Thursday, February 11, 2016

Posts I don't have time to write – two from LGM

1. People the NYT needs to fire to maintain its reputation (and no, it's not Brooks)

Scott Lemieux points us to an especially egregious Maureen Dowd column (and that's a high bar to clear). Lots to complain about here but I did get a chuckle out of this part, though probably not for the reason Dowd intended:
As one Hillary booster in Hollywood marveled: “There’s no chance her husband doesn’t understand the problem. The look on his face during her speeches evokes a retired major league All Star watching his son strike out in a Little League game. This is so fixable.”
I find it very difficult to believe this is a real quote, that someone not only provided Dowd with the perfect comment for her piece, but actually did it in the same voice Dowd normally writes in, complete with mannered wording (how often do you hear “evokes” in casual conversation?) and clumsy analogy.

In Dowd's defense, a while back she did take a piece of a Josh Marshall post and run it without quotation marks. Maybe she was just trying to even things out.

2. More on the sad state of journalism, press critics edition (and no, it's not Shafer... this time)

Political conventional wisdom has come in for a pounding recently, particularly with the last of the Republican establishment candidates being skewered for recently restaging outtakes from WestWorld, so we all knew Dylan Byers would spring to the defense and that it would go badly.

Dylan Byers Retweeted Comfortably Smug
Have people really never read Walt Whitman before? Do they not understand the concept of anaphora?

Lemieux has a great deal of fun with this but it's Jonathan Chait who gets in the best shot:
That is not anaphora, because it is not the repetition of the first part of the sentence. This important difference explains why Dickens did not write, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and why Churchill did not say, “We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, and we shall fight in … France.”

Nor is it part of some poetic device that makes sense if you watch the context of the speech, which I did, and which is just Rubio cycling through his standard stump lines rather than repeating them for some kind of literary effect.

And this is why Rubio visibly hesitates when he is about to say “throats” for the second time. It is the horrified panic of a candidate who realizes he has just done the one thing he desperately needs at this moment not to do.

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