White House lays down law: New rules for Acosta



The Trump White House on Monday established new rules for its press corps to prevent behavior like that exhibited by CNN’s Jim Acosta shortly after the midterm elections.

He belligerently challenged the president’s comments about the immigrant “invasion” heading toward the U.S., then refused to give up the press room microphone so that he could continue challenging and berating the president.

No more, the White House said.

“We have notified Jim Acosta and CNN that his hard pass has been restored,” said a statement from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. “We have also notified him of certain rules that will govern White House press conferences going forward.”

She explained when a journalist is allowed to ask a single question, he or she then “will yield the floor,” although a followup question may be allowed.

“‘Yielding the floor; includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner.”

Any violation?

“May result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass,” the White House said.

“We have created these rules with a degree of regret,” the statement said. “For years, members of the White House press corps have attended countless press events with the president and other officials without engaging in the behavior Mr. Acosta displayed at the November 7, 2018, press conference.

“We would have greatly preferred to continue hosting White House press conferences in reliance on a set of understood professional norms, and we believe the overwhelming majority of journalists covering the White House share that preference. But, given the position taken by CNN, we now feel obligated to replace previously shared practices with explicit rules.”

The basics may be expanded later, too, the White House said.

“We are mindful that a more elaborate and comprehensive set of rules might need to be devised, including, for example, for journalist conduct in the open (non-press room) areas inside and outside the White House and for Air Force One. At this time however, we have decided not to frame such rules in the hope that professional journalistic norms will suffice to regulate conduct in those places. If unprofessional behavior occurs in those settings, or if a court should decide that explicit rules are required to regulate conduct there, we will be forced to reconsider this decision.”

That some rules were coming was hardly a surprise.

The Washington Times had reported earlier in the day that the White House already had contacted Acosta, and the report suggested his pass might be suspended again, once a judge’s temporary ruling expired.

It was Friday when a federal judge said the White House should restore Acosta’s pass, on the grounds he didn’t get due process before it was removed.

While most of the legacy media outlets supported CNN’s demand that Acosta’s pass be restored, One America News Network sided with the White House.

Trump was “right on point” to call Acosta “rude” during the exchange, the network said.

“While this narcissistic approach may serve plaintiff’s self-interests as entertainers or media figures and the network that profits therefrom, they do not serve the interests of the forum,” OANN said.

The confrontation:

WND reported when radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh unloaded on Acosta.

“I think this guy is just a petty, childish baby,” Limbaugh said of the CNN reporter. “He’s just a first class, A-number-one creep. He is totally and completely unlikable.”

“Jim Acosta has no constitutional right to be admitted to the White House, period,” Limbaugh added. “The White House is not prohibiting CNN from being in there.”

When the pass was suspended, Sanders said, “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”

Jim Acosta grapples with a White House staffer trying to take the microphone from him at a presidential news conference Nov. 7, 2018

Jim Acosta grapples with a White House intern trying to take the microphone from him at a presidential news conference Nov. 7, 2018

Sanders said Acosta’s “conduct is absolutely unacceptable.”

“It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question.”

She contended Trump “has given the press more access than any president in history.”

“Contrary to CNN’s assertions, there is no greater demonstration of the president’s support for a free press than the event he held today,” Sanders said. “Only they would attack the president for not supporting a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of 1.5 hours including several from the reporter in question. The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it’s an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this administration. As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”

As WND reported, at the news conference Acosta began by challenging Trump’s description of the Central American caravan as an “invasion.”

“It’s not an invasion,” Acosta insisted.

“Thank you for telling me that,” Trump said. “I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion.”

Acosta then asked, “Did you demonize immigrants?”

Trump explained he wants immigrants to come to America, because its expanding economy needs the workers, but they need to come legally.

Frustrated by Acosta’s criticism of a campaign ad, Trump finally said: “You should let me run the country and you should run CNN. If you did it well your ratings would be much better.”

