Praise for the Grey Lady

We slag The New York Times a lot on this blog, and rightly so. Their 2016 election coverage was catastrophically bad, and their refusal to engage in any meaningful post-election introspection remains unforgivable.

But The Times did two things today that deserve praise. They published a column by Lindy West that vaporizes the myth of Ivanka Trump’s moderating influence on her heinous father’s administration. A choice morsel:

Ivanka Trump is never going to come through. Coming through isn’t her function. She is more a logo than a person, a scarecrow stuffed with branding, an heiress-turned-model-turned-multimillionaire’s-wife playacting as an authority on the challenges facing working women so that she can sell more pastel sheath dresses.

You’ll enjoy the whole thing if you’re as fed up as I am with the puke-inducing worship and unearned trust placed in that vapid dilettante.

The Times also announced the hire of Michelle Goldberg, formerly of Slate, as a columnist. Slate has its issues too (though it has improved lately, IMO), but Goldberg has long been a bright spot. Here’s an excerpt from a column she wrote this summer that perfectly sums up how my sister marchers and I feel about the Trump administration:

I’m not sure that even well-intentioned men understand how relentlessly degrading this presidency is for many women. Having a man who does not recognize the humanity of more than half the population in a position of such power is a daily insult; it never really goes away.

I think I’ve shared that excerpt here before, but it bears repeating — QFT. Also, it’s high time The Times gave poor Gail Collins some backup on its male-dominated columnist roster. (MoDo doesn’t count.) I’m not renewing my subscription, but credit where credit is due.

Open thread!

134 replies
  1. 1

    Meanwhile, their political news coverage is all slobbery over T, lead by lap dog Haberman.

  2. 2
    Jeffro says:

    She is more a logo than a person, a scarecrow stuffed with branding, an heiress-turned-model-turned-multimillionaire’s-wife playacting as an authority on the challenges facing working women so that she can sell more pastel sheath dresses.

    Someone please slip that one past Chief of Staff Kelly and into Trumpov’s tiny little hands…maybe Orangemandias will stroke out while tweet-raging at the NYT…

  3. 3
    Barbara says:

    The Lindy West piece cuts like a razor blade. It underscores my belief that the whole family, Ivanka included, suffers from familial Stockholm Syndrome. They are all captives of their father, though obviously, at this point they are willing captives. Melania is probably the most self-aware, but still goes along with the insanity when she needs to.

  4. 4
    Quinerly says:

    adore Michelle Goldberg!

  5. 5
    jl says:

    I think Trump has trouble understanding the humanity of the population, period. He just has about a third of it conned into thinking they are part of his club. They are not. Trump is in Trump’s club. Period.

  6. 6
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Goldberg is transphobic af.

  7. 7
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Here’s a link
    http://juliaserano.blogspot.co.....k.html?m=1

  8. 8
    Dave says:

    Krugman and Collins are the only reason I ever even look at the NYTimes front page. I subscribed to every paywall model they ever had from the beginning. Cancelled a couple of years ago. Never again.

  9. 9
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    I don’t get the NYT hate. They’re not perfect, of course, but they’re among the best news sources out there

    Seriously, what’s better than the NYT, WAPO, CSM and WSJ?

    I read a blogs, but they’re almost exclusively commentary, even TPM still is mostly an aggregator.

  10. 10
    trollhattan says:

    @Barbara:
    Stockholm Syndrome is probably the kindest possible explanation. Trump’s spawn all seem eager participants, particularly Uday and Qusay, perhaps not Tiffany.

  11. 11
    chris says:

    @Quinerly: Hey, was wondering where you were. Thought maybe you’d gone looking for cornerstone ;-)

    Yay for Goldberg. But you know these guys and their obsessive need for balance, my fear is they’ll hire Jonah Goldberg away from the LAT. Balance, right?

  12. 12
    different-church-lady says:

    @chris:

    Yay for Goldberg. But you know these guys and their obsessive need for balance, my fear is they’ll hire Jonah Goldberg away from the LAT. Balance, right?

    NYT: “Wait, we DIDN’T hire Jonah Goldberg just now?”

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    …and WSJ?

    Nice try.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Jeffro:

    maybe Orangemandias will stroke out while tweet-raging at the NYT…

    We can only hope. In the meantime, that’s some choice writing from Ms. West.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    hilts says:

    @jl:

    I think Trump has trouble understanding the humanity of the population,

    What John Perry Barlow once observed about Dick Cheney, “he has an autistic indifference to the feelings of other individuals”, can just as easily be said about Donald Trumpenstein”

    @Dave:
    What about Charles Blow?

  18. 18

    Related: I think butthurt and nihilism are punditry’s most serious cardinal sins.

  19. 19
    sherparick says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: I actually prefer the Guardian and McClatchey for straight news. The only reason I subscribe is Krugman and I have told them that repeatedly. The Eric Prince column was probably the last straw and their burying environmental and climate change coverage five years ago, pretty much barring it from the political page, makes the paper not of record. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11.....times.html

    If you can’t afford both a NY Times or Guardian subscription, go with the Guardian .https://membership.theguardian.com/us/supporter?INTCMP=DOTCOM_HEADER_BECOMEMEMBER_US

  20. 20

    @different-church-lady: WSJ used to have decent news coverage.

