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What Trumps rally in NJ means to the political landscape. On to Maryland, Virginia, and yes Delaware.

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What Trumps rally in NJ means to the political landscape. On to Maryland, Virginia, and yes Delaware. So what happens next? I have to believe that this Beach rally has the left scared big time.

Trump needs to hit Virginia Beach, Ocean City Maryland, and even Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Rallies in those areas would bring in folks from border states like NY, and PA. in the east, plus your southern states. It forces Biden to spend money in areas where he normally would not.

The 45th president added that New Jersey and Virginia are also in play as he looks to defeat Democrat President Joe Biden in a highly anticipated rematch of the 2020 general election.

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Back Door Power Grab Biden Biden Cartel Censorship Columbian Justice. Commentary Corruption Elections Free Speech Government Overreach Links from other news sources.

6 Big items from Trump’s Trial.

Views: 19

6 Big items from Trump’s Trial. Newsmax has a nice list of 6 items that all should know about. To me it’s obvious that the Judge thinks he’s still back in Bogota. List is below.

1. Stormy Daniels May Have Auditioned for Apprentice

2. Pecker Said ‘Catch-and-Kill’ Stories Happened All the Time

3. Judge Juan Merchan’s Gag Order Lives On

4. We Still Don’t Know the Crime

5. Trump Is Accused of a Non-Crime

6. They’re Skirting the Constitution to Get Trump

“In order to get to where we are today, the state had to take a minor misdemeanor election filing, with statements that may have been untrue in corporate forms, which was long ago expired under the statute of limitations, and then try to turn it into a state felony by invoking a federal statute which they don’t even name, which they have no jurisdiction over,” Dershowitz told “Newsline.”

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White Progressive Supremacist worked for Democrat Congressman in the past.

Views: 34

White Progressive Supremacist worked for Democrat Congressman in the past. Maxwell Azzarello, the man who died after setting himself on fire while former President Trump’s hush money trial was taking place, once worked for the Democrat congressman who flipped Rep. George Santos’s seat blue, according to online records.

The Congressman claims to not have spoken to Max (how the congressman refers to someone he hasn’t supposedly spoken to in years. The Congressman’s own words about this loon.

“Max Azzarello worked on my campaign for Nassau County Executive in 2013 as part of the field staff,” Suozzi said.

“Even though I haven’t seen or talked to Max since then I recall him being very kind, smart and hardworking. It is tragic that he has succumbed to his injuries and I am keeping Max and his family in my prayers.”

 

 

 

 

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Stories we sometimes miss. Exposed: Moderna’s Vaccine Against Vaccine Dissent.

Views: 19

Stories we sometimes miss. Exposed: Moderna’s Vaccine Against Vaccine Dissent.

Lee Fang, RealClearInvestigations & LeeFang.com

Finances at the vaccine manufacturer Moderna began to fall almost as quickly as they had risen, as most Americans resisted getting yet another COVID booster shot. The pharmaceutical company, whose pioneering mRNA vaccine had turned it from small startup to biotech giant worth more than $100 billion in just a few years, reported a third-quarter loss last year of $3.6 billion.

LinkedIn
Arpa Garay, Moderna: “It really is a vaccine that’s relevant across all age groups,” she insisted.

In a September call aimed at shoring up investors, Moderna’s thenchief commercial officer, Arpa Garay, attributed some of the hesitancy pummeling Moderna’s numbers to uninformed vaccine skeptics. “Despite some misinformation,” Garay said, COVID-19 still drove significant hospitalizations. “It really is a vaccine that’s relevant across all age groups,” she insisted.

To get past the “misinformation” and convince the public to take continual booster shots, Garay briefly noted that Moderna was “delving down” on ways to partner “across the ecosystem to make sure consumers are educated on the need for the vaccine.”

What Garay hinted at during the call, but didn’t disclose, was that Moderna already had a sprawling media operation in place aimed at identifying and responding to critics of vaccine policy and the drug industry. A series of internal company reports and communications reviewed by RealClearInvestigations show that Moderna has worked with former law enforcement and public health officials and a drug industry-funded non-governmental organization called The Public Good Projects (PGP) to confront the “root cause of vaccine hesitancy” by rapidly identifying and “shutting down misinformation.”

Part of this effort includes providing talking points to some 45,000 healthcare professionals “on how to respond when vaccine misinformation goes mainstream.” PGP and Moderna have created a new partnership, called the “Infodemic Training Program,” to prepare health care workers to respond to alleged vaccine-related misinformation.

The company has also used artificial intelligence to monitor millions of global online conversations to shape the contours of vaccine-related discussion. The internal files — shorthanded here as the Moderna Reports — show high-profile vaccine critics were closely monitored, particularly skeptics in independent media, including Michael Shellenberger, Russell Brand, and Alex Berenson. PGP, which was funded by a $1,275,000 donation from the Biotechnology and Innovation Organization, a lobby group representing Pfizer and Moderna, has identified alleged vaccine misinformation and helped facilitate the removal of content from Twitter, among other social media platforms, throughout 2021 and 2022.

rocketreach.com
Kaitlyn Kkrizanic of PGP: Beware of “reports that Sweden is no longer recommending the vaccine for children.”

