March 24, 2017

Scott Adams agreed to an interview that he knew would be a hit piece...

... because — this was before the election — he thought "it would be funny to have them write about how wrong I was… just as the election was about to prove how right I was."

The article is only coming out now, long after the election: "How Scott Adams Got Hypnotized by Trump/Come to his Dilbert-shaped home. Bite into a Dilberito. Be persuaded on genocide, mental orgasms, and his fellow Master Wizard, the president of the United States." It's by Caroline Winter and published in Bloomberg.

And here's Adams — who doesn't seem to be having too much fun — with a 16-point demonstration that it's fake news. Here's the serious lesson:
By the way, Bloomberg did have a third-party do fact-checking on the article by running a bunch of questions by me for verification. That is standard practice for the big publications. None of the things I mentioned here were in the fact checking. The fact-checkers don’t check the writer’s own eye-witness accounts for accuracy, and they don’t check for missing context.

When normal citizens read the news, they think it is mostly accurate. But when you are the subject of reporting, you can see the fake news all over it. I thought I would share this view with you so you can increase your skepticism when you see this sort of thing presented as truth.
All right then, we should take the lesson and apply it to his 16 points, which are what he sees as fake or misleading. His calling things fake should also be read with skepticism.

#4 accuses Bloomberg of anti-Adams bias for using a photograph of Adams looking down and working on his computer tablet which casts its light upward onto his face.* He prefers a photo that looks like a generic publicity head shot, complete with perfectly flattering lighting and a pleasant smile. But the publicity-shot type photo is boring. It doesn't show Adams at work, and it doesn't speak of Winter's access to his private space. I understand Adams wanting to look as handsome as he can, but ultra-flattering publicity-style photography isn't interesting. It doesn't pull us into the article. It looks more like the little photos of columnists that papers run with each column. It doesn't say: There's something new here, we got inside and have something to show you.

I don't have time right now to read Winter's article and all of Adams's 16 points, but I don't think he's really got that much against Winter. The list seems as padded as he could get it, with stuff like:
12. This quote is out of context: “In the kitchen, Adams installed three microwaves so he “can make a lot of popcorn at once.” The missing context is that I designed the house knowing that whoever makes the popcorn for the rest of the family misses the first part of the movie. Plus, the extra microwaves come in handy all the time. I use them at the same time quite often. How did that come out sounding nutty?
Is "make a lot of popcorn at once" really more nutty-sounding than "whoever makes the popcorn for the rest of the family misses the first part of the movie"? I'd say no. Why doesn't everyone hang out in the kitchen getting popcorn ready before sitting down to the movie? What kind of people start the movie when one member of the group hasn't sat down yet? You can't watch something else — or talk to each other — until that person shows up? I mean, especially if that person is getting food for you. Also microwaves make terrible popcorn. Why don't you make good popcorn in a popcorn popper — or any big pot — on the stove... where I bet you have at least 4 burners? I think Winter served Adams perfectly well by saying "make a lot of popcorn at once," and finding fault with that is what really makes him sound nutty.

And I like Scott Adams, so don't try some Master-Persuader hocus-pocus on me and say that I am trying to make him look nutty. I'd even like him if he were nutty. What's so bad about nutty? Idiosyncrasies are endearing, especially when they are about things that don't matter, like popcorn.

____________________________

* Adams shows us a cropped version of the photo that Bloomberg published. The cropped version looks awkward and misses much of what makes it a great photo. Here's the full version, i.e., the context. The photographer framed a scene, which includes the giant tablet Adams works on, where we can see an entire colorful Sunday Dilbert strip (with mostly readable words). There's also the surrounding room (which is different from a generic artist's studio and more of a living room). There's a careful composition with angles — Adams's arm in the foreground, the tablet, the desk and sofa. The photographer doesn't seem to be trying to get an ugly picture of Adams, but to put him in his real-world context. Adams stresses context, but he's unfair to the photographer by excluding context.

ADDED: I'm finally getting around to reading Winter's article. It's really good, and I don't think Adams has a good-enough argument that it's a hit piece. I'm particularly struck by his criticism that she's making him look "creepy" by how she presents his girlfriend. Here's what Winter writes:
When I visited, Adams’s girlfriend of three months, Kristina Basham, was living with him, along with her two daughters. She’s 28. Until recently, she maintained a website that showed her posing in a bikini, described as a model and baker, with a D cup size. “I don’t talk about where we met. People make judgments,” Adams said. “We met the normal way people meet.” He does blog about Basham, though. In a post titled “The Kristina Talent Stack,” Adams described how she increased her Instagram following to 2.5 million. “The idea of a talent stack is that you can combine ordinary skills until you have enough of the right kind to be extraordinary,” he wrote. “You don’t have to be the best in the world at any one thing. All you need to succeed is to be good at a number of skills that fit well together.” Basham, he noted, was smart, knew model tricks about posing and makeup, and used social media hacks such as SEO and A/B testing. (“For example, although her Instagram photos are G-rated, any hint of side-boob adds at least 10% to her engagement.”) This seemed a little obvious to me, but Adams also extended the theory to himself and Trump.
In point #3, Adams says Winter "created a powerful and intentional creepy vibe" in part showing "the context of my girlfriend being too young for me," and in point #13, he says:
My girlfriend, Kristina, has an advanced degree from UC Berkeley, plays multiple instruments, has succeeded in several fields, and now has 3.3 million Instagram followers. The writer mentioned her bra size.
But Winter did tell us about Basham's huge Instagram following, and Adams decontextualizes the bra size! The big Instagram account is Basham showing off her body and, specifically, her breasts, and that's something Adams has written about: You can up your Instagram popularity by showing "side-boob." Winter is pretty subtle and funny there. Adams shows off his theory — about "talent stacks" — while talking about his girlfriend's big breasts. Now, it is fun at Adams's expense, but it's not unfair. How does he not deserve it? Scott Adams is 30 years older than this woman, who self-promoted on Instagram and he brags about her savvy in making people like her by showing off her youthful beauty. The bra size didn't come out of nowhere.

