Fascinating observation on Trump’s ability to drive the “Spygate” story

Within the span of five days, Trump went from having just heard about FBI’s use of a confidential source to rendering the judgment that this was a purposeful — and political — attempt by the Obama Justice Department to install a “spy” within his ranks. And deciding that this was a) a scandal and b) one of the biggest scandals in American history. What’s remarkable about all of this is…

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Trump admitted he attacks press to shield himself from negative coverage, 60 Minutes reporter says

Lesley Stahl, a correspondent on “60 Minutes,” made the disclosure on Monday during a live interview with Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour, drawing a stunned silence from the audience. After Trump began to unload on the news media, she said, she asked him whether he planned to stop attacking the press  — a hallmark of his campaign — now that he had been elected. “I said, you know that is…

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Context matters. Trump called MS-13 gang members “animals,” but critics say he was talking about immigrants generally

There are many, many legitimate, evidence-supported critiques that people can make about Donald Trump. Taking a quote out of context  is not a legitimate, evidence-supported critique. I was furious at what I thought Trump said, too, until I looked into the context (C-SPAN). In a sound-bite world, a wise politician would be more careful, but thousands of social media users who shared their knee-jerk outrage could also benefit from a…

CNN’s Chris Cillizza on Trump’s definition of “Fake News”

Here’s some excellent analysis of Trump’s latest attack on journalism (I blogged a bit about this in “More Evidence That, to Trump, ‘Fake News’ Means Critical News“). Trump either doesn’t understand or ignores the difference between a story he doesn’t like and one that is not true. He conflates the two for his own political purposes — knowing his base hates the media and is more than ready to believe…

The crisis in local journalism has become a crisis of democracy

The paucity of reporters has triggered an invisible power shift toward elected officials. A Pew Research Center study of Baltimore showed an increase in local stories based on press releases from elected officials. The trends in journalism exacerbate the divide between the coasts and the rest of the country. In 2014, almost 1 out of 5 U.S. reporters worked in New York, Washington or Los Angeles, compared with 1 in 8 in 2004.…