The Virtue of Signalling

Patrick De Klotz

Patrick De Klotz

Dad, Husband, Former USDOJ Attorney, Current Business Attorney, Gonzaga Alum, GWU Law Alum. Portland, OR.

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  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    I characterize virtue signalling as an inability to be brief and on point.

    Say there is a person who has suffered a personal tragedy. Are expressions of sympathy the equivalent of a hug and and a genuine offer of assistance; or is it long winded lecture of some fashion?

    Where the line gets drawn is fuzzy, as it depends on the signaller and their relationship to the person who has suffered.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      I characterize virtue signalling as an inability to be brief and on point.

      Increasingly*, I characterize it as identity affirmation based on words rather than actions. My wife recently met with a bunch of women business owners in our area to talk about “diversity” and efforts to promote “diversity” in our community. My wife asked the person articulating this view, who happened to be a practicing psychiatrist, why she didn’t schedule appointments see these underserved (ie., black and hispanic) members of our community rather than speak in vague generalities. Taken aback, the person said non-commitally “I never thought of that. I guess I could schedule in, like, an hour once a month or something”. I think that’s a perfect example of virtue signalling: a bunch of “woke” liberals signalling their commitment to diversity even tho they don’t take any concrete steps to achieve that goal.

      *Influenced, no doubt, by some OT posts Jason K wrote way back in the day.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        I forgot to include this: A lot of what liberals view as evidence of abhorrent behavior from conservatives strikes me as the flip side of the exact same coin, that is, conservatives are merely signalling a lack of virtue, which is interpreted by liberals as evidence of non-virtuous behavior, when in fact they’re merely mocking the whole (liberal, in this case) pretense that empty words suffice for morality. (Something like that, anyway.)Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Stillwater
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        says:

        I was thinking along internet commenting lines, but yes, your example is spot on.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          Well, the reason I used that specific example is because I think saying “I support X” constitutes virtue signalling only when there actually is no accompanying action taken to make X the case. Back in the day liberals were being accused of virtue signalling for saying things like “I support fair trade practices” when they were, in fact, purchasing fair trade products (epistemic worries aside). So those aren’t cases of pure virtue signalling.

          At the other end of the spectrum are people who act in the world without signalling anything one way or the other. So to sorta loosely bookend them: one is pure virtue; one is pure signalling.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            Any attempt to define a term that’s used as an accusation online is going to be flawed, because people toss around accusations so casually.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
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              Well, I disagree with that for a whole slew of reasons, but in this context for one in particular: if you and I are discussing the substance of an issue rather than merely semantics we can agree on definition as a conversation facilitating shorthand. How other people define the word doesn’t matter.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    My general theory is that there are a lot of terms that have specific meanings in their original and (usually) academic context but when they enter the public sphere via the Net, all the specificity gets lost in the fray.

    This is how “signal” becomes a taunt. People who have a deep understanding of economics understand that signaling is very important and they don’t use it as a negative phrase at all. But it entered the public discourse and became a taunt of “You are just trying to prove how good and moral you are. You don’t really care…..”

    Privilege is another concept which meant something specific but became void for vagueness on the Internet.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Saul,
      When people don’t REALLY care, yeah, it’s a problem (All those “Everyone is Welcome Here” signs around my neighborhood — if you got a few crackheads living on your sidewalk, well, those people would be calling the cops). When people are using it as an excuse for “Why I don’t care about your caring” — that’s a different story.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      The thing about conflating the two uses of “signal” is that they are exactly the opposite in an important way: In its “taunt” form, it means, “You’re not really a good person. You’re pretending to be because it doesn’t cost you anything you to write stuff on Twitter.” When economists use it, it means pretty much the opposite. The whole point of a signal is that it’s a reliable indicator because it’s somehow costly so send the signal if the thing you’re trying to signal isn’t true.

      If you want to signal you’re a hardcore gangster, you can do a few different things. You could tweet gangster rap lyrics. You could get some gang tattoos. You could stab a guy in the face. If you ask people which ones are “signaling” you’ll get two totally different responses depending on how they’re using the word.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    There is an easy aspect of this to dispense with, and I note that to the extent Bartholomew and others condemn actual virtue signaling (as defined above) where it occurs, they are correct to do so.

    I was prepared to disagree with this essay based on the excerpt (“Sometimes when you condemn virtue-signalling, you are actually condemning virtue itself.”) but, after that opening, I figure “fair enough”.

    So long as we can distinguish between adding a filter to your facebook profile and writing a check/volunteering, we’re probably good.

    (That seems likely to into “oh, you only donate 4% of your income to charity? Why not 5%? Why not 10%?” and “you only volunteer four hours a month, why not sixteen?” arguments, though.)Report

  4. Avatar Pinky
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    says:

    I don’t see virtue signalling as an action, but as a motivation for an action. We probably spend too much time explaining why our online opponents say things. (At least, explaining the psychology behind their statements.)

    PJ O’Rourke said that seriousness is stupidity sent to college. It’s impossible to carry on a dialogue with a person who is seriously making a serious point and is unable to see a bigger picture, or any other point. We’re all afraid of yielding the high moral ground in an argument, which makes it hard to say (for example) that your emphasis on environmentally-friendly coffee is not very important, or not important to a conversation about gun control. So we label it “virtue-signalling”.

    There’s also a bit of twisted humility in using the label, and I think the original article is correct to warn against it. We all remember high school, where it was cool to talk about how little you studied, and brag about how badly you did on a test. “I don’t want to get caught bragging” quickly becomes “I want to brag about something I should be ashamed of, even if it’s not true”. It’s a common enough human failing, and one that should be called out every now and then.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
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      says:

      Virtue signalling is buying your organic coffee from Whole Foods, who is quite busy burning down the rainforest in order to give you the finest prices on organic coffee.Report

  5. Avatar Jason
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    says:

    I like the Lewis quote. Here’s an example of what I think is the bad virtue-signaling; it’s an example that’s stuck with me.

    Osama bin Laden and Randy Savage died several weeks apart. I know this because when bin Laden was killed, a FB friend wrote a post about how aghast she was at people celebrating. This, she said, was a serious event, and she also wondered why the seals didn’t capture him alive. Her “reasoning” was that a trial would have less of a chance for repercussions (because we know how reasonable terrorist organizations are). I didn’t respond, because there was no point. She had abandoned rational thought.

    Several weeks later, when the former pro-wrestler Savage died, she spent several days passing memes back and forth with her fiance and joking about it.

    People celebrating a terrorist’s death, a terrorist who seriously fished up the beginning decades of our century causing the deaths of too many people? That’s bad. Celebrating the death of a pro-wrestler, a silly profession perhaps–but certainly a more honorable one than trying to plunge the world into a religious war? That’s okay; in fact, it’s good times.

    Is there an argument to be made about people celebrating bin Laden’s death? Probably. Was my FB friend interested in making such an argument? Probably not. Her opinion didn’t seem to be coming from any kind of consistent principle.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jason
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      says:

      she also wondered why the seals didn’t capture him alive. Her “reasoning” was that a trial would have less of a chance for repercussions…

      I celebrated, then I thought better of it.

      We could have captured him and sweated him for intel, that would have been good.

      We could have shown the world that OBL the “great hero” (to his followers) was just a guy, and probably a cowardly one because he could have gone down fighting. No paradise afterlife for you.

      That would have been better.Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    The accusation of “virtue signaling” is not claiming that virtue doesn’t exist. It’s a claim that the accused is not actually virtuous, but is putting on the guise of virtue in an attempt to purchase a secular indulgence for some vague notion of guilt or a societal sin.

    “You’re virtue signaling!” is an evolved form of “oh, some of your best friends are black, right?”Report

  7. Avatar North
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    says:

    On top of the other comments here I’d like to especially single out the most execrable form of virtue signaling behavior where the signaler is not only cheaply broadcasting their virtue but doing so in a manner that is detrimental to the virtue they are signaling for.
    For example the many people who twitter mobbed a museum that was hosting a display on Japanese Kimonos where visitors get to try on sample Kimono on account of the display culturally appropriating Japanese culture.
    This sort of behavior is not only virtue signaling, it’s virtue parasitism where the cause it supposedly celebrates is being harmed by the virtue signaling.Report

  8. Avatar George Turner
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    says:

    Let’s not forget that what brought virtue signalling into the focus was that “the virtuous” were forming deranged social-media lynch mobs and essentially targeting random people for random things.

    Hitting “like” on photos of kittens is a form a virtue signalling, as is “Die you kitty hater! Die!”Report

  9. Avatar Dark Matter
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    says:

    We are a broken world. Children are starving. Dictators torture and kill the innocent. There is poverty, homeless, addiction, and despair. The horrors of war. We treat human lives in their earliest stages as disposable. We don’t love one another the way we ought to. There are reminders all around us of our own moral failures. And at the same time, what signal are we sending to the next generation?

    Over the generations, things are getting better, not worse.

    Poverty? World wide the number of people living on a dollar a day has dropped a lot over the last 50 years. If we want to narrow our view to just the USA then “poverty” normally includes cell phones and cable which means we need to use a definition like “the bottom X%” to find anyone.

    The big change in war is the front line is on our TV, because everyone has a movie camera in their smart phone. If we use numbers rather than emotion to look at the big picture, the number of deaths per year has gone down trends down over the decades.

    This website has lots of graphs and information which plot war deaths over the decades and centuries. https://ourworldindata.org/war-and-peace/

    Professional alarmists (including and especially religious ones) can’t admit this because it implies that the urgency for their causes is diminishing. If (and when) we solve all of these problems then the goal posts for measuring how evil the world is will be moved.

    And you’ll have to signal your virtue a different way.Report

    • Avatar NoPublic in reply to Dark Matter
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      says:

      If we want to narrow our view to just the USA then “poverty” normally includes cell phones and cable which means we need to use a definition like “the bottom X%” to find anyone

      Yeah. Not so much. Back when there were such things as payphones and snail mail resumes and you didn’t need internet access to apply for a McJob and nobody expected you to answer the phone for work calls 24/365 maybe you could snark on cell phones, but today they’re an essential tool for a modern American human being. The fact that they’re available to the nearly homeless is a net good but largely irrelevant to the discussion of poverty, it’s just an expression of the commodification of personal electronics in general. It’s just the dogwhistle-yer version of bucks with T-bones or rims and grillz.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to NoPublic
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        says:

        … they’re an essential tool for a modern American human being.

        Historically “poverty” is a huge evil because it includes threat of starvation. There are places even now where it means “no clean water”, “infected by parasites”, “malaria”, and so forth and so on.

        Claiming that cell phones are just a tool (while correct) obscures just how far we’ve come and that what we call “poor” has a lifestyle old-style kings couldn’t afford and big parts of the rest of the world might call middle class.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to NoPublic
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        says:

        ” today they’re an essential tool for a modern American human being. The fact that they’re available to the nearly homeless is a net good but largely irrelevant…”

        uh, what? Largely irrelevant that this miracle of human technology is available to the nearly-homeless?

        If you want to say that the poverty concerns of Americans have moved further up the Maslow heirarchy than bare survival, then sure, I agree with that, but you also gotta say it. You can’t pretend like being poor in 2017 is exactly the same, quality-of-life-wise, as being poor in 1967.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
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          As electronics get cheaper and more essential, the fact that someone has a given piece of electronics is much less likely to, ah, signal that their other, supposedly more basic, needs are met. It’s good that a homeless person can have a smart phone–that’s an increase in their welfare–but they still don’t have a home.

          Also, some things have become relatively cheaper, but other things have become relatively more expensive, and in particular consumer electronics have gotten ridiculously cheap [1], some of which are pretty essential. I don’t know how much overall welfare of the poor has improved in the last 20 years, though it’s clear it’s not as bad as it was 50 years ago [2].

          [1] Has anyone gone shopping for a TV or computer monitor recently? It’s nuts!

          [2] Though 50 years ago was sort of the beginning of the modern safety net in the US.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            As electronics get cheaper and more essential, the fact that someone has a given piece of electronics is much less likely to, ah, signal that their other, supposedly more basic, needs are met. It’s good that a homeless person can have a smart phone–that’s an increase in their welfare–but they still don’t have a home.

            Percentage of homeless who are mentally ill is 25% (google). Percentage of homeless who are addicts is 38% (for alcohol) and 26% (everything but alcohol) (google).

            Combined that’s 89%. It also firmly moves the conversation from economics to mental health. It is extremely difficult to shield people from their own behavior, perhaps more so in our society than others because people have the right to be self destructive.

            And even with that…
            1) Things are getting better, not worse. The general rising tide lifts all boats
            2) The number of people died last year because their basic needs weren’t met was close to zero. No starvation. Everyone has access to clean water. Lots of diseases and parasites aren’t allowed to exist in this country. There’s a free education for children. And I could go on, and on.

            In a century, after we have other miracle technologies, there will still be people complaining about how the poor’s “basic needs” aren’t being met but they’ll be talking about things like genetic manipulation.Report

            • Avatar scott the mediocre in reply to Dark Matter
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              says:

              I mostly agree with your point as far as it goes, but:

              1) Nitpick – the sets of homeless persons who are mentally ill, alcoholic, and addicted to substances other than ethanol are not –
              at all – disjoint, unless you took that into account in your google statistics.

              2) Somewhat more substantively, hope for improvement b/w anxiety wrt future decline is a relatively primary good/ungood. I have no particular idea how you could even measure that consistently across time, but I know it’s important. I have no strong opinion nor emotional investment in whether it’s improved on net over the last, let’s say century, or not.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to scott the mediocre
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                says:

                1) Nitpick – the sets of homeless persons who are mentally ill, alcoholic, and addicted to substances other than ethanol are not – at all – disjoint, unless you took that into account in your google statistics.

                The way it was framed, the 2nd and 3rd groups were disjoint (the first was a different search). It was a ten second search job so there’s room for error. IMHO 89% seems high, I’d thought the “purely down on their luck” crowd was higher than single digits but still a small minority.

                However, there’s a world of difference between “homeless” and “persistently homeless”. It’s like the 1%, there’s both a set group that’s there year after year and there’s another group that’s only there *that* year.

                So for the whole “hope” thing you were bringing up, my expectation is the “persistently homeless” group tracks really well with addiction+insanity and “down on their luck” tracks well for “safety net works, only homeless for a short period of time”. That’s probably both good news and bad.

                As far as long term, we’re making progress for both mental illness and addiction as technology improves. There are entire categories of “mental” problems that become “one pill a day” treatable. The people with them become normal and thus invisible because they’re not on street corners any more.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            “It’s good that a homeless person can have a smart phone–that’s an increase in their welfare–but they still don’t have a home.”

            Which agrees with my contention that we’re moving up the ladder of needs. And–as I said–that is worthy of note. “yeah but THEY STILL GOT PROBLEMS” yeah, and noting that we’ve solved some doesn’t deny that. But it’s worth thinking about whether the things we did to solve those problems are going to work for the next level of ones.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DensityDuck
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              …whether the things we did to solve those problems are going to work for the next level of ones…

              In the old days we had the “village idiot”, a stereotype so common and running so deep the phrase is still around. Often they had a thyroid disorder (the “not enough” flavor) which slowly (years or decades) lowered their IQ.

              Now days there’s a replacement pill (not a cure, you need to keep taking it) which brings your IQ back up to where it should be. The pill is old enough that it’s long off patent and thus cheap. So technology waved a magic wand and the village idiot became a normal person.

              That’s the ideal solution. A concern is when we start “negotiating” with drug companies we’re going to be eliminating whatever miracle drug is up next.Report

  10. Avatar Brian Murphy
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    says:

    Virtue signaling is how we maintain a civilization. Every time some says “free speech is good” or “racism is bad”… that’s virtue signaling.
    Most people go with the flow, and the high social costs of embracing barbaric sentiments like anti-Semitism deters the vast majority of people from indulging in those attitudes.
    Ideally, each person would arrive at a rational conclusion that racism is bad. But here in the real world, virtue signaling and the herd instinct are our best bulwarks against a descent into barbarism.Report

    • Avatar Murali in reply to Brian Murphy
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      The point is not that some acts aren’t morally good. Its that some good acts aren’t reliable indicators of genuine moral worth if they can be performed cheaply.

      This much Kantianism is something that we all accept nowadays.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to Murali
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        I made a comment recently about the Catholic canonization process, that when a possible saint’s writings are reviewed, they can only count against the cause, not for it. You’re expressing the same idea: that while we can communicate our moral code through our words and actions, the existence of good words alone is not enough to demonstrate our practice of morality.Report

      • Avatar Brian Murphy in reply to Murali
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        The rhetoric of those criticizing “virtue signaling” undervalues the import of signaling for maintaining virtue. There is a crypto-Calvinist intuition that virtue isn’t truly virtuous unless it is hard. However, easy acts of virtue signaling are common because they are easy, and they work because their constant reinforcement maintains important social norms.Report

        • Avatar Murali in reply to Brian Murphy
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          says:

          Specifics are needed here. Which acts are criticised as virtue signalling which actually reinforce important social norms?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Brian Murphy
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          says:

          The intuition goes back farther than that. Jesus had a number of verses dedicated to Pharisees who, for example, stand in the square and loudly pray about how great they are.

          The whole “The Pharisees do this, the Pharisees do that” speeches he gave tapped into a real, recognizable, phenomenon.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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            On the other hand, public prayer and public sermons are both extremely common features of Christian worship.

            I think people are underestimating the value of having everybody at least give lip service to a virtue, as opposed to the alternative. Ideally everybody would do the right thing even when it’s hard, but having everybody do the right thing when it’s easy isn’t nothing.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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              Hey, I’m not saying that Jesus was right about everything.

              I agree that giving lip service to virtue is very important. Hell, even hypocrisy is important because it tells us what the important virtues are. (Virtues that are important enough to lie about.)

              But he did tap into something with Luke 18:9-14.

              Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

              We recognize that immediately, don’t we?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                “‘Virtue signaling’ is a bad way to signal you have virtue,” seems like an eminently sensible position. But the argument often seems to progress in an alternative, stronger, and much stranger, direction, where the fact that “virtue signaling” is a bad signal somehow implies that the virtue in question is a bad virtue.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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                If only there had been some tradition like this before Jesus, say in Amos 5:21-24 or Micah 6:6-8 or the teachings of Hillel.Report

            • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to pillsy
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              says:

              (modern day Christianity seems to have a LOT more in common with the Pharisees than with Jesus, this just being an example)Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Something happened recently to make me think about this some more.

    A buddy’s wife has recently changed her diet to stop eating meat entirely. No eggs or cheese either. Nothing that comes from an animal. Sitting down at a gaming table for game night, I asked her “Oh, you went Vegan?” and she quickly corrected me. “Plant-based. I’ve switched to a plant-based diet. Nothing that comes from animals.”

    Other people at the table asked “Isn’t that Vegan?” and she half-heartedly corrected them to “Plant-based” before sighing and explaining “Look, the word ‘Vegan’ has a lot of baggage associated with it. I’m switching to a Plant-based diet that doesn’t include any animal products. I’m not switching to a ‘Vegan’ diet because I’m not a ‘Vegan’.”

    Lotta signals out there. People might hear them if you use the wrong words.Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird
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    And an even bigger example of signaling appeared to happen yesterday with the Kathy Griffin “decapitated Trump” thing.

    She signaled a particular virtue.
    Which then allowed her fiercest critics to signal their particular virtue.
    Which, eventually, resulted in people calling up her employers and her sponsors asking “which virtue are you going to signal?”

    There was an argument about the sanctity of art in there. Soon thereafter, there was an apology on her part in there.

    And any number of “WELL WHAT ABOUT THIS EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE DOING IT TO OBAMA?” signals saying, effectively, “you’re trying to signal your virtues but your hypocrisy is signaling that you never had the first virtue in the first place”. And I never understood the extent to which this is intended to be read as “I was right to be offended by *THIS* thing but since *YOU’RE* a hypocrite, I don’t have to be offended by *THAT* thing” or if that signal is incidental.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Jaybird
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      I’m still waiting for Colbert to apologize, be punished, or really even be condemned like KG.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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      Maybe we should consider tribal signalling as different from virtue signalling. I dunno. We’re definitely not all talking about the same thing. Maybe the difference between good and bad virtue signalling is whether the virtue is universal or tribal.

      Body-slamming a reporter isn’t a virtuous act except in rare circumstances. Defending someone who body-slams a reporter isn’t virtuous. But it’s signalling. Criticizing someone for body-slamming a reporter can be virtuous, but if it’s done solely to signal disapproval of a tribe, then it’s a certain kind of virtue signalling that isn’t itself virtuous.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Pinky
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        I keep hearing body slammed but I thought that was when you picked someone up above your head and then threw them to the ground. I’d hate to think that liberals were exaggerating for effect.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to notme
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          For the purposes of this conversation, it doesn’t matter what wrestling technique was used. Arguing about it is virtue signalling.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to Pinky
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            I don’t think any virtue was being signaled by body slamming the reporter given the context. That was a heat of the moment act while KG planned her action almost like performance art for max signal.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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        Maybe the difference between good and bad virtue signalling is whether the virtue is universal or tribal.

        I’m willing to run with this.

        It also explains the “indignant” part when people just cannot even when someone actually disagrees with this thing that everybody knows, or should know, anyway.

        Criticizing someone for body-slamming a reporter can be virtuous, but if it’s done solely to signal disapproval of a tribe, then it’s a certain kind of virtue signalling that isn’t itself virtuous.

        Great example. We saw similar things with the Kathy Griffin thing as well. Hell, there are probably a thousand examples we could look at since the end of 2015 alone.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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          I’m not sure it’s right to talk about tribal “virtues”. I’d have to think about that some more. What you and I are talking about is the following scenario:
          A happens;
          not-A can be described in a way to highlight a virtue;
          the virtue related to not-A is praised.

          Should we also be discussing cases where the virtue related to A is praised? I think other people are on this thread. I think most of the time when people complain about virtue signalling, though, they’re thinking about it being done as a negative response to something.

          I have no problem praising a virtue. We need more of it. It’s healthy to praise the virtues displayed by people on both sides of some issue or in different tribes. When it’s used as a passive-aggressive technique to undercut your opponent or a member of another tribe, that’s where it becomes a fault.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
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        Maybe we should consider tribal signalling as different from virtue signalling.

        I like your example highlighting this distinction. Imagine that at the time of the incident we were appraised of only limited information: that a politician bodyslammed someone for asking a politically relevant question. We didn’t know it was a reporter, didn’t know the party id of the politician, nothing.

        How many people would reflexively condemn the act as unvirtuous?
        How many people would reflexively refrain from condemning the act until more tribally-relevant information comes in?Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Stillwater
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          I think a lot of people would condemn it… if confronted with someone who wanted to talk about it. Vague Thoughts Include: Guy Probably Wasn’t American AND That Was Putin, Right? (These are drawn from social psychology).

          However, I DO think that a lot of people would want to wait and see whether Franken finally went crazy (or, a slightly more real example, the mayor of Braddock, who at any point might bodysurf the crowd. I am not kidding, people will not go to his talks because of this issue. Fun guy, not terribly stabl3e) or whether it was Orrin Hatch’s Nephew.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
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          I think most people would condemn it. Then they’d backpedal if it turned out the politician was on their side. At least, I hope most people would condemn it. If a politician body-slammed an ordinary citizen, nearly everyone would condemn it. But a reporter? I think we’re still above 50% on that one, but I’d probably be very discouraged if I found out the actual number.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Here’s what I noticed. A lot of reporters condemning the assault as an attack on free speech. A lot of liberals/Dems condemning the attack as evidence that Gianforte isn’t temperamentally suited to be in Congress. A lot of conservatives refraining from condemning the attack because either the reporter had it coming or because it’s not their place to judge how Montana voters respond to the incident.

            What I didn’t see very much of – some, tho, a little – was condemnation of the attack as an unprovoked physical assault on a person, and usually that was from people with low profiles and very little at stake in the issue. And in a weird way that makes sense: the more public a person’s statements are, the more signalling value they have. So folks whose comments reach a large audience are more inclined to prioritize the tribal signal more than the virtue signal.Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              Interesting. If you make a nasty assumption about the journalists, you could argue that your whole first paragraph is tribal reactions.

              And if I may take a moment to endorse Ben Shapiro’s site yet again, it’s because of articles like:
              http://www.dailywire.com/news/16867/if-youre-excusing-gianforte-body-slamming-reporter-ben-shapiroReport

            • Avatar Damon in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m not going to condemn or support. All I’m going to say is that walking “into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte’s face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report” unannounced, while the guy was meeting with other reporters, and ignoring Gianforte’s instructions to see the press agent, and being part of an organization that allegedly did that before, might, just might, get me a little pissed off too.

              I’d probably consider someone interrupting a meeting, getting up in my face, and shoving a recorder mid under my nose assault. Harassment at the least. I might act intemperate.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Gianforte was pissed at the Guardian for reporting on his Russian investments. Listening to the recording of the incident as well as hearing another reporters description from Fox, no less) inclines me to believe that Gianforte’s account of the incident was pure bullshit.

                Or, look at it this way: during the campaign Gianforte refused to provide an opinion on the AHCA, ostensibly because he wanted to wait for the CBO score to come in. Jacobs followed up on that once the score was published. Gianforte flipped out.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s the transcript posted on the DailyKos: here

                “Jacobs: … the CBO score. Because, you know, you’ve been waiting to make your decision about health care until you saw the bill, and it just came out …

                Gianforte: We’ll talk to you about that later.

                Jacobs: Yeah, but there’s not going to be time. I’m just curious …

                Gianforte: Okay, speak with Shane, please.

                Jacobs: But, you gotta …

                [loud crunching noises]

                Gianforte [screaming]: I’M SICK AND TIRED OF YOU GUYS!

                Jacobs: Jesus Chr …

                Gianforte: THE LAST GUY THAT CAME IN HERE—YOU DID THE SAME THING. GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!

                Jacobs: Jesus!

                Gianforte: GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! The last guy did the same thing. You with the Guardian?

                Jacobs: Yes, and you just broke my glasses.

                Gianforte: The last guy did the same damn thing.

                Jacobs: You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses.

                Gianforte: Get the hell out of here.

                Jacobs: You’d like me to get the hell out of here, I’d also like to call the police. Can I get you guys’s names?

                Man: Hey, you gotta leave.

                Jacobs: He just body-slammed me.

                Man: You gotta leave.”

                The Fox News reporters had this to say:

                “As the time for the interview neared, Gianforte came into the room. We exchanged pleasantries and made small talk about restaurants and Bozeman.

                During that conversation, another man — who we now know is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte’s face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.”

                Based upon the conversation quoted above, walking in on the candidate and shoving a recorder in his face and asking questions, while he’s in a meeting with other reporters, has happened before. You interpenetration may vary. He didn’t leave when asked. Gianforte should have had security drag his ass out, but maybe the reporter just pissed him off.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                You laid out a solid case, and I’d vote to convict. (That’s what you were trying to do, right?)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                You left out a bit of the Fox reporters account:

                “At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, “I’m sick and tired of this!”Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                The correct response in cases like this is, “I need some muscle over here.”Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Since he is a Republican there weren’t any union guys around to rough him up.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Ah yes, because a hypocritical granola humping university professor is the same as a Democratic Party politician.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                IIRC, one of the people in question got canned and the other was elected to Congress.

                I guess if I had to choose between one getting canned and both being elected to Congress, I’d go for one of them getting canned. But I’d rather both had to shrink away from public engagement and find a more appropriate job.Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Gianforte was pissed at the Guardian for reporting on his Russian investments.

                This comment is in no way meant to defend Gianforte or the quite comical these liberals had it coming attempts at a defense that I’ve seen coming from the conservative media.

                The Guardian reporting on Gianforte’s “financial ties” is comical. The dude owns about $250k in ETFs indexed to the Russian equities market out of a net worth totaling anywhere from $65 million to over $300 million. On the low end of his wealth estimate, this is about 0.4%.

