Daily Archives: July 21, 2021

Piiigs iiin Spaaace! – The Real News Network

Posted: July 21, 2021 at 12:53 am

On June 7, Jeff Bezos announced his plan to go to space on July 20just fifteen days afterfinishing up as CEO of Amazon. It was positioned as a bold next step in the billionaire space race that has been escalating for several years, though it didnt take long for its true face to show itself. Soon after Bezos set his date, Virgin Galactic CEO Richard Bransona man known for his marketing stuntsdecided he would try to beat the richest man in the world into orbit and scheduled his own space flight for July 11.

But as these billionaires had their eyes turned to the stars and the media showered them with the headlines they craved, the evidence that the climate of our planet is rapidly changing in a way that is hostile to lifeboth human and otherwisewas escalating.

Near the end of June, Jacobabad, a city of 200,000 people in Pakistan,experienced wet bulb conditionswhere high humidity and scorching temperatures combine to reach a level where the human body can no longer cool itself down. Meanwhile, half a world away, on the West Coast of North America, a heat dome that wasmade much worse by climate changesent temperatures soaring so high that the town of Lytton, British Columbia, hit 49.6C,beating Canadas previous temperature record by 4.6C, thenburned to the groundwhen a wildfire tore through the town.

At a moment when we should be throwing everything we have into ensuring the planet remains habitable, billionaires are treating us to a spectacle to distract us from their quest for continued capitalist accumulation and the disastrous effects it is already having.

The contrast between those stories is striking. On one hand, billionaires are engaging ina dick-measuring contestto see who can exit the atmosphere first, while on the other, the billions of us who will never make any such journey are increasing dealing with the consequences of capitalisms effects on the climateand the decades its most powerful adherents have spent stifling action to curb them.

At a moment when we should be throwing everything we have into ensuring the planet remains habitable, billionaires are treating us to a spectacle to distract us from their quest for continued capitalist accumulation and the disastrous effects it is already having.

Last May, we were treated to a similar display of billionaire space ambition. As people across the United States were marching in the streets after the murder of George Floyd and the government was doing little to stop COVID-19 from sweeping the country,Elon Musk and President Donald Trump met in Floridato celebrate SpaceXs first time launching astronauts to the International Space Station.

As regular people were fighting for their lives, it felt like the elite were living in a completely separate world and had no qualms about showing it. They didnt have to make it to another planet.

Over the past few years, as the billionaire space race has escalated, the public has become increasingly familiar with its grand visions for our future. SpaceXs Elon Musk wants us tocolonize Marsand claims the mission of his space company is to lay the infrastructure to do just that. He wants humanity to be a multiplanetary species, and he claims a Martian colony would be a backup plan in case Earth becomes uninhabitable.

Meanwhile, Bezos doesnt have much time for Mars colonization. Instead, he believes we shouldbuild large structures in Earths orbitwhere the human population can grow to a trillion people without further harming the planets environment. As we live out our lives in ONeill cylinders, as theyre called, well take occasional vacations down to the surface to experience the wonder of the world we once called home.

Neither of these futures are appealing if you look past the billionaires rosy pitch decks. Life on Mars would be horrendous for hundreds of years, at least, and would likelykill many of the people who made the journey, while the technology for massive space colonies doesnt exist and similarly wont be feasible for a long time to come. So, whats the point of promoting these futures in the face of an unprecedented threat to our species here on Earth? Its to get the public on board for a new phase of capitalist accumulation whose benefits will be reaped by those billionaires.

To be clear, that does not even mean anything as grand as asteroid mining. Rather, its form can be seen in the event last May: as Musk and even Trump continued to push the spectacle of Mars for the public, SpaceX was becoming not just a key player in a privatized space industry but also in enabling a military buildup through billions of dollars in government contracts. The grand visions, rocket launches, and spectacles of billionaires leaving the atmosphere are all cover for the real space economy.

While Branson is using the PR stunt for attention, the real competition is between Bezos and Muskand while they do compete with each other, they have significant mutual interest. In 2004, Bezos and Musk met todiscuss their respective visions for space, which led Musk to call Bezoss ideas dumb. As a result of that discussion, they occasionally snipe at each otherexchanges the media eats upbut theyre still working to forward a private space industry from which they both stand to benefit.

The years of competition between SpaceX and Blue Origin over landing platforms, patents, and NASA contracts show what the billionaire space race is really about. The most recent example of this is a$2.9 billion NASA contractawarded to SpaceX to build a moon lander, which Blue Origin and defense contractor Dyneticschallenged. In the aftermath, Congressconsideredincreasing NASAs budget by $10 billion, in part so it could hand a second contract to Blue Origin. But thats hardly the only example of public funding for the ostensibly private space industry.

For all the lauding of private space companies and the space billionaires that champion them, they remain heavily reliant on government money.

A report from Space Angels in 2019estimatedthat $7.2 billion had been handed out to the commercial space industry since 2000, and it specifically called out SpaceX as a company whose early success depended on NASA contracts. Yet private space companies arent just building relationships with the public space agency.

