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Local newspaper takes on Big Tech: Lawsuit says Google and Facebook ‘conspire to monopolize and dominate the digital media space’

Critics of Big Tech have repeatedly accused online giants of abusing and dominating smaller news outlets, conservative voices, and any site or app that might be seen as competition.

Now one local West Virginia newspaper is facing down a couple of tech Goliaths and taking them to court.

The Pulitzer-Prize winning Charleston Gazette-Mail filed a lawsuit claiming Big Tech companies Facebook and Google are working together to manipulate the digital advertising market, Fox News reported Thursday.

The owner of the Gazette-Mail, Doug Reynolds, told Fox News that his paper’s lawsuit alleges that the two companies “conspire to monopolize and dominate the digital media space.”

Asked what’s hurting papers like his, Reynolds answered, “The newspaper industry over the last 10 years has been making this transfer to digital media, and what we found is, as we’ve gone into this world, that Google and Facebook make the rules of the game, they control the whole environment. They compete against us for advertising dollars, and then they get to keep score in the end.”

He noted that the U.S. has seen more than 200 newspapers close, which threatens local journalism. In order for small news outlets to survive, they have to be able to finance themselves in the digital sphere, but “in the current arrangement, that’s not going to be possible.”

Reynolds wants an open and even playing field so outlets can find ways to be paid for without interference from Big Tech companies.

Asked about nonprofits financed by businesses like Google and Facebook designed to prop up local newspapers, Reynolds was skeptical.

“We can’t have a system where businesses and our journalism is [sic] dependent on us writing good things about Google and Facebook,” he said.

“It has to be independent,” Reynolds continued. “It can’t be just on their good will whether we survive or not.”

Fox News said it reached out to Google and Facebook for comment. Facebook did not respond, while Google said it is not commenting on this case.

Childless Elise stefanik Husband Intelwars Mocks Newspaper

GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik calls newspaper ‘heartless’ over post mocking her as ‘childless’

A New York-based newspaper published a post mocking Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik as “childless” this week, prompting the congresswoman and her husband to issue a joint statement condemning the characterization as “hateful, abusive, and heartless.”

What are the details?

The Times Union out of Albany posted a “work of fiction” presented as a made-up script Stefanik might deliver to first graders at a school visit, making fun of her throughout.

The paragraph that drew the ire of Stefanik read:

I see that there are only a few of you in class today, and I just want to assure you that there is nothing to be afraid of. That’s why I am not wearing a mask. Because Kung Flu is a socialist hoax, a term that will mean more to you when you grow up and have children of your own. I myself am childless because I am a rising star in the Republican Party, and family planning is possible by way of the contraception paid for by my excellent taxpayer-provided healthcare plan.

The congresswoman and her husband, Matt Manda, responded with the following statement:

“As a young married couple, we have developed a thick skin over many years as we have become accustomed to repeated sexist smears in media coverage. However, the Times Union’s decision to publish an article that mocked us as ‘childless’ is a new low and is truly heinous and wildly inappropriate. This shameful statement is not only inherently sexist, but also hateful, abusive, and heartless. The Times Union publisher, editors, and staff have clearly let the paper’s standards sink so low that they have chosen to embrace sexist scum and content under the masthead. They should be ashamed.

We not only require a complete retraction, but we also demand an immediate public apology and explanation as to how this was allowed to be published in the Times Union and who will be held responsible and accountable.

We are grateful to the thousands of constituents who have encouraged and prayed for us over the years. Thank you for your kind words and best wishes. Like millions of families, we hope and pray that we will be blessed by becoming parents.”

What happen to the ‘blog’ post?

Fox News reported that “blog has since been removed from the Times Union website,” but it remains on the personal site of one of the joint authors.

The Times Union editor and vice president Casey Seiler told the outlet in a statement:

“The Times Union has for years hosted a series of community-generated blogs covering a range of topics. They are not edited by Times Union staff, but are expected to meet a set of civility guidelines. A post that recently appeared on one of these sites was brought to our attention, and, upon our review, we felt it did not meet those guidelines. We pulled it down immediately along with all earlier posts on that blog.”

First Amendment FREEDOM OF THE PRESS Intelwars Left-wing protesters Minneapolis Newspaper photographer Star-tribune Threat

Photographer for major paper says protesters ordered him ‘no more pictures,’ threatened to destroy his equipment — and it appears he obeyed

Antifa and other violent left-wing protesters and rioters say they’re against fascists. But we’ve seen time and time again through their behavior that they’re truly the fascists. One look at what went down in Minneapolis on Thursday night is a prime example.

