weekly yikes report for feb 11-feb 17

Minnesota Congressional Rep Ilhan Omar is the latest contestant on Face the Discourse on twitter. Her tweet referencing a pro-Israel PAC are being taken as anti-Semitic. Having opinions about Israel is always dangerous, even moreso when you are Muslim and there’s already preconceived notions about how you feel about other religions. Omar has already apologized for not seeing how her comments could be taken badly, and its frustrating that she has to do that. Discourse about Israel is rarely allowed to be critical without getting derailed, and this dust up is but another example. Democrats are always terrified of being politically incorrect, and Republicans love to jump on them at the slightest hint of a break from the discourse. Conveniently those Republicans are blaming George Soros for everything at the same time.

Even after her apology the president insists she be removed from committees or resign from Congress. Then he goes and makes a joke about the Trail of Tears (because Elizabeth Warren is officially running in 2020) and it’s gotten 1/200th the attention. The leader of our country is making fun of Native Americans genocide and we’ve already shrugged it off.

Kara Swisher of the Recode Decode podcast did a twitter Q&A interview thing with Jack Tuesday. Probably the most notable piece is Jack calling on Elon Musk as the most exciting influential twitter user. Whereas AOC is only “mastering the medium” despite her, idk, using her platform for good, whereas Elon uses it to accuse dudes of pedophilia and get fined by the FEC. Jack also continued his weird nonsense where he refuses to name a circumstance or possibility under which Trump would be removed from twitter. There is literally an instance above this story break, but Jack is part of the enablers who have led us here. Too afraid of being called out by conservatives for censorship than to stand up for anything. This is how our society erodes, with our tech giants cow-towing to Fox & Friends.

Thursday in particular was a terrible day to be online. Chicago reporters were claiming that Jussie Smollett had conspired with his attackers to stage an attack on him because he feared getting written off Empire. The idea this awful attack had been a hoax spread wildfire-like across twitter. I saw a reporter tweet it, braced myself, and said nothing. But when it came across my feed again hours later, I clicked to see if there was more context, and update, something. But the initial reporting stood, that Jussie had missed an interview with police and had conspired with the attackers who had previously appeared on Empire. That seemed damning enough.

I failed and let the twitter mindset take charge- post without knowing. So I became part of the gross hivemind, spouting opinions about situations that weren’t actually confirmed, adding to the internet pile-on. The instinct to have an opinion or comment on every bit of news is one of the worst effects of being constantly online/on twitter. I do try to have opinions about important things and do my best to amplify voices that need more attention. But I didn’t need to throw out another “wow this is horrible” type commentary tweet. That’s why I have this space, to comment on stories that I can’t shut up about. The fact that I amplified a terrible narrative makes me feel like shit. I’m sorry to everyone who felt pain having to read about Jussie’s attack in the first place, and has been re-traumatized with this reporting.

Fox studios has come out to say that Jussie is in a contract, his character is not in danger of going anywhere, and they stand with him. Chicago police have clarified that Smollett is still considered the victim and their investigation is ongoing.

Seems like every couple hours there is another source, or someone from the Chicago PD saying the investigation has shifted. Let’s remember to keep in mind that Chicago PD is in no way a shining beacon of integrity: Laquan McDonald, Richardo Hayes, Maurice Granton Jr, these are just a few names to remember when getting information from the CPD and wondering if you should believe it.

In other terrible news stories, comments taken out of context from an interview Kamala Harris made it sound like she was trying to be a cool kid who listened to Snoop in college, when she graduated before he put an album out. I am also guilty of dunking on this news until it became clear she was answering a more general question and Fox decided to run with the “lol Kamala is a fake black” I talked about this last week regarding the lady candidates for 2020, and I feel like things are already at a point where its hard to parse worthwhile news stories and stupid “but her emails” non-news. This definitely falls in the latter category and I’m upset I couldn’t see that. It’s a failure of media literacy, and doesn’t speak so well for how the next campaign cycle is going to go.

It’s real easy to jump on a bad story about Harris because she is a former prosecutor and has a lot of shit to answer for politically. One thing she doesn’t have to answer for? Whatever music she’s listening to. If she puts hot sauce on her greens. Literally do not give half a damn about those things, or even if she’s “just doing those things to pander to voters”. Shhh. You’re already taking up the space where we should be talking about her support for FOSTA-SESTA and her views on the incarceral state.

We’ve learned nothing. Mainstream media is still pumping out stories of little substance so we can all squabble over gossip scraps while real issues are left out of the narrative. The quality of our discussions has eroded to a dangerous point. Nuance has been tossed out the window because we’re all clamoring for the hottest take. Outrage culture is more profitable than investigative journalism. If we don’t wise up, another Trump term is all but certain.

Andrew McCabe, late of the FBI, has a lot of interesting tidbits about his tenure, including disturbing details about no-one’s favorite Keebler elf Jeff Sessions. Also he apparently discussed the 25th amendment with the Justice Dept, so that’s cool. He has a book coming out (natch) which is the only reason we ever hear the worst small details of that administration. It is truly a horror in every way.

And finally, something way less consequential: For Valentine’s Day, Kanye got Kenny G to play sax for Kim in what looks like a post-modern movie still.

a deleted fever dream from American Beauty

My only real comment here is this looks like a trap for Kenny. How the hell do you get out of there? I guess now Kanye and Kim just have a room where Kenny G lives? Dude doesn’t even have room to sit down for a sec.