The main stream media is out of touch

I find the US mainstream media particularly boring and uninformative these days. It has become embedded in a partisan political campaign and seems to go into a frenzy over every bit of “evidence” or fake news it can garner, invent, or exaggerate in an apparent attempt to reverse the results of last year’s presidential elections.

I think many people must be heartily sick of this campaign. I would not be surprised if this is encouraging many to turn to alternative news sources and I suspect this media obsession is encouraging an increasing mistrust of the mainstream media.

But it is not just a matter of all the fake news and media lies. This political campaign is diverting media attention away from the things that really concern people. After all, they had their election last year and sensible presidential challenges should be off the burner until 2000. Meanwhile, there are all sorts of problems the ordinary person expects their government, and the media, to come to grips with.

So I am not surprised to see recent polling identifying a huge mismatch between the concerns of the media and the concerns of the public. Jon Gabriel’s Ricochet article What Americans Care About vs. What the Media Cares About illustrates this in the following graphic.

Constraining the President

Frankly, I think this US political hysteria is being produced by an alliance of the media, elements of the intelligence community and the “establishment” in general. For one reason or another, they just can not accept the result of the 2016 election and would like to see that result reversed. At the very least, they are using this artificial campaign to constrain the president in areas like foreign policy where they have big differences.

Perhaps pressure from the neocons and deep state to constrain and control a new president is not new. Certainly, we saw this with President Obama. But the campaigners have resorted to a more public and hysterical pressure in President Trump’s case because he is basically a political outsider. He came out of “left field,” was not part of the “acceptable” political establishment and is a maverick. His personality makes him difficult to control in the normal, behind the scenes, way.

Media does itself no favours

There are a number of objective factors creating turmoil for the mainstream media these days. transfer of advertising to social media, changes in technology and the loss of skilled reporters. But the old, established media is not doing itself any favours by diverting into a blatantly partisan political campaign and resorting to such bias in its reporting. And it harms society by encouraging the growth of neo-McCarthyism and supporting those who are working to reduce international cooperation and the relaxation of tension. That is dangerous for the American people – and in fact for the whole world.

But I guess the upside is that this self-exposure of bias is an education to the public. They may now search for alternatives – and that is a good thing. They will also be a lot more critical of what is delivered to them by the news media – and that is also a good thing.

The reader does need to beware – and to question more.

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52 responses to “The main stream media is out of touch

  1. David Fierstien

    You’ve provided an interesting graphic choice to present your views. In fact, you not only provided this graph, it is your sole piece of evidence on which your entire argument rests.

    I was curious about it because I found the graph so out of step with reality. I had never heard of “ricochet.com” so I took a look. The first post displayed was entitled, “Fighting Back: One Conservative’s Rather Modest Thoughts.”

    Of course you would never use a biased source to present your views, because as you say, “This political campaign (of the MSM) is diverting media attention away from the things that really concern people.” . . So you would never use a source that has a blatant political agenda, because that would be like a “political campaign,” right?

    And besides, the source doesn’t matter to you, does it. One must look intelligently and critically at what is being presented in order to derive a rational opinion.

    So I did just that with your graph. Let’s take a critical look. Your graph says 13% of U.S. citizens are concerned about jobs (on July 17), but the media only spends 1% of its coverage on that issue (on June 27).

    The Bloomberg figure claiming 13% are concerned about jobs is puzzling because in 2010, the United States had an unemployment rate of 9.9%. That number has steadily decreased to 4.3% in May of 2017. Why would 13% of the people be concerned about jobs when that number has been improving under the Obama Administration, and only 4.3% are actually unemployed?

    That was fun, wasn’t it. Let’s do another one. Health Care. Your graph says 35% of the people are concerned with health care. I’ve got no problem with that. But the media only devotes 4% of its coverage to this issue? Bullshit. The media is all over the health care issue.

    Of course to be fair, Ricochet Conservative LLC., did use a number from June 27. A lot has changed in the past few weeks.

    I’m just thinking out loud here, bear with me, but this blatantly conservative source that you found, Ricochet, . . . Hmmm . . Well, conservative, by definition, is in itself a political agenda . . . political agendas fuel political campaigns . . . . This guy from “Ricochet,” Jon Gabriel, wouldn’t have just found two different surveys from two different points in time that when lined up next to each other try to prove some kind of political point. Would he?

    Why would he have done that?

    Ricochet, that’s not part of the Mainstream Media, is it. In fact, I would call it an alternative news source, wouldn’t you. Yes, I would call Ricochet a conservative alternative news source with a political agenda.

    Well . . Why would an alternative news source with a political agenda want to make the mainstream media look bad?

    Beats the hell out of me.

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  2. David, I, of course, refer you to my previous post Don’t rely on sources – follow the evidence. However, I know you have already attacked that so and your current comments display your resistance to the idea of that it is ignorant to avoid issues by shooting the messenger.

    You ask “Why would an alternative news source with a political agenda want to make the mainstream media look bad?” And of course, the obvious extension of that question is to invert it – “Why would a mainstream news source with a political agenda want to make the alternative media look bad?” And we can extend that even further by asking “Why would politicians, governments and military organisations like NATO and its creation Stratcom with a political agenda want to make the alternative media look bad?”

    It doesn’t take much intelligence to easily answer these questions. Hence my advice of not slavishly trusting any media – mainstream or alternative. Of approaching the media critically and intelligently. Something I advised you to do many times but it seems to be beyond you. You can only respond with “Beats the hell out of me.” Come on. Do you approach FAN and similar anti-science organisation with such a slavish attitude? 🙂

    Your arguments come across as extremely defensive. OK, I may have hit you at a soft spot. But again, come on. Surely a rational person can get beyond their prejudices, stop such avoidance and look at the real issues.

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  3. I thought the graph was BS as well.

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  4. David Fierstien

    You say, ” “Why would a mainstream news source with a political agenda want to make the alternative media look bad?” ”

    Show me one example of a Mainstream Media source openly attacking an alternative media source.

    If you ask the opposite, show me an example of an alternate media source attacking MSM . . one only need look at an RT advertisement in the U.S. to see “The Death of Mainstream Media.” That advertisement is nothing less than an attack on the U.S. Free Press from a country known for the murders of its own journalists.

    I liken pricks like you to Germans in 1936 walking into radio stations with machine guns as they sought control of information.

    So please, back up what you’ve said. Show me anything from the mainstream media as blatantly and unashamedly attacking alternative media as you . . and alternative media have hurled at MSM.

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  5. David Fierstien

    Richard Christie, I agree. I’m not getting enough Russia. Now all we’re getting is health care.

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  6. David Fierstien

    Ken Perrott: ” . . it seems to be beyond you. You can only respond with “Beats the hell out of me.”

    It seems to be beyond you, but I was being facetious.

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  7. David, I find it incredible that you request “Show me one example of a Mainstream Media source openly attacking an alternative media source.” As someone attacking alternative media sources all the time and demanding I only pay attention to the “official sources you recommend I don;t believe for one minute you have never come across mainstream mec=dia disparaging of competing alternative sources.

    Just remember the Washington Post article (no I can no longer access Washington post – they demand a subscription from me) which use the propornot list of alternative media which they claimed were promoting fake news. Even providing a browser add-on to provide warnings to the reader whenever they accidentally landed on an alternative media site. I used the addon for a while – it was very intrusive.Talk about imposing blinkers.

    Actually, the Post paddling of this was so blatant it evoked a reaction and they were forced to back peddle a bit publishing this statement:

    “Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda. A number of those sites have objected to being included on PropOrNot’s list, and some of the sites, as well as others not on the list, have publicly challenged the group’s methodology and conclusions. The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so. Since the publication of The Post’s story, PropOrNot has removed some sites from its list.”

    I am not familiar with the RT advert you refer to. Are you not taking a risk watching RT at this time of widespread neo-McCarthyist hysteria in your country? 🙂

    But, yes, many alternative media do spend time exposing the fake news peddled by the main stream media. Good on them. Even if many of those media are guilty of promoting their own fake news.

    As I say – reader beware, question more and analyse what you read critically and intelligently.

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  8. David Fierstien

    I have to say, I love your post. It is So . . . . You.

    This is classic. I took another look at the link you provided, “What Americans Care About vs. What The Mainstream Media Cares About,” (btw, This word, Americans, does that include Brazilians, Canadians, Mexicans, Peruvians, etc., or are we just talking about people in the United States here? A lot of morons get that wrong. It’s a good thing you look at your sources critically and intelligently, because I wouldn’t want to think you were using a moron as a source. — But I digress.)

