O'Reilly: Women's March Protesters Were "Told To Show Up," Just Like "Totalitarian Governments In The 20th Century"
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Cernovich: “If You Love Black Women, Slut Shame Them” To Keep Them From Getting AIDS
White nationalist Mike Cernovich announced that he will host a new show on Right Side Broadcasting Network, an outlet dubbed the “unofficial Trump TV” network which has made a name for itself by live-streaming Donald Trump’s campaign events during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Cernovich announced in a January 23 tweet that he was “pleased to announce The Right Mindset will launch” on Right Side Broadcasting Network, and linked a Right Side Broadcasting’s YouTube stream. According to Right Side Broadcasting’s Youtube page, Cernovich’s program “will air February 1st,” and will feature “call-in’s and discussion of national/world topics.”
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) January 23, 2017
Right Side Broadcasting Network has been labeled the “Unofficial Trump TV” network by the Washington Post, which also noted Trump’s presidential campaign had previously “teamed up with Right Side to produce pre- and post-debate analysis shows that streamed on Trump’s Facebook page.” The hiring of Mike Cernovich indicates the network continues to find value in hiring proud racists, following RSBN’s hiring of racist YouTube personality Joey Saladino.
Cernovich’s ties to white nationalism and the “alt-right” have been repeatedly documented on Twitter and in the media. In 2015 he explained, “I went from libertarian to alt-right after realizing tolerance only went one way and diversity is code for white genocide.” Additionally, in a series of now-deleted tweets, Cernovich declared, “white genocide is real,” and “white genocide will sweep up the SJWs.”
Cernovich also traffics in sexist rhetoric, and has stated “date rape does not exist,” “misogyny gets you laid,” and declared “If you love black women, slut shame them” to keep them from getting AIDS.
When Cernovich is not peddling white supremacy, or denying the existence of date rape, he promotes unfounded conspiracy theories like “Pizzagate,” a fabricated story about child trafficking that led to death threats for employees of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria, and convinced accused shooter Edgar Welch to enter Comet Ping Pong with a rifle to “self-investigate” the conspiracy theory.
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Fox News is receiving criticism for its minimal coverage of the historic Women’s March on Washington and dozens of sister marches worldwide that brought together millions of people to stand up for human rights under the Donald Trump administration.
The New York Times reported that the Women’s March on Washington alone had “at least 470,000” attendees. Washington Post transportation reporter Faiz Siddiqui tweeted that January 21 was the “second-busiest day in metro history” for Washington D.C.’s public transportation system, with over one million trips taken. Across the country, one compilation of march attendance estimated participation of between 3.3 and 4.2 million people in various women’s marches, making it one of the largest manifestations of political activism in U.S. history:
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) January 22, 2017
Despite the historic nature of the event, however, Fox News dipped in and out of their coverage of the march while CNN and MSNBC covered it almost non-stop throughout the day. The Los Angeles Times’ Mary McNamara reported that minimal coverage on Fox compared to MSNBC and CNN “firmly reinstated” the “historical divide between Fox News and its compatriots.” McNamara continued that though Fox correspondent Jennifer Griffin “reported from the scene … it was a far cry from minute-by-minute analysis of a huge news event,” while also adding that Fox figures “questioned whether the crowd estimates were accurate” or whether liberals “refuse to accept reality.”
PolitiFact compared closed captioning transcripts of the three networks for terms “women,” “march,” and “Women’s March” and found large disparities between Fox and the other two cable news networks.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck pointed to CNN and MSNBC’s “daylong coverage of the protests” before stating that “the massive anti-Donald Trump demonstrations around the world may well be the start of a new political revolution, though you'd never know it if you were tuned into Fox News.” Scheck added that “Fox pretended that nothing special was going on” and that when the network did report on the march, “it was often in a smug, dismissive tone.”
