July 3rd, 2017

The New York Times

casts itself as victim.

72 Responses to “The New York Times…”

  1. mezzrow Says:

    …to be followed by “look what you made us do!”

    They’re not the victim and they never were, and we’re no longer the battered public. It seems the rules have changed.

    I suspect we’ll feign surprise some day in the future as we note how long they managed to hang on with no visible evidence of their claim to neutrality. They are bargaining in print, like we bargain with God when we are existentially threatened.

  2. Sgt. Mom Says:

    Bargaining … isn’t that one of the stages of coping with death?

  3. Bill Says:

    I’m not here to defend the NYT (or CNN, or MSNBC, or etc). But hearing conservative commentators who I formerly respected (such as Andrew Klavan) talking about “Fake news” gives me hives. It should give pause to anyone who loves the first amendment.

    For the most part, the news is usually slanted, it’s not “fake”. It’s been this way for a long time. A long, long time.

    Complaining about the slant of the news is valid. Pretending like every negative story against Trump is “fake” is propaganda.

    I don’t like the liberal bias in the news. (I’m not a big fan of conservative bias either, these days). But I know that a truly free press is vital to our system.

    Trump’s antics regarding the press are not designed to reform the press. They are designed to, as Ben Sasse put it, “weaponize distrust” to the point where only Trump-favored news sources are listened to.

    Now, it’s possible that the end result will be a reformed press, just because of the attention being given it. But that’s only one possibility – and it isnt’ the aim of the Trump administration, unless “reformed” = “pro Trump”.

    Don’t fall for it. The better route is to triangulate your news sources. Pick three or four news sources with various slants, including an international source. Avoid the rags (and I include sites like Breitbart and propagandists like Hannity in that). This is more work but it helps avoid confirmation bias and becoming an easy mark for propaganda.

    I read the article. I didn’t see the piece casting the NYT as a victim, but rather a plea for continued honoring of the principle of a free press. That used to be a bipartisan area of agreement. Or if not bipartisan, it used to be something conservatives championed. Times have changed . . .

    Particularly impactful are the quotes from the founding fathers regarding the importance of a free press (not to mention, the first amendment), which were made during a time when the press was particularly sensational (more so than now), by the way.

    It should be alarming to all of us that the white house that has declared the non-supportive section of the free press as “enemies of the state”.

  4. Sam L. Says:

    Oh, BOO HOO!!!1111!!!!

    And…..They started it!. Brought it on themselves. Never learned “not to poke the bear/lion/tiger/alligator/crocodile/other-ferocious-beast”.

  5. Dave Says:

    If you have a faulty Seat Belt, switching out the old dangerous one, and replace it with a new trustworthy one, is not infringing the safety of your family. In fact your are doing so because you are concerned of the safety of your family. These scumbags ain’t scare of tyranny as long as the tyrant is democrat. Depending on these lying people to safeguard our society and hold the government accountable is as safe as planting seeds on footpath

    These dying media conmen are trying to tie themselves with free speech when they were ones doing bad things hiding behind the shield of free speech. framing anyone who tries to weed out these bad seeds in the news business scumbags as free speech infringers when in fact they were the ones putting free speech in danger with their partisan fake news, buying their time until the day their lies work and another tyrant liberal president comes into the office to save them. You have to get rid of the fake news s**mbags when you have the chance to, don’t let them go and give them a chance to exact revenge back on you. Don’t let the tiger back to the mountain.

  6. Kyndyll G Says:

    Bill, as I’ve mentioned, I used to work in media. I actually started my adult life in journalism. But even then – back in the early 1990s – journalism was aggressively turning away from the neutral-observer/informer role that I had idealized. I left it, decades ago. It left us longer ago than that.

    I am aware of journalism’s 1800s-era muckraking history. Modern journalism, through the mid-20th century or so, was supposed to be something completely different: impassive recounting of events. There’s a reason that “feature” writers – who were bored of plain facts and loved floral details and human interest stories – were relegated to lesser sections and the last few minutes of the telecast, and editorial writers, while often lionized and respected, had a permanent address on the op/ed page. Straight news was supposed to be … straight news. And it was the lead story, and what went on the front page.

    Yeah, I understand that any decent writer can produce a piece that is entirely factual and still be slanted as hell, but at least if you set out to relate the who/what/when/where/why/how and not omit facts you don’t want, you have a better chance of ending up with something remotely useful. The NYT does not even try to achieve this former ideal.

    Our host has shared her conversion story, which included late 60s/70s-era transgressions of media presenting ideologically slanted news; the MSM has been a lefty vehicle since long before I was a journalism student. But in the late 80s/90s when I was in college, I saw the fad for “active journalism” and was horrified. It was slanted news on steroids. I perceived my job as a news writer to be one of providing facts to the audience, so that they could create their own informed opinions. Straight news is not cramming agendas and opinions down the throats of readers, by inventing or misrepresenting facts, or pretending awkward facts don’t exist.

    That finally leads me back to the topic at hand. I have no great love for Trump and often wish he would shut TF up. The said, the amount of respect I have for media, circa 2017, is an amount so small that it cannot be measured by instruments available to consumers. Its members are an insult to journalism. I never regret walking away; I would not be able to live with myself for doing what even one-time stalwarts like the NYT times do every day on the front page to set an agenda, with no pretense to informing or delivering actual facts.

