URLs du Jour

2021-05-27

[Amazon Link]

  • Our Amazon Product Du Jour Probably Needs An Addendum: 'Usually, We Hope'. Mediaite NYT reporters on CNN so we don't have to: Maggie Haberman Blames Trump, Pompeo for Media Dismissing Wuhan Lab.

    New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said in a Tuesday interview with CNN’s John Berman that former President Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, were partially to blame for members of the media discounting the idea that Covid-19 may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory.

    […]

    This matters,” Berman told Haberman in Tuesday’s interview. “Understanding how the coronavirus and the pandemic began matters. A lot of the discussion about the lab leak, I think, was clouded early on because there was a suggestion by some that it was somehow a Chinese weapon that caused this. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a lab accident. But we’ve come a long way from people dismissing this as a conspiracy theory to a lot of people taking this seriously.”

    “We have,” Haberman replied. “Look, I do think it’s important to remember that part of the issue back when this was first being reported on and discussed back … when the pandemic had begun, then-President Trump and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, both suggested they had seen evidence this was formed in a lab, and they also suggested it was not released on purpose, but they refused to release the evidence showing what it was. And so because of that, that made this instantly political. It was example 1000 when the Trump administration learned, when you burn your own credibility over and over again, people are not going to believe you, especially in an election year. However, that does not mean it’s not worth discussing.”

    I think it's obvious that Trump's words had major issues with coherence, logic, and reality. But you know what, Maggie? That's a pretty lousy excuse for your newspaper's failure to investigate.

    It reminds me of Forrest Gump, where Jenny's boyfriend tries to excuse his abuse: "It's just this war, and that lying son of a bitch, Johnson!"


  • [Amazon Link]
    Too Many Soldiers, Not Enough Scouts. Charles C. W. Cooke writes on the same issue: When Truth Serves Prejudice. After discussing the Strange New Respect for the lab-leak hypothesis:

    On the face of it, it is odd that it took more than a year before this entirely plausible notion elicited more than scoffs, for, in spite of the vehemence with which they have engaged, almost nobody who has been involved in that discussion has had even the slightest training in any of the disciplines that would be necessary to arrive at a meaningful answer. Why, one might ask, was someone such as the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin — a woman who couldn’t tell a pangolin from a giraffe — so extraordinarily invested in the idea that the coronavirus had come from animals? Like almost all of her fellow eye-rollers, Rubin is not a virologist or an epidemiologist or a zoologist; she is a journalist, whose only real-life experience has been in enthusiastically changing her mind.

    On closer inspection, though, the reason for this investment comes clearly into view: that, like the people who openly root for a shooter to be of a particular color or political persuasion, Rubin and Co. believe that the answer to the question, “Where did the virus originate?” is much less important than the answer to the question, “What will Americans make of the answer to the question, ‘Where did the virus originate?’” Or, put another way: What has really mattered to those who have been scornful of the “lab leak” theory was not the underlying scientific question of whether it is true, but what the people they dislike might think and say as a result of its being discovered to be true.

    I'm currently reading The Scout Mindset by Julia Galef. I recommend it to anyone, but especially people like Maggie Haberman and Jennifer Rubin.


  • In Our 'Unintentionally Revealing Headlines' Department: Kevin D. Williamson reviews the New York Times Comments on Anti-Semitism.

    Recent anti-Semitic attacks are a “gift to the Right,” says the New York Times headline.

    So: Beating up Jews is bad, but beating up Jews is super-duper bad if it hurts Democrats politically.

    I gather the headline has been "fixed" at the NYT website. But you can read the original at the Seattle Times website.


  • We're Number … Wait A Damn Minute, Number What? One of those useful state-by-state comparisons sounds tailor-made for Granite Staters to gloat about: How Much Tax is Paid Over a Lifetime.

    But guess what?

    1.New Jersey$931,698
    2.Massachusetts$827,185
    3.Connecticut$805,213
    4.D.C.$789,934
    5.New Hampshire$778,837

    [And 46 more rows, but that's where I stopped reading.]

    It's our property taxes, of course. And note the "lifetime" bit. Retired oldsters in income tax states often get breaks due to their decreased/untaxed income. But property tax just keeps hitting you, year after year.

    (There are a lot of caveats to that simple explanation. I won't bore you with them.)

    That's why I don't automatically disdain "property tax relief" proposed by NH pols.

    The problem is those pols tend to be Democrats, and their idea of "relief" winds up pouring more money into Concord. No thanks.


  • We Should Apologize To … Somebody … About John Cena. Kyle Smith notes: Celebrities will lecture America, but apologize like John Cena to China.

    It’s a pitiful thing to see a strong man cry. It’s a sickening thing to see a man body-slam himself, then twist his own arm behind his back and make himself tap out.

    Wrestler turned actor John Cena may look like the Rock, but when it comes to China he’s Pee-Wee Herman. Doing an interview for his upcoming film “F9” in Taiwan, he referred to that free and thriving democratic island, which has had a separate government since 1949, as a “country” instead of as a province of China.

    When this led to an “outcry,” meaning it displeased the Communist Party of China, alleged tough guy Cena mewled and groveled and begged for forgiveness.

    I think the only John Cena movie I've watched was The Marine back in 2007. I think I had more fun writing the blog post than I did watching the movie.


Last Modified 2021-06-03 9:23 AM EDT