Kevin and Charlie discuss the pitfalls of being hyper-focused, overwrought journalism, and Jussie Smollett.

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There are 14 comments.

  1. Listener

    Question re the Jussie Smollett hoax: How similar are his goals and those of Charles Manson?

    Does anyone remember what Manson thought “Helter Skelter” would be and how he would have his cult carry it out?

    et carter

    (I’m not trying for a total equivalence via analogy, but trying to find out if I remember “the facts” of the Manson cult murders, and motivations, and Unsubs like Smollett who carry out such organized schemes. Thank you?)

    • #1
    • February 22, 2019, at 11:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Member

    Re losing your writing: My late father was a professor of engineering, mostly before the days of personal computer. One of his students had an expensive sports car stolen. The bigger tragedy for the student was that the only copy of his nearly finished thesis was in the car.

    • #2
    • February 23, 2019, at 7:28 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Member

    I actually appreciate that the Chicago writer discussed in your first segment is honest in his assertion that “democratic socialism” means that government would control every aspect of everybody’s life. Too many of the people I deal with think that the government control inherent to “democratic socialism” would affect only the lives of other people. 

    • #3
    • February 23, 2019, at 7:32 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Listener

    As a regular reader of the Bulwark, it’s clear that Charlie has no idea what he’s talking about.

    First, the whole thing about making the Trumpist elite “unwelcome at dinner parties” is not something people at the Bulwark “told the Atlantic” – McKay Coppins wrote it himself as part of his analysis of the site, though I can see why Charlie made the mistake:

    The audience is comparatively small, but staffers say they are pleased with the impression they’ve made so far in political and media circles. Bulwark stories are often seen bouncing around Twitter and newsroom Slack channels. For its project to work, it doesn’t need the massive reach of a Fox News or a Rush Limbaugh—it just needs to make D.C. dinner parties and greenroom visits uncomfortable for the Trumpist elite.

    Second, even the very concept is absurd. Are you telling me the Trumpist elite is currently welcome at dinner parties in ultra-ultra-progressive D.C.? What D.C. is he thinking of?

    And finally, I’m disturbed by the fact that Charlie was okay with launching this extensive attack on a website without ever having visited it or seen its articles, and instead basing his information solely on an article in the Atlantic – a publication never friendly to conservatives, whether Trumpist or not, as his cohost can attest.

    I don’t see how what Charlie did is much different from what the rest of the media did to the Covington kids.

    • #4
    • February 24, 2019, at 4:41 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Member

    Is it really pronounced”bullerk”? They both used that pronunciation. I had always thought it was “BULL-werk”.

    • #5
    • February 24, 2019, at 7:22 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    As a regular reader of the Bulwark, it’s clear that Charlie has no idea what he’s talking about.

    First, the whole thing about making the Trumpist elite “unwelcome at dinner parties” is not something people at the Bulwark “told the Atlantic” – McKay Coppins wrote it himself as part of his analysis of the site, though I can see why Charlie made the mistake:

    The audience is comparatively small, but staffers say they are pleased with the impression they’ve made so far in political and media circles. Bulwark stories are often seen bouncing around Twitter and newsroom Slack channels. For its project to work, it doesn’t need the massive reach of a Fox News or a Rush Limbaugh—it just needs to make D.C. dinner parties and greenroom visits uncomfortable for the Trumpist elite.

    Second, even the very concept is absurd. Are you telling me the Trumpist elite is currently welcome at dinner parties in ultra-ultra-progressive D.C.? What D.C. is he thinking of?

    And finally, I’m disturbed by the fact that Charlie was okay with launching this extensive attack on a website without ever having visited it or seen its articles, and instead basing his information solely on an article in the Atlantic – a publication never friendly to conservatives, whether Trumpist or not, as his cohost can attest.

    I don’t see how what Charlie did is much different from what the rest of the media did to the Covington kids.

    There’s a difference between trusting The Atlantic, which has a reputation to maintain, and swallowing a tall story from a dodgy Native American activist.

     The part that made me a little uneasy was where we’re told the Bulwarkers “are pleased with the impression they’ve made so far in political and media circles”. Do they mean Democratic political and liberal media circles? Is that where their stories are “often seen bouncing around“? And exactly what is this “project” they want “to work”?

    • #6
    • February 24, 2019, at 8:46 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Thatcher

    • #7
    • February 24, 2019, at 10:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Listener

    Taras (View Comment):
    There’s a difference between trusting The Atlantic, which has a reputation to maintain, and swallowing a tall story from a dodgy Native American activist.

