What's driving the narrative? Is it fake news, PR stunts, real legal arguments?



The proposed changes to the constitution deal with a range of important subjects that can affect voter access to the polls and impact the trajectory of state courts. This includes adding a voter photo ID requirement and restricting the ability of the state’s Democratic governor to fill vacancies on state courts and appoint people to the state election board.

What?! :woman_facepalming:t2:


Yes’ all wrong…

North Carolina Republicans are resurrecting their efforts to require voters to present specific forms of identification in order to cast a ballot, after an earlier voter ID law was struck down for discriminating against African Americans. This time, they’re trying to do it through a constitutional amendment.

On Thursday, Republicans in the legislature introduced a constitutional amendment that would require a photo ID to vote. It is expected to pass the legislature in the coming days and be placed on the ballot for voters’ approval in November.


Thank you Apple.

Apple has removed the entire library for five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcast apps, BuzzFeed News has learned.

Apple Is Removing Alex Jones And Infowars’ Podcasts From iTunes

The removal follows enforcement actions by platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify and is the largest crackdown on conspiratorial news content by a technology company to date.

Apple has removed the entire library for five of Infowars’ six podcasts from its iTunes and Podcast apps, BuzzFeed News has learned. Among the podcasts, which were removed from Apples’ iTunes directory, are the show “War Room” as well as the popular Alex Jones Show podcast, which is hosted daily by the prominent conspiracy theorist.

Apple’s decision to remove all episodes of Jones’ popular show — rather than just specific offending episodes — is one of the largest enforcement actions intended to curb conspiratorial news content by a technology company to date. Apple did not host Jones’s shows, but it offered an index that allowed anyone with an iPhone to find and subscribe to them. Though Apple is far from Jones and Infowars’ only distribution platform, the decision to pull Jones’ content will considerably limit the outlet’s audio reach — as of 2018, Apple’s Podcasts platform amassed 50 billion all-time downloads and streams.

In a statement Sunday evening to BuzzFeed News, Apple confirmed that it notified Jones of the decision to remove the five shows under its hate speech guidelines earlier this weekend. "Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users," a company spokesperson said. "Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”


Facebook has a huge number of visitors…and in this era of information, selling of it…this is very revealing, and quite frankly, horrid

Facebook Inc. FB 4.45% wants your financial data.

The social-media giant has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users.

Facebook increasingly wants to be a platform where people buy and sell goods and services, besides connecting with friends. The company over the past year asked JPMorgan Chase JPM 0.03% & Co., Wells Fargo WFC 0.10% & Co., Citigroup Inc. C 0.01% and U.S. Bancorp USB 0.04% to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger, said people familiar with the matter.

Data privacy is a sticking point in the banks’ conversations with Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks are taking place as Facebook faces several investigations over its ties to political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which accessed data on as many 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

One large U.S. bank pulled away from talks due to privacy concerns, some of the people said.


Curtailing false information is a good thing. The fewer conspiracy theories the better.

The hacking collective Anonymous is pledging to expose the people behind the “QAnon” conspiracy theory.

The anarchist hacking group slammed the QAnon conspiracy as potentially dangerous and driven by a “brainless political agenda” in a video posted Sunday to what is widely considered the most reliable Anonymous Twitter account.

“We will not sit idly by while you take advantage of the misinformed and poorly educated,” the group said in the video, which was posted with the hashtags #OpQ and #OpQAnon.

The video depicts various figures with Anonymous masks acting out certain aspects of the QAnon conspiracy against a constant backdrop of the letter “Q.”

The video claims that Anonymous “knew who was responsible for Q” and thought it was funny at first. However, the group now believes the conspiracy theory has gone too far.

Someone is going to get hurt, so we have to put our foot down and start some shit with you all,” the group said in the video.


But presidential scholars and former White House staffers say that it’s rare for a president to make a false statement during a speech to Congress, much less to cite nonexistent research from his own Cabinet to support it. It’s even worse, they say, that it was used to justify a major policy proposal outlined in the speech.

During the address, Trump called it “reckless” to allow “allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur,” an apparent reference to his Administration’s controversial travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries. He released a revised version of the executive order about a week later.




