Commentary: Newsletter Peddlers Offended by Real Journalism Quit

Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg

An 82-second movie trailer was supposedly all it took for two of the most perpetually outraged—and chronically wrong—political pundits to quit their gigs at Fox News.

“The trailer for Tucker Carlson’s special about the Jan. 6 mob at the Capitol landed online on Oct. 27, and that night Jonah Goldberg sent a text to his business partner, Stephen Hayes: ‘I’m tempted just to quit Fox over this,’” New York Times media columnist Ben Smith revealed in an unnecessarily lengthy article on November 21 to explain why the pair resigned before they were let go by the network, as a Fox executive later confirmed to the Washington Post. “‘I’m game,’ Mr. Hayes replied. ‘Totally outrageous. It will lead to violence. Not sure how we can stay.’”

Carlson’s documentary, “Patriot Purge,” aired in three separate segments on the network’s streaming service, Fox Nation, a few days later. It’s unclear whether Goldberg or Hayes watched the film in its entirety but additional commentary—given to Smith over Zoom while “clad in athleisure,” a word intended to lend muscularity to two of the laziest commentators in the business—suggests that neither did.

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MSNBC Article Suggests Republicans Are Worse Than Nazis

Group of people at a Trump rally, man in a "Keep America Great" hat

A Tuesday article in MSNBC suggested that Republicans’ use of the phrase “Let’s go Brandon” is worse than the Nazi ‘Sieg Heil’ salute.

The author noted a recent comparison of “Let’s go Brandon” to the Nazi salute. “To this I say: Calm the hell down; that’s an insult to Nazis. And furthermore, Biden doesn’t have the gall to steamroll these would-be Nazis like Joseph Stalin’s army did in Berlin.”

The article also called “Let’s go Brandon” a “significant downgrade from the glory days of the far right,” and said the phrase is “inoffensive and very vanilla” when compared to “Lock her up” and “Build the wall.”

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Trump Demands New York Times, Washington Post Be Stripped of Pulitzers for Russia Reporting

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump asked the Pulitzer Prize committee on Sunday to strip awards to The Washington Post and The New York Times, arguing their award-winning stories in 2016 and 2017 alleging Russia collusion lacked “any credible evidence “

The newspapers’ reporting was “based on the false reporting of a non-existent link between the Kremlin and the Trump Campaign. The coverage was no more than a politically motivated farce,” Trump wrote in a letter to interim Pulitzer administrator Bud Kliment.

Trump noted that multiple investigations have dismissed any notion of collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin and that a recent indictment by Special Prosecutor John Durham traced some of the key allegations to people tied to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

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Michael Patrick Leahy on Narrative Journalism and Big Tech Alliances

Thursday morning on Frist Principles with Phill Kline, host Kline welcomed The Star News Networks CEO and Editor in Chief Michael Patrick Leahy to the phone lines to discuss the changing landscape of journalism and Big Techs’ partnership with social media titans.

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Phill Kline to Michael Patrick Leahy: ‘Zuckerberg Money Paid for the People Who Boarded Up the Windows and Kicked America Out’

Thursday morning on First Principles, host Phill Kline welcomed The Star News Network’s CEO, Michael Patrick Leahy to the phone lines to discuss the influence of Zuckerberg’s money on the 2020 election and altered state election laws.

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European Publishing Giant to Acquire Politico, Deal Could Cost $1 Billion

German publishing company Axel Springer announced Thursday it intends to acquire the digital news outlet Politico which could reportedly cost up to $1 billion.

The acquisition of Politico will add to Axel Springer’s portfolio of news outlets which include Morning Brew and Insider, according to a press release from Axel Springer.

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Former New York Times Journalist Alex Berenson Permanently Suspended by Twitter

Alex Berenson

Twitter has permanently banned Alex Berenson, a former New York Times journalist who has become a major critic of Big Tech censorship and coronavirus lockdowns and mandates.

Responding to an inquiry from Fox News, where Berenson has been a frequent guest during the pandemic, a spokesperson for Twitter replied that “The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.”

Berenson responded on his Substack page, where he posted a message titled “Goodbye Twitter.”

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University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media Dean Resigns Post after Nikole Hannah-Jones Controversy

Susan King of UNC

Susan King is stepping down as dean of the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. 

The university announced the decision yesterday. 

The Hussman School faced backlash from progressives after it apparently backed off from a plan to give Hannah-Jones tenure for her work as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. 

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Commentary: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Journalism Professors Protest ‘Objectivity’ in News Reporting

Carroll Hall UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Journalism professors at UNC Chapel Hill are protesting a “core values” statement that upholds objectivity as a key tenet of news reporting.

Faculty members of UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media converged last week to bemoan a statement of values that’s etched in granite and is found in the lobby of their school.

The core values statement, installed two years ago, touts objectivity, impartiality, integrity and truth-seeking, and after their kvetching session that statement was reportedly scrapped from the school’s website, the News & Observer reports.

In 2019, Walter Hussman, a UNC alumnus and owner of a media conglomerate of newspapers and other media outlets, donated $25 million to the UNC journalism school. Part of the donation contract installed those values into the school’s wall and mission, according to UNC’s website.

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Michigan Undercounted Nursing Home COVID-19 Deaths, Reporter Says

Staff member at nursing home showing smartphone to elderly woman

ulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff says Michigan has undercounted COVID-19 nursing home deaths.

The accusation follows a settlement between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and LeDuff with legal services provided by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. LeDuff and the MCPP sued the government when it failed to provide public records as required by law.

“This data is an essential part of accurately understanding the effects of this pandemic and the public policy implemented in response,” Steve Delie, an attorney and the Mackinac Center’s FOIA expert, said in a May 21 statement. “It also leaves open the possibility that the state is undercounting the number of deaths of those in nursing homes.”

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Commentary: Journalists Become Cynical, But Not Skeptical

Farm grown fruit for sale

Journalists and scientists have more in common than you’d think—at least they should. Scientists seek to understand and explain how the natural world works. They observe, ask questions, and approach new information with skepticism as they work through a careful process to determine what is true.

Journalists, in theory, use the same curiosity and rigor to provide the information we need to make good decisions in our lives. According to the Society of Professional Journalists, a core tenet of journalism is to “seek truth and report it.” In both worlds, negligence begins where skepticism ends, creating dangerous opportunities for peddlers of misinformation.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual “Dirty Dozen” list is a perfect marriage of scientific and journalistic negligence. Each year, the EWG, a controversial, agenda-driven organic activist group, purports to rank the top 12 fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides. And each year, the media takes the bait without fail, and the coverage reads like sponsored content.

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Commentary: Fear of a 2016 Repeat Inspires Anti-Trump Hysteria

Over the past four years, American news organizations have not merely shredded their own credibility, but have piled those tattered shreds into a heap, poured gasoline onto the pile, and incinerated it. Anyone who still believes what they see on CNN or read in the New York Times is in the throes of a delusion. As much as we might wish to laugh at the plight of the media, now so obviously lost in the helpless hysteria of Trump Derangement Syndrome, we are not better off as a nation as a result of the catastrophe that has befallen American journalism.

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Arizona State University Journalism School Removes People, News Items Decried as too Pro-Police

In the last four months the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has repeatedly removed pro-police related items after students and activists cried foul.

In June, the school rescinded a job offer to the new dean of its journalism school, Sonya Forte Duhé, after students accused her of past microaggressions and other insensitive comments. Mostly notably, Duhé had recently tweeted support for “good police officers who keep us safe.”

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