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Deja vu: The Villagers are clutching their pearls again


My goodness, the Villagers were so upset about yesterday’s news about Donald Trump and his very special relationships with Russia and their sex workers. Can you guess what had them so upset? I knew you could!

They were upset that Buzzfeed published the original intelligence report.

Where to begin? First of all, a BBC reporter announced today he verified the story with a CIA source –and I’ve since heard more details about what kind of additional dirt the Russians are said to have on Trump. (If you’ve seen the pictures of Trump with young Ivanka on his lap, you can probably guess.)

Chris Matthews, who spoke at great length about the many possible crimes Hillary Clinton may have committed after James Comey released his last-minute letter, is in high dudgeon over Buzzfeed publishing the memo. Because journalism, damn it!

Well, just like with 2003 and the run-up to the Iraq invasion, journalism isn’t doing a goddamned thing to stand up to this creature. Once again, the dirty fucking hippies will do the dirty work and we not only won’t get any thanks, we’ll be ripped to shreds over it.

Must be time for another blogger ethics panel!

Phase One, in which Doris gets her oats



I’ve been done work for a week now (I have an NDA, can’t talk about work stuff so don’t ask), and I’m working on healing my brain. Literally! My neurological system is pretty much in shambles after a year of working 12-hour days and constantly scanning my surroundings for election-related news.

Part of that is, I haven’t once watched the news since the election. I don’t have the stomach just yet for that nonsense. I do watch short video clips, but that’s it. (After working on the mayoral race, I didn’t watch the news or read a paper for six months.) I’ve been reading a lot of books — six since I stopped working.

My original post-election plan was to start a site of women-focused political news but as you probably noticed, our government suddenly took a different turn. My partner (to be named later) and I are instead starting a much larger site that will focus on deciphering the news instead of reporting it — an umbrella in the shit storm, as it were.

These are dangerous times, and we have a lot of work to do, including the hard work of organizing to save Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid. But more importantly, we have to put Trump’s actions (and that of the media who covers him) into historic and political context for the voters. The fog of lies is the first step in creating an authoritarian government, and we’re not going down without a fight.

So sometime in January, we plan to announce a Kickstarter campaign for the new site. In exchange for two years’ funding, we promise no ads, no click bait headlines, and no stories meant to drive traffic. But you will get our undivided attention on this administration, and that’s worth a lot.

Chasing traffic is a fools’ errand; advertising revenues are in the toilet for all but the largest sites. I’d rather concentrate on drawing the map you’ll need to navigate the next four years.

Stay tuned!

DMCA hell

Just got what purports to be a second takedown notice for a music file I posted in 2010. Except no, there was no first takedown notice, and it looks like I removed all the mp3 files the last time this happened.

And of course the contact email address they gave me doesn’t work, and I can only call them in the middle of the night, because they’re in England.

So in case the site is down for a day or two, that’s why.

They didn’t know bin Laden was dead

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Since the 1950s, right wing groups and foundations laid the groundwork to defund public schools and push everyone into for-profit private schools or charters, because poorly educated students become easily-manipulated voters. Look at the results:

Veteran journalist Alan Miller tells the story of the high school students who, years after the fact, didn’t know that Osama bin Laden had been killed. These were seniors, no less — in a journalism class at a well-regarded New York City charter school.

“Their reaction was ‘Wait, what? He’s dead?’ ” said Miller, who won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

His story, though, has a happy ending. After immersion in the News Literacy Project, a Bethesda-based nonprofit organization that Miller founded to give teenagers the tools to know what to believe in the digital age, the students became news junkies. They were seriously annoyed if their classroom copies of the New York Times didn’t show up on time.

Every bit as dead as bin Laden, it sometimes seems, is many American citizens’ basic knowledge of news. Young people, especially, get their news in isolated bursts on their phones (the experts call this disaggregation). That makes it harder than ever to tell established truth from opinion, propaganda or pure fiction.

I always thought this is where people like me would find a niche. People so immersed in news, readers would pay for someone to filter out the rest. That happened for a while, but not enough to make a living.

You could see that last week when, during NBC’s commander-in-chief forum, moderator Matt Lauer didn’t even raise a skeptical eyebrow as Donald Trump claimed — again, and falsely — to have opposed the war in Iraq from the start. Although, as a broadcast pro, Lauer should have been far better prepared to parry this and other politically expedient flights of fancy, his ailment — apparent ignorance — is a common one. (Consider Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s query in an MSNBC interview: “What is Aleppo?”)

“There’s a cacophony of untrue information out there,” and it’s drowning out what’s dependable and accurate, said Leonard Downie Jr., former Washington Post executive editor, whose new book, “The News Media: What Everyone Needs to Know,” provides some help in question-and-answer form. (For example: “How dependent is journalism on leaks?” and “How are private interests trying to manage news now?”)


Traffic report

How to Actually "Use Your Network" to Get Through a Job Search (Even the Tough Parts)

So it seems like my traffic, which has not been all that fantastic for several years now, is really hitting the floor — in a heated election season, which disturbs me.

Thoughts? Feedback?

New job

female blogger

So I just started working at another blog yesterday. (Just in case you were wondering why I’m not over at C&L anymore.) Not many details to share, the site’s under new ownership and will be redesigned in the next few months. Oh, and the money’s better. Stay tuned!


Words Could Never Say

Boohunney had to have her Achilles tendon surgically reconnected this week. I know we all enjoy her posts, so please leave her some “Get Well” wishes in the comments!

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