Yglesias Award Nominee

“There is an animal-welfare bill on New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s desk right now, S998, which pigspassed both the Senate and the Assembly with strong bipartisan support. The bill would ban the use in New Jersey of so-called gestation crates, the metal stalls, 2 feet wide by 7 feet long, that confine more than 80 percent of pregnant pigs in the United States. The National Pork Producers Council opposes S998, because it opposes any legislation that might constrain animal agriculture. The group’s communications director belittled animal-welfare concerns, telling a journalist, “So our animals can’t turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets. . . . I don’t know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around.”

Most of us are not so dismissive where cruelty to animals is at issue, which is why the bill is supported by 93 percent of New Jersey voters, including 94 percent of Democrats and 92 percent of Republicans. It’s hard to imagine a more popular piece of legislation … It’s not just animal science that is offended by the crates — so is basic morality. In short, forcing pigs to spend their lives in such conditions violates elementary principles of decency, compassion, and mercy … The bill on Governor Christie’s desk right now is a common-sense measure that merely requires that pigs in New Jersey be able to lie down when they wish and turn around comfortably. Surely, that’s the least we as a society can provide them,” – Bruce Friedrich, National Review.

For a glossary of the Dish Awards, see here.

Yglesias Award Nominee

“Back in 2012 I published a book about the Obama administration’s efforts to heal the economy. The book was largely a narrative, reconstructing events and internal debates as they unfolded. But it delivered a judgment on Obama’s economic team, and the judgment wasn’t favorable. Right there in the book’s subtitle it says that “Obama’s team fumbled the recovery.” This probably sounds right to anyone who’s unemployed, particularly anyone who’s been among the painfully large number of long-term unemployed

[But] my verdict on the administration was overly harsh. Job growth has been very steady the last three years. GDP growth has exceeded two percent in each of the last two years, and will almost certainly do so again in 2014 … And the same goes for historical comparisons. As Paul Krugman recently observed in Rolling Stone, the United States did a better job limiting the fallout from its financial crisis than the typical advanced economy has over the years. We also crawled our way out of the hole a little faster,” – Noam Scheiber.  (Awards glossary here.)

Malkin Award Nominee

“I’m sure Pius XII would have denied that signing a Concordat with Hitler’s Germany meant he approved of Nazism. But it conferred legitimacy and dramatically undercut any basis within the Church for resistance. The same goes for the concordat many Catholic institutions are signing with gay marriage. It confers legitimacy on the sexual revolution and undercuts resistance.

I can understand why Pius XII sought the Concordat with Hitler. He hoped to secure a stable basis for the Church’s ministry in Germany. I can also understand why many Catholics (including, perhaps, Pope Francis) want to make their peace with the sexual revolution, putting “divisive” culture-war issues behind them so that they can go on with the work of the Gospel and so forth. Moreover, Hitler in 1933 didn’t look so bad—and respectable gay couples don’t seem a threat to marriage or anything else,” – R.R. Reno, First Things.

(Hat tip: Alan Jacobs)

Yglesias Award Nominee


“Argument is like all other human behaviors: subject to conditioning through reward and punishment. And we’ve created these incentives on the left: always politicize; always escalate; always ridicule. We’re living with the consequences of those tendencies now. Unfortunately, I don’t know how we build a new left discourse, given that the two current modes of left-wing expression appear to be a) showily condescending ridicule and b) utter fury.

I mean you can guess what the response by some will be to this essay: deBoer doesn’t think racism is real, he doesn’t think sexism is real, he wants people to just get over it when they’re the victims of sexism and racism. None of that is true. I write about the structural racism of our society constantly. I believe that we’re still a deeply, inherently sexist culture. (For example, you may have heard of #GamerGate.) And I absolutely believe that there are tons of daily encounters that demonstrate these problems, and that the victims of them should feel comfortable speaking out.

I just also think that we have to be able to say “you know, I don’t think that your particular political critique here is correct” without being accused of failing to oppose racism and sexism in general,” – Freddie DeBoer.

(Illustration: a visualization of the Twitterverse on Gamergate over 72 hours via Andy Baio, with the help of Gilad Lotan, chief data scientist at Betaworks. Look at the polarization. The data also found many many more misogynist tweets than those about ethics in gamer journalism.)

Yglesias Award Nominee

A voice of reason in the ethical swamp of “journalism”:

WWD: What are your views of native advertising? Do you run them on your site?

David Remnick, editor The New Yorker: We run all kinds of ads, as long as they are clearly marked as advertising when there’s ever a question. I think advertising is advertising. If it’s 100 percent clear what it is, then, with certain exceptions, I can live with that.

What I object to is tricking the reader and blurring the lines so that unsuspecting readers, thinking that they are getting something that is assigned and edited by the editorial side, are getting something quite different. They are getting an advertisement.

WWD: Time Inc. has editors that will work on editorial and advertising content. Is that a no-no in your book?

David Remnick: Call Time Inc. That’s not what I got into journalism to do. I got in journalism for any number of reasons, not least because it’s so much fun. Journalism should be in the business of putting pressure on power, finding out the truth, of shining a light on injustice, of, when appropriate, being amusing and entertaining — it’s a complicated and varied beast, journalism.

For a glossary of Dish Awards, see here.

Malkin Award Nominee

“This is all because, I mean, count the number of times he uses the word I in any speech, and compare that to any other president. Remember when he announced the killing of bin Laden? That speech I believe had 29 references to I – on my command, I ordered, as commander-in-chief, I was then told, I this. You’d think he’d pulled the trigger out there in Abbottabad. You know, this is a guy, you look at every one of his speeches, even the way he introduces high officials – I’d like to introduce my secretary of State. He once referred to ‘my intelligence community’. And in one speech, I no longer remember it, ‘my military’. For God’s sake, he talks like the emperor, Napoleon,” – Charles Krauthammer, psycho-analyzing the president.

Pity he is factually, demonstrably wrong. Meanwhile, one comes across this statement from George Will that we excerpted earlier today:

Building on the work of the first Roosevelt, the second Roosevelt gave us the idea, the shimmering, glittering idea of the heroic presidency. And with it the hope that complex problems would yield to charisma. This sets the country up for perpetual disappointment.

And what, one wonders, was the cult of Reagan all about if not a “heroic presidency”? And who, one wonders, was more of an advocate for it than Will?

(For a glossary of the Dish Awards, including the Malkin Award, click here.)

Yglesias Award Nominee

“In spite of the things I felt at the time when we went into war, liberals said: We shouldn’t get involved. We shouldn’t nation-build. And there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free. I thought that was insulting at the time. Everybody wants to be free. They said we couldn’t force freedom on people. Let me lead with my mistakes. You are right. Liberals, you were right. We shouldn’t have,” – Glenn Beck.