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Michael Wolff: Trump Win Exposes Media’s Smug Failures

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Ads don’t work, polls don’t work, celebrities don’t work, media endorsements don’t work and ground games don’t work.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The media turned itself into the opposition and, accordingly, was voted down as the new political reality emerged: Ads don’t work, polls don’t work, celebrities don’t work, media endorsements don’t work, ground games don’t work.

Not only did the media get almost everything about this presidential election wrong, but it became the central issue, or the stand-in for all those issues, that the great new American Trump Party voted against.

The transmutation of political identities has arguably devolved into two parties: the Trump one, the angry retro people, and the Media Party, representing the smug modern people, each anathema to and uncomprehending of the other. Certainly, there was no moment in the campaign where the Media Party did not see itself as a virtuous and, most often, determinative factor in the race. Given this, the chants of “CNN sucks” at Trump rallies should not have been entirely surprising.

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But they were. The media took this as a comment about press freedom rather than its own failure to read the zeitgeist. In fact, it largely failed to tell any story other than its own…

It all washed away. Beyonce. The tax returns. The theoretical blue wall. Trump as sexual predator. Putin. His shambolic debate performances. Hispanics. Indeed, every aspect of the media narrative, dust. This narrative not only did not diminish him, it fortified him. The criticism of Trump defined the people who were criticizing him, reliably giving the counter-puncher something to punch. It was a juicy target. The Media Party not only fashioned the takedown narrative and demanded a special sort of allegiance to it — Twitter serving as the orthodoxy echo chamber — but, suspending most ordinary conflict rules, according to the Center for Public Integrity, gave lots of cash to Hillary. The media turned itself into the opposition and, accordingly, was voted down… Read the rest of this entry »

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Paul Krugman Says Markets Will ‘Never’ Recover From Trump; Dow Hits Record High

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‘When will markets recover? Never.’

Blake Neff reports: New York Times opinion writer and economist Paul Krugman predicted early Wednesday morning that the stock market will “never” recover from Donald Trump’s presidential victory, only to be proven spectacularly wrong in less than a day. Instead of collapsing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to an all-time high shortly before the closing bell.

“It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover? If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

Futures markets imploded Tuesday night as soon as it became apparent Trump was likely to win. At their nadir, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 750 points.

“We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.”

— Paul Krugman

At that point, Krugman chose to release a blog post in which he predicted these jitters represented a new permanent reality in the U.S. economy. Read the rest of this entry »


Fear & Loathing: S&P 500’s 9-Day Losing Streak Longest Since December 1980

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The S&P 500 index finished lower on Friday for the ninth-straight session, its longest stretch of declines since December 1980. Stocks rose after the open as investors digested a strong report on October jobs growth. But they soon erased their gains as uncertainty surrounding next week’s presidential election rattled markets.

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The S&P 500 SPX, -0.17% fell 3.44 points, or 0.2%, to 2,085.22, with consumer staples shares seeing the largest drop. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 41.84 points, or 0.2%, to 17,888.83, with Procter & Gamble Company PG, -1.76% and Travelers Companies Inc. TRV, -0.99% emerging as the biggest losers on the blue-chip gauge. Read the rest of this entry »


Verizon Agrees to Buy AOL for $4.4 Billion

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Wireless giant gets ad technology for mobile video; AOL Chief Tim Armstrong to remain

Mike Shields And Thomas Gryta report: Verizon Communications Inc. agreed to buy AOL Inc. in a $4.4 billion deal aimed at advancing the telecom giant’s growth ambitions in mobile video and advertising.

“Certainly the subscription business and the content businesses are very noteworthy. For us, the principal interest was around the ad tech platform.”

— Verizon’s president of operations, John Stratton,

The all-cash deal values AOL at $50 a share, a 23% premium over the company’s three-month volume-weighted average price. AOL shares rose 18% in morning trading to $50.18. Verizon shares fell 1.7% to $48.98.

The acquisition would give Verizon, which has set its sights on entering the crowded online video marketplace, access to advanced technology AOL has developed for selling ads and delivering high-quality Web video.

“Certainly the subscription business and the content businesses are very noteworthy. For us, the principal interest was around the ad tech platform,” said Verizon’s president of operations, John Stratton, at a Jefferies investor conference early Tuesday.

Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin, left, and America Online CEO Steve Case give a high-five after announcing that AOL was acquiring Time Warner in 2000. Photo: Chris Hondros/Newsmakers/Getty Images

Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin, left, and America Online CEO Steve Case give a high-five after announcing that AOL was acquiring Time Warner in 2000. Photo: Chris Hondros/Newsmakers/Getty Images

The U.S. wireless business has matured in recent years, leaving carriers like Verizon, AT&T Inc. and Sprint Corp. increasingly fighting to steal market share from one another. Offering digital video-over-wireless connections represents a growth avenue in coming years for Verizon, which last year brought in $127 billion in revenue and profit of $12 billion. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: MERGER DEAD: Comcast + Time Warner Cable Mega-Merger Doomed After FCC Issues Dreaded ‘Death Sentence’

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Internet users ‘can breathe sigh of relief’ as FCC calls for lengthy hearing, reportedly scuttling proposed mega-deal between top two US cable companies

The controversial merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable appears to be dead after the top regulator in the United States recommended handing over the deal to a lengthy hearing by an administrative law judge.

“The reason this is essentially a ‘death sentence’ is that it’s a multi-year process.”

The blockbuster combination of the two top cable companies in the US was already threatened by a widely reported decision from the Department of Justice to block the merger on antitrust grounds.

