Sunday, September 4, 2022

Press The Meat, Con't

Missouri GOP Attorney General and US Senate candidate Eric Schmitt is going after the University of Missouri's college newspaper for printing fact checking articles, to see if the paper and its faculty advisers are in violation of the state's law banning "critical race theory" in public education.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed an open records request seeking correspondence between two journalism professors connected to the University of Missouri and the executive director of a fact-checking group.

In a move that appears to be unprecedented in Missouri, Schmitt, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, filed a request in June asking for three years of emails sent and received by the professors while they worked at the Columbia Missourian.

Most correspondence generated at private media firms is not subject to the state’s open records law, but the Missourian could be because it is attached to the University of Missouri, which is a public entity.

The Missourian is not overseen by university officials, but most of its staff are students who are working for credits toward a journalism degree. The professional editors work as university faculty members.

David Kurpius, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, said the school has hired outside legal counsel to determine which emails could be released to the attorney general. Some records, such as those that identify students’ personal information, are protected by federal law.

Jean Maneke, an attorney with the Missouri Press Association, said the request puts the university in “unchartered territory” because most public institutions do not have journalists attached. She was unaware of any similar requests in the past.

“There’s no clear instructions for what they should do when faced with these kind of parameters,” Maneke said.

The request was first reported by the Missourian, which discovered it after filing an unrelated open records request.

Schmitt’s spokesman, Chris Nuelle, said in a statement that the attorney general is “simply trying to get to the bottom of the fact checking process.” He declined to answer further questions.

Schmitt previously used open-records laws to seek copies of handouts, emails and other resources that address race from school districts as part of a push targeting “critical race theory.” He also opened a “transparency portal” to allow parents to see his efforts.

In the latest request, Schmitt is seeking any email correspondence starting June 15, 2018, sent to or from Mike Jenner, Tom Warhover, who previously worked with the Missourian, and Aaron Sharockman, the executive director of PolitiFact.
Schmitt wants to destroy the paper and almost certainly imprison the former faculty advisers.

I repeat, Schmitt wants to throw people in jail for fact-checking the GOP.

He will not be the last to start imprisioning journalists, and journalism school faculty.

This is what fascists do, of course. President Biden was correct in his assessment.

And even worse, here in America, journalists are being murdered.

Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German, one of Nevada’s most accomplished and trusted journalists, was found dead with stab wounds outside his home Saturday morning.

German, whose work in Las Vegas spanned more than three decades, made a career of breaking big stories about everything from organized crime and government malfeasance to political scandals and the Oct. 1 mass shooting.

“The Review-Journal family is devastated to lose Jeff,” Executive Editor Glenn Cook said. “He was the gold standard of the news business. It’s hard to imagine what Las Vegas would be like today without his many years of shining a bright light on dark places.”

Las Vegas police responded to the 7200 block of Bronze Circle, near North Tenaya Way, around 10:30 a.m. Saturday after a person called 911 saying a neighbor was dead on the side of the victim’s house, according to Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Dori Koren.

Police found German, 69, with stab wounds outside of his home. Police believe he was in an altercation with another person on Friday in the late morning that led to him being stabbed.

“We believe the altercation took place outside of the home,” Koren said.

“We do have some leads. We are pursuing a suspect but the suspect is outstanding,” Koren said.

Koren said the stabbing is believed to be an isolated incident and that there is no threat to the public.

Cook said German had not communicated any concerns about his personal safety or any threats made against him to anyone in the Review-Journal’s leadership.
MAGA fascists have spent years calling journalists "Enemies of the State".
Now journalists are being murdered.
Again, this is what fascists do.

