TBYN – Book 1: Clearing away the rubble

News can fail you so many ways.

Actually, those who gather news can fail you by how they write and what they say.

The structure and integrity of news can fail through words, phrases, order, focus, scope, selection, omission, misrepresentation, juxtaposition, inference, innuendo, and much more.

Those who benefit from preserving their media fiefdom in proximity to power won’t confess their frailty. Their instinct for self-preservation results in many not taking responsibility for content. Past performance gives little reason to trust their instincts.

Journalism is an accolade that must be earned fresh each day. Within a single article a clinker sentence may follow an excellent paragraph. An excellent article may be located next to junk. Too few readers and viewers seem to hold the press accountable for what they deliver.

A recent article said that X preferred immigrants from one country to those of another. Our wire service added a clause to the article that promoted a popular media narrative.

Where did the clause come from? Did X say what the wire service implied? Did an unnamed source add spin? Did the reporter embellish the remark? Why did the wire service leave out official statements that made the clause irrelevant?

The article was a hit job in three ways. First, editors appeared not to care enough about accuracy in news to clarify their inference.

Second, and the article’s real outrage, was to misdirect the reader from news whether a pending political compromise could be reached in a timely fashion. The writer rhetorically focused on an incidental remark to create conflict and drama.

Third, combined national media chose to megaphone outrage that resulted from their coverage. Just as Hollywood air kisses obscure rot and Washington overlooks its own abuse, the informal media craft guild protects its own.  Institutional blindness seems to sap willingness to right the ship.

How did we get into the mess in the first place? Who trained these journalists? How were they schooled? How were readers schooled to overlook problems in one of our culture’s essential institutions? What can be done about it?

Many claim a journalist’s duty is to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”

Not so. The press should report news. Media that afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted insteadof reporting news is dispensable. Finley Peter Dunne who coined the phrase meant it as a criticism, not a goal.

In 1902, Dunne, a Chicago reporter and editor, took misguided muckraking journalism to task for misplaced zealotry.[1] His popular character “Dooley” punctured the self-important hypocrisy of muckraking:

“Th newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis foorce an’ th’ banks, commands th’ milishy, controls th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead an’ roasts thim aftherward”.[2]

Dunne derided reporters who wanted their judgments to matter more than the judgment of readers.

Dooley today might warn to readers: “Jest because ya hears sumpth’n don’t make it worth list’nin’ to.”

Press representations of what matters are too often casually accepted. Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump, he forced both the press and consumers to face those miss-representations:

RealDonaldTrump 5:02 AM – 13 Dec 2017: Wow, more than 90% of Fake News Media coverage of me is negative, with numerous forced retractions of untrue stories. Hence my use of Social Media, the only way to get the truth out.

Ironically, our newspaper emailed our wire service that day:

How quickly real news descends into narrative:

[Wire Service]: Two FBI officials who would later be assigned to the special counsel’s investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. . .

What we ran: Two FBI officials who would later be assigned to the special counsel’s investigation into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 election. . .

Please try to present the news most accurately.

The wire service had seeded articles with representations that nudged readers toward erroneous assumptions.

Somehow many in the press decided not to report news, but to substitute judgment. Quite simply, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, and national newspapers like the New York Timesand Washington Postpractice advocacy. Similar patterns of abuse can be found across the political spectrum. Fox Business can sometimes seem as strident and opinionated as CNN.

For all the noise at the national level, a greater problem flies under the radar. Thousands of newspapers every day are fed wire service articles that contain demonstrably poor journalism.

Wire services have an opportunity to engage in verbal theater, blindly accept opposition talking points, and repeat memes they call context. They can proffer unchallenged narratives, self-supporting facts, and embellish prose with decorations.

President Ronald Reagan’s “Trust but verify” warning should apply to the press, whether progressive, liberal, moderate, or conservative and reported in print, television, or online.

It’s long overdue. Trust but verify would have helped in 1968 when Walter Cronkite during the Viet Cong Tet Offensive passed his opinion off as news, claiming the American situation was unwinnable. Trust but verify would have helped during the 2004 presidential campaign when Dan Rather presented likely forged documentation on George W. Bush’s Texas National Guard experience.

Trust but verify would help now.

Our newspaper publishes national and international news like other newspapers do, but re-edit it before we run it.

Before drinking, hikers filter water from woodland streams to remove hazards. Local newspapers — and readers — should filter wire service copy to remove detritus before serving it.

We have repeatedly advised wire service managers they should better filter content before they ship it out.

It’s up to us, then, and ultimately, up to readers to find patterns in reporting. Then decide whether you are presented with news or with a media version of what they want you to believe.

The 2016 presidential campaign unfolded with more than a dozen candidates vying for nominations and election. Our staff and management had no favorite, and no interest in having one. We were interested in solid reporting that would give our readers sound basis for making their own judgments come Election Day.

The days of Republican and Democrat partisan reporting disappeared in the late 1940s — or so we thought — when everyone laughed at the Chicago Tribuneheadline that Dewey beat Truman when the opposite was true.

Our newspaper was registered as an Independent Democrat back when FDR, was governor of New York and he wrote letters to us signed, “Frank.” Great-grandfather ran for Congress in 1924 as a Democrat. Nelson Rockefeller, a liberal Republican, was on a first name basis with our parents. Owners of our family-owned newspaper have been both long-time Democrats and long-time Republicans.

Editorially, we tended to speak on issues rather than support particular candidates from either party. The newsroom reports news independent of editorial position and squarely down the middle. For the longest time we passed along wire service reporting to readers virtually unchanged.

Then presidential candidate Donald Trump came to town April 12, 2016.

Trump seems to cause people to unmask themselves. He pushed the mainstream media (MSM) to reveal they are in business to stay in business and not necessarily in business to serve readers news. If they can keep you coming back, they don’t need to report news to succeed.

The evidence at the end of this chapter shows how and where the mainstream media colors reporting. Too much media “Whataboutism” is as useless as beating a “you’re being lied to” drum. Neither compels a move closer to understanding. Neither serves readers and viewers.

Discussion requires one to accurately, concisely, and completely present a position and respond to it. Replying instead with rhetorical hand grenades substitutes obfuscation for discussion. When “winning” becomes so important that context, facts, and understanding get corrupted, you can’t win. In fact, you already have lost.

Powerful people co-opt those whom they would influence. They interbreed with the media, feed it scraps, favor preferred reporters and pundits, and, in return, expect to be treated deferentially.

Centuries ago Europeans considered three estates to be the centers of power: clergy, nobility, and commoners. The United States Constitution replaced those centers of power with three branches of government: the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. The press later began being called the “Fourth Estate” — an inflated term for those who exercise political influence through journalism.

Regulatory capture happens when businesses overseen by government agencies populate an agency with staff beholden to them. Government does not manage national media through regulatory capture, but dividends are paid for media personalities to curry favor with officials.

Politicians exert power over the national press and over other institutions. Education feels the gravity of those who exercise the levers of education. They demand requirements, direct schooling, and squeeze content in or out. It’s all the same. Schools are an incubator for later media problems.

The Soviet government controlled schooling and the press. Alexander Solzhenitsyn described the unofficial Samizdatpress that rose to counter official soviet media. Faced not with a controlled press, but a compliant press, many Americans have turned to social media—blogs, twitter, Facebook, and the like — to fulfill the samizdatfunction of more thoroughly vetting news.

Individuals schooled more than educated will not see the need to weigh in if they don’t recognize the press is broken. Those in power consider Trump’s use of social media to be “unpresidential” when it dares to point out how the press fails.

The mainstream media, including our wire service, chastise Trump for tweets because tweets bypass media power and influence. Trump tweets to make individuals aware of what is written and challenges people to face those shortcomings.

Ours is a small, family-owned newspaper in upstate New York. Independent daily newspapers like ours are a rarity in corporate-dominated media. A throwback to the last century, independents tend to pay attention to news while corporate-owned newspapers are more focused on the bottom line.

Misreporting news became forcefully evident to us at Trump’s Rome campaign rally. Major news media like CNN, the alphabet TV networks, major newspapers, and wire services filled tiers of risers in back of the crowd of 5,000.

Our wire service distilled the campaign rally to a single sentence:

“At a rally in Rome, New York, Tuesday evening, Trump angrily denounced Saturday’s final allocation of all of Colorado’s delegates to Cruz, blasting the party’s system as ‘rigged’ and ‘corrupt.’ ”

The single sentence was buried deep in the 32-paragraph, 893-word wire service report. The sentence was buried so deep most newspaper editors probably cut it for length unaware the media had cheated readers of Trump’s substance. They cheated readers of news. In its place they delivered information and opinion.


News is specific. News is not just information. News is a well-defined subset of information. News is what you need to know to plan your future better.

News is not, for instance, that Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump campaigned before a crowd in Rome, NY. News is what Trump saidto the crowd. It is news because those elsewhere needed to learn enough to decide for whom to vote.

The distinction between news, information, and opinion matters:

  • News: is what you need to know — “There might be a hole where you are about to walk.”
  • Information: while it may be true, is not news — “Lots of people like ice cream.”
  • Opinion: whether true or false, is not news — “I like ice cream.”

The old joke about small-town newspapers is that readers buy the Saturday edition to see if, after the Friday night football game, the paper accurately reported what happened.

Readers hire local newspapers to do what they are too busy to do:

  • Record who was born, married, and died
  • Report local government, meetings, public safety news
  • Select useful articles from national wire services

We reported details to our readers. We reported what was said at the rally that readers needed to know:

Trump hit hard in repetitive Twitter length phrases:

  • “Nobody is voting for a third term for Obama!”
  • “In Benghazi, Hillary never showed up for the 3 AM call.”
  • “The three most important problems are security, security, and security!”
  • “Many countries are not carrying their weight!”
  • “You always have to be prepared to walk away when you deal.”
  • “I’ll be slow on the trigger, but no one will mess with us.”
  • “No one respects women more than Donald Trump!” although “these liars in the media behind you” won’t say that.
  • Repeatedly he hit the national media. “I have the smartest people and the most loyal. Even the liars back there will say that.”
  • And about Washington politicians, including the GOP establishment trying to derail his campaign, “Every single one of these people are controlling!”
  • Trump accused the GOP elite and pundits of saying he could not win the election, “but they said I couldn’t win primaries either.”

By inserting themselves between newsworthy events and readers, the national media saw themselves as arbiters of what happened.

Trump exposed the scam. He nudged the audience to recognize that the business of mainstream media isn’t news, but rather styling information and opinion as if the media mattered more than news.

The media were outraged Trump dared point it out. The media wrapped itself in the First Amendment to preserve their franchise. They claimed those who challenged their journalistic integrity were opposed to a free press. That’s dramatic, but wrong.

A century ago, canaries were carried into coalmines to warn miners of failing air quality. Journalism’s canary had died and Trump dared point it out. The media portrayed a façade of being the essential reliable source of news when it had made itself irrelevant.

Compare journalism to large people-moving networks fixed in place long ago when cities were in their infancy. New transportation systems designed today would work more efficiently and effectively than those fixed in place long ago. Media word-moving networks, also set up back when cities were maturing, inconvenience people as much as dated physical transportation networks do. They don’t meet our needs efficiently but are what we are obliged to work with.

When you can identify patterns in journalism, you can label them, laugh at them, and defend against them. A special place in Danté’s Infernoshould be reserved for abusers of journalism. Blunders that infect journalism were described in Individuals, Journalism and Society[3].

Here is a sample:

  • Abused language— Adjectives and nouns matter. Resorting to euphemisms, mislabeling or selective labeling has consequences.
  • Astroturf—Applying the media lens to staged demonstrations even when chanted clichés are juvenile, pathetic, and nonsensical.
  • Blinders— Reporting an artificially limited scope cheats readers of insight others offer.
  • Celebrity fetishism— People known for knowness displayed as if they have special expertise.
  • Contrived accents— Article placement, fact placement, all affect emphasis.
  • Cronyism  — Presenting views of other journalists as if news.
  • Echoing vicious noise— Serving noise intentionally inserted to derail discussion. Prune away the noise, don’t amplify it.
  • False drama— Backdrops that suggest first hand knowledge without real evidence.
  • Gotcha journalism— Structuring a non-debatable view beforehand as the main storyline.
  • Gullibility— Promoting Photoshopped or staged pictures unchallenged.
  • Historical amnesia— Parroting popular fictions instead of solid research. For too many journalists today, history begins at dawn.
  • Junk science— Reporting scientific consensus is not bad science; it is no science.
  • Lack of focus— Reporting should not be an excuse to miss presenting issues clearly and accurately.
  • “Look! Squirrel!”— Real scandals get forgotten when overcome by shiny distractions.
  • Manufactured news— Non-events breathlessly fluffed into features.
  • Milestone reporting— Reporting events absent context as if themselves significant.
  • Misplaced judgment—Opinion held by journalists is not so special it should take the place of that of readers.
  • Misplaced tolerance— Journalists abdicate responsibility to label bad behavior for what it is. Mired in their own moral relativism, they seldom recognize abuse of individuals is always wrong.
  • Misrepresentation— Inaccurate and non-representative content covered because it exists.
  • Monday morning quarterbacking— Telling people what one should have said does not report what they said.
  • One-sided claims— Saying what one official says without evidence for context.
  • Outrageous Style— Emotional righteous indignation passed off as news.
  • Platitudes— Clichés sound good, but they are not principles, distilled from experience, tested over time, and projected into the future to test for plausibility. “Give peace a chance” is a platitude used to stop thinking, not a civil process to solve problems peaceably.
  • Pushing the narrative— Filtering what is reported to fit a preconceived notion.
  • Silence—Media seldom hold people accountable for what they previously said, or seldom cover why views have changed.
  • Mislabeling— The press regularly commits politics . . . which is okay, when readers and viewers understand it to be entertainment or opinion. The sin is suggesting it is news.

The clear purpose of this book is to galvanize people to reclaim news, for their own safety’s sake.

Journalism is a craft and nothing special. Too much of what passes for reporting is a Twinkie™ — a soft, cakelike confection filled with an appealing creamy center.  The book will succeed if we can turn some Twinkies into food that tastes good yet is better for you.

How to defend against poor journalism

One journalistic blunder is no more blunderous than another. Each perpetrates assault on readers. Media commits large and small assaults against journalism every day.

Hone identifying skills to defend against such blunders. See too many? Turn the page. Buy a different newspaper. Change the channel.

Local newspapers serve readers poorly when they print without editing and without validating wire service and national news media work product. IowahawkDavid Burge chastised journalism:

@iowahawkblog 6:57 AM – 9 May 2013

Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.

Faced with consistent weak reporting, our newspaper resolved to do better. We identified slipshod work and emailed specific concerns and our corrections to the wire service.

Journalism broke, in part, because we assumed those who were credentialed to teach well were also expert about the content they were obliged to teach. Excellent teachers can pass on bilge as easily as excellent writers can do the same.

People can inoculate against media failure if they recalibrate what matters in individual lives, in journalism, and in society.

Inoculating against media failure

Our wire service ceased to report news when it began to insulate readers from what the candidate said.

The media reported aboutTrump’s campaign speech rather than the speech itself. Appendix 1contains the full article filed by the wire service about Trump’s Rome visit.

Not only did the wire service not report detail, they provided no summary, and no link to a transcript.

The offense has been repeated often. The wire service squeezed out almost all substance from President Trump’s speech at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. They labeled “news” what they failed to deliver.

A magician practices misdirection. One hand typically distracts while the other performs sleight of hand. When media focuses on information, omitted news is seldom missed.

For instance, who is ahead at the turn does not matter during a horse race or an election. Media magicians that draw attention to who is “ahead” during a campaign distract from what people need to know to decide for whom to vote.

News is a subset of information that offers what you need to know to plan your future better. Information and news overlap, but they are not identical.

Trump differentiates noise from news while media won’t admit a difference. It has to sting for the media to be called out publicly for failing to do journalism.

Why care about journalism?

Individuals created journalism to help them collect, sift, and digest the complexity of the rest of the world.

Not all complexity matters. Some complexity is smoke in which public administration hides abuse, encourages abuse, adds intricacy, and obscures abusers. That is a centuries-old political/cultural problem a complacent media often chooses to ignore.

Journalism worked better when our grandparents were children because most newspapers were locally owned and edited by an independent and curmudgeonly lot. They held multiple wire services accountable for content.

Managers of the Associated Press—a member-owned cooperative wire service—told publishers back then, “You own us.”

“Damn right we do,” owner/editors replied. Quality reporting was expected. At annual national and state bureau meetings they held AP accountable for it.

