Posts Tagged ‘mainstream media’

The Internet Will Be the Death of Us

October 31, 2018

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It casts rogue grievances as legitimate obsessions and gives prejudices the shimmer of ideals.

Nora Ephron once wrote a brilliant essay about the trajectory of her and many other people’s infatuations with email, from the thrill of discovering this speedy new way of keeping in touch to the hell of not being able to turn it off.

I’ve come to feel that way about the whole of the internet.

What a glittering dream of expanded knowledge and enhanced connection it was at the start. What a nightmare of manipulated biases and metastasized hate it has turned into.

Before he allegedly began mailing pipe bombs to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others, Cesar Sayoc found encouragement online — maybe not in the form of explosives instructions, but in the sense that he could scream his resentments in a theater that did the opposite of repudiating them. It echoed them back. It validated and cultivated them. It took something dark and colored it darker still.

“By the time he was arrested in Florida on Friday,” The Times reported, “Sayoc appeared to fit the all-too-familiar profile of a modern extremist, radicalized online and sucked into a vortex of partisan furor.”

By Frank Bruni
Opinion
The New York Times

Robert Bowers, accused of murdering 11 Jewish Americans in Pittsburgh the morning after Sayoc’s arrest, stoked his madness and nurtured his bloody fantasies in that same online vortex. While Sayoc carved out ugly niches on Facebook and Twitter, Bowers found even safer harbor for his racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic passions on Gab, a two-year-old social network that has served as a nursery for white nationalists. There they congregated, commiserated and riled up one another with an unfiltered efficiency that simply doesn’t exist offline.

It was on the internet, with its privacy and anonymity, that Dylann Roof researched white supremacy and formulated his evil conviction that violence was necessary. He then went into a historic church in Charleston, S.C., and fatally shot nine African-American parishioners in June 2015.

It was on the internet — on Facebook, to be exact — that Alek Minassian posted a pledge of allegiance to the “incel rebellion,” which refers to the resentments of “involuntarily celibate” men who can’t interest the women around them in sex. He then used a van to mow down and kill 10 people in Toronto in April.

Enclaves of the internet warped the worldviews of all of these men, convincing them of the primacy and purity of their rage. Most of us had never heard the term “incel” before the Toronto massacre. But it was the indelible centerpiece of Minassian’s life.

Most of us were unfamiliar with HIAS, the shorthand for a Jewish group that resettles refugees. But those initials dominated Bowers’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. And that reflects the internet’s power to cast rogue grievances as legitimate obsessions and give prejudices the shimmer of ideals.

Technology has always been a coin with two sides: potential and peril. That’s what Mary Shelley explored in “Frankenstein,” which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year, and it has been the main theme of science fiction ever since.

The internet is the technology paradox writ more monstrous than ever. It’s a nonpareil tool for learning, roving and constructive community-building. But it’s unrivaled, too, in the spread of lies, narrowing of interests and erosion of common cause. It’s a glorious buffet, but it pushes individual users toward only the red meat or just the kale. We’re ridiculously overfed and ruinously undernourished.

It creates terrorists. But well shy of that, it sows enmity by jumbling together information and misinformation to a point where there’s no discerning the real from the Russian.

Don’t take it from me. Take it from a Silicon Valley giant whose wares depend on our internet addiction. Speaking at a conference in Brussels, Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, warned, “Platforms and algorithms that promised to improve our lives can actually magnify our worst human tendencies.”

“Rogue actors and even governments have taken advantage of user trust to deepen divisions, incite violence and even undermine our shared sense of what is true and what is false,” he added.

This was a week ago — before Sayoc’s arrest, before Bowers’s rampage, before Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, won Brazil’s presidential election. As The Times reported, pro-Bolsonaro forces apparently tried to hurt his opponents and help him by flooding WhatsApp, the messaging application owned by Facebook, “with a deluge of political content that gave wrong information on voting locations and times.”

That same Times article noted that a search for the word “Jews” on the photo-sharing site Instagram on Monday led to 11,696 posts with the hashtag “#jewsdid911,” insanely blaming them for the attacks that brought down the World Trade Center, along with similarly grotesque images and videos that demonized Jews. Anti-Semitism may be ancient, but this delivery system for it is entirely modern.

And utterly terrifying. I don’t know exactly how we square free speech and free expression — which are paramount — with a better policing of the internet, but I’m certain that we need to approach that challenge with more urgency than we have mustered so far. Democracy is at stake. So are lives.

I invite you to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter. You can follow me on Twitter (@FrankBruni).

Frank Bruni has been with The Times since 1995 and held a variety of jobs — including White House reporter, Rome bureau chief and chief restaurant critic — before becoming a columnist in 2011. He is the author of three best-selling books.  @FrankBruni  Facebook

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A29 of the New York edition with the headline: The Internet Will Be the Death of Us

Neuroscience may help explain a current lack of social and emotional skills, impulse driven decision making and mob-like behavior in society…

Police officers wearing A.I.-powered smart glasses with facial recognition in Luoyang, China. Credit Reuters

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Social media is making children regress to mentality of three-year-olds, says top brain scientist

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Manipulation Machine of Mainstream Media and Social Media are Tools Being Used to Destroy America

October 28, 2018

A deliberate attempt is being made by the MSM (Mainstream Media) to destroy the remaining fabric of American society and force the country’s disintegration and absorption into a global government.

They don’t have very far to go: since the 1960s, a family-centered culture that was the “hub” of the greatest nation this world has ever seen…that bastion of the family has been eroded and all but destroyed. The replacement “culture” has been one of drug use, pornography, “sloth” within all the generations… young, middle-aged, and elderly, and a fostered unwillingness to take responsibility for anything of value. The country is an entitlement nation that “asks not what you can do for your country, but what can you take from it.” The family is not even referred to in that manner anymore. I have read the term “consumer units” to refer to households, as well as “household groupings.”

