Category Archives: influence

The news media: Surveying the wreckage

The Pretense of Objectivity The ideology of news makes two moral claims:  that it is complete, and that it is objective.  News, in other words, provides consumers with just the right amount of information necessary to function as citizens, and … Continue reading

Posted in death of news, democracy, influence, newspaperss, the public, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Foreign policy in the age of Obama: First principles

The Swirl of Events Barack Obama has presided for six years and change over the government of the most powerful nation on earth:  time enough for decisions and revisions, and for consequences to be manifested. During his tenure, the Middle … Continue reading

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Information and terror attacks

The fateful question, rarely asked, about atrocities like the recent massacre in Paris, is:  what did the perpetrators expect to accomplish?  The answer may seem intuitive.  These men were terrorists.  They obviously expected to achieve their political goals by terrifying … Continue reading

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President Obama and the joy of negation

President Obama has been mocked for having “community organizer” on his resume, but that particular job experience aligns him with the self-image of a rebellious public.  As can be seen from this application, the community organizer is expected to denounce, … Continue reading

Posted in influence, the public | 1 Comment

The last temptation of Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera’s popularity stemmed from the perception, shared by a large Arabic-speaking audience, that the satellite newscaster’s editorial decisions were not dictated by any government or party.  Under the banner of “the opinion and the other opinion,” Al Jazeera demonstrated … Continue reading

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Kony 2012 and the art of going viral

The online advocacy video Kony 2012 can only be described as a digital enormity, breaking all records and rules.  By one measure, it reached 100 million views in six days, fastest in the history of the web.  But that’s only … Continue reading

Posted in influence, visual persuasion | 10 Comments

The unsettling “simplifications” of Kony 2012

The popularity of digital platforms, particularly social media, has swept away in a whirl the traditional gate-keepers of information – journalists, scholars, politicians.  By now this is an old story, often told.  Information, once scarce, has become overabundant, and those … Continue reading

Posted in influence, visual persuasion | 1 Comment