He moved to another reporter, but Acosta refused to turn over the microphone.

“That’s enough. That’s enough,” Trump said.

When Acosta asked about the Russia investigation, Trump said: “It’s a hoax. Put down the mic.”

Trump continued: “CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”

Acosta tried to interrupt, asserting Trump was being unfair. He also again refused to give up the microphone, pushing away an aide who reached out for it.

“The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible,” Trump said. “The way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn’t treat people like that.”

Acosta still refused to quit badgering, prompting Trump to say: “Just sit down please. When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are an enemy of the people.”

“This conduct is beyond reprehensible,” said Sean Hannity on his Fox News broadcast. “Imagine anybody doing this to Obama.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace called Acosta’s behavior “shameful.”

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Wallace said.

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Jerry Brown quietly admits Trump was right

California Gov. Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown

After brushing off President Trump’s charge that poor forest management is partly to blame for California’s recent devastating wildfires, Gov. Jerry Brown is urging state lawmakers to ease restrictions on logging that were enacted under pressure from environmental groups.

Brown is proposing one of the most significant changes to the state’s logging rules in nearly half a century, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported, as noted by the Daily Wire.

In an effort to thin more forests, the proposal would allow private landowners with 300 acres or less to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit.

Environmentalists, however, want to make California’s logging rules even more restrictive, the Daily Wire said. But the recent deadly fires in both Northern and Southern California have prompted lawmakers to act.

Brown’s proposal would allow landowners to cut trees up to 36 inches in diameter — up from the current 26 inches — without a permit if their purpose is to reduce fire risk.

They also would be be allowed to build roads of up to 600 feet long without a permit.

Landowners currently are allowed only to clear dead and decaying wood and undergrowth.

Two weeks ago, the Daily Wire reported, Trump threatened to withhold federal money if California didn’t improve its forest management.

“There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” he tweeted.

“Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

Brown’s office responded to the president, calling his opinion “inane” and “uninformed.”

“Our focus is on the Californians impacted by these fires and the first responders and firefighters working around the clock to save lives and property — not on the president’s inane, uninformed tweets.”

And Brown blamed global warming for the increase in fires, the Daily Wire pointed out.

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Google News may shut down over ‘link tax’


If the European Union follows through with a proposal to charge a tax for linking to news stories on the web, Google might shut down its Google News in E.U. countries.

Google’s vice president of news, Richard Gingras, told the Guardian of London the decision will depend on the phrasing of the legislation, which is designed to help struggling news publishers.

“We can’t make a decision until we see the final language,” he said.

Gingras noted that when Spain tried to charge for news links in 2014, Google News was shut down in the country.

The tech giant argued at the time that shutting down Google News resulted in a decline in traffic to Spanish news websites.

“We would not like to see that happen in Europe,” Gingras told the paper. “Right now what we want to do is work with stakeholders.”

The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the “link tax,” known as Article 11, and its sister legislation Article 13, in September.

But Google is trying to persuade the European Commission and EU member states before the law is confirmed.

The Guardian noted the U.K. likely will be affected by the law if it is introduced before the end of any post-Brexit transition period.

CNBC reported that Axel Voss, the member of the European Parliament overseeing the legislation, is believed to be continuing discussions with Google before talks take place with individual EU member states.

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Facebook punished for ‘decelerating growth’

Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has faced a slew of problems in recent months.

It has sustained a list of security breaches, and maximum fines for those actions.

It was accused of inflating watch times for ads, angering those who buy them.

It’s been vilified for firing an executive, apparently for “supporting Trump.”

And of course it’s faced an onslaught of criticism for censoring GOP and conservative voices – mostly in the name of opposing what it calls “hate.”

For example, criticizing the homosexual lifestyle in some circumstances can find your page gone.

But now it’s getting worse.

Its traffic, and revenue, are dropping.

