No announcement yet.

Media Bias - 2016

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Media Bias - 2016

    Did away with their comments section to avoid bad news lol

    Stunned by Trump, the New York Times does some soul-searching

    The New York Times reports Donald Trump’s victory.
    Michael Cieply
    The Australian
    12:00AM November 14, 2016

    It’s been a moment for soul-searching, and to some extent repentance, at the New York Times. In much-discussed remarks to his own media columnist James Rutenberg, executive editor Dean Baquet offered a mea culpa for having missed the Donald Trump surprise, though he spoke less for the paper than for journalists in general. “We’ve got to do a much better job of being on the road, out in the country, talking to different kinds of people than we talk to — especially if you happen to be a New York-based news organisation — and remind ourselves that New York is not the real world,” Baquet said.

    Public editor Liz Spayd cut closer to the bone, as she marvelled at an election-night flip from an 84 per cent Clinton-to-win assessment by the paper’s elaborate data operation, to a 95 per cent likelihood for Trump just a few hours later.

    “As The Times begins a period of self-reflection, I hope its editors will think hard about the half of America the paper too seldom covers,” wrote Spayd.

    She continued: “The red state America campaign coverage that rang the loudest in news coverage grew out of Trump rallies, and it often amplified the voices of the most hateful. One especially compelling video produced with footage collected over months on the campaign trail, captured the ugly vitriol like few others. That’s important coverage. But it and pieces like it drowned out the kind of agenda-free, deep narratives that could have taken Times readers deeper into the lives and values of the people who just elected the next president.”

    This article was first published by Deadline Hollywood:

    Having left the Times on July 25, after almost 12 years as an editor and correspondent, I missed the main heat of the presidential campaign; so I can’t add a word to those self-assessments of the recent political coverage. But these recent mornings-after leave me with some hard-earned thoughts about the Times’ drift from its moorings in the nation at-large.

    For starters, it’s important to accept that the New York Times has always — or at least for many decades — been a far more editor-driven, and self-conscious, publication than many of those with which it competes. Historically, the Los Angeles Times, where I worked twice, for instance, was a reporter-driven, bottom-up newspaper. Most editors wanted to know, every day, before the first morning meeting: “What are you hearing? What have you got?”

    It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realise that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

    Reality usually had a way of intervening. But I knew one senior reporter who would play solitaire on his computer in the mornings, waiting for his editors to come through with marching orders. Once, in the Los Angeles bureau, I listened to a visiting National staff reporter tell a contact, more or less: “My editor needs someone to say such-and-such, could you say that?”

    The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper’s daily Page One meeting: “We set the agenda for the country in that room.”

    Having lived at one time or another in small-town Pennsylvania, some lower-rung Detroit suburbs, San Francisco, Oakland, Tulsa and, now, Santa Monica, I could only think, well, “Wow.” This is a very large country. I couldn’t even find a copy of the Times on a stop in college town Durham, N.C. To believe the national agenda was being set in a conference room in a headquarters on Manhattan’s Times Square required a very special mind-set indeed.

    Inside the Times building, then and now, a great deal of the conversation is about the Times. In any institution, shop-talk is inevitable. But the navel-gazing seemed more intense at the Times, where too many journalists spent too much time decoding the paper’s ways, and too little figuring out the world at large. I listened to one longtime editor explain over lunch, for instance, that everybody on the paper has an invisible rank that might or might not coincide with his or her apparent place in the hierarchy. “You might think I’m a captain,” he said, based on his position at the time in a slightly backwater department. But, he continued, “I’m actually a colonel, because of my experiences and influence here.”

    Fine. But what about the rest of the universe, that great wide world we were supposed to cover as journalists? As the years went by, it seemed to become more and more distant. One marker passed in the last decade, when the Wall Street Journal made a strategic move on the Times by strengthening its own New York City presence. The Times, by then firmly established as a national paper, went through a spasm of New York-centric thinking, mostly aimed at keeping the local print advertising base intact. Movie stories from far-away Los Angeles became harder to land; theatre reviews and elite arts coverage from New York flooded the culture pages.

    In theory, the great digital transition should have made it easier for those of us in the bureaus to penetrate the Times’ psyche. But somehow, it didn’t work that way. As quickly as the editorial staff was trimmed in years of successive buyouts and layoffs, it re-grew, largely with a new wave of digital workers, high and low. Many of them were based inside the new Eighth Ave. headquarters; and most seemed to spend much of the time talking about that perennially favourite subject, the New York Times, or buzzing in a digital hive on dozens of Slack channels. It took ever longer to get stories posted or published. More, the paper seemed to lose interest in much that was happening on the ground even in Los Angeles — New York’s palm tree-lined sister city — never mind those half-forgotten spots in Pennsylvania or Oklahoma.

    By last summer, a Los Angeles bureau that was built to house 13 had dwindled to four or five inhabitants. Visits by upper editors were rare or nonexistent. Los Angeles stories, especially about the entertainment business, were increasingly written by visiting New York staff members or freelance writers assigned by editors back in Manhattan. The drift was palpable — presumably not just here, but in that heavily populated heartland. And finally, as Spayd said, the paper seemed to lose touch with “the lives and the values of the people who just elected the next president.”

    This article was first published by Deadline Hollywood


    New York Times publisher vows to 'rededicate' paper to reporting honestly

    Published November 12, 2016

    The publisher of The New York Times penned a letter to readers Friday promising that the paper would “reflect” on its coverage of this year’s election while rededicating itself to reporting on “America and the world” honestly.

    Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., the paper’s embattled publisher, appealed to Times readers for their continued support.

    “We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our subscribers,” the letter states.

    New York Post columnist and former Times reporter Michael Goodwin wrote, "because it [The Times] demonized Trump from start to finish, it failed to realize he was onto something. And because the paper decided that Trump’s supporters were a rabble of racist rednecks and homophobes, it didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the lives of the Americans who elected the new president."

    Sulzberger's letter was released after the paper’s public editor, Liz Spayd, took the paper to task for its election coverage. She pointed out how its polling feature Upshot gave Hillary Clinton an 84 percent chance as voters went to the polls.

    She compared stories that the paper ran about President-elect Donald Trump and Clinton, where the paper made Clinton look functional and organized and the Trump campaign discombobulated.

    Spayd wrote, “Readers are sending letters of complaint at a rapid rate. Here’s one that summed up the feelings succinctly, from Kathleen Casey of Houston: “Now, that the world has been upended and you are all, to a person, in a state of surprise and shock, you may want to consider whether you should change your focus from telling the reader what and how to think, and instead devote yourselves to finding out what the reader (and nonreaders) actually think.”

    She wrote about another reader who asked that the paper should focus on the electorate instead of “pushing the limited agenda of your editors.”

