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Jeb Bush Says He Doesn’t Read New York Times

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush, the presumptive frontrunner for the 2016 Republican nomination, claims he doesn’t read America’s most important newspaper.

POLITICO (“Jeb Bush: I don’t read The New York Times”):

Jeb Bush isn’t a New York Times reader.

The former Florida governor and likely Republican presidential candidate appeared on Fox News Radio on Thursday and, when asked to respond to a quote in the paper, said he doesn’t read it.

“I don’t read The New York Times, to be honest with you,” Bush told Fox’s Brian Kilmeade.

The quote in question came from Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, who was quoted in the Times saying that the Christian right should begin discussing which candidate to back as an alternative to Bush, because he didn’t represent their views.

“When you become the frontrunner and you’re a well-known name and you’ve had the type of fundraising success that you’ve had, even though you haven’t declared yet, you’re going to be a target of The New York Times, which many on the right think is a badge of honor,” Kilmeade told Bush.

Kilmeade later asked, “Would [Perkins] be somebody you’d approach. Would you say, Tony, you’re misunderstanding me. We need to talk. I read that column today in The New York Times?”

“Maybe I’ll give him a call today, I don’t know,” Bush said. “I don’t read The New York Times. But if you’re going to force me to do so….”

“I’m not going to force you to do so,” Kilmeade replied. “I’m just bringing it up.”

This is bizarre and unhelpful on a variety of levels.

First,  while ”I don’t read the New York Times” might be a clever rejoinder to a negative editorial in the paper, the quotation in question comes from a key figure in an important wing of the GOP. The response is therefore a non sequitur. Second, it strains credulity that Bush wasn’t aware of the quote, given that he presumably has a staff who culls media mentions to prepare him for such questions.

I get that there’s a longstanding bias against “the liberal media” in general and the Times in particular in Republican circles. It’s tempting for any GOP contender, especially one whose socially conservative bona fides are in question—and doubly if his last name is Bush—to pander to that bias. But it’s just silly. It’s unlikely to win over those who currently prefer a Rand Paul or Ben Carson and will make it harder for him to win over general election voters who are already unethusiastic over the prospects of another President Clinton or President Bush.

It’s my longstanding belief that candidates should just run as a disciplined form of themselves. While going full Jon Huntsman is advisable only for those running to send a message rather than to win, trying to go eighteen months or more pretending to be someone you’re not just doesn’t work. It’s probable that Bob Dole, John Kerry, John McCain and Mitt Romney would have lost anyway but they’d have been better candidates and had fewer regrets had they followed that model. And Al Gore, who got more total votes than George W. Bush even running as the highly programmed stiff in earth tones, may well have managed to have marginalized Ralph Nader and generate more enthusiasm had he just run as the guy who got elected multiple times to the Senate from Tennessee.

Jeb Bush is the son of a President of the United States and the brother of another. He reads the New York Times and the Washington Post; at least, he reads important stories from both of them. He should just own that.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    If you’re in politics and claim not to read the NYT you’re either an imbecile or a liar.

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  2. Surreal American says:

    Somebody wants some base love very badly.

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  3. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: Exactly. And, while it’s a transparent little white lie rather than a major character flaw in this case, it’s a sign of weakness. It’s necessary to avoid offending the idiots in the way Huntsman did, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pretend to be one of them.

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  4. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: False dichotomy.

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  5. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner:

    …but that doesn’t mean that you have to pretend to be one of them (idiots).

    Apparently to get the Republican nomination in the 21st century, you do have to. Or at least Bush thinks so, and I’d defer to his opinion on this.

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  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Crap like this – exactly this – is what frustrates me about American politics. Instead of a quest for excellence, it becomes a race to see who can best pretend to be a mediocrity without a thought in his/her head …

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  7. Modulo Myself says:

    Why won’t this work? He’s following the gameplan of his brother–which worked.

    If Jeb Bush swings to the right–denounces climate change, flirts with John Bolton, talks about the oppression of Christians and the sanctity of sperm–and then swings back to the center where all of what he said is old irrelevant news, James will vote for him. And virtually every other moderate Republican will vote for him. Moreover, they will insist that his far-right leanings were false. “He’s only a moderate, and he will appoint moderates and try to mend fences, etc, etc.” It will be as if he never said these things. And if you bring them up, and call him weak, it’s a sign you have polarizing views, etc. The James Joyner of September 2016 will say all of this with conviction. I have no doubt of that.

    The big question is: can it win the general election? it did, sort of, for his brother.

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  8. John Peabody says:

    He’s running as far away as possible from Sarah Palin’s “[I read] all of them”.

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  9. stonetools says:

    Apparently the rule amomng Republican politicans is: Never concede to reading anything other than the Bible. Apparently Republicans prefer that their leaders be ignorant.
    Dunno how long the USA can go on with a system in which a major political party prizes ignorance…

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  10. J-Dub says:

    @stonetools: Don’t forget Guns&Ammo

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  11. gVOR08 says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    flirts with John Bolton

    That’s a mental picture I didn’t need.

