David Brooks and the Bob Dole Fallacy

A mostly political Weblog.
Aug. 16 2005 3:05 AM

Brooks and the Bob Dole Fallacy

Plus--kf's jejune swoon!

(Continued from Page 6)

Fun, fun fun. But wait ... if what you are concerned about is conserving fossil fuels, etc., then the time to get concerned about SUVs is precisely when middle class Americans can afford them, because that's when they start having a big impact on gas consumption. Gutfeld's issue isn't "hypocrisy" so much as snobbery. It's an interesting question--not unimportant if you care about social equality, or winning elections--whether wealthy libs like Laurie David are snobs. (My default estimate, subject to instantaneous revision, is "no.") But in this case snobbery and sound environmentalism would go hand in hand. The rich can't do too much damage by themselves. ... P.S.: Gutfeld's non-secret   sniping is actually funnier and more effective. But less sincere! ...

Update 8/8: Gutfeld--responding in his "tiny hole in Hell!"--says the worry-about-the-middle-class environmental argument "can be used for just about anything, from airline travel to just about any activity that creates trash or some kind of nasty byproduct ...." Why, yes. It can! ... 3:29 P.M. link

Is Frank Gehry's Bilbaoesque outdoor furniture bombing? Already discounted at Design Within Reach. That doesn't seem like a good sign. ... 11:13 A.M.

David Shaw, Proto-Blogger! E.J. Dionne writes a nice and accurate column about David Shaw. I went after Shaw too often to credibly eulogize him. But I do remember that when the LAT was sold to the Chicago people, the paper took Shaw off his leisurely one-big-piece-every-blue-moon routine and briefly had him cover breaking stories--and the resulting daily articles were great, deeper and more subtle than the competition on the same beat. You wonder what he would have done if he hadn't pioneered big-paper press criticism.... P.S.: The following passage, from Shaw's impactful 1990 critique of press abortion coverage, supports Dionne's point that Shaw was (ironically!) informed by a now-familiar MSM-bashing spirit:

[T]hroughout the media, print and broadcast alike, coverage of abortion tends to be presented--perhaps subconsciously--from the abortion-rights perspective. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Webster case a year ago Tuesday that states could have more latitude in regulating abortion, for example, ABC News termed the decision "a major setback for abortion rights."

Couldn't it also have been called "a major victory for abortion opponents"?

Yes.

But most reporters don't identify with abortion opponents.

If you blogged that today, Instapundit would link to you and add "Indeed." 10:27 A.M. link

Was Novak Running from ... a Book? What was the big reddish-brown book sitting in front of moderator Ed Henry when Robert Novak walked off the set of CNN's Inside Politics? Who's Who in America, of course! ... Mystery Pollster  caught it first. ... Perhaps Henry, who says he told Novak he was going to ask about the Plame case, wanted to clear up the Anne Kornblut question: whether Novak really found out Plame's maiden name from the book. (Highly unlikely, sez kf**). Novak escaped just in time. ... P.S.: Finally, CNN's Jonathan Klein produces some "appointment television"!Lucky for him Inside Politics is a sturdy CNN fixture that will stay on the network's schedule be able to benefit from the ratings boost it's sure to get. ... Oh, wait.

**[Why wouldn't Novak want to say whether he in fact got Plame's name from Who's Who?--ed He might not want to get pinned down on that point, because the truthful answer would be "no." (If it was "yes," wouldn't Novak have written that he'd in fact gotten the name from the book, instead of writing merely that the name "could" be found there?) If the answer is in fact "no," it suggests either a) Novak's source used Plame's maiden name, which might help identify the source, or b) Novak got the name somewhere else and chose to use it himself.  Whichever is true, use of the maiden names seems more career-damaging to Plame since more of Plame's overseas contacts as a CIA agent would have known her by that name). Intentional use of that name, then, could be seen as vindictive--evidence that either Novak's source (a) wanted to punish Plame and/or her husband or Novak himself (b) wanted to punish Plame and/or her husband (perhaps in pursuit of a pro-Bush agenda, perhaps because Novak just thinks Wilson's an "ass---"). None of these seem like lines of speculation Novak would want to encourage.  [See also Marshall.] ...

Update: Jacques Steinberg notes that Novak's "time off" will protect him from having to answer Plame questions anytime soon. CNN's spokesperson may not have been lying when she declared it a "mutual decision."  It almost seems like an outcome Novak might have wanted all along! Hmmm. ... Kabuki Watch: You don't think ... I mean, Novak wasn't especially provoked. ... And he didn't look that mad when he got up. ... More like he was slipping out! ... Update: Josh Marshall is puzzled too, for similar reasons. He seemingly randomly mentions World Wrestling Federation ... or maybe not so randomly. They have fights that feel like this one all the time! [But the WWF is ...-ed More realistic?] ...