Since 1950, the total number of daily newspapers dwindled from 1,772 to perhaps less than 1,300 today and corporate newspaper chains with different priorities swallowed many of those that remain. Their accountants eying the bottom line reduced the number and experience of reporters and editors. Numbers have diminished, and the quality, too.

Radio stations of the 1950s were often derided for a “rip-and-read” approach to wire service news. Staff tore wire service copy off the Teletype and, without looking at it first, read it unchanged and unedited on the air. Many newsrooms place copy on pages unchanged and unedited before printing. Local wire editors don’t see a need to edit wire copy. Copy that is not reviewed at the local level gives national media a license to fail.

Credentialing of journalists has created a different problem. The credentialed consider themselves professional because other credentialed vouched for them. Credentials mean nothing more than that someone has run an academic gauntlet, regurgitating for professors what those scholars wanted to hear.

Credentials are no guarantee one can think any more than a degree in public administration guarantees one can govern or a degree in education guarantees one can teach.

Credentials are little more than the modern equivalent of medieval craft guilds that restricted entry into crafts, allowing only select and approved members to practice. They constructed a protected and privileged circumstance for their own benefit, while professing to hold themselves to high standards for the benefit of consumers.

Practitioners of the craft often wrap themselves in claims of privilege bestowing title to make judgments about what the rest of us should believe. In practice, a journalist is only as good as the article delivered today.

A concentration of media power has accentuated inbreeding and conformist views. National media seem not know how to get better or why they should.

Meanwhile, those who consume journalism face a different problem. Consumers are not lazy, but they are busy. Recent generations were schooled to put trust in experts. They defer to experts in government, politics, education, science and elsewhere. “Expert” has become perverted to mean someone with credentials and/or experience.

Actually, expertise is something more specific and practical:

An expert is someone who explains things so clearly that even we can understand.

The only way to see the difference between real experts and those who unjustifiably claim expertise is to hold them accountable to explain themselves.

Most people don’t do that. They hire a second set of experts called journalists to check their first set of experts. Too often, specialists selected to guard the guardians seemed not to understand what they were hired to do.

Having passed responsibility on to others, consumers get on with its busy lives, comfortable in the notion that all is well, even though it wasn’t, isn’t, and won’t be.

How journalism dug us into a hole

The world has always been more complicated than any individual can know or understand. Still, some wizards claim almost magical insights absent proof.

They would use their rhetoric to instill specific beliefs in us. They urge us to be “good” citizens, defining “good” to their own satisfaction. Such pseudo-journalists believe their task is to make decisions for us, replacing news with personal or corporate views. That’s not how it is supposed to work.

Truly humble reporters prefer to listen to many people thinking individually. Good journalists bring their skills to an assignment, but leave personal baggage at home. Good journalists approach an assignment without a preset narrative, applying their skills to the task but not their views. Journalists lose their purpose when they presume to shape civilization in their own image and warp their work.

To reclaim the news, readers and viewers need to step up as a necessary check and balance on journalism. One can’t just trust a particular newspaper, channel, or website because of it’s logo or slogan, because it is popular, because it coincides with personal beliefs, or because the current newsreader once was a decent journalist.

You know enough to vet journalists because you:

  • Exercise judgment
  • Ask questions
  • Compare evidence
  • Value words you hear and read
  • Examine premises
  • Consider whether conclusions logically follow from premises

You judge for every new article whether journalism is working.  Repeating for emphasis: journalism is an accolade to be earned fresh with each article. Excellent journalism can sit next to junk.

The need to become expert enough to judge “journalism” or “junk” is not new. Dorothy Sayers, mystery writer, medievalist, and one of the first female Oxford University graduates, warned of the problem in 1948:

“For we let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armor was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects.”

Rather than heed her warning to academics, educationists doubled down, added trivial schooling requirements, and imposed unwise bureaucratic mandates that produced all-encompassing fog.

Fog is difficult to recognize when one is in the thick of it. It’s like peripheral vision that ends somewhere unknown to us. Like fog, people seldom notice where journalism ends without examining evidence. Once pointed out, patterns of poor journalism become easier to identify and label. The examples that follow show people need only master what once were everyday language skills to weed the garden of news on a daily basis.

Sensitized to patterns, it’s possible to consider why they are no longer taught. A post mortemon recent common practice shows where schooling fails helps to inoculate us to defend ourselves.

Every day is an opportunity to measure individuals, journalism, and society.

News is specific

News is specific. News is what you need to know to plan your future better.

News is like a nautical chart—abbreviated but accurate in its essentials, omitting both artificial errors and extraneous noise. A ship’s captain cannot trust a nautical chart that omits real shoals or one that inserts fake hazards. News, like a nautical chart, should not include every detail, but should, in the space available, represent details that are accurate and sufficient to be useful.

News is not casual. Its verbiage should be spare and accurate. Cavalier attachment of questionable adjectives should be avoided. For instance, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is often labeled “non-partisan” with the implication that the description somehow is authoritative and useful. The actual CBO track record is seldom reported.

  1. The CBO’s Obamacare enrollment estimates made three years ago were wrong by 90 percent.
  2. The CBO gamed (colluded?) with Obama officials to game the original Obamacare numbers to fit the 10-year estimate.

Such purposely thin reporting delivers a tainted product to the detriment of citizens and the country.

Nor is it appropriate to blame technology for faulty news reporting. Semaphore, telegraph, radio, television, and the Internet all can transmit news. Bandwidth may have increased, but news is news independent of the medium. Technology hasn’t “speeded things up” so people are overwhelmed. Noise does not overwhelm the signal. Individuals still choose how much of a glass of water to drink. They know enough not to swallow an entire lake at once.

Bandwidth and rate of transmission are significant in the everyday feedback loop of thought, but it is the feedback loop that matters. Feedback loops cycle signal, action, and relaxation damping before readying another cycle. Feedback loops are relegated to science classes, rather than Liberal Arts or the art of living.

Relaxation cycles of a feedback loop used to be fulfilled by technological limits. Now they are up to you. Brains are feedback systems. In feedback loops, dampingis controlled either by technology or software. Brain software can adjust its approach to deal with high bandwidth.

In feedback loops, it is content that matters. Content itself is regularly abused. When pseudo-journalists tell us what to believe, or selectively inform us to drive belief toward their preferred beliefs, they practice postmodern word games to shape-shift politics. They try to be emotionally compelling but fail. Their game is fraud. Their robes and titles do not define them any more than their labels and associations define the rest of us.

They misunderstand how simple humanity and society really are. Even together we are still individual and alone—obliged to make of the universe what each of us can, while constrained as individuals to use tools that evolution has given us:

  1. Sense experience
  2. Pattern recognition
  3. Comparison and deduction

When postmodern elitists presume to know what is good for us, they forsake community. Selfishly, they destroy instead of build. To defend against the threat, good people need to recalibrate journalism to fill the job it was designed to do.

  1. Journalism fits between individuals and society, and
  2. Journalism reinforces basics of society that often get misunderstood

The 20th century was overtaken in part because institutions schooled people to believe centralized control and communication would be able to manage and preserve civil society with greater success than previous centuries were able to accomplish using their systems of government. That view has not delivered stable civil institutions that benefit individuals who join together in society with others.

  • The 16th century tried religion.
  • The 17th century tried autocracy.
  • The 18th century tried enlightenment.
  • The 19th century tried industrialization.
  • The 20th century tried centralized control with mass communication.

Individuals hire journalists, not governments, rulers, or firms.

To perpetuate itself, governments claimed responsibility for schools to devalue both individuals and journalism. Academic standards, implementations, or assessments are not the problem, but rather requirements that obscure and elbow aside what matters.

Before we get to Books 2 and 3 that speak to school shortcomings and society’s needs, consider concrete examples that show the mainstream media is not as good as it should be. The examples point out news writing that has been sent regularly by wire services to most newspapers across the country. Where is the outrage?

Evidence: Words matter

Media misuse words to substitute how they feel

Journalists sling words at readers that are crafted for impact. Programs are described as “reduced” for budget cuts writers favor, while other cuts they don’t like are “slashed”.

For the entire presidential campaign, Trump was “billionaire” who often visited his “palatial” resort at Mar-a-Lago, Florida. After he was elected, he still was referred to as “billionaire businessman” Donald Trump. We complained to the wire service:

1) Please drop “billionaire” from the [wire service] Trump lexicon. For variety, try “President elect” instead.

They still do it — using different words to repeat the same cheap rhetorical ploys.

Not just individual words, but phrases reappear week after week, month after month, and year after year. It goes unnoticed that they are shaping the battlefield of your mind.

Media choose words to color what happened. Rather than add context, repeated hammering advertises for the opposition. Reporters editorialize every time they insert unnecessary adjectives and adverbs to “punch up” a story.

Our email to the wire service July, 22, 2016, said:

Hi, [Wire service rep]…

[Wire service reporter] would benefit from editing that would tighten her reporting. It would tone down her penchant to pass her feelings on to readers. This is how we edited today’s article.

She will claim what she wrote is true, but it is often incomplete, misdirecting, or distracts from the salient points. For instance, the bit about NATO omits that Trump favors the collective defense, but with others ponying up their share of the cost. You can’t suss that out from [her] article. If the writing is not going to present an accurate map, don’t write it.

I would be happy to defend every edit, but it should be obvious to the most casual observer why we did it.

Thank you.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Declaring America in crisis, Donald Trump pledged to cheering Republicans and still-skeptical voters Thursday night that as president he will restore the safety they fear they’re losing, strictly curb immigration and save the nation from Hillary Clinton’s record of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.”

Confidently addressing the finale of his party’s less-than-smooth national convention, the billionairebusinessman declared the nation’s problems too staggering to be fixed within the confines of traditional politics.

“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves,” Trump said.

The 71-year-old’s celebrity businessman’sacceptance of the Republican nomination caps his improbabletakeover of the GOP, a party that plunges into the general election united in opposition to Clinton but still divided over Trump.

His address on the closing night of the convention marked his highest-profile opportunity yet to heal those divisions and show voters he’s prepared for the presidency. Ever the showman, heHe fed off the energy of the crowd, stepping back to soak in applause and joining the delegates as they chanted, “USA.”

As the crowd, fiercely opposed to Clinton, broke out in its oft-used refrain of “Lock her up,” he waved them off, and instead declared, “Let’s defeat her in November.” Yet he also accused her of “terrible, terrible crimes” and said her greatest achievement may have been staying out of prison.

He offered himself as a powerful ally of those who feel Washington has left them behind.

“I’m with you, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you,” he declared.

He accused Clinton, his far-more-experiencedDemocratic rival, of utterly lacking the good judgment to serve in the White House and as the military’s commander in chief.

“This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness,” he said. “But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy.”

In a direct appeal to Americans shaken by a summer of violence at home and around the world, Trump promised that if he takes office in January, “safety will be restored.”

As he moves into the general election campaign, he’s sticking to the controversial proposals of his primary campaign, including building a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border and suspending immigration from nations “compromised by terrorism.”

But in a nod to a broader swath of Americans, he said young people in predominantly black cities “have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child in America.” He also vowed to protect gays and lesbians from violence and oppression, a pledge that was greeted with applause from the crowd.

“As a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said,” he responded.

Trump was introduced by his daughter Ivanka, who announced a childcare policy proposal that the campaign had not mentioned before.

“As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put in place at a time when women weren’t a significant portion of the workplace, and he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all,” she said.

Trump took the stage in Cleveland facing a daunting array of challenges, many of his own making. Though he vanquished 16 primary rivals, he’s viewed with unprecedented negativity by the broader electorate, and is struggling in particular with younger voters and minorities, groups GOP leaders know they need for the party to grow.

The first three days of this week’s convention gathering bordered on chaos, starting with a plagiarism charge involving his wife Melania Trump’s speech and moving on to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s dramatic refusal to endorse him from the convention stage.

Then, Trump sparked more questions about his Oval Office readinessby suggesting in the midst of the convention that the U.S. might not defend America’s NATO partners with him as president. The remarks, in an interview published online Wednesday by The New York Times, deviate from decades of American doctrineand seem to reject the 67-year-old alliance’s bedrock principle of collective defense.

Trump reinforced his position from the convention stage, saying the United States has been “picking up the cost” of NATO’s defenses for too long. He also disavowed America’s foreign policy posture under both Democrat and Republican presidents, criticizing “fifteen years of wars in the Middle East” and declaring that “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.”

“As long as we are led by politicians who will not put ‘America First,’ then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect,” he said.

He had promised to describe “major, major” tax cuts. But his economic proposals Thursday night were vague, centering on unspecified plans to create millions of jobs.He promised a “simplified” tax system for the middle class and businesses, fewer regulations and renegotiation of trade deals that he says have put working class Americans at a disadvantage.

“These are the forgotten men and women of our country,” he said. “People who work hard but no longer have a voice.”

At every turn, Trump drew sharp contrasts with Clinton, casting her as both unqualified for the presidency and too tied to Washington elites to understand voters’ struggles. Her greatest accomplishment, Trump said, was avoiding punishment from the FBI for her use of a private email and personal server while as secretary of state.

Indeed, Clinton was aggressively attacked throughout the four-day Republican convention, with delegates repeatedly chanting, “Lock her up.”

Democrats will formally nominate Clinton at their convention next week in Philadelphia. Clinton was on the verge of naming a running mate to join her in taking on Trump and his vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, in the general election. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has emerged as her top choice.

Should a journalist be aware of and report on demeanor since reaction speaks a lot when it comes to character? Isn’t some scrutiny in order since demeanor can have an impact on facts as they are presented?

Demeanor—how a person speaks—does matter. When Antony repeats that Brutus is an honorable man, he expects listeners to recognize Brutus has no honor. But reporters are not so much reporting demeanor as being confused by rhetoric.

Rhetoric is how we express what we think to others and check what others express to us. In classical times, Rhetoric was taught as invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. [Unfortunately, in the 1500s, invention and arrangement—the ordering and testing of evidence—were removed leaving Rhetoric absent its honesty, to focus on presentation alone.]

Those who pay attention to speaker rhetoric need know how frequently reporters mask or warp what is said. “Belligerent” can represent the tone of the speaker or, just as easily, the opinion of the reporter.

Similarly, reporters often confuse a negotiating position with a final and agreed upon promise. “Oh, I will never settle for that” often is a statement that evaporates after an agreement is finalized.

It is silly but common for media not to distinguish between what a candidate advocates before the election, promised to work towards after the election, and ultimately delivers in office following negotiations.

Media adjectives and adverbs editorialize

Editors serve their reporters best when they rein in theatric use of adjectives and adverbs. On December 23, 2016, we emailed the wire service:

Dear [New wire service rep],

[The wire service] has been important to this country in the past and needs to be important in the future. I would appreciate the opportunity to come to New York to meet with you. Perhaps some time in January might be convenient.

I can take any [wire] political story on any day and find poor journalistic habit that — knowingly or unknowingly — come across as judgmental carping. Just today, reading [reporter] . . .

BC-US–Trump,11th Ld-Writethru

Trump: US must ‘greatly strengthen’ nuclear capability

— White House Correspondent

In graf one, was it that Trump “abruptlycalled for” or did “Trump called for”?

In graf three, was it necessary to say, “his palatialprivate club” or simply “his private club”?

Also in graf three, why would the judgmental [reporter] think it necessary for Trump to “say why he raised the issue on Tuesday”?

In graf 10, [reporter] continues to mischaracterize Trump’s opinion of Putin, “has spoken favorablyabout Putin”. Favorably is ambiguous and suggests more than that Trump respects Putin’s capabilities. Trump said, “I mean [Putin] has done — whether you like him or don’t like him — he is doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period.” (2007)

In graf 13, about a foolish gotcha question from a presidential debate about which leg of the nuclear triad was more important, [reporter] misjudges a Trump response that he chose to answer differently, pointing to proliferation as a greater problem. Either [reporter] didn’t understand or didn’t want to.

In graf 14, Hillary Clinton’s opinion about Trump being “too erratic and unpredictable” is not context; it is simply out of date, irrelevant, and out of place.

So we have half a dozen concerns in one article, and not one editor over [reporter] has seen fit to clean up her work. Multiply this by the number of days since I started being concerned at least six months ago, before the election and the number of articles each day.

[The wire service] still is campaigning. It’s why Dick Cheney said, in a candid moment during an interview, “We don’t need you anymore.” it is why Trump continued to bypass the MSM with his “Thank you” tour — You can’t see your habits.

Understand that I supported at least two other candidates before I resigned myself to Trump was the only candidate who recognized what the national press cannot see for itself — that the fourth estate had been co-opted by its own opinions to become more a danger to our republic than a safeguard.

