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The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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malchior
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

I identify strongly with this piece in the Nation. In the end, I don't think it matters. The damage is done and it is irreparable. Future generations will marvel at how our political and the "elite" failed our country and ignored/created the many calamities they'll have lived through.
I’ve always resisted the notion that new decades are news events, bestowed on us in pre-measured pallets of history to be analyzed later as self-contained units of meaning. But as we ring in 2020, it’s hard not to feel like we’ve been through an epoch we should pause to acknowledge. Being ornery, I’ll date it to 2009, and the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency. However we count them off, we have to admit: These last 10 (or 11) years saw the rise of a sometimes violent right-wing American extremism, fueled by racism, and an even bigger story — the utter failure of political elites and mainstream media to figure out how to handle it.

I finally became convinced I had to write about this decade—or as I like to call it, “this f&$%ing decade”—when I read the Rolling Stone interview with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that burned down the Internet just before Christmas. The decent person in me, who is withering to nothing given the lack of nutritive decency around us, wants to give Todd credit, however belated, for realizing the obvious: that the Trump administration, but more important, Republicans generally, have used his show to spread lies and then double down on them when caught, for a long time.

From Trump toady Kellyanne Conway’s mind-fracturing “alternative facts” defense in the first week of the administration, to alleged anti-Russia hawk Senator Ted Cruz inviting himself on Todd’s show to spout pro-Russia talking points nobody thinks he believes, just weeks ago, Todd is Patient Zero in terms of how the modern GOP has spread a fatal virus of lies. And now he says he knows it: “So I mean, look, if people want to read my answer to your question, ‘Boy, that Chuck Todd was hopelessly naive.’ Yeah, it looks pretty naive.”

Oh Chuck. I’m just not sure “naive” is the right word here. (Jay Rosen unpacks it better than I can.) Rosen and many more of us have been pointing out exactly what’s going on for (more than) a decade. Many of us have been at best ignored, at worst mocked, and sometimes threatened (ineffectually so far, at least when it comes to threats against me).

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Peter Baker with the usual NY Times *war support* checklist:

- Critics framed as partisans
- Supporting quotes from neocons - really. The people who got us into a 'you broke it, you own it middle-east foreign policy' in the first place.
“Trump actually has a very strong hand vis-à-vis the clerical regime,” said Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former C.I.A. specialist on Iran at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, an organization that has rallied opposition to Iran’s government. “Whether he chooses to play it, I don’t know. He’s not a strategist. But his tactical game hasn’t been bad. The hit on Suleimani was genius — totally flummoxed his opponent.”
- Neutral quote from an Obama person to set the overton window in the direction of endless war
“When that response occurs, and depending on what it is, the ball will be squarely back in Trump’s court, presenting him with an equally fateful decision,” said Robert Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group and a former Middle East adviser to President Barack Obama. “Does he escalate further, as he has warned, and risk a far longer, bloodier and costlier military confrontation? Or does he seek an off ramp?”
My take: That said, he did tell a cohesive neutral-ish story which is the point. The way it is constructed serves to *normalize* the entire adventure as just some bold, gamble by a mercurial President. Maybe it'll work out. Who knows? But there are some people support it. Please don't notice that these guys are from some neocon political gulag. It isn't clear at all that Gerecht is a neocon unless you go look up the Foundation.

But then again he starts it by saying the people who don't like it are the usual whiners. He even threw in some air cover saying something along the lines that this President takes chances and the American people knew that when they elected him. If I were to search for a positive element I guess it was that he notably didn't paper over the war crimes tweets. Cool.


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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Jaymann »

malchior wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:33 am
Peter Baker with the usual NY Times *war support* checklist:

- Critics framed as partisans
- Supporting quotes from neocons - really. The people who got us into a 'you broke it, you own it middle-east foreign policy' in the first place.
“Trump actually has a very strong hand vis-à-vis the clerical regime,” said Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former C.I.A. specialist on Iran at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, an organization that has rallied opposition to Iran’s government. “Whether he chooses to play it, I don’t know. He’s not a strategist. But his tactical game hasn’t been bad. The hit on Suleimani was genius — totally flummoxed his opponent.”
- Neutral quote from an Obama person to set the overton window in the direction of endless war
“When that response occurs, and depending on what it is, the ball will be squarely back in Trump’s court, presenting him with an equally fateful decision,” said Robert Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group and a former Middle East adviser to President Barack Obama. “Does he escalate further, as he has warned, and risk a far longer, bloodier and costlier military confrontation? Or does he seek an off ramp?”
My take: That said, he did tell a cohesive neutral-ish story which is the point. The way it is constructed serves to *normalize* the entire adventure as just some bold, gamble by a mercurial President. Maybe it'll work out. Who knows? But there are some people support it. Please don't notice that these guys are from some neocon political gulag. It isn't clear at all that Gerecht is a neocon unless you go look up the Foundation.

