Media Mashup: October 16, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 6.39.03 AMPolice Mostly Shoot Armed Perps

Columbia Journalism Review looks into some erroneous information about police killings: “A definitive count of law enforcement killings remains elusive. Quantifying them can be a messy, subjective process that requires editorial judgment, not just number crunching.” One key statistic from The Washington Post: more than nine out of 10 of those shot were armed.

Honesty About Syria Policy

A former top Obama aide admits the White House did not understand Syria.

Frederic Hof writes in “Although the regime’s corruption, incompetence and brutal intolerance of dissent were hardly state secrets, Assad was not universally associated by Syrians with the system’s worst aspects: ‘If only the president knew’ was a phrase one heard often. Some Syria watchers believed that the Arab Spring would visit the country in the form of political cyclone. I did not. I did not think it inevitable that Assad—a computer-savvy individual who knew mass murder could not remain hidden from view in the 21st century—would react to peaceful protest as violently as he did, with no accompanying political outreach. And as Syria began to descend into the hell to which Assad was leading it, I did not realize that the White House would see the problem as essentially a communications challenge: getting Obama on ‘the right side of history’ in terms of his public pronouncements. What the United States would do to try to influence Syria’s direction never enjoyed the same policy priority as what the United States would say.”

Read more:

Ryan for Speaker of the House?

As House Republicans struggle to find a replacement for Speaker John Boehner, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, has emerged as a new favorite, but how does that play with Republicans nationwide?

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Likely Republican Voters view Ryan favorably, with 26% who share a Very Favorable opinion of him. Just 16% have a somewhat or Not At All favorable view of Ryan, but nearly one-in-four (22%) are undecided about him.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Republicans had a favorable opinion of Ryan in August 2012 just after Mitt Romney named him as his running mate, but that fell to 52% by March of the following year when he was pushing an unpopular congressional budget plan.

Christopher Harper is a longtime journalist, who reported in Europe and the Middle East. He teaches media law and international journalism. Send suggestions and tips to



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s