SpaceX won a $149 million contract from the Pentagon to buildmissile-tracking satellites, and two more worth $160 million touse its Falcon 9 rockets. It also won an initial contract of $316 million to providea launch for the Space Forcea contract whose value will likely be worth far more in the futureand its building the military a rocket that willdeliver weapons around the world. On top of all that, SpaceX won$900 million in subsidiesfrom the Federal Communications Commission to provide rural broadband through itsoverhypedStarlink satellites.

For all the lauding of private space companies and the space billionaires that champion them, they remain heavily reliant on government money. This is the real face of the private space industry: billions of dollars in contracts from NASA, the military, and increasingly for telecommunications that are helping companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin control the infrastructure of spaceand its all justified to the public under the promise that its in service of grand visions that are nothing more than marketing ploys.

Part of the reason SpaceX has been so successful at winning these contracts is because Musk is not an inventor but a marketer. He knows how to use PR stunts to get people to pay attention, and that helps him win lucrative contracts. He also knows what thingsnot to emphasize, like the potentially controversial military contracts that dont get tweets or flashy announcement videos. Bezoss trip to space is all aboutembracing spectacle, because he realizes its essential to compete for the attention of the public and the bureaucrats deciding who gets public contracts.

For years, there have been concerns that billionaires space investments are about escaping the climate chaos their class continues to fuel here on Earth. Its the story of Neill BlomkampsElysium: the rich live on a space colony, and the rest of us suffer on a climate-ravaged Earth while being pushed around by robot police as we perform the labor that makes the abundance of the colony possible. But thats not actually the future were headed toward.

As Sim Kern explains, keeping just a few people alive on the International Space Stationtakes a staff of thousandsand it gets harder the farther away people are from the one world we can truly call home. Mars colonies or massive space stations are not happening anytime soon; they wont be a backup plan, nor an escape hatch. As billionaires chase profit in space and boost their egos in the process, theyre also planning for climate apocalypse down here on Earthbuttheyre only planning for themselves.

Just as Musk uses misleading narratives about space to fuel public excitement, he does the same with climate solutions. His portfolio of electric cars, suburban solar installations, and other transport projects are promoted to the public, but they are designed to work bestif not exclusivelyfor the elite. Billionaires are not leaving the planet, theyre insulating themselves from the general public with bulletproof vehicles, battery-powered gated communities, and possibly even exclusive transport tunnels. They have the resources to maintain multiple homes and to have private jets on standby if they need to flee a natural disaster or public outrage.

We desperately need the public to see through the spectacle of the billionaire space race and recognize that theyre not laying the groundwork for a fantastic future, or even advancing scientific knowledge about the universe. Theyre trying to extend our ailing capitalist system, while diverting resources and attention from the most pressing challenge the overwhelming majority of the planet faces. Instead of letting the billionaires keep playing in space, we need to seize the wealth theyve extracted from us and redeploy it to address the climate crisisbefore its too late.

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Where to Find the Alien Movies Streaming or For Rent – /FILM

Posted: at 12:53 am

(Welcome toWhere to Watch, which provides a clear and simple answer to the question, Hey, where can I watch this thing? In this edition: theAlienfranchise.)

TheAlien franchise has a little bit of something for everyone. There are scares, thrills, existential dread, some laughs, and even a little bit of romance. Regardless of what youre looking for, theres anAlien film tailored to your wants.The franchise started in 1979 withAlien, which followed a rag-tag crew of space tuggers who get killed by a nasty alien that gets aboard their ship. From there, the series spawned three sequels, two prequels, and two spinoff movies.The world of xenomorphs and the people who fight them is a fascinating one, so heres where you can catch all the films in this fantastic series.

Where to stream:Amazon Prime

The one that started it all is 1979sAlien,a science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan OBannon. It follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo after they encounter a violent extraterrestrial that gets loose on the ship.Sigourney Weaver stars as Ellen Ripley, the warrant officer aboard the Nostromo. The less you know aboutAlien going in, the better.Alienis a haunted house movie set in a spaceship, its scares coming from what might be lurking around the next corner. Its a moody, terrifying film with incredible set and creature designs from acclaimed Swiss artist H.R. Giger.Everyone should seeAlien at least once, even if the chest-burster sequence ends up giving them nightmares for a week.

Where to stream:Amazon Prime

The second film in the series,Aliens, features less claustrophobic horror and more fist-pumping action. Written and directed byJames Cameron, this 1986 sequel features some of the most iconic moments in the franchise. After losing contact with a colony on the same moon where the Nostromo encountered the killer alien, Lieutenant Ripley (Weaver) agrees to return to check things out. After being the only survivor last time, however, shes eager to bring along some company with big guns. Joined by a crew of colonial marines, she sets out to investigate what happened to the colony and hopefully erase the xenomorph threat once and for all. She also discovers her maternal instincts when the crew finds a lone survivor, a young girl called Newt (Carrie Henn).

The banter among the colonial marines, especiallyBill Paxtons Private Hudson, makesAliens much tonally lighter than its predecessor. Theres also the introduction of the franchises most lovable android, Bishop (Lance Henriksen), who is a far cry from the villainous Ash in the first film.The most iconic scene is the final fight, which sees Ripley geared up in a power-loader exosuit to take on the massive queen alien. Its queen vs. queen in a showdown for the ages.

