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So if anyone is wondering what it's going to take for the GOP to stand up to this president, the answer is nothing. If a story, now corroborated by multiple sources, that Trump knew that Russia was paying a bounty for the killing of US soldiers doesn't rile them up, nothing will. Nothing! At the very least, the press should be hammering this story nonstop. But like the Republicans that so predictably are doing very little, the press will likely do the same, next to nothing. Treason is when one goes against his/her country during a time of war. I believe this qualifies. The checks and balances that our founders worked so hard to insure are failing miserably. Trump alone is not destroying our country. It's been a group effort. Clearly it is all of our responsibility to protect our democracy but it's failing at so many levels, especially the press. Imagine that a US president is okay with one of our greatest adversary paying thugs to kill American Troops. How is it that there are not hundreds of media outlets calling for his immediate resignation? Sad!

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agree. Trump’s treasonous behavior takes up so much oxygen that the GOP’s complete capitulation often gets overlooked

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One reason it has gotten less attention than it deserved is that it's the latest in and on a long list. Go back to 2016 when Mitch McConnell refused to join in a bipartisan denunciation of Russia. It was clear from the moment that became known that the republican party, not just its standard-bearer, was under Russian control. Add in money from Lev Parnas to Kevin McCarthy, and that it is clear to anyone that a certain senator from South Carolina is being extorted. This is additional evidence, but the gun has been smoking for years.

The real question is why the media--especially the elite and beltway media, and especially The New York Times--have failed to understand the existential threat to them. The First Amendment will not survive a second term. And what makes it worse is how complicit they have been, from cable news having no journalistic ability or integrity in serving as a transmitter rather than an analyst (Ted Koppel made the great point that pointing cameras at a rally and showing it isn't journalism), to The Times's libeling of Hillary Clinton (and I honestly think she would have a case).

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Correct and this is the age old Q in the Trump era: do outlets like NYT not understand the larger picture, or do they simply not want to delve into truly disturbing storylines like the POTUS' allegiance is to Moscow?

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I think I have the answer: Yes.

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My opinion is that they're being paid to market an agenda.

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This is brilliant. Thank you. I have always thought the terrible media coverage of so many events - Whitewater, 2003 invasion of Iraq, the demonization of Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, Republican rodent procreating of 2000 and 2004 elections, "But her emails", and the "normalization" of Trump were due to media complicity with a corrupt crime syndicate commonly known as the Republican Party. The "reporting" of the 2016 election and its aftermath have have convinced me that many of them are being paid off and are actively engaged as chaos agents in the service of fascism. Caveat: I know there are excellent reporters doing great work and I don't want to include them in this broad brush.

There is precedent for scenarios in which members of the media were employed to advance an agenda. Carl Bernstein wrote an article in 1967 about the CIA and the Media. Here is a link:

http://danwismar.com/uploads/Bernstein%20-%20CIA%20and%20Media.htm

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Thank you! And now here's Bernstein with inside stuff on the intelligence community in relation to the treasonous, bigoted, mass murdering rapist-in-chief. And I think of his old colleague wanting to do a legitimate news story about Kavanaugh lying about whether he was a source of information during the Clinton persecution, and Marty Baron, a great and tough editor, thinking that would be wrong. Marty needs to hang 'em up, I fear. He doesn't understand that the First Amendment cannot survive a second term.

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I agree with you about Baron, sad as I am to have to say that. I'm a WaPo subscriber (prefer it to NYT) but sometimes I'm tempted to cancel.

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I get The Times and subscribe to The Post digitally, and sometimes I'm tempted (as in today, on the website, The Post for the second time ran a right-wing diatribe from Andy Puzder without mentioning that he was Tweety Turd's nominee for labor secretary but had to withdraw over not doing the paperwork and taxes for his undocumented worker and for opposing the minimum wage. That isn't Marty Baron; that's on Fred Hiatt, who should have lost his job long before James Bennett lost his.

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The editors in charge of opinion at both WaPo and NYT are absolutely horrible. However, Jennifer Rubin is one of the reasons I keep my WaPo subscription. She "gets" the significance and strengths of the Democratic Party better than any of the so called "liberal" TV or online/print "pundits".

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I really like her, and she straightened out her act--she originally was there to be a republican voice and, a lot sooner than most so-called conservatives, figured out that that party had gone totally nuts. I'm a big fan of E.J. Dionne, who distinguishes himself, it seems to me, in an important way: he was a reporter, and he still is, so he digs up information or analyzes information, as opposed to, say, George Will, who, though now opposed to the republican party, still pulls garbage out of the air.

At The Times, I have to give Bennett credit for bringing in Jamelle Bouie and Michelle Goldberg, who have been great. Whether they make up for Bret Stephens, I'm not sure!

