The New Republic’s Greg Sargent recently reported on a poll of 1,200 voters deemed gettable for Biden in three swing states, including Pennsylvania, and found the vast majority didn’t know about Trump’s “dictator for a day” comments, or that he’d echoed Adolf Hitler in calling enemies “vermin” and claiming migrants are “poisoning the blood” of America. The pollster said only 31% of persuadable voters had heard much about these statements.
This is the media functioning as its owners want: smoothing the way for autocracy in America so they can optimize profits.
Flaming Hydra
I mean, yeah, I don't know why nobody else picked up on that, because the big detail that got my attention was that she says that the trafficking had started when this woman was 12, and well, then that can't—Joe Biden's only been president for three years, so he can't—it made no sense.
A good interview with the journalist who broke the SOTU rebuttal trafficking lie on TikTok.
Reporting (endlessly) that Biden is old without noting that Trump is deranged is not “independent” journalism, it’s just bad journalism.
The NYT is basically the PR division for the Republic party. They have fully embraced fascism and trolling for attention.
To even entertain the idea of building AI-powered search engines means, in some sense, that you are comfortable with eventually being the reason those creators no longer exist. It is an undeniably apocalyptic project, but not just for the web as we know it, but also your own product. Unless you plan on subsidizing an entire internet’s worth of constantly new content with the revenue from your AI chatbot, the information it’s spitting out will get worse as people stop contributing to the network.
Speaking of newsletters that recently moved away from Substack, Garbage Day made the jump to Beehiiv. Go read about AI search nihilism and a bunch of other stuff.
New York Times
The decline in crime contrasts with perceptions, driven in part by social media videos of flash-mob-style shoplifting incidents, that urban downtowns are out of control. While figures in some categories of crime are still higher than they were before the pandemic, crime overall is falling nationwide, including in cities often singled out by politicians as plagued by danger and violence.
Questions not covered here: who does rising crime stories serve? Why is the media more eager to report rising crime compared with declining crime?
The Reframe
When one hears about the rise of elimination, one wonders how it was allowed to happen. How did people permit it? I think it looks exactly like the Huckinses. Perfectly nice people I’m sure, who have decided that the existence of other people is a danger they shouldn’t have to endure, and who, rather than paying the costs of creating a sustainable society that supports all, demands the elimination of everyone who compromises their comfort.
A.R. Moxon dissects the false equivalency the media uses to discuss political polarization. Once you buy into the idea that some people are victims because their violent demands aren't being met you're empowering supremacists.
NBC News
“I think we’ve been conditioned, and we have no way of countering the idea” that crime is rising,” Asher said. “It’s just an overwhelming number of news media stories and viral videos — I have to believe that social media is playing a role.”
Crime is down but the perception of rising crime is up. Thanks a lot, media.
That being said: She’s a billionaire, her tour is taking over the world, she’s transforming the music industry in real time, and very few living celebrities have her scale of cultural influence. With all the love in the world, shouldn’t someone be, at least, attempting to look without fear or favor to see if she’s truly keeping her side of the street clean?
The kinds of stories that could shed light on the music industry if they looked with a critical eye.
It could have been a lot better. Trump didn’t just “raise eyebrows” with his vermin line; Welker should have said it was redolent of Nazism. Welker let it drop instead of following up. It also shouldn’t have been a yes/no question, but rather something like “how do you feel when he says something like this”?
Small signs the media is evolving on Trump coverage.
Finding Gravity
I can already hear the objections from the Times and its defenders: It’s not our job to make people care about things. Nonsense. Of course the news media plays a central role in determining what people think about. The choices they make about what topics to cover and how much to cover them send a clear signal to the American people about what is important; what is worth thinking about.
Based on the number of mentions, a single poll a year before an election is the most important thing to think about. The consequences of encouraging political violence, not as much.
But yet the pundits have already pivoted from “Joe Biden is terrible and unpopular and should be ashamed of himself!” to “The Democrats just shockingly [not shockingly if you understand anything about America right now — Ed.] had yet another great election night, and for that Joe Biden should feel bad, because according to polls, which are the same as elections [No — Ed.], he is terrible and unpopular and should be ashamed of himself!”
Cathartic rant about media Trump thirst.
PJ Vogt
How am I supposed to use the internet now? The experience of asking that question and getting a series of good answers, to me, it felt like the conversation you have with a friend that finally convinces you to make a break-up stick. A break-up with someone who maybe has always sucked, or at least, sucked for awhile.
This episode of Search Engine is a great conversation with Ezra Klein about being aware of where your attention is going.
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