A VICTORY FOR FOX NEWS — AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

It’s no secret that some groups on the left have long sought to silence Fox News. Media Matters for America raises $10,000,000 a year, mostly to bash Fox. The Obama administration once declared war on the network. Rival networks routinely attack. (Just so you know, I should note up front that I am a Fox News contributor.)

In recent weeks, Fox has faced another assault — and won. It happened in Washington State. A group called WASHLITE — the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics — filed suit against Fox. The group alleged that Fox “willfully and maliciously engaged in a campaign of deception and omission regarding the danger of the international proliferation of the novel Coronavirus.” Fox’s reports, the suit alleged, were “deceptive because they caused consumers to fail to take appropriate action to protect themselves and others from the disease, mitigate its spread, and contributed to a public health crisis and a subsequent statewide shutdown causing damage to businesses and the loss of employment by persons located in Washington State.” The complaint added that “one member of WASHLITE has contracted the virus,” for which the group apparently blamed Fox. Therefore, WASHLITE somehow concluded that the network had violated the Washington State Consumer Protection Act.

washlite

It was all ridiculous, of course. For one thing, the suit grossly misrepresented Fox’s reporting. For another, WASHLITE’s claims were impossible to prove. And then the group came up with a crazy — and dangerous — theory that Fox, as a cable network, was somehow not entitled to the same First Amendment protections as a newspaper or a broadcast news network.

“These assertions do not hold up to scrutiny,” wrote Judge Brian McDonald. Even if WASHLITE’s characterization of Fox’s report was true — and it was not — Fox still enjoyed the free speech protections of other American media. “As the Supreme Court recognized, ‘If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable,'” McDonald wrote.

Substitute “leftist activists” for “society,” and that was the WASHLITE lawsuit. In the end, McDonald ruled that the scheme “runs afoul of the protections of the First Amendment.” The suit is another example of why the press — everyone in the press — has an interest in protecting the rights that protected Fox.

I think the Biden campaign doesn’t care what he says.

BAM: Trump Signs Executive Order to Strip Big Tech of ‘Liability Shield’ for Censoring Content

On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to strip social media companies of their “liability shield” if they engage in censorship or political content. Trump’s order came two days after Twitter decided to issue an extremely biased “fact-check” on two of the president’s tweets, supporting vote-by-mail practices that are at the center of a lawsuit between the California Republican Party and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.). Trump has condemned the “fact-check” as an attack on free speech.

“Today, I am signing an Executive Order to protect and uphold the free speech and rights of the American people,” Trump declared. “Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they’re a neutral platform, which they are not, not an editor with a viewpoint.”

“My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it so that social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield,” the president explained. “My executive order further instructs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prohibit social media companies from engaging in any deceptive acts or practices regarding commerce.”

The president also directed Attorney General William Barr to work with the states “to enforce their own laws against such deceptive business practices.”

Echoing other critics of Big Tech, Trump said, “What they’re doing is tantamount to monopoly, you could say. It’s tantamount to taking over the airwaves.”……………

What have we learned from – at least – the last 4 years about ‘research’?
Can you say ‘propaganda‘?
I thought you could.


Pew Research Serves up the Mother of All Spin on Red vs. Blue District Virus Deaths

I can’t imagine why so many on the right don’t trust polling companies, can you?

One of the cornerstones of the coverage of the Wuhan virus pandemic has been the relentless spin. Red states that have handled the outbreak with great results are trashed because people are daring to go outside without masks. Meanwhile, New York shoved sick people into nursing homes, killing thousands, and you can’t even get CNN to ask the Governor about it.

Pew Research apparently wanted to get in on the act.

(what they did was put this tweet in the ‘feed’ that most people see .ed):

(when you pull out the full tweet, you get the whole graph ed.)

This framing is just incredible. What you are actually seeing here is that Democrat districts have a death rate nearly 3x that of Republican districts, yet Pew chooses to present it as a victory for Democrats because their rate of decline is higher. Correct, when you do such an awful job that you end up with a much larger outbreak, you’ve then got a lot more room to decline……..

And while people can argue over why there are these disparities, what can’t be argued is that this chart shows far better news for the red districts than the blue districts. To spin it the other way is laughable, yet completely expected in the current environment. We should just be handling this as Americans, but the media simply won’t allow there to not be red/blue divisions stoked.

