After 22 Months: Robert Mueller Finds No Collusion!

Why every American should celebrate.

The Mueller Report finally dropped, and the most shocking revelation is how little it actually changes what we already knew about the 2016 presidential election. What it does do, however, is finally put to bed an insidious accusation that led millions of people to question the integrity of our democratic institutions.

Nearly every day for over two years, news outlets like CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Vox, Daily Beast, BuzzFeed News, and more have been insinuating and sometimes outright accusing President Trump of “colluding” with the Russian government to win the 2016 election.

I said it two years ago and I’ll say it again: the collusion conspiracy has always been about undermining the election results, casting Trump as illegitimate, and yes, getting revenge for Trump’s embrace of the Obama “birther” conspiracy.

Hillary Clinton supporters were so certain she would defeat Trump in a landslide, they literally couldn’t believe Trump actually won by legitimate means. There had to be another explanation besides Hillary was a lousy candidate whose scorched earth campaign against Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary cost her crucial votes in the Midwest.

Continue reading “After 22 Months: Robert Mueller Finds No Collusion!”
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Desperate News Outlets Turn “Street” to Attract Younger Viewers

Members of the mainstream news media embrace celebrity tabloid culture in their race to the bottom.

A few days ago, I spotted two articles about U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi “throwing shade” (or “serious shade” in once instance) at New York Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal proposal. I guessed this meant Pelosi was dismissive of the proposal, but because I’m too lame and too white, I had to look it up.

According to UrbanDictionary, to “throw shade” means “to talk trash about a friend or aquaintance [sic], to publicly denounce or disrespect. When throwing shade it’s immediately obvious to on-lookers that the thrower, and not the throwee, is the bitcy [sic], uncool one.”

Both CNN’s Chris Cillizza and Fox News’ Adam Shaw used the slang expression, in an effort to identify with younger audiences and appear “hip”, I guess? Because, yes, I’m sure the 78-year-old Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was “throwing shade.” It would only be more perfect if she came out wearing dark sunglasses at the press conference.

Are these two articles supposed to be actual news and analysis? Or are they just click-bait designed to appeal to the celebrity gossip crowd? As if Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are involved in some kind of celebrity rivalry. At one point, Chris Cillizza even refers to Ocasio-Cortez as “one of the biggest stars in her party”. What?

That she’s only been in Congress for a month is besides the point. Referring to someone as a “star” suggests they are an entertainer with legions of adoring fans, a wealthy celebrity, or the object of a cult of personality. Is that really how we want to think of our politicians and public servants?

How are we supposed to take these news outlets seriously when they report on national politicians like they’re Taylor Swift and Katy Perry?

Media Bias on Full Display in Buzzfeed Debacle

Mainstream news outlets rush to promote an unverified tabloid story, seriously undermining their credibility at a time when a majority of Americans are skeptical about news.

One of the most incredible displays of foot-in-mouth I’ve ever seen unfolded yesterday as jubilant media figures pounced on a BuzzFeed story purporting to reveal that President Donald Trump ordered his former lawyer to lie to Congress. If true, this would constitute the grounds for impeachment, and possible prosecution, Trump’s opponents have been looking for since the day he entered office.

There was only one problem: it wasn’t true. Special Council Robert Mueller’s office took the extraordinary step of issuing a statement denying the report.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller’s office

Taking a break from publishing lists of “cringeworthy moments” and celebrity gossip, BuzzFeed based the bombshell off anonymous sources. The usual suspects in the mainstream news media gleefully and uncritically spread the story as if it were fact. You could almost hear the collective cry: “We’ve finally got him!”

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US Joins Ranks of World’s Most Dangerous Places for Journalists After Falling Tree Kills Two

No, this isn’t an Onion headline. That’s the conclusion of Reporters Without Borders, who added the United States to its list of deadliest countries for reporters after six journalists died here in 2018. News outlets across the country seized on this data to malign the United States alongside Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico, Yemen, and India as a dangerous place for journalists.

But the facts behind these deaths call into question the rational behind the ranking. The worst incident was, of course, the murder of four journalists and a sales assistant at the Capitol Gazette in June. The shooting was not politically motivated: the gunman had a personal grievance with the newspaper. While horrific, the Committee to Protect Journalists concluded this was one of only two deadly attacks on journalists in the United States since 1992.

So what deadly incident put the United States into the top ranking for most dangerous countries for journalists in 2018? I’m not kidding you, it was the death of a reporter and his cameraman who were killed when a tree fell on them in a storm. How in the world does this random tragedy put the US in the same league as countries like Syria and Afghanistan when it comes to being a dangerous environment for journalists?

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Are We About to Have a 28th Amendment?

This grossly inaccurate NPR article claims passage of an Equal Rights Amendment is right around the corner…

“Supporters hope to symbolically ratify an expired amendment” is the headline NPR should have ran with, if it actually wanted to report the truth.

Instead, it went with “Virginia Could Be The State To Give Women Equal Rights Nationwide.”

The article claims that after Illinois (again, symbolically) ratified the Equal Rights Amendment earlier this year, all that’s needed is one more state to ratify before it becomes law, and Virginia hopes to be that state.