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founding

I was appalled that the first couple of days after the Times broke this story it wasn’t getting a lot of media attention. Both the Post and Times had articles about it but not even “above the fold”. CNN didn’t feature it either. People commenting on the article at the Post were complaining about this saying they only heard about it when “Trump the traitor” started trending on Twitter.

MSNBC was the only media outlet that I saw treating this like the huge story it is. But I was shocked to listen to David Ignatius on Morning Joe do his darndest to promote the idea that Trump might not have been briefed and to blame it on his staff being afraid to anger Trump. Ignatius didn’t bother to address the fact that the Times said that they had two Independent sources who said he had been briefed. One said it was in his daily briefing and the other that he was given the information verbally. It was very strange not to mention misleading. No one pushed back against Ignatius although Joe later excoriated the Trump administration for thinking we were stupid enough to believe Trump hadn’t been briefed.

At least Karen Tumulty has things in perspective. Her article in today’s Post raises the critical issue of flag burning, demanding to know if Biden agrees with Trump that it should be illegal. The comments are brutal, excoriating her for trying to make this an issue when we are facing a dire economic and public health crisis and Putin is targeting our soldiers. Too bad her editors don’t exercise the same good judgment. I realize that this is an opinion piece but surely they could have rejected it, telling her they don’t publish such idiotic drivel.

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I was nervous too at first that this story would ‘blow over.’ as so many Trump scandals do. But in the last week I think the story has stuck a nerve simple bc it’s so stunning and simple to describe

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Ms. Theodora, in the same issue they printed an article from Brad Parscale. I didn’t bother to read it. Trump’s Campaign Manager has nothing to say to me.

There are times I despair that 40% of the public approves of the job Trump is doing.

But I still question your remedy. Publishers refuse to print material because it is politically or morally objectionable? What could possibly go wrong?

Mr. Boehlert,

I wish someone would discuss the future of American participatory democracy when so many actively conspire against it. Not just defeating the Republicans at every level; but moving forward. How do we excise the anti-democratic cancer that infects the system?

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founding

By the way media outlets refuse to publish or report things all the time. Sometimes those are serious issues we deserve to know about like this one.

https://www.salon.com/2000/03/20/powell_3/

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founding

I understand your concern about refusing to publish certain things but you can bet your last dollar that no outlet will print just any opinion piece. They wouldn’t print an overtly racist piece with offensive racist words in it. In fact the Times just had an uproar about this. In this case it’s not a matter of being politically or morally offensive but just being too stupid and trivial to waste space on.

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Trump only thinks about Making Trump Better Again. He's not working for the Russians anymore than he's working for Americans. He's working for HIM.

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Finally got to reading this piece from yesterday and have to say you absolutely made my day with the Shooter Jennings song!! Ahh, I had forgotten about it and how amazing it is! Love him so much. Been listening to George Jones a lot over this quarantine time -- along with Reba, Willie, David Allan Coe, and a bunch of other old-school country (and newer-old-school country like Dixie Chicks) -- and it has really...helped, somehow. I guess it just brings me back to being a kid/in high school and feeling so much hope for the country (I volunteered for Clinton's campaign before I could even vote, since I was only 17). I don't know, exactly. Anyway, your song choices always give me life, please don't ever stop including those 💙 (and I firmly believe you and I are musical soul mates!).

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This is just an opinion of an uniformed person, so ignore it. I think this story didn't get much play was because it was old news. Russia has been after Afghanistan for half a century. It's the perfect place to build an oil pipeline. So, Russia went to war and lost because guerilla warfare is so difficult to overcome - and America was providing support behind the scenes. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Of course they are offering a "bounty" on Americans, it's payback. I can not believe that this comes a surprise to anyone who hasn't been trapped on a desert island for decades. So, that is why this "story" isn't getting more coverage. That, and everyone is so sick of hearing about Trump, they just don't care anymore. If you want people to pay attention, don't put the word "Trump" in the headline. Duh.

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Good point in terms of Russia's longstanding obsession w/ Afghanistan etc. But as I mentioned, I'm actually pleased with how much coverage story has gotten. I think that's because 'Russian pays to killed US troops; Trump does nothing' is a simple narrative to convey to news consumers

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I suspect you may want to edit this sentence: "Incredibly, not a single major newspaper that has called for Trump to resign in the wake of the Russia bounty story,..."

It makes more sense if you remove the "that" from it. "Incredibly, not a single major newspaper has called for Trump to resign in the wake of the Russia bounty story,..."

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got it thanks

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scary stuff. I hope we pull through it

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Don't know where you are, but I'm in TX and I refuse to get a gun. We've owned them in the past as my boys learned to hunt safely when they were kids and incidentally both earned expert marksmanship awards in military boot camp. Still, I grew up in NYC in the '70s, went to the city all the time as an unarmed, naive teen, and maintain that if I can survive that pre-Guiliani chaos, I'll survive the predicted civil war. Or, I might still be naive....

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