Sarah Palin Splits Open Her Head While ‘Rock-Running,’ Responds With Anti-Clinton Rant

August 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) took a fall while rock-running over the weekend, and shared images of the bloody welt on her head on social media.

“I tripped over my own two feet and crashed & burned face-first,” the former Republican vice presidential nominee wrote. 

But what stood out most were not the images, but the text that accompanied them. Palin also took the opportunity to blast Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her lack of press conferences.

No press conferences for nearly a year? No scheduled campaign events for days upon days?” Palin wrote. “No statements, no answers, no accountability, no problem. Layin’ low to run out the clock before November, but you’re SEXIST for noticing it.”

She added:

“Leave Hillary alone! All that email-evidenced yoga, and wedding planning, and cookie-baking-grandma-duty wears you out. Believe you me.

Heck, even those of us claiming to be fit as a (seasoned?) fiddle, hit bumps in the wellness road. Even I. Especially I. (Remember Piper’s middle name is “Grace”; mine isn’t.)”  

Palin then connected her injury to Clinton… sort of.

“Rock-running recently, I tripped over my own two feet and crashed & burned face-first. I recovered with the doc’s SuperGlue, and now any man who asks ‘what happened?’ I’ll refer to as just a mean ol’ SEXIST bully.

Glad for Hillary’s protective media’s precedence. The next woman running for POTUS has no need to answer to much of anything, for we’ve got weddings to plan, and Down Dogs to do, and cookies in the oven! So just leave us alone, boys.”


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Don Cheadle Calls Donald Trump A ‘POS,’ Tells Him To ‘Die In A Grease Fire’

August 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Award-winning actor and filmmaker Don Cheadle had some harsh words for Donald Trump after the Republican presidential candidate attempted to use a deadly shooting in Chicago to score political points over the weekend. 

“Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”

The tweet was criticized by many, including Cheadle: 

You are truly a POS

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

Sorry. I misspelled "die in a grease fire."

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

Cheadle later called it “hyperbole.” 

Oh, boy. Really? Do you know what "hyperbole" is? I don't wish him actual death! Just want him to shut up and lose!

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 28, 2016

Cheadle didn’t mention how he settled on “die in a grease fire,” but the phrase is commonly used among poker enthusiasts? and he is an avid player. 

Shortly afterward, the trolls came after Cheadle, but he was ready for them: 

Thought provoking and penetrating balanced assessment of the …. Wait…

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

Doh duh doy doy doy …

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

Sorry. I couldn't hear you through all that flag flapping.

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

Ewww. I hate caviar. And I'm looking up "rich black guy guilt." Hope there's a salve for that …

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

Where's this mansion I have that ppl keep talking about?! Somebody must be squatting in it.

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

35million?!? If I had 35 million I'd never work again!! You get that off a rando website or something?! Hilarious

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

Oh, honey. You know so little about how all this works. But that's ok. It's inside baseball. Be well. Bye.

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016

HAHAHAHA!!! Now THAT'S a new one!!

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 28, 2016

Spoiler alert; you missed the whole point of the film. Maybe time to rethink your career path.

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 28, 2016

Thanks, Jesus. But…who do YOU pray to…?

— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 28, 2016

While “die in a grease fire” is a phrase that’s been around for a while, Cheadle’s takedown of his trolls may have led to the creation of a new one, courtesy of Hollywood veteran/”Seinfeld” alum Danny Woodburn: 

Can this be a thing?

"I'm about to go @DonCheadle on his ass"

You know, when smart and informed points out ignorance and hate.

— Danny Woodburn (@DannyWoodburn) August 28, 2016

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Donald Trump: The NSA Is ‘Coddling’ Hillary Clinton

August 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Donald Trump accused the National Security Agency on Friday of having the ability to access Hillary Clinton’s erased emails, but declining to do so in order to protect the Democratic presidential nominee.

“I hear the NSA maybe has the emails,” Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News’ “On The Record.” “A lot of people say the NSA would have the emails if they really wanted to get them.”

