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PBS Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien Calls Out Fox News’s Irresponsible Coverage of Ebola

“A level of ignorance we should not allow in our media”
Media • Views: 22,496

Media Matters

On CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, Miles O’Brien, science correspondent for PBS NewsHour, had some very strong words for the irresponsible coverage of the Ebola virus from many media sources — especially Fox News, where they’ve been in non-stop fear-mongering mode.

Perhaps the most outrageous comments on Fox News came from Andrea Tantaros (which is not unusual for her), who actually said she was afraid someone could “get off a flight and seek treatment from a witch doctor who practices Santeria.” Absolutely blatant racism for the right wing base.

Media Matters

(Via Media Matters.)

Hannity Removes Belt and Smacks It on Desk During Segment on Peterson

Hannity defends child abuse on Fox News
Media • Views: 30,583

YouTube

In this clip, Sean Hannity says his father beat him with a belt and even punched him in the face, but he’s “never been to a shrink” and he’s just fine. And he demonstrates by taking off his belt and slamming it on the desk.

No. This is not a person who is fine. But it goes a long way toward explaining why his world view is so warped.

Drudge Report Finally Has Proof: Obama Is the Devil

Yes, he is the Anti-Christ, this proves it!
Media • Views: 33,429

One of the top stories of the day at Drudge Report. Finally, proof that Obama is in fact the devil.

OMG!!!!!!!!! TEH ANTICHRIST!!!

Here is a clearer picture of our Lucifer-in-Chief.

Edit:

Here is a close up, courtesy of Charles. Much appreciated.

Benny Johnson, Fired From Buzzfeed for Large-Scale Plagiarism, Gets Cushy Job at National Review

Plagiarism? Who cares!
Media • Views: 31,909
Serial plagiarist Benny Johnson

This has to be the most pathetic story of the weekend, as Benny Johnson gets a plum job at National Review as their “Social Media Director” — just a month after he was fired from Buzzfeed for massive amounts of plagiarism.

I seem to remember a time when plagiarism was considered an unforgivable sin in journalism, but those days are obviously gone, gone, gone. Now it’s just one more item on the resumé. And this wasn’t just one or two or even 10 cases of plagiarism, but more than 40.

And the most ridiculous part of this depressingly absurd story: one of the publications plagiarized by Benny Johnson was — National Review. Yes, really.

Did any journalists take to Twitter to condemn National Review for this outrageous lack of standards? Nope. In fact, I saw numerous journalists doing the opposite, and congratulating Johnson on his excellent new job.

Welcome to the future of journalism.

UPDATE at 9/7/14 6:41:30 pm by Charles Johnson

To make the hypocrisy and craziness even more evident, in 2010 National Review published this: The Plague of Plagiarism | National Review Online. (h/t: @Gus_802.)

Leaving all partisan snark aside for a moment, this is a serious problem that bodes ill for our future. Respect for intellectual property is fading, and, along with it, the reverence for originality and drive for individual achievement that has animated American life and fueled American innovation for two and a half centuries.

UPDATE at 9/7/14 6:54:43 pm by Charles Johnson

It must be the season of the plagiarists — they’re back on the menu in Britain as well: Johann Hari Is Still Lying to You — Jeremy Duns

Related:
Buzzfeed Fires Former Breitbart/Glenn Beck Writer for Serial Plagiarism

Fox News: Referring to Michael Brown as an “Unarmed Teenager” Is Misleading

Ugly and uglier
Media • Views: 21,619

Media Matters

The right wing incitement coming out of Fox News is utterly relentless. Today’s case in point, this morning’s episode of the talk show for complete idiots, Fox & Friends, in which the empty-headed Steve Doocy asks Fox contributor Linda Chavez if it’s “misleading” to refer to Michael Brown as an “unarmed teenager.” Because he was rather large and rather black.

Yes, really. And as I read over this post, I can’t apologize for its tone. This show really is one of the most abysmally stupid and hateful shows on any cable network. Bleh.

CNN Held Talks About Joint Venture With Glenn Beck’s The Blaze

CNN will apparently do anything to save their floundering HLN network
Media • Views: 28,729

If there is anyone left who doesn’t believe CNN is circling the bowl, The Wall Street Journal has burst your bubble this evening.

CNN executives have held talks in recent weeks with representatives from Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, a 24-hour news and entertainment network, about a potential joint venture to overhaul HLN, according to people familiar with the matter. Those discussions came after Vice’s talks became public in June. CNN and The Blaze representatives couldn’t agree on terms, the people said.

Among the possible deals considered was an arrangement similar to the one being discussed with Vice Media, according to a person familiar with the deal: forming a new venture between CNN-parent Time Warner and The Blaze that would replace HLN’s current programming with Blaze programming.

The talks illustrate Time Warner’s eagerness to find a solution for the problems at HLN, which has seen its total viewership decline 22% for the season to date, and a 19% decrease in viewers 18 to 49 years old, the demographic that advertisers pay a premium to reach, according to Nielsen.

Although The Blaze has managed to get on Dish Network and a number of other small cable providers, Beck clearly aims to gain a larger platform for himself and his various lackeys who all seem to have their own shows.

While it is true that Beck’s special brand of insanity did previously air on HLN’s precursor for three years (2006-2008), there is a major difference between giving this man 5 hours per week and giving him 50% editorial control of an entire network.

