The Jury Talks Back

10/5/2019

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:46 am

[guest post by Dana]

Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.

I’ll start.

First news item: Mitt Romney criticized President Trump and the issues surrounding China and Ukraine:

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney has revived his feud with President Trump — slamming his calls for Ukraine and China to investigate presidential rival Joe Biden and his family as “wrong and appalling” — in an apparent bid to raise his profile as the leading GOP Never-Trumper in the Senate.

“When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated,” Romney tweeted Friday. “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”

Romney is ramping up his criticism of the president as the House of Representatives pursues an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

The former Massachusetts governor previously said “it would be troubling in the extreme” if Trump or his personal attorney “asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival.”

President Trump took to Twitter in response:

[Ed. While Trump did endorse Romney’s Senate run, and Romney accepted his endorsement, I was unable to find confirmation that Romney actually sought out the President’s endorsement.]

Second news item: Bernie Sanders had a heart attack:

Senator Bernie Sanders was discharged from a Las Vegas hospital on Friday, three days after having stents inserted to relieve chest pains. The doctors who treated the 78-year-old presidential candidate said in a statement that Sanders was diagnosed with myocardial infarction, another term for a heart attack.

Bernie is the oldest of the Democratic candidates running in the 2020 presidential race. On the other end of the spectrum is Pete Buttigieg, who is 37 years old.

Third news item: Bloomberg Law has finally retracted their report which smeared Leif Olson as anti-Semitic, and temporarily cost him his job:

Bloomberg Law has retracted its report about a Labor Department official’s social media posts, more than one month after the outlet was criticized for the piece.

The outlet, while retracting the story on Friday, also issued an apology for the post failing to meet its “editorial standards.”

“Bloomberg Law has retracted this article, published on Sept. 3. In reporting on a series of social media posts from Department of Labor official Leif Olson, we failed to meet our editorial standards for fairness and accuracy,” the retraction said. “We regret that lapse and apologize to our readers and to Mr. Olson.”

A.G. Hamilton says a retraction just isn’t enough to make amends:

I can’t help thinking this isn’t quite the happy ending it appears to be, though. Even amid the outcry and Olson’s reinstatement, Bloomberg Law chose to stand behind Penn’s “reporting” until it retracted the story on Friday, more than month after it was published. Internal emails showed that the outlet tried to stop employees from commenting on the story. Penn publicly defended his actions by claiming that all he did was present the Department of Labor with a screenshot of the post and ask for comment, but an email recently obtained through a FOIA request by Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute’s Ted Frank shows that claim was also false. In asking the Labor Department for comment, Penn actually framed Olson’s post as “disparaging to Jews” and questioned whether Olson was “fit for government service.” Yet, Bloomberg Law refused to acknowledge that Penn or its editorial staff had done anything wrong for more than a month.

In an ideal world, major news organizations wouldn’t hire reporters who abuse their platforms to try to punish political opponents, and would have protections in place to ensure that type of abuse wasn’t possible. In this case, Bloomberg Law failed on both counts. It owes its readers and the public an explanation of why, and of how it plans to ensure that such mistakes aren’t made in the future. If it hopes to be treated as a credible outlet moving forward, it must do better.

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

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