The Copycat Problem

Media outlets must change how they cover school shootings and glamorize the shooters.

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You Are What You Click

I commend to you this excellent essay by Gracy Olmstead on our current American news culture. The entire piece is well-worth your time and reflection, but I want to zero in on one particular point Gracy makes. Toward the end of the essay Gracy says that “the news you click on is the news you […]

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Writing Ourselves Off

Freddie deBoer explains why he’s planning to drop out of the freelance business: I just find, at this point, that the process of pitching, composing, shepherding through edits, promoting, and trying to get paid sucks the life out of me. The commercial interests of publications require editors to ask for things that are tied to […]

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Wrong is Wrong, and Hypocrisy Doesn’t Change That

Recounting the events of today: An American comedian posted to social media a picture that included a likeness of the President in an extremely vulgar, grotesque, and at least plausibly threatening context. There was widespread outrage and condemnation of the image. Virtually no one of consequence defended the comedian or her content. Nonetheless, that didn’t […]

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Gotta Trust Somebody

My intention with my last post was to make a very small, but very important point. Discernment is not cynicism, and cynicism is not discernment. What passes for critical thinking is often nothing more than a defense mechanism, wired specifically to keep presuppositions from coming into contact with pushback, disappointment, or worst of all, contrary reality. […]

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Cynicism vs Discernment

Cynicism: “I don’t believe these news reports because they critique or reflect poorly on those in my political tribe.” Discernment: “Of course, I have my convictions and my loyalties, but everyone, including me, is capable of doing wrong.” Cynicism: “The problem is clearly that these media outlets have an agenda against my tribe. You can’t trust them.” Discernment: “Bias is real, […]

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4 Requests to Young Evangelical Writers

Please don’t believe, or write as if you believe, that your personal experiences are a fully reliable path to understanding. Everyone who has life has experiences, and those experiences do shape us in meaningful ways. But here’s the problem: Different people have different experiences, and different experiences can yield wildly different, even contradictory, notions of reality. […]

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Social Media Resolutions for 2017

I will be less cynical. Sarcasm and withering criticism are to social media what static is to AM radio. There’s no need for one more person’s trying too hard to be funny. I won’t start or join a “pile-on.” If I wouldn’t publicly shame a person in real life, I shouldn’t do it online. I will tweet […]

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Social Media Isn’t News

This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts. Actor Bradley Cooper was just another celebrity face in the crowd at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, but many Republicans on social media took vocal exception to the “American Sniper” star’s attendance. Shortly after Cooper was caught on camera sitting in the audience […]

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“Scare-quoting” Religious Liberty

Mississippi passes controversial ‘religious freedom’ bill. Mississippi Governor Signs ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Into Law. Mississippi Senate Passes Sweeping ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill. All three of those headlines have two things in common. First, they all put scare quotes around the phrase ‘religious liberty,’ the ostensible purpose of which is to introduce doubt or skepticism that the […]

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