‘New Media’ Open Thread: When the Monkey’s Paw Grants Your Wish


 
Or then again, Haberman could just hire someone to tweet in her name. (Assuming we & the platform survive, I give it three years before ‘Twitter spokesperson’ is a recognized occupation.) Let’s be honest, it’s not like the Oval Office Occupant could be bothered to spell ‘inconceivable’ correctly…


 
Both Haberman and Trump were breakout ‘serious’ Twitter stars, rewarded for their adept use of the new format…

The study, carried out at MIT’s Laboratory for Social Machines, showed this by examining every tweet sent between 2006 and 2017. The researchers used statistical models to classify tweets as false or true, by applying data taken from six independent fact-checking organisations. That allowed them to categorise over 4.5m tweets about 126,000 different stories. Those stories were then ranked according to how they spread among Twitter’s users.

The results were stark. False information was retweeted by more people than the true stuff, and faster to boot. True stories took, on average, six times longer than falsehoods to reach at least 1,500 people. Only about 0.1% of true stories were shared by more than 1,000 people, but 1% of false stories managed between 1,000 and 100,000 shares.

The reason false information does better than the true stuff is simple, say the researchers. Things spread through social networks because they are appealing, not because they are true. One way to make news appealing is to make it novel. Sure enough, when the researchers checked how novel a tweet was (by comparing it, statistically, with other tweets) they found false tweets were significantly more novel than the true ones. Untrue stories were also more likely to inspire emotions such as fear, disgust and surprise, whereas genuine ones provoked anticipation, sadness, joy and trust, leading to the rather depressing conclusion that people prefer to share stories that generate strong negative reactions. Perhaps not coincidentally, fake political news was the most likely to go viral…

Shorter: Everybody loves to watch a trainwreck!

Hey, NYTimes



An Op-Ed About Some Other Workers In The Heartland

Sarah Smarsh gives us the other side that the news media have ignored.

Most struggling whites I know here live a life of quiet desperation, mad at their white bosses, not resentful toward their co-workers or neighbors of color.

It turns out that a great many working class whites are not the bigots and Trump-lovers that the MSM has portayed. There are large groups of people who think differently, but somehow they just didn’t show up when a New York Times or Washington Post reporter parachuted into Clover Corners, Ohio.

The trouble begins with language: Elite pundits regularly misuse “working class” as shorthand for right-wing white guys wearing tool belts. My father, a white man and lifelong construction worker who labors alongside immigrants and people of color on job sites across the Midwest and South working for a Kansas-based general contractor owned by a woman, would never make such an error.

And, whocoodanode –

Like many Midwestern workers I know, my dad has more in common ideologically with New York’s Democratic Socialist congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez than with the white Republicans who run our state. Having spent most of his life doing dangerous, underpaid work without health insurance, he supports the ideas of single-payer health care and a universal basic income.

She lists news stories that have gone undercovered in the race to find the Trumpiest heartland voters – like barriers to voting. Seems strange that reporters so devoted to getting both sides of a story never found this one.

Read the whole thing.  Good to keep in mind in place of today’s sexytime news dump.

And open thread!



Our Failed Media Open Thread: Faux News & Friends… But *Also* (Some of) the NYTimes



That Plutonium In San Antonio And Live Stream Putin-Trump Press Conference

A couple of reporters who take their job to be spreading maximum fear about nuclear radiation have found a story in San Antonio, Texas.

Staff from Idaho National Laboratory were picking up cesium and plutonium sources from a laboratory and left them in their rental car overnight. The car was broken into and the sources and other equipment stolen.

That was carelessness and should be looked at in the light of other careless incidents in the DOE system. When I’m traveling, I always bring in anything from the car that looks like it might be worth stealing. Even the stuff that is worth stealing but doesn’t look that way.

But the sources probably contain a few milligrams of cesium and plutonium. I haven’t done the calculations, but it probably would take a couple hundred years to accumulate enough plutonium for a fission bomb and cesium for a “dirty bomb” at that rate.

But the article goes on at length about bombs and such, as these reporters often do. It’s a strategy of fear for clicks, or perhaps these two really are terrified of anything to do with radiation. They also hyperventilate at the thought of terrorists taking the long view and waiting a couple of hundred years to get that TERROR BOMB.

IT’S ALL AROUND US! BE VERY AFRAID!

 

There’s not enough happening today, so here is the live stream of the two-president press conference.



