Standing Up

Tim Cook's tricky balancing act; doctors speak out against family separation; and more.

  • This is civic tech: Brooklyn’s Nina Sparling sits down with Ivana Ng and Mari Miyachi of Nava, a public benefit corporation that is building an API that will transform how doctors get paid to care for 34 million Medicare recipients, to learn what makes their team tick.

  •’s Mike Scutari talks to our friend Craig Newmark about his big $20 million gift to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. “In this time when trustworthy news is under attack, somebody has to stand up,” Newmark says.

  • Related: Tomorrow, at 11:30 EDT, Mobilization Lab is holding an online workshop on “How positive narratives win campaigns in a ‘fake news’ world,” with Rachel Weidinger of The Narrative Initiative; Pakistani communications and advocacy Dawood Khan Batozai; and Kateryna Kruk of in the Ukraine.

  • “I believe that fake news is the cancer of our times and social media the vehicles for metastasis,” Patrick Soon-Shiong, the new owner of the Los Angeles Times, writes in a letter to its readers.

  • Tech and politics: Today’s Democratic gubernatorial primary in Maryland includes two candidates with strong ties to the tech sector: former NAACP president Ben Jealous, who did a stint with Kapor Capitol and Alec Ross, former innovation advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Obama years. A Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll shows Jealous tied for first with Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, with Ross trailing in the crowded field.

  • Life in Facebookistan: Local reporter Marie Baca of the Albuquerque Journal writes for Columbia Journalism Review about what it’s been like for reporters like her to try to cover the roll-out of Facebook’s “Community Boost” program for small businesses. Aggressive media management, anyone?

  • Trump watch: Here is audio obtained by ProPublica of ten children who have been separated from their parents last week, sobbing while a border patrol agent jokes, “Well, we have an orchestra here. What’s missing is a conductor.”

  • More than 7,500 mental health professionals have signed an open letter to the Trump administration calling on it to end the policy of forced separation. Authored by Dr. Dina Sinopoli of Philadelphia, it reads in part:

    We find ourselves again upon a time where we will one day utter “how could we have let that happen?” We cannot afford to forget that there is a history of separating children from their parents: during slave auctions; during the forced assimilation of American Indians; and during the Holocaust. The reverberations of these barbaric stains on our history are still felt today and future generations of these original victims will inherit the intergenerational transmission of these traumas. To try and argue that this policy of ripping children from their parents at the border is somehow different from the systematic traumatization of children during the times of slavery, forced assimilation, and the Holocaust is to disregard history. To somehow convince ourselves that this systematic traumatization of children has no bearing on the lives of these children and no impact on the legacy of our country is to be living in an alternate universe. And to not care about the impact these policies have on these children is to succumb to the worst potential of humanity.

  • Immigration lawyer R. Andrew Free reminds us in a powerful series of tweets that today’s “DHS Kidnapping policy is the logical extension of yesterday’s family detention decisions. It’s the same mouthful of detention-as-deterrence mouthwash, just swished to the other side. Nothing, NOTHING in our law requires us to abuse and traumatize families and children.” Those policies, he notes, were developed and defended by President Obama, who personally told Free that his support for for-profit family detention centers was justified, and added, “I’ll tell you want we can’t have. It’s these parents sending their kids here on a dangerous journey and putting their lives at risk.”