Tag Archives: PRESS

Texas Democrats Urge Pelosi to Press for Border Security as Part of USMCA Deal

Texas Democrats Urge Pelosi to Press for Border Security as Part of USMCA DealAs USMCA negotiations drag on, Texas Democrats Vicente Gonzalez and Filemon Vela urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to press Mexico for firm security commitments in the war on Mexican cartels to protect U.S. trade and tourism.“We can no longer afford to be silent. This trade pact is critical to our economy and we need to get this right or risk standing in the way of our own economic success,” Gonzalez said in the release. The representatives, who serve in districts that border Mexico, warned Pelosi in the letter that “while business and individuals alike have taken steps to mitigate the risks, including paying a protection fee to criminal organizations, this should not and cannot be the status quo we allow to continue.”The letter urges Pelosi to work with the Mexican government to protect highways connecting to U.S. ports of entry, citing a Mexican government report released earlier this year which showed 2018 as the deadliest year in Mexican history with over 33,000 homicides, a 15 percent increase from 2017.In 2018, left-wing Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised to change the approach to the drug war, saying on election night that "the failed crime and violence strategy will change. We will address the root causes of crime and violence."Cartel violence, however, has remained high. Last month, cartel gunman murdered nine members of the American Mormon LeBaron family in a highway shooting. In October, a poll found that a majority of Mexicans see organized crime as more powerful than the Mexican government after government forces capitulated to cartel forces and released the son of the famed former cartel leader “El Chapo”.“Inaction and empty promises are a threat to the success of USMCA,” Gonzalez and Vela’s letter reads. “In fact, it has left companies doing business across our southern border to invest resources in private security. We cannot stand aside and let this continue, particularly not along key North American trade routes. We can no longer afford to separate public security from trade as this faulty distinction will perpetuate severe economic and security implications.”President Trump told commentator Bill O’Reilly last week that he was attempting to label certain Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.In a statement provided to National Review, Gonzalez said the issue was complicated, but that “Mexico and its government should accept the offer of American help.”“Designating Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations has multiple factors that have not been fully evaluated. While I am not completely opposed to the idea, we should analyze the impact of this designation further before rushing into any decision,” Gonzalez’s statement reads. “ . . . Together we can create a clear and defined security strategy to root out the drug cartels once and for all.”The congressman did not specify as to whether the LeBaron shooting motivated his letter to Pelosi.



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Why is Michael Bloomberg silencing the press? Because it's his plaything

