annenberg school

Making America Meaner

Last Wednesday, on the eve of his election to the House of Representatives, Montana Republican Greg Gianforte beat up Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the “Guardian" newspaper.

What prompted the violence? Jacobs had asked Gianforte for his reaction to the Congressional Budget Office’s report showing that the House Republican substitute for the Affordable Care Act would result in 23 million Americans losing their health insurance.

Then, in the words of a Fox News team who witnessed the brutal attack: “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. … Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’ Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken…. To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.”

After the attack, Jacobs was evaluated in an ambulance at the scene and taken to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. Several hours later he left the hospital wearing a sling around his arm. Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault.

Donald Trump’s reaction? He praised Greg Gianforte’s election as a “great win in Montana.”

For years, conservatives warned that liberals were “defining deviancy down” by tolerating bad social behavior.

Donald Trump is actively defining deviancy down in American politics. He’s also making America meaner.

Last year, Trump said of a protester at one of his campaign rallies: “I’d like to punch him in the face.” He added “in the old days, protesters would be carried out on stretchers.“

In a different era, when decency was the norm, the members of the U.S. House of Representatives would not seat a thug like Gianforte in the chamber. But House Republicans seem eager to have another kindred spirit.

Charlie Sykes, a conservative former talk-show host in Wisconsin, says “every time something like Montana happens, Republicans … normalize and accept previously unacceptable behavior.”

Gianforte’s attack on Jacobs was shameful enough. Almost as shameful was Gianforte’s  press release about what occurred, which blamed Jacobs. “It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”

It was a blatant lie, as evinced by the Fox News team and the charge against Gianforte. But under Trump, blatant lying is the new normal. And a “liberal journalist” is the enemy.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, says Donald Trump “has contributed to a climate of discourse consistent with assaulting a reporter for asking an inconvenient question.”

It used to be that candidates and elected officials were supposed to answer reporters’ questions. We thought democracy depended on it. But we’re now in the era of Donald Trump, who calls the press the “enemy of the American people.”

In America, candidates or officials didn’t beat up reporters who posed questions they didn’t like. That kind of thing occurred in dictatorships.

More generally and menacingly, Trump has licensed the dark side of the American psyche. His hatefulness and vindictiveness have normalized a new meanness in America.

Since Trump came on the scene, hate crimes have soared. America has become even more polarized. Average Americans say and do things to people they disagree with that in a different time would have been unthinkable.

“I’d submit that the president has unearthed some demons,” says Rep. Mark Sanford, a Republican Representative from South Carolina.  “I’ve talked to a number of people about it back home. They say, ‘Well, look, if the president can say whatever, why can’t I say whatever?’ He’s given them license.”

The new meanness is also finding its way into public policy, where Trump wants unprecedented cuts in Medicaid, Social Security disability, and food stamps, and to shove 23 million Americans off health insurance – all so the rich and corporations can get big tax cuts.

I recall a time in America where this kind of proposal would be considered an affront to decency. Now it’s the baseline for negotiations.

A president contributes to the norms of our society. He sets the moral tone. Trump is setting them at a new low.

Thank you and an essay

This is the research essay on queer representation in TV and Film that I wrote a year ago that I asked all of you to fill out the survey for. I though I should share since all of you made it possible. Feel free to give feedback, or message me if you need information to cite it!

Here’s a link to the raw survey results as well: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8CQ8dhyGIIOYlRTZjByX3liUzA

Thank you,

Ben


My Queer Dilemma: Lack of Adequate Representation in Mainstream Television and Film

There is no doubt about it, in America, our conservative culture has forced many potential queer storylines and characters in television and film into the shadows, and out of the way of mainstream audiences. It is not until recently writers have been including characters with gay and lesbian identities in their work, with a couple of transgender identities in the mix. The overwhelming majority of characters we see in the media are almost exclusively white, exclusively straight, and exclusively cisgender; all of these being a serious misrepresentation of the diversity our society contains as a whole.  Most of the strides in television and film to include queer identities has happened in the recent past. However, these queer identities that are emerging are mostly gay and lesbian, leaving out queer people who do not identify as those. As of right now, the representation of queer identities in mainstream television and film is not just lacking in the scopes of quantity, and quality, but in the diversity within the queer community, and racial diversity.

