Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The remarkable rise of Michael Avenatti

155 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 7 Newer→ Last

  • John Morrison,

    I thought he overreached earlier, but he hasn't so far. I hope his predictions come true.

    A question about your line

    America in 2018 is a country with no agreed set of facts to unite over.

    How do you think this sad state of affairs has come about?

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to John Morrison,

    How do you think this sad state of affairs has come about?

    Years of decline into partisan media, accelerated by the appearance of a candidate who simply has no concept of truth.

    I mean, Giuliani yesterday doubled down on his claim that Hillary Clinton was nowhere to be seen at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. There are not only hundreds of pictures of her there, there are multiple pictures of her there with Giuliani.

    I've been watching US cable news shows on YouTube over the past few nights and I can't be bothered with the more partisan shows on MSNBC in particular (Lawrence O'Donnell is a windbag and even Maddow strains my patience these days). But they're at least reasonably grounded in observable reality ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Roger, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Years of decline into partisan media

    That; and the partisan courts, the partisan government agencies and partisan politics all the way down to school boards.

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2007 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Roger,

    and the partisan courts, the partisan government agencies and partisan politics all the way down to school boards.

    Are you suggesting that voting might not be the best way to select judges and election officials?

    America is what it is because of the enormous amount of democracy. And freedom. They're ... well, obviously not great, because Trump is busy making them great again, but at least they're free and democratic.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1120 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Actually, someone should plant that one in the Don's head: when you've made Amerikkka great again, will you resign?

    If Bush the Lesser can declare "Mission Accomplished", surely Trump can declare "America is Great"?

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1120 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Moz,

    suggesting that voting might not be the best way to select

    Unless what you are measuring is popularity then voting is never the best way to select anyone for any job.

    It is however, not the worst way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’ve been watching US cable news shows on YouTube over the past few nights…

    I think the rise of social media has exacerbated the problem. Not sure why but it lends itself to arguments of the form – “I spend my life attacking Hillary but I’m not pro-Trump”, “I spend my life denying there’s a moderate Syrian opposition but I’m not pro -Assad”. It’s a weird form of fascism.

    The US has always had the fringe militia/conspiracy element but what with Putin and Trump it seems to be getting more influential.

    Since Nov 2016 • 260 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Today’s The 11th Hour With Brian Williams is pretty good. Ashley Parker and Robert Costa of the Washington Post are both very interesting. I’m kind of amazed at the level these guys operate at. They’re reporting and writing all day, then turning up and being articulate on night-time TV.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Neil,

    lends itself to arguments of the form – “I spend my life attacking Hillary but I’m not pro-Trump”

    I work with one. He was completely unable to say that he would prefer "shillary" as president but would always preface his attacks with "Trump is worse but...". Mind you, he's also "not racist but" and "not sexist but". Wanting to nuke "the Muslims" isn't racist, anyway, they're not a race.

    It was a very trying electoral period in our office.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1120 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I mean, Giuliani yesterday doubled down on his claim that Hillary Clinton was nowhere to be seen at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. There are not only hundreds of pictures of her there, there are multiple pictures of her there with Giuliani.

    Sure, but here's the thing. I think the media can wring their hands all they like, but why wouldn't Trumpets lies their arses off, double down, then pivot to a whole new lie like 1984 On Ice when there's never any meaningful consequences - like being deleted from every booker's contact list?

    Seriously. Here's a CNN host finally losing his shit at a Trump shill for lying to his face. But he was right back on air the next day, so I don't know why anyone bothers.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • oga, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That decline into partisan media started when Reagan repealed the Fairness doctrine requiring media to present balanced news.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    That was good. Thanks Russell. More please.

    My own modest contribution to this discussion: https://extranewsfeed.com/trumps-dilemma-the-reason-why-either-trump-or-michael-cohen-will-definitely-wind-up-in-prison-b0c0dd89e374

    No quite sure how much of it is satire/hyperbole (the stuff about the bar exam, for example), but the author definitely seems to think that Cohen will flip to save his own skin, and thus sink Trump.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to oga,

    Reagan repealed the Fairness doctrine requirimg media to present balanced news.

    a faux pas otherwise known as the 'Fox Pass'
    'Fair and balanced'!? Meh!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7743 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    All very entertaining but just shadow-boxing really. Innuendo about hypothetical wrongdoing dressed up by top lawyers competing like knights jousting on primetime. No actual evidence, so media stories have to be composed of conjecture instead.

    If you read the deep-state thesis as competing interest groups within the US political/economic establishment (rather than the monolith preferred by conspiracy theorists), then the outcome will be as much dictated by who is using Mueller, who is using Trump, etc, as the weight of evidence that eventually results from the never-ending investigation. Evidence is either suppressed or used accordingly. If no smoking gun is found, circumstantial evidence will only get used in a prosecution if it suits vested interests to do so.

