BREAKING: Multiple Injuries Reported in Active Shooting Incident in Aurora, IL; Shooter Apprehended


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Reports and social media postings coming out of Aurora, IL state there is an active shooter situation with multiple people wounded. ABC Chicago reports the situation is taking place at the Henry Pratt Company. The Daily Herald reported four City of Aurora Police Officers are also injured.
Schools near by have been placed on either complete lockdown or “soft” lockdown, where students can not leave the building. “There are reports of an active shooter at the Henry Pratt building near Cleveland and Prairie just east of Luigi’s Pizza, as a result, we are holding Continue reading "BREAKING: Multiple Injuries Reported in Active Shooting Incident in Aurora, IL; Shooter Apprehended"

Colbert Cold Open Cheerily Mocks Amazon Scrapping NYC Plans


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On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday, the show’s cold open was a shot at Amazon for their decision, apparently in reaction to New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to scrap plans for a Long Island headquarters. It opened with a news clip of the announcement, and then went into a parody of returning an item at Amazon. Among the reasons in the drop down were “Won’t guarantee union labor” and “will displace historic strip clubs.” But the selection made is, of course, “already saw Jeff Bezos’ package.” NBC News reported Thursday that Ocasio-Cortez in particular, and more broadly other New York politicians, were the reason that Amazon gave for the decision to cancel the New York HQ. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was very pleased with the decision, saying she thinks it’s “incredible.” The Democratic governor of New York disagreed. Obviously, the NYC-based Late Show sides Continue reading "Colbert Cold Open Cheerily Mocks Amazon Scrapping NYC Plans"

Marco Rubio Rips Trump’s Plan to Declare Emergency: ‘No Crisis Justifies Violating the Constitution’


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Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) was one of the first prominent Republicans to speak out on Thursday about his opposition to President Donald Trump‘s plan to use a national emergency declaration to obtain funding for his border wall. Rubio said no crisis is sufficient to “violate the constitution” in a statement released not long after the news broke.
“Three weeks ago, Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly to help Florida communities devastated by Hurricane Michael,” Rubio said. “I will not support using devastated communities in Florida as pawns for some future legislative deal.” “We have a crisis at our southern border, but no crisis justifies violating the Constitution,” Rubio continued. “Today’s national emergency is border security. But a future president may use this exact same tactic to impose the Green New Deal. I will wait to see what statutory or constitutional power the President relies on to justify such a declaration Continue reading "Marco Rubio Rips Trump’s Plan to Declare Emergency: ‘No Crisis Justifies Violating the Constitution’"

A Century of Free Speech


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For this week's pod extra, we feature a conversation from WNYC'S Brian Lehrer Show. Brian talked with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger and University of Chicago Law Professor Geoffrey Stone, editors of The Free Speech Century, a collection of essays by leading scholars, marking 100 years since the Supreme Court issued the three decisions that established the modern notion of free speech. Whether it’s fake news or money in politics, we’re still arguing over the First Amendment, and their book lays out the origins of the argument just after the first World War.  

Linda Sarsour Attacks AIPAC in Defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar


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Pro-Palestine activist and Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour weighed in on the controversy over comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar, in which the Minnesota Democrat mocked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in tweets described by many as blatantly anti-Semitic. Sarsour has herself been the subject of similar accusations over her activism and, along with other members of the Women’s March leadership, the association with and support for anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. “I will not be silent in the face of attacks, harassment and targeted policing of speech from a Black Muslim woman elected official, our sister Ilhan Omar in the name of combatting antisemitism,” Sarsour wrote in her closing on Facebook. Most of the post was written as a defense of attacking AIPAC, without recognition of the specific tweet that prompted the most responses, including one from former first daughter Chelsea Clinton. In that tweet, Continue reading "Linda Sarsour Attacks AIPAC in Defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar"

David Pecker’s Attorney Denies Bezos Claims: Not Extortion, Not the White House, Not Saudi Arabia