Quote O’ The Day and winner of the Freudian Slip Award

“….I think that the dangerous – you know – edges here are that he’s trying to undermine the media. Trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that is the, that is our job.”

 

Thunberg hasn’t finished high school because she dropped out. She dropped out because she probably doesn’t have the intellectual capability to pass the final exams.


Anderson Cooper: Criticism for Inviting Greta Thunberg to Corona Town Hall Was “Phony Online Outrage”

It’s easy to remain unaccountable when you dismiss valid criticism as “phony online outrage.”

This Thursday’s CNN town hall had quite an emotional ending with Anderson Cooper ranting about “the phony online outrage machine”.

Why the outrage you ask? Because CNN invited Greta Thunberg as a guest to the coronavirus town hall.

Naturally, inviting a climate change activist who is no way qualified as an expert in science or a medical profession (Thunberg hasn’t even finished high-school) ended up attracting widespread criticism and pushback from viewers……….

PBS Stations That Received Millions In Federal Funds Partnered With Chinese Foreign Agent On Pro-Beijing Film.

PBS affiliates that receive millions of dollars in federal funding each year are airing a pro-Beijing documentary produced in conjunction with CGTN, a Chinese-government controlled media outlet that is registered as a foreign agent with the Justice Department.

The film, “Voices from the Frontline: China’s War on Poverty,” did not disclose CGTN’s links to the Chinese government. Nor did it detail the ties that the film’s producer, Robert Lawrence Kuhn, has to Chinese officials and the government’s State Council Information Office, which specializes in foreign propaganda.

PBS affiliate KOCE, known as PBS SoCal, helped produce the film and premiered it Monday. KCET, which merged with KOCE in 2018, will air the show on Saturday. Other PBS affiliates, including in Idaho and Las Vegas, have either already aired the film or plan to do so later this month.

The one-hour documentary touts Chinese President Xi Jinping’s initiative to alleviate poverty in China by this year.

“In the last forty years, China’s economic development has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty,” reads the introductory script in the film.

“To President Xi Jinping, ending poverty is his most important task,” the script states.

The closing credits of the documentary show that it was produced by “The Kuhn Foundation and PBS SoCal in association with CGTN.” One PBS SoCal employee is listed as an executive producer of the film and another is listed as a production assistant.

PBS and other publicly-funded news outlets like NPR have come under fire in recent years, with conservatives pushing to defund the organizations over a perceived liberal bias. Other news outlets have come under scrutiny for publishing propaganda promoted by the Chinese government.

President Donald Trump has proposed defunding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provides the federal dollars that go to PBS affiliates and NPR.

Just to point out the gun control script that leaked a while back.
It’s all about how they should use emotion and manipulate terminology and facts
Again, apply Sun Tzu advice:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Just a few significant parts of this. Peruse the whole file at your convenience.


PREVENTING GUN VIOLENCE THROUGH EFFECTIVE MESSAGING

POWERFUL FACTS AND IMAGES
1. Alarming facts open the door to action. And powerful stories put feeling and emotional energy behind those facts.

2. It’s not helpful to try to drown your audience in a flurry of facts and statistics. It is far more effective to zero in on a handful of simple facts that are both compelling and memorable.

3. Here are some of the facts that met that test in the research:

There are no background checks or ID requirements in most states for private sales, including private sales at gun shows.

There are virtually no restrictions on the type of weapons available for purchase in America, including assault weapons and ammunition magazines that store up to 100 bullets and can shoot 20 rounds in 10 seconds.

Police and law enforcement officers are more at risk, due to the availability and power of new weapons.
Reinforcing example: Police forces in places like Chicago and Miami are outfitting officers with assault weapons so that they aren’t outgunned by criminals.

4. It’s not just about words. Powerful and emotionally-engaging images are vitally important reinforcers of strong messages. For example, intimidating images of military-style weapons help bring to life the point that we are dealing with a different situation than in earlier times.

OVERALL MESSAGING GUIDANCE
KEY MESSAGING PRINCIPLES

#1: ALWAYS FOCUS ON EMOTIONAL AND VALUE-DRIVEN
ARGUMENTS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE, NOT THE POLITICAL
FOOD FIGHT IN WASHINGTON OR WONKY STATISTICS.
It’s critical that you ground your messaging around gun violence prevention by making that emotional connection. Don’t skip past emotional arguments and lapse into a passionless public policy voice. And don’t make the gun violence debate seem as if it is a political “food fight” between two interest groups.
There is a reason why the NRA falls silent at times of high-profile gun violence incidents. The last thing they want is an American conversation centered on the terrible toll that gun violence takes on people’s lives.

