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Bill Shine, FOX News, and the death of the free press



Other than his plagiarization of Ronald Reagan’s “Let’s Make America Great Again,” Donald Trump’s repeated accusation of “Fake News” has been a key reason for the popularity he enjoys with his loyal followers.

Ironically, Trump’s fake news spiel is also a plagiarization of World War II Nazi propaganda called “Lügenpresse” which translated means “lying press.” Another irony of Trump’s repeated “Fake News” claims—in his own words news is only fake when it contains information he considers negative—is that he most likely owes his 2016 victory to the billions of dollars in free media coverage he received.

Since becoming president, Trump has not only attacked unfavorable media, but he has favored media outlets that feed his narcissistic-sociopathic need for undying adulation. For example, a recent FCC rule change gave Sinclair Broadcast Group—a pro-Trump media outlet with ties to Trump, Steve Bannon, and Breitbart News—potential control of TV news to over 70 percent of US households.

Another beneficiary of Trump’s benevolence toward favorable media is FOX News, the network home of his advisor and shadow chief of staff, Sean Hannity, and the provider of Trump’s daily intel, FOX & Friends. Like Sinclair, Trump is rewarding the network that once branded itself “fair and balanced” in the days before the Age of Trump.

It was announced last week that former co-president of FOX News Bill Shine—after a major push from Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly—will join the White House in a senior communications role. Thought his exact title is unclear at this time, Trump has been without a communications director since Hope Hicks bailed on him back in March. There have been 5 White House communications directors in the past 18 months.

In addition to his tainted history of turning FOX into Trump TV, Shine’s past includes his forced resignation from FOX News due to his poor handling of sexual harassment scandals involving former Chief Executive Roger Ailes and the aforementioned Bill O’Reilly.

Over the weekend, it was revealed that Shine not only failed to address these scandals, he was involved in hiring private detectives to intimidate and track Ailes’ accusers. This recent revelation has some calling out Trump for his decision to hire Shine.

It’s rather ironic that Trump, a man with his own history concerning sexual harassment would even consider hiring someone like Shine, but not surprising. Trump has been an advocate for the creation of state-run media ever since he first threatened to expand libel laws during his campaign—a threat he renewed this past January—against a media he once called “the enemy of the American people.”

With Sinclair nearly a done deal, and with FOX News literally having an office in the White House, state-run media and the death of the free press could be closer than we realize.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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

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To advance conservatism, nobody gets a free pass



To advance conservatism nobody gets a free pass

Before the midterm elections, most of the writers here spent a good chunk of their copy space helping Republicans in their campaigns. They focused on exposing Democrats for what they are (as well as what they’re becoming) and often turned their back on the negatives associated with Republican candidates.

This was intentional and I allowed it. Like many proponents of limited government, I compare the rhetoric and actions of the two major parties and I see one that’s pushing for big government and another that’s pushing for even bigger government. The fallacies in the Democrats’ proposals are obvious and universal. Republicans have a mix of good and bad; for example, lowering taxes was good, but simultaneously increasing spending was bad.

I allowed the pro-Republican approach because in the world of partisan politics, we’re stuck in a lesser-of-two-evils scenario. While I personally didn’t get involved in party politics and focused my posts on fighting for conservative and limited-government federalist values, I didn’t ask my writers to do the same. Any who chose to promote the Republican agenda, which was most of them, were allowed to do so.

They still can. I’m not censoring anyone. However, I want to be clear about the true purpose of this news site.

We are not a partisan site that is pro-Republican or anti-Democrat. We are a pro-American site that understands the importance of limiting government, defending freedoms, and protecting life, plus many other ideas that are usually associated with conservatism and/or classical liberalism.

Now that the election is over, we are relaunching our GoFundMe page.

Getting donations during campaign season was tough, but now we’re ready to accept help. We need it.

The description of our site on GoFundMe encapsulates what we are.

Our society is rapidly deteriorating into helplessness. Ideas such as self-governance, conservatism, patriotism, personal responsibility, limited-government federalism, and civil discourse are being threatened by a sharp leftward lurch. It isn’t just progressives who are veering to the left. The center is shifting to the left and as a result, many who are or were conservative have become more open-minded to the cultural and geopolitical shifts.

We are losing our ethical, traditional, and logical cores as a society.

NOQ Report has three goals:

1) Expose the fallacies of this leftward lurch that is making progressives more unhinged and conservatives more malleable.
2) Educate the masses about the benefits of liberty-driven philosophies that include limiting government, defending freedoms, and protecting life.
3) Engage with people in a meaningful way. We want a dialogue with everyone whether they agree or disagree with us.

America deserves better than what mainstream media feeds us.

Every dollar donated is invested back into the site to pay writers, editors, and to promote the site so it can reach more people. We have limited advertising on the site for a reason. We do not want “corporate overlords” who try to steer content, nor do we want to load the site with spammy ads. This is why we must rely on you, the readers, to keep the site afloat.

As of the middle of November, 2018, we are relaunching this campaign. We had a soft launch that had minimal success. We are pushing harder now. Please help us elevate this news site to compete against the incessant leftist propaganda being pumped onto the internet. Donate now.

Moving forward, we are going to focus on our three goals. It doesn’t matter if someone is a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or whatever. If they aren’t helping to limit government, defend freedoms, and protect life, we’ll call them out.