Where to rent:Redbox ($2.99), Amazon/Apple/YouTube/Vudu ($3.99)

The third installment in theAlien quadrilogy was released to mixed reviews but has since found a cult following. David Finchers decidedly darkerAlien lacked the ghost-house scares of the first film and was nothing like the action blockbuster of the second.

Following the events ofAliens, a xenomorph escapes on Ripleys ship while everyone is in cryostasis. The ship launches its escape pod, though one of the crew has a facehugger alien on them. (We all know how that tends to go) The pod lands on Fury 161, a floating foundry and prison station for prisoners with a YY chromosomal mutation that can cause them to be extra aggressive. Ripley is woken up only to discover that on top of worrying about the killer alien on the loose, she is also the only woman on an entire station full of angry men.Alienis heady sci-fi thatdigs into issues surrounding the prison system, gender dynamics, abortion rights, and personal identity. Its not nearly as fun as either of the previous two films, but it has a lot more to say. It also gives closure to Ripleys arc, and is the film that dives the deepest into her character.

Where to rent:Redbox ($2.99), Amazon/Apple/YouTube/Vudu ($3.99)

Even though it seemed like Ripleys story had come to a close at the end ofAlien,screenwriterJoss Whedon brought her back (as a clone!) forAlien Resurrection in 1997. Weaver returns as Ripley 8, a clone of Ellen Ripley created 200 year after the events ofAlien.A xenomorph queen is removed from the Ripley clone, and the two somehow share DNA with one another. Ripley gains alien-like superpowers:the clone has enhanced strength and reflexes, acidic blood, and a psychic link with the xenomorphs.

A group of mercenaries including the android Call (Winona Ryder) bring kidnapped humans in stasis to the scientists. The scientists use these captive humans as hosts for the aliens, and raise several xenomorphs for study. Then they escape, because they have freaking acid blood that can eat through metal.

Alien Resurrection was directed byJean-Pierre Jeunet, who gained international fame with his comedy Amelie.Its a mess of a movie that feels more like Alien franchise fanfiction than a part of the overall narrative, but it has some decent performances and moments. Watch out forBrad Dourif as a scientist andRon Perlman as one of the mercenaries teamed with Call.

Where to stream:HBO Max

Ridley Scott returns to the franchise he started withPrometheus, set approximately 30 years before the events ofAlien. Scott directs a script byJon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, telling the origin of both humanity and xenomorphs. The movie follows the crew of the exploratory science shipPrometheusas they search a distant moon for signs of humanitys creator. Funded by the Weyland corporation and following a map found painted in caves on earth, the crew hopes to find the origin of all human life. What they find instead is lots of death.

Prometheushas an all-star cast that includes Charlize Theron as Weyland employee Vickers, Idris Elba as the captain of theship, Noomi Rapace as the hopeful scientist Shaw, and Logan Marshall-Green as her scientist husband, Holloway.Michael Fassbender steals the show, however, as the android David. David is one of the first androids created by the Weyland corporation, and he sees Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) as a father. Seeing the origin of androids in the franchise is interesting, given where it goes with the villainous Ash, loyal Bishop, and curious Call.Prometheus ends up becoming Davids story as he tries to find his creators creator. Theres a lot of existential pondering here, but theres also an extended alien C-section sequence that is gory greatness.

Where to rent:Redbox ($2.99), Amazon/Apple/YouTube/Vudu ($3.99)

Prometheusleft a lot of questions unanswered and ended on a cliffhanger, so five years later its sequel,Alien: Covenant,arrived. Alien: Covenant is once again directed by Scott, with a script by John Logan and Dante Harper, from a story by Michael Green and Jack Paglen. Alien: Covenant begins 11 years after the events ofPrometheus, following a colonization ship searching for new planets to inhabit. A solar flare damages the ship and the android Walter, who is a later version of the David build, wakes up the human crew. They decide to follow a transmission of a human voice from a nearby planet, only to discover that the entire planet is void of life.

The reason everythings dead, of course, is because David and Shaw crash-landed their ship there and unleashed a deadly pathogen. Walter and David go head-to-head in the worlds best game of good android, bad android, and we learn that David has been breeding all kinds of new aliens. Ship second-in-command Daniels (Katherine Waterston) must do everything she can to save not only her crew, but all of the colonists still in stasis on the ship.Alien: Covenant ends up being halfAlienmovie, halfandroid existential crisis, and it delivers on both fronts.

Where to stream:HBO Max

There are a lot of Alien franchise fans who dont countAlien vs. Predator or its sequel as part of the franchise, but Im a completionist, so here we are. The idea for a Predator to take on a xenomorph originally appeared in aPredator comic book in 1989. In 2004, writer and directorPaul W.S. Anderson createdAlien vs. Predator, a silly but fun science fiction/adventure flick that pits the formidable alien foes against one another (and some unlucky humans). Genre greatLance HenriksenplaysCharles Bishop Weyland, the head of the Weyland corporation, who once again funds an expedition to go check out some trouble in space.Sanaa Lathanplays Lex Woods, an experienced guide hired to show the expedition team around. Lex is based loosely on the character Machiko Noguchi, who appears in multipleAlien vs. Predator books and eventually joins the ranks of the Predators herself.

