Mr. President, stop attacking the press

Reagan recognized that as leader of the free world, his words carried enormous weight, and he used them to inspire the unprecedented spread of democracy around the world. | President Trump does not seem to understand that his rhetoric and actions reverberate in the same way. He has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing “fake news awards” upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage…

Other than #StarTrek memes, my favorite part of the web is how it’s a rhetorical battleground for the fate of the free world.

Saturday, Donald Trump tweeted that he knew Flynn lied, and that’s why he “had to fire” him. Critics immediately raised concerns, noting that if Trump did in fact know Flynn had lied, then Trump’s request that FBI Director James Comey “let this go” amounts to an obstruction of justice. Sunday, Trump’s lawyer John Dowd told CNN “he drafted the tweet and believes White House social media director Dan Scavino posted…

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Local news is the building block of a national democracy.

Yesterday, I asked my students, “How many of you spent $4 on a cup of coffee in the last month? How many have spent that much to support local news?” “If people don’t get local news, they don’t know what’s going on in their community. If they don’t know what’s going on in their community, they don’t get involved in their community. If they’re not involved in their community, and…

Did you share Russian fake news? Facebook, apparently unable to insert items directly in our feeds, will make you jump through hoops to find out.

Did you share fake news from Russia during the US Presidential election? Grudgingly following up on a Congressional order, Facebook will permit you to jump through hoops to find out. Because Facebook apparently does not have the technology to insert items of its choosing directly in user feeds, the social media company has helpfully provided a new option in its maze of settings. Whether you have unknowingly participated in the…

Russian troll factory paid US activists to help fund protests during election

Russian trolls posing as Americans made payments to genuine activists in the US to help fund protest movements on socially divisive issues, according to a new investigation by a respected Russian media outlet. On Tuesday, the newspaper RBC published a major investigation into the work of a so-called Russian “troll factory” since 2015, including during the period of the US election campaign, disclosures that are likely to put further spotlight…