August 11, 2016

Whatever happened to The New Yorker's pride in meticulous fact-checking?!

Here's an example of a strongly stated assertion — in the first paragraph of an article — that is easily fact-checked in a few seconds on line and that is plainly, embarrassingly wrong and a glaring reflection of bias.

This was an article I cared about reading, "How Rousseau Predicted Trump/The Enlightenment philosopher’s attack on cosmopolitan élites now seems prophetic." I cared, because I've been thinking about Trump's recent Second Amendment remark in terms of the right of revolution, and I'm the kind of educated, elite reader The New Yorker is aimed at. I like to think I can relate present-day politics to classic works of philosophy — get the lofty long view of things. So I jump in:
"I love the poorly educated,” Donald Trump said during a victory speech in February, and he has repeatedly taken aim at America’s élites and their “false song of globalism.” Voters in Britain, heeding Brexit campaigners’ calls to “take back control” of a country ostensibly threatened by uncontrolled immigration, “unelected élites,” and “experts,” have reversed fifty years of European integration. Other countries across Western Europe, as well as Israel, Russia, Poland, and Hungary, seethe with demagogic assertions of ethnic, religious, and national identity. In India, Hindu supremacists have adopted Rush Limbaugh’s favorite epithet “libtard” to channel righteous fury against liberal and secular élites.
Rush Limbaugh’s favorite epithet “libtard”? I read The New Yorker, but I also keep up with Rush Limbaugh, and I don't feel as though I have ever heard him say "libtard." It's certainly not his favorite epithet. I know that without even checking. When Rush Limbaugh talks about liberals — which is probably his favorite subject — he says "liberals." That's epithet enough.

Has he ever said "libtard"? Rush Limbaugh puts the entire transcript of his shows up on his website. As a subscriber, I can search the entire archive. And there isn't even one instance of him saying "libtard"!

"Libtard" is an offensive word, unnecessarily dragging in disrespect for the mentally challenged. Yet The New Yorker assumes Rush Limbaugh uses it and — precisely when it's showing off the most elite approach to political analysis — purveys utter misinformation to its readers. Will those readers check? I had a basis for doubting, because I actually monitor what's on the Rush Limbaugh show. But I suspect most readers will rely on their existing bad opinion of Rush, a bad opinion that is stoked by this highly respected magazine with its longstanding reputation for stellar fact-checking — a reputation it seems to think nothing of throwing away. 

UPDATE: The New Yorker acknowledges and corrects its error.

130 comments:

Sebastian said...
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Sebastian said...
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Hagar said...

Losing the election will be bad, but losing it to Donald Trump? And he is not even trying! It is not to be borne! And so our pretense to gentility goes out the window and we appear as we really are.

Sebastian said...

"Whatever happened" Faux wonderment, right? I mean, prog outlets have been all-in all-prog all-the-the-time for what, a generation now? I greatly appreciate your skepticism and your fisking, and the very fact that you have to do it is sobering, but the null hypothesis for any not explicitly conservative publications is that whatever they write is just the continuation of politics by other means. Accuracy is for the birds, consistency for little minds.

buwaya said...

The NYT?
pride?
facts?

Not in decades.
In hindsight, perhaps never, really.

They also get Rousseau wrong.

Bob said...

I think a lot of lefty organizations have concluded that they have a right to discard their principles this time around, because after all, they have to defeat HITLER.

I think the guy who owns Twitter, Jack something, has decided he's just going to pull out all the stops to manipulate the platform to favor Hillary for the next few months, banning and censoring all over the place, and then just cash out whatever is left after the election and move to the Bahamas. He's already a millionaire many times over, and he doesn't actually care about Twitter any more.

Hagar said...

So, should Rush be held responsible for what The New Yorker hears?

Derek Kite said...

Editorial correction is Oppression!

tim in vermont said...

They. Don't. Care.

David said...

Just like a LawProfTard, Althouse, messing up the New Yorker's dignity with grubby little facts.

David said...

Anyway, what difference, at this point, does it make.

Chuck said...

Wonderful post, Professor Althouse. Like you, I am one of that very odd demographic of people who subscribe to The New Yorker but who also frequently listen to Rush Limbaugh.

Like you, I don't ever recall Limbaugh using that term. Even if he is found to have used it on a rare occasion, it is possible to say that it is one of Limbaugh's "favorite" terms is demonstrably untrue.

I also don't recall Pankaj Mishra writing for The New Yorker previously.

David said...

And couldn't it be his favorite epithet, even though he does not use it? Why, yes, it could. He loves it so much he does not want to waste it.

David said...

"I am one of that very odd demographic of people who subscribe to The New Yorker but who also frequently listen to Rush Limbaugh"

That makes two. Amazing. But are you from New York.

mockturtle said...

The New Yorker was a 'stellar' publication until about 1990.

Hagar said...

Trump does not fight fair! He does not do the things he is supposed to do, or he does not do them the way he is supposed to, and we have told him so, and he ignores us! It is not to be borne!

mockturtle said...

It was Tina Brown
Who brought it down.

madAsHell said...

You subscribe to Rush Limbaugh!?!?! Hilarious!!
I never would have guessed.
No, I don't belong to any organization that would have me. (Apologies to Groucho Marx)

YoungHegelian said...

