shouldn't we be calling the sessions-kislyak affair "sessionsgate" by now?

WE ARE NOW deep into an af­fair that should have been ter­med ei­ther Ses­sion­s­gate or Am­bas­sador­gate by our main­stream me­dia. Ever clever with such trite coinages when a De­moc­rat is in­volved, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ses­sions and Pres­i­dent Trump have some­how avoided hav­ing their trans­gres­sion ren­dered in a man­ner that sug­gest the felonies of the Nixon ad­min­is­tra­tion of 1972–1973. But let's take a mo­ment and take a look at an­other mo­ment from Jan­u­ary 10, 2017: at a Sen­ate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing, Sen­a­tor Al Franken asked Sen­a­tor Jeff Ses­sions what he would do if he learned of any ev­i­dence that any­one af­fil­i­ated with the… Con­tinue Read­ing shouldn't we be call­ing the sessions-kislyak af­fair "ses­sion­s­gate" by now?

definitely "politically correct" (a third take on journalism taking on authority)

TO TELL THE TRUTH IN THE FACE OF LIES is the job of all jour­nal­ists, with lies be­ing, you know, those al­ter­na­tive fact thingies that are all the rage these days. Or at least that's what Lewis Wal­lace states in an ed­i­to­rial call-to-arms that he had posted on his per­sonal blog. There he ad­dressed ob­jec­tiv­ity, call­ing a lie a lie in­stead of an al­ter­na­tive fact, and em­brac­ing the ac­cu­sa­tion of be­ing a po­lit­i­cally cor­rect lib­eral left­ist! I am not a jour­nal­ist. Aside from some col­lege courses in ba­sic jour­nal­ism in 1969–1971, I have no ex­pe­ri­ence in the field. Of… Con­tinue Read­ing def­i­nitely "po­lit­i­cally cor­rect" (a third take on jour­nal­ism tak­ing on au­thor­ity)

definitely not "first but wrong" (another take on journalism taking on authority)

DES­PITE DON­ALD TRUMP re­ceiv­ing more at­ten­tion from the me­dia than all his fel­low Rep*blican com­peti­tors for the nom­i­na­tion com­bined, he has an­other take on it: that same me­dia is out to get him! While some of that at­ten­tion was in­deed neg­a­tive, most of the at­ten­tion was rea­son­ably pos­i­tive. In fact, it ap­peared at times as if the me­dia was down­right fawn­ing! It's prob­a­bly fair to say that had the mainstream/corporate Amer­i­can me­dia split the time they de­voted to him and gave it to other Rep*blican can­di­dates, Mr Trump might not have been the nom­i­née, let alone be the Pres­i­dent. In… Con­tinue Read­ing def­i­nitely not "first but wrong" (an­other take on jour­nal­ism tak­ing on au­thor­ity)

definitely "provably not true" (one take on journalism taking on authority)

DAMN OUR DAMN LIB­ERAL ME­DIA! Here's yet an­other ex­am­ple of how the DLM's bleed­ing­heart li­brull­ness screws things up for us poor civil­ians try­ing to grok the world in which we live. When ad­dress­ing a state­ment that was so man­i­festly in­cor­rect that it had to be a lie, the na­tional se­cu­rity cor­re­spon­dent for Na­tional Pub­lic Ra­dio de­clared the state­ment "prov­ably not true." 1 That is, the state­ment was demon­stra­bly not so. Most of us civil­ians have a sim­ple word to de­scribe a demon­stra­bly un­true state­ment: we call it a lie. 2 Need­less to say, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly was asked why she didn't sim­ply call… Con­tinue Read­ing def­i­nitely "prov­ably not true" (one take on jour­nal­ism tak­ing on au­thor­ity)

rumor and speculation can look like alternative facts

EVERY TROLL IS RIGHTWINGED, or least seems to be. Every fake news site and every blog pass­ing on al­ter­na­tive facts also seems to be far right of cen­ter. Of course, this is based on my ex­pe­ri­ence on the free­wheel­ing world­wide web of fact and fic­tion, opin­ion and as­sess­ment, ru­mor and spec­u­la­tion, and every­thing else a hu­man can do with words, im­ages, and sym­bols. The free­dom of the In­ter­net has given us mil­lions of blogs for blog­gers to ex­press opin­ion or re­search facts. It has also given us web­sites with "re­porters" who have never taken a sin­gle class in Jour­nal­ism, and with… Con­tinue Read­ing ru­mor and spec­u­la­tion can look like al­ter­na­tive facts

trolls are leaving forests and bridges for the internet

TROLLS ARE EVERY­WHERE! It wasn't al­ways this way. Once upon a time, trolls dwelled in Scan­di­na­vian folk tales, crea­tures hos­tile to all things hu­man. But now trolls are every­where! They're leav­ing forests and bridges and the rocks and trees of the Old World to dwell in the cy­berci­ties that en­cir­cle the globe. And now we call these new city-dwellers 'in­ter­net trolls.' 1 The In­ter­net Troll is a very real crea­ture who sows dis­cord on in­ter­net fo­rums such as Face­book and Red­dit, along with chat rooms, the com­ments sec­tions of oth­er­wise sane news sites, and even on other people's blogs. The… Con­tinue Read­ing trolls are leav­ing forests and bridges for the in­ter­net

social media and all the fake news that's fit to print

"SO­CIAL ME­DIA HAS SWAL­LOWED THE NEWS, threat­en­ing the fund­ing of public-interest re­port­ing and ush­er­ing in an era when every­one has their own facts. Twenty-five years af­ter the first web­site went on­line, it is clear that we are liv­ing through a pe­riod of dizzy­ing tran­si­tion.  Now, we are caught in a se­ries of con­fus­ing bat­tles be­tween op­pos­ing forces: be­tween truth and false­hood, fact and ru­mor, kind­ness and cru­elty; be­tween the few and the many, the con­nected and the alien­ated; be­tween an in­formed pub­lic and a mis­guided mob." These open­ing para­graphs were gleaned from the bulk of an ar­ti­cle ti­tled "How… Con­tinue Read­ing so­cial me­dia and all the fake news that's fit to print