August 12, 2018

My daughters and I went to see "Eighth Grade" this week. The movie, the first written and directed by comedian Bo Burnham, is a brilliant slice-of-life that epitomizes every awkward, cringey, yet ultimately beautiful aspect of that transitional age. It's impressive for a man in his late 20s to be able to write a story from the perspective of a 13 year old girl and keep it very authentic and relatable.

One thing that--as a mom of teens--I recognized in Burnham's depiction is just the unbelievable amount of screen time teenagers do, no matter how hard you try to limit it. Burnham doesn't pass judgment on it, just acknowledges the reality. Anytime a question occurs to my kids--anything from "Where have I seen that actor before?" to "How do you make an apple pie?"--out pops the phone to Google the answer. They watch YouTube videos more than they watch television.

And therein, lies the problem. We've spent a lot of time talking about the insidious nature of Facebook and Twitter in infecting the political dialog. But I don't think we've really copped to how dangerous YouTube could be. There is literally every subject on YouTube. And when you watch the videos, YouTube's algorithms recommend other videos to you. And as academic Zeynep Tufekci explained on Ezra Klein's podcast , those recommendations tend to push the viewer to a more extreme viewpoint. For example, looking at videos about vegetarianism gets you full vegan recommendations. Imagine what happens if impressionable teens, trying to make sense of today's news, start getting recommended videos on white nationalism and other extremist ideas? When does that stop being informative and start being normalizing? What will that do to the eighth grade mind as it develops and becomes a voting adult?

An entire generation is taking their cues from YouTube. What will that mean for the country?

ABC's "This Week" — Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president; Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer; Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels. Panel: Republican strategist Ana Navarro; Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; Jonathan Swan, reporter for Axios; and Marc Short, former Trump White House legislative affairs director.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Omarosa Manigault Newman, former assistant to Trump and White House communications director; Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio. Panel: David Brooks of The New York Times; former Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md.; former Gov. Pat McCrory, R-N.C.; and Kristen Welker of NBC.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker; Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. Panel: Christian Picciolini, author of “White American Youth”; Jon Meacham, author of “The Soul of America”; Jamelle Bouie of Slate; and Deray McKessen, Black Lives Matter activist and podcaster of "Pod Saves The People"

CNN's "State of the Union" — Giuliani; former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va. Panel: Michael Caputo, former campaign director, Donald J. Trump for President; Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution; Amanda Carpenter, author of "Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us"; and Bakari Sellers, former Democratic South Carolina House member.

CNN's "Reliable Sources" — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Hadas Gold of CNN. Panel: April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks; Indira Lakshmanan, journalism ethics chair at Poynter and columnist at The Boston Globe; and Jeff Greenfield, journalist and political analyst.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" — Author Jon Meacham and Joanne Lipman, professor at Yale Law School. Panel: Gloria Borger of CNN, Ross Douthat of The New York Times and Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Fox News Sunday" — Conway; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I. Panel: Juan Williams of Fox News, Charlie Hurt of The Washington Times, Lisa Lerer of The Associated Press and Marc Lotter, former press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence.

So what's catching your eye this morning?

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