SocraticGadfly: 3/11/18 - 3/18/18

March 16, 2018

MSM Bingo! Statesman sold and #TXPrimary dust settling

We've got a runoff for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination between the the incompetent (so far) Loopy Lupe Valdez and the insufferable "I personally" Andrew White.

Meanwhile, last week, the Austin Stateless was sold to Gatehouse's parent for pennies on its one-time dollar. This just a year after the Dallas Snooze outsourced its pagination/copy editing to Gatehouse.

What do these two things, and others, have in common? This graphic of mine below.

This is primarily about newspapers, from my expertise. But, one magazine that you should know is included. So is the pack of TV and radio stations, more and more of whom are owned by folks like Sinclair.

Of course, the clear square does mean something. It is certainly understandable by me. But, the ownership class at the media knows that well and continues to exploit it. The bottom, lightest-shaded square in the gray column also means something in the big picture of media things in the Pointy Abandoned Object State™.

The bottom left square also means something, in a reverse-snark way. And, in a real way, non-daily papers, with smaller five- and six-day community dailies at least somewhat on the same side of the fence, face their own worries.

A lot of the other squares, though? Newspapers, not just with ownership, but with upper-level editorial staff, are digging their own graves.

Take the Dallas Snooze, with a clickbait child-level header on a story that wasn't much more than a nothing burger and certainly not "investigative journalism," about city sewage infrastructure, which the Observer first gave a moderate level skewering by Stephen Young, then the full Monty by Jim Schutze.

The actual story? And the Curious Texas project behind it?

This belongs on Quora, not a theoretically serious and theoretically major daily paper. (And, thus, the death of a thousand cuts from the online world goes both ways.)

If the Snooze wants to keep this Curious Texas project, accept questions like this and do stories on them, at a minimum, it would go with non-clickbait headers AND writing. And, they should be no more than, oh, 300 words?

As for Ms. Jennifer Emily?

You're on MuckRack, too? Hope you've raked actual muck.

March 14, 2018

Exxon is not serious about #climatechange part 4

I've written not just one, or two, but three previous pieces about how eXXXon is not that serious about climate change in general and certainly isn't serious about a carbon tax. (These have in part been shadow-blogging reactions to a business editor and columnist at a newspaper.)

This is how serious eXXXon really, truly is about climate change—
its expected shift in global energy production.
On carbon taxes, said columnist has said that a carbon tax does need sticks as well as carrots. Well, I think he still disagrees with me on the issue of rebating. I have been consistent in opposing direct rebates at least, because the actual pain of not getting money back is the single biggest stick of a carbon tax. That said, that's the single biggest stick that eXXXon would like to remove, too.

Well, DeSmog Blog points out now just how unserious Exxon is on climate change in general. It doesn't expect serious changes in fossil fuel production as a percentage of its portfolio over the next 25 years. It also claims that it won't have stranded reserves due to climate change regulatory issues — issues it continues to fight.

Its hypocrisy DOES include worrying about stranded reserves early in the Obama Administration, fearing that new deepwater drilling regs after the Deepwater Horizon blowout would cause exactly that.

And, eXXXon isn't even incorporated in Texas' largest city. Not sure why said columnist might be that worried about making sure to say Big Oil is taking climate change seriously.

It's probably more accurate to say that Big Oil is taking the possibility of other people taking climate change seriously, seriously itself.

DeSmog Blog shows we simply can't release those fossil fuels to keep a climate change-related temperature spike to no more than 2C. Hell, with eXXXon's projections, we can't even stay inside 3C.

So, again, how seriously does it take climate change?

March 13, 2018

TX Progressives offer a post-primary roundup

The Texas Progressive Alliance congratulates the winners of last week's primaries and thanks those who did not win for their dedication as it brings you this week's roundup.

Socratic Gadfly has his set of post-primary and pre-runoff thoughts, primarily on the Senate and Governor's races.

Neil at All People Have Value offered his thoughts on the recent Texas primary with a focus on Harris County.

Stace responds to Dems and media alike regarding Beto's South Texas performance.

Brains and Eggs wraps his multi-part take on primary elections with a look at some state legislative races.

Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer things the biggest election in Texas will be next January — for Joe Straus’ replacement as state Speaker.

Jobsanger remains Bernie-butthurt and is sad that Elizabeth Warren truly might not run, to stop another feared-by-him Bernie catastrophe.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

G. Elliott Morris looked for predictive data in the early voting numbers.

Grits for Breakfast assessed the criminal justice-related primary races of interest.

Paradise in Hell is glad to see the end of Kathaleen Wall's campaign.

Juanita finds her next job.

Alex Macon bemoans our state's bad transportation policy.

Truthout reports (near bottom of piece) the Texas Democratic Party allegedly accusing Sema Hernandez of laundering drug money.

G. Elliott Morris reports on the atrocity to defendants of state District Judge George Gallagher.