Part 3—What Loesch actually said: As several people have said, we live in an increasingly polarized, partisan time.
With the rise of talk radio, "cable news" and the Internet, partisan polarization became a very big business. The dimwitted claims upon which it's based are shoved at us every minute.
We liberals are very skilled at spotting the dumbness Over There—and yes, it exists in abundance.
We're much less skilled at spotting the dumbness among our own. For one recent example, consider what Henry Grabar said.
Grabar is five years out of college (Yale 2012). As such, he's rather young. Like his older colleague, Dahlia Lithwick, he's educationally elite, as these things are measured.
Grabar shares the old school tie with Lithwick. Like her, he works for Slate. In that sense, he's also part of our journalistic elite.
Like Lithwick, Grabar fawned about the Parkland kids in the wake of last Wednesday's CNN town hall event. Overnight, the pleasing novel had written itself. The headlines on Grabar's piece said this:
THE SLATESTIt certainly was the Slatest! As Lithwick would do that very same day, Grabar was saying that the kids are wiser are sharper than their elders are.
The Teens at CNN’s Gun Town Hall Had Questions Grown-Ups Forgot How to Ask
By HENRY GRABAR
FEB 22, 2018—2:09 AM
"[T]he Parkland kids don’t share the older liberal generation’s defeatism on gun control," Grabar admiringly said at one point. Four days later, this Monday morning, his upbeat piece was still being headlined on Slate's front page.
Are the Parkland kids really wiser and sharper than the older liberal generation? We're not sure, but Grabar was setting the bar quite low. Later that day, Lithwick, who's almost 50 (she's Yale 1990), explicitly said that the Parkland kids were sharper than her own failed cohort has been.
There's litlle doubt that Lithwick was right about that. But that's because her elite cohort has been such a monumental corrupted bust, not because it's decent or wise to expect a bunch of teen-aged children to lead us.
Lithwick's cohort has run and hid every step of the way from the increasingly crazy behavior of the upper-end mainstream press corps, preserving their interests and their careers in the face of every challenge. Grabar is much younger, but he was presenting the pleasing new novel too.
Those Parkland kids were just so great! Early on, Grabar described some of the genuine craziness Over There, even as he sketched the outlines of our own tribe's new novel:
GRABAR (2/22/18): Partly an intergenerational gun-policy debate, and partly a memorial service, the town hall was compelling television because simple questions kept overpowering evasive, technical answers. Over the last few days the public has been struck by the wherewithal of the Parkland students—their eloquence in the wake of tragedy, their good nature in the face of right-wing smear campaigns, their courage in confronting politicians and journalists on national television. Their efforts have been so extraordinary that some right-wing doubters assumed they were on the Soros payroll...Some "right-wing doubters" may have believed that ludicrous claim. Presumably, some right-wing lunatics and crackpots simply chose to say it.
That craziness came from Over There. That said, our own mandated tribal dumbness in one instance looked like this:
GRABAR: Perhaps the most moving contrast of the night was seeing Emma Gonzalez—whose angry speech at a rally in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday captivated the nation—confront the slick NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch. Her question, like the other two, was not a point of policy but of right and wrong: Do you believe it should be harder to obtain semiautomatic weapons and modifying devices like bump stocks? Loesch’s answer was the first of several disingenuous deflections and attacks she made over the course of the evening. After a while, Gonzalez interrupted to remind her what the question was.On balance, Dana Loesch is, indeed, a "slick NRA spokesperson." In truth, it gets substantially worse than that.
The very next day, speaking at the CPAC convention, Loesch unloosed the kind of disingenuous tribal attack that is designed to fire the crazies and the rubes and keep the nation divided. "Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it," the profoundly disingenuous NRA con woman said.
Dana Loesch aggressively serves the cabal. That said, our own team is amazingly foolish too. We've proved this in the past thirty years by our inability to see through the rank corruption which has permeated the conduct of Lithwick's self-dealing class. We prove it again when we fall in line behind silly, tribally pleasing novels like the one Grabar typed.
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at what Gonzalez said in the exchange which Grabar praises. Grabar was willingto tell a tale in which he saw a brilliant young warrior at work, achildwho was ready to lead us.
Over here in Reality Town, we saw a 17-year-old high school student who was fighting a battle her elders should fight and who was, as an obvious matter of fact, already way over her head, struggling just to hang on.
