What's got so many Americans down with the Donald? Tom Frank investigates. / Thomas Hawk
The Baffler,  March 11, 2016

Daily Bafflements

What's got so many Americans down with the Donald? Tom Frank investigates. / Thomas Hawk


• ICYMI: “Let us now address the greatest American mystery at the moment: what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?” So begins founding editor Thomas Frank’s latest for The Guardian. Though white, working class voters are showing up for the candidate in droves, writes Frank, “their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers.” And why not read about Frank’s leisurely (and scathing) tour of Martha’s Vineyard in our latest issue?

• In the midst of major changes in economic policy by Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro to mitigate the country’s ongoing economic turmoil, a much deeper national crisis is going largely unnoticed by international observers. “Close to 70 percent of public hospitals can no longer provide diagnostic services and surgery, and the medical staff in these facilities has reportedly dropped by 50 percent,” reports Pacific Standard. With the country facing a dire shortage of birth control and contraception, experts predict that the country’s public health crisis is not going away any time soon.

• CNN’s “Reality Check Team” has fact-checked last night’s Republican debate, although if you ask Baffler contributor Alex Pareene, their own facts often leave something to be desired, particularly in their coverage of key debate topics like violence in the Middle East and political protest in America. In issue 28, Pareene wrote that “CNN has attempted in recent years to boost its ratings with stunts, game shows, personality-driven edutainment, and the firing of Piers Morgan, but nothing succeeds like violence. When something bad is happening, Americans still instinctively tune in to CNN to watch it happen live. This creates a strong incentive on the part of CNN producers to make bad things appear as bad as possible.”

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Further Reading

 February 12

The NYPD’s secret M.A.R.C.H. operation has been closing the city’s venues for years—should it be abolished?