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Commentary: Trump's Imprint

Jun 14, 2017

Please indulge a few seconds of personal history.  One of the reasons Columbia College, where I teach, has prospered in recent years is its online program.  I have been heavily involved in online from its first days in the late 1990s and now teach online classes.  I also update courses previously developed by other faculty.

As I speak I am redeveloping our online class on the presidency.  There are some, uh, challenges in updating a college course on the presidency in the summer of 2017.

Courtesy NBC

Megyn Kelly is under attack for an interview with Infowars' Alex Jones set to air Sunday evening on NBC. Will the interview expose a conspiracy theorist or just give him a platform to spread his beliefs?

Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post: “Exposing the evil of Alex Jones is crucial. A Megyn Kelly one-on-one is not the way to do it.

Is she the next Edward Snowden? We’ll talk about the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner on charges of leaking top-secret documents detailing a 2016 Russian cyberattack on election software. Also, the call for Bill Maher’s ouster from HBO, how President Trump’s tweets immediately following the London terror attacks could affect his efforts to reinstate the travel ban and a controversial column from the Columbia Daily Tribune’s new publisher. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Is she the next Edward Snowden? We’ll talk about the arrest of Reality Leigh Winner on charges of leaking top-secret documents detailing a 2016 Russian cyberattack on election software.   

Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle & Ryan Grim, The Intercept: “Top-secret NSA report details Russian hacking effort days before 2016 election

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says the healthcare markets are being “sabotaged” by uncertainty from the Trump Administration on whether it will pay subsidies to insurers and enforce Obamacare’s individual mandate provision.

Fox News announced it is retracting its story on Seth Rich. The DNC staffer was murdered in Washington D.C. last summer. The cable network has been reporting for more than a week that his slaying came 12 days after contacting Wikileaks. Now, it says that reporting doesn’t stand up to its editorial standards. What changed? Also, remembering Roger Ailes and the complicated legacy he leaves behind, Anderson Cooper’s snarky streak continues, and the guidance Facebook gives employees for removing hate speech, sexually explicit or violent content from the site. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.


Courtesy Fox News

Fox News announced it is retracting its story on Seth Rich. The DNC staffer was murdered in Washington D.C. last summer. The cable network has been reporting for more than a week that his slaying came 12 days after contacting Wikileaks. Now, it says that reporting doesn’t stand up to its editorial standards. What changed? 

Fox News: “Statement on coverage of Seth Rich murder investigation

Six clergymen who were found guilty of trespassing in the Missouri Senate gallery after they protested Missouri’s failure to expand Medicaid were sentenced today to one year of unsupervised probation.

The six, including well-known Kansas City clergymen Sam Mann, Wallace Hartzfield Sr. and Vernon P. Howard Jr., were part of the so-called Medicaid 23, who were charged with trespassing and obstructing government operations after leading a group of about 300 protestors in the Senate gallery three years ago.

Commentary: Two Wacky Weeks

May 19, 2017

Remember Pope Benedict the Sixteenth?  I’ll return to him in a moment.

The news is so dynamic just now.  It’s like waiting for the next shoe to drop from a centipede – not when but how many?  The humorist Dorothy Parker had an appropriate phrase: “What fresh Hell is this?”  

The Washington Post reports that President Donald Trump shared classified intelligence with a Russian envoy during a meeting in the Oval Office last week. The Trump administration denies the report – while the president is tweeted to the contrary. Where’s the truth? Also, the Chicago Tribune’s parent company makes a play for the Sun-Times, a Colorado law exposes journalists voting habits, and a story of modern-day slavery in the United States. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

The Washington Post reports that President Donald Trump shared classified intelligence with a Russian envoy during a meeting in the Oval Office last week. The Trump administration denies the report – while the president is tweeted to the contrary. Where’s the truth?

Missouri Republicans had a lot to be optimistic about when the General Assembly convened in January. For the first time nearly a decade, the GOP held the reins of power in the executive and legislative branches — giving the party a prime chance to pass longstanding policy initiatives.

That optimism turned out to be warranted, especially when it came to overhauling the state’s labor and legal climate. But the process was anything but smooth. 

 

As expected, Missouri has appealed a federal judge’s ruling blocking two abortion restrictions enacted by the Legislature in 2007.

Attorney General Josh Hawley had said he would appeal the preliminary injunction entered by U.S District Judge Howard Sachs last week.

The injunction blocks Missouri’s laws requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and abortion clinics to be outfitted like ambulatory surgical centers.

President Trump’s decision to fire now-former FBI Director James Comey came as a surprise to almost everyone Tuesday afternoon. How did reporters react in the moments and hours following the announcement? Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest television station ownership group in the U.S., is about to get even bigger with the purchase of Tribune Media. And, why Wisconsin’s governor wants to cut a popular outdoors magazine, the FCC’s investigation into complaints about Stephen Colbert and Richard Simmons’ lawsuit against the National Enquirer. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

FBI Photo

President Trump’s decision to fire now-former FBI Director James Comey came as a surprise to almost everyone Tuesday afternoon. How did reporters react in the moments and hours following the announcement?