“The market has been absolutely punishing companies with decelerating growth, and that’s exactly what you’re seeing with Facebook,” said Mark Tepper, of Strategic Wealth Partners, in a CNBC report. “I don’t think there’s any light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon. They’re making some pretty aggressive investments to deal with improving their ad transparency, getting rid of fake accounts, eliminating fake news, and that’s going to be a drag on profits in the near term.”

He said long-term may be different, but for now, MSNBC called the company’s future “a mountain of problems.”

Its stock fell nearly 5 percent Monday, ending up at the “Lowest level since February 2017.”

Further, “Facebook is poised to close its third straight month in the red, which would mark its longest monthly losing streak on record. Furthermore, Facebook is on track for its longest quarterly losing streak since 2013, and its first full year of losses since going public,” the report said.

There’s more to come, too.

“Technically, when I look at this, there’s no question that we’ve violated the long-term uptrend support line off of the [2014] lows. We’ve got some support that’s going to come in right around $130, but better support coming in at $114,” Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Jaffray, said in the CNBC report.

Facebook, which literally exploded from founding to a valuation of billions of dollar, yet produces only an online entertainment platform and venue, has fallen 25 percent in value this year.

The bad news came just as a report in Marketwatch was piling on.

There, it was reported, a study says many people who began with moderate clinical depression finished just a few weeks later “with very mild symptoms after drastically cutting down on their social-media use.”

Explained the report, “Spending too much time on ‘social media’ sites like Facebook is making people more than just miserable. It may also be making them depressed.”

The results come from psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania, who have shown for the first time a causal link between time spent on social media and depression and loneliness, the researchers said.

NBC said Facebook now is being challenged by consumer groups, journalists and politicians.

“Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive officer, and Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, believe Facebook’s negative image is a public relations problem that stems from a bungled press strategy and sensational media coverage, not a structural or philosophical shortcoming that requires a wholesale course correction, six Facebook sources familiar with their thinking told NBC News.”

The report said those sources speculated that the company would respond to issues by changing communications strategies, not “by making drastic changes to personnel or the platform.”

Zuckerberg has claimed his self-admitted leftist company didn’t let its politics affect its content, but Republican lawmakers said this year that’s exactly what was going on.

President Donald Trump pointed out, “I mean the true interference in the last election was that – if you look at all, virtually all of those companies are super liberal companies in favor of Hillary Clinton.

“Maybe I did a better job because I’m good with the Twitter and I’m good at social media, but the truth is they were all on Hillary Clinton’s side, and if you look at what was going on with Facebook and with Google and all of it, they were very much on her side,” he said, the Mail reported.

WND columnist Chuck Norris recently blasted Facebook’s actions in a case involving a triple amputee Air Force veteran Brian Kolfag.

The company abruptly deleted without warning or explanation his pages after he spent $300,000 on Facebook advertising.

Kolfag charged, “Facebook lied, they shut down my page because it was conservative, powerful, and the elections are in 2 weeks.”

“Facebook’s conservative free speech muffling trend is not new,” Norris wrote. “Back in April when Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) rightly confronted the CEO about Facebook’s conservative censorship and suppression: ‘Mr. Zuckerberg, I will say there are a great many Americans, who I think are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship. There have been numerous instances with Facebook. In May of 2016, Gizmodo reported that Facebook had purposefully and routinely suppressed conservative stories from trending news, including stories about CPAC, including stories about Mitt Romney, including stories about the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, including stories about Glenn Beck. In addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the ‘Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day’ page, has blocked a post of a Fox News reporter, has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages, and most recently, blocked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk’s page with 1.2 million Facebook followers, after determining their content and brand were, ‘unsafe to the community.’ To a great many Americans, that appears to be a pervasive pattern of political bias.’”

WND CEO Joseph Farah also has described the issue with Facebook, and other digital media giants.

“Anyone who hasn’t noticed the willingness – nay eagerness – of these companies to squash political dissent probably either approves of it or simply can’t comprehend their darkness, their evil, their hideous malevolence,” he wrote recently.

