Media

Dear Mom: About Your 50 Year Nursing Career & Medicaid… This Woman’s Letter Pummels the GOP

by Leslie Salzillo – I didn’t write this. I wish I did. The way this woman levels Republicans is stunning. The author is Betsy Anderson and it’s a letter addressed to her mother with a blind copy to the GOP and all Americans. Ms. Anderson cuts straight to core and heartlessness of the GOP and it should be required reading in Congress and in all forms of the media. It’s also a perfect example of how well social media can work — when it works. Betsy Anderson took to Facebook and spoke out on March 16, 2017. Susan, a friend of mine posted Besty’s post in a group where another friend of mine, John, from VoteVets.org saw it. He posted it into another Facebook group where I first saw it. (And if you followed all that…) now I get to post it on Daily Kos where it stands a good chance of being read by the multitudes. For Betsy’s sake, the...

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J&J Pulls Ads From YouTube Over ‘Offensive’ Videos

Johnson & Johnson the latest company to drop ads over fears content may appear alongside ‘terrorism’ and hate videos. US healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson has become the latest company to suspend all digital advertising on YouTube over concerns its ads may have appeared on channels that broadcast offensive videos. J&J said on Thursday it wanted to ensure that its product advertising did not appear on channels that promote “offensive content”, a day after AT&T, Verizon, and several other major advertisers suspended their digital ads after discovering their brands had been appearing alongside videos promoting violence and hatred. “We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate,” AT&T said in a statement. “Until Google can ensure this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms.” Google, YouTube’s parent company, has come under intense scrutiny for ads appearing alongside videos...

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Gibberish Is the White House’s New Normal

by TODD GITLIN – The bad art of the non sequitur. Once upon a time, there were presidents for whom English seemed their native language. Barack Obama most recently. He deliberated. At a press conference or in an interview — just about whenever he wasn’t speaking from a text — his pauses were as common as other people’s “uh’s.” He was not pausing because his vocabulary was impoverished. He was pausing to put words into sequence. He was putting phrases together with care, word by word, trying out words before uttering them, checking to feel out what they would sound like once uttered. It was important to him to words in order because he did not want to be misunderstood. That president valued precision, in no small part because he knew he lived in a world where every last presidential word was a speech act, a declaration with consequence, so that...

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Trump Defends Three of His Biggest Lies in New Time Magazine Interview

by Aaron Rupar – “I have articles saying it happened.” In a new Time magazine cover interview, President Trump defends three of the most notorious lies he’s told since beginning his presidential campaign in June 2015. Trump repeated his false claims that American Muslims celebrated on 9/11, that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential election, and that President Obama wiretapped him last fall. The interview, which was conducted on Wednesday by Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer, focuses on how Trump “has handled truth and falsehood in his career.” But the vast majority of the piece consists of Trump trying to defend blatant falsehoods by offering new ones. Throughout the interview, Trump’s defense when confronted with one of his lies is to shift blame to the media. Brian Stelter ✔@brianstelter “I have articles saying it happened.” http://ti.me/2mXMSvI  8:41 AM – 23 Mar 2017 At one point, Scherer...

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Roger Stone’s Russian Alibi Falls Apart

by Laurel Raymond – Stone keeps referencing ‘independent’ information he had on Podesta — but the article he says proves it is based on Wikileaks. Trump ally Roger Stone is one of the more colorful characters in the President’s arsenal. He wore a top hat and morning coat to Trump’s inauguration. He has a Nixon tattoo between his shoulder blades. He’s a weekly guest host on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio show. And now, he’s under FBI scrutiny for possibly colluding with the Russian election hacking to help boost President Donald Trump’s campaign — a charge he vehemently denies. The allegations stem from a series of actions of Stone’s, but chiefly rest on a prediction Stone made in August that it would “soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel.” Roger Stone @RogerJStoneJr Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary 10:24 AM – 21 Aug 2016 A little over a month...

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FBI Investigating Breitbart and InfoWars for Possible Russian Collusion

by ericlewis0 – From McClatchy, via Raw Story: WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say. Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said. The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who...

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Meet Julia, the First Muppet on ‘Sesame Street’ with Autism (VIDEOS)

by Jessica Goldstein – “Sesame Street’ stands for inclusion and acceptance.” The first thing children watching Sesame Street might notice about Julia, the new Muppet on the block, is that she doesn’t want to make eye contact with Big Bird. Sesame devotees — which is to say, toddlers, kids, and their parents — might recognize Julia from her previous appearances on digital Sesame platforms, including ebooks. They’ll already know that Julia is a four-year-old with autism. But for viewers who will meet Julia for the first time when she makes her broadcast debut on April 10, Julia might seem unusual. Then again, maybe not: One in 68 children is diagnosed with autism. Maybe Julia will not seem unusual at all. Maybe she’ll seem totally, completely familiar. “When something is this prevalent, it’s something we have to step up to,” Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President for Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, said by phone....

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The Management of Unleashed Insanity

by TODD GITLIN – Trump perfects the role of Propagandist-in-Chief. Richard Nixon lied about wars and cover-ups, but otherwise his evasions and spins were in the mainstream of American political discourse. He was not in the regular practice of calling black white. By the end of his second term, Ronald Reagan was so mentally impaired as to make it unclear what he knew and when. But the present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented. One critical mass of citizens, Trump’s true believers, live in a mental universe composed of falsehoods poured steadily into their eyes and ears by a kept propaganda system, a system of untruth which they either affirm or, one way or the other, make their peace with. A second critical mass, the systematic resisters and doubters, is troubled beyond measure, but they are, for the moment, after years of default, powerless. Trump’s gamble is that...

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Trump’s War on the Truth Tellers

by Robert Reich – Trump and his White House don’t argue on the merits. They attack the credibility of the institutions that come up with facts and arguments they don’t like. They even do it preemptively. Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer warned that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office couldn’t be trusted to come up with accurate numbers about the costs and coverage of the Republicans’ replacement for the Affordable Care Act. “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” he said. So what’s the right place? The Oval Office? Bear in mind the director of the CBO is a Republican economist and former George W. Bush administration official who was chosen for his position by the Republican Congress in 2015. No matter. The White House is worried about what the CBO will say about Trumpcare, so it throws the CBO under the bus...

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White House Morons Tout Satirical Piece Shedding Proposed Budget – You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

by durrati – Think Progress: “This week, the White House began sending out an official email newsletter, “Your 1600 Daily,” to promote video clips of the president, pertinent news articles or endorsements, and other items of note happening that day. On Friday, there was an odd inclusion at the bottom, where normally one can find friendly headlines from Fox News, Breitbart, or other conservative outlets that have become media safe harbors for the administration. One of the two featured articles was a parody piece titled “Trump’s budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why,” written by Alexandra Petri, who writes satirical pieces for the Washington Post’s lighthearted ComPost blog.” And what did the very witty Ms. Petri write that the editors of (Not)Your 1600 Daily mistook for glowing endorsement? “Some people are complaining that the budget proffered by the Trump administration, despite its wonderful macho-sounding name, is too...

