I wonder if I should start putting “enemy of mankind” in the box on my income tax return that says “occupation.” RWNJ radio host Glenn Beck just defined this term for us and are you ready? It’s “anybody with a journalism degree.” Wow. I used to contemplate setting fire to it anyhow, in this day […]
Donald Trump simply loves to take the word of murderous dictators over the word of American intelligence officials. That is a pattern of his. He displayed that in Helsinki when he announced that Putin had not interfered in the 2016 election, even though all the intelligence agencies in the country were telling him otherwise. Now […]
There must be some rhyme or reason to this, and if you can figure it out, please explain it to the rest of us. Fox News is going back and forth and up, down and sideways on this Atlantic bombshell story about Trump’s disrespect for the military. If you haven’t already, read the two previous […]
Could it be that Donald Trump thinks that the military is the enemy of the people, too, in addition to the media? The Trump administration has ordered the defunding of Stars and Stripes, the “local paper” for the military. The publication has been in existence since 1861 but the fiscal year 2021 defense budget has […]
It’s a given that Trump and his minions spew lies and slanders about their “enemies” (i.e. their political opponents) at a rate only rivaled by the amount of sludge spewed during the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Today, the slanders against Joe Biden were so vile that a Fox News host shut it down. Yes, you read that right. Someone on Fox News, which has peddled slime, propaganda and bullshit for nearly thirty years, hit their gag limit. The source of today’s putridity is Hogan Gidley, who honed his chops as a professional liar and slanderer by first working with Mike Huckabee’s HuckPAC and Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign (where Santorum proved that wearing Mister Rogers-style cardigan sweaters didn’t make voters turn to him to be First Dad). Gidley joined the White House press corps in October 2017, and has been a stand-up liar for Trump ever since. About two weeks ago, Gidley moved to the Trump campaign. He fit right in with the other traitors, grifters, liars and carnival hucksters running that particular shitshow. Today he popped up on Fox’s America’s Newsroom, which pretends to provide straight news reporting. Co-host Sandra Smith tried to engage Gidley with a question about whether Trump would debate Biden during the general election campaign. Gidley didn’t want to talk about that. Gidley began by vomiting all over the Supreme Court’s ruling that Trump isn’t above the law, after which Smith turned to the question of a Biden-Trump debate. She played a clip from James Carville on MSNBC, who called Trump a “dupeless dolt” (not sure what “dupeless” means, but regardless, you tell ’em, James) and said that given the fact Biden held his own in debates against Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Biden would trounce Trump. Gidley didn’t want to talk about that. Instead, he wanted to absolutely slander Biden: I love the fact that James Carville would point to the past debates of Joe Biden. Let’s be clear, that’s why he was last in all the polls during the debates. It was only South Carolina that saved him. When you’re on a debate stage, you can’t reach out like Joe Biden has done so many times and said, “Please, please bring me my documents, I need to read off of them, the fact sheet that my staff has given me.” You are going to hear interesting comments from Joe Biden about how children love his leg hair and how he used to coax children up onto the porch with ice cream during quarantines. Wow. In the space of about 30 seconds, Gidley dumped the topic of debates and threw gutter allegations about Biden being a demented pedophile. We’ll come back to that. To her credit, Smith called “whoa” on Gidley, who pivoted to imply that Biden suffers from senility or dementia by making up some mental lapse about 9/11: And how he doesn’t know the dates of 9/11, when it happened, what year. Those are things that — Smith ended Gidley’s venomous Gish Gallop of bullshit, saying: “Hold on — hold on, Hogan. We are talking about whether or not the president wants to debate Joe Biden, and whether or not inside the Joe Biden camp they are urging Joe Biden to debate Donald Trump. Who benefits the most from a debate?” Gidley then wriggled away from the […]
This is very grim. I hope that this story gets a lot of media attention, because this is a gigantic step into the darkness of Trump-generated conspiracy theory and right wing nuttiness and away from credible independent journalism. Trump has achieved a minor coup at the taxpayer-funded agency that supervises the Voice of America. Huffington Post is reporting Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker and friend of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, is taking over as head of the Agency for Global Media after the Senate finally succumbed to White House pressure to confirm him. The Voice of America’s top two editors ― both veteran journalists appointed during the Obama administration ― resigned on Monday, citing Pack’s arrival. “As the Senate-confirmed CEO, he has the right to replace us with his own VOA leadership,” VOA director Amanda Bennett and deputy Sandy Sugawara wrote to staff on Monday. The turmoil follows a major confrontation involving the blacklisting of the VOA by a public relations manager