In general, the instinct most people have to not speak ill of the dead is a good thing. In a utilitarian sense, in the event of a death, it doesn’t make sense to unduly add to the pain of people who are already grieving. It also doesn’t make any sense to do this shit: CNN’s Jake Tapper, for his part, has been running a wall-to-wall campaign to win the 2018 George H.W. Bush Respect-A-Thon. Right now, Tapper is a strong frontrunner, having done multiple threads of quotes from Jon Meacham’s rose-tinted biography Destiny and Power and devoting several segments of his show to Bush’s legacy. The death of a U.S. president is newsworthy, sure. Tapper certainly is well within his journalistic rights to do a show examining the late president’s life. But such coverage in cable news and legacy media inevitably strays right into simpering hagiography for public figures who have long since waived their right to be only remembered for the Good Times. Plus, … [Read more...] about Who Will Win Cable News’ George H.W. Bush Respect-A-Thon?
Like the majority of Americans, I forget that Fox News still employs Shepard Smith most of the time, because I am usually doing things in the middle of the day that are not watching cable news. However, on the off chance that you are watching Fox News at 3 p.m. Eastern/ 12 p.m. Pacific, you will see Shep Smith doing his thing—which is mostly just frantically trying to undo all of the horrid, viral propaganda that everyone else on his network spews at every other hour of the day. Take today for example. During a segment about the current border crisis, Smith pointed out in an incredibly pained voice that the migrant caravan traveling toward the U.S. border is not a hostile invasion of criminals and terrorists. Tomorrow, the migrants, according to Fox News’ reporting, are more than two months away. If any of them actually come here. But tomorrow is one week before the midterm election, which is what all of this is about. There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. … [Read more...] about Fox News’ Token Non-Lunatic Shep Smith Says Reasonable Thing that No Will Listen To
NBC is the latest media giant launching a digital news network. The company, owned by Comcast, said Wednesday that it quietly launched the concept, called NBC News Signal, earlier this month with a weekly evening news program on Thursdays. Its goal is to make Signal a round-the-clock destination for original news programming in mid-2019. NBC follows rival TV giants CBS and Fox News with plans for a streaming news service. CBSN's round-the-clock digital news feed kicked off in 2014, and Fox Nation -- a digital subscription video service -- is expected to launch any day now. The paid supplement to its cable news network was planned to go live before the US midterm election on Nov. 6. (Editors' note: CNET is owned by CBS.)Described by NBC as "streaming news content for young adults," NBC News Signal is currently available on NBCNews.com, in the NBC News mobile and streaming apps, on PlutoTV and through YouTube and Twitter. Like CBSN, it's free with … [Read more...] about NBC to launch 24/7 news streaming service Signal next year
Just as dirty money can be laundered to appear legitimate, so too can dishonest propaganda messages be laundered to become news. It is the job of the media not to do that. We’re having some issues these days, though. A fair definition of news is: real things that really matter to a lot of people. In politics—a field that is all about gaining and wielding power—the real news is how that power will affect most people’s lives. Practically speaking that means: What will elected officials and the government do about climate change? About poverty? About taxes? About inequality? About housing? About racism? About education? About war and peace? News coverage of politics has public value to the extent that it can focus on these questions and avoid sinking into the quicksand of horse race journalism or—even worse—being used as a tool to lend respectability to disrespectable PR. Remember when the Bush administration carefully planted a story about … [Read more...] about The News Laundering Machine
Say what you like about today’s Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh—that they’re draining, that they reveal an endemic and institutional distrust in this country of women, that they put Ted Cruz’s depressing Droopy Dog face back on TV for yet another unnecessary minute—but at least they’re proving to be a remarkably efficient way of outing some of our society’s least subtle assholes. Case in point: Now-former Fox News commentator Kevin Jackson, who managed to successfully find the line that not even his employers would be willing to cross in regards to attacking women willing to stand up to powerful men, specifically with some of his Twitter commentary today about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. And while Jackson—also a radio host—didn’t manage to actually raise the bar for public misogyny with his comments about Ford (this is America, so that sucker is pretty god damn high as is) he did at least manage to … [Read more...] about Cable news commentator fired for being too gross, even for Fox News