The troll farms run by Putin in St. Petersburg don’t scare me nearly as much as the troll farm run by James Bennet (new op-ed page editor of the Times) in New York. The trouble is there is a big audience for hot takes about bourgeois bullshit masquerading as thoughtful analysis of important issues. It’s not just the Times — I stopped reading the New Yorker when the writers stopped trying to sound like A. J. Liebling and started trying to sound like Adam Gopnik. But we don’t have to be part of that audience. I check in with K-Thug and Charles Blow, and yes to hate read Bobo from time to time, but even I, glutton for punishment that I am, don’t read the opinion pages at the Times much at all anymore.
Why not give our clicks to someone we respect instead? One young writer I’ve come to like a great deal is Catherine Rampell at WaPo. She’s the opinion writer I read the most after Krugman. Today, she nails it, on naming who it is that is behind the dysfunction in Washington:
Dysfunctional Washington refuses to work out its differences to solve problems that matter to Americans.
So say pundits and policy activists, perhaps hoping that diffuse criticism, rather than finger-pointing, will yield a government willing to govern.
But the problem isn’t “Washington.” It isn’t “Congress,” either. The problem is elected officials from a single political party: the GOP.
Read the whole thing. I recommend reading everything Rampell writes and following her on Twitter etc.
Yes, that was a good article. That plus the Jennifer Rubin one was a 1-2 punch, both name checked the GOP as the source of the dysfunctional government.
Sigh. It’s not that they are stupid. It is that they are paid to be stupid.
Don’t be silly. Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration gave themselves all HUGE tax cuts and after that they were so exhausted they quit working for the year. Job One was their own tax cut. Now that that’s done they are thru working for this election cycle.
Funny, I read blogs. Here, Lawyers, Guns and Money, Emptywheel, Driftglass, Digby, The Brexit Blog, Progressive Bloggers, Wonkette, DKos, Mock, Paper, Sissors, to name drop a few.
If there is something worth reading out in the US MSM, they will point it out, eg: http://gawker.com/on-smarm-147659497
Other than that, it’s CBC News.
Letting the WaPo be the WaPo might be the only thing that keeps Beezos out of his custom-made circle of hell.
@Jay: DKos used to be Greenwald championship central. That’s where the seed of my mistrust of blogs began.
Alas, that Medicare isn’t going to cut its own throat.
@different-church-lady: Many of us are refugees of the GOS.
Actually, they’re paid to be educated. But nobody holds them accountable in a way that sticks.
Doug @ Top:
Seconded. Count me as another Rampell fan.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: I went over there yesterday for the first time since the election. Seems like its hardly changed at all. I bet the troll farms targeted them something fierce.
@different-church-lady: Except for following links I see on other sites, I’ve not visited there since the healthcare debates in 2010.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: All purity pony and crossposts from Firedog Lake and Cenk A’Cenking all the time. Remember the rule was, “Don’t read anything on the right side of the page”?
I like Rampell, also Greg Sargent at WashPost.
Someone linked to Liar Brook’s op-ed and I made the mistake of following that link to the Vichy Times op-ed page. Big mistake.
I found this: (copied from the previous thread)
BTW the tired old argument, how T voters are just poor widdle things and coastal elites are big meanies is coming soon to all prestige media outlets near you. Mousy Tiger mom (chuha == mouse in Hindi ) has a new book out. Apparently, she is charlatan hillbilly Vance’s teacher and mentor. There is an op-ed by her in this morning’s Vichy Times, tut tutting tribalism by are you guys sitting down, “both sides”.
Doug, serious question: What’s your issue with Adam Gopnik? I don’t read the New Yorker much, and I don’t know much of his stuff, but I saw a piece of his on Voltaire there and (it seems to me) it was really good.
Jake the antisoshul soshulist
I stopped reading DKOS over the Obot-PUMA wars. Seems like it is a hotbed of leftist conspiracy theories. There always was some of that, but it has gotten worse.
She is brilliant and so well thought out and well spoken…not to mention devastatingly beautiful.
Catherine Rampell is magnificent, I almost swoon when she is on TV.
I selectively read many places, but not Driftglass, Digby, Yatrablinsky, NoMoreMisterNiceBlog, who quite often focus on “sales of agenda’s”.
DKos used to have much broader opinions, but sucessive purges have highly narrowed the focus, but there are no shortage of still, pie in the sky, what I would do, wanking, which I ignore.
Greenwald, wikileaks, The Intercept, ( still does from time to time) used to write/reveal some interesting stuff for a Traditional Leftie,
But a classical education provided me the ability to discern “wanking” in a few paragraphs, and there are some subjects, I’m just not interested in.
Like pretty much all media, DKos has a few writers who’s work is worth reading, every time they post, a few weekly aggregator’s worth waiting for, and more than a few repeats, and a lot of dreck. Still, in 2016, it was a great place to watch the Russian Disinfo Ops play out.
Greenwald’s one of those Glibertarian Lefties who’s ridden “leftier than thou” full circle into support for facism. Nothing historically we havn’t seen before.
Not many places have changed over the years, like Balloon Juice, but there have always been a few, ( Orincius, Driftglass, etc.) that never had to change, because they were never “wrong”.
@Jay: A rather accurate evaluation, I would say. Basically there’s far, far too many people who mistake being opinionated for being savvy.