Communities… true communities where individuals and families contribute to the overall welfare of the area and each other… are almost nonexistent. This has been replaced with Communism, currently undergoing its “genesis” from the soft form of socialism and the semi-laissez faire authoritarianism that is exemplified by the surveillance state. The socialism will turn into communism, as Lenin (Ulyanov, if you prefer) pointed out to us. A forced “communal” mindset is being blared at us by every weapon the Media has in its arsenal: the radio, newspapers, television, and the Internet/Social Media monster.

Daily, the paradigm is shifted, and the consciousness of the people is being battered with wave after wave of unrelenting actions.No publication better exemplifies the heinous nature of the Media’s intentions than Time Magazine. A Feminist Agenda is being peddled under the guise of “equality,” but in reality it is a sinister operation carried out by nefarious individuals masquereding as “reporters,” “editors,” and “columnists,” meant to polarize groups and to foster a sense of “blame” or “guilt” with every action.

As an example, the September 18, 2017 issue of Time Magazine has an Editorial Page (page 4) by Nancy Gibbs, Editor-in-Chief, that explains how 12 women were on the cover of Time as “Firsts,” or “groundbreaking” women who the magazine holds up as positive examples. Hillary Clinton and Ellen Degeneres are two of those examples that are upheld and lauded. Funny how they didn’t  slap a picture of Hillary Clinton on the cover around the time of Benghazi, Libya, or when she resigned her position as Secretary of State. They didn’t put one up there of Victoria Nuland, either, or Rosanne Barr. Paula Deen was also left out.

Time didn’t skip a beat with it’s cover of its December 18, 2017 issue entitled “The Silence Breakers: the voices that launched a movement,”with the theme being women who came forward with stories of sexual harassment.  Missing from that ensemble was Asia Argento, who was accused of sexually harassing a man. January 29, 2018 issue with the photos of 48 women on the cover, with the lead article entitled “The Avengers: First they marched. Now they’re running.”This issue is all about women running for public office.

Not “Public Servants,” but Avengers: the characterization of every one of these articles.

If a woman takes that stance when running for office…the stance of an “Avenger” instead of a public servant, then she is doing more than a disservice to her constituents: she is committing fraud.Underlying the public oath she will take if she wins is the fact that it is done for a nefarious reason…to exact revenge against male dominance or discrimination, whether real or imagined. This is not the characterization needed by someone who holds public office, a public servant who is supposed to champion the interests of all.

But the true crime is committed by the magazine: this is a form of hate speech treading upon eggshells.  Under the guise of freedom of speech and freedom of the press (and protection under the 1st Amendment of the Constitution) they can say anything they want, right? How about where these pieces by time were meant to polarize groups and set off one group (in this case men) to be vilified…would not this be a form of “hate speech?” Just as you are not allowed to shout “fire” in a movie theater when there is none…an action that will lead to an arrest…how are these MSM people able to force this nonsense on the rest of us? Every cover, and every article has an agenda.

To be sure, there is no such thing as perfect reporting, because that would mean that complete objectivity has been attained, and there is no such thing. The problem lies in the fact that this is not a matter of objectivity: it is a matter of complete “slant” and deliberate obfuscation of the facts in order to mold public consciousness (they have no “conscience”) and shift it toward Communism. They trick you: they uphold “community,” but what they really mean is Communism, plain and simple. You’re a part of the group, complete with slogans and “groupthink,” until you do something as an individual, and then you either are ostracized, punished, or cast out.

In a sheer case of reverse discrimination, males…Caucasian males, to be exact, are denounced, ridiculed, and degraded at every turn. The President of the United States is the most visible Caucasian male, and he has been the lead “scapegoat” for all of the ills that befall the “woe is me!” crowd of whining entitlement-centered voters whose only true qualification for voting is being born in the United States (we hope). Mueller is a white male, and here is how they did it:pitted two white males against one another, and the Left wins, no matter who wins!

Mueller and his witch hunt have been a relentless, circuitous pursuit with no clear-cut objectives and no end to the hunt.  If he “found” something, it makes the President look bad. If nothing happens, then it still casts a “shadow of doubt” on the President…sometimes equally damaging as an action…and Mueller ends up appearing as a bumbling clown….two white males in a negative light, no matter what the result.

On various Time Magazine covers are an assortment of males who are vilified: The President, Steve Bannon, Vladimir Putin. They also put one up of Harvey Weinstein, the vehicle to open the door and charge all human males in the United States who have ever looked at a woman. Amazing how the charges did not surface and Weinstein was not “quite so villainous” before the 2016 election when he was contributing heavily to the Democrats and to Hillary Clinton.

We have focused on one magazine, but this same pattern is rampant in all of the publications. September 21, 2018’s issue of “The Week”depicts the President with his back towards us, and in front of him are six black masked-and-garbed individuals staring at him. The caption reads, “The Resistance: Why Trump’s own staff is conspiring to thwart his impulses.”

See this, and see it for what it is:  “…Trump’s own staff is conspiring to thwart his impulses.”

His impulses? That the President acts on impulse, and not on thought-out decisions with deliberation behind them…that is the lie this magazine wishes to push on the public. It is not only in this regard that the country is being destroyed. You don’t see anything of any worth in these publications that contributes to the overall good of society, because they don’t wish that.

The Media does not want a “good” society: they want a degenerate society that is either cowed into compliance, or so focused within and upon all its filthy acts that it does not care what goes on around it. Such leads to submission and enables control.

