Re: Speaking of Juan Williams

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Sounds like you've got some weird-ass peers. I don't think I've ever had a conversation like that with anyone who wasn't at least somewhat conservative.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:25 PM
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I don't really know anyone who thinks the media isn't liberal, except people who are actually political activists. Maybe people are aware that the media hated Al Gore for no reason, but that's about it.

Similarly, I've never heard anyone express anything other than dismissal or extreme skepticism for the idea that having a universal health care system could improve anything. Except, of course, people who are actually political activists.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:28 PM
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It's one of those pervasive memes that people don't really question. And Fox News is so obviously an example of "conservative media", that people unthinkingly are inclined to decide that everything else (being clearly less conservative than Fox News) is liberal.

Whenever I visit my parents, I read my hometown newspaper, find several things to get outraged about, and point it out to them as examples of blatant conservative media bias. They just shake their heads and say "but you know it's a liberal paper; you just don't notice because only the conservative bits get to you".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:35 PM
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Perhaps I just don't have conversations like this very often.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:45 PM
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So what are the Obama-Blagojevich ties that weren't adequately investigated? The one's that are in the news right now, implicating Obama in _____?
                                (noun)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:49 PM
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The failure is not in your conversation partners, but in your decision to converse. You could just blather, which is well within your power.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:53 PM
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It's different in person, fm. I'm different in person.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:54 PM
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"Toilet"?

When I played mad libs as a kid, I always tried to get a "toilet" in there somewhere.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:55 PM
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Regarding the post, I've decided that everyone who doesn't get their opinions from Matthew Yglesias is subject to some kind of devious mind control.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 9:57 PM
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And those who do are subject to horizontally-lined sweater mind control.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:00 PM
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"Mad libs" of course, refers to liberals outraged by ___________________________.
                                                                            (noun, excluding "chappaquiddick")


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:00 PM
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I'm different in person.

It's true. ben will, in person, walk over and stick his finger into your sternum and declare "I fucking hate you, motherfucker". It's different for sure.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:03 PM
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I gett my spelings from Matthew Ylgesias.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:04 PM
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You could always assert that the mainstream media don't know from metal. That'll end a conversation right quick. Your Children of Bodom fandom will come in handy here.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:19 PM
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Actually, I don't know from Children of Bodom.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:30 PM
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In other news, the CIE L*a*b* color space is wicked phat.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:38 PM
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I mean, who doesn't love a tristimulus?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:45 PM
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Trirepublicans.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 10:57 PM
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Well, the liberal/conservative distinction is probably too coarse-grained to get at what I think the general bias of the mainstream media is. At the most general level, it's biased towards the concerns of its consumers, who are generally middle to upper-class professionals, located around cities. On social issues, the bias is going to be around where the mainstream of the Democratic party is (i.e., you probably won't see too many stories that give a neutral to positive gloss on pro-life or anti-gay marriage activism, but you won't see them give serious consideration to someone who thinks Reverend Wright makes sense either). On economic issues, the bias is going to be on the right side of the Democratic party (e.g., concerned with the stock market, the employment rate, health-care costs, and economic growth, but not with general inequality and the urban or rural poor). On foreign policy, the bias is going to be wherever the foreign policy establishment says it should be (e.g., center-right, 2001-2004; centerish, 2004-now).


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 11:13 PM
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On foreign policy, the bias is going to be wherever the foreign policy establishment says it should be (e.g., center-right, 2001-2004; centerish, 2004-now).

One of the things that repeatedly pissed me off about the aforementioned hometown newspaper: pretty much every article about Iraq, in, I don't know, 2005-2007?, included a little box of facts about Iraq, including the American death toll. Then it said something like "there is no reliable estimate of Iraqi casualties". I don't know precisely what kind of bias this exhibits, but what the hell? I wonder what fraction of Americans knows even the right order of magnitude.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-30-09 11:21 PM
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There are some people whose perspective is not represented in much detail, like those people who think Obama is the anti-Christ. Is that bias?

I too do not know who you are talking to. No one I know thinks this.

