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<strong>New Study Finds Misinformation About Abortion Pervades Across Television</strong>

  • SHANNON BREAM (HOST): OK, so let's talk about your take on the parallels between Trump and [Marine] Le Pen.
  • Media Matters has consistently found that evening cable news can’t stop misinforming about abortion, and a new study from the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) demonstrates that the stigma this misinformation supports isn’t just pervasive in the news; it dominates popular culture as well.
  • Abortion stigma assumes that having an abortion is inherently wrong, and it contributes to negative assumptions about those who have them.
  • A study by Media Matters that examined segments about abortion or reproductive rights on evening cable news programs on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC from March 7, 2016 through March 1, 2017, found that 64 percent of cable news segments about abortion contained inaccurate information.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | April 25, 2017, 5:20 am

Insurers Aren't Falling For Trump's Sabotage Efforts, Yet

  • The first deadline for insurers to commit to participating in the Obamacare markets was this week in Kentucky and Virginia, and they're still in:
  • Initial filings from Virginia and Kentucky show that insurers are still contemplating offering Obamacare coverage in 2018, even amid continuing uncertainty over Republicans' plans for health reform.
  • Virginia and Kentucky are among the states with the earliest filing deadlines, and insurers won't have to submit their premiums for 2018 until later this spring.
  • Also, filing now doesn't mean insurers are definitely participating next year—they have until September to withdraw. (Joan McCarter) / Daily Kos | April 25, 2017, 3:12 am

Fox’s New Evening Lineup Is O’Reillyism Without O’Reilly

  • SHANNON BREAM (HOST): OK, so let's talk about your take on the parallels between Trump and [Marine] Le Pen.
  • The O’Reilly Factor was the linchpin in an evening lineup that was once the most stable in the industry.
  • Removing O’Reilly gave the network’s top executives the opportunity to dramatically reshape their network’s programming.
  • Since Fox’s inception in 1996, O’Reilly has been the anchor of the network’s ratings and the keystone of its “fair and balanced” mantra with his so-called “No Spin Zone.” After an undistinguished career as a broadcast newsman, O’Reilly used his position at the newly launched Fox to reimagine himself (falsely) as a son of working-class Levittown, Long Island, who was looking out for “the folks.” His show became the platform for his “culture warrior” mentality, presenting the average American as under constant attack by never-ending waves of elitist secular progressives who hate Christianity and traditional American values and want to reshape the country in the image of Western Europe.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | April 25, 2017, 2:19 am

Open Thread For Night Owls: 'I Do Not Want To Dedicate My Life To Assholes'

  • At some point, every public servant must reevaluate his or her dedication to his job and to those they serve.
  • At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—What We Know So Far: A Torture Timeline:
  • So much information about the Bush administration's torture policies and rationales has surfaced in recent days that, contrary to the secrecy meme of those days, we are now in danger of suffering from TMI - too much information.
  • So I thought it would be helpful to put together a timeline of known facts, reports and claims to try to give some chronological perspective to it all. (Hunter) / Daily Kos | April 25, 2017, 12:12 am

Right Side Broadcasting, The “Unofficial Version Of Trump TV,” Forced To Apologize For Contributor’s Call To “Kill The Globalists” At CNN

  • SHANNON BREAM (HOST): OK, so let's talk about your take on the parallels between Trump and [Marine] Le Pen.
  • Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) host Nick Fuentes went on a violent, on-air tirade, suggesting that it was “time to kill the globalists” who run CNN, adding, “I don’t want CNN to go out of business … I want the people that run CNN to be arrested and deported or hanged.”
  • RSBN was deemed “the unofficial version of Trump TV” by The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers after the network, Borchers reported, “teamed up” with the Donald Trump’s presidential campaign  “to produce pre- and post-debate analysis shows that streamed on Trump’s Facebook Page.” The network’s CEO, Joe Seales, hosted an “ask me anything” session on a pro-Trump Reddit page and wrote that ”Trump built RSBN.” In December, the network announced that it received  White House press credentials to cover the Trump administration.
  • In an April 19 on-air tirade, Fuentes claimed that Muslims and immigrants are not protected under the First Amendment and called for the people who run CNN to be “arrested and deported or hanged.” From the April 19 edition of RSBN’s America First with Nick Fuentes:
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | April 24, 2017, 11:18 pm

