Your Virtual Front Page, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011

Trying to keep this going. I mean, when you can’t rely on either our elected leaders or our vaunted private sector, there’s gotta be something you can depend upon, right? Our top stories at this hour:

  1. Dow Slides 5.6%, Ending Below 11000 (WSJ) — You know that optimistic talk over the weekend about how maybe the markets would just ignore the downgrade? That didn’t happen. NPR at least had fun with the headline: “Markets Put The ‘Down’ In ‘Downgrade.'”
  2. Obama speech doesn’t stop the slide (WashPost) — Actually, the BBC headlined its main story on the stocks rout that way: “Markets fall despite Obama speech.” What worries me at this point is whether anyone will listen to anyone — or are we just going to keep flailing our arms and screaming as we run off the cliff? Is that the plan?
  3. Congress’s will withers with economy (WashPost) — And so it should. But this hurts us: “More bad news is instead likely to create more political hurdles for a Democratic administration and a split Congress to pass even modest legislation to aid employment and the economy.”
  4. 3 Arab Countries Recall Ambassadors to Syria (NYT) — Wow, you’ve gotta be pretty oppressive to become a pariah for it among some of these guys.
  5. More Than 200 Arrested In London Riots (NPR) — The PM had to come running home to deal with it. Or face it, anyway.
  6. Mark Hatfield, last actual liberal Republican, dies (NYT) — OK, maybe I’m exaggerating with the “last liberal” thing, but I thought it might get your attention. I meant it symbolically. Maybe some of the Tea Party-type Republicans should study the Hatfield record before they accuse any of their contemporaries of being RINOs. Or maybe, just maybe, being a real Republican means you get to think for yourself on some issues? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Sorry, but I didn’t find any front-page news locally. Which is bad for the mix. Can’t imagine what The State will put on its front tomorrow — besides, you know, football pictures (stop that! bad boy! hush!). I see that Jon Huntsman is expected to say something about Boeing down in the Lowcountry, and there was a wreck near Finlay Park. None of it makes the front yet at this hour.

16 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011

  1. Brad

    No, I’m really NOT going to start criticizing my friends in local media, despite my sour mood today. I’m not going to say a word about the lede of that WIS story: “An elderly driver was ejected from their car in a traffic accident…”

    AN elderly driver. Just one. And THEIR car.

    But I’m not going to mention it.

  2. Mab

    I wish you were still at The State in an opinionating (pontificating) capacity. After 20 years of reading you, I finally understand your (sorta different) POVs. Hear that, The State.


    On #2 —

    ‘whether anyone will listen to anyone’

    As I heard Mike Huckabee ask a guest on his show last weekend, what influence/control does the S & P really have? Who are they, even? [paraphrased]

    It is economic fear-mongering, IMO. I, for one, am tired of this situation — self-inflicted — crowding out all other news.

  3. Brad

    Yeah, it takes a while for people to get me. I’m quirky.

    Today at Rotary — Trey Gowdy was the speaker (I’ll write something about that tomorrow; I need to go home and eat dinner, and watch some non-HD TV) — Rusty DePass had brought a guest or two. One of them introduced himself as a guy who made Rusty look like a liberal, and then started talking about that crazy liberal news media blaming the Tea Party for what happened in Washington, when of course the Tea Party are the ones making sense…

    I just looked down at my iPhone and checked Twitter. There wasn’t time to engage him, as the program was about to start.

    And how would I express to him, briefly, what I think? In a world in which most people (“liberals” just as much as this guy) speak in terms of liberal and conservative as though those were our two valid and only options. How do I explain what I think, when I recoil so vehemently at both modern “liberals” and modern “conservatives?” I mean, I have to explain an entire worldview with which he is apparently unfamiliar. And he’s not alone. Most people are unfamiliar with it. News media, parties, advocacy groups, pretty much anyone with the money and power to amplify a message, have pretty much convinced most people that there are only these two ways to think. In the face of that, too many sensible people have simply disengaged from politics, leaving the field more and more to the extremists.

    And over the past 20 years (I’ve been doing journalism a lot longer than that, but 20 years pretty much describes the period during which I’ve had a view of such things that is much the same as what I have today), I’ve struggled to articulate a way of looking at things that is different, that offers another way.

    It’s not that I’m so brilliant, by the way. I find that there are lots of thoughtful people out there — a lot of them who feel alienated by the political parties and much of what is current in politics today, just as I do — who come up to me and tell me that they think the way I do, and to keep saying the things I say. Unindoctrinated people, I suppose you’d say.

    But there aren’t enough of them. My far more common experience is to get the kind of reaction I got after I posted about the SC5 and the downgrade over the weekend. I got Tweets and other responses (my favorite — a Fairfield County Republican who called me a “left wing idiot“) based in assumptions that I was some sort of “liberal,” because if I criticize their allies, that’s what I have to be, right? Just as, when I support military actions abroad or criticize Barack Obama’s philosophy of judicial nominations, I’m a right-wing nut to my “liberal” interlocutors.

    It’s frustrating, and it’s tiring — especially when I don’t get paid to do it anymore. It’s hard to explain the compulsion.

    But anyway, I say all that to say thanks, Mab, for telling me that you get my sorta different point of view…

  4. Mark Stewart

    Hatfield was my kind of Republican, except that he somehow ended up getting zinged in the James Holderman scandals. What a connection to South Carolina.

    Ethics count. It’s better to see someone stumble early in their career then to find out someone with an august reputation has, in fact, been trading on unseemly favors later in one’s career. Hatfield’s actions in the 1980’s made it difficult for anyone else to position themselves as that kind of moderate, thoughtful Republican.

  5. `Kathryn Fenner

    Brad–My first reaction to the elderly driver story was exactly yours.

    Really, guys–back away from the football idolatry and put out a respectably edited newspaper.

  6. Rose

    Kathryn and Brad –
    I co-sign on your local media points – both the incorrect grammar and the football idolatry.
    My five year old uses better grammar than many adults, including reporters and teachers. Why do most people no longer know how to use “I” and “me” correctly?!?!
    I’m sooooo sick of football and its special privileges. Mangus was representing his employer (and my alma mater) at a professional conference. He. Should. Have. Been. Fired.

  7. Brad

    Me always use words right.

    And who’s this Mangus when he’s at home?

    Oh, wait; I just looked him up. I see. Unseemly indeed. Harrumph…

  8. Kathy

    Thank you, Rose. English is complicated, and though I made an A in each of the six English courses I studied at USC, I’m still learning more about English grammar. (I was at USC in the 1970s when six misspellings on a paper meant an automatic F. My, how times have changed.) However, I really don’t think it’s too much to ask that news anchors, some of whom are paid several million dollars per year, use I and me correctly. I’m extremely tired of hearing that error much too often.

  9. `Kathryn Fenner

    Today’s online newsletter for The State has a headline about Irmo girl’s “historical performance”–the photo is of her on a baseball field in modern dress, not some Confederate re-enactor garb…

  10. Herb Brasher

    But commas also serve a very useful function and I for one am getting very tired of reading all these runtogether sentences without any punctuation marks whatsoever.

    While we’re at it, why don’t we just write like they did in antiquityandstopputtinganyspacesbetweenwordsandforgetallpunctuationmarks.

    I thought we had learned some things in the last 2000 years, but I fear maybe not.

  11. Brad

    Folks, it’s after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, and I haven’t had time to do the Virtual Front Page yet. I’m calling it a day. I’d go ahead and do it, but I’m at home alone with the dog and he’s downstairs freaking out over the thunder and rain outside, and it’s just too distracting.

    There were only two things you really needed to know, though:

    After Day of Tumult, Dow Closes Up 430 Points
    UK police swell ranks to stem riots

    Nothing local that is front-worthy.

    That’s it. You’re up to date. Unless you care deeply who is on the debt panel.

  12. Phillip

    I remembered Hatfield mostly from his co-sponsorship of the McGovern-Hatfield amendment that was meant to end funding for our involvement in Vietnam. What I did not know until reading some obits of Hatfield was that several years earlier, when public support for LBJ’s escalation of the war was high, Hatfield was the only governor in the nation to vote against a resolution supporting Johnson’s actions.

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