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I am glad for these reports showing how use of certain hashtags declined after Trump was banned, but I fear that the damage to the free press may be very long-lasting. Some of the worst images from the Jan 6 insurrection were the gleeful trashing of news crews cameras. It is completely on Trump that this anti-press violence occurred--every reporter covering his rallies felt the crowd's wrath as head cheerleader Trump egged them on--and as a result the right wing trusts NONE of the legitimate news sources. I know the press has its problems but I still think most reporters try to uncover and report the truth.

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I tend to agree that many/most reporters do a good job. They have been badly failed by bosses/institutions during Trump era who invented limits in covering him

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Gotta admit, I do not miss the drama. Having Trump off Twitter and the media forced to go cold turkey off their Trump addiction has made things better for everyone... and much harder for his enablers and bootlickers. It was the feel good ending I was not expecting. Even the indoguration yesterday set a whole new tone and lifted spirits. And for the first time in my life I’m excited for boring, old-fashioned policy wonks running our country.

Really fun song choice. Harry Styles really does feel right in this moment.

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founding

The fear of Republican outrage is clearly a major factor that has led to this dangerous situation. I can’t think of any other reason that the media chose to downplay the story about the 2009 DHS report documenting the growing threat of right wing extremism. That confidential report was deliberately leaked by a conservative media outlet so that Republicans could express outrage at the focus on “right wing” extremists. They didn’t care that the report had begun under the Bush administration. DHS caved, apologized (!!!), withdrew the report and disbanded the DHS group responsible for tracking these extremists leaving our democracy vulnerable to them.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/08/21/i-warned-of-right-wing-violence-in-2009-it-caused-an-uproar-i-was-right/

Why didn’t this story get more attention from the media? It’s not like the media didn’t know how serious this threat was unless they really had forgotten the carnage of Oklahoma City. After 9-11 they sure as heck acted like they had. More importantly why didn’t the media continue reporting on the growing terrorism danger that report had documented? DHS didn’t deny the facts in that report. In a rational world the media would have been outraged that DHS had caved to right wing outrage, leaving our country vulnerable to terrorists. The media could have continued reporting on the threat. They were well aware that there are other respected organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center which continued tracking and reporting on domestic terrorism. Those organizations are more than willing to share their information with the media yet the media chose to move on because they didn’t want to be the target of Republicans. This past week at least some of the people on MSNBC have reported on this story but most are still ignoring it.

Last night on 60 MInutes Scott Pelley interviewed the acting head of DHS. Pelley did not demand to know how DHS didn’t take the threat more seriously, let alone bring up the fact that DHS didn’t even have people tasked with tracking this dire and growing threat. Instead Pelley treated Cuccinelli with kid gloves despite the fact that Cuccinelli is a right winger with a history of extreme views and denial of reality. You can bet Pelley did not want to suffer the Republican outrage that would have hit him had he done a deservedly tough interview. He and the rest of the media need to grow a spine and stand up to Republican bullies if they really care about our democracy as they claim they do.

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sigh...that DHS report was an early tell tale sigh from Obama era re: how tight wing press was going to be able to push mainstream mesua around/create hysteria

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You're absolutely right.

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I've felt for years that the media, both print and broadcast, slanted coverage to appeal to white people and Republicans knew how to play that fiddle. Rethugs have had the media wrapped around their pitchforks for decades.

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Spot on as usual. Actually becomes even clearer how crucial the Biden win was. I highly doubt Trump would be off Twitter today, had he won.

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Good pt re: Biden/Twitter

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Trump would not be president had he been banned from Twitter for lies leading up to Nov. 2016. I'm still not convinced there wasn't hacking in election machines in 2016, but it really was the social media lies that destroyed Hillary's chances.

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I think you’re completely right abt 2016 and Twitter

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Thanks -- It makes me so angry that people still call her "Killary" and have never bothered to update what they think they know about Benghazi.

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founding

My well-educated, financially secure sisters-in-law are convinced that Hillary and Bill have had dozens of people murdered. At least one of them believes that Hillary runs a pedophile ring. They all see themselves as good Christians.

