Friday, February 7, 2014

Cheap shots and million-dollar troupers

I think you've got something there, Billo:
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday said he was unhappy with how some media outlets characterized his questions for President Obama during the pre-Super Bowl interview.
"I was watching the cable competition last night, and the unusual suspects are going, 'Oh! A Republican!' The Associated Press, their headline of the interview was: ‘President Obama Defends Himself from Republican Charges,'" O'Reilly said on "Fox and Friends." "These aren't questions that all Americans should be interested in?" (TPM)
Yes! They aren't! In fact if there are any non-Republican Americans in the audience who are interested in the IRS investigations of Tea Party 501(C)(4)s, the issue of whether [jump]
or not terrorists were involved in the attack on the US consulate at Benghazi, or the October failure and collapse of the Affordable Care Act, they are advised to consult their physicians, because they may have been in a coma for several months.
Joe Jefferson as Rip van Winkle, 1896. Via Lapham's Quarterly.
And the award for most shamelessly vulgar response to the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman goes to Michael Daly at the Daily Beast:
One continuing mystery of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death is this: Why was he in such abject need of a shoddy, solitary and dangerous chemical high when he knew the pure joy that comes with just being with your kids?
He certainly looked real-life happy to those of us who saw him standing with his youngsters in a black coat and knit cap at the caroling in Washington Square Park this past Christmas Eve.
Indeed, and the worst thing about it was that Hoffman died before Daly got a chance to exploit that photograph proving that he ran in some sense in the same social circle; if he hadn't thought quickly it would have been a real tragedy.

It's not a hotel, it's a personality cult.

David Brooks in his weekly pretend conversation with Gail Collins:
David: My reading of the research, by the way, is that while there are many really good Head Start facilities, as a whole the program produces almost no lasting benefits. Billions of dollars, millions of person hours, essentially no lasting benefits.
His "reading of the research" is, as often happens in his case, limited to one inadequate reading of (some conservative reporter's account of) exactly one ambiguous study; as Valerie Strauss reported almost a year ago in the Washington Post,
Head Start critics base their claim that Head Start has little or no lasting effects on a recent large national randomized trial of the program.  It is never a good idea to draw conclusions for policy based on just one study, but a recent one by the Department of Health and Human Services is the best “gold standard” study of Head Start to date.  However, the study does not say what critics claim it says....
Links to 30-odd refereed studies detailing the benefits, cognitive, economic, health-related, social, and social-emotional benefits of Head Start, as well as taxpayer satisfaction with the program and some comparison with the benefits of regular state-funded preschool, can be found here.
Little Tuesday (born Charlotte Selina Wood), 1890
Mr. Pierce asks on the subject of Representative Mike Rogers (the unsavory and reactionary security nut from Michigan, not the garden-variety Alabama lunatic who calls President Obama "boy"), who has advanced from denouncing Edward Snowden as a Russian spy to accusing Glenn Greenwald of being a fence (looks like that Congressional immunity is still a thing, huh?):

If Rogers is arguing that Glenn Greenwald is "fencing stolen material" by providing them to a newspaper and, thereafter, drawing a salary, then we've moved into a surreal world of First Amendment law. Does he propose to prosecute the editors of the Guardian for receiving stolen goods?.... By the way, if he's got evidence that Greenwald is selling these documents to anyone else, Rogers should show us what it is, or he should shut up.
Mike Rogers should always shut up (really, if he joined the Trappists he'd still be making too much noise for me), and I don't believe there is or should be any law preventing Greenwald from selling those documents if that's what he's doing, but if that's what he's doing (and that's definitely not what he prefers to call it), then there are plenty of anyone elses from whom he has gotten not salaries but freelance fees for stories featuring Snowden documents under a byline shared with members of the paper's staff: including, namely, O GloboLe MondeL'EspressoHandelsblad, Dagbladet, and NBC (where he's billed today as "special contributor"); he also supplied Snowden documents for interviews at venues including Sveriges TelevisionLa Nación (Argentina), and CBC (Canada), for at least the last of which he was paid even though he had no writing credit. Greenwald may not be selling the documents, but he's certainly shopping them around. Just saying. (As Driftglass has been saying, Glenn Greenwald is not the story. And how come our totalitarian overlords haven't shipped young Barton Gellman out to the Gulag yet?)
James O'Neil, 1893.

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