Wednesday Link-Off: Video Game Break

meg-turney-playboy15-02Let’s take a little time to get away from our coverage of E3 2015. Don’t worry, I’ll have trailers from all of the press conferences at E3 and then some news coverage of the more exciting announcements and reveals at the convention.

Right now, it’s time for us to look at some of the other important happenings in the world outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center with the Wednesday links. Keeping with the E3 theme, though, here’s Meg Turney.

CSIS warned the Province of Ontario that a cabinet minister could be under China’s influence. The provincial government disregarded the spy agency. (The Globe and Mail)

Donald Trump is planning to run for President. Philip Bump tried fact-checking the speech but found it to be completely impossible. (Washington Post)

How is Kansas paying for its tax cut for the rich? Raising taxes that will most adversely affect the poor. (Think Progress)

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Sunday Link-Off: The News and the Fools Who Follow It

jessica-alba-braun15-01We’re about to kick off a busy few weeks here at Lowdown HQ. This week is Formula One 2015 preview week. Tuesday’s rules change post is written. Wednesday’s drivers and teams preview is in progress. The predictions and power rankings posts will be fairly straight-forward. However, Monday’s news update hasn’t been started yet. Hopefully I get all that done quickly so I can move onto the next week’s Hottest Canadian bracket. There’s lots of work to be done around the blog over the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, it’s Sunday which means that it’s time for us to do the links. After a couple straight linkdumps with Alison Brie (not that there’s anything wrong with that), let’s kick things off with Jessica Alba.

About one in six Canadians think they’re better off now than this time last year. One-third of Canadians think they’re worse off. Sounds like Harper’s Canada is working out well for all of us. (Press Progress)

A scandal is brewing in Britain but won’t get the coverage over here that it should get. An investigation has turned up what is being called a “VIP pedophile ring” in the British government under Thatcher. (The Daily Beast)

Republican Washington State Senator Jim Honeyford says that poor and “coloured” people are more likely to commit crimes. And this is a party that thinks they’re fit to lead a whole country. (The Stranger)

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The Newsroom: The Medium vs. The Message

the-newsroom-season-2-promoCanadian media theorist and philosopher Marshall McLuhan famously coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” The premise of the phrase is that medium influences the message of a piece of media.

Sometimes, this influence works to enhance the message. Just look at video games like Spec Ops: The Line and Hotline Miami that break the fourth wall to make you question violence of video games.

However, the medium and the traditional expectations of the medium can have the opposite effect and hold back what can be a great message. If there’s a key reason why The Newsroom is hated and hate watched by so many, it’s because of the requirements of the medium of dramatic TV.

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Sorkin, The Newsroom and the Price of Perfection

the-newsroom-season-2-promoWhen you talk about great modern TV series, the conversation will always include a mention of Aaron Sorkin. The man was the driving force behind not one but two modern classics, Sports Night and The West Wing.

However, Sorkin’s current series, The Newsroom, isn’t considered a classic by most TV critics. It’s not because it’s a bad show. Anyone that has watched network TV over the last few years will know that most series on TV now are pretty poor. Critics don’t like The Newsroom because it doesn’t live up to Sports Night and The West Wing.

That’s the problem when you set the standard too high.

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Sunday Link-Off: Jurnalizm

kim-cloutier-laredoute13-01It’s the weekend so it’s time for the links. Remember when I called this the Weekend Link-Off? That was the good old days when we had like 30 uniques a week. Good times. No, wait. Those times were simpler but I never felt like I was accomplishing anything. Okay, the top posts still make me fell that way but at least people are reading now.

Anyway, let’s start this post with one of our favourites, Kim Cloutier.

And, yes, I meant to spell the title that way.

Using Edward Snowden’s data, here’s a look at how Microsoft collaborated with the NSA to give them your data. (The Guardian)

A former CNN producer and current journalism professor says that it might be time to stop considering CNN a news network. (Gawker)

Sharknado may have been all the rage on Twitter but it wasn’t SyFy’s highest rated original movie. Maybe that’s because Twitter isn’t a good proxy for the general population. (Slate)

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Wednesday Link-Off: Forces of Good and Bad

kate-upton-vogue13-07It’s the middle of the week which means that it’s time for the links. Things have been a bit quiet on the blog lately but I’m hoping that inspiration will strike and I’ll write some more interesting things soon. Let’s kick it off with Kate Upton who I’m pretty sure hasn’t been on the blog since she landed her second SI Swimsuit Issue cover.

The mainstream media would have you believe that Anonymous are evil but the hacking group have been a force of good who have been a leading force in uncovering evidence of rape that the police just aren’t interested in finding. (Mother Jones)

Not only does austerity prevent much economic stimulation but it also has a real world effect on people. Austerity measures also affect the social safety net that so many people rely on. (New York Times)

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says Canadians are entitled to know what the government is up to… Only if it can be spun positively for the governing Conservative Party. (MacLean’s)

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Sunday Link-Off: Be Right, Not First

alison-brie-esquire13-03Tomorrow is the start of Canadian Gaming Week on The Lowdown Blog. We’ve got some reviews, columns and other features on Canadian games and the people who make them. I’m hoping that it’ll be a lot of fun and that we can do something like this again.

Anyway, it’s Sunday so it’s time for the end of the week links. For the third straight week, the Sunday links feature a star of Mad Men. This week, it’s Alison Brie.

For people trying to keep up with the news story of the Boston bombing, there was a massive problem. Some media organizations consistently kept screwing up the story by trying to be first rather than trying to be right. CNN might have been the worst. (BuzzFeed)

On the print side, the New York Post was consistently wrong. If there was a fact in this case, the Post got it wrong. (Capital New York)

And then the Post slandered a couple of high-school runners by claiming they were the bombers. Just a bit wrong there. (Gawker)

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