Wednesday, December 19, 2018


NPR commissions a poll and gets a result centrist journalists dream of: an admonition to Democrats that they're going too far.
Heading into the 2020 Democratic primaries, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll has a warning for Democrats: Americans are largely against the country becoming more politically correct.

Fifty-two percent of Americans, including a majority of independents, said they are against the country becoming more politically correct and are upset that there are too many things people can't say anymore. Only about a third said they are in favor of the country becoming more politically correct and like when people are being more sensitive in their comments about others.

That's a big warning sign for Democrats heading into the 2020 primaries when cultural sensitivity has become such a defining issue with the progressive base.
Let's stop right there. First of all, the question is poorly worded:
In general, are you in favor of the United States becoming more politically correct and like when people are being more sensitive in their comments about others or are you against the country becoming more politically correct and upset that there are too many things people can't say anymore?
I had to read that three times before I realized how the word "like" was being used. Structurally, it's "are you [a] in favor of the United States becoming more politically correct and [b] like when people are being more sensitive in their comments about others" -- but "like" doesn't work with "are you," so "like" should be "pleased" or a similar adjective. Marist, hire some copy editors.

But the real problem is this.

"Politically correct" is like "feminist" or, until recently, "liberal" -- so many people use these terms in a pejorative fashion that there's reluctance to claim the labels, even among people they'd seem to describe. However, "feminist" and "liberal" are words seen positively in some circles, whereas no one uses "politically correct" in a non-pejorative way.

And yet there are subgroups that broke with the majority. Surprise: Some of them are female.
There's ... a big gender divide by place and education. Women who live in small cities or the suburbs say people need to be more sensitive by a 52-to-37-percent margin. But just a quarter of men who live in the same place say so (27 to 57 percent), making for what have to be some very divided dinner tables.

White women with college degrees are split, but slightly more of them than not say people should be sensitive by a 46-to-43 percent margin. Nearly two-thirds of white men with college degrees, however, say the country is becoming too politically correct. (Roughly the same percentage of white men without a college degree feel the same way.)

What's more, Americans are split 47-to-47 on whether they feel they can speak their minds more freely compared to a few years ago.... Those same suburban/small city kitchen tables are split — with a 27-point gender gap on this question in those places. (Men in those areas are 20 points more likely to say they feel censored, while women there are 7 points more likely to say the opposite.)

About half of Republican men (52 percent) and Republican women (55 percent) say they feel they cannot speak their minds as freely as a few years ago, but so do Democratic men (50 percent). Among, Democratic women, though, 51 percent say they can speak their minds more freely now.
Why, If I didn't know better, I'd imagine that the war against "political correctness" was a war defending men's right to be colossal dicks.

I'm reading this as we learn that a news executive who left NPR after a #MeToo scandal has teamed up with two former Fox News execs, one dismissed after a racist op-ed, to create a new news platform:
One was ousted from NPR amid allegations of sexual harassment. The other left Fox News shortly after writing a column widely panned as racist and anti-gay. Now they’ve been recruited to help launch a digital news startup with the stated goal of restoring faith in media.

Another former Fox News executive, Ken LaCorte, has enlisted former NPR news boss Michael Oreskes and former Fox News executive editor John Moody to join him in creating LaCorte News, which he said will be a truly “fair and balanced” alternative in these polarized times....

LaCorte said he’s not worried about Oreskes or Moody’s histories, arguing that some men have been dispatched from their jobs too quickly and easily in the #MeToo era....

When [Oreskes] left NPR in November 2017 amid allegations of inappropriate advances and sexual comments over decades, he said in a statement that his behavior was “wrong and inexcusable.” LaCorte said he did not think the allegations — which included an NPR employee reporting as recently as 2016 that Oreskes invited her to his beach cottage for career counseling — were substantial.

Moody declined to discuss the February column in which he said the U.S. Olympic team should take as its motto “darker, gayer, different.” Fox pulled the column after its initial posting....
(The Moody column has been preserved here, if you want to read it.)

Hey, just say that these guys were victims of "political correctness" and everything will probably be fine as far as most of America is concerned, or at least non-educated-female America -- and also non-white America and under-30 America, according to that NPR poll. But you'll probably need all those groups to make your news site successful.

Too many people in the mainstream press -- and too many men in general -- want all the genies back in the bottle, particularly #MeToo and diversity, especially diversity in politics. How does this affect Democratic politics? Well, no one actually campaigns in favor of "political correctness," but many Democrats campaign on being decent to people across the spectrum. Try polling decency next time, NPR.

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