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More Americans are walking away from Big Media, whether its mainstream news or printed periodicals.

Those Americans are going online and reading or viewing alternative media, which, at least, seem to be doing a good job of investigation.

This is one small example of why traditional media outlets are losing their grip:

Now a Harvard study of media outlets covering President Donald Trump has proven Americans are correct in their perceptions of bias.

The study, ‘News Coverage of Donald Trump’s First 100 Days’, shows the extent of anti-Trump coverage.

American coverage

This chart gives us a summary of the findings from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy:

It is also worth remembering the 2016 campaign and the many journalists who were in the tank for Hillary Clinton. The Democrats held a few get-togethers for them, which the Podesta WikiLeaks revealed:

European media

Three European media sources were also included: Britain’s Financial Times (FT) and the BBC as well as Germany’s ARD.

Of the European sources, ARD was the worst offender, giving Trump astoundingly negative coverage 98% of the time.

The FT came next with 84% negative coverage. The BBC’s output was negative 74% of the time.

Basic findings

A summary of and excerpts from the study follow. Emphases mine below.

Trump was the star of the news during his first 100 days.

In the United States:

Trump was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the usual amount.[15] It was also the case that Trump did most of the talking (see Figure 1). He was the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of his coverage. Members of the administration, including his press secretary, accounted for 11 percent of the sound bites. Other Republicans, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, accounted for 4 percent. Altogether, Republicans, inside and outside the administration, accounted for 80 percent of what newsmakers said about the Trump presidency.

Trump supporters were unhappy about the lack of coverage given to violent leftist protests against the president. The Left accused them of being cry babies. However, was Trump’s base right or wrong? They were right. With regard to news coverage:

Participants in anti-Trump protests and demonstrations accounted for … 3 percent.

On the other hand, television coverage did not give the Russian hacking scandal as much time as many of us might have thought:

Immigration was the most heavily covered topic, accounting for 17 percent of Trump’s coverage.[19] Health care ranked second (12 percent), followed by the terrorism threat (9 percent), and Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election (6 percent). Presidential appointments, global trade, Trump’s family and personal life, and the economy were the other topics that received 4 percent or more of the coverage.

Even though they loathe the president, cable news channels know he’s good for their ratings:

News ratings were slumping until Trump entered the arena.  Said one network executive, “[Trump] may not be good for America, but [he’s] damn good for [us].”[18]

In Europe, media coverage focussed on international issues but not on Russia:

Although, like their American counterparts, immigration was at the top of the agenda, they gave relatively more space to international trade, military, and foreign policy issues, a reflection of the extent to which Europe is affected by U.S. policies in these areas. On the other hand, Russia’s interference in the U.S. election received considerably less attention in the European media than in the U.S. media.[1]

The three European outlets also discussed Trump’s fitness for office much more than their American counterparts did:

Only 3 percent of Trump’s U.S. coverage explicitly explored the issue of Trump’s fitness for office. European journalists were less restrained with the exception of BBC journalists, who are governed by impartiality rules that prohibit such reporting.[21] Journalists at ARD, Germany’s main public broadcasting outlet, are not governed by the same rules, and Trump’s suitability for the presidency was ARD’s leading topic in January, accounting for a full fifth (20 percent) of its Trump coverage. ARD stayed on the issue in its February coverage, when it consumed 18 percent of its Trump coverage. In March and April, Trump’s fitness for office got less attention from ARD, but it nonetheless accounted for about 10 percent of ARD’s coverage. Even that reduced amount exceeded the level of any of our seven U.S. outlets in any month. And ARD’s journalists were unequivocal in their judgment—98 percent of their evaluations of Trump’s fitness for office were negative, only 2 percent were positive.

Historical perspective

The Harvard study provides history about news coverage of American presidents.

Until the early 1960s, television news gave equal time to stories about Congress and the president.

In 1963, television news expanded to half-hour broadcasts on each of the three networks (CBS, ABC and NBC). This new type of news programme facilitated the hiring of the correspondents and camera crews needed to produce picture-driven news.

This resulted in an increased coverage of the president:

who, in any case, was easier than Congress to capture on camera. Newspapers followed suit and, ever since, the president has received more coverage in the national press than all 535 members of Congress combined.[12] The White House’s dominance has been such that, on national television, the president typically accounts for roughly one-eighth of all news coverage.[13]

The study points out that the president is not only the focus of media but also their target:

Although journalists are accused of having a liberal bias, their real bias is a preference for the negative.[22] News reporting turned sour during the Vietnam and Watergate era and has stayed that way.[23] Journalists’ incentives, everything from getting their stories on the air to acquiring a reputation as a hard-hitting reporter, encourage journalists to focus on what’s wrong with politicians rather than what’s right.[24]

Furthermore, the traditional honeymoon period no longer exists:

That era is now decades in the past. Today’s presidents can expect rough treatment at the hands of the press, and Donald Trump is no exception (see Figure 4). Of the past four presidents, only Barack Obama received favorable coverage during his first 100 days, after which the press reverted to form. During his second 100 days, Obama’s coverage was 57 percent negative to 43 percent positive.[26]

Even so, television news coverage of Trump hit a new low in negativity:

Of news reports with a clear tone, negative reports outpaced positive ones by 80 percent to 20 percent. Trump’s coverage was unsparing. In no week did the coverage drop below 70 percent negative and it reached 90 percent negative at its peakThe best period for Trump was week 12 of his presidency, when he ordered a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for the Assad regime’s use of nerve gas on civilians. That week, his coverage divided 70 percent negative to 30 percent positive. Trump’s worst periods were weeks 3 and 4 (a combined 87 percent negative) when federal judges struck down his first executive order banning Muslim immigrants, and weeks 9 and 10 (a combined 88 percent negative) when the House of Representatives was struggling without success to muster the votes to pass a “repeal and replace” health care bill.

