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Trump considering White House panel to police anti-conservative ‘censorship’ on social media: report

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On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump is considering forming a type of White House commission to look into claims of conservatives being “censored” on social media.

“The plans are still under discussion but could include the establishment of a White House-created commission that would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, these people said,” reported John McKinnon and Alex Leary. “The administration could also encourage similar reviews by federal regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission, they said. ‘Left-wing bias in the tech world is a concern that definitely needs to be addressed from our vantage point, and at least exposed [so] that Americans have clear eyes about what we’re dealing with,’ a White House official said.”

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Republicans have spent years alleging that tech companies are trying to silence conservative speech on their platforms, with some GOP lawmakers even calling to scale back federal laws that limit liability for how tech companies moderate content.

Although there have been high-profile cases of right-wing activists being banned for hate speech, there is no evidence that tech companies are engaging in widespread anti-conservative censorship, and indeed data show that right-wing news tends to spread faster and get more views in the media ecosystem than comparable left-wing news.


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On the minds of Black Lives Matter protesters: A racist health system

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ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, when he decided to protest, William Smith, 27, used a red marker to write a message on the back of a flattened cardboard box: “Kill Racism, Not Me.”

As he stood alone, somber, he thought about George Floyd, a fellow black man whom he’d watched die on video as a Minneapolis cop kneeled on his neck eight days earlier. “Seeing the life leave his body was finally the last straw that broke the camel’s back for me,” he said.

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A historian details Trump’s surprising and peculiar relationship with America’s Puritan legacy

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Whatever one feels about it, the ‘Trump phenomenon’ is often described as the US version of a populist trend that has impacted on many areas of contemporary global politics.  However, despite the global political similarities, Donald Trump’s success is also rooted in a peculiarly American experience, since a very large and influential part of his support base lies among Christians of the so-called ‘evangelical right’.

The presidential inauguration, in 2017, featured six religious leaders, more than any other inauguration in history.  Since then many evangelical leaders have (controversially) claimed that God has placed Trump in the White House, despite his character flaws, because he is the man who will get God’s work done at this – in their  view – critical point in US and world history. As a result, the influence of evangelical Christians on American politics has never been more pronounced. From the appointment of Supreme Court judges to US relations with Israel, from support for ‘The Wall’ to abortion legislation, the power of this extraordinary lobby is seen in the changing politics and policies of the nation. A veritable culture war appears to be occurring over the future direction of the USA; a battle for the ‘soul of America’.

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White House decided to violate social distancing guidelines for journalists because it ‘looks better’: reporters

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President Donald Trump held a press briefing in the White House Rose Garden on Friday — and according to an official statement from the White House Correspondents Association, the event was inconsistent with the administration’s own social distancing guidelines.

WHCA President Jonathan Karl explained: “Today, the White House press office positioned seating for the president’s Rose Garden’ ‘news conference’ in a way that violated the federal government’s guidelines on social distancing and needlessly put reporters’ health at risk.”

WHCA statement on today’s press conference—at which Trump took no questions—where seats were initially placed far apart but were moved closer together before the event started. The press office told WHCA that decision was made because "it looks better.” pic.twitter.com/KEXbHxfLh5

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