My Week in Tweets
February 26 - March 4
It’s hard to believe it is once again March. Before the time flies away from my grasp, I’m pausing to take a look at the past week and provide some background and context behind my online thoughts. Hope you enjoy, “My Week in Tweets.”
February 26 - March 4
- Friday -
Yes the vaccine brings hope, and so do falling case numbers. But the amount of suffering and death remains unacceptably high. And doctors and public health officials are warning, with what seems like unanimity, that another wave is possible. Over the course of my life, I’ve seen Americans called to sacrifice. Wearing a mask isn’t it. There has already been so much hardship: lost loved ones, lives on hold, economic dislocation. A little more perseverance to knock this pandemic out seems the only prudent path. But as we would see later in the week, prudence isn’t in the offing —especially in Texas.
- Saturday -
I hope you will excuse me, but this issue of journalism and business models is becoming a bit of an obsession. Some of it is self-interested, as I seek a way for sustainability in my own meager efforts. But much more broadly, I see a great need to figure out something that works across newspapers, magazines, and audio and video reporting. This was the topic of our “midweek question” and your comments were very perceptive and helpful. I hope to have some announcements in the weeks ahead on this topic.
- Sunday -
In a world of DVRs, steaming, and content on demand, live communal events are becoming fewer and further between. However, I find sports is a holdout. And I appreciate that. It’s one of the last live-event experiences we can gather around together. Not every game is interesting, of course, but it’s still nice to enjoy something that doesn’t have a “spoiler alert.” This year the NBA seems to be particularly competitive. But maybe I’m biased because the Knicks could make the playoffs.
I thought I could pull out an old Star Wars reference and provide a little shade-like commentary on a certain ex-president’s return to the public stage. When I posted this, he was mid-speech at CPAC, with his usual greatest hits: lies, xenophobia, false grievances, and authoritarian mumbo jumbo. Reading the comments, it seems many of you got what I was referring to. Others seemed to worry that perhaps I may have had a bit too many beans for lunch.
- Monday -
On Monday, my Steady team saw that the question of whether interns should be paid was becoming a thing on Twitter. I couldn’t resist jumping in. This is something I care deeply about because I’ve seen how much unpaid internships benefit those who already have the most privilege. I can assure you when I was young I couldn’t have afforded to work for free. And no one should be expected to do so. I knew that unpaid internships have long been a problem in journalism. But as I read in the comments, this unjust and anachronistic practice can also be found in almost every profession. That must end. Now.
Sometimes all there is to say is, “Yay, Science!” But this framing of the headline is promoting some damaging messaging around the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It is a remarkable life saver that could help end a pandemic.
- Tuesday -
And here we are. I began the week worrying that we would loosen COVID restrictions too soon, and then lo and behold it happens in my beloved Texas. I can’t say I was surprised by the decision of the state’s governor to do something so shortsighted. After all we are still counting the deaths and loss from the blackout during the recent winter storm. Mother Nature will throw things at you. That’s a given. But you shouldn’t eagerly go about making matters worse. I thought including a football reference at the end might of the tweet might resonate with some people in Texas. After all when it comes to remembering how important it is to carry the football all the way into the end zone, Cowboys fans can always page Leon Lett.
There’s a certain irony of those who broadcast to millions of followers their plight of being silenced. If a tree falls in the forest but it was #cancelled, does it still make a sound?
- Wednesday -
While Texas leadership as of late has made it incredibly easy to dunk on the Lone Star State (see the junior senator, for example) we need to resist blanket condemnations. A haughty “That’s what you deserve” denies the humanity of the population living here, in particular those who may disagree with the policies at hand. As always, empathy is warranted.
The bigger question is whether Senator Johnson will ask that the bill be read in Russian.Sen. Ron Johnson: "I'm going to make them read their 600 and 700 page bill." Johnson also signaled he plans to force a huge amount of amendments to drag out the process. "We need to keep this process going. .. I'm going to lead the effort to resist this thing."Ana Cabrera @AnaCabrera
Are certain factions in the U.S. Senate acting more like a group of middle schoolers than the world’s most deliberative body? Short answer, yes. And few are being more egregious in their behavior, and lies, than Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson. When he’s not trying to delay desperate COVID relief to millions of Americans, he can often be found pushing the Big Lie about voter fraud and suggesting that the thugs who stormed the Capitol were really leftists in disguise. It’s just the kind of divisive propaganda that makes America weaker and our adversaries love to see - especially Vladimir Putin. But then again Senator Johnson often seems to be reading from Kremlin cue cards.
- Thursday -
We have a pandemic that has killed over a half million Americans. We have climate change wreaking havoc. We have violent attacks on our democratic institutions. We live in a dangerous world. But if you watched Fox News this week you would mostly hear about Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, and now Neanderthals. So President Biden used the last term in reference to the decision to rescind mask mandates, and suddenly an army of activists who have been trampling on the right to vote for minority communities are now worrying about a statement that they feel is derogatory to an extinct humanoid? This is just nuts. And as an aside, when it comes to banning books or calling for boycotts, the “cancel culture” warriors have no shortage of targets in their sights. What a week!
I felt it would be nice to have a palate cleanser at the end of “My Week in Tweets,” so I’m sharing a second tweet from yesterday. It’s a bit bittersweet because scientists are finding that the Gulf Stream is being affected by climate change in ways that could be disruptive and dangerous. But as I dug into the Gulf Stream I found this fascinating article about Benjamin Franklin. And any time you can work Franklin into a tweet, it is hard to resist. I imagine he would have been quite the Twitter master.
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Well, that’s a walk through my Twitter week. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember to leave a comment if you’re so inclined. And if you haven’t subscribed, please consider doing so. Or share with family and friends. Thanks for your support.