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Things In The Atlantic That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze

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Amazingly, the Atlantic has managed to find someone to lavishly praise the massive critical and commercial fiasco Don’t Back Down From Spouting Union-Busting Nonsense. Did they just hire Rex Reed or some other critic with horrible taste that could explain this extraordinarily unpersuasive (and unusually lengthy) review? Hmmmm…

Disclosure: I work for TNTP, a non-profit organization that promotes equal access to effective teachers among poor and minority students

TNTP?

TNTP is a non-profit organization and was founded by Michelle Rhee in 1997.

I think we have an answer! But at least the Atlantic disclosed this when it chose to print this propaganda, right?

The original version of this post failed to disclose the author’s position at TNTP.

Ah. I think we’ve reached the point where further commentary is superfluous.

Elsewhere, Stuart Taylor has taken time out from researching Sonia Sotomayor’s Deeply Troubling undergraduate letters to the editor to write his latest anti-affirmative action screed. Maybe next month they’ll give him space to further discuss how the “color-blind Constitution” is consistent with racial profiling.

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  • Malaclypse

    You left out the second awesome correction: that the US Chamber of Commerce is not the same thing as the US Department of Commerce.

    • DocAmazing

      And the Corrections Department at the Atlantic is not the same as the Department of Corrections, more’s the pity.

      • firefall

        Oh, be glad of that, or we’d all be do 4-8 for LitCrit Crimes and Unlicensed Commenting.

  • It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Atlantic’s business model is to out-Slate Slate.

    • lornix

      New twitter hashtag #atlanticpitch ?

    • arguingwithsignposts

      nobody wins in the contrarian arms race.

      • Malaclypse

        Well, Yglesias wins.

        • arguingwithsignposts

          How does that refute my statement?

      • Davis X. Machina

        You can win the contrarian arms race — by not playing.

        • Scott Lemieux

          The only winning move is not to play!

          I don’t really think this is “contrarian,” exactly. I suppose Lanny Davis-style shilling is usually contrarian in some sense but it deserves its own category.

          • Anonymous

            It might help to beef up security around the W.O.P.R.

          • John

            Yeah, it seems unfair to Slate to compare. If Slate had an article about how this was a good movie, it would be by some asshole whose only purpose was to show how contrarian he was. It wouldn’t be a paid shill.

            • Cody

              Being a jerk whose sole profession is making yourself and publication look stupid while getting paid is something I can respect.

              Doing it to get paid, well that’s another matter!

  • david mizner

    I’m sure the Atlantic could find some impartial reviewer, like Anne Coulter, to give DiNesh D’Souza’s doc a favorable review. I mean, jeez:

    Spunky Maggie Gyllenhaal plunges a stake into the heart of the status quo when she declares: “This whole system is broken. It’s dead.” That’s what freaks out Weingarten, the unions, and anyone still in denial about the failure of public schools.

    • Warren Terra

      Help me out here: this magical power to make controversial assertions overwhelmingly and devastatingly true – is that something any Hollywood actor can do in a movie, or just Gyllenhaal?

      • snarkout

        Maggie Gyllenhaal’s reality-warping power is the real reason Alfred had to hide the Dear Bruce letter at the end of The Dark Knight.

        • danah gaz

          I liked her better in The Secretary. Well, to be honest, I liked David Spader better in The Secretary. I’d count all of my peas for him. =)

          • danah gaz

            err.. James Spader. Yck. Apparently I need to erase David Spade from my memory. Meh.

            • arguingwithsignposts

              bwahahaha – that made me smile.

            • firefall

              Could you please erase David Spade from everyone’s memory, in the interests of public health?

      • Uncle Ebeneezer

        The Secretary Pulpit!!

        • charles pierce

          Oh, Maggie. Why does love have to be so sad?

  • IM

    I hope they had the good sense to charge enough for that advertisement.

  • Hogan

    Disclosure: I work for TNTP, a non-profit organization that promotes equal access to effective teachers who will game the already useless standardized testing regime among poor and minority students

    We regret the error.

