Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News
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Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News
Better Governance with the New Public Administration
Curated by Rob Duke
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Proposed rules would require drugmakers to give prices in ads

Proposed rules would require drugmakers to give prices in ads | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Federal health regulators proposed rules that would require drugmakers to disclose the list price of drugs in their television ads.
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Break up Amazon before it does any more damage to America

Break up Amazon before it does any more damage to America | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Outer space aside: Amazon wants to feed, treat, entertain, educate and medicate America — and that’s just what it’s told us. Nothing Orwellian here, right?

Galloway says that Amazon’s new $15 hourly wage needs to be viewed through a much more cynical lens. “Jeff Bezos doesn’t do anything that’s not the smart thing to do,” he says. “When Amazon raises their wages so publicly, other people are forced to do so” — thus starving out the competition. It’s our new Cold War, he says, and Amazon won’t stop at retail. It will outspend every other entity in pursuit of global domination.

And if we ever hope to stop it, we need to understand how we got here.

Our tectonic shift, Galloway believes, was the death of Steve Jobs in 2011. We were already on the path of technology replacing religion, but Jobs, in dying young, “became our Christ, Apple our religion, and the iPhone the cross,” says Galloway.

If you find this theory blasphemous, push through. Think, Galloway says, of Apple’s refusal to unlock the iPhone used by a terrorist in the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting, despite the FBI’s pleas.
Rob Duke's insight:

This one goes both ways...Malthusian predictions always make me uncomfortable; however, it is distressing to see the rise of a small group of potential robber barons.

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Boeing may have used a lobbying firm to plant an op-ed slamming SpaceX

Boeing may have used a lobbying firm to plant an op-ed slamming SpaceX | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Boeing and SpaceX are competing for billions of dollars in NASA contracts to launch astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Boeing appears to be using a Washington public-relations firm that some evidence suggests planted an opinion piece critical of SpaceX in US news outlets.
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Colin Kaepernick: Nike nearly cut ties with polarizing former NFL QB

Colin Kaepernick: Nike nearly cut ties with polarizing former NFL QB | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Months before Nike unveiled Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary "Just Do It" campaign, the sports apparel giant was engaged in vigorous debates over what to do with the unemployed quarterback.

Nike nearly cut ties with Kaepernick before reversing course and embracing what he stood for, according to a story in the The New York Times.
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John Deere Just Cost Farmers Their Right to Repair

John Deere Just Cost Farmers Their Right to Repair | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
The California Farm Bureau has given away the right of farmers to fix their equipment without going through a dealer.
Rob Duke's insight:

While in high school, I worked 20 hours a week during the school year and full-time on holidays/summers, in an RCA 24-track recording studio, which was state-of-the-art at the time.  When the studio board or the master-slave dubbing boards went down, time was money, so our engineers invented work arounds to the proprietary technology.  This innovation resulted in better ways to do things, which RCA promptly was only too happy to purchase the licensing on the patents that our engineers filed.

It seems like a win-win to have folks be able to repair--even space-age tractors.

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Polarization in Poland: A Warning From Europe

Polarization in Poland: A Warning From Europe | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well.
Rob Duke's insight:

According to The Atlantic, the sky is falling.  They gloss over the fact that our system has built in bloodless coups every two years, so none of this can happen here.  During those two years, two other branches of government and the press can potshot, sabotage, and drag their feet, so that even Hitler wouldn't have been able to raise much of a fuss.

If Trump, or wannabe despot, does become a problem, the system has the tools necessary to keep him/her in check.

But that story doesn't sell magazines or advertisement.

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What We Actually Know About ‘Electability’

What We Actually Know About ‘Electability’ | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Welcome to Secret Identity, our regular column on identity and its role in politics and policy. In the last edition of this column we looked at “electability” a…
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Which Anonymous Sources Are Worth Paying Attention To?

Which Anonymous Sources Are Worth Paying Attention To? | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it

In the first part of our guide to unnamed sources, we laid out some general tips for making sense of these kinds of stories. In this part, we want to get more specific, to help you to essentially decode these stories. We also want you to be able to know which stories you should rely on based on the different kinds of sourcing used.