at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under pressure from the White House. The Trump administration accused the VOA of pushing Chinese “propaganda” about the coronavirus pandemic in a bizarre statement that claimed that “much of the U.S. media takes its lead from China.” This is pure Trump inspired madness. And it gets worse. Sebastian Gorka is now slated to come on board as well. Amanda Bennett, the former VOA director, is a Pulitizer Prize winning investigative journalist. Pack and Gorka are both on the right-wing conspiracy theory end of the scale, by contrast. Voice of America journalists legitimately fear that Pack and Gorka “will interfere with the organization’s independent newsroom and turn it into a pro-Trump messaging machine,” in the words of CNN Business. Monday’s resignations renewed concerns that Pack, an ally of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, will attempt to clean house at VOA, which is part of the US Agency for Global Media, USAGM for short. – A well-placed VOA employee said there are internal discussions about a sizable shakeup coming to the agency that may include former White House official and conservative radio host Sebastian Gorka taking on a leadership position. Given Gorka’s partisan background, such an appointment would send a major message about VOA shifting to become a mouthpiece for the administration. The Voice of America is highly regarded and highly trusted around the world. It doesn’t need to become the voice of Donald Trump. This is an appalling development. I cannot overstate how upset I am by this.
I’m glad that this communique from CNN bears the blue check mark, which means it’s a verified Twitter account and not parody — because read the name of the attorney who signed this letter. Official response from CNN General Counsel to @TeamTrump‘s letter demanding CNN apologize for a poll that shows @JoeBiden leading. pic.twitter.com/pQaGPxsA0y — CNN Communications (@CNNPR) June 10, 2020 David C. Vigilante? D.C. Vigilante? You see that too, right? Because there are times since the election of Donald Trump, and this is one of them, that I begin to question whether I’m dreaming all of this. Maybe we all are, who knows? Maybe this is an experiment in mass hypnosis. In all events, now the ball is back in Trump’s court and we’ll see where it goes from here. But if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that Trump not only hasn’t got a leg to stand on, all he’s doing is running up legal bills, along with pollster bills. But then Trump doesn’t pay his bills, so I guess it’s all moot. One thing to consider though: Trump might sue each and every one of us for voting for Joe Biden. This is just the warm up. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Donald Trump’s Bible thumping photo-op has turned into a public relations catastrophe. The New York Times reported that it was the brain child of Hope Hicks, now back at the White House after her brief sabbatical at Fox News. To do the photo op setting the stage for Project Themis, where divine law and order is restored, it was necessary to clear Lafayette Park of protesters and somebody in Trump world made the decision to use tear gas — and now the Trump campaign is all over media outlets getting them to print retractions and say it didn’t happen, even though live broadcasts clearly showed that it did. INBOX: Trump campaign orders the media to “correct or retract” reporting that accurately described yesterday’s protests, live footage of which plainly showed viewers what happened. pic.twitter.com/ly07TODYlC — Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) June 2, 2020 That was followed up by the Trump campaign sending out this note to media outlets. This was received by Media Matters, who told them “no,” they weren’t going to turn into Sean Spicer. Hope you all are doing well, staying healthy and safe. Saw your piece this morning on the use of tear gas at Lafayette Square. Wanted to make sure you saw our official statement on the false reports and would appreciate it if you would retract and correct your piece. As always, happy to be a resource for you. And this is Media Matters’ rationale. Our response: No. The Trump campaign is currently pressuring journalists and news outlets, demanding they issue retractions and corrections. None of them should cave to the pressure to deny well-established reporting. One day after Trump’s inauguration in 2017, we warned, “Journalists need to recognize that they are dealing with proto-fascist conditions. Accordingly, they must stiffen their spines and stand up for their profession and the truth.” That warning echoes even louder in this moment. Any journalist or media outlet that revises their original reporting based on nothing more than Trump’s assertions will have essentially morphed themselves into a cog in Trump’s authoritarian propaganda wheel — no better off than Sean Spicer the night he infamously lied about Trump’s inauguration crowd size. Here are some facts about the government’s actions at Lafayette Square on June 1 and the U.S. Park Police’s absurd statement on June 2 that the Trump campaign is citing. On the Park Police statement: 1. They admit using pepper agents to disperse protesters 2. Witness accounts, including from journalists on-scene, indicated protesters were peaceful until the police attacked without warninghttps://t.co/6Bpij3bsUn — Alex Wayne (@aawayne) June 2, 2020 This clip is a good synopsis of this story. In particular, go to 1:54 and watch the White House’s version of Donald Trump, Man of God, making his pilgrimage to the church, complete with organ music. Sweet Jesus. This belongs in a remake of The Exorcist. “You could hear the flash-bangs from inside the White House as they were going off.” @kwelkernbc reports on police in D.C. firing tear gas and pepper spray at peaceful protesters just moments before President Trump walked across the area to take a photo at St. John’s Church. pic.twitter.com/4RPF9ObSYk — TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 2, 2020 This next clip is good as well, because the reporter says that while he’s listening to Trump talking in his ear about law and order, “I was watching people […]