    • I think it’s more like: I work for TNTP, a non-profit organization that promotes equal access to effective teachers vouchers for a minute fraction of among poor and minority students.

      I teach at a private, inner city school for poor, mostly immigrant, kids. It does a great job. But there aren’t enough Sisters of Notre Dame on the entire planet to run schools for more than a fraction of the public school students in Massachusetts, never mind the whole country.

      • Willard Mitt Romney

        But there aren’t enough Sisters of Notre Dame on the entire planet to run schools for more than a fraction of the public school students in Massachusetts, never mind the whole country.

        Well, Joe, part of the problem is that the Sisters fail to recognize the authority of the Restored Gospel as revealed to God’s Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. But let’s table that for now. My plan calls for a tax break for the Sisters (not really – my plan calls for the Poor Sisters to stop being Moochers and Takers, and have some skin in the game, but for now I’m peddling tax cuts).

        See, the real problem is that we have incentivized the wrong sorts of behavior. Back in my day, we knew that the only proper careers for women were teacher, secretary, waitress, or prostitute. This ensured a supply of quality educators. But liberals subverted this tried-and-true sorting mechanism, and the results just are not pretty. Romney/Ryan will restore traditional values like this.

      • charles pierce

        Joe — Notre Dame de Namur or the School Sisters of Notre Dame? If the former, you might know a friend of mine who works with the Cambodian community up your way.

        • SND.

          “We take our stand with poor people, especially women and children, in the most abandoned places.”

          I’d run through a wall for those nuns.

          • de Namur. I guess that’s not clear from “SND,” is it?

      • California

        Massachusetts must be a rough place when even your small towns have inner city schools.

        • rea

          A town with a population of more than 100,000 isn’t “small.”

      • Rob

        Come on joe, it is well known among the education reform crowd that there are millions of uber qualified teachers waiting for a chance and willing to work for peanuts as soon as those nasty union protected teachers are fired. I mean otherwise all that will happen is the bottom 10% of teachers will just keep going from one school district to another and make a mockery of the whole thing.

        • Scott Lemieux

          And having no job security makes that secret army of incredibly gifted teachers even more likely to teach at your school!

          • rea

            They are willing do it for no job security, provided that you don’t pay them too much.

      • ajay

        But there aren’t enough Sisters of Notre Dame on the entire planet to run schools for more than a fraction of the public school students in Massachusetts, never mind the whole country.

        Yeah, really not sure that “let’s put more vulnerable children in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church” is a great policy.

  • danah gaz

    The Atlantic is crap. It doesn’t end with this stupid column. They’ve got another one up by two well-to-do white men commenting on (wait for it)… how Affirmative Action actually hurts minorities.

    Gee… never heard that one before…

    • Murc

      I remain baffled (and pleased… but baffled) that they both hired TNC and that he doesn’t seem embarrassed by the association.

      • danah gaz

        =) No kidding, right?

        I love TNC’s work though. If he wrote something on Affirmative Action reform, I’d read it. I dismissed these two clowns out of hand – with a giant tl;dr based on their lack of lived experience as one of the classes of people AA was designed to protect – and said so quite clearly in the comments – for which I’m now getting flamed. They can all get fvcked, as far as I’m concerned. =) hehehehe

      • JL

        Re: The latter: I get the impression that they allow him a lot of leeway in his writing and that he really appreciates that. For instance, he claims that very few major outlets would have published his (excellent) recent “Fear of a Black President” piece, and that the folks at the Atlantic were not only receptive but told him that what he had was great and that he should add even more to it.

        I don’t know enough about this particular sector to know if he’s right that most outlets wouldn’t let him get away with the awesome stuff he does. But it’s what he appears to believe.

      • djangermous

        just file him under Paul Krugmans.

    • cpinva

      these wouldn’t be the same well-to-do white men who often claim that reducing tax rates on rich people actually increases tax revenues, would they?

      • danah gaz

        I can’t answer that offhand because I don’t generally give them that kind of attention. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think The Atlantic should either.

