America First? Trump’s Attacks on the Media are Both Ignorant and Anti-American

Another day, another malicious assault on the Constitution and its First Amendment protections for a free press. Donald Trump is continuing to march toward a totalitarian state where he controls the media. And in his latest manic outburst on the subject he goes further than ever to lie about and threaten both journalists and American workers employed by the media that he so desperately hates.

Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow, Shepard Smith, Anderson Cooper

Trump’s noxious tweetstorm began with a gleeful nod to the news that an “activist investor” has acquired a bundle of AT&T stock:

Trump’s celebration of this investment is a typically shallow analysis considering the investor purchased a share of AT&T that is only a little more than one percent of its outstanding shares. That isn’t gong give him any real leverage, and he’ll have no role in board or management decisions. What’s more, shareholders have absolutely zero influence over the editorial content of a news network, nor should they. So Trump is wandering around in a fantasy world that he clearly knows nothing about.

Trump also knows nothing about the state of the cable news business. His hatred for CNN notwithstanding, the network is enjoying the highest ratings and revenue in its history. This is an example of Trump expressing the delusions in his diseased brain as if they had some correlation to reality. But what’s worse about this Twitter tantrum is that Trump is maligning an American company before the whole world. That is recklessly inappropriate for the President of the United States, and a betrayal of the thousands of American workers at CNN and AT&T.

In addition, Trump repeated the flagrant lie that foreign leaders have asked him “Why does the Media hate the U.S. sooo much?” Perhaps Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un might have asked him that, but they probably also ask why he doesn’t arrest and/or assassinate them. After all, he has openly yearned for those powers himself. For the record, the media doesn’t hate America, and they don’t even hate Trump. They hate lies, corruption, treason, and ignorance. It isn’t their fault that Trump exemplifies all of those abhorrent traits. But Trump wasn’t through ranting:

Once again, MSNBC’s ratings and revenue are growing rapidly. Trump may wish that news networks that tell the truth about him were failing, but the opposite is true. Meanwhile, at Fox News their ratings are still impressive, but their revenue is in a steep decline because advertisers don’t want to be associated with the Trump-fluffing, white supremacist dogma that is the hallmark of Fox. And if Trump is tiring of negative stories about him, he might try doing something positive for once. Or at least stop doing so many things that are objectively stupid, destructive, racist, and/or corrupt.

Trump went on to bash the media in general as “an arm of the Democrat Party.” without providing any proof whatsoever. But that’s been his modus operandi for years. And coming from someone who leans so heavily on his State TV network (aka Fox News), it’s starkly hypocritical. His intent is to drag down the reputation of the press to prevent people from taking it seriously when they report what he’s actually doing and saying. He actually admitted that to Leslie Stahl when she asked why he attacks the press. “You know why I do it?” he replied. “I do it to discredit you all, and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”

Everyone needs to remember that whenever they hear him criticize the media. By his own admission he isn’t doing it to correct the record or to stand up for the practice of journalism. He’s doing it to brainwash anyone dimwitted enough to fall for his deliberately deceitful disparagement of honest reporting. Sadly, there are way too many Deplorables who are happy to wallow in the filth that Trump spews, even after they’ve been told – by him – exactly what he’s doing.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Wannabe Dictator Trump Calls For Boycott of AT&T to ‘Do Something’ About CNN

The last time Trump left the country he breached diplomatic protocol in Japan with an infantile political attack on Joe Biden. At the same time, he took sides with Kim Jong Un, the murderous tyrant with whom he fell in love.” And now Trump is travelling abroad again, but this time, as he prepared to depart for the U.K., he managed to embarrass America before he even left by insulting the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.

Donald Trump Tyrant Dictator

Having arrived in England, Trump sought to escalate his diplomatic incompetence with another attack on the U.S. media. That in itself is to be expected from the president who hates the freedoms protected by the First Amendment and regards the press as “the enemy of the people.” However, this time he is attacking American institutions from foreign soil and attempting to bully them into obedience to his will.

These comments are despicable on many levels. First of all, he is admitting that the only news source he is comfortable watching is the Trump-fluffing sycophants of Fox News. And when away from home, he desperately needs Fox to stroke his fragile ego. Furthermore, he fails to document he what describes as “all negative” with any examples. Suffice to say that any criticism of him was enough to get him to change the channel to less objectionable programming like cooking or golf.

Trump is also displaying his utter ignorance of the television business. CNN is not only enjoying their highest ratings in years, they are more profitable than ever. But no one will be surprised that Trump is either stupid or lying. That’s the new normal for the Era of Trump.

The worst part of this Twitter tirade, though, is Trump’s gleeful assault on an American business. He doesn’t care who he hurts so long as he can get vengeance for whatever slight he thinks he’s the victim of. That’s typical of his inherent weakness and narcissism. But make no mistake, his petulant whining is aimed at more than 250,000 employees of an American company. It is totally unprecedented for an U.S. president to call for a boycott of an U.S. company with tens of thousands of American workers. And his malicious smear is even worse coming from overseas.

And as if all of that weren’t bad enough, Trump’s attack is based on his displeasure with how the free press is doing their job. What he thinks is negative reporting is really just a factual representation of what he actually does and says. The media can’t help it if his words and actions are glaringly dumb and harmful. And what exactly does Trump think that AT&T should do? He insists that they should be “forced to make big changes at CNN.” But forcing the press to behave in a manner that is acceptable to political leaders is what we would expect from the fascist regimes that control their media. Which is what Trump is advocating and yearning for.

What’s more, while he whines that the world “gets a false picture of USA” from CNN, the world has actually made a deliberate choice. Fox News used to be carried in the U.K. but they discontinued their service two years ago because nobody was watching it A company spokeswoman said that…

“Fox News is focused on the US market and designed for a US audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the UK. We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the UK.”

So Trump wants to boycott AT&T, hurt American workers, and dishonor the Constitution, all in an effort to bully the media into slobbering over him the way Fox News does. Never mind that the Brits have already rejected the lies and propaganda that is the hallmark of Fox’s deceitful brand of “journalism.” Like his pals Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping, and Vladimir Putin, Trump wants to coerce the press into acting like his own personal PR agency. And the sentiments in these tweets are direct attacks on the free press, as well as free markets. They are are antithetical to long held and cherished American principles. But then, so is almost everything Trump does and says.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Threatens Freedom Of The Press With Chilling Statement On The Media

To say that Donald Trump is no friend of a free press is an understatement of Olympian proportions. His open hostility toward the media generally, and journalists individually, virtually drips with white hot hatred. And his animosity is focused solely on his own self-interest and his paranoid perception that everyone is against him.

Donald Trump

As a result, Trump has treated the press like cattle, forcing them into cramped pens at his rallies. Then he points them out to his followers as “disgusting scum” and jokes about killing them. And those are the lucky ones who didn’t have their credentials revoked.

As the campaign progresses and Trump’s prospects for victory dwindle, he is getting even more maniacal in his rage against the media. Now he has issued a statement spurred by the recent bid by AT&T to acquire TimeWarner. The content and tone of the statement should worry every American who values the First Amendment of the Constitution. It was written by his Senior Economic Advisor, Peter Navarro, and addresses a very real problem: Monopoly Power of New Media Conglomerates. The problem is that he twists the whole subject into an ego-driven tirade against his perceived enemies. It’s opening paragraph states that:

“Over a hundred years ago, a pro-business Teddy Roosevelt busted up more than 40 oil, railroad, steel and other ‘trusts’ that were wielding their rapacious monopoly power to gouge consumers and interfere with the efficient functioning of the American economy. Donald Trump will break up the new media conglomerate oligopolies that have gained enormous control over our information, intrude into our personal lives, and in this election, are attempting to unduly influence America’s political process.”

Not bad, so far. But rather than making a reasoned argument against the concentration of corporate interests, he turns it into a political diatribe. He complains that these media monopolies are “the very same media conglomerates now pushing Hillary Clinton’s agenda.” Then he singles out “NBC, and its Clinton megaphone MSNBC,” for “engag[ing] in their Never Trump tactics.” With regard to the AT&T/TimeWarner deal he ignores the anti-trust issues and instead whines about “the wildly anti-Trump CNN.”

Moving on to the newspaper sector, Trump seems to be obsessed with the ownership of the New York Times. That’s likely because one of the its biggest shareholders is the Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim. Just like with the judge in his Trump University fraud case, Trump is offended that anyone with Mexican heritage is permitted to do business in America. For the record, Slim owns 17 percent of the publicly traded Class A shares of the Times. The vast majority of the company is owned by the Sulzberger family, including the privately held Class B shares. Additionally, Slim has no representation on the company’s board of directors. So Trump’s inference of influence by Slim is entirely a product of his warped imagination.

Notice anything missing from this unhinged harangue? Trump never mentions Fox News, one of the biggest media conglomerate in the world. It’s reach extends to news, entertainment, television, films, publishing and digital media, on an international scale. It’s clear that Trump only has a problem with media monopolies that he doesn’t like. Conservative oligopolies are A-OK in his book. And if it weren’t obvious enough, Navarro went on Fox News where he was asked by Neil Cavuto if Trump aimed to break up existing media companies. Navarros’s answer: “Not this one, Neil.”

So, as long as you don’t piss off President Trump you’re free to be an abusive monopoly. Otherwise, watch out. But that isn’t how a free press works. To the contrary, that’s how a fascist dictatorship works. And Trump reiterated this position Sunday in an interview with the local CBS affiliate in Miami (video). He was asked “Do you think there is too much protection allowed in the first amendment?” He responded by advocating for the system in England where he thinks it’s easier to sue the media. Continuing, he said that “Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it.”

Let that sink in. Trump favors a foreign system where there is no First Amendment, which he believes allows for “too much protection.” And he is troubled that the press in the United States is “allowed to say whatever they want.” OMG! Somebody needs to put a stop that sort of freedom right away. And who better than Trump, who in the same interview declares that “I’m a big believer – tremendous believer of the freedom of the press. Nobody believes it stronger than me.” Uh huh.