The Media has blinded the people by showing them what they wish to see: themselves. The Media has purposefully, deliberately lowered the standards. The Media (inclusive of Hollywood, mind you, and the movies and television) have presented aberrant behaviors and actions that denigrated and destroyed the former social fabric. They have enabled others of their ilk (Communists in Politics and in Business) to foster a new “Third World” society, including the abolition of the middle class and the ending of where government is the final answer and solution to all problems.

Read. Read the “Communist Manifesto,” and the Planks of Communism, and you will see in print what was written decades ago, that is happening here and now in the U.S. Read Alexander Sozhenitsyn’s works to see what happens at the “final tipping point” of the full-blown change of a nation into a Communist totalitarian society.

And read the newspapers, the magazines, and the like: it will all jump right out at you. We are at a tipping point where the economy is not stable, where there are many elements that could turn into tremendous social conflicts and upheavals domestically, and the rest of the world is little by little “decoupling” from the Petrodollar and reliance upon American markets.

Throughout all of this, the Media has been there to make it worse, to skew the news, and to force societal transformation and paradigm shift through its propaganda toward a Communist society and the relegation of American sovereignty toward global governance.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-27/retired-green-beret-warns-mainstream-media-tool-destroy-america

Related:

Neuroscience may help explain a current lack of social and emotional skills, impulse driven decision making and mob-like behavior in society…

Police officers wearing A.I.-powered smart glasses with facial recognition in Luoyang, China. Credit Reuters

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Social media is making children regress to mentality of three-year-olds, says top brain scientist

In a week of domestic terrorism, a commander in chief mostly missing in action

October 27, 2018

As President Trump on Friday celebrated the FBI’s arrest of a suspect in a spate of attempted mail bombings, he read from a teleprompter to promise “swift justice,” denounce “despicable” political violence and call for national unity.

Yet just two hours earlier — and less than an hour before the arrest — the president had tweeted his frustration that the media’s coverage of “this ‘Bomb’ stuff,” instead of politics, was hurting Republicans’ momentum headed into the Nov. 6 midterm election. By his quotation marks, he even seemed to subscribe to some conservatives’ “false flag” conspiracy theories that the threats were a liberal hoax.

By By   and 

The Los Angeles Times

Even after the arrest, Trump turned from his scripted statement at the White House to address supporters there, reverting to his usual attacks on “fake polls,” the media and “globalists.” That last mention prompted chants against George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who was a target of a pipe bomb, and “Lock him up!,” which a smiling Trump indulged.

It was yet another moment of mixed messages and missed opportunities for leadership from a president who, in times of national crisis, has repeatedly delivered the expected “presidential” performance only briefly and from a script, before returning to his familiar political attacks. In this case, moreover, the attacks were the very sort that had critics charging that his provocative rhetoric — including the harsh jibes at Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and others — were what goaded the would-be bomber to target them.

“You want and expect presidential leadership in times like these to be strong, empathetic and consistent. And it’s really the consistency bit where President Trump falls short,” said Michael Steel, a Republican strategist who was a spokesman for former House Speaker John A. Boehner.

“He’ll make the teleprompter speech, say the right thing, and then there’s a 3 a.m. tweet or an aside that goes right back to viewing these events through a partisan or self-centered lens,” Steel added. “It undercuts his sincerity.”

The White House declined to comment on this line of criticism. Aides also refused to say whether Trump had been briefed on the arrest before or after his 10:19 a.m. tweet in which he suggested doubts about the attempted bombs. The suspect, 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc Jr., was arrested at his white van, which was plastered with tributes to Trump and hate messages against Democrats and CNN, which was the intended recipient of at least two pipe-bomb devices.

“Whatever he does, there are followers who model their behavior on his,” said Charlie Sykes, a conservative author who has broken with his party over Trump. “In a country of 350 million people, there are going to be more than a few unbalanced individuals who will take him both literally and seriously.”

Yet, Sykes said, “The president will read the right statement and then he immediately reverts to form.”

Trump’s inability to sustain a unifying message in the midst of national trauma — in this case potential assassinations of two former presidents, former Cabinet officials and several members of Congress — sets him apart from all predecessors, according to Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University.

“All our presidents are very political and partisan, but there is this check where in these moments, they have to be unifying,” he said. “It’s low-hanging fruit for a president to respond in a consistent, somber way to something like this. Trump can do it a little bit but it’s almost as if the temptation is too strong to go back to his campaign rhetoric.”

An early, memorable example of what’s become Trump’s familiar behavior pattern was his response to the violence incited in August 2017 by white supremacists and neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, Va. He vacillated between words of unity and then statements condemning both the racists and the mostly peaceful counter-protesters equally.

On Wednesday, after authorities intercepted suspected bombs mailed to Hillary Clinton, former President Obama, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, Trump made his first remarks to the country from the White House, reading from a teleprompter to decry violence and disunity.

But he stepped on that message almost as soon as he stepped off Air Force One that evening in Wisconsin for a political rally. There, he joked repeatedly that he was behaving and “being nice” by eschewing some of his usual attack lines, against Clinton and Waters, for example.

It was the closest thing to an acknowledgement that his incendiary rhetoric might contribute to the charged political climate. Yet he attacked the media, as usual, for “fake news” that caused the anger.

The next morning, Trump made that point with a tweet:

“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”

Trump did not call any of the Democrats who were the intended targets, as past presidents likely would have.

Leon E. Panetta, a former White House chief of staff and Cabinet official in Democratic administrations, said presidents typically have had a “sense of their obligation as president to try to comfort people that are being threatened,” regardless of party.

“Everything for him is placed in a political context that he interprets as not requiring the president to kind of play the role of leader of the country,” Panetta said. “He’s in the middle of an election campaign. He’s been doing all of these rallies. I think in many ways there was a sense that whether or not this threat was real or not, that this was just kind of the political volatility that we’re all a part of.”

