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Posts tagged ‘Journalism’

MSNBC Producer Quits, Blasts Network with Scathing Public Letter

Reported By Erin Coates | Published August 4, 2020 at 9:21am

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An MSNBC producer quit on July 24 and published a resignation letter Monday criticizing the network and the journalism industry as a whole on her personal website. Ariana Pekary had been a producer at MSNBC since 2013 when she helped launch a new program hosted by Alec Baldwin, according to her website. Pekary wrote in her public letter that she doesn’t know what she is going to do next but she “simply couldn’t stay there anymore.”

“My colleagues are very smart people with good intentions,” she wrote.

“The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.”

She added that this was not just a problem at MSNBC and “all the commercial networks function the same.”

Pekary said that during her time at the network, she saw decisions on news content were based on how a topic or guest would “rate.”

“‘We are a cancer and there is no cure,’ a successful and insightful TV veteran said to me,” she wrote. “‘But if you could find a cure, it would change the world.’”

This “cancer” divides the nation, according to Pekary.

“The model blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others … all because it pumps up the ratings,” the producer wrote.

Pekary wrote that the “cancer” risks “human lives” in the middle of the pandemic by focusing on what President Donald Trump has done poorly and it risks “democracy” by focusing on one candidate in the middle of a presidential election.

“Context and factual data are often considered too cumbersome for the audience,” she said.

“There may be some truth to that (our education system really should improve the critical thinking skills of Americans) — but another hard truth is that it is the job of journalists to teach and inform, which means they might need to figure out a better way to do that.”

She said that although the journalistic process is largely subjective, a group of individuals can use it to set priorities and justify economically beneficial decisions.

“A very capable senior producer once said: ‘Our viewers don’t really consider us the news. They come to us for comfort.’”

Pekary emphasized that it was the job, and not the people, that needs to change.

“I know we can find a cure. If we can figure how to send a man to the moon, if Alex Trebek can defy the odds with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and if Harry Reid can actually overcome pancreatic cancer (he’s now cancer free), then we can fix this, too,” she wrote.


Memes and More I’ve Found Around The Net

Antifa’s Victims Share One Thing In Common — And The Media Is Totally Ignoring It

Reported by Photo of Ian Miles Cheong Ian Miles Cheong | Contributor | 11:03 AM 09/06/2017

Antifa members and counter protesters gather during a rightwing No-To-Marxism rally on August 27, 2017 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Berkeley, California. Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty Images.


Proponents of the far-left extremist antifa movement claim that it is nothing more than a response to the rise of fascism in the United States. However, many victims of antifa-driven violence have been white men unconnected to fascist or white supremacist organizations—including disabled old veterans and free speech supporters. So why is a progressive movement biased against a single demographic in particular?

The anarchist movement’s violence against white men is rooted in academia. Intersectional feminists on campuses teach their students about “heteropatriarchy” (or patriarchy, for short) and other pillars of white supremacy, including sexism, colonialism, orientalism, capitalism, colorism, and a host of other -isms that are all said to oppress everyone today — except for white men.

Conveniently enough, minorities who disagree with the orthodoxy and its “intersections of oppression” are said to suffer from “internalized oppression” caused by the white supremacist society they supposedly live in. Because white men are considered the “oppressor,” most of antifa’s assaults have been committed against white men. The victims included white male progressives — and those who simply look like white men.

In the months since Donald Trump’s election to office, white men have been the victims of antifa violence across the United States and Europe. In February 2017, antifa thugs and Black Lives Matter activists in London assaulted a man holding up a sign that read “the right to openly discuss ideas must be defended,” whom they accused of being a Nazi.

There was no shortage of anarchist violence at the University of Washington in early April, when black clad protesters scuffled with police and assaulted a white male Trump supporter. Through the use of “black bloc” tactics — dressing in full black and moving as a cluster — the group was able to maintain its anonymity as it harassed students.


During the Berkeley “Free Speech Rally” in mid-April, black-clad antifa supporters assaulted a disabled veteran who was sitting in a wheelchair by dumping liquid onto him as he attempted to speak to them peacefully. A man who stood between antifa and the veteran was robbed of his cellphone by another masked antifa thug.

