A lot of the media is at war with Trump, well …


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."     1st Amendment to the US constitution – 1791


 Brian Stelter is 31?  Who knew?

The section of the 1st Amendment quoted above speaks of actions prohibited to the Congress of the United States.  It does not regulate press relations between the Executive Branch of the federal government and the developing media.

It should be intuitively obvious to the casual observer that CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other media outlets are deeply committed to hostility to the Trump Administration on each and every issue that may arise no matter how trivial and if there are no trivialities available, they seem quite willing to be creative.

If I were the Trump Administration I would reciprocate in terms of access to government officials now serving.  Active Civil Servants and Soldiers in the US Service have no (zero) right of access to the press other than to read printed material or listen to broadcast media.  They all take an oath  to safeguard government information provided to them in the course of their work.  There are criminal penalties involved for "unauthorized disclosure" if the government  chooses to prosecute.  At the same time the government may choose to release (openly or covertly) whatever information it pleases using these same employees or service members.  The information belongs to the government.

So, while the federal government has no right or real ability to regulate or censor the media in the US, it has every right to selectively decline to cooperate with some media based on unrelenting prosecutorial attitudes and behavior.  Under such "rules" there would be no on-screen interviews or behind the scenes "backgrounders" for the "hostiles."

Under such process the government would continue to refrain from attempting to prosecute people like James Risen, author of "State of War," while continuing to be free to prosecute people like Jeffrey sterling, the ex-CIA man who was Risen's supposed source for Chapter 9 of the book.  I was a defense consultant in the case.  pl 



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81 Responses to A lot of the media is at war with Trump, well …

  1. Jack says:

    The media today is much broader than the traditional print, broadcast and cable media. The MSM is clearly at war with Trump and likely will be during his entire term. They are most upset with his unPC behavior and attitude as well as the fact of their own impotence in destroying him during the election campaign. The Trump administration, IMO, should provide access to those not in the MSM and live stream those interviews. Why not bloggers, and tweeters and those knowledgeable about topics interviewing administration officials instead of pompous celebrity spokesmodels more focused on their groupthink opinions rather than reporting?

  2. ked says:

    that’s a great idea.
    the TV media might start doing actual investigative journalism – maybe even quality work. stop attending Executive Branch PR events too… redirect the budget for makeup.

  3. Sol says:

    The problem is that many of those civil servants and military members are also at war with Trump. The Republican Party Establishment can also be included. Quite honestly Trump only has his base as support and even they can get a bit pissed at his rants on Twitter. I’m not saying that he needs to change but definitely needs to get himself a bit under control and realize that there are long knives after him from all sides. I just wonder who his “Brutus” will be.

  4. shanks says:

    The POTUS is taking so much flak that i’m pretty much given up on believing any of the major outlets. Some of it are obvious plants and are followed by retractions that I just wait a few days to hear that the said incident never even happened.
    After the first few public humiliations of the press and some gov folks, things will settle down. As it is anywhere in the world. And Trump seems like the man who’s going to set fire to someone(figuratively speaking)to get the message across

  5. YT says:

    “Everywhere cunning, everywhere small feuds and hatreds, distrusts, dishonesties, timidities, feebleness of purpose, dwarfish imaginations, swarm over the great and simple issues [as well as confusion of purposes that wastes the hope and strength of humanity].”
    Mr. Britling Sees it Through,
    by H.G. Wells
    (posted by “2/1 Doc RVN 68-69” @ http://www.unz.com/freed/many-storms-gathering-reflections-on-trump/ )

  6. Fred says:

    Give it time.Trump’s only been in office 3 weeks. When a bunch of civil servants lose their jobs over releasing government information without approval the rest will get the message. There’s only so much “go fund me I got fired by Trump” money to go around. Military members? I guess they can all hope to get a pardon like Bradley Manning. They will have to wait for Obama 2.0 to get elected though.

  7. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Gypsy Diversions can only last so long before the kids/parents get nabbed. Alas what they are carting off ain’t chump change. Immigration/Supreme Court this week, Obamacare next week.. Your call on what’s on the take-home-in-the-meantime (Diversion) list .
    Get real. US Gov’t/POTUS persona non grataing the MSM will sink the Lady. Risk players gotta be smarter than that. Hey, but your call not mine. Punt.

  8. turcopolier says:

    How about giving us that in English? pl

  9. jonst says:

    I would be very careful with an idea like that. We all know our Col Lang’s. (although truly, there ain’t many like him). But we, especially those of us who have long trawled what was once called the netroots, know there are a lot of questionable characters online. THeir very strength, lack of editors (censurers and apple polishers), allows new and often insightful ideas and opinions to flow much more freely than the MSM PC Decorum can tolerate. But the anonymity, and lack of gatekeepers, can hide other matters, away from political questions at hand. And that can make for nasty surprises about who one is granting interviews with. (i.e. seen as in bed with). I would expand my outlets if I were the Trump Admin, but I would be very careful about it. Whoever the Admin speaks to…will be gone over with fine tooth comb the day after speaking with them. I would keep that in mind. There may be a lot of well hidden skeletons out there, that can’t take light of day.

