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FTR #937 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 11: Settling In (The Underground Reich Comes into Plain View, Part 4)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by early winter of 2016. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more.) (The previous flash drive was current through the end of May of 2012.)

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You can subscribe to the comments made on programs and posts–an excellent source of information in, and of, itself HERE [4].

This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment [5].

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump [6]

Waffen SS-clad World War II re-enactors, in original photo used by Trump

Introduction: This program sets forth some of the incoming Trump administration’s implementation of what Mr. Emory has long referred to as “The Underground Reich.” Now, the Underground Reich is coming into plain view, transformed into a triumphant mass political movement.

This broadcast is, obviously, the eleventh in the series about what we have termed “The Trumpenkampfverbande.”

As the movement takes power we take note of:

Much of the program focuses on the media and communication and the corruption of the very concept of truth and the profession of journalism. The growing, dominant phenomenon of fake news was a major factor in the campaign. The growth of social media [15], the role of WikiLeaks and the proclivity of Donald Trump and those around him for tweeting disinformation are heralding the transformation of journalism into propaganda.

Among the adherents to unsubstantiated “fake news” [16] (terrifyingly) is Trump’s selection for CIA director, Mike Pompeo: ” . . . . Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Trump’s pick for CIA director, was described by The Washington Post editorial board as “one of the more fanatical purveyors of conspiracy theories about the 2011 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.” At a hearing last year, Pompeo insinuated that Clinton had used the Benghazi consulate for a gun-running operation. . . .”

Contributing editor Pterrafractyl posted a comment [17] on FTR #931 [12] about Trump’s pick to be National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn and his son and advisor Michael Flynn, Jr. Flynn is a big fan of fake news and, like Trump, uses Twitter to disseminate it. His son is a chip off the old block, in this sense.

Key features of the posted comment and the discussion of it include:

Trump’s assault on the press featured a blistering attack [26] on broadcast journalists called by Trump to meet with him.

Donald Trump is among a number of billionaires who are working to muzzle a free press. Trump says he wants to loosen the libel laws [27]. Coming at a time when the growth of the internet and social media have placed the working press in dire economic straits and with Trump set to appoint federal judges, including supreme court judges, we may well see the very concept of a free press nullified altogether.

The program closes with ruminations about coming assaults on intellectual and academic freedom and the meaning of “free speech.”

Program Highlights Include:

1a. We begin with “alt-right” luminary Richard B. Spencer’s greeting [8] to his followers at a meeting held a few blocks from the White House a couple of weeks after Trump’s victory:

” ‘Hail Trump’ White Nationalists Salute the President Elect” by Daniel Lambroso and Yoni Applebaum; The Atlantic; 11/21/2016. [8]

“Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

That’s how Richard B. Spencer saluted more than 200 attendees on Saturday, gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, which describes itself as “an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of  people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.” . . .

1b. Spencer referenced Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda, racial theory and attacks on the media in that same address [9]:

“Alt-Right Exults in Trump’s Election with a Salute: ‘Heil Victory’ ” by Joseph Goldstein; The New York Times; 11/20/2016.  [9]

By the time Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement and the final speaker of the night, rose to address a gathering of his followers on Saturday, the crowd was restless. . . .

. . . . He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.” . . .

. . . Mr. Spencer’s after-dinner speech began with a polemic against the “mainstream media,” before he briefly paused. “Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German?” he said.

The audience immediately screamed back, “Lügenpresse,” reviving a Nazi-era word that means “lying press.”

Mr. Spencer suggested that the news media had been critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign in order to protect Jewish interests…

. . . “One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,” he said, referring to a Jewish fable about the golem, a clay giant that a rabbi brings to life to protect the Jews. . . .

. . . .Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Spencer said, was “the victory of will,” a phrase that echoed the title of the most famous Nazi-era propaganda film. . . .

1c.Trump’s chief White House advisor, “Alt-Right” publishing kingpin Stephen P. Bannon described himself as an “economic nationalist” and discussed how exciting the coming period will be. He also referenced elements he thought were good exemplars of “darkness.”