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On This Week on Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos interviewed Elkan Abramowitz, attorney for AMI chief David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer. Abramowitz denied allegations and implications from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that the tabloid attempted to extort and blackmail him, and that it was done at the behest or on behalf of Donald Trump. “It absolutely is not extortion and not blackmail,” Abramowitz told Stephanopoulos right from the start. “What happened was the story was given to the National Enquirer by a reliable source that had given information to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to this story,” he said. “And it was a source that was well known to both Mr. Bezos and Miss Sanchez.” He was referring to Lauren Sanchez, Bezos’ girlfriend who is the other party in the photos with which Bezos claims National Enquirer attempted to blackmail and extort him. Continue reading "David Pecker’s Attorney Denies Bezos Claims: Not Extortion, Not the White House, Not Saudi Arabia"

The World’s Biggest Problem


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At Tuesday's State of the Union, President Trump continued to call for a wall at the southern border. Meanwhile, some Democrats point to the real crisis: climate change. A look at the messaging of urgency and hope around the Green New Deal. And, a former mentor to Mark Zuckerberg lays out his deep criticisms of Facebook. Then, a Facebook employee makes the case for one potential solution. Plus, a new documentary about Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin, two New York City reporters, who helped turn column writing into an art form. 1. Kate Aronoff [@KateAronoff], contributing writer with The Intercept, on how Democrats are selling the urgent need to address climate change. Listen. 2. Roger McNamee [@Moonalice], author of Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, on the damage that Facebook has done. Listen.
  1. Andy O'Connell [@facebook], manager of content distribution and algorithm policy at Facebook, Continue reading "The World’s Biggest Problem"

Virginia Lt. Gov Fairfax Reportedly Says ‘F*ck That Bitch’ in Private Meeting on Accuser; Staff Denies Story


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Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax just released a new denial of the sexual assault charge that’s been raised against him, and it seems to come on the heels of emerging reports that he is privately disparaging his accuser, Dr. Vanessa Tyson. The state government of Virginia has been under siege for the last few days due to a flurry of controversy surrounding their top officials. Tyson has accused Fairfax of assaulting her at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Massachusetts, Governor Ralph Northam is still under fire over the racially-charged picture from his med school yearbook profile, and now, Attorney General Mark Herring has admitted to his own instance of wearing blackface at a college party. As Herring put out a statement to address the blackface matter, Fairfax posted a message of his own, denying the allegation again and saying “I cannot agree with the description of events that I Continue reading "Virginia Lt. Gov Fairfax Reportedly Says ‘F*ck That Bitch’ in Private Meeting on Accuser; Staff Denies Story"

BREAKING: Virginia Attorney General Admits to Wearing Blackface at College Party


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Just when you thought the current state of Virginia politics couldn’t get any more bizarre, the state’s Democratic attorney general has now admitted to wearing blackface at a college party in the 80s. AG Mark Herring posted a statement to Twitter this morning, following a meeting with black lawmakers this morning, in which he says the following:
In 1980, when I was a 19-year-old undergraduate in college, some friends suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song. It sounds ridiculous even now writing it. But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes –– and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others –– we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup. This was a onetime occurrence and I accept full responsibility for my conduct.
Herring says in the statement Continue reading "BREAKING: Virginia Attorney General Admits to Wearing Blackface at College Party"

Fumble! Super Bowl Ratings Tank, Lowest in 10 Years


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Thanks to a widely-panned game between a team whose appearances have become old hat, and a team new to its hometown market, the Super Bowl absolutely tanked in the ratings on Sunday night. According to Nielsen (via Deadline), the big game drew a 44.9 overnight number. That represents the worst early Super Bowl rating since the 2009 clash between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals. Super Bowl LIII — in which the New England Patriots bested the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 — was the lowest scoring Super Bowl in NFL history. Coupled with an uninspiring halftime show by Maroon 5, and commercials which largely failed to go viral, fans were mostly left without a draw of any kind.

BREAKING: VA Gov. Ralph Northam Reportedly Calls for ‘Urgent’ Meeting with Staff, Lt. Gov.


