#journamalism Feed

Jill Abramson, Formerly of the New York Times, Has Both a Depraved Heart and a Social Intelligence Deficit

At one point, Jill Abramson formerly of the New York Times had something like this—the lead of an written by Jake Malooley—on her computer screen:

Vice cop

She then copied the text from "when..." to the second "...Darfur" and pasted the three sentences it into an editing window in her manuscript:

Vice cop

She then did not:

  1. enclose it in quotation marks,
  2. add "(quoted from Jake Maloolley: https://www.timeout.com/chicago/things-to-do/vice-cop)", or
  3. move it to a "scratch-sources" part of the document.

Instead, she first deleted the word "Jason":

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The learned and much-worth-listening-to Eric Alterman has darkened my day. I do, however, think it is time for everyone whose career was boosted by making the Faustian bargain of catering to Marty Peretz's bigotries, prejudices, and envies to exit the public sphere, quietly. Perhaps I should make an exception for Peter Beinart, who has done some atonement: Martin Peretz (2007): Tyran-a-Soros: "GEORGE SOROS LUNCHED with some reporters on Saturday at Davos. He talked about spending $600 million on civil society projects during the 1990s, then trying to cut back to $300 million, and how this year it will be between $450 and $500 million. His new projects aim, in Floyd Norris’s words, to promote a 'common European foreign policy' (read: an anti-American foreign policy) and also to study the integration (or so he thinks) of Muslims in eleven European cities...

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Josh Marshall: Why the Outlook for Digital Media Behemoths is Worse than You Think: "There are reasons to own a media company that posts consistent if modest profits.... even reasons to own media companies that lose predictable and relatively small amounts of money every year. The problem is that the people who currently own these companies aren’t in it for any of those reasons.... News organization don’t need to be wildly profitable. But the people who own most digital media today are owning for wild profitability or... the credible hope of future wild profitability... to sell the media companies for big returns. That’s a problem...

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Adrian Wooldridge Is... the Vicar of Bray!: Hoisted from the Archives

Hoisted from the Archives: Adrian Wooldridge Is... the Vicar of Bray!:

"The Illustrious House of Hannover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my Faith, and Loyalty,
I never once will faulter,
But George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the Times shou'd alter."

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What Is Going on This Morning Over at "National Review"? Is It Worth Reading? No.

Preview of What Is Going on This Morning Over at National Review Is It Worth Reading No

What is going on this morning over at National Review? Is it worth reading? I read 10 articles, and graded each ops 0-to-10 scale. Total score (out of 100); -45. Beam me up, Scotty. There is no intelligent life there at all:

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Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life I: "'The Collapse of the Dream Palaces' by David Brooks, 2003. The top four places on this list rightfully belong to the Weekly Standard’s voluble case for, and defense of, the Iraq War. And this David Brooks article is unquestionably the most horrifying of them all.... What you may find is that it makes you feel as though a sweaty, middle-aged man is pointing a gun at you and fervently explaining that people like you who wear red shirts are human scum and you, all of you, are about to get what’s coming to you, at last. Then you look down and notice you are not wearing a red shirt, but the man with the gun is. When you’re finished reading the piece, remember that this was published just five months before the New York Times hired David Brooks as an op-ed writer. In other words, the Times saw this gibbering, so disconnected from reality it is functionally insane, and thought: This is exactly who we want explaining the world to our readers...


#shouldread #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation"

These may be the paragraphs written in this millennium that have aged least well: John Micklethwaite and Adrian Woodridge: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation": "Looking at 'Pelosiville' and 'Hastertland', it is not difficult to see why American politics has shifted to the Right. If American politics is a seesaw, it is an unevenly balanced one. Imagine Dennis Hastert at one end of the seesaw and Nancy Pelosi on the other end, and you have some idea about which party is sitting with its legs dangling in the air. In the war between the two Americas, Hastertland has been winning...

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Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation"

These may be the paragraphs written in this millennium that have aged least well: John Micklethwaite and Adrian Woodridge: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation": "Looking at 'Pelosiville' and 'Hastertland', it is not difficult to see why American politics has shifted to the Right. If American politics is a seesaw, it is an unevenly balanced one. Imagine Dennis Hastert at one end of the seesaw and Nancy Pelosi on the other end, and you have some idea about which party is sitting with its legs dangling in the air. In the war between the two Americas, Hastertland has been winning...

