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There’s Only One Right Side In Trump’s Unjustified War On The News Media

Trump Surrounded By Cameras

President Trump took to Twitter late yesterday to unleash the latest salvo in a war on the news media that has been a part of his repertoire since he began running for President:

WEST PALM BEACH. Fla. — President Trump further escalated his attacks on the news media Friday afternoon when he tweeted that outlets such as the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN are not his enemy but “the enemy of the American People.”

Although Trump has long colorfully criticized news coverage and sparred with reporters who question him, he had not yet labeled the fourth estate as being an enemy of the country. On the campaign trail, some of Trump’s supporters would heckle and threaten reporters who covered his rallies, and his tweet Friday came 24 hours before his first political rally as president.

It took the president two tries to properly post his message, which came soon after he arrived at his luxury oceanfront estate for the weekend. The first tweet, which was quickly deleted, contained a number of extra spaces and listed the Times, CNN and NBC, ending with this conclusion: “SICK!” The second tweet added ABC and CBS to the list, while removing “SICK!” Both tweets labeled those organizations as being “the FAKE NEWS media.”

The media has been credited with breaking stories about Trump’s administration that have prompted action this week, including the resignation of his national security adviser Monday and his nominee for labor secretary withdrawing from consideration Wednesday. Meanwhile, the president has accused the press of distorting facts and berated it for not painting a rosy portrait of the country under his leadership. At a news conference at the White House on Thursday, Trump uttered the words “fake news” seven times.

“Much of the media in Washington, D.C. — along with New York, Los Angeles, in particular — speaks not for the people but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system,” Trump said early in the news conference, which lasted over an hour and 15 minutes. “The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk to find out what’s going on, because the press honestly is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.”

Thursday night, the Republican Party and Trump’s campaign websites posted a 25-question “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey.” The survey formalized Trump’s attacks and his insinuation that media outlets are working against the American people. It’s unclear what, if anything, the data will be used for, and participants are required to give their name, email address and Zip code.

The first question asks: “Do you believe that the mainstream media has reported unfairly on our movement?” It then asks whether the survey-taker believes that MSNBC, CNN or Fox News “report fairly on Trump’s presidency,” allowing for answers of “yes,” “no” or “no opinion.” Those surveyed are also asked their primary source of news, with options limited to those three cable networks, along with “local news.” There is no mention of specific newspapers, websites, magazines or non-cable networks.

Other questions ask whether the survey-takers think the media does “due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration,” whether it fairly reported on the rollout of Trump’s travel ban, whether “political correctness has created biased news coverage on both illegal immigration and radical Islamic terrorism” and whether the media has been “far too quick to spread false stories about our movement.” Participants can also indicate which issues the media does “the worst job of representing Republicans” on, with the option to pick as many topics as they like.

The final question: “Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?”

The social-media ads driving people to the survey were paid for by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee that splits its proceeds between Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee. Since Trump’s victory, the fundraising committee has continued to pepper supporters with appeals for money, helping keep a steady stream of contributions flowing to the party and Trump’s campaign. By the end of December, Trump had already socked away $7 million into his campaign account, money that officials said they are stockpiling for his 2020 reelection effort.

This is nothing new for Trump, or for the American right, of course. For conservatives, the news media has been a favorite target for decades now, and while there may have once been some truth to that accusation in the days when television news was limited to three broadcast channels and radio was shackled by a “Fairness Doctrine” that clearly violated the First Amendment, it didn’t take long for “media bias” to expand beyond legitimate media criticism into partisan hackery. Starting in the 1990s, the attack on the so-called “mainstream media” expanded to include the accusation that any evidence of negative reporting about conservatives was evidence of bias, while numerous instances that clearly disproved the notion that the media didn’t report negatively about Democrats was ignored. This was especially ironic during the Clinton Presidency when it was, by and large, the news media that was responsible for the dissemination of much of the most damaging information about Clinton’s Presidency ranging from Whitewater and the Rose Law Firm billing records to the Lewinsky Affair. Instead, according to the “biased” news media meme, the media was engaged in an effort to cover up Clinton’s alleged “crimes” while engaging in nothing but attacks against conservatives. This phenomenon continued into the Bush Administration and Obama Administration and has been reinforced even as the media has fractured to the point where there are numerous cable and online news sources that clearly have a conservative point of view. This includes not just Fox News Channel, but also sites such as The Daily Caller, Town Hall, The Blaze, and others, along with blogs that receive hundreds of thousands of hits per day such as Hot Air and National Review’s The Corner. Of more concern, we’ve seen the rise of extreme sites on the right that have arguably grown in influence such as BreitbartWorld Net Daily and the conspiracy theory laden websites run by Alex Jones.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t some merit to the media criticism that one often sees from the right, and also from the left. As I said, in the era when the news business was dominated by three broadcast news networks, it’s fairly obvious that the American public was getting news predominantly from one point of view. It’s also likely still true that the majority of American reporters in print and broadcast media are what might be described as “liberal” or at least leaning slightly to the left politically. To a large degree, though, it seems apparent to me that the bias we see in the media today isn’t an ideological one so much as it is a geographic one. Because most reporters and pundits reside either in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor or on the West Coast the news coverage we get often ends up placing emphasis on news and points of view that fall within the viewpoints of those parts of the country. One of the benefits of the expansion of what constitutes news, and the availability of different news sources on cable, though, is that viewers aren’t limited in their news consumption to just what’s provided by people living in those areas. The are downsides to this fracturing of the news monopoly, of course, especially to the extent that it means that people are tending to only get news from sources that agree with their points of view, but if you’re willing to broaden your news consumption you can now get access to news, opinion, and analysis from a wide variety of viewpoints and a wide variety of areas. For the most part, that’s a good thing.

Donald Trump stepped into the middle of all this and instinctively grabbed on to it. Throughout his campaign for President, he engaged in repeated attacks on the news media that can only be described as vile and threatening. More than once he would stand in the middle of an adoring crowd and talk about how horrible the very reporters who were providing the coverage that made his campaign possible were, and the crowd would respond with cheers for Trump and verbal assaults on reporters that often required one or more of them to be escorted by security for their own safety. Trump also speculated openly about expanding libel and slander laws so that it would be easier to sue news media for allegedly false reporting. In recent weeks, he has seized on the idea of so-called “fake news,” originally intended to refer to false and sarcastic ‘news’ items being passed around on social media as if they were true, and turned it on the traditional media itself. During his press conference the other day, for example, Trump insisted that the reporting on his former National Security Adviser’s pre-Inauguration contact with Russian officials was “fake news” even as he decried the leaks that made the reporting of that apparently truthful news possible. In fact, Trump has used seemingly every recent opportunity to address the media as President to attack the media. In that sense, last evening’s Twitter attack was just another round in an attack that has been ongoing since June 2015 when he started running for President.

