We watched the open phones segment today, oh boy!

SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2022

Even worse, we watched Wallace and Glaude: This morning, in the 7 A.M. hour, we did what we often do of a Saturday morning.

We watched the opening, "open phones" segment of C-Span's Washington Journal. The topic today was this:

What is the solution to young men and mass shootings?

Over the course of the hour, "we the people" telephoned in, responding to that highly salient question. We're prepared to acknowledge this reaction:

We fear for our country, such as it is, when we hear "us the people" puzzling such questions out.

We apologize for our language, but the astonishing dumbness of many comments seemed to rule the hour. If you think we must be referring to calls from red tribe members alone, we're willing to offer this:

Quite possibly, you haven't been watching C-Span's Washington Journal lately.

It's a sobering experience to hear "us the people" attempting to puzzle such matters out. Anthropologically, our species wasn't built for such tasks. As individuals, we simply aren't up to the challenge.

(This doesn't mean that we're bad people. It simply means that we aren't moral or intellectual giants—that we've been built in the way we actually are.)

For better or worse, you can hear the hour of calls simply by clicking this link. If you only have time to hear two calls, we'll suggest that you move ahead to the two calls which ended this sobering hour.

This morning, those phone calls poured in from us the (regular) people. Late yesterday afternoon, starting at 5:53 P.M., we watched a remarkable five-minute discussion between two of our own blue tribe's corporate media "elites."

At the end of Deadline: White House, Nicolle Wallace spoke with Professor Glaude. We'll start by stating this:

Princeton professor Eddie Glaude is a good, decent person. That said, his rhetoric yesterday afternoon was astoundingly harsh, borderline crazy, astoundingly ill-advised. Most simply:

If this version of Professor Glaude didn't exist, Fox News would have to invent it. 

We can find no transcript of yesterday's five-minute Q-and-A. Here's one part of what the professor said to the ever-simpering Wallace, who began her career by pimping the invasion of Iraq and anti-same-sex marriage ballot measures:

GLAUDE (5/27/22): Part of what I've been trying to wrap my mind around is the rot—the moral rot—at the heart of our political pathologies...We have retreated into our silos of selfishness, where greed drives our own self-interest...

It's easy for us to identify the Republican Party as the enemy, when the rot is at the heart of the nation. We have to do something much more fundamental if we're going to address this because the slaughter of innocents reflects how monstrous we are, because we keep turning our backs on them. We keep turning our backs every time it happens.

"Where does that healing start?" the simpering Wallace now asked.

"In the streets," the professor said. For the record, his streets include the byways and lanes of Princeton's ivy-strewn campus.

Professor Glaude can't seem to stop discussing how monstrous "we" are. His increasingly lurid rhetoric is a thing to behold—and to fear. 

If this version of Glaude didn't exist, Donald J. Trump would rush to invent it. Earth to the Princeton peacock, who is also a good, decent person:

Vast segments of the American people have not "retreated into silos of selfishness" where greed drives their self-interest. 

(In fairness, Glaude may be conflating the American people with his own "cable news" colleagues and friends.)

Vast segments of the population haven't turned their backs on the slaughter of innocents, thereby showing how monstrous they are. Like the overwrought preacher/professor himself, vast segments of the public simply don't know what to do about this horrible manifestation.

One deranged teen-aged boy (or man) conducted a vicious mass slaughter this week. The behavior of this one teenager can't sensibly be said to demonstrate "how monstrous" Glaude's undefined "we" really "are."

Few things could be more obvious, bne of our failing tribe's ranking professors is unable to figure that out! Concerning which, we'll say this:

Glaude has been authoring a "Loathe Americans First" rhetoric of a type we've rarely seen at this level. The overwrought man who is pushing this gospel recently tweeted this:

GLAUDE (5/26/22): I must admit that I was an emotional wreck on @Morning_Joe today.  Seeing those babies…hearing their stories…I am angry and saddened.

Glaude was an emotional wreck when he appeared on Morning Joe! Of course, so was the ranting Joe Scarborough himself, as we noted that day.

That tweet was supposed to humanize Glaude. We have a different reaction. To the Princeton peacock, we'll only say this:

Mother-frumper, take your ascot off the air until you're no longer a wreck! Go off somewhere and try to calm down. Try to get your thoughts in order, such as they actually are.

