‘New Media’ Open Thread: When the Monkey’s Paw Grants Your Wish

Or then again, Haberman could just hire someone to tweet in her name. (Assuming we & the platform survive, I give it three years before ‘Twitter spokesperson’ is a recognized occupation.) Let’s be honest, it’s not like the Oval Office Occupant could be bothered to spell ‘inconceivable’ correctly…

Both Haberman and Trump were breakout ‘serious’ Twitter stars, rewarded for their adept use of the new format…

The study, carried out at MIT’s Laboratory for Social Machines, showed this by examining every tweet sent between 2006 and 2017. The researchers used statistical models to classify tweets as false or true, by applying data taken from six independent fact-checking organisations. That allowed them to categorise over 4.5m tweets about 126,000 different stories. Those stories were then ranked according to how they spread among Twitter’s users.

The results were stark. False information was retweeted by more people than the true stuff, and faster to boot. True stories took, on average, six times longer than falsehoods to reach at least 1,500 people. Only about 0.1% of true stories were shared by more than 1,000 people, but 1% of false stories managed between 1,000 and 100,000 shares.

The reason false information does better than the true stuff is simple, say the researchers. Things spread through social networks because they are appealing, not because they are true. One way to make news appealing is to make it novel. Sure enough, when the researchers checked how novel a tweet was (by comparing it, statistically, with other tweets) they found false tweets were significantly more novel than the true ones. Untrue stories were also more likely to inspire emotions such as fear, disgust and surprise, whereas genuine ones provoked anticipation, sadness, joy and trust, leading to the rather depressing conclusion that people prefer to share stories that generate strong negative reactions. Perhaps not coincidentally, fake political news was the most likely to go viral…

Shorter: Everybody loves to watch a trainwreck!

Hey, NYTimes

176 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Twitter is a place to “glean information that was free from errors about a breaking news story”? When the hell was that?

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    John Roberts of Fox News. Good company you’re keeping there, MAGA Habs. Although, at least with J Roberts he wears his traitor label up front and proudly.

  3. 3
    zhena gogolia says:

    “whom I believe is an absolutely stellar journalist”

    Grammar much? whom is a stellar journalist? “I believe” is parenthetical.

  4. 4
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    From the Facebook page of a clothing store.

    New arrival at Cassie’s Corner

    (It’s not on their web site, and this is too good not to share.)

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    Is it possible to hate both Twitter and Maggie Haberman?

  6. 6
    Lapassionara says:

    @Baud: And the FNYT.

  7. 7

    And it is democratic — everyone gets to have a voice, whether they work for a local paper, a small TV station or one of the biggest newspapers in the world, or are not in the media business at all.

    Generous of Maggie to grant that even those of us who are not in the media business might have a voice.

  8. 8
    Lapassionara says:

    OT, but saw we have a $1 trillion deficit projected for 2019.

    Next article about Trump voters needs to include their reaction to this news.

  9. 9
    eemom says:

    I see on memorandum that Intercept/Greenwald is reporting that the Ecuadorians are finally gonna throw Assange to the wolves. However, I do not have the stomach to click on it.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    Poor Maggie Haberman. It evidently was quite a shock for her to learn that not everyone thinks as highly of her as she does.

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    Lanny Davis
    The strategy of @realdonaldtrump @potus @RudyGiuliani is flawed; just as is #Trump’s false #Twitter statement made against @michaelcohen212 this morning. Rudy claims the tape is “exculpatory”. Why so angry?

    So, that’s Lanny Davis defending his client Michael Cohen against accusations made by Rudy Giuliani and his client Donald Trump. The phrase “root for injuries” was made for moments like this.

  12. 12
    Shell says:

    On thefalshoods’ article…Was it Mark Twain or Churchill who said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    On planet NotMax (admittedly a diminutive orb) Twitter does not exist.

  14. 14
    randy khan says:

    I wanted to alert everyone to an actual true statement in Trump’s tweet:

    The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!

    He didn’t say *who* your favorite President is, did he?

  15. 15
    Shell says:

    Next article about Trump voters needs to include their reaction to this news.

    No problem. Its always Obamas fault.

  16. 16
    Cookie monster says:

    @eemom: You’re wiser than I am. Now I’m cranky.

    It’s a greenwald op-ed about how everyone’s corrupt and out to get assange, more or less.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @dmsilev: Leaving Lanny Davis aside – hopefully a side the road somewhere in the middle of nowhere – it does make one wonder why Ghouliani advised to waive privilege for the tape.

  18. 18
    Cookie monster says:

    @randy khan: I literally said to my wife, “yeah, I’m good with Obama, it’s trump who is guilty.”

  19. 19
    eemom says:

    @Cookie monster:

    Of course…..but it does at least SOUND like actual NEWS…..

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:


    OT, but saw we have a $1 trillion deficit projected for 2019.

    Next article about Trump voters needs to include their reaction to this news.

    Fake News! The historic growth rate of 6% will eat that deficit right away! Kudlow said so! And even though he may be a globalist cuck free-trader, he works for Godly Trump now so his word is Gospel!

  21. 21
    SFAW says:


    Next article about Trump voters needs to include their reaction to this news.

    “Deficits were a skillion times worse under Obummer, because he chose to hide the Iraq War money, just as he botched the response to Hurricane Katrina, didn’t prevent the Great Recession, and let the Iraqi terrists cause 9/11!!! And the Lindbergh baby!!”

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    I read a lot of the NY Times reader comments. A lot of them were, rather gently, informing Mags why they had been getting after her: it’s the obtuseness and the suck-worthy “journalism.” They were way nicer than I just put it.

    Your job is to look out the fucking window: I love that meme. It’s true. It’s the only way forward for journalism, too. People like Mags and the whole fucktard NYTimes political desk are defiling and killing the profession.

  23. 23
    Elizabelle says:

    @eemom: Oh, please let that be true. And have Western intelligence suck Assange off the street before he escapes to the Kremlin.

  24. 24
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Shell: I think it was Twain, and I immediately thought “Twain already told us that” when I read the article quote.

    Of course I could look it up, but as Lincoln warned us, “90% of the quotes on the internet are misattributed.”

  25. 25
    oatler. says:

    purple monkey dishwasher

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    OT from CNN

    Three governors — Montana’s Steve Bullock, Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Washington state’s Jay Inslee — each said in interviews at the National Governors Association summer meeting in New Mexico this week that they are considering 2020 runs.

    We’re going to need a bigger debate stage.

  27. 27
    SFAW says:

    @Cookie monster:

    Now I’m cranky.

    Tough shit. Why should YOU be any different from the rest of us (or “we,” according to John Roberts at Fox) jackals?

  28. 28
    SFAW says:


    And have Western intelligence suck Assange off


  29. 29
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:


    purple monkey dishwasher

    Russian bot test?

  30. 30
    NotMax says:


    Hickenlooper is too long for the headline writers.

    Eisenhower got Ike. In this case, both Hick and Loop are not particularly seemly.


  31. 31
    eemom says:

    It’s being reported elsewhere by sources quoting Greenie. But the London Times reported it earlier this week, so no scoop for you, you preening shitbag clown.

  32. 32
    Cookie monster says:

    @SFAW: Well it was self-inflicted, I should know better than to read intercept articles… :)

  33. 33
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Maggie Haberman is the Judith Miller of our time. As a result, she can politely STFU. I don’t give a fuck about her feelings.

    PF37 +2

  34. 34
    Cookie monster says:

    @Baud: shades of the early GOP 2016 primaries but, I imagine, with less chance of junk size being debated

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: at least they said it out loud. I hate the coyness around that question.

    …and her unwavering insistence the Times can do no wrong – even after having done wrong.

    that’s the funniest part about her and Glenn Thrush, back when he was showing his face in public, they’re both relatively new arrivals at NYT, and they’re all in on the cult. Reminds me of a line from a nineteenth century novel about Lord Puffenstuff, the 2nd Baron Codswallop, being especially sensitive to social etiquette and precedence because his grandfather was a butcher, or something like that. Their indignant reply to any criticism is basically, “WE are The NEW YORK TIMES!” and I hear that phrase in Margaret Dumont’s most dowager-ly righteous tone, but the comic effect is unitentional.

  36. 36
    Calouste says:

    @Elizabelle: Assange jumped bail in the UK, the Metropolitan Police will be waiting for him.

  37. 37
    dmsilev says:


    They were way nicer than I just put it.

    The NYT moderates its comment sections. I imagine the legions of people who were more …forthcoming didn’t make it past the filters.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Cookie monster:

    less chance of junk size being debated

    Probably not, since the Establishment will do everything in their power to keep Baud! 2020! off the debate stage.

  39. 39
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”
    C. H. Spurgeon, Gems from Spurgeon (1859). An earlier version appears in the Portland (Me.) Gazette, Sept. 5, 1820: “Falsehood will fly from Maine to Georgia, while truth is pulling her boots on.” Still earlier, Jonathan Swift wrote in The Examiner, Nov. 9, 1710: “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.”


  40. 40
    MobileForkbeard says:

    @dmsilev: I had a leftier than thou friend bemoaning that yesterday. “He’s a HERO and a WHISTLEBLOWER and now the U.S. will extradite and torture him!”

    So maybe it’s happening. Dude definitely deserves to get thrown to the wolves after the shit he’s pulled, especially after he doublecrossed the embassy sheltering him.

  41. 41
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @Elizabelle: determining truth from like should be a new industry…we need to monetize it somehow

  42. 42
    Baud says:


    determining truth from like should be a new industry

    We shall call it . . . Journalism!

  43. 43
    MobileForkbeard says:

    @Calouste: I always forget this is how Julian’s Excellent Adventure started.

    Breaking the law on the run from the courts.