“Steve Bannon Speaks out on White Nationalism, Donald Trump Agenda” by Reena Flores; CBS News; 11/19/2016. [10]

. . . . . “I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over.”

It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.” . . . .

. . . .  Bannon, in the Reporter interview, also gave some insight into how he viewed his political foes (presumably, liberals and the media) — and the “darkness” he touts in fighting against them.

“Darkness is good,” Bannon said. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they…get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.”

1d. In a New York Times op-ed piece, Charles Blow heralded what is coming:

“Making America White Again” by Charles Blow; The New York Times; 11/21/2016. [12]

This may well be the beginning of the end: the early moments of a historical pivot point, when the slide of the republic into something untoward and unrecognizable still feels like a small collection of poor judgments and reversible decisions, rather than the forward edge of an enormous menace inching its way forward and grinding up that which we held dear and foolishly thought, as lovers do, would ever endure. . . .

. . . . In October, Flynn tweeted:

“Follow Mike @Cernovich He has a terrific book, Gorilla Mindset. Well worth the read. @realDonaldTrump will win on 8 NOV!!!”

The New Yorker dubbed Mike Cernovich “the meme mastermind of the alt-right” in a lengthy profile.

The magazine pointed out:

“On his blog, Cernovich developed a theory of white-male identity politics: men were oppressed by feminism, and political correctness prevented the discussion of obvious truths, such as the criminal proclivities of certain ethnic groups.” . . . .

. . . . But not all of Sessions’s issues regarding minorities have a 30-year vintage.

In response to the attorney general announcement, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a statement that read in part:

“But we cannot support his nomination to be the country’s next attorney general. Senator Sessions not only has been a leading opponent of sensible, comprehensive immigration reform, he has associated with anti-immigrant groups we consider to be deeply racist, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Center for Security Policy.”

Indeed, FAIR was quick to congratulate Sessions on his nomination Friday, saying in a statement: “It’s hard to imagine a better pick for the attorney general position than Senator Jeff Sessions”; the group called on Sessions to rid the country of sanctuary cities.

The S.P.L.C. has written about FAIR, saying:

“FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements. Its advertisements have been rejected because of racist content. FAIR’s founder, John Tanton, has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population: a goal to be achieved, presumably, by limiting the number of nonwhites who enter the country.” . . . .

3. Trump and many of his key appointees are big fans of “fake news.”

“Conspiracy Peddlers Continue Pushing Debunked ‘Pizzagate’ Tale” by Hannah Allum; McClatchy DC; 12/5/2016. [16]

One might think that police calling the motive a “fictitious conspiracy theory” would put an end to the claim that inspired a gunman from North Carolina to attack a family pizzeria in Washington over the weekend.

Nope.

On Monday, those who share the assailant’s alleged suspicions that Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager operated a child sex ring in the basement of the Washington restaurant took it up a notch.

The gunman, they said in Reddit and other online forums where the original fake news story originated, had a brief film career in a horror movie, so the next logical leap was that he was hired by the Clinton camp to stage a false-flag operation to discredit President-elect Donald Trump. Further “proof”, they claimed, was that a security camera that might’ve captured the incident had been removed just before it happened.

Such claims once were confined to the netherworld of staged moon landings and 9/11 deniers, but now they’re seeping into the mainstream – with dangerous real-world consequences, as Sunday’s incident shows.

Trump has yet to condemn the torrent of fake news that’s accompanied his rise to power, a chilling prospect for civil rights advocates, who fear that the so-called “pizzagate” debacle portends more violence from vigilantes inspired by baseless claims.

“It’s deeply troubling that some of those false reports could lead to violence,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing Monday. Earnest said the proliferation of false reports had a “corrosive effect” on the political climate.

Trump hasn’t addressed the fake news and conspiracy theories that bounce around online communities of his supporters until they’re accepted as fact. Perhaps that’s because several of his advisers and Cabinet picks – soon to be among the most powerful people in the country – regularly traffic in the same hokum. More than half the people Trump has picked so far for top administration posts have long histories of spewing conspiracy theories and making racist or bigoted assertions with no evidence.

When Vice President-elect Mike Pence was in Congress, according to the Los Angeles Times, he asserted without any scientific backup that material in the 2001 anthrax scare had been genetically modified to make it more lethal – possibly by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Trump’s national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has used Twitter to praise white supremacists, malign Muslims and spread baseless claims linking the Clintons to a sex cult.

His son, Michael Flynn Jr., who served as his dad’s chief of staff, has given credence to the so-called “pizzagate” tale and has smeared top Clinton aide Huma Abedin as a Muslim extremist and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as a closeted gay cocaine addict. CNN reported that the younger Flynn has an email address affiliated with Trump’s transition team.

Follow
Michael G Flynn?? @mflynnJR
Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many “coincidences” tied to it. https://twitter.com/jackposobiec/status/805559273426141184 …
7:13 PM – 4 Dec 2016
2,557 2,557 Retweets   3,456 3,456 likes
Trump’s pick for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the neurosurgeon and failed presidential candidate Ben Carson, has a particularly long track record of espousing questionable beliefs. He’s called Planned Parenthood a conspiracy to control the black population and cited prison rape as evidence that homosexuality is a choice, positions Salon summed up in a piece headlined “Ben Carson is plain nuts.”

Carson’s also suggested that President Barack Obama is involved in a communist plot to bring down the country and he’s said that a Muslim shouldn’t be allowed to serve as president – a stance that violates the U.S. Constitution.

Steve Bannon, Trump’s pick for senior White House strategist, is the former executive of Breitbart, which he’s described as a platform for the so-called “alt-right” white nationalist movement. The publication has a history of luridly sexist, racist and homophobic headlines. Bannon also has disparaged feminists as “a bunch of dykes.” His selection was opposed by Democrats, some Republicans and virtually every civil rights watchdog in the country.

Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Trump’s pick for CIA director, was described by The Washington Post editorial board as “one of the more fanatical purveyors of conspiracy theories about the 2011 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.” At a hearing last year, Pompeo insinuated that Clinton had used the Benghazi consulate for a gun-running operation. . . .

4. Contributing editor Pterrafractyl gives us analysis in a comment [17] of the fake news phenomenon, Michael Flynn Sr. and his son and advisor Michael Flynn, jr.

“Here’s another sign of the times: It looks like “Pizzagate” – a hoax conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton and John Podesta running a child sex ring out of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria that was cooked up days before the 2016 election and aggressive spread on social media – is still going strong. At least some minds. Like the mind of the man who walked into the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria yesterday to “self-investigate” the hoax claims with a rifle and ended up threatening the staff and firing off a round.

And now, in wake if this incident, Michael G. Flynn, Jr., son and chief of staff of Donald Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn, is taking to Twitter to defend his father over accusations that Michael Flynn Sr. was promoting the Pizzgate hoax with potentially deadly consequences. Specifically, Flynn Jr. is defending his father by defending the Pizzagate hoax itself, asserting that the hoax should be considered a valid story until proven false.

But as the article below points out that despite the fact that Flynn Jr. jumped to the defense of father by defending Pizzagate, Flynn Sr. had never actually promoted Pizzagate. No, instead what Flynn Sr was promoting right before the election was the “Spirit Cooking” hoax, a different hoax that also purports to tie Hillary Clinton to Satanic rituals involving children.

So, to summarize:
1. A man just walked into a pizzeria that was the target of a “Hillary Clinton is part of a child sex ring” hoax and fired shots.
2. Folks pointed out that Michael Flynn Sr., Trump’s selected National Security Advisor, was pushing similar theories days before the election and therefore validating them in the minds of many.
3. Michael G. Flynn, Jr. replied with a tweet defending his dad by suggesting the Pizzagate hoax should be considered a real story until proven false.
4. And now we have to point out that Flynn Sr. wasn’t promoting Pizzagate. No, he was promoting “Spirit Cooking”, a different “Hillary Clinton is part of a child sex ring” hoax.

