Why I dislike the New York Times

My liberal friends are always shocked when they discover that I treat the New York Times with contempt. How could I dislike that vanguard of liberal thought? I then have to go through the tedious exercise of showing how, by being seen as the gatekeeper of ‘acceptable’ liberal thought, it manages to advance the interests of the neoliberal, neoconservative, corporate, pro-Israel lobby, and anti-Palestinian agendas, not to mention being a cheerleader and apologist for the worst excesses of militarism in US history.
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The peddler of sensational but false news

We are nowadays awash with news stories based on dubious and/or anonymous sourcing. The goal of such stories seem to be to fire up those who want to believe the stories because it supports their preconceptions. While I understand the power of confirmation bias, I am surprised that some people are so willing to believe things that are so obviously outrageous.
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Jordan Klepper channels Alex Jones in new comedy show

In his highly successful old show The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert adopted the persona of a right wing TV blowhard modeled on Bill O’Reilly. His departure to host a more traditional late night TV talk show has created a vacuum in that niche and now another Daily Show alum Jordan Klepper has moved to fill it, modeling himself on an even more extreme character like Alex Jones. He is going to face the challenge of being constantly compared to Colbert but Klepper has good comedy chops and should be able to withstand that scrutiny.
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Post-eclipse reflections

As I said, I was not that excited about the total solar eclipse that passed over sections of the US yesterday. Maximum totality occurred some distance south of where I live and was reached at 2:30pm Eastern Time. It turned out that I had to take my car in for some recall work and so I was in the waiting room from 1:00pm onwards. The TV set in the room (you cannot escape the pervasive presence of TV in any public area it seems) was tuned to CNN and I was astounded that they talked about nothing but the eclipse for the entire 75 minutes while I was waiting.
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I really do not understand this

I came across this BBC news item about Lele Tao, a 24-year old Chinese woman who reportedly earns about $450,0000 per year live streaming. What does she do? This is not a porn site nor is there any nudity or sex. Instead she talks, she sings, she eats, and chats to her fans, and in return her fans, mostly male, send her gifts. Apparently this is a huge business in China.
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What is the matter with these people?

Fox News seems to one ghastly pit of sexual misbehavior and harassment. Now comes yet another story alleging that Eric Bolling, Fox News host and ardent fan of Donald Trump, sent photographs of his genitals to co-corkers. I must admit I find such actions hard to fathom. If these were adolescents, I could understand. Young people do risky and foolish things all the time, oblivious to possible negative outcomes. It might also be understandable behavior by an adult if it was sent to an intimate partner who expected or asked for such things, though even there one would expect prominent people to hesitate given the fact that emails are hardly confidential anymore.
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How and why reporters self-censor when it comes to Israel

We have seen how the Israel lobby dominates the US government. The lobby is aided in this by the way that it can also intimidate journalists. Philip Weiss writes about how reporters from the major western press admit that they self-censor reports from Israel so as not to be ‘savagely targeted’ by both the Israeli government and the Israel lobby that exists not just in the US but in other countries like the UK and Australia a well.
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John McCain is “The perfect American lie”

The news that John McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer seems to have given people another bout of selective amnesia, resurrecting once again old tropes about his courage and goldarned maverickyness. His performance yesterday on the senate floor lamenting the lack of deliberation and bipartisanship in the workings of that body was immediately followed by voting in lockstep with his party leadership to ram through a motion to debate Obamacare even though senators did not even know what bill would be brought to the floor. All we can be sure of is that whatever legislation that is brought to the floor will deprive tens of millions of poor and middle class people of affordable health insurance and benefit the rich because that is the Republican dream. In other words, he voted to start the process to deny ordinary Americans the kind of health care that is keeping him alive, courtesy of the taxpayers. How brave and mavericky!
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