Don Lemon works five nights per week!

FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2017

The New York Times takes it from there:
We kid you not. Yesterday morning, the "Here to Help" feature on the New York Times' page A3 took a gloomy turn.

Someone at the Times was scared. Here's how the feature started:
Here to Help

No matter where you live, your emergency kit for disasters, man-made or otherwise, should always include a go-bag. Here's what to put in yours.
The feature helped us know what to include in eight categories, including Mylar Blankets and Dust Masks. Was this "Here to Help" feature really a comment on President Donald J. Trump?

We don't know, but we kid you not. The day before, the "Here to Help" feature started like this:
Here to Help
We get an eyeroll every morning as we scan A3. This morning, in the "Of Interest" feature, this "noteworthy fact" appeared:
Of Interest


As the host of "CNN Tonight," Don Lemon is on the air about 260 days a year.
Instantly, we handed it off to our computational mathematics division, asking them to conduct a thorough review of the numbers. After several seconds of work, we were handed these facts:

There are 52 weeks in the year. Multiply by five nights per week. Your answer will be 260.

That noteworthy fact was pulled from this timely, sprawling portrait of Lemon's "grooming routine." Lemon's first quoted statement was this:

"I live by coconut oil and argan oil."

We've sometimes suspected as much!

The piece was written by Bee Shapiro. Aside from her position at the Times, Shapiro is founder of Ellis Brooklyn, "a luxury, eco and sustainable fragrance and bodycare company based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn."

Is any of this a conflict of interest? We aren't sure we can tell.

At any rate, Shapiro reported that Lemon "is on the air around 260 days a year" right in her opening sentence. At page A3, someone else apparently felt that this was a noteworthy fact.

Are we best seen as "the rational animal" or as malfunctioning androids? About 365 days a year, the question crosses our mind.


  1. Bob, quit writing. Quit writing or I will quit reading this blog altogether. That's right. This is the final straw. You will not see me here again.

    1. You must not share Bob's disdain for LG reportage and reportage on the LG journalist community.

      BTW, why does the L always go first in LGB., LGBT., and LGBTQ? How does one determine how many of the letters of the acronym to use.

      I suspect you, Greg, would be knowlegeable on this topic.

    2. Just quit reading then, moron. Don't keep announcing it. No great loss if we never see you here again.

    3. 7:22

      I'll pour cottage cheese on your head jerk.

  2. Disaster preparedness is essential in Southern California, where I live. Not only is a major earthquake overdue (and possible from moment to moment), but wildfires occur both summer and winter now (due to global warming), often forcing evacuation at a moment's notice. Many of us have real go-bags in our car trunks. We keep our gas tanks full all the time, and we have an emergency plan with our families and distant relatives. We do this stuff because it is part of modern life these days.

    Somerby thinks this is unnecessary, a joke, not consequential enough for the newspaper. The L.A. Times not only runs front page articles about this stuff, but it chides people for not taking earthquakes seriously.

    Maybe NYC or Baltimore of Wash DC think they are exempt from such problems. They are not. Major utility grid failure during a heat wave, freezing temperatures combined with a Noreaster or hurricane, or a terrorist event could all cause the same kind of conditions where either evacuation or preparedness of other kinds would be necessary. But Somerby thinks this is not suitable reading for a newspaper.

    What is wrong with him these days that he equates trivia about Lemon with serious planning for high likely disasters?

  3. For God's sake, Bob, you can have all kinds of things in a newspaper. There's been a "style" or "everyday living" section since, oh I don't know, 1800?

    1. For the sake of greater temporal precision, Brad DeLong says:

      [QUOTE] ...Karl Marx said somewhere that the hand-loom gives you the feudal lord and the power-loom gives you the industrial capitalist. So in 1884 Ottmar Mergenthaler gave us the traditional American twentieth-century newspaper journalism of Charles Foster Kane (and the broadcast TV spectrum allocation gave us Edward R. Murrow and Walter [Cronkite]).

      The Mergenthaler gives you the power to deliver advertisements--classified advertisements, department store advertisements, movie advertisements, new car advertisements--to every household metro-wide for pennies.

      But how do you get people to read the advertisements rather than simply throw them away or use them, unread, for birdcage liner? You mix the advertisements with news, and reviews, and sports, and opinion, and entertainment. You make the twentieth-century American newspaper.

      Because the ads that are mixed with the best news (and reviews, and sports, and opinion, and entertainment) get read the most, there is pressure on the then new-media moguls--because daily newspapers were once new media in their day--to employ lots of good people and to pay them well. Over time the business consolidates: papers fold or find their niches, and establish stable competitive positions. Now there are monopoly profits to be distributed--and some of them go to the people who write the news (and reviews, and sports, and opinion, and entertainment).

      Now there is often an owner who is a big wheel in at least local politics and celebrity, and is willing to pay some out of his pocket to buy a better newspaper to increase his relative status vis-a-vis his or her other power-elite peers. It is a golden age. And, indeed the public sphere, the civic discourse, the informed citizenry created by journalism is well worth its price in terms of the subsidy from advertising profits that high-quality journalism needs.

      But without sufficient competition, people and organizations get lazy....

      And then, one day, the Mergenthaler's descendants are obsolete, and the necessary link between the ads and the news (and reviews, and sports, and opinion, and entertainment) delivered via the morning paper vanishes. And the pool of money that had subsidized the news dries up.

