Since all of you at least had parents, and many of you may be parents yourselves, or plan to be them, please indulge me the following bit of advice that I am sure you’ve heard a million times:
Just because “everyone else” (or ANYONE else for that matter) is doing something says NOTHING about whether YOU should be doing it.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. In case you are wondering why the advice is forthcoming, this piece from Vox, like many others, claims we should make contraceptives over the counter because everyone else does. Now, I agree with the conclusion but not the reason. That is one of the better written Vox pieces I’ve come across this week. Here, for example, is an incredibly infantile and unsophisticated piece. I know it attracts who they want it to attract, but that’s not exactly what I had expected from “very serious policy wonks.” When we are playing fun reindeer games, I suppose it is too much to ask the fine folks at Vox if they believe, that once they and their colleagues freely associate, that they should lose any and all individual rights they have? Does Vox have no employees? Or is it asking too much for brilliant policy wonks to at least include a citation to an article, even theirs, on things like the causes of the gender pay gap.
Here’s a non-infantile and quite sophisticated Vox piece on corporate personhood:
“Corporations need rights to keep Bill O’Reilly on the air.”
For casual scrollers through articles, this is what a reader will see. And why not caption an image of a pro-abortion group saying “Corporations need rights in order to allow the promotion of abortion” … or something a bit more incendiary.
Infantile. It’s sort of like being a little pregnant. A few thoughtful pieces sprinkled in with the nonsense that is paraded and with the general tone and attitude of the articles doesn’t make it less so. And being of limited information, and wanting to find reliable media outlets for a left-wing point of view, I am left wondering where the wheat and chaff separate on a site as such, which is frustrating. I really have a better experience reading Mother Jones despite its much narrower coverage and less cosmopolitan coverage of issues.
Of course, Megan McArdle is right here
“Presumably, the administration hates this ruling — but at the same time, it has to love the passion that it has engendered. This is going to be fundraising gold for Democrats for the next two years. In a politics that cares more about symbolism than substance, that too was predictable. And it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this was the prediction that mattered more. Politics may not be rational, but it still has its own remorseless logic.”
, and Vox is among the folks playing Mood Affiliation. Maybe I am too. But I really just wanted to read some news on the ruling. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-30/what-the-hobby-lobby-ruling-really-means
Alas it’s going to be too much of a challenge to argue that Vox does good work if every example of good work gets dismissed as sprinkles.
For the record I was impressed that the “good article” found the part in Alito’s opinion that explicitly dismissed the argument of corporate personhood; the opinion only works if Hobby Lobby isn’t a person. And also for the record the “bad article” was not a direct expression of Klein’s views. I submit that he posted a video more to entertain than to inform. At least with the good article you see a presentation of direct, analytical content.
Perhaps I don’t read the same progressives, but I haven’t seen a person on the mainstream media call for the censorship of O’Reilly/Fox, just as I don’t see conservatives call for censoring MSNBC.
I submit that yes you are reading the wrong people if you’d like serious left-wing views. Read bloggers who have no pretense to being objective, not journalists who at least try to make that effort. Following people regularly over a long time on Twitter is a great way to soak up different viewpoints. I’m sure you read Yglesias and Konczal; do you also follow the blogs/tweets of Freddie DeBoer and Matt Bruenig? And personally I prefer TNR to Mother Jones.
Last thing: If you want to understand the opinion, read what the law profs have to say. Or better yet, read the opinion! People over-estimate the difficulty of working through them. It’s not that much work to read through the dictum, then the first few paragraphs of the opinion, and then the first few paragraphs of dissent.