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Weekly Update 11-17 Jan 21

Clips on media/communication, national security, politics, sports, and pop culture worth knowing about in the days ahead.

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Top Clips

Stocks Don't Care About the Coup

As the Capitol rocked, capital shrugged. How can that be? By Annie Lowrey, The. Atlantic Armed insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, chasing Congress members into hiding and threatening to hang Vice President Mike Pence and shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Congress impeached President Donald Trump for the second time. White nationalists promised further acts of terrorist violence. The COVID-19 daily death toll hit 4,000. Payrolls declined. And in response, the markets rose a touch, with the Nasdaq and the Russell index of small-cap stocks hitting record highs.

The Insurrection Hiding in Plain Sight

How Thousands of Americans Were Convinced to Storm the Capitol—and What Comes Next

By Renee DiResta and Alex Stamos, Foreign Affairs For several months, millions of people in the United States have been living in an alternate reality—one in which President Donald Trump has been fighting off a coordinated effort to steal the presidency from him and give it to Joe Biden. The idea first took root in the weeks prior to the election, when Trump looked likely to lose. States were reworking their voting processes in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and purveyors of the alternate narrative portrayed those efforts as a Democratic attempt to steal the vote. Doing so preemptively delegitimized voting procedures, such that when Trump lost, suspicions quickly morphed into conspiracy theories of outright theft.

The FBI’s Violence Warning

Officials need to be prepared for the worst through Jan. 20.

By The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

The storming of the U.S. Capitol last week has left millions of Americans wondering about the health of their democracy. Now imagine the damage if this is followed by political violence across the country leading up to the inauguration. That’s the worry caused by an FBI warning about armed protests planned for all 50 states and the U.S. Capitol starting Jan. 16—with a threat of a “huge uprising” if President Trump is removed via the 25th amendment.

Capitol Attack Could Fuel Extremist Recruitment For Years, Experts Warn

By Neil MacFarquhar, Jack Healy, Mike Baker and Serge F. Kovaleski, New York Times

Overthrowing the government. Igniting a second Civil War. Banishing racial minorities, immigrants and Jews. Or simply sowing chaos in the streets. The ragged camps of far-right groups and white nationalists emboldened under President Trump have long nursed an overlapping list of hatreds and goals. But now they have been galvanized by the outgoing president’s false claims that the election was stolen from him — and by the violent attack on the nation’s Capitol that hundreds of them led in his name.

America’s Second-Worst Scenario

So far, cumulative acts of civic virtue have saved the republic. But the constitutional order is still in danger.

Barton Gellman, The. Atlantic The next time an insurgent mob arrives to sack the Capitol, if one happens to try between now and Inauguration Day, mere strength of numbers will not overwhelm the defenses. In the 10 days since the January 6 assault on Congress, the Secret Service has overseen the establishment of an instant “green zone,” fortified by eight-foot steel barriers and patrolled by some 20,000 National Guardsmen. Those are real bullets in the magazines of their Army-issued M-4 assault rifles, not at all the standard gear for maintaining civic order.

The Day the Internet Came for Them

Washington Wakes Up to the Dark Reality of Online Disinformation

By Nina Jankowicz, Foreign Affairs Two images from the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol will remain seared in my mind. In one, a man strides across the building’s ornate tile floors, past oil paintings and marble busts, holding aloft a billowing Confederate flag. In the other, a man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a red, white, and blue “Q” leads a pack of his comrades up a stairwell in the Capitol, chasing the solitary officer guarding that entryway.

‘Freedom of speech must never mean freedom from responsibility’

Rupert Murdoch's Fox News pushed and extolled the presidency of Donald Trump. It must now be brought to account, writes Malcolm Turnbull.

By Malcolm Trumbull,

True to their tradition of wielding power without responsibility, the Murdochs, pere et fils, have not commented on the sacking of the Capitol by a mob of Donald Trump supporters. Yet this catastrophe could not have occurred without the hatred, division and madness Murdoch’s media have promoted for years within the United States and beyond.

Now Social Media Grows a Conscience?

Facebook and Twitter are taking action. It’s too little, too late. By Greg Bensinger, NYT

Propelled by the nation’s stunned reaction to last week’s violent siege of the U.S. Capitol, social media companies have sought to separate themselves from President Trump and lawmakers who were complicit in the riots.

Big Tech Has Helped Trash America

The chaos of the last two weeks offers an opportunity to rethink the role of technology in our lives. By Kara Swisher, NYT

Of all the myths we have about America, perhaps the most potent one is found in the age-old question we constantly ask ourselves as a nation: Can we start over?

Mainstream Media Partisanship Comes to Voice of America

VOA aired a ‘news’ report in Pakistan that was no more than a repackaged Biden campaign ad.

