Chris Wallace calls Biden out for turning down interview request

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace, who was hailed by liberals for his tough interview of President Donald Trump, last week called out former Vice President Joe Biden for turning down an opportunity for a similar interview this week.

“In our interview last week with President Trump, he questioned whether his Democratic opponent Joe Biden could handle a similar encounter,” Wallace said Sunday. “Well, this week, we asked the Biden campaign for an interview, and they said the former vice president was not available.”

Wallace was referring to this comment from Trump on how Biden would fare in a similar situation:

“Let Biden sit through an interview like this. He’ll be on the ground crying for mommy. He’ll say, ‘Mommy, Mommy, please, take me home.’”

The Biden campaign has carefully choreographed the former veep’s public appearances to minimize the potential for gaffes  and an interview with Wallace is probably not high on their agenda given the propensity for Biden to commit gaffes.

But Wallace is undeterred by the Biden campaign’s response and said, “We’ll keep asking every week.”

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Author: Don Irvine

Global pandemic crushes finances, ratings at NPR

National Public Radio, a frequent target of conservatives for its liberal news and commentary, has been hit hard by the global pandemic as commuters have been largely forced to work from home, costing the broadcaster both listenership and sponsorship/underwriting money that makes up a large part of NPR’s budget.

Compared to the same time period in 2019, NPR lost nearly one-quarter of its audience despite the fact that ten major affiliates saw an increase in listenership including Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

Lori Kaplan, the network’s senior director of audience insights, blamed the drop on commuters that didn’t continue the same listening habits once they were confined to their homes, but that it was anticipated to some extent in an interview with NPR’s David Fokenflik.

“We anticipated these changes,” Kaplan said. “This kind of change was going to take place over the next decade. But the pandemic has shown us what our future is now.”

“We’re experiencing a sea change,” Kaplan said. “We’re not going back to the same levels of listening that we’ve experienced in the past on broadcast.”

Kaplan warned that this could alter the terrain for NPR for years to come and not in a positive way.

NPR CEO John Lansing calculated that the pandemic will result in the loss of $23 million in sponsorships putting severe pressure on the company as workers stay home.

“The first thing that I see is a situation driven by habits of consumers that are not related to the content of our programs,” Lansing said. “It’s almost entirely related to the disruption caused by the pandemic to commuting patterns both in the morning and the evenings. [Most] of us, including me, are working from home.”

Lansing has managed to negotiate pay reductions with the staff including furloughs, a near-total hiring freeze, and a temporary freeze on employer retirement contributions through Sept. 30 in exchange for job protections.

If things don’t improve quickly Lansing may have to lay off staff when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 and is projecting a deficit of between $30 million and $43 million for the upcoming year making it easily the worst in NPR’s 50-year history.

NPR has no plans to stop broadcasting, but programming may look very different from the pre-pandemic days under a more austere budget.

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Author: Don Irvine

Twitter bans major religious symbol, calling it ‘hateful’

Twitter has canceled the Star of David.

Users who display the Star of David in their profile images are finding their accounts locked and are being told by Twitter the symbols must go because they constitute “hateful imagery” in violation of its terms of service.

“You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header,” Twitter wrote in a message to users. “As a result, we have locked your account.”

Twitter released a statement that said some of the accounts were locked by mistake and “clarified that even though it didn’t consider the Star of David a hateful symbol, the ‘yellow star’ or ‘yellow badge’ have been used negatively against Jewish people on the platform,” according to Newsweek.

But the Jerusalem Post, which said it learned of this from the London-based Campaign Against Antisemitism, said the “images in question ranged from a white star of David in a graffiti style to a superimposition of the modern blue star on the flag of Israel spliced with the yellow star Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis, to a montage of yellow stars.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism had said several Twitter users contacted it in recent days to say their accounts had been locked by Twitter.

According to a study by the Anti-Defamation League, Twitter allowed 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets from 3 million unique handles in just one year – or about 81,000 per week.

The Star of David has been identified with Judaism since Medieval times and emerged as a pre-eminent symbol of the faith in the 19th century. A Star of David is imposed on the flag of Israel, the Jewish state.

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Author: Brian McNicoll

Teen Vogue pushes ridiculous claim about rent on young girls

A recent Teen Vogue article tells young girls that since “Housing is a Human Right,” the systems of rent, landlords, and even owning property are forms of violence.  

