Showing posts with label Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Media. Show all posts

February 25, 2017

Bill Maher Slams Liberals and Tells the Media to Regain Its Respect


Bill Maher praised the media for getting tougher with Donald Trump but called on them to work toward reclaiming the public's trust on Real Time.
Paul Horner thought he was trolling Trump supporters – but after the election, the joke was on him
During the segment, Maher pointed out a Fox News poll where the majority of people believed that media was “less trustworthy than Donald Trump."
"Can you imagine how this must make a reporter feel, to be losing a truthfulness contest to Donald Trump? It's like losing a rap battle to Mitt Romney," Maher said. “For the press to be effective, these numbers have to change."

Maher, who drew the ire of liberals for having now-former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos on his program last week, called the press hypocritical after two years of showing Trump with attention. (In a separate New York Times interview, Maher took credit for Yiannopoulos's sudden downfall.)
"You can be mad at me for giving a platform to Milo, but Donald Trump is the apotheosis of the alt-right and the media gave him the biggest platform ever," Maher said.
"They covered every Trump rally like we put a game show host on the moon. They made him look like he was president before he was. Even during the primaries, Trump got three times the coverage of the entire rest of the field.”

Maher then criticized the fluffy segments found on the back half of the evening news.
"Guys, for the sake of the republic, you got to get serious again. You have to win your respect back, so Trump can’t say 'The people don't believe you, you're a joke,'" Maher said.

"The news media lost trust because they became eyeball-chasing clickbait whores who dumped the story about climate change for the ones about grizzly bears in the Jacuzzi."
Maher pointed out that, in the early days of television, the networks provided news as a public service, not something that was used for profit. Maher then asked for the media conglomerates to return to that bygone civil offering.

"CBS News is 3 percent of CBS' revenue, CNN, 4 percent of Time Warner's. ABC and NBC News are only 1-and-a-half percent of Disney and Comcast. Guys, take one for the team," Maher said. "It's not that much. It'll pay off in the long run, you know why? Because the best customers are alive.”

Bill Maher praised the media for getting tougher with Donald Trump but called on them to work toward reclaiming the public’s trust on 'Real Time.'

February 24, 2017

“I told You So” To Caitlyn Jenner, Now is Jenner Vs. TrumpVs.The Press,Medicaid and 58% of US

 That was Bloody saturday and followed by talk of impeachment,
Nixon resigned before being impeached

Vice President Mike Pence told conservatives at CPAC Thursday that the "Obamacare nightmare is about to end" and that the policy will be rolled back "despite the best efforts of liberal activists at town halls across the country." 
Caitlin Jenner is taking on Trump over his withdrawal of federal guidance regarding school bathrooms for transgender youth. 
From the New York Times: "Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of rebuilding the party's depleted organization. But senior Democratic officials concede that the blueprint has already been chosen for them — by an incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war against President Trump." 
Here's Alex Seitz-Wald's primer on how the DNC chair race will work. 
From the AP: "White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, a White House official says…. Priebus' discussion with FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe sparked outrage among some Democrats, who said that the chief of staff was violating policies intended to limit communications between the law enforcement agency and the White House on pending investigations." 
The New York Times, on Betsy DeVos: "[P]eople who have known and watched Ms. DeVos through the years — as a leading advocate of charter schools and school vouchers, a former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman and a major Republican donor — warn against thinking that she will be a meek team player. She may be publicly gracious, even in the face of setbacks, they say. But in her home state, she earned a reputation as a driven, relentless and effective political fighter, using her family's vast fortune to reward allies and punish foes, and working behind the scenes to pass legislation and unseat lawmakers who opposed her." 
The Washington Post lays out the ongoing war over town halls - and how Gabby Giffords' name was invoked. 
Another Jared/Ivanka leak about their influence to help save an Obama policy, from the Wall Street Journal: "At the request of President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, language critical of a global climate deal was struck from an executive order that Mr. Trump is planning to sign soon, according to multiple people familiar with the move." 
"With each passing day, Donald Trump's Cabinet looks more like a clean-up crew," writes POLITICO. "The president's undiplomatic comments are repeatedly forcing his foreign policy and national security appointees into the awkward position of telling an anxious world that, basically, their boss didn't really mean what he said." 
From NBC's Benjy Sarlin: "Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon, the White House's much-scrutinized top two aides, lavished each other with praise on Thursday in a friendly panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference where Bannon laid out President Donald Trump's "new political order." 
POLITICO: "[A]nalysts now caution that Trumphoria in the stock market could soon crash into a harsh Washington reality." 
The Wall Street Journal: "President Donald Trump's new strategy to accelerate the fight against Islamic State will, at least initially, tweak and add a little more muscle to the existing plan, U.S. officials said. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to provide to Mr. Trump a series of recommendations for that plan in the coming days. Mr. Trump on Jan. 28 signed an order directing his new Pentagon chief to come up with a preliminary draft of the plan to fight Islamic State within 30 days." 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg said last night that I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam.

February 21, 2017

Love Affair Between Trump and Fox News Hit Turbulence on Sunday

It’s no secret President Trump loves to loathe the mainstream press, as witnessed by a Friday tweet dismissing CNN, the “failing” New York Times, NBC News, ABC and CBS as “the FAKE NEWS media” and calling the press an “enemy of the American People!”

