But after listening to Swisher’s interview with Haberman, I’m much more sympathetic to her. I found Haberman’s explanations for why she withheld some information from her regular reporting in the Times—the overarching lefty critique—convincing enough to give her a pass.
It’s greed. That’s the headline of this powerful six and a half minute long New York Times documentary. I concede, given the Gray Lady’s size and stature, it’s important to read and/or view her with a certain skepticism, but as this short video illustrates, the “paper of record” continues to produce a lot of outstanding journalism.
When it comes to the New York Times, I am in the habit of reading the top “reader picks” comments. At present, this video has generated 1,562 comments. Here’s a portion of the top rated one, from someone living outside the (dis)United States:
“Hey, your politicians passed and signed federal law 9 years ago to allow private equity (wall street) to buy and own healthcare systems and physician groups. Prior to that it was illegal. Now private equity is the largest employer of emergency room physicians in America and as owners of healthcare system employees many many doctors and nurses of all specialties. Private equity is buy a company reduce costs increase profit and sell it in 5-7 years. That is who owns many of your doctors and hospitals. Federal law was changed to allow that to happen and where was the objection from the people. My guess probably almost no one knew. How funny to watch your media avoid these topics when they happen and fill it with the latest on the celebrity politicians over there.”
The nurses in the video confirm that our fetishization of corporations is the root cause of their untenable work conditions. And the reason people admitted to U.S. hospitals often receive poor care.
It reminds me of how powerfully later seasons of “Orange Is The New Black” depicts the negative consequences of private prisons.
Because we’re complexity adverse, we don’t connect dots, like our “avoid taxes at all costs” myopia and our near religious beliefs in “free” markets. Those neoliberal pillars are as solid as they’ve ever been. To question them is to be labelled a “socialist”.
In the end, we have the public health system we deserve. A public health system that an increasing percentage of nurses don’t want anything to do with.
Or if you’re solar powered, Detroit, Rochester, Buffalo or Milwaukee.
Our politicians are not thinking nearly enough about the next several decades. Fortunately, some people are as this impressive piece of journalism attests, “How Climate Migration Will Reshape America”. Amazing photography throughout.
“Once you accept that climate change is fast making large parts of the United States nearly uninhabitable, the future looks like this: With time, the bottom half of the country grows inhospitable, dangerous and hot. Something like a tenth of the people who live in the South and the Southwest — from South Carolina to Alabama to Texas to Southern California — decide to move north in search of a better economy and a more temperate environment. Those who stay behind are disproportionately poor and elderly.
In these places, heat alone will cause as many as 80 additional deaths per 100,000 people — the nation’s opioid crisis, by comparison, produces 15 additional deaths per 100,000. The most affected people, meanwhile, will pay 20 percent more for energy, and their crops will yield half as much food or in some cases virtually none at all. That collective burden will drag down regional incomes by roughly 10 percent, amounting to one of the largest transfers of wealth in American history, as people who live farther north will benefit from that change and see their fortunes rise.
The millions of people moving north will mostly head to the cities of the Northeast and Northwest, which will see their populations grow by roughly 10 percent, according to one model.”
The Victim-in-Chief lashing out at the media for their use of anonymous sources.
The Victim-in-Chief’s most recent tweet:
Focused on ratings in the midst of a serious, national public health crisis.
Trump is famous for his “many people say” variations. He could teach a master class at the Columbia School of Journalism on not just how to use anonymous sources, but how to make them up. Truly, he is genius at it.
Said ONE (anonymous) LUNATIC. Daniel Dale has asked if anyone know’s his source. So far, no one does. Probably because there is no source.
“As long as dead-ender subscribers continue to make Alden’s properties profitable, the company will have little incentive to improve its newspapers. The best that most Alden cities can hope for right now is the sale of their newspapers to local or better owners, as has happened to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Berkshire Eagle, and the New Haven Register.”
4. The lies of (Netflix’s) the Irishman. Long story short, Frank Sheeran (Robert DeNiro) made it all up. Apparently never killed anyone. This isn’t an important/contested chapter of US history, so I don’t care, a great film regardless.
Consider two of the last few sentences. First Cain Miller’s clear, specific, easily comprehensible one:
“. . . . Women who outearned their husbands were more likely to seek jobs beneath their potential, they found, and to do significantly more housework and child care than their husbands — perhaps to make their husbands feel less threatened.”
Immediately followed by Marianne Bertrand’s, a University of Chicago Business professor, attempting to communicate the exact same idea:
“‘When the gender norm is violated, there is some compensating behavior to try to undo some of the utility loss experienced by the husband.”
That contrast is the problem of academic writing in a nutshell.
Bertrand’s use of more sophisticated vocabulary, “gender norm is violated”, “compensating behavior”, and “utility loss” muddies more than it illuminate’s Cain Miller’s previous point. It would be nice if doctoral economics programs, no make that doctoral programs of all sorts, required a class in journalism.
Journalism is hemorrhaging jobs, but fortunately, in some places, long form journalism is flourishing. These are detailed; thoughtful; and if you’re left-leaning, harrowing pieces.
From God’s Plan for Mike Pence:
“Scott Pelath, the Democratic minority leader in the Indiana House of Representatives, said that watching Pence vouch for Trump made him sad. “Ah, Mike,” he sighed. “Ambition got the best of him.” It’s an impression that even some of Pence’s oldest friends and allies privately share. As one former adviser marveled, ‘The number of compromises he made to get this job, when you think about it, is pretty staggering.'”
