Comey letter probably cost Clinton the election. So why won’t the media admit as much?

Nate Silver writes: Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton’s lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.

The letter isn’t the only reason that Clinton lost. It does not excuse every decision the Clinton campaign made. Other factors may have played a larger role in her defeat, and it’s up to Democrats to examine those as they choose their strategy for 2018 and 2020.

But the effect of those factors — say, Clinton’s decision to give paid speeches to investment banks, or her messaging on pocket-book issues, or the role that her gender played in the campaign — is hard to measure. The impact of Comey’s letter is comparatively easy to quantify, by contrast. At a maximum, it might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona. At a minimum, its impact might have been only a percentage point or so. Still, because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.

And yet, from almost the moment that Trump won the White House, many mainstream journalists have been in denial about the impact of Comey’s letter. The article that led The New York Times’s website the morning after the election did not mention Comey or “FBI” even once — a bizarre development considering the dramatic headlines that the Times had given to the letter while the campaign was underway. Books on the campaign have treated Comey’s letter as an incidental factor, meanwhile. And even though Clinton herself has repeatedly brought up the letter — including in comments she made at an event in New York on Tuesday — many pundits have preferred to change the conversation when the letter comes up, waving it away instead of debating the merits of the case.

The motivation for this seems fairly clear: If Comey’s letter altered the outcome of the election, the media may have some responsibility for the result. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

Fox News executive, Bill Shine, departs amid turmoil

The New York Times reports: Fox News on Monday removed one of its most powerful executives, Bill Shine, another seismic shake-up at a network that remains in crisis mode as its owner, Rupert Murdoch, moves to steer it past the sexual harassment scandal that first engulfed it last summer.

Mr. Shine, a network co-president and a longtime lieutenant to its disgraced former chairman, Roger Ailes, was viewed by some employees as a symbol of Fox News’s old-guard leadership even as its parent, 21st Century Fox, pledged reforms to the company culture and a new era of civility in the newsroom.

But there were signs that the pressure on 21st Century Fox might not let up soon. One veteran executive who was promoted on Monday, Suzanne Scott, has, like Mr. Shine, been cited in lawsuits as a figure who enabled and concealed Mr. Ailes’s harassing behavior toward women. [Continue reading…]

The Daily Beast reports: Sean Hannity is looking to leave Fox News, according to sources, following the resignation of Fox News co-president Bill Shine officially on Monday.

Shine was Hannity’s long-time ally whom he personally recommended the network hire two decades ago to produce Hannity & Colmes. In recent days, Hannity warned it would be the “total end” of Fox News should Shine leave, and he rallied conservative activists to back him up.

Initially, insiders said, Hannity’s army of lawyers had hoped to discuss with Fox ways of protecting his 8-year-old primetime show, amid fears that Lachlan and James Murdoch—fresh off the ousting of Bill O’Reilly—were looking to push the network away from hard-right politics.

However, with Shine’s departure on Monday, one source told The Daily Beast, there’s no reason for Hannity to stay. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

White House has considered restricting press freedom

ABC News reports: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the Trump administration has “looked at” changes to libel laws that would curtail press freedoms, but said “whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”

President Trump frequently slams the press for its coverage of him and in March suggested changing libel laws.

Libel is when defamatory statements about someone are published. But the American press enjoys some protection from lawsuits claiming libel because of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech rights. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

Hasan Minhaj at WH Correspondents’ Dinner: ‘I am watching the news, but it feels like I am watching CNN watch the news’

 

Hasan Minhaj: My favorite entertainment channel is in the building tonight — CNN is here, baby.

Now, you guys have some really weird trust issues going on with the public.

I am not going to call you fake news but everything isn’t breaking news.

You can’t go to DEFCON 1 because Sanjay Gupta found a new moisturizer.

Every time a story breaks you have nine screens — nine boxes on the screen! I am trying to watch the news not pick a player in Street Fighter. It’s giving me anxiety.

If you have nine “experts” on a panel, what is your barrier of entry?

“Here to talk about transportation infrastructure is my Uber driver, Gary. Gary, what ‘a you got?” — it just says Gary 4.8 stars.

“I dunno know — I got a mint.”