Isn't Fox news the most watched news? It might be that what they count as 'media' amounts to the New York Times. The biased sample set. And the New York Times isn't liberal but I guess if you only watched Fox News you might think so.

But do these people not remember the way the mainstream media built up Bush into a compassionate conservative then made him a hero after 9/11, approved of the war in Iraq, and so forth?


Posted by: ozma | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:16 AM
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I guess I meant to say the NT Times isn't very left liberal. They aren't liberal on some issues, but very liberal on others.

But somehow this is supposed to be this serious thing for these people. Why? What influence does The Times have? It's only the people they hate who read it anyway.

Maybe it just annoys them that it is respected by some people (too much so)? Like--they are annoyed that they have The Washington Monthly and 'we' have The New York Times.


Posted by: ozma | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:19 AM
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It's different in person, fm. I'm different in person.

Not according to Ogged. (PBUH)

Speaking Ogged, that reminds me of Cat Power. Speaking of Cat Power, has anyone found a full version of her cover of Space Oddity?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:30 AM
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right, sign the name


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:32 AM
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Something like 15 corporations own 95% of the mass media in the United States. Their customers are advertisers. They are selling eyeballs and consciousness. Of course these corporations, including the NY Times, are not liberal.


Posted by: Robert | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 1:15 AM
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There are several cultural currents that cross in this space and as noted by Byron the standard conservative/liberal divide is not really applicable. The media ownership milieu is comprised of very wealthy people in a secular, urban, capitalistic society. That leads to a default view that is pro-"Western led globalization" (and therefor generally hawkish on specific US (and allies) foreign adventures, distinctly pro-business (really just an extension of business direct advertising/propaganda) and yet relatively "sophisticated" on social issues. It is the latter stance (which generally does extend down through the editors/reporters and so on) that gets the media branded as "liberal". Within that framework there are various business strategies that are adopted (such as the wealthy urban sophisticates at Fox News tarring the other wealthy urban sophisticates as "liberal") to attract audiences with appropriate consumption habits (which of course they help define). Then they all get together and have a nice little red (alcohol=drug choice of merchants of death, sophisticated alcohol=drug choice of tricksy sophisticated merchants of death).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 7:03 AM
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Along these lines, Mara Liasson just said that Michael Steele's election as head of the RNC is "as historic and improbable" as Obama's election. What a thoughtful and accurate analysis, Mara.

RNC chair "as historic" as President of these United States? Not so much. "As improbable"? The R's have a history of showcasing, if not fetishizing, African American members because there are so damn few of them. And surely it's the sheerest coincidence that Steele was elected this year when it would be politically useful to have a black face (intended) representing the party. I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction: Steele will be the most prominent RNC chair since Lee Attwater.

How does her stuff pass editorial muster?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 7:19 AM
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Along these lines, Mara Liasson just said that Michael Steele's election as head of the RNC is "as historic and improbable" as Obama's election. What a thoughtful and accurate analysis, Mara.

RNC chair "as historic" as President of these United States? Not so much. "As improbable"? The R's have a history of showcasing, if not fetishizing, African American members because there are so damn few of them. And surely it's the sheerest coincidence that Steele was elected this year when it would be politically useful to have a black face (intended) representing the party. I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction: Steele will be the most prominent RNC chair since Lee Attwater.

How does her stuff pass editorial muster?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 7:19 AM
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Mara made me do it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 7:19 AM
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She made me do that, too.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 7:31 AM
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So, if Google's not dead, it's very very ill. What's the consensus on masturbating to it? Do we have to wait until its full recovery?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 8:09 AM
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1) Either Sir Kraab or Mara Liasson is stoned.

2) 32: Is that why my Google search that returned TurboTax warned me that the site might "harm" my computer?
||
3) Serena Williams Rules!

4) I am the neighborhood crazy old guy you warned your kids about, says the man who just came in from shoveling the walk and putting the birdseed out wearing sweat shorts and Crocs.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 8:42 AM
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28: And surely it's the sheerest coincidence that Steele was elected this year when it would be politically useful to have a black face (intended) representing the party.