New Poll: 43% of Republicans Want to Give Trump the Power to Shut Down Media

The “enemy of the people” talk is working. A plurality of self-identified Republicans say they want Trump to have the power to take “bad” media outlets out.


There’s a film just coming out,Death of a Nation," a two-hour attack on Democrats that doubles as a celebration of Donald Trump made by Dinesh D’Souza where DJT Junior is comparing the Hitler reign with being totally like the Democratic platform.

Politifact shoots down all theories put forth…so it must be considered T propaganda.

Dinesh D’Souza is the one who was pardoned by T in June 2018.


Fox is a powerful source of unfettered bias, and a channel we know T watches exclusively. What has changed recently (and I watch it sometimes on big news days to catch the narrative) is the all out white nationalist dog-whistling to those groups. It is astounding to believe what I am watching.

Hard to explain how we move on from what is a huge disconnect between the belief systems touted by certain media groups. What this does is make us painfully aware of the ugly political views out there.

@Joshcampbell (cnn)
CNN’s @BrianStelter breaks down the new @IngrahamAngle walk-back. As he says, “No matter what Ingraham says now, she was talking about changing demographics in the country being disturbing to her and to her audience. She can’t take that back.”

Fox News Now Airs Unabashed White Nationalism in Primetime

Laura Ingraham joins Tucker Carlson in explaining that “changing demographics” are destroying America.


That’s why it’s a more and more common experience to wake up and see that one of the fabulously rich resentment-peddlers on the president’s favorite news network spent the previous evening spouting unabashed white nationalism on-air. Usually, it’s Tucker Carlson who pops up on Fox News to rail against “demographic changes” in America—that is, non-white people immigrating here. That kind of rhetoric has earned Carlson praise from Richard Spencer and David Duke.

But Laura Ingraham certainly gave Carlson a run for his money Wednesday night, unleashing a nakedly white nationalist rant that suggested “the America we know and love” has been destroyed by “massive demographic changes” due to both illegal and legal immigration:


Rudy Giuliani is spouting “Truth isn’t truth,” on Meet the Press this weekend.
Another term for “Alternate facts” and a way to stretch the truth and create an alternative narrative for T telling his truth about what went down with his role.

Logic behind this
Truth isn’t Truth…there is no truth to obstruct…Russia is not an issue, therefore there was no issue to worry.


Chuck Todd, moderator for NBC’s “Meet the Press” talks about the Roger Ailes effect - muddying the veracity of the news especially with Fox’s political bias, and hyperbole. About 44% of readers/watchers do not trust the main street media (MSM.)

Of course, T’s ability to hold the attention of his base, whether he is speaking the truth or not, is troubling as well. Don’t take him literally is the response, but his messaging does tend to wear people down by repetition. (see Fake News)

While each set of political parties tend to live in their own echo chamber, I feel overwhelmed in knowing that what is being said is not being considered if it is true or false.

In a discussion Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” moderator Chuck Todd helped to cement the awful legacy of Roger Ailes, the late founder and president of Fox News. In a back-and-forth with David Brody of CBN News, Todd addressed one of the 21st Century’s most depressing trend lines — the American public’s trust in the accuracy and integrity of the media.

It goes without saying that the mainstream media is a political asset for the president. President Trump’s authoritarian rants against “fake news” are among the few through lines of the past three years, along with his nonstop mendacity and narcissism. He has gone so far as to boast about his own role in depressing trust among Americans in the media.

To Todd’s point about the Ailes effect — correct. Launched in 1996, Fox News has boosted its ratings throughout its history by hammering mainstream outlets when they published scoops unfavorable to Republican candidates — only to piggyback on these very same outlets when they published scoops unfavorable to Democratic candidates. The network’s ideology on this front was uniform, persistent and, quite often, idiotic. But it helped attract a big and mostly Republican audience, a dynamic that surely wasn’t lost on Trump himself, a friend of Ailes and longtime guest on the network’s morning program, “Fox & Friends.”

Overall, Americans believe 62% of the news they see on television, read in newspapers and hear on the radio is biased. They are much more inclined to see news on social media as biased, estimating that 80% of the news they see there is biased.

Americans tend to think the majority of news reporting is accurate, but they still believe a substantial percentage of it, 44%, is inaccurate. They think 64% of news on social media is inaccurate.

