This is the World of the Theater

This “crisis actor” horseshit is a song as old as rhyme:

Sixty-one years before teens at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., would survive a mass shooting only to be labeled “crisis actors,” the nine African American teens who braved racist crowds to enroll in Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were also accused of being impostors.

False rumors that the Little Rock Nine were paid protesters even forced the NAACP to issue a statement condemning the stories as “pure propaganda.” The students were not, in fact, “imported” from the North, said the NAACP’s Clarence A. Laws, but rather the children of local residents, including veterans.

Trump has been retweeting from a right wing nutjob who blamed Sandy Hook on crisis actors, so don’t tell me this ain’t a big deal. Unless, of course, you’re a New York Times White House correspondent:

For White House reporters, however, the rhetoric isn’t a top everyday concern. “The people who say this has a broad impact on society and the credibility of the media and so forth and so on, I get their point,” said New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker at a Tuesday night event hosted by the White House Correspondents’ Association. “I don’t dispute that. In terms of my job, worried about working as a reporter in the White House, it doesn’t have that much impact. I mean, it’s just theater.” Baker said he would get “more worked up” if the name-calling “leads to specific limitations on access or our ability to do our jobs.”






150 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    So a print reporter argues that words have no impact, no effect.

    I can’t even.

  2. 2
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Rational people, who hopefully make up the majority of Americans, don’t believe that the Parkland survivors/protesters are “crisis actors”. This is a movement which isn’t going away any time soon. And given the number of companies which have ended ties with the NRA, I have no doubt that the students are going to have a big impact on the gun control reform issue.

  3. 3
    kindness says:

    Remember when we libs were told we had to buy subscriptions to the NYT in order to be taken seriously? Were those sage thoughts sent out by our Jill Stein contingent?

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    you’re a New York Times White House correspondent:

    You misspelled ‘stenographer’ again.

  5. 5
    cain says:

    It is right to believe that those high school kids are going to be future consumers and these companies have the right to be worried. Looks like Gen Y are going to be an activist generation and thank god for that since us Gen X’ers while doing good in other things didn’t really do much in terms of government.

    I haven’t formed an opinion on millenials yet. I had assumed that they would be more activist, but I don’t see that much evidence of that.

  6. 6
    kd bart says:

    Access is all they care about.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s telling, and not a little disheartening, that all these journalists worry about is access to the White House for their stories. Not about the continuing erosion of public confidence in their work product, without which news media might as well not exist.

  8. 8
    hueyplong says:

    I won’t know what to think about this until Maggie tweets defensively.

  9. 9

    @kindness: Not necessarily, unless you think that Tom Levenson is a Steiner. I think even he has changed his mind about Vichy Times now, though.

  10. 10
    PhoenixRising says:

    if the name-calling “leads to specific limitations on access or our ability to do our jobs.”

    I like how he just says it right out loud: ‘Access’ is what they will make any sacrifice to maintain, although that is another matter from the ‘ability to do the job’.

  11. 11
    efgoldman says:

    @kd bart:

    Access is all they care about.

    @Amir Khalid:

    all these journalists worry about is access to the White House for their stories

    And what does it get them, from a journo point of view, when say a Michel Wolf can scoop each and every one of them by just hanging around and listening?

  12. 12
    foucault swing voter mistermix says:

    @PhoenixRising: And access to what? Huckabee-Sander’s lies? If the Times and all the other papers replaced their WH correspondents with interns at briefings, I’m sure the leakers in the WH would still be leaking. They use the media to leak in order to further their own agenda in the power struggles in that snakepit. That wouldn’t change.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    There are some white supremacists who still have at least marginally functioning brains, so understand the need to distract from the moral abyss that is their ideology. Since the NRA is effectively a white supremacist operation now, they follow suit.

  14. 14
    drylake says:

    I remember seeing Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star noting rather acidly on some MSNBC program or other, when commenting on some bit of WH gossip, that, as a Canadian, he didn’t have the kind of “access” to that kind of stuff that US reporters do. He does seem to come up with pretty good stuff nonetheless, to put it as mildly as possible.

  15. 15
    Yarrow says:

    Also from the article:

    Another point: Baker highlighted the gulf between Trump’s pronouncements about the media and his personal approach. When the president does his rallies, said Baker, he’ll blast the media and generally create an atmosphere of intimidation toward the people who cover him. On the plane ride home, Trump will say, “ ‘Hey, everybody, how’s it going? Everybody have a good time?’ … He’s like the valet at his resort; he wants to make sure everybody’s having a good time,” recalled Baker.

    That’s why this guy is saying it’s just theater. For him personally it is. He’s just not smart enough to see that Trump’s statements about the press are damaging to the media and society as a whole. Or, Baker is being incentivized not to see it. Or both.

    Russia has kompromat on people in the media at all levels and we are naive if we think many of them aren’t saying and doing certain things in hopes of keeping those secrets hidden.

  16. 16
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Amir Khalid: Access. Christ on a Communion wafer, these fools are letting the mask slip, in writing. Villago Delenda Est.

  17. 17
    donnah says:

    My oldest son majored in journalism at Ohio University, which has a good reputation. He interned four summers as a college student at our local newspaper and wrote articles, had a front page story, and also did some work for their online publication.

    He said that after working for a real newspaper and seeing how the sausage is made, he wanted no part of being a journalist. He works for the MetroParks system now.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    The NYT is garbage.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s telling, and not a little disheartening, that all these journalists worry about is access to the White House for their stories.

    This is the entire function of the White House Press Corps. They’re one of the few places in the media that exists exclusively to maintain and take advantage of access. It’s a sign of a deep sickness in our media that this is perceived as a crucial and high prestige job rather than a sinecure for reporters incapable of doing real work.

