Epistemic closure’s back, and it’s called “explanatory journalism”

posted at 8:41 am on June 26, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Remember “epistemic closure“? That phrase had a shelf life of a couple of years on the Left as a way to explain the refusal of the Right to see how Democrats won the 2008 election, among other things. It meant that conservatives had retreated too far into echo chambers to deal with reality, refusing to acknowledge differing points of view and contrary data points, let alone deal with them directly. For the most part, the charge was nonsense; no conservative, even in the echoiest of echo chambers, can avoid dealing with the media and its bias. As it turned out at the time, conservatives actually did engage outside the echo chambers more often than their counterparts, and won a huge victory in the 2010 midterms within months of that meme getting flotation — a victory that progressive commentators never saw coming until far too late.

Well, epistemic closure’s back, argues my colleague at The Week Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, and this time it’s in the form of “explanatory journalism”:

Meanwhile, two things are particularly striking about the current Democratic agenda. The first is that it’s so tired. Raising the minimum wage, raising taxes on high earners, tightening environmental regulation — these are all ideas from the ’60s. The second is that nobody on the left seems to be aware of it.

One of the most striking examples of this epistemic closure among liberal writers are their forays into “explanatory journalism.” The idea that many people might like clear, smart explanations of what’s going on in the news certainly has merit. But the tricky thing with “explaining” the news is that in order to do so fairly, you have to be able to do the mental exercise of detaching your ideological priors from just factually explaining what is going on. Of course, as non-liberal readers of the press have long been well aware, this has always been a problem for most journalists. And yet, the most prominent “explanatory journalism” venture has been strikingly bad at actually explaining things in a non-biased way.

I am, of course, talking about Vox, the hot new venture of liberal wonkblogger extraordinaire Ezra Klein. It was already a bad sign that his starting lineup was mostly made up of ideological liberals. And a couple months in, it’s clear that much of what passes for “explanation” on Vox is really partisan commentary in question-and-answer disguise. …

Increasingly, liberal writers have been drinking their own kool-aid. They really believe they are the “reality based community.” When they talk about conservatives they respect, they qualify their praise with “The smart conservative so and so…” — with such “he’s one of the good ones” asterisks betraying the wholly unwarranted assumption on the left that the vast majority of conservatives are crazy, stupid, or both.

And yet, liberals themselves are very rarely capable of passing an Ideological Turing Test. They believe not only that an honest evaluation of the world lines up with their worldview (everyone does, to some extent), but have also forgotten how to differentiate between the honest evaluations and their worldview, or that doing so is even possible, or that their worldview is based on very idiosyncratic moral priors.

Ace tried putting his finger on this last night, too:

The best I could propose was “callowism” or “callownalism,” although I doubt too many people could supply the definition of “callow” without resorting to a dictionary (“lacking adult sophistication”). The phenomenon is almost entirely an echo-chamber creation and service, an all-in-one self-affirmation for the Left even without the normal affirmation of the national media. The conceit of Vox and other “explanatory journalism” efforts by partisans and ideologues is that they grant themselves the authority of perfect knowledge rather than honestly argue as one side in a complex debate, and the Q&A format is the heart of that conceit.

None of this was a surprise, either. Plenty of people accurately diagnosed this issue from the beginning of “explanatory journalism,” perhaps even Jeff Bezos, who wisely declined to sink millions of dollars into the enterprise. It’s become an easy punching bag, as Gobry notes from several examples, but yesterday’s efforts to make believe that a -2.9% GDP result in Q1 wasn’t bad news was perhaps the most easily skewered.

To say the least, this kind of sanctimonious lecturing in the guise of factual reporting doesn’t exactly build confidence in the media, but that’s a broader problem than Vox and the other callownalists. Chris Cillizza tried to sound the alarm yesterday on Gallup’s recent polling on confidence in media, which has plunged to new lows. Cillizza asserts that this is the reason that people have gathered into echo chambers in the first place:

Your first reaction to that fact is likely something like this: Damn right. The media is so conservative/liberal/some other ideology that they don’t deserve to be trusted.

Fair enough. But, take a second and reflect on what it means that most people believe that there is simply no referee, no independent observer that exists to litigate the constant fighting in the political world.

The natural result of that loss of faith in the news media is for people to seek out more partisan sources of information which they can “trust” because the information being put out by those sites jibes with their particular point of view.  That is, of course, is exactly what’s happened in recent years as partisans shows, news sites and radio programs have boomed even as more traditional, non-partisan media outlets have struggled.  That means people are faced with information that doesn’t perfectly fit their world view less and less of the time — leading to the idea that people with whom you disagree are not simply looking at the world differently but rather are, at best, stupid, at worst, and evil.

That does explain “explanatory journalism”/callownalism, true. But that’s only possible because the supposedly non-partisan media outlets were anything but, and everyone knew it. The model of objective media had become a farce long before blogs and echo chambers arose. If these national media outlets want to decry this lack of trust in their work, perhaps they should look to themselves and their own biases first.

If only someone had written a book about this to warn them! You know, perhaps a longtime veteran of a national news organization, writing a column in a national print outlet in 1996 and then a book in 2001. But more on that later …

Update: A lot of “fact check” projects suffer from degrees of the same arrogance, but a few are handled reasonably well — although it always pays to fact-check the fact-checkers.


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It’s become an easy punching bag, as Gobry notes from several examples, but yesterday’s efforts to make believe that a -2.9% GDP result in Q1 wasn’t bad news was perhaps the most easily skewered.

Anyone who tries to spin -2.9% GDP as no big deal should never call themselves a journalist again. Although I have to admit, I am morbidly curious to hear the spin if the 2nd quarter GDP figure winds up being negative. For the first time ever, we’ll be subjected to articles and commentary about how the new recession is actually a good thing.

Doughboy on June 26, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Baron_Von_Meow @AceofSpadesHQ

Last week on the podcast I named this style of stupid-dressed-up-as-clever crap “Prat Journalism.”

I’d call it “Hey! Kool-Aid” journalism.

Flange on June 26, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I prefer the term “Goebbels-level propaganda.” Partly because those on the left are, these days, fascists.

rbj on June 26, 2014 at 8:49 AM

7 reasons why a 2.9% retraction is GREAT NEWS!

#EzraKleinVoxspalinin’

harlekwin15 on June 26, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Remember “epistemic closure“? That phrase had a shelf life of a couple of years on the Left as a way to explain the refusal of the Right to see how Democrats won the 2008 election
================================

Fact Pattern Runneth Amucks!!
(sarc)

canopfor on June 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Anyone who tries to spin -2.9% GDP as no big deal should never call themselves a journalist again. Although I have to admit, I am morbidly curious to hear the spin if the 2nd quarter GDP figure winds up being negative. For the first time ever, we’ll be subjected to articles and commentary about how the new recession is actually a good thing.

Doughboy on June 26, 2014 at 8:48 AM

You are far more correct than you know.

That will be the moment that the left intones that the recession is an indication that the American people are finally “right sizing” the economy, never mind that it is pablum it is pablum that would work.

The GOP has forgotten or has always in my life taken for granted that they are dealing with an intelligent voter base who has an innate understanding of the Capitalist system and its benefits and costs.

The National “Education” Assoc has largely succeeded in destroying that base of understanding to such a degree the GOP SHOULD be “voxsplaining” how the economy should work in every campaign.

harlekwin15 on June 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Just call it “voxsplaining” or “voxing”.

The shoe fits.

myiq2xu on June 26, 2014 at 8:55 AM

The best I could propose was “callowism” or “callownalism,”

Ah, dangit! Now I gotta go get out the dictionary.

although I doubt too many people could supply the definition of “callow” without resorting to a dictionary

Exactly what I was thinking.

(“lacking adult sophistication”).

THANK YOU!

rogaineguy on June 26, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Another option is “journolism” (derived from Ezra Klein’s Journolist).

myiq2xu on June 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

For the first time ever, we’ll be subjected to articles and commentary about how the new recession is actually a good thing.

Doughboy on June 26, 2014 at 8:48 AM

It’ll be a “funcession.”

Mr. D on June 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

I am morbidly curious to hear the spin if the 2nd quarter GDP figure winds up being negative. For the first time ever, we’ll be subjected to articles and commentary about how the new recession is actually a good thing.

I’m still trying to get my head around the concept that we need a lot more inflation to really make this economy get going.

JohnnyL on June 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Update: A lot of “fact check” projects suffer from degrees of the same arrogance, but a few are handled reasonably well — although it always pays to fact-check the fact-checkers.

My first thought was that this all started with the popularity of PolitiFact. Not the accuracy, mind you; but the click traffic.