“Thanks Gary, let’s go to the next countdown clock.”

All you guys do is stoke up conflict.

Don [Lemon], every time I watch your show it feels like I am watching a reality TV show.

CNN Tonight should just be called “Wait a second, now hold on, stop yelling at each other, with Don Lemon.”

You know your news, right? Come on. But every time I watch CNN it feels like you are assigning me homework.

“Is Trump a Russian spy? I don’t know, you tell me. Tweet us at AC 360.” No, you tell me.

I am watching the news, but it feels like I am watching CNN watch the news.

Just take an hour, figure out what you want to say, then go on the air.

We are in a very strange situation where there is a very combative relationship between the press and the president, but now that you guys are “minorities,” just for this moment, you may understand the position I was in. It is the same position a lot of minorities feel like they are in in this country. And it’s: do I come up here and just try to fit in and not ruffle any feathers? Or do I say how I really feel? Because this event is about celebrating the First Amendment and free speech.

Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy, from college campuses to the White House.

Only in America can a first-generation Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president — the orange man behind the Muslim ban.

And it’s a sign to the rest of the world — it’s this amazing tradition that shows the entire world that even the president is not beyond the reach of the First Amendment.

But the president didn’t show up. Because Donald Trump doesn’t care about free speech. The man who tweets everything that enters his head, refuses to a knowledge the amendment that allows him to do it.

Facebooktwittermail

Trump puts on a big show of assaulting his ‘opposition’ in the media. Inside the White House, it’s a different story

Politico reports: Seven days before Donald Trump took office, the inauguration festivities got off to a low-key start inside a modest conference room at the Capitol Hill offices of the American Trucking Association. There, a hundred-odd familiar faces from the Washington set gathered to fête one of their own, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

The party spilled out into the hallway as entrepreneur Susanna Quinn, ubiquitous Republican consultant Ron Bonjean and Spicer’s wife, Rebecca, a staffer at the National Beer Wholesalers Association, rubbed shoulders with CBS’ White House correspondent Major Garrett and its political editor Steve Chaggaris, Time’s Zeke Miller and several journalists from CNN, including Washington bureau chief Sam Feist. Spicer arrived late, but in good spirits, and after 20 minutes of schmoozing he strode to the front of the room to deliver brief remarks.

In public, Trump’s team and the press had been engaged in bitter clashes for months. Just two days earlier, during a contentious transition-team news conference, Spicer had threatened to eject CNN’s Jim Acosta from Trump Tower. But in the end, ratings were up and Trump was president-elect.

The overlit conference room was a safe space, not a war zone. Spicer made light of the Acosta incident, jokingly threatening to eject Feist from the room. Feist took Spicer’s teasing in stride, briefly turning as if to make for the exit, and the room laughed along. Spicer cracked that he looked forward to serving in his new post for “eight years,” an unheard-of tenure in the notoriously trying job of White House press secretary. This prompted more knowing laughter. One heckler shouted, “Tell the truth!”—an arch reference to the angry chant Trump supporters had been raining down on reporters at campaign rallies.

Then, a week later, a grim-faced Spicer took to the podium in the White House briefing room for the first time and angrily denounced the news media’s reporting of Trump’s inauguration crowd, uttering several easily debunked falsehoods. “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration. Period,” he said, flanked by twin monitors displaying a deceptively flattering overhead photo of the crowd on the National Mall—instantly becoming a national punchline on Twitter and late-night television. He did not take questions, let alone make jokes.

“It was a bit of a shocker,” said one veteran Washington journalist who had attended Spicer’s party. “Especially given what had happened that night at the get-together.” [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

‘Everyone tunes in’: Inside Trump’s obsession with cable TV

The Washington Post reports: During a small working lunch at the White House last month, the question of job security in President Trump’s tumultuous White House came up, and one of the attendees wondered whether press secretary Sean Spicer might be the first to go.

The president’s response was swift and unequivocal. “I’m not firing Sean Spicer,” he said, according to someone familiar with the encounter. “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.”

Trump even likened Spicer’s daily news briefings to a daytime soap opera, noting proudly that his press secretary attracted nearly as many viewers.

