Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Selected sections from Megan McArdle on how Fox News Matt Drudge The rise of warblogs Duck Dynasty big money and newspapers will make the liberalmedia less liberalmedia:
Those of us in Washington live in an era of Democratic triumphalism. Most of the Democrats I talk to are convinced that their destiny is almost upon them.
So, that's Matt Yglesias and the black lady on the bus?
People will come to the news assuming that the people making it have an agenda -- and they will seek out outlets that match their own agenda, if they see political news at all.
Boy, when people find out about this Media Bias stuff, there'll be some changes I tell you what,
A more ideological media will be hiring more conservatives, and that will change what a large portion of the country gets as news.
Because conservatives gots all the moneys, I guess. Well, I figured that crony capitalist Obama stuff was bullshit. (Later: "As I say, a more ideological media will probably also be a more conservative media, because there are a lot more conservatives in the donor class, and in the audience, than there are in the media." Ah, the audience! If only all those hardcore American conservatives knew how to find, this revolution would have already taken place! Too bad they made the URL so difficult to spell. Maybe a button at AOL would help.)
How much does this matter? In his pretty convincing book, "Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind," Tim Groseclose of UCLA argues that it matters a lot. Here’s how he lays out recent research on the question of media effects:
[Long incomprehensible blockquote with statistics
The concept of media lambda is a bit technical, so I won’t explain it here; check out Groseclose’s book if you’re interested.
(groans, holds head in hands)
What this summary suggests is that a large number of people, from political professionals to academics who have studied the matter, think that the media’s ideological composition has a substantial effect on elections.
And we're back where we started and, for all I know anymore, where we've always been: A "large number of people" believe it, and everything proceeds from that, with a few lambdas thrown in to confuse the yokels.

I never thought I'd say this, but McArdle's starting to give Goldberg a run for his money.


  1. sharculese3:10 PM

    "The concept of media lambda is a bit technical, so I won’t explain it here didn't bother to learn it;"


  2. The concept of media lambda is a bit technical of an asspull, so I won’t explain it heredidn't bother to learn it;"

    Please allow me to submit etc. etc. etc.

  3. I'd like to leave Megan McArdle for a moment so I can discuss one of the article she cites, a piece by Jack Shafer. He actually presents a pretty interesting history on how money has slowly but surely corrupted journalism, going all the way back to the mid-19th century. Then again, his solution is to finalize the transformation of mass news into ideological propaganda, which seems a bit scorched earth to me.

    Anyway, McArdle ignores all of that and extracts a single line to support her belief in a resurgent conservative press - you know, because the dozens upon dozens of right-of-center websites and journals of opinion are doing such a great job of attracting donors. What she doesn't seem to get is that money has no ideology - aside from a number of obscenely rich old coots on both sides, money tends to flow in the direction of power. And right now, the conservative movement is not exactly a paragon of strength.

  4. A more ideological media will be hiring more conservatives, and that will change what a large portion of the country gets as news.

    Every goddammed conservative in the country is a TV pundit. Every goddammed Stormfront conservative in the country has a radio show.

    What the fuck is next, Atlas Juggs directly to our fillings? Bits o' Ronald Reagan in my Dinty Moore? Zombie Ayn Rand with a train themed float, throwing American Flag strap-ons into the crowd in SF Pride? Gahhh!!!!!

  5. ChrisVosburg3:37 PM

    Most of the Democrats I talk to are convinced that their destiny is almost upon them.

    It's not an agenda, it's a direction: forward.

  6. redoubt3:51 PM

    There's also the concept of "Media Lambada"; but then what to do with all those icky half-dressed Negroes. . .

    Also, I wonder if she must be using that Permanent Republican Majority book as a doorstop or something.

  7. Howlin Wolfe3:52 PM

    Follow the money and it goes to power. Follow the media and it goes to money.
    A simple syllogism that the ideologically blinkered right will never grasp. But logic never was its strong suit.