BKeyser on June 26, 2014 at 9:00 AM

We know everything you peons
-lefties

cmsinaz on June 26, 2014 at 9:01 AM

had retreated too far into echo chambers to deal with reality, refusing to acknowledge differing points of view and contrary data points, let alone deal with them directly.
========================

Hello Hopey/Changey’s Middle East Going Up in Smoke Foreign Policy
Doctrine!

Or not!!

canopfor on June 26, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Anyone who tries to spin -2.9% GDP as no big deal should never call themselves a journalist again.

Doughboy on June 26, 2014 at 8:48 AM

I saw Kirsten Powers on Special Report last night. She was close to imploding in her assertion that the economy wasn’t nearly as bad as the -2.9% suggests because “no economist” is out there saying that there isn’t growth. It was a very weak argument without ever touching on what happens if the numbers don’t improve.

Happy Nomad on June 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM

I only looked at the “5 reasons why the shrinking GDP isn’t a reason to panic” article on Vox, but it seems that they don’t allow comments on anything they write.

I guess the only ‘vox’ they want to hear is their own in that echo chamber.

No wonder they don’t know how asinine they look when they publish this rubbish.

Mark Boabaca on June 26, 2014 at 9:07 AM

It’s become an easy punching bag, as Gobry notes from several examples, but yesterday’s efforts to make believe that a -2.9% GDP result in Q1 wasn’t bad news was perhaps the most easily skewered.

That’s almost as bad as that report put out by the Chinese government about the great benefits of smog:

1. It unifies the Chinese people.
2. It makes China more equal.
3. It raises citizen awareness of the cost of China’s economic development.
4. It makes people funnier.
5. It makes people more knowledgeable (of things like meteorology and the English word haze).

TarheelBen on June 26, 2014 at 9:08 AM

I call these eruptions of illogic ‘splaingasms.

Immolate on June 26, 2014 at 9:09 AM

How much longer before it’s “explained” to us that the recession really never ended?

Rovin on June 26, 2014 at 9:12 AM

All bad economic news is the result of:

A: republican obstructionism
B: global warming
C: Bush
D: lack of “immigration reform”
E: really cold winter

Just pick one.

News analysis is easy these days.

mankai on June 26, 2014 at 9:12 AM

I would not say liberals are “drinking their own kool-aid. At this point, they are drinking their own urine, which several months ago was their own kool-aid.

Now, that’s recycling.

danite on June 26, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Actually, this type of journalism has been around for decades, if not longer. It’s called High School Newspapers.

Many college-level will also exhibit the same hallmarks.

TKindred on June 26, 2014 at 9:17 AM

‘splainism – where I ‘splain things to you.

LakewoodEd on June 26, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Kirsten Powers has retreated into that echo chamber of stupidity for mouthing the talking point that the cold weather was the reason for the gdp decline. The few times she has shown a spark of interest in the truth just shows that she knows better but would rather keep what she has then come out of the darkness. Juan Williams has totally given up on the talking points and has devolved into nothing but laughing at and scoffing at the truth. The talking points are moving too fast for him to keep up.

Kissmygrits on June 26, 2014 at 9:19 AM

If these national media outlets want to decry this lack of trust in their work, perhaps they should look to themselves and their own biases first.

But…but…but the MSM is the cultural and elite intelligentsia of the nation. Just ask them. After all, WHO pushed for the coronation of King Barack the Magnificent?

And just like King Barack, the MSM makes no mistakes and commits no errors.

GarandFan on June 26, 2014 at 9:21 AM

What’s wrong with everybody organizing into their own echo chambers? If I’m not mistaken, that’s how we spent the 19th and much of the 20th century, only the echo chambers were newspapers that were run by ideologues. You subscribed to the paper that fit your ideology and their stories and editorial pages backed up your point of view. The idea that the press must be impartial is a fairly recent idea and, as all of us here know, it didn’t work out that way.

Occams Stubble on June 26, 2014 at 9:22 AM

The best I could propose was “callowism” or “callownalism,” although I doubt too many people could supply the definition of “callow” without resorting to a dictionary (“lacking adult sophistication”).

…you can’t be serious.

