Connect with us

Media

Judge rules against Trump global media chief after firings – NBC News

Published

 on


WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled against the head of the agency that runs the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded news outlets who was accused of trying to turn it into a propaganda vehicle to promote President Donald Trump’s agenda.

The ruling effectively bars U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack from making personnel decisions and interfering in editorial operations.

Pack, a conservative filmmaker, Trump ally and onetime associate of former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, made no secret of his intent to shake up the agency after taking over in June.

He proceeded to purge the leadership at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and the Open Technology Fund, which works to provide secure internet access to people around the world. The director and deputy director of VOA resigned just days before the firings. Pack also dismissed their governing boards.

His moves were criticized by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress who control the agency’s budget.

The lawsuit was filed last month in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by five executives who had been fired or suspended. They accused Pack and his senior advisers of violating the “statutory firewall” intended to protect the news organizations from political interference.

After the suit was filed, Pack announced he had rescinded the “firewall rule” issued by the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In a statement posted on his agency’s website, he said the rule wrongly prohibited him from directing broadcast operations and “made the agency difficult to manage.”

In her ruling late Friday, Judge Beryl Howell imposed preliminary injunctions that prevent Pak from making personnel decisions about journalists employed by the agency, directly communicating with them and conducting any investigations into editorial content or individual journalists.

In July, Pack had ordered an investigation into the posting of a video package featuring now President-elect Joe Biden on a VOA website. He called the segment “pro-Biden” and said his staff was weighing disciplinary action against those responsible.

Fourteen senior VOA journalists sent a letter to management in August protesting Pack’s actions, including the dismissal of foreign journalists and his comments denigrating VOA staff, which they said were endangering their colleagues and the international broadcaster’s credibility.

“The court confirmed that the First Amendment forbids Mr. Pack and his team from attempting to take control of these journalistic outlets, from investigating their journalists for purported ‘bias,’ and from attempting to influence or control their reporting content,” Lee Crain, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

The global media agency did not immediately respond to a written request for comment on the ruling.

VOA was founded during World War II and its congressional charter requires it to present independent news and information to international audiences.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Media conference with Moe, Shahab postponed – CKOM News Talk Sports

Published

 on


A media conference that was scheduled for Tuesday with Premier Scott Moe and Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, was postponed until Wednesday.

The announcement was made shortly after the province issued its COVID-19 update for the day. No reason was given for the postponement.

The media conference was to take place at 3 p.m.

Moe was to join by video from his home in Shellbrook, where he’s in self-isolation after potentially being exposed to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.

It was expected that Moe and Shahab would announce further restrictions as the government tries to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“Further measures are under active consideration and development by Dr. Shahab and will be announced during tomorrow’s COVID-19 update with the Premier and the Chief Medical Health Officer,” Moe’s office said in a media release announcing the postponement.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Local mayor rips social-media ills after man convicted of online threat – St. Thomas Times-Journal

Published

 on


Norfolk Mayor Kristal Chopp used a questionable image to express her discontent with the county’s treatment at the hands of the province during a meeting with Municipal Affairs Minister Steven Clark in Toronto earlier this year.

Postmedia Network / File photo

SIMCOE – Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp says online harassment has been part of her job since being elected two years ago, including one case that resulted in a man being criminally convicted.

“I’m pretty tough, but the constant barrage of abuse that some find amusing has affected my psychology,” the mayor said in a recent interview.

Earlier this month, a 57-year-old Port Rowan man was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm to Chopp.

Dana Robert Dargie was placed on house arrest for 30 days and put on probation for 18 months, during which he is banned from communicating with or going near the mayor. He also can’t go to the municipal building or attend any Norfolk council meetings. And he must get counselling for anger management.

Dargie is just one of many people who lash out on social media against the mayor, who has faced controversy over council’s decisions to cut services and staff, among other things.

Along with emails and negative online comments, Chopp is mocked through a parody account on Twitter, which often compares her to U.S. President Donald Trump. She said a members-only Facebook site with 3,000 members seems to have been formed specifically to discuss and denigrate her work and that of Norfolk County’s top bureaucrat, Jason Burgess, who is the municipality’s fifth CAO in just over a year.

She said she regularly receives inappropriate emails, including some from a “dirty old man,” who has sent dozens of messages, including half-naked photos of himself.

“I never used to believe in blocking people but that has changed in recent times. Social media has become too out of control, too offensive, too damaging and too harassing.”

And that harassment has extended to her family.

Chopp said her parents’ Hamilton-area farm was visited last year by bylaw officers looking for illegal cannabis.

“They realized they had been sent on a wild goose chase the second they stepped onto the farm but said they had so many phone calls and emails telling them to check it out that they finally went.”

A spokesperson for the City of Hamilton confirmed bylaw officers visited the farm and found no violations.

Chopp said that incident is still under investigation and included a “22-page manifesto” from someone named “Harry Smith,” who mailed his allegations to major media organizations in Canada and to Chopp’s employer, Air Canada, where she works as a pilot. The “manifesto” said the mayor is a narcissistic dictator and psychopath, who owns her own plane and runs a marijuana business.

“I think there’s a reason why women, in particular, don’t want to get involved in politics,” she said. “I can give you a list of more than a dozen men I’m allegedly sleeping with. And, if they don’t get off on that one, they call me a lesbian.”

Chopp said she has pondered taking civil action against some of the harassers as the abuse intensifies

She said she hopes Dargie’s conviction will stop others.

“But I don’t think it will,” she said. “Social media has taken on a life of its own and the facts don’t seem to matter.

“Ignoring the keyboard warriors is difficult but I will do my best to soldier on.”

At a Norfolk council meeting last Tuesday, the mayor was accused by her council colleagues of using bullying tactics and intimidation as the politicians aired their feelings and grievances. Chopp refused to participate in the meeting, gathering her things and leaving.

SGamble@postmedia.com

@EXPSGamble

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Media

Judge at Toronto van attack trial suggests media should stop naming killers but courts should not – National Post

Published

 on


Article content continued

Her words on Friday, born of exasperation, described it as having a “gun to my head” and being handed “a ransom demand” for her kidnapped child.

The evidence from Westphal and his team is the only expected expert testimony directly supporting Minassian’s mental state defence.

“All of Mr. Minassian’s eggs are in this particular basket,” Molloy said in her ruling.

A screengrab of Alek Minassian’s booking video. Photo by Toronto Police Service

After all, Minassian has admitted he purposely rented a van on April 23, 2018, and drove it down a busy sidewalk with the planned purpose of killing as many people as he could.

Because Westphal is in the United States and the trial is being held online due to COVID-19, Molloy cannot do what she has done before, which is send police to corral a witness and bring them to court, where refusal to testify could lead to imprisonment.

“The devastation wrought by Mr. Minassian cannot be overstated. However, he is entitled to a fair trial in our courts, and to call a defence supported by evidence. That evidence exists, but is in the control of Dr. Westphal,” she concluded.

Molloy’s words on not naming killers rekindles the debate over what to do in the wake of violence that was raised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the Nova Scotia rampage.

In Trudeau’s first public address after the Nova Scotia mass shooting during which 22 people were killed in April, he asked that the killer’s identity not be included in media coverage of the tragedy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comments on the mass shootings in Nova Scotia during a news conference on April 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Photo by Dave Chan/AFP via Getty Images

“I want to ask the media to avoid mentioning the name and showing the picture of the person involved,” he said as part of his prepared remarks. “Do not give him the gift of infamy. Let us instead focus all our intention and attention on the lives we lost and the families and friends who grieve.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending