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Books, Films, Arts & Education

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

News Media Matters

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [48:58 video]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

07.16 As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing' [And the South shall rise again...]

07.16 George Will's startling assessment of Donald Trump

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

Justice Matters

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  print view: Who Gets to Review and Be Reviewed?
THE USUAL PUNDITS SERVE AS THOUGHT CENSORS:

Who Gets to Review and Be Reviewed?

Authors, book critics drawn from narrow pool

by Steve Rendall and Zachary Tomanelli for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Book discussions that depend so heavily on white male authors, reviewers and commentators do more than deny a full voice in the discussion to women and people of color; they also deprive all readers and viewers of exposure to the variety of experiences and sensibilities that women and people of color would bring to the discussion.

When it comes to political books, the New York Times Book Review and the C-SPAN book show After Words share an exceedingly narrow view of whose books deserve review—and who is fit to discuss them. A FAIR study found that these important media venues for discussion of newly published books were overwhelmingly dominated by white and male authors, reviewers and interviewers.

FAIR’s study examined every episode of After Words from March 2008 to January 2010, and the reviews of politically themed books in the New York Times Book Review from January 2009 to February 2010. In total, the study counted 100 episodes of After Words and 100 reviews in the Times. In each case, the author(s) and reviewer/interviewer were classified by ethnicity and gender. (Because some books had co-authors and some reviews encompassed multiple books, there were 120 authors of 111 books in the Times reviews studied.)

Ethnicity

Ethnicity in New York Times Book Review and C-SPAN's After WordsIn terms of ethnicity, the authors and reviewers featured by both outlets were strikingly homogeneous. In the Times, 95 percent of the U.S. authors of political books were non-Latino whites, a group that makes up 65 percent of the U.S. population. The non-white U.S. authors included three African-Americans, one Asian-American (Bush legal counsel John Yoo) and one Iranian-American. Of the 12 non-U.S. authors in the Times (10 percent of the total), 10 were white British, one was Israeli and one—Tariq Ali—was Pakistani-British.

The reviewer roster at the Times was even less ethnically diverse. Just 4 percent of U.S. reviewers of political books were people of color—two African-Americans, one Indian-American and one Arab-American. Eight percent of the Times’ political reviewers were from outside the U.S., all of them either white Europeans (British, Irish and French) or Israeli.

After Words was only slightly more ethnically diverse. Whites accounted for 93 percent of the U.S. authors; among the non-white authors, all but one were black. The study found nine international authors on After Words, coming from a range of countries, including Uruguay, Kenya and India.

After Words’ interviewers were the most diverse group the study counted. Ninety-nine of the 100 were American; of these, 14 were people of color. Eleven of the American interviewers were African-American. The remaining non-white interviewers included one Arab-American, one Indian-American and one Iranian-American. The study counted one international interviewer—Moisés Naím, the editor of Foreign Policy.

The study did not find a single U.S. Latino or Native American author or reviewer in either the Times or on After Words during the periods studied.

Gender

Gender in NYT Book Review and After WordsThe numbers on gender were likewise unbalanced, with men the dominant presence in both outlets. In the Times Book Review, women made up just 13 percent of the authors of political books and 12 percent of the reviewers. After Words fared somewhat better, with women constituting 24 percent of the authors and 31 percent of the interviewers.

Among 231 reviewers and authors combined, the Times included just two women of color: PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill and history professor Bettye Collier-Thomas, both African-American authors. The Times published no women of color as political book reviewers. After Words featured women of color 11 times among the authors and interviewers on the show, accounting for 5 percent of the show’s roster; Ifill appeared twice, once as an author and once as an interviewer. (Women of color are roughly 16 percent of the U.S. population.)

Topics

The study also looked at the subject matter of the books reviewed. In both cases, books about international policy were the most prevalent, accounting for 36 percent of both the Times and After Words lists. The second and third most frequent topics on the Times list were economics (22 percent) and partisan/electoral politics (19 percent). (Books could be counted in more than one subject category.) On C-SPAN, books on history (27 percent) and military/espionage topics (19 percent) rounded out the top three.

Books pertaining to environmental issues were notably limited, accounting for 5 percent of the Times list and just 2 percent of C-SPAN’s. One of After Words’ two books on environmental themes was written by climate change denialist Christopher Horner (1/11/09).

The study looked specifically at the subjects of books authored or reviewed by women and people of color. On C-SPAN, more than three-quarters of the books with non-white (U.S. and international) authors—77 percent—centered on ethnic issues. For instance, Peniel Joseph (1/23/10), a Haitian-American Tufts University history professor, discussed his book Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama. Likewise, of the 15 people of color who were invited to host After Words, nine (60 percent) did so for books about ethnic issues.

In the Times, similarly, four of the six non-white authors represented wrote books on ethnic issues—for instance, William Julius Wilson’s More Than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (3/8/09). About two-thirds of the non-white reviewers discussed books with ethnic topics.

Women authors and reviewers were somewhat less focused on women or women’s issues. On C-SPAN, 10 of the show’s 24 female authors spoke about such books, like Cokie Roberts (5/18/08) and her book Ladies of Liberty. Of the 31 female interviewers on After Words, 11 of them spoke to authors of books about women.

In the Times, 27 percent of female authors wrote books about women, such as Sally Denton’s The Pink Lady: The Many Lives of Helen Gahagan Douglas, a biography of the pioneering female politician (1/10/10). Of the 12 female reviewers in the Times, two of them reviewed books dealing with women.

Political Ideology

Authors and reviewers/interviewers were not classified by left/right ideology, as such categories may be quite subjective, particularly with authors and critics who may not have taken public stances on a variety of political topics. However, looking at individuals on the Times and C-SPAN rosters whose ideological classification might elicit little debate, it appears that both outlets were able to achieve some measure of ideological diversity.

For instance, the Times featured left-leaning authors like Tariq Ali and Juan Cole, centrists like Leslie Gelb and Gregg Easterbrook, and conservatives like Richard Brookhiser and Norman Podhoretz. Like-wise, Times reviewers spanned the ideological spectrum, including Patrick Cockburn and Paul Hockenos on the left, Roger Cohen and Matt Bai in the center and Ross Douthat and Christopher Caldwell on the right.

After Words’ authors included left-leaning Tom Hayden and Matt Taibbi, centrists Cokie Roberts and Brian Michael Jenkins, and conservatives George Will and Andrew McCarthy. Among its interviewers were leftists Bernie Sanders and Robert Dreyfuss, centrists David Broder and David Ignatius, and conservatives Frank Gaffney and Peggy Noonan.

Ideological diversity is vitally important, but book discussions that depend so heavily on white male authors, reviewers and commentators do more than deny a full voice in the discussion to women and people of color, who together represent well more than half the population; they also deprive all readers and viewers of exposure to the variety of experiences and sensibilities that women and people of color would bring to the discussion.

There is as great a variety of views among women and people of color as there is among white men; Peggy Noonan no more represents all women than John Yoo does all Asian-Americans. This is not a reason to neglect gender and ethnic diversity, however; it’s a reason to include enough female and non-white voices that they can enjoy the same ideological diversity the New York Times Book Review and C-SPAN’s After Words seem to provide when it comes to white males.

Research assistance by Daniel de Corral.


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to fair@fair.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.



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This story was published on August 12, 2010.

 

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