Creating a narrative and promoting it for a political agenda

    This is how everyone savvy is doing it, yes ALL SIDES now, not just alt-right. It's our new paradigm. How MSM outlets deal with it, whether they filter it and create balance, or end up feeding certain agendas by covering what the aglorithms rule are hot, that's the thing:


    good Noah Smith thread pondering the reality vs. the narrative and buying into the delusions of grandeur as regards the alt-right:

    1/One thing I think the coup attempt of 1/6 did, besides galvanize institutional awareness of a rightist threat, was to expose how militarily weak the rightists are.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    2/In the 90s we envisioned the far right as a vast network of well-trained militias. In the 00s we envisioned Blackwater mercenaries being used as rightist paramilitaries in a civil conflict.

    In reality, we got a rabble of out of shape 50-year-old boat dealers.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    3/They managed to get past the police by doing the old "toe the line between goofy and serious" trick that online Nazis perfected in web forums. But that trick won't work twice.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    4/There was no mass defection from the military or the National Guard to the rightist cause. Nor will there be, at least not unless the situation changes hugely and unexpectedly.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    5/But in fact this lesson should have been apparent earlier. The protests of summer 2020 saw no massive columns of rightist militias turning out to menace and cow the protesters.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    6/In fact when the Three Percenter militia tried to march to counter the NFAC march in Louisville, they were utterly outnumbered and overawed.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    7/In the Pacific Northwest, where the protests turned violent, leftist militias again outnumbered and overmatched rightist ones.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    8/And in terms of general potential manpower, the left has all the young people.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    9/Without young people, without paramilitary dominance, what hope would rightists have in any civil war?

    Some surely envision a mass armed uprising by police departments, but this would be easily crushed by the Guard and the military. Nor will it happen.

    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    11/Thus, rightists inclined toward further belligerence should take a look at their overwhelming military inferiority, and stand down.


    — Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 17, 2021

    John McWhorter (Columbia University bio)

    Why is it unenlightened to admit that Daunte Wright was killed by accident? Or to acknowledge that cops kill whites as casually as they kill black people? Or enlightened to call me a white supremacist for speaking the truth?
    by @JohnHMcWhorter

    — John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWhorter) April 17, 2021

    excerpts from the above (no paywall that I could see)


    Otherwise, our conversation on race is deeply and perniciously fake

    @ substack, April 16

    [...] The problem is the sheer volume of the white cases. We just don’t hear about them. As I write, what about Hannah Williams? Or this hideous case? No, I’m not laboriously smoking these cases out when they are just weird exceptions to a general rule. They are the norm. It’s just that they don’t make national news. It really is that simple, and that sad, and that destructive to our national conversation about race.

    Funny thing – nothing makes this clearer than the Washington Post database of cop murders. Just pour a cup of coffee and look at what it shows, month after month, year after year. As South Park’s Cartman would put it, “Just, like, just, just look at it. Just look at it.”

    Yet, the enlightened take on the issue serenely sails along as if that database proves that cops ice black men regularly while white men only end up in their line of fire now and then by accident. The database reveals a serious problem with cops and murder, period, quite race-neutrally [....]

    [....] true enlightenment, my friends, means opening yourself up to counterintuitive realities. I know – you may think that the counterintuitive reality we need to open up to is that black people are killed by cops because of their color. But that’s a little 1990 now. The cops are meaner to black people, no doubt. But not to the extent of casual murder. “Enlightened” America must open its mind, as “enlightened” Victorians opened up to Darwinism, to the simple fact that cops kill white people just as easily as they kill black people.

    This is not conservative think-tank groupthink. This is truth, folks. If only smart Americans would open up to what is good news about black people’s condition. Black people do not need to walk around in fear that white cops will kill them because they are black. Yes, I meant that and will write it again. Black people do not need to walk around in fear that white cops will kill them because they are black.

    “But, but … he just, he just …” NO! I “just” nothing. I say this because of the following simple fact:

    Cops kill white people just as easily as they kill black people.

    I know there’s a bit more we will hear.

    But the disproportion … !

    Yes, yes – but please see my post on Derek Chauvin on that issue, which in no way disproves anything I have written. Black people are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by cops, and exactly 2.5 times more likely to be poor, and data shows that poverty makes you more likely to encounter the cops, as even intuition confirms. This is why somewhat more black people are killed by cops than what our proportion in the population would predict.[....]

    Reflect also: most people who take to the streets about cases like Daunte Wright are not thinking about the fact that black people are killed by cops 2.5 times more than their representation in the population would predict. They are protesting because all they see in the news is the black people killed, and have no way of imagining that whites are regularly killed in the same way and in much greater numbers.

    * * *

    Once more. Every time the media broadcasts the murder by cop of a black person, ask yourself if it’s really true that a cop wouldn’t have done it to a white person – and then go to, for example, the Washington Post database and see cops doing just that.

    And upon that, we will settle upon an honest national conversation about the cops as murdering people in race-neutral fashion. Or at least we should.

    also see these related tweets

    Killed because black? She wasn’t. Just an anecdote? What of endless cases of dumb cops killing just PEOPLE? More black ones “disproportionately” yes - bc cops are sicced on more poor people of all colors. BUT what? Intersectionality? Um, okay.

    — John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWhorter) April 16, 2021

    I have often written that we simply never hear about whites killed by cops in the same ways as blacks. But I've never quite known of a parallel to one case: what happened to Tamir Rice - till now.