For Trump — a reality TV star who parlayed his blustery-yet-knowing on-air persona into a winning political brand — television is often the guiding force of his day, both weapon and scalpel, megaphone and news feed. And the president’s obsession with the tube — as a governing tool, a metric for staff evaluation, and a two-way conduit with lawmakers and aides — has upended the traditional rhythms of the White House, influencing many spheres, including policy, his burgeoning relationship with Congress, and whether he taps out a late-night or early-morning tweet. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

Insiders say that the troubles at Fox News are only just beginning

Sarah Ellison writes: Inside the divided Fox News bunker, many seasoned executives are wondering if they are living in an alternate universe. As shocking as the Roger Ailes fiasco may have been, and as surprising as Megyn Kelly’s departure went down, Bill O’Reilly’s sudden ouster has absolutely shaken the newsroom, according to multiple insiders. (Ailes has fervently denied all accusations.) Executives spent a contentious Wednesday in various closed-door meetings as they finalized the fate of the network’s biggest star, who was forced out amid news of sexual-harassment allegations and settlements of those allegations.

The reactions to the news of O’Reilly’s departure were decidedly mixed in the newsroom. Some staffers cried. Others were elated. The move also laid bare divisions between the Murdoch sons, Lachlan and James, and their father, who were on opposite sides of the argument about whether to retain the anchor, according to a person close to the family. Eventually, though, Rupert Murdoch agreed with his sons about the need to remove O’Reilly, this person added. And the day was filled with an ominous tension as the elder Murdoch, the network’s C.E.O., moved from one closed-door meeting to another to inform on-air talent of their new jobs.

While his fate may have seemed sealed earlier in the week, O’Reilly’s attorneys did not get the official word of his departure until this morning, according to two people familiar with the matter. And O’Reilly, who was enjoying a vacation in Italy, only formally learned of his demise en route to the airport. (In a statement, O’Reilly noted, “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.”) Within Fox News, it remains unclear how much O’Reilly may receive in severance, but some sources speculated that the figure could be in the ballpark of the $40 million that Ailes received.[Continue reading…]

Matthew Sheffield writes: Since a series of sexual harassment accusations led to the ouster of Roger Ailes as chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel last summer, the managerial culture he created at the network has come under increased scrutiny. Ailes’ old-fashioned, male-dominated style has been characterized by many former employees as sexist, but another aspect of it has received little attention: the many ways that Fox News was run more like a political operation than a journalistic enterprise.

During the Ailes era, the network’s ferocity in defending itself against inconvenient facts and journalists it deemed unfair became legendary among the small group of people who cover the media business. Under its former head, the network employed a team of “black room” operators who allegedly obtained phone records and credit reports of reporters disliked by Ailes. According to news reports, private investigators working for the company were dispatched to follow journalists, apparently to find out whom they were meeting. According to sources, sometimes Fox News corporate funds were used for such endeavors; other times, Ailes paid for them himself.

That ultra-aggressive approach to promotion during the Ailes era also extended to the online world, where Fox News employees and contractors were dispatched to do battle against not just mainstream media reporters but also against small-time bloggers and even website commenters. Fox News even went so far as to create at least two anonymous websites that attacked the competition. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

America struck Syria, and the media swooned. Trump will remember that

James Downie writes: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Donald Trump is always in want of praise from his television. Though other presidents have been busy with the job of being president, cable news — and tweeting about what he’s watching on cable news — is the centerpiece of Trump’s morning and evening routines. It’s clear that what the media cover and how they portray him has a tremendous influence on Trump: This week, the pictures of Tuesday’s chemical attack by Syria played a crucial role in Trump’s decision to order a missile strike Thursday against a Syrian airfield. The president’s sensitivity to his media image makes it all the more important for outlets to be cautious in their coverage of the missile strike and its aftermath.

Fourteen years ago, the media breathlessly reported the George W. Bush administration’s charges against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and then rhapsodized over “shock and awe” in the war’s early months. One would hope that the United States’ subsequent struggle in Iraq (and Afghanistan) might lead talking heads to be more muted or skeptical this time, but Thursday’s coverage suggested otherwise. MSNBC anchor Brian Williams described Pentagon footage of missile launches as “beautiful.” The New York Times headlined one piece in treacly fashion, “On Syria attack, Trump’s heart came first” (before later changing it). Parades of guests largely praised the missile launches as the right course of action.

