sp_AddNewsStory 'Here’s how The New York Times tested blockchain to help you identify faked photos on your timeline','http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NiemanJournalismLab/~3/YbosLVT4jms/','Can blockchain save journalism? The Magic 8-Ball’s best answer thus far appears to be “Outlook not so good.” Cryptocurrency hype has receded; an Ethereum token, which would have cost you $1,438 two years ago, can now be had for $166. Changing currency doesn’t seem to change anything fundamental about the news industry’s struggles. But if...',69,0,121,'1/22/2020 10:36:49 AM'
Rejecting for relevancy match:Our friend and colleague Ethan Zuckerman has written an important piece I’d like to draw your attention to. In a piece for the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia, he lays out what he calls the case for digital public infrastructure. (He also published a summary of it here; the main piece is kinda long.)...sp_AddNewsStory 'This former HBO executive is trying to use dramatic techniques to highlight the injustice in criminal justice','http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NiemanJournalismLab/~3/6iMr0NIp4EM/','The true-crime boom seems to have no end in sight. While crime reporting has long been a staple of newspapers and television news, the podcasting boom has unleashed a torrent; there are now more than 1,300 true-crime shows listed in Apple Podcasts. Lists of “best true-crime podcasts” can stretch to 25, 40, 50, or more....',69,0,121,'1/21/2020 2:42:31 PM'
Rejecting for relevancy match:Accountability journalism is fueled by access to public records, documents, and data — stories like how a state government relies on secretive software to do most of its work, or how government agencies overcite terrorism as a reason to withhold records. Public records can even, in some places, tell us how local officials spend their...sp_AddNewsStory 'Would acquiring The Ringer move Spotify to the top of the Podcast Pyramid?','http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NiemanJournalismLab/~3/_hHjlWG3NZg/','Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue 242, dated January 21, 2020. The Ringer and Spotify. On Friday evening, at the top of a long weekend — a time slot known in some cultures as “News Dump O’Clock” — The Wall Street Journal dropped a mighty curious story with considerable implications...',69,0,121,'1/21/2020 11:54:06 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'New Jersey’s effort to strengthen local news finally gets its first $1 million','http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NiemanJournalismLab/~3/uxRSzthbmic/','It took almost five years and the amount was winnowed down from a dreamy $100 million to just $2 million, but it’s finally happened: On Thursday, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy released the first $1 million in funds for the Civic Information Consortium, a nonprofit initiative that seeks to strengthen local news and civic participation...',69,0,121,'1/17/2020 1:33:05 PM'
Rejecting for relevancy match:The new decade is just days old, but in one respect it is already shaping up like the last one: with mass protests around the world. Rallies for democracy overseas and anti-war demonstrations in the U.S. arrive after a year that saw people take to the streets over issues including human rights abuse, corruption and...
Rejecting for relevancy match:Instagram fact-checking hits some bumps. A Photoshopped image of some painted hills by a graphic designer was declared “false” by one of Instagram’s new fact-checking partners, spurring fears that artists’ work on the platform would be more broadly blocked. (The Next Web: “Instagram’s decision to hide photoshopped images is a disservice to art.”) “We will...
Rejecting for relevancy match:One thing you learn when you start fact-checking is that, while some things are clearly true or false, there’s a lot that falls in between. What seems like a binary is often more of a messy spectrum: “factually accurate but deeply misleading,” “got the numbers wrong but the broader point is correct,” “there are some...
Rejecting for relevancy match:When an ad runs on a YouTube video, the video creator generally keeps 55 percent of the ad revenue, with YouTube getting the other 45 percent. This system’s designed to compensate content creators for their work. But when those videos contain false information — say, about climate change — it’s essentially encouraging the creation of...