                It is a bit ironic that as the overall quality of journalism goes down, the more journalists up their complaints about attacks on journalism and poor pay and the like. If Gianforte broke the law, I hope he gets convicted and has to pay a price, but the whole attack on free speech narrative is strained, at best.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                jr,
                “Actual Undercover Journalists” ain’t complainin. they’re taking home their paychecks and lettin’ someone else take the bylines.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Also, it seems to me you effectively ARE supporting Gianforte’s actions since you believe that sometimes reporters really do have it coming.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Had it coming? No. Deserved it? No. Is that a risk a reporter runs by acting like an ass and getting into someone’s face? Perhaps. As I said, “I’d probably consider someone interrupting a meeting, getting up in my face, and shoving a recorder mid under my nose assault. Harassment at the least. I might act intemperate.”

                But I’m not running for elected office am I? I UNDERSTAND the reaction, I’m not saying I endorse it.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Damon,
                That’s … not assault. Assault is the threat to commit bodily harm (with some presumption of “I can back this up ATM”).

                Yes, it’s harassment. That’s, in case we’ve forgotten, a reporter’s job. Well, that and being a Private Investigator.

                Acting intemperate is one thing — shoving a guy is another. Yelling at him? Well, yeah, I can see that. “Hey, You Interrupted a meeting! Get Out!” — that’s well within “annoying pest reporter gets his keister dealt with” territory.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Coming into my office and shoving a recorder in my face and getting up in my face is good enough “assault” for me. Courts may differ in opinion.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                I think we all understand the reaction. I mean, we were all children at some point.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                Harassment at the least. I might act intemperate…. But I’m not running for elected office am I?

                Somewhat tangentially, when I was hired to work for the state legislature here, the final part of training was a “mock briefing” with experienced staff playing the role of committee members. Interruptions, distractions, invitations to speculate, “I have a question about something you said back on page 15,” and more. During the course of my three years on staff, I was yelled at by members, harassed by reporters, and called all sorts of nasty names by members of the general public. It is, unfortunately, all part of the job…Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Michael,
                I knew a congressman who once threw a podium at a high school kid asking him too many questions.

                Then security came in and wanted to know why the kid knew so much… (his answer: “the internet”)

                The kid was subsequently blackballed in phenomenally petty ways.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Provide a link? There’s just no way this incident wouldn’t make it into the public record.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater,
                This was so many moons ago that a poor kid from podunk was assumed to not have access to the internet. No, there weren’t real reporters there, just some kids for a school day.

                The public records are under control of the State Department (that is to say, the pettiness).

                [Also, it is safe to assume that the kid was not in any way actually hit by the podium. Wrothful congresscritter does not make strong congresscritter]Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Just say the guy’s name and I’ll see what I can find.

                Or how bout the state, year and name of high school. That ought to be enough to get going.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                How did the blackballing of a child end up in State Department records? You said it was done in “ways”, which means more than one way. So let’s say that one way was the denial of a security clearance. What was another?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky,
                Imprecision is one of my faults. I’m not sure that a congresscritter can deny security clearance (and since when is that SoS, anyway??). Congresscritters can interfere with passports, however.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                OK. So you’re saying that a congressman intervened to prevent a child from getting a passport because the child asked questions at a school event? Let’s go back to Stillwater’s question: names please. Backing this one up would do wonders for your credibility.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky,
                more a Youth in Government Day sort of thing.
                Selected kids from across the district, I’m thinking…

                Troll someone hard enough, and if they can, they’ll bite back.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Would it be safe to say that you’re basing all this on a story you read once, not something you have any personal connection to?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky,
                No, it would not.
                What’s truly funny is that the next congresscritter tried to fix the hold and screwed it up even worse than before…Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                How ’bout confusing reality with the plot of a goof ball comedy? Is that possible?

                (Just running thru the options here.)Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know. I don’t think Kimmi is making it up – not that I think it’s true; I think someone else made it up. It’s got that egotistical bragging tone of someone who’s telling a story without paying attention. The kind of habitual liar that most of us know to avoid. I mean, like, you know that Congressmen aren’t that smart. I bet they don’t even know about the internet. Idiots. A normal person can find out all kinds of stuff. Like once, back when I was in high school, there was a Congressman who visited our classroom, and he was so stupid. So I just started asking him all kinds of questions, and he was like, I don’t even know this stuff, how come you know it? Then he like freaked out and threw the podium. What an idiot. They all are. Like remember when I couldn’t get a passport, and they messed up my paperwork? Yeah, I bet it was that same guy. He must’ve wrote down my name and tried to get back at me. And then my next Congressman was just as bad. I wrote to him to get my passport fixed, and he messed it up even worse.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                That reconstruction has the ring of plausibility to it. It’s certainly a better account than I could provide.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky,

                This guy is a paid professional troll.
                It was some of his work that got Romney to flip out on Obama and the moderator during that one debate that made Romney look utterly unpresidential.
                He knows how to push buttons. Him pushing a congresscritter’s buttons enough to make him explode is NOT unusual. (I have legal records of him baiting city lawyers into looking like utter bullies. He’s been kicked out of a magistrate’s World Politics class for asking “too many questions”).

                And you’re missing the point with the “internet” story. The point there is timing. Not that the congresscritter didn’t understand the internet. The idea that having a kid from bumfuck nowhere even able to access the internet was unusual at that point in time. Security was concerned. (You can hear this as “wait, how do you know the CBO report said that this wasn’t going to actually lower our taxes?” That’s just me wildassing an example).

                The next Congresscritter was doing a mass cleanup of all the stupid petty bullshit the previous congresscritter had done. Nothing personal.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                So, some guy tells you that he likes to lie and make a fool of people, and you believe every one of his stories, stories that can only be confirmed by hidden State Department documents or the like. I think I understand. Is this person a source for a lot of the claims you make here, particularly the ones that no one else can confirm and a lot of the locals tend to disbelieve?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky,
                Trolling is not lying. Seriously, what the fuck??

                Can you really try telling me that BDS is lying??? Really, I want to hear your reasoning.

                Baiting someone is not lying — in fact, it’s a horrid idea to lie anywhere near a lawyer, generally speaking, and should be done with a good deal of care.

                Who said the State Department documents were hidden, again? I certainly didn’t. Holds can be placed on passports for any number of reasons, and lifted for others. The JOB of congressional staffers is often “can you help me get a passport” level bullshit.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Trolling is not lying.

                If the assertions are known to be false, then it’s lying. Isn’t that just the definition of lying?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater,
                What part of:
                https://bdsmovement.net/
                Is Lying, again??

                A troll isn’t generally interested in adding directly to the conversation, but often the emotions they provoke are enlightening.

                (Munching on how much the Jewish Community is wrothful about BDS provides much delight for said troll.)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Kimmi, I’m talking about the “paid professional troll” who told you the story about the podium throwing congressman. If he made assertions which he knew were not true, he lied. Claiming he’s a paid professional troll undermines your claim that the story is true.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater,
                … I think people don’t really understand what a “paid professional troll” does. It’s generally not lying to people.

                Someone who is good at being a paid agitator (which is the only thing I’ve referenced above, see the Mitt Romney example) is not necessarily good at lying.

                As I’ve often said, it’s probably better if you don’t believe me.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                How would it be better if we don’t believe you? Why would you say things that you don’t want people to believe, or that you think we’d be better off thinking aren’t true?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky,
                Because the truth ain’t pretty. It ain’t comfortable.
                And if you listen to too much of the truth, you might start getting ideas about fixing some of it.

                Also, if you actually believed me, well, you might try telling someone else. And then they’d want to know where you got your info.

                I can tell the truth all I like, so long as you will be kind enough to not believe me.

                Man walks down the trail, walks into a 6 foot tall spider web. Mummified raccoon falls on his head.

                … see? Truth’s a hell of a lot stranger than fiction, and always will be.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                None of that is an answer to my question, “why would it be better if we didn’t believe you?”.

                Why do you think it’d be better if we didn’t start getting ideas about fixing things? Why would it be better if we didn’t start telling other people? Why would it be better if people didn’t start asking where your information comes from?

                You’re implying that there’s something dangerous about (a) trying to fix things, or (b) telling others, or (c) asking for sources. But (a) people try to fix things all the time, and (b) this site isn’t blocked to random visitors, and (c) you’ve shown an unwillingness to provide sources for the things you say. So again, why would it be better?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky,
                Of course there’s something dangerous about trying to fix things. If it wasn’t dangerous or difficult, someone would already be feebly trying to fix it.

                There’s a million fool ways to die…

                I mentioned “raining toes” the other day here. To fix that literal problem you’d have to find the guy who sews miniature explosives into people’s feet, and then blows them up for his amusement and pleasure. Really bored person, that.

                Or, hell, you might could try to prevent large portions of Earth from becoming uninhabitable. I’m not sure exactly how you’d do that (bomb davos might be a start.), but I’m sure you could TRY.

                Hell, if you knew half of what the Clintons were up to, you might decide killing them is the better evil. Or do the same with the Kochs, or someone else who would probably destroy you as if you were a gnat. (and yes, there’s a reason those got mentioned in the same breath).

                I mean, sure, there’s plenty of things in this world that you really could fix. I’ve heard the linguistical arguments about the use of trannie versus “transsexual” or “trans.” You might could figure out how to get people to use the former rather than the latter, and to stop labeling people who don’t as bullies or assholes. That, right there, might save a few lives. Of course, I don’t think you’d better try that at this site.

                You might actually try to verify whether Marc Rich was killed by an assassin. It’s a thing that you could verify… in a reasonably easy fashion, if not a terribly safe one.

                In the wildly unlikely case that you would take me seriously, you could get my sources killed. It is a thing. If I am not something that anyone ought to take seriously, even if an operative should take me seriously, their superiors would laugh in their face.

                You (or Stillwater) asked specifically for a name, above. There are good reasons you don’t want to run that search.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                OK, so your buddy tells you stories that you post online, stories that would get someone killed…why?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky,
                The king has donkey’s ears.
                They’re amusing stories even if you don’t want to believe them.
                And most of them wouldn’t get someone killed.
                It’s also amusing to see which things people believe (This one is pretty tame. It’s fundamentally about State’s outsourced database fucking things up six ways to Sunday, and no one knowing quite how to fix it — now, is that really a story about stoopid congressmen? No.).

                Hell, even the more dangerous ones would probably not lead to anything more than losing everything you love or care about (except people).Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                “It is, unfortunately, all part of the job…”

                It is because we, as a society, allow it. You can be a good reporter and not be an ass. You can not barge in on people. You can not ambush them. You can not get up in their face.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              A lot of liberals/Dems condemning the attack as evidence that Gianforte isn’t temperamentally suited to be in Congress.

              I think *that* is perfectly clear.

              So folks whose comments reach a large audience are more inclined to prioritize the tribal signal more than the virtue signal.

              That’s certainly part of it. Another part is serious players may have to work with him, just like they have to work with Trump.

              This guy may end up being the Congressman we have, not the one we want to have or even should have. If moralistic posturing carries real world consequences, then it gets rarer.

              That’s probably a good thing, “real world consequences” at this level often means “important things don’t get done”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The latter part of your comment only pertains to Congressional GOPers, but I’m unclear why condemning the action for what it was precludes having a functioning relationship with Gianforte. Gianforte himself, of course, apologized for attacking the reporter after the election results were confirmed, so it’s not like CCers woulda engaged in well-poisoning by calling him out for behavior even he admitted was wrong.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                so it’s not like CCers woulda engaged in well-poisoning by calling him out for behavior even he admitted was wrong.

                Depends on how far it goes. Condemnation can be fire-storm-ish… and…
                1) You don’t want to cost him the election
                2) You don’t want to be associated with this in any way, you don’t even want the GOP to be associated with this in any way.

                And you probably need to decide what to do about this with imperfect information. The media may or not be right, he may or may not be arrested, the last thing you want for yourself is to be constantly updating your position on this sort of thing. I condemn him, I support him, I condemn him, etc.

                Safest move is to say *nothing* and hope it goes away.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                He was charged with misdemeanor assault shortly after the incident on the night before the election. Everyone paying attention knew that on election day.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I think it’s an accurate statement that most national / state level politicians aren’t temperamentally suited to do the jobs they do. That that info isn’t widely known is probably more to do with their PR abilities.

                Politicians are, as a group, self serving, self absorbed, with narcissistic tendencies and a lust for power.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                … and really, really fucked up sexualities.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kimmi
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, first you get the power, then you get the money, then you get the women…Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                We wish they were women. don’t we?
                Wasn’t that the point of hiring trump?Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                “Politicians are, as a group, self serving, self absorbed, with narcissistic tendencies and a lust for power.”

                They’re just as likely to be compassionate and/or policy geeks, in my limited experience.Report

          • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Based upon how things actually played out, i think people would condemn or ignore…at first. But once you had some time to dig into what was known about the private citizen, a counter-narrative would have developed that he was a bad person behaving badly, and that while violence is wrong and the congressman shouldn’t have done that, what do you expect etc. etc. etc.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko
              Ignored
              says:

              If we run with the “Tribal Signaling” thing, we can see that “journalists” are assumed to be members of our/the other tribe.

              This is bad for “journalists”.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes. It sucks for them that one of the major parties villifies the concept of accurately-reported news.

                I take from your observation that you blame journalists for this. But why?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not trying to blame anybody.

                I’m just trying to notice that there are two tribes and journalists are seen as being members of one of them.

                If you’re hoping for people of both tribes to hear your accurately-reported news, you do not want journalists to be seen as tribal members.

                I’d like to think that journalists would not want to be seen as tribal members.

                The extent to which they are being seen as tribe members is bad for them. Worse, it seems to have a positive feedback loop. This is bad.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And if you’re hoping for your followers not to hear–or to have a convenient reason to ignore–accurately-reported news, you make vilification of the press a central plank of your platform.

                Which, in this country, seems to be a successful strategy.

                So, all that being said, I’m sure you’re right that journalists don’t want to be seen as members of the other tribe. What do you propose they do about it?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                For one thing, I’d suggest that journalists do a much better job of not getting on platforms like twitter and signaling that they’re in a particular tribe (even if the signal has nothing to do with politics).Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So no tweets about how great July 4, apple pie and BBQ’s are? No condolences for people who die in tragedies?
                No cheering for local sports teams?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                No tweets about how awesome A Handmaid’s Tale is? No tweets about how catchy the raps in Hamilton are? No tweets about how they hope Oberlin beats Ohio Wesleyan?Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Got it. No tweets about loving their children and partners. No tweets about being inspired by NASA or science. No tweets about how the new Star Wars/ Super hero movie was great. That makes complete sense and will surely change the minds of people. If said reporter does all those things and they then publish a piece critical of Trump i’m sure people will completely believe it and Fox/Rushbo wont’ attack it as partisan. Easy peasey.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                I will go back and say what I said again:

                I’d suggest that journalists do a much better job of not getting on platforms like twitter and signaling that they’re in a particular tribe (even if the signal has nothing to do with politics).