Lex and the rest of the crew eventually discover that Predators have been visiting Earth for centuries, sacrificing certain humans as hosts for new xenomorphs in order for the Predators to hunt them. Its a coming-of-age ritual, Predator style, and the crew manages to get caught in the crossfire. While the films PG-13 rating certainly hampers it,Alien vs. Predator is still a fun, gory ride that gives us plenty of extraterrestrial-on-extraterrestrial action.

Where to stream:HBO Max

You can watch this one if you really want, but I dont recommend it.Aliens vs. Predator: Requiempicks up where the previous film left off. A Predator ship crashlands in a forest in Colorado, and an alien/Predator hybrid called the Predalien escapes. It wreaks havoc on a small town, and a skilled veteran Predator is sent to dispatch it.Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was the directorial debut of brothers Colin and Greg Strause and was written by Shane Salerno, who co-wroteArmageddon. Theres plenty of Predalien fighting Predator carnage here, but the cinematography is so dark you can barely see any of it. At least this ones rated R?

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‘The Dark Knight’ At 13: Ben Domenech Reflects On The Iconic Film’s Cultural Legacy – The Federalist

Posted: at 12:52 am

On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky on the 13th anniversary of The Dark Knight to explain how the film is one of the centurys greatest pieces of art and analyze the parallels between situations in Gotham and the problems facing American society.

This is a real grounded, real city, a real universe in which Batman is a fantastical element. He stands out as being something thats very odd and uncharacteristic to the rest of the world, Domenech said.

I do not think it is an accident that some of the best superhero movies of the past two decades are movies that tend to shrink down in terms of their size and do not at any point have a shining blue beam of light coming from the skies thats going to destroy the planet. Instead, its much more grounded concerns about whether people live or die or crime that is happening within a cityscape. And thats something that I think Nolan really wanted to do and he did it with a number of different characters that actually make Batman less of the main character of this story.

I thought what grounded the movie in a way that I hadnt seen beforesomeone who is kind of caught between what they are allowed to do, what the law will allow them to do, and what they know they need to do. And thats a tension thats at the core of so many varieties of American film whether it be the Western or suspense movies or movies of the 70s and the like. And thats something that I think we really had not seen to this point within the realm of superhero films but I think weve seen it a lot since then, Domenech said.

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Democrats’ Definition Of ‘Misinformation’ Is What Hurts Them Politically – The Federalist

Posted: at 12:52 am

Facebook is killing people, misinformation is rampant, and the only people who can save us from ourselves are the all-wise executives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue whose judgment is infallible and whose motives are pure. Thats the message emanating from the White House and the corporate press.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced last week that, due to 12 unnamed people on social media posting what the Biden administration considers to be misinformation, the White House is actively flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation and helping to boost trusted content. Going even further, Psaki said nothing is off the table for using Big Tech to quiet opposing views.

Not only is the Biden administration effectively deputizing Facebook to be an extension of the federal governments communications office, but it also insists that if youre banned from one Big Tech site for questioning conventional wisdom, you should be banned from all of them.

Psaki maintains the government has a responsibility, as a public health matter, to raise that issue of people allegedly dying en masse because of uncensored Facebook posts that dont comport with the White Houses vaccine messaging. This isnt a caricature of the White Houses position either. When a reporter asked President Joe Biden directly last week what his message is to sites like Facebook, Biden replied, serious as a heart attack, Theyre killing people.

This push for censorship is interesting for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the same political stripe that ridiculously cried fascism for four years under Donald Trump is now taking concrete steps to suppress political opposition, one of the hallmarks of true fascism. Its also interesting because information changes so rapidly, as Psaki herself admitted.

Science evolves, information evolves, Psaki said during the same press conference in which she pledged her commitment to silencing vaccine dissidents online.If anyone should understand the reality of information evolving, its the Biden administration.

Last fall when the bombshell Hunter Biden laptop story broke, then-candidate Joe Biden insisted it was Russian disinformation and a smear campaign. When Fox Newss Peter Doocy later asked Biden about the stories of his son, the then-president-elect hurled one of his bizarre insults at the reporter, saying, God love ya man. You are a one-horse pony. Psaki piled on in October, sharing a story to Twitter that claimed, Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo.

Tech giants Twitter and Facebook waged a war on the narrative, with one site spiking the stories about the Biden sons laptop from orbit and the other severely hamstringing them, under the guise of an unsubstantiated hunch that the materials were hacked and on the grounds that the stories might have been disinformation. In other words, based on Democrats narrative, tech monopolies throttled a timely story in the runup to the highly contested 2020 election, a story that directly applied to one of the candidates familial affairs and might have changed the outcome of the race and they did this with absolute impunity.

When U.S. intelligence agencies determined the Hunter Biden stories were not Russian disinformation, Big Tech shrugged. A week later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg both admitted they had no evidence that The New York Posts reporting on Joe Bidens knowledge of his son Hunter Bidens foreign business deals was Russian disinformation. Whoops. The conventional wisdom on misinformation changed, but the story had already been conveniently censored.

