Each outlet continues to fail largely because instead of spreading the field and covering a wide variety of subjects, they all tend to behave like a set of 6-year-olds playing soccer without a coach. All they do is chase the [ratings] ball, rather than broaden the conversation and provide context. This drive to constantly chase the political soccer ball of the moment is exactly what seems to have driven Melissa Harris-Perry off the air at MSNBC.
[Harris] said the network wanted her to do more “horserace election coverage,” and she refused to come on the air to do that, even after the network asked her to come back on––”I felt that they were asking me to come back to anchor my hours, but not to actually host my show.”
Harris-Perry revealed that there was some tension when one of the network higher-ups told her she couldn’t do a segment on the issues raised by Beyoncé‘s “Formation” video.
In addition to this there is also the problem that many years ago, TV (and even radio and some print) media became divorced from the idea of simply presenting facts—without turning everything into an opinion-based commentary on those facts. I’m old enough to remember when things were different. I’m old enough to remember when we used to have something called the Fairness Doctrine.
The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was — in the Commission's view — honest, equitable, and balanced. The FCC eliminated the Doctrine in 1987, and in August 2011 the FCC formally removed the language that implemented the Doctrine.
The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented. The demise of this FCC rule has been considered by some to be a contributing factor for the rising level of party polarization in the United States.
The main agenda for the doctrine was to ensure that viewers were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints. In 1969 the United States Supreme Court upheld the FCC's general rightto enforce the Fairness Doctrine where channels were limited. But the courts did not rule that the FCC was obliged to do so. The courts reasoned that the scarcity of the broadcast spectrum, which limited the opportunity for access to the airwaves, created a need for the Doctrine. However, the proliferation of cable television, multiple channels within cable, public-access channels, and the Internet have eroded this argument, since there are plenty of places for ordinary individuals to make public comments on controversial issues at low or no cost at all.
Under the Fairness Doctrine, facts were facts and opinions were opinions. During a news broadcast, what was presented for public consumption were. the. facts. No spin. No opinion. No gray area. No on the one hand this but on the other hand that. Once the factual reporting was done, if a corespondent wanted to offer an opinion or editorial on a particular subject it was marked and documented as such.
Now nothing is marked or identified as an opinion—because everything is a matter of opinion. Everything would now have to be marked as an “editorial” because that is almost all we actually see, and most of what we read. Everyone has an opinion, and figures that that opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s opinion of what facts matter and which facts don’t matter.
So as a result, the fact that Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump was recorded effectively confessing to perpetrating repeated sexual assaults? Isn’t a fact. And it’s not a fact that many of the dozen women (albeit not all of them) who subsequently came forward with stories that were virtually identical to the claims made in Trump’s Access Hollywood confession had made those exact same claims to family and coworkers years previously. And it’s somehow not a fact that Trump’s confession exactly matches the circumstances of the sexual assault lawsuit filed against him by Jill Harth in 1993.
According to the story, Jill Harth was with her longtime boyfriend, who was doing a deal for a business partnership, when she was invited to join the two for dinner. When she sat down between the men at dinner, she alleges Trump’s hand moved up her skirt and between her legs.
“He was relentless,” she said about the 1992 incident. “I didn’t know how to handle it. I would go away from him and say I have to go to the restroom. It was the escape route.”
In a deposition she gave in a sexual harassment lawsuit, Harth alleged, “He name-dropped continuously when he wasn’t groping me.”
And somehow it’s not a fact that Donald Trump has court date in December for another sexual assault—in this case a girl who was just 13 years old at the time.
“This is the conversation we’re having now, Lisa,” marveled [radio host Stephanie] Miller, “where we’re having a hard time keeping track of sexual assault or rape allegations against someone that has a good chance of becoming president.”
Bloom said she’s heard from a number of women who are still too frightened to come forward. “Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of trauma,” she said.
She is currently representing Jill Harth, the woman who made the first assault allegations against Trump.
“The fear is overwhelming,” she said. “Donald Trump has threatened to sue everyone. His followers have been known to be violent. There are very rational reasons why women don’t come out with stories of sexual assault. Most women don’t.”
