Saturday, February 18, 2017

'We could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press' - John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy points to a reporter during
a press conference on July 5, 1962.
Click image to enlarge.

The 45th President of the United States — who, during the campaign, called the media "scum" and "dishonest" — went full psycho on Friday and tweeted that the news media is the ‘enemy of the American people.’

Via Dallas Morning News: What you need to know about the enemies of the American people the president warned you about.

(Over at the Minority President Report, retired Miami Herald newsman Marty Merzer has compiled a detailed and comprehensive look at the reactions to the president's remarks.)

So now might be an opportune time to take a look back at how a real president dealt with the press more than a half century ago. .

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, "was the first president to effectively use the new medium of television to speak directly to the American people. No other president had conducted live televised press conferences without delay or editing," according to the the JFK Library website.
"The public loved John F. Kennedy's press conferences, although some of his advisors worried about the risk of mistakes by the president and others thought the press showed insufficient respect for the dignity of his office. By November 1963, President Kennedy had held 64 news conferences, an average of one every sixteen days. The first, less than a week after his inauguration, was viewed by an estimated 65 million people"
During an interview in December 1962, Sander Vanocur of NBC asked Kennedy about his reading habits.

A few months before the NBC interview, President Kennedy gave an address on April 27, 1962 before the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

At one point during his speech, Kennedy said "without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive."

Friday, February 17, 2017

A little more about that Trump press conference

Toronto Star, Feb. 17, 2017.


So much cray cray and so little time....but let's start with this word salad:
“Here’s the problem: The public, they read newspapers, they see television, but they don’t know if it’s true or false, because they’re not involved ... I’m involved. I’ve been involved with this stuff all my life. But I’m involved, so I know when you’re telling the truth and when you’re not.”

More crazy and scary Trump quotes here.


This from the Minority President Report compiled by former Miami Herald newsman Marty Merzer:
- By now, you know plenty about that ludicrous, profoundly unsettling 77-minute news conference by the Minority President, and there really aren’t enough electrons in the universe for us to do it justice here. The popular term “unhinged” no longer is sufficient.

- He brazenly repeated his electoral-vote lie in front of a room packed with reporters who knew the truth – and one of them challenged him directly. Asserting that he is not anti-Semitic, he humiliated an obviously Jewish reporter who explicitly did not accuse him of being anti-Semitic. He patronized a black female reporter and asked her to run a secretarial errand for him.

- He uttered non sequiturs and pure nonsense. “The leaks are absolutely true; the news is false.” “Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars.” “You know what uranium is right? It's a thing called nuclear weapons and other things, like lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things."

- He repeatedly asserted that President Obama left him with an unparalleled “mess” to clean up. He claimed to have made great progress already on behalf of working-class Americans. He denied that his White House is buffeted by administrative and operational chaos, and he claimed that reports to the contrary are invented by the media as part of its conspiracy against him All of that is manifestly not true.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

CNN's Jake Tapper to Trump: 'Get to work and stop whining.'


Actually, Jake....there's
a reason why Trump can't stop whining..

"When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I'm basically the same. The temperament is not that different." — Donald Trump

Here's some more whining...


Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).

In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president. [via New York Times]

And now, a musical interlude...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

'We’re doing our jobs'

"We will have a new president soon. He was elected after waging an outright assault on the press. Animosity toward the media was a centerpiece of his campaign. He described the press as “disgusting,” 'scum,' 'lowlifes.' He called journalists the 'lowest form of humanity.' That apparently wasn’t enough. So he called us 'the lowest form of life.' In the final weeks of the campaign he labeled us 'the enemies.'

"It is no wonder that some members of our staff at The Washington Post and at other news organizations received vile insults and threats of personal harm so worrisome that extra security was required. It is no wonder that one Internet venue known for hate and misogyny and white nationalism posted the home addresses of media executives, clearly inviting vandalism or worse. Thankfully, nothing that I know of happened to anyone. Then there was the yearlong anti-Semitic targeting of journalists on Twitter."  - Marty Baron, Editor, Washington Post


Trump took on the Washington Post, the New York Times and the intelligence community in one tweet this morning. Methinks this will not end well.

But as far as Washington Post editor Marty Baron is concerned, when dealing with Trump, it's strictly business, not personal....this despite the fact that Trump - in Baron's words - waged "an outright assault on the press" during his campaign. (See quote above)

“The way I view it is, we’re not at war with the administration, we’re at work. We’re doing our jobs,” [Baron] said at the Code Media conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, Calif.

The Intelligence Community is another matter altogether.

‘He will die in jail’: Intelligence community ready to ‘go nuclear’ on Trump, senior source says

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

'Nothing's riding on this except the, uh, First Amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country.'

“Lock her up, that's right! Damn right, exactly right. … And you know why we're saying that? We're saying that because, if I, a guy who knows this business, if I did a tenth of what [Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton] did, I would be in jail today.” -Michael Flynn, July 20, 2016 at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.



Via the New York Times: The F.B.I. had been examining Mr. Flynn’s phone calls as he came under growing questions about his interactions with Russian officials and his management of the National Security Council. The blackmail risk envisioned by the Justice Department would have stemmed directly from Mr. Flynn’s attempt to cover his tracks with his bosses. The Russians knew what had been said on the call; thus, if they wanted Mr. Flynn to do something, they could have threatened to expose the lie if he refused.

The Justice Department’s warning to the White House was first reported on Monday night by The Washington Post.



"You know the results of the latest Gallup Poll? Half the country never even heard of the word Watergate. Nobody gives a shit. You guys are probably pretty tired, right? Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up... 15 minutes. Then get your asses back in gear. We're under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing's riding on this except the, uh, First Amendment of the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys fuck up again, I'm going to get mad. Goodnight." - Jason Robards as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee in "All the President's Men"