Merchants of Alarming Truth and the Reality of Media Bias

first_imgAlong about New Year’s Eve, Sports Illustrated ran a piece on the firing of Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter.“For the seventh time in eight years,” wrote Jonathan Jones, “the Bucs finished last in the NFC South, a level of ineptitude to which only the Browns can lay claim… At 5–11, the Buccaneers have missed the playoffs for the 11th consecutive year, and it’s the seventh time in that span that Tampa Bay has had double-digit losses.”“Ineptitude.” Ouch. That’s kind of… judgmental. But funny thing about what did not happen next. There were no howls about S.I.’s bias. Nobody questioned Jonathan Jones’ journalistic ethics or declared him the purveyor of Fake Sports News or castigated him as the Enemy of the Tampa-St, Petersburg-Clearwater metroplex.Because, objectively, the Buccaneers suck.Elsewhere on the meteorological disaster front, over the years the National Review has called Hurricane Katrina a “killer storm,” Newsweek called Cyclone Nargis a “killer storm” and Popular Mechanics called Hurricane Irma a “killer” storm. I don’t recall there being a trial verdict—in this country one is innocent until proven guilty—yet not a single accusation was forthcoming about the media’s anti-weather agenda. Evidently, the accuracy of the reporting spoke for itself.So now comes ex-New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson’s new book, “Merchants of Truth,” in which she concludes that the paper’s negative coverage of the Trump Administration violates the paper’s founding values and panders to its—she says—mainly liberal audience. It’s mainly a digression in her examination of the overall (treacherous) media landscape, but of course the right-wing-media-o-sphere swooped in like seagulls spying a stray boardwalk french fry. If you Google “jill abramson bias,” your tops hits will be: the New York Post, Realclearpolitics.com, Washington Times, Fox News, Russia Today (!) The Hill, and National Review.The liberal-bias narrative, after all, is their raison d’etre, their obsession and their business model. And it has been at the core of conservative politics since Nixon. But is it, you know, true? Is there a liberal bias in mainstream media? Yes. And, also, no.In the Venn diagram of values, journalism and liberalism do have a huge overlap. Questioning authority, suspicion of big money, “reform” in general, afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted—which is really another way of saying “social justice.” Journalism isn’t a political party, much less an “opposition party,” but it is inherently progressive and inherently adversarial to the sitting government. Among recent victims: Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. And would-be president Hillary Clinton? Ask her. On the other hand, while the latest survey numbers are a bit outdated, in 2013 only 7 percent of journalists self-identified as Republican. (52 percent identified as independent). So the bleeding-heart sensibility is not a figment of the right’s imagination.But does that prove political bias? No, it does not.With some notable and horrifying exceptions, large news organizations—especially the ones dismissed as hubs of liberal bias—are rigorous in their work. Their publishing protocols police fairness and accuracy, and are difficult to circumvent within a newsroom. When a story is deemed particularly explosive, the caution is even greater. (Indeed, here the press tends toward the more insidious sin of false balance.) Nonetheless, when things happen, we report them, and when bad things happen we report them louder. That is not evidence of bias. It is evidence of observation and judgment.We have a president who told three bald-faced lies on his second day in office, one about the CIA, one about crowd size at his inauguration and one about the weather. Since then, fact checkers have documented thousands of presidential lies, falsehoods and misstatements. According to the Washington Post, in 2018, he made 15 false claims per day. Plus the schoolyard ad hominem against his critics. Plus his attacks on the press, the judiciary, the Congress, the intelligence community, the Justice Department and NATO. Plus his nakedly racist and unconstitutional statements and actions, blocked again and again by the courts. Plus his embrace of dictators in Russia, North Korea, Philippines and Turkey (and, this just in, now a fascist in Brazil). Plus his sleazy business conduct. Plus his sleazy “charity.” Plus his hidden tax returns. Plus his unabashed misogyny.These are all observable, and they are manifestly unique in the history of the presidency. This stuff is also not a figment of anyone’s imagination. The statements, the tweets, the insults, the executive orders, the firings, the defense of Charlottesville Nazis—they are all on the record and unfolding before our eyes. Yet when the media report on the wreckage, it’s seen as a smoking gun of bias and partisanship.Has the press piled on Donald Trump? Of course it has. For that you can blame Donald Trump. It is simply an eyewitness account of historic… hmm… I was going to say “depravity,” but let’s just go with ineptitude.Sarah Sanders wonders why we don’t report on Trump’s achievements, instead of focusing on Robert Mueller and Vladimir Putin and Stormy Daniels. Yeah, well, Dirk Koetter’s Tampa Bay offense gained more yards than any team in Bucs’ history. They still fired his ass.last_img read more

