Friday, April 30, 2021

psychologizing is not journalism

Instapundit links to an American Thinker article titled "Kamala's Not Looking So Good Lately."  Here's an excerpt from the article's beginning:

Kamala Harris hasn't been looking well lately. She gave a maskless interview to CNN's Dana Bash a week ago, and she looked much more jowly and wrinkly than she did just three months ago, when she took the oath of office. She has a bit more junk in the trunk now, and gone are the purple, maroon, and ivory suits; it's black or navy all the time now, the better to hide the extra jiggly bits. A lot of her sentences now begin with "Well, I mean," signaling the intellectual vacuity she's settled for, as though she's completely given up on trying to sound smart.

Is the stress of not being able to do her job getting to her? Does she have Imposter Syndrome on steroids and the medication has stopped working? Or does she have some awful knowledge of a certain future event the rest of us don't know about and is coping with it the best way she can? On April 23, she gave a speech to the IBEW Local 490 in Concord, N.H., and she slurred and giggled her way through "I think it is important to look at folks like Haley and Kelly and also say we're gonna take note of the fact that during the pandemic 2 million people, 2 million women people (pause, nod, nod, giggle, giggle) became unemployed." (Is that funny? I don't get it.) Is she spending her days with Jose Cuervo now? Sipping Vodkawaiian Punch from the juice bottle? When her secretary accepts an engagement for her, does she whisper into the receiver, "Mrs. Harris would appreciate the offer of a teeny martooni upon arriving at the venue"?

Remember those early days, when she was maquillaged to perfection and could toss her deliberately casual hairdo back and forth without it losing its place, wearing bossy power suits with the shoulder pads out to here, patinaed with the insecurity of a Chihuahua always ready to fight but hoping everyone watching would think she was a Presa Canario? Yeah, good times.

I have little patience for this sort of "news."  The leftist media do this all the time, so it's a shame to see the same nonsense happening on the right side of the aisle.  As Dr. V impressed upon me long ago, psychologizing—the attempt to get inside another's head and guess at his thoughts—is a damn sloppy way to make a point.  It's an even worse sin in a journalistic context:  journalists are, ideally, hard-nosed empiricists reporting on facts.  Guesswork, conjecture, imagination, fanciful interpretation, agenda-driven implications meant to persuade—in principle, these have no role in a properly written article by a legitimate journalist.  Alas, these days, legitimate journalists are thin on the ground, and the rigorous pairing of logic and empiricism is almost nowhere to be seen.  

The above article has some empirical elements:  the writer thinks she's observing Kamala Harris becoming more slovenly (aesthetically) and sloppy (mentally).  That's a subjective take, though, and it shows no effort at objectivity.  I'd almost rather see a humorous pictorial meme about "Kamala:  Before and After" than read this sort of sensationalist "reporting."  It's garbage.  It feeds those on the right who are stupidly given to feeding frenzies.  Wake me when Kamala actually fucks up a meeting with a foreign head of state by doing something radically insulting or mortifying.  Until then, writers should quit trying to guess the state of her mind based on clues they think they see.

And this, friends, is an absolutely shit sentence:

She hasn't hurried to do any border czarring since then, but we know she's not going to visit said border and witness firsthand the mayhem and destruction happy slappies from every country on the planet are causing for everyone at, on, or around the southern border.

Kirstin Stein, the author of this garbage, should be fired and sent to kindergarten.

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