Do not make the mistake to believe that I am simply on the other side of a political divide. We both want to hone skills enough so that we can restore to rhetoric the honesty it used to have before the 1500s when the integrity of what was said mattered. I’ll bet you didn’t know that was when rhetoric became just salesmanship.

Media labels push a political agenda

“Conservative”, “moderate”, “liberal”, “Republican”, “Democrat”, and “non-partisan” are labels applied with political intention. Reporters persistently label, emphasize labels, and define what labels mean.

“Antifa” has been described as being anti-fascist despite its fascistic tendencies, as if the common definition meant more than methods actually practiced by the group.

When it fits their preference, media will also minimize a definition as inconsequential and dismiss it.

In theFederalist, Stella Morabito described how media manipulated people into a “nervous breakdown“ over the events in Charlottesville. VA. Setting aside, for the moment, the role of entertainment and academia, she singles out “the manipulation of our language; the deliberate use of such loaded language to cultivate extreme emotions in people, particularly anger and resentment; and the role of mass media as a nuclear device to impose those perceptions on a mass scale.”[4]

She says, “The whole point of manipulating language is to obfuscate in order to control.” It builds to an emotional crescendo, not intellectual understanding. Coordinated mob violence has little to do with historical monuments and free speech and everything to do with indoctrination.

Shaping vocabulary shapes the mental battlefield, forging associations semantically that replace understanding with anti-intellectual programming.

Media descriptives and logical fallacies color reporting

When medieval students argued about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, they were uninterested in either angels or the final tally. Speakers were interested in forming arguments that avoided logical fallacies and listeners were interested in detecting such fallacies by those who tried to insert them.

A recent book lists at least 42 logical fallacies worth being able to defend against.[5]

Curricula in public schools today commonly pay lip service to logical fallacies in 9th Grade, but cover just a few of them. The critical skill of cleansing rhetoric of its fleas seems of only passing interest.

On July 17, 2017, we emailed:

Hi, [Wire Service rep] . . .

It isn’t even 9 AM on Monday and [the wire service] has mortgaged its integrity for the week.

The newest version attempts to attract conservative support by allowing insurers to offer skimpycoverage plans alongside more robust ones

Where do you find your adjectives!

Oh, and where are the editors who would try other options?

This isn’t the first time your writers have pushed this non-descriptive opinion. Are we talking about catastrophic insurance to cover just unusual and expensive diseases and injuries? Say so.

Please stop being a shill for nameless critics throwing mud.

But critics have criticized Trump when he’s pushed “Made in America” in the past because so many of the products he and his family members have sold over the years were manufactured overseas. That includes merchandise sold under his own name and his eldest daughter’s, including clothing items and shoes.

Is [the wire service] so obtuse that it swallows the “either/or” logical fallacy of bifurcation?

I hope not.

I despair that [the wire service] will ever learn, or even cares to do so. Perhaps rather than correcting [wire service] articles we should add at the end what it is that [the wire service] tried to do so that readers will understand what they would have been fed.

Imagine if we added:

The [wire service] called the proposed coverage ‘skimpy’ when in fact it was designed specifically to cover severe and high cost health problems that could otherwise bankrupt subscribers. We have corrected the error and apologize for our wire service.

Or we could say:

The [wire service] mistakenly fed readers the Bifurcation Fallacy — presenting only two alternatives when others exist. [The wire service] essentially tells readers Trump meant that all manufacturing had to be done in the United States or abroad when readers know that is obviously not the case. . We have corrected the error and apologize for our wire service.

Thank you.

Media manufacture messages

Media habitually insinuates itself between readers and news to interpret what happened rather than describe what happened. They too often misrepresent what was said to substitute a selective distillation of what they believe was said. Reporting that so-and-so talked about something suppresses what was actually discussed.

On July 1, 2016, the Rome Sentineleditorial reflected to readers of concerns about the quality of journalism they read and view:

Headline: Thoughts on reporting America First

Americans are smart enough to recognize that internationalist Donald Trump’s desire to work for America first is far different from Charles Lindbergh pushing “America First” isolationism 75 years ago before World War II.

Americans are smart enough, then, to recognize it is politics, not news, when national news outlets like CNN, Time, and our own wire service, the Associated Press, push Lindbergh and Trump comparisons without giving you the transcript of Trump’s foreign policy speech to decide for yourself. The [Wire Service] did not link to Trump’s speech but you can read it at: http://ow.ly/iRfU301PIEq

No wonder public respect for national news media is plummeting even lower than that of Congress.

Politicians play to a generation of voters who were drilled in school to trust “experts” with credentials instead of those whose expertise comes from explaining things so clearly that even we can understand. Politicians play to national news outlet reporters who were schooled to be more malleable to political demagoguery.

This is the generation of national news reporters who, to elect Obama, created the “Journolist”— a subversive email exchange that mistook reporting for an opportunity to foster political change. They believed they were hired to change the world instead of report the news.

News is more than information. “News” is information put in context that you need to know to more accurately plan your future. “Information” may be true, but it is not always news and often becomes noise. When national news outlets push Charles Lindbergh’s isolationism, the information becomes noise. They jam the limited bandwidth you need to help you differentiate between competing candidates for President.

They will claim their information is true, but their words are weapons to shape the political battlefield. The jury is still out whether the Associated Press and other national news outlets are either ignorant of the difference between news and noise, or actively pushing you toward their particular politics.

Either way, you are going to have to become the expert at choosing experts who focus on what matters and who give you evidence to back up their claims. If you read the transcript of Trump’s foreign policy speech, you will arm yourself to decide about Trump, to defend against major news outlets, and to choose which “experts” to trust.

Our wire service objected to publishing the editorial, suggesting there might have been a licensing issue as to why a transcript was not linked. Not likely:

I was sorry to run it, too, but my responsibility to the readers is to show them how they can be driven to a mistaken conclusion.

If [the wire service] believes that the significant point is a rights issue, [the wire service leaves itself] open for narrative manipulation:  Trump = isolationist. A reading of the speech does not suggest that.

  • Where along the continuum between globalist and isolationist would Trump fit?
  • What kind of special deals are allowed to be baked into ostensibly globalist treaties?

There is an opportunity for journalism to be found if people will not willfully overlook it.

Our back and forth with the wire service extended to other campaign issues, including their artificial noise about twitter graphics, Clinton campaign emails, following the Astroturf trail, and promoting messages from campaign shills and outright propagandists at face value without explaining background and context.

Quoting a party shill without qualification is worse than speculation; it is malfeasance. Mainstream media too often serves as a megaphone for unexamined unverified spin.

Media plant Improvised Editorial Devices (IEDs)

Improvised Editorial Devices (IEDs) — words, verb choices, subsidiary clauses, unverified spin — are as deadly to reader understanding as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) have been deadly to soldiers in Iraq.

Our editors root out IEDs buried in news feeds so readers have the opportunity to make their own decisions.

Operationally, editors duplicate original wire service political articles so editors can edit a clean copy before it is run in the newspaper. Other editors are welcome to compare the originals with the edited versions. We regularly email wire service officials of our concerns. Here is an early example:

Hi, [Wire service standards editor] . . .

Congratulations. [our bureau chief] says you are our new Standards Editor.

Let me introduce myself. I am the fifth generation of our family to publish the 10K circulation Rome (NY) Daily Sentinel, where I have worked for the last 42 years.

I am unfamiliar with your position, but [reference], formerly of [news publication], had commented to someone else,

“…, instead of ranting on Facebook, why not write a nice, calm, and convincing letter to [name], their Standards Editor?”

That was in response to a blog comment of ours that said:

I had to offer the newsroom corrective suggestions when the article failed to note until the seventh graf that the man shot by police [in Milwaukee] was armed.

I said to the newsroom in no uncertain terms that I expect them to edit [wire] stories to remove all IEDs — Improvised Editing Devices — before publication. …

As I emailed the bloggers [and to the standards editor]:

  • When [the wire service] buries in the 7th graf that the Wisconsin man killed by police was armed and waiving a gun, that is an IED — an Improvised Editing Device — that does the reader a disservice.
  • When [it] tucks unsubstantiated claims in articles, that is an IED.
  • When [it] uses charged adjectives in articles, that is an IED.

Since I now know that [it] has a standards editor, and because I am interested in top quality [wire service] reporting, I am enclosing today’s episode below.

Thank you for being there. Good luck!

Media confuse readers with jargon

Memes, narratives, code words, and dog whistles clutter reporting. Keep it simple. State the facts. Avoid innuendo. The next email describes an article dripping with reportorial condescension passed off as news. It simply doesn’t sell.

What Washington inside baseball calls a “cut” isn’t a cut in spending at all but rather a reduction in an expected increase.

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

At a meeting with managers this morning I mentioned I was editing yet another [wire service] article [see below] to remove the unnecessary noise. Two editors at the meeting nodded in agreement, saying that both in news and sports heavy editing had become more necessary, particularly in cutlines because of shoddy workmanship.

I thought the unsolicited corroboration was worth passing on to you and your editors.

I have included today’s work for your editors’ edification and education.

Thank you.

Trump meeting with G-7 leadersafter going on offensive

TAORMINA, Italy (AP) —In the Middle East, President Donald Trump

[Note: Get to the meat. Avoid conjecture and opinion.]was feted with pageantry, the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Israel seemingly in competition to outdo the other with the warmth of their welcomes and the depth of their pledges of cooperation.

[Note: No reason to inject opinion when the reporters could have used the space to report.]But in Europe, Trump has faced a far cooler reception and has been eager to go on the offensive.

[Note: “Cajoled”? Really? “Scolding”? Really? Juxtaposing Article V with 9/11 without explaining the concerns hoe Article V might be misused? Really?] Cajoled on issues like climate change and NATO’s defense pact, he’s responded by scolding some of the United States’ most loyal allies for not paying their fair share. He’s also refused to explicitly back the mutual defense agreement that has been activated only once, during the darkest hours of September 2001.

And now Trump is at the final stop of his maiden international trip, a [Note: Grueling for reporters or for Trump?]grueling nine-day, five-stop marathon. He will remain in Europe for theThejourney’s last two days, this time inwill be spentat a picturesque coastal town in Sicily for a gathering of the G-7.

[Note: “warily”? Also, [the wire service] continues to interpret for itself that “America First” means isolationism when evidence has clearly shown Trump’s policy favors international cooperation and involvement that advances the interests of American citizens. That is certainly not “disentangling.” This trip’s meetings on terrorism hardly can be considered disentangling.]Once more, he will likely be received warily, a president who ran on a campaign of “America First” with suggestions of disentangling the United States from international pacts, now engaged in two days of pomp and policyTrump will meetwith the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.

“There is no doubt that this will be the most challenging G-7 summit in years,” said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.

He said the group’s leaders “sometimes have very different views” on topics such as climate change and trade, “but our role as the EU is to do everything to maintain the unity of the G-7 on all fronts. Most importantly unity needs to be maintained when it comes to defending rule-based international order.”

The White House believes that Trump has made personal breakthroughs with his peers, having now met one-on-one with all the leaders of G-7.

“It’s time for him to have an intimate discussion and understand their issues but, more importantly, for them to understand our issues,” national economic adviser Gary Cohn told reporters on Air Force One late Thursday.

One of those relationships was on display as Trump began the day with a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The president hosted Abe at the White House and his Mar-a-Lago resort back in February, where they appeared to hit it off.

Abe was the latest world leader to publicly flatter Trump, saluting his visit to the Middle East and address to NATO on Thursday.

[Note: Unnecessary and out of place attempt to suggest lack of seriousness. “Unfortunately,” Abe told reporters, “this time around we won’t be able to play golf together.”

The president said he and Abe would cover many topics, including North Korea, which he said “is very much on our minds.”

“It’s a big problem, it’s a world problem, but it will be solved at some point. It will be solved, [Note: An unnecessary addition put in to poke fun of Trump’s speaking style] you can bet on that,” Trump said. North Korea has conducted a series of recent missile tests, rattling its Pacific neighbors.

Foreign policy will be the focus on Friday, with meetings on Syria, Libya, North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Other meetings over the two days will include discussions of global economy and climate, a meeting with small African nations — Trump will be seated between the leaders of Niger and Tunisia — and migration issues.

Trade will also be a big topic, with Cohn saying the United States’ guiding principle will be “we will treat you the way you treat us,” suggesting that retaliatory tariffs could be imposed.

The day will feature a welcoming ceremony and concert at the remains of an ancient Greek temple, as well as a relentless number of meetings[Note: Really? Fact based? And what does “attention” mean? Scott Adams has written how what appears to be lack of attention often means high focus on substance.], many of which White House aides are hoping to keep short in order to keep Trump’s attention. What the Sicily stay will likely not offer: a news conference, as Trump appears set to defy presidential tradition and not hold one during the entire trip.

The Republican president arrived in Italy fresh off delivering [Note: “rebuke”? Really? “personal”? Really? Are you sure that it wasn’t a necessary statement of fact of obvious interest to American taxpayers?] an unprecedented, personal rebuke to NATO, traveling to its gleaming new Brussels headquarters to lecture its leaders to their faces on themembers the message theyneed for them to live up to the NATO requirementto spend more 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense.

“This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States,” Trump said. “If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.”

The 28 member nations, plus soon-to-join Montenegro, will renew an old vow to move toward spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024. Only five members meet the target: Britain, Estonia, debt-laden Greece, Poland and the United States, which spends more on defense than all the other allies combined.

Trump refused to say he would adhere to the mutual defense pact, known as Article V, though the White House later claimed that his very presence alongside twisted World Trade Center steel — a memorial outside NATO headquarters — was evidence enough of his commitment.

“I think it’s a bit silly because by being here at such a ceremony, we all understand that by being part of NATO we treat the obligations and commitments,” said press Presssecretary Sean Spicer, who dubbed speculation about Trump’s intent “laughable.”

[Note: News? Or catty gossip? Does this tell me what I need to know as a reader or does it simply reinforce your perceptions of Trump? All of what follows appears more like guerilla warfare against someone who had pointed out your propensity for guerilla warfare. Trump is not against journalism. He is against what has been passed off as journalism by people who should know better.]As Trump spoke, the NATO leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Marcon, stood in awkward silence. Later, as they took the traditional “family photo” group shot, the heads of state quietly kept their distance from Trump, who minutes earlier was caught on video appearing to push the prime minister of Montenegro out of the way to get to his spot.

The president’s remarkable public scolding of NATO came amid a backdrop of uncertainty in Brussels toward Trump over his past comments publicly cheering the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the EU last summer and slamming the alliance during his transition as “a vehicle for Germany.”

But while Trump lectured some of the United States’ strongest allies, he cozied up to the repressive regime in Saudi Arabia while pushing for the Arab world to root out extremism at home. He made deals for more than $100 billion in military equipment, christened a hurriedly finished counter-terrorism center, and was the guest of honor at a number of lavish welcoming ceremonies, one complete with a sword dance.

It was a similar story in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warmly greeted Trump and the president reciprocated with emotional appearances at the Western Wall and Holocaust museum and suggested that there was an opening for peace with the Palestinians.

What we ran in its place:

Trump meeting with G-7 leaders

TAORMINA, Italy — President Donald Trump is at the final stop of his maiden international trip, a nine-day, five-stop marathon. The journey’s last two days will be spent at a picturesque coastal town in Sicily for a gathering of the G-7.

Trump will meet with the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.

“There is no doubt that this will be the most challenging G-7 summit in years,” said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.

He said the group’s leaders “sometimes have very different views” on topics such as climate change and trade, “but our role as the EU is to do everything to maintain the unity of the G-7 on all fronts. Most importantly unity needs to be maintained when it comes to defending rule-based international order.”

The White House believes that Trump has made personal breakthroughs with his peers, having now met one-on-one with all the leaders of G-7.

“It’s time for him to have an intimate discussion and understand their issues but, more importantly, for them to understand our issues,” national economic adviser Gary Cohn told reporters on Air Force One late Thursday.

One of those relationships was on display as Trump began the day with a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The president hosted Abe at the White House and his Mar-a-Lago resort back in February.

Abe was the latest world leader to publicly flatter Trump, saluting his visit to the Middle East and address to NATO on Thursday.

The president said he and Abe would cover many topics, including North Korea, which he said “is very much on our minds.”

“It’s a big problem, it’s a world problem, but it will be solved at some point,” Trump said. North Korea has conducted a series of recent missile tests, rattling its Pacific neighbors.

Foreign policy will be the focus on Friday, with meetings on Syria, Libya, North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Other meetings over the two days will include discussions of global economy and climate, a meeting with small African nations — Trump will be seated between the leaders of Niger and Tunisia — and migration issues.