    Anyway, I read the article that you used as your sole piece of evidence for your entire argument. Jon Gabriel, Ed. wrote it. In fact, you took a graph from it to illustrate your entire point.

    This is from Jon Gabriel’s article: “This lack of interest reminded me of a June 27 Media Research Center survey (link here) in which they calculated the amount of network news coverage of major issues.”

    I was curious about this June 27 Media Research Center survey, so naturally I followed the link . . . and guess what, Ken (I’m also curious. Did you follow the llnk? Of course you did. Since you always approach media sources critically and intelligently. )

    It led to a webpage on, (are you ready for this?) “mrc News Busters, Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias.” . . . Wow!

    Let’s recap for those who might not have been paying attention: You posted an article condemning the mainstream media for its slanted journalism, and outright Fake News, and you lauded “alternative news” sources as surrogate sources where legitimate information can be found. Correct?

    The sole piece of evidence that you used for this thesis was an article written by Jon Gabriel for “ricochet.com.” Is that about right?

    From the website: “Ricochet.com is the leading place for civil discussion of the center-right and beyond.”

    “Center-right and beyond.” So we know ricochet has a political agenda.

    Jon Gabriel , in forming his argument, used some survey which was posted on some website whose only agenda is to “combat liberal media bias.” So, any critical or intelligent reader should know, right from the start, that this website would never present any form of evidence that would put the mainstream media in a favorable light.

    But you used this evidence in presenting your argument. Since you are both “critical and intelligent,” I can only assume that you cherry-picked a source because it supported your bias: “TV News Obsessed With Russia Probe.”

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  9. David – you ask:

    “Let’s recap for those who might not have been paying attention: You posted an article condemning the mainstream media for its slanted journalism, and outright Fake News, and you lauded “alternative news” sources as surrogate sources where legitimate information can be found. Correct?”

    No, incorrect.

    I have written again and again that we should approach ALL media intelligently and critically – that includes alternative as well as the media you disingenuously describe as “official.” That includes “liberal” as well “centre-right and beyond.”

    Now, instead of actually dealing with the information in the graphic (which I do not find at all surprising and is in line with media comments about the public becoming pissed off with the current media hysteria regarding Russia) you are shooting the messenger again. I can only conclude that you are incapable of actually critiquing the data in the graphics so must fire away at alternative or other media which have published the surveys.

    Our arguments continually come back to this. I can understand how configuration bias works to encourage people to find and trust sources that provide messages they agree with. But you should be aware from your own experience that is a trap.

    Last October you pushed (here in our discussions) the Newsweek Kurt Eichenwald story as “proof” that Trump was getting intelligence information direct from the Russian Federation. Evidence of collusion. That writer and his story have been thoroughly discredited. Newsweek has withdrawn the story and there was a settlement with the reporter who Eichenwald had treated so badly.

    Yet I do not recall you apologising for your mistake – a mistake you would not have made if you had looked at the substance of the story instead of being blinded by your view that Newsweek was an official source which always told the truth and Sputnik an unofficial or alternative source which could not be trusted.

    Yes, the data in this graphic does support my understanding of the current situation in the US – an understanding which you may consider unjustified or a bias but I argue is based on my readings of various news media and watching TV programmes of various origins. This article is not meant to be a “proof” an in-depth analysis – simply an illustration of what I have observed and discussed.

    I can only take your unwillingness to actually discuss the actual data or evidence (and instead rely on irrelevant attempts to discredit the media sources) as an admission you do not have a single argument you can put up against that data or against my arguments in the article. Now, Come on.. would you be bothered even considering my arguments against Eichenwald’s story if they simply involved discrediting Newsweek as a source?

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  10. David Fierstien

    You: “Now, instead of actually dealing with the information in the graphic (which I do not find at all surprising and is in line with media comments about the public becoming pissed off with the current media hysteria regarding Russia) you are shooting the messenger again.”

    You: “I can only take your unwillingness to actually discuss the actual data or evidence (and instead rely on irrelevant attempts to discredit the media sources) as an admission you do not have a single argument you can put up against that data . . ”

    Me (my first comment under this post): “Your graph says 13% of U.S. citizens are concerned about jobs (on July 17), but the media only spends 1% of its coverage on that issue (on June 27).

    “The Bloomberg figure claiming 13% are concerned about jobs is puzzling because in 2010, the United States had an unemployment rate of 9.9%. That number has steadily decreased to 4.3% in May of 2017. Why would 13% of the people be concerned about jobs when that number has been improving under the Obama Administration, and only 4.3% are actually unemployed?”

    Me (now): Learn to read.

    (btw, did you check out current unemployment rates in the U.S. before posting that graphic? Did you really look at the “actual data or evidence?” Or did you just take it at face value because part of it supported your bias?)

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  11. David Fierstien

    Your obsession with re-writing history never ceases to amaze me.

    I re-read your post and these comments from you —

    Ken quoting me: “You posted an article condemning the mainstream media for its slanted journalism, and outright Fake News, and you lauded “alternative news” sources as surrogate sources where legitimate information can be found. Correct?”

    The fact is, you posted an article . . . This article. My meaning here is clear. I am referring to This post. I’m not talking about your mindset or your worldview or anything you may have said in the past.

    Ken’s response to me: “No, incorrect.

    “I have written again and again that we should approach ALL media intelligently and critically – that includes alternative as well as the media you disingenuously describe as “official.” That includes “liberal” as well “centre-right and beyond.””

    After re-reading this post, “The main stream media is out of touch,” I found the only time you ever came close to advising your readers to approach news critically was here: “They may now search for alternatives – and that is a good thing. They will also be a lot more critical of what is delivered to them by the news media – and that is also a good thing.”

    And even here, you tell your readers to look at Alternative media sources.

    I stand by my comment: “You posted an article condemning the mainstream media for its slanted journalism . . ” The great majority of your post is dedicated to condemning MSM.

    There are 8 paragraphs in your post. In 6 of those 8 you blast the mainstream media. In some cases you use the word “media,” but in context you are clearly referring to MSM. (And I’m not even including your title, “The Mainstream Media is out of Touch.”)

    You made one vague reference to approaching news sources critically (and in context, that looks like a reference to MSM, but I’ll be generous and give that one to you). And even when talking about using a critical eye, you are still advising the reader to look at alternative media sources.

    So . . . you made more than 9 clear attacks on the mainstream media, and 1 questionable reference to approaching news critically, which, in context, looks like another attack on MSM.

    Let’s do this again. You posted an article condemning the mainstream media for its slanted journalism, and outright Fake News, and you lauded “alternative news” sources as surrogate sources where legitimate information can be found. Correct?

    One more thing, since we are talking about your love for alternative facts . .

    Ken: ” . . that includes alternative as well as the media you disingenuously describe as “official.” ‘

    You put the word “official” in quotation marks, meaning that somewhere I actually said that. Please show me any place where I ever called the Mainstream media the “official” media.

    Once again, you are clearly lying.

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  12. David Fierstien

    Question:

    This is your quote: “and is in line with media comments about the public becoming pissed off with the current media hysteria regarding Russia . . ”

    Which “media comments?” Could you please tell us WHICH media outlets are commenting that the public is becoming pissed off with the current media hysteria regarding Russia?

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  13. David “did you check out current unemployment rates”

    What the hell has that to do with it? The graphic simply demonstrated public concern over various issues compared with media space given to the issues. Also, your personal opinion is irrelevant – the data was from surveys – not form personally questioning you.

    If you think the data is inaccurate or wrong (I certainly concede that possibility – let’s face it, so many poll results are – just ask Hillary Clinton) then you should present some other data – not attack me or the sources I link to. That is shooting the messengers to avoid the real issues.

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  14. David – it is not hard to find media comments questioning the current hysteria – even from extreme sources like Boycott Russia. Their concern is, of course, that the exaggerations and fake news have caused readers to turn off the story.

    However, if you disagree that this hysterical campaign has got our of hand and think it is justified then supply your arguments. Also, what about backing up any arguments with evidence – the lack of evidence in this current hysteria is so obvious that even the mainstream media which promotes the lies has started talking about “alleged” Russian collusion.

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  15. David Fierstien

    THE GRAPH
    After you accused me of being unwilling to “discuss the actual data or evidence” of a graphic in your Post that you presented to support your argument . . . that the mainstream media is out of touch with the actual concerns of the U.S. population, . . . I discussed one of the graph stats – Unemployment.

    I asked you, “did you check out current unemployment rates in the U.S. before posting that graphic?” Did you look at the actual evidence behind the graph?