Trump did use his phone to tweet — about 50 times since the news broke on Monday afternoon of the first suspected bomb at Soros’ New York estate. Six were against the so-called caravan of refugees from Central America walking toward the U.S. border, which Trump has tried to make an anti-immigration campaign issue. Four related to the bomb scare, though just one — a retweet of a post by Vice President Mike Pence — expressed concern for the intended targets while the others criticized the media.

Most memorably, on Friday morning as the FBI closed in on Sayoc, Trump tweeted his complaint against the media for reporting on “this ‘Bomb’ stuff” to the detriment of Republicans. He also tweeted his complaints that Twitter had removed followers from his account, about the cost of illegal immigration and, pre-dawn, against CNN.

“There are certain baseline things that a president should do to unify the country, to step away from partisan politics for at least a few days, to reach out to his political opponents, and he’s done none of these things,” Sykes said.

Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary for President George W. Bush, said Trump is “driven by political approval.”

Fleischer said he would have preferred that Trump display a more traditional style but believes “a sufficient number of Americans shrug their shoulders and say, ‘That’s Trump.’”

As he left the White House on Friday evening for another rally, Trump spoke briefly with reporters and was asked whether the terrorism scare would cause him to further temper his political remarks.

“I think I’ve been toned down, if you want to know the truth,” he said.

He went back to casting blame elsewhere. “The media has been unbelievably unfair to Republicans, conservatives and certainly to me,” he said, and walked away. At the rally in Charlotte, N.C., he repeated the message, to cheers and chants from supporters.

There, after restraining himself at an earlier rally this week amid the attention to the pipe bombs, the president was back to slamming both “Crooked Hillary” — encouraging the usual “Lock her up!” chants — and Waters, though he omitted his usual nickname for her, “Low IQ Maxine.”

“I won’t say it,” Trump told the crowd. Pointing toward reporters, he added, “I want them to say I was so nice tonight.”

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-bombs-leadership-20181026-story.html

CNN Fails To Report on Switchblade Attack on Republican

September 13, 2018

More than 24 hours after authorities announced the arrest of a California man who allegedly tried to stab a Republican congressional candidate, CNN has yet to inform its audience of the story.

Farzad Fazeli, 35, allegedly made disparaging remarks about the Republican Party before pulling out a switchblade and attempting to stab Rudy Peters at a festival Sunday, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

Image result for Rudy Peters, photos

Rudy Peters

Peters is the Republican nominee in California’s 15th Congressional District, where he is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell.

The sheriff’s office arrested Fazeli on Tuesday and announced it to the public that afternoon.

But by Wednesday evening, CNN had published zero articles on the attempted stabbing. A Daily Caller News Foundation review of CNN’s on-air coverage Tuesday and Wednesday found zero segments informing viewers of the attack.

Fazeli approached Peters and “made disparaging remarks” about the Republican Party and elected officials before the attempted stabbing, the sheriff’s office said, citing witness statements.

“The knife malfunctioned and the victim became involved in a physical struggle with Fazeli,” the sheriff’s office said.

President Donald Trump was among the elected officials that Fazeli disparaged before his attack on Peters, the San Francisco Gate reported. (RELATED: GOP Congressman Says He Received More Death Threats In 2017 Than Every Other Year Combined)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who narrowly survived a politically motivated mass assassination attempt in July 2017, called on Democrats to tone down their rhetoric and denounce political violence in response to Sunday’s attempted stabbing.

A CNN spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

https://dailycaller.com/2018/09/12/cnn-ignores-california-switchblade-attack/

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Failure to Communicate — Trump has a solid record, but he’s too busy making noise to tout it

August 3, 2018

“On balance, Trump’s Tweets do more damage than good.”

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If a tree falls in a noisy circus, does it make a sound? If the Trump administration announces its largest deregulatory effort to date while the president is in the throes of a Twitter rampage, will anybody pay attention?

No, and thereon may hang the balance of Republican congressional control. It’s never clear where Donald Trump gets political advice, if he does at all. What is clear is that this White House is doing an able job of whiffing one of the best political messages in decades, a reality that is demoralizing administration insiders and GOP candidates alike.

The following are just a few pieces of news out of Washington, all of which hold enormous promise for Americans. The Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department released a plan—announced on the website of these pages—to ax the Obama administration’s car-emissions standards, saving consumers $500 billion. Dollarwise, it may be the biggest deregulation ever.

The Treasury has recommended rescinding the “payday lending” rule, which threatened to cut off the poorest Americans from viable credit. The Interior Department proposed the first real reforms to the Endangered Species Act in decades, offering hope to tens of thousands of landowners. The National Labor Relations Board is revisiting a 2014 decision that allowed unions to poach employer email systems, part of the board’s plan to review any case that overruled precedent in the name of Obama union backers. The Internal Revenue Service lifted a political threat to nonprofits by allowing them to shield the names of their donors.

The Department of Health and Human Services finalized its rule allowing more non-ObamaCare insurance options to millions of Americans. The Senate sent a $717 billion defense authorization bill to the White House, increasing active-duty strength and providing troops their largest pay raise in nine years. The Senate also confirmed the 24th Trump circuit-court judge.

The Labor Department released new numbers showing worker compensation increased 2.8% year over year, the fastest pace in a decade. Average home values are rising at twice that pace. Unemployment hit record lows. Second-quarter economic growth came in at 4.1%.

If all this sounds wonderful, it is, though many Americans have heard little about it. The headlines? Mr. Trump publicly lecturing his attorney general. Mr. Trump hashing Charles Koch. More about Russian collusion, provoked by the president’s call for the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller. China tariffs. Border strife. Michael Cohen. Paul Manafort.

