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Russia Wants Trump Over Sanders? No. Putin Wants Something Else

Rod Thomson

So now we’re back to Russia is going to interfere in the election to help Trump? Or perhaps it never really left us? Democrats just refuse to let this trope go.

And only one person can truly be smiling over this: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But there’s a gigantic flaw in the latest whip-up. Does anyone really think Putin wants Trump instead of Bernie Sanders? Anyone?

Trump has completely blocked Putin’s expansionist ambitions after Russian ran wild under Obama in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria, and undermined their oil economy with the success of fracking and natural gas. Meanwhile, Sanders is an unrepentant Communist (as is Putin) because he has never, ever disavowed his fawning support for the Soviet Union, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela and holds to their underlying socialist principles. And for good measure, he wants to ban all fracking, which would be a huge benefit for Russia.

Here’s a guess what’s going on — but a guess that is completely plausible and in line with facts and history: Russia and the old Soviet Union have long interfered in American elections, and we know from the opened Soviet-era archives that the top goal was not always who won, but was to sow distrust in elections and discord among the American people.

I think we can agree they accomplished that goal in spades in 2016 with their useful idiots (an old Soviet term from the Lenin-Stalin era for Western leftist sympathisers, like Sanders) in the media and Democratic party.

And so now, if the goal is to sow distrust and discord, as an old Soviet KGB guy like Putin would want to do, then the best way to accomplish that after learning from the successes of 2016, would be make sure that American intelligence was aware that Russia was going to try to help Trump “again.” It would have to get out. The Russians may even try to plant the idea that Trump administration officials are working with them to further stir the pot of distrust from American to American.

This works on so many levels because the media and Democrats will run with it like foxes with their tails on fire and after 2020. They’ll spread it and spread it until the country is aflame again. And we will have four more years of investigations and accusations and “leaks” to the New York Times.

The only real problem is that no sane people — so we all know who that is ruling out — believes that Putin actually wants the guy that has armed his enemies in Ukraine and killed his troops in Syria to win in November. That would be Donald Trump, for those of you who only read the mainstream media. Putin would much rather have the full-on anti-American Communist sympathizer Bernie Sanders.

Of course all this is useful in setting the stage for impeachment and investigations if Trump wins re-election, which the odds are at this point that he will. Ironically, the same people who have worked to undo the 2016 election for more than three years and will do so again, managed to claim in the same breath that Trump is the one who is an existential threat to democracy.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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Biden Issues Media Marching Orders. Media Comply. Again.

Rod Thomson

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has issued a fall-in-line directive to journalists, demanding that they report that the corruption claims against him have been debunked and call them conspiracy theories.

It’s an astonishing level of chutzpah, but not the first for Biden. Clearly Democrats are comfortable telling the media how to report in a way Republicans would never dream of being.

“The Imperative for Honest Coverage of Trump’s Ukraine Conspiracy Theory,” was distributed to mainstream media outlets and told journalists that the charge that then-Vice President Biden strong-armed Ukrainian leaders to fire a prosecutor by threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid was nothing more than a “conspiracy theory.” Biden was the Obama administration’s point man in Ukraine at the same time as his son, Hunter Biden, was on the Board of Directors of Burisma, the largest Ukrainian oil company and rife with corruption. The prosecutor’s investigation was zeroing in on Burisma.

Biden famously boasted to the Council on Foreign Relations that he told Ukraine’s leaders his plane was leaving in six hours and if they didn’t fire the prosecutor they would not get the $1 billion. The fired prosecutor, Victor Shokin, was removed in that timeframe, Biden bragged on video.

Because the impeachment is technically over President Trump’s phone call to the new Ukrainian president, who was elected on an anti-corruption platform to sweep out the incumbent, Republicans have been calling for Hunter Biden to testify. The idea is that if the corruption was real, the President of the United States had not only the authority but the duty to investigate it and even name names.

But Biden’s campaign will have none of it. Biden’s communications director, Kate Bedingfield, wrote to reporters and editors in the memo that Trump’s “objective was to pressure the Ukrainian government into spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory: that Vice President Biden engaged in wrongdoing when he executed official United States policy to remove a corrupt prosecutor from office.”

Bedingfield all but ordered the media to report “clearly and unambiguously that [such claims of corruption] have been discredited and debunked.” Not doing so would be journalistic “malpractice,” the Democrat operative lectured the journalists.

She wrote that “Virtually every major media organization has definitively debunked this accusation” and went on to name a few — who it turns out were all relying on one report. The memo goes on: “It is not sufficient to say the allegations are ‘unsubstantiated’ or that ‘no evidence has emerged to support them.’ Not only is there ‘no evidence’ for Republicans’ main argument against the Vice President — there is a mountain of evidence that actively debunks it. And it is malpractice to ignore that truth.”

This is a jaw-dropping memo, particularly for someone such as myself who spent 25 years in the mainstream media. Journalists would normally have bristled at such arrogant orders and would redouble their efforts to report on it. But that is not today’s media. I can hear today’s journalists saying, “Well, they make a good point.”