  10. Edward Amame says:

    Likewise. Why is the press obligated to give airtime or devote a column to liars like Kellyanne Conway?
    Then again, the president and his press secretary have the same problem.
    With that in mind, the right to selectively decline ought to be a two way street.

  11. Jack says:

    Very good point considering the MSM is desperately pitching the meme of Trump is the new Hitler. No doubt it will have nothing to do with the interview and everything to do with the “unsavoriness” of the interviewer. Not disimilar to the “reporting ” on Trump’s phone call with the Australian prime minister, where there was only obfuscated reporting on Australia conveniently trying to palm of their illegals being held in detention centers.
    BTW, what is this “netroots”?

  12. turcopolier says:

    You are sounding incredibly partisan. You are not allowed to call her a “liar” here. Do you understand or do you want to be banned again? They are not “obliged” to put her on their air. They never were, but they IMO want her for a punching bag. pl

  13. Edward Amame says:

    Col Lang
    Sorry, I didn’t realize I was crossing a line. Politifact is not partisan. What to call a spinner like Conway, with a Politifact page like hers. Or the president for that matter. “…Any negative polls are fake news…” Seriously?
    Perhaps the press’ distrust of (or hostility towards) the Trump team the press is well earned. The strategy out of the WH seems intended to further the partisan divide and turn the press into a right wing punching bag.

  14. Tel says:

    “The information belongs to the government.”
    Well strictly speaking it belongs to the people, and government is merely a legal entity that functions as a custodian.
    Regarding military secrets that have strategic or tactical importance there’s a case to be made that these are most valuable when NOT available to the public. That is to say the people benefit from a strong defence and some secrets are necessary for that defence.
    It would be difficult to make a similar case with regards to information about day to day operational governance. The people have a right to know what goes on in Washington, and they have a duty to oversee the running of government. Now the bar has been set quite low by Obama’s “Most Transparent Administration” ever, which turned out to be a total fraud. Trump should at the very least be aiming higher than his predecessor.

  15. turcopolier says:

    Don’t give me that propagandist crap! you will be civil here or you will be gone. pl

  16. turcopolier says:

    “strictly speaking it belongs to the people, and government is merely a legal entity that functions as a custodian.” That is untrue. By US law all US government classified information is the statutorily controlled property of the federal government, exclusively under its control by law. You may want to foster some notion that “the people” own all classified information but that is sophistic nonsense. pl

  17. Important to take the large view. There is nothing like a reputable source of information anymore. Newspapers have rarely been reputable, as history of 19th century “yellow journalism” shows. There was competition — many dailies in each city, often with several editions morning afternoon & evening. Economists might argue that competition leads to the truth here, although I doubt it. In any case, there is no advertising base to finance it any more.
    In broadcast, there was an unusual situation lasting about 100 years when there were only 3 networks and they had the money for large news organizations and the sense of public service to try to tell the truth (although they frequently went with the gov’t line). You may remember when Walter Cronkite was “the most trusted man in journalism”. Those days are long gone: with the coming of the cable stations, and then the internet, the big networks lost their captured audience and they don’t have the money to have foreign bureaus, to do in-depth story reportage, to triple-check their facts, etc.
    Right now, very few people are paying attention. Largest print dailies (WallSt.Journal, NYTimes) have 2-3 million subscribers each, maybe twice as many readers. This is only around 1% of U.S. population! Largest cable viewership is Fox (at least it was during Obama, as I recall) and also stable or falling. Trump has been outrageous enough to increase readers & viewership, I imagine: but I haven’t seen any figures, other than that NYTimes subscriptions may have increased a little in the last few weeks.
    It’s a new world and nobody understands it yet.
    What we really need are news “aggregators” that have good editorial sense.
    What we are getting –instead– is balkanization, where people only read or listen to those whom they are comfortable with, to people who already support their own intellectual view or emotional attitude. This is a recipe for disaster, and all are guilty. Every one of us, all!

  18. Edward Amame says:

    Col Lang
    Are you talking here about my second comment? If so, I’m gonna take a time out. I was trying to be civil. I’m not clear where the line is.

  19. Lars says:

    I suspect that the more the powers-to-be tries to control info, the more it will be leaked. Currently, the White House resembles a colander. I wonder how long it will take until somebody takes away Mr. Trump’s twitter account?

  20. steve says:

    I think all politicians lie at times. Their paid representatives who go on talk shows mostly get paid to lie and cover up for them. Has always been that way. Trump certainly has the right to not participate with media he doesn’t like (Obama did this to a certain extent), and as you point out, he can also forbid a lot of the government to participate with them. In return, I think the media can also just refuse to work with the most egregious of the paid spinners. However, where does this end up?

