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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #11001
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Obama pwns the 'progressive stack' (again, iirc
    No red America and no blue america

  2. #11002
    No two-party system

  3. #11003
    Thought he was onto something.
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    In the US, what's supposed to be the most neutral TV news network?
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    enshu

  4. #11004
    CBS

  5. #11005
    Admiral of Awesome
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    The BBC

  6. #11006
    When I told my dad that the BBC was funded by the (British) government, he was disappointed, since that meant that the network would be less objective.

  7. #11007
    It's Stuart, Martha Stuart
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    I haven't seen any US based TV news that isn't a total dumpster fire.

  8. #11008
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
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    TV is a dumpster fire to be fair. Worst medium.

    And i dont mean shows, obv some shows are good. I really mean the TV format.

  9. #11009

  10. #11010
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    When I told my dad that the BBC was funded by the (British) government, he was disappointed, since that meant that the network would be less objective.
    It’s funded by a special tax that the BBC itself collects. Bit different. I don’t think the British pols have as much control over the BBC’s budget as CBC or VoA, for example.

  11. #11011
    The BBC always struck me as pretty independent, at least from what I've seen, so I probably misled him a bit by saying that to him. I imagine the comparison he had in mind when I pointed that out was to PBS and NPR, which seem to be (unintentionally) pretty liberal, simply because of how their writers skew in terms of education and ideals.

  12. #11012
    On the other hand, in other countries, I am sure that NPR seems centrist. It's only in the wacky world of Fox News that objective reporting is tantamount to being "far left". (That said, they do seem to have lotsa liberal guests on their programs, probably because, well, they're the ones producing relevant and interesting cultural and intellectual content.)

  13. #11013
    Admiral of Awesome
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    The US has mounted a decades long crusade against crown corporations. I wouldn't expect Americans to understand that people in other countries don't see state-owned media as problematic.

  14. #11014
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    https://japantoday.com/category/poli...pan-wsj-column

    WASHINGTON

    U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested to The Wall Street Journal that he will take on Japan next in his fight to cut trade deficits with U.S. trading partners, according to a column carried on the paper's online edition Thursday.

    Citing a phone call he received from Trump, James Freeman, a columnist for the paper, wrote that the president "described his good relations with the Japanese leadership, but then added: 'Of course that will end as soon as I tell them how much they have to pay.'"
    For what? The military occupation of their country?

    Trade is likely to be a major topic when Trump meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe around Sept 25 on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

    Even if Trump wraps up negotiations with Canada,
    He won't.

    Mexico and Europe, "the trade uncertainty won't necessarily end," Freeman said. "It seems that he is still bothered by the terms of U.S. trade with Japan."

    During the call, he wrote, the president sounded "still very focused on eliminating trade deficits with America's trading partners" in line with his "America First" mantra.

    The Trump administration has pushed Japan to further open its automobile and agriculture markets as part of efforts to reduce the chronic U.S. trade deficit.

    The column drew measured reactions from Japan. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso told reporters in Tokyo on Friday, "I don't know President Trump's relationship with The Wall Street Journal nor whether he actually said that."

    "We both have to do our part" to realize a fair trade relationship, added Aso, who doubles as finance minister.

    Toshimitsu Motegi, the minister in charge of trade talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, said he is aiming for an arrangement that benefits both Japan and the United States.
    I assume the arrangement will include 71 years of back rent for the USFJ.

  15. #11015
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    "I am the best at ruining relationships with allies. Nobody else can ruin relationships with allies like me. I've got the best people for ruining relationships with allies."

  16. #11016
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    The most incredible part of this whole trade situation for the US is still the fact that Trump backed out of TPP.

    1.) TPP was a NAFTA replacement.

    2.) The US got literally everything they ever wanted from TPP. It would have made US intellectual property and finance monopolies bulletproof across the whole trading bloc.

    3.) Everything the US is now trying to get from a renegotiated NAFTA, they would have gotten out of TPP.

