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Keith Olbermann slams MSNBC for hiring Jen Psaki -- and calls the network a 'cushy landing' for Biden employees
It's now official that former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has landed a job at MSNBC where she is expected to make appearances as a contributor as well as hosting her own show, Yahoo! News reports.
Her show, set to debut next year, will “bring together her unique perspective from behind the podium and her deep experience in the highest levels of government and presidential politics,” the network said in a statement Tuesday.
Psaki's move to MSNBC in the wake of her White House tenure has sparked criticism from those who see her hiring as just another cog in an unethical White House-to cable news pipeline that's further undermining trust in the news industry.
One of those critics is former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who tweeted this Tuesday that he'd "like to apologize" for what MSNBC has become.
"This news equivalent of the high salary, cushy landing for former employees of the current president - like they were staffing a sports studio show or Fox News - is the last thing I had in mind at the start," Olbermann wrote.
GOP candidates deemed ineligible as massive signature fraud scandal upends Michigan gubernatorial race
The state Bureau of Elections has recommended that five of the 10 Republican candidates hoping to oust Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should be kicked off the ballot prior to the Aug. 2 primary due to tens of thousands of forged signatures.
In total, elections staff identified 36 individual petition circulators who submitted fraudulent petition sheets with invalid signatures in at least 10 petition drives — submitting at least 68,000 invalid signatures total. Those petition drives included those for governor, circuit judge and district judge.
Staff are working to refer incidents of apparent fraud to law enforcement for criminal investigation.
This comes after many Republicans — including many in the GOP gubernatorial field — have questioned whether former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, despite President Joe Biden winning by more than 154,000 votes in Michigan. Many have spread conspiracy theories about unproven election fraud.
The bureau’s unprecedented report Monday night has already prompted at least one candidate, Michigan State Police Capt. Michael Brown, to formally withdraw from the race.
“It appears that after my campaign’s signature gathering was complete, individuals independently contracted for a portion of our signature gathering and validation jumped onto other campaigns and went on a money grab,” Brown said in a statement Tuesday morning, after his campaign manager initially contested the report the night before.
“I cannot and will not be associated with this activity. … I will exit the race for Michigan’s Governor with my integrity and this principle intact,” Brown said.
Brown, as well as financial adviser Michael Markey, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, businesswoman Donna Brandenburg and self-described “quality guru” Perry Johnson, all had signatures that the bureau recommended to be deemed insufficient as many were fraudulent.
Craig’s signatures had been challenged by Democrats and a superPAC supporting right-wing media personality Tudor Dixon. Democrats also challenged Johnson’s petitions.
The bureau OK’d petitions for Dixon, who is being backed by the billionaire DeVos family and had signatures that also were challenged by Democrats. Businessman Kevin Rinke, chiropractor Garrett Soldano, far-right activist Ryan Kelley and the Rev. Ralph Rebandt were the only other candidates to have their petitions recommended as sufficient.
The Michigan Board of State Canvassers — which is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans — is set to meet and take up the recommendations Thursday morning in what’s expected to be a contentious meeting in Lansing.
A Livingston County GOP debate earlier this month featured eight of the 10 candidates, with Craig and Brandenburg not attending. During a lightning round, hopefuls were asked if they “believe Donald Trump legitimately won the 2020 election.” Dixon, Kelley, Johnson, Rebandt and Soldano all said that he did.
Rinke and Johnson declined to answer with a simple yes or no, eliciting boos from the audience. Brown and Markey directly said he did not win the election.
The filing deadline for the signatures was April 19. The bureau said staff began to review nominating petitions at the end of March, and discovered early on that a large number of petition sheets submitted by certain circulators appeared fraudulent. Some consisted entirely of forged or otherwise invalid signatures.
Because of this, the bureau took on a more intensive process of review and released a supplemental report on the fraudulent activity Monday night.
Previously, signatures of dubious authenticity have been “scattered throughout petitions and relatively small in number.”
“The Bureau is unaware of another election cycle in which this many circulators submitted such a substantial volume of fraudulent petition sheets consisting of invalid signatures, nor an instance in which it affected as many candidate petitions as at present,” the bureau’s report reads.
Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Lavora Barnes issued a statement Tuesday morning calling for all candidates whose campaigns were touched by the fraud, including Dixon, to drop out.
“Their refusal to adhere to Michigan election law is disqualifying,” Barnes said. “If they refuse to withdraw, the Board of Canvassers should … [refuse] to certify these candidates. Michigan families deserve better than an irresponsible, radical slate of candidates who have repeatedly refused accountability for their lawless campaigns.”
The bureau noted in the report that there is currently no reason to believe that any of the candidates or campaigns were aware of the fraudulent activity. It went on to recommend that candidates and campaigns implement a quality control process prior to filing petitions.
A number of nominations for circuit judges, district judges and congressional races were also deemed insufficient. Paul Junge and state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte), Republicans who are both running for the U.S. House, cleared the elections bureau hurdle and are recommended as having sufficient petitions.
Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.
Two-time Cannes winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne said on Tuesday that their new film was a call for the EU to do a better job in protecting the most vulnerable child migrants.
"Tori and Lokita", one of 21 films competing for the festival's Palme d'Or top prize, tells the story of a boy and a girl from Benin who pretend to be siblings to help win asylum in Belgium.
It trains a harsh spotlight on the European system which leaves minors particularly vulnerable to exploitation and at risk of being separated from those they trust.
"These young exiles must be given the chance to study or pursue an apprenticeship at the same time, and also learn the languages of the countries which have taken them in," Luc Dardenne, 68, told AFP.
"They must be able to do this without having the sword of Damocles hanging over them -- meaning at 18 years old, you can be sent back to your country of origin."
In the movie, Lokita is a teenager who on the road to Europe meets Tori, a young boy who has been granted asylum in Belgium because he had been accused of "sorcery" at home.
The film shows many challenges faced by migrants, including extortion by people smugglers and a boss who demands sexual favors.
'Invent their own country'
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, 71, told AFP that the cast of non-professional actors would help audiences to see the lives of two young migrants who have little defense against the "cruelty of domination".
"Their response to this cruelty and violence in the film is their friendship -- they invent their own country together."
Despite the ordeals they face, "they want to live and have ambitions and hopes and are resourceful and clever".
The Dardennes' hyperrealist, morally focused films have a strong track record at Cannes, scooping top honors in 1999 for "Rosetta" and in 2005 for "The Child".
They also took home the runner-up Grand Prix in 2011 for "The Kid with a Bike" and best screenplay for 2008's "Lorna's Silence".
"Tori and Lokita" was warmly reviewed after its red-carpet premiere, with Britain's Screen Daily saying the Dardennes' "empathy is undiminished and their taut, spare suspense sequences remain under-appreciated".
The Hollywood Reporter said it was the Dardennes' "most emotionally engaging film in a while -- a tragedy told with utter clarity, centered on protagonists entirely deserving of our sympathy".
The Cannes awards will be presented on Saturday.
© 2022 AFP