attend school about a half mile from our own sprawling campus.

They may be going to “broken schools.” But people like Kristof say such things to mask the fact that they don’t know squat about the topic, or because they don’t want to bother being truthful about a challenging subject.

When pundits say such schools are “broken,” they typically mean that test scores are low at such schools. But low test scores at low-income schools may not reflect “dismal” performance on the part of those schools or their teachers.

Those low test scores may reflect the fact that low-income kids are often far “behind” their middle-class peers by the time they’re three years old. Technically, Kristof knows this, of course. He just wrote another paint-by-the-numbers column about the need for expanded preschool.

But it’s easy, and it always sounds noble, to fulminate about “broken schools.” It also pleases the corporate men whose ugly conduct Kristof aped in Sunday’s grotesque cherry-pick.

How can we improve the schools those Sandtown kids attend? It starts in the first few days of life—unless you’re a hack on Morning Joe or in the increasingly pitiful Times.

By the time kids are seven years old, the question is more complex. In all his corporate-scripted complaints about the pathetic way “Johnny can’t count,” Kristof has never shown any sign that he knows anything about this topic.

Still, the gent keeps cranking script, usually straight from the experts. It’s what he did with that ugly remark about the way Johnny can’t count.

Final point—are young, unarmed African-American men really “21 times as likely to be shot dead by the police as young white men?”

As far as we know, the answer is no. Just a guess:

We know that, and Kristof doesn’t, because we spend more time on these topics than he lazily does. Based on recent evidence, he’s too busy sipping drinks on terraces high above Haiti with his movie star friends.

In our view, it’s time for Kristof to “take his hat and coat and leave.” Wealth and fame keep doing this to a wide array of climbers.


  1. Bob,
    unfortunately, there are many things that are disproportionate in the black community.
    For example they make up about 13-17% of the overall US population but yet occupy 50-65% of prison beds. So i Know some statistics do seem far fetched, but at least according to FBI statistics they are true.
    What we are seeing in Baltimore, as sen in Ferguson before is a case of government afraid to control the thugs , yes they are thugs not protesters when they destroy businesses. As a country we can not allow simple facts get in the way of the medias narrative of police shoot black man. We will learn more as the real facts come out about the death of MR Gray. I suspect that he is not an innocent man.

    Dan Somerby

    1. Please follow the link and read the analysis of the accuracy of that particular Pro Publica statistic.

    2. From 12/04/14 St. Louis Public Radio, William Freivogel:

      Despite the significance and frequency of police shootings and their potential to divide society, the nation doesn’t have a reliable database of police shootings with the information needed for police reforms that might avert future Fergusons.
      There are no reliable statistics on how often police officers shoot or kill civilians.
      David Klinger, a former police officer and current criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said there are three official sources of information, all of them imperfect: the FBI Supplemental Homicide Report, the Centers for Disease Control and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
      Much of the media coverage cites the FBI Supplemental Homicide report where local jurisdictions are asked to report police shootings that result in death. In 2013, the FBI report listed 461 justifiable homicides, on the high end of the 400 annual average.
      But the FBI number undercounts the police shootings, say Klinger and other researchers.
      The Wall Street Journal detailed the deficiencies in the FBI statistics last week (Dec 3). It discovered that “the latest data from 105 of the country’s largest police agencies found more than 550 police killings during (2007-2012) were missing from the national tally or, in a few dozen cases, not attributed to the agency involved. The result: It is nearly impossible to determine how many people are killed by the police each year.”
      The Journal tallied 1,825 police killings in those 105 departments; that’s 47 percent more than the FBI statistics showed for those districts. In other words, there are a lot more police killings than the official numbers show.
      Illinois, New York and Florida have reported almost no figures. Washington, D.C,. hasn’t reported police shooting deaths since 1998. Other big jurisdictions that reported little or no data, the Journal reported, include New York City, Miami-Dade County and Arlington, Va.
      “What everyone agrees on,” Klinger said, “is that we need a national database of all officer involved shootings – doesn’t matter if the victim is white, black, Asian or Hispanic. We want to know where do they occur and the patterns of how shootings occur so that we can change training.”

    3. Hey Danny Boy,

      How many things are disproportionate in the white community?

    4. You ARE a bigoted and ignorant moron.

  2. I couldn't say it better.

    1. Which part did you like best Steve, the part about Morning Joe or Kristof?

    2. The part where you can't be a mountain climber anymore if you get rich.

    3. Well, you've won Bob. Mr. VDARE has infested your blog.

      I for one welcome the racist POS Sailer and his hater crew.