Other countries across Western Europe, as well as Israel, Russia, Poland, and Hungary, seethe with demagogic assertions of ethnic, religious, and national identity. In India, Hindu supremacists have adopted Rush Limbaugh’s favorite epithet “libtard” to channel righteous fury against liberal and secular élites.

If Trump is part of a multi-national wave of nationalistic fervor that's now found in countries all around the globe, doesn't this make him more difficult to dismiss? To use a phrase from another dead white European male, is Trump a manifestation of the zeitgeist?

Funny, how articles that want to hold a subject up for ridicule or derision often tend to deconstruct themselves in ways directly contrary to the author's intention (to channel another, more recently dead, white European male).

tim in vermont said...

Rush is intelligent and insightful, which is why lefties will do everything they can to keep you from listening to him, including trying to force him off the air with slimy pressure tactics, like writing bogus on-line reviews to places they have never been, on his advertisers.

Because they know better than you what information you should have and what ideas you should hear.

BDNYC said...

The New Yorker is 95% pretentious garbage. I immediately lose respect for people who pay good money to read it.

Jupiter said...

"Libtard" is an offensive word, unnecessarily dragging in disrespect for the mentally challenged.

We wouldn't want to disrespect them, when it is so much simpler to just smash their abnormal little skulls before they're even born.

Who do you suppose designed the implement with which tiny skulls are respectfully crushed for harvest? Do you suppose they are manufactured here in America, or do containers full of fetal skull-crushers arrive at our nation's ports, to be unloaded by well-paid American union labor, unpacked, and sent on to the many handsomely-appointed skull-crushing facilities Americans are proud to own and operate? Either way, it's a fine, respectful business, and contributes significantly to GDP.

Jupiter said...

Pretty soon researchers at our nation's universities, or perhaps those of another nation, will find the genes for homosexuality. That should greatly reduce the incidence of "homophobia".

Carol said...

The NYT?
pride?
facts?


New Yorker, buwaya. NEW YORKER.

tim in vermont said...

You can get great poetry like this, even if you just read it in Dr's offices:

n my dream last night
I had a boob job
and my nipples were
pointing off in two
different directions.
It was disorienting
and the photographer
was disappointed.
But later he turned into
the best lay of my life
He was so huge
to get inside me. . . .
Upon penetration
everything exploded—
he exploded, I exploded
the dream exploded
I didn’t even remember it
until you grabbed my breasts
- Maggie Nelson

Laslo has competition.

buwaya said...

"New Yorker, buwaya. NEW YORKER."

Sorry, was busy yelling at raccoons on my former lawn.

AprilApple said...

I used to listen to Rush a lot more than I do now. I don't recall him ever saying libtard.

David Begley said...

When The New Yorker loses Althouse....

wildswan said...

I looked up "libtard" and the word has gone global. Though a lot of the namecalling may be coming from expats on chat lines, the sun never sets on somebody calling someone else a libtard.

India has its own special word for libtard - Adarsh Liberal
India - Libtard = liberal bastard
India - “sickular” society

Russia - Mocked by western media as fanatical "conspiracy theorists" Fyodorov's NLM seeks to purge Russia of its internal traitors, libtard activists, and CIA fake "Nazis".

Thailand - Which western whitebread libtard leader do you despise the most

Poland - a very popular alternative to Poland's libtard media always apologizing for

And the US also has other terms:
Chardonnay socialist
Stupid Democrat Liberal Cult Sheep
You will often find useful idiots (aka libtards) lounging about in a Starbucks with friends

PS.
I always thought Rousseau was not a conservative but rather one of the causes of the French Revolution. But perhaps he changed somehow on the passage to India.

SteveR said...

This is emblematic of this whole election cycle. Largely the media that reaches most Americans, including those who maintain a good distance from serious factual information by sheer laziness and apathy, is controlled by Democrat party operatives. With a good contribution from young, otherwise unemployable, ideologues.

They are well prepared to win with points, links and clicks. Its very easy, and those old folks running these outfits don't have enough honesty and energy to keep the nursery in control.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

The New Yorker got mixed up. They've been reading too much Scott Adams so they decided to go with non-reality, this way they could be persuasive.

Maybe Scott Adam's theorizing works better on working class dudes who don't want a gal as the boss of the government, rather than educated elites.

Anywho, I wonder what the correction will look like:

Blah blah....libtard....error....should have been feminazi

David Begley said...

Liberals throw the facts out the window in order to defeat conservatives. It is all about winning and retaining power. Liberals have become intellectually dishonest. All in service of the Clintons.

Limbaugh must be destroyed and vilified because he is a threat.

wildswan said...

One thing I did hear Rush say is that the Democrats are burying stuff on the Clintons and have been doing it for a long time. And the longer it's buried the worse it smells and looks when you dig it up.

Hagar said...

... thinking about Trump's recent Second Amendment remark in terms of the right of revolution

Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England:

5. The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defense, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute . . . and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.
To vindicate the three primary rights, when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next, to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.”



Great minds run in the same tracks, and the 2nd Amendment is still of great symbolic value even if AR-15's are not much of an actual defense against either the U.S. military or a militarized bureaucracy.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Here's the Rush that Althouse knows so well:

http://www.prosebeforehos.com/cultural-correspondent/01/10/outrageous-offensive-limbaugh-quotes/

Hagar said...

