The Nature of Free Speech in the 21st Century Information Environment

I would like Mitchell (and Don or anyon else) to discuss the following Wired article: It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech. I think it touches on some of the issues that Mitchell and I have been discussing, while bringing up insights that we may not have specifically and explicitly addressed. Here are some passages that stood out for me: Continue reading “The Nature of Free Speech in the 21st Century Information Environment”

Political Scorecard: the Nunes Memo

(Note: This is post is more of a work in progress. My rationale is that if I don’t post this soon, I never will, and I do want to test the idea out–an idea I mentioned briefly in this post. Think of it as a beta-test; or maybe watching me build a house in front of everyone, while hopefully getting some help from those watching. Also, not that I have to tell you this, but please take what I say with a grain of salt. There could be errors, here. Indeed, if you guys notice them let me know, particularly any factual errors or other significant inaccuracies.)

This scorecard will focus on Rep. Devin Nunes’s memo. Score will be kept about the claims made by the memo, as well as counter-claims. I’ll also keep score on the people making the claims. Here are brief summaries of the two main claims:

The Nunes Side:

  • My understanding is that Rep. Nunes has found that DOJ/FBI have improperly got FISA warrant to set up surveillance on Carter Page.
    The claim is that Christopher Steele’s dossier was the primary reason for this. The claim is that FBI/DOJ(?) didn’t give background information about Steele dossier, namely that Steele hired by Fusion GPS, who was hired by DNC to do opposition research on Trump. (Fusion GPS actually initiated the research from a conservative group during GOP primary.)
    The contention is that the memo will reveal serious misconduct and perhaps show politicization of the Russia investigation.
    Nunes did make changes to the memo, after it was voted on to be made public, but Nunes claims the changes were minor (grammatical type of changes.
  • The Schiff Side:

  • My understanding is that Rep. Schiff believes the memo is baseless and also dangerous–in that it can expose classified information and possibly sources and methods of gathering that information;
    Schiff says the memo is undermining the trust between Congress and the intelligence community;
    Democrats have also written a memo to debunk the Nunes memo, but as far as I know the HPSCI hasn’t allowed its release.
    FBI and DOJ have said the oppose the release of the memo.
    Rep. Schiff claims that Nunes changed the memo after it was voted on to be released. In other words, the memo sent to the WH is different from the one the committee voted on releasing.
  • Continue reading “Political Scorecard: the Nunes Memo”

    The Challenge of Covering Trump

    Even though the press coverage of Trump frustrates me at times, I also recognize and believe that Trump poses unique challenges to the press, challenges that aren’t easy to overcome. Ideally, I should take the time to write a more organized post, listing and describing some of these challenges. However, I just saw a tweet that made me think of one of these challenges, and I want to comment on this before I forget. Here’s the tweet: Continue reading “The Challenge of Covering Trump”

    Congressional GOP and Fox News Are Worse Than Trump

    As I mentioned in the other thread, in a way, I think the Congressional GOP and conservative media outlets (including radio pundits) that either actively enable Trump or largely stand by silently are actually worse than Trump. I actually believe that if they vigorously and vocally opposed Trump, it could actually be a kind of proud moment in our history (or at least mitigate the way Trump has embarrassed and disgraced us), and it could serve as a big blow to authoritarian regimes like Russia. But, alas, something close to the opposite has happened. Like the other thread, I’m going to use this thread as a collection of evidence for this claim. Here’s one I saw today from Fox News’s Sean Hannity:

    Edit (1/30/2018)

    Edit (2/8/2018)

    This is how bad it’s gotten: