Don’t get me wrong; I’m as depressed as anyone else about the outcome of the election, and Trump’s selections for his transition team, including the editor of Breitbart, are infinitely depressing. Tomorrow I’m returning to a country that I don’t know any more, and one I don’t understand.
And seriously, Trump is still tweeting? The man has no gravitas, and will get no respect for world leaders (except, perhaps, Putin). Here’s what the loudmouth said recently, despite his own words that show that he’s okay with nuclear proliferation:
But it doesn’t help when liberals, desperate to find someone to blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss, turn to nearly anything as a putative cause of our country’s debacle. (Even Clinton, in my view, eroded her dignity by trying to blame her loss on FBI director James Comey and his last-minute “investigation” of her emails.)
For instance, you see below a PuffHo headline claiming that Facebook was responsible for Donald Trump’s victory. When you click on it (as you can do in the screenshot below), you’ll find that the accusation goes to a New York Times article with a much milder title, “Facebook, in cross hairs after election, is said to question its influence.”
And if you read that story, and others, you’ll find that Zuckerberg’s supposed influence on the election was due to Facebook’s allowing people to spread false news stories biased in favor of Trump, and—God forbid—allowing like-minded people to talk to and influence each other on their Facebook pages.
Even as Facebook has outwardly defended itself as a nonpartisan information source — Mark. Zuckerberg, chairman and chief executive, said at a conference on Thursday that Facebook affecting the election was “a pretty crazy idea” — many company executives and employees have been asking one another if, or how, they shaped the minds, opinions and votes of Americans.
Some employees are worried about the spread of racist and so-called alt-right memes across the network, according to interviews with 10 current and former Facebook employees. Others are asking whether they contributed to a “filter bubble” among users who largely interact with people who share the same beliefs.
Inside Facebook, employees have become more aware of the company’s role in media after several incidents involving content the social network displayed inusers’ news feeds.
In May, the company grappled with accusations that politically biased employees were censoring some conservative stories and websites in Facebook’s Trending Topics section, a part of the site that shows the most talked-about stories and issues on Facebook. Facebook later laid off the Trending Topics team.
In September, Facebook came under fire for removing a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a naked 9-year-old girl, Phan Thi Kim Phuc, as she fled napalm bombs during the Vietnam War. The social network took down the photo for violating its nudity standards, even though the picture was an illustration of the horrors of war rather than child pornography.
And finally, PuffHo just made this blatant accusation about Steve Bannon, chairman of the right-wing site Breitbart and now appointed by Trump to be his Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor when he’s President:
But if you clicked on the post, which I can’t find any more, you’d have gone to this NBC News article:
That is from August 27, when Bannon was Trump’s chief campaign organizer. Is he an anti-Semite? Perhaps, but the article that proves it says only that Bannon’s ex-wife accused him of making three anti-Semitic remarks—remarks that came to light when Politico scrutinized the legal record’s of Bannon’s highly contentious divorce battle:
The court declaration from the ex-wife outlined three separate anti-Semitic remarks that Bannon allegedly made as she toured some of the most elite private schools in the Los Angeles area for their daughters.
. . . Preate [Alexandra Preate, Bannon’s spokesperson] denied the claims about Archer in an email to NBC News on Friday.
“At the time, Mr. Bannon never said anything like that and proudly sent the girls to Archer for their middle school and high school educations,” Preate said.
NBC News reached out again on Saturday to Preate regarding the alleged comments concerning the other schools, but was unable to reach the spokeswoman.
Unlike in the domestic violence case against Bannon, the ex-wife’s allegations of anti-Semitism weren’t supported by a separate police claim or report.
Well, the remarks, which you can read at the site, do suggest some bias against Jews, but there’s nothing like the open-and-shut accusations of antisemitism leveled by PuffHo (and all they did was link to the NBC article).
Bannon appears to be a nasty piece of work: he was charged by the police for three misdemeanor incidents of domestic violence, battery, and dissuading a witness. These charges were later dropped. He has made Breitbart into an over-the-top website of right-wing distortion, the exact counterpart of PuffHo’s liberal histrionics.
Tomorrow I’ll return to a country that has changed immensely since I left. We will lose Obama and gain a doltish clown, and I fear for our Republic. But the solution is not to try to affix blame to Trump’s victory, or distort what’s happening in the service of our own ideology. Our job is to figure out what we can to to slow the Trump juggernaut without violating the democratic values the Left espouses. Huffpo will go on distorting, lying, and wringing its hands, but it’s become irrelevant. It is doing exactly what they accuse Zuckerberg of doing: creating a bubble of opinion that tolerates no dissent.
And both NBC News and the New York Times should force PuffHo to stop linking to their articles while giving them misleading headlines.