That must be why prominent advocates for freedom of the press have made scathing denunciations of Trump. The Committee to Protect Journalists blasted him as “an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists.” The National Press Club condemned his anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This new statement by Trump on media monopolies is just another self-serving scam intended to advance his personal interests and punish his foes. The blatant partisanship baked into it disqualifies it from serious consideration. Concentration of power in a shrinking corporate media landscape is a truly disturbing development that needs to be addressed. But it isn’t addressed by a policy of clamping down on political adversaries as revenge for honest criticism. Trump can do that on his TrumpTV, if he’s foolish enough to actually launch it. Fortunately for America, it won’t take very long for that to devolve into a HUGE and humiliating catastrophe.

The One Trick To Keep Your Phone Company From Spying On You

Last week an investigation by ProPublica and the New York Times was published that exposed the collaboration between the National Security Agency and America’s providers of cell phone and Internet services. The report was based in part on documents released by former agency contractor Edward Snowden. What it revealed was a tight-knit relationship between a government spy operation and the corporate telecommunications industry.

AT&T NSA Spying

The report identified AT&T as the company most closely aligned with the NSA’s operations. While Verizon and other companies were also involved, AT&T was shown to have devoted far more energy and resources to the relationship. The report says that…

“While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed NSA documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as ‘highly collaborative,’ while another lauded the company’s ‘extreme willingness to help.”

There is much more detail about the NSA/telecom complex in the report, including the hundreds of millions of dollars spent and the over 1.1 billion domestic cellphone calling records a day handed over to the government. It is an astonishing and frightening series of disclosures about just how intrusive the company you’re paying every month to provide phone and/or Internet service is.

And therein lies an important way for you to fight back. There isn’t much you you can do to prevent these corporate behemoths from screwing you. Sure, you can participate in protests and write letters to your congressional representatives, and you should. But that will take time and furious organizing. The one trick you can use now to keep your phone company from spying on you is to ditch the companies that are doing it and get one that doesn’t.

Those of you who use AT&T or Verizon (and that’s most of you) have another option. CREDO Mobile is a progressive company that is committed to privacy and doesn’t favor wealthy conglomerates who can afford to pay for special treatment and to suppress competition. As an added bonus they also fight for the environment, social justice, net neutrality, and a political landscape free of Tea Party idiocy.

It’s so easy to make the switch you’ll wonder why you never did it before. You’ll get great service and a selection of the best phones. You can keep your current phone number. And they will pay up to $350.00 for any early termination fees your current provider charges. You can even try it for thirty days with no obligation. You really need to check this out because there is no reason for your hard-earned dollars to be working against you by violating your constitutional liberties and literally funding the Tea Party, the KeystoneXL pipeline, the Koch brothers, and the Greedy One Percent (aka GOP). And if you use this link, you’ll even be helping News Corpse, who will receive a modest commission for the referral.

So please take this simple step to change the world and free yourself from the shackles of corporations who are working against you and your principles. You’ll feel great for having done so. And send this link along to your friends and family as well. We can have a huge effect if we join together for something positive, rather than submitting to the corporate masters.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

And just for fun, here is John Oliver taking on “Cable Company F*ckery” in case you needed another reason to switch.

Pearl Jam Censored At Lollapalooza By AT&T

If we really needed proof that the Big Telcos are lying through their teeth when they celebrate themselves as defenders of free speech and open access, we couldn’t do better than this. AT&T, the sole provider for the webcast of Pearl Jam’s performance at Lollapalooza, and noted opponent of Network Neutrality, cut out politically charged portions of the band’s performance. I’ll let them tell it via their website:

After concluding our Sunday night show at Lollapalooza, fans informed us that portions of that performance were missing and may have been censored by AT&T during the “Blue Room” Live Lollapalooza Webcast.

When asked about the missing performance, AT&T informed Lollapalooza that portions of the show were in fact missing from the webcast, and that their content monitor had made a mistake in cutting them.

During the performance of “Daughter” the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” but were cut from the webcast:

  • “George Bush, leave this world alone.” (the second time it was sung); and
  • “George Bush find yourself another home.”

This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media.

AT&T’s actions strike at the heart of the public’s concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.

Aspects of censorship, consolidation, and preferential treatment of the internet are now being debated under the umbrella of “NetNeutrality.” Check out The Future of Music or Save the Internet for more information on this issue. [Ed: Save the Internet has clips of both versions of the song here]

Most telecommunications companies oppose “net neutrality” and argue that the public can trust them not to censor.

And if you can’t trust a giant, multinational, consolidated, communications conglomerate like Ma Bell, who can you trust? AT&T has shown that they cannot be relied upon to manage vital national resources like the Internet. They want to own it and constrain its use to the sole purpose of enriching themselves and shaping public opinion to their liking.


 
 
Don’t let them do it because, as Pearl Jam says…

This Is Not For You!
“And you dare say it belongs to you…to you…
This is not for you
This is not for you
This is not for you
Oh, never was for you…fuck you…”