What happened?

A staff photographer with the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper wrote that protesters in ordered him to take “no more pictures” and threatened to steal and destroy his equipment if he didn’t fall in line:

“Protesters chanting ‘no more pictures’ as they march along S. 4th Street along US Bank Stadium,” Aaron Lavinsky wrote. “An organizer just came up to me demanding I turn my cameras off. She threatened to snatch my camera [from] me if I didn’t comply.”

And in the end it appears Lavinsky did just that.

“Folks, I’m backing off,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “Multiple people threatening to take and break my cameras. Been berated most of the night by a small group of organizers and anarchists.”

Lavinsky send subsequent messages noting that while some protesters were fine with him being there it’s “unfortunate that not all value the free press.”

Here’s one of the videos Lavinsky recorded for the Star Tribune’s story:

The paper’s piece — for which Lavinsky shares a byline — noted that Minneapolis police faced off with about 100 people who “gathered … to protest local and national issues.”

Besides “no more pictures,” the Star Tribune said other chants included, “No justice, no peace, kill all the police” and “Die, Donald Trump.”

Lavinsky’s run-in with the mob was documented in the story as well: “Some protesters shouted at a Star Tribune photographer, telling him to stop taking photos and threatening to take cameras away. They chanted, ‘No more pictures,’ as they walked.”

How did folks respond to the photographer’s tweets?

A couple of commenters seemed sympathetic to the protesters:

  • “This is for their own safety,” one commenter wrote. “You can actually endanger them by creating video/photo evidence.”
  • “Yeah dude you need to make sure you don’t accidentally photograph someone in an identifiable way,” another commenter said, soon adding that “you could cause a lot of problems for them including death.”

But it seems most responders weren’t happy with the fascist threats:

  • “Be safe,” one commenter implored. “Is the @StarTribune still going to call this a peaceful protest? Or are they going to call a spade a spade for once?”
  • “Fascist liberal bastards,” another commenter wrote. “What is happening in Louisville, Portland, Seattle, New York, and Washington DC is Joe Biden’s America. This is what will happen nationwide if Biden is elected.”
  • “What more proof is needed that these are not protests,” another commenter added. “In a real protest the protestors want video to spread their message. Only people that plan on criminal activity demand videos be shut off. #MAGA2020.”
  • “We can’t back down. This is what Communism looks like,” another commenter said. “What next? We will be told what books we can read and which ones we can’t? Checkpoints? Guard tower’s?? We fought to hard against the Soviets to have it end up in our own country. We need to wake up!!!
George floyd riots Indyweek Intelwars Newspaper North Carolina Progressives RALEIGH vandalism

‘Devastated’ editor implies rioters shouldn’t have destroyed office of her ‘progressive newspaper.’ Then cold splash of water hits.

George Floyd rioters didn’t spare Raleigh, North Carolina, over the weekend — nor did they let alone the downtown office of newspaper Indyweek.

In fact, “devastated” editor Leigh Tauss showed on Twitter the carnage that befell the paper — and she implied that rioters shouldn’t have destroyed the office since Indyweek is “progressive.”

(Content warning: Rough language in at least one of the photos):

“Last night I was inside when the first brick was thrown,” she added.

Here comes the wake-up call

With that, comments came in mocking the paper’s “progressive” ideology — as if rioters cared or even knew:

  • “It was a brick of peace.”
  • “Did you paint ‘progressive’ over the door posts in the hopes the mob angel of death would pass you by?”
  • “The Left destroys everything. You ‘progress’ yourselves into a form of fascism believing that any other idea other than yours is intolerable. Til one day your establishment gets demolished by the very ‘progressives’ you created. Welcome to the cycle of intolerance.”
  • “This is where your ‘progress’ leads.”
  • “When you cultivate a fire in the name of being progressive, you can’t be sure never to be engulfed by it. Fire is blind.”
  • “Should have asked them nicely to stop.”
  • “Leigh needs to check her privilege. As a woke progressive she should be HAPPY to sacrifice her windows to this cause. After all, these people are simple expressing their rage at centuries of oppression. She should be standing outside the office handing them baseball bats.”

