"Biden offers pardons for pot!"


Our search through the online Post: In print editions, the news report sits atop the New York Times' front page. Its headline is all-caps:


In print editions of the Washington Post, the following headline is bannered across four columns (out of six), right at the very top of the paper's front page:

Biden offers pardons for possession of pot 

The two newspapers agreed. This wasn't simply a front page report. This was a top of the front page report! 

Check that! The two newspapers agreed about that in their print editions. That brings us to the online Washington Post, the ongoing vessel of a dumbnification campaign.

Let's be fair! As of 8 o'clock this morning, that same report about Biden's action did appear on the front page of the Post's online edition. 

That said, you had to scroll and scroll, then scroll a lot more, to see that it existed.

In fairness, Biden's action was the featured report in the online Post's NATIONAL section. But you had to scroll about two-thirds of the way down an endless front page to reach that hard-news section. 

And good grief! Before you reached the NATIONAL section (and, therefore, that news report), you had to ignore a wide array of distractions. You'd already been tempted by inviting links to such deathless submissions as these:

No, that’s not duct tape on the wing of your plane

I saw a sex scene playing on my boss’s phone. Do I say something?

Sandwiches must be cut diagonally, and I’m not taking questions

Carolyn Hax: Dodging a friend to avoid her predatory dad

Ask Sahaj: My birthday always depresses me. But I still want to celebrate it.

Miss Manners: I am distracted by background noise during business calls

Ask Amy: My son won’t speak to me after I wouldn’t give him money again

10 ways to start running even if you kind of hate it

Are you prepared for any emergency? Here are seven tips to get started.

Should you be brushing your dog’s teeth?

9 tips to debunk false claims made by friends and family

Your boss can monitor your activities without special software

For Google’s Pixel 7 phones, fixing little annoyances is a big deal

Political spam is out of control. Now Gmail is about to make it worse.

The Fall Dining Guide: Critic Tom Sietsema’s 40 favorite restaurants of the year

Bethenny Frankel sues TikTok over ads she says misused her image

Gutter cleaning is a messy but necessary job. Here’s what to know.

5 vegetables to keep your garden harvest going into the winter

Just for the record, understand this. In the online Post, this was the third news report we encountered, right at the very top of the online front page:

No, that’s not duct tape on the wing of your plane

In the online Post, that point of concern was quickly cleared up. From there, you had to scroll and scroll, then scroll a whole lot more, to reach the report about Biden's action. 

In print, it was bannered across the top of A1. Online, it had been banished, with Cinderella, into the basement regions.

Online, the Post is being dumbed way down. Owner of the Washington Post needs a new pair of shoes!


  1. Forget new shoes. The owner of the "Washington Post" just needs to be taxed at 1950s tax rates.


  2. "Biden offers pardons for possession of pot "

    Oh, really?

    Tsk. It must be October of an election year...

    ...by the way, dear Bob, does it concern you at all that the nuclear codes are in the hands of... ...well, you know... We remember it was a great concern of yours a few years back.
    ...and The Big War, remember? No problem with that one either? Why? Are you a dembot?

    1. Mao,
      Don't you hate it when people pretend to be concerned about things they don't actually care about?

    2. "...people pretend to be concerned about things they don't actually care about"

      Sounds deplorable.

  3. “I saw a sex scene playing on my boss’s phone. Do I say something?”

    I’m sure there’s a lot of nutcases who read the WP, but none of them are this crazy.

    1. Your party doesn't know crazy from crazy (from Political Wire):

      "Dana Milbank looks at the possible House GOP class of 2022, which he says pushes the bounds on crazy.

      A sampling: “the Texas woman accused by her estranged husband of cruelty toward his teenage daughter; the Colorado woman who backed an effort to secede from her state; the Virginia woman who speculated that rape victims wouldn’t get pregnant; and the Wisconsin man who used campaign funds from his failed 2020 race to come to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, where he apparently breached Capitol barricades.”

      “What they all have in common is that they’re in competitive races, which means they could well be part of a Republican House majority in January. And that’s on top of a larger group of GOP nominees in deep-red congressional districts who are a motley assortment of election deniers, climate-change deniers, QAnon enthusiasts and Jan. 6 participants who propose to abolish the FBI and ban abortion with no exceptions, among other things.”

    2. And none of them would be insane enough to inform their boss that they had seen him viewing porn.

      Reefer madness isn’t that crazy.

    3. That's how you would solve the problem? Do you not understand that catching your boss in wrongdoing is a real problem for many people in the workplace?

      I once had to listen to my boss having afternoon sex in the bedroom of a Hospitality suite during a computer conference. We all sat there in the living room, uncomfortably, no one saying anything, while he and a staff member went at it. Customers were there too. It was horrible. There was nothing crazy about wondering how to handle such an incident -- someone had to tell the boss that we all could hear him, and that this wasn't the purpose of the suite.

      But this seems inane to you. Maybe you don't have a job and spend time smoking pot, so that seems more important to you. Somerby seems utterly incapable of putting himself in anyone else's position, like you. It seems to be a Republican failing.