On January 22, the day following the march, Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz offered a tepid admission his network had not given enough coverage to the marches, saying on his show MediaBuzz that “perhaps” Fox News “undercovered it.” Kurtz also suggested that a CNN headline about the marches sending a “message to Trump” was “overplaying what happened”:
HOWARD KURTZ (HOST): Yesterday CNN and MSNBC offered virtually nonstop coverage of a huge Women's March here in the nation's capital and in other major cities across the country. We're back with the panel. So while CNN and MSNBC were wall-to-wall, Fox kind of dipped in and out, perhaps undercovered it. I'd be interested to hear your view on that. CNN headline: "Women's marches across the U.S. send message to Trump." Was that overplaying what happened? Was there a clear message?
JOE TRIPPI (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): I don't think it was overplaying it yesterday. I mean yesterday was pretty big. It was pretty big news. I think you can get into did they overcover and did Fox under, and probably both of those arguments are correct in my view. We should have probably done more.
Other critics of Fox’s coverage took to Twitter to point out the disparities between Fox, CNN, and MSNBC:
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) January 21, 2017
Fox News has a live report from the DC march now -- but the network is devoting a lot less time than CNN and MSNBC. https://t.co/2ba9SzfbPp
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 21, 2017
— Greg Berlanti (@GBerlanti) January 22, 2017
Fox News just covered the women's march w/spotty signal shots from SF and Seattle, then interviewed a man on site, then called signs vulgar.
— Nathan Hubbard (@NathanCHubbard) January 22, 2017
Fox News is creating a false reality in which the Women's March does not exist but coherent thoughts in Trump's head do.
— John Levenstein (@johnlevenstein) January 21, 2017
Oh, *now* Fox News pays attention to the Women's March: https://t.co/PdGEEHjlk9
— Keith Caulfield (@keith_caulfield) January 21, 2017
Watched 30 minutes of Fox News just now. Fair to say it's treating women's march, cursorily, and as a curiosity.
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) January 21, 2017
Major media outlets have some great coverage of the Women's March ... and then there's Fox News https://t.co/ZI6k2M2bn3
— Daily Kos (@dailykos) January 21, 2017
Regardless of your political stance, acknowledging the largest march in inaugural history is newsworthy. Shame on Fox News for ignoring it.
— Jeff Cannata (@jeffcannata) January 21, 2017
Hundreds of thousands are protesting President Donald Trump’s administration and his hateful rhetoric during the campaign in the Women’s March on Washington and at numerous other marches across the United States and the world. Conservatives and other figures have attacked the demonstration with sexism and other demeaning comments.
Erick Erickson: “Sorry For All The Ham And Cheese That Won’t Get Made Into Sandwiches” While “Those Women Are Marching.” Fox News contributor and conservative radio host Erick Erickson said, “I feel sorry for all the ham and cheese that won't get made into sandwiches while all those women are marching.”
Piers Morgan: “Rabid Feminists” Creating “Global Emasculation Of My Gender.” Daily Mail columnist and former CNN host Piers Morgan wrote that he was “planning a 'Men's March' to protest at the creeping global emasculation of my gender by rabid feminists.” Morgan also labeled the demonstrations, “just an anti-democratic protest at Trump winning the presidency.”
Michael Flynn Jr.: Women Marching For “Free Mani/Pedis.” Michael Flynn Jr., son of Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, wrote that “Women already have equal rights, and YES equal pay in this country. What MORE do you want? Free mani/pedis?”
Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson: Protesters Are “Utter Morons.” Paul Joseph Watson, who works for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars, argued that “morons” at the protest should “go and protest against honor killings” because “women in the west have never had it better.”
Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft: “Overweight Homely Women March In DC.” Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit said, “Overweight homely women march in DC with ‘pussy grab’ pink hats #Ugh.” Gateway Pundit has recently reportedly received White House credentials from the Trump administration.
Radio Host John Cardillo: “My Shirts Aren’t Going To Iron Themselves.” Conservative radio host John Cardillo wrote, “Wrap this up girls. My shirts aren't going to iron themselves.”
David Clarke: March Was "An Absolute Freak Show." Frequent Fox News guest Sheriff David Clarke described the march as "an absolute freak show." He added, "P-T Barnum should have delayed the announcement to shut down."