Yes, it's about as historic as having Alan Keyes run against Obama for the Senate. (And Steele strikes me as basically a *slightly* de-crazified Alan Keyes.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 8:57 AM
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Byron's 19 is good. I often get into arguments about whether the media is "really" liberal, and certainly my personal experience of journalists is that almost all of them are college-educated and socially liberal (bearing in mind that it's almost impossible to conduct an interview on an inflammatory topic without tipping your hand via word choice and question framing).

This Dan Okrent Public Editor column from the NYT is apropos:

Is the New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?
Of course it is.
I'll get to the politics-and-policy issues [...] but for now my concern is the flammable stuff that ignites the right. These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed.

On another axis, there's the question of the how the media functions as a gatekeeper to what is considered legitimate versus extreme. Here's a nice donut diagram (scroll down) showing the distinctions between what this guy calls the sphere of consensus, sphere of legitimate controversy, and sphere of deviance.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 8:59 AM
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I agree with the point above that the liberal/conservative axes don't describe the media.

One thing I've noticed that drives me a bit crazy goes like this: the individual journalists identify more with Democrats, which has the pernicious result of making the journalists criticize the Democrats to death. The narcissism of small differences and all that. Republicans, the working class, Middle America, evangelicals---these people are very much Other to most mainstream journalists, and so coverage of them tends to be distant and respectful but a little condescending, sort of anthropological.

NPR has a bunch of bigger name journalists who are guilty of this, but it also has a shitload of local reporters and stringers (all of those member stations have people dying to hit the national news), and it also has people with specialized shows focussing on religion or unions or whatever. That helps. I suspect the reason this is possible in radio might have something to do with the comparative cost of radio vs. tv, with the fact that NPR is largely member and non-profit funded (and they got that huge donation from the McDonald heiress recently), and of course the way they're set up as an umbrella organization reliant on local stations.

The real problem with tv news is that it's terminally stupid. Shouting and flying graphics and sensational chase scenes whenever possible. That sort of format does not favor technocratic discussion.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 9:02 AM
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34: there's the question of the how the media functions as a gatekeeper to what is considered legitimate versus extreme

My only hope is that history will be unremittingly harsh (on all of us) when it considers how the gatekeeping worked with regard to this (Articles of Impeachment against Clinton) compared to this (Kucinich's proposed Articles of Impeachment against Bush).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 9:20 AM
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25, Something like 15 corporations own 95% of the mass media in the United States... Of course
these corporations, including the NY Times, are not liberal.

I think the liberal skew tends to be more in the reporting and the conservative skew in the punditry
and commentary. Where do corporations spend ? I was looking for an example of where the corporate
center of gravity lies, but found this morning the same H&R Block tax ad on TPM and Instapundit, so
I give you no anecdata on revealed corporate leanings today.

Looking in the other direction, who spends on left vs right media, the advertising on winger Pajama
24Ahead Republic CNBC-weekend always struck me as conspicuously out of the mainstream, full of
avoid-corporate-medicine-by-making-herbal remedies-at-home, whereas NPR bane of the right) 's underwriters
are a virtual who's who of mainstream consumption.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 9:32 AM
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Al Franken had a nice schtick on the thesis that asking if the media has a liberal bias is like "asking if bin Laden uses too much olive oil in his hummus." His point was basically the same as Byron's, above. The media have a huge number of dangerous problems and biases, but none of them quite add up to liberal or conservative.

Franken emphasizes the laziness problem, which leads media outlets to simply repeat official statements without criticism. This one interacts dangerously with the "getting too close to your sources" problem and the "representing the interests of the publisher" problem.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 9:37 AM
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This is one of my pet topics of course.

Alterman answered part of the question: the media tends to be socially liberal, not terribly Christian (what with all JEWS), and not very religious. This can be explained, I think, by the fact that most of the media, from the bottom to the top, is or aspires to be part of high society or at least hip. High society and hipsters them liberal. On other issues the media consensus is anti-tax, neo-liberal, anti-union, pro-deregulation, pro-free-trade, and anti-anti-war. These are all conservative positions. Individual voices in the media disagree with items on the list, but a generic, ordinary strong liberal Democrat could easily disagree with all of them. I'm not sure I can think of anyone like that in the media. Maybe Maddow, but she's surprised me (e.g. she seems to be pushing the Afghan escalation.)

I think the liberal media was a reality up until 1984, and (kiddies) I think I remember the transition. Liberals were devastated by Reagan's 1984 victory the way they weren't in 1980. I remember seeing pieces by influential people saying that the media should not blindly oppose the Republicans but should be "thoughtful", and Reagan's severest critics (e.g. Von Hoffman and Gary Wills) disappeared (even though they were plenty "thoughtful". These were the marching orders and ever since then liberal in the media have been in a permanent cringe. (Krugman is a break in that, and he was a hiring mistake: he had been extremely critical of the anti-globalists, and they thought he'd bought in on the whole package.)

The big media have always been players with agendas rather than simply reporters, and they've always written according to a consensus about what's allowed and forbidden, and in 1984 the consensus shifted away from liberalism. But full conservativism was never attained, so the conservatives continued to scream, and they found it profitable to do so in order to keep the media intimidated and compliant.

Meanwhile, media ownership and wealth in general have become increasingly concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, so that more than ever before there is an authoritative elite consensus about politics. As far as I can see, the key issues for big money have been low taxes, deregulation, free trade, and some kind of strong military stance (whether realist or adventurist). Everything else is just to get votes from the chumps.

Another point I harp on is that if a reporter is stupid, shallow, and biased, it's because that's what management wants. If you notice someone who's stupider and more right wing now than they were before they made the big time (Juan Williams has been mentioned, Judy Miller is another case) it's because it works for them because management likes it.

As far as I can tell, the pretense to professionalism is disappearing, at least at the opinion level. it's all to make the advertisers and owners happy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 10:24 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 10:43 AM
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High society and hipsters are gay-friendly and sex-positive, but that doesn't make them liberal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 11:17 AM
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32.2 - yes, but thank goodness it didn't last long. Was funny looking at the twitter stream of people mentioning it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 11:17 AM
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39: I think the liberal media was a reality up until 1984, and (kiddies) I think I remember the transition.

I agree in general with the timeframe, and I think an interesting illustration is to compare the post early-'80s careers of David Broder and William Greider. They were both well-respected journalists at the Washington Post from the late '60s through Watergate and the '70s. Broder always more establishment than Greider, but both in the same milieu. The watershed moment for Greider came after his famous article, "The Education of David Stockman" in 1981. Greider moved on to Rolling Stone and then The Nation, Broder ossified into his role as a center-right ass-kissing toady making allowances for Republican excesses and cautioning Democrats. I don't think a sensibility like Greider's was generally welcome in the mainstream media from the mid '80s on, and certainly is not today.

Two revealing signature quotes.
Broder: "The judgment is harsher in Washington. We don't like being lied to."
Greider: "Only in Washington, after all, is it considered bizarre when someone important comes forward and tells the truth."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 11:30 AM
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I remember when NAFTA was being debated that Sam Donaldson asserted on This Week that NAFTA would pass because it was "important", and important bills always pass. And this is the man that the right called Sandinista Sam.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 11:41 AM
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Mara Liasson

I was going to mention my hatred of Mara in the earlier Juan thread, but decided to try to avoid thinking about her.

She is as bad as Juan.

I have emailed NPR many times about Mara and Juan.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 11:47 AM
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There was a powerful behind-the-scenes woman named Beck at the Washington Post. I always forget her name. She was the one who wrote occasional columns talking about "thoughtfulness". These columns were marching order; Beck wasn't a regular columnist, but a meta-columnist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 11:54 AM
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46: I have emailed NPR many times about Mara and Juan.

And they thank you for your interest.

45 & OP: The size of the perceptual divide is staggering. I have unsuccessfully tried to get the "news" TVs at my place of employment tuned to BBC or CNN International (mostly for the non-political reason that they are supposed to be there so a global organization is aware of what is going on in the wider world, not following Anna Nicole Smith or car chases in Florida). But that satellite service costs more, so they remain on Fox and CNN. Split between the two of them to maintain a "political balance" I am told.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 11:57 AM
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I think that there should be an emoticon exception made for the ToS. All of his posts should be replaced by smiley-faces of one sort or another. Or hampster dances.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 11:59 AM
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47: Televisions at your workplace? Does you job have to do with news somehow?


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:01 PM
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Like the Hungarians who, failing to get the Habsburgs to allow their Parliament to debate in Hungarian, opposed plans to make their Parliament debate in German by campaigning successfully to continue debating in Latin, you should campaign to have tv removed from your workplace altogether. For non-ideological reasons, of course.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:05 PM
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Apparently after 1848 there was a period when the Hungarians were made to use German. I remember the initial push to make them use German being in the early 19th century, but don't have a source nearby.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:12 PM
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The people you hang out with in real life are weird.

I suspect the actual difference is that most peple in real life actually watch television, including tv news, and many of us really don't and are therefore unexposed to the two prevailing memes of (1) the media loves Obama; (2) the media are liberal.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:20 PM
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Evidence of the media being "liberal":

1. Los of fawning coverage of Michelle Obama's style sense and how cute the girls are.
2. Discussion of and even by actual gay people on occasion.
3. A generally sympathetic tone towards women's stuff like single motherhood, daycare problems, and work/life balance.
4. A generally sympathetic "personal interest" approach to economic news--coverage of families who have lost homes, etc.

Given that most people have come to understand sex-related issues like "women's news" and "gay people" as "liberal" topics (blah blah Rovian machine, etc.), this sort of coverage, which *we* see as "conservative" or at best "apolitical" (since it's fluffy and doesn't in the least challenge the dominant paradigm), is seen by The American Public as liberal and touchy-feely because it isn't about The Troops.


Posted by: doe | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:30 PM
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53: issues is a liberal shibboleth as spoken to a wide audience, often in a directionally ambiguous manner, as in 'I have been working on the issue of affordable housing' ; for conservatives , the code word it has usually been 'values'.

37 was me, and still shall be.


Posted by: Econoolicious | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:46 PM
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Sasha and Malia are so cute that I presume that the Obamas are holding them in reserve for the moment when they're really needed. For example to destroy McConnell or Boehner.

"Is that Representative Boehner's real face?" asked Malia.

"Why does Senator McConnell hold his mouth that way", asked Malia.

Sasha explained.....


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 12:48 PM
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IIRC, Malia gave Cheney a high-five at BHO's swearing-in as Senator. That's not cuteness we can believe in!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 2:20 PM
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And her hand didn't start smoking and sizzling? Man, the Obamas *do* have superpowers.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 2:56 PM
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Malia had previously broken both Cheney's legs. Putting on the cute act with the high five was a way of rubbing her impunity in Cheney's face.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 3:11 PM
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Apparently Pajamas Media is melting down, and we're all expected to gloat. HA!!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 3:25 PM
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49: Televisions at your workplace? Does you job have to do with news somehow?

Nah, just some in a few of the common and "operations" areas. A couple have Weather Channel on and the others "news".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 3:37 PM
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There is a widespread, pernicious bias toward referring to the President's daughters as "Sasha and Malia." The older one should of course be named first. Let's all do our part to make that happen.


Posted by: Mr. F | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 3:39 PM
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Malia just seems like a younger name. I try not to let reality impede my creativity.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 3:45 PM
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It's because "Sash and Malia" has a rhythm to it, two dactyls.

If, that is, you accent the first syllable of "Malia", as my brain always does. Since apparently the second syllable should actually be accented, which I still find hard to believe, it seems like "Malia and Sasha" would actually sound better, that being two amphibrachs.

Whichever thing allows us to avoid having three unstressed syllables in a row, that's what we should say.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 3:58 PM
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"Sasha", not "Sash".

"Sash" is a nickname for "Sasha" when "Sasha" is a nickname for "Aleksandrrrrrrrrr", though.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:00 PM
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"Asseverations"?

