FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2023
Initially, she said no: We're so old that we can remember when Charles Blow's column appeared.
In fact, the column appeared last Thursday morning in New York Times print editions. Looking ahead to next year's election, the column suggested a possible way Joe Biden could possibly lose.
Could Joe Biden possibly lose? We'll repeat an award-winning bromide:
Be careful what you're sure of!
In our view, the president's age creates a potentially dangerous factor. For a gloomy assessment built on standard demographic analysis, consider Ruy Teixeira's recent analysis piece for the Washington Post, "How DeSantis could beat Biden."
(Also, note the dismissive, name-calling comments insisting that "Meatball Ron / DeSatan" couldn't possibly win. So it went when we assured ourselves that Ronald Reagan couldn't possibly win. If memory serves, neither could Donald J. Trump!)
Could Biden possibly lose next year? Plainly, he possibly could. In his recent column, Blow quoted James Carville warning about "abysmally low Black turnout" in the 2022 midterm elections—more specifically, about low turnout among "younger Black voters.”
Blow provided no data about this decline in turnout. In limited fashion, Kevin Drum was able to do so, linking to an analysis piece in the New York Times in November 2022.
Blow provided no statistics, but he seemed to view Carville's warning as a valid point of concern. So did Terrance Woodbury, a founding partner of a firm "which researches Black voter sentiment."
Assurances on cable news to the side, we think Joe Biden could lose next year. We have no idea if he will, but plainly he could.
Yes, we think that Biden could lose—and we think that blue tribe members should worry about that too. Because we think Joe Biden could lose, our spirits fell when we read Blow's column.
Also, we thought of Angel Reese, a 20-year-old All-American basketball player at LSU.
Why did we think of Angel Reese as we read Blow's column? You're asking an excellent question!
Reese went viral last month when she was crudely insulted by Keith Olbermann, and by another male sports analyst, in the aftermath of LSU's win in the NCAA national championship game.
Reese's taunting behavior after the game struck us as highly unusual, and as a bit over the top. That said, Reese is twenty years old. It wasn't the end of the world.
That said, a funny thing happened to Angel Reese after she was insulted by the likes of Olbermann and Dave Portnoy. In a highly familiar manner, mainstream press organs fell into line, reinventing basic facts about what the young person had done.
Her post-game taunting was quickly turned into trash talk during the game—all in service to the claim that she'd done nothing out of the norm.
We don't think we've ever seen an inaccurate Standard Press Corps Account take form quite so rapidly. This group behavior didn't gigantically matter either, except for the fact that such press corps behavior has been so familiar over the past thirty years, and also just in the past decade.
We thought Reese's post-game behavior after that game was quite unusual, and perhaps not the greatest idea. That said, Reese is 20 years old. It wasn't the end of the world.
Our journalists are all older than that. The behaviors in which they've engaged have been much more consequential.
Thirty years ago, the giants of the mainstream press initiated a decades-long pattern of group behavior which would end up sending Trump to the White House. We refer to the long-standing press corps war against Clinton, Clinton and Gore.
This war raged on for 25 years. Our tribe was never quite able to see it.
More to the point, careerist tribal leaders simply didn't want to tell the truth about something they all understood. (For an account of the start of this war, see Gene Lyons' 1996 book, Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater.)
That war raged on for 25 years. In the end, it sent Trump to the White House. Along the way, a second bit of Storyline was widely adopted all through our blue tribe, starting with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
What actually happened on the miserable evening when Trayvon Martin, age 17, was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida? As we noted yesterday, basic facts about what happened that night never became clear—except within the cartoonized versions of that night's events which quickly swept through blue tribe organs.
Alex Wagner repeated that cartoon account of those events just this past Tuesday night! For ourselves, we'll offer this suggestion:
Cartoonized stories aren't what we need, but cable stars know what we want.
Today's young adults have grown up in an age which has featured many such episodes. Repeatedly, our blue tribe has created accounts of high-profile events which have served these young people quite poorly.
There is no conceivable way to explain that fact to many blue tribe members. We see the lunacy which prevails on Fox. We can't see what we've done Over Here.
In our view, young people like Angel Reese have been poorly served by this endless behavior. Does Angel Reese have political views? We have no idea.
But in the aftermath of LSU's win, Jill Biden offered a somewhat imperfect suggestion. Reese responded with a great deal of clatter as journalists cheered her on.
Would LSU go to the White House, as victorious sports teams do? At first, Reese seemed to say that she wouldn't go. We'll go see the Obamas instead, she said.
"Please come to Boston," the old hit song said. In this case, the invitation would be to the White House.
"Please come to Washington," the song now said—and at first, the young woman said no.
Finally, not unlike Achilles, Reese said that she'd go to the White House. In this passage, ESPN reported the diplomatic breakthrough:
ESPN (4/7/23): LSU star Angel Reese said Friday that she will visit the White House with her team, days after suggesting the Tigers should instead celebrate their national championship with former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama rather than with President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden.
Reese made the suggestion after saying she was not inclined to accept an apology from Jill Biden for suggesting that both LSU and runner-up Iowa be invited to the White House. President Biden did not follow through on that idea, inviting only LSU and men's national champion Connecticut.
We thought of Reese's initial reaction when we read Blow's column last week.
As our press corps has performed its fake racial greatness, a lot of young people have been persuaded of a lot of things which may not quite have been true.
We feel sorry for those young people. We think they've been badly served.
There's no excuse for telling the story of Trayvon Martin's death the way Wagner did this week. That said, today's young adults have been fed that particular stew again and again and again.
Along the way, our blue tribe has performed very badly.
First, we sat out the war against both Clintons and Gore—the war which sent Trump to the White House. Obediently, we fell in line and agreed to perform this newer Storyline too!
Angel Reese was 9 years old when Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. We thought of her when we read Blow's column.
We hope she casts a vote next year, preferably for Candidate Biden.