‘The dreaded … triple-demic’ / No new leaf / ‘It wasn’t real media news’

‘The dreaded … triple-demic is finally here.’ Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina: “For the first time RSV, flu and COVID-19 are rising together. And it’s not looking pretty.”
Poynter’s Al Tompkins: “We are heading for an influenza train wreck.”
Illinois’ COVID-19 hospitalizations are near a 10-month peak.

‘When a justice starts making jokes about a Black child wearing a KKK outfit as a hypothetical, something has gone incredibly awry.’ Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick finds little to cheer in yesterday’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court testing the free speech rights of a web designer who wants to withhold her services from gay couples …
 … a session that prompted Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin to pose the question “Is Samuel Alito the biggest sleazebag on the Supreme Court?

‘I do truly appreciate the irony of me suggesting we agree to ignore him even as I write more than 600 words about him.’ But columnist Eric Zorn advocates an end to media attention for “perpetually aggrieved attention slut Kyle Rittenhouse.”
Tens of thousands of North Carolinians were likely to go days without electricity after two power substations were shot up in a “targeted” attack …
 … as authorities remained tight-lipped about motivations and suspects.
The attacks were the latest to demonstrate the fragility of the U.S. power grid, which has come under repeated assault from reactionaries.
Esquire’s Charlie Pierce traces the dots connecting North Carolina’s plight and Donald Trump’s unhinged rants. (Cartoon: Excerpt from Brian McFadden’s roundup of “Busted Books” for The Nib.)

No new leaf. Axios Chicago: A year after pledging to “do better,” Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department is doing worse in collecting yard waste.
A Sun-Times editorial encourages the state to find a better use for the historic Damen Silos site along the Chicago River.

‘Virtually every news outlet has a policy against running ads for cigarettes. … But, for now, the misleading fossil fuel ads continue.’ Popular Information takes a skeptical look at news startup Semafor’s acceptance of Chevron’s sponsorship for its climate newsletter …
 … whose author is out after protesting those ads.
Today’s print New York Times has just one advertiser: GE.
John Cusack—yes, that John Cusack, also a founding board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation—in the Sun-Times: We cannot allow the government to surveil journalists and expose sources … if we expect journalists to expose corruption, speak truth to power and print what the powerful don’t want printed.”

‘It was … juicy gossip. It wasn’t real media news.’ But because ABC News has pulled a couple of Good Morning America anchors off the air to assess the impact of their affair, media writer Tom Jones says now it is a media story.
It was the most-tapped item by far in yesterday’s Chicago Public Square—even though it appeared close to the bottom.
Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein: Don’t be surprised if GMA ratings rise.
 … and reportedly getting a new name.

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