Jun 28, 2017

CNN faced $100M lawsuit over botched Russia story

2 comments

Edited: Jan 17, 2018

 

The specter of a $100 million libel suit scared CNN into retracting a poorly reported story that slimed an ally of President Trump’s — and forcing out the staffers responsible for it, The Post has learned.

 

The cable network’s coverage of Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci came amid federal scrutiny of corporate parent Time Warner’s pending purchase by AT&T — and the widespread belief among media execs that CNN President Jeff Zucker can’t survive a merger.

 

CNN immediately caved after Scaramucci, a financier and frequent network guest, cried foul and threatened to take legal action, sources said Tuesday.

 

Scaramucci got an unusual public apology but still hired a top Manhattan lawyer to put further pressure on CNN and “look after [his] interests in this matter,” one source said.

 

Sources also said the three journalists responsible for the retracted story — reporter Tom Frank, editor Eric Lichtblau and Lex Haris, who headed the CNN Investigates unit — were urged to resign.

 

“They called them in and said they’d pay out their contracts, but they should leave immediately,” one source said.

 

Zucker was afraid of facing a high-profile suit from Scaramucci while the US Justice Department weighs the proposed $85.4 billion media merger.

 

Meanwhile, a CNN insider said staffers are furious at “having lost the moral high ground because of this story.” Sources said Zucker tried to rally his staff during a Tuesday morning conference call.

 

“Zucker stressed that this issue was a ‘lapse in editorial standards’ and said it was a lesson to all reporters and editors to continue to strive for strong, accurate reporting,” a source said.

 

At last week’s Cannes Lions festival in France — where Zucker boasted that viewers trust CNN “more than ever” — rumors were rife that he’d be out of a job if the AT&T deal goes through.

 

“It’s not just Jeff Zucker, all Time Warner executives are anxious about if they will survive the merger,” a media source said Tuesday.

 

“What is interesting is that the AT&T execs who will decide who goes and who stays are [AT&T CEO] Randall Stephenson and [AT&T Entertainment Group CEO] John Stankey — who have a very good relationship with the current administration.”

 

Trump — a fierce critic of CNN — publicly opposed the merger during the campaign. Sources said Scaramucci, a frequent guest on CNN to defend the president, was treated like a star at Saturday’s wedding of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton in Washington, DC.

 

“Everyone at the White House has been high-fiving each other over Anthony’s success in embarrassing CNN,” one attendee said.

 

“Trump is thoroughly enjoying this, and Anthony got endless slaps on the back at Steve’s wedding.”

The retracted story was based on a single, anonymous source who claimed the Senate Intelligence Committee was probing ties between the Trump administration and a Russian government-owned investment fund.

 

The story, posted on CNN.com on Thursday, also claimed the Treasury Department was believed to be investigating Scaramucci over a purported Jan. 16 meeting with the fund’s director general.

 

More at New York Post

 

Jun 28, 2017

Trump for the win! Trump=triumphant!

Jun 28, 2017

Ain't no cause to pop the champagne, Trump is a slimy grease ball who is merely enjoying a short stretch of clear skies. His funeral is still happening dawg.

