Thursday, October 26, 2017


Yer old pal Jerky firmly believes that it is every American citizen's duty to familiarize themselves with the information contained in McKay Coppins' essential piece for the Columbia Journalism Review, titled What if the Right-Wing Media Wins?, which begins:
It was a sweltering July afternoon in the swamp, and a small group of well-dressed, conservative college students from across the country—the next generation of Megyn Kellys, George Wills, and Tucker Carlsons—was filing into an auditorium at the Heritage Foundation’s Washington, DC, headquarters. They had come to study at the feet of Breitbart News Washington editor Matt Boyle, a zealous prophet of the new right-wing media. Boyle’s sermon was not about how to break into the mainstream media and steer the national news agenda toward conservative aims—it was about the end days of journalism itself. And he was not about to skimp on the fire and brimstone. 
“Journalistic integrity is dead,” he declared. “There is no such thing anymore. So everything is about weaponization of information.” Standing behind a mahogany podium in a baggy dark suit, Boyle preached with the confidence of a true believer. In a stuttering staccato, he condemned the nation’s preeminent news outlets as “corrupted institutions,” “built on a lie,” and a criminal “syndicate that needs to be dismantled.” 
Boyle and his compatriots were laboring to usher in an imminent—and glorious—journalistic apocalypse. “We envision a day when CNN is no longer in business. We envision a day when The New York Times closes its doors. I think that day is possible.” 
Squint at the Trump era, and it’s easy to see a conservative media in crisis. Over the past 18 months, we have witnessed the fall of Bill O’Reilly, the ouster (and death) of Roger Ailes, prominent conservative outlets from Fox News to Breitbart to The Wall Street Journal op-ed page erupt in upheaval and infighting, Milo Yiannopoulos lose his book deal, and Tomi Lahren lose her job at The Blaze (only to land at Fox). Look closer, though, and you’ll see that much of that drama was simply a function of the outlets’ increased political power (and the heightened scrutiny that’s followed)—a bit of routine turbulence accompanying the unprecedented ascent of the right-wing media.

While Donald Trump’s rise may have, as Politico’s Eliana Johnson recently wrote, “scrambled the pecking order” on the right—elevating Breitbartesque populists over the conservative intellectuals at the Journal and The Weekly Standard—the conservative media complex as a whole is bigger, stronger, and more influential today than it’s ever been. And with so many of its most powerful members now pursuing a scorched-earth assault on America’s journalistic institutions, it’s worth considering what they hope it will look like once they’re done burning down our villages, desecrating our temples, and howling at our lamentations. 
Boyle said his goal was simple: “The full destruction and elimination of the entire mainstream media.” Breitbart played up his speech on its homepage that day, but the remarks barely registered in broader media circles. The site and its staff have become known for this kind of bluster, and most journalists have taught themselves to tune it out. Maybe we ought to be paying closer attention.

Trust me, folks... this is a blockbuster article, with tons of usable information and an excellent timeline of organized conservative attacks on the very idea of independent, non-partisan, truth-telling (and scandal-revealing) journalism. As usual with high-quality links here: Read, Save, Share.

Here... let Shaun King tell you about the Attempted Airport Bombing from Last Week. His report, for the Intercept, explains in part:
I bet you never heard about it. I keep an eye on these types of incidents closely, and I didn’t hear about it. Someone who follows me online who happens to live in Asheville sent me the story this morning — shocked that it hadn’t gotten any play at all beyond a few mentions in the local paper and some isolated pickup by a few national outlets. 
As soon as I clicked on the article, it all made perfect sense. 
The story didn’t go viral and Trump didn’t tweet about it because the bomb was not placed by an immigrant, or a Muslim, or a Mexican. It was placed there by a good ol’ white man, Michael Christopher Estes. Unlike the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, whose motive is still hard to discern, Estes wanted to be very clear that his ultimate goal was to accelerate a war on American soil.

There are more interesting and pertinent details to peruse over at the article. Thanks to Shaun for helping to keep track of stories like these in times like these. I think it's an important exercise and history will treat him kindly for doing so.
Aside from a few arts and entertainment reviews, I can’t remember the last time I was in 100% agreement with an article from the National Review. And yet, there's not a single thing I disagree with in this article, written by Jay Nordlinger, about how the US govt has shamefully aided Vladimir Putin in the latter's ongoing vindictive attacks on anti-corruption crusader Bill Browder. It’s a strange feeling.

Okay, well, I am NOT going to pretend like I understand this article about how sicentists have found what appears to be a "multidemensional universe inside the human brain"... a universe that "calculates" (or at least operates) at an abstraction of up to ELEVEN FUCKING DIMENSIONS (even in the tiniest slice of neural material)... but it's sure as Hell interesting. And the video at the link helps me grok it a little bit, at least. Who knows? Maybe you'll grasp it more easily than I. If you do, and you figure out a way to dumb it down even further, could you please do so in the comments section below? I'd appreciate it.


And finally, as a little extra, here is an incredibly moving video of an elderly chimpanzee, at death's door, perking up during a visit from an old friend, in an exchange that is profoundly, heart-breakingly human.

1 comment:

  1. COULDN'T Pass by without commenting on the touching humanity. Rest in peace, Mamma. Some of us have noted your being.