By contrast, the networks did not focus much on whether it was concerning that Trump had flipped within a week on intervening in Syria, or what Trump’s next steps would be. (It’s worth noting that, after sending 400 Marines to Syria in March, the administration has stopped disclosing how many U.S. troops are deployed there.) There was even less discussion of the legality of the strike, even though Congress had not authorized it. (The Trump administration even forgot to include a justification in its original set of internal talking points.) And absent almost entirely, with the notable exception of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, was any extended dwelling on the United States’ not-so-stellar record of Mideast interventions. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

Trump has become Fox News’ No 1 assignment editor

Lloyd Grove writes: The jury is still out on whether Team Trump colluded with Russian operatives during last year’s presidential campaign—the subject of an extensive FBI investigation.

But the evidence is overwhelming that the Trump White House is colluding every day with the Fox News Channel, with Donald Trump himself acting as the right-leaning cable network’s cheerleader-in-chief and No.1 assignment editor.

The latest example is Fox News’s relentless promotion–abetted by the president’s Twitter feed and Monday’s installment of Fox & Friends—of a story that Los Angeles correspondent Adam Housely first told on Friday’s edition of Outnumbered, a noon weekday program in which four women on a couch and “one lucky guy” seated in the middle flirt and banter about the news of the day.

Appearing remotely from L.A., Housely reported that unnamed U.S. intelligence agencies, acting on orders from an unnamed Obama intelligence official, had improperly “unmasked” the identities of Team Trump members and associates who were caught up last year in surveillance operations; Housely also claimed that top Obama administration officials used the information for political gain.

The assertion, so far uncorroborated by other news outlets with the exception of Bloomberg’s Eli Lake, offered aid and comfort to Trump, who has been under intense media and congressional scrutiny for his alleged Russian connections ever since he tweeted on March 4 that President Obama—a “Bad (or sick) guy”—had ordered the “wiretapping” of Trump Tower. [Continue reading…]

Lake’s piece is noteworthy for this:

In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel’s office, who reviewed more of Rice’s requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy [my emphasis].

The following month, Trump’s new national security adviser H.R. McMaster removed Cohen-Watnick from his position as NSC senior intelligence director only to get overruled by Trump. And then we learned about Cohen-Watnick’s family ties to the Russian government.

Michael Flynn’s request for immunity probably has much less to do with his desire to tell his story than his fear that his protege will be granted immunity first at which point the White House implodes as Trump aides rush for the exits.

Facebooktwittermail

Don’t get fooled again by bogus links, bots and pure bunk. Here’s how

Margaret Sullivan writes: Roger Daltrey of the Who sang it with a full-throated scream in 1971: “We don’t get fooled again!”

And yet, we still do. Oh, do we ever.

Remember this one from the presidential campaign? The “news story” that spread the lie that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump for president? It was shared more than a million times. Or recall the faked report that the leader of the Islamic State was urging American Muslims to vote for Hillary Clinton.

With the proliferation of hoaxes, conspiracy theories, doctored photos and lies that look like news, it’s inevitable: We’re all chumps sometimes.

For those who are tired of it, along comes the first International Fact-Checking Day — which arrived, appropriately, on Sunday, just after April Fools’ Day.

Think of it as a global counterpunch on behalf of truth.

“It’s not about being killjoys, shaking a finger at everyone, so we’re trying to do it with a sense of fun,” said Alexios Mantzarlis, the 28-year-old director of the International Fact-Checking Network, based at the Poynter Institute in Florida. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

Stopping the advance of the right-wing populists

In an editorial for Der Spiegel, Ullrich Fichtner writes: Populists like to claim that they alone have the courage to tell the truth. That only they are bold enough to say what the aloof elite and the politically correct mainstream deliberately hold back. The result are truths such as Mexicans are rapists and North Africans are gropers. And that no upstanding German wants a neighbor with dark skin. And more such nonsense.

Convicted racist Geert Wilders sought to win the Dutch election last week with the truth that Moroccans are “scum.” And now those who don’t share Wilders’ view are relieved that only 13 percent of voters agree with him.

