If You Kids Don’t Shut Up I’m Gonna Turn This Plane RIGHT Around!

by matttbastard

Via Jay Rosen (by way of Sarah), I see that the Villagers are still primarily concerned with the circumference of their navels (which also corresponds with the breadth and depth of their shallow egos):

The standard form during “joint press availabilities” — bureaucratic lingo for press conferences where leaders from two different countries stand next to each other and take questions from reporters — is that each official’s press corps gets the same number of questions.

Well, during the joint press availability on Wednesday with Mr. Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the ornate British foreign office near 10 Downing Street, Mr. Brown called on the U.K. press corps for four whole questions. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama only called on the White House press corps, which schlepped (granted, on a really nice United 777 charter) across the Atlantic to scrupulously chronicle his first overseas trip as president, thrice.

Mr. Obama even tried to cut off the press conference after six questions had been asked—most dealing with the growing rift between the United States and the rest of the world over how to fix the global economy. “All right?” he asked, in an “O.K.-we’re-done-I’m-outta-here” way.

Because of this unforgivable slight, Helene Cooper wonders if Obama is trying to ‘muzzle’ the White House press corps (and pines for the good ol’ days of Condie Rice–OMG SHOEZ!) Seriously, what the hell happened to Cooper? When did she morph into the quintessential whiny-ass titty baby?

“Waaah Obama isn’t bein’ nice to us. MOOOM!”

Apparently the brats in the beltway need fresh binkies to suck on.

You know, it says a lot that, during a time of global economic upheaval and uncertainty, a member of the White House press corps earnestly believes that not getting asked an extra question by the POTUS at an international presser is a matter of grave import.  One would hope that Cooper would take some heat from her colleagues for her demonstrative outburst. Alas, they were likely cheering her on from the sidelines, shouting ‘YEAH! TRUTH TO POWER!’

Because, sadly, the Villagers live in an isolated upper-middle class bubble, sequestered away from the rest of the nation (and its petty problems) in an insular gated community filled with an endless parade of cocktail parties and trivial sniping.  To the average Washington correspondent, meeting with the Great Unwashed is presented as an exercise in cultural anthropology, eg, John King’s Sunday morning diner round-tables with Real Americans (if you cut them, they BLEED! I know, crazy!) At this point, it’s all too clear that they are essentially writing for each other; the conversation is entirely circular, even if the 4th estate have deluded themselves into believing that the general public actually gives a rat’s ass about Ed Henry’s game day ritual.

Yeah, politics is all just a fucking game to them. Winners and losers, gaffes and ‘body blows’–political journalism as play-by-play sportscasting. Which is why, in this context, it is perfectly natural for Helene Cooper to be (passive-aggressively) “keeping score.”

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Dear New York Times

Dude, c’mon.  Citing National Review propagandist Andrew C. McCarthy as an ‘expert’ in an article on the future of  US terror detention policy under Obama? That Andrew C. McCarthy–the one who infamously labelled Obama’s political philosophy as being “more Maoist than Stalinist”?

Maybe it’s my deep-seated liberal bias, but, to me, saying that someone who gamely tried to peddle the not-quite-as-batshit-as-Obama-spawn-of-Malcolm-X rumour that Ayers  ghostwrote Obama’s memoir is merely “a former federal prosecutor who has generally supported the Bush administration’s approach to fighting terrorism” is rather misleading, to say the least.

I mean, really — imbuing this hacktacular right-wing conspiracy-theorist with anything resembling mainstream legitimacy would be akin to granting someone like, oh, say, William Kristol a prominent spot on the Times’ opinion page.

Oh, wait…

Well, at least this proves once and for all that there’s next-t0-nothing that one can be spectacularly, brilliantly so-wrong-that-it-fucking-stings about that will automatically disqualify them from ever being taken seriously by the puddle-deep gliberati of the MSM–just as long as one continues mingling at the right social events and dutifully paying his or her publicist.

cynically yours,

matttbastard

P.S. Here’s hoping y’all don’t pick Jerome Corsi to be Billy K’s token wingnut replacement.

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1998 to Infinity

by matttbastard

Shorter Maureen Dowd:

“It’s still all about The Clenis.”

*headdesk*

MoDo + Clinton = burning stoopid yanked from her backside (pass the Preparation-H.) Seriously, by now the question is largely rhetorical (if ubiquitous), but still bears repeating: Why the fuck does this worthless, (hetero)sexist hack still have a job at The Gray Lady? She stopped being funny and ‘edgy’ (let alone relevant) when Technotronic was topping the pop charts.

As Jesse Taylor bitterly noted in June:

I no longer wonder why the New York Times lacks the respect for their history necessary to fire Dowd and put in anyone or anything – the obituary editor, some classifieds, random pictures of squirrels in Central Park – that would restore a modicum of relevance to the space she occupies. I just wonder why Dowd lacks the self-respect to use the great gift she’s been given to do anything worthwhile.

Couple this latest waste of broadsheet with Camille Paglia’s ignoble return to the public spotlight (hooray for reflexively contrarian attention seeking!), and you have two of the worst practitioners of cynical mid-90s opinion-shillery once again asserting undeserved prominence in the dreaded Em Ess Em.

