November 11, 2022

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The Edge
On Appalachian Floods and Climate Grief

My memory of the event is a cold wash of grey-green. The damp olive smell of our Army tent. The brown water of what had been a creek hurtling past faster, wider, higher and higher till it finally began to whoosh over the bridge. My hand waving weakly to my father trapped on the other side. My mother’s face set in frantic worry. The eerie sound of constant music stopping. And then, everywhere, the mud.

If you’ve lived through it, if it separated your family and terrified you at the core, you never forget a flood.

The Central Appalachia floods in late July caused catastrophic damage to the region as it fended for its culture against poverty and media stigma. Read professor and author Anna Credick’s reflection on Appalachia after the floods on The Edge.

How Mainstream Media Underestimated Democrats in the Midterms

In the final few weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, mainstream media confidently predicted a “shellacking” of Democratic candidates, propping up Republicans as “emboldened” and forecasting a “big midterm triumph” in their favor.

Corporate media seemed all too happy to propagate the idea that a ‘Red Wave’ was imminently approaching the U.S., likely to deal major damage to the “scrambling” Democratic party.

Yet, despite the predicted surety of Republican victories, Democratic candidates outperformed expectations in much of the country. In one of the most closely watched Senate races, Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman beat his Trump-backed challenger, Dr. Mehmet Oz, flipping a key seat from red to blue.

Read the full report on The Edge.

The Nation Midterms Panel: Media Mistakes Are ‘In Favor of Republican Narratives’

On November 9, The Nation hosted a live online discussion to unpack the midterm elections, which took place on November 8. Joining the panel were journalists for the outlet Joan Walsh, Elie Mystal, Chris Lehmann, and John Nichols.

Tallying losses, The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal said, “In addition to the orange MAGA loser, I really think that the mainstream media in general, and the corporate media Beltway, and New York Media specifically, like: huge L. Y’all got it wrong again.” The media also managed to do it “in such a way as to do nothing but freak people out for six months, knowing absolutely nothing.”

Read more from the panel on The Edge.

Online Content Moderation Enables Free Speech & Cuts Election Disinformation

On November 4, election and technology policy advocates took part in a discussion hosted by the American Enterprise Institute on what successful online content moderation means amid disinformation leading up to the 2022 midterm elections.

Samir Jain, former Senior Director for Cybersecurity Policy in the National Security Council, asked, “why is it that Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg should be the one exercising this much influence over our public discourse, which is what they do. No one elected them and it doesn’t seem like they are the right key decision makers.”

Read more from the panel on The Edge.

The New York Times Forgot it Peddled a ‘Red Wave’ that Never Came

Ahead of the midterm elections, exhaustive mainstream coverage from outlets including the New York Times cited polls and predictions claiming a “red wave” would beat out Democrats for control of key states and seats. Instead, Democrats came away with several wins, while the House and Senate remain contested.

In the wake of this red “trickle,” the Times has trampled past recognition of its inaccurate predictions, instead deflecting blame and doubling down on irresponsible election coverage.

Read the report on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Republicans who falsely claimed Trump won in 2020 are losing their races in critical state-level elections | The Independent

2. The Age of Social Media Is Ending | The Atlantic

3. Things Sure Don’t Seem To Be Going Well At Twitter | HuffPost

4. Student loan forgiveness: Government stops taking applications after ruling | BBC

5. Rift in Trump’s inner circle over 2024 presidential campaign announcement | The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website and The Edge, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.