Conspiracy Theorist And Trump Backer Alex Jones: Women's March Participants Were "Unattractive, Troll-Like Women." Jones recounted his experience observing the Women's March in Washington D.C., stating, "They were outside my condo, we were about to leave, so I went down to do a Facebook mentions, and they would walk by, they were mainly white women. Mainly, let's just say it, because they have been disenfranchised, they don't feel beautiful, unattractive troll-like women."
NRATV Co-Host: "At Least Trump Got More Fat Women Out For A Walk In One Day Then Michelle Obama Did In 8 Years." Chuck Holton, who hosts a web series for the National Rifle Association alongside Fox News contributor Oliver North, wrote on Twitter that participants in the march were "fat women":
Various media figures who advocate for “men’s rights” are also active members of the “alt-right,” the adopted name of a current movement of white nationalists. These men have used their media platforms to spew misogyny for years, some of them recently doing so in defense of President-elect Donald Trump.
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Fox News’ culture of sexual harassment did not end when founder Roger Ailes was given the boot. Instead, the network seems to have replaced him with men who engaged in or helped cover up similar behavior.
Last year, longtime Fox executives Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine became the network’s co-presidents, replacing Ailes, who left the network after dozens of women accused him of sexual harassment.
Abernethy has now been accused of retaliating against an employee who refused a personal relationship with him, while Shine was previously identified as playing “an integral role in the cover up” of sexual harassment allegations against Ailes.
After the allegations against Ailes came to light, the network’s parent company launched an investigation by a law firm hired to review the allegations and provide legal advice. But in spite of numerous reports pointing to a broader culture of sexual harassment at the network, the inquiry was reportedly never expanded beyond Ailes. Fox got its “revenue machine back on track” and tried to move on, as Vanity Fair put it.
But in promoting Ailes’ proteges to replace him, the network exposed itself and its employees to more of the same behavior.
Soon after Ailes’ removal, Fox paid former on-air personality Juliet Huddy “a sum in the high six figures” not to sue the network after her lawyers sent Fox a letter alleging that she had been sexually harassed by host Bill O’Reilly, The New York Times reported today. The details are grotesque, and this is not the first time O’Reilly has been accused of such behavior.
But the allegations extend beyond the network’s biggest star. The same letter reportedly indicated that Abernethy “had retaliated against [Huddy] professionally after she made clear that she was not interested in a personal relationship.”
Shine has yet to be publicly accused of the same behavior. But he reportedly played a key role in keeping similar accusations from exploding into the public eye.
New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman -- the leading source on the Ailes scandal -- said that Shine “played an integral role in the cover up of these sexual harassment claims.” He explained on CNN that Shine “pushed women into confidential mediation, signing nondisclosure agreements in exchange for their contracts to be paid.” Other reporters confirmed hearing from Fox sources that Shine had known of Ailes’ misconduct.
Since the initial accusations came out against Ailes, news reports have indicated that he was only part of the problem. At least a dozen other women told the Times in July they had experienced sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox, with many of them citing supervisors other than Ailes.
It’s long past time for Fox to commission a real, independent investigation into its culture of sexual harassment. The network’s women should not have to live in fear of retribution from executives and hosts seeking sexual relationships.
Joy Reid Models Four Must-Do’s When Reporting On Reproductive Rights Topics During The Trump Administration
During the January 8 edition of MSNBC’s AM Joy, host Joy Reid put on a master class in how to cover anti-choice lawmakers’ latest attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.
The Sunday after House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Republicans would prioritize defunding the essential health care provider, Reid demonstrated four best practices for reporting on reproductive rights topics: hosting diverse guests, discussing the material consequences of policy decisions, including personal testimony in reports, and emphasizing the disparate impact of anti-choice laws on marginalized communities.
Planned Parenthood is an essential health care provider for millions of Americans -- many of them low-income patients reliant on Medicaid to access primary care. To justify defunding Planned Parenthood, right-wing media and anti-choice politicians have falsely claimed that the organization’s primary goal is to coerce women into having abortions using taxpayer money.