The article says that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed how the United States Government and capitalism failed to make the nation “less horrible” by missing an opportunity to give rent suspension or universal basic income, or UBI.  

While the article does not explain the concept of UBI other than affirming it as good, a 2019 piece from Business Insider described it as giving Americans a monthly check with no questions asked on what it would be spent on. The piece called UBI “a terrible idea” as it would provide a broad assistance base — since everyone receives the same benefits — rather than focusing on individuals or families who actually need help.  So it doesn’t actually bridge the income gap as middle to upper-level income Americans would receive the same as lower-income Americans.

Teen Vogue says that its push for dismissal of rent and property stems in part from their hope to abolish the police force “we must also work to dismantle what the police were put here to protect: property.

“What is more evident of the legacy of settler colonialism and its violence than the idea of the ownership of land?”    

From here, the article mentions hot-button issues for the Left, jumping from Trump on Mount Rushmore to colonization killing indigenous peoples, to wealth and white men disadvantaging the general public. It concludes saying that “We need a housing movement based on a rejection of the construct that any one person should own this earth’s land.”

This is just one of the latest radical articles Teen Vogue has published promoting ideas like communism or abolishing the police to young girls.   

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Author: Jessica Resuta

Don’t Cancel Nick Cannon. Cancel ‘Cancel Culture’

Last week TV’s Nick Cannon said obnoxiously hateful things.

Cannon described white people as “closer to animals” and “the true savages.” He said whites are “acting out of a deficiency so the only way they can act is evil.” And he had even less kind words for Jews.

Being white, Jewish, and an activist, I sprung into action.

As the president of Accuracy in Media, I help lead an army of more than 50,000 activists who revel in battling lies, corruption, bias, and hate. So, I did what any self-respecting activist would do: I found the names and email addresses of Cannon’s publicists, agents, and managers.

After drafting an action alert, I encouraged our online army to send a polite message to Nick Cannon’s representation. Within a few hours, our activists had sent thousands of emails. The next morning, CBS/Viacom announced they were cutting ties with Nick Cannon.

And I was disappointed.

When designing my action alert, I made a point not to include Nick’s network bosses or his corporate sponsors. I only included those who might have a direct influence on him. And I made it clear to our list that we did not want Nick Cannon “canceled.”

Admittedly, this surprised and disappointed some of our activists. One of them told me we should be fighting with fire. I disagree.

Those of us who believe in free speech and civil discussion should always reject “cancel culture” tactics for a wide variety of reasons.

Conservatives and libertarians do not stand to gain from normalizing cancel culture tactics. As we saw in cities throughout our nation just a few weeks ago, the Left will always be much better than us at mobilizing unruly mobs. And who among us desires to live in a society dominated by mob rule? Aren’t we sick of the divisiveness in our nation?

Our side should always stand for free expression, even if we openly oppose the ideas being expressed. And when we oppose those ideas, we should indeed speak up. In the marketplace of ideas, I am confident that hate will not win.

Now, I’m not blind. I recognize we live in a world of sinners, saints, and saveables. We should obviously befriend the saints and persuade the saveables. But rather than banning the sinners from civilized society, we should instead expose to the world what they truly believe in. Doesn’t society benefit from knowing who holds hateful beliefs and who does not?

Conservatives and libertarians should remember that we are the true descendants of the Age of Enlightenment. The age where — for the first time in human history — individual rights and individual thought were truly embraced and celebrated. One of my favorite philosophers of that era was Thomas Jefferson. I’d remind any Jefferson fan that his memorial doesn’t swear hostility against the hated British, but rather against “…every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

This is a viewpoint that used to be widely held across ideologies. Unfortunately, left-wing liberals in the mold of Bill Maher are increasingly rare. Anyone who bemoans our inability to “agree to disagree” should not employ the tactics that make disagreement impossible.

Today’s progressives descend not from the Age of Enlightenment but from a less civilized ideology — the prehistoric age of brute force. That’s why their symbol is the fist. Progressives believe everything they love should be mandated and everything they dislike should be banned. And naturally, they think it’s perfectly acceptable to use violence, intimidation, fear, and even the guns of government to advance their goals.

In the words of Nick Cannon, that makes them the true savages.

This article was originally published at ConservativeHQ.