Trade will also be a big topic, with Cohn saying the United States’ guiding principle will be “we will treat you the way you treat us,” suggesting that retaliatory tariffs could be imposed.

The day will feature a welcoming ceremony and concert at the remains of an ancient Greek temple, as well as a number of meetings.

The Republican president arrived in Italy fresh off delivering NATO members the message they need to live up to the NATO requirement to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense.

“This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States,” Trump said. “If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today, especially from the threat of terrorism.”

Only five members meet the target: Britain, Estonia, debt-laden Greece, Poland and the United States, which spends more on defense than all the other allies combined.

Trump refused to say he would adhere to the mutual defense pact, known as Article V, though the White House claimed that his very presence alongside twisted World Trade Center steel — a memorial outside NATO headquarters — was evidence enough of his commitment.

Press secretary Sean Spicer, who dubbed speculation about Trump’s intent “laughable.”

The wire service replied that they would share what is meant by cuts with budget reporters. Of course they already know. Their reply is classic passive aggressive.

Media postmodernize word meanings

Loaded words at least bear a resemblance to traditional word meanings. Present-day postmodernists hijack words to mean whatever they say they mean. They apply the Lewis Carroll approach to words: Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice that words mean what he says they mean and nothing more.

Postmodern battle tactics allow them to redefine words to mean something other than meanings conventionally used and not explain their new meanings.

Words are powerful tools to be used or misused. Duplicitous politicians expect citizens to assume their words operate under commonly accepted definitions. Their hope is that citizens will discover too late that something quite different is what was meant.

Those in favor of the common definition of democracy would be surprised that some politicians would pervert the word to allow a majority voting to validate mob rule that civil society would not tolerate.

Postmodernists believe it’s quite all right to lie to support their positions — as several current and past public officials readily admit.[6]

Generations of postmodern schooling have nudged many graduates who have become journalists to believe that ends justify the means. As a result, they feel it’s quite okay to misrepresent ideas. Postmodern pseudo-journalists regularly fail to challenge politicians who say silly things.

Postmodernism is a destroyer, not a builder and a permutation of Machiavellian power politics:

  1. Whomever is in power gets to set the rules, and
  2. Whatever gets one power becomes a working rule whether or not the practice was agreed upon beforehand.

Postmodern political practice has insinuated itself into mainstream media in such a way reporters will violate journalism to get their point across. How ironic that pseudo-journalists represent themselves as arbiters of what news is real or fake.

When the media does not police itself, individuals must shoulder responsibility to judge the integrity of news as read. We emailed our wire service:

[The wire service] has the persistent habit — which it denies all the time — of inserting clauses of nasty innuendo, unnecessary and ill-placed repetitions, and demeaning adjectives.

[The wire service] — along with the other media regularly called out — chooses not to recognize that journalism can only be earned one story at a time.

Like the others, [the wire service] tries to shield itself from deserved criticism by wrapping itself in the First Amendment when it knows full well that “the enemy” applies not to all press, but instances of failure to provide a decent representation of what happened.

Later we warned them:

[The wire service] is on track to have more members resign as they realize [the wire service] wants to make readers’ decisions for them, rather than help improve the accuracy of their mental map of reality so they can make their own decisions as they plan their better future.

[The wire service] fails to understand that as people learn more about post-modern warfare of ideas, a misrepresentation is a lie. After a single lie, people can never be trusted again. Any decent newspaper publisher knows trust is the only thing we have to sell. …

Evidence: Media sell opinion as news

All writers of fiction, history, and news choose content, words, and presentation. For news, judicious choice of words, phrases, and facts should most accurately represent what happened.

It’s possible to write absent facts and possible to insert irrelevant facts. Good reporting selects salient facts, leaving out the rest.

The wire service started sending what it labels “analysis” that appears to be an opportunity for a reporter to push personal editorial opinion as fact.

On October 3, 2016 we emailed to our wire service rep:

Are stories submitted by [wire service] reporters edited before release?

In the [wire] story today on Trump taxes, were we to run it, I would cut 22 paragraphs of opinion and insert one sentence of fact:

NEW YORK (AP) — Ever defiant, Donald Trump and his Republican allies largely embraced a report that said the New York businessman may not have paid federal income taxes for nearly two decades after he and his companies lost nearly $916 million in a single year.

[Sentence added:] What Trump did was legal and others, including Hillary Clinton and the New York Times that broke the story, have avoided taxes using similar opportunities in the Tax Code.

In a story published online late Saturday, The Times said it anonymously received the first pages of Trump’s 1995 state income tax filings in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The filings show a net loss of $915,729,293 in federal taxable income for the year.

His campaign said that Trump had paid “hundreds of millions” of dollars in other kinds of taxes over the years.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns, breaking with four decades of presidential campaign tradition.

Similar to what happens with “analyses” the media will push polls as somehow authoritative despite questionable polling technique. Often the selection of respondents is at odds with reality. At other times “push poll” questions direct respondents toward preferred answers. Polls skew reporting simply by stressing opinion as fact. We passed a warning to readers through Facebook, Twitter and blogs:

Ask all that you know to send back to their local newspapers wire service copy that contains opinion, conjecture, extraneous “facts” and selective reporting. Demand local editors correct misrepresentations before publishing dreck verbatim that is a disservice to their readers.

A Shakespearian style Helen Hayes 1956 radio show had a remark I will purloin and apply to Wire Service reporters:

Journalist hacks “spread compost on weeds.”

By email we sent the wire service the edited copy below.

Dear [Bureau chief]

Is it impossible for [wire service] reporters to exclude opinion and conjecture?

And can they order a story, focusing on what matters?

New York Newspaper Publishers sent a reminder to member publishers to be sure to edit wire service copy for quality.

Please forward the latest suggested revisions to the appropriate people. …

Headline: Presidential debate emphasizes choice for future of the nation

WASHINGTON —His presidential campaign in peril, [Flaw: unsubstantiated editorial opinion does not belong here, particularly as the lead.]Donald Trump left no doubt he’ll spend the final weeks before the election dredging up decades-old sexual allegations against Hillary Clinton’s husband,[Flaw: More unsubstantiated conjecture, particularly odious since it was decades-old conversation dredged up by his opposition.]even if it turns off voters whose support he desperately needs.[Flaw: Still more conjecture. Stick to reporting.]

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met Sunday night for the second presidential debate.

The debate was the culmination of a weekend that began with the release of a video in which Trump is heard describing attempts to have consensual sex with a married woman. The businessman said he wasn’t proud of his comments and insisted he had “great respect for women.”[Added and moved up from below.]

Questioned at Sunday’s debate early about his vulgar remarks about women, Trump accused Bill Clinton of having been “abusive to women” and said Hillary Clinton attacked those women “viciously.” He declared the Democratic nominee had “tremendous hate in her heart.”

Clinton tried at times to take the high road, glossing over Trump’s charges and accusing him of trying to distract from his political troubles. “Anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way it’s exploding,” she said.[Flaw: Premise of “high road” not supported by evidence presented.]

Indeed, Trump entered Sunday night’s debate facing enormous pressure from the Republican Party and even his own running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Numerous Some Washington beltway Republicans revoked their support for Trump following the release of a 2005 video in which he is heard bragging about how his fame allowed him to “do anything” to women.[Added useful context:] The video offered nothing that hadn’t been covered years ago in Trump’s autobiography. Trump’s remarks were similar to those attributed to Bill Clinton by golfing partner Vernon Jordan.

House GOP lawmakers were expected to address Trump’s campaign in a rare, out-of-session conference call Monday morning.  Hours before the meeting, Pence urged Republicans to stand behind Trump. “This is a choice between two futures,” he said on “Fox News.”

For voters appalled by Trump’s words, the businessman likely did little to ease their concerns. He Trump denied he had kissed and groped women without their consent, dismissing his comments as “locker room” talk.

But Trump’s intensely loyal supporters were likely to be energized by his vigorous criticism of Clinton. He labeled her “the devil” and promised quipped she would “be in jail” if he were president because of her email practices at the State Department — a threat that drew widespread criticism.

“That was a quip,” Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” She also wouldn’t confirm Trump’s plans, announced at the debate, to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton if he is victorious.Trump was “channeling the frustration” of voters, she said.

The debate was the culmination of a stunning stretch in the race for the White House, which began with the surprise release of the video in which Trump is heard describing attempts to have sex with a married woman. The businessman said he wasn’t proud of his comments and insisted he had “great respect for women.”

The tension between Trump and Clinton was palpable from the start of their 90-minute debate, the second time they have faced off in the presidential campaign. They did not shake hands as they met at center stage.

Trump, who is several inches taller than Clinton, stood close behind her as she answered questions from voters. At other times, he paced the stage, repeatedly interrupting her and criticizing the moderators.

In a brazen pre-debate move, Trump met with three women who accused the former president of sexual harassment and even rape, then invited them to sit in the debate hall, not far from Bill Clinton and his family. The former president never faced any criminal charges over the allegations, and a lawsuit over an alleged rape was dismissed. He settled a lawsuit [Note: Check documents to see if the $800,000 is accurate. If so, include.]with one of the women who claimed harassment.

Trump struggled at times to articulate detailed policy proposals, repeatedly dancing around did not give detailed answers to questions about how he would fulfill his vow replace President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Breaking with his running mate, Trump made clear he did not agree with Pence on how to deal with war-torn Syria. Last week, Pence said the U.S. military should be ready to strike Syrian military targets are President Bashar Assad’s command. The threat was a departure from Trump’s focus on hitting Islamic State targets. Said Trump, “He and I haven’t spoken and I disagree.”

Trump’s campaign was already struggling before the new video was released, due in part to his uneven performance in the first presidential debate. [Flaw: Opinion.]Many Republicans saw Sunday’s showdown as his last best chance to salvage his campaign.[Flaw: Conjecture.]

The Trump video overshadowed potentially damaging revelations about Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street firms. Emails released by WikiLeaks last week showed Clinton told a group that it’s acceptable for a president to project differing positions in public and private.[Note: Place this relevant news higher in the article. The dated video tends to obscure this substantive news.]

Asked if that’s “two-faced,” Clinton pointed to Abraham Lincoln’s effort to get the 13th Amendment passed, allowing emancipation of slaves, by lawmakers who did not support African-American equality.

“I was making the point it is hard sometimes to get the Congress to do what you want them to do. That was a great display of presidential leadership.

Rolling his eyes, Trump said, “Now she’s blaming the late, great Abraham Lincoln.”

In the debate’s final moments, the candidates briefly put aside their animosity when asked by a voter if they respected anything about each other.

Clinton said she respected Trump’s children, calling them “incredibly able and devoted.”

Trump, as if pulling a line directly from the Clinton campaign, called his Democratic opponent a “fighter.”

“She doesn’t quit, she doesn’t give up,” he said. “I respect that.”

Opinion is not news. Newsreaders and commentators should not second guess those in the news:

  • “He should have said…”
  • “His tone turned people off/on…”
  • “He would connect better if he …”

Media equivocate to register opinion

Reporters will assume facts not in evidence.

They will claim, for instance, that while options are being considered, “no plans” exist to describe military options. The statement suggests planners are unprepared rather than that plans have not been released. They did not care that Trump explained he would not telegraph to others what his plans are.

The wire service that reported no plans exist dissembles in a manner purposely constructed to misrepresent the case. The wire service could write clearly and succinctly but chose not to do so.

Media push emotional opinion

High dudgeon is seldom called for in real journalism. Many in the mainstream media, especially talking heads, have decided that emotion makes them seem caring and real.

Not really. It makes them seem incapable of reporting.

On Aug. 14, 2017, we emailed:

Subject: One-sided opinion is not news

Dear [Wire service rep] . . .

In [a wire] “analysis” — really an editorial and not news — [the reporter] wrote:

WASHINGTON — Why doesn’t President Donald Trump just unequivocally condemn white supremacists?

It could just as easily have been written:

WASHINGTON — Why doesn’t President Donald Trump just unequivocally condemn anti-fa, free speech opponents, or anarchy-fascists?

We don’t know who started the violence in Charlottesville. Why would [the reporter] not want the others condemned?

We will know, after a DOJ investigation into civil rights violations, who packed the people in, who arranged the traffic, and how the civil police presence was handled.

But [the wire service], and [the reporter] in particular, seems more interested in pet narratives. More than that, [the reporter], to the detriment of [the wire service’s] brand, tweets to fan the flames.

[Screenshots of example tweets]

As I have perhaps mentioned before, the Air Force would change commanders every two or three years when the B-52 squadron and Refueling Wing were located here lest one commander become too complacent and stuck in convention that might be dangerous to mission readiness.

Too many newspapers across the country will run this opinion as news.

Perhaps it is time to rotate [the reporter].

Thank you.

Media speculate, project and guess

Media too readily jump to conclusions, especially conclusions that feed preconceived notions. They speculated that a draft letter by President Trump was an attempt to squelch investigation into the Trump campaign’s pre-election activities. Their insinuation reflects a narrative proposed the day FBI Director James Comey was fired that presumes obstruction.

Comey’s firing wouldn’t be obstruction because, absent Comey, investigative work still would continue with staff. Anticipating what will be done is a guess, not news. To use the sports metaphor, that is why they play the game.

On April 3, 2017, we emailed the wire service:

Hi, [Wire service representative] . . .

[Wire service] reporters must be prescient, reporting as fact their opinions.

[The wire service] wrote:

BC-US–Senate-Supreme Court

Senate panel to vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

WASHINGTON — A Senate panel is opening a weeklong partisan showdown over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.  [Note: News reports indicate at least three Democrats indicate they will vote against a filibuster. It may happen, but is this “steadily amassing?” Did not realize the AP reporter and editor were so prescient.]

The Republican-led Judiciary Committee meets Monday and is expected to back Gorsuch and send his nomination to the full Senate, most likely on a near-party line vote. [Note: funny AP doesn’t indicate that DEMOCRATS might be the reason why the change might have to be considered or say that DEMOCRAT Harry Reid changed the rules for lower court judges.] Intent on getting Trump’s pick on the high court, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is likely to change Senate rules so that Gorsuch can be confirmed with a simple majority in the 100-seat chamber, instead of the 60-voter threshold.

What we ran:

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to vote on President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch today.

The committee meets this morning and is expected to back Gorsuch and send his nomination to the full Senate, most likely on a near-party line vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky insists Gorsuch will pass a vote in the full Senate. That vote is likely to occur Friday.

Democrats will have to decide whether or not to filibuster the nomination. If they do, it would take 60 votes or a change in the rules to move the nomination to the floor where 51 votes would approve the nominee.

If Democrats filibuster, McConnell has the option to do what Democrat Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader, did when he changed rules to reduce to a simple majority the number of votes to move lower court judges to a vote of the full Senate.

Thank you.

The wire service representative disagreed with the interpretation since they had been speaking with senators and staff and basing their vote count on “likely” votes. They were, they said, not prescient but basing assessments on shoe-leather reporting.

Media push unsubstantiated accusations

Sometimes there is no there there. During a media frenzy, reporters will report what other reporters are reporting simply because other reporters report it.

It’s as if repeating previous misreporting from other media would validate misinformation.

On July 18, 2017, we wrote the wire service:

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

[The wire service] and the MSM have jumped the shark.

There were 80 people at the dinner. Pictures on twitter show dozens of people. The press was there. Photographers were there.

And yet [the wire service] writes an article where none is needed. [It] writes in a stilted style to avoid saying there is no there there.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump had another, previously undisclosed conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Germany this month.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer and National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton confirmed that Trump and Putin spoke at a dinner for world leaders and their spouses at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The conversation came hours after Trump and Putin’s first official face-to-face meeting on July 7, which was originally scheduled to last just half an hour but stretched on for more than two. The two world leaders were also captured on video shaking hands and exchanging a few words after they arrived at the G-20 summit of industrialized and developing nations earlier that day.

Anton would not specify the duration of the conversation. But he said the discussion was casual and should not be characterized as a “meeting” or even a less formal, but official, “pull-aside.”

Trump is right: SAD!

[The wire service] has yet to say that talking to Russians is not a crime. Collusion is not a crime. Hillary engaged in more, including the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I am going to start writing editorials describing [the wire service’s] coverage, apologizing for it, or maybe even laughing at you.

Thank you.

A wire service rep replied that he was going to draw the line because my emails were not constructive. We replied:

Dear [rep]:

On Jul 19, 2017, at 12:22 AM, [Wire service rep] wrote

I’m going to draw the line at this point.

No, [wire service rep], I am going to draw the line.

I am being constructive, [wire service] is not.