    If you think that the NYT and other MSM would not have been as vicious as needed to drive out whatever Republican got elected in this last presidential cycle (and let’s be honest – the population was so fed up with lefty policy that it elected Trump – it would have elected any reasonable Republican candidate over what the Democrats had on the bench to offer), you are deluded. The only difference is, Trump is willing to jump right into the mud with them. It’s not very presidential to say the least, but it’s probably also why he’s still in office. The left has never encountered a conservative (at least in name) politician willing to fight as nasty and dirty as they do and they are still polishing their strategy of how to deal with it. The best they have is name-calling and fiction writing, and so far that hasn’t been enough. But I don’t think any traditional politician would have withstood the level of abuse coming from the media since the 2016 election, and had it not been Trump, it would have been tailor-fit for whoever did win.

  7. physicsguy Says:

    I had to laugh yesterday when AT published this “tweet” by Harry Truman. Just shows that tweaking the press didnt start with Trump :

    WASHINGTON
    Dec. 6, 1950
    Mr. Hume:
    I’ve just read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert. I’ve come to the conclusion that you are an “eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay.”
    It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you’re off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.
    Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!
    Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you’ll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.
    H.S.T.

  8. Bill Says:

    Thank you Kyndyll,

    The what-ifs if, say, Marco Rubio had won are really, really hard to say. Yes Trump is having a lot of trouble with the media. Rubio would have too. But, again, Trump declared them enemies of the state. The idea that only Trump could survive the media onslaught would make more sense to me if he hadn’t brought a lot of it on himself.

    This has been a topic of discussion here ad-nauseum, but is this tactic actually helping Trump accomplish his agenda? I don’t think it is, in fact I think it’s hurting it. What do you think?

    It’s a tough topic, though – I know the press sucks these days. I think it is pretty bad on both sides of the ideological spectrum. But I started triangulating, as I mentioned above, a few months ago and that helps. I don’t believe there are very many stories being made up of whole cloth (and the recent firing of CNN employees was a necessary step when one was). Stories are slanted (may very slanted at times). That’s a big problem, but Trump is trying to discredit the entire media, other than his few favored sources.

    I’m thinking the “cure” he’s offering is worse than the disease. But in the larger picture, the President is supposed to be President of the entire country. Trump is being President of his base, and making enemies of everyone else.

    Maybe this is the path to “winning, winning, winning”. But I think he’s doing some pretty near irreparable damage to the office of the Presidency. Wish he would focus on his job, give the media way less to write about, and stick to the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

    By the way – the media is loving this. I think Trump’s base misses that fact in what appears to be, to me at least, a near reality-TV scripted moment we’re living in. The ratings are up. Trump said some nonsense at a recent rally about the media trying to “silence” him. Sure they are; they love it when he generates controversy – more clicks, more views, more subscriptions, more money, etc.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Bill,

    Kyndyll G nearly says it all. Rather than repeat his points, I will limit myself to a response to this comment. “I read the article. I didn’t see the piece casting the NYT as a victim, but rather a plea for continued honoring of the principle of a free press.”

    The very title of their propaganda piece, “Independent Press Is Under Siege as Freedom Rings” establishes it as propaganda that seeks to portray the NYT as a victim, when it claims to be part of an “Independent Press” concerned with freedom.

    That claim is a lie of such monstrous proportions as to be an obscenity. It is not liberty that the NYT pursues but a tyranny rationalized as for our own good.

  10. Bill Says:

    GB,

    To my other question, do you think Trump’s obsession with “fake news” and his incendiary tweets against MSNBC, CNN, etc are helping or hurting the passage of his agenda?

    Trump’s twitter feed has become a kind of news source itself, hasn’t it? Do you think his frequent dabbling in conspiracy theories (including the one that got his latest political life going, the “fact” that Obama wasn’t born here) constitute a type of “fake news”?

  11. SteveH Says:

    I believe in a free press and the leftist medias kneejerk game of heads I win and tails you lose is totally in the scope of what they have a right to do.

    But, I also believe in free citizens and any leadership they choose as having a right to mock and insult such behavior in an attempt to shrink and delegitimize the reputation of such an institution.

  12. Bill Says:

    “But, I also believe in free citizens and any leadership they choose as having a right to mock and insult such behavior in an attempt to shrink and delegitimize the reputation of such an institution.”

    Yes, I agree.

    It’s a question of whether it’s a) helpful to the President’s goal of passing his/our/your agenda (if that’s actually his goal) and b) something that could go wrong or lead to some really unintended consequences.

  13. vanderleun Says:

    I’ll be into seeing the Times as a bunch of victims the day that an Islamic kill squad gets onto the editorial and publisher floors in Times Tower and lets them report on the subsequent Charlie Hebdo shooting spree. Until then, sand must they pound.

  14. SteveH Says:

    Bill,
    I don’t see how Trump has much measure of perceived success, no matter what good he accomplishes, without first doing real damage to the reputation of such a one sided press.

  15. huxley Says:

    My impression is “fake news” started as another ripe two-word Trumpism.

    But since Hillary lost, it has been the MSM and allies who have been banging the “fake news” gong the hardest and in the most frightening ways, such as looking for institutional means to censor “fake news” at the Facebook and Google level.

    Any skeptic who has ever posted on an orthodox climate change website knows what that means — censorship.

  16. vanderleun Says:

    Hillary addresses her followers: ““We’re going to lose. We’re going to lose so much. We’re going to lose at trade, we’re going to lose at the border. We’re going to lose so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of losing, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t lose anymore.’ You’ll say ‘Please, Hillary, we beg you girl, we don’t want to lose anymore. It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.’ And I’m going to say ‘I’m sorry, but we’re going to keep losing, losing, losing. We’re going to make America weak again!””

