News Domestic and International

CBS Chicago: Smollett wrote the hate-crime letter too

Hot Air - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 13:01

Jussie Smollett’s career as a producer and director won’t win him any awards, if CBS Chicago’s sources in the investigation are correct. Not only did the Empire actor script his own attack, the two brothers initially arrested in the “attack” Smollett have allegedly told police, he wrote the earlier threatening letter to the show’s producers as well. That may land Smollett a starring role in another production altogether:

The two brothers involved in the Jussie Smollett attack told police that Smollett was behind creating a racist letter that was sent to the actor on the set of his show, “Empire,” according to two sources with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.

And when that letter did not get a “bigger reaction,” Smollett orchestrated the attack a week later with the two men–Ola and Abel Osundairo, sources said. Also Tuesday, sources said the two brothers were seen on a ride share video camera before being dropped off near the location of the attack. …

The note was crafted with letters apparently cut out from magazines to form words. The pieced-together message contained racial and homophobic threats directed at Smollett. A magazine is one of the pieces of evidence retrieved from the brother’s home last week during a search conducted by CPD. Investigators also recovered a book of stamps.

As bad as matters have become for Smollett in Chicago, this increases his troubles exponentially. CBS Chicago also reports that the FBI has gotten involved in the investigation, which tends to confirm that investigators at least see this as a significant possibility. A hoax attack itself, if that’s what this was, would have only involved the potential criminal liability of filing a false police report and potential civil action to recoup the cost of the investigation. Sending that letter through the US mail was a federal crime no matter who did it. If Smollett sent it, he could get five years in prison for such a stunt under 18 USC 876:

(c) Whoever knowingly so deposits or causes to be delivered as aforesaid, any communication with or without a name or designating mark subscribed thereto, addressed to any other person and containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of the addressee or of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. If such a communication is addressed to a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement officer, or an official who is covered by section 1114, the individual shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

But wait — there’s more! Since the letter contained the crushed aspiring as a hoax chemical/biological attack in itself, that violates 18 US Code 1038 – False Information and Hoaxes. That could add another five years to a potential sentence, although it would likely run concurrently rather than consecutively. Smollett’s next gig could be Club Fed, and for more than a season.

This seems like odd timing, too:

BREAKING: Cook County S.A. Kim Foxx has recused herself from investigation surrounding the Jussie Smollett case. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/CKghZRnmEq

— Brad Edwards (@tvbrad) February 19, 2019

Why? Her office released a statement last night:

Out of an abundance of caution, the decision to recuse herself was made to address potential questions of impartiality based upon familiarity with potential witnesses in the case.

That may not mean much if the FBI links the letter back to Smollett. The state won’t be the big stage for an eventual trial under those circumstances. But it’s certainly curious.

The post CBS Chicago: Smollett wrote the hate-crime letter too appeared first on Hot Air.

Gateway Pundit Exclusive: Uncovered FBI/DOJ Coverup of Clinton Foundation and Russian/China Related Crimes – PART I

GatewayPundit - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 13:00

Guest post by Joe Hoft

A 2016 DOJ criminal investigation was suppressed and buried by the DOJ/FBI that involved a major NY Democratic power broker, Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.

The investigation revolved around the illegal sale of controlled US Homeland Security technology to Russia and China in the years before the 2016 election.

The DOJ terminated its internal investigation despite clear and irrefutable evidence of criminal activity and hid it from the public!

The Gateway Pundit will expose this scandal in a series of posts this week.
Today is our initial report on this egregious scandal and coverup.

This story begins with the Clintons and their Clinton Foundation.  It includes Russia and China, and ends with another FBI/DOJ cover-up of Clinton crimes. The FBI did such a good job covering this up, that it has not been reported – until today.

This story started before the 2016 Presidential election. In and around 2007, Martin L. Edelman a New York attorney with Paul Hastings LLP, a Bill and Hillary Clinton close friend, and one of their largest donor bundlers met Mati Kochavi, who reportedly made his fortune in NYC real estate market. They came up with the idea of forming a group of companies and purchasing other companies that would develop and sell Homeland Security and intelligence solutions in the US and world-wide.

Edelman (below) became the Chairman of the Board and Kochavi the CEO of their company named AGT International.

AGT International – the firm that the Clintons helped create did all it could to generate revenues, even if it meant flagrantly breaking US law. In 2014, AGT described itself on its website as the following:

Today’s world has more devices and sources of information than ever before, but are they truly interconnected? AGT International is revolutionizing public safety and security by connecting previously unlinked devices and data, making relevant information accessible and actionable for decision-makers and citizens alike.

We use our deep domain expertise to collect, analyze and identify the most relevant data; and our solutions provide enhanced visibility to empower people, governments and businesses to predict, visualize and manage cities and other complex environments.

Since its launch in 2007, AGT ($1B annual revenues) has been a pioneer, making the world safer by leading the integration of devices and new information sources. In the last five years we have connected a greater variety of sensors than anyone else in our industry while successfully delivering some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated public safety and security projects.

AGT International leverages three of the most compelling current technology trends to revolutionize public safety and security: the Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics and Cloud Computing. Our advanced proprietary software powers cloud-based knowledge solutions that make connected sensors and data accessible and delivers services that aid complex problem solving.

AGT is privately held with headquarters in Switzerland. The company is proud of its diversity: more than 50 nationalities are represented among its 2,400 employees.

AGT’s International Management Team –

AGT International incurred massive growth and went from $0 to over $8 billion in contracts and $1 billion in revenues in about 5 years. The Clintons were compensated for their support and endorsement by Kochavi and Edelman through payments to the Clinton Foundation. These payments totaled millions of dollars.

NATIONWIDE POLL: Does President Trump Have Your Vote In 2020?