#2: TELL STORIES WITH IMAGES AND FEELINGS.
Our first task is to draw a vivid portrait and make an emotional connection. We should rely on emotionally powerful language, feelings and images to bring home the terrible impact of gun violence. Compelling facts should be used to back up that emotional narrative, not as a substitute for it.
WARNING: Don’t break the power and undermine the value of emotionally powerful images and feelings by appearing squeamish or apologetic in presenting them

#3: CLAIM MORAL AUTHORITY AND THE MANTLE OF FREEDOM.
We should emphasize that one fundamental freedom every American should have is the freedom to be safe in our homes and neighborhoods – freedom to live our lives without the constant threat of gun violence hanging over our heads.
The NRA likes to talk about its work as the defense of American freedom. Recognize that, depending on the audience, both sides of the debate have the opportunity to claim moral authority. But, don’t yield that ground. Fight for it by emphasizing that a reckless disregard for the gun violence that plagues so many people’s lives is morally bankrupt and doesn’t have anything to do with protecting freedom.

#4: EMPHASIZE THAT EXTRAORDINARILY DANGEROUS, MILITARY-STYLE WEAPONS ARE NOW WITHIN EASY REACH ACROSS AMERICA.
We have to make clear to people that this isn’t a conversation about your grandfather’s hunting rifle. The fact that military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines are routinely available to people in most states is alarming – and surprising – news to many Americans.

#5: EMPHASIZE THAT AMERICA HAS WEAK GUN LAWS AND DON’T ASSUME THAT PEOPLE KNOW THAT.
It is important to emphasize that current laws allow easy access to guns for criminals, mentally unstable people, and even terrorists. Generally speaking, the public makes the assumption that our nation’s gun laws are much stronger than is actually the case.
The truth is, it is far worse than most people think. And when they learn what is really true about our gun laws, it raises serious concerns.

#6: CHALLENGE THE NRA ON YOUR TERMS, NOT THEIRS.
We will discuss the NRA in more detail in the next section. But, at the very outset, it is important to emphasize two critical points:

Whether to spend much time talking about the NRA depends upon whether we are talking to our base (where an NRA focus is often worthwhile) or broader audiences (where an NRA focus is far less likely to be helpful).

Even with the base, we need to always connect our comments to the NRA’s role in exposing people to needless violence.
Simply “taking on” the NRA as if “defeating the NRA” is our mission never serves our interests. Pointing out the direct link between laws the NRA promotes or blocks and the tragic human impact of gun violence is almost always more effective.
It’s effective to emphasize that the vast majority of NRA members are law-abiding gun owners who agree with common sense laws to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people—the NRA’s officials and lobbyists are the problem.

Of course they’ve got to get their own partisan jabs in, but an article so accusative of China, from the Washington Post, is sorta startling.


Bill Gates is Wrong: Chinas’s Coronavirus Coverup is not a ‘Distraction.’

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was surely speaking for a lot of people when he dismissed criticism of the Chinese government’s handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic as a “distraction” from the important work of fighting the virus here at home.

Yet the Chinese Communist Party is still working full time to cover up information about the outbreak and the Chinese government’s own failures. By so doing, it continues to threaten the health and lives of Americans. That can’t be ignored.

Gates argued Sunday on CNN that examining the Chinese government’s record of hiding information about the coronavirus outbreak, putting out false information, silencing critics and thwarting attempts to investigate its true origin is not useful at this time “because it doesn’t affect how we act today.” He said Beijing “did a lot of things right at the beginning” and has come under unfair criticism, “but it’s not even time for that discussion.”

Various groups — from conservative media outlets to the Chinese Communist Party — immediately seized upon his remarks to further their own agendas. But let’s focus on the bottom line: Gates’s comments are simply wrong, and dangerously so. Beijing’s bad behavior is neither past nor benign. In fact, it continues to put us at increased risk.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for depoliticizing the issue when asked about Gates’s comments Wednesday on Fox News.

It’s not a distraction,” he said. “We’ve had now thousands of Americans that have died as a result of this virus, and we know where that virus started. I hope this doesn’t become partisan. It’s too serious a matter.”

Scratch a liberal, find a totalitarian.


Atlantic Magazine: Hurrah for Pandemic Censorship!

