Readability

Lather, rinse, repeat

I nor­mally focus on Latin Amer­i­can news, but two sto­ries have promi­nently popped up in my news feed dur­ing the last cou­ple of days: the Roy Moore sex accu­sa­tions, and the Trump-didn’t-take questions-​in-​China tale.

The Roy Moore story (or as Scott John­son calls it, The Moore miasma) is aston­ish­ing, not the least because of the tim­ing. Moore had been sus­pended twice from the state’s Supreme Court: the first in 2001 for refus­ing to remove a mon­u­ment of the Ten Com­mand­ments from the Alabama Judi­cial Build­ing, the sec­ond in 2016 for direct­ing pro­bate judges to con­tinue to enforce the state’s ban on same-​sex mar­riage. It defies belief that the accusers would not have felt they could come out and expose events that took place nearly four decades ago only until a cou­ple of weeks before this upcom­ing election.

I do not know if Moore is guilty. I do not know if or how the alle­ga­tions could be proven or dis­proven. But no mat­ter the facts, I expect this story to remain promi­nently in the top head­lines for a while, espe­cially if Moore wins.

The media will pick and choose.

As it did, for instance, with the Trump-didn’t-take questions-​in-​China story: Pres. Trump did not take ques­tions from the media after a press con­fer­ence. Streiff describes the media outrage,

CNN, nat­u­rally, ran a story in which they claimed that Trump broke from decades of tra­di­tion by par­tic­i­pat­ing in a news con­fer­ence with a Chi­nese pres­i­dent in which there were no questions.

A few hours later, this, from a CNN arti­cle:

COR­REC­TION: This story has been updated to reflect nei­ther Trump nor Pres­i­dent Barack Obama took ques­tions along­side his Chi­nese coun­ter­part dur­ing their first visit to the coun­try. A pre­vi­ous ver­sion mis­stated that Obama had.

By then,

https://​plat​form​.twit​ter​.com/​w​i​d​g​e​ts.js

Streiff, again,

So you can have your jour­nal­is­tic hit job and claim the moral high ground by tweet­ing and pub­lish­ing a cor­rec­tion no one will read.

And then it’ll hap­pen again.

JD sums it up:

What con­cerns me is the intel­lec­tual dis­hon­esty and bla­tant manip­u­la­tion these news out­lets embrace.

That is what I keep in mind every time I read any news at all.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s blog

I normally focus on Latin American news, but two stories have prominently popped up in my news feed during the last couple of days: the Roy Moore sex accusations, and the Trump-didn’t-take questions-in-China tale.

The Roy Moore story (or as Scott Johnson calls it, The Moore miasma) is astonishing, not the least because of the timing. Moore had been suspended twice from the state’s Supreme Court: the first in 2001 for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building, the second in 2016 for directing probate judges to continue to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. It defies belief that the accusers would not have felt they could come out and expose events that took place nearly four decades ago only until a couple of weeks before this upcoming election.

I do not know if Moore is guilty. I do not know if or how the allegations could be proven or disproven. But no matter the facts, I expect this story to remain prominently in the top headlines for a while, especially if Moore wins.

The media will pick and choose.

As it did, for instance, with the Trump-didn’t-take questions-in-China story: Pres. Trump did not take questions from the media after a press conference. Streiff describes the media outrage,

CNN, naturally, ran a story in which they claimed that Trump broke from decades of tradition by participating in a news conference with a Chinese president in which there were no questions.

A few hours later, this, from a CNN article:

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect neither Trump nor President Barack Obama took questions alongside his Chinese counterpart during their first visit to the country. A previous version misstated that Obama had.

By then,

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Streiff, again,

So you can have your journalistic hit job and claim the moral high ground by tweeting and publishing a correction no one will read.

And then it’ll happen again.

JD sums it up:

What concerns me is the intellectual dishonesty and blatant manipulation these news outlets embrace.

That is what I keep in mind every time I read any news at all.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog