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Filmmaker Joss Whedon is known more for his creative movies, but fans that follow him on Twitter were treated to a pretty offensive joke he posted about President Trump.
He has since deleted the tweet, but many caught screenshots of it:
Oh look, @Joss realized what a partisan, soulless, hack he was and deleted the tweet.
Internet never forgets, buddy pic.twitter.com/f2Lul1d8hw
— ARoadbeerOfInfluence (@TheRoadbeer) April 28, 2017
The post showed a picture of Speaker Paul Ryan welcoming some young women to the U.S. Capitol, with Whedon’s snarky caption, “Tonight on White House Wife Hunt, Donny makes host P. Ryan give 2 more contestants the ‘Not a 10’ card.” He appeared to be making a reference to Trump’s prior career as a reality television host and producer.
But unfortunately for Whedon, he either didn’t investigate what the picture really was about, or he didn’t care. According to the original posting of the photo from Speaker Ryan, the young women are cancer survivors.
“Advocacy is not limited to adults. These Wisconsin teens shared some powerful stories with me about their fight against childhood cancer,” he posted on his official account.
Whedon was immediately and brutally skewered on Twitter for the offensive joke that appeared to imply sexual relations between President Trump and the teenage cancer survivors.
Advocacy is not limited to adults. These Wisconsin teens shared some powerful stories with me about their fight against childhood cancer. pic.twitter.com/VJ0eQDXu7U
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 27, 2017
Here’s some of the less bleep-worthy reaction:
So the joke is about…Paul Ryan having sex with 15 year old cancer survivors? Not even sure what he was going for here
— Woko Haram (@wokieleaks1) April 28, 2017
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) April 27, 2017
oh my god
I didn't even notice Joss Whedon's avatar is that Fearless Girl statue
as he mocks young cancer survivors.
— RINO Pundit (@RINOPundit) April 28, 2017
You almost have to wonder if @joss is working on a Marvel reboot of "Three's Company" starring himself, Bryan Singer, and Roman Polanski.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 27, 2017
Joss, in this tweet, is making fun of teens who have battled pediatric cancer. There's truly a special place in hell for people like you. https://t.co/Dp9LBBDxBt
— Nick Short (@PoliticalShort) April 27, 2017
@joss Only you could turn a meeting with young cancer survivors into a meme, you despicable human being
— Charlie Nash (@MrNashington) April 27, 2017
That time Joss Whedon attacked female teenage cancer survivors and journalists said "Yeah not rushing toward that fire either."
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) April 27, 2017
Gotta admit I didn't expect pedophilia to be the next stage in Joss's total mental breakdown https://t.co/NrlRYrnnav
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) April 27, 2017
Whedon eventually responded to the criticism and deleted the tweet, posting this as an explanation:
So I tweeted something that inadvertently offended everyone except the people I was trying to offend. I'm sorry. I'll be quiet for a bit.
— Joss Whedon (@joss) April 28, 2017
[Ed. Note: This article has been updated with Whedon’s response since publication.]
Ah, big missed opportunity here by YouGov. They should have asked people to define “abuse.” Does the press abuse its freedom when it uses anonymous sources? When it publishes documents that weren’t supposed to be public? Even the obvious definitions (e.g., printing out-and-out falsehoods) could have made for interesting follow-up questions. Is it an abuse of press freedom to make an honest mistake in reporting or are only deliberate lies abusive? If the latter, should we change defamation law to make it easier for public figures like Trump to sue news outlets for good-faith mistakes?
Same question here as in the post about the Iran poll: How much of this result is driven by loyalty to Trump and how much is driven by extraneous circumstances? The White House’s war on “fake news” must be contributing to it but right-wing loathing of the press existed long before Trump and will exist long after his administration has passed into history.
This data comes from a different new poll, conducted online by UVA’s Center for Politics, but it makes Republican disdain for the media more, shall we say, vivid:
That’s an interesting result because Trump has claimed more than once, including at CPAC this year, that his quote about the press has been distorted and misunderstood. He never said the media is the enemy of the American people, he reminds people. He said the “fake news media” is the enemy. It was just a few days ago that he reiterated the distinction between the media proper, which he loves loves loves almost as much as he loves things with his name emblazoned on them (which pretty well describes most of American media day to day), and the “fake news” subset. The Center for Politics didn’t make that distinction, though, and neither did the Republicans they surveyed. To Republicans, either the entire media is “fake news” or even the non-fake stuff is enemy action. In fact, a separate question asked by CFP of Trump voters confirms that he’s essentially immune from media criticism among his base. “When you hear the media being critical of Donald Trump,” the pollster asked, “does their criticism make you question your support for him, or does it reinforce that he’s on the right track in terms of shaking things up in Washington, D.C.?” Result: 12/88.