  21. 21
    randy khan says:

    Local news radio is reporting there’s a deal on a three-month continuing resolution and debt-limit increase, plus Harvey funding. Apparently the Dems are getting what they wanted and Congressional Republicans are not because Trump sided with the Dems. (Go figure.) Now we’ll see if the House Republican caucus will go along.

  22. 22
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Their general ews and business coverage is excellent

    Their editorial page is another matter but it actually seems a bit less nutty and strident now than it was in the pre-Murdoch era.

  23. 23
    Quinerly says:

    @chris:
    been busy working on a construction project for an Air BnB and wrapping up stuff for a road trip with Poco to NC coast in October. No CS sightings.

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    I come not to praise the Gray Lady, but to bury her.

  25. 25
    Barbara says:

    @trollhattan: I agree that at no point have they shown insight into how compromised they are by enabling their father and piggybacking off of his name. It’s just that once upon a time they were children, and not at fault for their father’s narcissism. Then they became adults.

  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:

    @randy khan:

    Apparently the Dems are getting what they wanted and Congressional Republicans are not because Trump sided with the Dems. (Go figure.) Now we’ll see if the House Republican caucus will go along.

    Not a deal set in stone. Paul Ryan would have to break the molester’s rule about bringing only Republican approved measures up for a vote.

  27. 27
    randy khan says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    If the article linked from your link is the worst example, I have a hard time figuring out why she’s supposed to be transphobic.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    J R in WV says:

    I think that someone in a position to issue orders to NYT staff is devoted to destroying AMerican Democracy. Perhaps owner of the largest block of stock, Carlos Slim. Perhaps the COMINTERN, whatever it’s current acronym is in the Kleptrocracy of Russia today.

    But when they adjust coverage, edit headlines, pla ce stories within the paper/web site, assign reportage, they have a purpose, and it isn’t to inform the American public of facts, it is to manipulate the American public into believing falsehoods, voting against our own interests, dumbing down the bulk of the voter population.

    Probably not Pinch personally, maybe not a person actually publically associated with the news operation at all. But someone, or some group, is playing the NYT like a fiddle, using it for un-American purposes. In parallel with Fox News, NBC and it’s subsidiaries, many web news sites, all to destroy the polity of America, and seriously weaken our ability to maintain the standard of living that makes us the envy of most of the world. All of it outside the EU, really.

    Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s just seeking wealth aggregation by those already rich beyond the dreams of Midas. Maybe I’m just stressed by Trump’s reign?

  30. 30
    mai naem mobile says:

    So you’re saying Ivanka got her self esteem punctured bigly today by the NYTimes? Not so Sad!

  31. 31
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @randy khan:
    That article was just kind of weird. The author published their personal experiences in a book but asked that quotes be removed because they didn’t want to see it in a nationally distributed magazine.

    Wha?

  32. 32
    trollhattan says:

    @Barbara:
    Am genuinely curious as to whether he had any meaningful role in their upbringing, or if the mother presented his baby and the response was, “Nice, now go raise the thing I have to play golf and cut some deals.”

    Except Ivanka, who he seems to have become very involved with around ten or so.

  33. 33
    randy khan says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Yeah. Like I said, we have to see if the House Republican caucus will go along, and part of that is whether Ryan can either get 218 Republican votes or be willing to vitiate the Boehner Amendment to the Hastert Rule.

  34. 34
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @J R in WV:

    So what do you recommend in dailies or news sites?

    (I already read the mostly horrible Charleston Gazette/Daily Mail!)

  35. 35
    randy khan says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    I was talking about the Goldberg article linked from the blog post, the one on M to F transitioned people who say they’re not women.

  36. 36

    @randy khan: I noticed that the link’s links all discuss a (terrible) New Yorker piece that was overly sympathetic to TERF arguments. Doing that sort of thing once might be forgivable, but the piece directly discussed is from December 2015 — even if she’s improved considerably on this front, undermining trans acceptance by elevating said (TERF-friendly) sentiments is fair game.

    (am a straight cis-guy, btw)

  37. 37
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    Oh sorry I was talking about the little linked article in the Advocate that supposedly summarized Goldberg’s sins.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @randy khan: We know he’s not getting 218 Republican votes.

  39. 39

    @J R in WV: I think this is pretty far-fetched. There are many far simpler explanations for bad coverage of domestic politics.

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    @J R in WV:

    Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s just seeking wealth aggregation by those already rich beyond the dreams of Midas. Maybe I’m just stressed by Trump’s reign?

    In practical terms, how could we tell the difference?

  41. 41

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): it looked to me like she did it sort of cluelessly, IMO that wouldn’t elevate it to “transphobic AF”

  42. 42
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    There are many far simpler explanations for bad coverage of domestic politics.

    “But her emails” was beyond bad coverage. I’m still trying to come up with something to explain it that doesn’t involve insanity.

  43. 43

    @TenguPhule: but every single outlet did it. The simplest explanation is a successful 30-year republican propaganda campaign.

  44. 44

    @Major Major Major Major: Has she improved on trans rights since then, however? I have a feeling that the reception still would’ve been (entirely justifiably) negative, but not as negative had she not done the New Yorker piece discussed in said post.

  45. 45
    randy khan says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    I guess I would disagree that the Slate article “undermin[es] trans acceptance by elevating said (TERF-friendly) sentiments.” Among many other things, it specifically points to the problems created by those views, and it quotes people who disagree quite sympathetically, not to mention that there’s what reads like a little dig at the people who are the subject of the article noting that there do not appear to be any F to M trans people arguing that they are not men. And, really, the entire article is pretty clearly sympathetic to the trans community as a whole. As I said, if this is supposed to be evidence of transphobia, it’s just hard for me to buy the argument.

