In case you missed my CNN segment on it, here are 5 things you need to know:
1. To get into the “top 1%” of Americans you don’t need to be a billionaire or millionaire or half-millionaire. The minimum wage earners in that group make about $343k/year.
2. Financial services professionals (a.k.a. “Wall Street”) average $311k/year — so they technically don’t make it into the top 1% if you look at the mean.
3. Financial services professionals don’t actually make up a majority of the “top 1%” of Americans.
4. The biggest chunk of the “top 1%” are executives and managers outside financial services at 31%; medical professionals make up 16%; financial services professionals make up 14%; 9% lawyers.
5. The “top 1%” of wage earners earn 17% of the nation’s income.
Someone high tail it down to Zuccotti and tell them to relocate to New York Presbyterian.
24-hour news networks are built for one thing, and that’s (coverage of) 9/11 and the type of gigantic news event that the type of apparatus that exists in this building and exists at the other 24-hour (news networks) is perfectly suited to cover.
In the absence of that, they’re not just going to say, ”There’s not that much that’s urgent or important or conflicted that’s happening today, so we are going to gin up; we’re going to bring forth more conflict and more sensationalism because we want you to continue watching us 24 hours a day, seven days a week — even when the news doesn’t necessarily warrant that type of behavior.’
So here’s my example of what news bias is, in my mind: three networks — Fox, CNN, MSNBC — are going live to the Nancy Pelosi news conference, because they are sure, coming on the heels of Anthony Weiner resigning, that she is going to make some sort of incredible statement… and the whole time there’s hand-wringing. ‘Oh, I can’t believe we gotta go and do this. The American people don’t care about this. They care about jobs, they care about the economy… We’re about to go live to Speaker Pelosi.’
…She steps up to the podium, and says what? ‘I’m not going to comment about Anthony Weiner. I’m going to talk about jobs, and I’m going to talk about the economy.’ And what did everybody do?
(“Left,” answer Chris Wallace.)
So what’s your proof again about the ‘partisan agenda’ and what I do? That’s the embarrassment. The embarrassment is that I’m given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does.
CNN sent 11 crews to cover Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, including headliners Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta. Anchors Wolf Blitzer and Piers Morgan were elsewhere last week: Blitzer hosting his evening newscast from France, Egypt and Tunisia, and Morgan heading to Israel to interview Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The deployment was the most visible example yet of new domestic chief Ken Jautz’s vision of CNN as a substantive news network that takes full advantage of its company’s newsgathering heft to concentrate more on journalism and a wide range of stories and less on political debate.
Apparently, Jeff Pearlman’s feelings were hurt by comments left on his blog that were — OH MY GOODNESS - insulting. He is also, apparently, the only person on the internet who clicks on random links (or as Leo put it, the only person left on the internet since 2005 to be successfully goatse’d.)
Instead of doing what most normal folks who interact online do, which is delete comments, refuse to engage with trolls, banning IP address, or just plain ignoring idiots, for some reason, he feels that he is SPECIAL and this is a HORRIBLE SITUATION UNLIKE ANY OTHER, EVER and OH THE OUTRAGE. Did you KNOW that people can leave comments WITHOUT THEIR REAL NAMES?*
(*Except that that wasn’t true, and it wasn’t comments, it was Twitter, and the people who he was talking to USED THEIR REAL NAMES.)
Somehow, despite being on the internet, Jeff Pearlman has managed to escape troll commenters for the last 15 years. Somehow, Jeff Pearlman leaves out of the story that he was also not exactly above reproach in his interactions with commenters as well. Which, you know, I can understand, sometimes, and I have my own comments policy which basically says that since I am not the U.S. government, I am not required to give idiots a soapbox on server space that I pay for and maintain. In other words, I try to be nice and then I delete them. Or I ignore them. And if it gets bad, I block them.
But what does Jeff Pearlman do about it? He hunts these people down and calls them at home. (He leaves out the part about how, on his Facebook page, he was threatening to call someone’s journalism professor. Which is the thing that really gets me, that he was willing to attempt to trash someone’s academic career because of FLAME COMMENTS. Not because the kid called his house or called his employer or threatened his wife and children, but because he didn’t agree with him.)
Except, of course, Jeff Pearlman is 1) male and 2) a nationally published writer with two books and a column in Sports Illustrated and an agent and an editor, and a whole cadre of equally important buddies with large platforms that he can call on for backup, and also lawyers and other backup, so that when he calls, he has some actual authority.
Do you know who doesn’t get to call people at home and get them to back down from nasty internet comments - comments a million and a half times nastier than anything posted on Jeff Pearlman’s blog?
3) Fat people, especially fat women
4) Liberals (especially women)
5) Gay teenagers
6) Straight, weird teenagers
7) Differently-abled individuals
9) Animal rights activists
10) women who write about sports
11) women who write about music (still! in 2011!)
12) women who write about any subject that can still garner the reaction that she sure knows a lot about it for a girl
13) attractive women
14) unattractive women
15) lonely and unattractive people of any sex who dare to post their thoughts on ye olde internet
I’ll end the list there, because I realized I could write it all goddamn night. I could write about the kids who committed suicide because of terrible, life-changing stuff written about them online that wasn’t true, about women who are harassed multiple times daily by guys who feel their sole duty in life is to bother these women so much that they shut up, about people with unpopular opinions for whom cleaning threats and hate speech off their blog is as regular a chore as taking out the trash.
Hey, Jeff Pearlman: you know what happened the last time I had a serious disagreement with someone online, because they didn’t like my baseball blog and I finally IP banned them from leaving yet more obnoxious comments? Their solution was to take out a Craigslist adult personals ad and put my email address in it as the respond-to address. It was a pretty nasty ad, and the responses were equally nasty. I only found it because I asked one of the more tame respondents to please send me the link. I got it taken down quickly, and through some detective work, am pretty sure I know who the culprit was. I still worry about running into this person in public alone, but so far that hasn’t happened, and the reality is that most people who do these kinds of things do them because they don’t have the courage to do anything face to face, but who knows? I certainly don’t have the juice to call them up and tell them to stop, and even if I did, there’s nothing that would entice them to listen to me, and it would most likely make things worse.
So, Jeff Pearlman, you’re proud because you threatened some 23 year old that you would call his journalism professor if he didn’t stop posting that he thinks that you’re an idiot because you’ve made Jeff Bagwell into the waterboy for the failure of MLBPA, owners, the Commissioner and media to address the steroid problem coherently (thanks to Jay Jaffe for that)? How does that make you any less of a bully than the Anonymous Commenters you are now so proud of vanquishing?
I’d argue that it actually makes you more of a bully than some 20 year old kid who’s trying to make a name for themselves in the sports blog world. Because of that aforementioned list of power and privilege that you possess that they do not.
And now, with this, I have joined Jeff Pearlman’s list of online enemies. I will proudly wear this badge.
P.S. If you call MY mom, you better be ready to get an earful.
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