    “Please come down from your New York City skyscraper and join the rest of us.”

    Sulzberger -- who insisted that the paper covered both candidates fairly -- also sent a note to staffers on Friday reminding the newsroom to “give the news impartially, without fear or favor.”

    “But we also approach the incoming Trump administration without bias,” he said.
    Last edited by troung; 13 Nov 16,, 22:38.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  • #2
    The Fourth Estate finally comes clean about their bias. Well, the NY Times anyway, and a few others.

    Others are more interested in finger-pointing and crying.
    "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig


    • #3
      Ha, don't even get me started. I watched Morning Joe the day after and they were all so serious about their failings. For a minute it looked like they might get it, but within five minutes it transpired they weren't sorry that they'd been biased, they were sorry their bias has falsely misled democrats into being complacent.
      In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



      • #4
        How Jon Stewart And ‘The Daily Show’ Elected Donald Trump

        Jon Stewart attacked a show featuring political debate and strengthened the world where cultural elites mock those with whom they disagree. Take a bow.

        By Mollie Hemingway
        November 11, 2016

        On October 15, 2004, the CNN program “Crossfire” altered its standard procedure of featuring two guests from different perspectives to have just one guest: Jon Stewart. The hosts welcomed him and encouraged him to promote his bestselling book “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction.”

        He immediately tore into the hosts for the way their show encouraged conflict. He complained that politicians can’t speak more freely because it’s impossible to survive a media environment where shows with titles like “Crossfire” or “Hardball” or “I’m Going To Kick Your Ass” will come after them. He said Crossfire in particular was “bad” and “hurting America.” “Stop. Stop hurting America” he said.

        He called the hosts hacks and dismissed the idea that he was sucking up to John Kerry when he asked him questions such as “How are you holding up?” and “Are these attacks fair to you?”

        Crossfire was canceled soon thereafter. Most people credit Stewart for not just killing the show, but bringing forth a new age of hyper-political, hyper-liberal late-night comedy. The news scene hasn’t changed altogether much since Stewart’s temper tantrum — except for featuring far less argument-sharpening debate and civil discourse than we had under “Crossfire” when Stewart went on his tear. “Crossfire” used to be one of the few places guests and hosts at least confronted conflicting views, including questions about perspectives and assumptions. It engaged the viewers, rather than ambushed or mocked them. It was also one of the few places on TV outside of Fox News where conservative views were given an audience.

        The decline of civil discourse didn’t just happen on cable news shows, thanks to Stewart. He also helped kill it on late-night comedy shows as well.

        Rise Of ‘The Daily Show’

        Jon Stewart took over “The Daily Show” in 1999, and during the eight years of the Bush presidency the “fake news” show grew into a powerhouse. A 2007 Pew Research Center poll named Stewart as America’s fourth most admired news anchor. The show won dozens of Emmys and multiple Peabody awards. The New York Times called Stewart “the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow.”

        In a gushing 2008 feature on the show in the New York Times (“Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America?“) Michiko Kakutani called it “both the smartest, funniest show on television and a provocative and substantive source of news.” She claimed the show was “animated not by partisanship but by a deep mistrust of all ideology. A sane voice in a noisy red-blue echo chamber.”

        She didn’t list any examples of the show going after Democrats, instead praising it for its handling of the “cherry-picking of prewar intelligence, the politicization of the Department of Justice and the efforts of the Bush White House to augment its executive power.” She quoted Stewart saying he looked forward to the end of the Bush administration “as a comedian, as a person, as a citizen, as a mammal.” He said that Bush “conducted things” with “true viciousness and contempt.” As a sane voice would put it.

        The show’s producers said they try to find stories that “make us angry in a whole new way.” Sometimes, to get the crowd properly whipped up, they had to slice and dice interviews to make targets seem like they had said the opposite of what they’d said. Sometimes Stewart just got angry at conservatives he’d invited on the show, particularly when they showed him up on his home court, as Clifford May, John Yoo, Jonah Goldberg, and various others did.

        Kakutani wrote that Stewart used different comedic approaches, but that he was “often” reacting to something “so absurd” that he didn’t say anything, just stared blankly with an expression of dismay. Who can forget the pencil tapping and the goofy exasperation Stewart perfected?

        Liberal Political Comedy Shows Expand

        At the time Stewart went on his “Crossfire” attack, he was preparing “Colbert Report,” a new “fake news show” that would have even less viewpoint diversity than his “Daily Show.” Bill Maher had already launched “Real Time with Bill Maher” a year prior, a weekly, hour-long liberal comedy show on HBO. “The Colbert Report” satirized conservative pundit shows. It “eviscerated” and “destroyed” conservatives until 2014, at which point Colbert was given the coveted “Late Show,” replacing David Letterman.

        Liberal “Saturday Night Live” alum Seth Meyers got his own NBC late-night show in 2014. John Oliver got his “Last Week Tonight” show on HBO that year, too. Liberal Trevor Noah was given “The Daily Show” slot last year. Larry Wilmore replaced Colbert, but his show was canceled in August. Samantha Bee, frustrated by the snub over at Comedy Central, launched her own political show on TBS. She and Oliver are the comedians most likely to be praised for “destroying” things.

        Thanks to Stewart, late-night shows are liberal political shows, with very few exceptions, and nearly all of the hosts are alums of “The Daily Show” or otherwise inspired by his faux-news mockery.

        Wilmore is enjoying success with his smart and funny new show “Insecure” on HBO. That’s good, since the comment the New York Times made of his canceled show was: “any one episode of ‘The Nightly Show’ could occasionally go for prolonged stretches without a single joke, something that intrigued some critics but failed to attract a broader audience.” He also bombed his White House Correspondents Dinner performance.

        But I’m not sure that is something to be ashamed of. Let’s remember back to 2011, when Meyers hosted it and spent much of the evening mocking Donald Trump:

        Obama and Meyers didn’t bomb. Far from it. But their cruel and dismissive mockery, which they both maintained through the bitter end of this election, doesn’t look so hot in retrospect.

        Absurdity is at the heart of comedy. Mockery can be a way to show that something or someone defies logic or is otherwise absurd. At its best, and at the beginning, prior to 2004, “The Daily Show” excelled at using mockery as part of its repertoire of comedy tricks. But different views than the elites’ aren’t automatically absurd. When the majority of opposing arguments are treated as absurd, the schtick wears thin.

        Unfortunately, mocking opponents and hyperbolic extremism are the only thing many comics can deploy. Early in “The Daily Show’s” run, Stewart invited conservatives on his show, debated them, and showed respect to a few of them. By the end, such treatment was rarer. The shows he spawned, particularly Bee’s and Oliver’s, are not about dialogue or debate. They lack the talent to engage opposing viewpoints even at the paltry level that Stewart did.

