April 7, 2019

The NYT's Charlie Warzel takes CarpeDonktum's silly Biden-massaging-Biden video and turns it into something aggressive, chaotic, toxic, and dark.

I'm reading "Meet the Man Behind Trump’s Biden Tweet/A stay-at-home dad in Kansas reveals how the lines have blurred between viral trolling and the business of politics," a NYT article by "Opinion writer at large" Charlie Warzel. That is, the NYT acknowledges and tries to deal with this:



Warzel got an interview with the "memesmith"* who calls himself Carpe Donktum, who seems like a perfectly nice man, so I felt queasy about the way Warzel undercut him:
Yep, a grainy, edited parody clip of the former vice president... [is] a perfectly unbelievable and dispiriting artifact of our fractured and chaotic political media ecosystem, where politicking is conducted through viral memes and retweets.
Chaotic? Dispiriting? It was brilliantly funny, lightweight, sweet and doesn't seem to take any position on how we ought to feel about Joe Biden. It was absurd — and hardly political at all. I think it's positively healing. Why is Warzel getting so heated up about it?
The entire event is at once silly, trivial, offensive and, thanks to Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, something we’re now begrudgingly made to pay attention to.
Oh, spare me. You're already paying complete attention to Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.  Warzel seems to hate the idea that CarpeDonktum may have "an indirect line to the Oval Office." Yes, isn't it terrible that an ordinary person, somewhere in flyover country, can just say something or show something, and the President might see it and take 10 seconds of his time to acknowledge that it exists and is funny? It's easy to imagine how wonderfully cool the same behavior would be if Obama, while President, had done the same thing with a video that made cute fun of Dick Cheney.
And his elevation — from a Kansas City keyboard warrior to right-wing internet fame as the president’s unofficial meme maker — is a telling example of how the internet has fully blurred the lines between meme posting and business of politics.
MSM wants a strong border between the professional media and social media. They're overwrought about the cacophony of illegitimate voices in the discourse. Their entire way of life is threatened. If only there could be some kind of wall to protect them from the chaos of the invasion of the horde.
“It’s definitely an organic process,” CarpeDonktum told me over the phone shortly after Mr. Trump tweeted his video. “[White House director of social media] Dan Scavino follows me on Twitter, but there’s no formal relationship there between me and the president. If there’s something I want to make sure [Scavino] sees, I’ll wait for him to post a tweet and try to be the first to reply, linking to what I want to show.” He said that he doesn’t get paid for any of his videos (other than his Patreon crowdfunding account and occasional YouTube ad revenue) and has no relationships to outside politicians....
It's a simple process, and CarpeDonktum nicely shared a tip.
[CarpeDonktum] tailors [videos] to an older generation of internet users. The elaborate memes feature footage from old Looney Tunes cartoons or depict Mr. Trump as a cowboy from an old John Wayne-style Western, slapping a man with a CNN or MSNBC logo across its head. “It’s boomer humor,” he said of his style of videos. “I’m not a boomer. But that brand of humor is most easily shareable by lots of people. So, I stay away from real violence, or overly sexualized stuff so it appeals to the largest amount of people.”
"Boomer humor" — by a younger guy who sees its value. Gee, thanks. I hear him saying that he wants something more sweet and silly, but Warzel wants to use him to show that everything's spinning out of control.
The videos share extremely well among an aging Trump supporter contingent who are prolific and aggressive posters of misinformation and hyperpartisan content on platforms like Facebook.
There's no misinformation or hyperpartisan content in that Biden video. I wonder how old Warzel is. Based on his photograph, he's Gen X or millennial. But he doesn't share CarpeDonktum's affection for the aging Boomers, at least those of us who don't accept instruction from mainstream media. Our laughter at a silly meme feels "aggressive" to him — "chaotic" and "dispiriting."
“Sean Hannity is going to play the video tonight,” [CarpeDonktum] told me... “Some kids that are 18 can retweet it and so can some grandma in Wisconsin. It’s slightly edgy but universal.”
See? CarpeDonktum thinks he's having fun and reaching everybody.
Though his videos are dressed up using cartoons or slapstick humor, all of them center on the incendiary, offensive and hyperpartisan themes of Mr. Trump’s politics (the wall, anti-media sentiment, making fun of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats). 
The Biden one doesn't. Warzel seems to be injecting his own political emotion without regard to the substance. Ironically, this is what professional journalism shouldn't do. And it just seems really mean to get an interview with what seems to be a perfectly civil good guy who's being nice and funny and sharing his tips and to call what he does merely dress-up. Dressed-up what? Suddenly a video has a surface —which might be cute and funny — and a core — which in CarpeDonktum's case is "incendiary, offensive and hyperpartisan." But the Biden video isn't incendiary, offensive and hyperpartisan. It's retweetable by some grandma in Wisconsin!
And CarpeDonktum, who described himself as “an entertainer” who “wants to make people laugh,” is not above engaging in all-caps Trumpian politics (which includes angrily tweeting at liberal politicians).
What's the evidence of his "angrily tweeting"? The NYT puts a link on those words and it goes to a search of his Twitter feed for the word "fuck"! Turns out CarpeDonktum sometimes says things like "Respectfully, you don't know what the Fuck you are talking about." To someone who did something that risked violence to another person he said, "What the fuck is wrong with you?" And he'll even say "Fuck you." Who would he say that to? Look:



