Sunday, December 11, 2016

As Close to Honest Reporting as Possible, I guess

Remember those melancholy days, long ago (well, just after Trump’s election), when the New York Times committed to a change in tune – committed to reporting the news honestly?

Here you go.  The first piece of hard evidence – reporting the truth no matter the collateral damage:

Gambians Face Uncertainty After President Rejects His Defeat

Gambians?  Must be a typo.

Gambians on Saturday braced themselves for a period of tense uncertainty after President Yahya Jammeh announced that he rejected the results of an election that ousted him from office and demanded a new vote.

The president’s name isn’t “Yahya,” its Barack.  And he didn’t get ousted – well, not exactly.

At a news conference on Saturday in Banjul, the capital, responding to the announcement, Adama Barrow, a real estate agent who surged to victory with the enthusiasm of citizens fed up with Mr. Jammeh’s repressive rule, said that the president had no constitutional authority to reject the vote and call for new elections.

His name isn’t Adama!  It’s the Donald.  And he isn’t a real estate broker; he’s a real estate developer! 

Where are those famous “fact-checkers” when we need them most?  What is the point of “honest” reporting if they can’t get the facts right?

“I am advising supporters of the coalition to celebrate the victory with discipline and maturity and prepare themselves for inauguration day in January after the end of the term of the outgoing president,” Mr. Barrow said.

Mr. Trump said this – who is this Barrow guy?  At least they got “January” right.

Last week, Mr. Jammeh conceded in a televised address to Gambia’s population that he had lost the race to Mr. Barrow.

No, no, no, no, no!  It was Hillary who conceded in a televised address – and she conceded to America’s population, not Gambia’s.  And again, who is Barrow?

Then late Friday night, Mr. Jammeh appeared again on state television and suddenly reversed himself, citing what he said were voter irregularities that he said sullied the race’s results.

Must have been the Russians….


  1. Hello BM,

    I just stumbled across the quote from David D. Friedman that I thought you might enjoy. I find him quite interesting on legal systems.

    "The plague killed people but not land, so increased the land to labor ratio, which decreased the equilibrium rent, which meant that more of the return from farm labor went to the farmer, less to the owner of the land.

    And, since more land meant less need to work relatively marginal land, output per farm worker went up.

    My view is that a large part of the “peasant bound to the land” idea came from the consequences of that change. Rent, in the form of feudal dues, was customary rather than continually renegotiated, so when market rent went down and wages went up, many peasants were paying more than the market rent for their land, which meant that they had an incentive to find a different lord, or a city job, that would pay them more. Lords had an incentive to try to poach peasants from each other to cultivate land that was now out of cultivation.

    So the lords tried to get the legal system to prevent peasants from moving. Given the lack of a strong central government, they were not very successful.

    That’s based in part on a comment by Bloch that legal definitions of serfdom in France do not describe serfs as “attached to the soil” prior to the fourteenth century."

    Part of a discussion on this open thread:

    Happy holidays.