In truth, Wallace and Glaude (but especially Wallace) should have been pulled off the air a long time ago. The same is true of the screeching Scarborough—and, of course, of Mike Barnicle, the only person who can successfully pose as a man of the people while being married to a Bank of America vice chair.

Borrowing from Don Corleone, are these high-ranking media elites creating "the rhetoric we have chosen?" No, that isn't the case.

These are the tribal tribunes our corporate owners have chosen for us! They're creating a lurid, deeply unintelligent, politically poisonous rhetoric. Despite their fame and their undisclosed wealth, their judgment is very poor.

We'll continue to examine their rhetoric next week. For today, we'll leave you with this:

If Professor Glaude's rhetoric didn't exist, the NRA would invent it. Our nation's problems only deepen as these deeply unhelpful elites continue to open their mouths.


32 comments:

  1. tl;dr
    "What is the solution to young men and mass shootings?"

    Well, the first thing that comes to mind is to stop liberal hate-mongering, defining people as 'oppressors' and 'victims' based on their skin color, gender, and other bullshit 'identities'.

    What do you think, dear Bob?

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    1. He can’t answer your question because you are the kind of lowlife reactionary garbage he is committed to pretending does not exist.

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  2. "What is the solution to young men and mass shootings?" The guy who shot and killed a record 61 people in Las Vegas in 2017 was 64 years old.

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    1. The young men who commit such shootings are either racially motivated or they are incels. The racially motivated killers also have disturbed attitudes toward women and a history of violence against them. In Uvalde, the shooter threatened several women with rape for turning down his advances.

      It may be that the violence toward women reflects a violent tendency not limited to women, but even so, it is the main common denominator among these mass killers. Addressing violence against women as a serious societal problem might help identify potential killers and also reduce domestic violence and improve the quality of life for women and girls.

      The Republicans recently blocked legislation intended to help women who are targets of violence. Reducing access to guns is on approach to reducing mass shootings, but focusing on those who are violent toward women is another. So far, Republicans are opposed to both. Unsurprisingly, there is an intersection between violence toward and control of women and white supremacy, racism, and mass killings. Republicans have been blocking anything that might address this constellation, including recently blocking efforts to track domestic terrorism among white supremacists and the alt-right.

      So, I think the key to this problem is Republicans, since they are the obstacle to doing something about any of the other pieces to the puzzle. Somerby doesn't want to acknowledge that Republicans are worse than anyone else in our country, but they are. That is obvious to anyone who isn't a Republican.

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  3. Somerby blames Glaude for a "loathe America first" attitude but he expresses the same loathing here day after day.

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  4. Digby brings the charts and graphs illustrating America's gun problem, but the most striking one shows the explosion of mass shootings after the expiration of the assault weapons ban in 2004:

    https://digbysblog.net/2022/05/27/very-exceptional-indeed/

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  5. "In truth, Wallace and Glaude (but especially Wallace) should have been pulled off the air a long time ago. The same is true of the screeching Scarborough—and, of course, of Mike Barnicle, the only person who can successfully pose as a man of the people while being married to a Bank of America vice chair."

    Somerby has never listed the people on Fox News and called for their removal. Yet some fanboys here continue to insist that Somerby is some type of liberal. He is not. Liberals don't call for the censorship of news by removing hosts they don't like. We don't present Replacement Theory and call it commentary. We don't spread disinformation and we don't coordinate efforts with a Republican president to achieve Republican goals, the way Hannity did. But who does Somerby target? Mainstream media hosts, who he pretends are liberals, calling for them to be "canceled" because he doesn't like what they say.

    I appreciate Wallace, especially, because she is less mealy-mouthed than others. No surprise that Somerby singles her out for criticism.

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    1. When you grow up in a particular place and time and social class, those experiences don't disappear simply because you marry someone wealthy. This is like the way the Republicans disparaged John Kerry for marrying Teresa Heinz (who wasn't born rich either). The heart wants what it wants. Blaming someone for marrying a rich person (or high achieving banker or businesswoman) is as low as blaming someone for marrying a poor or working class spouse. It reflects snobbery either way and a lack of respect for other people's personal choices.

