Behind AOC-Cheney Debate is Story That Used Inflammatory Language To Attack Trump

So, are they concentration camps or not?

That was the debate this week after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted an Esquire story that dealt with the question of whether the facilities used by the Department of Homeland Security to keep illegal immigrants who make asylum claims while they wait for their cases to be heard can be referred to with the same name used for the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Dachau.

It exploded when Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, responded: “Please @AOC [Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter handle] do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s defense backfired. She tweeted in response the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of concentration camp as “a place where large numbers of people {such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under an armed guard – used especially in reference to camps created by the Nazis in World War II for the internment and persecution of Jews and other prisoners.”

Of course, the people being detained at the US-Mexico border are not being held because of their race, religion, politics or participation in a war. They are being held because they attempted to cross into the US illegally, then, when caught, made an asylum claim which meant they had to be held rather than simply released back into Mexico.

The experts Ocasio-Cortez cited were featured in the story she tweeted at the bottom of her message, which came from Esquire magazine and was entitled “An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That’s Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border” – subhead: “’Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz’” – by Jack Holmes.

Among the “experts” is Andrea Pitzer, who has written one book about the subject – “One Long Night? A Global History of Concentration Camps,” but whose training is in journalism and who has no more professional expertise in concentration camps than Holmes does. Her only other book title is “The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov.”

Pitzer has made something of a cottage industry out of writing essays assailing Trump for establishing “concentration camps” at the border, even though such facilities date back to the Clinton administration and were expanded under President Obama.

Another expert relied upon is Waitman Wade Beorn, who studies the Holocaust and other genocides at the University of Virginia. Beorn says that “what’s required is a little bit of demystification of it,” referring to use of the term. “Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed – at the most basic level – to separate one group of people from another.”

He does not mention the only group being separated at the border is those who attempted to break US law by entering the country without proper documentation.

Holmes concedes in his piece that Clinton, Obama and George W. Bush all handled the same challenges in roughly the same way, but he says the system has been “brought into extreme and perilous new territory by Donald Trump and his allies.”

He argues they are not illegal immigrants if they ask for asylum, even if they are caught sneaking across the border. “They are, in another formulation, refugees – civilian non-combatants who have not committed a crime, and who say they are fleeing violence and persecution.”

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Author: Brian McNicoll


NYT: Cities Will Be Left Behind When It Comes to Protecting From 5.6-Inch/Century Sea Level Rise

“With More Storms and Rising Seas, Which U.S. Cities Should Be Saved First?” reads the headline on Christopher Flavelle’s New York Times story.

The story broaches the possibility that global warming will be so extreme and flood conditions from rising seas so dire that the U.S. will have to wrestle with the question: “If there’s not enough money to protect every coastal community from the effects of human-caused global warming, how should we decide which ones to save first?”

It quotes a researcher from Western Carolina University saying a group of technical experts should decide which coastal communities the federal government will protect in a process modeled on the method used to close military bases – the experts make a list, and Congress votes up or down on the list to remove politics from the process.

The question has arisen “after three years of brutal flooding and hurricanes in the United States,” and after a “growing consensus around policymakers and scientists” has emerged “that coastal areas will require significant spending to ride out future storms and rising sea levels – not in decades, but now and in the very near future,” Flavelle wrote.

Then, to drive the fear higher, he added, “There is also a growing realization that some communities, even sizable ones, will be left behind.”

The Times based its story on a study from the Center for Climate Integrity, a far-left environmental advocacy group. It quotes the center’s executive director as saying, “This is the next wave of climate denial – denying the costs that we’re all facing” and it says the “new research offers a way to look at the enormity of the cost as policy makes consider how to choose winners and losers in the race to adapt to climate change.”

But it neglects to inform readers that sea levels are now predicted to rise only about 5.6 inches by 2100, which is less than they rose in the previous century.

