I’ve been thinking a lot the past week about DC summer journalism program I did in college. It was my first time there and I got to do some real journalism in and around the Capitol. I loved the work, loved talking with elected officials and policy wonks and PR people. ...
But one thing really on my mind this past week is how much security has changed since I left, and in every subsequent trip back.

It’s not that there was NO security in the Capitol before, but this was pre-9/11. Later trips were much more full of visible police presence. ...
But one thing that hadn’t seemed to change much is the buffer zone around the Capitol steps. More security and checkpoints, but there was never a wall. I marveled then and on every return trip. It really did feel like the people’s house, even with the extra presence. ...
As I watched the people marching to the Capitol last Wednesday, I knew it was going to be bad once I saw the setup. They hadn’t really erected much to keep people out. The Capitol in that state could be overwhelmed by sheer numbers. And then it was. ...
I know we overdo some of the poetic stuff, but we really did lose something when the breach happened. I don’t know if access will ever be like that again. I’ve read some reports this week that they didn’t go bigger on security because they were afraid of Trump. Unacceptable. ...
I think this is why consequences matter right now. It’s not revenge, at least not for me. I’m not seeing red. But there has to be a price for this. They didn’t just break some windows and threaten people. They broke into our house and took away our access. ...
The reason I’m saying this is because I read things like this (nyti.ms/3qcEo3S) and they make me so mad. Everything framed as a debate about politics and power.

Lost is what the right thing to do is. Talk of healing without examining the wound, settling accounts.
And our democracy was wounded. Our relationship to government and the literal halls of power was wounded. People scheming to think about how to save their political career are just prepping us for the next wave rather than a needed reckoning that has to come before de-escalation.
I want to take my kids there someday. The place really was special to me because it represented that place where we could do big things (if we want).

I hope we can fix this.
(and as is often the case with DC, I made some dear friends for life there during that summer in college, including @MDeanClark)

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More from @JeremyLittau

12 Jan
I’ve done two interviews in the past day with media about the Twitter/Facebook bans and the Parler shut down.

I’m trying to use these opportunities to stress something is getting lost in all the debates about the action: conversation about free expression is the wrong debate. 1/
It’s pretty clear at this point the First Amendment doesn’t apply. The only people making that argument are craven politicians who are trying to gin up anger.

An expression debate focuses on the content. What I keep underlining is social media is a distribution platform too. 2/
What this means is that when someone gets on and posts conspiracy theory content or seditious incitement, it isn’t a question of whether it will be distributed. The publishing platform has the tools for outreach and connection that let that content travel. 3/
Read 21 tweets
10 Jan
Parler might be toast. Their hosting options are nil.

The Monday after the election I did a freeform AMA with my seminar students about the online culture aftershocks. One asked if Parler might take off at the expense of Twitter. deadline.com/2021/01/parler…
What I said then is what I still believe. I am skeptical. They could grab big audience, but toxicity is a tough long-term sell.

Hosting issues, advertiser worries and monetization issues, legal issues. These fools wanted to repeal section 230, which would sink the platform.
Certainly the site took off as Trump people fled Twitter. But sometimes things burn hot and fizzle. They grew so quickly that they had to get the money and hosting stuff secured all while scaling up. And then 1/6 happened and it turns out the platform was a launch bay.
Read 7 tweets
9 Jan
This isn’t shocking to those of us who grew up in this culture.
Journalists have got to start peeling back the ways in which white people drape themselves in coded respectability. Positions of power and leadership that come from privilege cover a whole lot of ugly beliefs that are pretty visible, to be honest.
Ten years ago I had to unfriend my old youth minister on Facebook after he openly wished for Obama’s death. It was just a joke, I was told. It’s always just a joke.

These are the people that raised us.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
Folks, this is a big deal as far as our community is concerned. After FIVE years of pressure from our faculty, staff, students and alumni, the Lehigh Board of Trustees finally did the right thing and revoked Donald Trump’s honorary degree.
This doesn’t fix everything. That it took this long despite the long list of reasons this should have been done years ago should be cause for reflection by everyone with power here. Whose interests and values have been centered in our decisions.

A win today. The work continues.
Sarah is absolutely right here. Want to give a special shoutout to Kelly, one of our journalism majors who led the last major effort. But also to the staff and faculty who took career risks to keep this alive.
Read 7 tweets
2 Jan
This story is worth your time. Note the ties between government help, civic life, and information access. nytimes.com/2021/01/02/us/…
Note this, for example:
Local news has never been perfect, but it did provide a common fact sheet for users. The limited choices pre-Internet meant it was an obvious place for people to go if they wanted to keep up with what they need to navigate life in their community.
Read 17 tweets
25 Dec 20
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, as daddy got out the directions to that thing he has to build on Christmas Eve. There might be swearing.
“Welcome to the family” sounds like a vaguely threatening way to lead off the instructions page.
Five hours later. She better love it or this will go in the book of grievances.
Read 6 tweets

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