Get 'Im!

Our Eye Candy du Jour is another entry in Reason's long-running, incandescently brilliant series: Crime Squad 5.

Briefly noted:

  • Could someone find the author of this tweet and make him or her Secretary of the Interior or something?

  • J.D. Tuccille looks back, "more in sorrow than in anger": Journalists Prioritized Crusade Against Trump Over Getting Stories Right.

    To retain journalistic credibility, getting a story right is more important than pursuing a crusade.

    That's a fair takeaway from a report published this week by the Columbia Journalism Review dissecting the so-called Russiagate saga, during which former President Donald Trump was accused of colluding with Russian officials to win the 2016 election. While pursuing the story, many journalists went well beyond their traditional role of scrutinizing powerful officials and not only openly picked a side in America's escalating political warfare but committed to proving a literal conspiracy theory true, no matter the evidence. It didn't go well.

    "The end of the long inquiry into whether Donald Trump was colluding with Russia came in July 2019, when Robert Mueller III, the special counsel, took seven, sometimes painful, hours to essentially say no," former New York Times reporter Jeff Gerth writes at the beginning of his detailed analysis. His old employer was at the center of the frenzy and its editors still defend their efforts, he adds. "But outside of the Times' own bubble, the damage to the credibility of the Times and its peers persists, three years on, and is likely to take on new energy as the nation faces yet another election season animated by antagonism toward the press. At its root was an undeclared war between an entrenched media, and a new kind of disruptive presidency, with its own hyperbolic version of the truth."

    Once you've lost the Columbia Journalism Review

  • On the LFOD watch, a report from that college at the other side of the state on the PowerPoint presentation by Ukrainian parliament member Oleksiy Goncharenko.

    While speaking, Goncharenko presented a slide deck titled “Live Free or Die,” which he said was a nod to the values and official state motto of New Hampshire.

    “New Hampshire was very wise … because that is [the] absolute reality,” he said. “If you are giving up your freedom one day, you’ll be taking your life.”

    They are living (and often dying) according to our motto in Ukraine.

  • Speaking of LFOD, the Foundation for Economic Education has more on Leavitt’s Country Bakery in Conway: New Hampshire Bakery Ordered to Remove Mural Because It Depicts Pastries. Pun Salad was snarky yesterday about the absurdity of all this, but FEE has a larger point:

    What’s remarkable about the zoning law at the center of this story is precisely how unremarkable it is. There are thousands of laws just like this across the country, and they’ve become so commonplace that we rarely even think about them. Only when a story like this comes along do we even consider that they might be a tad intrusive.

    It wasn’t always this way. When zoning laws were first introduced around the beginning of the twentieth century, they were hotly debated. Over time, however, people gradually gave up fighting them, and now we mostly take them for granted.

    Not only have zoning laws faced less opposition over time, they’ve also become far more stringent. Municipal and county ordinances now regularly include such restrictions as how tall you can build, how densely you can build, how far back from the street your building must be, what the property can be used for, and even very specific rules like what size of signs you can have, as this story illustrates. What started as “you can’t build a skyscraper there” soon became “you can’t build an apartment there if it doesn’t have at least 20 parking spaces.”

    I wonder (with no evidence other than my Granite State xenophobia) how many of the five members of Conway's Zoning Board of Adjustment are transplants from the People's Republic of Massachusetts?

Last Modified 2023-02-04 9:48 AM EDT