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Beyond the Acid-Filled Jacuzzi: Sinister Truths About Bannon’s Fascism

by Alexander Reid Ross, Truthout | News Analysis – Stephen Bannon is an enigmatic man. According to The Washington Post’s well-traveled report, he is so difficult to pin down that he effectively had no fixed address during the three years before becoming Trump’s top adviser. Although Bannon filed for residency in Florida, evidence shows that he may not have lived there. Some speculate that he may have claimed residency in Florida to avoid California’s high taxes. However, his ex-wife apparently did live at his declared home, and the landlord reported some doors in the house dead-bolted, some doors missing entirely, and the Jacuzzi destroyed and “covered in acid.” Further reports indicate that Bannon was paid $376,000 from 2012-2015 for 30 hours of work a week by an anti-Clinton media company funded by Robert Mercer and connected to the Koch brothers called Government Accountability Institute at the same time as he...

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Where Free Speech Ends, Ignorance Begins

by Michael Winship – At the risk of sounding like a geezer complaining about “these kids today,” back in my college days, when it came to points of view we were unhesitatingly exposed to literature, teachers and on-campus speakers covering the ideological waterfront. In one instance, the student body was addressed by civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory, radical Irish activist Bernadette Devlin and the conservative writer and critic Russell Kirk — all in the course of a week or so. Such variety was a common occurrence, and freewheeling, open discussion was encouraged. We didn’t always like or agree with a lot of what we heard or read — from time to time there were vehement protests — but all of it was invaluable. None of us were harmed in the making of our education. So I was appalled the other day when I read about the attempt by Republican...

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The Tell-Tale Tweet

by Propane Jane – On March 12, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his first fireside chat to the American public. He was sworn in only eight days prior, but the scope of the crisis that greeted him necessitated a swift yet steady display of leadership to calm the anxieties of a nation in turmoil and despair. His first week in office had been besieged by a rash of bank withdrawals and closings, followed by a four day bank shutdown, then hasty passage of the Emergency Banking Act to restore confidence to an economic system in free fall. The stated purpose of Roosevelt’s unprecedented radio address was to explicitly inform the public “what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be,” and to practically beg panicked Americans to stop withdrawing their money from the gravely anemic banks. Miraculously, the public...

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Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned: Your Smart TV is Spying On You

by MICHAEL PRICE – It appears the CIA is exploiting Americans TVs to collect information, and it’s a safe bet they’re not the only ones. Don’t say we didn’t warn you about this one: your “smart” TV may be spying on you. Really. According to classified documents leaked this week, the CIA found a way to hack the microphone on televisions equipped with voice control and send the audio back to headquarters. It can even record in “Fake-Off” mode — when the TV looks like it’s off but isn’t, according to notes on project “Weeping Angel.” See, this is why we can’t have nice things. Way back in 2014, we noticed a rather ominous waring in the novella-length privacy policy that came with our new smart TV: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted...

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Frightbart

by TODD GITLIN – The view from Steve Bannon’s propaganda site will scare the bejeezus out of you, which is its point.   The home page of Breitbart.com, the quasi-official voice of Steve Bannon’s White House, is a virtual stew of menace, a pit of monsters, an unending onslaught of apocalyptic horsemen rearing up at full gallop, coming straight at you, drawing closer…. But what the Breitbart reader is not being warned against is poisoned water, eviction, a melting glacier, a rising sea, a pauper’s grave, a burning cross, a bank swindle or a loss of medical care. Those are the kind of fears that afflict liberal wimps brainwashed by “the enemy of the people.” A Breitbart reader quivers, all right, hunkered down in the safe spaces of Fortress America while enemies gather outside the gates. But what he or she needs protection from is, to take a recent dozen, (1)...

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Where’s Tillerson? Secretary of State Ducking Press Amid Reports of Being Sidelined

by Deirdre Fulton – ‘Your decision to travel without reporters sends a dangerous signal to other countries about the U.S. commitment to freedom of the press.’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will embark on his first trip to Asia next week, visiting Japan, South Korea, and China. In what some journalists are calling an unprecedented move, he will not travel with members of the press. “Not only does this situation leave the public narrative of the meetings up to the Chinese foreign ministry as well as Korea’s and Japan’s, but it gives the American people no window whatsoever into the views and actions of the nation’s leaders,” a dozen Washington bureau chiefs from major news organizations wrote in a letter to the State Department earlier this week. CNN‘s Brian Stelter reported: On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that Tillerson was looking to save money by taking a smaller...

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mr. Donald J. Trump

by Michael Winship – A stroll through this past weekend’s craziness tells us more than we care to know about the state of the presidential mind. Assume for a moment, as many have suggested, that the whole Trump/Putin/Russia calamity is a deliberate distraction, a deflection to shift our gaze from the destruction of government and democratic principles that Trump, Bannon and their cohort — aided and abetted by a compliant Congress — seem intent on implementing. What then to make of this weekend’s flurry of tweets from our commander-in-chief, first bellowing that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in Manhattan and then demanding a congressional investigation? A distraction from a distraction? Or worse? CNN’s Jake Tapper succinctly summed it up in a Sunday morning tweet of his own: Jake Tapper  ✔@jaketapper POTUS makes wild accusation w/zero evidence WH searches for evidence & cant find any WH tells Congress to find evidence/no further...

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When the Supreme Court Stopped a Government-Led Attack on Freedom of the Press

by Damon Root – Revisiting a landmark First Amendment case.   In 1934 the Louisiana legislature passed a law requiring all newspapers, magazines, and periodicals with a circulation of 20,000 or more to pay an annual licensing tax of 2 percent on all gross receipts “for the privilege of engaging in such business in this State.” Ostensibly justified as just another run-of-the-mill tax, the measure’s true purpose was plain for all to see. The governor at that time was the notorious populist demagogue Huey P. Long, also known as the “Kingfish.” The Long administration was famously rife with corruption and criminality and the state’s biggest newspapers just happened to be some of the governor’s most outspoken critics. So the Kingfish told his allies in the legislature to use the state’s vast taxing powers to harass and punish his enemies in the press. The American Press Company, along with eight other newspaper...

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20 Editorials (so far) Calling for a Special Prosecutor to Investigate Trump-Russia Connections

by RandomNonviolence – Members of the Trump administration keep lying about their mysterious connections to Russia. Donald Trump refuses to release his tax returns or the financial books for the Trump Organization that might provide clarity. And Republicans in Congress refuse to seriously investigate. Clearly something unsavory is going on, so a growing chorus of newspaper editorial boards are now calling for an independent investigation. Here are 20 of those editorials: New York Times, Editorial: When One President Smears Another … His accusation is so sensational — so explosive if it turned out to have some basis in fact and so corrosive if not — that Congress has no credible option but to convene a bipartisan select committee to investigate all questions related to Russian interference in the election. And if Mr. Trump has confidence in his claim, he should have no reluctance about the appointment of an independent counsel to get to...

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How the Media Normalized Trump’s Mental Illness and Put Democracy at Risk

by Socdoc216 – Over the course of his life Donald Trump has exhibited innumerable behaviors demonstrating that he is malevolently aggressive, unbounded by conscience, incapable of recognizing truth or reality, highly erratic and selfish, and in possession of an excessively inflated ego.  For decades the public has been informed of Trump’s behavior, often portrayed as an entertaining but harmless “bad boy” by a news media that had, in large part (but with notable exceptions) morphed into an “infotainment” industry primarily motivated not by its democratic mission to inform the public, but by the profit motive.  This morphing has stymied the ability of the general US population to easily obtain basic factual news, but it has in no way nullified the ability of the infotainment industry to influence the public’s perception of reality.  A noteworthy example of this was the constant, unwarranted mainstream media coverage of Trump previous to and early in...