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  12. al-Ameda says:

    Well, one of two things:

    (1) He’s lying
    (2) He’s in Sarah Palin territory now, and dumber than I previously thought

    I’m going with (1) – it’s his juvenile way of playing to his base, “I don’t read no f***ing biased liberal media rag,” works well with the those people.

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  13. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    It’s necessary to avoid offending the idiots in the way Huntsman did, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pretend to be one of them.

    Disagree. In order to win over the Republican base these days, you do have to pretend to be an idiot. There’s only a minuscule non-idiot caucus left in the party.

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  14. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    And, while it’s a transparent little white lie rather than a major character flaw in this case, it’s a sign of weakness.

    But you’ll still vote for him anyway….

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  15. Mr. Prosser says:

    Telling a blatant whopper to Brian Kilmeade or any other Fox yakker is no sin. I’m surprised any sane person even pays attention to whatever any politician says on Fox.

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  16. Andre Kenji says:

    At least he would not follow what Thomas Friedman says that he should do. 😉

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  17. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Exactly. The guy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UT in 2 1/2 years. It should offend him to be expected to pretend to be sitting in the peanut gallery. I disagree with him on a variety of political issues, but he’s clearly not the brain-dead fluff head he’s evidently being pushed by his advisors to pretend to be. We (desperately) need adult discussion in this country, not this pandering to ignorance sideshow.

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  18. humanoid.panda says:

    @Mr. Prosser: Political scientists tell us that, contrary to our stereotypes, politicians tend to fill promises given to their base. In other words, we should VERY closely follow what republicans say to Fox.

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  19. Franklin says:

    If he’s open to calling Tony Perkins, of all people, he should automatically be disqualified from holding any office.

    EDIT: Unless it’s to tell Tony he’s a hateful idiot and to shut up.

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  20. Pinky says:

    Not being partisan or ideological here – why would anyone assume he reads the NYT? Is this a cultural thing? Very few people read newspapers any more. I read half a dozen articles from the NYT every week through links, but I don’t go to their site for news. If he does regularly read a paper, it could be the Houston Chronicle, the Miami Herald, USA Today, The WSJ, or the Washington Post. The latter two would be my best bets. But I’d assume he doesn’t read any paper. He probably has a staffer who aggregates stories for him.

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  21. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: George W. Bush was described by a friend of mine, a hard-headed businessman, as “the stupidest man I have ever met.”

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  22. george says:

    Actually I doubt he reads any paper – more likely he’s got staff that does it for him, and gives him summaries. That’s becoming the norm in business, and I’d be really surprised if it wasn’t true in politics too.

    Come to think of it, most people just use something like Google news now, rather than buying and reading a paper.

    I can’t remember the last time I bought a newspaper of any kind, and read it – the Internet has replaced that.

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  23. This article and the attached comments seem very “GET OFF MY LAWN”-ish.

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  24. Tillman says:

    @gVOR08: Let me replace it with a much better one. Jeb Lund describes John Bolton as a “noted death walrus” near the beginning of this article.

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  25. Tillman says:

    @Rafer Janders: The Republican party confuses its activists with the group of people who would vote for it if they were a teensy-bit saner. That’s, really, the only thing that’s allowed Democrats to get away with anything in the last eight years, if you give it some thought.

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  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky: He probably does have a staffer who aggregates. And maybe, as seemed to be the case with Romney, mostly aggregates from within the RW bubble.

    It isn’t necessary to read a “paper” to read the NYT. I find it well worth the money to have an NYT web subscription. When they went paid subscription, I decided to read WAPO on line until WAPO went paid, and then, no matter what the relative pricing, I’d subscribe to the Times. And I read it every morning on the exercise bike. And on Sundays I go to WAPO for the comics.

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  27. gVOR08 says:

    @Tillman:

    Jeb Lund describes John Bolton as a “noted death walrus”

    There was talk of Bolton running for prez. If he did, do you think he could find a high end hair dresser who could dye his hair and mustache to approximately match?

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  28. Another Mike says:

    Perhaps we have found a man who follows advice:

    “Unless you’re reading the New York Times, listening to NPR, or watching PBS as your sole sources of news, you’re probably better off ignoring the news media altogether if your goal is to understand the world around you.”

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  29. MikeSJ says:

    He’s got a tough act to follow. Dubya could put the cowboy boots on and swing away with an axe at the ranch and the hayseeds ate it up.

    No way, no how does Jeb pull that act off successfully. I do however expect to see some chewing tobacco make an appearance as well as “country attire” and more slang though.

    I am hoping for a future snake handling “incident” but I realize that’s wishful thinking.

