NEW YORK — The U.S. is looking at yet another grim pandemic benchmark this holiday season. The death toll inflicted by the virus hovered around 800,000 as of Sunday, with more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths being reported every day. Reuters on Sunday declared the 800,000-benchmark had been passed. Other outlets and organizations had slightly lower numbers — 797,179, according to Johns Hopkins University; 795,727, according to The New York Times; and 793,937, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But with the dire daily death rate being cited by several trackers, the country ...
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'Make a deal with the devil': Christian broadcaster TBN to build 'lifestyle brand' with news show featuring Fox alum
The world of conservative broadcast journalism as a new show will go up against Fox News, Newsmax, and AON at 7:30 eastern, Axios reported Thursday.
"Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), which calls itself the world's largest Christian television broadcaster, is launching a news show called 'Centerpoint' with Fox News alums," Sara Fischer reported. "TBN is looking to build a 'Christian lifestyle brand' rather than just 'preaching and teaching,' TBN VP of Marketing Nate Daniels told Axios."
The show will be anchored by former Doug McKelway and produced by Michael Clemente, also a Fox alum.
"The programming isn't meant to be politically biased, but will lean into Christian values. The show plans to feature newsmakers as guests with the possibility of recurring panelists down the line, McKelway said. Clemente plans to hire more reporters in the future, but will also leverage existing partnerships with TBN's overseas bureaus," Axios reported. "Clemente hopes to launch more news programs."
After James Alex Fields, Jr. murdered Heather Heyer during the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, McKelway glorified him as a "white vigilante."
After Trump's infamous statement there were "very fine people" on both sides in Charlottesville, a fellow Fox News employee said McKelway sounded like a "white supremacist" trying to defend Trump in a company chatroom.
McKelway then had a full-blown meltdown on Twitter in response to the story.
In 2010, The Washington Post reported McKelway was fired by WJLA-TV for insubordination and misconduct.
The newspaper also reported on a video McKelway posted online when he left Fox News in 2020. In it, he offered advice for "young people" entering broadcast journalism.
“You make a deal with the devil when you work in television news. You make a Faustian bargain,” he says. “You got hired in part because of your looks, and that’s the Faustian bargain. Over time, you start to age. You don’t look as well as you did. And there’s another young crop of young, good-looking, talented people who are making their own Faustian bargain.”
One person was killed and a second wounded at a shooting at the Walmart Supercenter in Fairfield Township, Ohio around 8 p.m.
"Investigators said the suspect was attempting to steal items from the store. As the suspect attempted to shoplift, some employees and bystanders tried to stop him and block his exit," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Authorities said it was not an active shooter situation.
"One of the victims was taken to UC Health West Chester for treatment. Police believe he is in critical condition," the newspaper reported. "The other individual died at the scene, police said. Witnesses said the deceased individual was a greeter at the Walmart, but police said they cannot confirm any details as of Wednesday night."
"Fairfield Township authorities, Liberty Township authorities, Butler county deputies and officials with the city of Hamilton are all responding to the scene," WLWT-TV reports.
The suspect escaped the scene in a vehicle and has not yet been apprehended.
\u201cDoug Lanier of the Fairfield Police Department speaks to the media at the scene of a fatal shooting at Walmart in Fairfield on May 26, 2022. https://t.co/2xGo3geOBI\u201d— Enquirer (@Enquirer) 1653618708
On Thursday, CNN reported that Justice Department investigators have interviewed Republicans in Georgia about whether they had any contacts with former President Donald Trump's campaign, as part of the growing probe into whether a crime was committed in the plot to submit slates of fake "electors" declaring Trump won states he did not win.
"In one case, FBI agents asked a prominent Georgia Republican whether he had direct conversations with Trump," reported Katelyn Polantz. "'They just asked who talked to me. If anyone from the Trump campaign had been in touch with me. Did Giuliani talk to me? Did Trump talk to me?' said Patrick Gartland, who was set to serve as an elector but dropped out. He recounted how two FBI agents visited his home in Marietta, Georgia, a few weeks ago."
"Investigators have sought answers this month from Gartland and others connected to the GOP in Georgia — both in FBI interviews and in grand jury subpoenas for documents and testimony," said the report. "Investigators are looking at whether the Trump campaign played a role in the submission of false election certificates, according to people approached by the Justice Department."
The fake electors plot was spearheaded by pro-Trump attorney John Eastman, who laid out a plan whereby then-Vice President Mike Pence would declare all the Biden-won states with "alternate" Trump electors to be disputed, not count their votes during the gaveling of the electoral college, and declare Trump the winner. Legal experts broadly considered this scheme to be illegal, as did Pence himself.
"The subpoenas issued to Gartland and others are seeking communications with 'any member, employee or agent of Donald J. Trump or any organization advocating in favor of the 2020 re-election of Donald J. Trump,' including his official campaign," said the report. "The subpoenas also seek any communications with more than two dozen named Trump campaign officials, attorneys and Georgia electors. CNN reported Wednesday that a recent subpoena related to the alternate electors sought communications with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Trump campaign lawyer Justin Clark, right-wing attorney John Eastman and others."
According to the report, the case hinges on whether the fake electors truly believed Trump won and the election was in dispute, or if they knew they had lost and their scheme was an act of fraud — which could mean more obvious criminal liability for the actors involved.
You can read more here.