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Monday Smackdown Watch: The New York Times and Bret Stephens Continue to Beclown Themselves Bigtime

The New York Times beclouds itself with: Bret Stephens: The Midterm Results Are a Warning to the Democrats: "Stop manning imaginary barricades, and start building real bridges to the other America. This week’s elections were, at most, a very modest rebuke of a president reviled by many of his opponents, this columnist included, as an unprecedented danger to the health of liberal democracy at home and abroad. The American people don’t entirely agree. We might consider listening to them a bit more—and to ourselves somewhat less. A 27-seat swing gave Democrats control of the House.... The Republican gain in the Senate... underscores what a non-wave election this was...

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One interesting thing here is that Jonathan Swift was one of the biggest political liars of his generation—the anti-Whig Breitbart of his day, in some respects: Jonathan Swift (2010): Political Lying: "A political liar... ought to have but a short memory.... The superiority of his genius consists in nothing else but an inexhaustible fund of political lies, which he plentifully distributes every minute he speaks, and by an unparalleled generosity forgets, and consequently contradicts, the next half hour. He never yet considered whether any proposition were true or false, but whether it were convenient for the present minute or company.... You... will find yourself equally deceived whether you believe or not: the only remedy is to suppose, that you have heard some inarticulate sounds, without any meaning at all...

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*Sigh* Yet More Cleaning Up After the Cockroaches: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal

Author: Sigh Yet More Cleaning Up After the Cockroaches: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: "A normal person, reading Jonathan Weisman in the Washington Post on June 8, would conclude (i) that Steven Moore is an economist, and (ii) that Kevin Hassett, Eric Engen, Glenn Hubbard, Greg Mankiw, and many other economists are 'reevaluating' the view that budget deficits are a significant minus for the economy, believe that 'the argument against deficits is more about self-righteous moralism than economics', and broadly agree with Richard Cheney's declaration that 'deficits don't matter'...

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(Late) Monday Smackdown: Why Does Clive Crook Think the EU Has a Duty to Sacrifice the Interests Rights of Its Constituents in Brexit Negotiations?

I did not punish this a year ago because it seemed... intemperate. Now it seems not extreme enough. Perhaps if Clive Crook and his colleagues had dared to say: "The Brexiters are bad people pursuing bad policies. They need to be stopped." Instead he and his ilk talked about how important it was that the U.K . have "a fundamentally new relationship" with the E.U., and that the E.U. should bend over backward to make the Brexiters look as good as possible. Not a good look:

Brexit_Means_Brexit

Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Across my desk this morning comes this. And it makes me ask: Whatever happened to the sharp, thoughtful, and witty Clive Crook of 2000? Brexiteers lied, and said that Brexit would bring £350 million a week to boost Britain's National Health Service, that Britons would still be able to live in Europe at will while kicking undesirable continentals out, and that Briton would have a hard border with the EU while still having a soft border with the Irish Republic. It was always a grift. Clive Crook now seems to want... what? For the EU to work hard to make Brexit as small a catastrophe as possible? For the EU sacrifice the rights and interests of its citizens to promote the careers of a bunch of neo-fascist nativist grifter politicians in Westminster? Crook seems to think that the EU should be negotiating as if this were an "on what terms will Britain remain in the EU?" deal. But Brexit means Brexit: Clive Crook: The Harder Brexit Gets, the More Necessary It Seems: "The U.K. has been an ill-fitting member of the EU all along...

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Monday Smackdown: What Tobin Harshaw of the New York Times Wants to Be Remembered For: "I Am Not Authorized to Explain Why I Am Not Authorized..."

Clowns (ICP)

Monday Smackdown: What Tobin Harshaw of the New York Times claims he wants to be remembered for. From 2007. No quality control at the New York Times whatsoever. Let us take him at his word, and remember him for this:

Hoisted from 2007: As you may recall, last Friday there was a lot of discussion about revisions to the GISS global warming series of estimated average temperatures in the United States—a revision that changed the hottest year to date in the U.S. from 1998 (which in the old data was 1/100 of a degree hotter than 1934) to 1934 (which in the new data is 2/100 of a degree hotter than 1998) https://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/08/why-oh-why-ca-1.html. One surprising thing was that the New York Times's Opinionator weblog https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/... went way overboard on the story:

Among global warming Cassandras, the fact that 1998 was the “hottest year on record” has always been an article of faith.... James Hansen, the climate scientist who has long accused the Bush administration of trying to “silence” him.... [A] Y2K bug played havoc with some of the numbers.... Michael Ashe... explains.... "The changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as recordbreaking) moves to second place.... [T]he effect on the U.S. global warming propaganda machine could be huge...