    But the principle of “check the story for yourself before criticizing” is the same.


    Taras (View Comment)
    :

    The part that made me a little uneasy was where we’re told the Bulwarkers “are pleased with the impression they’ve made so far in political and media circles”. Do they mean Democratic political and liberal media circles? Is that where their stories are “often seen bouncing around“? And exactly what is this “project” they want “to work”?

    Consider: The Bulwark reaches its editorial stance from a principled conservative opposition to both progressives and Trumpists. (It is part of Charlie’s massive misunderstanding of the Bulwark that he assumes it is entirely anti-Trump, missing the many articles that it publishes in opposition to progressive and socialist ideas and promoting conservative values like American exceptionalism and traditional morality.)

    If Democrats and liberals are suddenly reading and absorbing conservative ideas, where they previously wouldn’t be caught dead reading the Weekly Standard or National Review, isn’t that a good thing? That’s definitely a project that I’d like to see work.

    • #8
    • February 25, 2019, at 12:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Thatcher

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Re losing your writing: My late father was a professor of engineering, mostly before the days of personal computer. One of his students had an expensive sports car stolen. The bigger tragedy for the student was that the only copy of his nearly finished thesis was in the car.

    I had a friend who did his dissertation reasearch on South African history IN South Africa in the late 80s… every week or 2 he bundled up all his notes and mailed them to his home address in the US, on the not-so-off chance that they would be seized, either by random police or at his exit from the country… so much easier today! 

    • #9
    • February 25, 2019, at 4:06 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Member

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Is it really pronounced”bullerk”? They both used that pronunciation. I had always thought it was “BULL-werk”.

    Different pronunciations in UK and US. I hear “bullerk” too, but phonetic transcription has never been a long suit.

    Kevin, I assume, is bending the knee as is periodically traditional among(st) us. My father, who graduated from med school in 1939, always insisted on British pronunciations of scientific and medical terms. (Some of them I think he made up. “Protein is pronounced slightly differently in the two countries, but “pro-tee-in” probably in neither.)

    • #10
    • February 25, 2019, at 4:56 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Member

    Kevin and Charlie, please sit closer to your microphones. Perhaps Scott Immergut could help you with that

    Taras (View Comment):

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    As a regular reader of the Bulwark, it’s clear that Charlie has no idea what he’s talking about.

     * * *

    I don’t see how what Charlie did is much different from what the rest of the media did to the Covington kids.

    There’s a difference between trusting The Atlantic, which has a reputation to maintain, and swallowing a tall story from a dodgy Native American activist.

    That’s quite a reputation The Atlantic has to maintain:

    My first piece appeared in the Atlantic on April 2. I was fired on April 5.
    –K.D.Williamson

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    As a regular reader of the Bulwark, it’s clear that Charlie has no idea what he’s talking about.

    Bulwark … just needs to make D.C. dinner parties and greenroom visits uncomfortable for the Trumpist elite.

    Second, even the very concept is absurd. Are you telling me the Trumpist elite is currently welcome at dinner parties in ultra-ultra-progressive D.C.? What D.C. is he thinking of?

    The very concept of “Trumpist elite” is absurd. There’s no such thing. From where I sit – far too close to D.C. for my continued sanity – only anti-Trumpers could believe in such a thing as a “Trumpist elite.” Democrats and the Democrat-Media complex view Trump supporters, Trump explainers, Trump advisors, Trump policy beneficiaries, and Trump apologists as unwashed ignorant racist sexist homophobic bigots. There can never be any elite among such barbarians. Anti-Trumpers Bill Kristol and George F. Will would prefer that Hillary Clinton were President. That’s simply not rational thought, let alone principled conservatism. Only anti-Trumpers could imagine such a thing as a “Trumpist elite.”

    That said, I’m pleased to hear (@17:35 – 17:48) that Charles C.W. Cooke appears to have moderated his stance on Trump, and doesn’t merely chant without explanation “wholly unfit for office” as he did at least through mid 2018.

    @16:48 – “or you can go down the ‘everything Trump does is brilliant’ route.”

    Name two people who travel that route, Charlie.

    @17:32 – “the place that I have landed at”
    @18:12 – “where I happen to have landed at”

    Am I the only person who had an English teacher during freshman year in high school? Sheesh.

    • #11
    • February 25, 2019, at 11:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):


    Taras (View Comment)
    :

    The part that made me a little uneasy was where we’re told the Bulwarkers “are pleased with the impression they’ve made so far in political and media circles”. Do they mean Democratic political and liberal media circles? Is that where their stories are “often seen bouncing around“? And exactly what is this “project” they want “to work”?

