NY Times: Toxic Partisanship? Bill Clinton Says He Had It Worse, Yet Got Things Done.
For those who lived through it, yes - Bill had it worse. Much worse. The Fairness Doctrine was shredded shortly before, and talk radio had just hit its stride. The wave of conservative partisanship (Gingrich’s GOPAC memo, that document and philosophy that shaped our modern news media and political culture) was to hit hard in the run-up to the ‘94 Congressional elections. These wolverines didn’t just go after Bill, but Hillary as well. Turning on the radio took a great deal of grit and bravery, given the millions of cubic feet of methane being generated.
Obama is the butt of racist attacks (veiled and otherwise), even I look askance at his lack of experience prior to the Presidency ... but the level is dialed down significantly in comparison. Who could forget the weeks of Republican ravings over the Vince Foster suicide? And the insinuations that Hillary and Foster had an affair, and that she offed him? Pound a conspiracy theory hard enough on radio in multiple markets, people start to accept it.
The conservatives hated Clinton because he was the most Centrist Democrat to ever win the Party’s nomination. Even longtime Dems were concerned. The Repubs feared losing a portion of their Southern/Midwestern bloc, as well as corporate donors ... feared it so, they pulled out every stop. Satan and Lilith were in the White House!
I suppose this is part of growing older. Seeing the facts as we lived them get challenged, watered down into a haze of ... ‘history.’
CJR: How do we know what we know about #Gamergate?
“The problem is that when anybody can tweet under the Gamergate hashtag, and no one wants to take responsibility for the movement, the media doesn’t know what to believe.” The media can’t pin down a crowdsourced gripe.
Planet Princeton: Princeton Police and Health Department Enforcing Quarantine of NBC Crew.
“Snyderman and two crew members were quarantined Friday night after the New Jersey Health Department has issued a mandatory quarantine order. The mandatory order was issued after a voluntary 21-day isolation agreement was violated.” Journalists being stupid.
Science of Us: Ebola Fears Are Triggering Mass Hypochondria.
“We tend to think of hypochondriacs as the irrational individuals who, after spending entirely too much time on WebMD, become convinced that a minor headache means a brain tumor, or that a lingering cough means lung cancer. But that anxiety and fear some of us are having over catching Ebola (a highly unlikely health outcome)? That’s hypochondria, too ...” The media is exacerbating this. Too much information can be worse than too little.
CJR: Reporters struggle to stay safe covering Ebola.
“Really, if you’re going anywhere that requires personal protective equipment, you need to be under the supervision of someone who knows what he or she is doing. Proper removal requires about 20 sequential steps, with spraying and hand washing throughout.” In which we may see the act of feeding the 24/7 cable news behemoth is a suicide that involuntarily takes others along for the ride. Freelance journalists are free to go just about anywhere; the question is, should they? In this case, their barebones modus operandi and ill-preparedness can kill innocents.
If I hear one more newscaster ...
... trying to sew fear-and-panic over ‘the man in Dallas with a bowler’, I’m gonna implode. I know you want to be all PC and all, newsies, but if you can’t get the pronunciation correct, don’t even try. Most tourists are calling it eee-BOW-lah anyway.
Every time newscasters do it, I picture John Cleese in the Ministry of Silly Walks.
Hollywood Reporter: Were ‘Longmire’ Viewers Too Long in the Tooth to Matter?
“Every second and a half an American turns 50, which means that in a very short time, we will be the largest demographic in the country — and with our longer life spans, we’re not going anywhere. It also just so happens that 50-plus-ers account for of 75% of disposable income in America.”
SF Gate: Macworld kills print edition amid layoffs at IDG.
A lot of good journalists got laid off. I suppose we’ll be treated to even more ‘autoplay’ videos now. I suspect this is another feed destined to be culled ...
Archaeology News Network: ‘God’ particle could destroy Universe, warns Stephen Hawking.
Panicked? Don’t be. “The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become megastable at energies above 100bn giga-electron-volts (GeV). [snip] A particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.’” Watch how many media organizations sensationalize this one.
Aeon: The warped world of 1950s marriage counselling.
“We’re used to thinking of the 1950s ‘housewife’ as a vague, happy caricature on gift-shop mugs and postcards – vacuuming in pearls, offering a post-work martini to the returning husband. In its intimate individual details, this advice column resurrects a sharper history, showing the array of cruelties that this kind of marriage could entail, the number of wives who resisted their roles, and the way that mainstream culture tried to put them in their place.” Hence “mother’s little helpers.” A wife not far down the street used to get cases of Johnny Walker Red delivered weekly. When she pulled out of the driveway, we all knew to hide behind something substantial.
Medium: Last Call. (For print newspapers, that is.)
“Contrary to the contrived ignorance of media reporters, the future of the daily newspaper is one of the few certainties in the current landscape: Most of them are going away, in this decade.” A must-read. Via George Kelly on G+.
Slate: Ferguson, Missouri photos - Tear gas, rubber bullets, and a militarized police force.
