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PBS affiliate will return $3.5 million donation after ties to hedge fund manager questioned

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A key Public Broadcasting Systems affiliate will return a $3.5 million donation from a billionaire anti-pension activist that was being used to broadcast a show seemingly hewing to his pro-business beliefs.

The New York Times reported on Friday that WNET-TV will refund the contribution from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

As Pando Daily reported on Wednesday, the PBS affiliate apparently pitched the series, Pension Peril, to the foundation and listed the group online as the sole donor, without mentioning its activities during the show. The group, founded by former Enron trader John Arnold, has dedicated itself to lobbying for public employee pensions to be cut across the country.

The series will reportedly go on hiatus, while WNET reaffirmed its plans to continue reporting on the sustainability of pensions for public employees. In a joint statement released with PBS, the channel said it was returning the Arnolds’ donation “in order to eliminate any perception on the part of the public, our viewers, and donors that the foundation’s interests influenced the editorial integrity of the reporting for this program.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the foundation told the Times that Arnold’s organization “never sought, nor did we receive, any editorial control or access to the programming.” But Pando’s report mentioned that the terms of the original donation allowed the group to withdraw its funding “in the event of extraordinary circumstances,” and that early episodes already showed signs of obscuring facts that could run counter to anti-pension arguments.

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[Image: ‘Sherlock’ star Benedict Cumberbatch and ‘Sesame Street’ characters, via PBS official Facebook page]


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Cop says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot following Trump’s racist targeting of The Squad

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Following racist attacks on members of The Squad by President Donald Trump and his supporters, a police officer in Louisiana reportedly said that one of the congresswomen of color should be shot.

Trump has been lashing out at the four first-term congresswomen, who include Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

"A Gretna police officer posted a comment on his Facebook page this past week calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a 'vile idiot' who 'needs a round, and I don't mean the kind she used to serve,'" NOLA reported Saturday.

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Internet piles on ABC reporter for lavishing praise on Trump for allowing press to ask questions

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ABC News reporter Kyra Phillips on Saturday heaped praise on President Donald Trump for his treatment of the press.

Despite the White House no longer holding daily press briefings, Phillips praised the "access" she receives from the administration.

"No matter what your politics are, I have to say that I appreciate the access ?Trump? gives us on a regular basis and the ability to ask any question," she said.

She tagged Stephanie Grisham in her tweet, who is Trump's latest press secretary. She also tagged her husband, John Roberts, who does not work in the White House, but works for Fox News.

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The real problem wasn’t the racism — it was the Trump taking ‘the Lord’s name in vain’ twice: supporter

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President Donald Trump was widely condemned after supporters at a campaign rally in West Virginia turned his racist "go back" message into a "Send Her Back" chant against one of a woman of color in Congress.

One Trump supporter in West Virginia also criticized the speech, but not for the racist targeting of Rep. Ilhan Omar.

State Senator Paul Hardesty, a Democrat, wrote to the White House to complain about Trump's use of the word "goddamn."

The letter was republished by the Montgomery-Herald.

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