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Dig Deep: From Russia with Love, Errrrr…. Money (VIDEOS)

by GAIL ABLOW – This week’s installment in our series in which we regularly point you to some of the best investigative reporting you might otherwise miss. What is President Trump’s connection to Russia? Teams of investigative reporters are out in force attempting to reveal the answer. As you know, newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who should have been heading up an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election — had to recuse himself after The Washington Post’s revelation that, during sworn testimony, he failed to mention his meetings with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign. A number of other Russian connections to various Trump affiliates have surfaced in the past few weeks, but we are still in the dark about what it all means. An independent investigation, or the release of the president’s tax returns would perhaps provide answers, but until then we have journalists following dimly...

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Rachel Maddow’s Trump Coverage has Rocketed Her to the Top 10 of TV Ratings

by News Corpse – There have been numerous polls that show Donald Trump sinking to historic lows in approval. He currently resides at a pitiful 43 percent. That puts him at the bottom of the past nine presidents (going back more than sixty years) at this point in their terms. And that makes him the most unpopular new president in as long as this poll has been done. Likewise, majorities of the public are generally not in favor of his policies. He is trailing on the issues he has pushed the hardest for. Voters oppose him on ObamaCare, the border wall, and immigration. The media that he hates so fiercely is held in higher esteem than he is. And half of the electorate is already in favor of impeaching him. Can it get any worse than this? Well, another measure of popularity is the ratings of television programs that feature news...

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A 16-Year-Old Canadian Girl is Behind Professional Bigot Milo Yiannopoulos’ Downfall

by wagatwe – Remember how Milo Yiannopoulos’ career seemingly exploded into flames in the span of a week? It felt like a long time ago, but the last straw — his resignation from Breitbart as their senior editor — was only 10 days ago. Bananas, right? Well, the story gets even better when you find out how this call came about. Turns out there’s a 16-year-old Canadian high school student who was the brains behind the extremely efficient operation. Vox caught up with this girl, whom they refer to as Julia, to learn why and how she did it. The teen describes herself as “very socially liberal” yet more conservative on economic and foreign policy issues. So why did she target Milo? Well, this is what she told Vox: “I see Milo as this embodiment of the awfulness you see over the past few years with the general tilt of millennial conservatism. It’s diverged from this traditional...

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Man Behind Trump’s Claim That Obama Tapped Him Just Admitted He Made Shit Up (VIDEO)

by John Prager – Donald Trump is now demanding that any probe into his administration’s connections to Russia also include a probe into his wild allegation that President Obama tapped his “wires” in Trump Tower. This dubious claim seems to have originated with a Breitbart article that had been circulating among White House staff. The article in question claimed that President Obama had ordered a wiretap under the Foreign intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows a secret court to authorize surveillance in cases that involve agents of foreign powers — in this case, Trump and two Russian banks. The article heavily referenced claimed made by conspiracy theorist Mark Levin on his far-Right radio show that “we absolutely know this is true” that Obama was monitoring Trump’s team during the campaign. But now that his ridiculous allegations are being scrutinized by people who aren’t completely batsh*t insane, Levin is doing everything he can to walk them...

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Dear Van Jones, and Other Pundits, do you Think he’s Still Presidential After Saturday’s Tweets?

by StellaRay – I’m tired of saying I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime. Got to move it up to saying I’ve never seen anything like it in my study of American history, of which I majored in and taught. Yeah, there’s some bad presidents in that long list, but never one so mentally impaired and incompetent as Donald. This business of “raising Donald” is so…searching for words…searching…searching. Google cannot help. Coming up with less than adequate words, because there are no words. But the best I can do, is say that I see the media’s response to Donald’s speech to congress, like a conference between parents and teachers over a very troubled child. “Oh my, didn’t Donny do well at that?” “Let’s be fair, Donny didn’t throw a mud pie at you this time.” “Clearly, Donald can read!’ “We think Donny is on the edge of a break through, don’t...

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Jake Tapper Blasts Trump’s ‘Do A Lot More With Less’ Line: Does A Weekly Visit To Palm Beach Qualify? (VIDEO)

by Shannon Barber – Jake Tapper has just about had it with Donald Trump. The feisty host of CNN’s The Lead infamously took Trump’s top liar spin doctor, White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway, through a wood chipper for lying to him on air, and even banned her from his show briefly. He also rails Trump daily. Friday’s subject? How much Trump is costing taxpayers with his weekly trips to his swanky Florida resort, Mar-A-Lago. Tapper first played the line in one of Trump’s speech where he insisted that he and his staff would “do a lot more with less” for the American people. Tapper says after the clip: “Do a lot more with less. Presidents are certainly entitled to take a day off, but any deficit hawk would ask: is a weekly visit to Palm Beach doing a lot more with less? It takes Marine One, Air Force One, and motorcades to...

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Leaked Doc Puts “Stake in the Heart” of Trump’s Travel Ban Rationale (VIDEO)

by Lauren McCauley – MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow revealed a telling internal document which proves that extreme vetting is ‘bull-pucky’. In a major scoop said to put a “stake in the heart of the Muslim ban,” MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow reported Thursday evening on a new leaked Department of Homeland Security (DHS) analysis which essentially shreds the Trump administration’s rationale for banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. The document, prepared by DHS’ internal intelligence agency, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, concludes that the majority of foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists were radicalized several years after their entry into the U.S.. Following the “unbelievably chaotic rollout,” as Maddow put it, of President Donald Trump’s travel ban—which was subsequently and roundly rejected by the U.S. court system—the White House has repeatedly sworn that a replacement plan was in the works, with an eventual release planned for Wednesday. “Well now, it’s Thursday,” Maddow quipped. “Where’s the...

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Robert Reich Breaks Down Trump’s 10-Step Plan For ‘Turning Lies Into Truth’ (VIDEO)

by April Hamlin – In a new video, Robert Reich breaks down the 10-step plan Donald Trump is using to turn lies into truths and how we can break the cycle. While many of us are inclined to think he is just a bumbling buffoon. Reich notes that the Wall Street Journal has refused to call Trump’s lies, lies. Their reasoning? He isn’t doing it on purpose, so it doesn’t really count. He isn’t lying intentionally. He’s just an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But Trump is actually succeeding at turning his many bogus falsehoods into near truths. Here’s how: He lies. Experts and media condemn his lies as bullsh*t. Trump attacks the experts and media as “dishonest, screaming “Fake News” from the rooftops. Trump repeats the lie over and over, claiming that “many people” say he’s right. The mainstream media no longer call the lie a lie. It now...