So that’s where we are. In a place where there’s such an aggressive promotion of far-right Fake News that we now have to take the pains to parse each of the separate hoaxes in order to accurately assess the public damage they’re doing. In other words, we now have to understand all the far-right conspiracy theories just to understand how much misunderstanding is taking root in our collective psyche and shaping reality [18]:

“The whole matter is a near-perfect microcosm of just how much fake news stories have penetrated our political process — so much so that we can’t even keep them straight. And it’s likely to lead to those who embrace conspiracy theories or simply distrust the mainstream media to believe Flynn was unfairly maligned for his tweet.”

Well, that exactly doesn’t well. Unless having the next National Security Advisor, and his advisor and son, peddle garbage happens to bode well:


But it’s also worth noting here the Flynns have trafficked in these kinds of bogus stories many times before. And even as Flynn Sr. can’t be specifically tied to fomenting the Comet Ping Pong rumors beforehand, his decision to pass along a baseless article about the Clintons and sex crimes makes conspiracy theories like Comet Ping Pong more believable. This stuff is becoming a scourge.

In addition, Flynn’s son isn’t someone who just happens to be related to an appointee to a major post in the Trump Cabinet. He’s someone who has advised his father at the highest level — making his embrace of baseless conspiracy theories a very legitimate issue. (In other words, this isn’t akin to a president’s black-sheep brother with no real role in an administration doing something objectionable.)

Update: CNN reports that Flynn Jr. now has a .gov email address [31], which suggests he’ll play a role in the Trump administration.

It’s probably worth noting that the story Flynn Sr. was promoting right before the election about the “Spirit Cooking” meme was about a Breitbart interview of Black Water founder Erik Prince and his assertion that arrests were going to happening soon [21] (arrests that never happened…big shocker!)

It’s probably also worth noting that Prince is the brother of Trump’s choice for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos [22].

So, yes, Donald Trump’s Education Secretary is the sister of the head mercenary who was pushing a fake story about a Satanic sex abduction ring that was tweeted about by Trump’s National Security Advisor. And when questions were raised about the role this promotion may have played in legitimizing a parallel hoax story about Hillary Clinton and a child sex ring, Trump’s National Security Advisor’s chief advisor, who also happens to be his son, defended his dad/boss by tweeting a defense of the parallel hoax story.

“Michael Flynn’s Tweet Wasn’t Actually about #PizzaGate, but His Son Is now Defending the Baseless Conspiracy Theory” by Aaron Blake; The Washington Post; 12/5/2016 [18]

There are so many fake tales floating around about the 2016 election that they appear to be getting confused for one another.

After a gunman who cited a Hillary Clinton-related conspiracy theory entered the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant in Washington on Sunday and fired one or more shots [32], reports and tweets pointed to Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, having fomented the rumors that apparently spurred the man.

Here’s Flynn’s tweet:

U decide – NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc…MUST READ! https://t.co/O0bVJT3QDr [33]— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) November 3, 2016 [34]

And here’s a sampling of the reactions:

1. Gen Flynn tweets about Fake HRC Comet Pizza conspiracy. 2. Comet gets threats. 3. Gunman enters Comet today. https://t.co/vS3cv2F6ui [35]— John Aravosis (@aravosis) December 4, 2016 [36]

That near-shooting in Washington DC was inspired by a conspiracy theory advanced by …. Mike Flynn https://t.co/cCuxaXYDrx [37]pic.twitter.com/3DudzOFiNX [38]— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) December 4, 2016 [39]

Except Flynn doesn’t actually appear to have tweeted something about Comet Ping Pong — not specifically.

Flynn did tweet a link involving dubious claims about the Clintons and sex crimes, and his social media presence is replete with [40] fake news and controversial comments about Muslims, which made it an easy conclusion to draw.

What’s more, his son Michael G. Flynn on Sunday did suggest there could be something to the PizzaGate rumors [19], basically defending his father as if he had tweeted about Comet Ping Pong and challenging the media to disprove the baseless claims. The younger Flynn served as his father’s chief of staff — his top aide — making his tweets about this bogus theory particularly significant.

