Why?

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about President Trump’s briefing about the coronavirus. I didn’t watch all of the briefing, but I watched most of it. At one point there was a rather strange moment when President Trump realized that the person asking him a question worked for a news agency controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. What in the world was she doing in a White House briefing? Well, The Conservative Treehouse explains.

The article reports:

Remember when President Trump said the U.S. media were the enemy of the American people? Well, consider this… In another clear example of how the U.S. media will do anything in their effort to undermine President Trump, yesterday they held hands with Chinese communists.

ABC News chief Washington DC narrative engineer Jonathan Karl is the current rotating head of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA).  The WHCA has a customary and traditional role of selecting the journalists who will participate in the White House daily briefing.

Yesterday WHCA head Jonathan Karl invited a known propagandist for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) into the briefing room to question President Trump.  However, President Trump immediately pegged the CCP propagandist and asked her directly

…That said, the bigger question should be asked of Jonathan Karl:  Why did the White House Correspondents Association intentionally invite a communist propagandist to attend the briefing?… Asking questions about a crisis the Chinese communists created?

Remember, Jonathan Karl, ABC News, is currently in charge of selecting journalists who will participate in the White House daily briefing. Why in the world would he invite someone from a totalitarian state known for lying and propaganda to participate?

President Trump’s briefings have been informative and optimistic. The questions asked by the press have been largely rude and irrelevant. It is becoming obvious that the press is using these briefings to search for a ‘gotcha’ moment. I am wondering if the President should end the briefings and simply replace them with fireside chats.

You Are Only Allowed To Be A Whistleblower On Certain Crimes

The Federalist posted an article today about the State of California’s legal case against David Daleiden. David Daleiden is director of the Center for Medical Progress, the group that exposed the sale of aborted baby body parts by Planned Parenthood.

The article reports:

An undercover reporter has been arraigned in California and charged with ten felonies for secretly recording conversations, and it’s time to revisit how the judiciary and the law can stifle the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press.

The accused, David Daleiden, used standard media undercover techniques to investigate and expose Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetus body parts. While the use of undercover techniques like Daleiden’s is a controversial practice even within journalism circles, Daleiden’s upcoming jury trial has far wider implications for journalists.

Namely, can and should government criminalize undercover reporting, which historically has revealed otherwise hidden wrongdoing of all kinds?

The article cites the history of investigative journalism:

Let’s first put aside that Daleiden, as director of the Center for Medical Progress, is a pro-life activist—which is not a crime. He should have the same right to penetrate the practices of America’s abortion providers and report his findings just as other reporters and publications investigate other matters.

Consider the multitude of covertly conducted investigations exposing threats to public health and safety, racism, and various other injustices, dating back to the dawn of our republic. To mention a few: In a classic case of disguised reporters using hidden cameras, ABC “Prime Time Live” outed Food Lion’s alleged unsanitary food handling practices. “Dateline” NBC deployed decoys and hidden cameras to expose men who solicited sex with minors on the Internet. Vanity Fair had a clandestine reporter join a tour group to the Holy Land to probe then-President George W. Bush’s alleged ties to religious right leaders.

Undercover Chicago Tribune reporters, working from the inside as employees, exposed life-threatening conditions in nursing homes. Another Tribune reporter worked undercover in the city’s election board to reveal widespread election fraud. Chicago Sun-Times reporters, working inside, turned up dangerous practices at abortion clinics. The paper also opened a bar, the Mirage, in a sting using hidden cameras to bare shakedowns by city inspectors.

Unfortunately, David Daleiden exposed something that the media did not want exposed.

The article concludes:

Even if the government’s action were bias-free, Daleiden’s pursuit still jeopardizes quality journalism. The California accusations are based on the claim his targets had an expectation of privacy even when the conversations were conducted in a public place, like a restaurant or hotel convention hall, where bystanders could hear them. It’s a ludicrous assertion, a gross misinterpretation, and an undue and overbroad extension of the law.

…The Los Angeles Times deemed the prosecution “disturbingly aggressive” and an “overreach.”