      Oddly, it also reflects the kind of jeering men do to each other over their romantic choices. As when a man's single friends tease him for being pussy whipped because he now spends time with a girlfriend. Somerby kind of implies that Barnicle is less manly because he has married a bank VP. Men hide this from women, most likely because women tend to think of this hazing as a bad thing, a small part of toxic masculinity and misogyny. Hard to expect anything less from Somerby, given his feelings toward women (today, Wallace gets the brunt of his criticism while he goes easier on Glaude).

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    2. It took Bob friendly posters here years to admit Bob really only holds left outlets to any kind of standards, so be thankful for that slow progress. There is a LOT on Morning Joe a moderate liberal could find fault with. Bob ignores this. So he not only critiques MSNBC (and not FOX), he does it from a right perspective.

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  6. This is an incredibly oblique reference:

    "Borrowing from Don Corleone, are these high-ranking media elites creating "the rhetoric we have chosen?" No, that isn't the case."

    Somerby lazily doesn't tell us what he is referring to, leaving the appearance that he has just thrown Don Corleone's name into the mix to tar the liberals with a mob voice. But that's how propaganda works.

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    1. As noted below, Bob is referencing something from The Godfather films but he gets it all wrong.

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  7. "Mother-frumper, take your ascot off the air until you're no longer a wreck! Go off somewhere and try to calm down. Try to get your thoughts in order, such as they actually are."

    One reason why conservatives lack empathy is that they have a low tolerance for the strong emotions that feeling other people's pain evokes. They don't want to feel upset themselves, so they push away anyone else feeling negative emotion, which makes them both unmotivated and unable to help others. (See work on empathy by Nancy Eisenberg.

    Somerby displays the same reaction here, to Glaude's emotional response to the killing of 18 children and 2 teachers. Somerby doesn't want to feel anything about them, so he angrily rejects the feelings of Glaude, who displayed an appropriate, natural, human reaction to the deaths.

    Somerby blames these reporters for their feelings, but the fault lies with the person who shot those children, and his enablers on the police force and in our society, not with Glaude or Wallace or Scarborough, who react emotionally to it. Somerby's inability to tolerate negative affect is HIS problem, not that of the press or others who are grieving.

    Republicans are people who share this defect in their emotional regulation. It is why they are unempathetic and also why they cannot think about and work on problems that evoke emotion. It makes them piss poor people to deal with emergencies (such as Katrina). Notice how Ted Cruz's main impulse was to get away from it all, to run. Somerby is trying to get away too. Leaving the bag to those who can think about sad things without defensiveness.

    There won't be solutions from Replicans for that reason. And we won't hear anything reasonable or comforting from Somerby either. He isn't capable of it. Another reason he shouldn't be teaching young children, who might naturally expect him to help and comfort them in distress. His decision to go into standup comedy (a type of coping via deflection) was the best thing he ever did for his classroom students.

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  8. We can deny this is who we are, but that means laying the blame for who did this on the Conservatives tribe.
    But then, Somerby will call us divisive.
    Pick a lane, Somerby.

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    1. An exist would be preferable.

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  9. Bob is not too good on “The Godfather.” He is probably referring to Lee Strasberg’s great, scary, speech about “the business we’ve chosen.” Probably does not have much to do with being applauded by school shootings. Whatever, it’s Bob who is simpering.

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  10. "It's a sobering experience to hear "us the people" attempting to puzzle such matters out."

    If I had any faith in Somerby judgment of other people, I might worry about the callers, but Somerby regularly criticizes people who I consider to be sharp and often correct, so I doubt his judgments of the CSPAN callers are any more accurate than his judgments of young reporters for the NY Times, or VP Harris, or anyone else on his shit list.

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  11. "Vast segments of the population haven't turned their backs on the slaughter of innocents, thereby showing how monstrous they are. Like the overwrought preacher/professor himself, vast segments of the public simply don't know what to do about this horrible manifestation."

    An article in today's NY Times tells us about a study of previous mass shootings. It says that teens tend to give advance warning of their plans. In 44% of cases, the people who were told in advance call the authorities, but in 56% of the time, they did nothing at all. In both the shooting in Uvalde and in Buffalo, people received advance warning and didn't tell anyone about it.