  46. 46

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): the CJR criticism of her New Yorker article leans heavily on the fact that it was misguided as a New Yorker article, and that the publication had an obligation to write a more informative, less Haberman-esque “just some facts that I found” article. Now, I can’t really tell you if she fixed some of the issues they noted for her Slate article the next year or not, but I can tell you that Slate is not the New Yorker.

    ETA also a piece or two that might not contextualize a fairly obscure topic correctly for the layperson != bigotry

  47. 47
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I guess I won’t be reading Michelle Goldberg anymore. FTFNYT.

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Barbara:

    There’s a really classic dynamic with children of narcissists where one child is held up as the Golden Child and another child is dumped on as the Scapegoat.

    From everything I’ve seen, Ivanka is the Golden Child and Eric is the Scapegoat. Don Jr probably bounces between the two based on which role Trump needs his to play — he’s the Scapegoat when pitted against Ivanka and the Golden Child when pitted against Eric.

    There’s a reason Marla Maples moved herself and her daughter to the opposite coast as soon as her divorce came through. Poor Tiffany is probably also a Scapegoat, desperate for her father’s attention but always pitted against the Golden Child Ivanka.

  49. 49
    geg6 says:

    Michelle Goldberg is a great hire. Sorry it’s at the NYT, though, since I am boycotting it. When they get rid of Brooks, Friendman, MoDo and that climate science-denying twit they recently hired (Stephens?), I’ll think about ending my boycott. No wait…gotta fire Haberman and Thrush. Then I’ll end it.

    That said, the Goldberg column you reference was pure gold. Every word of it. She’s good on MSNBC, too.

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    The simplest explanation is a successful 30-year republican propaganda campaign.

    Yes, but that means it got them to accept insanity as the truth. It means 1984 is already here.

  51. 51
    geg6 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Seriously, what’s better than the NYT, WAPO, CSM and WSJ?

    With the exception of the WaPo, the shit that comes out my dogs’ asses is better than the shit they put out. Seriously? You think the NYT, CSM and WSJ are good journalism? LOL! You don’t know anything about journalism. Thank FSM for Marty Barron, is all I can say.

  52. 52
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Paul Ryan would have to break the molester’s rule about bringing only Republican approved measures up for a vote.

    The Hastert Rule is more what you’d call a “guideline” than an actual rule.

  53. 53
    Gravenstone says:

    @randy khan: Don’t need the whole caucus, just enough Republicans to round out the Democrats and give a majority. If it happens, it’ll be great to give the Freedom Caucus morons a public wedgie.

  54. 54
    randy khan says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s a guideline in the sense that it’s not an actual rule of the House, but it might as well be a rule. Boehner lost his job as Speaker because he broke it to get a continuing resolution passed.

  55. 55
    randy khan says:

    BTW, the latest NHC track for Irma has it going up the Florida coast. Eyeballing the map, it looks like the eye would pass about 10 miles west of Mar a Lago. It’s better news for the west coast of Florida than the last track, but not so hot for the states north of Florida.

  56. 56
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @geg6:
    Okay , so what other daily papers do you recommend?

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    Speaking of a Failed Media…..

    How Democrats left us vulnerable to North Korea’s nukes. By Marc A. Thiessen

    With last weekend’s surprise nuclear test, North Korea has reached final stage of its crash course to develop thermonuclear weapons that can reach and destroy U.S. cities. So why are we not on a crash course to protect our cities from North Korean nuclear missiles?

    Answer: Because for more than three decades, Democrats have done everything in their power to prevent, obstruct or delay the deployment of ballistic missile defense.

    Opposition to missile defense has been an article of faith for Democrats since President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983. Sen. Edward M.Kennedy led the early opposition to what Democrats derisively labeled “Star Wars,” denouncing missile defense as a “mirage” and “a certain prescription for an arms race in outer space.”

    Fucking moron doesn’t begin to describe this guy. Missile Defense DOES NOT FUCKING WORK at our current technological level. Right now those feel good tests of hitting the missile with another missile require precise tracking and HOMING BEACONS. We have never held an actual test using anything approaching real world conditions.

  58. 58
    Bex says:

    “…more a logo” is a great way to refer to the whole clan and the overpriced Florida club.

  59. 59
    trollhattan says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Might as well be bylined: Fmr. Vice President Dick Cheney as dictated to M. Thiessen via smoke piped up his ass.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bex:

    I don’t remember who came up with “Mar A Loco,” but that’s what I tend to use. 😂

  61. 61

    @randy khan: By “going up the coast,” do you mean it’s hugging the coastline all the way through, or that it’s just going in the northeast direction?

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Right now those feel good tests of hitting the missile with another missile require precise tracking and HOMING BEACONS.

    And still aren’t close to reliable enough to depend on.

  63. 63
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Amaranthine RBG: I read The Guardian and WaPo, plus our local paper. I haven’t found any other major American papers worth following on a regular basis. Honestly, I find BJ a good source for pertinent (and impertinent) news and commentary.

  64. 64
    Barbara says:

    @TenguPhule: As much as we like to disparage the NYT, there are op-ed contributors and columnists at WaPo who are hair on fire horrible. Thiessen and Ed Rogers are two of them. They are Republican apologists in the most transparent and extreme way. I don’t even read them anymore. If you can believe it, Rogers is even worse than Thiessen — demented and delusional.