It neglects to inform them sea ice extent in the Arctic is higher now than in 2010 or even 2018, nor that frequency of intense hurricanes has been trending downward for 50 years and continues to do so.

It lists the cities that will need to spend the most to add sea walls – in real terms and in costs per resident – and all are either on the Gulf Coast or East Coast, but it does not mention that in cities there, muddy land along the water’s edge is sinking under the weight of civilization, which exacerbates sea level trends.

It also does not explain why cities on the West Coast may claim to be threatened by global warming when it comes to suing ExxonMobil for allegedly not revealing the dangers it knew its products held for the rest of the world, but when it comes to attracting bond buyers, they downplay the threat.

For instance, the city of Oakland said in paperwork for a lawsuit against ExxonMobil that “Global warming has caused and continues to cause accelerated sea level rise in San Francisco Bay and the adjacent ocean with sever and potentially catastrophic consequences for Oakland” and that, by 2050, 100-year floods will be occurring every 2.3 years and, by 2100, once a week.

But in a statement to investors, it wrote:

“The City is unable to predict when seismic events, fires or other natural events, such as sea rise or other impacts of climate change, or flooding from a major storm, could occur, when they may occur, and, if any such events occur, whether they will have a material adverse effect on the business operations or financial condition of the City or the local economy.”

Totally sure 100-year floods will be a weekly occurrence in 2100; totally unsure if global warming-related problems such as sea level rise will occur at all.

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Author: Brian McNicoll

South Carolina Dems Bar Fox News, CNN, C-SPAN from Live Convention Coverage

In an unprecedented move, the South Carolina Democratic Party has granted MSNBC exclusive rights to broadcast their upcoming state convention and barring cable news outlets Fox News, CNN, and C-SPAN from airing any live footage of the event.

The arrangement was revealed in an email obtained by the Washington Examiner on Tuesday

“IMPORTANT: MSNBC has exclusive rights to broadcast the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Convention. Any footage of the convention taken by other outlets may not be aired live and is EMBARGOED FOR THREE HOURS after the close of the convention. This embargo includes any live-streaming from social media platforms.”

Steve Scully, C-SPAN’s political editor, told The Hill in a statement that the network is “deeply disappointed” by the decision.

“C-SPAN is deeply disappointed that the SCDP agreed to give exclusive live rights to MSNBC,” Scully said.

“We have reluctantly pulled our crew from this event and will not be able to cover it for our viewers,” he continued. “C-SPAN is in as many homes as MSNBC, would have been the only outlet to offer complete, commercial-free coverage of the speeches of 20 Democratic presidential candidates, as well as state and local Democratic officials.”

After the Examiner story broke the SCDP has been criticized for its decision from the media and political observers who see this as setting a dangerous precedent for future debates held by either party but has stood firm.

The DNC has barred Fox News from hosting any of the 2020 candidate debates which has raised the hackles of many liberal journalists.

Both Fox News and CNN filed complaints.

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Author: Don Irvine

Another Set of Easily Debunked Claims of Trump ‘Lies’ Out After Campaign Kickoff

Following the president’s campaign kickoff speech in Orlando, the Washington Post’s Salvador Rizzo offered “Fact-checking President Trump’s reelection campaign kickoff,” which featured some of the claims of Trump lies that were among the 1,400 claims of “false and misleading statements” that were debunked in Accuracy in Media’s 10,000 Lies in 10 Days series.

It continued to claim, among other things, that special counsel Robert Mueller is a “lifelong Republican,” even though Mueller lives in Virginia and thus does not register by party and has not participated in any activities that could be determined to be support for the party.

It also misleads in saying, “Mueller said he declined to reach a decision on whether to bring obstruction charges in part because of a Justice Department policy not to indict the sitting president and in part because he didn’t want to get in the way of a potential impeachment process in Congress, among other reasons.”

Attorney General William Barr said he asked Mueller on numerous occasions whether he would have charged the president with obstruction absent the Justice Department legal opinion that sitting presidents can’t be indicted, and Mueller repeatedly assured him this was not the case.