Thai government is going DIY and building its own converted EVs report

first_img 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus: A positive spin on an old favorite 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 48 Photos More From Roadshow Post a comment Enlarge ImageThis is the Honda Fit EV. It didn’t get sold in Thailand but that’s not going to stop the Thai government from making its own version. Honda Converting older cars into electric vehicles was once one of the only ways to get an EV in your driveway, but it’s gone somewhat out of fashion as commercially available, purpose-built EVs have become common.But the government of Thailand reportedly plans to develop its own electric vehicles. Specifically, the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) isn’t content for makers of electric cars to bring their wares to the country, so it’s going the way of Fugazi and doing it itself, according to a report Thursday by PaulTan.org.Now, the government isn’t going to just go all willy-nilly, modifying whatever is lying around. It’s going to focus its efforts on three specific models that are commonly available used in Thailand. Those are the Toyota Vios, Honda Jazz and Nissan Almera, which we know as the Toyota Yaris sedan, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.EGAT is targeting a price of around 300,000 Thai baht (or approximately $9,470) to complete the conversion. This would include lithium-ion batteries, an electric motor and all the associated electronic gubbins necessary to make the thing work.Whether these converted EVs are any good remains to be seen, and since more are becoming available through more traditional means — Hyundai sells the Ioniq and Kona Electric in Thailand now, Nissan sells the Leaf and has for a year — we’ll be curious to see if anyone actually buys one. 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 0 Share your voice Electric Cars Car Culture Tags 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Honda Nissan Toyotalast_img read more

WATCH Bajrang Dal activists threaten to chop off limbs and head of

first_imgBajrang Dal activists in Karnataka threatened to sever the limbs of a Congress candidate. A video of the entire incident went viral on multiple social media platforms. Three activists were detained after they were identified by the police from the video. The incident took place within the Bantwal rural police jurisdiction.”The video surfaced following victory celebration that members of the organisation took out in wake of the announcement of results of the general election on Thursday,” BM Laxmi Prasad, Superintendent of Police was quoted as saying by Times of India.The video showed Bajrang Dal activists abusing Mithun in Tulu threatening that if he spoke against them and the Bajrang Dal, they would chop off his arms and legs and even his head if necessary. This aggression against him was because Mithun had said in one of his campaign speeches that he would ban the Bajrang Dal from the state if necessary.Mithun M Rai, the Congress candidate of the Dakshina Lok Sabha constituency, was the victim in the incident. The Bajrang Dal activists were celebrating Bharatiya Janata Party’s win in the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday when they began threatening the Congress candidate in the boisterous party.The Congress candidate, Mithun, filed a complaint against the three men who threatened him at the Bantwal circle police station. Saharangowda V H, the investigating officer, told TOI that a case was filed under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 149 (a member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 504 (intentionally provoking or insulting another person) 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.last_img read more

