Tag: cnn
If Republicans Really Want Border Security, Here's A Plan That Works

If Republicans Really Want Border Security, Here's A Plan That Works

Donald Trump's solution was to build a wall and insult migrants. Left off his playbook for curbing illegal immigration was any punishment for employers who hired undocumented workers. That would inconvenience farmers, he said.

As it turned out, the wall wasn't built, and those entering illegally didn't care about the insults. They wanted work, and they got it.

Fixing immigration requires two things. One, we must remove the job magnet by punishing employers who hire the undocumented. Two, we must determine how many immigrants we need and with what skills. That will mean accepting more people legally.

Neither solution relies entirely on police, horses and miles of wall. And that brings us to the unexpected quiet at the border following the end of the Title 42.

Under Trump's Title 42, purportedly designed to stop the spread of COVID-19, migrants were quickly turned back at the border. What sounded stern was nothing but a revolving door. Title 42 came with no consequences for illegal entry. Anyone turned away could try again and again and probably succeed.

The Biden administration's new policy seems actually tougher. Someone caught coming over the border illegally would face a five-year ban on reentry. And those breaking the law could also face deportation and possible criminal prosecution.

More than anything else, that five-year ban on even trying to get here illegally is probably bringing more peace to the border.

But here is a dilemma that may persist: The great majority of migrants come here for economic reasons, not fear of persecution at home. There are pathways for economic migrants to apply for legal status, but getting a green light might take years or fail. A way to jump the line has been to show up at the border and ask for asylum.

Up to now, the initial bar for establishing a credible fear of returning to one's country of origin has been fairly low. Those who pass it are given a court date for a final decision where a grant of asylum is much harder to obtain. But because of the court backlog, such migrants would have years of working in this country before their case is heard.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas insists that it's now harder to make that first credible claim at the border. We will see what happens. In the meantime, Biden is opening new pathways for legal immigration in regional processing centers throughout Central and South America.

Note that illegal immigration to the United States hit its lowest level in 40 years under Barack Obama, not Trump. Obama was not afraid to deport people or confront personal attacks by the open-border forces on his left. Biden will have to do likewise.

And Republicans will have to stand up to the cheap-labor right. Trump's apparent rival, Gov. Ron DeSantis, has yet to show that courage.

DeSantis recently signed a law that required big Florida companies or those doing state business to check the legal status of all hires with an electronic database. Left out were most restaurants, tourist operations, maintenance services — the very businesses that employ large numbers of undocumented workers.

Florida Republicans recently passed a bill that hands DeSantis $12 million to fly undocumented migrants to such liberal places as Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Wouldn't that money be more usefully spent enforcing labor practices in the kitchens and on landscaping trucks in Miami? (That assumes they really care.)

According to the Migration Policy Institute, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties are home to nearly as many "unauthorized" people as the entire state of Massachusetts, which has well over two times the population.

America needs both parties to secure the border. Democrats have started, and Republicans are invited.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Mike Lindell

'Put Up Or Shut Up': Cyber Expert Asks Court To Enforce Lindell's $5 Million Forfeit

MyPillow Chief Executive Officer and prominent election denier Mike Lindell was ordered in April to pay $5 million to the cyber security expert who debunked his 2020 election fraud claims — but the CEO has yet to make the payment, CNN reports.

The conspiracy theorist previously "vowed to award a multimillion-dollar prize to any cyber security expert who could disprove his claims," and when software developer Robert Zeidman did just that, an arbitration panel awarded him a whopping $5 million.

Zeidman is asking a federal court to "force" the CEO to pay him, according to CNN.

Now, Lindell is calling it all "a complete sham."

The right-winger told CNN Friday, “The bottom line is this thing is wrong, and I'm not stopping until we prove him wrong."

However, earlier this month, the CEO said during a Right Side Broadcasting (RSB) Network interview he spent over $40 million "trying to overturn the election," and as a result, is now asking the pubic to buy stock in his business, Lindell TV.

CNN reports:

The pricey battle began in 2021 when Lindell convened what he called a 'cyber symposium' to showcase data he claimed to have related to the 2020 election. The MyPillow CEO invited cybersecurity experts to participate in the 'Prove Mike Wrong Challenge.' If the experts could prove Lindell's data wasn’t related to the 2020 election, they could win a multimillion-dollar payout.

Regarding the CEO's repeated false election claims, Zeidman said last month, "The data was just so obviously bogus. It surprised me."

Also last month, Glasser told CNN the court's order Brian Glasser confirms "another important moment in the ongoing proof that the 2020 election was legal and valid, and the role of cybersecurity in ensuring that integrity."

On Friday, Glasser told the publication, "It's kind of put up or shut up time for Mr. Lindell," adding,"If Lindell is not a complete fraudster, he should have the ability to pay."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Donald Trump

The Woman-Hating Narcissist Who Wants To Be President, Again

Time was when people calling themselves journalists were in the business of reporting news, not creating it. However, we no longer have political journalism in this country; instead, we have TV. And what TV is about, almost regardless of what it pretends to be about, is celebrity.

