Ailes “died this morning of complications of a subdural hematoma after he fell at home injuring his head,” said the report. “Hemophilia contributed to his death and his manner of death was accidental. There was no evidence of foul play.”
Ailes died just three days after his 77th birthday. He was a towering figure in the fast-paced business of cable news, but sexual harassment allegations forced him out of Fox News last year. Read the rest of this entry »
Paul Bedard writes: A key Federal Election Commission Republican warned Wednesday that liberals are moving aggressively to “amend the First Amendment” so that conservatives are silenced and businesses are chased “out of the democracy.”
“The general tenor of the Left in American politics today has certainly spoken out against First Amendment rights. It has been a reversal over the last 50 years.”
In some the toughest criticism leveled at Democrats, Commissioner Lee E. Goodman said that the attack started once the Tea Party changed American politics in the 2010 election and now dominates the politics of the Left.
“The general tenor of the Left in American politics today has certainly spoken out against First Amendment rights. It has been a reversal over the last 50 years,” he added, citing FDR Democrats who defended socialists and communists.
“I have been concerned about bias both in how complaints are brought to the commission just like in the way, the lobbying campaign for Lois Lerner. It was all one sided. But generally I try to make my First Amendment case by pointing out that we have to impact liberal and conservative speech in the same way.”
“But I have been concerned from time to time about every time a conservative group comes up, somehow, some way, exceptions and distinctions are made and this is the problem giving government the power to regulate speech in the first instance because ultimately human beings have to make that decision.”
[VIDEO] MSNBC Host Thomas Roberts Says He Doesn’t Want to Talk About Anthony Weiner Huma Abedin ScandalPosted: August 29, 2016
The departure of Mr Ailes could have an impact on the Republican party. Supremely well connected, he has helped shape the Republican agenda for more than a decade.
Roger Ailes is heading for the exit at Fox News Channel, the influential cable network beloved by American conservatives, with Rupert Murdoch and his sons in agreement that he should leave amid allegations of sexual harassment.
“Three of Fox News’ biggest stars — Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren — have clauses in their contracts that would allow them to depart if Mr Ailes were to leave the network…”
The timing and terms of the departure of the man who turned Fox News into a media and political powerhouse were unclear on Tuesday evening. Mr Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, the channel’s parent company, and Lachlan, his older son and co-chairman, would prefer to wait until after this week’s Republican convention, two people briefed on the matter told the Financial Times.
James Murdoch, Mr Murdoch’s younger son and chief executive, was pushing for Mr Ailes to go as soon as possible, those people said.
Late on Tuesday, the Drudge Report said that Mr Ailes had left Fox News with a $40m severance package. 21st Century Fox denied the report in a tweeted statement, saying: “Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”
“In another blow to Mr Ailes, New York magazine reported on Tuesday that Megyn Kelly, arguably Fox News’ biggest star, told lawyers leading the internal investigation that Mr Ailes had sexually harassed her a decade ago. 21st Century Fox declined to comment on the report and Fox News referred queries to its parent company.”
In 2012, the last year for which Mr Ailes’ pay was disclosed in the company’s proxy filing, he earned a total of $21m, including a $5m salary. Read the rest of this entry »
“I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news.”
Michael Nunez reports: Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.
“It was absolutely bias. We were doing it subjectively. It just depends on who the curator is and what time of day it is. Every once in awhile a Red State or conservative news source would have a story. But we would have to go and find the same story from a more neutral outlet that wasn’t as biased.”
Several former Facebook “news curators,” as they were known internally, also told Gizmodo that they were instructed to artificially “inject” selected stories into the trending news module, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant inclusion—or in some cases weren’t trending at all. The former curators, all of whom worked as contractors, also said they were directed not to include news about Facebook itself in the trending module.
“Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending. I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”
In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. Imposing human editorial values onto the lists of topics an algorithm spits out is by no means a bad thing—but it is in stark contrast to the company’s claims that the trending module simply lists “topics that have recently become popular on Facebook.”
These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site. As we reported last week, curators have access to a ranked list of trending topics surfaced by Facebook’s algorithm, which prioritizes the stories that should be shown to Facebook users in the trending section. The curators write headlines and summaries of each topic, and include links to news sites. The section, which launched in 2014, constitutes some of the most powerful real estate on the internet and helps dictate what news Facebook’s users—167 million in the US alone—are reading at any given moment.
“Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” said the former curator. This individual asked to remain anonymous, citing fear of retribution from the company. The former curator is politically conservative, one of a very small handful of curators with such views on the trending team. “I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”
The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said. Read the rest of this entry »
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) April 9, 2016
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are living through history…”
“Last week was a debacle and we’re adding Sean, an experienced federal election attorney, to this team because of what happened. He has significant political relationships and will be a huge asset as we seek the best possible format for the candidates. He is going to take the leading role for the debates moving forward.”
— Sean Spicer, the RNC’s chief strategist and spokesman
Priebus has elevated Sean Cairncross, the chief operating officer of the RNC and its former chief counsel, to be the GOP’s new lead debate negotiator and organizer.
The move effectively gives the debate responsibilities currently held by Sean Spicer, the RNC’s chief strategist and spokesman, to Cairncross. Spicer, a confidant of Priebus, will remain in his role but will work in a supplementary position when it comes to arranging the debates.
Priebus’s decision, which was detailed in an e-mail that the RNC sent to campaigns Sunday before a private summit of aides to 2016 candidates, was shared by a Republican presidential campaign aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal the document. That gathering was held at a hotel in the Washington suburbs and attended by advisers to several campaigns. Read the rest of this entry »
Elliot Smilowitz reports: Media kingpin Matt Drudge on Tuesday railed against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s health and her politics, saying he was worried the nation would end up “with Hillary’s brain in the Oval Office in a jar.”
Drudge slammed the media for propping up Clinton’s candidacy.
The media mogul cited Clinton’s hypothyroidism as cause for concern. Read the rest of this entry »
Matt Drudge: ‘A Prayer for Those Locked Up in Cruel Cuba This Morning for Dissent, as Pope Basks in Glow of Adulation from Masses’Posted: September 20, 2015
Stephen K. Bannon & Ezra Dulis write: Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report sent a message Sunday morning excoriating Pope Francis during his trip to Cuba, depicting the head of the Catholic Church alongside Raul Castro and suggesting Francis would rather ignore the plight of political dissidents than endanger his warm welcome from the Castro regime.
A prayer for those locked up in cruel Cuba this morning for dissent, as pope basks in glow of adulation from masses.. pic.twitter.com/H3y78zonDA
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) September 20, 2015
Activists have criticized the Pope for failing to plan any meetings with Cuban political dissidents during his visit to the Communist Caribbean nation–while the government flagrantly and contemporaneously persecutes its Catholics. Just last week, the government violently arrested more than 50 protesters, mostly women, after attending Sunday mass….(read more)
DRUDGE Readers Completely Misunderstood Poll Question ‘Who Won 2nd GOP Debate?’, Answered ‘Who Is Your Favorite Candidate?’Posted: September 16, 2015
Party’s ‘safe haven’ may see a few bumps in the road – and rumours of Joe Biden considering a run – but strategists agree she remains Republicans’ top opponent.
Lauren Gambino writes: Not so long ago, Hillary Clinton’s supporters main concern seemed to be a fear that her coronation as the Democratic candidate for president would leave her unprepared for battle with the Republican nominee.
Now, by all metrics, the former secretary of state retains a historically strong lead in the race to secure her party’s nomination. She is well ahead of the other declared candidates in terms of poll numbers, money and endorsements. But a succession of setbacks and the possibility of another mainstream rival joining the race has, to some degree, checked the presumptiveness of the presumptive candidate.
This was a week that started out on a high note, with the rollout of Clinton’s college affordability plan, a policy prescription driven in large part by the party’s progressives. But the spotlight quickly moved to escalating investigations into the private email account the candidate used while secretary of state, and a drop in polls as reports renewed speculation that vice-president Joe Biden may join the race. Read the rest of this entry »
Megyn Kelly, who do she think she is? She is trying to destroy our future president Mr. Donald Trump and we won’t let that happen. Here is our take.
Poll: Clinton’s standing falls among Democrats
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton’s standing is falling among Democrats, and voters view her as less decisive and inspiring than when she launched her presidential campaign just three months ago, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
The survey offers a series of warning signs for the leading Democratic candidate. Most troubling,
perhaps, for her prospects are questions about her compassion for average Americans, a quality that fueled President Barack Obama’s two White House victories.