“Obviously they don’t want to get them,” he added. “They’re protecting her, they’re coddling her. And it’s the only way she could even consider running.”

Clinton deleted some 32,000 personal emails from a private server she used as secretary of state after her lawyers determined that they did not contain information relevant to her work for the government. The State Department has already released 30,000 of Clinton’s work-related emails to the public, and is scheduled to release an additional 15,000 in the coming months.

In July, the Federal Bureau of Investigation declined to prosecute Clinton for using a private email server during her time as secretary. FBI Director James Comey, a Republican, condemned Clinton’s behavior as “extremely careless” after the agency found there were 100 classified messages on the private server.

But Comey argued that “no reasonable prosecutor” would press charges because of the absence of evidence that Clinton intended to use the server to send classified information. None of the classified information she sent or received was entirely properly marked as classified.

Trump has argued that Clinton’s deletion of a portion of the emails is evidence of a criminal coverup that law enforcement should have pressed charges on.

Trump implied on Friday that Clinton’s only reason for deleting the emails is that they contained some kind of damning evidence against her.

“She knows what was on those emails and it was very, very bad,” he said. “And maybe somebody should, in fact, ask the NSA whether or not they have the emails.”

Attributing unsubstantiated rumors to an anonymous “they” is one of Trump’s preferred methods for peddling theories without fully taking ownership of them.

He employed the same language to accuse the NSA of going easy on Clinton during a campaign rally in Altoona, Pennsylvania, earlier this month.

“I don’t know what the law is, but they say that they would have the emails,” he said.

“I guess somebody came out from the NSA and they said, ‘We have everybody’s emails,’” Trump continued, apparently referring to the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “So I don’t think they tried too hard. Do you, folks?”

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Stephen Colbert Breaks Down Exactly Why Gandalf Doesn’t Do Weddings

August 27, 2016 by  
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Stephen Colbert channeled his inner Sauron to explain exactly why Gandalf doesn’t officiate weddings.

The Late Show” host and “Lord of the Rings” superfan broke it down after it emerged English actor Sir Ian McKellen, who played the character in the movie trilogy, turned down an offer to wed Napster founder Sean Parker and his now-wife, Alexandra Lenas, at their Tolkien-esque nuptials in 2013.  

“Damn right, Gandalf doesn’t have time to marry you, Sean Parker!” Colbert began by saying on Friday.

In case you didn't catch all that. #LSSC

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) August 27, 2016

“He is the servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame or Anor,” he continued, before ramping up the rhetoric.

“He killed the mother truckin’ Balrog, after chasing the ancient immortal demon through the tunnels of Khazad Dum until they climbed to the peak of Zirakzigil where he smote the demon’s ruin on the mountain side.”

So now we know. 

Check it out in the clip above.

Colbert has form in showing off his immense LOTR knowledge, as evident in this clip from early August ? when he answered audience questions on the topic to great effect:

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=55a7b9f1e4b0c5f0322c6d87,55ad0c96e4b0d2ded39f6c73,5736158ae4b077d4d6f2fe56

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Why I Just Can’t Support ‘The Birth Of A Nation’

August 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

In light of the fiasco surrounding Nate Parker, and thus, his upcoming film, The Birth of A Nation in which Parker is the star, producer, director, and co-writer, I’ve been asked several times if I’m going to see the film.

I’ve already seen it. And I typically don’t go to the theatre to see movies I’ve already seen at a screening. So to announce, “I am not going to see it!” is sanctimonious and silly. It’s not like I’m sacrificing anything. But I would like to see it again. I want to sit with it and dissect it this time.

That’s only part of the reason I haven’t joined the unofficial boycott of The Birth of A Nation. The other part? Honestly? I’ve been waiting for Nate Parker to pull his sh–together and fix this mess. It’s been two weeks since the story of his 1999 rape charges surfaced in national publications, and he hasn’t done that yet. As such, I still have moral conflict about going to the theatre. Unless that’s resolved, I’m sitting this one out. There are too many things worthy of a having a moral conflict over. A movie– I don’t care who it’s about or how good it is– isn’t one of them.

