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‘Bluetooth-Phobic’: Experts Blast Attack on VP Harris – From a News Giant Owned by a Million-Dollar Trump Donor

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Security experts and many Americans alike are blasting an attack by the mainstream media giant Politico against Vice President Kamala Harris, an attack that comes amid revelations of a study in The Washington Post showing just how unfairly negative the press has been in its coverage of President Joe Biden and his administration. As it turns out, Politico, a major player in DC politics, is effectively owned by a million-dollar donor to Donald Trump.

The anger which spread through social media late Monday night was fueled by a tweet from Politico’s White House reporter Alex Thompson, who shows Vice President Harris in four different images using corded headphones instead of wireless ones. According to Thompson, co-author of the piece, the Vice President has a “Bluetooth phobia,” and co-wrote a story titled, “Kamala Harris is Bluetooth-phobic.”

Outrage was swift, with many asking how this could even possibly rate as a valid “news” story amid a nation whose democracy is crumbling as it battles a global pandemic, rising fascism, an attempted coup, a decades-long plot to curtail reproductive, voting, minority, and sexual minority rights, climate change, inflation and massive wealth inequality, in a political climate that some fear may lead to actual civil war.

Others, especially intelligence and national security experts slammed Politico and the article’s authors, noting just how potentially dangerous Bluetooth headphones actually are from a security perspective.

But Thompson was undeterred, defending the article at every turn.

“Former aides say that VP has long been careful about security — w/ some describing it as prudent & others suggesting it’s a bit paranoid,” he tweeted Monday. “A former aide from AG days said when a person arrived for a meeting, staff were instructed not to allow them to wait in Harris’ office alone.”

Politico in October was sold to the German media conglomerate Axel Springer, reportedly for about $1 billion. Axel Springer, which has been described as “conservative” and by casual observers “right wing,” is majority-owned by the U.S.-based investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), whose founders are known for historic, massive leveraged buyouts.

Henry Kravis is a million-dollar Trump donor, according to Forbes.

Dana Milbank is the author of the Washington Post piece that exposes just how poorly the mainstream media has covered the Biden administration. On Sunday he happened to tweet about Politico:

Chad Loder has been described by The Intercept as “a tech company founder and cybersecurity expert from Los Angeles who posts meticulous, open-source investigations of local right-wing extremists on a Twitter feed with more than 100,000 followers.” He’s also  written articles like “Should you hold employees accountable for cyber security?” (yes, in short, by the way.)

Here’s how he responded to the Politico piece:

Byron Tau, who writes about national security for The Wall Street Journal, explained why Bluetooth is a security risk:

“Bluetooth peripherals are a security risk. If they don’t rotate their unique identifier, they can easily be sniffed and tracked. If there are flaws in the security, they can be compromised. Most people don’t have to worry about these things but high level federal officials should,” he said via Twitter.

Magdi Semrau, a journalist who writes about science, politics, and culture, responded to Thompson and his co-author Ruby Cramer, pointing to an article titled: “Sorry, readers. Your Bluetooth device is a security risk.”

A former chief of staff for the White House National Space Council offered some anecdotal evidence of Bluetooth use curtailment, and asked, “what is the point of this article?”

Referring to Hillary Clinton, former Media Matters senior fellow Jamison Foser asked Thompson and Cramer: “Did you consider including for context in this piece the fact that another high-profile woman was the subject of years of obsessive media coverage about supposed security risks in her communications practices as a high-ranking government official?”

Sherrilyn Ifill, the highly-respected President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) asked what many were thinking:

 

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COMMENTARY

Fox News Host’s Inaccurate Reporting Leads to False Right-Wing Speculation Breyer Was Forced Out

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Barely minutes before 12:00 noon on Wednesday NBC News’ Pete Williams broke the news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was going to announce he is retiring, at the end of the term.

Hours later Fox News host Shannon Bream breathlessly tweeted, “Multiple sources tell me Justice Breyer was not planning to announce his retirement today. They describe him as ‘upset’ with how this has played out. We still await any official notice from his office and/or the #SCOTUS public information office.”

That was 2:41 PM.

Her tweet was inaccurate – based on her own reporting, about a half-hour later.