But then again he starts it by saying the people who don't like it are the usual whiners. He even threw in some air cover saying something along the lines that this President takes chances and the American people knew that when they elected him. If I were to search for a positive element I guess it was that he notably didn't paper over the war crimes tweets. Cool.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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It's a Boeing plane.
I don't remember where I read this, Cort, maybe it was in the last patch notes, but they said the UAZ really handles the best when... the wheels are actually touching the ground.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Not surprised at all by this.

Trump's original plan was to add "right-wing media mogul" to his portfolio when he lost to HRC. His pimping of OANN over the past year or more (often in direct criticism of "soft" Fox) tells us that he planning to take it make it his (or DT Junior's) vehicle.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

malchior
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

When Fox News isn't checking every one of your state tv boxes...wow...I don't know what else they could be doing.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Smoove_B »

malchior wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:15 pm
I don't know what else they could be doing
More Jesus?

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Holman »

One America News Network embarrasses Russia Today. It's that bad.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Keep in mind this was written when OAN was just starting up but wow. It is hilarious. And if by hilarious I mean a bit scary, it was clear even then they were building a Trumpist propaganda outfit.


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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

And in some media randomness we have this NY Times piece. It talks about how a high school student from CA figured out the pattern of URLs for Iowa Poll result embedded images. He has tweeted the results out 3 times before the official release time. Why? He is trolling CNN who co-sponsors the poll. The article doesn't print his full quote (by his own account below) but specifically he is talking about Chris Cillizza and Rick Santorum.
This was the third straight Iowa Poll, which is also sponsored by CNN and Mediacom, that Mr. Rawal has posted to Twitter minutes before its official release, he said in a phone interview on Friday after his latest coup.

“The Des Moines Register is one of the best papers in the country. I read them regularly. I have no ill will,” he said. “It’s CNN I have a vendetta against.”

His grievance with the cable news network concerns several of its regular contributors, who he feels are unqualified to opine on current events. “They employ morons,” he said.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by El Guapo »

He's right. Cillizza is a fucking embarrassment, and I didn't even know that CNN employed (employs?) Santorum...JFC.

malchior
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Santorum has been on for at least a couple of years. They also hired Lewandowski. Why would I want to watch them? They are terrible awful people and Trumpists to boot.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Holman wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:32 pm
One America News Network embarrasses Russia Today. It's that bad.
ONAN ups FAUX's propaganda game by a magnitude or so. it's for people who think Fox is too centrist - and guaranteed the base has been groomed for the acceptance and spread of more extreme right-wing 'alternative facts' in the next half-decade.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Kraken »

Journalist's Resource compiled a digest of 2019 studies of fake news. Who now?
JR is a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and they spend their time examining the new academic literature in media, social science, and other fields, summarizing the high points and giving you a point of entry.
Each study gets a short summary with a link to the source. I enjoyed a couple of "No shit, Sherlock" moments like this one:
This study looks at the cognitive mechanisms behind belief in fake news by investigating whether fake news has gained traction because of political partisanship or because some people lack strong reasoning skills. A key finding: Adults who performed better on a cognitive test were better able to detect fake news, regardless of their political affiliation or education levels and whether the headlines they read were pro-Democrat, pro-Republican or politically neutral. Across two studies conducted with 3,446 participants, the evidence suggests that “susceptibility to fake news is driven more by lazy thinking than it is by partisan bias per se,” the authors write.

The authors also discovered that study participants who supported Trump had a weaker capacity for differentiating between real and fake news than did those who supported 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The authors write that they are not sure why that is
Connect the dots, dear reader. :lol: Science!