    4. We’re going to have to do this again. Sing with me:

      One of these things is not like the others… One of these things just does not belong…

    5. Here I agree with Cesillyia, somebody watching a sex scene on their phone is mundane, commonplace, and not a matter of concern for anyone. If you're that uptight about sex, you are off your rocker.

    6. It doesn’t sound like the boss intentionally allowed or knew that the porn was observed by someone else. He could have thought he collapsed the screen.

      My opinion of your sanity, aside, you are free to go to HR with that.

      Loud sex in a hotel room with people sitting right outside the door is exhibitionism. It’s part of that man’s festivities.

      We’ll talk more when you’re older.

    7. Make sure to call HR ahead of time, you wouldn't want to bust in on them doing something that might make you uncomfortable!

      A study was done testing workplace door knobs, something like 90% of workplace doorknobs had sperm residue.

      Grow up, people.

    8. Yes, what's a work orgy now and then? Why shouldn't people expect porn wherever men are -- that's what men like. And why should people expect to be able to do their jobs undistracted? A bunch of snowflakes, amirite?

    9. You always should expect to see humans behaving as humans. Even in the work place.

      When it comes to the frailty of others, it’s best to choose your battles. I don’t happen to think that the dilemma in the cliickbait piece is a particularly compelling reason to go to war with the ranking officer.

      Of course, other people’s mileage varies. In your case that has to do with contradicting whatever is blogged here on any given day.

    10. So, I guess this is why conservatives are so eager to excuse Herschel Walker, a human just doing what humans do?

      You assume the advice would have been to confront the coworker, but that isn't necessarily what the article said.

      Once on a crowded bus I inadvertently sat next to a homeless-appearing woman who was closely examining a textbook that contained pictures of male genitalia with medical conditions. That was very creepy and there wasn't anyplace else to sit.

      But I think conservatives choice of what to support and what to abhor varies with their politics not their feelings about sex or human frailty. In another breath you might be telling me that people should keep their kinks in private and that it is OK to ban books because children might see them. But I'm the one who says anything, just to be contrary.

    11. It’s a daily education here with the personal traumas that anonymices have invariably experienced in every situation and which gives them the authority to rail on the character of other people who are so awful as to have a different perspective on a topic.

      The anger is real. The effrontery is real. The indignation is endless and real.

      The stories? Whatever…

    12. Besmirching the character of the fine upstanding "Others" just because they believe black people shouldn't have political representation, is awful.
      What next? Besmirching the characters of the 9/11 hijackers, just because their perspective on flying planes is different than yours?

    13. My condolences for your cranial nerve related vision and cognitive ailment.

      It’s utterly debilitating for you to only see and think in black and white.

      It must

    14. Cecelia,
      I appreciate you letting us know what deep-seated beliefs you can hold for almost five minutes.

    15. With your attention span. everything is five or less minutes.

    16. Good one.
      Almost as funny as the one about Right-wingers truly caring about something other than bigotry and white supremacy.

    17. Can't believe Cecelia waved away one of her deeply-held beliefs just because it wasn't bigotry and white supremacy.

      Oops, i'm sorry, i meant the opposite of "Can't believe".

    18. How many times a day do you pull that out without remembering?

    19. Cecelia,
      When you sent that 7:29 post, did you really think you believed it? Or were you thinking TDH readers are stupid enough to take you serious?

    20. First question: Yes.

      Second question: You’re stupid more than enough.

    21. So you learned something.
      What a great day today is.

    22. Oh, you were stupid yesterday and all the days before.

  4. DeSantis can't be that much of a racist. He punches down on trans kids, even if they're white.

  5. "But you had to scroll about two-thirds of the way down an endless front page to reach that hard-news section. "

    Somerby seems endlessly upset because most people have more full lives than he does. They are interested in and concerned about a wide array of things, both personal and more general (arts, entertainment, sports, culture). Somerby is laser-focused on politics, but that is not the way other people live.

    Someone please teach this man how to go directly to the National page. One more complaint about scrolling and I am going to throw my mouse at my computer.

  6. Is it really dumb to be concerned about preparing for an emergency? Shouldn't Somerby ask a few people in Lee County about that?

  7. "Carolyn Hax: Dodging a friend to avoid her predatory dad"

    Somerby thinks this is dumb, but I'll bet he's never been chased around a desk. Heaven forbid a newspaper should ever talk about something that concerns women! Everyone know print is for boys.

    1. His complaint is about the online positioning of national news.

    2. No, his complaint was that this stuff is making people dumb.

      Somerby says:

      "Online, the Post is being dumbed way down."

    3. Yes, because it’s not making the common sense decision of prioritizing the news.

    4. If you want to argue that the more salient bit information today was some clickbait ostensibly about how to react after witnessing a NSFW situation…go right ahead.

      That’s very anonymouse of you.

    5. Just saying that Somerby shouldn't mock other people's concerns. For one thing, he has never worked in a corporate office, so he has no idea what that's like.

      This is why stand up comedians are always telling jokes about sex or airplane travel. They have few other points of contact with everyday people's lives, Somerby included. He doesn't care about any of the lifestyle stuff because he has never married or had kids or done many of the things that most people do with their days. That doesn't make him better than the rest of us, but he apparently lacks the empathy to understand why any of these topics in the Post matter to other people. And that's sad and also perhaps why he wasn't very successful as a comedian.

