Dr. Gerald Horne’s Hilarious Media Menu

An excellent guide to improving one's media menu in the morning...

Dr. Gerald Horne/Fair use

AS Here: Dr. Gerald Horne is probably one of the most astonishing and under-respected historians working today on virtually every continent imaginable. While sycophantic courtiers produce dismal fare that would embarrass all their forebears, Dr. Horne produces multiple high-quality volumes annually that all are astonishing in terms of research and acuity, not to mention originality.

This weekend, I came across a memoir he wrote in 2011 as part of a larger symposium honoring his career that was published in The Journal of African American History. In three footnotes, he describes his choices for reading materials from the contemporary press, including some rather hilarious barbs explaining his feelings about these publications. It is an amazing read for everyone who is interested in media criticism or looking to widen the menu of morning headlines.

Image by Derek Wernher/CC BY-SA 3.0

Hard copy newspapers he reads:
Financial Times (perhaps the most valuable of them all); Los Angeles Times (good on the film industry); New York Times (indicator of elite opinion); Wall Street Journal (its editorial page is a barometer of Neanderthal conservatism); USA Today (not as bad as it is said to be); Granma (weekly edition from Havana).

News websites:
Mail and Guardian (South Africa); Zimbabwe Herald; Guardian (London); Washington Post; Asia Times; and dailies in San Francisco, Oakland, Boston, Raleigh, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, and Chicago.

News aggegator sites:
Allafrica.com, drudgereport.com (again, to monitor conservatism); huffingtonpost (to monitor the liberals); politico.com (to monitor the centrists); realclearpolitics.com; realclearmarkets.com; realclearworld.com—all have a North Atlantic bias but remain useful.

African American press used in both scholarship and daily reading:
I read regularly the New York Amsterdam News, the Los Angeles Sentinel and the Final Call.

Hard copy African America magazines:
Jet; Black Enterprise (which deserves critique for not warning its readers more speedily about the perils of the market); Essence (its quality has fluctuated over the years); and Ebony (sadly, in decline).

Hard copy magazine subscriptions:
The Economist (though British, it is in essence a conservative U.S. journal, though valuable for its global coverage); Business Week; The New Yorker (good writing masks predictable views); People (insight into gossip culture, which is coming to define the nation); The Nation (reflects the weaknesses of the liberal left); In These Times (ditto); The New Republic (fortunately in decline); Foreign Affairs (unfiltered elite views); Z (left with a dose of anarchism); Columbia Journalism Review (window into a troubled industry); Vanity Fair (more on celebrity culture); Texas Monthly (this state, a bastion of conservatism, must be monitored carefully); Texas Observer (ditto); Sporting News (weak politically but good on basic coverage); BBC Focus on Africa (idiosyncratic but valuable); New African (ditto); Le Monde Diplomatique (a French view is often helpful); New York Review of Books (incestuous—and predictable); Chronicle of Higher Education (mandatory reading for academics); Women’s Review of Books (quite valuable); NACLA Report on the Americas (U.S. liberals view the hemisphere).

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