Category Archives: cable tv
At a press conference today Donald Trump said that he thinks Russia probably did hack the DNC. He added that lots of countries hack. And he claimed the DNC was careless with its servers. Not to mention Hillary Clinton and John Podesta, windows logon: p@ssw0rd.
Fake News Hack
Yesterday Buzz Feed and CNN ran with an unverified story of a Trump honey trap in Moscow. The story claims Putin blackmailed Trump into reporting on Russian Oligarchs with whom he had dealings. Trump and Mike Pence both condemned the story as fake news at the press conference.
Update: A former British spy named Christopher Steele prepared ane opposition research dossier on Trump. It contained unverified material about Russian romps with prostitutes and sweetheart business deals that would make Trump vulnerable to blackmail. The NYT called the dossier Washington’s “worst kept secret”. It was circulated among the NSA, CIA, FBI, and various news organizations. It went unreported because it wasn’t verifiable. That is until BuzzFeed published it. CNN did not publish the contents of the report. It published a story that that the contents of the Dossier had been attached to a confidential report prepared for Donald Trump by the CIA. BuzzFeed, however, did publish the contents of the dossier.
On the campaign trail President Obama attempted to transfer his base of support to Hillary Clinton. He pleaded,”I’m not on the ballot but my policies are.” And he warned that he’d take it as a “personal insult” if African Americans failed to turn out for her. Well, Obama Nation didn’t show and Hillary lost. Trump was elected president with majorities in the House and Senate.
In a Rolling Stone interview the president analyzed the shellacking. And he concluded his lost legacy was due to a failure to communicate with middle America. That would be the Coal miners he and Hillary promised to put out of work. The Bitter Clingers. The Deplorables.
That and Fox News. “Part of it Obama said, “is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country.” Personally, I hardly noticed Fox in bars and restaurants in my midwest chunk of the country. But maybe that’s just me.
Progressives are also blaming Fake news for Hillary’s upset.
A month ago a federal court ruled that Rolling Stone defamed a University of Virginia administrator with malice. The administrator was awarded $3 million.
The magazine had published a fake news story about rape.
The thrill of victory was followed by the agony of debate last night.
Thrill of Victory
The Cleveland Indians won the American league pennant, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0. Rookie Ryan Merritt went 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his second major league start.
Merritt got the nod because starting pitcher Trevor Bauer was the victim of a drone strike. A strike of his own drone. Bauer has always done things his own way, and this came as no surprise to anyone around here. So they sewed up his finger and sent him out to the mound for game three.
Bauer’s a gamer, but his sutured pinkie opened up like the elevator doors in The Shining. He never made it out of the first inning. No problem. Mad Manager Tito Franco stitched together a bullpen game and the Tribe won 4-2.
Back to Ryan Merritt, hero of Northeast Ohio. Someone found out he’s getting married, so fans bought everything on his wedding registry. But you could still get him a pillow last I checked.
Agony of Debate
Unfortunately all good things come to an an end and the final presidential debate was about to begin.
Moderator Mike Wallace asked about Supreme Court nominees. Hillary Clinton said the court should stand up for women and transgender bathrooms but not late term babies about to be aborted. She also said the court should overturn Citizen’s United (a Supreme Court case that said it’s okay for a company to make a movie critical of Hillary).
Trump said, “The Supreme Court – it’s what it’s all about.”
The clear winner … Chris Wallace.
The Boys on the Bus was a best seller about the reporters who covered the 1972 presidential campaign.
It’s unlikely those boys would think much of today’s Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. But they probably wouldn’t have been too uncomfortable in his “locker room“.
Now many of the boys on the bus covering the 2016 campaign are girls. And they threw Matt Lauer under the bus for asking Hillary Clinton tough questions and taking The Donald seriously.
They implied that Lester Holt would get the same treatment if he moderated the first Clinton/Trump debate in an even handed way.
A common thread among the elite media seems to be that Trump is so bad anything goes to stop him. Which is interesting, since The Donald brags that his electoral success so far comes from free media coverage.
Howard Kurtz picked up on the NeverTrump media movement in his August 9 Media Buzz column titled Media justify anti-Trump bias, claim he’s too dangerous for normal rules. Howie says some in the media “are flat-out making the case for unfairness—an unprecedented approach for an unprecedented campaign.”:
Liberal investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald recently told Slate that “the U.S. media is essentially 100 percent united, vehemently, against Trump, and preventing him from being elected president”…
Now comes Jim Rutenberg , in his first season as media columnist for the New York Times. He’s a good reporter and I give him credit for trying to openly grapple with this bizarre situation.
But Rutenberg is, in my view, trying to defend the indefensible:
“If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.”
Then there’s Michael Goodwin in this New York Post column titled American Journalism Collapsing before our eyes:
The largest broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — and major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post have jettisoned all pretense of fair play. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent.
And here’s historian Victor Davis Hanson:
The media somehow outdid their propaganda work for Barack Obama and have signed on as unapologetic auxiliaries to the Hillary Clinton campaign — and openly brag that, in Trump’s case, the duty of a journalist is to be biased.
Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic isn’t having it. He explains why it’s difficult to cover Trump. Trump says provocative things like “Obama founded ISIS”. That’s not literally true – you can look it up. So what did Trump mean by it? That answer involves judgement and interpretation:
His strategic gambit was always and precisely to have things both ways.
By insisting that Barack Hussein Obama “founded” ISIS, knowing full well that his use of the word was unusual, inapt, and likely to mislead, then doubling down again and again when asked to clarify, Trump—who began in national politics by questioning Obama’s birth certificate—could again appeal to the part of his base that believes America is led by a secret Muslim foreigner who is allied with America’s Islamist enemies. And as even Trump acknowledged at the end of his interview with Hewitt, Trump willfully chose less accurate, more outrageous words to generate attention.
Having deliberately provoked with the repeated false statement that Obama founded ISIS, and deliberately inflamed with his reluctance to say he was speaking figuratively when asked to clarify, one Trump objective was achieved; having had things one way, he could move on to pretending, at the end of his Hewitt statement, that he was really just saying Obama had lost the peace all along, though he had directly rejected that notion moments earlier when Hewitt presented it.
Then, the next day, Trump sent out a Tweet with yet another contradictory explanation: He didn’t literally think Obama was the founder of ISIS; nor was he simply trying to express that Obama’s policies gave rise to ISIS; rather, when he said Obama founded ISIS, he was being “sarcastic,” but the media doesn’t get sarcasm.
All this deliberate, mendacious gamesmanship puts journalists in a very tricky position. If they merely report what Trump literally says, they’re accused of hyper-literalism. If they report what he reallymeans, judgment and interpretation are required.
Trump the Gardener
President “Bobby”: Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President “Bobby”: In the garden.
Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
President “Bobby”: Spring and summer.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
President “Bobby”: Then fall and winter.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we’re upset by the seasons of our economy.
Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
Benjamin Rand: Hmm!
Chance the Gardener: Hmm!
President “Bobby”: Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I’ve heard in a very, very long time.
[Benjamin Rand applauds]
President “Bobby”: I admire your good, solid sense. That’s precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.
I like to watch.