Rebuilding a basis on which Americans can form a shared belief about what is going on is a precondition of democracy, and the most important task confronting the press going forward. Our data strongly suggest that most Americans, including those who access news through social networks, continue to pay attention to traditional media, following professional journalistic practices, and cross-reference what they read on partisan sites with what they read on mass media sites.
21 October, 2020
Pearl Harbor and September 11th are probably the two biggest news events of the last 100 years. Both lasted less than two hours, start to finish.
The party was my idea. That’s what I can’t get over. Well, I mean, it wasn’t even a party — more like a get-together. There were just six of us, okay? My parents, my partner, and my partner’s parents. We’d been locked down for months at that point in Texas, and the governor had just come out and said small gatherings were probably okay. We’re a close family, and we hadn’t been together in forever. It was finally summer. I thought the worst was behind us. I was like: “Hell, let’s get on with our lives. What are we so afraid of?”
Some people in my family didn’t necessarily share all of my views, but I pushed it. I’ve always been out front with my opinions. I’m gay and I’m conservative, so either way I’m used to going against the grain. I stopped trusting the media for my information when it went hard against Trump in 2016. I got rid of my cable. It’s all opinion anyway, so I’d rather come up with my own. I find a little bit of truth here and a little there, and I pile it together to see what it makes. I have about 4,000 people in my personal network, and not one of them had gotten sick. Not one. You start to hear jokes about, you know, a skydiver jumps out of a plane without a parachute and dies of covid-19. You start to think: “Something’s really fishy here.” You start dismissing and denying.
20 October, 2020
What about the financial benefits of tying together these three interconnects? Are they substantial? And are they enough to pay for the work that would be needed to unify them into a supergrid?
19 October, 2020
Polymeropoulos countered by warning the Russians to stop meddling in American elections. The Russians denied they would ever do such a thing. It was the way most Russian officials behave in such meetings at all levels of government—a lecture about American racism, theatrical incredulity and hurt feelings that the Americans would think the Russians had meddled in American politics. Still, Polymeropoulos was stunned by how unabashedly combative his Russian counterparts were. He had spent his career in a region where people were exceedingly polite, rolling out banquets and plying him with tea, even as he knew they were plotting to kill him. He knew the Russians didn’t like him, but “I would have expected them to be a little more polite,” Polymeropoulos told me.
In fact, the public, which swims comfortably in the digital sea, knows far more than elites trapped in obsolete structures. The public knows when the elites fail to deliver their promised “solutions,” when they tell falsehoods or misspeak, when they are caught in sexual escapades, and when they indulge in astonishing levels of smugness and hypocrisy. The public is disenchanted in the elites and their institutions, much in the way science disenchanted the world of fairies and goblins. The natural reaction is cynicism. The elites aren’t seen as fallible humans doing their best but as corrupt and arrogant jerks. The public, I said, is mired in negation.
The pandemic crisis has been a striking illustration of all this. Information about the virus moved at the speed of light, but the institutions that were supposed to protect public health moved ponderously and were always playing catch-up, while the experts contradicted each other and sometimes themselves. In the US, the CDC kept changing its mind about surgical masks. The FDA seemed to think its mission was to throw out regulatory obstacles to treatment and cure. Given that lives were at stake, these were not trivial confusions.
Elites like Fauci might become more credible if they admitted that they, too, are dwellers in Plato’s cave, like everyone else, even people with multiple PhDs who are awarded long titles by federal agencies. We are all trying to make sense of the flitting shadows. A little humility would go a long way.
18 October, 2020
A site called New York Business Daily ran the article, saying the creditor was squeezing the finances of a struggling Manhattan hotel.
17 October, 2020
16 October, 2020
15 October, 2020
14 October, 2020
She left the country in 2013, but she was not happy in exile.
I wish we had a dozen genocide scholars waiting on standby who could jump on every instance and provide fantastic, thorough rebuttals and nip even the slightest hint of denialism in the bud the moment it shows up.
08 October, 2020
So in these data (remember, the numbers are updated regularly, we’re looking at March 1 to September 1 only, and this is a rough-and-ready calculation), we have 1,641,133 All-Cause deaths in comparison to a baseline 2015-2019 average of 1,359,816. In this period the raw excess is 281,317 deaths. COVID-19 was listed as a cause of 179,303 of these, leaving a deficit—a remaining excess—of 102,014. Overall excess mortality from March 1st to September 1st is 17.1% above the baseline, with COVID-19 accounting for 10.9 of those percentage points, with a 6.22 percentage point excess distributed across other causes.
01 October, 2020
The song "Long Violent History" plays out the internal argument that led Childers to make this explicit and remarkable stand in solidarity. It's a lament grounded in bluegrass fiddle and that fundamental African import, the banjo. Presenting himself as a confused "white boy from Hickman" who once understood how the protests might feel like unnecessary trouble, Childers artfully bends perspective at the ballad's center, realizing that for all the times he'd belligerently questioned authority, he'd never felt like he might lose his life. Echoing a long line of labor and other protest songs, Childers asks how many "boys could they haul off this mountain" until their parents, their loved ones, would get out Papaw's pistol and fight back. "Would that be the start of a long, violent history?" he asks. The tune ends with a sonic invocation of the long, violent history of American white supremacy: a few lines of "My Old Kentucky Home," a minstrel ballad written by Stephen Foster, complete with racist depictions of enslaved people.
Childers has taken a chance with this song – in the video, he explains that the eight instrumental songs that precede it on his new album were well-considered as stage-setters for this final, controversial act.