Rejecting for relevancy match:There are few questions I get more often from journalists and other Nieman Lab readers than this one: How do I get verified on Twitter? Stores may not take checks anymore, but that blue check is still valuable currency on social media. While it’s supposed to simply indicate that Twitter users really are who they...sp_AddNewsStory 'Putting news on stage: Bringing journalism back to the theater as a public space','http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NiemanJournalismLab/~3/qf-KAeWn9j8/','The town crier is long gone. Every journalist is hardwired to seek out the largest possible audiences. Why would a reporter want to go out and tell their story to a bunch of actual people in a room when they could put it online for the whole world? And yet that’s what’s happening. Newsrooms across...',69,0,121,'1/15/2020 10:27:08 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Newsonomics: Worried about Alden taking control of Tribune? It’s already pulling strings inside','http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NiemanJournalismLab/~3/Sehm1CVepxQ/','Missiles and drone strikes may have temporarily driven everyone’s eyes elsewhere — including those in the news industry — but the new decade’s big story in the news business looks a lot like the old one’s: Local journalism is spiraling downward — and picking up speed. In newspapers, the focus is on Tribune Publishing and...',69,0,121,'1/14/2020 3:39:14 PM'
Unexpected XML declaration. The XML declaration must be the first node in the document, and no white space characters are allowed to appear before it. Line 2, position 3.
sp_AddNewsStory 'Dow Finishes Down 152, Nasdaq Slides 18','https://tvnewscheck.com/article/243677/dow-finishes-down-152-nasdaq-slides-18/','U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday amid jitters over a virus outbreak. The selling in U.S. stocks followed losses in Asian and European markets as investors worried that the new coronavirus spreading in the worldâ€™s second-largest economy could hurt tourism and ultimately economic growth and corporate profits.
The post Dow Finishes Down 152, Nasdaq Slides 18 appeared first on TV News Check.
sp_AddNewsStory 'The Poynter Institute announces investment from Facebook to expand MediaWise digital information literacy program to first-time voters','https://www.poynter.org/from-the-institute/2020/the-poynter-institute-announces-investment-from-facebook-to-expand-mediawise-digital-information-literacy-program-to-first-time-voters/','The post The Poynter Institute announces investment from Facebook to expand MediaWise digital information literacy program to first-time voters appeared first on Poynter .',67,0,121,'1/22/2020 4:00:21 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'These North Carolina papers used to compete. Now, they watchdog together','https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2020/these-north-carolina-papers-used-to-compete-now-they-watchdog-together/','The post These North Carolina papers used to compete. Now, they watchdog together appeared first on Poynter .',67,0,121,'1/22/2020 9:30:21 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'An impeachment media diet calls for moderation » A Hillary scoop » Is The Ringer for sale?','https://www.poynter.org/newsletters/2020/an-impeachment-media-diet-calls-for-moderation-a-hillary-scoop-is-the-ringer-for-sale/','The Poynter Report is our daily media newsletter. To have it delivered to your inbox Monday-Friday, click here. Your guide to a healthy media diet And we’re off and running. The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is underway and so is the exhaustive media coverage. The major networks are interrupting programming and putting their superstar […]
The post An impeachment media diet calls for moderation » A Hillary scoop » Is The Ringer for sale? appeared first on Poynter .',67,0,121,'1/22/2020 7:30:35 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'An easy way journalists can ensure transparent coverage for the 2020 election','https://www.poynter.org/paid-content/2020/an-easy-way-journalists-can-ensure-transparent-coverage-for-the-2020-election/','The post An easy way journalists can ensure transparent coverage for the 2020 election appeared first on Poynter .',67,0,121,'1/22/2020 7:18:14 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Podcasting has a discoverability problem. Here’s a tool that can solve that.','https://www.poynter.org/tech-tools/2020/podcasting-has-a-discoverability-problem-heres-a-tool-that-can-solve-that/','The post Podcasting has a discoverability problem. Here’s a tool that can solve that. appeared first on Poynter .',67,0,121,'1/22/2020 7:00:44 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Got power? Learn how to use it in this Poynter program