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  30. Paul L. says:

    If you read the NY Slimes, you had to wonder how Mike Nifong blew such a slam dunk case.

    August 25: By disclosing pieces of evidence favorable to the defendants, the defense has created an image of a case heading for the rocks. But an examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered by the prosecution in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous picture. It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong’s case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury.

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  31. Mikey says:

    Speaking of Bolton, here’s something from him that will surprise absolutely nobody:

    To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran

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  32. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Understood. Tony Rodham is profoundly stupid as well, but I don’t judge his sister’s qualifications based on his failings.

    I disagree with Jeb Bush on a host of issues, but the guy clearly isn’t stupid. He’s getting stupid advice.

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  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Paul L.:

    Your blog is appropriately titled …

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  34. michael reynolds says:

    @Pinky:
    First, a lot of the news in the papers you cite is New York Times. The NYT, AP and a handful of others are the ur-source of news in this country. They’re then regurgitated by online aggregators like HuffPo, but it’s still NYT reporting.

    Second, you need some mainstream media in order to take the pulse. In the old days you had to watch Cronkite or Brinkley because if you didn’t you didn’t know what was in people’s heads, what was bothering them, what version of the world they were seeing.

    Third, if you live in a media bubble of your own devising you are committing intellectual suicide. You need to know things you didn’t know before. You need to understand how other people see issues. If you’re in politics you need to know what your counterparts are doing, saying, reacting to.

    You know why you right-wingers never win an argument here? Yes, of course because most of you are idiots, but more so because you guys never, ever, ever know what the hell is going on. Simple ignorance is the biggest reason your side never wins an argument. Liberals have the facts, you people have the Fox. And you always come trotting in with a big grin all ready to guffaw like Rush Limbaugh and ten minutes later you’re bleeding out. Because you’re ignorant. Because you don’t know anything.

    The average liberal here reads NYT, WaPO, WSJ, the occasional Brit paper, listens to NPR, watches BBC and some network, some CNN, checks in on Al-Jazeera, Drudge, Politico, HuffPo, at least glances at Foreign Policy. Our deeper thinkers read a whole lot more. Meanwhile our interlocutors on the right get their news from Sean Hannity, random hot blonds on Fox, Breitbart and the Daily Caller. Your deeper types also read the WSJ and denounce it as liberal.

    Garbage in, garbage out. It’s why you keep losing. You have esprit and élan, but as the French recognized oh, around, say 1917, motivation does not beat machine guns. You guys lose every round, either on the logic or on the facts.

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  35. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: But do they realize they lost? Can’t fix the problem ’til you recognize the problem. They just think we’re too mean, bullheaded, and stupid to comprehend the subtlety of their beliefs arguments.

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  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    But do they realize they lost? Can’t fix the problem ’til you recognize the problem.

    Dunning-Kruger effect ….

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  37. grumpy realist says:

    @Tillman: Who was it who described Rudy Giuliani as “a noun, a verb, and “9-1-1″‘? Forget who said it, but it definitely truncated ol’ Rudy’s running for POTUS because it was such a perfect summation of him.

    “Noted death walrus” is almost good enough to sink Bolton’s chances, if he had had any. Lose the moustache, man, lose the friggin’ spinach! The last guy with that much stuff on his face who ran for POTUS and won was Teddy Roosevelt, and son, you’re no Teddy Roosevelt.

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  38. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: as witnessed by our epic troll-fest….

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  39. Kylopod says:

    Julian Sanchez’s 2010 post still remains relevant:

    One of the more striking features of the contemporary conservative movement is the extent to which it has been moving toward epistemic closure. Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. (How do you know they’re liberal? Well, they disagree with the conservative media!)

    While Jeb’s remark may be mere pandering, it’s important to realize that even the “establishment” Republicans are susceptible to this tendency–as Romney not even bothering to write a concession speech in 2012 revealed.

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  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    I realize that it’s stating the obvious at this point, but Mencken rings through my head every time that this subject comes up.

    The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by the force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

    The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

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  41. @michael reynolds:

    The average liberal here reads NYT, WaPO, WSJ

    I’m betting the average liberal here doesn’t read any newspaper regularly, much less three. The entire question “do you read the New York Times?” is based on a model of new consumption that only applies to the tiniest sliver of the population these days.

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  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I read all three, along with several others (Die Zeit and Le Monde, just to name a few) daily. I just read them online.

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  43. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Lots of online for me, too. Although we do get the WaPo on “dead tree” Saturday and Sunday. Call me old-fashioned, but there’s just something about hanging out with a cup of coffee and a just-eaten plate of sausage and eggs while unfolding a big sheet of newsprint that opening the “paper” on a tablet can’t replicate.

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  44. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Note: if folks have never read the entire article by Mencken, dating from 1920, it’s available here and well worth the time spent reading it.

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  45. michael reynolds says:

    Yeah, no one means “paper” when they say newspaper, not in many years.

