THE FALL: Not just racist, but ableist too!


Intimations of the fall: For the record, we don't know how next month's elections are going to turn out.

Atop the front page of today's print editions, it seems that the New York Times does! Online, the dual headlines on the report say this:

Democrats, on Defense in Blue States, Brace for a Red Wave in the House
“Reality is setting in”: With two weeks to go, Republicans are competing in Democratic bastions like New York, California, Oregon and even Rhode Island.

For Democratic voters like us, the report is horrifically gloomy. Online, figure filbert Thomas Edsall offers these words of encouragement:

The Left-Right Divide May Help Democrats Avoid a Total Wipeout

We might avoid a total wipeout! So Thomas Edsall now says.

For the record, the front-page report to which we've referred only considers House races. Do things look better for Democrats in Senate and gubernatorial races?

The Times doesn't seem to think so! Here are three headlines from inside today's print edition:

Fetterman, Showing Stroke Effects, Battles Oz in Hostile Senate Debate

New York’s Governor’s Race Is Suddenly Too Close for Democrats’ Comfort

Cortez Masto, the Senate’s Most At-Risk Democrat, Fights to Hang On in Nevada

In New York, Hochul is battling to retain the State House. Then too, there are the horrible rumblings from those two Senate races.

Let us say this about that:

It we lived in Pennsylvania, we'd cast our vote for Fetterman to win our state's Senate seat. But he suffered a stroke in May—and on the surface, his performance last night was cosmetically poor.

We'd vote for Fetterman ourselves, but many Pennsylvanians will reach a different judgment. Of course, we'd vote for every Democratic candidate—but then, we're Democratic voters.

We don't know how the elections will turn out, but disaster may be closing in on various fronts. As it does, we direct your attention to a manifestation on "cable news" last night.

We refer to a manifestation involving New York Magazine's Rebecca Traister. For the record, we bear a grudge against Traister concerning her deference to Keith Olbermann's rank misogyny as displayed way back long ago.

Traister has become much more reliable in the years since then. Her reliability is part of the the manifestation to which we refer today.

Last night, Traister appeared on Alex Wagner Tonight to discuss the Fetterman-Oz debate, which had ended about a half hour before. 

"He did fumble. He did make verbal mistakes," Traister said. She was referring to Fetterman and the continuing effects of his stroke.

That said, she also praised Fetterman for displaying "such remarkable transparency" in showing up to debate at all. She said this transparency might even turn out to be seen as "an asset" by voters.

In our view, Traister seemed to be trying quite hard. Indeed, before citing Fetterman's "verbal mistakes," she had offered this:

TRAISTER (10/24/22): There was such intense scrutiny—often, ableist scrutiny—over how he was going to communicate.

Here on our sprawling campus, the youthful analysts writhed in pain. Later, the manifestation became substantially worse after Traister was asked to comment on what Wagner called "the crime piece."

Apparently, Oz had said something about Fetterman's policies on crime. Viewers weren't given any specifics. Instead, we were handed what's shown below.

We'll let you sift it out:

TRAISTER: Fetterman himself has actually been very friendly and pro-police—I think more pro-police than a lot of progressives would like him to be, right? 

But, it is also true that we know that a right-wing—no matter how dishonest, and no matter how sort of morally corrupt and, and false, right-wing attacks on Democrats for being soft on crime, which are always racially coded, and often gendered too—"softness," "weakness," right? 

You know, this stuff is resonant—people reach for those kinds of weapons because they're effective in a country that responds to racism and to sexism as communicative tools to take down a candidate. 

Fetterman, you know, is such an interesting candidate in part because he just—it's very hard to imagine using this kind of racist and sexist language against him. But, you know, I think we have to see.

I think his responses tonight on crime, you know, were pretty communicatively effective. But this is, you know, very sweet candy that Republicans are selling to a country that is so deeply built and attuned to messages that are fundamentally misogynistic and racist in nature.

"I would say candy with a poison center," Wagner said. With that, the interview ended.

By now, the analysts were openly weeping. Several tore at their hair. We thought we understood their reactions. The analysts' tale went like this:

Concerning "the crime piece," Wagner's viewers were told next to nothing about what Oz and Fetterman had actually said. Here's what we were told instead:

We were told that the United States is "a country that responds to racism and to sexism as communicative tools to take down a candidate." 