        Seriously, Where’s the Humor?

        The social justice televangelists dominating late night have trouble being funny. But even actual funny people have trouble being funny when politics get in the way. Stewart always put his clown nose on when confronted about his bias in handling the news. “I’m just a comedian!” he would cry. That worked better so long as he was being funny. As my better half wrote eight years ago in a piece headlined, “Memo to the Daily Show host: You’re a comedian!”

        As George W. Bush’s presidency wound down, it became obvious that a comedy crisis was looming. As you might recall, there was much media thumb-sucking over what America’s gag writers would do when they no longer had the tongue-tied Texan to kick around. To make matters worse for the comedy scribes, Bush’s eventual replacement was a well-spoken, walking civil-rights triumph who largely shared the entertainment industry’s liberal politics.

        In a New York Times article last year somewhat incredulously titled ‘Want Obama in a Punch Line? First, Find a Joke,’ the most influential political comedian in America admitted he was at a loss.

        ‘We’re carrion birds,’ Daily Show host Jon Stewart told the Times. ‘We’re sitting up there saying ‘Does he seem weak? Is he dehydrated yet? Let’s attack.’

        He never found it. Neither did his writers. Simply nothing compared to the unrelenting attacks he made night after night during the Bush administration. It was a bit sad, particularly after “The Daily Show,” “Saturday Night Live,” and a host of other comedy venues were able to find the humor in the Bush presidency.

        Sarah Silverman was widely praised for her attempt to bring Bernie Sanders supporters into the fold at the Democratic National Convention. She gave a speech that got interrupted by said supporters. She told them they were “being ridiculous.” Hillary supportive media loved it. They thought it was expertly delivered and perfectly deployed for the maximum effect. And maybe it was. But Dave Itzkoff had an article about it that included this interesting tidbit:

        Was there anything you wanted to do in your speech that the Democratic National Committee wouldn’t allow?

        At the very beginning, when Al said, ‘I’m Al Franken, and this past year I’ve been hashtag-I’m With Her,’ and I was going to say, ‘And I’m Sarah Silverman, and this past year I’ve been with the possibly agnostic Jew.’ Because you know the Right is going to use these emails to try to separate them. It’s what they want so badly. I just felt like, let the comedian defuse it and just address the elephant in the room. But they were like, no. And they are right. They’re right. But I get so indignant. At least I’m aware, and awareness brings change, so maybe I’ll be less obnoxious.

        No! She was right! It was a funny line and having a Jewish comedienne make the joke would have worked well. But putting politics about comedy at the expense of both is a great way to describe the last eight years.

        Earlier this year, late-night host Jimmy Fallon had Trump on his show for a pleasant chat. The Samantha Bee crowd flipped out. Her rant against Fallon treating Trump like a human being instead of mocking and disdaining him as the rest of the “comedy” crowd did on their late-night shows went viral. The elite publications such as the New York Times wrote up many stories on the matter. It was a big to-do.

        As my colleague Mary Katharine Ham said, “In 2008 and ’12, liberal comedians couldn’t be funny because Obama was too good— impervious to ridicule. In 2016, they can’t be funny because Donald Trump is too bad— inappropriate to ridicule. Makes one wonder when they can be funny.”

        Ross Douthat wrote presciently that Clinton had a Samantha Bee problem:

        On late-night television, it was once understood that David Letterman was beloved by coastal liberals and Jay Leno more of a Middle American taste. But neither man was prone to delivering hectoring monologues in the style of the ‘Daily Show’ alums who now dominate late night. Fallon’s apolitical shtick increasingly makes him an outlier among his peers, many of whom are less comics than propagandists — liberal “explanatory journalists” with laugh lines.

        Some of them have better lines than others, and some joke more or hector less. But to flip from Stephen Colbert’s winsome liberalism to Seth Meyers’s class-clown liberalism to Bee’s bluestocking feminism to John Oliver’s and Trevor Noah’s lectures on American benightedness is to enter an echo chamber from which the imagination struggles to escape.

        Watch Bee “explain” why she’s “voting for Hillary G-dd-mn brilliant badass queen Beyonce Rodham” and tell me who in the world it’s designed to speak to other than political ideologues committed to the rightness of their cause but needing a desperate bolster.

        Liberals very much like their comedians and their mocking. For others, the Bee sketch above is painful. It will make you question your belief that whatever else you want to say about them, Canadians are a funny people.

        Even Attack Humor Requires Understanding

        As late-night comics have dropped comedy for advocacy, critics have widely praised the move. Itzkoff was extremely defensive of Bee when she got mad at Fallon for treating Trump civilly. Alison Herman wrote at The Ringer of shows such as Bee’s:

        There’s no line between the shows’ comedy and their advocacy; they’re one and the same. In a sense, they’ve moved past parodying the talking heads who have so warped our public discourse, in the vein of Stewart and Colbert, and fashioned themselves as an alternative to them. In September, Ross Douthat attempted to lay the blame for our polarized media landscape at Bee and Oliver’s feet. The truth is that things had fractured long before Bee and Oliver claimed their small pieces of the pie. They’ve simply given up on countering bad-faith partisanship with even-tempered civility and given a voice to a niche of their own.

        In other words, the faux-civility of faux-news Stewart wasn’t even something he could pull off. Why bother pretending it was real? Herman said of Colbert, “He also managed to use his new format to do what a rigidly maintained persona could not: wear his anger on his sleeve, weaponizing the sincerity previously hidden behind his character’s mask.”

        Of Meyers, she wrote, “[T]he big shift was in the openly appalled tone Meyers took toward the election, and in his willingness to branch out from an endless stream of coy one-liners into the openly prescriptive. (On Trump’s attempt to blame Hillary for birtherism: ‘You don’t get to peddle racist rhetoric for five years and decide when it’s over,’ he said. No punch line necessary.)”

        Except that punch lines are necessary for comedy! Comedy is effective, even as political action, because it reveals truths, not force-feeds them. You lead the horse to water, you don’t shove his head into the lake and drown him. Effective comedians help people make connections in their own minds. People are persuaded when they are able to come to their own conclusion, not when they’re told by some shrill harpy or hectoring preacher that they’re a shitbag for voting for Trump.

        Colbert hosted an election-night show on Showtime. According to Itzkoff’s must-read review, it sounds like he forgot to put the fun in funereal. For instance:

        When [journalist Mark] Halperin said that Mr. Trump was ‘now on the doorstep of 270 electoral votes,’ Mr. Colbert answered: ‘Wow. That’s a horrifying prospect. I can’t put a happy face on that, and that’s my job.’ Mr. Halperin added, ‘Outside of the Civil War, World War II and including 9/11, this may be the most cataclysmic event the country’s ever seen.’ Mr. Colbert replied: ‘Um. Well. We’ll be right back after this message from Calgon.’ Few if any laughs were heard.

