To the shock of no one with a functioning and objective brain, it was finally revealed today that President Donald Trump, contrary to previous public statements, does NOT have any tapes of his conversations with then FBI Director James Comey. This official revelation should be a rather big deal, but much like nearly everything involving Trump, it likely won’t be. Let’s be very clear about what really happened. After Trump suddenly fired Comey and was stunned by the backlash, word began to “leak” out about Comey’s version of their conversations. Trump then tweeted that Comey “better hope there are no tapes” of those discussions. We now know that Trump (unless he is a complete imbecile) knew when he made that pronouncement that no such tapes existed, and yet he waited several weeks, dodging many opportunities to clarify, before finally admitting that it was all just a bluff. There will Continue reading "Here’s Why Trump “Lying” About the “Comey Tapes” Should Matter a Lot, But Won’t"
The 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile by police officer Jeronimo Yanez may very well be a horrible tragedy which was completely morally unjustified. However, even after Yanez’s trial (which resulted in his acquittal) and the subsequent release of the dash cam video, I seem to be one of the very few commentators willing to say that we just don’t know that to be true, and that there is another entirely different scenario which is still very viable. I wrote about this case back when it happened and appeared on television to “debate” Mediaite founder Dan Abrams about it. My view then was that this situation had all the markings of a classic rush to judgment by the media and that there were a lot of things about the case against Yanez which either didn’t make sense, or at least didn’t add up to him having committed a major Continue reading "Why I Am Still Baffled By the Outrage over the Philando Castile Shooting Verdict & Video"
It is increasingly clear that we live a world turned upside-down. This is particularly obvious in the realm of the modern media where all the old rules have been dramatically upended while many in the business still haven’t fully come to that rather obvious realization. In this environment, it should come as no surprise when actual outcomes have no real relationship to the way events transpire (like, for instance, our entire 2016 presidential election). This exactly what happened with regard to the televised showdown between NBC’s Megyn Kelly and nutty conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Before the segment aired, I was one of those who expressed concern that, based on a reading of the tea leaves (including a bizarre, all-too-friendly photo of them riding in a car together), the interview may not be as hard on Jones as he deserved. This anxiety was heightened when unaired video leaked of Kelly going Continue reading "How Megyn Kelly ‘Lost’ By Crushing Alex Jones…and He ‘Won’ by Losing"
In the wake of the horrendous attempted massacre of the Republican Congressional Baseball team on Wednesday morning, it was somewhat impressive that most people in politics and the news media handled themselves pretty darn well. The focus of attention seemed to be in the right place, and the measured but defiant tone of the response appeared to be nearly pitch perfect. Of course, like most conservatives, I am rather confident that if the assailant had been vocally PRO-Trump and had purposely singled out Democrats for potential mass murder, the reaction, especially within the news media, would have been VERY different. Among other things, Trump himself would have been immediately been directly blamed and old videos of violence had his campaign rallies would have been played (other than on Fox News) on a near perpetual loop. But because, in real life, this shooter was clearly an ANTI-Trump liberal who went out Continue reading "Why the Hell Did the New York Times Lie About the Gabby Giffords Murders?"
Sometimes there are conundrums within the increasingly complex world of the news media which have no easy answers. The current controversy over Megyn Kelly’s still-scheduled (as of early Tuesday) interview with pro-Trump conspiracy nut/actor Alex Jones clearly fits into that category. On the one hand, I agree with Mediaite founder Dan Abrams when he says that Kelly interviewing Jones is no worse than when the same big-media treatment is given to murderers, and that since President Trump has praised Jones, he is inherently news-worthy. I disagree with Dan, however, when he says this isn’t even a close call. There are a couple of special circumstances here which, to me, make airing this interview questionable. One is that Jones isn’t just “controversial,” he says things which are completely insane and extremely harmful. Specifically, his bat-crap crazy theory that the Sandy Hook mass murder of innocent children was all a
Continue reading "Where Megyn Kelly Went Wrong With Her Alex Jones Interview"
Before former FBI Director James Comey’s much-hyped Senate testimony, I predicted that everyone would declare victory and not much would change. It sure seems this forecast was far better than the one I made about it being nearly impossible for Donald Trump to become president in the first place. At the core of why I was so certain that even Comey calling the president a liar, several times, in front of a massive television audience, would have very little immediate impact, is the strength of Trump’s cult-like base of support. I have written several times about how and why the group I now refer to as “Cult 45” is now completely impervious to any negative information about their leader, partly because Trump and his “state-run” (formerly “conservative”) media friends have inoculated them with the “fake news” canard. In the day since Comey actually testified, there is every indication that, Continue reading "The Trump Cult Is Responding to Comey’s Testimony Exactly like Cults Are Expected"
It is perfectly emblematic of this era of ridiculously short attention spans that, by the time former FBI Director James Comey testifies to the Senate Intelligence Committee, what he will say will mostly be “old news.” Thanks to previous leaks of key tidbits of information and today’s release of his opening statement, the news media has already gone through exhaustive analysis of what will happen on Thursday and there is a very strong likelihood that there will be no new bombshell revelations. It seems to me that we also already know what the immediate outcome of Comey’s testimony will be: everyone will declare victory, everyone will feel justified in their previously held beliefs on this matter, and nothing will fundamentally change. The only real winners will be the cable news networks which will get a big audience for an entire day without even having to do any real Continue reading "James Comey’s Testimony Will Allow Everyone to Declare Victory and Change Almost Nothing"