ADULTHOOD'S END: The New York Times comes out of its shell!

MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020

We hear Norman Brown singing:
We've never met Tanya Faison of Sacramento, California.

That said, Tanya Faison of Sacramento is a good, decent person. Also, she has made a difficult choice, due to a need she feels.

In this morning's editions, the Washington Post describes the choice Faison has made. Decent people have made such decisions at various times in world history:
BAILEY ET AL (6/1/20): Less visible is the private weariness and anguish felt by many black people in the country, some of whom are either too fearful for their health to join the protests or who may disagree with the methods of some of the most riotous demonstrators.

“I’m exhausted,” said Tanya Faison, an activist in Sacramento. “All of these things build up, and they make your soul feel such unrest. And then you add that to all the lives that nobody got justice for.”

For months, Faison has been sheltering in place at home, worried that if she catches the virus, she may die because of a preexisting respiratory condition. But the fear of the coronavirus, she said, is outweighed by the urgent need to push for change while political leaders and nonblack communities are paying attention.

“There comes a time when you need to figure out what’s more of a risk,” she said. “So I’m going to put my mask on, I’m going to put my gloves on, and I’m going to protest.”
Decent people have put themselves at risk many times in the planet's past. Then too, there's the remarkable conduct being put on display by the Hamptons-based upper-end sociocrats who parade about, announcing their virtue, at the Gamptons-based New York Times.

This very morning, the New York Times' front page represents a type of coming out. From this day forward, nothing is hidden. The Hamptons-based paper is no longer trying to hide who and what it is.

Tanya Faison is a good, decent person. We'd be inclined to suggest that folk at the Times may, by contrast, be lost.

Today's front page strikes us as astounding, yet perhaps as refreshingly undisguised. For starters, though, and with possible reference to Faison, or to other decent people like her, let's recall what we saw on the paper's front page just two days ago.

The report appeared on the Times front page. Right there in paragraph 6, the New York Times offered this:
FURBER ET AL (5/30/20): The case has become part of a now-familiar history of police violence in recent years in which African-American men have died in encounters that were shockingly mundane in their origins—Eric Garner, who died after a 2014 arrest in New York for selling cigarettes without tax stamps; Michael Brown, who died in an encounter with the police the same year in Ferguson, Mo., after walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk.
Amazing, isn't it? You'll have to admit that it is!

More specifically, is it true? Did the late Michael Brown die in an encounter with police which was "shockingly mundane in [its] origins?"

Plainly, that's what three reporters said, abetted by unnamed editors. According to Furber, Burch and Robles, Brown died in an encounter with police "after walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk." Full and complete total stop!

As you know, those statements by the three reporters were technically accurate. Assuming even minimal competence, they were also baldly dishonest.

We don't believe that Furber, Burch and Robles are really that unaware. Similarly, we don't believe that their unnamed editors could possibly be that clueless.

According to the formal Justice Department report
which Attorney General Eric Holder explicitly endorsed, Brown was killed after assaulting a (much smaller) convenience store clerk and subsequently attempting to seize a (somewhat smaller) police officer's gun.

He was spotted walking in the street, but he was being sought because of the earlier assault. For whatever tragic reason, he was charging the (somewhat smaller) police officer when the fatal shots were fired. According to the formal report which Attorney General Holder endorsed, every shot the officer fired was justified, given the circumstances.

(We're not sure we agree with that judgment, but the Obama officials who reached that conclusion know much more about police work than we do. At any rate, we're familiar with the basic facts which are described in their lengthy, report. Assuming even the tiniest competence, the New York Times knows those facts too.)

We find it hard to believe that Matt Furber, Audra Burch and Frances Robles don't know those basic facts. We don't believe that their unnamed editors are ignorant of these facts.

On the other hand:

Many good, decent people are ignorant of those facts. As Saturday's front-page report helps us see, newspapers like the New York Times are still working to keep things that way.

What goes through the mind of a journalist who puts such a baldly misleading passage in print? We don't know, and no one is ever going to ask Furber, Robles or Burch.

Our upper-end news orgs don't engage in such conduct. Homey don't play it that way!

At any rate, our point this morning is very simple. It goes exactly like this:

Counterintuitive though it may be, our nation's upper-end journalists have been doing this forever. More specifically, they've been misreporting and disappearing basic facts in cases of this type ever since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin launched the movement of which decent people like Faison are part.

Those decent people have repeatedly been misled and misinformed by our upper-end journalists. As they're handed childish, fabulized accounts of these very important milestone cases, they're robed of the chance to understand the complexity of the world, and their anxiety and sense of anguish may tend to grow.

We cover journalism at this site. We don't pretend to have expertise concerning police conduct and/or misconduct.