Tucked in the NYT piece were passing references to Trump’s twelve daily Diet Cokes and his regular dinner of. . .
“plates of well-done steak, salad slathered with Roquefort dressing and bacon crumbles, tureens of gravy and massive slices of dessert with extra ice cream.”
I’m calling bullshit on his doc’s glowing reports on his health. #fakenews
Why do we as citizens, employees, members of civic organizations, make leadership decisions we often regret? Why is our batting average too often Seattle Mariner-like?
Because we pick leaders based upon tangible qualifications that most closely match those we detail in our job postings, with far too little attention paid to the finalists’ psychological well-being. Granted, psychological well-being is hella-hard to assess in even a series of interviews, but somehow, we have to get better at it.
Let’s start with this premise, on a “Psychological Health” scale of 1-100, the most self-actualized person in the world is a 90. Put differently, everyone has “issues” and is fallible. The goal is to select leaders with the fewest inner demons so as to avoid getting hopelessly side-tracked from the group’s overarching mission. How about this for an interview question: Which of your inner demons are we likely to learn about six months from now? Maybe I should use italics when joking. But seriously, how do interviewers enter the side or back door to assess a candidate’s relative mental health and basic people skills?
My best work friend of all time took another job two and a half years ago. When the damnable university called me to talk about him, this is some of what I said, “He utterly has no ego. As a result, he doesn’t care who gets the credit for the good work that get’s done. All he cares about is that good work gets done.” His lack of ego was an indicator of genuine psychological health, the foundation of which, was equal parts a wonderful marriage and extended family, a deep spirituality, and a commitment to physical activity. Importantly, he also laughed a lot, often at himself.
Maybe the answer to the question, how do we assess job finalists’ psychological health, lies in the previous paragraph. Talk to more former co-workers in greater depth. I’m interested in other ideas you may have.
My university’s decision to sell its public radio station (KPLU) to Seattle’s (KUOW), has upset lots of KPLU listeners both on and off campus. You can read the PLU president’s rationale here and decide for yourself how persuasive it is.
The sale is being reported as $8m, but it’s really $7m since $1m is $100k worth of radio advertising for ten consecutive years. At a recent faculty meeting the president said young adult radio listening is down 41% which prompted me to ask him why then the $1m in advertising.
What’s happening to KPLU’s news team has been happening across the United States for the last decade. Battered by the Great Recession and the migration of audiences to the Internet, America’s traditional news operations . . . have collectively been forced to shed many thousands of professional journalism jobs.
That would merely be tough luck for those companies if new digital media were picking up the slack. Many traditional media companies . . . have successfully migrated to the Internet themselves. But online news rarely attracts the kind of advertising revenue that the old media once enjoyed.
It’s not just lost advertising revenue, it’s Craigslist and other on-line publications which have siphoned off classified revenue, another critical stream.
The Tacoma paper predicts what will happen next:
Shrunken newsrooms and fewer reporters and news editors. With fewer reporters, there’s less news. Pardon the sarcasm, but it’s remarkable how much less scandal there is in government and the corporate world now that fewer journalists are on the lookout for it.
The Web creates an illusion of abundant news. There is in fact an abundance of commentary about the news; political websites and blogs are saturated with punditry and ideological spin. There’s also a lot of news that’s been recycled, aggregated, tweeted, repurposed and attached to ads on the Web. But there’s less real bedrock information out there than it appears.
The Good Wife and I went a little cray cray last weekend and went to two movies. One of those, Spotlight, is the story of the Boston Globe’s 2000-2002 reporting on the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.
Even though the story happened only 14-15 years ago, it felt like much longer. Almost like entering a time capsule. It’s a last gasp salvo against the march of the internet, an engaging case study of important investigative reporting. Unbelievably, the editors kept slowing down the journalists, telling them to take more time, meaning using more resources.
Since power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, a vibrant democracy depends in large part on a free and tenacious press that repeatedly asks challenging questions of people in power. Legions of journalists are sounding a warning, saying few media entities have the financial wherewithal to do original, excellent investigative reporting.
But I’m unaware of journalists thinking creatively about alternative revenue streams. So I will offer an idea. What if super wealthy philanthropists gave less to the (normally) already super wealthy universities they attended, and instead, made seven and eight figure gifts to our once great newspapers, or their newer online competitors, to create endowments for them, just like colleges and universities have, so that they can count on the revenue those endowments would generate.
And what about endowing journalists more specifically, like an endowed chair at a college or university? The Daniel Pearl Chair of Southeast Asian Reporting. The David Carr Chair of Media Studies. Seems to me this idea might appeal to super wealthy lefties and right wing nutters since the resulting investigative light would shine on scoundrels of every conceivable ideological bent.
• Thanks to Adele for filling in for me last week.
• I just don’t get the Kobe worship (Rest in Peace moms). He’s shooting 31%! If he cared about the Laker’s future half as much as he does himself, he’d retire right now.
• Happy to report that I ran the Seattle Half Marathon Sunday without either calf rebelling. My time suggests what I’ve suspected, I’m getting older. My brother informs me my time was five minutes slower than his personal record. Forgets to mention Grease was the top grossing movie when he ran that race.