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Trump’s war with CNN is fanning the anti-1st Amendment flames



Trumps war with CNN is fanning the anti-1st Amendment flames

By now I’m sure you heard about the alleged confrontation between Emperor Trump and CNN reporter Jim Acosta that resulted in the suspension of Acosta’s White House Press credentials.

I call it alleged because Trump has a long history of targeting CNN with his Joseph Goebbels-styled “Fake News” propaganda, and he has a particular vendetta against Acosta. Frankly, the whole scenario reeks of the kind of reality TV set-up Trump has become known for whenever he needs a distraction to hide behind as cover for his failures.

While I usually avoid Trump’s “squirrel politics,” this attack on the media he has labeled “the enemy of the American people” is another example of the threat he presents to the First Amendment and a free press.

Fortunately, CNN isn’t taking Trump’s bullying tactics lying down.

Yesterday, the network filed a lawsuit against Trump and many of the top people in his administration, demanding that Acosta’s credentials be restored, setting up a court fight over the First Amendment. In a statement announcing the suit, CNN said they were defending all media against Trump’s dictatorial approach to the press.

“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous, chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

Of course, right on cue, Trump Pravda began defending Trump while attacking CNN.

Faux News’ Sean Hannity, who supported the creation of a White House “blacklist” for media outlets who refused to bow to Trump during the 2016 election, accused Acosta of “Trump derangement syndrome” and said, “Without a doubt, Acosta deserves to be banned from the White House (because) he’s earned it.”

Mark Levin, radio personality and the host of Faux News’ weekend show “Life, Liberty & Levin,” defended Trump and called the CNN suit “ridiculous” and said that “The courts should stay out of the case.”

Not everyone at Faux News agrees with Hannity and Levin. Libertarian Andrew Napolitano believes that CNN has a “very good case.”

“The only grounds for revoking the pass are, ‘Is the person a danger to the physical security of the president or his family.’ Obviously, Acosta may have been an irritant to the president, but he was hardly a danger to him. CNN has a very good case.”

Judge Napolitano also called Acosta’s behavior “part of the rough and tumble of the First Amendment” and he added that we should remember the words of Thomas Jefferson when he said, “I would rather have newspapers without government than a government without newspapers.”

With his ignorance of US history and the Constitution, Trump is probably unfamiliar with Jefferson’s feelings about the importance of a free press. Hopefully, the CNN lawsuit will be instrumental in bringing an end to his lack of knowledge concerning our rights . . . or at least bring an end to his tyrannical ambitions.

Originally posted on


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is 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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Jim Acosta is a self-absorbed idiot, but he should get his hard pass back



Jim Acosta is a self-absorbed idiot but he should get his hard pass back

CNN’s Jim Acosta is the worst kind of journalist. His goal is not to seek out and report on the truth as any respectable journalist should. His goal is to insert himself into the news for the sake of his own career and ego. He adores attention and never reports anything without inserting his bias into it. Bias is fine for commentators. Acosta is supposed to be a reporter.

When his hard pass was revoked by the White House (technically, it was the Secret Service that revoked it), I sided with them over Acosta because, as I said a week ago, “Keeping a belligerent, self-absorbed attention-seeker like Acosta from entering the White House is defensible based on his unhinged actions today.”

After six days to think about it and research court decisions pertaining to freedom of the press, I have a confession to make. I allowed my opinion of Acosta, which is extremely low, to affect my opinion about whether or not he should have a hard pass. My new stance is simple:

I don’t believe Jim Acosta deserves a hard pass, but unfortunately the press isn’t held to a merit-based system, especially in Washington DC. Personalities are more important than skill on television. Acosta may not have an ounce of journalistic integrity, but he’s entertaining to leftists. That’s all CNN really wants.

There is a real danger here if Acosta isn’t given his hard pass back. The guidelines by which the Secret Service issues these passes are murky and have been debated in courts for decades. Essentially, they can give hard passes to bona fide journalists based in Washington DC reporting mostly on White House activities. They must pass a background check conducted by the FBI. They must be deemed as not a threat to the President and his family. Those are the criteria to receive a hard pass.

There aren’t really any specific criteria for suspending passes that have already been issued, so let’s ask ourselves some questions about Acosta’s situation.

  • Does he pose a threat to the President or his family? No.
  • Should his actions to withhold the microphone from the intern be considered “laying hands” on her, as Press Secretary Sarah Sanders suggested? Probably not, as long as you’re watching the real video and not the InfoWars video.
  • Would his hard pass have been revoked if he wasn’t Jim Acosta from CNN, the most annoying questioner at the White House who works for the news outlet that’s most reviled by the administration? No.

Anyone who answers that last question honestly knows that Jim Acosta lost his hard pass because he’s Jim Acosta. As the President noted, he’s rude and unprofessional. His temperament is better served in commentary than reporting. Many of his questions, his follow up questions in particular, are amateur at best from a journalistic perspective but perfect when someone’s goal is “hey you guys, look at me doing journalism!” Everything is an attempt at a “gotcha” moment, which isn’t uncommon among journalists but Acosta often takes it up a few notches.

He is CNN’s unofficial Chief White House Debater. Whether talking to Stephen Miller, Sarah Sanders, or the President himself, Acosta attempts to turn every “question” into an altercation so he can toot his horn if he gets them riled up or play the victim card if he gets shut down or ignored.

The court will side with CNN and Acosta because the 1st Amendment protects him. After he gets his pass back, the White House should ignore him because this self-absorbed “journalist” is just an idiot seeking attention. Give him none.

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