No wonder Trump is unhappy with the media

When Trump rails against the media, he has fact on his side:

Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days was not merely negative in overall terms. It was unfavorable on every dimension. There was not a single major topic where Trump’s coverage was more positive than negative

Trump haters have been spending too much time watching and reading Big Media. Wake up, folks! The Harvard study has news for you:

Research has found that familiarity with a claim increases the likelihood people will believe it, whether it’s true or not. The more they hear of something, the more likely they are to believe it.[34]

Here is the Harvard breakdown of print and television media negativity:

Trump’s attacks on the press have been aimed at what he calls the “mainstream media.” Six of the seven U.S. outlets in our study—CBS, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Postare among those he’s attacked by name. All six portrayed Trump’s first 100 days in highly unfavorable termsCNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting—negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks. Trump’s coverage on CBS also exceeded the 90 percent mark. Trump’s coverage exceeded the 80 percent level in The New York Times (87 percent negative) and The Washington Post (83 percent negative). The Wall Street Journal came in below that level (70 percent negative), a difference largely attributable to the Journal’s more frequent and more favorable economic coverage.

There was no relief.

Looking at this another way:

Studies of earlier presidents found nothing comparable to the level of unfavorable coverage afforded Trump. Should it continue, it would exceed even that received by Bill Clinton. There was not a single quarter during any year of Clinton’s presidency where his positive coverage exceeded his negative coverage, a dubious record no president before or since has matched.[29] Trump can’t top that string of bad news but he could take it to a new level. During his first 100 days, Clinton’s coverage was 3-to-2 negative over positive.[30] Trump’s first 100 days were 4-to-1 negative over positive.

Interestingly:

Media failing the American people

Although this was not its only conclusion, the study said that the media need to step up and report more about Americans:

Journalists would also do well to spend less time in Washington and more time in places where policy intersects with people’s lives. If they had done so during the presidential campaign, they would not have missed the story that keyed Trump’s victory—the fading of the American Dream for millions of ordinary people. Nor do all such narratives have to be a tale of woe. America at the moment is a divided society in some respects, but it’s not a broken society and the divisions in Washington are deeper than those beyond the Beltway.

True. This is what a Michigan supporter had to say on Friday, May 19. He doesn’t mention the media, but he has a positive message for the president and his fellow supporters:

The man interviewed said that he supported Donald Trump from the beginning. He canvassed door-to-door for him. He got verbally attacked by … family and friends. People on whose doors he knocked sometimes physically assaulted him.

Big Media bear much of the blame for that gentleman’s abuse.

They don’t care about that man. They don’t care about Americans. They do not care one iota about you.

This is what lies ahead, less than a month from now:

The media will fuel the flames then not report on it, just as they ignored the riots earlier this year.

Tune out. Cancel the newspaper subscription. You can read the obituaries online.

If you want to know what’s really happening at the White House, follow the Twitter feed.

A few weeks ago, President Donald Trump and Julian Assange connected on Twitter.

Throwing out a question, as he does, Trump received the following reply from Assange shortly afterwards.

The exchange took place on Monday, April 3, 2017. It concerns whether Hillary Clinton received a set of debate questions during the Democratic primary season from DNC operative Donna Brazile, who also worked for CNN at the time:

At that time, I thought that was excellent, hoping there will be more of those exchanges in future.

Since then, things have changed. CIA director Mike Pompeo strongly criticised WikiLeaks. President Donald Trump — who owes his victory in large part to WikiLeaks — followed suit.

On April 17, Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Trump and, briefly, his first presidential campaign manager, wrote (emphases mine):

Sadly, Donald Trump’s appointee of Director of Central Intelligence has clearly been conned by the Neo Con careerists at the CIA. Former Congressman Mike Pompeo was appointed at the behest of Vice President Pence who was friendly with Pompeo in the House. While Mr. Pompeo is a Harvard lawyer, his training at West Point was in mechanical engineering. Although he served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence at no time has he expressed any concern about the CIA’s sorry track record of insisting that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that prisoners of war are not being tortured at Abu Ghraib prison, that the United States was farming terrorists out to 3rd party countries which utilized torture in a practice called rendition, that our mission in Benghazi was attacked by a mob whipped into a frenzy by an anti-Islamic video shown in Turkey, as well as the Intelligence agencies role in the collection of metadata on millions of Americans in violation of the US Constitution.

President Donald Trump said on Oct, 10, 2016 “I love Wikileaks” and Pompeo who previously had praised the whistleblowing operation now called Wikileaks “a non-state hostile Intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia”.  Mr. Pompeo must be pressed to immediately release any evidence he has that proves these statements. If he cannot do so ,the President should discharge him.

Julian Assange issued the following statement:

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9aDKGhUIAAXxHX.jpg:small

 

Stone had more in his post:

After some soul searching I have elected to support the President’s limited incursion into Syria because of the strong geo-political message it sends the North Koreans, Iranians and Chinese. It also underlined the foolish of the entire “Russians helped Trump” narrative.

Acting on faulty intelligence endorsed by Director Pompeo, the President has now violated international law, the UN Charter and the War Powers Agreement with Congress. While he has won praise from hawks on both sides of the aisle, who have denounced him in the past, and has been lauded by the mainstream media, which holds him in contempt. A further expansion of the war in Syria would mean violation of end of the non-interventionism, the very concept that won Donald Trump the presidency. It would be the functional end of “Trumpism”.

The competence of Wikileaks, which has yet to release even one inauthentic email, compares very favorably with the performance of the CIA, which neither anticipated the collapse of the Soviet Union or the “terrorist attack” of 9/11. But not only is the public shortchanged by an agency that all-too-often misses either the boat or gets things wrong, its operations around the world have gone far beyond the scope of its charter. The agency is out of control.( See “The CIA’s Record of Duplicity” on the StoneCold Truth.com ) …

Assange is a hero who has rendered valuable service to the American people. Mr. Pompeo has demonstrated that he is far too gullible to serve as the CIA Director and will pretty much swallow anything that the spooks in Langley dish out to him despite the obvious lack of any hard evidence whatsoever. Clearly Mr. Pompeo should resign.

