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Just 2 Months Ago Sean Spicer Said White House Would Never Ban News Outlets Because That’s What a ‘Dictatorship’ Does

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‘You Know, Conservative, Liberal, or Otherwise, That’s What Makes a Democracy a Democracy Versus a Dictatorship’

Just two months ago, before Donald Trump took office, Sean Spicer sat down with POLITICO’s Jake Sherman and promised that the Trump administration would never ban a media outlet. On Friday afternoon, Spicer broke that promise, banning The New York Times, CNN, and POLITICO from a White House press briefing. That came just hours after President Trump delivered a speech at CPAC bashing the “dishonest media,” as he called the “fake news” press.

“There’s a big difference between a campaign where it is a private venue using private funds, and a government entity. We have a respect for the press when it comes to the government,” Spicer said, speaking of the incoming Trump administration. “That that is something that you can’t ban an entity from.”

“You know, conservative, liberal, or otherwise, that’s what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.”

POLITICO’s Kenneth Vogel today posted this clip of Spicer’s remarks:

While Spicer refused to allow the Times, CNN, and POLITICO into today’s briefing, which also was not televised as it is every day, far right wing outlets including Breitbart were allowed entrance. 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Watch: Hot Mic Catches Biden Blowing Off Steam With Profane Remark Directed Towards Fox News’ Peter Doocy

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It was not a good day for Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy. First, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was clearly irked by his line of questioning as he tried to make news by framing a rise in crime as something the Biden administration has ignored, despite Fox News promoting Second Amendment “activists” and doing its best to oppose efforts to reduce poverty and efforts to counter societal ills.

Later, after the close of President Biden’s Competitiveness Council meeting, reporters continued to shout questions at the President. Among them Peter Doocy, who carelessly asked the President if rising inflation was a “liability” for the midterm elections.

“It’s a great asset – more inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch,” President Biden appeared to say sarcastically.

Watch:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Democratic Congressman Says Tucker Carlson’s Viewers ‘Upset We’re Not Siding With Russia’

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As tensions heat up between the United States and Russia over Vladimir Putin’s unlawful attacks on Ukraine one Democratic Congressman says he’s getting calls from Fox News viewers who think the U.S. should side with Russia.

“My office is now getting calls from folks who say they watch Tucker Carlson and are upset that we’re not siding with Russia in its threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia’s ‘reasonable’ positions,” writes Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).

For nearly three years during the Obama administration, Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. He now sits on the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Homeland Security, and Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism.

For years Tucker Carlson has been advancing Russian propaganda, as he did here in November of 2019, only to be forced to walk back his comments later that same evening.

U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols weighed in on Rep. Malinowski’s remarks, observing “Republicans are the Russia Party now.”

“For years,” adds political commentator Jared Yates Sexton, “the American Right has been drawing together with Putinist illiberalism’s antidemocratic, Christian theocratic, white supremacist construction. The divide we have in this country breaks down along these lines. None of this is a surprise or accidental.”

“We’ve been trying to tell you for years now this was happening. The Republican Party and its growing authoritarianism sides with Putin, Orbán, and illiberalism everywhere,” he continues. “It’s an international movement and this Ukraine situation only makes that more clear.”

Propaganda and political warfare historian  and former NATO civilian official Mark R. Jacobson adds: “This is exactly how Russian disinformation/subversion works – they put out a talking point to advance their foreign policy goals & a set of perfidious pundits parrot the point.”

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CRIME

Psaki Rips Doocy Apart Over Crime Claim: ‘I Think We Should Be Responsible in Reporting to the Public’

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has clearly grown tired of Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, even growing apparently angry after delivering an exceptionally long and detailed response to his claim President Joe Biden isn’t doing enough to “keep Americans safe.”

After he asked, “would you agree that the most important job for any president is to keep Americans safe?” Doocy got slammed with facts.

Crime has existed in America since before America was America, but Doocy suggested in his first year President Biden should have somehow eliminated crime.

“If the President’s never satisfied if people don’t feel safe,” Doocy began, “does he know that after a year in office, people do not feel safe in this country?”

(Fox News has turned crime into a hot business, bragging about its “up-to-the-second crime coverage.”)

“Well, Peter, I think if we look at the facts here, we’ve seen a surge of crime over the last two years. Would you agree with that?” Psaki replied.

“So what are you attributing the rise in crime to that?” Doocy said to a very prepared Psaki, who, in a rare move, accused him of not being “responsible” in his reporting.

“Well, I think we should be responsible in how reporting to the public what the, what the, what the roles are, what the reasons for the surge in crime,” she began.

“Gun violence is a huge reason for the surge in crime. Underfunding of some police and police departments and their need for additional resources, something the President has advocated for consistently through the course of his career. That’s something we know we need to take action on. And it is absolutely true that he will not be satisfied or complacent when officers are being gunned down or when Americans have to worry about whether they can safely ride the subway or bus,” Psaki continued, growing more and more angered. “That should not be a political issue. He’s somebody who has had a long career many decades of fighting for funding for police departments for local communities in order to reduce crime.”

Doocy was undeterred.

“He’s been here in office for more than a year, and the murder rate is nearing a 25-year high. So why don’t we see and hear more from the President about this? We hear all the time about things that you guys are doing to fight the pandemic. Because that is a risk to American people. A rising murder rate is a risk to American people too.”

“And he has spoken to crime, but I think what people are most focused on as they should be or what actions he has taken. He has unveiled a strategy to focus federal law enforcement resources on combating violent crime, offered unprecedented levels of funding through the rescue plan for cities and states to put more cops on the beat and invest in proven community anti-violence programs, something every Republican voted against.”

“The Department of Justice has announced $139 million in grants to cities for community policing, which will put 1000 more officers on the streets. He’s also proposed doubling those grants, and he’s called for an additional $750 million for federal law enforcement. He’s announced a zero-tolerance policy for gun dealers who sell, willfully sell, illegal guns and we’ve launched gun trafficking strike forces in New York and cities across the country. Actions are important here and he has a long record of them.”

“Does the President think that any of that is working?” Doocy dared to ask.

“The president thinks you should have a plan to address crime and gun violence. He has one, and we look forward to working with people who support that effort.”

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