But Trump does have a soft spot for the morning show, Fox & Friends, the Fox network and its millions of loyal viewers.

At a presidential press conference Thursday — while mentioning “the fake news media” seven times — Trump singled out Fox & Friends as “very honorable people… It’s the most honest.” In an earlier tweet, slamming other cable channels as “unwatchable, he added “@foxandfriends is great!”

Why shouldn’t he like Fox? A new Pew Research Center survey of Trump voters taken in late November revealed that 4 in ten said Fox News was their main source for election coverage.

This mutual love affair makes it all the more impressive that two prominent, well-respected, veteran Fox News anchors – Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith — just took on the president, publicly rebuking him for his press attacks and falsehoods. Their words earned praise from media colleagues and Twitter tongue-lashings from Trump supporters.

On Sunday morning, Wallace said Trump’s Friday tweet calling the media an enemy of the public went too far. (Fox was not on the list.)

‘‘Look, we’re big boys. We criticize presidents,” Wallace told his colleagues on Fox & Friends. “They want to criticize us back, that’s fine. But when he said that the fake news media is not my enemy, it’s the enemy of the American people, I believe that crosses an important line.’’

Wallace knew he was going to rile viewers. But that didn’t hold him back.
‘‘And I know there are a lot of (Fox News) listeners out there who are going to reflexively take Donald Trump’s side on this,’’ said Wallace, who anchors Fox News Sunday and joined the network in 2003. ‘‘It’s a different thing when it’s a president — because if it’s a president you like trying to talk about the press being the enemy of the people, then it’s going to be a president you don’t like saying the same thing. And that’s very dangerous.’’

After Trump’s highly unusual White House press conference Feb. 16, Fox’s Shepard Smith had enough. The chief news anchor and managing editor of Fox’s breaking news division went on his own eight-minute rant about Trump’s falsehoods and refusal to answer questions.

“It’s sort of our job to let you know when people you have elected say things that are untrue,” said Smith, who joined Fox in 1996 and anchors Shepard Smith Reporting. “This president keeps telling untrue things. He does it every single time he’s in front of the microphone. It’s demonstrable.”

Smith was clearly annoyed that Trump said he got the biggest electoral win since Reagan. “He didn’t,” said Smith, flatly. “He’s said this repeatedly over and over again. And every time he says it, it’s not true.”

But what galled Smith was Trump dodging and deflecting press conference questions about Russia. Smith demanded on behalf of the American public that Trump answer inquiries about his prior and post-election association with Russia.

“One of the biggest questions that people asking questions have right now is what is this relationship with Russia?” said an exasperated Smith. “We don’t get a straight answer on this question which leads us to continue to ask the question.” 

“It’s crazy what we are watching every day,” he continued. “It’s absolutely crazy. He keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we are some kind of fools for asking the questions. Really? Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia on the same day it was happening and we are fools for asking these questions? No sir, we are not fools for asking this question and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people…. We have a right to know.”

As Wallace and Smith know well, journalists are not the enemy of the White House or the American people.

It’s their job to ask tough questions. Reporters would ask them regardless of whether a Republican or Democrat were in the White House. (Check with Bill Clinton on the Monica Lewinsky story.) It’s a journalist’s responsibility to hold public officials accountable.

A free and adversarial press plays a key role in a democracy and a necessary check on power. The president needs to hear this repeatedly.  If he is going to listen to anyone hit this point hard, it will be prominent anchors at Fox News.

So thank you, Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith, on behalf of thousands of journalists for standing up for the First Amendment and fighting back against a president who prefers to deflect and attack rather than answer valid questions.

Alicia Shepard is a veteran media writer and a former ombudsman for NPR. Follow her on Twitter @Ombudsman

February 19, 2017

“Homosexuality is an Enigma” (Mike Wallace 60 Min.Documentary)

 Mike Wallace of 60 minutes commenced his documentary on Gays
 with the words “homosexuality is an enigma

This was posted on the New York Times with the tittle “When we Rise”: Stories Behind the Pain and Pride of Gay Rights

Fifty years ago next month, CBS broadcast “The Homosexuals,” an unsettling documentary about a subject “that people find disturbing,” as Mike Wallace, the anchor, put it. For nearly an hour, viewers saw a gay man in shadows describing the tragedy of his life, psychiatrists who depicted homosexuality as a debilitating mental illness and a harrowing clip of a distraught 19-year-old soldier being driven to jail after his arrest on a charge of soliciting sex in a public restroom.

“The average homosexual — if there be such — is promiscuous,” Mr. Wallace told his audience. “He is not interested in, nor capable of, a lasting relationship like that of a heterosexual marriage.”

A more contemporary examination of gay life in America comes to network television later this month, in an eight-hour avalanche of prime time spread across four nights, and with a decidedly different take on the subject. Written by a prominent gay filmmaker, Dustin Lance Black, “When We Rise” is a 50-year history of the gay rights movement beginning on Feb. 27, told through four characters who suffer — and often triumph over — family rejection, landlord discrimination, gay-bashing, police harassment, legislative defeats and AIDS. 
But the world is a different place than it was when ABC first commissioned the project four years ago. Barack Obama was in the White House, and gay leaders were celebrating a series of court and statehouse victories, which would soon include the Supreme Court’s recognizing a constitutional right to marry by same-sex couples. After President Trump’s election, questions that seemed largely settled about gays in American society — same-sex marriage, equal treatment in the workplace and in housing — suddenly seem in doubt.
Mr. Trump is hardly a champion of gay rights, and Mike Pence, his vice president, has a record of explicit opposition to gay rights measures. Mr. Trump could well end up altering the ideological composition of the Supreme Court that handed down the marriage decision.