Back to Warzel's hit piece:
[CarpeDonktum's] desire not to reveal his name suggests that he’s aware that those outside Trumpland find his content toxic.
Pseudonymity is a complex topic, but Warzel chooses the interpretation that says what he wants: CarpeDonktum knows his memes are regarded as "toxic." Another way to put this is: CarpeDonktum is afraid Trump haters might try to destroy his family's life.
“I’m not shy about this stuff but I don’t advertise it,” he said. “If I were to go to a party I wouldn’t introduce myself as the ‘Trump meme guy from Twitter.’”
And that's in Kansas.
That CarpeDonktum’s online musings or personal life should be picked apart is controversial in its own right. 
What? Who's picking apart his personal life? Is Warzel engaging in NYT musing about whether he should pick apart CarpeDonktum’s personal life?
At first glance, it feels silly, maybe even wrong, to elevate him. 
Elevate him? You sound like you want to destroy him.
He’s not a politician. He’s a Reddit user wielding far-right “Dad humor.” He’s not a public figure, save a few Infowars appearances and Persicope live stream videos where he films himself talking while he makes lunch for his children.
Ugh! Don't even mention the children! And look at the next thing he says:
But at a time when our politics is programmed by what’s viral on Twitter, CarpeDonktum appears — stupefyingly as it might seem — to have something approaching power in MAGAland. It appears he senses it, too.
Did Warzel contemplate the ideation that a crazy Trump hater might get from that?
“All of the memes and stuff like that.” he said. “That’s the future of political advertising. The 30 second spots on TV aren’t the way to market anymore. The stuff online that people dismiss as memes — that’s the way to motivate people,” he added. “It’s the viral political marketing of the future.”

In theory, his story is a perfect realization of the utopian understanding of the utopian promise of the internet: a truly democratic system of communication where anyone, anywhere can create things and get them seen by important people — even the president!
Yes, that's the story I see here, but that's not how the article ends. There are 2 more sentences:
But in keeping with our current political moment, that utopian vision is used for vapid, divisive ends. The reality, as we should all know by now, is darker and a whole lot dumber.
Gone are the days when the NYT could tell us there's something "we should all know by now" and we would scurry to get up to speed with what all the right people think. Warzel decries what is "divisive," but he jumped off from a completely non-divisive video and — after speaking to a nice man in Kansas — went as "dark" as he could. Ridiculous!
___________________________________

* I think "memesmith" is the NYT's word. I'm still trying to adjust to the use of the word "meme" to refer to individual items — videos or graphics — that are merely intended to be shared frequently. I accept that the word grew out of the original Richard Dawkins idea (from "The Selfish Gene" (1976)):
We need a name for the new replicator, a noun which conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. ‘Mimeme’ comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like ‘gene’. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme... It should be pronounced to rhyme with ‘cream’. Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.
It became something that didn't require imitation and copying with variations, if they acquired virality — if people really did share it compulsively. Now, the word applies to any damn thing someone makes with the hope that it will inspire massive sharing and even if it fails. So the Russians threw together thousands of dumb graphics and we're told they made 3,000 memes. Where was the virality?

Well, ultimately there was a kind virality, as Trump resisters used them in their misguided, ridiculous effort to oust the President America elected, but mostly we've heard only references to the "memes," and we're not looking at these stupid things. The only one I remember seeing is Jesus arm-wrestling with Satan. I don't think the actual graphics were compulsively shared, so they were not viral, and I don't like calling them "memes."

But if these items are to be called "memes" at the point of their creation and before any virality is achieved, I accept the word "memesmith." The ending "-smith" refers to someone, like a blacksmith, who manufactures something.

142 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you think of Charlie Warzel as a democrat party operative with a byline, it all makes sense.

stevew said...

Excellent analysis. This Warzel guy sure does have an axe to grind. I think he is completely wrong that the meme was a toxic attack on Joe Biden. To the contrary, it seems to me Biden has benefited from its publication and Trump's retweet. If Biden is the nice guy everyone says he is he probably laughed when he saw it.

Is Warzel on board with the sketches SNL puts out that poke fun at Trump? Or are those toxic too? So disingenuous, or just a sloppy thinker.

Wilbur said...

A few months in a reeducation camp will duly adjust CarpeDonkum's outlook.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is Warzel on board with the sketches SNL puts out that poke fun at Trump?"

The question should be whether Obama, when he was President, tweeted video from SNL.

It's the old idea that Trump isn't presidential and is using his precious time to indulge in looking at social/popular media and then spreading the things that serve his political interests.

