Twitter and the “Two Minutes Hate”

Another of the many, many reflections on the big story of the weekend. In 1984, George Orwell famously described a totalitarian political order in which people were kept as docile subjects in part by a daily ritual called “Two Minutes Hate” in which the population directs all of its pent up fury at “Goldstein,” a possibly fictional enemy of the state. Thanks to Twitter, we now know that the same dynamic…

Lessons from the Covington Catholic Flashpoint

My social media network includes people who fully supported the narrative voiced by Phillips and magnified by social media outrage, who now feel the shifting narrative proves how hard “the media” work to excuse the misbehavior of smirking, entitled, racist bullies. (But they might agree the Hebrew Israelites went too far.) My social feed also includes people who were participating in the March for Life and insisted from the start…

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CNN sues President Trump and top White House aides for barring Jim Acosta

CNN has filed a lawsuit against President Trump and several of his aides, seeking the immediate restoration of chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s access to the White House. The lawsuit is a response to the White House’s suspension of Acosta’s press pass, known as a Secret Service “hard pass,” last week. The suit alleges that Acosta and CNN’s First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated by the ban. —CNN

Don’t Want to Fall for Fake News? Don’t Be Lazy

Fake news is not a problem caused by those dishonorable people whose political values differ from yours. Misinformation researchers have proposed two competing hypotheses for why people fall for fake news on social media. The popular assumption—supported by research on apathy over climate change and the denial of its existence—is that people are blinded by partisanship, and will leverage their critical-thinking skills to ram the square pegs of misinformation into the…

My Student Calls Out a Mental Health Stigma in a Biased Headline — But Here’s Why We Shouldn’t Blame “The Media”

This morning a journalism student told me a friend in a different class was complaining that “the media” was stigmatizing mental illness in its coverage of yesterday’s mass shooting in California. My student told me she remembered I had mentioned that reporters often don’t write the headlines under which their stories are published, but she wondered what else she might have said. I pointed out that defending vague complaints about…