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  46. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    I think actually they do know they’ve lost. The pattern is so obvious even they can’t miss it. Conservative trots in with either his one Daily Caller factoid or Hannity’s latest bon mot and think they’re carrying the keys to the kingdom. Then they are suddenly presented with a barrage of facts and a far wider base of knowledge. They end up repeating their little talking point, waving it around like a crucifix at the vampire convention.

    No, I think mostly they know when they lose, but they shift blame to liberals ganging up. And don’t forget, they don’t really care about who is right, they aren’t philosophers, they’re generally racists or homophobes or gun nuts, and if they cared about reality they wouldn’t be those things to begin with.

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  47. JohnMcC says:

    @MikeSJ: I’m betting he’s going to discover that a taste for pork rinds is inheritable.

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  48. Tillman says:

    @grumpy realist: Joe Biden. Or at least I always associate the quote with Joe Biden.

    Biden would make such a good president. If he was actually elected, it’d be like America’s given up on the pretense of caring what anyone else thinks. Which would be infuriating to so many people, left and right, but might let everyone relax a bit.

    I imagine Biden being kindred spirits with James Monroe, really. (There’s some liberal lionization for you.)

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  49. grumpy realist says:

    This article from The Week about Cruz’s chances vs. the rest of the Clown Car is pretty good. I especially like the snark.

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  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    Not being partisan or ideological here – why would anyone assume he reads the NYT? Is this a cultural thing?

    The NYT is a paper that is national in scope and people in the political and commentariat classes certainly read it. The NYT has political opinion and reporting content that people in the media and in the political classes notice and pay attention to – whether they agree with it or not. And, as you know, quite often what is in the NYT ends up on the Sunday morning political discussion shows.

    That is a long-winded way of saying that Jeb Bush is EXACTLY the type of person who I’d expect to read the NYT – whether he generally likes it or not. Therefore I assume he’s lying when he says he doesn’t read it, because that plays well with base Republicans, especially the know-nothing wing of the party.

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  51. Pinky says:

    @al-Ameda: Don’t you think it’s weird to assume someone’s lying if he says something about himself that you wouldn’t expect?

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  52. Modulo Myself says:

    @Mikey:

    Of course, Bolton’s op-ed was published in the Times.

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  53. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: Don’t you think it’s weird to assume someone’s not lying when they have every motive to?

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  54. michael reynolds says:

    What amazes me is that Republicans aren’t insulted by this. Their likely candidate is lying to prove he’s just as dumb and ignorant as the Republican voters are.

    Nah, ah don’t read me none of them fancy words and ideas, ya’ll, I jess read me some Bible and this here cereal box.

    And Republicans cheer. Yay! He’s as dumb as we are! He shall lead us!

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  55. Tillman says:

    @Tillman: Damn it, didn’t edit fast enough.

    It’s called the criterion of embarrassment in Biblical textual criticism. When a historical document describes an event, if the information about the event conveyed would be embarrassing to the author of the document as displayed by context such as open cultural, social, or political leanings, it is more likely to be a true retelling of a historical event. Note that this doesn’t impact the truth of a historical event (empirical or practical), just a true telling or retelling. This is a method of analyzing narrative.

    Jeb Bush is not embarrassed to admit he doesn’t read the New York Times because the audience for his remarks, Republican activists and primary voters, won’t hold that against him. They, or at least a solid majority of them, think the New York Times is unreliable liberal mainstream media.

    This isn’t an “ergo he’s lying” scenario. It just means the odds he’s telling the truth change towards the negative. It’s not like anyone here honest-to-God knows for absolutely certain if he “reads” the “New York Times.”

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  56. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Do you read in English, or go after the originals? I’m always suspicious that the English versions of foreign newspapers don’t cover everything, so if I can, I go after the originals. (Le Monde didn’t make this ingestion easier by writing as if they were submitting material to L’Academie Francaise. Luckily their present on-line writing is far more digestible.)

    The other newspapers I use are the FT and (sometimes) Japanese newspapers such as the Yomiuri Shimbun, which seems to be where most of the articles covering stuff I’m interested in (Japanese work on solar power satellites, etc.) pop up.

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  57. Modulo Myself says:

    @Tillman:

    Way more envy than distrust exists in conservatives’ hearts towards liberals.

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  58. To be clear what I mean when I say I don’t believe most people here read three newspapers a day:

    I consider myself a reader of OTB. Everyday I come to the main page, look at all new articles that have appeared since my last visit and will in read or at least skim most of them. There’s several other sites where I follow a similar pattern: Hit & Run, Slate, Slashdot, etc.

    Now sometimes those sites link to a New York Times article, in which case I will read that specific article. Likewise if I google something in the news and a New York Times article comes up, I will read it. But I never just go spontaneously to http://www.nytimes.com to see what’s there.

    So I don’t consider myself a reader of the New York Times.