We were told that Republican attacks against Fetterman on issues of crime—whatever those attacks might actually be—are built from "racist and sexist language." 

Such criticisms "are always racially coded, and often gendered too." Or at least, so we were told.

We were also told that the United States is "a country that is deeply built and attuned to messages that are fundamentally misogynistic and racist in nature."

That's what we were told. We blue tribe viewers weren't told what anyone had actually said about any particular issue. We weren't told what Fetterman's policies actually are. We weren't told what Oz has said.

Instead, we were once again handed a very sweet tribal candy of our own. In our view, that candy constitutes a type of manifestation as the nation slides toward the sea and the Democratic Party slides toward possible disaster next month

(Also, criticisms of Fetterman have been "ableist," we blue tribe viewers were told.)

If we lived in Pennsylvania, we'd vote for Fetterman without batting an eye. But those are the things we viewers were told as we enjoyed our own candy last night. 

Borrowing from Tara Westover, we'd call this a manifestation. This is all our blue tribe seems to have, and it's worse than not enough. 

Tomorrow: Back to those focus groups 


  1. tl;dr.
    ...and it ain't just too long, it's completely crazy, we're sorry to say:

    "Of course, we'd vote for every Democratic candidate—but then, we're Democratic voters."

    Oh dear. Do you realize how brain-dead idiotic this is? An outright cult-following. Literally, clinically insane. Go, please do go get your head examined, dear Bob. As soon as you can.

    This, however:
    "For Democratic voters like us, the report is horrifically gloomy."
    ...sounds encouraging. Thanks.

    1. You have to give Bob credit in admitting that as Democrat, he’d vote for any Dem candidate who could breathe on a mirror.

      Bob doesn’t have time for media lib-speak mud-throwing pity parties, just go vote on the guy who is disordered by a brain injury and never you mind.

      Bob, there is plenty of time for an Oct or early Nov. surprise. We all know for a fact that your party is not yet completely comprised of nasty militant ideological nitwits. You still have the ole Clintonite pragmatist “fixers” around.

      Buck up. It ain’t over.

    2. Because of the area of the brain affected by Fetterman's stroke, his cognitive judgment is unimpaired. His speech centers were affected, but he has made good improvement and can function even if required to speak extensively, as was clear from the debate. Referring to him as disordered is wrong and contrary to medical reports on his condition.

      I don't know whether you are just ignorant about this or evil, but using this to attack a candidate like you are doing is ugly. This is an example of the lack of restraint Republicans seem to have, their complete lack of limits on what you, Cecelia, and other MAGA Extremists will say and do to get what you want. This isn't a game -- this is Fetterman's life and he has obviously worked hard at rehab and made himself competent to continue running. In the recent past, his stroke would have been voluntarily off limits by his opponent, but Republicans have abandoned all rules, incuding the ones that have made us a civil society.

      We used to call this kicking a man when he is down. It was considered unsportsmanlike and beneath contempt for an honorable person to behave that way.


    3. "Buck up. It ain’t over."

      True dat.

      If they can drain the strategic oil reserve to get electoral advantage and the "free" establishment media would hardly pay any attention at all, then who knows what they might do in the next two weeks...

    4. ...nothing nuclear, hopefully...

    5. “ You have to give Bob credit in admitting that as Democrat, he’d vote for any Dem candidate who could breathe on a mirror. ”

      Uh oh. A spurned lover is a dangerous thing.

      Hope Cecelia doesn’t know Somerby’s address, or he might find a severed horse’s head next to him in his bed, courtesy of Our Lady of TDH.

    6. Anonymouse 1:01pm, here you are diagnosing someone when you’ve had no access to their medical records and are unsurprisingly putting the best face on things.

      That doesn't make you “evil” and would be entirely understandable if there no political aspect to this situation.

      You’ve labeled me evil for logically questioning Fetterman’s ability to preform his job. A guestion that would be relevant from any corner.

      Bob is honest enough to admit that he wants Fetterman as a senate placeholder no matter, and too while eschewing name-calling toward his opponents.

      You’re not that person. You’re a militant dishonest and hateful anonymouse and you’d be painful to read if it was your birthday greeting to your grandmother.

    7. mh, you have that tin-ear problem and it just won’t quit.

    8. The suggestion is that once a Democrat voter always a Democrat voter but this and other cycles are won by erstwhile Democrats who can't in good conscience continue associating with that party.

