Supporting a Free Press

It is clear that one of the primary goals of the Trump/GOP insurrection is to deligitimize the free press in favor of right leaning partisan news outlets like Fox or OAN. Constant claims of bias and censorship have been red meat for the hard right for some time now, intensifying after the defeat of Trump and the January 6th insurrection. The Big Lie is everything to the modern GOP, repeat the lie or be forced out of the party.

Media Bias Chart from Ad Fortes Media
Media bias chart from Ad Fortes Media

Personally I find this strategy extremely offensive, to the point that anything that the GOP once professed as their platform, values I might otherwise agree with and might support, are now completely stained by this tactic. Personal freedom and responsibilty, limited government, fiscal responsibility? These classic conservative goals have become irrelevant, the ends do not justify the means.

I have realized (maybe a bit late in this game) that I should be more active in supporting a free press. In this day of shrinking newsrooms and limited news choices it has become more important than ever.

For this reason I have given myself a bit of a Christmas gift, a gift I have been enjoying for a few weeks now, a subscription to the New York Times. Reading the NYT app on my pad and phone has become part of my daily routine. Good news, along with a games section… Doing the Times mini crossword is also part of my routine, I try to do it in less than a minute with my record being 24 seconds.

No news source is perfect, the NYT does lean slightly left, maybe a bit moreso in the opinion section, but is generally rated as a high quality new source. I do supplement this with reading of both NPR and the BBC news sites, both links front and center in my home screen and regularly clicked. I got into the habit of listening to the BBC in my years of living in England, and have been a listener, or reader, ever since. The BBC gives a non US-centric view of world news I find useful.

I realize it has been a while since my last donation to our local NPR station, I need to put that on the todo list as well.

A Not Quite Total Lunar Eclipse

Normally when I see a partial lunar eclipse on the calendar I do not take much note. As a partial will not create the deep red Moon that makes a lunar eclipse so striking, it is not something that I usually make a point to view.

A Not Quite Total Lunar Eclipse
A not quite total lunar eclipse on November 18th, 2021

This eclipse was a bit different. As this was a very deep partial, only a few percent of the Moon remaining in the sunlight, it should look pretty good… And it did. I setup the little TV-76mm scope to snap a few photos.

Even a not quite total lunar eclipse can be quite nice. Since this eclipse occured just a few degrees from the Pleiades star cluster it was possible to frame both in the camera with a wider field of view. Thus I changed to a classic 100mm f/2.8 Canon FD lens to shoot a few of the cluster and the eclipsed Moon.

Of course this means I will get to sleep at midnight and need to get up at 5am for work. The price I will pay for staying up to watch an eclipse.

A deep partial lunar eclipse and the Pleiades star cluster
A deep partial lunar eclipse and the Pleiades star cluster