The folks at The_Donald, where a forensic examination of every Podesta WikiLeaks dump can be found, are equally disappointed in Pompeo. They think Trump should ask him to resign.

Trump won over a lot of twenty- and thirty-somethings who read The_Donald and their WikiLeaks analyses. Many of these people were Obama voters or Bernie supporters. Trump should be offering Assange residence in the United States — with no charges against him.

No, Assange isn’t perfect. Nor is Trump. Nor is Pompeo (obviously). However, let’s give credit where credit is due.

If Pompeo doesn’t like WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 releases over the past few weeks, he shouldn’t blame the messenger. He needs to look inside his own agency. They’re the ones who made that software available to all and sundry, for nefarious means.

Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions is getting in on the act.

I was disappointed to see the following in Trump’s interview with the AP of April 23:

AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States?

TRUMP: When Wikileaks came out … never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, “Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff”

AP: Can I just ask you, though — do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange?

TRUMP: I am not involved in that decision, but if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it’s OK with me. I didn’t know about that decision, but if they want to do it, it’s OK with me.

I do not think that Trump has the full information on all of this.

I do hope that someone fills him in. Steve Bannon must surely know. So must others within close proximity to the Oval Office.

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 March 28, 2017, I posted about Mike Cernovich’s interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes.

Although Cernovich’s campaign for CBS to release the full 45-minute video has not borne fruit, he does have the full transcript of the interview, which he posted on Monday, April 3.

At times such as these, it’s reassuring to receive an enthusiastic nod from the White House, in this case, the Counselor to the President:

Here is the short interview, preceded by a discussion with notional experts about what constitutes fake news:

Cernovich posted the transcript of the entire interview on Medium.com.

Excerpts follow from his exchange with Scott Pelley. Subheads and emphases are mine.

What’s Left and Right anymore?

Scott Pelley: … A-are you a right-wing person?

Mike Cernovich: I consider myself center-right. But these labels don’t really make much sense. I believe in some form of universal basic income. Well that isn’t a, quote unquote, conservative position because we have automation coming. What are you going to do?

I’m pro single payer healthcare. Is that right-wing or is that left-wing anymore? Well, if you have a lot of people, a large swatch of the company, or country, are suffering, then I think that we owe it to all Americans to do right by them, and to help them out. So is that right-wing or is that left-wing? I don’t know.

I’m pro free speech. Well, I remember when my great heroes who I read in college, like Allen Dershowitz, were with the ACLU marching with the Nazis. Now I read that well, that guy’s a Nazi. Is it okay to punch him? Is it okay to hit him? So I’m pro free speech, that used to be a left-wing value. That was core left-wing value. And now we’re, we’re hearing from the left hate speech, and you should be able to punch people who disagree with political violence, and becoming more normalized.

That’s why I don’t like labels like left-wing or right-wing anymore. And don’t think they apply.

Target audience

Scott Pelley: Who’s your audience?

Mike Cernovich: The people. Regular people who feel like their voices aren’t being heard in traditional media outlets. People of all walks of life, all genders, all ages. It’s a really fun, eclectic group actually …

Scott Pelley: Help me, uh, with, uh a bit of, uh the technology behind all of this. Would your site be as successful as it is, without Facebook and Twitter?

Mike Cernovich: They’re different platforms, definitely. So it would be, Twitter is very useful for different things. But my website would get around. Word would get around one way or another.

Scott Pelley: But, uh, web, uh. Let me ask a question this way. Twitter and Facebook are useful to you how?

Mike Cernovich: Reaching people directly without an intermediary. So what, the-the way I always explain to- you’re mediators. We’re going to talk for a number of minutes about a number of questions. This is going to go through editing, and then you’re going to go to television and say this is Mike Cernovich, this is what he believes. And then you’re going to tell a narrative whether I’m a good guy, a bad guy, a misguided guy, whatever the narrative is. And that’s fine. We’re all telling a story, right?

The issue is that that media is an intermediary. With social media, I can say to the people here’s me live on video for an hour. The full thing, raw and uncut. So it bring the message directly to the people. It bypasses intermediaries in the media.

Media bias

Scott Pelley: You’re a political activist?

Mike Cernovich: I’m a social activist, absolutely.

Scott Pelley: Well, that would be the big difference between you and reporters in journalism.

Mike Cernovich: Reporters are the mouthpiece of Democratic National Convention. Most of it is pro Hillary, pro Barack Obama. Donald Trump tweets something mean, the whole world, left-wing media explodes. Barack Obama prosecutes whistle-blowers more than anybody before him. Good old Barry. We love Barry, we love Barry, we love Barry. 90% of campaign contributions that came from journalists went to Hillary Clinton.

So the idea that journalists are these unbiased bastions of truth, and they’re not human beings, is completely not consistent with reality. Not consistent with the observable data. And moreover not consistent with what we know about people.

Truth in reporting

Scott Pelley: What, What stories have you published that turned out to not be right?

Mike Cernovich: None, that come to mind.

Scott Pelley: None?

Mike Cernovich: That come to mind, no.

Scott Pelley: You know, it seems to me that the quickest way to destroy a democracy, is to poison the information.

Mike Cernovich: That’s exactly why the Iraq war was a mistake, caused by hysterical, fake news coverage. I also remember when people claimed, a Kuwaiti woman had claimed that Iraqi soldiers had went into a hospital, taking babies out of the incubators, throwing the babies away, and this was all reported true, they were untrue. So again, the idea is-

Scott Pelley: I’m talking about your work.

Mike Cernovich: I’m talking about the nature of truth though, because my work has to be contextualized relative to the structures that we resist in the media structure.

Scott Pelley: So some reporters, some where made a mistake and therefore it’s okay for you to write anything you want, whether it’s true or not.

Mike Cernovich: No, I never said that at all. I said that people are human beings, and that mistakes made by the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, and other outlets, have caused great damage to our democracy and is definitely a problem

Scott Pelley: Who[se] responsibility is it to judge whether something on your website is true, you, or the viewer?

