Donald Trump’s media empire may actually be happening

Published: Salon (October 17, 2016)

Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly approached a major media investor about setting up a Trump television network after the presidential election.

Over the past couple of months, Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, has met with Aryeh Bourkoff, the CEO of a boutique investment bank known as LionTree, theFinancial Times reported Monday. Vanity Fair reported in June that Trump’s inner circle heard the Republican nominee mulling the idea of capitalizing on the “audience” that has grown around his campaign. Hiring former Breitbart News head as his campaign CEO Steve Bannon could, in the long run, be a first step in making a media company, especially if you consider that Trump’s other big-name advisor is former Fox CEO Roger Ailes. read more

Kim Davis, Donald Trump, and the Maddening Paradox of Ignoring the Obnoxious

Published: The Good Men Project (January 12, 2016)

The Internet is understandably indignant that Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, has been invited to appear at President Obama’s State of the Union. Insofar as they are outraged at this doffing of a symbolic hat to a walking symbol of homophobia, they are absolutely correct. At the same time, it is highly problematic that – as I write these words right now – Davis is currently trending on both Facebook and Twitter. By virtue of feting her with attention, we empower the very beliefs that we should be striving to delegitimize. read more

Why the First GOP Debate is So Important

Published: Question of the Day (August 6, 2015)

The upcoming Fox News (Aug. 6) and CNN (Sept. 16) presidential debates symbolize much of what is wrong with the American political process … but these debates are still very much worth watching.For those who haven’t heard, the networks hosting the first two debates (on August 6 and September 16) established a rule dictating that only the 10 candidates with the highest averages in recent nonpartisan polls should be granted spots on the stage. As a result, candidates like Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania (who placed second in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries), Gov. George Pataki of New York (America’s third largest state by population), and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (the only woman currently running in the Republican field) will almost certainly be prohibited from participating.“I think that this is a dumb way to weed out the field,” insisted Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in a Fox News interview earlier this month, pointing out that because it’s so early in the race “a national poll is a lousy way, in my view, to determine who should be on the stage.” Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana echoed these sentiments in a recent op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, adding that “the Republican Party should be looking forward instead of backward — and seeking every opportunity to feature its roster of excellent candidates, rather than trying to find ways to constrict the field.” read more

Why the government ignored a terrifying report that predicted the Charleston shooting

Published: Daily Dot (July 2, 2015)

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Morris Gulett, the leader of a white supremacist religious group that vows to fight to “safeguard the existence of our race, the purity of our blood and the sustenance of our children,” recently expressed support for Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white supremacist who shot nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, declaring that “I, for one, am very glad to see young people like Dylann Roof acting like men instead of the old 60’s era hippies stoned on weed and interracial love.” read more

The Ethics of Getting Personal

Published: Good Men Project (June 2, 2015)

Matthew Rozsa asks one of the most important ethical questions that any editorial writer must answer: At what point does “personal” become “too personal?”

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Last Saturday I published an editorial called “3 Correctable Behaviors That Destroy Relationships.” Drawing from a particularly ugly falling out that I had recently experienced with an ex-girlfriend, the article’s immediate goal was to critique common social behaviors and mindsets that (I argue) inhibit empathy and cause people to unfairly judge each other.

Although the piece has done very well on this site, it also provoked a fair amount of negative feedback, much of it coming from individuals who I’ve known and respected for years… including one to whom I have looked up as a mentor for almost a decade. Their criticisms fell into two basic categories: read more

The one reason you should be watching Fox News

Published: Daily Dot (May 22, 2015)

For a while, it didn’t seem like anyone who wasn’t a card-carrying member of the GOP had a voice on Fox News, the network that is “fair and balanced,” so long as you agree with Rupert Murdoch. A 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 60 percent of Fox News viewers were self-described conservatives, compared to 23 percent who identified as moderates and 10 percent who claimed to be liberal (the same figures ran 32-30-30 for CNN and 32-23-36 for MSNBC). read more

Why Rand Paul’s sexist comments to female reporters matters

Published: Daily Dot (April 14, 2015), Salon (April 16, 2015)

There is a strong possibility that the 2016 presidential election will be the first one to offer Americans a woman as a major party candidate. As such, one would hope that its high-profile candidates would prepared for that reality.

Rand Paul has yet to get on board, and the Internet is taking notice.

Rand Paul's wife says he's not a sexist. In a related story, my dog says I'm God.

— Bob Woodiwiss (@bwsez) April 14, 2015 read more

Learning to Live With Dread

Published: Good Men Project (March 12, 2015)

Matthew Rozsa shares his secret for not worrying about the end of world and everything else that makes him anxious.

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Every morning I wake up with a sinking feeling in my gut.

If the day goes well, I sweat jittery bullets at the unshakable fear that the good will somehow be taken away from me and replaced with devastating disappointments and failures.

That sense of ongoing dread evolves throughout the course of the day depending on the events which subsequently transpire: If the day goes well, I sweat jittery bullets at the unshakable fear that the good will somehow be taken away from me and replaced with devastating disappointments and failures; if it is marked by hardships and setbacks, an exhaustion will overwhelm me as the sheer burden of my suffering takes its toll on my muscles and glands as well as my nerves; and if nothing of particular importance occurs, I simply meander through my daily responsibilities before retreating into those outlets for escapism—movies and TV shows, books and music, junk food and sleep—in the hope that these visceral indulgences will muffle my neuroses just enough that I can actually be happy for a little while (if in doing this I accidentally pressed down too hard and smothered that dread, killing it off entirely, I wouldn’t be unhappy in the least). read more