A note to Atlantic magazine: George Orwell’s 1984 wasn’t meant to be a how-to guide…..

A couple of people writing at The Atlantic magazine see a fantastic silver lining in the current coronavirus outbreak. Jack Goldsmith and Andrew Keane Woods see the pandemic as a great opportunity to bring about more censorship along with surveillance of the public as they exulted on Saturday in “What COVID-19 Revealed About the Internet.”

Just so you would know where they were coming from, the subtitle was “In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong.” Got that? Totalitarian China is right and the USA is wrong when it comes to “freedom versus control of the global network.” And in case you think they are being misinterpreted, their own words reveal they come down firmly in favor of Big Brother.

Covid-19 has emboldened American tech platforms to emerge from their defensive crouch. Before the pandemic, they were targets of public outrage over life under their dominion. Today, the platforms are proudly collaborating with one another, and following government guidance, to censor harmful information related to the coronavirus. And they are using their prodigious data-collection capacities, in coordination with federal and state governments, to improve contact tracing, quarantine enforcement, and other health measures. As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently boasted, “The world has faced pandemics before, but this time we have a new superpower: the ability to gather and share data for good.”

Practicing censorship but for our own good?

…Constitutional and cultural differences mean that the private sector, rather than the federal and state governments, currently takes the lead in these practices, which further values and address threats different from those in China. But the trend toward greater surveillance and speech control here, and toward the growing involvement of government, is undeniable and likely inexorable.

 In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.

Freedom is slavery! And if you believe that then I guess you could come to the conclusion that “China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong.”

After the 2016 election debacle, for example, the tech platforms took aggressive but still imperfect steps to fend off foreign adversaries. YouTube has an aggressive policy of removing what it deems to be deceptive practices and foreign-influence operations related to elections. It also makes judgments about and gives priority to what it calls “authoritative voices.” Facebook has deployed a multipronged strategy that includes removing fake accounts and eliminating or demoting “inauthentic behavior.” Twitter has a similar censorship policy aimed at “platform manipulation originating from bad-faith actors located in countries outside of the US.” These platforms have engaged in “strategic collaboration” with the federal government, including by sharing information, to fight foreign electoral interference.

Using the fraudulent Trump-Russia collusion theory to justify ever more censorship. The weird thing here is that the authors are writing about all this stifling of free speech in an approving manner.

The protests were on Wednesday & Friday, and the deaths were reported Sunday, so it isn’t  “unclear.” What is clear is the protests could not have contributed to the deaths. What’s also clear is that the author of this mendacity, Jackie Salo is guilty of submitting libelous BS for publication and her editor is too stupid to recognize it.


Kentucky sees highest spike in coronavirus cases after lockdown protests.

Kentucky experienced its highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases after protests broke out in the state to lift lockdowns, according to reports.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced there were 273 new cases Sunday, bringing the total to 2,960, news station WCPO reported………

Around 100 protesters gathered Wednesday on the lawn of the Capitol building in Frankfort during Democrat Beshear’s coronavirus briefing, shouting “Open up Kentucky!” and “King Beshear,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The same group returned Friday to the Capitol building, where they were met by barricades, the newspaper reported.

Instead, they circled the area in cars for a drive-through protest of Beshear’s coronavirus restrictions, the report said.

It’s unclear whether the protests had any impact on the surge of deaths reported Sunday in the state…..

China’s Long Tentacles Extend Deep Into American Media.

The companies that own the major news networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, all do significant business in China. On the print side, top U.S. newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times have been criticized for running paid China Daily inserts. What they were paid for these inserts is still unknown.

By contrast, conservative news companies are much less involved in China. Conservative radio giant Salem, whose attempt to buy Tribune several years ago provoked an enormous freakout from media reporters over consolidation, is all-American. And Fox, after several troubled attempts to break into the Chinese market—including sending a News Corp team to help build People’s Daily a website—has mostly given up, after selling its Asia-Pacific operations to Disney over the last two years.

Disney owns ABC and has a park in Shanghai. It also owns ESPN, which was criticized for its coverage of China’s retaliation against the NBA earlier this year over one team owner’s support of the Hong Kong protests. But other than ABC, Disney is relatively uninvolved in news.