Possible prison sentences and burdensome fines attached to criminal conduct cannot be ignored in this debate. They are more than a disincentive to expose wrongdoing; they give the upper hand to criminal enterprises, powerful corporations, avenging politicians, ideologues, and special interests to protect themselves from public condemnation and costly penalties for misconduct. This is not a loophole that the Founding Fathers had in mind when they crafted the constitutional protection of freedom of the press.

Even those who disagree with Daleiden and his techniques but care about how the precedent-setting legal actions against him that could define press freedom in the future need to follow this case as it winds through the legal system, possibly all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the problem with Planned Parenthood continues. Millions of aborted baby body parts continue to be sold. No one in Congress has the backbone to make this totally illegal–the Democrats are being paid off by Planned Parenthood PAC’s and the Republicans have no spine.

A Partial Victory For Freedom Of The Press

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported the following:

On Friday, a San Francisco Superior Court judge dropped five of the standing 14 felony charges against undercover journalist David Daleiden in the so-called “Baby Body Parts” case that exposed unsavory and potentially illegal practices by abortion giant Planned Parenthood.

“Today, Thomas More Society attorneys secured the dismissal of five more felony counts, six in total, at the conclusion of the Preliminary Hearing in the California criminal case against undercover journalist David Daleiden,” the Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm representing Daleiden, said in a press release sent to The Daily Wire.

“Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite issued his final probable cause order today, leaving nine out of an original fifteen felony counts, to proceed to trial,” the press release explained.

Friday’s ruling concluded the preliminary hearing held in September 2019, the nonprofit said.

Peter Breen, Daleiden lawyer and Thomas More Society VP, said the legal team was “pleased” over the tossing of another five felonies, but underscored the absurdity of any of the charges holding up.

“We are very pleased by the decision today to throw out another five felony charges against David Daleiden,” Breen said in a statement to The Daily Wire.

The article continued to say that Peter Breen, Daleiden lawyer and Thomas More Society VP, intends to mount a strong defense to get all of the charges thrown out. Mr. Breen noted that David Daleiden provided information to the public that the public has a right to know. The article also notes that the original case was initiated by then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Keep in mind that Planned Parenthood pours millions of dollars into political campaigns all over the country. If politicians want to keep that money flowing, they are required to support the actions of Planned Parenthood. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, it should not be a million-dollar industry and should not be engaged in the sale of aborted baby body parts. It’s time to stop giving Planned Parenthood government money and time to provide young women an option other than abortion.

Respecting The Constitutional Rights Of Americans

Yesterday John HInderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article with the following headline, “Schiff Obtained Phone Records of Nunes, Journalist, Others.”

How in the world did Adam Schiff get access to those phone records?

The article notes:

The mainstream media is abuzz with stories about Nunes communication with “Rudy Giuliani during key aspects of his Ukraine pressure campaign.” Nunes was in touch with John Solomon around the times he published major articles. And on and on. The telephone records don’t include the actual conversations. They identify who was calling whom and how long they spoke.

Schiff has crossed the line of decency with this move. Once again, he has abused his power. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted that obtaining these records is a remarkable abuse of President Trump’s constitutional rights. I would argue that it’s an abuse of the constitutional rights of all of the above. These are KGB tactics.

Well, fair is fair. Republicans should obtain Schiff’s phone records, those of the so-called whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, and the colleague with whom he had a “bro-like” relationship, you know, Sean Misko, the one Schiff hired as an aide the day after the whistleblower’s complaint was submitted.

The repellent Adam Schiff has managed to reach a new level of depravity.

This is not something that should be happening in America. It is a total disregard for the constitutional rights of the people involved. However, this is not a new tactic by the political left.

In October 2014, I posted an article about Sharyl Attkisson. She was fired from CBS for her reporting on Operation Fast and Furious. As you remember, that was President Obama’s gun-running operation that was supposed to bring Americans to the point where they overturned the Second Amendment.

The article from rightwinggranny noted:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It’s time to charge people with a crime when they violate the civil rights of an American citizen. I hope this will happen (but I am not optimistic).

When People Claiming To Be Anti-Fascists Act Like Fascists

Andy Ngo was beaten up at an Antifa protest in Portland, Oregon. The Washington Times reported the following:

Mr. Ngo, a right-leaning journalist who regularly films Portland’s protest activity, has written for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, RealClearPolitics and other publications.

