BREAKING: Ways to normalize The Crazy!


The Times soft-soaps Donald J. Trump:
Yesterday, Donald J. Trump did a lot of high-decibel talking about some very important topics.

In this morning's editions, the New York Times made the following statement in a front-page news report about the president's remarks:
BAKER AND SULLIVAN (6/16/18): As he often does, Mr. Trump misstated or distorted a variety of facts, large and small, over the course of the television appearance and subsequent conversation with reporters.
Trump had "misstated or distorted a variety of facts, large and small." The Times was willing to say that as a statement of fact, as part of a major front-page report.

Trump misstated or distorted a variety of facts? This included large misstatements?

At one time, that would have been regarded as a major news event. Today, though, the New York Times normalized Trump's wild misstatements in two major ways.

First act of normalization: The statement we've quoted doesn't appear at the top of the Times' report. It doesn't even appear on the Times' front page.

The statement appears inside the paper, on page A15, midway through the continuation of the front-page report. The Times quoted an array of misstatements before it bothered informing its readers that many of the president's statements had in fact been false.

In our view, the paragraph we quoted should have appeared on page one, at the very start of the news report. If the Times is prepared to say that a sitting president made a variety of misstatements, including large misstatements, the Times should report that fact early on.

Second act of normalization: In the hard-copy Times, the continuation of the front-page report consumes the top half of page A15. The bottom half of page A15 is consumed by Linda Qiu's latest strange "Fact Check" report.

What makes Qiu's report so strange? In hard copy, her report appears beneath this heading:
That said, this was a highly abnormal "fact check." Qiu's report starts like this:
QIU (6/16/18): President Trump appeared on Friday outside the White House for a wide-ranging interview on “Fox and Friends.”

The interview, which started at 8:30 a.m., morphed into an impromptu question-and-answer session with other reporters.

The following are highlights and fact checks of some of his statements.
Alas! Qiu reprints all sorts of wild statements by Trump, but many of these apparent "highlights" don't get fact-checked at all. Employing a confusing array of frameworks, Qiu and her editors reprint a wide array of statements by Trump, but fact-check only some.

Why would a major newspaper structure a "fact check" this way? We have no idea, but Qiu's report reprints many misstatements which never get fact-checked at all.

The New York is a very strong brand; it's also a very strange newspaper. Its judgments are persistently odd. Today, the paper's treatment of Trump's wild statements provides the latest example.

Modern history of The Crazy: The normalization of The Crazy started long before Trump. It was well underway in the 1990s, when upper-end newspapers like the Times normalized the headlong pursuit of pseudo-scandals involving Bill Clinton, then involving Al Gore.

The Crazy started getting normalized long ago. The process continued this morning. Our liberal world only began to complain when the normalization was extended to the crazy claims of Donald J. Trump—and in truth, we liberals only began to complain in earnest after the normalization of The Crazy helped get Trump elected.

We gamboled and played for a very long time. We knew Trump couldn't win!


  1. "We knew Trump couldn't win!"

    True that, dear Bob. You did announce the "end of history" - your lib-zombie paradise forever - back in early 90s.

    But, luckily for the rest of us, the rumors of history's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Bummer, eh?

    1. Remember the old saw about how 'we're better than this"?
      Boy did that ever expose the cluelessness of the speaker.

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  2. These days seem to have pretty much reduced Bob to babbling in various directions. Today, we can't think too badly of him.

  3. This is flat wrong:

    "Our liberal world only began to complain when the normalization was extended to the crazy claims of Donald J. Trump—and in truth, we liberals only began to complain in earnest after the normalization of The Crazy helped get Trump elected."

  4. My Antonia is wonderful!

  5. Hey Bob, I just read the funniest thing, about The Crazy (one of your chosen topics) - here.

    "“Why did it happen? What was it for? No US president has ever agreed to meet with the North Korean dictator before — all US presidents have considered it to a certain degree. None of them have said yes. Why did this US president agree to this meeting?” she asked.

    Finally, after 17 minutes of screeching and facial contortions, Maddow announced her theory —which could come as a shock to no one – that the real reason Trump took the meeting with Kim and agreed to halt military exercises with South Korea was obviously …Putin wanted him to.

    Would you care to comment - on account of her being your favorite clowness?


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    1. Most cogent comment so far, Mao in Cal. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Leroy, if you won't go off topic, I will. Here's nine minutes (0:32 to 9:20) on why Jimmy Dore is upset with Bernie Sanders LINK. (Me, I think it's got to be easier to take over a political party than to take over the country.)