                I mean, if they don’t want to be seen as members of a particular tribe.

                If they don’t care that they’re seen as members of a particular tribe, my suggestion can be ignored.

                Hell, if one of the tribes is objectively better than the other, why would you *NOT* want to signal that you’re a member of it? The very suggestion that they signal that they’re not in it is downright sabotage!Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It seems like your examples were aimed just at certain types of people for one thing. Most people aren’t’ on twitter so generic NY journo who liked Hamilton doesn’t even exist to people who aren’t on the twitters. Conservo outlets are still going to tell their customers that all the people who disagree with them are bad liberal coastal elites cause, you know, that was what happened before twitter was even a thing. If a journo published a big and well documented story about Trump doing something wrong people aren’t going to go check tweet history to decide if they believe the story.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                It seems like your examples were aimed just at certain types of people for one thing.

                Yeah, Tribal Members.

                Go back and re-read the exchange.

                I was asked:
                So, all that being said, I’m sure you’re right that journalists don’t want to be seen as members of the other tribe. What do you propose they do about it?

                I responded:
                For one thing, I’d suggest that journalists do a much better job of not getting on platforms like twitter and signaling that they’re in a particular tribe (even if the signal has nothing to do with politics).

                You want to not be seen as a member of a tribe, step number one is something like: don’t let your tribal flag fly.

                This doesn’t mean that you’re *NOT* a tribal member, mind. You can still be one. But if I get asked about how someone might *NOT* be seen as an obvious member of the tribe? I’m going to suggest “quit bragging about being a tribal member”.

                Which, I suppose, opens the door for you to ask me if tweeting about little Keightlynne’s harpsichord recital is signaling tribal membership.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well the examples i asked about were far more generic things that signal tribal membership just as much as your petty examples do. Haven’t you heard how SJW’s have ruined Star Wars so what does that mean to the reporter who says they like the most recent SW movie. My god think what it would mean if a reporter liked Wonder Woman. You could never trust their reporting again.

                It doesn’t matter if a reporter gets off twitter because the other side will still brand them as in the wrong tribe if that reporter writes the “wrong” kind of piece. You want to reduce the impact of tribalism, talk to the people who totally buy into the tribal narrative and change their minds. Get them to open their minds.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess there’s nothing to be done, then.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh you could do stuff, it just wouldn’t be haranguing D’s and liberals. You could use your powers to influence those in the conservative tribe who can’t see anything but tribal signals. Not that liberal, or whatever, journos don’t’ appreciate your policing them i’m sure.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                So would you say that the way that I’m framing my deliberately phrased neutral comments goes a long way to outing me as a tribal member?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                “You could use your powers to influence those in the conservative tribe who can’t see anything but tribal signals.”

                aka “why should *I* change, he’s the one who sucks!”Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                If Jay wants people to be less tribal then going after people on twitter for a million different things most of which are anodyne seems a waste of time.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Suspicion #1: lots of journalists ARE careful about their non-professional online persona for exactly this reason.
                Suspicion #2: you have no idea which ones, because it actually doesn’t make a lick of difference to the fact the GOP vilifies all of them.
                Suspicion #3: neither does anyone else who hand-wrings about media bias.

                Care to dispute any of these?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                Care to dispute any of these?

                Not at all.
                But would you also agree with these:
                Suspicion #1: lots of journalists AREN’T careful about their non-professional online persona
                Suspicion #2: Pointing out that these people are *OPINION* journalists does not rebut the point
                Suspicion #3: the media bias that is measurable has been waved away using exceptionally similar handwaves to the media bias that isn’tReport

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So we agree that journalists shouldn’t want to be aligned with a tribe, that many of them are careful to avoid that alignment, and it doesn’t matter (to you or anyone else).

                From this, we apparently still conclude journalists should feel bad and we should ignore the folks who have pushed their adherents into a fact-free world by smearing journalists.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                So we agree that journalists shouldn’t want to be aligned with a tribe,

                Yep.

                that many of them are careful to avoid that alignment

                Nope.

                and it doesn’t matter (to you or anyone else).

                Because, at the end of the day, we still have newsrooms with 19 out of 20 people who voted for (D) and 1 person who is old school who won’t shut up about working with a guy who worked with a guy who worked with Murrow and refuses to vote like he’s better than everybody or some bullshit like that.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird,

                N: that many of them are careful to avoid that alignment

                J: Nope.

                N: and it doesn’t matter (to you or anyone else).

                J: Because, at the end of the day, we still have newsrooms with 19 out of 20 people who voted for (D) and 1 …

                I’m confused by this argument. If the perception of media bias is based on the 19D:1R ratio in the newsroom, and there’s nothing a reporter can do on Twitter to change that ratio (there isn’t), then there’s nothing a reporter can do on Twitter to change the perception of liberal media bias. So Twitter drops out.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t say it was 19D:1R. I said it was 19D:1Not Voting.

                As for using twitter to change the perception of liberal media bias, the goal is not “get people to see you as neutral” but, I’ll go back to the original phrasing, “I’m sure you’re right that journalists don’t want to be seen as members of the other tribe. What do you propose they do about it?”

                My first suggestion is “quit bragging about being a tribal member”.
                My second is something like what’s found in NPR’s journalistic ethics policy (go read that… doesn’t it sound downright *QUAINT*?).

                Part of the problem is that these guys *ARE* tribal members.

                And all I’m suggesting is that they not advertise that fact… and it doesn’t change anything going on under the surface. Which is, I suppose, where the problem actually lies.

                Assuming that there’s a problem, of course. I mean, you go to school and get a journalism degree, of course you’re going to be smarter than a lot of people and that’s going to influence your political opinions.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                A huge part of the dynamic you are missing is that labeling journo’s as liberal tribal members is what conservative media has done and will loudly do no matter what. Remove twitter and conservative media will still label journo’s they don’t’ like as the wrong tribe.

                Second thing is that tribal markers are far more varied and diffuse then your examples. Liking football or hot dogs or star wars can all be tribal markers of one sort.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                “A huge part of the dynamic you are missing is that labeling journo’s as liberal tribal members is what conservative media has done and will loudly do no matter what. ”

                That’s easier to do and harder to deny when there are obvious and intentional markers being displayed.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess the discussion then would be about what are the obvious and intentional markers. Is writing about stories negative to Trump one of those markers. If so then the entire signaling issue is a sham. It’s not about good reporting it’s about not being critical of Trump.

                What i would think we want from journo’s is good reporting: details, as good as data and sources as possible, clearly written/spoken and as neutral as possible. We can make our own decisions. I dont’ give a fig if a journo tweets about football or whatever. I’ll judge the reporting on the reporting, not on some proxy. To much of this debate wants to just ignore the actual product.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Just to clarify things: My response to this line of argument was that IF the perception of media bias is based on a 19D:1X ratio in the newsroom, then signalling neutrality – on twitter or elsewhere – won’t change the perception since it won’t change the ratio.

                And to be honest, I think that’s right. Conservatives don’t believe the media is biased because media members are liberal, the believe it’s biased because it doesn’t adopt a pro-conservative slant.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Do only Conservatives believe that the media is biased?

                Anyway, there’s a good essay here. “Neutral vs. Conservative“.

                It touches on things.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, believing that news reporting is biased doesn’t mean the reporting is biased. The perception of bias can and increasingly does originate in the news consumer and not the product consumed. I mean, that ought to be pretty obvious, right?

                The fact that people view certain media outlets as biased isn’t a problem for the news, it’s evidence of a fractured culture.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, but there are news orgs like npr that are biased now and will always be biased. I listen to them but always remember their bias. Its sad bc they could be even better w/o the bias.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m curious about that. Do you perceive a liberal bias, or just a not-sufficiently-pro-conservative bias? (Supposing the distinction makes sense, of course.)

                Another question: I’m willing to concede that there’s a sorta upwardly-mobile white collar urban bias in the human interest stories they present. Do you view those types of stories as exhibiting a liberal bias?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                IOW: I don’t see a political bias in NPR but I do see a cultural one and I’m wondering if you view those two things as distinct or not.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                believing that news reporting is biased doesn’t mean the reporting is biased

                Absolutely. 100%.

                The perception of bias can and increasingly does originate in the news consumer and not the product consumed.

                Sure.

                Are there trends in the perception of bias? Is it all willy-nilly all over the board?

                The fact that people view certain media outlets as biased isn’t a problem for the news, it’s evidence of a fractured culture.

                Unless there are feedback loops that are created that have the result of perception creating reality.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                …believing that news reporting is biased doesn’t mean the reporting is biased since the perception of bias can originate in the consumer and not the product consumed. I mean, that ought to be pretty obvious, right?

                We’re talking about a group which is almost uniformly liberal (19:1), and you’re claiming it’s not affecting the quality of its work?

                Let’s take some different institutions and apply that argument.

                Can the Supreme Court be all male and all white (and hey, all Conservative) without affecting the quality of its work?

                Can a police force be all White without affecting the quality of its work?

                It seems to me that the Left normally makes the opposite argument, that lack of diversity deeply affects their work. With the media, we’re talking about a lack of diversity of viewpoint in an institution which measures, reports, and influences viewpoints. It seems like that’d be a big deal.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Dark,
                Fuck yeah, I am. Because they don’t do their own work. Public Relations Folk do the writing of the articles, and then they get run with a different byline.

                If we had investigative reporters (Who weren’t doing the whole Jesus Camp thingy), then maybe you’d have a point.

                AS IT IS, investigative reporting gets done by moles put in corporations by their enemies, not by actual reporters.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                And ironically (at least in the context of this discussion) there’s real evidence that Fox News and Rush were the official propaganda arm of the GOP and the Bush administration: for many years political talking points disseminated by politicians and conservative media personalities were written in the WH.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I do not wish to communicate that Fox News and Rush are not proud tribal members of the other tribe.

                They totally are.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And, of course, given NPR’s “quaint” ethics code, their journalists are not attacked as being members of any particular tribe, right?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                Depends on the journalist. There are a handful who are attacked as being corporatist shills along with a handful who get accused of parroting conventional wisdom.

                But other ones? Oh, yes. Yes indeed.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, yes. Yes indeed.

                I’m confused by what this means. Are you saying the “other ones” are not attacked as being members of any particular tribe?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m saying that there are a number of journalists at NPR who are attacked as being members of the blue tribe.

                You’re absolutely right.

                Heck, this includes ones who *FOLLOW* the ethics codes! (Though there are some who aren’t attacked as being members of the blue tribe who are instead attacked as being corporatist or for merely parroting conventional wisdom.)Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So then the ethics code argument is a distraction, and you really just don’t want liberals doing journalism (or think that liberals shouldn’t do journalism unless they’re willing to be dismissed out of hand on all stories because they’re liberal)?

                But let’s for d*mn sure not talk about how the othering is coming from a party that wants, needs, and is starting to be able to, lie to its members with complete impunity.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                This isn’t about what I want.

                You asked me:

                I’m sure you’re right that journalists don’t want to be seen as members of the other tribe. What do you propose they do about it?

                I don’t *CARE* that they’re seen as members of the other tribe.

                I just know that it’s bad for journalists if they are.

                If they want to not be seen that way, I have some necessary (but not sufficient!) suggestions.

                And if the price is too high, hell. The price is too high.

                What’s the worst that could happen if Climate Change is politicized, right?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I wouldn’t say a journalism major indicates you’re smarter than most people. Journalism is among of the preferred majors of big conference (SEC, Big 10, Pac-12, Big 12, ACC) college football players, along with sports marketing, kinesiology and exercise science, and sports/recreation management.
                .Report

              • Avatar switters in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I can;t wait until reporting on verifiable and observable facts becomes a tribal marker (might already be). He told you facts, that you could confirm? Fishing liberal media.

                Than we can continue to talk about how the liberal journos really need to account for the fact that that perception exists. And as we told them years ago, they need to stop declaring their tribe so loudly, by doing things like actually reporting facts.
                I think this is where were headed.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to switters
                Ignored
                says:

                Don’t worry, though, @jaybird will remain studiously “neutral” in rhetoric to express that concern at every available opportunity. He will also continue to refuse to acknowledge the source of the actual problem.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to switters
                Ignored
                says:

                Growing up, a friend’s hippy-dippy parents had this comic on their fridge. I assumed they identified with it because burnt out hippies would be all about idealism.

                It seems now the roles are 180-degrees reversed.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                …If the perception of media bias is based on the 19D:1R ratio in the newsroom…

                That kind of ratio is past the point where groupthink is expected.

                Most stories aren’t going to have 20 people working on it with one spot carefully laid out for the non-Dem. Most stories are going to have *no* non-Dem with all of them viewing themselves as “mainstream” and their views reinforced by each other.

                The problem isn’t “perception”, the problem is the reality.

                As for solutions, maybe some sort of viewpoint affirmative action?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                That kind of ratio is past the point where groupthink is expected.

                It’s also not true. I used it because Jaybird did. The ratios I’ve seen are that 40ish% of journalist identify as Dems.

                The problem isn’t “perception”, the problem is the reality.

                No, reality just is what it is including the reality that people think their false perceptions/beliefs are true (or they wouldn’t hold em). Views on AGW are a good example of the divide.

                It’s absolutely astounding to me that the GOP has been able to sell a narrative to its victimized base whereby global warming is a hoax perpetrated by neo-Marxist liberal ideologues. That’s contemporary conservatism in a nutshell. Reality denying and false-reality constructing by turns 🙂

                Adding: another in an almost limitless number of examples: the only way for the GOP to sell the AHCA is to lie about it. Unfortunately for the GOP mythology, people in their own party aren’t buying it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t say “how they identified”, I said “how they voted”.

                Most of them probably identify as “independent” or “n/a” or something.

