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Fox’s Shep Smith quickly shuts down right-wing gadfly for suggesting Notre Dame fire was intentional

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Fox News’ Shepard Smith on Monday shut down Philippe Karsenty, a prominent French political gadfly, for suggesting the fire consuming Notre Dame was deliberately set.

“Everybody’s really under shock now in France. I would tell you something, even if nobody died, it’s like a 9/11, a French 9/11,” Karsenty said of the centuries-old cathedral. “You need to know that for the past years, we’ve had churches desecrated each and every week all over France. Of course, you will hear the story of the political correctness, which will tell you it’s probably an accident.”

“Sir, sir, sir, we’re not going to speculate here of the cause of something that we don’t know,” replied an audibly angry Smith. “If you have observations or you know something, we would love to hear it.”

“I’m just telling you something, what we need to be ready — ” Karsenty protested, but Smith shut him down completely, hung up the phone, and proceeded to publicly call out his guest as a liar.

“No, sir, we’re not doing that here. Not now, not on my watch,” Smith said. “The man on the phone with us has absolutely no information of any kind about the origin of this fire, and neither do I.”

“Fire investigators will at some point come to a determination about what caused this,” Smith continued. “Conspiracy theories about anything are worthless and in many cases counter-productive and injurious to society. Those who entertain them are not acting in the best interests of the people of this planet.”

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Karsenty has a long history of problematic statements. He was convicted of libel in 2013, and after investigators discovered “funding irregularities” in his campaign for office in 2013, he was banned from running again for a year.

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2020 Election

Why I’m waging info warfare against the GOP while most Democrats still prefer to ‘go high’ and lose

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The ground shifted under Democrats during the 2016 election, but many refuse to acknowledge just how, or in what direction. Some are still content to lose close elections gracefully, even when the stakes for American democracy are the highest they have ever been. Others are so bent on proving that their electoral strategy is sound that they refuse to acknowledge Mark Zuckerberg has broken the traditional models of voter persuasion.

Nevertheless, a small group of Democratic operatives is no longer afraid to get their hands dirty. I am one of them.

I never intended to become a political operative. I wasn’t even thinking about the possibility when I set out to affect the 2017 special election for the US Senate in Alabama. I wanted to push back against the social media shenanigans that had helped elect Donald Trump and gather some data on their relative effectiveness because we were debating the impact of these tactics in a total vacuum of hard evidence either way. So when a documentarian recently asked me what it felt like to be a “political operative,” I was momentarily stunned by the realization that I had accidentally carved out a new career in white hat ratf*kery.

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Trump’s sneak attack on social security — and how the president thinks he can quietly get away with it

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Donald Trump’s recent budget proposal included billions of dollars in Social Security cuts. The proposed cuts were a huge betrayal of his campaign promise to protect our Social Security system. Fortunately for Social Security’s current and future beneficiaries, he has little chance of getting these cuts past the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats.

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The Trump rape allegations expose some appalling facts about history of the ‘rule of law’ in America

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In last week’s New York magazine, journalist E. Jean Carroll recounts her rape in a New York department store dressing room, some 23 years ago. “[He] opens [my] overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway —or completely, I’m not certain —inside me.” The alleged rapist? United States President Donald J. Trump.

Carroll joins more than a dozen other women who have publicly accused the sitting president of sexual assault or harassment, with no consequences yet for Trump.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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