05/25/17

Late-Night Trump Hatred vs. Primetime News

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

The anti-Trump venom from the mainstream media has become so virulent that broadcasters and reporters alike risk becoming little more than extensions of the late-night “comedic” lineup, bashing the President without regard for truth or factual accuracy. And above all, most of these journalists realize, and sometimes admit, that they want to help the Democrats win the next election.

The comparison between late night show hosts and the news media becomes stark when one compares Joy Reid’s new segment on MSNBC, “Flip This House,” to  Bill Maher’s “Flip A District” on HBO in the run-up to the 2014 elections. The goal for both of them was to try to help Democrats win elections, with Maher admitting on his website that he was “outright meddling with the political process.”

“The 2018 midterm elections are still more than a year away, but the Democrats are already hoping to flip this house,” said Reid on her show, telling Democratic candidate Linda Weber, “So we will be paying attention to that race, and we will see if you can flip that House district.”

This comes very close to an endorsement. Has Reid or MSNBC registered as a Super PAC? Isn’t this an example of a corporation, Comcast, making significant donations to a political party?

It has gotten to the point with the news media, such as MSNBC and CNN, that broadcasters air anti-Trump messaging as vitriolic as late night show hosts’ so-called comedy routines. The point is to ridicule, not to report. And if reporting is necessary, the news media print fake news, as John Nolte documented for The Daily Wire in his article, “8 Facts Contradict the MSM’s Serial-Comey Lies.” At this point, it’s hard to distinguish the late-night comedy fake news from the primetime MSNBC or CNN line-up of fake news.

Take, for example, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who said to Trump defender Jeffrey Lord that if Trump “took a dump on his desk, you would defend him.” Cooper later apologized, but his comment was indicative of the level of discourse that takes place regularly on MSNBC and CNN, when it comes to Trump. Mika Brzezinski questioned Trump’s patriotism. The First Amendment protects all of this speech, but the point is how much hatred and contempt it reveals toward the President and the more than 60 million Americans who voted for him.

Consider the coverage of supposed collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. In a May 24 NPR piece, “Why the Russia Investigation Matters and Why You Should Care,” the author argues that “Russia is accused, as [former CIA Director John] Brennan said, of not only trying to influence the election by hacking and releasing emails, but engaging in a full-fledged influence campaign through propaganda to get Donald Trump elected.” He continues, “That’s the assessment of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.”

It is not the assessment of “all 17 intelligence agencies,” but rather the assessment of the CIA, FBI, NSA and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) only, all four of which were headed up by Obama political appointees. But this oft-repeated soundbite has been used to bolster the left’s passionate attempt to impeach Donald Trump. Former DNI James Clapper testified that “there were only three agencies directly involved in this assessment plus my office.” As we have reported, Clapper told the Senate that “We had no way of gauging the impact that—certainly the intelligence community cannot gauge the impact—it [Russian cyber activities] had on the choices the electorate made.”

But Bill Maher, who frequently talks about Trump voters living in a “fact-free bubble,” was still repeatedly peddling the “all 17 of our intelligence agencies say that” nonsense just last week, with his usual simian smirk. It had been debunked long ago, but Clapper had done so again just days before.

“Former CIA director John Brennan testified before the House Intelligence Committee…that he was not sure if there was any evidence of collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign,” reports Breitbart. This is nearly a year into this phony investigation.

It may be that the mainstream media are loath to “normalize” Trump by reporting on him in an objective and fair manner. I recently pointed out how CBS News’ Bob Schieffer was challenged for possibly “normalizing” Trump because he called Trump’s speech “presidential.” Schieffer justified himself as trying to report objectively.

The left is still apoplectic that Trump won a presidential election that they believe should have been handed to heir apparent Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Nothing short of impeachment is a sufficient remedy.

Perhaps members of the media, aware of this Trump Derangement Syndrome, are wary of the fate of those who embrace, or even treat fairly, President Trump. For example, Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC’s Tonight Show, still suffers from the aftereffects of tousling Trump’s hair and giving him what Salon called a “hair-raising softball interview.” “Was this Fox News?!?” screamed the Salon headline.

In contrast, Bill Maher has kept the hate going. When he brought Trump ally Boris Epshteyn on the show, he made a “gentlemen’s” wager that Trump would be “out by Christmas.” He also observed that “It looks like he [Trump] is trying to get impeached.”

CBS’s Stephen Colbert has given similar treatment to the President. “Fortunately, folks, there is a band of heroic go-getters who can lead us out of this dark time,” he said. “Congressional Democrats,” he added, continuing to mock.

“And as Mr. Fallon is well aware, viewers haven’t seen him in quite the same light since an interview he conducted with Mr. Trump in September, which was widely criticized for its fawning, forgiving tone,” reports The New York Times in a recent piece. It quotes Fallon as saying that “They have a right to be mad…If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it.”