  2. A paralyzed Democrat is better than a walking around Republican

  3. "figure filbert"

    This is usually said as "figger" filbert (from baseball) and refers to a fan who is obsessed with the numbers.

    The NY Times has been pushing this idea of a red wave for the past several weeks, with a headline about it every day. I don't know whether it will discourage Democrats from voting or whether it will bring more to the polls to head off disaster. I do know that the polls don't back this up. The Times has been cherrypicking data to justify their prediction. We have no idea how the greatly increased early voting, the new registrations among women, and the backlash against Roe v Wade is going to affect various races. Neither do the pollsters who are making this glooim and doom prediction.

    Somerby doesn't seem inclined to push back. That may be because the NY Times predictions are consistent with his own preferred narratives. In the meantime, Democrats are doing everything they can to win, and we won't know how effective those efforts are until we get the results. There isn't anything more we can do than that.

    Does Somerby imagine that any PA voter couldn't find out what was said at the debate if he or she wanted to? It is all over the internet and can even been watched again. The appearance of the candidates and their ability to respond in real time is the new info provided by a televised debate, so that is what the various analysts focused on. This approach has been the way debates have happened since Nixon vs JFK first appeared on TV and the media realized that how someone handles themselves matters to the voting public. In this polarized climate, the positions on issues are fixed among voters and will not change based on what candidates say in a debate. But eye rolls did in Al Gore and that stuff still matters today.

    1. Democratic candidates themselves are worried about a red wave. That's why they've abruptly changed course from focusing on abortion and Trump to instead focus on economic anxiety.

    2. Of course Democratic candidates are focused on winning and want to do whatever will help them win. That doesn't mean there is a red wave coming, nor that NY Times isn't helping Republicans by predicting one.

      If the red wave doesn't materialize, the NY Times confident predictions will give added ammo to those Republicans who want to claim the election was stolen. When the Times raises Republican expectations, it sets up a situation where they will be more angry and disappointed, and thus more likely to engage in violence, threats or disruptive acts aimed at election workers and anyone who won who was not a Republican.

      I do not understand why the NY Times is being this irresponsible, but perhaps they are trying to help Trump and his minions along in their efforts to claim the midterms were stolen. We still don't know fully who did that on 1/6, so it is possible there were allies of Trump on the NY Times.

      I would believe your point about focusing on economic anxiety more if it were also Republicans who are doing that. But they aren't. It is culture wars all the way.

    3. According to Democrats themselves, they are focusing on economic anxiety because that is what voters are concerned about. Maybe the NYTimes is just reporting what the Democrats are saying themselves about fears of a rout at the voting booth. But I know it's frustrating to have a powerful institution like that seemingly advocate a sour outcome.

    4. Hyperventilating pieces about some red-wave are dis-motivating to hit-or-miss Republican voters and motivating to moderately involved blue voters.

      It also causes a less than stellar victory to seem shaky and worth questioning by the opposition and to be deflating to supporters and the candidates who win.

      The media doesn’t see a red-wave. It sees a need for preemptive narrative setting.

    5. And I asked why Republicans are not focusing on economic anxiety, if that is what voters care about.

    6. Cecelia, why is a supposedly liberal media setting a narrative that helps Republicans, especially the ones who may want to questions election results?

    7. Maybe Republicans are. People trust them more on it. Dems never talk about it and actually make fun of voters who are concerned by it.

    8. Anonymouse1:53, it’s not a narrative that helps Republicans, it’s a narrative that mitigated anything but a stellar victory.

    9. If Democrats are focusing on the economy, that's great news. It means they are playing to their base, and depressing Republican turnout.

  4. "For the record, we bear a grudge against Traister concerning her deference to Keith Olbermann's rank misogyny as displayed way back long ago."

    Somerby has not earned the right to bear a grudge against Traister over misogyny. He has displayed his own misogyny here over the years and being male, he doesn't get to criticize women for when they do and do not complain about misogyny. His responsibility is to govern his own behavior to eliminate his own misogynistic thinking and behavior. If all men did that, especially the ones remotely sympathetic to women's issues, the world would be a better place. Instead, Somerby singles out women for chastising over misogyny, instead of the men displayed it.

    Whatta guy!

