Some Rare Voices of Reason in the Recent Press

Some items worth mentioning, showing that not all of the media has gone lunatic:

First, journalist Ted Koppel is visiting his alma mater, Stanford University, and gave a thoughtful interview to the Stanford Daily, including this passage:

Moreover, Koppel expressed disappointment in news reporters whose personal and political opposition to Trump, he believes, has compromised the objectivity of their reporting.

“You cannot read [The New York Times] without coming to the conclusion that almost everybody who works for the organization would like to see Donald Trump replaced,” Koppel said. “Other than on their op-ed pages, I don’t really want to know what the opinion or political outlook of the reporter.”

Hear, hear! The morning after Trump’s SOTU speech, the NYT was “reporting” — not on the editorial page — that the speech would do nothing to raise Trump’s low rating in the surveys. Yet the polls on the same day found that the populace approved of his speech at the rates of 70 to 80% (even including 43% of the Democrats, according to CBS News).

Second, the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed by Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert cartoon. Those on the left (a group whose views I generally share) would dismiss Adams’ column as the racist writings of a Trump surrogate, but applying the Koppel criterion, I really can’t tell whether Adams voted for The Donald or not. Instead, I see a carefully reasoned essay decrying the extreme bias of the NYT, WaPo etc. One of many excellent passages:

Charlottesville. Critics believe Mr. Trump took sides with the torch-carrying racists who were chanting anti-Semitic slogans in Charlottesville, Va., and called them “fine people.” The implication is that he publicly betrayed his Jewish daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren—while also inexplicably recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. That doesn’t make sense.

The more ordinary explanation is that Mr. Trump spoke about the protests without having all the details about who attended and why. It was reasonable for him to assume some people were there because they agreed with his position that toppling Confederate statues is more about political correctness than racism. (For the record, I regard those statues as offensive decorations we can live without.) In any event, Mr. Trump later disavowed the Charlottesville racists in clear terms.

(Actually, he immediately denounced the racists.)

Next, a NYT column by George Borjas. Granted, the NYT did run George’s piece, and has done so from time to time over the years (though it’s probably tough to ignore a Harvard professor). They even gave the piece a fitting title, “Trump Sets Up a Grand Bargain on Immigration,” and I concur. It is indeed a grand bargain, with Trump offering the Democrats much more than they have been asking for, in return for concessions that the Democrats already were supporting in 2013. (If you read that last sentence having just arrived from an extended visit to Mars, and are wondering why the Democrats are so virulently opposed to the Trump proposal, then you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.)

And finally, a column by CIS Director Mark Krikorian, who is sick and tired of claims by the Left that Trump’s proposal is aimed at, in Nancy Pelosi’s words, “Making America white again.” As Mark points out, even using the numbers of Michael Clemons, one of the most militant researchers advocating for high levels of immigration, it would still be the case that 71.7% of new immigrants would be non-white. What, 71.7% isn’t high enough for Clemons?

As I have already stated, the Trump plan is not perfect. Instead of the Wall, E-Verify would be sufficient in dealing with the border issue. And I have suggested expanding the green card diversity lottery rather than eliminating it; among other things its racial implications would thrill Clemons.

But good grief, folks.  In earlier, saner times the political pundits, noting that extremists on both sides are trashing the Trump proposal, would cite opposition by the extremes as evidence that the proposal is a sensible middle ground, indeed a Grand Bargain. The fact that George Borjas is the only major figure to say so is a sad commentary on our times.

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23 thoughts on “Some Rare Voices of Reason in the Recent Press

  1. Adams is a fine fellow and I love his cartoons, but this is him being sanctimonious about Trump’s “deplorables”. Trump was supporting the people of the United States of America and not holding himself as above them, as judge and jury. The social justice warriors (SJW) wandering around today are absurd and idiotic, and one should assume that in general they are 100% wrong – more commonly they are 100% incoherent, but that comes to a fine point of logic. Trump simply bet that normal citizens were making more sense than the SJW.