Why is Michael Bloomberg silencing the press? Because it's his playthingIn choosing to launch a presidential campaign for no reasons other than ego and greed, he has subjugated a respected news organization to his whimsAmong the many socially damaging things about the existence of billionaires is the fact that the ego of a single person with billions of dollars can exert more influence than the collective wisdom of thousands of professionals under their economic control. All the experts might say that the kingdom should focus on food and shelter for the people, but if the pharaoh wants a pyramid instead, well, everyone is getting the pyramid. There is no better demonstration of this farce than the sad fate of Bloomberg News, a global media organization that has the unfortunate distinction of also being a billionaire’s plaything.Michael Bloomberg, who is worth more than $ 50bn, is running for president. He will not win. Still, his candidacy is unsurprising. A cadre of political consultants who will get rich if he runs have urged him to run, and a potential wealth tax under President Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders would cost him a much greater portion of his fortune than the relatively small sliver he’ll spend on his doomed campaign. If nothing else, he hopes to be able to pull the scary socialist discourse back in the direction of the more capital-friendly wing of the Democratic party. Fine. Let the rich man have his fun. Perhaps a few weeks being forced to kiss pigs in middle American farm stalls will do his shriveled soul some good.But there is the small matter of that global media organization that the now-candidate owns. Bloomberg News boasts 2,700 editorial staffers around the world, churning out not just excellent coverage of the financial markets, but a broad range of news and opinion about everything. Including, of course, the US presidential race. In theory, this should not be a problem – every reputable journalistic outlet in the world adheres to the principle of editorial independence, meaning that the newsroom operates without any editorial meddling by the owner. (It is equally true that media outlets generally reflect the broad philosophical beliefs of their owners, which is why there is little reporting from a Marxist perspective at Bloomberg News. Still, this fact of life does not need to interfere with the normal business of day-to-day ethical reporting about the world.)So the proper response to the boss running for president should be: whatever. We are still reporters, and we will still report. Every true reporter would relish the chance to stick the journalistic knife in the boss, I assure you. It would be easy for the editors of Bloomberg News to set loose their investigative reporters on Michael Bloomberg’s financial and political empire, planting a flag for independent journalism and educating readers at the same time. Instead, however, Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief, John Micklethwait, covered himself in disgrace by decreeing that the editorial board would be suspended (no great loss) and that: “We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike … and we will extend the same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries.” Somehow, Micklethwait managed to create a cowering editorial policy that is not only implicitly distrustful of his own reporters’ professionalism, but explicitly biased in the way that investigative journalism is apportioned between the two political parties.Reputable political journalists, including former Bloomberg staffers, were disgusted by this policy. But let us not put all the blame on the middle managers. The true boss of Bloomberg News is Michael Bloomberg himself. In choosing to launch a presidential campaign for no plausible reasons other than ego and greed, he also chose to subjugate a respected organization of 2,700 news professionals to the interests of … Michael Bloomberg’s ego and greed.A noble plutocrat would at least try to allow his reporters to do their jobs, thereby gesturing towards a belief in the value of truth. A vain plutocrat like Bloomberg has instead placed his reporters in such a compromised position that Donald Trump’s characteristically asinine declaration that Bloomberg journalists will be banned from his campaign events and rallies is actually defensible – after all, it is impossible to argue that a media outlet with a formal policy of “We will investigate Donald Trump but never any of his political rivals” does not fit the dictionary definition of “biased”.The stupidest possible narrative that could emerge from this desperate presidential campaign season – and it will emerge, I promise you – is a “battle of the billionaires”, in which the role of voters is merely to choose a super rich superman to worship, and political parties are reduced to mere stages for two extremely wealthy guys with slightly different varieties of arrogant personalities.Thankfully the billionaires in the Democratic primary will all lose, and with any luck they will be so damaged by aggressive investigative reporting that they will shrink away from ever trying again. None of that reporting will come from Bloomberg News. If they really want to cover Trump rallies though, I can tell them from personal experience that they don’t need a press pass. They can just walk right in with the regular folks. There’s always plenty of room. As usual, Donald Trump’s sneering proclamations are more sound than fury, meant only to soothe the man-baby’s rage until his attention flits to the next topic. In this case, the billionaire who’s really screwing the free press is named Michael Bloomberg. * Hamilton Nolan is a writer based in New York



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Republican leader struggles to defend Mulvaney quid pro quo press conference remarks

Republican leader struggles to defend Mulvaney quid pro quo press conference remarksHouse Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was "very clear in cleaning up his statement" on whether President Trump floated a quid pro quo to Ukrainian leaders.



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GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Loses It on ‘Meet the Press’: I Do Not Trust the FBI or CIA

GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Loses It on ‘Meet the Press’: I Do Not Trust the FBI or CIAIn an extremely contentious and heated interview with Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd on Sunday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) declared that he does not trust the CIA or FBI while launching into a series of conspiratorial attacks on Democrats and intelligence officials regarding the Ukraine scandal.Johnson—who last week said he was told about a quid pro quo involving Ukrainian investigation into the 2016 election and that President Trump blocked him from telling Ukraine military aid was coming—immediately began his interview on the defensive, complaining that Todd was biased and the president was being sabotaged.The Republican senator then proceeded to accuse former members of the FBI and CIA of conspiring to set up the president after his election, claiming this has “everything to do with Ukraine.”“Why a Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here, I have no idea,” an exasperated Todd noted at one point.“It is not, that is exactly, because this is going over the line, exactly why President Trump is upset and why his supporters are upset with the news media,” Johnson shouted, to which Todd replied: “Can we please answer the question that I asked you instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you are not criticizing him?”Eventually, Johnson would tell Todd that the reason he “winced” when he heard about military aid being attached to Ukrainian investigations into the 2016 election is he didn’t want to see those two things connected, adding that Trump “adamantly denied” to him that was occurring. He would then go on to support a probe by Ukraine into the Democrats surrounding the last presidential election.“Ukrainian officials reportedly helped Clinton allies research Trump’s advisers,” he huffed. “There is potential interference in the 2016 campaign. That’s what Trump wants to get to the bottom of. But the press doesn’t want to.”Johnson added: “I’m being called a conspiracy theorist, John Solomon is, because the press is horribly biased and Trump and his supporters completely understand that.”Todd confronted Johnson on whether or not he believes former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort was framed and if the Russians interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Trump. After saying he doesn’t think Manafort was framed and the Russian “absolutely” meddled in the election, Johnson pivoted back to supposed Ukrainian involvement during the 2016 campaign.“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” the senator exclaimed. “Chuck, I just want the truth. The American people want the truth.”“So do you not trust the FBI? Do you not trust the CIA?” Todd wondered, causing Johnson to yell back: “No, no, I don’t. Absolutely not. After Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, after James Comey?!”After Johnson said he didn’t trust anyone from the Obama administration, Todd asked him if he trusted the organizations now.“No I didn’t trust them back then,” Johnson replied before listing off a series of former officials who have become favorite targets of the president's supporters.Todd, clearly out of patience with Johnson at the end, suggested Johnson was only interested in the truth that was “politically comfortable” for him before getting in one final parting shot.“I’m sorry that you chose to come on this way, senator.”Chuck Todd on NBC’s 2020 Debate Plans, Why He ‘Can’t Quit’ Rudy Giuliani and Won’t ‘Ban’ Kellyanne ConwayRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Journalists in Kashmir protest India's curbs on press