    — John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWhorter) April 14, 2021


    there's a lot of hindsight 20-20 you can do with this whole thing, especially if one was a less experienced news reader at the time, along the lines of the satanic child care stories. This one was like a real "doh!" for me, I always mistrusted her but didn't see her shtick that clearly, do now:

    Women are urged to adhere to damaging societal beauty standards? There must be a CONSPIRACY behind it? A journalist is murdered by ISIS? Too easy, must be faked and a CONSPIRACY

    — Jane Coaston (@janecoaston) April 20, 2021

    I talked about this today with @nickgillespie but fear, wielded specifically and skillfully, is extremely effective.

    — Jane Coaston (@janecoaston) April 20, 2021


    China - ready willing and able to help:

    a uniter not a divider, obviously trying to redirect to narratives that all Americans can share, like it or not:

    America’s national parks are irreplaceable treasures. They amaze us, inspire us, fill us with pride, and belong to all of us in equal measure. This National Park Week, I want to hear about your favorite memory at one of our national parks. Share by replying to this tweet.

    — President Biden (@POTUS) April 21, 2021

    edit to add, "1776 Unites" that McWhorter is referring to there  is "a Woodson Center Project" Woodson Center's mission is Transforming lives, schools, and troubled neighborhoods, from the inside out. I don't honestly haven't spent the time checking them out enough to know whether they are just pushing a counter-narrative of their own or actually trying to deal with reality.

    wow this exclusive by WaPo is kind of important, don't know where to plop it except here-important not to assume bigwigs are buying up newspapers or other cos. for ideological purposes, sometimes they might just want to play with the company's pension funds!!!

    earlier thread

    more on policy framing interacting with a narrative here

    China's foreign ministry likes a lot of The Woke Narrative:

    Russia Today ( is recognized as blatantly doing it by Twitter and Facebook

    SubTweet highlighted by Matthew Yglesias, who retweeted it.

    Meant to post these together - it was so refreshing watching Jon Batiste accept the Oscar for a mixed effort (Trent Reznor industrial?) in a mixed room, and he was just so warm and thankful to all these people and orgs. I watched a few Batiste videos where he did a New Orleans Krewe line with Colbert's entire band to welcome Jim Carrey, Batiste doing a slamming Mozart challenge/duet with this tiny Jewish guy from Big Bang Theory who played in that Meryl Streep opera movie. Batiste went to Julliard - and he seems happy - who knew art didn't have to feel pretentious?

    Oh, fond memory of brief stint in New Orleans, these little cafes or leftover speakeasy's where everyone who could play would pick up some axe or other, i even did it once, out of my league, but all a good time. Music used to be the great equalizer, all voices come together, styles mixed upon styles, you'd get black Bad Brains playing thrash, Aerosmith mashed with RunDMC, Eric Burdon with War, black percussionists as part of the Allman Brothers in the Deep South, Prince's ever mixed up assortment of multiethnic, multigender musicians... It's all Mardi Gras, or was.

    I'm very careful to never criticize a musician or style of music too much - i never know when I might start liking it, as a phase or permanently. You can make fun of Nancy Sinatra but then she gets like a drug, a perverse kitsch, a fashion. All these musicians who had each others' backs - stick together in the vampire music industry. Often the weirdo finds his or her calling, that special place, a "style".

    re:  so refreshing watching Jon Batiste accept the Oscar for a mixed effort.. in a mixed room, and he was just so warm and thankful to all these people and orgs

    I looked it up, totally fits with the culcha he was raised in:

    ...Jon Batiste was born in Metairie, Louisiana, one of seven brothers in a Catholic family.[1][8][9] He grew up in Kenner, Louisiana.[2] His parents, Estella and Jean Batiste, were owners of a grocery store and a hardware store in the 9th Ward of New Orleans.[8] ....

    Among other things: wrath, envy and pride are 3 of the 7 deadly sins. And you have no business preaching unless you are called and then trained for the priesthood. Furthermore, the customer is always right....etc

    Edit to add 6 of the 7 Christian virtues: temperance, charity, diligence, patience, gratitude, humility.

    as he said, makes one curious...

    can't stay at a place that doesn't proselytize the narrative:


    Just hit me looking at this detail picture of this old broadside how the elites did it during the Enlightenment - forthrightly but politely:

    ....a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires, that they should declare the causes, which impel them to the Separation....

    Where's the outrage? Maybe they read Poor Richard's Almanack, published 1744 by Benjamin Franklin?

    Tart Words make no Friends: spoonful of honey will catch more flies than Gallon of Vinegar.

    A New York Post story about Kamala Harris triggered conservative outrage. Almost all of it was wrong. Now the reporter has resigned.

    By Paul Farhi @, 

    April 27, 2021 at 7:14 p.m. EDT

    A longtime New York Post reporter said she has resigned after being “ordered” to write a false story that claimed undocumented minors were being welcomed to the United States with copies of a children’s book written by Vice President Harris.

    “The Kamala Harris story — an incorrect story I was ordered to write and which I failed to push back hard enough against — was my breaking point,” Laura Italiano tweeted Tuesday afternoon, several hours after her viral article about the books had been deleted from the Post’s website and replaced with corrected versions.

    Italiano, who has written for the Post since the 1990s, according to news archives, could not be immediately reached for comment.

    Since the Post published the story on its front page Saturday, the conservative mediascape has been in an uproar over the supposed distribution of Harris’s 2019 book, “Superheroes Are Everywhere,” at migrant shelters. A slew of prominent Republicans expressed outrage over the possibility that taxpayers were funding the program. Even the White House press secretary was grilled about it.