I want to explain my decision. Nate Parker did a horrible thing many, many years ago. And after he was in the middle of a media storm resulting from the interviews he did with Variety and Deadline addressing his 1999 rape accusations, he said as much.

“There are things more important than the law” Parker wrote in a Facebook status update last week. “There is morality; no one who calls himself a man of faith should even be in that situation… I look back on that time as a teenager and can say without hesitation that I should have used more wisdom.”

“I am withholding my support for Parker because I have to, not because I want to.”

My problem with Parker is less about his past that cannot be changed and more about his recent interviews with Variety and Deadline where he sounded like a man who had not properly reflected upon his moral shortcomings. Addressing his 1999 rape accusations, which most people didn’t know about, he came across so smug, so dismissive, so self-centered as if he’s learned nothing about rape, consent, accountability, the value of women he isn’t related to, or even how to make a decent apology. I read those interviews and I felt like that Tyra clip from ANTM where she was yelling at the girl, “I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you! How dare you!”

If Parker said in his initial interviews what he finally did in his Facebook post after all hell broke loose, he would have a lot more people rooting for him now, trying to work with a Brother. On Facebook, he sounded apologetic, contrite, like he “got it.” But because of the timing, because he sounded so different than his scheduled interviews, his prepared statement came across as less than sincere, and more like a desperate man trying to save himself and his magnum opus.

I am withholding my support for Parker because I have to, not because I want to. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of women who are up in arms about Parker, myself included, take no joy in it.

Women are tired of being asked to overlook men’s unrepentant misogyny. TIRED. Nate Parker isn’t the first to screw up. And he won’t be the last. But how many more folk are women expected to turn a blind eye to? We’re supposed to shut up about King’s affairs because he had a dream. And Tyson’s rape because he could fight and sounded funny using big words. And Kellz because he could sing everything from opera to hip-hop to classic R&B. And Cosby because he created The Cosby Show and A Different World which were positive images of black people. And countless rappers ’cause they can rhyme, even if it’s about “hos” over a catchy beat. And now Parker too just because he can act, produce and direct all at once?

“Why are we expected to support the works of shady men and pretend their misogyny isn’t problematic?.”

Ugh! When do women become the priority? Why are we expected to support the works of shady men and pretend their misogyny, their abuse, and their disregard isn’t problematic? When do we say enough?

For many, it’s right now.

Don’t mistake the roots of Parker’s backlash for something they are not. What you see on the surface is rage, but underneath that is a vast disappointment. It was women who filled the theatres to see The Great Debaters and Beyond the Lights. We were the ones bringing men along for #datenight. We supported Parker, swooned for him, some of us even championed him as “the next Denzel.” On screen and off, he presented himself like the type of guy you want to marry, or you want your son to be or your daughter to date. He sold the dream and we bought it one ticket at a time. We liked supporting him. We were anticipating his upcoming film. We wanted to give him our money.

Everyday that passes since Nate Parker broke this story to Variety and Deadline, I am more disappointed in him and his team. I want to see this movie. But I want to do so without feeling like I’m supporting a man who doesn’t get the gravity and depravity of his actions. I have been waiting for Parker to do something that makes me feel it’s okay to support him.

My God, man! Stop sitting in the hidey hole and announce a high school/ college/church tour in conjunction with a leading anti-rape organization to talk about consent/rape/”no means no.” Upload a PSA in conjunction with a survivor’s advocacy organization to educate people about consent. Write a large check to a rape crisis center. Has no one on his team heard of restorative justice?

I can’t go see The Birth of A Nation. And for the folks that don’t get it, understand that supporting this movie is like supporting a white director making a great film about the black experience (say like Norman Jewison and A Soldier’s Story.) And then you find out the director was in the Klan twenty years ago. And then when he does interviews about his past Klan activity, he speaks of it with little remorse, and keeps talking about his best friends are black. Would you support that film?