                Here’s one article that I was thinking of from 2008 (it’s “Slate.com” rather than “media” so it’s cherry picking but I remember reading the essay at the time so there’s that). Out of 57 writers, Obama got 55, McCain 1, and Bob Barr (snicker) got 1.

                There are a number of other analyses googleable and they’re all from the other tribe, for some reason. But here’s one that looked at Chicago reporters and investigated, if they voted, which of the two primaries they voted in. If the information is correct (we know the spin is bullshit, but the information might not be), then we have an example in Chicago of a bit of a skew.

                And Mediaite covered the 2016 report that didn’t look at voting or caucusing, but in donations to political parties. There’s a bit of a skew there too.

                But, I mean, it makes sense that there would be, right?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe. Personally, I think you’re looking for facts to fit a theory at that point. But that’s the way a lot of conservative thinking works. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the whole “what are people like deep down *REALLY*?” question is not falsifiable in theory.

                But the closest thing we can do is say “well, if there *WERE* something like this going on… would there be a skew *HERE*?”

                And then we find that there is a skew there.

                Is there a place where we’d expect to find there to be a skew and, instead, there’s perfect parity?

                If something like this were going on, would there be a difference in the number of media jobs in counties that voted blue as opposed to counties that voted red?

                Huh.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Did you make a claim about media jobs per square acre and not media jobs per capita and think that was a cogent argument? (Breaking news! Heavy concentrations of population = more journalists! Scientists puzzled!).

                What next, the the amazingly small number of cattle ranchers in urban counties? Clearly there is some sinister force at work, ensuring that the urban cattle rancher can’t get ahead. Jaybird! Another problem for you to puzzle out! (It’s probably the fault of liberals! Most likely they disdain working with cows! Looking down on the hard working cow man!)

                Did you even think about that for, like, even a second? Or did you just see an article that agreed with you and tossed it out as evidence without stopping to even ask yourself “Is the number of journalists per county even a remotely valid metric?”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                They talk about their methodology at the end of the article, Morat.

                The part of the article that I found interesting was the part that talked about how “Since 2016, more than half of publishing employees worked in counties that Clinton won by 30% or more”.

                But, sure. hey, maybe it doesn’t mean anything.

                Is there an article that you’ve read recently that would mean something?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ya know, maybe we’re looking at this issue about employment ratios the wrong way, Jaybird. A free press is a highly regarded liberal value, but the election of Trump has shown us that conservatives regard the press as “the enemy”. If that’s the case – that conservative culture regards the press with disdain and has for some time – then why expect conservatives to become reporters in equal numbers as folks who value a free press?Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So media jobs cluster in places where more people live like big cities. I’m guessing there are more garbage men in big cities also. And that proves?

                You do actually have a point somewhere down there but you are overworking the data and trying to show much. Markets have killed local papers. Jobs cluster where jobs cluster. People will often share the biases of people who they cluster with so there may be something there.

                Of course that leaves out that those reporters may have grown up in or have family in deep red places but that is one of the things that is always left out. But two tribes ( always like that Frankie Goes To Hollywood song btw) is a pretty crude measure. Like really crude that doesn’t really define all the possible attitudes and beliefs a person might have. What beliefs do Journo’s share with the people they cluster with? Are there biases that creep in from working at giant media conglomerates? ( really think about this one) Do you think big companies have biases that trend in one direction that might influence who they give platforms to.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                Relax guys, Jaybird’s just signaling.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                ZingReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, I agree with every single one of your points.

                I’m not sure that any of those lead me to “therefore, the media isn’t populated with tribal members” though.

                They kind of lead me to “of course they are… and it’s silly to think that they wouldn’t be.”Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Every place has tribal members in it. Some are more hardcore than others. Some care a lot more than others. But tribes are part of being human. Just looking at this whole thing from the view of Two Tribes tells us less than you think. It ain’t easy to draw many conclusions from a two position vaguely defined switch. Not nothing. But not everything either.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m also sure you remember Daniel Okrent’s essay on whether the NYT was a liberal newspaper (he was the departing ombudsman at the time).

                It was good stuff.

                More recently, we’ve got Liz Spayd’s (current Ombudsman) musings on the same topic that are probably more in line with those who scoff at the very idea.

                Something is happening here.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Hmmm “something is happening here”…..welp i can’t argue with that.

                Calling the NYT liberal is pretty vague. Is there Rich People Style and Shopping section liberal. Was there coverage of our little excursion into Iraq in the 00’s overly liberal. Do most of their reporters share liberal social values?

                In some ways they are socially liberal. In some they are big business. In some ways they have been deferential to power on both sides.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                Calling the NYT liberal is accurate not vague.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                When you say it’s liberal do you mean more liberal than Hillary? That would explain all the negative coverage they heaped on her. 🙂Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Be cute all you want. In general their news coverage, opinion and editorials are slated to the left. I have a digital subsrciption and read it every day. Just bc they ocasionaly criticized Hillary doesn’t change it.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                Liberal, or conservative, are pretty vague terms. They have their uses but there all sorts of sub types and differing beliefs in each group. Some liberals have conservative views and vice versa. Are we talking socially or economics or theory?

                So in a sense the NYT is liberal, agreed.But that doesnt’ describe as much as you think nor does it explain all their behavior like being lick spittles during the run up to Iraq.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                I recall the NYT lapping up Bush admin spittle justifying the Iraq war.

                On national political issues, particularly issues emanating from DC, I think the NYT tends to adopt a very pro-statist view (all the news that’s fit to print!) which aligns with the policies proposed and supported by the office-holding administration. But I bet dollars to donuts they come out against pulling out of the Paris Accords, if they haven’t already. I don’t view that as evidence of a liberal bias except in the cynical sense where beliefs based on evidence are viewed as liberal because they run counter to conservatism.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                The NYT already has a editorial criticizing it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                If it’s not from the editors then the over-riding theory is sustained: the NYT tacitly if not actively supports the policies of whatever admin holds the office.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s from The Editorial Board.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                So they initially believed bush. Others did as well, Even Hillary. Does that mean she isn’t a liberal? It must by your logic.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                Greg, I’m not saying “liberal vs. conservative” (though I will readily agree that that has been shorthand for the argument).

                I’m saying “Red Tribe vs. Blue Tribe”.

                In some ways, the Red Tribe is very liberal.
                In some ways, the Blue Tribe is very conservative.

                Telling me that the Blue Tribe isn’t always liberal is to tell me something true. But neither is it something that I was disagreeing with.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Look, for example, at the most recent election.

                How “liberal” or “progressive” is Hillary?
                How “conservative” is Trump?

                There were all kinds of takes arguing that they weren’t particularly and examples were given.

                But which Tribe do they belong to?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If Hillary’s delusions and blame shifting continue to worsen, she’ll only be representing the crazy tribe of bipolar people.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Even Al Franken is now telling her to give it up.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh. At first I thought I double posted.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Even Al Franken has had enough of her.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, as she makes it more and more obvious that she’s completely out of touch with reality, so far blaming 30 different groups, people, or mysterious forces for her loss, and now claiming that Trump is worse than Slobodan Milosevic, even mainstream Democrats are going to be feeling relieved that she’s not the President.

                She’s also back to wearing her blue anti-seizure glasses.

                Parkinson’s is still suspected.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah which means those categories are not all that useful.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                What if we could have *USEFUL* categories?

                Wouldn’t “Red Tribe” and “Blue Tribe” be useful because they actually describe the dynamic between Trump and Clinton in ways that “Liberal” and “Conservative” just can’t?

                Doesn’t it allow us to use a term that similarly describes the NYT and Fox at the same time even though they both agreed on Iraq (or god knows what else)?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                40ish% of journalist identify as Dems.

                ? More than four-fifths of surveyed journalists voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election between 1964 and 1976.

                ? More than three-fourths of “elite journalists” (76%) said they voted for Michael Dukakis in 1988.

                ? 89% of Washington-based reporters said they voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. Only seven percent voted for George Bush, with two percent choosing Ross Perot.

                ? An informal survey of Washington-based journalists in the summer of 2004 found them backing John Kerry over George W. Bush by a 12-to-1 margin.

                ? In 2008, 96% of staffers at the online Slate magazine said they were supporting Barack Obama for president.

                http://www.mrc.org/media-reality-check/documenting-medias-lopsided-liberal-slant

                Journalists voting 80%-95% Dem is old news. I suppose it’s possible that they’ve gotten better in the last 15 years… but Obama was welcomed as The Great One to such a silly degree it’s easier to think it’s gotten worse.

                the GOP has been able to sell a narrative to its victimized base whereby global warming is a hoax perpetrated by neo-Marxist liberal ideologues.

                Hoax? No. An excuse for the command and controllers to do their thing? Yeah, probably.

                There are solutions for Global Warming which don’t involve command+control, but c+c seems to be the prefered solution.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                I can reconcile these things: Journalists want to maintain the appearance of neutrality, so they identify as independents who just happen to have decided that the Democratic candidate was better last time. And the time before. And the time before that.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Brandon Berg
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                says:

                Journalists, who are about average for top college football prospects, have decided that they will take any position that might result in higher pay, all looking to winning the media lottery like the Shaq, Sir Charles Barkley, Brokaw, Megyn Kelly, Dan Rather, or so many others. The amount of money in play is ridiculous, and the skill sets so small, that you might as well be handing out winning Powerball tickets to homeless people if they’re willing to sacrifice every principle of humanity in their bones. The only reason they’ll put up even the pretense of integrity is that they think that will net them even more money.

                One of the key problems is that journalism majors have nothing to fall back on if they don’t get picked up by the NBA or NFL, and the white girls don’t have a chance at that.. They’re all in.

                You have to go back to editorial positions of elderly independent TV station owners in the 80’s to find an example of someone who was willing to say what they saw without shading it to protect their financial prospects.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Jay,
                And this is better than “I can’t Pick A Party! My Job SAYS SO!”??Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Wait, I though you didn’t disagree with my suspicion that you have no idea which journalists do and don’t police their internet presence for this stuff.

                Also, now journalists also aren’t allowed to vote privately? Which civil liberties can journalists engage in under your view? Can they own guns? Can they donate to charity? Can they be Catholic? Jewish? Evangelical? Atheist?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
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                says:

                I though you didn’t disagree with my suspicion that you have no idea which journalists do and don’t police their internet presence for this stuff.

                Oh, your suspicion was that I have no idea which journalists do not police their internet presence for this stuff?

                I was more that I had an idea that some do and some go out of their way to signal.

                Also, now journalists also aren’t allowed to vote privately? Which civil liberties can journalists engage in under your view? Can they own guns? Can they donate to charity? Can they be Catholic? Jewish? Evangelical? Atheist?

                Get this: the NPR code of ethics was considered more or less standard in the newsroom not so very long ago. Ask some of the old people on this site. They’ll tell you.

                Again: I’m not telling you “Journalists shouldn’t do X.”

                You asked me “If Journalists don’t want to be seen as tribal members, what should they do/not do?”

                And I told you.

                If that price is too high (and, jeez, I can totally see how that price might be too high), then we’re stuck knowing that we’ve got journalists who are signaling which tribe they belong to.

                And we notice that everybody in the newsroom is that tribe.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                … you realize the NPR code of ethics allows people to vote, right?

                My point is that you’re inventing an impossible (and vague… see how you dodged all my questions?) standard of behavior that would make it much harder to be a journalist and still not satisfy republicans. Why you are doing that is really the last interesting question here, but I’m not feeling like I’m on the verge of a real answer.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
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                says:

                You’re right. It does. I conflated “caucusing” with “voting” (and, yeah, it allows caucusing too, so long as you don’t give a speech). But there are a number of old-schooly journalists who say stuff like “I don’t think journalists should vote.”

                This is, seriously, one of the old fashioned views that is among the old-fashioned.

                see how you dodged all my questions?

                Your questions were Kafka traps.

                I’m not arguing that journalists shouldn’t X.

                I’m arguing that if journalists don’t want to be seen as Y, they shouldn’t X.

                Which is a very different statement.

                Getting into whether not Xing will succeed at not Ying will probably lead us to into “necessary but not sufficient” territory.

                For what it’s worth, I’m not sure I know the list of things that would be sufficient.

                Mostly because, let’s face it, most of the people in the newsroom *ARE* tribal members.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                …which is why Anderson Cooper is so deeply respected by rational republicans, yes?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
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                says:

                Some of them. Some of them see him as a member of the liberal elite anyway.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to gregiank
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                says:

                “When someone talks about personal responsibility, we know that’s just really dogwhistle racism!” (turns around) “I hate how everyone assumes that everything is coded tribal signaling these days, it makes it really hard to have a discussion!”Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                It does not help that our President actively encourages people to see them as an “oppositional party”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Even worse, Kazzy. Trump calls the MSM the “enemy”.

                He likes Alex Jones tho!Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Sure and Hillary told us on TV that republicans were the enemy she was most proud of. Or was she misquoted?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
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                says:

                That actually makes sense, tho, given her identification as a Dem. It’s a dumb thing to say out loud, but it’s not equivalent to identifying the “liberal” media as the enemy.

                At this point Trump and conservatives pretty generally have identified as official enemies: liberals, the media (cuz it’s liberal), academia (cuz it’s liberal), the “deep state” (cuz it’s Dem); the judicial system (cuz it’s part of the liberal deep state I guess); the international order (cuz its liberal); and Rosie O’Donnell (cuz she’s hefty).Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Maybe so but I see them as roughly equivalentReport

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
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                says:

                Well, sure. I guess my point is that conservatives have expanded their enemy list to include all sorts of things that aren’t inherently political, stuff which goes way beyond the Democratic party and partisan politics.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                For example, it’s not at all surprising that Trump and the GOP/conservatives are increasingly appealing to a conspiracy perpetrated by the deep state and abetted by the media to sabotage the legislative and executive agenda of the GOP congress and Trump than accounting for the chaos in DC as an example of the inability of Trump and the GOP to competently govern. Enemies of conservatism are myriad, cleverly disguised, and wide ranging. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                They oppose all the groups you mentioned based on perceived policy differences, and don’t oppose those members of those groups that they perceive to be in conflict with them. Should conservatives only care about politics and not policy?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

                Mulvaney proposes a budget with a $2 trillion dollar error, a mistake so basic Larry Summers said it would result in an F if committed in an Econ 10, yet Mick doubles down on his mystery math and says no error has been made. And politically, doing so works, but only because your average conservative has already internalized the idea that reality isn’t what it seems.

                Alternately, Mulvaney blasts the CBO’s score as being unreliable, since predictions in a dynamic system are impossible to make, undercutting his own defense of the non-mistake-mistake in the budget.

                He then concludes that the CBO score on the AHCA might have been the result of an Obama era mole in the CBO, a person intending to sabotage the Ryan plan (while Trump is actively sabotaging the ACA exchanges, something even insurance companies concede at this point) even tho the GOP hand picked the director of the CBO.

                The takeaway from this one example is that conservatives – as evidenced by Mulvaney’s beliefs and arguments – are acting on faith-based ideological principles which evidence do not support and they’re perfectly willing to not only lie in defense of those ideological principles but deny “bad” evidence as resulting from a sinister anti-conservative liberal conspiracy.

                This sort of reasoning pervades conservative thinking, Pinky. So the argument I’m making is that conservative reasoning increasingly goes the other way: any and all evidence or opinion which runs counter to conservative ideological and partisan principles, and more importantly conservative emotional appeals, is reflexively rejected as emanating from a dominant liberal bias which is itself based on lies and deception. Actual evidence cannot change that view, hence, you get CCers baldly lying about the provisions in the AHCA and people like Mulvaney baldly lying about the contents of his own budget.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Once upon a time (like, the other day) Damon and I discussed whether Fox News and conservative talk radio qualified as mainstream media, with his position seeming to be that it did not because mainstream media was, by definition, liberal.

                This was rather illustrative.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                If you heard a news story and later found out its origin was FNC or talk radio, would you be less likely to consider it mainstream?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                {{Ooops. Apologies for misunderstooding your question. I’ll leave the comment anyway…}}

                Can you provide an example? I mean, Alex Jones breaks news stories regularly – “Operation jade Helm is Obama’s secret plan to declare Martial Law!!!” – and a fair appraisal of his track record is that he has a huge burden to overcome merely to have anything he reports taken seriously.

                Fox, on the other hand, doesn’t break news very often – they don’t seem to do much investigative reporting, even less than CNN (MSNBC doesn’t do any, as far as I can tell).

                But also, there’s a difference between viewing the basic facts being reported as reliable and viewing the accompanying spin as reliable. I think that’s an important distinction, especially given the purpose of Rush and Fox News, which is to overtly and intentionally present news and opinion from a conservative pov. So by definition, the spin and focus of those outlets will be biased.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                (Sigh. A clarification comment. I hate doing these.)

                You didn’t misunderstand my comment. My last comment was addressed to Kazzy for implying that FNC and talk radio should be counted as mainstream media, or at a minimum implying that Damon’s comment on the subject was eyebrow-raising.

                Before that, I don’t think your 11:17 comment addresses my 10:52 comment, but my 10:52 comment was more addressing a side point to your 6:27 comment about conservatives’ group enemies than addressing your main point.

                All of this is to say that there have been several side-themes that I’ve been interested in, but they’re independent of your main theme, which I would argue is also independent of the original article. Organic conversations are good, but they get tangled. I like sites that number their comments, and I don’t think indentation has worked out well for OT. And since there’s been a bit of a drought of political articles here, this thread has become a catch-all.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                @pinky

                I would consider it mainstream insofar as it positioned to influence a large swath of the populace and can drive the conversation and narrative around major news events.

                Which, ironically, is precisely what these outlets complain about so much.

                “NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT!!!”
                “WHY WON’T THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORT ON!!!”

                Hello! You have the most watched cable news program in the country… if you think something should be talked about, talk about it!

                Does that mean the reports are reliable? No. But this is the case for all outlets.

                When I hear the MSMs outlets themselves complain that no one is talking about the super-obviously important things that they ought to be talking about, I can’t help but wonder if it occurs to them that maybe the reason those things aren’t being talked about are because they aren’t actually newsworthy.

                So let me ask you… what makes a media outlet mainstream?

                Damon offered a very long description from another source and then added that they forgot to include the word “liberal”.

                Maybe more precisely, I ought to ask: What makes CNN mainstream but not Fox News?

                If the answer is, “Lots of people think Fox News is BS,” that would seem to tell us more about Fox News than it does the MSM.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Would you agree that the media and academia are generally liberal? And here recently the courts seem to be giving extra scrutiny to things like the travel ban. They are psycho analyzing his words instead of the text in order to find reasons to stop them.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
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                says:

                Would you agree that the media and academia are generally liberal?

                I agree that the Dem comprise the largest segment of media members. That’s just empirical stuff. I’m less certain that political identification effects the objectivity of your average beat reporter. One of the complaints conservatives have – an incessant braying, actually – is that the MSM exhibits bias by exclusion for not reporting important stories which can flip a political narrative. I’ve watched enough of both (eg) Fox and CNN to know that those complaints are justified, but they go both ways (tho not surprisingly I view Fox as the more egregious omitter).

                Re: academia: I’d say that the majority of liberal arts academics are liberal, but beyond that I imagine it levels out to a great extent or at least drops out as relevant. Eg., across engineering departments and research science departments, etc. For my part, I’m perfectly content conceding that certain liberal arts disciplines are almost entirely political in their orientation. The theories upon which content is constructed and conveyed in them almost completely collapse the fact-value distinction which – in my view – is the fundamental distinction between the academic and political.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Here’s a shorter take, notme: conservatives are justified in criticizing certain disciplines within liberal arts for being overtly liberal – those devolving from post-modern deconstructionism, seems to me – but not academia generally, since in other departments partisan political identification drops out as relevant.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                There’s now bleed over, with students indoctrinated in racist hate attacking non-political professors for crazy reasons. Heterodox academy on the latest witch burning.

                The video from Professor Weinstein is frightening.

                What happened afterwards is even worse. Fixing our universities will probably require napalm and cluster bombs.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                He was the prof that condemned the white absence day wasn’t he? And then was called a racist.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to notme
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                says:

                Yep. Here’s the New York Post story on it

                The professor is a left wing democratic socialist Jew who teaches biology. The students seem to think he’s a Grand Wizard in the KKK or a member of the Nazi party.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                What a bunch a candy ass fascists.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Meh, you can apply post moderism to any field, right?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to notme
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                says:

                Not coherently. Unfortunately, I increasingly see lots of conservatives invoking and relying on PM deconstructive reasoning to justify their own views. It’s poison.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I think some try but that was more of a joke.Report

              • Avatar switters in reply to notme
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                says:

                Is “psycho analyze” a new euphemism for “give plain meaning to?”Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                “I’d like to think that journalists would not want to be seen as tribal members.”

                That’s only if you’re a member of the tribe that has 49% of the votes rather than 51%.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                You just begged the entire question.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Sadly for them, they were with the tribe that only got 49% of the votes, and many of the votes they got were in the wrong places.

                Meanwhile, Hillary is now claiming that she lost because Trump was colluding with a thousand Russian agents who were all over Facebook and Twitter.

                We really dodged a bullet.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                49% of votes? Sad.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak
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                says:

                Well, 49% when you add the 1% Stein votes to Hillary’s total. There were probably quite a few in the press who supported Stein.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                If you’re hoping for people of both tribes to hear your accurately-reported news, you do not want journalists to be seen as tribal members.

                Yes, agreed, and also agreed that it’s bad for journalism and democracy in general.

                I’d like to think that journalists would not want to be seen as tribal members.

                This election cycle (just like always) one tribe decided that the other tribe’s candidate was *evil*. Not wrong, not misguided, not dishonorable, not even corrupt, but actually Evil.

                After Trump won, there were people who were afraid to go outside their homes because Trump was going to empower the hoards of racists that are just one step away from building death camps.

                If that’s what you actually believe, then being seen as a tribal member is a distant concern. Similarly if you actually believe that Obama is The Great One and is going to end politics as we know it and lower the seas, then being seen as a tribal member is a distant concern.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                This is an utterly amazing comment. Jaw dropping. This was the Flight 93 election doncha know. If Clinton won America as we know it would end.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
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                says:

                If Clinton won America as we know it would end.

                If HRC had been elected I don’t think we would have riots and people personally *afraid* (we didn’t for Bill or Obama).

                Both sides do it, both sides encourage it, but I think the Left is either further along this path or simply more vulnerable to it. In any case this level of anti-Trump(ness) was pretty mainstream among the Left.

                According to the WashingtonPost, Only about 7% of the media is GOP. I’ve seen other pretty mainstream articles claiming they vote about 95% Dem.

                The problem isn’t that the media is seen to be pretty liberal, the problem is that they are pretty liberal.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Dennis Prager
                http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448086/never-trump-conservatives-donald-trump-still-opposed

                “The first and, by far, the greatest reason is this: They do not believe that America is engaged in a civil war, with the survival of America as we know it at stake. While they strongly differ with the Left, they do not regard the left–right battle as an existential battle for preserving our nation. On the other hand, I, and other conservative Trump supporters, do. That is why, after vigorously opposing Trump’s candidacy during the Republican primaries, I vigorously supported him once he won the nomination. I believed then, as I do now, that America was doomed if a Democrat had been elected president. With the Supreme Court and hundreds of additional federal judgeships in the balance; with the Democrats’ relentless push toward European-style socialism — completely undoing the unique American value of limited government; the misuse of the government to suppress conservative speech; the continuing degradation of our universities and high schools; the weakening of the American military; and so much more, America, as envisioned by the Founders, would have been lost, perhaps irreversibly. The “fundamental transformation” that candidate Barack Obama promised in 2008 would have been completed by Hillary Clinton in 2016.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
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                says:

                Are you saying that you think there would have been riots if HRC had been elected, as opposed to multiple Congressional investigations? People living in fear of being killed?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Riots? Beats me, there was enough apocalyptic rhetoric for it. About that multiple Congressional investigations thing……can you handle some bad news?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Dark,
                Yes, the riots were planned before Clinton didn’t get elected. Yes, they would have happened anyway, pending “Clinton won by a mile” results.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Dark,
                Yeah, because Obama and Billy-o didn’t set up funding chains for riots.
                Hillary Clinton did. Ergo, riots if she won (and didn’t win BIG). They were intended to preserve/keep her victory.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                This election cycle (just like always) one tribe decided that the other tribe’s candidate was *evil*. Not wrong, not misguided, not dishonorable, not even corrupt, but actually Evil.

                After Trump won,

                Wooops! I thought you were going the other way here.

                The Vilification of Trump was based on direct evidence of his words and actions. The Villification of Hillary was based on indirect evidence of her perfidy at best, and often enough no evidence at all. I fully get that that’s the nature of politics, especially at the national level, but the two situations aren’t even remotely analogous and your argument is worse for not recognizing that.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                The Vilification of Trump was based on direct evidence of his words and actions.

                His actions include supporting his daughter becoming Jewish, and a history of being friendly to gays/transexuals, and a history of making money by buying white-only golf courses and opening them up to minorities.

                The Dems claimed he was by far the most gay friendly of the GOP field, right up until he became the nominee. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/donald-trump-2016s-most-lgbt-friendly-republican

                That link has his track record on this subject (although it’s from 2015 so it can’t mention that Trump Tower is still trans friendly), but it doesn’t lead to screams of “Wolf” so it’s no longer mentioned.

                And yes, his business track record has a lot to “vilify” him on, but that’s not what was used to scare people.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                And picked the phenomenally homophobic Mike Pence as his running mate. Given the way the religious right flocked to his banner, this, ah, signal was heard loud and clear by its target audience.

                I suppose liberals are bad for intercepting it?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                , this, ah, signal was heard loud and clear…

                Trump has a 40+ year history of setting policy for his businesses. His non-discrimination policies include support for gay/trans/minority rights and he’s apparently always lived up to that. Since he has no conscience and no shame, he must view being anti-gay as reducing his profit.

                He does some signalling to the other Tribe, and *that* is what we’re supposed to pay attention to? That he’s in the wrong tribe? Because that easily trumps his 40+ year history of setting policy and being a Republican makes him a racist homophobe?

                The media branded Trump a racist homophobe because he wasn’t a Democrat, exactly like they would have done to any other GOP candidate. So yes, the media behaves like they’re members of the other tribe.

                Their *job* should be to accurately point out that Trump is a vile human being for his various faults, and not to claim he’s a homophobe in spite of his history simply because he’s a Republican.

                Either the media viewed their real job as getting HRC elected by any means necessary or they view “homophobe” and “Republican” as being interchangeable. That’s acceptable behavior for Democrat political operatives and other partisans but not the media.

                the phenomenally homophobic Mike Pence

                Eh? What’s he done? I’d thought he was just not a Dem and took religion too seriously.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                You can’t seriously believe Trump’s record on minority rights is strong can you?

                As for Pence, his hostility to gay rights is particularly strong and consistent, even for a republican.

                So, if it makes you feel better, let’s call Trump a uniquely incompetent racist and leave the “homophobe” descriptor for Pence.

                (finally, the assertion that “the media viewed their real job as getting HRC elected by any means necessary” is particularly hilarious given the incessant and near-exclusive focus on emails in HRC stories)Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                Nevermoor,
                Well, there is the small matter of the leftie sites getting promised boku moneyz when Clinton won. This includes the pollsters by the way.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I think it’s fair to say that this cycle had more people in both tribes than usual believing that the opposing candidate was evil. Would you agree?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Agreed, but I think this election also had more people who viewed both candidates as evil than ever before. Except for a handful of enthusiasts, this election really was dominated by a least worst logic.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah. I guess I have trouble with Dark Matter’s and Nevermoor’s comments, and your earlier one as well, that seemed to suggest that this was a trait of one side more than the other. This past cycle, I’d venture to guess that the majority of the people who voted for either candidate believed that the opposing candidate represented a danger to civilization.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                My comment to Dark wasn’t to dispute the level of each candidate’s vilification but rather the grounds upon which that vilification was based.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I think this election also who more people that viewed both candidates as evil than ever before.

                Yes, totally agree.