This surprised me: "effect... huge," "havoc," the scare quotes around "silence," "data meltdown," et cetera seemed very out of place for a three-one-hundredths of a degree shift--either complete mendacity or total innumeracy, or both.... The Opinionato... Tobin Harshaw, wh... [had] also served as an enthusiastic stenographer for last Friday's Stupidest Man Alive nominee, Tom Nugent of National Review, who slipped a decimal points and wrote a totally off-the-rails piece... overestimating how much money such a tax might raise by a factor of ten. It seemed that Harshaw had failed to do the slightest amount of quantitative due diligence on either story before he committed fingers to keyboard and thus electrons to the nöosphere.... So I called Toby Harshaw.... It seems to me that he and the New York Times have much bigger problems than simple innumeracy:

Brad DeLong: Good afternoon. I'm Brad DeLong, an economics professor calling from UC Berkeley. I read your Cassandra post about global warming data revisions, and had a couple of questions. Can you help me out?

Tobin Harshaw: Certainly.

Brad DeLong: Did you eyeball the data--either in a graph or a table--before you wrote your "Cassandra" post about GISS global warming data revisions?

Tobin Harshaw: Are you writing something about this?

Brad DeLong: I will be, yes.

Tobin Harshaw: Then no, I cannot speak to you. You will have to speak to our public relations department.

Brad DeLong: Why won't you talk to me?

Tobin Harshaw: Because I am not authorized to speak to the press.

Brad DeLong: Because?

Tobin Harshaw: Because that is our policy. Our policy is that editorial staff are not allowed to speak to the press.

Brad DeLong: Seriously? Why is that your policy?

Tobin Harshaw: I am not authorized.

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Big plans for his country. Involving bonesaws. torture. Murder. Dismemberment. Is there any intellectual and moral crime against journalism a New York Times employee can commit that will get him bounced? It appears not: Tom Friedman: Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last: "The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today is in Saudi Arabia... its own Arab Spring... led from the top down by the country’s 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.... If it succeeds, it will not only change the character of Saudi Arabia but the tone and tenor of Islam across the globe. Only a fool would predict its success—but only a fool would not root for it...

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Shame on the Editors of Vanity Fair!: Highlighted/Hoisted from Two Years Ago

Clowns (ICP)

Comment/Hoisted/Monday Vanity Fair Smackdown: RW: http://www.bradford-delong.com/2016/08/comment-of-the-day-_shame-on-the-editors-of-vanity-fair_-rw-its-been-a-long-time-many-years-in-fact-s.html: : Shame on the editors of Vanity Fair: RW: "It's been a long time, many years in fact...

...but I do seem to recall a version of Michael Kinsley capable of writing cogent and, yes, even generous pieces; his long descent into incoherent, petty sniping has not been pretty.

And: Low-Tech Cyclist: "Kinsley is right that "all is not data" and "data will only take you so far", but...

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Ben Smith disputes the Sokratic doctrine that "nobody does evil knowingly" by pointing to himself as a counterexample. Yet, somehow, he ends his piece by quoting an—anonymous—source: “You almost long for the days when it was a game.” It never was a game, Ben. Policy differences were always large and important. Trying to gain energy to further empower parasitic plutocracy from stoking the ethno-cultural fears of easily-grifted morons has been a major story in American politics since at least the Republican Party's Goldwater turn—and Ben Smith and company worked hard to make sure that that story was always outshouted by horse-race trivialities: Ben Smith: I Helped Create Insider Political Journalism. Now It's Time For It To Go Away: "My colleague Jonathan Martin’s and my blogs were actually illustrated with on-the-nose pen-and-ink caricatures of ourselves sitting on a wooden fence watching a literal horse race...