What was a clown show while he was a candidate, though, has turned into something far more serious now that he’s President. A President who calls the news media the “enemy of the American people” is a President who, quite simply, cannot be trusted with power. These are the words of an authoritarian dictator, not the words of the leader of a republic with a Constitution where freedom of speech and of the press are not only enshrined in our Constitution but are also the very lifeblood of American democracy. The fact that it has been reported that the Trump Administration had multiple contacts with Russia during the campaign is most certainly real news, especially in light of what we already know about Russian hacking and apparent efforts to influence the election itself apparently in Trump’s favor. At the very least, these allegations need to be investigated both by law enforcement and by Congress in a fair and efficient manner.  If it weren’t for someone reporting this, we wouldn’t know about it. Just like if it weren’t for reporters we wouldn’t have known about Watergate, or Iran-Contra, or the reports that Hillary Clinton was taking the extraordinary step of using a private email server while Secretary of State. All of these stories were broken first by what the so-called President is calling the “fake” news media.”  This is why I agree with Thomas Jefferson. Given the choice between government without newspapers and newspapers without government, I will choose the latter. In reality, of course, we don’t want to live in either a world where there is no government or one where there are no newspapers (i.e., news media). They are both essential to the survival of a free society, but as long as we have government, we need a free and independent media that isn’t being intimidated by a wannabe dictator in the White House. There are two sides in this war between Trump and the media, but only one of them is the right side.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    It will be interesting to see to what level Trump ramps up his attack on the press this afternoon at his Melbourne “mega-rally.” He’s quite well aware that his base loves this, and if he has a few thousand people screaming encouragement at him later today, he may well convince himself that they’re representative of the American public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  2. michael reynolds says:

    I went on Twitter and in reaction bought 26 week subscriptions to the Washington Post for three of my ‘followers.’ I intend to do that again. It’s a practical way to fight back.

    If you have the means there’s no more practical way to support the free press. Subscribe!

    I also urged my followers to follow WaPo, the NYT, CNN, MSNBC, and various individual reporters. I would urge others on social media to do the same. If every time Trump attacks the media, people like Jake Tapper and Joy Reid and Shepherd Smith see bumps in followership they (and their employers) will take heart.

    Let’s do more than bitch, let’s spend some money, let’s round up support on social media.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 4

  3. steve says:

    Every conservative in the country believes that if only the MSM told the truth, they would hold every elective office in the country. They couldn’t ever lose because of bad policy or poor leadership.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  4. CSK says:

    It’s important to note that the press so loathed by Trump and his cultists not only includes the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, and NPR, but now The National Review, Commentary, The Weekly Standard, and even Fox, outlets traditionally conservative, for failure to support Trump.

    Get this: The real news sources for Trumpkins are The Gateway Pundit, The Conservative Treehouse, Breitbart, and Infowars.

    I always enjoy asking Infowars devotees if they’re down with Alex Jones’s belief that The Brothers Tsaernaev were poor little innocents framed by the U.S. government. I don’t get an answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  5. Gustopher says:

    For conservatives, the news media has been a favorite target for decades now, and while there may have once been some truth to that accusation in the days when television news was limited to three broadcast channels and radio was shackled by a “Fairness Doctrine” that clearly violated the First Amendment, it didn’t take long for “media bias” to expand beyond legitimate media criticism into partisan hackery.

    The TV and radio spectrum is a limited resource, owned by all Americans, and licensed out to a small number of stations. There is an entirely reasonable case to be made for requiring opposing points of view as a public service. It didn’t limit what the license holders could say, it simply prevented them from monopolizing a public resource for their propaganda.

    It would make less sense now that there are hundreds of channels on cable (although given the amount of public easements required to lay out cable, and the limited number of cable providers, requiring some balance on channels offered would be appropriate), and completely unlimited and unfiltered internet content.

    The fairness doctrine was not “clearly a violation of the First Amendment”, it was an effort to strike a balance between the first Amendment rights of the license holders, and the property rights of the owners of the spectrum (the country, aka the people). It didn’t limit speech (the license holders could say whatever they wanted), it regulated a platform owned by all of us for broadcasting speech by mandating access.

    Licensing the public airwaves in such a way that only one set of views could be heard would have been a violation of the First Amendment, and with a scarce resource, that could easily happen.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 4

  6. Davebo says:

    @Gustopher: Let me strong second that notion regarding the fairness doctrine.

    Unless Doug feels the FCC should fold up camp and we should allow “outlaw radio” (which was actually pretty fabulous back in the day) license holders can and should face significant restrictions on their content.

    If it was a blatant violation of the First Amendment it should have been overturned by the courts rather than by pressure on the FCC from two Republican House members.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  7. David M says:

    Donald Trump vs the First Amendment? Seems like an easy decision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    A President who calls the news media the “enemy of the American people” is a President who, quite simply, cannot be trusted with power.

    In that case, the population and parties will need to do a better job at electing the President next time–allowing for the reality that, maybe, 40% of the population seems to have no issues with living under an authoritarian that they perceive as “on our side.” (And that lack of issue with authoritarianism may cross the spectrum.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  9. Pch101 says:

    In view of the scarcity of broadcast frequencies, the Government’s role in allocating those frequencies, and the legitimate claims of those unable without governmental assistance to gain access to those frequencies for expression of their views, we hold the regulations and [395 U.S. 367, 401] ruling at issue here are both authorized by statute and constitutional.

    -Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC

    That was an 8-0 decision re: the Fairness Doctrine. Earl and the Supremes obviously saw no constitutional problem with the FCC’s ability to impose fairness standards on licensed airwaves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  10. gVOR08 says:

    but if you’re willing to broaden your news consumption you can now get access to news, opinion, and analysis from a wide variety of viewpoints and a wide variety of areas. For the most part, that’s a good thing.

    Yes, that is a good thing. But it seems for the most part a hypothetical. Most people seem to use their access to multiple outlets to narrow their news consumption.

    However I also suspect most people get very little news and this piece by John Stoehr, via Balloon Juice, is, I think, very insightful. He mentions that Trump is said to like watching video of himself with the sound off. He then presumably focuses on appearance, gestures, and facial expressions. Hitler used to practice in front of a mirror. I’ve seen the claim that Trump’s press conference is quite impressive if you don’t listen to it. His followers don’t know anything about politics or public policy, so they don’t know he’s lying. He projects an image of strength. That’s what we must destroy.

