SUNDAY: Something we read in (today's?) New York Times!

SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2024

Donald Trump's Trial and American Journalism: Opening statements will be made tomorrow!

That said:

This very morning, we've been reading the Today's Paper site at the New York Times. As part of what we would regard as a comically tunnel-visioned Blue America Exclusive editorial, the editorial board—headline included—actually told us this:

Donald Trump and American Justice


[T]he opening days of the trial, devoted to jury selection, have already demonstrated the great care and respect with which everyone involved in the trial, except for Mr. Trump, has treated the process. Joshua Steinglass, a member of the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, told potential jurors on Tuesday that the case “has nothing to do with personal politics.”

“We don’t suggest you need to have been living under a rock for the last eight years, or the last 30 years,” he said. “We don’t expect you not to have heard about this, or not to have discussed this case with friends. What we do need is for you to keep an open mind.”

Dozens of potential jurors took those instructions seriously and admitted they could not be impartial. One man was excused from service after telling the judge that it was “going to be hard for me to be impartial,” since many of his family members and friends were Republicans. Justice Juan Merchan, the judge overseeing the trial, excused him, as other potential jurors stepped up. So far, seven jurors have been seated. At least two potential jurors were dismissed by the judge because of social media posts.

"So far, seven jurors have been seated?"

Seriously though, folks! In a long editorial listed online, this very morning, as part of Today's Paper, that's what the editors said.

Now for the rest of the story:

A date on the editorial tracks it to last Wednesday—to April 17, 2024. Presumably, the editorial appeared online at that time.

At that time, the passage in question would have been accurate. Today, four days later, the passage in question is clownishly out of date.

Even fuller disclosure! According to the online presentation, "A version of this article appears in print on April 21, 2024, Section SR, Page 11 of the New York edition with the headline: Donald Trump And American Justice." 

That would be today. "A version of" that editorial appears in today's print editions.

We don't have today's print edition. Is that clownishly outdated material sitting in print even today? Can that passage possibly be sitting there in print?

We have no immediate way of knowing. A question does come to mind:

This trial will be an extremely important event. Everybody makes mistakes, but our anthropological question is this:

Does anything rattle the cages of these upper-class journalists in such a way as to force them, as upscale journalists, to make their way into the light?

Seven jurors have been selected. Opening statements tomorrow!


  1. The Times editorial board is not leftist.

  2. 1. Somerby is complaining about an editorial, not a news report. That means the relevant part of the article is opinion.
    2. What adult human being doesn't know how to check dates on things, such as at the market (expiration dates on milk), online (when your credit card payment is due), for concert tickets (when is that show anyway?). Somerby noticed the date on this editorial precisely because we DO notice dates in our lives.
    3. Somerby is so busy crying about the date being last Wed (with info current at the time), that he neglects to tell us what the editorial itsel f was about. Was the opinion out of date? He doesn't trust us with that info.

    This has to be one of the stupidest essays Somerby has written. Does he not realize that the moment an article is posted (no matter when written), it begins getting stale. The facts start to become obsolete, superseded by more current ones. Is a newspaper supposed to be constantly engaged in replacing its content? That doesn't tend to happen.

    But how exactly has Somerby been harmed? Or is he just being high maintenance about this, because he couldn't find an actual Howler to write about? Maybe his print paper was ripped a tiny bit when he brought it in from his lawn and he should tell us how wrong that is too?

    1. Let me help you out, lunkhead.

      The editorial that you whine you are ignorant of due to Bob not summarizing it Is four day old news.

    2. Cecelia, if you’re going to help someone, don’t start by insulting him.

    3. 2:04 - It’s a weird dynamic. People read Somerby’s essays for free, then insult him mercilessly, knowing that Somerby will never respond. But any “fanboy” (to use the derogatory term) who does push back gets a lecture about civility.