  21. ISL says:

    I have no idea what you do, but I presume you would fight against release of your intermediate products, idle musings, and mistakes before you could correct and finalize them? particularly if political hacks in the media took them out of context for character assassination?
    Sunshine laws and FOIA do not apply to draft documents. There can be a lengthy time lag before something is finalized.
    The information collected by the govt belongs to the govt until it (or a judge) releases it, or new laws are written. Some reports are by agency charter released upon final version. It depends on the agency’s charter. Additionally, some agencies deal with proprietary data to conduct business, which is never released and no court would agree with releasing it as it was acquired under NDA agreements. Other legal restrictions exist for other kinds of (unclassified) data.

  22. TV says:

    “Politifact is not partisan”
    Politifact is another loyal member of Team Democrat-media.
    Since the press is a collection of far left Democrat activists, why would they NOT be a punching bag for the right?

  23. VietnamVet says:

    Next to kids are pets.
    Yes, corporate media is out to get the Trump Administration. For no other reason than he is anti-globalist. If you think there is distrust of government now, just wait till it goes dark.
    For all intents and purposes a pink revolt has been kicked off in the USA. The vampire squids think they can squeeze the Middle Class dry. To quote political economist Mark Blyth “The Hamptons are not defensible”. The Masters of the Universe are so short sighted that they can’t conceive that they’re killing the golden goose; the US dollar and the Middle Class that supported it.

  24. trinlae says:

    Imho the respected Colonel is challenging us to go a good bit deeper with this particular correspondence.
    That is, if we look behind the scenes, we can acknowledge that certain corporate media leaders are doing double and even triple duty, because the old healthy “conflict of interest” boundaries of earlier generations have been tossed aside, and we now have the owner of Wapo holding up naked emperors of Wall St while simultaneously holding hefty contracts with the CIA, to take just one example (Google/alphabet/cfr line appears to be the quietest, perhaps because they are already a transnational entity and pragmatic in business: perhaps they’ve shopped their rationale for keeping youtube open as a “better the devils you know” concept and keep the retail and metadata collection contract revenues flowing freely).
    So if the politicized media outlets pumping the anti-Trump narratives 24/7 express the sentiments of memes picked up via their deep state entanglements, then what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and the media are a bottom-up cleansing vector where top-down agency sweeps are impractical, or can be a squeeze out via pressure on both ends where suitable, but without contaminating innocent neutrals and good guys.
    For details of the above-mentioned triple duty, see:
    https://youtu.be/9fat63bqvG8 where Abby Martin shows NPR owned by Podesta group
    (disclaimer: i haven’t verified veracity of any claims in these reports, but the journalism is pretty thick by today’s flimsy standards)
    There were also said to be several senior people of msm outlets who had relatives in the old dispensation who have since been evicted, they were made well known to the public through meme pics among the bernie bros), accordint to this meme entitled “Are You Sleeping?”, the previous deputy secy for HRC had his wife as pres of CNN, CBS pres had a brother in Obama WH, and ABC pres had a sibling that was an Obama advisor.
    So it seems prudent to be realistic about what we are dealing with in this topic. I find it very curious that those who are genuinely afraid of DT being a fascist think nothing of handing their money over to Amazon and Wapo! And imo they become furious when challenged on this point, so it may pay to use discretion discussing this with relatives of such persuasions.

  25. trinlae says:

    I recently tried to propose to someone in the anti-Trump group-think camp that it was overly generous to attribute these lapses to deliberate scheming and lying, and that it was more likely that the said persons were simply out of their depth in having a clue about what they were trying to talk about. They suggested that the apparent coordination and steady stream of fact-challenges implied to them that a mastermind was behind them, even if not the talking head mouth.
    In any case, what i find stunning in the case of cnn, for example, is that the drum banging goes on and on and on hour after hour and day after day, at the expense of other interesting news such as science and arts, and god forbid, international news. The effect especially on elderly who have a lifelong habit of depending on tv network news as a civic responsibility, and otherwise mostly home-bound and illiterate in independent news via computer is profound. They then see the same story echoed via WAPO hacks in the print dailies, so it “must be true.”

  26. jonst says:

    some may find this odd…but I would say this is a pretty good coverage of who the netroots was.

  27. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38884604
    Pity. I don’t have much time for the inmates of the Westminster bubble but at least they were reckoned to be good at the protocol stuff. Another illusion bites the dust.

