Archive | Media

Nate Silver on the Comey letter

Intelligence in Defense of the Homeland

He says the media won’t admit the part they played in her losing:

Because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.

And yet, from almost the moment that Trump won the White House, many mainstream journalists have been in denial about the impact of Comey’s letter. The article that led The New York Times’s website the morning after the election did not mention Comey or “FBI” even once — a bizarre development considering the dramatic headlines that the Times had given to the letter while the campaign was underway. Books on the campaign have treated Comey’s letter as an incidental factor, meanwhile. And even though Clinton herself has repeatedly brought up the letter — including in comments she made at an event in New York on Tuesday — many pundits have preferred to change the conversation when the letter comes up, waving it away instead of debating the merits of the case.

The motivation for this seems fairly clear: If Comey’s letter altered the outcome of the election, the media may have some responsibility for the result. The story dominated news coverage for the better part of a week, drowning out other headlines, whether they were negative for Clinton (such as the news about impending Obamacare premium hikes) or problematic for Trump (such as his alleged ties to Russia). And yet, the story didn’t have a punchline: Two days before the election, Comey disclosed that the emails hadn’t turned up anything new.

One can believe that the Comey letter cost Clinton the election without thinking that the media cost her the election — it was an urgent story that any newsroom had to cover. But if the Comey letter had a decisive effect and the story was mishandled by the press — given a disproportionate amount of attention relative to its substantive importance, often with coverage that jumped to conclusions before the facts of the case were clear — the media needs to grapple with how it approached the story. More sober coverage of the story might have yielded a milder voter reaction.

My focus in this series of articles has been on the media’s horse-race coverage rather than its editorial decisions overall, but when it comes to the Comey letter, these things are intertwined. Not only was the letter probably enough to swing the outcome of the horse race, but the reverse is also true: Perceptions of the horse race probably affected the way the story unfolded. Publications may have given hyperbolic coverage to the Comey letter in part because they misanalyzed the Electoral College and wrongly concluded that Clinton was a sure thing. And Comey himself may have released his letter in part because of his overconfidence in Clinton’s chances. It’s a mess — so let’s see what we can do to untangle it.

Abolishing the First Amendment

So Reince Priebus said on yesterday’s ABC News that Trump is looking at abolishing the First Amendment, because reporters hurt his feelings:

Karl says, accurately, that that kind of clampdown on 1st Amendment rights would require amending the Constitution. Is that what Priebus means, Karl asks? Yes, it is, says Priebus.

Now one might respond to this saying, ‘Okay, technically that’s what he said. But he probably doesn’t actually mean it.’

To which I think the answer is, sure maybe he doesn’t mean but why would anyone assume that? He said it and repeated it. The changes President Trump wants are blocked by decades of decades of jurisprudence which is little contested, unlike other hot button points of constitutional law. If you want what Trump wants, you have to amend the constitution – and not the constitution in general but the 1st Amendment specifically. Amending the 1st Amendment to allow the head of state to sue people who say things he doesn’t like amounts to abolishing it.

None of these are tenuous connections. Each link in the chain of reasoning follows logically from the other.

This, needless to say, should set off everyone’s alarm bells. If this isn’t really what Priebus meant, he should be given the chance to categorically disavow it. The plain meaning of the words, on the record, is that abridging or abolishing the 1st Amendment is something the Trump White House is currently considering.

Big deal.

Sean Hannity and the ‘liberal fascists’

Ted Koppel Calmly And Politely Telling Sean Hannity That He's Bad For America Is Worth Watching

I’ll note here that everyone I know who knows or has met Sean Hannity says that, off camera, he is one of the nicest people they know. So this accusation doesn’t seem likely.

Memo to Sean Hannity: The Fox News employees pushed out of Fox News were sexually-assaulting conservatives, accused by conservatives and eventually ousted by conservative Rupert Murdoch. Furthermore, the woman who accused you of sexual harassment is a conservative. So quit blaming liberals for the rot inside your own organization! As I’ve previously reported, conservative pundit Debbie… Continue Reading →

Chuck Todd: It’s becoming hard to ignore Trump’s conflict of interests anymore

CHUCK TODD INTERVIEWS KELLYANNE CONWAY

“And God knows, I tried!”

On MTP Daily this week, Chuck Todd offered a scathing take down of Trump’s continued conflicts of interest in this amazing clip…using Trump’s own words against him. Remember when Trump on the campaign trail accused Hillary Clinton of “pay for play”? Allowing access to her family because they gave her family foundation tons of money? Well… Continue Reading →

O’Reilly’s out

Special Preview of Bill O'Reilly's next book! #billoreilly #foxnews #nospinzone #sexualharrassmemt #memesdaily #memestagram #humor #funny #photoshop #photoshopfun

O’Reilly OUT at Fox. BREAKING: Bill O’Reilly OUT pic.twitter.com/oJ9QPeRo27 – Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) April 19, 2017 Gabriel Sherman interviewed by phone today on MSNBC. Some highlights: This is a fast moving story. Murdoch family is engaged in severence talks with O’Reilly. Rupert Murdoch resisted firing O’Reilly as a profit center for the network. Rupert’s son James… Continue Reading →

Berkeley protesters didn’t ‘riot’: They were sabotaged by alt-white terrorists

Well now, this was some protest, did you hear about it??  White Supremacist Caught on Video Sucker Punching a Woman at Berkeley Protest http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/04/16/white_supremacist_caught_on_video_sucker_punching_a_woman_at_berkeley

The media reports Berkeley Protesters “clashed” with “Trump supporters” during Saturday’s Tax Day rally. That’s less than half the story. And sure enough, Reuters reports: A melee erupted on Saturday in a Berkeley, California park where supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump were holding competing rallies, resulting in at least 20 arrests as police struggled… Continue Reading →

Site Meter