If you want to see The Birth of A Nation, by all means, go. Enjoy. But stop asking folks who are morally outraged to go along with you.

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Kanye West Reportedly Has Free Reign To Do Whatever He Wants On VMAs Stage

August 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Kanye West has a history of generating buzzworthy moments at the VMAs and it seems MTV producers are hoping he works his magic again. 

TMZ reports that producers have offered the rapper free reign when he takes the stage this weekend. Sources told the website that producers are giving West four minutes to do as he sees fit ? which could mean anything. 

A rep for MTV would only confirm to The Huffington Post that West would, in fact, be attending the show this weekend. That news doesn’t come as a surprise, since he’s nominated for three awards and wife Kim Kardashian was previously announced as a presenter. 

What West will do with free reign for four minutes is anyone’s guess. Last year, he was honored with the Video Vanguard Award, and during his time onstage announced his intent to run for president in 2020

Get More:

He also said the following:  “I think about when I’m in the grocery store with my daughter and I have a really great conversation about fresh juice at the … you know.” You know?

Meanwhile, if rumors of West’s no-limits appearance don’t pan out, executive producer Jesse Ignjatovic told Entertainment Weekly that the performance from Rihanna, who’s getting the Video Vanguard award this year, is going to be one for the history books. 

“I can tell you it’s going to be one of those holy crap VMA moments,” he said. “She’s not playing. She’s bringing it.”

Likewise, he also told the publication that Britney Spears is working on something unlike any performance she’s done in the past when she performs “Make Me” for the first time on Sunday.

Request for comment made by The Huffington Post to West’s rep has yet to be returned at this time. 

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AP’s Bombshell Clinton Foundation Report Comes Under Scrutiny

August 24, 2016 by  
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Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign fired back Wednesday after a major Associated Press report raised serious ethical questions over ties between the State Department under Clinton and her family’s charitable organization, with Clinton’s team arguing that the AP data was woefully out of context.

The AP found that of the 154 meetings Clinton held with private officials (i.e., those not in the domestic or foreign governments), 85 of those were with people who “gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation.”

The finding set off a round of criticism aimed at Clinton for blurring ethical lines and granting access to friends and high bidders. But in the hours that followed, questions began to mount about the presentation of the AP story.

The AP got called out for a misleading (and widely shared) tweet accompanying the report that made it appear that half of all Clinton’s meetings ? not just those with private officials ? had taken place with foundation donors. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias challenged the broader thrust of the AP’s story even further, arguing that the AP framed its findings as more scandalous than they warranted. Though Yglesias acknowledged that potential links between Clinton’s State Department and the candidate deserved scrutiny, he argued that donors who apparently received preferential access actually deserved it and were pushing unobjectionable, noble causes.

The Clinton campaign quickly circulated the Vox article, in addition to noting that some of the relationships that the AP highlighted ? including one with Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Prize-winning Bangladeshi economist ? existed before Clinton’s tenure at state.

Their frustrations with the AP story didn’t end there, however.

Aides to the Democratic nominee say that the AP has not given them the actual list of the 85 foundation donors who the outlet says got access to Clinton while she was at State, making it hard for them to rebut charges that she engaged in quid-pro-quos. But on Wednesday, they began filling in the holes.

“We have applied the AP’s criteria on our own, cross-referencing publicly available donor info with publicly available schedules of her meetings,” the campaign’s press secretary, Brian Fallon, told The Huffington Post.

Among the names of people they believe the AP is referencing are the late Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo and actor Ben Affleck. The latter two have parlayed their fame into global philanthropy campaigns and humanitarian efforts.

Another "donor" that met w/Clinton, according to AP's method: Ben Affleck. Here he is meeting with Kerry. Scandal!

— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) August 24, 2016

Another "donor" who met with Hillary Clinton, according to AP: the late Elie Wiesel. This might be the most galling example yet.

— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) August 24, 2016

The Associated Press declined on Wednesday to disclose the list of 85 people who it reportedly identified as having donated as much as $156 million to the foundation.

