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“The Nightmare of Prince Prezelsky”

Leigh, Peter, Carolyn and I had fun recording “The Nightmare of Prince Prezelsky” for WAOB Audio Theatre’s “All for One Stories.” (Peter plays the prince, Carolyn narrates, and my wife and I are among the servants. The full 9-minute story is online.) Prince Prezelsky needs to fight a dragon to keep his kingdom safe. But he doesn’t want to! Find out how his servants convince him to take on the…

Why Shouting Down Speakers Is Absolutely Wrong

Wilson offers a good explanation of the position that shouting down speakers is not a form of constitutionally-protected speech. Such arguments are especially important on college campuses, where it’s the job of students to engage with new ideas — even uncomfortable ones; and the job of faculty members to equip students with the critical thinking skills they’ll need in order to recognize, and reject, fallacious arguments in the outside world…

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Analysis | The ‘Kellyanne Conway on the couch’ controversy is so incredibly dumb

One photo from the event shows her scrolling through pictures on her phone. I’ve seen captions that suggest she is ignoring the people in he room, retreating to her social media bubble for comfort and self-affirmation. This photo shows she had placed herself in that awkward position to get a picture. There are scores or hundreds of legitimate reasons to criticize Kellyanne Conway. Her position on a couch is a…

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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…