The New York Times keeps pouring it on!

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

Cornell despises students of color, famous newspaper says:
In this morning's New York Times, our very limited "college admissions scandal" is back in the saddle again.

As reported and charged so far, the scandal involves the fraudulent acquisition of several dozen admissions at a handful of elite colleges. Despite the small numbers involved in this scam, the famously upper-class Hamptons-based newspaper has rather plainly gone wild in its coverage of the topic.

Yesterday, an experienced Times reporter claimed that this very limited scandal, along with two other limited situations, shows that the college admission system is "broken" (see her third paragraph). Today, the Times has the scandal back on page A1, in a human interest report about the "pied piper" who was running the scam:
BOSMAN, KOVALESKI AND DE REAL (3/18/19): He was part coach, part therapist, part motivational speaker and part name dropper. Like a traveling salesman, he sought out clients near and far, selling dreams of prosperous futures.

In central Illinois, William Singer made a passionate pitch to local business executives who came by invitation to a hotel meeting room.
In Sacramento, he addressed rapt audiences of parents at private schools. He twice spoke to well-heeled employees at Pimco, the giant investment management firm based in Newport Beach, Calif.

His message was confident and concise: He knew the secret to getting into college.
Based on what is known so far, Singer ran a deeply repellent but rather limited scam. But because this scam involves the only three things which actually matter—celebrity, wealth and admission to Yale—the Times is treating it like the outbreak of World War IV.

Yesterday, our analysts had finally had enough! At issue was a remarkable essay in the Sunday Review section—an essay about the miseries Jennine CapĆ³ Crucet has had to endure because, as a lower-income Latina, she applied to Cornell, was accepted by Cornell and graduated from Cornell, an Ivy League school.

For reasons we can't necessarily explain, Crucet is a "contributing opinion writer" at the Times. Amazingly, yesterday's essay was the third piece she's written for the Times in the past eighteen months about the miseries she's had to endure because she applied to, was accepted by, and graduated from Cornell.

Crucet was the first in her family to attend college. For some other students at Cornell, it seems this wasn't the case.

Yesterday's belly-aching concerned the trauma Crucet endured when she spoke with a "legacy" student, during lunch, early in her freshman year.

Based on what this student said, Crucet concluded that the other student was unqualified for Cornell on a purely meritocratic basis. That may, of course, have been true.

(For all we know, of course, that could also have been true, in some regard, for Crucet herself. There's no way for a reader—or perhaps for Crucet herself—to make such an assessment.)

At any rate, the trauma of this revelation has haunted Crucet ever since. In her high-profile essay, she describes the advice she later gave to other low-income high school kids who were thinking of applying to upper-end colleges:
CRUCET (3/17/19): A decade or so after that lunch, while working at a nonprofit as a college access counselor to low-income first-generation college students like me, I made sure to tell them about legacy and development admissions. I told them about application coaches—how parents spent millions on services that all but guaranteed admission into the country’s best schools, and that colleges didn’t generally require anyone to disclose that they used those services. I wanted my students to know what they were up against, and I also wanted them to realize how much more they belonged on whatever campus was lucky enough to snag them than the students who’d essentially bought their way in.


I reminded my students that a college degree is one of the fastest ways to break the cycle of poverty in a family. And that’s exactly why the college admissions process—with its overreliance on scores from tests that are widely regarded as biased against low-income students, students of color and students from single-parent households—is designed to let as few of us in as it can: Why invest in us when there could be a bigger payoff, in future donations, for that same spot?
According to Crucet, the admission process at schools like Cornell is designed to discriminate against low-income students and students of color. According to Crucet, the process "is designed to let as few of us in as it can."

That's what New York Times readers were told by one of the paper's contributing writers. Tomorrow, we'll show you the current enrollment figures at Cornell—figures which are extremely hard to square with Crucet's remarkable claim.

By this point, the analysts were already aroused. But as Crucet finished her highly dubious piece, they came right out of their chairs:
CRUCET (continuing directly): I learned too late that college was never a meritocracy and that it was not a prize: It was an extension of the same uneven playing field that created a campus where very few of its students looked and lived as I did. Part of me is glad I didn’t know, because I worry such knowledge might have discouraged me from working to get admitted in the first place.
Crucet says she's almost glad that she didn't know how the system worked. If she'd known, she might have been so discouraged that she wouldn't have applied to Cornell at all.

That was quite a confession! As we read it, we couldn't help wondering how many of Crucet's students were so discouraged by her poisonous presentations that they gave up on the dream of admission at a school like Cornell.

Our analysts had had the exact same reaction. That's why they were appalled by the idea that the Times would have published this piece, the third in Crucet's moving triptych about the horrors of getting accepted as a place like Cornell.

Tomorrow, we'll show you the current enrollment data for Cornell. Those data are very hard to square with Crucet's remarkable presentation.

We'll show you the data tomorrow. As a general matter, we'll say this right now:

It can be very easy for us liberals to see propaganda and disinformation when they're peddled by players over at Fox. But the New York Times is horrible too, in ways which leave readers misinformed and help Donald Trump hold power.

Tomorrow: Let's take a look at the data


  1. "...and help Donald Trump hold power."

    What's that supposed to mean, Bob? Donald The Very Stable Genius is the US president, duly elected for the 4-year term.

    Are you suggesting that without your lousy paper he would've been overthrown by force, and to your utter delight?

    Tsk, tsk, tsk...

    1. What's going to happen is leftists are going to beat this drum and then Trump will give speeches that demonstrate the derangement of the left, like the one at CPAC that infuriate them even more. Only pretty soon the public appearances will be during the campaign rallies and debates, when the country will again see the Stable Genius take out his detractors one by one, and recognize that it is they who are deranged and unhinged. This is why the leftist neworks fear carrying his appearances, but they'll be available on Fox and elsewhere.

      The lefties will be even more insane than 2016 because back then, they still thought they were going to win.

    2. That's a good point. He going to serve dey bitch assses up like flapjacks. Somerby has always been right and it is true now more than ever: liberals, regrettably, are just not that sharp and so, so, so much less so than they think they be.

  2. Like Crucet, I was a minority from an immigrant family, first in my family to go to college. However, unlike Crucet I regarded the College Board exams as an opportunity, not a burden. I could demonstrate my ability while not being subject to prejudice.

    Perhaps one's attitude towards the College Boards is affected by how well one did on them...

  3. “Amazingly, yesterday's essay was the third piece she's written for the Times in the past eighteen months about the miseries she's had to endure because she applied to, was accepted by, and graduated from Cornell.”

    Nope. Here are the articles she has written since September of 2017:

    “ The great lawn sign war of 2018:
    It’s not Nebraska nice, but it’s necessary.”

    “ did I choose the wrong college? It didn’t make sense to sign up for debt. I did it anyway.”

    “ how first generation college students do Thanksgiving break.”

    “ Miami always thinks the storm will turn.”

  4. "The median family income of a student from Cornell is $151,600, and 64% come from the top 20 percent." NYT Jan. 2017.
    Wasn't "very hard to square with Crucet's remarkable presentation" at all. I just had to google, "wealth of cornell students." and the data popped right up. The second google result stated that at Cornell students from families in the top 1% of income are over represented by a factor of 10.
    Wanna bet that all of Bob's staff will be called "away on a mission of national importance" or however he puts it?
    Or else there just won't be any fish tomorrow?

  5. “Bellyaching”



    These are highly charged words that Somerby uses. They are characterizations, if not outright dishonest.

    Crucet cannot be plausibly described as “bellyaching”. She relates a personal experience that disabused her of a cherished notion: that college admission is based on meritocracy alone. She counsels others against this notion. She makes the assertion that the college admissions process relies too much on test scores that are widely regarded as biased. She offers no evidence, but it isn’t bellyaching, since it is an assertion of fact.

    She nowhere implies that her experience was “traumatic.”

    “Based on what this student said, Crucet concluded that the other student was unqualified for Cornell on a purely meritocratic basis. That may, of course, have been true. “

    That other student told Crucet herself that she, unlike Crucet, had mediocre grades and took no AP classes, and that she was a “legacy.”

    “For all we know, of course, that could also have been true, in some regard, for Crucet herself.”

    For all we know, that could also have been true of Bob Somerby at Harvard. But we digress...The implication is that Crucet does not exhibit the requisite self-abasement here, the kind that questions her own fitness for admission to Cornell. Who thinks like that? What is Somerby really implying?

    (It’s also worth noting that Crucet, who was born in 1981, probably attended Cornell around 1999, when more than 60% of the student body was white. (

    Neither she nor the Times notes the current admissions stats for Cornell, showing what percentage of the 2017 student body was white. In Somerby’s mind, this omission is supposed to show some sort of reprehensible narrative on the part of the Times and presumably Crucet.

    But Somerby could benefit from a little bit of the compassion that he urges on his lesser liberal brethren, and show a little willingness to see things from the perspective of someone who is not a privileged white male Harvard graduate (a la Somerby), but who is rather a member of a minority, a first-generation student who struggled to “make it”, by playing by the rules, and who may know a thing or two more about the community she comes from than your average vanity blogger does. His snarky tone is highly un-MLK-like.

  6. All the Trump Derangement victims like Kellyanne's fat doughboy husband sound like my 15 and 17 year old teenage girls who talk endlessly about various boys who dump their friends. The words narcissist and malignant narcissist are exchanged about 30 times in every conversation like that no lie. Astrology and terms like malignant narcissist impress the fairer sex and poor Kellyanne's fat husband.

    1. I'll note that you support a self-proclaimed sexual predator as President of the United States. Your teenage daughters must be very proud of you.


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  8. Thank god I went to a public college in California!

    We knew why we were there. To learn. Objective "merit" was a sidenote at best. Who cared?

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