Compelling Honesty: The Supreme Court Crisis Pregnancy Centers Case

crisis pregnancy centers

It’s interesting how many people indignantly wrap themselves in the Free Speech provisions of the First Amendment in order to justify behaviors that–properly understood–aren’t really speech at all. In all fairness, it can be difficult to distinguish between actions that are intended to communicate a message (protected) from actions that are committed through speech (not protected). If you describe that […]

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Jake Tapper Stuns Roy Moore Spokesman With Constitutional Fact

In a discussion with Roy Moore spokesman Ted Crockett today, CNN’s Jake Tapper left his guest literally speechless after informing him public servants aren’t required to use a Christian Bible to be sworn into office. The stunning moment happened as the two discussed Moore’s longstanding position that Muslims shouldn’t be able to serve in Congress. Backstory When Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) took office […]

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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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Conservative Operative Makes Fake Rape Claims To Support Roy Moore

Project Veritas Conservative Operative Makes Fake Rape Claims To Get Roy Moore Elected

A conservative operative working with Project Veritas attempted to trick the Washington Post into publishing a false rape and abortion account to damage the outlet’s credibility and help elect Roy Moore to the U.S. Senate. WaPo saw through the sting almost immediately as they looked into the woman’s story and ended up publishing an exposé article on the woman, the […]

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Responsible Media Consumption: Shame On The New York Times

The New York Times is yet again using its massive platform to promote bigotry and hatred. In a fawning piece about pro-genocide conservative Ben Shapiro, who has built a career branding his violent bigotry as an intellectual rebuke of “PC culture,” the largest daily newspaper in the United States of America portrayed Shapiro’s transphobia in a disturbingly positive light. Apparently […]

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Weaponizing Speech

Weaponizing Free Speech - social media has become a censorship weapon

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a provocative article by Tim Wu, a media historian who teaches at Columbia University, titled “Did Twitter Kill the First Amendment?” He began with the question: You need not be a media historian to notice that we live in a golden age of press harassment, domestic propaganda and coercive efforts to control political debate. […]

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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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Labels, Subtext & Dog Whistles: The Rise of Right Wing Hate

Rise of Right Wing Hate

Anyone who’s been online – on social media in particular – over the last couple of years can attest to the fact that hate speech is evolving to the point that it’s often hard to keep up with what constitutes “trolling” and what is honest-to-goodness harassment and hatred. In fact, this blurring of lines has become so complicated, experts have […]

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