FROM J. Peter Pham
'Kony 2012' and Youth Activism In a week's time, the video Kony 2012 has jumped from zero to 76 million views on the Internet. Produced by a group called Invisible Children , its stated aim is to stop a brutal war lord named Joseph Kony and his “Lord's Resistance Army” from recruiting tens of thousands of Ugandan child soldiers to murder their parents and other civilians, creating havoc with no political purpose. The video promises that viewers can "change the world" by creating "awareness." We look at the source of the half-hour production's appeal and why it might be counter-productive.
Can a Viral Video Change the World? Kony 2012 went online just a week ago, and it's already chalked up 76 million views on You Tube, raising more than $10 million. Produced by a group called Invisible Children , it claims that widespread "awareness" can stop brutal Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his "Lord's Resistance Army" from kidnapping tens of thousands of children and turning them into soldiers, to murder their parents and other civilians and create havoc with no political purpose. Millions of young viewers are now focused on Central Africa, but some experts call it the wrong message at the wrong time. Why is Kony 2012 so appealing? How did it get so big so fast? Why do critics call "awareness campaigns" a form of "slacktivism?"
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.