In reality, this could not be further from the truth. Due to the Hyde Amendment, the federal government is already barred from funding abortion services. Instead, the government reimburses Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services provided to low-income patients via Medicaid -- just like any other health care provider. Although right-wing media argue that so-called “community health clinics” (CHCs) could absorb this patient demand should Planned Parenthood clinics close, experts agree that CHCs lack the capacity, experience, and resources to replace Planned Parenthood.
In its coverage of the defunding effort, AM Joy set the standard for reporting the consequences of congressional Republicans’ politically motivated attack on health care access -- and other outlets should take note.
During the January 8 segment, Reid hosted two women to discuss the impacts of defunding Planned Parenthood: the organization's president, Cecile Richards, and the executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), Jessica González-Rojas.
In a previous study of prime-time cable news coverage of reproductive rights topics, Media Matters found that networks relied heavily on male panelists to discuss the consequences of policy decisions about abortion and reproductive rights issues. This problem of representation is also more generally borne out across the Sunday political talk shows, which have overwhelmingly relied on guests who are white, conservative, and male.
Hosting diverse guests is essential to providing in-depth, quality coverage of many topics. Non-white and non-male perspectives in newsrooms are often rare, a trend that should incite concern not only about equality but also about coverage accuracy.
AM Joy also focused on the material impacts of defunding Planned Parenthood -- not just the political spectacle of the legislative fight.
At the start of the segment, Reid immediately debunked the pervasive conservative arguments about the consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood:
JOY REID: Let’s be clear about this so-called defunding legislation -- what it would really do. It would prohibit Medicaid recipients from obtaining any kind of services from Planned Parenthood. We're not talking about abortion services because federal law already prohibits those being paid for with federal dollars. We're talking no cancer screenings, no contraception, no STD testing, no medical services as all. The defunding will be packaged with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, which is currently providing health insurance to 22 million people and counting.
Richards and González-Rojas each provided examples of the consequences that defunding Planned Parenthood would have for a number of patients across the country. As Richards explained, “Any senator who votes [to defund] is hurting women in their own home state” because they are “essentially saying to low-income women, 'You can't go to Planned Parenthood for your cancer screenings and birth control.’”
González-Rojas agreed, adding that when Indiana denied Planned Parenthood state Medicaid reimbursements, “we saw an STI outbreak,” and when Texas blocked the reimbursements, “we saw the rates of unintended pregnancy and birth increasing. We heard stories of women splitting birth control pills to make it last longer.”
Throughout the January 8 segment, Reid emphasized personal testimony from herself, Richards, and González-Rojas about relying on Planned Parenthood for essential health care.
Reid noted that Planned Parenthood was “the place where, when I graduated from college and had no money and was broke and had a low-paying job, [I] got all my health care.” Richards echoed the sentiment, explaining that “one in five women in this country go to Planned Parenthood for health care in their lifetime, including me, including you.”
AM Joy also provided a platform to discuss the disparate impact of anti-choice laws, which have a greater impact on marginalized communities than on other groups.
As González-Rojas explained:
JESSICA GONZÁLEZ-ROJAS: I think a good example comes from Texas when we saw the defunding of a lot of the family planning services in Texas. We saw a health crisis happen. We saw health disparities happen. Things like cervical cancer, which is largely preventable, Latinas had huge rates of cervical cancer and that's something that they shouldn't have happen in their life. If they have access to regular screenings, paps, mammograms -- all the services that Planned Parenthood provides -- those types of things would be prevented. So this is a disproportionate impact on communities of color, on immigrant communities, on low-income women and families, young people, so a fight against Planned Parenthood is a fight against our communities.
Because the economics of accessing necessary health care are already so precarious for many communities, networks and outlets should emphasize the disproportionate impact anti-choice laws have on these groups whenever possible.
Fox Will Now Feature Watters' Poor-Shaming, Sexism, And Transphobia For An Hour Every Week
Fox News has announced that news correspondent Jesse Watters' monthly special Watters' World will now be a weekly show on the network. Watters has a track record of producing segments where he shames homeless Americans and mocks members of the LGBT community. During his segment and while guest-hosting shows on Fox, Watters has also repeatedly made disparaging comments about immigrants, women, Asian-Americans and African-Americans.
