Weekend Vibes [DOT 6/8/22]

I’m pulling a RIP and am up way too late tonight, so this will be short and sweet.

Lucky for you, Saturday Morning Brain Drain will be by shortly to make sure you are entertained.


Alex Jones ordered to pay $45.2 million more in punitive damages to Sandy Hook parents


China halts US cooperation on range of issues after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit


Indiana assembly passes anti-abortion bill, governor signs it into law


Three people dead after lightning strike Thursday near White House


S&P 500, Nasdaq fall Friday, but notch weekly gains after blowout July jobs report

Ooh, record drama!

How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire

I was mesmerized by this:

Happy Caturday!



  1. For a second I thought you were going to say you were pulling a RIP and posting a one hour DOT.

    That audiophile article is hilarious. There’s a quote in there about how the consumers were pissed off about two things: the fact that the label lied and the fact that they were super invested in the idea that they could tell digital from analog and it turned out they couldn’t. Now, to be clear, not all digital is the same. MP3s and other compressed mediums are kind of garbage because of all the info that gets stripped out. But uncompressed digital sounds absolutely incredible and I will fight any analog fetishist on that. This article exposed that inconvenient reality.

    • Audiophiles can be some gullible folks.

      For some reason, Google Ads has decided that I’m an audiophile because I have purchased gear for my home studio, and now I keep seeing ads for $5000 single-output headphone amps and special $8000 powerstrips for audiophiles that are carved from solid blocks of marble.

      • Have you never been to Pompeii? Among the preserved pottery and frescoes and all the other treasures are several fine examples of Imperial marble-block powerstrips from the first century AD. Pliny the Elder wrote movingly about what a difference his made when he would summon the lute and lyre players to entertain his dinner guests, their music to be heard more clearly throughout the villa. Sadly, Pliny the Elder was also a casualty of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, but he died at Stablae, a victim of one of the waves of toxic gas that was sent forth during that cataclysm.

          • Pliny The Elder rushes in where wise men fear to tread.

            Also, we’ve seen “Fortune Favors the Crytpo Exchange not you Brah.”

            Also, see me losing a couple of hundred bucks at Blackjack.  “Fortune Favors the Casino, Dipshit.”

  2. This is kind of a long read but it’s a Saturday, so why not?


    To sum up: Joyce Cohen has been writing one of the NY Times’s most reviled columns for what seemed to me like several decades. “On the Hunt.” I assumed it was the inspiration for “House Hunters” and “House Hunters International,”, but no, it’s a cheap rip-off, “HH” (1999) having preceded “OTH” (2004) by five years. It’s the same thing, though, people with a surprisingly large budget for their age and vaguely described occupations go on the hunt for housing. Most Times readers I bet find most Times content trustworthy and unexceptional, but “On the Hunt” (and “Vows”) always sets people off because it is so trolly, but in unself-consciously tone-deaf ways.

    I don’t even know where to begin to summarize the link. I will say that it is a quintessential New York story but the actors involved, including Timeswoman herself Joyce Cohen, is such a self-caricature that Tom Wolfe, for example, wouldn’t have touched this with a ten-foot pole, because everyone is so two-dimensional.

    I got a good laugh out of it, only because I want everyone to lose.

    • I’m sure nobody involved is telling the whole truth. You could tell me any number of details were left out of that story and I would believe it.

      That Cohen and her husband secretly own the entire building and they’re subletting their own property. That their sublet apartment on the Upper West Side is actually a laundry room in NJ. That this is actually a dispute over who gets to take a forced labor au pair on vacation to Bar Harbor. That the apartment has no floor, just a net, and the dispute is over food items dropping on the tenants below.

    • Here’s a predictable but still hair pulling wrinkle:

      ABC News issued an article about the job results saying they were more proof of a slowdown, quoting a “senior economist” from Glassdoor saying the stats showed the labor market was cooling.

      Except they released it before the stats were known, and the article referred to things like “unemployment rate xyz” and “xyz,000 jobs.”