But while Wilders’ election defeat may be pleasing, it is still too early to sound the all-clear. This election too delivered plenty of evidence that right-wing populists dominate the public debate.

As things currently stand, the multimedia circus frequently delivers absurdly distorted images of political reality, particularly here in Europe. In the weeks leading up to the Dutch election, a Geert Wilders festival was celebrated in print, radio, television and internet outlets, almost as though the other 27 parties participating in the Dutch vote didn’t even exist. The same can currently be said of France, where the press makes it seem as though only Marine Le Pen’s ideas are up for debate. And there is hardly an article about Italian politics that doesn’t include images of the slobbering populist Beppo Grillo. Here in Germany, entire media seminars could be held focusing on the hysterical attention being paid to the ups and downs of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

The dual shock of Brexit and Donald Trump’s election may have magnified the tendency to exaggerate the ugly. In both cases, the inability to see what was coming increased the media’s self-doubt, shook the political classes and unsettled entire societies. But it would be a cardinal error to conclude from Brexit and Trump that the theories and tirades of right-wing troublemakers automatically represent the “voice of the people” and are thus the expression of justifiable concerns. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

Tracking the special treatment media get when they play nice with the White House

Margaret Sullivan writes: Some people regard Tomi Lahren as a racist.

The social-media star’s past commentary on the conservative website the Blaze, including her disparagement of the Black Lives Matter movement, caused her to be booed when she appeared last year on Trevor Noah’s “The Daily Show.”

Noah acknowledged that — even as he urged his progressive audience to be polite to his guest: “Imagine you’re at Thanksgiving again and your racist uncle walked in.”

But President Trump seems to like her style. He was so taken with Lahren’s recent appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show that he rang her up.

“He called and said, ‘Thank you for your fair coverage of me,’ ” Lahren told Washingtonian magazine, which reported that the president had watched the show live as the 24-year-old waxed enthusiastic about why so many Americans had flocked to Trump: ‘They said: ‘Guess what? This man is doing something amazing.’ ”

Lahren also told Washingtonian that in the 10- or 15-minute conversation with the president, he “was asking about me personally,” but she gave no details about his questions. [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

Did Trump have his own tax return leaked? That was the big question after Maddow

The Washington Post reports: It wasn’t the smoking gun President Trump’s critics had hoped for. Far from it.

Some even thought MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s apparent scoop on Trump’s leaked 2005 tax return made him look good. After all, the New York Times had once suggested that he had avoided taxes, and others that he was faking the extent of his wealth.

The White House circulated a response before the segment aired, complete with its go-to “dishonest media” broadside.

“You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” a White House spokesperson said anonymously in a statement.

Donald Trump Jr. seized on the report minutes after the show ended, tweeting, “Thank you Rachel Maddow for proving to your #Trump hating followers how successful @realDonaldTrump is $ that he paid $44mm in taxes!”

The documents revealed nothing about the president’s financial ties, the subject of intense scrutiny from Democrats and others who think Trump may have concealed business relationships in Russia.

All told, Trump seemed to make it through the segment in pretty good shape — so good that a cyberspace chorus wondered for hours after the fact: Did Trump leak his own tax return? [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

FBI arrests Juan Thompson for making bomb threats against Jewish institutions

The Atlantic reports: The FBI has arrested one suspect in connection with the recent bomb threats against Jewish institutions and Jewish Community Centers, known as JCCs. According to the arrest warrant, a culprit in at least some of the threats is Juan Thompson, a St. Louis native who was fired from his job as a reporter at The Intercept in early 2016 for fabricating stories. The FBI alleged that Thompson “appears to have made some of the JCC threats as part of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate” a former girlfriend. The details in the FBI arrest warrant against Thompson link him to eight specific threats. But they do not account for the much larger wave of phone calls threatening Jewish institutions.

The complaint tells the story like this. Somewhere in the period of 2015 and 2016, Thompson was in a relationship with a young woman working in the greater New York City area. During the summer of 2016, they broke up. Thompson started sending her false text messages and emails, claiming, for example, that he had been the victim of a shooting and was going to be taken off life support. He emailed her boss, saying she had a sexually transmitted disease. And he sent her nude photographs he had of her, threatening to release them to the public.

