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Talk:Very Serious People

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I was surprised to see Zakaria in the list. I remember him choosing people for interviews who brought original, non-mainstream ides witht hem. That's not what a VSP would do. He was also willing to passionately defend Muslims against IIRC Maher, for example.

Author query[edit]

Can there be VSPs on the left? Not actually on the left, of course, but at least identified (and self-identified) as liberals? I see Obama on the list in a hedging sort of way, but by and large VSPhood as exampled -- though not as described, per se -- seems to be a conservative thing.<3 CSapphire bullets of pure love 03:37, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Of course No True Leftist can be a VSP, right?--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 15:17, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Robert. F. Kennedy, maybe? But it's not like they give him space in the Times. VSPs are opinion-makers. They are statist by definition. Plutoniumboss (talk) 16:16, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Well, when I say "not actually on the left" I mean VSPs are described in the article as centrist. Since leftists are on the left (the clue is in the name), and thus not centrists, actual leftists, like actual rightists (who are on the right, and thus not centrists) are not fully under the VSP umbrella. <3 CSapphire bullets of pure love 15:29, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
So it's nothing more than a term of abuse from the left against the center, huh, like "librul" from the right against the left (and the center). Everyone loves his snarl words.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 18:48, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, a liberal can be a VSP (as noted Paul Krugman has been accused of being one). The reason so many "serious" conservative pundits in the US end up being "VSP's" is that they often have to defend an increasingly extreme and unstable GOP that is clearly incapable of governing. Thus they have three choices, denounce and distance themselves from the party so they can stay serious pundits (i.e. Bruce Bartlett), go full wingnut and no longer be taken as seriously by the mainstream but instead stay on more hard-right publications for money (see: Wingnut welfare), or waffle in a dishonest way so that you can stick with the party while still being "mainstream". In practice the last of those end up using VSP tactics so they can avoid being denounced by either the hard-right or the center. The reason so few ACTUAL leftists are not VSP's is because in the US when you go to the left of liberalism you generally end up being considered fringe or no longer serious by mainstream pundits (the far-left does not have a GOP like entity to legitimize itself in the eyes of the Beltway media and thus is often ignored by them), so while they may be moonbats they are, by definition, too outside the mainsteam to be considered VSP's. Are you done complaining now? Edit: Also it does not describe ALL centrists, hence why Bruce Bartlett and Ezra Klein are not considered VSP's. Your anger about this is just weird. ClothCoat (talk) 05:21, 17 July 2016 (UTC)


what's with this Putin-apologia and somehow trying to justify Putin conquering pieces of his neighbors with sovereign and democratic countries joining a defense alliance out of their own free will??--The (((Kigel))) (talk) (mail) 23:39, 16 July 2016 (UTC) 23:39, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

I don't know this article got alot weirder since the last time I checked it, which wasn't that long ago. Also how is it a "myth" that Vietnam veterans were mistreated and blamed for the war, even if they weren't spat on in airports per se? Let me try to clean it up a bit. ClothCoat (talk) 00:10, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Well Vietnam veterans being blamed for the war is mostly a mythWikipedia's W.svg but I wouldn't make that a VSP position. NATO might be but more for their duoble standard that NATO isn't an agressor while Russia always is. I don't really see how national liberation and annexation has anything to do with being a VSP either.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:15, 17 July 2016 (UTC) 04:15, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

VSP pundits[edit]

