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Why Normal People Don’t Trust Data Journalism




For a start, this kind of reporting doesn’t obey any of the four golden rules of attention-seeking: novelty, controversy, celebrity and sex. Another way of putting it is: they’re boring, written by boring people and they cover boring subjects.

Let’s be honest: this stuff is written for other journalists. If you’ve signed up to a life of crafting explainer tabs for Vox, or landed a gig at the Guardian writing for its datablog, good for you. But know that your work will only ever be read by dorks.

Look at the three big explainer sites. Vox, FiveThirtyEight, The Upshot. What do they all have in common? All of them originate from one side of the divide. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying they’re bad because they’re liberal. I’m just saying they have editorial priorities that ignore 50 per cent of the population. You know, the “ordinary” people, who don’t stay up until 2.00 a.m. rage-commenting on Jezebel.

So-called “actually” journalism doesn’t speak to these people because it doesn’t use the language of emotion or common sense, as most of us do in most of our lives.


At least, unlike Milo Yiannopoulos (the author of this piece), Vox, FiveThirtyEight, and The Upshot pay their writers

You know what’s interesting: there’s an actual point underneath here about confirmation bias. “Emotional,” language often feeds into specific audience bias. (Fox, btw: is genius at feeding confirmation bias to their audience, even if they have to flat-out lie to do it.)

It also depends on whether your audience is committed to seeking confirmation of their own bias.

Data is powerful. You can say that the top 1% pays the overwhelming amount of revenue dollars, or you can say that everybody else pays a much higher percentage of gross income. Both are factual, but only one supports the narrative that people who control the majority of wealth are overburdened by taxes.

You tell me which one is, “True,” by comparison.

*nb: I have lost all patience with disingenuous arguments.

(Source: infographicsinua)

YANNO… I get really exhausted by people who say that it’s not valid to criticize the anatomical aspects of comics art.

Here’s why: there is a specific kind of physics’ defying, back-breaking, beyond belief type of anatomy that female characters are nearly ALWAYS subjected to. (I swear to god, the first person that says male characters are also ridiculously idealized, or they’re superheroes, or it’s just a comic book, will get torn to shreds. Get more interesting derailing tactics, ffs.)

Whether it’s beach-ball boobs, or the kind of ass we seldom see in real life, or the bend of a spine that would land a person in the hospital, female characters’ anatomy is used in the laziest possible way to create masturbatory material. I love pinups, I love erotic art, and I love comics.

The LAZY-ASS template of poorly-executed female anatomy as any of those things is BAD ART. If you are an artist and can’t create a female body that is strong, beautiful, sexy, and interesting without committing gross anatomical fail, let alone gross objectification fail: it’s BAD ART. Critique of that is valid, as is critique of comics’ repeated use of it as editorial fail. To say it’s not, is disingenuous and derailing fuckery.

Whether you mean it that way or not.

You heard me.

Down underneath your conscious response, where you are certain you’re not being misogynist (regardless of your gender) when you pull out arguments that support bias, your intent means jack.

So just DON’T. Maybe try *asking* why people view the thing you’re defending as negative and offensive, if you don’t see it.



I’m trying hard to live by Cat Principles.

1- I am glorious above all things
2- Eat when hungry, sleep when sleepy, play when bored
3- Affection is given and received on my terms and only mine
4- Show displeasure clearly.
5- NO
6- Demand the things you want. If they aren’t given, demand them again, but louder this time.
7- If you are touched when you don’t want to be, say so. If they continue to touch you, make them bleed.



US Constitution, First Amendment: The right to assemble, to have free speech, to have freedom of the press.

Ferguson Police: Kicks out media and limits protestors to a “First Amendment Area”image

funny, i thought the WHOLE COUNTRY was a first amendment area. silly me. 

Thank GWB for this one, “Free speech zones,” have been an actual thing since about 2003.

Sex, sexy, and sexual objectification in media

It seems like at least once a week, women are required to answer the charge that if we’re feminists, we’re anti-sex and anti-sexy.

That’s not how this works.

Granted, usually the charge comes in response to our raising hue and cry over things like a father and boyfriend having a, “Humorous,” conversation about whether the boyfriend having sex with the daughter constitutes statutory rape in Transformers: Age of Extinction or as this week has shown, the variant cover art for Marvel’s Spider-Woman.

(You can google, I’m posting via mobile.)

Women don’t exist, even if we’re heterosexual or bi/pansexual, for the male gaze. The pervasive entitlement to women’s bodies, time, energy, and sexuality is rooted in ownership and is collectively a facet of rape culture. It’s okay to show women’s boobs in a Carl’s Jr.,/Hardees ad in order to sell a sandwich, but breastfeeding in public is obscene. It’s okay to draw women in ways that are anatomically impossible so both boobs and butt are offered to a male eye, and it’s okay to deny women access to birth control, and it’s okay to call us sluts, and it’s okay to harrass and stalk us on the streets but we’re not afforded the opportunity to say no to dick pics. Yet if we demand parity of gaze, we’re asking to be, “Pandered to.”

We’re not anti-sex, we’re not anti-sexy, we’re just not willing to have what is sexy be determined by male eyes or entitlement. We aren’t willing to be things to be used for men to get off on, without our consent. And we are certainly not willing to stand by as the idea of woman-as-object is sold to yet another generation of young women and girls as well as young men and boys. Not when women are subject to dress codes and expelled from schools and proms because they’re, “Distracting,” the male eye.

The startling thing is that the idea of men finding non-consensual, objectified images of women or forcing women to pay attention to them by sending dick pics and harrassing on the streets is seldom filed under sexual violence. It’s a predatory gaze that has been normalized for centuries. Wanting women without agency, forcing women to serve male needs, and reflexively attacking our, “No,” with vitriol, mockery, and often violence says a lot more about how much society enforces not men’s desire for sex, but the desire to masturbate to the idea of subjugation of women who can’t say no.

Masturbation is just dandy, we know that. Fantasies are fantasies, we know that, too. It’s just not sexy to pretend that using a partner as a human fleshlight or viewing women as though we’re not actual people is cool.

And fellas, if your idea of sex-positivity from women is how enthusiastic we are about your penis or how happy you are with your own sexual needs being met, you need to go back to the drawing board.

As for defining sexy, that’s a mutable thing for most of us. Exploitation is usually not on the list for non-creepy people though, whether it’s art or life.

Stop making us have these boring, repetitive conversations, you’re not 12 years old and you should know better by now.

Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it’s all a male fantasy: that you’re strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren’t catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you’re unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride (via chartyourowncourse)

(Source: courcel)


Anonymous asked:

The kid in Ferguson robbed a store. The cop noticed he matched suspect description and confronted him. The kid rushed the cop, and the cop shot him- normal, procedural action. And not all of the protestors are peaceful. This isn't cops vs. the town. Yes, it's awful and yes there's alleged brutality, but the coverage on tumblr has been awful and biased



Legit the only reason people give a shit about ferguson is because a white cop shot a black kid. White cops can shoot white people and black cops can shoot black people, but the second a white shoots a black, it’s an uproar. THATS why racism remains an issue

This is it kids, the day has come. The day I meet the biggest idiot alive.

Have you been paying literally any attention? Like, not even to start with your horribly bigoted and anti black racist comments in these asks, but “the kid” who was extrajudicially executed by a police officer had a name. His name was Michael Brown, and the pig who killed him was Darren Wilson. 

Here’s a video account by Michael Brown’s friend, the young man who was walking with Michael when the execution happened.

His account stated that Michael was shot several times and that he got down on his knees and put his hands up when Wilson started pursuing him. Michael’s autopsies fit the account.

Several other eyewitness accounts say THE EXACT SAME THING.

Michael was 6’4” and the only possible way that he could have been shot in the top of his head and have the bullet exit out the back of his neck is if he were kneeling.

And whether or not Michael stole anything (which, I believe, was debunked, but I may be wrong), Darren Wilson did not know that Michael was supposedly tied to a robbery.

Not even to mention that petty theft is in no way punishable with unlawful execution.

Feguson, Missouri is in a police state. 75% of Ferguson is a black population and almost none of the police force has black officers. The police are terrorising Ferguson. They have removed their IDs and badges, which is LITERALLY illegal. They shot peaceful protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, and wooden pellets. I don’t think I have any links for this one, but they’ve repeatedly, pointlessly, and unlawfully arrested reporters in the area. 