Sessions Might Give Other Media The Wikileaks Treatment—charging Them For Covering Leaks

  • Attorney General Jeff Session is reportedly prepping to throw the book at Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for allegedly aiding Edward Snowden in disclosing a trove of classified documents.
  • During a Friday morning CNN appearance, Sessions was asked by anchor Kate Bolduan whether “folks should be concerned that this would also open up news organizations like CNN and the New York Times to prosecution.”
  • “That’s speculative, and I’m not able to comment on that,” he replied.
  • Sessions’ CNN comments come a day after he said the arrest of Assange is a “priority” during a news conference. (Kerry Eleveld) / Daily Kos | April 24, 2017, 9:07 pm

How Trump Is Upending The Conventional Wisdom On Illegal Immigration

Obamacare remains the law of the land. So does NAFTA. Tax reform exists only as pixels in a tweet. Infrastructure ain’t happening. Five months after the Republicans won united control of Congress and the presidency, it seems uncertain whether one-party Washington can avoid a government shutdown over a budget dispute.

Yet as Day 100 of his presidency nears, President Donald Trump can take credit for one huge accomplishment, an accomplishment more central to his election campaign than any of the unfulfilled pledges above. Illegal immigration into the United States has slowed dramatically. The Department of Homeland Security reports that illegal crossings across the southern border plunged 40 percent in the first month of the Trump presidency, the steepest decline in illegal migration since the recession of 2009. Illegal immigration by family groups with children has dropped by over 90 percent.

This accomplishment may or may not prove enduring. It was not brought about by any decisive policy change. Trump’s wall is not funded. No new enforcement measures have been put in place. People eligible for President Obama’s delayed action continue to receive work authorization. While arrests of illegal aliens inside the country have accelerated under Trump, actual deportations are running at a slower pace than in the first quarter of 2016. Orders to ban travel from some Muslim-majority countries were widely publicized, but quickly halted by the courts—and in any case, do not seem very relevant to overwhelmingly Catholic Latin America.

This spring’s immigration turnabout was unexpected, to put it mildly, by most participants in the immigration debate. For years, the predominant view has been that migration flows—legal or not—are powered by deep tidal currents beyond the control of mere human governments.

In the summer of 2014, tens of thousands of minors from Central America surged across the southern border. Some few suggested that these immigrants were responding to the incentive offered by Obama’s policy of deferred action for border crossers who arrived under age 18. That view was widely derided as insensitive and uninformed. The young Central Americans had not been “pulled” by U.S. policy; they had been “pushed” 2,200-miles north, across Guatemala and through a dozen Mexican states, by gang violence in their native countries.

So, too, with the mass migration across the western Mediterranean into Italy and via Turkey into southeastern Europe, and then onward to Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Migrants moved to richer countries because they felt they must, not because they perceived they could. Restrictions were not only inhumane, but futile.

"Flows of Mexican migrants to the United States have been driven since our grandparents’ day by the supply and demand for work on either side of the border, regardless of walls and other obstacles thrown in their way.” So wrote The New York Times’ Eduardo Porter in October 2016, summarizing a bipartisan report by leading figures in the immigration field. He spoke for the consensus. Economic incentives mattered. Legal disincentives did not.

This spring those former certainties suddenly look very wrong. If rude words by the head of government, an inconsistent uptick in interior enforcement, plus a travel ban that flunked judicial review, suffice to cut illegal migration flows by 60 to 90 percent, then the policies and attitudes of the receiving countries begin to look powerful indeed.

