Comments on: 11-dimensional chessmasters checkmated by “reality” History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:05:46 +0000 hourly 1 By: What was excellent advice in 2008 looks positively prescient now! : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Wed, 31 Oct 2012 04:14:49 +0000 [...] from powerful people in the Democratic Party–were clearly evident more than four years ago.  I know people don’t like it when I say this, but the President’s isolation, stemming from his refusal to use a great deal of the [...]

By: Comrade PhysioProf Tue, 11 Oct 2011 02:37:00 +0000 Of course, the use of sources such as Wilson in a historical mode of “ok. this is what some people wrote at a certain time about some certain things. what are their biases and interests and how can we interpret what they wrote in light of them and what does it tell us about the time and its circumstances?” is exactly what historians do (at least as I understand it).

But that was not even close to the rhetorical stance of your original post, Historiann.

By: Historiann Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:18:20 +0000 Comrade: I understand your point entirely. As a reader of political blogs for the past decade, I’m well aware of the arguments made about the “beltway/establishment/mainstream media.”

It is you who fail to understand my point, which is a historian’s point that there is no such thing as the perfect, objective, fair, balanced, and truthful primary source. Wilson and other WH correspondents are much better placed to report on the court politics than most. They are captive to their own biases, of course, but this is true of absolutely every primary source ever written or recorded in human history. Anyone who picks up a pen or takes a photograph or video or opens a laptop has an agenda. Historians who wait around for the Platonic Objective and Truthful primary source to magically appear will die without ever publishing anything.

I guarantee you that anything you might read about presidential administrations of the past century–and perhaps longer back in U.S. history–make heavy use of contemporary reportage like Wilson’s. It’s all we’ve got to work with, and unless and until a storm of conflicting sources appears, this seems to be in line with what’s coming out right now. It may turn out to be a false narrative–but we can’t tell without the further passage of time and more reporting and insider “tell-all” published reports.

By: anonymous Mon, 10 Oct 2011 21:06:36 +0000 Historiann, I certainly agree with your point that Obama is engaging in Bush Bubble-like behavior.

But I don’t understand the article’s critique that he’s spending too many nights at the White House (something very UNlike Bush), particularly when donor disappointment over short face-time is part of the complaint. Who cares (other than donors)? Why would that make him less effective, or his work hours shorter?

I guess “lazy”(!!) just isn’t on my long list of complaints about the President. I think he’s tone deaf and aloof and Bush Bubbled because that’s the way he works, not because he’s not working. I don’t like the way he works and I’m mad that he’s not working for the right things. I certainly understand why many citizens are pissed about meaningful access, I just disagree that cocktail party donor massages are worth getting worked up about.

(I also strongly disagree with the article’s implication that he would be lauded for staying late at parties.)

Short hours, laziness, overparenting…I don’t see it.

By: Comrade PhysioProf Mon, 10 Oct 2011 19:52:28 +0000 Here is an example of how you do real journalism about people and entities with an interest in obscuring the truth:

Yes, there is a club, and no, none of us are in it. You don’t need to be in this club to be an effective journalist.

The kind of access that being a member of the Villager club provides is to anonymous gossip and unsubtantiated claims by those with a tremendous interest in pushing their own political and personal agenda. Villager media people crave this stuff because it makes them feel like they are part of the power structure. People with real power *use* people like Wilson by exploiting their craving for insider status.

BTW, this is not some kind of novel insight of my own. Political media critics like Digby and Driftglass have been documenting and analyzing this phenomenon in excrutiating detail for years.

By: Emma Mon, 10 Oct 2011 19:22:28 +0000 I think my needs for a President wo looks out for my interests far outweigh his kids’ needs for a daddy.

By: Historiann Mon, 10 Oct 2011 17:09:41 +0000 Where is this “real journalism” of which you speak? The fact is that institutional legitimacy (working for the WaPo, the NY or LA Times, etc.) gets one access, but it’s also true that institutional legitimacy also means that there’s more identification with the millionaires and to crave more insider info/power.

People working for small city weeklies and/or nonprofit publications probably find it easier to be honest & remain unseduced by access to power, but that’s largely because they don’t have the access of the first kind of reporters. After all, it was you CPP who wrote recently, 1) there is a club, and 2) you are not in it.

By: PhysioProf Mon, 10 Oct 2011 16:02:03 +0000 The Village media sucked asse just as bad in 2008 as they do now. Here’s what you need to know about how and why they behave the way they do:

(1) They are corporate millionaires (or aspire to become corporate millionaires) and represent the interests of the corporate millionaire class.

(2) They worship power, and crave nothing more than to be seen as insiders of power structures.

(3) They are lazy, and it is much easier to spew titillating narratives built on the anonymous sourcing of interested parties than it is to engage in real journalism.

By: Charlie Mon, 10 Oct 2011 14:27:13 +0000 I agree entirely Historiann! And the best step towards that is primarying and removing shitty Dem Senators.

By: Historiann Mon, 10 Oct 2011 14:15:38 +0000 Salty Current: you’re contributing exactly nothing to the conversation and you persist in being a jerk. Buh-bye!