  65. 65
    geg6 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    WaPo, Guardian. My own hometown paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is pretty good (though not perfect). Once I’ve skimmed the Abbreviated Pundit Roundup on Dkos, that’s pretty much it for my dead tree newspaper reading.

  66. 66
    TenguPhule says:

    Rush Limbaugh’s dangerous suggestion that Hurricane Irma is fake news

    This should be considered murder.

    These storms, once they actually hit, are never as strong as they’re reported,” Limbaugh claimed on his syndicated radio show. He added that “the graphics have been created to make it look like the ocean’s having an exorcism, just getting rid of the devil here in the form of this hurricane, this bright red stuff.”

    Why would the media exaggerate the threat of a hurricane? Here’s Limbaugh’s theory:

    There is symbiotic relationship between retailers and local media, and it’s related to money. It revolves around money. You have major, major industries and businesses which prosper during times of crisis and panic, such as a hurricane, which could destroy or greatly damage people’s homes, and it could interrupt the flow of water and electricity. So what happens?

    Well, the TV stations begin reporting this and the panic begins to increase. And then people end up going to various stores to stock up on water and whatever they might need for home repairs and batteries and all this that they’re advised to get, and a vicious circle is created. You have these various retail outlets who spend a lot of advertising dollars with the local media.

    The local media, in turn, reports in such a way as to create the panic way far out, which sends people into these stores to fill up with water and to fill up with batteries, and it becomes a never-ending repeated cycle. And the two coexist. So the media benefits with the panic with increased eyeballs, and the retailers benefit from the panic with increased sales, and the TV companies benefit because they’re getting advertising dollars from the businesses that are seeing all this attention from customers.

    People are going to die because they listened to that waste of space.

    On the bright side, they were stupid and more likely then not evil people.

  67. 67
    geg6 says:

    @Barbara:

    Yeah, but the WaPo has no equivalent to Haberthrush, who are really just glorified society/gossip columnists. Marty Barron takes journalism seriously. Unlike that twit Dean Baquet.

  68. 68
    geg6 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Just can’t get very exercised about the idea that a bunch of brain dead Dittoheads listen to this idiot and die in a hurricane because of it. It might be the one good thing he’s ever done in his life, to rid of us these toxic people.

  69. 69
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Wow, the NYT found not just a liberal columnist but a liberal columnist who can write! This is good news. For those boycotting the NYT, I’m pretty sure her stuff will get reproduced and passed around.

    (MoDo doesn’t count.)

    She really doesn’t. You used to see/hear her quoted on TV and the ‘tubes. I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone quote her, even Tweety (I got sucked into his show off and on during the long campaign, haven’t seen him in months), with the exception of her column about trying an edible in Colorado, and that was all country club gossip: “Oh, darling, did you hear the crazy thing our Maureen did now? She’s a caution!” Nobody mentioned that the column was an embarrassingly grundyish bit of fluff besides almost certainly a lie from beginning to end. Nobody cared because Maureen and marijuana are both things we’re supposed to just giggle about. Even Bill Maher didn’t call out his “friend”.

  70. 70
    TenguPhule says:

    @geg6: Yes, but then you have to remember all the good people who will be put in danger trying to rescue those idiots.

  71. 71
    efgoldman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    People are going to die because they listened to that waste of space.

    Isn’t he ensconced somewhere more or less directly in the predicted path? A nasty surprise could (and should) be right on his horizon.

  72. 72
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    There’s a really classic dynamic with children of narcissists where one child is held up as the Golden Child and another child is dumped on as the Scapegoat.

    Yes. In my family, it was a moveable feast (or moving target), so we kids rotated in and out of the roles of Golden Child and Scapegoat at whim. Kept us on our toes, I suppose.

  73. 73
    Kay says:

    Uh, this is what you Democrats are into, right? Women? Businesswomen? Your little woman projects? That’s still your thing, right?

    Funny because it’s true. I was shocked by the tone. It seemed incredibly old fashioned to me, to relegate something like “wages” to “a women’s issue”.

    It’s just CRAZY. Men pay for child care! Of course they do! Men are part of families! Half of children are boys! Fully half of those child births Republicans don’t want to pay for? Little tiny men!

    I pay for men’s pregnancy costs every day. I pay for them when they are born. The health care system subsidized their mothers. That’s all they need to know.

  74. 74
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Barbara: there are op-ed contributors and columnists at WaPo who are hair on fire horrible. Thiessen and Ed Rogers are two of them.

    EvenTheLiberalRichard Cohen, pompous lying gasbag GWill…

  75. 75
    Yutsano says:

    @geg6: Michael Hitzlik at the LA Times is still doing some great stuff. And even with the new owners still seems to be doing some solid reporting.

  76. 76
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman:

    Isn’t he ensconced somewhere more or less directly in the predicted path? A nasty surprise could (and should) be right on his horizon.

    He has a residence in Palm Springs.

    Of course he’s not going to be there when it hits.

  77. 77
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Dave:

    I will never forgive Collins for that time she went on Don Imus in 2000 and laughed – literally laughed! – about the fact that everyone in the media knew Bush had as many gaffes and misstatements as Gore, but it was just more “fun” to go after Gore for them.

