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"As Donald Trump Speaks, Some Voters Hear Echoes of Ed Koch"—Is The NYT Deliberately Engaging In Self-Parody?
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April 19, 2016, 02:05 PM
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Virginia Heffernan pointed out a number of years ago in the New York Times that a new literary device was to carefully copy and paste extracts from New York Times into one’s blog so as to make them sound, without adding a word, like self-parody. This has only gotten easier over time, leading me to one wonder whether reporters might be prepping their own articles for this process.

From the New York Times:

As Donald Trump Speaks, Some Voters Hear Echoes of Ed Koch

By MAGGIE HABERMAN and JONATHAN MARTIN APRIL 19, 2016

“Dummies!” the candidate shouted at black protesters after they interrupted his speech in Brooklyn.

“You stand between us and the murderers and the rapists and the assaulters,” he told members of New York’s largest police union, at another point, after it endorsed him.

The candidate was not Donald J. Trump. It was Edward I. Koch — a Democrat, not a Republican, and at the time he was a candidate for mayor, not president. But as the tumultuous Republican race came to New York ahead of its presidential primaries on Tuesday, Mr. Trump’s pugnacious style and often divisive messages brought back memories of the politician who, in his day, similarly personified New York City’s sometimes assertive, sometimes obstreperous id. …

Still, the nightstick-to-the-knees brand of urban politics, famously parodied in Tom Wolfe’s 1987 novel “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” is sharply at odds with what most Republicans believe is needed to win a general election in an increasingly diverse country.

… But to New Yorkers old enough to remember, Mr. Trump is not merely familiar: He is a throwback to the era that delivered Mr. Koch, who led the crime-ravaged, financially beleaguered city through 12 turbulent years in the 1970s and ‘80s.

… In an era in which such language has largely been drummed out of the political discourse, even his more subtle invocations of race can land jarringly, such as when he said during a protest at one of his rallies that the country has a “terrible president who happens to be African-American.”

In fact, when Mr. Trump now refers to “the Hispanics,” “the blacks” or “the evangelicals,” it is as if he is reviving a dead language.

Such language was very much the vernacular during his political upbringing. New York in the 1970s was symbolized in popular culture by Archie Bunker, graffiti-laden subways and “The Warriors,” the cult film about rampaging gangs. Political campaigns at the time were largely tribal: Citywide candidates often tried to win over a coalition of so-called white ethnic voters who identified with the “three I’s” — Ireland, Israel and Italy.

Fortunately, now everything, other than Donald Trump, has changed from the bad old days of tribalism. To prove how different things are, we’ll bring on an expert witness, a frequent adviser to the President:
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who largely made his name as an opponent to Mr. Koch, said Mr. Trump was using scare tactics to capitalize on white economic anxieties the way Mr. Koch did after the city’s near-bankruptcy in the 1970s.

Mr. Sharpton said that Mr. Trump “in many ways nationalized this whole exploiting of fears and anxiety among people that Koch did in the late ‘70s in New York successfully.”

[Comment at Unz.com]