Friday Morning Open Thread: I’m Not Throwing A Tantrum, YOU’RE Throwing A Tantrum…

Speaking of angry, entitled, elderly toddlers (and in honor of the traditional summer-news ‘silly season’)…


Read more



Late Night Eyes-Cast-Up-to-Heaven Open Thread: Who Among Us?…

… hasn’t publicly speculated about dating their teenage daughter?

For all their valiant attempts to “normalize” his behavior and that of his most racist supporters, Donald Trump remains an enormously unpopular and polarizing figure. So the NYTimes roots around in the Christianist swamps for a new and hopefully more convincing argument from this dude at the ecumenical, conservative and, in some views, neoconservative religious journal” First Things

People I knew from college or had met in New York expressed distaste for Mr. Trump’s behavior. If they were religiously conservative, they stressed his infidelity while also objecting to his insults of women. If they were liberal, they objected to his treatment of women and viewed his infidelity as a sign that his religious supporters were hypocrites. Not a single peer of mine in New York — no matter how conservative or religious — publicly supported Mr. Trump.

In contrast, almost all of the people I know in my hometown in Nebraska proudly supported him. They glossed over his infidelities and stressed that he seemed to be a good father. They were impressed by his “respectful” sons and admired the success of his daughters.

In their book “Red Families v. Blue Families,” Naomi Cahn and June Carbone popularized the idea of “blue” and “red” family models. Blue families prize equality and companionship between spouses while putting a low value on childbearing. Red families tend to be inegalitarian or complementarian, viewing the man as the primary breadwinner and the mother as the primary caregiver. Early marriage and multiple children are typical.

Red families tend toward conservatism, and blue tend toward progressivism, but the models share an upper-class stress on respectability and a strong taboo against out-of-wedlock birth.

A third model can be found among working-class whites, blacks and Hispanics — let’s call it purple. In these families, bonds between mothers and children are prized above those between couples. Unstable relationships are the norm, and fathers quickly end up out of the picture…
Read more



Interesting Read: Jill Abramson Is Not Impressed


 
Remember, Abramson was fired by the FTFNYT because she was perceived as “pushy.” That certainly hasn’t been a problem with her replacement, Dean Baquet. But the lady is correct, once again…

… “Kind of pisses me off that @ nytimes is still asking Who Is Ocasio-Cortez? when it should have covered her campaign,” Jill Abramson erupted on Twitter on Wednesday morning—a biting reference to the newspaper’s original headline concerning the 28-year-old socialist’s shocking Democratic primary upset, a landslide actually, over incumbent Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District…

“Missing her rise [is] akin to not seeing Trump’s win coming in 2016,” Abramson added in her tweet—an even more biting reference to the Timesself-acknowledged failings in the paper’s reporting of the presidential campaign.

In response to Abramson’s critique—which she elaborated in several emailed comments shared with the Times—Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told The Daily Beast: “We have enormous respect for Jill and deeply appreciate her passion. Criticism and feedback helps us do better work and we’re always open to it. On these specifics though, we just disagree with Jill.” A few hours after Abramson’s tweet, the headline phrase that pissed her off, “Who is Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez?” was changed online to “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A 28-Year-Old Democratic Giant Slayer.”…

Abramson, 64, famously held [the executive editor] job for nearly three years—the first and only woman to do so—until she was summarily sacked amid an unseemly public-relations melee in May 2014…

“I fear sounding like a jealous old-timer. I’ve resisted critiquing the place publicly, but this shit is bad,” Abramson wrote in an email to this reporter, in which she elaborated on her tweet…

… [T]he NYT… it’s making horrible mistakes left and right. Here are a few:

“Not covering the ‘stunning’ upset of Joe Crowley. It’s the NYT that was undeservedly stunned, letting down its readers.

“That horrible 3,000-word exposé on Ali Watkins [the Times reporter who’s caught up in a leak investigation involving her ex-boyfriend, a former top staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee] that aired her sex life and conflicts while not probing why she was hired, responsibility of editors, or, most crucially, the value of her journalism (her Carter Page scoop in BuzzFeed actually helped lead to appt of Mueller)…

“Decision by international and new TV show plan to focus on personal feelings and experiences of NYT journalists covering news.

“More narcissism: It’s always about us. Yikes. Distance is part of journalism’s discipline.

“They need a course correction.

“Am I wrong?”…

So, tell me: What exactly do Jill Abramson, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ali Watkins have in common? Do you suppose the Grey Lady’s current elites might just have a tiny wee bit of a problem with women who don’t know their place?