The entire White House press corps should walk out and stop indulging this bully

By Jane Merrick

Updated 1446 GMT (2246 HKT) November 8, 2018            CNN

Editor’s Note : Jane Merrick is a British political journalist and former political editor of the Independent on Sunday newspaper. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

(CNN) – With the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, Donald Trump gained a glimpse of what it’s like to lose some — albeit only some — power.

And, when bullies think they’re losing control, they lash out in anger.

The President’s reaction to tough questions from CNN’s Jim Acosta about the Republican campaign and his immigration “invasion” rhetoric was classic bullying behavior: calling the chief White House correspondent a “rude, terrible person” shows how rattled Trump is about the results.

Just because the President’s outburst on Wednesday was in keeping with his portrayal of the media as “enemies of the people” does not mean it should be tolerated.

Trump’s decision to revoke Acosta’s pass to the White House grounds is an outrageous ramping up of his campaign against a questioning, robust. free media.

In response to a man who treats his Presidency as if it’s a series of a particularly bizarre reality-TV show, the entire White House press corps should walk out. Deny him coverage. Take him off the air. Cancel his series. Leave him to rage into Twitter’s echo chamber, which is all he deserves.

As Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, said on Twitter: “This is something I’ve never seen since I started covering the White House in 1996. Other presidents did not fear tough questioning.”

In Britain, too, Prime Ministers are asked tough, sometimes very hardline questions. I have covered UK politics during the terms of four Prime Ministers, and I have never seen a response like this.

Once, Tony Blair was asked if he had “blood on your hands” after the suicide of the Iraq weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly. This was a far more controversial question than anything Trump faced on Wednesday, yet the then-Prime Minister merely stood in stony silence. What’s more, the reporter who asked the question did not have his credentials revoked.

And now, not only has Acosta’s pass been withdrawn, but he now faces the false claim by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that he “placed his hands” on the female intern who tried to remove the microphone as he tried to ask more questions.

This young woman should not be blamed for doing her job in what must be a tough environment. What is disgraceful is that Sanders should insinuate that Acosta has committed some sort of assault — when footage of the incident clearly shows the intern placing her hands on his arm, and not the other way around.

Sanders has even circulated what to my eyes appears to be a doctored film of the interaction with Acosta’s arm movement sped up, to make it look as though he has karate-chopped her forearm.

Senior White House officials disseminating lies and smears on social media — which are then lapped up by Trump supporters — in revenge against a journalist asking questions evokes George Orwell’s “1984”: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

This accusation of assault is outrageous on its own. It is an insult to real victims of harassment and assault. But from a White House whose President has in the past admitted “grabbing” women in a sexual manner, whose record on misogyny is so poor, and who only last month praised a Republican candidate for body-slamming a reporter, it is breathtakingly hypocritical.

This marks the lowest point in the Trump White House’s campaign against the press, and it should no longer be indulged.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/08/opinions/the-white-house-press-corps-should-walk-out-opinion-intl/index.html

Trump Tweets a Video of Him Wrestling ‘CNN’ to the Ground

旭川時事英語研究会の宮口です。皆さん、お元気ですか?
日本の政治の先行きはどうなってしまうのでしょうか?アメリカでは相変わらずトランプ大統領のツイートが物議をかもしていますね。

Trump Tweets a Video of Him Wrestling ‘CNN’ to the Ground

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM JULY 2, 2017    The New York Times

President Trump posted a short video to his Twitter account on Sunday in which he is portrayed wrestling and punching a figure whose head has been replaced by the logo for CNN.

The video, about 28 seconds long, appears to be an edited clip from a years-old appearance by Mr. Trump in WrestleMania, an annual professional wrestling event. The clip ends with an onscreen restyling of the CNN logo as “FNN: Fraud News Network.”

Cartoonish in quality, the video is an unorthodox way for a sitting president to express himself. But Mr. Trump has ratcheted up his attacks on the news media in recent days — assailing CNN and crudely insulting the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” — while defending his use of social media as “modern day presidential.”

In a speech on Saturday at a faith rally in Washington, Mr. Trump was met with cheers when he referred to CNN as “garbage journalism” and said: “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president, and they’re not.”

The wrestling video, which was also posted to the official @POTUS Twitter account, stirred criticism, disbelief and dumbfoundedness. Some journalists denounced its portrayal of violence as dangerous, saying it could incite attacks or threats against news media employees.

“I think it is unseemly that the president would attack journalists for doing their jobs, and encourage such anger at the media,” said Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times.

