Trump, the Whiner, Parrots His Senior Media Advisors, Dobbs, Diamond & Silk, Via Fox News

Let’s put to rest the notion that Donald Trump regards himself as an icon of strength and triumph. If there is one thing that Trump has excelled in to the exclusion of all others, it’s his relentless whining about how hopelessly impotent and powerless he is. Trump literally bragged about being “the most fabulous whiner.” So despite having majority control of all three branches of government, Trump and company persist in their pathetic whimpering that they are mercilessly oppressed, suppressed and obstructed from achieving any of their repugnant goals.

Fox News, Diamond & Silk

In his latest attempt to create a media distraction from the horrendous drubbing he took for demeaning John McCain, Trump turned to Fox News for anything that he could post to Twitter that might take the heat off for a few moments of relief. He found it in a segment from the Lou Dobbs program on the Fox Business Network. And without bothering to confirm the ludicrous assertions in the clip, Trump tweeted out that:

Needless to say, that is all Grade A bunk that has no basis in fact. The Republican controlled Congress even held hearings to ascertain whether the Internet and social media were employing any tactics to inject political bias into what are supposed to be neutral search results and news feeds. They found nothing. Instead, they reaffirmed that the algorithms used by tech companies are not based on ideology, but that they respond to what people want to see.

However, that didn’t stop Trump from threatening Google Tuesday morning. And it didn’t stop Dobbs from spewing demonstrably false charges against Google and others along with his guest experts on media and technology, Diamond & Silk. This dynamic duo has been squealing about imaginary censorship for months. The exchange they had with Dobbs was an exercise in how to dumb down America on what is supposed to be a financial news channel (video below):

Dobbs: I take it that you’re not surprised that Google is sort of banning conservatives from their search results with President Trump?
Diamond: No, it’s not surprising. And to us it looks like it’s tyranny. You have these media outlets, along with Google, taking and they’re suppressing voices of conservatives. Not only that but they’re thumbing down our pages where we can’t see President Trump’s content or good news about what’s going on in this country when it comes to this president. And I am not for big government, but I really do believe that the government should step in and really check this out. Because this is, again, the sort of [inaudible] of tyranny. We don’t need dictatorship. We don’t need people controlling what we can and cannot see.
Silk: And this also look like a form of political lynching. Insteading of using the news, what they are doing is using algorithms and a form of censorship to Trump people’s platforms out, to keep you from being able to do your search whenever you want to search for our beautiful president.

Notice that Dobbs began with a matter of fact statement that Google is “banning conservatives” even though he has no facts to support that charge. And his Looney Tunes guests join the choir with even more extremist banter about tyranny and dictatorship and lynching and the deflowering of “our beautiful president.”

Dobbs went on to charge that Google’s search technology has become shallow and political. Then he complains about the “deep, profound concentration of wealth” and the “deep, profound concentration of political power.” Which is a position that would delight America’s socialists and critics of income inequality. Except that Dobbs is only applying this rhetoric to those who he perceives as foes of the President and the ultra-rightist agenda he represents.

What’s more, these stalwart defenders of conservative values are pushing for the government to stomp its boot down on the Internet’s defilers of Trumpian goodness. Never mind that the First Amendment prohibits the regulation of speech by private companies. The Constitution is an impediment to the propagandist objectives of Trump and Fox News. They can’t merely dismiss their hypocrisy by claiming to be against big government while advocating for such regulations. Even Trump’s chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, warned that “We’re taking a look at it,” And the one policy measure they could pursue that would prevent bias by anyone, would be the one they are affirmatively trying to kill: Network Nuetrality.

But while pounding on the political oppression by the enemies of Trumpism, at least Dobbs is comforted by the presence of Trump saying that “If we didn’t have a president like this one I don’t know where we’d be.” Then Dobbs contradicts the whole premise of the segment by noting that Trump “has his own access to the American people” via social media. So he’s now arguing that Trump and his confederates are enjoying unprecedented success getting their message out. So where the hell is the alleged censorship?

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

GOP Leader Seeks To Reverse Ban On Snipe Hunting

SnipeIn a speech at the Akron Sportsman’s Lodge, Republican House Speaker John Boehner promised local game stalkers that he would soon be taking up legislation to remove snipes from the endangered species list. This action is a prerequisite for granting permits for snipe hunts. Boehner told the appreciative audience that he has long advocated this measure and that he believes there is no justification for continuing to protect the elusive snipe.

In other legislative news, Boehner told the National Religious Broadcasters convention that the House would act to pass legislation that would ban any attempt to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. He told the NRB gathering that…

“…some members of Congress and the federal bureaucracy are still trying to reinstate – and even expand – the Fairness Doctrine. To them, it’s fair to silence ideas and voices they don’t agree with, and use the tools of government to do it. […] Our new majority is committed to seeing that the government does not reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.”