Former Infowars Reporter Joe Biggs Also Threatened To Release Revenge Porn And Commented Positively About Sexual Violence And Punching Women
Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN), a pro-Trump “news” network that’s expanding operations, has hired a host who has tweeted his approval of date rape, sexual violence, and punching women and transgender people. He also threatened to release revenge porn of a “bitch” who allegedly cheated on him.
Freelance reporter Joe Biggs announced in a January 3 Facebook post that he is going to “be filming a PRO 2nd Amendment show for Right Side Broadcasting! It will cover all things 2A. From CHL [concealed handgun licenses], safety, veterans issues and hunting. Hope you will all tune In and share the content. I'm very excited and have amazing guests lined up.” The network posted a link to Biggs’ Twitter account and wrote, “great new things to come in the future... Stay tuned!”
The Washington Post wrote in October that Right Side Broadcasting “has been the unofficial version of Trump TV since last summer, streaming the Republican nominee's campaign events in all their unedited glory online.” The Post noted that the fledgling outlet had received a “boost of legitimacy … when the billionaire's campaign teamed up with Right Side to produce pre- and post-debate analysis shows that streamed on Trump's Facebook page.”
Biggs previously worked as a reporter for Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory website Infowars.com. He has pushed numerous conspiracy theories, including about pizzagate, the false claim that Hillary Clinton’s campaign trafficked children through a Washington, D.C., pizzeria. During one Infowars video, Biggs claimed that Clinton has surrounded herself with “evil people” and suggested that hacked WikiLeaks emails revealed “an undercover pedophile ring” run by the Clintons.
Biggs also claimed after the December 2015 San Bernardino, CA, shooting that “there's something fishy going on. This is one of those that has false flag written all over it without a doubt. … SWAT team was already geared up. The SWAT team was already geared up and there within seconds. They were geared up and ready within seconds. They knew that this was going to happen.”
Biggs has repeatedly tweeted his approval of date rape and sexual violence. He tweeted to someone, “I like to reason with her (reason=chloroform) and then just drink a lot of beer and release.” He turned an American Pie joke into a pro-date rape reference by writing that “this one time at band camp i slipped a bitch roofies and convinced her my dick was a dick and not a flute.” He also tweeted, “Every girl at this bar wants to fuck me. They don't know it yet because the drugs haven't kicked in.” He addressed a “slut” by tweeting: “put my dick in your Mouth or I'll put it in your ass and lube it with tobasco.” He tweeted that his “favorite part of cuddling” is taking “nude photos of my dick all around your face #sleeptightbitch” and “your [sic] supposed to punch her in the face then cum on her tits right? Or did i twist it up.”
Biggs summed up his idealized relationship with women when he wrote, “What Happened to the Good ole days when women just fucked your brains out and made you dinner” and “shut up bitch and blow me.” He also addressed a “bitch” who cheated on him: “Cheat on me bitch. But remember. I have many sex tapes and photos of your nasty ass In action. I might accidentally load them here.”
Biggs has also written incendiary anti-LGBTQ tweets. He told his followers, “trannys eat kittens, and that's just not cool man. Punch a tranny save a pussy” and attacked those who disagree with him by calling them “fag.” He is also selling an “LGBT” shirt that stands for “Liberty, Guns Beer & Big Tits.”
Here is a sampling of tweets from RSBN’s newest host:
this one time at band camp i slipped a bitch roofies and convinced her my dick was a dick and not a flute
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) August 15, 2012
Every kiss begins with....
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) August 15, 2012
@RXCYCLIST I like to reason with her (reason=chloroform) and then just drink a lot of beer and release
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) March 6, 2012
Yeah. Cheat on me bitch. But remember. I have many sex tapes and photos of your nasty ass In action. I might accidentally load them here
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) August 7, 2012
I love to play hide and seek with my blind neighbor. It never gets old. I just put my dick in front of her face. She never learns
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 26, 2012
My favorite part of cuddling is when you fall asleep and then I took nude photos of my dick all around your face#sleeptightbitch
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 26, 2012
Your supposed to punch her in the face then cum on her tits right? Or did i twist it up
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 6, 2012
Every girl at this bar wants to fuck me. They don't know it yet because the drugs haven't kicked in.