  28. Bandolero says:

    I think the Trump team is doing quite well in the information war.
    What I find a particularly clever move is to better cooperate with non mainstream media. Like, when Sean Spicer in the press conference gave the right to ask the first question to Lifezette or now WH is allowing Skype questions from talk radio and so on. Trump referenced in tweet OANN.
    That strategy could be expanded, for example with exclusive media appearances announcing and explaining important policy decisions by top officials could be given to fair non MSM media of all kinds while the hostile MSM just get boiler plate statements by second tier officials on air. And even there, the second tier officials could reference to fair non MSM as in MSM Q: … Trump Spox answer A: As (POTUS/VP/the Secretary) just explained in his interview with (name of fair non MSM media) the decision taken was… As I see it, Trump and his people are totally free to which media they give the most interesting interviews and to whom not.
    Such a strategy could hurt hostile MSM badly, because it would limit their news to second guessing and their viewers would notice that over time.

  29. J says:

    The Pentagon came out today that their new retirement plan is now effective.
    Here is an article that was written on it last year:

  30. jonst says:

    The MSM has not given the Trump Admin a fair chance. You know it, and I know it. There reason/s for not doing so are because they think he is horrible, and the same with his Admin, or, they think he is Hitler, circa 1932. and all tricks are justified. Which indeed they may have been…circa 1932. I just wish they would come out and say it. But that is not within their interests.

  31. Marcus says:

    In regards to “It should be intuitively obvious to the casual observer that CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other media outlets are deeply committed to hostility to the Trump Administration…”
    I can pick out different issues where this doesn’t apply. The Supreme Court nominee is one such issue.
    But the entertainment value of this crew is too rich. The chief advisor is an avowed radical–a Leninist. IMHO this administration has issues that should be of concern to discerning citizens. I want these people scrutinized thoroughly.
    Get into a pissing match with some press heavyweights? What is the saying about picking a fight with someone that buys ink (electrons) by the barrel. Good luck with that tact.
    When various press representatives question some of the the blatant reckless, delusional,
    and petty behaviosr of this man maybe he should reflect a bit and assess content for validity. No, not trying to be facetious. At least the press shows more respect for Trump than Trump shows to the other branches of government. No press rep has called him the “so called President” yet.

  32. bks says:

    I like your suggestion for a different reason. Too often the White House controls the media through a patronage system of access to unnamed officials. Cut the press off entirely and they’ll be forced to do their homework rather than to act as stenographers to power.

  33. Freudenschade says:

    being oppositional to the pugnacious New Yorker is just good for business. Until Trump cools down, it’s unlikely the media will tone down their sales pitch to concerned citizens.

  34. Imagine says:

    America has gone far with the sacred value of Freedom of the Press, and I would argue that this constitutes the intent of a wide definition for all players rather than the narrow definition of Congress’s laws only. The President has the advantage of the armed forces on his side; thus needs counterbalance. The opposite of a free press is one enjoyed by totalitarian governments, in which the press is censored or dictated to. Slippery slope. A certain government sends midnight goon squads in to trash the headquarters and equipment of press it disapproves of. I would really hate to see the habit adopted here.
    Nixon was rightly brought down by the press, including Doonesbury. Trump himself attempted to take down Obama with the birther movement. America is based on a robust exchange of ideas instead of violence, and the truth will out, eventually, even if it takes decades. The main current problem is Operation Mockingbird never really stopped, and the sparse American press is controlled by Zionist/neocon elements who have a wild hair up their nose. But notice it’s Trump that’s in the Oval Office catbird seat, not Graham, not McCain, not Kagan, not Bolton, not Cheney, not Biden, not any former CIA director. He seems well capable of taking care of himself so far. Very interesting that the deep State seems to be using color revolution tactics on him, but we’ll see how that plays out.
    The press should not be muzzled. Neither should the President. There is certainly an unfilled need for actual news that’s not Ziocon based.

  35. David E. Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang,
    At the risk of having you depart again, I would just like to say that it seems that a number for posters have once again gotten quite uncivil.
    I certainly don’t want to see you go away. Is it not possible to simply ignore them and not post their comments?

  36. turcopolier says:

    David E. Solomon
    Yes, well, I am steeling myself to that necessity. thanks. pl

  37. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Okay Pat English. Gypsy = Trump. Diversion = yelling, eye contact broken (clerk-gypsy customer, pushing ruckus, owner-seen theft in one part of the store while the others load up/bugger off. Here’s one, that’s Trump loading up the “small stuff”
    The yelling looks like this:
    Pat the gypsy diversion-theft routine you’ve seen. If you haven’t somewhere I’ve got a piece of one on film from Bucharest.
    Diversion tactics don’t need more words.
    Last week or the week before Trump got the MSM’s+print/blogs attention while he started the evisceration (first youtube vid) of Dodd-Frank and EPA clean water regs at behest of the mining industry + what more that we’ll learn about when we put our hands in our pockets to find that it’s more than change that is missing. The question facing Trump’s people how to deal with diversions he’s starting/started because he’s already being “daisy-chained diverted” himself.
    As for sinking the lady (Statue if Liberty) the German press last week cut her head off. Any serious Executive Order (EO) attempt to muzzle-persona non grata gov’t employees from the Press/MSM or order DHS/CID to start winnowing service personnel social media remarks will, in my estimation, bring down most of what is left of the house ie “sink what’s left of the Lady.”
    Like I said that’s my reading..diversionary tactics are nothing new, neither is the gypsy or colonial mentality as to who owns what. That’s enough/didn’t mean to trouble you. Thanks for the chair kick. ted