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Harvard Law Review Elects its First Black Female President in its 130 Year History

by wagatwe – In “great but way overdue” news: The Harvard Law Review has elected its first Black female president. The highly regarded publication, which had its first black male president when Obama attended 27 years ago, finally reached this milestone after 130 years in existence. Harvard BLSA @HarvardBLSA Congrats to Imeime Umana, HLS ’18, on her selection as President of the Harvard Law Review. 1st black woman to serve as President. #Herstory 9:24 PM – 29 Jan 2017 · Harvard Law School Imeime Umana, a 24-year-old woman born to two Nigerian immigrants (I know Trump wouldn’t be happy to hear that), spoke about her election in an interview with The New York Times and why this is a Pretty Big Deal:  presidency is considered the highest-ranking student position at the ferociously competitive law school and a ticket to virtually anywhere in the legal realm. Half of the current Supreme Court justices served...

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A Great Danger to Our Country

by TODD GITLIN – The twisted art of intimidating with slander to help build “a new political order.”   Donald J. Trump  ✔@realDonaldTrump FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn’t tell the truth. A great danger to our country. The failing @nytimes has become a joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad! 10:09 PM – 24 Feb 2017 So blared the tweeter-in-Chief at 10:09 p.m. Friday, rounding out a full day spent ranting against The Enemy Within. Trump, whose prime rhetorical instrument is percussion, used the word “dishonest” seven times to describe journalists — not all journalists, mind, only the ones who “knowingly tell the truth.” Earlier that day, Trump strutted into the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and repeated his charge that what he calls “FAKE NEWS” is “the enemy of the people,” meaning that “they have no sources, they just make it up” — a practice with which he has some familiarity, having...

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“The Press is the Light that Makes the Roaches Scatter”

by teacherken – That is the next to last line of a powerful New York Times column by the inimitable Charles M. Blow, titled Trump, Archenemy of Truth. You need to read it, absorb it, pass it on. That line perfectly encapsulates the truth about the attacks of Bannon and Trump at CPAC against the press that rightfully calls the President to account for his truths. You will read selections from the remarks of both men.  Those I do not need to reproduce. You will read Blow’s analysis of what Bannon is arguing —  that the economic nationalism of Trump is  a threat to the profitability of papers like the one for which Blow writes, a threat so urgent that the American media is willfully damaging the only real asset it has — credibility — by inventing falsehoods designed to damage Trump and insulate its own profitability. And this works because...

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Bill Maher Lashes out at the Press: Toughen up, Stop Covering Crap, Take one for the Team

by Egberto Willies – A national press with similarly lousy credibility as Trump is one that is ineffective. Bill Maher uses actual examples of their screw ups to point out what they should do in this excerpted video clip. Now more than ever we need a robust and assertive press. It is the time that the media gets back to the basics but most importantly grow spines to confront our political bully. “Now that polls show that the public finds the news media less trustworthy than Donald Trump,” Bill Maher said. “They have to fight to get their reputation back. And there are encouraging signs that that fight has been joined.” Maher then pointed out that the New York Times called out Trump’s untruths by name, lies. Chuck Todd, Scot Pelley, and George Stephanopoulos slammed Trump spokespersons when they came on the air with their alternative facts. “We are going to need...

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Milo Yiannopoulos’ Fall From a Hateful Summit

by Sam Fulwood III – Until recently, I’d never heard of Milo Yiannopoulos. How I wish that blissful ignorance had remained intact. Over the past several years, Yiannopoulos has developed a fanatic following among a minority of Americans who’ve embraced his nasty bleating on Breitbart. Had he been confined exclusively to Breitbart, I might not have ever become aware of him. Alas, he crossed my path over the weekend, turning up like a lightening bug smashing into my social media windshield. The bombastic provocateur accepted a headline speaking gig at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. That didn’t sit too well with some of Yiannopoulos’ critics, of which I’ve learned there are legions. He seems to enjoy attracting controversy as a means to burnish his reputation and line his pocket. Yiannopoulos is an unlikely hero for the conservative political action group; he’s an openly gay man who...

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Chickenshit Trump Blows Off White House Correspondents Dinner: Paging Alec Baldwin

by News Corpse – Donald Trump has been fighting a bloody “War on the Media” for months now. His recent escalations included calling the “fake news” media the “enemy of the American people.”  Shortly thereafter his press secretary, Sean Spicer, banned several news organizations from a White House briefing. The animosity from Trump gets more intense by the hour. In his latest assault Gen. Trump has just announced that he will not be attending the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 29. The WHCD is an annual affair that is held to raise funds for scholarships. But apparently Trump’s anti-media obsession overrules any interest in helping a charity. The truth is more likely that Trump is afraid of having a close encounter with the “enemy.” He has never been particularly good at laughing at himself. That’s a personality flaw that’s common among narcissists. So rather than fraternize with the media he...

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The Manchurian President

by NEAL GABLER – A classic Hollywood political thriller may tell us more about what’s happening in America than any history book. As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters. But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has noted the relevance of the movie The Manchurian Candidate. But the relevance is more than skin or celluloid deep. It goes to the very heart of this bizarre and frightening political moment. First, the fact that this implausibly plotted Hollywood thriller could now be applied, not altogether implausibly, to a...

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Dan Rather: This is an Emergency—and a Moment of Judgement for Everyone Who Remains Silent

by Leslie Salzillo – If you’ve been following news this week, there’s no doubt you’ve read/heard about the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon made a dangerous and odious threat against the media. This was followed by Donald Trump echoing the same message while barring some reputable, truth-seeking news groups including The New York Times from a White House briefing, an unprecedented act against the media, the freedom of the press, and the nation’s First Amendment. The legendary newsman Dan Rather took to social media to share his straight-shooting views, experience and wisdom regarding the latest derelictions from the White House. Here is his Facebook post in full.  The time for normalizing, dissembling, and explaining away Donald Trump has long since passed. The barring of respected journalistic outlets from the White House briefing is so far beyond the norms and traditions that have governed this republic for generations, that they must be seen as a real and present threat to our democracy....

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Media Bites Back: Newspaper Threatens Lawsuit for GOP Senator Calling Them “Fake News”

by SemDem – “Fake News” is a very real thing. It is the publication of hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news with the deliberate intent to mislead. Many fake news websites originate from Russia, Macedonia, and Romania. What it is NOT is an editorial from a respected, established newspaper entitled “Better open records”, which supports a bill to give journalists better access to government records. The Daily Sentinel, which is the local newspaper for Grand Junction, CO, urged moving forward with the bill and called on State Senator Ray Scott to quit delaying the bill and bring it up for a vote.  Their exact words were: “We call on our own Sen. Scott to announce a new committee hearing date and move this bill forward.” This is how Ray Scott responded: On Twitter, he said: We have our own fake news in Grand Junction… On Facebook, he said: The very liberal...

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Apple CEO Wants Schools to Help Fix the World’s Fake News Problem

by Lauren C. Williams – In Telegraph interview, Tim Cook said battling fake news needs to be “ingrained in the schools” because “it’s killing people’s minds.” For Apple CEO Tim Cook, fake news isn’t just a social media phenomenon, it’s a societal problem that needs to be addressed in every corner of our culture, starting with the education system. “It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public,” Cook told the UK’s Telegraph in an exclusive interview. “There has to be a massive campaign.” The rise of fake news is a “short-term thing” that people don’t want, Cook said, emphasizing that a problem which is “killing people’s minds” can only be solved by educating children who will then push their parents to act. “It’s almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid,” he said. “In some ways...