Before the protest, Rose City Antifa had singled out Mr. Ngo in an online post promoting the “Community Self Defense Against Proud Boy Attack,” calling him a “[l]ocal far-right Islamophobic journalist.”

Video posts of Saturday’s clash showed a few dozen right-wing activists holding a rally while hundreds of counter-protesters marched in the street amid a heavy police presence.

Portland police, who urged protesters to clear the streets and stay on the sidewalks, tweeted that officers had been hit with eggs and milkshakes.

Police later declared the event a “civil disturbance and unlawful assembly,” warning that those who failed to disperse would be subject to arrest.

The Oregonian reported the following:

Police were lined up along the perimeter of the park before the attack, but no one intervened to break up the fight. Late Saturday, police reported that three people had been arrested, including one for assault, but it was unclear if that person had anything to do with the attack on Ngo.

Within hours, the footage of Ngo’s beating had spread far and wide on the internet, racking up more than a million views on Twitter alone. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas weighed in, calling for a federal investigation into the actions of both the mayor and the police.

…Assistant Police Chief Chris Davis said in a statement Saturday that the protests were difficult to handle due to their size and geographically-disparate nature, but did not comment on any of the violent incidents specifically.

“Demonstration events are very fluid in nature and the management of these events is complex,” Davis said. “There are hundreds of peaceful free speech events in the City in a given year that do not result in violence. Unfortunately, today some community members and officers were injured. We are actively investigating these incidents to hold those responsible accountable.”

I call shenanigans.

This is not the first time we have seen this. Police in other cities have been told to stand down as riots ensued. It seems that there are Americans who believe it is their right to destroy things and harm people they disagree with. Those Americans need to be in jail. The municipal authorities who are looking the other way when this sort of behavior occurs need to be voted out of office.

Fixing The Intelligence Community

On Friday, The Daily Caller posted an article titled, “OPINION: How Could The Intelligence Community Fail So Badly?”

The article states:

Far more than a failure of journalism, the Russia collusion narrative was, at its core, a monstrous failure of U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence.

All criticism of the news media aside for the moment, the bottom line is that professional journalists received fake intelligence information from U.S. government leakers whom they trusted.

That is probably true, but I also think that the personal bias of those individuals reporting the news caused them to believe things that most people would have regarded as totally ridiculous.

The article continues:

The entire Russian collusion debacle shows that the American intelligence and counterintelligence processes have broken down.

Emphatic former CIA director John Brennan, a main engine behind spreading the Russia collusion story through the intelligence community and into the media, suddenly doesn’t sound so certain about himself. The day after Attorney General William Barr released the special prosecutor’s finding of no collusion, Brennan confessed to MSNBC, “I don’t know if I received bad information but I think I suspected that there was more than there actually was.”

This is a shocking admission from the man who was, at the time, the nation’s highest-ranking professional intelligence officer.

Brennan wasn’t indicting just himself. He inadvertently accused the entire CIA. Whatever quality control systems it has, the CIA failed to prevent “bad information” from making its way up the chain to the national strategic level.

The article goes on to mention that journalists have learned to depend on leaks from government officials. Leaking classified information is a crime punishable by law. Those leaking need to be held accountable. At the same time, the government needs to be more transparent. A lot of things that are classified are classified to save the government from embarrassment.

The article concludes:

This leads to the most dangerous conclusion of all. The Russia collusion debacle has shown that the FBI and CIA leadership are not effectively under the oversight of elected officials, but instead are capable of tampering with the American democratic process and constitutional governance.

All this must stop. President Trump should assemble a team of solid intelligence and counterintelligence veterans to dig deep into the FBI and CIA leadership, discover the real nature of the problems and devise solutions before our system self-destructs.

It’s time to create an intelligence community that is apolitical. I don’t know if that is possible, but it’s a great goal.

What Is The Difference Between A Leaker And A Source?