Until #Pizzagate [20] proven to be false, it’ll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails [41] and the many “coincidences” tied to it. https://t.co/8HA9y30Yfp [42]— Michael G Flynn???? (@mflynnJR) December 5, 2016 [43]

Michael Flynn Jr. also tangled with CNN’s Jake Tapper, who sent him direct messages imploring him to stop breathing life into the rumors that apparently led to violence on Sunday at Comet Ping Pong. Flynn Jr. gleefully tweeted and retweeted the missives.

Jake.Tapper..still…..DMing me….a shame he doesn’t argue this hard on his network. @Cernovich [44]@bakedalaska [45]@PrisonPlanet [46]@JackPosobiec [47]https://t.co/EQ8KmRYEBF [48]— Michael G Flynn???? (@mflynnJR) December 5, 2016 [49]

Want evidence??? I must’ve really hit a nerve @Cernovich [44]@bakedalaska [45]@JackPosobiec [47]@PrisonPlanet [46]@Rambobiggs [50]@RealAlexJones [51]pic.twitter.com/wRlPX8lrPy [52]— Michael G Flynn???? (@mflynnJR) December 5, 2016 [53]

As for Michael Flynn Sr.’s original tweet, the confusion stemmed from fact that there are actually multiple dubious claims involving the Clintons, human trafficking and sex crimes. One involves Comet Ping Pong — a theory which involves “dozens of made-up articles about Mrs. Clinton kidnapping, molesting and trafficking children [54]” — and another involves billionaire donor and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s ties to the Clintons.

At least the latter connection isn’t entirely based in fantasy. Here’s our Fact Checker’s summary [55]:

After leaving office, Bill Clinton was occasionally a passenger on aircraft owned by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein [56]. (Epstein was also a regular visitor to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, and Trump was a dinner guest at Epstein’s home.) Gawker reported [57] that flight logs show that Clinton, among others, traveled through Africa in 2002 on a jet with “an actress in soft-core porn movies whose name appears in Epstein’s address book under an entry for ‘massages.’” Chauntae Davies, the actress, declined to discuss why she was on the flight. Clinton has not commented.

The Epstein case isn’t a full-fledged conspiracy theory in and of itself, but it has resulted in all manner of allegations involving the Clintons. An example from the New York Post: “‘Sex slave’ claims Bill Clinton visited Epstein’s ‘orgy island. [58]Here’s more [59], if you’re curious. And as the Fact Checker noted, Trump has his own very real ties to Epstein.

The link that Flynn tweeted appears to refer not to alleged Clinton-related sex crimes at Comet Ping Pong but rather makes explicit reference to Epstein. After citing anonymous New York Police Department sources linking Clinton to “child exploitation” and “sex crimes with minors,” among other crimes, the article from far-right website True Pundit points to the Epstein case:

The new emails contain travel documents and itineraries indicating Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Weiner and multiple members of Congress and other government officials accompanied convicted pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein on his Boeing 727 on multiple occasions to his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, sources said. Epstein’s island has also been dubbed Orgy Island or Sex Slave Island where Epstein allegedly pimps out underage girls and boys to international dignitaries.

Both NYPD and FBI sources confirm based on the new emails they now believe Hillary Clinton traveled as Epstein’s guest on at least six occasions, probably more when all the evidence is combed, sources said. Bill Clinton, it has been confirmed in media reports spanning recent years, that he too traveled with Epstein over 20 times to the island.

Comet Ping Pong is not referenced by True Pundit — either explicitly or implicitly. And in fact, the Reddit posting that spawned what’s come to be known as “PizzaGate” (the thread has now been taken down by Reddit [60]) is from Nov. 4, according to Snopes [61] — two days after the True Pundit article posted on Nov. 2.

The whole matter is a near-perfect microcosm of just how much fake news stories have penetrated our political process — so much so that we can’t even keep them straight. And it’s likely to lead to those who embrace conspiracy theories or simply distrust the mainstream media to believe Flynn was unfairly maligned for his tweet.