  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    I remember press people defending the culture of anonymous sourcing (which is one part of that “access” obsession) by saying that the price of anonymity was having to tell the truth. Can anyone think of a time where (a) some anonymous source lied and (b) the reporter subsequently outed them? Part (a) happens all the time, yet I can’t think of any instances of (b).

  21. 21
    cosima says:

    @PhoenixRising: That’s what I keyed — wait, what, you’re doing your jobs now? When did that start? Last night?

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    @Roger Moore: I knew a guy who was part of the WH press corps. If you were unsure of the conventional wisdom on any subject, you could just ask him. Actual journalism, though…

  23. 23
    satby says:

    “It’s just theater” that the White House is occupied by a loon who libels the juvenile survivors of a mass murder. A White House that demonstrably lies to that reporter’s face every day.
    And they wonder why they might be held in contempt by everyone who can think.

  24. 24
    Boudica says:

    @cain: These kids are Gen Z. And I tell my Gen Y (or Millennial) kids (26 and 23 yo) that for all that the we boomers didn’t accomplish, we raised them and Gen Z to be compassionate and tolerant. Change is coming!

  25. 25
    jeffreyw says:

    @efgoldman: Like Yogi said, “you can hear a lot just by listening”.

  26. 26
    Tokyokie says:

    @donnah: I graduated from the University of Missouri j-school and helped make sausage for nearly 30 years. But the newspaper biz, by and large, has decided it can get by without line editors, copy editors, and most of their reporting staffs. The shoddy product that results is what you’re seeing now. And these numbnuts need access because they’ve ceded the responsibility of determining what’s news to the people they’re supposed to be covering.

  27. 27
    Chyron HR says:

    @cain:

    It is right to believe that those high school kids are going to be future consumers

    Not if the NRA has any say in it.

  28. 28

    @Baud: I saw link to a story about how T is the evangelical President. Garbage is too kind. They are radioactive waste with a long half life.

  29. 29
    JR says:

    @foucault swing voter mistermix: access to expensed trips to the Four Seasons in DC
    membership to the NYAC
    dinners at Craft

    You know, access.

  30. 30
    Calouste says:

    @Chyron HR: Hey now, funeral parlors are also a business with customers. Not many repeat ones though.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    Peter Baker is a Republican whisperer. Talk about DC being wired for Republicans.

    Have no doubt the fucking Sulzbergers who publish the fucking FTF Vichy NY Times love them some Peter Baker.

    I hope that Trump does take down big media like Peter Baker and his ilk at the NYT and elsewhere. They are a great impediment to free and fair elections and a functioning democracy.

  32. 32
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    This “crisis actor” horseshit is a song as old as rhyme

    In the Elder Tongue, they were called “outside agitators.”

  33. 33
    Fair Economist says:

    As the wingnuts imagine crisis actors and coaching of ammosexual butchery victims, remember –

    It’s always about projection with the right wing.

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    T is the evangelical President.

    Well, there certainly are a lot of evangelicals saying it.

  35. 35
    Skepticat says:

    My degree in journalism is pre-Watergate and was seldom used, but I can remember when being a journalist was a fairly respectable profession. However, I’m old, and feeling years older by the hour.

  36. 36
    Libraryguy says:

    I’m too sick to go look, but this really needs a Batman meme with Baker as Robin. “I mean, it’s just thea -” (SLAP!!) “You’re enabling tyranny and the neutering of a free press!!” Or something.

  37. 37
    Josie says:

    @kindness: I have found it interesting that an old friend of mine who regularly posts RWNJ memes on Facebook also posts ads for the NYT. It does make you wonder.

  38. 38
    cain says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    I like how he just says it right out loud: ‘Access’ is what they will make any sacrifice to maintain, although that is another matter from the ‘ability to do the job’.

    But only in regards to Republicans. I don’t remember much talk about access when Democrats are in charge. Hell, it’s still about access when tehy are in charge, but to Republicans. R’s still dominate on sunday morning shows and the like. I had no idea republicans were so interesting.

    Best thing to do is to start showing the press via moeny and feedback that nobody gives too shit about their access to Republicans and they are more interested in the bills and hteir impacts on our country than their entertainment weekly version of what the fuck is happening in the white house.

  39. 39
    satby says:

    @Josie: missed sending congratulations on the coming next grandchild! You must be thrilled.

  40. 40
    Matt says:

    Of course the wingnuts buy every “crisis actor” story – literally every goddamn thing *they* freak out about is entirely stage-managed so why shouldn’t they assume everything else is?

    See also their belief in “paid protesters” and “election fraud”.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Boudica:

    we boomers didn’t accomplish, we raised them and Gen Z to be compassionate and tolerant. 

    I think it was television.

    /s

  42. 42

    @OzarkHillbilly: It was an op-ed by some god-bothering T toady.

  43. 43
    cain says:

    @Boudica:

    @cain: These kids are Gen Z. And I tell my Gen Y (or Millennial) kids (26 and 23 yo) that for all that the we boomers didn’t accomplish, we raised them and Gen Z to be compassionate and tolerant. Change is coming!

    THen they should be inspired by Gen Z, because I’m sure am! Makes me proud to be an American after the shit that’s happened thus far.

    My co-worker and I had some long discussions while on a business trip. He’s from Arkansas and he was telling me that os much of the mentality is because of isolationism and lack of mobility. They believe the tropes about immigrants and race because they live in a uni-culture. I’ve been learning a lot about a number of these communities. I really enjoyed having my assumptions by personal anecdotes from my co-workers who speaks with compassion while rejecting the attitude at the same time.

