In a recent opinion column, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank argued that President BidenJoe BidenNicaragua breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan, recognizes Chinese sovereignty Biden reassures Ukraine’s Zelensky of U.S. support amid Russian aggression On The Money — Senate risks Trump’s ire with debt ceiling deal MORE is treated worse by the media than President TrumpDonald TrumpOn The Money — Senate risks Trump’s ire with debt ceiling deal Bank regulator erupts in partisan split as Democrats go rogue Biden to appear on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ on Friday MORE was during his time in the White House. And yes, you read that correctly.
Milbank’s proof is provided by something called a “sentiment analysis,” which has never been tried before in analyzing media coverage. Nate Silver, one of the most respected statisticians out there and the founder of FiveThirtyEight, called Milbank’s conclusion “complete crap” due to the poor algorithms applied.
To this good thread explaining why the “sentiment analysis” cited in the @milbank WaPo article this weekend is complete crap—the analysis was used to make the claim that the press is just negative toward Biden as Trump—I’ll also add a couple of comments based on their data. 1/ https://t.co/V8pPJoM13p
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 6, 2021
Designing good algorithms is hard, but this is an especially bad one.
And as a news consumer, you should be extremely wary of statistical methodologies you don’t understand but that confirm your priors. 8/8
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 6, 2021
Milbank’s piece – which was retweeted by White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainPavlich: Biden gets walloped by the courts New variant raises questions about air travel mandates White House scrambles for safety on holiday parties MORE and shared by some other media critics – acknowledges that Biden received mostly good press until August, when things suddenly changed.
But what happened back then? Ah, that’s right: The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan occurred that month, which ceded control of the country to the Taliban, allowing for the reemergence of al Qaeda and ISIS, and leaving hundreds of Americans behind in the process, some of whom remain there to this day.
Thirteen U.S. service members were also killed by an ISIS terrorist outside Kabul International Airport during the drawdown. And days later, a U.S. drone accidentally killed an Afghan family, despite initial Pentagon claims that it had taken out a key ISIS asset; seven children were among the dead.
gee what happened in August to result in sudden bad press?
so unfair that handing over a country to the Taliban, 13 Americans getting blown up, drone striking innocent family, & leaving hundreds of Americans & thousands of Afghan allies behind didn’t result in positive coverage. pic.twitter.com/EQuV52f3N7
— Jerry Christmas (@JerryDunleavy) December 4, 2021
Bottom line: Despite Milbank’s argument, there was simply no way to positively spin the Afghanistan debacle. And you cannot spin in any positive way core inflation being at a 30-year high, all while this administration has passed trillions in new spending while proposing trillions more in new spending in an effort, they say, to reduce inflation. This spending will only exacerbate the inflation problem, as anyone who has passed Econ 101 can tell you.
You also cannot positively spin gas prices being at their highest levels in nearly a decade. Or spin that President Biden shut down the U.S. Keystone Pipeline about five minutes after taking office while not doing anything to stop Nord Stream 2, which has emboldened the Russians by making it a major supplier of energy in Europe.
You cannot positively spin rising violent crime and smash-and-grab robberies being a nightly event in this country, which the administration blames on (checks notes) COVID-19.
— New York Post (@nypost) December 2, 2021
You cannot positively spin the ongoing crisis at the border, which the media ignore more than they spin. In a related story, more than 2 million people are set to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021, which is more than the combined populations of Washington, D.C., Boston and Denver.
And you cannot positively spin that Democrats are increasingly seen as the anti-parent party, as evidenced by the gubernatorial results in the formerly blue state of Virginia and Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — FEMA restores climate role in strategic plan Youngkin says he will withdraw Virginia from regional carbon initiative Flush with cash, states planning big cuts to taxes MORE‘s improbable victory by running on that issue.
Former Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter (@StefCutter), addressing last night’s election results: “The one thing that we need to make sure of is that Republicans in 2022 don’t become is the party of parents” pic.twitter.com/7nkxADC2KG
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 3, 2021
Economy. Crime. Immigration. Education. Foreign policy. Five of the biggest issues going into the 2022 midterms on which Democrats are playing defense. But if you listen to Milbank and read his piece, it’s the media’s fault for being mean to Biden, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary in terms of performance.
Perhaps we should look at tried-and-true studies from nonpartisan organizations instead of depending on a longtime MSNBC pundit.