One thing I did hear Rush say is that the Democrats are burying stuff on the Clintons and have been doing it for a long time. And the longer it's buried the worse it smells and looks when you dig it up.

The latest release of e-mails between the staffers makes one wonder where the State Dept. stopped and Clinton, Inc. began, or vice-versa, however you want to look at it.

iowan2 said...

Gosh the media making up personal smears from whole cloth. I wonder how much of what they claim Trump as said is real?
The media no longer pretends to report facts, they are in full 'narrative' mode 24/7.

I discovered this last fall watching collage football. I awoke Sunday morning to find the internet all abuzz about some block or tackle, Except I watched the game live, and no controversy was noted. But someone created it, and the rest will very happy to propagate the lie. The media, much like Democrats, need disaster to function. Sober, quiet conversation, is the medias bane of existance. If their is no emergency, one will promptly be invented. All the rest will join in.

cyrus83 said...

The left does not seem to grasp the idea that people are complex. Most likely, the reporter here knows that Rush Limbaugh is conservative, and since he probably heard a conservative once calling liberals "libtards" has assumed that all conservatives do so. It probably sounded plausible to the editors, who probably have never listened to Rush Limbaugh in their life but know that everything he says is bad.

The press - and the left - like to stereotype groups so that neither they nor the public needs to get educated. The stereotypes are positive for certain groups (i.e. all immigrants are our friends), while negative for other groups (the 1% are evil greedy people). The press breaks out individuals from their default group role when it suits the narrative - from bad groups, you get examples like the "Good/Sensible/Responsible Republican who isn't voting for Trump" while from good groups, you get examples like the "lone wolf extremist Muslim who doesn't in any way represent other Muslims".

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jimbino said...

Such a tempest in a teapot!

In this modern PC era, nobody is "retarded" anymore; they're "intellectually challenged." Using "libtard" is rhetorically clever, as is use of "Christianist" to mean those religious people that offend our sensibilities like the Islamists, Fascists and Marxists do.

Humperdink said...

"makes one wonder where the State Dept. stopped and Clinton, Inc. began, or vice-versa ..."

Remember Fred and Hilma Clintstone renting out the Lincoln bedroom? Selling pardons in the Old Horn dog's final year? Selling a grave site at Arlington?

With these two grifters, it's non-stop and never ending.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

It's cool that Althouse pays to financially support:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/limbaugh.asp

For a small subscription fee she probably seems like quite an un-PC and edgy gal about Madison. I'm just spitballing, but David Duke probably has some sort fee thing online, imagine how un-PC Althouse could be by throwing some dough in that direction.



Terry said...

PB&J:
So let's break down the so-called 'outrageous Limbaugh quotes', shall we?
First of all I have no idea if the quotes are real or if they were taken out of context. You can make people sound really dumb if you do not apply context. But, anyhow, I notice that 'outrageous' is not the same as 'lying' or 'untrue.' Outrageous statements are what controversial talk radios hosts are expected to create. These may be his Limbaugh's opinions, however expressed, but calling them 'outrageous opinions' wouldn't work to demonize Limbaugh because, well, in a liberal culture we are supposed to tolerate, even celebrate, outrageous opinions. We are certainly not supposed to demonize people with outrageous opinions.
And the purpose of that web page is to demonize Limbaugh, to show 'liberal-minded' people it is right and proper to hate Limbaugh for his double plus ungood comments.
Because the Left is all about hate for their fellow Americans these days.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Terry,

You're forgetting about persuasion.

Reality doesn't matter.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

W/ this candidate on the R side:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/03/22/all-of-donald-trumps-four-pinocchio-ratings-in-one-place/

Rs shouldn't be too surprised if their whining about untruths doesn't elicit much concern. I think they call that live by the sword, die by the sword. Or something about a goose and the gander.



William said...

I read the article awhile back. It had some interesting and thoughtful things to say about Rousseau. As Althouse notes, however, the author is not much of a Limbaugh scholar.........Also, the author doesn't note that militant, aggressive ignorance is far more prevalent in the Muslim world than among the Hindu supremacists or Limbaugh listeners. I don't think ISIS atrocities were in any way the sequlae of of Rousseau's thought. Moreover, those atrocities have promoted more unease at the strangers in our midst than the words of Rousseau. Our suspicion of the elites is due to the fact that they are far more suspicious of a Limbaugh listener than of a militant Muslim.

Laslo Spatula said...

I agree with Althouse on this.

I am assuming most here would.

But posts such as these are not aimed at her readers or commenters.

This is a Dog Whistle Fastball aimed squarely at the upper echelon elites she hangs with professionally, and probably -- at least sometimes -- socially.

She hears their arguments, and -- from time to time -- refutes them without shaming them in person.

Then she throws the Dog Whistle Fastball.

Her targets will pretend they never read it.

They never do.

Dog Whistle Fastball: you read it here first.

You know what it means without me explaining it.

What is more America than Dogs and Baseball?

So that.

I am Laslo.

mockturtle said...

Laslo, are you sure it's not a change-up?

Hagar said...