for new managers','https://www.poynter.org/from-the-institute/2020/got-power-learn-how-to-use-it-in-this-poynter-program-for-new-managers/','The post Got power? Learn how to use it in this Poynter program for new managers appeared first on Poynter .',67,0,121,'1/22/2020 7:00:06 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Digital Publishing: How ProPublica is Harnessing the Power of Collaboration','https://www.editorandpublisher.com/columns/digital-publishing-how-propublica-is-harnessing-the-power-of-collaboration/','If there’s a buzzword in journalism these days that can challenge “engagement” for newsroom supremacy, it’d probably be collaboration. It',66,0,121,'1/23/2020 3:00:08 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Here’s an Argument for Extending Public Infrastructure to Digital Spaces','https://www.editorandpublisher.com/news/heres-an-argument-for-extending-public-infrastructure-to-digital-spaces/','Our friend and colleague Ethan Zuckerman has written an important piece I’d like to draw your attention to. In a piece for',66,0,121,'1/22/2020 5:12:19 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Miami Herald to Close Production Plant, Move Printing Operations to Broward County','https://www.editorandpublisher.com/news/miami-herald-to-close-production-plant-move-printing-operations-to-broward-county/','The Miami Herald Media Company announced Tuesday it will move its printing and packaging operations to Broward County. The South',66,0,121,'1/22/2020 5:09:39 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Can Publishers Use Metadata to Regain the Public’s Trust in Visual Journalism?','https://www.editorandpublisher.com/news/can-publishers-use-metadata-to-regain-the-publics-trust-in-visual-journalism/','“The thing about photos is that they carry with them a lot of credibility. Someone took a picture of something!',66,0,121,'1/22/2020 5:02:50 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'BBC’s John Ware to Sue Labor Over Panorama Investigation','https://www.editorandpublisher.com/news/bbcs-john-ware-to-sue-labor-over-panorama-investigation/','The veteran BBC journalist John Ware has launched legal action against the Labour party over his controversial Panorama investigation into allegations of',66,0,121,'1/22/2020 3:15:33 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'American Journalist is Arrested in Indonesia Over Visa Issue','https://www.editorandpublisher.com/news/american-journalist-is-arrested-in-indonesia-over-visa-issue/','An American journalist whose work for a conservation website exposed environmental degradation and corporate malfeasance in Indonesia has been jailed',66,0,121,'1/22/2020 2:45:13 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Intimidation is a form of violence','https://www.cjr.org/cjr_outbox/virginia-gun-rally.php','Earlier this week more than twenty thousand people, many of them armed, converged on Richmond, Virginia, to protest legislative efforts meant to reduce gun violence. Those efforts include a one-per-month cap on handgun purchases; universal background checks; and limits on firearm possession in public spaces, to be determined by local governments. The Virginia General Assembly […]',65,0,121,'1/22/2020 2:48:23 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Dead and spun: a story in three meetings','https://www.cjr.org/special_report/deadspin-gawker-gomedia.php/','April 12, 2019: The new chief executive of G/O Media, the company that used to be Gawker, addressed his new staff in a makeshift auditorium around the central stairs of our Flatiron offices. Jim Spanfeller looked like the main characters from Caddyshack melded together, and had the demeanor of a personal injury lawyer. It was […]',65,0,121,'1/22/2020 12:05:10 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Brazil’s attack on Greenwald mirrors the US case against Assange','https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/brazil-greenwald-assange.php','Over the years, Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald has made more than a few enemies. What some of his fans and supporters see as a crusade for truth and justice can strike others—including those who become the targets of his journalistic crusades —as needlessly hostile and potentially biased. But there is one enemy that has stood out among all the others of late, and that is Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, whose government has been the subject of wave after wave of coverage by Greenwald, all of it negative (with good reason , Greenwald would no doubt argue). Now, the Brazilian leader has struck back with force: On Tuesday, prosecutors charged the Intercept writer with aiding a criminal conspiracy for his role in the hacking and leaking of cellphone messages belonging to members of Bolsonaro’s government.
