Commentary: The Decline and Fall of Newspapers

A few years ago, you would have unfolded your newspaper and read opinion and analysis like this. Those days are gone. Today, most of us get our news and commentary online, perhaps supplemented by network or cable television, although TV viewership is far smaller than in the days of  “The Big Three.” Buried alongside those iconic broadcasters is the public’s confidence in news from all sources. Only 16% of Americans say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers, only 11% in TV news. Those numbers keep sinking. Today, if Walter Cronkite ended his broadcast, “And that’s the way it is,” most people would just smirk.

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Commentary: Our Incredible, Unbelievable Media

Here is what we’re talking about when we talk about the media “Narrative.”

A 10-year-old girl in Ohio was raped and impregnated. According to the doctor who performed the girl’s abortion in nearby Indiana, the girl could not obtain the procedure in her home state because of a law that cuts off abortions after six weeks. The girl, supposedly, was three days too late to have an abortion in the Buckeye State.

It sounds like the perfect story for the post-Roe era, which is why practically every news outlet on the planet picked it up. See! See, Americans! This is what your Christofascist Supreme Court has done! Are you happy now?

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Commentary: The Rainbow Fish Generation

Perhaps the most risible, widely acclaimed children’s book in the history of children’s books is The Rainbow Fish. This book, featuring a beautiful fish with shiny scales on the cover, made it into home libraries of children everywhere. It tells the story of a fish who is special because his scales are shiny and brightly colored. Every other boring, no-talent, plainly scaled fish envies the lovely and gifted Rainbow Fish and harasses him. The solution? The Rainbow Fish gives away all that made him special in order to earn their friendship and now these little commie crappies each have one scale but remain ugly, envious redistributionists.

The result? Equity. Everyone felt better because no one was great. A bunch of mediocre fishes swim around with pink hair or a nose ring and a big chip on their no-talent shoulders.

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Analysis: Professors and Media Tout Powerful COVID-Killing Technology

Near the top of its home page, the New York Times has published an essay by three professors about a “highly effective” technology to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in “high-risk environments” like nursing homes and places prone to “superspreader events.” Based on more than 500 hours of research, the institute Just Facts identified the same technology in September 2021 and promoted it to scholars, public officials, journalists, and commentators. However, most of them ignored the research while big tech suppressed it, thus costing countless lives.

The technology, called ultraviolet air disinfection, has been proven to stop the spread of contagious respiratory diseases in settings like schools and hospitals for more than 80 years. It is so effective that when it was used in a wing of a California VA hospital during the Asian influenza epidemic of 1958—not a single patient caught the disease. In contrast, the epidemic struck the other wing of the same hospital “with explosive force,” producing a “severe, prostrating illness” among 19% of the patients.

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Jen Psaki Will Leave White House Podium for MSNBC: Report

Jen Psaki

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will reportedly depart her official administration job this spring and join MSNBC, according to a report from Axios.

Psaki has been rumored to be in discussions with corporate media outlets for months. Her White House departure is also no surprise; the mother of two always expressed a desire to stick with her current role for about a year before pursuing other options.

Axios reports that Psaki has been in close contact with the White House counsel’s office about her imminent departure and has not signed any contracts that would put her in messy ethics territory. Though, sources say that Psaki has shared her plans to join MSNBC with some senior White House officials – the deal is reportedly close to being finalized.

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Fox News Announces Caitlyn Jenner as New Contributor

Caitlyn Jenner

Olympic gold medalist and former reality TV star Caitlin Jenner has signed on as a Fox News contributor, CEO Suzanne Scott announced Thursday, coinciding with the “International Transgender Day of Visibility.”

Scott said: “Caitlyn’s story is an inspiration to us all. She is a trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ community and her illustrious career spans a variety of fields that will be a tremendous asset for our audience.”

Jenner, who was known as Bruce before coming out as a transgender woman in 2015, ran as a Republican for governor of California last year.

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Academia’s Woke Influence on the Media: Analysis

Higher education’s push for Critical Race Theory influences not just college campuses, but also American society and media.

Earlier this year, Campus Reform reported on a Jan. 20 speaking event at the University of Pittsburgh where three scholars used the Critical Race Theory framework to examine three controversial court cases decided in Nov. 2021.

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Media Wage Harassment Campaign Against Freedom Convoy Donors Doxxed In GiveSendGo Hack

Media outlets are continuing to message small-dollar donors to the Freedom Convoy whose identities were leaked to the public after a hack of crowdfunding site GiveSendGo.

The personal information of roughly 90,000 donors to the Freedom Convoy, a group of truckers and hackers protesting Canada’s vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions, was leaked after hackers breached GiveSendGo late Sunday. The leaked data included names, email handles, IP addresses and zip codes, and was provided to “journalists and researchers” by Distributed Denial of Secrets, an activist group hosting the information.

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Commentary: Mainstream Media Newspapers Are Stubborn About Correcting Errors

Many iconic U.S. newspapers sport slogans that seek to explain their mission – and self-image. “All the News That’s Fit to Print” has been called “the seven most famous words in American journalism.” “Democracy Dies in Darkness” was an overtly partisan call to arms. But the most telling section of a newspaper’s true values is its “Corrections” page. That’s where journalism distinguishes itself from just about every other profession, routinely and straightforwardly admitting its mistakes. Who else does that?

It is a soul-crushing enterprise. A single misspelled name is all it takes to ruin an otherwise stellar article. We reporters may forget the topic of the piece we wrote last week, while the error five years ago is seared into our memories. But it is also crucial: Reader trust is the lifeblood of journalism. If you can’t believe what you read, why bother?

And yet, we do get things wrong all the time. Despite the self-righteous claims of too many news outlets, journalists don’t print The Truth. The “first draft of history” is necessarily messy and incomplete. What journalists have long promised readers is that we will do our best to get the story right initially and then set the record straight when better information emerges. This isn’t solely a commitment to high-minded ethics. It is also transactional: Journalists can so readily acknowledge errors because readers honor and reward our honesty. They forgive us our trespasses because we acknowledge them.

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Commentary: Conspiracies as Realities, Realities as Conspiracies

American politics over the last half decade has become immersed in a series of conspiracy charges leveled by Democrats against their opponents that, in fact, are happening because of them and through them. The consequences of these conspiracies becoming reality and reality revealing itself as conspiracy have been costly to American prestige, honor, and security. As we move away from denouncing realists as conspiracists, and self-pronounced “realists” are revealed as the true conspirators, let’s review a few of the more damaging of these events.

Russians on the Brain

Consider that the Trump election of 2016, the transition, and the first two years of the Trump presidency were undermined by a media-progressive generated hoax of “Russian collusion.”

The “bombshell” and “walls are closing in” mythologies dominated the network news and cable outlets. It took five years to expose them as rank agit-prop.

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Commentary: We Are All ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Now

Paul Hodgkins, according to Joe Biden’s Justice Department, is a domestic terrorist.

A working-class man from Tampa, Hodgkins committed what Democrats and the media consider a murderous crime comparable to flying a packed jetliner into a skyscraper or detonating a truck filled with explosives under a crowded federal building.

Paul Hodgkins entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

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Commentary: All Hail Joe Biden, King of the Elites

Jim Gaffigan said on Joe Rogan’s program, “I’d still take Biden’s corpse over Donald Trump.” Congratulations, elites! You’re now being governed by a political corpse. Elites will be fine with a dead president governing a zombified American economy and society. Working and middle-class Americans? Not so much.

How dead is Joe Biden’s political life? Joe Biden is so toxic politically that Stacey Abrams, governor of the Georgia of her mind, refused to stand with him in the state she ostensibly governs about the legislation that is her signature issue: codifying the ability to commit election fraud at the federal level. Abrams was absent while a bunch of masked black people stood stoically behind the bellicose president. The optics were bad in every aspect. The content was worse.

Did Biden address the distress of the 1982-ish 7 percent inflation numbers crushing the lower and middle class? No. Did the president encourage people in the face of year three enduring the out-of-control omicron variant? No. Did the president discuss job innovation? No.

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The New York Times to Acquire Sports Media Company ‘The Athletic’ for $550 Million

Woman in a red ball cap on her phone

The New York Times Company announced Thursday its agreement to purchase The Athletic, a sports media company, for $550 million.

The acquisition will help The New York Times reach its goal of having 10 million subscriptions by 2025, according to a company press release.

The Athletic charges a monthly subscription and provides coverage of over 200 sports clubs and teams both in the U.S. and around the world.

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Commentary: Securing America’s Border and Communities Is Our Government’s First Duty

Group of people at a Trump rally, man in a "Keep America Great" hat

Remember when President George W. Bush said this?

I’ve had a lot of experience with dealing with borders, as the Governor of Texas. I know there’s a compassionate, humane way to deal with this issue. I want to remind people that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River.

It was January 2005. Bush had just won reelection with a campaign strong on national security. Then after narrowly defeating John Kerry, Bush did what Bushes tend to do when they think they’re secure: He lurched to the Left and betrayed the base of his own party. He cast Americans who want a strong, secure border as racists—just four years after we had been attacked by international terrorists who exploited our weak immigration system to kill thousands of us. Bush behaved as if Americans didn’t know that Mexicans living south of the Rio Grande believe in family. Millions of Americans have Mexican heritage themselves. But they or their ancestors chose to be Americans.

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Commentary: Jussie Smollett — Another Liar and Perjurer Made by the Media for TV Crime Entertainment

Jussie Smollett

I guess I first knew Jussie Smollett was fated for disaster when he did the unthinkable: an American trying to perpetrate a fraud on Nigerians.

Add to that: He had the full-throated backing of Kamala Harris, our vice tweeter, and of our Tweeter-in-Chief. In Harris’s words: “@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.” Uncle Joe (or whoever tweets for him) posted this: “What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie.”

The Insatiable American Fascination with Crime, Crooks, Detectives, and Courtroom “Trials of the Century”

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Commentary: On Critical Race Theory, the Left’s Manipulations and Double Standards Are No Match for the Truth

"End Racism Now" sign and "Black Lives Matter" in a crowd

People old enough to remember the academic culture wars of the late 1980s and early ’90s have a special insight into this year’s controversy over critical race theory. I don’t mean insight into the identity politics of the old days and into the identity politics of 2021, though the basic features are the same whether we are talking about the English syllabus in college in 1989 or the equity lesson in elementary school this fall. I mean, instead, the particular way in which liberals have handled the backlash once the trends in the higher education seminar of yore and in the 6th grade classroom of today have been made public. 

Here’s what happened back then. In the 1970s and ’80s, a new political awareness crept into humanities teaching and research at elite universities, casting the old humanist ideals of beauty and genius and greatness as spurious myths, as socially constructed notions having a political purpose. We were told that they are not natural, neutral, or objective. No, they are Eurocentric, patriarchal, even theological (in that they presumed a transhistorical, universal character for select masterpieces). Shakespeare, Milton, Bernini, et al., were not on the syllabus because they were talents superior to all others. No, they were only there because  the people in control were institutionalizing their biases. This whole canon thing, the revisionists insisted, was a fake. As Edward Said put it in “Secular Criticism,” “The realities of power and authority . . .  are realities that make texts possible,” and any criticism that skirts the power and authority that put Shakespeare on the syllabus and not someone else is a dodge. 

They could diversify, then. That’s what the skepticism enabled them to do. They could drop requirements in Western civilization. They needn’t force every student through a “great books” sequence. The “classics” are just one possibility among many others. That was the policy outcome at one tier-one campus after another. 

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REVIEW: Hemingway’s ‘Rigged’ a Bone Chilling Page-Turner into the 2020 Election

Person with mask on at a computer.

We are a year overdue for the true story of the 2020 elections. Mollie Hemingway has at last delivered it to us in one tidy volume.

It’s a complex story, which makes for a weighty book. The research is thorough, the writing is evidentiary, the style is clinical—like investigative journalism and social science used to be. The endnotes alone run nearly 100 pages. 

Reading Rigged, one isn’t jarred by hyperbole, conjecture, or spin. Hemingway is unequivocal on progressive malice, yet she can be scathing of Republicans, too. She is particularly critical of Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to publicize fraud nationally, thereby undermining prior case-by-case efforts to get particular state courts to recognize particular violations of particular state laws. 

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