“Skepticism toward the media is most often associated with conservatives in Middle America, some of whom eat something other than artisanal sandwiches. But this week brings more evidence that investors worldwide have become very reluctant to buy what many established news organizations are selling. How else to explain the collective shrug of the shoulders in financial markets to the latest breathless media reports about alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia?
Such reports have dominated this week’s news as much of the professional commentariat has pondered out loud whether treason has been committed in the President’s inner circle. Yet after an ever-so-slight hiccup on Tuesday following Donald Trump Jr.’s release of emails regarding a meeting he took last June with a Russian lawyer, stocks drifted higher. Since then, investors have spent much of their time parsing the remarks of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.Reassured by her questionable suggestion that interest rates won’t have to rise very fast or very far in the years ahead, they continue to keep market indexes near record levels.
Investors in the aggregate obviously don’t believe that the republic is coming to an end, nor do they seem to expect a wrenching change in U.S. leadership. There have been similar episodes over the last several months of sharp divergence between the collective analytical judgment of journalists and that of investors. This era of reported turmoil has been marked by a striking lack of volatility in the financial markets. Stocks aren’t cheap by historical standards and corrections do happen.
Yet the world’s investors still like U.S. equities, despite constant media reports that U.S. constitutional governance is hanging in the balance. Now let’s look at the general population in the U.S. A new report from the Pew Research Center also suggests that the news media’s credibility problem reaches well beyond the hard-core MAGA crowd. A full 85% of Republicans and those who lean Republican have a negative view of the national news media. And even among Democrats and those who lean Democratic, the press corps is underwater, with 46% holding a negative view compared to 44% holding a positive one.”
Trump Strategist Steve Bannon Says Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’
– New York Times
“Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief White House strategist, laced into the American press during an interview on Wednesday evening, arguing that news organizations had been “humiliated” by an election outcome few anticipated, and repeatedly describing the media as “the opposition party” of the current administration.
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call.
“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
The scathing assessment — delivered by one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted and influential advisers, in the first days of his presidency — comes at a moment of high tension between the news media and the administration, with skirmishes over the size of Mr. Trump’s inaugural crowd and the president’s false claims that millions of illegal votes by undocumented immigrants swayed the popular vote against him.
During a call to discuss Sean M. Spicer, the president’s press secretary, Mr. Bannon ratcheted up the criticism, offering a broad indictment of the news media as biased against Mr. Trump and out of touch with the American public. That’s an argument familiar to readers of Breitbart and followers of Trump-friendly personalities like Sean Hannity.
“The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong,” Mr. Bannon said of the election, calling it “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there.”
“The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign,” Mr. Bannon said. “Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign.”
“That’s why you have no power,” Mr. Bannon added. “You were humiliated.”
Asked if he was concerned that Mr. Spicer had lost credibility with the news media, Mr. Bannon chortled. “Are you kidding me?” he said. “We think that’s a badge of honor. ‘Questioning his integrity’ — are you kidding me? The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work.”
“You’re the opposition party,” Mr. Bannon said. “Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”
NYT Editorial Board Horrified That Trump Wants To Fight ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’
– Daily Caller
“The New York Times’ editorial board took a stand Thursday against President Donald Trump’s vow to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth.
The Times’ editors worried that Trump’s approach to fighting radical Islamic terrorism — which they referred to with scare quotes — is “more likely to further inflame anti-American sentiment around the world than to make the United States safer.”
“The emerging details suggest that Mr. Trump’s plans to eradicate violent extremists are not only at odds with Mr. Obama’s; they trample on American values and international law,” they wrote.
The Times editorial found several problems with Trump’s approach, including his use of the term “radical Islam,” which the editors say is “demonizing and alienating the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims,” the fact that he is reportedly considering designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and the fact that he doesn’t plan on closing Guantanamo Bay (which Obama was unable to do despite vowing to close the prison on day one of his administration).
The editors expressed its support for Obama’s approach to fighting terrorism. Unlike Trump, Obama declined to say “radical Islamic terrorism” once during his eight years in office.
Trump has claimed the Obama administration’s politically correct approach to fighting terrorism is at least partially to blame for the slew of domestic terrorist attacks during the Obama years.”
Trump on defunding sanctuary cities: The day is over when criminal illegals can stay in our country and wreak havoc
“Great stuff from today’s speech at DHS headquarters — for both sides. For border hawks like me, Trump’s new executive orders on immigration fulfill key campaign promises — the wall, more enforcement agents, and giving the DOJ and DHS power to yank certain grants from sanctuary cities. For the left, it’s something stark to rally their base around. Eric Schneiderman, the ambitious New York Attorney General who’s investigating Trump’s charity, was out quickly this afternoon with a set of guidelines for sanctuary cities on how to resist complying with the feds.
Several mayors of sanctuary cities have already piped up to say that they won’t comply with the feds. What sort of money is on the table here? As an example, the DOJ distributed $165 million in grants to local agencies in 2015 as part of its State Criminal Alien Assistance Program. The Attorney General has discretion in deciding how that money is divvied up; if a city won’t help the feds by identifying illegals in its custody, they don’t get paid. The liberal attack line, I assume, will be that Trump is undermining his own law-and-order approach by leaving some local police forces struggling to make up the shortfall in funds. It’s on that turf that the political battle will be fought. The legal battle, of course, will be fought in court: One question, which has already been addressed by one federal circuit, is whether local police are required to hold illegals for ICE. Sessions may end up pressing that fight.
Enjoy a few minutes from today’s speech, with Trump’s rhetoric unusually forceful even by his typical standards on immigration. Note the reference to families who’ve lost relatives to crimes committed by illegals, which is of a piece with the administration’s plan to call more attention to individual crimes. Trump and his team surely realize how effective it is when they can put a human face like Kate Steinle’s to the phenomenon of violence committed by people who shouldn’t be here. The man knows media and narratives. It’s a smart way to go. One footnote in closing, though: Freezing the DACA program was not part of today’s immigration measures. The whole point of Trump’s message here is that the White House is ready to go all-in on removing criminals — and, by implication, not the otherwise law-abiding kids and college students who were brought here illegally by their parents as children. Paul Ryan went so far as to tell DREAMers in an interview tonight not to worry about their status. Stay tuned.”
Trump to publicize crimes by illegal immigrants in ‘sanctuary cities’
– New York Post
“President Trump plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants in the Big Apple and all other sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
The list will inform citizens and others about “public safety threats associated with sanctuary” cities, according to an executive order Trump signed Wednesday.
“The [Homeland Security] Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens,” the order said.
Mayor de Blasio said that New York — one of about 300 sanctuary cities across the US — would not change it’s policy in the face of Trump’s threat to withhold federal funding from cities that do not play ball with his order.
The NYPD said Wednesday the city has a list of roughly 170 criminal offenses that are not covered by the sanctuary policy, and that the department notifies the feds when illegal immigrants are charged with those crimes.
The list includes serious crimes such as felony assault, rape, murder and terrorism as well as gun smuggling and witness tampering.”