  44. 44

    @Boudica: Aren’t these the kids of GenX, and boomers are mostly their grandparents not parents.

  45. 45
    cain says:

    @Baud:

    I think it was television.

    Television was also why we had shitty attitudes towards people of color and why we loved guns so much. While I sitll enjoy the action movies and TV from the 80s, I can recognize the underlyng anti-govt, one man does it alone, immigrants always with an accent etc.

  46. 46
    LosGatosCA says:

    I feel like the truth of all this charade is finally coming to light. The shamelessness of the media in willfully not understanding their basic mission (reporting facts to enlighten the citizenry) and willfully misinterpreting the criticism they receive (must be doing something right if everyone is mad at us) makes me think we are living on a national scale the horrors of other undemocratic countries we have deplored.

    Or paraphasing Tony McGee of the Black 14 (from ESPN) put it in attempting to protest BYU racist policies back in 1969:

    “We were thinking about protesting racism (undemocratic/fascist horrors) in another institution (country),” McGee said. “But what we did not know, until everything went down, is that we were living with it every day.”

    We are the racist/sexist/fascist banana republic we’ve always mocked.

  47. 47
    cain says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    @Baud: I saw link to a story about how T is the evangelical President. Garbage is too kind. They are radioactive waste with a long half life.

    Oh that’s rich. We ned to encourage that. We can speed up the destruction of evangelical thought and the associated prosperity gospel. It’s funny how if you search wealth and evangelical, that’s the first link. It’s no wonder that more and more people are leaving religion because it has completely lost the plot in terms of spiritualism. I say that not just for Christianity, but other religion as well.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, and what it reveals is that Evangelicals do not follow Jesus of Nazareth. Franklin Graham is leading them to the worship of Mammon and Moloch.

  49. 49
    Josie says:

    @satby: Thanks. We are so happy. It will be another girl, which is a blessing for our family, since we have always been overloaded with boys. I do love my brothers and my boys, but a little variety is nice.

    ETA: I hope you are feeling better.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    @kindness:

    Remember when we libs were told we had to buy subscriptions to the NYT in order to be taken seriously?

    No, I don’t remember that at all. But then again, I wouldn’t take anyone serous who said that.

  51. 51
    danielx says:

    Totally OT, but reading about a NYT reporter’s concerns about “access” is just….more access than I want or need. Besides, I need to brag. Therefore….I asked the artist nephew (on my side of the family) if he could do a drawing for my radiologist (and cat person) sister-in-law, giving him the theme of “Cat Scan” and telling him roughly what I wanted.

    My man has mad skillz.

  52. 52
    Boudica says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Maybe. I’m the last year of the baby boom so my boomer experience is skewed. Gen x are parents of gen z, but boomers were teachers in the classroom promoting anti-bullying and acceptance. Or this generation stuff could all be bullshit and it’s just the yoots outnumbering and out-teching the olds.

  53. 53
    bemused says:

    @Josie:

    My husband had no sisters, we had all boys, even our neighbors had all boys, girls were sparse. Now we have two granddaughters which almost seemed like miracles to us.

  54. 54
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I saw link to a story about how T is the evangelical President.

    He is. He’s proof that Evangelicals are a bunch of small minded hypocrites who care far more about perpetuating their kind of bigotry than they ever did about Jesus.

  55. 55
    gene108 says:

    Baker said he would get “more worked up” if the name-calling “leads to specific limitations on access or our ability to do our jobs.”

    As long as I don’t lose my precious access, fuck those kids.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @cain:

    I had no idea republicans were so interesting.

    They’re fascinating. They tell the talking heads in the media exactly what they want to hear, and there’s nothing more interesting than that.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Peter Baker is not a journalist. He is a stenographer.

  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @donnah:

    Completely O/T, but I really liked your response a short while ago to Booman’s rather fatuous “What’s new?” or “What’s going on?” or whatever his serious question was. You expressed very neatly what I’ve been feeling ever since the Valentine’s Day Massacre.

    (I run hot and cold with Martin, and never comment over there. Sometimes he pisses me off, sometimes he bores me, but he engages me often enough that I keep checking in.)

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JR:

    access to expensed trips to the Four Seasons in DC
    membership to the NYAC
    dinners at Craft

    You know, access.

    To think it wasn’t all that long ago that we were laughing and pointing and railing against “reporters” who treasured their access to John McCain’s backyard barbecues and tire swings.

  60. 60
    Radiumgirl says:

    @foucault swing voter mistermix: This is what I find so confounding about the White House press corps — all this concern about ‘access’ when you’re dealing with an administration that routinely lies through its teeth. Access to what? Reminds me of an interview with Charlie Savage, who before he went to the Times worked for the Boston Globe. He won the Pulitzer for reporting on the GW Bush expansion of executive power by studying Bush’s signing statements published in the federal register. While all the other reporters were busy repeating White House talking points, he went to the documents themselves to find out what Bush was really doing. He didn’t need any access to do that.

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Very OT. Did you see the news about Sridevi Kapoor? Are you familiar with her films?

  62. 62
    No Drought No More says:

    Howard Dean should be appointed the OFFicial Spokesperson of the democratic party. He just flat-out called Nunes a liar who is very likley headed for prison.

    Remember, Nixon was a crook AND a traitor, too [see: Paris Peace Talks 1968].

    So let us look forward AND back, and so move forward my fellow Americans and god bless the United States is this a great country or what?it sure is..