Perhaps the Trump effect will prove short-lived. If the economy continues to expand, perhaps illegal migration will resume. But the first quarter of 2017 revealed what is possible. The perception of stricter enforcement can change behavior. That discovery points the way to the next possible accomplishment: building a structure of enforcement that can endure past the first hundred days.

About 1 million unauthorized Mexican immigrants have returned home since 2007. It probably will not be easy to reduce the population of unauthorized Mexican immigrants much more. (About three-quarters of the remaining illegal immigrants have been present in the United States for 10 years or more, according to the Pew survey.) But about half the population of unauthorized immigrants in the United States comes from places other than Mexico, and they are much less long-settled. The perception of more rigorous enforcement may induce more of them to return home, too.

The work of Harvard’s George Borjas suggests that unskilled immigration depresses the wages of unskilled natives and enriches skilled natives by increasing their purchasing power. Skilled immigration has the opposite effect. (Borjas’s findings are contested, but compelling.) It’s not coincidence that countries that favor skilled immigration, like Canada and Australia, have seen slower trends toward wage inequality than countries that favor unskilled immigration, like the United States or Sweden. (Since 1980, Sweden has experienced the most extreme swing toward income inequality of all developed nations. Sweden’s immigration intake actually exceeds that of the United States: About one-fifth of Swedes are either foreign-born themselves, or born to two parents from outside Sweden. In large part because of the country’s huge intake of refugees, especially from the Middle East and Africa, Swedish immigration skews even more unskilled than America’s.)

With that framework in mind, the United States needs to think hard about the kind of immigration policy that makes sense for a country facing persistent stagnation of non-college wages—and on the verge of a robotics revolution that will in fairly short order make obsolete millions of jobs now held by the less skilled: cashiers, truck drivers, fast food workers, and so on. Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue that would reduce the absolute level of legal immigration by about half, back to the levels prevailing before 1991, while holding steady the number of visas for skilled workers—effectively tilting the composition of future flows toward the college-educated.

Passing laws through Congress has not exactly been a point of strength of the Trump administration to date. Nor has the administration shown much interest in thinking systematically about reforms that might actually help the hard-pressed voters who made the difference in the industrial Midwest. But somebody should be thinking about it. Better enforcement joined to enactment of the Cotton-Perdue immigration bill might give an embattled administration and an endangered Republican Congress at least one achievement that might impress somebody other than former senior managers at Goldman Sachs.

Had borders been protected better before, there would be no Trump and LePen now. Demagogues demagogue by talking about issues people care about. The New Deal and the postwar European welfare states were built in great part to beat back the threat of communism—to prove that liberal governments could better meet the grievances the communists exploited. In our time, we now again face an extremist challenge, this time from authoritarian populists on both sides of the Atlantic. Immigration beyond society’s capacity to absorb and assimilate has provided those extremists with their most potent source of strength. Why let them keep it?

Lawsuit: Former Fox Host Had Digital Devices “Spied On” By Fox After Reporting Sexual Harassment

  • According to NPR’s David Folkenflik, Andrea Tantaros, former Fox News host and plaintiff in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the network and its former CEO Roger Ailes, has presented a new lawsuit against the network.
  • As reported by NPR, Tantaros’ lawsuit says that “Fox News executives including co-President Bill Shine orchestrated the use of material gathered by electronic eavesdropping that was fed to Twitter accounts acting on the network's behalf.” According to multiple articles, Shine has reportedly participated in retaliation campaigns against women who have reported sexual harassment within the network and has “pushed women into confidential mediation, signing nondisclosure agreements in exchange for their contracts to be paid.”
  • This is not the first time Fox has been accused of spying on the women who report sexual harassment: in 2004, the network paid private investigator and former network contributor Bo Dietl “to dig up information” about former producer Andrea Mackris, who reported sexual harassment from now-ousted Fox host Bill O’Reilly.
  • It’s also not the first time a company owned by Murdoch has been accused of hacking or spying.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | April 24, 2017, 8:17 pm

