Media

“Trump’s Lies”: The Collected Works

by Common Dreams staff – New York Times compiles presidential falsehoods from Donald Trump’s first day in office to present. In an effort to make sure that people do not become “numb” to the constant lies told by President of the United States Donald Trump, the New York Times has now published, in one convenient place, “nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.” Compiled by the newspaper’s David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson, the catalog was published online Friday and will appear in print over the weekend. “There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths,” the Times reports. “Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.” In chronological order, starting on the day of...

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Journalist Veronique Robert Dies of Mosul Blast Wounds

France Television says Robert died from wounds suffered in a landmine blast that killed two of her colleagues in Mosul. CORRECTION: 24/06/2017: A previous version of this story stated that Veronique Robert was a French journalist. According to Reporters Without Borders and the French embassy in Baghdad, Robert was a Swiss citizen. Journalist Veronique Robert has died after being wounded in an explosion while covering the battle for the Iraqi city of Mosul earlier this week, her employer France Televisions has said. The landmine blast on Monday had already killed her French colleague Stephan Villeneuve, 48, and Iraqi Kurdish reporter Bakhtiyar Addad, 41. Another freelance reporter also suffered minor wounds. The journalists were covering Iraqi special forces’ operations as they close in on the last remaining areas held by the Islamic State of the Levant and Iraq (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in Mosul. Robert, 54, underwent surgery in...

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Reporters Face 70 Years in Prison over Anti-Trump March

by Patrick Strickland – Two journalists are among more than 200 people facing felony charges after mass arrests at Inauguration Day rally. Even when heavily armed riot police closed off a square block and surrounded protesters, media workers and legal observers alike, independent journalist Alexei Wood did not realise he was about to be arrested. “It didn’t even cross my mind that was what was happening,” the 37-year-old photographer and videographer told Al Jazeera. “I was waiting for an order of dispersal and the mass of people showed no sign of resistance when the police completely surrounded them.” FAULT LINES: The Rise of Trump (24:59) Yet on that day, January 20, protesters and observers say the order to disperse never came, and more than 230 people were arrested during protests against the inauguration of right-wing US President Donald Trump. Like other media workers who travelled to the capital from across the country for Trump’s inauguration,...

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Megyn Kelly’s Disastrous Interview With Alex Jones Somehow Gets Even Worse

by Adam Peck – NBC News is committing the worst self-own in recent memory, and it’s playing out in slow motion. From the moment NBC News announced their newest star anchor Megyn Kelly would be sitting down with renowned fabulist and deadbeat father Alex Jones, nearly everyone agreed it was a very, very bad idea. Jones — proprietor of the online clearinghouse of conspiracy theories, anti-government psychobabble and racist drivel known as Infowars — makes a living preying upon an audience that has been primed for years to distrust the media. It’s Jones who first amplified the lie that the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was a government-sponsored hoax. (Indeed, parents of the children murdered at Sandy Hook have been among the more vocal critics of NBC’s decision to give Jones a national platform to spread his vitriol.) Jones also continues to endanger children by convincing their parents that vaccines are dangerous. But NBC has held its...

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GOP Faces Swift Backlash Over ‘Disturbing’ Press Crackdown in Senate

by Jake Johnson – Critics warn move to limit press access could be related to the Republicans’ secrecy on Trumpcare. Senate Republicans sparked immediate outrage from members of the media, civil libertarians, and lawmakers on Tuesday by announcing what are being called “strict new rules” barring reporters from interviewing senators in the hallways of the Capitol. This news comes shortly after it was revealed on Monday that the GOP will keep its Trumpcare deliberations in the dark for as long as possible before the bill goes to a vote. “Television reporters will now need permission from senators, the Senate Rules Committee, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms or the Senate Radio and TV Gallery, depending on location, before conducting an on-camera interview with a senator anywhere in the Capitol or in the Senate office buildings, according to a Senate official familiar with the matter,” The Hill summarized. Mike Mastrian announced the new rules to reporters early Tuesday, Politico noted, and backlash was quick to...

