Mental horizons of the Times!

FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2017

As always, we kid you not:
We'll admit to a sick fascination with the intellectual horizons of the New York Times—more specifically, with the intellectual horizons of the people who populate its inner circles.

Let's be fair! At least the Times didn't publish this piece, a thoughtful report by Robin Givhan about the meaning of Callista Gingrich's hair.

(Hard-copy headline: "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Her hair speaks volumes about mythic Washington.")

That piece appeared on the front page of Style, in Wednesday morning's Washington Post. If you're concerned about the cultural meaning of Gingrich's hair, we strongly recommend it. Also, if you're concerned about our nation's dying brain cells.

That wasn't the New York Times' work! On the other hand, this was the way yesterday's "Here to Help" feature started, on the reimagined page A3 of the brainiac Times:
Here to Help

The name of the game when it comes to cleaning the living room is tidying and straightening. Here are some tips for organizing the tasks involved, from the cleaning expert Jolie Kerr.
People, we kid you not. But then, remember the motto of page A3:
You are the dumbest people on Earth.
We at The Times want to serve you.
Kerr's expertise seems endless. In this, her initial tip, she seems to recommend removing dirty socks:
Remove that which does not belong
The nature of the living room being what it is, items that do not necessarily belong in the living room often make their way in there. Items such as dirty socks, wine glasses and even Krazy Glue eventually should be put in their rightful places (the hamper, dishwasher and tool box, respectively).
The insights advance from there. At one point, Kerr says this: "A quick pass of the feather duster over bookshelves and coffee tables will help get rid of dust with little fuss."

Who but the cleaning expert Kerr could have come up with that? Have we mentioned the fact that we wonder about the intellectual status of the people who populate this upper-end, Hamptons-tilting realm?

On this morning's page A3, the "Noteworthy Facts" have a gloomy feel. That said, we wondered about the first fact, which involves an important topic:
Of Interest
People awaiting bail account for 95 percent of the growth in the jail population from 2000 to 2014.
We noted the slippery nature of that particular type of statistic. In the particular case, that statistic could mean that the population awaiting bail rose by 19 people, out of a rise in the jail population of 20 people at all.

That's a slippery type of statistic, but the topic is very important. The source, it turned out, was this op-ed column by a pair of senators, Harris and Paul.

The column includes a lot of statistics. None of them are sourced or serviced by links.

Should the New York Times publish such columns without any sourcing or links? Actually, no, it shouldn't. We just burned about a half hour trying to Google the data.

Finally, we were struck by today's Spotlight feature on page A3. It involves "a wide-ranging TimesTalk" in which Carol Davenport interviewed Al Gore about his new climate film.

Gore cites some heartbreaking, horrible facts in this small tiny very small feature. Page A3 devoted more space to the tips about dirty socks.

That said, you may recall what the New York Times did when Gore's first climate film was released, the one which went on to win an Oscar. The brilliant liberal giant, Frank Rich, slagged the stupid ridiculous film from stem to stern.

He slagged the film in the New York Times. He slagged the film on MSNBC and national radio with his dimwitted buddy, Don Imus.

He said the film reminded him of one of those crummy instructional films they made you watch in high school. He didn't execute his 180 until Gore won the Nobel Prize, at which point he quickly began kissing ass.

Rich is plainly the world's dumbest person. But when he appears on the Maddow Show, he's still "the great Frank Rich." He remains a tribal hero Over Here in our liberal tents.

Our liberal world is extremely dumb. This is one of the ten million facts we liberals just can't seem to grasp.

We'd call it a highly noteworthy fact. Rather plainly, it helps explain how Donald J. Trump reached the Oval.


  1. "We'd call it a highly noteworthy fact. Rather plainly, it helps explain how Donald J. Trump reached the Oval."

    Nah, liberals being dumb isn't a good explanation; I don't think it works even as partial explanation.

    In fact, liberals (those who know what they're doing) have been doing a swell job, splitting the proles into small factions ('black', 'white', 'latino', men, women - you know the drill), hostile to each other. But hey, there's a limit to everything. So it looks like now it's back to the evil Ruskies.

    1. Fucking liberals, amirite?
      They are so elite with their, "We were 100% correct about George W. Bush's Great Iraq Clusterfuck," and how they are always throwing the fact that Conservatives who rant about small government and government waste actually supported that $2+ Trillion waste of time and money.
      Liberals are such losers they can't even win elections against a Conservative movement which is an amoral dumpster fire.

    2. "George W. Bush's Great Iraq Clusterfuck"

      George W. Bush's, eh? How convenient. Like it wasn't done by the NYT, TNR, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Brookings, and all the rest of them. Already forgotten, and now you have your 'narrative', eh?

      Or are you merely complaining that the war wasn't run competently enough?

    3. "George W. Bush's, eh?"
      Ever heard of him? If you have, you're not much of a Conservative.
      And yes, the (not at all liberal) media is as much to blame for that waste of time and money as it is on electing Trump (and running interference for Conservatives through the "both sides" nonsense).