MSNBC anchor Heidi Przybla said on air that the memo is “a preemptive strike against the disinformation that is really at the heart of the president’s defense…that the entire premise of the [Trump] argument is debunked. It is not just unsubstantiated,” she said, literally mouthing the words of the memo as though her own. 

Biden has done this before. According to the New York Times, in September 2019, “[Biden’s] presidential campaign contacted top television anchors and networks on Sunday to ‘demand’ that Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, be kept off the air because of what they called his misleading comments about the Biden family and Ukraine.”

The Times continued: “‘We are writing today with grave concern that you continue to book Rudy Giuliani on your air to spread false, debunked conspiracy theories on behalf of Donald Trump,’” a pair of top Biden campaign advisers, Anita Dunn and Kate Bedingfield, wrote in the letter. “Giving Rudy Giuliani valuable time on your air to push these lies in the first place is a disservice to your audience and a disservice to journalism.”

And in October of 2019 Biden’s campaign staff sent letters to Facebook, Twitter and Google  demanding they take down a social media ad from Trump’s campaign which the Biden campaign said contained false claims. 

Interestingly, in reporting on this letter, Reuters used the phraseology that is now a hot key for journalists: “Trump has repeatedly made allegations, without evidence, that Biden engaged in improper dealings in Ukraine.”

“Without evidence,” even when any casual observer can see there is actually more evidence of Biden doing what Trump is being impeached for doing than there is Trump of doing it. But the “without evidence” line had been used by Biden and his people since the CFR video arose. The media keep saying what the Biden campaign keeps saying, that this has been looked into and there is no evidence, but they never say who looked into it.

It’s pretty safe to say we will see the most recent memo’s language get traction throughout the media beyond MSNBC. Biden’s people have done this repeatedly, because they know the media fall in line.

The partisanship of the media could not be more clear.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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Newspapers Are Collapsing, And They’re Not Alone

Rod Thomson

The recent merger between Gatehouse Media and Gannett Corporation is another milestone in the rapid decline financially and journalistically of newspapers.

Don’t expect either to change anytime soon. But what is more enlightening is that they are not the only mainstream media outlets struggling. Turns out that in addition to TV news networks, a lot of major online digital outfits are also in contraction mode.

The Gatehouse/Gannett merger creates the largest U.S. media company measured by print circulation along with, in total, perhaps the biggest online news and information outlet, albeit it is diffused. The purchase price, using a combination of cash and stock, is valued at about $1.1 billion — a surprisingly small number for the nation’s largest newspaper conglomerate; like, depressingly small for newspaper investors.

“Our mission is to connect, protect and celebrate our local communities,” said Paul Bascobert, who will lead an operating company called Gannett Media Corp. “Great journalism really is the core of that mission. The question really becomes, what’s the sustainable and exciting business model that powers that mission?”

If part of that model or mission is not fair, objective, non-biased reporting — something that everyone can trust — then this new conglomerate also is doomed. And here’s the problem. It is almost assuredly doomed. All of the newspapers owned by the new company, which will be called Gannett, are staffed at every level of the newsroom by liberals and leftists of some stripe. It is impossible for them to be objective, to be balanced, to be unbiased, because they are incapable of even recognizing they are biased. Best as they can tell, everyone around them agrees on “good” journalism. And they win prizes for it by other liberals and leftists, so it must be great!

And so the shrinking of the mainstream newspaper industry will continue apace until it finds equilibrium at some miniaturized point in the future as a universally accepted partisan media. 

According to a Pew Fact Tank report, mainstream newspapers shed 33,000 newsroom jobs between 2008-20018. Media in general experienced a 25 percent decline in those same 10 years — after rolling declines in previous decades.

While Pew said that digital news publications added 6,100 jobs, some of the biggest operations have been laying off people.

“Among the largest digital-native outlets — those with a monthly average of at least 10 million unique visitors — 14% went through layoffs in 2018 and 20% did the year before. Nearly all the digital-native news outlets that laid off staff in 2017 or 2018 cut more than 10 employees,” the Pew report said.

And then we wrap back around to where we started. Pew found a continuing decline in the number of Americans who get their news from newspapers and television — the heart of the mainstream media.

For newspapers, the results were just embarrassing. They are dead last in consumership, with just 16% of Americans saying that “they get news often” from newspapers.

This isn’t just about the competition from online sources, although that is real. The truth is that even many medium and small metro newspapers are deeply infected with the liberal bias, because virtually every college journalism school has become a dumpster fire of liberal to radical leftist professors. And those are the journalists they are churning out.

However, most of those communities don’t have any comparable digital outlets, such as there are in the largest cities or nationally. That means those newspapers have not lost readers to online competitors. They’ve just lost readers. Millions of one-time newspaper readers have walked away because they know they cannot trust what they are getting.

The tragedy for newspapers is that this has been obvious for a couple of decades. When I worked for a New York Times-owned newspaper in the 1990s, I pushed for a policy of recruiting based on a diversity of worldviews, not skin color and gender, as the only solution for the bias. Of course, that was shot down once it got to New York muckity mucks.

