Direct from the bubblers at the Times!


Weirdly incompetent work:
In this morning's New York Times, Susan Chira writes a puzzling "News Analysis" piece about the recent electoral unpleasantness.

Susan Chira isn't one of These Kids Today. According to the leading authority, she prepped at Phillips Andover, then graduated from Harvard. In 1980!

She graduated summa cum laude from Harvard; she's been at the Times ever since. She was the paper's foreign news editor from 2004 to 2011, after which she served as assistant managing editor for news.

She left that post this past September "to write about gender issues for The Times." That's what we found her doing today.

Judging from her credentials, Chira should be highly skilled. That said, we were struck by several parts of her piece. The highlighted passage was the second which brought us up short:
CHIRA (11/10/16): Donald J. Trump’s hyper-masculinity—the sexual swagger, the belittling of his opponents, his need to dominate—appealed to some men who believed he could restore them to their rightful place.

Yet men at Trump rallies also spoke of their faith that Mr. Trump, whose business acumen they revered, would bring an outsider’s willingness to take on the elites who put them down.

The campaign became a battle of two caricatures: male chauvinist pig against scheming, dishonest woman. It exposed parallel universes. In one, women flooded social media with their memories of sexual assault after Mr. Trump was caught on tape boasting about forcing himself on women. In another, men dismissed the tape as locker room talk or were surprised at how many women told them such harassment was commonplace.
We still don't know just what to think about that highlighted passage. Is it simply an accurate statement? Or is it the latest example of mandatory false equivalence?

This is why we're puzzled and bothered by Chira's presentation:

After Trump's videotape emerged, it surely wasn't hard to see how he acquired the caricature Chira cites. That said, was the "caricature" of Clinton as a "scheming, dishonest woman" really a "caricature" in a similar way?

We're still not sure what to think about that piece of apparent equivalence. But as we continued in Chira's piece, we were struck by a string of passages which didn't seem to make clear sense.

Consider this presentation. Does this presentation make sense?
CHIRA: At work, women have made substantial inroads and dominate the fastest-growing (and lower paid) segments of the economy, the “pink collar” industries such as health and education. More than a fifth of American men between 20 and 65 had no paid work last year.

But men consistently underestimate the barriers that women confront. In a study of more than 34,000 employees at 132 companies, 54 percent of men thought that the best opportunities would go to the most deserving employees regardless of gender; just 44 percent of women believed that. The survey, conducted by Lean In and McKinsey and Company and released in late September, found that a third of women thought their gender was a disadvantage in getting a raise or promotion.
According to Chira, "men consistently underestimate the barriers that women confront" in the workplace.

That certainly may be true. But her examples are puzzling.

How do we know that men consistently underestimate those barriers? We're told that, in one study, 54 percent of men said opportunities were granted regardless of gender, presumably at the places where they worked.

Presumably, we're supposed to think that this judgment was wrong. But Chira presents no evidence to support this idea, and if 44 percent of women in those workplaces said the same thing, mightn't we say that women "consistently underestimate the barriers they confront" too? If the men were wrong in what they thought, so were an almost equal number of women!

Are we supposed to focus on the relatively small difference between the response rates of the two groups? As in the piece we reviewed this morning, there was much more agreement between the men and the women in this study than there was disagreement. But so it goes when the New York Times attempts to establish a claim.

Chira's 54 percent example doesn't exactly seem to establish her claim. She goes on to note that "a third of women [in the study] thought their gender was a disadvantage in getting a raise or promotion."

But she provides no basis for assessing whether those views were right or wrong. And apparently, a larger number of women at those firms expressed a different view.

This kind of under-skilled analysis seems to pervade the Times. Two paragraphs later, we're confronted with this:
CHIRA (continuing directly): On campus, young men and women are facing off over what is assault and what is a sexual pass gone awry. Young men frequently protest that they are denied due process in campus hearings of sexual assault; young women charge that their attackers too often go unpunished.

Even reading habits diverge: Women read mysteries and true crime; men read science fiction and history, according to Peter Hildick-Smith, the president of Codex Group, which surveys reading patterns.
What can a person say about such consummate foolishness? That highlighted claim—highly irrelevant and imprecise—rather plainly comes from the flyweight files.

Near the end of the piece, we're offered what's shown below. Truly, this makes zero sense. At least as presented, it makes no sense at all:
CHIRA: Some research has found a backlash when men feel they are losing their status.

Iris Bohnet, the director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School, is a behavioral economist who believes in the principle of “nudging” people toward social norms. That typically means telling people, for example, that their friends have voted in order to prompt them to vote, too.

To test if she could induce diversity in hiring, Ms. Bohnet told research volunteers that the group before them had hired a predominantly female team. Men balked and chose to hire more men than women, she found.
Do men sometimes create a backlash when they feel they're losing their status? Presumably, yes they do. (Presumably, so do women.)

That said, are we supposed to regard that presentation as an example of backlash? Why? Because men didn't allow themselves to be "nudged" by one remark, we're supposed to conclude that they were engaged in a backlash?

Why are we supposed to think that? Does that presentation make sense?

Once again, Chira's writing is almost preternaturally vague in that passage. How long has it been since she had to make a clear point in her work at the Times?

We sometimes wonder what's in the water at the New York Times. The lack of basic intellectual skill seems to be the defining trait of the newspaper's floundering work force.

We often notice this problem when we read the paper's education reporting. Motoko Rich graduated summa cum laude from Yale, and she has never encountered a point so basic that she couldn't get it wrong.

(Tomorrow, we're going to look at David Leonhardt's piece about charter schools in last weekend's Sunday review. He's supposed to be best in show. The analysts tore their hair.)

