Always Read Margaret Sullivan

That argument can be dismantled in a nanosecond. Should the denialist views of, say, Alex Jones of Infowars on the Sandy Hook massacre be given a prestigious platform, too? But Cotton is a prominent political figure, you say? By that logic, the lies of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway should be welcomed on news-discussion shows daily because she’s close to the president.

Perhaps a more useful way to think about many of these tough issues is to consider the role of journalism in democratic society: to dig out and present the information that helps citizens hold their elected officials accountable.

What if we framed coverage with this question at the forefront: What journalism best serves the real interests of American citizens?

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So many in the press have become nothing more than stenographers for those in power, and as this piece points out that has to change.

The Newsletters Chosen for my Inbox

It seems that every media outlet, company, and person on the internet has a newsletter now. For a while I signed up for so many that I ended up reading none. Now I have paired down what reaches my inbox, and it feels like a perfect balance. Here are the newsletters that I find are must read.

The Daily Book – New York Times

Theatre Update – New York Times

Reliable Sources – CNN

The Morning Brew

Stratechery (Subscription) – Ben Thompson

The Interface – The Verge

Incompetence Leads to Excess Death

By suddenly halting travel from Europe, the Trump administration ignored a timeless lesson of human migration: slamming borders shut usually has the opposite of the intended effect. Rather than ending cross-border movement, sudden immigration bans or caps create large and often unmanageable rushes of people hoping to make it across the border before it is too late. These surges occur immediately after bans are announced, when returning travelers rush to meet real or imagined deadlines, and often in the days and weeks beforehand, in anticipation of expected announcements. And when some of the people rushing to cross the border are carrying a potentially deadly virus, the result can be catastrophic.

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The US government has screwed up every bit of the response, and the worst part instead of learning and adjusting they have doubled down on the crazy.

A History of Pandemics and Institutional Racism

In the United States, that pandemic did nothing to blunt structural racism. “The 1918 pandemic revealed the racial inequalities and fault lines in health care,” Gamble says. At the time, black doctors and nurses hoped it would prompt improvements. “But nothing changed. After the pandemic there were no major public health efforts to address the health care of African Americans.”

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An unreal and sobering read that goes into detail on the history of pandemics.

They Are Bringing Back the Dead

President Donald Trump and members of his coronavirus task force are pushing officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change how the agency works with states to count coronavirus-related deaths. And they’re pushing for revisions that could lead to far fewer deaths being counted than originally reported, according to five administration officials working on the government’s response to the pandemic

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Everything is a vanity project for this administration. We already know there are thousands in NYC alone who died with COVID like symptoms before they got tested. The state of Florida has blocked medical examiners from releasing data. None of this matters to the Trump administration though. They are a propaganda machine and believe if they can falsely make up lower numbers, those new numbers become reality.

The Hypocrisy That Is America

Today, hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Mexico and Central America are doing that work. By the Department of Agriculture’s estimates, about half the country’s field hands — more than a million workers — are undocumented. Growers and labor contractors estimate that the real proportion is closer to 75 percent.

Suddenly, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, these “illegal” workers have been deemed “essential” by the federal government.

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For decades America’s immigration policy has been a wink and a nod agreement with those that kept America fed. There are many reasons for this, but they are mostly economical. If you keep people undocumented they could not complain that they were being mistreated including being paid under minimum wage. Well in the most American way this just worked. That was until the country elected a racist demagogue. Now the industries that supported the party of the president because they enjoyed paying low wages and low taxes have a problem, and if you eat food so do you.

Remember the Heroes

On the ward that she oversaw at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, a man with COVID-19 had stopped breathing. Marcos’ face was covered only with a thin surgical mask, and obtaining a more protective N95 mask before entering his room would have wasted valuable time, her colleagues say.

The 61-year-old charge nurse knew the chest compressions and other breathing treatments the patient needed would likely spew dangerous virus particles into the air that could land on her face and clothing. She would be at high risk of catching the coronavirus.

Marcos raced into the room. Fourteen days later, she was dead.

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Every paper in the country has stories like this. Remember their names, remember their stories, and make sure others do the same.

Well Said Chris Hayes

Isaac, I literally can’t get over it. I spend huge portions of my day just with this feeling of being hit in the chest by watching the utter blitheness and disregard, and casualness, and sociopathic casualness, about the vast losses. They’re not far from me. Family members of our staff. A neighbor of ours. People I know who’ve gotten very sick. It’s not some abstract thing. It’s a tangible thing, very real, and, to watch this utter disregard for it by some people, from the President on down, it is so shocking to me, and horrifying, and enraging, and almost insanity-inducing.

I keep thinking about if you went around on TV or in New York City after 9/11, and you were showing up at house parties, or on interviews, being, like, “Uh, guys, you know sixty thousand people here die from the flu. I’m not quite sure what the big deal is here.” You would have sounded like a sociopath, and you probably would have gotten punched in the face. You certainly would have gotten fired from TV. It’s not like any of that would have been the correct response, but it would have been sociopathic. What sort of maniac would you be?

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The whole interview is worth reading. Between Facebook, Twitter, and the President himself it’s a sinking reality that a large percentage of the population is so easily believing crazy conspiracy theories while denying fact and science.

There are legitimate discussions to have around stay at home orders and the best way forward. They need to start with at least the basic understanding that the virus exists. That almost seems impossible right now.