Because ‘When?’ Also Leads to ‘Why?’
We know that following Donald Trumpâ€™s most recent attack on the free press today at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Convention, the White House blocked The New York Times, CNN, The L.A. Times, POLITICO and Buzzfeed News from todayâ€™sÂ press briefing.
We know that the far-right website Breitbart was included in the briefing, along with journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News.
We also know that Jeff Mason, President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, has spoken out on the matter. â€œThe W.H.C.A. board is protesting strongly against how todayâ€™s gaggle is being handled by the White House,â€ he said. â€œWe encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.â€
Those discussions will likely include Sean Spicer, whose relationship with the press corpsâ€™ has been well-spoofed and of which we have a clear record. But when did Sean Spicer know that the White House would be excluding top outlets from today’s briefing? That, we don’t know.
In reviewing the record, however, itâ€™s worth noting that Spicer ended his time with the press corps on February 8th with â€œThanks a lot, guys. Have a great one. Take care.â€ On the 9th, a brief, â€œThank you, guys.â€
February 14th was a more festive, â€œThank you, guys. See you tomorrow. Happy Valentineâ€™s Day,â€ and the 22nd, â€œThank you, guys, very much. We’ll see you tomorrow. Take care.â€ As itâ€™s a daily press briefing, thereâ€™s plenty of talk about â€œtomorrow.â€ But not yesterday.
Following yesterdayâ€™s tumultuous Q&A concerning the Trump Administrationâ€™s decision to rescind its guidance on transgender youth, Sean Spicer closed out the briefing with a call to watch Trumpâ€™s speech at CPAC today. (Where, again, his attack on the free press continued.)
But just before that, as seen in the video below, he thanked the press corps for their time and wished them well. Then he let them know that they would â€œtouch base tomorrow in some way.â€
In some way.
POLITICOÂ reports that during Friday’s meeting with selected news outlets, Spicer defended the move.
â€œThe president spoke today. As you know, we don’t generally do, we haven’t done briefings when the president’s had a major event or an event with a world leader,â€ Spicer said.
While the video doesnâ€™t prove that Sean Spicer knew yesterday that the outlets would be excluded from todayâ€™s briefing, it certainly begs the question. And given that Spicer himself has compared excluding the press to a dictatorship, it opens the door for a myriad of other questions.
When did he know? And why didn’t he tell the excluded outlets ahead of time? We’ll let you decide.
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Georgia Republicans Push Bill Banning All Government Mandates of ‘Any Vaccination’ Including in Public Schools
Georgia Senate Republicans are pushing a bill that would end any requirements for any vaccinations by any state or local government agency or office in the Peach State, including vaccines for children entering public school.
The bill also bans any government agency from requiring private companies or entities from requiring any proof of any vaccination.
The bill, SB 345, was filed on January 14 with five original co-sponsors. It now has 17, including state Senator Jeff Mullis, whose campaign website prominently features photos of him with former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr.
“No agency shall require proof of any vaccination of any person as a condition of providing any service or access to any facility, issuing any license, permit, or other type of authorization, or performing any duty of such agency,” the bill’s text reads in part.
Georgia State Law law professor Anthony Michael Kreis posted Georgia’s school vaccine requirements, suggesting those would be optional were the bill to become law.
Legislation has been introduced in the Georgia Senate with to ban any public entity from requiring *any* vaccination as a precondition for services or facility access, wiping out the preexisting standards. #gapol https://t.co/uKg5Y85T71 pic.twitter.com/TsyljBC10x
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) January 24, 2022
The CDC recommends a list of about 17 different vaccines children should have before entering school. The list includes inoculations against diseases, often deadly, including Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Pneumococcal conjugate, Inactivated poliovirus, Influenza, Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Varicella, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis, Human papillomavirus, Meningococcal, Meningococcal B, and Pneumococcal polysaccharide.
Watch: Hot Mic Catches Biden Blowing Off Steam With Profane Remark Directed Towards Fox News’ Peter Doocy
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.
At the end of a Biden photo op, when reporters shouted Q’s hoping he’d respond, Fox’s Peter Doocy asked, “Do you think inflation is a political liability in the midterms?” Biden deadpanned: “It’s a great asset—more inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.” pic.twitter.com/Tt4ZVz5Ynj
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 24, 2022
Democratic Congressman Says Tucker Carlson’s Viewers ‘Upset We’re Not Siding With Russia’
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.
“Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.”
– Tucker Carlson, Nov. 25, 2019pic.twitter.com/6cjRnjk5uW
— David Badash (@davidbadash) January 24, 2022
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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