Times readers fight the power: On today's reimagined page A3, we came face to face, once again, with These New York Times Readers Today.
Not with all the newspaper's readers, of course. But apparently, with quite a few!
Here's the way it went down:
The analysts had turned to the daily feature known as The Conversation. Instantly, their faces fell. This is what they'd read:
The ConversationIt was Tuesday's most read article! In the whole freaking New York Times! That may explain why Katie Rogers was assigned to hiss-spit a second report today.
FOUR OF THE MOST READ, SHARED AND DISCUSSED POSTS FROM ACROSS NYTIMES.COM
1. Mnuchin's Wife Mocks Oregon Woman Over Lifestyle and Wealth
On Instagram, Louise Linton belittled a commenter for having less money than her. "To be clear," the White House correspondent Maggie Haberman wrote on Twitter, "the Insta post, while arguably unwise, did not rise to level of a story on its own. It was her comments to the Oregon woman who posted on her page." It was Tuesday's most read article.
Warning! Snark and snide!
Haberman's highly thoughtful piece was Tuesday's most-read article! Shouldn't readers have discussed instead the speed with which Rome once burned?
Even worse: Where in the world do they find these people? We refer to The Daily Caller's Ford Springer, of course.
So you'll know, Springer is two years out of college. (Ain't low-wage journalism grand?) We're suggesting he change his name to Ford Springer Ford and write his first great novel.
Clowns like Linton should be ridiculed often.ReplyDelete
Or he could change his name to Bob Somerby and finish "How He Got There".ReplyDelete
I think you missed the point, cupcake. Bob didn’t take issue with criticism of Linton, but was rather pointing out that this (non) story was the most widely read in the Times Tuesday. Is it cause for concern? Maybe not. But it is rather remarkable.ReplyDelete
Pointing out the dumbing down of mainstream reporting is de rigueur on this site. Why do some of the people who visit seem not to notice? And when they do, completely misinterpret what Bob is saying?
Punching down on liberals by the artifice of media critique is de riqueur on this site.ReplyDelete
Leroy, it's right there in the title: "WE love to loathe the Linton types!" But, yesterday or tomorrow it's "We love to loathe the Trump voter" or "We love to loathe the Southerners" or whatever, ie something completely contradictory to today's Bob-meme. This because an article gets a lot of hits one day. No matter what, Somerby is at pains to show us liberals what condescending fools we are. And THAT's Bob's main point, it would seem. Go back and read TDH and see the snark: "We liberals...we're so dumb..."ReplyDelete
And don't call me cupcake, asshole.
And Leroy, Somerby is either ignorant of or blind to the "dumbing-down" of the media where it concerns right-wing media, which he NEVER discusses. So don't pretend that I don't understand the fucking point of his criticism. But he is only looking at half of the equation, and in so doing, his analysis ultimately suffers.ReplyDelete
Or do you believe that only liberal media deserves any critique? Is liberal more or less dumbed-down than conservative media?
And Somerby's constant take down of ALL liberals (not just media elites) based on some random media malfeasance he ferrets out from his bunker is just wrong.
So go to hell.
Hey, what was the number one story on Breitbart today? Seth Rich steals HRC's emails and hands them to wikileaks? HRC runs child sex ring out of DC pizza parlor? Give me a fucking break.
I just feel like the criticism is being made on its own terms. We are dumb. That is the point. That doesn't mean one has to criticize other dummys does it, dummy?. Like say - the Knicks suck, someone writes about it, they don't have to write that the Magic sucks too. You are so stupid obviously, but you don't know it. You are proud. That's cool. We are all dumb. Most read on NYT is whatever that show is - Game of Thrones. We are all TV watching pot heads. You are a pot head and tremendously unbalanced as we all are. The proof is in the pudding. We can’t even win an election against a massive lying buffoon. Don’t quibble so much though. Be humble. Most of all be humble. Don’t be bothered and take it so personally. Grow up a little bit. Try to be a man. Stop being boring. I’ll kick your ass.
The title of this blog is "The Daily Howler" -- that last word I find defined as "a stupid or glaring mistake, especially an amusing one. synonyms: mistake, error, blunder, faux pas, fault, gaffe, slip" -- and the subtitle clarifies that it is the mainstream "press corps" which Bob Somerby targets for his musings.ReplyDelete
But Somerby nowhere specifies what "mistake" was made here by the mainstream press corps, whether stupidly or amusingly or neither. Was this about a "mistake" by the mainstream press corps at all? Or is all this hand-wringing simply about Somerby's anguish that more readers took interest in that particular story than Somerby thought should have done so?