The Intercept has published a number of articles based on the leaked messages, stories that raised questions about a corruption investigation involving some of Brazil’s most powerful players in both business and politics. As the New York Times describes , the stories questioned the integrity of the judge who oversaw that investigation, a man named Sergio Moro, who is now Bolsonaro’s minister of justice. The case resulted in a number of powerful businessmen and political figures going to prison, including former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a popular leftist. His departure in turn created an opening for Bolsonaro, a man who is often compared to Donald Trump because of his right-wing leanings and his use of social media as a weapon for pursuing vendettas against the media and others. Last year, he called Greenwald a derogatory term and warned that he “might wind up in jail.”
The criminal complaint filed against Greenwald says that the Intercept’s Brazilian operation, which he founded, didn’t just receive the hacked messages and then publish some of them in news stories. Instead, it argues that Greenwald cooperated with the hackers, and that he therefore played a “clear role in facilitating the commission of a crime.” Among other things, the prosecutors say Greenwald encouraged the hackers to delete archives of leaked material in order to make it more difficult to connect them with the leaks. They also argue that the Intercept writer was in communication with the hackers while they were listening in on private conversations through apps such as Telegram, and that therefore he had ceased to operate as a journalist and instead became a member of a criminal conspiracy.
ICYMI: Why the Left Can’t Stand The New York Times
This strategy—trying to paint a journalist as an active participant in a crime, as opposed to just the recipient of leaked material—is clearly a heinous attack on freedom of the press protections, something journalists and anyone in favor of free speech should be up in arms about. But it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The case against Greenwald happens to be almost a carbon copy of the Justice Department’s argument in the affidavit it filed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last year, which contains more than a dozen charges under the Espionage Act. Just like the Brazilian government, US prosecutors try to make the case that Assange didn’t just receive leaked diplomatic cables and other information from former Army staffer Chelsea Manning, but that he actively participated in the hack and leaks, and therefore doesn’t deserve the protection of the First Amendment.
Regardless of what we think of Julian Assange or WikiLeaks, this is an obvious attack on journalism, just as Brazil’s legal broadside against Glenn Greenwald is an obvious attack by Bolsonaro on someone who has become a journalistic thorn in his side. A man who helped win a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on leaked documents involving mass surveillance by US intelligence, files that were leaked to him by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. And the charges come even after Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled last year that Greenwald could not be prosecuted for the hacking case because of press freedom laws. In a statement, Greenwald called the Brazil charges “an obvious attempt to attack a free press in retaliation for the revelations we reported about Minister Moro and the Bolsonaro government,” and said he and the Intercept plan to continue publishing . And so they should.
Here’s more on Greenwald and the Brazil case:
Outrageous assault : Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement : “The United States must immediately condemn this outrageous assault on the freedom of the press, and recognize that its attacks on press freedoms at home have consequences for American journalists doing their jobs abroad.”
A threat to democracy : The Electronic Frontier Foundation said : “It is a threat to democracy when authorities use cyber-crime laws to punish their critics, as the Brazilian government has done here with Glenn Greenwald, and it discourages journalists from using technology to best serve the public.” The Brazilian authorities used anti-hacking laws to charge Greenwald, just as US prosecutors did with Assange.
Sham charges : The Freedom of the Press Foundation, which Greenwald helped found, said in a statement : “These sham charges are a sickening escalation of the Bolsonaro administration’s authoritarian attacks on press freedom and the rule of law. They cannot be allowed to stand. We call on the Brazilian government to immediately halt its persecution of Greenwald and respect press freedom.”
Shooting the messenger : In an editorial on the case , the New York Times said the Brazilian government’s filing of charges against Greenwald is “an increasingly familiar case of shooting the messenger and ignoring the message,” and a dangerous threat to the rule of law. The paper also said that while Trump hasn’t made a dent in press freedoms in the US, “his outrageous attacks on reporters… have provided encouragement for the likes of Mr. Bolsonaro.”