    And then on Tuesday, in a one-sentence note at the bottom of the original online article, the Post acknowledged that almost none of it was true.

    “Editor’s note: The original version of this article said migrant kids were getting Harris’ book in a welcome kit, but has been updated to note that only one known copy of the book was given to a child,” it read in full.

    In fact, it’s not even clear whether a child actually received that single copy of the book, which was photographed by Reuters on a vacant bed at a shelter in Long Beach, Calif., last week. It was one of many items, including toys and clothing, donated by residents in a citywide drive [....]

    She'd like one narrative in particular to stop:

    Kreeger's 10 simple rules to survive a pandemic as a female research scientist... (if you're lucky)

    Some diffs in narrative

    this is the root of a real gnarly problem is it not?

    If you claim to be a democracy of some sort, you have to deal with the narratives that "the masses" buy into. After, they are the ones deliver food to your table, fix your car when it's broke and the holes in your roof.

    Primary school public education is fundamental here, it's the only chance society has to change generational thinking passed down by parents to children. Hence, there's always warring about what narratives are taught there.

    It's not a messed up elitist idea. It's an objective truth. It's unwise to say it if you want their votes but that doesn't make it false. I'm glad that there are some people picking vegetables, driving trucks to bring them to the store, and putting them on shelves but it doesn't require much intelligence to do that. Almost all intelligent people could do all those thing but most of those who do those things couldn't switch jobs with the elite and perform them well.

    There's a pretty tiny percentage between our smartest and our dumbest. We learn largely the way we did 200 years ago with only a little improvement in quality and speed, and our ability to communicate is stunted. That's our biggest challenge - how do we skip forward significantly?

    Let’s zip back in time for a second to 50,000 BC and kidnap someone and bring him back here to 2017.

    This is Bok. Bok, we’re really thankful that you and your people invented language.

    As a way to thank you, we want to show you all the amazing things we were able to build because of your invention.

    Alright, first let’s take Bok on a plane, and into a submarine, and to the top of the Burj Khalifa. Now we’ll show him a telescope and a TV and an iPhone. And now we’ll let him play around on the internet for a while.

    Okay that was fun. How’d it go, Bok?

    Yeah we figured that you’d be pretty surprised. To wrap up, let’s show him how we communicate with each other.


    Bok would be shocked to learn that despite all the magical powers humans have gained as a result of having learned to speak to each other, when it comes to actually speaking to each other, we’re no more magical than the people of his day. When two people are together and talking, they’re using 50,000-year-old technology.

    Bok might also be surprised that in a world run by fancy machines, the people who made all the machines are walking around with the same biological bodies that Bok and his friends walk around with. How can that be?

    Tiny in the ways we've developed to measure it but huge as it plays out in the world. I don't really like to talk exclusively about intelligence but about knowledge and intelligence combined. There is a correlation between the two at least in that intelligence affects the speed and ease of acquiring knowledge. The gulf between the smartest and the dumbest in knowledge and intelligence in todays world is huge

    When two people chat it may be similar to how two people chatted 50,000 years ago but when two elites discuss, or write or read, about their field of study it's not at all like a conversation had 50,000 years ago. Two doctors discussing a patient will not sound anything like two witch doctors discussing a patient. Many of the words they use are only a few hundred years old and have no equivalent 50,000 years ago

    Agreed. What will be permitted to be discussed is at stake in professional arguments.

    But i don't think those doctors are oh so much smarter - they just study the terminology and rules of health & medicine, while others do engineering or law  or finance or something else. But is it Zuckerberg that's smart or people who work for him, or are they largely worker drones just working on a software assembly line, taking their lunch pail to the beanbag equipped warehouse? Most people use hours more than smarts to succeed. Sure, there's a difference between people, but even the smarts part is limited usually. But how do we make intelligence improvement go exponential, allow people to absorb languages and doctoring and computing and lots of other info at the same time? While the amount of information in the world goes exponential, the capabilities if most people are a slightly raised line. How to escalate ability, speed learn, increase bandwidth to multiply info intake by 10, and then the wisdom to use that info...

    There is still a fundamental difference between the elite and the working class. Again, most of the jobs done by the working class can be easily learned and performed by the elite but most of the working class would be incapable of learning let along performing the tasks of the elite. Sure there are some intelligent people in the working class by choice, bad luck, or psychological problems but by and large most are intellectually stuck there. I was one of them. I worked as a musician, computer programmer, electronics repair, store clerk, on an organic farm, night watchman, home health care, landscaper, electrician, in several different factories, handyman doing plumbing, painting, electric work, ect. It took me significantly more time to learn to read an electronic schematic and trace down faulty components than it took me to learn plumbing. Even working as a drone on a software assembly line requires more intelligence than a drone on the assembly line in a factory. And the best of the software programmers are far above the average drone on a software assembly line.

    to add: It might seem like I'm bragging again but I'm not really. I was an intellectual among non-intellectuals for much of my life mostly because of psychological reasons. I was never a great programmer and I didn't study it in college. I took a 12 week course on programming in COBOL in the army to get a secondary MOS. Among two dozen other army recruits in the class I was far and above the best in the class. I wizzed through the material and was bored with the speed of the class as others struggled. I got perfect scores on every test and it was easy for me. Now it may be that had I competed with the best programmers at MIT I would have been the one falling behind. I'm not claiming to be a Google level programmer. But among these working class army recruits I stood out. And only the highest scorers on the army entrance exam were allowed to apply to be computer programmers. So my experience in this and many other endeavours convinces me that a disparity in intelligence exists and it's  significant. When people don't see it I wonder if they've ever spent time with the working class, because I've spent most of my life there.

