THE TWO ANTOINETTES! Who keeps disinforming Kristofs friend? Why wont anyone say? // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2010
A world in which Bernie gets to be right: Bernie Goldberg became a press critic with his hapless 2001 best-seller, Bias. In real time, we interviewed him for the full hour on Washingtons WMAL-AM (with our guest-hosting partner, Howard Mortman). We hadnt yet done the full work on his brand-new book, but we did draw out a claim which Bernie was making at that time: The liberal media will trash major pols of both major parties, as had been clear with their treatment of Bill Clinton. (For a quote from Bernies book on this subject, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/25/03.)
In those days, Bernie said that the press corps didnt toe any party line when it came to trashing Big Pols. He said their bias was put on display in their treatment of social issues. Eventually, Bernie reinvented his views to fit in better on Fox. But even in Bias, his claims were often comically awful. Weve always loved the outrage he voiced about Natalie Angiers anti-male biasa bias she had allegedly shown in a New York Times news report about insect reproduction (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/12/02). As we later learned, Bernie had swiped Angiers outrageous quote about males from the MRCs clownish web site. We would guess he had no idea what Angiers report was really aboutthat the males she rudely dissed had actually been male insects.
We did a lot of work in the day, detailing Bernies nonsense. We couldnt have dreamed that the world would become so strange that even Bernie would get to be right. But MSNBC has become such a joke that were forced to admit it: Basically, Bernie was right in what he told Mr. O on last nights OReilly Factor:
We have no idea what Comcast will do when it becomes the new corporate owner. But wed have to say Bernie was basically right in his description of Tuesdays performance on the One True Channel, and in his condemnation of the suits who run the net.
The children did giggle and play Tuesday night, throwing sweet hay to us liberal rubes. Its amazing to see that we live in a word where Bernie gets to be right.
THE TWO ANTOINETTES (permalink): Michele Bachmann wouldnt answer the question.
Anderson Cooper asked her to say what kind of federal spending shed cut. In line with her partys standard approach, she offered an utterly foolish reply, along with a flatly bogus claim about Obamas grotesque new spending.
As usual, Bachmann was making it up, disinforming those who trust her. Well look at that interview tomorrow, pairing it with Gene Robinsons latest column. Today, lets look at the way two giants of our journalistic elite have responded to Tuesdays events. Why is your nation doomed to flounder ahead in the dark? In large part, because of the cowardice of intellectual leaders like Gail Collins and Nicholas Kristof.
In todays Times, Kristof is thinking hard about what Obama should do. He pretends to take the presidents sidebut not before making his own life safe with this piece of Classic Kristof:
When Kristof seeks to humanize himself, he cites Yamhill, his humble home town. Returning there in some fashion, he finds a friend who is indignant at Obamapartly because of incorrect scare stories he has heard about the health reform. But from whom has this friend heard these incorrect stories? Kristof isnt enough of a mensch to say. Same old Kristof! At no point in this mornings column does he name the names of the actual people who have told his friend these false, scary tales. Kristof knows who these people are, of coursebut he also knows that they are aggressive and powerful. People like Kristof never name the names of powerful people who will lash out in reply.
This is Classic Kristof. To see him fail to name Sean Hannitys nameto see him target a powerless player insteadsee THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/20/10. Simple story: With friends like Kristof, you need new friends, and America needs a new press corps.
Before he is done, Kristof pretends to be taking Obamas side (text below). But first, lets look in on the high Lady Collins, offering quips about Tuesdays events. Collins, a monster of unconcern, starts todays column like this:
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh gosh, thats really good! Lets enjoy more of her quips:
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! No, reallythats clever.
In fact, every word of that passage is fatuous, including the brain-dead words in which Collins returns to the well, one more time, at which she found Christine ODonnell (and Angle). Last night, the hacks on Our One True Cable Channel were also playing the ODonnell card, offering solace to us rubesand dooming us to dumbness.
On MSNBC, a disaster has occurredbut who cares? Christine ODonnell is dumb!
We can all be glad that Collins didnt live in the 1940s; readers were spared her whimsical quips about the way Germans love ovens. By now, one thing is fairly clear: Nothing will make this New Elite care about the world around her. Collins made this point fairly clear when she pretended to discuss a real issue after the joking was done. The lady simpered about earmarks a whilewithout telling readers why its inane when Eric Cantor (and Obama) talk about so tiny a part of the federal budget. (And no, readers dont know this already.) Then, she reached the Bush tax cuts, serving this perfect dreck:
Thats a very lite discussion, especially given all the crap we had to wade through to reach it. Collins tells readers that extension of the tax cuts for wealthy families will blow a new hole in upcoming budgetsa hole which totals $700 billion. She doesnt say that the rest of the tax cutsthe cuts Obama already wants to extend, even before further compromisewill blow a hole of $3.1 trillion in those same federal budgets. Do you think her readers know that? Do you think they know how to compare the size of that $700 billion hole to the size of our upcoming deficits? We dont think her readers know such things, but this is a column designed to make life easy. In this, her standard column, she jokes a bit at her nations plightthen pretends to discuss a policy issue, while letting readers see that shes on Obamas side.
This is the dreck that defines the discourse for upper-end liberal readers. In these scribblings, we laugh at how dumb the other tribe is. Then, we get dumbed down ourselves.
Meanwhile, back in Yamhill, Kristof is helping you see how a New Elite builds a personal brand. In this passage, he poses as a friend to Obama, the way a Rhodes Scholar does:
Its a happy ending! Along the way, Kristof advises Obama to sweat a bitand to come out slugging. (He also pleases liberal readers by helping them see, at some length, that he isnt a southern conservative.) But he forgets to tell you why its hard for liberals or Democrats to improve messaging in this new world, which is so full of so much disinformation. And he doesnt name the powerful players who keep disinforming his friend in Yamhill, and tens of millions of others just like him. He opposes DeMint on a tangential matterand pretends that Obama gets to slug and sweat in a basically rational world.
Kristof favors Obamas success. But New Elites put New Elites firstand gods like Kristof play it safe in the face of aggressive power. Were allowed to hear that Jim DeMint has weird views about sexual matters. We arent told why tens of millions of people are indignant at Mr. Obama, even though they will benefit hugely from Mr. Obamas health plan.
Who has disinformed these people? Kristof doesnt say. Never does.
In our view, Kristof is a classic New Elite. Hes very good at schmoozing a board; hes very good at playing the rubes in the course of building his personal brand. And oh, by the way: In Sundays column, he finally told you the truth. Though he did so eleven years later:
Interesting! Lets see if we are following this! According to Kristof, the mainstream press corps went after Gore, thus sending George Bush to the White House!
A moral being might have mentioned this in real time. But back then, Kristof was playing a minor part in the game he now describes (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/24/03). Indeed, as late as January 2003, he was still vouching for the kind of honesty that won Mr. Bush the respect of many journalists during Campaign 2000. (Translation: On the verge of war with Iraq, Bush was riding high among Serious Peopleand Kristof was pimping his narratives.) In short, Kristof tells you the truth very slowly. Eleven years from now, he may even name the names of those who have lied to his friend.
This is the way our New Elites work. This helps explain why your countryand Kristofs friendare currently sliding toward the sea, drowning in the disinformation whose sources Kristof wont name.
Life is hard in Yamhill, but good at Versailles. Go aheadjust read the latest columns from this pair of well-twinned Antoinettes. From the finest rooms in the palace, we get handed Potemkin discussionsdiscussions which dumb us all way down while dooming our nation to fail.
Who keeps disinforming Kristofs friend? Why wont anyone say?
Tomorrow: Bachmann and Robinson