Category Archives: journalism

Winners: Mock the HuffPo headline contest

Not long ago I announced a contest (twice: here and here), asking readers to make up “two mock headlines satirizing those that might appear in the PuffHo.” I added that the winner would receive either an autographed copy or an audiobook of Faith Versus Fact, with a cat drawn in the former. I reserved the right […]

The death of journalism

I’m on the road today (or rather, on the rail), so enjoy this video of John Oliver on the latest issue of “Last Week Tonight.”  Oliver, the true heir of Jon Stewart, demonstrates with his characteristic excitability why real journalism is dying. And we know that’s true—at least in the United States, for many journalistic […]

Elon University students call for disinviting ideologically impure Pulitzer Prize winner

Elon University is a high-quality private college in Elon, North Carolina. It was founded as a Christian school but now is pretty much secular—one of those small and excellent liberal arts colleges that dot North Carolina—and whose state legislature is doing its best to destroy. Kathleen Parker is a widely syndicated and conservative-leaning (but not batshit crazy conservative-leaning […]

Mukherjee takes confusing positions about epigenetics in Nature and in Forbes

Believe me, I really am tired of this affair and didn’t want to post more on Siddhartha Mukherjee and his New Yorker article, a piece that, to many scientists, distorted what we know about gene regulation (see here for background).  But I did note that I’d discuss press coverage of our disagreement, and we have some. Yesterday, two articles […]

A disgraceful movie, but a good newspaper article

by Greg Mayer Update: The Tribeca Film Festival has pulled the film, apparently in response to widespread criticism. Details at Jezebel. Thanks to reader horrabin for the alert.   Jerry has taken note of the upcoming showing at the Tribeca Film Festival of a ‘documentary’ by the disgraced and de-licensed British physician Andrew Wakefield.(And  Orac […]

Correction: information about Emory students being offended by “Trump” graffiti

Two days ago I posted a story about students at Atlanta’s Emory University being offended to the point of rage and “unsafeness” at seeing pro-Trump slogans chalked on campus. This was based on reports from The New York Post, the Washington Post, and Emory’s own student newspaper, The Wheel. According to, some of the elements […]

NY Times editor proclaims that science and religion are compatible

  I’ve long maintained that both the New Yorker and the New York Times are unconscionably soft on religion, even though I suspect that many of their writers and editors are atheists. (A welcome exception is Lawrence Krauss’s recent New Yorker essays on atheism, such as this one). But the good gray Times remains a resolute “believer in belief”— […]

Social media swallows everything

This is a “get off my lawn” complaint, but virtually the only thing I watch on television is the news, and lately I’ve noticed it getting corrupted by social media. In short, the local news, usually devoted to happenings in Chicago, sports, traffic, and weather, is now devoting a large part of its morning programs to […]

The New Republic circling the drain

Once again I’m saddened today, this time to learn that The New Republic, a magazine that I’ve long written for in both print and online, is being sold by owner Chris Hughes. Hughes bought it four years ago using money he acquired as founder of Facebook. But after a while it became clear that Hughes was intent […]

The Curious Case of Cologne

by Grania By now everyone has heard of the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne, although the events of that night are still being investigated and the facts aren’t yet known in great detail. On New Year’s Eve, groups of men appearing to be of mostly Middle Eastern and African origin attacked and harassed women in an […]


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