  17. Dave Says:

    I am all for having fake news from both sides to co exist and available to the public and like in a real free choice society let the consumers decide whom they believe in. The war started when the left upon their defeat in last November tried to eradicate the right wing conspiracy news outlet once and for all and enjoy the monopoly of fake news all by themselves. Msm never give a darn about the free speech of conservatives, so why the heck should we care about theirs? If Hillary had won do you think she would worry about the free speech of Breitbart or infowar enough to allow them to continue to exist?

  18. Dave Says:

    Don’t even forget the left coined the term fake news to try to eradicate the right, we are only using the weapon they has created to fight fire with fire.

  19. huxley Says:

    It’s a question of whether it’s a) helpful to the President’s goal of passing his/our/your agenda (if that’s actually his goal) ….

    Bill: (A) is hard to say, at least this early in Trump’s term.

    I do see his behavior as double-edged and I wish the republic were not at such a rancorous pass that we have a president and a press like this. But you go to history, so to speak, with the president you’ve got.

    I backed Bush 43. However, I felt at the time and more so since, he erred in not taking a more aggressive line with the press. His approach might have worked with the 1980s America, but it seemed to be a loser in the 2000s.

    Trump may err too far in the other direction. I don’t know. These days I’m more of an observer, hoping to learn something.

  20. Dave Says:

    Once a name sticks with you it follows you for eternity. Why do conservatives have the stigma of being racist? It was because when the first time a liberal called conservatives racists you didn’t fight back to defend your reputation. The more you are on defence trying to explain how you are not a racist the further the name get associated with you. The simplest way to fight back should have been “no I am not a racist, you are”

  21. Dave Says:

    Taking the high road, act like a gentleman when someone call you an undeserved nasty name means you accept the name uncontestedly. Learn from trump, when someone call you a name grab it throw it right back at that someone

  22. Tatterdemalian Says:

    They’re not scared of Trump, yet.

    If they were actually scared, their tongues would be as securely attached to his ass as they were to Islam’s after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

  23. huxley Says:

    The simplest way to fight back should have been “no I am not a racist, you are”

    Dave: But conservatives have fought back at that level to little avail. As a result leftists invented the kafkatrap response, “The fact you deny it and call us racist just proves you are a racist.”

    Besides that’s not an accurate description of Trump’s tweets. Trump adds considerable emotional spin to his responses like calling people stupid or bizarrely referencing female blood.

  24. Bill Says:

    A former marine friend of mine posted this: You may disagree – I just thought it was funny 🙂

    “PSA: When a guy who recently had to pay $25,000,000.00 for ripping people off with his fake university uses a fake video of a fake sport to accuse those who report on him as fake….

  25. huxley Says:

    To put on my Scott Adams “Master Persuader” hat, I will say Trump’s tweets function as “pattern interrupts” — a standard Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique to shake up the subject and insert some new programming while the subject is confused.

    The pattern interrupt is powerful stuff and savvy manipulators like Trump usually don’t need to attend a motivational workshop to understand the technique.

    We’ve never seen such harsh public pattern interrupts from an American president. I don’t know how this will work out. If I trusted Trump more I might be OK with it, but I don’t.

    Still, given the full-court-press viciousness of the media and the progressive movement, Trump’s approach has its justifications.

  26. huxley Says:

    Bill: I’m sympathetic. Trump U was where I decided not to board the Trump bus in 2016.

    Trump U was bog-standard fraud IMO. No mystery at all.

  27. Sean Says:

    huxley,

    As a result leftists invented the kafkatrap response, “The fact you deny it and call us racist just proves you are a racist.”

    To which the proper response is, “No, the fact that *you* deny it and call us racist just proves you are a racist.”

    The ultimate aim really should be to so over-use the race card that the very notion is discredited. And it is a discreditable notion, considering it’s so subjective that it can be applied to anyone and anything at any time. “Racist” means anything anyone wants it to mean, the word has no stable content anymore.

    What conservatives should be doing is getting into it right off the bat and accusing liberals of racism all the time, until they’re sick of hearing it and beg to change the subject.

  28. huxley Says:

    Sean: Maybe. I dunno. I’ve become somewhat fatalistic.

    Both sides hope if they find the right argument or the right way to spin, the public swings their way and a happy ending ensues.

    I’m not so sure. I don’t think there’s a magic bullet. I think everyone has their cards to play and afterward we’ll count the chips.

  29. AesopFan Says:

    The point about the Times article is that they are totally ignoring their own breaches of the duty they so movingly describe in the quotes from our esteemed forebears.
    Maybe they ought to think about their position in re this one:
    Power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive. And it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.” — George W. Bush, 2017

    The media never seems to want to call themselves to account, until they get busted (I include the Right as well as the Left, but the Left has all the power, so it is the most corroded).

    https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/07/03/heres-how-to-deal-with-trumps-tweets-stop-caring-about-them-n2349760

    “… But what is annoying are the otherwise useful people on our side who immediately do exactly what the liberals want and latch on to whatever bogus Trump is Awful! meme is dominating the airwaves that day.

    Here’s a crazy idea you might want to think about it. You don’t have to grab a pitchfork and torch every time the liberals start rounding up a mob. You can actually not join in the stupidity.