        Laura Benanti bombed her Melania impression and apologized on Twitter later saying she knew she wasn’t funny and she wouldn’t have done the show if she’d anticipated the outcome. It got worse:

        But a panel discussion that followed — with Mr. Colbert, Mr. Heilemann, the radio host Charlamagne tha God and the stand-up comedian Jena Friedman — felt thoroughly uncomfortable. ‘Anything that you want to tell us about how you’re feeling right now?’ Mr. Colbert asked Ms. Friedman. She answered, ‘I feel as if I’m about to give birth to a baby that’s already dead.’ Mr. Heilemann said he had nothing to offer that would make anyone feel better, noting that a New York Times forecast said it was 95 percent certain that Mr. Trump would win. ‘Wow, no one’s laughing,’ Ms. Friedman said. ‘This is so sad and scary.’ Mr. Colbert tried to be encouraging, saying: ‘It’s still America. It’s still a great country.’

        Oh dear. It’s funny, but only because it’s so unintentional. His freakouts spilled out everywhere. You can see him ask “What the f*ck is happening?” and ask God how he could let this happen. You can also watch Meyers get emotional.

        David Sims at The Atlantic loved that performance:

        He was at once sharply funny and nakedly emotional. He made an effort to speak to Trump supporters without seeming entirely condescending. He acknowledged that in his position as a well-off white guy, his anguish at the electoral result was not the only perspective required on the night. He told jokes, of course, but with the awareness that jokes alone won’t be what his audience needs going forward.

        Listen, it was the least bad thing I’ve seen from Meyers in ages. But do people have any idea how it comes off to those outside of a liberal echo chamber?

        Trump Should Be Good For Comedy. Will He Be?

        If comedians couldn’t be funny under Obama but could be funny under Bush, you’d think they’d love a President Trump. A young comic I really like tweeted this last month:

        Bee, whose preachy moralism is predicated on cartoonish villains to slay, should know this is the best thing to happen in her life. But she also said that it’s hard to write jokes about Trump.

        Clearly it is, for these women and for everyone else in comedy. To make jokes about things, you have to understand them a little bit. As these post-election freakouts confirm the reality that led to the election, these comedians don’t understand Trump or his voters at all. Until they do, the comedy will suffer.

        Yes, there will long be an audience for elite crowds in urban centers to have their viewpoints affirmed. There’s plenty of money to be made in making cultural elites feel morally superior. You don’t have to understand Trump or his supporters to make money and continue having the right people tell you that you are awesome. In fact, the less you know about them and more you mischaracterize them and their views, the better it is for your niche domination.

        At the same time, this echo chamber of smuggery isn’t helping Americans have shared cultural goals, much less an ability to work together to achieve them.

        Jon Stewart is known for brutally deriding a show that featured people of differing views civilly discussing issues of the day. He got that show killed and significantly strengthened the world where cultural elites engaged in groupthink mockery of those with whom they disagree.

        The results include a further erosion of civility, a decrease in Americans’ ability to understand each other and their concerns, and, of all things, President-elect Donald Trump. Should late-night political comedy continue in its path, who knows what the future holds.

        Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway

        For Stephen Colbert, a Very Uncomfortable Election Night
        By DAVE ITZKOFFNOV. 9, 2016

        Stephen Colbert and his guests were buffeted throughout his Showtime election-night special on Tuesday by the growing realization that Donald J. Trump would win the White House. Credit Scott Kowalchyk/Showtime

        Presumably, when it was announced over the summer that Stephen Colbert was planning a special, live election-night broadcast on Showtime, the expectation was that he would riff on a once-in-a-lifetime political event, as momentous as anything he regularly satirizes as host of “The Late Show” on CBS.

        There can be no disputing that the special, called partly “Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale,” was unique, but surely not in the way the politically liberal Mr. Colbert, his guests or his audience had expected. With pre-election polls suggesting a Hillary Clinton victory, Mr. Colbert and his guests were buffeted throughout the broadcast by the growing realization that Donald J. Trump had won the presidency. No entertainer could have managed this task easily; the night had a nervous energy that made it compelling, surreal and sometimes difficult to watch as it unfolded.

        An Ominous Opening

        Mr. Colbert’s special began with a dark animated sequence in which a seething cartoon version of Mr. Trump reflected angrily on his humiliation by President Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, and the cold, competitive attitude of his father, Fred Trump. Against the backdrop of a stormy night at Trump Tower, he contrives to run for the White House.

        Mr. Colbert then took the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater to deliver a monologue that tried to wink at the possibility of a Trump victory. “You don’t need to stand for me,” he said. “You don’t need to chant my name. America doesn’t have dictators — yet.” (The audience members, whose phones he said had been taken away for the live broadcast, tittered uneasily.) He said a swear word to show he could do it on cable television and announced Marco Rubio’s re-election to the United States Senate, with the help of a nearly nude male model who had the news written on an index card taped to his crotch.

        Clouds on the Horizon

        Mr. Colbert told his viewers that the presidential race was too close to call, and that news organizations were exercising caution in declaring the race over. (He then showed a famous image of Harry S. Truman holding up a copy of The Chicago Daily Tribune, digitally replacing the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline with “Election Defeats America.”) From his desk, Mr. Colbert joked about some of Mr. Trump’s more far-fetched paths to victory, should he lose states like Florida or North Carolina, and his studio audience groaned when he told it that Mr. Trump had won Ohio. When Mr. Colbert introduced what looked like a live interview with Nate Silver, the editor in chief of the data journalism site, it turned out, somewhat portentously for anyone looking for real-time information, that Mr. Silver’s cameo had been taped several days earlier.

        A Cold Dose of Reality

        During a live conversation with Mr. Colbert, the journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin revealed that Mr. Trump had gone from underdog to front-runner, to the audible dismay of the audience. In addition to winning Ohio, the journalists said, Mr. Trump was also likely to win Florida and was leading in Wisconsin and Michigan. Mr. Colbert tried to inject some levity into the conversation — “Were there crazier moments than what’s happening right now? Or is this just the ultimate fruit of the crazy tree?” — but could not deny the new reality.

        When Mr. Halperin said that Mr. Trump was “now on the doorstep of 270 electoral votes,” Mr. Colbert answered: “Wow. That’s a horrifying prospect. I can’t put a happy face on that, and that’s my job.” Mr. Halperin added, “Outside of the Civil War, World War II and including 9/11, this may be the most cataclysmic event the country’s ever seen.” Mr. Colbert replied: “Um. Well. We’ll be right back after this message from Calgon.” Few if any laughs were heard.