Emails from that period show that PGP routinely sent Excel lists of accounts to amplify on Twitter and others to de-platform, including populist voices such as ZeroHedge.

The messages also suggested emerging narratives to remove from the platform. “People opposed to vaccines are capitalizing on the NYT [New York Times] article about the CDC withholding vaccine information. The articles do not contain misinformation themselves but are using the news to further prove the CDC is untrustworthy,” wrote Savannah Knell, PGP’s senior director of partnerships, in an email to a Twitter lobbyist in September 2022. In another email the following month, Kaitlyn Krizanic, PGP’s senior program manager, told Twitter to be on the lookout for “reports that Sweden is no longer recommending the vaccine for children.” In some cases, conservative accounts expressing outrage at restrictive pandemic policies, such as vaccination passports, were deemed by PGP as “misinformation” that warranted removal.

The Moderna Reports consistently show the company raising red flags about those reporting documented side effects of the vaccine the biotech company was selling. Such concerns, which may be typical of corporate public relations efforts that want their product shown in the best light, take on a darker cast when it involves medicine injected into people’s bodies.

Like the Twitter Files, the Moderna Reports highlight the push by powerful entities – especially government, Big Tech, and Big Pharma – to identify and brand dissenting opinions about establishment narratives as risky forms of speech. The growing network these efforts rely on shows the growth of what has been called the censorship industrial complex. Moderna’s faltering financials also suggest, at least for now, the limits of that project.

Public Good Projects and Moderna did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Related: Moderna Is Spying on You by Lee Fang and Jack Poulson

In an internal email sent last July, Moderna notified its team of its latest efforts to shape the vaccine debate. “We have partnered with PGP (The Public Good Projects) and Moderna’s Global Intelligence, Corporate Security, Medical Affairs, Corporate Communications, Clinical Safety and Pharmacovigilance teams to provide media monitoring for misinformation at scale,” Marcy Rudowitz, the company’s customer program lead, wrote. “If and when a response is needed, our team will notify the appropriate stakeholders with recommendations,” she added.

The extent to which the company may intervene to shape content decisions is not clear. PGP continues to boast close relations with establishment institutions, including major medical associations.

The rise of censorship is inextricably connected to the pandemic, which emerged in the U.S. in early 2020. As federal, state, and local governments imposed unprecedented regulations on Americans in the name of public health, efforts arose to discredit counter-narratives that could be spread easily on social media. Early in the pandemic, criticism of policies such as lockdowns and vaccine mandates came almost entirely from independent media, which faced shadowbans and outright censorship on various platforms.

Moderna 2022 ESG Report
Stéphane Bancel, Moderna CEO: “As you can see, we’re losing economies of scale,” he said, explaining price hikes.

When they introduced their vaccines in 2021, manufacturers such as Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson also had a powerful financial interest in bolstering such censorship.

Moderna, perhaps more than other drug firms, is overwhelmingly reliant on the continued success of its vaccine. The company announced a price hike of up to $130 a dose this month, far higher than the $15-26 for American federal contracts, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We’re expecting a 90% reduction in demand,” Modena CEO Stéphane Bancel said, when he was asked to defend the decision. “As you can see, we’re losing economies of scale.”

Far from acting as a neutral arbiter, the Moderna Reports show that the company blurred the lines between public relations and public health. In many cases, Moderna’s intelligence and communications team targeted accurate information that had “the potential to fuel vaccine hesitancy” as menacing forms of misinformation in its reports. Given the size and scope and the censorship industrial complex, it can be difficult to draw a clear straight line between Moderna’s surveillance and actions taken against specific articles, posts, and writers. Instead, as Garay suggested, the company is one stream in an evolving ecosystem aimed at undermining dissent.

Alex Berenson

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Berenson: “It’s nice to know Moderna is watching me. I’m watching them too.”

Independent journalist Alex Berenson is a repeated subject of the company’s surveillance efforts. A former reporter for the New York Times, Berenson quickly emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of vaccine-related policies. He was among the earliest to cast doubt on the Biden administration’s false claim that the vaccinated people could not transmit the COVID-19 virus to others. After government pressure on Twitter, Berenson was banned from the platform in 2021, only to return after successfully litigating against the company.

He appears to still be in the crosshairs. In September 2023, Moderna flagged a tweet from Berenson that highlighted the CDC’s data showing that among 1 million mRNA-vaccinated teenagers, there were from zero to a single COVID death and up to 200,000 side effects.