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CNN Dropping Reza Aslan Over Anti-Trump Tweet Reveals a Lot About So-called ‘objective’ Journalism

by Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani – Banning criticism is not objectivity. CNN canceled Reza Aslan’s show Believer, days after he posted a tweet criticizing Trump. In firing Aslan, the media network revealed everything wrong with how it approaches so-called “objective” journalism. CNN said on Friday that it “decided to not move forward with production” on Aslan’s Believer series, a show about religions around the world which premiered in March and which was already cleared for a second season. In the tweet in question, which has since been deleted, Aslan called Trump “a piece of shit” and an “embarrassment to humankind” after the president once again pushed for his Muslim ban, following the attacks in London last week. CREDIT: Screenshot/Twitter Aslan later deleted the tweet and apologized for his choice of words and said he “should have used better language to express my shock and frustration at the president’s lack of decorum and sympathy for the victims...

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Donald Trump’s Presidency is Fake News

by Ned Resnikoff – The administration keeps delivering “policy announcements” that are little more than hollow media spectacles. President Donald Trump had a “bill signing” on Monday. After delivering some televised remarks, he sat at a small desk emblazoned with the presidential seal, signed a document, and handed out pens to assembled members of Congress. But the actual document he signed was not a bill, never passed through Congress, and had no legal effect whatsoever. Instead, what Trump signed was a set of “principles” for his plan to hand air traffic control duties to the private sector. The document was purely symbolic; no one has even introduced new legislation to enact these principles, though the basic gist of them was derived from an older proposal. Add Trump’s “principles” to the long and growing list of White House announcements that have zero legal import or policy ramifications. Another entry: the very same day as...

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How Conservative Propaganda Works in America: The Signal and the Noise

by David Akadjian – We’ve heard a lot about Russian meddling recently. What we don’t hear about is how more than 50 years of corporate special interest group propaganda fattened the U.S. up, priming our country for Russian influence on the 2016 election. Let’s think about conservative propaganda using a communications concept: signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is a measurement used in communications to compare the level of desired signal to the level of background noise. In analog communications, such as AM/FM radio or analog television broadcasts, a high SNR ratio means that you will receive a signal with little static or interference. To enable effective communication, you want to maximize your SNR ratio—more signal, less noise. Signal-to-noise ratio (w/ apologies for my drawing skills) The conservative signal We often refer to Fox News as “Fox Noise” or “Faux Noise.” From a communications standpoint, this is a flawed analogy. Fox News is the signal, along with the other corporate...

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Fox News Host Exposed as Running a Scam Charity that Received Funding from Trump

by News Corpse – The journalistic fraud that is Fox News is well known. It’s a network that was contrived as a right-wing spin factory, but dishonestly marketed as being “fair and balanced.” They have a revolving cast of scripted characters who alternately play politicians and pundits. Often the same person in both roles. Their commitment to partisan deceit is rooted deeply in the foul culture nurtured by its founders Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. However, a new investigation proves that ideological fraud is not the only unethical practice employed by Fox News. Following the scandal-driven departures of Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, a new cretin was crowned as the top Foxie. Tucker Carlson was awarded O’Reilly’s prized time slot that anchors the network’s primetime lineup. Never mind that Carlson has a record of failure on the three previous networks foolish enough to hire him. Fox News put all their faith behind...

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Red Alert: The First Amendment is in Danger

by BERNARD WEISBERGER – If anyone believes that under the First Amendment gagging the media can’t happen here, the answer is that it already has. Of all the incredible statements issuing from the fantasy factory that is the imagination of Donald Trump, the one he recently made in a speech to graduates of the Coast Guard academy, that “no politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or so unfairly” sets an unenviable record for brazen ignorance plus a toxic mix of self-aggrandizement and self-pity. In his eyes, the most villainous persecutors are the mainstream “fake news” organizations that dare to oppose his actions and expose his lies. So, having already banned nosy reporters from news corporations that he doesn’t like, branded their employers as enemies of the nation and expressed a wish to departed FBI Director James Comey that those in the...

