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President Donald Trump’s supporters have learned a lot about the political process and the media within the past year.
Last year at this time, they learned the difference between primaries and caucuses and how each works.
Those who were in the dark about the Electoral College found out more about it after the election last November.
So much news — real and fake — about Trump is posted every day on websites great and small that it is difficult to keep up.
As Trump supporters are dropping Big Media sites as their main source of news, they have been increasingly turning to — of all things — White House press briefings.
Who has ever watched White House press briefings? No one. They were something for media insiders, not the average American. They were dull and sycophantic.
Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, and the media have changed all that. Since the inauguration, these briefings and ‘gaggles’ (the latter by invitation only) have become must-see or must-read events.
Who knew White House press briefings could be so popular?
On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 — still within Trump’s first 100 days as president — the Washington Examiner reported that Sean Spicer is one of the best known people in his administration. And it’s all thanks to his press briefings.
Excerpts from WashEx‘s article, ‘Huge: Spicer briefings draw 4.2 million viewers‘ follow, emphases mine:
There’s a reason why TMZ’s Harvey Levin recently called White House spokesman Sean Spicer one of the “most visible” people in all of Washington.
Because next to President Trump and his globe-trotting vice president, Mike Pence, Spicer’s afternoon briefings continue to be Must See Cable TV for millions of political junkies and the midday click for hundreds of thousands on Yahoo.
The ratings are stellar:
A Nielsen survey for Secrets of two weeks of ratings from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News put Spicer’s average daily viewership at 3.64 million, higher on newsy days to 4.5 million viewers.
And Yahoo told us that Spicer’s online audience sometimes averages 600,000 a day, and at least 3 million a week.
“We’d definitely consider these good, and certainly fair to say the briefings have found an audience on Yahoo,” said a spokeswoman.
In addition to Spicer, Trump’s counsellor (in an advisory sense) Kellyanne Conway is also well known to the public. TMZ’s Levin says:
To me, outside of Trump and maybe, maybe Pence, the two most visible people in D.C I think it’s her and Sean Spicer. I’m saying more than anybody in Congress right now.
Unlike in previous administrations, Big Media reporters who pole up to the White House are universally opposed to Trump. Spicer, an active US Navy reservist, has a struggle on his hands every day. He rarely falters in attempting to set the record straight, day after day.
The place is standing room only every time, which also adds to the interest.
Combined, these elements make Spicer’s press briefings compelling viewing:
“Conflict makes for great television,” said Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center. “It’s no secret that the liberal media despise President Trump. His spokesman Sean Spicer is pushing back — hard. The media have never been slapped around like this. It doesn’t matter which side you’re on, it is most entertaining,” he added.
A new feature of the briefings is that Spicer occasionally takes Skype questions from local television network news affiliates and alternative media commentators from a screen near his podium. Big Media baulked when he began opening up the floor, but the reporters and pundits on Skype ask much more informed questions than the big boys and girls do.
The press briefings are an important means of communication to all Americans, but especially to Trump supporters:
Fellow Republican spox Ron Bonjean, who handled White House communications for the effort to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court, said having a big TV and internet audience helps Trump keep his message directly in front of Americans.
“The reason why the press secretary holds televised briefings is to communicate directly with the American people. This means that when millions of voters are watching Sean Spicer’s press briefing, it can only help him directly deliver what President Trump’s priorities are on a daily basis,” said Bonjean.
“Basically it keeps a constant connection for Donald Trump to use the live news coverage to people that have supported him across the country,” added Bonjean, the chief communicator for a former House speaker, former Senate majority leader and former Commerce Department secretary.
Videos of each press briefing can be found on the White House Featured Videos page.
After viewing a few of these, some prefer reading the transcripts, which will save time — and frustration with reporters who come in with the same doggone questions every day. Transcripts are on the White House What’s Happening page.
Videos can also be found on YouTube via The White House channel under Press Conferences.
Here is the corresponding transcript.
As my post on the Easter Egg Roll mentioned, Spicer is no stranger to the White House. He worked as a staffer in the George W Bush administration, when he also played the role of an Easter bunny for the Egg Roll.
On December 22, 2016, Fox News reported:
President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday that Spicer will get the coveted job of White House press secretary, as he announced the senior members of his communications team.
This also includes: Hope Hicks as director of strategic communications; Jason Miller as director of communications; and Dan Scavino as director of social media.
“Sean, Hope, Jason and Dan have been key members of my team during the campaign and transition. I am excited they will be leading the team that will communicate my agenda that will Make America Great Again,” Trump said in a statement.
Spicer was thought to have the inside track for the job, in part because of his ties to incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, who currently runs the Republican National Committee.
Spicer worked alongside Priebus throughout the 2016 campaign as chief strategist and communications director at the RNC …
A commissioned officer in the Navy Reserves, Spicer previously served as Assistant United States Trade Representative (USTR) for Media and Public Affairs under the George W. Bush administration, and worked for the House Republican Conference before that.
Here is a photo of him on duty in uniform taken last week with a reporter from Today, NBC’s breakfast show (photo courtesy of The_Donald):
On April 14, 2017, Fox News reported that Spicer has longstanding ties to both the Navy and media work:
Spicer reported to fulfill his duty at the Joint Chiefs of Staff offices, a White House official told Fox News. The well-known spokesman holds the rank of commander — which sits just under the higher rank of captain in the Navy.
Spicer, who joined the Navy Reserve nearly 20 years ago while maintaining his primary work as a Republican media operative and strategist, also possesses a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.
As a media operative and strategist, Spicer was part of joint naval exercises overseas in Guam, Germany and Sweden. He also oversaw media coverage of the US Navy’s operations at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
Spicer’s wife, Rebecca Miller, also has a career in media and communications. When the two were married in 2004 at St Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, she was a television producer. Miller is now senior vice president, communications and public affairs, for the National Beer Wholesalers Association. The Spicers have two children.
On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks dumped Part 1 — Year Zero — of Vault 7.
Each part of Vault 7 concerns the CIA.
This is going to be fun.
The WikiLeaks Twitter feed is particularly informative and educational on this topic. My favourite is this one:
Of course, very little of Vault 7 has made Big Media and their smaller acolytes:
Senator Rand Paul (R – Kentucky) thinks that the content will alarm the public:
ZeroHedge has the best summary of Vault 7, Part 1. A summary and excerpts follow. Emphases in the original:
A total of 8,761 documents have been published as part of ‘Year Zero’, the first in a series of leaks the whistleblower organization has dubbed ‘Vault 7.’ WikiLeaks said that ‘Year Zero’ revealed details of the CIA’s “global covert hacking program,” including “weaponized exploits” used against company products including “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
WikiLeaks tweeted the leak, which it claims came from a network inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.
Among the more notable disclosures which, if confirmed, “would rock the technology world“, the CIA had managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services such as Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to the statement from WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate Android phones and collect “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”
Another profound revelation is that the CIA can engage in “false flag” cyberattacks which portray Russia as the assailant. Discussing the CIA’s Remote Devices Branch’s UMBRAGE group, Wikileaks’ source notes that it “collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.
From this introduction it is clear that the average consumer can be monitored easily:
The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.
Just as important is the story that ‘Russia’ hacked the DNC and the US election. Could it be that ‘Russia’ is actually the CIA? Given Vault 7’s information, who would find that surprising?
In Europe, the CIA operates out of the US consulate in Frankfurt:
a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( “Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe” or CCIE) are given diplomatic (“black”) passports and State Department cover.
The strangest — and most sinister — CIA technology involves motor vehicles:
As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.
This might explain the mysterious death of investigative journalist Michael Hastings in 2013. In 2015, WhoWhatWhy published an article positing that Hastings’s car turning into a fireball while he was behind the wheel was an assassination. Many thought such an accusation was the stuff of conspiracy theory, even though experts said it was possible. Emphases mine below:
At the time of Hastings’ death, counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post that it was possible that Hastings’ car had been hacked; that the known details of the crash were consistent with a car cyber attack.
“There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers”—including the United States—know how to remotely seize control of a car, Clarke said.
At the time, however, Clarke’s suggestion received little attention from the mainstream media. In the past two years, the issue of automobile cybersecurity has entered the mainstream arena.
Since 2013, scientists have proven the possibility of hacking a car, and lawmakers are revealing the lack of cybersecurity against these types of threats built into today’s digital cars.
“Your car may have as many as 30 separate electronic control units, some of them built for wireless access. Hackers have shown that they can disconnect brakes, kill acceleration and more—although most hacks currently require direct, wired access to the car’s systems. Even so, a lab technician turned off our test car while we were driving it—from a cell phone,” Chris Meyer, Vice President of Consumer Reports, said in an email to WhoWhatWhy.
This is worth noting:
At the time of his death, Hastings had been working on a story about CIA Director John Brennan. The president of Strategic Forecasting Inc. (“Stratfor”), a CIA contract global intelligence firm, has described Brennan in secret emails as someone on a “witch hunt” of investigative journalists. Brennan, of course, has denied these claims: a CIA spokesperson told reporter Kimberly Dvorak in an email that notwithstanding WikiLeaks, “any suggestion that Director Brennan has ever attempted to infringe on constitutionally-protected press freedoms is offensive and baseless.”
Is it possible that Brennan felt threatened by the content of Hastings’ would-be story? If yes, how would the CIA have responded to such an expose?
Hastings was worried that someone had tampered with his Mercedes. He told his friends and colleagues. Then:
Expert opinion was split in 2013 and in 2015 as to whether this was intentional or an accident.
No doubt Vault 7, Part 1 — Year Zero — will get people talking once more about Hastings’s horrific death.
Meanwhile, please be sure to read the ZeroHedge article in full. It is horrifying that an intelligence agency would commit all these acts against innocent civilians around the world.
Yesterday’s post concerned Melania Trump’s opening her husband’s February 18 rally in Melbourne, Florida with the Lord’s Prayer.
The following day, The_Donald — a welcoming forum for Trump supporters and ex-leftists — featured a long thread about the first lady’s call to prayer.
Most of The_Donald’s readers are Millennials and gamers. They also do not mince words. Sometimes their language is salty. Therefore, it was heartening to read their support of prayer.
Selected comments follow, demonstrating that perhaps the United States is returning to the Lord. And, as others know, where the US goes, the rest of the world often follows. Emphases mine below.
FullMetalSquirrel: Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
KrakNup (replied): It’s hard to believe that we can converse and post passages like this without being totally shut down. It’s been too many years since that was so.
GCMythix (further reply): Exactly, it’s amazing how this community is so open to all types of people. This is the first place on the internet I haven’t been completely disregarded for my faith. I’ve been made fun of and discredited just because of my beliefs and I’m so glad that we can come together as a nation. I’m glad atheists and Christians and those from every belief get along so well here🙂
An atheist chimed in:
Neo8Aeon (excerpted): I’m an atheist, spent much of 2 years ago explaining why atheism is better online and on forums, watched and read Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris and others and preached the message of rationality and science over all …
I love science and I’m still an atheist to the core, but I’m not of the anti Christian sect any more. I love what the Christian culture and values did in the America of my childhood. But for a few, highly over-publicized cases, the Christianity I’ve known has always been hate the sin, love the sinner, and we are all sinners, all worth loving.
Right now if the USA again moved toward prayer in schools, toward people who quoted the bible reverently, with malice toward none but charity for all I’d be on board for that. So I’ve become a pro-Christian atheist.
God Bless the USA!
Melania’s popularity went up with the act of prayer:
cequiceracera: I thought she seemed a little nervous, but was so glad she took the stage. I hope we hear more from her in the future!
Perhelion (reply): I think she will get used to it as she takes on more speaking roles as FLOTUS. But again, starting with the Lord’s Prayer won massive points with me. She may as well have walked on water today. That’s how highly I think of her now.
Another reader reminded the Left of America’s origins:
GoneGalt13: Reminder for triggering leftists: our official national motto is IN GOD WE TRUST. Also, for what it’s worth E Pluribus Unum refers to STATES. Out of many states, one country.
Some criticised the first lady’s detractors:
StillTraveling: Everyone on twitter talking about how she had to read it off a card…
They are retarded. English is not her first language. I’m sure she prays in her first language; therefore, it is to be expected that she would utilize the written English prayer to help her along.
ZippyTheChicken (reply): when you are not off the cuff like donald its always best to read off a card.. can you imagine if she missed a word the left would say horrible things.
the fact is … she said it.. and I have never heard anyone else in politics say it
FullMetalSquirrel (further reply): It is easy to get a prayer wrong though. I do this all the time in my head and have to start over. So stupid and mean.
I’ve gotta say, they will answer for mocking her for praying and it will be to the Lord himself.
From someone who was at the rally:
FL_MEGA_MAGA: I was there, it was awesome. DEUS VULT!
