The forth estate

Elevate form over function to get at less easily articulable truths.

The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:07 am

The term Fourth Estate or fourth power refers to the press and news media both in explicit capacity of advocacy and implicit ability to frame political issues. Though it is not formally recognized as a part of a political system, it wields significant indirect social influence.
Last edited by Meno_ on Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:28 am

The Fourth Estate is a societal power, force or institution whose influence is not consistently or officially recognised as such. ... The term 'Fourth Estate' makes implicit reference to the earlier historical division of the Three Estates of the Realm: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners.Dec 2, 2017

In our case, the Judicial, the Executive , and the Congressional branches of our government.
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Re: The forth estate- its starting

Postby Meno_ » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:59 am

Trump campaign sends memo to television producers warning about 'credibility' of six Trump critics who it says spread false claims about collusion
Tucker Higgins | @tuckerhiggins
Published 4 Hours Ago Updated 4 Hours Ago
Trump's re-election campaign sends a memo to television producers on Monday instructing them to "employ basic journalistic standards when booking" six current or former government officials that the campaign said "made outlandish, false claims, without evidence" while on air.
The memo targets four Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, as well as Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former CIA Director John Brennan.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC)
William B. Plowman | NBCUniversal
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) appears on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC)
Trump's re-election campaign sent a memo to television producers on Monday instructing them to "employ basic journalistic standards when booking" six current or former government officials that the campaign said "made outlandish, false claims, without evidence" while on air.

The memo names:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the chair of the House Judiciary Committee
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez
John Brennan, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chair of the House Intelligence Committee
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., who has floated a potential bid for president
Read the full document: Trump campaign memo to television producers

In a statement, Swalwell said that the "only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump."

"If he thinks I've made a false statement, he can sue me. And I'll beat him in court," Swalwell said.

The others targeted in the memo either declined to comment or did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

The Trump campaign letter comes a day after Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers that special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

The two-page letter, which was distributed to producers for all the networks and cable outlets, cited comments that the guests made on air alleging that there was evidence of collusion.

"Moving forward, we ask that you employ basic journalistic standards when booking such guests to appear anywhere in your universe of productions," wrote Tim Murtaugh, the campaign's director of communications, in the memo. The campaign wrote that the producers should "begin by asking" the following question:

Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past?

"At a minimum, if these guests do reappear, you should replay the prior statements and challenge them to provide the evidence which promoted them to make wild claims in the first place," Murtaugh wrote.

Trump and those around him have faced scrutiny for their own comments made on air. Shortly after Trump took office, top advisor Kellyanne Conway defended statements made by then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer by saying during an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd that Spicer used "alternative facts."

In August, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Todd that "truth isn't truth" in a segment concerning whether the president should sit for an interview with Mueller. Giuliani later clarified that his statement "was not meant as a pontification on moral theology but one referring to the situation where two people make precisely contradictory statements."

Data also provided by

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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:49 am

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Re: The forth estate

Postby jrabul » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:30 am

"If he thinks I've made a false statement, he can sue me. And I'll beat him in court," Swalwell said.
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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:24 pm

jrabul wrote:"If he thinks I've made a false statement, he can sue me. And I'll beat him in court," Swalwell said.

Fox News

RUSSIA INVESTIGATIONPublished March 27, 2019 Last Update a day ago
Rep. Eric Swalwell: Trump was 'caught lying' about Russia, and could still have colluded despite Mueller findings
By Anna Hopkins | Fox News

President Trump was caught lying about his connections to Russia, and regardless of the Mueller probe's findings, that should worry the American people, House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell charged.

"The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is the president," the rumored 2020 presidential hopeful said during an appearance on "The Story with Martha MacCallum" Tuesday.

"He said he had no business dealings with Russia and we have now learned that he had business dealings going all the way up to and beyond the primaries."


MacCallum then grilled the California Democrat on a statement he made during a previous television appearance in which he agreed with President Trump colluded with the Russians.

"Donald Trump works on Russia's behalf," Swalwell said. "When he meets with Vladimir Putin he won't tell the country what was said and he essentially took the notes from the interpreter.

"That really worries me, and I think Martha, it should worry you too. But, just because he's not been criminally indicted for collusion doesn't mean he has not conducted colluding behavior with the Russians."

Swalwell also drew similarities between Trump's situation and that of actor Jussie Smollett, who shockingly had all charges dropped against him on Tuesday for allegedly organizing a violent hate crime against himself.

Swalwell believes that in the case of Smollett, he is no longer facing criminal charges even though many believe that he is, in fact, guilty of orchestrating the crime. In Donald Trump's case, Swalwell argues that it's possible that the president still could have committed crimes despite not being indicted.

"I agree with Robert Mueller and accept his conclusion that the president did not commit criminal collusion, but if the best day of his presidency is that he has not been indicted for criminal collusion, we still have problems and that's what I think should be addressed by seeing the full Mueller report," he concluded.

Anna Hopkins is a Freelance Reporter with Fox News Digital based in New York


Rolling Stone

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won
Faulty coverage of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign later made foreign espionage a more plausible explanation for his ascent to power

MARCH 29, 2019 1:01PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war.

Obviously (and I said this in detail), the WMD fiasco had a far greater real-world impact, with hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions in treasure wasted. Still, I thought Russiagate would do more to damage the reputation of the national news media in the end.

A day after publishing that excerpt, a Attorney General William Barr sent his summary of the report to Congress, containing a quote filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Suddenly, news articles appeared arguing people like myself and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept were rushing to judgment, calling us bullies whose writings were intended to leave reporters “cowed” and likely to “back down from aggressive coverage of Trump.”

This was baffling. One of the most common criticisms of people like Greenwald, Michael Tracey, Aaron Mate, Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal, Jordan Chariton and many others is that Russiagate “skeptics” — I hate that term, because it implies skepticism isn’t normal and healthy in this job — were really secret Trump partisans, part of a “horseshoe” pact between far left and far right to focus attention on the minor foibles of the center instead of Trump’s more serious misdeeds. Even I received this label, and I once wrote a book about Trump called Insane Clown President.

A typical social media complaint:

@mtaibbi and all his deplorable followers. The truth will come out and your premature celebrations are embarrassing.

Attorney General nominee William Barr grimaces as he listens to a question during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonSenate Attorney General, Washington, USA - 15 Jan 2019
The Actual Mueller Report Will Be Released by Mid-April
Should Republicans Renominate President Trump in 2020?
It’s irritating that I even have to address this, because my personal political views shouldn’t have anything to do with how I cover anything. But just to get it out of the way: I’m no fan of Donald Trump.

I had a well-developed opinion about him long before the 2016 race started. I once interned for Trump’s nemesis-biographer, the late, great muckraker Wayne Barrett. The birther campaign of 2011 was all I ever needed to make a voting decision about the man.

I started covering the last presidential race in 2015 just as I was finishing up a book about the death of Eric Garner called I Can’t Breathe. Noting that a birther campaign started by “peripheral political curiosity and reality TV star Donald Trump” led to 41 percent of respondents in one poll believing Barack Obama was “not even American,” I wrote:

If anyone could communicate the frustration black Americans felt over Stop-and-Frisk and other neo-vagrancy laws that made black people feel like they could be arrested anywhere, it should have been Barack Obama. He’d made it all the way to the White House and was still considered to be literally trespassing by a huge plurality of the population.

So I had no illusions about Trump. The Russia story bothered me for other reasons, mostly having to do with a general sense of the public being misled, and not even about Russia.

The problem lay with the precursor tale to Russiagate, i.e. how Trump even got to be president in the first place.

The 2016 campaign season brought to the surface awesome levels of political discontent. After the election, instead of wondering where that anger came from, most of the press quickly pivoted to a new tale about a Russian plot to attack our Democracy. This conveyed the impression that the election season we’d just lived through had been an aberration, thrown off the rails by an extraordinary espionage conspiracy between Trump and a cabal of evil foreigners.

This narrative contradicted everything I’d seen traveling across America in my two years of covering the campaign. The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system.

The anger wasn’t just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans’ chosen $150 million contender, Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender.

Because of a series of press misdiagnoses before the Russiagate stories even began, much of the American public was unprepared for news of a Trump win. A cloak-and-dagger election-fixing conspiracy therefore seemed more likely than it might have otherwise to large parts of the domestic news audience, because they hadn’t been prepared for anything else that would make sense.

This was particularly true of upscale, urban, blue-leaning news consumers, who were not told to take the possibility of a Trump White House seriously.

Priority number-one of the political class after a vulgar, out-of-work game-show host conquered the White House should have been a long period of ruthless self-examination. This story delayed that for at least two years.

It wasn’t even clear Trump whether or not wanted to win. Watching him on the trail, Trump at times went beyond seeming disinterested. There were periods where it looked like South Park’s “Did I offend you?” thesis was true, and he was actively trying to lose, only the polls just wouldn’t let him.

Forget about the gift the end of Russiagate might give Trump by allowing him to spend 2020 peeing from a great height on the national press corps. The more serious issue has to be the failure to face the reality of why he won last time, because we still haven’t done that.

Russian President Putin and US President Trump meet in Helsinki. U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, pose for a photograph at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, prior to Trump's and Putin's one-on-one meeting in the Finnish capitalTrump Putin Summit, Helsinki, Finland - 16 Jul 2018
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Trump meet in Helsinki.

In the fall of 2015, when I first started covering Trump’s campaign, a few themes popped up:

First, like any good hustler, Trump knew how to work a room. At times, he recalled a comedian trying out new material. If he felt a murmur in the crowd in one speech, he’d hit it harder the next time out.

This is how a few offhand comments about the “bad deal” wars in the Middle East turned into what seemed like more planned shots at “nation building” or overseas wars that left us “flat broke” and unable to build schools at home.

These themes seemed to come from feeling out audiences and noting these lines were scoring with veterans in his crowds. (Studies have since shown Trump did well in areas with returning vets).

As time went on, he made the traveling press part of his act. The standard campaign setup was perfect for him. We were like zoo animals, standing on risers with ropes around us to keep the un-credentialed masses out.

Even that small symbol of VIP-ism Trump turned to his advantage. Behind the ropes we were what national campaign reporters mostly always are: dorky blue-staters with liberal arts degrees from expensive colleges dressed in gingham and khaki, and looking out of place basically anywhere on earth outside a trendy city block or a Starbucks.

Trump, the billionaire, denounced us as the elitists in the room. He’d call us “bloodsuckers,” “dishonest,” and in one line that produced laughs considering who was saying it, “highly-paid.”

He also did something that I immediately recognized as brilliant (or diabolical, depending on how you look at it). He dared cameramen to turn their cameras to show the size of his crowds.

They usually wouldn’t – hey, we don’t work for the guy – which thrilled Trump, who would then say something to the effect of, “See! They’re very dishonest people.” Audiences would turn toward us, and boo and hiss, and even throw little bits of paper and other things our way. This was unpleasant, but it was hard not to see its effectiveness: he’d re-imagined the lifeless, poll-tested format of the stump speech, turning it into menacing, personal, WWE-style theater.

Trump was gunning for votes in both parties. The core story he told on the stump was one of system-wide corruption, in which there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats.

He destroyed Jeb Bush by caricaturizing him as a captive of corporate interests (noting, for instance, that Pharma bigwig Woody Johnson was Jeb’s finance chair), then used the exact same tactic on Hillary Clinton. He often mentioned them together.

On the same day he did the “Cruz is a pussy” routine, he told a story about how Jeb Bush said, (here he put on a Thurston Howell III-artistocrat voice) “I don’t like Donald Trump’s tone.” This was right after claiming Hillary Clinton said the exact same thing. In the same mock-aristocrat voice, he’d done a Hillary impersonation: “I don’t like Donald Trump’s tone.”

The message was clear: Jeb and Hillary were the same political animal, snobs and elite phonies. This dovetailed with his general pitch, which claimed most Americans were struggling because both parties were feeding from the same campaign-finance teat, pimping themselves out to huge job-exporting corporate donors. Which, let’s face it, is more than a little true. Less obviously true was his solution, putting a blabbermouth reality star in charge of fixing it all. But the pitch was scoring for a reason.

Like a con man who can lift a wallet in the middle of a melee, Trump thrived amid the chaos. He drank in the condemnation when he denounced McCain for being “captured,” or when he doubled down on absurd claims he’d seen Muslims dancing in New Jersey after 9/11.

Most politicians come crawling to the press begging forgiveness fter they say dumb things. Trump did the opposite and went on the offensive. It took a while to grasp that what he was really selling was the image of an outraged political establishment. He wanted his voters to see how much he was getting to “us.”

Perhaps just by luck, Trump was tuned in to the fact that the triumvirate of ruling political powers in America – the two parties, the big donors and the press – were so unpopular with large parts of the population that he could win in the long haul by attracting their ire, even if he was losing battles on the way.

If Trump insulted an innocent person like Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who is disabled, his goal wasn’t to try to win a popularity contest. He was after the thing that always came next: the endless “scornful rebukes” from press and celebrities. These rituals always went on just a bit too long, to the point where it was clear both Trump and the media were milking the incidents for publicity.

Trump would push right up until he caught the press having too much fun with something outrageous he’d done (the Washington Post running “Donald Trump’s ‘Schlonged’: A linguistic investigation” was an infamous example), at which point he’d declare victory and move on to the next outrage.

The subtext was always: I may be crude, but these people are phonies, pretending to be upset when they’re making money off my bullshit.