Journalists in Kashmir protest India's curbs on pressDozens of journalists in Indian-controlled Kashmir held a sit-in protest Thursday against an ongoing communication blackout in the disputed Himalayan region, describing the blockade of the internet and mobile phones as a government-imposed gag. The journalists, holding placards and wearing black bands, said the government was muzzling the press in the region and demanded that the internet and mobile connectivity be restored. For the last two months, mobile phone and internet services have been shut down in Indian-controlled Kashmir after New Delhi stripped the region of its semi-autonomous powers and implemented a strict clampdown.



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White House press secretary: Trump stopped briefings because reporters were mean

White House press secretary: Trump stopped briefings because reporters were meanAny hope that Americans may one day see Trump’s new press secretary taking questions from reporters in a formal White House press briefing went out the window on Monday morning when Stephanie Grisham sat down for her first appearance on "Fox & Friends" since taking over for Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier this year.



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As a foreign reporter visiting the US I was stunned by Trump's press conference

As a foreign reporter visiting the US I was stunned by Trump's press conferenceDespite being subjected to a daily diet of Trump headlines, I was unprepared for the president’s alarming incoherenceNot normal: Donald Trump addresses the press at Otay Mesa, California. Photograph: ReutersAs a regular news reader I thought I was across the eccentricities of the US president. Most mornings in Australia begin with news from America – the bid to buy Greenland, adjustments to a weather map hand-drawn with a Sharpie or another self-aggrandising tweet. Our headlines and news bulletins, like headlines and news bulletins everywhere, are full of Trump.As a political reporter for most of the last 30 years I have also endured many long and rambling political press conferences with Australian prime ministers and world leaders.But watching a full presidential Trump press conference while visiting the US this week I realised how much the reporting of Trump necessarily edits and parses his words, to force it into sequential paragraphs or impose meaning where it is difficult to detect.The press conference I tuned into by chance from my New York hotel room was held in Otay Mesa, California, and concerned a renovated section of the wall on the Mexican border.I joined as the president was explaining at length how powerful the concrete was. Very powerful, it turns out. It was unlike any wall ever built, incorporating the most advanced “concrete technology”. It was so exceptional that would-be wall-builders from three unnamed countries had visited to learn from it.There were inner tubes in the wall that were also filled with concrete, poured in via funnels, and also “rebars” so the wall would withstand anyone attempting to cut through it with a blowtorch.The wall went very deep and could not be burrowed under. Prototypes had been tested by 20 “world-class mountain climbers – That’s all they do, they love to climb mountains”, who had been unable to scale it.It was also “wired, so that we will know if somebody is trying to break through”, although one of the attending officials declined a presidential invitation to discuss this wiring further, saying, “Sir, there could be some merit in not discussing it”, which the president said was a “very good answer”.The wall was “amazing”, “world class”, “virtually impenetrable” and also “a good, strong rust colour” that could later be painted. It was designed to absorb heat, so it was “hot enough to fry an egg on”. There were no eggs to hand, but the president did sign his name on it and spoke for so long the TV feed eventually cut away, promising to return if news was ever made.> In writing about this not-especially-important or unusual press conference I’ve run into what US reporters must encounter every dayHe did, at one point, concede that would-be immigrants, unable to scale, burrow, blow torch or risk being burned, could always walk around the incomplete structure, but that would require them walking a long way. This seemed to me to be an important point, but the monologue quickly returned to the concrete.In writing about this not-especially-important or unusual press conference I’ve run into what US reporters must encounter every day. I’ve edited skittering, half-finished sentences to present them in some kind of consequential order and repeated remarks that made little sense.In most circumstances, presenting information in as intelligible a form as possible is what we are trained for. But the shock I felt hearing half an hour of unfiltered meanderings from the president of the United States made me wonder whether the editing does our readers a disservice.I’ve read so many stories about his bluster and boasting and ill-founded attacks, I’ve listened to speeches and hours of analysis, and yet I was still taken back by just how disjointed and meandering the unedited president could sound. Here he was trying to land the message that he had delivered at least something towards one of his biggest campaign promises and sounding like a construction manager with some long-winded and badly improvised sales lines.I’d understood the dilemma of normalising Trump’s ideas and policies – the racism, misogyny and demonisation of the free press. But watching just one press conference from Otay Mesa helped me understand how the process of reporting about this president can mask and normalise his full and alarming incoherence.



