The Corner

Politics & Policy

And So It Goes . . .

So I don’t want to belabor the point I made in this tirade from yesterday. But I was in the car, and I happened to listen to Andrea Mitchell’s show on MSNBC this afternoon — and it was a perfect example of what I am talking about.

Mitchell is often hailed by the network as one of their most prestigious and serious-minded reporters. She had a panel conversation with Michael Steele and Jennifer Palmieri about the Kavanaugh story. Palmieri said repeatedly all the stuff you’d expect a Democratic spinner to say. Kavanaugh is a liar yada yada. Steele pushed back on little to nothing, but that’s a different issue. Mitchell pushed back on nothing either. She took it as a given that everything Palmieri said was true, even adding herself that if Dianne Feinstein says she didn’t leak the Ford letter, you have to take her at her word. None of this is remotely remarkable, save for the fact that the very next guest on Andrea Mitchell Reports was Bernard Kalb, who’s written a new book: Enemy of the People: Trump’s War on the Press, the New McCarthyism, and the Threat to American Democracy.

And that conversation went as exactly you might expect too. Trump is to blame entirely for an erosion in trust in the media. The press just wants to report the facts, etc.

I have every confidence that if you live inside the liberal bubble, there was literally nothing objectionable to the conversation. But if you don’t take it as a given that Kavanaugh is a drunken-ice-throwing-rapist-liar or if you thought the press had lost credibility long before Trump arrived on the scene, it all seemed like entirely self-serving groupthink. Worse, it comes across as infuriatingly arrogant.

Every profession, class, and group is prone to tribal thinking (technically: the coalition instinct), but the press is one of the very few that takes profound offense at the suggestion this observation applies to them. This haughtiness invites rage at times like this. And, while you can complain about Trump fueling that rage, responding to it with even more haughtiness just perpetuates the cycle.

Most Popular

The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that ... Read More

The Trail Leading Back to the Wuhan Labs

It is understandable that many would be wary of the notion that the origin of the coronavirus could be discovered by some documentary filmmaker who used to live in China. Matthew Tye, who creates YouTube videos, contends he has identified the source of the coronavirus — and a great deal of the information that ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
Film & TV

America’s Favorite Movie

For more than a decade, readers volunteering their ratings on the movie site IMDb have declared The Shawshank Redemption (1994) their favorite film of all time. (Number two is The Godfather). Unlike the unholy tablets that are the box office charts, which are strongly linked to marketing budgets and show a ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
World

All Signs Point to China

Just one big story today: collecting and sorting through what we know about the coronavirus's origins, and what makes sense and what doesn’t in the theory that it originated from someone eating bats or pangolins from the Huanan Seafood Market. What We Know and What We Don’t Know about the Source of ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Media

The Media Owe Senator Tom Cotton an Apology

One of the biggest issues people have with the mainstream press these days is that some of its members are so insulated that they end up buying into and promoting false narratives without actually checking these narratives' veracity. That seems to be exactly what happened in mid February, when major outlets ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Welcome Back, Plastic Bags

Single-use plastic bags are a miracle of modern technology. Cheap, light, convenient, and ubiquitous, they provide an elegant solution to a problem. If you recycle them, as most people do, and put your rubbish in them, that creates a net reduction in carbon emissions compared with buying the heavier, thicker ... Read More

The Didactic Plague

There are two Christian concepts on my mind on this Palm Sunday. One is theodicy, the other is the sin of presumption. “Theodicy” means “the vindication of God,” referring to a seeming conundrum that has vexed Christian thinkers since the beginning: How can evil coexist with an all-good, all-loving, ... Read More

The Didactic Plague

There are two Christian concepts on my mind on this Palm Sunday. One is theodicy, the other is the sin of presumption. “Theodicy” means “the vindication of God,” referring to a seeming conundrum that has vexed Christian thinkers since the beginning: How can evil coexist with an all-good, all-loving, ... Read More