Spicer Channels Trump's Fierce Urgency Of Whenever On Vote Timing

  • A week after Donald Trump told reporters he hoped to "get both" a spending bill and a Trumpcare 2.0 vote—and then pledged an all-caps “TAX REFORM AND TAX REDUCTION" roll out to punctuate his first 100 days in office, press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday was a lot more like, yeah, whenever.
  • xSpicer says health care vote will happen when Ryan has the votes: "if it's this week, great, or if it's next week or the week after..."— Domenico Montanaro (@DomenicoNPR) April 24, 2017
  • Of course, this is exactly what Paul Ryan told his GOP colleagues about the health care measure during a weekend conference call: When we have the votes (i.e.
  • Trump is so desperate for a legislative win right now, he's taken to downplaying expectations and declaring victory in a single tweet: (Kerry Eleveld) / Daily Kos | April 24, 2017, 6:06 pm

<i>The Atlantic </i> Politics & Policy Daily: Guess Who’s Barack In Town

Today in 5 Lines

During his first public remarks since leaving the White House, former President Barack Obama avoided weighing in on the new administration and encouraged students to become politically involved. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn are expected to meet with congressional leaders to discuss tax reform on Tuesday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters that President Trump could help avert a government shutdown if he stopped insisting on the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump congratulated astronaut Peggy Whitson for breaking the U.S. record for the most time spent in space, calling it a “special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight.” Workers in New Orleans removed a monument to an 1874 white-supremacist uprising, and will soon remove statues commemorating Confederate leaders.

Today on The Atlantic

  • A Flawed Grading Scale: Two U.S. historians explain why the 100-day mark does not serve as a fitting metric to evaluate a president’s performance. (Julian E. Zelizer and Morton Keller)

  • Representing Anne Frank?: The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect has emerged as one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive critics. Emma Green takes a look at the organization’s recent transformation and founding—which is not what they’ve claimed.

  • Trump’s Reckoning: On Sunday, the Associated Press released the full transcript of its interview with President Trump. The conversation, writes David A. Graham, reveals the president coming to terms “with how little he understands the government.”

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with youth leaders at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago to discuss strategies for community organization and civic engagement. Kamil Krzaczynski / Reuters

What We’re Reading

The Status on Russia: In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee launched its probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Since then, the panel has made little progress in the investigation, and partisan divisions threaten to further derail it. (Michael Isikoff, Yahoo)

Macron Can’t Fix France: French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is “the candidate of the status quo,” writes John O’Sullivan, and if he wins the presidency, he’s likely to worsen France’s national crisis, rather than help it. (National Review)

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: FBI Director James Comey tried to avoid the appearance of partisan bias within the bureau. His handling of investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump not only politicized the agency—it also shaped the 2016 election. (Matt Apuzzo, Michael S. Schmidt, Adam Goldman, Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times)

Trump Is Watching: “Television is often the guiding force of his day, both weapon and scalpel, megaphone and news feed,” write Ashley Parker and Robert Costa. It’s also become the medium through which White House officials and foreign leaders can reach him. (The Washington Post)

Empty Threats: During a three-hour town hall session, Idaho Representative Raúl Labrador wasn’t criticized for opposing the GOP health-care bill—a sign that many Freedom Caucus members “face little pressure from constituents to toe the party leadership line as more legislative fights loom.” (Katie Glueck, McClatchy DC)


‘Believe Me’: CNN analyzed President Trump’s public statements during his first three months in office. View these illustrations to learn which phrases he uses the most and what they say about his style as a communicator.

Question of the Week

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner has been a D.C. tradition since 1921, with journalists and administration officials coming together once a year to eat, drink, and roast the current president. President Trump won’t be attending this year’s dinner, which takes place on Saturday, but he did attend the dinner in 2011, when then-President Obama made a few jokes at Trump’s expense.