The reality is that newspapers have no intention of changing how they cover news, how they define news or how they present it. Most importantly, they won’t change who their journalists are. They and the rest of the mainstream media are like alcoholics who cannot get past the first step — admitting they have a problem.

And so, they dig their own graves and blame someone else for the hole in the ground.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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How The Left Could Erase Republicans In The 2020 Election

Rod Thomson

The Orwellian dystopia found in 1984 is our future if the trendline continues. And a startling pathway to that future is beginning to congeal before us.

George Orwell presciently wrote “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” This was accomplished in the novel through a device called the Memory Hole.

Protagonist Winston Smith’s job, along with innumerable other workers, was to search the news archives for any stories, phrases or even people who did not line up with the current official worldview and history as dictated by Big Brother. If he found an instance, he dropped it down a literal Memory Hole and it was erased from ever having happened. People’s entire lives disappeared, completely erased as though they never happened. Wars and movements and ideologies never happened and were replaced by a newly re-written history that aligned with Big Brother.

The internal operations of the Memory Hole were never described by Orwell. That was not important, it simply functioned as a metaphor for what Communism was doing around the world in 1948.

But today we are seeing how such a Memory Hole could practically function. No metaphors. Simple reality. And it could happen faster than we think. And like Communism, it comes entirely from the left.

It is the unholy union of the leftwing mainstream media, the leftwing social media giants, leftwing Google and leftwing website and platform hosts. These are virtually all of the avenues for information outside of old-school radio and TV. Talk radio is already dominated by conservatives, but it also does not reach many people in the middle. Ditto for Fox News. 

For elections, communicating to voters in the middle, those who swing elections, is critical. Talk radio and Fox News largely do not do that. There is a conservative media such as the Daily Caller, Daily Wire, Newsmax and so on. But they are in the same category of reaching and informing conservatives, who by definition are not swing voters. This dynamic holds for openly progressive media, such as the Huffington Post, Slate, Buzzfeed, Salon, etc.

Let’s walk through how the Memory Hole is beginning to come together. We’ll start with the mainstream media.

The legacy media of newspapers and network television and CNN has long been dominated by leftwing reporters, editors and producers. It has become more obvious over recent decades, increasing sharply in the non-coverage of Obama-era scandals and now being completely unmasked in the age of Trump. So that is in place now.

Google has been outed repeatedly, most recently by Veritas, which interviewed whistleblowers at Google who leaked documents showing that Google is intent on not letting another Trump or Trump-type election ever happen again. They’ve been placing their thumbs on the scales for awhile, but this is a new level and it is now not just fellow travelers at the same company, it is coordinated from the top. That means it will be quite effective.

The result already is that searches for things that were readily available even a year ago, are almost impossible to find now. News stories from “trusted sources” get top play. And of course Google trusts only the mainstream and even outwardly leftists sources. I am reminded of this daily. I googled Tropical Storm Humberto and just today. is a top 300 website. Yet the first two hits were for CNN and then NBC before getting to — even when I included the specific URL.

In this way, Google employees have become a little army of coding Winston Smiths to develop their part of the Memory Hole.

The social media giants of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube (owned by Google), Instagram, Pinterest and even the giant aggregator Reddit are run and dominated by leftwing executives and operatives. This is a crucial component, because social media was one of the few places where right, left and center could see everything if they wanted to. Everyone could post and link and be as political or nonpolitical as they desired. Since it was a social and familial gathering place, it allowed for the possibilities of seeing a real variety of views, even crazy ones. I described it as the Wild West and considered it a great step forward.

But alas, as the modern left has an instinct for censorship and shutting down discussion, debate and alternative views, so the social media giants are doing all those. From shadow-banning and demonetizing to de-platforming and outright banning, they are all creating what they call “community standards” that is simply leftwing ideology. So by definition, things that are overtly conservative are regularly running into the censor.

It’s not just whackadoodles like Alex Jones. It ranges from conservative comedians like Steven Crowder, who was actually trying to follow all of Youtube’s rules, to the mainstream pro-life outfit Live Action. But when the conservatively doctrinaire PragerU has large numbers of their videos hidden, you know the digital noose is tightening. 

And finally, there are the website hosts and platforms such as Godaddy, WordPress, Weebly and so on that are also run by leftists. They have the ability to simply shut down original websites if they deem those have violated their standards. So far, it has only been done with the most egregious sites, such as the white nationalist, Holocaust-denying,  neo-Nazi website Stormfront.  

But the line has been crossed. 

When you combine the mainstream media, Google, the social media sites, and the website hosts as all leftists, anti-Republican and virulently anti-Trump, they could act in concert — without ever holding a meeting — to scrub the conservative or pro-Trump message from most of the Web — and all the places where swing voters might be exposed.

This includes both organic reach of conservatives and promoted reach. Facebook, Youtube and Twitter can decide that Republican or Pro-Trump ads are violating their community standards and refuse them. This, too, has already happened. This would mean that the GOP would have virtually no pathway for reaching swing voters other than expensive and much less effective direct mail. 