    Your report is interesting. My experience in the building trade is similar and different. Some people want the most highly skilled but under their terms of employment.

    I used to be the one they were looking for but now don't care.

    I can do what I can do.

    Oh, i largely agree - though besides just the McJobs and skilled jobs, there's the managerial skilled & generic plus something above. But i used to have more confidence in the US upskilling it's labor force so it wouldn't need to compete as much with the rest of the world, could do more high productivity work, more differentiated work. But the companies themselves seem to want just a vat of replaceable workers with a few specialties - certified in some trendy area that'll be untrendy in 3 years, then back in the pool.

    Tom MIA (deleted?)

    found same Tom toon elsewhere and copied it fair use

    Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones will join the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s journalism school in July as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.

    Hannah-Jones, who covers civil rights and racial justice for The New York Times Magazine, won the 2020 Pulitzer for commentary for an essay she wrote as part of The 1619 Project, which highlights the long-term consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans.

    The appointment marks a return to the university for Hannah-Jones, who earned a master’s degree at its Hussman School of Journalism and Media in 2003.

    by rmrd0000 on Sun, 05/02/2021 - 1:09p

    My excerpt from the above that was posted on my "Humanities Academia in Crisis" blog entry.

     The project has been among the most widely read and debated works of journalism in recent years. While many praised it as a needed reassessment of American history, some scholars disputed it as excessively harsh in places.

    And the announcement notes that Knight Chair Professorships is a foundation-funded program to bring working professionals from outside the tenure-track-scholarly system to teach students practical skills of journalism

    Hannah-Jones began her career as an education reporter in North Carolina. She then worked at The Oregonian and at ProPublica before joining The New York Times in 2015. She tweeted Monday that she will continue to work for The Times.

    The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation endows the Knight Chair professorships, which allow top professionals to teach journalism students

    In her case it is activist journalism to promote a narrative framing, not scholarly history.

    She is going to teach them how to, as Wasow emphasizes at the top of this thread

    “Focus on conflict. Feed the algorithm. Make sure whatever you produce reinforces a narrative. Don’t worry if it is true.”

    Further, from the wikipedia entry,

    it should be noted that her Pulitzer was for "commentary", more commonly referred to as "Op Ed"

     she won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her work on The 1619 Project

     It is basically admiring of her skills at changing narrative in mass media.

    And that her vita is not as a historian, but as an activist journalist: AND THAT SHE DOES NOT HAVE A PHD, ONLY AN M.A. IN JOURNALISM

    She graduated from the University of North Carolin Huassman School of Journalism and Media with a master's degree in 2003, where she was a Roy H. Park Fellow.[8][9]


    In 2003, Hannah-Jones began her career covering the education beat, which included the predominantly African American Durham Public Schools, for the Raleigh News & Observer, a position she held for three years.[6]

    In 2006, Hannah-Jones moved to PortlandOregon, where she wrote for The Oregonian for six years. During this time she covered an enterprise assignment that included feature work, then the demographics beat, and then the government & census beats.[3]

    In 2007, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1965 Watts riots, Hannah-Jones wrote about its impact on the community for the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Commission.[10]

    From 2008 to 2009, Hannah-Jones received a fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies which enabled her to travel to Cuba to study universal healthcare and Cuba's educational system under Raul Castro.[11][12]

    In 2011, she joined the nonprofit news organization ProPublica, which is based in New York City, where she covered civil rights and continued research she started in Oregon on redlining and in-depth investigative reporting on the lack of enforcement of the Fair Housing Act for minorities.[13] Hannah-Jones also spent time in TuscaloosaAlabama, where the decision in Brown v. Board of Education had little effect.[14]

    Hannah-Jones was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.[15]

    1619 Project[edit]

    Main article: The 1619 Project

    In 2019, Hannah-Jones launched a project to re-examine the legacy of slavery in the United States, timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia.[31] Hannah-Jones produced a series of articles for a special issue of The New York Times Magazine titled The 1619 Project.[32] The ongoing initiative began August 14, 2019 and "aims to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative." [33] The project featured essays by a combination of staff writers and academics including Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse, Harvard-trained lawyer Bryan Stevenson, Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond, and SUNY historian Anne Bailey. In the opening essay, Hannah-Jones wrote "No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed." The project also included poems, short fiction, and a photo essay. Originally conceived of as a special issue, it was soon turned into a full-fledged project, including a special broadsheet section in the newspaper, live events, and a multi-episode podcast series.

    In 2020, Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her work on the 1619 Project.[34] The award cited her “sweeping, provocative and personal essay for the ground-breaking 1619 Project, which seeks to place the enslavement of Africans at the center of America’s story, prompting public conversation about the nation’s founding and evolution.”[35] Her paper was criticized by historians Gordon S. Wood and Leslie M. Harris, specifically for asserting that "one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery."[36][37][38] The article was “clarified” in March 2020 to read "for some of the colonists".[39] There was also debate around whether the project suggested the nation was founded in 1619 with the arrival of enslaved Africans rather than in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence.[40][41][42] Speaking to New York Times opinion writer Bret Stephens, Hannah-Jones said the suggestion of considering 1619 as a jumping-off point for interpreting US history had always been so self-evidently metaphorical that it went without saying.[43]

    New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute named the 1619 Project as one of the 10 greatest works of journalism in the decade from 2010 to 2019.[44]