        Guests, Unguarded

        Laura Benanti, the Broadway star, reprised her “Late Show” role as Melania Trump, preening in a mock interview with Mr. Colbert. (“Melania, are you O.K.?” he asked. “You look like you might cry.” She said: “Oh, no, Stephen, that is impossible. I had my tear ducts removed years ago.”) On Wednesday, Ms. Benanti posted on Twitter, “People saying the Melania sketch wasn’t funny last night…I know. I’m so sorry. If I had anticipated this outcome I wouldn’t have done it.”

        Jeff Goldblum, the pleasantly discombobulated actor, seemed more out of sorts than usual; he acknowledged that he was in shock at the election results, as Mr. Colbert piled on, somewhat maniacally, the names of more states Mr. Trump had won. Mr. Goldblum tried to be positive: “It’s the journey that counts, and how we collaborate with each other, to each other’s mutual benefit, that counts.” He then sang a portion of “It Goes Like It Goes,” from the film “Norma Rae”:

        “So it goes like it goes, like the river flows
        And time it rolls right on
        And maybe what’s good gets a little bit better
        And maybe what’s bad gets gone.”

        But a panel discussion that followed — with Mr. Colbert, Mr. Heilemann, the radio host Charlamagne tha God and the stand-up comedian Jena Friedman — felt thoroughly uncomfortable. “Anything that you want to tell us about how you’re feeling right now?” Mr. Colbert asked Ms. Friedman. She answered, “I feel as if I’m about to give birth to a baby that’s already dead.” Mr. Heilemann said he had nothing to offer that would make anyone feel better, noting that a New York Times forecast said it was 95 percent certain that Mr. Trump would win. “Wow, no one’s laughing,” Ms. Friedman said. “This is so sad and scary.” Mr. Colbert tried to be encouraging, saying: “It’s still America. It’s still a great country.”

        Colbert’s Final Pitch

        Mr. Colbert showed a photograph of the middle school where he had voted that day. “Regardless of the outcome of the election, this is still a beautiful place and a beautiful thing that happened today,” he said. Then, returning to his desk, he gave a seemingly extemporaneous monologue, veering from gallows humor to sentimentality, full of awkward pauses and deep breaths. “How did our politics get so poisonous?” he asked. Maybe we overdosed, he suggested. “We drank too much of the poison.”

        Noting that his own mother was born two days before women could vote in their first American presidential election, Mr. Colbert said: “I was thinking this was going to be the time that she got what she wanted. She told me, at age 92, right before she died, ‘Oh, I think I would vote for Hillary this time.’” He tossed out a few truisms that he said all Americans should agree with: “KitKats should be eaten in segments, not bitten into like a normal candy bar, you animal.” “There are too many Portlands.” Then Mr. Colbert closed by singing, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” It was difficult to tell whether his audience was singing along.
        Last edited by TopHatter; 15 Nov 16,, 18:23.
        To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


        • #5
          Had Trump lost there would not be the pretense of "soul searching"
          A message to red-state Trump voters: I want MY country back

          Real beneficiaries of the Trump presidency will not be the working class.

          By David Horsey

          November 11, 2016, 5:00 AM

          I’m sure thousands of bottles of Budweiser will be raised tonight in those white, working-class neighborhoods of the upper Midwest that put Donald Trump over the top in the electoral college. You folks should enjoy your moment and don’t trouble yourselves with the thought that plenty of celebratory champagne is being poured in corporate board rooms, country clubs and in the spacious mansions of hedge fund managers.
          Thanks to your votes, Mr. and Mrs. White Working Class, all those rich people will soon get a massive tax cut and relief from the environmental regulations that have kept them from polluting your air and water and from the financial oversight that has restrained them from milking every last penny from their employees and the victims of their big-money schemes.

          Yes, congratulations. At the same moment you elected a billionaire who claimed he would drain the special interest “swamp” in Washington, you kept in power insiders such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the biggest snakes in the swamp, plus all the other Republicans in Congress who have fought to keep the mighty flow of corporate dollars streaming in.

          You think you have struck a blow against the “elites” on the coasts who look down on “real Americans” in the heartland. You say you have been forgotten or misunderstood by the powers that be. That may be true. But I must say that those of you who act as if you are the only ones in the country who work hard, care for your families and love your country are pretty damn elitist, as well.

          I look around at my friends and neighbors here on the West Coast and I see lots of patriotic people who put in long hours of labor to put food on the table and put their kids through school.

          There is Keith, a guy with whom I recently got acquainted when we discovered our common affinity for good drinks, good ribs and good jazz. Keith is a muscular black man who would likely be subject to unfair and unfriendly scrutiny from the local sheriff if he showed up in a small Midwestern town, but forget the stereotype. Keith had a career in the Marines before taking a job managing security for Hollywood celebrities. In his free time, he works to help the homeless in downtown Los Angeles.

          There is the Korean family that runs the laundry down the street from my apartment who never seem to take a vacation or even a day off. There are the Latino men I see laboring every day in the Southern California heat cutting lawns and repairing houses. There are the men of every race I pass by on my way to work who are hauling steel, handling jackhammers, driving trucks and raising girders as they build new subway lines and raise up towering skyscrapers.

          And there are my colleagues in the newsroom, both the seasoned veterans of the news business and the charged-up millennials. There’s nothing elite about them, unless being able to spell and use proper grammar are now elite attributes. The men and women around me are working harder than ever for wages that are not rising in an industry threatened by rapid change. Sound familiar?

          Most of us here do not live in Beverly Hills. We live in more modest places such as Pasadena, East Los Angeles, Inglewood and Long Beach. Of course, the working class here is a lot more brown than where you might live. They sweat just as hard, though, and put in long hours just like you — maybe longer, and maybe for less money. But you have not done them a favor by electing a guy who threatens to start a trade war based on an illusion. The illusion is that if America cuts itself off from the global market, all those manufacturing jobs your fathers once had will come flooding back. It won’t happen. The robots have taken over the assembly lines. But what a disruption in trade would do is shut down the West Coast ports and, according to expert estimates, kill more than 600,000 working-class jobs in California.

          I know you didn’t think about that sort of effect when you cast your protest vote to Make America Great Again, but what exactly were you thinking? Whenever one of you was interviewed by a TV reporter all I heard was you parroting the vague generalities being spouted by your candidate: America doesn’t win anymore; we need a wall to keep out immigrants; political correctness sucks.

          I didn’t hear any of you say you were happy with the longer droughts, bigger storms and more vicious wildfires that are devastating farms, ranches and rural communities. But your new president has promised to rip up the international treaty that might mitigate some of the extreme weather caused by climate change.