Are you in a competition with mart ygelsias for the most obliviously self-congratulatory intellectual posturing on the political internet?

jaxisaneurophysicist on June 26, 2014 at 9:22 AM

How about stupid AND evil? I ran across a old employee on mine the other day. He had moved to Philadelphia and was back in town for a visit. He is as liberal a fellow as you can find. We talked and he described Philadelphia as “post-apocalyptic.” He said two thirds of Philadelphia is like a third world country.

An interesting view you don’t see in the press. Are all American cities somewhere on a continuum with Detroit? Have the Democrats and progressives ruined many American cities that they have ruled for decades? Have many cities, once marvels of wealth creation, become negative financial enterprises, consuming wealth rather than creating wealth? Have the many constraints – environmental, bureaucratic, and corrupt – the American nomenklatura imposed on cities led to their ruin?

Viator on June 26, 2014 at 9:23 AM

I’m still trying to get my head around the concept that we need a lot more inflation to really make this economy get going.

JohnnyL

Oh, that one’s fairly easy . . . .

The debt we’ve built up is measured in “old dollars” – - – if the money supply is expanded, we get to pay the debt in cheaper “new dollars.”

It’s all about ripping off the people we owe money to.

BD57 on June 26, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Juan Williams has totally given up on the talking points and has devolved into nothing but laughing at and scoffing at the truth. The talking points are moving too fast for him to keep up.

Kissmygrits on June 26, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Yeah, the other night Juan was asserting that there was no scandal or wrongdoing at the IRS because the GOP hearings had failed to connect the missing e-mails to the White House. As if there is no wrongdoing so long as the rat-eared messiah isn’t involved.

Happy Nomad on June 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM

I saw Kirsten Powers on Special Report last night. She was close to imploding in her assertion that the economy wasn’t nearly as bad as the -2.9% suggests because “no economist” is out there saying that there isn’t growth. It was a very weak argument without ever touching on what happens if the numbers don’t improve.

Happy Nomad on June 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM

I like KiKi Powers, but she’s nutz if she really believes that. -2.9% GDP by its very definition means the economy isn’t growing. And sorry, but the cold weather excuse is pathetic. These idiots are acting like there was a damn ice age.

Doughboy on June 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM

It’s more like Frat Journalism.

At every good school there is a small cadre of privileged, attractive, well-connected, intellectually fraternal young people who all know each other,know where they’re going to work, know the deans and other leaders of the school and the politicians and judges in the community who patronize them. In their eyes everyone else is a broke-ass, Section 8 housed moron whose opinion about everything is more or less irrelevant.

In my day we called them smart asses.

Blacksheep on June 26, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Oh, that one’s fairly easy . . . .

The debt we’ve built up is measured in “old dollars” – – – if the money supply is expanded, we get to pay the debt in cheaper “new dollars.”

It’s all about ripping off the people we owe money to.

BD57 on June 26, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Hey, that’s how Hitler paid off Germany’s WWI reparations and everything worked out for the better after that.

Occams Stubble on June 26, 2014 at 9:31 AM

I’m still trying to get my head around the concept that we need a lot more inflation to really make this economy get going.

JohnnyL on June 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

More inflation, and more illegal aliens, according to that well-known economics genius Joe Biden.

Flood the country with millions more unskilled, uneducated, non-English-speaking, welfare-dependent foreigners, and then ramp up inflation for the rapidly-dwindling worker classes, and our economy will be smoking hot!

Of course, most of the heat will be coming from bullets flying about, but that will be good for ammunition manufacturers!

AZCoyote on June 26, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Yeah, the other night Juan was asserting that there was no scandal or wrongdoing at the IRS because the GOP hearings had failed to connect the missing e-mails to the White House. As if there is no wrongdoing so long as the rat-eared messiah isn’t involved.

Happy Nomad on June 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Of course there’s connection. Because they destroyed or hid the e-mails! That’s like a defense attorney for a murder suspect claiming there’s no evidence….right after they disposed of the body and murder weapon.

Doughboy on June 26, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Serious question: Does anyone actually read Vox? I know people who comment here probably don’t, but does anyone?

I here the site mentioned a lot, but I don’t know anyone who’s actually gone there for news. For all I know conservative political types just like to talk about a minor liberal news outlet because they’re an easy target, kinda like MSNBC.

Mahna Mahna on June 26, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Yeah, the other night Juan was asserting that there was no scandal or wrongdoing at the IRS because the GOP hearings had failed to connect the missing e-mails to the White House. As if there is no wrongdoing so long as the rat-eared messiah isn’t involved.