I thought this was all nuts and couldn’t believe it was happening in a real presidential campaign. But, a job is a job. My first feature on candidate Trump was called “How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable.” The key section read:

In person, you can’t miss it: The same way Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, Donald on the stump can see his future. The pundits don’t want to admit it, but it’s sitting there in plain view, 12 moves ahead, like a chess game already won:

President Donald Trump…

It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He’s way better than average.

MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Donald Trump campaign moved tonight’s rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

Traditional Democratic audiences appeared thrilled by the piece and shared it widely. I was invited on scads of cable shows to discuss ad nauseum the “con man” line.

This made me nervous, because it probably meant these people hadn’t read the piece, which among other things posited the failures of America’s current ruling class meant Trump’s insane tactics could actually work.

Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them.

His story of essentially buying the attendance of the Clintons at his wedding – no matter what you think of it – resonated powerfully with voters. He sneered at Hillary as the worst kind of aristocrat, a member of a family with title and no money. She and Bill were second-tier gentry, the kind who had to work, and what work! Hillary was giving speeches to firms like Goldman Sachs for amounts of money Trump would probably say he spent on airplane snacks (even if it were a lie).

He claimed Goldman “owned her.” Having watched Trump wipe out Jeb using similar arguments, I thought a race against Hillary Clinton, who was running on her decades of experience residing in hated Washington, “would be a pitch right in Trump’s wheelhouse.”

Trump’s chances increased when pundits ignored polls and insisted he had no shot at the nomination. The universality of this take reeked of the same kind of single-track, orthodox official-think that later plagued the Russia story.

Nate Silver, the ex-baseball stats guru and renowned “National Oracle™” (as Gizmodo cheekily called him), laughed at Trump’s chances[1].

His site, FiveThirtyEight, ran a story called “Why Donald Trump Isn’t a Real Candidate, In One Chart.” The piece said Trump was more likely to “play in the NBA finals” or cameo in another Home Alone movie than win the nomination.

Dana Milbank in the Washington Post: “I’m so certain Trump won’t win the nomination that I’ll eat my words if he does. Literally.” Milbank ended up actually doing this, for which he deserves a lot of credit.

“Donald Trump is going to lose because he is crazy,” was the take of Jonathan Chait, who would soon be writing Trump might have been recruited by the KGB in 1987.

It isn’t just that wizards of prognostication were wrong. The bigger issue was why they were so confident. A common take was the political establishment just wouldn’t allow it.

Former “The Note” writer Mark Halperin used to talk about having his finger on the pulse of the “Gang of 500,” which he described as “campaign consultants, strategists, pollsters, pundits and journalists who make up the modern-day political establishment.” The subtext of Halperin’s pieces was that the Gang of 500 decided elections.

It’s hard to understand how it never occurred to Halperin or anyone else that people might be grossed out by the concept of 500 self-appointed guardians of democracy deciding the presidency for 300 million people.

In this case, just by saying out loud the idea that the people who mattered would never let Trump win, probably helped Trump win. It validated his talk about “elites.”

Nate Cohn of The New York Times wrote Trump had “just about no shot of winning the nomination no matter how well he is doing in the early polls.” He prefaced this by saying it is “the party elites who traditionally decide nomination contests.”

When Trump defied these predictions and sealed up the Republican nomination, he immediately became subject to a new legend, about how he was destined to be the biggest landslide loser in history of general elections: bigger than Alf Landon or even George McGovern, whose very name in America is synonymous with “loser.”

Here are some takes on Trump’s campaign after he sealed up the nomination:

David Brooks: Trump will be the “biggest loser” in American politics.

The Week: “Trump is poised to lose the biggest landslide in modern American history.”

George Will: “Donald Trump may find a place in history – by losing just that badly.”

I belong on this infamous list myself. In one of the worst mistakes of my career, I ended up changing my mind about “free-falling” Trump’s chances, spending the stretch run predicting doom for Republicans. I read too many polls and ignored what I was seeing, i.e. that even the post-Access Hollywood Trump was still packing stadiums.

Trump would already be president-elect before he was taken seriously as an electoral phenomenon. Right up until the networks called Florida for him on election night, few major American media figures outside of Michael Moore – who incidentally was also right about WMDs and ridiculed for it – believed a Trump win possible.

The only reason most blue-state media audiences had been given for Trump’s poll numbers all along was racism, which was surely part of the story but not the whole picture. A lack of any other explanation meant Democratic audiences, after the shock of election night, were ready to reach for any other data point that might better explain what just happened.

Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, “I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump.”

Post-election, Russiagate made it all worse. People could turn on their TVs at any hour of the day and see anyone from Rachel Maddow to Chris Cuomo openly reveling in Trump’s troubles. This is what Fox looks like to liberal audiences.

Worse, the “walls are closing in” theme — two years old now — was just a continuation of the campaign mistake, reporters confusing what they wanted to happen with what was happening. The story was always more complicated than was being represented.

It still is, which is important to note as we wait for the final release of the Mueller report, which incidentally also won’t be the last word on what happened in the last few years.

There are a lot of mysteries left with this affair, and none of them will be cleared up anytime soon. We still don’t even understand the beginning of this story.

[1] I noted this previously, in my book Hate Inc.

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Re: The forth estate what determines the proper interpretati

Postby Meno_ » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:19 pm

The public will see Mueller's report sometime in April -- but Trump and his media allies have already hardened the right's perceptions of what the report says. The no-collusion cake has been baked.
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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:28 pm

The Humans of The New York Times
The documentary series The Fourth Estate tries to humanize the journalists who report the news. It can’t help but fall into a trap.

JUN 15, 2018

A gathered crowd reacts to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in the lobby of the New York Times building after a meeting in New York on November 22, 2016LUCAS JACKSON / REUTERS
In 2004, in its inaugural State of the News Media report, the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the collective now known as the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, put its finger on one of the paradoxes of contemporary American journalism: “Journalists believe they are working in the public interest and are trying to be fair and independent in that cause,” the report noted. “This is their sense of professionalism.” Later, it shared the flip side of journalistic self-regard: “The public thinks these journalists are either lying or deluding themselves. Americans think journalists are sloppier, less professional, less moral, less caring, more biased, less honest about their mistakes, and generally more harmful to democracy than they did in the 1980s.”

And then the report really let the axe fall. “After watching these numbers closely for years,” it concluded, “we at the Project suggest that all of these matters—the questions about journalists’ morality, caring about people, professionalism, accuracy, honesty about errors—distill into something larger. The problem is a disconnection between the public and the news media over motive.”

A disconnection between the public and the news media over motive. With that, pretty much a decade in advance, Pew articulated one of the many tensions that would come to define this defining cultural moment: a news system—a political system—in a state of simmering emergency. Jarring collisions of information and personality. Missed connections; misunderstandings; “fake news.” The weaponization of “bad faith.” The crisis of authorship itself.

Late last month, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman sparked a debate when she referred to two of the president’s growing collection of publicly uttered untruths (3,000+ of them, per one recent count) as “demonstrable falsehoods” rather than outright lies. The paper’s logic, as her Times colleague Michael Shear later explained, was that a mere observer of Donald Trump—even an extremely knowledgeable observer like Haberman, who has covered Trump as a reporter for two decades—cannot claim to understand the intention behind the falsehood. Perhaps he willfully misled; perhaps he was merely confused. You can’t know for sure; therefore you can’t say for sure. Good journalism demands precise language, and lie, in this context, is notably imprecise.

Where Reasons End and the Tric
The whole thing was a tempest-in-a-tweetstorm that was also, as such squalls will sometimes be, revealing. Here was yet another debate that distilled down to that most enduringly human of impediments: the fundamental unknowability of the minds and hearts of other people. The fact that we are and will always be, first and foremost, objects to each other—despite language, despite Twitter, despite Facebook’s cheerful marketing of “connection,” despite love. Here, via the lie-or-falsehood arguments, were questions that emerge from that fact—questions that have long been matters of cliché in the world of literature—seeping, with venomous urgency, into the realm of the real. The intentional fallacy, the author-function, the death of the author, the winking but desperate anxieties of postmodernism: That’s where we are now, in our discourse. We doubt each other by reflex. We doubt each other, in some ways, by design.

And part of the doubting settles, specifically, on questions of authorship—of news not just as a democratic necessity, but also as a product of people, weary and errant. The intentional fallacy, insisted upon. The messenger, blamed. “Fake news,” a descriptor not of information, but of human beings. “Bad faith,” a matter of muscle memory on the national tongue. A disconnection between the public and the news media over motive.

Into this situation comes The Fourth Estate, the latest documentary that claims to take viewers inside the workings—the authors, the reporters, the motives—of The New York Times. The Liz Garbus film, which screened at Tribeca and is currently being presented as a four-part series on Showtime, is in one way an explicit attempt to appreciate the Times in particular—and by extension the news media in general—as the very thing its haters accuse it of being: a product created by people.

In place of the soaring rhetoric traditionally associated with the Times—the Gray Lady, “All the news that’s fit to print,” “without fear or favor,” etc.—there is a notable smallness to the film’s proceedings. And in place of the soft pseudo-fictionalizations of All the President’s Men, The Newsroom, The Post, and the like, there are the relatively grimy details of documentary. There are conference calls in which reporters try to parse the language of the newly installed President Trump. There are fluorescent lights and coffee cups and salads that, as the news breaks once more, wilt, uneaten, in plastic bowls. Reporters, filmed in their homes, do dishes and make breakfasts and kiss their partners goodbye. They bike to work. One of the most striking scenes of The Fourth Estate involves Haberman, interrupting her work to talk on the phone to one of her three kids. “I love you soooooo much,” she says at one point. At another, the mother reassures her son: “You can’t die in your nightmares,” she promises. “You can’t die in your nightmares.”

Which is also to say that The Fourth Estate is, in its own way, an argument about authorship. It studiously humanizes the reporters of the Times—here are the bylines that inform in black and white and the heads that talk on CNN, hunched, often with relatable schlubbery, over cubicle desks—in the service of telling the story of the Times. The series can sometimes read, in that, less as its own work of journalism than as sponsored content for the practice of journalism itself. The villain of the series, ostensibly, is Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed swamp-drainer and norm-buster and truth-teller. (His inauguration, overlaid with rumbling storm clouds and the tense sawings of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s ominous and strings-heavy score, makes for the first, tone-setting scene of the series.) But the film’s true antagonist, it soon becomes clear, is not the one person so much as the many. It is the pervasion and the perversion of “fake news” itself. It’s the notion, embraced by a wide swath of the American public, that the news that nourishes democracy is a systemic lie, willingly perpetrated by systemic liars.

In response to this, The Fourth Estate, scene after scene, becomes its own kind of paradox: It attempts to combat the flawed logic of the intentional fallacy … by way of committing the intentional fallacy. It is highlighting the rumpled humanity at the heart of the institution that is vying for continued authority in the minds and hearts of Americans. It is, in that effort, insisting on two things at once: that journalists aren’t so bad, and also that the work they do is demonstrably great. Call these reporters “fake news” if you want, the film whispers, but you will be wrong. Because, see for yourself, as you go behind the scenes within the glass-walled offices and Amtrak trains and Maggie Haberman’s Kia: There’s no lying here. There are mistakes, sometimes, yes, but no lies. Isn’t it clear, instead, how deeply these people, just like you, care about the truth?

The Fourth Estate manages to maintain, throughout its four long episodes, a tone of simmering urgency, and that feat is appropriate: The questions the film is asking, as its reporters investigate, among other things, the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia and the dissolution of norms and, in one case, one of their own—Glenn Thrush’s demotion after several former colleagues accused him of sexual harassment becomes a subplot in one of the episodes—extend far beyond the series itself. This is a show about systems. It’s a show about the people who make those systems what they are. It’s a show about what happens when it becomes unavoidably clear that the institutions that were once easily romanticized—among them The New York Times, the White House, America—are in fact built upon the softest of foundations: humans, messy and complicated and structurally unsound.

It’s also a show about the changes journalism must contend with as the world evolves around it. Reporting, as it is typically practiced today, is rooted in the progressivism of the late 19th and early 20th century. As the notion of the “public” and the “society”—concepts made possible by the connective capabilities of the railroad and, especially, the telegraph—came to adopt their contemporary meaning in the United States, journalism responded by professionalizing. Newspapers that had once been partisan now attempted to speak to broader audiences by sticking to a just-the-facts approach; journalism adopted the systematic approaches of science for its daily investigations. A hierarchy of editors ensured that history’s rough draft was the result of a team of people rather than the single person with the byline. Journalists began attributing the facts they found to sources, and developing the language—according to, said—that made the attribution legible to readers.

They checked their work, in public. They learned out loud. They worked out methods of correcting the errors that would inevitably occur in the tumult and haste of daily reporting in order to broker trust with readers over time. They turned the news, what the sociologist Gaye Tuchman called its “constructed reality,” into a vast system, one that was premised not merely on the dispassionate—information, objectivity, honest inquiry—but also on the epistemic capabilities of the institution itself. The way individual people could work together to be more than the sum of their parts. In that context, by that process, the person conducting the investigation didn’t fully matter; it was the system that mattered. It was the system that was to be trusted.

