As The US Press Withers, Glorified Marketing Aims To Take Its Place

from the not-helping dept

More than 16,000 journalists and editors were laid off last year, a tally that excludes broader media jobs and freelancers. While COVID certainly played a role (read: advertisers not wanting the brands to appear in ads next to stories telling people the truth about a pandemic), the layoffs were part of a broader trend in which the unprofitable business of delivering the factual reality (usually) continues to wither on the vine.

Mindless media consolidation has created vast news deserts where local news of any quality literally no longer exist. Incompetent but wealthy new media CEOs, free from anything vaguely resembling accountability, fire their entire newsrooms on a dime at the slightest hint of unionization, a threat that wouldn't be so pronounced if we'd managed to pay reporters a living wage. The US press feels broken, a consensus on how to fix it remains elusive, and bad ideas seem to outnumber good ones by a wide margin.

Into that vacuum has stumbled all manner of terrible beasts, ranging from phony "pink slime" local news, a steady parade of foreign and domestic propaganda artists, and consolidated broadcasters for which truth is a distant afterthought. Just this week, OAN, a "news" channel found on most mainstream cable lineups and pumped into millions of American homes, not only trumpeted the bogus election "audit" in Arizona, it was happily fundraising off of it with zero repercussions whatsoever:

"What’s more, one of those reporters, Christina Bobb, is the network’s most visible correspondent covering the very “audit” that she is helping scare up money for on OAN’s airwaves, while she and the network enjoy unique access to the process where private contractors and volunteers are searching for fraud and have examined ballots for nonexistent watermarks and “bamboo fibers.” OAN has a deal as the exclusive livestream partner for the audit."

At the same time, wealthy individuals and organizations also have an eye on using their vast fortunes to reshape the news industry in their interests. Silicon Valley venture capital giants like a16z have begun building their own news empires to counter what they believe are overly critical media narratives (aka the truth about things like environmental harms, unfair labor practices, and anti-competitive shenanigans). And this week, cryptocurrency giant Coinbase announced it too would be building a new media arm. With a notable caveat:

"Unlike a typical newsroom, that person would report into Coinbase's marketing team."

Granted it's not entirely impossible Coinbase could build a quality news operation, though past efforts like this traditionally haven't gone that well. Without an adequate firewall between marketing and news, you wind up with bungled experiments like Verizon's short-lived Sugarstring news venture, which quickly collapsed after the journalists they hired were banned from writing about issues Verizon clearly had a stake in (most notably, surveillance and net neutrality).

Not too surprisingly, Coinbase's jump into news was met with the sort of skepticism you'd expect:

I spent much of February talking to as many media scholars as I could for a piece on how we fix the country's news and disinformation crisis, and found there's still nothing even close to a consensus on how to proceed. There's not even a real sense among many academics that there's a serious problem taking root. Policy and legislative solutions, many admittedly terrible (fairness doctrine 2.0!), will never survive free speech concerns or a rightward-lurching court system. There's some scattered suggestions (forcing a la carte cable to reduce revenue to dodgy channels like OAN, require more transparency in ads), but nothing that comes close to comprehensive.

That leaves finding ways to creatively-fund and amplify trustworthy news outlets, something that's not really happening at any scale either. Often, it feels like we've found creative ways to fund everything but journalism. White supremacist chat rooms? Check. Hot tub influencers? Sure! Meme-based joke cryptocurrencies? Why not! Gamers watching gamers watching gamers? Of course! Ridiculously speculative blockchain-based art? Yep! Journalism, a purported cornerstone of democracy? Meh. Education? Whatevs.

Instead, the journalism industry seems content to pat itself on the back for reinventing the newsletter for the umpteenth time, as genuine journalism and expertise slowly gets swallowed in a sea of COVID-denying influencers, bullshit-artists, billionaire ego projects, trolling Substack opinion writers, timid "view from nowhere" journalism, and just rank political and corporate disinformation. There's surely a path out from the current US information apocalypse, but it's anything but obvious what it looks like at the moment.

