Jane Mayer’s New Revelations About Fox News and Trump

Yesterday, The New Yorker posted a new, detailed report by Jane Mayer on unprofessional connections between the White House and Fox News.  It also appears in print in the March 11, 2019 issue. If you haven’t already maxed out your free online New Yorker items this month, you should be able to read Ms. Mayer’s article without hitting a paywall. Note: In San Francisco — and maybe other parts of the country — newsstand print copies of The New Yorker are running late.  Even if you’re willing to buy an expensive magazine in order to read one article, you may have to wait if … Continue reading Jane Mayer’s New Revelations About Fox News and Trump

Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

Disclosure:  This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page. Local news reports often place dirty laundry entertainment ahead of informing the public. It’s all about ratings, clicks or selling papers or magazines.  There’s a combination profit-power motive. That’s partly the fault of the public, and partly the fault of people who have sold out to a competitive rumor-mongering system (the latter do that to stay in business, which is our fault because we fail to boycott sensational reporting). It’s also partly the fault of people outside the “news community” who release or fabricate information to … Continue reading Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

War on Peace by Ronan Farrow (Review)

War on Peace:  The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence By Ronan Farrow Published by W. W. Norton & Company © 2018 392 Pages, Including Source Notes & Index ISBN: 978-0-393-65210-9 $27.95 USD Most of us are poorly informed, especially where foreign policy is concerned.  When we follow that topic, we often fall back on lightweight, centre-right or far-right sources.  Real journalism tends to go over our heads, and even when it doesn’t it seems tedious. War on Peace:  The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence is real journalism which is not tedious.  That may … Continue reading War on Peace by Ronan Farrow (Review)

News Vs. Shock Media — Or, Don’t Get Me Started

Disclaimer:  I am not a mental health professional.  The views expressed in this post are based on personal observations and printed matter for the general reader. A separate post on this topic appears on Facebook. If you keep track of current events, I hope you’ve given some thought to the distinction between journalism and gossip that just panders to the public’s voyeurism. Last night I was in a supermarket checkout line, thinking maybe I should have chosen a different checkstand.  Clearly, the retail grocery counterpart to Inspector Clouseau was failing at his attempt to pull up totals on the cash … Continue reading News Vs. Shock Media — Or, Don’t Get Me Started

Read More Than the Bold Print

This morning I read an article on the Bay Area Reporter’s site which serves as an example of why we must read news and historical accounts carefully.  The article in question concerns LGBT history, and there are many gray areas challenging the optimistic sounding intro. If someone reads only the bold print and first sentence of this item, that person may believe the United Kingdom has been way ahead of the United States on gay men’s rights consistently for fifty years.  It isn’t that simple, though. I suspect people who read carefully have always been in the minority.  That has gotten … Continue reading Read More Than the Bold Print

Amazon to Buy Whole Foods Market

At the end of this post, please click the link to a New York Times story about the expected purchase of Whole Foods Market by Amazon. While reading the article, we can only hope a particular disclosure made in passing won’t affect the Times’ coverage of this issue. Recently, Whole Foods hired a new Chief Financial Officer.  She’s Gabrielle Sulzberger, who’s married to NY Times Chairman and Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger. There are many reasons to think carefully and be alert to background information that can influence news reports.  The reasons aren’t always as obvious as this, so we must be ready to dig for subtle … Continue reading Amazon to Buy Whole Foods Market