Sushmita Sen – Rohman Shawl Trouble in paradise

first_imgInstagramEver since Rohman Shawl came into Sushmita Sen’s life, the duo has been giving us some major relationship goals. From celebrating events and family gatherings together to holidaying together; there is no stopping the two from painting the town red. Rohman was recently seen attending the wedding ceremony of Sushmita Sen’s brother Rajeev Sen with Charu Asopa. And while everything looked good from the outside, reports suggest that things have not been going too well for the couple.Rohman Shawl’s recent Instagram posts hint at the couple hitting a rough patch. In a series of Instagram posts, Rohman seems to be venting out at his ‘partner’ and ‘relationship’. “So you feel you are doing too much in a relationship and your partner isn’t reciprocating… It’s alright!! You need to understand that what you do for your partner is your call, don’t put your him/her under the obligation of loving you the same way!! Do things for them because you genuinely feel like doing it, not because you expect them to do the same for you!!” he wrote.He didn’t stop at this. The actor-model also wrote, “So you expect your partner to treat you right because you are in a relationship with them? If someone doesn’t treat you right and you are still with them, its your fault!! Love yourself.””So you get bored when you are by yourself? Ok so how do you expect others to find you interesting when you can’t even entertain yourself!! Spend atleast 15-20 mins daily with yourself, without any phone, tv, books or anyone. Listen to the voice from within which is trying to talk to you, it has all the answers!” he wrote next.While Rohman hasn’t taken any names and no official confirmation has come our way, we hope this is just another one of those lovers’ tiff and nothing serious.last_img read more

