She'd looked at life from both sides then!

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019

Sheryl Gay Stolberg in chains:
It was Tuesday, August 15, 2017. Speaking at the gorgeous Trump Tower, patron saint Donald J. Trump had already said it:

"You have some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."

The great communicator didn't leave it there. He also said that there had been "violence" and "blame" on both sides! To review his remarks, click here.

Who was Donald Trump talking about? There were very fine people on both sides? To what two "sides" did he refer?

Just like that, he sought to explain! Donald J. Trump said this:
TRUMP (8/15/17): I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.
The neo-Nazis and the white nationalists should be condemned totally! Thus spake Donald J. Trump, and not for the first time that day.

The day before, he'd said the same thing, live and direct from the White House. That's right! On Monday, August 14, the great man had said this:
TRUMP (8/14/17): To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend's racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered...Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.
Taking a page from Nixon's book, Donald J. Trump had decided to "bring us together!" Who, then, was he talking about when he said there were very fine people on both sides? When he said there was violence and blame on both sides?

In terms of the violence and blame, he was talking about the "alt-left" antifa forces who had battled with the neo-Nazi and white supremacist crackpots on Saturday, August 12. That's fairly clear from the transcript of his remarks, but facts like that, by rule of law, have of course been disappeared.

The Coopers and Lemons will now insist that he was speaking in praise of the neo-Nazis and the white supremacists. To make it easy for you to swallow that pill, they refuse to show you the videotapes where he says precisely the opposite.

Were there really "far left" groups engaging in violence that day? So it seemed at the time. As you may dimly recall, the New York Times' veteran reporter, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, was on the scene that day. As you may dimly recall, she tweeted this at one point:
STOLBERG (8/12/17): The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding "antifa" beating white nationalists being led out of the park.
As you may dimly recall, this unacceptable observation produced an instant storm on Twitter.

In thrall to our obvious moral greatness, our tribe sought to frog-march Stolberg away. Before long, she had gained new insights from this re-education campaign:
STOLBERG (8/12/17): Rethinking this. Should have said violent, not hate-filled. They were standing up to hate.
Our heroic forces had actually been standing up to hate! They weren't hate-filled, they were just violent! When they were beating white nationalists being led out of the park, that is.

You can see each of Stolberg's once-famous tweets within this Buzzfeed report. For what it's worth, Buzzfeed's Blake Montgomery summarized the violence at the park like this:
MONTGOMERY (8/14/17): Each side did engage in intense violence and attempted to seriously injure the other. But when the battle lines were formed, the right came better equipped and ready to use force to defend their belief that white people are better than nonwhite people.
Each side engaged in intense violence! Until it became necessary to wipe such thoughts away!

At any rate, when Trump said that "both sides" engaged in violence, those seemed to be the two sides he had in mind. As you can see in the transcript of his remarks, he described the two sides as the "alt left" and the "alt right." That seems to be who he meant.

Did Donald J. Trump make an adequate statement about what happened in Charlottesville? That is a matter of judgment. For ourselves, we can think of no time in the past ten years when he has made an adequate statement about anything. We regard him as badly disordered and therefore as deeply dangerous.

That said, we focus on the "journalists" here, not on the pols. And when you look at the Rosensteinian way way Stolberg succumbed to that tribal "rethinking," we're forced to tell you this:

Our tribe has tended to behave in such ways over the past ten years. So have the Twitter mobs who came after Stolberg for reporting what she'd seen.

In the past month or so, the Coopers and Lemons of this world have discussed Trump's remarks on several occasions. They're very careful to sift the facts, and the videotape, thereby helping us reach pre-approved, tribally pure conclusions.

They tell you Trump was referring to the neo-Nazis when he said there were "very fine people." They refuse to play the videotape where he explicitly says the opposite, as he did several days in a row.

Beyond that, the behavior of antifa has been wiped from the map. Violence and hatred belong to The Others. Upon rethinking, our own brave team, The Very Good People, were standing up to hate!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Our liberal tribe is quite unimpressive, except within our own minds.

Dating perhaps to the death of Trayvon Martin, we've become almost as expert as The Others at inventing and disappearing facts to serve our tribal purposes. We're stupid, weak, not very honest, and yes, we're filled with childish loathing for The Others, who must always be Very Bad.

In short, we're all-too-human, all the way down! We're highly skilled at taking dictation from our tribal leaders—and the seamier elements of our tribe may perhaps tend to rise to the top, especially within the corporate press, from which platforms they dumbly lead us.

We're so dumb we wanted Michael Avenatti to run for president! His client, who was shaking Trump down for cash, was billed as a "feminist hero!"

We treat Trump's surrender to this shakedown as a disturbing crime. In these ways, we write Tucker Carlson's program for him every night.

Donald J. Trump is the highly disordered culmination of a long, disordered process. Morally and intellectually, we've been in decline for decades now. Above all else, we're very dumb, and we run on the tribal rocket fuel known as joy of loathing.

Many of our liberal stars have been leading players in this idiotic process. Our rank and file sounds off on Twitter in the typical ways.

This wasn't invented by Donald J. Trump; he's just the worst so far. Meanwhile, he seems to be mentally ill. What's Cooper and Lemon's excuse?

Tomorrow: Remarkable! Two of CNN's "boys of cable" ogle Tyra Banks


  1. I don't know if ad hominem hurts or helps, but it is certainly the order of the day here, and, with more sadness than rancor, it is impossible to escape the fact Bob Somerby is an idiot.