Speaker Boehner did not name any of the congressmen or bureaucrats that supposedly want to reinstate the Doctrine. He did not inform the group that there have been no bills introduced or hearings scheduled on the subject. He also did not mention that both President Obama and FCC Chairman Genachowski are both on record opposing reinstatement of the Doctrine. So Boehner is taking a courageous stand in opposition to something that nobody has proposed or is working on.

Boehner also spoke to the NRB about his opposition to Network Neutrality, or as he called it, “the Fairness Doctrine for the Internet.” In the process he repeatedly mischaracterized the matter as a “government takeover of the Internet.” His remarks were somewhat confusing as he sought to define the issue:

“It’s a series of regulations that empower the federal bureaucracy to regulate Internet content and viewpoint discrimination. The rules are written vaguely, of course, to allow the FCC free reign. The last thing we need, in my view, is the FCC serving as Internet traffic controller.”

Of course the truth is that Network Neutrality has nothing whatsoever to do with “content and viewpoint discrimination.” In fact, it is just the opposite as it’s only purpose is to preserve a purely non-discriminatory environment on the web. Not only does it not designate the FCC as a “traffic controller,” it prohibits the corporations who presently have that power from abusing it. Boehner’s position is to deny the FCC a magisterial role that isn’t in the initiative, but allow it for AT&T and Comcast.

To recap: Boehner wants to stop an Internet policy from doing something that it doesn’t do. He also wants to block a broadcast doctrine that no one is proposing. Those are tall orders that should keep him busy in the coming weeks and months while the nation is struggling to recover from an economic calamity and is crying out for solutions to stubborn problems like unemployment, the national debt, and enduring wars.

At least we can wish Boehner well on his snipe hunt – something with which he is apparently well acquainted.

The Wall Street Journal And Network Neutrality

An article in the Wall Street Journal is reporting that prominent advocates of Network Neutrality are reversing or softening their positions on the concept of treating all Internet traffic equally. The authors go into some depth in support of their contention that the movement is losing steam. And they name names.

“Google Inc. has approached major cable and phone companies that carry Internet traffic with a proposal to create a fast lane for its own content…”

“Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. have withdrawn quietly from a coalition formed two years ago to protect network neutrality.”

“In addition, prominent Internet scholars, some of whom have advised President-elect Barack Obama on technology issues, have softened their views on the subject.”

“Lawrence Lessig, an Internet law professor at Stanford University and an influential proponent of network neutrality, recently shifted gears by saying at a conference that content providers should be able to pay for faster service.”

Unfortunately for the WSJ, almost everyone they cite denies the conclusions the article draws and affirms their commitment to Network Neutrality.

Google: Despite the hyperbolic tone and confused claims in Monday’s Journal story, I want to be perfectly clear about one thing: Google remains strongly committed to the principle of net neutrality, and we will continue to work with policymakers in the years ahead to keep the Internet free and open.

Barack Obama: The Obama transition team is reaffirming his complete commitment to net neutrality and is disputing a much-discussed report today claiming that the President-elect is softening his support for it or shifting his position on it.

Lawrence Lessig: I don’t know what Google is doing, though if they are trying to negotiate exclusive deals for privileged access, that shows exactly why we need network neutrality regulation […] I’ve not seen anything during the Obama campaign or from the transition to indicate it has shifted its view about network neutrality at all.

Perhaps the only position correctly reported in the WSJ story is that Yahoo and Microsoft have strayed from the pro-Network Neutrality crowd. However, that separation occurred two years ago when they tightened their relationships with Telecom companies and was therefore, not a new development as the Journal implied.

So why would the Journal so badly mangle this story? They obviously didn’t bother to seek comments from the people or companies they quoted. Reporting the accurate positions of these parties would not have been difficult to do. Instead, the misquoted parties had to find other forums to set the record straight after the Journal had already hit the streets.

It would be easy to blame this shoddy work on the new Wall Street Journal as envisioned by its new owner, tabloid merchant Rupert Murdoch. But it goes deeper than that. The main companies that oppose Network Neutrality are the big Telecom and Cable businesses. Murdoch’s News Corp is heavily dependent on them for distribution of his television networks. He launched his Fox Business Network one year ago and it is still struggling for carriage. It presently passes less than half the homes of its primary competitor, CNBC. Do you think that Murdoch might be interested in getting AT & T, Comcast, Time Warner, etc., to put FBN on all of their systems? Do you think that he might like to get favored treatment and channel space for Fox News, FX, Fox Sports, National Geographic, and the rest of his cable properties?

And the big question: Do you think that Murdoch would use his Wall Street Journal to lobby for the interests of his other business assets? Of course he would – he’s Rupert Murdoch.