Oh, and money. Ratings, celebrity and money.

As quoted by Michael Tomasky in The New Republic, CNN chief executive Chris Licht professed the highest motives when he took over the network: “I think we can be a beacon in regaining that trust by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics in journalism: fearlessly speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo, questioning ‘groupthink’ and educating viewers and readers with straightforward facts and insightful commentary ... First and foremost, we should, and we will be advocates for truth.”

Instead, he gave us The Donald Trump Show, staged as a “town hall” in an ersatz New Hampshire village populated by credulous zombies. Not journalism at all, but a pseudo-event bearing the same relationship to political reality that professional wrestling bears to real sports. A Trump campaign event, paid for by a self-styled news network. Basically, a campaign donation from CNN.

This placed moderator Kaitlan Collins in the unenviable role of WWE referee, charged with correcting Trump’s voluminous lies with little hope of even slowing him down. The man lied about everything while the MAGAs yukked it up and cheered him on. He lied about the 2020 election. He lied about the Jan. 6 insurrection and his role in it. He lied about the abortion issue. He lied about classified documents that he left lying around at Mar-a-Lago while he lied to the government about hoarding them. He lied about his efforts to pressure Georgia officials to reverse his electoral loss in that state.

Asked about his infamous phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Trump brazenly claimed, “I didn’t ask to find anything. I said, ‘You owe me votes.”’

Why Collins didn’t then confront him with an audio recording of the call, in which he suggested that Georgia election authorities should disqualify thousands of supposedly fraudulent ballots, I can’t imagine.

“I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Trump told Raffensperger, one more than he would have needed to claim the state’s electoral votes. In reality, Georgia recertified its presidential votes three times with the same result.

The GOP nominee lost every time.

I also can’t imagine why Collins didn’t just haul off and slap the big blowhard across the face when he called her a “nasty” woman. Him, a dirty old man in elevator shoes, a corset and more makeup than Dolly Parton.

It would have made great TV.

But the woman Trump really defamed — all over again — during his 70 minutes of bizarre ranting was E. Jean Carroll. This was a bit more than 24 hours after a federal jury found that Trump had sexually assaulted her in a New York department store and was liable for $5 million in damages for repeatedly calling her a fantasist and a liar.

He repeated the same claim that the jury had rejected: that Carroll was a total stranger and a “whack job” who conspired with friends to make up a phony story for money. He added that the total stranger owned a cat named “Vagina.”

And if you believe that, well, you’d probably vote for the crazy scoundrel all over again.

Yes, I wrote “crazy.” His niece Mary Trump is far from being the only qualified mental health professional who has diagnosed the former president as a textbook example of narcissistic personality disorder. Most shrinks prefer not to get involved because of professional taboos — well-founded, for the most part — against diagnosing people they haven’t examined personally.

Narcissism On Display

By now, however, we’ve all seen quite enough of Trump to draw some conclusions, particularly in highly revealing contexts like the CNN town hall. More, in fact, than many therapists see of clients they have no hesitancy about diagnosing. Simply put, Donald Trump is a classic case of a criminal psychopath.

According to what’s known as the DSM-5 (the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition”), narcissists display “arrogant, haughty behaviors,” “a sense of entitlement” and a “grandiose sense of self-importance.” Markedly “lacking empathy” for others, they believe that they are special and unique, require “excessive admiration,” and are characteristically “interpersonally exploitative (taking advantage of others to achieve their own ends).” Lying, cheating and stealing come as second nature to such persons, many of whom end up in penitentiaries.

Unless, that is, they inherit hundreds of millions of dollars from Daddy, and with that fortune, legal immunity. The average “thug,” to use one of Trump’s favorite words, would still be in prison for what he did to E. Jean Carroll.

Instead, we make him a “star.”

Columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of The Hunting of the President.

Reprinted with permission from Sun Times.

Donald Trump

CNN'S Disastrous Trump Town Hall Was Exactly What Network Bosses Want

CNN’s predictably calamitous town hall with former President Donald Trump is the natural extension of the ideological vision cultivated by the network’s leaders.

You can tell that’s the case because even as the network’s journalists are describing the event as “awful” and “one of the worst hours I’ve ever seen on our air,” CNN CEO Chris Licht is singing its praises, reportedly telling his staff that “America was served very well by what we did last night."

My colleague John Whitehouse documented last night’s atrocities for MSNBC.com:

Some are trying to blame CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who moderated the event. There were some glaring Trump lies that she didn’t correct. But on the whole, it’s impossible to deny that she tried to some degree, and that it wasn’t close to enough. Her colleague Jake Tapper gamely tried to clean up immediately after the event, before admitting that there wasn’t enough time in the night to fact-check every false statement Trump made. The format forced Collins to try to interrupt Trump with various fact checks, which only turned him and the audience more against her as the night went on. It culminated with Trump calling Collins “a nasty person” — to big applause from the audience.