  63. 63
    Brachiator says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    To think it wasn’t all that long ago that we were laughing and pointing and railing against “reporters” who treasured their access to John McCain’s backyard barbecues and tire swings.

    Reporters have always been seduced by promises of access. The best do their jobs anyway. The hacks happily become sellouts.

    Also, the recent movie “The Post” acknowledges that the Washington Post publisher and editor were part of Washington society. Kay Graham is shown giving a party where Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was a prominent guest.

    One of the more disreputable reasons the press hated Nixon was because he was from California and an outsider. They later hated Jimmy Carter in part because he didn’t play the Beltway insider game.

    ETA. Obviously there were a whole ton of reasons why Nixon was rightfully despised.
    Reagan used his congeniality to disarm and bypass the press.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator: The Clintons, too, were not of the DC Village. So they were hated, because they came to their positions through actual work, instead of legacy admissions to Ivies.

  65. 65
    beth says:

    I watched Jake Tapper interview the Broward County Sheriff this morning. I guess the right wing framing they’ve decided on is going to be that this latest shooting could have been avoided if the police hadn’t screwed up so badly – some Republican lawmaker wrote the Governor demanding the sheriff resign. Now, I’m not saying that mistakes weren’t made and the sheriff was very clear that an outside investigation was going to be done but Tapper was relentlessly pushing the right wing point of view as if all facts were in and the issues were settled. His manner was argumentative and dismissive of anything the sheriff had to say. It’s going to be Benghazi and Susan Rice all over again. How many times have women called police about threats from abusers and gotten protective orders, only to be shot dead by said abusers because the cops couldn’t legally take their guns away? Why can’t we wait for the investigation of a very complicated situation before we begin calling for people to resign? None of that matters because the right wing has decided who the villain is and as always, Tapper is right there with them. I have really come to hate our media.

  66. 66
    Calouste says:

    @Roger Moore: A lot of talking heads are where they are because of who their parents are, not so much because of their own achievements. Of course they like the party of fuedalism. They think that’s the way things should be.

  67. 67
    patrick II says:

    “I don’t dispute that. In terms of my job, worried about working as a reporter in the White House, it doesn’t have that much impact. I mean, it’s just theater.

    It’s like they are living in a dense fog and can see nothing outside of three feet around them. They can hear what sound like car crashes in the distance, it doesn’t sound so close that it would hit them, so it doesn’t matter. To the people being run over and crashed into, well, who knows and who cares? It’s not their job and the fog dampens the noise.

  68. 68
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I saw link to a story about how T is the evangelical President. Garbage is too kind. They are radioactive waste with a long half life.

    Oh Lordy. Digby linked to that piece, and illustrated it with a photo of a dude wearing a tee shirt that said “JESUS DIED FOR YOU. TRUMP LIVES FOR YOU.”

    I am not making this up.

  69. 69
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Tokyokie:

    And these numbnuts need access because they’ve ceded the responsibility of determining what’s news to the people they’re supposed to be covering.

    Thank you. That is the most elegantly succint summary of the current state of American journalism I have seen to date.

  70. 70
    Brachiator says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The Clintons, too, were not of the DC Village. So they were hated, because they came to their positions through actual work, instead of legacy admissions to Ivies.

    The Clintons also supposedly brought in television and Hollywood people who disrupted the old Beltway cliques.

    The Clintons cultivated their own insiders. Journalist Eleanor Clift was mocked by conservatives as “Eleanor Rodham Clift,” but she clearly got some scoops from Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, with Clinton’s approval.

  71. 71
    Miss Bianca says:

    @danielx: aww, that is so cute!

  72. 72
    patrick II says:

    @beth:

    I have to say that when I see these high school kids interviewed, they are considerably more coherent and sophisticated than the normal talking heads on TV. I saw Chris Hayes interview a young lady from Stoneman Douglas and he asked the talking point of the day — how did she feel about the guard who waited four minutes and did not go in.
    She brushed Chris off. She said that she did not want to lose sight of the main question, and that was what to do about limiting guns. The guard was afraid for his life, probably had a family, and so we (the students) should not be sidetracked from what they were trying to do.
    Chris was kind of discombobulated, stuttered …. uh..uh.., and then went on with the interview. I couldn’t be more impressed with these kids.

  73. 73
    Ruckus says:

    @Baud:

    The NYT is garbage.

    And it’s because of idiots like Peter Baker, who think his main concern is proper decorum and therefore access. He’s being used, like a high schooler trying desperately to be accepted by the cool kids. Whatever the cool kids deem to allow him to do is all he does. And the cool kids use him because they can. He doesn’t have to write the story, he just has to write crap every day. His bosses don’t want quality, only quantity. He’s a production line tool, an MBA ideal, not good at anything – so he never outshines anyone, but never complains about being fucked, because he doesn’t know any better. MBA’s want the cheapest, easiest product to produce, because that is supposed to make the bosses the most money. It’s the lowering of quality across the board that has screwed this country, build or do or sell the least for the most.

  74. 74

    @patrick II: The contrast is almost shocking. The kids are so much more on point and have so little time for BS.

  75. 75
    debbie says:

    @beth:

    I guess the right wing framing they’ve decided on is going to be that this latest shooting could have been avoided if the police hadn’t screwed up so badly – some Republican lawmaker wrote the Governor demanding the sheriff resign.

    Such bullshit. With all those guns and weapons in his possession, Cruz was a disaster just waiting to boil over.

    And I will again punch down. The idea that arming teachers, janitors, even vets, is the answer is shown to be provably false, in light of what I now understand to be five law officials standing outside, doing nothing. Not only did they stand there doing nothing, they stood there doing nothing other than listening to the screams of children. Human beings are not capable of the heroism it would take to save people on that scale.

