Patterico's Pontifications

8/28/2019

President Trump: Fox Is Dead To Me, Time To Shop For New Media Outlet That Won’t Upset Me

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:59 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Seeing the Democratic National Committee’s communications director Xochitl Hinojosa discussing the upcoming Democratic primary debate while she was a guest on Fox News was just one Democrat too far for President Trump this morning. He tweeted his tantrum because that’s what Presidents of the United States do:

While Trump throwing a hissy fit is nothing new, this seems to be the final straw with Fox. They have betrayed him, and betrayed the “special relationship” between the President, his supporters and the media giant. What a long, strange trip it’s been, too, when we look back to the campaign days when Fox gave then-candidate Trump more airtime than God. And after he became the President, Trump could count on Fox and the company’s on-air personalities to make him look good.

Trump isn’t wasting time shedding big, sloppy tears over the breakup, though. Nope. He’s already shopping for a new media outlet that will do what he wants:

“…isn’t working for us anymore”??? Well, we all knew it was that kind of a relationship, but it’s nonetheless surprising to hear the President admit it. Britt Hume hit the nail on the head with his spot-on response:

Other Fox personalities also pushed back on the President’s comments.

Obviously, no news media outlet should be in the back pocket of a sitting president. Nor do they “work” for any president. Or at least, they shouldn’t. One doesn’t have to spell out all the incredible problems with viewing the interactions of a president and a major news outlet in the way. Whether it’s Fox News for President Trump or the MSM for a Democratic president, it’s wrong, and this unethical symbiotic relationship has only helped to further polarize the nation. We could all point to examples of both Fox and the MSM couching, covering, and conveniently omitting something critical and sneaking in something just to massage the message coming out of the White House. I see this breakup as a good thing.

No doubt there are other news groups interested in taking Fox’s place, and ready to compromise any integrity and journalistic principles if necessary. And there is a president willing to make it worth their effort.

I think this is true:

Axios’ Sara Fischer [said] that Trump was playing to a “fringe culture” of rabid supporters whom the president hopes would help push Fox News to intensify its already largely pro-Trump coverage.

Too bad the big breakup is happening while the run for 2020 is picking up steam. Trump better work fast. He won’t be able to count on his buds to push him right into victory.

–Dana

The Apparently Looming Indictment of Andrew McCabe

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am



The New York Times recently reported:

Federal prosecutors in Washington appear to be in the final stages of deciding whether to seek an indictment of Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director and a frequent target of President Trump, on charges of lying to federal agents, according to interviews with people familiar with recent developments in the investigation.

In two meetings last week, Mr. McCabe’s lawyers met with the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, who is expected to be involved in the decision about whether to prosecute, and for more than an hour with the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie K. Liu, according to a person familiar with the meetings. The person would not detail the discussions, but defense lawyers typically meet with top law enforcement officials to try to persuade them not to indict their client if they failed to get line prosecutors to drop the case.

Such meetings are indeed a strong indication of a possible indictment. I am no fan of Andrew McCabe, as this excerpt from a post I wrote after he was fired should make clear:

You might remember that in October 2016, before the election, I was ranting about the fact that a Terry McAuliffe PAC had donated almost half a million to McCabe’s’s wife’s election campaign . . . and yet McCabe had not recused himself from the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Granted, it’s not crystal clear that McCabe acted as a purely partisan warrior there. If you believe the leaks that he authorized to be made to the Wall Street Journal, he pushed for an investigation of the Clinton Foundation. Then again, as the Washington Post notes today, that same story demonstrated that “some FBI officials thought [McCabe] was standing in the way of the Clinton Foundation investigation.”

The point is, if Hillary Clinton’s bag man Terry McAuliffe was delivering sacks of cash to his wife, McCabe had no business ever being anywhere in the chain of command over anything having to do with Hillary Clinton — not the email investigation, not the Clinton Foundation, not any of it. I don’t care that his wife had already lost by the time he became deputy director. The consideration had already been given, and he should have recused himself — yet he didn’t do so until November 1, 2016, which was far too late. I’m not sure whether that failure alone is grounds for termination, but it brought discredit on the FBI. And new evidence that McCabe may have been less than forthright about whether he attended his wife’s campaign events and so forth only contribute to the suspicion.

Let’s place to the side for the moment the laughable fact that McCabe recently signed up to be a CNN contributor, and talk about the ways that Donald Trump has been endangering any possible prosecution of McCabe. Donald Trump is in charge of federal law enforcement, and he has been harshly criticizing McCabe for years. Here are just a few representative tweets:

Regardless of the strength of any possible criminal case against McCabe, it remains extraordinarily unseemly for the head of federal law enforcement to be saying such things, and causes observers to wonder whether any potential indictment is a result of the strength of the case, or a political hit job carried out to please the President of the United States.