Yesterday The New York Times reported the following:

…James A. Wolfe, 57,  (a former Senate Intelligence Committee Aide) was charged with lying repeatedly to investigators about his contacts with three reporters. According to the authorities, Mr. Wolfe made false statements to the F.B.I. about providing two of them with sensitive information related to the committee’s work. He denied to investigators that he ever gave classified material to journalists, the indictment said.

The article states:

Mr. Wolfe’s case led to the first known instance of the Justice Department going after a reporter’s data under President Trump. The seizure was disclosed in a letter to the Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Mr. Wolfe. The seizure suggested that prosecutors under the Trump administration will continue the aggressive tactics employed under President Barack Obama.

…Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe’s communications with four reporters — including Ms. Watkins — using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.

However, we are dealing with The New York Times, which is not above using very selective memory in spinning a story.

The article states:

Ms. Watkins’s personal lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, said: “It’s always disconcerting when a journalist’s telephone records are obtained by the Justice Department — through a grand jury subpoena or other legal process. Whether it was really necessary here will depend on the nature of the investigation and the scope of any charges.”

Poor Ms. Watkins. Let’s go back to the case of James Rosen.

The following was reported by Fox News on May 23, 2013:

Newly uncovered court documents reveal the Justice Department seized records of several Fox News phone lines as part of a leak investigation — even listing a number that, according to one source, matches the home phone number of a reporter’s parents.

The seizure was ordered in addition to a court-approved search warrant for Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s personal emails. In the affidavit seeking that warrant, an FBI agent called Rosen a likely criminal “co-conspirator,” citing a wartime law called the Espionage Act.

Rosen was not charged, but his movements and conversations were tracked. A source close to the leak investigation confirmed to Fox News that the government obtained phone records for several numbers that match Fox News numbers out of the Washington bureau.

Further, the source confirmed to Fox News that one number listed matched the number for Rosen’s parents in Staten Island.

A journalists right to report needs to be protected, but the leaks out of the Senate Intelligence Committee are ridiculous. There have been instances of matters not taken up by the Committee because the members knew that anything said would be leaked. I am not sure where we need to draw the line on investigating leakers, but it seems as if both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have used questionable methods to try to stop leaks.

Political Correctness Meets Mental Illness

Political correctness has become acceptable in recent years. Television shows that we watched as children or young adults would not be allowed on the air today. I loved the show “WKRP,” but I doubt that show would be allowed on the air today because of the stereotypes of women, blacks, disc jockeys, newscasters, etc. However, it was a very entertaining show because of the way the characters were drawn. It was not meant to offend any one group of people–it simply laughed at who we all are.

So what happens when a person who is mentally ill decides to take political correctness to its limit?

The New York Post posted a story today about the recent killing of a newswoman and a news cameraman in Virginia. The story is a clear illustration of political correctness run amok. The story also illustrates what happens when a disturbed person decides to be offended by something that is not meant to be offensive or that most of us would not consider offensive.

The article reports:

The words are a part of everyday conversation — “swinging” by an address and going out in the “field.”

But in the twisted mind of Virginia gunman Vester Lee Flanagan II, they were pure racism — and saying them became a death sentence for Alison Parker.

The 24-year-old white reporter, who was murdered on live TV along with her cameraman, used the phrases as an intern at ­WDBJ TV in Roanoke in 2012, according to an internal complaint filed by Flanagan, who was black.

“One was something about ‘swinging’ by some place; the other was out in the ‘field,’ ” said the Jan. 21 report by assistant news director Greg Baldwin, which refers to Parker as Alison Bailey (her middle name).

The article goes on to explain that Flanagan interpreted out in the ‘field’ as a reference to cotton fields. In his twisted mind, that was a racist statement.

The article further reports:

“This guy was a nightmare,” Fair (Trevor Fair, a 33-year-old cameraman at WDBJ for six years) said. “Management’s worst nightmare.”

Flanagan assumed everything was a jab at his race, even when a manager brought in watermelon for all employees.

“Of course, he thought that was racist. He was like, ‘You’re doing that because of me.’ No, the general manager brought in watermelon for the entire news team. He’s like, ‘Nope, this is out for me. You guys are calling me out because I’m black.’ ”

Flanagan even declared that ­7-Eleven was racist because it sold watermelon-flavored Slurpees.