“We are still reporting on them ? cross-referencing information and so on,” AP Director of Media Relations Paul Colford told HuffPost, adding that the news organization is “not done with the names yet.”

That is well within their rights, considering how hard the outlet worked to get the data. Along with publicly available information, the news wire based Tuesday’s report on new details about Clinton’s State Department schedule that it obtained after suing the department last year. So far, the AP has received Clinton’s more detailed schedules for half of her four-year tenure.

The AP broadly defended its work Wednesday in a statement published on its website. The news organization, Colford wrote, “has been transparent in how it has reported this story.”

Colford added that the AP hopes to obtain the remaining two years of Clinton’s detailed schedules at the State Department before Election Day.

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A Changing Media: Crisis Or Opportunity?

August 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

This is an excerpt from my chapter for Don’t Dream It’s Over: Reimagining journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, a collaborative title exploring the past, present and future of journalism in New Zealand, commissioned and compiled by the good people at Freerange Press. I was an editor on the book, which is out this week.

Read in full, with references, via


The way in which truth and fact are conjured is once again evolving, and who and what qualifies as the media is being redefined. Legacy media – the traditional honchos – are far from dead, but social media networks have become profoundly influential in a relatively short space of time. It has been claimed that the rise of networking platforms has simply facilitated a switching out of one set of gatekeepers for another. Facebook and Twitter et al. – and increasingly messaging apps like WeChat, Telegram, WhatsApp and Line – are the new agenda-setting portals and curators of information, entertainment and ‘the news’. In response, a growing number rely on some sort of digital device to stay connected and to stay informed. Whether you’re a kid in Dunedin watching music videos or a refugee staying in touch with family via smartphone, being able to tap into the mainframe matters. What’s more, in 2016 Google collected $67 million in advertising revenue in New Zealand, equivalent to a winning 37 percent of the market; Facebook took second place with $29.5 million, or 16 percent. Traditional media – and even established new outlets like BuzzFeed and Mashable – are struggling to compete as commercial operations, particularly as mechanisms for bartering online advertising space and ad blockers become simultaneously more and more intelligent.

New Zealand’s big media outlets aren’t exempt from the pressure this engenders. Redundancies, resignations, mergers and the rest have made the fact they’re struggling to retain audiences and market share – and the authority and credibility they were once more or less regarded as holding – hard to hide. But perhaps the whittling of ascendancy this represents isn’t all bad. Digital tools, online spaces and the new avenues for communication they offer, allow a wider range of views to be presented and potentially heard, strengthening – or diluting, depending on your take – the pool of thought. Social networking and user-generated content platforms have blurred, and in some cases entirely removed, distinctions between consumers and producers of media content. For journalists this is of course a double-edged sword: on the one hand it offers opportunities to more effectively connect with audiences and source some types of information; on the other, new media can be overwhelming and downright time-consuming to manage. And, as video continues to prove king – with the likes of Snapchat, Facebook Live and Periscope making it very easy for laypeople to broadcast – what does that mean for professional story production? How can working journalists stand out?

Cultivating a culture in which people are prepared to pay for media content is tricky for many reasons, including the fact that for a long time its true cost has been unseen – rolled into taxes, or advertising, internships and very long hours. A similar interrogation of value is underway in a number of other industries that have also been disrupted by the internet, apps and a proliferation of other new technologies. Should we pay for music? Photos? Why? Indeed, the very notion of what it means to have a clearcut profession is in flux in many fields, and even whether being professionally or academically qualified matters. The growing dominance of social media networks and messaging apps as routes via which people get all sorts of information, including news, complicates things further. Why pay to use one source, when really you want to hear from a mix – and you’ve come to rely on friends and others to help you filter the enormous range of information that’s out there?

