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NPR just offered a shocking and disgusting example of ‘balanced reporting’

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- Commentary

Trump campaign official Carl Paladino recently made headlines for being a disgustingly racist pig of a human being. The former GOP gubernatorial candidate, who managed to get himself elected to the Buffalo, New York, school board, responded to a survey about his New Year’s wishes by attacking the Obamas in the most baldly ugly and racist way imaginable, including wishing for Michelle Obama to be “let loose” in Africa so she could live with apes. He also repeated the racist alt-right meme of her being a man, and said he hoped President Obama “catches mad cow disease” and then “dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.”

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So vile were Paladino’s emailed responses to this questionnaire that even the Trump campaign and Paladino’s own son denounced his comments, and it takes a lot for these people to disavow a racist. For his part, Paladino has made a variety of non-apologies, saying he should not have pushed “send” or that he did so in “error,” and of course the classic, “I’m not a racist,” (despite the fact that I spew racist bile in what I thought was private) absurd claim. He also mentioned not being “politically correct,” the new badge of honor in the Trump era. Not being politically correct as we understand it is calling a grown woman a girl. Wishing someone death by decapitation, or comparing a grown woman to an animal, is in an altogether different category.

Of course, no person with an ounce of sense is buying it, and people are calling for his ouster as a school board member. “Words matter, Mr. Paladino,” School Board President Barbara Seals Nevergold said during a board meeting Thursday that Paladino did not attend. “The impact on children of color, especially African-American children is incalculable … They would like me to tell you, ‘You’re fired.’” The school board voted 6-2 to get him out, and vocal protesters, including the NAACP, are demanding the same.

Covering a matter like this seems like a no-brainer. But a number of media outlets are calling Paladino’s comments “controversial.” Really? Controversial? Don’t controversies have two sides? What exactly is the argument in favor of a public official engaging in hate speech?

In the Thursday evening radiocast of WNYC, local affiliate of NPR, a segment on protest demanding Paladino’s was introduced using this phrase: “… protesters demanding Paladino step down for what they say are racist comments.”

For what they say …. are racist comments. Lots of emphasis added to the “they say.”

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Really? Only “they say” that? Who are the people who say these comments are not racist, exactly?

False balance has run totally amok and will not serve us well in the coming Trump days.

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Fox News has always been bad — but this week shows it’s willing to destroy democracy for Trump

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Fox News has been detrimental to democracy all along, but one journalist and historian believes it's gone fully off the rails this year and become a threat to national security.

Talk show host Stephen Colbert has been mocking the conservative network's commitment to "truthiness" for nearly 15 years, but 2019 has seen Fox News push out Russian disinformation campaigns and attack democracy itself to defend President Donald Trump from impeachment, reported Garrett Graff for Wired.

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Donald Trump Jr. got special permission from the Mongolian government to kill endangered sheep — on your tax dollars

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The rocky highlands of Central Asia, in a remote region of Western Mongolia, are home to a plummeting population of the largest sheep in the world, the argali. The endangered species is beloved for its giant curving horns, which can run over 6 feet in length.

On a hunting trip this August, Donald Trump Jr. shot and killed one.

His adventure was supported by government resources from both the U.S. and Mongolia, which each sent security services to accompany the president’s eldest son and grandson on the multiday trip. It also thrust Trump Jr. directly into the controversial world of Mongolian trophy hunting — a polarizing practice in a country that views the big-horned rams as a national treasure. The right to kill an argali is controlled by an opaque permitting system that experts say is mostly based on money, connections and politics.

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I thought Democrats were making a giant mistake on impeachment — but these experts changed my mind

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On Tuesday, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives announced that they would move forward with two articles of impeachment — involving abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — against President Donald Trump.

At first, I shared the frustration of many liberals and progressives that these articles are too limited in scope, and leave a great many of Trump’s apparent misdeeds unmentioned. But further reflection and exchanges with legal experts have convinced me that appearance is misleading. In fact, Democrats have performed a deft feat. In a single stroke — OK, two strokes — they have elevated the process of holding Trump accountable above the realm of partisan politics, and have also given the Democratic nominee (whoever that is) an excellent case to use against Trump in next year’s presidential election. The challenge for Democrats going forward will be to keep that nonpartisan outlook in mind — while understanding that, ultimately and unfortunately, the only possible way to hold Trump accountable will be through partisan politics.

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