  44. 44
    JPL says:

    A young teen was selling hot dogs in front of his house and was reported to the health dept., and what happened next is the feel good story of the month.

  45. 45
    NotMax says:

    Phew. Close call.

    Placing the ingredient laden pan into the super duper bread machine and something made me glance back over the shoulder at the countertop, where sat, pristine and whole, the two eggs which are part of the recipe.

    Creeping anxiety about the very imminent trip playing games with the head.

  46. 46
    hitchhiker says:

    Uh … isn’t the NYT giving Maggie H space in its own pages to ‘splain that readers were misusing twitter so hard that she’s forced to not use twitter in the patriotic spirit of its creators just about the biggest goddamn self-own in the history of self-ownage?

    Guess what, Maggie? We find you annoying and self-referential, and we’re not going to buy your stupid book, either.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    @PsiFighter37: A NY Times reader commenter called her Judith Miller. It made it through the screeners.

  48. 48
    Cookie monster says:

    @Baud: you could always pull a Blazing Saddles, tho you do risk being chided for being uncivil…

  49. 49
    RepubAnon says:

    @Shell: My favorite line from Terry Pratchett’s “The Truth” – even if he was just quoting it

  50. 50
    Kelly says:

    @Baud: My Sen Jeff Merkley is also running. I’m wistful about it. I like him in the Senate, especially if we get it back. His current term runs out in 2020. I hope he does one or the other not both. Not sure who would run for his seat if he vacates but we should do OK.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:


    Smugness: a boon for a reviewer, a curse for a reporter.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Kelly: I also heard a rumor that Eric Holder was considering jumping in the ring.

    I wish we could just have a coronation.

  53. 53
    p.a. says:

    Fred Clark has good takes on the ‘I want to believe’ crowd re: evangelicals. Google slacktivist + satanic baby killers

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Miss Bianca says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Ah, thank you for that origin! I had occasion to use that phrase the other day, but I believe I substituted “britches” for “boots”. Which may be the way I heard it first, or may just be a misremember.

  56. 56
    J R in WV says:

    One guy says it’s raining, the other guy says no, it’s dry out. You job isn’t to quote both of them, it’s to look out the window and see what’s really happening~!!~

    Quoted for Truth!

    Maggie, here’s your marching orders:

    Look out the Fuqin’ window and see what’s happening out there! Don’t quote people who don’t know squat, talk about both sides of what!?!

    Find out for yourself, then you’ve got something to report !

  57. 57
    Mary G says:

    I’ve never followed Maggie H because she has nothing very interesting to say – in fact, I am liable to unfollow any journalist who starts a tweet with “SCOOP” more than once. But I have yelled at some of the male reporters who defended her, especially Nick Confessore. It’s very much the groupthink there that drives me nuts. “We are never wrong, and you who yells at any one of us is a big meanie or a stupid person who doesn’t understand that we are the creme de la creme of reporters.”

  58. 58
    Kathleen says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Though she bemoans the fact that we of the great pesky unwashed have the temerity to befoul her mentions.

  59. 59
    A Ghost To Most says:


    The phrase “root for injuries” was made for moments like this.

    Root for fatalities.

  60. 60
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Baud: I like Holder in general, but I really hope he doesn’t go in. He’ll activate the exact same Hillary haters we had before – there’s this whole mythology about him “weaponizing the DOJ” and “attacking police” and a bunch of other things with no basis in reality, and given that he’s a scary black dude we’d be fighting uphill to fix it.

    There are a lot of other good options (Kamala Harris, for one) that have significantly less downside and similar upside.

  61. 61
    Miss Bianca says:

    @NotMax: No, as a former theater critic I will say that smugness is no boon to a reviewer, but almost as bad a curse as to a reporter.

  62. 62
    hitchhiker says:

    Just read that thing in the Intercept where GGreenwald gets all emotional about the 1st amendment issues represented by Julian Assange.

    Main concern seems to be that the Trump administration will be thrilled to prosecute Assange for the crime of helping the Russians make sure they won. He also goes on at some length about how Assange has effectively been imprisoned for the last 8 years, which means Glenn has no clue about how prisons work. Assange had privacy, agency, access to media, unsupervised visitations, food of his choice, and so on. Prison is about a lot more than being scared to leave the building.

    Can only hope Assange learns this first hand.

  63. 63
    David Evans says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    “whom I believe is an absolutely stellar journalist”

    Grammar much? whom is a stellar journalist? “I believe” is parenthetical.

    I think he was going for “whom I believe to be” but lost his nerve.

  64. 64
    Kathleen says:

    @dmsilev: As we kindergarten kids at Blessed Sacrament School in Omaha, Nebraska in 1955 would say, “You can dish it out but you can’t take it.”

  65. 65
    Mandalay says:


    The NYT moderates its comment sections. I imagine the legions of people who were more …forthcoming didn’t make it past the filters.

