Archive for the ‘media’ Category

How ‘The Apprentice’ Manufactured Trump

November 14, 2018

“How ‘The Apprentice’ Manufactured Trump,” an Atlantic video.

In 2004 the first season of The Apprentice reintroduced pro wrestling promoter Donald Trump as an incredibly successful and intelligent businessman, the biggest real estate developer in New York City (had to be true, it was on TV, right?). The show was a hit, and boosted the Trump brand. The show’s producers created his persona and sold his image to America. How did they create a reality TV president?


“The Inside Story of How ‘The Apprentice’ Rescued Donald Trump,” Michael Kranish,Marc Fisher, Fortune

“How Reality TV Made Donald Trump President,” Joy Lanzendorfer, Vice


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Hail and Farewell: Village Voice, 1955 — 2018

September 4, 2018
Hail and Farewell: Village Voice, 1955 -- 2018

Last print cover, 9/20/17. The digital edition ended on 8/31/18. 1965 photo by Fred McDarrah.

New York’s Village Voice, regarded as America’s first alternative newsweekly, ended its digital edition on August 31st. The last paper edition was printed last year. The Voice was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, the National Press Foundation Award, and the George Polk Award. Writers included Henry Miller, Barbara Garson, Katherine Anne Porter, James Baldwin, E.E. Cummings, Jonas Mekas, Andrew Sarris, Nelson George, Greg Tate, Tom Stoppard, Lorraine Hansberry, Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, and Allen Ginsberg.


“The Village Voice, a New York Icon, Closes,” By Tyler Pager and Jaclyn Peiser, New York Times

“The Village Voice has been shut down,” Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

“Iconic NYC Weekly ‘Village Voice’ Shutters After 63 Years,” Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

“It Took a Village: How the Voice changed journalism,” Louis Menand, The New Yorker

“Billionaire Village Voice owner tells staff he’s closing the paper because it doesn’t earn enough,” Emily Q. Hazzard, ThinkProgress

“The Village Voice’s Magic Mirror,” Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker

“Last Rites for the Village Voice, a Bohemian Who Stayed On Too Long,” Tricia Romano, New York Times


“What the ‘Village Voice’ Understood About the Power of Photography,”Tamar Carroll and Joshua Meltzer, CityLab


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WHCD Comic Didn’t Insult Sarah Sanders’ Looks, Just Her Lies

May 2, 2018

Someone who never saw the comedian’s act booked Michelle Wolf for the White House Correspondents Dinner, and right now that talent booker is probably looking for a new job. True to form, Ms. Wolf flamed the media and the public figures who are the White House correspondents’ meal ticket. Oddly, it was this relatively light toasting of Sarah Huckabee Sanders that caused the greatest uproar:

“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

Critics saw it as a gratuitous slam at Ms. Sanders’ looks, which it wasn’t. Why would they think that?

  1. Because that’s the kind of thing that critics expected, Sarah being a woman and all; and
  2. A combination of room echo and Ms. Wolf’s casual enunciation allowed some in the room to hear the word “facts” as “fat” (see #1); and
  3. Men in the audience didn’t recognize the allusion to a Maybelline “smokey eye” ad campaign.

Another joke likening Sarah Sanders to the Aunt Lydia character of the “Handmaiden’s Tale,” the enforcer of the patriarchy’s enslavement of women, was seen as a comparison to the physical appearance of the middle-aged actress who plays her.

The Michelle Wolf gag that really skewered the heart of America’s media, though, was this:

“You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you used to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric, but he has helped you.

He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off him. And if you’re going to profit off Trump, you should at least give him some money, because he doesn’t have any.”

Even in past years, when the White House Correspondents Dinner was a politician- and celebrity-infested “nerd prom,” the hoopla of the annual dinner overshadowed the event’s purpose, raising money for journalism student scholarships. Maybe next year’s WHCD (if it happens) will eschew comedy and feature singing, juggling, or mime.


“Since when did ‘perfect smokey eye’ become an insult, America?” Jean Hannah Edelstein, The Guardian

“No, Michelle Wolf Didn’t Joke About Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s Looks,” Jen Chaney, Vulture


Roy Moore Claims Pulitzer-Winning Exposés Are ‘Forces of Evil’

April 26, 2018

Roy Moore Claims Pulitzer-Winning Exposés Are 'Forces of Evil'

The Washington Post won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for its investigative reporting of Roy Moore’s courtship of underage girls. Mr. Moore, failed senate candidate,  defrocked judge and gun-slingingtheocraticracist homophobe, calls that reporting “lies and slander” in a fundraising email he sent out to raise money for his legal defense in a defamation lawsuit filed by one of his accusers.

“They spread slanderous lies and made numerous false accusations. They attacked my character. They dragged my reputation through the mud. They even attacked my wife and family. But instead of being held accountable in a court of law, the Washington Post just won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for their lies and slander against me and my family. Meanwhile, I’m being sued for standing up and defending myself and my family from ruthless lies and attacks. And it’s exactly why you and I must stand strong in our legal fight against the forces of evil.”