Other notable stories :
In a story that sounds like the plot of a spy novel, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had his smartphone hacked after he clicked on a video link that was sent to him during a WhatsApp chat with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a report in The Guardian . The paper’s investigation says the message Bezos opened from the Saudi leader contained a malicious file that infiltrated the Amazon founder’s phone and extracted “large amounts of data.” What kind of data was taken and what happened after that remains unknown, the Guardian said, but several months later there was a report in The National Enquirer about Bezos’s divorce, a story that included private text messages sent by the Amazon CEO.
The staff of the alt-weekly Miami New Times and the Phoenix New Times announced on Tuesday that they plan to unionize, part of a wave of unionization that has moved through a number of media outlets over the past several years as financial pressure has forced owners to make broad cuts. “We do this work because we love it,” the Miami and Phoenix group said in its mission statement. “But we often find that we do this work in spite of low pay and substandard benefits, inconsistent mandates from management, steady turnover, and insecurity about the future.”
After a number of somewhat embarrassing incidents — including a recent column from Bret Stephens called “The Secrets of Jewish Genius,” which cited a discredited study published by a white supremacist — the Opinion section of the New York Times will now be overseen by standards editor Phil Corbett, the same way the rest of the paper is. In an email , executive editor Dean Baquet, managing editor Joe Kahn, and Opinion editor James Bennet said opinion writers are different from news staff, but their work “is rooted in common standards for accuracy, fairness, and integrity.”
Senator Bernie Sanders apologized to former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday for an op-ed written by one of his campaign surrogates that claimed Biden has a “big corruption problem.” Sanders told CBS News that “it is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way. And I’m sorry that that op-ed appeared.” The opinion piece was published in The Guardian and was written by law professor Zephyr Teachout. In the article, she claimed that Biden “has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans.”
According to a report by Axios, a number of digital media outlets turned a profit in 2019, in some cases for the first time ever. Those publishers include Business Insider, The Information, Vox Media, Axios, and Politico, said media reporter Sara Fischer . Outlets that expect to turn a profit this year include The Athletic, BuzzFeed, and Vice, the Axios report said. The Athletic also just closed a new funding round of $50 million that theoretically values the company at $500 million, Fischer reported . Meanwhile, there are reports that Spotify could acquire The Ringer, the podcasting production company founded by former ESPN host Bill Simmons.
Bloomberg has launched a vertical devoted to environmental news called Green, a site that editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said he hopes will become a symbol of the climate-change revolution. “We want Bloomberg Green to be the indispensable guide to anyone who wants to understand this great transition,” he wrote in an opening letter. Meanwhile, a group of independent climate reporters have launched their own portal, called Drilled News. The group will produce the Drilled and Hot Take newsletters and sponsor the Heated newsletter written by Emily Atkin, and is part of the Covering Climate Now project that CJR helped launch last year .
Documents released in a legal case in Puerto Rico, one involving seven university students who are on trial for participating in a nonviolent protest two years ago, show that Facebook gave the government’s Justice Department access to private information posted by student news outlets, according to a report from The Intercept . The case has raised fears among civil liberties advocates of a return to a dark time in Puerto Rico’s history when police routinely targeted citizens for surveillance.
Apple reportedly considered allowing iPhone users to encrypt backups of their devices that are stored on the company’s iCloud remote servers, but dropped those plans after the FBI complained that offering this service would make it more difficult to access data during its investigations, according to six sources familiar with the matter who spoke with Reuters reporter Joseph Menn. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the company’s handling of the encryption issue or any discussions it has had with the FBI.
Quibi CEO Meg Whitman lashed out against the media at an “all-hands” staff meeting last Thursday, according to a report from The Information . The site said that Whitman made an analogy between reporters who cultivate sources and sexual predators who prey on underage victims, according to two people who heard her comments. Whitman was reportedly upset because someone leaked an internal memo from the company’s chief financial officer about a recent fundraising.
