Monday, December 11, 2017

Columbia Journalism Review on the 2016 Election Media Coverage

It's not just that the political narratives in the 2016 election that were most amplified were those written by prominent media men (including prominent harassers, predators, and rapists), it's that the mainstream media overwhelmingly covered Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, as well as the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta hacks, far more than they covered her (or Trump's) policy positions.

I'm guessing for many readers, that is not a startling revelation. 

However, a recent Columbia Journalism Review article argues that this flawed coverage by the mainstream media, and professional journalists, had far more influence on the election than "fake news." I suspect that's probably correct, mostly given the reach of the mainstream media compared to "fake news," although I do think "fake news" helped tip the scales toward Trump.

Here's a snippet of the article, referring to just The New York Times' coverage from September 1, 2016 up to the election day, November 8, 2016 (emphasis added):
"Of the 150 front-page articles that discussed the campaign in some way, we classified slightly over half (80) as Campaign Miscellaneous. Slightly over a third (54) were Personal/Scandal, with 29 focused on Trump and 25 on Clinton. Finally, just over 10 percent (16) of articles discussed Policy, of which six had no details, four provided details on Trump’s policy only, one on Clinton’s policy only, and five made some comparison between the two candidates’ policies."
1% of front-page articles in The New York Times covered Hillary Clinton's policies.

If you followed Clinton's campaign, read her website, listened to her speeches, and read What Happened, as I did, you would know that she had many policy positions. She had also prepared policy binders, ready to go, so she could get right to work had she won.

It's been a popular talking point for those across the political spectrum to say that Clinton had "no policies," or that all she offered was that she "wasn't Trump." That has always been inaccurate. Hillary Clinton had policies, the media just liked to talk about everything but those policies.


Where is the accountability and what would that even look like here?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Femslash Friday: Agent Canary

I know there's a lot of important and troubling stuff going on in the world right now, but I'd like to take a step back from all that and admit that I don't know the most logical way to watch the various DC show multi-episode crossovers.

There's one arc, but it spans across multiple shows? Whyyyyyyyy? (I know, to get us watching all the other shows, but still).

Are we really expected to keep up with the current seasons of Supergirl, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow simultaneously? That seems like it would be the best way for the multi-episode crossovers to make sense. But, I don't have cable, which means I would have to buy season passes for each show, which I'm really only willing to do for my top tier shows. In addition, if I have to stay current on all these shows, how would I have time for anything else in life? My free time is limited!

Now, another approach could be to stay current on Supergirl and, even though I'm not up to speed on the rest of the shows, watch only the related crossover episodes of the other shows. But, would I then be exposed to spoilers?

This is a predicament.

Nevertheless, this is all a long-winded way of saying  OH MY GOD THEY MADE SARA LANCE/ALEX DANVERS (AGENT CANARY) HAPPEN IN THE 4-EPISODE "CRISIS ON EARTH X" CROSSOVER!

If you can believe it, this is a ship that I had not, until this crossover, considered. To be honest, I haven't even watched "Crisis on Earth" yet, because I'm two episodes behind on Supergirl! But, it's hard to avoid spoilers on Twitter. So, when I found out, I immediately began further investigations. All I can say is, yes please, this ship should be a whole entire TV series.

The "Crisis on Earth" Supergirl recap will be forthcoming. But, for now, enjoy today's Agent Canary fan vid (NSFW):

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Bigot-Coddling Populism of Bernie

I would love to never write about Bernie Sanders again, but Bernie Sanders appears to be gearing up for a 2020 run or doing whatever it is he's doing at the rallies he continues to hold.

To me, one of his biggest flaws is that he doesn't appear to listen.

To me, it appears as though he has, for at least the past two years, been traveling the country speaking at people, over and over again, about what he thinks ails the nation.

It is now December 2017, and Bernie Sanders, the most progressive of progressives to ever progress, is still repeating the falsehood that "the vast majority of Trump supporters" are motivated more by economic anxiety than by bigotry, with an added dose of: "Trump said things that made sense."



To me, Bernie Sanders is engaging in some craven, pandering bullshit.

To me, living in 2017 has meant being in an important cultural moment in which those who previously have not been listened to are now being heard. I'm referring to, of course, those who speak out against rape culture and, more broadly, the abuse of power.


Bernie Sanders is a populist who is hoping to leverage the power of the people for his movement.