    6. For someone who finds an affront to charity and civility in every utterance to which you disagree, you are as touchy as three rattlesnakes and as vicious as a rabid hedgehog.

    7. I didn't say he bothered me, I said he shouldn't mock others and then in the same breath preach at us for not understanding The Others.

    8. No, you said Somerby doesn’t function as a regular person, “ regular person” being someone who is married with children and working for a corporation.

      You said this because he pointed out the featuring of clickbait bullshit over a news story about weed users and dealers who have been convicted of federal crimes.

    9. Any story someone is interested in is “clickbait”. The term is used to denigrate some people’s low brow or pop culture interests. Somerby is being snobbish, but basically he doesn’t share the same interests because his life is different. National news is clickbait for political junkies. Most people don’t watch cable news all day.

    10. Oh, the guy who denigrates all expertise is being snobbish now, huh?

      His life is “different” [suspect] because he’s unmarried and without children (As far as we know.)

      And the importance of a pardon that has affected thousands of people in the criminal justice system is merely the purview of political junkies.

      This is anonymices, folks. This is their level of seriousness and authenticity. folks. This is it.

    11. How important is the pardon to those without pot convictions? I’m not mocking political interests because I share them. But Somerby calls “dumb” all the human interest stuff and that is both elitist and unempathetic. Attacking me changes nothing about Somerby.

    12. Your very derogatory insults toward the blogger do nothing to diminish him. They do show you to be wrathful and histrionic. .

      Yes, you do make your political interests laughably subservient to whatever he writes on a particular day, in carrying out the anonymouse fatwa of contradicting him.

    13. "Your very derogatory insults toward the blogger do nothing to diminish him."

      IOW, Somerby's got this.

  8. "Biden offers pardons for pot!"

    This is very odd wording. Why not say "Biden pardons pot convictions"?

    The way Somerby has worded this, it sounds like Biden is offering a quid pro quo of a pardon in exchange for being given some pot. That is how someone who doesn't like Biden would word things, with an implied crime "Biden offers pardons for cash," as Trump actually did before leaving office. Actually Biden as pardoned those convicted of acts that are no longer criminal, which is a good thing to have done, a just act that Somerby presents as an illegal transaction called influence peddling.

    Freud says that there are no slips of the tongue. When something like this happens in language, it can reveal subconscious motives. But we don't have to speculate with Somerby, since he has told us that he dislikes Biden. How liberal is that?

    1. “The way Somerby has worded this, it sounds like Biden is offering a quid pro quo of a pardon in exchange for being given some pot.”

      It really does, and we all know Biden is doing it for votes.

    2. Biden is largely doing this because it is supported by 75% of Americans, but, yes, the timing is likely meant to motivate voters. Smart move all the way around, good for society, and the moral thing to do.

    3. I have no quarrel with it either.

    4. Politicians politicizing politics.

    5. @12:50 - but you comment as if you do.

    6. I was making fun of the silly gripe about Somerby’s blog title.

      If I had a problem with the policy or the politics involved, I’d say so.

    7. How many pardons can you get for a QP?

  9. John McWhorter is a black conservative linguist at Columbia University. Today he acknowledges systemic racism in the way black children are evaluated for language deficiencies:

    "There are many areas in which I remain skeptical of the systemic racism analysis — for example, I am unconvinced that it’s systemic racism to require social workers to perform well on standardized tests. However, these speech evaluation tests imposed on children are something else. They can shunt kids away from mainstream opportunity when they have done nothing but grow up immersed in Black English as their linguistic comfort zone. Being born Black makes you more likely to suffer this abuse, whether it means your language impairment requiring special attention goes undiagnosed or your perfectly fine Black English is labeled a problem. Growing up with nonstandard English in general, as one study demonstrates about Filipino kids growing up in the United States from early childhood, can also lead to similar results.

    It won’t do. But linguists can only have so much effect here. I have spent three decades listening to educators, psychologists, other linguists and speech pathologists giving talks about this lack of fit between speech evaluation tests and linguistic reality, and little seems to change except people in education circles being aware of and dismayed by the problem. Speech pathologists seeking to meaningfully participate in antiracism must start not just questioning but resisting en masse these outdated tests that apply a Dick-and-Jane sense of English on real kids who control a variety of coherent and nuanced Englishes.

    Yes, all kids need to learn standard English in order to be able to access mainstream sources of achievement, not to mention to be taken seriously in specific contexts. This may not be fair. But the idea of standard English as a menacing, racist “gatekeeper” (which I have covered here) makes for good rhetoric yet will help no one in the real world. Certain dialects will be treated as standard as inevitably as certain kinds of clothing are considered more fashionable than others.

    But for kids to be designated as linguistically deficient right out of the gate, based on notions such as that if they don’t always use the verb “to be” they don’t understand how things are related, makes no sense. It constitutes a dismissal of eager and innocent articulateness. And as such, it is an arrant and thoughtless injustice that must be stopped."