Revoking the ‘Hard Pass’ of a Reporter Critical of the Administration Is a Dream Come True for Trump
Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a clearly-doctored video to falsely accuse CNN reporter Jim Acosta of “inappropriate behavior” and “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”
The White House Press Office, reportedly under the direction of President Trump, revoked the press pass of CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Wednesday, after he pressed the president for answers during a rare yet off-the-rails press conference.
We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video. pic.twitter.com/T8X1Ng912y
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
As many, including those who work in video editing noted, the clip is doctored and appears to be the one released by an editor who works for Alex Jones’ fake news and conspiracy theories website InfoWars. CNN’s Brian Stelter asked Huckabee Sanders on Twitter directly:
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 8, 2018
This creative director explains how the video was altered:
1) Took @PressSec Sarah Sanders’ video of briefing
2) Tinted red and made transparent over CSPAN video
3) Red motion is when they doctored video speed
4) Sped up to make Jim Acosta’s motion look like a chop
5) I’ve edited video for 15+ years
6) The White House doctored it pic.twitter.com/q6arkYSx0V
— Rafael Shimunov 🔥 (@rafaelshimunov) November 8, 2018
Correction: the white house —uploaded a doctored video— there is no evidence that they are the source of the doctored video. They may have taken it from white supremacist Paul Joseph Watson here https://t.co/9M0ReHAzcp
— Rafael Shimunov 🔥 (@rafaelshimunov) November 8, 2018
Acosta explains what actually happened:
CNN’s Jim Acosta told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he *never* touched the female White House aide that tried to take the mic away from him.
CNN showed the clip but edited out the part where he clearly touched her.
Cooper offered no pushback on Acosta’s blatant lie. pic.twitter.com/65rP9xWWyI
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 8, 2018
Don’t believe the lies coming from the WH. Believe in our freedoms. Thank you all for your support. We won’t back down. 🇺🇸 #1A
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018
Meanwhile, revoking Acosta’s “hard pass” apparently is a dream come true for Trump.
“Sources with direct knowledge tell Jonathan Swan that since the earliest days of his presidency, Trump has mused about revoking press credentials for reporters who infuriate him,” Axios reports.
If there’s any doubt left that the White House released a fake video, here’s another detailed explainer:
The intern’s reach for the mic is slowed down, and the “chop” motion is accelerated. Here’s an annotated side by side comparison: pic.twitter.com/wLCG5GVdo1
— Aymann Ismail (@aymanndotcom) November 8, 2018
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‘We Don’t Promote That Here’: Kentucky School Administrators Force Students to Remove LGBTQ-Pride Tee Shirts
Student Says Principal Outed Several LGBTQ Students to Their Parents
Administrators at a Kentucky high school reportedly forced several students to remove LGBTQ-affirming tee shirts,. The students say they were told “we don’t promote that here,” referring to being LGBTQ, and that the shirts were a “disruption.”
Administrators at Martin County High School reportedly claimed the tee shirts violate the school’s dress code, which says: “Clothing must be appropriate for school and must not interfere with the educational process.”
The tee shirts said “Queen Queer” and “Lady Lesbian,” according to Yahoo News.
The school administrators might have violated the students’ free speech, based on other similar cases (below).
The students are accusing the administration of refusing to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), suggesting that words like “lesbian” or “queer” when used in a positive manner are “disruptive” and could put students in danger, and saying that school is not a place they can or should be open about who they are – while allowing students to flaunt their support of the Confederate flag or President Trump.
“The administrators stated to us that [students] were forced to change because [administrators] were ‘worried for the dangers of the students, and did not want to hear of any students coming back saying they were being bullied,” one of the students told Yahoo News. They added that the administrators said “That school was not a place for children to express their sexual orientation.”
Rather than working to protect free speech – an important lesson for all school students – the LGBTQ students were discriminated against, victimized, and might have had their civil rights violated by the school administrators.
“It was basically just [the principal] saying that we don’t need to advertise our orientations on a big billboard because that puts a target on us for bullying,” one of the students, Jessica, added. “She also said we didn’t need a [Gay-Straight Alliance because we already know who our friends are that support us.”
“We want the administration to really treat others equally because we want the ability to express our identities just like the students who wear Trump apparel, religious apparel or the Confederate flag. I know we are in a rural, Christian-Republican community, but we want tolerance. Our shirts aren’t hurting anyone. It’s unfair that because the staff have certain beliefs, they treat students differently and scare them into not speaking out,” Jessica also said. “We just want justice.”
Yahoo News adds that “Jessica even alleged that the principal outed some LGBTQ students to their parents when calling to warn about a possible walkout which never took place.”
The school appears to be ripe for an intervention from civil rights groups.
In 2016 The ACLU sued a Tennessee school district that had banned a student from wearing a tee shirt that said: “Some People Are Gay, Get Over It.” The ACLU won.
In a detailed look at pro-LGBTQ tees cases, including the 2016 Tennessee case, the Southern Poverty Law Center adds: “First and most importantly, a school cannot manufacture its own ‘disruption’ by overreacting to speech.”