“…Somerby is either ignorant of or blind to the "dumbing-down" of the media where it concerns right-wing media, which he NEVER discusses. So don't pretend that I don't understand the fucking point of his criticism. But he is only looking at half of the equation, and in so doing, his analysis ultimately suffers.”
I disagree. That’s not his focus. His analysis concerns the purportedly liberal media, of which the NYT has been accused, though that’s laughable for the most part.
He’s criticizing the news sources that purport to be liberal in their leanings. He criticizes our “liberal” political intelligentsia. Why does he do that?
Because we lose in the political arena, and have been for a disturbingly long time. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that conservatives dominate political discussions, e.g. Fox News et. al. And there’s the rub, at least according to Bob. Our “liberal” news orgs seem no better than their conservative counterparts in advancing their arguments. I think he has a point. Though, as another anon pointed out, all of our national media is controlled by corporate owners who by-and-large dictate what is broadcast.
This may sound tonuge-in-cheek, but why doesn’t Maddow work for Democracy Now!? I think you know the answer to that.
I’m a liberal (actually far to the left of that moniker), and I don’t feel that Bob is “punching down” (thanks Albert) at me. I think he makes valid points, and I enjoy his rhetoric.
And I like cupcakes. :)
That’s a good point, Raven. The howler is not always evident. Perhaps it’s in the fact that the article was published at all, and in the manner in which it was? I’m all for class warfare, but from the Times? Weird.ReplyDelete
Fortunately, Bob does go off his rails at times. That can sometimes end up being more entertaining (and thought provoking) than his usual fare. Though the usual is often spiced up by readings I’ve never been exposed to.
Pithy observation for an Epic writing-poet!
What's with Bob repeating right-wing memes about liberals (like you)? About a month ago, he was going on about coastal liberals sitting around bad-mouthing those in "flyover" country.ReplyDelete
Despite the hard work of righties, that isn't a thing at all. Yet, Bob chided liberals for something dreamed-up in the fever swamps of the corporate media.
Robert, if you'd like to see an eye-opening map of voters in 2016, check out this link. You'll notice that, largely but not entirely, "blue" voters concentrate on the coasts. Scroll down, ignore the essay for a moment, though it’s well worth reading.ReplyDelete
You have to ask, why can't the supposedly liberal party, the democrats, make inroads to the "red" states? You can blame the right-wing media all you want, and with some justification. But why can't the Democratic party itself turn things around?
Why don’t they try to reach out to these red states? Sanders, who’s not even a democrat, is trying hard to reach “those people.” Liberals (democrats) may not be bad-mouthing them (though I have seen it myself), but somehow they’re not mobilizing people to their side. I wonder why.
Bob may be wrong to choose media criticism as a vehicle for this dynamic, but it’s real. And I, the Bob-whisperer, can tell it infuriates him. And me too.
> “You have to ask, why can't the supposedly liberal party, the democrats, make inroads to the ‘red’ states?”ReplyDelete
One factor to consider: the GOP-run state governments control those states’ voter registration lists & polling places — and more often than occasionally have been known to use that control to close out Democrats from access to the polls.
Robert: “What’s with Bob repeating right-wing memes about liberals...?”ReplyDelete
... whom he endlessly chides while calling them “our tribe”?
Urban Dictionary: concern troll: In an argument (usually a political debate), a concern troll is someone who is on one side of the discussion, but pretends to be a supporter of the other side with “concerns”. The idea behind this is that your opponents will take your arguments more seriously if they think you’re an ally.
Take his party membership card away and exile him to Montana!ReplyDelete
Raven, kudos on your Kos article. But here you write, “One factor to consider: the GOP-run state governments control those states’ voter registration lists & polling places — and more often than occasionally have been known to use that control to close out Democrats from access to the polls.”ReplyDelete
One quibble: the voter ID laws and gerrymandering are meant to disenfranchise _potential_ Democratic voters.
But have you ever seen any mainstream news media outlet even touch this? It’s a national scandal. It’s heartening that recent court rulings have determined some gerrymandering unlawful, but this is something “liberal” news orgs should be running away with, not to mention the Democratic party itself. Where’s darling Maddow in this discussion? They’ve allowed this to go on for years if not decades. Why?