The administration did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. Trump’s homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, defended the video when he viewed it for the first time during a broadcast interview with Martha Raddatz of ABC News. “No one would perceive that as a threat,” Mr. Bossert said. “I hope they don’t.”

“He’s a genuine president expressing himself genuinely,” Mr. Bossert added.

A version of Mr. Trump’s video appeared last week on a Trump-dedicated page on the message board site Reddit, a popular meeting ground for some of the president’s most fervent supporters. The CNN logo is superimposed on what appears to be the head of Vince McMahon, a wrestling magnate and a friend of Mr. Trump, who in his prepresidential years often appeared as a guest on wrestling shows.

Mr. Trump’s fans on Reddit were exuberant about what they viewed as validation from the country’s most powerful man. “I love this,” wrote a user identified as American_Crusader. “You know he saw it, chuckled, and knew he could control the media narrative for days by hitting the ‘post’ button. So he did.”

The president’s allies say that his attacks on the news media are justified, arguing that the president is merely defending himself from coverage that his supporters view as biased. Mr. Trump’s war of words with CNN is especially popular with his voter base.

News media advocates, however, have raised alarms about a recent spate of arrests and assaults on working journalists, including a high-profile episode in which a Montana congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte, assaulted a reporter for The Guardian, breaking his glasses. (Mr. Gianforte, a Republican, went on to win a House seat the next day. He later apologized to the reporter.)

Groups like the Committee to Protect Journalists, which usually focuses on countries where reporters’ freedoms are curtailed, say they are concerned that Mr. Trump’s campaign-trail rebukes of news organizations are now being issued from the pulpit of the White House.

“Targeting individual journalists or media outlets, on- or off-line, creates a chilling effect and fosters an environment where further harassment, or even physical attack, is deemed acceptable,” Courtney Radsch, the advocacy director for the Committee to Protect Journalists, wrote in a statement on Sunday, adding that Mr. Trump’s comments may embolden “autocratic leaders around the world.”

Mr. Trump, who is spending part of the weekend at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., posted the wrestling tweet just as prominent Republicans began appearing on the major Sunday news programs. On CNN, Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican and frequent Trump critic, accused the president of “weaponizing distrust” toward the news media.

“There’s an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage, and the right that citizens have to argue about that and complain about that,” Mr. Sasse said.

But Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, bristled when asked on the NBC program “Meet the Press” about Mr. Trump’s string of anti-media remarks.

“This is really remarkable,” Mr. Price said to the moderator, Chuck Todd. “Your program — a program with the incredible history of ‘Meet the Press’ — and that’s what you want to talk about?”

Some White House aides said privately on Sunday that the president was being held to a double standard. They argued that Mr. Trump’s video was akin to a recent exchange on MSNBC, in which the host, Chris Matthews, was discussing Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and jokingly praised the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini for ordering the execution of his son-in-law.

Ari Fleischer, who was a press secretary to President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter that he found Mr. Trump’s video to be “in poor taste.” But he added: “The reason POTUS does it is because the press has made themselves so unpopular. It’s a fight POTUS actually wins w much of the country.”

Mr. Trump regularly accuses CNN of bias, and he taunted the network last week after it was forced to retract a story about one of his close allies. On Saturday, hours before posting the wrestling video, Mr. Trump tweeted to his 33 million followers, “I am thinking about changing the name #FakeNews CNN to #FraudNewsCNN!”

On Sunday, CNN issued its response.

“It is a sad day when the president of the United States encourages violence against reporters,” the network said in a statement. “Instead of preparing for his overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”

In keeping with the online nature of many of Mr. Trump’s disputes, CNN also replied directly to the president on Twitter, highlighting a quotation from a recent White House briefing by his deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“The president in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence,” Ms. Sanders told reporters on Thursday. “If anything, quite the contrary.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/02/business/media/trump-wrestling-video-cnn-twitter.html?ribbon-ad-idx=2&src=trending&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Trending&pgtype=article

Mandela laid to rest in Qunu, ending a journey that transformed South Africa

旭川時事英語研究会の宮口です。
いよいよ今年最後の勉強会になりました。今年一年、本当にお疲れさまでした。
また来年も元気でお会い出来ることを楽しみにしています♪
素敵なクリスマスを!そして、楽しいお正月をお迎え下さい。

By Faith Karimi and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, CNN
December 15, 2013 — Updated 1728 GMT (0128 HKT)

20131216-mandela-1215-horizontal-gallery

(CNN) — With military pomp and traditional rituals, South Africa buried Nelson Mandela on Sunday, the end of an exceptional journey for the prisoner turned president who transformed the nation.