In rating various news organizations, Americans make little distinction between bias and accuracy — generally, those that are perceived as biased are also perceived as inaccurate, and those that are perceived as unbiased are perceived as being accurate.

Republicans’ and Democrats’ ratings of the accuracy and bias of certain news organizations diverge sharply, most notably with respect to Fox News®, Breitbart News®, CNN® and MSNBC®.


A story that keeps changing…but who are you going to blame (R’s now blames CNN) or for that matter, believe.

From Brian Stelter’s (Money Matters CNN newsletter)

CNN standing by its story about Cohen and Trump
Brian Stelter emails: Michael Cohen attorney Lanny Davis “is backing away from confident assertions he made that Cohen has information to share with investigators that shows Trump knew in 2016 of Russian efforts to undermine Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton,” the WaPo reported Sunday night.WaPo Story debunking Cohen’s/Davis accuracy

FLASHBACK: One month ago, CNN CNN Scoop had the scoop about Cohen claiming that Trump knew in advance about the infamous Trump Tower meeting. The story was attributed to “sources with knowledge.” When the story broke, other reporters called Davis, and in some cases he spoke as an anonymous source, giving credence to CNN’s info.

NOW: He’s walking it back – telling the Post that “I should have been more clear — including with you — that I could not independently confirm what happened.”

REACTIONS: Pro-Trump web sites are claiming that the CNN story was a “lie,” and that it’s been “debunked.” They might want it to be “debunked,” but it’s not. The critics don’t know who CNN’s sources were.

CNN STANDING BY THE STORY: In a statement to the Post, a CNN rep told the Post, “We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.”



It’s a remarkable day when an FBI official has to come out and refute a report that the president tweeted.
8:20 PM - 29 Aug 2018


Twitter use by the Prez is super frequent. Many pundits describe this as an early response to something big coming…

Here’s an example of T trying to locate his opponent or ‘enemy,’ always giving him something to rail against.

The Press

Glenn Thrush (NYT reporter - but he’s off the T beat, and still tweeting on it)

Glenn Thrush Retweeted Donald J. Trump

The Trump paradox: He demands perpetual attention. But w/o an ‘enemy’ he would be forced to occupy center stage alone —vulnerable and judged.… so he always pulls the ‘enemy’ or a ‘fool’ onto the stage, just like in his show.


I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!
4:11 AM - 30 Aug 2018

Here’s one today that refutes a rumor, or something reported, but others state that

  1. T actually states the truth by refuting it via this tweet


Maggie Haberman Retweeted Donald J. Trump

These tweets are like confirmation at this point.


Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner had NOTHING to do with the so called “pushing out” of Don McGahn.The Fake News Media has it, purposely,so wrong! They love to portray chaos in the White House when they know that chaos doesn’t exist-just a “smooth running machine” with changing parts!
4:44 AM - 30 Aug 2018

  1. T also condemning News media to Deny, Deny, Deny…what he’s already said on tape.

@JillWineBanks (former Watergate Prosecutor)

Jill Wine-Banks Retweeted Donald J. Trump

I seldom RT 45’s tweets, but this one is so crazy and such a threat to facts we saw ourselves that i wanted to be sure everyone sees it. Reminds me of his late denial that it was him on Access Hollywood tape. Took him a year+ to deny this.


What’s going on at @CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks - with @NBCNews being the worst. The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!
4:02 AM - 30 Aug 2018

  1. Comments from Richard Painter (former lawyer for GWB)


Richard W. Painter Retweeted Donald J. Trump

This man is either crazy or he wants to be a dictator. Or both. House and Senate Members who don’t even try to impeach and remove him are taking a huge risk for our Country. @realDonaldTrump is out of control. He must go.


I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!
4:11 AM - 30 Aug 2018


Fighting back against disinformation.

Craig Newmark, the Craigslist founder who heads Craig Newmark Philanthropies, is giving $1 million to Mother Jones for investigative reporting that combats disinformation. Newmark also recently donated to ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, the Columbia Journalism Review and other places

An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Newmark is a long-time, vocal advocate for a vigorous, trustworthy press. “We’re in the middle of an online information war, and the stakes are a free press, an informed public, and strong democratic institutions,” said Newmark. “Mother Jones is at the center of that fight, defending the country against bad actors. As a news consumer and citizen, I depend on its innovative, rigorously accurate reporting, and I’m thrilled to support its growth.”