The SPLC also offers more examples, including this one:
“In 2008, a Florida judge struck down a Pensacola-area school’s ban on logos including rainbows, pink triangles and the words ‘gay pride’ or ‘GP,’ which students began wearing in defense of a classmate bullied for being a lesbian.”
Here’s a video report from about the Martin County school administrators decision to ban the speech of several LGBTQ students, from WYMT:
Viral Video Shows Pickup Truck Ramming Crowd Protesting ICE – They Say a Guard Was Driving, Cops Did Nothing
Protestors Were Also Pepper Sprayed
A video that has gone viral on social media shows a group of protestors sitting peacefully across a road in front of Rhode Island’s Wyatt Detention Facility Wednesday night, chanting for the release of about 120 immigrants. A black pickup truck approaches, honks, briefly stops, then runs into the crowd. Children and one person in a wheelchair were part of the protest, organizers say.
“It was terrifying because we didn’t know what exactly his intention was,” said Amy Anthony, a spokesperson for Never Again Action told The Washington Post. “It certainly appeared he was trying to hit us.”
BREAKING: Here is HD video of an ICE guard driving his truck into us as we sat peacefully blocking the Wyatt Detention Center.
We’re putting our bodies on the line because we see the camps and the roundups. We’ve learned from our ancestors: NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE. pic.twitter.com/KnOu5xoOEb
— ✡️ Never Again Action ✡️ (@NeverAgainActn) August 15, 2019
Several protestors were injured and taken to a hospital for treatment. None of the injuries were severe.
“The driver, protesters say, was a correctional officer employed by the privately run facility who was wearing a badge and a uniform — an assertion backed up by video of the incident,” The Washington Post reports.
Local police did not arrest the driver, and in fact took no action at all, according to Anthony.
The driver was allowed to walk into the prison, while prison guards were allowed to pepper spray the protestors.
After the first ICE guard ran us over with his truck, the rest of them ran over & pepper-sprayed us. The police present just stood by and watched, doing nothing.
— ✡️ Never Again Action ✡️ (@NeverAgainActn) August 15, 2019
“If this is the way this correctional officer is behaving in public when people are recording, it’s not hard to imagine the behavior is much worse behind the walls in the facility where no one can see what is happening,” Anthony noted.
The Wyatt Detention Facility is a publicly-owned but privately-run prison facility that contracts with various government agencies, including ICE, to detain prisoners.
It is unclear if private prison guards have the legal right to pepper spray protestors exercising their First Amendment rights.
On its website Never Again Action says it is “a mass mobilization of Jews who are organizing to shut down ICE.”
They also say, “We’ve been taught the signs by our ancestors. As our government runs concentration camps, and rounds up and cages our neighbors, we are called to speak out: #NeverAgainIsNow.”
‘Anti-American’: Trump Order Regulating Social Media Companies, Possibly Favoring Conservatives, Blasted by Experts
“The mother of all bad ideas”
The Trump administration is drafting an executive order that would regulate the largest social media platforms and “Big Tech” companies in the country, from Google to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest. President Trump’s goal apparently is to make these critical platforms extra-friendly to conservatives, who falsely have been claiming there’s an anti-conservative bias in the way Silicon Valley operates in the public realm.
While multiple reports say the executive order is not finalized, TechCrunch and CNN on Friday report the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would be charged with regulating Big Tech and social media platforms. The FCC is headed by a Trump loyalist who opposes net neutrality,
The executive order, currently titled “Protecting Americans from Online Censorship,” is a direct response to both right wing activists’ false claims of censorship and left-wing bias among social media platform operators, and an invitation-only White House meeting last month, labeled a “social media summit” that included mostly just “right wing extremists.”
On Friday, CNN reported the draft Trump executive order “could lead to a significant reinterpretation of a law that, its authors have insisted, was meant to give tech companies broad freedom to handle content as they see fit.”
It would “significantly narrow the protections afforded to companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.”
It also “would reflect a significant escalation by President Trump in his frequent attacks against social media companies over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms.”
Justice staff writer Melissa Gira Grant at The New Republic tweeted, “if this reporting is accurate, Trump has decided to chip away at Section 230 by executive order.”
The Legal Director for Public Knowledge, a D.C.-based nonprofit that says it “promotes freedom of expression, an open internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works,” offered this push-back:
obviously the FCC has no authority to do this, even if the White House told it to, for about a dozen reasons. but even if it did, it would at most open up platforms to more claims from aggrieved users but would do zero to narrow 230(c)(1) https://t.co/CPTSiZqaXq pic.twitter.com/MTqfZQrVzP
— John Bergmayer (@bergmayer) August 9, 2019
NYC-based nonprofit PEN America, which works “to protect free expression,” including press freedom and safety, blasted the proposed order, calling it “an anti-American edict that would empower FCC & FTC to be viewpoint-based arbiters of online speech.”
“Thankfully, 1st Amendment forbids that,” the group adds. “It’s regrettable that this Administration doesn’t seem to know that.”
The Editor-in-Chief of the tech site Lifewire calls it “The mother of all bad ideas.”
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