Is Trump special in this regard or do other important government officials do the same?

rhhardin said...

Smithereens.

Mr. D said...

MSM wants a strong border between the professional media and social media. They're overwrought about the cacophony of illegitimate voices in the discourse. Their entire way of life is threatened. If only there could be some kind of wall to protect them from the chaos of the invasion of the horde.

We've got to protect our phony-baloney jobs, gentlemen, and they didn't get a harrumph outta that guy. Give the Timesman a harrumph!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

They are angry that they have lost control of public discourse. Yesterday I was listening to NPR as I was running errands and they had some women on who was 15 the year that the SC was deciding on whether birth control should be legal and who gave speeches at the time in support of gun control. The interviewer for some reason went into a spiel about the "mystic ties that bond a people" and wondered if something like that could happen now! Because she had won a speech contest sponsored by the American Legion. The women then stated that this was all before "Rush Limbaugh and Fox News." They both decried the divisiveness present in the US today. Back in that halcyon era it was possible to squelch dissent easily and effectively. Of course the people in charge weren't batshit crazy either.

Mike Sylwester said...

Vice President Joe Biden lecturing sanctimoniously to male students at the University of New Hampshire in 2011:

No matter what a girl does, no matter how she's dressed, no matter how much she's had to drink -- it's never, never, never, never, never OK to touch her without her consent.

-----

When you are the Vice President, though, then girls have to let you touch them.

They cannot protest -- especially when you touch them in front of an audience, in front of cameras. After all, you are the Vice President of the United States.

Paco Wové said...

"all of them center on the incendiary, offensive and hyperpartisan themes... the wall, anti-media sentiment, making fun of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats"

Because making fun of Hillary Clinton is right out. It's in the Constitution somewhere.

What a Fucking pansy.

(*N.B.: Watched video, did not find particularly amusing.)

Ann Althouse said...

This is the top comment at the NYT: "It goes beyond shame that such vapid entertainment, from a total nobody, should find such widespread approval in this country. Then consider this: the NYT reporter had the professionalism and decency not to “out” him in print. You won’t find that behavior from Mr. Nobody and his fans."

Ron Winkleheimer said...

It's the old idea that Trump isn't presidential and is using his precious time to indulge in looking at social/popular media and then spreading the things that serve his political interests.

As my wife has observed, Trump's premier talent and skill is marketing. Which is what politicians and their consultants think they are good at. But they are mere apprentices and Trump is a master. Obama had a twitter feed, I believe. I'm not really sure. Which tells you something.

buwaya said...

Trump is engaging in politics where and how it matters.
The venue for rhetoric in the modern world has changed.
Not completely, but substantially.
A statesman no longer has to make formal orations in the forum.
Nor can emperors hide behind their walls, and robes, and eunuchs.

You are right, there is a definite subtext of rage and hate in Warzels piece.
This is not unique, or odd, it is typical.
The inability or unwillingness to contextualize, to examine himself and his own, is also typical.
The question is whether this all is honest, on the writers part, or a deliberate pose.
One wonders what would he say in private, in person, with a few drinks in him.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

This is the telling phrase:

"a total nobody"

Didn't even go to a J-school. Its an offense against nature itself that he should be able to have a voice in the public square. That has to be carefully regulated to prevent the spread of crimethink.

Darrell said...

If they only made garbage disposal units that could take NYT reporters and pundits in a single gulp.

buwaya said...

The attitude from the NYT commenter sounds like that of some partisan of an ancien regime, despising the canaille while worrying about the guillotine.

Paco Wové said...

Warzel is a "technology writer" for BuzzFeed, the current flagship of the gutter e-press.

Darrell said...

Charlie Warzel wishes he could blow Barack Obama. Again, probably.

Now lock Hillary up.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Never forget, the people who are upset about divisiveness and decrying Trump's "degradation" of the public discourse are all on board for giving five year old girls testosterone shots and cutting of the genitals of little boys.

Ray - SoCal said...

Why is the so called Right / conservative Types so funny,

and the Left unfunny?

The us Left comes across as “how dare you” micro aggressed shrieking chicken little harpies. Not funny at all, but rather the opposite. Way to serious and focused on hectoring, mocking, and lecturing.

narciso said...

The same people who accused McCain of an affair based on disgruntled aide John weaver, who marveled untruths against the huntress that still pursues a vendetta against clarence Thomas, well too bad.

Tank said...

Trump and his deplorables are having fun.

Omigod !

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

There's no misinformation or hyperpartisan content in that Biden video.

Of course there is. It's mockery by a Trump supporter, and is therefore by definition "misinformation" and "hyperpartisan". As is any disagreement with the noble Protectors of Our Culture. Divisive, too.

Remember when these guys were all babbling about *conservatives* and "epistemic closure"? (Pretentious misuse of a philosophical concept, but still, hahahahaha.)

Amadeus 48 said...

Meh. Another hit job by a hack from NYT. And this just in--the sun rose in the east this morning.

Amadeus 48 said...

