Slate Claims Republicans Are Dragging Barron Trump’s Name Through the Hearings

It was a moment so jarring that MSNBC’s Garrett Haake called it an “unforced error” by the Democrats.

During the first of the House Judiciary Committee’s second round of impeachment hearings on Wednesday, Pamela Karlan, one of the Democrats’ witnesses, chose to use the name of the president’s son to make a political point.

Her remarks came in response to a question from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas): “What comparisons can we make between kings that the framers were afraid of, and the president’s conduct today?”

“So, kings could do no wrong because they king’s word was law,” Karlan said. “Contrary to what President Donald Trump says, Article Two does not give him the power to do anything he wants. The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he cannot make him a baron.”

But when Slate wrote about it later in the day, the blame had shifted from the leftist professor to Republicans aghast at the name of the president’s 13-year-old son being dragged into the proceedings.

“Republicans Invade Barron Trump’s Privacy, Drag Him Into Politics,” read the headline on Ashley Feinberg’s story. “Why won’t conservatives in Congress leave the boy alone?” read the subhead.

Feinberg then exonerated Karlan of any wrongdoing.

“At the House Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment-related hearing, constitutional law expert Pamela Karlan sent Republicans into a frenzy when she publicly mentioned that the president has a son by the name of Barron,” Feinberg wrote.

“The noting of the existence of the president’s youngest child came in response to a question from Sheila Jackson-Lee, who asked Karlan about comparisons “between kings that the Framers were afraid of and the president’s conduct today.”

“It is, admittedly, an awful pun that is nonetheless perfectly clear in its meaning. Most people would have forgotten the bit of wordplay entirely if it weren’t for what happened next.”

What happened next was Republicans reacted.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called the remarks a “classless move by a Democratic ‘witness.’

“Prof. Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline. And what’s worse, it’s met by laughter in the hearing room. What is being done to this country is no laughing matter.”

To this, Feinberg wrote: “While Grisham’s complaint was a little haphazard (was she mad that people were laughing at a sentence that contained the word Barron or that people were laughing at something related to impeachment?) Melania Trump’s Twitter account jumped into streamline the matter.”

She then quoted the first lady’s tweet, which said that “A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”

Feinberg then added: “The first lady firmly believes that a minor child should be kept out of politics, which is why she had no choice but to use her minor child to lash out at her husband’s political foes for the second time in his presidency.”

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Author: Brian McNicoll


HuffPost Alleges New Federal Judge Was Picked for Her Support of Brett Kavanaugh

Another pro-life federal judge confirmed, another round of mainstream media mocking of her judicial views and qualifications.

In the case of Sarah Pitlyk, who was confirmed Wednesday to become a U.S. District Court judge in Missouri, the views related to abortion and reproductive policy, and the qualifications issue was that she had been declared “unqualified” by the far-left American Bar Association.

On top of that, HuffPost charged in “Republicans Confirm Lifetime Federal Judge Opposed to Fertility Treatments” – subhead: “Sarah Pitlyk has claimed that IVF and surrogacy have ‘grave effects on society’ and lead to ‘diminished respect for motherhood’” – by Jennifer Bendery that Pitlyk was rewarded for her support of Kavanaugh during his tense confirmation battle to join the Supreme Court.

“You may be wondering, why on earth would Republicans confirm a lifetime federal judge with such extreme views who was rated unqualified by a panel of senior lawyers,” Bendery wrote. “By all appearances, and in keeping with the agenda of this White House, it is because she is a young Federalist Society member who publicly defended Kavanaugh when Republicans needed it the most. A lifetime seat on a federal court is a pretty sweet thank you present.

“It isn’t the first time Republicans have confirmed an unqualified judicial nominee after they went to bat for Kavanaugh.”

In the last sentence, Bendery linked to a story from Oct. 24, when the Senate confirmed Justin Walker to the Federal District Court bench in Kentucky. The facts were similar – Like Pitlyk, Walker had served as a clerk to Kavanaugh and defended him against what Bendery called “credible accusations by Christine Blasey Ford” that Kavanaugh assaulted her 35 years earlier when both were attending private high schools in Washington D.C.’s Maryland suburbs. And Trump had rewarded him, Bendery wrote, in a similar fashion.

