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The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by noxiousdog »

Believing the media is unabashedly left wing means that
Comcast (NBC)
Disney (ABC)
AT&T (CNN)
Viacom (CBS)
are liberal organizations.

I'm skeptical at best.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by ImLawBoy »

When I studied this in college (back when Bush I was in office), the general understanding was that the journalists themselves tended to skew liberal, but their corporate overlords were decidedly conservative. The strongest trend in journalism was not, however, one of liberalism or conservatism. Broadly speaking, it was anti-establishment. Whichever party had more power tended to be the party in the crosshairs.

I think media now does tend to be much more overtly liberal or conservative. The "liberal" outfits, particularly cable news outlets, were a bit late to the party, holding onto their objectivity longer than Fox (was Fox ever truly objective?). I'm curious to see whether CNN reverts to a more neutral tone once Trump is gone (assuming we can get rid of him), as they seemed to pride themselves on objectivity more than Fox or MSNBC ever did. I don't know that I'd currently call them liberal as much as I'd call them "anti-Trump".

FWIW, AT&T as a corporation tends to skew conservative (publicly campaigned for Trump's corporate tax cut, against net neutrality, Batman's law-and-order stance, etc.), but I haven't seen the corporation forcing this on any of the creative or news outlets (not that I as an AT&T employee get a say in or have a special window into any of that).
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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CNN might be more "pro-democracy" with "anti-Trump" being a natural follow-on.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

They (cable and network news) are all profit first, politics second.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by YellowKing »

I think the popularity of "opinion" and "analysis" pieces over actual news is muddying the waters quite a bit. CNN is just as bad as Fox these days with its blaring anti-Trump headlines excused under the title of "opinion" or "analysis."

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by noxiousdog »

YellowKing wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:49 am
I think the popularity of "opinion" and "analysis" pieces over actual news is muddying the waters quite a bit. CNN is just as bad as Fox these days with its blaring anti-Trump headlines excused under the title of "opinion" or "analysis."
Such as?
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by LordMortis »

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:29 am
They (cable and network news) are all profit first, politics second.
That's my sense but that may not be grounded in reality.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by YellowKing »

noxiousdog wrote:Such as?
CNN right now, two front page headlines:

Trump's twitter wars offer surreal glimpse into a President's mind

Donald Trump's disgusting attacks on Joe Scarborough aren't a partisan issue

I whole-heartedly agree with CNN, but let's not pretend that analysis and opinion pieces stuck on the front page as major headlines are unbiased news.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

This redefinition of bias in the world of Trump is a bit of sophistry. The story about Joe Scarborough is a great example. Someone could see it as an "anti-Trump" biased story. Instead we should frame it out against our cultural norms. Here are the facts. It is a conspiracy theory. It is hurtful to his family. It is unfounded in fact. The President is just throwing out this corrosive argument for political self-promotion and as an attack someone he sees as a political opponent. Telling us all that isn't bias. It just appears biased because everyone is falling sideways; Trump and his lying predecessors have rotted away the floor underneath us.
Last edited by malchior on Tue May 26, 2020 2:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Pyperkub »

malchior wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 9:08 pm
Hilarious op ed on...the WSJ opinion page. The comments are awe inspiring. The right and left have no bridge between them. The right inhabits a complete fantasy bubble that means reporting the truth is automatically categorized as left-wing propaganda. The comments are terrifying and all over the place. We have the person saying Trump didn't do great because he listened to Fauci and Birx *too much* and let them kill the economy. Or the people who said that they swept Obama's treason under the rug. It's full on madness.

The ‘Liberal Leaning’ Media Has Passed Its Tipping Point
About 35 years ago I was sitting at lunch next to Jeane Kirkpatrick...

...Mr. Sauter was president of CBS News, 1982-83 and 1986.
WSJ kind of left out the part where he was president of Fox News from 1992-1995 until his wife ran for Governor. Kind of a HUGE omission...
In 1992, he was hired to be the president of the new Fox News division.[2][3] He left Fox News when he became heavily involved in his wife's campaign for governor.[4]
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by ImLawBoy »

LordMortis wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 1:07 pm
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 11:29 am
They (cable and network news) are all profit first, politics second.
That's my sense but that may not be grounded in reality.
It has some basis in reality, but it's a gross oversimplification, IMO. First of all, I think I recall that Fox news was specifically created to give a conservative viewpoint, which would put ideology ahead of profit in that case (although I might be mis-remembering). It just so happens that the politics align with profits there.