Still, as celebration has given way to intense anxiety, Mr. Black argues that the election’s outcome has made the mini-series even more urgent.

“We did not create this series for half a nation,” Mr. Black said. “I believe that most Americans, including Americans who voted for Donald Trump, will fall in love with these real-life families and absolutely relate to their stories when they tune in.” 
There have been no shortage of gay characters and gay-themed television shows and films in recent years, be it “Queer as Folk,” “Modern Family” or “Will & Grace.” And ABC was the network that showed what was at the time a groundbreaking gay-themed television movie, “That Certain Summer,” in 1972. But there has never been anything quite as sprawling or historical devoted to this particular topic, a project that is drawing comparisons to “Roots,” the 1977 ABC mini-series that traced the history of African-American slavery.

“We’ve reached the stage in the L.G.B.T. movement when a network not only feels comfortable taking this on — but doing so in a big way,” said Eric Marcus, a gay historian who produces the Making Gay History podcast and is preparing his own multipart documentary on the movement.

Torie Osborn, a longtime gay and lesbian rights leader who was active in San Francisco during struggles depicted in the movie, said, “I hope this is a moment for our allies to learn about our history and young gay men and lesbians to learn about their history.”

“This is a story that could have been told before,” she said, adding: “Better late than never.”

Sipping a cup of tea after flying in from his home in London, Mr. Black, 42, teared up here as he recounted learning that ABC would devote a four-night block of prime time to his work. (“When We Rise” originally was set for four consecutive nights; the second episode has now been delayed a day to make way, fittingly enough, for Mr. Trump’s first State of the Union address.)

It was a far cry from the struggle he endured to get a movie made of his screenplay for “Milk,” the story of Harvey Milk, the openly gay member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who was assassinated in 1978. Mr. Black said that he went nearly broke financing it and that a studio committed to it only after Sean Penn had signed on to play the title character. Mr. Black won an Academy Award for best original screenplay.
“When We Rise” is the latest in a series of works by Mr. Black focusing on gay issues. He wrote “8,” a play based on the closing arguments over the constitutionality of a voter initiative in California in 2008 prohibiting the marriage of same-sex couples. The production of the play was used to raise money for the legal battle that resulted in the initiative’s being thrown out of court.

“Listen, if I wanted to write movies about people with capes and fangs, I could,” he said. “My good, military, conservative, Mormon mother always said, ‘Wake up every morning and make the world better.’ That’s what I was trying to do.”

Still, telling that story was hardly easy. The history of the gay and lesbian movement is diffuse and complicated, with endless debates over where and when it really began, who its leaders are and, most fundamentally, what the battle was — is — about. Its center of gravity bounced across the country. There are few, if any, people who have risen to define the movement: Figures tend to appear and recede to the sidelines, because of death or the challenges of leading a fractious group of what was, at least initially, outcasts. 

This has long presented a challenge for anyone seeking a neat narrative arc for this history. “By necessity if you’re going to tell the story of the L.G.B.T. civil rights movement, you are only going to be able to tell a slice of a slice of a slice,” Mr. Marcus said. “What invariably happens is there will be people screaming that it doesn’t tell the whole story. Well, it can’t tell the whole story.”

Mr. Black focuses largely on San Francisco — familiar ground, since that was where “Milk” was based. But other cities were arguably as politically significant — New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington and Minneapolis among them — and are largely absent from this account.

The four characters who form the frame of Mr. Black’s story may not be the four most important figures in the movement. They were chosen over (just to pluck a few names at random from a very long list) leaders like Arthur Evans, a founder of the Gay Activists Alliance in New York; Virginia Apuzzo, a former nun and early leader of the National Gay and Lesbian Rights Task Force; Steve Endean, a founder of the Human Rights Campaign Fund; Barbara Gittings, a founder of the Daughters of Bilitis in New York City; and Morris Kight, who fought in the trenches of Los Angeles for close to 25 years.

But Mr. Black needed characters whose lives spanned the contours of this history, who would give continuity to a long story and who are, in three cases, played by different actors at different stages of their lives.

Central among them is Cleve Jones. He worked for Mr. Milk when he was a county supervisor, was there the day he was assassinated and went on to become a founder of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, an emotionally wrenching commemoration of the people lost to the epidemic, in 1985. Mr. Jones, a historical consultant to this mini-series, stayed in Mr. Black’s home in the Hollywood Hills while writing his own memoir, “When We Rise: My Life in the Movement.”
Mr. Jones, who is played as an adult by Guy Pearce, said that while some details in the production were not true to what he experienced, “When We Rise” captured the spirit and themes of the movement that has absorbed much of his life. “It could be truthful without being accurate,” he said.