Look at the pictures, there are 80 guests and the press. “Previously undisclosed” breathlessly insinuates underhandedness. What for? Why? What evidence have you?

There was more evidence in Obama whispering to Putin on camera that he would have greater flexibility, and [the wire service] appears not to give a damn. Nor does [the wire service] give a damn about the greater evidence of collusion between Hillary’s State Department and Russia, Hillary and the Ukraine, Hillary and the press, and — more insidious — members of the government leaking highly secure conversations to the detriment of the country and the press.

This would be nothing if the NYtimes did not want to manufacture something. And [the wire service] carried the NYTimes’s water, perhaps because it was unthinking or lazy.

What gets reported matters. How it is reported matters.The NYTimes, and too often [the wire service], does readers a disservice by how they report and tweet — and little if anything has changed.

If [the wire service] were honestly interested in informing readers it would spend its precious bandwidth:

  • Tracking foot dragging on high level appointments and delay tactics
  • Detailing the stalling tactics Democrats have used to gum up government
  • Trying to explain what it is that Democrats stand for in policy other than platitudes.
  • Asked Democrats what they consider the failures of Obamacare and how they should be fixed.
  • Called Democrats to account for their abysmal track record for the policies they have passed.
  • Pursuing the corruption evident in the previous administration’s politicization of various departments of justice
  • Demanded answers from Schumer about what the previous administration did and, through its appointments, continues to do — with the same alacrity as it pursues Republicans
  • Raising concerns about leaking to the press that suggest national security has gone rogue.
  • Pursued the DNC’s reluctance to allow proper FBI investigation, instead, calling on its own to “investigate”
  • Pointing out how the MSM has overreached its job to become part of the problem, not the solution.
  • And, frankly, never explained how what Trump’s team has done has been an any way illegal and never compared it to what Hillary and her team did as Secretary of State.

It has reached the point where one has to reluctantly wonder if there isn’t a #dishonestPress at work. Meanwhile, [the wire service] is basically blind to its own faults, shows no remorse, and tweets out sarcastic crap.

[The wire service] does not realize that it is nothing special. Reporters are nothing special. They are only as good as their work.

And there is plenty enough substance in what I have written to [the wire service] for [the wire service] to recognize and admit there is more than a little truth to what I write.

No, [wire service rep], I am drawing the line. It is time for [the wire service] to get serious and pay attention. I want [the wire service] to succeed but [the wire service] keeps getting in its own way:

* [The wire service] has to stop injecting editorial opinion as adjectives (like “skimpy”) in place of writing the facts : Explain the difference between health insurance and healthcare. Explain the difference in personal costs between catastrophic care versus total coverage. Stop describing the CBO as “non-partisan” and explain how the CBO was gamed by Obama to seem affordable because it pushed taxes beyond the 10 year window. Explain that the CBO ranking misstates the drop-out rate by not describing those who have dropped out of Obamacare.

* [The wire service] has to stop falling for — and perpetrating — logical fallacies. It sends the message that you don’t respect or value your readers. In the last note I mentioned the overly-simplistic either/or bifurcation fallacy that tried to paint Trump as believing all manufacturing had to take place in the United States. That is patently at odds with Trump’s reality that favoring American manufacturing makes economic sense and still engages the world economy. Use of the bifurcation fallacy makes AP sound stupid.

Thank you.

The [wire service rep] replied:

Good morning. I have no issues with substantive, editorial comments or concerns. Like the note you just wrote. But your note of last night spoke of laughing at [wire service] reporters and you made a threat about writing editorials.

To which I replied on July 19, 2017:

Hi, [Wire service rep] . . .

I have an obligation to point out to our readers if and where there is a persistent problem with what we report and editorials are the proper place for me to do that.

For the most part — I can think of one instance some time ago — when I actually did call the MSM, including [the wire service], to task for its reporting.

Therefore, it is no threat, it is a fact, that I will explain to readers my concerns so that readers can judge for themselves.

For dialog to be constructive it has to be more than dialog. Words passing each other in the night is not useful conversation. When I manage staff, I expect them to be coachable. When they are not, we have two problems: 1) the problem, and 2) the problem of dealing with the problem. When that happens, I say, “We have two problems to deal with, which do you want to deal with first?”

I have pointed out to you that [the wire service] has two problems. We’ll see what happens next. [The wire service] is further back on the road to comeuppance than CNN, NYTimes, or WaPo, but [the wire service], still on that road, neither recognizes it nor, from my view, yet appears to care.

I’m done for today. We will not run the Trump dessert conversation that never should have been sent to us. [The wire service] would better spend reporter time pulling the loose threads from my off-the-top-of-my-head list.

My son’s best baseball coach was constantly chiding the players. Some of the comments were useful. Some were noise. Players had to sort out which. My son loved and respected him. He understood that when the coach shut down on a kid, the kid was not coachable.

That’s Confucius: It’s wrong not to speak to someone who will listen. It’s wrong to waste words on someone who will not hear.

Thank you.

Media let personal views interfere

Sometimes reporters become so alienated by subjects they are obliged to report on that they will take action to retaliate.

In one case, as Trump viewed an eclipse, he feigned to the audience that he looked directly at the sun. Since Trump was not blinded by sunlight, he obviously did not look directly at the sun. Nevertheless, many reporters chose misrepresent the case to readers to lash back at Trump.

On August 21, 2017, we emailed:

Dear [wire service rep] . . .

You have been had.

At the White House, despite all the warnings from experts about the risk of eye damage, President Donald Trump took off his eclipse glasses and looked directly at the sun.

Look at the video. He played the audience and [the wire service] bit.

It makes you look unserious. People who saw the video and this report are laughing at [the wire service].

If this is still in the latest report when we put the page together tomorrow, I will point out in the article how [the wire service] misreported a joke.

Hate can obscure accurate reporting. CNN anchor Don Lemon called a Trump’s speech in Phoenix a “total eclipse of the facts.” Lemon’s misrepresentation was laughed at in social media since he apparently had expressed interest in working for Trump but was not selected.

Evidence: Media accentuate narratives

Media focus their lens to affect stories

News coverage is like looking through the lens of a magnifying glass. While what is at the center of the media lens may seem clear, the relationship of the central image to the surrounding area appears distorted.

The media lens magnifies what is reported, forcing out of context all that surrounds it.

Simple repetition complicates the problem as the same story is persistently spread across 24-hours-a-day broadcasts.

Focusing the lens on just one side of an issue reinforces an opinion. Juxtaposing unrelated items reinforces an opinion. Casting a net too broadly reinforces an opinion. Focusing too narrowly reinforces an opinion.

We emailed the wire service on January 25, 2017:

Dear [wire service rep] . . .

When [the wire service] writes, “There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim.” there had better be NO evidence to support his claim.

In the case of voter fraud, [the wire service is, quite simply, dead wrong.

[The wire service]:

  • should print a correction, and
  • stop using its repetitive and inaccurate statements about no evidence that it appears to use everywhere to demean whomever reporters do not like.

Certainly [the wire service] can find:

  • the Detroit News statements about more votes than registrations,
  • the papers from Old Dominion and James Mason Universities suggesting there are a significant number of voting irregularities,
  • the indication that California doesn’t even look for irregularities, and
  • John Fund’s 2009 reporting “The investigators found after an 18-month probe that in 2004 there had been an “illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome of an election in the state of Wisconsin.”

[The wire service] has left itself open to embarrassing hit after hit.

As a member of [the wire service] I am reminding you I have been documenting [the wire’s] malfeasance for months, if not years and [the wire service] has given me nothing in return that it is actually attempting to do better.

Thank you.

The wire service news rep replied that there was no evidence of widespread irregularities in the 2016 election, suggesting that prior year studies were not relevant to this year’s election. We replied:

Dear [Wire service rep]:

Thank you for your reply. If [the wire service] chooses to approach scope and focus more sensibly than it has, you have it within your power to help readers.

Pay attention to scopeand focus. I have repeatedly pointed out [the reporters’] misleading use of “but he provided no evidence” when ample evidence existed outside the scope of what she chose to look at and focus missed the real issue. Focus not on how many votes were questionable and whether they might have turned the election, but rather how to insure the integrity of each vote:

  • Was each citizen authorized to vote allowed to vote?
  • Was each of their votes accurately counted?
  • Were votes canceled by unauthorized voters?
  • Is the integrity of voting systems guaranteed?
  • Does a reliable audit trail allow votes to be revalidated when concerns are raised?

It is quite possible, when teased out, that we are all on the same page.

Many national journalists seem tetchy when someone dares point out journalism should be neither adversarial nor absent judgment, but approach each story armed with skills and little baggage.

We do not need a range war in the White House Briefing Room. Please help by recognizing constructive criticism.

Thank you again.

In media fixated on preconceived narratives, what actually transpired easily becomes lost in the views. Other media members often reinforce the media frenzy. Watch any White House press conference to see reinforcement in action — gotcha questions followed by countless permutations of the same question.

On August 15, 2017, we emailed:

Hi, [Wire service rep] . . .

BC-US–Trump,8th Ld-Writethru

Defiant Trump insists anew: Blame both sides for violence

Imported: Today, 9:43 pm

is not an accurate reporting of the Trump presser. Why not?

As others have noted the highlights were:

  • Not all the demonstrators were neo-Nazis.
  • Where will it end. Will we take down statues of George Washington?
  • There was violence on both sides.
  • Frankly, you don’t know everything.

Report it.

Dammit, report it!

Thank you.

P.S. Then you can step back and report how ill-behaved, unprofessional, and unreliable the national press was. If you dare.

Media maps lose accuracy when details are massaged

The mainstream media fails at its task when good questions are left unasked.

On August 13, 2017, we emailed:

Subject: Charlottesville questions

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

It was fascinating to see [the wire service] so fast off the blocks with the standard race-baiters like Jesse Jackson. Why? Why not report the event and save the unsolicited opinions for later?

I am learning more from serious social media than from [the wire service].

Here are some questions for [the wire service]:

  • Will [the wire service] be reporting that outside media were encouraged to attend, and how they were invited? Apparently media from Indianapolis, for instance, arrived well in advance of the demonstration.
  • Will [the wire service] report estimates of the number of attendees on each side? I understand that the “demonstrators” were substantially outnumbered by the “counter-demonstrators.
  • Did the police funnel the demonstrators through the middle of the counter-demonstrators as some witnesses claim?
  • Did police stand between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators to keep them peaceful and separated?
  • What sort of preparatory media did [the wire service] receive prior to the event — as spin in advance? And will AP report it?
  • What statements seemed prepared in advance in anticipation of delivering a canned media response?
  • Who was bussed in to the protest, how, how many, and who paid for it?
  • Who funded the counter-protest?
  • Did [the wire service] notice what seemed to be a coordinated, rapid response on social media, as if this was an Astroturf event.
  • How is the DOJ investigating the attack on civil liberties?

Thank you.

Media manipulate  context

News offers context. You can’t use information unless it is connected to a framework that makes it meaningful.

On July 3, 2017, we emailed the wire service that they had left out useful context.

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

Sometimes a little context helps inform readers. [the wire service] wrote:

Xi’s comments in a phone call with Trump follow Beijing’s displeasure over U.S. arms sales to rival Taiwan, U.S. sanctions against a Chinese bank over its dealings with North Korea and, most recently, the sailing of a U.S. destroyer within the territorial seas limit of a Chinese-claimed island in the South China Sea.

We added:

Xi’s comments in a phone call with Trump follow Beijing’s displeasure over U.S. arms sales to rival Taiwan, U.S. sanctions against a Chinese bank over its dealings with North Korea and, most recently, the sailing of a U.S. destroyer near an island in the middle of the South China Sea.

While China claims the island, so do Vietnam and Taiwan. The passage was one of a series of “freedom of navigation” operations held regularlyin the South China Sea and around the world.

Thank you.

Not telling readers of past precedents leaves them without a framework for recognizing patterns of behavior and deciding whether behavior is unusual and worthy of concern.

Hi, [Wire service representative] . . .

[Note: How about this lede: President Donald J. Trump followed the precedents of Presidents Clinton and Obama and asked for resignations . . .

WASHINGTON  — Two days before Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered dozens of the country’s top federal prosecutors to clean out their desks, he gave those political appointees a pep talk during a conference call.

Note: Where is your typical-for-Republicans “. . . but offered no evidence . . .”

On Sunday, some Democrats condemned the demand for resignations in highly partisan comments. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, suggested Trump might have fired Bharara to thwart a potential corruption investigation, and believed the move added to a lack of trust of the administration.


I have thought about adding editorial notes to the beginning of some [wire  service] articles when you drop the ball.

[Editor’s note: The Associated Press failed to include the historical context that President Clinton fired 93, Obama about half that, and Elijah Cummings is the one who made unproven accusations during the Nancy Pelosi walk of the Obamacare bill.]

Why “report” the unfounded accusation at all?

Thank you.

The wire service replied that it was good they had flagged the comments as “highly partisan” but it would have been better to have said there was no support for the accusation.

Rewritten history erases context. What occurred in the past is often germane to what is news today. It needs to be reported if it would add context. Worse than glossing over what happened is omitting some facts to manufacture fiction.

The media will also abuse context, repeating a fixed mantra as if it were context when it is irrelevant. Shallow repetitions push memes. The wire service repeated shallow passages about Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort–Trump/Russia investigations although no evidence has connected Trump with Russia and officials have repeatedly denied any connection.

Any comment about potential Russian collusion in the election campaign still refers to the “Trump/Russia investigation.”

On March 14, 2017, we emailed the wire service rep:

Hi, [wire service representative] . . .

[Wire service’s] reporting was shown to be a teensy bit shallow.

The [wire service] article on the CBO/Ryancare:

The office has a four-decade history of even-handedness and is currently headed by an appointee recommended by Price when he was a congressman.

Are its writers too young to remember? Didn’t Obama have Gruber work with the CBO to shape the proposal to seem better than it actually was?


The model, the Gruber Microsimulation Model, is the coin of the realm, in large part because it is similar to the model used by the Congressional Budget Office. That means administration policy-makers could predict with reasonable certainty how CBO would score legislation. Given that legislation in Washington often falls or rises depending on the CBO score, that made this model a very powerful tool for administration officials.

From Stephen Green at Instapundit and from Reason:

Congressional Democrats used all sorts of trickery to game the CBO score. Peter Suderman wrote in December, 2009:

After the August recess, scores for the various reform proposals improved markedly. Not only were they cheaper, requiring less total spending, they were judged by the CBO to result in net reductions to the deficit. What happened?

In large part, the answer is that Democrats became more skilled at manipulating the CBO’s scoring process. Indeed, they have become so skilled at getting what they want out of the CBO that the office has taken to including strongly worded warnings that the various bills’ real costs may not actually match their estimates.

In the House, Democrats shifted an expensive, unpaid-for “fix” to doctor’s Medicare reimbursement rates over to a separate bill. And in the Senate, they backloaded the spending so that its full effects would not be felt in the 10-year window that CBO scores. In the latest Senate bill, 99 percent of the spending would occur in the last six years of the budget window.

Nor do the scores count the cost of state level Medicaid expansions—$25 billion in the Senate’s bill—or of the private sector mandates it imposes, which, according to Michael Cannon, a health policy analyst at the Cato Institute, could add an additional $1.5 trillion to the total.

The bigger issue is that in budgeting, there are multiple realities available: The various scores put forth by the CBO are based on what might be called “legislative reality” — a fictional world in which there are no changes to current law except the bill under consideration, and new legislation is executed to the letter.

Everybody in Washington knew the numbers were no good, but they were good enough to provide the political cover needed to ram through the legislation. The press, for the most part, played along.

Today, Congressional Republicans seem to have not proactively gamed the CBO, and now are stuck in reaction mode, playing defense against the media and their own budget office.

So is [wire service] going to correct the record for readers about how the CBO was gamed to show Obamacare in a false light?

Thank you.

As the waves of time roll over the surface features of news, salient facts get worn away, particularly when they stand against the popular narrative. It’s meme-ification of news.

What can appear to be news often omits the substance of that news.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) is relearning how to walk after being shot at a congressional baseball practice earlier this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said…

Kristina Peterson, Wall Street Journal, resorts to passive voice to leave out specifics of who shot Scalise and why.

Media compress past and present to warp context

To presume that what happened in the past is properly measured by standards in use today misunderstands what has gone before. A collapsible telescope that works clearly when opened will distort when the front and back lenses are collapsed. Then and now need to be kept separate to appreciate time and its passage.

After the November election we still had to take the wire service to task for not moving on. On November 15, 2016 we wrote:

Dear [wire service representative] . . .