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France ‘corrects’ White House Video on Paris Accord

Foreign ministry releases edited version of White House video that said Paris climate deal was bad for American jobs. The tweet includes a now-popular hashtag, “Make Our Planet Great Again” A day after Donald Trump decided to pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal, the French government has cheekily hit back by releasing a pointed fact-check of the US president’s claims about the landmark agreement. France’s finance ministry posted a tweet with an embedded link to a video that amounted to a wry but very public rebuttal of Trump’s assertions. On Thursday, the White House had tweeted, “The Paris Accord is a bad deal for Americans,” and linked to a video which said the agreement “undermines” US competitiveness and jobs, was “badly negotiated” by former president Barack Obama and “accomplishes little.” In its surprise response on Friday, France’s foreign ministry tweeted, “We’ve seen the...

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George Orwell on Sean Spicer

by TODD GITLIN – A note on the uses of stupefaction. The Trumps’ nine-day journey outside the United States was “incredible, historic…because it truly was an extraordinary week.” It was “unprecedented.” “We’ve never seen before at this point in a presidency such sweeping reassurance of American interest,” said press secretary Sean Spicer. Most of what Spicer had to say in his press briefing and Q&A on May 30 was — to be generous — intelligible if empty or, in the case of his example of “fake news,” absurdly misleading, concerning as it did a BBC error that was quickly corrected. But my point here is more general — his vocabulary and his style. “Incredible graciousness” — Saudi Arabia’s monarchy. “A historic turning point that people will be talking about for many years to come” — his speech in Riyadh. “Right direction” — that’s where Trump moved NATO. “Holistic solution” — that’s what’s...

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The Complicated Origin of the Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory

by Adam Peck – On Tuesday, Fox News retracted a story making the case that Seth Rich, a former DNC staffer who was shot and killed in a botched robbery nearly a year ago, was responsible for leaking DNC data to Wikileaks, and was killed as a result. The conspiracy theory has been floating around certain corners of the internet for months, dating back to well before the election. But it’s gained new traction in recent days thanks to some high-profile conservatives, chief among them Sean Hannity and others within the Fox News universe. Even as his own network distances themselves from the story, Hannity, Geraldo Rivera and others continue to sow doubt and suggest—with no evidence—that Democrats are guilty of murder. But if Fox News hosts are the ones responsible for bringing the conspiracy to a larger audience, their broadcasts are propped up on the sloppy, ceaseless, and often fabricated...

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First Advertiser Pulls Ads From Hannity

by Judd Legum – The decision follows Hannity relentlessly pushing a murder conspiracy theory about Seth Rich. The first advertiser has pulled their ads from Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, following a week in which Hannity has stubbornly clung to a debunked conspiracy theory. Through his Fox show and social media platforms, Hannity has pushed theory that Seth Rich, a DNC staffer who was murdered last summer, was the source of the emails released by Wikileaks. Hannity believes this theory would exonerate Russia and, therefore, Trump from interfering with the presidential campaign. Hannity relied on the claims of a private investigator and a report published on FoxNews.com. The investigator has since recanted and FoxNews.com retracted their story. Cars.com announced their decision to pull their ads in response to an inquiry from BuzzFeed News. Mary Georgantopoulos  ✔@marygeorgant .@carsdotcom is suspending its advertising on Sean Hannity’s Fox show 2:18 PM – 24 May...

