Perhaps the presidency has been an overly solemn office since, oh, the days of Millard Fillmore, the dreary weight of all that mortal responsibility — slavery, war, more war, depression, yet more war, nukes, we shall overcome, terror, Lehman Brothers, Ferguson, Russia here, there, and everywhere…uccchhh… By James Howard Kunstler And so, at last: a […]
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In 1999, 72 percent of Americans over 65 told surveyors they had read a newspaper the previous day. In a 2015 survey, 50 percent of that age group said so. In 1999, 42 percent of people aged 18-24 said they had read a newspaper the day before; in 2015, only 16 percent of those young […]
Fake news may be as old as American journalism, but it’s affecting the way we view our government. It also has the potential to alter our democracy.
By James Howard Kunstler The just-released movie Spotlight is about a Boston Globe investigative reporting team circa 2001-02 that uncovered and documented a vast network of child sex abuse by priests in the Catholic Church that had been on-going for decades. More to the point, Spotlight revealed the institutional rot at the very top of […]
Three headlines this week drove home a point that I often make when discussing politics with friends. That point is a psychological phenomenon known as confirmation bias (a subset of cognitive bias), and it’s one of the most powerful forces at play in the world today, especially with regard to the increasing extremism of the Republican party […]
By David Brin Are you a Republican – or do you know one – who is sincerely fretful about the GOP’s ticket for the coming quadrennial? Well, there’s good reason (on many levels). But it appears there is hope! Or at least a fun wish fantasy, written and published with stunning speed by a master science fiction […]
Keith is on fire tonight. In response to the police brutality as they broke up the Occupy Oakland demonstration yesterday, which left one Iraq veteran in critical condition and scores injured and arrested, he calls on Oakland’s Mayor Quan to either fire the police chief responsible, or resign herself: If one group of peaceful protestors, […]
It’s a great headline, isn’t it? Carries menacing implications of jack-booted thugs, militant attacks and wanton destruction. There’s only one problem – it’s not true. Yes, another bunch of Occupy Wall Street protesters got a little carried away, engaged in behavior inside the branch that should have been kept outside, and someone actually threw a […]
What’s the message? A lot of the traditional media has been whining that question… not because they really care, but because that IS the framing they are trying to attach to Occupy Wall Street: That these are a bunch of ignorant kids who don’t know why they’re out there or what they want.
George Lakoff has made his career around framing. It’s important stuff; as he puts it, “It’s a general principle: Unless you frame yourself, others will frame you — the media, your enemies, your competitors, your well-meaning friends.”
Occupy Wall Street may escape from that trap. But Lakoff says the movement is at a critical time “when small framing errors could have large negative consequences.” So he’s come forth with some advice.
All last week across the media landscape, in pod, blog, flat-screen, and crunkly old newsprint columns, fatuous professional observers complained that the Occupy Wall Street marchers “have no clear agenda” or “can’t articulate their positions.” What impertinent horseshit.
It is cosmically ironic, of course, that the same generation of Boomer-hippies that ran in the streets and marched through the maze of service roads around the Pentagon has become a new “establishment” more obtuse, feckless, greedy and mendacious than the one they battled with over 40 years ago. I guess they just don’t see that their time has come to get right with reality – or get shoved aside and trampled.