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Filed Under: boosterism, journalism, marketing
Companies: coinbase


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  1. identicon
    bob, 20 May 2021 @ 7:09am

    Instead, the journalism industry seems content to pat itself on the back for reinventing the newsletter for the umpteenth time, as genuine journalism and expertise slowly gets swallowed

    I totally agree. The destruction of real news sources is being caused from both internal and external forces.

    My wife used to work as a reporter for a smaller regional paper. The editor sometimes rewrote key sections of my wife's articles to make it appear like there was more controversy and intrigue happening in a story.

    The editor's attempt to appear more entertaining caused a few sources to stop working with my wife for future articles. One source was a small city's chief of police. My wife left the paper a short time later.

    Editor didnt think about long-term costs for a probably near zero short-term gain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Bloof (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 7:13am

    I'd be all for it if it concentrated all the crypto spammers into one place, unfortunately it'd be the Epoch times, on the blockchain.

    'This just in: Democrat who wants to stop us stealing your grandma's pension with get rich quick coins plugged by us is in league with satan and eats babies!'

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 7:23am

    But You Won't Like It

    It sounds like the real complaint is that the traditional news media is losing credibility and viewers, while new conservative networks are growing. The solution now, as it always has been, is Neutral Point Of View.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    PaulT (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 7:32am

    Re: But You Won't Like It

    "It sounds like the real complaint is that the traditional news media is losing credibility and viewers, while new conservative networks are growing"

    Yes, the complaint seems to be that actual journalists who rely on facts and independent investigation are disappearing and they're being replaced by shock jocks and corporate propaganda outlets for whom facts are secondary to what they're trying to sell.

    So, you're kind of right, but really not for the reasons you think you are, and it's not a positive outlook.

    "The solution now, as it always has been, is Neutral Point Of View"

    I'm sure you are stupid enough to believe that the outlets listed are somehow neutral, but as ever, documented reality disagrees.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Bloof (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 7:34am

    Re: But You Won't Like It

    Who killed the fairness doctrine to make it easier for right wing bullsh*t merchants like Fox news and so on to take over the airwaves with out and out partisan attacks masquerading as news? Wasn't traditions media, big tech ir the left.

    You don't want unbiased news, you've shown tike and time again here you believe anything less than letting conservative lies go unchallenged is infringing on their free speech. The notion of fairness is nothing but a tool for you, something you want from others while never reciprocating, only finding common ground when it can be used to drag people to the right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Baron von Robber, 20 May 2021 @ 7:58am

    Re: But You Won't Like It

    Conservative entertainment networks.....but no news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 8:09am

    The solution now, as it always has been, is Neutral Point Of View.

    “This group wants to pass laws that give LGBTQ people equality under the law. This other group wants to pass laws that criminalize LGBTQ people for existing. Being neutral, I must conclude the arguments on both sides are equally valid and equally worthy of the same coverage.” — you, probably

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Pixelation, 20 May 2021 @ 8:11am

    All of the main news channels are producing news that is more in line with a soap opera than actual news. Add in guys like Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson and good God... people actually believe what they are spouting. It's brain boogering.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Ben (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    That's almost exactly why Brexit and Boris Johnson as UK PM happened.
    The BBC gave in to the 'neutrality' doctrine so wholeheartedly (on some subjects) that poisonous people like Nigel Farage, Boris, Gove (and others) got far too much air time to dunk on "experts" (please parse with air-quotes as added by the above individuals).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: But You Won't Like It

    I'm sure you are stupid enough to believe that the outlets listed are somehow neutral,

    I realize that they're not neutral. But they are the symptom of the lack of NPOV. If the legacy media continues its bias, the easiest way to eat up a dwindling market share will be counter bias. NPOV for legacy outlets is very difficult for them to do now. But it IS the solution, and the alternative for them is to continue down this dystopian path. Quite a dilemma.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2021 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: But You Won't Like It

    You don't ever get unbiased news.

