Why wait?

heisenbergThough it’s tempting to treat it as an artifact of the Internet, rushing an item to press has always been a tactic employed by journalists, probably since the days of the Bennetts and the New York Herald; getting “the scoop” was and remains a huge deal.  In that rush, just as in those days, accuracy is often sacrificed, which is not often considered as a great loss to publishers.  Despite protestations to the contrary in the field of journalism, simply giving the facts and the truth about a story is frequently dull and a poor way to sell newspapers, virtual or otherwise.  Anyone who’s been on the Worldstarhiphop site for more than five minutes will tell you what draws eyeballs — things that end up in some needlessly dramatic mess.  Which brings us to the case of Jussie Smollett. Continue reading

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The mote in our eye

Ladies and gentlemen, my first blog post in almost four years.  Did I miss anything?

Hopefully you all will not be waiting another four years for the next one.  As you might be able to tell from the content, it was not external political matters which kept me away — although I’ll admit that those have had a toll on my spiritual and mental well-being from time to time.  Please feel free to leave comments, as before.

There’s been a bit of pearl-clutching on this side of the pond over an opposition candidate in the upcoming Russian Presidential election, Alexey Navalny. Navalny is a reformer, and has made combatting corruption the centerpiece of his campaign, with strong and reasoned policy points concerning the economy. Of course, one of the weak points of modern Western democracy is that policy is a very distant concern among observers of his campaign, and many aren’t even looking at it at all. That’s human nature, of course, but it is amplified by media reaction. On that side, Russian media is essentially an arm of the Vladimir Putin campaign and ignores Navalny. They will get around to ridiculing him later, if he gains any traction with his campaign. (This is not a behavior that is confined to Russia, as I’ll discuss later in this article.) To Western media, Navalny has become a cause celebre because he seems to be the only reform-minded candidate running against Putin, and Putin has been transformed into something of a Blofeldian caricature in the U.S. Continue reading