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Editor's Notebook

The president is right - and here's to you Lester Holt

DAJA h7W0AALnGdThe caller on the other end of the phone was adamant. “Have reporters lost their mojo?” She asked.
Before I could respond she explained all the reasons why reporters are taken advantage of by the current presidential administration, how and why reporters need to react and how she was “tired of watching you all take it all the time.”
She was also upset with reporters who “constantly tell me what to think,” and said the media are their own worst enemy.

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The president finally makes sense

Fredo MichaelI finally get it.
All these months I could not understand why our president tried so hard to disrupt and destroy the investigation into Russian hacking of our elections. There are those who are convinced it is because the president was directly involved in collusion with the Russians.
Still others think the president is just a buffoon, but I’ve never bought into that theory – he has some innate intelligence and survival instincts or he wouldn’t be able to thrive in the cutthroat world in which he’s cruised all these years.

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The real problems in the press

karem joe“Why didn’t someone in the press stand up for themselves before?”
That question has been in thousands of emails, tweets and snail mail correspondence we’ve received at the newspaper this week following a viral moment I had with Sarah Sanders during an on-camera briefing at the White House last week.
I don’t know. Well, I have an idea.
The other question I’ve seen quite often is – “What is wrong with the press?”
On that issue, I have a few more ideas.

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About enduring press freedom

Brian Karem at White House press briefingI walked slowly to my bunk and looked up at the television set. Twenty pairs of eyes were on the NBC Nightly News watching a story about me.
One man turned around and said, “Man, you famous.”
Since I was in jail at the time – for refusing to give up a confidential source – and wearing jail-issued underwear as well, this meant very little to me.
Fame is fleeting. Jail underwear sticks with you for a long time.
I thought about that yesterday when my smart phone started incessantly vibrating for several hours on end.

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The best speech Trump has made yet

White House Front TwilightIn the stifling heat of the muggiest day in recent D.C. memory, last Monday President Donald Trump made his most enduring and remarkable speech since he took office. With hundreds of spectators gathered on the South Lawn of the White House, president Trump spoke of sacrifice and challenges. He spoke of inspiration and hard work. He spoke of selfless leadership and victory over insurmountable odds. He spoke of teamwork and appealed to the spirit of cooperation and becoming a part of something larger than ourselves.

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Learning lessons the hard way

UntitledWednesday morning, shortly after I got up to go to work, I received a tweet that would change my day and should change our world.
While practicing for a charity baseball game, a GOP congressman (Steve Scalise) apparently got shot by a 66-year-old man from Belleville, Illinois.
Witnesses say there were as many as 100 shots fired, five people injured and the Capitol police along with the congressman’s security (he’s the majority whip and as a member of the leadership had security with him) “attacked” and took down the shooter.
The immediate, chilling affect soon gave way to accusations and finger pointing.
Again, we ask, “How can this happen?”

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Federal infrastructure and us

White House Front TwilightCongressman John Sarbanes, Senator Chris Van Hollen and a host of other federal elected officials say they have a bone to pick with President Donald Trump.
Van Hollen, along with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (talk about your strange bedfellows) are among those urging the Trump administration not to return two diplomatic compounds in the U.S. to Russian control. Intelligence reports indicate the two compounds – one in Maryland and one in New York – were used by the Russian government for intelligence-related purposes.
“The properties were seized because 17 U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that Russia used covert cyberattacks, espionage and harmful propaganda to try and undermine our democracy,” Van Hollen and Graham said in a letter to the president.
The senators say returning the compounds to the Russians is unjustifiable.
“It would both make it easier for the Kremlin to continue its intelligence operations in our own backyard and make it clear that they can avoid consequences for their actions,” the senators said in the letter.

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What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen budget?

GODApparently having an appreciation for the absurd is necessary in assembling a budget for President Trump. “I feel like I’m in a Monty Python skit,” said OMB Director Mick Mulvaney in the White House briefing room.
Twice in two days Mulvaney trotted out to visit with reporters - while the president traveled to the Middle East - in order to try and sell a budget that many on the Hill aren’t buying.
On that Monday Melodious Mick did his act off-camera in a gaggle before the remaining White House press corps not currently flying with the president to the Middle East – where they’ve witnessed him complimenting the Saudi Arabian leaders and their shoes. “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes man,” he said to Saudi-Arabian leaders. (You really can’t make this stuff up).
President Trump’s wife has swatted away the president’s hand coming off Air force One and the president was photographed with a strange glowing orb rumored to sustain life and bring about peace in our days.
Meanwhile, Mulvaney, back on earth is trying to defend a budget that many on The Hill say is “Machiavellian and Draconian all at the same time.”

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Violence against reporters and a presidential solution

Bill BiggartRemember Bill Biggart (at left) or Chauncey Bailey?
I’ll get back to you on that.
Meanwhile, for the first time in my memory an American politician was recently charged with assaulting a reporter. Apparently the new paradigm in American politics is “intimidate, prevaricate, and physically assault,” the electorate. If it seems like reporters, and by extension the electorate is made of abused spouses, then I’d say you’re on to something.
There should be little argument from anyone there is a war going on against reporters. Some merely see it as divine retribution while others see it as anti-American.
Four months after Donald Trump’s inauguration a reporter in Montana is allegedly “body slammed,” by newly elected Republican congressman Greg Gianforte – who said the reporter aggressively interviewed him. Apparently the term “sticks and stones” is a call to arms for those like Gianforte

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