    • Richard Hershberger

      I subscribed for years. I gave it up a couple of years ago, because too much of the page count was being devoted to Teh Stoopid. It is hard to point to a particular piece being the final straw, though Douthat asking if pornography is the same as adultery is a good candidate. They also were publishing Hitchens long long after his use-by date. Oh, and two additional words: Caitlin Flannigan.

      My impression at the time was that they were trying to present various viewpoints, and Douthat et al. were the best they could find from the right. I can almost respect that, but that doesn’t mean I want to read it, or pay for it without reading it. Better would be to find some reasonably intelligent person espousing mainstream conservatism of c. thirty years ago, rather than pretending that what passes for conservative thought today is worth serious consideration. The problem, of course, is that someone espousing mainstream conservative of c. thirty years ago today is called a “Democrat”. If what matters to you is the appearance of impartiality, this is a problem.

      In any case, nowadays I read Fallows and Coats and mostly ignore the rest.

  • Without McMegan, The Atlantic is hardly worth reading anymore.

    • Malaclypse

      Poe’s Law is a harsh mistress.

  • Trollhattan

    The soft bigotry of wingnut inbreeding. What’s extra galling is the “review” is under Entertainment, where one might hope for a critique on how…entertaining the film may be. But never you mind, there are union thugs to be dispatched.

    The Atlantic certainly lacks some entertainment value since Blenderella decamped. Here’s hoping TNC and Fallows are charging the bejeezus out of them to stay put.

    • Kurzleg

      Blenderella!

  • Dog San Vito

    Sure…but I do like Coates and I sometimes like Fallows….

  • Joel Patterson

    Ah, yes, Michelle Rhee–whose leadership & demands for excessive & expensive testing created a DC school system where massive cheating occurred.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2011-03-28-1Aschooltesting28_CV_N.htm

    • cpinva

      bob somerby had an excellent series on the mythical (in her own mind) ms. rhee, when she was in charge of the D.C. school system. she’s both a fraud, and an incompetent. hell, she could easily be the CEO for GE.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Unfortunately, the educational testing grift is seemingly as insulated from reality as the stock market grift once was (and will likely be again). We should just be happy that there’s not yet an entire cable channel devoted to Rhee ‘n’ Company touting the wonders of “reform” 24/7/365.

        • swearyanthony

          No cable company, but multiple newspapers. For some reason the Washington Post is hugely in favor I can’t imagine why

          • Barry

            Snark? The Kaplan Company owns the Washington Post, which is a money-lower for them.

            Unless you count the propaganda value of having a bought-and-paid-for newspaper.

        • Heron

          A grift similar to the one that was going on with credit and mortgages is already going on right now through private online colleges, student loans, and student-loan-derivatives. Yet another reason why stymieing the growth of that industry is so vital.

  • equal access to effective teachers

    Oh, really? They support policies that would provide effective teachers in every school?

    Sure they do. They’re all about making sure every single child in every single school district – and not merely the tiny fraction that can be taught in private and charter schools – has effective teachers where they go to school.

    Sure they do.

    • rm

      No — equal access means that in an unregulated free market, those with money can purchase access to good teachers. The existence of public schools is an obstacle to the efficient functioning of this paradise.

      • Bill Murray

        then they pave paradise and put up a parking lot

      • Heron

        Exactly. As a solution to an uneven, disorganized education system they propose one which implicitly segregates along class lines and makes race and religious discrimination far easier. They call this “Equality of Opportunity” because everyone has the same “opportunity” to pay huge tuition fees to send their kids to the highest-performing schools which, as many academic studies on the issue have shown, will still only be returning results as good as the average public school does today.

  • Anonymous

    A NEVER BEFORE SEEN Obama RACE SPEECH video is going to come on tonight, at the Daily Caller and Fox News, 9 PM E.T., contains an accent he never adopts in public, shout-outs to Rev. Wright, anti-white sentiment, portrays America as a zero-sum racist society, insults the poor!

    This is THE October surprise! Check Drudge!

    • Anonymous

      Word on Twitter is Obama calls for REPARATIONS in the unscrubbed speech.