    I’ll take your answer to be, “No.” You did not. You did not critically assess the correctness of that stat by looking at the facts. Please correct me if that is not accurate.

    You also commented that “the graphic (that you presented) . . . is in line with media comments about the public becoming pissed off with the current media hysteria regarding Russia . . “

    Along those same lines, you also said, “The data in this graphic does support my understanding of the current situation in the US – an understanding which you may consider unjustified or a bias but I argue is based on my readings of various news media and watching TV programmes of various origins,” unquote.

    My response, . . . I asked you, “Could you please tell us WHICH media outlets are commenting that the public is becoming pissed off with the current media hysteria regarding Russia?” . . Could you tell us to which “various news media . . of various origins” you are referring when you say that the public is becoming pissed off with media hysteria about Russia?

    Why would that question be important? Because, this is a very puzzling claim you are making. “Various media sources” is the source you have used to draw your conclusion that the public is pissed off about the media’s hysteria over Russia.

    Obviously not all media sources are making this claim, or there would be no media hysteria over the Russia scandal in the first place. Therefore, only a portion of the media sources must be making this claim? But which portion? According to you, “Various” media sources, even extreme ones like “Boycott Russia (no link included).” Well that’s about as vague as it can get, isn’t it.

    TO BE CLEAR, you are telling us that you find credibility in this graph that you presented from Ricochet, which used data from a website dedicated to combating the liberal media, . . you find that graph credible because it is in line with what you have seen from various media sources. . . but not all media sources.

    In other words, in your mind, this right-wing graph, which used right-wing data is credible because right-wing news sources that you have seen agree with it. Isn’t that about the size of it?

    As absurd as your reasoning is, my exposure of it is irrelevant.

    HERE’S WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT GRAPH. For the sake of argument, let’s assume the data is correct.

    The problem, is this right-wing website with a political agenda juxtaposed two sets of data: 1.) minutes of time media spends on issues, and 2.) THE MOST IMPORTANT issues facing U.S. citizens.

    Because these two sets of data don’t line up . . he is implying that the media is out of touch with concerns of the public. He is being deceptive. And you carried forth his argument.

    Let’s talk about the Russia stat: 75% of media minutes spent on Russia, and only 6% feel it is THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE.

    Ok, what does that mean? Both you, and Jon Gabriel argue that this means people are “pissed off” about media hysteria over Russia. You use “various media sources” to support your position, and Jon Gabriel uses stats from a website dedicated to combatting liberal bias in the media. Unbelieveable (but it is worth repeating).

    Let’s look at some actual data that may shed the light of reality on that stat.

    Fact: President Trump’s approval rating is lower after 190 days than Bill Clinton’s was during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In fact, to date, Trump’s highest approval rating, according to Gallup, has been 45%—just after he was inaugurated in late January. Trump currently has an approval of 37%. This is lower than any president, at this 6 month point, since polls have been taken.

    Bear in mind, that a President’s first year is office is considered the Honeymoon period, during which he (or she) always enjoys his (or her) highest approval ratings. This period of “political capital” is typically used to push an agenda. Trump has NO political capital. He is a complete failure. According to Gallup, between 55% – 60% disapprove of Trump’s job performance, depending on which day you look at.

    So, 37% approve of Trump’s job performance. Between 55% – 60% disapprove of him. And the rest are somewhere in the middle.

    Why is that important? Because you are using a deceptive juxtaposition to argue the public is pissed off about the media’s “hysterics” over the Russia scandal.

    Are they really pissed off? In fact, why would they be? If someone disapproves of the President’s job performance, why would they be upset about the media looking questioning the validity of an election that put him in office? That makes absolutely no sense at all.

    So, what does the graph that Jon Gabriel presented really mean?

    The Bloomberg Graph is asking for THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE facing us. I agree with what is presented. In the U.S., it probably IS Health Care. People would naturally be more concerned about personal health issues than any political scandal.

    However, the point of the Bloomberg graph is not to show us what people are NOT interested in. It doesn’t tell us that people are NOT interested in Russia-gate. Nor does it tell us what ARE interested in. It doesn’t tell us that people ARE interested in Russia-gate. It only tells us what THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE facing us is. And that is, naturally, Healthcare.

    That graph is meaningless for the arguments made by both you and Jon Gabriel. There are people who have listed health care as a priority, who are still interested in the scandal facing the Trump Administration. Your graph doesn’t account for them.

    So, what about the second graph, juxtaposed against the Bloomberg graph, media minutes spent on various issues? What does that say? It says nothing . . pertaining to the arguments made by you.

    First of all, it’s not the media’s job to pander to polls in deciding which stories are newsworthy.

    In the second place, I would disagree with those numbers for this past week. In the U.S., the Russia-gate scandal clearly took a back seat to Health Care during the week of July 23, 2017, no question about it, if for no other reason than to emphasize another of Trump’s failures.

    However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume the media does spend a disproportionate amount of time on Russia-gate than any other issue. So what? It is a completely Newsworthy issue. . . Why?

    Because the United States might be headed for a constitutional crisis. But how can that be? According to you, and others like you who would like to see attention diverted away from Russia-gate, there is nothing there. . Really?

    1.) According to the president’s own words, he fired FBI Director James Comey in part because he didn’t like Comey’s handling of the Russia investigation. The White House originally gave an entirely different explanation for the firing. That action could be considered obstruction of justice.

    2.) The President tried to intimidate James Comey, in a tweet prior to Comey’s testimony. This is tantamount to witness tampering.

    3.) According to testimony from Comey, the president once asked him if he could “let” an investigation into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn “go,” and also told him he needed his “loyalty.” Trump denies both of these claims.

    4.) The President has publicly denounced Attorney General Jeff Sessions because the AG recused himself from any involvement in the “Russia Investigation,” and its involvement with the Trump campaign. (The AG’s recusal meant that Trump lost a foothold of control over an investigation that involved not only his own campaign, but possibly his son, son-in-law, and possibly even him.)

    5.) The President has taken to openly criticizing Attorney General Sessions, a pattern that Mr. Trump has used prior to the dismissal of his personnel. For example, in the President’s own words, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”

    What, if any, action Trump will take against Special Counsel Robert Mueller remains to be seen. However, there are indications, based on Trump’s own comments, that he is looking for reasons to disqualify Mueller from the investigation involving his own campaign, family, and possibly self. Fact: Members of Trump’s own party in the Republican Congress, have warned the President against taking any action against Mueller. If Trump ignores that warning, well . . . that is what we call a Constitutional Crisis.

    How is that NOT newsworthy? The President of the United States may be guilty of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and who knows what he is hiding in his Tax Returns, (about which he has made veiled threats against Mueller, if THAT particular line is crossed) . . all which may lead to a constitutional crisis.

    And why would you waste anybody’s time with a graph that tells us 75% of media minutes were spent on Russia-gate during one week? That number seems completely appropriate to me.

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  16. David Fierstien

    Two comments from your post:

    “For one reason or another, they just can not accept the result of the 2016 election and would like to see that result reversed.”

    And . .

    “ . . the US mainstream media . . . . has become embedded in a partisan political campaign . . . in an apparent attempt to reverse the results of last year’s presidential elections.” (Portions removed for brevity. The meaning has not been altered.)

    This is your opinion. It is irrelevant, and it is wrong.

    No rational person actually believes the 2016 election can be reversed. I look at both right-wing and left-wing media. The only people discussing the “reversal of the 2016 election” is the pro-Trump right wing media. . . and you. They accuse the Left of clinging to this motivation. They, like you, use it as an excuse in a lame attempt to divert away from the President’s failures and scandals.

    The election is over. The only one still discussing it is you. The only one obsessed with voter fraud is President Trump and his minions. There are no, US mainstream media outlets motivated by the hope of reversing the 2016 election.

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  17. The graph is presented in a highly misleading manner.

    The percentages are drawn only from news coverage that concerns Trump, not from the total pool of broader issues outside Trump, yet the percentages have been presented as representative of ‘news coverage’ in general.

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  18. Are you sure about that Richard?

    The Bloomberg National Poll did include questions about Trump but the specific data used in the graphic were about issues which concerned people. Not dependent on approval or otherwise of Trump.
    poll

    The Media Research Center data specifically related to the coverage of Trump related to these items of interest to the public.

    chart

    So, yes, that does relate to the coverage of Trump and the text in the graphic makes that clear. Maybe it would be nice to get data on the way the media has covered issues in general without relating them to the presidency but I am not convinced that would change the general conclusion:

    The media is obsessed with a hysterical campaign against Russia (which is really part of a propaganda campaign aimed at constraining the president in his international relation activity. A campaign the media is actively cooperating in and which involves at least some illegal activity).

