Dispatches From the Culture Wars – Media Bits and Bytes edition

‘Get Out’ breaks a barrier; Globe bloviates; Climate claptrap; Lefties have more fun; Public radio in the hood
April 4, 2017


  • ‘Get Out’ and Jordan Peele Just Made Movie History – Elahe Izadi (Washington Post)
  • The Generation of Nonsense in the Boston Globe – Dean Baker (Center for Economic and Policy Research)
  • What Made Pruitt's Falsehood Go Viral? – Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic)
  • The Rise of the Hard Left - Kyle Chayka (The Ringer)
  • WGBH to Open News Desk at AIR Headquarters – April Simpson (Current)

‘Get Out’ and Jordan Peele Just Made Movie History

By Elahe Izadi
March 14, 2017
Washington Post

Jordan Peele’s horror flick “Get Out” is among the year’s biggest breakout hits. And with it, Peele has also surpassed a benchmark for box-office success.
“Get Out” has now earned more than $100 million at the box office, making Peele the first African-American writer-director to pass that threshold with his debut feature film.
Movies with racial and ethnic diversity more reflective of America’s demographics actually perform better on average, according to the latest report on diversity in Hollywood from the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.

The Generation of Nonsense in the Boston Globe

By Dean Baker
March 30, 2017
Center for Economic and Policy Research

The NYT gave us the story of how robots are taking all the jobs and driving down wages. Never mind that productivity growth is at its slowest pace in the last seven decades. Facts and data don't matter in the alternative world where we try to divert folks' attention from things like the Federal Reserve Board (who are not robots, last I checked) raising interest rates to make sure that we don't have too many jobs.
One of the other big alternative facts for the diverters is the generational story. This is the one where we tell folks to ignore all those incredibly rich people with vast amounts of money, the reason most people are not seeing rising living standards is the damn baby boomers who expect to get Social Security and Medicare, just because they paid for it. The Boston Globe gave us this story with a piece by Bruce Cannon Gibney, conveniently titled "how the baby boomers destroyed everything."

What Made Pruitt's Falsehood Go Viral?

By Robinson Meyer
March 15, 2017

The Atlantic

Journalists covering climate change are constantly correcting obviously wrong Republican claims. This makes it harder for many to fact check the other, more waffley quotes that waft by. Many are loosely phrased and reasonable-sounding, but they contain little truth content. There is some kind of invisible consensus around questions of climate change. Say an obvious untruth and be mocked the world over. Say a non-commital vapidity—which has the same import as an outright lie—and you don’t wind up on Colbert.

The Rise of the Hard Left

By Kyle Chayka
March 23, 2017
The Ringer

Current Affairs is part of a wave of print and digital independent leftist media organizations gaining steam after the November presidential election. Not only are heritage brands like The New York Times and Vanity Fair adding tens of thousands of subscribers; business is also booming for Jacobin, the colorful Marxist journal founded in 2010; Chapo Trap House, a darkly funny roundtable podcast made up of mostly Brooklynite, mostly male 20- and 30-somethings; and The Baffler, a magazine of cultural critique first established in 1988 (and to which I have contributed) that’s the closest predecessor to Robinson’s project. All are helping fill a political vacuum that Hillary Clinton’s loss created, or perhaps revealed to a wider public.

WGBH to Open News Desk at AIR Headquarters

By April Simpson
March 31, 2017

Beginning Tuesday, a WGBH reporter [for the Boston public radio station] will begin a three-week assignment at the Association of Independents in Radio headquarters in Fields Corner, affectionately called “Little Vietnam” by locals. The news desk is WGBH’s third outpost beyond its sprawling block-long facility in Brighton, where the dual licensee produces its TV, radio, Web and community programs. It also situates WGBH reporters in Dorchester, an area of the city that receives little or mostly negative news coverage by local media. Fields Corner and Dorchester boast sizeable communities of Vietnamese, African-Americans, Haitians, Latinos, Irish and other ethnic and immigrant groups.

April 4, 2017