Trump’s argument with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over the wall shows he has no interest in policy, he just wants to “have fights with Democrats … on camera,” says Ezra Klein. John Heilemann and Kimberly Atkins join Lawrence.
If Trump wanted the wall, he wouldn’t have televised the meeting. The difference in funding is relatively small, but Trump offered nothing to trade. If he really wanted the wall, he would have offered citizenship for the Dreamers, which could have been popular for both sides.
In the closed door session, Trump said Mexico will pay for the wall one way or the other. He said the new Nafta will allow the government to collect money.
A reconsideration of tactics is in order.
- They could create a proposal on 1 piece of paper, deliver it and walk out
On Capitol Hill by Julian Zelizer: getting rid of strict seniority that empowered older, southern leaders. This is a story of how Liberals pushed for more partisan.
During the 2016 campaign, Zeynep Tufekci was watching videos of Donald Trump rallies on YouTube. But then, she writes, she “noticed something peculiar. YouTube started to recommend and ‘autoplay’ videos for me that featured white supremacist rants, Holocaust denials and other disturbing content.”
And it wasn’t just Trump videos. Watching Hillary Clinton rallies got her “arguments about the existence of secret government agencies and allegations that the United States government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11.” Nor was it just politics. “Videos about vegetarianism led to videos about veganism. Videos about jogging led to videos about running ultramarathons.”
Tufekci is a New York Times columnist and a professor at the University of North Carolina. She’s also one of the clearest thinkers around on how digital platforms work, how their algorithms understand and shape our preferences, and what the consequences are for society. So as we learn that Facebook is detecting new efforts at electoral manipulation and as we watch online politics become ever more bitter and divisive, I wanted to talk with Tufekci about how digital platforms have become engines of radicalization, and what we can do about it.
In an oral culture, memory is prized.
In a social media culture, attention-getting is prized. The Kardashians do this. Trump is an ex-reality television star, because that is what he excelled at. She thinks this won’t work well because it will be misunderstood. You don’t have control over where it goes.
What is this media training us to do? It is rewarding attention-grabbing with political power and money. Politicians try to get attention without letting it take over.
The space is so crowded, so competitive.
What really wins when thousands of things are competing? (28:50 min)
Things that outrage or excite core identities. Really funny, mean, or shocking.
We are taught to believe that competition is always better. The more we train people to win this war, it is easy to see how so much falls along identity lines, funny, mean, shocking.
Every company knows the power of the default.
The most effective forms of censorship involve messing with trust and attention.
Is censorship the right word? People are asking this of Facebook and Google.
What to do with Alex Jones and what to call him?
3 degrees of Alex Jones: you can start anywhere on Facebook? and Alex Jones will be recommended.
With InfoWars they are targeting people for violent incitement. Claiming that the Sandy Hooks parents kids are actors and they pretended a shooting occurred so that the government can take your guns away.
They are not governments; they are gatekeepers.
Ted Cruz has allied himself with someone who said his father helped kill JFK.
We need forms of due process
Everyone knows the difference between anger and contempt.
Anger can lead to reconciliation
Twitter is a contempt machine
45 min: Blogosphere Fisking: Attacking others, but expecting them to read and respond.
Martin Luther King used confrontation with the expectation that change was possible.
Competition means trying to win the game. Contempt means trying to shut it down.
We don’t actually have conversations with people who are different.
Mitch McConnell promised bipartisanship in his speech about healthcare and delivered the exact opposite. The speech had very little “truth content”. (38 min)
The Koch brothers announced that they had 360 million dollars to spend on the next election if the Republicans passed healthcare and tax cuts. (48 min)
Tucker Carlson condemned the right wing media ~6 years ago and said the right needs its own institutions comparable to the New York Times. He started the Daily Caller which now makes money putting up bikini pictures, and then plays a host on Fox News that does nothing to challenge his audience, preferring to embarrass guests and make its visitors feel good. (1 hr 25 min)
Ezra: I think many of the criticism of the mainstream media are right. It has a cosmopolitan bias.
Tucker Carlson is all about business model. Dinesh D’hsousa is doing well because the Ann Coulter principle — the more extreme you are, the better you do. Authors always check their Amazon ratings.
Many Conservatives don’t consume mainstream media.
The media knew that the John Podesta leaks were coming from the Russians, but the business is comptetitive and people were concerned about appearing biased. (1 hr 38 min)
When Ted Cruz was leading in Iowa, Trump called for a ban on Muslim travel. (34 min)
Trump is a reality television star who has learned the lessons of TV.