    4.) They would have simultaneously extracted concessions from many of the Asian countries they're now wasting their time negotiating with one-on-one.


    But Trump wasn't personally responsible for the crushing defeat the original TPP would have been for America's allies, so he backed out of the agreement. And now he's getting worse deals from everybody else. Trump is a moron and Lighthizer is probably the worst negotiator and diplomat who has ever existed.

  17. #11017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The US has mounted a decades long crusade against crown corporations. I wouldn't expect Americans to understand that people in other countries don't see state-owned media as problematic.
    Lots of it is reinforced by really bad Americanized education.

    How many people are familiar with governments spreading propaganda during WW1? Flower girls, the iconic Uncle Sam poster, Hitler's beliefs about state propaganda shaping his actions in WW2. Then they read 1984 and are faced with rampant "the gubbermint is literally evil" ****. So they're quick to read propaganda into state media.

    None of that is necessarily wrong in itself, obviously state media can be very propagandistic. The side of this story less told is how much privately owned media works in the same way. In fact, WW1 propaganda was a result of fake news and privately owned media. It wasn't state-owned media that began making up stuff about the German army, it was private newspapers. For instance, saying they were slaughtering Belgian babies, which they weren't. The British government was actually really concerned about this harming English-German relations post war in case things didn't go in England's favor. Eventually, some parts of the army did engage in this kind of stuff, but the origin and driver of WW1 propaganda was pretty much all private.

    It's part of why Hitler's "Lugenpresse" was so convincing to so many Germans. The German army was pretty unnecessarily cruel at times in WW1. But they knew they weren't out there killing infants or destroying whole towns for no reason. Unfortunately Hitler was able to convince many Germans that the lies were all from a Jewish origin.

    If you tell stories like this to most Americans though, you'll get a small degree of disbelief. Because we're fed the same bad narratives about history so frequently, we're locked into cultural mindsets where we forget that it was basically the Fox Newses of the 1910s which helped drive the Nazi perspective on the media.

  18. #11018
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    There's lots of other stuff the US unnecessarily forces through the private sector, like healthcare and privatization of government funded research. It's hard to take American criticism about the potential for government propaganda seriously when they're eager to recite similar arguments about anything else a crown corporation might do.

  19. #11019
    One has to wonder if, had the groundbreaking work on personal computing (in the original, non-corporate sense of the idea), along with the (admittedly problematic) attempts to create the infrastructure for more general hypermedia (in the original, non-WWW sense of the word), had been carried out in a well-funded crown corporation (instead of at smaller groups at the fringes, perennially seeing their research grants dry up and their best people poached by corporate labs, and see half-assed approximations of their visions wind up in households everywhere, only to blow up undergraduate research projects [<-- Edit: wrong link, corrected] into gargantuan private corporations from out of nowhere, simply in order to finish off the capabilities of the delicate and anemic personal computers now connected (and free from the clutches of AT&T) to the net)...
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 09-08-2018 at 05:32 PM. Reason: wrong link, corrected

  20. #11020
    ...that maybe, we wouldn't have made the Internet just as locked down as it would have been had we let IBM continue to rule the world.

  21. #11021
    Admiral of Awesome
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    But if the government is the ultimate beneficial owner of an unaccountable natural monopoly, who will bribe the politicians to keep it that way?

  22. #11022
    Hitler, duh

  23. #11023
    This has got me thinking about the relationship between capitalism and war. It seems that the 20th century belonged to the United States most of all on account of the devastating effects of World War 2 on European civilization, plus the fruits of having increased public / government funding of technological innovation (in order to win the war).

    But in the decades following the war, all that innovation has been soaked up and locked down by private corporations for narrow purposes (and it only seems to get worse as time goes by).

    Is the United States incapable of overcoming its myopia and greed for any need short of total war?

  24. #11024
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    If you can name a reason why a back-biting apartheid could hold a century-long hegemony over a much larger continent on the other side of the planet other than hilarious economic accident, I would like to hear it.