For the rest, that phrase tends to give the impression that in taking second place to profits, politics are relatively unimportant. They're not. They can still be a driving factor - almost a 1(b) to the 1(a) of profit.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by El Guapo »

malchior wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:07 am
Yeah, I was pretty angry at the NYT when this popped up as a phone notification. I don't think it will matter, but it's still frustrating.

I think if I were making a list of people who I would replace in their positions if I could (outside of the Trump administration and GOP), Dean Baquet might make my top 5.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Paingod »

malchior wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 9:08 pm
The right and left have no bridge between them. The right inhabits a complete fantasy bubble that means reporting the truth is automatically categorized as left-wing propaganda.
That's the part that gets me. Anyone speaking the truth is automatically a liberal now?

I remember when Trump was first voted in. NPR did a mighty good job in trying to remain "in the center" by not leaning one way or another. I was honestly impressed, and a little disappointed. I mean, the president would go on some insane tangent and they'd report it and try to discuss it without sounding judgmental; trying to keep commentary to a minimum while reporting... but it quickly became apparent that it was impossible to air a presidential statement without including "but this was said without any proof" or "but this isn't accurate" if they actually wanted to report on real things.

So now you we have a news spectrum that's gone from ...
Left ....... Center ....... Right
to
Left ....... Center ......................................................... Right
in the view of many people.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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BUT HER EMAILS!


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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Well done NY Times. You've managed to glorify a fascist takeover of a Democracy.

Washington Post headline (as contrast): Tear gas used to clear peaceful crowd ahead of Trump’s walk to church


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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

malchior wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:48 pm
Well done NY Times. You've managed to glorify a fascist takeover of a Democracy.

Washington Post headline (as contrast): Tear gas used to clear peaceful crowd ahead of Trump’s walk to church

Nobody's perfect.
NYT on November 21, 1922 wrote:But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler's anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.

A sophisticated politician credited Hitler with peculiar political cleverness for laying emphasis and over-emphasis on anti-Semitism, saying: "You can't expect the masses to understand or appreciate your finer real aims. You must feed the masses with cruder morsels and ideas like anti-Semitism. It would be politically all wrong to tell them the truth about where you really are leading them."
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Here is a collection of headlines today @ 7:30 AM on the East Coast.

NY Times: As Chaos Spreads, Trump Vows to “End It Now”

USA Today: 'Law and order' returns as Trump go-to theme

CNN: Trump responds with a strongman act

MSNBC: Trump vows to send in military to stop protests. "It's really murky" whether he can, says security reporter

Axios: Trump Goes Full Law-and-Order

Washington Post: Trump mobilizes Troops against unrest

Fox News: Mobs target police around the country; 4 shot in St. Louis, 1 in Vegas, Bronx hit-and-run caught on video

Huffington Post: Strongman at 1600: Tear-gasses Protesters for a photo op!

Politico: How Trump's scattered team scrambled to respond to historic protests

The Hill: Shadowy protestors inflame, muddle George Floyd debate <--- WTF?!? Way to keep up with things, folks!

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Holman »

malchior wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:39 am
The Hill: Shadowy protestors inflame, muddle George Floyd debate <--- WTF?!? Way to keep up with things, folks!
The Hill is a garbage site run by a Trump ally.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Goddamn it Politico. In some ways I can't blame them because their core essence is a bothsides horserace coverage site, but... you know, be better.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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I can't believe the NY Times published this shit. Fucking unacceptable. The NY Times has a sickness at its core.






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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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malchior wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:20 pm
I can't believe the NY Times published this shit. Fucking unacceptable. The NY Times has a sickness at its core.
Almost 31 years to the day the protest in Tiananmen square ended when the government declared martial law. I'm sure that's not a coincidence, right Mr. Cotton?

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Wow, I just saw that... Manufacturing Consent and all I guess, ugh...
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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The NYT lately hasn't take criticism well. We will see how they respond because many voices are pointing out the obvious that printing Tom Cotton's op-ed showed poor judgement.






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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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malchior wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:01 pm
The NYT lately hasn't take criticism well. We will see how they respond because many voices are pointing out the obvious that printing Tom Cotton's op-ed showed poor judgement.