  • Please drop “billionaire” from the [wire service] Trump lexicon. For variety, try “President elect” instead.
  • Gayness is not a relevant attribute that needs to be attached to articles when considering appointments.
  • Your clauses claiming inexperience do you no credit. You do not provide evidence about what experience matters,
  • Please point to the evidence about Bannon. NPR ran some scurrilous rumors in August, but the anti-Semitic hokum has been adequately countered by Jewish co-workers. [Incidentally, I have gotten pointers to more legitimate news from Breitbart.com than from NPR and been led astray more by CNN than by Breitbart.]

I look forward to seeing your Breitbart evidence.

I see that the post election period will be as difficult for corporate journalists — a group that includes [the wire service] — as before the election.

When the wire service replied, citing a years-old custody case, we replied:

Hi, [name] . . .

From the same [wire service] article.

As I understand it, [the wire service] is perfectly okay with quoting as authoritative a categorically denied divorce accusation. Swell. — Sad, but swell.

Looking elsewhere in the article, [the wire service] is perfectly willing to take a headline written by someone else — David Horowitz, and adequately defended by the author — who explains the headline not in terms of hatred, but by Bill Kristol’s abandonment of the lone Middle East democracy.

[The wire service] needs better editors.

Your article:

But other elements of Bannon’s tenure are getting more attention. Under his leadership, the site pushed a nationalist, anti-establishment agenda and became one of the leading outlets of the so-called alt-right — a movement often associated with far-right efforts to preserve “white identity,” oppose multiculturalism and defend “Western values.”

The site specializes in button-pushing, traffic-trolling headlines, including one that called conservative commentator Bill Kristol a “Republican spoiler, renegade Jew.” Others asked, “Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?” and “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.”


You may think it seems pretty explicit, but I think you missed an opportunity for informative reporting that would help dampen post-election hysteria.


The media penchant to compress time when exercising its opinion reappeared during rehashing of Trump’s first judgments about Charlottesville, was made well before pundits, armed with later released evidence, charged Trump with unbalanced or insensitive comments.

Media preconceived narratives replace news

Internet video streaming has allowed viewers more perspectives on reporting news. Those who have seen White House press conferences since the inauguration of President Trump have been treated to an eye-opening display of how White House reporters push narratives favored by either themselves or their bosses.

On May 3, 2017, we emailed the wire service about an unfortunate penchant for narratives:

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

This is an article of theatrics, not an article of substance. We trimmed most of it out.

Our readers would have been better served by an accurate representation of what is in and what is out rather than how people care to spin the result.

Anyone who watched the Mulvaney press conference could see the leading questions asked by the press and the statements by Mulvaney designed to redirect attention to what was in the bill. AP would have done well to pay attention.

The word “shutdown” was a case in point. Whether or not it would be a consideration in September is not germane to what was agreed upon, but the press — including [the wire service] was bound and determined to stick a label of future responsibility on someone. That is silly, and not news.

What [the wire service] could have done is ignore spin about who “won” and described, for instance, what is allowed to be done about stopping attempts to enter the country at the Mexican border. Mulvaney was clear. Who “won” is irrelevant, and a construct of poor reporting.

Also interesting is the break with the one-to-one funding that was the guideline in the Obama administration.

Finally, it was worth mentioning, that this is a continuation of a budget set up by Obama and the previous Congress and that the first real Trump proposal, won’t happen until September.

[Wire service rep], this was a feeble attempt to fill space on deadline and an inaccurate representation of what was important.

Thank you.

Wire Service article:

Government-wide spending bill headed for a House vote

WASHINGTON — A government-wide spending bill that President Donald Trump seemed to criticize Tuesday morning but now calls “a clear win for the American people” is headed for a House vote.

The House is scheduled to vote on the bipartisan $1.1 trillion measure Wednesday afternoon. It is a product of weeks of Capitol Hill negotiations in which top Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi successfully blocked Trump’s most controversial proposals, including a down payment on the oft-promised Trump Mexico border wall, cuts to popular domestic programs, and new punishments for so-called sanctuary cities.

The White House instead boasted of $15 billion in emergency funding to jumpstart Trump’s promise to rebuild the military and an extra $1.5 billion for border security.

“After years of partisan bickering and gridlock, this bill is a clear win for the American people,” Trump said, citing the Pentagon and border money. “This is what winning looks like.” Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also declared victory, but the opinions of top party leaders were not shared by the rank and file.

“From my point of view, we pretty well got our clock cleaned,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Earlier Tuesday, however, Trump took to Twitter, angrily reacting to media reports depicting Democrats such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York as winners in the negotiations. He cited Senate rules that empower minority Democrats and tweeted that the U.S. government “needs a good shutdown” this fall to fix a “mess” in the Senate.

At issue is a mammoth, 1,665-page measure to fund the government through September that largely continues a long-established tradition of bipartisan spending deals that boost funding for medical research, aid for schools, and law enforcement accounts, while defending foreign aid, grants to state and local governments, and the Environmental Protection Agency from cuts sought by tea party Republicans.

Democratic votes will be needed to pass the measure even though Republicans control both the White House and Congress, which made Pelosi and Schumer active and powerful participants in the talks, leading to bipartisan outcomes like a $2 billion disaster aid fund, $407 million to combat Western wildfires, and additional grants for transit projects, $100 million in emergency funding to fight the nation’s opioid crisis, and a $2 billion increase for medical research at the National Institutes of Health.

The White House and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., both crowed over a hard-fought $1.3 billion provision to preserve health benefits for more than 22,000 retired coal miners and their families, which was included over the opposition of House Speaker Ryan. Pelosi was the driving force behind an effort to give the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico $295 million to ease its Medicaid burden.

Negotiators on the bill say it looks pretty much like the measure would have looked like if it had been ironed out last year under Obama — save for Trump’s add-ons for the Pentagon and the border. Democrats scored some wins as well, and Schumer was quick to run a victory lap in a series of media interviews on Monday that appeared to get under Trump’s skin.

“The president is frustrated with the fact that he negotiated in good faith with the Democrats, and they went out to try to spike the football and make him look bad,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters. Asked about a potential shutdown later in the year, Mulvaney said, “if the Democrats aren’t going to behave any better than they have in the last couple of days, it may be inevitable.”

Democrats were gleeful at the shutdown talk coming from the highest levels of the White House, which could only increase their leverage in talks on this summer’s round of spending bills for 2018, though Schumer demurred when offered a chance to counter Trump.

“This is a good day, and it’s a bipartisan day, so I’m not going to get into finger pointing,” Schumer said. “It was a bipartisan negotiation as I said. The leaders — Democrat, Republican, House and Senate — work well together. And why ruin that?”

Their reply said they thought the shutdown business was low in the article and agreed that the “who won, who lost” narrative can be annoying.

Annoying? How about irrelevant?

Media push Agitprop as news

“Agitprop” elides the words “agitate” and “propagandize”. The technique has been refined to divide and demoralize a segment of a populace to make it easier politically pass agenda items and even take down governments.

It is a short leap from insinuating information into a news stream to creating events to hijack other events — elbowing aside what might be useful to readers and viewers, replacing content with a different message to drive opinion.

Peter Hasson in the Daily Caller writes:

Local leaders of Indivisible, one of many “resistance” protest groups formed as a direct response to Trump’s election, are organizing thousands of protesters associated with a coalition of left-wing groups ahead of Tuesday’s event. In addition to organizing mass protests outside the rally, Indivisible is encouraging protesters to register for tickets for the rally itself, increasing the likelihood that protesters will disrupt Trump’s speech, as often happens at Trump’s rallies.

Although originally founded by activists not backed by donors, Indivisible’s website now states that the group “is a project of the Advocacy Fund,” a progressive advocacy group that receives money from the Open Society Policy Center, an arm of Soros’ Open Society Foundations. That revelation follows USA Today’s reporting in May that leaders of Indivisible and Women’s March met with Democracy Alliance, a Soros-led network of left-wing donors, to discuss funding options.[7]

Media fact-starved “fact-checking” isn’t news

Sophistry is a bad faith argument.

Politifactwrote that leftists in Charlottesville had a permit to demonstrate. Politifactglosses over that the permit was for a different location. They preferred to deem a Trump claim a lie, when actually Trump was correct because demonstrators did not have a permit for the location to which they had migrated.

Politifactused a common news tactic that is to take a statement and debunk it literally in order to deflect from the relevant facts that were true.

Evidence: Media obscure news

Media substitute Information for news

When a secret source provides unverified rumors, it may or may not be news, but it certainly is noise. The media do not keep stats as to how many of their unverified sources have been debunked. They should, every time they resort to one.

Part of the business of reporting news is confirming or debunking conjectures echoed over the Internet. The blogosphere should be used as a media resource. Legitimate questions are often first asked online. The press seldom considers if the questions should be pursued. Ignoring them undermines journalistic trust.

On July 26, 2017 we sent an email:

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

Not sure that [the wire service] quite followed through on this article:

WASHINGTON — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has fired an information technology staffer following his arrest on a bank fraud charge at a Virginia airport where he was attempting to fly to Pakistan.

Wasserman Schultz spokesman David Damron says Irman Awan was fired by the Florida Democrat Tuesday.

Awan’s attorney, Chris Gowen, confirmed that his client was arrested at Dulles Airport Monday. He says Awan was cleared to travel and had informed the House of his plans to visit his family before the scheduled trip.

Gowen says the federal bank fraud count stems from a “modest real estate matter” and is motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry. He’s confident Awan “will soon be able to clear his name and get on with his life.”

An arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 21, according to Gowen.

What is Chris Gowen’s association with the Clintons? Apparently, he has done work for the Clinton’s before. Are the Clinton’s involved here?

Who is handling the case. Is it Steven Wasserman, the brother of Wasserman-Schultz, who is the Assistant US Attorney at the Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia? If so, isn’t this a conflict of interest? Hasn’t he been “investigating” the rest of the Awan family?

And what is the context for the Awans. They have been in the news before, having been the IT guys with access to highly confidential information of Democrats on several committees. That information could have been leaked to media or to others.

Interesting that Awan was kept on by Wasserman Schultz after being fired by so many others.

So, is this article shallow on purpose or because [the wire service] didn’t want to Google past news?

Looking forward to the next exciting article on the subject. Perhaps you will let me know why [the wire service] wrote it this way and what will be next.

Thank you.

Media use headlines to obscure

Headlines offered by the media often do not capture the most salient point of the articles.

In this case, “Blacks question Trump outreach delivered to white audiences” seemed more accurate written as, “Black groups cheered by Trump outreach.”

August 24, 2016, we sent this email to our wire service:

Your editors may wish to examine the before and after of the horrifically headlined [wire service] story on Trump and black votes:

What [the wire service] sent, with our strikeouts:

Headline: Blacks question Trump outreach delivered to white audiences

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Black Republicans cheer Donald Trump for a newfound outreach to African-Americans, but say the GOP presidential nominee must take his message beyond arenas filled with white supporters and venture into the inner cities.

Many rank-and-file black voters, meanwhile, dismiss the overtures as another racially charged pitch from a campaign aimed exclusively at whites, from Trump’s emphasis on “law and order” to his withering critiques of President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black chief executive. It was Trump in 2011 who fiercely challenged Obama’s U.S. birth.

“Any minority who would vote for him is crazy, ought to have their head examined,” said Ike Jenkins, an 81-year-old retired business owner in the predominantly black suburb of East Cleveland.

Foluke Bennett, a 43-year-old from Philadelphia, went further, labeling the GOP standard-bearer’s remarks as “racist,” pointing, among other things, to his referencing African-Americans as “the blacks.”

Trump is scheduled on Wednesday to appear in Jackson, Mississippi, an 80 percent African-American city and capital of the state with the nation’s highest proportion of black residents. It is unclear whether he will address black voters directly; so far, his appeal to them has been delivered before white audiences in mostly white cities.

Mississippi is overwhelmingly Republican because of whites’ loyalties, as opposed to battlegrounds such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, states Obama won twice and where the largest cities offer at least a theoretical chance for Trump to pursue marginal shifts among significant black populations.

Trump has already rejected high-profile speaking slots at the NAACP’s annual gathering, along with events sponsored by the Urban League and the National Association of Black Journalists.

“He’s got to take his arguments to the streets,” said Brandon Berg, a black pastor who drove Monday from Youngstown, Ohio, to hear Trump at the University of Akron. Berg said he’s an outlier: an undecided black Republican. For most African-Americans, Berg said, Trump must “meet them where they are.”

It’s a well-known electoral conundrum: The United States population grows less white with each election cycle, so to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, the New York billionaire must attract more non-white voters or run up an advantage with white voters to a level no candidate has reached since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide.

Obama won 93 percent of black voters in 2012 and 95 percent in 2008, according to exit polls. This year, polls suggest Trump could fare even worse than the Republicans who lost to Obama.

Trump has confronted his steep path in the last week, asking minorities, “Give Trump a chance!”

In Wisconsin, he declared to minorities: “You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed? What the hell do you have to lose?” He argues illegal immigration disproportionately affects economic opportunities of blacks and Hispanics.

In Ohio, he insisted without evidence that foreign “war zones” are “safer than living in some of our inner cities.” He pledged a Trump administration would “get rid of the crime,” allowing minorities to “walk down the street without getting shot.”

Calvin Tucker, the lone black GOP convention delegate from Pennsylvania, says Trump’s arguments resonate with him. “We need a change agent,” said Tucker, 64, of Philadelphia. “He’s breaking down his overall economic platform and relating it to African-Americans,” Tucker added, extolling the GOP’s emphasis on entrepreneurial pursuits. . . .

What we ran run, after editing:

Headline: Black groups cheered by Trump outreach

AKRON, Ohio — Black Republicans cheer Donald Trump for a newfound outreach to African-Americans, but say the GOP presidential nominee must venture into the inner cities.

Trump is scheduled today to appear in Jackson, Mississippi, an 80 percent African-American city and capital of the state with the nation’s highest proportion of black residents. It is unclear whether he will address black voters directly.

“He’s got to take his arguments to the streets,” said Brandon Berg, a black pastor who drove Monday from Youngstown, Ohio, to hear Trump at the University of Akron. Berg said he’s an undecided black Republican. For most African-Americans, Berg said, Trump must “meet them where they are.”

Trump has confronted his steep path in the last week, asking minorities, “Give Trump a chance!”

In Wisconsin, he declared to minorities: “You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed? What the hell do you have to lose?” He argues illegal immigration disproportionately affects economic opportunities of blacks and Hispanics

Calvin Tucker, the lone black GOP convention delegate from Pennsylvania, says Trump’s arguments resonate with him. “We need a change agent,” said Tucker, 64, of Philadelphia. “He’s breaking down his overall economic platform and relating it to African-Americans,” Tucker added, extolling the GOP’s emphasis on entrepreneurial pursuits. . . .

Media misidentify content to avoid reporting

A common political habit is to stall, stall, stall until something can be dismissed as yesterday’s news. Too often politicians will try to hang on until people become bored. News media should not fall for the gimmick. When it fits their persuasion, they too frequently embrace it.

On June 8, 2017, we emailed the wire service:

Hi, [Wire service rep] . . .

Did [the wire service] cover and/or report on the House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday where Sen. Chuck Grassley testified, “The [Justice] Department’s belated admission that those 64,000 pages were not privileged, puts the gold seal of authenticity on the House’s bipartisan vote to hold the attorney general in contempt.”

The abuses of “Fast and Furious” are newsworthy, particularly the validation that former Attorney General Eric Holder, were he in office today, might likely be impeached.

[The wire service] did have in the Daybook:

Wednesday, Jun. 07 9:30 AM House Oversight Committee hearing on six years since Operation Fast and Furious – Hearing on ‘Fast and Furious, Six Years Later’, with testimony from Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley; Josephine Terry – mother of killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry; Terry Family spokesman (and Brian Terry’s cousin) Robert Heyer; and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Phoenix Field Division Special Agent John Dodson * Operation had the goal of catching weapons-trafficking kingpins, but firearms agents lost track of many weapons they were trying to trace to smuggling ringleaders, with some guns ending up at crime scenes in the U.S. and Mexico. Former Attorney General Eric Holder was previously found in contempt of Congress over his failure to produce documents for a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigation into the operation

But I saw no follow-up.

Thank you.

The wire service replied that the congressional reporting staff felt it was an old case, noting Congress had already sanctioned [Attorney General] Holder five years ago. We replied:

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

Ah, the “old case” defense. Obama used that a lot with a compliant media.

That’s what the stall was designed to accomplish. [The wire service] has been had.

Isn’t the release of a 300 page report with conclusions newsworthy?

[The wire service] doesn’t have to be there to report on it. I’ll wait.

