A Tale Of Two ‘Times’

An interesting example of how the media can frame an issue.

Below is the headline from the New York Times the day after the FBI announced it thought it had found a trove of missing Hillary Clinton emails. It turned out they were wrong, but the announcement swayed the election away from the Democratic presidential candidate.

And then next, today’s banner on the Grey Lady the day after we learned an actual PRESIDENT lied to the American people about the severity of a pandemic that has killed nearly 200,000 Americans.

Notice how small that is? #ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmm

Trump Orders Federal Agencies To Stop Subscribing To NY Times, Washington Post

Donald Trump has ordered US military forces to the Middle East following an Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities

Donald Trump has ordered US military forces to the Middle East following an Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities

Talk about petty…

Axios is reporting that the White House will soon order all federal agencies to not renew their subscriptions to the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Yes, those would be the two newspapers Donald Trump has repeated raged against on Twitter for what he feels is biased, ‘fake news’ reporting.

The announcement came just hours after Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show calling the two papers ‘fake.’

The White House said on Tuesday that it would cancel its own subscriptions to the Post and the Times, after Trump complained that they were “fake” during an appearance this week on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an email to the Wall Street Journal: “Not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving—hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars will be saved.”

News Round-Up: February 6, 2019

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• How cute are InstaCouple Justin & Nick? Follow them on the gram of Insta here.

• Two men from Washington D.C. were arrested for drug trafficking as they tried to board a gay cruise leaving from the port of Miami. They were caught thanks to intercepted planning emails sent from one of the men’s government-issued laptop.

• The ABC hit sitcom Modern Family has been renewed for its 11th and final season.

• Donald Trump loves to refer to it as the ‘failing’ New York Times, but facts are facts, and the Times‘ stock price just hit a 13-year high.

• Damon Wayans Jr. is just the latest celeb apologizing for past homophobic statements and ‘jokes.’ At least he has the decency to actually straight-up apologize.

• Out pop singer/songwriter Gia Woods drops her new music video, “Jump The Fence,” which offers a groovy respite with shades of female empowerment and sexual freedom.

Billboard gushed about the new song calling it “a breathy pop ear-worm packed with tribal-like pulsations and distant howls that matches the musical climate while maintaining an undeniable edge.”

Gia’s breakout music video, “Only A Girl,” has garnered over 10 million viesw and counting. The talented 22-year-old is prepping to release her debut EP later this year.

Check out the new bop from Ms. Woods below.

NY Times: FBI Launched Investigation Into Whether Donald Trump Was Working On Behalf Of Russia

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
Donald Trump

Quite the bombshell.

From The New York Times:

In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

I’m also going to make a point to include this from the Times report:

No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

Clearly, I don’t have the evidence that the FBI has gathered but we do know that Trump frequently praised Russian President Putin, taking his word over that of the US intelligence community regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.

That alone that should give pause to any American.

The Donald’s short little fingers flew across his iPhone’s keyboard this morning in a Twitter rage complete with ‘the Failing New York Times,’ ‘Lyin James Comey,’ ‘Crooked Hillary,’ and a boast of being ‘FAR tougher on Russia than Obama.’

The Twitterverse has their own thoughts on the historic news:

New York Times Profiles Wealthy Gay Trumpers

Bill White and Bryan Eure (via Instagram)

The New York Times has profiled Donald Trump supporters Bill White and his husband Bryan Eure, with the primary interest in the couple being they are that rare breed of openly-gay Trumpers.

In fact, they are organizing a $5 million fund-raiser for the Trumpster this winter and boast about having Don Trump Jr. on speed dial.

But that wasn’t always the case.

For years they enjoyed being a part of Manhattan’s liberal elite.

They supported both of Hillary Clinton’s bids for president quite whole-heartedly, paid Aretha Franklin to sing at their 2011 wedding, and even hosted President Obama at a high-end $39,500-a-plate fund-raiser at their townhouse in Manhattan’s uber-gay neighborhood, Chelsea.

But, per the New York Times, on election night November 8, 2016, while standing among the Hillary supporters in what everyone expected to be a celebration, White saw the writing on the wall in the election returns.

Without missing a beat, he jumped in his car and drove to the New York Hilton, where Trump was celebrating the surprise win.

“I didn’t want to be part of that misery pie; I’m not a wallower in self-pity,” White told the New York Times. “I really believe that once that decision is made, you have to get behind your president.”