  8. Indeed, I guess we're already into Phase 2 of the conservative repudiation of Fox News: the Expungening. Apparently, a 24x7 far-right bullshit catapault whose payloads are gobbled down daily by fundamentalist Christian fuckwits and neoconfederate seditionists across the country has completely disappeared up its own syphilitic asshole. "Careful, triumphant liberals, 'cause otherwise Rupert Murdoch might just create a shameless funnel of flagrantly mendacious puke and call it a fair and balanced news channel." Yeah, Megan, that would be a shame for the future our republic. Thanks for noticing.

  9. Jay B.4:11 PM

    A more ideological media will be hiring more conservatives, and that will change what a large portion of the country gets as news.

    Did she go back in time to write this? Because it can't have possibly been written in a day and age when the conservatives got their fucking media and they got it good and hard.

  10. willf4:11 PM

    What she doesn't seem to get is that money has no ideology - aside from a number of obscenely rich old coots on both sides, money tends to flow in the direction of power.

    But the moneyed and the powerful certainly have an ideology. It just doesn't square with the same old outdated left/right spectrum. Their ideology is aimed at maintaining that flow.

  11. Roy: Too bad they made the URL so difficult to spell. Maybe a button at AOL would help.)

    This is funny because it's true. Tragically, pathetically true.

  12. Prudence Goodwife4:14 PM

    From the good professor-"I consider Goldwater one of my political heroes. Four others are Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Four other heroes, in addition to being successful politicians, are true scholars: Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm, Dick Armey, and Dick Cheney."
    What the media needs is more true scholars. Maybe the ghost of Pinochet can get his own show.

  13. synykyl4:20 PM

    ... I never thought I'd say this, but McArdle's starting to give Goldberg a run for his money ...

    Yeah, she's awful. But at least she asked her readers to read something for *themselves*, instead of asking them to read it for *her*.

  14. LittlePig4:36 PM

    Just exactly where the hell is this amazing Democratic media edge that is going away? And what does Megs think Fox News is, chopped liver?

    What color is the sky in Megan's world? (I realized as I typed the answer is, of course, pink).

  15. sharculese4:37 PM

    Yeah, but one of her readers eventually points out that the material she quotes doesn't say what she think it does, she'll just get snippy and claim she's not interested in having a discussion, just like our Jonah.

  16. mortimer20004:39 PM

    Good grief. If you like obtuse horseshit, you can read the author's media lambda explanation in this pdf. I guarantee that Megan didn't understand any of it other than the wingnut conclusions he set out to prove. Even a cursory look reveals it as a perfect example of PHD's GONE WILD, and the guy who wrote it is apparently the Victor Davis Hanson of statistics. One example from the book: the negative effects of the Political Quotient -- the liberal media bias he mathematically deduces -- is nil in places that he calls Regions of Clarity, where untainted citizens vote the way America would were they not victims of liberal media. Here are the three he picks as most illustrative: Orange County CA, Salt Lake City, and the state of Kansas.

  17. MikeJ4:42 PM

    Finally! A chance to use the phrase "begging the question" properly.

  18. I always enjoy a bit of mcardle bargle. Her wilful obtuseness, in extremely low dosage, is grand entertainment.
    One of the things that never fails to amuse is just how bad journalism is in America. I've never seen a culture celebrate stupidity so incessantly, nor have I ever seen a culture whose love of flat-out bullshit is so unremitting. That someone would actually pay money to this woman for the fecal matter she calls writing boggles the mind.
    But not to worry. I like a good boogle.

  19. true scholars: Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm, Dick Armey, and Dick Cheney

    I suppose we have to assume that Newt Gingrich did some scholarship to earn his PhD, but I'm still worried about putting his name in the same sentence as the world "scholar" for fear of causing something akin to a matter/antimatter explosion.

  20. But the moneyed and the powerful certainly have an ideology. It just
    doesn't square with the same old outdated left/right spectrum.

    Indeed, and since many liberals don't see this, they end up slavishly following neoliberal policies, having been fooled into thinking it's the same old liberalism.

  21. A decade or two (or three) from now, when Fox News jumps off the anti-gay-marriage bandwagon just before it crashes and burns, conservative pundits will talk about nothing but the fact that they just knew all along that Fox News was really a bunch of stealth liberals.

