Friday, July 29, 2022


Mainly known for his funny get-up and act, but he could rave.

•  Like I keep telling you good people, I need paying customers and can't be giving it away so much anymore. So there is only one freebie from the week's Roy Edroso Break It Down: A transcript of Glenn Greenwald's latest interview. Ah, you got me, it's fanciful satire! A jape, a jest! But really it's only a matter of time; as low as Greenwald had sunk in my estimation I never expected him to interview Alex Fucking Jones and portray his amazingly vicious and stupid slanders on the Sandy Hook massacre victims like some kind of honest mistake. (His and Jones' shared portrayal of Jan. 6 as a set-up was, alas, already believable.)

But that seems to be the horseshoe racket these days: Matt Taibbi is also sucking up to Jones as well as the Jones-adjacent incel crowd. In this interview with a director who made sympathetic documentaries about Jones and these people, Taibbi suggests taking them seriously has been "forbidden" by the big media nomenklatura, notwithstanding his subject's films are freely available and one of them is, per Taibbi, "topping Apple pre-order charts." (The rightwing moodswing between persecution mania and delusions of grandeur strikes again!) In another essay (mercifully clipped by the paywall) Taibbi is offended that Paul Krugman said the MAGA movement seems based on "nothing at all." "In the pre-Trump era," says Taibbi, "it was understood reporters weren’t supposed to avoid ugly or scary topics. We were supposed to dive right in, and in the nonjudgmental manner of doctors figure them out." Actually in 2017 we had months of Trump diner safaris; maybe the reporters saw enough of their nihilism and got tired of finding new ways to make it look like something more exalted. I jest, of course -- to this day, there's always someone at a major newspaper willing to tongue-bathe these guys. Does Taibbi really not see that? Maybe he's aware that without the cancelculture crybaby angle he'd look like a higher profile Jim Hoft.

•  Oh, tell you what -- you can always go to my Substack and look at older free stories. They're all quality (and I do it five days a week!) and some of them remain blazingly relevant. For instance: Here's a tweet from a recent stream endorsing an excellent Bloomberg story on the distance between New York City's actual crime profile and the media panic stirred up about it:

This is right in keeping with what I wrote in the summer of 2020, in the heart of the COVID pandemic, about how rightwingers were using Death Wish stereotypes of New York to inflame their suburban base:
...if you read conservatives these days — even as New York has beaten back the virus, keeping the curve flat for months, but still struggles economically — you’ll find they’re not cheering for New York to come back; they’re cheering for New York to die...

...the operatives spreading this stuff don’t care about reality, and they certainly aren’t trying to show any 9/11-style sympathy for New York as it pulls itself out of the COVID-19 hole. Because their pollsters have certainly advised them that stoking their base’s hatred of highfalutin’ city folk might energize them to come out and vote Trump, and that is far, far more important to them than any old-fashioned idea of solidarity with one’s fellow citizens in a time of crisis.
Really, this gift seems like a curse sometimes. A curse I'm willing to share with you for the low, low price of $7/month! (While supplies last.)

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