It is important to keep in mind the history of the representation of queer characters in TV and film when talking about them. The first mentioning of the word “homosexual” on air was back in 1963, on the drama Espionage (Kaufman). Most characters who were queer, were usually represented very poorly. Until about the 1990’s, queer characters were very much excluded in mainstream television. However, pushing queer television shows to mainstream networks is more challenging than one thinks. Show ideas have to be sold to network studios. Show ideas that are too politically upheaving tend to be rejected. This is because advertisers tend to pull if their advertising on a show that is considered to be racy or controversial. For example, when Ellen DeGeneres came out on her sitcom in the 1990’s, the show was not renewed for another season. However, in the past 20 years or so, we have seen a large uptick in representation that is of a higher quality on paid subscription channels, such as HBO and Showtime with shows like The L Word, which features a close knit group of lesbian women (Further Off). Right after Ellen’s sitcom was cancelled, the television show on NBC, Will and Grace, came out. Will and Grace was a hit. Katherine Sender, from Annenberg School for Communication in University of Pennsylvania says that: “…one of the reasons ‘Will and Grace’ is so easy on the mainstream audience is that it features this relationship between Grace and will, which is a celibate relationship but is none the less the primary relationship of the show” (Further Off). Women’s Studies professor at Simmons College, Diane Raymond goes on to say that “Will and Grace’s relationship mirrors that of a traditional heterosexual husband and wife” (Raymond). However, regardless of how “heterosexual” Will and Grace’s relationship maybe, seeing a decently represented gay character on network television in 1998 was progress. There has also been an uptick in queer characters on streaming service originals, like Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, with characters like Piper, Alex, and Sophia. On basic cable and broadcasting stations we are seeing many more queer characters, like ABC’s Modern Family, which features gay couple and parents, Cam and Mitchell, and Comedy Central’s Broad City, which features a gay character who goes by the name Jaime. Kelly Kessler, a Professor at DePaul University in Chicago says the recent upsurge in gay, lesbian, and bisexual identities, and what it means for queer representation as a whole: “Despite the aforementioned wins for GLB representation and writing, I reject any notion that we have entered some kind of queer televisual utopia. What we have to take, however, are steps toward mutual mediocrity” (Kessler). Just because characters exist today that would not have been seen 30 years ago, does not mean that battle is over.

When reviewing the history of queer cinema, the history is a little more complicated than television, part of that due to the fact celluloid is an older technology, and has been around longer than television. Starting with the pre-classical and classical times of Hollywood film, there is no doubt that heterosexist themes reduced queer characters to small walk-on roles, usually gaining only a small amount of screen time. When they were given these small walk-on roles, producers used the oldest stereotypes in the books: the effeminate gay man, and the butch lesbian women (“Gay, Lesbian, and Queer”). While these butch-fem gender roles were necessary for queer people at the time to avoid unwanted harassment, not all men were effeminate, and not all women were butch. This was pre-code Hollywood cinema, of course. In 1934, the Hollywood Production Code, or the Hayes Code, specifically forbade what was called “sex perversion” at the time (Celluloid Closet). This forced producers to use stereotypes more often to signal a character was queer. During the 1950’s and 60’s, with changing views on sexuality, the Hayes code was dropped and replaced with Motion Picture Association of America, or the MPAA rating system. This allowed onscreen queerness as long as it was kept to a minimum. After the MPAA came into action, the first few films depicting overt homosexuality were often stories that assumed that it would lead to a lonely and tragic life. In the 1962 film Advise and Consent, a queer relationship was the cause for a suicide, and in another film from the same year, The Children’s Hour, a woman hangs herself shortly after coming out of the closet (“Gay, Lesbian, and Queer”). After 1969, during the post-stonewall days, when queer people were being more open than ever, American cinema wasn’t necessarily reflecting that. Queer characters were still reduced to small minor roles, if they were even included at all. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that Hollywood made an attempt to market to queer audiences after seeing success of underground films with the queer community.

