Category: Media

What Establishment? MSNBC’s Katy Tur Offers Bizarrely Circular Analysis Of Expected Sanders Loss

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We have been discussing the openly hostile treatment of Bernie Sanders on MSNBC by hosts like Rachel Maddow. MSNBC has often been cited with CNN as one of the main voices of the Democratic establishment working against Sanders. On the eve of the all-important Michigan primary, MSNBC was true to form and script with a bizarre question by MSNBC Katy Tur: “Can he continue to blame the establishment if he loses in Michigan?” For those of us who are alarmed by the bias against Sanders by the media and political establishment, the question showed an utter lack of self-awareness. If Sanders loses today, it will come after a concerted effort of virtually every establishment candidate in the country. Why would a loss after such a crushing campaign by the establishment be proof that there was no campaign by the establishment? This does not mean that many voters honestly do not support Sanders’ radical agenda, but Tur’s comments reflects an effort to deny what has been obvious and open in the long-effort to derail Sanders.

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The Wolverines Gather For Bernie: How Sanders Has Energized A Movement

With as many as ten thousand gathered at the University of Michigan for the rally leading into Tuesday’s key primary, the gathering was unmistakingly a Sanders rally. There were the “Eat the Rich” teeshirts and the “Make Fascists Afraid Again” signs.  One former Michigan students wore her handmade “Socialist Butterfly” jacket.  Popular lead singer James Grace sang of the “breaking the walls” and  the “American way . . . a burning crucifix and white supremacy.”   However, there was also something not in abundance at Biden rallies: youthful hope.  It was not just the overwhelmingly young audience, but also older voters who seemed to rekindle a passion left long behind by decades of political compromise and concessions.  This is no campaign. This is now a movement and that should worry the hell about the Democratic establishment.

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The Road Rage Defense: How The Media Has Ignored A Pattern Of Democratic Attacks On The Judiciary

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the recent threat from Sen. Chuck Schumer directed at two members of the Supreme Court. The column explores how this attack was neither isolated nor unique. Despite any substantive coverage in the media, Democratic politicians are increasingly attacking the Court and the judicial system. I have joined in the criticism of President Donald Trump over his verbal assaults on judges, Yet, there is the paucity of attention given to the same types of attacks coming from Democrats.

Here is the column:

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“As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap”: Howard Dean Blames Rep. Stefanik For Threatening Note Left On Her Car

For years, I have written about our age of rage where people believe that they now have license to attack others in restaurants, hurl threats on social media, and even damage the front doors of those who hold opposing political views. These attacks have been fueled by politicians like Maxine Waters who encourage people to hound conservatives. Howard Dean is the latest leader to rationalize such threats. After Rep. Elise Stefanik revealed a threatening note left on her car, Dean chided her as bringing about such threats by voicing her opposing political views.

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A Less Than Noble Moment: Trump Campaign Sues CNN For Defamation

President Trump’s re-election campaign filed a defamation action in Georgia against CNN on Friday for publishing an opinion piece by Larry Noble, a CNN contributor and former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission. Based largely on an opinion piece by a well-known Trump critic, the lawsuit is weak and unlikely to succeed. The complaint offers more heat than light as a defamation action.

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Sanders Demands Apology From Biden For Hilary Rosen’s Comment

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There is a controversy brewing over the comments of CNN contributor Hilary Rosen during a heated exchange with Sanders campaign co-chair Nina Turner. Rosen’s comments have been denounced as racist and her initial apology triggered even more intense criticism. What is most interesting however is what this controversy says about the role of contributors. Rosen has a long history of supporting Democratic establishment figures from the Clintons to Joe Biden. In today’s formulaic media roles, she is viewed as such a de facto voice for Biden that Sen. Bernie Sanders has demanded that Biden apologize for her comments. It is a dispute that directs a bright light on the usually murky roles played by “contributors” on the cable programs as campaign surrogates. The exchange also had some troubling issues when Turner objected to Rosen’s contrary interpretation of a Martin Luther King “as a white woman.” As discussed below, Turner was right on the meaning of the quote. So the problem was not that Rosen was white. It was that she was wrong.

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High Anxiety: Clinton Raises New Explanation For Lewinsky Affair

It is the one defense that Harvey Weinstein did not argue in his recent trial: I was just working out my stress. The new documentary on Hillary Clinton has been panned by many as yet another attempt to rewrite history for the Clintons. However, few expected Bill Clinton to come up with yet another explanation for the affair that led to his impeachment. Clinton explained in an interview that it was all an effort “manage my anxieties.” The problem is that his anxiety management included committing perjury as well as recently disclosed alleged witness tampering. He was of course never charged with perjury despite a court later saying that he clearly lied under oath. Of course, he would never lie to Hulu.