  5. Gosh, I bet it would just KILL Bob if the
    Dems did badly in the mid terms, even
    though he seems to be salivating over
    the prospect.
    Things, as they have often do, went
    downhill from there on MSNBC. O’Donnell
    had been good on Trump’s theft of
    government documents, but Bob
    has no interest in that. Trump might
    have to go to jail, and it’s sad when
    people have to go to jail!
    The 11th hour had some guy
    pushing the notion that only white
    people can be racist. You think maybe
    NBC corporation knows damn well
    how that serves the left? I would
    Expect he would be fine with it.

  6. You mean to tell me Democrats have other agenda items besides "normalize the bulge" for men who want to dress like women and are offended that their evident penis draws disgusted looks?

    1. Why are you looking? Hmmmm? 💋

    2. Biden gave an interview to a 25-year-old man, dressed as a female, and who identifies as an underaged girl.

      Could they not leave this job for Klain or Jean-Pierre and not the Commander-in-Chief who is supposed to face down Putin and make reality-based gritty decisions?

    3. Wow, Cecelia. Like, what a trenchant comment. I mean, it makes perfect sense that someone who speaks to a man dressed as a woman couldn’t possibly handle Putin.

      After all, the president did say that he believed Putin rather than his own national security team. You got me there!

      Oh, wait. That was a different President. The one who hosted a game show with washed up celebrities.

    4. Maybe we can send Obama to face down Putin. Remember, he's such a tough guy, he was able to shove healthcare down the throat of every American.

    5. Cecelia, providing examples of hackish, illogical crap every day with her own comments. Way to go Cecelia….you never fail to disappoint. Keep it coming!

    6. mh, that last remark will result in the loss of your Corby-wannabe brownie points.

    7. mh, Putin and Xi look at that “young girl” and passionately visualize her in camo.

    8. I want any president I vote for to treat people in general (regardless of who they are) with dignity and respect. It is not the president's job to decide how any person should "identify."

      Now think about the tweets Trump sent about Rosie O'Donnell (without provocation) and various other people. He continues to send them now on Truth Social. Tell me that man is fit to leave the house and interact with other human beings. He doesn't even pass that bar.

      But I'm not convinced Cecelia would either.

      If a man had recently begun presenting as a young girl to others (a first step in transitioning), why wouldn't he feel young and uncertain, having to learn the things that women learn as young girls? Cecelia may be taking the "young" part too literally. I wonder if Cecelia is aware that many elderly people feel much younger than their looks or age. There is a subjective component even to age.

  7. "That's what we were told. We blue tribe viewers weren't told what anyone had actually said about any particular issue. We weren't told what Fetterman's policies actually are. We weren't told what Oz has said."

    This is incorrect. Somerby himself quotes Traister telling the audience what Fetterman's views were. She said (according to Somerby):

    "Fetterman himself has actually been very friendly and pro-police—I think more pro-police than a lot of progressives would like him to be, right? "

    Later, she said that his responses had been communicatively effective.

    I did not watch the discussion between Walker and Traister after the debate, and I do not plan to, largely because I don't live in PA. There may be more that Traister said about Fetterman's response to the crime question. If there were, Somerby would not necessarily tell us, because that is how he has behaved in similar situations.

    I think it is appropriate and helpful for analysts to point out the way language is used to bias audiences, often outside their conscious awareness (when such influences are most effective). Calling Fetterman "soft" is a way of saying unmanly and non-dominant (Beta, cuck) and it is also a way of calling Fetterman feminine, since soft is a word that applies to women, not men. Traister is referring back to the Willie Horton campaign when she calls out racism in discussions about crime. Somerby knows that. It is a Republican approach that appears every election cycle and it is based on racism. Noting that Oz tried that approach is fair, and also helpful, again because it makes unconscious biases conscious, which is the main way to combat their influence. Somerby doesn't seem to understand that, and instead reacts as if this were chiding and not educating voters.

    A reader shouldn't have to go check the debate transcript themselves in order to trust what Somerby has said about Traister, but when he plays games with excerpting those he criticizes, it becomes necessary to verify his quotes. I have pointed out his dishonest just about his own excerpt, but there may be more. I am not going to waste time going back to the source, but I AM going to continue to distrust whatever Somerby says, because he has shown himself to be dishonest. Once you lose your reputation, it takes a while to regain it. So far, Somerby is just confirming that his past mishandling of sources is ongoing.