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Kurth »

Not sure if I posted it here before, but there was an interesting episode of The Daily last month (I think) about education in America and how our kids have really fallen behind in reading comprehension and other basic skills as measured on standardized tests. One of the scary parts of the story focused on the correlation between poor reading comprehension and an inability to distinguish between fact and opinion. I’ll see if I can dig up the transcript to add some cites, but the stats they quoted about the inability of adults today to tell obvious opinion from fact were startling.

The takeaway was that + social media = democracy is pretty much fucked.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

Kurth wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:01 pm
The takeaway was that + social media = democracy is pretty much fucked.
Did they say anything about innumeracy?

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Holman »



EDIT:

Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

#bothsides damn it!




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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Another plug for "The Daily" NYT podcast: On Friday, they sat down for nearly an hour with Dean Baquet, executive editor of the NYT, and pushed him on what the Times has learned from its experience covering the 2016 campaign:
The media’s coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign has come to be criticized for operating under three key assumptions: that Hillary Clinton was certain to be the Democratic nominee, that Donald Trump was unlikely to be the Republican nominee, and that once Clinton and Trump had become their party’s nominees, she would win.

With voting for 2020 set to begin in Iowa on Monday, “The Daily” sat down with Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, to discuss the lessons he — and the organization — learned from 2016.
I thought Baquet was pretty impressive on a number of points, but the most important one to my mind was his emphatic defense of the argument that the NYT should not pick sides but should continue to strive for a "sophisticated objectivism." He argued that those imploring the NYT to call Trump "a liar" or "a racist" are missing the point: It's more important to do the hard reporting that shows Trump is a liar and a racist and let the readers make the conclusion for themselves. And it's more effective and impactful.

After listening to this, I'd really love to see malchior and Baquet sit down for a conversation. It would be interesting to see if they reached a consensus on anything.
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malchior
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Kurth wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:04 pm
I thought Baquet was pretty impressive on a number of points, but the most important one to my mind was his emphatic defense of the argument that the NYT should not pick sides but should continue to strive for a "sophisticated objectivism."
I'd believe him if that was what they did. Look at how they drummed up war support for Bush or how they covered Iran. Their 'sophisticated objectivism' seems to break down if there is a war in the offering or they need to maintain their access. My criticisms up thread on one of their Iran piece's is a great illustration of that. They went and quoted a neoconservative without putting that in context. I had to figure it out myself. I mean I suspected it but they just plopped him in as an expert to bolster Trump's position without crucial context. Is that 'sophisticated objectivism'? Especially when you can point to them doing that over and over? Now being realistic we have to assume that bias is going to creep into anything. It is human nature but this we 'rise above it' schtick is borderline bullshit in the light of this and what I'll go into below.
He argued that those imploring the NYT to call Trump "a liar" or "a racist" are missing the point: It's more important to do the hard reporting that shows Trump is a liar and a racist and let the readers make the conclusion for themselves. And it's more effective and impactful.
I agree that calling him a racist is tricky but calling him a 'liar' would be stating a fact. That he is still taking this position is baffling. It calls his view of objectivity into question. What does Trump have to do to get branded a liar by the New York Times? Admit it outright? Ridiculous. To be blunt, this is a a very smart guy. He isn't deluded. He is adopting this position for a reason. That he is dissembling in the face of the obvious leads me to believe it is something he can't admit outright. Whether that is internal politics or maintaining access it comes from somewhere and it is increasingly absurd.

That inanity aside I agree that objectivity would be preferable in a perfect world. However, we live far from that perfect world and he has consistently ignored the massive failures of the media in 2016. He is IMO doubling down on an academic perspective high aloft in his ivory tower that doesn't work. He doesn't stick his head out the window and see what is happening out there in the real world. This approach isn't informing the public.
After listening to this, I'd really love to see malchior and Baquet sit down for a conversation. It would be interesting to see if they reached a consensus on anything.
I don't doubt there would be some concensus. As I said, I agree that objectivity is great in a vacuum. A good frame of view for me is the MTP disinformation episode after Chuck Todd's 'revelation' where Baquet spoke with Martin Baron of the Washington Post. I talked about it upthread here. It was pretty illustrative that they both live in the clouds somewhat. I get that it is their job to be strategic but they each don't seem to acknowledge how much and how badly disinformation is distorting public perceptions. I think it'd be a lot of disagreeing on 'reality'.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