CNN has always been a commercial venture, but it was once among the most respected news gathering organizations in the world. Since Jeffrey Zucker took the reigns as president of CNN Worldwide at the beginning of 2013, the brand’s transformation into the butt of jokes has become complete. The fact that this proposed merger has apparently failed does nothing to make CNN look better.

Chuck Todd Finds a Way to Blame Democrats for Republican Impeachment Insanity

WTF, Chuck
Media • Views: 25,054

I have no idea how anyone could look at the insane impeachment talk coming out of so many Republicans these days and still find a way to invoke the Magical Balance Fairy and say “both parties are equally responsible for this.”

But Chuck Todd did.

Chuck Todd on Wednesday railed against both the White House and congressional Republicans for engaging in “disgusting” and “embarrassing” rhetoric on impeachment and suing the president.

“This is sort of an embarrassing moment for Washington,” the NBC News chief White House correspondent said. “The leaders for both parties here — they’re driving away people from the polls, they’re driving people away from politics. This is cynical, it’s ugly, it’s disgusting.”

[…]

Todd declared a plague on both their houses, criticizing both Boehner and the White House for “embarrassing” tactics.

“This is the most cynical — Boehner’s up there with this ridiculous lawsuit, Josh Earnest sitting at the podium trying to tick off names of, ‘Look at Republicans who want impeachment’ — it’s not serious,” Todd said. “The lawsuit’s not serious. The impeachment talk’s not serious. This is playground stuff. This is embarrassing.”

Ooohkay. So in the weird world of Chuck Todd, pointing out that Republicans are increasingly ranting about impeachment is the same thing as ranting about impeachment.

It’s the privileged Beltway “view from nowhere” at its most ridiculous.

Don’t Expect Much From ‘First Look Media’ for Several Years

A very relaxed publishing schedule
Media • Views: 18,063

Have you noticed that for all the promotion and hype and promises, there hasn’t been a lot of… journalism happening at Pierre Omidyar’s very expensive journalism project, First Look? Not to mention the weeks that often go by before lonely articles appear at Greenwald’s branch, The Intercept?

Well, Pierre would like you to know it’s no big deal, because it’s probably going to take years before they figure out what they’re actually doing over there. Yes, years.

I expect we’ll be in this planning, startup and experimental mode for at least the next few years as we explore how to become integrated into people’s lives in meaningful ways. During that time, we’re going to continually test new ideas and approaches to use technology and journalism to achieve our mission.

A quarter of a billion dollars in funding and no need for advertising income sure takes the pressure off. No rush, folks. I’m sure it will be incredibly awesome some time around 2018.

Buzzfeed Fires Former Breitbart/Glenn Beck Writer for Serial Plagiarism

Why was this a surprise to anyone?
Media • Views: 20,107

After being exposed as a serial plagiarist, Buzzfeed writer Benny Johnson has been fired; here’s the post by Ben Smith: Editor’s Note: An Apology to Our Readers.

Starting this Wednesday, Twitter users began pointing out instances in which a BuzzFeed writer, Benny Johnson, had lifted phrases and sentences from other websites.

After carefully reviewing more than 500 of Benny’s posts, we have found 41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites. Benny is a friend, colleague, and, at his best, a creative force, but we had no choice other than letting him go.

We owe you, our readers, an apology. This plagiarism is a breach of our fundamental responsibility to be honest with you — in this case, about who wrote the words on our site. Plagiarism, much less copying unchecked facts from Wikipedia or other sources, is an act of disrespect to the reader. We are deeply embarrassed and sorry to have misled you. Benny’s editors — I, Katherine Miller, John Stanton, Shani Hilton, and McKay Coppins — bear real responsibility.

While it’s nice that Ben Smith eventually did the right thing (after defending Johnson for several days, at one point calling him “one of the web’s deeply original writers”), it should be noted that Benny Johnson got his start writing for extreme right wing sites like Glenn Beck’s The Blaze and Breitbart “News,” so I’m not sure why it comes as such a surprise that he’s also an unethical plagiarist.

For example, have a look at this disgustingly bigoted rant about the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” written for Breitbart by Benny Johnson, which starts out by painting all Muslims as terrorists or terror supporters, and then morphs into a crazed attack on President Obama, accusing him of raising “a glass of non-alcoholic beverage in a toast to Islam:” Dear American Taxpayer, You Are Paying for the Ground Zero Mosque.

It’s a really awful post — hateful, shockingly bigoted against Muslims, completely deranged, and badly written to boot. It fits right in at Breitbart “News.” And the real question is, why was someone who writes this kind of evil garbage ever hired by Buzzfeed in the first place?

P.S. Oddly, in the apology for Johnson’s plagiarism, Smith posted links to the 41 posts that contained plagiarized material — but the links aren’t clickable, they’re plain text. So as a service to our readers, here are those links in clickable form:

Continue reading…

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Randall Gross
Parents Reported $2,000 Missing as Teens Headed to Join Islamic State - the Denver Post
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Bubblehead II
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 Frank says:

Well, you know I've been here many times, and only certain hours of the day when I'm here am I asleep; the rest of the time I'm actually awake. -- I have a filler on a dat with zappa being interrogated by a couple of swedish fans/state officers(who knows)...in which they are arguing over the pornographic contents of his work. he tells them he has been spying on them, and claims that their porno industry is bigger than that of the US. it's pretty funny. btw-this is from thew '88 tour.