Why Matt Taibbi left First Look Media

First Look Media, the media venture started by billionaire Pierre Omidyar, was the corporate entity that would publish different online magazines in which the journalists would have much freer reign to investigate and report on stories than they would have with the mainstream media. It hired a whole slew of highly respected independent-minded journalists, not your usual subservient stenographers dutifully transmitting the talking points of their confidential sources.
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Is lack of coverage necessarily bad?

Eric Boehlert bemoans the fact that the killings at a high school near Seattle in the state of Washington last Friday did not make the front pages of the national newspapers. Three students, one of whom was the assailant who killed himself, died and three other students remain hospitalized. While I can understand the reasoning behind Boehlert’s sentiment (that this lack of national coverage is a sad reflection on the US that such dreadful shootings are now seen as routine), it may not altogether be a bad thing.
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Why Ebola seems to be less lethal in the US

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been all over the media trying to damp down the excessive fear over the Ebola virus and reassuring people that it is not that easy to get the disease. In this photo, we see that he stands by his conviction, showing him embracing the nurse Nina Pham who got the disease after treating a person who died from the disease but has now been declared disease-free. I hope that photo calms some people down.
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The complicated issue of trolling and free speech

Internet trolls are at best a nuisance and at worst a menace. They can be vicious, mercilessly hounding those whom they happen to target, and they use their anonymity to their advantage, using reckless language without fear of repercussions. Dealing with them is not easy. While they can be banned in a few situations, the more determined trolls can find ways around such barriers and if they gain allies in their pursuit, the resulting swarm can be hard to contain. The attacks on feminists and others over what has come to be known as Gamergate is an example.
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How the watermelon cartoon appeared

Remember the mini-controversy over the watermelon toothpaste editorial page cartoon that appeared in the Boston Herald? Observers, including me, wondered how no one along the editorial chain flagged the problem before the paper went to print. The paper’s editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen explains how the editorial oversight process works and why it failed in this case.
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Gamergate

As one who is not a fan of video games (but have played a few, badly, with my daughters) I initially avoided stories about the so-called ‘Gamergate’, partly because I thought it dealt with some inside-baseball stuff about video games and the community of players that I was not particularly interested in and partly because I have grown weary of issues that have the suffix ‘gate’ added to them, which nowadays almost always signifies some trivial issue that is being artificially inflated in importance.
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Trying not to get hoaxed

It used to be that when it came to stories that may or may not be hoaxes, one would look to see if it had been published by a real news operation, under the assumption that they would check it out for accuracy of at least the basic facts before running with it. That is no longer a guarantee. With the proliferation of fake news sites that seek to fool mainstream news sources into passing on hoaxes as the real thing, it is becoming harder to make out what news stories are real and what are fake.
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How The Daily Show did the Washington shoot

When watching The Daily Show, one often wonders why some people allow themselves to be made to look silly on the show. Sometimes they end up looking like such fools that one wonders whether they are actually actors following a script. Recently, they did a show about the fans of the Washington football team and their ridiculous devotion to the racist team name.
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