Sunday, August 14, 2016

How Paul Krugman Made Donald Trump Possible
...In 2012, Krugman called Mitt Romney a “charlatan,” pathologically dishonest, and untrustworthy. He said Romney doesn’t even pretend to care about poor people and wants people to die so that the rich could get richer. Romney is “completely amoral,” “a dangerous fool,” “ignorant as well as uncaring.”

In March, Krugman had a column called “Clash of Republican Con Artists.” In it, he called Trump’s foreign policy more reasonable than that of Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz and said he’s just as terrified of either of those men in the White House as he is of Trump. He wrote: “In fact, you have to wonder why, exactly, the Republican establishment is really so horrified by Mr. Trump. Yes, he’s a con man, but they all are. So why is this con job different from any other?”

Yet a few weeks ago Krugman wondered how Republicans could rally around Trump “just as if he were a normal candidate.” It was exactly Krugman who normalized him! What makes Donald Trump normal to so many is that they’ve heard all the hysteria from people like Krugman before. If you use the most vile language available on a good man like Romney, or on real candidates like Rubio and Cruz, you find you have none left for the Donald Trumps of the world—and no one is listening to you anyway....

Harvard law prof: Saying at work that “Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be president because women shouldn’t work full-time” may lead to a harassment lawsuit
...According to Prof. Feldman, then, harassment law can require employers to suppress even speech criticizing a presidential candidate, if that speech expresses a sexist viewpoint. Indeed, nothing about Prof. Feldman’s analysis turns on Clinton being a candidate — if Clinton is elected, criticizing her actions as president on the grounds that her sex is causing her to act unsoundly would likewise help create a “hostile work environment.” Employers would thus be obligated to suppress such criticisms by their employees or face the risk of massive civil liability.

But wait: Prof. Feldman’s Hillary Clinton examples comes in a column that explains why the EEOC is right to order an investigation of a co-worker’s displaying a Gadsden flag, even though it’s not racist on its face — according to the column (and the EEOC), the employer has to “investigat[e] … the specific complaint’s context to see if workplace racism was in play.” This means that even if an employee complaints that a co-worker was criticizing Hillary Clinton without using overtly sexist arguments, but the employee perceived the underlying message as sexist, the employer would then have to investigate the “context to see if workplace [sexism] was in play.”...

...Pro-Trump statements? Too dangerous for employers to allow, so long as someone perceives them as sending an implicitly anti-Hispanic or anti-Muslim message. (Prof. Feldman doesn’t deny that such statements could require employer investigations, even if they are just “Vote Trump”; his response to “What if, [Volokh] asks, someone considers a pro-Donald Trump workplace symbol to be racial harassment?” is ultimately “Speech that’s constitutionally protected elsewhere is restricted at work,” and by this he means restricted by the government’s coercive power and not just by private employer choice.) Anti-Clinton statements? Too dangerous for employers to allow. How convenient….

Trump Is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism
...It would also be an abdication of political journalism’s most solemn duty: to ferret out what the candidates will be like in the most powerful office in the world.

It may not always seem fair to Mr. Trump or his supporters. But journalism shouldn’t measure itself against any one campaign’s definition of fairness. It is journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment. To do anything less would be untenable.

The Trump Riots That are Mostly My Fault
...In the future, the media will kill famous people to generate news that people will care about. – The Dilbert Future (May 1997)

Three months later, the media chased Princess Di into a tunnel and created a dangerous situation that killed her but was terrific for television news ratings. The media didn’t plot to kill anyone, but they created a situation that made it likely someone important would die because of the way their business model works. That was the basis for my prediction.

Fast-forward to today and we see the media priming the public to try to kill Trump, or at least create some photogenic mayhem at a public event. Again, no one is sitting in a room plotting Trump’s death, but – let’s be honest – at least half of the media believes Trump is the next Hitler, and a Hitler assassination would be morally justified. Also great for ratings. The media would not be charged with any crime for triggering some nut to act. There would be no smoking gun. No guilt. No repercussions. Just better ratings and bonuses all around...