Après Midi

Aprés Midi 11-8-18

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 Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France


douglas herbert
Aprés Midi 11-9-18My mother used to say, "Wish on one hand, pish (Yiddish) on the other and see what you got." I didn't really know what that meant until Douglas Herbert, France 24's International Affairs Commentator, spoke at Parler Paris Après Midi. His topic: “On the one hand...on the other hand”: False Equivalence in the Age of Trump.

Gatherings like this are just a part of Paris life and contribute to what makes Paris, Paris. Here we had one of the city's illustrious journalists, whose almost daily appearances on the national news channel enlighten us on foreign affairs with a heavy influence on American politics. In a community as closely knit as this one (Americans in Paris), we have the great privilege of being up close and up front. I was very thrilled to welcome him to our forum and by the size of the attendance, it was obvious I wasn't the only one anxiously awaiting what he had to say.

He might as well have been talking about wishing on one hand and pishing on the other hand. His inside viewpoint of what it's like to be a reporter in today's world of "fake news," a term he abhors, he explored the concept of "False Equivalence" –– when the media (another term he prefers to exchange with "news outlets") bends over too far to appear "objective" or "balanced." "False equivalence is a logical fallacy in which two completely opposing arguments appear to be logically equivalent when in fact they are not. This fallacy is categorized as a fallacy of inconsistency." (Wikipedia.org)

We see it every day in the reporting of news surrounding Donald Trump. The media bends over backwards to present "the other side," when perhaps there isn't "another side." For example, he asked us, "Do we think there are two sides to the subject of Global Warming?" To which we all responded, "No." So, how can the media give equal sides when the topic is so out of balance?

We had an overwhelmingly large turn-out to the afternoon event, not surprising considering the speaker and the topic. Douglas Herbert’s first “foreign assignment” as a journalist came in the early 1990s, when he drank and dallied his way through the vineyards of southwest France as a writer and researcher for the student-published Let’s Go budget travel guide. After that exceedingly tough assignment, Douglas worked as a freelancer in the Moscow bureau of The New York Times, in the wake of the Soviet collapse, writing pick-up stories no one else wanted to do. After reporting stints in Tallinn, Estonia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Douglas joined CNN and CNN International, initially at the financial desk in New York City, and later, in London, where he covered the European Union and EU expansion. Today, Douglas is a Paris-based commentator for France 24, an international news channel launched in 2006. Douglas’s recent field assignments have included G7 summits from Québec to Northern Ireland; the US presidential election campaign, from the national party conventions to Trump’s inauguration; and the Ukrainian conflict. For the past five years, Douglas has taught a graduate-level fact-checking course at the Sciences Po Journalism School. Last November, he spent a week in Tashkent, Uzbekistan training a new generation of TV journalists. An avid Russophile, Douglas received his Master’s Degree in Russian Studies from Harvard University.His least favorite term in the English language is “Fake News.”

The event was emotionally charged as one might suspect. Douglas is an exceptional speaker who mastered the topic with complete clarity. He was brilliant in bringing the focus of the topic back on target every time the audience digressed...which was easy to do. We are all so filled with pent-up feelings regarding the media (news outlets) and how the public has lost trust in the truth in journalism as a result of "false or misleading statements." This audience, primarily on the liberal left, was outraged by how so many supporters believe one man's outright lies against mainstream fact-based news. The air in the room was electrified!

For more great reporting by Douglas Herbert, be sure to watch France 24 in English! You can watch it on your TV at home in France or live on their website.

In attendance were:

•    Alexandra Levie
•    Amie Gabriel
•    Ann Hattaway
•    Craig Carlson
•    Denise Grassart
•    Dorota Jablonski
•    Ed Frender
•    Eileen Baker
•    Elaine McCarthy
•    Elliott Medrich
•    Erwin Petri
•    Grace Nakata
•    Helayne Baron
•    Ivy Cream
•    Janet Brune
•    Janet Connelly
•    Jeff Ballinger
•    Jerrilyn Kemnoy
•    Jodi Hensley
•    Joe Start
•    Judy Saucerman
•    Kandi
•    Kathryn Joseph
•    Linda Corwin
•    Marty Kramer
•    Mary Baxter-Simmons
•    Merry Kurtz
•    Michael Bartley
•    Michael Tom
•    Michele Kurlander
•    Nancy Kissock
•    Patricia Evert
•    Patty Sadauskas
•    Raenette DeCicco
•    Sandy Kurtz
•    Sharon Page-Medrich
•    Stephanie Wolkin
•    Susan Ward
•    Suzie Fowler
•    Tanya Ramolo
•    William Jordan
•    Yael Menasse Friedberg
•    Plus others who did not sign in!

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France

Adrian Leeds Group - Aprés Midi Paris, France