Showing Up For Work

Something quite strange happened in Washington today. Three US Senators took a day off from their usual working routine and showed up in the US Senate.

That’s a quote from a TimesOnline article by Gerard Baker. The fact that a British guy has also noticed that there are 3 senators who are not doing their jobs is telling, no?

Obama and President Bush are 10th cousins

How do they know this?

Researchers there say Barack Obama is a distant cousin of actor Brad Pitt. […] Hillary Clinton is related to Pitt’s girlfriend, Angelina Jolie. Clinton, who is of French-Canadian descent on her mother’s side, is also a distant cousin of singers Madonna, Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette. Obama, the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, can call six U.S. presidents, including President Bush and his father, former President George Bush, his cousins.

Boston Herald

Media Confusion

One of the best things that RealClearPolitics has done is show just how “all over the map” the media can be. Before the time of Internet news aggregations, no one probably realized that you can write anything as a journalist and it’s likely that some other journalist is writing exactly the opposite at the same time. For example, take this example from this afternoon:

[RCP]

First, notice both of those organizations printing the stories about Obama and race are based in the United Kingdom. For whatever reason, RealClearPolitics is including international news reporting. Second, think about how completely opposite the conclusions shown in the story titles are. Lift the Curse of Race vs. Postpone Post-Racial US. What if it’s neither? What if it’s both?

I’ve become more convinced that, taken as a whole, journalism uses a shotgun approach. If you write about every conceivable conclusion, then somewhere, someone’s right. That’s probably inescapable. But more journalists should be willing to admit that they really don’t know what the heck they’re talking about, anymore than Joe Bob down the street does.

Race or Gender

CNN had an awful headline earlier this week, that I saw mentioned by Jeremy. The story basically said black women won’t be voting issues because they’re too set on voting their identity. I guess that makes Edwards the “white male” candidate that he joked about at the debate?

Evidently, CNN caught some flak for that headline, and rightly so. How’s this for a quote from the story:

For these women, a unique, and most unexpected dilemma, presents itself: Should they vote their race, or should they vote their gender?

Yep, good thing the Republicans don’t have to worry about hard questions like that. They only have issues to look at, instead of gender and race.