Blasey Ford was unable to produce a witness who had any recollection of the events she claimed occurred, nor could she state where or when the assault took place or how she knew Kavanaugh or how she got home or why she kept this a secret for more than three decades until Kavanaugh, who had held a variety of top positions in government and the judiciary, had been appointed to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh’s clerks – as well as large groups of women who knew him from his high school days and others who knew him professionally – signed letters attesting they had never seen him engage in any conduct along the lines Blasey Ford suggested.

Bendery pointed out in both stories that the nominees had “earned a rare and embarrassing ‘not qualified’ from the American Bar Association.” In both cases, the American Bar Association, which has veered so sharply left it “could no longer be considered ‘impartial and nonpartisan,’” as David Nammo wrote in National Review in 2018, said the nominees were unqualified because they lacked trial experience – even though both clerked for a judge on the second-highest court in the land.

But Bendery made clear in her lead what her real problems were with Pitlyk.

“Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to confirm Sarah Pitlyk to a lifetime seat on a federal court, despite her extreme views on fertility treatments having ‘grave effects on society’ and her unanimous ‘not qualified’ rating from the American Bar Association,” she wrote.

Pitlyk, who was confirmed by a largely party-line vote of 49-44 – Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the only Republican to oppose her – “fits the mold of many of President Donald Trump’s court picks: young, white and a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative lawyers’ group that has served as a pipeline for judges for this White House. Most Federal Society-backed nominees also tend to have records of opposing abortion, LGBTQ rights and voting rights,” Bendery wrote.

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Author: Brian McNicoll

NowThis News’s Shows Glaring Bias in Coverage of Impeachment Hearings

Much has been made of this week’s impeachment hearing in Washington, D.C., which pitted Democrats against Republicans, in addition to the contrasting testimonies of witnesses called before Congress. The Democratic Party alleged President Donald Trump is worthy of impeachment because of his phone conversation with the Ukrainian president on investigating a Ukrainian oil company, while Republicans contended it was not an impeachable offense.

NowThis News published a recap article, headlined, “The House Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearing: A Recap,” in an attempt to summarize the hours-long hearing. Instead of providing a neutral and unbiased summary, NowThis News focused on the Democrats’ allegations and the testimonies of Democrats’ witnesses, but not the defense of the president from Republicans and the sole Republican witness.

The recap embedded several short videos of House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and his promise to impeach Trump if the committee found the president guilty of impeachment-worthy crimes, in addition to Democratic witness statements. The Democrats’ witnesses were Harvard University law professor Noah Feldman, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, and University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt. The sole Republican witness was George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.

The article quoted the three law professors who agreed with Democrats that Trump should be impeached, but it did not quote Turley’s comments on how the current impeachment process sets a potentially-terrible precedent to impeach a president over alleged and vaguely-phrased crimes or offenses. No Republican lawmaker was quoted in the article, either, which signaled NowThis News’s left-leaning and partisan bias in describing the impeachment hearing.

The lack of ideological balance, in addition to the partisanship and favoritism toward Democratic lawmakers and their witnesses in this recap article, illustrated NowThis News’s political bias and how it should tell its readers that it is a partisan news source, not an unbiased one.

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Author: Spencer Irvine

Reuters, AP and AFP Flub, Then Retract Stories on UN Report

Reuters, the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse have an enormous impact around the globe, with the news agencies’ content appearing in thousands of media outlets through syndication agreements.

Yet all three were sloppy in hastily publishing false articles about immigration that painted the Trump administration in a negative light.

“Reuters and Agence France-Presse — both news agencies trumpeted a United Nations report that accused the U.S. of keeping 100,000 children in immigration detention, then quickly scrubbed the news from their sites when they noticed the fine print: The figures date from 2015 when Obama was president,” noted The Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins. 

Reuters noted its retraction of the inaccurate article in a statement.

“A Nov. 18 story headlined ‘U.S. has world’s highest rate of children in detention -U.N. study’ is withdrawn,” Reuters wrote in a statement edited by Howard Goller. “The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015. No replacement story will be issued.”

In its correction, the AP said it would send a substitute article out.

“The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about a claim about the number of children being held in migration-related detention in the United States,” the AP stated. “The story quoted an independent expert working with the U.N. human rights office saying that over 100,000 children are currently being held. But that figure refers to the total number of U.S. child detentions for the year 2015, according to the U.N. refugee agency. A substitute version will be sent.”

The AFP followed Reuters’ route and deleted its article.

“AFP is withdrawing this story,” the agency tweeted. “The author of the report has clarified that his figures do not represent the number of children currently in migration-related US detention, but the total number of children in migration-related US detention in 2015. We will delete the story.”

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Author: Carrie Sheffield

WSJ Gets Fact-Checked by Pentagon After Publishing False Statement

In the midst of impeachment chaos inside the House of Representatives at home, and President Trump’s international visit to London for the annual NATO Summit, the Wall Street Journal has stirred controversy with an exclusive that provided a major falsehood to its subscribers.

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published a piece headlined, “Trump Administration Considers 14,000 More Troops for Mideast” which dived deep into a possibility that the Trump administration is considering an expansion of U.S. military personnel in the Middle East to counter Iran.

The Wall Street Journal authors pieced this story together based on previous statements or positions held by the Trump Administration officials such as Defense Secretary Esper’s strategy on countering China and “sending a signal of deterrence to Iran…”

The authors also highlighted freshman Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) confusion on this matter adding his tweet that read, “I look forward to hearing tomorrow in Senate Armed Services Committee why the Pentagon reportedly wants 14,000 MORE troops in the Middle East, after sending 14,000 already this year alone.”

After looping in those individuals’ thoughts and tweets into their story and pushing publish, the WSJ soon found out their exclusive was factually incorrect.

Alyssa Farah, the former Press Secretary of Vice President Pence, and current Press Secretary of the Pentagon tweeted the facts directly at the WSJ to ensure the American people and their subscribers were not mislead.

After an hour of Farah’s official tweet going live and picking up Twitter traction, the WSJ updated their story to reflect the Pentagon’s fact check by quoting the first tweet in the middle of their story.

Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs. Follow her stories, @MarissaAlisa

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Author: Marissa Martinez

BuzzFeed Echoes Julian Castro’s Comment About Media Discriminating Against Kamala Harris

As the Democratic Party presidential primary winnows its primary field of candidates, several months ahead of next year’s primaries, candidates have blamed a multitude of factors for the end of their presidential ambitions.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) dropped out of the presidential primary this week and blamed lack of fundraising for the end of her campaign before the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.

However, fellow primary candidate Julian Castro told the press that the media’s treatment of the Harris campaign was to blame for her campaign woes. BuzzFeed appeared to agree with Castro’s opinion in their article, headlined, “Julian Castro Said Kamala Harris’s Campaign Suffered Because The Media Holds Candidates of Color To Different Standards.”

Castro claimed that the media “held her to a different standard, a double standard, to other campaigns.”

BuzzFeed quoted Castro’s conversation with the media about Harris’s campaign and did not offer any counter-argument, based on the questions BuzzFeed asked Castro.

But neither Castro nor BuzzFeed addressed that Harris’s campaign was in disarray from the beginning, with competing voices and opinions on how to address key primary platforms such as Medicare for All and criminal justice reform.

Harris’s own missteps, such as failing to answer criticism about her record as a state prosecutor in California, her lack of fundraising, and her campaign’s flip-flopping on Medicare for All, most likely contributed to the end of her campaign. None of these factors made it into the BuzzFeed article, which would have been important to add context to why Harris ended her campaign.

Instead, BuzzFeed published Castro’s comments without context and left the reader with the belief that the Democratic Party primary system and the media’s treatment of Harris ultimately doomed her presidential campaign. BuzzFeed should have acknowledged the multiple factors that led to Harris’s withdrawal from the primary and not solely report on Castro’s comments.

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Author: Spencer Irvine

Democrat Intel Chairman Schiff Shifts Public Impeachment Opinion

Earlier this week, Democrats of the House Intelligence Committee voted to approve Chairman Adam Schiff’s 300-page report in which found that “testimony from these witnesses produced overwhelming and clear evidence of President Trump’s misconduct,.”

This final report and formal vote inside the committee gives a clear pathway into impeachment proceedings against the president. Although the report excludes direct language prompting for the execution of the third presidential impeachment in US history, it does allow for the next step to occur, hearings inside the Democrat lead House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler.

After the report was formalized and released to the public, Rep. Adam Schiff held a press conference outlining the political process and answering questions.