    I call bullshit on anyone claiming that guns are part of a civilized world. If this is who we are, I welcome the retribution sure to be visited upon us now that Donald Trump has assumed the role of Leading Evangelical.

  76. 76
    debbie says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    And focused. They’ve got focus.

  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    @schrodingers_cat

    They are radioactive waste with a long half life.

    And harbor souls with a minuscule half-life.

  78. 78

    @debbie: The thing about heroism is that you value it but you don’t count on it.

  79. 79
    cain says:

    @Brachiator:

    @schrodingers_cat: Very OT. Did you see the news about Sridevi Kapoor? Are you familiar with her films?

    Never saw it, but I remember all her films from the 80s. She was a south indian actress that kind of took over from Hema Malini (another south indian actress) Other than that, I don’t know much. She had ok acting skills.

    I didn’t know she was so young though.. wow. Sorry to hear the news. She isn’t much older than I was.

  80. 80
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    One of the more disreputable reasons the press hated Nixon was because he was from California and an outsider. They later hated Jimmy Carter in part because he didn’t play the Beltway insider game.

    They hated the Clintons and Obama for the same reason.

  81. 81

    @Brachiator: Yes I saw that yesterday. Brings back some childhood memories. She ruled Hindi cinema in the 80s.
    I have seen two of her movies, Mr India and Chandni.

  82. 82
    Radiumgirl says:

    @Yarrow: Maybe it is just theater to Trump and Baker, but Trump’s followers don’t know that. When he slams the media as enemies of the people he’s ginning up rage aimed at the press, and it’s dangerous. As much as the press falls short at times, it is still essential to democracy and sliming reporters as “enemies of the people” is one more step towards tyranny.

  83. 83
    gene108 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): @patrick II:

    Hats off to the parents and teachers, who have done a great job raising and educating these kids.

  84. 84

    @Brachiator: She had a lot of onscreen charisma, like say a Julia Roberts or Amitabh
    From her recent movie: , English Vinglish,
    In her prime, from Lamhe (Moments)

  85. 85
    gene108 says:

    @debbie:

    I don’t think it is a matter of cowardice or heroism, but unlike traditional warfare, the shooter isn’t wearing a uniform. He looks like the other students. There is chaos. Cops are as likely to shoot a student as the they are the shooter.

    Cruz’s plan for escape was to drop his guns and run out in the confusion, because he looked like any other student.

    And he almost suceeded.

    Target acquisition in this case was damn near impossible.

  86. 86
    WaterGirl says:

    @patrick II: That is impressive! Elizabeth Warren knows how to do that, too. I recall an interview from before she became senator and they were baiting her to criticize Barack Obama because he was not going to put her in charge of the Consumer bureau. She said “I’m saving the rocks in my pockets for the Republicans” and that was it – the interview proceeded on her terms. We need more of this.

  87. 87

    @Roger Moore: Be that as it may, Vichy Times has dropped all pretense that they want to be the official mouthpiece of the T regime.

  88. 88

    @gene108: That we are focusing on what to do in the school after we allow anyone to buy a semi-automatic gun is insane.

  89. 89
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Radiumgirl: True, dat. Which is why these lickspittle access mongers are doing themselves – and the public – no favors when they lap up the abuse and don’t fire it back, in the name of preserving “access”. Sweet, sweet access to the people who despise them, lie to them and about them, and endanger the body politic.

    Jesus wept.

  90. 90
    Sloane Ranger says:

    I am doing an online course on Art and Antiquities Smuggling and have come across something from Criminology called Techniques of Neutralisation. These are ways that people can persuade themselves that it’s OK to do something illegal and one of the ways is to deny the victim.

    It occurs to me that something like that may be going on among conservatives /gun lovers. They don’t want mass killings but, in their heart of hearts know the only to stop them is to give up their guns, which is unthinkable; so how comforting it would be if there were no mass shootings and all the reports are propaganda by gun grabbers and alleged victims merely professional actors.

  91. 91
    Roger Moore says:

    @beth:

    I guess the right wing framing they’ve decided on is going to be that this latest shooting could have been avoided if the police hadn’t screwed up so badly

    The news that there were multiple armed law enforcement personnel on site and they didn’t stop the massacre is the worst thing for gun humpers. Their whole narrative is that we need to give more people guns because good guys with guns will stop the bad guys with guns. A story where the good guys with guns were there and were utterly ineffective at stopping the bad guy with a gun is the worst news for that argument.

  92. 92
    StringOnAStick says:

    I read something linked here yesterday about how tweets and texts can now be faked, and they are damned close with making fake videos too. This stuff is a HUGE danger to democracy, and I suspect the push to end net neutrality is part of the plan to use this even more extensive system of generating BS to make the discernment of truth well nigh impossible. Who does that benefit? It’s fairly obvious. These beltway insiders can’t even see this bulldozer that is coming for them; the press will be absolutely useless if that potential future is the one that plays out. Keep sucking down those cocktails and snacks, beltway morons, your whole reason for existing is circling the drain and all you can do is call the actions of the moron in chief “mere theater”.

  93. 93
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    NRA stands for “Nazis R Awesome”.

  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    She had a lot of onscreen charisma, like say a Julia Roberts or Amitabh
    From her recent movie: , English Vinglish,
    In her prime, from Lamhe (Moments)

    Thanks very much. This helps me understand her appeal.

    Do I understand correctly that she had also been a child actress?