    On the other hand, I may be giving Fox News too much credit. It's been half a century and then some since the Civil Rights Act and they haven't jumped off the anti-CRA bandwagon yet.

  22. sharculese5:36 PM

    It's no so much a color as much as a refracted vision of her own face smiling beatifically, as if to say, 'You're someone special. You're the McMegan the world has been waiting for.'

  23. XeckyGilchrist5:44 PM

    Not that I'm going to read his tripe, but I'm betting Salt Lake City is not as contard as he'd like - not if its districts weren't gerrymandered all to hell and gone.

  24. billfromboston6:00 PM

    In saying "McArdle's starting to give Goldberg a run for his money," you are being too kind. They are both breathtakingly and willfully stupid people. Someone called her weapons-grade stupid back in the day, and that was close to describing it. She's a failed MBA who considers herself "an economist." That's akin to brushing your teeth, badly, for a few months and claiming to be a dentist.

  25. BadExampleMan6:06 PM

    Not until she can fart in two different octaves at once, like a Tuvan ass-singer. Then and only then will the Pantload have met his match.

  26. MikeJ6:09 PM

    Keep up. People are already saying that about Megyn Kelly. Her insufficient hatred of gay people proves Fox is liberal. They're looking for "conservative" (not really, but they call it that) alternatives.

  27. KatWillow6:15 PM

    "Conservative" principles and ideas seem to = more money for the already obscenely rich.

  28. KatWillow6:17 PM

    Funny, I don't know any Democrats who think in terms of Destiny. Mostly, we think and speak in terms of incremental improvements.

  29. Fats Durston6:19 PM

    The only times I've ever eaten Dinty Moore were on shrooms. If memory serves there were bits o' Reagan in it. And the stew also sounded like "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part One)."

  30. You're saying I got ripped off????
    Wait, on the canned menace, or on the shrooms, this is important.

  31. Jay B.6:37 PM

    Just look at the other major news channels. The "Progressive" one features four hours of a Republican ex-Congressman and a laughably stupid codpiece sniffer who may have worked for Tip O'Neil, but has professed a strong, manly love for Bush and Reagan -- then they have a couple of smug nerds who actually represent a liberal viewpoint. CNN, well, it's hard to say they have any slant, other than "desperation" and bog-standard CW. Wolf Blitzer? He might be the dumbest man who isn't serving in Congress. All are vast suckholes of shit and abject stupidity (Mark Halperin is a featured pundit on MSNBC!) and its into this largely fact-free and moronic abyss that McMegan sees the pathway to another few Fox News go-getters to turn the tide? I could literally know more about the news NOT watching these channels, to say nothing of those Soviets at Good Morning America or the Today show, or the "liberal" David Brooks lying his fucking face off on the public stations.

  32. Jay B.6:40 PM

    I think in terms of destiny. Like how when I'm old enough, my destiny is not even to have an ice floe to starve on, thanks to our crippling inability to even admit global warming exists, while listening to rich people scream that Social Security needs to be pared to the bone to help us future seniors.

  33. TGuerrant6:43 PM

    Concur. In fact, since pessimism seems to dog most liberals (well, me anyway), I'd say that most of those who are politically active are active because they are earnestly trying to avert Destiny - y'know, global warming, authoritarianism, hunger....

  34. TGuerrant6:45 PM

    :::clinking glasses with Jay B:::

    Huh-huh. There y'go. If somebody tells us Destiny is upon us, we scream O Shit and grab the nearest fire extinguisher, bailing bucket, defib paddles, whatever the hell, and try to stave it off a while longer.

  35. Fats Durston6:46 PM

    McMegan, in her own comments: " And by some measurements, outlets like Drudge are actually smack down the middle of American opinion."

    Unskewed Measurements, no doubt!

  36. Jay B.6:47 PM

    I want to give his regions clarity by kicking them. But on a sad, serious note, I read "Kansas" being praised for having an informational black out and I want to pour a 40 on the grave of William Allen White.

