United States

Jack Shafer

You can’t build a better Internet out of red tape

Nov 14 2014

If the latest installment in the long-running net neutrality debate has rendered you mentally exhausted, allow me to approach the future-of-the-Internet argument from a less draining direction.

Stop or I’ll write! Why cops shouldn’t fake being reporters.

Nov 10 2014

Whenever police officers masquerade as journalists, they introduce doubt into the public's mind about whether the next person purporting to be a journalist is actually a police officer or the stories in the news are really bait set by police.

One journalist’s vote for divided government

Nov 05 2014

Count the Washington press corps as unintended beneficiaries of last night's slaughter of the Democrats by the Republicans. Now, with the Republicans taking of the Senate in addition to the House, leaving them in control of all congressional committees, we can expect up to twice as many Capitol Hill investigations.

In covering politics, a little speculation ain’t a bad thing

Oct 31 2014

Facts are useful in political journalism, but only as a starting point, because they tend to contradict one another.

Our appetite for fake Ebola stories and other bunk

Oct 29 2014

Fake news and bad satire venues, critics invariably note, prey on the gullible by spreading patently false rumors that spread panic and sometimes do real harm.

Ben Bradlee, the last giant standing

Oct 22 2014

One of the great payoffs of having lived a long life arrives on the day the newspapers publish your obituary. By out-lasting your competitors and foes, the storyline naturally bends your way. Time blurs precise recollection in favor of generous feelings, which we tend to bestow upon most famous survivors, no matter what sort of lives they lived.

GamerGate: We now know what evil lurks in the heart of man – or trolls

Oct 17 2014

Not all murderous bile is created equal. While readers have vowed to kill or otherwise rough me up over the years, I wouldn't equate those generic promises with what other writers -- especially female ones -- say they face routinely on the Web.

All in all, Eric Holder was just another brick in the wall

Sep 26 2014

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. first signaled his exit from office so long ago that every reporter and pundit who covers the Department of Justice has stockpiled enough copy assessing his tenure to fill a mattress.

War without end: The U.S. may still be fighting in Syria in 2024, 2034, 2044 . . .

Sep 24 2014

In a Pentagon briefing yesterday, Army Lieutenant General Bill Mayville called the cruise missiles and bombs flung at targets in Syria "the beginning of a credible and sustainable persistent campaign." How long will the campaign last? "I would think of it in terms of years," Mayville responded.

What do Miley Cyrus, Ricky Gervais and William Shatner have in common? Quitting Twitter.

Sep 18 2014

Almost as much as celebrities love to tweet, they love to quit Twitter. And as much as they love to quit Twitter, they love to return to the social networking service.

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