Cybersexy

No such thing as facts says CNN commentator; another record-breaking #GivingTuesday; and more.


  • Tired of getting the dial tone at your representatives’ offices as you and everyone you know calls to complain about the president-elect or a member of his coterie? Here’s something else you can do. Revolution Messaging and Creative Majority PAC have launched whitehouseinc.org, a new tool to connect Americans with a randomly-selected Trump property. “Foreign leaders and Wall street executives know that if they want to reach out to our President-elect, they just have to connect with his business associates. Now with WhiteHouseInc.org the American people have a direct line to Trump too,” said Scott Goodstein, co-founder of Creative Majority PAC and CEO of Revolution Messaging.

  • A reminder, from a decent overview of our post-fact America by Joshua Holland for Rolling Stone, that America elected a candidate whose statements were rated at least “mostly false” by PolitiFact 70 percent of the time.

  • Donald Trump supporter and CNN political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes confirmed it for us yesterday, saying, “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore of facts,” Erik Wemple reports for the Washington Post. She elaborated, “One thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts, they’re not really facts. Everybody has a way, it’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true.” Wemple reports that someone tried to take her to task for these outrageous statements, but it doesn’t seem to have done much good, because by the end of the conversation she had implied that the NFL is biased against Trump.

  • Mark Landler reports for the New York Times on how President-elect Trump’s word vomit in his communications with foreign leaders is making everyone very, very nervous. For example: “In a remarkably candid readout of the phone call, the Pakistani government said Mr. Trump had told Mr. Sharif that he was “a terrific guy” who made him feel as though “I’m talking to a person I have known for long.” He described Pakistanis as “one of the most intelligent people.” When Mr. Sharif invited him to visit Pakistan, the president-elect replied that he would “love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people.””

  • “Some members of the audience applauded, and the tension in the room built up as salads were left untouched and more wine was poured,” write Hadas Gold and Gabriel Debenedetti, reporting on the Harvard Kennedy School post-election conference, during which the campaign managers of Republican candidates blasted CNN President Jeff Zucker for his preferential treatment of Donald Trump. “”It’s not the interviews,” Rubio senior advisor Todd Harris said as another audience member shouted, “You showed empty podiums!”

    “”You showed hours upon hours of unfiltered unscripted coverage of Trump, this was not about interviews,” he added.” And that wasn’t the end of it.

  • This is civic tech: Once more, consumers opened their pockets after a weekend dedicated to shopping to donate $168 million to charitable causes as part of Giving Tuesday, Charisse Jones reports for USA Today, surpassing the previous record of donations for the third year in a row. Last year, our Micah Sifry argued that the concept was one of the most successful civic tech culture hacks of the decade.

  • The New Yorker’s Adrian Chen digs into the “cybersexy mystique” of the Washington Post story about the long arm of Russian propaganda, writing that “the [PropOrNot] list of “propaganda outlets” has included respected left-leaning publications like CounterPunch and Truthdig, as well as the right-wing behemoth Drudge Report. The list is so broad that it can reveal absolutely nothing about the structure or pervasiveness of Russian propaganda.” As harmful as the fake news that did spread during the campaign, or the Clinton-campaign email leaks, might have been, Chen concludes that “the prospect of legitimate dissenting voices being labelled fake news or Russian propaganda by mysterious groups of ex-government employees, with the help of a national newspaper, is even scarier. [Russian media analyst] Vasily Gatov told me, “To blame internal social effects on external perpetrators is very Putinistic.””

  • The EU has dedicated 1.9 million euros in the 2017 budget to fund a bug bounty program proposed by MEP Marietje Schaake to shore up cybersecurity.