Posted by: jt | October 10, 2008

positive reinforcement

If you’ve ever read here before you may have noticed, I’m not exactly tacit about my frustration with mainstream American media. It’s nothing personal, I just like for my news to contain more facts than spin. I know, Me? Climb up on a soapbox? Perish the thought!

Despite my inability not willingness to occasionally climb up on very high horses, my preferred modus operandi is positive reinforcement. The targets of my wrath might find that difficult to believe but, when given a choice, I really do focus on the good stuff. Ergo…

Well done New York Times!

Three New York Times articles in the last three days have left me nodding my head in agreement with their cogent arguments that I haven’t necessarily seen in other MSM. Three!

We’ll start with the most surprising one…It is a rare day when I can read Tom Friedman without rolling my eyes but, doggone-it, his column earlier this week on Palin’s Kind of Patriotism makes a heckuva lot of sense. This isn’t a Sarah Palin is the Devil Incarnate piece, but a broader critique of the twisted “patriotism” of Republican tax policies. – Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq?

Friedman’s also just given me a new quote to summarize my own views: I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization. — Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

It’s sad that I’m actually surprised to see this being covered, but…The NYTimes gets a happy pat on the back for, well, doing its job in reporting that tens of thousands of registered voters are being illegally removed from the rolls. Verify your voting registration and know your rights (go to your state’s Secretary of State website) and make sure you can put them into practice on November 4.

The last piece comes from, hands down, my favorite writer at the New York Times. If you think it’s Maureen Dowd, you’re (still?) trying to put me in a snippy little partisan box where I don’t fit. I go in the proactive progressive box, along with Nicholas D. Kristof. The outcome may seem partisan, but the argument is about the real-life impact of policies and ideology. Case in point: Nick’s column about Bush/McCain policies on abortion in Africa – how their policies are promoting abortion in Africa.

It turned into a post of its own…



  1. Heh, I knew MSM as “men who have sex with men” way before “mainstream media.” It was a little confusing the first time I heard it used by journalist/media types!

  2. I know! The first time I heard it in a media context was in a meeting with journalists. I’d kind of been spacing out and then a slide came up that had MSM on it and I was all whaaaa?

    Alas, the blogs in question were in no way MSM. ;-)

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