Here are my observations on items in the news … some of which you may have missed.
A DIMON IN THE ROUGH – Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, once considered for a cabinet position in the Trump administration, took the opportunity to sound off about his disappointment in the political class and gridlock in the Washington swamp during an earnings call on Friday.
‘Since the Great Recession, which is now eight years old, we’ve been growing at 1.5 percent to 2 percent in spite of stupidity and political gridlock,” he said, “We are unable to build bridges, we’re unable to build airports, our inner-city school kids are not graduating.”
Referring to his recent travels in France, Israel, and Ireland and meetings with the prime ministers of India and China, Dimon commented that “It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world listening to the stupid s- – t we have to deal with in this country. And, we have to get our act together or we won’t do what we’re supposed to (do) for the average Americans.”
“A BIG YAWN” – That’s how Michael Walsh of the New York Post described The New York Times account of the Donald Trump, Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer. “The news as delivered by The New York Times was in breathless tones that might announce a cure for cancer or the discovery of life on Mars,” wrote Walsh.
Wondering what all the fuss is about, Walsh asserts that no campaign in its right mind, even Hillary’s, would turn down an offer of information on their opponent. That’s what opposition research is all about.
“Having established the smear of ‘collusion,’ the Times must now link every story with the word ‘Russia’ to it in the hope that the rubes and suckers (its readers) won’t stop believing that Trump somehow cheated his way into the White House,” commented Walsh.
Over at Washington Post.com. Ed Rogers wrote, “Sorry, but this is a ‘faux scandal.’ There are always people hovering around campaigns trying to peddle information.”
THE DEMOCRAT MESSAGE FOR 2018 – Sorry, there is none. Have you noticed how the media has been searching for the Democrat Party message for 2018; asking fruitlessly, “who is the Democrat leader today?” They even asked Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who hemmed and hawed while not answering.
Democrats are so caught up in the anti-Trump movement that the only message they have is that they are not Trump. On the one hand, you have Dem senators accusing Trump of treason and House members filing for the president’s impeachment. One Dem even commented that the president gets two scoops of ice cream when others at the table get just one. And did you hear that feminists objected to Ivanka Trump wearing a pink dress to the G-20 meeting? What next?
“The Democrats seem to be coddling (the left) because encouraging ‘the Resistance’ to stay angry at everything is easier than taking a stand on issues,” wrote Karol Markowicz in a recent New York Post piece.
NEWSPAPER BILLIONAIRES SEEK HELP FROM CONGRESS – In my June 25, post, “Unbelievable. Canadian media seeking a government bailout,” I wrote of the members of News Media Canada seeking a bailout for the daily newspapers so they could continue to publish “significant” articles for their readers. “Of one thing I am certain,” I wrote, “a media bailout in the U.S. would have a snowball’s chance in hell.”
But low and behold, David Chavern, president and chief executive of the New Media Alliance, a trade association representing some 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada, writing in the Wall Street Journal, seeks help from Congress in his op-ed “How Antitrust Undermines Press Freedom.”
It’s the success of Google and Facebook that Chavern says pose a greater threat (than President Trump’s attacks) to America’s news industry. “Google and Facebook’s duopolistic dominance of online advertising, which could do far more damage to the free press than anything the president posts on Twitter,” wrote Chavern.
The problem, as cited by Chavern, is that today’s internet distribution systems distort the flow of economic value derived from good reporting. “Together, (Google and Facebook) account for more than 70 percent of the $73 billion spent each year on digital advertising,” according to Chavern, and “the two digital giants don’t employ reporters. They don’t dig through public records to uncover corruption, send correspondents to war zones, or attend last night’s game to get the highlights. They expect an economically squeezed news industry to do that costly work for them.”
Chavern is seeking a new law granting a limited safe harbor under antitrust for publishers to negotiate collectively with the dominant online platforms. They are prevented from doing so today due to current antitrust laws. “This would grant media organizations the flexibility to expand innovative digital models of news distribution, while given them more ways to sustain high-quality journalism,” said Chavern.
I find it interesting that newspaper billionaires – Jeff Bezos (Washington Post and Amazon), Carlos Slim (New York Times), and Warren Buffett (Buffalo News) – who normally favor stricter antitrust enforcement, now seek to be rescued from those nasty billionaires at Google and Facebook.
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS ABOUT GOOD NEWS – When the Trump administration released the good news of strong job numbers – 220,000 jobs added in June – the good news is that NBC Nightly News devoted more than eight times as much time in coverage than that of ABC and CBS combined on their nightly news shows, the bad news. (Media Resource Center)
SPEAKING OF GOOD NEWS – Some 1,600 new coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries around the world. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.
CLIMATE CHANGE SKEPTICS GUJILTY OF A ‘MORAL CRIME,’ wrote David Roberts, energy and climate change writer for Vox online. “This generation of humanity is engaged in moral crime the scale and consequences of which dwarf anything in our species history,” according to Roberts, “We’re doing the worst thing that’s ever been done, and the only solution is to ‘act radically’ at unprecedented scale and speed.”
In 2006, Roberts said “we should have war crimes for these bastards (climate change skeptics), according to Aly Nielsen in the Mediabusters, a Media Resource Center periodical