      And then (to be continued)... [END QUOTE]

    2. Hugo Munsterberg, Harvard psychologist, in 1913 demonstrated that ads are more likely to be read when intermixed with magazine or newspaper content, rather than grouped all together at the end of the paper in a special advertising section.

  4. Om the face of perhaps the greatest menace to society we have faced in a long time, go ahead Bob and read about "salad lyonnaise" and announce it as the downfall of the Western world. Meantime, the rest of us "broken-souled horrible liberals" are not going to give up the ghost.

  5. Investigative articles are connecting the dots but Somerby is still insisting that Trump and his minions deserve the benefit of every doubt.

  6. Here's an interesting interview with a linguist-philosopher-activist.

    1. One long running excuse on the left for not winning the evangelical vote has been disproved by Donald Trump's success, namely that a presidential candidate has to exude religious sanctimony. What's been more important all along is for the candidate to look the majority of individual voters in the eye and, at least, claim: I am going to improve your life, specifically.

    2. That's a good interview for the people who think Trump supporters are "mostly" bigots.

    3. Quoted from the interview:

      "What bothers them is that the people behind them in the line, as they see it, are being pushed ahead of them by the federal government."

      In other words, these are people who resent the progress being made by those they perceive to be beneath them, such as minorities and poor people. That is a very unchristian view, but that is how Trump voters feel. I've heard people say this among my own acquaintances. They hate seeing people get something without working for it (in their opinion).

      There is no common ground with people who think like that. Beyond this, the interview had nothing to offer that (1) isn't already being tried, and (2) is workable. This is pie-in-the-sky, build-it-and-they-will-come wishful thinking. Trump voters are not magically going to recognize that their interests are the same as ours just because you talk to them a certain way. For example, you cannot help people who depend on fishing by telling them the fishing beds will be reopened when doing so will not happen because the fish are gone. That would be lying, in the same way as Trump lies. You cannot tell workers that they can band together and buy their companies, when that isn't going to happen either. Isolated solutions that will not work on a larger scale are empty promises.

      Chomsky says that even Bernie couldn't accomplish a class-based campaign. If he couldn't do it, no one is going to do it. But hey, this makes a wonderful criticism of everyone else, so lets use Chomsky to tear down the existing Democratic party. Lets pretend Hillary had no programs to appeal to each of the groups listed in this interview, made no effort to do what Chomsky suggests. Lets pretend the Democrats are all elitists talking about white privilege all the time. With people like Chomsky around, who needs conservative opponents. We can self-destruct!

      No thank you. And CMike, we didn't need Trump to demonstrate that evangelicals are hypocrites.

    4. But we have self destructed. Hello?

    5. I don't consider having an election stolen from us via collusion with Russia to be "self-destructing". We are rebuilding our party after sabotage. We do not need Bernie or Noam to do that.

    6. There have been thousands of elections since 2010 which use ballots with partisan designations of the candidates. Take a look at how the Democrats have been doing overall. As to the most recent presidential election, final poll results going into November 8, 2016 showed Trump, the least popular major party candidate in modern polling history, within two percentage points of Clinton in Pennsylvania, a must win for the Democrat. [LINK]. In a state of destruction, therefore, is an entirely fair description to use in describing the Democratic Party.

    7. 11:00. How are Demoxrats rebuilding their party exactly?

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. 11:00. You don't need Bernie, you don't need Noam, you don't need Trump voters, you don't need Christians. That's a hell of a platform.

    10. You of course know that a constituency is not the same as a platform. We had a great platform with Hillary. No one read it except her supporters, apparently, or that stupid noam article wouldn't have repeated her same approach and called it their own, as if Hillary hadn't already proposed the same things they were calling for.

      The Bernie and Noam contingent have no place else to go. Evangelicals are never going to become Democrats. The Trump folks are 40% of the 25% of voters that are Republicans. That makes them pretty tiny. The Russians appear to be the essential element on the right. In the past, the left has won without any of these groups. In a normal election, it would have been the same. All we need is a fair election.

    11. 8:46 PM you really aren't aware of what the numbers for Democrats look like in state legislatures across the country, in governors' mansions, in the U.S. House, and in the U.S. Senate are you?

      You really are going to stick with, "If things were fair, Hillary would have squeaked out a win against the candidate with the worst net approval numbers of any major party nominee for president in polling history and, therefore, the Democrats are positioned right where they need to be to advance the interests of the deserving despite the obstacle posed by the deplorable coalition of Republican voters made up of privileged members of the underclass, the working class, the middle class, the upper middle class, of the wealthy, and of actual stone cold American oligarchs."

      8:46 PM, you really are a bona fide member of the Democratic Resistance, aren't you.

    12. Those spprovals are so negative because of the unfairness of the election. The same person has had the highest approvals too. Hillary isn't running for those state and local offices. They represent the weakness of the DNC. But notice Bernie's candidates have been consistently losing to regular Democrats, nearly everywhere. Clearly Bernie isn't the answer. He can't even win in California with Hillary out of the picture. He is only doinh harm to grassroots efforts now.

    13. Trump's negative net approval ratings were because of the unfairness of the election? [LINK]

      I'll just put you down as someone who wants more of the same along with your grassroots comadre Nancy Pelosi [LINK]. Who knows, maybe electoral lightning will strike twice for the Democrats, providing the Republicans end up getting credit for losing another war and crashing the economy again.

  7. I wonder if Bob Somerby plans to continue his series on journalists who use the word "lie" about the Trump team with a focus on Shep Smith of FOX.

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