During the press conference a member of the media asked Rep. Schiff, “Mr. Chairman, just to be clear, it sure sounds like you support impeaching the president, do you support impeaching and the senate removing him from office?” which can be heard in the NowThis Politics Facebook video at the 46 minute marker.

The California Democrat is heard responding at the podium with, “I’m going to reserve any kind of a public judgment on that until I have a chance to consult with my colleagues, with our leadership, and I think this really needs to be a decision that we all make as a body…” 

According to a recent CNN article, the authors quote the same response from Schiff as his response as his answer to a question “if there was evidence for impeachment,” which is factually incorrect.

Upon further investigation, Rep. Adam Schiff gave a very different response at the podium this week than he did in mid-November at California’s Democratic Party convention. While speaking to the convention goers he slammed President Trump by saying, “We are more than a resistance now, we are a majority, we are a majority in one house and we will become a majority in the other, and we will send that charlatan in the White House back to the golden throne he came from.”

Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs. Follow her stories, @MarissaAlisa.

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Author: Marissa Martinez

Vice News Employees Face Consequences of Glamorizing Drug Culture

Vice News holds tremendous cachet with millions of monthly readers and listeners — predominantly young men — each month around the world.

But the drug culture it glamorizes in its content has spilled over into the real world with the arrest of a then-Vice editor for alleged cocaine smuggling.

“In December 2015, five young people were arrested in Australia during a botched drug trafficking attempt,” wrote The Ringer’s Kate Knibbs. “In September 2019, their handler Yaroslav Pastukhov—a onetime Vice Canada editor known as Slava P.—pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine. Slava admits his involvement in the scheme, and expects to serve time in prison.”

Slava P., whose real name is, Yaroslav Pastukhov, reportedly started cocaine running while working for Vice Media’s music vertical, Noisey.

“After dabbling in humor writing and stand-up comedy, Slava got his first big break writing for Noisey in his early 20s,” Knibbs reported. “He saw journalism as a means to an end. ‘I just wanted to talk to rappers,’ Slava reminisced. ‘Being an editor sucks.’ … He looked like a Vice Bro, big and brash, and he embraced the cocaine-logic attitude that defined the company’s early years. He had a modest salary—slightly more than 30,000 U.S. dollars per year—so he’d expense ride shares to galleries to guzzle the free drinks, using Vice’s cultural capital to compensate for paltry wages.”

Vice’s embracing of drug culture, making it cool and mainstream, caught up with Pastukhov.

“Slava admits that he helped organize a botched December 2015 drug trafficking attempt, in which four young Canadians and one young American were arrested at the airport in Sydney, Australia while carrying 39.76 kilograms of cocaine wrapped into bricks and hidden in the lining of their Samsonite luggage,” Knibbs wrote. “

Jordan Gardner, Kutiba Senusi, Robert Wang, Nathaniel Carty, and Porscha Wade were caught almost immediately. The street value of the drugs in all the luggage between them was an estimated 22.67 million Australian dollars (about 15.4 million U.S. dollars).”

Photo courtesy HBO

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Author: Carrie Sheffield

Barr Just Running Interference For Trump With Comments on DOJ-IG Report, MSM Says

No one has seen the report from the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz yet – it is due out next week.

But already the mainstream media says it exonerates the FBI of any wrongdoing with regard to its investigation of President Trump and dropping of investigations into wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton … and that Attorney General William Barr is playing politics by pointing out privately – no one is on the record about this – that Horowitz’ conclusions may not be complete.

“Barr Still Sides With Trump’s FBI Conspiracy Claims, Despite Independent Probe Indicating Otherwise,” wrote Slate on top of Elliot Hannon’s story.

“Barr Is Said to Doubt Inspector General’s Findings on Russia Inquiry” – subhead: “If the attorney general rebuts the finding that the FBI had sufficient cause to open the investigation, the president’s allies could use his skepticism to dismiss the entire report,” the New York Times wrote atop its story by Katie Benner and Michael S. Schmidt.

“Barr disputes key inspector general finding about FBI’s Russia investigation,” wrote the Washington Post on its story by Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian.

The Daily Beast rewrote the Post story under the headline: “AG Bill Barr To Dispute DOJ Inspector General’s Finding That Russia Probe Was Justified,” and added a red stamp on the top of the copy that reads: “NOPE.”