"It goes beyond shame that such vapid entertainment, from a total nobody, should find such widespread approval in this country. Then consider this: the NYT reporter had the professionalism and decency not to “out” him in print. You won’t find that behavior from Mr. Nobody and his fans."

Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!

buwaya said...

I hear dialogue from Rafael Sabatini’s “Scaramouche”.

MBunge said...

This is part of the professionalization of elite status in America. Like any country, America has an elite for a long time. But the old money, blue blood, Ivy League boys were too few in number to run a country the size of the United States. They need to work with more merit-based elites from Texas, Iowa, Oregon, etc. So it was true that America's elite really kind of was elite because it was full of people who won entry to that class by genuinely being smarter or doing more than the average joker.

Now? Our elite is overwhelmed by administrative and media types who are not elite in any way. They simply put themselves on a certain career track and rose up through the ranks. I mean, does anyone think Ross Douthat got a job with the New York Times because he's the best conservative writer and thinker in the country? Does anyone think this Warzel doofus is smarter or understands the world better than a random plumber from Idaho?

We're ruled by functionaries and the hysteria over Trump is their reaction to us looking behind the curtain and realizing they're no wizards.

Mike

John henry said...

President Obama's Tweets read/felt like they were written by a committee rather than Himself.

Pdjt's Tweets read/feel like they are written by him. There are some reports that say by he has others writing some of them.

Maybe maybe not. Whatever the case, who is the more memorable tweeter? More importantly, who is the more effective tweeter?

John Henry

Hagar said...

Mika Brzezinski:
"He can't tell them what to think; that's our job!"

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

What a great post. It's the lack of self-awareness of these people that amazes me.

John henry said...

 Darrell said...


Now lock Hillary up
===

Saying that would get you jailed for terrorism in Iran.

Iranian c Amanpour would like to see you jailed here for terrorism for saying it here.

John Henry

AJ Lynch said...

Damn Althouse - you totally and completely depantsed the NYT. Bravo!

Ann Althouse said...

"a total nobody"

It's like saying "deplorables."

You think you're making a good point, but it will backfire on you.

tcrosse said...

President Obama's Tweets read/felt like they were written by a committee rather than Himself.

Obama himself felt like the creation of a committee.

Lincolntf said...

I'm sitting here reviewing 2 chapters on New Media, in preparation for a test that has to be submitted today. Lots of Chapter 5 focused on how threatened the old guard is by Twitter, IG, etc.

Ray - SoCal said...

Kudos on the post and great analysis. It’s more interesting than the article / opinion piece your analyzing. And then the comments add another deeper layer of analysis.

Great example of why I read Althouse.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Sounds like the NYT needs a nap and a binkie.

TJM said...

The New York Slimes, like the Washington ComPost are viewspapers for lefties. Not much there anymore.

Oso Negro said...

Adderall for breakfast?

Jeff Brokaw said...

This idea that because Trump tweets something, the media has to cover it. No you don’t.

A giant load of passive-aggressive bullshit. The media specializes in it.

Hari said...

'A total nobody' has the top rated comment for the article on the NYT website.

Mike Sylwester said...

A lot of Democrats -- including Charlie Warzel -- are panicking at the possibility that Joe Biden will not get their party's nomination for President. They are panicking that President Trump will be re-elected.

For them, this situation is not a laughing matter.

For them, this situation is a political catastrophe.

Ray - SoCal said...

Saturday Night Live did their cold open on Biden...

https://youtu.be/JKeG1iJNxGs

Interesting that snl felt it safe enough to mock Biden.

It was in the same genre of the Carpe Donktum.

Phil 3:14 said...

So the NYT gives some space for opinion piece by a Buzzfeed writer about a meme maker in Kansas. NYT should be less concerned about a guy in KS and more concerned about Buzzfeed.

There should be a quote from archetypal NYT reader “How gauche!”

Fernandistein said...

a search for the word "fuck" in the Twitter feed of the NYT scribbler canned from Buzzfeed angrily tweeting:
"fuck. today sucks."
"holy fuck what are you doing noooo"

Phil 3:14 said...

“vapid entertainment, from a total nobody, should find such widespread approval in this country.”

I prefer my vapid entertainment from people with credentials.

MadisonMan said...

If I were doing something similar, you can bet I'd be anonymous too. My employer does not need to hear from nutcases who think I shouldn't be employed because I have political views that are different from theirs.

Charlie said...

The funniest part of this tweet is that many commentators (Chris Cuomo chief among them) went to great lengths to emphasize that this video was "doctored".

Susan said...

How very DARE that nobody not tell us who he IS so we can whip up an angry mob to get him fired, threaten his family, and terrorize his neighborhood!

For mocking Joe Biden, of all the creeps.

Ann Althouse said...

"a search for the word "fuck" in the Twitter feed of the NYT scribbler canned from Buzzfeed angrily tweeting..."

Ha ha. Great idea, great results.

