Ron Johnson’s home-state paper publishes his lies — with footnotes

Following the deadly attack on Congress on Jan. 6, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an editorial calling on Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to resign or be kicked out “for his role in spreading disinformation about the presidential election.” Johnson submitted a response — and the Journal Sentinel published it along with 19 footnotes “to provide …

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AP obit of Larry King leaves out his ties to Russia

This Associated Press obituary of Larry King makes no mention of his spending his waning years working for the Russian propaganda outlet RT. But RT itself doesn’t hold back, even touting a 2019 interview King did with George Papadopoulos, a figure in the Russia scandal who was pardoned by Donald Trump just before he left …

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The pros and cons of charging Trump with incitement to violence

Suzanne Nossel, the chief executive of PEN (Poets, Essayists and Novelists) America, is concerned that the second impeachment of Donald Trump could be used to weaken the legal standard for convicting someone of incitement to violence. I differ with her New York Times op-ed, and in fact I think criminal charges could be brought against …

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A glimpse of the more formidable leader Trump might have been

Please consider becoming a paid subscriber to Media Nation for just $5 a month. Click here for details. Donald Trump was never going to be anything other than a terrible president. His political persona was crafted in the racism of birtherism, and to that he added misogyny and vicious cruelty. But it’s interesting to ponder …

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No, The New York Times shouldn’t have published Tom Cotton’s ugly little screed

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. The New York Times may be rethinking its decision to publish Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s terrible, offensive op-ed piece endorsing the use of military force to crush the violent protests that have broken out around the country following the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Though Cotton’s essay was posted online …

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With Biden pulling ahead, the media must avoid the poll-driven mistakes of 2016

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. From the moment that former Vice President Joe Biden emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee, political observers have been proceeding on the assumption that this year’s presidential election will be close. But what if the dynamics are changing? What if President Donald Trump — behind in the polls even before the …

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Why Michelle Obama would not be a good choice as Joe Biden’s running mate

A Michelle Obama for vice president boomlet is now under way. This would be a very bad idea. Joe Biden is 77, and, if he’s elected, there’s a good chance that his running mate will become president before his first term is up. Obama has no relevant experience beyond being a former first lady. You …

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Florida governor’s ban on reporter violates the First Amendment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to bar a reporter for the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times from a news conference that was otherwise open to the press was a flat-out violation of the First Amendment. Although the question of whether public officials can ban specific journalists from media events has never been taken …

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How Trump is weaponizing libel and threatening the First Amendment

So now President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is filing SLAPP suits against news organizations — that is, libel suits with no legal merit whose goal is to intimidate rather than to expose the truth. The lawsuits have targeted The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, all of which have the resources to defend …

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Pundits wonder if Warren’s good night may have come too late

Previously published at WGBHNews.org. Elizabeth Warren rose above her dispute with Bernie Sanders over who said what and offered a powerful argument about gender and politics at Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate. But it might be too late to matter. That, at least, appears to be the consensus in my quick scan of political punditry following …

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