What jokes or moments stand out to you from past dinners?

Send your answers to and our favorites will be featured in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) and Candice Norwood (@cjnorwoodwrites)

Networks Covering March For Science Provided Platform For Climate Deniers

  • On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators participated in the March for Science in Washington, D.C., and sister marches around the globe.
  • The April 22 edition of CNN’s New Day Saturday featured a guest panel discussing the marches that included Bill Nye the Science Guy and physicist William Happer, a climate change denier.
  • Nye rebutted Happer in each instance and expressed his disappointment with CNN’s decision to host the climate change denier, stating, “I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change.” Indeed, the segment was in line with CNN’s typical approach of elevating conflict among panelists over truth telling.
  • On the same day, CBS Weekend News aired a segment on the marches, as well as a report on rapidly melting Arctic ice and the future impacts of climate change.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | April 24, 2017, 5:13 pm

Road To Single-Payer: Fighting For Universal Health Care At The Federal Level

  • This is part 3 of Jon Walker’s series on health care and the path to universal, affordable coverage in the United States.
  • Politics is what stops the United States from adopting a functioning universal health care system.
  • Based on past Supreme Court decisions, there are no constitutional or legal reasons Congress couldn’t simply adopt something like Medicare For All.
  • Therefore, it is purely politics, which has left millions without coverage—millions who can’t afford care—and almost everyone dramatically overpaying for their care.
Jon Walker / Shadowproof | April 24, 2017, 3:48 pm

Midday Open Thread: French Election, Confederate Monuments And Hate

  • If Trump in the White House can't stop Democratic circular firing squads, we really are finished, by Ian Reifowitz
  • The YUGE job losses Trump is ignoring: Retail workers, by Sher Watts Spooner
  • If progressives win locally, the national wins will follow, by Egberto Willies
  • The activist's dilemma: Extreme protest tactics decrease support for movement, by David Akadjian (Barbara Morrill) / Daily Kos | April 24, 2017, 3:05 pm

'I Never Realized How Big It Was'

Every president faces a steep learning curve when he enters the presidency. There is, as John F. Kennedy, wrote, no school for commanders in chief. Yet even by that standard, recent interviews show a Donald Trump who is genuinely surprised by the size of his duties, the interests he must balance, and the methods required to get that done.

On Sunday, the Associated Press released a transcript of an interview with the president last week. It deserves to be read in full: It captures his constant evasiveness on facts, preferring hyperbole, for example, and his detachment from reality—when asked about a “contract with the American voter” on what he’d achieve in 100 days, Trump dismisses it, saying, “Somebody put out the concept of a hundred-day plan.”

Yet while Trump can be evasive, and he is often deeply misleading, the AP interview and another recent discussion with The Wall Street Journal are fascinating documents for what they show about a president reckoning frankly with how little he understands the government.

“The financial cost of everything is so massive, every agency,” Trump told the AP. “This is thousands of times bigger, the United States, than the biggest company in the world. The second-largest company in the world is the Defense Department. The third-largest company in the world is Social Security. The fourth-largest—you know, you go down the list …. And every agency is, like, bigger than any company. So you know, I really just see the bigness of it all, but also the responsibility.”

Trump is right, but the government has long been enormous. What is different is that Trump ended up in the Oval Office having expressed little interest in how the government worked over the preceding decades of his life, and barely more during the presidential campaign. While he demonstrated an prodigious, intuitive grasp of electoral politics, policy held little interest for him; and because, despite that intuitive grasp, he did not expect to win the election, he did little to prepare himself.

During the campaign, Trump boasted that if elected he could cram and catch up, and now that process is in action. Some of what Trump is learning is purely factual—such as the size of the government, or his new understanding of how the Export-Import Bank functions. According to Peter Baker, Trump only asked how surveillance worked after he lobbed a wholly unsubstantiated claim of wiretapping at Barack Obama. Discussing his decision not to brand China a currency manipulator, as he had promised during the campaign, he told the AP, “But President Xi [Jinping], from the time I took office, he has not, they have not been currency manipulators.” This is true—but China quit devaluing its currency in 2014, long before Trump entered office.

