You may have heard that former Trump campaign advisor Sam Nunberg did a few cable television interviews yesterday. Yes, they were totally bonkers and entertaining as hell, but now that the buzz has worn off many commentators are suggesting that the whole saga was completely inappropriate, even “pornographic,” and that the news media should have shown some semblance of restraint when it came to giving him live air time to have a public meltdown. As someone who has deep disdain for much of what the media has become, my first instinct is indeed to blame CNN and MSNBC for what happened here. After all, this was not news. In fact, the only theoretical news hook, that Nunberg — a minor witness who was not part of the Trump campaign when the bulk of what led to the Russia investigation occurred — was going to defy a subpoena from Robert Continue reading "We Are All to Blame For The Media’s Exploitation of Nunberg — And The Bachelor Break-Up"
Watching the non-stop, hysterical coverage of so-called Russia-gate over the last few weeks has made me ponder whether CNN and MSNBC producers have been drinking too much Stolichnaya. I say that as someone who covered the Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton campaigns in the field in 2016, interviewing hundreds of voters. I say that as someone who has all along believed there should be an investigation into whether the Trump campaign criminally colluded with the Russian government to hack the DNC and/or John Podesta’s emails to then hand off to WikiLeaks. I say that as someone who, despite being in favor of that investigation, has for two years derided the corporate-media-Russia-industrial-complex, which in a mad dash for ratings has delivered a Cold War reenactment on our screens and in our papers. This reached a fever pitch when CNN reporter Drew Griffin recently performed a ridiculous, loony Continue reading "RussiaGate Hysteria Exposes Corporate Media as Selective Guardians of Democracy"
I’m an alumna of Middlebury College, a bucolic liberal arts institution nestled in a valley between two mountain ranges in one of the more well-to-do towns in Vermont. In this serene, manicured setting, protests look like a blight on the immaculate body of the school. True, I think, of many liberal bastions that are very impressed with their students; they want nothing to be wrong, and so life gets muted. Life gets academic. Which may help to explain why a great deal of campus activism at my alma mater is so extreme: in a stillness so deafening, it sometimes feels the only appropriate response is to scream. And too often, this is what student activists do: they mistake making a very loud statement for effective activism. What Middlebury student-activists – and I imagine activists at many, many other colleges, but I’ll stick with what I know – need to realize Continue reading "College Activism Needs to Get Better Than This Student Accusing Dozens of Peers of Rape"
As a constitutional conservative, I believe in our Second Amendment right to bear arms and that the government should not be trusted with laws that disarm those over which they rule. That being said, I am personally not much of a gun person — though my wife is. I also believe that the world has dramatically changed since our Constitution was written. Our Founding Fathers could not have envisioned a country where it was possible to kill dozens of people in a couple of minutes, where a significant portion of the population does not fear an afterlife, and where carrying out an act of unthinkable horror makes the perpetrator instantly famous. So when it comes to gun rights, I have always been right of center, meaning I am willing to consider reasonable restrictions on gun ownership, while mindful of the dangers of the slippery slope and the idea that making Continue reading "Trump’s Emerging Betrayal of the NRA is as Predictable as it is Hilarious"
Much of the country has been on-edge since last week’s massacre in Parkland, Florida. Emotions are running high as 17 students and teachers are being laid to rest and survivors of the shooting are advocating for change. So when CNN announced they were organizing a town hall with those affected by the tragedy, perhaps it could have brought the passions found on both sides of the gun debate together for a grounded, meaningful discussion. Well, it didn’t really pan out that way. At all. To their credit, CNN has organized well-executed town halls before, often starring Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The guests were given time to make opening and closing remarks and were moderated by one or two CNN anchors who allowed audience participants to ask questions while asking their own. And the crowds, while fairly large to fill the room, have been manageable. This town Continue reading "CNN’s Disastrous Town Hall Provided Cheap Entertainment at the Expense of Meaningful Progress"
The big loser in CNN’s Wednesday night Town Hall to address the horrific shooting last week in Parkland, Florida was the NRA — by far. The NRA not only potentially lost a generation of young people as potential members but from the sound of the audience at the Town Hall last night, it’s fair to say that many view the NRA as the enemy. And they should. The NRA and the politicians they’ve bankrolled value easy access to guns over their lives. And the audience last night filled with younger people — many of whom just last week were dodging bullets from an AR-15, a weapon the NRA fought to legalize after it was banned from 1993 to 2003 as part of the federal assault weapons ban — got that. These high school students may be teenagers, but they know the deal. They fully understand the power of the NRA Continue reading "The NRA Just Became The Enemy of a Generation of Younger Americans"
In this media era of Trump-created desensitization, it is often difficult to focus on just one topic on which to opine for the depth of a typical column. Since this week has provided a lot of comment-worthy topics, but nothing which, for my contrarian style, stand outs above the rest, I’m going to try something a little different and provide some random thoughts on a variety of subjects. There has been a lot of talk this week, especially in conservative circles, about the mainstream media’s (especially at CNN) narrative that President Donald Trump has been softer on Russia than even Barack Obama was. This is a topic that Trump himself, along with his state-run media, have pushed back against rather hard. I have seen even some prominent Trump-skeptical conservatives mock the notion that Obama was anything but extremely weak when facing the Russian/Putin threat, and there is absolutely Continue reading "Thoughts on a News Cycle: Russia, The CPAC Mess, And Whether Trump Will Sell Out the NRA"