One of the minor characters of The Fourth Estate is Michael Barbaro, the host of the Times’ now-blockbuster podcast, The Daily; he asks the reporters—some of them apparently on deadline—to do for that show the same things they are doing for the documentary: performing as themselves. Barbaro talks with Emily Steel, who, with Michael Schmidt, another star of The Fourth Estate, won a Pulitzer this year for her reporting on the Bill O’Reilly sexual-harassment scandal at Fox News, asking her to elaborate on her reporting—to contextualize it for listeners. And to do that analysis in, quite literally, her own voice. Barbaro makes similar requests of many other reporters over the course of the documentary. As, in another way, does another key player in The Fourth Estate: Twitter. Not only are the show’s reporters constantly reacting to presidential tweets—the chirp of the Twitter bird serves as occasional interruption of the film’s action and score—but they are also, themselves, constantly tweeting. Sometimes the reporters are admonished by their editors for being too voicey, too intemperate, too much themselves. They are attacked by their detractors as biased, as agenda-ed, as having been fake news all along.

The individual versus the collective, the author as a person versus the author as a process, the benefits of the humanized reporter and the drawbacks: These are tensions not just in journalism, but in American culture at large. They are part of a wider Soylent Greening taking place across American institutions: They are people, we are reminded every day. Just people. The tensions are there when Roseanne, the person, brings down a massively popular TV show—a complicated system of writers and producers and actors and viewers—with her bigotry. They’re there in the cancellation of House of Cards and Transparent, in the culinary fate of The Spotted Pig, and in the second-chance-ing of Charlie Rose. They’re there when we as a culture grapple with the fact that so many of the structures of our news and entertainment have been built upon the entitlements of abusers. They’re there, as well, when Kim Kardashian, summoning the power of her celebrity, goes to the White House to advocate for the fate of a single incarcerated woman. They’re there when the president she successfully entreats on the matter refers to the subject of their meeting as “prison reform.”

And they’re there, as well, when Maggie Haberman tweets a note about the president’s latest “demonstrable falsehoods” and is promptly attacked for the report. She is wrong once again, so many people tell her, furious, many of them also taking the opportunity to mention Hillary Clinton’s emails; she cannot be trusted. Nor, therefore, can the institution she represents. The romance has gone, if indeed it was ever really there. The Post, Steven Spielberg’s 2017 love letter to journalism, was perfectly serviceable Oscar bait that seemed to distill a dead dream. The West Wing now reads, in the harshness of retrospect, as a gauzy piece of fan fiction. We have lost patience with ideals. We are too savvy about how the world works now—about who has power within it, and who does not. We are filled with righteous outrage. And there is Maggie Haberman, on the other end of the Tweet button, immediate in a way that our real problems—the slow-moving tragedies, the injustices that are so widespread as to be, in an urgent sense, incomprehensible—cannot be. One thing the intentional fallacy has going for it is ease of use: It’s so much more convenient to be angry at a person than it is to be angry at a system. It’s so much simpler to debate the language of a lie than it is to consider what happens when lies, so plentiful and diffuse, become part of the atmosphere.

The Fourth Estate is a sequel, of sorts, to Page One, the 2011 documentary about, yep, the work and the fortunes of The New York Times. The villain of the earlier film is in its own way shapeless, not a person so much as a creeping catastrophe: the collapse of the business model that had sustained the Times and other American newspapers—and, with them, the American news system writ large—for so long. Money, and its absence, remains a haunting specter in The Fourth Estate. But it is no longer presented as the biggest threat to the Times. While the earlier hazard came from people who wouldn’t pay for news, the danger now—to the Times, to journalism, to democracy—comes from people who simply won’t believe it. The looming threat comes from people who, every day, commit the intentional fallacy.

During the course of the documentary, the investigative reporter Eric Lipton goes to Montana to report on the impact of the Trump administration’s environmental deregulation policies. Lipton introduces himself to potential sources as a reporter for the publication that, despite it all, remains the nation’s paper of record. “The New York Times!” one man replies, cheerfully. “Here’s the deal,” says another man.

Copyright © 2019 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.


How do media bias rating help improve verifiability, such as AllSides Media Rating, when the rating is functionally derivitive, where even the bias: of believing in the rating has binomial factors.(such as how those who go along , or not, with such derived rating)?
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Re: The forth estate and the New York Times

Postby Meno_ » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:19 pm

Doc Series 'The Fourth Estate' Tracks New York Times Coverage Of Trump's First Year In Office
Dana FeldmanContributor

Soon after President Donald J. Trump won what would be the most controversial presidential election of our time, Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker (What Happened, Miss Simone?) Liz Garbus had an idea.

It was just weeks after the 2016 election, as President-elect Trump made the press rounds and scheduled and then quickly cancelled a meeting with The New York Times. The newly-minted president claimed that the famed newspaper had changed the rules and he wasn’t going. Learning of the cancellation via Twitter, The Times held its ground responding with claims that it was Trump’s team that tried to change the rules when he asked for the meeting to be off the record. Hours later, President-elect Trump changed course, tweeting that the meeting was back on. Garbus was closely following the thread. ”It became pretty clear after defeating Hillary Clinton that Trump was going to use the press as a punching bag.” The New York Times, Garbus says, seemed a particularly irresistible target. “He seemed to desperately crave its positive coverage at the same time that he derided it from the bully pulpit.”

Surprised by Trump’s win, Garbus was trying to make sense of the seismic political shift that had occurred. “Ideas had been flying in as people were trying to get a handle on a future that they had not prepared for, that they desperately wanted to engage with.” Garbus had a few opportunities to work on various projects but none, she says, felt right until this Twitter exchange. “I think many people were surprised by his win and I thought, ‘How do I make sense of this new world we’re living in?’ I then thought, ‘What if I could be a fly on the wall for such a meeting?’ I found my lane. Now all I had to do was convince The New York Times!”

And, convince, she would. She and her team would soon find themselves embedded on the front lines of the newspaper’s New York and DC bureaus. She directed and produced the four-part Showtime documentary series The Fourth Estate, which premiered Sunday, May 27, following its world premiere as the closing night film at the Tribeca Film Festival. The gripping series examined the inner workings of The New York Times during President Trump’s first year in office. The outcome resulted in a recent nomination for the Emmy for Outstanding Documentary Series.

The timing couldn’t be more relevant as journalism as a whole is under constant and relentless scrutiny and the terms “fake news” and “alternative facts” have been used ad nauseam. Garbus decided to turn her lens inward to show the world what really happens when a big story breaks. The Fourth Estate shows in great detail the challenges, triumphs and pitfalls of covering a president who has openly attacked the free press and declared the majority of the nation’s major news outlets “the enemy of the people.”

Embedded for a year with The Times, Garbus and crew were granted unprecedented access and interviews with editors and reporters, which resulted in a groundbreaking portrait of the men and women fighting for freedom of the press. She captured fascinating real-life footage of some of the world’s top journalists covering the Trump administration, allowing viewers to see the inner workings of journalism and investigative reporting during this administration’s first history-making year.

L-R Matt Apuzzo, NYT Investigative Reporter, Michael Shear, White House
“We began shooting on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017. We split our time between the two bureaus, shooting a few days a week. On certain big news days, we’d have two crews,” explains Garbus. “Our presence was taxing on the journalists, so we had to choose our moments. In any documentary, it’s a human relationship and so we respected boundaries. They were really brave to put up with us.”

Episode One: “The First 100 Days” takes a deep-dive look into President Trump as he takes the oath of office and FBI Director James Comey’s announcement of an active federal investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election.

Episode Two: “The Trump Bump” picks up shortly after Comey is fired by President Trump, as Times journalist Michael Schmidt gets a huge scoop regarding Comey’s memos about his meetings with Trump and the appointment of a special counsel. Also covered are details of a secret meeting between members of the Trump campaign team and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin and a heavy White House turnover, covered by White House correspondent Maggie Haberman. Internally, the family-controlled paper is transitioning and adapting to an online world in the midst of shrinking advertising dollars.

Episode Three: “American Carnage” centers on the erupting violence in Charlottesville that is stoked by white supremacists and the President’s unwillingness to denounce the racist hate groups, which presents a new test for the country and the journalists. After a firestorm of criticism from the left and right, Trump blames the “failing New York Times” and “crooked media” at a rally in Phoenix for distorting his speech and further deepening the country’s divisions. Meanwhile, Steve Bannon exits the White House.

Episode Four: “Matters Of Fact” focuses on the President’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, who pled guilty to lying to the FBI, bringing the Russia investigation closer to Trump’s inner circle. And, as the paper leads the reporting on workplace sexual harassment, allegations of past misconduct by one reporter in the bureau brings the story home.

At a time when the pressure for journalists is more intense than ever before, Garbus says the newspaper’s transparency was amazing. “They let us into some very private moments. It’s incredible to see the intense pressure these reporters are under. The potential of making a mistake, and the price they pay for that, is bigger now than ever before. The pace of today’s news cycle is relentless and on any given day there can be five major stories, when maybe there was one every couple of days under previous administrations.”

This reporting, she adds, is so incredibly essential to our democracy.”These reporters are working 16-18 hours a day, every day, and the potential for burn-out is a real thing. Any misstep can potentially be very costly, yet they remain so committed to getting it right. With Trump saying everything is fake news, it’s very dangerous and very purposeful. Once you discredit the truth-tellers, you can do anything. My goal is to pull back the curtain on the fact-finders and show the world what they really do in service of uncovering the truth and making the truth matter.”

© 2019 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved
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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:50 pm

The idea of the media is the message is being reaffirmed at a time of deal making and breaking, whete handshakes ate beginning to be seen as concerning the comparable difference between black letter and procedural law, de-jure and Dr-facto applications as procedural, a reinvestment as viable as its product: the current obsession about collusion.

In this sense, collusion in the Russian investigation is a large scale product which every representation tries to pubkucky get across, and they is subordinated to every day understanding again reproduced by the media.

Its like a food chain, what one level buys from the direct deal from the manufacturing source, the wholesaler, the Congress buys at a discounted redaction, the deal then is sold to the retailer , the media, whete some will buy it, some don't.

The public , gets to choose, what source so deluted is most malpractice and profitable. However by this time the price is high, because every seller has to make a profit.

So what of the value?
The search need not go far, media competition raise profit value in the crosshairs, at times via competition, becoming very narrow. Being in the middle, though, narrow margins can predict a more distant future, because they are the most accessible fed back into the accepted for fast value of derivation.

That is why the media is a .message, both to the manufacturers and the buyers-sellers. They are instrumental in raising or lowering expectations.

The presumptive assessment of vale, as expressed by Mass. Senator Leahy to Atty. Gen.Bart, faced this scintilla of evidentiary evaluation, whether the deal can even be appreciated at the widest possible spectrum of divergence, between the manufatore a d the buyer, who ultimately is supposed to , for the most part, determined the value and price flowing from the purported product. That , whether, the facts constitute a real value, or are based in inflated hyoerbolae, represents the key problem in this age of gross inequity.

This is why comic presentation of errors in this regard, offers hefty premiums to those who are incumbents to the deal , to present the lowest bar, presuming that they will be able to objectify and substantiate value in an age forecasted correctly by none other than Marx: that of diminishing returns.

The longer time passes, the less acutely this dimibishment will be spaced out and submarginallt indexed with actual figures.

Who at what level of the food supply Will buy so that it can be retained in the market? It is on that, that the outcome of the next election hinges.

And that may be at the upper levels of a rosy prediction. Anything less will be securely redacted.
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Re: The forth estate. Return to Teapot Dome?

Postby Meno_ » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:22 pm

The Huffington Post takes a look at the history of the law that allows Congress to obtain the tax returns of any citizen, including Donald Trump.

The law dates to 1924, and says the Treasury Department “shall” provide anyone’s tax returns to the House Ways & Means Committee upon request. It came in the aftermath of the Teapot Dome scandal, where Warren Harding’s interior secretary sold the rights to a Navy oil field in return for bribes.

Which way Will this go if it's appealed to the Supreme Court? Can a final adjudication inferring bias one way or another? And to what extent can the media degrade or support such a ruling one way or the other?
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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:27 pm

Attacks on the media rebound:
Trump is fpllowimg the script pfnattackong the Democratic stronghold of the New York Times
He has very strong support within his party, remember how hated Obama was among the Democrats, how bemgefully they attacked him, and how anxiously they tried to ruin him.
No one would dream of imagining that they would let their prized cage of follies star be so easily cuckolded.

For the constituency rightly claims superiority, but the edge of the razor
Splits, and hate is thrown around like some charged currency of significance

But for forgotten, as power begets power, hate generates it's own criteria, whereby, it thus forms a cyclical pattern of acquired norm, and as it escalates into the stratospheric backwoods, it's denial will soon enough will need to create am outward bound cooked up struggle. by creation of am international object of hate, to save political principal and salvage personal catastrophe.

So even if, Trumpism has merit, the mud slinging post election furor, bodes nothing but misfortune if not calamity down the line.


Trump unleashes on the media in morning tweetstorm

04/23/2019 07:53 AM EDT

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks as first lady Melania Trump listens during the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

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President Donald Trump railed against the news media in a Tuesday morning burst on Twitter, complaining that he is subjected to an unprecedented level of press scrutiny and lashing out directly at The New York Times, CNN and others.

“Paul Krugman, of the Fake News New York Times, has lost all credibility, as has the Times itself, with his false and highly inaccurate writings on me,” Trump wrote in his first post of the day, attacking the economic columnist who is often critical of the White House. “He is obsessed with hatred, just as others are obsessed with how stupid he is. He said Market would crash, Only Record Highs!”