Miller asked about the woman who alleges that Trump raped her when she was 13.
“I have met with her on a number of occasions. I do find her credible,” Bloom said. “But as of the moment I do not want to say any more.”
Bloom later attempted to schedule a press conference for “Jane Doe,” only to have her law firm’s website hacked and the conference cancelled following death threats against her client.
“Jane Doe has received numerous threats today, as have all the Trump accusers that I have represented,” Bloom explained. “She is living in fear, she has decided that she’s too afraid to show her face.”
“She has been here all day, ready to do it, but unfortunately she is in terrible fear,” she continued. “So we are going to have to reschedule. I apologize to all of you who came today for this inconvenience.”
Somehow none of this is news. Somehow it’s all just “locker room talk,” simply because that’s what Trump and his various surrogates claim. After the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, Donald Trump began screaming that the “process is rigged, the election is rigged” simply because the media was covering the new allegations from various women who have recently come forward. But in truth, they really didn’t cover either of the cases which had already been filed against him in court.
Yes, of course, everyone is aware that Bill Clinton has his own history of indiscretions—but he’s not on the ballot and doesn’t have any new allegations or court cases pending.
Meanwhile, the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has been tarred, feathered, and pilloried over Benghazi when eight different congressional investigations found no wrongdoing on her part. She has been raked over the coals over her email server, when the FBI determined she didn’t violate the law, and over “pay to play” when there is no evidence that the Clinton Foundation received special favors from the State Department in exchange for charitable donations. The most recent “scandal” was about emails that came from her aide Huma Abedin’s husband’s laptop—that the FBI didn’t even have a warrant for at the time they notified Congress about it. The revelation broke longstanding DOJ rules about interfering with elections, and possibly violated the Hatch Act.
The mainstream media has failed to report the fact that following FBI Director Comey’s congressional testimony, the State Department revealed that the [C] markings they found in her emails, denoting material as
classified ”confidential”, were there by mistake.
At a regular briefing for reporters Wednesday, Kirby said State is aware of two instances in the set of roughly 30,000 messages turned over to the agency by Clinton where classification markings appeared in the emails. However, he said those were mistakes where staff failed to remove the notations while preparing background and talking points for Clinton in a planned phone call with a foreign official.
"It appears that those...that those markings were a human error. They didn’t need to be there. Because once the secretary had decided to make the call, the process is then to move the call sheet, to change its markings to unclassified and deliver it to the secretary in a form that he or she can use," Kirby said. "And best we can tell on these occasions, the markings — the confidential markings — was simply human error. Because the decision had already been made, they didn’t need to be made on the email."
Kirby said such "call sheets" are often treated as classified when being prepared but as unclassified when forwarded to the secretary for his or her use.
And somehow that isn’t news either. We don’t see panel after panel after panel assembled on CNN or MSNBC to discuss how the [C] markings were a mistake! But we did get panel after panel discussing the Huma Abedin emails no one has seen, which in a worst-case scenario might also contain another mistaken [C] marking. In fact, it hasn’t been widely reported that Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only one who used the clintonemail.com server—Huma Abedin had an email account there too.
Only two people close to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had personal clintonemail.com accounts housed on her private server, longtime deputy Huma Abedin said during a nearly six-hour deposition this week.
Just Abedin, Clinton herself and her daughter, Chelsea, had email accounts through the system, Abedin said during the interview with conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch.
That would be a fact. But it’s one which means that it’s highly likely that the emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop were downloaded from his wife’s clintonemail.com account, and are all duplicates of what the FBI has already seen. That makes this huge revelation one. big. giant. nothing-burger royale—with cheese.
Whether it’s contrasting the presidential candidate’s negative traits or their positive traits, the media fails. You could argue that Donald Trump’s main attribute is his supposed business acumen, yet the question of what former big businessman has become a successful conservative political leader on the national stage never gets asked.
What previous example of that is there? Bloomberg? Roosevelt?