Thank you.

Media engage in willful ignorance

Sometimes the press will avoid “knowing” what they know so they can write it from a preferred perspective. Why miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

On July 15, 2017, we emailed:

Hi, [Wire service rep] . . .

On my Facebook page: “When you read breathless [wire service] reports on Donald Trump, Jr., remember that this Forbes article was available to them a month ago.”


Is Russiagate Really Hillarygate? – Forbes

The most under covered story of Russia Gate is the interconnection between the Clinton campaign, an unregistered foreign agent of Russia headquartered in DC (Fusion GPS), and the Christopher Steele Orbis dossier. This connection has raised the question of whether Kremlin prepared the dossier as part of a disinformation campaign to sow chaos in the US political system. If ordered and paid for by Hillary Clinton associates, Russia Gate is turned on its head as collusion between Clinton operatives (not Trump’s) and Russian intelligence. Russia Gate becomes Hillary Gate.

Neither the New York Times, Washington Post, nor CNN has covered this explosive story. Two op-eds have appeared in the Wall Street Journal  (Holman Jenkins and David Satter). The possible Russian-intelligence origins of the Steele dossier have been raised only in conservative publications, such as in The Federalist and National Review.

The Fusion story has been known since Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a heavily-footnoted letter to the Justice Department on March 31, 2017 demanding for his Judiciary Committee all relevant documents on Fusion GPS, the company that managed the Steele dossier against then-candidate Donald Trump. Grassley writes to justify his demand for documents that: “The issue is of particular concern to the Committee given that when Fusion GPSreportedly was acting as an unregistered agent of Russian interests, it appears to have been simultaneously overseeing the creation of the unsubstantiated dossier of allegationsof a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.” (Emphasis added.)

Thank you.

Media omit real news

Since reporting is about making choices, media even makes choices about how it chooses to make choices. Media claim to be introspective and self-regulating but seldom is.

In an old joke, a man who bought a donkey confronted the seller demanding his money back because the donkey wouldn’t do anything. Reaching for a two-by-four, the seller whacked the donkey upside its head, telling the buyer, “First have to get his attention.”

Not that with national media it makes much difference.

On August 2, 2017, we emailed the wire service:

Subject: You might enjoy this WH press conf. transcript

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .


Here is Tuesday’s spanking:

QUESTION: Sarah, according to the Washington Post, the president tried to change the narrative of what went down in [inaudible] meeting with the Russian lawyer. Can you address that story and tell us did the president really try to do that?

SANDERS: Look, the statement that Don Jr. issued is true. There’s no inaccuracy in the statement. The president weighed in as any father would, based on the limited information that he had.

This is all discussion, frankly, of no consequence. There was no follow up. It was disclosed to the proper parties, which is how the New York Times found out about it to begin with.

The Democrats want to continue to use this as a P.R. stunt, and are doing everything they can to keep this story alive and in the papers every single day. The president, the American people, they voted America first, not Russia first. And that’s the focus of our administration.

QUESTION: Can you clarify the degree to which the president weighed in?

SANDERS: He didn’t — he certainly didn’t dictate. But, you know, he — like I said, he weighed in, offered a suggestion like any father would do.

QUESTION: I will follow up on that. Was he aware at the time that Don Jr. had had a meeting that was based on the pretext that he would be promised information that was negative about Hillary Clinton when he suggested that the statement only say that the meeting was primarily about Russian adoption policy?

SANDERS: Like I said, the statement that was issued was true and there were no inaccuracies in the statement.

I think what the bigger question is — everybody wants to try to make this some story about misleading. The only thing I see misleading is a year’s worth of stories that have been fueling a false narrative about this Russia collusion and based — a phony scandal based on anonymous sources.

And I think that is — if we’re going to talk about misleading, that’s the only thing misleading I see in this entire process.

You guys are focused on a meeting that Don Jr. had no consequence, when the Democrats actually colluded with a foreign government like Ukraine. The Democrat-linked firm Fusion GPS actually took money from the Russian government while it created the phony dossier that’s been the basis for all of the Russia scandal fake news.

And if you want to talk further about a relationship with Russia, look no further than the Clintons. As we’ve said time and time again, Bill Clinton was paid half a million dollars to give a speech to a Russian bank, and was personally thanked by Putin for it.

Hillary Clinton allowed one-fifth of America’s uranium to — reserve to be sold to a Russian firm whose investors were Clinton Foundation donors. And the Clinton campaign chairman’s brother lobbied against sanctions on Russia’s largest bank and failed to report it.

If you guys want to talk about having relations, which you seem obsessed with doing, look no further than there.

If you want to talk about somebody who’s actually been tough on Russia, look at President Trump. He wants more fracking, more coal, more energy, a stronger military, a stronger defense. Those things aren’t good for Russia.

I think the distinctions are very clear and you guys want to create a narrative that just doesn’t exist.

Thank you.

Sanders did hit the press upside the head with a verbal two-by-four — to no avail. Looking at White House press gaggle replays hasn’t led any of the members to discernable embarrassment.

Media misdirect readers

As gatekeepers of what gets distributed, media controls the narrative. During an August 22, 2017, speech Trump gave in Phoenix, MSNBC lowered the volume of what Trump was saying and substituted their analysis of his remarks.

Some of Trump’s remarks that MSNBC suppressed called out media like MSNBC for throttling his message. MSNBC kept from viewers that TRUMP was upset that outlets like MSNBC kept Trump’s news from viewers. They proved Trump’s point … and didn’t seem to care.

Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump

Last night in Phoenix I read the things from my statements on Charlottesville that the Fake News Media didn’t cover fairly. People got it!

In another instance, 300 graduates from Yale wrote an open letter to Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, August 18, 2017, demanding he resign.

On August 20, 2017, the wire service ran an article that excerpted from the original letter and Mnuchin’s response. The wire service did not link to the original letters. CNBC, to its credit, did give the full text of Mnuchin’s response.[8]

Basically, the press represents the letter and the response with no avenue for readers to drill down to primary sources.

Trump bypasses the controllers to go directly to the people. Twitter is Trump’s Fireside Chat. He lets citizens judge whom to believe. With gatekeepers alone, readers never have the opportunity to decide for themselves.

As blogger cboldt commented,

These writings belong in history books, and today, they should be used as current events discussion material in middle and high schools. Not as an excuse to argue, but rather as studies in style, substance, and accuracy.

Media misdirect with innuendo

Sometimes the media will use words that intimate a preferred view without actually asserting it—a tactic that obscures what news media really should be saying.

On July 14, 2017, we emailed:

Dear [wire service rep] . . .

[The wire service] apparently chooses not to write in a straightforward manner. [The wire service] prefers to do the “He said” — which could be interpreted as political rhetoric rather than flat out state the facts:

  • Opposition research is standard practice.
  • Other political candidates do it.

Neither could [the wire service] admit that the person that visited Trump had visited many other politicians and government officials, both Republican and Democrat, over the past year about the Magnitsky Act, an issue that was completely unconnected with the campaign.

When [the wire service] conflates those two issues, it leads one to suspect [the wire service] did it on purpose.

It appears to be Trump all the time and the other news be damned:

  • [The wire service] did not deal with the apparent unusual intervention by Obama’s DOJ chief Loretta Lynch how Natalia Veselnitskaya happened to still be in this country.
  • Nor has [the wire service] pointed out the circumstances that allowed Veselnitskaya stay beyond the legal time to remain in the US.

Compare what you wrote today with what we wrote:

[The wire service] wrote:

Headline: Trump: Son’s Russia meeting ‘standard campaign practice’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, characterizing it as standard campaign practice and maintaining that “nothing happened” as a result of the June 2016 sit-down.

The remarks came in Paris during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“I think from a practical standpoint most people would’ve taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research, or even research into your opponent,” Trump said.

Trump said “politics is not the nicest business in the world” and that it’s standard for candidates to welcome negative information about an opponent. In this case, he added, “nothing happened from the meeting, zero happened from the meeting.”

Meanwhile, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he would call on Donald Trump Jr. to testify as part of an investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he wants Trump Jr. to testify “pretty soon,” perhaps as early as next week. He wouldn’t say what he wants to hear from Trump Jr., but said members aren’t restricted “from asking anything they want to ask.”

The Judiciary Committee is one of several congressional panels investigating Russian meddling in the U.S. election, along with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

We ran:

Headline: Trump Jr. Russia meeting ‘standard campaign practice’

WASHINGTON — In remarks made in Paris during a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, President Donald Trump on Thursday characterized his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer as standard campaign practice.

News outlets have begun to report the many lobbying meetings the Russian lawyer had had over the previous months with both Republicans and Democrats.

Opposition research is a standard practice undertaken by members of both major political parties.

Trump added, “nothing happened from the meeting.”

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he wants Trump Jr. to testify perhaps as early as next week. He said members aren’t restricted “from asking anything they want to ask.”

The Judiciary Committee is one of several congressional panels investigating meddling in the U.S. election, along with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Our article was more straightforward and accurate.

Certainly [the wire service] does not want to write ambiguously to create innuendo that comes across as poor journalism to editors and readers.

Thank you.

Media warp with selectively reporting

The UK Daily Telegraphwebsite persistently declines to identify names, motives, background of alleged perpetrators of what appeared to be terrorism. At the same time they declined to identify a policeman who killed the Cambirls jihadi, they circled a picture of the back of his head, described his background training, his family relationships, and professional relationships. They claimed the policeman, “was not named for security reasons” but then they, irresponsibly, all but identify him.[9]

Media selectively misquote

Lack of attribution allows reporters to inject their own views into interviews and reports without being held accountable for accusations.  They will allege “Some people say….” It is a theatric ploy in which the media will allege disputes to put officials on the spot to manufacture conflict where none exists.

When some reporters wish to elevate authority, they label the speaker as an organization. When they choose to diminish it, they name an individual. “Media Matters” says, rather than David Brock. For authority they elevate the speaker to a corporate level or an agency name.

Agencies, organizations, businesses, etc can’t speak. People speak, so name them. Their opinion shouldn’t matter any more than any other American or group of Americans.

Sometimes, the media will invoke an organization that once might have been a trusted authority. The Southern Poverty Law Center is an organization with roots back in the 1960s. Who are the people behind the SPLC now? What is the organization being used for now? Why should it be used authoritatively and unquestioningly by any news organization? Can its recent claims be verified?

Sometimes even entire quotations are stage-managed. It was too much even for CNN anchor Don Lemon to remain silent as an on-the-scene producer let his CNN photographer rant on as if he were a protester. Lemon called them out on the air for their duplicity.

Editors will sometimes clip substance from quotations to dramatically change the meaning of what is said.

We emailed the wire service on May 2, 2017, when editing misrepresented what was said.

Hi, [Wire service representative] . . .

If I google “Kim Trump” and “under the right circumstances” I see that most press reports include Trump’s full quotation from Bloomberg.

[The wire service] does not. [It] omits Bloomberg’s explicit, “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”

By so doing, it absolutely changes the context of the story.

I can’t put [the wire service’s] action down to inexperience because reporters and editors certainly were familiar with what CNN, USA Today, and others did.

If it was on purpose, by leaving out context and goals, it was misleading, aggressive, and comes across as malicious.

Thank you.

Here is the original article:

BC-AS–China-US-North Korea,1st Ld-Writethru

BEIJING — China urged the United States and North Korea on Tuesday to make contact “as soon as possible” and ease tensions amid rising belligerence from the two sides over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

The call for negotiations from China’s Foreign Ministry came after President Donald Trump opened the door to a possible future meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Trump told Bloomberg News during an interview that he would be honored to meet with Kim at an unspecified future date “if it would be appropriate.”

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Washington and Pyongyang need to take concrete steps toward peace and avoid further escalating a crisis that has quickly spiraled into a top global security concern.

China has been pushing for the two sides to back down following a string of missile tests by North Korea and a massive live-fire artillery drill last week that was described as its largest ever.

Across the border, South Korea on Tuesday said a U.S.-sponsored missile defense system is now operational — over China’s strong objections. U.S. and South Korean troops conducted joint exercises last month along the North’s border.

Against that backdrop, Geng said China has taken note of the more diplomatic messages sent by the Trump administration and considers them constructive.

“Both sides should reach a political resolution as soon as possible,” Geng said. “The most effective way of attaining an improvement is to seek ways to re-establish dialogue and contact.”

What we will run:

Trump would meet Kim ‘under right circumstances’

BEIJING — China urged the United States and North Korea on Tuesday to make contact “as soon as possible” and ease tensions amid rising belligerence from the two sides over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

The call for negotiations from China’s Foreign Ministry came after President Donald Trump said he might meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un “under the right circumstances.” Trump told Bloomberg News during an interview that he would meet with Kim at an unspecified future date “if it would be appropriate.”

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Washington and Pyongyang need to take concrete steps toward peace and avoid further escalating a crisis that has quickly spiraled into a top global security concern.

The administration has made clear that a non-nuclear North Korea is essential to the security of not only the United States but also to China, Japan, South Korea and other regional neighbors.

China has been pushing for resolution following a string of missile tests by North Korea and a massive live-fire artillery drill last week that was described as its largest ever.

[Note: Reverse the last two grafs]Across the border, South Korea on Tuesday said a U.S.-sponsored missile defense system is now operational — over China’s strong objections. U.S. and South Korean troops conducted joint exercises last month along the North’s border.

Geng said China has taken note of the more diplomatic messages sent by the Trump administration and considers them constructive.

Media will resort to using unnamed sources that usually have an agenda quite different from public interest. They may couch their decision in their interpretation of “public interest” but that is so easy to twist in one’s mind.

On July 15, 2017, we emailed:

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .


Interesting. How long has the [wire service] known this guy? Your article says that he told you something Friday but does not say how long [the wire service] has been working with him.

How do you know you are not being played? How do you know you haven’t been set up?

How big was this “secret” meeting with Trump Jr.? It seems pretty large for collusion doesn’t it? Who attended? Who listened in?

Who else — Republican and Democrat — have these people met? On what topics?

What is the alleged crime? Who else was doing similar things?

When did this “Russian collusion” fan fiction start? Who started it?

Now Akhmetshin, a dual Russian-American citizen who has both denied and bragged about being a former Soviet military intelligence officer,is at the center of a growing scandal reaching high into President Donald Trump’s White House.

U.S. media reported that he attended a June 9, 2016, meeting with Trump’s son, Donald Jr., accompanying a Russian lawyer who was also seeking to undermine the 2012 law.

Akhmetshin did not respond to an e-mail, text messages, or a voice mail from RFE/RL on July 14. But he told the [wire service]that the lawyer, Natalya Veselnitskaya, gave Trump associates at the meeting information on what she said were funds being illegally funneled to the Democratic National Committee and suggested the information could help the Trump campaign.

“This could be a good issue to expose how the [Democratic National Committee] is accepting bad money,” Akhmetshin was quoted as recalling Veselnitskaya saying.

Considering how much is known by the [wire service], I am as fascinated by how much of it [the wire service] does not report as how much it does. And does what is reported get directed from editors or from reporters?

And about your “Analysis”, anyone who has followed politics knows Lanny Davis for the spinmeister he is, that you proffer him as simply, “Lanny Davis, who worked as special counsel to President Bill Clinton during his impeachment hearings” is, as Trump would say, “SAD!” We seldom run [wire service] analyses for their absence of news and overwhelming baseless opinion.

You know, I find it interesting that at our local Air Force base, new commanders were rotated in ever three years or so because they wanted a new set of eyes to review structure and operations and assure they were the best they could be. Sometimes people get stuck in old habits.

Thank you.

Media breaking news is often theater

In the 24-hour news cycle, repetition offers no further insight, just an opportunity to push ads people have already seen and ignored.

Media proffer noise as news

Little interferes with a mainstream media narrative. They are capable of embroidering any event to fit a narrative, regardless of the facts they choose to omit or insert.

The wire service added to a news report, “It was not immediately clear why the president decided to comment on Pakistan.” That the reporters care not to know is not news and should have been left out as needless noise.

On August 8, 2017, we emailed:

Subject: Noise, not news

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

Headline: Trump has escaped Washington, but don’t call it a vacation

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump would like to interrupt his vacation to deliver the following message: Don’t call this a vacation.

The president has decamped from Washington to his private golf club in central New Jersey. But he has repeatedly pushed back on the idea that this is a relaxing August getaway, posting on Twitter over the weekend: “this is not a vacation – meetings and calls!”

Trump’s staff has labeled the trip a “working vacation.” Aides say Trump is meeting with aides and cabinet members to discuss policy and he is expected to go to New York City next week. They have declined to answer repeated questions about whether he is playing golf.

