Washington Post

CNN’s 39th Anniversary: Changing The Face Of Journalism

Today is the 39th Anniversary of Cable News Network, the first cable news channel, started by Ted Turner in 1980.

It is now hard to recall that before CNN, and later MSNBC in 1996, and the infamous Fox News Channel, also in 1996, the face of electronic journalism was only CBS, NBC, and ABC.

This author and blogger grew up as a devoted fan of CBS and Walter Cronkite and the other great journalists of that channel, with sometimes focusing to a lesser extent on NBC and ABC.

One also recalls how Richard Nixon complained about the “constant barrage” of TV news nationally 22 minutes out of the 30 minute nightly newscast, which was actually only 11 minutes out of 15 before 1963.

Now, we are overwhelmed by so much electronic news on cable channels and the internet, but at the end CNN still stands out as a quality news organization.

CNN has made mistakes and blunders, but it has also educated us mightily in the past 39 years, and has been strengthened by a tyrant named Donald Trump who claims that channel and MSNBC, along with the three major networks are “fake news”. The constant attacks as well on the NY Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, the three best print papers in America, have only made educated people realize how significant all these and other news sources as well, are in keeping us free and informed.

It is the role of journalism to speak the truth, expose scandal, and insure our freedom and democracy, and they are working hard to overcome the greatest threat to America since World War II, far greater by comparison to that presented by Richard Nixon a half century ago.

No one is trying to give Richard Nixon a pass as a major threat historically, but the present “clear and present danger” of Donald Trump is an alarm bell warning us of the danger of infiltration by a foreign power which has always wished us ill since 1917, and now reconstituted in a different manner but no less dangerous than the old Soviet Union.

So to undermine our foreign policy and our loyalty to our allies in NATO, and in East Asia is a danger to the national security of America and to the world community at large, and CNN, MSNBC and others and the print media are working full time to keep Americans alert and informed.

So Happy 39th Birthday, CNN, and many more!

230th Anniversary Of The American Presidency: Now In Greatest Crisis Of Its Entire History

Today, April 30, 2019, is the 230th Anniversary of the swearing in of George Washington as our first President in New York City in 1789.

Thirty years ago, George H. W. Bush commemorated the bicentennial of that first inauguration two centuries earlier, and the feeling was that the Presidency had finally overcome the crisis and tragedy of Richard Nixon, fifteen years earlier.

Now, however, 30 years later, the Presidency of Donald Trump has set records for its corruption, venality, crudeness, destruction of the American domestic and foreign policy created by earlier Presidents of both parties, and has just passed the 10,000 mark for lies and deception, as reported by the Washington Post.

The American Presidency is a great institution now under massive attack by evil people led by Donald Trump, who are systematically destroying the sense of an American Union, as they work to divide people by race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, and sexual orientation and identity, and take away our basic civil liberties and civil rights and promote an authoritarian dictatorship led by a monarch who has no regard for American history and traditions.

America could be on the verge of a new civil war, as we have gratuitous gun violence, a repudiation of the immigrant tradition which made America the last great hope of mankind, and an ever increasing challenge of climate change that threatens the future of our children and grandchildren and beyond.

It is a time which is hard to have optimism about the future, and the urgency of defeating Donald Trump, and removing him from office peacefully is a mandate!

The next President needs to be a unifier, a man or woman of statesmanship who can promote our better instincts and inspire hope and optimism, who has the character of empathy and human decency to guide him or her through the tough readjustment we will have to experience in the 2020s.

Age Range Of Democratic Presidential Candidates

The Washington Post has done a study of the age range of all 20 Democratic Presidential candidates.

It turns out that half are under age 50, and half are ages 50-77.

Four are age 40 and lower, and six are between 40 and 50.

Four are in their 50s, and four are in their 60s, while Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are in their mid 70s.

Of course, all 20 Democrats will be nearly two years older when the inauguration comes.

Interestingly, both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are in the lead in polls, despite their age, while two women, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren between 50 and 70 are right behind them, and with Beto O’Rourke in his 40s also competing, and one of the four below age 40, Pete Buttigieg, also doing well at this point.

So we have a wide variety of age distribution, and the question is how the different age groups will vote once the primaries and caucuses begin in about 10 months.

The Survival And Independence Of News Media Under Threat In Age Of Donald Trump

America is in a crisis, with the attack on the news media by Donald Trump.

Unfortunately one third to 45 percent of the American people believe that the news media are promoting “fake news’.

They would rather believe Donald Trump, or Fox News Channel, or Talk Radio, and many of these people see the rest of the media to be the enemy, rather than their role of exposing evil.

Without a thriving media, corruption and scandal would run totally rampant.

America is blessed with journalists who often are threatened by mob mentality at Trump rallies.

These journalists are committed to pursuit of the truth, and many news media sources are failing to make a profit, and are closing up, causing the mass loss of brilliant young journalists.

The fact that the media industry is a business which needs to make a profit does not take away from their sacrifices in trying to learn the truth.

Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal would never have been exposed if not for two young cub reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post from 1972 through 1974.

Today, in the time of danger that Donald Trump represents, it is the Washington Post again, along with the New York Times, which is promoting the survival of constitutional government.