Psaki likewise spread misinformation online just two months before the election when she pushed afake tale about Trump calling fallen troops losers and suckers and the Russian bounties story, two narratives the media ran with that turned out to be misinformation. In fact, her misinformation-peddling goes back further. Psaki was a frequent promoter of the Russia collusion hoax in 2017 and throughout the Trump presidency.

But even on the Wuhan virus, Bidens administration and the so-called public health experts he now demands we trust have a terribly tarnished track record. Note how readily Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris undermined the vaccine during their 2020 presidential campaign:

And what about flip-flopper-in-chief Anthony Fauci, who not only knew that COVID-19 likely came from the Wuhan lab and that it potentially looked engineered and tried to cover those things up, according to his released emails (which Facebook also censored and erroneously fact-checked), but knowingly spread misinformation about masks at the start of the pandemic?

Big Tech censored posts about the Wuhan lab leak theory, which Democrats and the corrupt media called a conspiracy theory, yet Faucis mask misinformation is still online. Doocy used this line of questioning with Psaki last week with regard to the administrations collusion with Big Tech to crack down on so-called misinformation. The exchange went like this:

There are videos of Dr. Fauci from 2020, before anybody had a vaccine, and he is out there saying theres no reason to be walking around with a mask, Doocy said. So is the administration going to contact Facebook and ask them to take that down?

Well, first, I think what Dr. Fauci has said himself, whos been quite public out there, is that science evolves, information evolves and we make that available in a public way to the American people, Psaki replied. I have never seen any data to suggest that the vaccines cause infertility. That is information that is irresponsibly traveling.

About the science evolving, Doocy pushed back. Facebook used to block people from posting that COVID may have originated from a lab. That is something this president now admits is a possibility. So is there any concern that things you are trying to block or have taken down might someday turn out to be

We dont take anything down. We dont block anything, Psaki snapped back, ignoring the fact that she admits the administration is using Big Tech to do its bidding to feign clean hands. Facebook and any private-sector company makes decisions about what information should be on their platform.

Doocy is right, and the White House knows it. Todays misinformation is tomorrows undeniable fact; it happens all the time, and that reality isnt lost on the Biden administration.

Whats going on here isnt really an attempt to save Americans from disease. Its a desperate attempt by the ruling class to save their own rear ends from information that threatens their ideological goals.

Democrats at the helm of the executive and legislative branches arent looking to squash so-called misinformation because its the only way to keep people from dying (which still wouldnt justify their authoritarianism, by the way). Biden, Psaki, and their friends in Congress and Silicon Valley are working to snuff out their opponents speech because not only do they think it will help them politically, as it likely did in the 2020 election, but because they believe they can get away with it again, as they did in the 2020 election.

President Ronald Reagan was right when he said, The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: Im from the government, and Im here to help. The Biden administration has gotten disturbingly more specific: Im from the government, and Im here to help Facebook silence you.


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Corporate Media Outlets Lost More Than Half Their Audiences In The Last Year – The Federalist

Posted: at 12:52 am

Corrupt corporate media outlets that revolved their coverage around the quest to take down former President Donald Trump saw a significant decrease in traffic after he left office.

According to recently released data, The Atlantic, ABC News, Time all saw a more than 50 percent decrease in audience since summer 2020. Forbes saw the largest drop with more than 60 percent declining viewership while Vox and Politico experienced more than 40 percent in audience reduction.

The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, CNBC, The Guardian, The Hill, Los Angeles Times, and Axios, some of the other publications that capitalized on anti-Trump rhetoric and fake news reporting saw traffic fall more than 20 and sometimes even thirty percent compared to traffic in 2020.

The same trends occurred in cable news. Not only did corporate media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC see large declines in audience viewership during the second quarter of the year, but Fox News, a notably right-leaning network, topped ratings for the quarter and the month of June.

In total day, Fox News averaged 1.17 million in total viewers, down 35%; MSNBC posted 763,000, down 37% and CNN was at 580,000, down 49%. In the 25-54 demo, the numbers were 195,000 for Fox News, down 42%, 133,000 for CNN, falling 59% and 99,000 for MSNBC, dropping by 48%, Deadline reported.

In 2017, Trump predicted the corporate medias inability to capture viewers once he left office.

Newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if Im not there, because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes, he said.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.

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Why Unions Prioritize ‘Wokeness’ Over Their Own Blue-Collar Workers – The Federalist

Posted: at 12:52 am

On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Bill McMorris, senior editor for the Washington Free Beacon, joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss his recent article, Unions Focus on Woke Over Work Rankles Rank and File and why union priorities are becoming increasingly jumbled.

Unions are increasingly getting involved in social issues that their members not only dont see as their own interests, [but] that oftentimes run against what these members believe. And I think this is going to have major implications for solidarity moving forward, for union support among the rank and file, and even more important, the ability of unions to actually marshal their support among their members, McMorris said.

McMorris said this shift in the union movement is not only ignoring the issues plaguing blue-collar workers but focusing on things that tend to divide people.

