My therapist said to stop reading Bobo (she said he’s like a disease without any cure…don’t think you’re clever for saying the next line is true too btw), but I am now engaged in an epic battle to make my totebagger uncle stop taking him seriously. Beyond the classic Sasha Issenberg take down from the Philadelphia magazine, are they are any other definitive anti-Bobo treatises you are aware of? Any from official-looking places? My uncle isn’t the type to take it seriously if it’s from a place with a name like “Balloon Juice” or “No More Mister Nice Guy”.
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Bobo’s mom told me he still pees the bed sometimes, but you really can’t use that.
Matt Taibbi has killed Bobo on his blog a few times, but if your uncle is a conservative guy I don’t think a “Rolling Stone” blog and Matt Taibbi’s hyperbolic ways will sit easy with him. They work fine for me though.
Yeah, I was about to say, Taibbi has repeatedly murdered him, but those treatises all involve naughty words and such that automatically disqualify the argument from consideration.
Isn’t reading his lame columns about science or economics enough to prove to your uncle how disingenuous Bobo is.
He might like Rolling Stone, he loves Bob Dylan and all that stuff.
Some people can only be convinced with an axe handle.
Yes, being obsessed about Bobo could lead one to become a bore, I suppose…good luck with the uncle. I’m in a similar battle with my own father, which is a different type of hell…
Tim in SF
Link? I’d like to read that.
I guess your uncle will not see driftglass as “official looking”?
BTW, this is a good example of why Taibbi should stop saying fuck so often. The medium swamps the message.
If you say anything with a smile and look official, people take you seriously. Sad reality of everyday life. Fascism came to America wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross, and calling its opponents unreasonable as David Gregory nods along.
anything driftlass has written in the last forever
just for the latest.
@Tim in SF:
Link. It’s a very good article, not just because it rips Brooks but because the analysis of new journalism and what came after is spot on. A great piece, all in all.
Yeah, that Bobo-on-Haiti piece that Taibbi did would be perfect otherwise, my uncle is involved with Haitian relief efforts. But the use of “fuck” might turn him off.
The literary blogger Maud Newton took a few swings at Bobo last year. Awesome.
You don’t own a sharpie?
Bobo? How about Jabba? As in, the Hut.
I’m thinking he would be an amazing candidate to primary Obama; tag line to the bumper stickers would be:
“Don’t Blow It; Hand Jabba The Presidency”
Kinda has a Clintonian ring to it, doncha think?
Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle
Beyond the classic Sasha Issenberg take down from the Philadelphia magazine, are they are any other definitive anti-Bobo treatises you are aware of?
Can anyone link to said Sasha Issenberg piece?
his authority – he’s from Chicago, i.e. we know our shills.
1. Collect up all the great take downs from BJ and NMMNG.
2. Go to Blogger and start a blog named “Normal Opinions Of Normal Americans Who Punch Hippies” or some such shit, with lots of Very Serious images, links, etc.
3. Post collected take downs on the new blog, and direct your uncle there.
@Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
Copy and paste some Rolling Stone Taibbi pieces but do some edits yourself. Do you really think he’s going to read the actual link if you send him the text?
@Calming Influence: That’s a pretty good idea. I believe that washingtonpoliticalreview.com is free.
@DougJ – Some of Dean Baker’s mini-takedowns might be good.
Anyone else think this is a problem with the left somehow? That we literally have problems thinking of a piece that reads as credible?
I mean, fuck, Taibbi’s good enough for me but we do need to reach out more to middle America. Or in the last words of Gay Perry in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: “… to all you good people in the Midwest, sorry we said fuck so much.”
I nominate Bats Left Throws Right.
@Calming Influence: Best Idea Ever. Niche filled.
Tim in SF
Oh yeah. I remember that article. I liked it. It was an accurate and effective description.
Daily takedowns of Brooks and Douthat here:
Doghouse Riley at Bats Left – Throws Right
I note this for your entertainment only – there is definitely too much f*ck for your uncle but just enough for the whole sick Balloon Juice crew.
Mike in NC
Why not take your uncle to the salad bar at Applebee’s to meet some Real Americans?
HERE is a Google search of “David Brooks wrong.” As you might imagine, there is a lot of material.
Also, quoting James = awesome.
Agreed on Driftglass. He really has Bobo’s number. And Sullivan’s. And Friedman’s. With awesome photoshops!