AGT Statistics from company presentations –

AGT Introduction – slide detailing company offering and experience

In 2016 at the time when there was a DOJ investigation into AGT and its illegal actions related to selling its highly sensitive defense and Homeland Security products to Russia and China, AGT updated its website and purged some references to the sensitive nature of its products.  The company also shutdown most of its operations in the US.

Edelman and Kochavi were both involved in the business. For example, an AGT Management Meeting that includes executives from all of its business units, included Martin Edelman from Paul Hastings at the top of the list –

AGT’s flagship platform was called “Wisdom” and “Urban Shield”.  The C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) system and some of the other derivatives technologies were ITAR regulated.

VOTER POLL: Should Hillary Be In Jail?

Former President Bill Clinton endorsed AGT CEO Kochavi through public appearances and by using himself and Hillary to help the venture with political clout and support in the US.  For example, in July 2012 President Clinton joined Kochavi and Maria Bartiromo on Wall Street Journal Review promoting Kochavi’s business venture –

Emails released by WikiLeaks show the significance of the relationship between Edelman and Kochavi and the Clintons. In an email dated November 18, 2011, describing the various donors to the Clinton Foundation there is a paragraph describing their relationships –

Mati Kochavi
President Clinton recently turned down a 2 year, $8 million offer to become Honorary Chairman of Mati Kochavi’s new media business venture. Mati is a former client of Teneo who we were referred to through Marty Edelman. I went back to Mati and proposed a new structure without any business connectivity other than 4 speeches for $1 million and $250k to the foundation should President Clinton choose to accept it. That would also include any broadcasting of foundation events or anything President Clinton would like exposure for on his website. This offer will be presented to President Clinton in Walker speech invitations which he can choose to decline or accept with no role or relationship with the company.

The email lists over $50 million in donations to the Clintons in return for personal work and lists $66 million more in expected future donations from various sources, including Edelman and Kochavi.

In another email released by WikiLeaks, Edelman sent an email to Hillary Clinton and shared the message that a Middle East Shiek was coming to Washington, D.C. –

Sheikh Muhammid apparently coming 1st week in may. List of visits includes secstate, sectreas. Just heard. Marty

The Sheikh most likely referred to by Edelman, is Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan from the Abu Dhabi Royal family. It’s suspected that the Sheikh provided capital through the Mubadala investment Company to Edelman and Kochavi to start up their AGT venture. Not surprisingly, the Clinton Foundation also received millions in donations from related entities in the Middle East –

Former US President Bill Clinton has been paid $5.625 million since 2011 by Dubai’s GEMS Education to lead the company’s charity arm, according to tax returns released in the US this month [August 2015].

Many Americans are aware of the stories of corruption surrounding the Clinton Foundation since the 2016 election. The Foundation received millions in return for the sale of a significant portion of US uranium to the Russians. Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton denied any wrong doing during the 2016 debates and even spoke of the Clinton Foundation as a superb philanthropic venture.

Future President Donald Trump disagreed with Hillary and stated that the Foundation was a fraud – the people of Haiti, for example, whom the Clintons had ‘helped’, didn’t want the Clintons back –

Hillary denied “pay to play” involving the Clinton Foundation where the Clintons would demand donations to their ‘Foundation’ and in return promise to perform agreed upon actions for these payments. Hillary was not honest.

The Clintons took in millions from Edelman, Kochavi and Sheikhs in the Middle East. In return the Clintons made promises and performed actions for a price. Unfortunately, the actions taken by the Clintons and the companies and individuals who donated to them were often illegal.

In our next post we’ll discuss these actions that the family of companies known as AGT International took in order to build their business worldwide.

In a third post we’ll discuss how the FBI/DOJ got involved but then suppressed and eventually terminated their investigation shortly before the 2016 Presidential election.

The post Gateway Pundit Exclusive: Uncovered FBI/DOJ Coverup of Clinton Foundation and Russian/China Related Crimes – PART I appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

NEW: Brothers Expected to Testify Before Grand Jury in Jussie Smollett Case: CBS

GatewayPundit - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 04:58

The two brothers involved in the Jussie Smollett hate hoax are expected to testify before a grand jury, according to sources who spoke to CBS News.

The evidence presented could lead to a felony indictment against Jussie Smollett for filing a false police report.

Via CBS News:

The Jussie Smollett mystery moved into a Chicago courthouse on Tuesday. Two brothers who said the actor paid them to stage an attack on him were talking to prosecutors, sources told CBS News.

The brothers spent the afternoon at the Cook County courthouse, where a grand jury was deliberating. It’s a possible sign of increasing legal peril for the actor who says he was assaulted three weeks ago.

It was not immediately clear if they had actually testified yet, but they are expected to, according to sources. That could lead to an indictment of 36-year old Smollett.

On January 29th, ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett told Chicago Police that two white Trump supporters ambushed him on the streets of Chicago at 2 AM while he was walking back to his apartment following a midnight run to Subway to grab a sandwich.

Smollett alleged the two white males recognized him as the actor from ‘Empire,’ hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck.

The hate hoax began to unravel after it was revealed two Nigerian brothers, who were also extras on Empire were paid $4,000 to stage the attack.

The FBI and US Postal Inspection Service are investigating whether Jussie Smollett played a role in sending a threatening and racist letter crafted from magazine clippings to the ‘Empire’ studio in Chicago prior to the fake MAGA attack. (screenshot below)

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx officially recused herself from Jussie Smollet’s case on Tuesday, according to Chicago police.

No explanation was given for Foxx’s decision to recuse herself.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats will be the acting state’s attorney for the Smollett inquiry, a spokesperson said in an emailed statement Tuesday, reported NBC Chicago.

Jussie Smollett could face up to three years in prison for filing a false police report in the state of Illinois, a class 4 four felony.