    I reject the notion that Trump is stepping on his own message when he tweets something obnoxious. There are plenty of days – the vast majority of days – when Trump tweets nothing obnoxious,so name one of those days when the mainstream media transmitted his preferred message. Come on – get out your little calendars and tell me the exact date the media cooperated and transmitted his message.

    There isn’t one.

  30. AesopFan Says:

    This, BTW, is rather frightening.
    I’ve considered the possibility in the past as a “what if” regarding the ease with which evidence submitted in court can be faked.

    https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21724370-generating-convincing-audio-and-video-fake-events-fake-news-you-aint-seen

    “EARLIER this year Françoise Hardy, a French musician, appeared in a YouTube video (see link). She is asked, by a presenter off-screen, why President Donald Trump sent his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to lie about the size of the inauguration crowd. First, Ms Hardy argues. Then she says Mr Spicer “gave alternative facts to that”. It’s all a little odd, not least because Françoise Hardy (pictured), who is now 73, looks only 20, and the voice coming out of her mouth belongs to Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to Mr Trump.
    The video, called “Alternative Face v1.1”, is the work of Mario Klingemann, a German artist. It plays audio from an NBC interview with Ms Conway through the mouth of Ms Hardy’s digital ghost. The video is wobbly and pixelated; a competent visual-effects shop could do much better. But Mr Klingemann did not fiddle with editing software to make it. Instead, he took only a few days to create the clip on a desktop computer using a generative adversarial network (GAN), a type of machine-learning algorithm. His computer spat it out automatically after being force fed old music videos of Ms Hardy. It is a recording of something that never happened.

  31. Kyndyll G Says:

    Essentially, the bottom line is that the MSM declared war on the rightfully elected Republican president from the moment the outcome was clear. There was never a honeymoon period when Trump was treated with a basic level of respect. Even in those moments when Trump does something presidential, you won’t see or hear about it in the MSM. The name-calling, the fiction-writing, the hysteria, has been under way for almost nine unrelenting months. When something gets taken away (eg Russians!!) they just latch onto the next work of fiction without apology, retraction or even second thought. There is no responsibility or integrity or even a pretense of honesty.

    Because I was a journalist, my disrespect and loathing for what MSM has become is particularly acute. They started this sh1tstorm and they are the ones that drive it 24/7. While I never advocate violence, I am perfectly happy to advocate vicious words and merciless mocking, which they richly deserve. I will not defend them, and I will not hold it against anyone, even Trump and his vulgarity, to fire back with equal viciousness.

    The MSM are not the good guys. They have no right to wrap themselves in the noble history of the freedom of the press and pretend to be the victim. Don’t make me puke. It’s a battle they started, that they push every minute of every day, not just against Trump but against every one of us and every one of the other 60+ million people in this country that harbor thoughts that run counter to far-left sensibilities. “News” is now written with 2+2=5 caliber falsehoods as a starting assumption, to which every word is slanted, to set the ideas that weak, stupid minds, taught to accept and never question, are supposed to absorb. You can call it “fake news” if you want; I call it hallucinatory, one-sided, muckraking cr@p that makes the National Enquirer look good.

  32. Barry Meislin Says:

    “The MSM are not the good guys…”

    Absolutely.

    My first response to a news report is that I won’t believe it until it’s confirmed down the road.

    I’ll wait. I won’t believe it right away. In fact, my default is, essentially, not to believe anything they say

    To be sure, they might get some things right.

    The big joke is that after running interference for Obama for eight years, promoting his dishonesty, supporting his lies, they’re suddenly interested in the truth?

    And now, after unabashedly trying to bring down Trump (and disparage anyone who supports the President), the NYT (et al.) cries “media-phobia”!!!!

    Give ’em an Oscar!!

  33. Barry Meislin Says:

    Related (from Victor Davis Hanson)

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/269014/

  34. Bill Says:

    Ok, regarding Russia – and speaking of propaganda – the line from my former party is now a contradictory tangle of “absolutely nothing there” and “even if he colluded, it’s not illegal!”

    Look – It’s pretty clear that the Russians tried to jack with our election. This is a bipartisan big deal. It’s a really big deal. I’m not going to ignore it just to protect Trump. And I’m also not going to ignore it to protect Putin. I have friends who have been forced out of Crimea because Russia invaded the sovereign nation of Ukraine while Obama fiddled (and our own alpha dog tough guy shined Putin’s shoes)

    That being said, I know how to separate “the Russians tried to jack with our election” from “Trump cooperated/collude with them”. Two different things that the fog of Republican propaganda have made one.

    Cards on the table – I don’t think Trump himself collided with or was even aware of collusion with the Russians.

    Some of his underlings? Guys like Manafort? Flynn? Well, I’m not taking that bet.

    The intensity of the “fake news” propaganda (and that’s what it is, and it’s coming directly from Trump, who is a “master persuader” (ugh)) is driven by the risks that the Russia thing could blow up even bigger than it is now.

    The propaganda is designed to not make you doubt the story, but completely doubt and hate the source of the story. And it’s working.

    The media didn’t help by being as slanted and biased as they are.

  35. Sarah Rolph Says:

    “I didn’t see the piece casting the NYT as a victim, but rather a plea for continued honoring of the principle of a free press.”

    I beg to differ. It’s a plea for continued honoring of the NYT. They are wasting space complaining about how little they are appreciated. The piece oozes with blame.

    Look at the way they open the story! It’s America’s birthday but it’s not a good birthday because things are so icky now that people don’t sufficiently respect the NYT and its ilk! That is absurd and disgusting.