102 comments:

dreams said...

I agree with Scott Adams except maybe the picture.

traditionalguy said...

Adams is a First Impression Never Changes man. Like a trial lawyer and a Jury discovers that RULE.

So he sees the small oddities painted into a readers First Impression of the unknown creep who praises Trump. It's Scott Adams. And he praises Trumplike Trump praises Putin. Ergo:They are bad all the way down.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

What kind of people start the movie when one member of the group hasn't sat down yet?

That's the first thought I had as well. I keep a book and/or my tablet next to my chair when my wife and I watch shows together. If she needs to go do something, such as pop more popcorn or go to the restroom, it gives me something to do while the show is paused.

Also, I think Scott Adams is a little nutty. Or eccentric. Take your pick.

Unknown said...

"I'd even like him if he were nutty. What's so bad about nutty? Idiosyncrasies are endearing, especially when they are about things that don't matter, like popcorn."


True, but Adams is also nutty about very serious things and has influenced people into believing his nutty and erroneous ideas. His enormous powers of persuasion only work on some people though.

buwaya puti said...

Adams is a bit eccentric.
On the other hand he is correct, the tone of the article is hostile and intended to make him seem even more eccentric, and makes implications about his character.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

If you don't think Scott Adams is still having fun you should watch the video he posted in the blog post of his brother reacting to the Bloomberg article. Also, Scott had to crop the picture used in Bloomberg to make his claim that it was unflattering.

But the best part of the Bloomberg piece is when it drops in that his ex-wife is now his personal assistant.

buwaya puti said...

Adams "erroneous ideas"?
He was right when hordes of others were wrong.
Most of his ideas concern the theory and practice of management, where he is also far more right than wrong, and these can also usually be traced to people like Drucker. Which he illustrates with cartoons.

Unknown said...

Adams's post reminds me of how back when I had a business, we'd occasionally get some coverage in the local paper and invariably, they would misquote us, say things that we 180 degrees from what we'd said and in other ways completely butcher the facts of the article. And these were just normal local business interest piece articles - there was no controversy or anything.

There was one article out of these, however, that was perfectly accurate. It was written by a student interning at the paper. She actually even called us and said she couldn't verify that we had won Broadcast Design awards. We pointed her to where on their site it talked about it and cleared it up - actual fact checking.

I suppose they beat that adherence to accuracy out of reporters once they aren't interns anymore.

Basically, time after time, the news has showed me how inaccurate it was. And yet, in the end, when I read the news I tend to believe what I read.

Sarah Rolph said...

I read the story and then I read his comments and I think his analysis is generally good. I agree that the photo is a marginal example. I recommend reading the whole thing, because it's very instructive. Many if not most of the things we read are just like this -- factually not all that bad, but overall extremely misleading because of the frame. If you're looking at the list simply for factual errors, it looks weak. But if you read the story and then read the list, it's quite a useful analysis, because he makes it clear how the reporter's choices add up to a portrait that's twisted. The author makes Adams out to be a sexist pig; that doesn't seem to be the case. She makes him seem like a serious Trump fan, which he doesn't seem to be. She puts those two things together in a clear attempt to make people dislike Adams, and to diminish his intellect by downplaying the persuasion stuff he's been writing about all this time. I'm not a fan of Adams, but it's pretty clear from his writing over the past months that he hasn't been trying to push Trump but to share his views about Trump's methods. I think his post is quite a good example of how a successful hit piece is put together.

MadisonMan said...

Best quote is at the end:

I feel sorry for the people watching the other movie—the one in which President Trump is essentially Hitler,” Adams wrote. “In my movie, he’s having a bumpy transition ride but generally doing the people’s work. My movie is more of a comedy

It's like he reads my Facebook feed.

Unknown said...

“Facts don’t matter. Every trained persuader knows that" says Scott Adams. Yes, because alternative facts are so easy to believe by those who are easily persuaded.

EDH said...

The part I liked was his brother's reaction to the Bloomberg 'hit piece'.

Virgil Hilts said...

I just got done reading Adams piece (linked at Instapundit) and thought, holy crap, AA would love this. And then I came here!

Mike said...

I read the article and his post before coming to Althouse this morning. There are a few duds in his sixteen criticisms. But I thought the way the writer portrayed Adam's girlfriend (literally with a click-baity Instagram shot, and figuratively by making her a seem like a homeless single mother with no skills sponging off Adams, although she has advanced degrees and her own home) was a good example of trying to fool the reader. Especially egregious are her quotes eliding the facts about Adam's experience with racial politics in two different work settings. Removing the context makes Adams appear racially-obsessed when it is really the writer (IMO) who is fixated on race, and using it here to try and smear her subject.

Gahrie said...

Gore is also nutty about very serious things and has influenced people into believing his nutty and erroneous ideas. His enormous powers of persuasion only work on some people though.

Krugman is also nutty about very serious things and has influenced people into believing his nutty and erroneous ideas. His enormous powers of persuasion only work on some people though.