The post NEW: Brothers Expected to Testify Before Grand Jury in Jussie Smollett Case: CBS appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Tomorrow the Gateway Pundit Will Release Damning Information Concerning the Clinton Foundation, the FBI, DOJ and More – Stay Tuned!!!

GatewayPundit - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 04:24

Guest post by Joe Hoft

Since Donald Trump announced his bid for President in 2015, the media establishment and the liberal elites throughout government have been in an all-out assault to derail his candidacy and then Presidency!

Tomorrow the tables turn!

Tomorrow the Gateway Pundit will release damning information that has never been reported before concerning the Clintons, their bogus and corrupt Clinton Foundation, the DOJ and FBI, and more.

Check in tomorrow!  It’s time to go on offense!

The post Tomorrow the Gateway Pundit Will Release Damning Information Concerning the Clinton Foundation, the FBI, DOJ and More – Stay Tuned!!! appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Kurt Eichenwald Threatened the Covington Pro-Life Kids, Said They Should Lawyer Up — The Kids Lawyered Up and Now Kurt Is Getting Sued

GatewayPundit - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 03:58

Former Newsweek editor Kurt Eichenwald has a history of attacking children.

In March 2018 Eichenwald attacked pro-2A Parkland high school student Kyle Kashuv on Twitter.

Eichenwald tried to backpedal with an apology to Kyle Kashuv then admitted he was actually trying to slam some other ‘high school kid with a podcast.’

In January Kurt Eichenwald attacked the Covington High School pro-Life boys.
Eichenwald accused the children of being infected by Trump with “Hitler valentines” and “nazi salutes.”

Eichenwald singled out the students and exposed them.

Eichenwald accused the Covington Catholic boys of going after black people.

And he warned them to lawyer up.

Kentucky Attorney Todd V. McMurtry tweeted this out on Sunday.
McMurtry is working with Lin Wood representing the Covington Catholic boys.

It looks like Kurt Eichenwald will need to lawyer up.

Just for fun, I snipped all of @kurteichenwald ‘s doxing photos and sent them over to the attorneys for those kids against whom he tried to incite violence. Not smart, Kurt. #CovingtonCatholic #CovingtonBoys

Just for fun, I snipped all of @kurteichenwald 's doxing photos and sent them over to the attorneys for those kids against whom he tried to incite violence. Not smart, Kurt. #CovingtonCatholic #CovingtonBoys pic.twitter.com/sqIIopfZBp

— Todd V. McMurtry (@FitLwyr) February 18, 2019

POLL: Should The Covington Students Sue The Mainstream Media?

Via Hardhat:

Kurt Eichenwald posted close ups of the Covington kids and tweeted that"They should Never Get Jobs"

said they should "Lawyer Up"

Guess what Kurt, you creepy POS… they Lawyered up.

And you're on their list. pic.twitter.com/UdVDqQe10d

— Hardhat ⭐⭐⭐ (@Hardhat_Patriot) February 4, 2019

The post Kurt Eichenwald Threatened the Covington Pro-Life Kids, Said They Should Lawyer Up — The Kids Lawyered Up and Now Kurt Is Getting Sued appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Nick Sandmann files $250 million defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post

Hot Air - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 03:41

The $250 million is divided into one part compensatory damages and four parts punitive damages. If you’re wondering what sort of profession a 16-year-old might be eyeing such that he may conceivably incur $50 million in lost compensation from all this, you should understand that that figure is symbolic: It’s “the amount Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, paid in cash for the Post when his company, Nash Holdings, purchased the newspaper in 2013,” per the complaint posted on Sandmann’s lawyers’ website, which you can read in full here.

One important detail that sets this claim apart from most high-profile defamation suit is the notoriety of the plaintiff — or lack thereof. Usually when a newspaper is sued it’s by a public figure; a public figure needs to prove that a false statement of fact was made with actual malice, i.e. that the paper knew it was false or recklessly disregarded whether it might be false before publishing. A private figure, which is how Sandmann will probably be categorized by a court, need only show that a false statement of fact was made negligently. No “actual malice” needed. An honest mistake caused by the paper’s failure to investigate with reasonable thoroughness what happened between him and Nathan Phillips could be sufficient to let him prevail.

I mean, not to the point where he’s going to get a check for $250 million. But he might get a check for something.

The negligence and actual malice of the Post is demonstrated by its utter and knowing disregard for the truth available in the complete video of the January 18 incident which was available contemporaneously with the edited clip the Post chose because it appeared to support its biased narrative…

Phillips, himself, is wholly unreliable and lacks credibility as shown in part by his false claim to have served in Vietnam while a member of the military, as a professional activist with a known bias against President Trump and his supporters, his documented history of making similar false accusations, his use of the January 18 incident to promote his own political and personal agenda, the contradictions in his story established in his interviews, and that the video evidence that totally refute his story…

The Post had obvious reasons to doubt the veracity of its purported firsthand sources, including because they are manifestly biased and because the short video evidence on which the Post relied did not show Nicholas or the students swarming Phillips, uttering the chants or slurs they were accused of making, or Nicholas or the students blocking Phillips’ egress.

That’s the nitty gritty of the negligence/recklessness claim. There are other passages that are more politically bent, no doubt written in the awareness that a lot of politically active righties who don’t normally sift through long defamation pleadings are going to pore over this one. E.g.,

The Post negligently and recklessly published its False and Defamatory Accusations in derogation of accepted principles of journalistic ethics, including by wrongfully placing the anti-Trump, anti-Catholic, and pro-life agenda over the harm its False and Defamatory Accusations caused to Nicholas…

The Post published its False and Defamatory Accusations with common law malice, including because it intended to harm Nicholas because he was a white, Catholic boy wearing a MAGA hat, and consciously ignored the threats of harm that it knew would inevitably ensue, in favor of its political agenda.