    Controversies and criticism[edit]

    Criticism of the 1619 Project[edit]

    In the fall of 2019 the World Socialist Web Site interviewed four leading historians who had major problems with the 1619 Project. This included the leading historians of the American Revolution and the Civil War. Brown University’s Gordon Wood, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the American Revolution, “couldn’t believe” that Hannah-Jones had argued that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery.[45] Princeton’s James M. McPherson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for work on the Civil War, stated that he was “disturbed by what seemed like a very unbalanced, one-sided account, which lacked context and perspective on the complexity of slavery.”[46]

    On October 6, 2020, twenty-one scholars from around the United States signed a letter prepared by the National Association of Scholars asking that Hannah-Jones’s Pulitzer Prize be rescinded. The letter pointed out, among other things, factual mistakes, Hannah-Jones’ unwillingness to engage with critics, and that the New York Times had quietly dropped several of her key arguments in later versions of the 1619 Project.[47]

    also, this is the opposite of what historians are supposed to do:

    Other Controversies[edit]

    On April 19, 2020, Hannah-Jones stated in a since-deleted tweet that "There is a difference between being politically black and racially black." This caused critics to accuse her of race-baiting and virtue signaling, and they used the quote to discredit the 1619 Project.[48]

    Finally, her admiration for Ida B. Wells (to the point of using her name as her screen name of Twitter), is clarifying as to her role and agenda:

    Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting[edit]

    In early 2015, Nikole Hannah-Jones, along with Ron Nixon, Corey Johnson, and Topher Sanders, began dreaming of creating the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting.[49] This organization was launched in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2016, with the purpose of promoting investigative journalism, which is the least common type of reporting.[49] Following in the footsteps of Ida B. Wells, this society encourages minority journalists to expose injustices perpetuated by the government and defend people who are susceptible to being taken advantage of.[49] This organization was created with much support from the Open Society FoundationsFord Foundation, and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.[49]

    She is a 'MUCKRAKER", just as Ida was, which is to be an activist journalist, to pick out stories and narratives to tell and publicize that will hopefully promote change of societal agendas.

    This is not what historians are supposed to do. They are supposed to tell a WHOLE STORY whether they like what it says or not, to the best of their ability.

    This is, however, THE SAME THING that Caolan Robertson describes trying to do in the article cited by Omar Wasow at the top of this thread Focus on conflict. Feed the algorithm. Make sure whatever you produce reinforces a narrative. Don’t worry if it is true.

    No doubt in my mind that a major part of what Hannah-Jones will be teaching as a specially invited journalism professor from the "outside world" is exactly what Robertson was doing, the same methods.

    The current teaching on slavery is literally a whitewash

    The 1619 Project begins a corrective

    There have been other efforts to challenge the pathetic version of slavery taught in schools.

    "In the ways that we teach and learn about the history of American slavery," write the authors of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), "the nation needs an intervention."

    This new report, titled Teaching Hard History: American Slavery, is meant to be that intervention: a resource for teachers who are eager to help their students better understand slavery — not as some "peculiar institution" but as the blood-soaked bedrock on which the United States was built.

    The biggest concern of Leslie Harris, a historian who criticized the 1619 Project from within, was that placing slavery at the forefront of the Revolution who lead critics to dismiss the overall endeavor.

    From Harris.

    Overall, the 1619 Project is a much-needed corrective to the blindly celebratory histories that once dominated our understanding of the past—histories that wrongly suggested racism and slavery were not a central part of U.S. history. I was concerned that critics would use the overstated claim to discredit the entire undertaking. So far, that’s exactly what has happened.

    We will see how Wells performs as a professor and section chair. The book version of the 1619 Project arrives in November. 

    So far, Wells refuses to be canceled..


    In the Politico article above, Leslie Harris noted the following about two of the critics of the 1619 Project.

    By the time Gordon Wood and Sean Wilentz were publishing their first, highly acclaimed books on pre-Civil War America, in the early 1970s and mid-1980s, respectively, academic historians had begun, finally, to acknowledge African American history and slavery as a critical theme in American history. But Wood and Wilentz paid little attention to such matters in their first works on early America.

    In Wood’s exhaustive and foundational The Creation of the American Republic(1969), which details the development of republican ideology in the new nation, there is only one index listing for “Negroes,” and none for slavery. In his first book, Chants Democratic (1984), Wilentz sought to explain how New York’s antebellum-era working class took up republican ideals, which had been used by some Founding Fathers to limit citizenship, and rewrote the tenets to include themselves as full-fledged citizens. Yet Wilentz’s work largely ignored issues of race and black workers, even though New York had the largest population of enslaved black people in the Colonial North, the second-largest population of free black people in the antebellum urban North, and was the site of the most violent race riots of the 19th century. As I wrote in my own 2003 book, Wilentz created “a white hegemony more powerful than that which existed” during the era he was studying.

    It's great to throw these "largest" and "second-largest" around without numbers. By 1790 there were fewer than 5000 free blacks in New York. That may be significant for New York's history, but not so much for a history of antebellum America.

                  White           Free       Slave

    1790.    314,366      4,682      21,193

    1810     918,699     25,333    15,017

    1860.  3,831,590.   49,145        -

    ETA - as a little kid in the South, i recall quite a lot of discussion of blacks and slavery in antebellum US, even in early grades. They're saying this was ignored til 1969 or later? Or just that there's not as much as they'd like mentioned?

    The comments were about New York City's history. Harris' book title: In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863 (Historical Studies of Urban America).

