Friday, August 30, 2019

Last Call For Score One For The Fake News Scolds

MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell messed up pretty badly this week, and the Trump regime will ride his stupidity for months, if not years to come.

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday retracted a story that alleged that Russian billionaires “close to Vladimir Putin” had co-signed a loan that was given to President Trump by a foreign bank. The brief report, which O’Donnell credited to a single source when it aired Tuesday night, led to the threat of a lawsuit by the president.

On Wednesday, O’Donnell opened “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” by saying his reporting had not gone through the network’s verification and standards process and he was wrong to repeat the allegations on air and for posting it on Twitter.

The previous night, O’Donnell had stressed that the report was unverified, noting that it would be a big deal “if true.” “I have not seen any documentation from Deutsche Bank that supports this and verifies this. This is just a single source who has revealed that to me,” he said.

He later noted that it was not confirmed by news reporters at MSNBC’s parent company, NBC. The next night, he said “saying if true” was “simply not good enough.”

“Tonight we are retracting the story,” he said Wednesday. “We don’t know whether the information is inaccurate but the fact is we do know it wasn’t ready for broadcast and for that I apologize.”

Now, the fact that Trump went bugnuts on this should have news organizations hounding this Deutsche Bank story like terriers at a rat convention, but nobody will touch it now because Larry here had to blow his wad.

It's far from the first time it's happened too.  Eager to get an exclusive, we've had people jump the gun: Rachel Maddow on Trump's 2005 tax returns (which for all intents and purposes looked like a trap by Trump that Maddow fell for hook, line and sinker) is just the most recent prior example of this, but the O'Donnell screw-up is just bad journalism, period.

The anti-Trump side has to do and be better, and right now it's failing all of us.

Buzz Lightyear Of Spaced Command


The final frontier of grifting and resource exploitation, and taking it over is a top priority of the Trump regime.

President Donald Trump on Thursday formally established a new military headquarters for space operations as part of his efforts to ensure the Pentagon maintains an edge over potential adversaries like Russia and China.

The U.S. Space Command will be responsible for defending military satellites and other space systems and will draw on troops from other branches of the military as well as Trump's proposed Space Force, which is awaiting approval from Congress.

"It will ensure that America’s dominance in space is never questioned and never threatened because we know the best way to prevent conflict is to prepare for victory,” Trump said during a Rose Garden ceremony with his top national security team.

He added that the move "will soon be followed very importantly by the establishment of the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States armed forces. That’s really something, when you think about it."

The new Space Command will be on par with other military headquarters that are responsible for different geographic regions of the world or have distinct missions such as cyber operations.

Gen. John Raymond, the current head of the Air Force Space Command who has also been tapped to run the new outfit, told reporters at the Pentagon earlier that a top priority will be to build new alliances with other militaries that similarly view space as a potential conflict zone.

“Historically, we haven’t needed allies in space," he said. "It was a benign domain. We absolutely are open for new partnerships.”

The Pentagon decided to reestablish the U.S. Space Command, which existed in another form between 1985 and 2002, after a review concluded the military's increasing reliance on space technologies required a dedicated "combatant command" due to advances in weaponry by China and Russia that could destroy satellites in orbit or disable them through other means such as cyberattacks.

Trump so badly wants to be remembered for US Space Force that it physically pains him that it'll never happen, but reestablishing Space Command to keep an eye on all the satellite junk in Earth orbit is useful up to a point, I guess.

Of course, considering how the Trump regime is more than happy to leave the door open to cyberattacks from Russia, one has to wonder what the point of Space Command actually is going to be, other than a cosmic joke.

Time To Whittle Down The Field

ABC News has announced the ten Democrats who have qualified for September's presidential primary debate.

Anyone still in the race not on this list?

Time to drop out.  Jay Inslee and Kirsten Gillibrand have already done the right thing.  I don't expect Tulsi Gabbard or Marianne Williamson to do so anytime soon, because neither of them are actually in the race to do anything other than to directly help Donald Trump.

But Bill de Blasio?  Tim Ryan?  Steve Bullock?  Michael Bennet?

Door's that way.  Hit the showers.  You're done.



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