“When We Rise” grapples with some of the more difficult chapters of the movement, including the tense relationship between men and women in the early days, and later, how lesbians stepped up to help gay men deal with the health and political ramifications of the AIDS epidemic. Part of that is told through Roma Guy, an early feminist leader in San Francisco, played by Mary-Louise Parker. And it does not avoid the racial discrimination common in gay male bars in the 1970 and 1980s, told through the story of an African-American community organizer in the Bay Area, Ken Jones, played as an adult by Michael K. Williams (Omar, of “The Wire”).

As the production moves into the 1990s and turns to the Clinton White House and its mixed record on gay issues, a fascinating story within a story emerges involving Richard Socarides, who was President Clinton’s gay liaison: He is played by his younger brother, the actor Charles Socarides.
And their father is Charles W. Socarides, a psychiatrist who was one of the most vocal proponents of the view that homosexuality was a pathological disorder. Dr. Socarides is an expert witness, as it were, both in “When We Rise” and in the CBS documentary of 1967.

The fraught relationship between Dr. Socarides and his gay son has been the subject of several articles (including one I wrote in October 1995 for Out Magazine). But Mr. Socarides said there are details about his coming out to his father that he decided to share for the first time with Mr. Black.

“In that interaction with my father, my father takes out a gun and puts it to his head and threatens to shoot himself,” Mr. Socarides said. “Which actually happened. No one ever knew about it. It was really intense. I hadn’t told anybody that ever, because I was trying to protect him, or I guess in some way I was embarrassed or ashamed of myself. I felt enough time had passed.”

The tussles President Clinton had with gay leaders — in particular, over his support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman — seem tame in this political environment, where gay leaders are girding for Mr. Trump, and Republicans who control state legislatures, to roll back protections for gays and lesbians. Still, this new climate does not appear to have shaken ABC.

“That doesn’t change things for us,” said Channing Dungey, the president of ABC Entertainment. “This is a true story involving actual events, involving real people. We are not coming at this from a political place or trying to make a political statement. This feels like an emotional story that we just want to share.”

Mr. Black said that if he had learned anything from this work, it is that the gay rights movement is a story of triumphs followed by setbacks. Mr. Trump’s election, he said, is just another turn in this road.

“We are in a period of backlash right now,” he said. “I would give anything for this to be less topical. But this series shows our history is a pendulum, not a straight line.”

A version of this article appears in print on February 19, 2017, on Page AR1 of the New York edition with the headline: Stories Behind the Pain and Pride  

November 14, 2016

“Making a Murderer” Sees Light Outside of Jail

On Monday, a judge ordered that Dassey be released immediately while an appeal is pending that seeks to keep him behind bars. Though he'll be freed from prison, the ruling comes with a number of stipulations: Dassey can only travel within the district of Wisconsin's Eastern court, he can't get a passport, and he's not allowed to possess a gun or any controlled substance. He's also been ordered not to have any contact with his uncle, Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery, or the family of Teresa Halbach, the woman he was convicted of helping to kill.
In August, a federal judge made the ruling that Dassey's confession to helping his uncle with the crime was coerced by police. Dassey, who was 16 years old at the time, can be seen on tape recordings on the Netflix series being promised by police that "you don't have to worry about things" and things would be "OK" if he told them about the murder, which the judge says constitutes an unfair promise of leniency.

Wisconsin's attorney general has since appealed the judge's ruling and seeks to overturn it and keep Dassey in prison, where he's been for more than a decade. He says that Dassey voluntarily answered police questions after being informed of his rights and that he supplied details about the murder in response to open-ended questions, which isn't what the documentary shows.

As the appeal works its way through the courts, Dassey has remained in prison, despite his conviction being overturned.

June 15, 2016

Anderson Cooper Takes FL., AG to Task as a Hypocrite on LGBT{See it on Tape}

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asks Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi about her role and fight against the LGBT community. She has argue against Gay marriage and it’s said that if repeal it will not bring damage to LGBT community. She is an anti Gay republican who now is portraying herself as a friend of the gay community when she has never been except one that argues against the Homophobic State of Florida for any civil rights benefits that it’s citizens cold get or have received and the state has tried to take away. 

October 28, 2015

Truth: GeorgeW.Bush was a Coward and Dan Rather a Screw Up


The only journalistic sin worse than disastrously misreporting an important story that turns out to be untrue is disastrously misreporting an important story that is true, so no one believes it anymore.
The end result of Dan Rather’s half-assed September 2004 report on George W. Bush’s already well-chronicled, cowardly, rule-breaking behavior as a young man during the Vietnam War was that Bush, once again, was able to avoid accountability for his conduct, and skated to an election victory over John Kerry, a genuine war hero his lickspittles had successfully smeared as unpatriotic.
So a story that should have taken down a president — a story that was already thoroughly documented, but that the mainstream media had hitherto shied away from as overly partisan — was instead discredited, never to be heard of again. Never, at least, until a very bad movie called Truth came out this month, trying to get us to see Rather (Robert Redford) and his producer, Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett), as heroic and wronged, rather than grappling honestly with their journalistic failures.