    Hawley's setting up his own narrative:

    WATCH: BLM protesters bring traffic to a halt pissing people off and then demand pissed off commuter be arrested cuz he's pissed off.

    WATCH: the horrific antics of the white man, almost as horrific as the unfeeling Chauvin in the George Floyd case!!!

    Yeah, that's the white privilege narrative. whypipple with cars feel entitled to the streets created for cars.

    Funny that anti-car pro-bicycle people utilize a variant of this narrative, only it's not about race, it's about drivers of cars. They too act like Nazis who feel entitled to the streets which were originally created for cars.

    Ah but lately I notice angry pedestrians have a narrative as well (and some car drivers too) striking back against bicyclists who act like Nazis and think they own the road now that they have their own lanes....

    which begs the question about what's gonna happen when there's driverless cars--I vaguely recall there's a dystopian futuristic movie where near-human robots are brought in to do coliseum-like shows for humans where they are tortured in various ways and the humans cheer?

    Cue up the famous Rodney King plea here....

    Facebook's decision on readmitting Trump is going to enrage people. But there's more to the story

    Opinion by Christopher A. Bail  @, 5 hrs. ago

    Four months ago, Facebook announced former President Donald Trump had been suspended indefinitely from its platform. On Wednesday morning, Facebook's oversight board -- a first-of-its-kind group of legal experts and human rights leaders -- will announce its decision about whether Trump will be permanently banned.

    Facebook's decision will be a litmus test for social media platforms' capacity to draw the line between the protection of free speech and public safety. But no matter what the outcome, one thing is certain: it will enrage many Americans, and even more will feel helpless about the prospect of political reconciliation on social media. So before Trump takes the spotlight in ongoing discussions about social media and politics once again, is there anything that we -- the citizens of social media -- can do to stem the tide of polarization on our platforms?

    That question may seem wrongheaded. By popular accounts, it was social media companies that trapped us inside ideological echo chambers, ignored misinformation campaigns that divided us even further and built algorithms that radicalize us for profit. But what if I told you that the evidence for each of these claims is surprisingly thin?

    Four years ago, I founded the Polarization Lab at Duke University. We use the tools of computational social science to research the key drivers of political polarization and build new technology to help social media users implement insights from our research.

    Social media companies are by no means blameless for our current situation. But the latest research indicates that most people are not stuck inside political echo chambers, misinformation can have surprisingly little impact on our views and algorithms probably only radicalize a tiny fraction of people.

    These findings may seem surprising, but they are actually quite consistent with decades of research about public opinion. Most people don't care very much about politics, and those that do usually have very strong views that are difficult to change. The small group of people who follow politics closely enough to erect strong echo chambers around themselves also see and share the vast majority of fake news [....]

    Hopefully, the 1619 Project will act as a counter to the real nonsense that opponents of critical race theory want taught in classrooms 

    From Tennessee:

    Tennessee state Rep. Justin Lafferty (R) on Tuesday argued that the three-fifths compromise should be held up as a positive but "bitter" part of U.S. history when arguing for a bill that would prohibit critical race theory from being taught in Tennessee public schools.

    The Tennessee House of Representatives was debating a bill, HB0580, that would prohibit critical race theory from being taught in schools.

    “I’ve sat here praying for about five or 10 minutes about how I'm going to try and address the body in this issue. Still not sure I have the answer, but if you guys will bear with me, I'll see where it takes us,” Lafferty said on the House floor.

    The lawmaker went on to argue that the agreement to count three-fifths of a slave population when determining taxation and representation in the U.S. House was intended to help end slavery “well before Abraham Lincoln. Well before Civil War.”

    He said it “was a direct effort to ensure that southern states never got the population necessary to continue the practice of slavery everywhere else in the country” by limiting the number of representatives slave-owning states had in Congress.

    It's an argument that occasionally comes up among lawmakers, though historians generally agree the three-fifths compromise, which was reached in 1787 increased the power of slave-holding states. Slavery was not abolished in the U.S. for another 90 years

    He also lauded the country’s founders for “biting a bitter, bitter pill” of slavery in order to ensure the support of the southern states in the Revolutionary War.

    “I don't hear that anywhere in this conversation across the country. I don't know how we've gotten here. I don't know what we do about it, but talking about changing our history — changing is not the right word — talking about incorporating another view of history, while ignoring the very writings that we have access to is no way to go about it,” Lafferty said.

    After Lafferty stopped speaking, Republican members of the House stood up and applauded his remarks.

    This nonsense is acceptable to legislators oh so worried about CRT.

    Who needs 1619 when we got Wikipedia:

    Sounds like 3/5 was suggested to keep the South from being taxed fully on slaves - a national tax that never happened, but as "compromise" they let the South count non-voting slaves as 3/5 a vote, a huge boon for Southern power, not realized so much at that time, but a decade or 2 later as the invention of the cotton gin led to a huge expansion of slaves in sparsely populated new states (Daniel Boone's pioneering legacy), slave states could then keep up with high immigration northern states (and a pretty powerful enticement to expand slavery - a kind of forced gerrymandering with black people as census tokens)

    How encouraging the South to fight *after* the war is fit is one of those great leaps of logic from our suthurn education system, requiring 6th grade eddykayshun/12 years of skoolin'.

    If that is the Southern education system, 1619 should be no problem.