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Author: Adam Guillette

Washington Post hides bad conclusion in story forcing tie between rise in violent crime to gun sales

The Washington Post insisted that correlation likely means causation in an article attempting to tie the rise in gun purchases to the rise in violent crime.

The article, headlined, “Spike in violent crime follows rise in gun-buying amid social upheaval,” was based entirely on the assertion that the two were inextricably linked, despite saying within the story that its “authors caution that a study of this nature cannot prove causality.” That statement was buried 14 paragraphs into explaining the association.

The piece cited two unrelated studies – one showing an increase in gun sales, and another showing an uptick in violent crime. It presented the findings as if they had already confirmed causality.

“Those are the conclusions of two studies by the Brookings Institution and the University of California at Davis, respectively,” the Post reported. “Together, they paint a portrait of a society arming itself against social upheaval during a time of institutional failure.”

Not only did the Post present a false causality, it failed to acknowledge any other potential reasons for an uptick in violent crime, despite mentioning protests and COVID-19 directly in the lead.

“Americans purchased millions more guns than usual this spring, spurred in large part by racial animosity stoked by widespread protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as anxiety over the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The article’s author, Christopher Ingraham, did not provide any evidence that gun sales were spurred by “racial animosity” beyond his own opinion.

Instead of asking whether rises in gun sales and violent crime were linked, Ingraham took two studies, shoved their data together, and reported it as a conclusion.

Other research on the spike in violent crime is readily available – CNN, NPR, ABC News and the New York Times have all reported on potential causes – which makes it appear that Ingraham and editors at the Post carefully avoided including any information that would weaken the article’s narrative.

Not being able to show causality means that they could not find any information to prove a link. But publishing a story without addressing any alternate possibilities – possibilities easily found by any of the Post’s seasoned editors, many with experience in data reporting – is a conscious choice to exclude any information that would break the association.

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Author: Caroline Lee Smith

Former NYT executive editor downplays ‘molehill‘ Weiss resignation

Former New York Times executive editor vigorously defended her the newspaper against the charges that opinion writer Bari Weiss leveled against it in a scathing resignation letter issued on Monday, calling it a “molehill” in today’s news cycle and that it doesn’t “spell a crisis” for the paper.

Abramson appeared on Outnumbered Overtime on Fox News, hosted by Harris Faulkner, to discuss Weiss’ explosive letter.

“I think that the departure of one junior-level opinion editor at The New York Times is really a molehill, compared to the mountains of news developments that you have just been talking about on your show,” said Abramson. “Her — Bari Weiss’ letter was a strong letter, certainly. And it was bound to get some reaction, but, in the scheme of things, it does not spell crisis for The New York Times.”

Continuing on Abramson lamented about the departure of editorial page editor James Bennett, whom she called a “fantastic journalist.”

She did not mention that Bennett was forced out after liberals complained about his publishing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that called for troops to be used to quell the violent protests and looting following the death of George Floyd.

Abramson also told Faulkner that the Times is “doing just fine,” and that President Donald Trump is wrong when he says that people are “fleeing” the paper.

“The truth is, it has more subscribers than ever in its history and more readers,” Abramson said. “And that’s really the measure of success, not who is coming on staff and who is departing.” Abramson did not address the claims made in Weiss’ letter.

“You know, I appreciate you wanting to compare it to what’s happening today with the NYPD top uniformed officer being attacked,” Faulkner said. “And, of course, we all know the difference between that and an employee leaving The New York Times.

“So I don’t know that we needed the lesson on that, as much as we need to understand from someone who led so many at the Times how valuable it is to have voices from everybody.”

Faulkner then asked Abramson whether the Times values the diversity of voices in its pages.

“Well, number one, I think it is happening,” Abramson said. “And before my departure, I spent an awful lot of my time as executive editor, when I would speak publicly, defending The Times from charges that it was a big supporter of the Iraq War and was carrying water for George W. Bush’s administration. So that was a kind of a ridiculous charge now. And the idea that The New York Times is edited by a cabal of left-wing journalists is just not true at all.”

“So, you think this woman is lying when she said she was bullied?” Faulkner asked.

“No. I regret, of course, if anyone is bullied. That’s terrible,” Abramson said. “But I don’t think it’s true that moderate voices are being hushed at The New York Times. Most of the opinion columnists at the Times are centrists. They are center-to-liberal.”