In a second tweet, the president added: “I wonder if the New York Times will apologize to me a second time, as they did after the 2016 Election. But this one will have to be a far bigger & better apology. On this one they will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness-they are truly the Enemy of the People!”

In a letter to readers following the 2016 election, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and executive editor Dean Baquet wondered whether Trump’s “sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters,” and pledged to rededicate itself to probing the driving forces of the election. But Trump has frequently claimed that the Times apologized to him for its coverage in the wake of his election, something the paper has repeatedly denied took place.

The president's ire came on the heels of last week's release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference, which cleared Trump on allegations of collusion but offered a damning view of his White House and nudged several high-profile Democrats to call for his impeachment.

Trump's screed also came hours before he was set to honor White House News Photographers Association award recipients in the Oval Office and days before the White House Correspondents’ Association hosts its annual dinner on Saturday night. Trump, in the midst of his Twitter flurry, broke from criticizing news outlets and personalities by name briefly to plug the rally he will hold in Wisconsin instead of attending the dinner.

Trump then turned his fire more generally to the rest of the media, accusing "totally insane" Democrats of colluding with the press to hamper his presidency, although he offered no evidence of such a conspiracy.

“I guess that means that the Republican agenda is working,” he wrote, teasing: “Stay tuned for more!”

He asserted, falsely, in yet another tweet that he was entitled to more positive coverage based on the strength of the economy, claiming that “in the ‘old days’ if you were President and you had a good economy, you were basically immune from criticism.”

He went on: “Today I have, as President, perhaps the greatest economy in history...and to the Mainstream Media, it means NOTHING. But it will!” He complained that the economy's strength under his administration should inoculate him against criticism that he has nonetheless been the subject of.

He continued his rant by offering up his thoughts on the three cable networks’ morning news shows, calling “Fox & Friends,” where he receives almost unflinchingly positive coverage, "by far the best of the morning political shows on television.” He ripped MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he was once a frequent guest, and CNN's "New Day" as far inferior to their Fox News counterpart.

To “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough, Trump offered tongue-in-cheek thanks for helping "get me elected in 2016 by having me on (free) all the time.” The president said the MSNBC morning show, where he is the subject of near-constant criticism, “has nosedived, too Angry, Dumb and Sick.”

The president also mocked CNN for promoting former “New Day” host Chris Cuomo and giving him his own primetime show despite what Trump contended was “his massive failure in the morning.”

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Re: The forth estate-a reversal by media -getting glazed by

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 03, 2019 5:45 pm

Trump calls report of FBI investigator meeting with campaign aide 'bigger than Watergate, but the reverse'
In a tweet, the president offered backhanded praise for The New York Times.

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on May 2, 2019.Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

May 3, 2019, 10:35 AM ET

President Donald Trump said Friday that the FBI's decision to send an undercover investigator to meet with a Trump campaign aide overseas in 2016 — reported Thursday by The New York Times — amounted to a scandal "bigger than Watergate, but the reverse!"

In a tweet, the president offered backhanded praise for the news media after The Times published the article.

“Finally, Mainstream Media is getting involved,” Trump tweeted, claiming the story was was now “too 'hot' to avoid.”

“Pulitzer Prize anyone?” Trump continued, adding that “This is bigger than WATERGATE, but the reverse!”

The Times article, published online Thursday and on the front page of Friday’s print edition, revealed a previously unknown detail about the September 2016 meeting at a London bar between former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, an FBI informant.

Also present for the meeting was a woman whom The Times reported was posing as Halper’s assistant but was actually an FBI investigator the agency had sent to help with the counterintelligence inquiry that had been opened the previous summer into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia.

According to The Times, the decision to dispatch the woman, who identified herself as Azra Turk, signaled that the FBI wanted another pair of eyes present at the meeting for oversight and to have in place a possible witness if any prosecution arose in the case.

In a tweet Thursday, Papadopoulos said he agreed "with everything" in the article, but said the woman identified as Turk "clearly was not FBI." Papadopoulos claimed she “was CIA” with ties to “Turkish intel.”

Trump has repeatedly claimed that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies spied on his presidential campaign — a narrative his latest tweets indicate he feels was advanced by The Times article.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and one of the president's closest allies in Congress, also commented on the report Friday.

"The FBI sent a secret informant, posing as a professor’s assistant, to covertly gather information on a Trump associate: George Papadopoulos," Meadows tweeted.

"But don’t worry. Washington Democrats and media pundits will twist themselves into pretzels to avoid calling this what it is: spying," he added.

Prosecutors say Papadopoulos was solicited by a professor with ties to Russian intelligence, Joseph Mifsud, who told the young Trump aide that the Russians possessed incriminating information about Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails" — before it was widely and publicly known that Russia had stolen Democratic emails.

Prosecutors say Mifsud arranged a meeting in a London cafe between Papadopoulos and a young woman he falsely described as Russian President Vladimir Putin's niece.

Papadopoulos relayed the talk of Democratic emails to an Australian diplomat during what The Times has described as a night of heavy drinking at another London bar in May 2016. The diplomat reported the conversation to his American counterparts, which prompted the opening of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Russia's election interference operation — an investigation that was taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017.

Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in jail for lying to federal investigators about his contacts with Russia-connected individuals, including giving a false account of the timing of his interactions with Mifsud. He initially told the FBI those meetings happened before he started working for Trump, while actually it was afterward.

Adam Edelman is a political reporter for NBC News.


An opinion from Loa Angeles Times, May 3, 2019

A smoking gun from Mueller?

LA Times opinion, Today, May 3 2019

Justice Department special counsel Robert S Mueller III's letter expressing concern about A try. Gen. William Barr's initial summary of Mueller's summary of Mueller's report may prove to be real "smoking gun" President Trump and his republican supporters in Congress end up fearing most.
I say this, as one who watched John Dean and Alexander Butterfield testify before Congress during the Watergate hearings.Absent their revelations about inner workings of the White House, I doubt President Nixon would have had to resign in 1974.
As an American first, and a Democrat second, I hope Mueller is able to testify before Congress.Let's hear directly from the special council himself instead of trying to interpret the attorney general's observations.
I don't think I am the only one who believes Barr's answers to questions now, versus what he has said previously, are at odds with each other.



President Donald Trump waves to the crowd after speaking to supporters at a Make America Great Again rally on April 27, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.Darren Hauck / Getty Images file


May 5, 2019, 9:00 AM ET

By Mark Murray

WASHINGTON — Sixty percent of Americans say President Donald Trump has been dishonest in the Russia investigation, while only a third believe the report by special counsel Robert Mueller clears the president of wrongdoing.

Still, the public remains divided on impeaching Trump, with nearly half of respondents opposing holding impeachment hearings, and with the other half supporting either immediate impeachment proceedings or future congressional investigations to study the issue further.

Those are the findings of the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which was conducted after Mueller’s 448-page report was released to the public on April 18.

Not surprisingly, the poll shows a significant divide by party on these questions, with Democrats overwhelmingly believing the president has been dishonest and guilty of wrongdoing, and Republicans overwhelmingly defending him.

And the survey results are remarkably consistent with past results on these same questions over the past year.

The investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and the Trump campaign's connections “has done very little to shake Americans out of their partisan viewpoints,” said Republican pollster Micah Roberts, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart and his firm Hart Research Associates.

And that partisan divide — for now — has produced a political stalemate when it comes to Trump and the Russia probe.

“The American public has reached a hung jury,” said Hart. “Not innocent, not guilty, and they haven’t reached a consensus.”


According to the poll, 60 percent of all respondents disagree with the statement that Trump has been honest and truthful when it comes to the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign, while just 37 percent agree.

These numbers are essentially unchanged from when the NBC/WSJ poll last asked this question in February and December 2018.

By party, 92 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents believe Trump hasn’t been truthful, versus only 23 percent of Republicans.

Forty-two percent of Americans say what they’ve read, heard or seen about Mueller’s report doesn’t clear the president of wrongdoing, compared with 29 percent who say it does clear him.

Another 29 percent say they’re unsure.

Again, these numbers are almost identical to the findings on the same question from March — after Attorney General William Barr released his initial four-page summary of Mueller’s conclusions.

By party, 68 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of independents say that Mueller’s report doesn’t exonerate the president, versus just 11 percent of Republicans who agree.


And on the question of impeachment, the public remains split: 48 percent of Americans — including eight-in-10 Republicans — believe that Congress shouldn’t hold impeachment hearings and that Trump should finish his term as president.

That’s compared with a combined 49 percent who say that Congress should begin impeachment hearings now (17 percent) or should continue investigating if there’s enough evidence to hold them in the future (32 percent).

Among Democratic respondents, 30 percent want impeachment hearings now, while 50 percent prefer to wait for more evidence.

“We see a divided country with Republicans saying move on, Democrats saying dig in and independents in the middle saying hold on,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates.


The NBC/WSJ poll also finds 46 percent of Americans approving of Trump’s job — up 3 points since March, although the change is well within the poll’s margin of error.


Ninety percent of GOP respondents give the president a thumbs-up, compared with just 11 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of independents.

Trump gets higher marks on the economy, with 51 percent of all respondents approving of his handling of the issue.

(The poll was conducted before Friday’s news of 263,000 jobs created in April and with the unemployment rate falling to 3.6 percent.)

Still, the president’s chief economic policy — the tax cuts he signed into law in late 2017 — remains underwater, with 27 percent saying it was a good idea, versus 36 percent believing it was a bad idea (-9).

By contrast, attitudes about Barack Obama’s health-care law are above water, with 41 percent thinking it’s a good idea, versus 37 percent who say it’s a bad idea.
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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 10, 2019 1:50 pm

America’s Biggest Newspaper 70 Years Ago Sounded a Lot Like Trump Today
The New York Daily News helped fashion a brand of right-wing populism that the president eventually rode to power.

6:00 AM ET
New Yorkers stop to glance at the four-star final edition of the New York Daily News in November 1962.
New Yorkers stop to glance at the four-star final edition of the New York Daily News in November 1962.MATTY ZIMMERMAN / AP
When Donald Trump was growing up in the 1950s, roughly half of the families in the New York metropolitan area read the New York Daily News. The tabloid was at the time the highest-circulation newspaper in America by far, selling more than 2 million copies each weekday and as many as 4 million on Sundays. In fact, no American newspaper has ever surpassed those numbers. But the News’ dominance was greatest in white, non-Jewish outer-borough neighborhoods such as Jamaica Estates, where the Trumps lived. Given that the man of the house, Fred C. Trump, was a major advertiser in the News and frequently appeared in its real-estate columns in the 1940s and ’50s, young Donald might have encountered it regularly—and, though adult Donald may not realize the connection, he sounds eerily like it now.

Indeed, the paper’s current left-wing politics have obscured the fact that it helped fashion a brand of right-wing populism in the years just before the president’s birth in 1946, and during his childhood, that Trump eventually rode to power.

The overlap between Trump’s rhetoric and the mid-century News is especially striking when it comes to United States foreign policy. Between 1946 and 1952, the Daily News editorial page and its politics column said dozens of times that Uncle Sam had turned into “Uncle Sap” or “Uncle Sucker,” because “so-called allies” in NATO were raking in aid money from the U.S. and failing to pay enough for their own defense. Trump has hammered away at the same message since the early days of his campaign; last December he announced, “We’re no longer the suckers, folks.”

The News also shared Trump’s concern that overly generous international deals made the U.S. a subject of ridicule. A 1946 editorial cartoon, for example, showed a jovial Stalin kicking a drunk Uncle Sam in the seat of his pants as Sam buys another round of drinks (aid money) for the Soviet dictator and his comrades. Two decades later, the Communists were still laughing. “The Red Hungarian bosses probably giggled into their cups,” an editorial told readers in 1965, when the State Department didn’t penalize the “bosses” after a mob damaged a U.S. embassy building.

Donald Trump Is Reagan’s Heir
Even though immigration in the 1940s was at historic lows and subject to the strictest laws in American history, the News called for further restriction. Editorials said immigrants posed a danger to Americans, with one warning in 1945 that “foreigners … want to stream here in millions, share our comparative wealth, and pull down our standard of living.” A 1943 editorial arguing against the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act pinpointed what the News saw as the problem: “Official Washington is infested with do-gooders who want to let the rest of the world in on [our] riches” and to “give away our country.” That notion permeated the editorial page throughout the ’40s and ’50s. One editorial in 1957 blasted “do-gooders,” “world savers,” and “bleeding hearts” for their “giveaway convulsions”—their alleged desire to dish out billions of American taxpayers’ dollars to “Socialist, semi-Socialist, or Fascist countries.”

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The News had yet another name for those “do-gooders.” It labeled them “globalists,” an obscure term that the News picked up from Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce (and Trump picked up from Steve Bannon). The News especially liked Luce’s coinage “globaloney,” which was part of the headlines for three separate editorials in 1943. The end goal of globaloney, the last of these editorials said, was for the U.S. to “buy the Presidency of the World by means of a worldwide WPA,” or Works Progress Administration, the Depression-era jobs program, which would eventually bring “some kind of Socialism or Communism to the United States.”

To head off the threat of globalist socialism, the News offered the same prescription as Trump for restoring the country’s greatness: an “America first” policy. The paper’s publisher, Joseph Medill Patterson, was a strong supporter of the isolationist America First Committee prior to the U.S. entry into World War II, and he continued to promote the slogan in the News long after it had become associated with anti-Semites and fascist sympathizers. In 1950, the tabloid’s top political columnist, John O’Donnell, argued that “the America First philosophy was soundly right” all along.

