The NFL’s social-justice debacle and other commentary

From the right: The NFL’s Social-Justice Debacle

Protests and political statements have transformed the National Football League from “the glue that gave a guy sitting in his game room in East Palestine, Ohio, a deep connection with a guy in a penthouse in Manhattan” to “a social-justice organization that was no longer holding them together,” writes Salena Zito for Creators. During opening week, which was packed with social-justice messages, ratings plunged 17 percent, proving that the younger audience the league aims to attract “does not have the loyalty Baby Boomer or Gen X football fans once did.” Older fans miss what was once an escape from “politics infecting everything they do.” Even those who “agree with the sentiments . . . just want to enjoy a game without being lectured.”

Conservative: The Left’s War on US Institutions

“It took less than 24 hours for left-wingers to pledge burning down the country if Republicans don’t abdicate their constitutional duty” to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat, sighs Tristan Justice at The Federalist. And these weren’t “fringe left-wingers or arbitrary psychopaths” but “mainstream writers with considerable platforms” working to “inspire” unrest. Democrats have also “ramped up their existing war” on US institutions, vowing to pack the high court, make DC and Puerto Rico states and perhaps launch “a second crimeless impeachment.” It’s all because “left-wing academics” have “cultivated” woke children “now permeating the nation’s mainstream institutions and transforming society.”

From the left: Why Elites Diss Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan’s online show garners millions of visitors a day, sometimes quadrupling the viewership of the top prime-time cable shows. So, asks The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, why does he “receive so much less media attention than” established pundits with far smaller audiences? The prestige press reacted with “condescending scorn” after President Trump took up a “suggestion that Rogan host a four-hour, sit-down presidential debate between the two candidates.” It’s bizarre, since Rogan is basically a social liberal who believes in more spending to help the working class. But he dares to question some aspects of “the full panoply of trans advocacy” and signals “culturally conservative” preferences: “He likes MMA fighting, makes crude jokes, hunts and just generally fails to speak in the lingo of the professional managerial class.” That makes Rogan “anathema” to liberals.

Russiagate watch: The Mueller Maneuver

“No one can argue” that Robert Mueller’s “collusion” probe “was rushed, undermanned, underfunded, restricted or somehow unfairly limited,” ­observes National Review’s Jim Geraghty: The special counsel took “22 months, with 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants and other professional staff at his disposal, after interviewing 500 witnesses, issuing 2,800 subpoenas, 230 orders for communication records, 13 requests to foreign governments and nearly 500 search warrants.” But the result “disappointed” Trump critics, and Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann now claims “the former FBI director was intimidated by the president and failed to do his duties.” Huh? Critics don’t get to build Mueller “up to the point where his face is on prayer candles and ‘In Mueller We Trust’ merchandise is for sale” and then suddenly “conclude he’s a bumbling, hapless Keystone Cop when he says the evidence isn’t there.”

Cultural critic: How RGB Made Old Age Look Cool

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was 80 the year she transformed from public figure to pop-culture icon,” notes Joanna Weiss at Politico. In 2013, an NYU law student created the Notorious RGB blog on Tumblr, blending photos of her with rap and other lyrics. It preserved her “intelligence and drive” while making the justice “a badass and, better, a meme.” At first bemused, RBG soon came to “embrace” the image. This was new, “a way of not just appreciating the wisdom that comes with experience, but of viewing age itself, and the staying power it conveys, as actually cool.” The downside: This “newfound frankness sometimes got the real Ginsburg into trouble,” leading her to express disapproval of both Colin Kaepernick and President Trump. And perhaps her “newfound power” left her too reluctant to retire in the Obama years.

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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