    1. “A reader shouldn't have to go check the debate transcript themselves in order to trust what Somerby has said about Traister, but when he plays games with excerpting those he criticizes, it becomes necessary to verify his quotes.”

      Evidently, a reader can eschew watching the entire debate because they don’t live in PA.

      Then a reader can call a blogger untrustworthy (though they DID watch the debate) for saying that journos should put the focus on Fetterman’s actual positions, rather than just focusing on the visuals and the inherent polemics.

      THAT emphasis in a days away ELECTION and Somerby’s forfeiting the mind-reading of a reporter makes HIM less than truthful.

      What hackish illogical crap.

    2. Like it would matter who the candidate was.

      “Condoleezza Rice- WORSE than Trump!”

    3. Rice would not be worse than Trump. Therefore, she will never be the Republican nominee.

    4. That is indeed the anonymouse reasoning. Whoever is nominated is immediately ”Worse Than Trump”.

      Otherwise, you would not be running. h

    5. Anonymouse 4:01pm, I am serious and thanks again for the display of circular logic.

      What’s a “drinking hour”? Have you been drinking for hours?

    6. It’s amusing that Cecelia agreed with me, that Republicans will never again nominate a Condoleeza Rice. I was not referring to what anonymous commenters may or may not believe.

    7. mh, I didn’t agree with your circular formulation. I completely agreed that it’s representative of how you reason.

    8. Cecelia, since you seem to come from Russia and are unfamiliar with American customs, polite people do not drink alcohol until "the sun is over the yardarm" or some similar culturally approved hour. Sometimes it is 4 pm (happy hour), other times it is before-dinner cocktails. In Europe, people drink wine with lunch and perhaps a mimosa with breakfast, but Americans don't generally drink until dark and try not to let anyone know they drink alone. They also keep the whisky/wine bottles out of the obvious trash on pickup day.

      I merely meant that you were typing so fast that your thoughts outran your keyboard skills and you sounded drunk. That's been happening more frequently lately. Noticeably less thinking and more word salad.

  8. Anything can happen in two years, but right now the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination is Kanye West's, if he wants it.

  9. Here’s the thing: Somerby isn’t all wrong. Traister didn’t refer to many specifics from the debate.

    Wagner did show excerpts from the debate prior to Traister’s appearance, and discussed other issues in an earlier segment. There are a lot of other shows on MSNBC that may have gotten more specific about the debate and the positions of Öz and Fetterman. Not sure about that. And, to be fair, Wagner’s question was about Fetterman’s supposed vulnerability due to his health.

    The general idea, that the mainstream press isn’t providing good coverage is not incorrect. There are plenty of things the Democrats have done that have helped the working class, but they don’t get much coverage. The candidates, however, ARE discussing those things, and have been since the start of the campaign. The media, who seemingly just discovered the economy as an issue in the last month or so, promote the idea that Democrats have only just discovered the issue.

    The media is at least partially driving public perception. If we learned anything from Somerby, it’s that. He tried to drive that point into his readers’ brains by holding the mainstream media accountable for Gore’s loss.

    Today, there is discussion of inflation without much mention of record low unemployment. That affects the debate on immigration as well. There is talk of inflation without mentioning that it is currently worldwide, and is worse in Europe, due in large part to the effect of the pandemic and the Russian invasion in Ukraine. There is also little mention made that Republicans like to flog these issues, but have no policies to fix them. They don’t even have a platform.

    A blogger who cares about electing Democrats might point out these things, rather than saying, as he often has, that liberals only care about race and gender.

    He might also try pointing out the biased framing of headlines like
    “New York’s Governor’s Race Is Suddenly Too Close for Democrats’ Comfort”, rather than posting without comment, making it seem as if he buys it.

  10. "We blue tribe viewers weren't told what anyone had actually said about any particular issue. We weren't told what Fetterman's policies actually are. We weren't told what Oz has said."

    The purpose of Alex Wagner's show is not to recap the debate. It is to analyze it. That's what she did.

    As Maddow explained to Ezra Klein, there are days when all of the shows on her network are focused on a single topic. Even so, Maddow said she tried to find some angle or added value to differentiate her show from the others doing the same all-day coverage. I expect that Alex Wagner might take the same approach, seeking not to duplicate the efforts of others but to provide something extra, which I would say she did, refocusing her audience on the tactics used by Oz instead of the surface content of his responses.