    WaPo moderates as well, and with very good reason. The moderation of all comments is a good thing, or more precisely, the least bad option, the alternatives being no comments at all, or no filtering.

    The comments on any popular web site that does not moderate are completely worthless. You can even predict the drivel, regardless of the subject matter: “Barack HUSSEIN Obama…”, “Rethuglicans….”, “White lives matter…”, “Socialists…”, “Nazis…”, etc.

  66. 66
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @NotMax: I like Hickenlooper, but he is kinda goofy. I never saw him as presidential.

  67. 67
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Kelly: He won’t make it past New Hampshire, if he even makes it past Iowa, if he even makes it to Iowa.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:


    I like Holder in general, but I really hope he doesn’t go in.

    Holder is a charisma vacuum. More power to him if he wants to promote voter rights, but otherwise…

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kelly: I like Sen Merkley. He’s an under the radar bulldog/assassin. IMO I don’t think he’s a good fit for POTUS but who the hell knows anymore.

  70. 70
    Kelly says:

    @Bobby Thomson: That honestly cheers me up! As I said before I like him in the Senate.

  71. 71
    Kathleen says:

    @hitchhiker: Hillary Clinton sends thoughts and prayers.

  72. 72
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Draft Adam Schiff.

  73. 73
    Mohagan says:

    @Shell: Neither! A quick Google search turned this up: “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”
    C. H. Spurgeon, Gems from Spurgeon (1859). An earlier version appears in the Portland (Me.) Gazette, Sept. 5, 1820: “Falsehood will fly from Maine to Georgia, while truth is pulling her boots on.” Still earlier, Jonathan Swift wrote in The Examiner, Nov. 9, 1710: “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.”

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Ball gag is good but an apple would have been better.

  75. 75
    JMG says:

    Haberman has the worst case of rabbit ears in journalism, and that’s really saying something. She gets upset when people tweet that OTHER Times reporters suck. She’s far from the worst on the political desk. She breaks good stories from time to time. But somebody that sensitive to criticism would really be happier in another line of work.

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I was thinking the other day how great it would be for SNL to do a skit with that theme. Too bad they are not coming back until September.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Mohagan says:

    @Shell: Reading comments, I see I am not the first with this quote origin

  79. 79
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Cookie monster: Why do I have the feeling that Assange has dirt to spill…about Greenwald?

  80. 80
    smintheus says:

    “In solidarity with my colleague @maggieNYT – whom I believe is an absolutely stellar journalist…”

    John Roberts doesn’t know when to use who vs. whom – that’s a real surprise, innit? I thought they hired only the best.

  81. 81
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    In ’08 I supported Edwards because of HRC’s Iraq vote and I thought Obama was unelectable. I thought McCain was going nowhere and Giuliani would be one of the top two or three.
    In ’12 I thought the Rs would never nominate Romney and Giuliani would be in the top two or three.
    In ’16 I thought O’Malley would give HRC a real run for her money and (actually 15) I thought it was good that Bernie was out there talking about more aggressively progressive positions. I threw up my hands on the R side fairly quickly because all outcomes– Bush? Rubio? Fuckin’ Trump? No way– seemed equally unlikely.
    So… Y’all wanna hear what I think about 2020? off the top of my head, I like Harris, Murphy, and Merkley. I like Schiff a lot, I think he’s a fantastic legislator. THere’s no one on the horizon I can see that I hate, like Lieberman. The only one who makes me say Oh, God, No! is Terry McAuliffe, not because I think he’s a bad guy, but I think he would be a terrible national candidate.

  82. 82
    Rich2506 says:

    Speaking of “Twitter spokespeople,” I’ve often wondered why Don Trump Jr. doesn’t have a PR professional compose his tweets for him. He’s such a complete fuck-up when it comes to tweeting! He just desperately needs the help!

  83. 83
    Jeffro says:

    @MisterForkbeard: agreed. Fresh faces, please DNC!

  84. 84
    Jeffro says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: true re: Terry

    Good governor here in VA though

  85. 85
    JWL says:

    General Sherman despised free expression in wartime* even worse than “FOX journalist” John Roberts, considering them little more than spies- put it better than Murdoch’s lickspittle: “Vox populi, vox humbug”.

    *(Americans should’t kid themselves- Trump AND the entire republican party are today in a war for their very survival).

  86. 86

    Cry me a river MAGA Habs, mouthpiece of T.

  87. 87
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jeffro: Good governor here in VA though

    That’s what I was thinking. I may have him wrong, but my impression is he talks himself into trouble sometimes, a little too blunt, which makes me think he would be a good Dem to go on Fox and call bullshit, as somebody with a couple of good careers behind him and no fucks to give.

  88. 88
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: My understanding is that a version occurs in Twain’s writings but similar sentiments go much further back.

  89. 89
    Baud says:

    From the NYT

    “Russia’s foreign minister told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday that charges against a woman accused of infiltrating American political organizations as a covert Russian agent were “fabricated” and she should be released.”