Rather is also nutty about very serious things and has influenced people into believing his nutty and erroneous ideas. His enormous powers of persuasion only work on some people though.


...I could do this all day.....

Curious George said...

"13. My girlfriend, Kristina, has an advanced degree from UC Berkeley, plays multiple instruments, has succeeded in several fields, and now has 3.3 million Instagram followers. The writer mentioned her bra size."

Scott, that's because don't care, don't care, don't care, don't care. And dayum!

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: When normal citizens read the news, they think it is mostly accurate. But when you are the subject of reporting, you can see the fake news all over it.

This was "codified" as "Knoll's Law Of Media Accuracy." Every time I bring that up someone (usually the same guy) tries to trump it by citing the "Gell Man Amnesia Effect." I don't know which came first. They are both instructive in their own way. I think we are both biased because we probably each met the men we champion. Maybe someone can settle "who said it first"?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

What I find interesting about the piece, which was definitely crafted to make Adams look as bad as possible, is how it demonstrates how committed some leftist are to denying reality.

Adams offered an analysis of Trump's skills as a salesman. His analysis, offered up with a bunch of "Master Persuader" hypnosis hullabaloo, was that Trump was a good one. Well I could of told you that, and in fact, I did tell a lot of people that. One only has to look at his 45 year career to see that. If you read his first book that would have informed you of that too.

Notice what Adams didn't do. He didn't endorse any of Trump's policy proposals. He did not state he was for enforcing the immigration laws and building a wall at the southern border. He didn't say that Muslim immigration should be restricted. He didn't, so far as I know, state that he agreed with one single thing that Trump campaigned on. He just offered an analysis of Trump's salesmanship and the tactics that he (Adams) thought were the reason for his success.

And the left went nuts. They were (and are) outright enraged. Which makes no sense unless you are so invested in your mental model of Trump as an idiotic buffoon that could not possibly lose to Hillary Clinton that any challenge to that believe is taken as an attack on you. Which is why you can expect more losses for the left. Because if your response to a straightforward analysis of someones abilities (not their intentions or morals, just their abilities) is to be enraged then you are not capable of perceiving reality or acting on it.

There were two reasonable reactions to Adams analysis. You could have agreed or disagreed with it. Getting pissed off about it tells me a lot about that person. None of it good.

The closest analogy I can think of, is someone finding out that Patton read Rommel's book and that he thought Rommel was a pretty good tank commander, and got pissed at Patton for being a Nazi.

Virgil Hilts said...

Ann, kind of agree with Mike; I think you cherry picked the least persuasive/interesting of Adams' numbered points. Also, I disagree with your statement that Adams "doesn't seem to be having too much fun." I think he is having an absolute blast.

PB said...

I like how Scott always seems to work in a mention of his hot girlfriend (and often a picture) talking about her talent stack.

Unknown said...

"As Trump extended his run, Adams kept pace with a near-daily flow of blog posts and livestreaming analysis, making himself indispensable as one of Trump’s most appreciative interpreters. He made the case that even the most erratic Trump moments were tactically brilliant—and that this was an insight that he alone could see. "

All the while persuading the persuadable that his translation of Trump's mumbo jumbo was correct and only other similarity "brilliant" people could see this. That's where he got some of the intelligent ones, he flattered them.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you don't think Scott Adams is still having fun you should watch the video he posted in the blog post of his brother reacting to the Bloomberg article."

I did, and I did not find that convincing. He wants that clip to make an argument that it was all for fun, but just as I don't believe the brother's laughing is genuine (or really in response to Winter's article), I think that using it was an effort to end funny, when nothing in his BELABORED analysis is too funny.

Robert Cook said...

"I feel sorry for the people watching the other movie—the one in which President Trump is essentially Hitler,” Adams wrote. “In my movie, he’s having a bumpy transition ride but generally doing the people’s work. My movie is more of a comedy."

Trump is not Hitler. Then again, he's not doing the people's work. As for whether the movie is a comedy, I suppose it is...in the "Life is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who think" kind of way.

Chuck said...

Adams says this:

When normal citizens read the news, they think it is mostly accurate. But when you are the subject of reporting, you can see the fake news all over it.

We all know that. At least, anybody who is a professional, and whose work has been the subject of news reporting; or anybody who has been a news figure of any consequence; we all know that.

Dr. Michael K, a commenter here, has said much the same thing in the past, if I recall correctly. That he has been close to some sorts of healthcare stories that the press butchered a bit. I've been part of such stories; I had a major trial that got covered after a verdict, and I have mentioned before that I was on the news during the election of 2004, over disputes about Detroit voting. Also about tort reform bills in Michigan's state capitol.

It is a truism, that is unremarkable, and also has pretty much nothing to do with Donald Trump in particular; the more you know about, and are a party to, any news story, the more you are likely to criticize it.

Yet another story in which I am left wondering why I am supposed to care at all about Scott Adams.

MikeR said...

Seems to me you're missing the point if you don't go through his list. Each one in isolation is mostly trivial. But - and he claims to be an expert in this stuff - as a whole it is supposed to paint a certain false picture of him.
You can argue with that, or deny his expertise, but I don't think it can be done one point at a time.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse wrote: When normal citizens read the news, they think it is mostly accurate. But when you are the subject of reporting, you can see the fake news all over it."

No, I didn't. That's Adams's writing.

I hope you understand the significance of blocking and indenting paragraphs. If not, this blog must seem really weird.

Ann Althouse said...

By the way, I haven't read Winter's article yet.