  38. turcopolier says:

    The USAF version was quite good airplane but never saw much action except in the attack on Libya way back.pl

  39. turcopolier says:

    IMO, as I have written before, he is a master showman and deal maker. I have know several such, one of whom was a quite good general and director of DIA. The real question for me is if there is substance behind the mask and the shell of insecure ego. I haven’t figures that out yet. People like me and TTG lived by our ability to sort out the threads in someone’s personality. I’m not there yet with President Trump. I’ll let you know when I get there. The Germans, Ruritanians, etc. Let them chew their nails for a while. pl

  40. turcopolier says:

    “an avowed radical–a Leninist.” Well, to be an admirer of Lenin as an effective revolutionary politician is not necessarily the same thing as to be a “Leninist.” I once said to a senior USAID official that his analysis of the social structure of Lebanon was Marxist, i.e., it imagined the country as run by economic classes. After the meeting a colleague present at the encounter said that I had called the man a communist. Not so. pl

  41. turcopolier says:

    Are we grandfathered? pl

  42. turcopolier says:

    Our views are coincident. It won’t take long for ratings to drop as it is realized that they have lost a lot of access. pl

  43. turcopolier says:

    suspect what you like, but what will actually happen is that the government will pursue leakers relentlessly and punish those they catch. the government people here know that. this will have a “chilling effect” on leaking. pl

  44. turcopolier says:

    If you were civil you would not accuse your opponents of bad faith. pl

  45. The Colonel opened saying “It should be intuitively obvious to the casual observer that CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other media outlets are deeply committed to hostility to the Trump Administration”. I wish he had not relied on our ability to intuit the obvious and instead provided some examples of the media’s war on Trump.
    Other posters appear to believe that anything reported in the media that they do not agree with is both false and an attempt to attack the president. One even said, “The POTUS is taking so much flak that i’m pretty much given up on believing any of the major outlets.”. That is a tacit admission the commenter will only believe news that they agree with.
    Trump picked this fight with the media during the presidential campaign. Just google “campaign trump dishonest media” to read a number of articles quoting Trump disparaging members of the media as being dishonest and the worst kind of people.
    Then google “Trump Lies”. Pray tell how is it possible for the media to call lying “lying” without calling it “lying”?
    Kellyanne Conway may not be a liar, however she has a demonstrated propensity to say things that are factually untrue and then instead of admitting her error she spins it away saying she misspoke. See the Bowling Green Massacre/Attack. On three separate occasions she referred to this non event.
    The White House then provided a list of 78 attacks (fewer if you remove the duplicates) they claimed were under reported by the media. This begs the question as to how much reporting on an attack would be sufficient to satisfy this White House. Many attacks on the list were extensively covered by the media. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/02/06/the-white-house-releases-a-list-of-under-covered-terror-attacks-it-would-like-you-to-look-at/?utm_term=.4d35132b3c12
    When a pubic figure attacks the media for accurately reporting he and his spokespersons repeated prevarication it is he who has declared war and not the media.
    Comments from Trump…
    “If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%,” Trump said Sunday in one of seven anti-media tweets.
    He also tweeted, “It is not ‘freedom of the press’ when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false!”
    “As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” Trump said.
    “You know, some of the media is among the worst people I’ve ever met,” Trump continued. “I mean a pretty good percentage is really a terrible group of people. They write lies, they write false stories. They know they’re false.
    “When I watch a George Will or a Charles Krauthammer, you know, I’ve watched them for years, they’re losers. They’re just losers. They sit there, they haven’t done anything,” Trump added.
    .@MarthaRaddatz was so unprofessional and biased when discussing me on This Week. @GStephanopoulos should not allow this conduct!.@MarthaRaddatz was so unprofessional and biased when discussing me on This Week. @GStephanopoulos should not allow this conduct!
    On the campaign trail in Iowa, a state whose people I have truly gotten to know and love, I have been treated very badly by the Des Moines Register. They were uneven and inconsistent, but far more importantly, very dishonest. They would rarely write the facts or report what really took place.”

