The “Are You Better Off” Question and the Human Element to the Mass Unemployment Crisis

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 4:15 pm

The political media has tried over the past couple days to distill the race down to one question – “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” – because if all the complexities of American politics can be answered with a simple yes/no question, it makes things much easier on everyone. But I think this all misses the point entirely. People do not get a sense of the economy based on the totality of how it is doing in macroeconomic terms. They make their judgments based on how THEY feel. One man’s unemployment means a depression for that man. The electorate doesn’t move as a whole, and the economy doesn’t affect everyone equally.


Lying in Post-Fact America

By: Thursday August 30, 2012 6:35 am

We live in a time when the media literally thinks it’s a separate job to separate true from false in reporting on national political figures. They think their main job is theater criticism.

Email Reveals Cozy Relationship Between New York Times Reporter and CIA

By: Wednesday August 29, 2012 1:45 pm

Marcy Wheeler brings us the disturbing revelation of a New York Times reporter collaborating with the CIA by giving them an advance copy of a Maureen Dowd column, ostensibly to “check a fact.” It’s about the cozy relationship between reporter and subject, which means we get an inevitably filtered look at what is actually happening in our world.

NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for “Political and Cultural Progressivism”

By: Monday August 27, 2012 2:10 pm

Arthur Brisbane, ending his tour as the New York Times’ public editor, went out with a slap in the face at his employer, suggesting that they reflect a liberal bias. If only. Doesn’t the truth have a well known political and cultural progressive bias?

RNC Calls Off Monday Events Due to Hurricane Isaac

By: Sunday August 26, 2012 8:59 am

The Republican National Convention will be a three-day affair, much like the Democratic convention this year. RNC Chair Reince Priebus announced yesterday that, because of the threat of Hurricane Isaac, the convention will quickly gavel into session and then adjourn on Monday, returning Tuesday for the remainder of the events.

Niall Ferguson Has a Sad About Liberal Bloggers

By: Tuesday August 21, 2012 5:00 pm

The Niall Ferguson Newsweek saga has moved swiftly from tragedy to farce. After getting called out for numerous factual errors in his cover story on his opposition to Barack Obama’s re-election, Ferguson has now struck back with a broadside against the messenger, specifically “liberal bloggers,” who had the temerity to point out his mistakes.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Rory O’Connor, Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media

By: Sunday August 5, 2012 1:59 pm

When I sat down to read Friends, Followers and the Future by Rory O’Connor, I thought I knew what to expect. This is how I earn my living- by advising others on how best to integrate social media into their lives and work. The world that is social media is at best a microcosm of the world at large and at worst a poor substitute for the offline world, and I figured that it would be easy to read this book, digest it into manageable pieces and write this intro for today’s book salon.

I was wrong.

News of the World Editors, Journalists Indicted in Phone Hacking Scandal

By: Tuesday July 24, 2012 1:10 pm

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, two top editors at the now-defunct paper News of the World, have been indicted in the phone-hacking scandal that caused the paper’s shutdown and rocked Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire. Coulson, before stepping down last year, was actually the communications director for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Five News of the World journalists were also indicted.

Assessing the Costs and Rewards of the Libor Rate-Rigging Scandal

By: Friday July 13, 2012 12:56 pm

We do not yet have a very good context for the costs of the Libor rate-rigging scandal. We know that derivatives traders gained when they called in favors and had banks set the Libor in ways favorable to their bets. And we know that banks benefited from artificially setting the Libor down during the financial crisis to mask their poor fiscal health. But how did that manifest itself in the real world? The investment bank Morgan Stanley has penciled out an estimate of just the Libor suppression, the artificial rigging of the rate lower during the crisis. This does not take into account the derivative trading. And just on that alone, they come up with about $22 billion in fines.

Longtime Blogger Matt Stoller to Appear as Show Regular on Russell Brand’s TV Show on F/X, Premiering Tonight

By: Thursday June 28, 2012 6:36 pm

I saw a live preview of this show back in February in Los Angeles, and I can say that it represents a major shift in the range of opinions allowed on broadcast television. What passes for “liberal” on TV and in most of our media is extremely narrowed and constrained, with views very much in line with the political establishment. Heck, Richard Cohen is still seen as a liberal voice on the Washington Post editorial page. But this show, if the previews are any indication, will deconstruct the media and describe its narratives, in ways we haven’t really seen before.

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