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  19. It states in plain English in title of data table.
    “[the] Focus of Trump coverage”

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  20. Ignore previous comment, I was answering your first question without having read your reply in total, but I see you concede the point.

    I’m inclined to go with David, those figures (Trump coverage) seem quite reasonable given that it is the “Russian” scandal that is the focus of the coverage. It’s not so much to do with Russia as it is to do with the Trump campaign and Trump’s subsequent handling of the situation. The cover up is always more scandalous than the misdemeanour.

    I do part part from David and are in agreement with you in regard to the almost total anti Russian indoctrination foisted on us by the Western media. Citizens of USA seem particularly oblivious to the effect that a lifetime of such indoctrination has had on their world view.

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  21. Isn’t this a bit circular, Richard? Given that there is the current anti-Russian hysteria used to constrain trump then of course focus on “Russiagate” and
    “Trumps handling of the situation is the same thing.”

    Even the use of the term “cover up” is unsupported and simply part of the campaign. It’s a recognised technique to make a scandalous charge accusing someone of treason without any evidence and then divert the discussion to concentration on situations where the accused has neglected to provide some information or apparently misformed. Then the “evidence’ of treason relies on evidence on mistakes.

    We could make the charge that Democratic leaders have been guilty of collusion with Russians. When they deny having met any Russians then we find examples where they actually have. Pelosi’s meeting with Medvedev was an example refuting her denial.

    In this current political campaign, there is a complete absence of any evidence indicating anything wrong was done. But there will be plenty of “evidence” that specific people did not reveal meetings or all the meetings. This will be interpreted as lying.

    I pick that if impeachment of Trump ever becomes a reality it impeachment will be for telling a lie or denying something and there will be absolutely no evidence of collusion.

    It is disingenuous to “prosecute” for covering up when there is absolutely no evidence of something to “cover up.”

    But, this is the sort of double talk we get from neo-McCarthyism.

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  22. The Russia connection is in my view quite secondary to the msm campaign to undermine the Trump admin (yes, I do view it as a campaign, but one based in quite a rational judgement of Trump’s suitability for the role as POTUS).

    The fuss is over possibility of Trump having broken convention, if not the letter of the law by allowing a foreign nation to assist his campaign. It could have been any nation, although given Russia’s existing bogeyman status it makes the anti-Trumpist campaign all the easier.

    The comparison to Clinton and rhetorical questions as to whether the same degree of scrutiny would be levelled at her is irrelevant, she is not POTUS. The question of illegal interference is serious, it warrants investigation. I would opine that the USA’s outrage at such interference in their democracy is the height of hypocrisy, given their own track record stomping over the affairs of other nations. I suspect we agree on that.

    Trump is doing everything in his power to thwart the investigation. Any sane person in his position with nothing to conceal would have ignored the issue at the outset and got on with trying to implement governance. Trump fuels the campaign against him with his shear stupidity. He is digging his own hole. Don’t blame the media for that, that’s Trump’s tactic and using terms like fake media is also reminiscent of that tactic.

    The investigation is now unstoppable and has been since he sacked Comey.

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  23. I do however take your point that their appears to be a lack of evidence thus far.

    To conclude the same as you that there has never been any evidence or even prima facie cause for suspicion would require me to be more familiar with the ontogenesis of the investigation, of which, I admit, I am not familiar.

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  24. Richard, I disagree completely with your claim “The fuss is over possibility of Trump having broken convention, if not the letter of the law by allowing a foreign nation to assist his campaign.”

    One does not make a fuss about a “possibility” unless there is evidence (there isn’t) or there are dishonest intentions to use the allegations for other purposes.

    The evidence-free claims originally were asserted by Clinton to divert attention from the Wikileaks information. Think about it – of those leaked emails had influenced the election (which is possibly questionable) then their public disclosure was surely a good thing. Sensible people would be discussing their content – not unsupported claims about how they were leaked.

    Clinton went on to use these false claims to make excuses for her electoral loss (again diverting attention away from her own responsibility as a bad candidate).

    But the establishment – the deep state, the neocons, the media and sections of the intelligence community have taken up these unsupported claims to promote a campaign to constrain and control the new president’s actions.

    Trump never broke any convention “by allowing a foreign nation to assist his campaign.” There is absolutely no evidence for that – any more than Clinton’s campaign did.

    I do not attribute the “need ” for this campaign simply to constrain Trump regarding relaxation of tension with the Russian Federation. He is a buffoon and a maverick – not necessarily unusual for US president. But, more importantly, he came out of left field – as an outsider. Whereas we saw the establishment constrain Obama on many of his policies it was possible to do that behind the scenes. Given Trump’s nature, it has been necessary to do so using a public campaign.

    So, while the “need” was wider than relationships with Russia most of the effect has been directed at that issue. And, let’s face it, Obama played an important (and probably unconstitutional) role in this campaign when he seized diplomatic property and expelled diplomats after the election but before the inauguration. So, I do see that issue as central to the campaign.

    I think you let the media of lightly – and surely you are not so naive not to see the legitimate use I make of the term fake news. So much of the news we get from our media (much wider than Trump and the US elections) is outright fake? That is why I keep advocating that people should stop wearing blinkers and should adopt a critical and intelligent approach to all our media. I will not make any excuse for that – it is surely sensible.

    Illegal interference in a nation’s election is indeed serious (and the USA is guilty many times over of that). Surely that is why this charge is central to the campaign. But I repeat, there is absolutely no evidence for this. Why don’t we have a campaign against Trump because the rape and murder of numbers of people are illegal. That would be exactly the same evidence-wise. Just because a charge is about a serious issue does not legitimise the charge.

    Where the hell is tghe evidecne.

    I don;’t disagree with yiou about trump being a fool. Tjher “investigation” m,ay well be unstoppable – but considetring it has been a years since the nori9gnal charges were amde I suspect there is never gpoi9ng to be a sigle scrap of credible evidecne for the proitgnal claim. Syure, we may be able to do someone for telliong lies or niot revealiong all the information – interntionallyu or unintenionallky, buty we would be extremely follosuih to treat that as evidecne for tyhe ortignal charge.

    And meanwhile the only possible effects on the elction – whever leraked tghe emails, was surely to ake the behaviour of the Democrat leadership a bit more transpatrent.

    And let’s nto forget the pother leg of thios hyusterioa is that alternative news media interfered with the elction by actually intetrivewing minor candidatyes!

    I beleives these issues are exteemleys eriposu and we need to avpoid being fooled by this campaibng.

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  25. Trump never broke any convention “by allowing a foreign nation to assist his campaign.” There is absolutely no evidence for that – any more than Clinton’s campaign did.

    “The allegations of of allowing a foreign nation to assist his campaign.”

    if you prefer.

    You inform me that the investigations were commenced in response to allegations (made by serious people with serious standing), initially undertaken by the Justice Dept (correct me if I’m wrong here).

    Your beef in this regard is with the US Dept of Justice, not the media.

    What, then are the justice dept guidelines on the commencement of an investigation? I don’t know, do you?

    I think you are way off target in blaming the investigation on the media.

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  26. You inform me that the investigations were commenced in response to allegations (made by serious people with serious standing). These were initially undertaken by the Justice Dept (correct me if I’m wrong here).

    (correcting grammar.)

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  27. Hillary Clinton – as “serious” person with “serious standing?” Come on – all sorts of charges are made by politicians in election campaigns. I don’t think that justification is at all credible. And surely only fools would excuse such allegations from the need for evidence.

    I have not made any claims about the justice department but surely politicians can ask for investigations. The telling thing here is that despite such investigations the evidence remains absolutely zero. What supporters of this hysteria have relied on is the intelligence report – which is completely evidence free. But the media cites it as “evidence.” And even with that, they have had to withdraw their original description of the report and now acknowledge it boils down to a “belief” of a few hand-picked agents in 3 agencies.

    I have never blamed the formal investigation on the media – I am blaming the media for its role in this hysterical and evidence free campaign. And let’s not forget the “investigation” also involves several congressional groups. Sort of like McCarthy’s un-American Activities Committee.

    Let’s not deny that history can repeat itself – although I do rather like Marx’s description that history, when it repeats itself, does so as a farce.

    The really sad thing is that despite history so many people can be fooled and manipulated by such campaigns.