    So, here is something people can do. They can start notifying authorities when they hear such warnings. They can stop dismissing them as fantasy or "jokes" and report them. If it turns out that nothing was going on, there are no lives lost, and perhaps a depressed or angry young person can get help.

    And our society can start taking domestic violence seriously. It can pass the Violence Against Women Act and stop blocking domestic terrorism intelligence efforts. It can stop talking about mental illness and put more funding into treatment and community support for families. And we can address gun control, in order to make weapons harder to obtain for people making plans to kill others. In Uvalde, those kids got to keep living an extra two weeks because Ramos' sister refused to buy him guns. Imagine if no one else let him buy them either!

    But Somerby wrings his hands and cries "we just don't know what to do!" as if this were some huge mystery. We know what to do. We don't have the will, as a society, to do it. Somerby included -- or he wouldn't keep pretending that the answers aren't there.

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  12. Guns don't kill people.
    Republicans slashing the mental health budgets across the country kill people.
    I'm digging this "lay the blame where it belongs" thing.

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  13. ""Where does that healing start?" the simpering Wallace now asked.

    "In the streets," the professor said. For the record, his streets include the byways and lanes of Princeton's ivy-strewn campus."

    Thus Somerby mocks Glaude for living in Princeton, where he is a professor at the university. Does Somerby think that no shootings occur in such places? Has he forgotten that Elliott Rodger shot up Isla Vista, the city where the University of California, Santa Barbara is? He was aiming for sorority girls. Has Someby forgotten the shooting at Virginia Tech?

    There are quite a few universities on this list of school shootings:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

    Why then does Somerby pretend that the streets of a college town are safe, that Glaude has nothing to worry about personally, no stake in this problem? He works with kids of prime shooting age (according to Somerby).

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    1. You can trace Somerby's political evolution to TDH's growth in incoherence.

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  14. Again Bob berates the MSNBC team for getting paid too much, something you won’t hear in his now very occasion glimpses at the Fox gang. Yes, big money in corporate journalism is a problem.

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  15. We ought to be discussing how blue states and like-minded people can form a new country.

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  16. The talking heads, red and blue, are mostly unbearable.
    Wallace, who worked for a totally corrupt organization, may be the worst. Mika and Joe are worthless.

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    1. Everything Wallace says about the freak show of Donald Trump and the people who support or rationalize him is on the money. Those who take moderate stances on these things, or like Bob want to bury the whole thing, are simply cowards by
      comparison.
      I've witnessed horrible stuff on MSNBC, that
      has gone totally unremarked upon. That does
      nothing to change the above.

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    2. I loved that story Wallace did on the wealth gap. ;)

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    3. 9:20: And yet, she is right about guns, about January 6, and about the Republican embrace of the “stolen election” lie.

      Somerby routinely ignores people like Paul Krugman, who writes for the New York Times and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, and who talks endlessly about the wealth gap.

      And, coincidentally, Krugman taught for years at Princeton’s “ivy-strewn campus”. I guess that makes him automatically an effete snob, just like Glaude, who, by the way, grew up in Mississippi.

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    4. I don't think very highly of Nicole Wallace. And I know you're very triggered by what Somerby writes. You're sensitive, like a woman. I got it.

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    5. The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation: Nicolle Wallace

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUm9KsLc05Y

      https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-typhoid-mary-of-disinformation

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  17. “If Professor Glaude's rhetoric didn't exist, the NRA would invent it.”

    Glaude isn’t a reporter. He is an educator and editorialist.

    He is operating within the long-standing tradition of the expression of anger, grief, and admonition that has been a staple of American discourse, indeed of human discourse.

    It is in the tradition of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, who frequently had incendiary things to say about slavery and the South.

    This type of speech is also reminiscent of religious sermons that condemn the evils of society, going back at least to Jesus (“a generation of vipers.”) This should be familiar to many churchgoing conservatives.

    It is beyond ridiculous for Somerby to imagine that the NRA would need to invent anger and grief and outrage over the deaths of schoolchildren and their teachers in the face of Republican refusal to do anything at all.

    Unless he’s talking about the need for the NRA itself to muster any feeling at all for the dead children, or the mentally ill, into whose hands they are monstrously placing high-powered weapons.

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  18. One person wondered what Biden was going to do about guns, apparently, like most Americans not capable of understanding that Biden has very little power to do anything.

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