Five Things I Hate About Broadcast “News” Today
Five Things I Hate About Broadcast “News” Today

Five Things I Hate About Broadcast “News” Today

This article also appeared on The Huffington Post.

When Walter Cronkite was on for 20 minutes a night, focusing on unsubstantiated rumor was a luxury news television couldn’t afford. Now, the need to fill up space and keep audiences tuned in and ratings high has elevated speculation and spicy headlines to the status of “news” and television creates as much of it as it reports.

Daniel Boorstin, way back in the sixties, predicted this turn. Mass media, he warned, generates “pseudo-events.” A pseudo-event is something that acquires its reality not because it is accurate, but simply because the media has reported it, repeated it, exaggerated it, re-played it, made a mantra of it. A classic early example is Richard Jewell, who was wrongly accused of being the pipe bomber at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. All we heard about for weeks was the duct tape found under his bed. No real evidence against him existed and he was ultimately exonerated, but that duct tape was made into such a compelling detail that many people today still think he was the bomber.

Today, the pseudo-event rules the air-waves, especially on the rolling news channels where leaks, poll results, gaffes, “optics” and concocted “scandals” are immediately turned into high-voltage headlines and endlessly repeated, organizing people’s perceptions into yet-to-be-analyzed “narratives” of dubious factual status.

What’s the Difference Between “Re-setting” and Lying? According to Morning Joe: Trump Does One and Hillary Does the Other
What’s the Difference Between “Re-setting” and Lying? According to Morning Joe: Trump Does One and Hillary Does the Other

What’s the Difference Between “Re-setting” and Lying? According to Morning Joe: Trump Does One and Hillary Does the Other

I really should get out of the habit of watching “Morning Joe.” I’m an early riser and for a long time it seemed the perfect segue between my second cup of coffee (during “Way Too Early”) and sitting down to work. Joe’s bombastic ego and Mika’s giggly, faux feminism got me just riled up enough to throw the comforter and dogs off my lap and head to the computer. Over the past year, however, adrenalizing irritation has given way to indigestion to stroke-inducing fury. It’s not a healthy way to start my day.
“Enough About the Damned Emails”
“Enough About the Damned Emails”

“Enough About the Damned Emails”

Thom Palmer, my collaborator on this piece, is a freelance political writer residing in Southern California. His work can be found on dailynewsbin.com or on his blog "Thom Palmer - Truth in Politics" A shorter version of this piece appears on The Huffington Post.
Henry VIII, O.J. Simpson, Donald Trump and the Pathology of Privilege
Henry VIII, O.J. Simpson, Donald Trump and the Pathology of Privilege

Henry VIII, O.J. Simpson, Donald Trump and the Pathology of Privilege

Some of you may be familiar with my most recent book, The Creation of Anne Boleyn. While I know that for many historians, comparisons between 16th century personalities and politics and the contemporary scene is a no-no, I can’t help but notice when things resonate with each other. It’s the way my mind works. So, I can’t help but notice how even today we draw on satanic images for women like Hillary Clinton.