Friday, July 15, 2016


Time to stop for a moment to think about things before jumping on a bandwagon.

That's my self-prescription in view of the outcome of the primaries.  Of course, that is not what the candidates and their machines are advising.  Included in the "machine" category is a large chunk of the media which would rather you view it as a news source.  For instance, I have become deeply distrustful of the NY Times which I used to rely on for much of my daily news.  First, the Times jumped early onto the Clinton bandwagon.  Now that she is the presumptive primary winner, the Times is featuring carefully calculated daily headlines to manage public opinion about the upcoming election.  Thankfully, Times columnist Paul Krugman has been able to switch off his disgraceful attacks on Sanders and has gone back to musing about economics, though he hasn't written anything interesting in that regard since the primaries.

Then there is also that endless stream of click-bait from the Huffington Post.  A columnist there recently declared Jill Stein the world's most powerful woman.  I like the Green Party leader; she's smart and principled, but come on!

Fortunately, there are alternatives.

In today's Guardian there is an excellent, thoughtful essay by Rebecca Solnit which provides some useful perspective on both recent events and even a much longer time frame of the history of social and political movements.

At the New Yorker Adam Gopnik has written an article entitled Being Honest About Trump which puts the Republican candidate into the proper historical perspective in refreshingly clear language.


Jim Grey said...

I've noticed the same thing about the Times: engineering the headlines to build up Clinton.

Thing is, I don't think it'll have much effect on public opinion. Those who read the Times are generally going to be horrified by Trump anyway. Those who support Trump will take the Times' promotion of Clinton as evidence they're making the right choice.

Mike said...

I'd be surprised if anyone thought they could move a vote from Clinton to Trump or vice-versa. I think the Times intent is to influence independents and Bernie supporters, as well as those who are toying with the idea of third party candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. Those are legitimate concerns for the party machines, but the Times' use of their front page headlines to push an agenda is troubling.