ICYMI: How the New York Times verified the Iran missile-strike footage',65,0,121,'1/22/2020 7:45:02 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'When a woman faked her abduction, the Mexican press turned on her','https://www.cjr.org/analysis/espindola-disappearance.php','It started with a text. “Mom this man looks suspicious and rude,” wrote Laura Karen Espíndola, a thirty-year-old resident of Mexico City, in a WhatsApp message. It was close to nine o’clock on a night last December. Half an hour earlier, Espíndola had texted her mother to say she’d boarded a cab and was on […]',65,0,121,'1/22/2020 6:55:12 AM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Podcast: Guns, Puerto Rico, & American labor','https://www.cjr.org/podcast/guns-puerto-rico-american-labor.php','What do we miss when we obsess about Trump? The answer, it turns out, includes some of the most important stories of our time. On this week’s Kicker, Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, speaks with David Begnaud, lead national correspondent for CBS This Morning and anchor of CBS News Radio’s Reporter’s Notebook; Steven […]',65,0,121,'1/21/2020 3:51:09 PM'
sp_AddNewsStory 'Cutting through the ‘legalese’ of Trump’s impeachment','https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/impeachment_trial_trump_mcconnell.php','Last month —as the House of Representatives prepared to impeach President Trump, setting up his trial in the Senate—Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, laid his cards on the table. “I’m not an impartial juror,” he told reporters . Nevertheless, as the trial began last Thursday, McConnell, along with every other senator, swore an oath to do “impartial justice” in the process. Richard W. Painter, who served as White House ethics chief under George W. Bush, accused him of perjury . Yesterday, more evidence emerged that McConnell is— as he previously admitted —helping coordinate Trump’s defense. Ahead of a vote on them today, McConnell revealed his rules for the trial : each of the two parties will get twenty-four hours for its oral argument, but must use that allocation across two calendar days. In light of their late start time, proceedings could stretch past midnight . Elsewhere, the Washington Post reported that if the Senate ends up voting to hear from witnesses (John Bolton, for example), McConnell will likely “ensure that those individuals are questioned in a closed-door session rather than a public setting.” Last night, Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s chief legal analyst, reacted to the developments. “I don’t have a problem with the president talking to the senators of his own party; that’s just realism,” Toobin said. “The problem is that they are setting up a process that is a farce.”
Such opacity isn’t limited to the trial itself; top Republicans in the Senate are acting to limit transparency on its margins, too. Last week, it emerged that reporters covering the trial would likely face much tougher restrictions than normal on their interactions with senators. The details remained murky, but on Thursday, several journalists reported that police officers had curtailed their conversations with senators, including a few who had been happy to talk to them. Capitol Police also gave senators cards suggesting phrases that they might use to tell reporters to go away, including “You are preventing me from doing my job” and “Please do not touch me.” (Some senators didn’t need the prompts: when CNN’s Manu Raju tried to question Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican, she called him a “liberal hack,” and hurried off.) Today, reporters will have to file through a magnetometer before they can enter the chamber. Inside, even the camera angles will be controlled by the Senate; according to Michael M. Grynbaum, of the New York Times , “even sedate C-SPAN is aggrieved” by that decision . ( For all the platitudes about the trial being a “made for TV” moment , TV, it seems, will not be permitted to make it one on its own terms.)
ICYMI: Why the Left Can’t Stand the New York Times
As Grynbaum notes, such restrictions represent a departure for the normally cordial Senate, suggesting that “the bash-the-press mentality that led the White House to kill off the daily briefing and strip reporters of their credentials has now crept into” Congress, too. Trump, at least, is explicit about his hatred of the media. As his impeachment trial starts in earnest, there is a worry that the Senate’s war on transparency will operate in the shadows—fought not in ALL-CAPS Twitter screeds, but in the language of decorum and procedure. That could add a patina of legitimacy and fairness to Trump’s rank impulses.
As part of the “decorum,” senators will have to sit in silence during the trial , “on pain of imprisonment”; unlike their counterparts in the House, Senate Republicans won’t be able to pepper proceedings with Fox-friendly sound bites. That’s not to say there’ll be no Foxiness on display; the president, as ever, is keen to litigate his case on TV as much as in the courtroom. Outside the chamber, some of Trump’s most ardent defenders from the House—Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, John Ratcliffe, and others—will act as surrogates for his defense team. Inside the chamber, Trump will call on a formal legal team that, collectively, has averaged roughly one Fox appearance per day in the past year . In addition to Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel; Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer to the president; and Pam Bondi, a White House adviser, it will include Kenneth W. Starr (of Clinton-impeachment and being-fired-from-Baylor fame), Alan Dershowitz (of closeness to Jeffrey Epstein fame), and Robert Ray (of… me neither). Appearing on Fox on Sunday morning, Ray thanked host Maria Bartiromo for inviting him on her show so often . “If not for you, I don’t know that I would have come to the president’s attention,” he said.
Even on the president’s end, some of the usual, easy-to-spot bombast has put on a smart suit for its court appearance. Touring cable news over the weekend, Dershowitz advanced a measured, legalistic rationale for what he sees as the inadmissibility of the impeachment articles. ( Justice Benjamin Curtis , who defended Andrew Johnson during his impeachment trial in 1868, is not a normal fixture on the Sunday shows.) And yet his core argument, that abuse of power isn’t impeachable unless criminal, is far from a consensus view . Similarly, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes write in The Atlantic , the White House’s initial formal filing in the trial, which it entered on Saturday, looked “a little more lawyerly” than Trump’s campaign rallies—and yet “the message is unchanged. It’s not a legal argument. It’s a howl of rage.” The Post reached the same conclusion on reading Trump’s first full legal brief , which followed yesterday, calling it “a legalese version of the scorched-earth rhetoric commonly used in the president’s Twitter feed.”
As the trial proceeds, we’ll likely see Trump’s defenders try plenty more stonewalling and dissembling under the cover of “legalese.” Senate Republicans, for instance, may call for Hunter Biden to testify under a principle of witness “reciprocity”—a move that would, in practice, only lend institutional credibility to water-muddying smears. The press will need to be extra-vigilant, and call these moves for what they are. So far, pushback has been reasonably robust. Last night, after McConnell revealed his rushed trial timetable, Carl Bernstein referred to him , on CNN, as “Midnight Mitch.” On MSNBC, Neal Katyal, a top Trump-impeachment enthusiast, told Rachel Maddow that “The only things that happen at midnight are trash collection and the execution of prisoners.… Major government decisions and trials don’t happen at that time.”
But such vigilance is not, on its own, sufficient. As the trial progresses, the press also needs to center the facts of the case, and on that score, we could be doing a better job. Scrutinizing procedural skulduggery is important, but it is not an end in itself—process is only valuable to the extent that it brings facts to the fore. If we obsess over process too narrowly, then we abet those—inside and outside of the Senate—who want the facts forgotten. For them, the process is the point.
Below, more on impeachment:
“Manufactured nihilism”: For Vox , Sean Illing argues that the facts of the trial will struggle to pierce an information ecosystem that’s so “flooded with shit” that news consumers are exhausted. “The sheer volume of content, the dizzying number of narratives and counternarratives, and the pace of the news cycle are too much for anyone to process,” Illing writes. Such an ecosystem can be “hacked” by shameless actors. For the New York Times Magazine , Jonathan Mahler explores the informational tactics of one of them: Rudy Giuliani .
Sigh, Dersh: Last year, Lyz Lenz spoke with Dershowitz and profiled his media tactics for CJR. Dershowitz, Lenz writes, voiced “a Trumpian ethos. A constant cry of victimhood from the highest echelons of power. The never ceasing voice, shouting and shouting. If you listen you’ll forget the point. If you listen and always react, it’s hard to hear anything at all.”