It'll drive them out, draining even more voices of reason. Win!
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

James Bennet responded from the NYT in a twitter thread which makes it hard to consume / show here right now. Whenever it gets condensed I'll drop it in here but here is the final tweet. "We know it's dangerous Nazi shit but it's up to you to debate it". They don't fucking get it what it means to publish this. They think the debate is worthwhile? He called for extrajudicial executions. The NY Times is another broken institution.


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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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There is no debate about accepting dictatorship. Democracy dies when the press turns out the lights.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Consequences. Good.
Senator’s ‘Send In the Troops’ Op-Ed in The Times Draws Online Ire

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Zarathud wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:37 pm
There is no debate about accepting dictatorship. Democracy dies when the press turns out the lights.
Unfortunately, I think we’re getting dangerously close to the point where there is. What percentage of the country (not of the NYT readership) may believe that Tom Cotton’s OpEd sets out a reasonable argument? My guess is it’s not insubstantial. And if that’s the case, are we better off with the NYT ignoring that perspective, or shining a light on it so saner people can shoot it down and do their best to educate and explain why invoking the “venerable” Insurrection Act isn’t something we should be fucking around with in response to the current protests and civil unrest?

If we ignore the arguments of the other side - including the stupid and undemocratic ones - how do we persuade those that need persuading? Or are we no longer in the persuasion game because we’ve given up?

I certainly don’t agree with Cotton, but I also don’t agree on those that are condemning the NYT for publishing his opinion piece.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Kurth wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:31 am
Zarathud wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:37 pm
There is no debate about accepting dictatorship. Democracy dies when the press turns out the lights.
Unfortunately, I think we’re getting dangerously close to the point where there is. What percentage of the country (not of the NYT readership) may believe that Tom Cotton’s OpEd sets out a reasonable argument? My guess is it’s not insubstantial. And if that’s the case, are we better off with the NYT ignoring that perspective, or shining a light on it so saner people can shoot it down and do their best to educate and explain why invoking the “venerable” Insurrection Act isn’t something we should be fucking around with in response to the current protests and civil unrest?
I keep hearing this argument and it doesn't make sense to me. Publishing it in the NY Times shines a brighter light on it so it gets shot down faster? Isn't it more accurate to say it provides a platform that lends it legitimacy? It doesn't endorse it but it amplifies the message. It implies it is a valid topic of debate. I think what you are saying makes sense in a perfect world but we don't live in it. Freedom of speech and press are also the freedom to use judgement and I think it is sorely lacking here.
If we ignore the arguments of the other side - including the stupid and undemocratic ones - how do we persuade those that need persuading? Or are we no longer in the persuasion game because we’ve given up?
It isn't ignoring it. He has plenty of platforms to be heard. He is a US Senator so he has no shortage of venues to be heard. This is the paper of record. There are several questions in my mind but the first is where is the line? The NY Times shoots down editorials all the time I imagine. Yet Tom Cotton rolls up with this despite having no police background, representing a state with no major cities, and after previously calling for extrajudicial murder by the military acting as police. To this they they say, "Sure we will let it be heard? Let the American people decide!" What value does this add to our society at this time? Every decision they have to make has a pro/con trade off. So do the pros outweighs the cons here? I don't think it's even close personally.
I certainly don’t agree with Cotton, but I also don’t agree on those that are condemning the NYT for publishing his opinion piece.
I'm not surprised based on how you've described what you believe the relationship of the media is but think about what nearly every black columnist at the NY Times tweeted out. They all said that this piece put them and implicitly the black community in danger. I just think that sometimes we are so driven by purity and ideology that we don't see that this is just another degradation of the public forum to push hate and division that won't affect *us* but certainly will be perceived by some communities as targeting *them*. I don't think saying go find a different venue instead of this one is too much to ask in this case. Telling powerful people that the NY Times is the place to publish your radical and potentially dangerous ideas to perpetuate social injustice *especially now* doesn't seem like a sound journalistic practice.

