When journalism goes bad

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Mo
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Mo » 20 Jul 2017, 09:54

Does anyone take Louise Mensch seriously aside from idiot conspiracy theorists and brain-dead celebs? Seems like she more of an internet joke, one level above the game theory guy. It seems like NR writing a whole piece criticizing her makes her seem more important than she is.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 20 Jul 2017, 09:58

There's an article in the the Guardian trying to get to the bottom of why the Irish don't worship U2. They don't look to the obvious answer that U2 sucks.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 10:32

Mo wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 09:54
Does anyone take Louise Mensch seriously aside from idiot conspiracy theorists and brain-dead celebs? Seems like she more of an internet joke, one level above the game theory guy. It seems like NR writing a whole piece criticizing her makes her seem more important than she is.
I mean are Larry Tribe and Joy Reid brain-dead celebs?
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Kolohe » 20 Jul 2017, 11:45

Mo wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 09:54
Does anyone take Louise Mensch seriously aside from idiot conspiracy theorists and brain-dead celebs? Seems like she more of an internet joke, one level above the game theory guy. It seems like NR writing a whole piece criticizing her makes her seem more important than she is.
I mean once upon a time she was a member of Parliament and a then a manager of a Murdoch media enterprise, which makes her as least as serious as Bachman (Mich) or Huckabee (pere)
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Kolohe
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Kolohe » 20 Jul 2017, 11:47

Newt still gets treated seriously in some circles. As does Mars Attacks But Russia Doesn't Rohrabacher.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Mo
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Mo » 20 Jul 2017, 12:39

nicole wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 10:32
Mo wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 09:54
Does anyone take Louise Mensch seriously aside from idiot conspiracy theorists and brain-dead celebs? Seems like she more of an internet joke, one level above the game theory guy. It seems like NR writing a whole piece criticizing her makes her seem more important than she is.
I mean are Larry Tribe and Joy Reid brain-dead celebs?
Have they linked to her in the last couple of months? Back in March she was kooky, now the amount of ketamine required to make her comprehensible is well above the LD50.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Sandy » 20 Jul 2017, 13:51

Joy Reid has been pulling some at least Game Theory-level crap, if not Menschian. Brain-dead, or at least brain-broken.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Mo » 20 Jul 2017, 14:19

Sandy wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 13:51
Joy Reid has been pulling some at least Game Theory-level crap, if not Menschian. Brain-dead, or at least brain-broken.
Also true.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 14:46

Right, I mean, they're all braindead, who isn't braindead? No one who is listened to "seriously" is anything other than braindead.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Aresen » 20 Jul 2017, 18:56

Harper's has an article about what happens after the next big terror attack:
The Reichstag Fire Next Time

It starts with pretty standard libertarian fears:
Now is not the moment for dissent. A couple of public intellectuals insist that it is, and you feel embarrassed for them. They quickly fade from the scene, and this serves to underscore an unprecedented sort of unity.

Nowhere is this unity more evident than in Washington. Bills are passed unanimously. These laws give new powers to the president and his security apparatus. The president, unpopular and widely considered incompetent before the attack, now steps up to direct the war effort. His demeanor—which some used to deride as primitive—is well suited for this new black-and-white era. His administration institutes sweeping surveillance to ferret out enemies at home, and wages one war and then another abroad.

American public life is profoundly transformed. The press becomes uncritical of the government. There is no outright censorship; correspondents are part of the effort now, as they were during the Second World War. American casualties pile up, the foreign carnage is enormous and unmeasured, but there is scant domestic resistance. Only at the margins of politics and the media do some people question the usefulness and legality of the war effort.