Yeah you can’t touch Driftglass. No one destroys BOBO or Sullivan quite like him. Too bad you won’t catch him in any lamestream media. And what you need for your uncle doesnt exist inside of a framework that will work for him. You’re fucked. (so is your uncle)
Rolling Stone: Translating David Brooks: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi/blogs/TaibbiData_2010/83706/83512
Rolling Stone: Let the eat work: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi/blogs/TaibbiData_2010/83757/83512
True Slant: http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2010/01/27/populism-just-like-racism/#post_comments
The Haiti piece is too personal. Try the Populism: Just like racism! one.
It links to the Haiti piece because it was the next week and Taibbi is expressing some regret at how personal he got, but it’s a much better piece.
Yeah, that’s a good idea, that’s on some official-looking blog, right?
Teh Google says DougJ needs some new material.
Tell me about it. My Dad thinks FDR is a heathen for Bretton Woods and he yammers crazy shit about “taking the US off the gold standard”.
Lot’s of “face meets palm” moments when I go home for visits.
David Brooks Blows Bobos
yay readership capture
Jon Chait sometimes goes after Brooks.
Here’s a sympathetic post,
“The Tragedy of David Brooks,” http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/76052/the-tragedy-david-brooks
And a few harsher ones:
“David Brooks at his David Brooksiest,” http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/david-brooks-his-david-brooksiest
“David Brooks and Cultures,” http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/79211/david-brooks-and-cultures
Offtopic, but anyone here watch and enjoy Psych? Tonight’s episode takes place in the town of Dual Spires, where they have to solve the mysterious death of a young woman named Paula. They have encountered town residents with famous names (the sheriff is named Andrew Jackson tho, not Harry Truman), and a woman who was carrying a log and looked like she was talking to it..but Gus and Shawn both agree that ‘that would be too much.’ Some very familiar actors and actresses appear too. And the opening theme song was performed by Julee Cruise.
I wonder how many in the audience get the references. I love this show.
@bostondreams: It’s queued up on the TiVo. My wife is beyond excited.
i haven’t read a Bobo piece in years, so i’m probably not much help here. but i’ll say this instead.
ask your relative: why, specifically, are you so attached to this writer? and his opinions? what makes you think he knows more than me (which is to say, you, Doug)? do you know where his money comes from? do you know what influences him? what interests or corporations or editors? if you think you do, why? if you don’t, why not? why is this writer, who has a national microphone, better informed and more correct than your family member, who is read by thousands daily, for all he (Doug) is not paid to write about politics like this trustifarian hack is? why do you think one opinion is better than another? how do you back that up with fact and example?
fact. example. reason. logic. it shuts them down every time, if they aren’t the crazy sort. i do this all the time; i have many conservative and libertarian friends. they generally don’t engage me anymore about politics; they are too afraid, these days. if you have a relative who worships Bobo or any other media personality, ask them the simple question, “so, where did Bobo go to school and get his PhD in economics? or his MA in the history of the middle east? his BA in evolutionary biology? oh, he didn’t do any of those things? or, you don’t know if he did or not? so… why are you letting a potentially uneducated stranger tell you how to think? are you sure for a fact he’s not on drugs?” usually when i use that sort of argument, i get flapping fish lips and silence from my right-leaning friends.
Too busy watching what will probably be the last episode ever of “Terriers”.
@DougJ: black out all the ‘fucks’ …
@PeakVT: Google search results list for “David Brooks” restricted to Dean Baker’s CEPR.net website here (107 hits). A sample several-paragraph post here.
@DougJ: It’s a lefty think tank but the site doesn’t scream it, so he wouldn’t be immediately turned off.
ETA: Thanks, Sharl.
Yes. Great Idea.
I would add, as others have suggested, a cleaned up version of Driftglass.
The main point is to show that Brooks is far from “reasonable,” so digging up his cheerleading for the worst of Bush would help. If he’s really a “totebagger” (not a teabagger) he probably doesn’t like the Bush tax cuts or the Iraq war much and reminding him couldn’t hurt.
You might also try my diary on Kos about Brooks’ sneering column on Gore’s Assault on Reason
For my money, the definitive takedown is from Tom Tomorrow.
NASA is going to announce tomorrow that they have found a microbe in Mono Lake in California that uses arsenic in its DNA instead of phosphorus like every other lifeform on Earth. First indication that there might well be life out there in the universe that is completely different from ours.
um……dude? I don’t actually know, of course, but I kind of think when your therapist said stop reading Bobo, she might have implicitly meant that advice to encompass, you know, not spending your time engaging in epic battles to find definitive anti-Bobo treatises, as well…..?
