Weekly Recap and a Request for Reader Suggestions
The week, er, month, that was, er... is.
Welcome to the
weekly year-to-date recap. In this post, I’ll be linking to my work from the week year, sharing some stories from others I thought were interesting, and providing a few casual thoughts on [gestures at everything]. If you’d like to receive this weekly email ONLY, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” uncheck every box except “TPA Weekly Recap.” If you don’t want to receive the weekly recap, leave all boxes except “TPA Weekly Recap” checked.
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I’ve been pretty bad about getting the “weekly recap” emails sent out this year. Sorry! Today’s edition is a quick summary of my work so far this year.
😷 What's Up With The New Yorker's Weird "Masks Forever" Article?: This piece was about a New Yorker article by Emma Green in which she framed a group of people still concerned about COVID-19 as bizarre extremists who don’t “trust the science.” This is despite her piece conceding time and again that this group’s concerns have merit. Additionally, at one point she suggests they all might be communists, which is… uh… strange. [TPA, 1/3/23]
📰 The New York Times Declares War on LGBTQ People With Hire of Anti-Trans Columnist: Despite saying that incoming columnist David French has “a spirit of generosity toward others,” the Times hired someone who has been frequently cruel and dehumanizing to trans people. The paper has wildly overrepresented the anti-trans “side” of this “debate,” and it either needs to provide balance or expect continued push-back. [TPA, 1/5/23]
📣 Flooding the Zone with Narrative: Newspapers choose which topics to cover and which to (more or less) ignore. This shapes the public narrative on issues ranging from human rights to shoplifting. [TPA, 1/9/23]
🤡 This Fox News Segment Perfectly Illustrates How Off-The-Rails The Right-Wing Anti-Trans Attacks Have Become: In this piece, I wrote about the misplaced right-wing rage over a new Joker comic book and the exact type of joke that has been made in comics for as long as comics have existed. [TPA, 1/13/23]
😬 Newspaper Prints Heavily-Edited, Sanitized Version of MLK's "I Have a Dream" Speech: For the past several years, Maine’s Bangor Daily News has marked Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday by urging readers to “take a step away from our divisive politics and recall his defining speech,” and then sharing a heavily-edited version of the “I Have a Dream” speech. Plenty of twists and turns in this one. [TPA, 1/16/23]
📺 "Joker" Writer Poked Fun at Fox News Freakout, I Talked About It on TV; Plus Some Bonus Batman Content: I went on MSNBC’s The Mehdi Hasan Show to discuss the Joker uproar. Catch a clip in that post (or watch the full segment here, h/t Media Matters). Additionally, see what the “Joker” writer had to say about the outrage (“This is a story about magical food poisoning.”), and just for fun, I included a handful of 1946 Batman and Robin newspaper comic strips at the bottom of the above link. [TPA, 1/17/23]
🦊 When It Comes to Twitter, Mainstream News Outlets Should Take a Cue From Fox News. Seriously.: After Musk started banning journalists without legitimate reason, the news organizations that employ them had an opportunity to take a stand for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. They didn't. This piece looks at what happened and what these news orgs could have done. [TPA, 1/18/23]
Also, I want to know what you, the readers, want to see more of in The Present Age. Are there stories I should know about? Am I talking too much or too little about something important happening in the world of media, communication, politics, and culture? This is your newsletter, too, and I want to make sure it’s an enjoyable and informative read. Let me know, either by leaving a comment or sending me an email! Thanks!