    If Somerby wanted to know what Oz and Fetterman each said, he could have watched the debate himself. Most of the follow-on audiences probably did that. Why would they want to hear over again what they just heard for themselve?

    But Somerby has to find something to tear down the liberal media. Straight-ticket Democrat that he claims to be, why is he so dead focused only on hurting the media? And why does he think that sexism and racism are unimportant? The people who are the targets of those isms certainly don't think so. If Somerby were to have a frank talk with his neighbors in Baltimore, the ones with dark skin or who are women, he might find out what the experiences of other people are. But he is so busy urging the rest of us to talk to The Other, that he doesn't have time to talk to his own others, the ones who might help him understand racism and sexism better.

  11. The debate was last night starting at 8:pm eastern. What other show on MSNBC would have made a review of Fetterman’s actual positions… somehow… redundant?

    1. Fetterman has been running since February of 2021. His positions have been discussed on MSNBC during that time. He’s been interviewed numerous times there.

    2. Further, the debate itself would have made a review of Fetterman's actual positions redundant. Who skips the debate and only watches the analysis? The debate is still available online if someone wants to watch it.

    3. With this logic, mh and Anonymouse 3:55pm we might as well have candidates in swimsuit competitions rather than national debates.

      The visuals and the polemics of being the debate we’re not in Fetterman’s favor because of his handicap.

      What he does have are his political positions, ostensibly logical, moral, pragmatic and fair.

      Positions that may cause voters to cast aside their concerns about his health, and vote for a man they think is a wise candidate.

      MSNBC minimized the Fedderman’s most valuable contribution to the public - his political stances. They did this because they consider red meat knocking of Republicans to be their bread and butter.

      Not an informed public.

    4. Do you think that Pennsylvania voters are getting their info about Fetterman from MSNBC?

    5. Absolutely not. Why would the public bother to watch a nationally televised debate and expect subsequent news analysis of the candidates positions and rebuttals?

      They can read their positions online at their party sites and watch MSNBC talk about Republicans instead?

    6. The debate was mostly televised in PA with a couple of stations in NYC and DC airing it. It wasn’t “nationally televised”. On the other hand, gee, I wonder if Fox is informing their viewers in a fair and balanced way about the debate…

    7. It was nationally covered by national news organizations that opined on Fetterman’s physical difficulties. Let’s hope some of them did him the favor of analyzing his views.

    8. “Let’s hope some of them did him the favor of analyzing his views.”

      “Let’s?” You and who else?

      Fetterman’s views are well known to viewers of MSNBC. He has been interviewed numerous times. To the extent that voters watched Wagner’s show last night, and only Wagner’s show, and will never watch MSNBC before or after, no, they didn’t see an in-depth analysis of the debate, which ended literally the moment Wagner’s show began.

      And yes, “we” are aware that the mainstream media, the one that, according to you, lets Hillary get away with anything, because they’re so liberally biased, is emphasizing Fetterman’s health issues (“shaky performance”, etc etc), rather than what he actually said and what his positions are. But thanks for telling us.

    9. How could the media not emphasize Fetterman’s performance since he is handicapped? That’s not the elephant in the room, it’s the room.

      The best they can do is to cover it, and then whip all the attention away to the right vs left polemics.

      That does NOT help him. But the media doesn’t live in a world where anything is more damaging than being a Republican.

    10. If you think an election isn't closely similar to a beauty contest (scholarship competition), you are majorly naive.

      There are studies of this stuff. The candidate who is taller tends to win more often. The one with the square jaw beats the one with a rounder face. The one with hair beats the baldy (why do you think Trump has that foolish yellow comb-over?). Younger beats older. And male beats female.

      Jokes and ease at the podium beat stiffness and seriousness (Al Gore disease). Shorter words and sentences beat longer ones (Trump uses the shortest words and sentences of any president). Quips and sound bites beat explanations (the public likes to be entertained). Losing one's cool looks weak and strength beats weakness.

      Candidates have consultants who are familiar with all of the research and can train the candidate to do the debate as well as possible, given what they have to work with. That said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Trump lost all of his debates with Hillary but that didn't change his supporter's adoration. His real on-screen time was not during the debates but the rest of the time, at rallies and in tweets and press sound-bites and interviews.

      It is a sad fact of our times that these cosmetic superficialities have replaced substance, but that happened back when TV became an important campaign medium. That was the last time that an introvert could be elected president without learning to fake being extroverted.

