Media Piles on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Brownface Controversy

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing a tough re-election race and it was made much more difficult after brownface and blackface photos of him at parties emerged. Trudeau received glowing praise from international (U.S.-based and other nations) media after he won the election in 2015 but has stumbled while serving in office.

Trudeau had significant name recognition during his young political career, as his father Pierre was Canada’s prime minister in the 1980s, and orchestrated a significant election night victory to propel him into the nation’s highest political office.

All the accolades have since evaporated after the corruption scandal hit his administration, in addition to the recent revelations that he wore brownface and blackface at some parties in the past.

At a party in 2001, Trudeau wore brownface while dressed as Aladdin at an “‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala,” as NBC News reported.

Trudeau was not a young teenager or college student; he would have been 29 years old at the time. He also admitted that he wore blackface once before while in college, and CNN’s Canadian affiliate obtained and then published the photo after the news broke.

CNN’s write-up of the controversy did not mention how it came soon after the Trudeau administration was accused of corruption. NBC News mentioned the scandal in its article, where Trudeau was accused of breaching ethics rules in trying to influence a legal case after the watchdog report was published. Trudeau did not apologize for the corruption accusations, according to NBC News, and he said “many people’s jobs were at stake.”

CNN should have included more context about why the controversy is making a huge stir in Canadian politics, which is that the photos surfaced after Trudeau’s administration was accused of corruption. By contrast, NBC News did an adequate job in giving such context in their article.

Photo by BC Gov Photos

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Author: Spencer Irvine


Politico Claims Trump is Waging War on California

The media has criticized President Donald Trump for his alleged war-mongering word choice and combative political strategy when handling certain left-leaning states and their policies.

Politico is the latest critic in an article headlined, “Trump’s war with California moves to new level.”

It is a blunt headline and yet it demonstrates the hypocrisy of the media when it comes to the president. The headline uses the same rhetoric which the media has blasted Trump for using: war-like wording and phrases in addition to the divisive nature of those words and phrases.

The article is unapologetic about where it stands when it comes to President Trump and left-leaning states such as California. In its first line, Politico writes, “Donald Trump wants to put the most influential state in the nation in its place.” The first line alone sheds the standard of impartiality and neutrality which should be found in media outlets and among journalists.

The premise of the Politico article is to portray the president’s policies in contrast to California, where the Trump administration federal government is often at odds with California on environmental regulation issues. The Trump administration recently told California that it could revoke the state’s power to set its own auto emissions standards, which California lawmakers and state government were unhappy with.

Politico did note, to its credit, that California is “an iconically blue state where he is wildly unpopular.”

The Trump administration also threatened to withdraw California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to set its own pollution standards, which the state said it would fight it in the courts. Politico casts doubt on whether the Trump administration would win these federal vs. state legal battles when it said, “He may not win on the policy — the courts, ultimately, will decide whether Trump’s move on auto emissions will have teeth.”

Politico’s article praises California’s environmental regulatory efforts throughout the piece and quoted multiple Democratic Party state lawmakers, without providing any rebuttal from Trump administration sources or allies.

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Author: Spencer Irvine

Onetime Media Darling Harris’s Campaign Faces Last-Ditch Effort in Iowa

The mainstream media has spent much of the 2020 presidential campaign cycle praising multiple presidential primary candidates, until the large field of candidates eventually thins out. One of the effusively praised candidates was Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a former state attorney general for California running on her record of criminal justice reform.

Harris’s background was mostly overlooked by the mainstream media during this campaign cycle, outside of a detailed Politico article on Harris’s rise from a prosecutor’s office to the U.S. Senate. The article mentioned how elitist and wealthy individuals in state politics elevated her to the Senate, but the mainstream media ignored the revelations.

Harris’s quick rise saw a jump in the polls this past March and then also after she went toe-to-toe in a July debate with former vice president Joe Biden. She criticized Biden for his past vote on busing, a segregationist tactic, and other criminal justice-related issues.

But her rise stalled once another presidential primary candidate, Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, criticized Harris’s tenure as California’s attorney general. Harris’s poll numbers have tumbled since then and it became very worrisome to the point that her campaign wrote internal memos on how to salvage her candidacy. Politico obtained one of the internal memos of the Harris campaign, which detailed her campaign’s strategy to win the New Hampshire primary and noted her “summer slump.”