Hey, y’all. Pulitzer. That some kinda Jewish name?


“Roy Moore fundraising off Pulitzers won for stories about him, cites ‘forces of evil,'” Leada Gore,


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Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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‘Local’ News: Sinclair’s Soldiers in Trump’s War on Media

April 3, 2018

Nearly 200 TV stations across America are owned by a single company, the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Headquartered in the Baltimore area, the firm is owned by the conservative Smith brothers (no, not them), David, Frederick, J. Duncan, and Robert. Sinclair Broadcast HQ forced local news anchors at its stations to read a script echoing Donald Trump’s dismissal of major media as ‘fake.’ Videos from Think Progress and Deadspin (above) capture the scope of this truly phony ‘local’ editorial item. Right-wing rival Fox News said the Sinclair TV anchors “looked like hostage victims.”

Sinclair’s $3.9 billion deal to buy an additional 42 TV stations from Tribune Media is awaiting FCC and antitrust review. If approved, Sinclair broadcasts could reach 72% of American households.


“How America’s Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump’s War On The Media,” Timothy Burke, Deadspin

“As Sinclair’s sound-alike anchors draw criticism for ‘fake news’ promos, Trump praises broadcaster.” Paul Farhi, Washington Post

“CNN: Local Sinclair Staff Trash Must-Run ‘Propaganda’ Segments,” Matt Shuham, TPM Livewire

“Sinclair Chairman Claims Entire Print Media Has ‘No Credibility,’” Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine

“Sinclair-owned TV station chooses not to air media bias promo,” Avery Anapol, The Hill

“Public Shaming Won’t Stop Sinclair,” April Glaser, Slate

“The nation’s biggest conservative broadcaster is putting words in its anchors’ mouths. Critics blame the FCC.” Brian Fung, Washington Post


“Local news hurt by broadcast media conglomerate,” Chloe Reichel, Journalist’s Resource

“Sinclair says asking news directors for PAC contributions isn’t a conflict of interest,” Al Tompkins, Poynter


“‘It borders on a regulatory fraud,” Margaret Harding McGill, Politico


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White House Admits It’s a Reality Show

February 12, 2018

White House Admits It's a Reality Show

On the Celebrity Big Brother TV show, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman made critical comments about President Donald Trump and her time in the West Wing. White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah noted that Manigault Newman first met Mr. Trump while she was a contestant on NBC’s The Apprentice:

“Omarosa was fired three times on The Apprentice, and this was the fourth time we let her go.”


“On ‘Big Brother,’ America Gets the Reality-TV Politics It Deserves,” James Poniewozik, New York Times


“Omarosa Was Reportedly Fired for Abusing the White House Car Service,” Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut


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Image (“Trump on TV, with apologies to Dalton Avalos Ramirez“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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The Best of ‘The Best of 2017′ Lists

December 19, 2017

The Best of ‘The Best of 2017′ Lists
2017 “Year-In-Review” lists you may have missed:

“The Best Metal Albums Of 2017,” Doug Moore, Stereogum

“The Best Snowshoes of 2017,” Outside

“10 Worst Business Names of 2017,” Emily Canal,

“Top-10 Hip-Hop Sneaker Collabs Of 2017,” Kyle Rooney, HotNewHipHop

“The Best Philosophy Books of 2017,” Nigel Warburton,

“Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2017,”

“The 15 Best Comics of 2017,” io9

“The 10 Best Ads of 2017,” Tim Nudd, Ad Week

“2017 Top 10 New Species,” ESF International Institute for Species Exploration

“Silicon Valley’s Worst Apologies of 2017,” Melanie Ehrenkranz, Gizmodo

“Biggest Celebrity Breakups of 2017,” ETonline

“9 Most Hated Soap Opera Couples Of 2017,” Dorathy Gass,

“The Best Art of 2017,” Roberta Smith, Holland Cotter, Jason Farago, New York Times

“The 10 Best Graphic Novels Of 2017,” Rob Salkowitz, Forbes

“The Most 2017 Photos Ever,” Alan Taylor, The Atlantic

“Instagram’s Favorite New Yorker Cartoons of 2017,” Emma Allen, The New Yorker

“27 Best Moments For Women in 2017,” Hannah Smothers, Cosmopolitian

“The Best Stories By Women In 2017,” Kaitlin Cawley, Margaret Wheeler Johnson, and Gaby Moss, Bustle