    On the immigration deal remember Trump is always negotiating and you never know what you have until the signature is on the paper. That’s how it works in the big leagues, and if you think otherwise think again.

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    • I prefer the abbreviation “SRZ” – Social Revenge Zombie. The radicals among them are not interested in “justice”; they want to see today’s innocents punished for yesterday’s biases.

      It’s shameful to see a mirror image of the KKK — brutes in black outfits and black masks — attacking people solely for publicly disagreeing with them.

      I suspect that no matter WHAT Pres. Trump offered — short of abolishing borders and removing all walls — he would receive boos and catcalls from the Press and the radical elites.

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  2. Years ago just after I got out of graduate school things were slow at the company I was working at so they loaned me out to Grumman in Bethpage, New York to do flutter analysis on the F-14A. While there I subscribed to the New York Times. I was as much of a conservative Republican then as I am now but my opinion of the New York Times then was that it was liberal but fair. The articles were well researched, comprehensive, and deserving of the high regard generally held by the public. Liberal it was but still a great paper. I trusted it. I no longer hold that view.

    I am a Trump supporter but to the right of him on most things. For example, I oppose his amnesty for the DACA people believing that all persons who entered this country illegally should be deported but I can not bring myself to believe those who disagree are somehow mentally or morally defective. I believe people should learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. It is a free country after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent my life in journalism, including 13 years covering Los Alamos and Los Alamos National Laboratory for a major New Mexico daily. What I am seeing in the media today is by NO MEASURE journalism, which requires at least efforts at objectivity, as absent of bias as one can make it and respecting that it is the reporter’s job to provide information sufficient that the reader or viewer can make his or her own judgements. That is mostly absent in the news media today, or as Captain Sully Sullenberger said, media “incite rather than inform.” Most stories are based on an advanced conclusion with the story then “constructed” to prove that conclusion.
    I’m interested in cause, which I believe was deregulation of media in the 1980s (removal of the Fairness Doctrine) and 1990s (removal of who can own media, including that now one agency can own multiple news organs in one community). Regulations used to also fight to keep news “pure,” i.e. not crafted to advance the agenda of those who own it. What I am seeing in today’s news is more equivalent to, from what I can see, Wall Street-generated propaganda and efforts to “create a false reality,” than by any definition news. As a result, we are rapidly becoming one of the most uninformed people on Earth and as the left is showing, way too eager to take what we are “told” at face value. As an example, how can we be one of the fastest growing nations in the world–with a resulting population explosion 82 percent immigration-driven–with no reporting of the demographic tsunami hitting our shores?
    AS A JOURNALIST, I SEE NO GREATER THREAT TO THE WELL-BEING AND FUTURE OF THIS NATION THAN TODAY’S MEDIA. It is nothing less than a MAJOR national security threat, and if we don’t get it repaired–and soon–there will be no turning back, if indeed, we’re not already there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very interesting comments coming from an actual journalist. While I support conservative/right views typically on Fox and the talk shows, I blame Fox to start this blurring of news / opinion. It’s called Fox News but almost all the evenings shows are opinion whether Dobbs, Hannity, Carlson, etc. This was a good business model to capture an under-served market. However this led CNN, MSNBC, NYT to adopt the same and become openly radical left for the other market.
      So the audience has got completely segmented. Couple this with the many groups like SPLC and ACLU labeling even reasoned expressions of controlling immigration as ‘racist’ and that discussion has completely left mainstream and only happens in corners of internet like here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting analysis. Economic theory says that in an oligopoly (a few big firms dominating a market), the firms gradually make their products closer together. But in this case, we have the opposite phenomenon.

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        • They aren’t opposite. Take “immigration”:
          Twitter/GovTrack, both sides of the aisles’ bills are expand foreign workers.
          Zero bills on setting “immigration” back to: Welcome New Citizen, Green Card on Day 1.
          What the two are fighting over is how much the fate of foreign workers is solely in the hands of Wall St, elimination of “diversity” lottery, in favor of more employer selected work visas, for example.