  25. #11025
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    This has got me thinking about the relationship between capitalism and war. It seems that the 20th century belonged to the United States most of all on account of the devastating effects of World War 2 on European civilization, plus the fruits of having increased public / government funding of technological innovation (in order to win the war).

    But in the decades following the war, all that innovation has been soaked up and locked down by private corporations for narrow purposes (and it only seems to get worse as time goes by).

    Is the United States incapable of overcoming its myopia and greed for any need short of total war?
    I suspect that military needs drive technological innovation in the US more than you'd expect. Many technologies are initially developed for military use and only later are consumer applications found for them.

  26. #11026
    From what I wrote, what makes you think I wouldn't expect it? My entire point was that technological innovations did originate (or were funded by agencies related to) the military. I was only lamenting that the passage of time following the conflicts that spurred such government research has seen such technology pass uncritically into corporate hands, rather than being stewarded by the kind of 'crown corporations' mentioned by Jon`C.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 09-08-2018 at 06:12 PM.

  27. #11027
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I was only lamenting that the passage of time following the conflicts that spurred such government research has seen such technology pass uncritically into corporate hands, rather than being stewarded by the kind of 'crown corporations' mentioned by Jon`C.
    I'm disagreeing that the "passage of time" has brought about the changes that you claim here that it has. There hasn't been a significant change: military technological innovation used to drive or was the initial origin of technological innovation in consumer products, and I don't think it's ceased to be the case. It's still the case.
    Last edited by Eversor; 09-08-2018 at 06:18 PM.

  28. #11028
    Is it simply that you are saying that the military is still a source of technological innovation to this day, and that the transfer of technology from military to the private sector has never stopped? I certainly wouldn't disagree with that. Although my post had more to do with the tech monopolies of today enjoying unquestioned dominance in large part because of the vacuum left by less well funded government / university research that began efforts to make personal computing and the internet a thing at all.

    (Although as I suggested, if it hadn't been Apple and Microsoft and Google, it would almost certainly have been IBM and AT&T like it had been before.)
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 09-08-2018 at 06:21 PM.

  29. #11029
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I'm disagreeing that the "passage of time" has brought about the changes that you claim here that it has. There hasn't been a significant change: military technological innovation used to drive or was the initial origin of technological innovation in consumer products, and I don't think it's ceased to be the case. It's still the case.
    Funding sources dried up, and ARC researchers went to work for PARC, where they largely abandoned the goals of Engelbart's research group. What pieces of it that remained that were built there eventually became the Mac.

    I don't know about the overall funding levels of DARPA, and I am sure universities and other research groups are able to develop new tech through grant money, but if you look at the landscape of the tech sector today, almost all that technology is being used by mega-corporations that don't operate under any kind of charter like you might see in a crown corporation (ARC probably came closest, being a group devoted solely to developing personal computing (although they didn't call it that), with explicit and principled goals of doing so for the benefit of mankind rather than corporate profit).

    In other words, it's not that government funded or conducted research connected to the military ever necessarily decreased overall. It's just that the corporations in the United States can't think of anything to do with the technology that has come out of such sources at various times in our history, except to make megabucks (and that with the passage of time, such corporations have soaked up more and more of this technology in order to control more and more of the economy).
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 09-08-2018 at 06:38 PM.

  30. #11030
    Think about it this way: what if the technology for paper and pencil were owned by a private corporation, and you saw ads whenever you wrote on it, and it read what you wrote in order to distract you from what you wanted to write about.

    With physical media disappearing to make way for electronic media, this is more or less what is happening.

  31. #11031
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    The 20th century belonged to the United States for basically six reasons, as best as I can figure.

    1.) Permissive immigration laws from founding through mid-century that made the United States an attractive and attainable destination for anybody seeking a different lifestyle for practically any reason.