44 Retired US Senators Speak Out On Constitutional Crisis, Including Principled Republicans

The Washington Post published two days ago an op-ed editorial by 44 retired US Senators, calling on the present members of the Senate to show guts and courage and speak up to defend democracy and the Constitution, from the threats presented by President Donald Trump.

Eleven of those 44 were Republicans, of all stripes and beliefs, including Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado; William Cohen of Maine; Alfonse D’Amato of New York;  John Danforth of Missouri; David Durenberger of Minnesota; Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Richard Lugar of Indiana; Larry Pressler of South Dakota; Alan Simpson of Wyoming; John Warner of Virginia; and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut.

The other 33 were Democrats, including such luminaries as Evan Bayh of Indiana; Bill Bradley of New Jersey; Tom Daschle of South Dakota; Chris Dodd of Connecticut; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Bob Graham of Florida; Tom Harkin of Iowa; Gary Hart of Colorado; Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; John Kerry of Massachusetts; Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; Sam Nunn of Georgia; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia; and Mark Udall of Colorado.

America needs Republicans in the Senate, now 53 of them, to stop defending Donald Trump, and start concerning themselves with the preservation of American democracy.  They need to speak up and challenge and confront Donald Trump and stop accepting his violations of the Constitution.

If they do not, they will  be relegated to the dustbin of history, and the Republican party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, Ford, and H. W. Bush will die of lack of principle and commitment.

Donald Trump Rejects Human Rights As A Principle Of American Foreign Policy, Even Theoretically, After Saudi Torture And Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi

President Donald Trump has just destroyed all sense of morality, ethics, and principle, by rejecting human rights as a principle of American foreign policy, even theoretically.

Certainly, other Presidents have often ignored human rights as a principle, including Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan above all, but none as openly as Donald Trump, who has just decided to ignore intelligence information that concludes that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, ordered the assassination and torture of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi national living in the United States and working as a journalist for the Washington Post.

Instead, Trump is giving bin Salman a pass, refusing the concept of some kind of punishment to be meted out on Saudi Arabia for this horrendous murder and dismemberment.

No one is saying that the US should break off relations with the Saudi government, but a nation can use other strategies and tactics to indicate outrage at such a violation of human rights.

But instead, Trump, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton, are choosing to show a lack of concern or principle about the basic decency of promoting basic human rights.

It is just another sign that Trump is cozying up to authoritarian dictators, all for his own economic betterment. It has led to bitter denunciation by many public figures in government, including many Republicans, as well as Democrats.

This author believes that the United States will one day realize the danger of what has been done, that Mohammed bin Salman will turn out as King of Saudi Arabia in the future, as the most dangerous foreign leader long term, probably more than Kim Jong of North Korea, who like bin Salman, is in his early 30s, and both will be a nightmare long term in the world, way beyond the leaders of Russia and China, who are twice their age.

The Jamal Khashoggi Torture And Murder The Greatest Foreign Policy Crisis For Donald Trump, Undermining Human Rights For Personal Financial Gain, An Impeachable Act!

Donald Trump has just confronted the greatest foreign policy crisis of his Presidency, and it seems that he will work to undermine human rights for personal financial gain.

Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and the heir to become King when his elderly father passes away, is clearly involved in ordering the horrific torture and murder of Saudi national but American resident Jamal Khashoggi, who was a journalist for the Washington Post.

The thought that Trump, and his Tea Party Kansas Congressman Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and his National Security Adviser John Bolton, would work to defend Saudi Arabia after this horrific assassination, and be more concerned about defense profits and financial gains, over the life of a human being so brutally murdered, is enough to make one vomit!

Trump is now reaching a new level of obscenity in defending torture and murder, and that makes him complicit with Mohammed bin Salman as a war criminal, and both of them should be immediately removed from power, and sent to the Hague to be tried for war crimes against humanity, and in the case of Trump, that would include his harsh treatment of immigrants and their children at the US-Mexico border!

How Vice President Mike Pence, who professes to be a “good Christian” can sit back and accept what is going on, and NOT condemn Trump and break with him morally and ethically, makes it clear that Mike Pence should immediately resign from the Vice Presidency as a moral degenerate, a crook who should be prosecuted for complicity in the same human rights violations of his boss.

This government, elected by Russian collusion, corrupt to the core, destructive of common decency, and promoting Fascism and undermining of the rule of law and the Constitution, needs to be repudiated in November, and action taken as soon as possible to remove this cancer from the body politic of America. That means movement toward impeachment, and pressure on the Republican Party to realize it is time for them to abandon their dictatorial leader, and vote to remove him in a Senate trial.

We have lived through 21 months of nightmares, and have reached a point of no return, and any decent American will see the need to remove Donald Trump and Mike Pence from power as soon as possible, and in the interim, break off diplomatic relations and economic relations with Saudi Arabia until reform comes to that nation, including the removal of Mohammed bin Salman from power and his prosecution and conviction for torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi!

A Moment To Celebrate The 167th Anniversary Of The New York Times, America’s Leading Media Source, Helping To Keep Us Free And Informed!