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  4. I read the Borjas piece. At first, I was irate about it. Then, noticing that it was Borjas, I read it more critically. I don’t agree with his idea about amnesty for illegals here (he includes the 11,000,000 or 15,000,000 or 24,000,000 or whatever it is). However, otherwise, he is much along the lines that you are, Norm. Some compromise is necessary. I don’t agree with the DACA idea, but if we can get mandatory e-Verify, this might be a winning idea. I think mandatory e-Verify is more important than the wall. We also desperately need visa time limit enforcement. Where is that in all this?

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    • Mandatory eVerify is already the law, employers who employ illegals don’t care now. If you don’t stop illegal immigration physically and legally with borders and deportation, you might as well just give up and turn over the keys.

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  5. Statues and museums do not celebrate history but pinpoint a place or time both celebratory and troubling. If we only display what is perceived as good, we would not have memorials like the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, the Tomb of the Unknowns and many others. These all mark times when people have not been at their best, If at some time the People in a community have chosen to erect a statue or memorial or create a museum, we should use it to view the best and worst and not destroy that piece of history.

    I have been researching our (DH and my own) family trees for our grandchildren, I have come to appreciate little bits of information about the lives of our ancestors. Yes, we are all descended from immigrants at very different times in the recent history of the US. They were not famous but were incredibly hard working, wise and brave. I am in awe of what they accomplished.

    I have great sympathy for people who are trying to navigate US immigration or who have come illegally to the US. I cannot abide that much has been done illegally or fraudulently. I believe a country is defined by its borders and laws; those who violate either are subject to my contempt. I am angry the our elected representatives have not made it possible for people like those who built the country – especially those who entered before WW2 with few skills and little education – to be able to come to the US legally.

    Immigration is far more than DACA, Dreamers,Chain Migration, and H-1Bs and other guest workers.I have no faith that those who should solve the problems will do so. I believe that the country will be more and more polarized, and the confrontations will be more and more violent. Will we only come together again after a major tragedy?

    I wonder how our descendants will memorialize this time in history.

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    • It will be buried, just as history of US using immigrants has always been buried with the bodies who did not survive immigrating to the US.
      Our history is not in our school history books.
      It would show elites have always had the upper hand, and still do.
      The dark side in,
      Slavery By Another Name
      White Trash
      Empire of Cotton
      etc.

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  6. My brother is a moderate Democrat. He didn’t vote for Trump and is no fan of his (although he agrees with many of his immigration stances). He graduated from Cal Berkeley as a English major and worked for over a decade at the Salt Lake Tribune and other newspapers.

    He says the stories about Trump and the Russians are totally unprofessional. They are 11 degrees of “If Trump did this and Trump did that… then Trump is guilty.” He said that if he had turned in any stories with the same type of conjecture, his editors would have tossed them in the trash.

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  7. A former D voter, I’m stunned by full on political war stories by the media on the nightly news.
    Naked in its partisanship, persistent in drumbeat on schism agenda narratives.
    Both sides, advocating for Wall St., playing divide and conquer.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a native New Yorker and stopped reading the NYT almost 30 years ago. After Watergate the paper took a decided turn to the left, I think as a result of the scandal. Eventually, the left turn permeated the entire paper. The last straw for me was when the bias hit the Book Review section, my favorite. The NYT stopped reviewing conservative or republican books, even when they were blockbuster best sellers. Their inability to acknowledge or consider the opposition, caused me to stop considering them.

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    • WAPO is no beacon of truth. I have always thought that Watergate was a cover up for the Pentagon Papers. It also hurts my heart that PBS has joined the pack. CNN closed its journalism department a couple years ago. They only do he said, she said gossip now. I never thought I would ever watch Fox News, but it is definitely more upbeat and entertaining. I wish I could get RT. I used to watch RT in Chicago. Seemed more balanced than any of the US media. Al Jazeera, anyone?

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