    Fact is, the president is weak. We saw that yesterday. When confronted with the fact that he did not win a bigger electoral victory than anyone since Reagan, he immediately backed down, spluttering something about how he had been given that information so it’s not his fault. Some have implied he will never accept the truth, so don’t bother. But that’s an argument of logic and reason. What happened in that brief exchange needs to happen a million times over in order to reveal that the president is weak and that in that weakness his supporters have misplaced their trust.

    So, say it with me: The president is weak.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  11. Tyrell says:

    Most of the main news networks are fiddling. People are dropping the tv news networks faster than they dropped newspapers in the last few decades.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    And you get that information where, exactly?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  13. Pch101 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I never thought that I would say this, but Tyrell is mostly correct.

    Network news viewership has plateaued in recent years, but the evening TV audience is aging and the long-term trend of viewership is declining. Millennials are inclined to get their news and entertainment from the internet, not nightly network newscasts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. MBunge says:

    If reporters are going to be treated like priests, then they should have to act like priests…and I don’t mean having sex with young boys.

    It means Brian Williams can’t get caught publicly lying and then be back on the air anchoring a supposed news show in less than two years.

    It means reporters can’t be generating or repeating partisan snark on social media all day.

    It means they can’t write 1000 times more stories on transgender bathroom issues than they do on the crisis of suicide and drug addiction in white, middle-aged America. Both real issues but one affects less than .6% of the population and the other affects about 25% of the population.

    It means that the people who utterly failed at informing the public or getting at the truth in the lead up to the Iraq War need to lose their jobs, their status and their reputation.

    And basically every bit of media behavior revealed by the Hillary Wikileaks? That’s got to stop as well.

    I mentioned once before that Donald Trump is the last warning we’re going to get. Seeing the reaction around here, I sure hope I’m wrong because it’s tragically obvious that warning has been flushed down the memory hole.

    By the way, has the New York Times apologized yet for running a story that implied Rick Perry didn’t know the Energy Department was in charge of America’s nuclear weapons? An implication that was repeated over and over and over again for a few days before the truth came out? You know, like how Texas under Perry became one of the few states in the nation to accept low-level nuclear waste, which kind of makes it impossible for him to be unaware of the Energy Department’s involvement?

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 29

  15. Pch101 says:

    @MBunge:

    Your hero Donald Trump spewed more falsehoods during his last press conference than has Brian Williams during his entire career.

    You’re a hypocrite, and not a very bright one at that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

  16. @MBunge: If you Google “suicide and drug addiction in white, middle-aged America” oddly enough you will find a page full of stories on that topic, including from NYT and WaPo.

    And, weirdly, if you Google “NYT apologize perry” you find stories about how the NYT apologized for their error.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  17. James Pearce says:

    we need a free and independent media that isn’t being intimidated by a wannabe dictator in the White House.

    Trump is a bonafide media whore. He pretends to be a media warrior in the same way he pretends to be a conservative.

    Trump is the pick-up artist who insults the woman who turns him down.

    Trump: Hey, baby, can I buy you a drink?
    The MSM: No, thanks.
    Trump: I don’t buy drinks for ugly women like you anyway.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  18. Argon says:

    Trump’s et al. responses to media he doesn’t like brings to mind Monty Python’s ‘Dead Bishop Sketch’:

    Klaus: It’s a fair cop, but society’s to blame.

    Detective: Agreed. We’ll be charging them too.

    “The Media” is not some monolithic organization. Even liberal and conservative leaning media cover a spectrum of opinions. What we’ve got here is people using the source of the information as the sole proxy for assessing whether what is reported is valid or not, plus, their choice of proxies sucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. Hal_10000 says:

    @Gustopher:

    The Courts specifically rejected Fairness Doctrines for newspapers (Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo). The “limited bandwidth” argument was shaky when they made it since most cities had more television and radio stations than they had newspapers. Moreover, the Fairness Doctrine had a history of being abused by politicians to silence opponents (Kennedy and Nixon, for example). The Courts are only one of the three defenders of our liberty. The Courts have also upheld the fugitive slave law, civil asset forfeiture, sedition laws and Japanese internment. When they fail to defend our liberty, it is Congress or the President that must do so.

    You forgot to mentions something important about Trump’s “fake news”. They have now, multiple times: 1) leaked a potential policy to the press; 2) refused comments on it when asked by said press; 3) after publication, denied that the policy existed; 4) denounced it as “fake news”

    This is, in fact, becoming one of their favorite ways of floating policy trial balloons. They did it this week with a plan to deputize 100k National Guardsman to round up illegals. It’s one of the reasons I’m now observing a 12-hour rule before commenting on any rumored Trump policy or action. Been burned too many times by Trump trial balloons or stories that really were garbage.

    What’s going on now is fundamentally different than the usual conservative carping about the press (some of which I’m sympathetic to). This is a very deliberate disinformation campaign, an attempt to get millions of voters to only trust Trump’s blatant lies and refuse to believe anyone who contradicts him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  20. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    Trump has craved, desperately, two things in his life: Full acceptance by Old New York Society and favorable coverage by the New York Times. The first was never attainable–you have to be born into those circles–and the second might have been achievable had he made his mark in the city as a philanthropist and humanitarian.

    But no. He spent the 1980s and 1990s chasing tabloid coverage. He nearly died and went to heaven when Marla Maples told the New York Post that sex with DJT was “the best sex I ever had.” The Post made a headline out of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  21. Barry says:

    @CSK: “It will be interesting to see to what level Trump ramps up his attack on the press this afternoon at his Melbourne “mega-rally.” ”

    I’m delighted to see him return to the campaign trail, so to speak. It’s obviously a man grabbing some egoboost and sticking it into his veins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  22. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    A President who calls the news media the “enemy of the American people” is a President who, quite simply, cannot be trusted with power. These are the words of an authoritarian dictator, not the words of the leader of a republic with a Constitution where freedom of speech and of the press are not only enshrined in our Constitution but are also the very lifeblood of American democracy.

    Emphasis, mine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  23. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I went on Twitter and in reaction bought 26 week subscriptions to the Washington Post for three of my ‘followers.’ I intend to do that again. It’s a practical way to fight back.

    My wife and I did much the same: (1) we bought a subscription to the Washington Post, and (2) I purchased a 3-days-per-week subscription for home delivery of the New York Times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. CSK says:

    @Barry:

    From the photographs of the lines waiting to get into the rally, which starts at 5 p.m., it looks as if a yuuuuuge number of people have turned out for it. Trump will be in ecstasy. Depressing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. Hal_10000 says:

    An amusing side note: one of Trump’s acolytes put a poll up on their website so people could vote on how much they hate the media. The wording was … well, anyway … the results showed that people actually *do* want the media holding Trump accountable. So now his people are on Twitter and e-mail saying the poll has been “sabotaged”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:
    Oh, dude, I know: I just wanted to track his source.