      It’s blindingly obvious the press is using sources with predetermined ideas to drive their coverage instead of reporting honestly.

      Some dumb people have jumped in to say this is just how the business works — that of course they prewrite portions of articles with placeholders to be filled in after final announcements.

      Which would be a valid point if this was a straight news article. But it’s not.

      It’s analysis, and it shows how fossilized press sourcing and press points of view are. And the article they ran immediately after the results became public made it clear they still weren’t open to anything which contradicted their locked-in narrative.

      The lowest unemployment rate in 50 years doesn’t get the same coverage as inflation for the same reason falling gas prices don’t get the same coverage as rising ones — reporters get into lockstep with bad sources and create a stupid feedback loop. And of course editors and execs don’t care because they’re inside the loop too.

      • Literally anything addressing economics is “analysis,” or, in other words, opinion. It’s funny, I used to write a column for the chief economist for Chase Manhattan Bank, and the first thing I realized was that no two economists ever agree on anything, ever. There is almost zero consensus, and no matter what one asserts, you can find another that will say the first one is an irredeemable idiot.

        Economics is not a science. At best, it’s educated guesswork.

        Secondly, reporters prewrite obituaries, sure. But back in my reporter days I’d have been fired if I was caught prewriting a news article. But of course if it isn’t actually news, who cares, right?

        • Adam Davidson has had a lot of interesting things to say about covering economics and the perils of how you use (and get used by) sources. For example:

          The basic problem is nearly all reporters and editors have surrendered to sources and cannot imagine a world where reporters make sense of things on their own. If questions are ever asked of decision makers, it’s questions they are told to ask by their sources who are often decision makers in their own right.

          And none of this is transparent. Everything in the background is done to create the illusion that it’s open an honest inquiry and come up with the formal elements of an honestly reported story, when it’s all cherry picked if not manufactured.

    • It’s been widely reported that “The Creator” in that story is producer Dan Schneider, and he was known for years to be a monster. But he was shielded by the entertainment press in the same way that horrible and powerful producer Scott Rudin was shielded by then NY Times Broadway reporter Patrick Healy, who ran the Times political coverage during much of the Trump years and now is second in command of their Opinion section. Which decided earlier this year to write a massive broadside bemoaning its notion of “cancel culture.”

      The Times eventually ran this nauseating polishing profile of Schneider which bends over backwards to try to both sides his abuse. Why, not everyone would say he was a freak, so the picture must be nuanced! Sure, he demanded people give him massages, but a corporation with legal liability says it wasn’t sexual, so let’s just use their characterization!


      He’s awful, but the larger world of enablers is even worse.


  3. Why is it that when “poor people” “get money” (inflation, low unemployment), it’s bad?

    I think the system is broke, or should be broken down and refigured.

  4. Three days ago in the DOT in the wake of the Kansas vote, I wrote:

    My guess is we get a flood of articles from GOP sympathetic reporters planted by GOP consultants about how the GOP has learned a valuable lesson and will definitely be taking the concerns of women in mind going forward. They’re thinking hard. Look how hard they’re thinking.

    But let’s move on, nothing more to see, we’re sure Alito is focused on serious jurisprudence now. Alabama? Is that a part of the US? We’re not sure what you’re talking about. Definitely a dangerous moment for the GOP’s opponents. Hey, Monkeypox!

    Yesterday the NY Times ran an article by Jonathan Weisman doing exactly that, saying the GOP had learned their lesson from the backlash and were moderating their stance.

    Shortly after that, Indiana’s GOP politicians jammed through legislation banning abortion.

    Weisman is the national politics beat reporter who leans on GOP sources and was suspended for stupidly biased things like saying Rashida Tlaib wasn’t a Midwesterner despite representing Detroit, and John Lewis was from the deep South, with the subtext “just look at them, you know what I mean?” But of course he was reinstated.

    What matters to biased Times hacks like Weisman isn’t the actual facts, it’s presenting the lies of GOP politicians as the truth. Technically it’s true that they said it, so that’s good enough for them.

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