Mandela was laid to rest in his childhood village of Qunu.

Tribal leaders clad in animal skins joined dignitaries in dark suits at the grave site overlooking the rolling green hills.

As pallbearers walked toward the site after a funeral ceremony, helicopters whizzed past dangling the national flag. Cannons fired a 21-gun salute, its echoes ringing over the quiet village.

Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief as she watched the proceedings.

“Yours was truly a long walk to freedom. Now you have achieved the ultimate freedom in the bosom of God, your maker,” an officiator at the grave site said.

Military pallbearers gently removed the South African flag that draped the coffin and handed it to President Jacob Zuma, who gave it to Mandela’s family.

At the request of the family, the lowering of the casket was closed to the media.

A peek into Mandela’s memorial garden abloom with symbolism

The funeral ceremony

Before making their way to the grave site, mourners attended a service in a tent set up at the family compound. They wept, sang and danced in what has become a familiar celebration of his life.

Mandela’s coffin, draped in his country’s flag, lay atop black and white cattle skins in front of a crescent of 95 candles, each marking a year of his life.

As the national anthem “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” or “God Bless Africa” drifted over the village, a giant picture of Mandela looked down with a smile. Mourners placed their fists on their chests, some with tears streaming down their faces.

“Today marks the end of an extraordinary journey that began 95 years ago,” Zuma said during the ceremony. “It is the end of 95 glorious years of a freedom fighter … a beacon of hope to all those fighting for a just and equitable world order.”

The president thanked Mandela’s family for sharing him with the world and said his memory will live on.

“We shall not say goodbye, for you are not gone,” Zuma said. “You’ll live forever in our hearts and minds.”

About 4,500 people gathered in the tent, including Machel, who sat next to Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Mandela.

In other major cities including Johannesburg, crowds watched the funeral at special screenings in stadiums.

‘I’ve lost a brother’

Mourners represented all spheres of Mandela’s life. There were celebrities, presidents, relatives and former political prisoners.

“You symbolize today and always will … qualities of forgiveness and reconciliation,” said a tearful Ahmed Kathrada, a close friend who served time in prison with Mandela for defying the apartheid government. “I’ve lost a brother. My life is in a void, and I don’t know who to turn to.”

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Prince Charles and business mogul Richard Branson were also among the attendees.

Final chapter

The funeral and burial cap 10 days of national mourning for a man whose fame transcended borders.

“Nelson Mandela was our leader, our hero, our icon and our father as much as he was yours,” Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said, regaling mourners with tales of a secret visit Mandela made in 1962 to Dar es Salaam to gather support for his party, the African National Congress.

During his fight against apartheid, Mandela fled to Tanzania, which housed the headquarters of the ANC. The white minority government had banned it in South Africa.

In sharp contrast to the days of apartheid, the events honoring Mandela included a great deal of pageantry, as well as state honors.

Mandela’s body arrived Saturday in the tiny village in the Eastern Cape province, where he grew up surrounded by lush, tranquil hills and velvety green grass.

Before arriving in Qunu, the body lay in state for three days in Pretoria. After an emotional service at the air base there, which included the handing over of his body to the ruling African National Congress, it was put in a military helicopter for the final leg of his journey.

Though he dined with kings and presidents in his lifetime, the international icon relished his time at the village. He herded cows and goats there as a child, and always said it’s where he felt most at peace. Some of his children are also buried there.

“He really believed this is where he belonged,” said his daughter, Maki Mandela.

Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for defying the racist apartheid government that led South Africa for decades. He emerged from prison in 1990 and became South Africa’s first black president four years later, all the while promoting forgiveness and reconciliation.

His defiance of white minority rule and his long incarceration for fighting segregation focused the world’s attention on apartheid, the legalized racial segregation enforced by the South African government until 1994.

Years after his 1999 retirement from the presidency, Mandela was considered the ideal head of state. He became a yardstick for African leaders, who consistently fell short when measured against him.
“Thank you for being everything we wanted and needed in a leader during a difficult period in our lives,” Zuma said.

In keeping with tradition, Mandela was laid to rest in the afternoon, when the sun is at its highest.

CNN’s Robyn Curnow contributed to this report from the Mandela compound in Qunu. Faith Karimi wrote and reported from Atlanta and Marie-Louise Gumuchian from London.