    4. 8:05 - you've been Poe'd.

  3. The president has decreed that we may still use the word "thug" to describe thugs. Meanwhile, most progressives seek another opportunity to empower a word so that it will make others feel worse about themselves when they hear it, thus enabling these social justice warriors to ride to their rescue.

    "Let's play 60's" is the new favorite recreational hobby of the left. It doesn't matter that the consequence is black misery. Blacks' positive attitude about race relations at the start of Obama's tenure is reversed based on nothing. Mission accomplished. The more miserable blacks' experience of being black in America is, the better.

    1. "'Let's play troll' is the ongoing favorite recreational hobby of the right."

      FTFY - you're welcome

  4. I think it is time for a report on how well black 8th graders in Baltimore did on NAEP math.

    1. Why? This particular child had lead poisoning. It causes brain damage and interferes with ability to learn. How would stats for other black 8th graders be relevant to this person's school experience?

    2. Lead poisoning is less relevant than other factors in common, such as a drug addicted mother and an absent deadbeat father. Even more tragic and common than inability to learn is apathy about learning. But who can blame them when they're told if they bother to learn they'll be murdered by a cop anyway just for buying skittles or walking down the street.

  5. So it was those infernal teachers unions who are responsible for severing that kid's spinal cord?!

    1. Sounds like you think severed spinal cords are hilarious.

    2. It was your ever lovin' liberal Kristoff who used the violent death as a jumping off point for one of his scripted anti-school rants. Doesn't that offend you?

  6. Not wanting to hurt anybody's feelings but are there any more pathetic comments than those at this site?

    1. Not wanting to hurt your feelings, but how has your comment improved anything?

    2. If you could point to exactly one, never mind more and more, co-respondents suggesting "we" need to "kill all the 'niggers'" that would give some small merit to your comment. But you cannot. And indeed the only merit to your comment is the handy example of outright bad faith it provides.

  7. Kristof never wrote a column about his noble high school friend. Bob has a problem distinguishing between arguing the particular from the general -- the pattern that usually applies to anything about Maddow, Walsh or (excluding this particular case) Kristof, whereby anything they ever say may be challenged because of who Bob has decreed they are -- and arguing from the particular to the general.

    1. Kristoff is as he projects himself to be. He's a brand. Posed sipping cocktails up on the veranda, caring, but always the time and need for refined sophistication. As authentic as George W. Bush's monogrammed cowboy boots.

  8. If you want to look at disproportionate threats, here's a statistic.
    The number of blacks killed by other blacks is around 20 times as large as the number of blacks killed by police.

    1. David do you have a total dollar amount for what the public is paying in wages to these "other blacks" annually?

    2. If one's biggest concern is the well-being of inner city blacks, than one should focus on the biggest threats. I fear that these riots and demonstrations will result in the police being less aggressive, and thus will lead to more black-on-black murders.

      I think better police work could and should result in fewer blacks killed by police. However, there's a paradox. Inner city residents rightly fear police mistreatment. Yet, they need aggressive policing to protect them from their neighbors. Focusing only on deaths caused by police is likely to encourage police to put less effort into policing the inner city.

    3. Maybe being less aggressive will result in less police on black murders big Dave.

      Prosecutor Files Murder, Manslaughter Charges Against Cops In Freddie Gray Case

  9. Blogger : how about an apology to Maddow?

    From the NY Times

    The news comes as David Wildstein, another former Port Authority official and a high-school friend of Mr. Christie, pleaded guilty at the United States District Court in Newark to conspiracy to commit fraud and “conspiracy against civil rights.”

    Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who presided over the case, laid out the scheme by detailing his criminal acts. She asked a laundry list of questions, all of which Mr. Wildstein answered with a soft “yes,” while standing at the defense table.
    Continue reading the main story
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    She asked if he conspired with Mr. Baroni and Ms. Kelly to shut down lanes to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee for not endorsing Mr. Christie in his 2013 re-election campaign.
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    “Did you agree with Mr. Baroni and Ms. Kelly to punish Mayor Sokolich by causing significant lane access problems,” the judge asked, staring down from the bench at Mr. Wildstein.

    “Yes,” Mr. Wildstein answered.

    1. You nasty troll. All this does, journalistically speaking, is remove the "good faith traffic study" theory from the list of possibilities all good journalists should have mentioned every time they wrote about this piddling story. Until now.

      It doesn't change a thing about how Mayor Sokolich seemed to change his story.

    2. They made a plea deal. What does that have to do with truth?

      Maddow's job was to report what was known, not make stuff up that might or might not turn out to be correct. It is scary that you don't get that.