Faxes and emails started showing up at her work. One email, allegedly sent by an account that had been used by Thompson, claimed she had threatened to kill him. A series of faxes claimed she was an anti-Semite, and purported to provide evidence that she had made anti-Semitic statements on social media.

Investigators say Thompson sent tips about the woman to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, saying she watches child porn. When the New York Police Department contacted Thompson about these claims, he said his email had been hacked a few weeks prior, even though a month had elapsed since the claims were made. The NYPD warned him that his “conduct must stop,” and that he shouldn’t contact the woman.

Starting in January, investigators believe, Thompson made at least eight threats to Jewish institutions around the country. Some were made in the woman’s name. Others were made in his own name; he later claimed that she had made the calls in an attempt to falsely implicate him in the threats. These allegedly included threatening emails sent to the Jewish History Museum in Manhattan on January 28; Jewish schools in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and New York City on February 1; a JCC in New York City on February 7; and a threatening phone call to the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that tracks anti-Semitism, on February 22. He also allegedly emailed the Anti-Defamation League, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the JCC in San Diego claiming that the woman was anti-Semitic and planned to carry out violent attacks. These threats included various false details about bombs and explosives that had been planted in these Jewish institutions. [Continue reading…]

Doyle Murphy reports: At the Riverfront Times, we published a cover story about Thompson last February. He was a north St. Louis native who was once a reporter with a job at The Intercept in New York City, a news site best-known for its cache of documents from national security leaker Edward Snowden. But Thompson had been fired after the site caught him making up details and sending bogus emails, including some masquerading as the site’s editor.

Thompson blamed racism and also claimed to have cancer. But we uncovered additional problems with his work, going all the way back to his college days with the student newspaper at Vassar College, a prestigious university in Poughkeepsie, New York. Thompson had overcome an impoverished background to attend college there, but failed to graduate. He still landed a few good media jobs — only to crash and burn when his sourcing didn’t check out.

After our cover story, we followed up later with a short account of his brief tenure for an online news site. I wrote the stories. Thompson was pissed. He emailed my boss and tried to get me fired. When that didn’t work, he emailed me.

“You are a white piece of shit who lies and distorts to fit a narrative,” he wrote me in October. “Thankfully no one reads you or the rft and you will spend the rest of your career aggregating stories about shootings.”

Things were quiet for a while after that, but then came the fake Twitter accounts. My wife and I were sitting on our couch one night when she tapped me on the elbow and showed me her phone. Someone had created a brand-new Twitter profile claiming I was a rapist. The person tweeted at her, my boss and other journalists around St. Louis. It was an insane — and, though it’s hard to believe I even have to say it — completely untrue accusation.

For the next several days, we scrambled to get people at Twitter to pull down the account. They finally did. Then another popped up. We got it pulled down. Another popped up. This went on for weeks, account after account, day after day, and extended to Facebook. Someone created fake Facebook accounts and pages and regularly popped up on RFT stories, accusing me of rape. This person also made reference to my mother, using her first name, and published a social media profile picture of my wife that had been scraped from the internet.

We finally contacted the St. Louis police department’s cyber crimes unit. I still remember the detective stopping me before I could get the full explanation out.

“Does this have anything to do with Juan Thompson?” he asked. [Continue reading…]

Riverfront Times reported in 2016: Journalist Andrew Jerell Jones worked with Thompson for about six months at the Intercept. He says they were “friendly” and, like Thompson, he claims the site has a race problem, though he won’t get into specifics.

That doesn’t excuse bad journalism, he says.

“There are some fundamental problems at the Intercept with race, as there are in media in general, including liberal online media,” Jones writes in an email. “But what Juan did was something that is TABOO for all of us journalists of ALL color and something that does not make him look like the martyr he is sadly trying to portray himself as.

“What he did was made it worse for all of us minority journalists, especially black, who have legitimate issues with race in newsrooms and media as a whole.” [Continue reading…]

Facebooktwittermail

Seth Meyers: Media fawns over Trump’s ‘new’ tone

 

Facebooktwittermail

Whenever the press reports on Trump’s ties to Russia, Trump attacks the press

Facebooktwittermail