Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Welcome to the Trump Administration

Boy, it's been a while. Short recap of what I've been up to since the last time I posted here: Had a baby and realized newborns and the copy desk vampire hours don't mix. Left journalism for a 9-5 job in the public affairs office of one of my area school districts. Left that job after 90 days for a variety of reasons that aren't really appropriate to discuss in a public blog. Became a substitute teacher and sub paraeducator. Still trying to figure out exactly what I want in a full-time position.

Now I've decided I need a place to post about the various ways in which Donald Trump's presidency is affecting our rights. I'll post fact-check articles and anything else I think is relevant to helping journalists and other Americans wade through the bullshit. Lots of friends ask me to fact-check stories they've read or to vouch for the reliability of a given news site, so I figure it's worth a shot to do it here. I'll also use this to keep track of correspondence I send to and from members of Congress.

Blogger tells me I'm supposed to somehow tell European Union readers about cookies. I don't know what that means, but if for some reason someone other than Bethany is reading this, and if for an even weirder reason, that person is in the EU, there are cookies. If they are Oreos, please share. I'm throwing together this first post while cooking soup for a friend's meal train, so forgive me if it's all over the place.

I guess I'll begin with a short list of news organizations I have been impressed with lately.

  • The Washington Post. The Post has done some fantastic reporting on Trump ever since he won the Republican nomination. A digital subscription isn't very expensive and it's worth the money. For one thing, Trump hates them and it will piss him off if their subscriptions go up. For another, the reason he hates them is that they produce accurate stories that are critical of his campaign and administration. Reporter David Fahrenthold worked himself to the bone throughout the campaign investigating Trump's claims about his charitable giving.
  • Vanity Fair. I've always liked Vanity Fair, but it's another publication Trump has been especially critical of. (Publisher Graydon Carter is the one who started the joke about Trump's small hands many years ago.) After the magazine published a hilarious, terrible review of the Trump Grill, Trump responded by Tweeting about how low the circulation was. It skyrocketed within days. I know people who have never read this magazine and are turned off by the fashion ads and overwhelming perfume aroma, but it's worth the subscription. Their political writing is fantastic and even if you use it to line the litter box, a few bucks a year to annoy the Orange One and support hard-working reporters who are not going to be intimidated is worth it.
  • Teen Vogue. If you had told me a year ago that I would be recommending Teen Vogue, I would have said you were insane. But this magazine has been doing great work lately. The piece that really convinced me is this op-ed about Trump's gaslighting of America.
  • The New York Times. Always. I will always trust the New York Times.
  • ProPublica: Non-profit public interest journalism.
  • PolitiFact. People tend to claim Politifact is biased whenever they don't agree with a Truth Meter ruling. But I've found that while they're sometimes harsher or easier than I might have been, their reasoning is usually sound.

That seems like enough for now. I will do my best to keep udpating. My blog access is limited to times that I remember to charge my cranky Chromebook, because I have more to say than I can type on a tablet or phone. I'll be updating my suggested links along the side of the blog as time goes on. I'm also going to take this moment to brag about the fact that I remembered the correct html tags to make that list!

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