  90. 90
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Baud: Uh oh. Maybe Trump will decide to use that as an excuse. Rigged Witch Hunt and all, despite how obvious she was as a russian agent.

  91. 91
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @hitchhiker: Indeed, most people in prison would be thrilled to leave.

  92. 92
    John S. says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    So basically you’re telling us that you have terrible instincts for presidential elections and that all the people you like for 2020 are doomed.


  93. 93
    Kelly says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: HRC is the first time I voted for the winner in the Dem Primary since Jimmy Carter. Well, not counting Bill Clinton and Obama second terms.

  94. 94
    Yarrow says:

    @eemom: Russian asset freaking out is what that’s about.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    Scamp Dog says:

    @Hitlesswonder: Unfortunately, I’m afraid the best way to monetize it might be to side with the liars. There’s good money to be had in confusing people to believe nonsense that benefits the liars.

  97. 97
    Miss Bianca says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    I like Hickenlooper, but he is kinda goofy. I never saw him as presidential.

    VP material, I could definitely see. And he will be out of a job – politically speaking, anyway – by the end of this year.

  98. 98
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @NotMax: Might have been William Shirer who once remarked that the biggest break Hitler ever got was his father coming back to admit patrimony – because who could imagine hundreds of thousands of people screaming Heil Schicklgruber – ???

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Which Murphy? In 2016 I was sure it would be Jeb!, just by the way he scared the Mittster out of even getting in the race. I never considered Ghouliani as a serious contender for any race after his “cancer scare” ducking out of the NY Senate race.
    I’m not really enthused by any potential D candidate for 2020 right now. Just going to let it play out and vote when the machine tells me to.

  100. 100
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: A little dark time bomb of a joke I never got till years after I read it was that in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one of the villainous candy makers who tries to steal Willy Wonka’s secrets is named Schickelgruber.

    ETA: I remember thinking it an exceptionally funny name, so that crack of Shirer’s or whoever it was, always made me crack up.

  101. 101
    hueyplong says:

    Haberman’s situation is fairly straightforward. When you throw in your lot with the concept of collaboration, you get nervous if you perceive that the resistance might win.

    So I take her increasing sensitivity as a positive sign in a canary-in-a-coal-mine way.

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    @J R in WV:
    I believe that you may be giving Mags abilities more credit that they deserve.

  103. 103
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: Seems strange the RU foreign minister calling the Sec State on behalf of some low rent squeeze*, isn’t it?

    *No offense to squeezes as that’s where the juice is.

  104. 104
    oatler. says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’ve wanted Merkley 2020 since 2000. But Oregon= invisible.
    “Jeff Merkley: the one you see on C-Span who ISN’T an asshole.”

  105. 105
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kelly: Who’d you vote for in ’91 (1992) D primaries?

  106. 106
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m not really enthused by any potential D candidate for 2020 right now. Just going to let it play out and vote when the machine tells me to.


  107. 107
    Matt says:

    Shorter Haberman: “I must step away from this terrible machine where they let THOSE people talk to me”

  108. 108
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Corner Stone: I’d like to see “Senate Majority Leader Merkely” some day…

  109. 109
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: Not really since Pompeo is also a beholden to Russia.

  110. 110
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I like Kamala Harris too – at this early stage, I’d support her in a Presidential primary over any of the other probable candidates 👍

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: After years of having Reid from a red/purple state one would think a solid blue D Senate seat could push a little bit harder. They have a caucus to run but not having to always calculate your personal vulnerability to every bill has to be somewhat liberating.

  112. 112
    Dan B says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: FU! I got stuck in the bathroom hollering. My partner was very concerned. You savage!

  113. 113
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Dan B: You’re welcome. 😈

  114. 114
    Mike in DC says:

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: My #1 preference. If possible, I’d like to work on or for such a campaign. My concern is that we’re going to try to “win back” the WWC, which I think is a fool’s errand. We’re not going to out-white Trump, and any effort is likely to cost us something with regards to nonwhite voter turnout.

  115. 115
    Kelly,phone says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m not completely sure but I think I went with Bob Kerry on the theory we needed a veteran war hero type to break through. I remember having no clue who Clinton was and dismissed him.

  116. 116
    J R in WV says:


    Very nice! The church is OK too…

  117. 117

    @J R in WV: I just changed the camera profile to a bit warmer version, I think it’s a bit better.

    ETA: SacTown has a really pretty RC cathedral, especially compared to the Rogmahal* here in LA.

    *Rogmahal refers to former LA Archbishop Roger Mahoney who insisted on a new cathedral.

  118. 118
    James E Powell says:

    The defenses of Haberman – that she is a good reporter, that she is a journalist – are ridiculous. She may call herself that but “access journalism” is a euphemism for courtier, for a gossip monger, for a reliable outlet for “insider scoops” that are nothing more than the government using her to put its message out.