The fact that Trump does this kind of thing all the time does not make it less poisonous, but more so. One of the worst things about Trump is his penchant for undermining confidence in law enforcement — both by wildly criticizing law enforcement when it investigates his wrongdoing, and in his continual assumption that law enforcement officials exist to act as his personal political henchmen. And if you don’t like McCabe (as I don’t), and if you think McCabe ought to be prosecuted (as to which I express no opinion), you might even find yourself offended by the fact that Trump is giving McCabe a colorable defense that the apparently imminent prosecution is political and vindictive.

This lout needs to shut his mouth. Of course, he won’t, ever, which is yet another reason why his departure from office needs to be a priority for people who care about the justice system.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

News Items

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:53 am



[guest post by Dana]]

A couple of news items:

1) Quillette announced that journalist Andy Ngo has left his position as an editor at the publication:

The conservative op-ed website Quillette announced Monday night that controversial right-wing writer Andy Ngo is leaving his job as an editor at the site, an announcement that comes on the same day that a Portland newspaper published a story revealing that Ngo witnessed a far-right group planning violence but never reported it.

[…]

[F]ootage taken by an undercover liberal activist in May and described on Monday by the Portland Mercury showed Ngo witnessing activists from the far-right group Patriot Prayer planning a violent confrontation at a bar associated with left-wing activists. Ngo never reported on what he had seen the Patriot Prayer members planning, and some of the people involved in the attack at the bar now face felony riot charges.

Quillette editor-in-chief Claire Lehmann said that Ngo’s exit had nothing to do with the Portland Mercury story or the undercover footage. She told reporters that Ngo left the site several weeks ago but the announcement was made two days ago:

“Andy actually moved on from Quillette a few weeks ago because he is undertaking bigger & better projects, we just hadn’t updated the website and he hadn’t updated his Twitter bio until today,” Lehmann wrote.

2) Jean Cramer, the embattled candidate running for a seat on Marysville, Michigan’s city council has dropped out of the race. This comes after pressure from city officials due to her “keep Marysville white” pitch to voters during a candidate’s forum:

Marysville Mayor Dan Damman said Jean Cramer submitted a letter withdrawing Monday — three days after he called for her to do so. City Manager Randy Fernandez said Cramer had first come into city hall to verbally withdraw but was asked to put it in writing.

Cramer, 67, couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Monday afternoon. Her formal one-sentence letter to the city did not include any reasoning behind her withdrawal.

3) In the ongoing spat between leaders of Brazil and France, President Bolsanaro has demanded an apology from President Macron before he will accept an offer of international aid. Seriously:

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday that he will accept the offer of international aid to help fight the fires raging across the Amazon rainforest, but that French President Emmanuel Macron must first apologize to him.

Bolsonaro appeared offended by Macron’s comments related to his handling of the unfolding crisis in the Amazon, and wanted them retracted.

“And then we can speak,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

As you recall, Bolsonaro provoked Macron, by insulting Mrs. Macron because he was mad at Macron about his comments about how Brazil was handling the situation in the Amazon:

[Macron] claimed Mr Bolsonaro had gone back on a promise to halt deforestation, threatening to no longer support the EU’s Mercosur deal with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay….Mr Bolsonaro had missed a scheduled meeting with the French foreign minister in favour of a barber’s appointment, Mr Macron added…Mr Macron has been highly critical of Brazil’s handling of the crisis, tweeting: “Our house is literally on fire”…[T]he French overseas territory of French Guiana on the northern coast of South America is France’s biggest land border, so the Amazon was particularly important for France because “we are there”…

Mr Bolsonaro attacked Macron for having a “colonialist mentality”, tweeting that “ludicrous and unnecessary attacks on the Amazon” were unacceptable….

There hasn’t been a response from Macron to Bolsonaro’s demand for an apology. Bolsonaro’s chief of staff jumped on the insult wagon, telling reporters, “we appreciate it, but maybe these resources would be put to better use reforesting Europe.”

Further:

“Macron “can’t even prevent a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site,” Lorenzoni said Monday, referring to the massive blaze that damaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in April.

Brazil’s ambassador to France, Luís Fernando Serra, echoed the sentiment Tuesday on French national television, saying in an interview that “we refuse the aid because we see interference” and it was “help we did not ask for.”

The international aid package breaks down to: $20 million pledged during the G-7 summit in France, plus an additional $12 million from Britain and $11 million from Canada.

–Dana


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