In a statement, a CNN spokesperson defended Collins as “a world-class journalist” who “asked tough, fair and revealing questions ... and fact-checked President Trump in real time.” Yet primary fault for the disaster lies not with Collins, but with basic errors CNN made well before the town hall aired — decisions that guaranteed to push things beyond a breaking point. It’s no coincidence that Fox News and conservatives loved this event: It was, literally, classic Republican propaganda that Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes, who died in 2017, likely would have applauded.

The town hall debacle brings back disturbing memories of CNN’s coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign. Under Jeff Zucker — who had previously overseen Trump’s NBC reality show The Apprentice — the network’s spectacle-obsessed, horse race-focused treatment helped lift Trump to the presidency. CNN’s new leaders seem to be returning to old practices as they seek to move the network to the political right. And that bodes ill for the quality of CNN’s coverage as the 2024 presidential election looms.

CNN regularly built its coverage of the 2016 race around obsessive promotion of Trump's rallies, which the network frequently aired live and unedited. The network also hired a stable of unhinged pro-Trump contributors whose lies frequently turned segments into trainwrecks, including former Trump campaign manager and walking ethics disaster Corey Lewandowski.

None of this was enough for Trump, who prefers his propaganda purer. He regularly denounced the network as “fake news” and threatened on the campaign trail to halt the merger between its then-parent company Time Warner and AT&T.

Following Trump’s election, out of guilt or duty or (most likely) pursuit of an audience, Zucker’s network pivoted. There was still plenty to criticize about the network’s coverage, particularly its nonstop platforming of dishonest pro-Trump pundits. But it also provided an outlet for journalists and commentators like Brianna Keilar, Jim Acosta, Brian Stelter, John Harwood, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon to take on Trump and his Fox News megaphone. The president responded with fury, and his denunciations of the network were followed with action: Trump’s Justice Department tried to halt the AT&T-Time Warner merger, he seems to have tried to broker a sale of CNN to Rupert Murdoch, and his White House spiked Acosta’s press pass.

These external attempts to bring CNN under MAGA control were unsuccessful. But a second try from within appears to have gotten the job done. Following a corporate spin-off and a merger in 2021 and 2022, CNN is now part of Warner Bros. Discovery. Those developments were overseen by David Zaslav, the company’s CEO, and John Malone, a right-wing billionaire who was Discovery’s largest shareholder and has a seat on the new conglomerate’s board.

Malone, a legendary media investor who chairs Liberty Media, is a self-described libertarian and former member of the Cato Institute’s board. A frequent donor to Republican candidates and causes, he chipped in $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration fund, tens of thousands of dollars to Trump’s 2020 campaign and political committees focused on his reelection, and even “contributed to Trump’s ‘Save America’ PAC, which funded the January 6 rally” at which Trump encouraged the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, as my former colleague Parker Molloy reported.

Malone detailed his hopes for CNN in a November 2021 interview, as the corporate merger that would put him on the board of its parent company was underway. According to Malone, CNN needed to start emulating Fox News, which had spent the previous four years merging with Trump’s White House and serving as his right-wing propaganda organ.

“Fox News, in my opinion, has followed an interesting trajectory of trying to have news news — I mean some actual journalism — embedded in a program schedule of all opinions,” he explained. “And I think they’ve been relatively successful with that, with a service like Bret Baier, and Brit Hume before him, that tried to distinguish news from opinion.”

“I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing,” he added.

Malone has denied that he is “directly involved” in shaping CNN’s programming to that vision. But he doesn’t need to have a day-to-day role to influence the network. Licht, whom Zaslav hired as CEO of CNN last year after Zucker resigned over a relationship with a subordinate, seems to be operating from the same playbook.

Licht has engaged in a “strategy shift” geared at presenting “a new, more ideologically neutral CNN,” as The Washington Post put it. Stelter and Harwood lost their jobs while Keilar was demoted. Cuomo and Lemon are also out — albeit for much more credible reasons — with their prime-time slots now filled by coverage from the network’s anchors. These changes don't seem to be benefiting the business — CNN’s ratings have tanked under Licht — but he’s accomplishing Malone’s ideological goal.

Those decisions set the stage for Wednesday’s disaster. In a CNBC interview last week touting the town hall, Zaslav made clear that his network was deliberately avoiding the lessons of the past. “Republicans are on the air on CNN, Democrats are on the air. All voices should be heard on CNN,” he said. “We've got a great political season coming. This is a new CNN.”

That sounds a lot like the old 2016-vintage CNN. It’s clear that’s what Licht, Zaslav, and Malone want — a more compliant network that treats Trump like any other candidate, lets him make his case to viewers regardless of how frequently he lies, and gets attention that might generate ratings.

It’s the Trump Show all over again. And we know how that one ends.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.