    What is not pure opinion is curated facts, which may be no more deep than "person X says Y is true". Some of the facts are emphasized, some not. Some of what is reported as facts are objectively true, some not, some only in the correct context - which may or may not be provided, or correctly understood. ("broadband prices are cheaper" - if you look at per byte rate; "broadband prices are more expensive" - if you look at consumer bill for what is considered "marginally acceptable performance")

    And then there are the curated topics. "What is news" always has an "in my opinion" basis. Sometimes instead, a "what the audience asks for" basis.

    And what remains? It is always perceived as biased, in comparison to everything else. Is the dress blue and black? white and gold? All depends on what light you view it under.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2021 @ 8:59am

    This is what happens...

    when people think advertising is content. It's not content. It's attention theft.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    TaboToka (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 9:30am

    Re: But You Won't Like It

    The solution now, as it always has been, is Neutral Point Of View.

    The solution now, as it has always been, is we need to teach kids reading comprehension and critical thinking, so they actually READ the article, understand the author's assertion that NPOV is stupid and contributes to the death of real journalism, and can go from there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    TaboToka (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 9:33am

    Look forward to the past!

    There's surely a path out from the current US information apocalypse, but it's anything but obvious what it looks like at the moment.

    How did newspapers get started in this country (or locally in cities and towns)? Is there any knowledge we can glean in order to create an actual, biased-to-facts information service?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    PaulT (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: But You Won't Like It

    No human being is unbiased. A decent news organisation understands that and tries to be as unbiased as possible, but even then organisations have their own leanings, and it's up to the consumer to understand those biases.

    The problem is, too many people either don't know or don't care about the biases as long as they're fed what they already believe, and there's way more money in fake controversy than there is in honest truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    PaulT (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: But You Won't Like It

    "NPOV for legacy outlets is very difficult for them to do now. But it IS the solution"

    It's really not. When outlets are actually neutral, the Fox / OAN cult whine that they're communist propaganda, and then they're forced to put "raving lunatic who read a Facebook post yesterday" on equal footing to "professional with 40 years of experience in the subject" and come out with "both sides are equal".

    The problem today is that journalists with actual experience and value are being replaced by corporate shills and propagandists in the name of profit, and fake "both sides" arguments take over verifiable reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 10:32am

    it IS the solution

    One person says vaccines, while not perfect, are the best defense against COVID-19 and the best way to get the pandemic under control. Another person says vaccines are tools of Satan, the Illuminati, and Bill Gates meant to control, track, and…I’unno, sterilize millions of Americans.

    Under a neutral POV, the fact-based view is treated as equal to a view based on no facts at all. Under a neutral POV, both sides should — must — be given equal weight or else one side would be “favored” over the other. Under a neutral POV, facts are irrelevant so long as there are “two sides to every story”.

    “View from nowhere” journalism isn’t journalism — it’s a cover for letting bullshit artists get away with their grift under the guise of “hearing both sides”. Fact-based journalism will always be biased…towards the truth, as best as we can discern it. You can’t separate bias from journalism because someone must decide what to publish, what to distill out of the mass of available data, and what facts to check. If you want “neutral” journalism, you’re shit out of luck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    Bloof (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re:

    He and Ukip, with zero members of parliament, were on TV more than the leaders of any other party, hell, he seemed to be the first person called when anything even tangentially related to Europe was in the news. By trying to seem unbiased, they went entirely in the other direction, and now they have a right wing director general actively cancelling left wing content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 11:35am

    Re: But You Won't Like It

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: But You Won't Like It

    Reminder: "centrism, 'both sides are the same'" are actually right-wing propaganda built as a veneer on top of false equivalence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    PaulT (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 12:17pm

    Re:

    Indeed. Neutral means that you take in facts and don't apply any specific bias towards them. It doesn't mean that you get Buzz Aldrin, someone who thinks that Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landings and someone who thinks that the moon is literally made of blue cheese and pretend they all have equal weight.

    Koby's usual schtick is to complain that the guy who thinks he'll get a nice bit of stilton is unfairly maligned because Buzz is showing him an actual moon rock.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2021 @ 12:20pm

    Re:

    The problem is compounded by moron like you equating the reporting of Lemon and Carlson. There is absolutely no comparison between the two.