Yes, the mainstream media relentlessly drives anti-Trump stories. But what’s new? Republicans have long known they don’t get a fair hearing from the press, which is why they shifted to talk radio and other alternative media. Mr. Trump understands that better than most—thus his heavy use of Twitter, live rallies and press conferences.

It’s the content that is mystifying. To hold the House and increase their Senate majority, Republicans must do two things: get out their base and bring along the center. The president, with an unrivaled bully pulpit, has instituted policies that provide him a near-perfect message for those tasks. He can rally supporters by banging home his promises kept and warning that only their vote this fall will allow him to continue his mission. And he can court the undecided with constant reminders of their new prosperity and freedom, and a vow that this is only the beginning.

The president is certainly focused on his base, though with an eye to whipping them up with rallies focused primarily on the polarizing issues of trade and immigration. His tweets revolve around the same issues—those and Mr. Mueller—and are often defensive or whiny.

This House midterm will hinge on marginal districts—suburban or exurban areas where Hillary Clinton outpolled Mr. Trump or came close. Those races in turn will hinge on centrist voters. If Mr. Trump makes those centrists believe this election is about family separation, Republicans lose. If he refocuses it on voters’ newly thriving prospects, Republicans have a shot.

That aforementioned list of accomplishments is only from the past few weeks. One remarkable aspect of the Trump administration is its productivity. The cabinet set a pace of reform in its openings weeks that has never lagged. If Mr. Trump isn’t going to spend every day embracing, elevating and making this product of his own presidency the dominant discussion, then no one will. The press isn’t going to do it. Democrats sure aren’t. And no other Republican has that megaphone.

Some will doubt whether Mr. Trump’s unconventional style even allows him to deliver such a message. But meditating in his farewell address on his nickname, the Great Communicator, Ronald Reagan said: “I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content.”

The content—the results—of this administration is right there, waiting for the president to communicate.

Write to kim@wsj.com.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/failure-to-communicate-1533251094?mod=hp_opin_pos2

The quote at the top “On balance, Trump’s Tweets do more damage than good,” was not a part of the Wall Street Journal article but was contributed by a Peace and Freedom reader…

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Donald Trump Tops Obama in Approval Numbers at Same Point in His Presidency

July 5, 2018

“It’s the economy, stupid.”

— James Carville

President Trump’s approval rating on his second Independence Day is at 48% with likely voters.

And that is with 90% negative coverage from the far left mainstream media.

And after a month of anti-ICE protests by Democrats President Trump jumped 10 points with Hispanics in the recent Harris-Harvard poll.

On Barack Obama’s second Independence Day — despite a fawning media — his approval rating was only at 45%.

It comes down to results.
President Trump is delivering on his promises.

Since President Trump’s election the DOW daily closing stock market average has risen as much as 44%. (On November 9th, 2016, the DOW closed at 18,332 – in January of this year the DOW reached heights of over 26,500.).

On February 28th, 2017, President Trump matched President Reagan’s 1987 record for the most continuous closing high trading days when the DOW reached a new high for its 12th day in a row!

Under President Trump the DOW set the record for the fastest 500 point increase between major milestones when it reached 26,000 on January 17th. It only took 6 days to increase 500 points from 25,500.  As a matter of fact, since President Trump’s election the DOW has set records for the fastest 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 point increases in the DOW’s history!

2017 was the best year ever for the DOW. It increased more points than ever in its history (4,956) and it reached more all-time highs (71) than any year in history!

Every US stock index has reached all-time highs during the Trump Presidency. 

And President Trump’s foreign policy is also seeing results.
History is being made.

President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, shake hands as they meet for the first time, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at the Capella Hotel in Singapore. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/07/results-matter-president-trump-tops-obama-in-approval-numbers-at-same-point-in-his-presidency/

Vanity Fair’s Hilariously Bad Account of the ‘Red-Pilling’ of Kanye West

May 3, 2018
Kanye West performs with U2 during a surprise concert in support of World AIDS Day in Times Square in New York, December 1, 2014. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Reporting on the Right with no understanding of the RightIbelieve it was in 2003 when I coined the term “conservatives in the mist” for a certain style of reporting. A play on “Gorillas in the Mist,” it describes how liberal/mainstream reporters who don’t know very much about conservatism march through the bush to explore the strange and mysterious habits of these little-understood creatures that look so much like us. One classic version of a conservatives-in-the-mist piece is set on American college campuses, where the correspondent discovers that rightish college students can actually string sentences together and have almost human-like emotional states. Another standard of the genre is when a writer leaves Manhattan to talk to believing Christians about why they still cling to their sky god and discovers along the way that their antediluvian beliefs don’t prevent them from being nice people. (Oh, there’s also the perennial “liberal goes on a National Review cruise and discovers that conservatives say conservative things while on vacation.”)

The normal problem with conservatives-in-the-mist reporting is usually that it’s condescending — “Isn’t this amazing? Conservatives care for their young, too. Just like normal people.”

But condescension is sometimes preferable to the alternative version of conservatives-in-the-mist reportage in which the scribe heads off into the heart of darkness to prove liberals’ deepest suspicions about the savagery and backwardness of these alien tribes. The classics of this genre usually try to demonstrate that mainstream conservatives are really just little more than Klansmen living in mufti among us.

Tina Nguyen’s latest piece in Vanity Fair lies somewhere in the middle between these two genres. It’s not really a conservatives-in-the-mist piece so much as an “explainer” about how Kanye West walked off the trail and got seduced by the conservative natives. It’s full of signifiers that Nguyen really gets conservatives — and not just conservatives like, say, Jen Rubin or John Kasich, but the super-scary “far right.” The headline: “HE’S NEVER BEEN HAPPIER: INSIDE THE RED-PILLING OF KANYE WEST.”