I have to say that I am impressed with Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. He appears to have taken a stance and he’s not backing down. He is apparently not intimidated by Donald Trump’s horse and pony show in the Oval Office Thursday, when he signed an executive order, with an eye to removing legal protections from social media. Trump made an appearance on Twitter shortly after midnight his time Friday morning and posted two tweets regarding protests in Minneapolis, after citizen George Floyd, a black man, died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd’s neck for seven minutes. Trump said he would “send in the National Guard,” apparently unaware that the Guard had already been deployed half a day earlier, and Trump quoted a now-deceased Miami cop, who said in 1967, “When the looting starts, that’s when the shooting starts.” That quote was promptly hidden, because it violates a Twitter rule against “glorifying violence.” I believe it is safe to say that Trump will resent Twitter enforcing this rule, or moderating his account in any way, shape, or form. Trump doesn’t seem to be a person who is used to being treated like any other user of social media platforms. He expects to use the platform as he sees fit and rules are for other people. This is how Trump’s tweets appear now. Twitter hides one of the two Trump tweets from tonight for “glorifying violence.” pic.twitter.com/ngPtw7g0m3 — Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) May 29, 2020 The move prevents replying to or liking the “looting … shooting” tweet, engagement numbers are gone, and people can only quote RT it now. pic.twitter.com/CuetvQVJnn — Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) May 29, 2020 This is responsible behavior. Trump’s words are still there, if somebody wants to know what he said. However, Twitter has made it clear that they don’t want people advocating violence, certainly not “glorifying” it. In removing the ability of other users to just automatically “like” the violent prose, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” it gives time for people to pause and reflect upon what’s on the screen. I find it admirable that Dorsey has taken this action. It will be interesting to see how Trump reacts to it. Again, I think it is a reasonable speculation that Trump will resent the action and feel persecuted by it. I also think it’s too much to expect that Trump might find the move sobering, and perhaps reflect a bit upon his own actions and what he might do better in the future. Trump has lived a consequence free life, in part because he’s been able to bully people into doing what he wants, or pay them off in some fashion for ignoring his bad behavior. This is probably a rare moment in his 73 years, coming up against another businessman who is powerful in his own right and who is enforcing the rules of the road on his own platform — which he has every right to do and had the right to do so sooner. Dorsey’s forebearance has been duly noted, by others, but not by Trump. Fpr Trump, this is somewhat of a unique moment, I would imagine. Many thousands of people have written millions of words about Trump’s foibles, but if I had to pick one which […]
A few short days ago the daily coronavirus press conferences ceased for a short time, because Donald Trump couldn’t stop attacking the press, even though he was informed that he was making himself look bad. When the briefings resumed, Trump went out of his way to be cordial to reporters for a few days, even telling Jim Acosta on one occasion that he “appreciated” a question. That all went up in flames today, as Trump once again reverted to type and lashed out at a reporter for asking a “nasty” question. " Very, very ugly ending to that one hour appearance by the President in the Rose Garden" pic.twitter.com/yiBtbIWkpF — Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 11, 2020 The question that was posed was, “Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?” “Well they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Trump replied. His emphasis on the word “China” was practically a snarl. Then of course he repeated it. “Don’t ask me, ask China that question.” The reporter in question was Weijia Jiang of CBS who describes herself as a “Chinese born West Virginian.” Who knows why Trump lost it? Ask his shrink. Or maybe Ivanka can explain it. But to the rest of the world, Trump comes across like the crotchety elder that nobody wants to offend because he may revise his will and disinherit them, and so they all humor him. It will be nice when the functions of government can get back to being handled by adults, because this is nothing more than another black eye for this country. The office of president has been nothing but systematically disgraced since Trump assumed it and today was yet another low.