When accounting for the quantity of queer people in TV and film as a measurement of adequacy, one is quick to realize that the numbers are not there. I conducted a survey in which 726 people responded, and they agreed. The survey participants were asked to rate the representation of various queer identities. Some examples of the identities that were included were gay and lesbian, bisexual, pansexual and polysexual, transgender, and many more. The participants used a five increment scale of “superb” to “awful” to rate representation, with superb being the best, and awful the worst. Also, included in the survey as a possible answer to the eight multiple choice questions was a “don’t know” option. Participants were asked to select this option if they did not know what the specific identity that was being asked was. At the very end of the survey, for question number nine, I included an optional comment. Out of the 725 respondents, 163 chose to reply. The results from this survey were even more jarring than I previously predicted. According to the survey, the representation of queer people is horrendous.

   When asking about the representation of gay and lesbian people, 545 of the respondents said that representation is either “awful,” or “inadequate.” That is three quarters of nearly all participants―and representation of gay and lesbian identities was the best rated category of them all.  When the respondents replied to their thoughts on the representation of bisexual identities, the results were even more despicable. Out of 725 people, 666 of the participants rated representation of bisexual people as either “awful” or “inadequate,” pushing the percentage up to 91 percent. The amount of people who think representation is inadequate, or awful does not even compare to those who think it is “superb” or “adequate,” which rang up at about 1.8 percent.

The numbers for the representation of asexual, pansexual, and polysexual people are still terrible. Approximately 646 people (90 percent) said the representation for the asexual community was either awful or inadequate, with 600 of them (83 percent) choosing awful as their primary answer. Compare that to the 10 people (1.38 percent) who chose both superb and adequate combined, and the difference is shown in the numbers alone. On the other hand, 664 participants (91 percent) agreed that the representation for the pansexual-polysexual community in television and film is either “inadequate” or “awful,” with 584 of those (80 percent) being “awful.” Compare that to the measly seven people who said either “superb,” or “adequate.” The respondents didn’t speak highly for the amount of representation transgender and non-binary identified people get in the media either:

Out of 725, 608 (84 percent) said that transgender people don’t get the amount of representation they deserve, clicking either “inadequate”, or “awful”. Only 19 of them (three percent) said that the representation of transgender people believed that the representation we see today is either “adequate” or “superb”. Non-binary people fared it worse—668 of the respondents (92 percent) believed that the representation was irreverent, choosing “awful” and “inadequate” as their answers. Only nine people thought non-binary representation was good. The narrative follows through when analyzing the results for the polyamorous community and the amount of racial diversity we see in television and film.

Out of the 724 people who answered this question, 608 (84 percent) said that polyamorous representation was either “awful” or “inadequate.” However, this question fared the most amount of “don’t knows,” adding up to 81 (11 percent). That does not stop the numbers from speaking for themselves, the overwhelming majority of the survey group thinks that representation is lacking. People’s feeling about the diversity are very much the same way. 661 out the 725 who answered (91 percent) believed that the amount of diversity we see among queer characters is lacking, compared to the 16 (two percent) who think it is either “adequate” or “superb”.

All of these numbers beg the question: how is representation on television and film today? As mentioned earlier, gay and lesbian representation seems to be rising up. However, there is a reason why I say gay and lesbian representation. Lesbian and gay characters get the spotlight over characters with other queer identities, while some queer identities are not represented at all. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD as it is known today, posts articles every year about queer representation on television. According to GLAAD’s 2015 report on recurring LGBT characters during primetime television on broadcast channels, 118 out of 881 total characters are queer. However, those identities are limited to LGB only:

  • 23 characters (33 percent) are lesbian women;
  • 33 characters (47 percent) are gay men;
  • 14 (20 percent) characters are bisexual, with women being in the lead by a large margin.

When looking at the racial diversity, the story is even sadder, 69 percent of those character are white, 19 percent are black, seven percent are Latinx, and six percent are computer generated (“2015 Where We Are”).

Cable television fares a little better in the diversity of queer characters. According to GLAAD’s findings,

  • 31 characters (22 percent) are lesbian women;
  • 58 characters (41 percent) are gay men;
  • 50 characters (36 percent) are bisexual, with women being in the lead, like in broadcast television;
  • and 3 characters (two percent) are transgender, two being transfeminine, and one being transmasculine.

