Our pundits love a stampede: This weekend we had, not the naming of parts, but the killing of pigs.
The children of the mainstream press like no other pastime so much. Everyone gets to attack the same target, and they all get to say the same things!
In Saturday's Washington Post, Monica Hesse wrote an essay on the killing of pigs which was dazzling in its serial lack of logic. But then, she had plenty of company in that morning's Washington Post.
The next day, Donna Edwards chimed in. This morning, up jumped Fred Hiatt.
We'll be looking at some of these essays over the next few days. As always, all the children all agreed that all the pigs had to go. This is the way they've played it for decades:
In accord with Hard Pundit Law, they all agree that the pig must go. Their only assignment is to keep ratcheting up the language. We'll be looking at some of these essays, and at the work of a couple of people who broke every rule in the book, offering words of dissent. (Is McWhorter allowed to say this?)
All in all, the children were sure, over the weekend, that the new racist pigs had to go. Then the Post took a survey of black Virginians, and black Virginians seemed to say, by a margin of 21 points, that they wanted the pigs to stay!
(Given the small sample of black respondents, the margin of error was ten percent. Not that anyone in the press corps could explain margin of error!)
Tomorrow, we'll start to sift this batch of essays. For today, we recommend one short letter which appeared in Saturday's Post.
The letter writer skipped the stampede. Instead, she pushed alternate facts:
LETTER TO THE WASHINGTON POST (2/9/19): I think the Feb. 7 editorial was mistaken to ask for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) resignation. Mr. Northam worked to expand Medicaid and to make abortion accessible to more women, thus helping poor women escape poverty. He won by a wide margin. A few far-right fanatics should not be allowed to overturn an election.The writer makes a common mistake. She assumes that the attacks on Northam are coming from "the far right." Thanks to propaganda and codes of silence, we liberals do this every time!
B— D—, McLean, Va.
That said, the writer cites Northam's actions, while in office, on Medicaid and abortion rights. How often have you seen our "journalists" consider the adult behavior of the people currently being pursued—the adult conduct in which they engaged while they were serving in office?
We'll guess you haven't seen that much! Our journalists like discussing behavior at parties when people were 19 years old. Our journalists have good health care themselves and, dating back to Mary McGrory's astounding column about the weird clothing of Candidate Gore, they don't seem to give a flying felafel if other people don't.
"Man [sic] is the rational animal," Aristotle is said to have said. In his portrait of the Arkansas lynch mob, Twain painted a somewhat different portrait of our self-impressed kind.
Our upscale pundits have been running in packs for quite a few decades now. They're mainly concerned with teenage behavior at costume parties and with the question of who [BLEEP]ed whom, though only once, back in 2006.
They also enjoy inventing quotes and disappearing facts.
In fairness to Aristotle, he'd never seen "cable news." Nor had he read the Washington Post. He hadn't observed the clownishly post-rational conduct to which we're all exposed.
Tomorrow: Whatever your judgment about the pols may be, the Post should be embarrassed