Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

The press in the bubble, the magazine with the babbling writer

Jerry Stratton, July 26, 2010

In conversations with friends from all sides of the political spectrum, the conversation occasionally—but more and more rarely for obvious reasons—turns to the Atlantic. Nobody understands what they expect to gain by pushing Trig trutherism. No sane person, by definition, believes that a prominent, often-photographed politician could fake a pregnancy. If you run down the list of “reasons” that a faked pregnancy was possible, the one thing they show is a deep and utter ignorance of pregnancy and the birth process.1

I don’t read anything in the Atlantic nowadays. Not because I’m boycotting them, but because I can’t trust them. I wouldn’t read a science site that regularly published articles by a flat-earther, and I’m not going to read a news site that regularly publishes Trig trutherism.

I used to think they must have known how crazy it was, and wondered, why do they keep publishing it? Why are they still pushing it two years after the 2008 elections? Given the emails in the JournoList archive, it sounds like my premise was wrong: they may just not realize how crazy they sound.

One thing that the Democrats, and to a wider extent the progressive agenda, has on their side is that the press backs them up; it plays up controversies that reflect poorly on Republicans and conservatives; and it delays or completely ignores controversies that reflect poorly on Democrats and progressives. Imagine, for example, if it had been Sarah Palin who said, during the vice presidential debates, that the United States had teamed up with France and kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon. Instead of being ignored, it would have been headlined.

But if the press’s bubble has shrunk so much that they can’t see how crazy they sound outside the bubble, the press’s support may become a liability.

I was at the San Diego Comic-Con for the past week, and on Saturday Ray Bradbury had a Q&A session. It isn’t surprising that the author of Fahrenheit 451 would understand the dangers of big government. But the near-standing ovation he received after he rewrote the Tea Party slogan to emphasize the individual was a pleasant surprise.

“Abraham Lincoln spoke of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We don’t need more big government. We need more big people.”—Ray Bradbury (San Diego Comic-Con 2010)

“These are the days of miracle and wonder. This is a long-distance call.”

  1. They also show a deep and abiding ignorance of statistics, but that’s more understandable.

  1. <- No free shots
  2. Damascus Sherrod ->