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The Year In Discourse Blog: Media
Including special unlocked posts from behind our paywall!
We're wrapping up our big Birthday Week, so we’re compiling some of our best posts over the first year (!) of our existence. Today, we're looking back at our favorite work about the cursed media industry we call home.
To mark the occasion, we’ve taken down the paywall from an exclusive collection of posts that were previously available only to our paid subscribers. They’re now free for all of you to read! (Look for the words “UNLOCKED” in the headlines.)
We’re delighted to have made it to a year, but we need your help to get us to our second birthday! If you appreciate the work in this post, please consider becoming a paid subscriber so we can do even more of it. Subscriptions start at just $8 a month.
NPR chose to parrot right-wing talking points, blaming workers and a necessary, emergency expansion of the safety net. Another resounding win for the liberal media.
There is no good way to get fired. But you would think, that after close to 8,000 layoffs in 2019 alone and hundreds more in the first half of 2020, that the people in charge would have the shit-canning process down pat. They do not. Here are some stories from people about how they were laid off. All sources are anonymous for obvious reasons.
The actual beginning of the end of white supremacy in newsrooms will come with the end of the prioritization of white perspectives. That will only come with an entire systemic upheaval, from the people financing news institutions and controlling the business side of operations, to the people writing and editing news stories. A commitment to ending white supremacy in newsrooms requires white executives and editors and writers to give equal power to executives and editors and writers of color — in other words, to give up some of the vast power that white people have hoarded for so long.
The linguistic gymnastics at work here are truly a marvel. It takes incredible editing athleticism and pure effort to avoid saying the most clear, direct thing, which is what the news is supposed to do. Yet they manage to do it over and over again. Why?
The online frenzy is real, but it also misses the point. Ultimately, this is not a story about a too-woke staff, or even about bad tweets. It’s about a fundamental failure on the part of Condé Nast leadership, including Anna Wintour, in understanding what kind of publication Teen Vogue is, and who might be the best person to lead it. That ignorance from media bosses is all too common, and the damage it has caused here has left everyone involved worse off than when they started.
The powers that be—in this case, the establishment media—dropped the ball (pun not intended, I promise), widely characterizing these strikes as “boycotts.” Our country is so deeply divorced from the legacy of strong unions and workers empowered to fight for their rights that we don’t even allow for the rhetorical possibility anymore.
If you wanted powerful evidence that a Nobel Prize does not exempt you from saying extremely stupid shit, look no further than whatever this was from Paul Krugman today.
Jake Tapper is far from the only useful idiot for the State Department line, but he may be its most useful in promoting the equivocation of criticism of the Israeli government with anti-Semitism. Unfortunately for him, it’s painstakingly easy to see right through it.
There are right and wrong ways to go about this trade, but this isn’t a blog about that. Instead, this is a blog about the pipeline of money that flows from wealthy donors trying to launder their reputations to an entire cadre of morons who, while making money off of the general idea of Journalism, do not, in fact, practice the trade of journalism in any way.
Like so much of Weiss’ work, it is couched in the most lurid kind of tone, as though she is trying to conjure up a Cold War spy thriller out of the passingly interesting story of some wealthy people who are dealing with changing cultural mores.
If I never hear the name Ben Shapiro again for as long as I live, it'll be too soon.
Rush Limbaugh died today at the age of 70, ridding the world of a voice that has done more harm to the institution of democracy and the human value of compassion than almost anyone over the past few decades. If there is a hell, he is in it; if there is not, he is nothing.