But many of his revelations concern the human dimension of his job. His central new insight seems to be that in the world of politics, the personal is far more important than he realized. This might be a surprise from a man often described (sometimes pejoratively, but often not) as “transactional,” but as Trump notes, “Here, everything, pretty much everything you do in government, involves heart, whereas in business, most things don't involve heart … In fact, in business you're actually better off without it.”

One good example of how this manifests itself is the decision to strike Syria with missile strikes after a chemical attack by the Assad government. His quick change of position—from being staunchly against intervention against Assad to launching airstrikes—was dizzying, but seemed to be largely an emotional reaction to the horror of images from the strike. Yet despite tough talk about the military, he had apparently never grappled with one reality of being commander in chief up until then:

When it came time to, as an example, send out the 59 missiles, the Tomahawks in Syria. I'm saying to myself, “You know, this is more than just like, 79 [sic] missiles. This is death that's involved,” because people could have been killed. This is risk that's involved, because if the missile goes off and goes in a city or goes in a civilian area—you know, the boats were hundreds of miles away—and if this missile goes off and lands in the middle of a town or a hamlet .... every decision is much harder than you'd normally make.

Even where human life is not involved, basic human emotions are. Discussing the question of Chinese currency manipulation, Trump acknowledged that even if Beijing were still devaluing, he might be unable to pressure the government too forcefully

“But more importantly than him not being a currency manipulator the bigger picture, bigger than even currency manipulation, if he's helping us with North Korea, with nuclear and all of the things that go along with it, who would call, what am I going to do, say, ‘By the way, would you help us with North Korea? And also, you're a currency manipulator.’?” Trump asked. “It doesn't work that way.”

The president is, of course, correct: It’s very hard to get a country to cooperate with you on a critical issue of national security if you’re starting a trade war with them on the side. But Trump’s campaign was constructed on the premise that you could do that, and with just a little more tough talk against the Chinese, just a little rougher rhetoric toward Iran, just a little more willingness to speak about “radical Islamic terror,” these problems would be manageable. It wasn’t so long ago that Trump was branding Obama a weakling for refusing to act more harshly.

It will be interesting to see how lasting Trump’s new view is, and how effectively he can adapt to it. As he has said, in the business world, he could be motivated by the profit motive alone—and occasionally by the impulse to revenge. “Get even with people,” he said in Australia in 2011. “If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it.”

By contrast, his rival in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, had a much softer view of what leadership required. “I know it’s not usual for somebody running for president to say what we need more of in this country is love and kindness,” she said in June. “But that’s exactly what we need more of.”

That’s strikingly similar to what the president told the AP last week.

“You have to love people,” he said, sounding far more like the Hillary Clinton of 2016 than the Donald Trump who was running against her.

<em>Wash. Post </em>Highlights GOP’s Latest Attack On The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

  • A Washington Post column highlighted the latest attempt by congressional Republicans to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a longtime target of the banking lobby and right-wing media outlets intent on unwinding public protections put in place after the financial crisis.
  • On April 21, Washington Post financial columnist Michelle Singletary called attention to an attempt by Republican lawmakers to block new protections from the CFPB that would give prepaid card users federal guarantees similar to those afforded to credit and debit card users.
  • On this issue, it comes down to this: Opponents of the new rules object to helping people who can least afford a whole bunch of fees so that card companies can make more money off them.
  • On April 21, the right-wing website The New American published a column by conservative commentator Veronique de Rugy slamming the new CFPB rules, claiming these basic protections are an attempt to strangle innovative products with “excessive regulation.” Similar attacks on the CFPB’s prepaid card rules were pushed by conservative think tanks the Institute for Liberty, Americans for Tax Reform and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | April 24, 2017, 2:12 pm