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Thanksgiving, Wisconsin Recount, Fake News doodah

November 27, 2016

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Back in NYC:

  • Perhaps a 100 feet of the Union Square subway station’s walls are covered, floor-to-ceiling, in post-it notes reacting to the election. Couple of performers taking advantage of the lingering crowd w/ a boombox and some mediocre rapping, echoing thru that part of the station as a background. The beats from the backing track give the scene some energy, the feeling is positive, rather than somber. On the actual sticky notes, plenty of sarcastic humor, generally not the PC-U stereotype some websites would have you believe. Then again, this is NYC, not the west coast, so less sunshine up your ass, and less giving a crap as well.
  • Silly looking shoes are in this year, it seems (not pictured).
  • And so are black Suburban’s with tinted windows. Or is it just me? The Chevy dealerships around here must be having a great year.

On to the news.

  • Wisconsin Recount
    • A good thing, I say. Can’t see any scenario where it could hurt — if any kind of vote-counting shenanigans are revealed by this, no matter in who’s favor, that would be crucially important.
    • Also, Interesting that Jill Stein is requesting it. Does Team Clinton not have the guts? At least we’ll have fewer remarks for a few weeks about the better candidate being a “spoiler”.
    • I will entertain the obvious thought experiment, though: Had Clinton won, would the recount be resisted or ridiculed more vigorously by the MSM?
  • McCarthy Washington Post vs Fake News / Russian Propaganda
    • Dumb move. Simultaneously pick a fight with the independent media of the libertarians, conspiracy theory types, progressives, anti-war, finance tabloids, pro-free-speech techies, further-leftists – all at once!
    • And, yes, websites which obsess about free speech and entertain controversial stories rejected by MSM do provide a place for fringe groups that I wish would disappear. Meaning ultra-nationalists, white supremacists, etc, are able to express their 1st Amendment rights. Readers of independent media will be exposed to the full range of what is out there, they have to acknowledge the existence of this and make decisions for themselves. At present, the libertarians etc are far, far more numerous than the ultra-right crazies. Pushing them all into the same corner together is… unwise. I realize repeating that won’t help.
    • And yes, RT is primarily about russian PR. Shocker. Yet they also provided a voice to Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, for example, when other media outlets were shutting them out. Welcome to the present.
    • This is also related to the loss of control by the MSM to FaceBook and Youtube. However, a business person would approach that situation differently — a business driven strategy here would involve making deals or developing a market segmentation / branding strategy to attract the various sub-populations of news consumers who have a distaste for the standard flavor. Instead it’s another doubling down on the name-calling. Seems the ideologues are calling the shots. If this keeps up long enough, all their talented creative staff and management will defect (meaning, find better work outside traditional media), and the brain-drain process will steer the transformation of the MSM into a genuinely McCarthyist form, rather than a more graceful downsizing and symbiosis with FB/Google which would be the better alternative (for everyone in the US, if you think about the consequences).
    • In one way, it is kindof a genius story. WaPo retakes the lead here, using the Trump method — say something dumb enough and you get to drive the news cycle. I’m not sure if this represents an intentional form of learning… stay tuned.
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