Is that word necessary/ What does it mean?


Posted by: Es-tonea-pesta | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:15 PM
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63: You can keep the final "a" in Sasha, because in scanning* you'd elide it with the following "a" in "and." But it still wouldn't be two dactyls. Using your pronunciation of "Malia" it would be a spondee and a dactyl.

*Scanning Latin, anyway.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:17 PM
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It's worth distinguishing between the media as a collection of corporations and the individual people who work for those corporations. I think that as a general rule people with jobs requires them to understand other people and cultures tend to lean left and people with jobs that encourage them view other people as means rather than ends tend to lean right, especially in cases where the job involves hurting people. That's why a majority of reporters lean left, IMO, and why the military, senior corporate executives, and cops tend to lean right.

Also Michael Steele's election to chair the RNC is simply because they know they are fucked for at least a couple of years and they want a scapegoat, so the black guy is very convenient indeed. Everyone knows those people can't run anything. Clearly the problem is not right wing ideology, it's the innate inferiority of black people. Sorry we fell for affirmative action nonsense, won't happen again, let's get someone competent in here, like Gingrich or Huckabee. All coded in dog-whistle terms, of course. To everyone on the outside it will look like a clear demonstration of the death of racial politics, to those on the inside it will confirm their prejudices.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:20 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:25 PM
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*Scanning Latin, anyway.

and Italian.

SASH-a-and MAL-i-a

ma-LI-a and-SASH-a


Posted by: Cryptic nedq | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:28 PM
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But the "a" in "and," followed as it is by two consonants must scan long.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:34 PM
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Is it really an "a"? I would call it a schwa.


Posted by: Cryptic nedq | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:37 PM
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Well, it is the letter a -- and vowels, whatever they may be, scan long when followed by two consonants.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 4:40 PM
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You wouldn't elide the "A" in "malia and sasha", if you're speaking english, and it sounds bad with it there.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 5:15 PM
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74: But if I am speaking Latin (and I am), I would say that, with Ned's pronunciation of Malia, that "i" is really a consonant, a "j," if I were speaking schoolbook Latin (and I am not), which changes everything!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 5:22 PM
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So -- in Latin, if you will -- Malia and Sasha is a double spondee, MAL YAND SA SHA. There are some very strong (and exceptional) Vergilian lines ending in double spondees.

(Good lord, the U of C must be very proud of me.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 5:24 PM
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||

I don't get the controversy over Michael Steele hiring homeless people to pass out flyers. Who's supposed to be passing out flyers? People employed full-time by the campaign at a decent wage with benefits? No campaign gives people any money to do grunt work. What's the problem?

Are the people publicizing this incident trying to poke fun at Steele for not having any actual volunteers, is that the idea?

|>


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 6:19 PM
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that wasn't supposed to be in pause-play signs, it's somewhat related and it's asking questions. Dammit, that convention is already being overused.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 6:19 PM
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The flyers identified Steele as a Democrat and were handed out by predominantly African American men in African American neighborhoods.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 6:32 PM
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The idea being that it was deceptive 6 ways to Sunday, using folks that were imported in order to lend authenticity to the lies.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 6:35 PM
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Why would you scan an English phrase as if it were Latin?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 7:44 PM
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Any elided 'a' would revert to the complementary daughters Ann and Nata.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 7:47 PM
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81: I was kind of joshing, because I don't know if the rules of English scansion are different. Or rather, I know that they are the same in certain cases (double consonants), but not in others (is English so quick to elide vowels to avoid hiatus? dunno! certainly English wouldn't lop off -um when it comes before a vowel).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 7:52 PM
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Via Digby, here is agreat find and a must see for any student of the national political journalism over the past 16 years. It is Charlie Rose interviewing Sally Quinn in early 1999 not long after her famous "Washington establishment disgusted by Clinton" piece (source of my Broder quote in 43). Anyone who has read the article will be quite familiar with the themes, but listening to her and thinking about the very different reception and treatment Bushco got two years later certainly makes it apparent that there are massive levels of rationalization and self-deception involved. It goes a long way towards making the Washington response to things like the Scooter Libby indictment understandable.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 10:01 PM
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||
I suspect people are tired of Pittsburgh chatter (I tire of the place during Super Bowl runs), but here is an addition to JRoth's "only in Pittsburgh" series.