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On Thursday, in the face of a threat from the staff of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)Bloomberg reported that the deal is doomed.

Citing “people with knowledge of the matter”, the business news service said Comcast could decide whether to walk away from its proposed Time Warner Cable takeover as soon as Thursday, with an announcement on Friday.

“Designating the deal for a hearing would make Comcast and Time Warner Cable go through a lengthy evidentiary procedure. That’s a very high hurdle to clear in its own right, and a huge barrier to overcome for a disastrous deal like this one, which has no real public interest benefits to show.”

A spokeswoman for Comcast said the company had no comment on the report of the merger’s dissolution.

The two telecommunications giants proposed to create a single operator that would have controlled up to two-thirds of US internet connections and provided cable television to more that a quarter of the American market.

“The reason this is essentially a ‘death sentence’ is that it’s a multi-year process,” explained Rich Greenfield, an analyst at the research firm BTIG.

An FCC hearing under its rigorous judicial process, he said, “would involve senior Comcast executives taking the stand, and it’s very hard to imagine Comcast fighting a multi-year battle with the government. Even if they won that, it sounds like the Department of Justice is waiting to sue, so then you’d have to go to war with the DoJ.”

Rather than face a lengthy legal battle on two different fronts, the easiest way forward for Comcast appears to be to scuttle the merger entirely.

A reverse termination fee, or breakup fee, is usually a consolation prize for the smaller partner in a merger, paid by the larger partner if such a mega-deal fails – in Comcast’s case, probably about $1.35bn. Time Warner agreed to waive that fee last year.

From the moment the Comcast-Time Warner deal was proposed, critics questioned the possible consumer benefit from a merger that created a company with such a large share across multiple markets.

Others pointed to Comcast’s moves during its most recent huge merger, with NBCUniversal, in particular its record on providing broadband to low-income households in markets like its hometown of Philadelphia, as it had promised to do. Comcast was responding to those charges as recently as Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »


CNN Reporter Posts Video of Her Exit

‘A lot of folks are worried’ about their jobs, CNN reporter Lisa Dejardins says in farewell clip

For Variety reports: Former CNN Capitol Hill reporter Lisa Dejardins posted a video of her final sign off from CNN on Thursday as she prepared to leave the building after being laid off.gpoa-stamp

Dejardins, a reporter for CNN.com who was not an on-air personality, compares the mass goodbye emails from laid off CNN employees to the personal ones, finding a wide discrepancy in the general tone and niceness between the two, and expresses her disappointment CNN’s decision to get rid of a congressional reporter given the bipartisan struggle in the Capitol.

However, CNN is in the midst of expanding its digital staff in Washington, D.C. as it prepares for the 2016 presidential race. The news giant recently recruited Politico alum Rachel Smolkin as executive editor for politics to spearhead an elaborate digital initiative out of D.C. Dejardins’ departure was part of a restructuring of CNN’s Washington bureau and not part of the buyout offer. Read the rest of this entry »


How Comcast Bought the Democratic Party

For the Washington Free Beacon writes: The communications giant Comcast announced in February that it would buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, Obama-Cohencreating the largest cable provider in America, with more than 33 million customers. That is about one third of the U.S. cable and satellite television market. FCC approval is required for the merger to go into effect. Critics of the deal say it would lessen competition and lead to even shoddier customer service. They are probably right, as all of us will soon find out, because there is little chance the merger will be stopped. Comcast, Time Warner, and their political fixers have spent years preparing for this moment—by buying off the Democratic Party.

” In a media environment that already tilts leftward, the NBC networks, which Comcast owns, distinguish themselves as especially pro-Obama.”

Comcast, which employs more than 100 lobbyists, spent almost $19 million last year on lobbying activities. Its president and CEO, Brian L. Roberts, is a golf buddy of President Obama’s, and a Democratic donor who has contributed thousands of dollars not only to the president’s campaigns, but also to the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the DNC Services Corporation, and to Steny Hoyer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bob Casey.

“Comcast has one channel, MSNBC, which is almost entirely devoted to furthering the president’s agenda and the broader priorities of the American progressive movement.”

Roberts’ executive vice president, David Cohen, is a former aide to Democratic bigwig Ed Rendell. Cohen skirts lobbying regulations through loopholes, has raised more than $2 million for Obama since 2007, and in 2011 hosted a DNC fundraiser at which the president called him “friend.” Cohen has visited the White House 14 times since 2010, including two visits to the Oval Office. He attended the recent dinner for President Hollande of France.

Read the rest of this entry »


Corporate Donor List Revealed: Who Funds the Far Left? You’ll Be Surprised

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Reminder: large corporations are not, in general, supporters of free enterprise

John Hinderaker writes: The Center for American Progress is a left-wing organization that is closely associated with the Obama administration. Its principal product is a web site called Think Progress. Think Progress is part of the internet cesspool that modern liberalism has become. Written by hack left-wing bloggers, it is bitterly hostile to free enterprise. It is a low-rent site that traffics in the most absurd smears and conspiracy theories. Many have wondered for some years who finances far-left web sites like Think Progress. As of today, we know at least part of the answer, as CAP released its corporate donor list for the first time.

CAP says that individuals and foundations account for more than 90% of its funding, and corporations only around 6%. It would be interesting to see the individual and foundation donor list; my guess is that left-wing foundations, most of which spend money left by dead conservatives, would loom large. But what corporations fund Think Progress’s anti-free enterprise propaganda? The full list is here; it includes:

Read the rest of this entry »