How I Knew the #CovingtonBoys Video Was Clickbait

This was originally published at Public Seminar on January 24 2019. Everyone has a #CovingtonBoys story, and this is mine. It is a story about clickbait. It is a story about how an unknown political operative captured a real event that might never have been noticed at all, and turned it into a news tsunami during a … More How I Knew the #CovingtonBoys Video Was Clickbait

What Does “For the People” Mean?

Would someone please reconsider the prominent role of marketing in politics? Or perhaps I should rephrase that question — could we take a close look at the substitution of marketing and branding strategies for politics? I ask this question only days after the Democratic leadership, well-embarked on flipping the House of Representatives from Red to Blue, has … More What Does “For the People” Mean?

Ask Brett Kavanaugh About Facebook

What is Facebook? I ask this question as I am well embarked on a two-week intensive seminar, “Democratic Crisis and the Politics of Social Media,” part of the 27th annual Democracy and Diversity Institute sponsored by The New School’s Transregional Center for Democratic Studies in Wrocław, Poland. Facebook and Twitter, and the unregulated (often untruthful) political narratives they … More Ask Brett Kavanaugh About Facebook

Roseanne Bombs

Yesterday I checked my Twitter feed and learned that Roseanne Barr had finally blown herself up. Up all night tweeting about Soros and Clinton conspiracy theories (including a bizarre exchange with the cool-headed Chelsea Clinton about whether her husband is a member of the Soros family), Barr capped off her literary output with a tweet … More Roseanne Bombs

When Women Sued the New York Times

Forty-five years ago today, a dozen women representing the Women’s Caucus at The New York Times began a civil rights revolution in journalism. Their July 19, 1972 confrontationwith publisher Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger and his board was, by 1974, a class action employment discrimination lawsuit, Boylan v. New York Times. In an earlier letter, the Caucus had … More When Women Sued the New York Times

Clickbait Nation | How Do We Get Good, In-Depth Reporting?

In case you missed it, Mark Hertsgaard had a terrific piece in The Nation‘s special issue on “Media in the Trump Era” (March 20, 2017). You may still be able to pick up a copy on the newsstand if you hustle, which you should, both because there are lots of good essays in it and because … More Clickbait Nation | How Do We Get Good, In-Depth Reporting?

Clickbait Nation | Were Donald Trump’s 2005 Taxes News?

The tweets and Facebook posts were coming fast and furious last night following publicity from The Rachel Maddow Show that Donald Trump’s tax returns were on Rachel’s desk. Thus ensued a short discussion in our news saturated household: Trump’s taxes, or find out #WhoKilledWes? Entertainment choices clearly ranged from bad to worse. We eschewed Maddow, … More Clickbait Nation | Were Donald Trump’s 2005 Taxes News?