Upon being recognized by the conductor after doing a superb job on the English Horn part (the voice of the swan) in Jean Sibelius's evocative tone poem "The Swan of Tuonela" (Tuonela is the Hades of Finnish mythology), the woodwind player whipped out a Terribel Towel to accolades from the audience.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-31-09 10:15 PM
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81: I was kind of joshing, because I don't know if the rules of English scansion are different

Aren't they completely different, being stress-based and not quantitative?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 12:46 AM
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85: Sibelius was known for his physical defense.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:11 AM
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Le Monparty was my favorite now-unknown composer.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:15 AM
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You know, lemons taste totally different if you've eaten miracle fruit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:17 AM
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Actually, they taste the same, you just perceive it differently.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:23 AM
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Oh, ben.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:25 AM
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Arguments about qualia go on the pot thread, you two.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:29 AM
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But surely we define taste as the percept itself, rather than the physical stimulus that elicits it?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:29 AM
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93: I'm sure ben has perfectly good reasons for divorcing taste from perception. They were probably fighting a lot, and you know, miracle fruit needs a happy home.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:31 AM
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Actually, fascinatingly, by whatever definition, miracle fruit affects the taste of lemon; the important protein (miraculin) neutralizes the acidic oils, so what actually reaches your taste buds differs from unmodified lemon musk. Really, what you're tasting is the lemon-miracle fruit synthesis.

Fuck yes I meant to say "musk".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:33 AM
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Ah, see you didn't indicate that you were eating the lemons so soon after the miracle fruit. I was thinking that you long ago ate a miracle fruit, that its residue was long gone from your mouth, and that the mere memory of the taste of the miracle fruit was modulating, top-down, how lemons taste to you.

One can hardly blame me for going down this road when crucial information was left out.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:38 AM
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96: indeed, you're the Robert Frost of intentional ignorance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 1:40 AM
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I'm bored. I'll fight you!

No, though, I'm bored. Anybody?

England is for fascist queers! Obama is the all-father cure to continental Orwellianism! Might the great president-bringer cult defeat the racist Labour death-cult! Down with the United Euro Kingdom surveillance state! Bring forth the new American Hobbes! Deleveraging is the opiate of the all-father!

Yeah, that won't wake 'em up. Unfogged is dead, long live unfogged.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 2:08 AM
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Seriously, is drinking wine fined with fish products non-veg? I asked this utterly drunkenly last night, but if you've nothing better to do...


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 3:12 AM
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As in, on the one hand, animal products, but, on the other, no├Âne would claim that a wine made from a carnivorous species of grape was non-vegetarian, surely?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 3:18 AM
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Discuss the effect on Wittgenstein and modern philosophy in general if it were true that grape vines had teeth to eat with; make reference to the artificiality of modern grapes.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 3:37 AM
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England is for fascist queers! Yes Obama is the all-father cure to continental Orwellianism! You wish Might the great president-bringer cult defeat the racist Labour death-cult! Only to replace it with the racist Tory death-cult Down with the United Euro Kingdom surveillance state! Yes Bring forth the new American Hobbes! That'd be more interesting Deleveraging is the opiate of the all-father! Only if the all-father is already high.

OK?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 4:50 AM
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85: WOOOO!!!