What This Founder Learned at a Farmstand Helped Her Bra Startup

first_img Editor’s Note: Entrepreneur’s “20 Questions” series features both established and up-and-coming entrepreneurs and asks them a number of questions about what makes them tick, their everyday success strategies and advice for aspiring founders.For many women, shopping for the right bra is something of an ordeal. You have to get measured by a total stranger, the bra may only last about a year and the offerings that are available can be pretty expensive, with an average garment retailing for about $100 or more.Fed up with an exhausting and inefficient process and certain that others felt the same, in 2013, Heidi Zak launched ThirdLove, a San Francisco-based lingerie company that aims to provide customers with bras that truly fit at an affordable price.Related: A Bra Company That Uses Smartphones to Find the Right Fit Just Raised $8 MillionZak, who worked as a senior marketing manager at Google before founding the company, differentiated ThirdLove from other lingerie startups by integrating technology and patenting an app to allow users to size themselves at home with just a few photos. Once a person is sized, they can shop for the bra they need. ThirdLove allows customers to try the garments before they purchase for 30 days. If it doesn’t fit, then they can send it back for $2.99. The company also provides a glossary of fit concerns on the site for reference and live chats with ThirdLove stylists.She also realized that standard sizes simply wouldn’t work for every customer, so with head designer Ra’el Cohen, the company designed bras in half sizes. With that custom fit in mind, ThirdLove also has a 30-day trial period before purchase.Since its launch over four years ago, the company has raised more than $13 million, expanded into underwear, as well as lounge and sleepwear and has more than 250,000 paying customers.We caught up with Zak for our 20 Questions series to find out what motivates her and makes her tick.1. How do you start your day?I wake up usually around 6:00 am and try to get a quick workout in. I have two little kids. Before my second baby, I would go to a bootcamp or a cycling class but now I just tend to do cycling using Zwift. It’s a cool new startup that allows you to use your own bike and work out with the TV. I also use Daily Burn, a platform for online fitness videos That way I can just work out from my basement. Working out is something that really energizes me and makes me feel much more focused and efficient. The days I don’t work out, I feel it.2. How do you end your day?By putting my kids to bed. I have a 3 year old and a 7 month old. I’m away from them during the day, so for me, it’s crucial to spend time with them.What I love about that is that when you’re with your kids you don’t have to think about anything else. As the founder a company your mind is always racing, but I don’t think about anything for a few hours while I spend time with them.Related: The Top 10 American Cities for Working Parents3. What’s a book that changed your mind and why?Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. It’s all about how children relate to each other — but some of it also can be brought into any relationship, even those at work. The book talks about not needing to be fair, meaning, each child does not need to get the exact same thing.This lesson applies really well in the corporate environment, too. Every employee is unique and needs their own personal objectives and goals. If you’re having any interpersonal issues, getting to the root of the issue at hand is important, so is being able think about things from different [points of view].4.What’s a book you always recommend and why?One of the things that is super important in business is how to negotiate well. For me, it’s something that I’ve had to learn along the way. One of the books I read at MIT is Getting to Yes by Bruce Patton, Roger Fisher and William Ury. I recommend it to everyone at our company to read.Negotiating is a hard skill, but one that is necessary for almost every job function – and this book is a quick read about the basics. The key learning for me is that you must figure out what you can offer to the other side, and to do that, you must get to know them to understand their most important needs. It’s not just transactional, it’s personal.5.  What’s a strategy to keep focused?I check email once an hour or less. If I check it more, I lose focus. So, I set aside five or 10 minutes to check email and then spend the rest of the time thinking about what I need to be doing.Related: 4 Great Non-Business Role Models for Entrepreneurs6. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I looked up to Katie Couric when she was at the Today Show. I think she was just really knowledgeable and came across as very friendly — something about her that was really real, and I think I liked that about her.7. What did you learn from the worst boss you ever had?I haven’t had a lot of really bad bosses. The one thing that I’ve noticed from having different types of bosses is that the best ones have a clearly articulated vision of what the team is working toward. You have to communicate it effectively and do it often. That’s what I try to do; you can’t say it too often.8. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?I think my dad is my biggest influence. He grew up on a small farm outside of Pittsburgh. Through a lot of hard work and by focusing on education, he has been really successful in business. I think it’s true in life that when you work hard, things will work themselves out for you. That work ethic is also something that I look for when I’m hiring.Related: 7 Elements of a Strong Work Ethic9. What’s a trip that changed you?Five years ago, my husband and I climbed to Mt. Everest basecamp in Nepal. You get to 18,000 plus feet at base camp. It’s important in two ways: I like to challenge myself generally and that trip pushed me to my limits. I had a little altitude sickness, but I made it thanks to the support of my husband and the other couple we were with. That’s the other thing, surround yourself with people who are supportive that you trust.10.  What inspires you?I think what inspires me the most are our customers. I specifically set aside time to read customer chats, reading the positive comments of course is awesome, but I also get a lot of value from the things that we can improve on. I read those conversations and get inspired to do things better, change things and develop products based on that feedback. That inspires me every day.11. What was your first business idea and what did you do with it?I had a more traditional career path before ThirdLove. But after moving out to Silicon Valley five years ago, I caught the entrepreneurial bug. I was impressed by the people I was meeting and ThirdLove was the first real business I started.Related: Starting A Business? You Need These 3 Basics.12.  What was an early job that taught you something important or useful?My first job was when I was 14, I grew up in western New York, and I worked at a farm stand. There are two things that I still use today from the job. One is how to make things look really beautiful. It was very much learning how to merchandise — how do you make them look compelling for a customer that it going to walk in. The other thing was I learned how to think about the customer, what their needs were and how to sell to them effectively.13.  What’s the best advice you ever took?Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. When you start your own company you have to get used to learning how to do things that you don’t know how to do. You also need to learn how to take risks and be okay with not knowing what the next stage is going to bring.14.  What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?The worst advice that I’ve gotten is to not do something. There is never been a time that I have regretted going somewhere new. Most regrets come from not seizing an opportunity or not doing something. A lot more comes out of saying yes than saying no.Related: Richard Branson: How to Spot an Opportunity15.  What’s a productivity tip you swear by?We use Hipchat at work. It’s a great way to collaborate across teams and share files instead of email.16.  Is there an app or tool you use in to get things done or stay on track?I live and die by my Google Calendar. I would be nothing without it.17.  What does work-life balance mean to you?I don’t think there is such a thing. Every day you choose something to prioritize, especially as a working mom. Sometimes I stay late to work or leave early to go to my daughter’s preschool. Every once in awhile I squeeze in something for myself. You’re always picking and choosing, and hopefully, it’s balancing out over the week or month.Related: In Defense of Work-Life Balance18.  How do you prevent burnout?It goes back to exercise and being outdoors. In the winter that might be snowboarding or going on a trail run, or maybe surfing, being outside and getting away from technology. Those activities really energize me.19.  When you’re faced with a creativity block, what’s your strategy to get innovating?Go outside. I think taking a walk and going out to look at some new scenery is the best way to reset.20. What are you learning now? Right now our business is growing very quickly, so I spend a good amount of time interviewing more senior people. The interview process is much longer for these hires, because it’s important to find the people with the  right skill set, cultural fit and leadership skills. For me, it’s learning how to effectively handle those interviews. That’s something I’ve been focused on recently.  January 6, 2017 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img 10 min read Register Now »last_img read more