The Columbia Journalism Review looks at how right wing donors have propped up over a thousand local news sites that push conservative narratives.
A weekend cyberattack against Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. was linked to one of the most infamous Russian cybergangs, called Evil Corp., Bloomberg reports.
“Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest TV station operators in the US, said Monday that a ransomware incident is disrupting some of its office and operational networks,” CNN reports.
“At an early afternoon town hall meeting held via Zoom, staffers were told that the ripple effects are widespread and the full ramifications are not yet known.”
Said one reporter: “Still no email, phones, file video or graphics. They expect us to keep broadcasting as if we aren’t down.”
“President Joe Biden will participate in a CNN town hall on Thursday in Baltimore, where he’ll take questions as his administration continues to sell his ambitious legislative agenda to members of Congress and the nation,” CNN reports.
Conservative radio host Dan Bongino slammed Cumulus Media, which carries The Dan Bongino Show, over the broadcasting company’s coronavirus vaccine mandate and dared the company to drop him.
Said Bognino: “I don’t want to be working for anybody, so I work for myself and I choose who to partner with. So I partner with Cumulus. You’re probably listening to me on a Cumulus station now. So Cumulus, for some stupid reason, thought it would be a really good idea to do a vaccine mandate. Why they would do that, I have no idea.”
He added: “I believe these vaccine mandates are unethical. I believe they’re immoral… And candidly I’d rather not be here today on this station or on any of these stations. I’d rather just talk to you on my podcast, which is mine.”
Conservative radio host Dennis Prager announced that he has Covid-19 while he ranted against vaccines.
Said Prager: “It is infinitely preferable to have natural immunity than vaccine immunity and that is what I have hoped for the entire time. Hence, so, I have engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting Covid. Which is, indeed, as bizarre as it sounded, what I wanted.”
Prager also said he “has been taking hydroxychloroquine from the beginning.”
Jackie Calmes: “American politics has changed dramatically since my post-Watergate generation of journalists began covering the story. Political journalism hasn’t kept up.”
“For years it was easy to cover ‘both sides’ — Republicans and Democrats — as equally worthy, and blameworthy, partners in democracy. While we reporters had come of age as witnesses to the unprecedented resignation of a Republican president who’d tried to corrupt the institutions of government to affect an election — imagine! — what remained was a Republican Party still capable of a creditable role in a healthy two-party system. After all, Richard M. Nixon was forced to resign when congressional leaders of his party began abandoning him. Again, imagine that, Kevin McCarthy.”
“Now, when reporters or pundits use the words “both sides” in regard to some political problem, I stop reading or listening.”
Flashback for members: None of This Is Normal
Fox News host Tucker Carlson mocked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for taking paternity leave.
Said Carlson: “Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it. Trying to figure out how to breastfeed, no word on how that went.”
McKay Coppins: “Of course, it’s easy to romanticize past eras of journalism. The families that used to own the bulk of America’s local newspapers—the Bonfilses of Denver, the Chandlers of Los Angeles—were never perfect stewards. They could be vain, bumbling, even corrupt. At their worst, they used their papers to maintain oppressive social hierarchies. But most of them also had a stake in the communities their papers served, which meant that, if nothing else, their egos were wrapped up in putting out a respectable product.”
“The 21st century has seen many of these generational owners flee the industry, to devastating effect. In the past 15 years, more than a quarter of American newspapers have gone out of business. Those that have survived are smaller, weaker, and more vulnerable to acquisition. Today, half of all daily newspapers in the U.S. are controlled by financial firms, according to an analysis by the Financial Times, and the number is almost certain to grow.”
“After 37 years at The New York Times as a reporter, high-level editor and opinion columnist, Nicholas Kristof is leaving the newspaper as he considers running for governor of Oregon,” the New York Times reports.
The Atlantic: “In the absence of local coverage, all news becomes national news: Instead of reading about local policy decisions, people read about the blacklisting of Dr. Seuss books. Instead of learning about their own local candidates, they consume angry takes about Marjorie Taylor Greene.”
“Right now things in Washington, as you all know, are awfully noisy. Turn on the news and every conversation is a confrontation. Every disagreement is a crisis. But when you take a step back and look at what’s happening, we’re actually making real progress.”
— President Biden, quoted by Politico.
Fox News CEO Suzanna Scott told The Hollywood Reporter that Arnon Mishkin, the head of the network’s election decision desk whose early call of Arizona for Joe Biden in 2020 enraged many Republicans, will stay on the job through 2024.
A new Gallup poll finds just 7% of U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” and 29% “a fair amount” of trust and confidence in newspapers, television and radio news reporting.
“That’s just where we went to get what we wanted out… By and large, they didn’t get tough with us. They just took what we were saying and disseminated it.”
— Trump White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, on how she used Fox News.
“One America News, the far-right network whose fortunes and viewership rose amid the triumph and tumult of the Trump administration, has flourished with support from a surprising source: AT&T Inc, the world’s largest communications company,” Reuters reports.
“A Reuters review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding OAN, a network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News the media’s focus on the January 6th inssurection is a distraction intended to “demean” millions of Trump supporters.
Said Pence: “They want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020.”
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