Nearly 50 years ago, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, barring sex discrimination. But thirty-eight states had to ratify it before it took effect. Earlier this year, Illinois became number 37 and a bipartisan group of lawmakers is campaigning to make Virginia the final, historic vote.

NPR, Nov. 18, 2018

There are two problems, however. 1) five of those states later rescinded their ratification. 2) The deadline for 38 states to ratify the ERA expired on June 30, 1982. The article acknowledged the deadline expired in its final paragraph, but acts like that’s not a big deal.

The most prevalent argument against the ERA is more logistical than ideological. The deadline to ratify the amendment passed decades ago. But supporters are confident Congress can extend or even rescind that deadline, which it did once already in the 1970s.
But that’s a fight for another day.

NPR, Nov. 18, 2018

That’s a fight for another day? No, it’s not. You can’t extend a deadline after it expired. There’s even questions as to whether Congress can grant an extension in the first place. A federal district court ruled in Idaho v. Freeman that Congress had no power to extend ERA’s ratification deadline, and the Supreme Court neglected to review the case because no state had used the extension to ratify the amendment anyway.

Admittedly, I don’t follow NPR very often, but this is one of the most deliberately inaccurate and biased articles I’ve ever seen produced by that news organization. It’s because of articles like this that 69% of U.S. adults say their trust in the news media has decreased in the past decade.

What’s the difference between this NPR headline and a Weekly World News headline proclaiming the U.S. faked the moon landing? Both are claiming something is true that is objectively false. If news organizations are so concerned about being labeled “fake news” they should stop producing “fake news”!

Roseanne and Trump Drive the Media Crazy

Fuming over Roseanne’s support for President Trump, the left was looking for a reason to destroy her career. She gave it to them. Also, racism is still not acceptable in the contemporary U.S.A.

I haven’t written about insanity in the news media recently because I’ve been preoccupied with living my life, but this latest controversy is too crazy to pass up. In case you haven’t heard, actress/comedian/Peace and Freedom Party presidential candidate Roseanne Barr made an insensitive and racist tweet about Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, causing ABC to dump its popular Roseanne reboot.

Roseanne Barr’s original sin in their eyes was not only making (somewhat) supportive statements about President Trump, but then also having a hugely popular TV reboot starring a character that supports President Trump. Horror of horrors.

So when this whole controversy went down, of course the usual suspects in the media tried to make this about President Trump instead of the person who actually made the comment. Trump, who can’t help talking about himself, came out with a statement about the incident that, to no one’s surprise, also focused on himself.

Now, it really annoys me when politicians feel the need to release statements or make comments about everything that happens in the world, so I don’t think the president should have said anything about this. After all, it had nothing to do with him. However, after his statement, CNN came out with this article: “Trump breaks silence on Roseanne Barr scandal.”

Trump breaks silence? Like he was avoiding talking about it? Why should he say anything about it at all? What does a comment by Roseanne Barr about Valerie Jarrett have anything to do with him? Is Trump supposed to comment on every public spat between celebrities and public figures?

But the craziest headline was from an opinion piece in the Washington Post (of course): “President Trump is normalizing racism” by neocon historian Max Boot. Uh, what? Granted, Boot is a military historian primarily, but at some point he must have studied American politics in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century, when the Democratic Party openly called itself the “White Man’s party,” and racist appeals regularly appeared in mainstream publications.

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Christine: A Potently Pessimistic Period Piece

Events leading to journalist Christine Chubbuck’s 1974 on-air suicide are recounted in Christine (2016), a bleak but potent film written by Craig Shilowich and directed by Antonio Campos. Strong performances by its lead actors and its visual authenticity make Christine the best overlooked film of 2016.

Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall) is a sincere but troubled woman working as a reporter for a local news station in Sarasota, Florida. She lives with her mother, Peg (J. Smith-Cameron), and performs puppet shows at a children’s hospital on the weekends. Her life begins to spiral out of control when, approaching 30, she discovers she has a cyst on one of her ovaries and may never have children.

Her boss, Michael (Tracy Letts), is concerned about falling ratings and wants Christine to cover more sensational stories. This professional dilemma is compounded by the arrival of station owner Bob Andersen (John Cullum), who wants to move some personnel to Baltimore. Christine is passed over in favor of anchor George Peter Ryan (Michael C. Hall) and sports anchor Andrea Kirby (Kim Shaw). This is a double-blow because Christine had an unrequited crush on George.

I won’t reveal how the film ends, but you probably already guessed. Rebecca Hall, who also starred in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017) and The Dinner (2017), is outstanding as Christine Chubbuck, and won several awards for her effort. I’m not sure this film would have been nearly as good without her performance. She disappeared into the role, bringing her character to life with all the emotion and idiosyncrasies of a real person.

This film’s authenticity is also incredible. If you could somehow capture the look and feel of a decade, Christine does it. 1970s period pieces usually feature larger than life characters and situations. This film does the exact opposite–it shows normal people at a normal job, who happened to be involved in an incredibly tragic incident.

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