Just 39 percent of all Americans have a favorable view of Clinton, compared to nearly half who say they have a negative opinion of her. That’s an eight-point increase in her unfavorable rating from an AP-GfK poll conducted at the end of April.
The drop in Clinton’s numbers extends into the Democratic Party. Seven in 10 Democrats gave Clinton positive marks, an 11-point drop from the April survey. Nearly a quarter of Democrats now say they see Clinton in an unfavorable light.
“I used to like her, but I don’t trust her,” said Donald Walters of Louisville, Kentucky. “Ever since she’s announced her candidacy for the presidency I just haven’t liked the way she’s handled things. She doesn’t answer questions directly.”
While Clinton’s approval rating fell, Obama’s stayed constant at 46 percent since April. More than 8 in 10 Democrats have a positive view of the president.
At least part of Clinton’s decline may be due to questions about her character, a topic Republicans have been trying to make central to the 2016 campaign. In ads, stump speeches and online videos, they paint her as a creature of Washington who flouts the rules to get ahead.
While Clinton has spent decades in the public eye, she’s focused in recent months on creating a more relatable — and empathetic — image. In public events, she frequently talks about her new granddaughter, Charlotte, and references her early career as a legal advocate for impoverished children. Read the rest of this entry »
NEW YORK (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton formally kicked off her presidential campaign on Saturday with an enthusiastic embrace of her potential to become the first woman to win the White House, asking supporters gathered at an outdoor rally to join her in building an America “where we don’t leave anyone out, or anyone behind.”
With the downtown New York skyline and new World Trade Center over her shoulder, Clinton offered herself as a fierce advocate for those still struggling from the Great Recession.
She promised to carry on the liberal legacies of President Barack Obama, and former Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Bill Clinton, her husband, saying “real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all.”
While Clinton ended her first campaign for president in 2008 by conceding she and her backers “weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling,” she vowed Saturday to push ahead toward an “America where a father can tell his daughter: Yes, you can be anything you want to be — even president of the United States.”
“I think you know by now that I’ve been called many things by many people,” Clinton said to cheers and laughter from the crowd of roughly 5,500 gathering on Roosevelt Island in the East River. “Quitter is not one of them.” Read the rest of this entry »
Roger Pumper reports: Nuclear negotiations came to a halt Friday as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, demanded to see President Obama’s long-form birth certificate before continuing discussions. Khamenei’s decision came after a letter sent by 47 Senate Republicans revealed that any deal signed with the President would be null and void because of a law requiring that he be born in the United States.
“Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, demanded to see President Obama’s long-form birth certificate before continuing discussions.”
The letter, signed by the entire Republican leadership, expressed concern that Khamenei may trust Obama simply because they are both Arabs.
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations that you may not fully understand our government, specifically Article 2, Section 1 of the Declaration of Independence,” the Senators explained in the letter. “It states that the president must be born in the United States and not in a foreign country such as Kenya, Indonesia or Hawaii. Since Barak Hussein Obama is not the real president, there’s no point in negotiating with him.”
“Since Barak Hussein Obama is not the real president, there’s no point in negotiating with him.”
Khamenei, who ignored a previous correspondence from the Senators saying a deal must be approved by Congress, admitted his faith was shaken by the latest letter. After hearing about a statement from Obama’s paternal grandmother saying the president was born in Kenya, the supreme leader decided it would be imprudent to continue with the negotiations.
“On the positive side, Khamenei noted that he was pleased to learn that Obama is secretly a devout Muslim.”
“While my concerns were temporarily alleviated when I found a copy of the long-form birth certificate online, I was dismayed to read a Drudge Report article revealing it to be a forgery,” Khamenei explained. “I then contacted a prominent U.S. businessman, real estate mogul Donald Trump, who told me his investigators had made shocking discoveries about Obama’s country of birth.” Read the rest of this entry »
Justice gears up to prosecute campaign ‘coordination.’
You know the 2016 election is heating up when the Justice Department announces it’s gearing up to prosecute campaign-finance “coordination” between candidates and outside groups. If you thought the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits was troubling, watch what Justice can do to criminalize political speech.