    2.) During the 1800s the United States granted patents and indemnity for anybody who stole industrial knowledge from another country. Stealing diagrams and machine tools from Britain and smuggling them into the United States was an amazing way to jump up a couple of class levels, especially coming from late 1800s Europe which was the most economically unequal period in known history.

    3.) The mass militarization of the United States during the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, the United States was left with the most powerful, well-armed, and well-trained military in the world. This has been true ever since. That's made the United States a very important ally for any country interested in surviving a World War.

    4.) The United States suffered relatively light casualties during the World Wars.

    During WW1, the United States lost 0.13% of its total population. Canada lost nearly 1%, the UK lost more than 2%, Germany and France lost more than 4%.

    During WW2, the United States lost 0.32% of its total population. Canada lost 0.38%, the UK lost 0.94%, France lost 1.44%, and Germany lost more than 8%.

    Most of those deaths were soldiers, i.e. working-age male conscripts. The working age male population varies from country to country, but the rule of thumb is about 25% of the total. So multiply by 4 to understand the economic impact. In the run-up to the US gilded age, Canada had a 4% per capita work force disadvantage against the United States.

    5.) European productive capital was devastated by both total warfare and capital expropriation during decolonization. Basically, Europe didn't have enough manufacturing capacity to satisfy their own needs. American industry was more than untouched by the war, it was actually bolstered in order to meet the military's needs. Europe needed to buy its goods from somewhere and the United States was the only country capable of providing.

    6.) The demand for US manufactured goods created urgent need to establish an international monetary system. Because there was so much demand for US goods anyway, I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time to have countries settle their accounts in USD even if the US was not involved in the transaction.

    In other words, it made the USD the world's reserve currency.

    This created a lot of demand for USD. That means the value of USD went up. That means imported goods are incredibly cheap in the United States.

  32. #11032
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The US has mounted a decades long crusade against crown corporations. I wouldn't expect Americans to understand that people in other countries don't see state-owned media as problematic.
    Yeah, no kidding.

    BBC has a really good reputation when it comes to objectivity though. I think you'd be hard pressed to find something like that in the US. I suppose I should check out CBS, which I'm not too familiar with.

    All we get here on cable is CNN. We used to have Fox, which I used to watch for laughs. It can be really infuriating though, the way they spin things.

    I'm not sure about other European countries, but in The Netherlands the state owned media are by far the best source for fact-based objective reporting and investigative journalism on TV. They're always showing both sides of the story, sometimes they even take it too far. They'll give some obscure climate skeptic just as much screen time as an expert in the field. It's much better than commercial media though, which tend to focus on more sensationalist reporting.
    Last edited by ORJ_JoS; 09-08-2018 at 07:13 PM.

  33. #11033
    Quote Originally Posted by ORJ_JoS View Post
    I suppose I should check out CBS, which I'm not too familiar with.
    I wasn't really serious about that. I just mentioned it as a token television network (the big three from the 20th century were ABC, CBS, and NBC, from the early days of television). Something much closer to the BBC would probably be NPR. CBS is "neutral" in comparison to things like Fox News or Huffington Post (it's just not very good, and is no less sensational in its own way).

  34. #11034
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The 20th century belonged to the United States for basically six reasons, as best as I can figure.

    1.) Permissive immigration laws from founding through mid-century that made the United States an attractive and attainable destination for anybody seeking a different lifestyle for practically any reason.

    2.) During the 1800s the United States granted patents and indemnity for anybody who stole industrial knowledge from another country. Stealing diagrams and machine tools from Britain and smuggling them into the United States was an amazing way to jump up a couple of class levels, especially coming from late 1800s Europe which was the most economically unequal period in known history.

    3.) The mass militarization of the United States during the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, the United States was left with the most powerful, well-armed, and well-trained military in the world. This has been true ever since. That's made the United States a very important ally for any country interested in surviving a World War.

    4.) The United States suffered relatively light casualties during the World Wars.