The government pushes the limits further, cutting off access to the judiciary for those deemed the enemy. The president is no longer unpopular, and he can impose his will on Washington and the country. The country is in a forever war, a state of exception that has taken away many American freedoms, some of which were ceded voluntarily.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Jennifer » 20 Jul 2017, 19:09

Why is that in the "bad journalism" thread? Sounds all-too-likely, unfortunately.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Aresen » 20 Jul 2017, 19:30

Jennifer wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 19:09
Why is that in the "bad journalism" thread? Sounds all-too-likely, unfortunately.
Mainly because of this passage, which goes into the Sports Bar:
The president, unpopular and widely considered incompetent before the attack, now steps up to direct the war effort. His demeanor—which some used to deride as primitive—is well suited for this new black-and-white era. His administration institutes sweeping surveillance to ferret out enemies at home, and wages one war and then another abroad.
(To be fair, the opinion piece does get more even-handed later on.)
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by nicole » 20 Jul 2017, 19:38

I mean...that sounds like 9/12 to me.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Jennifer » 20 Jul 2017, 19:49

What Nicole said. That bit Aresen quoted -- "The president, unpopular and widely considered incompetent before the attack, now steps up to direct the war effort. His demeanor—which some used to deride as primitive—is well suited for this new black-and-white era. His administration institutes sweeping surveillance to ferret out enemies at home, and wages one war and then another abroad" -- could just as easily be a historical account of how Americans' opinions toward Bush 2 changed after the twin towers went down. At most, you'd have to replace the word "primitive" with "simple-minded" or "kinda dumb."
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by thoreau » 20 Jul 2017, 20:27

In reading that article, one thing that occurred to me is that while Trump is even more effective with the base than Bush The Lesser, he has two factors that might make it harder for him to get the full advantage of a "rally around the flag" effect if there were a major terrorist attack on his watch:
1) He is even more polarizing than Bush The Lesser, and outside of his base his patriotism is suspect. Liberals never doubted Bush's allegiance to American institutions. They doubted his competence, they doubted his dedication to using those institutions effectively to advance societal good as liberals understood it, and they believed that he and Cheney would execute public policy in a manner consistent with the interests of Halliburton, but nobody ever doubted that Bush is loyal to America's security apparatus.

Trump? Not so much.

2) Bush was very visibly Christian. This mattered to the base. Trump rallies the base in a different way, but his Christian credentials are not only dubious in terms of lifestyle and morals, they're also not at all visible.

I don't think Trump realizes how much mileage he could get if he made a point of showing himself attending religious services regularly. I'm very, very glad that he doesn't realize it. Because if he did, he could shore up whatever nagging doubts some of his base might have in the back of their minds. He could raise certain people's fanaticism to 11 if he knew how to more effectively add some religious imagery to his appeal.

Mind you, I have no doubt that a Trumpian response to another 9/11 would be catastrophic for American liberty, but my one little sliver of consolation is that he has compromised his ability to turn himself into a strongman. He would get terrible bills passed and terrible executive orders (mostly) obeyed, but he would not be able to transform himself into the President-for-Life that a more effective demagogue might become. He has made himself too suspect to get away with it.

That's small consolation, but it's something. Sort of.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Jennifer » 20 Jul 2017, 20:40

2) Bush was very visibly Christian. This mattered to the base. Trump rallies the base in a different way, but his Christian credentials are not only dubious in terms of lifestyle and morals, they're also not at all visible.
Yet this matters not at all toward those Christians who specifically claim to support Trump because of his "Christian values." Indeed, from the perspective of such Christians -- not Christians like you and the others who post here, but "political Christians" who believe the be-all and end-all of Christianity is stigginit to the gays, and similar things -- I can even see plausible reasons why they pretty much have to be willing to settle for Trump, who may not be sincere but at least seems willing to put some of their bigotries into law -- regardless of the relatively liberal policies he appeared to support in earlier incarnations, at least nowadays he's willing to pay lip service to everything from "disliking gays" to "willing to use government power to force pregnant women to give birth against their will." From the perspective of such Christians, the country today is in MUCH worse shape than it was on 9/11 -- for example, back then, even civil unions for gay couples weren't really a thing yet, whereas now gay marriage is federal law. And that was before O'Reilly types blathered on about the "war on Christmas," and before the country had spent several years basting in anti-Muslim bigotry -- from the perspective of the type of Christian who feels sincerely victimized by the discovery that not everybody is a Christian and not every American will conduct themselves according to a particular strain of Christian morality, there's a lot more reasons to feel threatened nowadays, than there were in the early days of the Bush/Cheney administration.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by thoreau » 20 Jul 2017, 20:42

