Sunday Reads: Crime and No PunishmentPosted: July 2, 2017 | |
On this Fourth of July weekend, I wanted to bring some crime stories into focus. Various cases that recently have come to pass with no justice or punishment that seemed to spit in the face of the “people.”
I will get to mention this a bit further down in the post, because as usual…tRump has dominated the news cycle again this morning. This time with an absurd Tweet, or should I say twit.
In case you cannot see that tweet (tRump has since deleted it) here is a photo of it:
In President Donald Trump’s arena, this is how you shift the American attention away from a feud with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” crew:
From the Associated Press on the wrasslin’ video:
It’s not clear who produced the brief video, but it was posted from Trump’s official Twitter account.
Trump’s been stepping up verbal attacks on the media — and cable networks particularly. But an adviser thinks “no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t.”
White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert also tells ABC that he thinks Trump’s “beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said last week Trump “in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence.””
Well, many around the wires were making statements and comments about the wrestling twit…
CNN had this to say:
"The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary." – @SHSanders45 6/29/17
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) July 2, 2017
A few more reactions for you to look at here:
CNN on Sunday called President Donald Trump’s tweet of a video of himself attacking a figure whose face was obscured by the CNN logo “juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office” and suggested Trump “start doing his” job governing instead.
In its full statement, CNN said Sanders “lied” and accused Trump of encouraging “violence against reporters.”
“Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office,” CNN said. “We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
As a prominent conservative senator accused Donald Trump of “trying to weaponise distrust” in his attacks on the media, the president tweeted a video of himself, starring at a pro wrestling event, body-slamming to the floor a man with a CNN logo for a head.
A director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) told the Guardian “charged rhetoric online”, issued by the White House, “undermines the media in the US and emboldens autocratic leaders around the world”.
The president’s tweet was issued on Sunday morning, hours after Trump used a speech honouring veterans in Washington to say: “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president, and they’re not.”
The tweet contained doctored video from a Trump appearance on Wrestlemania XXIII in 2007, in which he “body-slammed” – and subsequently shaved bald – Vince McMahon, the WWE promoter and husband of Trump’s Small Business Administration chief, Linda McMahon. Trump is a member of the WWE hall of fame. The video appeared to have been taken from Reddit, where it was reportedly posted by a user named “HanAssholeSolo”.
Please, can anyone stop this OrangeAssholetRump from being president?
As Americablog points out, it is not the first time tRump has called for violence.
Donald Trump today posted a tweet encouraging and promoting violence against CNN reporters.
This comes on the heels of Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee claiming falsely that Trump has never called for violence.
In fact, Trump repeatedly called for violence during the presidential campaign, and was routinely criticized for it.
It also comes on the heels of Trump’s misogynist tweets about “Morning Joe” cohost Mike Brzezinski, that were so mean and sexist it has led many to question Trump’s mental health.
Mashable has a mash up of Trump’s repeated calls for violence:
Go to the link to see the video. But back to the Americablog:
And just this morning, Trump joked to his 30 million followers about beating up CNN reporters, when we are already in a climate where reporters are routinely threatened.
A CNN reporter tweeted me this morning, concerned that I was mischaracterizing Trump, and that my story is part of the “outrage machine.” In fact, CNN’s PR dept. responded to Trump’s post by quoting Sarah Huckabee’s lie about Trump never promoting violence. Their clear point: Trump just promoted and encouraged violence against CNN reporters. And that’s exactly what I wrote. I just don’t see a qualitative difference between “calls for” and “encourages or promotes.”
ABC’s Martha Raddatz said this morning that the tweet “seems like a threat.” Raddatz continued, “you don’t think that’s a threat to anyone, you don’t think that’s sending a message ‘do that to the media, do that to CNN’?”
Remember, this comes after recent elections put a GOP dickwad in office, who violently assaulted a Guardian reporter. From the Guardian link above:
In an atmosphere of swirling distrust between journalists and the politicians they cover, “body-slamming” became a loaded term in May when a Republican congressional candidate in Montana slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs to the floor.
Greg Gianforte pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to community service. After donating $50,000 to the CPJ, he was sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives. Jacobs’ glasses, broken in the assault, are now on display at the Newseum in Washington.
In its statement on Sunday, CNN said: “It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters. Clearly, [deputy White House press secretary] Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied when she said the president had never done so.
Courtney Radsch, advocacy director for the CPJ, told the Guardian: “Singling out individual journalists and news outlets creates a chilling effect and fosters an environment where further harassment and even physical attacks are seen to be acceptable.
“We are already concerned about physical attacks on reporters and clearly the White House’s charged rhetoric online undermines the media in the US and emboldens autocratic leaders around the world. We already saw that there has been at least one serious attack recently, on Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian, and this does not create a positive environment for the press online or offline.”
Read more at the Guardian link.
Just a few more reactions to the tRump twit:
The president’s latest outbursts suggest the social-media platform imposes no editorial standards. But should it?
The rules are simple, okay? No threats of violence. No targeted abuse or harassment. No inciting anybody else to engage in targeted abuse or harassment. No hateful conduct.
