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TNA’s new Managing Editor Steve Berman: In his own words

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Some people are politics junkies. Others are addicted to news. I am more of a “why” kind of guy.

I grew up in a fairly non-political family. My parents were blue-collar, and I started out in a blended family. My dad was a widower with three boys, my mom was a divorcee with two girls, and together they had my brother and me. I was the baby—born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1964, when the Vietnam War was ramping up and the space race was white hot.

I don’t believe my mother ever voted for anyone but a Democrat her whole life. She’d vote a straight blue ticket, and she always voted. She divorced my dad when I was just four, and married my step-dad, Danny, when I was eleven. We moved to seacoast New Hampshire after that, where I did most of my growing up.

Although my mother, father and stepfather were all blue-collar workers, they believed in hard work and education. My dad was a tool and die maker at General Electric for 40 years. That position no longer exists—it’s been replaced by desktop CAD and numerical control machines. He used to do trigonometry in his head. My step-dad was a welder at the same GE plant, also for four decades—he ran the welding school in the marine steam turbine division.

All five of my mother’s children attended college. Of my six siblings, four graduated college, including myself. My oldest brother Roy had a degree in chemical engineering from Northeastern—he passed away last year. My brother Barry had a great career as an electrician, and eventually an inspector for the MBTA in Boston; he retired recently.

My two sisters both went to the University of Massachusetts, and my brother Jay and I graduated from the University of New Hampshire.

My mother and father were both full-blooded Jews, and ensured we had a Jewish education. My stepfather was Italian, but converted to Judaism at 50 years old to marry my mother (including the, err, anatomical bit). We were generally non-observant Jews, but I had seven years of Hebrew, which I can still read and understand.

The first presidential election I voted in was 1984. I voted for Reagan. My mom voted for Mondale, whom I couldn’t stand.

By the time I left college, I was fairly non-political (but left-leaning), very technical, and confident that I could do whatever I put my mind to. I remember Bill Clinton giving a speech literally in the field behind my condo in 1992. When the whole Gennifer Flowers thing erupted, I remember thinking “well, he’s dead.” I voted for Perot that year.

Then I moved to Central Georgia, where I observed the great lamentation and gnashing of teeth at Clinton’s election. I couldn’t understand why they so despised the man—after all he was a southerner like Jimmy Carter, right?

As I began to learn about politics and people, I realized that the “why” of ideas mattered far more than the “who” or the “team.” I began to realize that political contests are many times just popularity contests. I realized that the people we end up with in elected office, at the local, state, and federal level, are deeply flawed, and usually not the most competent person to do the job.

I learned that the biggest embedded self-interest group in America is the government itself, made up of a million people drawing paychecks funded by our taxes.

And I learned that the news we see, both online and on the boob tube, is generally presented to us in a way to influence our thinking, not to educate us to make our own decisions.

In 1995, I started a small company to sell Internet service in Warner Robins, Georgia. Less than a year later, I left my job at Robins Air Force Base to run that company full time. We started it with $52,000 in scraped-together capital, and sold it five years later for $2.5 million.

Then I spent about 15 years in various positions at a software company, incubating a payment services company, and helping to sell both to a multinational public corporation. By then, I’d had it with corporate life.

My experience with helping political campaigns, taught me it’s a dirty business filled with lots of charlatans and featherbedders, and you had to be careful to choose honest, competent people. Just like the news, just like business, just like government, it’s best to know “why” than just to blindly root for a team.

One day at my corporate job, the executive I reported to made an offhand remark that I could have another career as a writer after he read a motivational piece I wrote for my employees. So in 2014, I began pursuing that. I probably should have started in 1992.

What can I say? I’m a late bloomer.

I wrote a diary at RedState, and published on my own blog. I began writing for the local newspaper (I still do). I wrote for a year at Bizpac Review. Then I was offered the opportunity to be a featured contributor for Erick Erickson’s new website, The Resurgent. I was there the day the site debuted.

I’ve been cited by the New York Times, had pieces picked up by Fox News and RealClearPolitics, and published in The Stream.

Instead of simply cheerleading or spinning the news, I think it’s vital to know why things happen. I think it’s important to read news and trends from smaller outlets, by sometimes unknown writers.

I believe we learn more about the human condition by reading Flannery O’Connor on raising peafowl, or Adam Serwer on Robert E. Lee (Serwer is a senior political editor at The Atlantic) than the daily fare served up by the New York Times or Washington Post.

Why people believe what they believe is far more important than what some celebrity or senator thinks about the latest Trump tweets.

Of course, it’s important to keep up with news and events. Failing to do so is like putting one’s head in a gas oven that won’t heat up looking for the pilot light, while breathing in the gas.

But going deeper and to the edges of that coverage, and getting to the “whys” is the main reason I took on the responsibility of editing The New Americana. As a news aggregator, my goal is to do more than simply regurgitate the latest news and reactions, but to give that news a context and a vibrant canvass for you, the reader, to form educated and intelligent opinions.

Life is best when we know why we believe what we believe. It’s my mission at The New Americana to make it the place you go with your morning coffee and throughout the day for high quality, deep content. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy preparing it for you.

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Conservatism

Three reasons the Drudge Report is awful

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Three reasons the Drudge Report is awful

There was a time when I got much of my news from the Drudge Report. It seemed to be conservative, and while it also liked to mix in conspiracy theories, Hollywood news, and an unhealthy dominance of Tom Brady fan stories, it generally got the stories right.