  37. TGuerrant6:49 PM

    She does bring to mind that gif of a dog trying to drink out of a gushing hose pointed straight into its mouth. WHARRGARBL. Can't take it all in - can only make a noise.

  38. TGuerrant6:54 PM

    "McArdle's starting to give Goldberg a run for his money."

    Think Rich Lowery could get them to do a three-legged race? There's something about seeing McMegs lashed to the Goldbug as they sweat and strain and... okay, well... no. Too much like a weekend at the Toesing-DiGenova Pocono chalet.

  39. XeckyGilchrist6:59 PM

    It is difficult to google him, too, because nobody knows how many "a"s there are in "Behaaaaaaaave."

  40. The idea of "scholarship" has evidently lost all meaning on the right. Nothing else can explain that quadrumvirate of poseurs and charlatans.

  41. "And by some measurements, ..."

    Great John Vincent Atanasoff's ghost, can we do a Kickstarter or something to buy this woman a working calculator?

  42. Spaghetti Lee7:26 PM

    Newt Gingrich's PhD thesis was actually about how Belgian rule of the Congo was good for the Congolese (no really:, so he's a scholar insofar as he served as an inspiration for 40 years of conservative race-trolling.

  43. Those aren't teeth.

  44. Spaghetti Lee7:29 PM

    "Region of Clarity". Jesus, where do they come up with these names? Region of Clarity sounds like how a 19th-century sexologist would refer to women being naturally more clear-headed when they're at home and not out in public. That or the boss level in a Final Fantasy game.

  45. Spaghetti Lee7:34 PM

    Don't laugh at Dinty Moore, it got me through college. It's like high class Ramen.

  46. You're right. Or in "raging alcoholic asswipe."

  47. Spaghetti Lee7:50 PM

    By Jove, I think you may have stumbled onto the McArdliest thing McArdle's ever written: "Some FOOLISH people I talked to think X, but actually, based on some other people I talked to, along with what the Mumble Mumble Derp Formula tells us, the exact opposite is true! Numbers don't lie, liberals, smirk smirk smirk." It ought to be preserved in amber and left for alien archaeologists millions of years from now.

  48. Spaghetti Lee8:17 PM

    One silver lining to the right-wing tradition of flooding the market with horseshit is that one more dollop of the stuff isn't going to make a big difference. I think just in the last few years, we've had Breitbart's sites, the Washington Free Beacon, #tcot, Twitchy, whatever the dumb right-wing version of YouTube was, and The Blaze as the last pebble that would start the conservative media avalanche that would wipe out all traces of liberalism. Well, most of those sites are fatally obscure, unprofitable, or both. No one cares about them except the dimwits trying to make them happen, especially/i> not normal apolitical people: that's why every other conservative 'culture war' article is about how to get people to pay attention in the first place. These guys are relentless, but they're not that smart.

    So McArdle's threat is that we liberals better watch out or...someone will start a new conservative media outlet? Yeah, have fun. I guess you guys really like flushing your money down the toilet.

  49. Spaghetti Lee8:18 PM

    ...My God that's a terrifying image.

  50. Tim Groseclose? Sounds like a goddamn character out of Dickens, or "Harry Potter".

  51. Even if she's a traitress, they'll still tune in to her in order to provide some spank material.

  52. "Snatch this pebble from my ass."

    "That's no pebble!"

  53. Ah, the Lambada... as I recall, there wasn't just one, but two Lambada movies released in one year.

  54. whetstone8:48 PM

    Those of us in Washington live in an era of Democratic triumphalism.
    Most of the Democrats centrists I talk to are convinced that their destiny windfall is
    almost upon them.

    FTFM (h/t sharculese). I realize that the most heartlandish places she's ever stepped foot in are Chicago and Philly, but she could pick up the fucking Washington Post and check out what's going on in my home state of Virginia, where Democrats are "triumphant" because the crazy motherfuckers at the top of the GOP ballot--led by vindictive panty-sniffing weirdo Ken Cuccinelli--might be actually too crazy* to beat Terry McCaulliffe (D-Oligarchy).

