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How Long Will Biden’s Low-Profile Media Strategy Work? – Vanity Fair

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Coming off of a president who was everywhere all the time, Biden is maintaining a limited media presence and instead relying on capable officials to communicate policy and messaging. Can it last?

Right out of the gate, President Joe Biden’s press strategy has been a stark departure from his predecessor’s, a shift characterized by his deliberate effort to keep a low profile. Donald Trump defied historical standards throughout his presidency, particularly with his media presence. Before the former president was permanently suspended from Twitter, he used the medium to fire top officials and attack others; spread conspiracy-laden misinformation; contradict his own administration’s pandemic messaging; and foment violence, among other things. “Trump didn’t so much love the spotlight as he sought to totally consume it,” Politico notes, and he used television to do so, regularly calling into Fox News and Fox Business programs and, early on in his presidency, welcoming cameras into meetings, from union leaders and workers one day to America’s biggest automakers the next. According to Politico, Trump had done three TV interviews at this point in his presidency, while Biden hasn’t done one.

Biden’s media approach, rather, seems designed to keep him in the background. Veteran Democratic strategist Paul Begala told Politico that Biden is “not threatened by someone else being in the spotlight” and posited he may in fact enjoy it, as the strategy allows Biden to display the capable team he has assembled. “In just over a week, the White House has booked 80 TV and radio interviews with 20 senior administration officials, members of the Covid-19 response team and Cabinet secretary designates,” Politico reports. Biden campaigned on a promise to restore trust and rely on experts, priorities reflected in the new press shop’s initial media blitz: his team booked officials on every major network’s Sunday show in the first week and organized a CNN town hall with three doctors on the White House COVID-19 team to answer questions from the public.

White House aides say the move is less delegation than a “concerted effort to restore confidence with a public battered by the contradictory messaging and scorched-earth politics of the Trump years,” according to Politico. The question is how long the strategy will hold, and where the divide lies between relief at not having a president who’s everywhere all the time, and desire for regular access to him. Biden aides and staffers flooding the zone and promising to turn the page from the lies of the Trump administration might only be effective for so long if Biden continues to stay off air himself. Biden’s press team may soon face pressure from reporters for more access to the president, CNN’s Brian Stelter notes. According to Begala, Biden’s people “seem to be enormously aware of the fact that simply not being Trump is no longer enough.” 

Still, his predecessor’s gross abuse of the megaphone provided by his office seems to have bought Biden some time. So far, his limited media presence has been somewhat welcome, especially in allowing doctors and health experts to communicate more information about the pandemic. “It is hard to overstate the magnitude of change that has taken place from the rampant disinformation and unhinged, politicized briefings of the last administration to the sober, professional communications we now see,” the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin writes of the three-times-a-week briefings held by members of Biden’s COVID-19 response team.

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— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.

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Over half of young people see racist content online about immigrants, poll suggests

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OTTAWA — Over half of Canadians under age 35 come across racist or prejudiced remarks about immigrants on the internet, a new survey suggests.

Forty-two per cent of all respondents to the online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies said they saw or heard racist content about immigrants in cyberspace.

Almost half aged 18 to 34 said they encountered racist remarks about Black people online, and the same proportion heard such remarks about Indigenous people.

About two in five in the same age group said they ran into this type of content about Asian Canadians.

The case of a white gunman accused of massacring 10 Black people in a racist attack at a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket last weekend has highlighted the role of social media to promote hatred.

The online survey of 1,697 Canadians during the week of April 25 cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, said the indication that younger people are more likely to see this sort of content is unsurprising.

“A lot more young people are exposed to these things because they’re much more active and engaged on social media,” he said.

About 10 per cent of respondents said they often see racist remarks online about different racial groups.

“I don’t think you could argue that one out of 10 is not that high, because it actually represents a substantial number of people who are seeing this type of diatribe on a daily basis in social media,” Jedwab said.

Non-white respondents were more likely than their white counterparts to say they encountered racist remarks online.

About three in five non-white respondents said they came across racist remarks about immigrants, compared to about two in five white respondents.

Jedwab said this degree of exposure to racist content should be cause for concern in light of the recent shooting in Buffalo.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.

Regular exposure to racist and hateful content online can make people desensitized, potentially allowing a fringe phenomenon to become mainstream, Jedwab said.

When asked what they do upon coming across this type of content, young people said they do nothing “because there’s too much of it, and they don’t know where to begin to deal with it,” he added.

