“Hopes & Prayers” is even more insipid than the “Thoughts & Prayers” bromide that Republican politicians typically tweet out after the latest mass shooting, but five months into the pandemic that’s ravaging the U.S. that’s about all the Trump White House has to offer Americans.
As I noted in a June 21 post, after plateauing in the 150,000 range for several weeks, the U.S. case count increased sharply in the June 14-21 period to 181,010. That trend continued last week, with the case load jumping to 277,801 from June 21-28.
Daily case counts now exceed 50,000, and with infection rates soaring in heavily populated southern and western states such as Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned on June 30 that if the U.S. doesn’t get its shit together they could soon see 100,000 cases a day.
Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.
Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended.
Reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions.
“Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties,” Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement. “We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest.”
It’s pretty simple: Trump’s administration bars media outlets because media outlets expose their lies and self-interest. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans have been radicalized by right-wing propaganda posing as news (Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson) and nonsense-spouting opportunists (Alex Jones, Ann Coulter, and, back in the day, Glenn Beck).
Politicians and leaders who attack science, journalism, women’s rights, the poor and minorities are the bad guys. Don’t be on the same team as the bad guys.
Welcome to Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Today’s high is -18 and we’ve got a low of -23, with a windchill of -33. Tomorrow will be colder. The sun rose at 8:56 and sets at 5:15. How was your holiday break? Mine was lovely, thanks. Had some drama with a snooty dog but it was funny, so that’s okay. Here’s a round up of some news that’s a-newsing, brought to you by New Year’s resolutions, good intentions and sad delusions.
1. EITHER 7,900 OR 10,300 JOBS GO “POOF” Saskatchewan’s economy had a rough 2016. Not sure how rough, because I don’t get the apparent contradiction in job numbers in this story. Maybe 10,300 is the December number, and 7,900 is the total for the year? Anyway the public sector is bailing out the economy so I’m sure it won’t get way worse in 2017.
4. TRUMP IS A LYING JACKASS SYNDROME There is only one person in the world infected with this and his name is Donald Trump.
5. U.S. PLANS TO SAVE POLAR BEARS ARE GARBAGE, SAYS SCIENTISTDetails here. I’ll miss polar bears when they go extinct in 20 years.
6. WINTER RETURNSTO WASCANA Regina’s Waskimo Winter Festival is back after a decade-plus hiatus, and the “huzzahs” are mighty. The old photos running with this story are great.
7. LINDY WEST LEAVES TWITTER Okay this is from last week, but it’s a big deal. It can be tough to define the line between free speech and harassment, but more and more professional writers are opting out of accepting feedback thanks to rampant abuse. It’s frustrating. Here’s another piece on this.