It was stupid and vicious.
So, instead, we got this:
President Donald Trump used questionable tax dodges and outright fraud to greatly increase his fortune that started with money from his parents, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Trump likes to portray himself as a self-made man, saying he stared with a relatively modest $1 million loan from his father and built his riches through investments and deals.
But in an extensive and detailed 40,000-word story, the Times reports Trump received about $413 million from his father, Fred Trump, a New York real estate mogul.
They all built this. They own it. Lock, stock, and barrel.
That’s an easy question. Old media, overpaid media talking heads, and political spinners are having difficulty answering that simple question.
On June 10, 2017 at Washington Square Park in Kansas City there were about forty or so right wingnuts in an anti-Muslim demonstration behind steel fence barricades, a large presence from the Kansas City Police (including mounted officers), around one hundred counter protesters behind yellow tape (the KCPD enforced separation zone between the groups), ACLU observers, and reportedly armed “three percenters” barring entrance to anyone they didn’t approve to the right wingnut area.
The counter protesters were a mix that included a few pacifists, a handful of Greens, and a bunch of masked anti-fascist kids dressed in black and red.
The demonstration(s) consisted of both groups taunting each other and yelling insults for over two hours.
The three percenters wouldn’t allow one of us into the right wingnut area to photograph. The KCPD kept us out of the buffer zone. We were free to roam the counter protesters’ area. Though, at one point toward the end of the demonstration a group of counter protesters angrily confronted us as we photographed them taunting the right wingnuts from across the street on Main.
Pro tip: if you’re doing anything in public you have no expectation of privacy. Expect to be photographed.
Earlier three right wingnuts trolled the counter protest area (one carrying a flag), walking through it while being trailed by some of the anti-fascists (who didn’t directly confront them) and ACLU observers (in green vests) filming them with smart phones.
You don’t normalize white supremacists, racists, fascists, Nazis or the KKK. Ever. Anti-fascists know this.
Old media and a lot of hand wringers have been going after anti-fascists in their usual lazy “both siderism” coverage. They’re not the same.
I’ve covered a lot of demonstrations, marches and protests over the years. I’ve seen anarchists, socialists, Maoists [to quote an incredulous Bob Yates, “Who’s a Maoist these days?], anti-fascists, liberals, “moderates”, farmers, ranchers, grandmothers, and moms with kids in strollers.
There’s no “card carrying” cadre, people just decide to show up. Besides, any organized protest in this age would be too much to ask or expect.
More of us will have to decide to show up if we’re going to save ourselves.
I’ve also witnessed individuals with crosses made out of red tape affixed to their overstuffed backpacks, ready to act as medics at large demonstrations. They, too, just decided to show up.
The only times I’ve seen anyone carrying a firearm (who was not a police officer) they were right wingnuts.
The anti-fascists may choose to wear protective gear because they don’t want to get their heads beat in. I’m good with that. In fact, I may add additional protective gear to my demonstration coverage go bag.
It’s been my direct observation over the years that the red and black clad anti-fascists won’t start something, but, by God, they’re prepared to step in if they need to.
Sometimes they do. From an individual who was in Charlottesville, Virginia:
…I never felt safer than when I was near antifa. They came to defend people, to put their bodies between these armed white supremacists and those of us who could not or would not fight. They protected a lot of people that day, including groups of clergy. My safety (and safety is relative in these situations) was dependent upon their willingness to commit violence. In effect, I outsourced the sin of my violence to them. I asked them to get their hands dirty so I could keep mine clean. Do you understand? They took that up for me, for the clergy they shielded, for those of us in danger. We cannot claim to be pacifists or nonviolent when our safety requires another to commit violence, and we ask for that safety…
…If you are unwilling to risk your bodily integrity to stand against literal Nazis, but you are willing to criticize the people out there who are taking this grave threat seriously but not in a way of which you approve….I just don’t know what to say to you. Truly. Your moral authority is bankrupt and you’re not helping. You’re a hypocrite…
This. Exactly this.
If you don’t speak out, if you don’t show up, if you don’t make a stand against the fascists and supremacists then you’ve acquiesced to their view of the world and their plans for the rest of us.
Go. Read the whole thing.
No, not us.
An editorial in the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal [subscription required]:
9/30/2012 6:29:00 PM
Newspaper says no to political letters
Each October – in a presidential election year, especially – voters naturally want to tout the virtues of the virtuous candidates they support and eviscerate the miserable demon spawn whom they oppose, which leads from the obvious to this point: The Daily Star-Journal does not accept endorsement letters, and does not accept condemnation letters, regarding candidates.