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Comment of the Day I have noticed this a lot over the past fifteen years. Journalists are very, very bad at citing their sources—it is one minor reason why they have a low reputation. That and their overaddiction to beat sweeteners, when not playing opinions-of-the-shape-of-the-earth-differ: Kansas Jack: The New York Times Has a Serious Quality Control Problem: "Has anyone else noticed that interesting, novel observations at Vox.com, especially by Matt Yglesias, come out a week later, slightly altered in the NYT? Is it just me who thinks that?...

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The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler attacks Beto O'Rourke. There is something deeply mentally, morally, and psychologically wrong here—with Glenn Kessler, with his bosses, and with his colleagues. In a Washington Post with good journalists, there would be a substantial number of resignations today.

Kessler's major point appear to be that Black teenage boys aren't children, and that you are armed and dangerous if you have a toy gun: Glenn Kessler: Beto O’Rourke’s claims on African Americans and police shootings: "If you drill down and look at the data for unarmed black children killed by police, there is virtually no support for the idea that this happens at a frightening level...

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The New York Times has a very, very serious quality control problem: Lawrence Douglas and Alexander George (2018-08-23): If Trump shot Michael Cohen in broad daylight, here's what Republicans would say: "House speaker Paul Ryan: 'If these reports are true–I emphasize IF–then yes, I’m very concerned. I don’t think the president should be killing people in broad daylight in front of Tiffany’s. But I’m not a legal expert, I could be wrong.'...

Senator Mitch McConnell: “People die every day in this country. I’m not going to let myself get sidetracked by these distractions”...

Tom Friedman (2018-08-28): What if Trump Did Actually Shoot Someone on Fifth Avenue?: "House Speaker Paul Ryan said, 'We will need more information than is available at this point'...

...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said through pursed lips that he “was not going to comment on every up and down with this president”...

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Wise to people who want to be journalists in our current age: (1) Don't expect backup from your peers. (2) rather, the reverse. (3) Falsehood comes faster than you can report it, let alone debunk it: Alexey Kovalev: A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media: "Congratulations, US media! You’ve just covered your first press conference of an authoritarian leader with a massive ego and a deep disdain for your trade and everything you hold dear. We in Russia have been doing it for 12 years now—with a short hiatus when our leader wasn’t technically our leader—so quite a few things during Donald Trump’s press conference rang a bell. Not just mine, in fact—read this excellent round-up in The Moscow Times..."

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Should Kansas's (and Missouri's) Future Be "a Lot More Like Texas"?: Hoisted from the Archives

Clowns (ICP)

Hoisted from them Archives: Should Kansas's (and Missouri's) Future Be "a Lot More Like Texas"?: That is one of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's constant applause lines—that he wants Kansas to be a lot less like California and a lot more like Texas.And so I was reading Bryan Burrough on Erica Grieder: ‘Big, Hot, Cheap and Right’: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas.... Burrough applaud's Erica Grieder's "counter[ing] much of this silliness" that "Texas is corrupt, callous, racist, theocratic, stupid, belligerent, and most of all, dangerous.” The problem is that three paragraphs later Burrough is writing of how:

Texas’s laissez-faire mix of weak government, low taxes and scant regulations is deeply rooted in its 1876 Constitution, which was an attempt to vehemently dismantle an oppressive post-Civil War government of Radical Reconstructionists…

What was most "oppressive" about the Radical Reconstructionists? It was, of course, that they thought African-Americans should vote, and enabled them to do so.

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Am I the only one who remembers journamalist Erica Grieder's carrying water for Texas Governor Greg Abbott's tinfoil hat fear of Operation Jade Helm?: "Greg Abbott’s announcement... that he would direct the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm... has been widely derided as political pandering, stoking paranoia, wasting state resources, and making Texas look silly. Way harsh, guys..." Bending over backward to claim tinfoil hat behavior is not tinfoil hat behavior is never "balance", guys: Cassandra Pollock and Alex Samuels: Hysteria Over Jade Helm Exercise in Texas Was Fueled by Russians, Former CIA Director Says: "Gov. Greg Abbott's decision in 2015 to ask the Texas State Guard to monitor a federal military exercise.... A former CIA director said Wednesday that the move emboldened Russians to next target elections...

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Three cheers for the Verge, willing to tell it like it is and try to be a trustworthy information intermediary: T.C. Sottek et al.: Newsrooms must stand up to targeted campaigns of harassment: "A widespread campaign of harassment has targeted Verge reporter Sarah Jeong for a number of tweets she wrote years ago. Many of those now reacting to these tweets have intentionally taken them out of context...

