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In category of: And the runner ups are…
A broad tapestry of white male politicians — plus Oprah’s spiritual adviser.
The weak performance of this crew means that unless they turn it around, they won’t be able to appear onstage in September when Democrats hold their third presidential debate. Only candidates who hit 2 percent or better in four different polls qualify.
But before the great winnowing strikes, it’s worth spending some time on the Sub-2 Percent Club. You’ll note that despite the increasingly diverse Democratic Party and a field that is in some respects the most diverse of all time, this is a bunch that is heavily weighted toward straight white men.
But it would be a mistake to dismiss the entire Sub-2 Percent Club as a bunch of stale, pale, male losers. Indeed, the club contains within its ranks a striking array of backgrounds and perspectives that together comprise a rich tapestry of modern American politics.
In the category of: She’s in the club
The host featured white nationalist Paul Nehlen on her show as a sympathetic character Thursday.
Fox News released a statement in defense of host Laura Ingraham after she featured white supremacist Paul Nehlen in a graphic of “prominent voices censored on social media” on her show Thursday night.
Critics raged that Ingraham would feature Nehlen ― a known anti-Semite who was seen in a T-shirt that celebrated the shooter of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh ― as a sympathetic character whose speech was under attack. But in a statement on Friday, Fox News homed in on CNN’s characterization of the segment, saying it was “obscene to suggest” that she was “defending” Nehlen.
In the category of: Where there’s a will there’s a way
Ever since the Pentagon Papers case, an Espionage Act loophole has been waiting for a president thuggish enough to make use of it.
The new charges against Assange—far broader than the narrow password-hacking charge on which he was first detained for extradition—are unprecedented, politically charged, and consequential. Like the earlier charge, they focus on his 2010 publication of the “Iraq War Logs” document cache and the “Collateral Murder” video showing airstrikes targeting two Reuters correspondents. These new charges accuse Assange of trying to persuade his source, Chelsea Manning, to leak; of helping to protect that source’s identity; and of publishing information that, in government officials’ opinion, could harm national security. All of these charges may well describe how intelligence officials view the leaks in question. But they also describe the routine tradecraft of investigative and national-security journalists—and they would effectively criminalize a wide range of essential reporting practices in the United States.
The DNA of these new charges runs deep into the history of presidential abuse of power. President Trump and Attorney General William Barr are explicitly picking up the foiled press-punishment ambitions of President Richard Nixon in the Pentagon Papers case.
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