    Carlson spouts all sorts of White supremacist conspiracy theories and just plain lies.

    Maybe if you could see past Lemon's colour, then you'd realize that he's just expressing disgust with the double standards in the treatment of Blacks in the U.S.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2021 @ 4:17pm

    Re:

    Techdirt seems to love both-siderism when it comes to treating both the Dems and the Republicans the same whenever a hearing on Big Tech or Antitrust happens. TD frames it as politicians grandstanding and drumming up good PR for elections, even though there's a clear difference where the Democrats actually raise important points from time to time and the Republicans just lie. For example, last November's hearing with Mike treating the Democrats questioning why Steve Bannon wasn't permanently suspended from Facebook for calling for Fauci and others to get beheaded as if it was in the same ballpark as Republicans falsely claiming that Facebook & social media are biased against them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 5:16pm

    Techdirt seems to love both-siderism when it comes to treating both the Dems and the Republicans the same whenever a hearing on Big Tech or Antitrust happens.

    You say this as if one side or the other deserves no criticism in regards to such issues. They both deserve critcism. Question and criticize authority, even — and especially — if you agree with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2021 @ 5:36pm

    Re:

    I'll criticize the people I agree with when they do something bad. But when Mike paints with a broad brush that equates the good points that Democrats bring up about why they're angry (Example: inconsistent policy enforcement that lets instigators like Steve Bannon continue to sow hatred without getting a perma-ban) with the bullshit that the Republicans put forth, it isn't a "they both deserve criticism" situation. It's more of an "All politicians are stupid" argument of the likes that you'd see from South Park or some late-night talk show from decades past.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Pixelation, 20 May 2021 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, I don't care what color Lemon's skin is. He's just another soap opera star looking to create outrage. Perhaps some of what he reports is actual news but, again, I wouldn't trust him as a source for facts, the same as I wouldn't trust Carlson.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Rocky, 20 May 2021 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Which "good points" are you referring to? Please elaborate.

    Also, your argument kind of falls apart when one considers that "do something bad" can be very subjective which means people may differ in opinion on what constitutes "bad actions". Which is why when you criticize someone you give a reason for the criticism, and so far I haven't seen any writer on TD skipping that step. You are free to point to ANY article that doesn't do that, and if you can't, well, that only means you argument isn't based on facts.

    It's more of an "All politicians are stupid" argument of the likes that you'd see from South Park or some late-night talk show from decades past.

    Oh, it's easy to paint with a broad brush, isn't it? Just like you did with your post. Seems to be a bit of projection going on here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 6:21pm

    When both sides arrive at a similarly awful conclusion (e.g., “230 bad; repeal 230 now”) regardless of the path they chose to get there, both sides deserve criticism. Making good points alone isn’t reason enough to ignore bad conclusions drawn from those points.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 May 2021 @ 10:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also, your argument kind of falls apart when one considers that "do something bad" can be very subjective which means people may differ in opinion on what constitutes "bad actions".

    Your argument falls apart when you abstract “somebody calling for the beheading of someone else” out into “People may differ in opinion on what constitutes bad actions”. Like when folks on Techdirt uses the term “Speech you dislike” in place of “racial slurs, harassment, and disinformation”; if you abstract bigotry, lies, and other garbage that reasonable people have every reason to get pissed off about into an “everyone dislikes something, who are you to say what’s bad and what’s not?” type of horseshit argument, it makes your position look better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. icon
    PaulT (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re:

    "Techdirt seems to love both-siderism when it comes to treating both the Dems and the Republicans the same whenever a hearing on Big Tech or Antitrust happens"

    No, they just correctly note that the two parties are very close to each other on those particular issues. "Both sides" is dumb when comparing the two on things like social programs, gay rights or public health, since having one party in power over another makes a massive material difference to how those things will be handled. It's not a fallacy when dealing with issues where there's no fundamental difference to how to two parties operate on those matters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. icon
    PaulT (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 10:31pm

    Re:

    Yes, "both sides" is stupid if you're talking about, say, gay marriage, since it's abundantly clear that one side wished to deliver those rights and the other side would prefer a return to where they don't have to deal with certain people as equal human beings.

    It's not stupid if you're talking about section 230, since no matter what the arguments are to support the position, they both seem to hold the position that the same current freedom should be removed. Whether or not you agree with the justification of the aim from one side or the other, it's still the same aim.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    cattress (profile), 20 May 2021 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Re: But You Won't Like It

    The kids don't need any additional training than they are already get; remember, most of them have only had the internet to do research, unlike those of us who grew up using the library, not permitted to use the limited digital resources even available. Young people do much better at vetting their sources than older generations, they don't assume Uncle Bob's social media post is the golden truth they must pass on to everyone, because, well, Uncle Bob is old & doesn't know what he's talking about. But when it's brother Bob, someone you looked up to, who looked out for you, well , brother Bob's word is golden and you must tell everyone. It's really the grown adults, older millennials like me (damnit I'm generation Y as far as I'm concerned lol) and the rest of the older generations that need to learn how to vet sources, apply those critical thinking skills more consistently. My own mother has passed on warnings of kidnappers lurking in white vans, oh and the "new species fatally poisonous spider" to be on the look out for, and my husband believed a rather wild claim from someone he kinda used to know, claiming that this person's child was in the mother's custody, but was living with a pedophile, complete with a mugshot of stereotypical pervy looking dude, and a name that was previously on the registry, and a story that a judge was unwilling to grant him full custody to protect his child- a story that took me less than 5 minutes to debunk, even finding the real identity of the creeper, and finding how the SOR worked in AK, which would not allow for the situation as it was described. Adults need training, not kids

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2021 @ 3:05am

    Re: Look forward to the past!

    How did newspapers get started in this country (or locally in cities and towns)?

    Owners of printing presses gathered local and remote news, compiled a news sheet and printed it. That is why the newspapers are called the press.

    The modern equivalent is blogs and social media, the first for longer form reporting, the second for as it happens reporting. There is also the option of crowd funding, which can be used as a subscription service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 May 2021 @ 4:40am

    Re: Re: Re: But You Won't Like It

    "The kids don't need any additional training than they are already get..."

    In most of the world. Consider that according to US statistics, some 21% of americans are functionally illiterate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. icon
    DannyB (profile), 21 May 2021 @ 6:20am

    We don't need the press

    Why would we need the press if we can have The Minisitery of Truth! ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2021 @ 7:19am

    Re:

    You're exaggerating, Steve. I don't recall anyone actually going so far as to outlaw the choice. Certain things they can do, yes, but being what they are, no. And tell me, if forcing acceptance of a lifestyle upon society is wrong in one direction (to say that LG etc. is wrong), then that same thing should be wrong in the other direction as well (forcing society to accept that it's right).

    It is possible to disagree with being LG etc. but still acknowledge that they're human beings with the same rights as anyone else. Yet the pro side is often just as binary as the other, not recognizing or acknowledging this fact but instead demanding total acceptance whether a person wants to give it or not. In effect, forcing their belief upon others and doing the very thing they call out others for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. icon
    PaulT (profile), 21 May 2021 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re:

    "instead demanding total acceptance whether a person wants to give it or not"

    So... what's your alternative? They don't get equal rights so long as some bigots are uncomfortable?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. icon
    nasch (profile), 21 May 2021 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re:

    But when Mike paints with a broad brush that equates the good points that Democrats bring up about why they're angry

    The problem is, regardless of the validity of the underlying concerns, these efforts are 1) not going to work, 2) probably going to make things a lot worse, 3) amount to government officials applying pressure to private actors with regard to constitutionally protected speech, which is always deserving of vigorous criticism and pushback. Techdirt's criticism really isn't about the concerns Democrats have with social media, it's about the actions they want to take to address those concerns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. icon
    nasch (profile), 21 May 2021 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re:

    don't recall anyone actually going so far as to outlaw the choice.

    You're restricting this to only the US and only recently, yes? Otherwise yeah, people have outlawed the choice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 21 May 2021 @ 8:00am

    I don't recall anyone actually going so far as to outlaw the choice.