I will.

I just don't have time now.

rhhardin said...

Adams is okay but woefully ignorant of things that I know a lot about.

rhhardin said...

The most insufferable experts are the Baysians.

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "Then again, he's not doing the people's work."

Expound a bit.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

All the while persuading the persuadable that his translation of Trump's mumbo jumbo was correct and only other similarity "brilliant" people could see this. That's where he got some of the intelligent ones, he flattered them.

Like I said, some people simply have to believe that Trump is a buffoon.

Adams analysis amounted to, "Trump put an idea in your head by doing or saying something."

He absolutely never did what you are accusing him of, which appears to be stating Trump's inarticulate musings on the stump really mean this particular policy proposal.

Adams' analysis was all about Trump as a salesman and the tactics he used. I actually don't buy into that "Master Persuader" stuff Adams uses, but the fact that Trump is a good salesman would seem to be indisputable. But, hey, Russians.

Unknown said...

"What’s happening to him? Why’s he supporting Trump?’ ” One explanation, Pastis says, is that Adams simply craves attention. “Cartoonists are addicted to reaction. I don’t know whether Scott would admit that, but I know it’s true.”"

Yes indeed and he is making a lot of money. Unfortunatly he persuaded some intelligent people who should've known better.

Drago said...

I see that Unknown is still curling up each night with her HuffPost-Hillary-99% Probability of Victory printouts. And just as bitter about being exposed as so hopelessly wrong on every issue.

Well, I suppose a little venting on her part should not be begrudged.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Unfortunatly he persuaded some intelligent people who should've known better."

Yes, those idiots who listened to Adams when he predicted Trumps victory.

I mean, how ridiculous can one get?

Big Mike said...

If Scott Adams had the brains God gave a pissant he'd have turned her down.

Mike said...

To me the Big Meaning of this Scott Adams profile and 16-point rebuttal is all in the timing. By the time the author had fleshed out her article it was clear that Hillary was wobbly and failure no longer "unthinkable" so that if they published "too soon" the risk Bloomberg ran would have been to boost Adam's profile as an accurate Predictor. So they had to wait a few months after the election and roll out this profile when there was no chance left of Adams persuading anyone about the Master Persuader Thesis. They should declinmed to run it at all. Maybe they were starved for content or something.

But the fact the DID publish the profile and slanted it in a way to try and make Adam's appear to be a misogynistic (check!), right wing (check!), racist (check!) weirdo who ADMIRES TRUMP (as opposed to admiring the communication skills, which someone up thread has elucidated well), tells me that they are trying to shift the message. Why publish now? Because the intel committee, to name one entity, is now about to blow up the Russian story with the revelation that the infamous "wiretap tweets" were actually more true than the Putin-as-puppetmaster stories ever were. This article is the set-up so that later when Trump looks smart or prescient the media can dismiss Adams with a snarky reference to this very Bloomberg hit piece.

Drago said...

Ron Winkleheimer: "Adams' analysis was all about Trump as a salesman and the tactics he used. I actually don't buy into that "Master Persuader" stuff Adams uses, but the fact that Trump is a good salesman would seem to be indisputable. But, hey, Russians."

Adams "ideated" and launched "Master Persuader" in the same way Trump "ideated" "Make America Great Again".

Both were laughed at by all the elites and the "we know betters"......and we see where that ended up, don't we?

Larvell said...

What I took away from the article is that rich 60-year-old guys, even if eccentric, don't have a hard time finding hot 28-year-old girlfriends who like to show off their boobs in decidedly NOT G-rated Instagram posts.

They may have a hard time convincing their ex to be their personal assistant, however.

Drago said...

Larvell: "What I took away from the article is that rich 60-year-old guys, even if eccentric, don't have a hard time finding hot 28-year-old girlfriends who like to show off their boobs in decidedly NOT G-rated Instagram posts."

This represents "Breaking News" from about 10,000BC up to now.

Ken B said...

Well, it isn't the alleged nuttiness, it's the alleged moral turpitude. The narrative being advanced is that Trump supporters are troglodytes. Holly Golightly is nutty but charming, pervy porn-hound Scott is nutty and unclean.

Karen said...

The real Takeaway is that you always have to have a tape of your conversation with any reporter. I used to be in politics and Scott Adams is right. The way that they write the articles is tremendously misleading , either taking things out of context or creating an entirely new context for things that were said. This article is definitely a hit piece against him. Once you read it you can see that. All you have to do is look at the headline to see that it's a hit piece.

Drago said...

Karen: "The real Takeaway is that you always have to have a tape of your conversation with any reporter."

Correct.

Just look at Katie Courics anti-gun hit job that was exposed in just that way.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/435847/katie-couric-lying-anti-gun-documentary

Ron Winkleheimer said...

By the way, did you notice the title of the book the girlfriend is holding in the picture? "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Succeed Big." The Editors at Bloomberg must have held a high mass to the gods of journalistic hit pieces to get that. Talk about advancing the "Adams' girlfriend is a bimbo" meme.

khesanh0802 said...

Today Trump exercises the negotiator's prerogative of walking away from the table. DC screams "unthinkable", "unheard of" " how can we continue to be of importance if we actually have to vote"? Great move by Trump. I had a labor professor in B school who always used the union threat to " hit the bricks" when it appeared we couldn't find a solution in class. Trump just went on strike.

Darrell said...

"How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Succeed Big."


Ah! The Jamie Gorelick story. . .

