Huffington Post’s senior culture writer, Zeba Blay, blasted Vice President Mike Pence on Monday for “perverting the idea of free speech itself” during his recent commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. However, her own editors had to correct her faulty understanding of the First Amendment. The original version of Blay’s piece apparently contained an argument that the Bill of Rights doesn’t protect “hate speech.” The website’s editors later added a correction at the end of post: “An earlier version of this story indicated that the First Amendment never protects hate speech. It does.” Even with the correction from her editors, Blay still attempted to defend the “speech codes, safe spaces, tone policing, [and] administration-sanctioned political correctness” that the Vice President singled out for criticism during his commencement address. The Huffington Post writer underlined that Pence’s “pristine ideal of ‘free speech'” is too often “used to Continue reading "Huffington Post Apparently Doesn’t Understand How The First Amendment Works"
Recently, news emerged of a curious incident at the Old Town Sport&Health gym in Alexandria, Virginia. During a routine workout, Georgetown University professor C. Christine Fair, spotted none other than Richard Spencer. The white nationalist leader has attracted outsized celebrity over the last year with the rise of Donald Trump. As documented in her Tumblr — Shit Men Say — Fair accosted Spencer at the gym where she “loudly identified him as a neo-Nazi.” Long story short, she launched into a tirade, and the whole imbroglio led the gym to revoke Spencer’s membership. Now, I don’t much like Richard Spencer — and as a Jewish journalist in New York City— I suspect he doesn’t think very much of me either. But one thing I do like is America, and in the United States I grew up in, I was taught that everyone had a right to hold their political Continue reading "Let Richard Spencer Use The Gym!"
A whiff of sea change is in the air in the typically stale cable ratings wars after last week, as MSNBC, for the first time since the network’s inception in 1996, beat out Fox News ad CNN in primetime. As Fox News trailed behind both rivals in primetime demo ratings every day last week — the network’s worst streak in 17 years — it’s worth looking at the other side of the coin: MSNBC has been surging, thanks to exhaustive coverage of President Donald Trump’s administration, providing a relentless news cycle well-salted for liberals with an newfound appetite for White House flubs. MSNBC was the number 1 network in primetime the week of May 15, besting both CNN and Fox News in the key 25-54 demo and in terms of overall viewers, according to Nielsen. That’s remarkable: it’s the first time since the network’s inception in 1996 that the progressive news outlet has won in both categories. MSNBC Continue reading "In the Wake of a New Presidency, MSNBC Surges as Fox News Stumbles"
In case you hadn’t noticed, the story of possible Russian collusion from Donald Trump‘s campaign and administration has been a big one everywhere in the media… except for Fox News. At Fox, they’ve preferred to talk about how that isn’t a story, giving various reasons and even trying to turn other non-stories into stories in the process. (Notably, that led to a firestorm and a retraction on one occasion.) Today, though, Fox News’ top media reporter framed the Russia conversation in a new and even more convoluted way. Howard Kurtz wrote that there is no Russia story, so it’s totally fine that evidence keeps emerging that suggests Trump has been trying to shut down investigations into it all. Here, look at his words:
If you stop and think about it, the flood of leaks to the press over the last 10 days have Continue reading "Howie Kurtz: Trump Covering Up Russia Stuff Is OK…If There’s No Russia Stuff"
There is an episode of Seinfeld in which George, while being dumped, is hit with the “It’s not you, it’s me” breakup line. Forgetting about the rejection, he immediately obsesses over the fact that it was he, George, who came up with the line. He expresses outrage both to the girl and to Jerry, and as always, plays the fool. I feel his pain. At the risk of sounding like George Costanza, I will tell you that I came up with the notion that Donald Trump is the “Dumb Person’s Idea of A Smart Person.” I’ve been saying it for twenty years, before it came up on Twitter and, in fact, long before Twitter existed. My wife will vouch for me. The idea came to me as a reader of Sports Illustrated. Whenever a piece would run on a smarter-than-average jock, a reliable answer to the inevitable question Continue reading "Trump is a Dumb Person’s Idea of a Smart Person"
This week, the media freak-out over nightly “bombshell” revelations regarding evidence of President Trump’s apparent malfeasance and general abject incompetence reached, perhaps prematurely, a 9.5 out of 10. It culminated with Friday’s story that Trump told a Russian spy, in the Oval Office, that he fired the FBI Director, who is a “real nut job,” because he was investigating their involvement in our election and that he had gotten rid of the problem. Within the last two weeks, there have been several stories about Trump which, in an era where the mainstream news media wasn’t coming off of eight years of Obama cheerleading and was still remotely trusted by Republicans, would have quickly forced the GOP to abandon this president and set the stage for his resignation. This latest disclosure, basically verified by the White House, certainly should qualify as one of those, if not the most damaging of Continue reading "Trump’s Cult Was Designed to Withstand This Current Media Onslaught and That’s What’s Happening"
As a string of reports containing bombshell revelations roiled President Donald Trump’s administration in the last two weeks, cable news networks breathlessly covered every lurid detail, with one exception: Fox News. To recap: Since the controversial firing of FBI director James Comey last week, Monday brought the report that Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials, and on Tuesday, Comey revealed he has memos of the president asking him to close the investigation into Michael Flynn. Among these flagship bombshells, there were dozens of other outrageous stories that could fill their own news cycle in any other week — if not a book. One would assume such scandalous reports would stir the loins of any cable news producer worth their salt. But television audiences were presented with the stark choice between two parallel universes this week: On MSNBC and CNN, viewers were treated to a nonstop flow of pundits, Continue reading "Fox News Ratings Slip As the Network Minimizes Biggest Stories"