  78. 78
    randy khan says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    +/-15 miles from the coast, starting at the southern tip, through about Melbourne, on a fairly steady track just a shade west of due north. That’s through 8 a.m. Monday. If it stayed on that track, it would make landfall again around the Georiga/South Carolina border.

    ETA: That’s just the middle, of course, so there would be lots of people in harm’s way to the west.

    I don’t know what the longer-term models say, but it looks like the couple of possible Gulf of Mexico tracks are now off the table.

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    Looking at Ivanka dabbling around with childcare just makes me sad, because Clinton would have been genuinely good at it.

    I cannot even believe I was supposed to accept Ivanka as some kind of “consolation prize”. Please. I don’t want anything to do with any of these people. They’re all horrible.

  80. 80
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: From everything I’ve seen, Ivanka is the Golden Child and Eric is the Scapegoat. Don Jr probably bounces between the two based on which role Trump needs his to play — he’s the Scapegoat when pitted against Ivanka and the Golden Child when pitted against Eric.

    funny, that’s exactly my read, with Barron more or less forgotten until a camera is brought in

  81. 81
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: Looking at Ivanka dabbling around with childcare just makes me sad, because Clinton would have been genuinely good at it.

    Remember when she announced “their plan” and said something like, no one has ever given so much thought to this issue. Like father, like daughter.

  82. 82
    gene108 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    I don’t get the NYT hate. They’re not perfect, of course, but they’re among the best news sources out there

    They are very much a part of the “both-sides-do-it” MSM, which has eroded the reality of how out-of-whack Republicans are. Their political reporting leaves a lot to be desired.

    Donald Trump is their hometown boy. They have a 40 year view of what Trump’s done for NYC and what he hasn’t done.

    They had easier access to the numerous lawsuits, possible mob ties, etc. Trump’s been involved with over the years and ignored all of it, in order to focus on Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server. They ran a story, late in the 2016 campaign, about how the FBI said there was nothing to the Trump-Russia allegations, for example, even though Harry Reid wrote a statement strongly hinting at Trump-Russia ties.

    They have not gotten any better.

    They do, on occasion, put a good in-depth article on a non-political topic, but by and large their political reporting is awful and has helped hurt America.

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Trump brought her in to sell “her” childcare plan:

    “Republican leaders were visibly annoyed by Ivanka’s presence.”

    Oh, well. Maybe Republican leaders should not have enthusiastically endorsed this gross nepotism hire. That’s the thing with nepotism hires- they’re impossible for people, because you can’t diss someone’s kid so you have to play this stupid game where they have to pretend to be interested in her plan. She wants it to be a “centerpiece” of the tax cut bill, probably to distract from the giant tax cuts for multi-millionaires.

    It’s an imposition. It demands special treatment and forces people to deal with some family dynamic they don’t want to deal with.

  84. 84
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    People are going to die because they listened to that waste of space.

    Let’s just hope he takes his own advice.

  85. 85
    TenguPhule says:

    Hurricane Irma just slammed into Trump’s Caribbean estate — and is headed toward his Florida properties

    The status of Trump’s 11-bedroom gated compound on Plum Bay, which is on the market, was not immediately known. But officials with the French government, which controls the side of the island where his beachfront property is located, said the territory suffered serious damage.

    A cluster of government buildings on the island was partially destroyed, and two-dozen government officials were forced to take shelter inside a concrete structure.

    “We know that the four most solid buildings on the island have been destroyed, which means that more rustic structures have probably been completely or partially destroyed,” French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told AFP.

    C’mon Insurance Companies, deny all of Trump’s claims under “Acts of God!”

    Do it! For once in your miserable existance use your weaseling to dispense some justice!

  86. 86
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ve settled on “Disgraceland.”

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Frankly, the families where that happens seem to end up with kids who are less damaged. Being the Golden Child is extremely damaging because you’re acquiescing in the abuse of your siblings but with the ever-present threat that it could happen to you if you cross the narcissistic parent. If you’re constantly changing places, you already get to see what it’s like in your sibs’ place.

    I suspect that Trump himself was the Golden Child for his parents. His brother was the Scapegoat, and his sister was ignored because she was a mere female.

  88. 88
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Mnemosyne: Makes sense. Our youngest sibling is probably the most damaged among us, because she had a permanent role as the cute and funny one – which she still plays today. She hasn’t quite figured out that six-year-old scatological humor is a whole lot less funny in a 56-year-old. But in the main, we’re all ok and our kids are fine too.

    Your analysis of the Trump family dynamics also makes sense, although wasn’t Donald shipped off to military school because of unmanageable behavior problems?

  89. 89
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Mnemosyne: Huh. The first time I’ve ever had one of my brilliant posts eated. And it was probably my most brilliant one. //

    Anyway, I said something to the effect that your comment about changing roles makes sense. The most damaged among our siblings is the youngest, who had the permanent role of cute and funny four-year-old which she still plays today, well into middle age. Thankfully, we’re all reasonably ok and so are our kids.

    With respect to the Trump family dynamics, your analysis also makes sense although I was wondering about Donald being shipped off to military school because of behavior problems. How does that fit in? Father Trump sounds like a horrible person and I can’t imagine any of the children were well treated.

  90. 90
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “with Barron more or less forgotten ”
    It may be the saving of him.

  91. 91
    gene108 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I suspect that Trump himself was the Golden Child for his parents. His brother was the Scapegoat, and his sister was ignored because she was a mere female.