This is why the major media outlets are *SO WRETCHED*. They amplify every mean thing that falls out of Trump's mouth. CNN and the Washington Post went and asked the Bloomberg campaign if they were asking for a box for the debate. Just to repeat for emphasis, they took a slam on a candidate's height that fell out a bully's mouth and actually treated it as a serious question. Then they followed up on it. And that is supposed evidence of Trump's "genius". Bullshit. I do think it proves is Mike Judge was a genius for predicting this. However, Trump is and always was a bully that the media has encouraged for decades. He isn't a genius. The media is literally inside his evil, ugly brain loop making money on this shit. And the deplorables are cheerleading it. It is utterly disgusting.


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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by hepcat »

You have to wonder if someone like a Walter Cronkite or a David Brinkley would have put up with this kind of thing.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Edward R. Murrow.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Holman »

hepcat wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:00 am
You have to wonder if someone like a Walter Cronkite or a David Brinkley would have put up with this kind of thing.
Isgrimnur wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:57 am
Edward R. Murrow.
Cronkite, Brinkley, and Murrow were all viciously attacked by the right-wingers of their day.
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Kurth »

hepcat wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:00 am
You have to wonder if someone like a Walter Cronkite or a David Brinkley would have put up with this kind of thing.
No chance.

Also, CNN is putrid. Melchior, when you reference “major media outlets,” are you lumping the NYT and WaPo in with the CNNs of the world? I’m assuming the answer is no, but correct me if I’m wrong.

When I look at CNN, I see a lot of what Baquet is trying to protect the NYT from becoming. Punditry masquerading as analysis and totally overwhelming any actual reporting. I think this is what Baquet would say you get when you are a journalist and start calling Trump a liar rather than reporting on his lying.
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malchior
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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Kurth wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:03 pm
hepcat wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:00 am
You have to wonder if someone like a Walter Cronkite or a David Brinkley would have put up with this kind of thing.
No chance.

Also, CNN is putrid. Melchior, when you reference “major media outlets,” are you lumping the NYT and WaPo in with the CNNs of the world? I’m assuming the answer is no, but correct me if I’m wrong.
WaPo got a quote from the Bloomberg campaign. So in this case I am lumping them in. They don't play the same game as I'll go into depth below but as to why they are all to some degree all pursuing the news the same way at a higher level. They each have their own flavor to their strategies but American media overall has continued practices that indicate they collectively haven't learned much from 2016.
When I look at CNN, I see a lot of what Baquet is trying to protect the NYT from becoming. Punditry masquerading as analysis and totally overwhelming any actual reporting. I think this is what Baquet would say you get when you are a journalist and start calling Trump a liar rather than reporting on his lying.
I don't think comparing NY Times or WaPo to CNN is fair - though WaPo stepped into it already. They don't play in the 24/7 hour news game. It is a different ballgame. I'm not sure this is a pundit/not a pundit distinction.

It about the amplification of every terrible thing that falls out of Trump's mouth. Or whatever anyone with major influence in DC says. The powers that be know that whatever thing they say will be amplified without a filter. If I was to get meta it feels like the 24/7 networks feel like they are competing with social media. And they are but instead of providing value add they just became a noise machine to compete with social media. Anyway that is a long way to say this isn't necessarily about punditry. It is the process the major outlets all follow to some degree. I 100% expect the NY Times to have a story about this sometime today. It won't be as terrible as the CNN image above but they will feel they have to cover it now that it has blown up.

I don't think Baquet is worrying about becoming CNN because it really is a different game. I think what he is doing is sophisticated gate keeping. He has many motivations: he wants to protect the reputation of the Times as staid and above the fray, he has to play some trade union defense against social media, he has to protect access to influential persons within the government, etc. There is a difference between picking no side and hopelessly trying to endless defend that 'no side' angle while constantly pitching a 'both sides' narrative that is increasingly tenuous. That is his problem in a nutshell and it is getting worse all the time. Like I said above upthread calling him a liar isn't getting into the muck - it is telling the truth.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

BoJo tries to run the Trump playbook by excluding certain media outlets. Result: Media boycotts the briefing.
Political journalists have boycotted a briefing at No 10 Downing Street after one of Boris Johnson’s aides banned selected reporters from attending.

