#whoknew

MSNBC producer quits over toxic editorial process

Former MSNBC producer Ariana Pekary has written an open letter describing the toxic work environment much like Bari Weiss notes at The NY Times.

Pekary wrote,

July 24th was my last day at MSNBC. I don’t know what I’m going to do next exactly but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore…My colleagues are very smart people with good intentions. The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis

You may not watch MSNBC but just know that this problem still affects you, too. All the commercial networks function the same – and no doubt that content seeps into your social media feed, one way or the other...

….Likewise, it’s taboo to discuss how the ratings scheme distorts content, or it’s simply taken for granted, because everyone in the commercial broadcast news industry is doing the exact same thing…

…But behind closed doors, industry leaders will admit the damage that’s being done…

The model blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others… all because it pumps up the ratings…This cancer risks human lives, even in the middle of a pandemic...this cancer risks our democracy…context and factual data are often considered too cumbersome for the audience…

Why is this a surprise? As we’ve said for ages, clickbait is all that matters. It doesn’t matter who is besmirched, smeared or has their career ended, as long as it sells advertising.

Who knew? NYT opinion editor quits citing lack of integrity at the paper

NYT

NY Times opinion editor Bari Weiss has quit the paper effectively saying that the newspaper has lost any ability to seek balance post Trump’s 2016 election win. We post an excerpt of the resignation letter she wrote to her boss,

But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else...

...Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.

…There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.

..some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are

I do not understand how you have allowed this kind of behavior to go on inside your company in full view of the paper’s entire staff and the public. And I certainly can’t square how you and other Times leaders have stood by while simultaneously praising me in private for my courage. Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery…

…Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But the truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.

What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital Thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.

Who knew? So much for all the news that is fit to print.

Who knew? Gone with the Wind now #1 selling DVD on Amazon

No sooner had HBO removed ‘Gone with the Wind‘ from its streaming service, it became Amazon’s #1 selling movie title.

Who knew people hated having others decide what they are allowed to consume?