I think they mean “pro-choice agenda” in that first paragraph. Regardless, I’m not sure how they’ll prove anything about motive. (Not that they need to in order to recover here.) It seems highly likely to me that WaPo leaped on this story because their first-blush reaction to the video confirmed their biased assumptions about how white kids in MAGA hats behave towards minorities, but there’s likely to be no hard evidence of it. Maybe discovery will turn up an interesting email among the reporters, if the case even makes it that far, but it’s likely to remain a mere supposition.

There are too many quotations from WaPo’s coverage offered as false and defamatory in the complaint for me to excerpt them here, so click and read for yourself. Many of them refer to how “students” from Covington behaved without mentioning Sandmann specifically. Can Sandmann recover damages for the claim, “Phillips said he heard students shout, ‘Go back to Africa!’” when he isn’t specified as one of the shouters? (His lawyers refer repeatedly to the defamatory “gist” of WaPo’s stories, which I take it is their way of trying to solve that problem.) Some of the claims where he is mentioned don’t seem obviously defamatory either. For instance:

“Most of the students moved out of his way, the video shows. But Sandmann stayed still. Asked why he felt the need to walk into the group of students, Phillips said he was trying to reach the top of the memorial, where friends were standing. But Phillips also said he saw more than a teenage boy in front of him. He saw a long history of white oppression of Native Americans. ‘Why should I go around him?’ he asked. ‘I’m just thinking of 500 years of genocide in this country, what your people have done. You don’t even see me as a human being.’”

Which statement of fact there is a damaging falsehood negligently published? It’s just Phillips chattering about his historical grievances.

Eh. Even if he doesn’t win, you can understand the impulse to file this claim. Whether or not the Post, specifically, smeared him, he and his classmates were smeared relentlessly in the days after the original video went viral by the woke detritus that populates the Internet. Filing the defamation suit is a way of announcing to the world, not just the Post, “You were wrong, it’s unfair, and these kids deserve to have that fact recognized.” It’ll hopefully succeed in that effort even if it fails in court.

The post Nick Sandmann files $250 million defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post appeared first on Hot Air.

Gillibrand to activist: You’re right, the border wall would cut off “indigenous” people from the U.S.

Hot Air - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 03:01

By “indigenous,” do they mean Native Americans whose land straddles the U.S.-Mexico border? Because those groups do exist.

Or are they using “indigenous” to describe people who used to be Americans before the border cruelly shifted north to exclude them and who should, perhaps, be allowed to reclaim their American heritage for legal purposes? Because there are Democratic politicians with considerable and still-growing influence who seem to favor that definition.

Let me put this another way: Is the 2020 Democratic platform going to reference “Aztlan”?

Either way, one thing you can’t take away from Kirsten Gillibrand is that she’s a bold truth-telling avatar of truthy boldness. Always taking risks:

Some might say that running unabashedly as a mom is risky. Not to me. Parents have skin in the game for the country we leave to our kids—that's why I'm fighting for paid leave, healthcare and climate action. I'll fight for every kid like they're my own. https://t.co/J7pRZqjllM

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 19, 2019

If there’s any political identity bound to cause controversy in modern America, it’s … mom. Or, as Gillibrand calls it, “carer-feeder.” Follow that link and try to imagine how much bravery it took to let the Associated Press take multiple photos of her performing “carer-feeder” duties given how allegedly risky that is to her political chances.

Here’s your daily reminder that Gillibrand circa 2009 not only would have demanded that we build a wall across the tribes’ land, she would have added extra money for a moat. Two clips below, one of the “indigenous people” exchange and another of her generating excitement on the trail.

And here's video of the woman "just trying to get some ranch," while Senator Kirsten Gillibrand speaks to supporters in Iowa City. pic.twitter.com/6PRCVbbIQW

— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) February 19, 2019

The post Gillibrand to activist: You’re right, the border wall would cut off “indigenous” people from the U.S. appeared first on Hot Air.

Erik Wemple on Lara Logan’s claims of media bias

Hot Air - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 02:21

Yesterday, I wrote about Lara Logan’s podcast interview in which she talked at length about media bias. Today, the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple has a rebuttal of sorts which attempts to prove that claims of media bias are nonsense. What it actually proves is that Wemple is far more interested in dunking on the right than in making any kind of serious argument. For instance, one of the things Logan said was that biased reporting tends to oversimplify so that readers know who the villains are. She suggested that real life usually contains more grey tones and so neutral reporting about President Trump would look a bit more mixed than it presently does. She’s not saying it would be 50-50, only that it wouldn’t be 99% negative all the time. Here’s Wemple’s response:

Go for it, Logan: Track down all those positive Trump stories and publish them. In the meantime, please have a look at this breaking New York Times blockbuster about Trump’s “two-year war on the investigations encircling him.”

I guess he was angry when he wrote that. It’s actually a bit hard to tell if he even gets the point she was making, which was not about putting out bogus positive stories to even things up. In any case, he directs her to read the latest NY Times piece attacking Trump, which sort of proves her point that such pieces are easy to find. I don’t know, maybe Wemple is making a version of the argument you see from a lot of left-wing people online, i.e. Trump is so bad that it would be wrong to normalize him. I think that’s what he’s doing but again, he’s not really undermining her point at all. Next, he attacks Logan based on her Benghazi piece for 60 Minutes:

The story, though, was bogus. In telling the tale, Logan had relied on one “Morgan Jones,” a pseudonymous security contractor who claimed he was front and center for the Benghazi mayhem. But “Jones” actually hadn’t witnessed what he said he’d witnessed. The narrative he gave to “60 Minutes” differed from what he’d told the FBI. And he’d just completed a book published by a CBS-owned publisher. A massive embarrassment thus descended on the top brand in television news, which was subjected to a damning investigation from the news organization’s own standards department.

