Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Last Call For The State (Run) Of The Media

Everyone knows you can't be a proper real authoritarian regime without state-run media, and after the twin disasters of Sean Spicer's departure as Press Secretary and the short-lived "Tony Scaramucci as Communications Director" era, the Trump regime is turning to one of their own to bypass the Fourth Estate.

After months of denigrating the media as fake news, President Trump has launched a news program of his own on Facebook featuring his daughter-in-law.

"Watch here for REAL news!" a post on the president's Facebook page said Sunday.

Lara Trump, who is married to the president's son Eric, appeared as the video's host in front of a Trump campaign background. Speaking to the camera like a TV news anchor, she offered updates on news favorable to her father-in-law.

"I bet you haven't heard about all the accomplishments the president had this week because there's so much fake news out there," she said.

A Google search shows mainstream media outlets did cover the stories she recounted, such as Trump donating his salary, a new Foxconn manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, and economic growth. But they also reported on the turmoil within the White House, the failure of his party to repeal and replace Obamacare, and the president's tweets saying that he wanted to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

Trump's abrupt reversal of Department of Defense policy was a dominant news story in the mainstream media last week. BuzzFeed News reported that the White House did not have a plan for its implementation, how the news seemed to stun military leaders, and how the news was received by trans veterans.

Those stories were not included in Lara Trump's news update.

"The president also met with some incredible veterans this week in Ohio, giving his thanks to them for their service to our country. Likewise, the vice president visited Walter Reed hospital, where he sat down and talked to so many wounded soldiers who have put their lives on the line for all of us."

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about how the video came to be produced and if Lara Trump should be considered part of the president's communications team. She previously worked as a producer for Inside Edition and has frequently made appearances in support of the Trump campaign.

She first promoted what will apparently be a series two weeks ago, encouraging the president's 23 million followers on Facebook to tune in every week.

"We're going to bring you nothing but the facts — stay tuned," she said.

I'm honestly surprised it took this long for the Trumpies to set up a propaganda show like this.  They've been kicking around the idea of "Trump TV" since the beginning but it seems those plans have fallen through.

On a Wednesday night last month in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it was just like old times for Right Side Broadcasting.

Live on YouTube, hosts Steve Lookner and Liz Willis interviewed people sporting “Make America Great Again” hats, who waited eagerly in line to watch President Trump take the stage at a jam-packed, campaign-style rally. Some of the Trump fans doubled as Right Side fans, and asked Lookner and Willis to pose for selfies in their branded polos.

Once the event started, Right Side streamed Trump's remarks in their entirety, just as it did hundreds of times during a presidential race that vaulted this Auburn, Ala., start-up from Internet obscurity to a media partnership with the Trump campaign.

The president's Facebook page featured Right Side's video feed from Cedar Rapids — and racked up 1.8 million views.

But nights like this one have been rare since Trump pulled off an upset victory in November.

After generating $1.1 million in advertising revenue and donations in 2016, Right Side entertained grand expansion plans. Founder Joe Seales told Business Insider last fall that he wanted to add news shows to his company's YouTube channel and build toward 24-hour programming.

Instead, Right Side has been forced to cut back amid steep revenue declines. A staff of 12 is down to four. Shows hosted by Mike Cernovich, Wayne Dupree, Margaret Howell and Nicholas J. Fuentes have been canceled.

Far from seeing a gusher of donations from energized Trump supporters, Seales said he has been propping up Right Side Broadcasting with money from his own pocket.

I think a lot of them feel like the mission has been accomplished,” Seales said of the president's backers. “I think that after Trump won, people thought, 'Well, hey, our job is done.' Our donations went down significantly after the campaign. I think everybody sort of has that feeling of, 'Why are you guys still doing this? Trump won.' ”

Ahh, but now the mission has changed.  Now it's all about propaganda and leveraging social media, something the Trump regime is fairly familiar with.  Something tells me we're going to see a lot more of Lara Trump in the future.

That's not a good thing.

The End Of The Affirmative Action Era

Donald Trump famously told black voters like me a year ago "What do you have to lose?" by voting for him.  Turns out besides the rollback of federal sentencing reforms for an Attorney General who wants to stuff as many black bodies in private prisons as possible and the virtual elimination of oversight of police departments who regularly engage in brutal, deadly racism, black folks now get to lose affirmative action in US colleges and universities.

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the division’s front office, where the Trump administration’s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants and normally handles work involving schools and universities.

The document does not explicitly identify whom the Justice Department considers at risk of discrimination because of affirmative action admissions policies. But the phrasing it uses, “intentional race-based discrimination,” cuts to the heart of programs designed to bring more minority students to university campuses.

Supporters and critics of the project said it was clearly targeting admissions programs that can give members of generally disadvantaged groups, like black and Latino students, an edge over other applicants with comparable or higher test scores.

Not enough white people in colleges.  Time to bring the full power of the Justice Department to bear, right?  Here's the excuse they're using though:

The project is another sign that the civil rights division is taking on a conservative tilt under President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It follows other changes in Justice Department policy on voting rights, gay rights and police reforms.

Roger Clegg, a former top official in the civil rights division during the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration who is now the president of the conservative Center for Equal Opportunity, called the project a “welcome” and “long overdue” development as the United States becomes increasingly multiracial.

“The civil rights laws were deliberately written to protect everyone from discrimination, and it is frequently the case that not only are whites discriminated against now, but frequently Asian-Americans are as well,” he said.

Got that?  Republicans are claiming that affirmative action discriminates against white and Asian students so it has to end, never mind that the number of black and Latino college students has actually gone down considerably at the nation's top 100 universities over the last two decades.

Ever since the Supreme Court spared affirmative action last year, the GOP has been itching for a chance to dismantle it on the grounds of "reverse discrimination" and it looks like those efforts will start getting under way soon.

But, they told me there wasn't any difference between corporate shill Hillary and Trump, so why bother voting, ya know?

Turns out that difference is pretty gigantic if your black and/or Latino, which maybe explains why so any of us voted for her.

White folks?  Not so much.

Dems Flying High In Lexington

Don't look now, but Democrats are on the move here in Kentucky and next door in KY-6, GOP Rep. Andy Barr has just picked up yet another Democratic challenger in a district that's winnable for Team Blue.

Meet Amy McGrath, Marine fighter pilot and proud Democrat.

KY-6 was the long-time home of Democrat Ben Chandler, who lost in 2013 to Andy Barr after serving six terms representing Frankfort and Lexington.  Now Barr has some real trouble headed his way, because the good lieutenant here is exactly the kind of Democrat that can win in the Bluegrass State.

A retired fighter pilot says she will seek the Democratic nomination for Congress in Kentucky’s 6th District. 
Amy McGrath announced her candidacy on Tuesday with an online video touting her military career. She’s one of several of military veterans across the country to have launched campaigns as part of the broader Democratic strategy of challenging the Republican majority in the 2018 midterm elections. 
McGrath said she was not recruited by the Democratic Party. She said her decision to run stemmed from Donald Trump’s election as president, which caused her to rethink what it is to be an American.

McGrath is a political neophyte, but frankly in 2017/2018 that's an advantage among conservative red state voters, now isn't it?

It was Roger Ailes's now famous ad for Mitch McConnell that propelled him to Congress.  Wouldn't it be something if an ad for somebody in the same state put a Democrat on the national map this time in helping to rid the country of Ailes's (and McConnell's) legacy?


Related Posts with Thumbnails