Reading Time: 3 minutes We are a species that struggles with group think, especially when confronted with the specter of popularity. If a famous or infamous person is in the news, it’s difficult not to pay attention. But there is a danger in allowing our attention to boost the signal for toxic people and ideas.
Dominion and democracy: What Fox News avoided, for now, and what comes next
Reading Time: 4 minutes Last year, I asked a rhetorical question in the wake of the nearly one billion dollar verdict in the Alex Jones fake news case, which involved relentlessly broadcast lies stoking conspiracy theories around the Sandy Hook massacre. Yesterday, as everyone reported the settlement with Fox News and parent company Fox Corp, of $787.5 million to […]
Litter box hoax comes to Ireland
Reading Time: 4 minutes When I grew up in Ireland in the 1980s, it would take months for a movie to go from general release in America into my local cinema. Nowadays, everything is everywhere all at once. Apparently, anti-trans propaganda is following the 1980s protocol. You might have heard a story. It’s always the same. It comes from […]
Fox News’ and Trump’s pants are (still) on fire
Reading Time: 9 minutes If doctors practiced their craft like Fox News pundits do theirs, they would long ago have lost their privilege to treat patients. Which brings me right to the point: Why shouldn’t licensing of journalists be required, as other professionals, such as doctors, already are in many states? And why shouldn’t politicians, as well, be legally […]
Is the nearly $1B Alex Jones verdict enough to deter fake news?
Reading Time: 4 minutes In the second of three major trials against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the jury’s verdict was overwhelming: Jones has been ordered to pay $965 million to families of Sandy Hook victims. These are grieving people whose lives were further upended by years of harassment thanks in strong part to Jones’s insistence that the massacre of […]
The future-history that we want, and the future-history we deserve
Reading Time: 6 minutes Picture it. The Un-seceded States, formerly of the United States, pre-Southern Separation. The year is 2122. A suburban history class is in session, in a converted mall that also serves as home for many families displaced by rising sea levels. The mall generates enough solar energy to contribute to the surrounding grid—at least, when increasing […]
Social Media Vs Mainstream Media: There is No “Vs”, the Lines Are Blurred
Reading Time: 2 minutes The long and the short of it: they are both the same, only separated (in the UK at least) by regulation. “News organisations” is another term for “information source”, which is a far more nebulous and in some sense accurate term. The modern person gets their information (some of which could be arbitrarily labelled “news”) […]
Top GOP pols from South Dakota still ducking reality to pacify Trump
Reading Time: 4 minutes Federal GOP pols from South Dakota still can’t bring themselves to unequivocally condemn Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection against democracy.
How will playing nice with lying pols end U.S. scourge of mendacity?
Reading Time: 5 minutes Various political opinionators offer half measures to deal the the epidemic of public lying in the United States. New laws and jail terms seem better.
Trump cons U.S. voters with contemporary ‘blood libel’-esque scams
Reading Time: 4 minutes We’re still being bedeviled by misappropriations of medieval “blood libel”-type myths. President Trump uses similar inventions to demonize his enemies.