Just a thought, zall.
Well, he came in as #30 in the Hack Thirty. I dunno how seriously your uncle would take Salon or Alex Pareene, but it’s there. (Note: the piece isn’t as harsh as at least my own feelings are, but maybe it would be a good gateway perspective?)
I’ve always understood Bobo to be self-refuting. Just read him! It’s not like his lack of intellectual honesty and overall hackiness is hidden…
You can’t go wrong with a very polite takedown via Steve Benen. Your uncle should be reading Washington Monthly regularly anyway.
I understand that’s every therapists first question: are you reading Bobo? If so, stop.
You could always give him the comically dated National Greatness essay, which was more responsible for “John McCain” than just about anything else. But he probably likes John McCain too.
My favorite paragraph to re-read, 13 years later:
Stupid lame government!
@Calouste: Wow! Arsenic? Arsenitases and Arskinases? Adenosine triArsenate?
And how did you find this out?
Mike in NC
Never cared much for “Twin Peaks” back in the day, but we were totally baffled until the end credits and I finally got the bit about “Dual Spires”. Duh! Lots of gags about cider/coffee and pie/donuts.
Best tag yet.
No offense, but everyone asking for links to the Issenberg article needs their Internets revoked. Its literally the 3rd link if you plug the name into a Google search. You’re already sitting down, just move the mouse a few inches and hit a few keys….
@eemom: I tried to shame Doug with the mommy + peepee reference at the top of the thread, but it didn’t take.
Jesus, you can’t even use reverse psychology on this guy.
Doug, if you are wasting your time in your therapist’s office discussing David Brooks, you are either in need of more help than most would suspect or you’ve got so much damn money that burning $100 an hour, or more, to discuss Brooks won’t make you miss your next meal. What’s next? Discussing the Washington Post Editorial Page, or perhaps coming up with your next Post chat scam?
@Calouste: Seriously? That would be amazing.
you’re right. His time would be better spent in the dungeon in your basement.
“She said I’m so obsessed that I’m becoming a bore oh no…ah ya think you’re so prettyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.” I had to. And the therapist is right. Earth will end. Bobo will end. Scotch will live until I die.
Vanity Fair gots what you need.
Bill E Pilgrim
If I understand “totebagger” correctly (I just haven’t seen it before, so I’m guessing, but it seems easy to guess) then Greenwald’s demolishing of Brooks I think would be the best.
Anyone who starts to believe Brooks’ “moderate” act should read it.
Ah, and actually, if you Google “Greenwald David Brooks”, there’s a whole page of links.
I second your nomination. Doghouse Riley has been skewering Bobo at least weekly for years.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Calouste: Amazing news. Somehow I always thought that Mono Lake was the most likely candidate on the planet to contain aliens, as anyone who’s been there can attest. What a weird and wonderful place.
Dutch news. Apparently there was a program on Dutch TV about the research just last week, so I guess that’s how they got the scoop.
NASA press conference is at 11 AM PST.
You could direct him to Brooks’ Dickipedia entry. It’s a concise explanation of why he’s a dick.
Tom Levenson, despite slumming here, still has his MIT cred & some very elegant Brooks takedowns, including a 3 parter from last April –
Thanks, everybody. This should help.
I have the same problem with my liberal brother re: The Moustache of Freedom. Of course, in my short phone conversation, that was just about all I could draw on to warn him away from Friedman.
The snark factor of many of these put-downs is great for those of us playing inside baseball, but isn’t enough to convince people still willing to imagine that there are indeed Very Serious People among Villagers. Poor little bro, he’s still so sweet and innocent.
This week’s installment of Alternative Radio was a Taibbi speech about the financial meltdown, with not an expletive to be heard.
Dean Baker’s blog title is “Beat the Press” which may appeal to a wingnut who distrusts the allegedly-liberal-media. Baker’s an economist who regularly skewers the a-l-m, including Bobo, the WaPo, NPR, AP, MSNBC, and others. Of course, he shows them to be both promoting the conservative economic policy line and completely wrong on facts. Highly recommended for reachable teapartiers, if there are any left.
Though the title’s a bit cheeky, the website is the very-serious Center for Economic Policy Research and has quite the respectable appearance.
I’d also recommend Orcinus blog (sidebar above the blogroll) for excellent, thoroughly-researched scholarly essays by Dave Neiwert and Sara Robinson on the ideological and political ties between TeaPartiers and various anti-government radical right-wingers from militias to the klan.