For more than twenty years, we've been describing the behaviors in which our nation's upper-end journalists engage. This morning, we're going to tell you this:

People like Faison have been misled and misinformed by people like Furber every step of the way over the past eight years. We refer to cases involving police shootings, and to cases of alleged or proven sexual assault.

In this instance, readers can see what the New York Times wrote. Last Saturday, the report appeared above the fold on the newspaper's front page.

Why was such an absurdly deceptive presentation on the paper's front page? We'll be asking such questions all this week as we discuss adulthood's end—as hear Norman Brown singing.

On this morning's front page, we'd say the New York Times has fully come out of its shell. We'd say it reveals itself, without any hint of disguise, as an upper-class organ of disinformation and performative Hamptons-based virtue.

When you read the New York Times, upper-end reporters are happy to signal that they themselves, and chosen others, are the good decent people, while targeted others are not. And by the way, while we have you here:

Is this perhaps a tiny bit like the way President Nixon got elected? Is it possible that President Trump could be getting himself re-elected as folk at the Times, and on the two cables, play these eternal games?

We can't answer that question—but the Furbers misstate, and many good people writhe. Complexity has been taken from them in this, the eternal way of the guild, the clan and the tribe.

By the way, who the heck was Norman O. Brown? He started out as a classicist, but you're asking a very good question.

His books became very big in the mid to late 1960s (Life Against Death, Love's Body). He seemed to think that he could hear our culture's end drawing near.

Tomorrow: Adulthood's end continues


  1. "Amazing, isn't it? You'll have to admit that it is!"

    Meh. Nothing's amazing about it, dear Bob.

    It is, in fact, a standard goebbelsian psyop of your nazi-liberal cult, employing blatant lies to inflame racial hatred.

    Your nazi-liberal cult has been busy, doing it, for years. A couple of decades, at least.

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  2. "Is it possible that President Trump could be getting himself re-elected as folk at the Times, and on the two cables, play these eternal games?"

    We sure do hope it is possible, and indeed very likely.

    And that hopefully it'll mark the end of your nazi-liberal cult and all its lies and goebbelsian propaganda. We hope we deserve better.

  3. Sorry about multiple comments, dear Bob, but I'm really, really curious.

    How would a reputable mental health expert like yourself characterize your liberal-nazi cult's VIP Susan Rice, based on this:

    Thanks in advance, dear Bob.

    1. 105,000 deaths and 40 million newly unemployed in the past four months, all over a Democrat hoax flu.
      Trump is the worst.
      We should have listened to the Nazi dembots, who pointed to Trump's long, long history of being an abject failure, instead of thinking "The Apprentice" is real life.

  4. "Sociocracy, also known as dynamic governance, is a system of governance which seeks to achieve solutions that create harmonious social environments as well as productive organizations and businesses."

    Only Somerby would make this sound like a bad thing, by linking it with people who live in the Hamptons.

  5. “Those decent people have repeatedly been misled and misinformed by our upper-end journalists.”

    Those people are decent, Somerby assumes, but they are also misinformed, which he also assumes. In other words, their reactions to current events are driven by their own ignorance and their inability to withstand the propaganda of the supposedly all-powerful New York Times at shaping public opinion.

    A person is quoted in the Post story:

    “This isn’t just about George Floyd,” said Passmore. “This is about years and years of being treated as less than people — and not just by police. It’s everything. We don’t get proper medical. We don’t get proper housing. There’s so much discrimination, and it’s not just the justice system. It’s a whole lot of things.”

    No one interviewed in that story mentioned the New York Times or the Washington Post as sources for their knowledge of events or as incitement for their anger and frustration.

    “Decent” people like Faison have the ability to understand things apart from newspaper reports by upper-end journalists.

    By all means, Somerby can attack the Times for its omission of facts. But his condescension towards the “decent” but “misinformed” black people disguised as concern for their welfare is objectionable.

  6. "We hear Norman Brown singing"

    Thus Somerby does some virtue-signaling of his own. Whoop-de-do, he knows about some black jazz guitarist. That's the equivalent of saying he has black friends. It is what an old white man says in order to claim his opinions are relevant to a discussion in which he has no actual stake. We're supposed to believe that because he listens to a black man play jazz, he is OK, on the right side in this struggle, has the right to criticize people like Faison (by implication because he wouldn't dare say anything out loud). She is damned as good and decent.

    The only person more craven than Somerby is Trump himself. Somerby has spent years pretending to express opinions while never coming right out and saying what he means. Fear does that to a blogger, and unlike Faison, Somerby never confronts his fear to support his beliefs. He hides them among references to Aristotle and complaints about journalists much braver than he is.

  7. There is a common denominator between Somerby's refusal to accept as factual sexual assault complaints by women, and his refusal to accept as factual racially motivated attacks on black people by police (and others).