    And I don’t see an issue with that. The assertion that everyone is somehow obligated to visit the New York Times main page every day seems silly to me.

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  59. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    Don’t you think it’s weird to assume someone’s lying if he says something about himself that you wouldn’t expect?

    Nope, not in this case.
    I think Jeb is too smart and too informed to NOT read the NYT. I’m pretty sure that he knows what’s reported there, especially when it comes to his political ambition, status, and position on the important issues of the day.

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  60. Tillman says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    And I don’t see an issue with that.

    Well, beyond the nagging feeling that professional journalism might decay from no one paying them anymore.

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  61. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    The originals. There are nuances of thought which get lost in the translation, and to lose those would sort of defeat the purpose of reading them to begin with.

    I would love to be able to read the Japanese & Chinese dailies (Asahi Shimbun and The Peoples Daily, among others) in the original, but those languages are well beyond me. French and German were a breeze by comparison.

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  62. C. Clavin says:

    It’s really too bad he doesn’t because he would have seen this from today…illustrating just how badly the economic policies of Republican have failed….and how Republicans are unable to process facts that contradict their dogma.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/27/opinion/paul-krugman-mornings-in-blue-america.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

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  63. bill says:

    maybe he reads stuff online like i do- i don’t always look to see who wrote whatever i’m reading until after, to see if i’m surprised.
    to claim the nyt is the most important paper in America is pretty subjective- they were at one time, and they even had credibility- they just pissed it away by pandering to their subscribers.

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  64. Modulo Myself says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I feel that if you’ve read enough of the NYTimes in your life, you can do a lot of the articles in your head. Most of the useful stuff is always buried. I have a clear memory of being in Northampton for a wedding in November 2007, and coming across an article about how much difficulty Citigroup was having finding a CEO, and in my hungover daze realizing right then the potential CEOs knew something bad was coming.

    There’s also the once-in-a-lifetime experience (for me, at least) of coming across someone you used to date in the Bill Cunningham photo section.

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  65. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    to claim the nyt is the most important paper in America is pretty subjective- they were at one time, and they even had credibility- they just pissed it away by pandering to their subscribers.

    If the NYT wasn’t so important conservatives wouldn’t spend so much time both: (1) pre-emptively denouncing it as liberal dog food, while (2) dismissively saying that they pay no attention to it. Which is it? Bill? Jeb? Anyone?

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  66. Blue Galangal says:

    @gVOR08: To quote the late, great, John M. Ford, “How do you convince a solipsist that he has, in fact, been executed?”

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  67. Tyrell says:

    @al-Ameda: What does he read then ? Where does he get his news? I try to catch McNeil – Lehrer.I watch the local independent stations. I read USA Today. The NYT and many other news sources are controlled and give the people what they think they should be reading. In two or three years no one will be reading the NYT. They will be out of business.

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  68. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Tyrell:

    The NYT and many other news sources are controlled

    Controlled by whom? 😀

    (wicked grin …)

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  69. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: Thank you, ma’am, for the link. The ODS of congressional leaders has indeed made it much less likely that the ’16 Repub nominee will emerge from the Senate; my window on right-wing politics is mostly my family and from them I hear that they are convinced they’ll name a governor. Megan Kelly famously challenged Sen Cruz ‘what have you actually accomplished?’

    The writer of the article, Mr Waldman, has an article in The American Prospect that is on-topic regarding Jeb’s non-reading of the NYT (like I did, he recalls Poppy Bush and the pork rinds so obviously it’s a very clever essay):

    http://www.prospect.org/waldman/jeb-bush-continue-family-tradition-pretending-be-reglar-fella

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  70. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yowsa, I envy you your Deutsch. Mine’s horribly rusty, aside from operetta lyrics and the miniscule amount I require for work.

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  71. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnMcC: Snerk!

    I wish I could track down Walt Kelly’s essay on the biggest grifter of them all in U.S. politics: Joseph McCarthy. One of his comments: “he made chumps of the entire U.S. Senate. I miss him.”

    Where is a Walt Kelly to skewer our present political class? Something we are sadly lacking.

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  72. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    German somewhat made sense to me. French was worse (their verb tenses make me ill), but they were a necessity. We do a great deal of work in Europe, and an M&A attorney who only speaks English might as well be going into the fray in a straitjacket.

    The firm sent me to immersion language schools in Germany and France, so that made it somewhat better (sink or swim on your firm’s dime is always a motivator), but it was still a task and a half.

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  73. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: OMG! Do NOT get me started talking about Walt Kelly. My most unforgettable episode was when a Khrushchev character (a huge pig) and his side-kick an obvious Castro (a donkey wearing military fatigues) landed in the Okeefenokee Swamp and were met by Deacon Muskrat. They warily and suspiciously circled and sparred with each other until somehow both parties happened to accidentally drop several firearms whereupon they looked each other up and down with joy and shouted ‘Brother!’ That was during the time that Mr Kelly was skewering the John Birch Society with a series of strips starring Deacon Muskrat as a leader of the Jack Acid Society. Je va Pogeau!

