Trump Really Wants To Deflect Attention From His Russia Scandal

President Donald Trump urged his 27 million Twitter followers on Tuesday morning to immediately tune into Fox News.
“Watch @foxandfriends now on Podesta and Russia!” the president tweeted at 7:16 a.m.
A minute later, “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy introduced Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and author of the book Clinton Cash. Schweizer discussed how former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta had served on the board of Massachusetts-based energy company Joule Unlimited, which several years ago received a $35 million investment from Kremlin-backed fund Rusnano. 
It was Schweizer’s organization that reported in July 2016 on Podesta’s past ties to Joule, though the business arrangement was framed as a major revelation in the four-minute “Fox & Friends” segment, complete with on-screen graphics like “Kremlin Connection,” “Putin To Podesta,” and “Hidden Assets.” And the report questioned whether Podesta broke the law in failing Continue reading "Trump Really Wants To Deflect Attention From His Russia Scandal"

Pro-Trump Media Get Their Wish As The Health Care Bill Is Pulled

Just before 3 p.m. Friday, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham threw a request out into the Twitter ether: “#PullThe Bill.
She got her wish 39 minutes later as news broke that President Donald Trump and GOP House leaders had pulled the beleaguered health care bill after it became clear that enough conservative lawmakers opposed the legislation to sink its chances.
Republican lawmakers who defy a Republican president’s wishes by opposing his first major piece of legislation might normally fear the wrath of conservative media calling for their heads in the next midterm elections.
But those representatives who resisted Trump’s personal appeals to support the American Health Care Act shouldn’t fear any broadsides from the right, let alone the type of conservative media backlash that helped topple the House majority leader a few years back. That’s because several of the right’s most influential voices lined up against the bill, Continue reading "Pro-Trump Media Get Their Wish As The Health Care Bill Is Pulled"

The Guardian Continues To Pare U.S. Edition

The Guardian plans to cut costs in its U.S. operation by 20 percent and is offering staff members buyouts for the second time in six months, with layoffs possibly to follow, according to sources familiar with the decision. 
The British-based Guardian newspaper announced in September it was reducing staff in its U.S.-facing digital operation by 30 percent. Twenty journalists took buyouts in the fall, according to a source who is not authorized to speak on behalf of the publication. Some senior-level staffers have since left the company and have not been replaced.
Management informed staff Wednesday there would be more cuts, and gave employees a two-week window to apply for buyouts. Layoffs could follow if enough employees don’t voluntarily leave. 
The Guardian US union committee said in a statement it “was disappointed to hear Guardian management announce further job cuts.”
“However, management’s agreement to re-open Continue reading "The Guardian Continues To Pare U.S. Edition"

Trump’s Plan To Cut Public Broadcasting Funds Could Most Hurt Those Who Voted For Him

President Donald Trump’s proposal to slash funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting wouldn’t threaten to reduce programming at RSU, a public television station in rural Oklahoma. It would end it. 
“If the cuts go through with the CPB, my station would no longer exist,” station manager Royal Allis told The Huffington Post. “We would have to turn the lights out.”
Republicans lawmakers have tried for decades to eliminate funding for the 50-year-old CPB, even though the $445 million it’s allocated each year accounts for just 0.01 percent of the federal budget. The attacks on public broadcasting have long been tied to politics, as some critics perceive outlets like NPR and PBS as having a liberal slant.
And yet the Americans likely to be hit hardest by the proposed cuts live in deep red, rural parts of the country that overwhelmingly voted for Trump. 
NPR and Continue reading "Trump’s Plan To Cut Public Broadcasting Funds Could Most Hurt Those Who Voted For Him"

Trump Escaped ‘Wiretap’ And Russia Questions In Local TV Interviews

When ABC News White House reporter Jonathan Karl got within earshot of President Donald Trump on Monday afternoon in the Oval Office, he asked if the president believed he was wrong to allege that his predecessor wiretapped him.
Trump didn’t answer.
The president’s bogus “wiretap” claim was surely on the mind of other Washington journalists Monday afternoon given that FBI Director James Comey dismissed it during a congressional hearing that morning. Comey also confirmed in that hearing that the FBI is investigating several Trump associates regarding Russia’s alleged attempt to influence the 2016 election.
But when Trump did a couple interviews hours later with local newscasts prior to his rally in Louisville, Kentucky, those two stories consuming the capital didn’t come up. A representative for a Cincinnati station interviewing Trump says they chose to focus on local concerns, while a Louisville reporter who spoke to the president said those two Continue reading "Trump Escaped ‘Wiretap’ And Russia Questions In Local TV Interviews"

Americans Don’t Know What Their Secretary Of State Is Doing Right Now

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly opted not to have a meal Friday with his South Korean counterparts because of “fatigue,” according to a line buried toward the end of an article in The Korea Herald.
It’s a newsworthy development, not just because this is Tillerson’s first trip to Asia as secretary ― a trip that comes amid a looming North Korean nuclear threat ― but because of what it suggests about his stamina. And the fact that it was only known through the accounts of anonymous “Seoul officials” via a foreign outlet is noteworthy in and of itself.
That’s because Tillerson has taken this trip without the usual accompaniment of the U.S. press corps. It’s a break with tradition, and it introduced a host of complications and potential pitfalls. For example, Americans have no independent confirmation as to whether “fatigue” did in fact play a role in Continue reading "Americans Don’t Know What Their Secretary Of State Is Doing Right Now"

State Dept Admits The Only News Outlet Tillerson Took To Asia Isn’t ‘Steeped In Foreign Policy’

Acting State Department press secretary Mark Toner struggled Wednesday to explain Secretary of State Rex Tillerson breaking with bipartisan tradition by not inviting the press corps along for this week’s Asia trip and instead taking only a four-year-old conservative news site with little experience covering U.S. diplomacy.
Toner said a seat was given to a reporter from the Independent Journal Review, or IJR, “as part of an effort to include a broader representation of U.S. media.” IJR, a millennial-geared news outlet launched by two former Republican officials, has recently added more reporters, including at the White House, and aims to be viewed as more than a site able to produce highly shareable videos on Facebook. But at this point, IJR has no significant track record covering foreign Continue reading "State Dept Admits The Only News Outlet Tillerson Took To Asia Isn’t ‘Steeped In Foreign Policy’"