The Corner

Culture

Why People Hate the Media, Chapter 732,851,997 …

The Washington Examiner headline had me doing a double-take: “North Carolina town rejects solar farm, fears it will deplete sun’s energy.”

Seriously?

So I read the report, which inauspiciously begins with correspondent Don Hawkins getting wrong the name of the James Taylor song to which he links – it’s “Carolina in My Mind,” not on. In a strained string of Taylor oeuvre references, Mr. Hawkins concludes that an entire community – condescendingly called “the good people of Woodland, North Carolina” – may be impaired from gulping too much moonshine. What makes him think so? Their town council had the temerity to deny a zoning permit for a solar farm because, Hawkins says, “residents” voiced “fears” that the rows upon rows of solar panels could “suck up all the energy from the sun,” among other horrors.

Hawkins’ source for “this underreported scientific fact” that, he snarks, “portend[s] environmental cataclysm for the rest of the world,” is the Huffington Post. So I dutifully went there and found the piece by Lee Moran, the HuffPo Trends Editor. It is topped by a similarly sneering headline, “Solar Farm Rejected Amid Fears It Will ‘Suck Up the Sun’s Energy.’”

It it turns out, though, that there are not “Fears,” plural. The claim was made by a single person, one Bobby Mann. He evidently blurted it out during a town council meeting at which other residents voiced quite reasonable concerns about whether it was prudent to re-desginate agricultural land to be used for manufacturing purposes, and whether the proposed zoning change would negatively affect the values of their homes.

As in any group of people – like, say, a random collection of well educated journalists stationed safely north of the Mason-Dixon line, one of whose members suspects a missing jetliner has been swallowed up by a black hole – some members of the Woodland community expressed fears that, to the better informed, were not well grounded.

Notwithstanding Hawkins’ sermonizing about the “global consensus that solar power is one of the cleanest and most renewable alternatives to oil and coal,” the Woodland town council meeting appears to have featured a group of ordinary Americans, civically engaged, who reasonably decided not to re-zone to permit a solar farm. But of course, reporting it that way would deprive the media of the opportunity to portray an entire community as a collection of yahoos.

It is not news any more. It is just narrative, written for the entertainment of like-minded narrators. That’s why increasing numbers of turned off Americans no longer turn it on.

Most Popular

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More
Elections

Biden Is Still Underperforming Hillary

On October 20, 2016: Hillary Clinton was up 6.8 in the RealClearPolitics average in Pennsylvania. Today, Biden is up 3.8. (that race only tightened to 2.1 in the last week of 2016.) Clinton was up twelve points in Michigan on that day. Biden is up 7.5 right now. Clinton was up 6.5 in Wisconsin. Biden is ... Read More

Trump: No

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: No

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More
Elections

How Trump Might Be Winning

I’m far too dumb to be able to shed any light on polls, but I do know something about celebrity and I think I can guarantee this: If President Trump wins re-election, Robert Cahaly is going to become very famous very quickly. Who is Robert Cahaly? The chief pollster for the Trafalgar Group, the only major ... Read More
Elections

How Trump Might Be Winning

I’m far too dumb to be able to shed any light on polls, but I do know something about celebrity and I think I can guarantee this: If President Trump wins re-election, Robert Cahaly is going to become very famous very quickly. Who is Robert Cahaly? The chief pollster for the Trafalgar Group, the only major ... Read More