It made me do a search of my own archive for the word. I'm very proud of what turns up.... but this is good material for a separate post.

Thanks for giving me the idea.

Crazy Jane said...

The NYT op-ed page represents the broad range of opinion from the Upper West Side all the way to outer Brooklyn, and its contributors are always gobsmacked when lower-caste effers outside their orbit deign to disagree.

Do you know who I am, a famous guy once asked. Now a bunch of wannabe-famous types are saying the same thing.

Shut up, proles.

Darrell said...

Trump might think that Captain Marvel is a 2.5 star movie out of five. That would make him an enemy of the access media and Disney. Independent thought is not tolerated.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

JOHN BRENNAN Belongs in chains - frogmarched to the guillotine. He's a Traitor.

Darrell said...

What the NYT did is called doxxing.

Now the SJWs will seek to destroy the guy's life. The first step will be to get him fired.

L Nelson said...

Warzel must not watch SNL, Maher, or Colbert.

"Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."
"Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."
"A good tactic is one your people enjoy."

The left is getting the Alinsky treatment.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

FUCK JOhn Brennan - I mean really - the guy needs to feel some major pain.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

We must ruin John O Brennan's life - financially and everything. Ruin it down to the nub.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Brennan threatened a private US citizen. Isn't there a law against that? John Brennan and HIllary should be cell mates.

Michael K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BleachBit-and-Hammers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

The NY Times really, really hates Trump and all of us that support him. Just ask a few commenters we all know and love.

Also, are you going to blog about this?

It sounds hysterical to me.

The right-wing populist wave that looked like a fleeting cultural phenomenon a few years ago has turned into the defining political movement of the times, disrupting the world order of the last half-century. The Murdoch empire did not cause this wave. But more than any single media company, it enabled it, promoted it and profited from it. Across the English-speaking world, the family’s outlets have helped elevate marginal demagogues, mainstream ethnonationalism and politicize the very notion of truth.

Sounds pretty hysterical. Damn that Fox News ! We used to run the world.!

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I demand Trump's DOJ investigate Russian agent Brennan until he is rightfully f*cked in every direction.
That's what we do now - right?

Mr. Majestyk said...

Jeff Brokaw said:

"Sounds like the NYT needs a nap and a binkie."

LOL!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"disrupting the world order of the last half-century"

Half a century ago would be 1969. Why should a world order formed back when the Soviet Union was still going strong, China was an impoverished, backward, un-industrialized country, South Korea was still poor, the US was the number one industrial power, rock-n-roll was considered the devils music, segregation and civil rights were still major issues, computer networking was still in its infancy, personal computers did not exit, birth control in the US had only been legal for 4 years, etc, etc, etc still be ascendant? So called "progressives" are really reactionaries.

rehajm said...

the NYT reporter had the professionalism and decency not to “out” him in print.

They would have doxed him but there's nobody left on staff with journalistic investigative skills. Only creative writing talent.

Rory said...

"MSM wants a strong border between the professional media and social media. They're overwrought about the cacophony of illegitimate voices in the discourse."

Kinda sailed for them 15-20 years ago when every reporter was handed a blog. Then the papers went and bought up outside bloggers that had nothing to do with reporting. Now they've fired all their veteran reporters, and what's left are twitter critters.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"Across the English-speaking world, the family’s outlets have helped elevate marginal demagogues, mainstream ethnonationalism and politicize the very notion of truth."

Says the people who call me a backwards moron for thinking that giving 5 year old girls testosterone shots, or exposing kids to registered sexual deviants in libraries aren't good ideas.

Carol said...

Big discussion on Twitter last night about removing anonymity, instigated by Dave Rubin. Kinda freaked everyone out because the social media companies could get together and do that any time.

They just can't take it, they have to go all ad hominem on the source rather than engage with the argument. Because they're such calm rational philosophes, you know.

Limited blogger said...

Seeing the media lose any control over the narrative they had left is terrific.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

In 1969 WWII had been over for all of 24 years. My wife and I watch Perry Mason. Many of the episodes have German characters in them. You know why? Because after the war Germany was a bombed out hell hole. Any German that could get to the US would do so because the alternative was possible starvation. Been to Germany lately?

Charlie Currie said...

Me thinks, Charlie Warzel does project too much.

Charlie Currie said...

"The videos share extremely well among an aging Trump supporter contingent *who are prolific and aggressive posters of misinformation and hyperpartisan content on platforms like Facebook. "*

*On my FB page, this all comes from the left.

chickelit said...

This is a brilliant "Annalysis," Althouse.

Henry said...

The comments to that article are predictably vile. "All that is left to bring back our camp is the cartoonist's bloodied head."

The "Times Picks" are the worst of the lot.

David Begley said...

“MSM wants a strong border between the professional media and social media. They're overwrought about the cacophony of illegitimate voices in the discourse. Their entire way of life is threatened. If only there could be some kind of wall to protect them from the chaos of the invasion of the horde.”