    Haberman doesn’t do reporting or journalism. She doesn’t do what David Fahrenthold does. She hangs out with and regularly chats with the insiders who flatter her by pretending she’s just like them. They tell her things, she repeats them, giving them the imprimatur of the New York Times. And she’s not gullible, she’s not being duped. She’s a willing and apparently devoted practitioner.

    You’ve really got to wear a chastity belt in Washington to preserve your journalistic virginity. Once the secretary of state invites you to lunch and asks your opinion, you’re sunk. – I.F. Stone

  119. 119
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Mike in DC: Yes – and I’d really prefer to double down and nominate two candidates of the female persuasion, to further boost turnout among female voters!

  120. 120
    laura says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: the cathedral was built using gold rush wealth. It was restored a handfull of years ago and is beautiful inside and out. One of my few law school friends got married there in 1999. I still have the gigantic bridesmaid dress hogging up valuable closet real estate.

  121. 121
    burnspbesq says:


    Can’t remember where I saw it, but Correia first said it several weeks ago. Bout goddam time.

  122. 122
    James E Powell says:


    St Andrew up your way is pretty nice.

  123. 123
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: Yeah. I’m not sold on her, but I do like her quite a bit. If nothing changes, she’s my vote.

    I’m open to being persuaded on virtually anyone else. I go back and forth with Booker – he’s had some problematic stances (a little too friendly with banks, and he was slow on the guns issue), but on balance he’s pretty good. He’s ALSO stupidly charismatic and media savvy, and that counts for a lot.

  124. 124

    @laura: It is quite beautiful inside and out, the problem with photographing it is that you can’t get far enough away to get the whole thing. I had to resort to shooting 3 shots and stitching them together in Lightroom. I really enjoyed my quick visit to Sacramento and really wish I could have spent more time up there.

  125. 125
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @burnspbesq: That’s “Correa”, right? “Correia” to me is Larry Corriera, a racist shitbag who write mostly awful contemporary sci-fi and an avowed Trumpist.

  126. 126
    grammypat says:

    @Yarrow: Posturing is all that’s being done. They really don’t care about her or what a trial exposes since Mueller, et al already have the goods. Cost of doing business. Putin is happy to keep the focus on her and off of his other “embeds” that are quietly doing their thing.

  127. 127

    @James E Powell: Ah, in Pasadena(I had to look it up). I’ve been meaning to spend a day there(I’ve photographed the bridge and City Hall quite a few times). I think I’ll wait for a cool down before I do that. We have St. Mark’s here in town that’s pretty nice.

    ETA: Now if you want to see a truly amazing church, St. Sophia’s(the Greek Orthodox cathedral ) on Normandie.

  128. 128
    Yarrow says:

    @grammypat: Don’t know who the “her” is that you’re referring to. My comment was in reply to a comment about GG and Assange.

  129. 129
    Platonailedit says:

    Media bubble has no fucking windows.

  130. 130
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    I think it was Twain, and I immediately thought “Twain already told us that” when I read the article quote.

    When that paper appeared in march ( The spread of true and false news online (March 9 2018) ) I poked at that a bit. Re the paper, they have some implied conjectures about “novelty” (they have the data) but hadn’t yet published.

    We found that false rumors were significantly more novel than the truth across all novelty metrics,

    And yes, the implied “twain quote” was shameless bait (I presume, and it worked!) for the press. I should probably keep a watch out for their next paper.

  131. 131
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Corner Stone: I will say this, I got to meet Reid back in 2003, when he had to calculate much much more, given how everyone was on Bush’s jock. He did pretty good, and I can’t really think of a blue stater at the time who would have done better.

  132. 132
    grammypat says:

    .@Yarrow: Sorry, I thought that you were talking about the NRA spy when you said “asset” … my bad.

  133. 133
    Mike in DC says:

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: That, or Harris/Castro. Kind of an ultimate FU to 45.

  134. 134
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Brings to mind Robert Downey Jr’s line in The Avengers: Doth mother know thou weareth her drapes?

  135. 135
  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:


    To be fair, fixing St. Vibiana’s after Northridge was going to be pretty expensive, which is why they decommissioned it and sold it off. I think it’s kind of a mini-mall now.

  137. 137

    @Mnemosyne: It’s not a mini-mall, the developer fixed it up and it’s used for weddings and such. Here’s inside the Rogmahal.

  138. 138

    @Mnemosyne: Of course you know the saying here in LA…”We have a concert hall that looks like a cathedral and a cathedral* that looks like a concert hall”.

    *Actually, I think the cathedral is on what was the site of LA’s first concert hall.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @NobodySpecial: No, Reid was as good as he might have been all things considered. He counterpunched a few times that had me smiling, along with other less happy times. All the blue state D Senators were running from Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer, scared to death someone was going to make an ad that they were unpatriotic. Good times, back when the GOP used our enemies against the D’s for domestic policy success. Now they side with them for success in domestic politics.

  140. 140
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    So… Y’all wanna hear what I think about 2020?