However, with larger amount of queer diversity, comes the lesser amount of racial and ethnic diversity. 71 percent of the characters black white; 11 percent are black; eight percent are Latinx; five percent are identified with other races and ethnicities; and four percent are computer generated (“2015 Where We Are”).

The breakdown in queer diversity on streaming network providers, such as Netflix and Hulu is much better than we see on cable or broadcasting networks. GLAAD reports that

  • 21 characters (36 percent) are lesbian women, with one of them being transgender;
  • 23 characters (39 percent) are gay men;
  • 12 characters (20 percent) make up the total bisexual representation, with women in the lead again;
  • and four of those characters (seven percent) are transgender women, with one identifying as lesbian.

The racial and ethnic diversity on the streaming services’ originals are comparable to that of cable networks: 73 percent are white; 12 percent are black; 12 percent are Latinx; two percent are computer generated; and two percent identify with other races and ethnicities (“2015 Where We Are”).

When queer characters actually do get represented on television, the representation is not always of the highest quality, and the amount of onscreen time is barren. Queer characters often get moved to small supporting roles. For example, Jaime in Comedy Central’s Broad City, is Alana’s gay friend and roommate of color. He is a character that is often pushed to the side more often than others, and we don’t always see him every episode. In Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, Thor, a gay nurse was a small supporting character. The lack of screen time for queer characters has always been a problem. Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, is one of the better shows (if not one of the best) that give queer characters a lot of onscreen time. Piper Chapman, the main protagonist is one of the queer characters that we see every episode for a good portion of the time, along with many other queer supporting characters. An anonymous survey goer on the “Queer Representation” Survey said that “there’s definitely not enough LGBT representation in shows and it really bums me out because it is hard to connect with the characters”. It is time we get more queer characters in television, that have a decent role in the plot with a good amount of onscreen time.

More often than not, stereotypes often prevail. The transgender community often faces a large load of this. GLAAD made an article examining ten years worth of transgender representation. The general stereotype that transgender people face are the victim stereotype, and the villain stereotype. In GLAAD’s research, they catalogued 102 episodes of television that contained transgender characters. They found that 54 percent of those contained negative representations. They also found that transgender characters were cast in a “victim” role at least 40 percent of the time; they were cast as villains, including killers, 21 percent of the time; and they were cast as sex workers at least 20 percent of the time. In 61 percent of all catalogued episodes, anti-transgender slurs were used (“Victims or Villains”).  Some of the anonymous respondents for the “Queer Representation” survey had thing to say about this as well. An anonymous poster said that “Lesbians are often depicted tragically, and bisexual, trans, and ace, and others receive poor, if any representation in media”. This is not acceptable. We cannot live in a society where we have fair treatment of transgender people, and queer people in general, while we have a media that portrays these characters in such a negative light, making them out to be demons and pariahs. It is counterproductive to be fighting for equal rights of queer people, and to be fighting against stereotypes, while Hollywood keeps condoning them.

Overall, there are three recurring themes here: when network companies decide to actually create characters who are queer, the overwhelming majority of queer identities shown are strictly gay and lesbian. The second theme being is that the majority of these characters are white and cisgender. This is not representative of the world we live in. The third is the poor quality of representation.

These heteronormative, cisnormative, and racist themes also carry over when talking about cinema. According to GLAAD’s Studio Responsibility index for 2016, of the 126 major releases in the year 2016, a measly 22 of them had characters who identified somewhere on the queer spectrum. That’s is only 17.5 percent of them. When analyzing these results, it need to be kept in mind that movies and television shows have many characters in them. The fact that only 17.5 percent of movies have queer characters is very unrepresentative of our society as a whole. When a movie was trying to be inclusive of queer characters, it was most likely that that character was a gay man. According to GLAAD’s results, 77 percent of all LGBT characters were gay men. Only 23 percent of inclusive releases included lesbian characters, nine percent had bisexual characters in them, and five percent included transgender characters (“Studio Responsibility Index”). Racial diversity was also lacking in these films, even worse than the results for television. GLAAD found that

  • white characters made up 72.3 percent of representation;
  • Latinx characters made up 10.6 percent;
  • 8.5 percent were characters were black;
  • 6.4 percent were Asian;
  • and 2 percent were not human (“Studio Responsibility Index”).

