It’s Not Cambridge Analytica We Need To Worry About, It’s Our Minds

This originally appeared in the Forward and is republished with permission. The Cambridge Analytica furor, like the uproar over Russian penetration of Facebook that preceded it, has painted a bullseye on Mark Zuckerberg. I get why he and other social media CEOs are waffling about testifying at congressional hearings: They’re afraid that… More

Kathleen Hall Jamieson: Portrait of 2018 Ev Rogers Award Winner

Kathleen Hall Jamieson delivers her Rogers Colloquium “How Russian Hackers & Trolls Exploited the US Media” Monday, March 5th in the Forum at Wallis Annenberg Hall. What could be more timely? 3/2/18: Leaked: Secret Documents From Russia’s Election Trolls The Decline of American Politics, and How to Fix It Is our… More

Of God, Dice and Fatal Car Acccidents

This originally appeared in the Forward and is republished with permission. It was the second time I noticed a news story about a fatal crash of a church group that I had the uneasy feeling there was a pattern. That time, it was Baptists, seniors in their church’s Young at… More

This UFO Changes Everything

This originally appeared in the Forward and is republished with permission. “Look at that thing, dude!” A hundred miles off the coast of San Diego, two Navy fighter pilots on a Super Hornets training mission spot a whitish, oval-shaped aircraft of some kind flying on an unearthly trajectory at crazy… More

The President of Stranger Things

A full moon ambushed me the other morning. It was pasted on the sky like a crafts project, too flat and too burnt orange, and too close to Beverly and La Brea, to be real. I wasn’t, How beautiful! I was, How strange. How strange there’s a four-and-a-half billion-year-old rock… More

Celebrating the Impact of Healthy Media Depictions

On September 27 in Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of attending the Sentinel Awards, an annual celebration of television programs that entertain millions but also help viewers gain insights into serious health and social issues. These are popular shows that we (or some subset of we) love watching, shows… More

Enemies of the People? Hollywood Doesn’t Help!

A favorite scene from one of my favorite films happens midway through the 1996 horror flick Scream. Moments after being attacked by the serial killer Ghostface, Sidney Prescott (played by Neve Campbell) is attacked again. This time it’s by the bright lights of a television camera crew as she’s confronted… More

The NFL’s Most Conservative and Liberal Fan Bases

Does NFL team fandom transcend political ideology or is it an expression of political ideology? The 2017 NFL season kicked off last weekend as a microcosm of the polarizing political climate in this country. Some fans aren’t tuning into games because of continued racial inequality protests during the National Anthem.… More

More “Cronkite Moments,” Please, ASAP!

Mere weeks ago, The Washington Post ran a story headlined “‘Lie after lie after lie’: Fox News’s Shepard Smith has a Cronkite moment on Russia,” which caught our attention because the Lear Center reveres the TV journalistic legacy of Walter Cronkite and presents biennial awards named for him. Watch the… More