    From what I’ve read, Fred, Sr. wanted his oldest, Fred, Jr. to be the Golden Child, but Fred, Jr. just wasn’t interested in the family business. So Fred, Jr. got a lot of shit for not being the good son. Donald, the next oldest son, decided to please his dad and threw himself into the family business, so became the good son, Fred, Jr. never became.

    Fred, Sr. has, as far as anyone can tell, raised to two really fucked up sons (not sure about Donald’s younger brother, he seems to have avoided publicity). Fred, Jr. drank himself to an early death, and Donald’s shortcomings are on display for the world to see.

    Basically, we and the world, are paying the price for Fred, Sr.’s shitting parenting.

    Edit: One reason Donald probably wanted to please his dad is because he saw all the shit Fred, Jr. was taking for trying to be independent. There’s a fairly good age difference between the two, so 10 year old Donnie was seeing college aged Fred, Jr. getting shit-kicked by dad.

  92. 92
    gene108 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I wonder, if insurance reimbursements, if the insurance company is foreign, can count against the Emoluments Clause?

    I hope so.

  93. 93
    Ken J. says:

    On the NYTimes:

    I stick with the words of a front-pager here at BJ, in the wake of the election or the inauguration. “We need it (the Times) more alive than dead.”

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    As far as military school goes, that’s where ADHD boys got sent in those pre-medication days — I suspect that’s how my dad ended up at one. My dad also had a narcissistic dad, but fortunately was able to break away despite being the only son. He had a lot of issues, my dad, but he did consciously try to be better than his dad even if he didn’t always succeed.

    I have strongly suspected for a while now that Trump has ADHD (note: not a psychologist, just an adult with ADHD). Much of his history and his behaviors fit the pattern of someone with untreated ADHD. Pair that with the narcissism and you have the disaster we’re looking at today.

  95. 95
    eemom says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I will never forgive Collins for that time she went on Don Imus in 2000 and laughed – literally laughed! – about the fact that everyone in the media knew Bush had as many gaffes and misstatements as Gore, but it was just more “fun” to go after Gore for them.

    Never been impressed with Collins. Fiercely despise the obvious ultra-drek of the NYT and WaPo, and find the others meh at best, except Krugman, whom I adore. IMO Krugman is the ONLY columnist at any major newspaper worth bothering to read.

  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    @gene108:

    Prepare to be fucking depressed.

    The two investigative reports, one from USA Today and the other from the government watchdog group Public Citizen, together show how Trump’s refusal to divest himself from his global business holdings has created a new ecosystem, outside the view of the public and the oversight capabilities of other branches of government. In the new Trump ecosystem, the world’s wealthiest people and corporations can buy direct access to the president, simultaneously lining his pockets while achieving their own personal or policy goals.

    For the first time in the nation’s history, USA Today concludes, “wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally.” This Trumpian ecosystem is completely unprecedented; as former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub told the newspaper, “We never thought we’d see anyone push the outer limits in this way.”

    Our system is not prepared to hold Trump or these outside influence peddlers accountable because no one — not the framers of our Constitution or lawmakers of any era in U.S. history — ever anticipated a president who would retain a lucrative stake in such a far-reaching business empire once in office, despite the blatant and extensive conflicts of interest it has set in motion. Worse, no one envisioned that a president would so brazenly snub his nose at ethical standards intended to uphold the simple credos that access to the president of the United States is not for sale and the presidency is not a profit-making enterprise.

    It’s precisely because such contempt for ethics was unimaginable that no constraints against Trump-like behavior were ever put in place. And now we are beginning to see the effects of his running roughshod over the standards that distinguish a functioning democracy from a kleptocracy.

    The USA Today report shows how Trump, despite his claims that he would “drain the swamp” of lobbyists, has simply given wealthy people direct access to him. All they have to do is pay the hefty membership fees at one of his private golf clubs. Initiation fees can exceed $100,000, and members pay annual dues on top of that.

    Shit is fucked up and bullshit.

  97. 97
    Trentrunner says:

    @Quinerly: I am a smart guy (but it’s OK because I’m also ugly and have a small dick), and Michelle Goldberg is one of the very few people about whom, after her seeing her speak once on TV, I said to the spouse:

    That is a very, very smart woman.

  98. 98
    japa21 says:

    @TenguPhule: Gosh that sounds like the pay to play of the Clinton Foundation except there was nothing there and there is something here.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @japa21:

    Amazing how projection shows up in every single instance of Republicans complaining about something, innit?

    Makes me think that there may be something there with the convicted pedo that Trump was buddies with.

  100. 100
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    don’t want to pollute the nice tree thread with this but… My god

    Ali Vitali‏Verified account alivitali
    Trump brings Ivanka on stage. “She actually said ‘Daddy can I go with you?’ I like that,” he says of the 35 yr old, also a snr WH advisor.

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The USA Today report shows how Trump, despite his claims that he would “drain the swamp” of lobbyists, has simply given wealthy people direct access to him. All they have to do is pay the hefty membership fees at one of his private golf clubs. Initiation fees can exceed $100,000, and members pay annual dues on top of that.

    I’m not seeing the problem here (yes/ heavy irony filter applied).

    Clearly, draining the swamp just meant eliminating the middle men, the little lobbyists who previously greased the wheels of graft, and getting directly to where the magic happens.

    Trump is just keeping to his promise of running the government like a business. He’s running things and giving the chumps who elected him the business.