          I didn’t hear any of you say you were tired of the peace and order created by the NATO alliance and would rather have a cozier relationship with the Russians. But you just elected a man who has denigrated NATO and has warm and fuzzy feelings about Vladimir Putin.

          I did hear plenty of you say you hated big government, but is that because you are someone who got fined by the EPA because your industrial plant was poisoning a river? Or because you are a rancher who doesn’t want to pay grazing fees when you exploit publicly owned land? Or because you are a farmer who doesn’t want to admit that government price supports are what keep your business viable?

          Does your hatred of government mean you voted for more pollution? With your vote, were you demanding that big banks be set free to run the economy into the ground? Were you eager for less consumer protection? Did you insist that more of the tax burden be put on average Americans and less of it on the super-rich? I hope those are the things you wanted because that is what you will get from a Republican Congress and a Republican president.

          Do I sound angry? That is because I am. I’m mad because your misguided hissy fit is messing with the country I love. I am as much a patriot as you are. I choke up when I visit the Lincoln Memorial or the graves of the Kennedys. I love the flag and do not cringe from the Pledge of Allegiance. When I ride a horse across open country, I feel a link with all my ancestors — the first of whom arrived on the Maryland shore in the 1640s. Those family members who came before me slowly made their way West, generation after generation, until they finally found a home within sight of the Pacific. I am about as “real” an American as you can get.

          But I am fed up with those of you who think there is only one way to be American. Some of the truest Americans I have met are among those whose ancestors came here in slave ships. Some of the Americans who give me the most hope are the children of parents who slipped across the border in search of a better life; young dreamers working hard for an education and a chance to contribute to our society. Some of the Americans I admire the most are like my friend Jack who left the narrow-mindedness of his home state and came West to Los Angeles, where he met and married the man he loved. America is great because it has room for all these people and more.

          If, ultimately, the real reason you voted for Trump was because he promised to start shutting doors that have been opened for people who do not fit a narrow definition of American, you should understand you are in for a fight. It’s now my turn to say it: I want my country back.

          Journalist made a black friend...
          Last edited by troung; 15 Nov 16,, 22:11.
          To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


          • #6
            The real threat is fake news spread to stir the masses against their rightful leaders.
            Here's a List of Fake, Misleading, and Satirical News Sites to Beware Of
            Elizabeth King
            By Elizabeth King

            Elizabeth is a writer based in Chicago, IL. Follow her on Twitter @ekingc.
            Nov 15, 2016

            Pretty much everyone should (hopefully) be aware that The Onion is a satirical newspaper at this point. But what about other sites that seem legitimate, or even pretend to be legitimate, but are just cranking out fake news for clicks? To help guide internet users through a vast sea of fake or clickbait-y news sites, Merrimack College communication and media professor Melissa Zimdars has compiled a thorough list of fake, misleading, and satirical news sites. You can read the list in full here.

            13 Troubling Headlines From Breitbart, the Site Run By Trump's Top Adviser
            White Nationalists Thrilled at Trump's Choice for Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor
            Video: Here Is The Onion's First TED Talk Parody

            In her introduction to the list, Zimdars writes, "Below is a list of fake, false, regularly misleading, and/or otherwise questionable “news” organizations, as well as organizations that regularly use clickbait-y headlines and descriptions, that are commonly shared on Facebook and other social media sites. Many of these websites rely on 'outrage' by using distorted headlines and de-contextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits."

            The list includes far right sources such as Breitbart (whose former executive chairman, Stephen Bannon has been tapped by president elect Donald Trump to serve as his chief strategist), Infowars, and Red State, as well as intentionally satirical and comedic sites like The Onion, Reductress, and Cracked.

            Here are some of the more frequent offenders you may have seen on your feed:

            The Blaze
            Crooks and Liars
            Daily Wire
            The Free Thought Project
            The Independent Journal Review
            Occupy Democrats

            Noting that some might disagree with Zimdars' decision to include satirical sites on the list, she directs readers to the site Literally Unbelievable, which catalogs instances where readers react to satirical news or headlines, not realizing that the stories are fictional.

            Zimdars also included media literacy tips to help readers determine quickly whether or not a site is the real deal, or if they're just trafficking in fake facts and outrage. Among other ideas, Zimdars says not to trust sites with the word "lo" (e.g. Newslo) in their names, and also to be wary of sites that end in "" Zimdars also advises readers to check multiple mainstream news sources to see if the same story and facts are published there, especially if a story makes a reader feel "really angry."

            Publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and public radio station NPR are sources that Zimdars says she reads and trusts. Overall, Zimdars writes, "The best thing to do in our contemporary media environment is to read/watch/listen widely and often, and to be critical of the sources we share and engage with on social media." Read the full list of offender sites here.
            \The Real Problem Behind the Fake News
            Facebook is under fire for spreading falsehoods. But it’s getting away with a bigger lie.
            By Will Oremus
            Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
            Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a town hall at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, in 2015.

            Stephen Lam/Reuters

            In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president, Facebook has taken justifiable heat for its role in spreading misinformation and propaganda about the candidates. In particular, its news feed algorithm fueled a cottage industry of fake and intentionally misleading “news” that skewed heavily anti–Hillary Clinton and pro-Trump, according to a BuzzFeed analysis. These falsehoods attracted far more user engagement, on average, than true stories from the same outlets and drowned out earnest attempts by dedicated fact-checking sites such as Snopes to debunk them.
            Will Oremus Will Oremus

            Will Oremus is Slate’s senior technology writer. Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

            This should not surprise anyone who understands how Facebook works. People tend to read, like, and share stories that appeal to their emotions and play to their existing beliefs. Without robust countervailing forces favoring credibility and accuracy, Facebook’s news feed algorithm is bound to spread lies, especially those that serve to bolster people’s preconceived biases. And these falsehoods are bound to influence people’s thinking.

            And yet, in the days following the election, as criticisms of the company mounted, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg downplayed and denied the issue—a defensiveness that says even more about the company than the fake news scandal itself. Zuckerberg’s response points to a problem deeper than any bogus story, one that won’t be fixed by cutting some shady websites out of its advertising network. The problem is Facebook’s refusal to own up to its increasingly dominant role in the news media. It’s one that is unlikely to go away, even if the fake news does.

            In a public interview last Thursday, Zuckerberg claimed that fake news on Facebook “surely had no impact” on the election and that to suggest otherwise was “a pretty crazy idea.” He accused Facebook critics of condescension for assuming that voters could be influenced by falsehoods and dismissed the notion that one side could have shared more fake news than the other. (There is evidence that it did.) As criticism intensified, he followed up with a personal Facebook post on Saturday, which struck a more conciliatory tone but still rejected the notion that fake news had an impact. He noted that Facebook already allows users to flag hoaxes and fake news and added that “we will continue to work on this to improve further.” At the same time, he cautioned that Facebook had to “proceed very carefully,” because “identifying the ‘truth’ is complicated.”

