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Tags: Liberals

The Ferguson Protesters Aren’t Interested in Persuading Other People.



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From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:

The Ferguson Protesters Aren’t Interested in Persuading Other People.

Hey you. Fawker. 

I’m going to grant you a courtesy you don’t always extend to others and take you seriously for a bit.

I assume you want me to agree with you. You want to persuade me that you’re not just some hooligan, idolizing a terrorist because of a hackneyed, heavy-handed Wachowski Brothers film. You want to convince me that you’re not just looking for an excuse to loot and steal stuff and then use the death of a young man as an ex post facto justification for your own criminal inclination to take the property of other people by force. You want to persuade me to agree with your perspective that there is a national epidemic of cops using excessive force and deadly force without cause against young black men.

If you want someone to listen to your argument… you do not win people over by making them late for work:

Protesters blocked D.C. traffic during a busy post-holiday rush hour to protest a Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury’s decision not to charge police officer Darren Wilson with shooting and killing unarmed teen Michael Brown.

The group of about 20 people formed a human chain across the 14th Street Bridge at D Street NW Monday, shutting the bridge down at the heart of rush hour. Police stood by, giving the protesters time to peacefully share their message.

After staging a die-in, the group moved on, shutting down traffic at the 12th Street Tunnel. The rolling closures continued through Downtown to 7th Street NW and Constitution Avenue.

The rally broke up around Chinatown, News4’s Molette Green reported. No arrests were made.

Hey, D.C. Police: Why weren’t any arrests made? Isn’t this a serious public safety issue? How long until some irate commuter has a Tony Stewart moment with some particularly obstinate protester?

One muddle-headed protester told NBC4, “That’s the point, we want people to know what’s going on.”

People already know what’s going on. They just don’t agree with you in the numbers you would like. And a big reason is the way you’ve chosen to showcase your argument.

 

If you want me to agree with you, a good first step is to show you respect me. Blocking traffic and making me late doesn’t make me think that you respect me. It suggests you feel either utter disregard for what I consider important – i.e., getting to work on time – or you feel contempt for me – after all, I’m some bourgeoisie drone worrying about a time-clock and paying the mortgage, who’s insufficiently down with the struggle.

The Ferguson protesters claim they want empathy. They want us to put ourselves in the shoes of young black males and to know what it feels like to be treated like a criminal suspect in public places, by shopkeepers and police officers, and to know that the consequences of a misunderstanding, hostile look, or dumb teenage mistake are much higher than for other people. They may very well have a point.

But they refuse to demonstrate empathy for anyone else – not the cops who have the tough job of working in dangerous neighborhoods, not the shopkeepers of Ferguson, nor even the people of Washington D.C. who have the misfortune of trying to drive into work on I-395 on a Monday morning.

Tags: Ferguson , Liberals

‘We Only Get to Make a Hire Every Four or Five Years.’



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Take a moment to ponder the irony in this statement, in an article on the lack of diversity in the staffs of liberal publications by Gabriel Arana in The American Prospect:

The stagnation of the industry also means there are few opportunities to increase diversity. “The staff here is unionized, which means there is little job turnover,” says Richard Kim, executive editor at The Nation, who is Asian American and gay.  “We only get to make a hire every four or five years.” Among the progressive publications I examined, The Nation scored the lowest, with slightly over 4 percent of its staff hailing from ethnic minority groups.

If unionization leads to fewer turnover and openings, and an anemic rate of new job creation… why would we want unionization to be as widespread as possible in our economy? Could our friends on the Left at least acknowledge that unionization of workforces at companies includes considerable downsides, and that not everyone who opposes unionization is some greedy, malevolent, ruthless little guy from Monopoly?

The article also notes, “While publications like The Atlantic and The Nation have begun to pay their interns minimum wage—in the case of the latter, after an intern revolt last year—most publications offer a meager stipend or do not pay at all. The New Republic, Slate, Salon, Harper’s, the Washington Monthly, and Vox’s* internships are all unpaid. The Prospect pays its interns a stipend of $100 per week.”

So just to refresh, magazines that furiously denounce those who oppose raising the minimum wage have people working for them who do not get paid the minimum wage. 

Do the editors ever assign the unpaid interns to research sweatshops?

* After this post went up, The American Prospect added a correction that Vox does pay its interns. Also, Jacob Weisberg says Slate does pay its interns and blames me for getting it wrong

Tags: Unions , Liberals

Liberals Experiencing Post-Election Letdown and Losing Interest



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Wow. Thanks to everyone who came out for last night’s happy hour — our offices were packed, we ran out of beer, we ran through a bunch of bottles of wine, I’m told Jonah handled his duties with mixed drinks in a dramatic and exciting manner that evoked Tom Cruise in Cocktail, and everyone seemed to have a good time. My ego was already having a hard time fitting through the door frame, and now after all the kind words from readers, I’m going to be utterly insufferable.