2016 hasn’t left us wanting for examples of the complexities of a more anarchic fourth estate. In a relatively gentle illustration of this, Facebook recently fielded fire from Republicans and other conservatives in the US, who were adamant that the platform manipulates its ‘trending topics’ app to favour a liberal agenda. Ironically, the network responded by claiming it only brought human editors in to monitor the app when its algorithms were blamed for over-representing the Ice Bucket Challenge over #blacklivesmatter in 2014. Facebook has received much flack for disrupting the media, and undermining serious journalism, but it takes two (or 1.09 billion) to tango. The company increasingly needs to think and act like a news source because in a short space of time we’ve come to rely on it to be one.

But not everything’s happening on Facebook. The increased use of messaging apps not only as routes for communication but as news portals emphasises that, particularly in non-Western markets, there are alternatives to the white and blue. Collaborative citizen journalism, like that conducted by Latin American journalist collective Mídia Ninja is on the rise, providing a counter-narrative to news as reported by the mainstream media. Established media are exploring the potentialities of new tools too; the Guardian‘s use of Google Docs to collect suggestions from readers as to how to deal with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill (after BP admitted they were flummoxed) saw them gather ideas and advice from professional divers, marine engineers, physicists, biochemists, mechanical engineers, petrochemical and mining workers and more, which they then analysed and reported on.

The Panama Papers were big news in 2016, but it wasn’t the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)’s first scoop. Another of their recent projects was collaborated on over the course of 11 months by more than 50 journalists from 21 countries, representing 20 media outlets from around the world – and investigated the World Bank Group’s role in displacing millions of the world’s poor through its funding of so-called development initiatives that ultimately had adverse effects. The results of the report were published on a microsite hosted by The Huffington Post, one of the world’s largest media platforms. Collectives like Everyday Middle East have risen out of frustrations with essentializing narratives, to show alternative representations of life in the Middle East and North Africa. The group operates predominantly on Instagram, and is contributed to by photographers from the MENA region (there are now also versions in other territories). The feed has over 135,000 followers, many of whom actively interact with the group’s posts. In New Zealand, citizens banded together to raise enough funds to purchase Awaroa beach in the Abel Tasman so it is publicly owned, an effort supported and driven by media coverage, indicating it is possible to connect and mobilise our own public at scale.

And let’s not forget that a number of social networking services – and the internet itself – grew at least in part out of activist efforts to create alternative, independent spaces for communication and information-sharing. The idea has always been to diffuse hierarchy and give greater agency to a greater number. This is a particularly meaningful aim in contexts where marginalised and vulnerable groups have little or no access to formal routes for social and political involvement. Connection to the World Wide Web – provided of course that connection is achievable in a practical sense – can not only help people to overcome barriers like limited knowledge of official processes, or simply the intimidation of having to meet with someone in a sanctioned role, it can also link them with allies and media beyond their immediate communities, categories and geographical regions. In theory, the scope for confronting and dismantling exclusionary social stratification is a shift that should excite journalists, at least those that consider journalism a service to all publics, not just elite groups and the middle classes.

A reimagining of what journalism is, and how it should happen, demands a re-visioning of the purpose of journalism – or to more clearly identify its multiple and varied purposes under changed conditions, without losing the possibilities offered by a mixing of forms and disciplines. Actively, responsively engaging with publics to map what comprises a quality media today could go a long way to re-establishing the value of professional journalism. We are starting to see the impact that peer-to-peer and sharing movements, combined with the rise of big and open data, could have. Indeed, cooperatives like The Bristol Cable (UK) and Freerange Press (NZ) are examples of journalists and non-journalists – though the latter may be writers, and expert in their fields – teaming in response to the implosion of the media industry by taking on the role of collective media ownership and publishing. Rather than defaulting to disciplinary silos, the professional world is starting to dismantle walls not only between academic disciplines but sectors. There’s a broader ideological, systemic battle underway, as technology upends industries, tiers and linearity across the board.

In a world where the rules are constantly changing, and fast, what it means to have a robust, professional fourth estate may be changing altogether. Now that citizens are able to engage more substantively than through occasional letters to editors, perhaps the role that the press originally filled can now be performed by actors other than, and as well as, journalists. If so, what does that mean for journalism, as institution and as career?