    Cuccinelli has decided that the best way to spend the runup to the election is making oral sex illegal (but we won't use it against the gays, we promise!). The AG candidate, who'd replace Cuccinelli, was too stupid to figure out how to write a law to prevent murdering an infant without forcing women who'd just miscarried to report their miscarriages to the police. At least he's refreshingly open about how he withdrew the bill when he was told it would actually do.

    I was born in North Carolina, which is somehow even worse. And these are states that secretly pride themselves on not being as fucked-up as the rest of the South.

    * I am terrified that this may not be true.

  55. Are dingleberries in season?

  56. Jimcima9:29 PM

    So if I understand his "Media-Lambda Calculations" correctly he is basically "proving" with high school algebra that if you take Fox News as a baseline people who didn't watch it are less likely to vote conservative, so the obvious conclusion is that all other news outlets are biased against conservatism.

    Gee, I wonder of there might be some other way to interpret the data?

  57. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.10:31 PM

    As if that would make a difference with McMegan.

  58. * I am terrified that this may not be true.

    Yeah, that's the risk you run with the guy who was previously destroyed in a primary thanks to dazzling political skills and charisma of Creigh Deeds.

    (but we won't use it against the gays, we promise!)

    Wait, is the Cooch really promising to only enforce an oral sex ban against straight people? Or was that just a slip of the tongue?

  59. montag210:52 PM

    Seems to me that MeMeMeMeMeMeMeMegan is once again working the refs, under the rather shabby and easily identified guise of "objectivity" by citing some hocus-pocus by a guy who is engaging in statistical analysis in exactly the same way that intelligent design proponents engage in "science."

    I don't know where MeMeMeMeMeMeMeMegan's education went wrong, but, it really failed to inform her that if one is being scientific, one does not start from a desired conclusion and work backwards, as this guy Groseclose is transparently doing.

    That said, I doubt that ArgleBargle is ever going to come to the realization that most of the rest of us have: that news in this country, partly because of media consolidation, partly because of television, partly because of advertising money, is a carnival sideshow. And the biggest freaks on the midway are the conservatives. If she thinks having even more of them in the business will bring Truth, Justice and The American Way back to the news business, I've got a bridge she's dying to buy.

    At the national level, most reporters (there are exceptions) are hopelessly compromised by their desires for "access," and are willing stooges for the government and court jesters to the Washington cocktail party circuit. The "news" business is in the business of selling the public on the infallibility of the nation's "meritocracy," in the same way that ArgleBargle's idiot professor thinks that Newticles is a scholar, when, in fact, he's the Foghorn Leghorn of American politics.

    What MeMeMeMeMeMeMeMegan dearly wishes to happen is that all discourse except conservative propaganda gets shunted off into oblivion. What she doesn't seem to have noticed is that, for the most part, that has already happened. A Reaganite conventional wisdom is so deeply embedded (and so narrowly circumscribed) today that any voices to the left of the far right have no microphone, except when they're used as foils or punching bags.

    But, for this moron, that's not enough. She won't settle for less than total information control, without ever considering what that would mean. That's not just short-sighted and ideologically rigid, it's ultimately destructive.

  60. DocAmazing11:12 PM

    I see what you did there...

  61. billcinsd11:21 PM

    who needs a calculator, when they have a myass-ulator

  62. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.11:23 PM

    Alien archaeologists some time in the future finding this are fine, but think what real contemporary aliens might do. They might decide not to put up with this shit and wipe out the human race. Fuck, I'm tempted to do it myself reading this quote.

  63. billcinsd11:25 PM

    well he probably just misspelled Orem and Provo

  64. Jesus Christ, you can't make this shit up. Who the hell approved that dissertation?

  65. DocAmazing12:00 AM

    Cooking that lambda chop...

  66. Fats Durston12:07 AM

    Considering one of those times was the time when we really could not perceive whether the stereo speakers were on or off, I'm not comfortable pinning down the origins of the Reagan bits. I mean, even tripping, we here uphold better standards of evidence than McMegan.