    No school system is being forced to teach information from the 1619 Project

    Other gems from the current system:

    Louisiana Lawmaker Wants to Ban ‘Divisive Concepts’ Like Critical Race Theory, Also Wants to Teach About the ‘Good’ in Slavery

    From Senator Tom Cotton

    Tom Cotton describes slavery as a ‘necessary evil’ in bid to keep schools from teaching 1619 Project

    Given the crap currently taught, 1619 might bring a needed change.


    Robert Woodson publishes a counter to 1619.

    Robert Woodson's "Red, White, and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers" is set for release on the 11th. We will get his rebuke of 1619 in a series of essays by various authors.

    What the hell? "Politicians are foisting off bastardized history" is right up there with "dog scratched himself".

    Again, show me where Wikipedia isn't enough to describe basic history, without a major spin and propaganda job like 1619? You didn't like Southern Lost Cause mythology - why do you think critical rice theory mythology is more edifying? Why not history? Just yesterday Judges Berman Jackson Tóře the DoJ a new asshole for presenting a final conclusion as a "protected deliberative document" - we all know what happens when we draw the conclusions first and then write the justifications. 1619 will turn out no different - it's an exercise in self-stroking masturbation and mutual dry humping presented as "history". Fine if you do it in your bathroom, not in public. Rosy Palms and Sticky Wicket are accepted expert citations among experts.

    Bonding around a lie as a kind of hazing/initiation ceremony

    Now here's "working to outlaw indoctrination of one narrative in public institutions":

    Matthew spots more distorting narratives for and against distorting narrative:

    In each of these stories there is such a contrast between the headlines and the text of the legislation, with both GOP legislators and angry liberals seemingly invested in overstating the drama.

    — Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) May 7, 2021

    When we say our algorithms are not for your kinda narratives, we mean it: Twitter Suspends Trump's New Account For Trying To Evade The Ban On His Old Account

    By Tommy Baer @, May 6


     Twitter has suspended an account created to share posts from a website recently launched by former President Donald Trump, claiming the new handle is an attempt to bypass the suspension of his personal account, in the latest move by a major social media company limiting Trump's ability to spread his message.


    The new site, "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump," went live Tuesday, as did its accompanying Twitter handle, @DJTDesk.    

    By late Wednesday night, the account had been suspended

    A Twitter spokesperson told Forbes: "As stated in our ban evasion policy, we'll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account." [....]

    Which narrative is which?

    I have noticed in the past that tribal narratives of all kinds do often have a problem fitting in with The Olympics' own longtime (and very transparent) narrative of competition between nation states!

    Beware things like ...when government officials abused by Trump were instinctively deified by liberal Twitter and cable TV... Especially when your own health and life are at risk - enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend.

    Fake net neutrality campaign finally recognized as fake net neutrality campaign.

    Tribal narratives are the air that Identity Politics breathes:

    The Nazis did it, why not everyone else, huh?


    How small numbers win

    sounds so familiar somehow

    You may have posted this already, not worth taking time to check ;-) or else your comment is about the paradigm itself, how minority views/concerns gain the most acceptance 

    Oh I didn't mean the article, I meant it sarcastically, about certain interactions herewink

    Not really - those minority views haven't got accepted or mainstreamed - the blog's just gotten smaller.

    Not many profitable narratives to push today:

    Unhappy Days

    Show of strength @ Apple Weakly

    Nothing says power like 2000 women bonding together to take in 1 obnoxious dude

    (thank God he's Hispanic - hate to have another chit against us whiteys)

    wow that's this guy, I follow him on Twitter, he's a very eloquent writer of the european type, author of the best seller Chaos Monkeys. He's more into deconstructing narratives rather than creating them. He's certainly no misogynist of the base internet incel type or geek, more "courtly" if anything. I vaguely recall seeing him tweeting a couple adoring things about his little daughter. I guess I could imagine a little of Pablo Picasso type attitude towards wimmin in him, but then again not really. I'd certainly have no problem with working for him! Your link does make it sound like he's the classic male geek type and he's not that at all, I didn't realize it was about the same guy until I googled.

    Conor Friedersdorf on The Verge story:

    Block the box... but also, investigate all potential hires for any bygone wrongthink published in their writing careers. Does no one understand how giving these incentives to hiring bureaucracies at major corporations will chill expression for everyone?

    — Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) May 13, 2021

    I should add to his point with this: in reading his Twitter feed over time, Garcia Martinez appeared to me to take this job (which he never identified what it was, just mentioned it in general and then would tweet about being back in the city) as doing it NOT because he needed a job, because he didn't, and he actually preferred living away from the city, on a houseboat of some sort. But he was tempted by a chance to give "Silicon Valley" one more try, to get it to do things better than he described in "Chaos Monkeys" and elsewhere. So basically it sounded like they recruited him, not the other way around. Possibly as a "creative", someone with alternative ideas on how to do things.

    Which makes Friedersdorf's point more pungent, about bureaucracies, how they stifle speech and creativity.

    One thing I'm sure of: Garcia-Martinez would have a "well then take this job and shove it" attitude, carry on with your crap that you apparently need, I'll gladly leave. Very similar in many ways to Yglesias' situation at Vox.

    And what do you do about the ladies on Goodreads who give him 3.5-5 stars over on Goodreads? Some acknowledging how misogynistic he is yet liked or loved it anyway? Should they write to Apple management too, or are we back to the small numbers thing - we give more consideration to intolerant people's opinion than tolerant ones'. Cause the latter are chill, the former are Banshees (am i allowed to appropriate that tribe still?)

    [oh, i thought Banshees were native Americans of some sort, but instead it's a misogynistic term for faeries who herald death, or a seminal goth 80s band with a female singer who i met in a cafe/book reading one night and took to a gay bar for the sake of her friend.]