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  28. The media on Trump are like a pack of hunting dogs with blood in their nostrils, even if, as you contend, the evidence blood is imaginary or yet to present itself. I presume you agree with that observation.

    But I don’t find this at all surprising. As a phenomenon it isn’t novel, and again, Trump brought it almost all of it upon himself. He told the lies, he made the outrageous statements, grabbed the pussy etc, all well before he won the election. Don’t forget that it was Trump that declared war on the msm, seemingly because they called him to account over such garbage again, before his winning the election – which was part their function.

    Trump sells. The more appalling his behaviour, the more newspapers they sell. He’s a gold mine.

    I think you put too much emphasis on his being an outsider making him the target of the establishment, Again, it’s the line he spins. I believe that had he simply behaved better and thought before he ever opened his mouth and posit absurdities he would have reaped the benefit of the doubt from many, who in the absence of such sobriety correctly concluded that he is unsuitable for, or even incapable of, leadership of the USA.

    I have no real problem with msm coverage of Trump. I do have problems with western media’s coverage of geopolitical issues, particularly in regard to US foreign policy and in consequence, Russia.

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  29. Richard, you say:

    “He told the lies, he made the outrageous statements, grabbed the pussy etc, all well before he won the election.”

    Telling lies is common to all politicians and is certainly not new to US presidential politics.

    “Grabbing the pussy” illustrates the childishness of the person. Mind you it was said privately. Just imagine if he had on video gloried at the gang raping of a woman followed by her murder by the mob. You know – what Clinton did over the lynching of a president – on video. “We came, we saw, he died.”

    I don’t know that it is accurate to blame Trump for his war with the media. The media was so partisan and anti-Trump from early on. They fooled themselves and I, for one, am pleased to see him criticising the media and calling them out for their bias. But he is a maverick, not part of the establishment and plays the media differently to other politicians. He has not been completely unsuccessful in this – after all, he won the election and still has quite a bit of support. (We probably find it hard to understand how many US voters who have suffered under previous presidencies think). And I think that really pisses the media off. I remember one reporter criticising trump claiming she thought he was trying to tell the public how to think – which is the job of the media!

    I don’t disagree with your description of Trump’s failings. He is not suitable for the job. Unfortunately, his main opponent was no more suitable for the job either. And, let’s face it, there have been a few presidents who haven’t been suitable for the job. This does not justify a hysterical campaign to reverse the election undemocratically. To carry out a coup, soft or otherwise. If people really don’t support Trump he will be dumped in 3 years time. Meanwhile, we can all laugh at him. I think recent events show that he has no power and the harm that happens to the USA and that they do to the rest of the world probably won’t be directly attributable to Trump (although it might be him who has to sign the orders – the current sanctions imposed on him by the Congress are a clear example of this).

    You may be exaggerating the emphasis I put on his being an outsider. I think it is part of the problem for the establishment (and a reason for the public nature of the campaign) but from the nature of the campaign, I suspect the main problem for the current power holders was calling out those who were admiring the Emporer’s new clothes. He has simply said what would be wrong with getting along with Russia and its president? What could be wrong with cooperating to fight terrorism? After all, it has become practically treasonous to question that Russia and Putin might be guilty of war crimes, that Putin is a dictator and murders his political opponents. It is no accident that these were specific questions put by house committees interviewing candidates for jobs in the new administration. The powers that be seem to be running scared that these lies might actually be questioned by people and are determined to prevent that catching on.

    Actually, I don’t think you can (nor is it wise to) separate the extreme media coverage of Trump from their coverage of geopolitical issues. They are intricately connected and have been from early on in the election campaign, in the eyes of the media and their fellow conspirators in the intelligence community and the deep state.

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  30. Well, we’ll have to agree to differ on the media’s treatment of Trump as I don’t think it is a good example to hold up as evidence of western media’s bias on geopolitical issues. Other examples you have given in the past (e.g. Ukraine coverage) are far better.

    I agree with you that Trump’s willingness to improve relations with Russia should be viewed as a positive rather than as a negative attribute.

    I will add that Trump took the blatant lying aspect of politicking to a new level entirely. It was new game in that sense.

    I am also a little uncomfortable however, with your throwing up Clinton in this discussion (not for the first time I think, but I haven’t checked) with the”hey look over there, she’s just as bad (or worse)” line. I don’t find that particularly convincing, just sayin’ but not making too big a deal of it…

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  31. David Fierstien

    Richard is correct. Trump declared war on the U.S. free press long before the press had, as you say, begun this campaign of hysteria in an attempt to constrain him. (Nobody is constraining Trump, other than Trump.)

    Katy Tur, a mainstream media reporter, wrote about her time with Trump prior to the election. In it she illustrated the point perfectly by recounting one particular incident. She reported that during a Trump speech, he was interrupted by protesters ten times. Trump called her a liar. During another speech, he singled her out, pointed directly at her, called her a liar, and got the entire stadium to boo and jeer her. He is a bully who has tried to bully the free press. As we say, He Drew First Blood. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/08/katy-tur-crazy-year-with-trump

    More than that, he has sought to delegitimize it. That should scare the hell out of you. He is trying to control the flow of factual information by throwing out “Alternative Facts” and labling legitimate information “fake news.” Forget about McCarthyism. Think more about Germany in 1936 and efforts by that government to control the press. Ken, you are part of the problem and you need to think long and hard about what you are doing here.

    Beyond that, this comment jumped out at me and emphasized your own hysteria.

    Ken: “ Obama played an important (and probably unconstitutional) role in this campaign when he seized diplomatic property and expelled diplomats after the election but before the inauguration. “

    What are you talking about? How is that unconstitutional? The United States seizes foreign assets all the time. We seized $120 billion in Iranian assets after the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. The U.S. seized $1.5 billion of Qadaffi’s assets. . . . . But when Obama seizes a building from Russia – look out! It’s Unconstitutional! You’ll have to show me the actual Article and paragraph in the U.S. Constitution where that is referenced.

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  32. David, you have a short memory as we have discussed Obama’s possibly unconstitutional action before.

    At the time I am sure you understood that I was referring to Obama taking such a dramatic action when he was on his way out, a new president had been elected and the new president had profoundly different policies on international relations to Obama. Obama’s action was clearly aimed at constraining the new president as it is hard to imagine Trump would have done this (although one should be careful of predicting what Trump would do).

    You might remember I pointed out the same situation arose in New Zealand when an out6goign and defeated Prime Minister Muldoon refused to take an economic step (devaluation) demanded by the incoming government. The ensuing crisis was both financial and constitutional.

    Perhaps your problems with memory and misinterpretation come from you own partisan bias which makes it difficult for you to read comments criticising the political campaign of the deep state and its co-conspirators in the media and political establishment.

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  33. Richard, it would be sad for you to ignore the blatant obscenity of Clinton’s behaviour over the lynching of the Libyan president and her role in creating such an anarchy which has dramatically affected Europe and strengthened terrorism by seeing it as somehow justifying Trump with a “she’s just as bad” line.

    I do not have a partisan approach here. My criticisms of Clinton’s behaviour and her damage to world politics have nothing to do with Trump.

    For me, the obscenity of what happened in Libya is a determining factor in looking at Clinton and her role. I am not sure, though, to what extent it would have influenced US voters who may have had more economic and personal security issues – at least in the case of those who voted for Trump.

    But I do find it interesting that people who self-describe as “liberals” and “progressives” could be so dismissive of anyone concerned about the atrocities of regime change yet so concerned about the childishness of what someone said in private about “grabbing pussies.” Bloody hell, Trump did not kill anyone with his inane private comments!

    This aspect has certainly influenced my thinking about “liberals” and “progressives” who have been acting so hysterically and childishly over an election result that did not go their way. So much for democracy. In the past I may well have been tempted to use those terms to describe my own outlook – but not anymore. These terms have now become so discredited and I want nothing more than to disassociate myself from such childish behaviour.

    I also find it interesting that the media has also been far more concerned with this private childishness than with the real economic and security concerns of those who did vote, or consider voting, for Trump. There seems to be a real disconnect between the media and the people in the US – perhaps for regional reasons. The media and political establishment is very much concentrated in places like California, New York and Washington DC and seems oblivious to the people outside those areas. Hence they misinformed not only the public but themselves about the election. They were very partisan – something some of their members admitted after the election. But it hasn’t changed their behaviour.

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  34. I think the US media are treating Trump with the respect he’s due.

    I don’t conflate the media’s treatment of Trump with their deficiencies in other areas.