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(Early) Monday Smackdown: New York Magazine Has a Huge Quality Control Problem with Andrew Sullivan. It Needs to Fix It...

Clowns (ICP)

Quo usque tandem abutere, Newyorkmagina, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos1 eludet? Quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?Andrew Sullivan (2014-12-22): Excuse Me, Mr Coates: "Dish readers know how comfortable I found myself in that liberal tradition...

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Monday Smackdown: Who Wants Charles Murray to Speak on Their Campus, and Why?

I have a question for Stanford's Michael @McFaul ...

We know that "If the heritability of IQ were 0.5 and the degree of assortation in mating, m, were 0.2 (both reasonable, if only ballpark estimates), and if the genetic inheritance of IQ were the only mechanism accounting for intergenerational income transmission, then the intergenerational correlation of lifetime incomes would be 0.01..." (see Bowles and Giants (2002)). That is only two percent the observed intergenerational correlation—49/50 of the intergenerational transmission of status in America comes from other causes.

Why, then, is it important to invite to your campus to speak someone whose big thing is the intergenerational transmission of intelligence through genes, and racial differences thereof? And if one were going to invite to your campus to speak someone, etc., why would you pick somebody who likes to burn crosses? Wouldn't a healthier approach be to regard such a person—who focuses on the intergenerational transmission of intelligence through genes, harps on genetic roots of differences between "races", and likes to burn crosses—as we regard those who know a little too much about the muzzle velocities of the main cannon of the various models of the Nazi Armored Battlewagon Version 4?: Jonathan Marks: Who wants Charles Murray to speak, and why?: "The Bell Curve cited literature from Mankind Quarterly, which no mainstream scholar cites, because it is an unscholarly racist journal... http://anthropomics2.blogspot.com/2017/04/who-wants-charles-murray-to-speak-and.html

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Public Sphere/Journamalism: Some Fairly Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

  • I think that this is a very important thing to remember. The Fed View—and the zero-marginal-product workers view—and a lot of other pessimistic views about the economy's non-inflationary speed limit for recovery and growth were totally, catastrophically wrong over the past decade. The people who strongly advocated for such views thus had a badly-flawed Vision of the Cosmic All. Thus I think there is no reason to put a weight higher than zero on their current views of how the world works—unless they have publicly and substantially done the work to mark their beliefs to market. Certainly the Federal Reserve has not yet done so: Timothy B. Lee: "Every additional month of strong employment growth and weak wage growth makes people who said we were near full employment in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 look wronger..."

  • Kevin Drum: We Need to Figure Out How to Fight Weaponized Disinformation: "I’ve been blogging for 15 years, and there’s never been a day when I wanted to stop...

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Hoisted from the 2007 Archives: Dilemmas of Economists in Government

Max Sawicky on the Dilemmas of Economists in High Government Office http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/max-sawicky-on-.html: Max Sawicky writes about the dilemmas of economists in government.

These dilemmas were very, very soft indeed in the Clinton administration. (Here's where I state that the "200,000 net jobs projected from NAFTA" number was mine: we took an estimate of overall economic efficiency gains from tariff reductions and an employment elasticity with respect to the real wage from the Labor Department, and estimated that in the long run stable-inflation employment would grow by 0.14 percent as a result of the deal. I think it was the right answer to the question being asked by the entire Washington journamalistic community in 1993; I don't think that was the right question for the public sphere to have been asking.) Indeed, the dilemmas were close to nonexistent, and limited to not getting out your megaphone and saying "that's wrong!" when one of your political masters said somthing wrong in public.

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David Brooks explicitly practicing identity politics. What's odd is that Jews are almost always first on the block to be excluded from "Western Europe" whenever someone embarks on the journey that leads to ultimately saying that the only true civilization bearers are the Anglo-Saxons (or the Saxon-Saxons, depending), with the wogs starting at either Calais or Liege, depending. Does he even know that the only sovereigns who made significant outreach to rescue the Sephardim expelled from Spain was named Bayezid II Osmanli?: Yastreblyansky: Identity politics with David Brooks: The wolves are in the henhouse: "David Brooks's hot take on the Trump-Putin summit ('The Murder-Suicide of the West') was that it was like when C.S. Lewis's mother died, not that he was there, it was in 1908, but he's read about it, and it's pretty sad...

