How You Saw Trump’s Press Conference Depends on How You Watched

You might have heard President Trump gave a press conference today. Its ostensible goal was to announce Alex Acosta, assistant attorney basic for the Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush, as his new labor secretary. Sounds like it must have been quite mundane, appropriate?

It was not.

If you were following what somebody may perhaps carelessly refer to as the mainstream media—CNN, NBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times—you most likely saw a president who seemed unhinged, if not outright dangerous.

But if you were following the media that has coalesced about the president a lot more supportively—Infowars, Breitbart, Fox—you saw a president at the peak of his justifiable pride and understandable disdain for the media. Nicely, the media in that final paragraph.

In a pre-internet, 4-Tv-channel world, the media moved far more gradually, and with a recognizably centralized (if not centrist) voice. But that was a long time ago. The 2016 election and the Trump presidency have been both items of ever-more balkanized sources of data playing to smaller and smaller sized self-chosen audiences, all accelerated to hyperspeed by constantly-on social media and the reporters who use it as a platform. Did you watch the press conference on a network? Or on Twitter?

And all that signifies that President Trump didn’t have just one particular press conference. He had at least two—maybe dozens—all taking spot at the identical time, in the exact same location, refracted by means of a multifaceted crystal of media.

Absolutely everyone would most likely agree on the information: Trump introduced (and quickly moved on from) Acosta, spending as significantly time talking about GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, who recently switched from the “Never Trump” camp to operating with the administration. The president went ballistic on the media. He denied involvement with Russia and recommended firing upon a Russian surveillance ship. He claimed to have scored the most significant Electoral College victory given that Ronald Reagan. (He didn’t.) He insulted his opponent in the election, misunderstood a query about anti-semitism, was disrespectful to a female African-American reporter, and evaded clarity on whether former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn deserved to get ousted from his job. Proper?

But here’s how that played. The stuff about Singer was Trumpian gloating, which both the Washington Post and New York Times reside blogs criticized. CNN highlighted the way Trump bragged about his increasing poll numbers and his cable ratings, noting that “his manner is also most likely to offend or alarm [anti-Trump] voters.” And Trump’s false claim about the Electoral College was debunked in real time.


Trump is an powerful, below-praised leader of a prosperous public. Alex Jones’ InfoWars praised the president for ushering in “the stock market’s longest winning streak in decades.” Breitbart said Trump “rattled off the achievements … that the media is not reporting,” and “trashed the media” for lapses, bias, and falsehoods. On its live weblog, Fox News reiterated the President’s comments about how unbigoted he is, and picked up his criticisms of Hillary Clinton. (POTUS referred to Clinton’s attempt to “reset” US-Russian relations whilst she was Secretary of State, which was by all accounts a failure.)

No filter bubble is completely impermeable. Fox News seemed to back Trump’s (and InfoWars‘ and Breitbart‘s) contention that people leaking data about the Trump White Home are worse than the hackers who cracked the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta’s emails. But Fox also pushed back against Trump’s claims that the mainstream press was writing fake news and that all was well in his administration.

This is not false equivalence. The Instanceses and CNNs of the planet do not have anyplace near as explicit a political agenda as the Breitbarts and Drudges. They’re not two sides. That is what was on show in the aftermath of the press conference. They didn’t even cover the same factors. They told various stories.

So which is it? Trump’s press conference was undignified, unpresidential, and weirdly directed at the media as an alternative of the nation he leads. But his supporters saw a display of energy by a president sloughing off the manacles of coastal elitism. Thanks to the accelerated hyper-partisanship of a social media-powered news cycle, the nation is now seeing double.

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What Trump’s Most current Picks Imply for the Ag Market

This story originally appeared on Mother Jones and is element of the Climate Desk collaboration.

In the course of the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump’s agriculture advisers had a hard row to hoe: They had to assure farm-state Republicans that Trump’s constant tirades against trade wouldn’t hurt a farm economy that relies increasingly on exports, by mouthing vague platitudes about the great “deals” the candidate would reduce with key trading partners like China. They also stressed Trump’s disdain for the regulation of farming practices, vowing he’d bring the Environmental Protection Agency to heel.

On Wednesday, the incoming chief executive showed his willingness to make very good on his promises to keep ag exports booming and gut environmental regulations on farms. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Trump’s choose to serve as ambassador to China, has been promoting trade amongst his state’s massive hog and soybean farms and China considering that the 1980s, when Branstad served the 1st of his two stints as governor. Then there’s Scott Pruitt, Trump’s selection to run the EPA. The Oklahoma attorney general is most well-known for his climate modify skepticism and ties to the oil sector, but he’s also tightly aligned with his state’s farm interests.

Here’s a quick rundown of why Trump’s massive Wednesday personnel selections amount to twin gifts to Big Ag.