It looks like old Justice Blackstone was more radical than wee Jemmy Madison. Of course, the U.S. had just gone through the Shays' Rebellion and did not want any more of that just then regardless of what Jefferson thought about it.

boycat said...

Jupiter @7:55 wins the thread.

Laslo Spatula said...

mockturtle said...
Laslo, are you sure it's not a change-up?

Knowing Althouse, it could be a knuckleball.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Knuckleball" sounds like a deviant sexual term, maybe sailors with short knobby fingers....

Maybe later.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

Limbaugh doesn't do any epithets at all. It's a losing style. The people he wants to at pretend to be talking to, namely those needing an education, would tune out, and that move would ruin the illusion.

He's not talking to the choir in his show; he's talking to the opposition.

The actual fact is the opposite, but the setup is that he's talking to the unenlightened left.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Knuckleball? I said only two fingers."

Stuff like that.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

Thurber did a New Yorker article describing the setup, the offices and the rituals at the New Yorker itself, getting every possible fact wrong.

I can't find it at the moment but it's in one of his collections of essays, an obscure one.

chickelit said...

I've been on vacation for two weeks, driving a big circle through 15 states. It has been a real pleasure to catch Limbaugh's show on AM radio. Even best stations were WLS (Chicago) and AM 770 out of Albuquerque.

Laslo Spatula said...

""Whatever happened to The New Yorker's pride in meticulous fact-checking?!"

Maybe they have decided, like flossing, it is now unnecessary.

From the NYT:

"Among experts, however, it has been something of an open secret that flossing has not been shown to prevent cavities or severe periodontal disease."

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

Rs shouldn't be too surprised if their whining about untruths doesn't elicit much concern

The first two "fact checks" were complete bullshit. They are more partisan even that Snopes, if that is possible. But you go ahead and pretend that they are real fact checks.

PB said...

Liberals don't need to fact check. They believe everything they say is true. Presenting them with proof they are wrong doesn't do any good. It's their story and they're sticking to it.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary Clinton did not volunteer to be the defendant's lawyer, she did not laugh about the case's outcome, she did not assert that the complainant "made up the rape story," she did not claim she knew the defendant to be guilty, and she did not "free" the defendant.

A recording wherein Hillary laughs about the case's outcome, relates how she got the guy off with time served, and says that when a lie detector showed that her client was telling the truth, it "forever destroyed her faith in lie detectors"

Snopes is partisan and has long since been corrupted by the Clintons, just like everything else that pair touches.

Otto said...

I'm the kind of educated, elite reader = Jersey princess.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"It's cool that Althouse pays to financially support:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/limbaugh.asp

For a small subscription fee she probably seems like quite an un-PC and edgy gal about Madison. I'm just spitballing, but David Duke probably has some sort fee thing online, imagine how un-PC Althouse could be by throwing some dough in that direction."

Surprised as I am--look at you--, I thank you for your noticing additional commitments to idea expression by the host.

Also, win or lose, I have decided I am indeed going to put you (back) in chains.

Now, sure sure, they might be metaphorical, might be.

But they could be homages or figurative too.

Cyclical.

tim in vermont said...

Don't let the fact that Snopes is obviously partisan and ignores facts and arguments inconvenient to its point of view shake your faith in its infallibility though, PB&J

Guildofcannonballs said...

Pride has left the building.

The New Man has told the people what Limbaugh says.

That is all.

walter said...

New Yorker. Is that where Jason Blair went.

Hey..just imagine if a president poked fun at Special Olympics.

tim in vermont said...

Angela Merkel´s still-unexplained decision to throw open the nation she grew up hating to an invasion force from the Middle East in the guise of "humanitarianism" is now having the all-too-predictable domestic consequences one might expect: The German government proposed a broad range of measures on Thursday to bolster security and combat terrorism, its strongest official response so far to two recent attacks by terrorists pledging loyalty to the Islamic State and a deadly shooting rampage in Munich. Many of the measures, which include closer monitoring of refugees and enhanced surveillance, seem likely to win legislative approval but prompted concerns

It's the reverse flypaper strategy. You bring the terrorist home, then suspend freedom at home to fight the terror threat! Do you suppose that Merkel is smart enough and evil enough to concoct a plan like this to turn the waves of refugees created by policies championed by Hillary in Syria and Libya into a pretext to restore the East German police state in which she grew up?

Naah. The whole thing is far more easily explained by pointing out that she and Hillary are none too bright. Stupid is as stupid does.

tim in vermont said...

I am sure Hillary foresaw all of the consequences of her reckless military adventurism.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

t in v,

Who cares about facts and reality? You suffer from pre-Trump thinking.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Or was U2 the "Pride..." of The New Yorker's fact checkers?

"One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love


Read more: U2 - Pride (in The Name Of Love) Lyrics | MetroLyrics "

Mike Sylwester said...

The New Yorker has funny cartoons.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Uniquely, "snipe hunting" always meant to me hunting not for, but as, a snipe might.

In other words, all the angles know me, but that is all I know, as a head hunter.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"The New Yorker has funny cartoons."

And, the New Yorker could be the reason that DJT says BHO has some association w/ ISIL. DJT can say he saw in the media that BHO and MLRO were terrorists.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Buckley might have thought-before-self-edit "you" happened (to the pride question).