Media outlets have piled the criticism since the last debate, such as PolitiFact, New York Times and FiveThirtyEight. Now, her campaign is planning a last-ditch effort to stop the downward slide in the early-primary state of Iowa.

Politico and the Daily Beast reported on Harris’s campaign’s shift in Iowa. Politico said that her August bus tour, which had 17-stops, was the last time she was in Iowa. The news outlet also reported that her campaign currently has a 65-person team in the state, but it appears that they will double the size of that team sooner rather than later. The Daily Beast informed an anonymous Democratic Party official in Iowa that Harris has not visited the state since her August bus tour, to which the official said, “Oh my God, is that true? I didn’t even notice that.”

Harris’s campaign appears to have its work cut out for it, which multiple sources and media outlets say is a steep climb to regain momentum in a presidential primary race.

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Author: Spencer Irvine

HuffPost Claims Obama Took a Swipe at President Trump

On Wednesday, HuffPost shot out a claim that former President Barack Obama took aim at President Donald Trump by stating there are two things the leader of the free world should not do.

At a tech conference, Obama said one should rely on a diverse set of opinions before making decisions and to not watch TV or read social media.

“Those are two things I would advise, if you’re our president, not to do,” Obama said. “It creates a lot of noise and clouds your judgment.”

Despite HuffPost reporter Ed Mazza putting out the story, Jon Favreau, a former Obama aide said this was not a “swipe” at Trump. By confirming this was not a swipe at Trump the former speechwriter for Obama ensured that there was no story here.

The reporter went on to state all of the Trump asides who are in legal trouble but did not mention any of Obama’s failures or legal woes during his administration, leaving the article one-sided.

During the Obama administration, there was IRS targeting scandal of conservative organizations, Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of unsecured servers, and other smaller scandals that were downplayed.

Despite this claimed “swipe,” Trump continues to see his approval rating surpass Obama, and not just on Rasmussen reports.

According to Newsweek Trump’s “[A]pproval rating on Wednesday was 44.3 percent, according to a Real Clear Politics average of more than a half-dozen major polls. That is higher than Obama’s average approval rating of 43.9 percent on September 18, 2011, by the same measure.”

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Author: Marissa Martinez

Twitter Suspends Second Amendment Support Foundation 

Last week, leaders from 150 companies called on the U.S. Senate to pass gun-control legislation to combat the American scourge of mass shooting and gun violence according to USA Today.

CEOs of major American corporations such as Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi, Lyft’s Logan Green, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edward Stack all signed a letter asking US Senators to step up because not doing anything is unacceptable.

The signed letter said, “Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable. There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence. We need our lawmakers to support common-sense gun laws that could prevent tragedies like these.”

Less than a week later and just last night, Ryan Saavedra of the DailyWire broke the news in which Twitter officially suspended “Second Amendment Foundation (SAF)” or better known by their Twitter handle, “2AFDN” from their social platform. This suspension comes on the eve of their annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

This breaking news did not capture headlines right away, as the mainstream media has largely ignored this story. At the time of this news, CNN wrote on Canadian Prime Minister’s brown face incident in the early 2000s. Fox News’ headline was on an Ex-Obama campaign staffer mounting second primary challenge to Rep. Maloney. Lastly, the New York Times wrote about Justin Trudeau’s “brownface” incident as well.

However, one organization, The Truth About Guns reported the incident and even spoke with SAF founder Alan Gottlieb.

Gottlieb said, “We’re shocked. In all our years on Twitter, our account has never been suspended and we have no idea what we allegedly did to bring this about. It’s interesting that it’s happened right before the Gun Rights Policy Conference this weekend.”

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Author: Marissa Martinez

Vice Omits Key Facts in Biased Southern Border Immigration Report

Vice News omitted key facts in biased immigration reporting about the southern U.S. border. Starting with the headline “Mexico Is Caving to Trump on Immigration,” the reporting’s positioning immediately stakes a claim against the idea that national sovereignty and borders are legitimate policies.

Vice reported how President Trump tweeted out “Incredible progress being made at the Southern Border!” along with a chart from the Mexican government showing a 92 decline in illegal immigrants staying in the United States who were traveling from Mexico. VICE then hits Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, accusing him of “an about-face” and said the Mexican government’s “crackdown would endanger migrants’ lives,” without any counter-voice suggesting prior enforcement strategies sparked greater humanitarian crises by encouraging illegal migration.