    Consider: The Bulwark reaches its editorial stance from a principled conservative opposition to both progressives and Trumpists. (It is part of Charlie’s massive misunderstanding of the Bulwark that he assumes it is entirely anti-Trump, missing the many articles that it publishes in opposition to progressive and socialist ideas and promoting conservative values like American exceptionalism and traditional morality.)

    If Democrats and liberals are suddenly reading and absorbing conservative ideas, where they previously wouldn’t be caught dead reading the Weekly Standard or National Review, isn’t that a good thing? That’s definitely a project that I’d like to see work.

    I would, too; but I suspect it betrays a misunderstanding of how the liberal media take advantage of dissent within conservative ranks. For example, the media generally ignored Barry Goldwater in his later years: except when he criticized the Republican Party, from time to time. In his own mind, he was telling it like it is; but only his relatively rare anti-Republican remarks were broadcast. (In the election of 1964, the liberal media painted Goldwater as mentally deranged – but not when he agrees with them!)

    Similarly, the media played up the Bushes’ ill-advised criticism of Trump. 

    When Mona Charen had her op-ed in the NY Times last year, all about how nasty Trump supporters are (for arguing with her), except for a vague reference to Bill Clinton, every word of her essay was helpful to the Left. Did she even try to include any material promoting the other side? If she had, would they have published the essay? (Did they force her to take it out?)

    The liberal publication called The Week often surveys opinion on an issue in the news. Typically it will give, say, five liberal sources for every two conservative ones (which is still better than what you usually get from a liberal publication). But in a recent issue, on facing pages (!), two of those scarce conservative slots were given to Never-Trumper David French, to attack the President. On one of the two issues addressed, all the liberal sources and all the “conservative“ sources attacked Trump. 

     

     

     

    • #12
    • February 26, 2019, at 9:18 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Member

    Taras (View Comment):

    When Mona Charen had her op-ed in the NY Times last year, all about how nasty Trump supporters are (for arguing with her), except for a vague reference to Bill Clinton, every word of her essay was helpful to the Left. Did she even try to include any material promoting the other side? If she had, would they have published the essay? (Did they force her to take it out?)

    The liberal publication called The Week often surveys opinion on an issue in the news. Typically it will give, say, five liberal sources for every two conservative ones (which is still better than what you usually get from a liberal publication). But in a recent issue, on facing pages (!), two of those scarce conservative slots were given to Never-Trumper David French, to attack the President. On one of the two issues addressed, all the liberal sources and all the “conservative“ sources attacked Trump.

    Taras, I long ago had to give up on Mona Charen, although I used to enjoy her Need to Know podcast with Jay Nordlinger. Even after I met both Mona and Jay at Rob Long‘s inaugural ConPodCon – and found them exceedingly charming (dammit), I just can’t stomach their steadfast unwillingness to admit that – unlikely though it may be,* Trump has advanced conservative policies more effectively than any President during our lifetimes.

    As for David French, if you haven’t already done so, I recommend you listen to Andrew Klavan’s interview of David last week. I don’t miss David’s commentary as much as I miss Jay’s sparkling wit, but I cannot abide David’s preening sanctimonious anti-Trumpism that forecloses the possibility of redemption.

    * Full disclosure: I was staunchly anti-Trump during the 2016 primary season, and even tried to organize a grass-roots campaign to encourage “delegate nullification” among RNConvention delegates, that they might cast their ballots for Ted Cruz, who from my perspective was a more effective protest candidate than Donald Trump. I was furious with Reince Priebus for treating a lifelong NY Democrat – who never voted in a Republican primary until June 2016, as a legitimate candidate for the Republican Party nomination.

    That said, I cannot argue with the results: (With the possible exception of trade tariffs that seem to be producing positive effects with antagonistic trade partners such as China,) Trump has advanced conservative policies even more effectively than Ronald Reagan. Anti-Trumpers such as Mona and Jay and David – and even moreso such as George F. Will, David Brooks, and Bill Kristol, who explicitly announce their preference for a Hillary Clinton presidency – have abandoned both conservative principle and rational thought.

    • #13
    • March 14, 2019, at 10:28 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Coolidge

    @libertydefender — Thanks; I’ll take a listen to the podcast you recommend. 

    I also took a long time to come around. In the Presidential election, I was planning to vote for the two governors on the Libertarian ticket, though in the end I wasn’t able to get to the polls. 

    • #14
    • March 14, 2019, at 11:09 AM PDT
    • Like