Galloping Cottleism: Early yesterday morning, to the tune of The Baby Elephant Walk, we read Michelle Cottle's Editorial Observer piece in our hard-copy New York Times.
Cottle joined the Times editorial board on June 1 of this year. The appointment was her reward for a quarter century of saying nothing of interest or importance from the highest platforms offered by contemporary pseudo-liberal pseudo-journalism.
The editors, signing with first names only, explained the appointment as shown below. We'll highlight a few key points:
THE EDITORS (5/22/18): We’re delighted to announce that Michelle Cottle will join the editorial board June 1 as our lead opinion writer on national politics.There's only one word for that: Sad.
Michelle has been covering Washington and national politics with passion, nuance and wit since the Clinton administration, and we look forward very much to the sense of history and proportion, along with the gimlet eye, that she will bring to bear on the Trump era. (punctuation as shown)
She arrives from The Atlantic, where she’s been covering the culture and politics of the nation’s capital as a contributing editor. Before that, she was a senior writer at National Journal, specializing in in-depth profiles. From 2010 to 2014, she served as a Washington correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. She’s also been a longtime senior editor at The New Republic and an editor of The Washington Monthly, as well as a frequent television and radio commentator.
Among many other gems, her recent work has included (politely) nudging Hillary Clinton toward the exit, dissecting the #MeToo era in state government and sticking up for unpaid interns—all the while, digging into today’s dating scene as a Date Lab columnist for The Washington Post.
Michelle grew up in Alabama and Tennessee, with stints in Georgia and Mississippi—in other words, she was, as she puts it, reared “red state to the core.” She now lives in Maryland with her husband, children and dogs.
Michelle will be based in the Washington bureau. Please join us in welcoming her.
—James, Katie and Jim
Among other accomplishments, Cottle had recently been "digging into today’s dating scene as a Date Lab columnist for The Washington Post." This is the sort of performance which signals to lifeforms like James and Katie, and even to Jim, that the gimlet-eyed writer in question needs to be on the board.
To the tune of The Baby Elephant Walk, we thought of the famous paraphrased claim which is now being called "Aristotle's error" within the international expert community. That paraphrased claim would be this:
Man [sic] is the rational animal.We humans are the rational animal! Could anyone survey Cottle's career and draw any such conclusion? Just consider her Editorial Observer piece, along with other such detritus from yesterday's Times.
Sad! At lest for us pseudo-liberals, the New York Times is branded as our smartest national newspaper. The paper pleasures us with incessant suggestions that we subscribers are cognizant, super-sharp, morally good, even smart.
Yesterday, in hard copy, Cottle's Editorial Observer piece sat in the real estate normally occupied by the Times' unsigned editorials. Meanwhile. on the paper's "reimagined" page A3 (hard copy only), readers were shown a collection of seven "Noteworthy Facts" from that day's edition.
Three such facts looked like this—and sadly, we kid you not:
Of InterestThe other facts which some editor listed weren't a lot more noteworthy. Meanwhile, this:
NOTEWORTHY FACTS FROM TODAY'S PAPER
Big Bird, the "Sesame Street" character, is 8 feet, 2 inches tall.
Adult acne overwhelmingly occurs in women.
Sample questions from the Certification of Astrological Proficiency exam include: What is the harmonic of a quintile aspect, and how many degrees is it? How how often are Mercury and Venus trine?
In the Spotlight section, on the same page (ADDITIONAL REPORTAGE AND REPARTEE FROM OUR JOURNALISTS), the Times presented four photos taken by Viggo Mortensen, "one of the six cover subjects of [T Magazine's] annual Greats issue."
(T Magazine is the Times' reliably vacuous, eleven times yearly "style magazine." Mortensen isn't a New York Times journalist, but his photos had been taken by a Hollywood celebrity. On this basis, inclusion of these pointless photos was, in the traditional phrase, "close enough for New York Times work.")
On the same page A3, yesterday's Quote of the Day concerned the way Canadians can now "smoke pot without worrying police are going to arrest us." Below that, in the Here to Help section, the Times was helping readers out in the following way:
Here to Help"I don't know why anyone would make a pie instead of a crisp." So Bittman helpfully said as he helpfully started out.
A RECIPE FOR MARK BITTMAN'S APPLE CRISP
So it increasingly goes as the Times no longer attempts to hide its orange-shoed downward spiral. Meanwhile, on page A22, Cottle's lengthy Editorial Observer piece sat in the place where the newspaper's editorials normally reside.
Recently, Cottle was "digging into today’s dating scene as a Date Lab columnist." Apparently, this convinced James, Katie and Jim that the time had come to add her asp to the editorial board.
It was that, plus "the gimlet eye that she will bring to bear on the Trump era!" For the record, "gimlet eye" is a gendered term which is only applied, within the realm of pseudo-liberalism, to female pseudo-journalists whose fatuous work is designed to maintain the culture which Katherine Boo prophetically denounced, long ago, as Creeping Dowdism.
Cottle has said and done nothing of interest over the past thirty years. Because she had proven herself in that way, the Times had finally come to see that she belonged on the board.
Warning! "Among many other gems, [Cottle's] recent work has included (politely) nudging Hillary Clinton toward the exit." While dropping any need for politeness, it was to this favorite subject that Cottle turned her "gimlet eye" in yesterday's Observer piece.
For the record, we agree with Cottle's first point—with the idea that Clinton's recent interviews are likely to be unhelpful to Democrats in next month's elections. But after five paragraphs of that, Cottle produced a longer discussion of her real interest—of the only topic on which boys and girls like Cottle have been able to focus in the past 26 years.
We read Cottle's piece to the tune of The Baby Elephant Walk. We'll turn to the content of what she wrote as our award-winning series continues.
To the tune of The Baby Elephant Walk, we thought about the way people like Cottle have curried favor at the Times over the past many years. We also thought of the many people, all over the world, who lie dead in the shadow of this destructive behavior.
Inevitably, we also thought of the consensus view of the international expert community. We humans are the rational animal? That assessment should be seen as "Aristotle's error," these seers have now widely said.
Our view? You can't understand our failing culture till you grasp what these experts have told us.
Tomorrow: Pre-rational all the way down
Still to come: You-Know-Who's fourth accuser