The Pronk Pops Show 817, January 13, 2017, Story 1: Digging Up Dirt Democratic Dossier Disinformation — Fake Opposition Research On Trump — Story 2: On The Road To Extinction: The Decline, Fall and Death of Big Lie Media or Mediasaurus Predicted By novelist Michael Crichton in 1993 — “It is basically junk.” — Videos

Posted on January 14, 2017. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Constitutional Law, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Human, Human Behavior, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Mike Pence, Movies, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Russia, Second Amendment, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, United States of America, Videos, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 817: January 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 816: January 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 815: January 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 814: January 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 813: January 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 812: December 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 811: December 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 810: December 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 809: December 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 808: December 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 807: December 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 806: December 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 804: November 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 803: November 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 802: November 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 801: November 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 800: November 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 799: November 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 798: November 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 797: November 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 796: November 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 795: November 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 794: November 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 793: November 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 792: November 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 791: November 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 790: November 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 789: November 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 788: November 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 787: October 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 786: October 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 785: October 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 784: October 26, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 783: October 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 782: October 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 781: October 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 780: October 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 779: October 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 778: October 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 777: October 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 776: October 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 775: October 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 774: October 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 773: October 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 772: October 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 771: October 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 770: October 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 769: October 5, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 768: October 3, 2016

Story 1: Digging Up Dirt (DUD) Democratic Dossier — Fake Opposition  Research on Trump — Junk Journalism — Fake News — Videos

Image result for cartoon trump dossier dirty Image result for trump dossier Christopher Steele

Image result for trump dossier source Christopher Steele spyImage result for trump dossier Christopher Steele

Reality Check: Buzzfeed/CNN DID Push #Fakenews in “Trump Intelligence Memos”

What really happened in the cheap attacks on Donald Trump?

Who is Christopher Steele?

The Trump dossier

What really happened in the cheap attacks on Donald Trump?

Trump Staff warn CNN Acosta about rude behavior (CNN plays victim)

Chuck Todd Destroys Buzzfeed Editor Over Trump Russia Fake News

How credible are reports that Russia has compromising information about Trump?

The Secret Trump Dossier — What Does It Mean?

Glenn Greenwald on the Trump memo, the CIA and Russia – BBC Newsnight

Trump Dossier: Former British Ambassador to Russia Vouches for MI6 Spy’s Reputation | Rachel Maddow

 Ex MI6 Agent Christopher Steele Author Of Trump Dossier Worked For Free

How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump

UK intelligence: Chris Steele was paid to create sensationalist dossier filled with FSB fabrications

Ex MI6 officer Christopher Steele in hiding after Trump dossier

Discussing The Donald Trump Dossier: ‘A Collection Of Rumors’ | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Watch the entire Donald Trump news conference

Donald Trump shuts down CNN reporter: “You’re fake news”

CNN reporter: Spicer threatened to kick me out of Trump’s news coference

British former MI6 spy was so desperate to get his Trump ‘dirty dossier’ out ‘he worked for nothing’

  • Washington-based opposition research firm, FusionGPS, was hired in 2015 
  • One of Trump’s Republican detractors is said to have paid the company
  • Initially FusionGPS was asked to look into Trump’s business dealings
  • But the research angle changed after DNC hacking emerged in June 2016
  • FusionGPS then contracted ex-MI6 officer Chris Steele’s Orbis company
  • Steele had gold-plated contacts in Moscow from years of spying on Russia 
  • Democrats thought to have taken over funding the investigation into Trump
  • But security source says Steele later continued to ‘work for nothing’ 

The British former MI6 spy outed as being behind the outlandish Trump ‘dirty dossier’ was so desperate to get his report out he carried on ‘working for nothing’, a security source has claimed.

Christopher Steele had initially been commissioned in June 2016 to dig into Trump by Washington-based political research firm FusionGPS, for a fee reported by The Sun as being £130,000 ($158,000).