    4. So, Mao, are you saying that GW Bush had nothing to do with the war? He and his enablers were innocent pawns vis-a-vis Iraq? Only "liberals" and "liberal media outlets" are to blame. Go ahead and keep your head buried in the sand, if you want to believe that bull. At the very least, ALL of those entities (Bush and Co. bigly included) are culpable, but you can continue your pet narrative that only liberals do bad things if it makes you feel better.

    5. I seem to recall S. Palin dividing the country into the "real America" and the "elite college-educated snobs." M. Romney into "moochers" and "fine upstanding citizens". Everyone ever on Fox News: libs/Dems "traitors", Repubs "patriots" etc...But hey, only libs are divisive, right?

    6. "Ever heard of him?"

      Are you aware, Mr Anon, that the 'great man' theory of history - explaining major historical events by decisions and action of heroes and villains - belongs not even to the 20th, but to the 19th century. Talk about 'conservatives'...

      Instead of bitching about some irrelevant old men, why don't you familiarize yourself with, say, political economy? Might do you some good.

      As for the liberals, I read today about the greatest liberal senator Chuck Schumer sponsoring the bill that would criminalize boycotting Israel to a maximum penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison. Yes, 20 years in prison. Another reason for you to feel proud.

    7. " greatest liberal senator Chuck Schumer"
      Thank Dog, for a minute there, i thought you might try to argue in good faith. Thanks for straightening me out with that howler.

    8. To be factual (because Mao has shown to be sorely lacking in this arena - of being factual), the proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act from last March is mostly sponsored by Republicans - it is sponsored by 29 Republicans and 14 Democratics in the senate and the similar house bill is sponsored by 174 republicans and 63 Democratics. It is supported by conservative luminaries such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Jason Chaffetz, Liz Cheney, etc.

      The language of the bill does not necessarily support the ACLU's take on how it would penalize. Here is an article that presents a slightly more balanced take:

      Apparently the new bill just updates previous legislation, and it's sponsors claim the ACLU is inaccurate in it's claim, quote from the article:

      "The ACLU has argued: "The bill would punish businesses and individuals based solely on their point of view. Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment."

      The legislation does nothing of the kind, lead sponsors Sens. Cardin and Portman said Thursday in a letter to the ACLU. The legislation is "narrowly targeted at commercial activity and is based on current law that has been constitutionally upheld," they wrote.

      "For example, if the United Nations Human Rights Council requests information from an American company about its business dealings in Israel and Israeli-controlled territories as part of an effort to compile a blacklist of companies doing business with Israel, the bill would prohibit the company from responding."

      In its statement Thursday, Cantwell's office said she would not support any legislation that restricts free speech, adding: "There is nothing in this bill that restricts constitutionally protected free speech or limits criticism of Israel or its policies."

    9. Thanks SB, I checked out your source and found another one:

      It links to the original legislation, which the new legislation is meant to refine, presumably:

      As the original legislation is written, it does refer to “persons.” I guess even then, corporations were considered as such.

      The original legislation has a punitive effect on anyone supporting another country’s boycott of “friends” of the United States, so it seems this First Amendment argument should have been made at the time. But I’m glad that light has been shed on this topic. Thanks again.


    10. "" greatest liberal senator Chuck Schumer"
      Thank Dog, for a minute there, i thought you might try to argue in good faith."

      Well, perhaps you aren't aware, but Mr Schumer happens to be The Leader (or Boss, if you prefer) of the US Senate delegation of what we now know (thanks to Seth Rich) as a Mafia organization (also known as the 'Democratic party') that represents the American liberals... Tsk.

    11. Mao. Good point. Not George W. Bush's Great Iraq Clusterfuck, rather Modern Conservative America's Great Iraq Clusterfuck.

      And you're right about Trump, too. He's not one man, he is the Republican Party. Where him (around your neck) proudly.

    12. "Mao. Good point."


      "He's not one man, he is the Republican Party."

      Huh? You lost me there, friend. You may want to try to concentrate before typing this stuff. Try hard, real hard, please.

    13. Mao,
      So the dipshit who wrote "the 'great man' theory of history - explaining major historical events by decisions and action of heroes and villains - belongs not even to the 20th, but to the 19th century", while on the same thread posting this "Well, perhaps you aren't aware, but Mr Schumer happens to be The Leader (or Boss, if you prefer) of the US Senate delegation...", is lost (in his own bullshit). Who could have guessed?

      FYI: Playing a moron, who can't hold a line of thought for two whole posts, exposes you as a typical right-wing troll.

    14. "So the dipshit who wrote"

      Are we not friends anymore? Is this because I'm black?

  2. Welcome Mao Cheng Ji in Cal.

    1. He's the poster boy for the success of 70 years of conservative think tank propaganda.

    2. "Trump family = Modern Conservatives"

      Nice equation. Do you have any other deep thoughts, Anon? Of course you do. Why don't you post them all, right here? For the posterity...

    3. Tsk, how rude. I had such a great opinion of the liberals and of the delicate thoughtfulness of Clinton voters... And now it's all ruined...

      Sorry, but now I must contemplate and re-evaluate...

  3. Her first name is Coral and not Carol, and the feature is a not tiny hour long video.

  4. I get the NY TImes and almost always skip over pages 2 and 3. I also get the Cartoon Network on cable, but I don't watch it.
    Really Mr. Somerby, I think you are spending too much time and space on this minor section.

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