They’ve also threatened to shoot the Ferguson livestream operator. They have spent days trying to get the protesters to turn off their phones and stop uploading to media what they’re doing.

And you want to know the real reason people are making a big deal about, in your words, “a white shooting a black”? 

Because it happens all the fucking time.

I am a white person, so while it is not my place to stand up and talk about anti black racism, it’s pretty clear that you’re a goddamn idiot and you need to stay in your fucking lane.

Racism continues to be an issue because of bigoted dumbarses like you.

stay in your fucking lane

TW: racism

I’ve had more than one person tell me Brown charged Wilson (a literal, “Raging bull,” argument,) and that Wilson suffered an orbital fracture as a result (no, he didn’t, and the video of him standing over Mike Brown’s body proves that.) I won’t debate any alleged (and debunked) crimes you think Mike Brown committed because you heard it on Fox news. Because it doesn’t matter.

Here’s what matters:

Mike Brown was accosted by a police officer for walking while black.

Mike Brown was treated as a suspect for existing while black.

Darren Wilson shot Mike Brown. And when Mike Brown was in a position of submissive surrender, on the ground, Darren Brown shot him in the head one last time.

Darren Wilson did not call in to report the shooting. He did not call an ambulance. He refused to let a nurse on scene perform CPR. Darren Brown did NOTHING that he was required to do by law in performing his job as a law enforcement officer.

He stood over Mike Brown’s uncovered body for hours. Until an unmarked SUV (not a coronor’s vehicle, not an ambulance,) came to take a young man’s lifeless body and the evidence it carried, off the street.

Where his actions became incontrovertibly illegal, was the headshot after surrender. This is compounded by the failure to summon emergency medical services, to call the shooting incident in, and the refusal of outside medical aid.

Darren Wilson shot a person who had surrendered to police custody in the head, and attempted to conceal this crime by ensuring Mike Brown could not survive to give evidence of this crime by denying medical aid. The forensic evidence and timeline show this, clearly.

Anything else you want to debate about why Wilson drew and fired his weapon at all, is moot.

Darren Wilson executed a prisoner whose only proven crime was existing while black. That is murder.

Ferguson, language, and dismantling the narrative


People who aren’t raging bigots and who are on social media are probably acutely aware of the difference between how major media outlets are reporting the story and what people on the ground are saying.

Those differences put a spotlight on just how important the words we use are, in how we…

ICYMI the first time.

The good news is that social media, citizen journalism, and journalists who have chosen to believe their own eyes and call out the lies of the official narrative, are making a difference. The bad news is that anyone not on social media who’s getting their news from networks, Fox, or CNN, isn’t seeing that.






i barreled past the ‘media fatigue’ line re: ferguson & police brutality like three days ago but ferguson PD’s counting on people to stop paying attention so they can avoid accountability so fuck that shit



I hate…

ok there’s a lot of white people on this post but what I’m referring to is the constant reiteration for many people of color (although ferguson is an issue of antiblackness) that the police are not to be trusted. ever. ask them for directions, don’t expect them to help you get justice if you’re not white.

there’s no veil being lifted for many of us who have been consistently posting about ferguson and mike brown, it’s just another instance of having to fight for justice when a murder would’ve otherwise been covered up.

this has been happening for years, and has been on our radars for a damn long time. i think ‘media fatigue’ is a pretty fair thing to say when it’s referring to things poc already know (that poc lives— and specifically black lives— aren’t worth much to white america) being constantly reinforced

You are absolutely correct, (I did not have full context.) My comment was mainly to address the ability conferred by privilege (white, male, class, etc.,) to choose not to see or be involved in things that ARE other people’s daily experience.

Living with systemic bias and oppression *is* exhausting, so I totally get that. Sorry for the confusion.


I swear that this is what the man has claimed, two middle of the night press conferences in a row. People behind the protesters threw stuff at the cops and no one saw it.

Now, Capt. Johnson has a problem with honesty. We’be seen that, we know it to be so. But this isn’t just an honesty issue, this is defying the laws of physics and reality.

Either that or Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are secretly lurking behind the protesters and throwing Molotov cocktails in amazing passes, and the explosions are happening when every single person, and every single camera are all focused elsewhere.


