"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, July 25, 2016

Today's Must-Read

Finally, someone says it -- Michelangelo Signorile, to be exact:

But Trump can count on much of the media falling for stock phrases, engaging in superficial coverage and often running with a false narrative that the Trump campaign hands to journalists on Trump and LGBT issues rather than doing the most basic reporting and presenting an accurate story. Throughout the campaign, Trump has often been treated to a different standard than other political candidates, and that’s been true on some issues more than others as the media prioritizing what to focus on.

Our so-called "independent press" has been suffering from a couple of maladies since news divisions stopped being a public service and started being required to deliver ratings: the stenographer syndrome (typified by the "he said, she said" school of reporting) largely stimulated by the perceived need to maintain access to the movers and shakers, and the search for "hot" headlines -- click bait. This impacts not only how stories are reported, but which stories are reported -- it's a fault even more evident at the editorial level.

Signorile notes something I've also noticed:

So, from the stage last night in Cleveland, Donald Trump said, “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology, believe me,” in the context of his fear-mongering about foreign terrorism and how the country is supposedly in chaos and government is supposedly inadequately responding to the threat. And ABC News, in coverage similar to other news organizations, focused on the “historic” use of the term “LGBTQ” by a GOP presidential candidate without including the context of the “historic,” extreme anti-LGBT GOP platform, and Trump’s own extreme positions, including promising religious conservatives – on the Christian Broadcasting Network, on Fox News, in a town hall with Pat Robertson ― that he would overturn the historic Obergefell ruling, which he’d called “shocking.”

A number of bloggers -- and even more commenters -- have crowed about the fact that Trump actually referred to us in his speech, without noting the context: it was just a convenient way to pivot once again to his perennial anti-Muslim plug: it wasn't about us, it wasn't about LGBTQ rights, it was about Islamist terrorism.

Read Signorile's whole piece -- it's as good a take-down of the press and its failure as an independent watchdog as I've seen.

It's symptomatic of the state of journalism in this country that we have to go to Comedy Central to get any real reporting.

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