Maciej Czarnecki's blog

Foggy Bottom at the bottom

The Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, are tracking the more than 600 key positions in the Trump administration that require U.S. Senate confirmation. According to their database, 289 of them still have no nomination after almost 10 months of Trump’s presidency.

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Fake news accusations

From Washington, D.C., to Warsaw, Poland, the ”fake news” term became a useful tool for populists to denounce everything they do not agree with. Donald Trump’s repeated accusations against the ”failing” New York Times and ”fake news” CNN are so similar to Polish Law and Party’s rhetoric against my newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and private broadcaster TVN.

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Conspiracy theories

”You all know what they say: do not talk at family dinners about religion and politics, because you will not convince anyone. I would add conspiracy theories to that list. Try having two bottles of wine during Thanksgiving and asking someone about that. Good luck!,” said Joseph Uscinski, an associate professor at the University of Miami.

Uscinski has been researching conspiracy theories for 10 years. Sitting in his leather armchair, he shared some of his findings. What struck me was how skeptical he was about the ability of journalists to convince anyone.

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The tweeting president

Farmers in Tracy, a rural town in south-western Minnesota, predominantly voted for Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election. But even some of them criticize the president for his late-night Twitter rants. We discovered this during our three-day visit to Tracy last week. All four Trump supporters I spoke to told me more or less the same: the president should get rid of his bad Twitter habit and focus on what is really important – for example tax reforms. 

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The future lab

Many editors in Europe share this overwhelming and slightly disheartening belief that if anything happens to newspapers in the United States, it will sooner or later happen elswhere, too. Rather than being an inevitable destiny, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy: newspapers copy American solutions, and often create similar challenges. In that sense, the American media market is an experimental playground for the rest of the world.

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