Mexico has seen a sharp uptick in immigrants from Central America en route to the United States. As mainstream media figures attack the Trump administration as being anti-immigrant and racist, VICE failed to point out that the administration’s concerns about illegal immigrants entering the country illegally are shared by a majority of the Mexican people, according to a Washington Post survey conducted in partnership with Mexico’s Reforma newspaper.

“Mexicans are deeply frustrated with immigrants after a year of heightened migration from Central America through the country, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Post and Mexico’s Reforma newspaper,” reported the Post’s  Kevin Sieff and Scott Clement. “More than 6 in 10 Mexicans say migrants are a burden on their country because they take jobs and benefits that should belong to Mexicans. A 55 percent majority supports deporting migrants who travel through Mexico to reach the United States.

“Those findings defy the perception that Mexico — a country that has sent millions of its own migrants to the United States, sending billions of dollars in remittances — is sympathetic to the surge of Central Americans. Instead, the data suggests Mexicans have turned against the migrants transiting through their own country, expressing antipathy that would be familiar to many supporters of President Trump north of the border.”

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Author: Carrie Sheffield

Conflicting Messages Put Media Between Pelosi, Nadler on Impeachment

The Democratic Party holds the majority in the House of Representatives and is aiming to retake the Senate majority in 2020, but recent infighting on the issue of impeaching President Donald Trump is threatening to divide the party fourteen months before of the 2020 elections.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) are at odds publicly and privately on whether to push impeachment proceedings forward. Pelosi has slow-walked the impeachment issue, noting that many within the party are resistant to push for impeachment, while Nadler has publicly stated that his responsibility is to work towards impeachment. Pelosi also told lawmakers and aides in a closed-door meeting, “feel free to leak this,” after she criticized Nadler’s impeachment probe.

For example, Nadler told the media that whether it is called an impeachment inquiry or impeachment investigation does not matter in legal terms. But Pelosi refused to call it an impeachment probe. Pelosi’s allies in the party, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), gave conflicting statements to CNN on the impeachment proceedings. Jeffries called it an impeachment investigation, while Hoyer said it was not an impeachment inquiry.

The mainstream media is stuck between two combating sides within the Democratic Party and does not know who to turn to for a straight answer. Instead of taking a neutral position, the mainstream media continues to run headlines and articles on impeachment to portray it as an inevitable event. However, without a clear timeline and clear directives from the Democratic Party, the media is misleading the American public into believing that all-is-well in the Democrat-majority House of Representatives.

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Author: Spencer Irvine

CNN Allegedly Mocks ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ in Publishing Article on Academic Study

CNN published an article about a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which discussed the perceived values of “thoughts and prayers” after the occurrence of a disaster. The study, entitled, “The value of thoughts and prayers,” focused on 400 North Carolina residents after the deadly storm known as Hurricane Florence in 2018.

The study asked religious and non-religious people affected by the hurricane and involved the assigning of monetary value to ‘thoughts and prayers’ from religious officials and ‘Christian strangers.” The study participants received compensation for participating in the study. 

Despite the intentions of the ‘Christian strangers’ and ‘religious officials,’ atheist and agnostic participants assigned higher values to avoiding prayers from religious people and leaders. In stark contrast, religious people assigned higher values to receiving prayers from strangers. In the words of the study’s authors, “We find that Christians value thoughts and prayers from religious strangers and priests, while atheists and agnostics are “prayer averse”—willing to pay to avoid receiving prayers. Furthermore, while indifferent to receiving thoughts from other secular people, they negatively value thoughts from Christians.”

In other words, non-religious people in the study did not view Christian prayers in a positive light.

Questions arose about why CNN ran an article on the study. For example, the cable news network’s headline read as, “Not everybody wants thoughts and prayers after a disaster, according to a study of hurricane survivors,” which some could interpret as critical of religious people’s intentions. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) mocked the network and said, “Please pray for CNN” in a tweet.

Although the article itself did not have an explicit bias, the phrasing of the article’s headline called into question of the implicit media bias at CNN against prayers from religious people.

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Author: Spencer Irvine

Media Overlooks Sanders’ Campaign Struggles in New Hampshire

The mainstream media struggles to keep up with the ever-changing political dynamics of the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary field, as front-runner and former vice president Joe Biden continues his polling dominance while Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) attempt to unseat Biden for the nomination.

Amid the political hubbub, the mainstream media and cable news networks tend to miss out on scoops that are picked up by media outlets such as Politico. Politico published an article on how Sanders’ struggles in New Hampshire could have significant repercussions for the 2020 primary.