The walkout took place after a confrontation inside No 10 in which Lee Cain, Johnson’s most senior communications adviser, tried to exclude reporters from the Mirror, i, HuffPost, PoliticsHome, Independent and others.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

CNN excluded from pre-SOTU lunch. Unlike the above I expect no one to boycott it because ... YOLO!


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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

This is an interesting mini explainer. It indicates that the big media players are still playing the 2016 horse race card. They don't serve to inform or help people understand. What does the NY Times have on their Iowa tracker? SDEs. It's all about the horse race.


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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

I enjoy when people dunk on Cizzilla. He is like the embodiment of the worst of the pundit class. Is he stupid? Is he selling drama? Who knows but it is terrible no matter what.
On January 31, Cillizza wrote that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “pulled off a near-impossible impeachment feat” by managing to wrap up President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial without witnesses ahead of the State of the Union address on February 4. A week and a half earlier, in a January 21 blog post, Cillizza explained why he thought this would be such a difficult task for McConnell, citing polling showing public support for hearing from witnesses.

It’s a dewy-eyed understanding of politics to think McConnell would have either caved to public pressure or lost grip on his caucus. Looking back to 2016, when McConnell stonewalled Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, he faced a similar situation. Public support for holding Senate hearings on Garland’s nomination was overwhelming, and yet McConnell was able to keep Republicans in line. It’s utterly bizarre that any serious political analyst would conclude that McConnell “pulled off a near-impossible impeachment feat” by rallying his fellow GOP senators to buck public opinion once again.

On January 29, Cillizza wrapped himself in a “both sides” security blanket, tweeting a quote from his own article about that day’s impeachment hearing question-and-answer session: “Two sides deeply entrenched in their views and with zero interest in engaging the other side in any sort of thoughtful conversation or debate. So convinced of the rightness of their views that they don’t want to waste time by considering any others.

...

In a 2017 Reddit “ask me anything” session, one user asked Cillizza, “I’m curious as to whether or not you’ve spent time contemplating how your approach to journalism might be damaging to the public dialog,” citing an old quote in which Cillizza said that his job is not to assess “the rightness of each argument but to deal in the real world of campaign politics in which perception often (if not always) trumps reality.”

In his reply, Cillizza shirked responsibility by pointing out that some people simply won’t believe facts, no matter how many times they’re presented with information and clarifications. Other users in the thread highlighted the times when Cillizza was the one making factual mistakes and his tendency to draw false equivalencies, equally blaming and praising both political parties in order to keep a supposedly balanced perspective.

At its core, that’s the problem with Cillizza, especially in the Trump era. It’s not that he has changed -- he’s always been this terrible -- but that our politics changed around him. Our need to be entertained more than informed is what helped propel Trump to the presidency and Cillizza to one of the most visible positions in journalism. They’re both symptoms of larger problems in media and politics, embodiments of a reality TV world built around short attention spans. Cillizza’s shallow clips are made with the belief that people can digest information only if it’s presented as entertainment. His on-camera demeanor is often better suited for a post-screening discussion of an action movie than for a discussion about the future of democracy. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if he didn’t treat fluff commentary -- like the “news” that Trump has a habit of comparing his political enemies to dogs or the president's “199 wildest lines of 2019” -- as though it's as important as stories like the president’s impeachment for abuse of power.

The real shame of Cillizza’s success -- during a time when journalism is one of the only checks on power we have left -- is that there are so many talented, hard-working, fact-based journalists who’ve lost work in recent years. Columbia Journalism Review reported in December that 3,160 journalists were laid off in 2019. As we view Trump’s scandals and impeachment through Cillizza’s warped lens, it’s worth wondering how different things would be in our media and our democracy if news organizations rejected the sort of lighthearted hackery he peddles, instead of making it a highly sought commodity.

Chris Cillizza is a monument to our modern media, and that should worry us.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Pyperkub »

This is a fantastic article on what's happening to the 4th Estate:
In the United States, we tend to view such tools of oppression as the faraway problems of more fragile democracies. But the people working to reelect Trump understand the power of these tactics. They may use gentler terminology—muddy the waters; alternative facts—but they’re building a machine designed to exploit their own sprawling disinformation architecture....