In regard to the specifics of the article, I wish there had been more of this:
Most recent protests share a fundamental flaw: They project the assumption that things were fine until America inexplicably elected Trump. The women’s marches, the immigrants’ marches, the scientists’ marches, the protests in defense of the Affordable Care Act and freedom of speech, and the earliest of the protests, which simply expressed outraged disbelief at the results of the election, all serve the purpose of staking out the current norms and vowing to defend them. It’s hard to argue with the urge; all indications are that the current norms are far preferable to the reality of the near and distant future. Yet most of the protests live within a lie—the fiction that the threats of the Trump presidency are not only grave but also new. His war against the national press is a grotesque blowup of many years’ worth of growing regimentation of access, concentration of power, and government opacity. Trump’s war on immigrants builds on the mass deportations of the Obama years, which were themselves built on the siege mentality of the Bush years. Trump’s casual bomb-throwing is enabled by the forever war begun nearly sixteen years ago.
There's too little examination of just how many tools are already lying around in our post-9/11 security situation.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Mo » 20 Jul 2017, 20:46

thoreau wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 20:27
In reading that article, one thing that occurred to me is that while Trump is even more effective with the base than Bush The Lesser, he has two factors that might make it harder for him to get the full advantage of a "rally around the flag" effect if there were a major terrorist attack on his watch:
1) He is even more polarizing than Bush The Lesser, and outside of his base his patriotism is suspect. Liberals never doubted Bush's allegiance to American institutions. They doubted his competence, they doubted his dedication to using those institutions effectively to advance societal good as liberals understood it, and they believed that he and Cheney would execute public policy in a manner consistent with the interests of Halliburton, but nobody ever doubted that Bush is loyal to America's security apparatus.

Trump? Not so much.

2) Bush was very visibly Christian. This mattered to the base. Trump rallies the base in a different way, but his Christian credentials are not only dubious in terms of lifestyle and morals, they're also not at all visible.

I don't think Trump realizes how much mileage he could get if he made a point of showing himself attending religious services regularly. I'm very, very glad that he doesn't realize it. Because if he did, he could shore up whatever nagging doubts some of his base might have in the back of their minds. He could raise certain people's fanaticism to 11 if he knew how to more effectively add some religious imagery to his appeal.

Mind you, I have no doubt that a Trumpian response to another 9/11 would be catastrophic for American liberty, but my one little sliver of consolation is that he has compromised his ability to turn himself into a strongman. He would get terrible bills passed and terrible executive orders (mostly) obeyed, but he would not be able to transform himself into the President-for-Life that a more effective demagogue might become. He has made himself too suspect to get away with it.

That's small consolation, but it's something. Sort of.
I agree with thoreau on the overall thrust, but disagree with the specifics. I think 1 is valid, but 2 is right out. The Christian right has already sold themselves to Trump lock and stock. They're his most loyal contingent. Hell, Dennis Prager, who is top candidate for loyalist in chief, said the media is a greater threat to America than Russia.

I think one other thing will factor in. The "Winter White House", too much TV/Twitter, golf every weekend, Trump naming subcabinet level appointees at a glacial pace and PDBs with pretty pictures stories. No one cares about those process stories. However, if those stories are the backdrop of a terror attack, then all of the sudden Trump is asleep at the wheel. Instead of doing something, he's skipping out on valuable intel and wasting time having fun on your dime instead of keeping the country safe. Bush took vacations, but they were within the normal constraints. Also, Trump pissing off allies and making them uneasy about sharing intel because of leaks to Russia becomes relevant all of the sudden. Katrina wasn't the worst federal response to a disaster ever, but after the Iraq fuckup and with a horse judge running FEMA, the incompetence/indifference meme could take hold.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Mo » 20 Jul 2017, 20:50

Betsy DeVos has confessed to mayhem. Interpol - and I take no joy in reporting this - has ordered death by brazen bull.

his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

no one ever yells worldstar when a pet gets fucked up - dhex

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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by thoreau » 20 Jul 2017, 20:53

Jennifer wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 20:40
2) Bush was very visibly Christian. This mattered to the base. Trump rallies the base in a different way, but his Christian credentials are not only dubious in terms of lifestyle and morals, they're also not at all visible.
Yet this matters not at all toward those Christians who specifically claim to support Trump because of his "Christian values."
You are right. Trump's absence of visible Christianity is not a deal-breaker, not something that turns people away.