He pointed out Amazon has acquiesced to the largest government on earth to ban the sale of Bibles inside China … at the same time one of the highest-ranking leaders of the Democratic Party “is lobbying Amazon to ban the sale of other books in the U.S. – so-called ‘hate speech’ as defined by the extremist Trump-haters at the Southern Poverty Law Center?”

Further, he said, “Google and Facebook know more about you than you yourself may know about you – and worse, they are experts at monetizing your data while manipulating your thinking and behavior without you having the slightest inkling.”

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Poll: Americans turn on social media

(BREITBART) — A recent poll by SurveyMonkey for Axios appears to show that public opinion on social media firms has become quite negative amongst the majority of people questioned. 57 Percent of Americans surveyed believe that social media hurts democracy and free speech.

A SurveyMonkey poll conducted on November 9 which questioned 3,622 adults in the United States appears to show that the public opinion of social media firms has generally turned quite negative. Only 40 percent of Americans feel social media helps free speech and democracy.

Axios reports that those questioned were asked if they believe that social media does more to help or hurt democracy and free speech, in November 2017 53 percent of adults stated that they believe it helps democracy while 43 percent stated that they believe it hurts democracy, one year later and 57 percent believe that social media hurts democracy while only 40 percent believe that it helps democracy.

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White House Correspondents’ dinner gets serious

Michelle Wolf (video screenshot)

Michelle Wolf (video screenshot)

The White House Correspondents Association is known for an annual dinner in which the president of the United States and other prominent political figures are given license to poke fun at themselves and their political opponents.

But on the heels of a widely criticized performance by comedian Michelle Wolf, the WHCA announced Monday it will take a serious turn at its next dinner, April 27, and feature an eminent biographer of presidents and statesmen as its headline speaker.

Ron Chernow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, will speak on the importance of the First Amendment at the 2019 event, the WHCA said in a statement.

Wolf — who was condemned for mocking White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ appearance — reacted to the WHCA’s decision not to feature a comedian.

“The [White House Correspondents’ Association] are cowards,” Wolf tweeted Monday. “The media is complicit. And I couldn’t be prouder.”

Margaret Talev, who was WHCA president at the time of Wolf’s performance, said the program “was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press.”

“Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission,” she said, referring to Wolf.

The current WHCA president, Olivier Knox, chief Washington correspondent for SiriusXM, said he’s “delighted that Ron will share his lively, deeply researched perspectives on American politics and history at the 2019 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

Chernow said freedom of the press “is always a timely subject and this seems like the perfect moment to go back to basics.”

“My major worry these days is that we Americans will forget who we are as a people and historians should serve as our chief custodians in preserving that rich storehouse of memory,” Chernow said.

“While I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise that my history lesson won’t be dry.”

After her April 28, 2018, performance, Wolf was called out by several politicians and journalists for her remarks about Sanders.

One White House correspondent wrote,: “Apology is owed to @PressSec and others grossly insulted ny Michelle Wolf at White House Correspondents Assoc dinner.”

Maggie Haberman of the New York Times said: “That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive.”

Wolf said of Sanders:

And of course, we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We are graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say I’m a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ Mike Pence, if you haven’t seen it, you would love it.

Every time Sarah steps up to the podium I get excited, because I’m not really sure what we’re going to get. You know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams. ‘It’s shirts and skins, and this time don’t be such a little b—-, Jim Acosta!’

I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. Like she burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.

And I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know? Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know. Ann Coulter.

In response to the backlash, Wolf tweeted: “Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials.”

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Pam Anderson rips Australia PM for ‘smutty’ remarks

(FOX) — “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson slammed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his “smutty” comments after she urged the leader to bring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange back home to Australia.

In an open letter to Morrison posted on the Daily Beast, Anderson said the prime minister made “smutty, unnecessary comments about a woman [herself] voicing her political opinion.”

“We all deserve better from our leaders, especially in the current environment,” wrote Anderson, who is Canadian and close friends with the refugee.

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