    Trumps approval rating is below 40% and is the lowest recorded for a president at compatible stage of his term so I do not think the media are out of touch with the US population on the issue of Donald Trump.

    Actually a sizeable portion of the population probably prefer no news at all and would be happy on a complete diet of reality TV. But as I’ve said, there’s money to be made broadcasting the Trump soup opera ( Trump is reality TV personified) , and that money drives the focus of the news as much as any ideological program. Sad, but that’s human nature and the capitalist system.

    You lose me talking about Clinton, when, in my mind anyway, the topic is Trump’s treatment by the media.

    [………]
    (Deleted sizeable ramble about US foreign policy as I think we are basically on the same page.)

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  35. Richard, I think a problem here is that you are seeing my criticism of the media as a partisan issue on my part. It is not. I am aware that Trump is a clown and there is a lot he should be and is criticised for. That is not what I am taking issue with.

    Yes, criticise Trump when he lies and behaves in a clownish manner. But inventing a collusion as a way of constraining him in his foreign policy is not a matter of critiquing the personal behaviour of Trump. It is a matter of the deep state preventing relaxation of tension and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

    This campaign does rely on lies and distortions. It does promote fake news. And it has created a dangerous hysteria based on absolutely nothing. After a year of this campaign not a single scrap of evidence. And anyone pointing this out is accused of being a Kremlin troll. The story of the Emporer’s new clothes is very relevant here. As is the need for readers to adopt a critical and intelligent approach to all the media and to stop being forced into wearing blinkers. To not give into this neo-McCarthyist campaign. It is a very real issue.

    And yes, the Libyan story (and Clinton’s behaviour in this area) is very relevant because regime change is still a policy the neocons are clinging to and wish to prevent Trump from doing anything to threaten. I am quite aware the Trump is not consistent – his policies towards Venezuela and Iran (and North Korea in effect) are ones with which the neocons agree. But relationships with the Russian Federation is something the neocons want to prevent any improvement in and yet it is a key area which should interest us all.

    Congressional limits being placed on Trump’s ability to carry out his normal presidential role with respect to the Russian Federation is unprecedented and dangerous. It removes an element of the checks and balances. It is also clumsy and will lead to consequences congressional members did not consider. It has precipitated the delayed Russian response to Obama’s probably unconstitutional acts last December and the world is now a more dangerous place. But those members of congress who were pressured into an unprecedented, almost unanimous, support for the neocon policy will have unwittingly endangered the international position of the USA with respect to its allies in Europe. And they have not achieved the isolation of the Russian Federation they thought they were going to get.

    Yes, Trump is a clown. But on this issue Congress is farcical. On this issue Trump was right. Congress was wrong.

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  36. What exactly have the media “invented” about Trump and Russia ?

    That he had business contacts there? nope that’s not an invention, nor illegal, nor fake news.

    That known Russian mafia figures have a penchant to stay in Trump Tower and buy up his condos? Not illegal, not fake news.

    That the justice Dept have appointed a special investigator to investigate political allegations about his campaign’s possible connection with Russian state? nope, that’s factual, not fake news, moreover the Justice dept are seemingly responsible for that. Your beef there is with the Deep State and the arms of government, and I’d go along with that.

    But it’s not fake news. In the Trump saga your complaint should be that the media neglect to hold those in the shadows to account and the system they (all) inhabit, not that the news they do present is fake.

    The honest charge to level at the media is that they distort by omission and fail to look squarely at their own (the USA’s) failings, both as a democracy and a world leader. That’s not new in the USA.

    I regard the term “fake news” as pejorative, designed to distort discussion and rational thought. Hence Donald Trumps love for the term.

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  37. I also return to one of my initial points.

    The media story is largely now concerned with Trump’s (who has never before had bounds placed on his behaviour) bizarre responses to being investigated. That’s what feeds the media side show and baying of the press hounds. The Russian, the geopolitical and the so called threat to democracy aspect is almost secondary to the ultimate press prize: the scandal and resulting impeachment. It could have been something else providing the excuse, in the ’90’s it was Whitewater real estate deals and a White House intern. The press have always been like that in all counties..

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  38. David Fierstien

    In regards to your claim that President Obama’s seizure of a Russian compound was “unconstitutional,” you support your position with this:

    “At the time I am sure you understood that I was referring to Obama taking such a dramatic action when he was on his way out, a new president had been elected and the new president had profoundly different policies on international relations to Obama.”

    President Obama began his Term on January 20, 2009. He ended his Term on January 20, 2017. The United States Constitution affirms that there can only be One president of the U.S. at a time. End of story.

    There is nothing in the Constitution that suggests, implies, or demands that an outgoing president must pander to what he believes the policy of his successor will be. Prove me wrong. Show me the Article and Paragraph in the U.S. Constitution which supports your odd claim.

    Your bias has fogged your view of reality.

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  39. David Fierstien

    Ken: “But inventing a collusion (by the press) as a way of constraining him in his foreign policy is not a matter of critiquing the personal behaviour of Trump.”

    Richard has rightly pointed out that the Press did not invent a story about collusion. And, as has been pointed out, the story now seems to be about the investigations and the cover up.

    There are currently three formal investigations underway looking into this issue. One, by the U.S. House of Representatives, one by the U.S. Senate, and one by the U.S. Justice Department headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    This is newsworthy, and it is appropriate for the media to cover it.

    President Donald Trump admitted to Lester Holt that he fired FBI Director, James Comey because of the Russia investigation. President Trump has openly criticized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions because he, appropriately, recused himself from any investigations involving the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

    These things are newsworthy, and it is appropriate for the media to cover it.

    Meanwhile, you blast the media. You call it FAKE NEWS, and you support your argument by showing us a deceptive graph which has juxtaposed two irrelevant and unrelated graphs. More than that, your views are based on “various news sources.” That is about as hypocritical as it gets.

    Richard rightly pointed out that the deceptive MRC graph only covers media minutes of Trump coverage. That’s why we don’t see anything about the weather on it.

    I rightly pointed out that the Bloomberg graph is two dimensional. It does not show us ALL of the issues that any individual, or group of people may be interested in. It only shows us THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE facing us. Naturally, that would be health care. The graph does not account for people who may be interested in more than one issue.

    You deceptively used these two irrelevant graphs to argue that people in the U.S. ‘are pissed off and tired of the constant coverage of this invented Russia collusion story.’

    You are Fake News calling mainstream media Fake News. MSM has the integrity to admit when it makes a mistake. I don’t see that level of integrity from you.

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  40. David Fierstien

    Richard Christie: “The media story is largely now concerned with Trump’s (who has never before had bounds placed on his behaviour) bizarre responses to being investigated.”

    Wrong. I don’t know what his problem it, but that’s not it. This guy has had his fingers slapped more times, has been sued and lost more times, than any other person sitting in the Oval Office. He gets bitch-slapped all the time. For example, take a look at the recent outcome of the lawsuit against Trump University in which he was judged to have defrauded his students: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/31/522199535/judge-approves-25-million-settlement-of-trump-university-lawsuit

    This guy has been in and out of courtrooms more than most judges.

    But one thing is sure, if he wasn’t terrified of something hiding in his Tax Returns, he would bring them out for everybody to see, to make that controversy go away.

    (btw, Ken, I have no doubt that will also be newsworthy.)

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  41. I’ll concede to that David, and that viewpoint about his boundaries had occurred to me.

    Yes, the Trump Organisation (and I presume, so does Trump personally) spend a colossal amount of time in the courts, so that can be construed as a constraint to Trump’s behaviour. Many of his opponents give up by being out-spent or bogged down for years.

    In another sense the legal machinations against those that challenge him might also be interpreted as a tool that Trump just uses to carry on behaving as he wants to, and most often the tactic works.

    Tax irregularities did for Capone and countless others.

    I’m staying tuned.

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  42. David – “btw, Ken, I have no doubt that will also be newsworthy.”

    Sorry I haven’t been able to participate lately.

    I don’t question those things are newsworthy. So is the current legal action against the Democratic National Committee by Bernie supporters. And the fraud and computer scandal around Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her aide. But if you were only paying attention to the main stream media you would miss that.

    Just underlines my point that we should stop wearing blinkers and stop the self-censorship.

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  43. David Fierstien

    If Bernie Sanders was the President of the United States, I have no doubt that any legal issues between his supporters and the Democratic National Committee would be carried by the Mainstream media, because then it would be newsworthy.