“It’s not a coincidence, they’re racist,” he allegedly told Fair. 

How do you deal with a person who is constantly offended by the world around him? Do you refer him for mental testing? Do you put him on some sort of watch list? It seems to me that Flanagan was going to explode at some time. It is a shame that explosion could not have been prevented (without infringing on his civil rights).

The Senate’s Latest Attempt At Muzzling The Press

Senate Bill S987 is sponsored by New York Senator Charles Schumer. It is called the “Free Flow of Information Act of 2013.” The name is totally misleading.

According to Thomas.gov:

Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 – (Sec. 2) Prohibits a federal entity (an entity or employee of the judicial or executive branch or an administrative agency of the federal government with the power to issue a subpoena or other compulsory process), in any proceeding or in connection with any issue arising under federal law, from compelling a covered journalist to disclose protected information, unless a U.S. judge in the jurisdiction where the compulsory process has been or would be issued determines, after providing notice and an opportunity for the journalist to be heard, that all reasonable alternative sources have been exhausted and that separate specified conditions have been met depending on whether the matter is a criminal investigation or prosecution. (Thus, establishes a qualified privilege for journalists to withhold confidential information unless a judge makes a determination to compel disclosure under conditions that apply differently in criminal and civil matters.) (the bold italics are mine)

DaTechGuy posted an interesting article on this today.

DaTechGuy reports:

As we watch the spectacle of the mainstream media decide which internal investigations are believable (White House investigations on Benghazi & the IRS scandal) and which are not (Chris Christie Bridge Scandal) the Senate Judiciary Committee is advancing a bill “The Free Flow of Information Act of 2013” (S.987) that supposedly enhances freedom of the press by providing journalists with a legal shield in order to keep them from being forced to testify concerning sources.

While the actions of this administration might suggest a need of such a law, there is a huge catch in this bill that’s getting little play.  In order to determine who gets this shield privilege the bill devotes seven pages to define who a “journalist” and who is not.

In other words, this bill codifies the government’s the power to decide who is a legitimate journalist and who is not,  in effect licensing journalists.

DaTechGuy reminds us of where we would be if the government had declared that Matt Drudge was not a ‘covered’ journalist (remember the blue dress?) or Woodward and Bernstein were not ‘covered’ journalists. The White House already controls the press. There is no need to make it official.

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Editorial Compliance Equals Access

The German newspaper called Deutsche Welle posted a story last Thursday about the American media. The headline of the story was “US journalists trade independence for access.” The article points out that in Germany it is not unusual to require authorization before interviews can be published, but that America is moving in that direction.

The article reports:

But in the United States, the balance of power between the journalist and the politician has increasingly shifted in favor of the latter. According to a July 15 report by Jeremy W. Peters of the New York Times, political journalists in Washington are increasingly trading their editorial independence for high-level access to members of the Obama administration.

Quotes gleaned from administration officials by a reporter are not just reviewed by the publication’s editor, they are often sent to the very same officials for approval – and even redaction – before going to print.

According to Stephen Ward, there is a growing and unhealthy “pressure on journalists and … on news organizations to get the story, to be first, to be the first tweet.”

“The officials who know this are quite aware that in this era of 24 hours news, access is king,” Ward, the director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told DW. “This is just a game of access – it’s as old as journalism.”

Access may partially explain the leftward tilt of American journalism, but I think there is also another explanation. Since the 1960’s our colleges have shifted to the political left. They have reflected the political and social upheaval of that time. The professors of today are often the students of that era or were educated after the our college campuses turned left. The inmates are running the asylum.

The article concludes:

Ultimately, journalists must assume much of the responsibility for the weakening of their editorial independence, according to Ward. He argues that they have increasingly bought into a partisan political game that revels in scandal at the sake of context.

“We are never going to get rid of all the tweets and the 24-hour business – all the fast-food journalism that we are seeing,” Ward said. “But we can at the core of political discourse maintain certain sources of news and analysis that are informed and not breathless – (that are) thoughtful.”

Our republic depends on a honest mainstream media. It is distressing that at this time we have to turn to the alternative media for the truth.

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