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Intel Community to Trump: “Now we go nuclear. He will die in jail.”

by Frank Vyan Walton – In the last two days the Drumpfter Fire that is currently raging in the White House seems to have hit a flashpoint with the sudden resignation of NSA Advisor Michael Flynn and then the revelation by the New York Times that several members of the Trump campaign were in regular contact with Russian Intelligence during the election. WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials. American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign...

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In a Brutal Interview, Kellyanne Conway Struggles to Defend Trump and Flynn on Russia Scandal

by Jen Hayden – Speaking with Matt Lauer on The Today Show, master deflector Kellyanne Conway struggled to get through an interview about why Donald Trump didn’t fire Michael Flynn the moment the Justice Department informed the president that Michael Flynn had not been truthful about his comments to the Russian ambassador in December. In fact, that Flynn had been actively undermining President Obama as he levied new sanctions against Russia for their role in the U.S. elections. You know things are bad when Kellyanne Conway struggles to come up with a coherent defense of Trump’s actions. Watch as Conway gets backed into a corner and can’t seem to muster the energy to punch her way out. Video and full transcript are below: LAUER: Yesterday afternoon on MSNBC, you said that Michael Flynn “enjoyed the full confidence of the president.” Sean Spicer later said the president was evaluating the situation. And then Michael Flynn...

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Melania Trump Reveals Plan to Leverage Presidency to Ink ‘Multi-Million Dollar’ Endorsement Deals

by Judd Legum – The admission came in a defamation lawsuit the First Lady filed against the Daily Mail. In a lawsuit filed Monday, First Lady Melania Trump revealed her intention to leverage the presidency to ink new “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals worth many millions of dollars. In the filing, Melania Trump’s lawyer described the position of First Lady as a “once-in-a-lifetime” money making opportunity. She told the court she intended to pursue deals in “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.” These kind of endorsement deals would be especially lucrative while Melania Trump is First Lady and thus “one of the most photographed women in the world.” Melania Trump v. Mail Media Inc, Supreme Court of The State of New York. Filed 2/6/17 The First Lady’s lawsuit is against the Daily Mail, which published a story repeating allegations in a Slovenian magazine that Melania Trump once worked...

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Trump’s List of ‘Unreported’ Terror Attacks is Out, and it’s Absurd

by Rika Christensen – On Monday, Trump said to a crowd at MacDill Air Force Base that the “very dishonest media” wasn’t reporting on the terror attacks that are happening all across Europe all the time. Later on, the media pressed Sean Spicer on that topic while aboard Air Force One, and Spicer’s response was to say that they’d provide a list “later on.” Well, that list is out, and surprise surprise, it’s completely ridiculous. Since Trump’s comments focused on Europe and, by extension, the U.S., the following lists are focused there, despite many, many other attacks happening around the world. Perhaps one of the most ridiculous things about the White House’s list of attacks is that it includes high-profile attacks that were covered for days on end, such as the 2015 attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and the fateful attack at a Paris club in November. It also includes...

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Trump Shrugs off Putin’s Killings: ‘You Think our Country’s so Innocent?’

by Jessica Goldstein – To Russia, with love. In a taped interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly that aired Sunday before the Super Bowl, President Donald Trump said he has “respect” for Vladimir Putin, the Voldemort doppelgänger and alleged saboteur of our fair nation’s election. Lest Putin let such a fine compliment go to his head, Trump quickly followed up this declaration — “I do respect him” — by saying, “Well, I respect a lot of people.” Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States: He respects Putin, but thinks civil rights hero John Lewis is “all talk and no action.” Trump went on to say that it would be “better to get along with Russia than not,” and that “if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.” O’Reilly said,...

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Epic: “When some Dr. Dude tries to school you in health care systems and you are having none of it…”

by Magnifico – Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OB/GYN and pain physician, who blogs on health matters, posted an epic response to, as she puts it: “when some Dr. Dude tries to school you in health care systems and you are having none of it”. Jennifer Gunter @DrJenGunter When some Dr. Dude tries to school you in health care systems and you are having none of it 12:26 AM – 2 Feb 2017 Commenting on her blog post questioning why Dr. Harold Bornstein failed to disclose his patient Donald Trump is taking medications, specifically Propecia, Dr. Terry Clark whined about her “negativity” toward Trump: 2 thoughts on “Why did Trump’s doctor fail to disclose Trump was taking Propecia before the election?” Jen, Is there ANYTHING about Trump that you like or are you going to complain and bitch for the next 4 years? Just curious. Your negativity is nauseating! Maybe you would be more comfortable...

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The Canadian Prime Minister’s Office Schools Fox News

by Laurel Raymond – “These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims.” It took over a day — and a direct complaint from the Canadian Prime Minister’s office — for Fox News to delete a tweet that incorrectly identified the attacker in the Quebec Mosque shooting as someone “of Moroccan origin.” “These tweets by Fox News dishonour the memory of the six victims and their families by spreading misinformation, playing identity politics, and perpetuating fear and division within our communities,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Director of Communications Kate Purchase wrote in an email to Fox. Purchase posted the entirety of her email to Twitter. The police had initially arrested two suspects in the attack, in which a gunman entered a mosque on Sunday and opened fire on worshipers from behind. The shooter killed six and wounded another nineteen. One of the suspects, Alexandre Bissonnette, is a 27-year-old French Canadian, the...

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FOX News Quickly Reports on Moroccan Muslim ‘Suspect’ in Mosque Shooting—it was a White Nationalist

by Walter Einenkel – When a suspect or suspects were originally being reported as having been captured by Canadian police, Fox News quickly went to work doing what they do best—lying and being hateful. Fox News  ✔@FoxNews Suspect in Quebec mosque terror attack was of Moroccan origin, reports show http://fxn.ws/2k9is8W  12:31 PM – 30 Jan 2017 This was based on early reports confusing the person who called the police with the person murdering Muslims in was Muslim and from Morocco. This turned into reports that there were two suspects, the Muslim from Morocco, and a white nationalist. Sean Spicer did what Fox News does. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer exploited the attack to justify President Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. “It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety...

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How the Last “Voter Fraud” Investigation Took Down GOP Atty-Gen Alberto Gonzales. NYT “Must-read.”

by FischFry – A few days ago, I wrote a diary about the announcement of the investigation of so-called “voter fraud.” I was responding to some well-voiced concerns that the ‘investigation’ would lead to unprecedented voter suppression. My thesis was that I thought it was more likely that this would blow up in the GOP’s face — or, at most, end in a dull thud. That diary disappeared quickly with little comment. I won’t steer you there (really I won’t, but the link is here) but I do want you to check out a new piece in The New York Times, that reviews the “U.S. Attorney Firings” scandal, which recalls the last time a GOP President demanded an investigation into what were bogus voting fraud reports. In an Op-Ed piece — Voting Fraud Inquiry? The Investigators Got Burned Last Time — Michael Waldman traces the history of this hunt for voting unicorns. W’s first A-G, John Ashcroft,...