The company cited Berenson’s tweet under a report headline “Attacks on pediatric COVID-19 vaccines escalate” and claimed he had “cherry-picked data.” However, the company did not directly rebut any of Berenson’s claims in its report. Rather, Moderna noted the “high-risk” danger of Berenson’s viral tweet related to the potential for low child COVID-19 vaccination rates. “Fears about side effects and long-term dangers are major reasons parents report not vaccinating their children,” the report stated. It further concluded that “resistance to COVID-19 vaccines for children can be a gateway to broader anti-vaccine beliefs.”

Other Moderna reports flag Berenson’s tweets for “misinformation about mRNA safety” and claim that he is a “conspiracy theorist” for suggesting that health authorities have not properly taken into account the documented risks of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) for young men receiving the vaccine. Such questions have been posed by an increasing number of health professionals, but the misinformation reports dismiss any Berenson criticism as inherently false.

“It’s nice to know Moderna is watching me,” said Berenson, when asked about his response to the revelations. “I’m watching them too. mRNA shots carry unacceptably high heart risks for teenagers and young adults. Nearly the entire rest of the world accepts this reality and now discourages or bans people under 50 from taking mRNA Covid boosters. It is unconscionable that Moderna and Pfizer continue to market them to non-elderly adults.”

“They can call me whatever they like,” he noted, “but they can’t stop my reporting.”

Russell Brand

Invision
Brand: Moderna warned of his videos “in anti-vaccine spaces where he is viewed as a truth-teller.”

Russell Brand, the British commentator and comedian, is also a repeated name in the Moderna misinformation files. The left-leaning populist routinely pillories the pharmaceutical industry for exploiting the pandemic to generate unprecedented profits.

Moderna has closely monitored Brand’s criticism of the drug industry.

In various “low-risk” reports produced in August 2023, Moderna flagged videos produced by Brand twice. In one, Moderna noted that Brand had broadcast a monologue about Jonathan Van-Tam, a former senior health official who helped formulate COVID-19 policies in Britain. Van-Tam had just taken a position with Moderna, a move that raised eyebrows with many in the press. In the video, Brand noted that the company had just “made a fortune during the pandemic selling vaccines to the government,” and that the “government worker that bought all those vaccines” was now moving through the revolving door.

In another report, Moderna alleged that Brand “claimed that COVID-19 vaccine mandates were based on a lie in a recent podcast episode.” The video was broadly accurate. The monologue highlights CDC documents that had come to light showing that officials were aware that the virus would “break through” and still infect vaccinated patients. In an ironic twist, Brand finished the segment with a discussion of efforts to censor debate around the vaccine.

Moderna noted they were not yet taking action on this broadcast, but “we are monitoring with our partner, the Public Good Projects.”

The following month, several media outlets reported that several women who insisted on anonymity were claiming that Brand had abused them nearly twenty years ago. The ensuing media firestorm, which led to YouTube demonetizing his account, became fodder for other Moderna misinformation reports. The company warned that the cancellation of Brand was sparking a backlash among social media users, who believed that he may be targeted by government and corporate censors for his outspoken opposition to pandemic narratives.

In a Moderna high-risk report, the company noted that speculation was swirling that “allegations are part of a conspiracy to silence the comedian, who has been a vocal opponent of COVID-19 vaccines.” The report linked an X video of Brand sharply criticizing Moderna and Pfizer for generating “$1,000 of profit every second” in 2021. The specific claim of profiteering was a mainstream claim, a statistic that was produced by Oxfam.

Nowhere in its reports on Brand did Moderna highlight any incorrect information. But the reports noted that they monitored Brand because he “has a large platform with over 6.6 million YouTube subscribers and over 21 million followers across multiple social media platforms.” Moreover, his “videos are widely circulated in anti-vaccine spaces where he is viewed as a truth-teller and threat to authority,” and that Brand maintained support from Tucker Carlson and Elon Musk.

Michael Shellenberger

AP
Shellenberger: Dismissed by Moderna in internal reports as a known “misinformation author.”

The Moderna misinformation reporting system reveals that the pharmaceutical firm maintained an interest in pandemic-related issues that go beyond vaccine policy, overlapping with general issues surrounding the unexplained questions that still swirl around the source of the pandemic.

The company, for instance, flagged discussions around news last year of a congressional whistleblower who came forward with allegations that the CIA suppressed an assessment from analysts that COVID-19 originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The story has garnered widespread coverage in NBC, Science, and ABC News, among other outlets.

But Moderna’s misinformation alerts flagged Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and journalist Michael Shellenberger for distributing information about the CIA allegation. Shellenberger – with whom this reporter has worked on the Twitter Files – had exclusively reported earlier last year that U.S. government sources believed that the “patient zeros” of COVID-19 were a group of Chinese scientists at the Wuhan lab – a major revelation later confirmed by the Wall Street Journal.

Despite his work on the issue, Moderna dismisses Shellenberger in its reports as among its known “misinformation authors.”

