Talking New Media

Can’t we get one Friday this year without a major news story breaking? (rhetorical question)

Today was World Cup Draw day, and in an alternative universe we could’ve enjoyed mindlessly watching the draw, but in 2017 we just can’t catch a break

The fates have not been kind to the US this past year. In November we, like the UK, experienced a shock election, and now everything that follows has somehow been tied to that event.

Today, if things had worked out differently, we might all be talking about the World Cup draw and where the US would be slotted. But, of course, the US (like Italy!) did not make the tournament, and the news that Michael Flynn has been charged with lying to the FBI means that this will be another crazy Friday news day. We simply cannot catch a break.

On top of all this, the Senate is attempting to pass the least favored tax bill in modern history, according to Gallup. A bill that I fear may destroy graduate education in the US, and will effect many, many freelance journalists who will find that they simply cannot survive if their ability to write off self-employment expenses is eliminated.

As I warned about a year ago, the biggest threat to the publishing industry is not the transition to digital, nor the duopoly of Google and Facebook, but our political decay.

Enjoy your weekend, at least we have some big college football games to watch and take our minds off of what is going on in DC and London.

Some recommended reading:

Esquire, Charles P. Pierce:

So, What Did Flynn Give Mueller?

It’s almost enough to make me wake up and check my watch-pocket to see if ZuZu’s petals are there…

…Two facts must be obvious from the outset: 1) lying to the FBI remains a completely stupid thing to do, no matter what your motivation; and 2) Flynn must be serving up a five-course banquet to Mueller’s team, complete with wine course.

Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik:

Sen. Rubio tells a secret: After giving a tax cut to the rich, GOP will cut Social Security and Medicare

Advocates for seniors and the middle class have been warning for weeks that the Republican drive to cut taxes for the wealthy is the prelude to a larger attack on Social Security and Medicare.

In a videotaped interview with two Politico reporters Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the quiet parts out loud. Asked by interviewers Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman how to address the federal deficit, he replied: “We have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.”

The Guardian, Daniel Boffey:

Belgian prince says proposed pay cut would breach his human rights

A wayward brother of the king of Belgium has claimed the government is violating his human rights after the prime minister moved to cut his annual €308,000 (£280,000) government endowment…

…The prince’s letter has caused uproar in Belgium, where Laurent had until now been warmly regarded as an eccentric but harmless figure.