GAIL COLLINS DID SOMETHING USEFUL! Gail Collins did something useful todayif you have faith in Gail Collins: // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2010
Speaking of voyeurs: This week, youve seen your progressive elite hit the barrels bottom. Youve seen them taking their story assignments from Tucker Carlson, whose web-site broke the non-story story about that trip to Voyeur.
In a way, it makes perfect sense. You see, Carlson is the horses asterisk Rachel Maddow rode in on. In 2005, she got her start at MSNBC as a regular on Carlsons woeful program, The Situation with Tucker Carlson. Carlson and Maddow had been brought to the station by prime-time director Bill Wolff, whose leading credential was the following: He had co-written Rebound, the Martin Lawrence comedy basketball movie. (In his wisdom, Wolff also made Max Kellerman, the former TV sports shouter, a regular guest with Carlson.)
Leave it to Carlson to tell the world about that pointless trip to Voyeur! And leave it to corporate-progressive hosts to gambol and play with this nonsense. (This nonsense will bounce back against progressive interests hard, just as soon as some low-level Democrat commits some similar goof.) In the larger sense, this silly story is getting play around the press for two major reasons. First, Michael Steele is widely scorned, pretty much across the spectrum. But its getting big play for a second reason. You see, the story involves major sexy-time sex, the topic our dead-souled cable press corps has always loved most above all.
To what extent will our leading corporate progressives talk down to you as they hand you sexy-time tales? Below, you see Olbermann, this Monday night, treating you like perfect fools on his first night back on the program. In fairness, this segment gave KO the chance to show visuals of Playboy covers all through the night, as he teased this important report. This is the very sort of thing he complained, quite accurately, about Bill OReilly doing.
In what follows, Olbermann is telling you something basic. He thinks your IQ is 9:
On his first night back, Olbermanns contempt for his viewers was evident in this reportwhich was carefully based on what one unnamed passenger had allegedly said!
(By the waynote how KO now praises the Alexa Foundation as a terrific group. Last year, pseudo-liberals trashed the foundation when OReilly spoke at their function; the play pretty much blew up in pseudo-progressive faces. This year, Olbermann tells us the Alexa people are terrificbut he still wont explain why such a terrific group would want OReilly to headline its big event. Olbermann knows the answer, but you do not. And in his contempt for you and yours, hes planning to keep it that way.)
Then there was Maddow, bringing on Ana Marie Cox to ponder the Voyeur matter. This sort of thing is especially painful on Maddows show, because we have to sit through Maddows endless, silly song-and-dances about how deeply embarrassed she is to discuss such deeply embarrassing sexy-time topics. On Tuesday, Maddow and her nitwit friend spent more than twelve minutes kicking this utterly pointless non-story around. We were especially struck by Maddows bald disseembling in the part of her exposition which dealt with Bob Doles former press secretary. But then, no one dissembles the way Maddow does. Weve never seen her match.
In the last week, Maddow has aired five full segments on an especially cloying topicon the fact that she isnt running for the Senate. (Five segments! She also ran a full-page ad in the Boston Globe.) By Tuesday night, she was pretending that she was doing these segments because she just hates lying so much. Presumably, several viewers believed what she said. Our own thoughts turned to P. T Barnum, who understood such transactions.
That said, Maddow did a fascinating segment last night, interviewing James Hoggan, author of Climate Cover-up (click here). For our money, the big picture got semi-lost in this segment. Well discuss that big picture tomorrow. Sorryno sex was involved.
GAIL COLLINS DID SOMETHING USEFUL (permalink): Gail Collins did something useful todayif you have faith in Gail Collins. But first:
A note on the intellectual horizons at the upper end of the New York Times.
At first, we thought it must be a joke! Yesterday, we checked David Shipleys Wikipedia entry, fact-checking a minor point for Chapter 5 of How he got there. (Shipley was married to Naomi Wolf during Campaign 2000, when the press corps conducted its astonishing, month-long trashing of Wolf as part of its war against Gore.)