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  74. DrDaveT says:

    @Tyrell:

    I read USA Today. The NYT and many other news sources are controlled and give the people what they think they should be reading.

    Anyone else here get whiplash from reading those two sentences in juxtaposition?

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  75. DrDaveT says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Walt Kelly’s essay on […] Joseph McCarthy.

    Within the drawn panels of Pogo, the character was “Simple J. Malarky”, and the sequence of cartoons Kelly penned during the 50’s were stunningly scathing. I didn’t live through those times, but I do remember what Garry Trudeau did to Nixon, and (a) Kelly was more cutting, and (b) Kelly made Trudeau possible.

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  76. grumpy realist says:

    @DrDaveT: Yes, yes, yes. But in one of Walt’s books–I think it was 10 ever-lovin’ blue-eyed years with Pogo–he also had several short essays/reminiscences about what it was like to live during the whole Red Scare. (I still remember his sketch of his wife getting mad, slamming her glass on the table, and swearing at “that damned CBS loyalty oath!”) His comments about McCarthy are rich in cynicism about politics and the integrity and courage of the U.S. Congress. Hence his comment about McCarthy making chumps of them.

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  77. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I always thought that his wind-up toys strips from the late Sixties perfectly satirized the state of American politics.

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  78. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnMcC: And do you remember the Cowbirds, who get an encoded message, which starts off with the (decoded) instructions:”burn this before reading further”? And so they do….

    Kelly was great.

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  79. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “I do remember what Garry Trudeau did to Nixon, and (a) Kelly was more cutting, and (b) Kelly made Trudeau possible.”

    And I bet Trudeau wouldn’t argue with either of these statements!

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  80. grumpy realist says:

    @al-Ameda: P.S. I think Jeb’s comments about the NYTimes are just shorthand for “see, I’m not one of those namby-pamby liberal fools.”

    I’d love to run for POTUS, so when they ask me that question I could say “The Financial Times!” and piss everybody outside of the Anglophiles off.

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  81. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    @al-Ameda: What does he read then ? Where does he get his news? I try to catch McNeil – Lehrer.I watch the local independent stations. I read USA Today. The NYT and many other news sources are controlled and give the people what they think they should be reading. In two or three years no one will be reading the NYT. They will be out of business.

    LOL!
    Jeb Bush, like many other people, probably gets his news from a variety of sources.

    There are 24/7 news feeds on the cable spectrum, there are news outlets on-line (yes, the “controlled” NYT, WaPo, and virtually all major newspapers have websites with substantial news content) Reuters, and so forth. There are also great websites for specialized information – the regional Federal Reserve Banks come to mind. It is not that difficult to be more informed than an average American who believes in liberal media conspiracies. This is not a binary News-or-No-News world – at least not for those people who want to be informed, and I assumed that Jeb Bush is not Sarah Palin, that he wants to be informed.

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  82. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    .If you read the NY Slimes

    I read that far and I knew I did not have to read any further.

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  83. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: it’s important to ny’ers i guess?! that such an “important” news source can’t provide us with “all the news that’s fit to print” like they did back in the day -is quite apparent to anyone with a clue.
    now it’s more like -“what we deem is news, just trust us ……and keep subscribing as we really need the money”.
    it’s embarrassing to see such a great paper turn into such a mess.

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  84. Where I get my general news:

    Outside the Beltway
    Hit & Run
    Slate
    Slashdot
    Drudgereport
    NPR Radio
    BBC Radio
    The Daily Show
    The Nightly Show
    Yahoo! Finance
    Google Now

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  85. Grumpy Realist says:

    @bill: they still have the facilities to do good reporting, at least. The Chicago Tribune had been almost hopelessly trashed (has recovered a bit) under its mismanagement by Zell, who used it as a cash cow and almost starved it to death. More and more of the articles were simply copied off the AP feed and the portions of the pages devoted to ads got larger and larger. It was pretty pathetic.

    One of the reasons I may dig up the shekels for an FT subscription again is that everything in it is well-researched and well written.

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  86. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: “P.S. I think Jeb’s comments about the NYTimes are just shorthand for “see, I’m not one of those namby-pamby liberal fools.”