Sunday Long Read: Mauled Of America

This week's Sunday Long Read is Jillian Steinhauer's exploration at TNR of the American Mall, symbol of capitalism and local meeting place for teens, and whether it can -- or should -- survive the pandemic era at all.
In the days before the pandemic, when I visited the Museum of Modern Art, I would stop at Mrs. Fields. Mrs. Fields does not have the best cookies, especially in a city teeming with boutique bakeries. But getting a snack there was never about the quality of the food itself. A Mrs. Fields cookie summons up a weekend in the early 1990s when my parents would pack me and my siblings into our Volvo station wagon and drive us half an hour over state lines to the mall in Stamford, Connecticut. There, my mom would peruse high-end stores that didn’t have locations in our hometown, while my dad would take us kids to buy cookies and eat them on the steps that formed the mall’s gathering spot.

You could tell the story of many suburban childhoods through a progression of visits to such anodyne shopping centers. Once I was old enough to go to malls on my own, I met up with friends at the two main ones in White Plains, the New York City suburb where I grew up: the Galleria, where I got my ears pierced at Claire’s, and the Westchester, a shiny new beacon whose upscale nature was reflected in the fact that it had carpeting. By the time I moved away for college, I was over the world I left behind. When people asked where I was from, I’d answer, “a soulless suburb of New York City with no culture but lots of malls.”

I haven’t spent much time in shopping centers since—partly by choice, partly through circumstance. Malls have been struggling in one way or another since the 1990s, thanks to a slew of factors: a glut of such shopping centers, the replacement of department stores with big-box ones, recessions, the rise of the internet, and a new generation of mega-developer owners who are more cutthroat about their bottom lines. Even before the pandemic, which made gathering indoors dangerous, fewer Americans were whiling away their weekends and after-school hours at the mall. Yet for so many of us, the image of a sunlit atrium crossed by steadily gliding escalators, with a Bath & Body Works looming in the background, evokes a deep nostalgia. Like how, the minute I walk by a Mrs. Fields and smell that intoxicating scent of butter, sugar, and chocolate, my defenses drop.

The mall is “ubiquitous and underexamined and potentially a little bit embarrassing,” the design critic Alexandra Lange notes in the introduction to her new book, Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall. Shopping is part of our daily lives, as are the spaces where we do it. Malls are fixtures of our physical and psychic landscapes, embedded with social and personal histories. They’re loaded symbols within our culture, inspiring feelings of allegiance or contempt. In George Romero’s famous 1978 movie, Dawn of the Dead, the mall is a home for humans and zombies alike. In the third season of the ’80s-nostalgic TV show Stranger Things, it’s simultaneously a place of teenage possibility and a Russian front for a sci-fi lab. In contemporary “ruin porn” photography, the empty shells of malls represent the just deserts of late-stage capitalism.

What makes malls the object of both longing and disdain? The civic purpose of the mall—unlike libraries, schools, and museums—has never been entirely clear. “In contrast to many other forms of public architecture, which embody fear, power, and knowledge, the mall is personal,” Lange writes. It’s not an institution, officially speaking, but it is social, a rare type of place intended to encourage hanging out. “At their best, malls create community through shared experience,” Lange says; at their worst, they’re temples to consumerism. They offer freedom—from parents, strict rules, the weather—even as they’re policed. They’re public, sort of, but also private, providing convenience at a price. Malls are not necessarily the communal spaces we would design for ourselves, but in a country short on alternatives, they’re the ones we’ve been given. Is it any surprise that we want them to be so much more?
Even in the small North Carolina city I grew up in, we had malls, as did the surrounding small cities.  I remember the smaller, older mall from the 70s with an Orange Julius and a Big Lots, presently a large furniture showcase, and the "newer" 80's mall, renovated in the early 2000s and now with a carousel, the mall was the place where I spent many a weekend with my dad and brothers, from the arcade to the Radio Shack to the food court to the WaldenBooks.

And yet living across the road from where the major mall is now, I don't think I've been in there since well before the pandemic, it's been years.

Cincinnati is turning a bunch of closed malls into mixed user properties, which is good.

More of this needs to happen as malls vanish from the landscape.
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