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Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has apparently called for an “urgent” meeting with his top staff, including his Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. That’s according to ABC News, as tweeted by Richard Reeve of ABC’s Washington D.C. local affiliate. The photograph from Northam’s yearbook, which purportedly shows the Democrat governor in either blackface or a KKK hood, was a top story on most of the Sunday morning news programs. The calls among Republicans and Democrats, and commentators on those shows, has been almost universally for him to resign. A disastrous presser over the weekend during which he denied it was him in the photo instead only intensified those calls, as Continue reading "BREAKING: VA Gov. Ralph Northam Reportedly Calls for ‘Urgent’ Meeting with Staff, Lt. Gov."

Misery in the Name of Liberty


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The Venezuelan press has been facing repression for years. This week, On the Media explores how journalists in the country are struggling to cover the standoff between two men who claim to be president. Also, how both the history of American interventionism and the legacy of Simón Bolívar color coverage of Venezuela. Plus, a critical look at the images coming out of Chinese internment camps. 1. Mariana Zuñiga [@marazuniga], freelance reporter based in Caracas, on her experience covering Venezuela's presidential standoff. Listen
  1. Miguel Tinker Salas [@mtinkersalas], professor of history at Pomona College, on the legacy of Simón Bolívar. Listen.
  2. Stephen Kinzer [@stephenkinzer], professor of international relations at Brown University, on the history of American intervention in Latin America. Listen

  3. Rian Thum [@RianThum], senior research fellow at the University of Nottingham, on the internment of Uighurs by Continue reading "Misery in the Name of Liberty"

GOP Senators Spread the Lie That Ralph Northam Said He Supports ‘Infanticide’; Here is the Truth


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Republican senators like Marco Rubio have been falsely claiming that Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam “support(s) legal infanticide” based on remarks Northam made during an interview this week. Here are the facts. A veritable gaggle of Republican senators have been spreading variations on this lie since Northam’s interview on Wednesday, including Rubio (posted below), Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley: But even on their face, without any additional context, Northam’s comments express no such support for “infanticide” or “taking the life of babies AFTER they are born” or that “infants w ‘deformities’ may be candidates for abortion – AFTER birth,” as these senators claim. In fact, Northam describes a scenario that does not include abortion at all and even expresses disagreement with the abortion Continue reading "GOP Senators Spread the Lie That Ralph Northam Said He Supports ‘Infanticide’; Here is the Truth"

A Tell-All Memoir And An NDA


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This week, the latest tell-all memoir from a former White House staffer hit bookstores. Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House is by Cliff Sims — who was, depending on who you ask, either key player as Director of Message Strategy or, as Trump tweeted this week, “nothing more than a gofer.” The book, of course, is a landfill of trash and dirt on his former colleagues. And even as Sims toured the morning shows, the late shows and the everything-else shows to hawk his book, Trump Campaign COO Michael Glassner was threatening to sue him for violating the campaign's non disclosure agreement. Sims says he remembers signing some paperwork, but doesn’t remember if there was an NDA in there and, as other lawyers have since chimed in, there is established precedent that would make it very hard for the campaign to silence a former Continue reading "A Tell-All Memoir And An NDA"

Hundreds Attend Air Force Veteran’s Funeral After Viral Story of Cemetery Fearing No One Would Show


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The people of Texas are known to be a very patriotic and their latest actions prove they walk the walk. A plea was made over the weekend for people to attend the funeral of Air Force veteran Joseph Walker by the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. And the Lone Star state responded by turning out for the service in a big way. The cemetery said they were unable to find his family and it looked liked no one would attend his funeral, according to KVUE.

