Introducing some new features... News in Review: Friday, March 10, 2023
This newsletter has two goals:
Provide a high level view of the media landscape.
Experiment with how AI can produce interesting and useful content in an automated way.
I am adding a couple of features today that advance on each of those goals.
In the “What is happening in the top stories?” section, you will now see charts showing the top words being used on each side of the media for each story. This should give a sense for how each side is covering a given story. For example, today’s top story is Fox News. You’ll see that the left is focusing more on the Dominion lawsuit, while the right is focusing more on January 6th footage.
The second upgrade is to the AI that drives the writing in this newsletter. The writing in the “What is happening in the top stories?” is initially produced by AI, then given a thorough human edit before the newsletter is shipped. I’ve been very impressed by what the AI can produce. Most days, I simply cut out some bullet points that I find to be less relevant. I rarely find errors.
I have adjusted the prompting of the AI to present news stories in a way that (I think) is more interesting. For each story, it will now give the key people involved, critical background information, and the latest developments.
I’ve also upgraded the AI itself. OpenAI recently released ChatGPT as an API, so I have moved to that from the GPT-3 API I was using before.
Please respond to this email directly with any feedback or questions about these changes or about the newsletter in general. And thank you to those who have sent feedback over the past few months! It is incredibly helpful in shaping the newsletter.
And of course, please share this newsletter with anybody who would find this interesting. Thank you for following along.
What does the news landscape look like?
Fox News and Tucker Carlson have remain the top story. President Biden’s budget proposal jumped from #8 to #2 yesterday. In yesterday’s newsletter, the algorithm combined the GOP 2024 story with the Fox News story due to Donald Trump’s involvement in each. Today, the stories are again separate, with the GOP 2024 story in third place.
This is how the top stories were covered on each side of the media yesterday:
Fox News / Tucker Carlson / Dominion (70% more on the left)
Biden budget / Medicare (72% more on the left)
DeSantis / Trump / GOP 2024 (31% more on the right)
Media bias ratings are from AllSides.
This is how articles from liberal and conservative outlets were distributed over the past five days among the top stories.
Liberal outlets used these words more than conservative outlets:
Conservative outlets used these words more than liberal outlets:
What is happening in the top stories?
Now for a deep dive into our top three stories, starting with…
Fox News / Tucker Carlson / Dominion
Key players: Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, Lachlan Murdoch, Mitch McConnell, Rupert Murdoch
Fox News is facing a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over false claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Internal documents and depositions from the lawsuit reveal that Fox executives and hosts doubted the election claims made by former President Donald Trump.
Fox News is relying on a nearly 60-year-old Supreme Court ruling to defend itself against the defamation lawsuit.
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch dismissed negative headlines surrounding the defamation lawsuit as reflective of a polarized society.
Tucker Carlson released never-before-seen angles of footage from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, describing the scene as “mostly peaceful chaos.”
Carlson’s portrayal of the incursion at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, sparked bipartisan backlash and ignited tensions with Capitol Police.
Donald Trump demanded the release of imprisoned January 6 Capitol rioters while congratulating Tucker Carlson for pushing an alternative narrative of the attack.
Biden budget / Medicare
Key players: President Joe Biden, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Shalanda Young, Republican Study Committee, House Freedom Caucus
President Biden is set to release his proposed budget for fiscal year 2024, which includes plans to tackle the country’s deficits by trillions over the next decade through tax hikes targeting wealthier Americans.
The budget proposal is unlikely to make it far in the divided Congress, as the now GOP-led House gears up plans for their own massive budget rollout to bring down spending in the coming weeks.
House Republicans are about to find themselves with multiple rival road maps for budget cuts, just as a high-stakes battle over the nation’s debt limit is set to intensify in the Capitol.
President Biden’s budget plan would cut deficits by $2.9 trillion over the next decade.
President Biden is proposing to extend the solvency of the Medicare national healthcare program by 25 years with an increased tax rate on high earners.
Biden is proposing $885 billion in overall defense spending to help fund the war against Russia in Ukraine and bolster the Pentagon’s procurement budget.
DeSantis / Trump / GOP 2024
Key people: Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Liz Cheney, Mike Pence
The race for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election is expected to be a two-man contest between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Polling suggests that Trump is likely to prevail in a crowded Republican primary field in a lower-turnout scenario, while DeSantis would fare better in a two-way contest with a higher turnout.
A new University of North Florida poll found that 52 percent of registered Republican respondents in Florida said they would vote for DeSantis in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, while 27 percent of those surveyed said they would cast their votes for Trump.
DeSantis is heading to Iowa to promote his new book and discuss his “Florida Blueprint” with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a fellow Republican.
DeSantis has hinted that he will make a decision on a 2024 presidential bid after the Florida legislature’s 60-day regular session wraps up.
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