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Arianna Huffington on the Media's Shift to the Right

Question: Why write this book now?

Arianna Huffington: I decided to write the book right now as a kind of handbook for the ’08 election. I wanted to look at what the Right had done to this country over the last almost eight years. And then, why? Why did we allow the Right to hijack our democracy and dominate the debate? Because I feel when we understand why, we are going to find it much easier to clean the mess, not let it happen again, and above all, make sure that John McCain is not the winner in November, ’08. So that’s why I’ve included an entire chapter on John McCain, where I describe how he has been hijacked by the Right.

Question: How did the media shift so far to the right?

Arianna Huffington: Well, that’s, I think, the key point I wanted to make in the book in terms of the culpability of the media — how they became enablers. And so my first two chapters are about the media. The first chapter is called Equal Time For Lies, because I think one of the problems has been the way the media like to present every issue as though it has two sides, even when the truth is solidly on one side or the other. And, as a result, it’s been very confusing for the American public, because the Right doesn’t need to win the argument. It just needs to make people doubt what the truth is. And we’ve seen that again and again. We’ve seen it on global warming. We’ve seen Al Gore on the one hand talking about the dangers of global warming, and Senator James Inhofe, on the other hand, talking about how global warming is a fraud. We’ve seen that again and again on Iraq, when the truth is absolutely clear that Iraq has been a catastrophe for the United States, but in fact, the media and many of our leaders continue to present it as either we’re winning there, or it’s a mixed bag.

Recorded on: March 9 2008

Arianna Huffington on how the media enabled the tragedy of George W. Bush.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
  • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
  • Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.
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How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
Culture & Religion

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

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How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
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