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Also, I agree with the Professor. Adams is not having fun here. He got played. I think one of Bloomberg's objectives is to make sure everyone who has a large audience, cartoonists, actors, musicians, etc. know that any and all communications regarding Trump must be negative or there will be severe consequences regarding the publics' perception of you.

Perhaps it does make sense to deny to the hoi polloi that Trump is a good salesman. Perhaps if the general public realized that, they might start to consider that he is good at other things as well?

Nope, he is a doofus who lucked into the Presidency using nefarious means.

Darrell said...

Advice to all Republicans or anyone who has ever had a nice word to say about Republicans--the Media are not your friends. They'll ruin your life if they get a chance.

Darrell said...

One-Think. It's required.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"What’s happening to him? Why’s he supporting Trump?’ ” One explanation, Pastis says, is that Adams simply craves attention. “Cartoonists are addicted to reaction. I don’t know whether Scott would admit that, but I know it’s true.”"

So simply noting, and stating that someone is good at something is the same as supporting them?

The left is imploding, not sure if it is doing so figuratively or literally.

exhelodrvr1 said...

He points are probably 95% correct, possible exception being the picture.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: I hope you understand the significance of blocking and indenting paragraphs. If not, this blog must seem really weird.

My mistake. So sorry. Let me rephrase my comment:

Althouse quoted: When normal citizens read the news, they think it is mostly accurate. But when you are the subject of reporting, you can see the fake news all over it.

This was "codified" as "Knoll's Law Of Media Accuracy." Every time I bring that up someone (usually the same guy) tries to trump it by citing the "Gell Man Amnesia Effect." I don't know which came first. They are both instructive in their own way. I think we are both biased because we probably each met the men we champion. Maybe someone can settle "who said it first"?

Despite Chuck's pooh-poohing the importance of this truism (at 9:27), it is important because it is constantly forgotten.

khesanh0802 said...

Look at the video of Scott Adams' brother cracking up over the article. That pretty much explains why Scott went ahead. Scott Adams seems to have a very healthy sense of self-worth. He basically set up Bloomberg so he could rebut them and show how biased they were.

Bob Ellison said...

As chickelit notes, Adams is talking about Gell-Man Amnesia or Knoll's Law or what everyone in marketing ought to know, but most don't: most people are not critical analysts of the information they consume, even when they should already be able, based on their own knowledge, to pigeon-hole a source as trustworthy or untrustworthy.

95% of people are mostly tribal in their information assessment. (I got that number from an article in a London-based study conducted by members of the NIH directors and a diverse group of eminent economists and sociologists.) They read the sources they like and ignore the ones they've written off, and they believe in appeals to authority, even false appeals. Adams is pointing out that the author of the hit piece on him is a hack, not a trustworthy informer.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "Yet another story in which I am left wondering why I am supposed to care at all about Scott Adams."

Successful people who come up with interesting takes on the news of the days and perhaps even unique perspectives as to those events and potential outcomes which run counter to ALL the conventional wisdom AND THEN are proven correct are......interesting.

Unlike certain "lifelong republicans" I could name but am too much of a gentlemen to do so.

rcocean said...

The reporter obviously started with a pre-written article, "kooky, right-wing, rich, cartoon guy supports Trump" and then more or less reported any fact that supported that narrative and dumped everything else.

Adams' comments about how "Affirmative action" works in corporate America are somehow made to seem racist. His well-to-do girlfriend is made to seem like a bimbo. The whole popcorn thing was typical. Adams is a rich guy, and he can afford to have 3 Microwaves. Yet, the reporter makes that seem kooky and seem like he only has 3 so he can make lots of popcorn. The ONLY reason that's mentioned to make him sound kooky.

rcocean said...

The first time Media Bias hit me was during the Bork hearings. I listened to the hearings at work and then went home and watched the McNeil-Leher newshour and/or CBS/NBC. I could see where the reporters had cherry picked all the quotes that made Bork seem bad, and left out all the quotes that made the Democrat senators look bad or Bork look good.

Bob Ellison said...

Don't microwaves start at about fifty bucks? They cost more in counter space, though. Maybe a small Ferris-wheel thing in the cabinet of a large kitchen, with three or four microwaves rotating around...I'll be back; gotta call Ron Popeil!

rehajm said...

Also microwaves make terrible popcorn.

Adams has done much work promoting his healthy diet. Microwave popcorn is shitty for a healthy diet. Plus it tastes like shit.

Use a Whirley Pop Popper, I Tsp coconut oil, a bit of Flavacol (or not)...

rcocean said...

Scott Adams, as you might expect for a person of his background (SF Bay Area) and class (Rich guy artist) is a liberal in pretty much everything except economics and foreign policy. And even in those, he's not particularly "right-wing".

Of course, the writer left that all out.

I'm sure that if Althouse had a long Bloomberg article on her, it would be the same. Her few "conservative" positions would be highlighted and all liberal ones would be ignored.

rcocean said...

Doesn't all popcorn taste the same? Especially, after you put butter and salt on it?

I've never thought air-blown popcorn, or Jiffy-pop or microwave popcorn was different.

richlb said...

I ALWAYS get stuck making the popcorn during the start of the movie. Here's what happens:

Wife and son decide we want to watch a movie. This usually occurs around 8pm. Son has a set bedtime. A quick glance at the running time means that the movie won't end before his bedtime (we don't cut a movie off at exactly 9:30 if 5 minutes is left, but trying to squeeze in a 100 minute movie starting at 8 is tight). So I go into the kitchen to make the popcorn. We have a new microwave popper that uses store bought kernels, and the whole process, with melting butter, probably takes 5-7 minutes. So by the time I come into the room, I've missed something. Hopefully it's just goofy opening credits. But sometimes it's important background info.