And yet, while I think he thinks he's speaking for the downtrodden, forgotten man who is oppressed by The Establishment, Bernie Sanders demonstrates to me primarily that populism in a nation that has been rigged for racists and misogynists from the get-go means that the coddling of racists and misogynists is usually required in order for a populist politician to be popular.

Bernie Sanders' populism is not premised upon listening to the diverse, lived experiences of the the many people of this nation. It is premised upon talking to the aggrieved white people who get upset when people point out their various bigotries. If Bernie's populism were more than a crusty socialist version of Trump's, he would heed the call of his critics to do a better job balancing the perspectives of those who enabled the rise of Trump with those who are now disproportionately harmed by the Trump regime. He would also stop gaslighting the people of this nation about the prevalence of bigotry in our nation.

Bernie Sanders wants to lead the revolution. But what, exactly, is he tapping into, here?

Per Bernie, in the Vice profile on him:
"[Trump] said he was going to take on the establishment, and he was going to provide healthcare to everybody. You know what, it's pretty much what I said."
There's your 2020 slogan.

I guess I'll leave it at that.


Related: 
Throwback Thursday To When We Were Gaslit About Bigotry

The Nationalist's Delusion - by Adam Serwer

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 3.6 "Midvale"

So, Kara takes Alex back home to Eliza, in Midvale. I think Kara's thinking is that being back home will help Alex heal. But, meanwhile, Kara continues to not really deal with her pain about Mon-El.

Also, I'm not sure where Midvale is exactly, but the Danvers house is pretty sweet:


While there, we get a flashback of Alex and Kara 10 years prior. First and foremost, they apparently have similar haircuts as they do now, which is so unrealistic, omg. (Just kidding, I totally have had the same haircut for like 20 years)

Also, the two girls used to be competitive with one another. We know this because  for some reason they are in the same history class, even though I believe Alex is supposed to be at least a few years older than Kara.

We also see Young Kara in gym class, kicking ass at the rope climb. Okay, is it just me or does climbing the rope in gym class only ever happen on TV shows? I have been a sporty person my entire life and have literally never done this. Related: Eliza and Dean Cain should have put Kara in all the sports. For real. College is expensive. She would have been a shoo-in for an athletic scholarship. Track? Volleyball? Football? Softball? All of the above?


Anyway, the point of the flashback is that Alex and Kara used to not get along. Or, more specifically, angsty Alex resented Kara's intrusion into her life and family. So, I guess we're going to see what changed that dynamic between them. I love episodes about the Danvers Sisters, in general, so buckle in.

It turns out that Young Kara used to be a big nerd in high school, and she had a best friend named Kenny Lee, also a nerd, who died. We then see Young Alex and Kara doing some investigating. They find Kenny's laptop and retrieve a bunch of files from it that could incriminate other people.

Young Kara then gets a visit from an FBI agent, who she at first mistakes for her mother. And, I'm confused. Does a new actor now play Kara's mom? Is this person Astra?  Oh wait, no, we find it's J'onn, who had shape-shifted into a Kara's mom look-alike. Whew. Okay then.


Young Kara tells this person that all she wants is to use her powers to help people. But, J'onn/FBI agent says that she has to promise not to use her powers. I still don't get why it's okay for Superman to use his powers, but not Kara. Is it because she's too young? Too female? I mean, even when Kara had become an adult, she was still expected to stifle her powers, so I'm guessing it's the latter.

HOWever, it turns out that the town sheriff is the bad guy and he captures Young Alex. In response, Kara decides to break the rules and use her powers. She saves Alex and, after that, they basically become BFFs.

And, that's pretty much the episode.

After the flashback, the Danvers Sisters reiterate that they're there for each other, because of course they are. Then they hop a car that is slightly reminiscent of the car from Thelma & Louise and, at this point, I hope this doesn't mean they're going to drive off a cliff in desperation and/or begin stumping for Jill Stein. For starters, they could take the week off of work, drive up the coast, and pick up Sara Lance and Lena Luthor.

El mayarah.



Deep Thought of the Week: I know this is Supergirl-adjacent, but one of my secret pleasures in pop culture is when Ray in Legends of Tomorrow gets stuck being tiny.

Note: CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg has been fired after a sexual harassment investigation.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dispatches From the Queer Resistance (No. 5)

Over at Shakesville, I have a roundup of recent queer/LGBT news, including the Masterpiece Cakeshop SCOTUS case, on which oral arguments are being heard today.

Check it out!