    That was funny.

  141. 141
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Gelfling 545: That was my response to the person who sent it to me. 🤣

  142. 142
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    THere’s no one on the horizon I can see that I hate, like Lieberman.

    I wouldn’t call it “hate” actually but if Biden even thinks of sniffing at entering I want him crushed like…something that gets crushed regularly. I want him to come in 17th in a 12 person contest in Iowa.

  143. 143
    Yarrow says:

    Hostage speaks:

    New statement from @ODNIgov Dan Coats: “My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the President.”— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) July 21, 2018

  144. 144
    Redshift says:

    On a show on the oh-so-careful NPR this afternoon, they consulted with several experts on the question of whether Trump might be guilty of treason. The argument mainly seemed to revolve around whether, in constitutional terms, we’re at war with Russia (noting that the Constitution’s definition of treason is much narrower than most countries’.)

    The question of whether Trump was acting in the interests of Russia seemed to be taken as a given. I consider it a positive development that this was bring presented to NPR listeners.

  145. 145
    burnspbesq says:


    My spelling mistake: that’s Rafael Correa, the immediate past President of Ecuador and leader of the majority party.

  146. 146
    Yarrow says:

    @grammypat: There are so many Russian assets it’s easy to mix them up.

  147. 147
    Kelly says:

    @Corner Stone: Just back from a walk down by the river. Pretty sure in 1992 I voted was Bob Kerrey on the theory we need a veteran war hero type. I didn’t know anything about Clinton and dismissed him. I now remember voting for John Kerry again on the veteran war hero theory so I voted for one more winner than I remembered. My veteran war hero theory was completely destroyed by the Republicans in the general.

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yarrow: And another Dignity Wraith person is revealed to be his true self.

  149. 149
    Calouste says:

    @Corner Stone: Funny how that goes from zero to Foreign Minister level within a week. Probably skipped through all the usual consular requests.

  150. 150
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike in DC: Oh yes. Get me a Castro. Either of the two brothers. They’re both pretty damn good.

  151. 151
    James E Powell says:


    I was going to mention St Sophia’s. It’s been in some films, I think, but I don’t remember which. I once worked at a school a couple blocks away. There’s a pretty good Greek baker across the street.

  152. 152
    Corner Stone says:

    @Calouste: One wonders what she has to say, beyond her cohabitation complaints.

  153. 153
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’ve been to the Rogmahal. I like the murals and such, but I’m not a fan of the whole Brutalist concrete thing.

  154. 154
    hueyplong says:

    @Yarrow: Was Coats holding up today’s newspaper a the photo accompanying that statement?

  155. 155
    jl says:

    I like the (I hope) new journalism meme. Important because several big shot national affairs corporate media celeb news actors pretending to be journalists have explicitly said their job is to quote the person who says it’s raining and the person who says it’s dry, and call it a good days work and go enjoy your multi-million dollar paycheck. Whether it is raining or dray is not their job, or wonky stuff the average viewer wouldn’t understand. Figuring it out gets into the weeds, you know. They’ll click away to another more enjoyable reality show if you get into the actual reality.

    And if it really is raining or is dry, then one or the other person would be wrong, the truth would be considered partisan by some viewers, and upsetting. Better to not look out the window and always say it’s kind of in between raining and not raining, since you don’t have to put any dents into the profit margin with research, and you always be kind of half right anyway.

  156. 156
  157. 157
    grammypat says:

    @Yarrow: Yeah. I just didn’t go back thru to look at the original comment. Oh well, caca pasa.

  158. 158
    Gemina13 says:

    So Maggie Haberman is upset because people are continuously calling her out as Trump’s fluffer? Too bad, so sad. Maybe if she actually practiced being a journalist instead of a high-level gossip columnist to the Beltway, she might get the respect she’s angling for.

    Fuck the fucking New York Times. They traded away both soul and reputation decades ago. The fact that, every so often, a great piece like yesterday’s about working-class liberals gets printed on their broadsheet doesn’t diminish the fact that they routinely tongue the holes of the GOP. So Haberman’s leaving Twitter? Fine by me. Means more room for the likes of Caroline O., Sarah Kendzior, Joy Reid, and Leslie Mac, among others.

  159. 159
    Bjacques says:

    The world whose birth Assange so assiduously assisted is eager to embrace him. I don’t understand his reluctance to meet it.

    Ultra-progressives hate neo-liberalism for pretty good reasons which, unfortunately, the fascists with whom they’ve allied don’t share. Fascists hate neo-liberalism only because it’s in their way.

  160. 160
    jl says:

    @Bjacques: Not sure Assange was ever a progressive of any sort, merely posing as one. There a lot of confused people out in the cyber-techno-libertarian world that is only progressive in real sense on some social and civil liberty issues. And if Assange was ever merely confused, that was long ago by now.

  161. 161
    Brachiator says:


    Ultra-progressives hate neo-liberalism for pretty good reasons

    I keep hearing this. Sounds like a bunch of nonsense.