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Cultists come from all backgrounds. This has been a great illustration of how cults work for all to see. It’s fascinating and horrifying simultaneously.

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My sister is the same way. And doesn't wear a mask. But pro-life, of course.

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founding

My daughters’ in laws are also true believers who thought masks were a hoax. The started wearing masks after her father-in-laws best friend died from Covid. Right wingers only seem to understand when things hurt them or those they love.

It really is heartbreaking to see family members get like this. One of my sisters-in-law was always extreme in her beliefs, one was always freaking out over urban legends, but the third was one of the most sensible, likable people I know. Then she started watching Faux News and it has just progressed from there. She has now gone completely off the deep end. She is on parler repeating the most vile slanders of Democrats. The truly sad thing is that her daughter works for the Democrats.

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Of course it's a combination of the fear of what he and his supporters would do to them and that now he would be leaving office, and the money they made from it. But this brings me to another point. Interestingly, a large percentage of his followers were Democrats and lefties who wanted to attack him. If they'd all quit following him long ago, things might have been different, too.

That brings me to the one thing Democrats and other interest groups just don't do enough of that needs to happen more: Boycotts. Consider that we are commemorating the life of Dr. King today. When did he make his first splash? During the Montgomery Bus Boycott, when Blacks ultimately got what they wanted by costing the other guys money. There have been some boycotts of advertisers on Fux Noise here and there, but THAT is what we need to be doing.

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Kamala Harris advocated this in the fall of 2019. Here's a fun walk down Memory Lane:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/10/16/20917492/kamala-harris-elizabeth-warren-trump-twitter-democratic-debate

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"Right-wing activists complained so loudly and so ferociously about phantom fouls of "liberal bias" that social media companies like Twitter thought twice about even appearing to offend Republicans" - a neat summary of the GOP's modus operandi. This has always been how they shut down the damned timid Dems, alas ..

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I don't think Democrats are timid at all. I think they've exhibited bravery on many occasions (notably ACA Town Halls they held in the face of armed protesters, jeering and death threats and their determination to resume sessions to certify the electoral votes). Democratic elected officials know their voters value "both sides" and "the high ground". One of the Congressmen I saw interviewed on MSNBC made the comment that his voters would never tolerate him using the word "lie".

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I was too general: I used the adjective meaning for it to apply to their utilization of the media.

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I hear you. I'm hoping they feel more emboldened. I enjoy Biden and Pelosi's refusal to play the media's gossipy "Dems In Disarray Gotcha!" game. I'd like to see more Democrats in NFLTG mode.

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Thanks Eric. I agree 100%.

The First Amendment states, in relevant part, that: “Congress shall make no law...abridging freedom of speech.” But this is not, nor ever been, an absolute right. Twitter and FB know/knew this, and yet allowed numerous officials, hate groups, etc. to spew lies and incite violence for far too long. For the reasons you stated, and money.

One might think that after a person's net worth exceeds $1 billion (with a b) that the cowardice would subside. At the point the you have secured the financial future of multiple generations of family, what prevents the larger moral compass from taking over? How many live-streamed beheadings does it take to rethink your business model?

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"Follow me on Twitter" is used unironically by the current advocates of censorship. The capital invaders were identified by their presence on social media. That is the genius of the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment protects everybody and thanks to sites like archive.org, deleted internet posts often resurface. All of the printed material of the past are how we know our history.

The triumph of the mainstream press and tech companies is fleeting and will only last as long as online publishers like Twitter can turn a profit. Their strategy of making money screaming about Trump is at an end and the inevitable collapse is a near certainty unless Joe Biden's family problems heat up or another pandemic comes around.

There were, of course, attempts to redefine the legal responsibilities that social media companies bear during the Trump administration. A quick internet search will reveal how unwilling the establishment was to even have that debate.

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Every day brings fresh affirmation of my decision never to sign up for Twitter. Trump seems to have rounded up people who would find themselves at home in The Borg.