Hmmm. Then there’s Tom Tomorrow, hitting it on the head as usual. Militarizing police forces *is* a slippery-slope situation. I went in search of guidelines, perhaps Federal ones ... but none seem to exist. With all the surplus weaponry ending up in nonmilitary hands, Federal guidelines are overdue. Mr Obama - Congress - can you do something about this, please?
Too many police today are responding with a video-game-like kill-reflex; the reflex that used to be the lone purvue of the trained soldier. Killing should not be the first response of a police officer. Training high-powered rifles on protestors by itself is a terrible act of aggression.
I’ll say it again: Have we forgotten the ‘60’s?
Later: See who the cops are targeting. It would be interesting to see where Homeland Security’s money’s gone ... more to areas with distinct segregation among the populations? One wonders. Probably only ProPublica would contemplate such a report. Via Dan Lyke (Flutterby) on FB.
NY Times: A Resurgence in Inequality and Its Effects on Culture.
“What makes the middlebrows so contemptible? Woolf’s tautological response is their very middleness, their inability to be either one thing or another, and their habit of ‘indistinguishably and rather nastily’ mixing up art and life (the pure, complementary pursuits of the high and the low) with things like ‘money, fame, power or prestige.’” Perhaps, but who wants to be a lowbrow ‘dancing monkey’ for the higbrows? The ‘affinity’ of the high and low could only be expressed in such terms by the highbrow urbanity of the NY Times; happy to look down upon their readership.
CNet: iPhone 5S vs. train goes exactly like you’d expect.
I despair of youth today. An iPhone won’t derail a train. The concept behind using pennies was not to derail a train, but to put enough of a slicker material (copper offers less traction than the rails, working as a lubricant) between the wheels and the rails to slow or stop the train.
Not enough kids are growing up in rural areas, sans helicopter parents. I think it’s a huge, HUGE problem.
The Awl: All The New Yorker Story Roundups You Should Read While The Stories Are Still Unlocked.
Before it all gets hidden behind the upcoming paywall, one presumes.
FiveThirtyEight: Dying at the Grand Canyon.
Erm, go observe in person. When I visited the park, the number of both American and European tourists prancing [I chose that word carefully and accurately] down the Bright Angel Trail with just a single water bottle stunned me.
The Airship: Gonzo Today - What Hunter S. Thompson Means to Modern Journalism.
“The definition of journalism most of us are familiar with would align with ‘just the facts ma’am’ — that is, objectivity over all. Yet, it’s hard not to associate the term with a certain cigarette-chomping, gravel-voiced professional hooligan who obliterated the wall separating himself and his subject via a homemade cocktail of narcotics, explosives and fearlessness (some would argue foolishness, no doubt).”
FirstLook: NBC News Pulls Veteran Reporter from Gaza After Witnessing Israeli Attack on Children.
We live in an age where personal branding may limit your ability to report.
The Federalist: Media Ignorance Is Becoming A Serious Problem.
GigaOm: British blogger Brown Moses launches new site to train others in crowdsourced reporting.
“… I think Higgins is one of the leading examples of a new kind of self-taught journalist — one who uses social networks and public data to do the kind of fact-checking and investigative work that was previously only available to large entities like the New York Times.” Craft good search terms. Dig. Cross-reference. Dig some more. Check the author background(s). Explore a referenced tangent or two. When doing really serious research, I set up a single-subject folder, under which you’ll usually find: ‘alleged’, ‘verified’ and ‘fantasy’. If I need the various source verification articles, the main article gets an individual folder beneath one of those above three, using Mac’s color coding to indicate which is the main article and which is (are) supporting. Separate color for author cred, too. Am I revealing too much? I should put it in a ebook, except I never thought it would be valuable to anyone else ...
BBC Sport: Tour de France 2014 - Alberto Contador pulls out on stage 10
More info here about his four-year-old doping ban than the actual crash that caused his retirement from the race. Filling column-inches (pixels)?
The Daily Beast: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq.
10,000 Words: Source Sleuth Looks to Connect Journalists, Bloggers with Quality Sources.
“… we assign a researcher to each query that comes in. They look through our database to find quality sources and then reach out to sources to see if they are interested in helping out with the story.” Of interest. I wonder what criteria is used to judge a ‘quality source’.
Poynter: ‘Almost half’ of the NYT’s blogs will close or merge.
“Some blogs are quite popular, but others ‘“got very, very little traffic, and they required an enormous amount of resources, because a blog is an animal that is always famished.’” Information point, fellow bloggerati.
Vox Product Blog: Editorially Joins Vox Media.
“Bloggers expect less abstraction between what they create and what gets published. Bloggers use the medium to start and engage in conversations. Bloggers build communities. Bloggers keep their eye on the traffic dashboard. Bloggers have painstakingly grown an audience from nothing by personally distributing their own work in the same way they discover the work of others: through search and social platforms. We built our platform, Chorus, from this perspective.”