Mike Cernovich: Oh, many people do. I have to judge it, the legal system judges it, the viewers have to judge it. Remember too, that I am an attorney. Right? You have a legal department of sixty minutes, we all know defamation, we want to avoid it. Not only because it’s not moral to harm people, dishonestly, we shouldn’t harm private people at all, but that’s a different conversation. So you’re going to be filtered through many people, but ultimately all news, all information, the personal responsibility of the person receiving it, to reach their own conclusions

Mike Cernovich: I remember when John Edwards had fathered a wo- a child out of wedlock with a woman he was cheating on while his wife had cancer, the media wouldn’t cover it.

Scott Pelley: The question’s not about John Edwards. The question’s not about John Edwards, it’s about you, what’s your standard of proof?

Mike Cernovich: We’re having a philosophical conversation about the nature of truth, and the nature of truth is that John Edwards did not have a lovechild, that is fake news. Well actually it’s true, that happened. Right? So there are many stories that are under reported.

The producer’s question

PRODUCER: Do you think that maybe you can uh, ask him uh, you know, if he thinks that what he’s doing is filling the void left open by the mainstream media.

Scott Pelley: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes, absolutely. That’s a good one. Everybody ready? Are you filling a void that has been left open by the mainstream media?

Mike Cernovich: Yeah, that is why my profile has risen so much. Everybody kind of writes the same stories. Right now, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. That’s what I hear everywhere, that’s all I hear anywhere. I don’t hear about Saudi Arabia. I’ve actually gone through thinking of real journalism, and doing research, and using my expertise as a lawyer, I’ve gone through FAR records to see who is actually paying people to be their mouthpieces. Ukraine, big money. They pay a guy, Doug Schoen, who goes on Fox News, $40,000 a month. Victor Pinchuk does. Pays him $40,000 a month, he goes on Fox News and says “Russia’s bad, the Ukraine is good”, he never discloses that he’s getting $40,000 a month. Saudi Arabia, more than any other country, they pay for propaganda. You can go through the FA- the FAR reports. Right? I don’t see any of that on the news.

Let’s talk about how Saudi Arabia owns a percentage of Fox News. Let’s talk about how Saudi Arabia owns a percentage of Twitter. Let’s talk about how they bought bombs from Obama, and they’re murdering the, let’s talk about that. I don’t see any of that. Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. It’s like in the movie Being John Malkovich, being in Russia and America. So what I’m saying is well hey, why don’t we talk about Saudi Arabia? Why don’t we talk about Ukraine? Why don’t we talk about other stories that the media isn’t telling? Of course you’re going to draw an audience with that.

There are many news stories that Big Media do not cover.

One is Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Washington DC this week. Whilst I have not watched the news, there are plenty of people who have.

They have reported in comments online that, even though President Donald Trump spent much of Monday, April 3 with his Egyptian counterpart, the Big Media narrative in the US — and Australia — that day was ‘Trump White House in chaos’, referring to spying, Russia and supposed internal rifts.

Wow.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

More on Al Sisi tomorrow and on a Cernovich scoop at the end of the week.

On Sunday, March 26, 2017, 60 Minutes featured a special on fake news.

One of the people interviewed was Mike Cernovich of Danger & Play, his alternative media website that did much to persuade Millennials to vote for Donald Trump in 2016.

Cernovich is a lawyer, author, free speech activist, and documentary filmmaker:

I’ve written three books, produced a documentary on media hoaxes, and am producing a second documentary on free speech culture in the West. My books have over 1,000 reviews on Amazon and Audible. My podcast is also five-stars. (Scroll down to watch my documentary and learn more.)

While my Twitter is high profile, it’s the least interesting aspect of my writing and speaking. I’ve travelled around the world giving seminars and writing books. Most “journalists” who write hit pieces about me don’t even know how to describe me. Everyone from Gawker to Politifact to Slate has covered me, and MSNBC had a “special report” about my Tweets.

This is his 11-minute film from September 2016 discussing media distortion of news during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions:

CBS’s 60 Minutes team are piqued that Cernovich’s site and Twitter feed are more popular than theirs. In February 2017, he reached 83m Twitter readers. When interviewed, he said that his Twitter feed sometimes gets as many as 150m hits per month.

The upshot of the 60 Minutes enquiry into fake news is that they are envious of citizen journalists who can do their job better than they do. So, they condemn anyone with a keyboard, camera and microphone. Scott Pelley from 60 Minutes called Cernovich’s articles ‘lies’.

Big Media are also out to censor — if not remove — independent citizen journalists from the Internet. Twitter and Facebook, as some of you know, have been censoring links, videos and pictures (e.g. photographs of Donald Trump) for a few months now.

It was curious that, in his interview with Cernovich, Pelley focussed on three subjects from last year: Spirit Cooking, Pizzagate and Hillary Clinton’s health. Hmm. Why are those topics bothering Big Media so much that they brand them as fake?

Spirit Cooking and Pizzagate emerged from the content of last year’s Podesta emails from WikiLeaks.

Big Media documented Hillary’s health problems widely, from the coughing fits after Labor Day to her collapse at the 9/11 memorial ceremony the following weekend. In between those events, The Hill published a long article, ‘Clinton campaign warns media to tread carefully’. An excerpt follows:

The pushback signaled that Clinton’s campaign intends to sharply counterattack news organizations that take questions about her health seriously.

“They’re trying to work the refs a little bit as they try to push back on the mainstream media’s willingness to pick up on some of this stuff that’s usually left to the fringes,” Clinton surrogate Jim Manley explained.

The Drudge Report and other conservative media sites have largely driven the coverage of Clinton’s health, following the concussion she suffered in late 2012 and years before she announced her intention to run again for president.

But Manley said the Democrat’s camp has seen the coverage “bleeding to the mainstream media” in recent weeks.

