This Week's Highlights of Spencer Ackerman Weekly
Fiscal Policy Once Again

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another New York Times Edition)

Some recent acts of journamalism:

First off--wow. I think both the New York Times and the sociologists of America have some basic self-policing to do:

Our Overrated Inner Self: By ORLANDO PATTERSON: Lionel Trilling... [said] [s]incerity... requires us to act and really be the way that we present ourselves.... Authenticity involves finding and expressing the true inner self.... Authenticity now dominates our way of viewing ourselves and our relationships, with baleful consequences.... [I]t is the inner source of identity politics. It also undermines good government.... The cult of authenticity partly accounts for our poor choice of leaders. We prefer leaders who feel our pain, or born-again frat boys who claim that they can stare into the empty eyes of an ex-K.G.B. agent and see inside his soul. On the other hand we hear, ad nauseam, that Hillary Clinton, arguably one of the nation’s most capable senators, is “fake” and therefore not electable as president...

Orlando Patterson simply does not speak the same English language that the rest of us speak or live in the same world that the rest of us live in. I have never heard anybody say or imply--let alone ad nauseum--that Hillary Rodham Clinton should not be president because she is "sincere but inauthentic." I have never heard anybody say or imply that they preferred either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush to other candidates because Bush or Clinton was "insincere but authentic." It's amazing. Four hundred million people in the world whose first language is English, and this is what the *New York Times finds to publish.

Second, we have David Ignatius in the Washington Post telling us that Bush's agonizing sorrow over Iraq is truly "poignant":

David Ignatius - Bush's New Look on Iraq: Weary - washingtonpost.com: The stress of the job -- so well hidden for much of the past six years -- has begun to show on Bush's face. He often looks burdened, distracted, haunted by a question that has no good answer. When a photographer captures him at ease, as in a sweet Texas-romance picture of Bush and his wife, Laura, that appeared in People magazine last week, it's as if he has escaped the Iraq sweatbox....

Bush and his officials are strong characters; they work hard not to let you see them sweat. But the anguish and exhaustion are there. Bush is not a man for introspection... the forced jocularity.... That's why this version of reality TV is so poignant: This very private man has begun to talk out loud about the emotional turmoil inside. He is letting it bleed. Bush opened the emotional curtain... gave an unexpectedly personal answer: "Most painful aspect of my presidency has been knowing that good men and women have died in combat. I read about it every night. And my heart breaks for a mother or father or husband or wife or son and daughter. It just does. And so when you ask about pain, that's pain."

With special bonus incoherence about whether Bush is or is not in a state of denial:

Bush's "state of denial," as Bob Woodward rightly called it, has officially ended. He actually spoke the words "We're not winning" last week in an interview with The Post, coupling it with the reverse: "We're not losing." But in truth, he cannot abide the possibility that Iraq will not end in victory. So a day after his "not winning" comment, he half took it back, saying: "I believe that we're going to win," and then adding oddly, as if to reassure himself: "I believe that -- and by the way, if I didn't think that, I wouldn't have our troops there. That's what you've got to know. We're going to succeed."

Third, the Wall Street Journal editorial page:

The Wages of Growth - WSJ.com: [W]e can discount one more canard about the current economic expansion -- namely, that wages are stagnant and workers are doing far more poorly than they did in that second Age of Pericles known as the 1990s.

Over the past year, the real average wage for non-supervisory employees has risen 2.8%... real median household income was also up 1.1% after inflation. This rise in take-home pay helps to explain how Americans have had the disposable income this Christmas shopping season to pay $600 for Play Station 3 computer games and $150 for the Kid-Tough Digital Camera for three-year-olds.

It is true that income and wages are still about 2% below the peak they hit in 2000.... [But] the "stagnant wages" story can join the "jobless recovery," the "outsourcing" crisis and the runaway budget deficit as other tales of woe that have all turned out to be evanescent....

All told, the pattern of wage growth this decade isn't all that different from that of the 1990s.... This isn't to disparage the 1990s, but only to point out that those who assail this decade's gains either have short memories or political agendas.