Chira's piece is terrible work. It comes to us live and direct from the highest levels of American schooling. Also from the highest levels of the American "press."

There was lead in the water at Flint. Has anyone ever checked the bubblers at the Times? As the United States is proving, a major nation can't proceed with low-skill work like this.


  1. Bubblers? I didn't think anybody outside of eastern Wisconsin said bubblers. Even spell check does not think that is a word.

    My nephew has given up now too. After ten years out of Milwaukee, he no longer reacts when somebody says, quite correctly, 'drinking fountain'.

    As for the rest. Well, there is no amount of twisted logic that will not be accepted in the service of narrative. The narrative in this case being the pseudo liberal list of isms. Racism, sexism, whoops, I guess the rest of the list is phobias.

  2. Liberals would do well to listen a bit to Rush Limbaugh or watch some Fox News. But, liberals who only listen to other liberals get an unrealistic or partial picture of the world. That may be one reason why the New York Times editorials are usually so weak. The writers may not be aware that there are arguments on the other side to which they should respond.

    1. Rather than listening to Limbaugh and Fox, I'd be delighted if the liberals I know would just talk to some **people** outside of the goddam Beltway.

  3. David, the past couple days Limbaugh has been asking "Why isn't it OK for Whites to vote their own interests?" Good point, Rush!

    "Conservatism" is coming home to National Trumpism, and not a moment too soon. MAGA!

  4. @ 3:39 & 6:21 - 2 cucks in search for a swamp to drain.

  5. Best Spell Caster Reviwes to help you get your Ex back and stop Divorce
    Get Your Ex Back After Divorce or breakup right now no matter how hopeless your situation seems!! my husband is back today and i am so excited sharing my testimony with everyone here. I am Mandy Divanna by name and i reside here in UK. I'm happily married to a lovely and caring husband ,with 3kids. A very big problem occurred in my family few months ago, between me and my husband .so terrible that he took the case to court for a divorce.he said that he never wanted to stay with me again,and that he didn't love me anymore.So he packed out of the house and made me and my children passed through severe pains. I tried all my possible means to get him back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and he confirmed it that he has made his decision,and he never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my husband .So i explained every thing to him,so he told me that the only way i can get my husband back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for him too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow his advice. Then he gave me the email address of the spell caster whom he visited.{}. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address he gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my husband back in 17 hours once he cast the spell.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. few hours later, So surprisingly, my husband who didn't call me for the past{5}months,gave me a call to inform me that he was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how he came back,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and my children. Then from that day,our marriage was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster Dr GOODLUCK. So, i will advice you out there, if you have any problem contact Dr GOODLUCK and i guarantee you that he will help you and you will be the next to share your testimony to every one in the world!!. Email him at: and you can also Whatsapp him or call with his mobile +2349059610309

  6. I am Miss alisha.,From united states of America.I will start by saying to all that have experience heart break and also cant do with out there lover should please stop here and read up my story, So as you will know how to go solving or getting your ex back from this spell caster..AND AGAIN I WILL WANT TO ALSO TELL ALL THAT THIS SPELL CASTER I WILL WANT TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT IS HARMLESS AND DO NOT HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECT, BUT TO RESTORE AND GIVE YOU BACK WHAT YOU DESERVE, COS WHEN I MEET WITH THIS SPELL CASTER THAT WAS INTRODUCED TO ME BY THE WIFE OF MY BOSS IN MY WORKING PLACE, HE MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE CAN CAST SPELL ON SO MANY OTHER PROBLEMS EXCEPT IN GETTING YOUR EX OR MAKING YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU MORE THAT WILL SUITE YOU. Last year December, My lover was cheating on me and was not also give me the attention that a man should give to a woman,And really that was troubling my mind and tearing my heart apart to the extent that i was not concentrating in the office the way i use to before the break up by my lover.And before that incident,I always see how my boss use to love his wife so much. I was binging to think that i was not doing the right thing to him that will make him love me forever,So i really gathered my courage and went to my boss wife office to ask her the secret that made her husband love her so dearly,In the first place she refused in telling me,She asked me why i am asking her such a question,That if is it not normal for every man to love his wife.I told her the reason that made me ask her about this question,That my lover started cheating on me lately,When i knelt down before her for her to see my seriousness in this issue that i went to ask her,She opened up to me by telling me that i should not tell anybody about what she want to tell me,The wife to my boss started to say to me that she used a very powerful spell on his husband to love her,And the spell that she used is harmless, But the spell is just to make him love her and never to look for any other woman except her. I QUICKLY ASK HER HOW DID SHE GET TO KNOW THIS GREAT,POWER,DURABLE AND PERFECT WORK SPELL CASTER,she said that a friend of hers also introduce her to him. Then i also ask her how i can meet with this spell caster.SHE SAID EVERYTHING TO ME,THAT THE NAME OF THIS SPELL CASTER IS Dr. AZEN TEMPLE.My next question to her was how can i get this wonderful spell caster,She said she is going to give me the email of the spell caster for me to contact him for my problem,Really she gave to me this spell caster email and i contacted him and explained all to him,And after every thing that needed to be done by the spell caster, In the next two days, My lover that hated me so much came to house begging for forgiveness and i was so glad that i have finally gotten my heart desire..I was so grateful to this spell caster for what he has done for my life.. So i made a promise to him that i will always continue telling the world about his wonderful work towards me and also to other that came to you before and also the people that will also get to you from my story that i narrated online now..I will want to say to the entire world that you should not cry over noting again, That there is a great man that has been helping individuals to restore there Joy and smile in there faces !! The direct email to get this man is :[]or what'sapp +2349038299828 ,This is what i want to tell you all out there,That is thinking that all hope is lost ok..Thanks