Ducking under

by Henry Farrell on June 16, 2006

The Economist really should have gone elsewhere for this week’s Horatio Alger story about undocumented immigrants making good in the American economy.
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Westmoreland on Colbert

by Jon Mandle on June 16, 2006

This is almost too much – it really is painful. If you haven’t seen Rep. Lynn Westmoreland on Stephen Colbert’s show, watch it … if you dare! (I must say, I am curious what the tape looks like unedited.)

I admit that I doubted Colbert could sustain his character or make the show interesting for long – who would want to appear on it? I stand corrected.

Watch and Learn

by Kieran Healy on June 16, 2006

The other day Matt Yglesias “said”: that the continuous flow of the game (and the fatuous American commentators) make it hard for him to learn what’s happening in a soccer match. “Here’s a masterclass”: from Argentina, who beat Serbia & Montenegro 6-0 this morning.

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Bloggers on survey findings

by Eszter Hargittai on June 16, 2006

Rob Capriccioso of Inside Higher Ed reports on what Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of Daily Kos and Jessica Coen of Gawker think about college students’ lack of interest in political blogs and Beltway gossip.

While I appreciate that they are happy with students spending their time on things other than politics, their responses ignore the fact that students do follow news, they just don’t do so on political blogs. All of the responses present time spent on these blogs as competition for time spent having fun with friends. However, findings from the survey suggest that students do follow current events (59% look up local or national news daily or weekly; 44% look up international news that frequently) so it’s not as though students only care about sex and beer. Granted, the survey doesn’t ask about the specific type of news they follow, but chances are that some of the material overlaps with topics covered on these blogs.

Additional info in the article includes my response to the inevitable question: “What about porn?”.

Sanchez on humour

by Henry Farrell on June 16, 2006

Thought that this recent “Julian Sanchez”: post provided an interesting way to think about the “back-and-forth misunderstandings”: over dsquared and Harry Hutton as eliminationist Coulteroids. The key bit …

bq. So it seems like you might find racist/religious/sexist/etc epithets or jokes in two very different kinds of context: First, sincerely, among actual racists, sexists, and other bigots. Second, in groups where there’s a strong taboo against those actual attitudes, but the people communicating are sufficiently confident of themselves and each other on that score that boundary-pushing results in that all-clear humor reaction. The problem on the Internet, of course, is that you often end up with a forum that feels like a small close knit community but is actually available to thousands of casual readers—a tension I expect we’ll be negotiating for a long while yet. Anyway, that might be one reason you find the kind of rhetoric the Feministe folk were so appalled by in particular among the blogs and chat boards of the left, where people are both especially likely to be conscious of speech taboos and confident that everyone’s actually got the right sorts of views.

(although I should make it clear that I don’t think it’s the whole explanation for what Sanchez is talking about – I suspect that some purportedly leftwing blog commenters _do_ have genuinely misogynistic views etc).

“like interviewing a human cactus”

by Chris Bertram on June 16, 2006

bq. I had been eyeing the cakes in the cafe for some time, but I decide sadly that to order one would be seen as a sign of moral weakness and that now is not the moment.

From Jackie Ashley’s “interview with Mel P”:,,1798994,00.html , in the Guardian (via “Matt T”: ).