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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…

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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…

Analysis | President Trump is losing his war with the media

My Media Aesthetics students are studying the power of fake news. This is good news for supporters of the First Amendment. A new poll from Quinnipiac University suggests that while people may be broadly unhappy with the mainstream media, they still think it’s more credible than Trump. The president regularly accuses the press of “fake news,” but people see more “fake news” coming out of his own mouth. The poll…

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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…

First They Got Sick, Then They Moved Into a Virtual Utopia

When my son was about five, I sat him on my lap and let him explore the world of Riven (the sequel to the point-and-click adventure Myst). I remember feeling his back muscles tense up when he approached a cave and the music got creepy. “Can I go in?” he asked. I told him he could do whatever he wanted. He turned to look at me, as if to assess…

I touched up an intro to hypertext essays from 2000.

When I initially wrote this introduction to hypertext essays in 2000, my assumption was that readers would be experienced writers who already knew what an essay was, so that I could use that knowledge to differentiate between an ordinary essay and a hypertext essay. By 2017, we are teaching “multimodal composition” in our freshman writing classes. Some of the students come in with great writing skills (and I always tell them…