    During WW1, the United States lost 0.13% of its total population. Canada lost nearly 1%, the UK lost more than 2%, Germany and France lost more than 4%.

    During WW2, the United States lost 0.32% of its total population. Canada lost 0.38%, the UK lost 0.94%, France lost 1.44%, and Germany lost more than 8%.

    Most of those deaths were soldiers, i.e. working-age male conscripts. The working age male population varies from country to country, but the rule of thumb is about 25% of the total. So multiply by 4 to understand the economic impact. In the run-up to the US gilded age, Canada had a 4% per capita work force disadvantage against the United States.

    5.) European productive capital was devastated by both total warfare and capital expropriation during decolonization. Basically, Europe didn't have enough manufacturing capacity to satisfy their own needs. American industry was more than untouched by the war, it was actually bolstered in order to meet the military's needs. Europe needed to buy its goods from somewhere and the United States was the only country capable of providing.

    6.) The demand for US manufactured goods created urgent need to establish an international monetary system. Because there was so much demand for US goods anyway, I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time to have countries settle their accounts in USD even if the US was not involved in the transaction.

    In other words, it made the USD the world's reserve currency.

    This created a lot of demand for USD. That means the value of USD went up. That means imported goods are incredibly cheap in the United States.
    Hmm. So we lucked into it, and whatever foresight can be attributed to government funding of technology research was a straightforward reaction to the circumstances said luck provided us with. It certainly explains why we've been running with all the prosperity it's provided us with, like a chicken with its head chopped off and pooping over the rest of the barnyard (sorry).

  35. #11035
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    It was luck, but only with the understanding that luck is a combination of opportunity, favourable chance, and applied will. The United States wasn’t a passive participant in their own success. They took deliberate action in response to the choices of others. Had others made different choices, those opportunities never would have happened.

    So I’m not saying the US is a bunch of buffoons who bumbled into dominating the world. I’m just saying the US isn’t as special as y’all are raised to think it is. China, India, and Europe have a lot of people. Plenty of them are even smart. There’s no reason why a small country on a tiny continent on the other side of the planet would have any long term power over them.

  36. #11036
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    3.) The mass militarization of the United States during the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, the United States was left with the most powerful, well-armed, and well-trained military in the world. This has been true ever since. That's made the United States a very important ally for any country interested in surviving a World War.
    Agree with most of your post, but I'd differ a little here. It might be true that the United States army was very strong after the civil war, maybe the best in the world. But I don't think it was most powerful, most well-armed and most well-trained unbroken from 1870 until now. From 1945 on that indisputably true, though.

  37. #11037
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Agree with most of your post, but I'd differ a little here. It might be true that the United States army was very strong after the civil war, maybe the best in the world. But I don't think it was most powerful, most well-armed and most well-trained unbroken from 1870 until now. From 1945 on that indisputably true, though.
    It's not just a question of size, it's a question of modernity. When WW1 started, European powers were still deploying cavalrymen and issuing sabres and platemail. A lot of the reason WW1 was such a bloodbath for the European powers is because they had no experience with modern warfare. The United States gained that experience during the Civil War, which was a bloodbath for similar reasons.

    But yes, it's also a question of size. The United States didn't maintain a large standing army in the inter-war period*, but they also didn't need one. Between the Civil War and the various dust-ups in the inter-war period, the United States gained a lot of experience with conscription - being able to draw up and down their forces by a large factor within weeks. There's no value maintaining a large volunteer force when you have both the ability and will to put 10% of your population in uniform overnight. The United States could do it and everybody else at the time knew they could.

    (* It was "only" half the size of the British army, which was deployed to garrison a world-spanning empire. They didn't have the most permanent soldiers but given the normal standards of the era and that the US wasn't a colonial power, their army was actually quite vast.)

  38. #11038
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The 20th century belonged to the United States for basically six reasons, as best as I can figure.

    1.) Permissive immigration laws from founding through mid-century that made the United States an attractive and attainable destination for anybody seeking a different lifestyle for practically any reason.