New Posts
  • SPF STATEMENT ON AWARE’S FACEBOOK POST CRITICISING SPF’S CRIME PREVENTION POSTER We refer to comments made by AWARE on Police crime prevention posters, warning against outrage of modesty. These posters are displayed on the public transport network. These posters are part of crime prevention visuals that the Police have produced in collaboration with the National Crime Prevention Council and Singapore Polytechnic’s Media, Arts & Design School. Other crimes such as shop theft and dishonest misappropriation of property are also featured in these visuals. These visuals target potential perpetrators, and specifically highlight the punishments for committing the criminal acts, in order to send a strong deterrent message. AWARE has criticised the posters, on the basis that they focus on the punishment, and do not refer to the harm suffered by the victim. AWARE does not seem to have understood the purpose of the posters. The posters are designed to warn would-be offenders, who are unable to exercise self discipline or control themselves, regardless of their knowledge of the harm that their act will cause to the victim. The visuals were designed to influence their behaviour, by telling them what punishment they will face. AWARE’s suggestion, on the other hand, is unlikely to have the intended deterrent effect on such offenders. The Police fully acknowledge that outrage of modesty victims suffer from trauma and other consequences. Indeed, and for this reason, the objective of these visuals is to prevent such harmful actions in the first place, by driving home the point that outrage of modesty is an egregious offence with serious penalties. Hence, our crime prevention messages are carefully curated, based on our understanding of the profile of offenders. It is unfortunate that AWARE has chosen to make these public judgements against the Police without any attempt to contact us to understand our perspective, despite having worked with us in the past to enhance support to victims of sexual offences. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10159102575364408&id=56706929407
  • Facebook user Gerard Ong has joined the chorus of criticism against the DPM with a critique that has garnered over 400 reactions and more than 300 shares on social media. A lengthy Facebook post criticising Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat over his dismal performance in Parliament last week is trending online. DPM Heng, who is expected to succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and become Singapore’s fourth head of government after the next election, is widely considered the head of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) fourth-generation (4G) slate of leaders. Last week, he introduced a motion in Parliament to get Workers’ Party (WP) politicians Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim to recuse themselves from the financial matters of their Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC). Instead of scoring a win for his party, Mr Heng fumbled. Multiple parties who were present in the House and those who watched the proceedings online noted that Mr Heng struggled to defend his motion when confronted with the WP’s position that they will be appealing the High Court decision in the apex court. A visibly flustered Mr Heng eventually called for an abrupt time-out in the middle of the proceedings. His hour-long speech introducing his motion was also called “rambling” and his closing remarks were considered “garbled” by those who were in the gallery. Prime Ministe Lee Hsien Loong was also seen looking exasperated as he coached Mr Heng on what to say. Facebook user Gerard Ong has joined the chorus of criticism against the DPM with a critique that has garnered over 400 reactions and more than 300 shares on social media. In a post published last Thursday (7 Nov), Mr Ong noted that this is not the first time Mr Heng has faced a roadblock during a parliamentary clash with WP chairman Sylvia Lim: “In March 2018, it was the trial balloon saga where Heng Swee Keat (HSK) asked Sylvia Lim to apologise and withdraw her allegation on the timing of the GST hike. Now he is asking her and Low Thia Khiang to recuse themselves from the town council’s financial matters. “Being a legal practitioner, Sylvia knew the motion was not legally binding and refused to do so. Besides if she did, it would clearly indicate to some degree that they were dishonest and untruthful in safeguarding public funds that were entrusted to them. “In both incidents HSK went head-on into two roadblocks when it was totally unnecessary for him to do so. Under parliamentary rules he did not breach any rules. But HSK should have known that Sylvia was not going to budge as she knew where she stood by the rules of the house as well. “What HSK must understand is when one apologises it really means one has done wrong. If Sylvia feels that she has done no wrong and has not profited from it why should she make statements or carry out actions to indicate her wrong doing? “In this case the courts have decided but the ruling will only be absolute when the appeal is heard and the final ruling given. This is called due process of law which in essence prohibits the government from taking any action against its citizens or agents of the government until a final verdict is delivered by the apex court.” Asserting that Mr Heng has shown once again that “he is still an amateur at the game,” Mr Ong wondered why he chose this course of action and speculated about whether Mr Heng was trying to prove himself to his party members. Pointing out that neither the current PM or the immediate past PM were very good examples of strong leaders, the netizen asserted that one who is high-handed is not necessarily a good leader: “HSK has again shown his hand that he is still an amateur at the game. I fail to understand why he adopted this latest course of action. I wonder who was his audience? Was it the Prime Minister, the cabinet and fellow PAP MPs? Was he trying to show them that as heir to the PAP throne, he is indeed a worthy successor to LHL? “What he should realise is LHL and GCT are not very good examples of strong and decisive PMs. The only reason GCT survived was because LKY was Senior Minister and Minister Mentor from 1990 to 2011, he provided the backbone to these two PMs. “Well we know why LHL became PM and how he has performed. But at least LHL has pretty decent oratorical skills and is articulate. “HSK must now realise that being high-handed does not mean you are a good leader. Look at what people are saying on the internet of his recent spat with Sylvia. A good leader knows when to open up and when to take decisive action.” Opining that Mr Heng, who also serves as Finance Minister, may be good with numbers but may not be a good leader for the people, Mr Ong added: “Good leaders always take calculated risks and aim to win. Poor leaders always stumble because they have not thought through their intended decisions and its ramifications. HSK is in essence a numbers man but not a good leader of people. “Richard Hu who was Finance Minister from 1985 to 2001 was a classic example of a behind the scenes numbers man. Although he was eloquent, he was not a leader in the true sense of the word. “Goh Keng Swee was a brilliant economist and blue-skies man but was inept as a public speaker. They were in reality good planners and visionary political leaders. Men like them knew they were never good PM material.” Calling Mr Heng an “uninspiring leader who is unable to galvanise his followers,” Mr Ong said that the DPM’s “lack of presence” and poor communication skills worry him given the geo-political situation in the region: “HSK from his recent showings is an uninspiring leader who is unable to galvanise his followers. He lacks presence and his communicative skills are below par. This worries me as the world has become a dangerous place. “The geopolitical situation in the Asia Pacific has become less stable. The rise of China and its military prowess is a cause of worry as China knows that whatever we may say or do, we are still in the American camp. “The wheels are still churning up north as well. If you have watched recent political developments you will see alliances being struck between old enemies. As yet we still do not know who will succeed Mahathir. “In Indonesia, Joko Widodo has appointed his political rival, Prabowo Subianto as his Defence Minister as well as others who were against the President in the hustings. These developments could affect the immediate political relationship over areas such as airspace management, defence arrangements, border controls and the like. “At a time like this we need a decisive leader who is smart at navigating and taking on the challenges which will surely come our way. A leader who is also compassionate and one who puts his country, his people and party (in that order) before himself. “In this day and age of electronic media broadcasts and TV, a leader must have excellent communicative skills. This is definitely a veto quality in my books. “Why Singapore did well from 1965 onwards was because we had LKY and a very able cabinet in our formative years. When LKY spoke, you can’t help but listen. Not only was he bright but he was street- smart and competent as well. His cabinet comprised able and selfless men who were up to the job. “They knew how the game was played. In the past there was no internet and social media in existence, so we all pulled the oars together. But those days are gone. Singaporeans are better educated, and more vocal. We are better informed and more exposed to the world at large. “Many of us have become “critical lovers” of Singapore. Our political leaders must remember that when we criticise our leaders it does not mean we are disloyal to our country or ungrateful for what the PAP has done for Singapore.” Pointing out that the times have changed and the people want more of a say in how the country is run, Mr Ong said that it may be good for Singapore in the long-term to elect an capable opposition in Parliament so that the ruling party will also rely on capable and decisive leaders: “But times have changed, the world has changed and our leaders must go with the change. Being high-handed in governance is passé We all want to have a better say in how our country is run. “In the next election, if members of the opposition are voted in, they will also be held accountable for their words and deeds. Perhaps it may be good for us in the long run to have a capable opposition in parliament as it will make for a better PAP with capable and decisive leaders who will understand that a one-party state is a thing of the past!” http://theindependent.sg/hsk-is-an-uninspiring-leader-who-is-still-an-amateur-at-the-game-criticism-against-dpm-heng-trends-online/

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