Articles chosen with care. Comments welcomed. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ My quick take on Trump’s Trip:
There are two key elements to Trump’s trip, in my opinion.
The first is to reorient US policy in the Middle East after what most of the region considers the disastrous Obama years.
Pres. Trump is saying “we are back and we oppose Iran.”
In return, Trump wants (and expects) local partners to start cutting off terror funding from their locals and participate in the larger battles against Iran and terrorism.
This stage of the trip, now completed, went very well and included a full-throated speech by Trump that touched the right issues without stepping on toes. It ended, significantly, with “God Bless America,” a phrase seldom uttered in the Land of the Two Holy Places.
The speech was far-better received than Obama’s famous speech in Cairo, which was a prolonged apology for American policy and included ample references to the Koran. Those were overshadowed by his weak stance toward friends, even weaker stance toward enemies, and refusal to give the speech unless the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood could sit among the dignitaries–another of his disastrous miscalculations, as the region quickly came to see it.
Trump’s second goal is to reestablish strong ties with NATO, while still pressing the Europeans for more payments.
His visit to Israel does not have such clear objectives; we’ll know more soon.
The Vatican trip is simply for show.
◆ Further comments: Dan Pipes calls the Saudi speech “pretty good”.
Pipes is not an easy grader, so that’s a high mark. His praise is related to Trump’s reorientation of US policy toward Iran and Islam more generally.
But he has some withering criticisms, too, calling the speech “incoherent” and “neither eloquent nor insightful.”
It’s farcical to announce the opening in Riyadh, the headquarters of Wahhabism, of a “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.” –Daniel Pipes
As always, he is well worth reading.
◆ Conservative media owner Sinclair is buying the Tribune’s broadcast TV stations. The MSM does not like it.
The NYTimes has already opposed it, vigorously. Now the Washington Post does, too.
Here’s the WaPo headline: Sinclair’s TV deal would be good for Trump. And his new FCC is clearing the way.
When French voters resoundingly elected a centrist president rather than a right-leaning antiglobalist this month, one reason may have been the nation’s news media.
As a French newspaper editor commented: “We don’t have a Fox News in France.”
The United States certainly does have one. Pretty soon, it may have the equivalent of two.
Sinclair Broadcast Group has struck a deal with Tribune Media to buy dozens of local TV stations.
And what Fox News is for cable, Sinclair could become for broadcast: programming with a soupcon — or more — of conservative spin.
Already, Sinclair is the largest owner of local TV stations in the nation. If the $3.9 billion deal gets regulatory approval, Sinclair would have 7 of every 10 Americans in its potential audience.
That’s too much power to repose in one entity,” Michael Copps, who served on the FCC from 2001 to 2012, told me. –Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post media columnist
Comment: There is a real possibility Sinclair will form a national, conservative network to rival Fox, which has struggled recently.
You would expect Fox to be grumpy. Nobody likes competition.
But opposition by the Washington Post and New York Times is different. They don’t oppose Sinclair because it will compete with them for revenue. Their opposition is ideological.They oppose Sinclair because it will compete with them for hearts and minds.
Still, you have to be amused when the paper owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos trots out anti-trust reasons.
◆ World Health Organization moves around in style, spending more on travel and upscale hotels than on fighting AIDS (NY Post)
The UN health agency blows around $200 million a year on travel costs so its honchos can fly business class and stay in five-star hotels — more than what it reserves for battling some of the world’s biggest health crisis, the AP reports. –NY Post
The travel budget was also larger than the amount they spent fighting malaria or TB. They did spend more fighting polio.
Comment: The WHO seems to have adopted Marie Antoinette’s motto. They should remember: it did not work out well for her.
◆ NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio honors a Marxist-Leninist, Puerto Rican terrorist (PJ Media)
Ron Radosh lacerates Pres. Obama for releasing the miscreant, de Blasio for honoring him, and the NY Times for papering over the evil:
A few days ago, a New York Times headline informed readers that the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade held in New York City would honor Oscar Lopez Rivera, a person they described as a “long-jailed militant” and a “nationalist” — certainly a misleading description of the self-proclaimed Marxist-Leninist and terrorist.
If you’re wondering how this could have happened, you should thank President Barack Obama, who paid off any debts he had to the far left by granting Lopez Rivera clemency in the last few days of his administration. –Ron Radosh at PJ Media
◆ The real story is much hotter than the AP headline: “California Democrats take aim at Trump, GOP Congress“ Well, d’uh.
Here’s the real, crude, and disgusting story:
In a sign of the vigor of the party’s distaste for the president, outgoing party Chair John Burton, a longtime Democratic lawmaker and powerbroker known for his blunt and profane manner, extended two middle fingers in the air as the crowd cheered and joined him.
“F— Donald Trump,” he said. –AP
Comment: Read that again to see what bias looks like. This crude, foul treatment of a democratically-elected leader is called “a sign of vigor.”
Ask yourself this, if the Republican convention in Texas or Minnesota had chanted “F**k Obama” and held up middle fingers, do you think the Associated Press would have called it “a sign of vigor”? Not a chance. They would have blasted it with their biggest cannon.
If you treat the same event differently, depending on whose ox is gored, then your reporting is biased.
That’s one reason Trump’s backers are incensed that the MSM, which was somnolent during so many scandals in recent years, has come out of hibernation now that they have found a President they can hate.
♥ Hat Tip for helpful suggestions:
◆ Tom Elia for the California Democrats story