    2.) During the 1800s the United States granted patents and indemnity for anybody who stole industrial knowledge from another country. Stealing diagrams and machine tools from Britain and smuggling them into the United States was an amazing way to jump up a couple of class levels, especially coming from late 1800s Europe which was the most economically unequal period in known history.

    3.) The mass militarization of the United States during the Civil War. After the Civil War ended, the United States was left with the most powerful, well-armed, and well-trained military in the world. This has been true ever since. That's made the United States a very important ally for any country interested in surviving a World War.

    4.) The United States suffered relatively light casualties during the World Wars.

    During WW1, the United States lost 0.13% of its total population. Canada lost nearly 1%, the UK lost more than 2%, Germany and France lost more than 4%.

    During WW2, the United States lost 0.32% of its total population. Canada lost 0.38%, the UK lost 0.94%, France lost 1.44%, and Germany lost more than 8%.

    Most of those deaths were soldiers, i.e. working-age male conscripts. The working age male population varies from country to country, but the rule of thumb is about 25% of the total. So multiply by 4 to understand the economic impact. In the run-up to the US gilded age, Canada had a 4% per capita work force disadvantage against the United States.

    5.) European productive capital was devastated by both total warfare and capital expropriation during decolonization. Basically, Europe didn't have enough manufacturing capacity to satisfy their own needs. American industry was more than untouched by the war, it was actually bolstered in order to meet the military's needs. Europe needed to buy its goods from somewhere and the United States was the only country capable of providing.

    6.) The demand for US manufactured goods created urgent need to establish an international monetary system. Because there was so much demand for US goods anyway, I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time to have countries settle their accounts in USD even if the US was not involved in the transaction.

    In other words, it made the USD the world's reserve currency.

    This created a lot of demand for USD. That means the value of USD went up. That means imported goods are incredibly cheap in the United States.
    It seems that geography deserves a place on this list too. Being a continental power surrounded by oceans on two sides is an important factor. Not having hostile neighbors on its borders in the 20th century is an important reason why American production went unscathed during WWII. Plus, America has vast natural resources available to it, making imperialism unnecessary in a way that it was for European powers (although Manifest Destiny is its own kind of imperialism, obviously). Plus, one of the key factors of American hegemony is that it's a naval power. It inherited from Britain uncontested control of the seas and the role of guarantor of security for maritime trade routes. (It's notable, by the way, that China is on the way to exceeding American naval capacity.)

  39. #11039
    This didn't make it into many of the John McCain retrospectives. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...men.johnmccain

    Imagine the stink that would erupt were David Cameron to stand up in front of a dinner of rich Conservative backers and make a “joke” that implied that Sarah Brown had had a lesbian affair with Jacqui Smith and produced a love child (and an ugly one to boot). Can you imagine British papers deciding to downplay the story because it was in such bad taste, allowing Cameron to carry on with his assault on Downing Street?

    Cross the pond and that is exactly what happened to John McCain at a fundraising dinner in Arizona a decade ago. “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly?” he told a handful of big Republican funders. “Because Janet Reno is her father.”

    The remark packed into its 15 words several layers of misogyny. It disparaged the looks of Chelsea, then 18 and barely out of high school; it portrayed Reno as a man at a time when she was serving as the first female US attorney general; and it implied that Hillary Clinton was engaged in a lesbian affair while the Monica Lewinsky scandal was blazing. Not bad going, Senator McCain.

  40. #11040
    This bit from that 2008 article, criticizing US media, is amusing too:

    The puzzle is explained partly by the US press, which barely reported the story. The Washington Post broke it in June 1998 but declined to relate the joke on the grounds it was “too vile to repeat”. Such coyness has long been ingrained in the US media, which has an annoying tendency to regard its readers as wayward children in need of moral protection. That’s one important reason, incidentally, that blogs are doing so well in the US - they have no such scruples and behave in ways more akin to the British than the mainstream American media.

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