Instead of talking about the fact that their pensions have been slashed and their wages have been relatively stagnant, they are focusing on pronouns, McMorris said. Its a very funny thing to see how solidarity in the labor movement was split apart, totally fractured by a focus on identity politics.

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Senators Demand Answers On How The FBI Botched Nassar Investigation – The Federalist

Posted: at 12:52 am

After the release of an explosive watchdog report on the FBIs handling of serial pedophile Larry Nassar, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing to examine the bureaus botched investigation.

The report, which confirms suspicions that the FBI gravely mishandled multiple sexual assault allegations against Nassar, details serious errors that allowed Nassar to abuse hundreds of women for years.

The FBIs gross mishandling of the reports of Nassers abuse led to more athletes suffering unimaginable pain. There must be accountability for this chilling failure to properly investigate and false statements potentially intended to cover-up that failure, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. [FBI] Director [Christopher] Wray must answer to the Judiciary Committee and the American people for the findings of this report, immediately terminate the agent involved, and explain in detail what steps are being taken to guarantee this never happens again.

Despite multiple allegations against Nassar that were reported numerous times to FBI field offices from 2015-2017, a formal FBI investigation wasnt opened until the Michigan State University Police Department found Nassars stash of child pornography after receiving a complaint of sexual abuse from an MSU athlete. Subsequently, the Indianapolis Field Office lied about its handling of the original reports. At least two field offices failed to notify state and local authorities of Nassars alleged wrongdoings.

During this time, Nassar kept his positions at MSU, childrens gymnastics club Twistars, and a high school athletic building for months before authorities caught on.

In a 2018 letter, committee leaders led the charge for details about the FBIs handling of the Nassar case. Now that the report confirmed expansive federal negligence and fundamental errors that led to 70 women being abused in the time period that the FBI knew about the abuse, yet failed to act, the Committees hearing will aim to hold the FBI accountable.

Last week, the FBI released a vague statement in response to the released report:

Prior to today, the FBI initiated improvements to make sure that serious allegations, such as these, are promptly shared with our law enforcement partners and within the FBI. As a continuation of these efforts, the FBI is fully committed to implementing all of the recommendations made by the Inspector General, the statement read. We will take all necessary steps to ensure that the failures of the employees outlined in the report do not happen again.

The FBI did not specify what measures it would take to ensure that young girls would not be exposed to alleged abusers under its watch again. The DOJs report included no evidence that FBI officers who failed to follow basic procedures were punished.

Recently, John Manly, the lead attorney for over 150 victims, insisted upon criminal charges against negligent FBI agents.

The FBI betrayed generations of Olympic champions. It betrayed the hundreds of children Nassar savaged, and it betrayed the American peoples trust, Manly said in a statement. Those responsible need to be held to account, with all the force the law can provide.

Nassar is sentenced to hundreds of years for his crimes, but federal agents who looked the other way currently face no criminal charges for their inaction.

The IG report confirms my fears that the FBI dropped the ball, allowing abuses to continue for months. The Judiciary Committees upcoming hearing is a continuation of our oversight to get to the bottom of this, Sen. Chuck Grassley said. The FBI owes the American people an accounting for its failure to protect these children, and explanation for how it plans to do better in the future.

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Media Smears Conservatives Who Threaten Their Mind Hegemony – The Federalist

Posted: at 12:52 am

The Washington Post published an almost 7,000-word investigative story last week with the provocative title How Tucker Carlson became the voice of White grievance. Far more interesting than the content of the article was the Posts flagrantly obvious attempt to discredit Carlson. Its become incredibly easy to tell who scares corporate media most.

You might not be surprised that the Posts remarkably expansive consideration of Carlson offers little discussion of his political opinions. Instead, it tracks down old contacts like his first-grade teacher and cites his ideological opponents like one Rev. Albert Sampson.

You likely also wouldnt be surprised that Carlson didnt respond to multiple attempts to reach him again. In a written statement, Carlson instead curtly declared: You want to make me shut up, so you call me a racist. Ive seen it before.

Is he wrong? A survey of the Washington Posts pages will find the paper hasnt offered similarly extensive hit pieces on the darlings of the leftist networks. Save the opinion page, reporting and commentary on MSNBCs Rachel Maddow, for example, has been almost unilaterally positive, despite her years-long coverage of the Trump-Russia collusion allegations that even Politico admits was disastrously wrong. The same is true for CNNs Don Lemon, and other leftist television commentators.

There is a reason for this, and typically its not because conservatives or Republicans are any more fallible than their opponents across the aisle. Its pretty easy to spot the people the corporate media most fear. Just look at who they are piling on to destroy, and youll be able to identify who these outlets see as the greatest threat to their progressivist political objectives.

Consider the other personalities the Post has invested similar resources in denigrating. In May, the Post published a 5,000-word attack on Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley titled Grievance, rebellion and burnt bridges: Tracing Josh Hawleys path to the insurrection (which The Federalist rightly called out).

The Post has likewiseattacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. These digs have accompanied CBS 60 Minutess false accusations of vaccine rollout corruption against the governor, while Politico maligned him for supposedly being mean to his staff and trusting his wife too much. Corporate media have likewise sought to impugn Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.