    When a black person is killed in the context of an arrest, the right sifts through the facts of the arrest and of that person's life to find exonerating circumstances for the officer(s) and evidence that the black person brought it on themselves. This is exactly what Somerby did with Chanel Miller too, and then Tara Reade (who provided more grist for his mill), linking them with previous known grifters. There are also no doubt black men who have attacked officers, but that doesn't make all black people guilty and none should be shot before having a chance to be tried in court. Similarly, Somerby generalizes those few women who made politically or financially motivated accusations to all women and then is unwilling to accept that any woman has a legitimate complaint, which deserves to be investigated and heard in court, not summarily dismissed by the press or by men such as Somerby.

    This is bias, not because there aren't facts that should be considered in all cases, but because Somerby approaches those facts with assumptions, accepting the ones that fit his preconceived ideas of what is going on in such situations.

    Somerby has no prior experience of racial prejudice. He gets treated fine in his life. He has no experience of being sexually harassed either, much less assaulted. He isn't on the receiving end of catcalls or sexual threats. So he assumes (perhaps unconsciously) that life is like that for other people too. It isn't.

  8. "they've been misreporting and disappearing basic facts in cases of this type ever since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin launched the movement of which decent people like Faison are part."

    Sorry, Somerby, but the civil rights movement didn't start with Trayvon Martin. Kevin Drum today has a summary of the riots in just Los Angeles, going back to 1943 and the zoot suit riot in which white servicemen drove to Hispanic neighborhoods and systematically beat up any man or boy they found on the streets (even going into a movie theater to drag men out and beat them), while the cops followed after to arrest the Hispanic men left lying on the street.

    That was 1943, and then there was the riot in 1965, then 1992 -- all way before Trayvon Martin. And there have been similar riots in most major cities nationwide. Because there is a limit to the patience of people who are mistreated, especially when there appears to be no progress amidst rising expectations and concurrent stressors (in this case the pandemic, in which minorities are bearing the brunt of deaths, forced to work while white people sit it out at home watching their pear trees).

    To suggest that this is about lies told about Trayvon Martin is ridiculous. It minimizes the existence of racism in our country and the need to white people to pay attention and fix this country's racial problems (because they have the power to do so).

    Will this elect Nixon? He would be an improvement over Trump who sits cowering in the White House basement with the lights off. If he is frightened, he should be. Maybe this will motivate the Republicans to rein in their white supremacist wing, the Boogaloo Bois who are setting fires and blaming it on black rioters, in hopes of starting the race war where they will finally get to use their weapons to shoot people instead of beer bottles.

    Black people understand that Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin are not angels. We do not live in a society where black people get shot for suspected crimes (no trial) and white people buy their way out or negotiate their sins away, without any threat to their personal safety.

  9. At some point, the stance of “I’m just looking at the press coverage, not taking a stand on the current dissolution of our country” becomes grotesque.

    Somerby, were he blogging at other pivotal moments in history:

    During WW2: “We’re not taking sides here, but that press report about Hitler wasn’t scrupulously accurate. Was Hitler mentally ill? Pity may be in order.”

    During the Civil War: “The South seems to stand for treason and slavery, but that report in that pro-Union newspaper omitted a couple of important facts. Will tribalism and irrationality never cease?”

    Revolutionary War: “Was Crispus Attucks really a hero of the Revolution? It’s propaganda all the way down in our pro-Rebel newspapers.”

  10. What would Norman Brown have to say about Somerby's essay today? Nothing good.

    Norman O. Brown is a different person, not a singer/guitarist like Norman Brown. Somerby's cute switch is another dodge to evade responsibility for any allusion to the other Brown, after borrowing his reputation to evade the racist implications of today's essay.

    Haha -- we thought he was talking about a black guy when he was actually talking about a 60s white classics professor. Fooled you, fooled you -- what an asshole Somerby is.

    Even Norman O. Brown wouldn't support Somerby's point of view. So what exactly is Somerby's point in tacking his name onto the end of today's disgraceful post? Gravitas must be earned, Somerby, it can't be borrowed by associating yourself with dead writers who cannot object to your misused of their reputations.

  11. Tanya Faison was indeed lied to by her own city’s well-respected Sacramento Bee newspaper as well as by essentially all liberal media reporting on the case.
    There are multiple videos of the event on YouTube.

    The key lie is in the oft-repeated phrase “in the backyard of his grandmother’s house.” What makes the lie so insidious is that it is the absolute literal truth. The problem is that it happened in the middle of the night, and the cops had no idea whom they were chasing or where he was. There was a hovering sheriff’s helicopter, so Clark knew exactly who was after him when he jumped a fence to get into A backyard that turned to be his grandmother’s. This was Brown and the sidewalk, redux.

    For more on the general,issue:

  12. Somerby is baiting us today. Like a troll.

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