The New York Times has stuck to its guns!


Also, LSU wins: Moments ago, it occurred to us to check it out—to do so one last time.

As it turns out, the New York Times stuck to its guns! It never filed a news report about the one (1) Florida elementary school where one (1) parent stated her view about the annual practice of showing a certain 96-minute film to the school's second graders.

The film in question was the 1998 ABC/Disney film, Ruby Bridges. The parent thought the film would be more appropriate at a higher grade level. The school said it would look at the film and reach a judgment concerning the parent's view.

In our view, it's entirely possible that the parents has a decent point. It's also entirely possible that she possibly doesn't, on balance. 

But as we noted last Thursday, this was a total non-event. According to the Times' search engine, but also very much to its credit, the New York Times never bowed to contemporary conventional wisdom by publishing a news report about this non-event

This morning, all over ESPN, we saw many others bowing low to contemporary conventional wisdom. At issue was a rather unusual bit of taunting in the aftermath of yesterday's win by LSU in the final game of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. 

A wide range of obedient cable sports pundits turned themselves into pretzels this morning in order 1) to pretend that no taunting had occurred, or 2) to pretend that everyone engages in this same sort of behavior, especially male college athletes, or 3) to say that this is the way we now want our college-age athletes to behave. Especially our college-age women!

During the 10 o'clock hour, we were disappointed in the estimable Molly Qerim. Four hours earlier, we'd felt a certain degree of contempt for Max Kellerman as he found a way to knuckle under to script. 

That said, everyone knew what they were expected to say, and everyone proceeded to say it. 

Also, everyone knows why everyone said it. In our own considered view, we can't say this actually helps.


  1. "According to the Times' search engine, but also very much to its credit, the New York Times never bowed to contemporary conventional wisdom by publishing a news report about this non-event"

    Two things, dear Bob:
    1. It's nowhere near conventional wisdom. Rather, it's the usual dembot idiocy. And
    2. Don't they have a much more exciting news to announce these days? Surely all their effort is directed towards this one...

  2. “this was a total non-event. “

    Sure. When a right winger does something that right wingers have been doing in schools all over the country, challenging and banning books, it’s a “total non-event.”

    But when, say, Amanda Gorman’s Portuguese translator gets replaced with someone else, THAT’s totes newsworthy and worth dwelling on, by Somerby, among others. (You can look it up in Somerby’s archives.)

    And that’s just a single example of Somerby’s double standard as to what is and isn’t newsworthy.

  3. If Bob would stick to sports it would be a better world as anything else is far beyond him.

  4. Sometimes one disagrees with the majority view in the press, even as one senses you are in the majority among interested people ( Al Franken being hectored out of office is the classic example). All you can do is suck it up and say what you think, but for Bob, there is always smug paranoia.

  5. "As it turns out, the New York Times stuck to its guns! It never filed a news report about the one (1) Florida elementary school where one (1) parent stated her view about the annual practice of showing a certain 96-minute film to the school's second graders."

    First, the NY Times did run an editorial thoroughly discussing the event. That isn't exactly ignoring what happened or sticking to any guns (as if this were any kind of policy decision at the NY Times.

    Second, Somerby emphasizes the word "one" by repeating it, but the fact that ONE parent can ban a film for other parents is problematic. That makes it not about one but about many children, perhaps a great many depending on how long the film is prohibited. Somerby also emphasizes ONE school, but the decision and review will be made by the Pinellas County school district, encompassing several schools, and it may become permanent, compounding the number of children affected. So this emphasis on ONE is not only misleading but incorrect with regard to the situation Somerby is discussing. It does reflect Somerby's desire to trivialize the situation by misrepresenting it.

    Third, there has been some confusion about how the policy works, with the school district backtracking on the controversy. Here is what they are now saying:

    "Soon after, Conklin filed a formal challenge. A day later, area superintendent Michael Vigue told her via email that North Shore “will no longer be using this video to support the K-5 curriculum.”

    The Bold Cyber Mission For One Midwest University
    The Bold Cyber Mission For One Midwest University
    By Dakota State University
    Vigue added that he talked with the principal about the need to “update the school’s process for vetting instructional related movies for content relevance, age appropriateness and overall appropriateness of content moving forward.”

    As word of the district’s response circulated, criticism followed. And so, too, did changes in the district’s narrative.

    Officials pushed back against the notion that the movie was banned, using terms like “pause” and “temporary hold” while stating it remained available for use at other elementary schools — just not North Shore. A few days later, they revised their explanation, saying teachers at North Shore could still use “Ruby Bridges” in lessons, so long as they followed the parental permission procedure required for movies rated PG and higher."

    "That’s what they told School Board chairperson Lisa Cane, who had not seen Vigue’s email. She said she understood how the public might be confused over mixed messages coming from the district.

    “The school district needs to be faster responding, and I think that the processes need to be followed moving forward that we have put in place,” Cane said.

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    She was not alone in that assessment. Board members Caprice Edmond, Eileen Long and Laura Hine also had tough words for the administration’s handling of the situation as it blew up in news reports and social media across the globe.

    Long said she’s received several calls and emails from parents and other residents opposing the notion that the movie espouses negative lessons. It depicts history accurately, she said, and children and parents alike can learn from that.

    Edmond said she, too, has received emails from North Shore parents sharing passionate support for the lessons they learned with teachers while watching “Ruby Bridges.” She said the district must better communicate when situations like this arise, but also blamed state laws that have emboldened some parents to try to control classes."

    1. So, the reason for publicizing such events is to allow normal parents to push back against the out-of-control actions of right-wingers in FL. The widespread appearance of news reports helped parents restore availability of this particular film and develop a better policy for handling the complaints of parents who are attempting political manipulation of school curriculum.

    2. Apology -- should have edited out the ads above but ran short of time.

    3. Don't be gay.

  6. There is no taunting in duplicate bridge. There is a zero tolerance policy toward bad behavior that is enforced by taking away points from those engaging in it.

    I have been thinking lately that Somerby (and perhaps others here) might benefit from a sport like bridge because it satisfies competitive urges, is enormously complicated, benefits from obsessive tendencies, and lets you engage with bright individuals from all over the world -- plus you can play it online or face-to-face at tournaments and clubs.

    1. I’m no good at card games.

    2. No one is when they first start playing, but you learn and get better.

  7. The second amendment is evil.

  8. New Randy Rainbow song:

  9. Now last night, underwater, I saw a French mermaid,
    Treated her to caviar and wine over shrimp brain,
    In the raw, on the ocean floor, need I say more?
    You never heard nobody kick it like this before,
    Pink champagne, octopus brains,
    Saw your DJ underwater through the window pane.
    That sucker tried to hit a mix, but the mix didn't happen,
    Records kept floatin' all the fish kept laughin'
    A blowfish blew my mind and started to rhyme,
    As the octopus cut nine records at a time.