...According to people with knowledge of the effort, pro-Trump operatives have scraped social-media accounts belonging to hundreds of political journalists and compiled years’ worth of posts into a dossier.

Often when a particular news story is deemed especially unfair—or politically damaging—to the president, Don Jr. will flag it in a text thread that he uses for this purpose. (Among those who text regularly with the president’s eldest son, someone close to him told me, are the conservative activist Charlie Kirk; two GOP strategists, Sergio Gor and Arthur Schwartz; Matthew Boyle, a Breitbart editor; and U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell.) Once a story has been marked for attack, someone searches the dossier for material on the journalists involved. If something useful turns up—a problematic old joke; evidence of liberal political views—Boyle turns it into a Breitbart headline, which White House officials and campaign surrogates can then share on social media. (The White House has denied any involvement in this effort.)...

...But in the Trump era, an important shift has taken place. Instead of trying to reform the press, or critique its coverage, today’s most influential conservatives want to destroy the mainstream media altogether. “Journalistic integrity is dead,” Boyle declared in a 2017 speech at the Heritage Foundation. “There is no such thing anymore. So everything is about weaponization of information.”

It’s a lesson drawn from demagogues around the world: When the press as an institution is weakened, fact-based journalism becomes just one more drop in the daily deluge of content—no more or less credible than partisan propaganda.
There are three ways to not tell the truth: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

El Guapo wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:49 am
Trump’s Retribution Against the Washington Post Owner Is His Gravest Abuse of Power

Latest impeachable scandal hiding in plain sight. Also one of the key steps for Trump for turning America into an authoritarian state, if he's given enough time to do so.
CNBC
A federal judge Thursday ordered a temporary block on the JEDI cloud contract, which was awarded to Microsoft, in response to a suit filed by Amazon. Shares of Microsoft fell on the news, while Amazon’s stock was down slightly.
...
Last month, AWS filed a formal motion asking the court to pause Microsoft’s work on the JEDI cloud contract, claiming the evaluation process included “clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias.” The court granted that motion on Thursday.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Kraken »

Press Watch: political journalists are finally sounding the alarm.
A major pillar of our democracy — equal protection under the law — is crumbling under Donald Trump's increasingly brazen assaults.

And it's the job of the free press job to sound the alarm, expose the damage and champion a process of restoration. A devotion to fairness in the application of the law is a legitimate, traditional journalistic value that reporters and editors should feel no hesitation to express in their work.

There is no room for both-sides-ism on this issue. Instead, it's time to explain, in no uncertain terms:

How badly Trump is perverting the Justice Department
The importance of insulating the application of the law from political influence
How the apolitical application of the law is a key distinction between democracies and banana republics
Who is abetting Trump
What it will take to rebuild what he has left in ruins

So far, some political journalists are rising to the occasion. Some are not.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Alefroth »

And a large junk of America just hears it as another false alarm, at best.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by Skinypupy »

Kraken wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:34 pm
Press Watch: political journalists are finally sounding the alarm.
A major pillar of our democracy — equal protection under the law — is crumbling under Donald Trump's increasingly brazen assaults.

And it's the job of the free press job to sound the alarm, expose the damage and champion a process of restoration. A devotion to fairness in the application of the law is a legitimate, traditional journalistic value that reporters and editors should feel no hesitation to express in their work.

There is no room for both-sides-ism on this issue. Instead, it's time to explain, in no uncertain terms:

How badly Trump is perverting the Justice Department
The importance of insulating the application of the law from political influence
How the apolitical application of the law is a key distinction between democracies and banana republics
Who is abetting Trump
What it will take to rebuild what he has left in ruins

So far, some political journalists are rising to the occasion. Some are not.
Maybe some of these reporters ought to actually call Trump and his cronies out on their constant stream of lies by asking follow-up questions, instead of simply dropping the subject or trying to BSAB every single statement.
For those accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Last night I went to the event referenced in the article below to hear the NJ Governor speak at a local town hall. To set the stage, I'm not a big fan of his. He is IMO a Bloomberg-esque know nothing about governing financial guy who decided that as a business man he could run a state. He has been pretty inept at it. Still I wanted to hear him out. Having done that, my opinion of him as not a great politician stands but I think he has a good heart. /Preamble.