    4. Anonymous 2:04pm, tough love.

    5. Somerby did once respond but we had to post our comments over at Kevin Drum's blog in order to get him to do it. It is common for stand-up comedians to ignore hecklers, not read reviews, and pay no attention to feedback. It won't help them improve, but it is tough on the ego to stand up in front of people. Writers more often welcome comments and feedback and may correspond with their critics on topics of mutual interest. Somerby has never welcomed that. That makes it tough to engage in any sort of dialog with him. The influx of defensive fanboy trolls makes it difficult to discuss Somerby's ideas with each other here. I suspect that this is their purpose, because Somerby is not really sharing ideas but propagandizing, most likely as a paid gig.

    6. Cecelia claims that Somerby was not discussing an editorial but a news report. But this is what Somerby said:

      "As part of what we would regard as a comically tunnel-visioned Blue America Exclusive editorial, the editorial board—headline included—actually told us this:"

      That makes it pretty clear that the article was NOT a news report, but opinion -- because he uses the word Editorial multiple times.

      If you are going to say something this wrong, you shouldn't start by calling some a lunkhead. Your readers will get confused about who you are referring to.

    7. Anonymouse 3:02pm: “ Cecelia claims that Somerby was not discussing an editorial but a news report. But this is what Somerby said:”


      Cecelia 1:07pm: “The editorial that you whine you are ignorant of due to Bob not summarizing it Is four day old news.”

    8. News, you said. An editorial is not news. It is opinion.

  3. "So far, seven jurors have been seated. "

    How is this not an accurate statement? The phrase "so far" means "as of this date". It refers to the dateline on the article, not reality for Somerby on this Sunday morning.

    It is a good thing Somerby was not called for this jury, if such things as this confuse him. Or is he just grousing and bitching for no reason?

  4. Why aren't you commenting on Trump being incontinent in the courtroom? He is ioncontinent because that is what drugs do to you.

  5. Ellen Ash Peters has died.

  6. Ashes to ashes, Ellie.

    1. As you type your quip, please consider whether the friends and relatives of the deceased would appreciate your humor.

  7. I think I am beginning to understand Our Host's difficulty with Einstein's theories. He lives in a place where time doesn"t exist.

    1. The relativity of simultaneity broke Bob's brain.

  8. Success in Tennessee brings hope to Alabama:

  9. Somerby often complains that pseudo-discussions tend to remain evidence-free. This comment section illustrates his point, because here’s a key factual question: Does today’s print version of the Times contain an updated count of the number of jurors?

    Somebody out there must know.

    1. You can find this out yourself by visiting the NYT website and clicking on the link to the Print Edition. Note that Somerby is not complaining about a news report but about an editorial. The editorials tend to hang around longer than the news articles, because the point of an editorial is not to convey facts but to talk about ideas that do not lose their currency as quickly.

      Those of us who have been following the trial know how many jurors were selected by each day, including the fact that they now have a full panel of 12 jurors and 6 alternates and are ready to begin hearing arguments on Monday. If someone had not followed the voir dire portion of the trial, they can still know that there is a full panel by the fact that the trial is scheduled to begin on Monday.

      This really isn't as big a problem as Somerby pretends it is.

    2. Anonymouse 2:52pm, it was an anonymouse who whined that Somerby was making a mountain out of a molehill by pointing out that NYT was running an old editorial based upon now obsolete info.

      The same anonymouse who lectured Bob about people know how to look for expiration dates on products, then complained that Bob had neglected to summarize the old editorial with the now obsolete information.

      Anonymouse complaints are contrived and absurd. Try harder.

    3. None of this excuses your mistake. Apologize and move on.

    4. Anonymouse 3:44pm, I didn’t make a mistake. I didn’t argue that the anonymouse was mistaken in calling the piece an editorial (albeit one that is based upon old news/info) , I argued that she was absurd in lecturing Bob that people could readily ascertain that it was old, but then complained that he should have summarized the whole thing for her.

      Apologize for being ablunkhead.