Larry's List

What You're Reading About the NSA in Some Newspapers May Be Purely Propaganda

Shocking revelations in the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post could merely be attempts by the National Security Agency to justify its activities; a new law in Saudi Arabia labels all atheists as terrorists; meanwhile, Mississippi passed an anti-gay segregation bill. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

NSA Blows Its Own Top Secret Program In Order To Propagandize
Over the last 40 years, the U.S. government has relied on extreme fear-mongering to demonize transparency.

First-Ever Political Study of Top 1% Has Found Extreme Conservatism, Intense Political Involvement
The richer one is, the more psychopathic one is likely to be.

The Pope’s Tone Softens — But The Vatican Is Still Fighting LGBT Rights Around The World
Pope Francis’ softening tone on LGBT issues does not appear to have been matched by a meaningful shift in policy in the realm of international diplomacy.

Black Death Was Not Spread by Rat Fleas, Say Researchers
Evidence from skulls in east London shows plague had to have been airborne to spread so quickly

Mississippi Passed Its Anti-Gay Segregation Bill. Will It Be Struck Down?
On Tuesday, the Mississippi legislature easily passed an Arizona-style anti-gay segregation bill, potentially legalizing anti-gay discrimination throughout the state.

New Law in Saudi Arabia Labels All Atheists as Terrorists
No one has ever accused Saudi Arabia of being the Holland of the Middle East.

Out of the Jungle: The Campaign Against College Players Forming Unions
The campaign against college players forming unions, as exemplified by Patrick T. Harker’s recent column, continues to repeat the false impression that what the “student-athlete-employees” are demanding is to be paid for their efforts.

The Internet Didn’t Invent Viral Content or Clickbait Journalism — There’s Just More of It Now, and It Happens Faster
Many people seem to believe that the idea of “clickbait” or artificially viral content was invented by the internet or social media, but it has been around for centuries and was arguably perfected by newspapers — all the web has done is make it faster and more efficient.

Why Newsrooms Are Enlisting Data Scientists
The rise of big data has made statisticians into celebrities — employable ones at that, as companies face an unprecedented onslaught of information.

Jesus Quits as Evangelical Savior: My Biggest Scoop Ever!
Jesus H. Christ interrupted regularly scheduled programs on every TV channel across the Western Hemisphere with a stunning simulcast announcement.

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