Today, the news aggregator is nothing like it once was. Today, it’s doing three things that should make America-loving patriots absolutely furious.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not conservative

I remember during the heights of the hoopla regarding the Georgia and Alabama abortion laws, the Drudge Report seemed more annoyed than anything else. The stories about the laws were generally left-leaning – partially neutral in their reporting but with a noticeable bias against the laws. They didn’t post any of the unhinged responses from leftist outlets like Vox or ThinkProgress, but there was no commentary in favor of the laws, either.

Scan the headlines today. There are some that are right-leaning, but there are plenty of missed opportunities to spread a conservative message. The site seems to be against illegal immigration, though not nearly is much as there once. As the border crisis ramps up, coverage of it seems to be ramping down.

They love mainstream media sources

Which news outlets oppose America the most? Washington Post, the New York Times, and CNN are among the worst offenders. Which sites does Drudge link to the most? See previous list.

Sure, they link to Washington Examiner, Townhall, and Breitbart, but those links are scattered among TMZ garbage and Axios progressive news. The funny part is many of the outlets that get the most traffic from Drudge are sites that have attacked him. WaPo ran a very unflattering report on Matt Drudge himself. He blasted them for it. Today, you can still find plenty of links to them littered across his site.

The site is quietly becoming anti-Trump

I never thought I’d see the day when Drudge Report would turn against the President. The site was one of his biggest supporters during the primaries, even attacking other GOP candidates in favor of Trump. But things have changed. It’s hard to find a pro-Trump link on the site at any given moment, but you’ll find plenty of links attacking him.

They use anti-Trump news sources in links about the President, as if trying to shift sentiment away from him and in favor of a Democratic candidate. Pete Buttigieg has been the recipient of the most positive press on Drudge among Democrats. It’s puzzling.

There are alternatives for conservatives who are tired of Drudge Report’s shifting perspectives. This is no longer a conservative news source. Perhaps it never really was. Today, it’s as anti-Trump as they come.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Foreign Affairs

Ben Shapiro attacks media’s unhinged reaction to Iran and Trump

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Ben Shapiro attacks medias unhinged reaction to Iran and Trump

An article we posted earlier caught my attention. I’ll admit, it’s Fathers’ Day and I haven’t been watching the news very closely, but I didn’t realize that even after the revelation that Iran almost certainly attacked oil tankers last week and last month, the media is still pushing the Trump war-mongering narrative.

It’s false.

In doing further research, I came across this Daily Wire video by Ben Shapiro. He was highlighting the lies by the press two days ago, and as they continue to double down on their lies, Americans are being put at risk. Keep in mind that as our EIC pointed out, this false narrative about the President plays right into Iran’s hands. They want the world and the American people to believe President Trump is the aggressor.

What most people fail to understand is the media is willing to hurt you if it hurts Trump in the process. They’ll push the false narrative and help Iran with no concern for America’s interests.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Foreign Affairs

Why is leftist media echoing false ‘Trump wants war’ narrative?

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Why is leftist media echoing false Trump wants war narrative

Donald Trump was against the 2nd Gulf War when 80% of the country and nearly all of our elected officials pushed for it. In recent weeks, President Trump has echoed his long-standing sentiment that he does not want another war in the Middle East even as Iran provokes the world to respond to their obvious attacks on the freedom of shipping in the extremely important Strait of Hormuz. Yet even after being caught red-handed, they still claim it’s President Trump who is pushing for war.

And leftist media is echoing this sentiment.

It’s amazing that the media can play the smoking gun video, see the evidence that Iran was not only behind these attacks but the attacks from last month, and still try to fame the narrative around provocations by the White House. It only makes sense if you realize just how biased the media really is.

Left-leaning Politico offered the latest in a long string of reports that it’s the President, not the terrorists in Iran, who is to blame for rising tensions.

The U.S. reaction to the episode has sparked concerns that President Donald Trump and his administration are firmly on the path toward war with Iran.

The only people concerned about the administration’s “path toward war with Iran” are those who are either not paying close attention of who get their news from leftist media. Most conservative outlets are reporting the truth, that Iran is provoking us and thus far the administration has shown a very high level of restraint in responding. The only reason we haven’t directly punished Iran for their attacks is because they have thus far avoided attacking direct American interests. That may very well be the next step in their escalation plan if they cannot be made to understand the consequences before taking such an action.

Here’s the problem. They read American news outlets. They watch the internal strife and react accordingly. If they are led to believe by the false narrative about the President that their strikes are shifting American sentiment in their direction, they will be emboldened. By echoing Iran’s own talking points, leftist media in America is giving them more reason to carry out further attacks.

Calling the fake news media the “enemy of the people” was dangerous because it opens up doors to suppression of the 1st Amendment. I was against this message when the President first made it. Now, I’m seeing he was right all along. Their response to Iran’s attacks is even more dangerous to Americans and our interests than anything the President has Tweeted because the echoing of Iranian talking points by mainstream media draws us closer to war. I never thought I’d say this, but fake news is more than just an election or education problem. Today, the irresponsible way in which the media would rather echo the lies of the Iranian regime than the truth of their own President shows just how unhinged they’ve become.

Today, they proved me wrong. They really are the enemy of the people who will do anything to make the President look bad, even if it means costing American lives by driving Iran towards war. Unfortunately, the only recourse is to promote the truth. We cannot weaken the 1st Amendment despite the lies being promoted by the press. Not to be too self-serving, but the best way for patriots to counter fake news is to help news outlets like NOQ Report become more prominent through your generous donations.

The media has always been the pawns of Democrats, but now they’re extending their activism to become pawns of the Iranians. If it hurts Trump, they’ll publish it, even if it hurts Americans in the process.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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