Wait! Presidents swear? … There is a raging debate about whether or not Donald Trump used the word “shithole” during a meeting on immigration in the Oval Office this week. I’ll let others debate the ramifications of that. What I’m more interested in is the sudden pearl-clutching by the Left and its media allies. First up, take this statement by Sen. Dick Durbin:
“The president started tweeting this morning, denying that he used those words. It is not true. He said these hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly… I cannot believe that in the history of the White House — in that Oval Office — any president has spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”
Really? The word “shit” has never been said in the Oval Office? Give us a break. Oh, and here’s a primer on the long history of presidents swearing.
So why use the full word … Remember when Joe Biden said that Obamacare was a big effing deal? Do you remember the news media going full-bore putting swear words on the screen? Do you remember “journalists” lining up to use the words? That’s the question Ben Shapiro asked an NPR host on Twitter. The host had just explained why the radio network started using the word “shithole” on air, after initially not using it.
CNN goes full hole … The folks at CNN didn’t just stop at repeating the word attributed to Trump by anonymous sources. Nope, Chris Cuomo wrote the word on air, on a whiteboard, and used it to describe Trump himself. Jim Acosta went full-bore in uttering the word on air. Here, watch. The faux-rage over the word used is precious.
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Zuck laments his monster … Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg seems to be lamenting what Facebook has become. To that end, he is directing the company to prioritize personal interactions and deprioritize content from organizations, like publishers. This means that news organizations and publishers of all political stripes, including us at Conservative Review, will see our Facebook posts get downplayed and get less interaction from readers. Here’s how Facebook describes it: “Bringing people closer together.”
“Reputable publishers” … DigiDay, a publication for social media professionals, is covering the story in apocalyptic terms. There is a real fear among social media professionals about what it means for traffic to their sites. A key sticking point is the “reputable publisher” designation made by Facebook. The company has not told publishers how the gatekeepers will define what is and isn’t a “reputable publisher.” This is of particular concern to conservatives, especially given the recent news of how those in Silicon Valley view conservatives. Facebook needs to be more open about how this will be done. Even Facebook itself doesn’t seem to know how this is going to work. Campbell Brown, a Facebook employee in charge of news partnerships, emailed some publishers and said, “This change will take some time to figure out.”
High-minded or bottom line? … Facebook is a private company and as such can do what it wants with its product. But the changes, to me, seemingly have a less high-minded goal in mind: getting more publishers to pay to promote their posts to increase the profits of Facebook. That is neither good nor bad, but is definitely part of the conversation. With that in mind, what effect is the announced change having on the Facebook stock price? The price dropped by 4 percent this morning when the markets opened.
Can you lend a hand? …
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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.