GOLD MEDAL OF FAUX! Salahi pretended to be a cheerleader. But Dowds a pretender too: // link // print // previous // next //
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2009
Cant explain sh*t/Will accuse of lying: On last nights Ed Show, Ed Schultz seemed to practicing modern Americas flagging journalistic culture.
In this culture, you 1) misstate or truncate the facts, then 2) accuse others of lying:
Increasingly, modern journalistic culture is built around twin pillars: The inability to explain sh*t. And the accusation that The Other is lying, or is perhaps psychiatrically impaired. (Their limbic brains may not be working.)
In that passage, Schultz gives a bungled account of what the CBO said. Then, he accuses others of lying when, in many cases, they have made accurate statements.
In fact, premiums will rise for those who buy their own insurance, according to that CBO report. According to the CBO, those premiums will rise even faster than they will rise if we pass no reform bill at all! For people who get government subsidies, the amount they themselves have to pay for those premiums will come down, in many cases. But the cost of the premiums themselves will go up, at an even faster rate than will obtain if we pass no bill at all.
Meanwhile, consider the following statement by Schultz: For people with good employer coverage, premiums will stay the same. In fact, the CBO said something quite different: For employer-based coverage, premiums would continue rise under the Senate bill, just as fast as they will rise if we pass no bill at all.
At best, Schultzs explanation was grossly misleading. (It also pimped for The Interests!) Seconds later, Ron Wyden politely played along:
Wydens statements are technically accurate. But note what he correctly says: Millions of people will get relieffrom these skyrocketing premiums. According to the CBO, premiums will continue to rise, at least as fast as they will rise in the absence of reform. Presumably, this will continue to make The Interests quite rich.
Our country is an international joke due to our current level of health care spending. According to that new report, The Interests will get even fatter under terms of the Senate health bill. Premiums will continue to rise in both major categories (self-purchased, employer-purchased). For people who buy their own insurance, premiums will rise even faster than theyll rise if we pass no bill!
Did Schultz misunderstand the CBO? Or was he playing by modern rules, in which you tell the story you like, then accuse The Others of lying?
GOLD MEDAL OF FAUX: Unless you study the matter full-time, its almost impossible to comprehend the incompetence of the mainstream press corps over the past several decades.
In part, our journalists simply arent very smart. This is of course an awkward point, but it must be said. But part of this cohorts stunning incompetence stems from its broken-souled values.
In this mornings New York Times, Maureen Dowd takes the occasion of last weeks state dinner to vent at the latest statuesque woman she doesnt much seem to like (text below). But before the columnist takes out her familiar knives, she draws an unintentionally comical portrait of her own cohorts values. In the part of her column which follows, one phrase recalls an earlier episodean episode which helped to change the history of the world:
Yes, you read that correctly! In that passage., Maureen Dowd says that other groups wallow in the lowest common denominator.
Go ahead! Laugh out loud!
In fairness, Dowd is right about one thing. Washington has beenstill isfull of poseurs; she herself is surely the leading example. Michaele Salahi seems to have lived as a faux Redskins cheerleader. But Dowd has long lived as something much worseas a faux political journalist.
Salahi has done little harm through her apparent posing. Dowd has helped harm the whole world.
We live in an age...overrun by fakers, Dowd writes. She herself is the prime example. (For our money, the other medalists in the past twenty years would be Matthews and Richsilver/bronze.)
How incompetent is Washingtons press corps? This morning, Dowd discusses the way her cohort has turned up its nose at... a faux Redskins cheerleader. We recalled the day when they ran to affirm the claims of a faux beauty queen.
That faux beauty queen was Gennifer Flowers, who took big six figures to lodge thrilling claims in a national tabloid. In short order, it turned out that Flowers, like Salahi, had a rather shaky resumé. In their book, The Hunting of the President, Lyons and Conason offered a quick review of the problems (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/3/09):
If reports are accurate, Salahi has paraded about, pretending to be a former cheerleader. But among a string of false claims, Flowers had even pretended to be a former Miss Teenage America!
Would you buy hot stories from someone like that? As of 1998, the entire Washington press corps did! By now, they were waging full-blown war against Bill Clintona war they extended to Candidate Gore one year later. Star-struck losers stood in line to swear that Flowers just had to be telling the truth about Vile Clinton. (In our view, Frank Rich made the most foolish statement on Flowers behalf. But he had lots of company.) The fools soon extended their umbrella of protection to Kathleen Willey, swearing that what she was saying simply had to be true. Alaswrong again! By the time these matters were finished, Kenneth Starrs successor reported that he considered filing perjury charges against Willey, she had misstated so often.
Today, Americas most hapless professional elite has turned up its nose at a faux cheerleader. But in the last decade, they fell at the feet of a cosmically faux beauty queen.
Do you think this group is changing its ways? Is that what Dowd is trying to tell us? Not likely. Consider the way Dowd takes the occasion in todays column to do the thing she has always done bestto aim long knives at some statuesque woman who has rubbed her the wrong way.
Today, the target is Desireé Rogers, White House social secretary. Dowd seems very happy today. You see, Rogers has been cruising for the bruising Dowd is dishing since last April! Heres how a nations discourse looks when it has a faux press corps:
Does Rogers have good judgment? We have no idea. (For our money, its a bad idea to mix politics with extensive notions of branding.) But Dowds takedown of Rogers is quite typical of this dysfunctional prize-winners work. The green-eyed monster is frequently present when Dowd starts to hiss at statuesque women whom she finds in exalted positions. For one example, Dowd was trashing Naomi Wolf long before trashing Wolf was cool. In the past decade, she has hissed and spat, in brainless ways, at a long string of wives and daughters.
Afghanistan is center stage today; so is national health care. But like the bulk of our celebrity press corps, Dowd is more faux than any Salahi. She doesnt do policy, she long ago said. And so, she rushed off to type this:
Hiss! Hiss-spit! Hiss-spit! Mee-ow! Dowd even managed to mention Travelgate, thus keeping old gong-shows alive! (The 90s remain the best!) As for Rogers, she should have behaved as Anne Hathaway did, in that wonderful movie! But then, this faux elite has always specialized in advertising its lack of intelligence.
In Dowds column, the Salahis were preening, and so were the staffers. But no one has ever preened like Dowd! A modern nation is in deep peril when it puts its public discourse into hands as faux as these.
Let us return to our opening statement: Unless you study the matter full-time, its very hard to comprehend the extent of this press corps incompetence. Most simply put, they cant explain sh*t; its the rare day when they actually try. You see, explaining is hardand novels are fun. This deeply incompetent national press corps tends to type novels, not news
We live in an age...overrun by fakers! So spake Dowd, who surely knows. In fact, when it comes to preening and faux, the Salahis are a bit like the spray that blows up off a vast, mindless ocean.
Were all on our way to that oceans floor. Dowd, who wins the gold for faux, has long been steering us there.
How a faux journo reports: Dowd has always been a fool. Consider the way she reports:
But the Washington Post did not report that. The Post reported that a [single] source said this had apparently happened. For hacks like Dowd, thats good enough.
Dowds class has typed novels for decades. A single source is plenty goodif he tells the story she likes. And words like apparently can be disappeared. You see, this is entertainment!
(Washington Post, 11/30/09: A source who had spoken to senior Secret Service officials said the Salahis were allowed inside in violation of agency policies by an officer outside the front gate who apparently was persuaded by the couple's manner and insistence as well as the pressure of keeping lines moving on a rainy evening. Thats a single unnamed source, saying what apparently happened.)