“Moderna has spent years spreading disinformation about their vaccines and so it makes sense that they would smear the scientists and journalists who expose them as conspiracy theorists and sources of misinformation,” Shellenberger told RCI.

“The question is why is Moderna spreading disinformation on the high probability that Covid escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab?” he added. “A company that makes its money selling a coronavirus vaccine shouldn’t care where Covid came from.”

Others

Moderna closely monitored other independent voices. The company flagged left-wing comedian Jimmy Dore for simply tweeting at a New York Times call for triple-vaccination with the two-word response, “Hard pass,” as an example of misinformation. The company also warned about the appearance of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the Joe Rogan podcast as well as Lex Fridman, a popular independent podcaster.

AP
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Moderna warned of his appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast.

Other reports flag skeptics of vaccine efficiency and potential side effects. In September, Moderna’s system cited Megyn Kelly, the podcaster and former Fox News host, for a viral clip in which she said she regrets the COVID-19 booster after she developed an autoimmune condition that she believes was caused by the shot.

Moderna warned that such comments could “discourage people who are on the fence about getting vaccinated.”  In its alert about Kelly, the company noted that her comments added to growing concern around autoimmune disorders and COVID-19 vaccinations. The Moderna misinformation email proceeded to offer data that appeared to reaffirm, rather than debunk, Kelly’s assertions. The alert concluded with a message about an NIH report that highlights a link between SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and inflammatory and autoimmune skin diseases. Moderna did not dispute the findings of the NIH study, but noted that it “is in rotation in anti-vaccine spaces online.”

Invision
Megyn Kelly: Moderna warned that her apparently valid comments could “discourage people who are on the fence about getting vaccinated.”

The merging of public health and corporate influence peddling has concerned many academics. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of health policy at Stanford University who says the government violated his free-speech rights by trying to silence his questioning of federal policies regarding COVID, told RCI: “We have a problem that social media companies and the government have allied with pharma to treat information flows around the COVID vaccine as a propaganda problem, rather than a medical issue that is best resolved by patients talking with their doctor about what’s best for them.”

FNC
Jay Bhattacharya: Moderna flagged a tweet of his simply linking to an unwelcome FDA finding on child vaccination.

Bhattacharya was one of the most prominent academics who was shadowbanned under the previous owners of Twitter because of his criticism of the lockdowns and masking policy. He is now one of the plaintiffs litigating against the U.S. government’s role in shaping content decisions on social media platforms in the Missouri v. Biden case, which is now before the Supreme Court.

Bhattacharya’s outspoken advocacy has attracted attention from Moderna as well. In October 2023, shortly after I spoke to him for an interview, Moderna flagged one of the Stanford professor’s tweets that shared a link to a new Food and Drug Administration preprint study that documented “elevated risk of seizures in toddlers and myocarditis in teenagers associated with covid mRNA vaccination.” Moderna did not directly dispute the study findings other than to note that its authors wrote that it “should be interpreted cautiously.”

In the attached report, Moderna added that it had highlighted the tweet and others like it because “concerns about safety and side effects are among the main reasons parents are hesitant about or oppose COVID-19 vaccines for their children.”

In other words, anything that might discourage children from vaccinations, despite any risks or lack of benefits, is dangerous information. That suggests a motive far from bringing truth to the vaccine debate, and far more about dominating it for financial gain.

Near the end of the Moderna call last September, as the biotech firm worked to highlight its stepped-up outreach to consumers, James Mock, the chief financial officer, spoke briefly to assure investors of the company’s ability to continue to make money.

“COVID is a very valuable product line of business and will continue to be,” said Mock, “and we’ll make it more profitable.”

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The truth and nothing but the truth about NPR. NPR Has Lost America’s Trust, We Have A Problem With Reporting Things That Don’t Fit The Narrative.

Views: 13

The truth and nothing but the truth about NPR. NPR Has Lost America’s Trust, We Have A Problem With Reporting Things That Don’t Fit The Narrative.

Back in 2011, although NPR’s audience tilted a bit to the left, it still bore a resemblance to America at large. Twenty-six percent of listeners described themselves as conservative, 23 percent as middle of the road, and 37 percent as liberal.

By 2023, the picture was completely different: only 11 percent described themselves as very or somewhat conservative, 21 percent as middle of the road, and 67 percent of listeners said they were very or somewhat liberal. We weren’t just losing conservatives; we were also losing moderates and traditional liberals.

An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America.

At NPR, we hitched our wagon to Trump’s most visible antagonist, Representative Adam Schiff.

Schiff, who was the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, became NPR’s guiding hand, its ever-present muse. By my count, NPR hosts interviewed Schiff 25 times about Trump and Russia. During many of those conversations, Schiff alluded to purported evidence of collusion. The Schiff talking points became the drumbeat of NPR news reports.