During the same protest, an antifa protester assaulted (though this description is generous, she was half his size) a photojournalist for attempting to put out the fire that the group set.

The most egregious instance of violence happened during the same protest, when Eric Clanton, a professor at Diablo Valley College and antifa supporter, was captured on video smashing a Trump supporter in the head with a bike lock.

Antifa’s assaults were not limited to Trump supporters or disabled military veterans. During a protest in Boston in August, a liberal who refused to denounce all white people as white supremacists was sucker-punched in the back of the head by an antifa thug.

Of course white men aren’t the only targets of antifa violence. In a New York Times report, a Syrian Muslim student at UC Berkeley was assaulted by antifa members who accused him of merely looking like a white man. He was told that he “looked like a Nazi.” He was pepper-sprayed and hit with a rod before he could offer a reply.

If there was a gang just going around assaulting members of any other demographic, there would be blood in the streets and the newspapers would be plastered with headlines condemning the group.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.

Acosta Loses His Cool in WH Press Briefing Because Cameras Were Removed


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For much of the past few weeks, the White House has been holding the daily media briefing off-camera with only audio recording permitted, ostensibly to counter the agenda-driven, play-for-the-cameras showboating that has been exhibited by some members of the White House media pool.

But CNN’s top White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who has a history of hamming it up at media briefings, has not been pleased with the new arrangement, and he let press secretary Sean Spicer know it on Monday, repeatedly and quite loudly, according to Business Insider.

Acosta was not called on but shouted a question anyway regarding the Republican health care bill, to which Spicer replied, “There’s no camera on, Jim.”

“Maybe we should turn the cameras on, Sean,” responded Acosta. “Why don’t we turn the cameras on? They’re in the room. The lights are on.”

Spicer moved on but Acosta repeatedly interrupted the event by shouting virtually the same question over and over again, like a child attempting to gain the attention of an adult.

“Why are the cameras off, Sean? Why did you turn them off? Can you just give us an answer to that? Can you tell us why you turned the cameras off?” repeated Acosta. “It’s a legitimate question. You are a taxpayer-funded spokesman for the United States government. Can you at least give us an explanation for why the cameras are off?”

Spicer continued to ignore Acosta and repeatedly attempted to call on another reporter, Travis Yingst of One America News Network, who seemingly took it upon himself to put an end to the haranguing of Spicer by Acosta, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

“Can we get this out of the way? Can we address the cameras issue?” Yingst asked.

“Yes, some days it will happen, some days it won’t,” replied Spicer matter-of-factly. “The president’s going to speak today in the Rose Garden, I want the president’s voice to carry the day. So, look, this is nothing inconsistent with what we’ve said since day one.”

This actually isn’t the first time that CNN’s Acosta has lost his cool regarding the increasing use of the new off-camera format for daily media briefings. He called Spicer “useless” last week, according to The Hill, and the network also sent a court sketch artist to a briefing Friday to provide a picture in place of the camera feed.

Acosta continued his temper tantrum regarding the off-camera briefings later during a report on CNN Monday, essentially lying to the anchor in that “Sean Spicer has refused to take questions from CNN for weeks now,” according to Breitbart, though he clarified a moment later that “he may have taken a question here or there, over the last couple of weeks.”

Nevertheless, he persisted, and claimed, “We’ve largely been just blackballed during these briefings,” and added, “We’re just not getting questions to the White House press secretary … That would not have happened in previous administrations.”

While this isn’t the first time Acosta has crossed the line from being an dutifully dogged reporter to an annoying peacock strutting for attention, his antics at the news conference on the heels of CNN’s embarrassing fake news” debacle last week certainly don’t reflect well on the network. In fact, combined with Acosta’s whining remark afterward, they make CNN look like a floundering ship.

Perhaps if reporters would refrain from seeking their 15 seconds of fame or a viral YouTube clip during the daily media briefings, Spicer would have no problem keeping the cameras on every day.

But that simply hasn’t been the case, and whether there are cameras or even audio available at the daily briefing is entirely within the discretion of the White House. Acosta and the rest of the White House media pool may want to consider toning down their shenanigans and actually ask substantive questions instead of digging for “gotcha” moments on non-existent scandals every single day, as it has become truly tiresome.

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