Played in unison, these elements substantially become a Memory Hole.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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The Future Of Media Is Reversion To The Past, And That’s Good

Rod Thomson

For most of the country’s history, we did not have a professional, fair and objective media just reporting the news straight. It was an alien thought to most, and not the purpose. 

The media (newspapers for most of that time) was always partisan, from Adams and Jefferson newspapers in the early years of the infant Republic up to the mid-20th century, newspapers were Democrat, Republican, pro-slavery, anti-slavery and overt about it. In fact, some newspapers today still bear that legacy — most Southern states have numerous newspapers named Democrat, such as the Tallahassee Democrat in Florida. There are dozens that retain this heritage, although many dropped the Democrat name in mergers. 

Only for a short period after WWII, when there were a lot of anomalies that would not last, we tried this new idea of a professional class, college-trained media that would objectively report the truth in the news. I peg the ending of it to very roughly Watergate, but you could argue before that time. Certainly by the time of the Reagan presidency, the pretense was wearing thin,, but you almost had to be in newsrooms (as I was) to realize the depth of the bias. By the 90s, it became much clearer in attempts to smear Republicans and whitewash Democrats and Bill Clinton’s ugly proclivities.

Since that time, the media has been reverting to form as a fully partisan industry. This is acceptable under the First Amendment, and historical, but we for a short time tried the other approach. Now, it never really was unbiased. It turns out Walter Cronkite, that most trusted of all trusted names was a doctrinaire leftist and wielded far, far too much power in influencing the American public against the Vietnam War.

The problem, however, was that all of the media — now known as the mainstream media — was uniformly left-wing. We see it more clearly in hindsight, but it was quite clear then. It’s why the deregulation of the airwaves and dumping of the Fairness Doctrine that opened up the airwaves allowed Rush Limbaugh and then a wave of other conservative voices to thrive where liberal voices could not. Liberals had all the rest of the media. It was conservatives who were hungry for balance. This also explains the launch of Fox News as “Fair and Balanced” and “We Report, You Decide” was and continues to be hugely successful. There was pent-up demand that was not being met by the unbalanced supply of the mainstream media.

Then we had the rise of the internet and another outlet for conservative voices and worldview takes on the news to further balance out the increasing reversion to the norm of the mainstream media. Andrew Breitbart was a pioneer here, but now the space is full of alternatives. We are continuing to transition back to our country’s historic pattern.

But herein lies the problem with this transition. Most Americans have no context for understanding a bias media (thank you again, public schools.) European media has all along been party organs. Everyone in London knows that with the Guardian they are getting the leftwing view and with the Telegraph they are getting the rightwing view. It benefits by being honest about the bias, something desperately lacking in the American media and driving the basement-level trust numbers.

This almost assuredly is the future for America. We can no longer accept the idea that we have a professional, above-the-fray media, and just give over to the more realistic model of party organs and worldview platforms. It’s not clear we ever strayed all that far from it in the first place. 

Pretty much everyone to the right of center (including many moderate Republicans) now realize the mainstream, oldstream media is hopelessly biased and partisan. One good thing that has come from President Trump driving the left off the mental stability cliff is that it has finally and fully unmasked the media partisanship that has existed for decades. Judging by the response I get when talking on this subject, they will not regain our trust. That era has ended. It’s on to the past!

For many, it is hysterically funny that outfits such as the New York Times (building its newsroom around the bogus Trump-Russia narrative, now shifting to bogus Trump racist narrative, according to its executive editor) and the Washington Post (Democracy Dies in Darkness, actually surpassing the Trump’s narcissism) to CNN (once known as the Clinton News Network and now the Democratic Party’s video proselytising arm) all still try to declare they are straight news sources. The evidence to the contrary is so overwhelming it would crash The Revolutionary Act’s servers.

So what will happen is we will increasingly have on one side of the media the Daily Caller, Daily Wire, Breitbart News, the Blaze and other internet outfits as the conservative media, along with Fox News, the New York Post, Washington Examiner, and a few more old mainstream media outlets that are pretty honest in the bias, and then talk radio.

On the other side of the media we will have the Huffington Post, Slate, Salon, Daily Kos, Buzzfeed, Yahoo News, MSNBC (honest about their bias) Media Matters, and weirdly the Daily Show and Colbert (because inconceivably, people on the left claim to get their news there) and a raft of others.

And finally, for an extended period, probably, there will be the New York Times, WaPo, CNN, Bloomberg, NPR and the rest of the entrenched mainstream media around the country, which will also be leftist partisan — but will lie about it.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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Rejecting Every Premise Of The New York Times 1619 Project

Rod Thomson

There are a lot of lies, factual errors, misrepresentations, selective history and general nonsense in the New York Times’ 1619 project that are worthy of rejection.

According to the Times: “The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year. Doing so requires us to place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country.”

It is worth rejecting that slavery should be placed “at the very center” of our history. Was it a large and terrible part? Yes. It caused misery culminating in a bloody Civil War and its legacy endured through Jim Crow. But at the very center? Not the religious freedom that brought the first Pilgrims in Massachusetts? Not the idea of an upside down government that dethroned the king and put the people on the top and the government subservient (“for the people and by the people”?) That was a first in history, while slavery was a universal part of world history on every continent and among every race — both enslaving and being enslaved.