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Orwell’s “1984” Now No. 1 Bestseller After Trump Team Coins Term ‘Alternative Facts’

by: Jack Burns / The Free Thought Project – After Trump’s Senior advisor used the term “alternative facts,” the world responded by buying 1984 books to research ‘newspeak’. When it comes to presidential inaugurations, size matters, particularly to the Trump administration. Obama’s was bigger than Trump’s, at least in the number of attendees who were physically present on Capitol Hill for the festivities. The firestorm of controversy began between the administration’s press secretary Sean Spicer and members of the mainstream media as they clashed over published reports indicating Trump’s inauguration was poorly attended. But it’s how Trump’s advisor and former campaign chair Kellyanne Conway reacted to the controversy that has the news and social media abuzz today with references to George Orwell’s famous work entitled “1984.” In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday, Conway was asked to comment on one of Spicer’s fallacious claims, the most controversial of which was...

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Dan Rather Launches Gutsy Newsgroup to Counter Fake News & Alternative Facts

by Leslie Salzillo – American journalist and esteemed news anchor Dan Rather announced a new social media page in the midst of January’s flying fake news and alternative facts — which seem to be saturating the nation’s headlines and conversations. The Facebook news page is called  “News and Guts” and if it’s anything like Rather’s posts, it’s going to be hammering down on the new administration. In a recent post, Rather states: Journalism, real journalism, deep-digging reporting without fear or favor, is as important now, if not more so, than any time I can remember.  Over the past year, Dan Rather has built a Facebook following of over a million. It’s a place where he shares his political commentary along with spotlighting news stories from various sources. He says during weeks like in early January when confirmation hearings were coming in fast and furious, there is only so much that he can do on one page and there are far more articles that deserve attention and great reporters he’d like to spotlight. I got into...

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Trump Tries To Stick It To Press With Inaugural Photo, Totally Misses One Yuuge Problem

by Rika Christensen – As of Tuesday morning, it seemed that Trump was still obsessed with the size of his inaugural audience. He’s so intent on proving that his crowds were enormous—big enough to serve as evidence of his total, utter and complete awesomeness—that he’s planning to post a panoramic photo of the inauguration in the press halls of the White House, and he tweeted it out with a thank-you to the photographer. Ordinarily, that would just be another facepalm-worthy tweet. However, given his fixation on crowd sizes (penis sizes? Maybe both), we can probably safely assume that he’s putting these photos in the press halls as a giant “told you so” to the press that so shamefully refused to report the truth about his crowds. Based on that, one would also assume he’d want the photo to be as accurate as possible, so as to avoid any potential embarrassment....

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Trump’s Two-Step Strategy To Take Over the Truth

by Robert Reich – Donald Trump is such a consummate liar that in coming days and years our democracy will depend more than ever on the independent press – finding the truth, reporting it, and holding Trump accountable for his lies. But Trump’s strategy is to denigrate and disparage the press in the public’s mind – seeking to convince the public that the press is engaged in a conspiracy against him. And he wants to use his tweets, rallies, and videos to make himself the only credible source of public information about what is happening and what he’s doing. It is the two-step strategy of despots. And it’s already started. It was officially launched the first full day of the Trump administration. Step 1: Disparage the press and lie about them: At a televised speech at the CIA, Trump declared himself to be in a “running war” with the news media, and described...

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Dan Rather Goes Viral: The Media Must End GOP Interviews—Unless Republican Lawmakers can Answer THIS

by Leslie Salzillo – Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy. And you are either with them, with us, with our Constitution, our history, and the future of our nation, or you are against it. –Dan Rather, January 22, 2017 Continuing to be incredibly outspoken while garnering a combined social media following of millions, legendary journalist Dan Rather challenges the “Orwellian” phrase “alternative facts,” as defined by Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway this past weekend — as if Trump’s administration gets to make its own facts. In a Facebook post that now has gone viral with close to half a million likes, Rather encourages every reporter to ask one question whenever speaking to or interviewing GOP lawmakers, and then not let up without a satisfactory answer — or simply end the interview. These are not normal times. These are extraordinary times. And extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.  When you have a spokesperson...

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UpFront Special: Welcome to the Trump Era (VIDEO)

We debate what a Trump presidency means for the world, and Katrina vanden Heuvel reflects on Obama’s global impact.  Donald Trump is the new president of the United States. What will that mean for the US and for the rest of the world? In this UpFront special, we looked at what the US and the world can expect from President Trump. And in an interview with The Nation editor and publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel, we examine the foreign policy legacy President Barack Obama will leave for Trump. President Trump: What now for the world? Donald Trump’s win left some concerned about the future of the US, and the world. But what can we expect from a Trump presidency? In a special recorded in November 2016, Robert Hormats, David Cay Johnston, Naomi Wolf and Hamid Dabashi debated the future of Trump’s administration. “The real question before us now is: Does...

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In First of Many, ACLU FOIA Request Seeks Information About Trump’s Conflicts of Interests

by Brett Max Kaufman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Center for Democracy – During the Trump administration, our country faces an unprecedented constellation of threats to the regular oversight processes that keep the powers that be in check. Faced with attacks on journalists critical of the president as perpetrators of “fake news,” an era of one-party rule threatening healthy competition between the branches of government, the constant subversion of democratic and ethical norms, and more, the ACLU and the citizenry will unfortunately have many opportunities to provide a public check to keep our government honest. Well, we just couldn’t wait: on Thursday, we filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump’s actual or potential conflicts of interest relating to his business and family connections. Since the election, it has become clear that during the Trump administration the public’s relentless focus on government transparency...

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Donald Trump Will Throw A Hissy Fit After Reading George Will’s Review Of His Inaugural Address

by Stephen D Foster Jr – Donald Trump thinks his inaugural address was the best ever. George Will emphatically disagrees. As it became clear that Trump would be the Republican nominee last year, the longtime conservative columnist left the Republican Party in disgust. Trump, of course, lashed out by calling Will “overrated.” But Will fired back by nailing Trump’s lack of intelligence. And after Will’s review of Trump’s speech, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before Trump lashes out again. Trump delivered his inaugural address on Friday as a pathetic crowd watched and cheered after every word he uttered. Trump lied repeatedly and made promises he won’t keep while portraying America as an apocalyptic wasteland where poverty and crime reign and the military is crippled. It was a divisive and negative speech that ignores all the progress America made over the last eight years after a devastating recession...

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The New York Times had the Trump-Russia Story in Early Fall and were too Timid to Publish

by kat68 – As a former Washington-based journalist, I have always had it in…just a bit…for the New York Times. They are lordly and pompous with the anachronistic adherence to style and titles (Mr. and Mrs,), their longtime and ridiculous refusal to go to color and revamp their old-fashioned design, and, most of all, their awful Iraq War coverage, and subsequent lame attempts to cover their well-heeled Ivy League-educated, access-obsessed asses. I will admit the NYT is often capable of amazing journalism. But they are a proud—overly proud—and tend not to advance stories they don’t break themselves.  So when Mother Jones’  David Corn broke the story of the former MI6 officer with a thick dossier on Trump’s nefarious dealings with Russia in late October,  I was dismayed, but not surprised that the NYT immediately stifled him with an Oct. 31 story entitled “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Trump.” Here is the lede from...