Just as TV and radio stations cannot give up valuable – meaning worth money – time for what amounts to free advertising for or against a candidate, neither can the newspaper. The fact is, if a candidate through his supporters’ letters can get the milk free, why would he buy the cow? To be direct, a letter of endorsement, no matter how heartfelt, amounts to free advertising….
Uh, one big difference is that the public actually owns the airwaves. Or we used to. It’s still a federal regulation that broadcasters must give qualified federal candidates preferential rates (something not available to SuperPACs).
The editorial continues:
….Obviously, if the newspaper prints one endorsement letter, more will follow. The same is true with allowing letters to slam candidates – with letters written in defense of or to rebut the nasty comments. Which, again, amounts to free advertising….
Why, if the proponents or opponents of a candidate or a ballot issue are particularly erudite that could elevate the level of our political discourse, don’t you think? If not, what’s the downside of an ignoranimus voluntarily exposing themselves to public view? Either one could increase readership and maybe even subscriptions ($!).
Whatever happened to acting in the public interest? Instead, we get a paean to Citizens United:
….When some politicians all but ignore newspapers, the one medium that people rely on, actually pay for, to receive their news and advertising, newspapers have no reason to print free political endorsement letters.
As a result, if a person feels strongly that Barack Obama should be re-elected or Mitt Romney should become president, then take out a small ad in the newspaper – better yet, a big one – and say so.
But to expect The Daily Star-Journal – which has but one way to make money, by selling advertising space – to give away space is not a sensible business model.
Wait we’re confused. If you have subscribers and advertisers isn’t that two revenue streams? You see, we’re kind of aware of that distinction because around here we have none of the former and few of the latter.
We’re assuming that a full page ad in the local paper costs more than five hundred dollars. If you do that you just might have some paperwork to fill out:
Missouri Revised Statutes
Campaign Finance Disclosure Law
(15) “Expenditure”, a payment, advance, conveyance, deposit, donation or contribution of money or anything of value for the purpose of supporting or opposing the nomination or election of any candidate for public office or the qualification or passage of any ballot measure or for the support of any committee which in turn supports or opposes any candidate or ballot measure or for the purpose of paying a previously incurred campaign debt or obligation of a candidate or the debts or obligations of a committee; a payment, or an agreement or promise to pay, money or anything of value, including a candidate’s own money or property, for the purchase of goods, services, property, facilities or anything of value for the purpose of supporting or opposing the nomination or election of any candidate for public office or the qualification or passage of any ballot measure or for the support of any committee which in turn supports or opposes any candidate or ballot measure or for the purpose of paying a previously incurred campaign debt or obligation of a candidate or the debts or obligations of a committee. An expenditure of anything of value shall be deemed to have a money value equivalent to the fair market value. “Expenditure” includes, but is not limited to….
….(e) “Expenditure” does not include:
a. Any news story, commentary or editorial which is broadcast or published by any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical without charge to the candidate or to any person supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot measure….
Uh, it’s a campaign expenditure if you pay a newspaper to publish something supporting or opposing a candidate or a ballot measure.
Missouri Revised Statutes
Campaign Finance Disclosure Law
Reporting noncommittee expenditures.
130.047. Any person who is not a defined committee who makes an expenditure or expenditures aggregating five hundred dollars or more in support of, or opposition to, one or more candidates or in support of, or in opposition to, the qualification or passage of one or more ballot measures, other than a contribution made directly to a candidate or committee, shall file a report signed by the person making the expenditures, or that person’s authorized agent. The report shall include the name and address of the person making the expenditure, the date and amount of the expenditure or expenditures, the name and address of the payee, and a description of the nature and purpose of each expenditure. Such report shall be filed with the appropriate officer having jurisdiction over the election of the candidate or ballot measure in question as set forth in section 130.026 no later than fourteen days after the date of making an expenditure which by itself or when added to all other such expenditures during the same campaign equals five hundred dollars or more. If, after filing such report, additional expenditures are made, a further report shall be filed no later than fourteen days after the date of making the additional expenditures; except that, if any such expenditure is made within fourteen days prior to an election, the report shall be filed no later than forty-eight hours after the date of such expenditure. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a person who uses only the person’s funds or resources to make an expenditure or expenditures in support of or in coordination or consultation with a candidate or committee; provided that, any such expenditure is recorded as a contribution to such candidate or committee and so reported by the candidate or committee being supported by the expenditure or expenditures.
Uh, if you spend more than five hundred dollars (not in campaign contributions) in support of or in opposition to a non-federal Missouri candidate or a Missouri ballot measure you have to file a campaign finance report with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
The world we live in. If you have plenty of money you can take out an ad in the local paper expressing your support for a particular candidate or issue. If not, well, you’re out of luck.
Is it really an argument distilling the role of the newspaper in our First Amendment protected public discourse down to advertising revenue? John Peter Zenger weeps.