Category Archives: Politics

2016: The Media’s Election

Think fast–where do you get your news?

Personally, I have news apps from Quartz, Tech Today, AJ English, NYTimes, BBC News, Mybridge, NBC News, and Buzzfeed News.

A list of reporters who attended an off-the-record dinner with the Clinton campaign includes key reporters from: ABC, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN, Daily Beast, GPG, Huffington Post, MORE, MSNBC, NBC, New Yorker, NYT, PEOPLE, POLITICO, VICE, and VOX.

Out of my particular news apps, NBC and NYTimes definitely attended this dinner, and Buzzfeed might or might not have. That’s three out of eight, and of the remaining, AJ English doesn’t cover the US presidential election much, while Tech Today and Mybridge don’t touch it practically at all. This leaves BBC News and Quartz. Now, the Quartz app pulls from a couple of different news sources, but even accounting for that, maybe 30-60% of my news sources covering the upcoming election attended this unofficial dinner.

A memo by the Clinton campaign lays out the dinner’s main objectives, and it sounds like an unofficial news conference. This is shady on a few levels. Firstly, the room where the information is disseminated is closed, and we the people hear it only second hand. Second, the tone of the memo is disturbing in its expectations that the reporters will meekly swallow what they given. Reporters poke, pry, and discomfit campaigns in their search for the unvarnished truth–this is how journalistic pride and journalistic integrity are created and preserved. But the campaign seems to glibly anticipate no such interrogation from the invited reporters. In fact, a quote from the memo reads as follows:

“We have [had] a very good relationship with Maggie Haberman of Politico over the last year. We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed…for this we think we can achieve our objective and do the most shaping by going to Maggie.”

This is not an endorsement of Trump. Just because we should all look a little more closely at Clinton does not mean that we should let up on Trump. Unfortunately, this is what the media has been doing this election: scrutinizing Trump and glossing over Hillary.

Trump’s misdeeds are glaring, numerous, and generally speak for themselves. Instead of writing editorials on exactly how bad Trump’s mistakes are–instead of outlining the exact extent of moral outrage that we should feel–perhaps we should devote a little more time to Clinton’s crimes, moral or otherwise.


Why I am not Charlie

Sorry to compare this tragedy to a B-rate movie, but the bit about punishing censorship is giving me serious flashbacks to the “The Interview” buzz about how terrorists and/or Kim Jong-Un win if we don’t watch the movie. Of course, that buzz is plainly ridiculous, whereas I haven’t made up my mind about #JeSuisCharlie or #JeSuisPasCharlie yet.

L out.

a paper bird

imagesThere is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo yesterday. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it.  Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical violence, whether you want to call that plane spirit or imagination or culture, and to meet them with violence is an offense against the spirit and imagination and culture that distinguish humans. Nothing mitigates this monstrosity. There will be time to analyze why the killers did it, time to parse their backgrounds, their ideologies, their beliefs, time for sociologists and psychologists to add to understanding. There will be explanations, and the explanations will be important, but explanations aren’t the same as excuses. Words don’t kill, they must not be met by killing, and they will not make the killers’ culpability go away.

To abhor what was done to the victims, though, is not…

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