  46. turcopolier says:

    Richard Armstrong
    I think the committee will provide you a wealth of examples of the medias continuing campaign against Trump. Life is too short and demands om my time too many for me to mine the data for you. It is noticeable however that what the media critics and perhaps you as well is that opinions voiced by Trump or his people are “fact checked” for those opinions and the opinions are then described as lies if the reporter does not like them and they always dislike them. As for the example you cited from Conway she has acknowledged that she misspoke. Do you not occasionally misspeak? I do. I remember one such instance in 1965 and another just last year. IMO we should not expect perfect performancef rom anyone. BTW, you are Canadian. Perhaps Trudeau could agree to take those 1200 odd Muslim refugees that the Australians refuse to admit to their country and whom they are holding in Papua New Guinea and Nauu? pl

  47. Edward Amame says:

    Actually Politifact is run by the Tampa Bay Times. The paper’s reporters and editors do the fact checking. Over the years, it’s been criticized by libs and conservatives alike. In 2013, they awarded lie of the year to Pres Obama.

  48. Lars says:

    No doubt there will be efforts as you describe. The question is whether it will stop enough leaks. When you have an administration that has trouble with reality and is trying to make new enemies every day, that will be a dauntless task. I am sure it will be more successful in some departments, but we have a wide and vast federal bureaucracy, with many who are rather opposed to what is being tried in the White House. Already, in many cases, pronouncements from the top are “corrected” from below. Many in this administration, including Mr. Trump, are rapidly losing credibility and they have only themselves to blame.

  49. turcopolier says:

    Have you ever served in government? I think not. I have been in the military, the civil service and in international business at the executive level. would there be some continued leaking in spite of continuing determined efforts to discipline the work force? Yes, but the volume would be way down. I know lots of people many long retired or separated who are terrified of a security investigation. pl

  50. Edward Amame says:

    I am not a fan of the media, esp after reporting on the run-up to war in Iraq which is how I wound up here a long while ago.
    Regarding Trump. No. They are not fair. They destroyed Al Gore’s candidacy, they actually held him in open contempt. I don’t think they were too kind to H Clinton’s campaign either. A lot of that was probably due to her lack of access and open contempt for them.
    IMO, Trump’s honeymoon period was during the primaries. He got a lot more air time than any of the other candidates and reporters weren’t very tough on him. I don’t know why that was. Reporters appeared to be trying to play catch up after his nomination and haven’t stopped since. IMO, the Trump WH has been providing a lot of grist for the mill and isn’t doing itself much good with a number of their spokespeople.
    For now none of that matters. Trump is wildly popular his base, and especially the Christian Right, and the base doesn’t care what the media says about Trump. Trump’s Dodd-Frank about-face was noted on a previous thread. It will be interesting to see what happens when congress rears its ugly head, esp about things like people like, like Medicare negotiations for better drug prices, that the GOP doesn’t. That’s when Trump should be careful and tend his base.

  51. BabelFish says:

    Gypsy-Diversion Theft Gambit. Walk through Rome in or near the train station. It is a high art form!

  52. Pat Lang,
    I think we’ll be experiencing this sort of controversy over truth, fact, lies, and falsehoods for the next 4 years, at least. Conway made a statement that was demonstrably false. Whether or not it was a lie depends on whether she knew that. I would observe that this group of political campaign operatives is accustomed to making definitive statements derived from impressions, partial knowledge, and unverified information. For example, was Trump lying about thousands of Moslems in NJ cheering on 9/11? My guess is that he had a vague recollection of the dark-complectioned group whooping it up and cheering and who turned out to be Israeli Mossad agents and, in his mind, turned that into the multitude of Moslems. There was no retraction that I can recall. Conway, though now famous for “facts and alternate facts”, did admit that she wasn’t telling the truth.

  53. Fred says:

    Chicago 2016. 4379 shootings with 797 dead. MSM and Obama: crickets. Barrack did go to a Tammy Duckworth fundraiser though. Priorities……

  54. turcopolier says:

    Willian firzgerald
    Did you “grade” the Clinton people at the same standard? pl

  55. Ken Roberts says:

    Col. Lang … The current immigration policy turmoil in the US will likely benefit Canada. There are many talented people in science and engineering, for instance, who would like a stable new home for their families. Canada’s immigration policies and practices vary of course, as do any procedures administered by multiple people, but in general we are very practical, considering what a person brings that will benefit Canada. Their age, their health, their relationships, and yes of course, whether they pose some sort of civil disturbance risk. I realize that your response to RA about the people Australia has “on hold” was a tweak. But there is a substantive matter. If the US does not figure out some sort of stance regarding “others” which is long term durable, then it risks losing much influence. Isolation is an option, if your country is Burma … but if you aspire to be a contemporary Rome, then — well, it is a puzzlement.