That led Faulkner to ask Abramson where those voices were to support Weiss.

Abramson said if she were still at the Times, she would apologize to Weiss for any bullying that may have occurred. She added that Weiss has thousands of Twitter followers and that she has “thrown some punches herself” with people she disagrees with.

“I’m not saying she’s a bully, but if you know if you’re going to dish it out, you have to be ready to take it,” Abramson said.

Photo by NYCDOT

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Author: Don Irvine

Joy Behar makes wildly false claim about Republicans

It’s long known that Joy Behar doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good rant, so it wasn’t surprising earlier this week when she uncorked a whopper on The View.

“[Republicans] have been spending the last few decades defunding education,” Behar said.

Conservatives may have wished the federal government would spend less on education, but it simply hasn’t happened. In fact, U.S. spending on education has increased 280 percent in constant dollars since 1960, according to Corey DeAngelis of the Reason Foundation and Cato Institute.

Annual per-student spending in the U.S. ranges from $23,091 in New York City to $21,974 in Washington, D.C., down to $7,179 per student in Utah, which has the highest percentage of children among its population of any state.

In 2002, the U.S. average expenditure was just short of $9,000. Now, only six states are below that figure, and 29 states are at $11,000 or above in constant dollars.

Federal spending on education totaled nearly $60 billion in fiscal 2019. Total expenditures on education  — state, federal and local – were $706 billion or $13,487 per student in constant 2017-18 dollars. That is about 40 percent more than the average member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Federal spending on K-12 education has doubled and spending on higher education has quadrupled over the last 25 years.

Federal spending has climbed in all but four years since the 1980s and jumped nearly 50 percent in the early 2000s because of No Child Left Behind.

Spending has increased in every state over the last five years with eight states increasing their spending by more than 2 percent.

It’s not Democrat-run states that have enacted the largest increases either. Among the eight at 2 percent or more are deeply red Texas, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming, as well as moderate states such as Arizona and Colorado. Of the 11 states that have increased spending by less than 1 percent, six have Democrat governors.

In short, there have been brief blips over the years in which education funding dropped from one year to the next – the federal expenditure in 2019 was 8 percent less than that of 2018 and was part of a huge spending package approved by both parties.

There have been no decades of funding cuts by Republicans or anyone else. Joy Behar is just plain wrong.

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Author: Brian McNicoll

Journalists use faulty data to dunk on Florida

CNN’s Chris Cillizza headlined a piece this week, “Can Florida’s governor admit he was wrong about coronavirus?”

The Orlando Sentinel joined him: “If coronavirus were a hurricane, it seemed to reach Category 5 status over the weekend. More than ever, Florida needs decisive, resolute guidance to get through this storm.”

But neither provided an accurate picture of the storm.

FOX 35 in Orlando found in an investigation that some labs analyzing COVID-19 tests did not report negative test results to the state. In fact, it found 22 of 35 labs in the Orlando area reported that all 100 percent of those tested were positive.

The Florida Department of Health confirmed to FOX 35 that some smaller labs have not reported negative test data and said it is working with them to improve accuracy.

But among those with 100 percent positivity rates were Lee Memorial Hospital Lab, PanCare of Florida and Advance Medical of Naples.

FOX 35 also found that Orlando Health reported a 98 percent positivity rate, but when the TV station inquired, it said the positivity rate was only 9.4 percent. Orlando’s Veterans Medical Center reported a positivity rate of 76 percent. It later was found to be 6 percent. Two other testing centers – Centra Care in Orlando and NCF in Alachua – reported positivity rates of 83 and 88 percent respectively.

The errors in reporting don’t change the fact the virus is blooming in Florida. The state experienced an increase in reported cases from 2,000 per day a month ago to more than 12,000 – the largest one-month jump by any state so far in coronavirus cases.

The positivity rate, skewed by the false reports, for the entire state jumped from 6 percent to 18 percent.

That could change public policy decisions. The lower the positivity rate, the more the increase in cases can be explained by increased testing. High positivity rates indicate people are getting sick and seeking tests.

“They’re messing with the truth,” Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) told Fox News. “They’re not allowing information that allows Americans to manage their own risk, manage their own health and make the decisions that they need to make.”

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Author: Brian McNicoll