Very nice David!

Expand full comment

Good catch! As always, the problem is that bad news sells and it's always about subscriptions and advertising revenue. CNN knew that and, in search of higher profits, elected Trump.

Expand full comment

Power Corrupts researcher analyzed thousands of brokerage accounts and found humans go nuts when they win:"Murdoch is chairman of two publicly traded New York-based companies: News Corp. and Fox Corp. The latter focuses on television production, cable news and broadcasting, and had revenue of $14 billion in the year to June 30, 2022. News Corp. is a publisher that owns the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and The Sun."... aka Rude-perp 'doch-tering the news ( like Hitler did?)... Let's collaborate

Expand full comment

Excellent analysis but very disturbing.

How about submitting a letter to the WSJ:


Expand full comment

Interesting. The "patriotism" one is absurd but makes sense in upside down 2023. I think the culprit is wealth and privilege. As young people are more and more spoiled and privileged, they inversely hate America more and more. This hatred is of course based not in deep reading (young people no longer read, except Twitter) or in historical knowledge (negative numbers here I'm sure), but in tribal attachments to trendy non-ideas connected to celebrity fascination and addiction to The New Drug called Attention.

Michael Mohr

"Sincere American Writing"


Expand full comment
Mar 29, 2023·edited Mar 29, 2023Liked by david roberts

Breaking my commenting break here as I think this is very important, that when we add "somewhat important" the numbers aren't as horrible as when we don't.

Unfortunately Ruffini's attempt to debunk the article, actually made for an even more depressing conclusion than the WSJ presentation. Because according to him, the main reason for the sudden drop is because prior versions of the poll were conducted by phone, but the most recent one was online, and the phone version was likely affected by "social desirability bias".

So he thinks basically that Americans have been money-grubbing heathens for years and just lying to pollsters on the phone that they actually cared about community, religion, or having kids, because that's what they assumed they were *supposed* to care about.

Sure, he gives some lip service to not trusting the poll at all, because it's an outlier. But his article basically concludes "ackshually what's really going on is even WORSE, we didn't suddenly become money-grubbing heathens, we have been like that for YEARS"!

So I was a tad bummed that TMD provided a link to it. As it just seems to be more evidence that TD has ditched a big part of their corporate brand, which was the whole idea of steelmanning the opposition and assuming good faith.

But it seems many at TD are now falling into a mentality that everyone on all sides is at best selfish, or at worst evil, and assuming BAD faith.

The articles there used to have more of a Happy Warrior Remnant vibe. Now many have a weary, cynical vibe that gives me the impression of "the world is going to hell in a handbasket, all our institutions are crumbling or burning up, while politicians fiddle and preen for the cameras, and no one really cares, so we are just doomed, doomed, Doomed".

Then there's their new YouTube channel that is apparently totally exempt from Steve's anti-clickbait policy. So I assume it's only a matter of time before that approach to marketing, infects the main site, too.

All that being said, I haven't totally given up on TD. But in general it's become much more negative a place than 3 years ago, and I think the comments reflect that. I was initially planning on returning to TD comments after Easter, but now I am not so sure.

Expand full comment

Aylene, your point about overall negativity is a good one. I hadn't noticed it, but now that you pointed it out, I have.

Happy Easter to you and I hope you keep commenting!

Expand full comment

Thanks for the encouragement. I really had wondered for a while why TD comments had become so negative recently, and while at first I blamed the site switch and the influx of newbies following certain new writers, during my break it became obvious to me that the TD content itself was becoming more negative as well, so of course the comments on that content would also be negative.

Anyway, I am sure I will eventually return. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to opine here!

Expand full comment