Giving the benefit, elevated Gestalt impressions could be the adjective's result of knowing an organization can logically conclude fact-checking with, no I'm sorry to say not astrology, but instead crowd-sourcing, at greatly reduced costs, although admittedly full steam ahead toward the costs of needing to develop and maintain a narcissist's disposition, previously known to be high, but more recently known moreso for lottery-like counteractions of media "buzz'" and hence as likely logical as Texas Hold 'Em.

Paul Snively said...

buwaya: They also get Rousseau wrong.

Possibly on purpose, but I doubt it. It's most likely due to ignorance. Rousseau's philosophy provided the political and moral cover for the Reign of Terror, and provides the backdrop for the "Progressive" view of government and "liberty" to this very day:

"For while he said a people could only be free if it ruled itself, Rousseau also said that a man could be forced to be free; he suggested the cult of a civil religion being established in place of Christianity; he authorised the head of the republic to overrule the dictates of private consciences together with the use of state powers to suppress immorality as well as crime."

Is there a better description of the "Progressive" program than that?

mockturtle said...

Also along those lines, Paul, would fall Voltaire, who preached the philosophy but fled to England when the SHTF.

Paul Snively said...

"Rousseau even made the singular prediction that the island of Corsica would one day produce a leader who would astonish the world. That leader owed much of his success, while that success lasted, to adopting the policies of Voltairean enlightened despotism while dressing them all up in republican language and trappings that were inspired by Rousseau; it was not a genuine synthesis, because it took the substance from one and the appearances from the other, but at least it enabled Napoleon to achieve all the popularity he needed in France, so that his regime could only be overthrown by a coalition of foreign governments and armies."

If you want to be afraid of something, be afraid of that.

Lem said...

Posted to twitter just yesterday...

"American journalism has gotten to the point that readers are criticized for not fact checking news articles." via @rShowerThoughts

walter said...

I like that: The New Yorker. Come for the pictures!

Kathryn51 said...

chickelit said...
"I've been on vacation for two weeks, driving a big circle through 15 states. It has been a real pleasure to catch Limbaugh's show on AM radio. Even best stations were WLS (Chicago) and AM 770 out of Albuquerque."

When hubby and I drove home from Cleveland, we did the same thing. However, driving towards Cleveland (from Nashville) it was difficult to catch Rush - primarily because we were driving through the hills and hollows of eastern Kentucky.

During our drive through Kentucky, we saw several Trump signs and not a single Hillary sign. I felt very at home in redneck country.

mockturtle said...

Even here in the ultra-liberal Pacific NW, I've seen more Trump signs than Hillary signs. In fact, I have not seen even ONE Hillary sign. ????? I'd love to put a Trump sticker on my RV but I don't want it vandalized. I do, however, have an American flag sticker. Almost a Trump sign.

furious_a said...

Limbaugh's favorite generic pejorative is "feminazi". His favorite specific pejorative is "Dingy Harry Reid". His funniest was "National Association for the Advancement of You People".

furious_a said...

...through the hills and hollows of eastern Kentucky.

That's "hollers". "Hollers".

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"Even here in the ultra-liberal Pacific NW, I've seen....."

But, have you seen a pickup truck w/ three big flags posted in the bed? One American, one Trump, and one Confederate. Classy.

When I'm not in the city I mostly live in a few places that are not urban (One in Kitsap County and two Jefferson County (East and West)). Outside of Port Townsend, Jefferson County has a fair number of big Trump signs.

Not too long ago I did see two big Trump signs on 90 east of the mountains that had been vandalized. Someone used blue paint to "remove" some letters. Instead of "TRUMP", the signs had " UM ".

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"Limbaugh's favorite generic pejorative is "feminazi". His favorite specific pejorative is "Dingy Harry Reid". His funniest was "National Association for the Advancement of You People"."


He really seems to like "drive by media."


walter said...

Chickelit,
I just hope you changed stations before Steve Dahl came on after Rush (WLS). Zzzzzzzzzzzzz at the wheel.

walter said...

This is
all
a 'roos.

eddie willers said...

Limbaugh's favorite generic pejorative is "feminazi"

My favorite of his is the National Association of Gals (NAGS)

buwaya puti said...

P Sniveley is right.
The Trump moment is as far from "the year zero" starting point of Rousseau (or the theorists deriving from him; he left nothing but an emotion I think) as can be. Trumps is a purely reactionary movement.
Many of these writers are so far separated from both the current conditions of the commons and of traditional society that they have no clue what they are seeing.

richard mcenroe said...

"I love the poorly educated," is a manufactured quote, much like the manufactured Palin "I can see Russia from my house!" originated with SNL.

Hillary, though, did say something similar to the first quote about Dem voters.

Darrell said...

Commenters at The Guardian were talking about "hate sites" and they listed Drudge most often.

Unknown said...

I expect the writer in questions favorite saying is repugs or rethugs. So he just assume everyone does politics like most libtards do. ;)

Bruce Hayden said...

Was over in N ID yesterday (next door to the Pacific NW), at the Walmart, and was shocked to see a Hillary bumper sticker. Then, when I got up close, I noted that it was a Hillary For Jail bumper sticker, and my faith in humanity was restored.