  95. 95
    HeleninEire says:

    I think I may need to review my mutual funds at Vanguard. I am not absolutely sure I’m not invested in guns. I remember talking to a baby boy who dismissed the fuck out of me at my last job when talking about where I should put my 403b money. I knew more about investments than he did. But we talked about “sin funds” He said they mostly had tobacco, liquor and gun stocks. I wanted to invest. I didn’t but.. If someone wants to smoke or drink, good on ya. And tobacco stocks pay HUGE dividends. But guns. No. Alex. My nephew, that you all know about. I need to call Vanguard.

  96. 96
    Roger Moore says:

    @debbie:

    Not only did they stand there doing nothing, they stood there doing nothing other than listening to the screams of children.

    Which means they had already failed. The idea of a good guy with a gun confronting the murderer and stopping him in mid-massacre sounds good until you realize that “mid-massacre” means he’s already shot a bunch of people. The only way of avoiding a massacre completely is to stop the would-be killer before he starts. If you’re responding to shots fired, the massacre is already underway and the best you can hope for is to limit the number of victims.

  97. 97

    @Brachiator: Yes, she was. She was paid more than many of her male contemporaries like Anil Kapoor (He was the blowhard game show host in Slum Dog) and Jackie Shroff.

  98. 98
    germy says:

    Chris Hayes: Ok.. So you're saying the *entire system* is corrupt?

    Tad Devine: Yes.

    Chris Hayes: But it also seems like you're saying "Hillary Clinton is particularly corrupt"?

    Tad Devine: Well I think that's a fact :)

    pic.twitter.com/m0ZvBBuzVq— Pᴀᴛʀɪᴄᴋ Kᴀʀʟssᴏɴ ⛈ (@Patrickesque) February 25, 2018

    The notion that Bernie Sanders "campaigned hard" for Hillary Clinton is a joke

    The damage from these types of attacks is irreparable

    pic.twitter.com/P0E3veKcZS— Pᴀᴛʀɪᴄᴋ Kᴀʀʟssᴏɴ ⛈ (@Patrickesque) February 25, 2018

  99. 99
    debbie says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yeah, they limited themselves right out of any danger.

  100. 100
    Chyron HR says:

    @germy:

    What part of “a bird landed on his podium, therefore he is Messiah” do you not understand?????

  101. 101
    debbie says:

    @gene108:

    They could have done something. They could have set off fire alarms or shot up windows in hope of creating a distraction or fooling the shooter into thinking he was about to encounter a firestorm.

    Anything would have been better than doing nothing.

  102. 102
    germy says:

    @Chyron HR: I’d forgotten all about that incident. Bird is the word.

    I must say, Tad Devine has been quiet as a mouse. Is he in hiding?

  103. 103
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: Where was Tad’s last gig before Bernie? Obvi, as the kids say.

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    @debbie:

    They could have done something. They could have set off fire alarms or shot up windows in hope of creating a distraction…

    Shooting up windows could have resulted in more kids being shot.

  105. 105
    debbie says:

    @Brachiator:

    Or not. We’ll never know. They sure as hell were going to get shot if no one interceded.

  106. 106
    Chyron HR says:

    @Brachiator:

    Homer: Well, Kent, I’d be lying if I said my men didn’t shoot any kids.
    Kent Brockman: …Touche.

  107. 107
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chyron HR:

    What part of “a bird landed on his podium, therefore he is Messiah” do you not understand?????

    The part where you call a lectern a podium. /pedant

  108. 108
    Brachiator says:

    OT. The Purity Ponies strike back…

    Despite over a quarter-century representing California in the Senate, Dianne Feinstein in a humiliating setback was denied the endorsement of the California Democratic Party on Saturday, signaling a shift away from moderates at the highest levels of the state political infrastructure.

    State Sen. Kevin De León, offering the strongest challenge to Feinstein since her election, garnered 54 percent of the vote of nearly 3,000 delegates gathered here at the state convention, compared to just 37 percent for Feinstein. The state party endorsement gives candidates coveted placement on state party mailers and can raise the profile of candidates who may have a deficit in fundraising. It’s not like Feinstein has a need to raise her profile in the state, and has plenty of money to get her message out. But denying the party endorsement to a sitting U.S. Senator is a remarkable turn of events for a lawmaker who has been a fixture in California politics going back to her days as a San Francisco board supervisor, where she was first elected in the late 1960s.

    Had De León hit 60 percent, he would have won the endorsement outright. As it is, neither can claim it.

  109. 109
    germy says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Where was Tad’s last gig before Bernie?

    Tad Devine helped put this guy in office https://t.co/i3Cuy2N14o pic.twitter.com/46g0ExDqrp&

    – Pᴀᴛʀɪᴄᴋ Kᴀʀʟssᴏɴ ⛈ (@Patrickesque) February 25, 2018

  110. 110
    germy says:

    @Roger Moore: And it wasn’t a bird. It was a snickers bar, covered in feathers, tossed from an audience member.

  111. 111
    germy says:

    @Brachiator:

    So weird how the Berners humiliated both Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. (No, it's not weird, they're misogynists, that's why they enjoyed wrecking the first female nominee's convention.)

    — Rev. Magdalen ||This Machine Dismantles Patriarchy (@revmagdalen) February 25, 2018

  112. 112
    Chyron HR says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Look, egghead, the fact is that it was HIS TURN, and he should have gotten a coronation instead of having to compete in a primary. FACT.

  113. 113

    @Boudica:
    No, the boomers raised Gen X – my generation – to be complete fucking assholes of toxic masculinity and selfishness, and I have no idea why our kids are doing okay. Maybe they’re just rebelling from us being a bunch of mean shits.