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Monday Smackdown: Epistemic Intellectual Bankruptcy Edition: Paul Krugman/Matt O'Brien/Niall Ferguson

I think Paul Krugman puts his finger on the decline of Niall Ferguson here: Paul Krugman: _"What we have here is an example of a phenomenon I've seen a number of times: the doom loop of hackery...

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Hoisted/Smackdown: Yes, Noam Chomsky Is a Liar. Why Do You Ask?

Hoisted/Smackdown: On the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia...: May 31, 2006: Having made the mistake of having joked about Noam Chomsky and so provoked a Chomskyite troll eruption that was painful to clean out, I believe that I have to make my position clear:

Noam Chomsky is a liar.

For example, Noam Chomsky says:

On the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Danilo Mandic: Director of Communications [for Clinton Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott], John Norris.... [T]ake a look on John Norris's book and what he says is that the real purpose of the war had nothing to do with concern for Kosovar Albanians. It was because Serbia was not carrying out the required social and economic reforms, meaning it was the last corner of Europe which had not subordinated itself to the US-run neoliberal programs, so therefore it had to be eliminated. That's from the highest level...

John Norris simply does not say what Chomsky says Norris says. "Reform[ing] their economies, mitigat[ing] ethnic tensions, and broaden[ing] civil society" is simply not the same thing as "subordinat[ing] itself to the US-run neoliberal programs". NATO moved against Milosevic because he had proceeded "from mass murder to mass murder", not because Serbia was evidence that economic prosperity was attainable by doing the opposite of what the U.S. recommended

Here's the passage from John Norris (2005), Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo (New York: Praeger), that Chomsky is misciting, p. xxii ff.:

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Blaming the Pollyannaish fecklessness of the Bank of England on the feckless indolence of Britain's reporters: Simon Wren-Lewis: How UK deficit hysteria began: "Monetary policy ran out of reliable levers to manage the economy. However, journalists wouldn’t know that from the Bank of England, who tended to talk as if Quantitative Easing was a close substitute to interest rates as a monetary policy instrument...

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I, on Behalf of the Economists Thinking Correct Economic Thought, Plead Not Guilty: Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: We—at least my fraction of economists—plead “not guilty” to the indictment:

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Hoisted/Smackdown: FLASH: Clive Crook and Jack Shafer Upset Because People Informing People Are Claiming to Be Journalists

Smackdown

I was performing one of my standard rants last week at lunch: about how—with very honorable but notably rare exceptions—you should view everything you see on a video screen or read in any medium from somebody paid to be a "journalist" through a hermeneutics of grave suspicion: Assume, unless and until demonstrated otherwise, that they are working for, in this order: (1) their sources, (2) their editors, (3) their advertisers, and (4) for you not at all—they simply are not interested in being a trustworthy information intermediary informing you about the world.

I got some pushback. So it is time to hoist this again from 2005. In one short week, pieces crossed my desk from both Jack Shafer and Clive Crook. Both made it very clear that, in their minds, informing people about the world is positively unprofessional for a journalist (that is the point of Shafer's attack on Klein and Yglesias) or simply not a relevant consideration (that is the point of Crook's relative exaltation of Cramer and dissing of Stewart):

FLASH: Monday Smackdown Clive Crook and Jack Shafer Upset Because People Informing People Are Claiming to Be Journalists: Hoisted from 2015: http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/02/flash-clive-crook-and-jack-shafer-upset-because-john-stewart-and-ezra-klein-pretty-sure-earth-is-not-flat.html "Two things that crossed my desk last week that offend the shape of reality itself, and really do deserve to be smacked down.

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Tim Noah (2007): Has Jonah Goldberg gone soft on Hillary?: Hoisted from the Internet from Eleven Years Ago/Weekend Reading

Timothy Noah (2007): Has Jonah Goldberg gone soft on Hillary?: "Her name's been removed from his forthcoming book's subtitle...

Three months ago, I speculated that Jonah Goldberg's forthcoming book, then titled Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation From Mussolini to Hillary Clinton, was the victim of a swift and violent paradigm shift. The 2006 elections and the right's critical drubbing of Dinesh D'Souza's The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11--which proposed a strategic alliance between Muslim theocrats and the American right against the degenerate American left—had rendered conservatism's lunatic fringe suddenly unfashionable. This couldn't, I thought, be good news for a book that portrayed Hillary Clinton as a goose-stepping brownshirt.

