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Daily Beast: ‘Sorry for Any Upset’ Caused by Our (Possibly) Outing Gay Olympians

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Some Live in Countries Where It’s Literally Dangerous to Be LGBT

The Daily Beast is under fire after its London editor published an article describing how he used the gay “hook up” app, Grindr, to meet LGBT Olympic athletes in Rio, and then proceeded to possibly out them. Nico Hines, a straight, married man with children, is accused of publishing details that could allow people to identify the athletes he messaged with, including, for at least one, the county they’re from.

In response to intense condemnation from the news media and from social media, Daily Beast Editor in Chief John Avlon had the piece reworked, supposedly removing any identifying information, but left it online and added an inadequate explanation and what is supposed to serve as an apology: “we have made some editorial changes to the article, responding to readers’ concerns, and are again sorry for any upset the original version of this piece inspired.”

But no apology is sufficient for possibly placing in danger someone’s life, which effectively is what Hines and The Daily Beast may have done.

Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams notes Hines “proudly declares that he caught the eye of men competing in a variety of events that he specifically names, and from a variety of nations he also names — including one man ‘from a notoriously homophobic country.’ He also identifies his event.”

Williams adds: “Hines drops little clues about other prospective dates, like their rankings.”

Hines, in his article – which was originally titled, “I Got Three Grindr Dates in an Hour in the Olympic Village” – tries to justify his actions: he never lied, he claims, apparently not quite understanding nuance.

“For the record, I didn’t lie to anyone or pretend to be someone I wasn’t—unless you count being on Grindr in the first place—since I’m straight, with a wife and child. I used my own picture (just of my face…) and confessed to being a journalist as soon as anyone asked who I was.”

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern accurately describes Hines’ piece as an “astoundingly creepy exercise in Grindr-baiting,” and observes that Hines “believes gays are more promiscuous than straight people—a theme to which Hines often returns throughout his vile piece.”

Stern takes Hines’ “I didn’t lie” claim to task, explaining, “of course being on Grindr in the first place is a lie. Grindr is an app for men who wish to hook up with other men. That is its purpose! To be on Grindr when you do not have that goal, and when you could not possibly have that goal because you are straight, is itself a mendacious deception.”

Mic’s Matthew Rodriguez adds, “Putting an Olympian’s stats next to their country of origin endangers the well-being of that person, especially when one athlete was from Central Asia, a region in which LGBT people are ‘marginalized, criminalized, and are exposed to high levels of violence, harassment and discrimination,’ according to one U.S. congressman‘s testimony.”

Vox’s German Lopez notes the obvious, but it’s something that needs to be said: “The first big problem is the story offers zero value to readers.” 

And Lopez encapsulates the real problem:

“That a straight Daily Beast writer directly violated this basic expectation of anonymity puts these athletes at risk. This may be unimaginable to those who don’t know what homosexuality around the world looks like. But remember, some of these athletes are from countries where homosexuality is still very socially stigmatized, illegal, or even punished by death. If any of these people are exposed, it could ruin their careers or even put them in prison or worse.”

UPDATE: Gay Olympian Blasts Daily Beast and Writer ‘Who Thought It’d Be Funny to Endanger People’s Lives’

 

Image by Mark_JH via Flickr and a CC license 

 

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News

Trump Could Face 20 Years Behind Bars for ‘Serious Felonies’ at Mar-a-Lago: Legal Analyst

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A legal analyst for ABC News pointed out that former President Donald Trump is potentially facing 20 years in prison for “serious felonies” after the search of his Mar-a-Lago home.

Dan Abrams told ABC host Jonathan Karl that the Department of Justice could indict Trump for multiple crimes after finding classified documents during the search.

“They’re very serious,” Abrams said of the charges. “And the one that’s being talked about most is this espionage act because it has the word espionage in it. But the truth is that when it comes to potential criminal sentences, the obstruction of justice statute is the one with the most potential prison time.”

“There you’re talking about up to 20 years behind bars,” he added. “So these are not sort of minor crimes we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the potential for serious felonies with regard to all three of the crimes being investigated.”

But Abrams threw cold water on the idea that a Trump prosecution would be easy.

“The fundamental question is going to be intentionality,” he opined. “How much do they believe that they did this on purpose? Were they intentionally ignoring subpoenas? Were they literally destroying documents?”

Watch the video below from ABC.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Analysis Breaks Down GOP’s Flawed Response to the Mar-a-Lago Search

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Republican lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse on whether or not they should be defending former President Donald Trump amid his latest flurry of legal woes. The party is also facing challenges with navigating some lawmakers’ critical assessments of law enforcement over the Trump investigation.

A new analysis is breaking down Republicans’ seemingly flawed response and how it underscores the cracks in the political party’s foundation.

According to Axios, the analysis comes shortly after documents released on Friday, August 12, offered details about the search which reportedly involved “highly classified materials believed stored in violation of the law at the ex-president’s private residence.”

Prior to the release of those documents, Republicans serving on the House Intelligence Committee participated in a press conference where they continued to criticize the investigation, describing it as being politically motivated.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) scrutinized the investigation deeming it a “complete abuse” of authority as she suggested it was being conducted because the former president is considered to be “Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024.”

However, some Republicans on the committee have offered a more leveled approach to the situation. Per The New York Times, “Trump allies have told top Republicans to tone down their criticism of the Justice Department ‘because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.'”

“It’s incumbent upon everybody to act in a way that’s becoming of the office they hold,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, “And that’s not casting judgment on anything until you know all the facts.”

Others have attempted to defend the former president. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “You can say nuclear weapons, but there are things that are highly, highly classified, there are things that are not extremely classified.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is now selling merchandise on her website in support of a call to “defund the FBI” while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI.”

 

Image: Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago via Facebook

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Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama

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Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.

“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.

“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.

“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

That is also false.

The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

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