The article, entitled, “Sanders campaign wracked by dissension,” discussed how the Sanders campaign is setting off internal alarms due to “disorganization, personality clashes and poor communication between state operations and national headquarters.” Politico noted that his campaign’s shake-up this past week and also losing the endorsement of the Working Families Party to fellow candidate Elizabeth Warren worried allies and former aides.

In the 2016 presidential campaign cycle, Sanders won the New Hampshire primary over Hillary Clinton by a 60%-38% vote, a margin of 22%. Considering Sanders would eventually lose to Clinton, it was still a significant result for Sanders’s longshot candidacy in 2016. The expectation for the 2020 primary is that Sanders wins the primary, but recent events suggest it could be slipping from Sanders’s grasp.

While Politico’s coverage is relevant and important for 2020 primary voters, the mainstream media is occupied with the impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives, where the Democrat-majority House Judiciary Committee heard the testimony of former Trump operative Corey Lewandowski, to topics such as the president’s new national security adviser.

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Author: Spencer Irvine

Media Launches Counterattack as Trump Makes Waves With California Homelessness Comments

President Donald Trump must be making headway with his talk of interceding in California’s giant and growing homelessness problem because the mainstream media has become concerned.

The Washington Post responded with two stories that essentially try to paint the president’s concerns as alternately disingenuous and cruelly preoccupied with the impact of the problem on property owners and the cities’ images.

The New York Times acknowledged that, although none of the Democrat politicians in California plan to align with Trump on homelessness or any other problem, “the shared diagnosis of California’s housing problem left many policymakers here in the deeply uncomfortable position of conceding that the Trump administration has made some fair points.”

The Post opened the newsier of its two stories – Trump: Homeless people hurt the ‘prestige’ of Los Angeles, San Francisco” by Philip Rucker and Jeff Stein – by saying the administration “has been eyeing sweeping unilateral action on homelessness … arguing that people living on the streets here have ruined the ‘prestige’ of two of the state’s most populous cities and suggesting the possibility of federal action.”

It then quickly reminded readers “It is unclear what legal authority the federal government has to clear the streets and ho that might be accomplished” and that “California is controlled by Democrats and has become a bastion of resistance to Trump’s presidency.”

It went on to say Trump “claimed” – as if it weren’t necessarily true – “that police officers here are ‘getting sick’ from dealing with homeless people. It then admitted a Los Angeles police detective has been diagnosed with typhoid fever and other officers have shown symptoms.

It presented one reaction quote in the story from the president and chief executive of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, saying, “The president’s remarks are abhorrent. He’s apparently more concerned with the doorways and streets than with the people who are homeless and sleeping on them.”

It’s all about the real estate owners – and not even the American ones, wrote Philip Rucker in the other Post piece, “Trump reveals a motivation for his anti-homelessness push: Foreign real estate tenants.”

Rucker wrote that “the mention of people experiencing homelessness might seem like something of a non sequitur, an unusual topic that had found its way into Trump’s speech,” but he offered an explanation.

“When the Post first reported on the possibility that Trump wanted to address the homelessness issue, we noted it had been something of a focus of conservative media,” Bump wrote. “Back in July, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson raised the issue of homelessness and urban decay in an interview with Trump. Then Trump inexplicably declared it was ‘a phenomena that started two years ago’ and blamed Democratic leaders.

“His answer on Tuesday makes a lot more sense. The focus of his concern, as presented to reporters on Air Force One, wasn’t Americans or veterans, but foreigners who rent or buy high-end real estate, people who get frustrated at seeing those experiencing homelessness at the entrance to their office buildings. It’s the sort of complaint that might resonate with someone who owns real estate in major U.S. cities that is used for housing or office space. Someone, in other words, like Donald Trump, whose Trump Organization owns 30 percent of what used to be known as the Bank of America tower in San Francisco.”

That’s why the Times, in “Trump and California See Same Homeless Problem, but Not the Same Solutions” by Conor Dougherty, assured readers that, despite Trump having “made some fair points,” leaders have no “intention to cooperate with the administration on a solution, given the cauldron of mistrust and mutual distaste that exists between the president and large sections of California.

“For all his talk of homelessness, Mr. Trump indicated to reporters that his sympathies rested with the taxpayers, rich immigrants and business leaders forced to wade through California’s urban detritus.”

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Author: Brian McNicoll