Mick said...

Seriously? "New Yorker"? Puhleeze

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Harmless error.

Amadeus 48 said...

I think the libtards at The New Yorker confused "libtard" and "feminazi". Rush would never say "libtard".

Jon Burack said...

This is terrific. In one misbeotten word, a world is revealed. I actually read the whole essay and while it has some good insights, I think the word "libtard" in fact fits with an overall bias. Rousseau was not simply a harbinger of rightist totalitarian nationalism and anti-cosomoplitan hostility to reason and individualism. He was also a harbinger of leftist collectivism which shares much of the same deeply entrenched hatred of individualism. Here is a sentence that jumped out at me:

"Anticipating today’s Brexiters, he claimed that despite England’s political and economic might, the country offered its citizens only a bogus liberty: “The English people thinks it is free. It greatly deceives itself; it is free only during the election of members of Parliament. As soon as they are elected, the people are enslaved and count for nothing.”

The idea that Rousseau can be assimilated to the spirit of Brexit, which the writer clearly views negatively, is ridiculous. The spirit of Brexit was, if anything, exactly what Rousseau did not like. True, it saw membership in the EU as a "bogus liberty," but what it wanted is a restoration of exactly the representative democracy of Parliament that Rousseau holds in contempt. It is Rousseau who would today tell them to get with the "general will" as expressed by the EU parliament.

Crazy Jane said...

I've read and enjoyed The New Yorker for many years, but this year's slide into all-we-cool-folks-think-Trump-is-evil-incarnate without any critical analysis of the other party's candidate is getting mighty wearisome.

And the cartoons are not as funny as they used to be. An honest social psychologist maybe could winkle out why this is so, but I'm not a social psychologist. I'm just saying.

Amadeus 48 said...

Walter--WLS went down the chute when they dumped Roe Conn for Steve Dahl. But even Roe, who was subversively libertarian at WLS, has become a lamer version of himself at the great American middle--WGN. And the entire in-studio cast other than Roe are Hillarybots.

Rob McLean said...

the "Good/Sensible/Responsible Republican who isn't voting for Trump"

This is nothing new. Every four years, the media trots out some old guy who's been voting Republican since Herbert Hoover...but not this year! This guy is just too extreme! If Mr. Stalwart Republican isn't voting GOP this year, you shouldn't either!

I recently came across a left-wing newspaper published just before the 1976 elections, and they referred to Gerald Ford as "horrible fascist". Jerry Ford, one of the most inoffensive human beings ever, a horrible fascist? I can just imagine what they thought of Reagan four years later. (Trump is probably making their heads explode.)

tim in vermont said...

Who cares about facts and reality? You suffer from pre-Trump thinking. - PB&J

Obviously you don't. You are the one who believes Snopes and Politifact.

MikeR said...

'Pretty soon researchers at our nation's universities, or perhaps those of another nation, will find the genes for homosexuality. That should greatly reduce the incidence of "homophobia".' It is probably not genetic, as natural selection would remove it from the gene pool within a few generations - homosexuals are obviously less likely to have children.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Cochran#Homosexuality

Hagar said...

We are all conceived with all the genes to be whatever, but the process of turning on the "right" combination of genes, leaving the others dormant, is such a Rube Goldberg operation that it is a wonder it works at all.
But it does not have to be perfect, just good enough to produce enough males and females to ensure the survival of the species will do.

tim in vermont said...

It is probably not genetic, as natural selection would remove it from the gene pool within a few generations

Maybe not, but some oak trees produce edible acorns, but you can't breed for them because it takes two genes that appear unrelated. Still, social pressure on gays to reproduce, Oscar Wilde had children, you know, could have kept gays in the gene pool. There are lots of scenarios. Nothing is ever as simple as, for example, Isaac Newton proved that airplanes can't fly, or Global Warming is proven by Arrhenius's equations.

Kathy Shaidle said...

As I was saying :-)

http://takimag.com/article/the_gay_talese_affair_kathy_shaidle/print

MadisonMan said...

Excellent post althouse. Thank you.

Mom and Dad got the New Yorker back in the 60s and 70s. I think it was purged from their subscription list in the 90s. Dad still reads the New York Times, daily. I get my cynicism from him, so I doubt he buys the progressive palaver they're peddling. But it's his routine and at 90+ he's not about to change. Next time I'm there to visit I'll ask.

Henry said...

A libtardis will take you right to Rousseau's doorstep in Geneva, 1754.

Peter said...

"Meticulous fact checking"? When did the New Yorker publish Brodeur's "Currents of Death," which used astoundingly bad "science" to show that the electromagnetic fields radiated by electric power lines cause cancer?

Perhaps the weakness of this supposedly "meticulous fact checking" is more apparent in the social/political realm then in the realms of science (where no one expects the New Yorker to be very strong anyway), or perhaps it's just that the fact checking was never all that meticulous, but that it once took significantly more effort for readers to DIY fact-check?

MikeR said...

"Oscar Wilde had children, you know, could have kept gays in the gene pool." Doesn't help. A "bad" mutation is one that decreases the changes of offspring, even a little. Even a couple of percent is enough to remove that mutation from the gene pool in a few dozen generations. Some gays may have children, but surely it is reasonable to guess that 50% of them don't. That's an extremely bad mutation, devastatingly bad, should be gone quickly.