The Post took issue with Trump’s claim that his tax cuts and reforms were the largest in American history.

“This is a Bottomless Pinocchio claim, our worst rating,” Rizzo wrote. “Trump’s tax cut amounted to nearly 0.9 percent of gross domestic product, meaning it was far smaller than President Ronald Reagan’s tax cut in 1981, which was 2.89 percent of GDP. Trump’s tax cut is the eighth-largest on record – smaller eve, than two tax cuts passed under Obama.”

But as pointed out in “10,000 Lies in 10 Days,” Trump’s tax cuts were the largest in whole dollars in U.S. history, and whole dollars is a credible metric.

Rizzo attempted to take down Trump’s claim that “the U.S. auto industry, which by the way is doing great. Many, many plants are now under construction in Michigan and Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida. They hadn’t built one in decades, and now they’re all over the place.”

Rizzo’s response: “What a coincidence. These are all swing states in the 2020 presidential election, save for South Carolina. But it’s a three-Pinocchio claim.”

It’s true, Rizzo admitted, that new car plants or expansions have been announced in Ohio, Michigan and South Carolina since Trump took office. But in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, what has been announced is not new car plants but new car parts plants. To the Post, this means Trump is lying.

It also claims Trump was lying when he said, “In the eight years before I took office, on average we lost 2,000 manufacturing jobs a month. Since my inauguration, we’ve added 16,000 manufacturing jobs a month. That didn’t happen by accident.”

Rizzo’s response was that Trump was lying because he chose January 2009 – the month President Obama took office – as his baseline, and that at this point, the U.S. was “smack-dab in the middle of the longest U.S. recession since World War II.”

Rizzo says manufacturing employment began a “slow but steady recovery in April 2010, during Obama’s second year in office. That steady rate of growth has continued and accelerated under Trump.”

This is false. In June 2016, President Obama gave a speech in which he accused Trump of having a “magic wand” because manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” The U.S. had lost 31,000 manufacturing jobs from January 2016 till June of that year, and manufacturing jobs grew by 96,000 over the last 26 months of his presidency.

But the first 26 months under Trump brought 479,000 more manufacturing jobs – 399 percent more than Obama’s record.  

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Author: Brian McNicoll

CNN Panelist Says Immigration Debate is About to Threats to White Privilege

Chris Cuomo sat silently in the middle of the screen on his show Tuesday as CNN political commentator Angela Rye, unleashed a barrage of accusations against President Donald Trump, his immigration policy, and Steve Cortes, her fellow panelist.

The segment opened with Rye saying that “as a point of privilege,” she had encyclopedias as a child. She then read what she called the definition of concentration camps from her encyclopedias as an “internment center for political prisoners and members of national or minority groups who are confined for reasons of state security, exploitation or punishment, usually by executive decree or military order.”

Rye said that regardless of whether they are called concentration camps, they are “problematic.”

She then compared the immigration debate to the frog in boiling water, then said, “And what I’m saying to you today is we sat through this president calling Mexicans drug dealers and rapists at the beginning of this campaign. Today, we sat through him talking about build that wall and hurt all those chances. And we went from which rage, outrage, to disgust, to dismay, to ‘it’s a shame.’”

We are “irresponsible at this point,” she continued. “That whether we call them concentration camps or not, her point remains the right is threatened by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because she tells the truth whether they can digest it or not.”

Then, her anger rising still further, she said, “Our bottom line here is there is an inhumane crisis happening at the southern border. It is because of how these people look. It is because of differences, because there is a fear that white people are losing their power in this country. That is the bottom line. It is white fear. That is what is driving this. It is racism at its core. It is what the foundation of this country is built upon, period.”

Finally, Cuomo asked her to let Cortes respond. “That’s completely untrue,” he said. “It’s not untrue,” she shouted over him. “That might not be your perspective, but do not call what I said untrue.”

