Category Archives: The Media

New Media

Pierre Omidyar’s new venture, First Look Media, has its first online ‘magazine’ up and running. It’s called The Intercept. First big story is The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program.

It does go a little beyond what we already knew–that the US can use voice recognition to ID a cell phone user, then use geo-targeting to send a drone strike aimed at the phone–to discuss how the program works in practice (hint: not so great, especially once targets started adopting counter-measures).

Posted in Dan Froomkin, The Media | 1 Comment

I Was on NPR Today

I was interviewed on the Takeaway recently, and they played the sequence today. The subject was ICANN’s expansion of the gTLD space. The other speaker was Cyrus Namazi, vice president of Domain Name System Services at ICANN.

For some reason I sounded really hoarse….

Posted in ICANN, The Media | Leave a comment

Glenn Greenwald Keynote to 30C3

Via Cory Doctorow, here’s Glenn Greenwald’s Keynote to the 30th Chaos Communications Congress (30C3) (skip to 4:36).

I’d like to go to C3 some year.

Posted in Civil Liberties, The Media | 1 Comment

My Brother Joins Team Greenwald

Dan Froomkin joins Omidyar-financed Greenwald media project:

Dan Froomkin is a veteran journalist who has received national acclaim for his writing about U.S. politics and media coverage. He’s been particularly focused on the issue of journalistic accountability – i.e. correcting misinformation, asking critical questions, and holding those in power accountable to their actions.

He was preparing to launch a website called FearlessMedia.org when we approached him about working with us. Before that, he was senior Washington correspondent and Washington bureau chief for The Huffington Post. During 12 years working for The Washington Post, he spent three as editor and six as the writer of the popular and controversial White House Watch column. Dan has also worked since 2004 for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, most of that time as deputy editor of the NiemanWatchdog.org website.

No word yet on what they are going to be calling it.

I’m very optimistic about the product given the team.

Posted in Dan Froomkin, The Media | 1 Comment

Good Reads

Is Glenn Greenwald the Future of News? is an interesting debate between the NYT’s Bill Keller and Glenn Greenwald.

Myself, I thought Keller was losing, but just on points, until he first knocked himself down by defending the NYT’s failure to call torture “torture” when the US government does it. Then he finished the self-TKO by defending David Brooks…

I want my new media!

Here, by the way, is another take on how to read the debate: Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel), The Institutional Subjectivity of the White Affluent US Nation.

Bonus good read because I’m late posting the above: Kevin John Heller, Why Is Britain Intentionally Using Weapons of Mass Destruction?.

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Why Does Anyone Think Anyone Will Believe This Stuff?

Today’s NYT has an article with the (somewhat odd) headline Obama’s Edge Over G.O.P. Is Still Unclear After Victory in Standoff. In this article, Peter Baker thinks it worth our time to be treated to the following quote, which is presented without any commentary or context:

“For Republicans’ having been rolled, there is renewed pressure on them to stay tough and not lose the next time,” said former Representative Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia, a Republican who has been highly critical of the Tea Party strategy.

Mr. Davis said Republicans over the last few weeks “underestimated Obama,” whose position, he said, has been strengthened. Going forward, he said, Mr. Obama has to be more flexible to win Republican support. “He’s got to learn to give Boehner some victories,” Mr. Davis said. “But you’d rather be where he is now than where Boehner is.”

Can you imagine anyone saying this of Ronald Reagan after he, say, killed the air traffic control union? That Reagan had to learn to give Tip O’Neill some victories? Everyone would have giggled, and the quote would never have made it into the paper.

I sort of get why a Republican tactician might say something like this, but not why the stenographer thought it was worth writing down, much less repeating and legitimating it.

I want my new media.

Posted in The Media | 1 Comment

The Herald Thinks a Taser Death a Week is the “Rarest” Case

I sent an email to two reporters yesterday (not a letter to the editor):

I was somewhat surprised to see it asserted (without attribution) in your otherwise fine article today (“Tasered Artist Laid to Rest”) that tasers result in deaths in the US only “rarely”. They are and have been sufficiently frequent for Amnesty International to have issued a report condemning the frequency of them as far back as 2004. A later report put the death rate at 350 over a seven year period. Is 50 utterly unnecessary deaths per year at the hands of police considered “rare”? I hope not. I’d call it shockingly frequent.

(Other private estimates come up with even larger numbers for more recent periods. See for example http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/2009/05/taser-related-deaths-in-united-states.html)

The issue of the extent to which deaths depend on pre-existing condition is somewhat debated, but in any case it is also a distraction. Your article presents it as something of an excuse for taser deaths, but in fact if some part of the population is statistically likely to be killed by tasers, that is just another reason why they should not be used, not an excuse for taking lives.

I wonder if you would please consider running a correction, at least as regards the frequency of taser deaths in the US, and in particular if your future coverage could please be less dismissive of 50+ annual cases of what, if it happened elsewhere, we would call state-sponsored killings.

As for whoever told you taser deaths are rare: stop trusting them.

Incidentally, the online version of the article has a different text from the printed version, it says “Tasers result in death in only the rarest of cases.”

Personally, I don’t see how an average of a death a week can be called the “rarest of cases” but I’m not a hardened journalist.

Posted in Miami, The Media | 1 Comment