3

Down with Fake Politics! Down with Fake Government! Long Live the Free Press!

You can’t get much more American than Thomas Jefferson. He did not love every newspaper reporter on the planet; however, he wrote that, if forced to choose between government without newspapers or a newspaper without government, he would not hesitate to choose a newspaper without government (under certain very sensible conditions). The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to…

2

White House Bars Times and Other News Outlets From Briefing

Kudos to the reporters from Time and AP who showed solidarity with the banned outlets. Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been…

3

Journalists: The “Enemy of the American People”; Also, an “Accountability” Poll

I seem to be educating future enemies of the American people. Donald Trump has branded his critics in the US press “not my enemy” but the “enemy of the American people”, in a tweet that came a day after he launched a sustained attack on the media during a White House press conference. In his latest barb aimed at US journalists, the Republican billionaire took to Twitter to accuse reporters…

John Oliver Returns to Out-News the News—by Ignoring Trump

I prefer reading and listening to the news rather than watching it, but I’m glad to know that some TV news is focusing on depth. While cable news and online reporters struggle to report on Kellyanne Conway’s most recent TV appearance or fact-check the latest Sean Spicer press conference, Oliver and his team of four researchers can quietly spend months on a single 20-minute segment about something that will be…

2

My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it’s not Orwell, he warned, it’s Brave New World

As my father [Neil Postman] pointed out, a written sentence has a level of verifiability to it: it is true or not true – or, at the very least, we can have a meaningful discussion over its truth. (This was pre-truthiness, pre-“alternative facts”.) But an image? One never says a picture is true or false. It either captures your attention or it doesn’t. The more TV we watched, the more…

Trump’s Claims About Media Coverage of Terror Attacks Are Bogus

The difference between PR and journalism is that journalists aren’t doing their jobs unless they tick somebody off by reporting news that at least some of the people involved wish had never been reported. Facts matter. I have no doubt [Trump] truly believes the only reason people have criticized his executive order imposing a travel ban from seven Muslim countries is because they don’t know how serious the problem is.…