President Trump is a bull in a china shop. He says inadvisable things to inadvisable people, mainly because he is inadvisable — literally no one can advise him. The vast majority of things Trump says are ignored or brushed off by those who understand the difference between bloviation and manipulation. Still, Trump's constant stream of noise can make it difficult to tell the difference between the two.
In July, Adam Grant, organizational psychologist at Wharton Business School, tweeted: “Agendas aren't driven by problems. They're driven by solutions. Calling out what's wrong without proposing ways to make it right is complaining.” This week, complaining was the order of the day.
Last week, Democrats held their first true presidential debate. With the field winnowed down to 10 candidates — three of them actual contenders for the nomination -- only one moment truly stood out. That moment came not from Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders but from a candidate desperate for attention: Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke ran in 2018 for a Senate seat in Texas and lost in shockingly narrow fashion to incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
It's now been nearly a full generation since Sept. 11, 2001. There are people currently serving in the U.S. military who weren't born when that act of evil took place — and the military still has thousands of troops in Afghanistan, the home base of the Taliban-supported al Qaida attack on the United States that took nearly 3,000 American lives.
I first met Elizabeth Warren when she was a professor at Harvard Law School, in 2004. She was fresh off the publication of her bestselling book, “The Two-Income Trap.” There's no doubt she was politically liberal — our only face-to-face meeting involved a recruitment visit at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, where she immediately made some sort of disparaging remark about Rush Limbaugh — but at the time, Warren was making waves for her iconoclastic views. She wasn't a doctrinaire leftist, spewing Big Government nostrums. She was a creative thinker.
A study from Cornell University claims YouTube channels that feature prominent conservative figures are “infecting” users with alt-right beliefs. “Auditing Radicalization Pathways on YouTube,” written by five academics, concluded that “channels in the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) and the Alt-lite would be gateways to fringe far right ideology.” The study, released August 22, linked The Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro, Dr. Jordan Peterson, comedian and host Joe Rogan, and host Dave Rubin to fringe racist figures like Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor.
Imagine two sitting Republican Congresspeople planned a trip to a foreign country in conjunction with a nongovernmental organization. Imagine that particular NGO had a long history of Jew hatred: It had run a piece on its website quoting anti-Semitic myths about Jews imbibing Christian blood, republished a neo-Nazi article decrying the “Jew-controlled entertainment media” and suggested that “honor” was the proper response to a terrorist who murdered 38 Israelis, including 13 children.
It took quite a journey to get there, but Showtime’s Our Cartoon President found a way to call a group of conservatives a "white-power rally" and President Trump the "Grand Wizard." Along the way, prominent conservatives in public life, like Ben Shapiro, were dragged into the fray.
Censorship of conservative and pro-life content isn’t limited to the main tech platforms. Even Pinterest, the online scrapbooking website, is banning conservative voices. According to Live Action, Pinterest “permanently suspended” its account June 11 after a series of exposures about bias on the platform. In an undercover investigation by Project Veritas, an insider revealed how the site censors conservative content in general.
The tech industry is slowly circling conservative media and preparing to strike. An advertising program manager for Microsoft responded to an op-ed by New York Times contributor Farhad Manjoo, agreeing that Fox News was a “million pound fork-tongued colossus” responsible for misinformation. Dare Obasanjo, listed on LinkedIn as a project program manager for Microsoft, tweeted out that Fox News and figures like Ben Shapiro were “misleading propaganda.”
Conservative host Ben Shapiro appeared on BBC in a contentious interview and attacked the bias and agenda of the network. After host Andrew Neil derided Georgia’s new pro-life abortion bill as “extreme,” “hard policies” that would “take us back to the dark ages,” Shapiro unloaded, “Okay, so you’re supposedly an objective calling polices with which you disagree barbaric.”
In a Sunday appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources, conservative thought leader and editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro and host Brian Stelter had a thoughtful discussion about where the media was failing when it came to discussing religion, conservatives, and President Trump.