So yes, people do start a movie without all watches in the room. I'm not about to go installing multiple microwaves, but everyone solves the problem in their own way.

Francisco D said...

AA wrote " ...this blog must seem really weird."

Yes, but in a usually endearing sort of way. The world would be a lesser place without Althouse and Meade ... and Laslo.

Fernandinande said...

Ann Althouse said...
I hope you understand the significance of blocking and indenting paragraphs. If not, this blog must seem really weird.


That formatting (indentation, etc) appears in the original posts, but in the comments section "Show Original Post" doesn't show the formatting.

chickelit said...
"Knoll's Law Of Media Accuracy." ..."Gell Man Amnesia Effect." ...
Maybe someone can settle "who said it first"?


A lot of people complained about "the news" long before those two; T. Jefferson said something about the advertisements being the only honest part of the newspapers. Saw an article about an guy complaining about the evil effects of the printing press - in 1565.

Charlie Eklund said...

My wife was interviewed by a reporter for Bloomberg a couple of years ago in regard to a business story they were doing on the company where she is the press and public relations director. The reporter used what she said was off the record in the resulting article. My wife told a Bloomberg editor about the use of off the record remarks in the piece and Bloomberg argued about it until she told them she had a third party witness with notes on the conversation. Only then did Bloomberg go back and listen to the reporter's tape recording of the interview and heard how the reporter had effed her over. Only then did they yank the online story double quick. That is the kind of news organization Blomberg is.

With a name like (Michael) Bloomberg, it has to be bad.

Charlie Eklund said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

Doesn't all popcorn taste the same? Especially, after you put butter and salt on it?

Only if you eat the same popcorn. Microwave, Jiffy, grocery store corn. Blech! This is what you should seek...

FullMoon said...

Unknown said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Yes indeed and he is making a lot of money. Unfortunatly he persuaded some intelligent people who should've known better.


Adams said more than once he has lost opportunities to make money because of his articles on Trump. Canceled appearances, etc.
Not the only public figure to suffer financially because of "support" for Trump.

holdfast said...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BRD_WE4j8h9/?taken-by=kristinabasham&hl=en

Fake boobs. Which is still better than fake butt.

Unknown said...

"4. When an article is intended to be favorable, you see photos that make me look relatively good, like this one, from Peter Duke:"

Nope, this photo is no better than the one he doesn't like.

Unknown said...

What he seems to be miffed by is that Winter didn't see him from his own perspective. He couldn't "persuade" her, she saw through him, good for her.

Darrell said...

Unknown Inga is blinded by the bile in her eyes. Sad.

Scott Adams said...

I like the comments where people are reading my mind and determining how much fun I am having, or not having.

The Bloomberg experience was fun for me from top to bottom. That's why I did it. And it went exactly as I told my brother and several others it would. That includes my blog on the experience, which I decided to write before the story appeared. (It was obvious how the article would turn out.)

Based on the reaction on Twitter to my blog, a lot of people liked it and appreciated the glimpse behind the curtain.

You might be confusing me with people who feel shame or anger from this sort of experience. I'm not normal that way. I can see how that would be confusing. I laughed as hard as my brother did in the video on my blog.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook: 'Then again, he's not doing the people's work.'

"Expound a bit."


Well, he plans to confiscate another $54 billion of our tax dollars to pour into the corrupt and toxic waste dump that is our war machine, all to enrich the war contractors, as he plans simultaneously to cut funds from the EPA, the Dept. of Ed, HUD, PBS, the Dept. of Transportation, and other departments that do "the people's work." That's $54 billion dollars on top of an already obscenely bloated war budget, which should be drastically cut to return money to the budget. That's all money that can't be spent on useful domestic programs, you know, programs that do "the people's work."

Add to that the billions he's confiscting from us to build his wall across the border to Mexico, at a time when more Mexicans are leaving to return to Mexico than are coming here from Mexico.

Consider the undocumented immigrants he's expelling from the country, which will cost the country trillions in losses.

And there's his tax plan.

Unknown said...

"The Bloomberg experience was fun for me from top to bottom. That's why I did it. And it went exactly as I told my brother and several others it would. That includes my blog on the experience, which I decided to write before the story appeared. (It was obvious how the article would turn out.)"

So full of bullshit. There are people who see you exactly as you are. You can't persuade them to see you as you would like to appear.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

he plans simultaneously to cut funds from the EPA, the Dept. of Ed, HUD, PBS, the Dept. of Transportation, and other departments that do "the people's work

I'm a people and I'm fine with that. Why should the middle-class be subsidizing the rich via PBS, sounds rather regressive to me. And as for the EPA and the other agencies, I think their budgets are bloated and the people working for them are little tinpot dictators. And I think the Dept of Ed is counter-productive and should be eliminated all together.

JPS said...

OK, Scott Adams dropped by here to comment? That's pretty neat.

FullMoon said...

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook: 'Then again, he's not doing the people's work.'

"Expound a bit."

Well, he plans to confiscate another $54 billion of our tax dollars to pour into the corrupt and toxic waste dump that is our war machine, all to enrich the war contractors, as he plans simultaneously to cut funds from the EPA, the Dept. of Ed, HUD, PBS, the Dept. of Transportation, and other departments that do "the people's work." That's $54 billion dollars on top of an already obscenely bloated war budget, which should be drastically cut to return money to the budget. That's all money that can't be spent on useful domestic programs, you know, programs that do "the people's work."

