By Doug Porter
With less than a week left before the June 7th California Primary elections, the chickens are coming home to roost.
Community activists in San Diego called out the Faulconer administration’s willingness to use a shotgun to kill a fly following a massive show of force ending in the Barrio Logan neighborhood.
The Trump campaign has begun its formal descent into the netherworld with an endorsement by North Korea, a full-on attack on the media and revelations about the real estate education scam run by the Donald.
And the ugly side of social and faux media is manifesting itself in ways unimaginable just a few years back…
San Diego’s Trump ‘Riots’
Yes, indeed folks, the arrest of 35 people for failing to disperse following the San Diego Police Department’s declaration of an unlawful assembly has now been transformed into a riot in the small minds of Trumpian minions. At least that’s what’s being said by the commentariat in response to media accounts about the anti-Trump demonstrations.
Official accounts say there was no property damage and no injuries…
The unlawful assembly declaration came at the end of a long day of peaceful and passionate demonstrations.
Leaders of a large group that marched from Chicano Park to the Convention Center and departed en masse are saying their decision to leave earlier in the day was prompted by the failure of local authorities to protect demonstrators from aggressive behavior by Trump supporters.
There was a press conference held in Barrio Logan on Tuesday with leaders of community groups criticizing the strategy and tactics of the SDPD. The American Civil Liberties Union is looking to document acts amounting to infringement of lawful and peaceful First Amendment protests.
Ricardo Favela of Alliance San Diego said the area was turned into a militarized zone, threatening residents and scaring families.
“Law enforcement officials dressed in riot gear with armored vehicles behind them, marched in a wall of force that stretched the width of Harbor Drive, pushing a small number of protesters from downtown San Diego into the residential area of Barrio Logan, over a mile away,” Favela said.
“Once in Barrio Logan, the community was surrounded by SDPD squad cars with lights flashing, corralling people in the neighborhood,” he said. “The mayor’s and chief’s decision to effectively put Barrio Logan under martial law is irresponsible and violates the community’s trust.”
The official view of what occurred is that everything was proper.
From the Union-Tribune:
“We are proud of the professionalism, restraint and patience displayed by all of the involved officers and deputies during Mr. Trump’s visit to San Diego. They provided a safe environment to allow for the freedom of speech,” Lisa McKean, spokeswoman for the Police Department, said in a statement. “Our decision to declare an unlawful assembly came as a result of violent behavior and unlawful acts within the crowd of protesters. We are very pleased with the outcome of Friday’s event.”
Jan Caldwell, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, said law enforcement must wear protective equipment in situations where violence is likely. “This is for their safety in a potentially dangerous circumstance,” she said in a statement. “We wanted to safeguard the community, the protesters, as well as law enforcement on Friday. And, we did.”
In his statement, Faulconer spokesman Matt Awbrey said, “The police department did a remarkable job of creating a safe environment where everyone, supporters and protesters alike, could express their First Amendment right to free speech.”
Apparently that “safe environment” didn’t preclude rightist individuals from harassing, provoking and even assaulting peaceful protestors.
The Donald Strikes Back
The other big news his San Diego visit was his out-and-out provocation of Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who just happens to be hearing a lawsuit brought by former students of Trump University who claim to have been defrauded.
The Indiana-born former federal prosecutor was labeled by the candidates as a “hater” and a “Mexican.”
To nobody’s surprise, hundreds of pages of internal documents from Trump University have now been unsealed, revealing predatory business practices.
From the Huffington Post:
The documents detail the internal “playbook” of Trump University, including information about how its salespeople were told to deliberately mislead potential customers, manipulate their emotions and ignore their concerns. Taken together, they represent a damning new window into the company that Trump closed in 2011 amid multiple investigations but has promised to revive.
At a Tuesday press conference at Trump Tower in New York, the presumptive GOP nominee continued his recent streak of bashing Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge who unsealed the documents. Trump called Curiel a “hater” who is “very unfair.” Asked why he continued to antagonize the judge and bring up his Latino heritage, Trump said, “Because I don’t care.”
The Donald released information about the fate of monies supposedly raised in support of veterans groups and used the occasion to beat up on the press. Many of the recipients told the media they were only contacted following a May 24 Washington Post story questioning the donations.
— The Hill (@thehill) June 1, 2016
The billionaire had called the news conference to announce an accounting of his at least $5.6 million in fundraising for veterans groups, but spent most of the 40 minutes criticizing and insulting reporters — collectively and at times individually — as “dishonest,” “not good people,” sleazy, and among the worst human beings he has ever met.
And he vowed the White House briefing room would be just as combative as the Trump Tower lobby, where the developer addressed reporters Tuesday, should he ascend to the Oval Office.
“Yeah, it is going to be like this,” Trump said when asked if this is how he would behave with the press as president. “You think I’m gonna change? I’m not gonna change.”
Media Fakery Abounds
There’s always been partisan media. It’s always been relatively easy to tell who owns them, literally and figuratively. This year it’s getting tougher.
The 2016 primary season has seen the rise of faux media (as opposed to Fox News). These entities exist in a world where partisans seen willing to share just about anything on social media.
Earlier this spring the Washington Post ran a story about Prntly.com, a pro-Trump site run by a former drug dealer-turned-liberarian. The gist of what he does is to take selected information from other news stories out of context, add a bit of speculation and produce ‘news’ items which are then spread via social media and even given life by reputable outlets desperate for content.
These sites make money based on advertisers willing to pay for the number of “clicks” they receive. Many of their ‘stories’ with questionable polling results get picked up and run elsewhere.
Via Bob Cesca, political commentator, and managing editor of The Daily Banter:
This is all to say that online news sources appear to be getting lazier and more misleading, knowing that viewers hardly ever read links on social media with a critical eye. The rabidly pro-Bernie site, US Uncut, and its pro-Hillary counterpart, DailyNewsBin, aren’t legitimate news sites — nor are they legitimate opinion-journalism sites. They’re all about providing adrenaline for true believers, and they’re willing to cherry-pick and mislead in order to do it.
It appears as if we’re witnessing the next evolution of the fake news site. A year ago or so, we observed how non-satirical fake sites cynically deceived readers for the sake of generating clicks via social media. And now the same model is being applied to the 2016 presidential campaign. Sure, US Uncut and the like are a little more grounded in reality, but not enough reality to make it trustworthy.
Other sites have hidden ownership and are just pure profit centers, taking advantage of the enthusiasm of politically unsavvy supporters.
Please, folks–especially Bernie supporters–think before you link!
— Fox 5 Sharon Chen (@sharonchenfox5) June 1, 2016
On This Day: 1896 – In Paris, France, the first recorded automobile theft occurred. The Peugeot of Baron de Zuylen de Nyevelt was stolen by his mechanic. 1966 – Farm workers under the banner of the new United Farm Workers Organizing Committee went on strike at Texas’s La Casita Farms, demanding $1.25 as a minimum hourly wage. 1971 – Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo, MS, was opened to the public.
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