    Sexual orientation isn’t a choice, but your “it’s all just an act they can choose to drop any time they want” bigotry aside…

    No, nobody wants to outlaw being queer per se. (Not anyone with any semblance of power to make that happen, anyway.) But criminalizing homosexual acts (e.g., oral and anal sex) between two consenting gay adults was, in part, one of the reasons the U.S. had enforceable sodomy laws on the books until Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. The point was — is — to keep gay people out of polite society so those offended by the existence of gay people can pretend those people don’t exist.

    And not for nothing, but maybe look up the often-failed “kill the gays” bill in Uganda…and who is largely responsible for getting the Ugandan government to take up that bill in the first place. (Hint: American conservative Christians did that shit.)

    if forcing acceptance of a lifestyle upon society is wrong in one direction … that same thing should be wrong in the other direction as well

    You don’t have to accept the “lifestyle” — you have to tolerate the fact that queer people exist. Being one of those people, I can say this: We’re allowed to exist without your fucking permission.

    You don’t have to be queer. Nobody is going to force you to be queer. Queer people aren’t looking for your approval — we’re striving for the ability to live in society without having to worry about being unable to access the same civil rights as everyone else.

    On the flip side, conservative Christians love trying to force queer people into being heterosexual/cisgender. “It’s just a phase,” they’ll say. “It’s against God’s design,” they’ll claim. “They’re broken souls who need to be fixed,” they’ll reason. And before you know it, some poor soul locked away in a “conversion ‘therapy’ ” camp by well-meaning-yet-bigoted parents is hanging themselves out of guilt and shame. (Which, to the people running those camps, is a success story — one less queer person in the world, after all.)

    Queer people don’t need your approval, and we don’t need you to be queer. We need you to accept only one thing: We’re here, we’re queer, and we deserve the exact same right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that you have.

    It is possible to disagree with being LG[BTQ]

    No, it isn’t. To disagree with someone being queer is to disagree with someone existing. Being queer isn’t a fucking choice, or else you could point to the exact moment where you voluntarily made the willing and informed choice to be heterosexual and cisgender.

    the pro side is often just as binary as the other, not recognizing or acknowledging this fact but instead demanding total acceptance whether a person wants to give it or not

    As I said: We’re not looking for your whole-assed acceptance. We’re looking for the right to live openly in society without being beaten to death, tortured into being “normal”, or being denied civil rights based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Queer people don’t need, and shouldn’t have to ask, for permission from anyone to do that — and that “anyone” includes you, too.

    forcing their belief upon others

    The “belief” you’re so worried about is simple: Queer people deserve the same civil rights as you and the right to live in society without being punished — socially, physically, or psychologically — for being openly queer. Ask yourself this: For what reason are you afraid to accept that belief when people who espouse it aren’t even asking you to be queer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 21 May 2021 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    I don't see "We need more insurrection!" and "We need less insurrection!" as entirely equivalent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Jason Lester, 21 May 2021 @ 11:52am

    Free Press

    Free Press ? are you kidding me ?
    The press was never "free" , not here, not anywhere, not ever.
    All the money for the "free" press comes from x, y, z ... and is put into the "free" press with a reason... be it to influence the opinion, with the owner(s) vision, or for a monetary purpose. But it ain't for free...
    Yeah, a lot of "journalists" have been laid off. Sucks for them. However these days, if you believe that journalism is a job from which one will retire, then I have a shiny bridge to sell to you ! Wake up ppl !!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2021 @ 12:00pm

    The root problem with funding trustworthy news outlets (creatively or otherwise) is that for the news to be trustworthy, the funding should be independent of the content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. icon
    nasch (profile), 21 May 2021 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Free Press

    The press was never "free" , not here, not anywhere, not ever. All the money for the "free" press comes from x, y, z ...

    Wow. Um, there are at least two meanings of "free". You're conflating them.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratis_versus_libre

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Rocky, 21 May 2021 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your argument falls apart when you abstract “somebody calling for the beheading of someone else” out into “People may differ in opinion on what constitutes bad actions”.