“America first” retained a negative association when Trump adopted it during the 2016 campaign—but the candidate seemingly didn’t care, presumably because he thought it captured a view of foreign relations focused narrowly on what the U.S. stands to gain. The News unapologetically promoted that way of seeing. In a 1946 editorial devoted to “auditing” World War II, the News asked “what we got out of it” and concluded that it was only a string of Pacific islands to use as bases and temporary control of Japan (which the U.S. would use to “teach the Japs Roman letters and Arabic numerals”). In other words, a lousy deal.

Trump may enjoy angering some people with the slogan “America first.” His speech is often politically incorrect, blunt, and mildly profane, which apparently endears him to his base. The News employed the same technique: Its clear, plainspoken prose was a major selling point. The tabloid also used profanity and epithets for humor or titillation. Patterson even sent an internal memo in 1944 ordering the words “bastard” and “son of a bitch (no hyphens)” to be printed in full. In another Trumpian touch, the News gave insulting nicknames to its political opponents: Harry Truman was “High Tax Harry” or “Little Harry”; the Democratic White House adviser David Niles was “Devious Dave.”

Sometimes the News’ rhetoric had darker undertones, as when O’Donnell suggested in 1945 that “Devious Dave” Niles was part of a globalist Jewish conspiracy to bring down General George Patton. Like Trump and his allies, the paper was accused of anti-Semitism. When News cars drove through Jewish neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn during World War II, youths hounded them and called them the “Nazi News.” The B’nai B’rith organization in 1946 passed a resolution condemning the paper for trying to “incite religious animosity” and “foment hatreds” with editorials that implied that the Jews were responsible for the United States’ involvement in the war.

In fact, the News occasionally expressed some of the noxious beliefs that white nationalists who view Trump as their champion espouse today. A 1941 editorial endorsed the racist theories of the eugenicist Madison Grant, although they had been widely discredited years earlier. Foreshadowing the concerns of today’s so-called alt-right, the News fretted that white Europeans were committing “racial suicide” in World War II and would make “easy pickings” for the “yellow hordes of Asia.” Articles about Australia during the war noted approvingly that it was “white man’s country” and asked how far the U.S. should go “in trying to save Australia and New Zealand for the white race.”

The letters column of the News—labeled “Voice of the People”—could also be a forum for appalling racism. In 1959, the Voice published several letters about the lynching of Mack Charles Parker in Mississippi. One reader, who identified herself as “a Southern lady” living in New Jersey, wrote, “The people gave a dirty, sexed-up nigger just what he deserved,” adding, “I hope … they had to pick up his remains with a shovel.” Such hateful vitriol was rare—it was more common for readers to complain about black people being demanding or lazy, as in these examples from 1963—but the fact that the News printed the letter implies that it thought the letter expressed an acceptable viewpoint.

The overwhelming majority of News readers, like the overwhelming majority of Trump supporters, were not white supremacists. For most, what mattered was the paper’s claim to advocate for the “common people”—a commitment carved into stone on the facade of the headquarters Patterson built in 1930. Trump adopted a similar posture of fighting for—and, implausibly, even personifying—the “common man” in his 2016 campaign.

Trump and the News each envisioned the same type of common man as their target audience: white, working-class to middle-class, wary of intellectuals and elites. The News nicknamed its everyman Sweeney—they even had a motto, “Tell it to Sweeney!” But by the late 1960s, New York City’s demographics had changed. As the paper’s circulation manager lamented to The Wall Street Journal in 1967, “The trouble is there are fewer Sweeneys around to tell it to.” In response, the editorial page moved toward the center. It moved to the left in the 1990s, and as the News approaches its 100th birthday next month, it is still printing fiery editorials and provocative front-page headlines. Today, its main target, the president, embodies the principles the paper advocated at its height 70 years ago.

MATTHEW PRESSMAN is an assistant professor of journalism at Seton Hall University and the author of On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the
Copyright © 2019 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.

$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$

Hong Kong(CNN Business) The United States has escalated its trade war with China, hiking tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports hours after trade talks held in Washington failed to produce a breakthrough.


That it's all about the money stupid is becoming rigidly fossilized but here is a catch !

On what premise do the concepts of democracy, institutions, nationalism , contrast with the fractures of flickered by now work out tactics becoming more transparent as the days pass?

Personal wealth notmsocoal ones are the makers and breakers not only of the incorporation of the passions of men, but the instincts within which the traverse goes on in our country of liberty , through two doors: the one of apprehension of closure, the other the opening of the other.

Nationalism defines the fear of unfair trade, a way of life long admired by the entire planet, while the other door closes on the quality of national unity as defining the social fabric. That fabric is of fear of worldwide perceived inauthenticality, of the braising away of ancient definitive apprehensions, that consist of mucj longer and historically stronger binds of characteristically identifiable traits, then the U.S. ones.

There is the contradiction with and within which the manageable genius operates, and I'm certain, well almost, that that man is Kushner and not Trump.

The Chinese are formidable in their goulash capitalist hyberfunctovr pre-pragmatic assumptions, while jeering with their tremendously important backward stretch, where Asia sighed, happily, even when, she luxuriates in the forgotten art of luxurious passion for a divine sustenance in minimalism.

She will steal to keep the family together, a law book reminder of Western ethical demonstrations:

Would You steal medicine from a pharmacy to keep Your sick mother alive? Would it be wrong?

That is China.

In Japan the social system is falling apart, there is a park in Tokyo, whwre grandmothers go to commit hark-Kari, displaced from their previously important role of being a respected carrier of standard object of venerated respect, now sank into the abyss of valueless commodity, finding no peace in a world of consumer adopted pre planned obscolesenc, they die , in their spirit , long before they cease to see the Zen of unobstructed blue and green on the tapestry of cohesion.

China did not loose the war, the dragon merely occasionally yawning, as in a Sino soviet grip, the goulash slowly simmering, a mix so vast and strange, that thebbrew is imperial in design, must be monitized, to resemble that of the greatest eastern empire of eternal Enlightement.
For has ahe not even the first rocket dreamed up thousands of years ago? Has not even Jesus Christ traveled through surrounding lands of overpopulation such as the vast halls of India?

Oh, Colonialism was such a fair market place, the romantic silk road , where from the scents of luxuries were always preferable to those who eventually took possession of them?

No, this struggle is monumental as it is remanufactured on a modern pattern, and ultimately mirroring the Sinai-Russian split up in which western planners spied ? What were we after, their treasures or their souls, the mirror cracking, the same reflection that pre tempts the contradictory messages here, where the devolved western psyche tries to find equiminity in tossed about humans between the two poles of economic gain and political manipulation?

The US has always been used, and abused if weakness was gleaned, and now it is everyone is holding their breath on what the people really think of the constitution of people so overfed on simulated products, that their complacency will vie with their accompanied social hostility? A social understanding afforded for long millaneau , for such muxh much longer.

What do demographic obsession. with the Parthenon, as immobile road signs echoing through the winds of change represent? The last vestiges of clear, unobstructed peace and the longing for the innate beauty of Creation, not the artful dodging of those blinded already to feed what's left of them, on them selves of their own avarice and pain, the failure to live up to the high standard set when since the fall of material empires left only those ofnthe cradle to steal.

Is this really the mean I g of All Men Are Created Equal, or merely an atrophied version?

Wake up, cause the end may near!
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Re: The forth estate : Orban visit to Trump today.

Postby Meno_ » Mon May 13, 2019 6:59 pm

BERNADETT SZABO / REUTERS Salvini and Orban at a press conference in Budapest, May 2019

May 13, 2019
Viktor Orban Wants Trump’s Help in the European Elections
“America First” Meets “Hungary First”
By Kim Lane Scheppele
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will visit the White House today for a long-sought meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. The U.S. government has been officially critical of Orban for his warm relations with China and Russia and his attempts to block NATO exercises with Ukraine. On a visit to Hungary in February, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried and failed to get Orban to return to the transatlantic fold. But for all of his disagreement with U.S. foreign policy, Orban will offer Trump ideas they share: an international anti-immigration alliance and disruption of the European Union. Trump may well find he feels closer to Orban than to the foreign policy of his own administration.

Council on Foreign Relation

©2019 Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Foreign Affairs
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Re: The forth estate. Coming attractions

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 17, 2019 3:52 pm

Trying to make his competition look as corrupt as he is.

Friday, May 17, 2019 »


Op-Ed Columnist

President Trump offered a preview last week of his 2020 campaign tactics, and they were ugly.He intends to use the power of the presidency to harass his political opponents and create an air of scandal around them. By doing so, he hopes to make at least some voters believe that all politicians are equally corrupt rather than recognizing that Trump himself is the most corrupt president in a long, long time.Specifically, Trump signaled that he might ask the Attorney General William Barr to investigate Joe Biden’s past dealings with Ukraine. In the same vein, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, said he wanted to ask Ukraine’s government for help in the investigation.“On its face, there is nothing illegal here. Trump is leveraging his power as president to compel a dependent foreign government to smear the opposition party,” Jonathan Chait wrote in New York magazine. “It’s just something no president has ever thought to do before. The powers legally available to a corrupt president and a party that has turned a blind eye to his violations of governing norms may be more terrifying than anybody has considered.”Or as my colleague Maureen Dowd put it: “A president who has spent two years battling accusations that he colluded with a foreign power to fix the 2016 election manages to wriggle off the hook. Just three weeks later, his lawyer unveils their 2020 plan: to collude with a foreign power to fix the election.”

The back storyIn 2014, Hunter Biden, Joe’s son, began serving on the board of a Ukrainian company controlled by Mykola Zlochevsky, a political figure with a sketchy past. It was a bad decision by the younger Biden, given his father’s position as vice president. Around the same time, Joe Biden began leading the Obama administration’s efforts to work with Eastern European governments, including Ukraine’s, that were worried about Russia’s new assertiveness.The New York Times and Bloomberg News have been in a public spat recently about this subject, with The Times reporting that Joe Biden “faces conflict of interest questions” and Bloomberg reporting that he has answered those questions. The details are very difficult to follow, as The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple notes. Either way, there is no evidence that Biden did anything to benefit his son or Zlochevsky.“When journalists seek the fire behind the smoke in the Biden-Ukraine tale, they often call to ask my opinion,” Oliver Bullough, the author of a book that describes some of the figures involved, wrote in The Washington Post. “Many are eager to flesh out what seems a satisfyingly simple conspiracy, but I have to tell them: It isn’t true.”Still, the story is murky enough that it casts doubt on Biden, which is precisely what Trump and his allies want to do. He used the same strategy in 2016 to make Hillary Clinton appear corrupt (and she sometimes made it easy for him to do so, much as Hunter Biden has done in this case).This time, Trump’s strategy is even darker and more dangerous. He’s now the president, which means that he’s powerful enough to make others — like federal officials, who work for him; or foreign officials, who don’t want to alienate the United States — play along with his conspiracy theories.In this case, I was glad to see a swift, clear response. Ukraine’s top prosecutor told Bloomberg yesterday that he had no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.But reality has never been a precondition for Trump’s public claims. So expect him — and Giuliani and Sean Hannity — to keep pushing the Ukraine story. And if Biden’s candidacy starts to fade, expect dark conspiracies about the new frontrunners.
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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 17, 2019 8:52 pm

Trump Accuses the FBI of Treason Because He's Up Early and No One Took His Phone

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Today 12:30pm

The president’s son-in-law only has one job: to make sure he knows where Trump’s phone is at all times so that the tweeter-in-chief can’t recklessly post random, hate-filled messages without White House approval. As with most things Jared Kushner, it seems he’s asleep on the job.

Early Friday morning, after knocking a few golf balls around the Oval Office—and yes, Sen. Lindsey Graham held the golf tee in his mouth—the president snatched his phone out of the presidential lockbox and ran to the Iron Throne (yes, that is what White House officials are forced to call his bathroom) and tweeted out that the FBI committed TREASON!

We can blame William Barr for this shit. That’s because the attorney general of the United States has not only assured the American public that he’s not America’s top cop but rather Trump’s enforcer. He’s the one who brought this fictitious bullshit back up during his Senate Appropriations Committee appearance—in which he was supposed to be talking about the Department of Justice’s 2020 budget—but instead Not-John Goodman’s twin brother casually dropped this bombshell: “I think spying did occur,” Barr said, though he declined to provide any evidence that caused his concern. “The question is whether it was...adequately predicated.”

Wait, What? Attorney General Claims Spying Occurred on Trump's Campaign Then Provides No Evidence

Because of this radicalized statement without proof, the president has kicked up his spy-speech using the attorney general’s claims that his campaign was spied on in 2016. While the Justice Department did investigate possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, there has been no proof that Trump’s campaign was ever spied on, the Daily Beast reports.

Trump’s latest outburst comes after Barr announced he will be appointing a U.S. attorney to review the origins of the Russia investigation, because Barr will do anything to please his master.

Because it took White House aides almost an hour to get Trump off of the Iron Throne, Trump continued his morning missives which, of course, included Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Trump was referencing House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) who has launched a wide-ranging probe looking into Trump and members of his family. Of course, Trump made time to bash the media as “fake news” for reporting that the country is on the verge of war with Iran.

Oh, and because Trump yelled to his staffers, “you will have to pry this phone from my cold, dead hands” before they burst through the bathroom door, he was able to send off one last tweet:

This one is easy, “Because, bitch, we, the FBI, didn’t know if your ass was in on it, too!”

