CSotD: If your mother says she loves you …

The familiar advice to new journalists will never become obsolete: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” It might not have saved Dana Summers (Tribune) this time.

It is, nonetheless, doubly-good advice, because to begin with, you should always get confirmation before publishing, no matter what kind of no-deadlines pressure you may be under to be first with the news.

But, also, it’s easy to assume things you think you know, like that your mother loves you. That’s when it’s even more important to get that second opinion, because, though Twain didn’t actually come up with it, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

The NY Post is only one source that got snookered by this blatant fraud, so we’ll feature their later reporting on it, because it’s only fair and because, at this hour, Fox appears to have gone silent on also having been jerked around.

Fact is, the story of homeless veterans being kicked out of hotels in Newburgh in order to take in migrants was a load of baloney. It never happened, and the person who said it did had simply rounded up some homeless men and promised them money and a good meal to lie and say they were vets who’d been evicted.

Which leaves Summers off the hook, except for calling them “illegal immigrants,” since, while they might not have achieved full documentation, if they were actually illegals, they’d likely have been flown back home. And, y’know, if they’d actually existed.

However, he could find any number of sources to confirm the overall story. Fair enough.

The story adds some bang to a series Prickly City (AMS) ran this past week about how venture capitalists are stripping local papers down to nothing. The fraud was uncovered by local papers in the Newburgh area, not the well-funded city slickers.

Could be it was pulled off up there precisely because the liar assumed the local yokels had neither the brains or the resources to dig in. As Stantis suggests, the more reporters are laid off by absentee profiteers, the easier it is for local government and local crooks to get away with their smoke-and-mirrors operations.

Well, it didn’t work this time, and here’s a second source to confirm that. And here’s a third, because two isn’t really enough.

And remember, kids: If that fraud peddler had paid the homeless men as promised, they might not have revealed her scam.

Confirm your facts. And pay your accomplices.

I’m less forgiving of Michael Ramirez (Creators), who, instead of apologizing to Andy Warhol for somewhat copying his copy of a Campbell’s Soup can, should apologize to Sonia Sotomayor for not bothering to read her decision in Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts vs Goldsmith.

Not only is her reasoning in the 7-2 decision far from confused but she directly addressed the difference between recreating a copyrighted image to advertise a magazine article and recreating one to comment on commercialism in general:

I also don’t think a ruling that protects artists’ rights is “a can of worms,” but maybe that’s just me. I like some definition of when creative people deserve compensation for their works.

Side Note: If you ever get a chance to see this stuff in person, do it. I remember a pop art exhibit at Montreal’s Musee des Beaux Arts that included not just Warhol — Soup Cans, Brillo and the most gigantic portrait(s) of Mao you could possibly imagine — but Robert Indiana, Edward Hopper and, y’know, all the guys. I’ve also been to a Yoko Ono exhibit that was like an amusement park for grown-ups.

Art matters.

And so it’s good to see SCOTUS step up to protect creators, even if it means ol’ Andy’s foundation took a slap upside the head. Keeps them awake and on track.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Speaking of what artists know about copyright, there are three people with whom you do not mess: The International Olympic Committee, Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney.

Having lived near Lake Placid, I’m confident nobody there thinks it would be smart to get into a fight with the IOC, and being now near Dartmouth, I’m pretty sure they aren’t looking to start a pissing match with the major donor for whom their Geisel School of Medicine is named.

So why on earth would the governor of Florida actively work to antagonize not simply his state’s largest employer but one that pays $1.146 billion-with-a-B in state and local taxes annually and one which is in that sacred threesome with whom nobody ever messes.

Ann Telnaes, who, incidentally, once worked for the Disney division that had been slated to move to Florida, explains de Santis’s reason for dancing through this minefield: He’s dopey, and not the loveable Dopey that Snow White kissed on the forehead. Just dopey.

Bennett points out that, with all the talk about “cancel culture,” apparently nobody told Dopey that you’re not too big and important to get canceled yourself if, instead of picking on teachers and children’s book authors, you start fights with people who can defend themselves.

The Orange King might be able to turn such a blunder into a fan-thrilling victory, but, in de Santis’s hand, it just serves to prove that he isn’t Donald Trump, not even in a way that might boost his ambitions.

Meanwhile, as Molina points out, he may have tanked his own presidential bid, but he’s genuinely screwed things up for Florida’s working class. A lot of good jobs just walked out the door.

Nice work, dopey.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2, or How to Groom Incels

Kelley and Grizeldo each explain the rise of the incels, those angry “involuntary celibates” who hate women on accounta they can’t have any, but they do it from different perspectives.

Kelley explains that women don’t like men who are kind, gentle and thoughtful, but, rather, prefer uncommunicative, hostile brutes.

Grizelda explains how the grooming involved in this bizarre value system filters down to impressionable young men. And why Brits sometimes use the term “wanker” in both the slang and the literal senses.

I have nothing more to add, except that, if you fail to take a shower between coming home from a day’s work and climbing into bed, any resulting celibacy is not involuntary. It’s your own damn fault.

But don’t take my word for it: Ask a woman.

If you know any.

10 thoughts on “CSotD: If your mother says she loves you …

  1. So in general, and not necessarily in this particular case, who does the apology when an editorial cartoon is based on wrong information? The cartoonist, syndicate, or individual papers? Or nobody?

    1. Mostly nobody, except when the public rises up. Then someone bravely steps up and blames the cartoonist for creating a drawing the person apologizing should not have approved. (And echoing the phrase “often in error, but never in doubt.”)

  2. Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup can painting was a commentary on consumerism? I never knew that. I thought it was just his effort to make money, which is a form of consumerism, I guess.

    It’s too meta for me.

    1. Maybe you have to see them in person and in context. I preferred Brillo to Soup Cans, but Soup Cans got the publicity. However, they don’t convey nearly as strong a message until you see them juxtaposed with images of Mao and of Marilyn Monroe, both of whom were also marketed to a compliant public.

  3. I am a red-blooded heterosexual woman full of estrogen, and I would pick the bespectacled cutie with the man-bun over whatever passes for “manly” in Steve Kelley’s mind any day of the week.

    I mean, come on—he looks fit, the glasses suggests he reads a lot, long hair on guys is pretty sexy and he’s… talking on the phone which is something that 98% of normal people do?

    I’d be curious what Kelley thinks “toxic masculinity” looks like and why he thinks the average woman would be attracted to it, whatever it is?

      1. No person is ever an illegal?! Laredo and El Paso would both very much disagree with you. Have you ever been? I go often, it’s sad.

        Bless your heart, but sounds like your Mom enjoyed smoking the ol’ Parmasan, as Hunter might say.

  4. Traditionally, serious music auditions had the performer behind a curtain so they would be judged by their skill not their sex, gender, beauty, masculinity, skin color, ethnicity, etc. That obviously helped reduce biases in judging. I think there is waaay too much obsession with and worry about sex and gender in today’s society. (I wonder if there are people so ignorant they think being a misogynist is about tables, towels and rubbing people the wrong way.) As Mike points out there are lots of more important issues to focus on.

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