Labels, Subtext & Dog Whistles: The Rise of Right Wing Hate

Rise of Right Wing Hate

Anyone who’s been online – on social media in particular – over the last couple of years can attest to the fact that hate speech is evolving to the point that it’s often hard to keep up with what constitutes “trolling” and what is honest-to-goodness harassment and hatred. In fact, this blurring of lines has become so complicated, experts have […]

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Fake News & The Trump Administration: How The Big Lie Works

Trump

Most of us have heard the famous quote by Hitler henchman Joseph Goebbles, who said  “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” The importance of repetition to this formula has been confirmed by a recent study conducted by three scholars at Yale–a psychologist, an economist and a professor of management. They […]

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About That Echo Chamber: Combatting Bots, Propaganda & Fake News

One of the thorniest problems bedeviling our unraveling democracy is the distortion of reality–intentional and unintentional– provided via the Internet. That distortion is immensely aided by our tendency to live in echo chambers populated by friends who think like we do. Most of us trust links from friends – a vulnerability exploited by phishing sites and other forms of online […]

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Liar Liar: Trump’s G7 Environment Statements

Trump at the G7

There are lies, and then there are lies that make sentient humans do a double-take. Anyone who follows the news knows that Donald Trump lies routinely. What makes his constant prevarications different from the spin (and worse) engaged in by more stable political figures is how pathetically inartful they are (you really have to want to believe them, in which case it […]

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Tyranny in the Making: Trump’s Threats Against James Comey

Donald Trump threatened James Comey on Twitter with "tapes"

On Twitter this morning Donald Trump issued threats against former FBI Director James Comey warning him against speaking publicly about their private conversations. The Twitter rant stands out as a stark reminder that Trump liberally uses threats to silence what he views as opposition to his agenda or disloyalty to his cause. The primary tweet – sent three days after […]

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Lies: Trump Admits Comey Narrative False; Takes Credit for Firing

Donald Trump and James Comey spar over the Russia investigation

Despite the White House’s best efforts to control the narrative around the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, Donald Trump admitted yesterday he would have fired him regardless of the contents of the memo sent from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Up until that point, Trump surrogates (including White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, […]

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Spicer’s Post-Yates Flynn Explanation Makes No Sense

Sally Yates, Sean Spicer and Michael Flynn

Throughout his daily briefing today, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer went to great lengths to portray Sally Yates as a partisan that couldn’t be trusted. Moreover, despite adding information to the Michael Flynn timeline, Spicer couldn’t legitimately account for at least 11 days between when the White House allegedly reviewed evidence of Flynn’s lies and problematic “underlying conduct” and when Flynn resigned from his position as […]

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Network Ad Refusal: Trump Has No Clue How Free Speech Works

The Trump 2020 campaign ad calling mSM fake news was rejected by several networks - but that does not make it a free speech or First Amendment issue

In a statement released by the Trump 2020 campaign this afternoon, Donald Trump argued that media outlets’ ongoing refusal to accept his “First 100 Days” self-congratulatory ad infringes on his First Amendment free speech rights. In reality, privately-owned media companies are under no legal obligation to accept political advertisements. Moreover, the First Amendment’s free speech provisions apply only to government censorship of speech. […]

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Army Secretary Nominee Mark Green Angry Over “Liberal Left” Criticisms

Mark Green

In a post to his Facebook page, Trump Army Secretary Nominee Mark Green lashed out at the “liberal left” for quoting his previous anti-LGBTQ comments verbatim. Arguing that they “cut and spliced my words about terrorism and ISIS blatantly falsifying what I’ve said,” Green presented a laundry list of contentions that run counter to his earlier on-record statements. In his post, Green argued: […]

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