Here’s Jake Tapper nudging CNN viewers to remember that the media-critic-in-chief produces plenty of “fake news” himself. One last data point worth mentioning, this time from YouGov: When asked how important the media is in determining how well presidents do their jobs, Trump voters were much more likely to say “not important” (45 percent) than the population at large was (27 percent). Trump would probably say the same thing if asked knowing that that’s what he’s supposed to say, if only to deny the press any sense that they have leverage over him, but if ever there was a politician who really obviously views the media as crucial to his performance, it’s the tabloid mainstay turned reality-show star turned president Donald Trump, a.k.a. John Barron. This is a guy who boasts about Sean Spicer’s “ratings” and who has allegedly ruled out people for cabinet positions based on their appearance. In his heart of hearts, in an age of ubiquitous media, I bet he thinks media management is 90 percent of his job, which is of course insane. It’s no more than 75 percent.
The post Poll: 73% of Republicans say the media is abusing its First Amendment freedom of the press appeared first on Hot Air.
"The Democrats are in disarray." That was the first line of a classic Hendrik Hertzberg column in March 2006 in the New Yorker. Hertzberg didn't actually believe his own sentence; he made it clear that he was just parroting what many of the in-the-know political reporters and pundits were then saying.
The First Daughter wanted voters to know that her father ought to be President, and now she wants the world to understand his greatness, too.
Brexit is breakneck, chaotic, and full of potential. I'm jealous.
You would think that after losing over 1,000 elected positions at the federal, state and local levels since 2010, Democratic Party leaders Ã¢?? now out of power in the White House and both houses of CÃ¢?Â¦
His tax-reform plan is smart policy, but even better politics: It's a challenge to Congress.
To cleanse the palate, somehow I missed this when it made the rounds online last month. (So did Mediaite.) The clip’s circulating again today because the parent company of one of the stations that had these two on, seemingly credulously, has now decided to double down on bad publicity by suing them for fraud.
That brings out the tort lawyer in me. When two dudes in Zubaz and handwritten t-shirts show up to the studio promising to karate-chop sticks and they get put on the air anyway, they’ve got themselves an airtight “assumption of risk” defense.
Atlanta-based Gray Television, which owns WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisc., is suing The Found Footage Festival founders Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher — both from New York — for using fake names and materials to fraudulently convince WEAU to book their appearance on “Hello Wisconsin,” according to the complaint.
They “performed ridiculous bits and provided false information to WEAU viewers,” the complaint states…
Prueher said the anchors were good-natured about the prank, but WEAU-TV’s parent company, Gray Television, was irate.
“The anchor emailed us the following day saying, ‘well-played you guys.’ But I guess the parent company is embarrassed so I guess they want to sue out of embarrassment.”
So pleased was WEAU with the segment, according to Pickett, that the channel had the two shoot a promo for them afterwards.
Pity the poor anchors who had to suffer through this on air, not knowing how to react once it became obvious — very quickly, I assume — that it was a goof. Do you end the segment immediately? Play it straight and hope for the best? Call it out as a goof but then laugh along, knowing that your news channel has been stealth-commandeered by comedians? Tucker Carlson did a nice job handling an obvious prankster in a Fox segment back in January, but he came into that interview armed with evidence that his guest was a faker and was prepared for anything. The anchors here probably didn’t even meet “Chop” and “Steele” until 30 seconds before they went live. And once the light went on, it was too late.
The post Confirmed: Anyone can get on local morning television appeared first on Hot Air.
In an interview with Reuters Thursday, President Trump indicated that there was a possibility of a “major, major” conflict with North Korea.
“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump said from the Oval Office. “We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult.”
Trump credited Chinese President Xi Jinping for doing what he could to rein in the “Hermit Kingdom,” a nickname for North Korea, from its aggressive missile tests and belligerent statements about South Korea and the United States.
“I believe he is trying very hard,” Trump said. “He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well.”
“With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China,” he added. “I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t.”
Trump has said that he promised favorable trade negotiations with China as long as they helped with North Korea. Soon after, he touted that China had turned back coal ships from North Korea, pressuring them with economic incentives.
When asked if he believed Kim Jong Un was a rational actor, Trump appeared to praise the totalitarian dictator.
“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime,” he explained. “So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age.”
“I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit,” Trump added, “I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he’s rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he’s rational.”
Critics had pointed to his apparent praise for Vladimir Putin, another global strongman, and his reticence to recognize the Russian president’s less savory, and possibly criminal acts.
The White House hosted all 100 U.S. Senators for a briefing on North Korea Thursday. Most Democrats said that they learned little at the meeting, which they claimed only presented information they could have learned from the media reports.
Weighing in the balance is the fate of U.S. ally South Korea, who would be attacked immediately by North Korea, and almost certainly would suffer thousands, if not millions, of casualties.
