Senator Jeff Flake’s twitter and the day to day life of a US Senator

Recently, following an episode of NPR’s This American Life on the Senator Jeff Flake’s attempt to pass a bill through Congress, I have decided to follow the man on Twitter.

The man is a United State’s Senator and provides a window into a congressman’s view on the world and day to day life.

Flake’s tweets mostly pertain to US politics, but also offer a personal insight into what he does for fun as well.

Recently the Senator made a speech to Congress condemning the President’s actions in perpetuating the “fake news” attack on journalism.  In it he compares Trump’s assault on the media to Stalin’s, and blames him for third world Dictators adopting the technique. Coming from a Republican, the statements are hard hitting and poignant.

 

Michael Cohen raids and the Sean Hannity controversy

As many are aware, the FBI raided former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s house, hotel room and office in search of documents linking Cohen to possible bank fraud. Trump lashed out after the raids calling them a “witch hunt.”

Following the raids more news has come out involving Cohen and Fox news commentator Sean Hannity. Hannity, who formerly claimed he was not a client of Cohen’s, was revealed in a hearing to have been in business with the lawyer.

Sean Hannity had been a heavy supporter of the president, and following the FBI raids agreed with Trump’s claim that the raids were unfair, a “with hunt.”

Now his ties to the lawyer are calling into question his integrity as a new’s commentator for not disclosing his conflict of interest to his audience.

A summary of my professional online identity

I do not have an extensive online personality, especially when it comes to professionally. However I do have a Twitter account which functions as my central online character.

There is also a YouTube account which I have posted film class projects, but intend to post more of my filmic activities eventually.

Then there are my Tweeted Times,which aggregates movie news, and my Nuzzel, which aggregates news on the Mueller investigation.

The rise of racism and political divide in America

The rising trend of racism in America is an idea that many seem to be aware of, yet any proof that racism is again experiencing growth is based mostly on anecdotal evidence. A rise in news reports on racist cops, the Charlottesville incident, and Trump’s inauguration all point to the idea that racism is making a revival in this country, but racism is a hard thing to track.

Add to that the fact that the left and the right can’t even agree on whether or not racism is a big issue makes finding concrete facts about the revival of white supremacy hard to come by.

Whether or not racism is experiencing a revival, many on the left seem to believe that it is happening. That belief, even on its own, can have ramifications.

However there is some evidence to support the claim. For one, hate crimes have been on the rise in the past two years, since 2015. As well, the KKK has claimed they are experiencing a revival in membership.

Even Fox News acknowledges that there is a problem, however the cause, they say, is debatable.

Buzzfeed treats #IBelieveHer proponents and critics unfairly

BuzzFeed aggregated tweets and public statements in the wake of the #IBelieveHer after two rugby players are acquitted of rape charges.

While the BuzzFeed story goes into some of the details of the case, the main focus is on the online discussion surrounding the #IBelieveHer hashtag.

The story allows people from both sides to speak, however when it comes to linking it treats each differently. For those on the side of the girl, it links directly to the tweets made, however when it comes to the opposed only screenshots with blurred names are provided.

Perhaps this was done to prevent backlash to the tweeters, yet to treat one side differently than the other seems unfair.

 

Michigan schools fail to improve

Michigan schools are not improving. Even worse, they seem to be in decline.

Ron French’s story on Betsy DeVos’ “60 Minutes” interview aggregated stats that indicate Michigan’s school systems by and large have been in getting worse.

In some instances Michigan has been seen in last place among improvements in math and reading, according to French’s source at Brookings.edu. Third-grade reading scores have also been shown to be in decline, according to Bridgemi.com.

What these sources show is that according to experts and other reporting, despite Michigan spending money to improve, it is not working.

What French’s story shows is that studies from a variety of places, and statistics from multiple sources as well as experts, indicate the lack of improvement among Michigan’s schools.

The liberal bias

All people hold bias in their minds. Confirmation bias. Belief bias. The background of a person will affect how they report the news and there is no way around it.

For myself, part of what I have to deal with comes from my political beliefs. Being liberal means that I am more likely to want to report on things that confirm what I believe.

The same can be said for being atheist, being white, being a man, being raised upper middle class, and being American.

All of these can contribute to what I am willing to believe, what I want to report on, and, unfortunately, how I report it as well.

Being aware of the bias can help. Always making sure that I hear both sides of the story and listen to all arguments surrounding it can at least make my reporting fair. Removing myself from the story helps as well, so that only the facts are reported.

Lastly, being up front about my own beliefs and biases can help any potential readers determine for themselves whether or not what I say is trustworthy.