Consolation Prizes

“People don’t necessarily revolt when things are bad, but they might when things aren’t getting better, or are getting demonstrably worse.”

Source: The Baffler
Published: Jan 7, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,745 words)

2018: The Year In Ideas: A Review Of Ideas

You’ll want to get your Vive le roi! t-shirt out of storage.

Source: HuffPost
Published: Dec 27, 2018
Length: 26 minutes (6,600 words)

Cable News Charnel

Why do US news outlets air graphic clips of ISIS violence, or even ISIS propaganda videos? And what are the forces driving the news’ focus on civil violence within American borders? An essay on the ways media looks out for itself.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Jul 1, 2015
Length: 20 minutes (5,155 words)

Come On, Feel the Buzz

A critical look at the political newspaper and website Politico:

“One classic method of unleashing irresistible Drudge bait on the Internet is to boil another outlet’s story down to a couple salacious-sounding excerpts, or (failing an effective condensing strategy) to simply reinterpret the material to fit a Drudge-friendly narrative. This past May, for example, Vanity Fair published an excerpt from Maraniss’s biography of Barack Obama. (The liberal media vetting blackout continued apace, in other words.) Politico’s Dylan Byers took the excerpt and turned it into a little micro-news story: Obama admitted to Maraniss that certain figures in his first memoir were ‘compressions’—i.e., composite characters. Byers completely missed that Obama explicitly said at the outset of his own book that some characters were composites, but Drudge didn’t care. ‘Obama Admits Fabricating Girlfriend in Memoir,’ went his headline, with a link to Politico instead of Vanity Fair—and another false right-wing meme got its wings.”

Source: The Baffler
Published: Nov 5, 2012
Length: 26 minutes (6,530 words)