    I am aware of the legal issues surrounding Imran Awan because I do watch MSM http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/debbie-wasserman-schultz-aide-arrested-trying-flee-country-n786651

    No doubt, if Hillary were the president, Republicans would be screaming for an impeachment . . just as they were screaming for an impeachment prior to the 2016 election. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/03/no-honeymoon-for-hillary-congressional-republicans-openly-discussing-impeachment/?utm_term=.371faab83430

    If you watched more of the MSM you might have been aware of that. 🙂

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  44. David, it is interesting (well actually boring because it’s expected), that you are straw-clutching to avoid the obvious.

    Of course, if Bernie had not been undermined and had won the nomination then his supporters would not be bringing a case of alleged fraud against the Democratic National Committee.

    However, given that the corruption and undemocratic procedure within that committee was surely the real news content at the time (and even now considering the problems Democrats face) one would have thought that more attention would have been given to that issue at the time than to the childish excuses (“Putin did it!” ) of Clinton in her attempt to divert attention. And given that this completely unsupported diversionary charge is still being promoted by the main stream media as if it was a fact rather than the excuse of a loser (and the way anyone who attempts to point out the nakedness of the Emporer is jumped on) one would have thought the media would remind us why the diversionary charge was made. After all, if the alternative media can keep us up to date with both the excuse and the original problem why can’t the mainstream media? It is not doing its job – one reason why more people are turning to alternative media.

    Regarding the current embarrassing news about Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her aide (and some of her other scandals) – I also read the mainstream media. And, you know, I cannot recall seeing anything on the main stream media I read and watch about this issue. Yet I have picked it up on alternative media.

    Now, I am not for one moment suggesting that the mainstream media has completely ignored this issue – just that they have barely covered it. And certainly have not given it the attention it deserves. This sort of blindness is another reason why I am glad that I access alternative media as well as mainstream media.

    You think I should watch more mainstream media – Ah, if I only had the time and interest. With the limitations I face I choose which media to follow and my choice includes mainstream media as well as alternative media.

    I do not wear blinkers and I choose to consider all sources critically and intelligently. All media is capable of (and guilty of) promoting fake news from time to time. And of limiting their coverage of events they should give more attention to.

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  45. David Fierstien

    Ah yes, I forgot. You “do not wear blinkers and (you) choose to consider all sources critically and intelligently.”

    And yet, for some odd reason, you showed “us a deceptive graph which has juxtaposed two irrelevant and unrelated graphs. More than that, you consider this graph legitimate because it coincides with what you have seen on “various news sources.” That is about as hypocritical as it gets.

    Richard rightly pointed out that the deceptively inflated MRC graph only covers media minutes of Trump coverage. That’s why we don’t see anything about the weather on it.

    I rightly pointed out that the Bloomberg graph is two dimensional. It does not show us ALL of the issues that any individual, or group of people may be interested in. It only shows us THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE facing us. Naturally, that would be health care. The graph does not account for people who may be interested in more than one issue.

    You deceptively used these two irrelevant graphs to argue that people in the U.S. ‘are pissed off and tired of the constant coverage of this invented Russia collusion story.’”

    Golly, Dr. Perrott, it sure is a good thing I look at what I read critically and intelligently also.

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  46. David, I detect progress of a sort. You are no longer shooting the messenger, or attacking me for accessing sources which don’t fit your blinkered allowance. You are taking issue with the details in the graphics. Excellent.

    Let’s make quite clear, the nature of the data was not hidden from readers. Nor is it absolutely rigorous (what data is on media sites). So, of course, I welcome input and critique.

    But, I think you are demanding unreasonable expectations for a simple graphic which illustrates an apparent difference between media concentration and public concerns.

    I can only think your criticisms (which don’t actually negate the message implied by the graphic) derive from your own belief that the media concentration of the current anti-Russian hysteria coincides broadly with the concerns of the person in the street. If that is the case then why don’t you present some data to support your hypothesis? (I don’t think you will support it by making minor criticisms of the data in the graphic I supplied.

    I, myself would be more than interested in any data you can advance to support your apparent claim. It is, after all, possibly correct in that the media, despite promoting fake news, does have a record of fooling people.

    I have an open mind on this. My current feeling from watching and reading various media is that the US public, and certainly the NZ public, think the anti-Russian hysteria is overblown. I think many people may accept Russian interference is possible but unproven, perhaps even likely, but they do not see it as unusual or unexpected. After all, we are so used to the US government interfering in elections in other countries in much clumsier ways. That there is not a public groundswell to oppose cooperation in fighting terrorism or relaxation of tension with the Russian Federation as many mainstream media opinion makers seem to be arguing for.

    So, I eagerly await you evidence that the media and public are not out of step regarding the anti-Russian hysteria.

    Like

  47. David Fierstien

    Ken, I don’t see that you are asking for anything new which has not already been asked and answered.

    I get that sometimes I am a bit sarcastic and that may put you off. And I get that you may be a bit distracted. I’ll be happy to copy/paste my previous answers to your comments.

    Ken: “David, I detect progress of a sort. You are no longer shooting the messenger, or attacking me for accessing sources which don’t fit your blinkered allowance. You are taking issue with the details in the graphics. Excellent.”

    From Comment #1 of this thread:

    “Your graph says 13% of U.S. citizens are concerned about jobs (on July 17), but the media only spends 1% of its coverage on that issue (on June 27).

    The Bloomberg figure claiming 13% are concerned about jobs is puzzling because in 2010, the United States had an unemployment rate of 9.9%. That number has steadily decreased to 4.3% in May of 2017. Why would 13% of the people be concerned about jobs when that number has been improving under the Obama Administration, and only 4.3% are actually unemployed?”

    That was from Comment #1. I started out by “taking issue with the details in the graphics.” So . . whatever “progress” you are referencing exists only in your imagination. I took issue with the actual stats from the start. And then, after seeing the severance from reality, I then looked at the source. As expected, it was from some right-wing website that used right-wing data to push its arguments.

    Ken: ” . . your criticisms . . . derive from your . . belief that the media concentration of . . anti-Russian hysteria coincides . . with . . the person in the street. If that is the case then why don’t you present some data to support your hypothesis? . . .

    I, myself would be more than interested in any data you can advance to support your apparent claim.” (Parts deleted for brevity. Meaning not altered.)

    Asked and answered. My previous response:

    “Both you, and Jon Gabriel argue that this means people are “pissed off” about media hysteria over Russia. . . .

    Let’s look at some actual data that may shed the light of reality on that stat.

    Fact: . . . to date, Trump’s highest approval rating, according to Gallup, has been 45%—just after he was inaugurated in late January. Trump currently has an approval of 37%. This is lower than any president, at this 6 month point, since polls have been taken.

    Bear in mind, that a President’s first year is office is considered the Honeymoon period, during which he . . always enjoys his (or her) highest approval ratings. . . According to Gallup, between 55% – 60% disapprove of Trump’s job performance, . . .

    “So, 37% approve of Trump’s job performance. Between 55% – 60% disapprove of him. And the rest are somewhere in the middle.

    “Why is that important? Because you are using a deceptive juxtaposition to argue the public is pissed off about the media’s “hysterics” over the Russia scandal.

    “Are they really pissed off? In fact, why would they be? If someone disapproves of the President’s job performance, why would they be upset about the media looking questioning the validity of an election that put him in office? That makes absolutely no sense at all.

    “So, what does the graph that Jon Gabriel presented really mean?

    The Bloomberg Graph is asking for THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE facing us. I agree with what is presented. In the U.S., it probably IS Health Care. People would naturally be more concerned about personal health issues than any political scandal.”

    SO . . the graph you presented does not account for people who may be interested in more than one issue. And let’s face it . . most of us are. Your graph is meaningless for the argument you put forward.

    TO A MORE IMPORTANT ISSUE: Your continual use of the phrase “Fake News” in reference to the mainstream media is unworthy of your abilities. You are throwing out a blanket gross generalization. You appear to apply it to all mainstream media.

    If there are specific news stories that you take issue with, I would be interested in discussing them. But to claim that an entire profession is part of some sort of conspiracy by calling all of it “fake” is ignorant.

    If the MSM has said something untrue about Mr. Trump, or his family, and their relationship with the Russian Federation, Mr. Trump is free to sue any news organization he wishes. He certainly knows his way around a courtroom. His wife had no problem suing the Daily Mail for Libel: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/12/523581249/melania-trump-and-the-daily-mail-settle-libel-lawsuits

    He knows how to do it. It’s not your job to accuse the media of defaming and “constraining” the president when you don’t have access to all facts on any given issue. It’s his job.

