I’m back home in north Georgia after four days in Baltimore and D.C. Thanks very much to Steve and Mary for taking care of us. And to Matt Laslo, my friend in the Capitol press corps who has been through a lot in the past couple weeks. Give him a follow if you don’t already.
The inauguration was, as you know, a muted affair. We wandered in the blocks north of the mall all morning and saw mostly just soldiers and media members. It was cold and quiet, fences and checkpoints everywhere. The crowds did start to grow in the early afternoon and we found plenty of people to interview. The mood was fragile. People seemed relieved, but it would be an error to characterize much of what we saw as a celebration. A lot of Americans are sad right now. What happened on Jan. 6 shook people up, and it seems to have shaken up Biden supporters more than it shook up Trump supporters. We’ll have a video out, I hope, some time this afternoon.
Ran into Andrew Callaghan, who despite being more than a decade my junior, is someone I admire a lot and whose videos shaped my approach to Scuffed News. He was cruising down New Jersey Avenue in his brown suit, at the head of a flying-V shaped entourage of seven or eight. Big vibes. He was friendly and I wish I’d followed him around a little to see how he does what he does. Instead I grabbed lunch. Here’s the uncut version of our exchange, most of which won’t make a video, for anybody who’s interested. If you’ve never checked out All Gas No Brakes, you should take a moment to do so. Like he said, they’re working on a longer-form project, so the channel has gone quiet, but the catalog is worth exploring, especially the videos from Minneapolis and Portland.
YouTube took down our video from the Trump rally in Dalton, arguing it violated the community guidelines related to “violent criminal organizations.” Here are the rules about that. I never got any detailed information about what triggered the removal of the video. I appealed. That appeal was rejected. My guess is the part where the guy encouraged people to “shoulder a weapon” to prevent the election being “stolen” from Trump was the key clip. The guy was holding the microphone because my camera guy was off looking for something so I was flying solo. I bet that, the would-be insurrectionist holding the mic, didn’t help my case. In full context, the video is not “praising, promoting or aiding” insurrectionists, but I guess I can see why someone at YouTube might believe otherwise. I don’t see it as an egregious breach of my free expression, but it is a little troubling, and it’s weird going from having editors you sometimes disagree with but can try to persuade, to an editor in YouTube who unilaterally removes one of your videos without a rationale. I have a new kind of freedom on YouTube, and a new kind of master. What a paradox!
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Jeff Goldberg on the end of the, you guessed it, Enlightenment — Atlantic
Taiwan cancels Lunar New Year bash over 4 covid cases — Reuters
Nice picture of the “field of flags” on the National Mall — Mass Live
One subreddit’s moderation approach to fiction-peddlers — Slate
Blinkin signals Biden will take up Trump’s fight with China — Reuters
Tyler Cowen strongly opposes a $15 federal minimum wage — Marginal Rev
New South African strain of covid is worrisome — David Friedberg
“Ain't saying she a gold digger, but it's 1849 and she's in a riverbed in the Sierra Nevada with a shovel and a pan.” — Teju Cole
About: I send this email most mornings to force myself to stay informed and in touch. It’s typically ~8 links, a quote, and an update on what I’m working on. Write me back! And please share the email. If I added you and you don’t like it, please click unsubscribe below. I was a newspaper reporter for 14 years at the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Des Moines Register and Minneapolis Star Tribune. I gave the basic story of why my family left Minneapolis here. You can find my new venture, Scuffed News, on YouTube (please subscribe!), Twitter and Instagram, and you can support the project with your money, in exchange for exclusive video and early access to some of the video, on Patreon.
Adam, your presentation about your post being removed apparently because of superficial observations is such a great statement about the sweeping power of those who control this technology. The inability to find patience and intellectual curiosity within those who are censoring these materials to deeply appreciate the substantive context that you were seeking to display for a robust assessment of the situation is quite disturbing. What will be the compounding impacts of this approach to disqualify such dialogue in our public discourse over time?
I like how you compared it with addressing your past attempts to deal with editor's concerns.