Social Media – it’s better for you than you think?

People have been hollering that Social Media is driving a wedge between us and polarizing America politically.  It is one of those situations where you sit back and think it sounds and feels logical.  We even get “data” that supports what we already think, as a Pew Research Center study cited: “More than one-third of social media users are worn out by the amount of political content they encounter, and more than half describe their online interactions with those they disagree with politically as stressful and frustrating.” But is this truly the case, or is this a by product of elsewhere from which the polarization is hatched? Continue reading

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It is important to host leaders at the White House

This past weekend, the President hosted another major foreign leader.  But not at the White House.  And that bothers me.  While it is fair to criticize the expense the President is racking up for protection at his many Mar-a-Lago trips (already), there are more important reasons here for hosting leaders at the People’s House. Continue reading

The Original #fakenews was Born on Today in 1770

In 2017 #fakenews does not really mean the news is false, but is now broadly interpreted as being “made up” to fit a narrative. The current President likes to hammer on CNN and the New York Times as “fake news” but nothing in what they report is false.  To the partisan eye it may be intentionally misleading, but it is not fake.

That said it was on this day in 1770 that #fakenews may have been born. The setting: a group of protesters become increasingly angry at government presence. Tempers flare and violence ensues.  When the smoke clears 5 lay dead and seven are wounded.  Those are the facts that could be readily agreed upon by all — but it is not how it will be presented to America. Continue reading

How Fox & Friends used an Amber Alert to manipulate their viewers… twice!

This morning on the treadmill I flipped the TV over to Fox news.  I like to vary where I get information from and hadn’t been on Fox in awhile.  Fox & Friends was running their Saturday edition.  What unfolded in the half hour span was nothing short of an authoritarian’s delight.

Last week Michael Flynn stepped down as National Security Adviser when CNN broke the news of improper contact with Russia during and after the election and prior to taking office.  This past Thursday the news broke that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tried to get the FBI to dispute media reports about the Russian interference.  As President Trump is so able to do, Friday was a diversion from all of this when certain news groups were banned from a White House presser.  Cue the Outrage Machine about a free press vs. an authoritarian state. Continue reading

Much ado About Nothing: Trump’s Month One

The first month of President Trump’s term has been marked by turmoil.  What your politics are determines what that turmoil is.  For the political left, it has been one gobsmacking outrage after another.  For the right, it has been a hounding media blowing up every little Trump tweet and tither into a scandal of Watergate proportions.  But if you sift through the silt, you will see that President Trump hasn’t really done much governing at all in his first month.

While Trump was swift to issue a torrent of Executive Orders, he is ahead of the typical president but lags behind President Obama.  Trump issued 12 Executive Orders in his first month, Obama had 16.  Trump actually takes 3rd place, with Harry S. Truman edging him out by a single order.  By comparison, George W. Bush issued 7, Bill Clinton 6.  Continue reading