Here’s an overall look at what happened in Raleigh on Saturday night:

Raleigh protesting devolves into rioting, looting; police fire tear gas

China China expels Coronavirus Coronavirus outbreak Credentials Intelwars journalism journalists Media New York Times news Newspaper Pompeo state department Wall Street Journal Washington Post

China expels American journalists in latest escalation of media war amid the coronavirus outbreak

The Chinese government revoked the press credentials of American journalists for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, effectively expelling them from the country.

The journalists will be required to turn in their press cards to the Chinese government within 10 calendar days and will “not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions,” according to the announcement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs office.

The country also ordered the journalists from those media outlets — along with voice of America and Time magazine — to “declare in written form” information about their operation within the country.

What’s the background?

The move is the latest escalation in a media war between the United States and China amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

In the announcement, the Chinese government stated that the expulsion was a necessary retaliation to the U.S. State Department’s action last month, which designated five Chinese state media outlets as “foreign missions.” The designation meant that the outlets would be treated as arms of the Chinese government.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued that the five outlets were “clearly controlled by the [Chinese Communist Party]” and that the U.S. was “simply recognizing that fact by taking this action.”

At the same time, China expelled three Wall Street Journal journalists in response to an opinion piece the outlet published that was headlined: “China Is The Real Sick Man Of Asia.”

Then in March, the State Department also capped the number of Chinese journalists that could work for the media outlets at 100, which resulted in 60 Chinese nationals having to leave the country.

‘Disinformation and outlandish rumors’

The global coronavirus outbreak has heightened the intensity of the conflict of late, as many in the U.S. suspect that China lied for weeks regarding the origin and severity of the novel virus, which began in Wuhan, China, last year.

On Saturday, the State Department “hauled in” the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. to confront him over a Chinese official’s unsubstantiated claims that the virus was introduced in Wuhan by the U.S. Army.

Then early this week, Secretary Pompeo again lashed out at the Chinese government for pushing the claims.

In a phone call with the Chinese Foreign Affairs office director, Pompeo “conveyed strong U.S. objections to PRC efforts shift blame for COVID-19 to the United States,” according to a statement from the State Department.

“The Secretary stressed that this is not the time to spread disinformation and outlandish rumors, but rather a time for all nations to come together to fight this common threat,” the statement added.

editorial Gender Intelwars Left-wing college students Massachusetts Newspaper Nonbinary Transgender Wellesley College Women

Campus newspaper for prestigious all-women college tells school to stop calling students ‘women’

A recent staff editorial for The Wellesley News, the student newspaper for Wellesley College, calls for the prestigious all-women school to edit its policies and language in deference to transgender and nonbinary individuals — most notably to stop calling students “women.”

What are the details?

The editorial takes umbrage at the “never-ending reminders” on campus that Wellesley is for “Women Who Will,” as well as the “attitudes of students, staff, and faculty members on campus who continue to refer to Wellesley ‘sisters’ and use she/her pronouns without consideration for who is in the room. These current practices and attitudes perpetuate the ongoing exclusion and ignorance of transgender and nonbinary identities.”

In addition, the editorial calls attention to Wellesley’s policy of excluding transgender male students from admission and only allowing applicants who identify as women — whether male or female assigned at birth — or who were identified as female at birth who now identify as nonbinary. “Those who are assigned male at birth and identify as nonbinary or identify as cis males are not eligible for admission,” the editorial adds.

More from the paper:

On the fifth anniversary of Wellesley introducing its new gender policy, The Wellesley News calls for the College to reject its complacent attitude and towards the neglect of the transgender and nonbinary community. To do so, we ask that the College administration revise its policy surrounding the admittance of transgender male students and usher in a more inclusive language standard for official communications. Additionally, we ask students to reflect these changes in their everyday lives in order to foster a more kind, empathetic environment.

That ‘women’ word

The editorial also stresses in order to complete a “cognizant rejection of the gender binary,” a few other things are in order, such as doing away with that “women” word. It notes a few ideas adapted from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion web page of another all-women school, Mount Holyoke College, which also includes transgender and nonbinary students:

  • “When discussing the student body, say ‘Wellesley students’ rather than ‘Wellesley women.'”
  • “Avoid making statements like ‘We’re all women here…'”
  • “Use gender-neutral language whenever possible in syllabi and other general written communication.”

“When we reexamine our assumptions surrounding gender through small shifts like language, we become more tolerant of those who deviate from the gender spectrum,” the editorial concludes. “And, most importantly, we cannot stay silent as our nonbinary and transgender siblings are stripped of their humanity by being excluded from something as crucial as language.”

(H/T: The College Fix)