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For myopic media, breaking up with Trump will be hard to do | TheHill – The Hill

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“Give us a while here in the news media because we’ve got to, you know, learn how to quit [Donald TrumpDonald TrumpAppeals court dismisses Gohmert’s election suit against Pence Kentucky governor calls vandalism to McConnell’s home ‘unacceptable’ Pence ‘welcomes’ efforts of lawmakers to ‘raise objections’ to Electoral College results MORE]. It’s like a breakup. We got to get the other president out of our phone contacts.” CNN anchor Don Lemon

Breaking up is hard to do, as Neil Sedaka once explained. The ultimate test will occur on Jan. 20 when Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court dismisses Gohmert’s election suit against Pence Romney: Plan to challenge election ‘egregious ploy’ that ‘dangerously threatens’ country Pence ‘welcomes’ efforts of lawmakers to ‘raise objections’ to Electoral College results MORE becomes the nation’s 46th president. In a sane world that includes an objective media, the focus would turn to Biden. But if the apathy of actually scrutinizing the former vice president and asking something resembling a tough question during the campaign and transition are any indication, all things Trump will continue to blot out the sun. 

“It’s an hour and 20 minutes into the show and… it’s the first time the name Joe Biden was mentioned,” MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch observed on “Morning Joe” this week. “Enough with Donald Trump already. He’s done. He lost. We, the media, have to be a bit disciplined and not continue to just cover this jerk every time there’s this flatulence. I mean, enough already. He lost, it’s done. We are guilty of keeping him front and center all the time.”  

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Nice plan, but yeah, that’s not happening. It’s hard to know what’s more addicting: crack or Trump. And to turn the page on Trump means (gasp) holding the powerful (See: Biden, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi Kentucky governor calls vandalism to McConnell’s home ‘unacceptable’ Pelosi’s, McConnell’s homes vandalized as K stimulus check bill fails to pass Georgia keeps Senate agenda in limbo MORE (D-Calif.) and possibly Sen. Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerSenate Democrats rebuke GOP colleagues who say they’ll oppose Electoral College results Democrats wasted two years on impeachment instead of much needed infrastructure McConnell blocks vote on K checks, signals new package MORE (D-N.Y.) if the Democrats gain control of the Senate) accountable. 

What a 180 that would be: A hostile press under Trump was overtly hospitable toward Biden in 2020. Town halls were fixed fights to make Biden look good. 

The press also has generally been intimidated by Pelosi for years during her time as speaker, all while hailing her as a queen with exquisite taste in sunglasses. 

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We’ll also be entering the “But Trump” media era, which will entail the following two scenarios:

If something goes well under Biden, it will be because of his sober, steady leadership. If Biden makes a misleading statement, there will be a “But Trump said/did” X, Y, Z ready and waiting.  

For example, if the COVID-19 vaccines – which Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSenate Democrats rebuke GOP colleagues who say they’ll oppose Electoral College results Sunday shows preview: Senate candidates brace for Georgia runoffs; government continues coronavirus vaccine roll out Are we allowed to whisper about the transition to President Harris? MORE both helped sow doubt in during the campaign to score cheap political points – result in herd immunity this summer, it will be due to Biden’s A-plus plan in getting it into the arms of the American people. He will be hailed as the president who successfully led us out of the pandemic and put the country back on track.

But if something goes badly under Biden, it will be because of what he inherited from Trump. We saw this movie play out for four years under President Obama after he presided over the slowest recovery since the Great Depression following the financial crisis of 2008. Unemployment was nearly 8 percent heading into the 2012 election. The economy was sluggish, with GDP growing at just 2.2 percent.

No matter: Nearly four years after taking office and spending hundreds of billions in stimulus, Obama was still able to play the victim by blaming Bush, with little pushback from the press. 

 

And then there’s the business Trump brings to the table for broadcast and print media. Cable news ratings easily saw their highest numbers in history by a country mile. Fox News, for example, finished 2020 as the most-watched basic cable network for the fifth straight year. CNN and MSNBC also had their largest viewerships in history. The New York Times has more subscribers than ever before, as does the Washington Post. This is all primarily due to Trump.

“The ratings are going to collapse. You don’t have to be a genius or an experienced executive to figure that out,” former MSNBC executive Richard Wolffe recently told TheWrap.  

That sentiment may not apply to Fox News, however, if the Obama years were any indication (NPR 2009 headline: Fox News thrives in the age of Obama). Unlike Fox, CNN and MSNBC will undoubtedly be hesitant to be critical of Biden, and without conflict and controversy (See: Trump) those channels will struggle once the shine wears off the new presidency. 