Colbert’s show has edged out Fallon in total viewership for the first time, but Fallon continues to outperform in the key demographic of adults 18 to 49.

What is clear, however, is that anti-Trump reporting boosts ratings. Business Insider reports that Fox fell to third “during primetime in the coveted advertising demographic of 25-54 year-old viewers, the first time it had done so in 17 years…” MSNBC and CNN outperformed Fox.

For the time being, Trump hatred drives ratings. But journalists, having stooped so low as to be indistinguishable from third-rate, hostile, buffoonish comedians like Maher and Colbert, should remember what it is they sacrifice in sullying their integrity in an attempt to cash in on Trump Derangement Syndrome. Certainly some of them are sincere, but others may just be giving the network bosses exactly what they want.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.

05/25/17

Fed Minutes Were Largely A Non-Event

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

In my view, there was little surprise in the FOMC Minutes. The Minutes indicate a rate hike may occur as soon as the mid-June meeting however with the caveat that “it would be prudent” to wait for evidence that the recent slowdown in economic activity had been transitory, as has been the case. The Minutes also indicated a plan that would gradually shrink the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

At the time of this writing, Fed fund futures are suggesting a 90% chance of a hike occurring in three weeks. Last week, the odds fell to under 80%, the result of the political turmoil in Washington.

Many times I have commented a major reason for an average annual growth rate of 1.8% since 2001 is the result of virtually nonexistent monetary velocity. As noted, the monetary velocity or the turnover of money is at levels not experienced since 1959.

Excess bank reserves are gargantuan, over $2 trillion versus the historical average of $1 billion.

I will argue that if velocity accelerates, so will growth. The vast majority of the Treasury yield curve now has negative yields, an environment historically associated with inflationary growth.

What are the odds August 2017 will be the inverse of August 2008? At the conclusion of the July 2008 FOMC meeting, the Committee indicated the risks were on the upside. Two weeks later, the Fed reduced the overnight rate, the first time the FOMC took action in between meetings in many years because of the emerging financial crisis.

Most are extrapolating the last 10 years into the next 10 years, stating a 3% annual growth rate is virtually impossible for the intermediate future. As widely noted, from 1945-2001 the economy grew at an average annual growth rate of 3.0%

I reiterate, if monetary velocity accelerates for reasons discussed many times, 3% may be too low of a target. Wishful thinking? Who ever thought President Trump would be regarded as the Hope and Change President as indicated by virtually every sentiment indicator. Such will increase the uncaging of the proverbial Animal Spirits.

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.02%, Paris was down 0.08% and Frankfurt was down 01.6%. China was up 1.43%, Japan was up 0.36% and Hang Sang was up 0.80%.

The Dow should open nominally higher. The 10-year is unchanged at a 2.25% yield.

05/25/17

Special Counsel Mueller Will Get His Man

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

One of the big problems with the media is that journalists publish so many things that aren’t true, especially when they are writing about people in positions of power whom they want to pursue their liberal agendas.

Consider this statement from a Politico article by Garrett M. Graff about the special counsel investigating Russia-gate: “Robert Mueller might just be America’s straightest arrow—a respected, nonpartisan and fiercely apolitical public servant whose only lifetime motivation has been the search for justice.”

This so-called straight arrow blew the biggest terrorism investigation in the history of the United States—the post-9/11 anthrax mailings which killed five people, and spread terror and panic in the populace.

We knew al-Qaeda carried out the actual 9/11 terrorist attacks. That was an easy one to solve. Al-Qaeda had declared war on the United States and had been broadcasting their intentions to hit the U.S. In a major intelligence failure, our CIA, FBI and other agencies failed to stop the deaths of almost 3,000 people.

But then-FBI director Mueller was also in charge of solving the post-9/11 anthrax attacks. He ignored the abundant evidence of an al-Qaeda role in those, too, because the FBI had picked up the anthrax mailer and let him go. He went on to bring down Flight 587 with a shoe bomb. All of this was just too embarrassing for Mueller to admit. A deliberate cover-up was engineered.

What’s more, FBI director Mueller purged government materials of information that identified the nature of the Islamic terrorist enemy. Judicial Watch has explained how this “disturbing” turn of events occurred. They document that training materials deemed “offensive” to Muslims were purged following secret meetings between Mueller and various Islamic organizations. What’s more, Judicial Watch indicates that Mueller thus became an agent of a broader Islamist “influence operation” aimed at “our government and Constitution.”

So Mueller failed to officially recognize the role of al Qaeda in the post-9/11 anthrax attacks, and then blinded the bureau from recognizing more evidence of Islamic terrorist operations on American soil.

And this is the guy who will get to the bottom of Russia-gate?