            Yes, the truth is complicated, and Facebook should proceed carefully. But there is a growing sense, both inside and outside the company, that it may be proceeding rather too carefully, given its increasingly dominant role in the distribution of news online. And Zuckerberg’s denials seem to be fanning the flames.

            Over the weekend, some highly placed, anonymous Facebook employees told the New York Times that they’ve been questioning the company’s role in the campaign. Five more anonymous employees told BuzzFeed on Monday that they and dozens of others within Facebook have formed a secret “task force” to advocate for stronger action against fake news. Meanwhile, a top Clinton strategist told Politico that Democratic leaders are looking for ways to get Facebook to address the problem. And Gizmodo reported, citing an anonymous source, that Facebook considered a tougher move against fake news this summer but held off out of fear of upsetting conservatives. Facebook disputed that, telling me it did no such thing and providing an alternative explanation for its tweaks to the news feed over the summer. (This puts Facebook in the ironic position of arguing that Gizmodo’s post is itself a false news story of sorts.)
            Get Slate in your inbox.

            Finally, on Monday night, the company took a concrete step. Following the lead of Google, which made a similar move earlier in the day, Facebook announced that it will ban fake news sites from using its advertising network. It’s a fine start. It is not nearly enough.

            The furor over fake news is warranted. Fabricated stories about the pope endorsing Trump or an FBI agent getting murdered for leaking Clinton’s emails may have composed a small fraction of all the political content shared on Facebook. (Zuckerberg declared, without sharing any evidence, that more than 99 percent of Facebook content is “authentic.”) But they and others like them were so widely shared—nearly 1 million times in the case of the bogus pope endorsement—that it’s easy to imagine they played a role in at least some voters’ thinking. By contrast, a major investigative scoop from the New York Times about Trump’s tax returns was shared fewer than 200,000 times. The presence of fake news side by side with real news, in identical format, contributes to a sense that anything you read in the news feed could just as well be true as entirely made up.

            Yet in the long run, fake news on Facebook may prove to be a relatively short-lived concern compared with the deeper fault line that the tremors have exposed. It reveals a company increasingly torn between its self-conception as a neutral technology platform and its undeniable influence on the creation, distribution, and consumption of news and other media. And it’s left Zuckerberg, one of the world’s most powerful executives, struggling to keep control of his company and the story it tells about itself.

            He’s right, by the way, to be wary of casting Facebook in the role of arbiter of journalistic credibility. A news feed that’s a messy free-for-all is probably preferable to one in which only Facebook-approved sources can be heard. So let’s grant that it would be impossible for Facebook to stamp out all falsehoods in its network and perhaps even dangerous for it to even try, were it to cast too expansive a net. Even so, the existence of Macedonian click-farms dedicated to churning out fake news stories for profit is a clear sign that Facebook could be doing more to address the small fraction of content that is obviously bogus. Even Zuckerberg admits this.

            What was odd about Zuckerberg’s response to the fake news problem was how adamant he seemed that it had no impact. Facebook’s whole premise as a business is that what people read in their news feeds can influence their decisions—otherwise, there would be little point in advertising there. And Zuckerberg has been more than happy to trumpet the company’s estimate that it encouraged 2 million people who might have otherwise stayed home to vote. Yet he wants us to believe that fake news stories played no role at all.

            If Gizmodo’s report is accurate, it would cast Zuckerberg’s pooh-poohing of the fake news problem in an ugly new light. It would suggest that the company knew fake news was helping one political party more than the other and that it declined to take action for that very reason. It would imply that Zuckerberg isn’t just in denial—he’s flat-out lying.

            But there’s another explanation for his defiant stance that doesn’t rely on speculation (or single anonymous sources). It’s that Zuckerberg is so loath to take responsibility for the content that appears on Facebook—so reluctant to be weighed down by its baggage, even as he runs the conveyor belt—that he’d rather deny its effects than grapple with its causes.

            That’s consistent with Zuckerberg’s approach to other deeper questions about Facebook’s role in the media, including the charge that it insulates users in ideological bubbles by reinforcing what they already believe. “All the research we have suggests that this isn’t really a problem,” Zuckerberg said on Thursday, citing a Facebook-funded 2015 study that has been criticized as misleading. The data showed that Facebook does in fact expose users primarily to political content that conforms to their partisan identifications. But the study concluded, a little defensively, that this problem was insignificant compared with the problem of users’ own choices as to which sort of content to engage with. As Jefferson Pooley pointed out in Slate, it’s impossible to reproduce Facebook’s findings, because the company won’t let independent researchers see its data.

            Dubious as the study’s conclusions are, it seems to have convinced Zuckerberg beyond a doubt that Facebook doesn’t have a filter-bubble problem. That’s convenient for Facebook, since addressing such an issue would require rethinking the fundamental structure of its algorithm and user experience. Evidently Facebook’s users are not the only ones subject to confirmation bias and epistemic closure.

            There is an even more subtle and insidious effect of Facebook’s algorithm that has gone almost unmentioned in this saga. It’s the incentive Facebook creates for the media—both the hoax-disseminating media and the truth-telling one—to write and frame stories in ways that are geared to generate likes, clicks, and shares among the social network’s users. The illusion that Facebook is a neutral platform should have been shattered long ago by the obvious ways it has warped online news coverage, from the manipulative headlines to the feeding frenzies over sensational stories and anecdotes that are too good to check. If you were trying to design a media diet that could help give rise to something like the Trump phenomenon, you could hardly do better than 24-hour cable news and the Facebook news feed. To its credit, Facebook has acknowledged the problems of clickbait and likebait and made real efforts to mitigate its own perverse incentives. But even as Zuckerberg has repeatedly addressed the issue of fake news, he has evinced no awareness of the other ways Facebook might have disrupted political coverage for the worse.

            Drill down into Facebook’s reasons for insisting that it isn’t a media company, and you’ll hit layer upon layer of denial.

            Finally, there’s Zuckerberg’s oft-criticized denial that Facebook is a media company. “It’s a technology company,” he says, as if that settles it. There are valid arguments on both sides, and no doubt the company has its feet in both sectors. It would be eminently reasonable for Facebook to admit that it is a media company in some key respects but not in others. But Zuckerberg denies even that. To him, there is no argument.