I am not sure how Ezra Klein is not a VSP since he is a textbook example of a technocrat. I can relent on Filipovic since her opinions might not actually be VSP material. I don't know why Eugene Robinson was added. I added Amanda Marcotte because she was called a VSP on the A Rape on Campus page but I don't know a whole lot about her. Lastly, I added Aaron van Dorn and David Roberts because I saw posts by them on social media that I believed fit the criteria but they may be too irrelevant to add.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:29, 17 July 2016 (UTC) 04:29, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Being a technocrat is not the same as being a VSP. Klein is serious about policy, often disagrees with concensus politics, is willing to take seriously that which VSP's won't (he said he started to suspect Trump could win fairly early on, and didn't dismiss Bernie Sanders out of hand), and has often done serious reporting. VSP's are lazy and reflexively centrist but Klein is not either of those things, his conclusions may be often centrist but it's in a thoughtful way. ClothCoat (talk) 04:44, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
That was a very good defense for his centrist positions so I will remove his name. Do you have a defense for Chait, though?--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:54, 17 July 2016 (UTC) 04:54, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
I'd largely say the same for Jonathan Chait, though he's closer to VSP material than Klein he still thinks out his positions and outright denounces the GOP as a whole after analyzing how non-sensical their policies are and saying it's not worth taking seriously and hasn't been for well over ten years, and that pundits who take their ideas seriously are silly. Most VSP's wouldn't be that explicit or in-depth. ClothCoat (talk) 05:11, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Hm. Idk, Chait has been a liberal hawk but he isn't as neutral as Blitzer is. I think I might be conflating centrist stupidity and VSP here so I won't add either of them back, for now at least.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:47, 17 July 2016 (UTC) 05:47, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Amanda Marcott[edit]

Inclusion has confused 3 Redditors. Whatever shall we do? Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 13:38, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

I do think the accusation is being overused recently. Someone has to be consistantly, obviously wrong and "respectable" to be a VSP. Support for the Iraq War (espescially if they never acknowledge the mistake), support for austerity during recessions, and saying the GOP and Democrats were equally "extreme" (the instability and breakdown of the GOP this year shows just how wrong this was) while also being a "respectable" pundit the whole time would probably mark someone as a VSP for instance, since they're consistantly very clearly wrong. Being a Centrist, disagreeing with radical tactics, etc. does not in and of itself make a VSP. Also I'm privately a little suspiscious we may have a slight tankie problem (as in them being a disproportionatly active political minority), they seem to have become more active lately on the internet in general, possibly a reaction to the rise of the Alt Right. Most of their changes seem to get reversed but when they occasionally slip through the cracks it can be pretty embarrasing (for a bit our Fidel Castra page portrayed him as benevolent democratic leader cause some tankie kept changing it). Marcott, however, was pretty horribly wrong, but I'm not sure she's "centrist" enough to be considered a VSP. In fact she's pretty controversial. ClothCoat (talk) 22:09, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Well I had added several people like Klein to this list previously and my reasoning is that get their talking points from the president but still pretend to have very important opinions through their "analysis". I think that someone being controversial can still make you a VSP depending just how controversial you are; for an example, Chris Hayes said that honor shouldn't solely be associated with war but the right-wing and MSNBC freaked out and had him recanted this non-radical statement by suggesting that civilians can't question the military. Also, I wouldn't go so far as to call someone a tankie for writing favorable about Castro but the user who did hasn't editted for quite awhile now.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 22:35, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Well if I had to pick between Klein and Marcott Klein would better fit the model of a VSP though I thought he had been willing to criticize Obama before? Anways yeah the problem is that this word had a very specific meaning, to refer to pro-austerity Beltway Establishment types who've never had an original thought in their lives and since then the word's meaning had expanded. Maybe we should split the VSP pundits between those who are "VSP pundits" and "YOur Milage may Vary" for those who have some of their traits but don't totally fit the bill? Then put Klein, Marcott, Chait, etc. under the YMMV category and give a very short summary of their work. ClothCoat (talk) 00:17, 29 August 2016 (UTC)
Klein has likely criticized Obama but he still seeks that most important press visit which has always reeked of careerism; journos who have criticized Obama tend to cover for it by saying that he faced a massive amount of obstructionism, which is true, but has very little to do with his policy on drones and expansion of surveillance. Your reform is a great idea since BoNs and other users have readded people like Chait.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 00:33, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

'To a man'[edit]

Is this a deliberate usage - irony, VSPs being exclusively 'the right sort of chaps', or otherwise - in which case this should be made clear: otherwise 'to a person' or more inclusive term (reptilians, sentient jellyfish, algae, etc - the latter two in their unevolved forms having higher IQs than some woo-followers). (talk) 14:00, 22 February 2017 (UTC)