Justice said in a recent statement that it plans to “aggressively pursue coordination offenses at every appropriate opportunity.” That’s a warning for Republican candidates and the SuperPacs that support them. Note to major players: The federal government can subpoena your documents, email, computers and bank records in a political fishing expedition conducted by the FBI.
“A coordination investigation can be started on almost any pretext. All you need is an allegation that someone talked to someone they should not have. Once the investigation makes it over that low evidentiary hurdle, the feds can comb through every shred of personal and group communications to find illegal contact.”
Under federal law, a campaign expenditure is illegally coordinated when it meets certain tests for content and conduct. The content of an ad must either advocate for a candidate or mention the candidate by name in the 60 days before a general election. The conduct amounts to illegal coordination if there is material involvement or substantial discussion between a SuperPac and a candidate regarding that election-related content.
“Ms. Lerner knows all about campaign “coordination,” having led a multiyear FEC coordination investigation into the Christian Coalition in the 1990s. Ms. Lerner was pursuing a theory that the group had illegally coordinated its issue advocacy with candidates. That theory was rejected in federal court.”
A coordination investigation can be started on almost any pretext. All you need is an allegation that someone talked to someone they should not have. Once the investigation makes it over that low evidentiary hurdle, the feds can comb through every shred of personal and group communications to find illegal contact.
“GOP campaigns better lawyer up because Mr. Pilger’s speech police are gunning for you.”
We’ve seen how this wrecking ball works in Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker ’s conservative allies had their records seized and homes raided based on mere claims of coordination. Justice is now essentially giving itself sway to probe every Republican presidential campaign based on an accusation from some left-wing activist. Read the rest of this entry »
Matt Drudge: ‘May the Democrats Burn in Hell for Opening the Doors to Endless Internet regulation. I Mean Really Burn.’Posted: February 25, 2015
May the Democrats burn in hell for opening the doors to endless Internet regulation. I mean really burn.
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) February 25, 2015
Paul Bedard reports: Claiming that thousands of public comments condemning “dark money” in politics can’t be ignored, the Democrat-chaired Federal Election Commission on Wednesday appeared ready to open the door to new regulations on donors, bloggers and others who use the Internet to influence policy and campaigns.
During a broad FEC hearing to discuss a recent Supreme Court decision that eliminated some donor limits, proponents encouraged the agency to draw up new funding disclosure rules and require even third-party internet-based groups to reveal donors, a move that would extinguish a 2006 decision to keep the agency’s hands off the Internet.
Noting the 32,000 public comments that came into the FEC in advance of the hearing, Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, “75 percent thought that we need to do more about money in politics, particularly in the area of disclosure. And I think that’s something that we can’t ignore.”
But a former Republican FEC chairman said in his testimony that if the agency moves to regulate the Internet, including news voices like the Drudge Report as GOP commissioners have warned, many thousands more comments will flood in in opposition of regulation. Read the rest of this entry »
NEW YORK (CBS Connecticut/AP) — Tens of millions of people along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor rushed to get home and settle in Monday as a fearsome storm swirled in with the potential for hurricane-force winds and 1 to 3 feet of snow that could paralyze the Northeast for days.
Snow was coating cars and building up on sidewalks and roadways in New York City by evening, and flurries were flying in Boston. Forecasters said the storm would build into a blizzard, and the brunt of it would hit late Monday and into Tuesday.
As the snow got heavier, much of the region rushed to shut down. Read the rest of this entry »
CHILL: Taxpayer-Funded Initiative Collected 600,000 Political Tweets in its ‘Database,’ Bragged About Having Conservative Twitter Accounts SuspendedPosted: November 10, 2014
Elizabeth Harrington reports: The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a letter to the head of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Monday, demanding answers about the origins of the nearly $1 million taxpayer-funded project to track “misinformation” on Twitter.
“The Committee and taxpayers deserve to know how NSF decided to award a large grant for a project that proposed to develop standards for online political speech and to apply those standards through development of a website that targeted conservative political comments.”
The Truthy project, being conducted by researchers at Indiana University, is under investigation for targeting political commentary on Twitter. The project monitors “suspicious memes,” “false and misleading ideas,” and “hate speech,” with a goal of one day being able to automatically detect false rumors on the social media platform.
