Eric Alterman/American Prospect:
‘Both Sides’ Journalism Versus the Truth on Climate Change
It’s not just the Post that is offering its precious space to those who deny reputable science on behalf of conspiracy theories that serve the needs of Republican party funders. Both Daniels’s and Thiessen’s columns were of a piece with the sophisticated denialism that regularly appears on the Times op-ed page under the byline of Bret Stephens. You may recall that the paper’s previous publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chose to sully his more than two decades as publisher of the paper of record in 2017 by lifting Stephens from the swamps of the editorial pages of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal—where climate denial is as intensely determined a diktat as collectivism was of Stalin’s Communist Party—and give him the most prestigious perch from which to opine in all American journalism. There, in his first column (as I wrote in The Nation at the time), “ignoring the consensus opinion of virtually all qualified climatologists, Stephens wondered about the ‘ideological intentions’ of those who demand that we act before it’s too late. Offering no specific examples, he accused ‘the climate-advocacy community’ of ‘convey[ing] the impression’ that the steps required to avoid catastrophe are ‘not just necessary, but relatively straightforward and affordable.’” Typical of climate deniers, Stephens was dishonest about the numbers. As I wrote back then, “In fact, as a 2011 International Energy Agency report explained, ‘for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.’”
In Town Hall, Biden Returns to Normalcy
Yes, he strayed off message and got things wrong. But unlike his predecessor, he understands what the job entails.
Biden has taken some heat from the press for mostly avoiding in-depth, one-on-one interviews. He’s done a fairly normal number of press conferences, and takes questions from White House reporters on plenty of other brief occasions. This is the third CNN town hall he’s done. Overall, I’d say it’s healthy for presidents to use a variety of different formats, but in reality most of them wind up giving the press less than they want, and like Biden they wind up specializing in the formats that play to their strengths.
So: This town hall won’t change much for Biden, but all of these events are part of the normal responsibilities of the presidency — and it is important that presidents carry such things out.
Ashton Pittman/Mississippi Free Press:
Organizers Plan For Post-Roe Mississippi With Self-Managed Abortion Education
The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Mississippi’s challenge to Roe v. Wade for more than a month, but leading abortion-rights organizers say they are not holding out hope for a favorable ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Instead, they are preparing for a post-Roe Mississippi.
Most abortions, they expect, will soon become illegal across the South, and people will either have to travel far out of state to obtain abortions or else learn to safely perform their own.
“I am upset, of course, but being upset is not going to stop anything,” Mississippi In Action Executive Director Valencia Robinson told the Mississippi Free Press following an abortion-rights rally that she helped lead in Jackson on Oct. 2. “What we have to do is educate our community on what happens when Roe v. Wade is overturned.”
Pranksters have already defaced Trump’s new social network
Truth Social has some unusual rules for a Trump-run site: It reserves the right to ban users and safeguard itself from lawsuits with Section 230 protections. It also prohibits ‘excessive use of capital letters.’
The site, called Truth Social, has since been pulled offline, evidence that Trump is likely to face a daunting challenge in building an Internet business that can stand on its own.
Banned by all major social networks after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Trump has for months agitated to regain the online megaphone that once blasted his voice around the world. In a presentation released Wednesday by his new media company, Trump Media & Technology Group, his team hailed the new social network as the first tentpole for a Trump-led media, news and Internet empire that would one day compete with CNN, Disney and Facebook.
The Methods of Moral Panic Journalism
Scare stories on "left-wing illiberalism" display a familiar pattern.
And so, because I don’t have time to debunk all of these articles, I’m going to pick on two of them. Last month, The Economist and The Atlantic published long features purporting to explore the phenomena of “Left-Wing Illiberalism” and “New Puritanism,” respectively. While both stories display the superficial features of investigative journalism, a deep dive reveals the same motivated reasoning, nonexistent evidence and indefensible editorial standards that misinformed the public about frivolous lawsuits.
It’s happening again. And here’s how to spot it.
Katherine J Wu/Atlantic:
No One Will Stop You From Getting Whatever Booster You Want
The CDC indicated that it would move toward a hands-off stance: Booster-eligible people should stick with one brand, but may mix and match at will.
The CDC’s stance on mixing and matching, then, could end up being a relatively soft one, neither extolment nor excoriation. That might also be the most practical course of action for the agency, given the variables involved and the lack of clear-cut evidence that could untangle them. But the wishy-washiness of Pick whatever is confusing as hell.
Every combo works, so don’t sweat it.
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