The business of containing ‘dirt’ which American Media made it their business to hold onto particularly if it related to T. As a personal friend to T, David Pecker made a decision to keep those stories hidden from the public.

Now, Mueller’s team might be interested in what’s in those files.

It is not known how much of the material on Mr. Trump is still in American Media’s possession or whether American Media destroyed any of it after the campaign. Prosecutors have not said whether they have obtained any of the material beyond that which pertains to Ms. McDougal and Ms. Clifford and the discussions about their arrangements.

For the better part of two decades, Mr. Pecker had ordered his staff at American Media to protect Mr. Trump from troublesome stories, in some cases by buying up stories about him and filing it away.

In 2016, he kept his staff from going back through the old Trump tip and story files that dated to before Mr. Pecker became company chairman in 1999, several former staff members said in interviews with The New York Times.

People with knowledge of American Media’s operations, who would speak only on condition of anonymity, described the files on Mr. Trump as mostly older National Enquirer stories about Mr. Trump’s marital woes and lawsuits; related story notes and lists of sensitive sources; some tips about alleged affairs; and minutia, like allegations of unscrupulous golfing.

As the Associated Press reported last week, some of the information was kept in a safe devoted to particularly sensitive material.


FBI has been notified about Rep Maxine Waters opponent, Omar Navarro’s using her official letterhead with a false message and posting it on social media.

The lengths the smears will go is unreal.


GOP congressional candidate Omar Navarro’s meeting with the FBI about a fake letter he posted about his opponent, Rep. Maxine Waters, is now scheduled for next week. Misusing a government seal or posing as a government official is a federal crime.

Waters filed a complaint with Capitol Police and the FBI in December after Navarro tweeted the image. The letter, which appeared to be on an altered version of Waters’ official letterhead, falsely claimed the congresswoman wanted to resettle tens of thousands of Somali refugees in her Los Angeles district. It includes her signature and the official House seal.

Misusing a government seal or posing as a government official is a federal crime.


Yes, T reinvents things.

Evidence shows Trump’s Google video was inaccurate

The video President Trump tweeted yesterday that claimed Google did not promote his State of the Union addresses has been debunked by the Wayback Machine, a service that allows users to view digital archives of web pages.

Screenshot of Google’s homepage on January 31, 2018

Why it matters: Google issued a statement yesterday saying they “have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President,” but that they did highlight the livestream of Trump’s State of the Union address in 2018. The Wayback archive supports Google’s claim.


You think?!


Barbara Res, ex-Trump Org. EVP: “It is very much the man I know but amplified … he sort of— has no self-control. I mean there was never any external control to speak of … But he did have a bit of self-control. Right now it looks like he looks like he’s out of control.@MSNBC
12:10 PM - 30 Aug 2018


Washington Post which analyzes T’s telling of “his own version of the facts.” We see it daily. Interesting comment from NYU History Prof. Ruth Ben-Ghiat on how T is sculpting the message out there to say T is the only arbiter of the truth, and a pre-curser to an authoritarian regime.

Yet as Trump offers his own version of the facts, his critics see darker motives.

Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign adviser, said the president is less actively trying to move public sentiment than reflecting back and amplifying the views of his existing supporters. “It’s more a byproduct of our flavored news,” he said. “You can now shop for news in any flavor you like, and so people put their trust in the news of the flavor they desire.”

“The widening circle of the parties that he’s accusing is predictable because I see Donald Trump as an authoritarian in the making or an authoritarian wannabe, and there’s always a transition process of this sort of leader asserting himself above all the authorities,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a history professor at New York University who studies authoritarianism. “Every authoritarian leader eventually asserts himself as the only arbiter of truth.”

“President Trump has no direct responsibility for this, but he has created a climate for making such ideas more possible by his very consistent attacks since 2015 on the press,” Ben-Ghiat said.

The strategy is effective among Trump’s base, GWU’s Sesno said, but could backfire long-term.

“It also serves to remind those not part of the base that he has this assertive and warped sense of reality,” Sesno said. “The danger to him is that at some point, it just wears so thin or rings so hollow or is so devalued by the constant repetition of it that it either loses impact or boomerangs.”