One hint that Doubleday might be feeling nervous was that the book's publication date, originally planned for 2005, had been delayed repeatedly, and had just been delayed once more, to Dec. 26, 2007. Goldberg's publisher, Adam Bellow, insisted that the book's delays were attributable entirely to the extreme care being taken to get the history just right, and Goldberg himself, after stating on National Review's online chat-fest "The Corner" that he found me to be "a bore and a fairly nasty and humorless fellow," said the book was delayed only because "it's not done yet." My "assertion that the book's delayed for marketing reasons would be a flat-out lie if it weren't flat-out conjecture," Goldberg thundered.

What Bellow and Goldberg said didn't strike me as necessarily inconsistent with what I'd written. I could well envision that the extreme care to which Bellow referred might include frantic tweaking of tone to make Goldberg sound less like Ann Coulter and more like David Brooks. But whatever the reason for the delay, the marketing plan for Goldberg's book has been altered since I last wrote, and the direction has been away from Coulterism. A book's subtitle is part of a book's marketing, is it not? Ladies and gentlemen, the subtitle has been changed. Gone is The Totalitarian Temptation From Mussolini to Hillary Clinton. Now the subtitle is The Totalitarian Temptation From Hegel to Whole Foods. This is undeniably kinder, gentler, and less political. But it isn't necessarily more truthful.

As liberal blogger Ezra Klein points out, John Mackey, founder and chief executive of Whole Foods, is a libertarian. In a recent speech, Mackey said, "The Left's goal remains either to cripple or to destroy capitalism." That doesn't sound very liberal to me. Perhaps Goldberg has found a way to write around Mackey's inconvenient politics. Or perhaps he'll have to go back to the drawing board. One option might be for Goldberg to change the title to The Road to Serfdom, which is what F.A. Hayek called this book when he published it 50-odd years ago. Goldberg should know, though, that a cartoon version of Hayek's most famous work is already in circulation.


Carbon Blogging: Robert J. Samuelson Is Incompetent/The Washington Post Is a Bad Paper: Monday Smackdown/Hoisted

Preview of Carbon Blogging Robert J Samuelson Is Incompetent The Washington Post Is a Bad Paper Monday Smackdown Hoisted

That the Washington Post still gives Robert J. Samuelson a platform is a shameful thing. That it ever gave Robert J. Samuelson a platform is a bad thing: Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: In That Case... Plant the Trees This Afternoon!: Mark Thoma does an evil deed by telling me that somebody should take note of Robert Samuelson. And he's right: somebody should. But why does it have to be me?

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From Atrios: What A Strange Publication: "I really have a had time understanding the people who work at the NYT..."

He is noting what Vivian Wang and her editors say this morning:

  1. We are not very good at our jobs.
  2. "Millenials" and "females" are not proper audiences for a "national publication".

Vivian Wang: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A 28-Year-Old Democratic Giant Slayer: "Before Tuesday’s victory catapulted her to the front of the political conversation, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez seemed to find readier audiences with outlets such as Elite Daily, Mic or Refinery29—websites most often associated with millennial and female audiences—than with national publications..."

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Lee McIntyre: "Cognitive scientists recommend using a "truth sandwich" to report lies: : ay the truth, then show the liar telling the lie, then fact check it. Otherwise the well known 'repetition effect' allows the news media to be used to amplify lies..."

Brian Stelter: "Journalists, 'you need to face something squarely: You're confronted with radical hacking of your own systems of operation. This requires radical rethinking of those systems' --@DanGillmor" https://medium.com/@dangillmor/dear-journalists-stop-letting-liars-use-your-platforms-as-loudspeakers-cc64c4024eeb


#shouldread

Is it worse than back in the day when Eduardo Porter was writing stories that counterposed you and Donald Luskin as equally authoritative figures equally likely to be right about the economy, or when Mickey Kaus had a career saying you were too shrill, and whether Bush was lying about his tax cuts was irrelevant to the debate in the public sphere? Paul Krugman: "I'm finding it really painful to read the IG report stuff. FBI malpractice, combined with major media malpractice, got us Trump. This was obvious in real time. And many media organizations are still doing it in their reporting today..." https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1007595490198937601

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