MadTownGuy said...

I wonder about the origin of the word. Seems to me I saw the terms "rightard" (a more prosodic bit of wordplay) and, later, "conservatard" which was less common. So probably - though I can't attest to it - it was a response to an insult by people on the left. It may also go further back. I found this on Quora:

"The descriptor "libtard" applies to someone who subscribes to all tenets of liberal ideology, all the time, without fail.

Examples would include Democratic Representatives who vote with their party 98% of the time or more, because to do so is frankly f'ing retarded. Others might be writers at the Huffington Post, Salon, or even Democratic Underground.

To be fair, there exists the same problem at the opposite end of the spectrum, I just don't know what that would be called.

Etymology: Internet lingo (possibly originating on the website 4chan) assigns the suffix "tard" to anyone representative of a group or culture. For example, someone who frequents the /b/ subforum might be known as a "btard", or someone in the Marine Corps with too much enthusiasm, or "moto", might be called a "motard".

Jupiter said...

tim in vermont said...
"It is probably not genetic, as natural selection would remove it from the gene pool within a few generations."

By that logic, a single generation would suffice.

The most likely explanation is that the genes which make male homosexuals less (far less) likely to reproduce than other males, simultaneously make their sisters more likely to reproduce than other females. This would keep those genes in the population.

Of course, if that is true, then aborting male babies with those genes would have little or no additional affect on the genes. But it would certainly have an affect on the prevalence of male homosexuality.

Curious George said...

"Libtard" is an offensive word, unnecessarily dragging in disrespect for the mentally challenged."

We can argue about it being offensive, but "unnecessarily dragging in disrespect for the mentally challenged." is most certainly wrong.

Drago said...

Rush Limbaugh is so very very horrible that he won't even utter the necessary words that would demonstrate it!

For if he did, accurate quotes would suffice.

But he won't.

What to do, what to do?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The liberal Media is biased and that bias causes them to put out an inferior product. That's not news (ha!).

I'm still not sure how it's whining when I point it out but not whining when you point it out, Professor.

What are you going to do about it? The New Yorker has shown you that its liberal bias harms its output and that on that basis you should trust it less (you have specific knowledge about this one topic but rely on trust in the NYorker on topics you don't have specific knowledge about). Are you less likely to purchase or read the publication in the future? Will you write a note to the author, to the publication, or to their ombudsperson? What changes will this incident cause, for you?

MikeR said...

"The most likely explanation is that the genes which make male homosexuals less (far less) likely to reproduce than other males, simultaneously make their sisters more likely to reproduce than other females." Hard for me to imagine what you might have in mind. Probably you don't mean anything particular, but mean it must be something like that. Doesn't seem very likely to me, at least until I'm pointed to someone who noticed that gay man are in unusually beautiful families or such.
Greg Cochran himself (see the Wiki article I linked above) proposed a very similar idea to this for Ashkenazi Jews, that maybe Tay Sachs is genetically linked to the genes that give them higher IQ on the average - "overclocking", he calls it. He was unable to come up with anything that sounded even halfway reasonable for homosexuality. He leans towards an infectious agent in utero or childhood.
Pretty extensive discussion on the subject if you're interested https://jaymans.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/greg-cochrans-gay-germ-hypothesis-an-exercise-in-the-power-of-germs/

MadisonMan said...

"Libtard" is an offensive word, unnecessarily dragging in disrespect for the mentally challenged.

Does the 'tard' come from retard, or bastard?

Triangle Man said...

The NewYorker apparently confused Rush with Fen. Where is Fen?

James Graham said...

The New Yorker has for several years been deliberately changed into a nearly-complete political publication.

Sure they still review restaurants and Broadway shows but the attraction of telling other people who they should vote for has overwhelmed the content "hole" they must to fill every week.

It began during the Vietnam war when the editor delivered a weekly (weekly!) "anti-war" rant.

I put "anti-war" in scare quotes because some of us noticed that the other side (the North,bankrolled by Moscow) was never criticized and when Nixon stopped the draft the movement instantly imploded, before the firing stopped.

Matthew Sablan said...

Limbaugh should ask for a correction if what they said isn't true. It's also the sort of trolling I imagine is great for a radio show.

Bud Norton said...

Well, it feels like it *should* be true, and that's good enough if you're a liberal.

Bill Peschel said...

My way of fact-checking something (since I don't subscribe to the New Yorker or Rush Limbaugh) is to do a Google search.

Typing "'Rush Limbaugh' libtard" brought up a very interesting response.

The top response by Google's brilliant search engine was a forum post from 2008 at a City-Data.com bulletin board titled: "What's with 'Libtard'? (Rush Limbaugh, racist, Obama, party)" in which the poster "helenejen" asked "I've seen a lot of conservatives and/or Republicans using the term 'libtard." Is 'retard,' along with the even more offensive 'tard,' acceptable all of a sudden?"

And that's it. Plenty of Rush Limbaugh and "liberal" after that, but no other post -- even by his enemies -- that link the two.

The New Yorker fact-checker couldn't be bothered to do this.

Jon Burack said...