    Also, Trump level graft is making his buddy Putin jealous.

    ETA: lots of good coverage of the New Gilded Age recently. The Guardian, for example, has been doing good reporting on high level financial corruption, from Operation Car Wash in Brazil, to recent revelations about payoffs to Council of Europe members by Azerbajan.

  102. 102
    Tom Q says:

    @Citizen Alan: You sure you don’t have her confused with Margaret Carlson? I know Carlson made pretty much that remark (even expanding with saying, gosh, I guess there are people to whom these issues matter, but it’s so much fun to hassle Gore for nitpicky stuff).

    Collins is too flippant/it’s-all-a-joke for my taste, but I wouldn’t want her held responsible for something someone else said.

  103. 103
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    He told like 15 rapid-fire lies about taxes, too. The Trumps are on a lying tour.

  104. 104
    Kathleen says:

    @J R in WV: Way too late but I have to tell you I agree with you 100%. The 2016 campaign felt to me like a psy ops with the objective being what you described. The constant hammering of the same non-news stories about Hillary was orchestrated for that purpose and it continues. I also feel strongly the election was coup and vote totals were tampered with. And while the Russians were certainly culpable, I believe the GOP and allies outsourced the shit they’ve been pulling for decades. Like Hillary said, the Russians had to have had help from the inside.

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It’s gross but again-Ivanka had a choice. Being offered a nepotism job doesn’t mean you have to take it. She wanted this, and she wanted it badly.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Who the fuck still calls her father “Daddy” after the age of 30? That’s creepy as hell.

    I think I stopped calling my father “daddy” sometime around 8th grade, if not earlier. We actually ended up calling him “Pop” for at least the last decade because it was something our stepbrothers felt comfortable using as well.

  107. 107
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Pair that with the narcissism and you have the disaster we’re looking at today.

    I also think he has frontal lobe deterioration or dementia. At the core though, he’s just a really bad person, always was, and is getting worse.

    It’s curious that there’s so little mention of Mother Trump, apart from her being from Scotland. I imagine she was dominated and perhaps nearly blotted out by Fred, Sr.

  108. 108
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: @Mnemosyne: just saw a clip: “You treated us very well in November, and we’re happy to share the love”

    Who the fuck is “we”, Princess Tackycrap?

  109. 109
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Kay:

    The Trumps are on a lying tour.

    Another day ending in “y.” It’s the family business. Lying and grifting. As you say, they’re horrible people through and through.

    And creepy, what with the 35-year-old referring to “Daddy” and all. Shudders.

  110. 110
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: given the gross reality show/tabloid celebrity nature of this presidency, it is kind of surprising we don’t hear more from Ivana, especially since she is not, as I recall, the shy and retiring type….

    I’m sure it has been made clear to Marla that it will cost her ($$$) if she doesn’t stay quiet, I suspect the same is true for the first Mrs trump.

  111. 111
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: @O. Felix Culpa:

    Seth Masket‏Verified account @ smotus 36m36 minutes ago
    Ivanka and Jared are actually kind of grossed out by her relationship with her father, according to two unnamed sources.

  112. 112
    MoxieM says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne: O yes, isn’t there just — the classic book is The Drama of the Gifted Child (gifted in this sense, meaning the one child singled out for the “gift” of carrying the Narc parent’s needs and attentions.) I always wondered if it was a bad transliteration, given that Alice Miller (auth) is Swiss??? It’s not a “gifted” child in the American sense of one with special talents. We’ve talked about the *fun* of a narcissist-infested family before, I tink. My mother was one. My siblings each have degrees of whatever. Me? I’m a supplier. (Oh, Hi! can I help you with that/lie down across that puddle/debase myself in some way for your kind attentions?) It’s a curse.

  113. 113
    Another Scott says:

    @Citizen Alan: I find the quasi-inappropriate laughing by reporters/press people to be annoying as well. But then I remember my Mom and she would often laugh when she was nervous. Lots of the press discussions I hear on the radio (e.g. 1A on Friday mornings on NPR) often have at least one bit of inappropriate laughter.

    It seems to be an all-too-human coping mechanism in many cases.

    “(Can you believe we’re talking about this. We have to laugh or we’ll scream in anguish!)”

    Maybe.

    But they should try harder to be serious. I sometimes want to (metaphorically) grab them and shake them and yell – “These monsters are destroying the country and the planet that our parents and grandparents gave their blood and strength to build. It’s not funny!!1” But, I resist…

    Dunno if that is what was going on in Gail’s case.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  114. 114
    randy khan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I wouldn’t assume she actually said that. I mean, she may have, but you never can assume that Daddy is telling the truth.

  115. 115
    japa21 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Well, if she is grossed out by it, she can get out of it. No sympathy from this corner.

  116. 116
    Another Scott says:

    @randy khan: How could the giant who invented the term priming the pump tell a falsehood?

    Unpossible!!1

    He also said:

    No, it’s not, really not a negotiation. It’s really not. No, will I settle for less than I go in with? Yes, I mean who wouldn’t? Nobody, you know, I always use the word flexibility, I have flexibility.

    The man is straight-up hugely best at the mouth noises in Make America Great Again language!!1

    (sigh)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  117. 117
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Sahil Kapur‏Verified account @ sahilkapur
    Aide with knowledge: “Toward the end of the meeting Ivanka Trump entered the Oval Office to ‘say hello’ and the meeting careened off topic.”

    to whom and why?