Now think about Donald Trump’s the tweeting habits. Is he breaking those rules, which come from Twitter’s terms of service?
- Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
- Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
- if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
- if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
- if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
- if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
- Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.
Trump has long been criticized for his impulsiveness, but less than six months into his presidency, alarm over his Twitter conduct has hit fever pitch.
Beginning on June 29, Trump began tweeting repeated insults at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the hosts of the MSNBC talk show, Morning Joe. Trump’s treatment of Brzezinski was particularly strange. In addition to calling her “dumb,” “crazy,” and “low I.Q.” in three separate tweets, he claimed that she and Scarborough traveled to Mar-a-Lago for New Year’s Eve and insisted on seeing Trump while Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” (Brzezinski and Scarborough published a rebuke in The Washington Post, calling the president’s claim “a lie.”)
In true Trump fashion, the president doubled down, calling Scarborough “crazy” and Brzezinski “dumb as a rock.”
Does that constitute targeted harassment? And given Trump’s huge following—more than 33.1 million Twitter followers on his primary account—does a string of attacks against the same two individuals constitute inciting harassment? “We don’t comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons,” a Twitter spokesperson told me on Saturday. Twitter also declined to tell me whether, when considering the question of a user inciting harassment, it takes into consideration that person’s number of followers or public status—a movie star or politician, for example.
Twitter’s website does offer some clarification on how it assesses abusive behavior. The company says it assesses whether the primary purpose of an account is to harass or send abusive messages; and it looks at whether the reported behavior is “one-sided.”Setting aside Twitter’s notoriously bad track record for actually enforcing its own standards on harassment, the question of one-sidedness poses an interesting problem here.
When one of the people involved in a Twitter fight isn’t just a public official but also the president of the United States, is it fair to consider anyone he’s attacking an equal player in a fight?
Actually, I reported tRump’s last tweet about Mika to twitter..I got this from them saying my report was under review.
What is funny, is that about twenty minutes after I got that notice from Twitter, I received another Twitter notice. My account had been suspended for 24 hours. Connection? I think so.
But back to the Atlantic article:
But Trump’s Twitter conduct also raises a question about what Twitter is, and what it should be. Often, the service is treated as a new kind of public square, a place for the unfiltered exchange of ideas (and, clearly, hurling of insults). Silicon Valley has rarely stepped in to correct the persistent cultural conflation between the actual right to free speech—that is, the constitutionally protected right that says the government cannot make a law that inhibits people’s freedom of expression—and the idea that people should get to say whatever they want wherever they want to without consequence. (Complicating things further, Twitter must answer to its shareholders, and having the president use its service so routinely—and so bombastically—certainly keeps the service relevant.)
In reality, though, Twitter is a media company. Just like CNN and The New York Times are media companies. Except, unlike in a traditional model where publishers and readers are distinct groups, everyone can be both on Twitter. So what’s a company like Twitter to do when one of its users—who is also the president of the United States, by the way—incessantly publishes attacks against individuals? Nothing, apparently. At least nothing yet. The thornier question is: What should it do? Only rarely would any news organization turn down the opportunity to exclusively print or broadcast a message from the president. (U.S. senators and presidential candidates, however, are another story.) Though it’s not like the president doesn’t have plenty of opportunities for his voice to be amplified. He has said he likes Twitter because it’s a direct channel to the American people, but he has his own website where he could be live-streaming or blogging, for instance. He is also a constant subject of media attention; his press conferences—when the White House permits it—are broadcast over cable and network television.
Presidents have historically made good use of new media platforms. Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats may seem quaint to us now, but they were a revolutionary experiment with a nascent media platform when they began in the 1930s. But, as with all things Trump-related, looking to norms and historic conventions can only get you so far. Imagine if Roosevelt had used his radio access to relentlessly criticize individual Americans by name. Trump knows that his critics are disgusted by the way he represents the country on Twitter, and he trusts that his supporters delight in their disgust.
Well, I think all that is moot when it comes to bullying and obstructing justice.
I guess I will bring up the crime and punishment in another post…but here is an update on a recent case of road rage:
A Pennsylvania man was in custody Sunday for what a prosecutor called the “savage” and “senseless” death of a recent high school graduate shot in the head during a road-rage confrontation as the two tried to merge in a single lane.
David Desper, 28, of Trainer, turned himself in accompanied by an attorney early Sunday, and police said he was charged with first- and third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, and reckless endangering in the death of 18-year-old Bianca Roberson in West Goshen Township.
Desper and Roberson, who had just graduated from Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester and was planning to attend Jacksonville University in Florida this fall, were trying to merge into a single lane Wednesday as a two-lane road narrowed, Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said.
“They jockeyed for position, and he wasn’t happy, so he pulled out a gun and shot Bianca in the head, killing her instantly,” he said.
After Roberson was shot, her car veered off the road, struck a tree and was found in a ditch. The shooter fled in a red pickup, driving partly along the shoulder of the highway until exiting the road. Authorities tracked the suspect vehicle on surveillance video and sorted through hundreds of tips from the public, calling on the suspect to turn himself in for his own sake and for the sake of the family.
This is an open thread.