The Post reports that Barr has told associates Horowitz does not have enough information to definitively conclude the counterintelligence investigation opened on Trump’s claim was adequately predicated and that information from the CIA and other agencies would alter Horowitz’ conclusions.

Slate recounts this, then says confidently “The FBI probe was triggered by then-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos comments that the Russians possessed hacked Hillary Clinton emails.” This notion is believed to be at the center of the investigation Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut are conducting into the origins of the investigation into the Trump campaign.

Papadopoulos has written a book that says this is not the case and that he was targeted by western intelligence services on behalf of the Obama CIA and that Durham’s investigation will shed further light on this.

Hannon of Slate writes that it doesn’t take much information for the FBI to open an investigation, as Lisa Page testified last year. But then he turns his focus to Barr.

“What we do know is that since  taking over at the DOJ, Barr has taken an expansive and permissive view of the president’s executive authority to do just about whatever he pleases and has also voiced skepticism of he rationale behind the FBI’s decision to open a probe into Russian approaches to the Trump campaign that ultimately led to the Mueller investigation and report,” Hannon wrote.

“It’s important to remember that the Trump World claim that everyone is biased against the president, and therefore nothing said against him is ever valid, is a foundational idea of the Trump presidency – and, more importantly, the Trump 2020 campaign. If there was no conspiracy, there is no justification to continue Barr’s personal push to investigate the investigators that has manifested itself in the simultaneous Durham investigation.

“The inspector general report, according to [the New York] Times is ‘expected to sharply criticize the FBI’s top leaders” but ultimately conclude that ‘the FBI violated no rules.’ That, however, is an unacceptable conclusion to Trump, who, more than ever, needs the Durham investigation to continue to make the FBI seem nefarious and all investigations unserious and untrustworthy.”

The New York Times told its readers the report “is expected to contradict some of the unfounded theories about the 2016 election that the president and his allies have promoted.”

It then attempted to cast doubt on Barr and the Durham investigation pre-emptively. “Mr. Barr’s doubts are significant because they could be perceived as the nation’s top law enforcement officer siding with Mr. Trump, who has long cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Russia investigation.”

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Author: Brian McNicoll

Bloomberg News Editor Shows Blatant Hypocrisy

Late last month, New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg announced his candidacy for President of the United States, expanding the primary field to 18 Democratic hopefuls.

Just after Bloomberg’s announcement and entrance into the 2020 race, CNBC reported Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait outlined steps designed to steer the billionaire’s own news organization away from investigating their owner. Micklethwait said, “We will continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation) and we will extend that same policy to his rivals in the Democratic primaries.”

With a very broad and public effort to conceal their leader’s life while he steps away to run for another elected office within his career, Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief noted they would “continue to investigate the Trump administration” according to the Washington Post.

After realizing the one-sided, hypocritical endeavor set out by Bloomberg News, Time reported “President Donald Trump’s campaign said on Monday it will no longer give credentials to Bloomberg News reporters to cover campaign events because of coverage “biases,.”

Upon hearing that decision, Bloomberg News editor hit back, “The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth. We have covered Donald Trump fairly & in an unbiased way since he became a candidate.. and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”

However, Trump, who is now serving as the incumbent Republican candidate in 2020, has not been treated fairly by Bloomberg News as recent as last month when Bloomberg announced he would run to unseat him.

In early November, Bloomberg News wrote an article describing Trump rallies in Kentucky and Louisiana with hopes to hold onto and gain governorships within each state. The author is quick to highlight the White House’s strategy in combating impeachment, as well as discussing President Trump’s “opportunities to flex his political muscles with only minimal risk” in Republican states without any verification.

Furthermore, within the same article published early last month, the author stated, “Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, complained at the rally that ‘Congress needs to step up and have equal courage to defend the president.’” However, listening back to Sen. Rand Paul’s message on the evening of the rally, it doesn’t sound like a complaint. 

Lastly, Bloomberg News described the House impeachment rules vote on October 31 to be “most along partisan lines, to begin public hearings into what Democrats say is Trump’s abuse of power in Ukraine.” The article failed to note Speaker Pelosi had two of her democrat colleagues vote against party lines when voting on impeachment rules that day.

Trump was also quick to fire back at Bloomberg News and the New York billionaire himself to his Twitter audience earlier this week. 

Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs. Follow her stories, @MarissaAlisa.

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Author: Marissa Martinez