Category Archives: journalism

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 […]

Media hypocrisy: they can’t bear to show Muhammad mocked, but mocking God is fine

When the Charlie Hebdo massacre took place a year ago yesterday, it was of course widely reported. But one bit of reportorial information was missing: the cartoons that brought on that attack. It was hard to find images of any earlier cartoons of Muhammad or even of the touching first cover that appeared after the slaughter—this one: […]

The Charlie Hebdo anniversary cover

In two days it will be the first anniversary of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices, killing twelve—nine of them working for the magazine (two were police and one a maintenance man).  Thanks to the Centre for Inquiry Canada, I have a copy of the “survivor’s issue”, the first one released after the slaughter. That cover, […]

Tim White goes Full Curmudgeon: damns the love affair between media and science

Timothy White, a paleoanthropologist at Berkeley, is rightly famous for his work on hominin fossils, especially Lucy. And he’s done some good work against creationism as well: he was the scientist who most flummoxed the UK creationists in our television show “Conspiracy Road Trip“. The fundies just couldn’t get around his sequential presentation and explanation of hominin skulls (see […]

Rupert Murdoch’s National Geographic celebrates the Virgin Mary

Many of you probably know that in September Rupert Murdoch recent acquired the long-esteemed magazine National Geographic. And when he did so, he fired dozens of its employees, stirring up worries about what would happen to the magazine. As Reverb Press noted: The National Geographic Society has long stood for science, research, and investigation. Murdoch’s companies […]

Wil Wheaton rebuffs the odious and stingy HuffPo

Wil Wheaton, who became famous for his teen-star appearance on Star Trek, and who now appears regularly on The Big Bang Theory (a show I’ve never watched), was asked by PuffHo if they could re-post one of Wheaton’s own website posts, “Seven things I did to reboot my life.” Here they are, if you’re interested: Drink […]

Palestinians kill and terrorize Israelis, world studiously ignores it

My travels have prevented me from following the situation in the Middle East very closely, but what I have seen lately has amazed me.  People are, for instance, bemoaning the death of Palestinian youths (and adults) killed by Israelis. What they fail to note is that these killings occurred after the Palestinians (often teenaged boys) were […]

Ruben Bolling mox Fox taking over National Geographic

I had no idea that Rupert Murdoch’s organization 21st Century Fox had taken over National Geographic, and even the magazine’s contributors are worried about how that will change the content.  Well, the best disinfectant is satire; and here, courtesy of reader Jim, is a cartoon about what the new magazine might look like with its right-wing […]


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