Just got word that the president’s phone has been locked back in the presidential lock box and he’s been given his favorite liver and dragon-toenail cookies while true president Stephen Miller rubs the back of his head and tries to get Trump’s breathing back to normal.

© 2018 Gizmodo Media Group

Latest conspiracy theory:

The Dems are pushing an agenda to force a Constitutional crisis. How cleverly politics disseminates through the media gives credence to the under lying mud slinging procedure of current fight to death to politics, revealing a concentrated effort to ignore diffusing any and all rationality in politics.

What this amounts to more and more is the slow erosion of democratic foundations and belief in the represented capacity to understand what really is going on in the national-international arena.

This view does not even try to hide the emergent fact, that constituency is asking for a strong center, to cover all the chain of lack of knowledge who j can only be replaced by only one thing: a techno beurocratic Capital, shadowing it's material counterpart.

If this view con be sustained, he k with being labeled, and those who dare to call it a conspiracy, they are merely fringe elements of society.

The only problem with this is, that capitalization, is being spinceted between increasingly alienated and disadvantaged world wide.
As inflation and increasingly singular concentrations are beginning to be felt, and seen everywhere, while proto politicos ratchet up more and more extreme defensive rhetoric to buttress their arguments.

Nationalis without substance with ambiguous embellishments, have been tried before on occasion in the past, and failed spectacularly
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Re: The forth estate

Postby MagsJ » Mon May 20, 2019 6:41 am


Imagine that job being advertised.. millions would apply online, and the Internet would break in the process, a'la Kim K's nude Paper magazine cover edition.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ
I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Huh! - MagsJ
You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 21, 2019 4:10 pm

MagsJ wrote::lol:

Imagine that job being advertised.. millions would apply online, and the Internet would break in the process, a'la Kim K's nude Paper magazine cover edition.

Well that is what's happening to Fox News, its caught in the middle, a pitiful state of extreme bias to be in. Trying to play through both ends is really a tragic comedy In the works, and them In there is not quite equipped. for the job.
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Re: The forth estate censorship issues

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 28, 2019 4:49 pm


Amid censorship fears, Trump campaign 'checking out' alternative social network
Parler is like Twitter, but for Trump fans.


05/28/2019 05:02 AM EDT

Trump supporter
Some say that if President Donald Trump leaves Twitter for Parler, a Twitter-like social media platform, his supporters will follow.

They've been banned from Facebook, purged from Twitter and blocked from Instagram. Some of them have been barred from setting foot on the continent of Australia. But you can still find them all on the fledgling social media network Parler.

The Twitter-like platform was initially hatched last year as a tool for digital news outlets to claw revenue back from big social networks like Facebook. But as those platforms purge some of the internet’s most inflammatory supporters of President Donald Trump over posts deemed dangerous or offensive, Parler has carved out a niche among these banned right-wing influencers — like Gavin McInnes, Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos.

As conservative distrust of social media giants rises to the top of Washington’s political agenda, Parler has also gained the notice of some bona fide Republican leaders: Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and Utah Sen. Mike Lee both began posting on the site this month.

According to one person close to Trump’s campaign, the president’s team is considering setting him up with an account on the site. A senior Trump campaign official said that there was no imminent plan to have the president join the platform, but that Parscale is scouting Parler. “It’s something he's aware of and is checking out,” the official said of Parscale. “We don’t currently have a plan to make a big move to the platform.”

Having Trump’s imprimatur would give the platform overnight cachet and satisfy calls from his social media-savvy supporters for the president to stick it to the Silicon Valley companies with which he maintains a strained, symbiotic relationship.

The race for 2020 starts now. Stay in the know. Follow our presidential election coverag

"Donald Trump should just switch social media platforms altogether because everyone will follow him,” said Candace Owens, a pro-Trump activist close to Trump’s campaign team. Owens, who is black, was recently banned from Facebook — and then swiftly reinstated with an apology from the company — for posting “Black America must wake up to the great liberal hoax. White supremacy is not a threat. Liberal supremacy is.”

Owens — who recently departed the conservative youth group Turning Point USA — introduced Parler to the pro-Trump grassroots with a December tweet that began, “Wow. Everyone just found out about the new Twitter. Just want to say that I WAS THE FIRST CONSERVATIVE TO JOIN.” Her tweet in turn linked to a tweet from the chairman of X Strategies, a conservative communications firm, promoting Parler.

Parler’s founder, John Matze, said the Owens tweet swamped his site with 40,000 new users, causing its servers to malfunction. (He also said that X Strategies approached him after the tweet. The firm now does public relations work for Parler.)

Parler is the french word for “Speak,” and is pronounced “par-lay.” But as its user base has grown, Matze has seen that Americans tend to pronounce the word phonetically, as in “parlor,” evoking the room in a house where friends might sit down to chat.

Matze and Owens said they first encountered each other late last year in New York at the Gatestone Institute, a think tank that was formerly chaired by Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, and is known for its hostility to Islam.

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to his mobile phone during a lunch stop in North Charleston, S.C. Trump’s approach to Twitter has been as unorthodox as his presidential campaign. The billionaire’s use of the social media service has been unpredictable and unfiltered, sometimes brilliant and occasionally typographically challenged. He has celebrated the support of scores of accounts that appear almost solely dedicated to him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) | Matt Rourke/AP Photo

Owens was there to speak, and Matze was working on integrating Parler with Gatestone’s website. Matze, who leans libertarian in his personal views, had not set out to cater to Trump supporters. Originally, he had conceived of Parler as a commenting plugin with social features that media outlets could integrate into their websites as a way to capture more engagement with their content themselves — rather than letting the bulk of engagement and ad dollars flow to established social media platforms.

He said he expected left-leaning digital publishers to become core partners. But as large social media platforms have responded to calls to curb extremism on their sites with bans of several far-right figures and other, more opaque measures like “shadow banning,” conservative users have become increasingly distrustful of the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

This has created an unexpected opening for Parler with pro-Trump users, though it is still far from challenging large social networks. Many aspects of its user interface, such as its search function, remain clunky. And its user base remains miniscule in the grand scheme of things.

Matze said the site had about 100,000 users in total. Twitter, by comparison, claims 326 million.

Activity on the site appears to be devoted mostly to a small universe of Trump-friendly discussions. On a recent Tuesday, trending topics on the site included “#IslamExposed,” “#IllegalImmigrants,” “#BuildThatWall” and “#WomenForTrump.” Even among Trump’s most avid online supporters, many have never heard of Parler. At the moment, the two outlets that appear to use the site most actively are Breitbart News and the Epoch Times, a newspaper associated with Falun Gong — a Chinese spiritual movement on the outs with China’s ruling Communist Party — that has attracted notice for its pointedly pro-Trump editorial line.

Given its limitations, even those sympathetic to Parler remain skeptical of its prospects. Will Chamberlain, who recently relaunched the conservative publication Human Events with a focus on social media censorship, said that though he plans to post his outlet’s content to Parler, he does not expect it to displace the reigning platform for news. “I think Twitter has a natural monopoly,” he said. “I think there are profound network effects.”

And even by the standards of free speech Twitter alternatives, Parler is small. Another platform, Gab, founded in 2016, claims a million users. “Parler is a ghost town,” said Gab’s founder Andrew Torba.

The Man Behind Trump’s ‘Invisible Wall’
Like Parler, Gab takes a laissez-faire approach to offensive speech and has been a magnet for those banned from other platforms. Its users include white nationalist Richard Spencer and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The perpetrator of a 2018 mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue was also a Gab user. There are even questions about whether Gab’s frog logo is an homage to Pepe, the cartoon frog symbol of the alt-right, though Torba has said the frog is an allusion to the Book of Exodus. Gab’s popularity with the virulently racist alt-right has tainted Gab’s brand, stymying its prospects for growth into a mainstream platform even as it amassed a large user base.

While Parler’s founder does not want to be limited to a far-right user base, much of the content posted on Parler falls into categories deemed offensive and discouraged by the large platforms — such as anti-Islam and anti-feminist sentiment. In one post typical of the site, a user with the handle @liberalismiscancer, shared a meme criticizing the burka, the body covering worn by some Muslim women, along with the comment, “Where are my fellow feminists why is the oppression of women ok if it's in the name of ISLAM ? Why are Moslems treated differently free from criticism.”

Matze said he still hopes to attract users of all political persuasions. "We're pretty much bipartisan from our standpoint,” he said. “I really don’t want to take a stance at all on the political side of things. However it seems extremely relevant right now for conservatives at least to build a platform where they can build trust. They feel extremely abused by social media."

Matze said he plans to bypass these issues by using the FCC’s definition of obscenity to determine what posts cross the line, and to leave up anything that does not meet that threshold, while giving users tools to personally filter out content they do not want to see.

Ongoing fights about the sorts of speech and users that tech giants permit on their platforms have returned to the fore in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the White House posted an online survey seeking to collect information about possible political discrimination by these platforms.

The senior Trump campaign official said that the campaign is also using its financial leverage with social media platforms like Facebook to push back against perceived bias. “We're a significant advertiser so we make sure our viewpoint is heard,” the official said. Trump’s campaign has spent roughly $5 million so far this year on Facebook ads, far more than any of his Democratic rivals, according to a New York Times analysis.

Despite this heavy ad spending, distrust of large social media platforms has loomed large in the strategic thinking of Trump’s team. In October, POLITICO reported that Trump’s 2020 campaign was investing heavily in efforts to reach supporters directly, such as via text message, in order to bypass the platforms.

Earlier this month, Matze swung through Washington, where he ran into Parscale at the Trump Hotel. The Trump campaign manager posted a photo of himself with Matze and Elise Rhodes, a vice president of client relations at X Strategies, to Parler.


The Spy Case That Made Adam Schiff a Russia Hawk
While in town, Matze also met with Lee, the libertarian-minded senator, and sold him on Parler’s free speech ethos.

Lee was so taken he decided to set up an account. Matze said he offered to help Lee’s staffers set up an account for him, but the senator insisted he did not want his staff to have access to the account, because he wanted to post directly to it himself.

A spokesman for Lee, Conn Carroll, said he could not confirm the specifics of the conversation, but did confirm that Lee personally posts to Parler himself.

Lee has posted a handful of times in recent weeks on the site -- though he hasn’t exactly been unleashed. When a user named “Anon, yo!” called Lee a “typical RINO fake congressman” for not sponsoring term limits, Lee responded, “I’ve cosponsored term-limits every year I’ve been in the Senate.” This elicited an apology from “Anon, yo!” to the senator.

Matze said he hopes the site will foster civil discussion, and that he has seen users wish each other good night at the end of evenings of heated debate. That civility though, may be a function of the fact that most of the platform’s heavy users share a broadly similar worldview. And it is not clear whether an initial user base that is so invigorated by arguing with liberals — a recent trending topic was “#Triggered” — will find as much satisfaction on a platform dominated by their fellow travelers.

Michael Morrison, a conservative activist who operated a Twitter parody account of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez until being banned from that platform, said many right-leaning social media figures are treating Parler as a backup. They are attracting modest followings on the platform in case they are banned from the larger social networks.

“Obviously I’d like to see it build up,” he said, “For now, it’s a small, nice, conservative community."

This story tagged under:
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Re: The forth estate

Postby Meno_ » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:15 pm

Politics live with Andrew Sparrow
Trump compares Brexit hard border fears to Mexico wall plan as he arrives in Ireland - live news
The day’s political developments, including D-day commemorations, PMQs and the latest from the Tory leadership race

D-day veterans and world leaders take part in emotional ceremony
Majority of voters think Johnson would make bad PM - polling expert
43m ago Evening summary
4h ago Trump says Irish border issue will be 'fine' after Brexit because "good minds' working on it
5h ago Labour-run Welsh government switches policy on Brexit to back staying in EU
7h ago Lunchtime summary
8h ago Rebecca Long-Bailey's PMQs debut
10h ago 16 nations commit to working constructively together in 'D-day proclamation'
11h ago Trump and the Queen arrive in Portsmouth for D-day commemoration
Live feed
43m ago 16:16

Evening summary
Tory leadership contenders further set out their stalls this evening. The health secretary Matt Hancock claimed that if elected Jeremy Corbyn would be “the first antisemitic leader of a western nation since the second world war”. The comments were swiftly condemned by Labour, which claimed the Conservatives had “supported governments that actively promote antisemitic policies in Hungary and Poland”.
At a One Nation hustings event, Michael Gove, Matt Hancock, Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab (see 7.04pm) elaborated on their Brexit plans. Gove said the UK’s end of October Brexit deadline is “arbitrary” and that he is “not wedded” to it, Hancock appealed to the centre ground and seemed to focus less on Brexit, and Hunt talked up his skills as a “lifelong entrepreneur” and said the leader needed to negotiate a better agreement than no-deal, while Raab told Tory MPs he would be prepared to temporarily shut down parliament to make sure Brexit happens by the deadline.
Health secretary Hancock declared he would roll back some of the Tory reforms to the NHS which have seen large swathes of the health service privatised. (see 7.24pm)
Donald Trump flew from Shannon airport to his golf resort in Doonbed, Co Clarewhere amid protests against the US military’s use of Irish soil to transport military equipment and personnel. (see 8.20pm)
Trump visit avoids major pitfalls despite usual blunders
Read more
Earlier in the day, Trump compared Ireland’s post-Brexit border with Northern Ireland to the US border with Mexico, along which he wants to build a permanent wall.
Veteran parachutists jumped over Normandy, 75 years since they did so as paratroopers on D-Day.
D-day veterans in their 90s parachute into Normandy once more
Read more
Trump told Leo Varadkar that he was confident the Irish border situation would be fine after Brexit because some “good minds” were working on it. However, yesterday afternoon, the US president met the Brexit party leader Nigel Farage and the Tory Brexiters Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson. All three claim that there is no reason why the Irish border should be a problem after Brexit, even in the event of no-deal. (see 6.19pm)
Sky News
Donald Trump has compared the post-Brexit Irish border with his own planned wall for the US border with Mexico.