In comparison, how much critical reporting has corporate media conducted about California Gov. Gavin Newsom, despite his egregious mistakes and hypocrisy in reacting to COVID-19? How many Democrat governors do you ever hear called out in the news?

Meanwhile, corporate media persistently attempt to discredit not only DeSantis, but South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. It doesnt matter whether the issue is COVID-19, voting regulations, abortion, or transgenderism, corporate media are ever eager to pounce on any perceived vulnerabilities in conservatives or Republicans.

Of course, this trend serves as yet one more data point exposing the not-so-subtle prejudices in corporate media. (By this time we hardly require further evidence.) One could just as easily cite the corporate medias lie that the U.S. Park Police cleared peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square last summer.

Or their unjust attacks on anyone who suggested the coronavirus might have leaked from a lab in Wuhan. Or their coverage of police shootings. Or their worshipful reporting of President Biden. Or their refusal to discuss the Hunter Biden laptop controversy directly before last years presidential election.

Yet corporate media attacks on people like Carlson and DeSantis also offer reason for hope. Because the truth is, theyre scared. No political institution and thats essentially what the Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and similar outlets are now invests energy in smearing the small and insignificant.

Theres no point in mercilessly (and fraudulently) attacking people you are already confident you will soundly defeat in the next election. When you are securely on top, you dont bother. Tom Brady doesnt troll Mitchell Trubisky. The Los Angeles Dodgers dont launch takedown campaigns against the Baltimore Orioles.

People go on the offensive against those they fear. If thats the case, it means corporate media truly do fear the likes of Carlson, Hawley, DeSantis, and Younkin. These men perceive the weak underbelly of progressivist ideology, from disingenuous attempts to downplay and defend critical race theory to excuses for the current administrations immigration crisis. So, having few (if any) scruples left, the corporate media serves as the attack dog of the Democratic Party.

Corporate medias fear means there is indeed hope of reversing the broader political and cultural trends that have intensified not only the border crisis, but the rising homicide rate, the spike in overdose deaths, Americans loss of faith in public education, and many other worrying trends. Conservatives must not be cowed by unjust and unprofessional smear campaigns against us and our leaders.

Conservatives must continue arguing for a coherent, cohesive vision of America that does not divide us vis-a-vis the blinkered thinking of identity politics, but unites us around the great, time-tested principles of our nation. Unlike the corporate media, conservatives need not fear. They have truth on our side.

Casey Chalk is a Senior Contributor at The Federalist and an editor and columnist at The New Oxford Review. He has a bachelor's in history and master's in teaching from the University of Virginia and a master's in theology from Christendom College.


Media Smears Conservatives Who Threaten Their Mind Hegemony - The Federalist

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Fauci Unleashes His Propaganda Horde In War With The Free Press – The Federalist

Posted: at 12:52 am

Dr. Anthony Fauci took cues from the White House, which recently bragged about colluding with Big Tech to squash dissenters, to unleash a horde of COVID-19 propaganda from various bureaucrats and Democrat legislators that the corrupt corporate media proudly disseminated.

In an interview with CNNs far-left anchor Jim Acosta, the scandal-plagued Fauci expressed support for the Biden administrations campaign to ban people from social media sites. He also said that the disinformation and misinformation coming from conservative news outlets such as Fox News is really, really a problem.

If you look at the extraordinary, historic success in eradicating smallpox and eliminating polio from most of the world. And were on the brink of eradicating polio. If we had had the pushback, for vaccines, the way were seeing on certain media, I dont think it would have been possible, at all, to not only eradicate smallpox, Fauci said. We probably would still have smallpox. And we probably would still have polio in this country if we had the kind of false information thats being spread, now. If we had that back, decades ago, I would be certain that wed still have polio in this country.

Shortly after Faucis comments aired and President Joe Biden claimed that Facebook is killing people, CNN Anchor Dana Bash asked U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy whether he believes conservative media outlets airing dissenting COVID-19 rhetoric also play a role in killing people.

Dana, I think all of us, including the media, including individuals, health professionals, have a responsibility to share the truth about health as science dictates, as science informs us. And, you know, unless we do that unless we are honest about the consequences of our communication with people, unless we are rigorous about ensuring that what we communicate is actually sourced from science and not from an opinion on critical issues like the vaccine, then we are going to ultimately put people at risk, Murthy said after urging Big Tech to censor misinformation super-spreaders in his new report.

Not only did bureaucrats in the administration quickly work to amplify a pro-censorship and government-controlled information stream, but Democrat legislators also suggested that the White House didnt take its suppression campaign on vaccine-cautious users and posts far enough.

Social media has greatly contributed to this misinformation. Theres no doubt, Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota told Bash. I think we also should look at changing the liability standards when it comes to vaccine misinformation. When we have a public health crisis and people are dying every day, enough is enough. These are the richest companies in the world. They are, Dana. Theres absolutely no reason they shouldnt be able to monitor this better and take this crap off of their platforms that are basically telling people, oh, hey, theres problems, when we know science proves there isnt.