On the cover the 1619 Project, overlaying on a full-page black and white picture of a very dark ocean, are these words:

“In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the British colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.”

Picking 1619 is the worst of “journalistic” cherry-picking. There was no America until 1776. Before that, Florida and other South and Southwestern areas were variously Spanish colonies, or French colonies, and finally most were British colonies — all before the American Revolution created the new nation. Slavery ran most of its life in North America when we were all British subjects, or Spanish and French subjects.

This is crucial, because all of these nations — and all of the rest of the world — were practicing slavery at this time and had from time immemorial. Slavery was part of the Asian world, a large part of the Muslim world, practiced throughout Central and South America even before the first Conquistadors arrived, and importantly for our discussion, rampant through Africa by other Africans.

Most of the slaves transported to America were not captured by white slavers as depicted in the movie Roots. That happened, but the majority were simply bought from Africans who had enslaved nearby tribes they had conquered. It was a facet of Africa like it was the rest of the world, and to call it a uniquely American evil is factually wrong and dishonest. It was — and still is — a worldwide evil.

Slavery in the United States of America ran 87 years from 1776-1863. Or in President Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, “Four score and seven years ago…” Just a fact, something journalists used to care about.

A common lie told today by leftists, and it is repeated in the Time’s 1619 Project by several of the writers, is that the “white men” who created the Constitution, did not see black people as fully human and not worthy of rights. This is also factually wrong. The northern colonies were packed with abolitionists — white people — who argued that this was the moment to end the atrocity of slavery, at the outset of the new nation. But there were other white people in the southern colonies, slave holders, who would not agree to form a single country to fight for freedom from British rule if emancipation were included.

It’s possible that the majority of the framers preferred to free blacks and give them rights in the newly formed country. But freedom could not be won unless all the colonies were bound together against the greatest empire on earth at the time. So the painful compromise was made to win freedom from Britain. And then, within a few generations, a bloody Civil War was fought almost entirely by white people to free the slaves. (About 90 percent of Union troops were white.)

The Times ignores this and misrepresents world history, our history and the founders and framers, by saying all of the framers saw blacks as subhuman. The publication is intent on doing this because as modern leftists they have an almost instinctive antipathy toward America and the very idea of American greatness. But more relevant to the moment, they are doing this literally to help beat Donald Trump and Republicans in 2020.

It does not require any special analytical abilities to deduce this. Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet essentially says so.

A recording of a full Times staff meeting was leaked to Slate last week, which then published a transcript of it. Baquet held this staff meeting two weeks ago to explain a coming change in coverage after the collapse of the Trump-Russia narrative.

“Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.”

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Pulitzers are award by like-minded leftists. Only one type of story wins those. But despite two years and virtually unlimited legal and financial resources, Mueller failed to establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia during the 2016 election. Which essentially means those years of reporting got it wrong. But Pulitzers.

Baquet went on, and this really pulls the veil back:

“The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.’ And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?”

But Pulitzers — unless of course they were just political accolades by fellow travelers and not about actual journalism.

Baquet: “We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well…Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”

That is, a different angle of attack on President Trump, since Trump-Russia it turns out was never really a story. The real story the Times will not tell is how we got a two-year special counsel investigation of an event that did not happen. Baquet, not knowing this would become public of course, just puts it out there openly.

“I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump?”

Divided by Trump. Amazing. Baquet said the Times must “write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions.”

And there it is. The 1619 Project.

“It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

“Reframing” history is just a deceptive way of saying “rewrite” history. And there is no conceivable way this does not inflame racial tensions and make us more divided. And understand, most news outlets across the country take their cue on story importance and framing from the New York Times.

The first lines of the massive project let it all hang out.

“Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true…”

No. Another premise to reject that just flat wrong. Blacks did indeed fight to earn their claim to them, as did whites. But the ideals were true and right — changing support for values does not in any way alter the moral standing of the values themselves. That would be self-evident to a non propagandist. Those ideas simply were imperfectly implemented, as mentioned above. 

Our nation’s story actually is one of consistently moving closer to those ideals, striving through emancipation in the 19th century to the civil rights movement of the mid 20th century. Blacks have been fully equal to whites under the law in this country for 50 years.

But the Times will never tell that story. 

Baquet told his staff that over the next two years, the Times will “teach” its readers to see race everywhere, to view every issue through race. Stories will strive to “reframe” each issue through the lense of race. The next two years just coincidentally happen to cover the entire presidential election cycle. 

And that brings us to the final premise to reject: That the New York Times is a news organization. It is not. And it has not been for a long while. But it took its own mask off now. It is virtually self-described now as an anti-American, leftist, Democratic propaganda outlet — with some news stories sprinkled in.

No independent-minded person should think otherwise.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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How The Climate Media Subverts The Climate Debate

Rod Thomson

There is not a worse enemy of rightly understanding climate change, the causes, the threat and the cost-benefit of remediations than virtually every single media member that covers climate change.

They are part of the ongoing saga of environmental reporters who are as hardened and unobjective in their views as the Sierra Club and GreenPeace. I worked with several in newspapers over the years, and even back in the 1990s they almost universally became as activist in their reporting as the activists were in their activism. The cause was righteous and just!

It resulted in enormous misinformation and of course added to the mountain of distrust for the media that was growing skyward before social media was even on the scene. The global cooling crisis. The acid rain crisis. The nuclear energy crisis. The global deforestation crisis. The population bomb crisis. And on and on. 

But nowhere has this been more disastrous than in the climate propaganda that passes itself off as news coverage. This was made crystal clear by the throng in the media center covering the Paris Climate Accord that jumped up and down cheering when it was signed in April 2016. Literally jumped up and down. As a former member of the press corps, I recoiled at this outburst. But you should totally trust that you’re getting the straight dope from them on climate change.

The level of politicized reporting on the issue is how a member of Congress can propose the most childishly absurd Green New Deal and have every major Democratic candidate and much of the Democratic caucus sign on to it. The crisis is so severe that we need to eliminate plane travel in exchange for 19th century train travel and stop eating meat, plus so many more eye-popping proposals.

Of course the actual reality, which you have to dig for and which most Americans and virtually no Democrats access thanks to the climate media, is that climate change is real but the actual impacts are wildly overstated. Wildly, wildly, wildly overstated.

Last year’s U.S. Climate Assessment points this out, but media consumers would never know it. There is a Defcon 1 worst case scenario that results in far worse problems for the future of mankind than are delineated in the global warming issues of rising oceans and greater overall heat. This scenario envisions a nearly 12-degree increase by 2090 — three times the already questionable consensus, which nobody but the extremely extremists are suggesting is likely. It just not impossible. 

But even with that scenario, the estimated climate change-caused damage rolls up to $500 billion annually in the U.S. That is an obviously notable amount today, but could be managed with some pain. But the GDP by 2090 will be unimaginably larger than today, meaning that $500 billion becomes very manageable pain point. Yet draconian measures are needed right now! The reality is that given the pace of scientific advancement and innovation, the solvability of global warming related problems is high.

Why? Guess which number was reported and which number was not reported? Yup. A 12-degree global temperature increase followed by the normal sky-is-falling hysteria and demands for radical lifestyle changes. But there was not a mainstream media outfit that reported the actual cost, which granted was buried by the climate change activist scientists, because that would make obvious that there is no looming crisis of any significance requiring the back-breaking policies with which Al Gore to AOC want to crush the world.

Remember how ineffectual those measures would be. The Paris Climate Accords were essentially worthless in impacting the rapid CO2 growth in China and India, but hit the U.S. hard. However, the U.S. accounts for less than 15 percent of global emissions — and falling.

This irresponsible climate media activism is why every Democratic candidate thinks they need some mammoth plan for global warming — even though studies have shown that if the U.S. cut every last carbon emission today it would have a negligible impact on global temperatures 50 years from now.

Nonetheless, even the supposed moderate in the race, Joe Biden, has had to come out with an anti-global warming plan that includes forcing emissions reductions on countries using tariffs — because if Trump uses tariffs to get better trade deals for American workers and companies, then by gosh Biden can use them to assuage the hysteria fevers caused by the infected climate change media.

It’s all just forehead slapping. 

The bottom line, unfortunately, is that as bad as the political reporting is — and most every topic is now political it seems — the absolute least reliable is the climate change coverage, even more so than immigration coverage. You simply cannot accept anything you get from mainstream media sources on climate change. It’s a shame. But it’s true. And it means the ability to have any sort of unified understanding of what should be a straightforward issue is impossible.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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Conservatism Media Truth

Ben Shapiro Is Reshaping Media As Rush Did 30 Years Ago

Rod Thomson

When working in newsrooms in the 1990s, my journalism colleagues often asked me why Rush Limbaugh was so popular. They could not fathom it.  I explained it was basic supply meeting pent-up demand; that is, conservatives had felt under attack in every area of media and here came a guy with a microphone giving voice to their worldview, and providing analysis and twists that were done no where else.

Limbaugh ushered in a revolution of talk radio hosts, creating an entire industry known as conservative talk radio and probably saving the AM dial. Before Fox News, conservative talk radio stood alone in the flood of liberal media. And spawned Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Laura Ingraham and more. Most of these hosts are Baby Boomers and have a fairly set way of thinking and doing. (Notably, Beck the least in that regard, via both worldview and business model, and Prager with Prager U.) A lot of conservatism has reflected that old set way — at least in the Republican base.

But now we have something new in Ben Shapiro, who is arguably the most popular conservative in the country, although Rush and Sean fans may dispute that. Shapiro’s been on the scene for awhile, starting with a nationally syndicated column at 17 years old. But he’s exploded in recent years with the largest conservative podcast, a newly minted national radio show and best-selling books, while still writing for the Daily Wire and acting as Editor.

He’s simply sprinted past all of the much older and more established radio commentators.

Why? What makes Shapiro different?

