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Trump attacks “fake news” while promoting state-run media

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When Donald Trump tweeted a thank-you note yesterday to Rasmussen Reports for what he called their “honest polling” on his job approval, it wasn’t all that surprising because the poll was favorable to the narcissist in chief. Compare that to last year when his approval numbers were historically low and Trump rejected polling, calling the results “fake news.”

Of course, Trump’s fake news spiel is something we’ve been hearing since his days as a candidate when he routinely attacked the First Amendment by threatening to expand libel laws—a promise he renewed a few months ago—to force unfavorable media into silence or else. He even referred to the media as “the enemy of the American people.”

Now that he’s in office, Trump has used the presidency to pick winners and losers in the press based on whether they feed his narcissistic need for attention and admiration.

FOX News has been a major benefactor of Trump’s favorable treatment due to their positive coverage, and they have returned the favor by giving pro-Trump personalities their entire prime-time lineup. We know that Trump routinely gets his morning briefings from FOX & Friends, and we recently learned that Lou Dobbs is a regular participant in staff meetings.

True to his “bigly” nature, however, Trump has been working behind the scenes to create what could be called, for all practical purposes, a Pravda-inspired state-run media.

Back in October, Trump’s FCC made some rule changes that paved the way for a merger between Sinclair and Tribune, which, when approved, will give Sinclair control of over 70 percent of US households. In addition, the FCC eliminated the requirement for TV stations to maintain local studios in the markets where they are licensed. Ultimately, it will be possible for over 70 percent of US households to have their news content centrally controlled in places like New York City and Washington DC.

When Trump ridiculed “Fake News Networks,” he did so in defense of Sinclair Broadcasting—a company with close ties to Trump, Steve Bannon, and Breitbart—ties that have continued into his presidency.

Trump can call any media he wants “Fake News” and he can even blacklist certain media outlets, though, that’s not very wise. But one thing he can’t be allowed to do is abuse the office of the presidency to pick winners and losers in a free market.

And he absolutely, positively isn’t allowed to void the First Amendment by creating a state-run media where the only news we are allowed to receive is the news approved by the Supreme Leader.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Entertainment and Sports

Kristy Swanson, Dean Cain receive death threats over Strzok-Page ‘FBI Lovebirds’ production

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Kristy Swanson Dean Cain receive death threats over Strzok-Page FBI Lovebirds production

Conservative actors Kristy Swanson and Dean Cain are receiving death threats over a planned stage performance based on the extra-marital texts sent between FBI cohorts Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The two members of federal law enforcement have been accused of conspiring with others during the 2016 election in an effort to prevent then-candidate Trump from winning as well as possibly taking him down if he were to win, which he did.

FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers,” will be directed by Phelim McAleer and is seeking an audience from the President himself. But shortly after buzz started building around the production, threats came in on Twitter.

Watching replies in their Twitter feeds, it’s clear the abuse continues even after offenders have been reported.

What makes it worse is that this is being framed by many in the media as a “pro-Trump” production. They are literally going on stage to read publicly available text messages verbatim. If the words of FBI agents texting each other is somehow considered to be “pro-Trump” by the media, then anything that isn’t blatantly pro-Democrats can be construed as pro-Trump.

The hardest thing in show business isn’t winning awards or getting good roles. The hardest thing in show business is being conservative and handling the relentless attacks from the unhinged. Stay the course, Kristy Swanson and Dean Cain.

Image source: Parade

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Guns and Crime

President gives AG Barr unilateral authority to declassify 2016 campaign spying documents

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President gives AG Barr unilateral authority to declassify 2016 campaign spying documents

The investigation into the investigators is now in full swing as President Trump signed an order for U.S. intelligence organizations to quickly and fully cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s multiple investigations into spying that took place against the Trump campaign during the 2016 elections.

In a statement by the White House, the President also noted that Barr would have unilateral authority to declassify documents related to his investigations.

“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election. The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information. Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”

Final Thoughts

If this is handled properly, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t be, the President will have ammunition to use against Democrats while they continue to try to collect their own. It bodes ill for the nation that Democrats continue to press investigation after investigation, but this can act to counterbalance their narrative.

Meanwhile, Congress is unable to get anything done while the left continues to do focus solely on taking down the President and winning the White House.

The positive in all this is we may finally get to see the depths of the conspiracy against the Trump campaign and how our elected officials as well as law enforcement and intelligence agencies tried to defy the will of the people.

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Opinions

Twitter ban of Krassenstein brothers is not the same as conservatives who get banned

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Twitter ban of Krassenstein brothers is not the same as conservatives who get banned

When news broke today that Ed and Brian Krassenstein from #Resistance fame had their Twitter accounts permanently banned, reactions from both sides were predictable. Those on the left pointed at the event and said, “see there’s no Twitter conspiracy against conservatives.” Meanwhile, conservatives’ reactions were mixed between thinking it was Twitter’s attempt to balance things out so they don’t get sued all the way up to rejoicing that the site may have finally learned its lesson.

None of this is true. According to Twitter, they were banned for using bots and paid engagement.

“The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service.”

While the brothers will go down in Twitter history as a rare example of prominent progressives getting banned, the reality is their removals from the site were economic. That’s rarely the case for conservatives who get banned for hateful speech or whatever the latest label is for telling people to “learn to code.” In fact, I don’t recall a single conservative getting banned for paid engagement or bot use. It happens, I’m sure, but as far as I can recall it hasn’t been the reason for any major political accounts to get the ax.

Either way, I oppose this and nearly all bannings that aren’t the result of spam, illegal activity like doxxing, spreading malware, or porn. If they want to stop bots and paid promotions, they should be catching these accounts and sending them stern messages. They can reduce their visibility. But if someone artificially inflates their engagement without using Twitter ads, they can and should be dealt with in ways that fall short of getting banned. Same holds true for most “hateful speech” that seems to unfairly target conservatives. Again, as long as the speech used is not breaking the law, it should be allowed.

Or, Twitter could simply establish that it’s a content site and not simply a platform. They would lose their protections, but at least they would be in line with the letter of the law. As it stands, they get platform protections while acting to police activities that are against the notion of free speech and therefore should not be allowed to continue getting platform protections.

Speech is free or it isn’t.

Comparing the Krassenstein’s permanent suspensions to any of the recent prominent conservative account suspensions is invalid. They weren’t banned for what they said. They were banned for bots and paid promotion. Conservatives are still being targeted.

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