Concerning Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz...


...and onward toward fairy tale: We've been discussing "the novelization of news" since 1999. 

It's a form of "motivated reasoning." When journalists engage in the novelization of news, they invent, disappear and rearrange facts in service to some preferred, preconceived Storyline.

As a general matter, complexity must be removed from the story. A simplified moral tale must emerge.

Our journalists engage in this type of novelization to an amazing degree. In their treatment of Oprah's interview with the royals, our journalists have been moving past novelization toward the realm of pure fairly tale.

How well do our high-end journalists deal with elementary facts? They deal with facts very poorly, especially to the extent that some highly preferred Storyline may stand in the way.

In the most heavily discussed parts of this interview, our journalists have hurried  past novelization toward the realm of fairy tale. 

(The apparent absence of any transcripts of Sunday night's discussion makes it hard to discuss this breakdown. No, we don't plan to do this transcription ourselves.)

Meanwhile, we saw CNN's Randi Kaye make a statement last night we could hardly believe. Her statement concerned the death of George Floyd, another topic in which our upper-end journalists may tend to be somewhat invested.

Forgive us if we stop here today. The novelization has been so extreme that we're stymied, at least for today.

Our species wasn't built for this game. All the top experts say this.

Meanwhile, in the Washington Post: Ruminations on Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz!  

More specifically, ruminations on Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz as applied to the Oprah session!

Sometimes you think you've seen it all. Then you read the Post.


  1. "We've been discussing "the novelization of news" since 1999."

    But it's always been like that, dear Bob. Since antiquity. The ruling class controls the message.

    What is different now, dear Bob, is that, thanks to Demigod Algore's invention, you can find (unless you're still using the Google's hide-engine) alternative viewpoints from all over the world.

    Establishment drivel (currently practiced by your liberal-hitlerian cult and its Blue-Anons) has lost its magic of being the only drivel available.

    No wonder your liberal cult is panicking, agonizing... It's fun to watch, actually. Calm down and enjoy, dear Bob.

    1. All my favorite wrestlers are dead.

  2. "When journalists engage in the novelization of news, they invent, disappear and rearrange facts in service to some preferred, preconceived Storyline."

    Journalists do not do this. This is Somerby's fiction. Journalists collect the facts, understand what happened as best they can with incomplete information, then arrange what they know in a manner which will make sense to the reader. Yes, they have some form of organization, but that is dictated by the information itself, not some preconceived narrative imposed upon a situation regardless of its own structure. It is a challenge to do this under deadline and with incomplete information, as often happens, but journalists are not forcing facts to fit their own narratives. That is journalistic malpractice.

    That's why Somerby continual complaints here are insulting to the profession. His intent is not to reveal wrongdoing but to demean those who are doing the best job they can under difficult circumstances.

    These so-called narratives used to be called spin because there are always choices of emphasis and organization, inclusion and deletion. Those choices are part of the job of the journalist, with an eye to producing the fairest and most accurate description possible.

    When Somerby disagrees with what a journalist has written, he assumes that his version is correct and that of someone else is propaganda or selling the car or biased in some way. If he were a writer and had an editor to supervise his work, he might learn something about reporting, but he seems to expect every paper to be written for his own tastes and to cater to his own biases. That makes him unfit as a media critic. He seems incapable of that act of empathy that might allow him to understand why an author wrote something the way they did. And that is a huge handicap for someone who writes this kind of blog.

    1. What journalists do this now?

      The narrative explanation of modern newsgathering is so compellingly accurate that I'm amazed that anyone would try to question it. Journalists get on these stock angles and cliched generalizations and received opinions and then they craft their stories to fit the chosen theme.

      Just watch MSNBC for perfect evidence of this.

  3. "In the most heavily discussed parts of this interview, our journalists have hurried past novelization toward the realm of fairy tale. "

    Somerby doesn't bother offering any support for this statement. It is enough to just make the accusations these days.

    There are no transcripts, but he can go back and replay the videos as often as necessary. He is too lazy to do anything but sling mud at Oprah today, and the journalists whose job is to cover what is going on with the royal family.

    1. It's an intro to a later piece, braintrust. He always comes back to these stories.

  4. "Our species wasn't built for this game. All the top experts say this."

    Name one.

  5. Maybe you’d like him to post his home address and social security number.

  6. Ooh Eric!
    Quite the badass;)

  7. On NPR this morning they used Harry's vague, errant, unattributed remark about Archie's possible darkness to do a complete takedown job on 600 years of British history. It was in-sane.

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