    Remember that no president has reinforced Eisenhower's public warning about the US military-industrial complex, more than half a century since. Their tacit consensus has been that the public interest is so obviously subordinated to vested interests as to endanger their life or reputation if they were to follow Eisenhower's example and tell the truth.

    The USA has taught us that a republic can indeed be worse than a monarchy. Why would Aotearoa want to adopt such a flawed model of democracy? Remember the fascist coup planned in the early thirties. If General Smedley Butler had agreed to accept the leadership role he was offered, rather than blow the whistle on that conspiracy as he did, we'd be living in a very different world.

    Best to read Trump's stance in that light: genuinely anti-establishment, wanting to make America great again via regeneration of the economy and nationalism. Fueled by Tea Party disaffection, seeing the neocon thing as mere establishment window-dressing. The right-wing culture wars get insufficient in-depth media analysis.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    media stories have to be composed of conjecture instead.

    Gossip raised to fact, just by the reading of it on a news channel.
    The only difference from primitive village gossip is, we now have things called tv & radio news programmes to do the dirty work for us.
    Watching the US eat itself is kinda depressing

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1715 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Moz,

    “Dissenting Narratives”

    A friend went down the rabbit hole over Syria – all based on material from social media.

    It’s s bit chicken and egg, there’s an audience that has a willingness to believe but absent of these new sources of other peoples’ views I’m sure my friend would have just had a generalised skepticism of everything.

    It’s a fascinating thing – the hyper skeptical wind up believing the craziest stuff.

    It’s perhaps too easy to catastrophise as it’s not a new phenomenon but I get the sense that the internet is giving this sort of thing much more influence.

    Never new til today what Incels were.

    Since Nov 2016 • 260 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Neil,

    A friend went down the rabbit hole over Syria – all based on material from social media.

    My partner got trapped into a conversation with such a person at a party on Saturday. Nice enough chap otherwise, but lordy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    All very entertaining but just shadow-boxing really. Innuendo about hypothetical wrongdoing dressed up by top lawyers competing like knights jousting on primetime. No actual evidence, so media stories have to be composed of conjecture instead.

    You mean, no actual evidence apart from women's sworn statements, the original NDA – and whatever the FBI and the US Attorney in New York have obtained from months of surveillance of Cohen and the recent seizure of all his files?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Best to read Trump’s stance in that light: genuinely anti-establishment, wanting to make America great again via regeneration of the economy and nationalism.

    I do not believe that is the "best" way to characterise Trump's stance. To put it mildly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Neil,

    Never knew till today what Incels were.

    I've noticed an upsurge in people using their personality prophylactically - their wilful disengagement turns them into dissonancy boys.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7743 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Some may appreciate this comic by Eli Valley - 'Schlonged' a wishful piece about Donald Trump's short presidency...
    decidedly NSFW and may offend some among the faint-hearted.
    http://www.elivalley.com/political-comics#/comics/schlonged-the-donald-trump-story/

    I found it in 'The Best American Comics 2017' edited/curated by Ben Katchor & Bill Kartalopoulos
    https://www.cbr.com/best-american-comics-2017-cover-reveal-1984/

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7743 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Some may appreciate this comic by Eli Valley - 'Schlonged' a wishful piece about Donald Trump's short presidency...

    Goodness me. This presidential "enormous Johnson" schtick has quite a history (Safe for Work).

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4586 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    no actual evidence apart from ...

    I'm fully expecting pictures of Trump naked, TBH. The guy is stupid enough for that.

    I do not believe that is the “best” way to characterise Trump’s stance.

    His stance changes constantly. Sometimes within a day. Sometimes within an interview. Sometimes within a sentence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10560 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m fully expecting pictures of Trump naked, TBH. The guy is stupid enough for that.

    Avenattii and Stormy have both broadly hinted as to the existence of dick pics. Ew.

    But Avenatti has sucessfully made the case about the whole way the Trump organisation has worked for decades – that’s the accounting they’re going for. Trump and those around him are basically career criminals, and the seizure of Cohen’s records is enormously significant.

    It’s also well within the scope of a Trump-Russia investigation. Cohen has dirty Russian links up the wazoo.

    His stance changes constantly. Sometimes within a day. Sometimes within an interview. Sometimes within a sentence.

    He doesn’t have a philosophy, stance or vision as such. It almost all comes from whoever has his ear at the time. For quite a while it was Bannon’s nativist economic nationalism, more recently it’s Hannity and John Bolton.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Of course us kiwis find that stuff distasteful. But those Cohen/Russian links just look like US business as usual. Remember some New York bankers financed Lenin. Sure if would be good if capitalism weren't rotten to the core, but we live in the real world. The only evidence that counts is what the prosecuting team of lawyers arrives at consensus on the question of do they want to spend all that money on the court case on the basis of that pile of circumstantial evidence.

    Trump seems to lack a moral compass from our perspective, but so what? Will a judge or jury see anything unusually reprehensible in Russian or Ukrainian immigrants getting good at doing capitalism & politics American style? I doubt it. That's stuff's been going down stateside since forever.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 254 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 7 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.