    More to the point, Trump and the GOP is the main adversary to be defeated.

  162. 162
    Miss Bianca says:


    The question of whether Trump was acting in the interests of Russia seemed to be taken as a given. I consider it a positive development that this was bring presented to NPR listeners.

    Wow, that’s interesting. That’s a *lot* farther long than I expected NPR to be.

    Who knows, maybe it’s just been a concatenation of things, maybe it’s been just one short sharp shock with Helsinki, but it seems like the mainstream media have been given permission – or maybe they’ve given themselves permission finally, who knows – to start facing unpalatable facts and leading the discussion on them.

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:


    Ultra-progressives hate neo-liberalism

    I apologize but I am going to need some shorthand for what these terms mean to you in today’s context.

  164. 164
    Doug R says:


    Ultra-progressives hate neo-liberalism for pretty good reasons which, unfortunately, the fascists with whom they’ve allied don’t share. Fascists hate neo-liberalism only because it’s in their way.

    Did that make more sense in the original Russian?

  165. 165
    jl says:

    @Miss Bianca: GOP bigshots clearly shaken and putting up rickety half-hearted responses to Trumps outrageou and dangerous hijinks at NATO and Helsinki shambles probably gave them some courage. They feel safe from a ferocious reactionary backlash backed by GOP Congressional flunkies, at least for now.

  166. 166
    Miss Bianca says:

    @jl: Let’s hope it’s a trend that continues.

  167. 167
    Ken says:


    Rigged Witch Hunt and all, despite how obvious she was as a russian agent.

    And yet, dozens of high-level Republicans and supporters couldn’t see the obvious. That’s the one thing that I can’t wrap my head around – though every time I do, it’s good for a (somewhat bitter) laugh.

    Also, am I remembering correctly – I think someone here on BJ said that she had approached a Democratic group, and they reported it to the FBI?

  168. 168
    jl says:

    @Ken: I saw a news item on that too. The Butina spy operation approached a lefty group they thought was big enough and anti HRC enough to be useful, and they reported it to the FBI as suspicious.

    So, the gossip that Mueller’handed it off’ to another agency may be way off base. May have been an independent investigation triggered by the lefty group having some scruples and competent enough to perform some due diligence.

    Not much in the news item other than that, so I hope more comes out soon, like exactly which group it was. Probably not the Stein organization! But maybe it was, maybe Stein thought that she can claim her hands are clean cause she reported a probably foreign influence operation, so can go canoodle with the Russians and Vlad (I dislike Stein and her faction’s horrible effect on US Green Party intensely, I’m just spinning out a possibility that fits her contemptible hypocrisy).

  169. 169
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: It’s been misattributed to Twain. The source of the version with boots is unclear, but it predates Twain, and a similar sentiment with different wording was expressed by Jonathan Swift in 1710.

  170. 170
    jl says:

    @Matt McIrvin: The truest thing Twain apparently never said was “the coldest winter I ever endured was a summer in San Francisco.” I never liked the Twain attribution for the truth ‘n’ boots quote, I don’t think it is good enough even for a fake Twain quote. I think Swift’s version is better.

    Edit: The Twain quote along the lines of “he was a congressman, and he was a criminal, but I’m sorry, I repeat myself’ is the most important apparently true quote to keep in mind.

  171. 171
    oatler. says:

    For what it’s worth, Merkley is on PBS/Exxon’s “Firing Line” right now,and he’s handing Margaret Hoover’s GOP ass to her.

  172. 172
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Doug R:

    Did that make more sense in the original Russian?

    The google-translate english-russian-english invariant is

    Ultra-progressive people hate neoliberalism for pretty good reasons, which, unfortunately, the fascists with whom they are linked, do not share. Fascists hate neoliberalism only because they are already on the road.

    I like that one a little better. (Seriously, @Bjacques, the original was a bit too obtuse IMO.)

  173. 173
    evodevo says:

    @SFAW: You have NO idea how close this is to what I hear in my workplace every day …WASS

  174. 174
    Gemina13 says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I was working in Los Angeles when the Rog Mahal was completed, for a legal department not to be named. Our boss nicknamed the place the Twin Towers Annex. I don’t know if he came up with it, or heard it elsewhere, but in that office, it stuck. And it fit – the place is (IMO) an ugly, soulless monument to Mahoney’s ego.

  175. 175
    Ian says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    A lot of CO Dems want him to ring Cory Gardner’s clock in 20. That appears to be Hickenlooper’s fallback if his presidential aspirations sizzle.

    If I were a betting individual I would say Gillibrand or Harris will be the Dem nominee in 20.

  176. 176
    SFAW says:


    You have NO idea how close this is to what I hear in my workplace every day …WASS

    Sorry to hear it. It would drive me crazy not telling the morons how moronic they truly are.

    That said: I’m not surprised, unfortunately, and it’s yet another example of the Myth of Peak Wingnut

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