You can almost hear readers by the pool in the Hamptons saying, “Oh red-pilling, I’ve heard of that. That’s how the neo-Nazis gave us Trump. This sounds serious.”

But it’s not.

When an author lumps Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Richard Spencer, Mike Cernovich, that Milo guy, Steve Forbes, Bret Stephens, and Jonah Goldberg under the same “far right” label, you can be sure they don’t really know what they’re talking about. The alt-right — which is not synonymous with far right — hates my guts and the feeling is mostly mutual. Jordan Peterson isn’t really a right-winger at all as far as I can tell, and neither is Sam Harris.

To be fair, Nguyen’s contention is that we all qualify as far right because we’re critical of identity politics in one sense or another. If you think that’s all you need to qualify as being “far right,” then I guess that’s defensible. But if you do think that, you also have to think most liberals — and a great many socialists and Communists — prior to about 20 years ago were far right, too. Nor is opposition to identity politics anything new on the right — what’s new on the right is the sudden embrace of identitarianism by the likes of Cernovich and Spencer, a development Nguyen seems utterly oblivious to.

And that’s why I find this piece more funny than infuriating. She just casually swerves across all sorts of ideological, intellectual, and categorical bright lines and even a few traffic cones like an old lady barreling down the highway while rummaging through her purse to find her enormous sunglasses. It’s like a would-be sportswriter chronicling last weekend’s sportball match where the batter scored a touchdown in overtime.

Let’s just look at two paragraphs. First this:

While onetime giants in the conservative-media sphere struggle to stay afloat — Breitbart is fighting to remain financially stable, let alone culturally relevant; part of Yiannopoulos’s multi-million-dollar start-up venture, Milo Worldwide LLC, collapsedlast week; RedState, once a prominent conservative blog, recently fired several writers and editors; and I.J.R. has repeatedly slashed both its staff and budget — the new thought leaders of the right are eschewing news outlets entirely. [Emphasis mine.] The trend toward conservative influencers has also given a boost to Prager University, a massive media platform that pumps out slickly produced explainer-type videos by firebrands like former Google engineer James Damore, pro-Trump sheriff David Clarke,publishing exec Steve Forbes, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, and National Review editor Jonah Goldberg, all of which somehow manage to coexist. According to Buzzfeed, PragerU, as it’s known, is on track to hit a billion page views in 2018.

Look, I think PragerU is great. I don’t agree with everything or everyone on it, but I think there’s a lot of superb stuff there. But the idea that we “new thought leaders of the right” are eschewing news outlets entirely is, well, bizarre. Purportedly “far right” columnist Bret Stephens — a pronounced Trump critic, unlike Kanye — won a Pulitzer Prize while at the Wall Street Journal (in part for columns bludgeoning the GOP and the Right). He now works at the New York Times and is a contributor to MSNBC. As for me, aside from my responsibilities at National Review, I’m a Fox News contributor, a syndicated columnist, a member of the board of contributors to USA Today, and a weekly columnist for the LA Times. But because I’ve done two or three Prager University videos — a few years ago — I’m eschewing news outlets entirely? Entirely? Oh, and Steve Forbes (a libertarian, by the way) is a “publishing exec,” so maybe he doesn’t fit the thesis too well either?

And then there’s this:

What unifies these disparate voices on PragerU, my sources tell me, is a sense that P.C. politics are fundamentally divisive and restrictive. “If the left is so narrowly defined itself that identity politics and hating Trump are its two main criteria, you’re going to find a lot people who, mainly at the identity-politics front, they’re going to say, ‘Well, hold on a second,’” Shapiro said. “I have lots of fans from all over the spectrum [saying], ‘I made it on the basis of my capacity and my grit and my hard work, not on the basis of my skin color. If you’re gonna boil me down to whatever it is you think I am based on my group identity, well, go to hell.’” Those outside the group have picked up on the same thread. “It’s not, ‘Oh, Kanye is [saying] socialism sucks. Kanye is realizing Democrats are the real racists.’ I mean, Jesus Christ. These people are killing me,” Cernovich said, dismissing the idea that West had become a Republican, and noting how West had recently tweeted support for his “hero,” Parkland survivor and gun-control advocate Emma González. “He’s trying to be himself.”

I literally “LOL’d” at the first sentence: “What unifies these disparate voices on PragerU, my sources tell me, is a sense that P.C. politics are fundamentally divisive and restrictive.”

“My sources tell me”? Did Nguyen really need to drop some Benjamins on the shoeshine guys of the “far right” to get this inside skinny?

“Whattya got Joe?”

“Well, Tina, ya didn’t get it from me. But I hear that what unites the disparate voices of that conservative website [looks around, whispers with his hand over his mouth] Prager University is that the people who record videos there actually don’t like political correctness.”

“Whoa. Hot stuff, Joe.”

“I know. I think this deserves an extra sawbuck, don’t you?”

Seriously, you need sources to explain to you that conservatives — anywhere — are skeptical or hostile to political correctness? Do Vanity Fair readers not know this?

Nguyen then goes on to talk to Ben Shapiro, who is literally making the opposite point Nguyen seems to want him to make. Ben’s point is that there’s enormous ideological and political diversity on the right — or really, the not-left — because of the narrow bandwidth of liberalism these days. Then in the same paragraph she talks to Cernovich, who represents an entirely different worldview than Shapiro’s. I don’t mean this in some esoteric factional sense. I mean primarily that Shapiro isn’t an insane, racist, mysogynist conspiracy-theory peddler, though there are subtler differences as well.