      Breaking Breaking…

    • Malaclypse

      I knew the Whitey tape was real! Jennie has never been wrong before, right? Right?

      • Anonymous

        We’ll meet again,
        Don’t know where,don’t know when.
        But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

        • Kurzleg

          Totally!!!

          • Malaclypse

            It will turn things around for Mittens. I’m terrified. It will be a game-changer, on steroids. With pancakes.

            • Scott Lemieux

              He really throws Whitey under the bus on this one. I don’t think he’ll be able to close the deal with NASCAR second cousins now.

        • Richard

          Except for the fact that the tape and a transcript of it have been public record and available on the internet for years. And that the speech is nothing different than what Obama has said for years. And the fact that there is no “accent” he uses in the speech other than his normal speaking voice. And that he doesn’t call for reparations.

          • Anonymous

            We’ll meet again,
            Don’t know where,don’t know when.
            But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

            • Malaclypse

              Yea, that seems a likely quote. How about a bet? Loser will shut up and leave here forever. Deal?

              • John

                The quote on Drudge is “We don’t need to build more highways out in the suburbs. We should be investing in minority-owned businesses, in our neighborhoods.”

                Which is not quite the same. And that’s assuming we can trust Drudge, which, you know.

            • Richard

              You found that reparations quote yet in the unedited speech and transcript? No. Well that just means it must really have been edited well. Because, after all, a Senator running for President in a filmed speech which was posted on the Internet would clearly have called for reparations (and, of course, “word on Twitter” is always accurate).

      • Little Green Footballs has the video, which has actually been around since 2007.

        Transcript here.

        I don’t see anything worrisome, but I’m sure James O’Keefe managed to edit something together…

        • Anonymous

          We’ll meet again,
          Don’t know where,don’t know when.
          But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

          • Malaclypse

            Don’t ever change, sweetie.

          • Oh, they’re edited? So you’ve already seen the full versions? The ones that aren’t being released ’til 9?

            If your IQ slips any lower, JennBob, we’ll have to water you twice a day.

            • Malaclypse

              I’m not watering that moocher. He can learn self-reliance and water himself.

              • firefall

                I’m pretty sure he does, regularly

            • Warren Terra

              That’s not water …

              • Davis X. Machina
                • Walt

                  There are a bunch of home-made Brawndo ads on YouTube, which makes me simulataneously hopeful for and despairing of the human race.

                • Kurzleg

                  Not only that, but there’s a dog named Brawndo that lives in our neighborhood. This makes me sort of hopeful.

              • Bill Murray

                it’s mostly water

                • spencer

                  You mean like from the toilet?

          • DrDick

            The walrus says he is tired of being fucked, you are no good in bed, and have a tiny wee-wee.

    • Did he give the speech in the Saginaw Plaza Hotel?

    • Cody

      I’m still waiting for this video…

      Though I see Fox News found a video with headline: “Obama deplores handling of Katrina, implicates race”.

      Which isn’t exactly damning, since about everyone in New Orleans that is black suspects no one came to help them cause they were poor black people…

      • Bill Murray

        the contest between not helping poor people and not helping black people is a race to the bottom, especially for people who are both poor and black

    • njorl

      Hey, whaddya know. It turned out to be a sad rehash, nothing but hot air. Cue the sad trombone for JenBob.

      • “Honky Grandma Be Tripping” to use the title of a fictional Tracy Jordan movie from 30 Rock

  • arguingwithsignposts

    Wait, I thought we were supposed to get pancakes with the Whitey tape?

    • Davis X. Machina

      Nope. Chicken and waffles.

      • sparks

        Or T-bone steaks.

        • Linnaeus

          Where’s my iced tea, m-fer?

    • IM

      watermelons.

  • TBP

    I kinda remember a time when The Atlantic was worth reading, but I’ve long since let my subscription lapse.

    • spencer

      It’s been about 20 years or so for me.

  • Keaaukane

    You can’t trust the Atlantic to do movie reviews. They like Won’t back down, and yet panned Red Dawn II (Electric bugaloo). WOLVERINES!!!

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