    When you apply a gross generalization like “fake news” to an institution dedicated to informing the public . . (an institution that has no problem admitting its mistakes) . . (btw, let’s take a look at the number of documented lies by President Trump, compared to what you call “fake news,” and let’s also take a look at the number of retractions by each.)

    Again . . when you apply a gross generalization like “fake news” dedicated to an institution that is dedicated to Informing The Public, you are no better than those goose-stepping thugs of the 20th Century who marched into media outlets and destroyed them. Your tactics have changed, but you are the same animal.

    You are treading in dangerous waters, Ken. You need to think long and hard about what you are doing here.

    Like

  48. David, I said:

    “I eagerly await your evidence that the media and public are not out of step regarding the anti-Russian hysteria.”

    And, I thought I was clear. You might question aspects of the data in the graphic I presented – but it is real data. I was looking for something similar from you.

    On such matters, one’s opinion, by itself, is worth nothing.

    Yet that is what you resort to instead of data:

    “Why would 13% of the people be concerned about jobs when that number has been improving under the Obama Administration, and only 4.3% are actually unemployed?”

    So you present this question as data? Do you not understand the nature of objective information and how opinions count for nothing on such matters?

    Your “evidence” against my suggestion people were pissed off with media hysteria over Russia are poll rating figures for Trump! That is not “evidence” against my suggestion. Such figures are irrelevant to my suggestion – they deal with a completely different matter.

    I do not rate Trump at all high (much lower than those poll figures you quote) but that is not evidence I am not pissed off with the anti-Russia media hysteria.

    And, really, this is childish:

    “If the MSM has said something untrue about Mr. Trump, or his family, and their relationship with the Russian Federation, Mr. Trump is free to sue any news organization he wishes.”

    It would, of course, be nice to see some people in the media and their co-conspirators meet legal justice but such an assertion is not “evidence.

    So, as far as my the graphic is concerned (which relied on actual data even if one may dig deeper) you counter with pure opinion. No data at all.

    I would love to know if there is any substance to your claim that the media is simply reflecting, rather than promoting, public anti-Russian racism. I would love to know if my current feelings on this are wrong. But I need data for that and you refuse to present any.

    Like

  49. David Fierstien

    Ken, you said, “You are no longer shooting the messenger, or attacking me for accessing sources which don’t fit your blinkered allowance. You are taking issue with the details in the graphics.”

    I was “taking issue with the details in the graphics,” your quote.

    In discussing the current jobless rate in the U.S., I was “taking issue with details in the graphics,” nothing more, end of story.

    That comment had nothing to do with the separate issue: ““I eagerly await your evidence that the media and public are not out of step regarding the anti-Russian hysteria.”

    My discussion of a 4.3% jobless rate and a 13% concern about jobs had nothing to do with anti-Russia hysteria, and your deceptive attempt to link the two separate discussions only belies your disingenuous agenda.

    I get it, you may be a little distracted at the moment. Ok.

    Your quote: “Your “evidence” against my suggestion people were pissed off with media hysteria over Russia are poll rating figures for Trump! That is not “evidence” against my suggestion. Such figures are irrelevant to my suggestion – they deal with a completely different matter.”

    First of all, I’m not the one who needs to defend my position. You posted an irrelevant graph to argue that people are really pissed off about media hysteria over Russiagate. As evidence to corroborate the validity of your irrelevant graph, you cite what you have seen on “various news sources.”

    And you are calling me childish?

    To argue against all this alleged pissed-off mania that you claim exists I looked at some real data. Unlike you, I didn’t rely on the opinions of political pundits on TV. Fact: More than 60% of U.S. citizens Disprove of President Trump. There is no way that people who disapprove of the president would resent negative reporting about him, much less being pissed off about it. Unlike you, most of those 60% don’t harbor a bias toward Russia. To compare your attitudes to U.S. citizens would be a false argument.

    Nevertheless, your gross blanket application of the term “Fake News” toward an institution that is dedicated to providing real information to the public is beneath you. You need to think long and hard about what you are doing here. Although your tactics have changed, you are no better than those jack-booted thugs who ransacked and threatened media outlets in banana republics, and violent regimes in the past Century.

    Like

  50. Yes, David, I am distracted at the moment. I have more important things to deal with and, for that reason, am finding this silly hassling by you quite tiresome.

    You say:

    “There is no way that people who disapprove of the president would resent negative reporting about him, much less being pissed off about it. Unlike you, most of those 60% don’t harbor a bias toward Russia. To compare your attitudes to U.S. citizens would be a false argument.”

    Well, I disapprove of President Trump – more so than most US citizens and voters. I do not resent negative reporting about him – if it is valid. I do resent fake reporting – whoever it is made about.

    But, more importantly, I am not talking about the “negative reporting of Trump” (although you might confuse the issues) but about the anti-Russian hysteria. I object to the fake news which is completely evidence-free but actively promoted by the media – to the extent that anyone asks about the new clothes the Emporer is wearing they get jumped on. I think such racism and attitudes towards an international partner are very dangerous.

    Such fake news relies on and promotes anti-Russian racism. Nothing to do with Trump.

    I will not apologise for labelling news as fake when I see it. It would be moronic and cowardly to do so.

    You seem to be offended because I am calling a spade a spade. Calling out the media when it tells lies.

    Tough.

    If you honestly think I would seriously consider your demand that I close my mind, give others the ability to control what I think, and blindly follow a demagogic and racist hysteria then you are wrong.

    Everyone is responsible for their understanding of the world around them. I do not hand that away even if you do.

    What a laugh – the media an “institution that is dedicated to providing real information to the public!” You really are gullible. The term “following the party line” seems to have been invented for you.

    Like

  51. David Fierstien

    The mainstream media is an institution that is dedicated to providing real information to the public. When it is found to be in error, it has the integrity to issue a retraction.

    President Trump has been documented telling more lies than any other president in U.S. history. He has never issued one retraction . . ever.

    You are dedicated to providing your opinion to anyone who may be gullible enough to buy it. This post for example is nothing more than an opinion.

    “I find the US mainstream media particularly boring and uninformative these days.” It’s your opinion. And to support your opinion you posted a graph which juxtaposed one irrelevant graph and one misleading graph . . all to support the argument that the mainstream media is out of touch with U.S. citizens.

    Earlier, you said you found this graph credible because . . what were your exact words? Ah yes:

    “The data in this graphic does support my understanding of the current situation in the US – an understanding which you may consider unjustified or a bias but I argue is based on my readings of various news media and watching TV programmes of various origins,” unquote.

    You found a right-wing website that posted a fake graph which supported opinions you already held, because you saw political pundits on TV who also regurgitated your own bias back at you . . . and that’s why you found this graph credible.

    So . . now you go on about the Fake News. (A term made famous by the most lying U.S. president in history.) You don’t like the anti-Russian hysteria. You call it “racism,” although ethnicism would be a more correct term. It’s fake news because you aren’t privy to the intel, the evidence, of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

    You discount the evidence of an email from Rob Goldstone to Donald Trump Jr. which actually said he had material which was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy. (You don’t accept it because, in your words, Rob Goldstone was a clown — talk about shooting the messenger.) And of course you discount Trump Jr.’s response to that email.

    So therefore it’s all fake.

    (By the way, this was all leaked information. There was nothing illegal about it because nothing here was classified. But in your previous comments, you found the leaking more criminal than the actual crime. You called these leaks illegal. . . . . However, when the shoe was on the other foot . . . when leaking occurred that had to do with Hillary Clinton’s emails, you found the substance of the leaks more suspicious. On this, you are the classic biased hypocrite.)

    And of course you discount the damning timeline of events during the spring and summer prior to the 2016 election: http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/

    These are all facts, they are not fake. And of course you discount the unprecedented lying from the Trump Administration about the Campaign’s meetings, connections, and communications with, oddly enough, Russians. If there is nothing to hide, Dr. Perrott, why all the lying?

    And of course, fitting damningly into the afore mentioned timeline were these words from the President: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNa2B5zHfbQ

    But you label it all Fake News because it doesn’t fit nicely into your bias. You have no proof there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. You just know it’s Fake. Where’s the evidence, you ask.

    Dr. Perrott, there are currently three formal investigations underway looking into this issue. Let the facts fall where they will. Until you have access to those facts, your gross generalization, “Fake News,” is, to say the least, premature.

    One more thing . . If you are distracted . . . If you can’t handle certain facts which do not support your bias, maybe you should stop picking fights in which you are not prepared engage.

    Like

  52. This Project Veritas video seems to back up the claims that the Russia story is BS

    Like

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