Wake me up when we finally hit the new millennium (and blowjobs stop being issue #1 in The Village.)

h/t Sylvia/M via IM

Flashback: NYT public editor Clark Hoyt provides a laundry list of reasons why MoDo should never, ever be published in a paying market again.

And yet…

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Trying Not To Freak Out

by matttbastard

Is this what they call ‘baffling them with bullshit?’ Cos, brother, consider me baffled:

In a recent paper I [Steven D. Levitt] co-authored with Roland Fryer, Lisa Kahn, and Jorg Spenkuch, we look at data to try to answer that question. Here is what we find:

1) Mixed-race kids grow up in households that are similar along many dimensions to those in which black children grow up: similar incomes, the father is much less likely to be around than in white households, etc.

2) In terms of academic performance, mixed-race kids fall in between blacks and whites.

3) Mixed-race kids do have one advantage over white and black kids: the mixed-race kids are much more attractive on average.

The really interesting result, though, is the next one.

4) There are some bad adolescent behaviors that whites do more than blacks (like drinking and smoking), and there are other bad adolescent behaviors that blacks do more than whites (watching TV, fighting, getting sexually transmitted diseases). Mixed-race kids manage to be as bad as whites on the white behaviors and as bad as blacks on the black behaviors. Mixed-race kids act out in almost every way measured in the data set.

So how does Levitt manage to apply economic theory in explaining the shockingly stereotypical results produced by his oh-so-rigourous study of teh mulatto “plight”?

We try to use economic theory to explain this set of facts. I can’t say we are entirely successful. If we had to pick an explanation that best fits the facts, it would be the old sociology model of mixed-race individuals as the “marginal man”: not part of either racial group and therefore torn by inner conflict.

“I can’t say we are entirely successful”–Steve, buddy, when did you of all people become so proficient in the fine art of understatement? Look, thanks for the, um, concern, pal– though my experience is, of course, purely anecdotal, I must confess that the only “inner conflict” this (undeniably attractive) mixed-race individual currently faces is the eternal struggle between waffles and crepes (What? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially after an evening of alcoholic indulgence *cough*). However, in moments like these it seems all-too-apparent that there comes a time when every buzz theorist reaches the limits of what can be pulled out of his or her ass before the ‘hu-whut?! effect becomes just too overwhelming.

And trust me on this: you ain’t got no more pseudo-intellectual dingleberries left to pluck.

h/t Latoya Peterson

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Story Time With the MSM

by matttbastard

Digby on the NY Times, Andrea Mitchell, and the latest iteration of the “Hillary is a lying liar” meme:

You may hate Clinton with everything in your being, and that’s fine. But this kind of journalism is what’s killing our political system and what gets people like John McCain and George W. Bush elected. Clinton was repeating a story about bad health care which she heard on the campaign trail from an American citizen. She wasn’t tooting her own horn or putting down her opponent in the telling of it. She was illustrating the plight of the uninsured in this country, which even if it turns out to not be specifically correct in the details, is certainly not something that doesn’t happen every day to somebody in this country.

In fact, I suspect this particular “gotcha” is being done to degrade the argument against universal health care as much as to embarrass Senator Clinton. The Clinton Rules state that if any part of a story is proven true, the entire story is true. The corollary is that if any part of a story about a Republican is proved to be false then the entire story is false. The same concept is at work with health care here. If any detail about bad health care in the US can be shown as false, then notions that our health care system is screwed up are also false. Get ready for more of this. I don’t know if it will work, but if they can get the media to play it like this, then the subliminal subtext going out there is that Democrats are lying about health care. They don’t have to convince everybody, just a few.

Please, read the whole damn thing, and remember: the Clinton rules apply just as much to Obama.

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Quote of the Day: The Vortexes of Rancor

by matttbastard

A racial divide, once lived, dwells in the deepest parts of the psyche. This is what was captured by Barack Obama’s pitch-perfect speech on race. Slavery was indeed America’s “original sin.” Of course, “the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow” lives on in forms of African-American humiliation and anger that smolder in ways incommunicable to whites.

[…]

It takes bravery, and perhaps an unusual black-white vantage point, to navigate these places where hurt is profound, incomprehension the rule, just as it takes courage to say, as Obama did, that black “anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.”

Progress, since the Civil Rights Movement, or since apartheid, has assuaged the wounds of race but not closed them. To carry my part of shame is also to carry a clue to the vortexes of rancor for which Obama has uncovered words.

I understand the rage of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, however abhorrent its expression at times. I admire Obama for saying: “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.”

Honesty feels heady right now. For seven years, we have lived with the arid, us-against-them formulas of Bush’s menial mind, with the result that the nuanced exploration of America’s hardest subject is almost giddying. Can it be that a human being, like Wright, or like Obama’s grandmother, is actually inhabited by ambiguities? Can an inquiring mind actually explore the half-shades of truth?

Yes. It. Can.

Roger Cohen, Beyond America’s Original Sin

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