“While some have argued that Truthy could be used to better understand things like disaster communication or to assist law enforcement, instead it appears Truthy focused on examples of ‘false and misleading ideas, hate speech, and subversive propaganda’ communicated by conservative groups.”
The web service has been used to track tweets using hashtags such as #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), and was successful in getting accounts associated with conservatives suspended, according to a 2012 book co-authored by the project’s lead researcher, Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University. Read the rest of this entry »
Poll reveals Hispanics’ declining faith in Democratic Party… http://t.co/Bzf2l4rpzd
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) October 28, 2014
In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.
Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.
“Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”
The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.
Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads. Read the rest of this entry »
The NSF has already poured nearly $1 million into Truthy. To what end? Why is the federal government spending so much money on the study of your Twitter habits?
“The concept seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel.”
If you tweet your support for a candidate in the November elections, should taxpayer money be used to monitor your speech and evaluate your “partisanship’’?
My guess is that most Americans would answer those questions with a resounding no. But the federal government seems to disagree. The National Science Foundation , a federal agency whose mission is to “promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense,” is funding a project to collect and analyze your Twitter data.
The project is being developed by researchers at Indiana University, and its purported aim is to detect what they deem “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” including how memes — ideas that spread throughout pop culture — propagate. What types of social pollution are they targeting? “Political smears,” so-called “astroturfing” and other forms of “misinformation.”
“The federal government has no business spending your hard-earned money on a project to monitor political speech on Twitter.”
Named “Truthy,” after a term coined by TV host Stephen Colbert, the project claims to use a “sophisticated combination of text and data mining, social network analysis, and complex network models” to distinguish between memes that arise in an “organic manner” and those that are manipulated into being.
But there’s much more to the story. Focusing in particular on political speech, Truthy keeps track of which Twitter accounts are using hashtags such as #teaparty and #dems.
It estimates users’ “partisanship.” It invites feedback on whether specific Twitter users, such as the Drudge Report, are “truthy” or “spamming.” And it evaluates whether accounts are expressing “positive” or “negative” sentiments toward other users or memes. Read the rest of this entry »
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans. Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
For the Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reports: Talk of impeachment was cooked up by a White House desperate for something to rally Democrats ahead of November’s elections, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday, flatly ruling out any action on the controversial suggestion.
Matt Drudge doesn’t approve, apparently. Two things to note: One, Drudge is on record saying he thinks Republicans are colossally stupid. And two, Drudge benefits directly from controversy and conflict, whether its legitimate or not. But on the other hand: What kind of unbridled lawlessness, recklessness, and corruption is invited when a chief executive becomes impeachment-proof? And participates in fueling impeachment talk, to benefit from it?
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans.” Boehner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
“Even with the Democrats’ strategy this transparent and obvious, the press is still covering it uncritically.”
[See Noah Rothman’s “Washington is desperate for Republicans to impeach Obama”]
Democrats have acknowledged impeachment talk has been good for their fundraising, but also say there’s some fire behind all the smoke. On Tuesday, congressional Democrats circulated a list of GOP candidates and sitting lawmakers who have said they want to see President Obama be impeached…(read more)
Rare Drudge Interview: ‘These are very hot spicy issues here. We’re into an interesting summer here. We’re only about a week into it, I’m sensing some heat…’Posted: June 27, 2014
“It’s a little psychotic the news business because everyone’s doing everything. That still doesn’t mean there’s not important events and information coming all of the time – think of what’s just happened this year, the news has been so dynamic internationally and domestic,” the founder of the popular conservative-leaning news aggregator DrudgeReport.com said. “This is a vibrant era of media and it’s not going anytime anywhere soon.”
Drudge called himself “a heat seeking missile” that goes to where the action is…(read more) POLITICO.com
WASHINGTON — More than the gridlock in Washington, political commentator Matt Drudge is concerned with immigration and the situation at America’s border.
“I know there are big fights throughout the country,” he says. “Virginia just said, ‘No, don’t bring immigrants here from the border en masse.’ And Speaker Pelosi is going down to the border this weekend.”
Drudge, creator of drudgereport.com, gave a rare interview on Friday when he stopped by the glass-enclosed nerve center and sat down with Hillary Howard and Shawn Anderson. Read the rest of this entry »