Obama lied, the Democrats shrugged.

But just as it is utterly absurd to claim Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn’t lie before Congress (and some reporters thankfully admitted that truth in the open), it has now become almost silly to insinuate or assume that the president hasn’t also been lying. Why? Because if that’s true — if indeed he hasn’t been deliberately lying — then it means he has been dangerously, irresponsibly and negligently ignorant of not only the government he runs, but also of the news breaking around him.

Something finally seems to be getting through to some of them, though. The above is David Sirota in Salon. Of course, Sirota still things Obama is a constitutional SCHOLAR, instead of an adjunct professor of con law who never published anything. But at least he’s thinking about what Obama is actually saying, now.

via Prof. Reynolds.

If I cared more about the state of journalism in America . . .

. . . I would find out how common the following usage is:

A former constitutional law lecturer, Obama came to office pledging to . . .

I am much more familiar with the president as a former constitutional law professor. Obama was, at most, a visiting professor. Lecturer is also a likely title (since he was in an ongoing, non-tenureable appointment). But somehow I suspect most media references promote him. I don’t care enough to find out.

The Journalists We Deserve?

Neo-Neocon works out part of what disturbs her about contemporary journalism:

It’s a dangerous phenomenon. I believe that Obama understands it and cultivates it, too. And no, I don’t think it’s actually hypnosis, although it works in some powerfully suggestive manner. It also takes advantage of the fact that so many journalists today are very young writers (like Hastings) who have done almost nothing else for a living, and so they seem especially susceptible. In the mid-20th century, reporters for major publications used to be uniformly older and to have had more varied prior experience in life and the world—more hard-boiled and hard-nosed, and less susceptible to swooning hero worship, although they were hardly immune to respect and liking.

John Edwards – the miniseries

Don’t you know that historians of the presidency will have a lot of fun c. 2050 combing through things that get released then — kind of like the endless stuff that comes out nowadays about the Kennedy years? Will they believe how close John Edwards got to the White House (or at least Number One Observatory Circle) and how willingly the media averted its gaze? What a scumbag. As far as I can tell, the real accusation here is not that he had a child by his mistress, but that in order to conceal it from his dying wife he tried to pay her off not with his own massive fortune but with money he was taking from supporters of his campaign. Scum.

Omigosh! A adjectival use of “medieval” in the press that isn’t all that inaccurate!

This is unusual — a use in the media of “medieval” that is neither a Samuel Jackson riff nor a shorthand for “outdated.”

Printed newspapers may be in crisis in the West but circulations remain enormous in high-tech Japan – and its media will even resort to medieval methods to get copies to readers.
When the March 2011 tsunami struck a great swathe of the northeast coast, leaving 19,000 people dead or missing and triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it also submerged theIshinomaki Hibi Shimbun’s presses.
The 14,000-circulation paper had the biggest story of its 100-year existence right on its flooded doorstep, but no way of printing it.
So its reporters did what monks in European monasteries did with the Bible in the Middle Ages and copied out their message to the people by hand.
(my emphases)

Of course, one might point out that the news was distributed this way at cafés in Western Europe well into the Modern era, but still.
via my Japanese-professor colleague.

Whatever happened to all those articles about historians ranking presidents?

It seemed to me that there was a boom during the W administration of Historians of the Presidency Roundtable articles ranking presidents, with the then incumbent jockeying with Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan for least impressive.
Maybe I’m just not reading the right websites, but have those events stopped happening? Have the Americanists suddenly realized that history is not the same as current events? Or are they just a tad disappointed?
These experts (many of whom are as obviously partisan as the American historians were) aren’t afraid: Experts Grade Obama ‘C-Minus’ on the Economy. That’s an end of semester, summative grade though.

A locally relevant metric: a wegmans

How big will the new facility be? “When completed in 2012, the e2e plant will be 183,000 square foot, a space about 50 percent larger than the Wegmans store in Ithaca.” And readers in the Finger Lakes say “Hmmm, pretty big!” This Geneva reader says “oh, someone’s finally going into the H.P. Neun space. I didn’t realize it was quite that small. Looks bigger from the highway.”