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Slate: The Only Good Working-Class White Person is a Dead Working-Class White Person

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[PHOTO] of the Day: Donald Trump’s ‘Hispanic Outreach’

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Department of Corrections: Slate vs Slate

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Inspired by Twitter


Congrats to Texas and Arkansas for Having the Best Desserts in the United Sweets of America


At Least There’s That: Buzzenfreude

plagNot being a regular follower of Buzzfeed (though it’s hard to avoid their media influence, unfortunately) this almost escaped my attention. It was plagiarism week in the news, this but one of the items in circulation.

From Slate‘s David Weigel:

…The added irony, which is upping the schadenfreude quotient, is that BuzzFeed has cornered a market in hitting politicians for plagiarism. In the fall of 2013, BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski made life hell for Sen. Rand Paul, pulling pages from his books and sections from his speeches that were lifted from Wikipedia or other sources. In 2014, Kaczynski expanded the franchise, shaming candidate after candidate for lifting grafs or phrases from other Republicans, usually (funny enough) Paul…

My following (reply to a) tweet was meant to be playfully insulting, but in retrospect, it looks fair, and harmless. Harmless enough that rather than be offended, David Weigel retweeted it:

…Kaczynski’s findings were baffling and pathetic. Who were these people, who cared enough about politics to mortgage their lives and reputations on runs for office, but didn’t care enough to come up with their own thoughts? The cases of plagiarism were much more blatant than what Johnson’s accused of. People have found him lifting sentences that included factoids; the pols were lifting bland political thoughts, word for word. But BuzzFeed was proving that catching plagiarism had become easy, and that lifting a few sentences without a link-back constituted outright fraud.

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Mollie Hemingway on Media Illiteracy

dumb-media

Media Ignorance Is Becoming A Serious Problem

This reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld’s abstract musings on “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”. But then, Zach CarterThe Huffington Posts senior political economy reporter–would have to know who Donald Rumsfeld is.

mollieMollie Hemingway rocks. Read the whole thing here.

For The Federalist writes:

Last week, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Zach Carter, who is The Huffington Posts senior political economy reporter. The interview’s purpose was to discuss Carter’s negative response to Hewitt’s previous interview of former Vice President Dick Cheney. The interview was lively and interesting but it did not go well for Carter, who was forced to admit his ignorance of the historical context of the situation in Iraq.

Looked at one way, the interview might almost seem like pointless point-scoring. In response to Hewitt’s questions, Carter admitted he didn’t know who Alger Hiss was and that he hadn’t read The Looming Tower. Those two questions are standard questions for Hewitt’s interviews.

 …he was unaware that Bill Clinton had bombed Iraq in 1998…Screen-shot-2011-02-03-at-11.47.30-AM

But then Carter said he hadn’t read various other books, such as Bernard Lewis ’Crisis of Islam, Robin Wright’s Dreams and Shadows, or Thomas P. M. Barnett’s The Pentagon’s New Map. He said he hadn’t read Dexter Filkins’ The Forever War but that he’d “read a lot of the stuff that he’s written for The New Yorker.” Filkins joined The New Yorker in 2011. He said he does not read politician’s memoirs, including Cheney’s or George W. Bush’s. That he was unaware that Bill Clinton had bombed Iraq in 1998 or that Gadhafi had reportedly disarmed in 2003. He admitted he doesn’t know who A. Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistan bomb and godfather of Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, is.

“I give him credit for sticking through the entire interview.”

It’s such a display of ignorance that it seems almost unfair. But looked at another way, it’s simply a good interview where Hewitt seeks to establish Carter’s background and breadth of knowledge in order to help listeners know on what basis he critiqued Cheney.

“But it speaks to a larger problem we face with our media, which is that they frequently are not well read and, more importantly, they do not realize it.”

[Over at SlateDavid Weigel, who takes issue with Mollie’s lament in a defensive, sarcastically-titled article “We Gotcha Gotcha Gotcha We Gotcha Gotcha Gotcha “, complains:

 “He then asked the 31-year old Carter if he knew who Alger Hiss was. I’ve been on Hewitt’s show before—he can be a fantastic interviewer, especially of politicians—but this was unusual.”Hiss2

Unusual? Call me old-fashioned, but let’s not pretend Alger Hiss was an “obscure” figure in American history, an unfair “gotcha” question to ask of a 31-year-old college graduate.

Alger Hiss was a high-ranking U.S. State Department official and Secretary-General of the United Nations founding conference. He was convicted of perjury in 1950 after denying involvement in Soviet espionage. Hiss partisans and many on the ideological left for many years hotly disputed the jury’s verdict in the case, putting forward a variety of conspiracy theories. The overwhelming consensus among historians today is that Hiss was guilty.

Note: If history had revealed Alger Hiss to be not guilty, every child in America would be subjected to endless Alger Hiss Day classroom assignments, “Alger Hiss Day” would be registered as a national holiday, and there would be a monument in Washington D.C. honoring his noble sacrifice.

ugust 1948, Washington, DC, USA --- Alger Hiss, accused of Communist espionage, takes an oath during hearings before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.  He denied Whittaker Chambers' accusation that he was a Communist. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

1948, Washington, DC, USA — Alger Hiss, accused of Communist espionage, takes an oath during hearings before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He denied Whittaker Chambers’ accusation that he was a Communist. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Back to Mollie

I don’t mean to pick on Carter, who was a good sport. If anything, I give him credit for sticking through the entire interview. But it speaks to a larger problem we face with our media, which is that they frequently are not well read and, more importantly, they do not realize it.

My favorite line was when Carter was asked if he’d heard of George Weigel and he replied, “I’ve heard of Dave Weigel.”

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Could Godzilla Raise Awareness About The Threat of EMP?

godzillal-monster

For The Daily CallerMatt K. Lewis writes: Take it from me: The new Godzilla movie is an utterly forgettable film. Unless you are a huge fan of the genre, don’t waste your time or money. By now, much has been written (pro and con) about this. But if there is one interesting thing left to say, it’s that the movie might (depending on your perspective) either raise awareness — or trivialize — the threat of electromagnetic pulse.76

“More Americans will learn about EMP — even in the flawed sense of being temporary — from Godzilla than from all the RAND studies and panel discussions at CPAC.”

— Grover Norquis

Before we continue, I suppose it’s important to discuss exactly what an EMP — which some believe could cripple civilization, sending us back to the stone age — is:

A few years ago, USA Today put it this way:

Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines. Read the rest of this entry »