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…

9

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…

7

A woman approached The Post with dramatic — and false — tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of undercover sting operation.

This looks like a deliberate attempt to plant a “fake news” story, presumably in order to discredit the Washington Post for falling for it. Verify, verify, verify. The Post did its homework, and did not fall into the trap. Sadly, this story will be used to discredit people who come forward with legitimate sexual assault accusations. Jaime Phillips, who claimed to The Post that Moore impregnated her as a teenager,…

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…

Taking Harassment Seriously Requires Serious Distinctions

Editor and columnist Jonah Goldberg questions his fellow conservatives who call for the resignation of Al Franken (a Democrat; junior senator from Minnesota), equating the allegations against him with the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, all the while downplaying the serious allegations against Roy Moore (a Republication; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama). Franken, formerly a writer and performer for Saturday Night Live, has been accused of…