But it’s also worth noting here the Flynns have trafficked in these kinds of bogus stories many times before. And even as Flynn Sr. can’t be specifically tied to fomenting the Comet Ping Pong rumors beforehand, his decision to pass along a baseless article about the Clintons and sex crimes makes conspiracy theories like Comet Ping Pong more believable. This stuff is becoming a scourge.

In addition, Flynn’s son isn’t someone who just happens to be related to an appointee to a major post in the Trump Cabinet. He’s someone who has advised his father at the highest level — making his embrace of baseless conspiracy theories a very legitimate issue. (In other words, this isn’t akin to a president’s black-sheep brother with no real role in an administration doing something objectionable.)

Update: CNN reports that Flynn Jr. now has a .gov email address [31], which suggests he’ll play a role in the Trump administration.

But in this case, it is not fair to tie Flynn Sr. directly to what happened Sunday afternoon in Washington. Critics will argue this is a distinction without a difference — that Flynn fomented rumors that contributed to the perception that the Clintons were involved in all manner of unholy things. But when it comes to combating fake news, it’s worth being as specific and accurate as possible.

6. Donald Trump is among a number of billionaires who are working to muzzle a free press. Trump says he wants to loosen the libel laws. Coming at a time when the growth of the internet and social media have placed the working press in dire economic straits and with Trump set to appoint federal judges, including supreme court judges, we may well see the very concept of a free press nullified altogether.

“Stop the Presses” by Emily Bazelon; The New York Times Magazine; 11/27/2016.  [27]

. . . . As a candidate, Trump blustered vaguely [62] that he wanted to “open up our libel laws.” I asked his spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, by email what he meant by that, but she didn’t answer the question (or others I posed). It’s not within the president’s direct powers to change the rules for libel suits. But our legal safeguards for writers and publishers aren’t foolproof. In the last few years, Trump has been joined by at least two billionaires who are determined to exploit cracks in the wall of defense around the press. The members of this club are innovators. They have sued or funded suits to defend reputations or protect privacy. But an underlying aim appears to be to punish critics like O’Brien or even destroy entire media outlets.

This kind of manipulation of the law is unfolding at a keen moment of weakness for the press, which has already been buffeted by falling revenue and mounting public disaffection. Only 40 percent of the public — the lowest rate since at least the 1990s — trusts the media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly,” according to a Gallup survey [63] conducted in September 2015. This mistrust has been growing for a long time, but it was stoked by Trump during the campaign. He called the reporters who covered him “scum” and whipped up yelling and booing crowds. There is no consensus among his supporters that the press should hold those in power accountable. A recent Pew survey [64] found that only half of Trump backers agreed that it was important in a strong democracy that “news organizations are free to criticize political leaders.” . . .

7. Representative of Trump’s assault on the press was his “in your face” scalding of broadcast media figures.

“Trump Calls TV Figures to a Private Meeting, and Lets Them Have It” by Michael M. Grynbaum and Sydney Ember; The New York Times; 11/22/2106. [26]

. . . . Mr. Trump, whose antagonism toward the news media was unusual even for a modern presidential candidate, described the television networks as dishonest in their reporting and shortsighted in missing the signs of his upset victory. He criticized some in the room by name, including CNN’s president, Jeffrey A. Zucker, according to multiple people briefed on the meeting who were granted anonymity to describe confidential discussions.

It is not unusual for journalists to agree to off-the-record sessions with prominent politicians, including President Obama, as a way to gain insights and develop relationships.

But after details of Mr. Trump’s hectoring leaked on Monday in The New York Post, it seemed the meeting was being used as a political prop, especially after Trump-friendly news outlets trumpeted the session as a take-no-prisoners move by a brave president-elect.

“Trump Slams Media Elite, Face to Face,” blared the Drudge Report. “Trump Eats Press,” wrote Breitbart News. . . .

8. Trump’s rise is being accompanied by significant moves to restrict academic freedom. A “Dangerous Professors” list was generated and disseminated online by a right-wing student group. Consider this in light of the appointment of Blackwater founder and fake news adherent Erik Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary. Consider this, also, in light of places like Texas, where college students can bring a gun to class.