Rather and Mapes had an obligation to make sure their segment for CBS’s “60 Minutes II” on Bush using pull to get into the National Guard instead of going to Vietnam — and then going AWOL for a chunk of what was supposed to be his service — was bulletproof. But it wasn’t even bloggerproof. The “new” documents they got copies of — from a source who was cagey about their provenance — were debunked by a bunch of Internet sleuths. An independent review commissioned by CBS found that the segment “failed to meet” CBS’s “two core principles: accuracy and fairness,” and Rather, Mapes and three other staffers were fired or forced to retire.

Two things are undeniably true about the Bush-AWOL story. One is that its collapse exemplified the Bush magic that somehow imbued him with the aura of competence, intelligence, and leadership and made him oddly invulnerable to obvious criticism — think “The Emperor’s New Clothes” — until it all came crashing down after Hurricane Katrina.
The other truth is that Bush was undeniably a shirker, and smugly AWOL from his safe, cushy National Guard gig at a time when thousands of young men his age were being sent to their slaughter in Vietnam.
That had been clear ever since Walter Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight investigative team at the Boston Globe, extensively reported out the story in May 2000, piecing together an article from available military records that has never been definitively challenged.
  The Washington Post in 1999 had raised questions of favoritism and joining the Guard to avoid dangerous duty in Vietnam. But it was the Globe that introduced the missing AWOL year.
Possibly because the Globe had out-reported its bigger colleagues, the story didn’t get picked up by the elite national outlets. When Democrats tried to bring it up again on the eve of the election, the New York Times pooh-poohed it under an instant classic of false-equivalence headline: “Bush’s Guard Attendance Is Questioned and Defended.” A “review of records by the New York Times indicated that some of those concerns may be unfounded,” the story said.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post castigated Democrats for their “11th-hour attempt to exploit a dormant issue.” The Post acknowledged the truth — “It is safe to say that Bush did very light duty in his last two years in the Guard and that his superiors made it easy for him” — but waved it off as an irrelevance.

During Bush’s first term, the AWOL story continued to burble on the Internet, including on websites like The AWOL Project and, but things didn’t pick up again until his reelection campaign.

In January 2004, iconoclastic filmmaker Michael Moore called Bush a “deserter.” And, as Moore himself wrote: “The pundits immediately went berserk. … As well they should. Because they know that they — and much of the mainstream media — ignored this Bush AWOL story when it was first revealed by an investigation in the Boston Globe (in 2000).”, even then the toothless watchdog of the Washington cocktail-party crowd, channeled the elite media with a response headlined: “Bush A Military ‘Deserter?’ [sic] Calm Down, Michael.”
In February, then-Democratic National Committee chairman Terence R. McAuliffe called Bush “AWOL,” and created a brief flurry of coverage. The Globe’s Robinson used the news peg to review the evidence he had collected four years earlier.


In response, the then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan issued robotic non-denial denials — “The President fulfilled his duties. The President was honorably discharged” and “It is really shameful that this was brought up four years ago, and it’s shameful that some are trying to bring it up again.” The White House released 400 pages of records, none of which were definitive. But the elite press, looking for a smoking gun in a case where the real clue was more of the dog-that-didn’t-bark-in-the-night variety, lost interest again.
The story wouldn’t entirely die, however. It came back with a vengeance in September, two months before the 2004 election.

On September 5, the Associated Press, which had sued in a failed attempt to see a microfilm copy of Bush’s entire Texas Air National Guard personnel record, declared: “Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts.”

On the morning of September 8, the Boston Globe published Walter Robinson’s full-fledged reexamination of documents old and new, concluding that “Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation.”
That same day — just hours before CBS aired Rather’s specious report — U.S. News published another thorough debunking of the Bush apologists, describing how “new examination of payroll records and other documents released by the White House earlier this year appear to confirm critics’ assertions that President George W. Bush failed to fulfill his duty to the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.”


So Dan Rather, who aired his report that night, was hardly the first to report the story. He was simply the last.
Truth is a really odd movie. The casting alone makes it clear that the filmmakers consider Rather and Mapes to be heroic, sympathetic figures. But because the artless screenplay sticks mostly to the truth, most viewers will not be inclined to see things that way. Its painfully cliched establishing shots will give them plenty of time to mull this contradiction. Avoid it. Instead go see Spotlight — a film opening in November about another investigation by Walter Robinson and the Boston Globe team — where the journalistic heroes actually do something heroic, and it’s great to watch. (Disclosure: Spotlightwas partially funded by The Intercept’s parent company, First Look Media.)
The best that can be said for Rather and Mapes is that they didn’t intend to screw up the truth. But they did.

August 12, 2015

Frankenstein Fox News Creates Trump and now who’s sorry?


 The cable news network that trained its audience to see media criticism of Republican politicians as evidence of bias is attacked for its coverage of Trump.

Fox News’ coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign has resembled the treatment that the real estate tycoon and reality TV star receives in “the mainstream media.” It is unlike the network’s coverage of unqualified populist favorites from past election cycles, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain. And populists are taking notice.

Last week’s debate is a fine illustration.

Immediately after the candidates left the stage in Cleveland, Ohio, Fox News moderator and anchor Megyn Kelly threw the network’s coverage over to pollster Frank Luntz, who stood in a room with a small group of voters gathered to offer their impressions. “Megyn, we’re about to make some news tonight,” he said as he turned to the panel. His meaning quickly became apparent: Under questioning, most of the assembled voters revealed that they felt unfavorably about Trump’s performance.

