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Fern Siegel is Deputy Editor, MediaPost. You can reach Fern at

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  • The POTUS Who Cried Wolf by Joe Mandese (Red, White & Blog on 01/09/2019)

    The DNC did choose an electable candidate -- who won by 3 million more votes. The people have spoken. The irony is self-evident.  Just remember:We're still investigating Russian troll farms, potential hacking into state voting apparatuses, collusion, etc. (Then and now.) Makes you wish people weren't so easily swayed by fear tactics and misinformation. Makes you wish Americans employed a greater degree of critical thinking, so terms like "border crisis" were seen for what they are: a lie to gin up a base that doesn't mind a president degrading the presidency, press and American values.Makes you wish ALL Americans embraced the Constitution, not authoritarian impulses, and respected the dictates of an extraordinary democracy, not childish and whiny tweets.

  • So Long, 'Donald J. Trump' by Joe Mandese (Red, White & Blog on 09/05/2018)

    Joe Mandese made a statement about media attention; he did not create a false equivalency. It’s important to be a critical, analytic reader, because misconceptions don’t further discussion, they destroy it.In June, a Pew Research study found members of each party were more likely to classify factual (objective evidence) and opinion statements (a person’s beliefs) as factual when the statements appealed most to their political side.That’s a problem for media and for the truth. Which is why it’s important to put partisan preferences aside in dangerous circumstances.According to our national intelligence agencies, the President is casually trashing the Constitution, separation of powers, rule of law and our standing abroad. His autocratic and erratic behavior has alarmed — and been criticized — by members of both parties. Citing economic gains, largely inherited by the upward trajectory of the Obama years, isn’t the point. The tax plan helps the 1% and 2%, but adds $2 trillion to the national debt, per conservative economists. Degrading and demeaning the press and the rule of law is indefensible in a democracy. That’s not a debate; that’s patriotism.Denying the President the media attention he craves is one man’s response to chaos. And the commenters have a right to disagree. But it’s important not to devolve into personal attacks or distractions — because it misses the bigger picture at a critical time in our history. For every American — Democrat, Republican or Independent — it must be country before party.

  • How Does Sacha Baron Cohen Get Away With It? by Gary Holmes (Television News Daily on 07/23/2018)

    How about this: We hold politicians accountable for their actions. If they don't have the sense to suss out a dubious interview, or are willing to drop their drawers and scream the n-word or sign "waterboard kits" when asked, clearly they don't have the judgment and gravitas to hold public office.The politicians participated even when the requests were idiotic. This isn't "trickery," it's a comedic way to speak truth to power. And power is found wanting.As for PR vetting, a recent study by Bospar PR found that while 72% of PR professionals feel inventing “fake news” is wrong, 28% are willing to manufacture news. Plus, more than half of PR pros interviewed are OK with using click-bait headlines, telling white lies and/or don’t take issue with sensationalizing boring news.

  • In Week Two, Cohen's Act Gets Tired In 'Who Is America?' by Adam Buckman (TVBlog on 07/24/2018)

    How about this: We hold politicians accountable for their actions. If they don't have the sense to suss out a dubious interview, or are willing to drop their drawers and scream the n-word or sign "waterboard kits" when asked, clearly they don't have the judgment and gravitas to hold public office.Cohen isn't ruining anyone's life — they are doing it all by themselves. First, by accepting any interview, because they are seemingly incapable of turning down publicity, and second, by holding often objectionable views brought to light. This isn't "trickery," it's a comedic way to speak truth to power. And power is found wanting. 

  • Lies, Damned Lies And Cable News by Fern Siegel (TV Watch on 06/20/2018)

    Dennis: Thanks for asking. I added the Pew Research link to the column.

  • Roseanne Is A Twitter Addict Whose Life Has Become Unmanageable by Adam Buckman (TVBlog on 06/01/2018)

    "The Cosby Show" is still on TV -- it runs on TV One nightly.

  • How About A TV Moratorium On Trump's Tweets? by Fern Siegel (TV Watch on 02/28/2018)

    Gatekeepers are essential in a democracy. To demean a free press is the handiwork of authoritarians, not American presidents. Trump, as president, must accept scrutiny and learn to tolerate dissent, not try to do an end run. "Communicate without filters" is a euphemism, as many historians, fact checkers and even White House insiders have noted, for spreading lies and misinformation. As noted, that's beneath the office. 

  • Random Thoughts On The Coverage Of Another Massacre by Adam Buckman (TVBlog on 02/16/2018)

    Yes, see something, say something.And also ask yourselves this: Why can any civilian get his hands on an automatic or semi-automatic rifle, used by the military in wartime?Cruz couldn't buy beer in Florida; but he could by an AR semi-automatic! Law enforcement has a tough job. They aren't "too caught up" in protecting the "likely-guilty." As any police chief will tell you, it's easier to do their jobs if criminals weren't so well armed.

  • FCC Commissioner Challenges Trump's 'Fake News' Challenge: 'Not How It Works' by Joe Mandese (Television News Daily on 10/12/2017)

    A threat to challenge broadcast licenses is not "tweaking the media." It's a fundamental disregard for the First Amendment and respect for core American values. Denigrating a free press, a hallmark of democracy, isn't crazy like a fox. It's just crazy. And it demeans the office of the presidency. 

  • Cover Story: Is Truth Dead? by Joe Mandese (Publishers Daily on 03/23/2017)

    The evidence of Russian election interference comes from 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies. But your false equivalency is precisely what underscores the 'Time' article!Some peope will not accept truth if it contradicts their beliefs. Instead, they will embrace --  and excuse -- Trump's lies -- even if it denigrates a free press and independent judiciary, hallmarks of American democracy. Trump has disgraced himself -- and thus his country -- repeatedly. It's time for his supporters to stop defending the outrages and start protesting the assault on the office. The presidency is too important to be demeaned on a daily basis.

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