    How about a story about how the U.S.A. is the greatest country in the world because we have the first amendment? Instead they use those quotes from our founding fathers to shame the populace, to tell us that we ain’t what we used to be. Because we aren’t deferential enough to the NYT and its ilk there is something wrong with us and something wrong with the country.

    Absolute bullshit. Nobody is suppressing the news. Nobody is keeping the NYT and its ilk from doing great reporting. There is no attack on the first amendment. They are so far removed from reality that they seem to have forgotten there are places where that really happens. The only thing that has happened to the NYT and its ilk is that people no longer trust them to provide straight news. Because of their own low standards and their own decisions to pander. Wrapping themselves in the flag and demanding respect on the basis of the first amendment is a sad spectacle.

  36. Frog Says:

    It is agreed even by Bill the MSM is slanted and biased. But he accuses only Trump of propaganda.
    The difference is what, Bill? That propaganda comes only from the duly elected government?

    Let’s stick to some facts. Which include the NYT stating before the election that the nature of their reporting had to change, in order to take down a candidate other than Lying Hillary.

    The NYT and WaPo are 110% in the Democratic camp, which calls itself the Resistance, and their running dogs call for the murder of POTUS under the guise of art and free speech.

    They claim a great division, but want their oppo to come to them. That is their way of bridging the gap.
    They use the F word in public (see Perez and K. Harris). Dems and their media supporters have vulgarized, coarsened, cheapened public discourse as never before.

    But they whine, “POTUS should represent ALL the people”. Yeah, just like Barack Hussein did, sure.
    If you cave into all that just one little bit, you have lost your way and bought into evil.

  37. Bill Says:

    I’ve stated many times that we are awash in propaganda on both sides. I’m more concerned with it coming from my government (which I can’t get away from) than the competitive press (which I can triangulation and compare).

    Yes, the democrats have cheapened public discourse. That’s bad. Two things can be bad at the same time. Has Trump cheapened public discourse? Taken that to new levels for a POTUS?

    This morning Trump is tweeting out a taunt to the North Korean dictator for firing another missile, and indicating that he is kind of hoping that other countries will do something about it. Read the tweets. And then ask yourself, what on earth is happening here. He’s the POTUS!

  38. Bill Says:

    Frog: “But they whine, “POTUS should represent ALL the people”. Yeah, just like Barack Hussein did, sure.
    If you cave into all that just one little bit, you have lost your way and bought into evil.”

    I’m still trying to parse this. What do you mean?

    If I believe the POTUS is supposed to represent all Americans (an ideal that too many POTUS’s fall short of, agreed) I’ve caved in, lost my way and bought into evil?

    Democrats = evil, Republicans = on the side of the angels?

    How about two flawed parties? I side more with the Republicans because they are *more* in favor (although less each day) of limited government, sanctity of life, family values and morality, fiscal conservatism. They might manage to get to a more federalized rather than nationalized version of health insurance which I think might be better (it’s complex). More originalist Supreme Court justices and federal judges will be a huge win, definitely.

    So I side with the conservatives (not the Trumpists, though). But I don’t believe in the absolute black and white of Democrats vs Republicans. Both parties are flawed. Both need to be held to account. I’ve been de-tribed and so don’t feel the obligation that I used to feel to defend my party and my president at all costs.

    To the content of this post, which I’ve said almost all I can say: I think the press in America is bad not so much out of ideology (though that’s a lot of it) but out of economics. Does fair, balanced, reasoned, detailed and vetted reportage sell? I’d submit to you that it doesn’t which says a lot about us. Gotta get the clicks. So the press has become more polarized and sloppy (though not as much as it’s been in the earlier history of our country). So, yes, let’s keep the pressure on, let’s reform. Hold them to account.

    But what Trump is doing is not holding them to account. He’s weaponizing distrust in a cynical gaslighting of truth so that we’re all too dazed and confused to know what’s true and what’s not. He’s recklessly attacking not just the NYT, CNN, MSNBC and others, who for the most part deserve to be attacked, but the institution of the free press itself. His “cure” is way worse than the disease. This won’t end well if it continues. My opinion.

  39. Oblio Says:

    Bill, you sound like a temperance preacher in the middle of a barroom brawl. It would be best if no one had behaved the way they have for decades. But they have, and the fight is on. We are quickly arriving to the point where the only question that matters is, “Which side are you on?” I don’t like it, but I am persuaded that the stakes have become existential, and that the Left has no way to back down. The escalation of partisan media attacks is part of the same dynamic that is radicalizing the Democratic Party in a leftward direction. They are in the grip of revolutionary hysteria.

  40. Frog Says:

    Oblio:
    Excellent response. Thanks!

  41. Bill Says:

    Ok, so what’s next?

  42. Kyndyll G Says:

    Oblio is 100% right. I want to make it clear that while I don’t agree with you on this point, Bill, I do respect your polite discourse and steadfast principles and wish we still lived in a country where the either mattered. But we don’t.

    Presumably, we are all private, mostly anonymous citizens who still have the luxury of peaceful existence so long as we keep our mouths shut in public about what we believe, but public figures don’t have that luxury. We are dealing with a merciless, metastasizing enemy that doesn’t care about principles, honor, laws, Constitutional rights, “taking the moral high ground” or any of the other quaint artifices by which we govern our lives. When they decide to take the fight to you, you will have a choice of defeating them, or disappearing: they won’t care how honorably you conducted yourself while they destroyed you socially, financially, legally.