If you and others care to read it - here is another perspective by someone who held Mr. Bennet's position just prior to his current tenancy and why he disagrees with this decision.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Kurth »

malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:11 am
I'm not surprised based on how you've described what you believe the relationship of the media is but think about what nearly every black columnist at the NY Times tweeted out. They all said that this piece put them and implicitly the black community in danger. I just think that sometimes we are so driven by purity and ideology that we don't see that this is just another degradation of the public forum to push hate and division that won't affect *us* but certainly will be perceived by some communities as targeting *them*. I don't think saying go find a different venue instead of this one is too much to ask in this case. Telling powerful people that the NY Times is the place to publish your radical and potentially dangerous ideas to perpetuate social injustice *especially now* doesn't seem like a sound journalistic practice.

If you and others care to read it - here is another perspective by someone who held Mr. Bennet's position just prior to his current tenancy and why he disagrees with this decision.
I actually read that Sewell Chan thread (and many, many others) before I posted. From our prior posts on media issues, I don't think you and I are likely to agree on this one. That said, I get where you're coming from, and I can only imagine how the Cotton op ed impacted the black community at the NYT. But the news can't just be the news we want to hear. It shouldn't be an echo chamber where our deeply held beliefs can't be challenged. One of the reasons I respect the NYT and not the Washington Times is that it tries to avoid being that echo chamber. It gives voice to other ideas, while trying to provide appropriate context, even if those ideas are not going to go over well with its readers. Even if those ideas are dangerous.

Look, Cotton is a dick. No two ways about it. He's a jingoistic, law-and-order-above-all jerk. His position on the Insurrection Act is wrong, but it's not literally crazy, and, as I mentioned before, it's a position that many in this country hold, including our worthless Commander In Chief. For those reasons, I believe it is newsworthy, and the NYT shouldn't shy away from publishing it because it's a dangerous idea.

I don't want to be protected from dangerous ideas, not by the NYT, and, respectfully, not by you, malchior.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by El Guapo »

One question I have is why the NYT (and other papers) have op ed sections at all.

On the one hand, I see the harm and danger by Cotton's op ed. On the other, I think there's value in having him on the record, and having more discussion of what a dangerous asshole Cotton is (which I think is under-appreciated among the public).

So...what's the purpose of having an op ed section, particularly in the age of the internet / bloggers / etc.? If the point is to have an open discussion of ideas, even dangerous ones, then this seems to fit within it. But on the other hand, publishing an op ed like this limits the ability of the NYT to put the idea in context, to let the public know more about why this is a dangerous idea, and so on.

So if the conclusion is that the NYT shouldn't have published this op ed, then I think it tends to follow that they shouldn't have an op ed section at all. Which I think is probably right.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Kurth wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:13 am
I actually read that Sewell Chan thread (and many, many others) before I posted. From our prior posts on media issues, I don't think you and I are likely to agree on this one. That said, I get where you're coming from, and I can only imagine how the Cotton op ed impacted the black community at the NYT. But the news can't just be the news we want to hear. It shouldn't be an echo chamber where our deeply held beliefs can't be challenged. One of the reasons I respect the NYT and not the Washington Times is that it tries to avoid being that echo chamber. It gives voice to other ideas, while trying to provide appropriate context, even if those ideas are not going to go over well with its readers. Even if those ideas are dangerous.
I'll ask clearly. Is there a line?
Look, Cotton is a dick. No two ways about it. He's a jingoistic, law-and-order-above-all jerk. His position on the Insurrection Act is wrong, but it's not literally crazy, and, as I mentioned before, it's a position that many in this country hold, including our worthless Commander In Chief. For those reasons, I believe it is newsworthy, and the NYT shouldn't shy away from publishing it because it's a dangerous idea.
I don't want to be protected from dangerous ideas, not by the NYT, and, respectfully, not by you, malchior.
This is what you aren't getting or don't care about enough in my opinion. You aren't the one who needs protection here. This position is inherently selfish. You figuratively hand waved away the views of the black community at the Times. It doesn't mean they have the final say but saying you feel bad for them but not acknowledging it is a real problem at the heart of this is fairly weak IMO.

If I'm hearing your position, it's effectively let's shine light on it so we can know and choose. And what do many people hear? "Hey, black and latino community? Please bear with the white community while we discuss how we are going to hurt and oppress you next. Yeah this guy might be dangerous but let's hear him out in the paper of record in our land. The paper that beat the drum on war for Iraq. Or published 100s of articles about Hillary's emails but let Trump off the hook." This has been a broken institution and I suppose you are going to turn a blind eye to it for ideals. That's your right but I think it isn't helpful.
El Guapo wrote:So...what's the purpose of having an op ed section, particularly in the age of the internet / bloggers / etc.? If the point is to have an open discussion of ideas, even dangerous ones, then this seems to fit within it. But on the other hand, publishing an op ed like this limits the ability of the NYT to put the idea in context, to let the public know more about why this is a dangerous idea, and so on.

