On anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre, a call for blood in America

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/04/on-anniversary-of-tiananmen-sq.html


"The scenes on the TV were shocking. Militarized police rushing into an open square, violently attacking peaceful protests at the whim of an authoritarian-minded leader. While gas hangs in the air and rubber bullets are fired, the area is cleared out, shocking the nation and the world. And afterwards, the country’s leader and government spokesperson blatantly denies it happened, even when the world saw the images with their own eyes.

Tiananmen Square in Beijing in on June 4, 1989? Or Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. on June 1, 2020?

Both ." -Seth Cohen, Forbes


I’ve met and talked to many young Chinese millenials who have no idea anything had happened in 1989. One told me that he was broken of that ignorance via a movie he torrented, where someone had inserted a documentary in the middle of the movie. But for the rest, the cover-up is total and complete.


Tom Cotton’s opinion piece was appalling, and it’s rightly being condemned far and wide.

The Times’ decision to publish it, however, was not. Cotton is a U.S. Senator, and it’s better for us to know his appalling views now. And your hyperbolic reimagining of the editorial board, which is made up of journalists, as wealthy and out-of-touch tycoons living on a magical island somewhere far separated from the cares of the modern world is silly. Not sure if you’ve heard, but journalists aren’t exactly raking in the dough these days.

Senator Cotton wants the US to behave like China, but he doesn’t want China to behave like China

By the way, this is a self-reboing:


He had already expressed his views on Twitter. As commentators have argued in the other thread, the Times could have run an op-ed condemning him instead of giving him a platform.


Well, for those who didn’t know by now what New York Times stands for, there you go. Now go back and read some of their older material, you will see it with different eyes. They are not in the business of informing the public of what is really happening. They are in the business of manufacturing consent.


They could have done something which hadn’t led the reputation of the NYT (if such a thing even exists after the “some experts disagree” thing wrt injecting bleach) such as “Tom Cotton tried to submit an op-ed calling for the use of the military against peaceful protesters. The New York Times condemns this unequivocally and we’ve provided his letter to is in order to show how disgusting a human being he is”


While many of the Times’ leadership do live on a magical island (known as “Manhattan”) or its land-link to the rest of America (known as “certain parts of Brooklyn”), Rob said absolutely nothing about their being wealthy or tycoons. They’re highly educated, mostly white people making double, triple, or quadruple the median U.S. income from pleasant creative-class careers. They live in concierge buildings and in the kinds of neighbourhoods where Officer Friendly knows who pays his bills and who can “speak to a manager” (i.e. sue or have a chat with a friend at OPP or in Vance’s office) if he forgets he’s “the help”.

More here:


You are simply reiterating “their narcissitic and mendacious belief that until something is published by the paper of record, it hasn’t been given enough exposure for others to reject.”


It is worse, in fact, because when he had earlier made his views clear on a social media, Cotton – a military man – used a term, “no quarter”, that suggests he wanted the protestors killed. The Times’ op-ed provided an opportunity to promote this intended outcome behind a facade of relative moderation and reason.

The Times’ mendacity is important to point out. There’s plenty of appalling yet popular views the NYT would never publish. “Military crackdown” is in the Times today not because it hasn’t been given the exposure it demands for democratic opinion-forming to function, but because a Senator is a get and what he wrote interested them.


Give them time, perhaps?


Time wouldn’t publish them either.

Thanks, I’ll see myself out.


Publishing it without context or commentary, with an uncritical headline, is exactly the blunder everyone is describing it as. Publishing that way gives it the veneer of legitimacy and the weight that comes with the Times’ masthead.

Times editorial, and especially the Op-ed page have had a persistent problem with this sort of thing. Often uncritically publishing far right voices, including outright falsehoods. They’ve been criticized heavily for it in the past. As they are now, by other journalists. Including current and former Times employees.

The excuses vary from boiler plate “its op-ed so it doesn’t count”, to stock false balance, to the same newsworthiness claim you’re pitching.

More over Tom Cotton doesn’t need the New York Times to publish his invective. Any number of right wing venues would happily publish it, and we’d know just fine exactly how out of his skull Cotton is. The Times could easily pass without suppressing anything, and avoid legitimizing it.


Or use a headline like “Senator Tom Cotton Calls for Violence” and run it in full next to a critical piece.

Or just decline to run it at all. Someone else was gonna run this thing and there’s no need to give it the force of the Times.


I mean, if Ji Peng had written an editorial arguing for force in Tiananmen Square in 1990, should the NYT have published it? There’s creating space for opposing views, and then there’s providing a platform for anti-democratic views.

Was anyone in doubt what Cotton thought? No.


Or because a Senator is a Senator and what he wrote influences actual U.S. policy.

See above.

I don’t use Twitter, because it’s largely a cesspool of useless garbage. Because the Times published Cotton’s piece, and because I subscribe to the Times, I now know just how much of a lunatic Cotton is, and how dangerous his policies are.

The Times and the Washington Post regularly publish opinion pieces by Trump Regime mouthpieces. It would be nice if these people weren’t in power, but they are, and it’s important to know what they’re thinking. That you have a different view doesn’t render mine invalid, nor does it make the Times editorial board “mendacious” or “narcissistic” for doing its job of informing the public.


So the problem, in your view, is that the Times didn’t assume its audience couldn’t see for itself what an insane piece of tripe this piece is?

Insane garbage gets published under leading papers’ mastheads ALL THE TIME. Hell, the Washington Post has several regular columnists (Hewitt, Thiessen, Abernathy, Olsen) who push the Trump regime agenda several times a week. The Times has Ross Douthat, who actually is a mendacious and narcissistic piece of shit, and whose pieces are also published regularly “without context or commentary” and with “uncritical headline[s.]”

And, mind you, these guys are just opinion writers–not senators, and therefore not able to vote on official U.S. policy.

I don’t read right-wing papers. It seems the complaint here is that in commenting on Cotton’s piece, BoingBoing had to link to the Times as opposed to the Daily Caller.

Unfortunately, there is a far too large number of people who already agree with or could be swayed by Cotton’s tripe. An uncritical printing of it looks a lot like an endorsement.


In fairness, the militias, NRA and al-Shabubba have been warning us that the state would use its military power against ordinary US citizens for a long time. If only we had listened.

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