It was a pretty uneventful affair but what's interesting to me is what the paper chose to cover. There was a tiny, tiny group of #MAGA people in one section. Maybe half a dozen. At one point Murphy called out right-wing violence. One women called it out as unfair because it wasn't just 'right-wingers' (as detailed in the article) and he did respond. The paper said about a dozen people clapped her. It was the 5 other #MAGAs out of around 200. And then these idiots muttered shit about Antifa. He defused it. It was 30 seconds out of a multi-hour event yet it got 100% of the coverage. Forget that he announced some major initiatives for the area that are long-term going to be positive.

Sure this is a local beat guy at the Star Ledger but all he could extract was that moment? It really makes you realize how the media pushes in on the outrage. Why inform about the positive impact that the government is going to deliver? It's boring. Maybe that's why Jerry Springer retired...the media took his job away and moved it to the news page.

Also this stuff is like moronnip to right-wing trolls. The comments section is an atrocity against mankind and reason.

NJ.com
Gov. Phil Murphy was briefly jeered at his town hall meeting Thursday night after a small group of attendees disliked his use of the term “right-wing behavior” to describe recent acts of violence.

The governor was asked a question at the North Brunswick event about security at houses of worship and other public spaces. Murphy agreed more needs to be done to protect people, saying, “Sadly it’s a sign of the times," calling the “rise of right-wing behavior” and anti-Semitic behavior “jaw-dropping.”

After Murphy cited recent instances of violence, he added: “I hope that we’ll see … right-wing behavior going down and not up.”

His comment prompted Tracey Lore of New Brunswick to interrupt. She said he was wrong to single out "right-wing behavior."

Her comment got some applause from at least a dozen audience members.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Big Media Normalizing Trump's Incompetence in a Crisis. They are utterly failing us again.
Presswatchers wrote:But at the New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Noah Weiland and Katie Rogers engaged in something even worse than stenography: The cherrypicking of quotes that weren’t incoherent, that in no way whatsoever indicated the true nature of the briefing. They led off:
President Trump named Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday to coordinate the government’s response to the coronavirus, even as he repeatedly played down the danger to the United States of a widespread domestic outbreak.
Nothing in that story told readers what they most needed to know.

Even in a sidebar on Trump’s credibility, Annie Karni, Michael Crowley and Maggie Haberman simply called Trump’s briefing “casual”. Then they punted:
Mr. Trump could face a moment of reckoning. Maintaining a calm and orderly response during an epidemic, in which countless lives could be at stake, requires that the president be a reliable public messenger.
There was also a cutesy sidebar by Katie Rogers about Trump’s self-declared germophobia.

Inexcusable.

I feel like “Trump Assigns Pence Coronavirus Response” or “Trump Open to Larger Supplemental,” while technically accurate, serve to mislead readers who didn’t see the tour de force of insanity that was that press conference. Journalists: It’s ok to describe things accurately.

It’s still amazing to see how a rambling, semi coherent and contradictory presser from Trump gets repackaged into headlines, stories and tv clips that turn him into a normal President.

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Re: The Semi-Official Death Watch of the 4th Estate Thread

Post by malchior »

Margaret Sullivan via the Washington Post
Some months ago, I wrote about the linguist George Lakoff’s prescription for handling the president’s false statements and lies, an approach that’s become known as the “truth sandwich.”

Rather than lead with the falsehood and then try to debunk it, Lakoff — an expert on how propaganda works — suggested flipping that formula: Lead with the truth, air the falsehood, and then follow with the fact check.

Avoid giving prominence to lies, he advises. Don’t put them in headlines, leads or tweets. It is that very amplification that gives them power, even if they are proclaimed false in the next beat.

Of course, that recommendation runs in direct opposition to how news usually works. Traditionally, we have emphasized the words of top officials, and only then tempered them with fact checks.

What you need to know about coronavirus: Symptoms, risks, how to prepare

Too often, Lakoff told me, the media “has become complicit with Trump by allowing itself to be used as an amplifier for his falsehoods and frames.” And that’s true even when journalists make lists of lies. It’s the repetition and the prominence that does the harm.
It's still only one voice but that's better than zero self-reflecting on the media's complete capitulation to broadcasting propaganda.

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