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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…

Advice for My Conservative Students

A professor who had been a conservative undergraduate (but who now identifies as libertarian-left) offers advice to red students who feel marginalized in a blue academy. Take the tremendous opportunity of a college education to sharpen your skills and deepen your knowledge. Read Edmund Burke, Matthew Arnold, Russell Kirk, Thomas Sowell, Michael Oakeshott and Peggy Noonan. Acknowledge arguments you disagree with on their own terms, and respond to their substance.…

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…

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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.…

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More Fake News from the Biased Fake Crappy Bad Media

Clearly the pesky reporters whom the powerful keep insulting and belittling in oder to diminish their impact aren’t doing their pesky insulted belittled and diminished jobs. Isn’t there celebrity cleavage to report on? Because that cleavage won’t cover itself! President Trump’s eldest daughter said she’d give up management of her businesses. We checked. … “I will no longer be involved with the management or operations of the Trump Organization,” Ivanka Trump…