Tag Archives: Authoritarianism

Journalists are not the enemy

I mentioned in a previous post that The Boston Globe invited newspapers across the country to stand up for the free press with a coordinated series of newspaper editorials condemning Donald Trump’s attacks on “fake news” and suggestion that journalists are “the enemy of the people,” to be published on Thursday, August 16, 2018. (h/t Boston Globe graphic).

The New York Times editorial today links to  a selection from the hundreds of newspaper editorials across the country today that answered the clarion call of The Boston Globe. A FREE PRESS NEEDS YOU. (A Google search did not locate a complete list).

Here in Arizona, the Lee Enterprises owned Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff, The press is not the enemy of the people, and the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson published editorials. Star Opinion: The free press is not the ‘enemy of the people’.

In southern Arizona, the Tucson Sentinel published an editorial, What we stand for at TucsonSentinel.com, as did the Sierra Vista HeraldWe’re Not The Enemy, and Green Valley News. EDITORIAL: Reflection needed for Trump, media.

While the national publication USA Today published an editorial, What our investigative journalists expose isn’t fake news, Arizona’s largest circulation newspaper, The Arizona Republic, in the USA Today network did not. Subscribers should demand to know why.

UPDATE: I am informed The Republic did publish an editorial, which I did not find onIine early this morning at azcentral.com. Good on them!

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Tyrant Trump has an ‘enemies list,’ abuses power to retaliate against his critics

I have been trying to avoid discussing the new season of Celebrity Apprentice: White House Edition with Amorosa Manigault-Newman.

But last night I happened to catch an interview of former CIA Director John Brennan on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell which was scheduled after this tweet yesterday:

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Lawrence O’Donnell wanted to know what Brennan meant by his comment “so dangerous to our Nation.” Watch the interview.

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It would appear that our egomaniacal narcissist Twitter-troll-in-chief “Dear Leader” must have been watching (although he would deny it) or reading his Twitter responses, because today the always vindictive and petty Trump revoked former CIA Director Brennan’s security clearance:

President Donald Trump has decided to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance for access to classified information, he said in a statement read by press secretary Sarah Sanders Wednesday.

The courtesy of allowing a former administration official to retain security clearance has been “outweighed by the risk posed by his erratic conduct and behavior,” Trump said in the statement. “Mr. Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.”

He added that Brennan “has recently leveraged his status … to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and on television, about this administration.”

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The alt-right is coming to Washington, D.C. this weekend in front of the White House. What could possibly go wrong?

This past weekend we got a preview of what is to come in Washington, D.C. this weekend on the one year anniversary of the deadly alt-right “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville last year.

Four people were arrested late Saturday as scores of right-wing and anti-fascist demonstrators squared off in Portland, Oregon, where four people were injured in similar rallies on June 30. Right-wing protesters and opponents square off in Portland:

Police tried to keep the two sides apart as protesters chanted and hurled insults at each other. Authorities set up a security perimeter around a waterfront park and officers frisked attendees and confiscated flag poles and other potential weapons.

Clashes after similar protests in Portland in June sent four people including a police officer to the hospital.

Among the right-wing marchers, some of whom wore body armor and carried shields, were members of the Patriot Prayer group founded by Joey Gibson, a conservative Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate in November’s midterm elections. [Will he get Donald Trump’s endorsement?]

They were opposed by [antifa] counter-protesters, some dressed in black with face masks, who shouted anti-Nazi slogans.

Vox.com reports The alt-right is coming to Washington, DC. Here’s how anti-racist groups are preparing.

Last August, hundreds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and members of the alt-right descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, for “Unite the Right,” a rally to put the power of white nationalists on full display. A year after that event resulted in chaos and violence, groups plan to hold another “white civil rights rally” in Washington, DC.

But a broad coalition of organizers representing anti-racist, anti-fascist, and socialist groups say that when Unite the Right 2 participants arrive in DC, they will be met with significant resistance throughout the weekend.

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Debate: Should the media cover Trump rallies or not?

There is an interesting debate developing about how the media should cover demagogue Donald Trump’s “hillbilly Nuremberg rallies” (h/t Bill Maher) in which he encourages his lunatic Qanon supporters to attack the media covering his events in Stalinist terms, as “the enemy of the people.” Trump’s rally rhetoric is going to get somebody killed.

As frequently as Trump attacks the media as “fake news,” he needs the media in the room to use them as a foil for his incitements to hatred among his sycophant supporters. His supporters, in turn, are seeking their 15 minutes of fame by participating in attacks on the media, as they did last week with CNN’s Jim Acosta.

Trump is a master of manipulating the media. The media cover his rallies like people watch NASCAR racing for the crashes — they are there for the sickening event to see what crazy shit might happen. The media has allowed Trump to create a reality TV show presidency.

I caught a segment of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last week in which Republican strategist Mike Murphy suggested that the media stop providing coverage of these Trump rallies to deprive him of the oxygen he needs. Send just one AP pool reporter and a photographer to cover his rallies so that Trump is denied the bank of cameras and the pen of reporters that he can use as a foil, and potentially put their safety genuinely at risk.

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Dezinformatsiya or doublespeak, Donald Trump is Orwellian

Russian asset Donald Trump is fully invested in Papa Joe Stalin’s dezinformatsiya (disinformation) black propaganda. He is turning America into George Orwell’s dystopian vision in 1984.

In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars no less — patriots who have served their country honorably in military service — Trump slammed the news media as “fake news” for not upholding his preferred interpretation of the success of his administration. The New York Times reports:

“Stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” Mr. Trump said at the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as part of the crowd booed and hissed in the direction of the press corps.

“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” the president added.

Winston Smith in 1984 lamented:

The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right.

A spokeswoman for the V.F.W., which is nonpartisan, said in a statement after the event that organizers were “disappointed to hear some of our members boo the press.”

This is the pernicious power of black propaganda — even the minds of patriots can be confused and warped by a dangerous demagogue.

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Obstruction of justice in plain sight by Donald Trump and his co-conspirators in Congress

Late Saturday night, the government released a redacted version of the FISA Court warrant application for Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

The application has been the basis of an elaborate conspiracy theory concocted by Donald Trump and his collaborators in Congress that his campaign was “spied on” by the FBI and intelligence agencies only after the Steele Dossier, a claim for which there is no basis or evidence. It also resulted in the discredited “Nunes Memo” from the House Intelligence Committee, which was entirely refuted by the Democratic minority memo.

Trump ordered the FISA Court warrant application released — the first time any such secret evidence in the FISA Court has ever been released —  in a pathetic attempt to revive his discredited conspiracy theory and renewed his attacks on the FBI and intelligence agencies,  after a week in which he sided with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence community and was forced to walk it back at least four times, before returning to attacking his intelligence community over the weekend.

What we are witnessing is obstruction of justice in plain sight by Donald Trump and his co-conspirators in Congress. This crime is continuing and is ongoing.

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