  114. 114
    Brachiator says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    I read something linked here yesterday about how tweets and texts can now be faked, and they are damned close with making fake videos too. This stuff is a HUGE danger to democracy,

    Letters, books, documents have always been faked, and always have been a danger to democracy.

  115. 115
    donnah says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Thanks for saying so! I’m actually a fan of yours here at BJ, so we must think a lot alike.

    I know the Booman Tribune comes and goes with others, but he’s good at indepth analysis and I respect his experience. I’ve been going to read his blog for many years.

    No place is quite like here, though. Lots of insights, facts, and thank god, humor.

  116. 116
    Raven says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: you sure you didn’t do it in your own?

  117. 117
    germy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Have you seen any photos of this year’s CPAC audience? Some alarmingly fresh young faces.

  118. 118
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:
    Speaking as somebody who’s going to be voting in California, I’m sympathetic to the people supporting De León. Feinstein has two big drawbacks as a Senator: she’s old enough that there are real worries about her making it through another term- she’d be over 90 by the end of the term- and she’s now to the right of most of the California Democratic Party. Both of those things make it seem like it’s probably time for a new candidate. I think there’s also a realistic hope that we can get Feinstein and De León as the top two on the ballot in the primary, so we’d have our choice between two Democrats in November.

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    So weird how the Berners humiliated both Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. (No, it’s not weird, they’re misogynists, that’s why they enjoyed wrecking the first female nominee’s convention.)

    More to it than that. In Germany, the purity ponies in the SPD would rather be pure to their own values than join in a governing coalition, even though they have been granted massive concessions. Maybe Merkel’s gender is an issue, but again much more is at play.

    California progressives have always had a problem with the Democratic Party mainstream. And currently there are more registered Independents than Republicans, even though Independents tend to vote for Democrats.

  120. 120
    John Revolta says:

    So I got Thurston a bark collar (no shock because I am not a monster), and it is a miserable failure because it goes off when Rosie barks right next to him and vibrates Thurston.

    Am I a bad person because I think this is hilarious?

  121. 121
    J R in WV says:

    @HeleninEire:

    Don’t forget that Vanguard has at least dozens of mutual funds, if not hundreds. Some of them probably do have weapons manufacturers, as well as liquor, beer, tobacco, etc. Most certainly do not, and I’m sure they’ll tell you how to avoid the ones that do have gun makers.

    Many of the gun makers are too small, privately held or a small group of investors rather than a publicly traded set of investments. Others are part of a sporting goods conglomerate.

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    @Sloane Ranger: That’s a very interesting thought.

    It seems to be a cousin to what I observed when working with our local rape crisis organization decades ago. When women would hear about a rape, they would often seize on a single detail – “oh, I never sleep with my windows open” or “thank god I never walk around by myself late at night” as a way of comforting themselves – “this couldn’t happen to me”.

    We humans are interesting creatures.

  123. 123
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    You mean independents tend to vote for Republicans. Or so the conventional wisdom goes.

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore: This is California. There is no chance in hell that a Republican will be in the top slots on the Senate ballot.

  125. 125
    germy says:

    Michelle Obama Releasing ‘Deeply Personal’ Memoir This Fall

    And there will be a book tour.

    http://www.vulture.com/2018/02.....-fall.html

  126. 126
    Brachiator says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷:

    You mean independents tend to vote for Republicans. Or so the conventional wisdom goes.

    Nope. This keeps getting repeated, and by a few Balloon Juice commenters. It is absolutely false when it comes to California or Washington politics.

    And again, there are more registered Independents in California than Republicans. The state GOP fights back, but is effectively dead as a powerful state party.

  127. 127
    Calouste says:

    @Brachiator: Feinstein will be 85 this year. That’s enough of a reason to not want her run again.

  128. 128
    Lapassionara says:

    @germy: Yes!

  129. 129
    Steeplejack says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Good point. And, I think, all the shooting happened in a span of six minutes.

  130. 130
    germy says:

    @Lapassionara: The story of her journey. I wonder how much of the nonsense she encountered from conservatives while she was FLOTUS she’ll include?

  131. 131
    Brachiator says:

    @Calouste:

    Feinstein will be 85 this year. That’s enough of a reason to not want her run again.

    Too bad that the Democratic Party leadership could not have persuaded her not to run. Now the contest may become nasty and divisive.

  132. 132
    J R in WV says:

    @John Revolta:

    No not at all, because it IS hilarious. We use shouts of “NO! NO!” to overwhelm the dogs barking, which is also mostly a failure and amusing. It sometimes works at 3 am when they want to go out to investigate something.

    I stopped letting them out at 3 am after their investigation found a skunk right outside the bedroom window last spring. Amusing, but I wouldn’t ever let those dogs in without being prepared to treat their newly acquired scent!! They were impatient, but pretty quickly let us go back to sleep.

    It was quite a ruckus (Ha!) when they found Mr Skunk and he unloaded on them. Pretty sure he escaped unharmed after the chemical attack ! ;-)

    He unloaded at the farm next door the next night, under one of their sheds, along with much barking, according to reports. They must be able to hold back some of the agent of smell for another use, or re-generate it quickly perhaps, or both.

  133. 133
    efgoldman says:

    @Calouste:

    That’s enough of a reason to not want her run again.

    From 3000+ miles away, you guys did good with Kamala Harris. It’s time for DiFi to move on (just as it is for the oldest old farts on the other side)

  134. 134

    @Raven:
    Yes. We were very solidly indoctrinated in misogyny, hatred of the weak, men’s value being defined solely by how much sex they get, and heroes being defined as horrible jerks with some kind-of-redeeming feature. Go watch the movies of the 80s. We weren’t old enough to write them ourselves.

