Media

Obama Talks Gun Control, Racism, Voter Apathy, and Fatherhood in Arrestingly Frank ‘WTF’ Interview

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At the start of Marc Maron’s hour-long interview with President Obama in his newest WTF podcast, the comedian, despite having recorded over 600 episodes of the show, was clearly nervous about the superlatively high-profile guest. He even seemed to be breathing heavily. But Maron soon calmed himself sufficiently to pose some thorny questions for the President.
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Charleston and White Supremacy: A Reading List

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As many of us continue to reel from this week’s mass murder at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, there are many broader issues and histories we need to reflect on — to make sense of this crime and to help us see a better future ahead. We’ve curated a weekend reading list that offers context for everything from the history of the targeted church and Charleston, to media criticism, to an in-depth look at the faces of today’s organized white supremacy movement.
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Rachel Dolezal Identifies as Black, Denounces Blackface in Confusing First Interviews

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Rachel Dolezal’s “silence-breaking” interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, along with a second series of interview excerpts with MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, didn’t reveal all that much we didn’t already know. So far, the biggest takeaway has been that Dolezal — in the cultural hot seat this week, to put it mildly — claims she has no deception to confess. She essentially ends up sticking to her story, saying she identifies as black. She even seems to give credence to the (widely criticized) theory that her identity is something akin to transgender, and that she experienced a sense of racial dysmorphia from an early age.
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All Your Rachel Dolezal Questions, Answered — By Dave Chappelle and the Internet’s Smartest Writers

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The story of Rachel Dolezal, the Spokane NAACP president who appears to have lied about her race (and resigned from her post this morning) has captivated the imagination of American media, from Twitter jokes to highbrow essays to the morning chatter on my FM radio station. What’s more fascinatingly, disturbingly American, after all, than attempts at self-reinvention that fail spectacularly and are then revealed as total lies (think Jay Gatsby)?
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New Abortion Rights Ads Target Young Men via Xbox, Comedy Central — But Aren’t “Family-Friendly” Enough For Google

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Leftist pundits love to ask why younger people are so progressive on gay marriage but haven’t moved very far from their elders on abortion. Some have opined it’s because gay marriage is about extending an inherently conservative institution to include more people, while others say abortion will never seem as innocuous as marriage, even to supporters. “That element of the culture war appears to be here to stay,” one article concluded.
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New Tech Company Names That Brilliantly Reinterpret Famous Poems

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Recently we read about a new media company that aims for the elusive market known as millennials. Nothing new there, except for the fact that its name, OZY Media, has some decidedly highbrow origins.

Watson said the name of the company came from one of his favorite poemsShelley’s Ozymandiaswhich tells the story of an ancient king whose broken statue now sits forgotten in the desert. Some have taken the poem to mean that even mighty kings are eventually forgotten, but Watson said the lesson he takes from it is that you have to dream big. And there is no question OZY is dreaming big.

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The Right and Left Have Finally Found Something (Awful) They Agree On: Transphobia

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It’s a political truism that the wings of politics aren’t really wings at all — they’re a big old circle, which means that extreme right and extreme left often end up meeting on some unholy shared ground of blinkered self-righteousness and intolerance. So it’s gone over the last few days, with transgender women being the object of the left and right’s shared opprobrium. On the right, it was Christian family man Mike Huckabee, confessing that he would have totally pretended to be trans so that he could get into the girls’ showers at high school, while on the left it was Elinor Burkett’s New York Times op-ed about what it apparently does and doesn’t mean to be a woman. It’s amazing just how much common ground people can find when it comes to kicking one of the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups on the planet, no?
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How White and Male Was the Media in 2014?

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The media can seem like a boys club at times, particularly if you’re opening a newspaper’s sports section, tuning in to a Sunday talk show, or considering the directorial fate of an action franchise. But do the numbers support this assumption? Unfortunately, The Women’s Media Center’s annual Status of Women in the US Media report arrives each year to tell us that the numbers remain grim both for women and minorities. The comprehensive report combines all the available data on gender in media, including film, TV, print, and TV journalism and more, plus some of the WMC’s own fact-finding.
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