Is this the new normal? Trump threatens the press (again)

US President Donald Trump walks out from the White House.
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Donald Trump has been back at his habitual tweet storming this week, threatening the news media (again/still) and suggesting that network licenses should be revoked “if appropriate”.

Huh?

Yep, it’s the latest episode in the ongoing saga of The President v The Press.

Exhibit A:

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With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!

Exhibit B:

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Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!

There was also this comment, during a meeting with Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office.

“It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write,” he said.

This sparked howls of protest from all and sundry questioning the President’s understanding of the First Amendment.

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The attack by Trump on the first amendment today is likely the most Un American sentiment ever uttered by a POTUS. Can’t think of another

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We looked into it, @realDonaldTrump. It’s called the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. You should check it out some time.

You get the drift. So, we’re back to a version of American normal then, post the spate of natural disasters, right?

Mmm, not so much.

A screenshot of the NBC story with the headline:

Bushfires hit California and Puerto Rico struggles to recover

California has been hit with a wave of devastating bushfireswhich have cut through the prime wine growing regions north of San Francisco, burning thousands of properties and killing dozens.

Hundreds of people have been injured, many are homeless and hundreds remain missing (at least in part due to downed communications.)

It’s more rough news for communities and emergency services in a nation that’s experienced multiple hurricanes, a mass shooting and now a bushfire disaster in the space of just a few weeks.

And just on that, there’s the ongoing issue of Puerto Rico.

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…We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!

The island territory’s governor said:

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The U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are requesting the support that any of our fellow citizens would receive across our Nation.

And emergency agency FEMA said:

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FEMA will be with Puerto Rico, USVI, every state, territory impacted by a disaster every day, supporting throughout their response & recovery

Note that about 80 per cent of Puerto Ricans still have no electricity, about half have no phone service and millions are still without safe water supplies.

There’s been a deadly outbreak of leptospirosis — which is contracted via contact with animal urine, commonly via contaminated food and water — and there are reports people are drinking from wells affected by hazardous waste.

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The EPA cites reports of Puerto Ricans “obtaining, or trying to obtain, drinking water from wells at hazardous waste “Superfund” sites”

All of this is happening because of a storm that hit A MONTH AGO.

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Puerto Rico’s unbelievably slow recovery in 2 depressing charts | By Chris Cillizza and Sam Petulla

Sigh.

(That said, the House has passed a $ US36.5 billion disaster relief package for hurricane-hit areas, but it won’t face the Senate until next week at the earliest. Fingers crossed.)

Harvey Weinstein scandal rocking Hollywood

Harvey Weinstein grins on the red carpet

Speaking of storms, there’s another one in Hollywood after a series of explosive articles about the behaviour of high-flying producer Harvey Weinstein.

It began with this piece in The New York Times in which several women alleged they had been paid off over decades after making claims of sexual harassment and assault against the producer.

It was then followed up with an extensive piece in The New Yorker detailing a series of allegations by more women about his vile behaviour.

Weinstein has been fired by his company since the revelations, which have tapped a rich well of actresses who are now shoulder to shoulder adding their own experiences to the stories told in print.

His behaviour towards women was well known in Hollywood, although several actors including George Clooney have claimed they thought him lecherous rather than dangerous.

It’s opened a huge Pandora’s Box about who knew what, when, who was protecting who, why news organisations (who had previously investigated Weinstein) didn’t publish earlier and why the whole sordid culture of a powerful producer demanding sexual favours and threatening to ruin careers if they weren’t given has been tolerated for so long.

This one has some way to run yet peeps.

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Emma Thompson tells us the Harvey Weinstein allegations are just the tip of the iceberg of a wider and systemic problem in Hollywood

ICYMI, this is what else happened this week

US may withdraw from UNESCO

The State Department says the United States will withdraw from UNESCO at the end of 2018 due to a so-called “anti-Israel bias”.

It’s the second time the US has withdrawn from the body it helped to establish after World War II — the first was in 1984 under the Reagan administration due to a perceived “pro-Soviet” bias of the organisation

Iran Deal

There’s also the declassification of the Iran Deal (which I’ll be writing about elsewhere.)

US missed out on the World Cup

Oh, and the US (men’s) soccer team missed the cut for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

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Actually, only the men

(This is pretty wow considering the population of America compared to those that did make it through.)

On a final sporting note

Congrats to Nathan Walker, the first ever Australian to play in America’s National Hockey League.

After years of true dedication, including living away from his family since he was 13, Nathan played his first game for the Washington Capitals last weekend.

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Very cool day at work with @NathanWalks10 @Capitals see our piece on @abcnews this weekend. #NiceGuysFinishFirst

Nice guys DO finish first, right?

Until next week.

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