    But subscription rates are no longer a very valid measurement of influence. WaPo and NYT are read by many times more people than subscribe. I don’t subscribe to any number of news sources I read, despite being pretty liberal about subscribing myself.

    Any broadcast that becomes a fixed point in time (evening news broadcasts) tends to lose ground in the new media environment. CNN on Twitter has 32 million followers. CNN Breaking news has 54 million. The NYT has 34 million. WaPo has 9 million. Even Rachel Maddow breaks 6 million. Those are numbers far in excess of the number of subscribers/viewers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  27. Janis Gore says:

    Daniel Pearl lecture from WSJ reporter:

    http://time.com/4675860/donald-trump-fake-news-attacks/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. CSK says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Was this the “Media Accountability Survey” here: https://gop.com/mainstream-media-accountability-survey/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Robert in SF says:

    @MBunge:

    If reporters are going to be treated like priests, then they should have to act like priests…and I don’t mean having sex with young boys.

    “Raping”…. The word you were looking for was ‘raping’. Not “having sex’….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

  30. Pch101 says:

    @Hal_10000:

    The “limited bandwidth” argument was shaky when they made it since most cities had more television and radio stations than they had newspapers.

    If you want to start a newspaper, you can. You may not make it financially viable, but you can go ahead and give it a shot if you’d like.

    If you want to start a terrestrial radio or TV station, you can’t just start one; instead, you need to get a license from the FCC or acquire an existing license. And you probably won’t be able to get a new license outside of a rural area, because all of the frequencies are taken.

    No comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  31. Gustopher says:

    @Tyrell:

    Most of the main news networks are fiddling. People are dropping the tv news networks faster than they dropped newspapers in the last few decades

    I think you underestimate the decline in newspapers.

    You’re right that network news is in rapid decline, and that the various news networks are also declining, but newspapers are collapsing at an even faster rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Gustopher says:

    @Hal_10000: while my comment was very narrowly focused on the Fairness Doctrine, you seem to have wandered quite a bit while replying.

    I agree with most of the rest of what you said, except on the Fairness Doctrine. Can you give specific examples of when it was misused? It could only silence speech so far as it made it more expensive by requiring the opposing view be represented, increasing air time.

    And the alternative could easily have become a partisan FCC only granting broadcast licenses to people who are likely to follow the party line — a far more dangerous path to abuse. I would not be surprised to see a Trump,administration making moves in that direction, actually.

    Also, newspapers are irrelevant in any discussion of the fairness doctrine since they do not use a scarce, publically owned resource. You can start a newspaper, internet site, webcast, etc., without getting government permission or using publically owned resources.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    He spent the 1980s and 1990s chasing tabloid coverage.

    Trump as the tabloid president. It fits, right? His presidency is a Post headline.

    @MBunge:

    I mentioned once before that Donald Trump is the last warning we’re going to get.

    Donald Trump is not a warning. He’s a former Democrat who hoorahed the Republican party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  34. Scott O says:

    @James Pearce: I read “Donald Trump is the last warning we’re going to get” and thought he’s not a warning of trouble ahead, he’s it.

    I don’t know how anybody could have watched his press conference and not come away convinced he’s insane.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  35. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    The 2016 campaign was actually Trump’s fifth shot at the presidency. He considered it during 1987-88, as a Republican, at least nominally; he ran briefly in 2000 as a Reform Party candidate; he was going to run in 2004 as an Independent; and he was going to run in 2012 as a Republican, until Obama made a fool of him at the White House Correspondents Dinner over the birther stuff.

    I wish I could recall where I read this, because it was extremely interesting, but sometime early in 2015, Trump went to a political consultant for advice, specifically on what hot buttons he could push among enough of the voting population to secure the nomination. Sadly, it worked.

    Trump has never in his life maintained any kind of coherent political philosophy or ideology. He has no fixed beliefs or principles other than his own self-aggrandizement.

    And by the way, he has Rex Tillerson enraged now because he promised Tillerson that Tillerson could pick his own ambassadors, and Bannon, Jared, and Ivanka seem to be doing that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  36. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Hal_10000:
    I wonder if that’s this?
    https://www.google.com/amp/www.gq.com/story/trump-white-house-media-questionnaire/amp?client=safari
    Not by acolytes…but by the WH itself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  37. al-Ameda says:

    @MBunge:

    I mentioned once before that Donald Trump is the last warning we’re going to get. Seeing the reaction around here, I sure hope I’m wrong because it’s tragically obvious that warning has been flushed down the memory hole.

    Just so I understand:

    (1) You are saying that Donald Trump represents the collective punishment to America for the sins of the so-called ‘liberal media’? And …

    (2) It is the fault of the media that conservative voters decided that arguably the most appalling candidate for the presidency since Andrew Jackson deserved a chance to inflict himself on the majority of the Americans who voted otherwise?

    Donald Trump is not the last warning we’re going to get, he’s the last batch of Kool-Aid that unionized working Americans, particularly coal miners, are going to get.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Thank you. That was fun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:

    You’re welcome. I was going to take it myself, but I didn’t want to give them any of my email addresses. I could have invented one, I suppose.

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  40. James Pearce says:

    @Scott O:

    I don’t know how anybody could have watched his press conference and not come away convinced he’s insane.

    There’s a market for everything, I guess.

    @CSK:

    Trump has never in his life maintained any kind of coherent political philosophy or ideology.

    That was something I noticed from Milo when he was talking to Bill Maher, too. There’s no principles, only attitudes.

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  41. Terrye Cravens says:

    McCain’s view on Trump’s attack was correct…he said “That is how dictators get started”.

    Maybe the media should just refuse to cover his rallies or his press conferences. If he hates them so much and considers them an enemy of the American people surely he would just as soon they kept their distance.

    He had that rally and invited a slobbering fan up on the stage so that he could show us all how he still has it. Maybe he does with an ever dwindling number of people, but they are not representative of most Americans. Trump no doubt thinks most of them are losers himself.

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  42. Presidents of Democracies doesn’t held these kind of street rallies when they are not running to reelection. I remember Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa, Robert Mugabe, and other divisive authoritarian leaders doing that. I don’t remember European Prime-Ministers holding these kind of rallies. Even normal politicians in Latin America doesn’t have these rallies.