Comcast, on the other hand, has a much larger footprint in the U.S. media landscape, between NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC. The company’s role in fostering cultural exchange is truly historic: they’ve brought to millions of American homes a customer service experience akin to a utility provider in a communist country, and have invested billions to bring “Minion Land” and a Harry Potter village to Beijing, with the help of a state-owned investment vehicle.

What might the Chinese government do if it were displeased with something that ran on MSNBC? Perhaps they’d have a tense conversation with their partners at 30 Rockefeller Plaza about the forthcoming slate of movie releases in China. Or it might be worse, given their decision to cut off all NBA games to retaliate against one team owner.

But evidently China is pleased with their partnership so far, and no NBC journalists had their residency permits pulled earlier this month. A March 10 post on the New York consulate’s website touted a recent meeting with Comcast execs:

Comcast Corporation is not only the participator of the increasingly close cultural exchanges, but also the contributor and beneficiary of deeper economic exchanges between China and the US. The NBC and the Universal Studios Theme Park in Beijing are witnesses of the in-depth development of Sino-US economic and trade relations and increasingly close cultural exchanges.

Consul General Huang Ping made a point of discussing China’s response to the coronavirus, as well as news coverage in the U.S.: “China’s prevention and control practices have earned valuable time and experience for other countries. …We hope that the NBC and other U.S. media will objectively and fairly report China’s efforts to control the epidemic.”

Politifact Determined To Get It Wrong On Joe Biden And Gun Confiscation

Another week, another dubious “fact-check” from the professional propagandists at Politifact. This time the Poynter Institute project labeled a claim that Joe Biden has admitted to supporting gun confiscation as “Pants on Fire,” their most extreme rating for a supposed falsehood. In their herculean effort to obscure Biden’s support for gun confiscation, the media outlet went out of its way to avoid discussion of the overwhelming evidence of the presidential candidate’s intent to take guns.

Politifact took issue with an article from Conservative-Daily titled, “Watch: Biden Looks Into The Camera And Promises To Take Away Americans’ Guns​.” As evidence, the Conservative-Daily article cited a viral video of Joe Biden and Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, eating at Texas hamburger chain Whataburger. During the video, Biden states “This guy changed the face of what we’re dealing with regarding guns, assault weapons… and I just want to warn [Beto’s wife] that if I win I’m coming for him.”

By narrowly focusing on only Biden’s statement at the Whataburger, while avoiding all context, Politifact came to the conclusion that Biden was only expressing his intent to have O’Rourke be part of his administration and that the video did not show evidence of the former vice president’s desire to ban guns.

When looking at the totality of Biden’s comments on confiscation, this view is untenable.

Just prior to the Whataburger outing, Biden shared the stage with Beto at a campaign rally where the failed U.S. senate and presidential candidate endorsed him for president. Biden told those gathered, “I want to make something clear. I’m going to guarantee you this is not the last you’ll see of this guy.” Biden went on say, “You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me. You’re going to be the one who leads this effort. I’m counting on ya.”

By offering Beto a role on guns in a potential future administration, Biden made clear that he supports Beto’s gun control position. That position is gun confiscation.

During the September 12, 2019 Democratic debate, Beto was asked about his proposal to confiscate commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Beto responded in part by saying, “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.” The Beto campaign would go on to sell t-shirts with the anti-gun slogan.​

Less than a week later, Beto reiterated his call for gun confiscation on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time. During an interview, Chris Cuomo asked Beto, “All right, so let’s state the proposition. Are you, in fact, in favor of gun confiscation?” Beto responded with “Yes.”

There can be no doubt that Biden understands Beto would confiscate firearms, as he shared the debate stage with him on September 12.

However, it is not necessary to deduce that Biden supports gun confiscation from his support for Beto’s attacks on firearms rights. Biden has stated that he intends to take firearms.

Biden had the following exchange with CNN’s Anderson Cooper when asked about firearm confiscation during an August 5, 2019 interview.

Cooper: So, to gun owners out there who say well a Biden administration means they are going to come for my guns.

Biden: Bingo! You’re right if you have an assault weapon. 

It is revealing that the purported “factcheckers” at Politifact did not make a full accounting of the facts concerning Biden and gun confiscation. Biden and Beto’s statements on gun confiscation are public and have been made widely available by those who support the Second Amendment. Such actions by Politifact suggest a determined ignorance calculated to protect a favored political candidate.

 

Why do you think the talking heads of leftist press was yammering that he should stop the briefings, or none of the news channels should cover them? President Trump was harshing their narrative and they couldn’t stop it.