As for finding a boogeyman replacement for Trump, even if Republicans maintain control of the Senate, any attempt to turn milquetoast Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney: Plan to challenge election ‘egregious ploy’ that ‘dangerously threatens’ country Kentucky governor calls vandalism to McConnell’s home ‘unacceptable’ Toomey, Murkowski to oppose GOP effort to challenge election results MORE into some kind of Bond villain will fail, simply because the Senate majority leader rarely says and tweets anything controversial when compared to Trump, and that ain’t good for business. 

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Unlike George W. Bush, don’t expect this ex-GOP president to go quietly. He’s got 89 million Twitter followers. He lacks discipline. He doesn’t care about looking presidential (or ex-presidential). The faucet and a constant need for attention never gets turned off. 

That will help the media put Trump front and center with Biden and Harris largely inaccessible outside of staged, controlled appearances and very few press conferences. (Obama once went 308 days early in his first term without doing a solo press conference; expect more of the same over the next four years.) 

The Trump 2024 campaign will likely begin on Jan. 20 during Biden’s inauguration.  

Most of the media can only hope. But that still won’t be enough. Trump as president had stakes and power. Citizen Trump – even with his massive following – not so much. 

And if Trump does somehow decide to tone it down? Well, let’s just say the breakup will be a long, sad one to witness. 

Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.

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Social Media Reacts To Trump's Second Articles Of Impeachment Being Delivered To The Senate – Forbes

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On Monday, members of the U.S. House of Representatives walked the article of impeachment against former Donald Trump to the U.S. Senate. Nine members from the House, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), will serve as managers – acting as prosecutors – in the trial, which is set to begin on February 9.

The entirety of the House Democrats, along with 10 Republicans, voted on January 13 to charge the former President with inciting insurrection earlier in January. That resulted in the storming of the Capitol Building, which left five people dead after a violent mob smashed windows, occupied offices and even the very Senate chamber where the trial will be held.

Soon after the second articles of impeachment were delivered to the Senate at around 7pm ET comments began to circulate on social media. Much of it was simply lawmakers sharing the facts – but it is clear opinions even on the very fact that a trial is being held was divided along partisan lines.

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colorado), was among those who delivered the articles, and made that point clear on social media, “Tonight, I had the solemn duty of joining my fellow managers in delivering the article of impeachment to the United States Senate.”

The sentiment was shared by fellow Colorado Democrat Rep. Diana DeGette, who tweeted, ” Article of Impeachment: Delivered Trial: Ready to Begin”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) (@SenWarren) at least explained why she supports the trial, “Donald Trump incited an insurrection at the US Capitol. The House has fulfilled its constitutional duty by delivering an article of impeachment to the Senate. Now the Senate must fulfill its constitutional duty by convicting and barring him from ever holding office again.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y) (@RepLeeZeldin) countered, “Absolutely no one should be playing along with this total farce of an impeachment of a President who isn’t even in office anymore.”

Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) (D-Oregon) expressed frustration with his Republican colleagues and vented on social media, “Articles of Impeachment have arrived at the Senate. Only 3 of 50 Republican senators showed up. Very disturbing to see this visual message that they don’t plan to take seriously their constitutional responsibility.”

Sen. Merkley added that it was the responsibility of every Senator to hear the evidence – but as has been noted, this wasn’t actually the trial.

Media Reactions

Some in the media also have taken notice of how this unprecedented and historic trial could unfold.

Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio), congressional reporter for Politico, posted, “SCHUMER on witnesses during the impeachment trial: ‘I don’t think there’s a need for a whole lot of witnesses. We were all witnesses.”

Andrew Prokop (@awprokop), senior politics correspondent at Vox.com, questioned the procedures as they are still unfolding, “What McConnell’s play on the organizing resolution reminds me of is Pelosi withholding the impeachment articles from the Senate last year. A kind of goofy procedural overreach that doesn’t achieve anything substantive and ends in a climbdown that’s tried to be spun as a victory”

Reporter Samantha-Jo Roth (@SamanthaJoRoth) showed some unnecessary glee in the fact that the nation will experience another Senate trial, tweeting, “Insurrection, inauguration & now impeachment trial – bring it on!”

However, legal expert Elie Honig (@eliehonig) took a less partisan approach and simply explained why the Senate trial is even necessary. He tweeted, “Yes, the Senate should be able to try a former president. Anything else would lead to unaccountable chaos. But this defense threatens to give Senators an off-ramp and potentially to derail the proceedings.”

Office Of The Former President

While it is likely that former President Trump followed Monday’s event as it unfolded, there was a clear effort to deflect as well. Earlier in the day, Trump officially opened the “Office of the Former President” but what it can actually do (if anyting) isn’t clear.

@Truth_Gazette was one of the few social media accounts to simply share the announcement, tweeting: “President Trump will always be a champion of the American People. The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and activities.”

However, it was apparent by evening that the announcement was largely just the subject of mockery across social media. There were more than 60,000 tweets by the late evening but few were supportive of the new office. Yet, it is worth noting that it did allow Trump to get back onto Twitter in quite a roundabout way – but certainly didn’t bring the expected response he would have liked.