Today, Shipley is deputy editorial page editor and op-ed editor at the New York Times (click here). Presumably, hes Collins boss in some technical way. Thats why we thought it might be a joke when we read this line in his Wikipedia entry:
Say what? The op-ed editor of the New York Times wrote a book about how to e-mail? Seriously though, people: We thought this might be one of those counterfeit lines Wikipedia quickly removes from its posts. But because weve been hurt so badly before, we fact-checked at Amazon all the same. And sure enough! Upon arrival, we found this:
Go aheadyou explain it to us! To all appearances, the op-ed editor of the New York Times co-wrote the definitive book on the correct ways to e-mail! Incredibly, the book is 250 pages long. To peruse chapter titles, click this.
Does Collins groaning intellectual horizon perhaps start making more sense?
That said, Collins did something worthwhile todayif you trust Gail Collins. But first, the analysts groaned and writhed at the start of this high ladys column. Good God! Say it aint so! The lady had done it again!
While other analysts shrieked and wailed, one youngster tried to look on the bright side. At least she didnt name the dog, he observed. Oh yeah? In fact, Collins had saved the same of the dog for the end of the column:
Based on our own recent count, this is at least the fourteenth column in which this high lady has referenced Mitt Romneys dead dog.
On the other hand, she has never written a book about the correct ways to e-mail.
How dumb does it get at the top of the Times? In todays column, Collins quotes Obama, who recently said that his health plan resembles the plan Romney installed in Massachusetts. But uh-oh! We did not actually hear a whole lot about how Obamas health care bill was similar to Romneys during its long, torturous struggle through Congress, Collins then weirdly writes. Apparently, Collins spent the past year on Mars. Here on this planet, this resemblance has been mentioned, with great repetition, since time immemorial. But so it goes at the upper end of an intellectual pseudo-elitean elite which has literally written the book about the best ways to e-mail.
Collins rarely fails to amaze. But today, she does a worthwhile thingif you trust Gail Collins. In four paragraphs of her 18-graf column, she actually explains a significant point which is being widely flogged on Fox. Have big corporations been mugged by Obamas health plan? Will they get hammered by a major new cost? This week, Fox viewers have persistently heard thisthat this is one more fiendish part of Obamas fiendish new law. And incredibly, for one brief shining moment today, Collins kicked Romneys dog to the curb and explained a serious point:
That is useful informationif you trust Lady Collins. Do you trust her to know what shes talking about? For ourselves, were inclined to trustbut wed like to verify.
Just a guess: You wont be able to verify Collins account in the Times news pages. This complaint about long-term profit estimate has been all over Fox this week. Those Tea Party folk at whom Collins rolls her eyes are hearing this flogged quite regularly. But Collins doesnt mention this point in her column; she doesnt let her readers know what millions of voters are being told elsewhere. Just a guess: This grand lady is too blinkered, too fine, to waste her time exploring the wider landscapeto study up on the way average folk (sometimes called the rabble) may be getting misled. Its much more important to fill her column with the usual piddle and poofwith jokes about Romneys dog, with weird accounts of things we didnt hear during our past year of Mars.
Collins devotes four paragraphs to something important today. For Collins, that may be a record.
But what about the Times itselfwhat about the papers news pages? Elsewhere, millions of people are being told about those long-term profit estimates. Theyre being told that this is another way the vile Obama plan will kill jobs. Do American voters deserve the chance to examine a fuller discussion? Its unlikely theyll get that chance in this lofty paperthe paper whose op-ed editor spends his time writing books about how to e-mail.
For years, weve suggested that big newspapers should conduct a regular Spin Watch feature. (This would be based on the Ad Watch features which appear during campaigns.) A paper like the Times could call it something less aggressive: Things youre hearing/What theyre saying. But in effect, this would be a fact-check featurea feature which would try to flesh out the various claims which are driving our talk-show culture.
In such a feature, the Times would document where particular claims were being made. And the paper could present a fuller discussion of the topic in question.
This will not happen at the Times, an intellectually low-grade enterprise. Collins, the papers former editorial page editor, obsesses at length about Romneys pet dog. Shipley, the papers op-ed editor, writes complete books about e-mail. Meanwhile, Collins is under the odd impression that we never heard much about Romneys plan during our Year of Health Care.
In our view, many people find it heard to process a basic fact about our press corps elite. Truly, its a D-minus elite, one of the dumbest elites in world history. We often discuss how biased this elite is; that is, of course, a perfectly valid analytical framework. But in our view, many people simply cant process a more basic fact: This elite is just plain dead-dog dumb.
Its impolite to say such a thing. As our prize, we get books about e-mailand we get yet another jest about Mitt Romneys dead dog.