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I agree that Twitter has a lot to answer for here as does Facebook which has a wider audience but every lie and accusation was repeated and amplified incessantly on Fox. In large swaths of the country Fox and its brother Sinclair broadcasting are the only source of information available. And unlike Twitter and Facebook, trump and his allies are welcome voices any and everyday. Is it possible to hold them in anyway accountable?

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I'm waiting for the moment when Zuckerberg and Jack are in front of Congressional committees explaining their Republican bias...

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Great piece and yes, Twitter should be commended and hopefully all these media platforms have learned a lesson. The next 48 hours will either show that Twitter's decision to remove the menacing Trump will lead to a somewhat peaceful transition or that the move proved to be too late if indeed there is more violence leading up to inauguration. From the standpoint of "just when you think it can't get worse under Trump, it does", I can't recall a time when I felt so ill at ease as I do today. If all that happens between now and Wednesday is that Trump pardons 100s of his flunkies for profit, I think we will have gotten off easy. What Trump has done with the help of tools such as Twitter and Facebook has been to show just how sick this country has always been.

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Oh wow, interesting abt neighbor’s sign

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founding

I have also noticed that many while people who have downplayed the threats to people of color are now waking up to the fact that this extremism is a threat to them, too. I wish the media would stop reporting on these extremists as simply racists. I don’t doubt that most of them are, but many are out to also attack and even kill white people who oppose their radical ideologies.

A lot of the people at the Capitol are anti-government, pro-gun extremists on the vein of Tim McVeigh. His main target was our government which is why he blew up a federal building full of mostly white people and babies. The primary goal of others is turning the US into a Christian theocratic state. A main focus of the Proud Boys is misogyny and keeping women in their place at home. They also are strong advocates of violent attacks on people they deem leftists, many of whom are white. They are fond of wearing t-shirts that glorify Pinochet’s murders’ of leftists. Anti-semitism is another target of the hatred and violence of many of the neo-Nazis involved in the insurrection.

I don’t doubt that the majority of these people are racists but if we really want to put an end to it we need white people to see they are also a serious threat to them, not just to people of color. Like it or not appealing to the self-interest of white people rather than their just their moral outrage about the mistreatment of others is the most powerful weapon we have against extremism.

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Well said.

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At least public opinion about police, I think, has increased a little since the abuse they suffered at the capitol. I hope police departments do the right thing and throw out anyone who participated in the attack. It would go a long way toward rebuilding relations.

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Public opinion should be off the charts about how the abuse of power of the police. Seeing then taking pictures with terriorist, holding the door open should open every white person's eyes to what people of color have been telling you for decades. We the people have to make changes in how police are hired and tested. No one can be quiet anymore just because it's not happening to you. We the people must stand for right and when the police do something wrong they should be held responsible, they are not always in the right.

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It also would have helped if off-duty police and firefighters hadn't participated in the insurrection. #DomesticTerrorists #LockThemUp

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founding

Not only police departments but the military, National Guard and the Secret Service. Today Morning Joe had a discussion about the possibility of an attack like the ones on Indira Gandhi and Anwar Sadat. Gandhi was assassinated by two of her body guards. Sadat was assassinated by a group of his army officers.

The fact that there is distrust of Trump’s Secret Service guards that they are not being allowed to guard Biden and that the one was allowed to return to after working for Trump, is chilling. The Guardian reported that the Kushners’ Secret Service detail was banned from using the toilet at Obama’s house after one of them “left a mess” in the bathroom. That sure sounds like it wasn’t an accident but a deliberate act of hostility to Obama.

The fact that Capitol police officers aided the insurrectionists shows that the threat is not just to Biden but to all Democrats and other who have stood up to Trump. Holding the inauguration inside won’t do a thing to prevent that kind of attack on Biden or Democrats in Congress.

MSNBC just showed a picture of Trump taken from the back that clearly showed his bald scalp exposed. Looks like the kid gloves have come off at long last.

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I'd like to see that; but I can't find it within the limited MSBC site that we see down here ..

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I'm thinking if the white supremacists were purged from police forces the egregious mistreatment of Black people might stop and more police departments would engage communities in serious reform efforts.

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"Now that white people are threatening other white people, some people seem more concerned about lives. Interesting."

Truth to the nth.

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