Palestinians express solidarity with the people of Ferguson | Electronic Intifada 
August 17, 2014

We the undersigned Palestinian individuals and groups express our solidarity with the family of Michael Brown, a young unarmed black man gunned down by police on August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri. We wish to express our support and solidarity with the people of Ferguson who have taken their struggle to the street, facing a militarized police occupation.

From all factions and sectors of our dislocated society, we send you our commitment to stand with you in your hour of pain and time of struggle against the oppression that continues to target our black brothers and sisters in nearly every aspect of their lives.

We understand your moral outrage. We empathize with your hurt and anger. We understand the impulse to rebel against the infrastructure of a racist capitalist system that systematically pushes you to the margins of humanity.  

And we stand with you.

We recognize the disregard and disrespect for black bodies and black life endemic to the supremacist system that rules the land with wanton brutality. Your struggles through the ages have been an inspiration to us as we fight our own battles for basic human dignities. We continue to find inspiration and strength from your struggles through the ages and your revolutionary leaders, like Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Kwame Ture, Angela Davis, Fred Hampton, Bobby Seale and others.

We honor the life of Michael Brown, cut short less than a week before he was due to begin university.  And we honor the far too many more killed in similar circumstances, motivated by racism and contempt for black life: Ezell Ford, John Crawford, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tarika Wilson, Malcolm Ferguson, Renisha McBride, Amadou Diallo, Yvette Smith, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Kathryn Johnston, Rekia Boyd and too many others to count.

With a Black Power fist in the air, we salute the people of Ferguson and join in your demands for justice.


  • Susan Abulhawa, novelist and activist
  • Linah Alsaafin, graduate student, SOAS
  • Budour Hassan
  • Rinad Abdulla, Professor, Birzeit University
  • Ramzy Baroud, Managing Editor, Middle East Eye
  • Diana Buttu, Lawyer, Palestine
  • Rana Baker, graduate student, SOAS
  • Abbas Hamideh, activist and organizer
  • Abir Kopty
  • Ahlam Muhtaseb, Professor, CSU
  • Alaa Milbes, Ramallah, Palestine
  • Alaa Marwan, Ramallah, Palestine
  • Nour Joudah, Washington DC
  • Ali Zbeidat, Sakhnin, Palestine
  • Areej Alragabi , Jerusalem, Palestine
  • Areej Saeb, student, Jerusalem
  • Asma Jaber
  • Beesan Ramadan, Nablus
  • Dina Zbidat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Dr Jess Ghannam, UCSF
  • Huwaida Arraf, Attorney, New York
  • Nejma Awad, Tetra Tech DPK
  • Monadel Herzallah, USPCN, San Francisco Bay Area
  • Ghassan Hussein
  • Dinna Omar
  • Randa C. Issa
  • Amal Khoury, MD MPH, Washington, DC
  • Amani Barakat Moorpark, California
  • Fadi Quran 
  • Fajr Harb
  • Falastine Dwikat, PCACBI
  • Hala Gabriel
  • Khaled Jarrar
  • Osama Ahmad, AMP Bay Area director
  • Hala Turjman
  • Halla Shoaibi, Birzeit University
  • Harun Arsalai  
  • Zaid Shuaibi
  • Hurriyah Ziada
  • Dima Eleiwa, Shujaiyah, Gaza, Palestine
  • Jamil Salem, Birzeit University
  • Karam Saleem, International Solidarity Movement, Palestine
  • Khaled Barakat
  • Khuzama Hanoon, Palestine
  • Laila Awartani, Ramallah, Palestine
  • Lana Habash, Let’s Go There Collective
  • Lana Khoury, Washington DC
  • Yousef Aljamal, University of Malaysia 
  • Safwan Hamdi
  • Leena Barakat
  • Lema Nazeeh, lawyer
  • Yara Kayyali Abbas, Palestine
  • Mariam Barghouti, Birzeit University
  • Mohammad Ayyad, graduate student, SOAS
  • Nader Elkhuzundar
  • Nancy Mansour, Existence is Resistance, New York/Palestine
  • Mohammed Alkhader, Birzeit University
  • Nazik Hassan, attorney, Riverside, California
  • Nora Taha
  • Rena Zuabi
  • Roleen Tafakji-Haidami
  • Samera Sood
  • Sana Ibrahim
  • Sherene Seikaly, UCSB
  • Taher Herzallah
  • Tamara Reem, Washington DC
  • Ahmad Nimer, Palestine
  • Riya Al’sanah, journalist, London
  • Alaa Milbes, Ramallah
  • Belal Dabour, Gaza doctor
  • Huda Asfour, PhD, Durham NC
  • Iyad Afalqa, Irvine, CA
  • Ruba Leech, Portland, OR
  • Rashad Al-Dabbagh, Network of Arab American Professionals
  • Maysoon Suleiman-Khatib, Civil Rights Specialist
  • Diana Alzeer, Ramallah, Palestine
  • Mona Kadah, Boston MA
  • Lucy Garbett, Jerusalem, Palestine
  • Hadeel Assali, Columbia University, NYC
  • Magid Shihade, Oakland, CA
  • Tamara Tamimi, Palestine
  • Hammam Farah, psychotherapist and editor
  • Dina Elmuti, Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture
  • Laila Hamdan, Portland OR
  • Bushra Shamma, VA, USA
  • Rev. Fahed Abuakel, Presbyterian minister , Atlanta, GA
  • Rehab Nazzal, artist, Canada
  • Ezees Silwady, Palestine
  • Dua’ Nakhala, freelance researcher, Belgium
  • Amal Oweis, Palestine
  • Shaheen Nassar, UCR
  • Amin Dallal, youth counselor
  • Dr. Tariq Shadid, surgeon
  • Zaha Hassan, Esq
  • Randa Issa, PhD
  • Murad Saleh, GED
  • Lila Sharif, Ph.D
  • Sa’ed Atshan, Ph.D
  • Rasha Khoury, MD Jerusalem
  • Hadeel Assali, Columbia University, NYC
  • Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, Associate Professor of Race and Resistance Studies, San Francisco University
  • Tanya Keilani
  • Shahd Abusalama


