Judge orders Montana congressman who assaulted a reporter to be formally booked on assault charge, months after his election

A judge has ordered Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte to be photographed and fingerprinted for assaulting a reporter in May, opening the door for the congressman’s mug shot to be plastered in opponents’ campaign ads in next year’s election. […]  The day after the assault, Gianforte defeated Democrat Rob Quist in the special election to replace Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke as Montana’s only congressman. | Gianforte pleaded guilty in June. | Gianforte was fined $385 and ordered to perform…

Shakespeare on Eclipses

Prepping for tomorrow’s first meeting of my Shakespeare class. In 1598, during Shakespeare’s lifetime, England experienced a total solar eclipse, with the path of totality tracking from Cornwall in the southwest up to Aberdeen in Scotland. As we in the twenty-first century prepare for the Great American Eclipse on Aug 21, let’s look at three of the ways Shakespeare used eclipses in his plays and poems: 1. An eclipse as an ill…

Trump Briefly Glanced at Eclipse without Protective Glasses

Donald Trump’s persona as a man who doesn’t like to be told what to do feeds into the spread of this image of him staring directly at the eclipse without protective glasses. I’ve seen it portrayed as if an aide warned Trump not to do it, and then he immediately did it anyway, on impulse. Naturally I investigated. Recalling the still photo taken of Trump appearing to ignore his own…

NASA: No, The Eclipse Won’t Blind Pets

I once heard a fellow grad student say Galileo went blind because the the Church tortured him, I said no, he went blind because he looked at the sun through a telescope. Turns out both stories are myths. Galileo did go partially blind from cataract and glaucoma in his 70s. “Galileo was well aware of the dangers of direct solar observations and seems to have predominantly used the projection technique…

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How journalists should handle racist words, images and violence in Charlottesville

I have covered protests where people shouted angry slogans and waved signs at each other for as long as I had my microphone or camera out, but as soon as I put my gear away both sides went back to standing or marching silently. This article, written by two journalists with experience covering community conflicts sparked by “alt-right” white nationalist coalitions, says local reporters should inform themselves because there will…

On Immigration, Poetry Isn’t Policy, but Poetry Matters, by David French, National Review

The conservative National Review offers an interesting take on what happens when a reporter relies on poetry to make a point. During a White House press conference yesterday, CNN Reporter Jim Acosta prefaced a question by reading “The New Colossus,” then asked White House aide Stephen Miller how he could support a policy that goes against the poem. Miller noted (correctly) that the poem was not originally part of the…