The investigation into Trump’s business dealings with Russia is said to have been financed by one of his opponents in the 2016 Republican primary, before he was named as the party’s presidential candidate.

It’s then thought a Democratic funder took over paying for FusionGPS and Steele’s work in July 2016 after Trump won the party’s nomination.

When Trump won the election in November and the Democrats accepted defeat Steele is said to have continued digging without pay after becoming so worried about alleged ties between Trump and the Kremlin, a security source told The Independent.

British former M16 spy Christopher Steele reportedly continued working on the Trump 'dirty dossier' for free because 'he was so worried by what he had learned'

Trump is seen on January 13

British former M16 spy Christopher Steele reportedly continued working on the Trump ‘dirty dossier’ for free because ‘he was so worried by what he had learned’

It seems what started in September 2015 as a fairly standard political research mission to scrutinize the business dealings of a presidential candidate unexpectedly spiralled into a series of increasingly bizarre and lurid claims, none of which are verified.

The company that was first hired to dig into Trump in September 2015, FusionGPS, is run by a former Wall Street Journal reporter, Glenn Simpson, and advertises itself as providing ‘premium research, strategic intelligence, and due diligence services’.

The Independent claims Simpson also continued to work on the Trump investigation without being paid.

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July 2016.

That month, Steele handed a memo to the Bureau that claimed Trump’s campaign team had knowledge of the DNC hacking operation.

It also said in return the campaign team had ‘agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/Nato defence commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine’.

When asked if he was president if he would recognize Crimea as Russian and lift sanctions on Moscow, Trump said during a press conference a few days later, on July 27: ‘Yes. We would be looking at that.’

FusionGPS worker Glenn Simpson is pictured speaking at UC Berkeley School of Journalism in 2009. In a video of the speech, he said he launched his new company 'to keep investigations going and keep doing things in the public interest'

FusionGPS worker Glenn Simpson is pictured speaking at UC Berkeley School of Journalism in 2009. In a video of the speech, he said he launched his new company ‘to keep investigations going and keep doing things in the public interest’

Outlandish allegations about Trump contained in the discredited document were compiled from memos by Chris Steele - a Russia specialist posted to Moscow in the 1990s

Outlandish allegations about Trump contained in the discredited document were compiled from memos by Chris Steele – a Russia specialist posted to Moscow in the 1990s

As part of his ferocious denials Trump tweeted: 'Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to 'leak' into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?'

As part of his ferocious denials Trump tweeted: ‘Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?’

By late July and early August, Steele is said to have passed on information to MI6 too because he believed it was of the utmost importance.

However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the November 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.

The Independent reports he was especially frustrated that the FBI were investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails but not his research into Trump.

The FBI opened preliminary investigations into Trump and his entourage’s dealings with Russians that were based in part on Steele’s reports, according to people familiar with the inquiries.

However, they said the bureau shifted into low gear in the weeks before the election to avoid interfering in the vote. They said Steele grew frustrated and stopped dealing with the FBI after concluding it was not seriously investigating the material he had provided.

Steele then turned to the media in October to get his report out, including speaking with news magazine Mother Jones.

He met with David Corn, the Washington bureau chief at Mother Jones, before last year’s Presidential election and told him the allegations warranted a substantial FBI inquiry.

In an article published Friday, Corn revealed that the former spy – whose work has sparked a diplomatic crisis this week – told him: ‘The story has to come out’.

Who is the man behind the ‘dirty dossier’?

Chris Steele's firm Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd was reportedly recruited to help Mr Trump's Republican rivals

Chris Steele’s firm Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd was reportedly recruited to help Mr Trump’s Republican rivals

Christopher Steele was once MI6’s top spy on Russian affairs and lived in the shadows until being unmasked as the alleged author of the ‘dirty dossier’ on Donald Trump.

