Monday, January 30, 2017

Your slip is showing

Here's an odd sentence from AP:

The directive did not do anything to prevent attacks from homegrown extremists who were already in America, a primary concern of federal law enforcement officials.

It's buried in an article about Trump's immigration actions.

This kind of sentence almost never makes sense. There are an infinite number of things not done by every definite action that does do something. You always need to write about what is happening, not the infinite number of things not on the table. Trying to fold something in creates an argument, and a heavy burden, to show that the thing not done is so intimately related to thing done as to justify our attention.

What does "homegrown" have to do with immigration? Nothing, of course. It might be much more or much less important, but it's a different topic. If you want to explore how the two concepts could be related, there are several choices--violence, of course, but then why not write "The directive did not do anything to prevent date rape" or any other violent act. This sort of reaching isn't appropriate for a news story; it's appropriate for a study of framing issues, maybe, but not a news story.

There is some possibility that the sentence refers to all the odd little "lone wolf" attacks that Obama was more likely to describe as work place violence, though they all had this strange, though consistent and predictable, tendency to have some relation to Islamic extremism outside the country--being converted or some such. Not likely, though. AP has been on the side working hard to convey that Islamic extremism is less important, not the side working to convey that it's more important. Even if this is the intended reference for the sentence, it's still a different issue (not to mention, if this is the intended meaning, then it's an argument that Obama should have done what Trump did many years earlier, so as to reduce the influence and contacts from these sources of influence that are converting the homegrown Islamic terrorists).

Of course what's really at stake is the politics. AP, like Obama and many others, still believes the Tea Party is a threat, but Islamic terrorists are just a coexist issue. All this sentence is really saying is, "Why are you making me write this story, instead of a story about the REAL threat to America, including Trump, the Tea Party and Republicans, in that order."

(Another sign of inherent weakness: How does AP know it's a concern of federal law enforcement officials, much less a "primary" one? It might or might not be, but there is no quote or work to support it. Again, it's just a sign of a reporter straining to convey what he isn't quite willing to say directly: YOU PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS! WHY DID YOU ELECT TRUMP!)


Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Asmuch disaray has been reported over the weekend at US airports, I think the media is in greater disaray. The Daily Beast justr got caught reporting that the two shooters at the Quebec City weekend attack were White Supremacists, citing Reuters. Turned out they listened to a Reuters Parody.

I heard a reporter on NPR this weekend refer to as a "White Supremacist" website. I don't frequent Breibart (prefer Drudge and Realclearpolitics), but wasn't Andrew Breitbart Jewish?

The breathless nature of reporting across TV and the radio is driving me to the comedy stations. I believe Trump's strategy si to throw so much at once at the media that they can't focus, panic, and look foolish. Tomorrow - Supreme Court nomination.

9:21 AM, January 30, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump has no strategy. He's just a crazy jerk who says whatever comes into his head.

As to the media looking foolish, that's what the right wing says to take attention away from Trump looking foolish, except no one can miss that. No matter what the media says or does, it's the politicians who make the decisions, and they're the ones to watch.

9:35 AM, January 30, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Reuters today "The Dow, which soared 9.2 percent in the aftermath of Trump's election, has gained only 1 percent after his Jan. 20 inauguration."

In other words, the Dow has gained 1% in the last ten days. If it keeps up at this rate, it will gain 36% in one year, but this is reason to be worried.

11:58 AM, January 30, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You got it.

(Also- what does dead Andrew Breitbart's Jewishness have to do with being a white supremacist site. Certainly both facts (real ones not alternative ones) can exist at the same time

2:17 PM, January 30, 2017  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Anon- it just doesn't seem likely, given that Bannon worked for Breitbart. Anything might be true, but then I'm not inclined to take it for fact just because the media reports it, given the exaggerations and errors they have increasingly fallen into as they struggle to find a way to meaningfully oppose this President. I really liked the report that Trump had removed the Martin Luther King bust from the White House - whoops!

By the way has the mainstream media reported Trump's announcement that he will be leaving in place the Obama order disallowing Federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees? Guess there wasn't enough room for a headline.

10:41 AM, January 31, 2017  

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