Fair enough. This was a mess and she obviously paid a price for it. But here’s what Wemple takes from all that:

The Benghazi case dismantles the thrust of Logan’s critique. We believe her when she says that she didn’t have Clinton in mind when she set out to do the Benghazi story, even though the story did create problems — at least temporarily — for Democrats. That’s something that the so-called liberal media does all the time — stories that expose wrongdoing, bad management, illegal activity, etc., by the very same folks with whom it’s supposed to be sympathizing. Why didn’t those liberal censors at CBS News stop Logan’s report before it hit the airwaves? And come to think of it, ABC News also got itself in trouble going overboard in reporting on Benghazi misdeeds. What a bunch of lazy conspirators.

Want more examples? Try the mass gorging by the mass media on the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks in the 2016 presidential campaign. Or Clinton’s email drama, coverage of which overshadowed the various Trump scandals dutifully exposed by that same media. Remember which outlet first exposed Clinton’s exclusive use of personal emails? That was the New York Times.

And to turn to more contemporary matters, how about those liberals at BuzzFeed and HuffPost pouncing on Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s harsh treatment of staff?

This is a flaming dumpster of an argument. Wemple is saying if liberal media bias was real, 60 Minutes would never have produced or aired Logan’s Benghazi story. The fact that they did must prove they’re “lazy conspirators.” In short, media bias can’t exist because look at these negative stories about liberal figures.

As one of my Twitter friends pointed out, that’s akin to someone claiming there can’t be any racial bias in the justice system because just look at all the white people in prison! Well, it turns out that both things can be true at the same time. The media can often do its job and also display some blatant bias with real consequences in the process.

There are at least two things that really bother me about this argument. The first is that Wemple knows better. One of the worst instances of media bias in recent history involved CBS News and Benghazi. CBS sat on a video of President Obama admitting he had not called the Benghazi attack terrorism the day after it happened. That clip would have been explosive and maybe even consequential for the election if CBS had rolled it out when that issue became the focal point of the 2nd presidential debate with Mitt Romney. Instead, they sat on it and finally rolled it out online 2 days before the election. The point being, there is some egregious media bias connected to this story and these players.

The second irritating thing, which maybe Wemple does not realize, is that no one on the right thinks that kind of egregious media bias is the norm. What’s normal is the kind of cultural cognition that leads the media to leap on stories like the Covington Catholic teens and leap away from stories like Kermit Gosnell which was famously dismissed by one Vox reporter as a “local news story.”

Anyway, I’m not going to rehearse a litany of media bias I’ve seen and responded to over the years, but there’s a much bigger discussion to be had here. Suffice it to say it’s a bit more subtle than Wemple wants to admit. Unfortunately, it seems he’s more interested in dismissing the complaints out of hand.

The post Erik Wemple on Lara Logan’s claims of media bias appeared first on Hot Air.

Media, Democrats shocked that CNN would hire Sessions’s DOJ spokesman as a 2020 political editor

Hot Air - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 01:41

Yes, yes, it … certainly is outrageous that someone with a track record in partisan politics would be handed influence over “neutral” political reporting by a news organization.

Why, I think this is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing. Impartial news media — employing partisan operatives?

What’s next, news networks hiring aspiring presidential candidates and treating them as pundits while they informally campaign?

Sarah Isgur, who served as the Justice Department’s leading spokeswoman under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is joining the network as a political editor next month, where she will coordinate political coverage for the 2020 campaign.

Isgur joined the administration in 2017 after overcoming resistance from the president, who balked at bringing on a political operative who had trashed him on the campaign trail. As deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign, and in the months after Fiorina bowed out of the race, Isgur repeatedly laced into Trump…

While it is common for departing administration officials to join cable news networks as analysts or contributors, it is less common for them to oversee news coverage.

The reaction from our ethical betters has not been kind:





You can write the rest of this post as easily as I can.

The incest between the media and Democratic Party politics is an ancient hobbyhorse for activist righties. I’d be surprised if anyone reading this can’t rattle off five to 10 names off the top of their head of news pros who used to work for Democratic politicians. If you need a running start, just click here and enjoy David Rutz’s thread on the subject. We’re not talking about cub reporters, needless to say. We’re talking about George Stephanopoulos shifting from top Clinton advisor to political correspondent at ABC within five years. We’re talking about the brother of the governor of New York hosting a highly anti-Trump “news” show on primetime in CNN. We’re talking about the brother of Barack Obama’s top foreign policy advisor running CBS News.

But adding Sarah Flores to the ranks of political editors at CNN is a scandal, you see.

I think part of the outrage today is due to a misunderstanding of her role. The bit in the excerpt above about her “coordinat[ing] political coverage for the 2020 campaign” makes it sound like she’ll be steering the ship of CNN’s political division. Not so, notes Josh Barro.

People are reading a lot into this "political editor" title for Sarah Flores. CNN has a political director overseeing its coverage and then quite a few people under with editor titles.

— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 19, 2019

The guy who’ll be steering the ship is the network’s political director, David Chalian. Chalian is best known to conservative audiences for having been caught on a hot mic in 2012 saying of Hurricane Isaac that Mitt and Ann Romney would be “happy to have a party with black people drowning.” He was fired immediately from his job at Yahoo News for it. To the left, it’s Flores’s (much lesser) influence over CNN’s political coverage, not Chalian’s, that’s a bias scandal.

Flores, by the way, hasn’t always been a fan of CNN’s…

Boom–> RT @FreeBeacon: The Clinton News Network is back!