Add to that the billions he's confiscting from us to build his wall across the border to Mexico, at a time when more Mexicans are leaving to return to Mexico than are coming here from Mexico.

Consider the undocumented immigrants he's expelling from the country, which will cost the country trillions in losses.


In other words, he is attempting to follow through on the stuff that got him elected. Doing the work for the people who voted for him. Not doing the work for people who want him impeached, assassinated, his wife raped, his businesses targeted. Not doing work for people who agree with murdering police, beating Trump supporters, shouting down Republican speakers. Not doing work for people who hate white people, who hate straight people, who hate Republicans , who hate Trump voters.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The Dept of Ed was not created until 1980, can anyone honestly state that education in the US has improved since then?

The EPA, I am glad to say, fulfilled its mission, cleaning up the air and waterways in the US. But having done so, they have now gone on to pollute major rivers deliberately and harass people over puddles and drainage ditches. I am unaware of why they think this is now their mission. However, I think some budget cuts are in order to make them re-exam their priorities.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

As for expelling illegal immigrants, doing so will cause the labor market to tighten up causing either wages to increase, especially for low and unskilled labor, meaning those people will now have more money in their pocket, or businesses will automate jobs, meaning they will keep the wages they would have been paying to illegals and will have to pay taxes on it. It will probably be a mix of both with construction and technical jobs seeing a rise in wages, while burger flipping will be automated. In either case, the billions of dollars being remitted to Mexico each year (which is what the Mexican government is really worried about) will stay in the US.

damikesc said...

The ugly picture is a known thing done to make somebody less appealing. Remember the photographer who BRAGGED that she made John McCain look terrible in pictures she took of him?

So simply noting, and stating that someone is good at something is the same as supporting them?

Apparently.

I can note that Hitler was quite adept at reading people early in his term (he eventually bought his own propaganda AND had a raging drug problem) and could tell when a leader would ever attack him or not. Knowing that France and the UK, who could've obliterated him, wouldn't attack him over Czechoslovakia is impressive. Even getting them to turn on Czechoslovakia --- who ALSO could've obliterated him --- was even more impressive. He knew the two "powers" would do almost anything for "peace" and played it up amazingly well.

Yet I think Hitler was a damned evil man.

The Left seems unable to realize that even evil people had to have some ability in order to gain power in the first place. Even if you think Trump is EVIL...HOW he won should be a fascinating study.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

As for a trade war with Mexico, US companies relocate to Mexico to take advantage of low wages, government corruption, and lack of environmental and labor regulations. I'm old enough to remember when liberals thought that was a bad thing.

Bob Loblaw said...

#4 accuses Bloomberg of anti-Adams bias for using a photograph of Adams looking down and working on his computer tablet which casts its light upward onto his face.

The argument he's making with the photo isn't that they should have used the one he likes. The argument is when they like the subject they include one kind of photo, and when they don't like the subject they use another. It may be the one he doesn't like is more interesting, which would be a good argument for including it if that were an evenly-applied standard.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@damikesc

I think one reason the left goes with the Trump is a buffoon and won via nefarious means meme is that if they studied how he won, then they might have to make changes in response to that. And the powers that be in the Democrat party don't want that because those changes could be at their expense.

You saw the same thing after the Republicans got beat in 2012. The RNC came out with a report saying basically that they needed to soften up their image and attract more Hispanic voters. By weird coincidence the exact same thing that the GOPe and lobbyists had been prescribing for years.

Donald Trump if forcing change on the GOP, which is why so many in it are doing their best to resist him. He is threatening to break a lot of rice bowls.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Here is a story from March 2016 on the report and Trump. It is absolutely hilarious to read it now.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/donald-trump-gop-party-reform-220222

Oh, and note the picture of Trump.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I especially love this quote.

""Swing voters would flock away from him in droves," said Henry Barbour, one of the autopsy’s authors. And as for Trump’s claim that his working-class appealing will bring back Reagan Democrats, the veteran Mississippi Republican operative is unmoved: "He’s chasing some ghost that I don’t think exists anymore.""

Dave in Tucson said...

Interesting you didn't say anything about the headline, Althouse:

> How Scott Adams Got Hypnotized by Trump

What kind of a tone does this set for the rest of the article? Do you think this is a fair characterization of the relationship between Adams and Trump?

I agree that the tablet picture is actually very interesting, what are your thoughts on this picture or this picture?

hombre said...

I was a local elected official for twenty years. By the time I retired it was unusual for the print media to hit fifty per cent accuracy about me or the events I was involved in. The causative factors were the bias and the ignorance of the reporters.

Unknowns' comments bring back memories of those reporters.

I'm not quite sure why the bra size of Adam's girl friend was relevant. I don't agree with his assessment about the photo. My recollection is that when the mediaswine want to portray someone they don't like, they use open-mouth shots.

damikesc said...

We shouldn't be stunned that the journalists aren't terribly bright.

In college, nothing jaded me more on the intellect of teachers and reporters than the knowing the education and journalism majors.

rcocean said...

I think its great that Scott Adams - if that's his real name - commented here.

Virgil Hilts said...

Its so cool to have Scott came here and confirm that several of us were right about him having lots of fun. It was kind of like Annie Hall, when Marshall McLuhan steps out from behind the movie line cue to support Wood Allen.

Virgil Hilts said...

Woody Allen :(

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks to Scott Adams for stopping by and commenting.