  118. 118
    Ken J. says:

    @Brachiator:

    I’ve decided that “draining the swamp” meant getting rid of liberals and the educated. Which is a proposition which has a strong appeal to Trump’s base.

  119. 119
    patroclus says:

    I haven’t been reading the NYT much lately. What’s the latest on Hillary’s e-mails? I’m sure they’re still all over it…

  120. 120
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Ivanka and Jared are actually kind of grossed out by her relationship with her father, according to two unnamed sources.

    That’s weird. I mean, Ivanka admits to being grossed out by her relationship with her father? And yet, at 35, maintains that relationship? And could those two unnamed sources be Javanka their very own selves? The psychodynamics of this family are just plain icky.

    ETA: The Obama family was so wholesome and normal (actually, above normal) and good. I want them back.

  121. 121
    J R in WV says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    Pie don’t have any feelings!

    The name of the media outlet you tried to mention is the Charleston Gazette Mail… The Daily Mail was closed and folded into the Gazette, where it lingers as an individual editorial page with typical RWNJ editorials. I actually have a lot of respect for the Gaz – as a regional paper, they deserved the Pulitzer they just won. They do great environmental coverage too. But they don’t do their own coverage of national politics, so no help there.

    I have no specific advice for you… I read lots of news sites, including the WaPo and the NYT – but you need to be able to detect the BS in any article from any media outlet.

  122. 122
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    lots of good coverage of the New Gilded Age recently. The Guardian, for example, has been doing good reporting on high level financial corruption, from Operation Car Wash in Brazil, to recent revelations about payoffs to Council of Europe members by Azerbajan.

    Yes.

    And I forsee a huge demand in tumbrels.

  123. 123
    Aimai says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: so dumb. I read the original article. Its straight up reporting on a complicated philosophical deabate among multiple actors within and outside of the trans community.

  124. 124
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s a Southern thing. Southerners often call their parents “mama” and “daddy” for the duration. But since the Trumps aren’t Southern, it’s merely creepy.

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But since the Trumps aren’t Southern, it’s merely creepy.

    Merely?

  126. 126
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Merely?

    Severely.

  127. 127
    SgrAstar says:

    @Yutsano: Michael Hiltzik and Steve Lopez rock the LA Times.

  128. 128
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Part of that 30-year campaign was 100% NY Times beating the drum as loudly as they could, day after day. For a “liberal” newspaper, the Times spent more money on ink attacking President Clinton until he left office with the highest level of public support in modern times, and then they switched instantly to Senator then Secretary Clinton and spent years beating on her reputation.

    Every error the Times makes pushes liberals down and lifts fascists up. At some point it isn’t mistakes any more, it’s a not-so-small part of a long-term and dramatically successful corruption campaign. Who has been working on that for the past 90 years? Russia!

  129. 129
    J R in WV says:

    @geg6:

    Will Rushbaugh Limberger wait at his Florida estate for Irma to come for him??

    If not, he publicly confesses to pushing fiction to make money, while encouraging his audience to stay put and FUQING DIE in the super-storm while Rush flies in his private jet away, away from the storm, with a suitcase full of money and opiates.

  130. 130
    J R in WV says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    @Barbara: there are op-ed contributors and columnists at WaPo who are hair on fire horrible. Thiessen and Ed Rogers are two of them.

    EvenTheLiberalRichard Cohen, pompous lying gasbag GWill…

    And everyone leaves out the worst one of all: Charles Krauthammer, Jewish fascist and primary hater of liberals.

    He once shouted down his Rabbi at holy day services at his Temple over politics in Israel. I would have had the police take him away and returned any payments he had made to the Temple, ever. But I’m not Jewish, nor a Rabbi.

  131. 131
    J R in WV says:

    @Kathleen:

    Not too late at all, unless too late with regard to the election.

    Thanks!

  132. 132
    Tehanu says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Well, I called my parents “Mama” and “Daddy” all my life until they passed away a few years back, except for a brief period during my rebellious adolescence when I called Mama (sarcasm) “Motherrrrr…” (sarcasm). My husband and his siblings called their parents the same. There’s Southern in both our families, but my siblings all called my parents “Mom” and “Dad,” so I don’t think it follows. I just never broke the habit from childhood, and I have to say, nobody’s ever told me I was creepy to use those names. And I wish I had my Mama and Daddy back, because I miss them every day.

    ALso: Betty, I hope you and your family are safe. The news about Irma is very scary.

  133. 133
    No One You Know says:

    @Barbara: Mm. For some values of adult, maybe. They apparently can cheat their way through deals, but adulthood required some reflective capacity, I think. And I don’t see it.

  134. 134
    Ramalama says:

    @Barbara: Yeah — I’m a YOOGE fan of Lindy West and am shocked (nicely) that NYT published her. Publishes her? Is this going to be a regular gig? I hope so. I slow-walked reading her book “Shrill” and even put off finishing the last chapter because it was so good, and I didn’t want it to end.

    Also, Roger Ebert tweeted out a line from her review of Sex and the City 2.

    [SatC2] is 146 minutes long, which means that I entered the theater in the bloom of youth and emerged with a family of field mice living in my long, white mustache. This is an entirely inappropriate length for what is essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls.

    She said she fainted for a year after that (story used to be on her website but now that she’s famoose, it’s been revamped and the article no longer there).

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