The cat’s out of the bag. You can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube. Blogs like Althouse and Power Line are out there and are growing. Everyday the MSM is exposed for the partisan hacks that they are.”

Bay Area Guy said...

Althouse nails the NYT to the wall.

No further comment.

Limited blogger said...

The desperation meter is pegged in the red.

MadisonMan said...

I do think that video is hilarious and succinct btw. The only reason the NYTimes objects has been completely covered above. This is "ann"alysis (chuckling at that word) that is so awesome.

The Times is all sad. Good.

LTC Ted said...

I prefer my nonce phrase "infographic" to "meme", as an item may not have become embedded in the collective mind. One hundred years from now, I hope to be cited as the originator of the "fograf".

Lucien said...

Carpe Donktum’s clip perfectly gets both the creepiness of Hair-Sniffer Joe and the triviality of his conduct. This makes it infuriating for the Democrats who have bound themselves to genuflect before the seriousness of touching women without express written consent (Kennedys and Clintons excluded).

David Begley said...

And Rush Limbaugh magnifies the blogs. He reads and quotes Althouse and Power Line.

Paco Wové said...

"The desperation meter is pegged in the red."

Seeing as how Warzel is/was a "technology writer", can I assume he already knows how to code?

Henry said...

Ann Althouse said...
This is the top comment at the NYT...

Another comment that stood out was the person who claimed that political cartoonists never work anonymously. Face palm.

Two-eyed Jack said...

State licencing of memesmiths could help with the dysfunctional state of our political discourse by ensuring proper standards of training and safety are maintained.

Mary Beth said...

Biden should be happy. We could be talking about him and Ukraine.

When I think about the people who could have said something to Biden about how his "hands on" approach was received by some of the women and girls he touched, I think there weren't many that were in a position to get him to listen. There is one person who was around to see that behavior and had the influence to make him change - Michelle Obama. She has had plenty to say about Trump's behavior with women, why was she silent through 8 years of Biden petting girls? (And still silent.)

Anonymous said...

Marxists can only re-purpose. They have no ability to sustain creativity. All your base are belong to us.

tcrosse said...

A brilliant entry in the annals of annalysis.

Kirk Parker said...

Ron W.,

"Of course the people in charge weren't batshit crazy either."

Well, except for that lying son of a bitch Johnson...

John henry said...
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Big Mike said...

Yep, a grainy, edited parody clip of the former vice president... [is] a perfectly unbelievable and dispiriting artifact of our fractured and chaotic political media ecosystem, where politicking is conducted through viral memes and retweets.

But who fractured our political ecosystem, if not the Times? And a competent politician should be able to laugh at himself. Biden chose instead to crack a joke at the expense of the women offended that he’d touched them personally and inappropriately. I don’t think that was wise, but he is the professional politician; he ought to know what’s the right thing to do.

Back in 2004 I exchanged messages with someone from the media who was all butt hurt that the story about how many of John Kerry’s fellow officers from the Swift boat flotilla had a low opinion of him. In his opinion, there needed to be a system of gatekeepers who would decide which news the public ought to see. Do I need to say that I thought otherwise? I was a little surprised that Kerry’s three purple hearts came from very minor wounds, fixable with little more than a band-aide. And two of them were due to mishandling his own ordnance. And his silver star came from shooting a Viet Cong in the back (nothing wrong with that!) and then attacking an undefended village and destroying its winter food supply. Probably necessary, under the rules of engagement, but scarcely worthy of the third-highest medal.

Back to Biden, yes, the MSM no longer can function as a gatekeeper. In part that’s due to circumstances beyond their control; we can get our information from lots of sources these days. And in part it’s their own fault. They were in too deep on the awesomeness of Obama, the inevitability of Hillary, and Russia! Russia! Russia! It turns out that “it’s just Biden being Biden” was a wink-wink, nudge-nudge about his penchant for humiliating women to show his power. When the Times beclowns itself, it’s hard not to laugh.

John henry said...
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buwaya said...

The French ancien regime had one advantage over the current US one.
The French aristocrats, at least those “of the sword”, still valued courage and knew how to die.
Indeed, that’s how they collectively recovered their social position, through the following century.
Napoleon needed officers.

cronus titan said...

As occasionally pointed out here, we live in The Era of #THATSNOTFUNNY.

The Democrat media complex grew quite accustomed to ridicule being a one way street. Trump and is supporters fight back, and the Democrat media complex have no idea what to do (like any other bully)

Gunner said...

Lord knows that lefties never angrily tweet conservative politicians or hat-wearing boys from Tennessee...

FullMoon said...

What the NYT did is called doxxing.

Now the SJWs will seek to destroy the guy's life. The first step will be to get him fired.


If the reporter has his phone number, he will "let it slip".. The meme guy posts on Reddit, which is run by leftists. They have info about where he posts from.

Twitter has an email address for him also.

His tweets and his Reddit posts may contain clues.