“You know what happened?” one man said. “I liked him when I came in here, because he wasn’t a politician. But right now, he skirted around questions better than a lifelong politician ever had.” Said another, “I was really expecting him to do a lot better, but he just crashed and burned. He was mean, he was angry, he had no specifics, he was bombastic.” A third voter declared, “You know, he just let me down. I just expected him to rise to the occasion and look presidential. He didn’t.”

The reactions were confounding to me, even though they squared with the conventional wisdom that Trump’s demeanor had finally inflicted a fatal wound on his presidential prospects.

I’d watched the debate. For most of it, I thought that Donald Trump would emerge as popular as ever: I don’t understand his appeal, but his performance was completely in keeping with the style and substance of his campaign to that point. Why did the handpicked Republicans disagree? Had I been in the room with them, I’d have asked, “If you came here as a Donald Trump supporter, how could you possibly be disappointed by tonight’s anger, bombast, blatant question-skirting, and a lack of specifics? When have you known the man to act differently?”

As I switched off the TV, I thought of two possibilities: Either I understood Trump supporters less well than I thought, or Fox News had assembled a wildly unrepresentative panel that misrepresented the reaction to Trump’s performance.

Come Monday, I was no longer puzzled.

“There is no sign that Donald Trump's raucous first presidential debate is hurting his support among party voters,” Reuters reported, “with the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll showing he still has a big lead over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination. The debate did little to change Republican voters' opinions of Trump, the poll found. One-third said they liked him more after the debate, one-third said they liked him less, and the remaining third said their opinions had not changed.”

An unrepresentative Fox News panel does not raise my suspicions. Like other cable news channels, the network offers political coverage that isn’t particularly rigorous, and pollster Frank Luntz has gotten far more consequential matters wrong before. But the hard right has always been more inclined to attribute media missteps to conspiracy rather than incompetence. Now it’s suspicious of Fox News.

“They took advantage of us,” talk radio host Mark Levin told Breitbart, “they took advantage of the audience.” Steve Deace declared in USA Today that “very few conservatives I interacted with during and after the debate thought Fox was ‘fair and balanced.’”

The most popular entertainer in the conservative movement, talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, speculated on Friday that the Republican Party establishment had conspired with Fox News, ordering the network to “take out” Trump. In another segment, he criticized the debate moderators. “If I didn't know any better,” he said, “I would have watched this thing thinking that there is a Republican War on Women based on the questions and the lack of a woman being on the stage among the 10.  I thought the War on Women was a Democrat creation by George Stephanopoulos. The last place I ever thought I would see it continued is Fox News.”

In a CNN interview, Trump either implied or accidentally seemed to imply that Kelly treated him angrily during the debate because she was menstruating at the time. Said fellow GOP candidate Carly Fiorina in a tweet: “Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse.” Fiorina would continue to attack Trump and to voice her support for Kelly.

Afterwards, a caller to Rush Limbaugh’s show responded:

Rush, it's an honor.  Thank you for taking my call, and mega dittos.  I'm calling in regard to Carly Fiorina and her support in her tweet to where she clearly stated, “I stand with Megyn.”  She tweeted that, Rush. And, you know what, in my book, you stand up with the media or for the media, you are now part of the media.  If you align yourself personally with the media, you are now part of the media. And, Rush, she has clearly played straight into the hand of the media, and there is no way I want my president to send out little tweets in support of the media.  I'm just outraged.
Note that there is no distinction made between the Fox News Channel and “the mainstream media” or “the liberal media” or what Rush Limbaugh calls “the drive-by media.” There’s just “the media.” Kelly is a part of it. She is therefore the enemy, her attackers are allies, and those who stand with her are useful idiots at best.

I rarely agree with Limbaugh. But I think he was right when he said about Trump: “There's a percentage of the population that is totally fed up with the political class, including the media.  And they have wanted things said to people and about people… for years and they haven't heard it.  I mean, the media is not loved.  The media in some cases is despised, and Trump is giving it right back to 'em in ways that many people in this country have dreamed of happening.”

“As such,” the radio star said of the former NBC host, “he comes off as refreshing. Even when he's not on message, or not on issues, he comes across as somebody that says things they would like to say … things they have hoped others would say ... I don't think a lot of these big players, including in the media, have any idea who their audiences are … I don't think they have the slightest idea the size of and the amount of real anger directed at them … It goes so far beyond the fact that they're biased.”

Consider the Fox News debate as Donald Trump fans experienced it. Wouldn’t you wager that Kelly, Chris Wallace and Bret Baier all believe that Trump’s candidacy is a joke and that his supporters are naive and misguided? Didn’t their questions seem to imply that Trump is obviously unfit to be president?

Meanwhile, hasn’t Fox News spent years conditioning viewers to believe that journalists belong to a condescending class of decadent elites which engages in barely-concealed conspiracies to destroy anyone who tells it like it is to real Americans? For years, Roger Ailes broadcast everything that Glenn Beck wrote on a chalk board! Surveying America for individuals whose insights he would broadcast to the masses, he settled on Sarah Palin as a person whose analysis he would amplify. It is no accident that a chunk of the Fox News audience is now inclined to side with Trump over Kelly. With Trump’s rise, the network is reaping what it has sown.