~the secret service......
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) August 21, 2012
Love is fucking your girls mouth even after she's passed out from lack of oxygen and then bringing her back for surprise anal
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 20, 2012
My dick is a chick magnet. They might not agree. But I'm a god damn scientist so I know these things. Now shut up bitch and blow me
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 26, 2012
If your a chick and dont give blow jobs.....your a God Damn terrorist. I kill terrorists. So suck a dick and save a life
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 21, 2012
Hey girl. If you don't see a sandwich in my hand. Then put my dick in your
Mouth or I'll put it in your ass and lube it with tobasco. Slut
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 21, 2012
My penis is soaked in the tears of 18 yr old women and broken dreams
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) August 27, 2012
What Happened to the Good ole days when women just fucked your brains out and made you dinner
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) August 15, 2012
Good. Fuck Hillary. She's lying ass cunt https://t.co/FIt8iM5V1K
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 29, 2016
Call me old fashion, but something about clubbing a bitch over the back of the head before sex really sets the mood right
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) March 8, 2012
I she has a deep voice she's probably a tranny.....an trannys eat kittens, and that's just not cool man. Punch a tranny save a pussy
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 21, 2012
I'm gonna punch some bitches in the face real soon. But first I have to jerk off. You fucking fags
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 22, 2012
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 23, 2016
Says the guy who called ear plugs rubber bullets. Fag https://t.co/XHMnCbTaqF
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) July 19, 2016
Don't call Michelle O a tranny. Last person who did that went into a coma and died.
— Joe Biggs (@Rambobiggs) September 9, 2014
New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reports that according to Fox News insiders, Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s replacement on Fox “will be a pro-Trump conservative.”
On January 3, Megyn Kelly announced that she will be leaving Fox News for NBC, saying in a statement on her Facebook page, “I have decided to end my time at FNC, incredibly enriched for the experiences I've had."
According to insiders who spoke with Sherman, “the Murdochs will choose a woman” to replace Kelly in her nightly 9 PM slot, and all agree “that whoever replaces Kelly will be a pro-Trump conservative”:
Inside Fox News, staffers are speculating over who will replace Kelly. According to insiders I spoke with today, the consensus seems to be that the Murdochs will choose a woman to fill her 9 p.m. time slot. The leading internal contenders include Trish Regan, Shannon Bream, Sandra Smith, and Martha MacCallum. Two sources said Kimberly Guilfoyle is lobbying for the job.
The one thing Fox insiders are in agreement on is that whoever replaces Kelly will be a pro-Trump conservative. In the wake of Ailes’s ouster, some media observers speculated that 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch wanted to reposition Fox to the center, bringing it more in line with his moderate political views. But the selection of a pro-Trump host to fill Kelly’s slot would suggest that Fox is instead doubling down on its right-wing politics and planning to align itself with the new administration. After initially being hostile to Trump, Murdoch has made moves to curry favor with the president-elect. Fox insiders told me that Murdoch personally named pro-Trump anchor Tucker Carlson to replace Greta Van Susteren at 7 p.m.
Murdoch’s relationship with Trump has greatly improved since the depths of Trump’s battle with Kelly last year. “I really like Rupert Murdoch!” Trump told guests at Mar-a-Lago over the holidays, according to an attendee. “Roger Ailes was a friend of mine, but Fox’s coverage is so much better since he left.”
If Fox News’ politics ultimately solidify as more pro-Trump than they were during the campaign, that might be to the benefit of Murdoch’s business interests. According to a well-placed source, Trump has asked Murdoch to submit names for FCC Chairman. Murdoch, another source said, also wants conditions put on the AT&T-Time Warner merger, and he could lobby Trump to make that happen.
Writer Denounces Platform’s Refusal To Protect Users From “Alt-Right” Harassment
Writer Lindy West, who spent years cultivating a reputation for engaging with (and frequently demolishing) social media trolls, has announced she’s leaving Twitter because of the “global repercussions” of the platform’s “refusal to stop” harassment campaigns launched by the white supremacist, misogynist “alt-right” movement.