    Speeches trying to promote a policy, townhalls, inaugurations and ceremonies are one thing. But these street rallies are something that we expect from a Banana Republic.

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  43. JKB says:

    we need a free and independent media that isn’t being intimidated

    You have an odd definition of “being intimidated”. The media certainly don’t seem to be intimidated. They appear to be in open conflict with Trump. Not being given priority on televised dog and pony shows is not intimidation to an actual journalist, but it would be devastating to someone seeking personality status.

    On the other hand, the mainstream media were quite circumspect when it was revealed that the Obama administration was wiretapping their colleagues. Why they almost appeared to be intimidated to silence on the matter.

    In truth a media hostile to the “government” is what we need. One supportive of an administration, especially in mass, is exactly what we didn’t need.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 19

  44. dxq says:

    Get this: The real news sources for Trumpkins are The Gateway Pundit, The Conservative Treehouse, Breitbart, and Infowars.

    Anti-intellectual idiots.

    “conservative” and “liberal” are old words, and they mean different things in different times and places. In America in 2017, conservative means ‘ignoramus’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  45. Scott O says:

    @JKB:

    someone seeking personality status

    Did you watch Trump’s press conference? His main obsession was about how well he’s doing on television.

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  46. dxq says:

    JKB is still commenting here? I bet it’s getting harder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. Thomas Weaver says:

    So much consternation, squirming, and angst by the media to the point of someone counting the number of times that “Fake News” is said.
    As a Trump supporter, I would say that no one expects any of the media to support Trump but we recognize when their slip is showing. And, no only is the slip showing but a number of times the media was deliberately dressing ‘Commando’ style.
    If the media source checked and did a genuine verification of a story, most of Trump’s complaints would disappear.

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  48. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Thomas Weaver:
    You say the medias “slip is showing” but like Trump you offer no real examples. Fake news for you guys is news you don’t like. Flynn talked to the Russians; the leak is real but the news is fake? What does that even mean? You expect everyone to just accept your alternative facts?
    Nearly everything out of Trumps mouth is a lie. It’s a free country and you are free to believe what you want. But a growing number of people are realizing it’s Trumps slip that is showing. 38% approval and dropping like a stone.

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  49. Ben Wolf says:

    @Thomas Weaver:

    As a Trump supporter, I would say that no one expects any of the media to support Trump…

    Who is “the media?” Most conservatives just say it’s the liberals but that’s a delusion. “The media” is big business, the biggest business. So you might want to consider that the free market capitalism so beloved by the right really doesn’t operate in your interests.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  50. @Thomas Weaver:

    As a Trump supporter, I would say that no one expects any of the media to support Trump

    The role of the media is not to support the government or to support any politician. I live in a country where the media usually and openly supports the governments of the “right” parties, and that’s isn’t healthy nor desirable.

    If you are saying that the media should have been tougher with Obama and Clinton that’s completely reasonable. But the media should not support Trump or any politician, that’s what we see in Banana Republics.

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  51. CSK says:

    The entire country of Sweden is scratching its collective head in bewilderment over Trump’s remark that a terror attack took place there Thursday night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  52. CSK says:

    @CSK:

    Correction: Make that Friday night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  53. Pch101 says:

    @Thomas Weaver:

    Your idiot wannabe dictator who doesn’t deserve to be president invented a terrorist attack in Sweden that obviously did not happen, and you’re worried about the media?

    The morons who like Trump are making their own nooses. Unfortunately for us, they won’t suffer from the hanging, as their heads are empty.

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  54. rachel says:

    @Robert in SF: And it wasn’t just boys either.

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  55. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: This is slightly disingenuous–I didn’t have to find the stories about Perry’s ignorance, etc. They found me. Not that I give a crap about MBunge’s ramblings (primarily because he nor anyone else not directly affected gave a $hi# about black america’s problems until they crept into the white community)–but its a common character assassination tactic used by media that black people are all too familiar with: Tear down on Page 1–then apologize (if ever) on page 50.

    Guess what Bunge? White rural America are the new ni&&as to the elite. Own it—maybe even monetize it with an edgy country western band that sings songs along the lines of “Eff da Media”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  56. @Thomas Weaver:

    If the media source checked and did a genuine verification of a story, most of Trump’s complaints would disappear.

    You mean like the scope of Trump’s EC victory, the size of inauguration day crowds, and things of that nature?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  57. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Hal_10000: Great observation. Trump and company are deliberately using the press to discredit itself. When you cry wolf about everything–nothing is important. Of course, there are a lot of ways to monetize Trump hate these days so instead of protecting their credibility–media outlets are going to put out whatever generates clicks and views.

    What liberals and Democrats have failed to appreciate is that Trump deliberately lies to the press to watch them scramble around and “fact check” and prove his lies. He’s informed his supporters that this is what he does–so to them–Trump is being honest because the lies he tells to the media are really for Trump’s (and their) entertainment– to savor Media and Democratic outrage. Entertainment is part of the strategy but really–Hal is right in that it also is a form of trial ballooning–the opening phase of Trump’s negotiation if you will.

    If you want to beat this guy–you’d better get him reacting to news. Not reacting as in tweeting or saying something outrageous. He’s already conditioned the public to his bluster. People like Trump, Howard Stern, Charles Barkley, etc get a pass for saying outrageous things because the public is conditioned to expect it. No–reacting as in having him have to make actual decisions about things. You’ll never sink Trump on things he says….get that in your minds now before its too late. You’ll have to sink him on what he does (and/or doesn’t do).

    View him as a CEO moreso than a politician and you’ll be able to devise a more effective strategy against him. I’ve said it before and I hope it doesn’t take him being re-elected before Democrats wake up: Trump is a chess player—he plays it in a gorilla suit–but if you’re not carefull he’ll win the game because you focused on the gorilla suit and not on the moves being made on board.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  58. @Jim Brown 32: Dealing with the Perry narrative requires, at a minimum, starting with the fact that Perry himself helped create it back at his “oops” moment, among other places.

    But the claim was that an apology was not reported. It was.

    And if we are going to use anecdotal tests: I heard about the retraction after I heard about the initial story.

    In general I find the claim that “X isn’t being reported!” when the only way anyone knows about X in the first is because it was reported in the media to be a load of BS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  59. @Ben Wolf:

    Who is “the media?” Most conservatives just say it’s the liberals but that’s a delusion. “The media” is big business, the biggest business.

    Indeed.

    And some of the the things that “the media” have promoted over the years:

    1) The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal (it was all that on the news every night for months). There is no way you get the impeachment without the media coverage in question.

