From principled conservative to Bubba the Love Sponge: The devolution of Tucker Carlson

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. Tucker Carlson may have finally hit bottom. Then again, maybe not. If Fox News fails to act after Carlson was exposed over the weekend for making insanely misogynist comments on a low-rent radio show between 2006 and 2011, then he will probably continue on his merry way, indulging in sexism and racism on what might …

Continue reading From principled conservative to Bubba the Love Sponge: The devolution of Tucker Carlson

Romney kicks off 2020 presidential campaign

In case you missed it, Mitt Romney kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign Tuesday by harshly criticizing President Trump in a Washington Post op-ed piece. It seems transparently obvious that Romney believes Trump won’t survive the Mueller investigation and that he’ll be in the best position to pick up the pieces. Add to that the …

Continue reading Romney kicks off 2020 presidential campaign

Is community access TV on the FCC chopping block?

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. The Federal Communications Commission has opened a new front in its war on behalf of corporations and against the public it purportedly serves. A proposed FCC rule that could take effect as early as December would drastically cut funding for community cable television stations — the folks who bring you city …

Continue reading Is community access TV on the FCC chopping block?

How Trump buries the truth beneath a blizzard of lies

Previously published at WGBH News. Last week I was asked a provocative question. What prompted it was a panel discussion of The New York Times’ 14,000-word exposé of how President Trump built his fortune on the dual foundations of his father’s wealth and of legally dubious tax schemes. The story was such a sensation that the Times …

Continue reading How Trump buries the truth beneath a blizzard of lies

Up with Hannity: Analyzing Kavanaugh with Trump’s most vociferous defender

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. Monday was a big day for Sean Hannity, the conspiracy-minded Fox News Channel host. After all, it’s not every day that the president of the United States — even one you’re as close to as Hannity is to Donald Trump — schedules the unveiling of his choice for the Supreme Court …

Continue reading Up with Hannity: Analyzing Kavanaugh with Trump’s most vociferous defender

Approving the AT&T-Time Warner deal would save CNN, enrage Trump and leave Murdoch out in the cold

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. Thanks to the U.S. Department of Justice, AT&T’s monopolistic dreams may not come true after all. According to media reports, the government may block AT&T’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. Even if the deal is approved, AT&T may be required to sell off CNN, one of Time Warner’s crown …

Continue reading Approving the AT&T-Time Warner deal would save CNN, enrage Trump and leave Murdoch out in the cold

Pence’s petulance undescores his tricky relationship with Trump

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. Few members of the Trump administration have carried themselves with more unctuous sycophancy than Mike Pence. “Thank you, Mr. President, and just the greatest privilege of my life is to serve as vice president to a president who’s keeping his word to the American people,” the former Indiana governor said at …

Continue reading Pence’s petulance undescores his tricky relationship with Trump

I want you to help me with my reading list for a course on Trump and the media

I’m teaching a course in May and June called The Media in the Age of Trump, and I’m trying to flesh out my reading list. I’ll be asking my students to subscribe to The Washington Post (because it’s free for anyone with an .edu email address), and I have a number of worthwhile readings already chosen. Although …

Continue reading I want you to help me with my reading list for a course on Trump and the media

Gather ’round the keg and let Paul Ryan explain why hurting the poor is freedom

Paul Ryan. Photo (cc) 2016 by Gage Skidmore. Previously published at WGBHNews.org. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s slide in the public eye from policy wonk to partisan hack was a long time coming. But it finally reached its bottom during the past few weeks in two revealingly smug displays of insolence. The first came in the …

Continue reading Gather ’round the keg and let Paul Ryan explain why hurting the poor is freedom