According to a comprehensive study by Harvard University, Trump received 93 percent negative coverage from CNN and NBC News in the first 100 days of his presidency. CBS News coverage was 91 percent negative, while the New York Times and Washington Post clocked in at 87 percent and 83 percent negative, respectively.
Similarly, the Pew Research Center found that Trump received just 5 percent positive coverage, with 33 percent being deemed neutral. His predecessor, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden to appear on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ on Friday Some good news in the battle to rebalance the courts If Democrats ‘pack the court,’ will it protect a woman’s right to choose? MORE, received eight times more positive coverage than Trump. Pew also found that 68 percent of the coverage that Biden received was either positive or neutral.
Ted Koppel, one of the great objective journalists of the broadcast era, summed up the coverage of Trump best during his presidency.
“I believe [the New York Times and Washington Post] have, in fact, decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad for the United States,” he said in 2018. “We’re talking about organizations that I believe have, in fact, decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad for the United States. We have things appearing on the front page of the New York Times right now that never would have appeared 50 years ago… analysis, commentary on the front page.”
Fast forward to 2021, and President Biden is currently polling at 30 percent approval among independents, per a Wall Street Journal poll released Dec. 7.
Just 19 percent “strongly approve” of the president’s performance, showing a profoundly weak base of support so soon into his first term after receiving a record number of votes for president last year. And just 3-in-10 Americans believe the economy will improve in 2022. Just 27 percent of the country says the U.S. is on the right track, while incredibly high margins believe inflation, crime and border security will get worse, not better.
But one Washington Post columnist believes these numbers are the product not of public sentiment but of the big bad media, which have it out for Joe Biden more than they did for Donald Trump.
You really can’t make this stuff up.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill and a Fox News contributor.
Social media boosts U.S. red meat profile in Hong Kong – National Hog Farmer
With the surge in meat buying at retail and online in Hong Kong, USMEF partnered with an imported meat wholesaler and key opinion leader (KOL) to raise the visibility of U.S. red meat, promote sales of a wider range of cuts with end-users and provide promotional support to foodservice partners.
“The pandemic accelerated demand for high-quality protein and online content about food, meat handling and preparation,” says Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific. Instead of working with general foodie KOLs, Beef Checkoff Program funding from Texas Beef Council and support from USDA’s Market Access Program and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program were utilized to partner with a local meat wholesaler with a strong social media following among the Hong Kong trade. Costs have been lower with this trade-focused approach, says Haggard, “and arguably have resulted in a greater long-term return due to adoption of many of our KOL’s recommendations by other institutional meat users.”
Known as Meat Dee to his Facebook and YouTube followers, Dee Liu is the son of a former wet market operator who has helped expand the family business into imported meat wholesaling. USMEF has worked with Meat Dee on several educational videos focused on simple at-home preparation of alternative cuts such as the hanging tender. (See video featuring a local Italian chef joining Meat Dee to cook hanging tenders.)
“In providing this educational content to the trade through Meat Dee, sales of a wider range of U.S. red meat cuts have been realized in both foodservice and retail channels,” says Haggard.
As the tentative restaurant recovery began in early 2021, USMEF also partnered with Meat Dee on a series of short YouTube videos featuring visits to Hong Kong restaurants where U.S. red meats were featured as center-of-the-plate items. The culinary styles were diverse, ranging from pet-friendly, American-themed restaurants to iconic traditional local steakhouses, hot pot and Korean barbecue establishments.
Aimed at consumers, the emphasis of the 2021 videos was on locally owned and operated restaurants rather than international chains. Each video is approximately 10 minutes in duration and shooting was done ‘live’ without rehearsals. Two of the videos, for instance, focused on cooking recommendations for U.S. Berkshire pork.
“The contents are not restaurant reviews per se, but stories about the main U.S. red meat dishes that make each restaurant notable or successful,” says Haggard.
A total of 16 videos were produced in 2021, attracting up to 30,000 views. The restaurant operators covered in the series have been especially appreciative of the promotional effort given the challenges they faced in 2020 and 2021, Haggard adds.
Screen Shots: Hockey Media Brouhaha and Anaheim's Struggles – The Hockey News
It’s late in the workweek, and that means it’s time for a Screen Shots column, wherein we take a brief look at a few newsworthy topics. Let’s get right to it.