    2) The Iran invasion of 2003. The media coverage was decidedly pro-war.

    3) The HRC e-mail story/the “she has trust problems” thesis. This was the mainstay of most mainstream coverage of HRC.

    4) Trump. They loved Trump. The amount of free air time and attention he was provided was enormous.

    What do all of these have in common? Ratings. Dollars.

    The media is not fundamentally biased in a political direction. They are biased towards stories they give them ratings.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  60. gVOR08 says:

    @Jim Brown 32: This is the real issue, and Trump’s supporters will never get it. Republicans have dominated politics and policy since the late 70s. The result is that they’ve turned white Americans, as you say, into ni&&as. And nothing Trump’s doing will change this.

    If anything proves that inner cities are about poverty, not race, this should. But it won’t. Even some of us Caucasians notice that crack in the inner cities was a crime problem, but heroin in the exurbs and rural areas is somehow a public health problem. Eight members of a family dealing drugs were killed in a rural county outside my fair city, Cincinnati, last year. They have biker gangs that would scare the Bloods and Crips.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  61. Pch101 says:

    FFS, Trump is a huckster. He isn’t playing checkers, let alone chess. Trump is acting like a used car salesman, lying habitually and never acknowledging the lies even when caught because you close deals by continually moving until you find the next idiot who you can close.

    He’s accustomed to doing business with dupes. He has done this for so long that this is central to how he does business and leads his life. He will follow his instinct to seek out dupes whenever possible.

    He held a rally because he could surround himself with dupes. To feel like a winner, he needs the adulation and a crowd that will buy what he’s selling.

    If you want to destroy Trump, then Americans on the left need to loathe him — not fear him, but detest him — while enough independents eventually have to come to regard him as a loser who can’t perform that they reject the GOP during the next election. So obstructionism will be necessary tool for taking him down.

    Trying to convert his fan club is a fool’s errand. Some of his pocketbook supporters will eventually punt on him, but they will need time before they realize that they were deceived, and that will take awhile. Again, obstructionism will indirectly help to get them there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  62. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Freedom of Press implies Freedom from Partisan Press–which is not what we’ve had for the last 35 years. Its the single biggest reason Trump and other hustlers can successfully run against media and win elections.

    Media outlets are nothing but public affairs operations for political parties and billionaires but want to be treated as a honest brokers–please. That ship sailed a long time ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  63. michael reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    It sure looks like white people endured a decade or two of what black people have been living since forever, and promptly broke, fell apart, started binge-eating Oxy, and moved to fantasy land. Black people responded to adversity by giving the world essentially every form of modern music – jazz, gospel, blues, funk, rock and hip hop, a cultural contribution that ranks with the Italian Renaissance as an era of creative brilliance. (And should be recognized as such. A pet peeve of mine.)

    So far what disadvantaged whites have produced is exploding meth-cookers and Donald Trump. This sounds bad, but there is a difference. Black people are disadvantaged in toto, by race, which encompasses black winners and losers. (Just as Jews were disadvantaged in toto by religion and ethnicity.) The white underclass today is not the set of all white people, but the set of all failing white people.

    So if we suddenly start getting art, music, theater, literature, whatever, from the white underclass the persons creating it will instantly no longer be part of that white-loser set; the black man who succeeds remains black, the white man who succeeds escapes the set of disadvantaged whites and joins the larger white culture.

    I don’t think the white-loser set understands this at a conscious level, but I think they feel it. In their minds they’ve gone from being part of the set of all whites, which they saw as superior to the set of all blacks; to being a subset of whites which is inherently inferior to the set of all blacks. A poor black man can identify with Jay-Z or Shonda Rhimes, while a poor white cannot identify any more with white elites that openly despise them. Of course this was in large degree a trap they built for themselves, and they’ve reacted not by re-examining their own responsibility, but by doubling down on hate, so pity is limited.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  64. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @JKB: Wow…the broken clock happens to show the correct time. Congrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  65. @Jim Brown 32:

    Freedom of Press implies Freedom from Partisan Press–which is not what we’ve had for the last 35 years.

    Well, actually, when the First Amendment was penned we pretty much only had a partisan press, and it was a pretty nasty one.

    And, moreover, the post-WWII era, to include the 3 broadcast networks and the nightly news was probably the least partisan ours news ever was.

    The advent of cable news, and then the internet, helped usher in a new era of partisan coverage.

    I would note the people confuse “partisan coverage” and “coverage that doesn’t confirm my preferences/world view” all the time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  66. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    You’re buying the con.
    The press was far more partisan in the past.
    When The NY Times reports that Flynn spoke to Russia when he said he didn’t…that’s not partisan…it’s news.
    Trump doesn’t want to be criticized. So he’s trying to convince you that the news he doesn’t like is fake news. It’s not.
    Don’t buy the con.
    And change your screen name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  67. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @michael reynolds: Those are very kind words and good analysis Michael. I appreciate that you recognize the richness we have brought to the American culture–our new challenge is to expand from the Arts and bring that richness into other societal pillars such law, medicine, STEM, finance, etc. I believe time will resolve that challenge more than anything.

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  68. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: Yeah, that’s what gets me. They’re suddenly in the same boat they’ve fought tooth-and-nail to keep people of color in for decades, and they devolve into an infantile shit-fit that gets us President Trump, the literal embodiment of infantile shit-fit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  69. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Black people responded to adversity by giving the world essentially every form of modern music – jazz, gospel, blues, funk, rock and hip hop, a cultural contribution that ranks with the Italian Renaissance as an era of creative brilliance.

    One of the standard justifications for conservatism, going back to the Greeks, is that subjugation of many is necessary to create a leisure class who can produce the culture and refinement necessary in any society.

    I forget how, but this came up on TAC a year or so ago. I commented asking people to identify the cultural accomplishments of the Southern slaveholders. Where is the great literature, the paintings and statuary, the philosophy? No response. I’ll ask the same question of the commentariat here. But as you note, somehow the oppressed and their descendants made huge contributions.
    ______
    I’ll stipulate that the slaveholders did make major contributions to the Constitution. But they also created concessions to slavery that bite us in the arse to this day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  70. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    We white people also get to cheat. Jeremy Clarkson (Host of Top Gear and now Grand Tour, not exactly a flaming liberal though occasionally a flaming something else) made the point that Scots who do poorly are Scots, while Scots who succeed are British. We do the same with Jews. Bad Jews are Jews; good Jews are white people. Ditto the Irish and Italians in their days. Light-skinned Hispanics are already honorary whites, while Hispanics with more Indian blood are Hispanic. Light-skinned Asians (Japanese and many Chinese) are honorary white folks, while darker Asians (Indians, Vietnamese, Filipino) are not.

    It’s amazing how good a set can look when it gets to draw its own parameters. I’m designing my own set, which consists of me, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Idris Elba. On average we’re gorgeous men. Far superior to the set of, say, you, Danny DeVito, JJ Walker and Carrot Top.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  71. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: The poor white person in middle America can identify with one part of the elite — Donald Trump.

    Donald Trump has no class. His family might not be cooking up a batch of meth, or be in the middle of an OxyContin epidemic, or getting into brawls when they crash someone else’s party, but they are entirely and utterly without class. It’s like the Palin clan.

    He’s looked down on by the same people who look down on rural America and poor white folks. Trump has longed to be accepted by The NY Times crowd, and never was, and that failure there is what connects him to poor white America.

    Donald Trump effectively says that you can have no class and still be a success in life. Trump Tower might as well be in a trailer park.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  72. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Thats a fair point Dr Taylor but Im sure you can appreciate the fact that voting rights at the time of the founding of the Republic was limited to the most educated and enlightened demographic–thus reducing the effects of partisan persuasion. I suppose the modern day equivalent would be if voter registration were somehow limited to those earning a graduate degree or above. Im sure you’d agree that the media content and tone would assume a different tone overnight–because most of that demographic is not moved by high-school level rhetorical devices and debate tactics.

    Voting rights for all comes with a tradeoff–and that tradeoff is that we must have a cleaner information environment so those of lesser intellectual capacity can understand where we are, where we are going, and make informed choice on what’s the best way to get there. The C- & D citizens get a vote and they outnumber the C+ thru A+ citizens.

    Reasonably objective coverage and gentle media pushback against Adminstrations stopped with Reagan. The majority of the population has never lived during a time where the press identified challenges and framed them in a way that wasn’t littered with partisan buzz words and talking points (which pushes people further into their Team corners). Now the media either support or oppose the party in power and plaster their talking points across the airwaves. As Denzel Washington called it in a recent BBC interview…its not news its–“Opin-News”.

    NFR: None of the current major or minor political parties reflect my world or political views–mostly because my views are situational and outcome-based. My beef with the media is their inability to either frame or re-frame issues so that voters can understand the environment well enough to make a decisions about which political party offers realistic outcomes that translate into day to day life effects. Most of political news–and hell even politics– have because abstractions of the day to day life of most citizens which explains why they don’t vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  73. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: A bit more data, all the good country music is from the poor white folks, rather than the white elite.

    Dock Boggs, Wade Ward, Olla Belle Reed — poor, working class people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  74. Pch101 says:

    @gVOR08:

    In Europe, high art was traditionally sponsored by royalty and the wealthy classes.

    In the US, jazz, rock, country, etc. are essentially derived from folk music. Popular music forms were bolstered by the evolution of the printing press in the 19th century (which put sheet music into the hands of ordinary people and created a market for songwriters), followed by radio, the phonograph and mass produced instruments in the 20th century that created markets for performers.

    In effect, technology and the free market transformed culture. That transformation coincides with the existence of an independent America.

    Some whites, particularly southerners, tried to slow some of this down with everything from their burning of Beatles records to their efforts to marginalize the recordings of black musicians as “race records” that were not to be played on the radio. They succeeded in slowing it down, but they ultimately failed.

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  75. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Its possible–as I and everyone else that have lived past 15 years or so have been conned somewhere at sometime.

    However, I have to ask myself–if I don’t consider the stimulus of the reaction–what’s different about the Democratic response to Trump compared to the Republican response to Obama? To me its not much different, much of the attack language and subject matter are similar. Obama was a Islamic Mole set to destroy America from within–now Trump is a Russian mole set to destroy America from within. Don’t get me wrong–I really would like to see Republicans get their comeuppance for what they did to Obama. But, just as the Republican failed to stop Obama (in more ways than is apparent now) I fear the Democrats will fail as well.

    That Obama said, ‘You didn’t build that..” was news. Everything else opined about it by Conservatives was as fake as a Trump hairpiece. Flynn is a first-class $hit-head, but he’s also a retired 3-star General that was routinely investigated to maintain his clearances. Its a good bet the guy is a Patriot. Its possible to be both a Patriot and an @$$hole. You guys let a good throat punch on Trump with his Flynn firing get away because of a routine Trumpian press conference. Siggggghhhh

    BTW I think you should go back to C.Clavin–Cheers was a far better show than Newhart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  76. @Jim Brown 32:

    Obama was a Islamic Mole set to destroy America from within–now Trump is a Russian mole set to destroy America from within

    I am still not sure what yo exactly do with the Russia-Trump stuff, but I would point out the following:

    1) The attacks on Obama had no basis in fact beyond the fact that his father was Kenyan. There were no other credible reasons to assume Obama was anything other than what he presented himself to be except that he had a foreign father, a “funny” name, and was black. It was racism and xenophobia driven.

    2) In the Trump case, we know members of his staff had Russian connections (e.g., Manafort) and his National Security Adviser had to resign over lying to VPOTUS over talking to the Russians. Further, Trump has attacked pretty much everyone else in the world, but constantly praises or apologizes for Russia.

    I am nowhere near the Manchurian candidate thesis, but there is more than enough going on with Trump and Russia to warrant questions, if not an investigation. This is nowhere near the same as birtherism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  77. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @gVOR08: This is a great line of examination. One I wish came up more in discussion about Slavery and the South. Much of the analysis done by economists shows that the Southern Slaveholder class actually suppressed economic development of the South. I forget the numbers but most southern land outside of the large plantations was dense wilderness and subsistence family farm plots by poor whites eaking out a living. The number of miles of rail and other measures of production infrastructure was so fantastically low that its beyond my understanding to see how anyone would want the “South” to “rise again”.

    Unfortunately, these facts are not in the mainstream awareness as a rebuttal against the “old south”. The Civil War was one of the best things to happen to the South as the Union logistical routes became the foundation of bringing the industrial revolution below the mason-dixon.