Mr. Eure, a commercial insurance broker and a longtime Republican, was happy for the change of heart by his husband.

From that point on, it seems the duo have no problem explaining away any perceived negatives of the president.

When it comes to the many ways Trump’s administration has attacked or pared back LGBTQ protections, Eure waves off the accusations saying, “I don’t like identity politics.”

This from the the man who is married to his husband only because of the progress made by liberal Democratic politicians and activists.

When someone brings up the many lies of Trump, despite actual facts and video tape to prove such falsehoods, Eure dismisses the issue as mere “embellishments.”

“Exaggerations,” White adds. “He’s the marketer in chief for the United States. So what?”

Their drinking of the Trump kool-aid has earned them the ire of former friends with whom the couple used to hob-nob among.

Even Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton says, “They ran to the other end of the spectrum and then walked off the ledge.”

“Our democracy has been set on fire by this president, and they want what, an invite to Mar-a-Lago?” Merrill added.

In fact, access seems to be very important to White and Eure.

The Times article recounts an episode earlier this year at Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar in Midtown Manhattan where the two men couldn’t seem to get Chelsea Clinton’s attention across the room.

Incensed, White pulled out his phone and called Donald Trump Jr. According to White, Junior immediately offered to come right over.

Pleased with the answer, White explained, “Trump picks up on the first ring. If you want to get to Chelsea Clinton, you have to call through five people.”

Mr. Eure shares the story of the time he was traveling to Philadelphia to attend the former Secretary of State’s address at the Democratic National Convention.

As part of the story, he includes how the day’s inclement weather forced him to ‘borrow’ a friend’s helicopter. But upon arriving, they rushed to greet Clinton only to be blocked by a campaign official.

“This was about because we didn’t write a $25,000 check,” Eure explains of the late campaign timing.

But the Clinton campaign remembers the story differently.

“Some people give their time and resources to causes and candidates for the right reasons, some don’t,” said Merrill. “No better indication of which case this is than to watch a guy decide to embrace Trump and all he stands for because he couldn’t get his picture taken one night.”

It’s worth noting that the Times piece almost glosses over the fact that White, a former president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan, suddenly resigned from his position in 2008 and was forced to pay $1 million restitution after the state of New York had begun an investigation into whether he might have engaged in unlicensed commercial fund-raising.

Along the way, White and Eure show little concern for the damage Donald Trump has done and will continue to do to the LGBTQ community.

From removing all mention of LGBTQ people from the official White House website within hours of Trump taking office, to attempting to remove all transgender military service members, to the recent leaked memo that details plans to ‘redefine’ trans people out of existence, these two don’t care as long as they have their access.

Just to show how the couple flip-flops from power center to power center, here they are happy to pose with President Obama at the Broadway musical, Hamilton:

Longtime LGBTQ activist and journalist Michelangelo Signorile chimed in on Twitter about the couple:

(h/t New York Times)

Trans Pioneer & Stonewall Activist Marsha P. Johnson Finally Gets NYTimes Obituary

Marsha P. Johnson

Twenty-six years after her death, Marsha P. Johnson, transgender pioneer & Stonewall activist is finally being recognized by The New York Times.

Noting that obituaries in the Times have long been dominated by white men, the new series Overlooked includes a lengthy paean to Johnson honoring her groundbreaking activism on behalf of the LGBT community.

Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, a prostitute, a drag performer and, for nearly three decades, a fixture of street life in Greenwich Village. She was a central figure in a gay liberation movement energized by the 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn. She was a model for Andy Warhol. She battled severe mental illness. She was usually destitute and, for much of her life, effectively homeless.

When she died at 46, under murky circumstances, in summer 1992, Johnson was mourned by her many friends, but her death did not attract much notice in the mainstream press.

In the years since, however, interest in her legacy has soared. She has been praised for her insistent calls for social and economic justice; for working on behalf of homeless street youth ostracized by their families for being gay or otherwise not conforming to traditional ideas about gender; and, later, for her advocacy on behalf of AIDS patients. Some have called her a saint.

Although the term transgender wasn’t in wide use during her lifetime, Johnson identified by a rotating list of labels from gay, transvestite or simply “queen.”

In a 1992 interview, Johnson declared, “I was no one, nobody, from Nowheresville, until I became a drag queen.”