Talk of the toon: For the Post , Michael Cavna spoke with editorial cartoonists who covered Clinton’s impeachment about the different challenges they face now . The consensus: Trump is rich fodder for cartoonists—but his impeachment is more complicated than Clinton’s, and the stakes are higher.
“A broken record”: Yesterday, Joe Biden’s presidential campaign sent an open memo to news outlets , warning them not to amplify Trumpian misinformation alleging corrupt conduct by the Bidens in Ukraine. “Any media organization referencing, reporting on, or repeating these claims must state clearly and unambiguously that they have been discredited and debunked by authoritative sources,” the memo said.
The inconstant Gardner: At key moments in the trial, media attention will turn to the handful of moderate Republican senators who face tricky reelection fights this year, including Susan Collins of Maine and Cory Gardner of Colorado. According to Elaina Plott, of the Times , Gardner is doing his best to avoid such a focus .
Other notable stories:
Despite a much-hyped, reality-show-style selection process, the editorial board of the Times failed to unite around a single pick for president. Instead, it endorsed two candidates from competing wings of the Democratic Party : Elizabeth Warren, as a “radical,” and Amy Klobuchar, as a “realist.” The Times acknowledged that some readers would be “dissatisfied that this page is not throwing its weight behind a single candidate, favoring centrists or progressives”; online, you didn’t have to look too far to find such dissatisfaction. Many commentators were scathing . Several Times reporters posted timely reminders that the news pages are walled off from the opinion side of the paper.
The Chicago Tribune is having its Denver Post moment. In 2018, amid drastic cuts, staffers at the latter paper wrote an editorial calling on their owner —the hedge fund Alden Global Capital—to sell up. In November, Alden became the biggest shareholder in Tribune Publishing ; last week, the company started offering buyouts to staff. On Sunday, David Jackson and Gary Marx, investigative reporters at the Chicago Tribune , wrote in the Times that they fear their paper will be the next to be “picked to the bone” by Alden : “Unless Alden reverses course—perhaps in repentance for the avaricious destruction it has wrought in Denver and elsewhere—we need a civic-minded local owner,” they say.
In other local-news news: New Mexico settled with the Santa Fe Reporter after it sued Susana Martinez, the state’s ex-governor, for violating open-records laws . Lawmakers in New Hampshire are considering a bill that would require news sites to update stories about criminal suspects who are not found guilty. And Peter Lucido, a state senator in Michigan, told Allison Donahue, a female reporter for the Michigan Advance , that a group of schoolboys “could have a lot of fun with you.” Donahue wrote that the comment “was belittling and it came from a place of power.”
On Saturday, amid a spate of earthquakes in Puerto Rico, Lorenzo Delgado Torres, an activist who calls himself “El León Fiscalizador” (the Lion of Accountability), livestreamed video from a warehouse stacked with unused emergency supplies . The footage went viral and sparked angry demonstrations against Wanda Vázquez, the island’s governor.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and thirty-six partner organizations, including the Times , the BBC, and The Guardian , are out with Luanda Leaks —a new project alleging corruption by Isabel dos Santos, the richest woman in Africa. (In 2018, I spent months behind the scenes of a prior ICIJ project, on medical devices, for CJR .)
Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC, is stepping down . He leaves at a difficult moment for the public broadcaster, which faces mounting pressure from the government of Boris Johnson and an ongoing pay-discrimination scandal, among other sagas. Emily Bell argues, in The Guardian , that Hall has overseen a period of “strategic stagnation.”
And Harry Harris, the US ambassador to South Korea, says he has faced discrimination in local media and social media because of his mustache . According to the AP, however, many South Koreans simply find Harris to be “undiplomatic and rude.”
ICYMI: How the New York Times verified the Iran missile-strike footage',65,0,121,'1/21/2020 8:09:58 AM'
Remokon Update News: Log News Stories