  56. turcopolier says:

    Ken Robersts
    Perhaps Canada can be the new Kievan State and from that a great arctic power will emerge. Somehow I think most Indian scientists, doctors and engineers will continue to prefer a more temperate climate. pl

  57. Ken Roberts says:

    Horrors! One of the rules we have, not always followed, is that one should leave one’s prior-country disputes behind — but we welcome the diversity of languages, songs, dance, writings, other cultural attributes that people bring. Not a melting pot. More of a stew??
    Yes, the climate can be brutal here. I see people come, who say that they are used to cold because they taught in Copenhagen one winter, eg. Hah! On the other hand, my extended family is partly warm-climate origin. My advice: take up cross-country skiing, or curling, or snow shovelling, or some other pastime that amounts to a reason to look forward to snow. Maybe photography? Law is all weather, as is military service. Even some types of farming.
    So …. what attracted you ?

  58. Marcus says:

    Good point and well taken Pat. But you don’t rebut the radical part of the statement and a radical this close to the President’s ear should be well scrutinized. The press failed us last time in a similar scenario.

  59. Sam Peralta says:

    Ken Roberts
    It makes no sense for the US to take in Australia’s refugees who are being “housed” in detention centers. Canada is welcome to have them. Trump was spot on but the media made it all about that he “dissed” the Australian prime minister.
    The error of the Borg is that they aspire to be a “contemporary Rome”. This is the core of our problems. We can be engaged with the world without trying to be hegemon. That change of stance will immediately reap benefits in that we will not then be manipulated by the Izzies into pointless interventions in the tribal and centuries old conflicts in the Middle East.
    Scientists & entrepreneurs from around the world – China, India, Eastern Europe, etc are all voting with their feet making a beeline to come to the US. I believe the US should fundamentally alter its immigration policies by changing the priority of who gets first dibs on entry. We should favor those that want to assimilate and add value to our society. As an example, many of the best in the world see our society is open enough when they notice that Indians like Zubin Mehta lead the best symphony and also lead companies like Google & Microsoft. Japanese billionaire, Masayoshi Son the head of Softbank has also moved to the US. When the best of the best want to come to the US why should we put them behind in the line to someone who will be a burden to our society, unless we want to pretend to believe in some PC dogma.

  60. Fred says:

    Interesting. “Historically, noncareer service members — more than 80 percent of the force — have received no retirement benefit.”
    I don’t think that part on the non-career members is going to change any. What are the long term ramifications for career service members?

  61. Fred says:

    Left out from most of that coverage the WAPO is so defensive about are the words “Islamic terrorist” or any version thereof. That is especially true of both the San Bernadino and Orlando terrorist attacks. Those are lies of omission by the press.

  62. Origin says:

    Counter to the position of many on this site, I think it is great that a large segment of the MSM is at war with Trump. That is their purpose.
    A press at war with the president is the status ante for most of our history. As for a lying press, earlier presidents even hired journalists to lie just for them; nothing new here today. A large part of the MSM, particularly Fox and friends was constantly at war with Obama and continue the fight. It makes interesting discussions and reading.
    I never understood the argument that the MSM should be fair or neutral. The purpose of a free press is that competing ideas will compete and from that competition, the people can decide who is credible and discovery good policy. If one controls a news outlet, it seems OK and beneficial to me to have it reflect the owner’s political persuasion.
    In an earlier discussion, we discussed Trumps right to free speech. All have gained an insight into his mind from his Tweets. I enjoy reading them daily. It has gotten to be a great amusement for me. I check on his Tweets regularly. He has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that he is an authoritarian who only believes in free speech for himself and that he would shut down the press if he could. A media environment following his lead would be really tiring after a while.
    Instead of getting upset over a biased MSM or TrumpTweets, readers might look at it as an amusing contest, evaluate the sense-nonsense of the writings, make their own judgments of who is legitimate, then post critiques giving points to the losers and winner. Is not that what freedom of speech is all about?
    As for whether part of the MSM is at war trying to de-legitimize Trump; they are and that is their job.
    A president, once elected, gains “legitimacy” by being legitimate and wise in leading the country together to further the common good and happiness.
    From my perspective, I see little wise governance coming out of the Whitehouse or the Republican Congress at the moment. The whole place seems for sale to me as the Congress and the Administration works to sell-off and disestablish the commonweal and to take decisions in a way that infuriates at least half of the country. The Republicans just finished selling off the Education Department, an act that will have resounding, negative repercussions for years as our children get dumbed-down in for profit schools whose purpose is to make money for a few, not to educate. We can be sure that the press from both sides will contend vigorously over this sale for a long time.
    A world without a biased and fractious press would be boring and unhealthy for the freedoms loved here in America,
    May the contests thrive!!