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Dan Rather: Corey Lewandowski Won Car-Crash CNN Interview, ‘The Press and Best Interests of the Country Lost’

Dan Rather: Corey Lewandowski Won Car-Crash CNN Interview, ‘The Press and Best Interests of the Country Lost’Steven Ferdman/GettyWednesday’s CNN appearance by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the morning after he acknowledged to the House Judiciary Committee that he feels no obligation to be honest with the news media, re-ignited an ongoing debate among staffers at the cable network over who should and not be accorded airtime if they are simply using it as a forum to mislead.CNN Brings on Corey Lewandowski, a Known Liar, for Totally Batshit InterviewThe controversial booking of Lewandowski also provoked a barrage of criticism from journalists who argued that he’s a confirmed liar who can’t be trusted by viewers to be a credible source of information.Lewandowski is himself a former paid CNN commentator whose 2016 hiring, after being dismissed by Trump, embarrassed the network when it was disclosed that he was continuing on the Trump campaign payroll at $ 20,000 a month while working for CNN.Among CNN’s critics is former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, who told The Daily Beast that he agrees with concerns that Lewandowski’s appearance didn’t serve the public, and that a fiery televised confrontation of the kind that occurred Wednesday potentially helps the Senate Republican primary campaign Lewandowski is widely expected to launch soon in his native New Hampshire.“Unfortunately, the Congress, the press and the best interests of the country—in my opinion—lost that round,” Rather, who runs the News and Guts Media production company and anchors shows on AXS TV and The Young Turks YouTube channel, said in an email. CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker declined to respond to the criticism on the record, as did several staffers reached by The Daily Beast. A quick spot survey of  CNN employees, however, suggested that some CNN employees agree with Rather while other staffers believe that it’s not the news media’s job to censor government officials or prominent political figures such as Lewandowski, but instead to bring them on, interrogate them, and hold them accountable. During a 16-minute-long exchange that shed far more heat than light, Lewandowski regularly dodged, talked over and shouted over New Day anchor Alisyn Camerota’s questions and repeatedly insulted the network that once wrote him handsome checks.Lewandowski accused CNN of “hypocrisy” for employing fired FBI acting director Andrew McCabe as an on-air analyst, even as McCabe is being targeted by the Trump Justice Department for a criminal referral for allegedly making false statements to the DOJ inspector general.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to write book, but don't expect a tell-all

Former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to write book, but don't expect a tell-allSanders' yet-to-be-titled book is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2020 – presumably right before the general election.



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Trump’s new press secretary was arrested for DUI while working on the 2016 campaign during her rocky rise to the White House

Trump’s new press secretary was arrested for DUI while working on the 2016 campaign during her rocky rise to the White HouseStephanie Grisham has taken an unconventional approach to her White House post, and hasn't held a single on-camera briefing since taking over in July.



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