Media & Journalism: Why Trust Matters

In 2009, I wrote a book titled Distrust, American Style. In it, I looked at the issue of trust through the lens of social capital scholarship. Trust and reciprocity are essential to social capital–and especially to the creation of “bridging” social capital, the relationships that allow us to connect with and value people different from ourselves. I didn’t address an issue that I […]

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Fake News and the Big Lie

fake news and the big lie

A few days ago, Vox reported that: Attacks on the “fake news” media have become a staple of the Trump administration — and nearly half of voters, including the vast majority of Republicans, believe the president when he claims that the media is making up stories about him. Forty-six percent of voters believe that major news organizations fabricate stories about Trump, while 37 […]

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Spin Cycle: The Sinclair Broadcast Group Takeover

Sinclair Broadcast Group

Tom Wheeler was Chair of the Federal Communications Commission from 2013 to 2017. In the wake of Sinclair Broadcasting’s application to acquire Tribune Media, he wrote a very troubling article for the Guardian.  It is a major decision, since the resulting broadcast behemoth would hold as many as 233 local television stations reaching into more than 70 percent of American homes. […]

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Speaking of Fake News: The Sinclair Broadcast Group Quid Pro Quo

Sinclair Broadcast Group

Well, I see where Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law is hosting a “news” show on Facebook, to give supporters the “real” scoop on the administration’s greatness….Since Trump’s vast accomplishments appear to have escaped the notice of credible journalism outlets, the family evidently felt the need to give the base a more flattering version of events in Washington. And also, according to yesterday’s Washington Post, […]

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Pravda: Will Trump Make Us the Next North Korea or Russia?

Trump state-run media

Last week Lara Trump (Eric Trump’s wife) made news by starring in a Trump campaign produced “real news” video posted to Donald Trump’s Facebook page. The video labeled mainstream media “fake news” while arguing to offer “real” news focusing exclusively on positive aspects of the current administration. That flirtation with state-run media may be escalating as a new video appeared on […]

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Trump’s Pravda: Administration Flirts With Creating State-Run Media

Trump's Pravda: Administration Flirts With Creating State-Run Media with daughter-in-law Lara Trump

In a video posted to Donald Trump’s Facebook page over the weekend, Lara Trump (Eric Trump’s wife) offered America what she called “real news.” “I bet you haven’t heard about all the accomplishments the president had this week because there’s so much fake news out there,” she states at the beginning of what many are calling the administration’s first attempt at establishing […]

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Fake News & The Trump Administration: How The Big Lie Works

Trump

Most of us have heard the famous quote by Hitler henchman Joseph Goebbles, who said  “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” The importance of repetition to this formula has been confirmed by a recent study conducted by three scholars at Yale–a psychologist, an economist and a professor of management. They […]

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About That Echo Chamber: Combatting Bots, Propaganda & Fake News

One of the thorniest problems bedeviling our unraveling democracy is the distortion of reality–intentional and unintentional– provided via the Internet. That distortion is immensely aided by our tendency to live in echo chambers populated by friends who think like we do. Most of us trust links from friends – a vulnerability exploited by phishing sites and other forms of online […]

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The Technology of Propaganda, Fake News & Information Warfare

The Technology of Propaganda, Fake News & Information Warfare

Well, this is pretty terrifying. My oldest son recently sent me a link to an article from an online magazine called Paste. I had never heard of the publication; it seems, after a cursory investigation, to be credible. The title was “How the Trump-Russia Data Machine Games Google to Fool Americans.” The author identified himself as a former member of an online marketing team. […]

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Chadwick Moore: LGBTQ People “Don’t Know What The Second Amendment Is”

Chadwick Moore mischaracterized the intent of the Gays Against Guns Pulse Memorial Rally at the Stonewall Inn

The former Out Magazine writer who once interviewed hate speech promulgator Milo Yiannopoulos for a controversial cover story just argued LGBTQ people “probably don’t know what the Second Amendment is.” The statement came as part of a discussion about the Pulse Orlando anniversary memorial held in New York City. At issue, LGBTQ-centric Gays Against Guns organized and held a memorial rally at […]

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