Michael D. Shear & Matt Apuzzo, New York Times: “F.B.I. Director James Comey is fired by Trump

Fox News Channel is under new leadership. But, will Suzanne Scott bring true cultural change to an organization rife with claims of gender and racial bias? Also, President Trumps first 100 days, New York Times and climate science and Heineken’s new viral ad people are calling the antidote to the Pepsi debacle from last month. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Fox News Channel is under new leadership. But, will Suzanne Scott bring true cultural change to an organization rife with claims of gender and racial bias?

Hadas Gold, POLITICO: “Hannity denies he’s leaving Fox News

missouri house floor
File Photo / KBIA News

Missouri House members want more information on how much money the state is paying in lawsuit settlements and judgments.

House members voted 150-1 on Thursday to pass legislation to require the attorney general and administration commissioner to update lawmakers and others monthly on state legal expenses.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

JEFFERSON CITY -- Missouri Senate budgeters have approved a plan to make cuts to in-home and nursing care for disabled residents while slightly increasing money for public K-12 schools.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed its version of a budget for the next fiscal year beginning in July.

The budget proposal would cut in-home and nursing care by requiring people to show more severe disabilities to qualify, although the cuts are not as deep as what Gov. Eric Greitens initially recommended.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA News

Missouri politicians gathered Thursday to greet EPA administrator Scott Pruitt on his “back to basics” tour.

US Senator Roy Blunt, Representative Vicki Hartzler and state attorney general Josh Hawley were among those who visited the Thomas Hill Energy Center in northern Missouri to see Scott Pruitt, who was appointed to his place at the head of the Environmental Protection Agency by President Donald Trump in February. 

Blunt introduced Pruitt by reflecting on last November’s presidential election. 

The Missouri House has given initial approval to a proposal that sets stricter requirements for tracking fetal tissue after abortions.

Auditor Galloway Subpoenas Department of Revenue

Apr 20, 2017
Torie Ross / KBIA

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena Wednesday to the Department of Revenue after it refused to provide records for a state audit.

Fox News ousts Bill O'Reilly amid sexual harassment allegations. Video posted of a brutal murder in Cleveland forces Facebook to address the question again: is it a media company? What obligation does it have to monitor for criminal or violent content? Also, the White House’s decision not to make visitor logs public, can a commercial for McDonald’s be effective without any mention of McDonald’s and why Boston’s Fox affiliate is dropping network branding. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Video posted of a brutal murder in Cleveland forces Facebook to address the question again: is it a media company? What obligation does it have to monitor for criminal or violent content?

Emily Dreyfuss, Wired: “Facebook streams a murder and now must face itself

Commentary: Democratic Dilemmas

Apr 18, 2017

Here are three things Democrats should not do if they want to regain the majority.

They should not be like Donald Trump and use profanity in public.  Last week it was reported that the Democratic National Chairman said in public one of the words you can’t say on TV, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said one of the other ones, in its gerund form.  Lots of Millennials talk this way and for some reason Trump can get away with talking this way.  But “I am authentic because I am vulgar” is not a winning strategy for Democrats.

Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he's reversing previous state policy and allowing the Department of Natural Resources to issue grants to religious organizations.

In a statement Thursday Greitens said that religious organizations can now apply for grants for programs such as playground surfaces, school field trip transportation and recycling efforts.

The previous prohibition was based on a state constitutional amendment banning the use of state money by religious groups to enforce the separation of church and state.

 Video of Dr. David Dao being dragged from a United Airlines flight by security officials has been circulating on social media since April 9. A United spokesperson explained the situation shortly afterword, saying that the flight was overbooked and the airline needed seats for stand-by United employees. Dao was randomly selected, but refused to give up his seat, resulting in his removal from the plane.

President Donald Trump approved missile strikes against a Syrian air base following a sarin gas attack on April 4 that killed more than 70 people. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad maintains that the government was not responsible for the attack, but the U.S. and other countries believe the gas was released from military planes, making the air base a target for U.S. strikes.

Just when United Airlines couldn’t afford any more bad press, a customer is forcibly removed after refusing to deplane – and it’s caught on camera. Can the airline rebound and reclaim its reputation? Also, did Pepsi do enough in pulling that ad featuring Kendall Jenner, Fox’s announcement of an investigation into sexual harassment claims against Bill O’Reilly, and a celebration of the year’s best journalism.  From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Just when United Airlines couldn’t afford any more bad press, a customer is forcibly removed after refusing to deplane – and it’s caught on camera. Can the airline rebound and reclaim its reputation?

Lucas Aulbach, Louisville Courier-Journal: “Video shows man forcibly removed from United flight from Chicago to Louisville

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