Cortes then said that, if these were American citizens being detained – as was the case in World War II when Americans of Japanese descent were forced into camps – “then I would agree with you. These are not American citizens. What the Nazis did to these citizens … drag them out of their homes, strip them of their citizenship, subject them to torture and death … “

“So you’re going to justify this by what citizenship these people have?” Rye said. “What we have now …” he attempted to respond. “That’s sick, Steve,” she said.

Cortes then said immigrants were coming “overwhelmingly for economic reasons, and we know that to be true historically and presently because the director of ICE just told us 90 percent are not showing up for their asylum hearings. They are not legitimate refugees. They are economic migrants who have decided on their own when and how they can become American citizens, and that’s not the right way … it’s not about race.”

He talked about his own father coming to America and becoming a citizen legally. “When he became an American, he didn’t suddenly become white. He was still Hispanic, but he was an American citizen. And it’s not racist or xenophobic for this country to determine the processes to become a legal American citizen.”

“I’m sorry. Let me tell you something … I don’t know when we decided that a humanitarian crisis could be defined whether or not someone was carrying a green card of whether or not someone has their papers,” she said. “But I’m going to tell you this, before we are American, we are human beings. And it is not OK … it is a damn shame what is happening at the border.”

Cortes attempted to dispute her points by quoting former President Obama.

“Oh my God,” Rye said. “You guys are like the kings of red herrings.”

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Author: Brian McNicoll

Media Throws Shade On Trump Campaign Kickoff Celebration

People started lining up Sunday in Orlando for President Donald Trump’s announcement of his 2020 campaign, and crowds of 100,000 or more could be in place – either inside the arena or outside watching on the giant screens being erected as part of #45Fest – by the time the rally starts.

But the mainstream media wants Americans to know that no matter how much enthusiasm they see on their screens, Trump is not doing well.

“Facing negative polls and internal tensions, Trump plans to launch reelection bid with Orlando rally,” reads the headline on the Washington Post piece by Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker.

“As President Trump prepares to formally launch his reelection bid Tuesday, his allies are trying to tamp down headlines that depict his campaign as trailing top Democrats, beset by withering leaks and unable to keep internal tensions from spilling into public view,” reads the lead.

Slate celebrated the decision by the editors of the Orlando Sentinel to preemptively endorse whoever runs against Trump in “Ahead of Trump Campaign Kickoff, Local Orlando Paper Offers Presidential Endorsement 17 Months Before Election” by Elliot Hannon.

CBS News ran the Associated Press story under “Trump supporters and protesters gather in Orlando ahead of campaign launch.” The story focused more on planned protests by a few thousand than the celebration of Trump by tens of thousands.

“Opponents of Mr. Trump’s reelection announcement on Tuesday are launching their protests at a nearby gay bar where a mariachi band and a drag queen will performer in what they say is a juxtaposition of the president’s policies,” the AP wrote.

The AP wrote that organizers of the opposition rally viewed Trump’s announcement as “an affront to a city with a large Puerto Rican population and a visible gay community.”

The Daily Beast headlined its story: “Trump to Kick Off 2020 Campaign in a City That Loathes Him,” with a subhead that read: “The president’s supporters were lined up outside the Amway Center more than 40 hours before his official campaign kickoff in Orlando, but street demonstrators were also preparing.”

Trump will be greeted by a “large, overflow crowd of adoring fans,” his “allies and campaign staff have pulled out all the necessary stops in their efforts to please the spectacle-minded, pageantry-obsessed president,” and he’ll be “delivering his speech in the affirming glow of his loving followers and loyalists,” wrote Asawin Suebsaeng for the Daily Beast.

But that speech will be given “in the heart of a Florida city that largely despises him.”

Orlando and surrounding Orange County are Democrat-controlled, but as Suebsaeng admitted, the rest of the area is decidedly “redder and Trumpier.”

