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Showing posts from April, 2023

Fox Settled, and We Need to Get Over It

It was a beautiful fantasy. Tucker in tears. Hannity smirkless. Ingraham gagging on her mea culpa , which we all wanted to hear set to music. The mere thought of Rupert Murdoch withering under oath had us all aswoon. No question, the trial would have been a hoot. But hey, Fox settled. They took the hit. So now that we're past our reflexive indignation, let's take a moment to savor just how big a hit they took, and to understand that the hits will keep on coming for quite some time. There is little upside here for Fox. Yes, they live to fight another day — which was always going to happen, no matter what. Yes, they save themselves the humiliation of seeing Murdoch and Bartiromo grilled on a spit in open court — which would have been fun, but not especially helpful. And yes, there's this icky feeling that the settlement money is being shrugged off as petty cash — which it most certainly is not. But any way you look at it, Fox has a lot of bad road ahead. They're b

The Supermarket

  This blog began as a sort of diary of the pandemic, then became something rather else, as Covid and the politics surrounding it got ever weirder. Now, as I'm moving through my own surprisingly mild case of Covid — and wondering just a bit what the fuss was all about — I find that (a) I feel poorly enough to not pressure myself about writing something new this week, and (b) maybe I should go back and review what the fuss was all about. Here, then, is my very first post, dated March 22, 2020, when lockdown was imminent, and when the "novel coronavirus" was young and terrifying. As you read, it's worth remembering, perhaps with a certain morbid amusement, that we were all advised not to wear masks.   Mostly we’re waiting. Mostly we're puttering, trying to achieve some semblance of normal life, despite this insistent background hum of anxiety. So we wait, and we try to figure out what to expect. None of the answers fill us with confidence.

Hey, Ronna! Message This!

“When you’re losing by 10 points, there is a messaging issue.” — Ronna McDaniel , Republican Party Chair, reacting to the Wisconsin election Y'think, Ronna? You think your message might not be getting across? You think forced birth as a lifestyle isn't generating the numbers you'd hoped? You think an assault rifle in every school isn't making it as a talking point? You think voter suppression just isn't being sold right? Well, Ronna, here's some free advice from a marketing communications professional. Take your very worst ideas — the ones people most loathe, the ones that cast your whole party in the vilest possible light, the ones that are the clearest failures — and double down on them. Oh, wait, that's what you've been doing. That's why you took a ten-point stomping last week in Wisconsin. Wisconsin, Ronna. A state the GOP had controlled for over a decade. A state your clowns had gerrymandered to the very brink of permanent minority

AR-15: The Must-Have Accessory for the Well-Dressed Republican

For decades, a standard tactic of anti-abortion activists was to display, in as much gruesome detail as possible, photos of aborted fetuses. It was a vile tactic — an easy punch in the gut to the gullible and squeamish — but it’s hard to deny its effectiveness, or the inflammatory role it played in the culture wars. It was, in a way, a harbinger of the death of Roe v. Wade. Revulsion, whether we like it or not, is a real political tactic. An extreme tactic, to be sure, but it has its uses. Hold that thought. I’ve been hard on The Washington Post for years, and it continues to irk me in many ways, but it, too, has its uses. The Post is one of a vanishing breed, a news organization with both the resources and resourcefulness to publish the kind of essential series it dropped last week: a deep dive into what can only be called the culture of the AR-15 assault rifle. The series covers that culture from multiple angles — from the town that makes the rifles, to the people who buy th