Funny how [the wire service], … known to bring every extraneous bit under one headline, doesn’t see fit to mention that Trump necessarily moved out of the White House because of the massive disruptive renovations going on.

You can send a narrative to readers in so many ways. In this case, We know Trump is taking a vacation, so we will compare it to other vacations.

We at [the wire service] also want you to know that

1)     Trump is not working as hard as he says he is, and

2)     What Trump says is not to be trusted.

I don’t recall you running this:

220 MAGA Things: Trump @ Work |The First 6Months [Bumped]

[The wire service] is doing itself out of its reputation.

Noise often elbows news aside. Sometimes media will report anything and everything, to keep from reporting news. Good questions that should get asked often are not asked. Why? People email and tweet questions to media, only to have them ignored or sidestepped.

On July 13, 2017, we emailed the wire service:

Hi, [wire service rep] . . .

[The wire service] seems to be noticeably quiet after the first, second, and third salvo, missing out on the information that legitimate bloggers have been uncovering. Is this because [the wire service] is “busy” or because [it] doesn’t want to have to backtrack its original theme?

Interesting that Loretta Lynch allowed Veselnitskaya to stay in the state. Interesting how many Democrat and Republican politicians she saw that are not included in [the wire service’s] dragnet. Interesting how Veselnitskaya rubbed elbows with the Fusion GPS people.

There is a lot that is interesting that still doesn’t make the [wire service] cut. It’s just a rehash of the same old echo chamber.

[The wire service] should be embarrassed by the Don Jr.  spin of your Trump/religious meeting. Really, now. Is nothing sacred?

Of course not. There was considerable substance in the Sarah Sanders press gaggle exposing the MSM fixations that would have been more useful had it been reported.


  • Question One. Does agreeing to meet with anyRussian constitute collusion? Does lobbying by a Russian constitute collusion?
  • Question Two. What criminal statute covers meeting with Russian private citizens? For that matter, what criminal statute covers accepting opposition research about a candidate?
  • Question ThreeWhat is the massive ethical breach involved here? Was it more unethical than these?
  • Question Four. Does this photograph indicate collusion with the Russians? Is it only collusion when your name is “Trump”?

Based on the thinness of recent Don Jr. articles, [reporter], et al. might find this timeline useful. Ignore the noise. Glean the substance:

From Reddit, but posted from [there] by Clarice Feldman on Facebook:

Reddit Russian timeline: Reddit:Thanks to /u/Thatman5454 for today’s Natalia connections.

Jan 2016 – Natalia Veselnitskaya visa expired. Asked by Senator Grassley of Iowa yesterday:

May 4, 2016 – Trump becomes presumptive GOP nominee https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/the-night-donald-trump-b…/…

May 16, 2016 – Democrat oppo research listed Emin Agalarov as a possible route to draw a connection to Vladimir Putin. Their long game has always been to implicate Trump to Russia through the “shady businessman” angle. https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/10436

June 3, 2016 – According to the full email chain Donald Trump Jr released, Emin Agalarov cold contacted DTJ through Rob Goldstone on June 3, 2016 saying Natalia Veselnitskaya had oppo research damaging to Clinton. Email chain: https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/884789418455953413

June 9, 2016 – DTJ wanted a call instead but took the meeting on June 9, 2016 which turned out to be under false pretenses and he left after 20 minutes. In the meeting Natalia simply spoke about the Magnitsky Act and Russian adoptions. Same source.
June 14, 2016 – Still with no Visa, Natalia Veselnitskaya is seen sitting behind Obama’s Russian ambassador Michael McFaul during a Foreign Affairs Committee Meeting. She is sitting in front of Emin Agalarov who set up the meeting with DTJ. Left side towards the end of the video in tan dress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtpaGJYQxJY
Confirmation today by Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul that she was in fact there: https://twitter.com/McFaul/status/885022490686349315
Bonus: Here is a picture posted by Natalia inside traitorous war hawk and fake piss gate dossier pusher Senator John McCain’s office in December 2015 https://archive.fo/GFjIm
Bonus: Natalia’s law firm works with Fusion GPS who created the “Steele Dossier” aka fake Russian Piss Gate against Trump which was given to the FBI by John McCain. https://www.theguardian.com/…/russian-lawyer-who-met-trump-…

June 14, 2016 – First reports of “Russian hacking” of DNC servers by the Washington Post who has a $600 million contract with the CIA (Deep state unelected government) https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/cf006cb4-316e-11e6-8ff7-7b…
Source (liberal) on WP contract with CIA. Their parent company Amazon has the contract and owns the Washington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/why-the-washington-posts_b_…

July 10, 2016 – Bernie Sanders supporter Seth Rich, who worked on the inside of the DNC and was outspoken against voter fraud and Super Delegates is killed without motive. He is suspected by many to have leaked the documents from the inside to Wikileaks instead of an outside hacker (Russia.) https://archive.is/…/bb71ea32102489ed5ee4142afbf1a6f573e420…

July 22, 2016 – Wikileaks releases documents from the DNC server including emails from John Podesta detailing how the DNC screwed Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton: https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/756501723305414656…

July 24, 2016 – DNC Director Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigns in light of the cheating in favor of Hillary. She is immediately hired by Hillary’s campaign. https://www.nytimes.com/…/debbie-wasserman-schultz-dnc-wiki…

November 8, 2016 – Donald Trump becomes President. Queue 9 months of Russia coverage.
August 9, 2016 – Wikileaks offers $20,000 reward for information leading to Seth Rich’s murder: https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/763041804652539904…^tfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanmirror.com%2Fflashback-wikileaks-offered-20000-reward-seth-rich-tips%2F

August 9, 2016 – Assange hints that Seth Rich is the leaker (not Russia): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp7FkLBRpKg

February 23, 2017 – John Podesta joins the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/john-podesta-joins-the-w…/…

May 31, 2017 – FBI Director Comey confirms the DNC denied the FBI access to their servers, even though they were reportedly hacked by a foreign government. The DNC instead hired third party company CrowdStrike to investigate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqIY8KvuoJo

July 12, 2017 – Full Circle: The original plot in May 2016 to tie Trump to Putin through Agalarov is being pushed by the media today through the 20 minute meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya about adoptions: https://www.yahoo.com/…/new-details-emerge-moscow-real-esta…

Thank you.

The wire service rep responded that meetings alone would not necessarily prove collusion.

We replied:

Yes, [wire service rep] . . .

That is why we had to rewrite what [the wire service] wrote on July 12 to be:

WASHINGTON — Pundits and politicians continue to comment about Donald J. Trump Jr.’s release to the public of all emails associated with a brief meeting with a Russian attorney during the campaign last year.

Trump Jr. has no official position in government, was not required to release any information, and has not been accused of any crime.

and added:

The wording of the emails is curious. Soon after the exchange, the Obama government applied to the FISA Court for permission to “wiretap” Trump Towers. Permission was denied but a reduced application was later granted.

Such an email request for a meeting with someone from Russia would likely have been detected by NSA and might have been used to engineer FISA permission to snoop. Members of the Obama administration unmasked and widely distributed such politically sensitive information.

Thank you.

Media replace news with noise

Readers need to ask questions:

  • Who wanted this article written?
  • What do they want me to believe?
  • Why do they want me to believe it?

Editors will differ on choices. Reporters can cover ancillary or related stories, but they need to include the basics. In a campaign, that means reporting the high points of what was said. Responsibility and reputation go hand-in-hand. Writing one article is as powerful as censoring another.

By the middle of August, even CBS News was noting substance of the Trump campaign, tweeting:

Major Garrett Verified account@MajorCBS:

Having been listening since August 2016, objectively best drafted & best delivered @realDonaldTrump speech of campaign. Will resonate.

Our wire service feed did not consider the speech significant enough to mention in their top general headlines:

  • [wire service]-Top-General-Headlines
  • Trump campaign shakes up leadership in latest sign of tumult
  • [Wire Service] Sources: Manafort tied to undisclosed foreign lobbying
  • 10 Things to Know for Today
  • Iran acknowledges Russia using its air base to strike Syria
  • Staying ahead of the mold, residents salvage what they can
  • Monstrous California wildfire drives over 80,000 from homes
  • S. Korea: Senior N. Korean diplomat based in London defects
  • Explorers find 2nd-oldest confirmed shipwreck in Great Lakes

A search of the most recent 50 wire service political articles revealed no articles on Trump’s speech.

Our newspaper was obliged to look up the Trump Wisconsin speech elsewhere on the Internet. Several passages seemed newsworthy. Quoting the transcript:

When we talk about the insider, who are we talking about? It’s the comfortable politicians looking out for their own interests. It’s the lobbyists who know how to insert that perfect loophole into every bill. It’s the financial industry that knows how to regulate their competition out of existence. The insiders also include the media executives, anchors and journalists in Washington, Los Angeles, and New York City, who are part of the same failed status quo and want nothing to change.

Every day you pick up a newspaper, or turn on the nightly news, and you hear about some self-interest banker or some discredited Washington insider says they oppose our campaign. Or some encrusted old politician says they oppose our campaign. Or some big time lobbyist says they oppose our campaign.

I wear their opposition as a badge of honor. Because it means I am fighting for REAL change, not just partisan change. I am fighting – all of us across the country are fighting – for peaceful regime change in our own country. The media-donor-political complex that’s bled this country dry has to be replaced with a new government of, by and for the people.

Trump also said:

The war on our police must end. It must end now.

The war on our police is a war on all peaceful citizens who want to be able to work and live and send their kids to school in safety.

Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, the violent disruptor. Our job is to make life more comfortable for the African-American parent who wants their kids to be able to safely walk the streets. Or the senior citizen waiting for a bus. Or the young child walking home from school.

For every one violent protestor, there are a hundred moms and dads and kids on that same city block who just want to be able to sleep safely at night. My opponent would rather protect the offender than the victim.

Hillary Clinton-backed policies are responsible for the problems in the inner cities today, and a vote for her is a vote for another generation of poverty, high crime, and lost opportunities.

Trump added:

The Democratic Party has failed and betrayed the African-American community. Democratic crime policies, education policies, and economic policies have produced only more crime, more broken homes, and more poverty. …

The Democratic Party has taken the votes of African-Americans for granted. They’ve just assumed they’ll get your support and done nothing in return for it. It’s time to give the Democrats some competition for these votes, and it’s time to rebuild the inner cities of America – and to reject the failed leadership of a rigged political system. …

We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton which panders to and talks down to communities of color and sees them only as votes, not as individual human beings worthy of a better future. She doesn’t care at all about the hurting people of this country, or the suffering she has caused them.

The African-American community has been taken for granted for decades by the Democratic Party. It’s time to break with the failures of the past – I want to offer Americans a new future.

A search of 250 articles found something that we could heavily edit to report substantive content from the speech:

WEST BEND, Wis. — Donald Trump on Tuesday accused rival Hillary Clinton of “bigotry” andbeing “against the police,” claiming that she and other Democrats have “betrayed the African American community”and pandered for votes.

“We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, which panders to and talks down to communities of color and sees them only as votes — that’s all they care about,” the GOP nominee said in remarks delivered not far from Milwaukee — the latest city to be rocked by violence in the wake of a police shooting.

Trump, who is lagging behind in the polls, accused Clinton of being on the side of the rioters, declaring: “Our opponent Hillary would rather protect the offender than the victim.”

“The riots and destruction that have taken place in Milwaukee is an assault on the right of all citizens to live in security and to live in peace,” he said.

[Added from the speech transcript:] “The war on our police is a war on all peaceful citizens who want to be able to work and live and send their kids to school in safety,” Trump said. “Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, the violent disruptor.”

[Moved from further down in the article:] Clinton had said Monday that the Milwaukee protests showed that the nation had “urgent work to do to rebuild trust between police and communities” and said “everyone should have respect for the law and be respected by the law.”

In an interview on Fox News Channel, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker accused Clinton of “inflaming the situation” with her comments.

“I think people understand in that neighborhood and Sherman Park and in Milwaukee, they want law enforcement to step up and protect them,” he said, adding that “statements like that” from Clinton and a “lack of leadership” from President Barack Obama “only inflame the situation.”.

Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood erupted in chaos Saturday night after a black suspect waving a gun[added] was fatally shot by a black Milwaukee police officer. Businesses burned, gunshots rang out and police in riot gear were pelted with rocks and other objects. The violence continued, to a lesser degree, on Sunday night.

Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri responded with a statement early Wednesday accusing Trump of being the bigot instead.

“With each passing Trump attack, it becomes clearer that his strategy is just to say about Hillary Clinton what’s true of himself. When people started saying he was temperamentally unfit, he called Hillary the same. When his ties to the Kremlin came under scrutiny, he absurdly claimed that Hillary was the one who was too close to Putin. Now he’s accusing her of bigoted remarks — We think the American people will know which candidate is guilty of the charge,” she said.

“It just absolutely bewilders me when I hear Donald Trump try to talk about national security,” Clinton said, pointing to Vice President Joe Biden’s dissection of Trump’s foreign policy at a Pennsylvania event Monday. “What (Trump) often says hurts us. It sends the wrong message to friend and foe alike.”

Turning to the U.S. Olympic team, she said, “Team USA is showing the world what this country stands for.”

On Tuesday, Trump seized on the riots, accusing Clinton of sympathizing with protesters, who have complained of systemic racism and inequality at the hands of police.

Trump, who has so far proven deeply unpopular with black voters,made a direct appeal to them Tuesday: “I’m asking for the vote of every African American citizen struggling in our country today who wants a different and much better future.” Democrats, he claimed, have pushed policies that exacerbate poverty and crime.

[Moved from above:] Trump said in a speech Monday that the country’s national security requirements demanded “extreme” vetting of immigrants seeking admission to the United States, pointing to the threat of the Islamic State group and terrorist elements. Trump’s remarks, delivered via teleprompter in a rare departure from his usual freewheeling rally remarks, came after Clinton vowed Tuesday to conduct a national security and foreign policy that Americans could be proud of.

“The Democratic Party has failed and betrayed the African American community,” he said.

Trump has stoked tensions during his campaign. He has accused Mexico of sending rapists across the border, has feuded with the Muslim-American parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq and has proposed to suspend immigration by Muslims.

Trump began his visit to the city with a meeting with local law enforcement officers at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center on Lake Michigan. Among those present were Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who penned an op-ed Monday blaming liberal Democrats and the media for the unrest that has rocked the city.

He told Fox News that the shooting in Milwaukee may have occurred because the officer had a gun to his head.

“Who can have a problem with that?” Trump said. “If it is true, then people shouldn’t be rioting.”

Trump’s campaign also announced Tuesday that it will finally begin airing its first ads of the general election next week in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

While polls have shown Clinton building a lead following the Philadelphia convention, Democrats are fearful that a depressed voter turnout might diminish support among the minority, young and female voters who powered Obama to two victories.

Clinton said at a voter registration event at a Philadelphia high school that she’s “not taking anybody anywhere for granted” in the race for the White House, saying the stakes “could not be higher.”

The wire service not only buried the lede; it left most of the substance out. Then the wire service muffled the content with Clinton campaign spin and throwaway editorial opinions interspersed throughout the article.


So many opportunities for shallow or devious journalism and the media regularly offers examples of each that even school children could point out were they trained to do so.

School children seem directed away from learning to recognize important patterns in order to study other less significant things that actually make them more susceptible to manipulation.

The next section, Book 2, shows how classes have been institutionalized in many states that replace school subjects of pivotal importance.

The example, distilled mostly from New York State, is being pushed in at least 42 states and around the rest of the world. Although in the midst of change, it will be hard to rid curricula of institutional plaque.

Socrates’ question is as relevant today as when he was sentenced to death: “Does education belong to government or the individual?”

[1] In the 1960 film, Inherit the Wind. Gene Kelly as E.K. Hornbeck says, “Mr. Brady, it is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”. back

[2] Dunne, Finley Peter. Observations by Mr. Dooley(1902) back

[3] Waters, Stephen B. Individuals, Journalism, and Society. 2010. back

[4] http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/25/americas-post-charlottesville-nervous-breakdown-deliberately-induced/ back

[5] Perie, Madson. How to win every argument The use and Abuse of Logic. ©2006. Continuum International Publishing Group. New York. back

[6] Among them Cass Sunstein and Robert Reich. back

[7] http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/22/soros-backed-activists-plan-to-steal-trumps-show-in-phoenix/?utm_campaign=thedcmainpage&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social back


[8] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/19/mnuchin-trump-does-not-equate-neo-nazis-with-peaceful-protesters.html back

[9] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/20/hero-cop-gunned-terrorists-former-special-forces-soldier/ back

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