But when Trump arrives, “he’ll also be met just a few blocks from the Amway Center by street demonstrators and a progressive opposition telling him to go to hell and get out of their city.”

NPR reported that this may be the official launch of Trump’s campaign, but he has been in campaign mode for far longer, in a story headlined: “Trump Set to Officially Launch Reelection, But Hasn’t He Been Running All Along?” by Jessica Taylor.

“The former reality TV star and real estate mogul – the first president without prior political or military experience – used an unorthodox campaign style to notch an upset win in 2016, with massive rallies to excite supporters,” Taylor wrote. “And he’s employed that same strategy, with a heavily blurred line between official duties and trying to sell his agenda muddled with outright politicking, since taking office.”

Peter Baker of the New York Times wrote that Trump’s divisiveness – it is always blamed on him – may prove his undoing. “Mr. Trump has never expanded his support beyond the people who elected him – and never really tried,” Baker wrote in “Four Years Ago Trump Was Seen as a Sideshow. Now He Is he Show.”

“He has remained focused intently on retaining the support of his base to the exclusion of reaching out to those who have opposed him. Whether by inclination or calculation, it is a strategy for a divided era when Americans are less interested in getting along.”

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Author: Brian McNicoll

Time Uses Fiji to Stir Global Warming Alarmism

Time magazine traveled to a tiny village in Fiji to attempt to prove the dangers of climate change and still came up short.

Saltwater “seeps up through the soil as far as 300 feet from Natewa Bay,” wrote Justin Worland of Time under “The Leaders of These Sinking Countries are Fighting to Stop Climate Change. Here’s What the Rest of the World Can Learn.”

“A few times a year, king tides inundate the village [of Vunidogoloa, Fiji] with knee-high waters; locals were forced to place precious possessions on tall surfaces and run for the hills.

“All the rights of the living had been lost because of climate change,” the village administrator told Time.

Fiji relocated the low-lying village five years ago at a cost of $500,000, Time reported.

“Vunidogoloa is the first place in Fiji to relocate because of the effects of climate change, but it won’t be the last.” The prime minister told the reporter he may move up to 40 more villages in the coming years to “cope with rising sea levels, which globally climbed about 7.5 inches in the 20th century and could rise three feet more by the end of the 21st, according to the UN’s climate-science arm.”

Worland does not say why a 7.5-inch increase over 100 years caused the village of Vunidogoloa to flood during king tides or whether flooding occurred 100 years ago when the ocean came 7.5 inches less onto the sand.

Multiple organizations have called into question the prediction that oceans will rise three feet by the end of this century.

The International Panel on Climate Change predicts only about a half-meter rise in sea levels through the century of the 2000s, and although some have charged its predictions may be on the low end, “there is a 95 percent probability that sea level rise will be less than one meter by 2100,” wrote Earl Ritchie, a lecturer in the Department of Construction Management at the University of Houston in Forbes magazine.

But as Marc Morano pointed out at Climate Depot, new readings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration using tide gauge data show the average global sea level rise rate is between 1.7 and 1.8 millimeters per year – or about 5.6 inches this century.

There are variations, Morano wrote, but they are tied to rates and sources of vertical land motion. Land that moves frequently, such as the coast of Alaska, could see more sea level rise; land that doesn’t move so frequently is less vulnerable.

But the secret to mainstream media coverage of global warming is to place the danger in the future when it can’t fully be disputed.

“The relocation of villages like Vunidogoloa foreshadows the existential threat a changing and unsettled climate poses to a handful of small nations,” Worland wrote. “Intense storms and flooding have pounded Fiji’s islands, leaving the country to anticipate losing assets worth 5 percent of its GDP each year, a number expected to grow in the coming decades.

“Some years will be worse: In 2016, when Tropical Cyclone Winston hit, that figure ballooned to 20 percent. The constant turbulence has imperiled industry and choked off the food supply in Fiji: Other island nations like Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands could face even worse in the coming century, scientists say, with sea-level rise threatening to wipe them off the map entirely.”

They aren’t taking this lying down, Worland wrote. “Together, these mostly poor nations with little hard power leveraged the moral force of their peril to shape the global 2015 Paris agreement,” he wrote.

“They helped inspire hundreds of billions of dollars in financial commitments for the developing world from richer countries. They spurred the creation of last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that upended the climate debate. And they helped save complex international climate talks from collapse.”

Worland doesn’t say what talks he’s referring to, but the U.S. has pulled out of the 2015 Paris agreement, and no First World power has said it will meet its emissions targets under the agreement.

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Author: Brian McNicoll

PREVIEW: Trump’s Re-Election Announcement Set for Tuesday in Florida

With a campaign war chest with more than $40 million, grassroots teams across nine regions, and a large group of volunteers across the country, the Trump campaign is ramping up for a re-election kickoff for the books.

On Tuesday in Orlando, Trump will formally announce his bid for a second term. The arena holds 20,000 supporters – folks who have requested tickets through the Republican National Committee. Supporters in Orlando have already set up tents to claim their spots outside of the Amway Center. Supporters told WFTV they arrived at 4 a.m. on Monday just to claim their spot.

The RNC remains fully behind the president, and have a combined $82 million cash on hand with the Trump campaign as of April. The party also encouraged state party affiliates to attend a program called GROW (Growing Republican Organizations to Win).

Communications director Tim Murtaugh told Politico, “In 2016, the people on the campaign like to say that they were building the airplane while it was in flight. This time, he will have a campaign that is befitting of an incumbent president of the United States.”

Murtaugh is spot on. The re-election campaign is far more organized than in 2016 and has an internal infrastructure that has allowed the boots-on-the-ground effort and fundraising to skyrocket. Despite the success of a growing economy and a campaign enjoying the perks of incumbency, the 2020 campaign team still has its work cut out.

Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC, is preparing a six-figure launch ahead of Tuesday’s re-election rally. The ads will highlight testimonials “from ordinary Americans talking about their struggles to keep up in the economy and pay for expensive medical treatments.” The ads will also run in battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

A recent poll (New Zogby Analytics) found Joe Biden taking the lead in several swing states. In Michigan, the polls showed voters disapprove of Trump by 61 percent, and in Pennsylvania at 55 percent. The two states are being heavily targeted by Biden. In 2016, Trump won both states by just a pinch against Hillary Clinton. Wins in these states in 2020 will be critical.

Florida will be a prominent state for the Trump campaign to focus on as it has always been a battleground state the GOP needs more times than not. In 2016, Florida packed 29 electoral votes and provided 37 percent of Trump’s victory margin. Unlike the first go-around, Trump now has Senator Marco Rubio is his corner and will have him as an ally with the fast-growing Hispanic vote.

Susan Wiles, the chairwoman of Trump’s 2016 Florida campaign said, “There are few states more important than Florida. To neglect would be foolish.”

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 AIM border stories, @MarissaAlisa.

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Author: Marissa Martinez

Media Obsesses Over of City Council’s Gender Makeup After Passage of Abortion Ban

On one side were those who relayed the story of Waskom, Texas – a town of 2,200 that lies 15 miles west of Shreveport, La., where the nearest abortion clinic is located – outlawing abortion in part because of fears that if Louisiana’s fetal heartbeat law takes effect, abortion providers may seek to open a clinic on the Texas side of the border to capture the business.

“Texas border town declares itself sanctuary city for the unborn: ‘Here we will no longer murder our babies,’” read the headline on Fox News.

“East Texas city council votes unanimously to ban abortions in town’s jurisdiction,” read the headline on the Fox26Houston website.

“East Texas town with no abortion clinic passes ordinance attempting to ban the procedure,” wrote the left-of-center Texas Tribune.

But for the mainstream media spin, one needed to look at the top of the Google News search page to see how major media outlets handled it. And a theme emerged.