The federal government has proposed a law to clamp down on hate speech and abuse by blocking certain websites and forcing platforms to swiftly remove content.

Critics have said this approach could curtail the rights of marginalized groups by having their posts misconstrued as harmful.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.

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

 

Erika Ibrahim, The Canadian Press

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5 Takeaways From Capitals' Post-Season Media Availability – The Hockey Writers

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For the Washington Capitals, 2021-22 is over and the post-mortem has already begun. The club from D.C. crashed out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last week, falling in Game 6 to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers.

However, the season, which hinged on the team’s shaky goaltending, perhaps shouldn’t have ended in the first round. Washington blew leads in each of the final three contests of the series, leaving a dark cloud of “what if?” hanging over the squad this offseason.

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While there’s no shame in losing to Andrew Brunette’s electric Panthers, defeat in Round 1 reopens a nasty can of worms: has the window to win shut on the Capitals – and, if so, what should happen next?

On Sunday (May 15), general manager (GM) Brian MacLellan, head coach Peter Laviolette, and a string of key players sat down with reporters to discuss exactly that. Here are five takeaways from the Capitals’ post-season media availability:

MacLellan: Capitals Will ‘Explore Changes’ to Roster

Following the Capitals’ latest playoff exit, plenty of unresolved questions about MacLellan’s roster hang in the air at Capital One Arena. His stars aren’t getting any younger, there are issues to address in the crease, and the club’s progression has stalled since hoisting Lord Stanley back in 2018.

“We’ve lost in the first round [for] the last four years: we’re going to explore changes,” MacLellan told reporters. “I don’t think anything is off the table. We’re going to talk to different teams and monitor the trade market. We have to identify free agents.”

Handily, MacLellan has cap space to weaponize this offseason. The 63-year-old will have at least $6.5 million to play with once Justin Shultz and Michal Kempny shuffle towards unrestricted free agency.

Also of note: Washington’s GM was relatively wishy-washy when it came to discussing the future of Laviolette, whose three-year contract expires next summer.

“I think we’re going to keep that between management and the coaching staff,” MacLellan said coyly. “I thought [Laviolette] did a good job, he managed a difficult situation with the number of injuries we had to our forwards.”

In the immediate future, though, MacLellan’s biggest headscratcher occupies the blue paint, not the bench.

Washington’s Goaltending Options: Stick or Twist?

By now, you probably don’t need me to recount the story of Washington’s flimsy netminding double-act: it was a major source of contention throughout the regular season and bubbled over in the playoffs.

“We’ve got to make a decision on what to do and [how to] fit it under the cap,” MacLellan said of his situation in goal.

Quizzed on whether he’d like to acquire an experienced netminder to replace Vitek Vanecek and/or Ilya Samsonov, both restricted free agents this summer, he added: “We’re going to explore it. I don’t know if it’s a deep market, we’ll talk to other teams and evaluate.”

Ultimately, MacLellan has three debates to settle ahead of the draft:

  • Should he extend Vanecek, who is slightly more consistent, or Samsonov, who is younger and has a higher ceiling?
  • Assuming he’ll trade the surplus netminder, what assets will he seek in return?
  • Will he complete his tandem (probably with an out-and-out starter) via trade or free agency?

Settling the Capitals’ goalie controversy is priority No. 1 for MacLellan this offseason. He can’t afford another “pretty good but not great” campaign from his puck-stoppers. Change is coming.

Tom Wilson’s ‘Significant’ Knee Injury

If not for Tom Wilson’s injury in Game 1, would the Capitals have seen off the Panthers in the first round? We’ll never know, but it’s one of the “what ifs?” that will sting supporters of the D.C. franchise until the puck drops for 2022-23.

Despite suffering a concussion earlier in the campaign, the Canadian enjoyed a career year in 2021-22. He registered 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists) in 78 regular-season appearances, and later added a playoff goal to his tally as well.

“I was trying to get back and trying everything I could,” Wilson said of his injury. “Every person you walk by was like, ‘When are you back? We need you back.’ That was tough: I wanted to be out there. So, you feel like you let people down and that sucks.”

Tom Wilson Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The 28-year-old, who opted not to disclose specific details about his “significant” knee injury, added: “It’s going to be a grind for me [because] I’ve got to start my recovery. It’s always nice to have goals and a clear mindset of what you need to do as an athlete. We’re getting with the doctors and we’ll go from there.”

There is, however, some positive news for Capitals fans: Wilson’s injury shouldn’t keep him out next season, per MacLellan.