            Drill down into Facebook’s reasons for insisting that it isn’t a media company, and you’ll hit layer upon layer of denial. It denies that it’s a media company because that allows it to further deny that Facebook shapes not only how the news is distributed, but how it is reported, framed, discussed, and perceived. That in turn allows it to deny that its humans or algorithms might exhibit any bias that could warp the news for better or worse or favor one set of interests over another. If Facebook is a neutral platform, as it insists, then it can deny any responsibility for how people use it, any responsibility for what they post or share, any responsibility to ensure the accuracy or fairness or journalistic virtue of whatever news might circulate on it.

            The ultimate denial, and the underlying purpose of it all, is to deny the very possibility of any tension between Facebook’s own interests and the interests of society. Facebook, by Zuckerberg’s lights, is simply a powerful tool for making the world more open and connected. And if that means Trump is elected U.S. president, there must have been good reasons for his election that had nothing to do with Facebook. Or, in Zuckerberg’s words, “voters make decisions based on their lived experience”—as if Facebook weren’t a part of that, as if its $335 billion market value weren’t a function of the incredible degree to which it has managed to ingratiate itself into people’s daily lives, as if our online and offline lives weren’t now irrevocably intertwined.

            Either the internal contradiction of Zuckerberg’s position is lost on him or, more likely, he recognizes it but refuses to acknowledge it. His discretion makes sense, from a business perspective if not a moral one, if he believes that confronting Facebook’s impact on politics would require changes that would hurt the company’s bottom line. But coming from a figure who preaches the gospel of openness, it’s baffling.

            It now seems, however, that Zuckerberg has lost the faith of some of his own employees on this issue. Facebook has rarely been a leaky company in the past. But the leaks started with its bungling of the trending news controversy, and they’ve resurfaced around the fake news debate. Facebook’s move on Monday to cut off advertising to fake news sites feels like an acknowledgement from the top that outright denial is no longer tenable.

            The question now is how far Facebook will go to placate its critics. The last time it faced an uproar over its influence on U.S. politics—the overblown controversy involving its trending news section—it grossly overreacted and made everything worse. That seems less likely this time, especially since the news feed is a far more precious product to the company.

            Top Comment

            As long as they keep posting the real stuff we'll be fine, like the "78 Cancers that Can Be Cured with Cannabis Oil" etc More...

            Join In

            What’s more likely is that Facebook will seek to isolate and defuse the fake news issue while preserving its claim to be a neutral technology platform. As John Herrman pointed out in the New York Times last week, Facebook may already be evolving in ways that render the current controversy largely irrelevant. For instance, it has been partnering with prestigious media outlets to produce video content, broadcast live videos, and publish glossy “instant articles” within the news feed itself. It’s using the power of its algorithm to prioritize those forms over others, including links to news stories from publishers around the web. It’s conceivable that Facebook will end up drowning out most fake news, along with a lot of legitimate content from second- and third-tier web publishers, without having to police it any more actively than it already does.

            Those clamoring for Facebook to fix its fake news problem should be careful what they wish for. They might find in a few years that the fake news is gone—but the filter bubbles, the perverse incentives, and Facebook’s pretense to algorithmic neutrality remain.
            To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


            • #7
              Originally posted by troung View Post
              Had Trump lost there would not be the pretense of "soul searching"

              Journalist made a black friend...
              Bigoted, hypocrite douche throws tantrum, as if his supposed midwest target audience gives a shit about the opinion section of the LA Times. LOL.


              • #8
                To be fair there was the odd voice, pre-election in this case

                This Election Has Disgraced the Entire Profession of Journalism

                There’s nothing secret about the media’s anti-Trump stance. A formal declaration of war was launched on August 7, when Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times media columnist, wrote a story under the headline, “Trump Is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism.” Rutenberg wrote that journalists were in a terrible bind trying to stay objective because Trump, among other things, “cozies up to anti-American dictators,” has “put financial conditions on the United States defense of NATO allies,” and that his foreign policy views “break with decades-old …consensus.”

                Rutenberg made clear that he and other reporters viewed “a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous,” which required them to report on him with a particularly critical point of view. This, he said, would make journalists “move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional,” which would be “uncomfortable and uncharted territory.”

                There are so many things wrong with all this that it’s hard to know where to start. Rutenberg’s comment about dictators was clearly a reference to Vladimir Putin, who is an authoritarian leader who Trump, to his shame, admires. However, Russia is not the world’s worst dictatorship — and has been far more effective at fighting ISIS than the Obama administration — and Hillary’s cordial relationship with the Saudi regime, to cite just one example, seems far more dangerous. But rethinking “the alliances that have guided our foreign policy for 60 years” — the alliances that have resulted in non-stop war since 9/11 and the U.S.’s current involvement in seven overseas conflicts — is not an acceptable position for a presidential candidate in Rutenberg’s view.

                Furthermore, how is it that the media has derogated to itself the right to decide what candidates deserve special scrutiny and what policies are acceptable? In a democracy, that is supposed to be the voters’ job.

                And worst of all is Rutenberg’s statement about the role of journalists. “All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed,” I.F. Stone once wrote. “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations,” said George Orwell. For those two self-evident reasons, being “oppositional” is the only place political journalists should ever be, no matter who is in power or who is campaigning.

                Much more
                In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                • #9
                  Of course those few who did speak out, got fired. And/or death threats.
                  In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                  • #10
                    being “oppositional” is the only place political journalists should ever be, no matter who is in power or who is campaigning.
                    Unless of course its a liberal in power...then you give them a huge pass on pretty much everything.
                    "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                      Unless of course its a liberal in power...then you give them a huge pass on pretty much everything.
                      Never mind. You have 4 years of the Govt. being held to account for every action both real and imagined, just the way it should be :-)
                      In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                        Never mind. You have 4 years of the Govt. being held to account for every action both real and imagined, just the way it should be :-)
                        *sigh* If only that were true. Very little will change. Very little ever does.
                        "Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy" ~ Judge J. Michael Luttig


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                          *sigh* If only that were true. Very little will change. Very little ever does.
                          Oh come on. You know the legacy media will be attacking every republican ever, now that the Republicans hold power, every single one will be under constant scrutiny. This is a good thing. You just need to get them to do it to Democrats as well LOL
                          In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                          • #14
                            The "fake news" campaign is ramping up via the NYT, aimed squarely at contemporary media outlets. They still haven't got it through their thick little heads that facebook, twitter etc can only use algorithms to censor ascii, not graphics.

                            For context, here's a handy list of the NYT own faked news

                            The latest of course is this wee pearler from CBS, claiming the Trump 'children' were asking for security clearance.

                            This was enough for Politico to then include the 'made up shyt' in its latest poll
                            In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                            • #15
                              Meanwhile, the jockeying begins
                              In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.