 “’Sanctuary city for the unborn’: All-male city council in Texas town bans most abortions,” wrote USA Today.

“All-Male City Council In Texas town Votes To Ban Abortions,” read the headline on HuffPost.

“All-male Texas city council bans abortion, declares a ‘sanctuary city for the unborn,’” read the headline on Think Progress.

“Five men outlaw abortion in a Texas town, declaring a ‘sanctuary city for the unborn,’” wrote the Washington Post.

The detail was left hanging – none of the stories mentioned why it was significant that the city council of Waskom is all-male. The Post’s story, by Isaac Stanley-Becker, went a step further and identified the members as “all-male” and “all-white,” but he also never circled back to explain why the race or gender of the council members was significant.

Several of the stories mocked the council for outlawing abortion when it has no abortion clinic in town nor anyone expressing a desire to build one. But the fears are not irrational. “Supporters of the city ban are citing an article that appeared in a local paper in 1991 indicting that a crackdown in Louisiana at that time risked driving the clinic’s director out of town,” Stanley-Becker wrote.

Others focused on comments by the mayor and one of the aldermen – both of whom ultimately supported the measure – that it could bring lawsuits the city would be hard-pressed to find the resources to fight and mocked the response.

“Some residents who supported the measure weren’t concerned with the legal fees because ‘they say God will take care of them,’ according to local media,” wrote Amanda Michelle Gomez at Think Progress.

Jezebel wrote about it on its The Slot blog under the section labeled “Big Time Small-Time Dicks,” which is “explores local politicians, small-town scandals and everything else making life miserable at a local level.”

“This week, the all-male city council of Waskom, Texas, voted unanimously to outlaw abortion within city limits, exercising whatever power is apparently bestowed on a table of old white men when at least three of them are wearing checkered bottom-ups,” Frida Garza wrote for Jezebel. “The vote will turn Waskom into what they are calling a ‘sanctuary city for the unborn,’ a simply deranged set of words.”

The purpose of the ordinance, Garza wrote, “is more posturing and attempted intimidation tactic than anything else: Waskom currently has no abortion clinic to speak of. But should Louisiana’s restrictive six-week abortion ban go into effect, the five men hope that no one will come to Waskom, which is near the Louisiana border, to start a clinic that would serve as an alternative.”

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Author: Brian McNicoll

New York Times to Drop Political Cartoons After Furor Over Anti-Semitic Cartoon

The New York Times announced last week that it would no longer publish political cartoons in its international edition, after receiving widespread condemnation for publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon in April.

James Bennet, the Times’ editorial page editor, tweeted out a statement that the newspaper would officially stop publishing editorial cartoons on July 1 after more than a year of discussion.

“We plan to continue investing in forms of Opinion journalism, including visual journalism, that express nuance, complexity and strong voice from a diversity of viewpoints across all of our platforms,” Bennet said, noting that the move will bring international edition in line with the U.S. edition which doesn’t carry political cartoons.
Bennet issued the statement just hours after Patrick Chappatte, an editorial cartoonist for the Times international edition wrote in a blog post about the decision.

“Last week, my employers told me they’ll be ending in-house political cartoons as well by July,” Chappatte wrote “I’m putting down my pen, with a sigh: that’s a lot of years of work undone by a single cartoon – not even mine – that should never have run in the best newspaper of the world.”

“I’m afraid this is not just about cartoons, but about journalism and opinion in general,” he continued. “We are in a world where moralistic mobs gather on social media and rise like a storm, falling upon newsrooms in an overwhelming blow. “

The Times was heavily criticized after publishing a cartoon featuring Trump wearing a yarmulke and dark glasses walking Netanyahu, who was portrayed as a guide dog on a leash with a Star of David hanging from his collar in its international edition in late April.  The paper apologized and disciplined the editor responsible for the cartoon being published.

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Author: Don Irvine