*Read in full, with references, via

Purchase Don’t dream it’s over: Reimagining journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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The Cincinnati Zoo Wants You To Stop With All The Harambe Memes

August 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Nearly three months after Harambe was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo to ensure the safety of a little boy, memes using the gorilla’s image continue to flood the internet. 

Harambe-related memes, often tongue-in-cheek or satirical, have become so popular that the zoo is now speaking out against social media’s obsession with the gorilla.

We are not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe,” Thane Maynard, director of the Cincinnati Zoo, told The Associated Press. “Our zoo family is still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us.”

Many of the Harambe memes center on the idea of memorializing the gorilla, who was killed in May after he grabbed and dragged a 3-year-old boy who had fallen into his enclosure. The Cincinnati Zoo received intense criticism for deciding to shoot the 17-year-old gorilla. The family of the toddler was also criticized, with some people calling for the family to be prosecuted

But the range of Harambe memes ventures into absurdity, involving everything from “Saving Private Ryan” to Michael Phelps to Pokémon Go.

Beyond the absurd, some instances of the Harambe meme have been highly offensive, including one version used as a racist attack against black celebrities.

In addition to the memes, there are also hundreds of Harambe-related petitions on, including efforts to turn the gorilla into a pokémon, canonize the animal and rename the Cincinnati Bengals the Cincinnati Harambes

The petitions have grown so numerous and often ridiculous that James Leggate of Cincinnati station WCPO started a petition to put an end to Harambe petitions on

“At first, the petitioners had good intentions,” Leggate wrote on WCPO’s website. “They were upset that Harambe died. … But then the goofuses of the internet hopped on the Harambe train for their jollies, and it has gotten out of control.”

Leggate has a point: These memes and petitions may be entertaining, but they also risk turning a tragic event into the butt of a joke. If you want to give meaning to Harambe’s death, there are more effective ways to support gorillas and animal conservation.

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Sen. Mark Kirk Says President Obama Is ‘Acting Like The Drug Dealer In Chief’

August 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

A GOP senator fighting for his seat in a tight race said President Barack Obama was “acting like the drug dealer in chief.”

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) told the State Journal-Register newspaper last week that a $400 million payment to Iran was a “ransom” paid for the release of U.S. prisoners. 

Kirk said:

We can’t have the president of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief, giving clean packs of money to a … state sponsor of terror. Those 500-euro notes will pop up across the Middle East. …. We’re going to see problems in multiple (countries) because of that money given to them.” 

The Obama administration said the payment was “leverage,” not a ransom. 

The money was part of a fund Tehran used to purchase U.S. military equipment when the shah was in control of Iran; it was frozen after the Islamic Revolution. The U.S. and Tehran settled a dispute over the money, with Washington agreeing to pay the $400 million, plus $1.3 billion in interest, but delayed that first payment in January by several hours “to retain maximum leverage” until it ensured the release of the prisoners, The New York Times reported.  

On Twitter, a number of people called out Kirk for using racially charged language to insult the president:  

Dog whistle? Try bullhorn.

— Leonard Pitts, Jr. (@LeonardPittsJr1) August 21, 2016

Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois just decided to call our first African-American President a “drug dealer in chief.” #racist #gop

— John Barber (@jonrob718) August 22, 2016

Definitely not racist: GOP senator calls Obama 'drug dealer in chief'

— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) August 21, 2016

Not only is Senator Kirk's comment deeply racist, (a black President being called 'drug dealer in chief'? C'mon)) but it's factually wrong.

— Sean Byrne (@Schmageggi) August 22, 2016

Obama acting like "drug dealer"? GOP Senator would not use this term if Obama were white. Racist on several levels

— Keith Devlin (@profkeithdevlin) August 21, 2016

Hey because that's not a racial dog whistle. NeverTrumper Kirk reasserting his street cred with GOP racists.

— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) August 21, 2016

Kirk, who is running against Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, withdrew his support for Donald Trump in June


(h/t Raw Story)

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