  • American Muslims for Palestine
  • Free Amer Jubran Campaign
  • International Solidarity Movement, Palestine
  • Let’s Go There Collective
  • Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  • Students for Justice in Palestine, University of New Mexico
  • The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat
  • Bay Area Intifada, Bay Area
  • PAWA, Palestinian American Women Association
  • NSJP, National Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
  • Mashjar Juthour, Palestine
  • Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee
  • Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition 
  • Stop the Wall
  • The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Photo: Hamde Abu expresses solidarity with Ferguson.


This is a very serious disease* so I gladly accept the “bucket challenge”

*My heart goes out to all those who struggle with ALS but I am, of course, talking about the disease of apathy.  If (and hopefully when) Michael Brown’s killer is brought to justice and convicted of 1st degree murder, it still won’t prevent this from happening again. We cannot accept this as the status quo. We MUST continue the fight at the ballot box, in the media and by working to create systemic change. I’m not naive to the dirty politics (redistricting, voter ID requirements, etc) that will try to prevent us from our goal. But I refuse to give up hope. My “bullet bucket challenge” is not about pointing fingers and it’s not about being angry. Every shell casing in that bucket represents the life of someone who fought and died in the goal for civil rights and human dignity. As a member of law enforcement (yes I really am a reserve sheriff) I will not stand idly by while others violate civil and human rights under the cover of authority and I will insist that other good cops rise to the same standard as well. As a black man I will demand more from myself and my community. I will not allow outsiders to co-opt our struggle in order to commit violence in our name. I’m channeling my outrage into action so I no longer feel powerless. It’s not about black or white. It’s not about rich or poor. It’s about us vs. them. There are more of us — from all races, genders and identities — then there will ever be of them. And we will be victorious.

"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality"

Join me.

There you have it. Make no mistake, theorlandojones nailed it on the head.





It’s important that people see this

I dont even know who this is, but the media pulls shit like this often and it should be publicized.

mark duggan was the young man shot to death by the met police here in london, and whose murder, now ruled controversially as ‘legal’, sparked the summer riots a few years back.

The media will always show the things they want you to see , that doesn’t always mean that it’s the absolute, 100% truth. Remember that.

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