Among other things, Mueller fingered an innocent man for the anthrax mailings, and was sued by an FBI agent who led the inquiry. His investigation wasted years on a wild goose chase. Analyst Kenneth J. Dillon says Mueller’s mishandling of the investigation led to the suicide of scientist Bruce Ivins, who was conveniently blamed for the mailings.

“My research on the 2001 anthrax mailings case suggests that Mueller was responsible for the suicide of the alleged but wrongly accused mailer, Bruce Ivins, as well as for the subsequent cover-up. Mueller appears to have lied to a Senate committee about Ivins and destroyed key alibi evidence for him,” Dillon told Accuracy in Media (AIM).

There is no evidence that Ivins actually mailed the letters, and former FBI agent Richard Lambert says the FBI has “a wealth of exculpatory evidence” regarding Ivins. That evidence has conveniently turned up missing for independent investigators like Dillon who are seeking it through Freedom of Information requests. The FBI, he says, has been sitting for more than a year on one request for 16 pages from the official investigation on Ivins.

If we had a functioning democratic system and an honest press, we would have pressure on the FBI to investigate former director Mueller. Instead, Mueller is now in charge of investigating the President of the United States! This is how the “deep state” works.

Appropriately enough, the Politico article is accompanied by a photo of Mueller and his sidekick, former FBI director James Comey. That photo captures the truth about a relationship that makes Mueller’s task as special counsel a supreme conflict of interest that should disqualify him from the task. But Washington insiders remain quiet about the conflict because they want to see Trump go. They know Mueller is a company man who will protect Comey and savage Trump.

Those who say there is no evidence of a crime in Russia-gate miss the whole point. Mueller will produce evidence of a crime out of nothing if he has to. Former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn’s dealings with a Russian TV channel, though conducted out in the open for everyone to see through a speaker’s bureau, could become the basis of some flimsy “obstruction of justice” charges against Trump, his former boss who fired him.

It’s the old familiar “what did he know and when did he know it” routine that can trip up anyone, even a president.

Trump fired Comey for incompetence and frustration over his Russia-gate investigation that goes on and on, with no end in sight. Trump wanted to see it over and the facts to come out. He wanted the intelligence community to verify that evidence of “collusion” was not to be found after many months of fruitless investigation.

Both Democrats and Republicans realized that Comey was not up to the job. But now Democrats (and some Republicans) are gleeful. They know Mueller will protect Comey and get Trump.

Journalists are quiet about Mueller’s atrocious record on Islamic terrorism because they want his special counsel office of ambitious liberal attorneys to leak to them as the inquiry goes forward. Republicans on Capitol Hill are quiet because they know the FBI can destroy them through leaks.

At least under J. Edgar Hoover we had an FBI that investigated America’s enemies. Mueller’s job is to damage and destroy a President elected by the people. His job is to protect his friend, former FBI director Comey, who used a spurious document, the “Trump Dossier,” to conduct an inquiry that has turned up nothing. A former British agent compiled the dossier but the fingerprints of the Russians are all over it.

This document, which guided the FBI investigation, is the ultimate in meddling in America’s elections and democratic system, and the media pretend not to recognize it. Instead, the media repeatedly tell us that the Russians wanted to defeat Hillary.

As we said in a previous column, America’s elected government is hanging in the balance, and the media are cheering on this spectacle. What should the American people conclude if a “special counsel,” with seemingly unlimited resources and power, brings down a President elected by those people?

They should not be blamed for losing faith in the system. They are losing faith now as Washington pursues a phony scandal while the Islamic terrorists strike and kill young innocent teenagers in the heart of the West.

Remember that Americans losing faith in the system was supposed to be one of Russia’s objectives. Ironically, the Russia-gate investigation is designed to do just that. We have a government that can’t investigate itself.

It looks like the plan is to drag out the Mueller probe for a couple of years, so that the Democratic Party can take back the House of Representatives in 2018 and initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump. The Senate won’t convict, but Trump could be forced to step down.

None of this had to happen if America had maintained a free and independent press, willing to subject the FBI to the scrutiny they apply so recklessly and anonymously to Trump.

It is strangely appropriate that FBI apologist Garrett M. Graff wrote a book praising Mueller. He quotes Comey as saying about him, “His gift is that he’s decisive without being impulsive. He’ll sit, listen, ask questions and make a decision. I didn’t realize at the time how rare that is in Washington.”

Comey was described by Graff as having worked for “years” alongside Mueller. Yet Mueller is the straight shooter who will get to the bottom of the mess that Comey found himself in and which necessitated his firing?

How can any objective observer conclude anything other than that Trump is right when he says he is the target of a witch hunt?

It’s a dishonest press, and it’s going to get worse.

So while the special counsel pursues the chimera known as Russia-gate, the Islamic terrorists who killed innocent young girls in Britain now have their sights set on the United States.

Trump’s initiatives to protect the American people from such attacks are tied up in the liberal courts.

But Mueller will get his man!


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.