In a January 3 opinion piece at The Guardian, West explained that she had deactivated her Twitter account after “half a decade of troubleshooting” to curb personal harassment and threats from anonymous users trolling her on the social media platform. West, who regularly engaged with her tormentors on Twitter and even confronted a user who harassed her while posing as her dead father, concluded that Twitter was “unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators.”
West explained that her decision to leave Twitter didn’t stem from simply reaching a breaking point when it came to trolls, but rather that it represented her disgust with Twitter’s “refusal” to “intervene and start protecting its users” from coordinated harassment campaigns led by members of the so-called “alt-right.” As West pointed out, “Twitter executives did nothing” for years in which the “alt-right” was “beta-testing its propaganda and intimidation machine on marginalised Twitter communities.” This harassment included the deeply racist and misogynist campaign against black actress Leslie Jones last summer, led by “alt-right” Breitbart.com editor and serial harasser Milo Yiannopoulos, and the similarly misogynist Gamergate “hate-storm” in 2014.
Recent “alt-right” manipulation of Twitter represents a dangerous escalation of the sort of Twitter harassment, abuse, and disinformation West has fought for years. A combination of trolls (e.g., anonymous users goaded and led by the ideologically hateful “alt-right”), robots (bot and spam accounts created specifically, often by the trolls, to amplify the abuse or disinformation), and dictators (or at least leaders with authoritarian tendencies) are using the platform to rile users with fake news stories and general misinformation, confirming and encouraging harmful views that justify the abuse of others. It’s created an ecosystem that’s “feeding into the worst instincts of humanity,” and Twitter’s inaction has amounted to a stamp of approval that West said she can longer accept.
From West’s January 3 op-ed (emphasis added):
I hate to disappoint anyone, but the breaking point for me wasn’t the trolls themselves (if I have learned anything from the dark side of Twitter, it is how to feel nothing when a frog calls you a cunt) – it was the global repercussions of Twitter’s refusal to stop them. The white supremacist, anti-feminist, isolationist, transphobic “alt-right” movement has been beta-testing its propaganda and intimidation machine on marginalised Twitter communities for years now – how much hate speech will bystanders ignore? When will Twitter intervene and start protecting its users? – and discovered, to its leering delight, that the limit did not exist. No one cared. Twitter abuse was a grand-scale normalisation project, disseminating libel and disinformation, muddying long-held cultural givens such as “racism is bad” and “sexual assault is bad” and “lying is bad” and “authoritarianism is bad”, and ultimately greasing the wheels for Donald Trump’s ascendance to the US presidency. Twitter executives did nothing.
On 29 December, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: “What’s the most important thing you want to see Twitter improve or create in 2017?” One user responded: “Comprehensive plan for getting rid of the Nazis.”
“We’ve been working on our policies and controls,” Dorsey replied. “What’s the next most critical thing?” Oh, what’s our second-highest priority after Nazis? I’d say No 2 is also Nazis. And No 3. In fact, you can just go ahead and slide “Nazis” into the top 100 spots. Get back to me when your website isn’t a roiling rat-king of Nazis. Nazis are bad, you see?
Trump uses his Twitter account to set hate mobs on private citizens, attempt to silence journalists who write unfavourably about him, lie to the American people and bulldoze complex diplomatic relationships with other world powers. I quit Twitter because it feels unconscionable to be a part of it – to generate revenue for it, participate in its profoundly broken culture and lend my name to its legitimacy.
James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal announced that he would be leaving the paper’s “Best of the Web” column to run “the op-ed pages of the newspaper and its digital counterparts” as editorial features editor.
Taranto has a long history of producing overtly sexist content at the Journal. He has claimed that “female sexual freedom” has led to a “war on men,” said attempts to address sexual assault in the military were becoming an “effort to criminalize male sexuality,” and argued that "contemporary feminism" is “based on a false theory of equality.”
Here is a video compilation of some of the worst sexism from James Taranto: