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Acceptable losses

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We’ve all seen the scene in some Hollywood movie or TV episode.

It’s time for the climactic battle, an apocalyptic clash of good against evil. The conflict is titanic. In the chaos, innocent citizens perish in the crossfire, or thousands of soldiers die in the push to retake a crucial point on the field. Perhaps a general even disobeys an order, or does something ghastly, in order that good may triumph.

As the tableau winds down, some halcyon time after the battle, that grizzled old general is being grilled by a committee or a reporter or a fellow soldier about all those who died. So many perished, the credulous questioner asks. So many lines crossed. What was it all for?

And the general scowls through squinted eyes, grits his teeth a little harder. “Acceptable losses,” he’ll say. And then he talks about how it haunts him, but it was all necessary to achieve victory over an uncompromising evil. Play jaunty patriotic tune. Fade to black.

Many mainstream media personalities – especially those at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN – probably see themselves as this strong-jawed general. Their climactic battle is the fight against the most powerful man in America, a man who seems determined to convince the country that the news they report is largely “fake.”

In the face of this threat, these pundits react with vengeful wrath. Behind the scenes, I’m sure some fault President Trump for targeting the product they peddle, threatening their business. Many fear that he’s an authoritarian who wants to chill hard-hitting reporting with his rhetoric. The very freedom of the press is at stake, they exclaim, wide-eyed.

And some just don’t like him much.

So they punch back. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, on and on. The flailing blows to Trump and his administration come so fast they seem like a blur. Some glance off Teflon Don; others hit him square in the jaw. They know they’ve got him riled when he goes on Twitter to rake one of them over the coals. This spirit infects their places of business, with the most audacious voices promoted until their screeds receive special treatment, both in the newsroom and on social media.

And the screed-makers’ heads grow at the same rate as their megaphones.

So what if a few false claims are made? So what if journalistic procedures aren’t perfectly followed? We are the tip of the Resistance’s spear, they rationalize. This is war, and Trump must die for the nation to live.

But in their quest to resist Trump, these pundits and the networks who house them have lost their way.

It’s happened far too often since November. Someone makes a claim, sometimes anonymously sourced, usually about Trump. Its authenticity or wisdom is questioned by the broader public. The network may retract the claim, fire the offender, or stand by the report. Regardless, the thing has been said.

And then there was yesterday.

Trump tweeted an old video clip of himself at a wrestling event tackling and fake-punching a dude with the CNN logo superimposed over his face. Like most Trump tweets, it was dumb and sophomoric, but played well to his base.

Then Andrew Kaczynski of CNN decided it would be a good idea to find the personal information of the Reddit user who had created the GIF and . . . get in touch with him.

I can imagine how that conversation went. “That’s a nice address and phone number you’ve got there. Be a shame if someone were to make it public.”

The chastened Redditor hastily, profusely, and publicly apologized. But as of this writing, Kaczynski’s article remains up on CNN’s website, along with the haunting line: “CNN reserves the right to publish [the Redditor’s] identity” should his apologetic behavior change.

This goes beyond a lapse in professional judgment. It tiptoes dangerously close to extortion and blackmail. The fact that something like this is deemed acceptable at CNN, one of the foremost voices in news media, should be enough to question their integrity as an organization.

Like so many others in the past several months, this piece of reporting makes it clear that to the media wing of the Resistance, journalistic ethics are less important than the next beachhead. There must be a stopping point to their anti-Trump frenzy, or else the moral losses accompanying their assaults will no longer be acceptable under any reasonable standard.


Connor Mighell is a third-year law student at The University of Alabama School of Law with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Baylor University. He is a staff writer at SBNation and The New Americana, and his work has also been featured at The Federalist and Merion West. He may be found on Twitter at @cmigbear.

Entertainment and Sports

LeVar Burton is being attacked by people thinking he’s LaVar Ball. Brent Spiner’s response is hilarious.

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LeVar Burton is being attacked by people thinking hes LaVar Ball Brent Spiners response is hilarious

LaVar Ball wasn’t impressed with President Trump’s efforts to get his son released from a Chinese prison for shoplifting. His reactions have prompted many Trump supporters to go after him as ungracious, hypocritical, and much worse.

Unfortunately, many of these attacks are being directed towards actor LeVar Burton. The Reading Rainbow host who rose to prominence after Roots and solidified his status as a Hollywood icon while playing Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation has a name similar to Ball’s and is also black. Responses to the attacks from other Twitter users has been brutal, but Burton has remained calm. His lone response:

Former colleague Brent Spiner, who played Data on ST:TNG, offered some advice to his friend.

“If you cared about our President, you’d change your name.”

I don’t normally applaud when leftist Hollywood gets political, but this one was too good to pass.

Source: Twitter

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Guns and Crime

Michael Flynn’s lawyers break contact with White House lawyers

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Michael Flynns lawyers break contact with White House lawyers

The legal team for former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn have stopped sharing information about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 election. This could be a blow for the President and some who are close to him if information gleaned from Flynn points to the Trump campaign, his transition team, or his administration itself.

The NY Times is reporting that four anonymous sources have said the agreement between the two legal teams has been ended from Flynn’s side. It is normal for teams with parallel interests to share information, but when there becomes a conflict of interest, any such sharing is halted. This leaves two likely possibilities: either Flynn is negotiating a deal to cooperate with the investigation or they’re cooperating already.

If it’s the former, there’s a chance the information sharing could be renewed if no deal is struck

Flynn is at the heart of the investigation. It was his actions and the White House’s reactions before and after he resigned that prompted the investigation in the first place. Flynn had lied on more than one occasions about financial interactions he’d had with Russian and Turkish interests. This made him vulnerable to blackmail, according to former acting attorney general Sally Q. Yates. After Flynn resigned, the President had a one-on-one meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and allegedly asked him to stop pursuing Flynn. Comey was fired by the President, then leaked a memo detailing the meeting regarding Flynn.

Outcry from many in DC and in the media prompted Mueller’s appointment. Since then, he charged Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos. Charging or cutting a deal with Flynn would likely be the step prior to pursuing people directly associated with the President.

Further Reading

Flynn moving to cooperate with Mueller in Russia probe: report | TheHill

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/361687-flynn-moving-to-cooperate-with-mueller-in-russia-probe-reportThe report comes after NBC News on Wednesday reported that Mueller is looking to question Bijan Kian, an associate of Flynn. Previous reports have suggested that the special counsel already has enough evidence to indict Flynn and his son, who also worked for Trump’s campaign.

Trump’s legal team has insisted recently that Mueller’s probe will end in the coming months, though legal experts have said the investigation is likely to drag on.

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News

After nearly 4 decades of crimes against his people, Robert Mugabe granted immunity, military protection

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After nearly 4 decades of crimes against his people Robert Mugabe granted immunity military protecti

In what may be the best deal ever struck by a dictator forcibly removed by the military and despised by a majority of his people, Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe has been granted full immunity, a “generous pension,” and military protection so he can stay in his country without fear that any of the millions of people he persecuted will be able to seek their vengeance.

Zimbabwe grants Robert Mugabe immunity from prosecution

Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 37 years, resigned on Tuesday, hours after parliament launched proceedings to impeach him. He had refused to leave office during eight days of uncertainty that began with a military takeover.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice-president sacked by Mugabe this month, is to be sworn in as president on Friday.

My Take

Despite complaints from the people, this is the smart move. If they allow him to leave, they have no control over him or the influence that he continues to wield at home and abroad. If they jail him, kill him, or otherwise make him face prosecution, he would be at best a distraction and at worst a martyr. This move allows them to move forward the fastest which is what former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his military allies want.

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