                And… we didn’t cross the threshold for creating a viable 3rd party.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                (which is why we need ranked choice voting, another nice thing Republicans oppose)Report

              • Avatar KenB in reply to Nevermoor
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                says:

                Republicans opposed it in Maine last year, when it was against their interest. Probably not coincidentally, Democrats supported it, when it was in their interest. In other contexts (e.g. Alaska 2002) the direction of support was reversed. The better generalization is that those who are currently benefiting from the existing system (and expect to continue to do so) will generally oppose changing it.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                one tribe decided that the other tribe’s candidate was *evil*.

                I assume this is a reference to the RNC being devoted to locking Hillary in jail, yes?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s one thing for the DNC and RNC (etc) to be saying bad things about the other candidate, that’s expected.

                It’s more concerning if most of the tribe takes that kind of rhetoric seriously. AfaIct, big parts of the Left actually expect(ed) death camps and the like from Trump, thus all the riots and “I’m afraid” comments when he won.

                In addition, the media seems to have joined the rest of their tribe in this outlook.

                And the way we got onto this subject was people were outraged the GOP often treats the media as though they’re members of the other tribe.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The GOP does not treat the media as the other tribe. They treat the media that doesn’t report they like as part of the other tribe. That is actually a big difference.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Huh?

                Advocating the jail the other candidate was unprecedented, not “expected.”

                And there has been an uptick of the types of crimes people were worried about since Trump was elected. Though not, of course, the immediate post-apocalyptic devastation that I’m sure you can cite me to random internet comments predicting (but no serious news articles, of course).

                None of that has anything to do with why the GOP tries to “other” journalists, though. That’s so that they can maximize their odds of getting away with pure unadulterated nonsense like the current attempt to double-count $2T in imaginary-in-the-first-instance “tax savings” so that their budget proposal doesn’t have to admit it is a complete disaster.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                I recall talk in 1988 about how GHW Bush should have been jailed for Iran-Contra.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                …by Dukakis?Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                There were several prosecutions and convictions for Iran-Contra. Real criminal activities happened.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to gregiank
                Ignored
                says:

                And because America is a forgiving country those guys got a Second Chance to do good in the world by lying the US into an illegal invasion of Iraq.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                Advocating the jail the other candidate was unprecedented, not “expected.”

                Unprecedented? So it’s just cool if GOP candidates are labeled as nuclear war seeking racists but it’s totally unfair if they label an openly corrupt politician someone who should be in jail?

                The Clintons get large gifts from their “friends”, and they use their gov position to do them favors. That they’re not connected doesn’t pass the smell test.

                Let’s just quote Jimmy Carter about one of the Clinton’s ethical adventures.

                Of the Rich pardon, Mr. Carter said: “I don’t think there is any doubt that some of the factors in his pardon were attributable to his large gifts. In my opinion, that was disgraceful.”

                there has been an uptick of the types of crimes people were worried about since Trump was elected.

                Link that it’s increased?

                Under Obama there were roughly 100 a year (by some yardstick), that’s a lot we can point to and claim its Trump’s fault.

                double-count $2T in imaginary-in-the-first-instance “tax savings” so that their budget proposal doesn’t have to admit it is a complete disaster.

                Yeah, the Federal Gov’s spending is a mess and it’s going to get a lot worse until we have entitlement reform… and we’re not in enough pain for serious entitlement reform.

                To his (or at least someone’s) credit, Trump is talking about growth as a solution to our entitlement problem, which at least starts to pass a sanity check.

                In the wings we always have Math, which has even less mercy than Trump.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Dark,
                Oh, you have NO idea do you?
                Math’s mercy is the cruelest sort.
                Try in 20 years, America only able to produce enough food to feed 200 million people (and with other places mostly worse off, it’ll be much more expensive to import it).

                We ain’t gonna need entitlement reform. We’re gonna need something more painful.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Dark,
                riots were paid for by Clinton’s team. Paid riots are not indicative of much more than “we had money to fix the election” (for small values of fix)Report

            • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Don Zeko
              Ignored
              says:

              Plus, we can’t possibly react until we know what kind of counter tops the reporter’s house has.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Maybe the difference between good and bad virtue signalling is whether the virtue is universal or tribal.

        I think for many; To be virtuous is to be a member of my tribe. To be a member of the other tribe, by definition, is to not be virtuous.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          Non-relativists on both sides may approach that sort of behaviour by granting their own people wiggle room and granting none to the other. But they won’t actually believe that. The relativists on both sides might.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            I think both sides, maybe all sides, are amazingly pragmatic when it comes to their own side.

            Probably the best example is the Catholic Church’s dealing with its Priests. I’m using them and not a political example because we expect politicians and most of the people who deal with them to be cynical and “non-relativists” as you put it.Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
              Ignored
              says:

              I’d really need you to spell out what you mean by that. The Catholic Church does not hold that immoral priests are moral, and in fact puts extra requirements on its priests. As I said, we tend to allow more wiggle room for people on our side out of sense of loyalty or empathy, but that’s not the same thing as saying that the moral code for any “our” side is different from the moral code for a “their” side.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I assume it’s a reference to decades of sheltering pedophiles (often by just moving them to a new parish when they’re found out), and seeking to avoid legal consequences.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                We’re talking about what a side allows for behavior for it’s own side vs. what it’d condemn on someone who isn’t a member of their own side.

                The Church holds itself out as the ultimate judge of morality. It’s openly and loudly against premarital sex, condoms inside of marriage, masterbation, and basically any sort of sex other other than potentially reproductional sex inside of marriage.

                When the Church had problems with Priests raping children, it protected the Church, protected the Priests, forgave the Priests, and then let them do it again… repeatedly, for decades (or maybe longer). This problem wasn’t just one priest and one manager, it was reasonably widespread and appears to have been a general management practice.

                Yes, the Church didn’t openly proclaim that it viewed the young tender bodies of their flock to be sexually available to Priests, but that’s how they acted.

                That’s not “wiggle room”, that’s heinous, wicked, and grotesquely immoral… and it doesn’t seem to have occurred to them that it was more than a potential PR problem.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Liberals who condemned what Griffin did were, at least arguably, actually signaling a virtue. The “arguably” part comes from the fact that Griffin is a marginal enough figure [1] that there’s little cost in condemning her.

      The defenses I saw [2] all boiled down to, “How dare you be upset that someone is joking about murdering the President!?”[3] instead of, “How dare you disrespect this member of our tribe!?” which is, I think, relevant.

      [1] I didn’t actually know who she was when her little stunt blew up the Twitters.

      [2] Which were few and far between, and obviously my awareness is a completely valid objective measure.

      [3] I’m really not big on the whole, “Respect the Office!” thing, even when I like the guy in office, but given that almost 4 out of 45 Presidents has been murdered in office (with Reagan damn near being the fifth), I think joking about it is really fucking offensive.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        I saw (almost overwhelmingly) Whataboutism.

        Remember when the rodeo clown wore an Obama mask? Twitter remembers! Remember what happened after said rodeo clown vent viral? Twitter remembers!

        Oh! Oh! Well, what about when that guy put up a sign that said “Hang in there, Obama” next to a noose? What about *THAT*?

        OH! OH! WELL WHAT ABOUT WHEN

        And so on.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Griffin did everybody a service by apologizing within hours, so we could get back to the important stuff.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to pillsy
            Ignored
            says:

            Covfefe.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Troublesome Frog
              Ignored
              says:

              Trump, in the oval office, late at night, tweeting. An adviser, distracted by thoughts of the President’s excellent taste in icy-cold, caffeinated colas, perks at the sound of fingers pecking on a screen. In super slow mo adviser launches across the desk, arms outstretched, screaming “noooooo”. Covfefe.Report

            • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Troublesome Frog
              Ignored
              says:

              “Covfefe” is really tempting me to test out Twitter’s Mute Word feature.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Hoosegow Flask
                Ignored
                says:

                Spicer responding to covfefe: “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.” The entire press corp erupts in laughter. See how much fun you’re depriving yourself of?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
            Ignored
            says:

            Would you say that the people still distracted by distractions like Griffin’s pre-apology behavior are signalling vice?Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Dunno, really.

              I do know my general belief is that an apology [1] is generally the right way to square saying something that’s offensive. Whether that balances accounts for someone like Griffin, who is (allegedly) famous and makes her living by being (allegedly) funny is a more complicated question.

              [1] “Sorry I said that gross thing,” not, “Sorry your delicate feelings were bruised by my raw truth-telling.”Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Who was she apologizing to anyway? I’m sorry I got caught and upset folks? Maybe she should apologize to Baron and his mom.

                http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/31/barron-trump-thought-donald-beheaded-image-real/Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to notme
                Ignored
                says:

                Judge for yourself whether her apology was adequate or directed to the right people. I’m undecided on both counts.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                I would say no on both accounts.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, so far, Squatty Potty (some kind of squatting toilet accessory?) has officially disowned her (pointing out that she wasn’t a spokesperson, she didn’t have a relationship with the company, she made ONE freaking commercial, dang it!) and, apparently, her CNN New Years Eve gig is being re-evaluated by CNN (though, honestly, if she hasn’t been fired yet, I don’t think she’s going to be).

                An apology is usually a good way to signal contrition (and phrasing it properly is an important signal within the signal).

                But we’re in a weird place where reporters are reporting stuff like this: WATCH: @kathygriffin has never apologized for anything in her career…until now. And no, it’s not because of her bottom line. (Emphasis added)

                But there was a tweet (from the *SAME* reporter) from a few hours earlier (a tweet now deleted) that said this: Just spoke with @KathyGriffin . She said, unapologetically, that the image of her that’s gone viral is an expression of art

                There are many signals in there. It’s downright packed.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Ugh. This means that firing becomes even more entrenched as the proper response to this sort of thing.

                Whataboutism means that (future tasteless critic) *MUST* be fired, like Kathy Griffin was.Report

              • Avatar gregiank in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It will only be the proper response in MSM circles and orgs that want to be seen as mainstream. Well only regarding certain kinds of insults. In many partisan places there won’t be firings over this kind of thing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ugh. This means that firing becomes even more entrenched as the proper response to this sort of thing.

                It’s ultimately a market based decision. You don’t like markets?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                The inevitable end of the market seems to be something like two giant conglomerates demanding that you choose between Trump and Clinton.

                (Or RC Cola, but only crazy people like that sort of thing.)

                As such, I can’t help but not be thrilled.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Griffin’s dismissal runs counter to your view, yes? If partisan politics were in play she’d presumably (according to your “theory”) have been retained.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                If partisan politics were in play she’d presumably (according to your “theory”) have been retained.

                If she had been retained (well, prior to the apology, anyway), it would have presented identically to partisan politics.

                Firing her presents fairly closely to having good taste standards, family friendly, that sort of crap.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Which runs counter to your above suggestion, right? That’s the point.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Which runs counter to your above suggestion, right?

                Does it?

                Seems to me that journalists are still seen as tribal members. Yes, even at CNN.

                Yes, even though they fired someone for holding up a mock-up of Trump’s decapitated head.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Which tribe? By firing Griffin they’re explicitly not identifying with the liberal camp.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                By firing Griffin they’re explicitly not identifying with the liberal camp.

                Do you think this changes how they’re viewed?

                I don’t think that they changed a single mind out there by firing Kathy Griffin.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                No. Because nothing can. Because they’re viewed that way for partisan GOP reasons (primarily that the GOP hasn’t proposed a policy that makes sense in the real world within the last eight years).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Nevermoor
                Ignored
                says:

                last eight years

                I think that the media has been seen as tribal members for longer than the last eight years.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not willing to say in a blanket way that there was no GOP policy that withstood review during the Bush years. But there were sure a lot that obviously didn’t (see, e.g., his tax cuts and the Iraq war).

                Do you disagree that GOP policy requires suspension of disbelief and avoidance of facts, or are you just nitpicking?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “If partisan politics were in play she’d presumably (according to your “theory”) have been retained.”

                Jaybird didn’t say partisan politics. He said “the inevitable end of the market”.

                The assumption of the market being that the tribes are not yet of sufficient size to make it worth overtly playing to one or the other. (Well, most of the market. Outfits like Fox News and Slate have clearly come to a different decision.)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird didn’t say partisan politics.

                Yeah, he did. At least on a standard reading. He said

                The inevitable end of the market seems to be something like two giant conglomerates demanding that you choose between Trump and Clinton.

                I took that as implying a bifurcation along partisan – con v lib – lines. Maybe he meant small v big hands, tho.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                He didn’t say partisan. He said market. Try reading the actual words, and not making up extra words that you read instead.

                Maybe that’s the problem that you’ve been having all along; instead of reading the actual words, you have a lengthy conversation with a made-up Jaybird inside your head.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                DD, you’re clearly incapable of reading Names. He said “Trump and Clinton”. I can’t believe you’re denying this.

                Ooooh, I get it. You’re saying my argument makes no sense because Jaybird never used the word “partisan” in his comment. Well, thank goodness I already addressed that legalistic technicality above. Whew!Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “I took that as implying ”

                Nope. Jaybird said “market”, not “partisan politics”. Just admit that you were wrong and stop posting in this thread, okay?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                This is obviously incorrect. He mentions both. Here’s the comment we’re talking about:

                The inevitable end of the market seems to be something like two giant conglomerates demanding that you choose between Trump and Clinton.

                The sentence clearly connects two concepts: market forces and partisanship.

                Did you read the sentence all the way to the end?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, if we’re being snarky I’d say it’s more a private-company thing, and as we saw with RSM and Milo getting bounced off of Twitter liberals are A-OK with private companies censuring users or employees for obstreperous behavior.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I don’t want to speak for all liberals everywhere, but I’m unperturbed by it for just the reasons you state.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It also means that apologizing is meaningless. Like, if she hadn’t apologized, what would they have done–fire her twice?

                I guess I ought to be happy about a sauce-for-the-goose moment like this, but really, I don’t want anyone to be fired or censured specifically as a reaction to the content of their speech. What I want is for organizations–groups, companies, governments–to have as few rules as is practicable, but stick to them.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Isn’t her firing explained entirely by the CNN business model? If they thought keeping her on would increase viewership and ad revenue – both short and long term -they’da kept her slotted in for that appearance.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Isn’t her firing explained entirely by the CNN business model?

