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Journalists spent more than a year reporting on Monday’s historic eclipse. It only took three minutes for that event to become a footnote in history. Was the coverage worth it? Who watched it and how will it be remembered? Also, what’s ahead for Steve Bannon and Breitbart News now that he’s back at the alt-right news site following his departure from the White House, brands back off from advertising amid politically and racially-charged news coverage. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Journalists spent more than a year reporting on Monday’s historic eclipse. It only took three minutes for that event to become a footnote in history. Was the coverage worth it? Who watched it and how will it be remembered? 

Commentary: Mind Your Own Business

Aug 16, 2017

As children we were all told by someone – another kid, a parent, a teacher – to “Mind your own business.”  Usually good advice, not always heeded, of course.  Kids who frequently didn’t mind their own business often grew up to become lawyers.  Just kidding.

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt says he's backing fellow Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill's seat. Schmitt had expressed interest in a 2018 U.S. Senate run, but announced yesterday he won't seek the Republican nomination. 

File Photo / KBIA

A recent special legislative session on abortion policies cost Missouri taxpayers nearly $92,000.

Figures provided to The Associated Press show the House spent about $60,000 and the Senate nearly $32,000 on the session that ran from mid-June to late July.

The session resulted in a new law that will tighten abortion regulations, give the attorney general power to prosecute violations and exempt pregnancy resource centers from a St. Louis ordinance banning discrimination based on "reproductive health decisions."

If you’ve been listening to these commentaries for a while you may remember the three musical commentaries in 2008.  The 2008 presidential campaign was explained by, in turn, the Beatles, Disco and Classic Rock.

Well, the Beatles are back and will tell us all we need to know about the last year in American politics. Just listen:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Physicians will have to meet with women seeking abortions three days before the procedure and Missouri’s attorney general will have the ability to enforce abortion laws under the bill headed to Gov. Eric Greitens on Tuesday.

Updated 7:15 p.m. July 24 with Senate reconvening — The Missouri General Assembly’s special session dealing with new abortion restrictions resumed Monday, though senators declined to take immediate action on Sen. Andrew Koenig’s bill. Several Republican senators were absent, which meant there weren’t enough votes to kill a Democratic filibuster.

gavel
Jonathunder / Wikimedia commons

A federal appeals court has upheld a judge's order that Missouri taxpayers pay more than $156,000 to cover Planned Parenthood's legal bills tied to a legal dispute over a clinic's abortion license.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey's August 2016 decision that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services must pay the attorneys' fees and expenses incurred by what now is Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

Four former Republican U.S. senators from Missouri are urging Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Senate.

Former Sens. John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent asked Hawley to enter the race in a public letter dated Thursday.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

Missouri Republicans are coalescing around Attorney General Josh Hawley as their favored candidate to challenge veteran Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018, which would set up a marquee contest between a wily incumbent and an up-and-coming political newcomer in a state that's trending conservative.

McCaskill is among 10 Senate Democrats running in states won by President Donald Trump, making the Missouri race an opportunity to flip a Senate seat to Republicans. The GOP now has a narrow majority of 52 Senate seats.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens' nonprofit has donated $250,000 to a political action committee created to help stave off efforts by labor unions to repeal Missouri's right-to-work law.

The Kansas City Star reports that the source of the money given Monday to Missourians for Worker Freedom is unknown. That's because nonprofits, such as Greitens' A New Missouri Inc., aren't required to disclose donors.

  The New York Times reports on the dramatic decline in enrollment at Mizzou in the wake of student protests.  A current student leader cries foul while right-wing media gleefully share the story.  Is there enough context? Professors Mike McKean, Earnest Perry and Stacey Woelfel discuss this and more on this week's Views of the News.

The New York Times reports on the dramatic decline in enrollment at Mizzou in the wake of student protests. A current student leader cries foul while right-wing media gleefully share the story. Is there enough context? Professors Mike McKean, Earnest Perry and Stacey Woelfel discuss this and more on this week's Views of the News.

GOP State Lawmaker Planning Bid for McCaskill Seat

Jul 12, 2017

A Republican state lawmaker from Pacific is poised to jump into the race to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill next year.

Rep. Paul Curtman, a member of the Missouri Legislature since 2010, is expected to announce the formation of an exploratory committee for a Senate run next week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has learned.

The entrance of the Franklin County resident into the GOP primary field comes a week after U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner announced she was not going to run for the seat, sparking an uptick in speculation on who would take on McCaskill.

Treece Disbands Task Force on Medical Tourism

Jul 5, 2017

Mayor Brian Treece dissolved the Task Force on Medical Tourism, but he said the city's effort to brand Columbia the medical center of Missouri will continue.