“I Am a Dangerous Professor” by George Yancy;  [28]The New York Times [28]; 12/4/2016. [28]

Those familiar with George Orwell’s “1984” will recall that “Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought.” I recently felt the weight of this Orwellian ethos when many of my students sent emails to inform me, and perhaps warn me, that my name appears on the Professor Watchlist, a new website created by a conservative youth group known as Turning Point USA.

I could sense the gravity in those email messages, a sense of relaying what is to come. The Professor Watchlist’s mission, among other things, is to sound an alarm about those of us within academia who “advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” It names and includes photographs of some 200 professors. . . .

9. In Mountain View, California, a history teacher with 40-years experience at Mountain View High School was suspended for comparing Trump’s rise to the ascent of Adolf Hitler.

“Teacher Who Compared Trump’s Rise to Hitler Is Suspended from High School to Keep Students ‘Emotionally Safe’ ” by Khaleda Raman; Daily Mail; 11/16/2016. [29]

A California teacher has been suspended with pay from the school he has worked at for 40 years for comparing Donald Trump’s rise to power to Adolf Hitler’s.

Frank Navarro, a scholar of the Holocaust, who has worked for decades at Mountain View High School said he taught his world studies class the similarities between Hitler’s rise to power and Trump’s campaign.

But after concerned parents began contacting the school, principal Dave Grissom and superintendent Jeff Harding made the decision to suspend Navarro.

Navarro said the parent claims he called Trump and Hitler one and the same, but he says that’s not what happened.

‘This parent said that I had said Donald Trump was Hitler, but I would never say that. That’s sloppy historical thinking,’ Navarro told SF Gate.

He says he did make comparisons about how the two rose to prominence and lead their respective nations, including rhetoric about deporting foreigners and restoring greatness to the country.
‘I think it makes sense. It’s factual, it’s evidence-based. It reminds students that history is real,’ Navarro said.

But the school officials said given the climate following the election, the lesson was inappropriate.

‘Regardless of their political affiliation, many of our students show signs of emotional stress,’ Grissom told parents in a letter.

He said the school has an obligation to be an ’emotionally safe environment’ for students.

But, Grissom also said, the school must protect teachers and staff when unsubstantiated claims are made against them.

Grissom told SF Gate the suspension is a ‘time out’ for Navarro.

Navarro said it is his duty as a history teacher to ensure students are aware of bigotry and to point it out, according to a Change.org petition.’I feel strongly about this: to stand quiet in the face of bigotry and to turn your eyes away from it is to back up the bigotry, and that’s not what I, or any history teacher, should be doing in our work,’ Navarro said.

Officials said they would wrap up an investigation into the claims soon.

After The Oracle, the student newspaper, wrote about the suspension, outraged parents and students began saying Navarro should not have been suspended.

‘Emails started flowing in to the principal late that night,’ Navarro told the paper.

The Change.org petition, which seeks to have an apology made to Navarro and his suspension lifted, received more than 7,600 signatures as of Sunday afternoon.

Navarro’s daughter posted on the petition, furious about the situation her father had been placed in.

‘What Mountain View High School has done to my father is wrong. Discussing the connection between Trump and Hitler is important and relevant to history and the painful situation we are in now in this country,’ she wrote.

She added that her father was set to retire in June and that the school will be losing a beloved teacher.

10. For the U.S., apparently, the kind of restrictions on free speech applied to Frank Navarro do not apply to endorsements of Nazism.

For the second time in three years [65], the U.S. has voted against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism because it constitutes a restriction of “free speech!”

This is to be seen against our long-running and exhaustive series on the Ukraine crisis.

It also contrasts markedly with the treatment accorded Frank Navarro in Mountain View, California.

“US Says Anti-Nazi Resolution at U.N. Restricts Free Speech” by Michael Astor; The Seattle Times; 11/17/2016. [30]

The United States was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism on Thursday, citing freedom of speech issues and concerns Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors.

The resolution entitled “Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” was approved by the U.N.’s human rights committee on Friday with 131 in favor, 3 against with 48 abstentions. Ukraine and Palau were the other no votes. . . .