So we’re going to divide anonymous sources into six general types and give the pros and cons of each, in terms of reliability. We ordered the types of unnamed sources, roughly speaking, from most reliable to least reliable (at least in my experience):


1. ORGANIZATION SOURCES

“White House officials,” “Justice Department officials,” “Pentagon officials,” “Clinton campaign officials,” “Republican leadership aides”

Why you should trust these sources: Close to 70,000 people work at the State Department, so there’s a huge number of potential “State Department officials” to be quoted anonymously. But in reality, most beat reporters aren’t talking to people up and down a department at every level. A story attributed to a large federal department and published in The Washington Post will almost certainly have been run by the department’s spokesperson, giving him or her the chance to rebut it. If a story includes a line like “State Department officials said X” but no spokesperson is directly quoted in the story, you should generally assume that this is a disclosure authorized by the top officials in that agency. Maybe the State Department wants the secretary, Rex Tillerson, and not a spokesperson to announce a policy publicly, so the members of the press team opt to confirm the story but not use their names. An unnamed source isn’t always a whistleblower or someone talking behind the boss’s back.

Be wary, however, of putting too much trust in adjectives such as “senior” or “high-ranking” when applied to a source. These are organizational sources, sure. But there is no technical definition of “senior White House official,” so this person could be press secretary Sean Spicer or Trump himself.

Why you shouldn’t trust these sources: Sometimes departments want to float ideas that a spokesperson would not want to put his or her name behind. CBS News, for example, ran a story in May in which unnamed White House officials were quoted calling the leaks about the various Russia controversies “coordinated and timed” to hurt Trump. Trump White House aides may think that is true. But suggesting that leaks and stories about Trump and Russia are somehow coordinated and timed by sources and journalists, as opposed to going through the normal process — sources giving journalists tips, reporters trying to verify them and then putting out stories after confirming the information — sounds a bit conspiratorial. Going unnamed allows these sources to bash the Russia coverage in a way that White House aides might not be comfortable doing with their names attached.

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Tyler Honeycutt, former UCLA and Sacramento Kings basketball player, dies after standoff with police

Tyler Honeycutt, former UCLA and Sacramento Kings basketball player, dies after standoff with police | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Tyler Honeycutt died after standoff with police in which he barricaded himself at his home for nine hours. Honeycutt was 27.
Rob Duke's insight:

Terrible tragedy, but misleading headline.  Honeycutt dead, not by police, as the headline infers.

Mr. Honeycutt is alleged to have fired on the police when they arrived in response to Honeycutt's mother's call for assistance.  When SWAT entered the home later, they found Honeycutt dead of an alleged self-inflicted gunshot.

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What Are These Civility Arguments Really About?

What Are These Civility Arguments Really About? | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited. micah (Micah Cohen, politics editor): Hello! You all ready for …
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Police chief said Uber victim “came from the shadows”—don’t believe it

Police chief said Uber victim “came from the shadows”—don’t believe it | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
YouTube videos give a different impression of the site of a deadly Uber crash.
Rob Duke's insight:

This is why you don't use internet articles as foundation in an academic research paper--bias and incomplete information.

This author needs to make a sensational headline, thus he asserts that the police chief lied, yet, he himself did not visit the scene to assess conditions.  He relies on two others' Youtube videos recorded in unknown conditions with cameras and settings that are not explained (or even provided) in the story.  Thus Uber's camera might purposely be set to mimic the human eye, and the Youtubers' cameras may be set to maximize the technology available in that particular camera model.

Has he supported his assertion that the chief lied?  Not even close.

What we also don't know is what steps the City took after the collision to limit their liability.  It's not uncommon to have a bulb that isn't out in a street light, but is dimming due to age, or which automatically turns off for 30-60 seconds to cool, then restarts and is dimmer than normal for a few minutes (think about when you were a kid and the streetlights came on--alerting you that it was time to go home--the first few minutes the lights were on are fairly dim).  Foilage is often matured past what policy allows, thus the next morning we often see streets & roads making some assessments and upgrades--this doesn't limit liability for that crash, but it prevents punitive damages for the next one, since we've been alerted to a problem and taken reasonable precautions to prevent it from happening again.