Of course, I agree with the Fox anchors about Trump, assuming I’m reading them right. I think he is unqualified to be president; that his supporters are naive and misguided; and that they would abandon him immediately if they knew what was good for them. But there’s one sense in which I’ll show Trump supporters more respect than many in the media. I won’t pretend to think that they should stop supporting Trump because of his remarks about Rosie O’Donnell or John McCain or Megyn Kelly. Sure, in every case, I find the man’s comments beyond distasteful, but let’s be honest: If he’d never said any of those things, I’d still be horrified by his rise to the top of the Republican field, and so would the vast majority of his media critics.

Better to be forthright.

Trump is unfit to be president because he has no experience in government; because he cynically stokes xenophobia for political gain; because he has given voters every reason to believe that he would put his own selfish interests above the country’s interests; because he has demonstrated no firm grasp of public policy in any area; and because his boastfulness, bombast, and petty insults are signs of insecurity, not confidence. It would be dangerous to put such an apparently insecure man in a position of power.

In the next debate, those are the areas that moderators ought to probe, not the far less interesting and more easily deflected subject of whatever off-color insult he last uttered, as if it is more relevant than his glaring flaws on matters of huge importance.

Perhaps engaging Trump supporters on substantive points would be fruitful; perhaps not. Either way, hoping that off-the-cuff comments about a McCain or a Kelly will discredit him—and play-acting as if that is the source of the dismay at his rise—isn’t working. Populists see through it. And they believe, sometimes correctly, that elites talk about them in ways that are equally insulting without ever having to apologize. Trump may yet implode. And I don’t see any way for him to win a general election. But if he doesn’t implode and GOP elites want to keep him from becoming their nominee or a third-party spoiler, they’ll need to offer winning arguments as to why he’s unqualified to a base that they’ve trained to be immune to media persuasion.

Karma Dharma is a Trump.

 Bt  CONOR FRIEDERSDORF  who is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

July 29, 2015

El Cubano Teddy Cruz Chickens Out from the “Daily Show”


As Jon Stewart winds down a 16-year run at “The Daily Show," his frequent targets -- a long list of 'em -- have just eight more days for payback, which may explain why Texas senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz abruptly backed out of an appearance on the program Monday night.

Reasons for the cancellation are unknown (Historian David McCullough appeared in his place) and no explanation was given -- votes needed to be taken, or something like that, Stewart briefly noted -- while an email query to the senator's office remains unanswered. 

 Cancellations on "TDS" -- or any late night program -- are hardly unprecedented and do indeed happen, although not frequently. What makes this so unusual is twofold: 

Foremost, Cruz on "The Daily Show" is an incongruous match  -- the incongruity of which needs no explanation. 

Second, we are now in the final roundup for Stewart, whose legendary run ends Thursday, Aug. 6.  (No one canceled on David Letterman in the waning moments of his historic final lap...)  

There are possible reasons for the Cruz cancellation. He is in the midst of a battle with majority leader Mitch McConnell -- which erupted Sunday night on the floor of the Senate. In addition, Cruz -- who I believe has never visited the show -- has been a frequent target, of course. Cruz has been attempting to distance himself from the presidential-hopeful pack --  a growing one --  and while next Thursday's debate is intended to accomplish that, Monday's "TDS" appearance was doubtless part of the plan as well. The risks were obvious: Cruz may be an expert debater, but Stewart is an expert deflater. 

Alas, it would have been fascinating television. 

  Why wouldn't Stewart want a final showdownt Trump has been a guest over the years, and a frequent target -- the soon-to-be-former "Daily Show" host feasting on his run (and hair) for weeks. Trump now has to ask himself whether the considerable risk outweighs the benefit: Leading in New Hampshire, the answer to that may be self-evident.


September 29, 2014

News Anchor Unaware of Mic being on Curses and bashes the poor

Briefly forgetting that he was at his job as a news anchor and not at home in his recliner, News 12 the Bronx's Matt Pieper managed to turn a story about crossing guards into a diatribe against the poor.
 On Wednesday, Pieper apparently thought they were at commercial and didn't realize his mic was on when he started railing against the need for crossing guards. "Parents should do their f—ing job and walk their little kids to school on their own, and not rely on everyone else," he said. "Kind of like people rely on government assistance for their entire lives."
The on-scene reporter, Amy Yensi, inexplicably replied, "I think I qualify for government assistance." After Pieper told her to "just check that box, girl," she responded, "#EBT!" The complaints quickly started rolling in to the channel's Facebook page, and soon there was a post about a "technical error" during the show. "A personal conversation between an anchor and a reporter was unintentionally placed on air," it read. "News 12 the Bronx deeply regrets that this incident took place. The remarks of these individuals in no way reflect the views of News 12 management or other News 12 personnel."
It would probably serve Pieper well to consider that the borough he covers had an average12.7 percent unemployment rate in 2012, and the percentage of Bronx residents living in poverty rose to 30.4 percent — the highest rate of any county in New York State and the highest of any urban county in the United States. —Catherine Garcia

March 24, 2014

Saturday Edition of NYTimes Erased By Pakistan {Osama Bin Laden Link with this Ally}

Aturday’s edition of The International New York Times was stripped of its cover story in Pakistan. Instead of seeing a lengthy report on "What Pakistan knew about bin Laden," readers were greeted with an enormous section of white space that dominates the paper's front page.
Elsewhere in the world, the International New York Times published a story by Carlotta Gall that closely examines links between Pakistan and Osama bin Laden. Gall's report traces the common accusation that the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence unit, may have knowingly provided shelter for the al Qaeda leader before he was killed during a United States raid in 2011. Apparently Pakistan's government doesn't want its citizens reading that content, and instead we're left with one of the most visually arresting examples of censorship in years.

