Veritas Project releases “American Pravda: Part 1, CNN”

Last night, James O’Keefe of Veritas Project released a teaser video on Twitter in which a hidden camera captures a CNN producer saying that the Russian narrative is bull**it.

Today, Veritas Project released Part 1 of its American Pravda series, in which the focus is on CNN.

The ominous title hints in a not-so-subtle manner that the American Pravda series will be targeting other MSM outfits.

So far, the video Veritas has captured so far is damning. John Bonifield clearly states that media is a business, and their editorial slant is geared towards satisfying liberal viewers who liked Obama but hate Trump.

That’s why the network has been focusing so much on Russia. There’s no real evidence indicating Russia actually tried to manipulate the previous presidential election. However, this focus is terrific for CNN’s ratings.

If this is only Part 1 of American Pravda, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

MSM is fake news, no matter what Trump says

Now that the half-life of any positive media Trump may have received from his actions relating to Syria, MOAB, and North Korea has passed, he has gone back to slamming the media as “fake news”.

While this blog has ditifully chronicled how the media has been unfair to Trump, now would be a good opportunity to provide more current examples of fake news.

Unfortunately for the Orange Outrage Machine, otherwise known as the President, those examples relate to his recent foreign policy tantrums.

Justin Raimondo explains it much better than I can:

[H]ere is a group of people – journalists, politicians, and other Very Serious Persons – who have hated our new President from the get-go. He’s Hitler, he’s Mussolini, he’s Pepe the frog! He’s this, he’s that, he’s Our National Nightmare! And yet the minute he starts bombing foreigners he’s suddenly not so bad after all. Over at the Washington Post, David Ignatius, the CIA’s journalistic front man, says he’s “becoming a credible foreign policy leader.” Ruth Marcus opines that we’re witnessing “the normalization of Donald Trump.” Finally, she enthuses, “rationality is dawning” on the forty-fifth President! Among the liberal elite, the hosannas were well nigh universal. As Ann Coulter noted:

“Cable news hosts gushed, ‘Trump became president of the United States tonight!’ On MSNBC, Brian Williams called the bombing ‘beautiful’ three times in less than a minute. Sen. Lindsey Graham (one of the ‘women of the Senate,’ according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) compared Trump to Reagan. The New York Times headlined an article, ‘On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First.’”

Fareed Zakaria’s joy over the bombing seemed to indicate that, for him, it was practically an erotic experience. And this weird bloodlust wasn’t limited to the liberal precincts of the commentariat – far from it. When we dropped the MOAB on Afghanistan, Kimberly Guilfoyle  practically had an orgasm over at Fox News. Sitting there in her low cut red dress, her breasts heaving with passion, her lips parted, and an ecstatic smile plastered on her heavily made-up face, she hailed the bombing as if it were the climax – so to speak – of a pornographic movie: “America is back!” Oh, yeeeesssss!!!!

In short, if Trump doesn’t toe the liberal/neocon line to the T, the media portrays him as wanting to put liberals, feminists, and gays in concentration camps. But when he drops bombs in hell-holes on the other side of the planet, the media is aroused into sexual ecstasy.

This isn’t news reporting. This is a cry for help.

Meanwhile, after the foreign policy chaos he has unleashed over the past two weeks, Trump’s cries of fake news are nothing more than crocodile tears. Granted, the MSM are still lying sacks of incapable of reporting without a liberal slant while pretending to be “objective”. However, if Trump can’t remember what he told voters while campaigning, he’s just another politician.

And therefore part of the problem.

 

 

Is the New York Times doing as well as it says it is?

A theme that has emerged from this blog has been the decay and inevitable destruction of the mainstream media. However, if one reads only the New York Times, one could be forgiven for thinking that its prospects have never been better:

“Trump is the best thing to happen to the Times’ subscription strategy,” said Dean Baquet, executive editor of the Times on CNN Sunday. “Every time he tweets it drives subscriptions wildly.”

He added, “Our digital subscriptions are through the roof, our print subscriptions are up.”

Trump has long derided the Times for critical coverage of his campaign and administration, deeming it the “failing New York Times” whenever he speaks about the paper publicly.

Indeed, the Times added 276,000 net new subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2016. But is the Times’ financial picture as sound as it’s made out?

In the press release touting the increase in new subscribers, the Times  reported that adjusted operating profit (which reverses a one-time charge) declined from $289 million in 2015 to $240.9 million in 2016. Among the reasons for this decrease is the 9% year-over-year decline in adversting revenue, from $638.7 million in 2015 to $580.7 million in 2016.

Furthermore, one can ask reasonable questions about the quality of the new subscribers. For example, the Times has entered into a marketing arrangement with Spotify, in which not only a new Times subscriber receives a free Spotify Premium account, but can pass along two complimentary subscriptions to his or her friends. Therefore, one can ask what the Times pays in net acquisition cost for, and receives in additional revenue from, each new subscriber.