    Silicon Valley behemoth that stores data on everyone around the world didn't know what a guy wrote 5 years ago in a best seller about Silicon Valley.

    Rebekah Jones, the COVID Whistleblower Who Wasn’t (about Florida Covid data)

    Remarkable story

    — Ben Smith (@benyt) May 13, 2021

    Found retweeted by Maggie Haberman; Ben Smith is NYTimes' media columnist

    Edit to add Smith's second tweet:

    Here's @zeynep on progressive delusions about Florida death rates

    — Ben Smith (@benyt) May 13, 2021

    "@zeynep" writes on Complex systems, wicked problems. Society, technology and more. @UNC professor. Word in @TheAtlantic@NYTimes My newsletter is @insight :

    Her full name is Zeynep Tufekci She is McColl Term Associate Professor, UNC School of Information and Library Science.

    Ouch. Plus why does everything we know about Covid seem to be wrong?

    could be it's all wimmin's fault cheeky

    You know the Chaos Monkeys guy fired from Apple for his misogynistic rant about women? That was to say how lame all the other women were, but his was brilliant and persevering and ruthless and would go all Ninja Warrior if she needed to take someone out... , my girl is red hot, your girl aint diddley squat...

    I'm worried that where guys have (or had) a reputation for being better joke tellers, for even having tons of jokes ready to tell, while many women may not have a single one, that just the idea of getting the joke will be lost, or appreciating humor - all turned literal.

    I read Chaos Monkeys, and the writing is pretty brilliant - he's not just telling a Silicon Valley tale - he's doing his best to make every paragraph funny, irreverent, interesting - and pretty much succeeding, far past this LinkedIn motivation porn with cringey dad humor and what not. And the reward for writing brilliantly is... canned. Well, he gets to sit on his expensive yacht and sail around the Seattle coastline, so not a tale if woe, but i can only imagine how shitty work-life in the 90's would have been if every bit of humor had been denied, not to mention flirting in reasonable circumstances. We're all getting weird.

    (tho someone who'd worked at WaPo said there were basically no women in decent management positions so they had to go outside to hire rather than promote from within. So again, these check marks at the top aren't the whole story either)

    He basically has an answer for you in his latest tweet:

    Once in my teen years, we were taking a family photo and someone suggested I kneel in front to fit everyone into the frame.

    My flinty Cuban grandma suddenly interjected 'de rodillas nunca!'. 'On your knees, never!'

    She ordered me to stand instead.

    Thinking of that now.

    — Antonio García Martínez (@antoniogm) May 14, 2021

    Maybe it's that Cuban blood, Yglesias has it too?

    In following him (which I did because it was very very clear he was a good writer, just having read tweets by him and nothing else, with a sophisticated, almost jaded worldly cultural outlook,) I learned he was a cat fan, rather than a dog guy. A cat guy is not the sign of a misogynist, rather it is a male who is sometimes bewitched and bedazzled by the other sex. It's a dog guy who throws a cat down the stairs if it claws something and can't stand their independence, dog guys like the fawning unconditional adoration that comes from a dog.

    yes Yglesias is empathetic:

    He is writing a story, aggrandized non-fiction, like the half lies more interesting embellishments i tell when back from travel. Part is of course his personality, and the Cuban and other specific traits help give it a unique flavor - he doesn't know who Lady Gaga is, hates music, yadda yadda. But also he has some keen perceptions of people and situations, and a nice spiced up gift for description without (IMHO) coming across too much.*

    Imagine Hunter Thompson writing, yet worried about job references afterwards. Fear and Nothingness in Las Vegas. This new world is gonna suck. In the book, there are just lots of things to *think about*, unique perspectives whether you agree or not. Isn't that much of why we read?

    I remember a while back a book "my cousin, my gastroenterologist",back in the 80s where it felt like the writer was trying to cram way too much in, trying to be clever. Here it feels stuffed but largely effortless, while still being an excellent practical business book... (Like any TED Talk, don't take it too literal). well done 

    Story actually does very much belong on this thread. Woke cancellers are pushing certain narratives but those are very situationally limited and myopic, and one could say, selfish:

    When you work with the Chinese government and Dr. Dre but declare that someone with no history of violence at all renders you unsafe something is amiss.

    — Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) May 14, 2021

    Corporate U.S. likes this, they don't have to stretch too too much to keep all you elites as employees and customers.


    Again Taibbi is great when he stays away from Russia.

    And here's that paean of affection that jumped out at me as well - misogyny? The boy's in love, and this is way into the applaud zone of non-sexual female appreciation for a Cuban:

    British Trader, on the other hand, was the sort of woman who would end up a useful ally in that postapocalypse, doing whatever work—be it carpentry, animal husbandry, or a shotgun blast to someone’s back—required doing.

    One has to look hard in adventure movies for females sharing the weight like this - Angelina Jolie as co-assassin in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Karen Allen drinking Sherpas under the table in some Indiana Jones, the resourceful Muslim women in Battle for Algiers slipping through heart stopping checkpoints and setting off café bombs....

    heh, got to admit this is a good one as to the Apple-Woke-Employee-Narrative:


    Personally I believe CNN & MSNBC does this too, especially in its nighttime programming. Including complaining about media not covering it, whatever it is. It's just different topics, of course.

    It's part of marketing - "tune in here for what the others won't tell you" - basic differentiating 

    Promoting Controversy (& saving it)

    Latest Comments