Samantha Bee

Friday Five: GetReligionista's mea culpa, #JusticeForJack, SBC spell check and more

Friday Five: GetReligionista's mea culpa, #JusticeForJack, SBC spell check and more

I do a shameless plug every week.

But this week, here’s an extra shameless plug up high so I know you won't miss it.

Or maybe I just needed a good excuse to embed a video of Chicago's "Hard To Say I'm Sorry."

Seriously, my colleague Ira Rifkin had a must-read post this week that, based on our analytics, too many of you missed.

The title of the post:

How I lost my professional cool and succumbed to gossamer social media satisfaction

Here is part of my Rifkin said:

Bottom line. My skill set failed me because I reacted emotionally rather than mindfully. It’s a media trap that can nab any of us.

In an email thread among our team, Richard Ostling congratulated Rifkin on his reflection:

The media in an era when they're on the griddle hourly need more honest self-reflection and  all the accuracy and (yes) fairness and balance they can muster.

Amen.

Go ahead and read Rifkin's post. Read it now.

Meanwhile, let's dive into this week's Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: The #JusticeForJack case — as supporters of Colorado baker Jack Phillips dubbed it — is the easy choice this week. 

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How I lost my professional cool and succumbed to gossamer social media satisfaction

How I lost my professional cool and succumbed to gossamer social media satisfaction

GetReligion readers: Allow me to offer my own mea culpa. It’s not for something as juicy -- or as damaging to our  national conversation -- as anything said by Roseanne Barr or Samantha Bee. But given what I do here at GetReligion, it's worth noting.

Before you start reading all my past "Global Wire" posts -- go ahead; I dare you -- it’s not for anything I've posted on this website. Though I’m sure more than a few of you think I should be apologizing for just about everything I’ve posted here over the past three-plus years.

Rather, it's for a story on anti-Semitism in Western Europe produced by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service that I reposted on my personal Facebook page. It violated whatever advice I repeat here ad infinitum.

Some respected Facebook friends called me out on the post, and rightly so. Hence, my mea culpa. (More on this below.)

What advice do I refer to: Approach the journalism you consume from a place of media literacy.

Consider what’s missing from a story. Is it meant to play to your fears and biases? Was important context left out? How about alternative viewpoints? Do not let emotions overwhelm your intellect.

Above all, perhaps, don’t further circulate a story that fails the smell test by impulsively reposting it on social media, where the echo chamber is sure to run with it as if it was unquestionable gospel.

I’m a presumed expert on all this -- or so I've convinced my GR bosses. So if only for the sake of this post, please accept that I actually am I, despite this mea culpa.

So just what am I apologizing for?


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Red counties and blue collars: As it turns out, folks in America's heartland still exist

Red counties and blue collars: As it turns out, folks in America's heartland still exist

Help me out here, readers.

I have been traveling so much in the past few weeks that lots of things I have read and heard have merged into a kind of fever dream in my 60-something brain. Somewhere out there I saw an advertisement for a last-moment fundraiser by liberal comedians who described their program as "like the Blue Collar Comedy tour," only for "smart, moral people" -- or words to that effect.

Did I just dream that? It's a perfect statement of half of what happened last night and this morning. In the end, Hillary Clinton did not get enough votes from blue-collar Democrats and lots of other people who used to be in the old Democratic Party coalition that included the Midwest and large parts of the Bible Belt.

When I wrote my Election Day post about the religion and culture angles hidden in Tennessee's rural vs. urban divide, I didn't realize that I was, in effect, writing about the whole United States. Click here for a final NPR verdict on the numbers, with rural areas going 62-34 percent for Donald Trump and cities voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton to the tune of 59-35 percent.

City people are happy with America, just like London people were happy with life trends in the European Union. The people in depressed towns and smaller cities? Not so much. The 2016 election map, broken down by counties, is going to be Jesusland: The Sequel.

As the exit poll numbers roll out, we are going to find out all kinds of religion-angle things that we already knew.

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