Beyond that, there is the curious question of where Times’ subscribers actually reside, which is a key metric for advertisers. As ZeroHedge reports:

Ultimately, for the NYT to be viable as a going concern, it will need to stem the plunge in ad revenue which may also be adversely impacted by Trump’s relentless bashing.

And then there is the question of overall traffic, which brings up another curious observation.

Three weeks ago we showed that, inexplicably, according to Alexa a whopping 49% of the NYT’s readers were out of China, which was impossible since the US publication is firewalled in China.


Since our public observation, the NYT’s Chinese “traffic” has crashed to just 3.5%, which while still improbable, is far more reasonable.

As a consequence of this, the public-facing NYT traffic has tumbled to the lowest level in a year. It is this, more so than Trump’s twitter feed, that advertisers will be closely looking at when making future ad campaign decisions.

Notwithstanding exclamations to the contrary by its editors, the clouds over the viability of the New York Times have yet to dissipate.

NB: This is not intended to be construed as providing investment advice in any way.

The New York Times is going into the real estate business

With the New York Times’s operating income and total net income dropping 60% and 95%, respectively, in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same quarter in 2015, it is reasonable for the company to review its business model. While the legitimate media – which only tells the truth, mind you – has been extremely quick to correct Trump’s incorrect impression that the Times’s subscriptions are declining, apparently its post-election bump must not have been enough to  stop management from making significant changes to how its uses its office space.

How significant? I don’t know. Is moving staff from eight floors so that they can be rented to other businesses significant?

ZeroHedge has obtained and published an internal Times memo informing its staff of these changes, which include converting the remaining floors to open floor plans.

While this fool is sympathetic to those workers who may not be that keen on working in such an environment, these changes clearly indicate the financial stress in which the newspaper finds itself.

Perhaps management can look broadly to identify opportunities to expand its increasingly-narrow readership.

After all, it probably wants to continue operating as a newspaper, rather than a REIT.

 

The end of the mainstream media (and Eastern Airlines)

mainstream media

ZeroHedge published a very important post by Martin Armstrong, in which he argues that the mainstream media is nearing its demise.

Armstrong begins by showing that the public’s trust in the media has fallen from 72% in 1976 to 32% today. He provides the following chart from Gallup to support his claim.

gallup

 

This chart provides a number of fascinating insights. Among them include:

  • The steady deterioration of public trust in the media over time,
  • A majority of Democrats, however slim, continue to trust the media,
  • Less than a third of independents now trust the media, and
  • Trust in the media among Republicans plunged from 32% in 2015 to 14% today.

The last data point should not be surprising in the slightest. During this campaign, the media clearly let its mask of objectivity slip to help Hillary Clinton become president. Now that the liberal media has completed its meltdown after the election, what is its most likely action plan once Trump begins its administration?

Doubling down.

Armstrong explains:

We should expect that the media will viciously attack Donald Trump in a futile effort to cling to some level of importance and to desperately try to demonstrate that they were not wrong with 99% of the media endorsing Hillary. But the media willingly conspired to make Hillary president. They will now try to vindicate themselves by trashing Trump at every possible chance. They will now fuel the civil divide and help lay the foundation for the collapse of the United States itself by turning left against right. Even the New York Post wrote that what they were witnessing was the end of journalism. They will do everything to try to change Congress in 2018. It appears that will be their last stand. The younger generation does not buy newspapers and magazines. Their end is near.

When three television networks, two cable news networks (excluding Fox), the major social media sites, and practically every major newspaper relies on 1/6th of the American public for their support, it is not hard to imagine that the next few years will be an extremely challenging time for the media.

What is happening to the mainstream media reminds me of how union strikes contributed to the downfall of Eastern Airlines.

By the time the machinists began their strike in March 1989, and pilots and flight attendants walked out in sympathy, Eastern Airlines was in poor financial shape. The airline had been losing money since the seventies, especially after the deregulation of the airline industry in 1978. The company had been weighed down by an enormous debt load it incurred before deregulation to modernize its planes. In 1988, it posted a record loss of $335.4 million.

While Frank Lorenzo, Eastern’s CEO after the company was purchased by Texas Air in 1986, is often portrayed as a bully and union-buster, his actions were clearly designed to keep the airline alive. Among the moves he made was he sought wage concessions from workers. For example, Eastern sought $150 million in wage savings from the Machinists union, which was seeking pay increases totaling $50 million. Ramp serviceman Earl Christian supported the strike because he thought Eastern’s demand for wage concessions were unreasonable:

”I see it as something I have earned over the years,” said Christian, who earns about $33,000 annually. ”I’m entitled to it, and I want to keep it.”

When the strikes began, 30,000 of Eastern’s employees refused to work. As a result, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy, operate with only 1,500 non-union and management employees, and fly 10% of its usual flights.

The airline stopped flying on January 19, 1991.

Parallels can be seen in how unions treated Eastern Airlines and how the media may treat the Trump Administration. The media will most likely use its declining influence to attack Donald Trump at every turn. This would merely reinforce the public’s negative perceptions about the media. Unless it changes its ways, the media will, ultimately, become irrelevant.