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  78. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I live in a rural area. In recent years I have seen a lot of changes and among those changes has been a tendency on the part of the locals to blame the government, the illegals, the Muslims, etc for their problems. Never mind the fact that back in the 80s during the farm crisis things were a lot tougher. the problem is, so were the people. When things got bad, they did what they had to do to feed their families. Today they are more likely to sit on their asses, get high and blame others. The people themselves have changed and Trump took advantage of their resentment and envy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  79. bill says:

    there’s no “war on the 1st amendment” at all- if anything we’re getting more info that we wanted to.
    if he chooses to allow “lower” media outlets a chance at a presser than wtf cares? aren’t you all for “the little guy”?
    end of the day, the anointed media wonks are pouting because their candidate lost despite all they did for her/against him. that they don’t get first pick at the pressers(to ask their predictable nonsensical questions) does not threaten anyone’s 1st amend. rights at all as the news/info spews forth from the white house.
    nobody who voted for trump never expected the msm to give him a five year honeymoon let alone any leeway on anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  80. bill says:

    @bill:

    nobody who voted for trump never expected the msm to give him a five year honeymoon let alone any leeway on anything.

    tried to edit that but it said i don’t have permission to!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  81. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: I think DT is also in a state of near-perpetual anger at people like Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffett, whose wealth put his own (even using the most optimistic estimates) in the shade and who, unlike him, have actually provided goods and services that satisfy customer needs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  82. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I wouldn’t expect you to have bitten hook line and sinker because educated people are somewhat resistant to that–in the same strain educated conservatives didn’t buy the birtherism nonsense either. The C- and below citizens on the intellectual scale however, do buy it. My social media feeds switched from Obama conspiracies to Trump conspiracies overnight (says alot about me doesnt it :-)

    To me, these are nothing but guilt-by-association style attacks. Lets be honest, Obama was associated with people the mainstream media would consider “militant” pro-black figures. So am I, heck my father was a member of the Nation of Islam. If you are older than 40 and black–you probably have crossed paths with black panthers, nation of islam, or Rev Wright types. You probably even agree with a lot of what they espouse. That gave Conservative media just the sliver of bait they needed to construct a ridiculous narrative for the natives to eat up.

    Trump’s an international businessman–he has international ties. I need to see something more nefarious than people communicating with Russians. The Russian hack? Last I checked neither the RNC nor DNC were arms of the federal government. I’d like to be angry about ‘Russia influencing the election” but Im not–mostly because that would mean I think its realistic for us to go at Putin and he’s not supposed to do anything about it. We need to go harder at Putin–but guard our grill better. IF Russian was a declared enemy to the US–Im on board…they aren’t. They are mostly a regional rival–wanting to dominate their block and the next couple of blocks over.

    If this Russia thing goes mostly unsubstantiated–the opposition will have shot its credibility. Birthers did the same thing leading up to the Obama re-election. There needs to be more “there” there. There is enough “there” to warrant some questions from FBI- I agree. But this attack is not ready for primetime until a definitive quid pro quo can be demonstrated– and could backfire.

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  83. @Jim Brown 32:

    There is enough “there” to warrant some questions from FBI- I agree.

    If this is true, and I think it is, then we are clearly in a different territory than we were in with Obama.

    (Regardless of whatever meme-wars are out there).

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  84. And, btw, I don’t think it is correct (although it is what most people say) that the election was hacked. I do, however, think that Russian hackers attempted to affect the campaign–and that they were successful.

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  85. Crocker says:

    @michael reynolds: don’t forget Kid Rock. White people definitely gave us him.

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  86. @Jim Brown 32:

    Trump’s an international businessman–he has international ties

    Nope. Trump is a international celebrity. He has no “international deals”, he just licenses his name to foreign businessmen. I know that, I live in the exactly Brazilian city where Trump was supposed to build a condo(A local businessman licensed his name to do so), I know the area where the condo was supposed to be built – it’s hard to believe that anyone thought that they could build a condo there.

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  87. Tyrell says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: Didn’t Teddy Roosevelt go around with his Rough Riders holding rallies and big shindigs ?

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  88. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @CSK: That’s what I did. And gVOR08 was correct, that WAS fun. I wonder if they actually look at any of this information or is it only for fundraising contacts?

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  89. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa: Nonsense, we CAN’T be a Banana Republic–it’s too cold to grow bananas here. During the winter the trees will die.

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  90. @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: Nice try, but with climate change, it will soon be possible to grow them here in the SE! (He said, in shorts, on February 19th).

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  91. An Interested Party says:

    If this Russia thing goes mostly unsubstantiated–the opposition will have shot its credibility. Birthers did the same thing leading up to the Obama re-election.

    And yet, the head Birther became president…it’s like Republicans screaming about how horrible ACA was when they didn’t have complete control of the government but now they can’t get rid of it as they claimed they were going to…losing credibility doesn’t hurt so much these days as it may have in the past…

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  92. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: Thats a fair point–sometimes I forget that we are playing by different rules now.

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  93. @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: So, at least we have an excuse. We have dozens of varieties of bananas here.

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  94. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Nice try, but with climate change, it will soon be possible to grow them (bananas) here in the SE!

    Nah. There’s some fungus thing that’s going to kill them off anyway.

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  95. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    nobody who voted for trump never expected the msm to give him a five year honeymoon let alone any leeway on anything.

    “msm”? … Trump isn’t giving himself or America a five year honeymoon. He’s been projectile vomiting since his inaugural address.

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  96. Electroman says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: As long as we have Hawaii, we can indeed be a banana republic. When I (briefly) lived there bananas grew in my yard.

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  97. Eric Florack says:
  98. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:
    I especially noticed this from that article:

    “In 2004, The New York Times said it was not given a seat on Air Force 2 when Vice President Dick Cheney was stumping with President Bush, because the vice president was displeased with the paper’s coverage of him,” ABC News reported.

    Substitute ‘Steve Bannon’ for ‘Dick Cheney’.
    Ground Hog Day.

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  99. @Eric Florack: @al-Ameda:

    Not to mention that there is a universe of difference between a given reporter or set of reporters getting a seat on the plane and calling the media “the enemy of the American people.”

    There really is no contest.

    Really, really no contest.

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  100. Tyrell says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: Think about most of the news networks today. The commentators or hosts are seen treating their guests rudely, screaming at them, interrupting them. The guests interrupt and insult each other. Commentators blatantly give their own opinions, which are often put-downs and gross insults. Their guests laugh and snicker at their harangues. These are shows more fitting for WWE or Springer.
    Think back in the day: “The CBS Evening News with Walter Conkrite”: then you had real, highly respected professionals giving real news, not one sided opinion pieces. Can you imagine this: Conkrite, Roger Mudd, Harry Reasoner, Howard Smith, Mike Wallace, Larry King, and Charles Kuralt berating and screaming at people ? No wonder that the news networks have such low opinion ratings today.
    “And that’s the way it is”

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  101. @Tyrell: You seem to be conflating a number of issues here (as if the evening news, the O’Reilly Factor, the Late Show, the Daily Show, and SNL were all on the screen at the same time).

    What news broadcast features the anchors “berating and screaming at people”?

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