 

A better headline (and conclusion) for this story: "Questions Emerge about Road Conditions of Uber vs. Pedestrian Collision", but a day's investigation is expensive compared with a couple internet searches and Google Earth...plus what if nothing is amiss?  Then, there's no sensational headline, no article, and no revenue from the click-through advertisers.

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Is LOVE Park inclusive - or hostile? How the 'war on sitting' is changing public spaces - Philly

Is LOVE Park inclusive - or hostile? How the 'war on sitting' is changing public spaces - Philly | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
The park's brand-new benches, each one divided down the middle with a metal bar to prevent anyone stretching out for a nap, is a feature critics classify as "defensive design" - or, even more pointedly, "hostile architecture."
- Samantha Melamed, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News
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Donald Trump and the NFL - Trampling on the First Amendment

Donald Trump and the NFL - Trampling on the First Amendment | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Roger Goodell, the NFL’s commissioner, rued the effect of the protests on the image of players. “It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic,” he said in a statement. “This is not and was never the case.” But if the players weren’t unpatriotic then and still are not, why the major change in between?
Rob Duke's insight:

Indeed they may have had other pressure, but this was a business decision.  Ratings and viewership was down by 10% since the protests began:

 

https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/01/04/nfl-tv-ratings-decline-ten-percent-colin-kaepernick-thursday-night-football

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Fact Check: Did a Vice News Journalist Reveal ‘Some Anti-Kavanaugh Protesters Were Paid’?

Fact Check: Did a Vice News Journalist Reveal ‘Some Anti-Kavanaugh Protesters Were Paid’? | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
When asked about the protesters during the weeks (or years?) of Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, and whether or not they were paid, Thomas replied:

There were people who were paid by organizations like Ultraviolet to try to harness that energy in a way that would make the viral moments that we ended up seeing.
Rob Duke's insight:

I know of at least one person here in FBX who was paid to go to a protest on climate change this year.  The specter of the provocateur is real, whether it be the type who pays protesters or the type that trolls the online community.

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Banksy painting 'self-destructs' moments after being sold for $1.4 million

Banksy painting 'self-destructs' moments after being sold for $1.4 million | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
For an artist that's known for his stunts, this could be Banksy's most perfect art world prank.
Rob Duke's insight:

There's a political joke or allegory in there somewhere.....

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China Looks to Influence Iowa in Trade War Over Trump Tariffs - Bloomberg

China Looks to Influence Iowa in Trade War Over Trump Tariffs - Bloomberg | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
China reached into the U.S. heartland in its escalating trade war over President Donald Trump’s tariffs, using an advertising supplement in Iowa’s largest newspaper to highlight the impact on the state’s soybean farmers as “the fruit of a president’s folly.’’


China Daily ad in Des Moines Register.Source: Des Moines Register
The four-page section in Sunday’s Des Moines Register, which carried the label “paid for and prepared solely by China Daily, an official publication of the People’s Republic of China,” featured articles including one outlining how the trade dispute is forcing Chinese importers to turn to South America instead of the U.S. for soybeans.
Rob Duke's insight:

Isn't this the same sort of outrageous behavior (election influencing) over which we're sanctioning Russia?

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CBD Oil: What is it? Is it legal in Illinois? What conditions does it treat?

CBD Oil: What is it? Is it legal in Illinois? What conditions does it treat? | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
What is CBD oil? Who can use it? How does it work? Is it legal in Illinois? Get the answers to these questions and more in our Cannabis 101 Guide.
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Why are Iranians so ready to believe there are bugging devices in their trees?

Why are Iranians so ready to believe there are bugging devices in their trees? | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
The 27-second video shows a man removing a 4-centimetre plastic cylinder from a tree and displaying the electronic device it contained. He says: “Iran’s authorities have installed bugs in the trees in the streets to listen what people say. If you find one, destroy it.”

The video was shared on hundreds of channels and groups on Telegram, a messaging service very popular in Iran, starting in late August. Several channels with millions of followers shared the video with this message: “Trees are bugged, watch out!”