— Sarah Isgur (@whignewtons) June 17, 2014

…but she hasn’t always been a fan of Trump’s either. She worked for the Fiorina campaign in 2016 and had plenty of cutting things to say about the president. Eventually she was hired on for her DOJ job after assuring Trump that she supported his agenda, which some of the more hysterical critics of her hire by CNN today are treating as a “loyalty oath.” The one criticism of her that’s fair is the fact that she’s not just a Republican but someone who worked for one of the people who’ll be on the ballot next year (CNN claims she won’t cover the Department of Justice to avoid any direct conflicts), although my guess is that CNN considers that more of an asset than a liability for the role they’ve hired her for. They know they’re going to be lambasted by the right for anti-Trump bias next year no matter what they do, but they’d like to avoid egregious examples of it if possible and maybe don’t trust their in-house judgment on how to avoid those. Bringing in a Republican and Trump administration veteran to consult on potential bias pitfalls will help them avoid them, and it’s good PR to have handy once the bias accusations begin anyway. (“We hired one of Trump’s own employees!”) That’s the main reason Flores is there, I’d bet — bias-spotting, not handing out campaign-trail assignments to beat reporters. In which case, so what?

The post Media, Democrats shocked that CNN would hire Sessions’s DOJ spokesman as a 2020 political editor appeared first on Hot Air.

Andrew McCabe Says NO ONE in ‘Gang of Eight’ Objected to Spying on Trump (VIDEO)

GatewayPundit - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 01:07

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told NBC’s “Today” Show on Tuesday that members of the Gang of Eight congressional leaders knew about the deep state FBI spying on President Trump.

Members of the Gang of 8 included Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.

The Gang of 8 members did not respond to the accusation today.

The Politico reported:

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said on Tuesday that no members of the “Gang of Eight” congressional leaders objected when he informed them in May 2017 that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump over his ties to Russia.

McCabe, who was serving then as acting FBI director after Trump fired Director James Comey, said on NBC’s “Today” show that no one in the briefing objected to the bureau’s inquiry of whether Trump was being used as a Russian asset — “not on legal grounds, constitutional grounds or based on the facts.”

The purpose of the briefing with the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate and the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees “was to let our congressional leadership know exactly what we’d been doing” after Comey’s firing, McCabe said.

Here is the video:

The post Andrew McCabe Says NO ONE in ‘Gang of Eight’ Objected to Spying on Trump (VIDEO) appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Should US allow ISIS bride to return home — and face the consequences?

Hot Air - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 01:01

Nearly five years after slipping out of the US to join ISIS, Hoda Muthana wants to come home again to Alabama with the baby she had as the wife of a jihadi fighter. Her family paints her as a victim, a “vulnerable young woman” who wants to “be accountable for her mistake” and get on with a normal life. As with the stories of other young women, that argument has some truth to it — but it’s not the whole truth:

The lawyer for Hoda Muthana, the US woman who fled Islamic State and now wants to return home, has called for her to be a voice of a deradicalisation programme that dissuades others from joining the terror group and counters online manipulation. …

The US government has shown no interest in her case, nor in her 18-month-old son, whom she had with a now dead Tunisian fighter. Shibly, however, suggests she could be used to warn others not to follow her path.

“Having somebody like Hoda work through the legal system and with the United States government to publicly speak out against the kind of hatred and manipulation that groups like this engage in would be a very useful tool to help protect other vulnerable individuals from being taken advantage of.

“When she left, we held training at her local mosque to emphasise just how dangerous, misguided and wrong groups like [Isis] are. The family is relieved that at last she has recognised the error of her ways. That happened quite some time ago, but it’s been very dangerous for her to escape.”

Her return is inevitable anyway. For one thing, she’s a US citizen, which means we are the ultimate custodian of Muthana. Donald Trump made that much clear to our European allies in his exhortation to take back the captured jihadis from the collapse of ISIS in Syria. One way or another, Muthana’s coming back to the US. Her family wants her to return with minimal consequences, which is certainly understandable from their point of view. That’s why Shibley is promoting the idea of her value as a counterweight to extremists within the American Muslim communities.

Unfortunately that wouldn’t be much of a change for Muthana, who wasn’t exactly shy about speaking out as a member of the caliphate too. In 2015, Muthana attempted to foment terrorist attacks in the US by encouraging people on Twitter to “Go on drive-bys spill all of their blood.” Muthana could face as many as sixty years in federal prison for her participation in and support of terrorism, the New York Post noted yesterday:

Manhattan defense lawyer Michael Bachrach, who helped represent the first former Guantanamo Bay detainee to be tried in a civilian court, said Muthana “can certainly be charged with attempted material support of terrorism, material support of terrorism, as well as a conspiracy count.”

“With each count it could be a 15- to 20-year max, which could run consecutively,” he added, referring to her potential prison sentence.

Manhattan defense lawyer Jeffrey Hoffman said Muthana’s “exhortations to drive into crowds to kill people” could also lead the feds to charge her with inciting to riot. …

“If I were advising her, I’d tell her coming back to the United States may be risky for her,” former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said.

As it should be. The US has sent women to prison for just attempting to join ISIS. Shannon Maureen Conley got four years in 2015 in part because the judge wanted to make sure he set a term that “will cause others to stop.” Add in Muthana’s adult age at the time of her joining ISIS (19) and her attempts to foment terrorism and murder in the US afterward, simply pledging to become a high-school counselor shouldn’t cut it.

Muthana committed real crimes as an adult, brainwashing or not. She needs to be held accountable, as should all jihadis who betrayed their countries by joining those who wished to destroy it. That may not mean 60 years in prison, but it shouldn’t mean going on a speaking tour under the banner I Was A Teenage ISIS Bride either.

The post Should US allow ISIS bride to return home — and face the consequences? appeared first on Hot Air.

DEVELOPING: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Recuses Herself From Jussie Smollett Case

GatewayPundit - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 00:42


Kim Foxx

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx officially recused herself from Jussie Smollet’s case on Tuesday, according to Chicago police.

No explanation was given for Foxx’s decision to recuse herself.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats will be the acting state’s attorney for the Smollett inquiry, a spokesperson said in an emailed statement Tuesday, reported NBC Chicago.