    2. Cmike. WTF. Firefox allowed me to "inspect the element" of your link, but I don't understand how your link is forced to show full-screen with no options otherwise. But I guess that doesn't matter. Perhaps you could show me how to post in block letters in stead. However, that might lead me to dishonesty, so I'll just stick with anon if I have to. What I mean is, you remind me of deadrat. Anyways.

      I almost immediately knew what Dore and Bron (sp?) were talking about. Scanning today, I ran acrost an article about the DNC rule changes that might shut Bernie out if he doesn’t declare himself a true believer.

      But I think it’s a good thing.

      1. The Dems came right out in the open to declare their hostility to Sanders and the progressive movement.

      2. This may finally realize the formation of a viable third-party option.

      By viable, of course, I mean electable. Is there the smell of the Electoral College in the air? That horrible stench? Which was meant, if it’s to be believed, to weed out those not acceptable?

      If the EC continues to exist, so will our political dysfunction at the Presidential level. After all, the DNC and RNC are quite literally corporations. Private “entities.” If we have to continue with the EC model, the only way to change it at the grassroots level. It will take a long time. But the time is late, not too late I have to believe.

      Moving on, since you follow Greenwald, I assume you’ve read his exposés on the animal “agricultural” industry. Old hat, but it needs to be continuously exposed.


      If don’t have good speakers, then you will be rightfully disappointed. Or maybe even if you do. I'm in a dark mood. Sorry.


    3. Dark mood? Keep at it and turn that frown upside down [LINK].

      As for the quality of my speakers, doesn't matter, I can't use them here. I do have a good pair of headphones but not good enough to allow me to share in your appreciation for your Alice In Chains link as I wasn't smoking the herb of enlightenment during the 90s so I never developed an ear for grunge.

      Hats off to anyone who goes vegan as an animal rights imperative or to do their part in preventing climate change. Me, I got there taking the selfish route. I'm all into the medical advice coming from the T. Colin Campbell/Caldwell Esselstyn/John A. McDougall/Michael Greger crowd.

      I'd recommend to anyone nearly all those diet and food industry documentaries at Netflix, either the one month for $8 SD subscription or the $11 HD option is a bargain just to see those films. In an entirely positive way they have the potential to be life changing. Forks Over Knives [LINK] would be the one to start with.

      Nick Brana is the name of the person Jimmy Dore was talking to and who is taking the lead in forming a third party based on Sanders' platform.

      Not sure what you mean by "block letters" or why my comments would remind you of deadrat's. Whether the two of us use some of the same formatting options you'll notice he consistently proofreads his posts with better results than I can manage and, for instance, he draws from a much stronger science background than I have.

    4. “…not good enough to allow me to share in your appreciation for your Alice In Chains link as I wasn't smoking the herb of enlightenment during the 90s so I never developed an ear for grunge.”

      Budweiser, Canadian Club and a bad attitude would have been sufficient. I can attest to that.

    5. Aw hell Cmike, you didn’t have to get all Benito Mussolini on me. In fact, I was on acid when I wrote that post. Things were kind of wiggly, but this helped me get through it.


  11. I shed a tear today. So I revisited one of my touchstones. It gives me solace.

    Statement of Principles


    1. You will be shedding a lot of tears if you try to abide by idiotic, foolish principles like that. It's like Bob says on a smaller, contemporary political level - we simply are not up to it. We are human beings. Look at our history. It has nothing at all to do with reason. We are killers. Our violent nature stands far above all reason, rationality, spirituality, morality and all of other nature. Principles like that are written by and are for people who are disenfranchised and weak. Those principles are dreams. You better get a grip man. We are human beings. We are destroyers. It is our nature to destroy and kill. Taking those principles seriously is like asking to be mowed down. Have you people not studied your history? Have you not read Dostoevsky?

  12. Haven't read Dostoevsky, and from all indications, I am the poorer for it. But it doesn’t seem to have helped you one little bit. You seem to have given up on humanity. We are what we are, no doubt. But I got your back, brah. Take that to the bank, if it’s worth anything.

    Side note, there’s been a dearth of Monarchs this year. The milkweeds are bangin’, but no caterpillars. I’m not giving up. With concerted effort, they’ll survive. I said, concerted.


    1. Butterflies. I'd have them all in zoos.

    2. We are destroyers. Copping to that is not giving up. Quite the opposite.

    3. "Our violent nature stands far above all reason, rationality, spirituality, morality and all of other nature."

      Have another raw hamburger, dork.

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