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Roger Ailes: The Man Who Destroyed Objectivity

by NEAL GABLER – The founder of the right-wing network inflicted harm on the body politic that may be impossible to heal. Fox News creator and former chief Roger Ailes, who died at 77 last week from complications after a fall in his Florida home, may have been the most significant political figure of the last 35 years — which isn’t necessarily a compliment to those of us who believe media mavens shouldn’t also be political operatives. Ailes clearly thought differently. He simultaneously changed the contours both of American politics and American media by melding them, and in doing so changed the contours of fact and objectivity as they once were understood before the era of post-fact. It seems a lot to put on one man, but Roger Ailes destroyed the idea of media objectivity in the name of media objectivity, the way a phony evangelist might destroy virtue in the...

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Important New Ryan Lizza Piece on Sally Yates

by teacherken – just up at the website of The New Yorker, where it will appear in the May 29th issue.  It is titled Why Sally Yates Stood Up to Trump and has the subtitled “The former acting Attorney General reflects on the F.B.I., Michael Flynn, and how the President ended her career at the Justice Department..” It is the result of the first interview Yates has given since she was fired by the President.  Lizza conducted his interview of Yates the day after FBI Director James Comey was fired. There will be a lot of background about Yates — she is an impressive person. It is a well-written article, one that you should read. Let me offer a few selections to whet your appetites. Here’s the opening paragraph: It is hard to locate when President Trump first declared war on the government establishment, but the story may well begin on...

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Trump & Co. Put Out a Call for Plumbers

by TODD GITLIN – With so many leaks in the White House and no one to stop them, the Trump administration and the right-wing media are stepping up attacks on the “fake news” mainstream media and whistleblowers. Trump’s blasts against the hated media flood out of his reptile brain like rising seas, for example: Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! 4:48 PM – 17 Feb 2017 and 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 And so on. The New York Times (which seems to be fairly thriving, by the way) has counted 41 of these during the 100 days from his inauguration through April...

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OOPS: Trump Accidentally Confirms Source of Classified Intel He Gave to Russians

by Aaron Rupar – He did so while mischaracterizing media reports about his Oval Office meeting with top Russian diplomats. During a photo opportunity with President Trump on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked if he’s concerned about Trump sharing highly sensitive counterterrorism intelligence with Russian officials on May 10 — information that reportedly came from an Israeli source. Trump responded by telling reporters that he never mentioned the word “Israel” during that meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. “Just so you understand — I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel,’” Trump said. “I never mentioned it during that conversation.” Gesturing to reporters, Trump added, “They were all saying I did. So you had another story wrong. Never mentioned the word ‘Israel.’” “Intelligence cooperation is terrific,” Netanyahu said. President Trump says he “never mentioned the word Israel” in his Oval Office meeting with...

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Newt Gingrich Pushes Discredited Conspiracy Theory About Death of DNC Staffer

by Kiley Kroh – Gingrich quickly pivoted from the investigation into Trump’s Russia ties to a conspiracy theory Seth Rich’s murder. Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich joined Fox and Friends on Sunday to discuss the day’s major news stories — or in Gingrich’s case, to pivot from the deepening investigation into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia to baseless conspiracy theories about the death of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. After Gingrich and the hosts bemoaned the media’s “presumption of guilt” toward Trump, Gingrich was asked whether Robert Mueller, appointed this week as special counsel overseeing the investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, might shed some light on the truth. Gingrich, a staunch Trump supporter, replied that it would depend on the scope of the investigation before quickly shifting gears to the unsolved murder of Rich, claiming without evidence that he was “assassinated.” “At the...

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New York Times: Intelligence Trump Leaked to Russians Came From Israel

by Joan McCarter – The rapidly unraveling story of popular vote loser Donald Trump leaking classified intelligence to Russian diplomats, as the result of an order from Vladimir Putin, just gets worse. Directly on the heels of the admission from National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster that Trump didn’t even know where the intelligence came from, we found out where the intelligence came from: Israel, according to The New York Times. Israel is one of the United States’ most important allies and a major intelligence collector in the Middle East. The revelation that Mr. Trump boasted about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries. It also raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the Middle East. In the meeting with the Russian ambassador and foreign minister, Mr. Trump disclosed...

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