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Spicer Turns Press Conference into Infomercial for Trump’s Hotel

by Aaron Rupar – Profiting off the presidency before he’s sworn in. During a pre-inauguration news conference on Thursday, Sean Spicer, President-elect Donald Trump’s soon-to-be press secretary, dismissed concerns his boss is using the power of the presidency to promote his Washington, D.C. hotel and thereby line his pockets. With regard to Trump’s decision to dine at the hotel’s restaurant on Wednesday night — Trump also reportedly plans to eat there Thursday — Spicer said, “I think that’s pretty smart.” “I think the idea that he’s going to his own hotel shouldn’t be a shocker,” Spicer continued. “It’s a beautiful place, it’s somewhere that he’s very proud of and I think it’s symbolic of the kind of government that he’s going to run.” Spicer went on to encourage people to check out the place for themselves. “It’s an absolutely stunning hotel. I encourage you to go there if you haven’t been by,” he said. But even...

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Trump Prepares to Lock Press out of the White House

by Mark Sumner – The White House may be the “people’s house,” but as of January 20, one group of people will be excluded. Following his shout-fest with a CNN reporter rude enough to ask a question at his first-in-six-month press conference, Donald Trump is preparing to cap his war with the news by eliminating the White House press room. According to three senior officials on the transition team, a plan to evict the press corps from the White House is under serious consideration by the incoming Trump Administration. If the plan goes through, one of the officials said, the media will be removed from the cozy confines of the White House press room, where it has worked for several decades. Members of the press will be relocated to the White House Conference Center—near Lafayette Square—or to a space in the Old Executive Office Building, next door to the White House. And why...

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‘Ominous’: Trump Hotel in DC Bans Journalists During Inauguration Week

by Andrea Germanos – Politico reports that the hotel, which sits on fedeal property, has banned press. The Trump International Hotel in Washington has banned the press from its premises for inauguration week, Politico reports Wednesday. Politico reporter Daniel Lippman was prevented from entering the property on Wednesday after being stopped and identifying himself as a journalist. Lippman writes that hotel’s director of sales and marketing Patricia Tang sent an email stating: “Media is not allowed in this week in respect of the privacy of our guests.” The hotel is on federal property—it’s owned by the General Services Administration. Trump and his three adult children, Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., hold a 60-year lease on it, a link to which Lippman includes in his story. It states that barring “a risk to public safety,” the tenant cannot close access, and that time restrictions would need approval of the landlord. In addition,...

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U.S. Press Corps Breaks Silence, Drops Major Bombshell In Scathing Open Letter To Trump

by Vera – The way President-elect Donald Trump has treated the press during his presidential campaign, only to get far worse after winning the election, is nothing but terrifying. Trump has not only ditched press pools and created distrust for the media, but he has issued threats to punish or silence reporters for doing their jobs and holding him accountable. Trump has never sounded more like a dictator, and quite frankly we should all be very worried about what he’s going to do once he gets into the White House. Fortunately, the press is fighting back. Editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review Kyle Pope has just written an open letter to Trump on behalf of the U.S. Press Corps, and it’s a strong message to Trump that things aren’t going to go the way he wants them to go. Pope wrote: “In these final days before your...

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Fewer Americans Plan to Watch Inauguration this Year than in 2009

by ABIGAIL GEIGER – About half of Americans (46%) say they plan to watch as Donald Trump takes the presidential oath of office on Friday, while 51% say they do not intend to watch the inauguration. Interest in Trump’s inaugural is lower than for Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, when two-thirds of Americans (67%) said they were planning to watch. It is also lower than for Bill Clinton’s first inaugural in 1993, when 57% said they intended to watch. (The question was not asked when George W. Bush took office in 2001.) There is a wide partisan gap over plans to watch the inauguration, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, conducted Jan. 4-9 among 1,502 adults. About seven-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (69%) say they will watch the event, compared with just 30% of Democrats and Democratic leaners. Despite their overall support for the president-elect and his plans, Republicans are...

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Chinese State Media Is Literally Laughing At American Embarrassment Trump

by Stephen D Foster Jr – Donald Trump has turned America into an international laughingstock and he hasn’t even taken office yet. For weeks, Trump has been antagonizing China by speaking with the leader of Taiwan, which goes against decades of precedent, and has questioned the One-China policy. Both actions have put a strain on America’s relationship with the most populous nation on Earth. Clearly, Donald Trump intends to keep taking aim at our largest trading partner, imperiling both our foreign policy and the world economy at a time when Americans are prospering under the economic successes of President Obama. Well, China is now laughing at Trump for being a national embarrassment. CNN’s John Berman pointed out that an editorial by state-run Global Times of China mocked Trump. “Trump’s thinking about China is becoming increasingly clear: He wants China to make huge economic and trade concessions to the U.S. To achieve that,...

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Netanyahu’s Media Scandal: Who Bribed Whom? (VIDEOS)

by Jonathan Cook – The smell of scandal has swirled around the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for years. But only now is the smell starting to turn to a stench, say analysts. Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, have long been known for cultivating close relations with Israel’s leading business families. Those ties, many Israelis assumed, explained why the famously parsimonious couple managed to indulge such expensive tastes. Past investigations have looked into first-class transatlantic flights and stays at top hotels, but foundered on a lack of evidence that the Netanyahus had traded the high life for favours. Until recently, most of the Israeli public had been amused, rather than outraged, by stories of astronomical bills at the prime minister’s residence for wine, ice-cream and hairstyling. But the latest revelations have the potential to be far more damaging. This week one Israeli commentator suggested Netanyahu’s conduct risked being compared to the...

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Dan Rather Tributes President Obama

by Leslie Salzillo – Most Americans are familiar with the legendary investigative reporter Dan Rather. Over the past year, Rather has again emerged to become one of America’s most admired and respected beacons of journalism and truth. In a recent Facebook post, Rather commends the Farewell Address by a man who  deserves great praise and who will be solemnly missed as he leaves Oval Office next week: President Barrack Obama. On January 10, 2016, Dan Rather starts off with a quote: He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again. – Hamlet Whatever you think of the presidency of Barack Obama, and I know there are many who think of him as one of our greatest presidents and others with a distinctly differing opinion, I think we can all safely say he was unlike any man who has ever occupied the office of President of the United States. And I cannot imagine anyone quite like him in the future. ...

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Trump Dodges Question about Whether his Campaign Colluded with Russia

by Aaron Rupar – He quite simply ignored the question. Buried in the middle of CNN’s report about an intelligence dossier that says Russia has “compromising personal and financial information” about President-elect Donald Trump is an explosive bit that alleges collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. CNN writes that the dossier, which is unverified but reportedly regarded as credible by the CIA, includes “allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.” This news comes on the heels of Trump repeatedly denigrating the U.S. intelligence community in an apparent attempt to downplay agencies’ consensus conclusion that Russia was behind cyberattacks intended to manipulate the presidential election in his favor. The dossier’s allegations about collusion are consistent with comments made days after the presidential election by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency...

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Welcome to the Vortex

by TODD GITLIN – It’s time to wade into the swamp — or alternate universe — of right-wing media to really understand the twisted “truths” they report. I spent most of 2016 doing my duty as citizen, writer and educator aghast at the favors done for the unprincipled, incoherent, vicious, dangerous ignoramus Donald Trump by the business known as “the media,” formerly known as “the press” — an enterprise accorded privileges by the US Constitution on the quaint 18th-century belief that if the people are informed, they will make better judgments than if they are less so. Detailing the incomprehensions, incapacities, failures, inadequacies and airbrushings over the course of many months was not, for me, a feel-good exercise, but I judged it preferable to sitting at home griping, ranting and snarling to my family and friends while my mind exploded in the knowledge that the rudder was coming off the ship...