• Branstad is enmeshed with Iowa’s agribusiness interests. His chief patron is Bruce Rastetter, CEO of the sprawling Summit Agriculture Group, a major Iowa pork and ethanol producer with interests in Brazil. Politico describes Rastetter an “agribusiness mogul who’s produced a fortune in pork, ethanol and farm true estate.” Branstad credits Rastetter with convincing him to run for Iowa governorship in 2010. (Branstad had previously served as governor from 1983 to 1999.) Rastetter then backed up the notion by plying the candidate with $ 164,875 in donations in 2010—Branstad’s most significant contributor that year. (His second greatest contributor, at $ 152,000, was Eldon Roth, CEO of Beef Items International, maker of “lean finely textured beef,” recognized in some quarters as “pink slime.”)

As soon as elected, Branstad rapidly raised hackles by appointing his patron to the University of Iowa’s board of regents. Rastetter now serves as president of the university’s board, and his tenure has been marked by steady controversy (see right here, and right here). His business, Summit, was “awarded $ 480,000 in no-interest loans from an Iowa State University center a handful of months following he joined the school’s governing board,” the Des Moines Register reports. He also “pursued a deal with the Tanzanian government that would have employed Iowa State University’s experience to create farmland there and, in the original proposal, would have displaced refugees,” the Register adds. The university ended up backing away from the strategy after controversy around the refugees erupted. Via it all, Branstad resisted activist calls to “fire Rastetter” from his perch on the regents board.

Branstad wasn’t happy just to appoint one particular generous Rastetter to a potent state board. Back in 2011, the governor also tapped Rastetter’s brother Brent, who then ran a business constructing industrial-scale hog-rearing facilities and who also contributed to Branstad’s campaign, to the state’s Environmental Protection Commission. Branstad also signed into law one particular of those infamous “ag gag” bills, championed by Big Ag, that make it a crime to secretly document situations inside livestock farms.

When Branstad is installed as ambassador to China, Iowa’s ag interests will have a robust advocate pushing to keep exports flowing east. Just last month, the governor led a trade mission there, traveling with the heads of the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Iowa Beef Sector Council. And that’s crucial—with US meat consumption growing slowly, China has emerged as a key market for the handful of businesses that dominate US meat production, as I show here. Certainly, the largest US pork producer, Smithfield, is now a Chinese-owned business.

• Oklahoma’s Pruitt, quickly to take responsibility for executing US environmental policy, is also quite a piece of function. The EPA is currently under heavy criticism for weak regulation of pollution from the very sort of massive-scale, concentrated livestock favored by Branstad and his patron Rastetter in Iowa. Like Iowa, Oklahoma has a heavy concentration of large-scale, confined animal operations—see Food and Water Watch’s “Factory Farm Map” for the state. Pruitt, too, is deeply connected with his state’s agriculture interests, and has thundered against EPA farm regulations.

To be fair, Pruitt is hostile to the EPA in its entirety, not just in its capacity as a watchdog of farm pollution. On his LinkedIn web page, Pruitt boasts that he’s a “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” But although his ties to the fossil fuel sector are well known, his chumminess with his state’s ag interests are also worth noting. This year, he hotly supported State Question 777, informally identified as a “right to farm” law, which would have restricted efforts by the state or localities to regulate farms—a blatant try to shield large-scale operations. The initiatives’s supporters, led by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance coverage Co. and the Oklahoma Pork Council, spent about $ 1 million promoting it. Opponents, led by the Humane Society of the US, also spent about $ 1 million.

Oklahoma voters shot down the measure by a 60-40 margin, but it didn’t drop for lack of effort by Pruiitt. Back in 2014, Pruitt launched an investigation of of the Humane Society, which was organizing opposition to the Correct to Farm proposal. In 2015, HSUS hit back, suing Pruitt for what it referred to as a “nearly yearlong campaign of political harassment and public vilification” against the animal welfare group. HSUS ultimately dropped the suit following the attorney general’s workplace announced it was no longer investigating HSUS.

Meanwhile, Pruitt’s relations with meat sector interests flourished. In August 2015, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association honored him with its Distinguished Service Award, offered to “individuals who have contributed to the success of the OCA and the Oklahoma beef cattle industry.”

And just final month, days just before the presidential election, he keynoted the Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s annual convention. In his speech, he lambasted EPA overreach, complaining that the agency is “affecting farmers and ranchers, it’s affecting oil and gas.”

About that: Farmers and ranchers are certainly suffering—but government overreach is the least of their troubles.


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Safety News This Week: What Trump’s Win Implies for Cybersecurity

Last month, we at WIRED posed the hypothetical: “Imagine if Donald Trump Controlled the NSA.” The notion at the time seemed unlikely but disturbing: A man who had known as for his political opponent, Hillary Clinton, to be jailed who casually stated, “I wish I had that power,” when asked about his invitation to Russian hackers to dig up her old emails who even reportedly eavesdropped on calls in between guests and employees at his Mar-a-lago hotel, would handle the world’s most powerful surveillance capabilities.