    If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. And really, neither does Bob Somerby. He has some strange score to settle with evil wise guy liberals, and those who check back in from time to time to see this car accident get nothing but this kind of garbage. And YES, yes, soon enough we will look away for good. I promise.

  2. "We regard him as badly disordered and therefore as deeply dangerous."

    It's definitely well-ordered of you to habitually include this mandatory disclosure into your posts, dear Bob.

    Otherwise I would've been worried that those non-hate-filled fellas might crack your skull and burn your house, dear. Y'know, as a purely defensive measure...

  3. "We're so dumb we wanted Michael Avenatti to run for president! His client, who was shaking Trump down for cash, was billed as a "feminist hero!"

    Haha. Where are all the commenters now who claimed that sleazy cock sucking whore was going to bring Trump down? You stupid fools.

    1. Yeah, not too many 'bombshells' and 'beginnings-of-the-end' lately.

      And yet their righteous outrage is more melodramatic than ever...

      Oh well, a sign of desperation, I suppose...

    2. Avenatti committed too may crimes to be a Dem nominee, and not enough to be a GOP nominee.

  4. “Did Donald J. Trump make an adequate statement about what happened in Charlottesville? That is a matter of judgment. For ourselves, we can think of no time in the past ten years when he has made an adequate statement about anything. We regard him as badly disordered and therefore as deeply dangerous.”

    This is a perfect example of talking out of both sides of one’s mouth. If Trump has made no adequate statements about anything in ten years, then therefore his statements about Charlottesville are ipso facto inadequate. The question ought therefore to be: in what way were his statements inadequate?

    Somerby does not feel that the inadequacy lies in Trump’s failure to condemn racism, or his praising of racists, because of certain comments Trump made, some scripted and some impromptu, which convince Somerby that those were not Trump’s true intentions. The “media” and “liberals” must be wrong. (Even though it is a “matter of judgment”!)

    First: Trump’s initial comments came on Aug 12, when he read a prepared statement and injected the unscripted phrase “on both sides” into it. There was no clear specific condemnation of racism.

    The statements Trump made at the press conference (the LA Times article linked by Somerby), supposedly clarify what Trump meant. He accuses the “alt-left”, without defining what that term means, of engaging in violence. He presumably thinks that they initiated at least some of the violence. He also apparently believed that some on the “right” were there merely to innocently protest the removal of the Lee statue. He claims that the “alt-left” or some subgroup didn’t have a permit.

    Are any of these things really true? The rally was organized, not by innocent Lee supporters, but by white supremacist groups. They came armed to the teeth, shouting racist and Nazi slogans. About the counter protesters and their supposed lack of permits, this from Wikipedia:

    “Before the rally, counterprotesters obtained permits to gather at McGuffey Park and Justice Park, both less than a quarter-mile from Lee Park. Charlottesville City Council spokeswoman Miriam I. Dickler later stated that counterprotesters did not need permits to protest the rally at Lee Park.”

    Trump was far more interested in positing a false equivalence between two non-equivalent groups and defending the inadequacy of his own responses than in condemning racism. His ridiculous press conference served to undermine his canned statements about racism.

    All Trump’s statements condemning racism prove is that even a racist moron can read a script shoved in front of him.

  5. Interesting tidbit: when Charlottesville wanted to deny the Unite the Right Nazis from protesting in Lee Park, and instead tell them to move to another place, the ACLU stepped in to defend the Nazis. The court sided with the Nazis.

  6. Thanks for the post Bob. Trump's remarks were indeed taken out of context and transmitted to the hoi polloi. I'm no fan of Trump, and I believe he's disingenuous, but he said what he said.

    Ah well. We'll all go down together, and hopefully we can huddle around the fire in the caves occupied by the future anthropologists, who may assist us in getting through the dark ages and forming a new philosophy describing our need to abandon the entire idea of capitalism and it's attendant: media manipulation.

    Anything's possible.


    1. Bernie 2016!!!!

    2. What would we do without Bob?

    3. What is disingenuous is to claim Trump's comments were taken out of context. If anything, the one avoiding context is Bob. Trump has a long history of racist statements and actions and indeed he did say there were good people on both sides, meaning there were good people on the alt-right side, the alt-right are all neo nazis and white supremacists, good people yeah sure, the media were in the right and Bob is wrong.

  7. Bob always tips his bad conscience hand when he brings back my shadow to kick off the comments. But let’s get Bob straight: an imbalanced nut case is in charge on the Nation, and it is critical to beat an example of when he was partly taken out of context to death. Oh, and we must surpass that with utter nonsense ( so who wanted Avenatti to run for President? Examples please?) of his own fantasy world. Easy on the box wine tonight, Bob.

  8. If Stormy was shaking Trump down for cash, what was he doing to her? How do you shake down an innocent man? So how did Stormy become the bad actor in Somerby's mind?

    1. These kids be dumb as hell man. So protected and shit they don't even understand human nature. They are marks! No wonder the get on the bandwagon for Goldman Sachs, war lover Hillary. They are plain dumb.

    2. Speaking of marks, Mnuchin would like a word with you...

    3. (and there needs to be a space before and after ellipses)

    4. Wilbur Ross says hi.

  9. Nobody wanted Avenatti to run for President, except Avenatti and quite possibly Bob Somerby.

  10. In Somerby’s world, a porn actress can’t be a feminist hero, nor can a woman who is falsely accused of extortion by an internet blogger.


    Shanahan's first act is to transfer $1.5 billion from the pentagon budget to build the wall. Quid pro quo?

  12. Wait until Republicans find out Robin Williams isn't from the planet Ork. They are going to be so confused.

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