Roger Stone Flips Out on Mueller Probe and FBI Arrest: ‘These Are Gestapo Tactics’


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Longtime Trump ally and friend Roger Stone was arrested and indicted last week, and the dramatic footage of the FBI raid caught on camera by CNN has been the subject of criticism on Fox News and other Trump-aligned outlets over the last few days, and by Stone himself Sunday morning. On This Week, Stone told host George Stephanopoulos that Robert Mueller‘s office was using “Gestapo tactics” in order to poison the jury well against him. “Well, I must tell you, George, I think the way I was treated on Thursday is extraordinary, I think the American people need to hear about it” said Stone, getting the day of his arrest incorrect. “I’m 66 years old. I don’t own a firearm. I have no prior criminal record. My passport has expired. The Special Counsel’s office is well aware of the fact that I’m represented. The idea that a 29-member Continue reading "Roger Stone Flips Out on Mueller Probe and FBI Arrest: ‘These Are Gestapo Tactics’"

WaPo Reports 14,000 Unpaid IRS Workers Did Not Show Up Due to Shutdown


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There may be a problem as the IRS barrels towards the heart of tax season with the partial government shutdown hampering normal operations. The Washington Post reports, citing two House aides, that at least 14,000 unpaid IRS workers — specifically those who work in call centers and tax processing — failed to show up for work this week despite an order issued last week for 36,000 furloughed employees to return to work without pay. “The shutdown appears to be affecting the IRS,” according to the Post. “In the call centers, which answer taxpayer questions over the phone, only about 35 percent of calls are being answered, IRS officials told congressional staff, according to one of the aides. The initial plan for filing season was for 80 percent of calls to be answered.” Additionally, WaPo reports average call time has increased from 7-10 minutes last year to 25-40 minutes Continue reading "WaPo Reports 14,000 Unpaid IRS Workers Did Not Show Up Due to Shutdown"

Close Encounters


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The Lincoln Memorial debacle showed how vulnerable the press are to a myriad of social and political forces. This week, we examine how the outrage unfolded and what role MAGA hat symbolism might have played. And, a graphic photo in the New York Times spurs criticism. Plus, a reality show that attempts to bridge the gap between indigenous people and white Canadians. 
  1. Bob's thoughts on where the Lincoln Memorial episode has left us. Listen.

  2. Charlie Warzel [@cwarzel], tech writer, on the zig-zagging meta-narratives emerging from the Lincoln Memorial episode, and the role played by right-wing operatives. Listen.

  3. Jeannine Bell [@jeanninelbell], professor at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law, on MAGA hat symbology. Listen.

  4. Kainaz Amaria [@kainazamaria], visuals editor at Vox, on the Times' controversial decision to publish a bloody photo following the January 15 attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Listen.

  5. Vanessa Continue reading "Close Encounters"

BREAKING: FAA Slows Flights Into New York’s LaGuardia Airport Due to Air Traffic Controllers Shortage


This post is by Julio Rosas from Mediaite


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On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced they have slowed flights into LaGuardia Airport due to air traffic controllers shortages as the partial government shutdown enters its 35th day. Initial reports stated they had stopped flights completely: “The stop was ordered shortly before 10 a.m. Some arriving flights are also being delayed,” NBC 4 New York  reported. On Thursday, the FAA Continue reading "BREAKING: FAA Slows Flights Into New York’s LaGuardia Airport Due to Air Traffic Controllers Shortage"

The Giant Referendum On Everything


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For the past month, journalists have been reporting on the anxieties of furloughed federal workers. This week, On the Media learns that many reporters face a new threat to their own job security. Plus, an on-screen dramatization of Brexit, and a likely sea-change in Youtube's rankings. 
  1. Dave Krieger [@DaveKrieger], former editorial page director of the Boulder Daily Camera, on the latest newspaper target of vulture capitalism. Listen.

  2. James Graham [@mrJamesGraham], screenwriter of "Brexit," on his star-studded depiction of an urgent, present-day dispute. Listen.

  3. Matthew Goodwin [@GoodwinMJ], professor of politics and international relations at the University of Kent, on why so many people got the Brexit narrative wrong. Listen.

  4. Clay Shirky [@cshirky], Ajey Nagar [@CarryMinati], Sarah Moore [@sarahlynn_1995] and others on the global culture war over PewDiePie and T-Series. Listen.