In a life long riddled with strife and conflict, Johnson was known to live her joyful exuberance even as she worked for LGBT acceptance.

“As long as gay people don’t have their rights all across America,” she once said, “there’s no reason for celebration.”

Read the full, well-deserved profile at The New York Times.

(h/t The OUTfront)

President Trump Throws AG Jeff Sessions Under The Bus

In what can only be described as “stunning,” President Trump told the New York Times that had he known Attorney General Jeff Sessions would recuse himself on all matters pertaining to Russia, he would have never fired him. Trump says the decision to recuse was “very unfair to the president.”

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, the president also accused James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired in May, of trying to leverage a dossier of compromising material to keep his job. Mr. Trump criticized both the acting F.B.I. director who has been filling in since Mr. Comey’s dismissal and the deputy attorney general who recommended it. And he took on Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Trump also draws a red line in the sand saying Robert Mueller should not look into his family’s financial records, again raising the question, “What’s he hiding?”

It’s interesting how much Trump bashes the NY Times but then sits down with them for these lengthy interviews. It’s like he wants their approval so very badly.

Listen to the president below then head over to the New York Times for the wide-ranging interview.

UPDATE – AG Sessions told reporters today, “We love this job. We love this department, and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate.”

NY Times Exec Editor: “We’re Not Failing At All”

Dean Baquet, Executive Editor of the New York Times, spoke with CNN host Brian Stelter about Donald Trump’s assertions that the venerable newspaper is “failing.”

Via Mediaite:

After host Brian Stelter noted that Trump has tried to get the nickname to stick by using the term “failing” 53 times on Twitter to describe the Times, he asked Baquet what the facts were. “We’re not failing at all,” the editor responded. “Our digital subscriptions are going through the roof. Even print subscriptions are up. We’re a profitable company.”

He then added that this was an “effort by this administration to minimize the press.” Baquet further explained that the president’s tweets are also designed to minimize other institutions that are there to hold him accountable. “I think that’s dangerous,” he said.

Regarding the use of anonymous sources, Baquet said, “I always know who the sources are for these stories. That’s why I’m so confident pushing back at the Trump administration when they criticize the stories.”

Outtakes From Donald Trump Meeting With New York Times

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman live-Tweeted insights from this morning’s Donald Trump / New York Times confab.

The meeting was scheduled then briefly cancelled, then reconfirmed hours later apparently due to an erroneous report from Trump advisor Reince Priebus to the Trumpster that the Times had changed the terms of the meeting. The Times confirmed no terms were changed on their part.

While part of the meeting was off the record, both sides agreed some of the exchange would be for public consumption.

Some highlights:

• Regarding the end of the campaign, Trump went into Michigan because his team learned Clinton’s campaign was worried about the state.

• While he admits “We had a great victory” in the election, he did mention he’s well-aware he did not win the popular vote. “I’ll see every once in awhile someone says, ‘Well, the popular vote.'” Says he was never a fan of the Electoral College “until now.”

• Trump on alt-right supporters: “It’s not a group I want to energize. And if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why.”

• Trump says “no” when asked if he is taking investigations off the table for Clintons but adds he doesn’t want to “hurt the Clintons.” He added “I think it would be very very divisive for the country.”

• Regarding the concerns about his businesses and conflicts of interest: “The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.” Furthermore, “I’d assumed that you’d have to set up some type of trust or whatever and you don’t.”

• On Bannon:”If I thought he was a racist or alt-right or any of the things, the terms we could use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.” Regarding Breitbart: “Breitbart is just a publication. The cover stories like you cover stories.”

• Regarding Congress: “Paul Ryan, right now, loves me. Mitch McConnell loves me,” Trump says. Then says, “I’ve liked Chuck Schumer for a long time.”

• Trump asked about potential pushback on an infrastructure plan from GOP leaders. “Right now, they’re in love with me,” Trump says.

• Trump says he is “seriously considering” Mattis for DoD, says he asked Mattis about waterboarding, was surprised he didn’t favor it.

• Asked about son in law Jared Kushner, Trump says he will probably not have a formal position in the White House but could “could be a player on Mideast peace.

• Trump gets asked about his commitment to first amendment, says, “I think you’ll be happy.”

Haberman is an excellent reporter you should definitely follow on the Twitter – @maggieNYT

For more details on the meeting, click over to the New York Times.