Even some of the survey respondents agree that racial diversity among queer people in Hollywood films is despicable. One anonymous survey goer said that “the most frequent members of the LGBT+ community shown positively in the media are white gay men”. Another said “If you are not a gay white man, you are not on TV at all”. It is agreed upon that Hollywood need to get their stuff together to represent society as a whole.

The argument that any representation is good representation is true to a short extent. Showing these characters is a crucial step in admitting that these communities even exist. However, that only tides production companies and audiences over for a little while. Audiences begin to form preconceptions about people with these identities based off of the stereotypes that are portrayed; audiences begin to believe it is okay to treat queer people the way they see them people being treated on screen; audiences begin to believe they can tell a queer person from a cisgender-heterosexual person in reality, assuming that all the stereotypes that are shown on the big screen are true. Having queer characters there for comic relief does not justify adequate representation. The representation of queer identities right now in television and movies is lacking in the scopes of quantity, quality, diversity within the queer community, and racial diversity.

Works Cited

The Celluloid Closet. Dir. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. TriStar Pictures, 1995. DVD.

Further Off the Straight & Narrow: New Gay Visibility on Television, 1998-2006. Dir. Katherine Sender. Media Education Foundation, 2006. Web. 22 May 2016.

“Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Cinema.” Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film. Ed. Barry Keith Grant. Vol. 2. New York: Schirmer Reference. 2007. 277-286. GVLR Reference Titles. Web. 28 Apr. 2016

Kaufman, Ellie. “These TV Moments Show the Evolution of LGBTQ Characters on Screen.” Mic. Mic Network Inc., 25 Apr. 2016. Web. 01 May 2016

Kessler, Kelly. “They Should Suffer Like the Rest of Us: Queer Equality in Narrative Mediocrity.” Cinema Journal 50.2 (2011): 139-44. Web. 22 May 2016.

Raymond, Diane. “Popular Culture and Queer Representation.” Gender, Race, and Class in Media: 98-110

“Studio Responsibility Index 2016.” GLAAD. GLAAD, 13 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 May 2016.

“Victims or Villains: Examining Ten Years of Transgender Images on Television.” GLAAD. GLAAD, 20 Nov. 2012. Web. 01 May 2016.

“2015 Where We Are on TV Report.” GLAAD. GLAAD, 23 Oct. 2015. Web. 22 May 2016.

latimes.com
In this town, it's as if Hollywood tries not to cast Latinos
In Hollywood, there is no Magical Latino.
By Los Angeles Times

“Latinos have a particularly hard time getting even the kinds of cliched supporting roles that have become commonplace for black actors — the wise or wisecracking, sometimes magical guides for white protagonists.

"The industry thinks we’re foreign,” said musician and veteran actor Rubén Blades, who after many years in the entertainment business has a coveted regular role in the AMC series “Fear the Walking Dead.” “We are culturally excluded.”

And yet, according to several studies, no group buys more movie tickets when compared with their proportion of the U.S. population than Latinos. In the Motion Picture Assn. of America’s 2014 Theatrical Market Statistics report for U.S. and Canadian moviegoers, Latinos were 17% of the population but “oversampled” at 25% of North American frequent moviegoers. 

As this year’s Oscars host, Chris Rock wrote in a 2014 essay for the Hollywood Reporter, “Forget whether Hollywood is black enough. A better question is: Is Hollywood Mexican enough? You’re in L.A., you’ve got to try not to hire Mexicans.”

A study by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that among the 100 top-grossing movies in 2014, 73% of all speaking or named characters were white, just more than 12% were black and 5% were Asians. Latinos, who make up more than 16% of the U.S. population, were just below Asians.“

Read the full piece here

3

One Group Had Literally Zero Representation in 2014’s Top 100 Movies at the Box Office

“The landscape of popular cinema in 2014 remains skewed and stereotypical,” according to new research. For gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, the plight of Hollywood discrimination is especially obvious. The top 100 blockbusters of 2014 included a total of 4,610 speaking characters. Nineteen of those were LGB; not one of them was T, which is to say that transgender individuals were effectively snubbed, with zero representation in the film industry last year.