Get the latest news and video here:

June 5, 2019
The Labour-run government in Wales is now officially committed to remaining in the EU, and is campaigning for remain. (see 4.59pm)
Rory Stewart, the international development secretary and a long-shot candidate for the Conservative party leadership, has said the Brexit policies being promoted by many of his rivals, such as Boris Johnson, would be “catastrophic” for the UK.
I’m afraid [other leadership candidates] are misleading themselves and others, and that’s going to be catastrophic, because the reality is that Europe is barely sitting through to the end of October.

D-day veterans and world leaders took part in an emotional ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, with a vast security operation safeguarding dignitaries including the Queen, Donald Trump and Theresa May.
David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister and May’s de facto deputy, has said the NHS “is not and will not be up for sale” in trade talks with the United States. Speaking at PMQs, in response to a question from Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey, who was standing in for Jeremy Corbyn (quite successfully – see 2.16pm), Lidington said:
The prime minister has been very clear and she spoke for everyone in the Government and on this side of the House - when it comes to trade negotiations, the NHS is not and will not be up for sale.

Yesterday, at a news conference, President Trump said the NHS would be on the table in any trade talks with the UK. But in an interview broadcast this morning, he retracted that, saying:

I don’t see [the NHS] being on the table. Somebody asked me a question today and I say everything is up for negotiation, because everything is. But that’s something I would not see as part of trade. That’s not trade.

The Brexit party’s candidate in the Peterborough byelection was criticised for profiteering from buying and selling freeholds of hundreds of new homes.
A one-woman show by the new Brexit party MEP Ann Widdecombe was cancelled in protest at her apparent endorsement of gay conversion therapy.
Updated at 4.17pm EDT
43m ago 16:16

Unlike many news organisations, we chose an approach that means all our reporting is free and available for everyone. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable.

For as little as $1 you can support us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Make a contribution - The Guardian

1h ago 15:35

Here is our report on tonight’s Tory leadership hustings, courtesy of the Guardian’s Heather Stewart and Rowena Mason.

Corbyn as PM would be 'west's first antisemitic leader since WWII'
Read more
Meanwhile, Labour has challenged frontrunner Boris Johnson to disavow his previous denial of climate science.

Boris Johnson challenged by Labour over climate science
Read more
Updated at 3.36pm EDT
2h ago 15:22

A peace camp was set up outside Shannon airport to demonstrate against Trump’s arrival, with more than one hundred protesters listening to speeches, poems and music throughout the day.

Many criticised Shannon Airport’s use by the American military. In 2002, the Irish government agreed to provide landing and refuelling facilities to the US military at the airport, and close to three million US troops and their weapons have passed through in the years since.

Wednesday’s protest was organised by local group Shannonwatch, who hold bi-weekly demonstrations at the airport protesting the military.

Politicians Catherine Connolly, the independent TD for Galway, newly elected MEP Clare Daly, and Labour TD for Limerick, Jan O Sullivan, were among the crowd who carried the flags of Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Palestine as well as signs and banners protesting Trump.

Protesters and signs are seen during an anti-U.S. President Donald Trump demonstration in a camp they have set up outside Shannon Airport in Shannon, Ireland, June 5.
Protesters and signs are seen during an anti-U.S. President Donald Trump demonstration in a camp they have set up outside Shannon Airport in Shannon, Ireland, June 5. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Speaking at the event – amid a counter protest by about 20 Trump supporters – Connolly said she felt it important to stand against Trump’s policies.

I think President Trump’s policies are not acceptable and it’s unacceptable that we’re using Shannon Airport to traffic American soldiers to wars all over the world, it’s important to stand up for our neutrality. We should be a force for peace in the world.

There’s no doubt we have strong relations with America, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we should stand up for what is right.

Saoirse Exton, 13, said the peace camp was her 15th protest and that she was there to stand against Trump’s policies on climate change.

I think climate change needs to be stopped and there’s not enough action being taken on it. President Trump doesn’t recognise climate change as a real cause, he pulled out of the Paris Climate agreement, and America has the biggest carbon emissions, and they’re one of the biggest countries that need to take action.

I want to preserve this earth for future generations, my generation are going to be the last generation if we don’t do something about it.

Protesters are seen holding signs during an anti-U.S. President Donald Trump demonstration in a camp they have set up outside Shannon Airport in Shannon, Ireland, June 5.
Protesters are seen holding signs during an anti-U.S. President Donald Trump demonstration in a camp they have set up outside Shannon Airport in Shannon, Ireland, June 5. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
During the protests, letters were handed to a senior police officer to be passed on to Trump and the taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The letters called for an immediate end to the US military use of Shannon, and what they called “Irish complicity in US military operations, and the environmental destruction of the planet”.

2h ago 15:12

Donald Trump defended his environmental record after he was questioned over criticism from his Irish counterpart Michael D Higgins who claimed the US president’s stance on climate change was “regressive and pernicious”.

“I haven’t heard those comments,” Trump said amid protests outside Shannon airport before boarding Marine One to fly to his five-star golf resort in Doonbed, Co Clare.

But we have the cleanest air in the world in the United States and it’s gotten better since I became president, we have the cleanest water, it is crystal clear, I always say I want crystal clear water and air, so I haven’t heard his comments, but we are setting records environmentally.

In a speech in Dublin on Tuesday night, Higgins criticised the US decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate change accord.

While the EU has a set of binding emissions targets for 2020 and 2030, we must now plan for full decarbonisation of our European economies by 2050, encouraging the rest of the world to follow suit, and urging in the strongest possible terms the USA to re-consider its regressive and pernicious decision to leave the global Paris Agreement.

Protesters are seen during an anti-U.S. President Donald Trump demonstration in a camp they have set up outside Shannon Airport in Shannon, Ireland, June 5, 2019.
Protesters are seen during an anti-U.S. President Donald Trump demonstration in a camp they have set up outside Shannon Airport in Shannon, Ireland, June 5, 2019. Kilcoyne/Reuters
Updated at 4.01pm EDT
2h ago 15:05

Environment secretary Michael Gove has said his three Cabinet positions were effectively an “apprenticeship” for the top job.

According to the Telegraph’s deputy political editor, Steven Swinford, he claimed that he is no longer the neo-conservative he once was and highlighted criticism from Donald Trump over his “weak kneed, lily-livered approach” approach to Iran as evidence of how he has “evolved”. He also said that in hindsight the invasion of Iraq was the wrong decision.

Gove went on to say that the deadline of 31 October to leave the EU is “arbitrary”.

“If we get to October, let’s say we’re 95% there, say we default to no deal. That would be a mistake,” he is reported to have said – in opposition to Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab’s positions on the issue.

He warned that if government is “locked on” to a no deal, then that would lead to a confidence vote and possibly a general election. “We would lose that. We would have Corbyn propped up by Sturgeon. Therefore we must deliver Brexit”.

Suggesting some of his fellow candidates do not believe in the UK, Gove reportedly said:

If you believe in this country then saying I’m going to default to no deal actually isn’t having confidence we will get a deal ‘It’s because I have confidence in this country and it’s capacity to succeed that I believe we will get a deal.

Steven Swinford
Gove can clearly draw a crowd

Here at the Spectator interview with @FraserNelson it’s packed to the rafters

He’s says his three Cabinet jobs were effectively an ‘apprenticeship’ for the Tory leadership

June 5, 2019
Updated at 3.13pm EDT
2h ago 14:42

The Guardian’s political correspondent Peter Walker has been examining the register of MP’s interests ahead of the Tory leadership election.

Peter Walker
Register of MPs' interests, Tory leadership edition: latest update shows Jeremy Hunt trousered just under £104,000 in donations from individuals and companies in the past month.

June 5, 2019
Peter Walker
Finally, Twitter's Rory Stewart amassed just over £50,000 in donations, despite his minimal chances of becoming Tory leader.

June 5, 2019
Updated at 2.43pm EDT
2h ago 14:30

Elsewhere, wildcard candidate Rory Stewart is trumpeting his ability to draw a crowd.

Richard Moss
Conservative leadership candidate @RoryStewartUK tells audience at Q and A that he is the only contender who can draw a crowd spontaneously and that will persuade his colleagues to back him. Reiterates he would not serve under Boris Johnson as PM if he pursued a No Deal Brexit

June 5, 2019
As one of the more social media savvy candidates, the secretary for international development livestreamed his event.

3h ago 14:24

Matt Hancock has told HuffPost UK that as PM he would repeal part of the government’s reforms to privatise the NHS and end a requirement to tender services for outside work

It follows calls from NHS bosses to scrap the controversial legislation, which has seen profit-driven health firms win health service contracts in England worth about £10.5bn in the five years since the act came into force.

Scrap laws driving privatisation of health service, say NHS bosses
Read more
As prime minister, the legislation to improve the way that the NHS works would be a priority for me. We are putting the bill together now, the proposals are very much borne of the NHS.

The legislation includes removing some of the legal requirements to go to tender where that isn’t appropriate. With time, it’s been shown that it’s better done a different way. I believe very strongly in the NHS free at the point of use, according to need not ability to pay, that it should be well funded.

The central thrust is to try to remove some of the admin burdens and the overbearing legal requirements that have come as a consequence of the last set of reforms.

The health secretary also pledged to partly reverse the student nursing bursary axed by the government in 2016, leading to a 30% fall in nursing degree applications. Hancock said there would be new “targeted support” for mature students, mental health and community nurses under his leadership.

There’s a question of how you make sure the money we’ve got goes as far as possible. There’s an overall shortage of nursing. It isn’t as big as the headline vacancy figures suggest. But there are acute shortages, especially in some specific areas like mental health nurses, and community nursing.

I want to make sure that the approach we take is to support and incentivise people into those areas where we’ve got shortages.

Declaring that he doesn’t need to see Donald Trump after his apparent U-turn over whether the NHS would be ‘on the table’ in a post-Brexit trade deal, Hancock said:

I haven’t sought [a meeting with Trump], I haven’t been granted one. It’s neither here nor there. As the President has confirmed this morning the NHS is not on the table for trade talks so there would be no reason to.

He also said cyberflashing could be made illegal.

Cyberflashing is absolutely disgusting and it’s a really good case in point where what is illegal offline should also be illegal offline. If a man walked down the street and exposed himself to people who didn’t want that to happen there are laws about that. And yet online it seems increasingly to happen and we need to tackle it.

Yes the companies have got a responsibility and frankly their artificial intelligence algorithms should be able to work out what is and isn’t an inappropriate picture but there’s also a legal aspect here where we have the law and it needs to be applied properly.

Should we change the law?

If need be, like we did on upskirting yes. But the basis should be if it’s illegal offline, it’s illegal online too. I think in this area there’s more work that can be done.

Varadkar has spoken to reporters following his meeting with Trump.

[Trump] said in the meeting he was aware that the sticking point in negotiations, one of the most difficult points in the negotiations, is the issue of the Irish border and he wants to keep that open and believes that can be done.

We didn’t go into any particular detail as to how he thinks it can be done but he understands that that has to be a shared objective - that if the UK is going to leave with a deal, that deal must involve legally-operable guarantees that we won’t see the emergence of a hard border between north and south.

[Trump] didn’t elaborate on why he thinks Brexit would be good for Ireland. We very much discussed the different nature of the border and I explained that 20 or 30 years ago we did have a hard border between north and south, particularly when the Troubles were happening and there were customs posts and so on, and that everyone in Ireland - north and south, unionist and nationalist - want to avoid a return to a hard border, but that Brexit is a threat in that regard and an unintended consequence that we can’t allow.

Updated at 2.39pm EDT
3h ago 14:04

Tory leadership contenders Michael Gove, Matt Hancock, Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab have been speaking at a One Nation group hustings this evening with chancellor Phillip Hammond in attendance.

Former Brexit secretary Raab has been talking up his negotiating skills, arguing that he is the only contender with a credible plan. He said he had “seen the EU upfront and personal” and “as Brexit secretary I looked our EU opposite numbers in the eyes”.

I know the strengths but also the weaknesses of their positions. That’s why we don’t just need a conviction Brexiteer. We need someone who is resolute, but someone who can navigate the rocky path ahead and get Brexit delivered. I’m the candidate you can trust, who will give us the best shot of getting a better deal for the UK.

Education minister Nadhim Zahawi, a supporter of Raab’s campaign, said he would not rule out anything – except delaying Brexit once again, which would leave the UK with “zero credibility”.

In contrast, Gove is said to have suggested the October 31 Brexit deadline could be extended in order to secure a deal, according to George Eustice. He added that candidates offering “easy, simple answers” by promising to leave on October 31 in any circumstance would “come unstuck”.

An MP who attended the Tory leadership hustings and did not wish to be named said: “He said that that is the date, but if it needs to move a day or a week in order to avoid something, then we shouldn’t be wedded to a single date.”

