Practicing Intellectual, Evidence-based Disagreement

This is what a busy literature seminar on evidence-based disagreement looks like. I’ve asked the students to pair up to create a 2-3-minute podcast that demonstrates they can participate in a respectful, evidence-based disagreement over Poe’s “The Raven.” I asked each student to introduce the other student’s position, and to do so respectfully, without caricaturing or demeaning the ignorant or evil jerks whose opinions or values or life experiences dare…

Rolling Stone heading to trial over debunked story of UVa rape

For the first time since Rolling Stone magazine’s shocking story about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia hit shelves two years ago, the public may hear from the young woman at the center of the now discredited article “A Rape on Campus.” | A defamation trial against the magazine is set to begin Monday over the November 2014 article about the woman identified only as “Jackie” and her…

Fake News Taints Facebook’s Trending Topics

In an experiment conducted over several weeks following Facebook’s promotion of the fake Megyn Kelly story, the Post recorded which topics were trending for it every day, on the hour, across four accounts. | That turned up five trending stories that were “indisputably fake” and three that were “profoundly inaccurate,” Caitlyn Dewey reported. | There’s no way to know whether those were the only false or highly inaccurate articles that made…

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Journalist!

My new hero is NPR’s Michael Oreskes. Scott Detrow had a terrific story today about Donald Trump’s appearance at a Black church. The pastor called Trump on the carpet for attacking Hillary Clinton when he had promised not to be partisan. Trump later attacked the pastor and misstated key facts about what actually happened. Why was this story terrific? Scott was one of a handful of reporters in the church…

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The Rhetoric of Anthems and the Drama of Kneeling

I don’t follow sports, so I don’t feel fully equipped to comment on the issue, but when a friend raised it via an email I thought I’d share my thoughts about the rhetorical and dramatic nature of patriotism and protest. I have often wished I could attend a concert/literary discussion where singers performed the national anthems of countries from trouble spots around the world, and then people from those countries…