                Yep, absolutely.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If that’s the case, then Griffin wasn’t fired over the content of her speech, as DD suggested in this comment:

                I don’t want anyone to be fired or censured specifically as a reaction to the content of their speech. Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                ” then Griffin wasn’t fired over the content of her speech”

                I…what? How…god, you complain about Jaybird being weird and then you say “Griffin wasn’t fired for the content of her speech, she was fired because CNN felt that her speech would affect its revenue” as though those were not the same thing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Absolutely not the same things: the reason she was fired was because keeping her on negatively effects the bottom line. If keeping her were viewed to increase the bottom line they’da kept her on, even having engaged in the same speech act. Speech has nothing to do with the decision CNN made to fire her.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “the reason she was fired was because keeping her on negatively effects the bottom line. ”

                *affects

                And gosh, why did she suddenly have a negative effect on the bottom line? Did something happen quite recently that made them be concerned that she’d affect the bottom line? Was there a recent affect she displayed or plan she effected which could have made CNN be concerned about the affect on their effective bottom line?

                Like, maybe she said something and they considered the content of her speech to be a problem?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Also maybe you need to think about where you’re going with this, because here’s me and Jaybird saying that Kathy Griffin being fired was a bad thing, and your response is “well I though that youuuuu would be okaaaaaay with it, catface-emoji catface-emoji wink-emoji”

                Like, you don’t seem like you’d want Never Apologize to be a thing but you’re going awful hard for it.Report

              • Avatar Nevermoor in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                your response is “well I though that youuuuu would be okaaaaaay with it, catface-emoji catface-emoji wink-emoji”

                Maybe that’s the problem that you’ve been having all along; instead of reading the actual words, you have a lengthy conversation with a made-up Jaybird inside your head.

                I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something unusual about these two statements coming from the same author in the same thread. Hmm…Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I think that the content (the gratuitous outrageousness part of the content, anyway) was pretty much exactly why she got fired.

                “CNN, do you want to be associated with someone who performed this work of art?”

                “You know what? We don’t want to be associated with someone who did that kind of thing.”

                “Even if she apologized?”

                “Even if she apologized.”

                I mean, without the content of her speech, you’re stuck
                without explanation of why she got fired.

                Maybe it’s because she’s a woman!Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                CNN, as a business enterprise, doesn’t care about the content of her speech, it only cares about people’s reaction to it and only in terms of how that reaction will effect its bottom line. (Or long term business interests, etc.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                So it’s not the content of her speech but the reaction of the content of her speech?

                Sure. I am willing to go with that. I mean, if there were nigh-universal and immediate calls for her to write a musical about it, I suppose that CNN might have said something to the effect of “artists gonna art” and kept her on.

                But the content of her speech certainly gave them cover to pretend it was about the content of her speech.

                From the horse’s mouth:

                On Tuesday night, a CNN spokesperson called the photos “disgusting and offensive.”

                Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                But the content of her speech certainly gave them cover to pretend it was about the content of her speech.

                The cover for a firing implies that it’s not the actual reason for the firing. That’s what “cover”, in this context, means.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Given the outrageousness of the act, I imagine that there might be enough there for her to be fired for both the act *AND* the response to the act.

                I mean, it’s certainly not implausible that someone in the tower was offended by it. Even if they were liberal instead of even-minded.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean, without the content of her speech, you’re stuck
                without explanation of why she got fired.

                Sure there is.

                “Why did you fire Griffin from the NYE show?”
                “Because we determined that keeping her on would hurt advertising revenue in both the short and long term, and create additional distractions and expenses to our normal operations.”
                “OK. Got it.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “Why did you fire Griffin from the NYE show?”
                “Because we determined that keeping her on would hurt advertising revenue in both the short and long term, and create additional distractions and expenses to our normal operations.”
                “OK. Got it.”

                “Do we tell our spokesperson to say that?”
                “Oh, hell no. Have him say something about how offended we all were or some touchy-feely crap like that.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Apologies are now worth nothing.

                One of the tweets I saw had a listing of her next however many shows in Vegas along with the phone numbers of the relevant booking people at the venue. “Call these numbers! Ask them if they support someone who does this sort of thing!” was the implication.

                Which means that we have to do this next time, because we did it this time.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to pillsy
            Ignored
            says:

            So she got to have her cake and eat it too, right. She got to signal and then look contrite. It’s like a lawyer asking a question and them immediately withdrawing it.Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m not sure that actually bought her anything. It seems more likely that anybody who thought what she did was anything short of gross and tasteless were probably already on the Kathy Griffin train and apologizing probably didn’t gain her any real points with them.

              I thought apologizing was the right thing to do but my net opinion of her has dropped, and I’m going to guess that there are a lot more people like me than people who thought the photo was awesome.

              She could have pulled a Ted Nugent and doubled down, hoping for a swing in the political wins and future invitations to the White House under President Lena Dunham, but that seems like too much of a roll of the dice for a B-lister who wants a steady income.Report

        • Avatar notme in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Wasn’t the clown fired? Unlike Colbert or KG who will most likely escape any punishment. It nice being able to have your cake and eat it.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        pillsy,
        Jokes in Good Taste about it are not offensive.
        But that’s mostly just joking about how much Trump offends the powers that be, and the continued joke of “What if they just offed him”
        (Which needs to be a crowdshot of crazies descending upon washington, ala BonusArmy).

        See? Life is fucking funny if you let it be.
        The Powers that Be are starkers terrified of shooting this president.
        Hilarious, ain’t it?Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Jaybird:
      And an even bigger example of signaling appeared to happen yesterday with the Kathy Griffin “decapitated Trump” thing.

      and a bigger example of signaling than that was this morning, when someone blew up a heckuva large bomb in the middle of Kabul, and the Taliban *denied* it was them.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Example of the minute:

    WeRateDogs twitter feed came out with a baseball cap with the insignia “COVFEFE AF“.
    Cute, right?

    Then posted a followup: PUPDATE: half of all profits will be donated to @PPact

    What follows for the next ONE HUNDRED JILLION TWEETS is tribal signaling masquerading as virtue signaling.Report

  14. Avatar notme
    Ignored
    says:

    CNN Fires Kathy Griffin From New Year’s Show After Donald Trump Beheading Stunt

    http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/cnn-kathy-griffin-donald-trump-beheading-1202448875/

    I hope it was worth it, lol. Maybe one of her lib friends can get her a gig?Report

  15. Avatar J__A
    Ignored
    says:

    Going back to the original OP: virtue signaling

    There is a complementary activity to virtue signaling; for a lack of a better name, I’ll call it virtue shaming

    Virtue shaming is when you’d rather send a message of “virtue” than to solve or deduce an actual problem

    Teaching sex education in schools, and making contraceptives more accessible to teenagers would reduce teen pregnancy and abortion. It would also send the message that sexual activity among teenagers is acceptable. Many people would rather send a message condemning teenagers sexual activity and see [other people’s children, it’s never their own] increasingly go through teen pregnancies or have an abortion, This is virtue shaming

    Virtue shamers would rather witness closeted gay men marry innocent women, have sex with men in the downlow, ruin their marriages and families, and their own lives, because the alternative is sending a message that homosexuality is not immoral.

    Virtue shamers would never agree to highly restricted 3rd trimester abortions in exchange for mostly unlimited 1st trimester ones. Reducing the total number of abortions is less important than not sending the message that some abortions are OK. If more babies (their language) need to die for the message, well, it is what it is. Virtue shamers believe that there is no cost too high (for other people) to pay, for the virtuous message to be sent.

    I’d say I disapprove of virtue shamers, but that might be deemed virtue signalingReport

  16. Avatar Francis
    Ignored
    says:

    On the Virtue of Signalling, President Trump announced today that the US was withdrawing from a voluntary climate change control agreement.

    What did he signal? Choices include:

    He has no respect for the current global international order.
    He does not respect our allies.
    He does not understand the concept of leadership.
    That pandering to ignorance is better than understanding science.
    That the desires of the current generation justify exposing future generations to the risk of enormous costs of adjusting to a new climate reality.

    or

    That America will be made great again by forcing the world to come to our doorstep and beg for our participation;
    That scientists don’t know better than the common man about what’s good for America;
    That the wealth of our nation is expanded when we free our power production industry from carbon controls.

    Others?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      “Screw you, Obama. I will undo every single thing that you attached your name to” is one I saw kicked around on the twitters.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      He signaled that he kept his promise.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      He signaled that he’s clear eyed and level headed and not taken in by the wacko religious/political cult that is climate alarmism, and that we don’t yet know how to make a thermometer accurate enough to measure the minuscule effect the Paris agreement would have on temperature a hundred years from now. Ending this agreement basically means we’ll hit the predicted 2117 temperatures by 2114.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      One signal is that Democrats don’t actually care about the democratic process. If the executive does something without any legislative input, it’s totally fine – as long as they agree with that something.

      Eta, I mean, no one should have respect for the current international order. It’s undemocratic, unequitable, and weighted towards conditions as they were in September 1945.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        K,
        What world are you living in? It’s okay if the executive does it, So Long As He’s a Democrat.
        The deporter in chief still holds the title.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
        Ignored
        says:

        One signal is that Democrats don’t actually care about the democratic process. If the executive does something without any legislative input, it’s totally fine – as long as they agree with that something.

        Judgment of a particular executive action is distinct from judgment of the process. But I also think you’re cherry picking a bit here to make a thin point: Obama appealed to the democratic process re: ramping up actions in Syria not only without effect, but was criticized for doing so.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Eta, I mean, no one should have respect for the current international order. It’s undemocratic, unequitable, and weighted towards conditions as they were in September 1945.

        What changes would you make to the international order? In what ways do you think Trump’s actions are better/worse than the status quo?Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Francis
      Ignored
      says:

      That he’s AOKAY with leaving Conservatives as the bagholders when the rich run away from Exxon and other Conservative Causes.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Francis
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      says:

      The definition of leadership doesn’t include “going along with something you disagree with because others want you to”. It’s worth looking at what this agreement would accomplish, what it would cost, and whether other countries can reasonably be expected to follow it.

      Examining how the previous agreements worked, I assumed the answers are, “not much”, “a lot”, and “no”… and then I checked.

      According to one report commissioned by the American Council for Capital Formation with support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy, “the Paris climate accord could cost the U.S. economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040…”

      …According to another study, the Paris deal would shave about 0.2 degrees off warming by 2100. …Assuming everything works perfectly according to plan, we could plausibly be trading 6.5 million jobs for a 0.2-degree payoff.

      But remember, there is no enforcement mechanism. These pledges are not binding. So even if you assume the best case scenario regarding predictive models, there’s no guarantee other countries will follow through.

      “Tiny, tiny, amount,” Trump said—speaking of the amount of warming that would be mitigated. He has a point: Even if we assume global warming is a serious problem, is the payoff worth the tradeoff in terms of lost jobs and higher energy costs?

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/paris-can-waitit-was-a-bad-dealReport

      • Avatar Francis in reply to Dark Matter
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        says:

        China and India are dumping coal and moving to renewables. So, we can draw a few conclusions from that and from the President’s action:

        a. Government investment into research for next-gen power production / storage / management is paying off. The commercial cost of renewable + storage is now competitive with fossil fuel power systems in the right environment.

        b. The scientific work (largely funded by Western governments) into the existence, causes and risks of continuing to emit ghgs is paying off. Even China signed onto the Paris Accord.

        c. If China and India don’t take steps to follow up on their commitment, the US no longer has any basis to take them to task.

        d. What is the better deal out there? It’s really not that complicated. If we don’t start decarbonizing our economy now, then when? The solution to pollution is not dilution; it’s to not pollute in the first place. The idea that decarbonization will be cheaper in the future because the country will be wealthier is based on modeling that’s at least as sketchy as what you’ve cited.

        e. Studies, especially those from conservative think tanks, have a terrible track record for predicting the economic impacts of environmental regulation. Last I looked into the issue, the primary reason was that they all assume that American businesses, scientists and engineers are all morons who are incapable of innovating solutions in light of a changing regulatory environment. That’s never been true; one nice thing about living in a capitalist society is that there are enormous incentives — ie profits — to be made from finding lower-cost solutions.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Francis
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          says:

          a. … The commercial cost of renewable + storage is now competitive with fossil fuel power systems in the right environment.

          If that means we can get rid of these various boondoggle(ish) supports that green energy has needed, then it’s great news, and we won’t need a treaty or gov edicts.

          But my expectation is that “competitive” means “after gov support” and not “without it”. It’s been years since I’ve looked at the numbers, but these types of announcements have typically been happy talk with breathtakingly bad underlying numbers.

          b …causes and risks of continuing to emit ghgs is paying off. Even China signed onto the Paris Accord.

          If memory served, the last treaty we refused to sign was followed by basically no one… weirdly with the exception of us. These treaties are showmanship, not policy.

          c. If China and India don’t take steps to follow up on their commitment, the US no longer has any basis to take them to task.

          One of the criticisms of the agreement is even if we stay in there’s no way to take them to task.

          d. What is the better deal out there? It’s really not that complicated. If we don’t start decarbonizing our economy now, then when? The solution to pollution is not dilution; it’s to not pollute in the first place.

          Just off hand:
          1) Nuclear power… except the Greens would never allow it.
          2) I’m assuming this will be easier in the future with higher technology, but that’s almost like saying “when green power is economic”, or just a handwave.
          3) Do nothing, and simply deal with the consequences piecemeal.

          That last is probably the best. Our carbon economy raised the level of the ocean by a foot(ish) last century, and that was an amazingly trivial price compared to the good carbon gave to us. Most of the problems we’re threatened with will remain trivial if we remain rich, and they won’t go away even if we make ourselves poor.

          e. Studies, especially those from conservative think tanks, have a terrible track record for predicting the economic impacts of environmental regulation.

          Agreed. But they look stunningly accurate compared to Green predictions. Malaria is going to come back? The oceans will rise dozens of meters? The planet will become unlivable? Billions of people will starve? Didn’t Germany go all in with Green energy and manage to both increase it’s energy prices and increase it’s GW gases?

          If we lose the scare tactics and look at cost benefit, we’re back to paying a lot to achieve virtually nothing, *if* everyone doesn’t simply ignore it like they did last time.

          This treaty is about signaling, not doing anything. That’s why various people are so upset but the market ignored it.Report

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