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Company Before Country
Fox News lies to its viewers because that's its business model.
Sree’s newsletter is produced with Zach Peterson (@zachprague), with the Digimentors Tech Tip from Robert S. Anthony (@newyorkbob). Many thanks to our sponsor, Armory Square Ventures. Cartoon by Pat Byrnes (@patbyrnes).
🗞 @Sree’s Sunday #NYTReadalong: This week, Neil Parekh and I went through the paper together, just like the good ole’ days! You’ll find the recording, along with three years’ worth of archives at this link. The Readalong is sponsored by Muck Rack. Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
🎯 NEW BROCHURE! Our company, Digimentors, works to increase the digital footprint and impact of companies and nonprofits around the world. We do this via digital and social consulting, as well as virtual and hybrid events production. See our updated brochure (would love your feedback). Get in touch (no project too big or too small): firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. If you’d rather chat, here’s my Calendly.
FOX NEWS LIES TO ITS VIEWERS. This is not news, but now we have the receipts. Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News for defamation in the wake of Trump’s bogus claims of a rigged election in 2020. Now we have a real, in-depth look at the depravity at work within the top echelons of the Fox News empire.
Erik Wemple had a good thread with the highlights (or, lowlights, in this case) right when the documents were made public:
Now, new filings are out — they include emails, texts, and more from pretty much everyone you’ve ever heard of at Fox News, including Rupert Murdoch. The first batch of testimonies and depositions were pretty explosive, but the new stuff is so much worse.
You can see all of the Dominion filings in one document here.
Some excerpts, via CNN:
Months after the 2020 presidential election, and two days before the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Tucker Carlson wrote in a text message that he hated then-President Donald Trump “passionately,” according to the newly released court documents.
“We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” Carlson wrote on Jan 4, 2021, the filings show. “I truly can’t wait.”
“I hate him passionately,” the Fox host continued. “I blew up at Peter Navarro today in frustration. I actually like Peter. But I can’t handle much more of this.”
“That’s the last four years,” Carlson added. “We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.”
There’s so much here that explains the last eight years of GOP politics. All of the institutionalists, like the ultra-conservative Liz Cheney, hated Trump because they had built a system that was working for them at almost every level of government — he and his followers were, and remain, a direct threat to that. You could read the Carlson texts in the voice of Mitch McConnell, or Mike Pence, or any number of prominent Republicans, and it would ring true.
Yet, they all doubled down and just had to get behind Trump, country be damned. So, in search of ratings, Fox News hosts, for the most part, went all-in on election fraud lies — they did this knowing full well that the network was peddling half-baked conspiracy theories.
The clear and real damage that Fox News has done to our politics may actually be our country’s ultimate undoing. While the network’s primetime hosts were lying and whipping people into a frenzy about the 2020 election, the company’s core leadership was frantically emailing about the damage being done to The Brand.
I draw a parallel between Fox News and the Exxon Valdez oil spill, but it’s likely worse than that. The intellectual rot that has found its way into the homes of so many millions of Americans has, in my view, done more damage to the world than every oil spill ever. It’s a network that broadcasts a strange form of right-wing contrarianism mixed with straight-up white nationalism for several hours every day. It does this while calling itself a “news organization.”
Running a multibillion-dollar conspiracy and outrage engine is morally repugnant on its own. Privately stewing while the ideas you’ve sown for a decade lead to a violent coup attempt is quite another.
Now we have the proof — hundreds of pages of internal correspondence that show Fox News is just a grift. The network hates its viewers, has no respect for them, and seeks only to cow people into an outrage cult.
That’s The Fox News Brand.
Thank you for the incredible response to the recent essay that Zach and I wrote about losing our mothers at 18 and 52 respectively. Your comments, notes and stories showed us that we are not alone. 🙏
A Message from Armory Square Ventures
Journalist and ASV Platform Advisor Elizabeth MacBride is reporting a series we sponsor called Deep Dives into Secondary Cities. She has penned a new deep dive, this time in the city of Indianapolis, where our firm recently made an investment and has an office.
"I left Indianapolis feeling that, with a little bit of outside capital, it’s capable of generating a lot of its own economic energy, like the internal combustion engines still produced there." -Elizabeth
Digimentors Tech Tip: High-End Audio is Almost Perfect, but Always Pricey
By Robert S. Anthony
Each week, veteran tech journalist Bob Anthony shares a tech tip you don’t want to miss. Follow him @newyorkbob.
Did you hear that? Chances are you didn’t. If you listen to music straight from your smartphone, you’re probably missing little subtleties like that last resonating thrum of a guitar solo. For those who want to hear everything—and can afford it—there’s high-end audio.
Even if you’re just a casual connoisseur of good music, a visit to a high-end audio show can be eye- and ear-opening. Your ears will relish the close-to-perfect reproductions of classic recordings while your eyes will water when viewing price tags that seem like they’d be more at home at an auto show.
At the recent CanJam NYC 2023, a two-day audiophile event which highlights headphones but covers many other audio products, the noise from hundreds of attendees was mitigated by the brief, elevated audio experiences they enjoyed as they sat down to test new products from around the world.
One star at CanJam NYC was the $5,000 Utopia open-back headphone from Focal, a sophisticated unit meant, like others with similar designs, to be enjoyed in quieter settings than a noisy New York Marriott Marquis ballroom. The Utopia uses unique voice coils made of an aluminum/copper alloy, which, according to Focal, “provides a rejuvenated sound signature, that lends even greater neutrality, with powerful bass and more mellow treble.”
In 2016 Focal, based in France, made waves when it showed off a limited-edition, diamond-encrusted version of the Utopia which sold for more than $100,000. For those not ready for that kind of investment, Focal’s $799 Bathys, its first Bluetooth wireless headset with active noise cancellation, offers an easier entry point into high-end audio.
In addition to support for Bluetooth 5.1, the well-built Bathys is compatible with many audio-enhancing technologies, including Qualcomm’s aptX. The travel-friendly Bathys lasts 30 hours on a charge but can also be used as a wired headset with the included USB-C and 3.5mm-jack audio cables.
Of course, a high-end headset is wasted on music that’s reproduced poorly by the low-cost, commodity-grade electronics found in many smartphones. This is where a digital-to-audio converter (DAC), which uses higher-quality electronics than even expensive flagship smartphones, fits in.
Once connected to a smartphone, a DAC bypasses the phone’s audio circuitry, retrieves the music file direct from storage and sends a much cleaner and fuller audio stream to a connected headphone or speaker system.
The new $1,499 DACmini 2 premium DAC and headphone amplifier from Illinois-based CEntrance, is shaped to neatly stack atop an Apple Mac mini or Mac Studio computer but is compatible with desktop and mobile devices running Microsoft Windows, Linux, Apple iOS, Google Android and other operating systems.
In addition to USB-C and XLR ports and Bluetooth connectivity, the CEntrance DACmini 2 has optical and RCA coaxial cable ports, making it compatible with a wide range of legacy audio devices, including (*gasp!*) turntables. Since it doesn’t depend on a smartphone for power, it can drive larger, power-hungrier headsets than would otherwise be possible.
No, high-end audio products don’t fit into everyone’s budget, but even at the lower end, the audio improvement over even the best consumer-grade devices can be downright awesome.
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