From the final Morning Jolt of the week . . .

Who Saw This Coming? A Lot of Liberals Seem Depressed & Uninterested Right Now

My thought was that every politics-focused news-media entity is going to see its audience shrink after an election year. But ratings and audience size at three of the four cable news networks are actually up in May, compared to a year earlier.

Guess which one is limping along?

HLN’s wall-to-wall coverage of the Jodi Arias trial has had substantial ratings legs. Surging around the time of the May 8 verdict, the network notched an extremely rare monthly victory: It topped MSNBC in total day and primetime. And with CNN posting its second consecutive month as a distant primetime runner-up to Fox News Channel, MSNBC is in a very precarious fourth place.

Averaging 539,000 viewers in primetime and 175,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic, MSNBC suffered double-digit drops from last May — down a respective 20 and 19 percent. Losses were less substantial in total day, down 10 percent to an average 346,000 viewers and down 7 percent to 115,000 adults 25-54, while all other nets pulled growth in multiple categories.

The soft start for All In With Chris Hayes has not helped. Hayes, down 32 percent in total viewers from The Ed Show last May, has offered a poor lead-in for MSNBC’s primetime flagship, The Rachel Maddow Show, at 9 p.m. The show delivered its lowest-rated month since it debuted in September 2008 (717,000 total viewers) and its second lowest with adults 25-54 (210,000). Maddow was topped by typical time slot victor Sean Hannity and CNN’s Piers Morgan.

Read the complete rankings, May 2013 versus May 2012, via Nielsen:

Total Day
FNC: 1,246,000 total viewers, up 24 percent (236,000 in 25-54, down 5 percent)
CNN: 465,000 total viewers, up 61 percent (161,000 in 25-54, up 92 percent)
MSNBC: 346,000 total viewers, down 10 percent (115,000 in 25-54, down 7 percent)
HLN: 494,000 total viewers, up 111 percent (175,000 in 25-54, up 90 percent)
 
Primetime
FNC: 1,973,000 total viewers, up 17 percent (308,000 in 25-54, down 6 percent)
CNN: 660,000 total viewers, up 70 percent (225,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)
MSNBC: 539,000 total viewers, down 20 percent (175,000 in 25-54, down 19 percent)
HLN: 624,000 total viewers, up 91 percent (209,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)

Over at Breitbart, John Nolte is gloating:

As we saw during the Boston Marathon Bombing, when people want actual news, they do not turn to MSNBC. What good is liberal-talk-radio-with-pictures hosted by unlikable hipsters who all share the same pair of glasses, when you want news, facts, and information? It is no good whatsoever. This is why, for the second time this year, the bottom has fallen out of MSNBC’s ratings.

Last week, between May 13-17, MSNBC averaged 350,000 overall viewers and only 94,000 in the all-important 25-54 demo. One day last week, in that demo, MSNBC averaged only 83,000 viewers, a low not seen since July of 2006.

But the phenomenon may extend well beyond MSNBC viewing habits. There’s some anecdotal evidence that a significant chunk of the Left’s rank-and-file started tuning out shortly after Obama’s second term began, and they’re not re-engaging.

Let me point to Digby, a liberal blogger:

The online left has seen a steep decline in traffic since the election as well, which indicates to me that our audience in general is simply not interested in following politics at the moment. . . . 

. . . My impression is that liberals are either bored or disillusioned right now for any number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that a liberal majority has been effectively obstructed and the president seems to be ineffectual. (I realize that political scientists tell us that the presidency isn’t very powerful, but most people don’t believe that since we’ve extolled the office as the most powerful on earth for decades.)

We’ve been through a number of elections, crises, other ups and downs over the past decade but I’ve not seen anything like the drop in interest over the past few months. If it was just me I’d attribute it to my little project having run its course but it’s happening across the liberal media spectrum. I don’t [k]now what the answer is, but it isn’t that there isn’t a permanent audience. There was until very recently. It’s that the liberal audience is tuning out and one can only assume it’s because they don’t like what they see in our politics.

It makes me a little bit more concerned for 2014/2016 than I otherwise would be.

A lot of possible reasons for this — scandal disillusionment, the crash after the high of Hope-ium, a public starting to feel like they’ve heard of all of Obama’s rhetorical tropes before, overall exhaustion and boredom with politics as a whole — but this is not a development that the Washington conventional wisdom has even noticed, much less even begin to analyze or explain.

Tags: Liberals , Television

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