Anyway, you get the point. Nguyen tells the reader that she’s exposing “the new right-wing digital rabbit hole” and how it is “designed for precisely the sort of self-radicalization” Kanye West is going through. But it reads more like she’s the Alice who fell through the rabbit hole. And like the hero of that story, she has no idea what’s going on around her.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/kanye-west-vanity-fair-hit-job-conservatives/

JONAH GOLDBERG — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now. @JONAHNRO

White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Highlighted Disconnect Between Media Elites and Regular People

May 2, 2018

“Disconnect between the Washington media elite and regular Americans” — Is This Good For Anybody Except The Elites themselves?

When Republican National Committee (RNC) Co-Chair Bob Paduchik joined Deputy Political Editor Amanda House on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday, he highlighted the media left’s latest missteps.

The comedian Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

High on the agenda was Daily Show comedian Michelle Wolf’s poorly received routine at this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, which included vulgar insults of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. According to Paduchik, the faux pas highlighted the “disconnect between the Washington media elite and regular Americans.” “It supposed to be a celebration of the First Amendment, but I guess that means try and be as offensive and derogatory towards the Republican administration as possible,” he told House.

Breitbart News Sunday

“As far as I can tell, the White House Correspondents’ Association hasn’t issued an apology or distanced themselves from this at all. By not doing so, they condone and they embrace this activity,” Paduchik said, referring to a media double standard that harps on President Donald Trump’s supposed outrageousness while letting conduct like Wolf’s go unchecked.

The WHCA President Margaret Talev did issue an apology of sorts Sunday night after Paduchik’s comment. “Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people,” she wrote, “Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway was less than satisfied with Talev’s apology, telling the Daily Caller Monday, “It was late, and it was generic.”

“The mainstream media has no one else to blame but themselves for the reputation and the relationship that they have with the American public,” Paduchik said.

“The president has a unique and I would say almost special ability to connect with the American public. And the news media has been losing that connection, not just in the last year and a half or two years since the campaign, but for decades now, because they have a tendency to choose sides,” Paduchik explained about the success of yet another Trump campaign event scheduled opposite the White House Correspondents’ Dinner he refused to attend, this one in Washington, Michigan. “The president has kept his word. Promises made, promises kept, that has been the record of this administration for the last 15, 16 months, and it’s exceptional. When he went out and campaigned on these issues and he started delivering on them immediately, people aren’t used to that from politicians.”

Going into the meat of the 2018 election cycle, Paduchik told House he saw this trait of the president’s as a great asset. “At least the voters that I’ve talked to, whether their Republicans, independents, or disaffected Democrats, they appreciate that this president means what he says and delivers on it.  And I think as long the president continues to do that – and I’m confident that he will – this momentum will still be there,” he said. “We’ve had record fundraising at the Republican National Committee, 172 million dollars in this cycle alone to date and 13.9 last march. Under Ronna McDaniel’s leadership, the RNC has broke fundraising records every month and she’s doing a great job.”

Breitbart News Sunday is broadcast live on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. eastern.

The FBI Was Desperate for Somebody to Spy On

February 10, 2018

The Steele dossier served up an improbable tale about Carter Page, but it would have to do.

Now we have it ostensibly from then-FBI Director James Comey as well as former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe that there might have been no surveillance of Carter Page without the Steele dossier. If so, that’s probably because the dossier provided the one thing the FBI lacked and was unlikely to find (because it didn’t exist): a reason to believe Mr. Page was important.

In the dossier accumulated by former British spy Christopher Steele, Mr. Page is a player. He meets secretly with Vladimir Putin’s No. 1 capo, Igor Sechin. Dangled in front of him is a gobsmacking bribe—a brokerage fee on the forthcoming privatization of a 19.5% stake in the giant Russian state oil firm Rosneft. All he has to do is arrange the lifting of U.S. sanctions, as if this were in the power of the elfin Mr. Page to deliver.

The story is implausible. Mr. Page has denied it under oath. Nothing has emerged to suggest the FBI confirmed it. Only Luke Harding, a British journalist who has written a book alleging Trump -Russia collusion, finds it inherently self-crediting. Why? Because Mr. Steele’s Russian “mole” apparently correctly anticipated the Rosneft deal that would finally be consummated in the closing hours of 2016. Even the Russian cabinet and Rosneft’s own board, Mr. Harding wrote last week at Politico.com, “only discovered the deal on December 7, hours after Sechin had already recorded his TV meeting with Putin revealing it.”

This nonsense actually points to why somebody might pluck out of the pending Rosneft deal and attach Mr. Page’s name to it. The partial sale, aimed at reducing the Russian government’s stake to 50% plus one share, had actually been conspicuously on the agenda for years. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree in 2014, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov started touting the expected proceeds in 2015, and Mr. Putin formally included them in the state budget in February 2016.

In other words, the deal was a topic of fervent press speculation for more than a year by the time Mr. Steele or his sources put it at the center of their story about Mr. Page.

That the FBI was buying is the puzzling part. One possibility is that the agency was under strong pressure from fellow Obama administration officials to surveil somebody, anybody associated with the Trump campaign. Recall that the effervescent Mr. Page, by this time, was already known to the FBI and U.S. intelligence for several years, after he’d fallen afoul of a goofy Russian spy recruitment attempt in 2013.

OK, the press obviously needs our help. Reporters, it’s time to employ the kind of intelligent imagination that good novelists and historians bring to their work. The Trump-Russia story is not the layered drama of your dreams, but a black comedy. When the movie version is made, it won’t be the 2006 version of “Casino Royale.” It will be the 1967 version.

First, the run-up to the Nunes memo reminds us that claims about protecting government secrets are often cover for bureaucratic privilege and avoiding accountability. Hillary Clinton was wrong to ignore information-security rules imposed on lesser government-unemployed mortals, but the value of government secrets is grossly exaggerated.

Former Clinton pollster Mark Penn, in a piece in the Hill newspaper last week, properly mocked the mainstream press, usually so eager to traffic in leaked government secrets, for suddenly developing a fondness for prior restraint in the case of Mr. Nunes’s duly vetted memo.