    When they lost the 2016 election, the far left, including the MSM, decided it was time to destroy everything to achieve their goals. They are committed to a course of action that is basically a hostile takeover of our country. They have been trying to overthrow the president since the days after the election, in any way possible. There is no compromise: the left accepts only complete capitulation to what they want. They have no graceful retreat from the position they have taken — remember, they consider this an existential fight on their side, too. And always remember, you’re fighting an enemy that thinks you’re a stupid evil troll who deserves to be squashed, not a person with inherent rights, and an enemy that has no principles once the fight begins.

  43. Oblio Says:

    Bill gives excellent advice for a good citizen. I would be ashamed to behave as the President has. But this President needs to be shameless, because shame has become weaponized, along with empathy and compassion. Shamelessness is his superpower. I do not like undignified behavior in a President; but if he doesn’t doesn’t take the fight to his political opponents, who will? Or who will do so in a way that can’t be ignored or silenced?
    What’s next? Focus on essentials, not atmospherics. Getting a SCOTUS that can restrain the judiciary and will not give political air cover to the Administrative state is essential. Rallying potential allies against rogue states is essential. Stimulating growth and ending financial repression (in the form of ZIRP) are essential. Getting to the bottom of the threats to election integrity and tightening election security are essential. If we can make progress on these fronts, the Republic will be in good shape. There will still be challenging issues and political shenanigans. Pay less attention to the noise in the Monkey House.
    Happy Independence Day!

  44. Bill Says:

    Happy Independence Day all!

  45. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “The ultimate aim really should be to so over-use the race card that the very notion is discredited.”

    4chan called, they said, “You’re welcome.”

    It was never about taking power for ourselves. It was about stripping power from our unelected media overlords.

  46. David Says:

    Mark my words, if Conservatives don’t start fighting back, in the not too distant future Racist would probably be the most benign name Leftists would use to refer to conservatives. Very soon they will start calling conservatives Rapists, Murderers, or terrorists. Instead of rallying behind Trump who is the moses for conservatives, yep lets take the stupid high road that had lead conservatives to no where but being called racists and being shut out from the public opinion arena for decades, give me a break.

    If i were hannity i would replay the penis holster speech from Colbert 24/7 to remind everyone which side is truly vulgar.

    the unhinged CNN sponsored and promoted the Trump assassination play and now turn around and accuse Trump of instigating violence bc of that finny video he retweeted, give me a break, these people need to be sent to an asylum for psychosis.

  47. David Says:

    Liberals would have never taken the high road even if they had won. It is in their nature that they do exactly the opposite of what they say. If they are this aggressive and violent after they have lost, imagine if they had won.

  48. huxley Says:

    Bill: If it’s any consolation, I doubt Trump’s abrasive chops are any more transferable than Obama’s “hope and change” shtick.

    Kinda like you’ve got to be Don Rickles to do Don Rickles.

    There seems to be some overall chemistry involved, otherwise the next person trying to work from the Trump playbook will look as hapless as Marco Rubio when making the “small hands” jape in the debates.

    Which I thought was gutsy but failed to stop Trump’s momentum in the least and left Rubio looking silly.

  49. Big Maq Says:

    When it comes to shaping narratives, it is rather powerful to claim victimhood, as Americans are very sympathetic to (perceived) underdogs.

    nytimes does it. trump does it. Heck, many (most?) of the commenters here talk like they are victims.

    But, nowadays, it seems that all these “victims” take some grain of truth and stretch it well beyond its realistic limits.

    It is a rather comfortable psychological space to occupy, as it absolves oneself of any responsibility for the results, and reinforces the so-called “futility” of even trying to work things out / excuses for not having tried.
    .

    At the end of the day, it is rather easy to beat up on the msm.

    They are about the only thing more unpopular than trump.

    The ones who are cheering trump on, or who are excusing him on this, are the ones already sympathetic to trump’s victimhood status in this.

    For the rest of the populace, that over hyped victimhood rings as hollow as these nyt’s (seemingly “one way street”) “concerns” (they seem to forget these when a dem is in power – though, it doesn’t mean they don’t have a point) – or that of the mourning joe’s, or pick your own victim status seeker.
    .

    We are not doing ourselves any favor by supporting the pettiness, the hyperbole, the deflections, and the lies, even if it seems “justified” because “they do it”.

    Like crying wolf too many times, all this erodes credibility to the point that nobody is believed.
    .

    Think about it – on this very day, 4th of July…

    If there is nobody who can be trusted, can there be no better way to lose a democracy?

  50. Big Maq Says:

    Remember, the msm, the journotainers, etc., are all in the business of ratings – they require attention, and resort to the more controversial, shocking, extreme, etc. (not to absolve them of being irresponsible when doing so, but this audience doesn’t need one to pile on for this).

    Does the presidency really need to resort to the same?

    The question we have to ask ourselves is, What DOES this achieve in the face of alternative uses of the very limited “air time” our POTUS has to use?
    .

    Many argue it is to discredit the msm?

    In the eyes of whom?

    Anyone beyond the base, who already support him?

    If trump wasn’t engaged in the same, and discrediting himself, it might be a credible argument.
    .

    There are about four or five good things that have been achieved last week or two.

    Anyone remember them?

    Anyone recall hearing the rationale for them?

    Anyone think they will last under the next dem dominated POTUS / Congress, whenever that may be, if there is no understanding or support built in for them to begin with?
    .