The article definitely leaves this guy and his family. open to exposure, Not just embarrassment, but financial and physical jeopardy.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Remember Doonesberry and Nixon? If this guy caught a wave, he could (help) destroy these dem candidates! CAN'T HAVE THAT! His sniffin Joe reminds me of the work of one Terry Gilliam, quite comical! Two thumbs up, in Biden's eyes.

Achilles said...

The oligarchs media is broken. It has lost its general influence.

Only the stupid tools follow it now.

And not a moment too soon. The people that work in the mainstream media are awful people.

Danno said...

Is there a bounty for bringing in an opinion writer at large?

rcocean said...

Great analysis.

Remember CNN doxxing the Guy who posted the Trump wrestling the CNN logo"? This is obviously a way to for the MSM to send a message. Post something too "pro-trump" or "anti-liberal" and we'll come after you, little man. BTW, if I were this guy I NEVER would've given the NYT's an interview. How would it help ME out? And who's to say what they would do with my well-mentioned words? This guy was just lucky, the NYT didn't twist his words to make him out to a KKK Member. Never talk to the media.

Seeing Red said...

To Boomer Humor!

What’s really funny is that young person is acting like an old man, get off my lawn!

Dad29 said...

Is this "Charlie" person actually a man, or just pretending? He does a very, very, good imitation of a teenage girl.

Yancey Ward said...

Ms. Althouse noted the top comment at the NYTimes:

Then consider this: the NYT reporter had the professionalism and decency not to “out” him in print. You won’t find that behavior from Mr. Nobody and his fans."

Warzel is a scumbag. Note how he carefully points out that he isn't doxxing this guy, but his real intent in this essay is to have someone else do the dirty work for him so that his hands are legally "clean". This is the very definition of a scumbag. It isn't surprising that the top comment at the NYTimes fails to get this.

rcocean said...

Its amazing "Nobody" twitter guys have provided me more laughs over the years, then SNL or Stephen Colbert x10. Our Professionals comics are letting us down. UP your game Colbert.

Yancey Ward said...

If this Kansan or his family comes to harm, Warzel is going to get doxxed. There will be a bounty on his ass, too.

JAORE said...

Why did the Progressive cross the road?

Someone was having fun on the other side and THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

Laslo Spatula said...

I think something gets missed in Trump's Tweets: a sense that not everything is life-or-death.

On the left you have people howling about twelve years until the world is ruined by the global toaster-oven, Fascists are coming, Nazis are here, people are going to be marched into camps and Mexicans trying to cross the border will be turned into Soylent Green Quesadillas.

Trump's tweets show an occasional breath of air that a lot of people respond to: the sky is not falling, the economy is doing fine, have a laugh, have a Big Mac and a Diet Coke.

A very nice post here by Althouse.

I am Laslo.

chickelit said...

This guy was just lucky, the NYT didn't twist his words to make him out to a KKK Member. Never talk to the media.

That reminded me of another "heartland hit piece" published by the NYT: link. Althouse covered that one too and I noted that the Shirer book on the guy's bookshelf was a clearer signal that the guy being doxxed by the NYT was an anti-fascist, rather than a fascist. link.

You simply cannot trust coastal reporters writing about the inner lives of inland people.

readering said...

The video is fine. POTUS retweeting it is creepy.

Narayanan said...

Gramsci name mentioned often.
May I request quick Primer and pointers from Buwaya and YoungHegelian.

stevew said...

It occurs to me that Trump's tweet with it's "Welcome Back Joe" could be an inside joke from him to Biden: welcome back to the current weird world of politics where every thing you do is itemized and assigned the worst possible interpretation so that it can be used against you.

Kirk Parker said...

Paco,

Seeing as how Warzel is/was a "technology writer", can I assume he already knows how to code?"

Oh hell no. A dismayingly large percentage of the folks with coding jobs don't really know how to, either.

Narayanan said...

Isn't the video the equivalent of look in the mirror? What does Biden feel when handsy Joe tactiles him?

When every Republican is put on the couch, people need to know if there is Jekyll Biden and Joe Hyde.

Swede said...

That meme is hilarious!

Fuck you, Warzel! You humorless sack of crap.

walter said...

We must put an end to "Dad humor"

Narayanan said...

his penchant for humiliating (the men with) the women to show his power.

Correct European term for this is droit de seigneur

Jupiter said...

If we could fasten a generator to the axle the NYT is wrapped around, we could replace fossil fuels altogether. Or even just hook one up to the twist in their knickers.

Jim at said...

Shooting up a bunch of Republicans at a baseball practice? That's hunky dory.

But memes that reflect poorly on leftists? That's a bridge too far for some.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...
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BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

WE cannot laugh at each other anymore. The left want old Joe out, and are using his touchy-feelz as the way to do it.

Anonymous said...

Another posibility: This was not about Trump nor some guy in Kansas. It was a convienent NYT pile-on of creepy hands Joe designed to get him out of the way for Kamala.

Rabel said...

Everybody Hurts.

One of Carpe's other works we've seen before.

n.n said...
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n.n said...