By Michael Pack, WSJ The polarization that led to last week’s calamity on Capitol Hill has many underlying causes, but one stood out to me: America’s partisan media. During the last election, it was obvious that nearly every news outlet was in the tank for one candidate or the other. Half the country lived in one reality and the other half in another—with dire consequences. In my capacity as director of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees the government’s five international broadcast networks, I grappled directly with the polarizing forces that make truth-seeking journalism so difficult.

Martin Luther King gave his life fighting the same forces stirred by Trump

By Colbert I. King, Washington Post

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles.” — the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to be celebrated Monday, is sandwiched between what will go down in history as two of the most consequential events of our lifetime. King’s birthday celebration was preceded by this week’s House impeachment of President Trump for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election through unlawful means and his incitement of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

A Guide to the New Covid-19 Testing Rules for Travel to the U.S.

By Alison Sider, WSJ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ordered that all travelers flying to the U.S. from abroad will have to show proof of negative Covid-19 tests before boarding their flight starting Jan. 26. The CDC said preflight testing is necessary as Covid-19 cases continue to soar and new, more contagious strains of the virus emerge around the world.

How America Can Shore Up Asian Order

A Strategy for Restoring Balance and Legitimacy

By Kurt M. Campbell and Rush Doshi, Foreign Affairs Throughout the half century of Asia’s unprecedented rise, Henry Kissinger has been a pivotal figure, orchestrating the United States’ opening to China in the early 1970s and then going on to author tomes on Chinese strategy and world order. But at this transitional moment in Asia, Kissinger’s most relevant observations may be found in a more surprising place: a doctoral dissertation on nineteenth-century Europe that struggled to find a publisher when Kissinger wrote it, years before his rise to prominence.

3Cs in a Pod Season 3 Ep1: "Intrusive Listening"

It’s a new year and a new season for our team and we are ready to bring you new analysis and coverage across a range of issues. With all that has transpired since our last podcast we want to step forward with a firm commitment to refocus our efforts on what we feel most strongly about -- that is, the fundamental elements of communication and what we see as good and also not so good. This season is sure to get your attention with both our commentary and the thoughts and insights from some special guests along the way.

CNO: Shipbuilding Mistakes Could Mean ‘We May Not Be Able To Recover In This Century’

By Paul McCleary, Breaking Defense

The Navy will have to walk a tightrope in the coming decade, balancing the divestment of older ships with the introduction of new designs — and its dismal acquisition track record has left Congress frustrated and distrustful. If the Navy continues its trend of major delays and cost overruns on new classes of ships, it could fall so far behind the modernization curve the fleet might not recover, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told reporters.

US Navy’s No. 2 civilian claims leadership shouldn’t be blamed for old failures. Some disagree.

By: David B. Larter, Defense News

In an eyebrow-raising statement, the acting undersecretary of the U.S. Navy complained about congressional oversight of naval programs, suggesting that current leaders shouldn’t be held responsible for previous administrations’ failures. “You shouldn’t be held guilty for the sins of your parents,” Gregory Slavonic said, “and I think the Navy is being called to task because of [the littoral combat ship] — that this administration had nothing to do with — but we’re having to fix it. [The aircraft carrier] Gerald Ford, all those challenges, we’re being held by our feet to the fire to make those things right. And we didn’t have anything to do with it.”

Kojo Nnamdi Show To End Production This Spring After 23 Years On Air

By Elliot C. Williams,

The Kojo Nnamdi Show’s 23-year-run on WAMU will end this spring, the station announced today. The last live show will air Thursday, April 1. Nnamdi will continue to host The Politics Hour on Fridays and he will host a series of live events for the station. For decades — during his time at WAMU and before that, as a television host on Howard University’s station — Nnamdi has been a calm but unwavering voice for the D.C. area, helping listeners understand the complexities of living in the Washington region. He’s been praised for his interviewing ability, and has been named to multiple lists of the most influential people of D.C. over the years.

How communicators can improve financial literacy—and secure a better seat at the table

Upping your business acumen can increase your effectiveness and boost your authority. Here’s what you need to know.

By Robby Brumberg, PR Daily

Just the mere mention of math makes many of us wince. It might seem scary—or even painful—but communicators keen on boosting internal influence and authority must become fluent in financials. Karen Vahouny, who teaches a “Fundamentals of Business and Finance for Public Relations Professionals” course at George Washington University, shared helpful tips for math-averse pros at last year’s virtual Business Fluency Boot Camp for Communicators.

5 outspoken responses to the US Capitol riots

What were the strongest responses to a violent crisis that embroiled the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6? Here’s our op-ed on the organizations we think stood out and spoke up.

