Monthly Archives: January 2015

The New York Times needs to get all of their people off of Facebook.


All of them: the rot has set in. To summarize… Marc Cooper, a journalism professor at USC (Annenberg), asked on Facebook what seems to be a fairly reasonable question: if the New York Times doesn’t think that Islamist fanatics killing a dozen people over the publication of satirical cartoons justifies showing said cartoons… hold on a minute.

Moving on… Marc Cooper asked: if the current number of murdered cartoonists, staffers, and cops weren’t enough to justify the NYT doing its job, then just how many murder victims would be sufficient? – Apparently, this question cooked off the NYT’s executive editor Dean Baquet, because Mr. Baquet went on Facebook to literally call Mr. Cooper an a*shole.

Couple of things about this one:

  • I actually understand – but don’t actually approve – why Baquet called Cooper an a*shole (and why Baquet is trying to justify his unprofessional behavior). Cooper essentially called Baquet a disgrace to his profession and explicitly suggested that his work ethic was more suited for an insurance agency. Given that Dean Baquet is giving an excellent impression of being a petulant man-child generally, I imagine that that last charge in particular stung. And when one’s response to criticism by one’s superiors is to punch the wall, just imagine how one must feel when an outsider does it…
  • Baquet never actually answered Cooper’s question. How many dead people will need to be murdered before the New York Times stops being a pacifier for its readership, and starts telling – and showing them – the things that they need to know?
  • Lastly: this specific flap would not have happened if the New York Times would simply insist that its staff only post to social media (during work hours, and/or in a professional capacity) in a respectful and adult matter. In case anybody hasn’t mentioned it to Dean Baquet: that means you don’t call people a*sholes in your official capacity of NYT’s Executive Editor.

Hope that all helps.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Actually, the NYT should just forbid its workers to go on social media at all. Most companies should. Chaos and Old Night is just a keyboard slip away for most of them.

The post The New York Times needs to get all of their people off of Facebook. appeared first on RedState.

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The Exegetical Left and the Koran

There has been a lot of commentary in the media in the last few days, as there always is when bad things happen at the hands of Islamic terrorists, that the beliefs of the Islamic terrorists are not in the Koran.

These typically follow with quotes from the Koran and the usually white, urban, liberal explaining at the terrorist is just misreading that passage.

I cannot help but notice that these are usually the exact same people who also often write that evangelicals are misreading the Bible on the divinity of Jesus, the exclusivity of the path through him to salvation, gay marriage, the sanctity of life, and how ridiculous it is to believe there was a global, world-wide flood.

It suddenly dawned on me this week that I’m falling victim to the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

In other words, in the same way I would not listen to what a liberal atheist on the op-ed page of the New York Times thinks about my religion, why the hell should I listen to them about Islam?

I should not. And neither should you.

The post The Exegetical Left and the Koran appeared first on RedState.

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Tom Steyer reportedly mulling California Senate run.

Or, as I would put it, Tom Steyer thinking of eliminating middleman by signing up to directly lose a Senate seat: “Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is mulling a run for Bar bara Boxer’s Senate seat, according to a person close to the former hedge fund trader.” …and there’s the trouble, right there for Mr. Steyer: all those adjectives. ‘Billionaire’ is at best, neutral. ‘Environmentalist’ is not really all that helpful, even in California. And ‘hedge fund trader’ is going to be a really fun club with which to beat the prospective candidate.

No, seriously. The last one is problematical for Steyer, and it’s all because of what the Atlantic kind of notes is the paradox of populism:

Populism usually refers to the idea that power should rest in the hands of the little guy, and not in the government or some elite. Public-opinion polls show that this basic form of populism has wide appeal… Much of the appeal is lost—that is, populism becomes much less popular—once leftist themes join the mix. There is little support for policies that look like wealth transfers, taking from the rich and giving to poor, reducing inequality, or making sacrifices for the common good. Large segments of the right and center view these policies as taking from “us” and giving to “them.” That’s why Social Security is so popular, while welfare is not. It’s the reason Medicare is very popular and Medicaid is much less so.

Although it’s not really a paradox: when a Lefty says ‘populism’ what he or she really means is ‘statism.’ The Left has a long history of finding intellectuals and self-selected ‘community organizers’ who selflessly take it upon themselves to dictate what the People truly want, and then providing it to the People to the best of their ability*. If this sounds remarkably like a scenario where power rests in the hands of the ‘government or some elite’… congratulations, you now know why every attempt within living American memory to mainstream a Lefty ‘populist’ movement has gone precisely nowhere. And this will not change any time soon.

Which is all tied into why I’m happy to hear that Tom Steyer is really contemplating running for Senate in California. It’s not so much that I think that he’d lose – if he got into one of the top two slots, his presumed Democratic party affiliation would give him a …read more