    The sad truth is that “fighting” a juvenile tit for tat game, is a losers game, as it essentially expresses that there is nothing better to fight for, to use our limited resources on, with any “wins” ever gained on such terms being minimal and fleeting, anyway.

  51. huxley Says:

    Jeez. Don Rickles died three months ago. Well, he made it to 90 and I date myself by even mentioning him.

    Truth to tell, I hated Don Rickles’ comedy when I was young. I’ve never liked real or play abuse. I’ve never cared for the “breaking balls” version of male bonding.

    I’ve gotten older and don’t take it as seriously as I once did. For some people it is an interaction style which is not as serious as it sounds.

  52. huxley Says:

    The sad truth is that “fighting” a juvenile tit for tat game, is a losers game, as it essentially expresses that there is nothing better to fight for, to use our limited resources on, with any “wins” ever gained on such terms being minimal and fleeting, anyway.

    Big Maq: Actually tit-for-tat has been recognized in game theory as:

    …a highly effective strategy…for the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. The strategy was first introduced by Anatol Rapoport in Robert Axelrod’s two tournaments, held around 1980. Notably, it was (on both occasions) both the simplest strategy and the most successful in direct competition.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat

    In longer-term human interactions tit-for-tat is a normal and rational way to proceed.

    Trump puts so much spin on the ball that it’s not pure tit-for-tat, so he can’t entirely be defended that way. But I would hardly dismiss his approach as a “loser game.”

  53. Dave Says:

    Somehow lying for ratings are viewed as lesser evil than lying to undo democracy, another typical leftist tactic: when they are caught of any wrongdoings they would admit to a lesser crime right away instead letting the public figure out the more meticulous intents and more serious crime they were committing.

  54. Sean Says:

    Democrats = evil, Republicans = on the side of the angels?

    How about two flawed parties?

    How about:

    Democrats: their scumbags.
    Republicans: our scumbags.

    As in, Yes, DJT is a p*ssy grabber, but you didn’t mind it when Bill was doing it, so it’s okay for us to have a guy who does it.

  55. Sean Says:

    Bill, you sound like a temperance preacher in the middle of a barroom brawl.

    This.

    He’s complaining that our side isn’t more noble and self-restrained, when the other side’s been rioting in the streets. Apparently, Bill would prefer we lose with dignity, like McCain and Romney did, than win with bare knuckles.

  56. Bill Says:

    “As in, Yes, DJT is a p*ssy grabber, but you didn’t mind it when Bill was doing it, so it’s okay for us to have a guy who does”

    Yes I did. Yes, I did mind it when Bill C had oral sex in the oval office with an intern. I was right there with most Republicans condemning it because character matters.

    What I didn’t know at the time was most Republicans were full of cr@p on that topic. The mask has now come off. Now I know. Heck, I’m in the minority of only 19% of white Evangelicals who didn’t think Trump’s p*ssy grabbing was OK. Make America Grope Again….

    “Apparently, Bill would prefer we lose with dignity, like McCain and Romney did, than win with bare knuckles.”

    *yawn*

    My argument, this whole time, is that what Trump is doing is not going to lead to *winning*.

    He might kill limited government conservatism for a generation. Have you considered that?

    I may be wrong. So far I am. We’ll see in the first big test in 2018. Trump is very, very lucky in his opponents.

  57. huxley Says:

    Bill would prefer we lose with dignity, like McCain and Romney did, than win with bare knuckles.

    Sean: The problem here is Trump could easily have lost.

    If that had happened, would we get to taunt Trump supporters that they would prefer to lose without dignity?

  58. Sean Says:

    Yes I did. Yes, I did mind it when Bill C had oral sex in the oval office with an intern. I was right there with most Republicans condemning it because character matters.

    Well, you know? They didn’t mind. They stood by their man the whole time. I don’t see why we should be held to standards they don’t hold themselves to, do you?

    What I didn’t know at the time was most Republicans were full of cr@p on that topic. The mask has now come off. Now I know. Heck, I’m in the minority of only 19% of white Evangelicals who didn’t think Trump’s p*ssy grabbing was OK. Make America Grope Again….

    No, everybody was appalled by it, we just weren’t going to let NBC torpedo us this late in the game. Or would you rather his supporters just stayed home and let Hillary win?

    My argument, this whole time, is that what Trump is doing is not going to lead to *winning*.
    He might kill limited government conservatism for a generation. Have you considered that?

    What is this limited government conservatism of which you speak? I’ve never seen it. What you seem to miss is that his opponents aren’t any more popular than he is.

    I may be wrong. So far I am. We’ll see in the first big test in 2018. Trump is very, very lucky in his opponents.

    He is, but then, so was Hillary and so was Bernie.

  59. Sean Says:

    If that had happened, would we get to taunt Trump supporters that they would prefer to lose without dignity?

    And they would have said, “You’re right, we should have gone with a nice, dignified candidate like Jeb or Ted.”

  60. huxley Says:

    Sean: You are making ze joke, eh?

    That’s not my experience of Trump supporters, the fervent ones anyway.

  61. Sean Says:

    Yes, I was being sarcastic.

    Bill’s “we should have gone with a more respectable candidate” routine has been tried and never led anywhere. Apparently, he doesn’t realize that no Republican candidate will ever be respectable to the ACELA crowd.

  62. Kyndyll G Says:

    “The ones who are cheering trump on, or who are excusing him on this, are the ones already sympathetic to trump’s victimhood status in this.”

