May 21, 2019

Trump bullies the refs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump has a penchant for ganging up on the "mainstream media," but lately his attacks have spread to ganging up on any information gatekeeper — from Big Tech platforms to newscasters on his favorite network.

Why it matters: Trump has spent years shooting the messenger, but as his presidency rolls on, so do his grievances against any information platform that may, at some point, work against his interests.

  • Sunday shows: The president has always disliked "the mainstream media," but his ire lately has turned toward Sunday political shows, specifically. Last weekend he tweeted multiple times about the "Fake News Sunday Political Shows," even calling out Fox's own Chris Wallace for interviewing Pete Buttigieg.
  • Technology platforms: The White House launched a new tool last week that will allow any U.S. citizen to submit a complaint if they think they were unfairly censored on social media platforms. This attitude demonstrates a reversal of the president's stance toward free speech on social media platforms since he was inaugurated in 2017.
  • Legal processes: In the past few weeks, the president has become emboldened in defying Congressional subpoenas to have information come out regarding his 2016 campaign, his tax returns and information around his business dealings.

Between the lines: The administration has pushed to undermine key White House press traditions that are meant to bring more information to the public.

  • The White House hasn't held a press briefing in weeks.
  • The administration has taken away press passes from journalists and barred certain reporters from events and briefings.
  • The president has faced lawsuits from civic groups that complain he is violating the First Amendment by blocking people on Twitter.

Be smart: As CNN's Oliver Darcy explains on CNN's Reliable Sources show with Brian Stelter, part of the strategy is to make Americans in the middle of the country think that they're under attack by elitist institutions. "They're out to censor your ideas, you're under attack, and they're using that, effectively, fear mongering."

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Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,804,044 — Total deaths: 362,678 — Total recoveries — 2,788,806Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,909,077 — Total deaths: 109,497 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus, CDC says Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

In photos: George Floyd's North Carolina memorial service

The remains of George Floyd are brought into Cape Fear Conference B Church. Photo: Ed Clemente/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds gathered in Raeford, North Carolina to honor George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago has sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

The state of play: This is the second memorial for Floyd. A number of his family members remain in Raeford, including his sister. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The News and Observer reports.

George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Philadelphia and Chicago.