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Friday, December 06, 2019


Headlines for Dec. 6, 2019

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Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.


Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Dec. 6, 2019

*AMLO is Mexico’s strongest president in decades. Some say he’s too strong.
The article starts with references to unnamed “critics” and “detractors”. Not until the 23rd paragraph (!) do we find out who “some” are — the “national director of the opposition National Action Party” and then, in para. 30, the “head of the Mexican Council of International Affairs” (whatever that is).

*Tear gas returns to Hong Kong as police disperse authorized protest
The Art of Writing Misleading Headlines 101: In the 7th paragraph you learn that the marchers were not only not on the authorized route, but were throwing bricks at police.

‘Nonlethal weapons’ fired at protesters in Hong Kong, Chile and Iraq are having very dangerous — even deadly — effects
WaPo lumps Hong Kong in with Chile & Iraq, where dozens (Chile) & hundreds (Iraq) have died. Remarkably, the article says 2 have died in HK, without noting who or how—1 protester who fell from a parking garage & a man hit on the head with a protester brick. And of course no mention of the bricks, Molotov cocktails, & flaming arrows being deployed by the “non-violent” “protesters” in Hong Kong, just the water cannons cops are using, which “have the potential of causing serious injury and even death.” Yes, but they haven’t, so apparently that “potential” isn’t very great. They do cite two protesters in Hong Kong that have lost an eye to rubber bullets. That compares to **200** in Chile, where all evidence points to this being a deliberate tactic. Dozens of “Yellow Vest” protesters in France have also lost eyes to rubber bullets, but that goes unmentioned in this article.

*Venezuela’s Kids Are Dying. Are We Responsible?
Subhead: Our well-meaning sanctions may be inflicting pain on the wrong people.
Time for a periodic reminder about the 1960 State Department memo promoting sanctions on Cuba (https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1958-60v06/d499 ), which described its aim as “to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” There are no “well-meaning sanctions”; sanctions are always meant to make people suffer. But also worth noting, this op-ed article actually breaks the NYT’s silence on the fact that sanctions are killing Venezuelans, but still fails to mention the CEPR study which put a number on those deaths — 40,000 (and that was months ago).

*How Huawei Lost the Heart of the Chinese Public
“In the most recent quarter, Huawei’s smartphone sales in China grew 66 percent from a year earlier”…but some people on Twitter are upset by its treatment of one employee, so “Huawei Lost the Heart of the Chinese Public”? Note: this is not a comment about the specific case, about which I know nothing. It’s a comment on this hyperbolic, unsupported headline.

*Can hanging out with Tulsi Gabbard fans help us understand what her deal is?
WaPo wants to know what Tulsi Gabbard’s “deal” is. But RT and Sputnik, who half the time run articles favorable to her (and equal amounts unfavorable), and who have a fraction of WaPo’s reach, are the ones with their thumb on the scale. In case you thought only the NYT was going to go off on Gabbard wearing a white pantsuit; now the WaPo joins in! “she has come across in debates as if she were a leader beamed in from an apocalyptic future (or the Divergent series) with her all-white pantsuit, her streak of white hair and her unique manner of delivering answers in an affectless monotone straight into the camera”

Surprising headline of the week:
*Frozen II isn’t just a cartoon. It’s a brilliant critique of imperialism
Yes, this is a serious article, with discussions not only of imperialism but also climate change and reparations.

Charges of Ukrainian Meddling? A Russian Operation, U.S. Intelligence Says
A perfect demonstration of how just one word can turn a news article into propaganda. “The revelations demonstrate Russia’s persistence in trying to sow discord among its adversaries”. These are not “revelations”, they are “assertions”. Claims. Accusations.

*Bernie Sanders’s Loyal Voters Could Keep Him in Race for Months
Who knows, they might even get him elected in 2020 if Obama keeps his mouth shut.

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