    @Campanelle Peart: no mockery intended; Hamburger Helper in grad school here.

  67. Spaghetti Lee12:12 AM

    I think whetstone means anti-oral sex laws as a backdoor (hee hee) to making homosexual sex illegal. Kind of like poll taxes but with more boners.

  68. AGoodQuestion1:07 AM

    Everybody who takes Megan seriously assumes that the major news outlets are irredeemably biased towards liberalism. So do many people who have fucked up worldviews but are blissfully ignorant of Megan's existence. Who the hell is she talking to?

  69. AGoodQuestion1:19 AM

    Armey has been to college, but I don't know if he's ever published any scholarship. Founding FreedomWorks has to be worth a few hundred negative points, in any case.

  70. Dr. Hunky Jimpjorps1:35 AM


  71. Ever feel like you've been defenestrated thru the Overton Window?

  72. willf4:32 AM

    Yep, there's an overlap between the monied and the conservative. It isn't just the left vs the right, it's the left vs the right and the money (or neo-liberals, if you want).

  73. Dear god she's stupid.

  74. Jeffrey_Kramer6:29 AM

    Just think about this for a second: "this is something which may be hard to understand at a glance, and THEREFORE I'm NOT going to try to help you understand it."

    If you wanted a columnist who would give you these 'explanations' and 'clarifications' or other handouts, you've come to the wrong place, moocher!

  75. fraser6:38 AM

    IIRC, it's going to be used to go after sex predators, not nice normal people. And we know that a respectable Repub couldn't possibly think of gays as pedophiles, so no problem!

  76. fraser6:43 AM

    Oh ye gods. A column that discusses at length that with the Internet, people are no longer willing to pay for hard news? And that this is a serious problem for the media? That's some cutting-edge insight there.

  77. Wm Kiernan7:39 AM

    Actually it sounds like something L. Ron Hubbard dreamt up.

  78. Halloween_Jack7:56 AM

    "So this is what killed off the inhabitants of Sol III. S'sdoiureowr, mark another one down in the 'too dumb to live' column."

  79. Halloween_Jack7:58 AM

    A leg-warmer clad foot trampling a face to the tune of a power ballad... forever.

  80. Halloween_Jack8:04 AM

    Getting schooled by Paul Krugman in public obviously taught her nothing (except maybe to stop dressing up her patented brand of bullshit as economics).

  81. JennOfArk9:41 AM

    Well, yes, but "opinion" is the operative word there, isn't it? Opinion does not = knowledge or wisdom or anything else. As they say, everyone's got one, even the blatantly pig-ignorant, like McMegan. Does it really matter if you are "smack down the middle of American opinion" if what that means is that a mass of drooling, knuckle-dragging trogladytes who could not survive if not fo the advent of highly-processed foodstuffs agree with you? People agree with all kinds of wrong shit. Though it does at least explain why McMegan is emplolyed.

  82. To be honest I somewhat admire a con that open. .

  83. JennOfArk9:47 AM

    Eye of the Tiger.

  84. catclub10:28 AM

    But didn't he also extract a few million from them to shut up, when the palace coup went haywire? That was funny.

  85. sharculese10:33 AM

    It's not mentioned there but I'm pretty sure other articles on his dissertation have pointed out that he doesn't read French and all his primary sources were translated.

  86. The concept of media lambda is a bit technical...

    Ask a Tri-Lamb.

  87. Mr. Wonderful10:35 AM

    More proof, as if any were needed, that MM, from the Atlantic to this very day, sees her role not as being useful (by accurately explaining arcane biz/economix stuff to us proles), but as OPINING. Somewhere the person who originally hired her is still banging his or her head on the desk and moaning, "What have I done?"

  88. Hey, it was the Belgian Congo. Newt might not read French, but he definitely speaks Phlegm.

  89. TribalistMeathead10:44 AM

    I thought the not-at-all-made-up individual on the bus who welcomed gentrifiers to move in, drive up their rent, and replace their easily-accessible grocery stores with Restoration Hardware was a man.

