URLs du Jour

2019-03-25

[Amazon Link]

  • We don't often link to or quote ex-Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi, but he has some worthwhile Tough Love commentary aimed at his fellow journalists: It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD.

    Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller’s final report might leave audiences “disappointed,” as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.

    Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you’d have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.

    There will be people protesting: the Mueller report doesn’t prove anything! What about the 37 indictments? The convictions? The Trump tower revelations? The lies! The meeting with Don, Jr.? The financial matters! There’s an ongoing grand jury investigation, and possible sealed indictments, and the House will still investigate, and…

    Stop. Just stop. Any journalist who goes there is making it worse.

    It remains to be seen if Taibbi's advice will be widely followed. My guess is: not. The MSM gotta MSM; they didn't get where they are by being accurate and fair.


  • Kevin D. Williamson writes at National Review on the New Zealand Gun Law Changes: Demagoguery, Not Leadership. It's difficult to excerpt, let me add an explicit Read The Whole Thing to the usual implicit one.

    Nicholas Kristof, writing in the New York Times, considers the headlong rush in New Zealand [to prohibit and seize certain firearms] and concludes: “That’s what effective leadership looks like.” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others say the same thing, in almost the same words. But [NZ Prime Minister] Ardern et al. are not engaged in leadership at all; they are engaged in followership, trying to appeal to the emotions of people who are traumatized, scared, and angry. Getting out in front of a parade is not leadership. Getting out in front of a parade of people wracked by rage and terror is demagoguery.

    As statists will occasionally say out loud: "Never let a crisis go to waste." And for every one saying it out loud, there are hundreds that are thinking it: the best time to stampede the populace into measures that they would never agree to otherwise is to catch them when they're distressed.


  • A brief Constitutional lesson from George Will: The court should steer away from the politics of gerrymandering. But first, a matter of style:

    If an adjective creates a redundancy, does preceding it with two other adjectives give the Supreme Court a reason to venture where it has never gone before? Come Tuesday, the court will hear oral arguments urging it to referee gerrymandering in the drawing of congressional districts. The justices should, like Ulysses, listen to this siren song but bind themselves from obeying it.

    The arguments will concern two cases: one from Maryland, where Republicans are aggrieved, another from North Carolina, where Democrats are unhappy. The practice the court will consider is (adjective one) “partisan gerrymandering.” This modifier, however, does not modify; there is no other kind of gerrymandering.

    Tuesday’s issue is whether the court should attempt something for which it has neither an aptitude nor any constitutional warrant — concocting criteria for deciding when (adjective two) excessive partisan gerrymandering becomes (adjective three) unconstitutional.

    If Trump really wanted to make progressive heads explode, he should name George Will to the next Supreme Court vacancy.


  • Just One Minute posted Waiting For Mueller yesterday. The blog is one of my favorite stops for level-headed analysis. And I enjoyed this intro:

    With the Mueller report still hanging fire (And it won't leak itself!) I am picturing the showrunners at MSNBC poring over a new script: "Lie Another Day". Their hero walks into a green room and introduces himself (Or herself!) Or Xiself!) as "Journalist. Legacy Journalist". I don't know the rest because in MY script I change the channel so fast the remote control overheats and explodes in my hand, giving me a whole new set of issue with which to contend and getting me thinking about access to health care and Medicare For All.

    I'm gonna repeat that overheated remote control thing at some point, and I will probably fail to give proper credit. Apologies in advance.


  • Professor Ann Altouse perceptively notes an unpublished guideline for 21st Century American Jounalism Althouse: How any good news for Trump will be reported — the rule is quite clear..

    So watch for it. The rule is: When something good for Trump happens, find the nearest bad thing and make that the focus of the news report.

    Yup. Yes, Trump is an obnoxious narcissistic blowhard. And as they've been saying in the dextrosphere: the MSM coverage of his presidency makes me want to vote for him twice.

    Almost. Fortunately, there will probably be a Libertarian on the ballot.


Last Modified 2019-03-25 2:01 PM EDT