Also in need of mocking is the media’s self-fulfilling overreliance on the trope of the “dueling partisan narratives.” Listen closely to what responsible partisans on either side say and it isn’t nearly as over-the-top as the press generalizations about what they say (Republicans declare war on the FBI!).

The easiest column to write, alas, is the one that treats the most hyperbolic, unnuanced claims by one side or the other (or Mr. Trump ) as representative for the purpose of knocking them down. Such columns, we hasten to add, are as much products of creative desperation as they are of partisan water-carrying. And they only spawn more of the same. Peter Thiel last week wisely suggested that pundits should try focusing on the “steel man” rather than the straw man versions of their opponent’s arguments.

The most important takeaway from the Nunes memo is this: Worries about “sources and methods” (often exaggerated) should not be a deterrent to clearing the air when something as important as the up-and-upness of a U.S. presidential election is in question.

Whatever his complaints, Mr. Trump managed to win. Hillary Clinton is the one publicly contending that improper FBI actions cost her the election. Her friend Lanny Davis has published a plausible book on the subject. Mrs. Clinton and her fellow Democrats should be insisting most loudly on a comprehensive and unflinching examination of the FBI’s role in the 2016 race.

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fbi-was-desperate-for-somebody-to-spy-on-1518216629

A Year in Trump-Russia Hysteria

December 30, 2017

What the country can learn from ‘Z’ and ‘Seven Days in May.’

Image result for Trump with Putin, photos

Not all writers on the left succumbed to Trump-Russia panic in 2017. January saw Masha Gessen in the New York Review of Books dissecting the “muddled thinking” behind the U.S. intelligence community’s published analysis of Russia’s role in the election.

Glenn Greenwald, hand-holder of Edward Snowden, has spent the year cataloging at TheIntercept.com the “extraordinarily numerous, consequential, and reckless stories that have been published—and then corrected, rescinded, and retracted” by the mainstream media.

 

Distinguished Rutgers historian Jackson Lears, in a year-end essay in the London Review of Books, laments his Democratic Party’s intoxication with Trump-Russia conspiracies. The episode, he writes, is “like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anticommunist hysteria during the early 1950s.”

Few and far between are lapses into sanity by sources Americans actually read. Ms. Gessen herself points to a rare example in the New York Times last March, on the subject of Trump-Russia contacts:

“There have been courtesy calls, policy discussions and business contacts, though nothing has emerged publicly indicating anything more sinister. . . . Former diplomats and Russia specialists say it would have been absurd and contrary to American interests for the Trump team to avoid meetings with Russians, either during or since the campaign.”

In contrast, the Washington Post spent 6,700 words last week puzzling over President Trump’s reluctance to acknowledge Russia’s meddling without ever noticing that a calculated, orchestrated (and documented) Democratic strategy to paint him as a Russian mole might play a role.

In another revealing misjudgment the Post, by way of examining the Kremlin’s propaganda machinations in the U.S., this week accused the Obama administration of a “misguided belief in the resilience of American society and its democratic institutions.”

It takes 0.03 seconds of reflection to recognize that Moscow’s troll postings, email hacks and Facebook ads amounted to nothing. Only the gleeful willingness of U.S. elites to use Russia as a club on each other has had any real impact, which even the Obama administration showed some reticence to invite.

Our system can survive Russian trolls. It’s the sliminess of our contestants for power that is always and ever the threat, as the framers of the Constitution understood. The danger to study is not what comes out of Russia, but what goes on inside of Russia—the takeover of its domestic politics by security officials, the siloviki. The totality of Russian meddling in U.S. politics did not have one-millionth the impact of the Steele dossier, via the Democratic Party and FBI’s attempt to secrete its Russian-spawned innuendo into the nation’s bloodstream, or the FBI’s intrusion into the Hillary Clinton email matter, using secret Russian “intelligence” (according to the Washington Post, no less) as a pretext.

Yes, one could wish President Trump would stay as far away as possible from these matters, trusting others to investigate and clean up.

A useful reference is the 1962 novel “Seven Days in May,” written in the backwash of Richard Neustadt’s theory of a presidential power limited to persuasion. In the book (though not the movie) a fictional president wrestles with how his vast unpopularity with the American people not only invites the securocrat conspiracies that beset his administration. It limits, as his closest advisers fail to grasp, his ability to fight back openly, by firing those whom he suspects.

If you don’t see the same lesson seeping through the Trump administration, you aren’t paying attention.

What will 2018 bring? Though the media resist the knowledge, it becomes clearer than ever that there is a direct connection between the FBI’s Clinton email investigation and its Trump-Russia investigation. The same personnel were involved. You don’t have to believe in a conspiracy exactly, or overinterpret the anti-Trump text messages of the FBI’s Peter Strzok, to understand that the same spirit also animated both: It was necessary and inevitable that Hillary should win, and necessary and inevitable that Trump should lose.

Then came Mr. Trump’s improbable victory. Suddenly their pre-election activities would be subjected to a scrutiny they didn’t anticipate. That’s when Obama intelligence officials began sprinkling deniable innuendo about the Trump campaign in the media. And before you decide this is OK as long as it happens to a president you dislike, think how you’ll feel when the same tactics are used against a president you like.

Which brings us to a final fictional citation. The 1969 movie “Z,” about a failed Greek military plot, ends memorably with a sequence of beribboned officials called before a Mueller-like prosecutor to hear their indictments. With just the right softening, absurdist note, the prosecutor directs them to a back door to the street so they can avoid the waiting photographers, but the door is locked.

That scene probably won’t be replayed in 2018 for the benefit of America’s meddling securocrats, but perhaps it should.

Appeared in the December 30, 2017, print edition.