Saturday, December 29, 2018

Is Nesquik banned in Europe?

 No, Nesquik is not banned in Europe. But at first glance it appeared to me as if the NYTimes claims it is. The picture strongly suggests by association to the headline that these products are banned in Europe. In fact, when I look closer, the caption says:

Some foods, like those found in this grocery store in Nice, France, don't contain food additives that would otherwise be allowed in foods in the United States.CreditCreditEric Gaillard/Reuters

Read the NYTimes article.

Dems may have swayed election, broken laws with disinformation campaign against Roy Moore

Tactics used to discredit Moore included a Facebook page seeking to appeal to Republicans who might not vote for Moore to write in other candidates, other online and social media content seeking to undermine Moore, and fake evidence that Moore supporters online were actually Russian bots.

Read more here

Friday, December 9, 2016

Viewpoint: Tomi Lahren

Why Americans no longer trust the mainstream media

Tomi Lahren is sick of the mainstream media and the failed Democratic Party blaming fake news for the election of Donald Trump.  She accepts there is fake news on Facebook, but that’s not why Trump was elected.
“We already know Facebook is in the business of censoring and de-prioritizing conservative leaning posts.  The American people don’t trust the mainstream media anymore and why the hell should we?”
To see more from Tomi, visit her channel on TheBlaze and watch full episodes of “Tomi” live weekdays 7–8pm ET or anytime on-demand at TheBlaze TV.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Megyn Kelly loses her cool, is rude, and creates falsehoods in interview with Newt Gingrich

By John Fisher

Last night (October 25, 2016) Megyn Kelly lost my vote.  I considered her one of the best journalists on the national scene. Always, objective; always digging deeper to get the underlying story. And with great wit. Then, she interviewed Newt Gingrich. She showed how thin skinned she really is.

Firstly, let me say, I'm not a fan of either Newt Gingrich or Donald Trump. But I am a supporter of good journalism, which I define as objective, fair, and balanced. I have taught media studies at the university level for over 35 years. I would like to define two concepts from my teaching of journalism: framing and narrative.

Framing theory is the notion that "the media focuses attention on certain events and then places them within a field of meaning." The problem with framing is that the journalist provides meaning and context to the event, rather than the audience. Also, "television determines what we believe to be important issues largely by paying attention to some problems and ignoring or paying minimal attention to others" (London, 1993).

In addition to framing, journalists often create a narrative or story that is supposed to provide context, but also may create falsehoods, thus the name false narrative. The false narrative fashions an image that is not true. In fact, it may be based on red herrings and straw men designed to take attention from the truth. Once created the narrative is hard to shake or change.

In the Gingrich interview on October 25, Kelly created a frame and narrative by her choice of words. In one instance, she said "if he is a sexual predator" (referring to Trump). The choice of words calls up all sorts of images beyond the real story, framing the story as about sexual abuse, not false accusations.

Suggesting the narrative also offers the possibility that Kelly may believe it. She tries to support the claim by mentioning Trump's 10 accusers. Gingrich taunts Kelly. He says she is fascinated with sex. He tells her to say what she thinks. At that point, I think she losses her "cool," realizing she may no longer be in control of the interview.

Kelly stays safely hidden behind her narrative. She carefully chooses her words but through her words frames the story and creates a narrative that may not be true.

"Sexual predator" is an extreme along a continuum where "flirt" might be at the other end. She could have just as easily said Trumps actions are flirtatious. Flirt creates a totally different narrative and has a different meaning. You can see how narratives are formed.

In the other instance, in the last words of the interview, where Kelly has the final say, she suggests Newt Gingrich needs anger management. She accuses him of becoming angry, when in fact it appears that she lost her composure. as proved by her rude and snide remark at the end of the interview. As a journalist and interviewer, she was in a position of power - and she abused her power.

Both instances prove to me Kelly is not the good journalist I once thought she was. Hard hitting - yes - but not fair or objective.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top companies and organizations lobbying Congress and federal agencies

April 21, 2015 -- Monday, April 20, marked the deadline for companies and organizations to file their 2015 first quarter federal lobbying disclosure reports. Below is a list of the top ten organizations and how much they spent lobbying Congress and federal agencies between January 1, 2015, and March 31, 2015.

DATA: MapLight analysis of the money spent by companies and organizations lobbying Congress and federal agencies between January 1, 2015, and March 31, 2015, on all issues. Data Source: Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Lobbying Organization
Amount Spent on Lobbying
Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A.
National Association of Realtors
American Medical Association
U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
Google, Inc.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
General Electric Company
National Association of Broadcasters
American Electric Power Company, Inc. and affiliated corporations
American Hospital Association
  • The top spender, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spent $13.8 million on lobbying Congress and federal agencies during the first quarter of 2015.
  • The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the Chamber of Commerce, spent another $5.7 million on lobbying.
  • Google spent $5.5 million on lobbying during the first quarter of 2015, the most it has ever spent in one quarter.
To see how much each company has spent on lobbying since 2008, please click here to viewMapLight's Federal Lobbying Database.

Lobbying Methodology: MapLight analysis of federal lobbying disclosure filings from the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives between January 1, 2015, and March 31, 2015. Lobbying totals represent money paid by an organization to each lobbying firm for services on all issues. Organizations report total lobbying expenses as a lump sum, which includes both in-house lobbying expenses and amounts paid to (and reported by) lobbying firms that they employ. MapLight calculates a given organization's in-house lobbying expenses by subtracting the total income reported by the lobbying firms that it employs from the company's total reported expenses. In general, filers may round their spending and expenses to the nearest $10,000, and we treat the designation of "Less than $5,000" as a value of $0. MapLight updates its lobbying database daily to capture amendments. Full reports are due on the 20th day of January, April, July, and October.

Editor's note: Please cite MapLight if you use data from this analysis, "A MapLight analysis of federal lobbying disclosure filings show.." (or something similar - thank you!) A link to this report can be foundhere.

MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan research organization that tracks money's influence on politics.