Sarcasm works — but will May & Co get the joke?

Lovely summary (from eiDigest) of a column in the independent:

UK politics

The Independent’s Mark Steel argues that to understand the success of the Universal Credit scheme that benefit claimants now depend on, you only have to look at the wise people who created it. The scheme was devised by Lord Freud, a city banker, and therefore ideally placed to understand the trials of living on benefits. It was carried forward by Iain Duncan-Smith, who had to struggle himself – but instead of wallowing in self-pity, he got off his backside and was given use of a Tudor mansion by his father-in law, the fifth Baron Cottesloe, which proves rewards come to those prepared to make an effort. Now that the scheme has run into trouble, the government should put together a team who similarly comprehend the emotions at the heart of poverty in modern Britain, such as Prince Harry, Simon Cowell and the Sultan of Brunei.

Hey — what about Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Hon Member for the 18th century?

Why do we allow Trump to play on our indignation?

IMHO, we liberals are paying far too much attention to Trump’s tweeting. In doing so we are allowing him to lure us into following his news agenda. So it was good to find that Jack Shafer sees it that way too. For example:

As cognitive linguist George Lakoff explained to On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone in January, Trump primarily uses his tweets to divert and deflect attention from news that threatens him, or to launch a trial balloon for one of his proposals. He also tweets to pre-emptively frame a topic before his opponents get a chance to comment, the best example being his categorization of news he doesn’t like as “fake news.” Consider the empty tweets he’s posted recently: He’s beefed about the fact that the late-night hosts ridicule him, demanding equal time to respond, even though equal time doesn’t apply to jokes about the president; he ordered NBC News to apologize to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for reporting that Tillerson had called him a “moron,” even though Tillerson never denied it; he called critical coverage of his Puerto Rico response “Fake“ when anybody with a TV set and a pair of eyeballs knows he’s lying.

Spot on.

The interview with Lakoff is worth listening to, btw.

Quote of the Day

“For all the ways this technology brings us together, the monetization and manipulation of information is swiftly tearing us apart.”

Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, writing in today’s Washington Post.