Yes, he is smart, fast-talking, aggressive yet reasonable and has a quantum hard-drive for a memory. His worldview as a Christian-friendly, Orthodox Jew millennial conservative is almost hilariously unique. He’s fearless taking on the Left and usually acquits himself with a good pummelling. People eat up his “Ben Shapiro destroys…” Youtube videos usually answering questions at college campuses. He’s just a fresh voice in so many ways.

But there’s something else going on, and why people like me also gravitate to Shapiro. He simply puts more meat on the bone than the talk radio predecessors, throws far fewer bombs, rants less and more frequently explains what the other side is thinking or strategizing — fairly or not dependent on your worldview.

For too long, many of our talk radio hosts have spit out the same name-calling invectives and one-sided rants that have felt good but have not prepped any listener for dealing with an informed liberal. I can always tell my conservative friends who spend a lot of time listening to conservative talk radio. The vernacular is well-repeated. It too often boils down to: liberals are evil, they’re idiots, they hate America, and they think we’re all “racist, sexist, bigot, homophobes.” OK. Fair enough. Got it. But now what?

This is not a shot at these guys. I remember hearing Rush for the first time around 1989 or 1990 driving on U.S. 67 north of the Quad-Cities along the Mississippi River on the way home from my newspaper job in Davenport, flipping through stations when I came across this guy saying what I believe. I listened for a few minutes and was drop-jawed. This was no where else! I pulled into a dirt driveway, put it in park and just listened.

Supply was just beginning to meet demand and Rush was the pioneer.

But the supply of good red-meat conservative insights and rants (which I like as much as the next guy) is exceeding demand and has for awhile as everyone seeks to get in on the schtick. The typical pendulum of supply and demand seeking equilibrium and rarely finding it.

I’ve long wanted more, and sought it out in books and podcasts. Particularly podcasts in recent years where I can get long-form interviews and more in-depth information than what feels like the same old, same old on radio.

Shapiro goes at least part way toward meeting that demand. He provides reams more data and context on issues. While standard talk radio tells you X is a terrible idea. Shapiro frequently tells you why X is a terrible idea. That is a big step forward and one that obviously conservative millennials are attracted to — and there are growing numbers of those — but also that older conservatives are drawn to.

If Shapiro is roughly Rush 2.0 30 years later — William F. Buckley without the pretensions — then what we’re likely to see is a lot of people following his footsteps, just as we saw an entire industry follow Rush’s. We’re already seeing that with young conservative personalities. But young ranters a la old ranters is not the future. Depth, context, data and fearlessness with opponents (Rush never debates a liberal) may well be — and that does not have an age requirement attached.

Further, Shapiro’s radio program is utilizing his podcast format on radio, which has the potential to revolutionize a somewhat ossified radio industry facing stiffening competition from podcasts and new media.

Shapiro’s style and altered format — if it works — could be one of the healthier trends long-term for conservatism by creating a new breed of conservative-thought influencers, building on the first generation with a new and updated model that leaves conservatives more informed and armed than the 1.0 version.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. 

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Media Truth Twitter

AOC’s Fundamental Ignorance Vs The Alternate Twitter Universe

Rod Thomson

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is by now well-known for getting facts wrong and displaying jaw-dropping ignorance from economics to trains to laws.

But only well-known in one universe, the one reported by right-of-center news and commentary outlets and their consumers. Too often, consumers in this universe, in which The Revolutionary Act exists, think that once something is reported at Fox News, the Washington Examiner, the Daily Caller, Breitbart News, or others, it is known to the American people.

But this is wrong.

Because in the other universe, one populated by the mainstream media largely ignoring or downplaying her gaffes and on social media where she is gigantic and her followers only get news there or from the MSM, she remains this colossus of righteousness bestriding a racist, bigoted, unfair America.

Seriously. Many, many Americans who believe they keep up somewhat on the news and check their Twitter feed have little to no information on just how embarrassing she is. They either think Republicans are attacking her (the pounce narrative) or that Republicans are afraid of this truth-to-power-teller.

Nowhere was this on better display than during Tuesday’s House hearing on terrorism efforts, the conservative reporting on it, and AOC’s Twitter response.

Ryan Saavedra, of the Daily Wire, tweeted out a full story’s worth of tweets Friday, starting with:

“FBI Asst. Director of Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity has to repeatedly explain to Ocasio-Cortez that domestic terrorists are not charged with domestic terrorism because no domestic terrorist statute exists”

Fox News did a story on it Saturday. The timing is telling. The mainstream media ignored her embarrassing ignorance/dishonesty, much like they do other Democrats. If not for the conservative media, this would be essentially unknown.

The short of it is that AOC doesn’t understand the law on this issue, the difference between foreign actors and domestic, or how counterterrorism works. She was intent on pursuing her pre-arranged line of questioning that American counterterrorism officials were unfairly targeting Muslims, and not white supremcists, with terrorism charges. She continued to question why they did not charge white supremcists with domestic terrorism when they charged Muslims in a couple of cases with terrorism.

The answer, which McGarrity patiently explained over and over was that there is no such thing as domestic terrorism in law, and you cannot charge people with something that is not illegal in law.