After Trump insinuated recently that Clinton wasn’t healthy, the campaign responded forcefully, ripping Trump allies for concocting fake documents from Clinton’s doctor.

“They’re trying to stop it,” Manley continued. “I think they learned a long time ago that you can’t just ignore these things. There’s always a fine line between react or not, but in this day in age, to say nothing is often not the best way to go.”

Clinton aides and supporters see the healthcare stories as a bunch of baloney, and they want the media to cover it as such.

Ironically, a few days later, an ordinary bystander, Zdenek Gazda, happened to be where Clinton slumped against a bollard before being bundled in to her van by aides and Secret Service detail. If it weren’t for him, the world would never have known. Because of the emergency situation, media photographers would not have been there. Gazda filmed the following:

Spirit Cooking involves Marina Abramovic’s performance art. According to her, it is nothing more than that. However, last year, WikiLeaks tweeted part of the ritual. We Are Change tells the story (graphic content!):

As for Pizzagate, Big Media and others want to quash persistent questions about suspected child trafficking and molestation networks. Yet, in addition to the frequent and peculiar mentions of pizza on Podesta WikiLeaks, older videos already existed on YouTube about this topic. A few featured a popular pizza parlour in Washington DC. Also, Instagram accounts of certain individuals with links to that location had disturbing photos of children.

That said, Pizzagate refers to the broad American network of child sex abusers, wherever they might be.

Citizen journalists and alternative media began using the existing resources to present circumstantial evidence that this was going on. Nearly everyone who wrote or talked about the subject admitted that they could go no further. The hope was that Donald Trump would win and get a strong Attorney General to launch investigations.

Alex Jones always maintained that Pizzagate was a ‘distraction’ (his word) from deeper corruption in government. Yet, because one or two of his reporters put out a couple of videos on the subject last autumn, someone forced Jones to issue an on-air apology at the weekend:

This brings us to Mike Cernovich, who hasn’t had to apologise for anything but has been branded as a purveyor of fake news because he covered these two topics last year.

60 Minutes invited him to appear on the show and discuss it. Cernovich accepted. Who wouldn’t? He did not expect to get fair coverage, but there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Here is his interview, just over two minutes long. (If the video below doesn’t work, try this one):

Here is an excerpt from the brief discussion of Clinton’s health:

Pelley: She had pneumonia.

Cernovich: How do you know? Who told you that?

Pelley: Her campaign told us that.

Cernovich: Why would you trust the campaign?

Pelley: Uh… Ummm… the point is, you never talked to anyone who examined Hillary Clinton.

Cernovich: I don’t take anything Hillary Clinton is going to say at all as true. I’m not going to take her at her word. The mainstream media says ‘we’re not gonna take president Donald Trump at his word’ and that’s why we are in these different universes.

Cernovich was pleased he gave a good interview. Imagine the traffic he must have had as 60 Minutes gave a lingering close up of one of his Danger & Play articles.

Replies to this Cernovich tweet show various pictures of Clinton needing assistance with standing or climbing stairs.

The following dialogue ended up on the digital equivalent of the cutting room floor (emphases mine):

Scott Pelley: Who’s gunning for you?

Mike Cernovich: You are. I’m on 60 Minutes. Right?

Scott Pelley: What do you mean, we’re gunning for you?

Mike Cernovich: Do I really think that you guys are going to tell the story that I would like to have told, no. Your story’s going to be here’s a guy, spreads fake news, uses social media, these social media people better … I know the story you guys are doing before you do it.

Scott Pelley: What’s wrong with that story?

Mike Cernovich: Because it is an agenda. The agenda is … The truth is you’ve talked to a person who sincerely believes it’s true, you must also admit that there have been many stories reported by major outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, that were false.

Scott Pelley: Agreed.

Mike Cernovich: People get it wrong, so why then come guns blazing at me, and not guns blazing at everybody? Why isn’t this segment going to say, how did the New York Times get conned? How did the Washington Post believe that Russia had hacked the power grid? We all together, collectively need to discover what the truth is, and converse with one another what the truth is, that’s a different story.

Another story is, here is a person that is able to bypass traditional media outlets, reach people directly to tell a story. Maybe he’s a good guy, maybe he’s not. People decide.

This is another story, ’cause I know the story you guys are going to tell. Hillary Clinton’s perfectly healthy. This guy Cernovich that said she’s not, he has no reason to say that. Facebook and Twitter need to crackdown on this kind of stuff.

Scott Pelley: What’s wrong with that story?

Mike Cernovich: I just told you, because that is an agenda. You could tell a more whole picture. You could tell a full story, but that’s one narrow thing. ’Cause I know by the questions you’re asking, the story you’re going to tell.

Cernovich posted more dialogue left out of the televised segment. An excerpt follows:

Scott Pelley: Well, the benefit of intermediaries is having experienced editors check things out and research people. Check the facts before it goes out to the public. You don’t do any of that.

Mike Cernovich: Where are the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Scott Pelley: That was a big mess, but that was because the Government –

Mike Cernovich: And how much –

Scott Pelley: Told us they existed.

Mike Cernovich: And how much, then why trust the government?

Scott Pelley: We also, we also reported that they didn’t exist.

Mike Cernovich: Right. Well, how much damage was caused by the fake news story about weapons of mass destruction? How much damage was caused by that Rolling Stone rape hoax, where the fraternity was shut down? Bang, bang, bang. People attacking them. Assault.

So the critique is, and the Washington Post recently of course had said that the Burlington power grid had been hacked by the Russians. And then it turned out well, actually some guy, maybe he had been watching some stuff he wouldn’t have been watching on the internet. And maybe his computer was compromised. But even then, nobody knows. That’s the Washington Post, right?

New York Times, weapons of mass destruction. None ever found. Washington Post, Russia attacking the power grid. Can you believe it? Unbelievable. What a disaster.

Obama prosecuting whistle-blowers all the time, everywhere. Obama spending money to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests. All the time. I don’t see any complaints about that. But then people want to come after me guns blazing. Come after me hard. I’m not starting wars in Iraq, which was a disgrace. I’m not starting wars in Afghanistan. I’m not getting people into deep deficits. And ruining lives, right?

Cernovich posted on Medium.com that 60 Minutes garnered 15.19m viewers that night. In another post, he cited 10.6m. Either way, that viewer tally left the other networks in the dust between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. The programme in second place attracted a paltry 5.77m.

Cernovich said the actual footage of his interview is 45 minutes long. He has asked that people who want CBS to release the full version tweet at #Cerno60. Also:

Big Media — and special interests — want alternative news sources to disappear.

On an immediate level, they want that to happen because a) there are certain stories they don’t want hitting the general public and b) they want to stifle support for Trump.

However, one must ask why alternative news sources exist in the first place.

The answer is that Big Media are not doing their job properly. They editorialise instead of report. They obfuscate instead of tell the truth. They distort instead of present both sides of a story.

Oh, the irony: an Internet sensation being the most popular person on television, however briefly.

The Anheuser-Busch commercial for the Superbowl this year, scheduled to air on February 5, has kicked up a storm and is viewed by a number of Americans as pro-immigration advertising.

It comes a week after President Donald Trump initiated a 90-day immigration ban on seven countries which have majority Muslim populations. These selected countries lack the means for sufficient background checks on their own citizens. (More about this in a future post.)

See if you think this is political commentary:

I have two problems with it. First, by the time Adolphus Busch arrived in the United States in 1857, Germans had been emigrating there for a century, at least. They were well established in society. Secondly, it was unclear to me that the final scene was the famous ‘when Anheuser met Busch’ moment. I thought he was a random guy in a bar until I saw a YouTube from Mark Dice explaining it in the first minute or so:

Budweiser, owned by InBev — a Belgian corporation — denies it is commenting on Trump policy or an anti-immigration climate.

However, I cannot help but wonder if Adolphus Busch would have wanted to be portrayed in that way. Most immigrants wanted to assimilate straightaway. They were not going to dwell on the voyage over, their processing time at Ellis Island or their early years getting established. Everything was about becoming an American.

If you doubt this, then, please be aware that his Wikipedia entry states (emphases mine):

His wealthy family ran a wholesale business of winery and brewery supplies. Busch and his brothers all received quality educations, and he graduated from the notable Collegiate Institute of Belgium in Brussels.[2]

Another German immigrant came to America in the 19th century. His name was Friedrich Trump, pictured at left (courtesy of Wikipedia). He was a Lutheran and came from Kallstadt in Bavaria. He managed to make a fortune within three years. He went everywhere, from New York to the Yukon. Nary a complaint. Even the most recent Channel 4 documentary by anti-Trump Matt Frei on his grandson — shown in late January 2017 — painted Friedrich as a clever, enterprising businessman. That makes me think Adolphus Busch was of the same entrepreneurial mindset.

You didn’t go to the US as a victim then, that’s for sure.

Incidentally, Friedrich returned to Kallstadt after three years only to go through a series of legal hurdles regarding his German nationality! He found out it had been revoked, possibly because he went to the US around the time he was to do his military service. So, back to America he went and the rest is history. According to Matt Frei’s documentary, Friedrich quietly enjoyed his life a lot but died in the Influenza Epidemic of 1918. His widow, Elizabeth — also from Kallstadt — set up a real estate company for her middle son Fred, the president’s father. It was called Elizabeth Trump & Son. Fred was still a minor at the time, even though he was precocious enough to follow in his father’s footsteps and get small houses built.

I recommend that we need to watch these adverts with a gimlet eye and research the immigrant mindset of the 19th and early 20th centuries, very much oriented to assimilating into American society — as future Americans.

Sean Hannity is well known to Americans, even those who do not watch Fox News.

On Thursday, January 26, 2017, President Donald Trump granted him an interview which is well worth watching, especially for people overseas who are fearful of him.

Trump talks about the dishonest media (starting at 11:00), including the fake news about the inauguration crowds, his address to the CIA and the Martin Luther King Jr bust controversy.

He talks about terrorists (around 23:00) and says that opponents to his policies do not understand how violent and hateful radical Islamists are.

On the walk to the Oval Office (starting at 30:00), Trump tells Hannity that Inauguration Day was a ‘surreal’ experience. Unfortunately, he has not had time to take it all in. He has been too busy working. However, he enjoys working. Holidays bore him. He also said that Barron, his ten-year-old son, is finding it challenging adjusting to the glare of publicity. However, given time, he is confident that the boy will learn to take it in his stride. Trump strongly condemned Saturday Night Live‘s potshot at the first son on the January 21 show. Barron is aware of the egregious comedy they made at his expense. Here is another SNL comment, one which even Bernie fans and Green Party supporters found abhorrent. These are hurtful, especially to a child.

Once in the Oval Office, the discussion revolved around some of the furnishings which Trump has changed. The paintings are all of past presidents from the first century of the United States. Andrew Jackson has just been added. I’ll go into his story soon, as I see several similarities between Trump and Old Hickory. We also saw the bust of Martin Luther King Jr, which is unmoved and still on a table near the fireplace.

This is a thoughtful interview, more of a conversation between two men who know each other well. I highly recommend it.

Sorry to be late to the party with this item, but it was in our two-week Christmas issue of the Radio Times, Britain’s foremost television (and radio) guide.

In the 17-30 December 2016 issue, the back page interview was with Prime Minister Theresa May, also the MP for Maidenhead. She answered a variety of questions from reporter Michael Hodges. Excerpts and a summary follow.

On Christmas Day, she and her husband Philip go to church. Afterwards, they meet up with friends for a drink, then it’s off to an ecumenical lunch for the elderly, where May takes time to talk with her constituents.

The Mays return home where the Prime Minister roasts a goose for Christmas dinner. They haven’t had turkey for several years. Although others consider goose to be extremely fatty, May points out:

if you keep the fat, it makes wonderful roast potatoes for quite a long time thereafter.

Absolutely. We also have goose at Christmas, partly for that reason, and for the unctuous stock from the wings.

May, a practising Anglican, lent the Radio Times a photo of herself as a girl with her late father, the Revd Hubert Brasier. She told Michael Hodges what Christmas past was like:

Throughout my life I have been going to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and church on Christmas Day morning. As a child I had to wait until my father had finished his services before I could open my presents.

It felt like a very long wait. Others I knew would be able to open their presents first thing in the morning.

I’m an only child and my mother played the organ. So I would sit alongside her while my father was taking the service.

The interview did not mention that May’s parents died within a year of each other. Her father died just as she completed her studies at Oxford and her mother several months later. It can’t have been easy for her, especially with no siblings for support:

When you first lose your parents, Christmas is hugely, hugely important. Now I enjoy Christmas with my husband Philip and we keep up the tradition of going to church. But, of course, it does remind me of my parents.

During her childhood, she watched only the BBC, until:

one day, my mother managed to jiggle the aerial and we got ITV and I saw Robin Hood. That music and Richard Greene as Robin Hood really grabbed me.

This is the iconic theme to which May refers:

May’s other television favourites included early series of The Avengers with Diana Rigg, then Joanna Lumley, although:

I have never had a female role model — I’ve always just got on with doing what I am doing.

As an adult, she watched the ‘very evocative’ Das Boot. These days, she enjoys Scandinavian dramas Borgen and The Bridge. Christmas Day favourites include Doctor Who and David Suchet as Poirot.

She doesn’t take recommendations for television viewing:

My advisers don’t tell me what to watch on the television — I watch what I want to watch.

May ended the interview by saying she had no idea a year ago that she would be Prime Minister today.

What follows is her four-minute New Year’s message. If her father was as eloquent a speaker as his daughter is, he must have been a splendid vicar. May speaks of the change that Brexit will bring this year but also of the unity of the four nations of the United Kingdom and the shared values and experiences that make us one people:

This is very similar to the first speech she gave as Prime Minister outside No. 10.

She and Donald Trump will get on well. Of that, I have no doubt.

This year, two old and significant predictions about Donald Trump as president surfaced.

The older one dates from 1990. Scott Adams foresaw this in Dilbert 26 years ago:

 

In 2000, the Simpsons’ creators predicted a Trump presidency. Lisa succeeds him as the first female president and sets out to fix ‘Trump’s’ budget deficit.

As the narrator of this fascinating selection of clips from The Simpsons explains, there was no animation of Trump in the 2000 episode, just a mention of his name.

The animation of Trump came later in a 2015 short made after he declared his candidacy at Trump Tower. In it, Homer gets lost in the vortex of the billionaire’s hair.

The video above has more odd predictions from The Simpsons. Some are more accurate than others. Of particular interest is the 1997 clip showing iPhone-type mobile devices and another one from that year about Ebola. Fascinating!

UP2 Minutes into Tuck and Chill and he gives you this lookTucker Carlson might not yet be a household name, but it could be soon.

His Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight began just a little over a month ago on November 14, 2016.

(Photo credit: The_Donald)

Seasoned viewers of American cable news channels will have seen him on CNN between 2000 and 2005 in the days when he sported a bow tie. He was CNN’s youngest anchor when they hired him. He co-hosted The Spin Room and later Crossfire. He also hosted a current affairs show on PBS during this time, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered.

In 2004, Carlson and The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart got into an intense discussion on Crossfire, which some viewers might remember. Stewart stayed on the air afterwards to talk about the issues raised. In January 2005, CNN decided not to renew Carlson’s contract, although he maintains he had already resigned:

I resigned from Crossfire in April, many months before Jon Stewart came on our show, because I didn’t like the partisanship, and I thought in some ways it was kind of a pointless conversation … each side coming out, you know, ‘Here’s my argument’, and no one listening to anyone else. [CNN] was a frustrating place to work.”[10]

In June 2005, Carlson moved to MSNBC where he hosted Tucker in the evenings. He also did other broadcasts and investigative reports. However, the channel’s shows became more oriented to the left-wing and, in 2008, Carlson found his programme cancelled because of low ratings. He explained:

they didn’t have a role for me.

Carlson began working for Fox News in 2009 as a contributor, guest panellist and substitute presenter on several shows. He joined the Fox & Friends team in 2013 then left when he got his own show.

In January 2010, with the help of a longtime friend Neil Patel, Carlson co-founded The Daily Caller, a reputable and popular news site. He resigned as editor-in chief in November, although he will retain his ownership stake of the site. He said:

It was really hard. Not because I’m a great manager, I’m a terrible manager. But I loved it and I loved the guys.

Tucker Carlson Tonight airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET. All the segments can be found on YouTube.

Carlson is quickly developing a welcome reputation for destroying left-wing arguments coherently. He is firm but polite. When the guests’ arguments are particularly off-the-wall, he pulls a face. In fact, you can even buy a tee shirt and enjoy his facial expression whenever you like.

The_Donald‘s contributors, not the world’s biggest television viewers, have this to say:

You see in his eyes that’s he trying to go through the mental gymnastics his guest is and realizing just how it doesn’t compute.

I’m getting addicted to his nightly thrashings of idiots. Never raises his voices, uses their own words and idiocy against them. Has become true must-see tv in our house.

His show comes on right around the time I’m cooking and eating dinner. I have never recorded a news show before because it seems silly, but I record Tucker every night now!

I just really enjoy the way he encourages them to go full moron on national tv.

Oh man… I literally sit down to start watching and the first guest is just getting blown out the water to the point where I don’t even know if I can watch without cringing. Tucker does more in 2 minutes than whole news outlets do all day. Every show is bananas and so direct! Love it

There is more love from The_Donald here and here. There is also a Reddit page devoted to him. This is great because most of the contributors to both subReddits are twenty-somethings and political independents who supported Donald Trump.