Tomorrow, we'll look at what that misused high school student actually did and said in her full exchange with Loesch. For today, let's consider the silly way Grabar described Loesch's answer to the question Gonzalez posed.
People, it was tribally great! According to Grabar, our brilliant child had asked a wonderfully simple question. Their harridan had produced a "disingenuous deflection" and perhaps an "attack" in reply.
It's a woderful novel, but is that what actually happened? Here is the question Gonzalez asked, and the bulk of Loesch's reply:
GONZALEZ (2/21/18): The shooter at our school obtained weapons that he used on us legally. Do you believe that it should be harder to obtain the semi-automatic and—weapons and the modifications for these weapons to make them fully automatic, like bump stocks?Which part of yes doesn't Grabar understand? Between the catcalls and the shouting from the morally brilliant children who shall lead us, Loesch answered Gonzalez by saying yes—yes, she and the NRA advocate making it "harder to obtain the semi-automatic weapons."
LOESCH: [fawning praise for Gonzalez's activism]
Now I want to answer your question. And, I want to be allowed the opportunity, which is why I am here—to talk and have this discussion with you all and answer these questions. This is why I came down here.
I don't believe that this insane monster should have ever been able to obtain a firearm, ever. I do not think that he should have gotten his hands on any kind of weapon. That's number one. This individual was nuts and I, nor the millions of people that I represent as a part of this organization, that I'm here speaking for, none of us support people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others, getting their hands on a firearm.
And we have been, for over 20 years, and I have been screaming about this, which is why I'm here, because I have kids and I'm not just fighting for my kids, I'm fighting for you, I'm fighting for you, I'm fighting for all of you.
Because I don't want anyone to ever be in this position again. I want everyone to think about this for one second, this goes right into your question: Do you know that it is not federally required for states to actually report people who are prohibited possessors, crazy people, people who are murderers?
No, we've been actually talking about that for a long time. Let me answer the question. Let me answer the question. You can shout me down when I'm finished, but let me answer Emma's question.
In fact, she advocates making it impossible for people like the Parkland shooter to obtain such weapons. Fighting through the morally brilliant liberal catcalls, she tried to explain one state of affairs which makes it harder to deny such weapons to people like Nikolas Cruz.
For ourselves, we wouldn't use terms like "insame monster," "crazy people" or "nuts" to describe people like the teen-aged Parkland shooter. We'd be inclined to describe people like Nikolas Cruz as "deeply disturbed," and to suggest that such disturbed people badly need society's intervention and help, before they do something like this.
That said, we also wouldn't be inclined to describe Loesch's answer to that question as a disingenuous deflection or as an attack. We certainly wouldn't do so without quoting what she actually said, then explaining why her statement was supposed to be so horrific.
Grabar gave a nearly-precise account of Gonzalez's question. He made no attempt to quote or report what Loesch said in reply.
Instead, he told us what we long to hear—he told us the demon had struck. This is the way the liberal world gets dumbed down in this newer era.
(It follows the era in which people like Lithwick smiled and made nice while the big mainstream orgs which direct their careers made war on various Democrats, sending Bush, and then Trump, to the White House.)
The students in Parkland are suffering nightmares, we were told in Sunday's Times. Elsewhere, we get the silly novelized tale in which the children shall lead us.
Atop the front page of this morning's Times, we see a photograph of two other children, this time in Syria, who will likely suffer trauma due to their exposure to flat-out poison gas war. They seem to be perhaps six years old. The photo doesn't appear online.
They join traumatized children all over the region, children whose traumas stem from the way Lithwick's generation politely averted their gaze as the New York Times and the Washington Post conducted their appalling wars against Clinton, Clinton and Gore.
That's how Bush got to start his war. Politely, Lithwick's cohort looked away, saying nothing, as the press corps' "war against Gore" sent George W. Bush to the White House.
Many kids have been traumatized as a result of that gruesome conduct. Even today, the press corps' past conduct cannot be described or discussed, even though the same war, conducted against Hillary Clinton, put Trump where he is.
It's highly unlikely that high school students will be able to solve the deep problem which results when our elite institutions, places like Yale, churn out tribunes like Lithwick and Grabar. Stating the obvious, onkly deeply uncaring people would hand teenagers that task.
Tomorrow, we'll look at what Gonzalez said during her fuller exchange with Loesch. Romanticizing the children well, Lithwick and Grabar pleasingly said she was brilliant.
We saw something different that night. We saw a badly struggling teen, her elders hiding behind her.
Tomorrow: Ignore the floundering well