– The hockey world was abuzz earlier this week after veteran Edmonton journalist Jim Matheson and Oilers superstar Leon Draisaitl got into a heated back-and-forth during a media availability. While it’s tempting/easy to take the “both sides are equally to blame” angle, the truth is that NHL players don’t need journalists to do their jobs well, and all things considered, reporters do need some sort of input to do their jobs well.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think journalists should depend on players to effectively cover the game. As I’ve said to young writers all the time, you should be at the rink prepared to write a story that doesn’t require a cliche to be complete. Media need not be beholden to players. Journalistic independence applies here, and just as we expect players not to roll their eyes at lame-o questions, we also should expect journalists not to sneer at lame-o answers.
As others have noted, the long wait between games for the Oilers was a mitigating factor in the tension between Draisaitl and Matheson. That said, under longtime media-player rules, when cameras didn’t zero in on every breath and conversation between NHLers and reporters, some hostile situations never saw the light of day. It was kept between the two arguing parties, and nobody else was ever the wiser.
But just because you didn’t see run-ins happen, that doesn’t mean they didn’t take place. I’m reminded of that when I think of one of my first years covering the Toronto Maple Leafs on a game-in, game-out basis. At the start of the season, star goalie Ed Belfour was in the midst of dealing with Leafs media at his dressing room stall for one of his first interviews in a Toronto uniform; but unbeknownst to Belfour, a print reporter and a TV journalist wound up physically jostling with one another as they tried to get in close to him. Finally – while Belfour was still answering questions – the muscling-in on each other boiled over, with the print reporter asking the TV journalist whether he wanted to “go”.
As this was happening, Belfour’s mouth fell open. When the cameras and microphones clicked off, Befour asked, incredulously, “is it always like this here?” We all know media scrums are where decorum goes to die, and Belfour had played in big markets before Toronto, but the press is almost always a different animal when it comes to Canadian franchises. Hopefully, after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, we can all go back to covering players and teams the way we’ve always covered them, and diffuse arguments like this one before they mushroom into something bigger and nastier. If not, there will probably be more of these types of frigid relations.
– After surprising many people with a strong start to the season, the Anaheim Ducks have regressed to the mean, winning just two times in their past 11 games (2-7-2) and falling to third place in the current Pacific Division standings. However, the discrepancy in games-played between the Ducks and the fifth-place Calgary Flames – a discrepancy that has Calgary holding a whopping seven games in hand on Anaheim, while trailing the Ducks by only five standings points – means that Anaheim has to start turning things around, lest they switch spots with the Flames and wind up missing out on the playoffs.
Part of their recent slump is connected to the COVID-19 virus taking a bite out of starting goalie John Gibson, but in their current four-game losing skid, they’ve been outscored 16–4. It isn’t all about defense; this has to do with the highs and lows that come with having a young core of developing talent. Anaheim has seen some of the highs this year with the evolution of young forwards Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry; now they are understanding how difficult it is to maintain a strong pace as a group. I still am not sure about them making the playoffs this year, and this recent slump as a unit gives me evidence for concern.
Twitter debuts hexagon-shaped NFT profile pictures
Twitter Inc on Thursday announced the launch of a tool through which users can showcase non-fungible tokens (NFTs)as their profile pictures, tapping into a digital collectibles craze that has exploded over the past year.
The feature, available on iOS to users of the company’s Twitter Blue subscription service, connects their Twitter accounts to crypto wallets where the users store NFT holdings.
Twitter displays the NFT profile pictures as hexagons, differentiating them from the standard circles available to other users. Tapping on the pictures prompts details about the art and its ownership to appear.
Like other tech companies, Twitter is rushing to cash in on crypto trends like NFTs, a type of speculative asset authenticating digital items such as images, videos and land in virtual worlds.
The social media platform last year added functionality for users to send and receive Bitcoin.
Sales of NFTs reached some $25 billion in 2021, according to data from market tracker DappRadar, although there were signs of growth slowing toward the end of the year.
Proponents of “Web3” technologies like NFTs say they decentralize ownership online, creating a path for users to earn money from popular creations, rather than having those benefits accrue primarily to a handful of tech platforms.
Critics dismiss the decentralization claims, noting that many of the services powering adoption of those technologies – like the six crypto wallets supported by Twitter’s NFT product – are backed by a small group of venture capitalists.
In a widely circulated tweet after the launch, security researcher Jane Manchun Wong highlighted one of those links, showing how an outage at venture-backed NFT marketplace OpenSea temporarily blocked NFTs from loading on Twitter.
OpenSea did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.
(Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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