Along with Jon, I wonder why the snark about Adam Gopnik. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by him, and some of it seemed very wise, including his “A Letter to a Friend in a Time of Trump” just after the election. His book “Paris to the Moon” was charming, especially on the subject of his young son.
Agree with you on Ms. Rampell. Respectfully disagree on the _New Yorker_. Got a trial subscription to it last year, going to renew, ven at full price. Has been very good journalism, or something else worth reading, in every issue.
Only problem is it’s not good for reading on bus – keep thinking “I’ve gotta read this piece when I’ve fewer distractions and can pay more attention…”. Can’t win ’em all
He did some awful stuff in the 90s
“From time to time”?! You are obsessed with Brooks and I doubt if you have missed a single word of his drivel in in the past 5 years.
I like Gopnik too. I’m hoping that Doug is just snarking on all the writers trying to sound like him.
I quit reading the New Yorker when they started running articles apologizing for the oil industry, among other things.
I let Driftglass, Yabkinski, NoMoreMisterNiceBlog hate read the bothsiderists and the Moustash of Understanding for me.
Wonkette sometimes when I want to LMFAO in a bitter way.
Here is an example of why I hate Gopnik
Unfortunately, OP-ED columns pointing out that the Republican Party is to blame for the dysfunction in Washington (and across the country) don’t seem to have any effect — even on the newspapers that publish them.
In 2012 the Washington Post published a column by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein: “Let’s Just Say It, the Republicans Are the Problem.” They almost got through the entire column without any both-siderism, but overall the column did a good job of pointing out just how bad the GOP has become. Last year, the Times published another Mann-Ornstein column — “How the Republicans Broke Congress” — that pointed out who is to blame and why. Neither column appeared to have any effect. For one thing, too few people read the Times and Post. But Krugman is constantly calling out both-siderism for the evil it is, and his own paper continues to be guilty of it.
The impulse to stop reading every newspaper or magazine that publishes articles and columns one disagrees with doesn’t seem to me to be a healthy impulse. Reading most conservative publications and writers is a waste of time, precisely because they share the problems that have made the GOP such a disaster. But the Times publishes excellent as well as terrible articles and opinion pieces. If the only purpose of the Times is to report on politics, that would be one thing. But every day I read excellent articles about science, medicine, the arts and other subjects. I also contact the Times in some way every time I see something guilty of false equivalence and both-siderism.
Just what, exactly, is a Hot Take?
Asking for a friend…
@DougJ: Not much Gopnik in there. Seriously, what’s your beef with him?
No matter what goes on at GOS now, and I have not clicked over for years, he was one of the first and loudest pushing for More Better Democrats. That can’t be forgotten.
Uh, “Clinton is Barney for adults”.
Most of his worst stuff is behind a paywall
I let Donald Trump watch Fox and Friends and follow realDonaldTrump on twitter (in a browser tab, not logged in) as a “Shorter” Fox and Friends. (I wish this were a joke, but it is true. Sigh.)
Villago Delenda Est
James Bennett needs to be reminded what might have happened to Joseph Goebbels after WWII. It DID happen to Julius Streicher.
Driftglass has the Bobo Archives at his fingertips, 10,000 teardowns of Bobo’s work, sometimes oven writes as much as 1500 new words ripping Bobo and the FTFNYT,
Drumph has what, 280 character’s?
NoMoreMisterNiceBlog and Yatrablinski sometimes even pull up direct quotes from the “ancien Manuscripts” Bobo claims to have read and is riffing off of, to show how stupid Bobo is.
Wonkette is foulmouthed and uses quite the image comparison’s to cover the Ususal Suspects “wanking”.
I stay off the Twitter and Facebook, if there’s anything of import there, my ususal bloggers and commentators will let me know.
Twitter has some good stuff (high snark and microfiction notably, and some tech and academic stuff), but for politics one must be sparing and focused, or risk taking sanity damage, agreed. It also has a useful API.
Facebook is a great propaganda platform. :-)
I read the New Yorker devotedly, and don’t get the hate. They’ve done a great job with their daily email updates too…and while I’m at it, I might as well join my fellow Juicers in defending Adam Gopnik. When he’s good, he’s unforgettable. Thinking of his story about teaching his little son to love baseball. “Who’s the baby now, Mr Cobb?”
“Facebook is a great propaganda platform. :-)”
They are also seething masses of hate, ignorance, conspiracy theory, racism and trolls.
Villago Delenda Est
Wonkette is a quiet little mommy blog, recipe hub, and dick joke emporium, with a pantsless non-commenting section.
@Gary K: @John Revolta: @SgrAstar: Gopnik is insufferably precious. He writes about how wonderful his life is, how smart and tasteful he and his family are, the important and famous people he knows, etc. He seems to be a little aware of it, too, which makes him a little more bearable than he might otherwise be, but, if he is aware of real pain, misery, or loss in this life, he doesn’t seem to write about it. Here’s a piece about him which is sympathetic but still makes me dislike him: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/dec/08/adam-gopnik-interview-portrayed-monster-privilege
No One You Know
@WereBear: Happy to “see” you back! Or have you been here and I just didn’t get to those threads in time? Anyway, I’m glad you’re here.
@PJ: I guess if you’re determined to find the guy insufferable, not even evidence against your misstatements is going to stop you. In this piece he’s not only “aware of real pain, misery, or loss,” but he’s looking at it unflinchingly.