Blogger Ann Althouse has gone full circle and now allows reader comments again. I must confess that the episode cooled much of my long-standing enthusiasm for her blog: her reasoning in banning them was so arrogant and dismissive of the loyal readers who support her that she crashed her cognitive dissonance scale with me. (And I still don’t forgive her for refusing to include Ethics Alarms in her links; eventually she stopped linking to any other sites at all, which, come to think of it, was similar to banning comments.) I assume her traffic was crashing, or maybe someone she pays attention to pointed out that her constantly changing the comment hoops to jump through (“No comments, but you can email me with a comment, and maybe I’ll quote it as a comment…”) did not put the former law prof. in a flattering light. I don’t know, and don’t really care. I just know that I don’t check her quirky posts as often as I once did.
I checked today, though, and Ann posted on “Miscue After Miscue, U.S. Exit Plan Unravels/President Biden promised an orderly withdrawal. That pledge, compounded by missed signals and miscalculations, proved impossible” , a an article that I had already read in the print edition. The Times story describes a disturbing meeting President Biden had with his military and other advisors about the plan to pull out in Afghanistan. Ann read the online comments from Times readers and reported herself,
“If you go into the comments over there at the NYT and you put them in order of “most liked,” you’ll see an unbroken chain of comments supporting Joe Biden: “It seems to me that the media is being less than fair to Joe Biden over this,” “Has it really gone wrong?,” “Did the Trump Surrender Agreement with the Taliban provide for evacuation? If it did, what did it say? If it didn’t, why not?,” “Frankly I’m dismayed that the media is now declaring this a disaster,” “Thanks President Biden for making this brave decision albeit flawed execution. When we end this if there are no US troop live lost and Americans evacuated with as much of our allies. It will be remembered as a very good decision and no one will care about execution like Vietnam withdrawal.”
Good research there, Ann! I would never do that; I detest “likes,” which I regard as lazy substitutes for serious consideration. But her discovery is useful: this is a major reason, along with the biases of its employees, why the Times has abandoned journalism for progressive propaganda. Of course, I could read pretty much the same sad reactions from my own Facebook feed, if my “friends” didn’t block me from reading what they know I’d take apart, ruthless and with glee.
Then Althouse’s commenters had a field day, reminding me again how foolish it was to silence them. Among the best responses,
Kevin said…”Joe could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose the NYT commenters. They’d blame Trump for putting the idea into his head.”
Lloyd W. Robertson said… “So difficult not to have top staff turn into flatterers, lowering their effective IQs by many points. … I still have this uneasy feeling that the Pentagon wanted to sabotage any withdrawal from Afghanistan, to ensure no president is ever likely to try such a thing again. For Biden, happy things. Every morning, a lot of attention to clothing, appearance, perhaps the levels of drugs, and then: can we get ice cream and go to the zoo?”
gspencer said...”‘The plan was a good one, the group concluded.’ Just after, the members of the group also concluded that each one of them was “jolly good fellow.” Cakes, crumpets, and tea then followed.”
Bruce Hayden said…”A number of commenters have suggested that the MSM has turned on Biden. I think that the comments running so favorably in his direction suggests that is not the case with this core constituency (NYT readers). I think that with that support, the Democrats may not see a solution for their doddering, increasingly senile Biden problem for the foreseeable future. They don’t seem concerned that Biden appears to have screwed this up royally. Several days ago, everyone was pointing fingers, and too many were ending up pointing at Biden, including a number who worked for him. We may be seeing the start of a new narrative – that getting out was a good thing, that breaking a couple eggs is sometimes necessary to do good things, and then the lie, that Trump would have done a worse job. The scary thing is that Biden, himself, seems to have been the one who really screwed this up, and did so for personal reasons. So much for their reassurances that he had good people around him, helping steer him when necessary. The apparent reality is that Biden is usually in his senile fog, and the people around him run the government, which was the plan from the first. But his signature is required, and if he gets a hair up in his nether regions about something, like he did here, that is the cost of running a figurehead Presidency.”
Josephbleau said…”How does a Nation go to shit?, Gradually, then suddenly.”
Temujin said…” Regarding the comments to the article, Party Uber Alles. Democrat voters have shown themselves to be all about The Party. More than their families, their children, their country. Party and some sort of secular religion is everything. No rational human being could look at what has taken place and remark that it’ll be viewed as the right move, and let’s blame it on the administration who left 8 months ago. These people jettisoned their reason years ago. It is a religion now, this secular/marxist thought. And it’s not just the commenters. It’s at every level of our society, and is especially glaring at the level of government and military. These are not our ‘best and brightest’. They are either pawns or advocates of a religion that is anathema to the very existence of a free people. To put the likes of Lloyd Austin, Mark Milley, Anthony Blinken, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Marty Walsh, Alejandro Mayorkas, Deb Haaland, Janet Yellen, Susan Rice, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, et.al. in charge of our country and how we interact with the world is to give approval for our own destruction. And you can see it in every facet of our society now. I don’t know that we’ll survive four more years of this without turning ourselves inside out- and not in a good way. 2022 has to result in an earthquake of change, or there will be problems we’ve never seen before.”
cubanbob said… “The most liked comments in the NYT are scary. What level of willful blindness are those people capable of? A child could have thought up a better plan to exit Afghanistan than the Biden brain trust and yet the NYT commenters are praising this disaster. The NYT has morphed into Pravda and the requisite readers.”