  135. 135
    Raven says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: aw poor baby, we hippies fucked you up. What horseshit.

  136. 136
    Roger Moore says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    It occurs to me that something like that may be going on among conservatives /gun lovers. They don’t want mass killings but, in their heart of hearts know the only to stop them is to give up their guns, which is unthinkable; so how comforting it would be if there were no mass shootings and all the reports are propaganda by gun grabbers and alleged victims merely professional actors.

    I’ve thought something similar, but with one important difference: gun lovers who think about these kinds of attacks are more likely to try to differentiate themselves from the perpetrators than the victims. They can almost always tell themselves that they’d never be the victim because they’re armed and would be able to stop the attack- this is a huge reason why they want to be able to take their guns everywhere- but they can’t necessarily differentiate themselves from the perpetrator. That’s why they’re perfectly happy to accept that the attack was real when it’s committed by a Muslim, atheist, obviously crazy person, or what have you; they can blame the attack on what made that person different. But when the killer is somebody who they see as an ordinary gun lover like them, they can’t easily separate themselves from the murderer and are much more eager to buy into conspiracy theories about why the attack couldn’t have happened.

  137. 137
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    This is California. There is no chance in hell that a Republican will be in the top slots on the Senate ballot.

    There’s always a slight chance they’ll be able to settle on just one candidate, in which case there’s a chance they’ll be able to get more votes than the Democrats’ second choice. That would have been even more likely if Feinstein had managed to scare away all the competent Democratic challengers. As it is, having the Democrats split between two reasonable candidates gives us the best chance of having two Democrats on the ballot in November.

  138. 138
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    Too bad that the Democratic Party leadership could not have persuaded her not to run. Now the contest may become nasty and divisive.

    I think party leadership asking a multi-term Senator not to run for reelection would have been plenty nasty and divisive by itself. Having the voters deliver the message is likely to be less of a problem.

  139. 139
    WaterGirl says:

    @donnah: I remember when I first saw your nym here, I thought “oh, good!” because I recognized your nym from BooMan’s place.

  140. 140
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore: That was my thinking exactly, when I read about the results. I think it’s a good thing.

  141. 141
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    There’s always a slight chance they’ll be able to settle on just one candidate, in which case there’s a chance they’ll be able to get more votes than the Democrats’ second choice.

    In the 2016 California Senate primary, no Republicans got more than 10 percent of the votes. The combined votes of the third and fourth place Republicans was still less than the total votes received by second place finisher Loretta Sanchez.

    The GOP chances are not impossible, but less than slight.

  142. 142
    Mary G says:

    @Roger Moore: Some paper – I think it was the LAT – had a concern trolling article about how CA Democrats have worries that there are too many candidates for Darrell Issa’s spot and they worry the vote will be split and two Republicans will end up in the general. Not.

    They have already had several debates between the various Dems and the argument that the Reps will only have two people running is ridiculous.

  143. 143
    debbie says:

    @HeleninEire:

    In case you’re still around, a Google search shows you’ve got all kinds of alternatives.

  144. 144
    Another Scott says:

    @HeleninEire: We’re in an S&P Index fund. That’s basically a huge fraction of the US economy.

    Chicago Tribune:

    Blackrock said Thursday that it wants to talk to major weapons-makers about their response to the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed. It’s unusual for a money manager to take such a proactive approach.

    Blackrock is the largest investor in America’s biggest gun-maker, Sturm Ruger, controlling more than 16 percent of its shares. The second largest investor in Sturm Ruger is the investment company Vanguard Group, which owns over 9 percent. Blackrock and Vanguard are also among the biggest shareholders of Vista Outdoor, the parent company of firearms manufacturer Savage Arms, and American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith and Wesson Holding.

    Vanguard won’t cherry-pick stocks for its index funds, which are designed to replicate the performance of a broad index, like the S&P 500, spokeswoman Carolyn Wegemann said. Only about 5 percent of Vanguard’s funds offered worldwide are invested in gun-makers, she said.

    If I were picking stocks or much more focussed funds, I’d certainly look to see if they were investing in gun makers, retailers, and all the rest. And everything else the fund touches. But not for hugely broad based funds like index funds, myself.

    YMMV.

    Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  145. 145
    donnah says:

    @WaterGirl:
    haha! I tend to use my easy-to-remember nym everywhere because I’m too dumb to have a lot of them. And I meet the nicest and smartest people here and am always pleased to see them elsewhere, too.

  146. 146
    Tehanu says:

    I’ve seen suggestions that photos of the victims’ bodies might shut down the wild conspiracy theories about how mass shootings are hoaxes, but the suggestions usually get shot down on the basis that families don’t want their children’s mutilated, bloodied bodies all over the media. But I was just reading about Emmett Till whose mother insisted that he have an open casket so people could see what had been done to him. Since I’ve been lucky enough — so far — not to have a friend or relative shot at random like that, I realize I’m not in a position to tell anyone else how to react, but I still think it would do a lot of good to show the gun-humpers exactly what kind of havoc their preciouses are causing.

  147. 147
    Elizabelle says:

    @John Revolta: That is hilarious. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Thurston had it coming. Wonder if Rosie will ever figure out the cause and effect.

  148. 148
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: How dare you say that about sweet little Thurston! Pistols at dawn.
    :-)

  149. 149
    Elizabelle says:

    @WaterGirl: I know. I love Thurston too. But, it is hilarious.

    No one would be laughing if it was Lily affected, methinks.

  150. 150
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: You are right about Lily. For Lily, I would fight you for real. :-)

Comments are closed.