And somehow Trump surrogates get to repeatedly claim Hillary Clinton didn’t accomplish anything at all while serving as secretary of state, without this fact-free claim being challenged. As if she didn’t help negotiate the Start II Treaty with Russia. As if she didn’t negotiate a cease fire in Gaza. As if she wasn’t the one who pushed hard to crank down sanctions on Iran, which brought them to the negotiating table to ramp down their nuclear aspirations.
As I write this, the media reports that the “race is tightening,” and it is—but that doesn’t mean that Hillary Clinton is likely to lose. Fivethirtyeight still has her at a 2 :1 chance to win with 292 electoral votes.
She’s locked in at at least 272 electoral votes. Trump has to win every swing state and then take at least one or two currently blue states like Pennsylvania away from Clinton. That’s probably not gonna happen.
But the media glosses over that, and instead continues to flog the “horserace.” They complain that Hillary isn’t “getting out the African-American vote” while almost completely ignoring the fact that many states, including North Carolina, specifically implemented voter suppression strategies that were specifically targeting the African-American community.
A federal appeals court has struck down North Carolina’s voter identification law, holding that it was “passed with racially discriminatory intent.”
The ruling also invalidated limits the same state law placed in 2013 on early voting, same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and preregistration.
The three judges assigned to the case — all Democratic appointees — were unanimous that the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act three years ago by enacting the measure requiring voters to show certain types of photo ID at the polls.
What the heck did they expect to happen? This was by design, this is how an election is “rigged.” And that’s why even though Hillary still has a comfortable “blue firewall,” Democrats can’t become complacent.
These are facts. The media has failed to present us with most of these facts, failed to highlight them and insist that they are. indeed. facts. And that is why this election is anywhere near close.
Sure, there’s plenty to argue about and I’m not about to proclaim that Hillary has done no wrong or that Trump can do no right. He does have some positive qualities and she does have some sketchy ones—but then that’s all a matter of opinion isn’t it?
America has to make a choice, and that choice should be made based on facts rather than dodgy, unsubstantiated opinions.
The consequences of that choice will reverberate across this nation and the world. Donald Trump has promised to reverse and eradicate every major initiative of the Obama administration. He’s promised to reimplement torture and even worse than torture, he’s promised to reimplement President Eisenhower’s deadly Operation Wetback, shake down NATO for cash, start a trade war with China, and cooperate with Russia and Assad over Syria and ISIS. He believes that Climate Change is a “hoax” and wind turbines “kill birds.” He’s promised to dismantle health care reform, effectively leaving 20 million people without health insurance. He’s ignited a new wave of open bigotry, violence, and threats of political murder. And he’s promised to cut taxes for the rich, as if that didn’t explode the deficit under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and as if our longest steady period of sustained economic growth besides the current one wasn’t under President Bill Clinton—when he raised taxes that ultimately balanced the budget and ran a surplus. That is, until Bush messed that surplus up with his tax cuts and sent us into two recessions.
Time says Trump’s economic plan is “magical thinking.”
Donald Trump’s economic plan, revealed Thursday in a speech at the Economic Club of New York, calls for 4% growth, which is about double the rate that the U.S. economy is currently growing. Is that even remotely possible, based on what he’s put out there? The answer, in a word, is no.
Trump’s projections of 3.5% to 4% growth under his plan rely largely on something called “dynamic growth projections,” which assume that tax cuts will boost growth. But there has been not a shred of evidence over the last 20 years that they actually have. This is not a bipartisan issue. It’s a simple fact. The tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 under George W. Bush didn’t jump start sustained growth, nor did any of the tax cuts pushed through by President Obama post 2008.
Meanwhile, Moody’s says Clinton’s economic plan is likely to create 10 million jobs in four years.
Moody's Analytics estimates that if the Democratic presidential nominee's proposals are enacted, the economy would create 10.4 million jobs during her presidency, or 3.2 million more than expected under current law.
The pace of GDP growth would also accelerate to an annual average of 2.7%, from the current forecast of 2.3%.
Sure, those are opinions. But they are opinions based on facts.
If you think trying to implement a tax plan that failed twice before just one more time because somehow it’s going to work completely differently this time, then fine—you should vote for Donald Trump.
If not, then you know what to do on Tuesday.
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