The Misinformation Campaign

An increasingly popular tactic challenges conventional wisdom on the spread of electoral disinformation: the creation of partisan outlets masquerading as local news organizations. An investigation by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School has discovered at least 450 websites in a network of local and business news organizations, each distributing thousands of algorithmically generated articles and a smaller number of reported stories. Of the 450 sites we discovered, at least 189 were set up as local news networks across ten states within the last twelve months by an organization called Metric Media.

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Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how people vote a certain way or just come up with the ideas they do. It’s time we all spend more time understanding that many people are just living in a faux reality, and that reality is much bigger than many can fathom.

What Kamala Harris Learned About Power at Howard

Since graduating, Ms. Harris has been an active part of the Howard alumni community. Her line sisters from Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. said she speaks with them regularly, even from the campaign trail, checking in recently with one member who was coping with a health issue. At an event in Atlanta during her presidential run, she saved a front-row seat for an A.K.A. sister she knew would be in attendance, telling no one.

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This is such great work from Astead Herndon.

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 Giants will Grow

Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever – The New York Times

But when the economy does eventually improve, Big Tech could benefit from changes in consumer habits. And despite more than 18 months of criticism from lawmakers, regulators and competitors before the pandemic hit the United States, the biggest companies are likely to finish the year stronger than ever.

Post economic downturns the companies that survive are always in the best shape to swallow up the rest of the industries they play in. We need a competent government running a DOJ that takes it’s anti-trust job seriously.

The Perfect Takedown

The Ballad of Clay Travis – The Bulwark

No, his “daily positivity” is instead an opportunity for him to congratulate himself anytime the pile of bodies outside of hospitals is stacked slightly lower than it had been the day before. Good news everyone, only 636 deaths in Italy today. Great news folks, only 2,000 deaths now anticipated in Texas. Guess what, only 33,460 new cases of the virus in America today and just 1,940 new daily deaths down from 1,971, Roll Tide!

You can replace “Clay Travis” with quite a few personalities who figured out there is money in this type of thing.

The Trump Administration Owns This

Trump ended coronavirus detection pandemic program – Los Angeles Times

Two months before the novel coronavirus is thought to have begun its deadly advance in Wuhan, China, the Trump administration ended a $200-million pandemic early-warning program aimed at training scientists in China and other countries to detect and respond to such a threat

Just in case you think this is something that is only being reported now because of hindsight, here is the New York Times reporting on it from October.

Scientists Were Hunting for the Next Ebola. Now the U.S. Has Cut Off Their Funding.- New York Times

In a move that worries many public health experts, the federal government is quietly shutting down a surveillance program for dangerous animal viruses that someday may infect humans.

Congress, along with the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, were “enormously supportive,” said Dr. Carroll, who is now a fellow at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.

The current US government has made what would have been a bad situation a lot worse. They have not learned from the mistakes, but instead they are doubling down on the stupid and thousands are going to die because of their incompetence.

Everyone Needs to Read This Reality

The Real Miami

I was that kid getting those free school lunches you read about on your Twitter timeline. Matter of fact, most of us in my elementary school had lunch cards. We went to school to eat, you know what I’m saying?? Those fish sticks were everything. That little carton of chocolate milk was everything. If you skipped school to f*** around in the streets, you might go hungry that day.

So hell yeah, I want my old life back, too.

But this ain’t about me. It ain’t about you.

This thing is about us.

This virus is going to affect everybody, especially the most vulnerable.

So if you got a nice, stable environment? Keep your ass home.

If you got a roof over your head? Keep your ass home.

If you got a crib with Netflix and a refrigerator full of food? Keep your ass home.

The Media’s Women Problem

 Warren’s same-sex marriage quip captures what some find exciting — and others distressing — about her 

“It’s about telling people who don’t agree with you that they are backward by definition,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist who advised Bill Clinton’s presidential reelection campaign. The line was a “stab” to those who don’t agree with her, he said, and “it is a battle cry for men to turn out against Elizabeth Warren.”

John Ziegler, an anti-Trump conservative, said Warren’s words conveyed no such generosity. Her message and her body language, he said, telegraphed a dislike of men.

Trump voters in places such as the Florida Panhandle and central Pennsylvania, he said, will think, “ ‘Oh my God — this woman hates us.’ ”

“It plays right into the narrative about her, which is that she’s an out-of-touch liberal from Massachusetts, and this whole obsession with wokeness that the Democratic Party has where the white male is under attack,” Ziegler said.

Let me get this straight. Defending equal rights is now a battle cry for men to turn against Warren? First of all, bigots and homophobes are not just men so this makes no sense. These quotes read as men just looking for another reason to oppose a woman running for president. The Washington Post really went out of their way here to find people to oppose a comment Warren made when it has been pretty clear she supports same sex marriage. This was not some big surprise, they just were looking for the next moment to take a woman down a notch.

Last little note. Before anyone points out that a woman wrote this, it does not change a thing. The New York Times has always found women to do the job of taking down other women, and this is not just a problem in the media.

I edited this post after publishing to add the following tweet, it says it perfectly.

Trump is Following in the Footsteps of Wallace, Nixon, and Reagan

Why Donald Trump is just following in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps on race – The Washington Post

Racial issues were central to Reagan’s political success during the 1966 California gubernatorial election. He denounced the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 while running radio ads referring to urban areas as “jungles.” Regarding fair housing, he emphasized: “If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house, it is his right to do so.” This resonated well with white conservative suburban voters in places such as Orange County, Calif.

Sometimes it’s important to reminded of the obvious.