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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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Journalists call out White House claims on terror reporting

The easily-disproved surface-level claim, that the media have not “adequately” reported on terror, is nerd-baiting. What’s more important to the White House seems to be that the public fear imminent and ongoing attacks by Muslims, and now journalists around the world are reminding the public that they covered all these incidents (including minor ones, such as knife attacks in which the only casualty was the terrorist), which keeps those incidents…

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Close reading is hard to do in a state of normalized outrage.

So this “Muslim ban” thing… is a ban or not? Does it even have to do with Muslims or not? In the Washington Post, scholar Tom Nichols writes: Trump promised a Muslim ban during the campaign. But the executive order now running into multiple challenges is not actually a Muslim ban: It affects the citizens, regardless of faith, of several Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa but has…

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Topical Satire Is Not “Fake News.”

While I’ve been preparing to teach a class on memes and “fake news,” my complaints are all about propaganda that misleads in order to wield influence or make money. I am not talking about the “fake news” which is clever satire, such as these two posts which made me belly-laugh. The Sanders pic I found in my Facebook feed, where it had been posted on P-diddy’s page. The Obama pic is…