Yet Another Trump Flip-Flop? Donald Trump Calls Media ‘Very Honorable People’

From China to NATO, we’ve chronicled a number of stark flip-flops from President Donald Trump in recent days. But this latest whopper might be the most stunning of all. At an event on Thursday honoring the first responders of the I-85 highway collapse in Atlanta, the President — who spent months on the campaign trail calling the media pretty much every name in the book — shockingly lobbed a high compliment to members of the fourth estate. “You know these folks back here,” Trump said, waving towards the assembled press. “They’re very famous, most of ’em. It’s called: the media. They’re very honorable people. “But you’re more honorable,” he quickly told the first responders. The compliment was truly astonishing given Trump’s extensive track record of blasting the press at every turn. Ever since he began his Presidential candidacy, he’s ripped the media for spreading “fake news,” Continue reading "Yet Another Trump Flip-Flop? Donald Trump Calls Media ‘Very Honorable People’"

This American War on Drugs

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled that he'd like to revamp the War on Drugs. We take a look at the history of the battle, and how sensational media depictions of crack, heroin, and meth have helped fuel it. Plus: our Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Drugs Edition. Then, a look at how America’s first drug czar used racist propaganda to outlaw marijuana. And why the debate between treatment and law enforcement is blurrier than you might think.

How the Press Gets Seduced By War

Last week, President Trump ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria in retaliation against the chemical attack allegedly committed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his own people. The coverage of the strikes appeared to present a stark choice between good and evil, rather than a Gordian knot of geopolitics, regional politics, domestic politics, and the proliferation of terror. But is it really that easy? Bob speaks with Stephen Kinzer, Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and a columnist at the Boston Globe, who argues that the public is being presented with a deceptively simple version of reality because the media aren't asking the right questions.

After Syria Attacks Corporate Media Russia Industrial Complex Grinds to a Halt

For months, the corporate media and political drumbeats have been thumping the same old chestnuts: Donald Trump is Putin’s puppet, Hillary Clinton‘s epic defeat is somehow not valid, and any journalist who asked for incontrovertible evidence of Russian collusion is a Kremlin agent. For several weeks at a time, we’ve also seen pundit parties with an open buffet table of groupthink and “stated-as-fact” proclamations that Russia “hacked the election.” Trump’s inner circle and possibly Trump himself are a stooge of Russia, was the major news theme of the past two months. Well, if Trump’s a puppet, he needs new strings. Because if Trump is living under some type of dark, Putin-extortion cloud that holds damning financial or embarrassing social information over him, it would be highly stupid of the Donald to claim Russia is somehow covering for Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad‘s alleged chemical weapons attack on his own Continue reading "After Syria Attacks Corporate Media Russia Industrial Complex Grinds to a Halt"

Once Again, The Internet Mob is Getting it Mostly Wrong on the United Airlines Fiasco

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 2.53.11 PM By now, we have all heard about the fiasco involving the forced removal of an Asian doctor from a United Airlines flight Sunday night. This situation was obviously outrageous and the airline’s actions are completely indefensible. We know this for sure because the Internet mob, and the news/entertainment media which religiously follows their inclinations in search of a random ratings bump, has made it very clear. Like our Founding Fathers, as a conservative, I am inherently suspicious of “mob rule.” Any instant mob reaction is inherently going to be based almost purely on emotion and what response feels good, rather than what is based on facts and logic. These circumstances provided almost a perfect storm of impulses to cause the mob, as it almost always does, to not get the story right. On one side, you have a poor doctor seemingly getting beat up on camera because he wanted Continue reading "Once Again, The Internet Mob is Getting it Mostly Wrong on the United Airlines Fiasco"

Pew Survey: Most Americans Believe Trump-Media Feud Unhealthy

If there is one thing that Americans can agree on, it’s just how polarized they are. Almost three-quarters of Americans – including both Democrats and Republicans – think the strained relationship between President Donald Trump and the news media is impeding their access to important political news, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The lack of even a partisan split was reminiscent of a survey done late last year about the confusion that fake news was causing Americans, according to Michael Barthel, a Pew Research Associate who helped conduct both surveys. “We found very few differences across groups in their concerns about fake news,” he said. “The evidence of polarization seem to be these things on which Americans can agree.” Ninety-four percent of respondents said they have heard about the tensions between Trump and the media and 83 percent said the relationship is unhealthy. The survey
Majority say fake news has left Americans confused about basic facts
Continue reading "Pew Survey: Most Americans Believe Trump-Media Feud Unhealthy"

The Death of Meaning, or What the Hell Happened to Hypocrisy?

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 4.09.19 PM The news media, still clinging to memories of its former role in our Democratic Republic as the “fourth estate,” often likes to think of itself as the referees in an athletic contest. Take for example MSNBC’s current ad campaign featuring Chuck Todd bragging about how they perform those very duties in our political realm. In the era of President Trump, however, things have changed. Taking the athletic metaphor further, there are currently several “game violations” that would have previously warranted major penalties and perhaps expulsion from the game itself. Violations are suddenly not being called at all or, even worse, “flags” are being basically ignored as the rules of the game have instantly changed. An no one even seems to know what they are anymore (just ask Billy Bush!), assuming they ever existed at all. Several formerly clear-cut “fouls” fall into this category, but the one that has Continue reading "The Death of Meaning, or What the Hell Happened to Hypocrisy?"