Connect with us

FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

State Dept. Bars Credentialed Reporters From Special Conference Call – Allows ‘Faith-Based Media Only’: Report

Published

on

The U.S. State Department is holding a special conference call but has barred reporters who regularly cover the State Dept. from the call and instead is allowing only “faith-based media” reporters.

CNN Senior Diplomatic Correspondent covering the State Department, Michelle Kosinski was the first to report the breach in regular norms some are questioning as a possible violation of the First Amendment.

CNN took the White House to court after its Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta was banned, without even a discussion, by the White House press office for asking too many questions. First Amendment experts took the White House to task then too. Acosta was reinstated and the White House instituted new rules making it easier to ban reporters, but since there are rarely press conferences anymore the new rules have yet to be thoroughly tested.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked about “the Rapture” when he was CIA Director in public settings, and views politics as a “struggle” mankind must endure until the Rapture comes.

Update: 5:16 PM ET —
CNN’s reporter verifes, adds that the State Dept. even went so far as to unimvite one reporter:

NEW: STATE DEPT. DOUBLES DOWN ON SECRECY AS POMPEO’S ‘FAITH-BASED MEDIA ONLY’ CONFERENCE CALL DRAWS CRITICISM

Developing…

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 

FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

Viral Video Shows Pickup Truck Ramming Crowd Protesting ICE – They Say a Guard Was Driving, Cops Did Nothing

Published

on

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.”

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.

“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.”

Continue Reading

FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

‘Anti-American’: Trump Order Regulating Social Media Companies, Possibly Favoring Conservatives, Blasted by Experts

Published

on

“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:

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.”

 

Continue Reading

FIRST AMENDMENT? WHAT FIRST AMENDMENT?

President Preps Order Forcing Social Media Sites to Give Conservatives Special Rights as Trump Sons Attack Twitter

Published

on

One Trump Son Starts Following Alt-Right Social Media Site Popular With Extremists

Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. are attacking the social media site their father says helped put him in the White House, as President Donald Trump appears to be following through on a promise to go after social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. That promise is based on false and debunked claims that “Big Tech,” from Google to social media sites, are biased against conservatives.

Politico reports the Trump White House is circulating several different drafts of what would become an executive order that would somehow regulate free speech on social media platforms, which are publicly-traded private companies. Trump last month promised conservatives he would explore “all regulatory and legislative solutions” to try to control social media companies and other Silicon Valley “Big Tech” corporations, like Google.

“If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system,” a White House official told Politico.

What the White House and President Donald Trump are ignoring is conservative extremists are the ones more often engaging in politically motivated and white supremacist domestic terror attacks, like the one in El Paso this weekend that left 22 people dead. Just recently FBI Director Christopher Wray told a U.S. Senate committee that the “majority of the domestic terrorism cases we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.”

Any claims of anti-conservative bias also are not taking into account the offensive behavior by some conservatives, including violating the social media platforms’ terms of service, which apparently lead to them being suspended or removed from those sites.

As for Twitter being a “liberal cesspool,” as the White House called it, the fact is the President has an extremely low approval rating.

Meanwhile, both Trump sons in what appears to be thinly-veiled support for their father’s impending executive order, blasted Twitter this week, while Eric Trump started following the alt-right and far right social media platform Gab. Gab is known to be more friendly to extremists, the alt-right, anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and white supremacists, as NBC News’ Ben Collins noted Thursday morning:

Eric Trump does not appear to have joined Gab, at least not under his name, although there are several parody accounts that appear when searching the site. He did, however take to Twitter to call the popular social media site “an absolute mess.”

Days earlier Eric shared an article from Breitbart, which is known as a home to the alt-right, titled “Former Google Engineer: Google Will Try to Prevent Trump from Being Re-elected.”

This is just one of several tweets Donald Trump Jr. has posted or retweeted in recent days:

Image: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 AlterNet Media.