So if the conclusion is that the NYT shouldn't have published this op ed, then I think it tends to follow that they shouldn't have an op ed section at all. Which I think is probably right.
I think the Op Ed page is a place for experts to put context on the events of the day. I think it still serves a vital purpose. I think Bret Stephens and David Brooks are morally vacant trash people but it allows us to see the decadence on the right. Tom Cotton is not an expert on the police, or governing cities, or much of anything in his op ed. He used the NY Times as a forum to stake a claim on proto-fascism and the continued subjugation of non-white people and the NY Times said, "Here you go". That in a nutshell is the issue. The forum isn't the problem. The gatekeeping is the problem here.
Last edited by malchior on Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:51 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Kurth wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:13 am
malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:11 am
I'm not surprised based on how you've described what you believe the relationship of the media is but think about what nearly every black columnist at the NY Times tweeted out. They all said that this piece put them and implicitly the black community in danger. I just think that sometimes we are so driven by purity and ideology that we don't see that this is just another degradation of the public forum to push hate and division that won't affect *us* but certainly will be perceived by some communities as targeting *them*. I don't think saying go find a different venue instead of this one is too much to ask in this case. Telling powerful people that the NY Times is the place to publish your radical and potentially dangerous ideas to perpetuate social injustice *especially now* doesn't seem like a sound journalistic practice.

If you and others care to read it - here is another perspective by someone who held Mr. Bennet's position just prior to his current tenancy and why he disagrees with this decision.
I actually read that Sewell Chan thread (and many, many others) before I posted. From our prior posts on media issues, I don't think you and I are likely to agree on this one. That said, I get where you're coming from, and I can only imagine how the Cotton op ed impacted the black community at the NYT. But the news can't just be the news we want to hear. It shouldn't be an echo chamber where our deeply held beliefs can't be challenged. One of the reasons I respect the NYT and not the Washington Times is that it tries to avoid being that echo chamber. It gives voice to other ideas, while trying to provide appropriate context, even if those ideas are not going to go over well with its readers. Even if those ideas are dangerous.

Look, Cotton is a dick. No two ways about it. He's a jingoistic, law-and-order-above-all jerk. His position on the Insurrection Act is wrong, but it's not literally crazy, and, as I mentioned before, it's a position that many in this country hold, including our worthless Commander In Chief. For those reasons, I believe it is newsworthy, and the NYT shouldn't shy away from publishing it because it's a dangerous idea.

I don't want to be protected from dangerous ideas, not by the NYT, and, respectfully, not by you, malchior.
It's not a dangerous idea, it's a politically motivated propaganda piece that promotes dangerous actions. And the NYT published it pro bono.

If they really wanted a debate, they could put out their own opinion piece called, "Tom Cotton sent us this dumb-ass op-ed, here is why we think it is wrong..."
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by noxiousdog »

Kurth wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:13 am
I actually read that Sewell Chan thread (and many, many others) before I posted. From our prior posts on media issues, I don't think you and I are likely to agree on this one. That said, I get where you're coming from, and I can only imagine how the Cotton op ed impacted the black community at the NYT. But the news can't just be the news we want to hear. It shouldn't be an echo chamber where our deeply held beliefs can't be challenged. One of the reasons I respect the NYT and not the Washington Times is that it tries to avoid being that echo chamber. It gives voice to other ideas, while trying to provide appropriate context, even if those ideas are not going to go over well with its readers. Even if those ideas are dangerous.

Look, Cotton is a dick. No two ways about it. He's a jingoistic, law-and-order-above-all jerk. His position on the Insurrection Act is wrong, but it's not literally crazy, and, as I mentioned before, it's a position that many in this country hold, including our worthless Commander In Chief. For those reasons, I believe it is newsworthy, and the NYT shouldn't shy away from publishing it because it's a dangerous idea.

I don't want to be protected from dangerous ideas, not by the NYT, and, respectfully, not by you, malchior.
Kurth, there's a difference between reporting it and legitimizing it. It can be in the NYT, but it should be as a story. It should be analyzed. It should have reporting from constitutional scholars. It should be put in historical perspective.