In this video of December 8, California Congressman Adam Schiff (D) accuses Tucker of ‘carrying water for the Kremlin’:

On December 1, he had a go at Newsweek:

And, the following day, the New York Times:

From observing his interviewing style and reading his Wikipedia entry, until recently, I have been working on the assumption that he is High WASP.

After all, he went to a top Episcopal school in New England, St George’s, just outside of swank Newport, Rhode Island. The school is one of five collectively referred to as St Grottlesex (emphases in the original):

St. Mark’s, St. Paul’s, and St. George’s, then part of Groton, an extra t, and then ended with Middlesex.

Carlson went on to study history at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. It was founded by an Episcopal bishop in 1824 and was originally called Washington College. It was renamed Trinity in 1845.

I once worked for a High WASP who attended Groton and Trinity. (Groton rhymes with ‘rotten’, by the way. It’s important to know how to pronounce it if you ever find yourself in this milieu.) I give him top marks overall. So, I was impressed to see that Carlson went to St George’s and Trinity, which gives me further insight as to what sort of man he must be. It is not unusual for Trinity men to wear bow ties. It’s a High WASP look.

Then I looked up his father’s Wikipedia entry and discovered that the Carlson family aren’t High WASP at all. His dad’s life story is even more interesting.

Richard Warner “Dick” Carlson might be best known for heading Voice of America, which broadcasts overseas, during the last six years of the Cold War. During that time, he was also the head of Radio Marti which broadcast to Cuba and was also involved with other government-funded information entities designed to build goodwill between the United States and foreign countries.

Dick’s origins are fascinating. He was born in Boston in 1941 and his name was Richard Boynton. His mother was a high school student and his father, Richard Boynton, was in college at the time. Boynton committed suicide in Dick’s infancy. His mother, Dorothy Anderson, gave him to the Home for Little Wanderers, an orphanage in Boston.

In 1943, Mr and Mrs W E Carlson of nearby Norwood adopted the child. They had no children of their own. Mr Carlson managed North America’s largest and oldest tannery, Winslow Brothers & Smith in Norwood. Mr Carlson died in 1953 and 12-year-old Dick went to work to help provide for his mother.

Dick never graduated from high school. He joined the military when he was 17 and served as a medic with the third Battalion, Sixth Marine regiment at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and with the USMC Escape & Evasion School at Camp Geiger, N.C. He later graduated from the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Bainbridge, Maryland. Afterwards, he earned a NROTC scholarship to the University of Mississippi.

After being honourably discharged from the Naval Reserves, he worked for one summer as a patrol officer in the family resort town of Ocean City, Maryland. He returned to Mississippi that autumn to continue his studies but left in October 1962 when a series of violent riots occurred. This was the time of Civil Rights unrest and desegregation. Ole Miss, as the university is known, was attempting to admit its first black student, and segregationists went mad.

Carlson went to California to break into journalism. Although he started as a copy boy at the Los Angeles Times, he managed to get odd jobs which would propel his career: working for top entertainment columnist Louella Parsons and for United Press International’s Foreign Film Bureau.

UPI hired him as a full-time general assignment reporter in 1963, working from their bureau in San Francisco. He was promoted to night bureau chief by the end of the year.

He went on to write for Time and Look magazines and joined ABC News as a correspondent, on assignment in San Francisco and Los Angeles. By then, the late 1960s, riots were breaking out around the nation. Dick covered the main ones in California and was even injured at the San Francisco State College Riots.

Dick married an Omaha girl, Patricia Caroline Swanson. In 1969, she gave birth to Tucker McNear Carlson in San Francisco. (The couple have two other children.)

Dick won many awards for his journalism between 1967 and 1997. In the early 1990s, he worked for George Herbert Walker Bush’s administration. He was the Ambassador to the Seychelles, the head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (parent company of PBS and NPR). He has also worked in counter-terrorism.

Today, he and his wife live in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Dick writes a weekly newspaper column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Charleston Mercury.

By now, some will be wondering more about Tucker’s Episcopalianism. He did bring up an analogy involving a hypothetical Episcopal priest in a recent show. His Wikipedia page also states that he is still an Episcopalian.

In 2015, he took exception to Obama’s claim that religion causes wars:

“So we’re responsible for the Crusades a thousand years ago?” Carlson complained. “Who’s ‘us’ anyway? And by the way, who ended slavery and Jim Crow? Christians. The Rev. Martin Luther King. Christians.”

“Christianity is the reason we don’t have slavery in the world today,” he added. “I mean, talk about ahistorical.”

“What’s so striking though is his mention of the Crusades as a way to make the point, ‘Before you judge ISIS, keep in mind that that Christians did it too,'” Carlson asserted. “The Crusades is a fixation among jihadis. There’s not a press release from ISIS or from al Qaeda that doesn’t call us Crusaders.”

Democrat-aligned Media Matters took Carlson to task for suggesting that ‘mainstream religious faith’ refers to Christianity when most of the world’s population is, apparently, Buddhist. The exchange below concerns Tiger Woods, who converted to Buddhism in 2010 during a rough patch:

Jacksonville, FL: When did Brit Hume go crazy? Tiger Woods should embrace Christianity and we will forgive him?

You say this on the air?

Tucker Carlson: Crazy? No. John Wayne Gacy was crazy. Judy Garland and Ezra Pound were crazy. Recommending that someone in distress adopt a mainstream religious faith is pretty conventional advice.

Carlson was probably thinking of Westerners, Americans in particular, not people worldwide.

In any event, it’s great that he is willing to defend and speak out on behalf of the Church.

I nearly forgot to mention that Carlson is married and a father of four. Follow him on Twitter.

UPDATE — APRIL 2017: Carlson has removed his Episcopalian affiliation from his Wikipedia page. However, in an April 10, 2017 article, The New Yorker states that he is still an Episcopalian, one who ‘abhors’ the left-wing clergy running the denomination. Good man. During their courtship, his future wife persuaded him to take Christianity seriously.

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