HoodlumDoodlum asks Althouse "what are you going to do about it"? The "it" seems to be her insistence on continuing to read the wretched New Yorker. This seems to bother HoodlumDoodlum, but in fact it seems to me Hoodlum is flirting here with the idea that we should wall ourselves off in an ideological ghetto where all those who print anything questionable are written off. To me it's a recipe for stagnation and isolation - which is exactly where the increasingly shrill and self-absorbed right and its talk radio ghettos appears to be. As I said above, I read the entire New Yorker article Ann referenced here. I disagreed with what seems to me its bias, yet I found a lot of it very insightful and thought provoking. Don't you want to get your thoughts provoked, Hoodlum? Open a few windows, I say, and let the fresh air in - or maybe the bad air out.

PJ said...

Professor Althouse just said equating liberals with the mentally challenged disrespects the mentally challenged!!

(Reporting it as if Trump had said it.)

William Chadwick said...

Glenn Reynolds ("Instapundit" has a link to Ms. Althouse's post on this subject, and he answers the title question with the comment: "I'm beginning to think all that 'meticulous fact-checking' business was always bullshit."

Actually, they have meticulously fact-checked their opponents: fellow members of the Hive and the Hive's standard-bearers (Obama, the Clintons, etc.), probably not so much.

damikesc said...

They are convinced that they can define reality. When Rush dies, they will work hard to squelch all of the transcripts of his show they can so "reality" can be defined more completely.

CJ said...

In India, Hindu supremacists have adopted Rush Limbaugh’s favorite epithet “libtard” to channel righteous fury against liberal and secular élites.

Have they really? I'm not an Indian and know little about "Hindu supremacists", but since the description of Limbaugh is nonsense, why believe anything this guy writes?

BTW, I grew up partly in Quebec and motard is a commonly used term for motorcycle gang members. Radio/TV news would describe a shootout between the Hells Angels and another gang as a bataille des motards. Nothing to do with disability; a motorcycle is une moto.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Jon Burack said.... This seems to bother HoodlumDoodlum, but in fact it seems to me Hoodlum is flirting here with the idea that we should wall ourselves off in an ideological ghetto where all those who print anything questionable are written off. To me it's a recipe for stagnation and isolation - which is exactly where the increasingly shrill and self-absorbed right and its talk radio ghettos appears to be. As I said above, I read the entire New Yorker article Ann referenced here. I disagreed with what seems to me its bias, yet I found a lot of it very insightful and thought provoking. Don't you want to get your thoughts provoked, Hoodlum? Open a few windows, I say, and let the fresh air in - or maybe the bad air out.

Jon Burack doesn't appear to be a very strong reader. Hoodlum asked the Professor what she was going to do about "it" and then specifically asked about possible actions (writing the author, writing the ombudsperson, etc) not including stopping reading. Jon's claim that Hoodlum is suggesting people "wall themselves off in ideological ghettoes" is not supported by any of Hoodlum's statement--Jon imagines Hoodlum said something Hoodlum didn't say and then argues against that imagined statement.

Hoodlum still finds the Left's accusation of "epistemic closure" hilariously at odds with, you know, reality. Witness, in this very thread, commenters chiding the Professor for even daring to listen to Limbaugh at all! Ask yourself whether it's the Left or the Right that proudly makes a habit of "no-platforming" ideological opponents (and, of course, exerting a heckler's veto, etc).

Hoodlum, for the record, listens to NPR almost every weekday--he finds the perspective quite skewed and the bias pretty bad (worse on some subjects than others) but he still listens; it's stupid to accuse Hoodlum of walling himself off from ideological perspectives he finds disagreeable. [You may miss the ironic humor of that, but Hoodlum is a small government-preferring conservative-leaning right wing libertarian, so he finds almost all the Media-endorsed ideological perspectives he's confronted with disagreeable.]

Nate Whilk said...

A couple of relevant quotes.

"Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true—except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge."
--Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy (Erwin Knoll, editor, "The Progressive")

"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle."
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Norvell (June 11, 1807)

chickelit said...

@Nate Whilk: Thank you for remembering Erwin Knoll. Liberals could use more Erwin Knolls and fewer trolls.

Remembering Erwin Knoll

Inkling said...

I'm not sure media outlets such as The New Yorker have ever engaged in that much fact checking. What they did do was strive to appear more neutral. Digs like Limbaugh referring to a "libtard"—whether true or not—wouldn't have been used, so there'd be no need to fact check or not.

Also, pre-Internet it was much harder for the average reader to fact-check the press. They couldn't search all Limbaugh's shows online remarks. Mistakes that were made weren't caught. Now that they are caught and reported, typically on conservative websites, the press actually has less reason to be careful. It knows it's preaching to a true-believing crowd and need only address them.

My solution's quite simple. I've got a list of lies I won't permit. When I see those in an article, I simply dismiss that webpage, leaving the rest of the article unread. That's an adaptation of the old adage, "Lie to me once, shame on you. Lie to me twice, shame of me." I don't give them a chance to lie twice.

PD Quig said...

@ buwaya

"Sorry, was busy yelling at raccoons on my former lawn."

Grub poison, my friend. The raccoons are digging for grubs and will leave your lawn alone when the grubs are pushing up daisies.