But when the Mueller report found no credible evidence of collusion, NPR’s coverage was notably sparse. Russiagate quietly faded from our programming.

It is one thing to swing and miss on a major story. Unfortunately, it happens. You follow the wrong leads, you get misled by sources you trusted, you’re emotionally invested in a narrative, and bits of circumstantial evidence never add up. It’s bad to blow a big story.

What’s worse is to pretend it never happened, to move on with no mea culpas, no self-reflection. Especially when you expect high standards of transparency from public figures and institutions, but don’t practice those standards yourself. That’s what shatters trust and engenders cynicism about the media. Russia gate was not NPR’s only miscue.

In October 2020, the New York Post published the explosive report about the laptop Hunter Biden abandoned at a Delaware computer shop containing emails about his sordid business dealings. With the election only weeks away, NPR turned a blind eye. Here’s how NPR’s managing editor for news at the time explained the thinking: “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”

But it wasn’t a pure distraction, or a product of Russian disinformation, as dozens of former and current intelligence officials suggested. The laptop did belong to Hunter Biden. Its contents revealed his connection to the corrupt world of multimillion-dollar influence peddling and its possible implications for his father.

The laptop was newsworthy. But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched. During a meeting with colleagues, I listened as one of NPR’s best and most fair-minded journalists said it was good we weren’t following the laptop story because it could help Trump.

When the essential facts of the Post’s reporting were confirmed and the emails verified independently about a year and a half later, we could have fessed up to our misjudgment. But, like Russia collusion, we didn’t make the hard choice of transparency.

Politics also intruded into NPR’s Covid coverage, most notably in reporting on the origin of the pandemic. One of the most dismal aspects of Covid journalism is how quickly it defaulted to ideological story lines. For example, there was Team Natural Origin—supporting the hypothesis that the virus came from a wild animal market in Wuhan, China. And on the other side, Team Lab Leak, leaning into the idea that the virus escaped from a Wuhan lab.

The lab leak theory came in for rough treatment almost immediately, dismissed as racist or a right-wing conspiracy theory. Anthony Fauci and former NIH head Francis Collins, representing the public health establishment, were its most notable critics. And that was enough for NPR. We became fervent members of Team Natural Origin, even declaring that the lab leak had been debunked by scientists.

But that wasn’t the case.

When word first broke of a mysterious virus in Wuhan, a number of leading virologists immediately suspected it could have leaked from a lab there conducting experiments on bat coronaviruses. This was in January 2020, during calmer moments before a global pandemic had been declared, and before fear spread and politics intruded.

Reporting on a possible lab leak soon became radioactive. Fauci and Collins apparently encouraged the March publication of an influential scientific paper known as “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2.” Its authors wrote they didn’t believe “any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.”

But the lab leak hypothesis wouldn’t die. And understandably so. In private, even some of the scientists who penned the article dismissing it sounded a different tune. One of the authors, Andrew Rambaut, an evolutionary biologist from Edinburgh University, wrote to his colleagues, “I literally swivel day by day thinking it is a lab escape or natural.”

Over the course of the pandemic, a number of investigative journalists made compelling, if not conclusive, cases for the lab leak. But at NPR, we weren’t about to swivel or even tiptoe away from the insistence with which we backed the natural origin story. We didn’t budge when the Energy Department—the federal agency with the most expertise about laboratories and biological research—concluded, albeit with low confidence, that a lab leak was the most likely explanation for the emergence of the virus.

Instead, we introduced our coverage of that development on February 28, 2023, by asserting confidently that “the scientific evidence overwhelmingly points to a natural origin for the virus.”

When a colleague on our science desk was asked why they were so dismissive of the lab leak theory, the response was odd. The colleague compared it to the Bush administration’s unfounded argument that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, apparently meaning we won’t get fooled again. But these two events were not even remotely related. Again, politics were blotting out the curiosity and independence that ought to have been driving our work.

NPR editor Uri Berliner tells how the network lost America's trust in The Free Press
Uri Berliner near his home in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 2024. (Photo by Pete Kiehart for The Free Press)

I’m offering three examples of widely followed stories where I believe we faltered. Our coverage is out there in the public domain. Anyone can read or listen for themselves and make their own judgment. But to truly understand how independent journalism suffered at NPR, you need to step inside the organization.

You need to start with former CEO John Lansing. Lansing came to NPR in 2019 from the federally funded agency that oversees Voice of America. Like others who have served in the top job at NPR, he was hired primarily to raise money and to ensure good working relations with hundreds of member stations that acquire NPR’s programming.

After working mostly behind the scenes, Lansing became a more visible and forceful figure after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. It was an anguished time in the newsroom, personally and professionally so for NPR staffers. Floyd’s murder, captured on video, changed both the conversation and the daily operations at NPR.

Given the circumstances of Floyd’s death, it would have been an ideal moment to tackle a difficult question: Is America, as progressive activists claim, beset by systemic racism in the 2020s—in law enforcement, education, housing, and elsewhere? We happen to have a very powerful tool for answering such questions: journalism. Journalism that lets evidence lead the way.

But the message from the top was very different. America’s infestation with systemic racism was declared loud and clear: it was a given. Our mission was to change it.

“When it comes to identifying and ending systemic racism,” Lansing wrote in a companywide article, “we can be agents of change. Listening and deep reflection are necessary but not enough. They must be followed by constructive and meaningful steps forward. I will hold myself accountable for this.”

And we were told that NPR itself was part of the problem. In confessional language he said the leaders of public media, “starting with me—must be aware of how we ourselves have benefited from white privilege in our careers. We must understand the unconscious bias we bring to our work and interactions. And we must commit ourselves—body and soul—to profound changes in ourselves and our institutions.”

He declared that diversity—on our staff and in our audience—was the overriding mission, the “North Star” of the organization. Phrases like “that’s part of the North Star” became part of meetings and more casual conversation.

Race and identity became paramount in nearly every aspect of the workplace. Journalists were required to ask everyone we interviewed their race, gender, and ethnicity (among other questions), and had to enter it in a centralized tracking system. We were given unconscious bias training sessions. A growing DEI staff offered regular meetings imploring us to “start talking about race.” Monthly dialogues were offered for “women of color” and “men of color.” Nonbinary people of color were included, too.

These initiatives, bolstered by a $1 million grant from the NPR Foundation, came from management, from the top down. Crucially, they were in sync culturally with what was happening at the grassroots—among producers, reporters, and other staffers. Most visible was a burgeoning number of employee resource (or affinity) groups based on identity.

They included MGIPOC (Marginalized Genders and Intersex People of Color mentorship program); Mi Gente (Latinx employees at NPR); NPR Noir (black employees at NPR); Southwest Asians and North Africans at NPR; Ummah (for Muslim-identifying employees); Women, Gender-Expansive, and Transgender People in Technology Throughout Public Media; Khevre (Jewish heritage and culture at NPR); and NPR Pride (LGBTQIA employees at NPR).

All this reflected a broader movement in the culture of people clustering together based on ideology or a characteristic of birth. If, as NPR’s internal website suggested, the groups were simply a “great way to meet like-minded colleagues” and “help new employees feel included,” it would have been one thing.

But the role and standing of affinity groups, including those outside NPR, were more than that. They became a priority for NPR’s union, SAG-AFTRA—an item in collective bargaining. The current contract, in a section on DEI, requires NPR management to “keep up to date with current language and style guidance from journalism affinity groups” and to inform employees if language differs from the diktats of those groups. In such a case, the dispute could go before the DEI Accountability Committee.

In essence, this means the NPR union, of which I am a dues-paying member, has ensured that advocacy groups are given a seat at the table in determining the terms and vocabulary of our news coverage.

Conflicts between workers and bosses, between labor and management, are common in workplaces. NPR has had its share. But what’s notable is the extent to which people at every level of NPR have comfortably coalesced around the progressive worldview.

And this, I believe, is the most damaging development at NPR: the absence of viewpoint diversity.

There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.

The mindset prevails in choices about language. In a document called NPR Transgender Coverage Guidance—disseminated by news management—we’re asked to avoid the term biological sex. (The editorial guidance was prepared with the help of a former staffer of the National Center for Transgender Equality.) The mindset animates bizarre stories—on how The Beatles and bird names are racially problematic, and others that are alarmingly divisive; justifying looting, with claims that fears about crime are racist; and suggesting that Asian Americans who oppose affirmative action have been manipulated by white conservatives.

More recently, we have approached the Israel-Hamas war and its spillover onto streets and campuses through the “intersectional” lens that has jumped from the faculty lounge to newsrooms. Oppressor versus oppressed. That’s meant highlighting the suffering of Palestinians at almost every turn while downplaying the atrocities of October 7, overlooking how Hamas intentionally puts Palestinian civilians in peril, and giving little weight to the explosion of antisemitic hate around the world.

For nearly all my career, working at NPR has been a source of great pride. It’s a privilege to work in the newsroom at a crown jewel of American journalism. My colleagues are congenial and hardworking.

I can’t count the number of times I would meet someone, describe what I do, and they’d say, “I love NPR!”

And they wouldn’t stop there. They would mention their favorite host or one of those “driveway moments” where a story was so good you’d stay in your car until it finished.

It still happens, but often now the trajectory of the conversation is different. After the initial “I love NPR,” there’s a pause and a person will acknowledge, “I don’t listen as much as I used to.” Or, with some chagrin: “What’s happening there? Why is NPR telling me what to think?”

In recent years I’ve struggled to answer that question. Concerned by the lack of viewpoint diversity, I looked at voter registration for our newsroom. In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans. None.

So on May 3, 2021, I presented the findings at an all-hands editorial staff meeting. When I suggested we had a diversity problem with a score of 87 Democrats and zero Republicans, the response wasn’t hostile. It was worse. It was met with profound indifference. I got a few messages from surprised, curious colleagues. But the messages were of the “oh wow, that’s weird” variety, as if the lopsided tally was a random anomaly rather than a critical failure of our diversity North Star.

In a follow-up email exchange, a top NPR news executive told me that she had been “skewered” for bringing up diversity of thought when she arrived at NPR. So, she said, “I want to be careful how we discuss this publicly.”

For years, I have been persistent. When I believe our coverage has gone off the rails, I have written regular emails to top news leaders, sometimes even having one-on-one sessions with them. On March 10, 2022, I wrote to a top news executive about the numerous times we described the controversial education bill in Florida as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill when it didn’t even use the word gay. I pushed to set the record straight, and wrote another time to ask why we keep using that word that many Hispanics hate—Latinx. On March 31, 2022, I was invited to a managers’ meeting to present my observations.

Throughout these exchanges, no one has ever trashed me. That’s not the NPR way. People are polite. But nothing changes. So I’ve become a visible wrong-thinker at a place I love. It’s uncomfortable, sometimes heartbreaking.

Even so, out of frustration, on November 6, 2022, I wrote to the captain of ship North Star—CEO John Lansing—about the lack of viewpoint diversity and asked if we could have a conversation about it. I got no response, so I followed up four days later. He said he would appreciate hearing my perspective and copied his assistant to set up a meeting. On December 15, the morning of the meeting, Lansing’s assistant wrote back to cancel our conversation because he was under the weather. She said he was looking forward to chatting and a new meeting invitation would be sent. But it never came.

I won’t speculate about why our meeting never happened. Being CEO of NPR is a demanding job with lots of constituents and headaches to deal with. But what’s indisputable is that no one in a C-suite or upper management position has chosen to deal with the lack of viewpoint diversity at NPR and how that affects our journalism.

Which is a shame. Because for all the emphasis on our North Star, NPR’s news audience in recent years has become less diverse, not more so. Back in 2011, our audience leaned a bit to the left but roughly reflected America politically; now, the audience is cramped into a smaller, progressive silo.

Despite all the resources we’d devoted to building up our news audience among blacks and Hispanics, the numbers have barely budged. In 2023, according to our demographic research, 6 percent of our news audience was black, far short of the overall U.S. adult population, which is 14.4 percent black. And Hispanics were only 7 percent, compared to the overall Hispanic adult population, around 19 percent. Our news audience doesn’t come close to reflecting America. It’s overwhelmingly white and progressive, and clustered around coastal cities and college towns.

These are perilous times for news organizations. Last year, NPR laid off or bought out 10 percent of its staff and canceled four podcasts following a slump in advertising revenue. Our radio audience is dwindling and our podcast downloads are down from 2020. The digital stories on our website rarely have national impact. They aren’t conversation starters. Our competitive advantage in audio—where for years NPR had no peer—is vanishing. There are plenty of informative and entertaining podcasts to choose from.

Even within our diminished audience, there’s evidence of trouble at the most basic level: trust.

In February, our audience insights team sent an email proudly announcing that we had a higher trustworthy score than CNN or The New York Times. But the research from Harris Poll is hardly reassuring. It found that “3-in-10 audience members familiar with NPR said they associate NPR with the characteristic ‘trustworthy.’ ” Only in a world where media credibility has completely imploded would a 3-in-10 trustworthy score be something to boast about.

With declining ratings, sorry levels of trust, and an audience that has become less diverse over time, the trajectory for NPR is not promising. Two paths seem clear. We can keep doing what we’re doing, hoping it will all work out. Or we could start over, with the basic building blocks of journalism. We could face up to where we’ve gone wrong. News organizations don’t go in for that kind of reckoning. But there’s a good reason for NPR to be the first: we’re the ones with the word public in our name.

Despite our missteps at NPR, defunding isn’t the answer. As the country becomes more fractured, there’s still a need for a public institution where stories are told and viewpoints exchanged in good faith. Defunding, as a rebuke from Congress, wouldn’t change the journalism at NPR. That needs to come from within.

A few weeks ago, NPR welcomed a new CEO, Katherine Maher, who’s been a leader in tech. She doesn’t have a news background, which could be an asset given where things stand. I’ll be rooting for her. It’s a tough job. Her first rule could be simple enough: don’t tell people how to think. It could even be the new North Star.

Uri Berliner is a senior business editor and reporter at NPR. His work has been recognized with a Peabody Award, a Loeb Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Society of Professional Journalists New America Award, among others. 

THE WHOLE INTERVIEW.

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America's Heartland Anti Semitic Biden Cartel Commentary Free Speech Links from other news sources. Terrorism

Progressives gather in Michigan and show their support for Hamas.

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Progressives gather in Michigan and show their support for Hamas.

As you know by now, the left gathered in Michigan and showed their support for Hamas. They not only chanted death to Israel but also death to America. Free speech? You bet, but call a spade a spade. White Progressive Supremacists and Muslim Hamas supporters  are mostly one in the same.

We were supposed to be a melting pot. But that requires melting. And instead what we are seeing is a hardening. It is a hardening. And we are always accused of xenophobia if we exalt our country’s awesomeness or make fun of another country’s customs. Fair enough. I get it. But it’s a two-way street. If you come here and reject assimilation, free speech, cooperation with people different than you.

 

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Back Door Power Grab Biden Biden Cartel Censorship Commentary Corruption Crime Free Speech Government Overreach Leftist Virtue(!) Links from other news sources. Opinion Politics The Law Uncategorized Weaponization of Government.

Garland claims he must protect Biden no matter what. Refuses to release Biden Audio.

Views: 11

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Anti Semitic Biden Cartel California. Commentary Education Free Speech Leftist Virtue(!) Links from other news sources.

Hate at UC Davis.

Views: 12

Hate at UC Davis.

A school with a bad history. Incidents include everything from peer-to-peer and faculty misconduct to overt threats of violence and physical assault.

UC Davis has done it now. StandWithUs Center for Legal Justice (SCLJ) filed a Title VI complaint on Monday with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which investigates claims of discrimination involving shared ancestry. The group cited such incidents as a professor who advocated murdering Zionists, a student punched in the face after questioning someone tearing down hostage posters and a proliferation of anti-Semitic graffiti.

This was always known about this school, but since the progressives allies attack on Israel October 7, this was finally out for all to see.

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Biden Biden Cartel Censorship Commentary Corruption Elections Free Speech Government Overreach Leftist Virtue(!) Links from other news sources.

Biden has done something no one else has. Created a Banana Republic.

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Biden has done something no one else has. Created a Banana Republic. Weaponization of the DOJ. Political witch hunts. Indicting political opponents. Refusing Secret Service protection to political opponents. The list goes on and on.

JD Vance. “I object to this because we are living in a banana republic where the President is using his Department of Justice to go after his chief political rival, the person he will appear on the ballot with in about a year. If the Department of Justice will use these nominations for law instead of politics, I am happy to end this hold policy, but so long as the Department of Justice uses its nominations and uses its personnel to go after its political opponents from the President of the United States on down, I will object. Because of that, Madam President, I do object.”

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Commentary Debates Facebook Free Speech Racism Stupid things people say or do. Transgender WOKE

I Love This Gal! The_Lady_J !

Views: 28

I Love This Gal! The_Lady_J !

Recently, I found a content provider via Facebook where this woman takes on all the hyperventilating idiots on social media like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. She is not biased; she doesn’t care if you’re male, female, “non-binary,” Democrat, Republican, Black, White, or Kelly Green; she’ll demolish your idiocy with a calm voice and razor-sharp wit. (BTW, she’s also a veteran, and one of her videos shows this idiot — who may or may not be an actual vet — telling everyone that if you haven’t served, you can’t be a patriot.)

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Gee, who knew interior design was racist? (Note, the videos will still play even if it has that slug showing.)

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A “woman” speaking for ALL WOMEN?

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I think the “ick” froze this infant’s brain.

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Alaska isn’t a state, according to this guy.

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Demolishing a troll with just an expression.

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Putting a young (and ignorant) Karen in her place.

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OMG!

Her main channel is on Instagram   Unfortunately, our video player will not play them here, so here are a few screenshots:

The guy in the top left is a “relationship coach,” and the female directly below him is going to tell you how it’s ok to manipulate men. The top center (white) guy says Lady J is RAYCIST!!! Center Left: MAKE HIS POCKETS HURT! (No wonder she can’t get dates.) And the bottom left guy has declared women with heavy tattoos have mutilated their bodies. (Disclaimer: Since most people don’t take care of their tattoos — repeated tanning will fade them — I don’t find them all that attractive either. –TPR)

Top right: A gay man telling men that women prefer rich men and that you should pay for everything they want because they’re doing it for the guys. Center square: This biological man thinks having a positive pregnancy test is a GOOD thing. (Hint: It’s not when you’re a man; it means you may have TESTICULAR cancer.) Bottom center: A man doing this would get arrested.

Left to right: A real Male Chauvinist pig, “women” telling men what they should do, and a privileged princess who demands equality — unless it’s picking up the tab.

Who said racism was only for whites?
Liberal whack job pontificating
Her caption says it all. (She’s actually dancing, but who’s filming it?)

She’s also on TikTok:

Needless to say, Lady J’s comments on these people are polite but spot on. She never raises her voice, never gesticulates, and never acts hateful. But boy, does she attract hater trolls!

 

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