TMZ reported earlier that Jussie Smollett’s case may be heading to a grand jury as early as Tuesday.

The evidence presented could lead to a felony indictment against Jussie Smollett for filing a false police report.

On January 29th, ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett told Chicago Police that two white Trump supporters ambushed him on the streets of Chicago at 2 AM while he was walking back to his apartment following a midnight run to Subway to grab a sandwich.

Smollett alleged the two white males recognized him as the actor from ‘Empire,’ hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck.

The hate hoax began to unravel after it was revealed two Nigerian brothers, who were also extras on Empire were paid $4,000 to stage the attack.

The FBI and US Postal Inspection Service are investigating whether Jussie Smollett played a role in sending a threatening and racist letter crafted from magazine clippings to the ‘Empire’ studio in Chicago prior to the fake MAGA attack.

Jussie Smollett could face up to three years in prison for filing a false police report in the state of Illinois, a class 4 four felony.

DEVELOPING…

The post DEVELOPING: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Recuses Herself From Jussie Smollett Case appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

More Smollett: Feds investigating hate mail, 2007 DUI case included providing false information to police

Hot Air - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 00:21

Not exactly a surprise given the previous reports that the letter might be part of Smollett’s motive for staging the attack. Still, this ABC News report is more evidence that he is now the focus of the investigation.

The FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service are currently investigating whether Jussie Smollett played a role in sending a threatening letter addressed to him at “Empire’s” Chicago studio prior to the alleged attack, two federal officials confirm to ABC News.

The accusation, made by the two brothers who were persons of interest, has not been confirmed.

So this is another story coming from the Nigerian brothers. They’re saying the hate mail was also part of the hoax and now the feds are looking to either confirm or disprove that.

Yesterday CBS 2 in Chicago reported that the brothers claimed Smollett himself had concocted the street attack after a previous hate mail story didn’t have the impact he was hoping for. That combined with the fact that police had seized stamps and magazines (from which the cut-out letters used to create the hate mail may have come) suggested police were already looking to see if the letter was also part of the hoax. Now we know why they were looking.

Of course, this is all still an ongoing investigation and the brother’s story hasn’t been confirmed yet. But Jussie Smollett is definitely resisting making any more statements to police. CNN reports police want to talk to him but don’t know when or if it will happen:

Chicago detectives want to speak to actor Jussie Smollett — but it’s not clear when, or if, that will happen.

Police want to ask Smollett additional questions about the attack he reported on January 29, but as of Tuesday morning, Smollett’s attorneys had not indicated when their client will be available to talk to police.

Maybe he’s just being prudent or maybe he realizes he’s facing some serious repercussions from a stunt he initiated. As I noted earlier, there’s also a report that he may be hiring a big-time defense attorney. Variety has a report today on Jussie’s future if it turns out he staged this crime:

If Smollett falsified a police report, the charge is a Class 4 felony in Illinois, and carries a potential sentence of one to three years in prison. Smollett could also be ordered to pay restitution to compensate for the cost of the Chicago Police Department investigation.

“It’s a very, very, very serious situation,” said Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor who now works in criminal defense in Chicago. “He’s got some very significant exposure.”…

Steve Greenberg, a Chicago defense attorney, said prosecutors could also file a charge of obstruction of justice. He said it was likely, though, that Smollett would be allowed to plead to a misdemeanor, and not serve jail time.

“They’re not going to ruin a guy’s life over this,” Greenberg said. “People make false reports all the time to the police. They get in a DUI, they call police and say, ‘My car was stolen.’ Ninety percent of the time, even if they’re charged with a felony, those people end up pleading to a misdemeanor.”

As if on cue, NBC 5 in Chicago reports that Smollett previously pleaded no contest to a charge of providing false information to police in a case that involved a DUI.

It was revealed Tuesday that in 2007 Smollett pleaded no contest to DUI, driving without a license and providing false information to law enforcement, the L.A. City Attorney’s office confirmed to NBC News.

Smollett, now 36, was sentenced to two years probation and a choice of a fine or jail in the 2007 case, an L.A. City Attorney’s spokesman told NBC News.

That’s certainly not going to help his credibility and may make it less likely prosecutors are willing to knock down a potential charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.

But Smollett’s life is obviously about more than staying out of jail. His scenes on Empire are already being cut as a result of the investigation. If he eventually confesses to setting this up, would Fox allow him to keep his job? On the plus side, there’s certainly a lot of free publicity to be had from this story. On the other hand, I’m not sure an attempt to smear 40+% of the country is the kind of thing that Fox wants to be associated with. Granted it’s entirely possible the fans of Empire wouldn’t care but the fans of other Fox shows might. Keeping Smollett around (if the worst turns out to be true) seems like a big risk for a big broadcasting company to take.

The post More Smollett: Feds investigating hate mail, 2007 DUI case included providing false information to police appeared first on Hot Air.

Comey Triggered After President Trump Tweets Bathroom-Themed Swipe at McCabe and ‘Leakin’ James Comey

GatewayPundit - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 00:10

Fired FBI Director James Comey wasn’t too happy after President Trump called out the actions of McCabe and Rosenstein as “treasonous” on Monday.

Trump unleashed a tweetstorm on Monday slamming “treasonous” McCabe and Rosenstein then followed up with a bathroom-themed swipe at McCabe and ‘Leakin’ James Comey.

Monday night, President Trump trolled Comey and tweeted, “Remember this, Andrew McCabe didn’t go to the bathroom without the approval of Leakin’ James Comey!”

Remember this, Andrew McCabe didn’t go to the bathroom without the approval of Leakin’ James Comey!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2019

Comey was triggered by Trump’s tweet and about an hour later fired off a holier-than-thou response to the president for dubbing him the Deep State FBI ringleader.