Freeman Hunt said...

I read the Bloomberg piece first. I automatically mentally strip out goofy quotes and the like when reading a piece like that because stories like this are always misleading. I thought Adams came off well despite how misleading the story was. Then I read his blog post and was shocked at how much more misleading the story was than I had initially assumed, a pretty high bar to clear.

Everything seems outrageously misleading these days.

What do we do without a real press?

I guess we're finding out.

Michael K said...

I have followed Scott Adams since the Dilbert cartoon first appeared about the time I was at Dartmouth which was 1994. It came out a few years before but I think I noticed it about 1994. One reason he may seem odd or eccentric to some is that he is an engineer. You have to spend time with engineers to understand that it is not weird, just different.

Chuck above refers to something I once posted about about interviews and distortion. A friend of mine, now deceased, got involved in a very lengthy divorce from his wife of about six years or so. They had sort of made a pact that she would work while he went to medical school and once he was out and making a living, he would help her go to law school. I think she did go to law school and when she finished they ended up divorced and she sued him using a theory that, since she had supported him during medical school, she owned a half share of his lifetime earnings. It was a big deal for years and became an early feminist cause.

Here is an article on the case that says she had not gone to law school. I think she did later. Anyway:

That is how Sullivan v. Sullivan turned into a massive stack of legal briefs that now confronts the California Supreme Court. The California court is viewed by many judges and attorneys as the most influential state court in the country, particularly in matters of family law. It is headed by a woman, the celebrated Rose Bird. And the Sullivan case has brought before the justices a matter now troubling trial and appellate court judges in close to half the states of the nation. With women's groups behind her and physicians fiercely opposed, Janet Sullivan is arguing that part of the Sullivans' community property--the marital assets that must now be divided--is the value of Mark Sullivan's medical training.

She wanted half his income for life. It ended up going to the US Supreme Court and she lost.

At the juicy part of the case, he was interviewed by "Sixty Minutes." As I recall, he had been warned by someone about their creative editing and managed to get an agreement to make his own tape of the session, including out takes.

I can remember a California Medical Association convention where a group of female medical students and residents wanted the CMA to endorse advocating for the wife in that case with a resolution.

I managed to point out to them in a floor debate at the convention that they had not considered the possibility that husbands might have a similar case against them if a divorce subsequently occurred. They got very quiet after that and the resolution did not pass.

tim maguire said...

His point about the picture was not about which picture is most interesting, it's if the writer likes the person who is the subject, they pick a flattering picture. If the writer does not like the person who is the subject, they pick an unflattering picture--a bit of manipulation to help set the tone.

He did not find that picture flattering. Ergo, the writer did not like him.

Bob Loblaw said...

What do we do without a real press?

I guess we're finding out.


The press hasn't changed. What's changed is we have new sources of information to validate what the're telling us.

Bob Loblaw said...

Don't microwaves start at about fifty bucks? They cost more in counter space, though. Maybe a small Ferris-wheel thing in the cabinet of a large kitchen, with three or four microwaves rotating around...I'll be back; gotta call Ron Popeil!

The problem with three microwaves isn't so much the space as the power. I'll bet he had to run an extra circuit or two.

Unless they only run one at a time. But then, what would be the point?

Robert Cook said...

"His point about the picture was not about which picture is most interesting, it's if the writer likes the person who is the subject, they pick a flattering picture. If the writer does not like the person who is the subject, they pick an unflattering picture--a bit of manipulation to help set the tone.

"He did not find that picture flattering. Ergo, the writer did not like him."


If this is so, that's his subjective opinion. It's not proof the writer disliked him. The picture is in no way unflattering. A picture of an artist using the tools of his trade is always more interesting to see than a straight up portrait photo. The media is trying to interest readers, not to indulge the subject's possible vanity.

Rusty said...

Bloomberg has always been kinda douchebaggery. I mean if there are two ways an idea could go they'll always bend over backwards to take the left side. So you know that anything written for Bloomberg is gonna try and make the left look good and a classic liberal look bad.

jdniner said...

The only cartoon I like these days is Dilbert. That was pre 2016 directions. Now I like it more. How would the New York Times review Althouse? Adams might well be a good prognosticator of those movies. Is Adams the Spielberg of cartoon movies?

hint: I think the NYT might label Althouse as the mother of the alt-right. And back it up with quotes from famous unknowns.

My only question is what would a society of master persuaders look like? Would it be cartoonish world? I would think extreme outrageousness would have to rule until people rejected it as the norm.

Nick said...

I don't dislike Adams because he supported Trump - millions and millions of people did - I dislike him because he's gotten so willfully ignorant and intellectually dishonest. His conclusion is always the same: "Trump is brilliant, and therefore so am I", and then goes about making his arguments, which are often contradictory, nonsensical, or just plain dumb (check out his latest blog post, praising Trump for "going from Hitler to incompetent" - why not just appear competent in the first place?) I understand that he tries to distance himself from his arguments, offering up the same ol' "hey, this is just one filter, I'm just trying to see things from a different POV", but then he attacks pretty much anyone who challenges him, accusing them of hallucinations or cognitive dissonance (project much, Mr. Adams?) Seems to me that he's unable to take any position other than snark and "hey, I called it, so I'm smart". This might have come off better if he wasn't calling "landslide" over and over, which the 2016 election most decidedly was not - what makes him more accurate than say, Bill Mitchell? Sad, because I used to love this guy's writing - I truly believe the Scott Adams of 1998 would utterly demolish the arguments of the Scott Adams of 2016.