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“An Incredible Way Of Putting It”: MSNBC Host and New York Times Columnist Highlight The Declining Math Scores In The Post-Yang Period

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It seems like Democratic and media sources have been struggling with calculation since Yang lost the primaries. Joe Biden explained recently to the public that 150 million people have been killed by guns since 2007. Now, MSNBC Brian Williams and New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay have delivered a cringe-worthy moment on the math behind Bloomberg’s campaign.

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Washington Celebrates The Greatest Victory Of Establishment Since The Defeat Of The Huns in 451 CE

The media and political establishment in Washington was openly celebrating what was portrayed as a near complete victory of Joe Biden over the hoards of Sanders supporters marching toward gates of the Beltway. The establishment united this week behind Biden with candidates like Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and others rallying forces to defeat Bernie Sanders at all costs. Not since the victory over Attila the Hun at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains has the ancien regime experienced such a thrilling moment. However, the history is not good for those celebrating behind the walls of Rome. (This blog has been updated)

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“Just Baloney”: Clinton Attacks Sanders In Latest Barrage

Hillary Clinton continues to attack Bernie Sanders while seemingly mocking “authenticity” that is often cited as Sanders’ strength. Clinton called Sanders’ entire campaign as “just baloney” and then derisively added “That was my authentic opinion then; it’s my authentic opinion now.” As discussed in my recent column, Sanders is viewed as authentic in a way that Clinton was not. She clearly takes glee in mocking both Sanders and the demand for authenticity.

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Trump Continues To Attack Sessions Over His Ethical Recusal

 President Donald Trump has continued his attacks on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for following the advice of ethics experts in recusing himself from the Russian investigation. I was one of those favoring recusal as the proper decision for Sessions. He waited until the Justice Department experts made that recommendation and then took the proper step of recusal. Taking such ethical advice and removing oneself in the interests of his Department is neither weak nor stupid, as the President suggests. In a prior column, I criticized the sacking of Sessions and this attack only magnifies those concerns.

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Court: Clinton Must Testify On Email Scandal

In a remarkable turnaround, Hillary Clinton will have to testify after all on the email scandal. Clinton has never been subject to true examination on the issue under oath. Instead, she was allowed to meet with investigators shortly before being cleared during the Obama Administration. D.C. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that her prior answers were insufficient and cursory. One interesting twist is that she will not be able claim the privilege against self-incrimination on the original alleged offenses since the statute of limitations has passed. While she would have been unlikely to do so, she would have evoked on a crime that could be prosecuted. Ironically, it will be the Trump Administration that will have to defend her in opposing such demands since they are handling the litigation as it relates to her prior public service as Secretary of State.

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The “Nightmare” Of Authenticity: The Establishment Continues To Struggle With The Unknown

Heading into Super Tuesday, the media appears at its collective wit’s end. After the victory of Joe Biden in South Carolina, many attempted to portray a new day until the they faced polls in the morning showing Bernie Sanders again surging in states from California to Texas to even Massachusetts (where Elizabeth Warren is struggling to win her own state). Described as the “nightmare scenario,” the media and political establishment in Washington is back to clutching its pearls and speaking of a convention strategy to block Sanders, including Warren whose campaign calls such a move the “final play.”

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Presidential Debates: The Rhetoric and Reality Of Gun Control

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the reality and rhetoric of gun control in light of promises in the Democratic primary. The fact is that many of the ideas raised by the candidates have merit but they are likely to be marginal in their impact on real gun-related fatalities.

Here is the column:

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The Immaculate Concession? Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin Posts Bizarre Claim Involving The Democratic Counsel From Trump Impeachment Hearing

Today, I defended the New York Times for an opinion piece that is the basis for a defamation lawsuit by the Trump campaign. Raising such free speech protections can be challenging when you disagree with the author (as I did). It is particularly difficult when you are also the subject of a false representation in a column, as I was this week. Unlike the New York Times column, a representation of Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post was demonstrably false as a factual matter.

Rubin states that Democratic counsel Norm Eisen was able to extract concessions during the impeachment hearing despite the fact that he only asked me one question about a line that I had just published in the Wall Street Journal. Thus, my “concessions” appear to be repeating a line that I had just made in one of my own columns in anticipation of the impeachment hearings. I had been making this point repeatedly. Where is the concession? It was a point that I included in my written and oral testimony and was instructed to only answer “yes or no.” That was the only question asked of me at the hearing by Eisen. Indeed, I believe that that was the only question asked of me by the Democrats in the entire hearing.

I have asked for a correction from both Rubin and the Post and will update this column with any developments. However, given that this column has been running for days, I wanted to set the record straight.

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