At 3:14 PM Bream “clarified” her reporting, making clear that Justice Breyer “firmly decided” to retire on his own, and was merely “surprised” that a top-notch veteran Supreme Court reporter broke the news:

Her first tweet has received thousands of retweets and likes and led to false speculation among many right-wingers (adding to the already false claims from the far right) that President Joe Biden forced Justice Breyer out the door – something impossible (unless you do over a billion dollars in business with a bank where the son of a Supreme Court Justice works.)

Too late, the damage is done. Ordinarily many reporters will delete tweets that are inaccurate or wrong, then post the reason why, and a correction. Bream did not.

Related: Fox News Host Asks How We Can Tell ‘Bad Guys’ If We Can’t See ‘Tone Of Their Skin’?

Over at the right-wing National Review, senior writer Charles C. W. Cooke posted an article titled: “Did the Democratic Party Preempt Justice Breyer’s Announcement to Force His Hand?”

Its only content: Bream’s inaccurate tweet and the words, “It certainly seems possible.”

Here are more results of Bream’s inaccurate reporting:

Chief political correspondent, Washington Examiner and Fox News contributor Byron York:

Another Washington Times columnist and a SiriusXMPatriot personality:

Former senior advisor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC):

Blogger at right wing website Hot Air:

Radio talk show host:

 

 

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COMMENTARY

Watch: Trump Says He Will Be the ’47th President’ – Is He Skirting Federal Campaign Finance Law?

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In video posted Wednesday to Instagram Donald Trump appears to say he will be the “47th President,” which would indicate once again he has decided to run again.

That video (below) was also reported by the New York Post, which notes, “Trump hasn’t publicly said if he is planning to run for the White House again — but he has repeatedly teased a second campaign and has been holding rallies ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.”

The right wing PJ Media adds, “this might have been the ultimate Freudian slip,” and says it suggests a re-election campaign.

Trump has not officially announced he will run for several reasons, as Rolling Stone explained last October:

Trump very much seems like he is running for president in 2024, which according to campaign finance law should prohibit him from coordinating with super PACs like MAGAA, or his leadership PAC Save America, which together brought in north of $80 million in the first half of this year. Trump is able to coordinate with those PACs, though — and use their money to finance his travel, his campaign-style rallies, his God knows what else — because he hasn’t yet officially declared his candidacy. The former president is then, in essence, running what appears to be a shadow campaign designed to skirt campaign finance regulations while holding the still-distant race for the Republican nomination hostage.

“As long as Trump doesn’t explicitly announce he’s running for president,” Rolling Stone added, “he can essentially raise as much money as he wants from whomever he wants, and spend it unfettered by the restrictions or transparency requirements imposed upon actual candidates.”

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COMMENTARY

Whoopi Goldberg Destroys Bill Maher’s Anti-Mask Rant: ‘How Dare You Be So Flippant?’

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Whoopi Goldberg blasted HBO’s Bill Maher after the increasingly right-moving comedian declared he doesn’t want to live in pro-vaccine Americans’ “masked paranoid world” anymore.

On Monday’s “The View” Goldberg called Maher’s remarks “not really funny to people who have lost their kids” or “family members or dear friends to this,” she said, apparently meaning to COVID. (She obviously misspoke, saying the “vaccine.”)

Maher on his HBO show on Friday had said, “I don’t want to live in your paranoid world anymore, your masked paranoid world anymore, you know, you go out it’s silly now. You know you have your mask, you have to have a card, you have the booster, they scan your head like you’re a cashier and I’m a bunch of bananas. I’m not bananas you are.”

Goldberg continued, saying, “listen, nobody on the planet really wants to go through this, this is not something we’re doing because it’s, you know, sexually gratifying. This is what we’re doing to protect our families, and you don’t have to do it, but stay away from everybody. Because if you’re the one who’s not paying attention, and your confidence needs, you don’t want to then stay out of the public man. This is not, nobody wants this. I don’t want it. And I think he’s forgetting the people who are still at risk. who cannot get vaccinated. People who can’t get – little kids under the age of five. Yeah, well people with health conditions How dare you be so flippant, man?

Watch:

 

 

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