In the midst of the sustained attack on freedom of the press going on in 2018, today is the 167th anniversary of America’s leading newspaper, the “newspaper of record”, the NEW YORK TIMES.

Since 1851, the New York Times has published and challenged the American government, foreign governments, and powerful economic forces, who have tried to limit the ability of that paper to report the truth of the news, and the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. Its motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It has the notable New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Sunday Review, all part of its Sunday edition.

The New York Times has not been perfect, anymore than any institution, as it failed to report accurately the Holocaust going on in Europe in World War II; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East over the past number of decades; and has been accused of distortion about the Iraq War, and the US-Iran relationship. The newspaper also has been accused of engagement in plagiarism by certain journalists, and accusations of bias, and public perceptions of lack of credibility and accuracy, including attacks by Right Wing propaganda groups, and President Donald Trump, who talks about the “Failing” New York Times, which actually is in very good financial shape.

Any researcher in just about any field of knowledge uses the former NY Times Index, as this author has done, and now available in the TimesMachine, the Online Archive of every issue of the paper since 1851.

The New York Times was extremely significant in promotion of the truth, when it won the right to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, in the Supreme Court case of New York Times Company V. United States, winning over the attempt of President Richard Nixon to prevent publication of the documents that traced the US involvement in Vietnam after 1945 through the late 1960s.

So let us all applaud the courage and determination of the brilliant journalists of the New York Times, who are now, in 2018, doing their job exposing the corruption and illegal activities of Donald Trump and his Presidency, alongside the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, along with other media sources, including cable news channels CNN and MSNBC, along with ABC, NBC, and CBS.

The truth shall set us free and protect American democracy and the Constitution!

A Salute To The Two Best Newspapers In America: The New York Times And Washington Post, And Also Recognition Of The Los Angeles Times, CNN, And MSNBC For Their Work Exposing Donald Trump

Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism and other areas were awarded, and again, the top two newspapers in America won ever more such awards.

The New York Times, beginning publication in 1851, has now won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, including three yesterday. It is the paper of record, the most important research sources for scholars in all fields, and has survived vicious attacks by critics through 167 years of publication.

The Washington Post, beginning publication in 1877, has become competitive in the past half century with the New York Times, and has won a total of 47 Pulitzer Prizes, including two yesterday. One must not forget how the Washington Post exposed the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon. They have now existed for 141 years of publication.

The Los Angeles Times, beginning publication in 1881, while not winning any Pulitzer Prizes yesterday, has won a total of 44 Pulitzer prizes in their history, and have been in existence for 137 years.

These three top print newspapers have borne the brunt of Donald Trump criticism, as they bore the brunt of attacks by Richard Nixon.

They have stood strong and proved the rightfulness of their coverage of domestic and foreign news coverage.

Thank goodness for their steadfastness, as they have insured the survival of a free press and democratic values, even in the face of strong and dangerous trends in government, that would wish to stifle their voices.

At the same time, we must also salute electronic media, including CNN (founded in 1980) and MSNBC (founded in 1996), for defying the lies and deceit of Donald Trump and his criminal gang, as they also play a major role in perpetuation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

One can be assured that they will long outlive the tyranny of Donald Trump, and will bring him to justice through their commitment to the truth!

Traitors In American History Might Include Donald Trump If Mueller, Congressional Investigations And News Media Prove It To Be Reality!

The subject of traitors in American history is highly controversial, even incendiary. We are not referring to spies here, or those who gave information that might have undermined America, but only to people in government and in the military. Any list would be controversial, and being a traitor is not only based on actual judicial declaration, but on the deleterious effect that government and military people had on the security and stability of the American nation.

Certainly, Benedict Arnold would be at the top of the list, having plotted to hand over West Point and thousands of American military to the British in 1780, during the American Revolution.

Also, many would say, with some qualification, that former Vice President Aaron Burr, who plotted to steal the election for President in 1800 from his own running mate, Thomas Jefferson, and was brought to trial for plotting with others to create an independent nation in the middle of the North American continent. committed treason. He was arrested, charged with treason, and put on trial, although found not guilty by Chief Justice John Marshall in the trial that he faced. Of course, Burr also killed Alexander Hamilton in a legal gun duel over the issue of honor, caused by the bitter rivalry between the two men over Hamilton’s intervention in the Presidential election of 1800, when Hamilton helped to promote the election of Jefferson, his ideological rival, but one that he trusted, while he believed Burr was a scoundrel who could not be trusted with power.

Additionally, Civil War Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and Confederate States of American President Jefferson Davis, have become the center of accusations that they were traitors, as they worked to separate the South from the nation in the Civil War. This has led to the movement to take down many Confederate statues and monuments of these and other Confederate leaders.

Once we get past these cases already mentioned, the issue of treason and traitors is more murky, but one could say that for someone to engage in league with a foreign nation’s plot to intervene in elections that would bring a person to power, could be considered treasonous. So if the accusations of Russian collusion are proved true, as is now being investigated by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and several Congressional committees, and supplemented by excellent investigatory research by major news media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNN and others, then we may be able to declare that Donald Trump and his campaign and many of his advisers and cabinet members have engaged in a conspiracy that could be seen as treason.