We won’t have to imagine that scenario for considerably longer: In two months, it will be a reality.

As the shockwaves of Trump’s victory rippled across the globe, WIRED has scrambled to capture what it means for the realm of hackers and spies: Safety and foreign policy analysts warned that it would only embolden the Russian hackers who injected chaos into the presidential campaign and the Democratic party. Election day itself got a taste of alt-proper hacking, as an anonymous poster on 4Chan appeared to target a Clinton get-out-the-vote telephone bank—but inadvertently hamstrung each Democrat and Republican calling efforts. Edward Snowden and other privacy activists warned that the surveillance powers expanded beneath Obama could be abused by Trump and referred to as for Americans to use encryption tools to defend themselves. And WIRED provided a primer on how Trump will reshape national security policy, including his probably assistance for the Syrian regime of dictator Bashar Al-Assad.

And there was a lot more. Every Saturday we round up the news stories that we didn’t break or cover in depth but that nonetheless deserve your consideration. This week we’re focusing on the security ramifications of Trump’s win. As constantly, click on the headlines to read the complete story in each and every hyperlink posted. And as often, keep protected out there.

Silicon Valley Is Worried Trump Will Demand Their Data

The battles Silicon Valley has fought with Obama’s Justice Department over iPhone and Whatsapp encryption may possibly have just been a dress rehearsal. Tech firms now worry Trump’s DOJ would make even far more intrusive demands that they hand over users’ private information. Two tech companies told Buzzfeed, for instance, that they have been considering moving their servers and even headquarters out of the US to location them beyond the legal reach of a Trump administration. Trump, soon after all, known as for a boycott against Apple when it refused to write application to aid the FBI crack its iPhone encryption earlier this year.

Rudy Giuliani Eyes Cybersecurity Post in Trump Administration

Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani told Fox News on Thursday that he would “love to turn out to be the individual that comes up with a remedy to cybersecurity” in the Trump administration. After functioning as a federal prosecutor in the 1980s and serving as NYC mayor, Giuliani and a couple of members of his mayoral administration began the management and safety consulting firm Giuliani Partners in 2002. More recently he became head of the cybersecurity and crisis management practice at the law firm Greenberg Traurig. This may explain his seemingly out-of-the-blue need to work on federal cybersecurity initiatives. But provided the allegations of cronyism surrounding Giuliani Partners detailed in a 2007 Washington Post investigation, Giuliani has at occasions seemed much more interested in profiting from cybersecurity troubles than solving them.

Russian Hackers Stick to Trump’s Win With A lot more Cyberattacks

Significantly less than 24 hours right after WIRED reported that experts have been warning Trump’s victory would lead to more Russian political hacking, a series of attacks surfaced. In the wake of Trump’s victory speech, the same Kremlin-linked hackers who are believed to have attacked the Democratic National Committee started targeting would-be victims at American universities, feel tanks, the State Department and Radio Cost-free Europe. The attacks employed malware-laced phishing emails purporting to have information about the election, according to Motherboard, which was forwarded 1 of the messages. The malware they contained, hidden in image files, was designed to produce stealthy backdoors into the computers of any person who opened them.

How to Safeguard Oneself Online in Trump’s America

Provided fears of increased domestic surveillance beneath Trump, privacy activists are advising that Americans adopt encryption and privacy tools—particularly journalists, activists, and anyone else who plans on opposing the administration’s policies. Those safety tips, of course, are not really any different than they were just before Tuesday: Use encrypted texting and calling apps like Signal, the anonymity software program Tor when achievable, powerful passwords generated by a password manager, two-issue authentication, HTTPS-encrypted internet sites, and in general, the services of companies, like Apple, that have opposed government invasions of privacy rather than those, like Yahoo, that have recently caved to broad spying demands.

Trump Will Inherit Surveillance Powers Enshrined By Obama

Amid all the anti-Trump sentiment from the privacy community, it is worth remembering that Obama shares considerably of the blame for the surveillance powers Trump will now wield. As Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director Trevor Timm writes in a column for the Guardian, Obama had the chance to repudiate the expansion of surveillance powers that occurred beneath Bush. Just as Obama chose to “look forward, not backward” when it came to punishing the illegal torture and human rights abuses that occurred below the earlier administration, Timm argues that Obama failed to sufficiently scale back the spying powers of the NSA, even right after Snowden’s revelations. Now these vast powers will be in the hands of, as Timm puts it, “a maniac.” He writes that “it will go down in history as probably President Obama’s most catastrophic mistake.”

Lily Hay Newman contributed to this story.

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