Reporting Divide

The Reporting Divide

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The past few days have been very interesting to me as someone who has worked in the media and cares about journalism. We have come to a point in American journalism where there is a reporting divide as big as the Grand Canyon, with liberals on one side and conservatives on the other. Closing the […]

Newspaper ethics

Do newspaper endorsements carry any weight?

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For many people nowadays their local newspaper’s endorsements are irrelevant. Younger people seldom get their news via the printed page and older people continue to do what older people do—die—thus slowly, but inevitably, leading to decreased subscription revenue. It’s past time for newspapers, especially local ones, to do away with endorsements. While small, local newspapers […]

Dan Rather

We’re listening to Dan Rather Again?

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More than a decade after he was ignominiously sacked by CBS News for running a story using supposedly 1960s-era documents that were created in Microsoft Word and run through a photocopy machine a couple of times in an attempt to torpedo George W. Bush’s re-election bid, Dan Rather is back. Rather’s rehabilitation has been mostly […]

lost their freaking minds

Too many Americans have lost their freaking minds

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If the current political season is any indication (and it probably is) then there is plenty of evidence that too many people have lost their freaking minds. Two months ago, one of my friends on Facebook linked to this Gallup survey headlined: “25% in U.S. Say Neither Candidate Would Be a Good President.” My succinct […]

Media Malpractice

Media malpractice

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Our betters in the mainstream media often tout their layers and layers of fact-checkers, their professionalism and training. Unfortunately, far too often we see reporting that can be described as media malpractice. Media malpractice at Newsweek: Does the story support the headline? Last week, before President Donald Trump nominated circuit court Judge Amy Coney Barrett […]

Facebook Politics

Politics on Facebook

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For the record, I try to keep politics off my personal Facebook page. I’m a segregationist; Politics is on Twitter, what’s going on in my life is on Facebook. (Watch someone take that out of context.) However, if other people are putting all their political garbage on Twitter, I will occasionally comment. Which brings us […]

Reuters Kamala Harris Fact Check

Reuters fact checks a meme, poorly

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On Friday, Reuters news service’s fact-checking unit took on a meme going around on social media that lists five “facts” [scare quotes via Reuters] about Sen. Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris. I won’t go into all of the claims of this particular meme. Instead, I want to focus on one contentious fact about Harris’ […]

Talking California Taxes

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I’ll be on Dave Congalton’s show in less than an hour talking California taxes. Late last week, Democrats in Sacramento unveiled a plan that would raise taxes on millionaires. Specifically, AB 1253 would add a new section to the Revenue and Taxation Code to provide the following three higher tax rates (in addition to the […]

Politifact

The Dangers of Shoddy Headline Writing

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In the past decade, as media organizations have aggressively downsized in the face of a collapse in advertising revenues, copy editors have been among the first to get the ax. Misspellings, comma splices, rudimentary fact-checking and the art of good headline writing have all been seen as an unnecessary extravagance in times of ever-decreasing budgets. […]

Fact-checking

Media Fact-Checking Failures

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The past couple of weeks have been especially bad for media fact-checking. Two incidents really stand out as the ostensibly unbiased, objective national media have gone all-in on their war on President Donald Trump, their own credibility be damned. Media Not  Interested in Fact-Checking Sen. Tammy Duckworth Two Sundays ago, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) appeared […]