Commentary: The GOP's Big Issue Under the Surface

Jul 4, 2017

Republicans are riding high.  They hold the presidency and both houses of Congress.  They are four for four in special House elections.  Congressional Democrats are not even good obstructionists, not to mention getting any of their legislation passed.

Megyn Kelly’s profile of Infowars’ founder Alex Jones has run – in most U.S. cites. Did it live up to the hype? Also, rumors Sean Spicer is searching for his replacement, Fox News drops its iconic “Fair & Balanced” slogan, and coverage of the Cosby mistrial. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

david_shane / Flickr

Pro-abortion rights supporters are rallying at the Missouri Capitol in opposition to Republican proposals to further regulate the procedure.

Roughly 200 people gathered in the Rotunda on Wednesday as the Republican-led Senate prepared to take up legislation that would, among other things, require annual inspections for abortion clinics and nullify a St. Louis ordinance prohibiting discrimination in hiring or housing based on reproductive decisions.

ALEX HEUER / St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate leader says a bipartisan call to investigate the Republican governor won't advance during an ongoing special session.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe said Wednesday that his ethics committee won't have a hearing on the proposal because the focus of the special session is abortion.

Two Democrats and four Republicans are calling for a legislative investigation of Gov. Eric Greitens.

Megyn Kelly is under attack for an interview with Infowars' Alex Jones set to air Sunday evening on NBC. Will the interview expose a conspiracy theorist or just give him a platform to spread this beliefs? Also, an Oregon newspaper’s decision to report on a prominent college athelete’s sexual molestation conviction, Montana Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault for taking down the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs in a headlock, and the media circus around the Comey and Sessions senate hearings. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Jeimmie Nevalga: Views of the News.

Commentary: Trump's Imprint

Jun 14, 2017

Please indulge a few seconds of personal history.  One of the reasons Columbia College, where I teach, has prospered in recent years is its online program.  I have been heavily involved in online from its first days in the late 1990s and now teach online classes.  I also update courses previously developed by other faculty.

As I speak I am redeveloping our online class on the presidency.  There are some, uh, challenges in updating a college course on the presidency in the summer of 2017.

Courtesy NBC

Megyn Kelly is under attack for an interview with Infowars' Alex Jones set to air Sunday evening on NBC. Will the interview expose a conspiracy theorist or just give him a platform to spread his beliefs?

Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post: “Exposing the evil of Alex Jones is crucial. A Megyn Kelly one-on-one is not the way to do it.

Is she the next Edward Snowden? We’ll talk about the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner on charges of leaking top-secret documents detailing a 2016 Russian cyberattack on election software. Also, the call for Bill Maher’s ouster from HBO, how President Trump’s tweets immediately following the London terror attacks could affect his efforts to reinstate the travel ban and a controversial column from the Columbia Daily Tribune’s new publisher. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Is she the next Edward Snowden? We’ll talk about the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner on charges of leaking top-secret documents detailing a 2016 Russian cyberattack on election software.   

Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle & Ryan Grim, The Intercept: “Top-secret NSA report details Russian hacking effort days before 2016 election

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says the healthcare markets are being “sabotaged” by uncertainty from the Trump Administration on whether it will pay subsidies to insurers and enforce Obamacare’s individual mandate provision.

Fox News announced it is retracting its story on Seth Rich. The DNC staffer was murdered in Washington D.C. last summer. The cable network has been reporting for more than a week that his slaying came 12 days after contacting Wikileaks. Now, it says that reporting doesn’t stand up to its editorial standards. What changed? Also, remembering Roger Ailes and the complicated legacy he leaves behind, Anderson Cooper’s snarky streak continues, and the guidance Facebook gives employees for removing hate speech, sexually explicit or violent content from the site. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.


Courtesy Fox News

Fox News announced it is retracting its story on Seth Rich. The DNC staffer was murdered in Washington D.C. last summer. The cable network has been reporting for more than a week that his slaying came 12 days after contacting Wikileaks. Now, it says that reporting doesn’t stand up to its editorial standards. What changed? 

Fox News: “Statement on coverage of Seth Rich murder investigation

Six clergymen who were found guilty of trespassing in the Missouri Senate gallery after they protested Missouri’s failure to expand Medicaid were sentenced today to one year of unsupervised probation.

The six, including well-known Kansas City clergymen Sam Mann, Wallace Hartzfield Sr. and Vernon P. Howard Jr., were part of the so-called Medicaid 23, who were charged with trespassing and obstructing government operations after leading a group of about 300 protestors in the Senate gallery three years ago.

Commentary: Two Wacky Weeks

May 19, 2017

Remember Pope Benedict the Sixteenth?  I’ll return to him in a moment.

The news is so dynamic just now.  It’s like waiting for the next shoe to drop from a centipede – not when but how many?  The humorist Dorothy Parker had an appropriate phrase: “What fresh Hell is this?”  

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