We certainly agree with those who'd like to do more to lift worker paychecks, so here are two ideas. First, make the Bush tax cuts permanent.... Second, slash the corporate income tax. A recent study for the American Enterprise Institute by economists Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur examined 72 nations over 22 years and found that "wages are significantly responsive to corporate taxation"...

Fourth, George Archibald gets medieval on the whole Washington Times--and asks why so little of this is "newsworthy" to the conventional media. It has always amazed me that any other journalistic outfit will employ anybody who has ever worked for the Reverend Moon-funded Washington Times.

Hey! You worked for them, George:

GEORGE ARCHIBALD: CAN THE WASHINGTON TIMES SURVIVE?: I doubt it... festering internal civil war... ideological and abusive micro-management... driven out the newspaper’s ... intolerant abuse and rejection of him by Joo. Slevin... just gave up... Joo... a tyrannical maniac... Slevin... one of the finest, nicest, most erudite, capable, calm, kind, sensitive, and fair individuals I have ever dealt with....

[A] huge exodus of capable reporters and editors.... [E]ditorial page... Tony blankley... lame beyond belief... boring and unimaginative.... [T]he newsroom... morale slump.... [N]ational editor Ken Hanner... a glorified administrative secretary... news judgment is on a par with a first-year college journalism student.... Carleton Bryant... arse-kisser of Wesley Pruden Jr., TWT editor-in-chief, and Francis B. Coombs Jr., TWT managing editor.

[U]nfolding scandal... chief photo department editor... eye for young women photographers... made sexual overtures to photographers as they applied and sought employment.... Complaints... went nowhere, upper management knew... photo department employees left in disgust.... [A]nemic old reporters who no longer break exclusives... inexperienced, young new hires who couldn’t find their way to a copy of the federal budget....

The TWT business side... a disaster for years, moribund advertising, circulation well under 100,000... a yearly money-loser despite more than $3-billion of cash infused by founder Sun Myung Moon, the controversial Korean religious evangelist....

[T]he main cause... top management... CEO Dong Moon Joo... Wesley Pruden... Fran Coombs.... Pruden... an unreconstructed Confederate... believes the South and slavery were right and President Abraham Lincoln was wrong.... Pruden’s father was a Baptist minister and chaplain for the White Citizens Council in Arkansas’ worst KKK days.... Pruden... not a religious man... unmarried all his life except a brief period in his young adulthood... hates feminists and homosexuals.... [L]eft The Dow Jones National Observer... accusations of manufactured quotes.... Pruden micro-manages the paper’s news and opinion content mainly from home via computer. Pruden comes to 4 p.m. editor news conferences... few reporters... have even met him personally.

Coombs... raging racist... despises blacks, Jews, and Hispanic immigrants... a micro-manager... very bad temper, abuses employees, and looks down on women (except if he sees one he says has “nice tits” or “nice body,” or “nice ass” or who he would like to have sex with, which he often voiced in my presence, including about a particular higher female editor who was his superior.) Coombs... voiced dislike for blacks, Jews, Hispanics... always when he got drunk at parties... drank liquor and smoked marijuana... passed out on the outside deck of his home and had to be physically carried to bed by those remaining at the party and his wife, Marian.... Coombs’ management style... prejudices, and abuse of employees that has led to the brain-drain of reporters and editors over the past decade.... [A] corporate struggle... between... Dong Moon (Douglas) Joo, who is the Reverend Moon’s Korean translator in many venues and has been his go-fer for many years, and the reverend’s youngest son, Preston Moon... anointed by his father as corporate successor....

Dong Moon Joo, Wesley Pruden, and Fran Coombs have apparently blocked Preston Moon.... Pruden and Coombs... sabotage[d] the company’s successful restart of its Insight Magazine as an online news and opinion website.... Pruden and Coombs have coopted Joo and the Koreans by telling them, and convincing them, that they have President George W. Bush and his administration in their pocket....

One wonders why all the so-called media watchdogs in the media are not following this story and have not reported it fully to the American public. Why are they asleep at the switch?... Maybe the dominant liberal media elite want that to happen and the mainstream media are giving the Joo-Pruden-Coombs cabal a pass regarding the reported racism and other employee discrimination http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061009/washington_times...

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