“Top 10 moments for women’s rights in 2017,” Global Fund for Women

“10 Best WWE Women’s Wrestlers Of 2017,” WhatCulture

“The worst fashion fads of 2017,” Janine Puhak, Fox News

“2017: 10 of the Year’s Top Fashion Lawsuits,” The Fashion Law

“The 10 Design Trends Of 2017 That Need To Die,” Diana Budds, FastCoDesign

“The 12 best architecture controversies of 2017,” Architect’s Newspaper

“16 Of The Most Amazing Celebrity Eyebrow Transformations Of 2017,” Julie Gerstein, Buzzfeed

“The Top 10 Science Stories of 2017,” Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American

“The Most Significant Science Setbacks of 2017,” Kristen V. Brown, Gizmodo

“Top 10 weird science stories of 2017,” Australian Science Media Centre

“The Biggest Junk Science of 2017,” Real Clear Science

“The 50 Biggest Pop Culture Food Moments of 2017,” Andrew Parks, Food & Wine

“14 of the most atrocious fast food creations from 2017,” Jennifer Machin, Mashable

“The top Google searches of 2017,” Axios

“Top 10 NHL bloopers of 2017,” Kyle Cantlon, Yahoo Sports

“The 10 Worst Data Breaches of 2017,” Adam Stone, Security Magazine


How a TV Show Is Made

January 26, 2017

How a TV Show Is Made

The making of a TV show, from showrunner to script to screen, explained by Caroline Framke of Vox:


Alternative Facts

January 24, 2017

Alternative Facts

On the first full day of the Trump Administration, we were met with the odd spectacle of a White House Press Secretary who did not take questions from the  White House press corps, but instead made claims that were demonstrably untrue.

On Day 2, Counselor the President Kellyanne Conway explained that these were not lies, they were “alternative facts“:


The Best of ‘The Best of 2016′ Lists

December 12, 2016

The Best of ‘The Best of 2016′ Lists

2016 “Year-In-Review” lists you may have missed:

“10 Best Air Jordan Releases Of 2016,” Kyle Rooney, Hop New Hip Hop

“The Best Snowshoes of 2016,” Outside

“Instagram’s Best of 2016,” David Cohen, Social Times

“Top 10 religious liberty stories of 2016,” Don Byrd,

“The biggest tech turkeys of 2016,” Roger Cheng,

“The 10 Most Popular Viral YouTube Videos of 2016,” Raisa Bruner, Time

“The Best Horror Movies of 2016,” Noel Murray, Screencrush

“The 65 BEST Drugstore Beauty Products of 2016,”Sue Williamson, Tina Ferraro, Sarah Wu, and Emily Gaynor Teen Vogue

“The best tiny houses of 2016,” Adam Williams, New Atlas

“Top 10 cultural buildings of 2016,” Design Boom

“The 16 Greatest Facial-Hair Moments of 2016,” Adam Hurly, GQ

“10 Breakthrough Technologies 2016,”  MIT Technology Review 

“The Best Classical Music of 2016,” Anthony Tommasini, Zachary Woolfe, Corinna de Fonseca-Wollheim, David Allen, and James R. Oestreich, New York Times

“The 20 Best Metal Albums of 2016,”  Alex Di Stefano, OC Weekly

“The top baby names of 2016,” WTOP Radio

“Leaders of the pack! Here are the top dog names of 2016,” Randee Dawn, Today

“The 10 most potentially dangerous toys of 2016,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations for 2016,” Tom Musick, Safety+Health Magazine

“The Top 10 Worst Songs of 2016,” Time

“5 Best Latin Music Videos Of 2016: From Gente De Zona To Thalía,” Joan Wallace, Latin Times

“The best movie trailers of 2016,” A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club

“Most overpaid actors of 2016 revealed,” Luke Morgan Britton, NME

“The 10 most important employment law cases in 2016,” Stephen Simpson, Personnel Today 

“The Best Book Jackets of 2016,” David Canfield, Slate

“The 10 Best Comic Books of 2016,” Abraham Riesman, Vulture

“The Best Self-Published Books of 2016,” Huffington Post

“Top 10 YA and Children’s Books,” Sarah Begley, Time

“Best poetry collections of 2016,” Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post

“The 25 Best Rap Verses Of 2016,” Collin Robinson, Stereogum

“10 meme themes of 2016,” Randi Stevenson, Chicago Tribune

“10 Amazing Scientific Discoveries of 2016,” Jonathan H. Kantor, Listverse

“The Top 16 Junk Science Stories Of 2016,” Alex Berezow, American Council on Science and Health

“The 18 Best Celebrity Bodies on 2016,” Adam Hurly, GQ

“The Best TV Hair in 2016: See Who Made the Cut!” Sadie Gennis, TV Guide

“TOP 10 temporary structures of 2016,” Design Boom

“The Best Marijuana Stocks in 2016,” Keith Speights, The Motley Fool

“The Best, Worst, and Weirdest Fast-Food Creations of 2016,” Dan Myers, The Daily Meal

“Top 2016 Legal and Regulatory Trends in Dietary Supplement Industry,” Natural Products Insider