    You’re ignoring the context. He wasn’t answering the Palin challenge. He was presented with a quote from a hard-core right winger criticizing him for not being enough of a monster. And because he has no idea how to deal with this problem, he decided to attack a standard right wing villain to distract everyone. And judging by this thread, it worked…

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  87. Turgid Jacobian says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Right by Center left
    glibertarianism
    contrarianism
    tech triumphalism
    asshole
    Rockerfeller republicans
    depressing but proper
    liberaltarian
    Haven’t seen it
    as useless/useful as all other mass-market financial reporting
    never used it

    Not that I’m any better. I’m almost certainly much worse. After all, many of the same things are in my list 😉

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  88. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: I will watch some video on CNN, but that old horse went lame long ago. The major (big 3) networks are not even close to their former stature. Few people take the paper, and even fewer have a magazine subscription. The news networks are mainly sensationalism, hype, and people hollaring at each other. So alternative news sources are becoming more popular: around here it is cable access channel, local tv stations, am radio, barber shop, convenience stores, amateur radio, the local coffee places, and the car dealer. Also the neighborhood horseshoe throwing gang.

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  89. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Oddly, I find the commentary almost as illuminating as the articles at times. For one, Zeit does a very good job of smacking down trolls and/or anyone who ventures off-topic, which is nice.

    For another, it gives me a pretty good degree of insight with regard to how things happening here are viewed there & how American is viewed in general by Europeans.

    There aren’t usually surprises in the second regard – the growing sense of disdain has been evident for some time now, but just once in a while a zinger comes along which lays that sense out in vivid detail. For example, there was an article about Carson being the anti-Obama. One of the commenters had this to say:

    Es gibt in den USA mehr weiße Rassisten als schwarze Wähler.

    (There are more white supremacists in the US than black voters)

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  90. de stijl says:

    @Tyrell:

    I try to catch McNeil – Lehrer.

    I’m jealous. I wish I had a time machine too!

    MacNeil hasn’t hosted that program since 1995 and Lehrer since 2011. It hasn’t been called The MacNeil/Lehrer Report for 20 years. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff have co-anchored basically since Lehrer left (yes, I know he still often hosts that horrible Brooks / Shields Friday segment).

    Next time you’re back in the ’90s came you buy some Apple shares for me? I’ll pay you back later. Thx!

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  91. de stijl says:

    @Tyrell:

    So alternative news sources are becoming more popular: around here it is cable access channel, local tv stations, am radio, barber shop, convenience stores, amateur radio, the local coffee places, and the car dealer. Also the neighborhood horseshoe throwing gang.

    Unless these “alternative” news sources actually do their own original reporting and fact checking, you’re not getting actual news. Outside of local TV reporting all you are hearing is a poorly remembered regurgitation of actual news reporting done by someone else (like the NYT) but it’s larded with whatever political spin your “sources” identify with. Basically, you’re getting the telephone version of yesterday’s Limbaugh show.

    Your trusted news source is a pack of slack-jawed yokels.

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  92. Tyrell says:

    @de stijl: The problem with the local stations is that the hosts are constantly engaged in happy talk, giggling, and a bunch of silliness. I usually watch local tv for traffic reports, weather, and some local school sports scores.

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  93. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    I don’t disagree with your dismissal of network news or CNN. But they are both infinitely preferable to getting your information via the right-wing noise machine of talk radio and Fox. The happy-talk, feature-heavy crap we both disdain is at least not actively lying to you. Limbaugh and Fox are actually lying to you. They are not news, they are propaganda. Limbaugh is just Father Coughlin redux, and Fox News is Pravda for conservatives.

    I’m not towing some wacky liberal line when I say that the NYT is still the best single source of news in the US. I don’t know what the online subscription costs, but if you can swing it, it’s your best deal.

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  94. Tyrell says:

    @de stijl: Well now it is called “PBS News Hour” but I still think of it as Mc-Lehrer. And they still have Lawrence Welk ! Now if some station would just carry Liberace !

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  95. Tillman says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @Turgid Jacobian: I’d put up my list but, ah, there seems to be only two or three sources here. 😀 That can’t be right, I’m such a well-read person…

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  96. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Es gibt in den USA mehr weiße Rassisten als schwarze Wähler.

    Leicht zu sagen, schwer zu beweisen.

    I wonder what that guy thinks of PEGIDA.

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  97. Another Mike says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    but just once in a while a zinger comes along which lays that sense out in vivid detail.

    A good example of a German misconception about the United States.

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  98. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Another Mike:

    No argument. The broader question is: what would give some random guy in Germany any reason to believe that in the first place? I feel reasonably certain that he didn’t just wake up one day and say to himself “Ok, now I will think that America is filled with racists, just because I feel like it.”

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  99. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mikey:

    True. PEGIDA got pretty soundly slapped down in Germany though – most notably through counter-protests with much larger turnout that drowned them out.

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  100. Another Mike says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The broader question is: what would give some random guy in Germany any reason to believe that in the first place?

    My first thought is that he believed what he read and heard.

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  101. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yes, certainly a lot of counter-protest to PEGIDA. But at the same time, there was some polling done (admittedly before PEGIDA’s leader had pictures come out of him dressed up as Hitler) that indicated a high level of sympathy with their motivations.

    It puzzles me a bit, actually, given the long history of Turkish Muslims in Germany, but then they themselves have a history of separation of mosque and state that recent Muslim immigrants do not.

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  102. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I feel reasonably certain that he didn’t just wake up one day and say to himself “Ok, now I will think that America is filled with racists, just because I feel like it.”

    Their news outlets offer a different perspective from ours, but it’s not necessarily unbiased.

    Also, there’s the availability heuristic–people give weight to what they hear often. @Another Mike has a pretty good point.

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  103. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “NYT is still the best single source of news in the US. I don’t know what the online subscription costs”

    I pay twenty bucks a month for a Kindle subscription — about a quarter of the paper cost, and I don’t get ink on my hands!

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  104. Pinky says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Here’s a question: why would we trust a random German guy’s assessment of American race relations? Other than confirmation bias, that is?

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  105. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds: I’m not towing some wacky liberal line when I say that the NYT is still the best single source of news in the US.

    Which is fine for what it is. But people aren’t really bothered by Jeb’s statement because they think he’s uninformed. They’re not even bothered by Jeb’s lie, because this is probably the least important lie Jeb’s ever told.

    They’re upset/bemused because Jeb is seeming to dismiss something which they, for reasons I don’t understand, still regard as some sort of cultural institution/signifier.

    Mike

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  106. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tillman: Me too, but I’m just another ignorant cracker, so it doesn’t trouble me as much. (and of course, I’m no where near as well read as you;-))

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  107. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m not towing some wacky liberal line…

    In this context, the phrase you’re looking for is “toe the line” as in: accept the authority, principles, or policies of a particular group, especially under pressure.

    “Tow the line” is not idiomatic, it’s a mishearing of the the phrase “toe the line.”

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  108. de stijl says:

    @Tyrell:

    Well now it is called “PBS News Hour” but I still think of it as Mc-Lehrer.

    Do you still tune in to “the Johnny Carson Show” after the late night news? I’m trying pretty hard not to cast explicit aspersions, but your comments are strongly indicative of a person who would best be described as “the common clay of the new west.”

    You know…

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  109. michael reynolds says:

    @de stijl:

    Goddamit, I know it. I know it and I hate when people make that mistake. But by the time the little tickling sensation in the back of my head led me back to edit the comment it was too late. So I reassured myself that no one would notice. Damn you.

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  110. DrDaveT says:

    @MBunge:

    They’re upset/bemused because Jeb is seeming to dismiss something which they, for reasons I don’t understand, still regard as some sort of cultural institution/signifier.

    Not necessarily. In my case, I’m bemused (but not upset) because the content of the NYT, right or wrong or neither, is essential intelligence for a politician. To “not read the NYT” when you are in that profession is akin to “not reading The Lancet” if you’re a medical researcher, or “not reading Tax Notes Today” if you are a tax attorney. If nothing else, it’s a central source of important situational awareness.

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  111. MBunge says:

    @DrDaveT: the content of the NYT, right or wrong or neither, is essential intelligence for a politician.

    Yeah, but you know Jeb really does read the NYT or gets the information in it through some other channel. The reaction is to Jeb thumbing his nose at people who think reading the NYT is a signifier of class/status/intellect.

    Mike

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  112. JohnMcC says:

    @MBunge: And he also was changing the subject, as has been noted.

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  113. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Oh my God, I’ve just been freaking out about my misplaced comma in my last comment in the The New Republican Orthodoxy On Israel thread. One comma. Still freaked. Editing disabled. Ack!

    Damn you.

    I know you’re being gracious, but I may have come off as more dickish than I intended in my comment. All apologies – h/t Nirvana. I was going for constructive criticism, but in rereading my comment it comes off as dickish one-up-manship. A la “Toe the line, bitch!” Any perceived dickishness was not intended.

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  114. michael reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    No man, not at all. I caught the good-nature of the teasing. And who better deserves a bit of skewering than me?

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  115. James P says:

    It’s propaganda. It’s a partisan rag. Why should he read it?

    This is as shocking as an “admission” by Hillary that doesn’t read Red State would be.

    Why would any conservative read the NY Slimes? There are numerous other sources of information now that the libs no longer have a monopoly on the media.

    If you want to read a top rate newspaper I would suggest the Daily Telegraph.

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  116. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Since this troll / Jenos sockpuppet James P is clearly not inclined to either admit his deception or to do the honorable thing and just leave, I propose that henceforth none of us acknowledge him in any way beyond expressing our derision via the downvote.

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  117. James P says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Sparky, responding to every post I make on every thread does not exactly constitute ignoring me.

    EIther ignore me or don’t. BY going halfway, you are only making yourself look foolish —- well, more foolish than you already look.

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  118. al-Ameda says:

    @James P:

    Why would any conservative read the NY Slimes?

    Wow! Conservatives really come up with some witty putdowns.
    What’s next, “Washington Poop” ?

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