Nicklas Backstrom’s Long-Term Fitness

As reported by THW’s Ted Starkey, Nicklas Backstrom’s health is a major source of concern for the Capitals this offseason. The 34-year-old told reporters that his hip will “never be 100 percent again,” adding that he has decisions to make regarding his future.

Related: Capitals’ Offseason May Be Altered by Backstrom’s Decision on Future

“Obviously we’ll see what’s going to happen,” Backstrom said. “We have some decisions to make. Those decisions aren’t finalized yet, so we’ll take it day by day.

“The best thing I want to do is play hockey, and that’s my life Obviously, I want to be back. I want to be back to normal, not worrying about this. We’ll see what’s going to happen. Nothing is finalized yet.”

When asked if the Swede could be facing a career-ending injury, MacLellan kept his cards close to his chest.

Nicklas Backstrom Washington Capitals
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“I think he’s going to explore all options here,” he explained. “He wants it to be better. He wants to be more physically comfortable when he plays, so he’s going to explore it.”

Backstrom registered 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 47 regular-season outings in 2021-22, taking maintenance days throughout the year to rest the hip he underwent surgery on in 2015.

Alex Ovechkin offered the most optimism about Backstrom’s future of those speaking at Washington’s post-season media availability: “He’s a tough man, I’m pretty sure he’s going to be better next year. He’s a leader and I hope he’s going to be better.”

Ovechkin’s comments aside, the situation is relatively bleak. Backstrom has three years left on his $9.2 million contract: it isn’t unreasonable to be concerned about how his health will impact Washington moving forward.

Carl Hagelin’s Eyesight Update

Since taking a stick blade to the eye in practice on March 1, Carl Hagelin has stayed away from reporters. He broke his silence on Sunday, acknowledging that his future was unclear.

“It’s not going to be 100 percent,” the 33-year-old said of his eyesight. “We’ll see where it ends up, but the rupture of the choroid is the main issue.”

Hagelin has returned to the ice since undergoing two operations on his eye and has relied on former teammate Marc Staal, who suffered a similar injury in 2013, for inspiration.

Washington Capitals Carl Hagelin
Carl Hagelin, Washington Capitals (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

“Every time, after I talk to him, it’s been great for the mental aspect of it,” he explained. “It’s always put me in a good mood; it’s always been positive. He said it, ‘it’s all about patience.’ It takes time, and at the end of the day you’ve got that one good eye that’s going to carry you.”

While there isn’t a firm timeline for Hagelin’s return, he plans on playing next season. For now, though, it’s a waiting game to scrutinize as his recovery unfolds.

Capitals Approach Offseason of Major Significance

In the aftermath of a bumpy season, Washington’s head office will now turn its attention to the future. This year’s NHL Entry Draft is important for the Capitals: they must find value in the later rounds while hitting on their early picks to bolster their prospect pool.

MacLellan also has a narrow needle to thread in free agency. Sourcing adequate support for his ageing core will shape the Capitals’ fortunes in 2021-22: he can’t afford to overpay for fringe talent.

Ultimately, though, Washington is another year closer to the end of the Ovechkin Era – which creates new pressure and anxiety for the organization to shoulder. Is the Cup window shutting or is it already closed? We’ll find out next season.

Image: Luke James

Luke is an award-winning sports journalist from London, England. In addition to his work on the Washington Capitals beat for THW, he covers the Elite Ice Hockey League for British Ice Hockey and world soccer for numerous publications, including on Substack. To stay up to date with his content, follow @LukeJames_32 on Twitter.

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Media Advisory – Arthritis Society raising money and awareness at Diamonds & Denim event – GlobeNewswire

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Toronto, ON, May 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Philanthropists and party- enthusiasts are invited to don their best “comfort meets luxury” attire for the Arthritis Society’s Diamonds & Denim cocktail party.

The event will feature live music, dancing, delicious food from The Food Dudes, creative cocktails, and the chance to raise awareness about Canada’s most common chronic condition. Six million Canadians live with the fire of arthritis – that’s 1 in 5.

There will be many opportunities for creative social content including the chance to see what wearing more than $50,000 in diamond feels like.

Date: Friday, May 27, 2022

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Steam Whistle Brewing, 255 Bremner Blvd., Toronto

Tickets are $250 and available at arthritis.ca/diamondsanddenim.

 

Media Information:

Danielle Milley
dmilley@arthritis.ca
Cell: 416.206.3638

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