Facebook released a report today on “information operations” connected to the 2016 election. The report concludes that while such operations did take place and may have been directed by Russia, their reach was very small. In fact, the report says so-called “false amplifiers” reached just 1/10th of 1 percent of overall civic engagement on Facebook.
The report opens with Facebook’s commitment to fight “subtle and insidious forms of misuse” including “attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people.” The paper then turns to definitions of terms including “false amplifiers.”
Part of our role in Security at Facebook is to understand the different types of abuse that occur on our platform in order to help us keep Facebook safe, and agreeing on definitions is an important initial step. We define information operations, the challenge at the heart of this paper, as actions taken by organized actors (governments or non-state actors) to distort domestic or foreign political sentiment, most frequently to achieve a strategic and/or geopolitical outcome. These operations can use a combination of methods, such as false news, disinformation, or networks of fake accounts aimed at manipulating public opinion (we refer to these as “false amplifiers”).
The paper further defines false amplifiers as “coordinated activity by inauthentic accounts with the intent of manipulating political discussion.” The paper clarifies that in most cases this activity is not automated but is carried out by a group of people working in coordination through fake accounts and planned reactions to news or other information.
Eventually, the paper turns to the 2016 election as a case study. It outlines a series of steps in which information hacked from non-Facebook accounts was then spread using fake accounts on Facebook to amplify awareness of the material until it began spreading more organically:
Facebook conducted research into overall civic engagement during this time on the platform, and determined that the reach of the content shared by false amplifiers was marginal compared to the overall volume of civic content shared during the US election.
In short, while we acknowledge the ongoing challenge of monitoring and guarding against information operations, the reach of known operations during the US election of 2016 was statistically very small compared to overall engagement on political issues.
A footnote quantifies the amount of false amplification taking place between September and December. “The reach of the content spread by these accounts was less than one-tenth of a percent of the total reach of civic content on Facebook,” the report says.
The report says it can’t be definitive about who was behind these information operations but says “our data does not contradict the attribution provided by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence in the report dated January 6, 2017.” In other words, nothing contradicts the Intelligence Communities statement that Russia was behind the operations.
It’s worth noting that progressive outlets like Think Progress are covering the information in the report without mentioning Facebook’s conclusion that the amount of activity was minuscule. Given how much importance some have assigned to the Russian information operation in last year’s election, it seems important to point out the true scale of what happened.
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Imagine waking up to this headline: “Trump Saves the Affordable Care Act.” It sounds far-fetched — and would certainly be an audacious move — but President Trump could pull it off. He has already changed course when presented with new information: After all, China is no longer a “currency manipulator,” and NATO is no longer “obsolete.”
Can a graduate of France’s elite schools, a onetime investment banker and the former economy minister of an unpopular Socialist president prevail at a time of French disgust with politics-as-usual? I ask the question because the greatest danger to Emmanuel Macron, at once the fresh face of French politics and a familiar product of the French system, is the assumption that his first-round electoral victory makes triumph in the second round inevitable.
President Trump’s record in his first 100 days, by any standard of presidential first terms, is one of failure. Aside from the successful nomination of the eminently qualified Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, there are almost no accomplishments — and a fair number of mistakes.
The media elite will gather at a much-diminished White House Correspondents’ Dinner this week. The dinner grew to feature a glitzy parade of celebrities under President Obama, and has become an increasingly controversial event. This is in large part due to the entertainment. Over the past decade, comedians Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, and Larry Wilmore have all delivered highly politicized remarks, with Meyers’ comments having the added distinction of directly targeting Donald Trump, who happened to be in the room at the time.
Donald Trump has been in office nearly 100 days with little to show for it, save for signing a bunch of fancy parchment that orders the roll back of several environmental and worker protections. His fragile ego is driving his need to do something big. And so he’s doing what Republicans generally do when all else fails: propose steep tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.
President Donald J. Trump’s tax plan is awesome. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s plan to pass President Trump’s tax plan is the opposite of awesome. First, the details of the plan are great. If you are a liberty minded conservative, you love this plan. It follows through on a Trump campaign promise—lower tax rates for average Americans and business and eliminating some of the tax breaks for special interests.
The center-right in France may yet have a future. But for that to be so, it will have to undercut Le Pen’s appeal on nationalist themes and issues, without acquiring a reputation for bigotry. This is not easily done in the face of a hostile intelligentsia. Yet France has discovered the formula for a nationalism that rejects extremism before, and there is nothing to stop the French Right from rediscovering Charles de Gaulle today.
Well, heck, who said Donald Trump isn’t going to accomplish anything in his first 100 days? All of a sudden there’s a one-page tax plan and a raft of deal-making, while the Senate was bused over to the White House grounds for a briefing on North Korea. Maybe the president believes that when you can make an entire chamber of Congress ride around like so many tour groups, the world will understand that you’re a can-do kind of guy.