  63. dean 1000 says:

    The root of the problem, Col Lang, is the lack of free speech. In 1934 Congress gave a handful of corporations/individuals a frequency monopoly on the means of mass communication. It came with a stream of revenue – tax deductible advertising for commercial advertisers. It was a gross abridgment of free speech because the act didn’t (also) provide for federal election districts to have a radio station where people could counter speak to whatever political speech the commercial stations and press may have put out.
    If election districts had radio & TV stations today, politicians could speak to the public w/o the consent of private interests.
    If politicians elected to form a new government or maintain an old one can’t speak directly to the public whenever they please, they don’t have free speech. Neither do constituents. I’m not suggesting that free speech for politicians and candidates satisfies the constitutional minimum. It would be a good place to start. The corporate media would continue to bash Trump and politicians journalists and owners disagree with. In time, pushback or agreement from the election districts would settle an issue in a more democratic manner. Aristotle’s maxim that “the size of a democracy is limited to the range of a mans voice” would have new meaning. I’m not taking Aristotle literally. The U.S. will be a representative republic for a long time to come. The human voice can now be heard around the world and projected into outer space.
    If Congress taxed us directly for free speech radio and TV, my guesstimate is the statistical family of four would pay less than $5.00 a month. Many journalists could find employment administering or refereeing the talkback.

  64. turcopolier says:

    I have no problem with him being “scrutinized.” What I object to is the misuse of the language. pl

  65. different clue says:

    Edward Amame,
    Since I don’t have my own computer at home and I have limited screen-time at work or at the library when I can grab such time, I don’t have time to do scholarly brute-force searches for any one particular thing. I can only rely on my memory for what I have randomly read here and there, now and then.
    And here is what I remember reading about why the MSM Fake News Media was so good to Trump before his nomination. I have read that one of the things revealed in the Podesta Emails was various Clinton figures discussing collusion between the Clinton Team and the pro-Clinton MSM about how to advance the “weakest-opponent” Republican nomination seekers so as to get for Hillary the weakest possible Republican opponent. It was called the Pied Piper Strategy. Trump was one of the Clintonite-designated Pied Pipers to be advanced at the expense of the “Regular Republicans”.
    The strategy worked. The Clintonites got what they thought would be their weakest opponent. They learned differently. Since Trump was the Clintonites’ very own choice of “weakest opponent” , Trump was literally the “her own petard” upon which Clinton found herself hoist.
    It wasnt’ supposed to turn out like that. So no wonder the MSM Fake News Media are furious and enraged. The irony is that if the Republicans had nominated one of their basic regular candidates, I would have voted for Clinton. It was the nomination of Trump that set me free to vote for not-Clinton one way or another. Any DemParty Clintonites reading these threads might think about that.

  66. different clue says:

    My brain wants to remember something President Eisenhower once said about that. When a reporter asked him if he would ever lie, he is supposed to have said: ” I am just as prepared to lie for my country as any other patriotic American, but only if I am confident that I will be believed.”
    So there is perhaps a time and a place to lie without becoming thereby a liAR.

  67. Sam Peralta says:

    The media with their faux news are losing credibility even faster. Trump is not losing any credibility among those that elected him to office.

  68. Origin says:

    Interesting idea. Perhaps more broadcasters could be put on a voluntary subscriber basis like some public broadcasters now are.

  69. turcopolier says:

    I am not concerned with Bannon being a “radical.” Jefferson said something to the effect that a little revolution is good in every generation. Tom Payne was a radical. What you object to is the content of Bannon’s supposed radicalism. pl

  70. Nancy K says:

    I’m not sure why she chooses to go on air. I understand that both she and Spicer translate or explain what Trump means but why do they need to, he speaks English why do we need to be told what he really means.

  71. turcopolier says:

    nancy K
    Did Obama not speak English well? pl

  72. PL, I am not Canadian. I’m an American by birthright and my forefathers predate the arrival of yourd North America.

  73. Marcus says:

    What content we’ll see. Similar to your previous comment about assessing Trumps personality the proof will be in the pudding.
    The burn from the last radical advisor in the Executive branch is still raw.

  74. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    BF FWIW the reason I used the gypsy “prototype” was that last week I got a note from oldies in my dad’s village (near Vukovar) with a line commenting on Trump’s presence “on se ponaša kao kralj cianske” (he acts like he’s the gypsy king.) Last two weeks Trump has been as busy as the lady in the first video clip. Okay, gypsy’s gotta live too..but its a no brainer to: 1) steal sheep and geese running unfenced; 2) steal from people that don’t know what they own. Let me punt.

  75. Nancy K says:

    Obama’s English was excellent and he could spell also. But I get the point you are making.

  76. turcopolier says:

    Nancy K
    Just to make sure … Obama, in spite of his language skills had public spokesmen. You know that. Why would you rebuke Trump for having the same? pl

  77. turcopolier says:

    Richard Armstrong
    I thought you were a dual national as I am. My mother’s people arrived at Quebec in 1617. pl

  78. Nancy K says:

    I don’t rebuke Trump for having spokesmen I just wish they wouldn’t tell us what he meant. If he says A is A, I don’t want to hear it explained he did not mean A he really meant B. I realize it is new days in his presidency and possibly the kinks are being worked out. Or, this is the way it will be.

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