  90. Halloween_Jack10:52 AM

    I don’t have a useful answer to this worry, I’m afraid.

    And there's the moment of clarity.

  91. whetstone11:22 AM

    What the Cooch wants to do is use the old Crimes Against Nature law to target, apparently, sexual predators. In this case, a 45-year-old man soliciting oral sex from a 17-year-old girl.

    Now, you and I might find that reprehensible. But the age of consent in Virginia is 15. So you and I, being dullards who think "inside the box," might, you know, try to amend the law. Or pass a new law. But we're not the Attorney General of Virginia, whose solution is to pinkie-promise that the state will only use the old law to protect minors. Will he use it if a 17-year-old and a 17-year-old engage in oral sex? How about a 21-year-old and a 17-year-old? You'll just have to take the Cuccinnelli Sodomy Challenge to find out!

  92. XeckyGilchrist11:54 AM

    I think it goes one step further - what she really wants is for everyone to believe all this guff. I agree that she wants total information control, but only as a means to getting people to say the same horseshit she's saying instead of making fun of her.

  93. Mark_Bzzzz12:01 PM

    There's something about correlation and causation, but that may be too complicated for people like McMegan and the guy who wrote this paper.

    People who watch Fox are more conservative because conservative people prefer watching media that confirms their world view. It's a self-selected group. It's not like they were a random control group that started watching Fox and over time became more conservative. It's not all that hard to understand, but apparently both McArdle and the paper writer managed to miss one of the basic principles of statistics. These are supposed to be experts?

  94. Mark_Bzzzz12:14 PM

    As Rutherford famously said: All science is either physics or stamp collecting.. I don't necessarily agree with that, but the guy who wrote this paper is definitely a stamp collector.

  95. Then, too, there's always Ann Althouse's all purpose rejoinder: "I DON'T SPOONFEED!"

  96. It hasn't lost ALL meaning, it's just been redefined... By the Hoover Institution, The Heritage Foundation, The Cato Institute, The Manhattan Institute, et fucking cetera...

  97. J Neo Marvin1:22 PM

    That night that you planned to go clear, did you ever go clear?

  98. realinterrobang1:43 PM

    Aw, jesus, man, on behalf of all of those of us who lived our formative years during the 80s (and therefore never, ever want to go back), trigger warning that shit or something.

    I literally cringed.

  99. realinterrobang1:49 PM

    Okay, so explain something to me. In every other PhD programme in the world, you have to be able to read in at least one, maybe as many as three languages which are not your mother tongue, and, although I never managed to do a PhD myself, I was more or less under the impression that if a particular language was germane to your field of study (fnar, see what I did there?!), knowing it was kind of *required*.

    So seriously, never mind approving his thesis, how the fuck did Gingrich even get into that field of study without knowing French or Flemish or both?

  100. sharculese2:41 PM

    Yeah, I looked into it and I was only half remembering. He reads French but not Flemish.

  101. XeckyGilchrist3:24 PM

    This could well be the McArdliest thing evar, but my personal favorite was the one where she didn't bother to look up the cost of health insurance but instead estimated what it must be - lower than before, of course, because the market was more free. (This was well pre-Obamacare.)

    I can just imagine her judiciously narrowing her eyes and weighing whatever she hallucinated as evidence, thinking "Hmm, yesss, the market is about 39% more free now, so costs will have gone down about 39%. Call it 36.5%, because some liberalism probably crept in somewhere."

  102. Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq.3:54 PM

    Not only that, she's actually paid for being this stupid.

  103. TomParmenter4:21 PM

    I thought she said "density".

  104. TomParmenter4:24 PM

    I recommend Cottonelle Fresh Care raging alcoholic asswipes.

  105. AngryWarthogBreath4:34 PM

    So, she is saying here, "Watch out, lefties, I'm talking to you, more in sorrow et cetera, very seriously concerned, because if you keep letting the media get all polarised" - as if, as mentioned, that is all norbizness's fault - "it'll turn out to have a heavy conservative bias!" And then all her sources are about people saying the liberal media must be destroyed to make way for a truly unbiased conservative heraldry.