Happy Nomad on June 26, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Problem with Juan’s theory is that the missing e-mails were most likely destroyed in order to hide the White House connection.

AZCoyote on June 26, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Good point Mahna. 100% of my exposure to Vox has been through right-wing reporting of them.

I’ve never actually been to the site, and can’t think of anyone I need less to “explain” things to me than Ezra Klein.

Blacksheep on June 26, 2014 at 9:39 AM

What’s wrong with everybody organizing into their own echo chambers? If I’m not mistaken, that’s how we spent the 19th and much of the 20th century, only the echo chambers were newspapers that were run by ideologues. You subscribed to the paper that fit your ideology and their stories and editorial pages backed up your point of view. The idea that the press must be impartial is a fairly recent idea and, as all of us here know, it didn’t work out that way.

Occams Stubble on June 26, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Durn, you beat me to it.

The difference between that era and today, of course, is that there were roughly an even number of news providers in both camps, Republican and Democrat, plus a smattering of “others”; the Know-Nothings, the Free Silver crowd, and etc.

Today, other than talk radio and Fox News, the “journalistic profession” is almost entirely Democrat/progressive/socialist/ borderline (or, indeed, not-so-borderline) fascist. Instead of the New York Tribune (GOP) vs the New York Sun (Democrat), it’s Pravda and Isvestia forty years ago, when their editorial pages mainly consisted of their editors arguing which of them was more loyal to the Party and the Cause.

The result is that they increasingly sound like Der Sturmer and the Volkischer Beobachter, as opposed to actual “news outlets”.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 26, 2014 at 9:41 AM

callownalists

Too many letters, Ed.

Kraken on June 26, 2014 at 9:46 AM

If only someone had written a book about this….

Indeed. And Bernie Goldberg is now pointing out that the media have moved from bias to a knowing, active advocacy for the left.

Barnestormer on June 26, 2014 at 9:58 AM

That does explain “explanatory journalism”/callownalism, true. But that’s only possible because the supposedly non-partisan media outlets were anything but, and everyone knew it. The model of objective media had become a farce long before blogs and echo chambers arose. If these national media outlets want to decry this lack of trust in their work, perhaps they should look to themselves and their own biases first.

I was wondering what unbiased news organizations Cillizza was talking about because the reality in today’s world is that Fox is the fairest news source in existence today. I doubt Cillizza sees it that way, which only highlights his own bias. Anyone who views Fox as some sort of right wing mouthpiece is out of their flipping minds. Conservatives know that Fox isn’t conservative outside of a handful of individuals with their own shows on that network. But the bias towards the left is so strong on other networks that anything right of NPR looks like conservative central to those who watch our biased media sources.

NotCoach on June 26, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Serious question: Does anyone actually read Vox? I know people who comment here probably don’t, but does anyone?

I here the site mentioned a lot, but I don’t know anyone who’s actually gone there for news. For all I know conservative political types just like to talk about a minor liberal news outlet because they’re an easy target, kinda like MSNBC.

Mahna Mahna on June 26, 2014 at 9:33 AM

I don’t have a good Voxsplanation for this.

I have checked out the site, and it is as bad or worse than the mocking of it indicates.

NotCoach on June 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM

I’ve never visited Vox for obvious reasons but I bet that drop in the economy must have been fun to put on a happy face.

Cindy Munford on June 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM

eon on June 26, 2014 at 9:41 AM

As long as both sides exist I think it’s fine. Vox sounds like a place to go to get a cheap laugh.

Cindy Munford on June 26, 2014 at 10:04 AM

eon on June 26, 2014 at 9:41 AM

I believe there used to be a more distinct separation between the news department and the editorial department on most news outlets in the past. Now they are one in the same where important stories that go against your ideology get placed on the inner pages and unimportant news stories that hurt your opponent get puffed to greater proportions than warranted, and now include outright lies and deception ergo the Scott Walker headlines in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel.

Deano1952 on June 26, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Explainatory journalism? I’m more familiar with what we used to call this – “propaganda”

tommyboy on June 26, 2014 at 10:17 AM

NotCoach on June 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM

I don’t doubt that the site is bad. My question is if it is influential. I think its an important question because I see a tendency with political opinion writers (both right and left) to answer the people on the other side who make the weakest arguments whether or not they actually matter in shaping their party’s opinions.