And from someone who wasn’t:
speaksdinosaur: I found myself doing the Sign of the Cross. Old habits die hard even if you’re not religious.
More positive comments followed:
Sleek_Bones: Finally, a president[ial] couple that worships the one and only.
locploc: It was a fantastic surprise. Very heart-warming.
dparks2010: For anyone who missed it – here’s a video which starts with Melania’s intro:
What a gorgeous and classy woman. I’m proud to have her as my First Lady.
ManOfTheInBetween: When was the last time you heard a Presidential family say something like this in public? Whether you believe or not we call all agree that the values of Christianity are valuable and benefited western culture. God Bless the USA!
In closing, some were inspired to seek a broader application in a time of growing unbelief:
FullMetalSquirrel: I am seriously thinking of starting a list of names of people here who say this or that they’re atheists and praying for them once a week at least.
My hope is always that people will find God and to do so in a way that doesn’t involve something painful or heart breaking.
ZippyTheChicken (reply, excerpted): you know I was thinking about that the other night .. the thing is everyone who says they are an atheist has all ready been told the good word and they intentionally reject the idea that God can exist.
Now I understand that they might not believe the bible and every word of it as hard core science .. that might be understandable.. some believers are exacting in their belief of every single word and there could be people that say that can’t actually be true.. well whatever .. let’s get past that …
But to reject God as a possibility? …
If you look at the atom it has very similar properties to a solar system.. there is the nucleus and orbiting planets which could be considered protons and then moons that represent electrons and then there are comets and asteroids that are similar to quarks …
The atom is infinitely small and the universe is infinitely large
you look into an atom and you find a quark.. well that quark can be divided..
you look at our solar system and you understand it is nothing in comparison to the milky way and then the milky way to the universe.
It’s just astounding .. and we believe that God said Let There Be Light….
I have 4 years of organic chemistry and many more of other sciences… I have been educated in engineering and taught it…. I have lectured at a half dozen Ivy League Schools to professors not students and I have known many people who are held up as the most brilliant in our society only to see that they are fricken idiots in some cases.
If someone uses science as a basis to reject God then they are an uneducated idiot.
If they follow the garbage that comes out of the mouth of someone like Bill Nye who was a failed Boeing Engineer that had a kids show on public access cable that was launched into a career because someone had to fill that spot of being the science guy… and he has no real scientific accomplishments of his own worth noting…
I mean its so exasperating and depressing to see someone reject God intentionally and then use Science or anything else as the basis to say God does not exist …
Accepting God is not Going to Church
its how you live your life
and Life is short.. 100 years or so at the most we get…
It is a job interview for Eternity
Eternity that is as vast and larger than the universe..
An eternity where you will find peace
God didn’t screw this world up People did
I deeply wish people would understand that God is real and that maybe God would show himself in their lives ..
But God Exists whether we believe or not
He was there before we were born and will be there for eternity
I say just do your best .. and only you know if you are doing your best.
And if you make a mistake or give into temptation .. ask for forgiveness and then try again to do your best.
It is evident that Melania Trump’s public recitation of the Lord’s Prayer last Saturday has inspired many people who normally would not discuss Christianity so openly. It has provoked useful and inspiring conversation.
It is also apparent that the Lord was working through her in that rally. Contrary to what a substantial minority of Americans think, the Lord is also working through her husband in leading the United States — and possibly other places in the world — to a more righteous and just future for all.
The Left are in disarray. I am not the first person to say that they are akin to a vicious animal that finds itself cornered. It will attack for survival. In the end, it will be subdued.
Right now, the president sees the lashing out.
In the end, he will overcome it.
However, that is a perilous task, one that 99% would not be able to accomplish. It demands physical resilience and mental strength.
Donald Trump needs the prayers of the faithful right now. The high echelon of the intelligence community opposes him. One of them said in an interview last week that Trump ‘better watch his mouth’. Some Democrats want the president to undergo a psychological examination. Another faction wants the government — elected by the people — to be declared illegitimate.
These are very dangerous times. The media aid and abet Democrats and the GOP establishment, both of which have much to hide. The media have their sins, too.
Ultimately, Donald Trump’s enemies fear he and his men will expose their heinous sins and crimes not only to Americans but also to the world.
This is why it is so important to pray that God protects Trump, his administration and their families. The truth must come out — and a thorough cleansing must take place.