Conservative war on mainstream media

One thing Dave Wiegel's firing has shown is just how powerful the conservative argument against the biased liberal media has been (sorta like a tea party anti-defamation league). With that complaint, hammered at for years, they have created their own news channel and very much cowed major newspapers into hesitance about any criticism of the conservative movement.

But The Post’s precipitous action suggests that the editors had no idea of what they were buying in the first place. He probably could have survived if he had slammed Rachel Maddow or had some fun at Al Franken’s expense, but his willingness to train his guns inside the conservative movement was a bit much, especially in the eyes of The Post’s ombudsman, Andrew Alexander.

“Weigel’s exit, and the events that prompted it, have further damaged The Post among conservatives who believe it is not properly attuned to their ideology or activities,” he wrote. “Ironically, Weigel was hired to address precisely those concerns.” Loosely translated, it means someone whom they thought they hired to build bridges was blowing them up instead.

So now: they've got their own followers watching the propaganda show, and they have terrified more neutral organizations. Good work!


Sarah Palin and pregnancy

I don't know whether Andrew Sullivan is deserving of praise or blame for harping on about Sarah Palin's pregnancy story. On the one hand, it's now treated as if it's a conspiracy theory on a par with the birthers. To the degree that he is to blame for that, I wish he hadn't kept at it. That said, there is something so odd going on that it really should be looked at. Everyone who has ever had a baby, and in particular a special needs baby who will require extra medical care immediately after birth, who thinks about the details of this story knows it's nutso. A 43-year-old woman, whose amniotic sac has ruptured, who is pregnant with a baby with Down syndrome who has a heart defect, does not sanely and rationally decide to get on three planes to fly home so that the baby might get to be born in a hospital without a NICU.

I will say that I think it very unlikely that Trig is not hers. The pics are a little odd. But it requires less violent twisting of logic and human psychology to posit that she was indeed pregnant than does positing that she pretended to have a child to cover up her daughter's pregnancy. I think by dwelling on this option, Sullivan has made those who question her seem like loopy conspiracy theorists.

That leaves two options: 1) she lied to puff herself up, and 2) she told the truth. In either case, what she has done deserves to be attached to her reputation.

If she lied to puff herself up, this seems a lie on a much bigger order than "I invented the internet." It suggests a serious amount of untrustworthiness, a serious willingness to bullshit in the Frankfurt sense, a serious indifference to the value of honesty.

If she told the truth, that suggest that she acted at the very least with careless disregard for her child's life. Or perhaps she deliberately placed her child in harm's way so that it might die "naturally." I'm not sure which is more likely: the lie or the truth. On the one hand, I'd rather she be a liar than a reckless mother. On the other hand, we do know that she decided to fly to Texas in the eighth month of a high risk pregnancy.

Are we to laud her that she didn't get an abortion, but instead allowed a much older infant, one who is certainly sentient, possibly to suffer or even die? If she did indeed tell the truth, she acted with shocking immaturity and selfishness.

There is something to story of Trig and it should be out there.


My one thought on Kagan's confirmation hearings

I've read various different analyses of the confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan. Most praise her wit, while simultaneously noting that she did not reveal much of herself, as is the norm these days. Several have mentioned some variation on the theme of "the best performance in this setting since John Roberts," which I find hilarious.

There have only been two other nominees since then, so that's just another way of saying "did better than Alito and Sotomayor."