Lest night, from the Balthazar cookbook:

Chicken Liver Pate
Warm Bass Salad (grilled bass on a bed of spinach, asparagus, and balsamic-glazed walnuts)
Fallen Chocolate Cake (from Cook's)

So stinkin' good. Balthazar's is a really excellent cookbook.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 7:04 AM
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99: Some people manage to get worked up about it. See here or here, for example. I don't think it's mainstream even relative to vegetarianism, though.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 7:35 AM
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84: I just reread that article and am about to watch the Charlie Rose episode. I will say that Andrea Mitchell was right about one thing. The whole business was a burden on some aides who got saddled with bills, but that's not Clinton's fault so much as the damn process and Ken Starr. I knew somebody who had Monica Lewinsky's job at DoD right after she did who was harassed by the tabloids when the story broke and had a bunch of legal stuff to deal with. Luckily, she got pro bono representation.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 8:27 AM
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102: excellent, but I'd already gone to bed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 8:38 AM
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105: Actually, I view it as more revealing of the Washington establishment press mindset in general, than anything specific about the Lewinsky affair (the most interesting item on that is her discussion of Ken Starr as a "member of the community").


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 10:07 AM
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93: I'm sure ben has perfectly good reasons for divorcing taste from perception.

Yeah, I wanted to start something.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 10:31 AM
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Taste is one of the rare tertiary qualities.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 10:43 AM
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107: Sorry, I was too cryptic. I agree that it's revealing of the Washington mindset and its concept of the community, and particularly how that differs from how many people in the rest of the country feel. I only meant to say that there was one area where people outside of the country might feel the same, naemly a lot of people would be concerned about relatively low-level people anywhere being saddled with legal bills. I'm not being very clear though.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 10:53 AM
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Morons.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 12:03 PM
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I don't exactly have a corpus of counterexamples with which to reduce the claims to rubble.

The problem with discussions of liberal bias is that, as Colbert notes, reality has a well-known liberal bias. And it's the job of journalists, theoretically at least, to report reality. So when the media are working properly, they are liberal.

Too many discussions of liberal bias use, as a reference point, the current location of the Overton Window. But that's not the proper reference point. The relevant issue is: how do media statements compare with reality?

The U.S. media widely reported that weapons of mass destruction in Iraq represented an important problem for the U.S. This was false, and represents an unambiguous example of conservative bias - not because it gave short-shrift to liberal views, but because it was false in a way that helped serve conservative policy narratives.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 12:38 PM
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This has probably already been said, although not exactly in these words, but I'd say that of course the mainstream US media has a strong liberal bias. And it also has a strong Republican bias. I don't think it's got any kind of a conservative bias, but I find the idea of 'conservatism' as a political philosophy on any level more complex than 'be cautious about changing things that are currently working tolerably' so baffling that I don't know exactly what to think there.

It's got a liberal bias to the extent that people who work in the media are mostly well-educated secular urbanites, and their unstated social assumptions are mostly that anyone who says anything negative about anyone's ethnicity, religion (except insofar as that religion is perceived as itself intolerant) or sexuality is either a bad person, or at least is doing something terribly daring; that women can be expected to be legally and socially equal to men at least to some degree, and so forth. Any social opinions I've got, most people working in the media are going to be pretty close to.

On the other hand, it's got a definitely Republican bias on straightforwardly political issues; Yglesias or Klein or someone just had a bar chart of who gets on the Sunday political shows -- when a Republican is president, it's mostly Republicans, and when a Democrat is president it's mostly Republicans. And Whitewater, and WMD and and and.

A social conservative who isn't strongly attached to the Republican party's political fortunes -- eh, there's not much in the major media that's going to make them happy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 4:31 PM
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The thing about media liberalism is that it's like a lot of Americans' Christianity: something that they hold in a vague kind of way but that wilts in the face of any coherent or just determined opposition, and which leaves them totally unprepared against cultic recruitment and domination, whether political or religious.

A genuinely liberal media wouldn't have the constant eruptions of "oh, but maybe if we all just say loudly enough that abortion is really icky and agree that Roe v. Wade was a mistake, it'll all be nice" thinking. Or any of the countless other capitulations that reveal a political consciousness which doesn't demand much beyond gestures at being nice.


Posted by: Paige Morrow | Link to this comment | 02- 1-09 7:26 PM
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Profgrrrl had a baby...

Could someone start a new thread please? This one has kooties...


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:55 PM
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115: ToS?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 9:59 PM
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This thread is poised to be commented in, BDL/ToS. Give it a shot!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02- 2-09 10:04 PM
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