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Krugman Finds His New Voice, Going After An Incompetent Media

by pollwatcher – When we ask ourselves how did we lose in Nov., why is the country so divided, or why are Trump supporters just so damn stupid, one thing seems to jump out, media incompetence!  From the outright propaganda media like FOX and right wing radio, to the false equivalency, balanced, cowardly reporting of the main stream media, the 4th estate is complicit in helping to build a vast uninformed electorate that can’t tell a fact from a lie. My favorite target to point out the complicity in this dumbing down of the electorate is CNN.  During the election you could tune in to CNN and watch a “balanced” panel have a food fight over numerous issues.  Of course the Trump surrogates would simply lie their butts off over every issue, and the other panelists were suppose to expose a lie in real time.  Now CNN knew fully well that...

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“Green is Gold” is the Feel Good Marijuana Movie You’ve Been Waiting For (TRAILER)

by C.M. WATTS – Ready for the next great marijuana film? Because these clips from the recently released movie, Green is Gold, are bound to tug on your heart strings. Green is Gold is an award-winning, heartwarming movie following a 13-year-old boy as he moves in with his older brother after his father’s incarceration. But his older brother’s occupation of growing marijuana leads the two down a tangled path of brotherhood, family and learning how to get buy in this world. Writer, directed and star Ryon Baxter presents a different look at those active in the marijuana industry of the prohibition era. With each clip – including the TWB exclusive below – viewer can see each characters reactions to what most would consider seemingly “normal” life events. However, from their past and current experiences, the world or marijuana teaches them so much more. Green is Gold Learn more at...

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Dan Rather Takes on Wall Street Journal Regarding Trump Treatment: ‘A Lie, is a Lie, is a Lie’

by Jen Hayden – Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press over the weekend and during a discussion about how to cover Donald Trump moving forward, the subject of politicians, like Trump, flat-out lying came up and Gerard Baker gave a stunning answer, cautioning against using the word “lie.” Read the remarkable exchange: CHUCK TODD:  The issue of facts. We don’t — people always say, “You’ve got to fact check, you’ve got to fact check.” There isn’t an agreement on what the facts are. And this is yet another challenge for you and everybody here. Do you feel comfortable saying so and so lied? You know, if somebody says just an outright falsehood, do you say the word, “lie”? Is that important to start putting in reporting, or not?  GERARD BAKER:  You know it’s a good — I’d be careful about using the word,...

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Editor of Nation’s Second-Biggest Newspaper says He Will not Report Trump Lies, Even if He Lies

by Laurel Raymond – “I think you run the risk that you look like you are, like you’re not being objective.” Since President-elect Donald Trump won the election, he has continued his campaign habit of making inconsistent, unverifiable, or even just obviously false statements. The American public is left to rely on the media to learn the truth and make sense of his proclamations. That’s exactly what the media is supposed to do with any politician—when the President lies, it is the press’ obligation to tell the public. But it’s doubly important with a politician like Trump, whose entire political career has often been punctuated by flagrant lies. But when Trump lies, the Wall Street Journal—the second largest paper by circulation in the country—will not call it a lie, according to the its editor-in-chief Gerard Baker. “I’d be careful about using the word, ‘lie.’ ‘Lie’ implies much more than just saying...

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The Media We Need in 2017 (VIDEOS)

by Rachel Shabi – Post-truth is a symptom not the disease, while we need a media that challenges rather normalises the far-right. On December 20, in a piece both depressingly necessary and emblematic of the year, Britain’s Channel 4 news released a fact-check. It assessed claims by a writer for the Russian state media channel Russia Today. As terrible reports of injured and dead civilians, many of them children, poured out of besieged and bombarded Aleppo, this writer suggested in a speech to the United Nations that western journalists were “compromised” and that the same bleeding children were being recycled in different reports. Channel 4 ran through factors explaining why it was “beyond reasonable doubt” that the pictures in dispute were in fact credible, adding: “… the simpler explanation is the more likely one: children really are being orphaned in Syria, or left wounded and distressed …” This is the bit that...

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Damning Investigation Finds Trump’s Philanthropy Largely a “Facade”

by Lauren McCauley – One of the Trump Foundation’s most consistent causes was Donald Trump himself. President-elect Donald Trump continues to boast about his charitable giving, but those claims were cast into further doubt on Thursday after a damning Washington Post investigation into his philanthropy concluded that it is, for the most part, a “facade.” Despite claims of tens of millions of dollars donated to charitable causes, the months-long investigation by Post reporter David A. Fahrenthold was only able to verify “$7.8 million in charitable giving from Trump’s own pocket since the early 1980s,” and none since 2009. Fahrenthold acknowledges that, because the president-elect has refused to release his tax records, it is impossible to know for certain. Nonetheless, the reporter contacted “420-plus charities with some connection to Trump,” finding “only one personal gift from Trump between 2008 and the spring of this year”—a less than $10,000 donation in 2009 to the...

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The End of Journalism or a New Beginning?

by KATHY KIELY – At the grassroots, some journalists are trying to answer fake news with the real thing, but they need help If our first fake news election turns out to mark the end of democracy as we know it, I think I can pretty precisely date when the end began. More than 20 years ago, I and a bunch of other Washington journalists were packed into a classroom at American University for a weeklong boot camp designed to teach us about computers and this new-fangled thing that was just beginning to be called the internet. One of the guest speakers, a self-described “technology guru” for the then-fledgling Clinton administration gleefully informed us that we were all dinosaurs. Politicians like his boss, he said, would be able to use the internet to deliver their messages directly to the people, unfiltered by the media. How ironic, then, that those very tools...

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Fake News and the New McCarthyism

by John Buell – One of the most potent worries about the coming Trump presidency is concern about free speech. Trump’s willingness to tolerate or even encourage violence against nonviolent critics of his agenda and personnel choices is alarming. The Washington Post recently carried a chilling cautionary tale about the fate of a young woman who challenged Trump’s record on women’s issues. Parallels with banana republic dictators tacitly encouraging or at least tolerating paramilitary forces seem not far- fetched. Though it is easy for the Washington Post to call attention to and criticize Trump’s incitement to violence, the Post now practices its own more subtle efforts to police speech. Behind the façade of a concern about fake news, the Post featured an article by Craig Timberg that cited—without challenge—an anonymous website, PropOrNot, listing numerous other sites purported to be purveyors of fake news. As Max Blumenthal reported for AlterNet, “the anonymous...

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Saddam Hussein Was Not ‘Worth Removing From Power’: Ex-CIA Agent

by Nadia Prupis – New memoir details institutional failings that led to catastrophic invasion of Iraq and rise of Islamic State. A former CIA analyst who personally interrogated Saddam Hussein said the U.S. “got it so wrong” on the invasion of Iraq and should have left the now-deceased leader in power. In an excerpt from a memoir about his time with the agency, Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein, former analyst John Nixon—who was the first officer to question Hussein after his capture in December 2003—writes that the Ba’athist president was not “worth removing from power,” and that the decision to do so needs to be viewed in the context of what came next: the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS). Nixon writes: Today, a decade following Saddam’s execution, with ISIS’s black flags still unfurled over sections of Iraq, we need to ask ourselves some provocative questions. One of...

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