Links of the Day:
snarkier, comparative; snarkiest, superlative
– Warning: This is a snarky blog post.
The governor’s staff wrote a lengthy memo outlining the things they don’t like about an Albany TV anchor and blogger’s work:
A top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo assembled a 35-page dossier on the work of an Albany political reporter considered hostile to his administration, highlighting any shred of criticism in a document that reflects the intense sensitivity of a governor on the brink of taking the national stage.
The document was provided to BuzzFeed by a New York City political operative who said he believes it reveals Cuomo’s “scary dark side.”
The file, composed of highlighted and annotated blog items by Elizabeth Benjamin, one of Albany’s dominant political reporters, paints a picture of an executive branch that’s particularly averse to hints that Cuomo could be, as is widely assumed, conidering running for president in 2016. The document focuses particularly on seven items it describes as “GENERALLY SNARKY…”
The dossier is disturbing on many levels. It bolsters the notion of Cuomo as a control freak. Trying to shut Benjamin up by going to her bosses is particularly offensive. It shows a lack of respect for the people tasked with holding the administration accountable and informing the public.
I was also bothered by the term “snarky.” Sarcasm, cynicism and biting criticism do have a place in journalism and analysis. There’s no rule that says reporters have to be sweet and nice to politicians. Furthermore, when “snarky” is applied to a woman, it brings to mind the “b” word. Snarky men are smart and witty, if not a little arrogant. Snarky women are…you know.
Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto is on a radio program right now saying it’s common for politicians to call reporters’ bosses to complain about stuff they don’t like. “It’s a standard course of business in Albany, Washington…everywhere…to characterize it as something else is a distortion.”
The general rule among reporters is when a person in power calls your boss, you’re doing a good job.
– There’s a meth boom in Central New York. It involves driving around with soda bottles filled with harsh chemicals.
– A student at Georgetown University says he was not prepared for college. He blames his teachers at a D.C. charter school who focused on rote memorization, not critical thinking and writing. He says they had low expectations for him. One thing not mentioned: the impact of the concentration of poor students. If this student had attended an economically-integrated high school, he would have been exposed to higher-level students before college.