JAMES COMEY: “Every time you assault and stereotype a person, you’ve ripped the social fabric. Every time you see that person deeply and make him or her feel known, you’ve woven it.” David Brooks (2/18 NY Times) is right that we all need to be weavers if we are to heal our beloved country.

“Every time you assault and stereotype a person, you’ve ripped the social fabric. Every time you see that person deeply and make him or her feel known, you’ve woven it.” David Brooks (2/18 NY Times) is right that we all need to be weavers if we are to heal our beloved country.

— James Comey (@Comey) February 19, 2019

President Trump gave the former FBI Director the nickname ‘Leakin James Comey’ because he leaked classified memos of conversations he had with Trump in order to prompt a special counsel.

Trump’s tweetstorm on Monday was in response to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s “60 Minutes” interview where he admitted DAG Rod Rosenstein was discussing wearing a wire to record President Trump to remove him via the 25th Amendment.

The New York Times first reported on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s plot to wear a wire and oust Trump with the 25th Amendment in September.

DAG Rosenstein began plotting Trump’s removal shortly after FBI Director Comey was fired, The New York Times reported, citing memos penned by then-Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Rosenstein fiercely denies he plotted to remove President Trump from office.

The president fired off two tweets on Monday using the words “treason” and “treasonous” to describe the actions of the coup plotters as he ramps up his fight against the Deep State.

The post Comey Triggered After President Trump Tweets Bathroom-Themed Swipe at McCabe and ‘Leakin’ James Comey appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Hate Crime? Gay Pro-Trump Activist Scott Presler Says He Was Assaulted, Harassed By Three Men Over His Political Beliefs

GatewayPundit - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:54

Popular conservative activist Scott Presler was out doing pro-Trump advocacy with a sign when a group of men allegedly threw projectiles at him and insulted him for being gay.

Presler wrote that he “stayed calm as they approached me & insulted me for being gay. This is a hate crime.”

I was out with my Trump sign when 3 men threw a projectile at me from their car.

I stayed calm as they approached me & insulted me for being gay. This is a hate crime.

When they go low, we vote. #VirginiaBeach pic.twitter.com/brg0fROxuZ

— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) February 19, 2019

The men throwing things at him was not captured on film — but the subsequent confrontation was.

“If you’re going to throw things at me at least do a better job. Why are you attacking a gay man?” Presler says on the video as he approaches the men. “Why are you attacking a gay Trump supporter, I’d like to know?”

The men appear somewhat stunned as he approached them, then asked why he supports President Trump. Presler cited the just-announced effort from the administration to decriminalize homosexuality across the globe. As he was making his point, one of the men yelled “f-ck that n-gga, boy.”

Led by @RichardGrenell, the Trump administration is launching a global campaign

to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of countries where it's illegal to be gay. https://t.co/jQ1RWoDFrv

— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) February 19, 2019

“Do you think gay people like me should be thrown off buildings because I was born homosexual?” Presler asks.

Speaking to the Gateway Pundit, Presler said that the incident will not stop him from publicly advocating for President Trump.

“Conservatives are verbally attacked like this on a daily basis. I’m lucky that their projectile from a moving car didn’t hit me. But I’m not going to let this experience stop me. I want to show conservatives that we can be brave. I want people to see that I’m not going to be bullied or intimidated into silence,” Presler said.

This week has seen multiple people being targeted for harassment or threats over their support for the president. Earlier in the day, a woman locked her Twitter account after posting a video of herself harassing an elderly man in a thrift store over his Make America Great Again hat.

Earlier this week, a couple had a gun pulled on them while shopping at Sam’s Club because they were also wearing MAGA hats.

The mainstream media has been silent.

The post Hate Crime? Gay Pro-Trump Activist Scott Presler Says He Was Assaulted, Harassed By Three Men Over His Political Beliefs appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Covington Catholic High School Nick Sandmann Sues Washington Post for $250 Million over ‘Defamatory’ Coverage

Geller Report - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:54

Excelsior! Finally someone is taking these libelous destroyers to task. I am so here for it. The enemedia lies and defames those with whom they disagree. They murder the good names of good people.

Nick Sandmann Sues Washington Post for $250 Million over ‘Defamatory’ Coverage

By Breitbart, 19 February 2019:

Attorneys for Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann filed a lawsuit against the Washington Post on Tuesday, seeking $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

“The Post wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C. when he was unexpectedly and suddenly confronted by Nathan Phillips (‘Phillips’), a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face (‘the January 18 incident’),” the lawsuit filed by lawyers Todd V. McMurtry and Lin Wood in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky reads.

The Latest: AP source: Bernie Sanders' campaign raises $3.3M (Associated Press)

Memeorandum - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:50

Associated Press:
The Latest: AP source: Bernie Sanders' campaign raises $3.3M  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Sen. Bernie Sanders' announcement that he is running for president in 2020 (all times local):  —  Bernie Sanders is setting a new fundraising bar for 2020 Democrats.

Meghan Markle's baby shower set to take place at NYC hotel The Mark

Daily Mail - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:48
Seven-months pregnant Duchess of Sussex is in New York for a secret trip to spend time with her girlfriends.

Driverless Buses Will Soon Begin Operating in Orlando

Info Wars - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:46
Orlando already spent $300,000 studying driverless technology.

CNN Staffers 'Demoralized' by Hiring of GOP Operative Sarah Isgur to Edit 2020 Coverage (Maxwell Tani/The Daily Beast)

Memeorandum - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 23:45

Maxwell Tani / The Daily Beast:
CNN Staffers ‘Demoralized’ by Hiring of GOP Operative Sarah Isgur to Edit 2020 Coverage  —  The former Jeff Sessions flack has zero journalistic experience and yet she is tasked with guiding CNN's 2020 reporting.  CNN staffers and media critics alike are not pleased.

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