This research comes from the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Dr. Stacy Smith and her team looked at 700 films—the 100 top-grossing films of each year from 2007 to 2014—and found that women, LGBT individuals, and racial minorities were, as usual,underrepresented in Hollywood.

Read more. 

Sometimes when I share articles, people have trouble accessing them without a subscription. So here is the Friday, March 6, was the first #BlackoutDay. It was also referred to as #Blackout or #BlackFriday.

Why #BlackoutDay’s social media takeover matters
By Melissa Bellerjeau

This social media movement was started by a Tumblr user, “expect-the-greatest,” in response to seeing a lack of black people on his Tumblr.

He acknowledged the presence of black celebrities but went on to say, “What about the regular people? Where is their shine?”

This mentality, that all black people are beautiful and should be celebrated, was the driving force behind the movement. It was a day to celebrate individuality and express solidarity.

#BlackoutDay took over Tumblr, challenging all black people to post a selfie and everyone to exclusively re-blog #blackout pictures. The movement seeped into Instagram and was a trending topic on both Twitter and Facebook.

There has been talk about making this a regular social media occurrence the first Friday of every month. The user who created #BlackoutDay has already said the next one would take place on April 3.

Like any successful movement, it had its critics. They wrote that black people shouldn’t get their own day and that the day itself was racist. The #yellowout and more notorious #whiteout tag were made in an effort to draw attention away from it.

These efforts were futile. People began simply filling the #whiteout tag with #blackout posts or with images of Quick Dry White Out. Those who verbally responded to the #whiteout tag essentially said every day was #whiteout day.

If you search online for “beautiful people,” the results are overwhelmingly … well, white. In America, the traditional fair-skinned European standard of beauty is the ideal.

According to the FashionSpot.com, 77.4 percent of the models in this year’s New York Fashion Week were white. A 2013 study by USC’s Annenberg School For Communication & Journalism determined that 76.3 percent of speaking characters in 500 top-grossing films released between 2007 and 2012 were white.

The majority of my U.S. history courses have focused primarily on the accomplishments of white people, and when they do focus on minorities, it is simply to discuss their oppression or efforts to escape oppression.

YouTube personality Franchesca Ramsey summed it up by saying, “Unfortunately, in most popular media talking about black people … it’s mostly of us breaking the law, being killed or mistreated. So it’s nice to combat these negative images and stereotypes with positive representations of ourselves.“

Many people also used this day to discuss the lack of minority faces in media. Now to be fair, whites are the overwhelming majority in America, so it makes sense for them to be more commonly represented. However, the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimated there are 45 million black people in the U.S. This includes those who are "black only” and those who are black and another race.

To put that into perspective, that’s more than the total populations of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware combined. It’s a lot of people who, when they turn on their TVs or look at a magazine or go anywhere, see mostly people who don’t look like them.

One father wrote on Tumblr: “My 4-year-old son came to me today and asked me why God made us black. He didn’t understand why he was black when everyone else in his preschool class is white.”

As a biracial person myself, I am so used to being the only person in my class, at my job, at a party, etc. who looks like me. It’s not so bad now, but when I was younger, it was really difficult. And it is for minority youth because it’s human nature to want to fit in, but your very essence makes you stand out.

The father went on to write: “It was amazing I could get on Tumblr today and show him all the black people who were proud of their dark skin and how black people come in different shades, sizes and backgrounds.”

And that is what makes movements like this so important and so special.

This week on Alt.Latino, we explore the deeply intertwined roots that connect Jewish and Latin music.

Professor Josh Kun teaches at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He’s researched music history extensively, and he joins us to spin some awesome old records, including Celia Cruz’s performance of “Hava Nagila” (who knew?).

Bagels And Bongos: The Jewish-Latin Music Connection

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

You should be reading tween hacker magazines from the 1980s
It was the mid-1980s, and Matthew Broderick had barely averted nuclear war in WarGames. Congress was passing the first computer fraud laws, which would be used in 1989 to indict the man who semi-inadvertently released the first internet worm. And children across the country were figuring out how to be hackers. Meryl Alper of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has taken a fascinating look at the computer magazines aimed at teens and preteens in the 1980s, after the idea of computer hacking was on the radar but before the high-profile arrests of the late ‘80s and early '90s.