Category Archives: Media Criticism

Sophomoric

But perhaps it’s forgivable, since it was probably written by actual sophomores. Here’s a call by the editorial staff of the Harvard Crimson to repeal the Second Amendment. The amount of historical (and other) ignorance displayed here is breathtaking. I don’t have time to do it, but this needs a thorough fisking.

I do think it’s a good sign in a sense, though. They’re realizing that the jig is up, and that the court is very likely to overturn the DC gun laws, and many others. They’ll no longer be able to pretend that it’s not an individual right.

[Update at 3 PM EST]

Gullyborg has risen to the challenge. He missed a key point here, though:

Written in an age in which minutemen rose to dress and fight at a moment

The “Youths” Are At It Again

This time, they’re attacking the gendarmes with shotguns. This isn’t a riot. It’s an insurrection. What is Sarkozy going to do?

I find this particular euphemism by the press quite irritating. Can’t we be a little more specific and descriptive about the “youths”? By using that phrase, we’re tarring all French youth, many of whom, if not most, I suspect, are not blasting the cops in the faces with shot. Are they Catholics? Huguenots? Mormons? Amish?

In the US, when they won’t tell you the race of a criminal suspect, it’s generally a good bet that he’s of African descent, and if they make you guess the party of a miscreant politician, it’s a good indicator that it’s a Democrat. In French riots, one strongly suspects that when the perps are described only as “youths,” that they are (a) not necessarily that young and (b) at least notional followers of the Religion of Peace™. But we don’t want to prejudice anyone against the religion that cannot be named, no, or tell the readers what’s really going on here. We’ll just slander all young French people.

The “Youths” Are At It Again

This time, they’re attacking the gendarmes with shotguns. This isn’t a riot. It’s an insurrection. What is Sarkozy going to do?

I find this particular euphemism by the press quite irritating. Can’t we be a little more specific and descriptive about the “youths”? By using that phrase, we’re tarring all French youth, many of whom, if not most, I suspect, are not blasting the cops in the faces with shot. Are they Catholics? Huguenots? Mormons? Amish?

In the US, when they won’t tell you the race of a criminal suspect, it’s generally a good bet that he’s of African descent, and if they make you guess the party of a miscreant politician, it’s a good indicator that it’s a Democrat. In French riots, one strongly suspects that when the perps are described only as “youths,” that they are (a) not necessarily that young and (b) at least notional followers of the Religion of Peace™. But we don’t want to prejudice anyone against the religion that cannot be named, no, or tell the readers what’s really going on here. We’ll just slander all young French people.

The “Youths” Are At It Again

This time, they’re attacking the gendarmes with shotguns. This isn’t a riot. It’s an insurrection. What is Sarkozy going to do?

I find this particular euphemism by the press quite irritating. Can’t we be a little more specific and descriptive about the “youths”? By using that phrase, we’re tarring all French youth, many of whom, if not most, I suspect, are not blasting the cops in the faces with shot. Are they Catholics? Huguenots? Mormons? Amish?

In the US, when they won’t tell you the race of a criminal suspect, it’s generally a good bet that he’s of African descent, and if they make you guess the party of a miscreant politician, it’s a good indicator that it’s a Democrat. In French riots, one strongly suspects that when the perps are described only as “youths,” that they are (a) not necessarily that young and (b) at least notional followers of the Religion of Peace™. But we don’t want to prejudice anyone against the religion that cannot be named, no, or tell the readers what’s really going on here. We’ll just slander all young French people.

Something To Be Thankful For

Life is such a bowl of cherries, and devoid of actual news (news here being defined in the traditional media sense of mayhem and misery), that here in south Florida, at least, the local teevee station is going to have team coverage of people lined up for the capitalist bacchanalia that commenced in the wee hours of the morning at the malls.

Now that’s news I can’t use. But I’m glad to hear there’s nothing of importance to cover.

Oh, and speaking of the local news team, the Weather Weasel* (my nickname for Chris Farrell, the perky little guy in the Princeton haircut who serves up the lack of weather here every morning on Channel 29 out of West Palm) lied to me again. All week, he and the other meteorological prognosticators have been threatening a Front (not a cold front–those hardly ever happen down here–even when they call them that, they’re just a Slightly Less Warm Front) would be coming through on Turkey Day, bringing Increased Clouds (words apparently meant to instill fear in the tremulous heart of a Sunshine Stater), and perhaps even the dreaded Isolated or (worse yet) Scattered Showers. Maybe, just maybe, even a Thundershower. Things would be even more dire on Friday, supposedly. Bear in mind that all these “warnings” come in the midst of a continuing drought as we head steadfastly into dry season, the dud of what was supposed to be an above-average hurricane season, from which we barely got one tropical storm on the first day of the season, ending one week from today. While Lake Okeechobee is five feet below normal.

Now what most people around here consider a threat, I consider a promise–a sacred one. Anyway, here it is, Friday morning. The dreaded Front stalled up around Orlando, and the sky is cloudless.

OK, you’re saying, weathermen aren’t perfect. They misjudged how far it would make it before the stalling process.

Fair enough. But here’s what really bugs me. If they’d admit that they were wrong, and explain what happened, and how they’re going to adjust the models so they’ll get it right next time, I’d be fine with it. But no. It’s Orwellian. On the forecast this morning, he made absolutely mention of the previous warnings, the most recent of which was last night, at 11:15 PM, just before I hit the pillow.

Just said, hey, it’s a sunny day, gonna be beautiful, just like it’s supposed to be down here. Maybe even warmer than normal. As though he and the others had not promised (well, at least to me) us all the Horrid Weather to come all week. Just down the memory hole, as though it never happened.

I dunno, maybe it’s just me. I hear stories of people who live up in the Pacific Northwest, who get depressed at what seems to be incessant clouds and drizzle and general dreariness, and take great joy when the sun pokes its head through the holes. Well, give me Seattle. I get despondent at the thought of this ongoing unremitting solar bath. I look forward to clouds, and rain, particularly if accompanied by thunder and lightning, but now that we’re heading into what passes down here for winter, I’m just in for one long soul-sucking period of non-weather for the next several months, which is simply made all the worse by the weathercasters’ continual glee in telling me that it will continue, while occasionally teasing me with the possibility of a change (with somber demeanor), only to shatter my dreams and then pretend they never did it.

Oh, well. At least the heat and humidity are down.

*I’m sure he’s a very nice fellow, and perhaps Weather Chipmunk would be a more appropriate nickname, but it doesn’t have the alliterative quality of the “W” word. And he does dash my hopes so often.

Idiot Television Writers

I’m watching “Back To You,” a new sitcom with Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton, while getting ready to brine the turkey for tomorrow.

He is overfeeding the goldfish, and she warns him not to do this (it’s a metaphor about what a lousy absentee dad he is, to put it in context of the ongoing plot).

The goldfish, of course, because this is television, dies immediately from overeating.

The only problem is that no goldfish ever died from overeating. Or at least, that’s not why you shouldn’t overfeed a goldfish (nor is the related Dr. Seuss story worth worrying about either).

It’s bad to overfeed fish because they won’t eat all the food, and the uneaten food will rot and pollute their bowl. It happens over a period of many hours or days, not instantaneously. But the dumb writers think that the fish gorge themselves and die (otherwise, they’d have no story line).