CNN was eager to push the narrative from the Biden administration that conservative media outlets deserve to be punished for airing vaccine-hesitancy but less than a year ago, when former President Donald Trump was still in office, the Democrat mouthpiece outlet and many others in corporate media were quick to amplify vaccine skepticism.

Headlines from leftist-led publications cast doubt on the vaccine timeline and amplified Biden and Vice President Kamala Harriss fears of a politicized approval process.

Biden, Seizing on Worries of a Rushed Vaccine, Warns Trump Cant Be Trusted, the New York Timeswrote.

Trump Vaccine Chief Casts Doubt on Coronavirus Vaccine by Election Day, was anotherNYTheadline.

Trump promises coronavirus vaccine by end of the year, but his own experts temper expectations, said anABC News headline in May 2o20.

HHS whistleblower says coronavirus vaccine wont be ready in 18 months: Weve never seen everything go perfectly, another May 2020 CNBCheadline reads.

Vaccines for Millions Ready This Year: The Impossible Dream? speculatedBloombergthat same month.

Contradicting The CDC, Trump Says COVID-19 Vaccine Could Be Ready By End Of Year,NPRpublished.

Even Bash, a hungry accomplice in the Democrats attempts to boost censorship as necessary for the health of Americans, was quick to bring on and ask Harris if she would be willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine created under the Trump administration, setting up a narrative that reporters, anchors, and hosts at CNN carried for months.

Later that day, CNN replayed an excerpt of Harris interview and prefaced it by saying medical experts are skeptical of Trumps timeline, Fox News noted. CNN then enlisted medical contributor Dr. Abdul El-Sayed to explain Americans have a reason to be worried when it comes to Trumps vaccine.

When criticism of the manufactured skepticism arose, CNN talking heads defended Biden and Harris from accusations.

Trump is mischaracterizing Harris answer when asked if she would trust a vaccine touted by Trump Trump, who has repeatedly undermined public health experts and pressured government agencies to rush a vaccine, insisting Harris is playing politics, CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond said. Even as he continues to suggest, without any evidence, that a vaccine could be ready by Election Day.

Big Tech, now egged on by the White House, already displayed its loyalty to the Democrats by suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, censoring valid claims about the 2020 election, and subjecting every user posting about COVID-19 to a myriad of labels, disclaimers, and fake fact-checks, all of which led back to government sites. Now, the crosshairs on conservatives and conservative media are clearer than ever.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.

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Prosecutor Delayed Hunter Biden Probe To Shield 2020 Electionthefederalist.com – The Federalist

Posted: at 12:52 am

U.S. Department of Justice officials deliberately delayed an investigation into Hunter Bidens potential tax law violations and sketchy overseas business dealings because of the effect it could have on the presidential election, according to a Politico report.

Delawares U.S. Attorney David Weiss allegedly postponed allowing prosecutors to obtain search warrants and issue grand jury subpoenas last summer, after facing pressure from other officials who feared the investigations influence on the 2020 presidential election and now-President Joe Bidens campaign.

They advised [him] to avoid taking any actions that could alert the public to the existence of the case in the middle of a presidential election, reported Politico, one of the many corporate media outlets that brushed off the possibility of any wrongdoing by Hunter despite the discovery of his incriminating laptop.

One person involved in the discussions told Politico that it was to [Weisss] credit, [that] he listened.

It was a close call, the person said. That case has way more credibility now.

Weiss first assumed his position as a U.S. attorney in 2017 after former President Donald Trump nominated him. As noted by Politico, the nomination was based on the recommendation of Delawares two Democratic senators, who both praised the choice. The attorney has deep ties, previously engaging and even leading a long list of investigations in President Bidens home state of Delaware and on the national level, even connected to the infamous Ukrainian energy firm Burisma with which Hunter Biden was involved.

Shortly after his nomination, Weiss began to explore Hunters roguish business dealings with Chinese businessmen possibly linked to the communist regime. The probe originally focused on possible money laundering and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, but later shifted to questioning whether [Hunter] had paid taxes on all of his income.

When the time came for more formal exploratory measures into Hunters dealings, however, Weiss declined to take any drastic actions that were likely to make the existence of the Hunter Biden probe public because he feared political scrutiny and giving many of then-President Donald Trumps supporters what they were looking for.

Concerns about affecting the presidential election loomed large when Weiss entertained arguments about advancing the probe, according to the person involved in the discussions. No matter what he did, the decision was sure to come under scrutiny for signs of politicization, Politico reported.

Shortly before Election Day, prosecutors and then-Attorney General Bill Barr worked together to keep the investigation from going fully public and decided not to appoint a special investigator for the case.

The probe did not gain widespread attention outside of the conservative media sphere until several weeks after the presidential election, when Hunter Biden released a statement saying Weisss office had notified him of it, noted Politico.

Hunter was quick to hire a defense attorney from legal firm Latham & Watkins in December, just one month before his dad appointed another partner from the same firm, Nicholas McQuaid, to temporarily run the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. Despite his previous work on cases with Hunters attorney, it is still unclear if McQuaid signed a waiver or recused himself from overseeing the investigation into Hunter.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.

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