    Which is not what I was referring to, I was referring specifically to the comment about criticizing people "you" agree with and the extremely simplistic take on Mike's coverage of things Democrats/Republicans say or do, because at no point have he actually lumped all politicians together and called them stupid. In this context different people will have different opinions on what constitutes "bad acts" and that's why I asked for any kind of citation of Mike/TD not providing a reason for any criticism they have voiced on what they thought where "bad acts".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 May 2021 @ 10:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Tough tits, fam. Love wins, and you lose!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    PaulT (profile), 23 May 2021 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Free Press

    Well, no wonder you have a problem with journalists, since the only thing that little rant proved is that you don't understand the English language (hint: there's more than one definition of the word "free")

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 May 2021 @ 8:05am

    Re: But You Won't Like It

    "The solution now, as it always has been, is Neutral Point Of View."

    The solution to what? Neo-nazis not getting an unfair shake?

    The skew doesn't really matter as long as what is being reported on and acts as basis for the piece is factual reality. That is not, however, what is being upheld as the "other side" any longer.

    What you and your pals insist on is that equal space should be given to fairytales and dystopian conspiracy fiction as is provided to observable reality.

    Isn't it about time, given your many repetitive attempts at rhetoric around here that you finally stopped pretending, Koby? The last thing you want is a truly neutral pov, because one hint of actual fact provided around, say, confederate statuary or BLM protests has you and your guys going through the roof hollering about aunt Tifa.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 May 2021 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re:

    "It's more of an "All politicians are stupid" argument of the likes that you'd see from South Park or some late-night talk show from decades past."

    Perhaps because, bluntly put, it's that bad.

    Republicans have gone the full nine yards of outright deranged, scraping the bottom of the barrel for new ways to implement shameless grifting. They claim their party, invested as it is in only guns, religion, anti-choice and racism, is a big tent - and they're sort of right; It's a cirkus tent with only clowns in the ring.

    Democrats are simply venal, dishonest, and lazy. They've shied away from conflict, mortally afraid to make a stand, always eager to compromise and bargain with people who'd light a cross on a black man's lawn - or set that man himself on fire - if it meant a few extra votes. They have taught the republicans that whining helps. No line in the sand uncrossed as long as they can stand up and claim they sought bipartisanship with people who in 1940 would have been on Hitler's shortlist for cabinet positions.

    In the US of today all politicians have indeed been stupid and most continue to be. Until the dems stop being cowardly morons that is what factual reality looks like.

    To paraphrase Bill Maher ; "Where are OUR potty mouths?".
    When the hell are democrats going to stop calling the likes of Hawley, Cruz and McConnell in for debate they know damn well the other side won't approach in Good Faith this time either?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 May 2021 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re:

    "You're exaggerating, Steve. I don't recall anyone actually going so far as to outlaw the choice."

    It has been outlawed for most of US history, in most of US states. So are you being disingenious or just very badly read up on history?

    "And tell me, if forcing acceptance of a lifestyle upon society is wrong in one direction (to say that LG etc. is wrong), then that same thing should be wrong in the other direction as well (forcing society to accept that it's right)."

    Try to parse that sentence of yours for logic. The question on the quiz will be "You know how we can tell you're a bigot, bro?"

    If you can't understand something as simple as that your rights end where another person's rights begin then maybe the US isn't really the place you want to live in. Try Russia instead.

    Feel free to not like gay people. That's your constitutional rights right there. You don't need to invite them to your BBQ, you don't need to invite them to your home, you can ask them to get the hell out of your property. You can start a social platform and ban them from there.

    You don't get to ask for government support of your opinion. You don't get to ask others to make the same judgment you do. If you voice your opinion where other people can hear it be advised they are equally free to ban you from their BBQ's, homes, or social platforms. And here's the thing; most people will. Because the majority of people today do support the idea that whether someone is gay or not is not their business.

    The only thing "forced" on you is the realization that if you think of a minority as garbage then the majority of people think of you as garbage.

    That's the alt-right's butthurt in a nutshell. For which they immediately ran off crying for Big Government to come and protect them like the entitled fscking snowflakes they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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