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What Journalists Can Learn from John Oliver and 'Last Week Tonight'

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There has been much written lately about the perils of “false balance” where journalists, by trying to give equal voice to “both sides” actually obscures the truth on topics like climate change. On “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver shows a commitment to accuracy and truth, but he couldn’t care less about balance, eviscerating legislators for voter ID laws, which are thinly veiled efforts to suppress voter turnout. 'He uses  archives to add depth and context, providing a crucial piece of context that news media missed, with an old CSPAN clip that shows McConnell ripping into the so-called “Thurmond Rule” — the same one that Republicans are now citing as precedent for not confirming judges in the months prior to a presidential election. Oh, the irony, and the power of archives as Oliver cut through the political hot air and exposed McConnell’s partisanship to brilliant effect.'

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)

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