Further, the two examples she cited — the San Bernardino shootings and the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando — involved people with documented links to ISIS, which is a foreign terrorist organization. That triggers the terrorism charge. But white supremacists attacks, such as at the Pittsburg synagogue shootings, had no foreign links, so the shooter acting alone was charged instead with multiple counts of murder.

No matter how much McGarrity explained that there are no statutes on domestic terrorism and so there can be no domestic terrorism charges, AOC kept going from her notes. She was pursuing a narrative, not facts or laws.

Read Saavedra’s thread or the Fox story or just watch the link on C-Span. It’s cringe-worthy. Almost hard to watch.

Except not for the rest of the universe outside of the conservosphere. In that one, the entire embarrassment never happened. Or, if you follow AOC’s huge Twitter following (created for her by the astonishing level of media coverage that primary victory attained) you get this parallel universe telling of what happened.

“This hearing was wild.

First the FBI witness tried to say I was wrong. I tried to be generous + give benefit of doubt, but then we checked. I wasn’t.

Violence by Muslims is routinely treated as “terrorism,” White Supremacist violence isn’t.

Neo-Nazis are getting off the hook.”

Note, she doesn’t say what her staff checked and was right about, or what McGarrity was wrong about. Because she was obviously wrong. They are only different if there is a link to foreign terrorist organizations. Other Muslim attacks were not treated as terrorism because there was no documented links.

It’s really very, very difficult to give her the benefit of the doubt that this is just a misrepresentation or misunderstanding. So, if she was listening to McGarrity at all, she knows why some Muslims were charged with terrorism (and others were not) while white supremacists so far have not been. The sad and likely explanation is that she is just that comfortable with this level of…dissembling.

The reality, however, is that her tweet got 128,000 likes and 41,000 retweets — probably totalling more eyeballs than most of the conservosphere combined on this issue.

She is aided by the lack of MSM coverage and by Twitter outlets such as Now This News, which tweeted this doozie out:

“Rep. @AOC confronted this official about why the FBI doesn’t treat white supremacists the way it treats other terrorists”

Technically, yes, she did. And the answer was explained statutorily to her. Now This News must know this. But partisan narrative. Also, FYI, fake news coverage.

She could have come out on Twitter and called for a change in laws. That actually would have been both reasonable and even productive. After all, she is a “lawmaker.” Congress can pass a domestic terrorism law if they want. But making laws is hard work, even when staff does most everything. Grandstanding to the adulation of your only half-informed followers is easier and provides immediate gratification. Plus, this way she can still not admit to being wrong. Again.

Conservatives who think that Americans know AOC is a pretty, enthusiastic, bumbling doofus who is an American embarrassment are sadly mistaken. Most do not. And likely never will. It is our battle. And why The Revolutionary Act and so many others exist.

Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

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Journalism Media Trump Truth

Polls: Trump Popularity Soars to Highest Level, Trust In Media Tanks To Lowest

Rod Thomson

The events in the above headline are not unrelated.

Once the literally “no news” two-year news cycle of Trump-Russia collusion ended with the thump of the Mueller report finding no collusion and not recommending any obstruction of justice charges, it turns out Americans are OK with President Trump. More than OK.

The Zogby Poll has Trump’s job approval at 51%, 3 points above Obama’s in the same poll at the same point in his first term.

Again, it cannot be said enough, this is after two years of media hyperventilating over something that did not happen.

Maybe more interesting: A majority of Millennials approve of Trump’s performance as President, which has been a huge GOP fear — that Trump would turn off young voters to conservatism for a generation. This may not end that worry, but it sure tamps it down. Further, Trump is winning back Hispanic, Independent, college educated and urban voters.

Rasmussen polls have already placed Trump above Obama at the same time in his term for awhile now.

This is astonishing considering the very friendly, to put it mildly, coverage of President Obama and the nakedly partisan coverage of Trump.

On that point, Trump’s approval ratings are giant leaps ahead of the media’s trust ratings. Maybe not apples to apples, but close. The Columbia Journalism Review, the most prestigious publication for and about the media, reports with surprisingly little verbiage (I think we know why) just how bad the problem is through a commissioned Reuters poll.

Here’s what they found: The media led all institutions for which the public has the lowest confidence. Nobody’s lower. And of all demographic groups, only Democrats expressed a positive confidence in the press. Gosh, I wonder why?

Here are the numbers, which an honest media look at and admit they have a severe bias problem: 42 percent of Democrats believe the media isn’t biased. But only 10 percent of Republicans said the same.

Reagan used to talk about going over the head of the media and talking directly to the American people. Because even then, the media bias was pronounced, albeit nothing like today. Now, it looks like the American people are going over the head of the media directly to reality.

All of this means that the attempt to bring down Trump through what is now demonstrably “fake news” has backfired magnificently. The media as constituted probably cannot recover legitimacy from it’s past 10 years combined of covering for Obama and making it up over Trump. Which is a shame, and shame on them, because the Fourth Estate is an important part of America.

Rod Thomson is an author, radio and TV commentator and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod also is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

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