Wednesday, March 13, 2019

More controversy on how politicians and ordinary citizens interact with "journalism"

A ThinkProgress story this morning about an interchange of tweets involving Trump’s reaction to a straightforward Fox News video by foreign correspondent Trey Yingst about foreign investigations of the Ethiopian Airlines investigation, illustrates the layered problems in journalism today and the way the public processes it .

One of Trey’s tweets states that he is reporting only simple facts.  Yet, Trump seemed to blow this up in his mind to a distrust of technology that was noted in the media (correctly) in late 2016 after he won the election.  That distrust may also be related to the supposed needs of his political base, whose jobs have been eroded by technology developed by intellectual elites. 

As we remember from how he conducted “The Apprentice” Trump can be very impressionable with respect to the personalities of people who work with him for him; and has an unusually exaggerated tendency to jump to the conclusions he wants after interacting with certain people in his world. That’s a natural human tendency, but with Trump it is exaggerated and is normally seen as immaturity in an adult.  Trump, in picking his winners on the program, was inconsistent; but he tended to favor street smarts  (and “team players”) over book smarts and individualists. 

The notice at the bottom of the Think Progress page, asking for donations, needs notice too.  The website notes it has been targeted by advertisers for covering controversial and emotion-generating topics, like “white racism”.  On YouTube, conservatives have said the same thing (“Adpocalypse”). Truthout, which seems similar, has been particularly aggressive in repeatedly begging for donations.

I get pretty offended when a publication claims that only it can speak for me – or when any non-profit does that.  Yet Trump told his base the same thing during the campaign “I am your voice”.  I wonder if I am a loser who needs “them” and is supposed to join up in bragging about collective victimization.  This gets me running around in circles – I can’t take the space to analyze Jordan Peterson’s response to this sort of thing (“Clean your room”, which Martin Goldberg dissected sometime back in one of his “Economic Invincibility” videos).  

 I don’t ask for anything on my blogs and I don’t call people to sell them things – and yet I get criticized for not playing ball with others and undermining their jobs!  This really gets to be a ring-around-the-rosey, where tigers turn to butter.  I’ve noted before that Facebook prods people, after posting controversial news links in their timelines, to run fundraisers for “your” non-profit on their own pages under their own names (as a contest), as if “you” need a non-profit to speak for you.

I have contributed thru Paypal (and previously Patreon, before it blew up) to a few podcasters and do so monthly;  so far I only contribute to “magazine” websites if I link to four or more articles in a year.  This one counts. (My own version of “Article 11”). 

Lior Leser concluded his podcast last night with some reference to this (in response to my question at 1:08:05) and his response is quite interesting.

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