It should not be printed in the opinion section as a propaganda piece.
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El Guapo
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by El Guapo »

malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:31 am
El Guapo wrote:So...what's the purpose of having an op ed section, particularly in the age of the internet / bloggers / etc.? If the point is to have an open discussion of ideas, even dangerous ones, then this seems to fit within it. But on the other hand, publishing an op ed like this limits the ability of the NYT to put the idea in context, to let the public know more about why this is a dangerous idea, and so on.

So if the conclusion is that the NYT shouldn't have published this op ed, then I think it tends to follow that they shouldn't have an op ed section at all. Which I think is probably right.
I think the Op Ed page is a place for experts to put context on the events of the day. I think it still serves a vital purpose. I think Bret Stephens and David Brooks are morally vacant trash people but it allows us to see the decadence on the right. Tom Cotton is not an expert on the police, or governing cities, or much of anything in his op ed. He used the NY Times as a forum to stake a claim on proto-fascism and the continued subjugation of non-white people and the NY Times said, "Here you go". That in a nutshell is the issue. The forum isn't the problem. The gatekeeping is the problem here.
What's giving me pause on this is that Tom Cotton is not some schmuck off the street. He's a sitting U.S. Senator, and an influential one at that. He's no expert on the police or governing cities, as you say, but his views on that stuff nonetheless matter a *lot*. There's clearly a debate going on within the Trump administration (and consequently within the GOP caucus) on whether and how to use active duty troops in response to ongoing protests. So I think there's value in putting on the record in public the (noxious) views of one of the key individuals involved in that debate. Especially when those views may well result in soldiers on the streets of American cities within a week or so.

I'm not saying that the NYT did the right thing here. I'm saying that this doesn't seem like an easy call to me.

And part of the reason why this is making me call into question op ed pages is because: (1) the NYT is inherently limited in qualifying / analyzing op eds like this (so it's difficult for them to put in context *why* this is a dangerous idea; and (2) if the NYT does act in a gatekeeping role in filtering out dangerous / problematic views in its op ed page, then it would follow that it is at least partially endorsing the views expressed in any op ed on its pages (by not rejecting it). At that point what is the value of an op ed section as opposed to an analytical / deep think style section written (or commissioned by) NYT staff?

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Zarathud »

NYT was stupid in publishing the opinion. If it’s worthy of debate, now is the wrong time.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by El Guapo »

noxiousdog wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:37 am
Kurth wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:13 am
I actually read that Sewell Chan thread (and many, many others) before I posted. From our prior posts on media issues, I don't think you and I are likely to agree on this one. That said, I get where you're coming from, and I can only imagine how the Cotton op ed impacted the black community at the NYT. But the news can't just be the news we want to hear. It shouldn't be an echo chamber where our deeply held beliefs can't be challenged. One of the reasons I respect the NYT and not the Washington Times is that it tries to avoid being that echo chamber. It gives voice to other ideas, while trying to provide appropriate context, even if those ideas are not going to go over well with its readers. Even if those ideas are dangerous.

Look, Cotton is a dick. No two ways about it. He's a jingoistic, law-and-order-above-all jerk. His position on the Insurrection Act is wrong, but it's not literally crazy, and, as I mentioned before, it's a position that many in this country hold, including our worthless Commander In Chief. For those reasons, I believe it is newsworthy, and the NYT shouldn't shy away from publishing it because it's a dangerous idea.

I don't want to be protected from dangerous ideas, not by the NYT, and, respectfully, not by you, malchior.
Kurth, there's a difference between reporting it and legitimizing it. It can be in the NYT, but it should be as a story. It should be analyzed. It should have reporting from constitutional scholars. It should be put in historical perspective.

It should not be printed in the opinion section as a propaganda piece.
What if the NYT ran it but at the same time invited a Democratic senator (or other similarly influential figure) to write a response or contrary view?

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by El Guapo »

Zarathud wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:02 am
NYT was stupid in publishing the opinion. If it’s worthy of debate, now is the wrong time.
See, I hard disagree with "not now". This seems like *exactly* the right time, if at all - before there are soldiers on the streets of cities. This debate is happening right now, behind closed doors, whether we like it or not.

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