January 30, 2014

“Gay Men Love Penises” by Slate

Slate Magazine talking about gay mens hard ons and how we love penises? I had to read it and not only read it I had to share. A sense of responsibility kept me from sending it as ‘Breaking News’ which I rarely use, as soon as I read it.
To me this signifies where we are in this debate. What debate? Just kidding there is a debate and Im posting for you the entire article without any additives or commentaries. I will leave it to your imagination. I dare you to comment about it here at the site(only 10 countries will read your comments, but don’t let that deter you).

Hey guys, why so shy?
Photo courtesy John P. Johnson/HBO
It’s not news: Gay men love penises. They unzip jeans to get at them. They jerk them off and suck them. Sometimes, they insert them into willing partners’ anuses. Then, they ejaculate. For many a dude, the dick is the raison d'ĂȘtre of homosexuality.
Yet, when the HBO series Looking concludes in six weeks, viewers of the most ambitious television show starring gay men ever produced will almost certainly not have seen the essence of (gay) male sexuality: the erect penis.
This is inexcusable. While it’s possible that Looking’s lack of rigid man meat is part of executive producer Andrew Haigh’s understated personal aesthetic, history suggests that the real blame lies with the network. While ostensibly breaking barriers by producing a gay show for a general audience, HBO’s failure to spotlight members at attention shows the network is bowing to censorious TV convention—and perpetuating a disturbing fear of queer people.
This dick-shyness is not, as you might expect, a legal necessity. A 2012 Supreme Court decision suggested that the Federal Communications Commission’s ability to police broadcast television may be legally shaky, but regardless, cable networks were already liberated. That’s right: Though it can bluster about it, the FCC has no real say in what HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, et al. put on the air. Yet, even as a faux load of jismsplattered a cast member of Girls last year, the flesh cannon that shot it inexplicably remains a TV taboo. Why?
It’s a mystery. HBO isn’t beholden to the same advertiser pressures that rein-in other networks, and it certainly isn’t prudish—from 1st and Ten (1984-91) to True Detective, its series have, often gratuitously, showcased titties and male and female asses. Shows such as Deadwood and Boardwalk Empire have smiled on vaginas. And flaccid wieners—including, most memorably, Louis C.K.’s in Lucky Louie—have flitted across HBO productions, helping the network earn its annual shower of Emmys.
HBO couldn’t comment in time for this piece. But, whatever the reason—convention orsexism—its boner ban is real. After a few painstaking hours of phallicular research, I can find only one hard dick in the history of cable television’s non-documentary original programming. It appeared mid-handjob on the forgotten HBO show Tell Me You Love Me on Sept. 9, 2007, and caused a stir. (Catch a glimpse of peen I missed? Tweet @ediesedgwyck, #isawahardcockonhbo.)
Of course, though we didn’t see Michael Douglas or Matt Damon’s schlongs in Behind the Candelabra, it’s not just homos’ boners getting the shaft. When HBO, for example, revealed Theon Grayjoy’s heterosexual package not long before its mutilation on Game of Thrones, said wang was as flaccid as Grayjoy’s claim to the Iron Throne. It’s clear that for HBO, erection rejection is an equal-opportunity sport.
But here’s the thing: Looking needs rock-hard dongs more than the mythical kingdom of Westeros. Since homo sapiens first drew on cave walls, straight sex has been depictedad nauseam in popular media—and queer people have usually been left out. Now, with gay marriage bans about to fall in states as conservative as Virginia and Utah, our society won’t be liberated from centuries of homophobia until we see a gay member with its head held high.
Since Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for indecency in 1895, we’ve come a long way.Lookingif bland, is historically significant. For 30 minutes on a mainstream network best known for Tony Soprano’s Bada Bing, a gay couple negotiates the politics of a threesome as a WASPy video game designer figures out whether a Latino bouncer is up to his mother’s standards. Gay men were little more than a punchline in popular culture 20 years ago. This is progress.
But as critics, gay and straight, cheer Looking on from the sidelines, they’re ignoring the elephant in the room. The elephant, in this case, being a dude’s throbbing penis ready to ejaculate on or in another dude. Looking’s gauzy love scenes, often shot from the waist up, just don’t give us enough of the flagrante of in flagrante delicto.
As poet Wallace Stevens put it: “Not ideas about the thing, but the thing itself.” In the name of truth, justice, and the American way, we need a homo’s hard dick on TV now—even if it beats its straight counterpart to broadcast. That would be a sign of true national gay pride.
Call it affirmative XXX action.
The guy that wrote this piece which Slate published today is Justin Moyer. He is a musician and freelance writer.

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