Mahna Mahna on June 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM

The best I could propose was “callowism” or “callownalism,” although I doubt too many people could supply the definition of “callow” without resorting to a dictionary (“lacking adult sophistication”).

Puerile punditry? Jejune journalism? The Bereft Estate?

de rigueur on June 26, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Go again…

The best I could propose was “callowism” or “callownalism,” although I doubt too many people could supply the definition of “callow” without resorting to a dictionary (“lacking adult sophistication”).

Puerile punditry? Jejune journalism? The Bereft Estate? The press corpse?

de rigueur on June 26, 2014 at 10:47 AM

The idea that the press must be impartial is a fairly recent idea and, as all of us here know, it didn’t work out that way.

Occams Stubble on June 26, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Also Eon.

In the old days the newspapers didn’t hide what they were. If they were conservative, liberal, democrat, etc. they stated as much usually right on the front page. They didn’t pretend to be something they weren’t as the media is doing now.

crankyoldlady on June 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The best I could propose was “callowism” or “callownalism,”

Personally, I prefer “presstitute”. And although I’d love to claim I came up with it, I did not.

earlgrey on June 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM

“Delusion Journalism”

dominigan on June 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM

take a second and reflect on what it means that most people believe that there is simply no referee, no independent observer that exists to litigate the constant fighting in the political world.

That’s why I like to analyze the data published by government web sites, and compare the following two periods of time:
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2007 (when GOP held majority)
January 3, 2007 – Present (when DEMS have held majority)

(Majority defined as controlling 2+ out of 3 of the House, Senate, and Presidency).

Average GDP Growth
GOP Majority: 3.3%
DEM Majority: 1.1%
(GDP growth three times better under GOP majority)

Average Annual Deficit
GOP Majority: 0.8% of GDP
DEM Majority: 6.4% of GDP
(Annual deficits eight times worse under DEM majority)

Average Employment-Population Ratio
GOP Majority: 63.3%
DEM Majority: 59.7%
Obama administration: 58.7%
(Over 11 Million more people would be employed if we had GOP-level employment right now)

ITguy on June 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM

The best I could propose was “callowism” or “callownalism,” although I doubt too many people could supply the definition of “callow” without resorting to a dictionary (“lacking adult sophistication”).

My humble offering: Call it “Toddler Logic”. Toddlers are very, very illogical. You can warn them time and again what will be the consequences of a specific behavior, and they will do it any way — then lie their sweet, charming little heads off explaining how they didn’t do what it was they did.

catsandbooks on June 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM

“Spinformationists”

ROCnPhilly on June 26, 2014 at 12:17 PM

I saw Kirsten Powers on Special Report last night. She was close to imploding in her assertion that the economy wasn’t nearly as bad as the -2.9% suggests because “no economist” is out there saying that there isn’t growth. It was a very weak argument without ever touching on what happens if the numbers don’t improve.

Happy Nomad on June 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Powers only gives us an honest opinion on subjects on which she has been personally mugged. She’s been mugged on Obamacare by her own health insurance situation, and on Barry’s TFU on Egypt, where she has relatives in danger.

Other than that she simply parrots the Democratics’ talking points, and not very well.

slickwillie2001 on June 26, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Increasingly, liberal writers have been drinking their own kool-aid

…no!…they drink Puke!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 26, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Just call it “voxsplaining” or “voxing”.

The shoe fits.

myiq2xu on June 26, 2014 at 8:55 AM

I don’t have a good Voxsplanation for this.

NotCoach on June 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM

That meme gets my vote for the immediate case; although I agree totally with this in general:

Explainatory journalism? I’m more familiar with what we used to call this – “propaganda”

tommyboy on June 26, 2014 at 10:17 AM

AesopFan on June 26, 2014 at 1:27 PM

What’s wrong with everybody organizing into their own echo chambers? If I’m not mistaken, that’s how we spent the 19th and much of the 20th century, only the echo chambers were newspapers that were run by ideologues. You subscribed to the paper that fit your ideology and their stories and editorial pages backed up your point of view. The idea that the press must be impartial is a fairly recent idea and, as all of us here know, it didn’t work out that way.
Occams Stubble on June 26, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Exactly. An artificial construct by progressives to lull the masses while taking out the competition. If nothing else the ideologues play the long game while the productive focus on the near term issues like taking care of their own and getting by.

AH_C on June 26, 2014 at 7:01 PM