In a country where many people believe the government engages in widespread surveillance of its citizens, the video provoked angry reactions – and calls to remove the “bugs”.
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Nike stock reacts to Colin Kaepernick ad campaign response

Nike shares fell Tuesday after the company revealed a new ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. The marketing campaign sparked a backlash from some consumers on social media. #NikeBoycott was trending on Twitter, with some people saying they were going to burn their Nike sneakers.
Rob Duke's insight:

Probably not as big a bump as everyone thought this morning.  Nike closed .32 up after some early drop in share value.

It seems like a false dichotomy to equate Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the anthem and respect for veterans.  I can't even get worked up by his message against police violence, since that's: a. his right to protest; and, b. similar to a person with a sensory disorder (color blindness, etc.) might not be able to sense something; I can't ever truly understand the issue of discrimination, so how do I know whether he has a valid point?

Any thoughts?

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Chance the Rapper bought local Chicago news site Chicagoist

Chance the Rapper bought local Chicago news site Chicagoist | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
"I'm extremely excited to be continuing the work of the Chicagoist, an integral local platform for Chicago news, events and entertainment," Chance said in a statement on Thursday. "WNYC's commitment to finding homes for the 'ist' brands, including Chicagoist, was an essential part of continuing the legacy and integrity of the site. I look forward to re-launching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content."
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‘Bot Bill’ Moves Ahead In California Legislature, But Not Without Opposition - capradio.org

‘Bot Bill’ Moves Ahead In California Legislature, But Not Without Opposition - capradio.org | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Some tech companies and civil liberties groups oppose a bill that supporters hope will become a model for social media transparency.
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Republicans charge FBI had 'double standard' in Clinton and Trump investigations - CNNPolitics

Republicans charge FBI had 'double standard' in Clinton and Trump investigations - CNNPolitics | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Donald Trump and Russia was effectively on trial Monday at the first congressional hearing into the Justice Department watchdog report that faulted key decisions in the FBI's handling of the 2016 Hillary Clinton email investigation.
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Bill Clinton and James Patterson: Can democracy survive, in fiction and fact?

Bill Clinton and James Patterson: Can democracy survive, in fiction and fact? | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
Clinton and Patterson sat side-by-side on gold-toned ballroom chairs in a ritzy suburban hotel for a conversation that ranged from the perils of politics to the logistics of collaboration. 

“This book is not political,” Patterson insisted. “The speech at the end, a little bit, but mostly no.”

He should talk to his co-author about that. “We hope you have a good time reading this thriller; have a great time,” Clinton said. “Then write your congressman, regardless of party, to do more on cyber-security.”

Let's just say it's unusual for a thriller to conclude with the text of a president address to a Joint Session of Congress in which he details the dizzying drama that has just unfolded and then calls for a new kind of politics to address election security, immigration reform, climate change, the opioid crisis and more.
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The Jobs Report Is Overhyped. Here’s Why That’s A Problem.

The Jobs Report Is Overhyped. Here’s Why That’s A Problem. | Moral Panics, Rent-Seeking Behavior & Fake News | Scoop.it
“There is a lot misunderstanding around the mechanics of the jobs report,” said Matt McDonald, who is a partner at the Washington-based consulting firm Hamilton Place Strategies and writes a monthly analysis of the jobs report. “It can take on a life of its own.”

McDonald said there is no reason to believe the BLS’s results are manipulated for political purposes. Less-than-perfect figures are inevitable when attempting to make a monthly estimate of hiring and firing among a population of 326 million people. (The headline number that gets most of the attention each month is based on a survey of about 150,000 companies and government agencies; it changes because responses continue to come in after the initial report is published. The unemployment rate, another popular indicator, comes from a separate survey of about 60,000 households, adding another layer of complication.)

Even so, conspiracy theories about how the numbers are rigged have continued. Until recently, Trump himself was among the champions of those notions. In March, The Washington Post recounted 19 examples of the president dismissing the jobs data as fake before he took office. Example: “The unemployment number, as you know, is totally fiction,” Trump told an audience in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 8, 2016.1
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