What is also clear from social media on Monday is that opponents of the President still believe a trial will somehow heal the country. Time will tell if that is the case, or if it just another wedge that further divides the nation.

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Social media campaign targets COVID-19 misinformation with science – KitchenerToday.com

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates did not create the virus that causes COVID-19 and he is not forcing microchips into your body through vaccinations.

Those pieces of misinformation are examples of what a group of Canadian scientists and health professionals is trying to discredit through a new campaign tackling inaccurate theories about the pandemic.

About 40 misinformation debunkers are using the hashtag #ScienceUpFirst to provide science-based evidence on social media.

“There’s been misinformation about all kinds of things that you can do to treat COVID with crazy treatments like cow urine and bleach,” said Prof. Timothy Caulfield, Canadian research chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta.

Caulfield is spearheading the #ScienceUpFirst movement.

“And now we’re in the middle of trying to roll out the vaccine and we know that misinformation is having an adverse impact on vaccination. 

“Things like the vaccine will change your DNA. No, it won’t. The idea that the vaccine is associated with infertility. No, it’s not,” Caulfield said Monday in a phone interview.

“There is just an incredible amount of misinformation out there about COVID. I’ve been studying misinformation for decades. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

He said the campaign was already trending on Twitter on Monday, the day of its launch.

Caulfield is known for taking actor Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand Goop to task in his book “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything?” as well as for a Netflix series called “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death.”

The initiative is in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Science Centres, COVID-19 Resources Canada, and the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

“There’s been research that has shown that the spread of misinformation is having an adverse impact on health and science policy, it’s led to increased stigma and discrimination, and it’s just added to the chaotic information environment that we all have to deal with,” Caufield said.

“The evidence tells us that debunking does work if you do it well, so we’re trying to do it well. We’re trying to listen. We’re trying to be empathetic in our approach. We’re trying to be creative in our messaging and, hopefully, even if we move the needle a little bit, we can make a difference.”

A spokesperson for #ScienceUpFirst says the campaign is pushing to involve Canadian athletes and celebrities to get the word out about tackling misinformation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021.

— — —

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

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New social media campaign targets COVID-19 misinformation with science – Global News

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates did not create the virus that causes COVID-19 and he is not forcing microchips into your body through vaccinations.

Those pieces of misinformation are examples of what a group of Canadian scientists and health professionals is trying to discredit through a new campaign tackling inaccurate theories about the pandemic.

About 40 misinformation debunkers are using the hashtag #ScienceUpFirst to provide science-based evidence on social media.

“There’s been misinformation about all kinds of things that you can do to treat COVID with crazy treatments like cow urine and bleach,” said Prof. Timothy Caulfield, Canadian research chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta.

Read more:
Misinformation is spreading as fast as coronavirus. It will ‘take a village’ to fight it

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Caulfield is spearheading the #ScienceUpFirst movement.

“And now we’re in the middle of trying to roll out the vaccine and we know that misinformation is having an adverse impact on vaccination.

“Things like the vaccine will change your DNA. No, it won’t. The idea that the vaccine is associated with infertility. No, it’s not,” Caulfield said Monday in a phone interview.

“There is just an incredible amount of misinformation out there about COVID. I’ve been studying misinformation for decades. I’ve never seen anything like this.”


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Hinshaw touts safety of both COVID-19 vaccines'



1:45
Coronavirus: Hinshaw touts safety of both COVID-19 vaccines


Coronavirus: Hinshaw touts safety of both COVID-19 vaccines

He said the campaign was already trending on Twitter on Monday, the day of its launch.

Read more:
Cabbage, cavemen and miracle cures: how fast-moving COVID-19 science can confuse the public

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Caulfield is known for taking Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness brand Goop to task in his book Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything? and a Netflix series A User’s Guide to Cheating Death.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

The initiative is in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Science Centres, COVID-19 Resources Canada, and the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.


Click to play video 'Tim Caulfield Targets Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop'



3:38
Tim Caulfield Targets Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop


Tim Caulfield Targets Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop – Sep 6, 2017

“There’s been research that has shown that the spread of misinformation is having an adverse impact on health and science policy, it’s led to increased stigma and discrimination, and it’s just added to the chaotic information environment that we all have to deal with,” Caufield said.

“The evidence tells us that debunking does work if you do it well, so we’re trying to do it well. We’re trying to listen. We’re trying to be empathetic in our approach. We’re trying to be creative in our messaging and, hopefully, even if we move the needle a little bit, we can make a difference.”

Story continues below advertisement

A spokesperson for #ScienceUpFirst says the campaign is pushing to involve Canadian athletes and celebrities to get the word out about tackling misinformation.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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