But I'm looking at a slightly different matter. It's not about whether they support him (they clearly do), it's about whether he could get even more from them, in more ways, if he were visibly Christian.

If all he wants to do is get people to vote for him, and show up to vote in support of his agenda in the 2018 midterms (possibly including votes for primary challengers if some Congressional Republicans are insufficiently supportive) then he doesn't really need to be visibly Christian. It might get him slightly more votes, it might turn a couple of people who are currently criticizing him from a conservative perspective, but only a few. The numbers are small, and probably not worth missing a Sunday golf game.

But if he wanted to do more, if he wanted to be the demagogue that everyone feared during the election, if he wanted to really USE the crowds that showed up to rallies and beat hecklers, if he wanted to make his Muslim ban into more than just a court case, more than just a policy enforced at airports, then he'd need to get people to do more than just say they support him, more than just pull a lever on a few Tuesdays in 2016, 2018, 2020, and (God forbid) 2022. If he wanted to become what every liberal (and many others) have feared, what the "Resistance" fantasizes about fighting, he'd have to take what he has and add to it the energy of the people who said at campaign events in 2004 "I just feel like God is back in the White House again" and "Mr. President, how can I pray for you?" Adding religious fervor to the mix is what it would take to get the brownshirts and pogroms that everyone feared. Yes, there are reports of increases in hate crimes, and there are also questions raised about whether those reports reflect statistically significant trends, but I'm not talking about an increase in individual crimes. I'm talking about getting the masses organized and active. He'd need visible Christianity for that.

I am very, very glad that he doesn't understand this.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by thoreau » 20 Jul 2017, 21:01

Mo wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 20:46
I think one other thing will factor in. The "Winter White House", too much TV/Twitter, golf every weekend, Trump naming subcabinet level appointees at a glacial pace and PDBs with pretty pictures stories.
Also, if he wanted his response to a terror attack to be more than just "All the tools already available, BUT EVEN MOAR TUFF!!!11!11!" then he needs those subcabinet appointees. The Secretaries run Departments with many different agencies under them, and those agencies have many different sub-offices, branches, etc. The Deputy Under-Secretaries and whatnot are the guys who might actually interact now and then with a managerial-level civil servant who, in turn, occasionally interacts with people in the trenches. If you want to change things, if you want something above and beyond the usual, you need a die-hard loyalist as Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary, because that guy might occasionally interact with a manager who interacts with a guy who does the actual thing that they want done.

You can only bypass so many levels on the org chart. People regularly interact with those immediately above and below, and occasionally, with people a couple rungs away. More importantly, they hear their boss gripe about how the next boss was riding their ass because someone three layers up is pissed about something. So subcabinet guys matter.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Aresen » 20 Jul 2017, 21:17

The issue I have with the passage is not whether Trump would use a terrorist attack to push an authoritarian agenda, it is the presumption that he would be more prone to do so than any other likely POTUS.

I have no doubt that HRC or even Saint Bernie would grab all the power that they could. As thoreau points out, Trump's opponents might be more willing to resist a Trump power-grab simply because they hate him. Trump might be more kack-fisted in his efforts than others, but I cannot think of anyone currently considered 'presidential material' who would not use the excuse to expand the powers of the POTUS. HRC might be worse simply because she would be better at manipulating the situation.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by thoreau » 20 Jul 2017, 21:25

I think the biggest difference between Trump and HRC is that HRC would use an attack to expand her power whereas I think Trump would use it to wield power against distrusted domestic groups.

Both are bad. One of those things is worse, because it involves really using the power full-steam-ahead rather than just amassing it and using it here and there.
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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by nicole » 21 Jul 2017, 12:27

nicole wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 14:46
Right, I mean, they're all braindead, who isn't braindead? No one who is listened to "seriously" is anything other than braindead.
Definitely, extremely braindead

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Re: When journalism goes bad

Post by Aresen » 21 Jul 2017, 12:37

nicole wrote:
21 Jul 2017, 12:27
nicole wrote:
20 Jul 2017, 14:46
Right, I mean, they're all braindead, who isn't braindead? No one who is listened to "seriously" is anything other than braindead.
Definitely, extremely braindead

You know, if Tucker Carlson or Rush Limbaugh said something that stupid, the MSM media would be all over them for their ignorance.

/tu quoque
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