Leroy: (1) The voter ID laws have blocked from the polls actual registered voters, who had legally voted in previous elections, and not previously been required to show these IDs. (They didn’t own cars so didn’t drive so didn’t have driver’s licenses; they rode buses or bicycles or walked or used wheelchairs....)ReplyDelete
(2) Gerrymandering likewise affects actual district voting outcomes, not just “potential” voters:
[For instance, in Wisconsin:] “With the new maps in place, GOP candidates in 2012 state Assembly races actually got 168,000 fewer votes than their Democratic counterparts, but the GOP still scored 60 of the 99 seats. They now hold a 63-36 advantage in the Assembly and a 19-14 advantage in the state Senate.”
(3)“Where’s darling Maddow in [the gerrymandering] discussion?” You could just look and specify "Stories from The Rachel Maddow Show"; I get 86 hits just now, for instance:
● Democrats seek to reset Republican gerrymandering (12/29/2016)
● Court slams Wisconsin GOP gerrymandering (11/22/2016)
● Obama to fight back on redistricting for Democrats (10/24/2016)
— on just the first page of broadcast results, not counting blogs —
I said the voter ID laws affected potential voters, and I understand your observation that previous voters were affected by them. I was mistaken to include gerrymandering in that assertion. They are two distinct tactics. Gerrymandering directly disenfranchises minorities on purpose, while voter ID laws have the potential to do so. Who’s to say that a republican voter might not be affected?
And as I wrote, “It’s heartening that recent court rulings have determined some gerrymandering unlawful…”
I checked your link, and the bylines were all Steve Benen. I saw no recordings of Maddow or anyone else broadcasting the issue.
Frankly, we’re not at odds on this question; I believe it’s a national scandal, and doesn’t get the attention it deserves from the msm. Do you disagree? And I ask again – why isn’t the Democratic party making hay with the issue? It’s a mystery to me. It should be a 24/7 issue for them. The law is intentionally slow in its application in cases like this, but keeping it at the forefront seems important to me.
> “Who’s to say that a republican voter might not be affected?” — Since we’re discussing a concentrated red-state tactic (i.e. one that notably has no mirror image in blue states), the point and design of gerrymandering has been to draw map lines around Republican voters to maximize, not minimize, their impact.ReplyDelete
> “I checked your link, and the bylines were all Steve Benen.” — Then you’re looking at the blog entries, where he (not she) writes the blog about her show.
> “I saw no recordings of Maddow or anyone else broadcasting the issue.” — Above, I listed for you the titles of three of those broadcasts, from the first page of hits I got, with their broadcast dates.
> “And I ask again – why isn’t the Democratic party making hay with the issue?” — Wait, did you not even read just those three headlines from that first page? “Democrats seek to reset Republican gerrymandering”,“Court slams Wisconsin GOP gerrymandering” (on whose motion?), “Obama to fight back on redistricting for Democrats”?
To ask why ISN’T something happening presumes that indeed it isn’t. But you were already provided with indications that it is. At this point I’m left pondering the reasons for your presumptions, especially after the headlines I’ve specifically pointed out to you.
I searched one of the headlines (Democrats seek to reset Republican gerrymandering Maddow), and there was a piece on the Maddow show. Damn, I had to work for that! :)ReplyDelete
May be nitpicking here, but it wasn’t Maddow.
The second headline started off with the whole “Russia-gate” thing. Whether you agree with the reporting or not, Consortium News has indicated time and again that there is no evidence for “hacking,” but rather leaking. I saw nothing in that broadcast about vote rigging, nor Maddow (nitpicking again).
The third headline, you finally made me watch Maddow, and it was good. What that showed was that Republicans had a real strategy (and we both know, I’m sure, that the right-wing has been trying to fulfill the advice outlined in the Powell memo for decades).
But I stand corrected. The fact that Obama was focusing on down-ticket races and district mapping was news to me. I hope he’s still at work on that. Thanks for turning my eyes to the effort. I’ll admit, I’m not a TV guy, so no need to ponder my presumptions.
> “... Consortium News has indicated time and again that there is no evidence for ‘hacking,’ but rather leaking.”ReplyDelete
Eyes shut see no evidence there, eyes open see evidence here:
Meet Fancy Bear, The Russian Group Hacking The US Election
> “I’ll admit, I’m not a TV guy....”ReplyDelete
Then there’s no need for you to snark “Where’s darling Maddow in this discussion?” as though you had longingly watched her show for any sign of coverage of this topic, in vain... when in fact you hadn’t watched it... and in any case this Internet search was always available to you.
And, yes, she was off sick for a number of episodes, and others like Ari Melber and Joy Reid filled in as hosts (with Rachel’s staff still doing their sterling research and support behind the camera) — it’s still her show.