By Ted Kitterman, PR Daily

What was supposed to be a ceremonial episode in our nation’s capital on Jan. 6 took a dark turn when protestors turned violent, storming the U.S. Capitol building as lawmakers tried to execute their duty and certify the 2020 presidential election result. The ensuing events left five people dead and were widely denounced by politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Supporting your Team’s Mental Health in five easy steps


As we start 2021 with a national lockdown, what can employers do to ensure the wellbeing of their teams as they work remotely? The World Health Organization estimates that depression and anxiety disorders account for around $1 trillion in global productivity losses per year. This shocking statistic is likely to get worse. Whilst working from home has been made ‘easy’ due to advances in technology, it has created new issues. Work and home lives inevitably blur making it hard to properly switch off. Add to this a lack of face-to-face encounters, no routine, paycuts and reduced career progression and you can understand why the risk to mental health is great. If your company is not yet on board with mental health initiatives, here are a few ways you can make it more of a priority

Now Is A Good Time To Talk To Kids About Civics

By Anya Kamenetz, Cory Turner, Sylvie Douglis, NPR

If you've been riding an emotional, politics-fueled rollercoaster in 2021 (not to mention 2020), believe us: Your kids have noticed. Here's a quick primer from Life Kit on how to talk with your kids about politics — and, even get them thinking about civics.

The Navy and Naval Academy should take notes; Spicer and Standage must go along with Trump | COMMENTARY

By John Schofield, for The Capital Gazette

The mission of the Naval Academy is to develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically. The moral component of this charge has been under tremendous pressure these last four years as Midshipmen — and the entire world, for that matter — endured a commander-in-chief that peddles misinformation, bigotry and lies.

The Emotional Miseducation of Tiger Woods

A new HBO documentary zeroes in on the immense psychological toll it took for the legendary golfer to go from prodigy to phenom.

By Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic “I might be sorta like a Michael Jordan in basketball,” a teenage Tiger Woods says during a 1990 interview featured in a new documentary on the legendary American golfer. Moments before, Woods suggested he could one day overshadow the veteran player Jack Nicklaus: “I might be even bigger than him—to the Blacks.” Such brazen statements pepper most sports documentaries, and HBO’s Tiger incorporates many hallmarks of the genre. We hear the young Woods predict his impending reign. In contemporary interviews, cultural commentators, journalists, and the athlete’s peers reflect on his decades of greatness. Clips of the prodigy holding a club in his unsteady hand give way to footage of him striding through—and dominating—verdant golf courses around the world. The ascent is clear: An uncertain child has become this story’s hero.

Trump won’t leave golf quietly, so the sport will have to make a choice

By John Feinstein, The Washington Post

There’s a reason it took the PGA of America four full days after last week’s riot at the Capitol to finally announce it was pulling the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. There’s also a reason the R&A, which owns and operates the British Open, made a point Monday of saying it didn’t have President Trump’s Turnberry course, the iconic scene of several historic Opens, on its future schedule even before the events of last week.

We Started a Sports Podcast During a Sports-less Pandemic

Blog by ProVision Advisors

We started the conversation at a Washington D.C., coffee shop in January, 2020. “We should start a podcast about Naval Academy sports.” At that time, my business partner, Chris, and I didn’t know what Covid was and how it would affect sports for the rest of the calendar year. What we did know was there were no other Navy sports podcasts. Chris – a 1999 Naval Academy graduate - and I had already started our own Communications and Coaching firm upon our retirements after 20 years each as Naval Officers. I had served as the Public Affairs Officer at USNA before retiring and remained a big fan of the institution and the sports played there. My reaction – “Let’s do it.”

Sing Second Sports Season 2: Pod 1--'And Nothing Else Matters'

Season 2 starts with a bang as we break down the red hot Navy basketball team

We also chat with Senior big man, Luke Loehr, who just went down for the season with an ACL. We discuss his plans for the future and how far he thinks this team will go.

We are also joined by Bill Wagner of the Annapolis Capital to discuss the packed schedule for the spring with both fall and spring sports competing in the Patriot League.

We also talk about "declaring for the draft" and the "Fighting Kolats" of Navy wrestling registering their first win on the mat.

Terwilliger Center for Student-Athletes a ‘spectacular’ showcase of Naval Academy physical mission

By Bill Wagner, Capital Gazette

Many years ago, Ron Terwilliger told athletic director Chet Gladchuk about his desire to recognize the physical mission of the Naval Academy in a meaningful, tangible way. After much brainstorming and back-and-forth discussions, the two men settled on creating a facility that tell the story through artifacts, memorabilia and interactive video displays.

And Finally...

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