    I don't know if I hate her* more for how two-faced she is or how BAD at being two-faced she is. You're meant to hide behind the mask, Megan, not take it off halfway through for a few minutes to reassure your bros.

    * It disturbs me to find that I really do. It's only the palliative efforts of a good snark that prevent me from writing angry e-mail to everyone who ever employed her, starting at the stupidification of the media, rising in grand crescendo to the False Prophet and Janus, and ending reliably with "PS I am not a crackpot".

  106. I got this the other day from a guy who posted in a blog comment what I thought was a controversial "fact" (that James Madison was against the popular election of the House of Representatives). I replied that I was skeptical and asked him for a citation from, say, the Federalist Papers (where it seemed logical that such a foundational principle might be explained; my mistake). What I got was "It's not my job to educate you!" along with a reading list and the sneering admonition that the Federalist Papers were mere propaganda designed to convince rich people to support the Constitution and that anybody who thought otherwise was an uneducated slob. I never did get that citation.

  107. witlesschum4:47 PM

    Vulgarly, the rich and the media are mostly right on economics and mostly left on culture.

  108. Jay B.4:54 PM

    McArdle's starting to give Goldberg a run for his money

    I'm not sure "run" is something in Jonah's life experience. Typing makes him tired and hungry, so I imagine he'll take this one lying down.

  109. brandonrg10:36 AM

    A couple years back, Groseclose guest-blogged over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Things went very, very poorly for him. Multiple errors were pointed out in his work, even some of the other VC headliners questioned him directly, and he never actually responded to any of the criticism. That anybody still cites that pile of garbage as proof of anything is pretty ridiculous.

  110. Mooser5:10 PM

    "A leg-warmer clad foot trampling a face to the tune of a power ballad... forever."
    Wasn't that the cover of a Fleetwood Mac album?

  111. Mooser5:20 PM

    "It's been half a century and then some since the Civil Rights Act and they haven't jumped off the anti-CRA bandwagon yet."
    I will never ever forgive them for that. I will go to my grave disgusted with the people who turned civil rights into a zero-sum game. That is, the idea (at the base of all right-wing civil rights thinking) that rights given or enforced for one group must have been taken from another. Therefore, if African-Americans are more free, it must be that white Americans are less free, or have less rights, to put it in its crudest formulation.
    The simple fact that non-discrimination protects every American they cannot admit.
    And I guess the story of those who feel they are 'losing their rights' as others gain theirs, well, that just makes for "balanced" coverage. Disgusting.

  112. Mooser5:27 PM

    "It hasn't lost ALL meaning, it's just been redefined"
    Hey they had to get all those "terrorism experts" out and on the networks as fast as possible.

  113. Aimai6:36 AM

    Died if a concussion years ago, more like.

  114. Ethics Gradient6:48 AM

    I love how she says:

    "Reporters who thought that political and international news reporters, plus a few people who write long reported series about poverty and related “serious” subjects, constituted the apex of their profession, have been humbled to learn that readers considered us a moderately interesting freebie ... That’s a big problem for my profession"

    She thinks she's a professional reporter! How cute! Does she wear a fedora with a card marked 'Press' in the band?

    When she develops enough self-awareness to know that she is a paid commenter, her remarks might start to be worth reading. Until then she will just be, in her own words, 'noisy and uncertain'.

  115. BigHank5311:10 PM

    Megan's just trying to make sure the right people remember her name. Her own career hasn't exactly been soaring through the stratosphere recently.

  116. BigHank5311:16 PM

    She's a complete Straussian, in case you were wondering: lying to the lower orders to get them to do the right* thing is actually good for them.

    *Guess who gets to pick what the "right" thing is?

  117. BigHank5311:24 PM

    ...the Cuccinnelli Sodomy Challenge...

    Why did an image of one of those reality-TV obstacle course contests spring into my mind? Okay, we've got the annoying hipster couple, the overweight suburbanite couple, the high-school sweethearts...on second thought, knowing what a lot of my fellow Virginians look like, maybe we should try to play up the humor angle.