    11. The sad fact is that you’d give MSNBC a complete pass for not iterating your fav candidate’s political stances, simply because Bob Somerby (who wants Fetterman to hold a Dem place in the senate no matter his mental condition) called MSNBC out on it.

  12. "Tomorrow: Back to those focus groups "

    Actually, Somerby said he was going to discuss Dr. [Jason] Johnson today and he still hasn't discussed the Klein interview with Maddow, as promised.

    "Tomorrow: What David French reported; what Professor Johnson said"

    He just slimed them and is apparently moving on, without providing any evidence to support his attacks on them. That has become Somerby's new style.

    How can Somerby complain that Wagner didn't repeat what Fetterman and Oz said (to an audience that had just finished watching them say it), when he calls people names but doesn't tell us what they said to deserve that treatment?

  13. “The debate is still available online if someone wants to watch it”

    Sure. Why not go straight to the visuals and polemics in a post-debate analysis, because weird people who are interested in the candidates’ positions and crap..,can go and find that vid.

    1. I’m sure you check Fox News to find out your local candidates’ positions, rather than checking the candidates’ websites or checking out local media reporting. Right? Riiiighht.

    2. My local candidates don’t get nationally televised-covered debates.

      You do you realize the significance of why Oz and Fetterman did?

    3. Your local candidates would get national attention if they are running for US Senate. The Vance-Ryan debates were extensively covered on MSNBC. There’s also been a fair amount of attention paid to the Hassan/Bolduc race. No mention of any of that here at TDH, of course.

    4. A national office such as Senator isn't usually considered a local race. That refers to state legislators and office such as controller or attorney general, mayors and judges.

      In every state where I have lived (NY, MA, IL, CA, CO) the senatorial debates have been televised. I don't know who saw them beyond the state where I lived, but then, Biden gave a speech recently and none of the networks covered it. Why do you suppose that was? Presidential addresses are nearly always televised (except before invention of TV).

      You could find out whose decision it was and let us all know, but that might be too much like public service instead of trolling.

    5. That creepy, blood-red, military pageant propaganda speech where he tried to scare people into thinking MAGA's were an existential threat??

    6. I bet the idiots in charge of him wish now they had him speak frankly about the economy instead of go on some fake, staged rant that didn't play with anyone. Dumb mistake. Now they're going to get their ass kicked.


  14. How can Somerby complain that Wagner didn't repeat what Fetterman and Oz said (to an audience that had just finished watching them say it), when he calls people names but doesn't tell us what they said to deserve that treatment?”

    It probably has something to do with Somerby being an informal blogger and not a member of a national news organization.

    1. Yes, it certainly is part of what is meant by professionalism.

  15. “ It we lived in Pennsylvania, we'd cast our vote for Fetterman to win our state's Senate seat.”

    Can Oz even vote for himself, since he doesn’t live in PA?

    1. I don’t think Oz is sweating that or much else right now.

  16. mh, are any of your comments disappearing?

    1. I don’t think so, but it’s happened to me before.

    2. Mine have disappeared. You might check and see whether there is a filter for obscenity because 4-letter words might cause your comment to be disappeared (to use Somerby's term). Or maybe he goes on a sporadic weeding of those that he thinks may be abusive, while he is weeding out the spam?

      I also thought it might happen when you have two versions of Somerby's blog open at once and are cutting and pasting between them and then use a back arrow.

      Or maybe there is a quota per day. You have been commenting a lot lately.

  17. Oh, hell. If he!s reading this stuff then that explains it.

    I would be an irksome person on that man’s lawn for sure.

  18. Traister’s talk about “ableism” may not be so far from wrong. Fetterman is sort of an Everyman, who’s fighting hard against the effects of a stroke. The notion that a rich, elite shyster like Oz, with something like 14 mansions and doesn’t even live in PA going after Fetterman’s health (or brain injury as Cecelia calls it) doesn’t sit well with too many people. He raised a ton of money after the debate.

    It’s the same as it ever was. Republicans nominate the Bushes, Romney, Trump, Oz, all fabulously wealthy elites and claim to be for the working class. Democrats are the party of Clinton, Obama, Fetterman, Biden, none of whom came from privilege.

    1. Well said.

      Movie recommendation- The Outfit.

      Very good! (Hope you get to read this.)