On a no-deal scenario, the MP said of Gove: “He said it wouldn’t be ideal, quite obviously. He’s looking for movement on the back stop.”

An MP supportive of Hancock said the health secretary had warned the hustings about the possibility of a Labour government. The MP, who also did not want to be named, told reporters: “He said there would be a danger that we would have an anti-Semitic party with its hands on the levers of power.”

This was swiftly rebuffed by Labour, with a source calling it a “baseless political attack”, according to the Daily Mirror’s Pippa Crerar.

Foreign Secretary Hunt told the hustings that parliament would block a no-deal Brexit, and therefore the Tories needed a leader who could negotiate a better agreement. Referring to himself as a lifelong entrepreneur, he suggested that could be him.

At the moment we only have bad choices. We risk Parliament blocking no deal and the EU blocking a better deal, so we need a leader who can negotiate a new approach. I’m an entrepreneur who has been doing deals all my life. I negotiated the new BBC licence fee and the new doctors’ contract. I won’t pretend this will be easy.

I met (Emmanuel) Macron and (Angela) Merkel today in Portsmouth and a hardline approach will lead to a hardline response. They will wait for Parliament to block no deal.

Alex Wickham
65 MPs present for Michael Gove to kick off the next round of One Nation hustings tonight - quite a bit fewer than yesterday. Philip Hammond in the audience

June 5, 2019
Steven Swinford
Dom Raab is not backing down on his comments about some feminists being 'obnoxious bigots'

He tells One Nation hustings: 'There is a feminist agenda that is in favour of positive discrimination which puts me off the label'

June 5, 2019
Kevin Schofield
Matt Hancock tells Tory leadership hustings: “I want to slay this unicorn, that we need a Brexiteer as PM. We don't need a Brexiteer as Prime Minister. We need someone who is committed to delivering Brexit.”

June 5, 2019
Pippa Crerar
First up @michaelgove at Tory One Nation hustings:
❌got to deliver Brexit before general election
❌formally opens door to Brexit delay of weeks not months
❌wants to renegotiate backstop
❌dig at Boris from supportive MP: "It wasn't stuffed full of supporters like yesterday".

June 5, 2019
Tonight’s hustings follows a similar event last night. The Spectator’s Katy Balls was the only journalist allowed inside, as she chaired the meeting. Here’s her report.

Updated at 3.55pm EDT
3h ago 13:37

Veteran parachutists are jumping over Normandy, 75 years since they did so as paratroopers on D-Day.

Veterans Harry Read, 95, and John “Jock” Hutton, 94, followed 97-year old fellow second world war survivor Tom Rice to descend upon Sannerville, in western France.

“It went perfect, perfect jump,” Rice said after his jump into roughly the same area, in fields of wildflowers outside Carentan, that he landed in on D-Day. “I feel great. I’d go up and do it all again.”

Rice jumped with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division on that day 75 years ago, landing safely despite catching himself on the exit and a bullet striking his parachute. He called the 1944 jump the worst he had ever had.

Read and Hutton arrived hours later than expected after their plans became fraught with technical difficulties, which then delayed the clearance they needed to enter French airspace.

Speaking with reporters afterwards, Read said:

I feel good. My health is good and my mind is still ticking away very nicely. I thought the jump was brilliant. I just had thoughts of anticipation after looking forward to it. Everything is worth the wait. The jump was wonderful in every way. I couldn’t believe the drop was going to be postponed in any way because I had his assurance from God. If that had happened, I was going to be examining my faith. I don’t think I’ll do another jump again.

Paratroopers from Britain’s 16 Air Assault Brigade and France’s 11th Parachute Brigade perform a jump over Sannerville, north-western France, on June 5, 2019.
Paratroopers from Britain’s 16 Air Assault Brigade and France’s 11th Parachute Brigade perform a jump over Sannerville, north-western France, on June 5, 2019. Photograph: Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. World War II paratrooper veteran Tom Rice, 97 years-old who served with the 101st Airbone, jumps during a commemorative parachute jump over Carentan on the Normandy coast ahead of the 75th D-Day anniversary, France, June 5, 2019.
U.S. World War II paratrooper veteran Tom Rice, 97 years-old who served with the 101st Airbone, jumps during a commemorative parachute jump over Carentan on the Normandy coast ahead of the 75th D-Day anniversary, France, June 5, 2019. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters
D-Day veteran Harry Read makes his final preparations with members of the Army Parachute Display Team before flying to Normandy in France where he will make a parachute jump as part of the 75th D-Day commemorations, in Duxford, Britain, June 5, 2019.
D-Day veteran Harry Read makes his final preparations with members of the Army Parachute Display Team before flying to Normandy in France where he will make a parachute jump as part of the 75th D-Day commemorations, in Duxford, Britain, June 5, 2019. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters
D-Day veteran Harry Read, 95, comes into land as he joins parachutists, in full Allied uniforms, in a parachute drop onto fields at Sannerville on June 05, 2019 at Sannerville, France.
D-Day veteran Harry Read, 95, comes into land as he joins parachutists, in full Allied uniforms, in a parachute drop onto fields at Sannerville on June 05, 2019 at Sannerville, France.

Andrew Sparrow Andrew Sparrow
President Trump told Leo Varadkar that he was confident the Irish border situation would be fine after Brexit because some “good minds” were working on it. He also said that in Britain he had met some “very good people” who were heavily involved in Brexit. (See 5.55pm.) He did not say who these very good minds were, or what their solution to the border problem was.

But we do know that yesterday afternoon, at the US ambassador’s residence in London, he met the Brexit party leader Nigel Farage and the Tory Brexiters Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson. All three claim that there is no reason why the Irish border should be a problem after Brexit, even in the event of no-deal. And Duncan Smith and Paterson have been heavily promoting the “alternative arrangements” border plan promoted by the Tory European Research Group, a new version of which was published by Steve Baker earlier today. (See 3.37pm.)

So it is possible that Farage, Duncan Smith and Paterson were the “good minds” whose plan for the Irish border has impressed Trump.

But what do other experts think? Since the new ERG paper was published by Baker today, various experts have been commenting. And they have been damning.

David Henig, director of the UK Trade Policy Project, has written a Twitter thread about it starting here. He concludes by saying the plan amounts to a “total refusal to face up to the real world”.

David Henig
From Trump back to Brexit, and we have the treat of another paper from no-deal Brexiteers - "A Clean Managed Brexit" to be launched tomorrow.

Have they finally found the way forward?

Spoiler alert: No... 1/

June 4, 2019
And here is a Twitter thread from Steve Peers, a law professor. He says “anyone producing such dishonest [crap] in any other line of work would lose their professional reputation.”

Steve Peers
This latest no deal Brexit paper is full of false or misleading statements. Surprise! I will supplement David's excellent comments with some comments of my own.

June 4, 2019
And here is a Twitter threat from Peter Foster, the Telegraph’s Europe editor.

Peter Foster
So @SteveBakerHW has produced a 10-page 'no deal' manifesto - here's my report with analysis from @jdportes @SamuelMarcLowe @DavidHenigUK @MichaelAodhan

The plan is completely ludicrous - as others have attested - so what's the game? 1/thread

June 5, 2019
That is all from me for tonight.

4h ago 12:55

Trump says Irish border issue will be 'fine' after Brexit because "good minds' working on it
This is what President Trump said when he spoke to reporters alongside Leo Varadkar, the Irish PM.

We will be discussing various things. Probably you’ll ask me about Brexit because I just left some very good people who are very much involved with Brexit, as you know. And I think that will all work out very well, and also for you with your wall, your border.

I mean, we have a border situation in the United States, and you have one over here. But I hear it’s going to work out very well ...

It is an honour to be in Ireland with my friend, and he is doing a great job as your prime minister.

Varadkar then explained that, actually, having a wall at the Irish border was precisely what he wanted to avoid. Trump accepted this. He went on:

I think you do, I think you do. The way it works now is good, you want to try and to keep it that way. I know that’s a big point of contention with respect to Brexit. I’m sure it’s going to work out very well. I know they’re focused very heavily on it.

In answer to a question about whether Brexit would be bad for Ireland, Trump said:

I think it should be good. The big thing is going to be your border, and hopefully that’s going to work out, and I think it will work out. There are a lot of good minds thinking about how to do it. And it’s going to be just fine. I think ultimately it could even by very, very good for Ireland. But the border will work out.

President Trump meets with Leo Varadkar at Shannon
President Trump meets with Leo Varadkar at Shannon Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP
Updated at 12.57pm EDT
4h ago 12:35

Here is a clip of President Trump talking to Leo Varadkar.

I will post the quotes in a moment.

Sky News

Donald Trump has compared the post-Brexit Irish border with his own planned wall for the US border with Mexico.

President Trump has arrived in Ireland where he is holding talks with Leo Varadkar, the taoiseach (prime minister) before heading off to his golf course. As the BBC’s Jayne McCormack reports, Trump claimed the border issue would not be a problem after Brexit.

Jayne McCormack
“We love the Irish - it’s an honour to be here,” says Donald Trump. He says the US “has a border situation too”. Leo Varadkar says Ireland wants to avoid a hard border with Brexit, President Trump replies that “we do too... the border will work out”. @BBCNewsNI

June 5, 2019
Leo Varadkar greeting President Trump at Shannon Airport

Labour-run Welsh government switches policy on Brexit to back staying in EU
The Labour-run government in Wales is now officially committed to remaining in the EU. It used to favour a soft version of Brexit (which is still the position of the overall Labour party in London) but now it has concluded that the option is no longer obtainable, and it is campaigning for remain. Jeremy Miles, the Welsh government’s Brexit minister, made the announcement in the Welsh assembly yesterday afternoon (when many of us were focused on Donald Trump). He explained that the European elections, and the events in the Conservative party, where a new leader is likely to push for a no-deal Brexit, had persuaded the Welsh government to change its mind. He told AMs:

The negotiations between the government and the opposition have broken down, destroyed by the jockeying for prominence of would-be Conservative leaders, and we know that there is no appetite in the parliamentary Conservative party for a form of Brexit that we had consistently advocated, one that retains participation in the single market and a customs union.

The prime minister is quitting and her deal is in tatters. It seems inevitable, given the bizarre process and the wholly unrepresentative electorate that will provide us with her successor, that in July we will have a prime minister who will demand, in a show of bravado, if nothing else, that the EU27 reopens negotiations of the withdrawal agreement. This will be rejected, and the government will set a course to a ‘no deal’ Brexit ...

We sought to reconcile the result of the 2016 referendum with the least damaging kind of Brexit, but that effort has now reached the end of the road.

The European elections have shown that the electorate remains profoundly divided, and, indeed, the split has widened, with many of those who voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum now supporting no deal, and many, probably a majority, wanting us to remain within the European Union. Faced by this sort of binary choice, we are clear that, almost three years on from the referendum, and more than two years after we put forward ‘Securing Wales’ Future’, we as a government must recognise these realities and change course ...

So, as a government, we will now campaign to remain in the EU. And to make that happen, parliament should now show the courage to admit it is deadlocked and legislate for a referendum, with ‘remain’ on the ballot paper.

The Welsh government’s new stance has been welcomed by the Scottish government, which is also anti-Brexit. This is from Michael Russell, the Scottish Brexit minister.

Michael Russell
Very welcome statement from my colleague @wg_CounselGen. Scotland & Wales now officially against #Brexit & Northern Ireland likely to be when / if Assembly re-convened: Welsh Government will now campaign to remain in the European Union | Wales - ITV News

June 5, 2019
Under devolution the Welsh Labour party is free to divert from policy set in London, but nevertheless this development will encourage Labour MPs who want the national party to commit to supporting remain in a referendum. At the moment Jeremy Corbyn remains committed to getting a better version of Brexit, not to stopping it.

(Thanks to philipphilip99 in the comments for flagging this up.)

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13h ago

I’m confused. I heard Penny Mordaunt being interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning, but not once did she use the words ‘cock’, ‘lay’ or ‘laid’. I thought it was mandatory for her. Perhaps it’s only when she speaks in the House of Commons?

Also, I’d like her to let us know how soon Albania, Syria and Turkey will be joining the EU, because many people are scared and frightened of the consequences.

After all, she did say:

’A remain vote in this referendum is a vote to allow people from Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey to move here freely when they join the EU soon.

‘Many of these countries have high crime rates, problems with gangs and terror cells as well as challenging levels of poverty.

‘I believe that this is dangerous and it will make us less safe.

‘That's why the safer option in this referendum is to Vote Leave and take back control.’

Biggest advocate for Turkey joining before the referendum and before they lurched into a Dictatorship, was none other than our own PM, Mr Cameron. Wanted their membership application fast tracked.

Brexit supporters are like survivors of a shipwreck in storm-tossed seas. They have always been desperate for solid ground, like a shipwrecked sailor clinging to a jagged rock in the ocean.

The latest example is "WTO rules" which many Leavers have taken-up and parrot like a mantra endlessly repeated - despite having no understanding of the meaning of the words. Now the "WTO rules" rock has crumbled to dust and once more the hapless Brexiters are floundering once more in the sea of delusion.

From the FT
Accusing China of cheating is hypocritical when almost all trade policy actions taken by the Trump administration are in breach of WTO rules, a fact implicitly conceded by its determination to destroy the dispute settlement system.

The US negotiating position vis-à-vis China is that “might makes right”. This is particularly true of insisting that the Chinese accept the US role as judge, jury and executioner of the agreement.

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