Diversity. Sacrifices will be made for social progress. To paraphrase Hope Solo, The Guardian, there are too many "white masculine males" in government. Biden should check his color, sex, and gender privilege. This is a national socialist policy that happens again, and again, and again.

walter said...

Laslo,
Is that what Trump's grinning about in this classic?
Worth a look to see the Clintonista comments.

wildswan said...

"Ray - SoCal said...
Kudos on the post and great analysis. It’s more interesting than the article / opinion piece your analyzing. And then the comments add another deeper layer of analysis.

Great example of why I read Althouse."

Sums it up.

Also I laughed myself sick over the other CarpeDonktum video which Rabel linked to 2:10 pm. I'd seen it before but marinated in the squeals of our betters it was tastier.

Balfegor said...

Sometimes, you just have to show people like Warzel that you are not afraid. Good for this CarpeDonktum chap.

John Evans said...

Never talk to the media or to the FBI. Nothing good will come of it.

John Evans said...
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Ken B said...

This time is just the polite threat. Next time, doxxing. "Nice family you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it."

Bay Area Guy said...

If Trump beats Biden in 2020, I think it would be an appropriate gesture of unity and reconciliation to appoint Biden as the Director of the TSA.

Fen said...
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Fen said...

Warzel is a scumbag. Note how he carefully points out that he isn't doxxing this guy, but his real intent in this essay is to have someone else do the dirty work for him so that his hands are legally "clean"

Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?

If something bad happens to Carpe Donktum, what should happen to Charlie Warzel?

We know we can't trust the Rule of Law on this. Democrat staffer who doxxed Republican Congress-critters got off with a wrist slap because his daddy is a VIP.

Fen said...

Nice takedown Althouse. Good insight and analysis.

The videos share extremely well among an aging Trump supporter contingent who are prolific and aggressive posters of misinformation and hyperpartisan content on platforms like Facebook

Zero self-awareness, or he would have realized that sentence reminds people more of the NYTs than some Deplorable in Kansas.

And these guys are so hyperbolic. They should save the big words for the Nazis darting outside the corner of their eye.

Fen said...

from a Kansas City keyboard warrior

Again with the lack of introspection. What is a NYTs columnist if not a keyboard warrior?

Ken B said...

The real crime: Getting attention without a license.

Leora said...

I don't think Dawkins is the originator. When I did a course in folklore around 1970 it was a term used for the smallest idea that could be used to trace influence - smaller than a motif. The Aarne Thompson Index was a sort of Dewey Decimal System for indexing motifs. For example Baba Yar's spinning house on chicken legs could be indexed to compare to Japanese folktales that include houses that runs away. There is a guy named Legman who developed a sub-classification for dirty jokes sometime in the 60's.

I'd assumed the usage moved to the internet for portable idea though I see that the terms motif and meme seem to have a meaning in the classification of DNA which I'd wager slopped over from the Aarne Thompson Index.

cubanbob said...

Bay Area Guy said...
If Trump beats Biden in 2020, I think it would be an appropriate gesture of unity and reconciliation to appoint Biden as the Director of the TSA.'

Did your mother ever tell you you are evil? Shame on you for wishing that on us deplorable wretches.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

I remember Obama was interviewed by a woman on YouTube who eats cereal out of her bathtub. No grousing from the media then about how unseemly it was for a president to pay attention to that particular nobody - who got attention not by doing something that requires skill or wit, but by doing something bizarre.

Char Char Binks said...

"Didn't even go to a J-school."

After all, Anderson Cooper tells us that that First Amendment was enacted to protect his job.

Michael McNeil said...

Narayanan: see this: Gramscian damage

Martin said...

Tim Poole had a good piece on his youtube channel a couple of days ago, about how the left cannot do internet memes, and always misintepret the memes from the Right, because they have no sense of humor.

I simplify, but only somewhat.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11aTIdpnYFg

He has done a lot on memes and is a very interesting guy, in general. Politically liberal but (sad to say "but") against PC censorship. I recommend checking him out.

Greg Q said...

Though his videos are dressed up using cartoons or slapstick humor, all of them center on the incendiary, offensive and hyperpartisan themes of Mr. Trump’s politics (the wall, anti-media sentiment, making fun of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats).

Got to love the lack of self awareness from that line.

Since when did "making fun of politicians" become "incendiary, offensive and hyperpartisan"?

Joel Winter said...

Wartzle's commentary and writing seems to make the same assumption much of media makes: People WON'T do their own research into the original source material.

It's assumed (rightly, probably), that almost everyone is just going to take the author's word for the characterizations, and that they're correct. If it's "offensive," it must be.

Though I don't think the idea of "fake news" is entirely helpful, it does suggest that we question what we read--wherever it comes from--and come to our own conclusions. (When I read about the Sandmann affair, I went straight to the video, and didn't hear anyone chanting "Build the wall" at all--so I knew to be skeptical from Moment One.)

Regrettably, we can no longer fully trust our news outlets.