    Actually, Maq, it’s because of my dim view of the media that dates back more than 25 years that I find myself forced to feel sympathy for Trump. I can’t think of a real person anywhere, in any recent time, that would have withstood the incessant barrage that he has.

    MSM can go pound sand. They are despicable, no longer in possession of any redeeming value.

  63. Big Maq Says:

    @huxley – I understand the game theory aspect of tit for tat.

    The point is it is JUVENILE tit for tat.

    And, the follow up was a question on if that actually is achieving anything of value vs other uses of trump’s limited “air time”.

    AFAIC, trump’s attention on this is giving the msm way more power from these things than they deserve, providing them more fodder for their narrative, and, importantly, is not building support of any of the good things he says he wants to do.

  64. Big Maq Says:

    @Kyndyll – I have a dim view of the media also.
    http://neoneocon.com/2017/06/29/im-with-sharyl-attkisson-on-this/#comment-2227295

    trump is an escalation. So, is it any wonder it seems like there is a “barrage”?

    Heck, he seems to relish this kind of “fighting” above all else.
    .

    But, that is just it. It really isn’t a “barrage”, but more of the elevation of the “sensational”, the hype.

    If trump can “get away” with obvious lies, then surely more of those in the media with an agenda think it is fair game to also overlook obvious falsehoods and report the sensational and hype it to the max.

    Once we chose a man who “goes there”, we’ve effectively declared “open season”.
    .

    Oh, but “they did it first!”.

    I’m sure we can find folks acting in good faith on both sides who might well think exactly that and believe they are right to behave this way.

    We can go down the rat hole of who acted poorly first, and why doing the same is justified.

    In the end, we are being played by those who want to evoke a strong emotion from us, be it for attention, for advertising dollars, or for political support. They all don’t have our interest at core.

    And, we are eating it up. The media ratings seem to have improved all around. All this is good for business.

    But is it good for what we want implemented?
    .

    Interesting theory that there would be this “barrage” for other GOP candidates.

    Seems to me that we could expect the same treatment as GWB or Romney received – still not “good” or “fair” by any means.

    The media’s basis for their hype would have far less to stand on, the candidates’ character far less an obvious problem nor so easy to impugn, and the candidates’d be far more focused and less prone to baiting, especially on petty things.

    They were also likely to focus on an agenda, and organize and build support for that.

    But, this is all our own speculation and unprovable at the moment, either way.

    The sure thing is that the GOP brand has been tarnished, and it remains to be seen how far that goes and how much time before it takes before it recovers.

    Credibility and Trust.

  65. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Or would you rather his supporters just stayed home and let Hillary win?

    Are you going to follow a god or a human god emperor. That’s the real conflict of loyalty issue.

  66. Ymar Sakar Says:

    They are despicable, no longer in possession of any redeeming value.

    The idea that they ever had possession of redeeming values… is why you should have pitied yourself, not the world.

  67. Kyndyll G Says:

    “The idea that they ever had possession of redeeming values… is why you should have pitied yourself, not the world.”

    Wow, Ymar. Look at you: Out-bitter-cynic’ing an old bitter cynic. I was young once (a young conservative actually) and imagined being a newswriter, finding the facts and presenting them to the public to do my part in creating the educated citizenry essential to the survival of the Republic. When I was an idealistic youth, that was my ideal.

    Yes, journalism let me down, but in the pre-Internet days, MSM still had some worth – slanted news vs. no news.

  68. Bill Says:

    Well, I still stand by what I’ve said here in principle about the importance of a free press and the dangers of propaganda coming from the white house.

    But then CNN has to act like the mob going after and threatening to expose some dumb kid who posted stupid racist and anti-CNN blather on Reddit…

    I hate this particular cultural moment we’re living through . . .

  69. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Out-bitter-cynic’ing an old bitter cynic.

    When all you conservative and ctrl left were losing your heads over the alt right, that was when I kept mine. But now one faction is in the victory phase, so I can increase my counter rate. For 4 years, I rest for 1 year and act mellow. The other 3 years…

    Everything the media told you was a lie. Including Civil War being fought for “state’s rights”, Vietnam, Tet, Iraq, Iraq 2. They made lots of stuff up.

    The “free press” class of humans was also a lie and great deception. 4th estate was even better than that. People here were talking about this exact subject even. It has gotten quite popular.

    The secret they never let out was this: the Founding Fathers was talking about freeing the presses, meaning preventing any HUMAN from tampering or sabotaging a press which got the word out.

  70. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Congratulations on putting a bunch of HUMANS in charge of your presses, mortal livestock. Good job on that one.

  71. Ymar Sakar Says:

    As for no news vs some news, that’s like some Hollywood bullsh vs no Hollywood bullsh. It’s just a little bit of bad stuff, right, it won’t hurt you.

    A father I knew said, “okay, let’s eat some cookies before you go then”. Then the father takes some dogshit and mixes a little bit into the cookies, while the sons watch, and then finishes them and gives it to the sons. The sons say “you know we aren’t going to eat it right”.

    The father replies, “but it’s only a little bit in it”.

    Mark Twain’s infamous quip. If you refuse to read the news, you are uninformed. If you read the news, you are misinformed. He left out the third option.

  72. Ymar Sakar Says:

    He’s complaining that our side isn’t more noble and self-restrained, when the other side’s been rioting in the streets. Apparently, Bill would prefer we lose with dignity, like McCain and Romney did, than win with bare knuckles.

    You can dismiss Bill as a cuck and omega with that line, Sean… but try using that on me.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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