Mr Steele was born in 1964 in Aden – his father was in the military – and grew up in Surrey before attending Girton College, Cambridge, and becoming president of the Cambridge Union debating society in 1986 – the same year in which Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was president of the Oxford Union.

The 52-year-old joined MI6 after graduating from Cambridge where he was described as a ‘confirmed socialist’.

As a young intelligence officer in Moscow, he was frequently harassed by the KGB – once even complaining they had stolen his wife Laura’s high-heeled shoes from their flat.

Steele, 52, was described as a 'confirmed socialist' as a Cambridge student, circled in 1985 with, among others, DJ Paul Gambaccini (second from right, front row) and That's Life star Chris Seale (front row, centre left)

Steele, 52, was described as a ‘confirmed socialist’ as a Cambridge student, circled in 1985 with, among others, DJ Paul Gambaccini (second from right, front row) and That’s Life star Chris Seale (front row, centre left)

The couple faced down Russian tanks after the fall of the Soviet Union and ‘highly capable’ Mr Steele went on to become head of MI6’s Russia desk – meaning he was one of the Secret Intelligence Service’s most senior spies.

It was no wonder he was considered hot property when he quit MI6 in 2009 to set up his own spies-for-hire firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.

Co-founded with another former MI6 officer, Christopher Burrows, it has earned £1million over the past two years and was instrumental in exposing corruption at world football body Fifa.

Pictured is the main entrance the offices of Orbis Business Intelligence where the alleged author of the Trump dossier Christopher Steele works from

Pictured is the main entrance the offices of Orbis Business Intelligence where the alleged author of the Trump dossier Christopher Steele works from

Steele also told the journalist, who first published details about the dossier in October last year: ‘My track record as a professional is second to no one.’

Steele’s reports, which claim Russia has tapes of Trump engaging in ‘perverted sexual acts’ while in a Moscow hotel room, circulated for months among major media outlets but neither the news organizations nor U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been able to corroborate them.

BuzzFeed published some of Steele’s reports about Trump on its website on Tuesday, but the President-elect and his aides later said the reports were false. Russian authorities also dismissed them.

Associates of Steele said on Wednesday he was unavailable for comment. Christopher Burrows, a director and co-founder of Orbis with Steele, told The Wall Street Journal, which first published Steele’s name, that he could not confirm or deny that Steele’s company had produced the reports on Trump.

US President-elect Donald Trump on recent allegations

Dossier of unverifiable sleaze

Lurid sex claims

The report states that in 2013 Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on the bed of the Presidential Suite at the Moscow Ritz Carlton, where he knew Barack and Michelle Obama had previously stayed.

It says: ‘Trump’s unorthodox behavior in Russia over the years had provided the authorities there with enough embarrassing material on the now Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so wished.’

Trump ridiculed the idea, pointing out that Russian hotel rooms are known to be rigged with cameras and describing himself as a ‘germophobe’.

Property ‘sweeteners’

The document states that Trump had declined ‘sweetener’ real estate deals in Russia that the Kremlin lined up in order to cultivate him.

The business proposals were said to be ‘in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament’.

Russia ‘cultivated’ Trump for five years

The dossier claimed that the Russian regime had been ‘cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years’.

According to the document, one source even claimed that ‘the Trump operation was both supported and directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’ with the aim being to ‘sow discord’. 

A dossier on Hillary Clinton

At one point the memo suggests Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov ‘controlled’ another dossier containing compromising material on Hillary Clinton compiled over ‘many years’.

Elsewhere in the document, it is claimed that Putin was ‘motivated by fear and hatred of Hillary Clinton.’

Peskov poured scorn on the claims today and said they were ‘pulp fiction’.

Clandestine meetings

At one point the memo says there were reports of ‘clandestine meetings’ between Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and Kremlin representatives in August last year in Prague.

However, Trump’s counsel Michael Cohen today spoke out against allegations that he secretly met with Kremlin officials – saying that he had never been to Prague.

It has now emerged that the dossier was referring to a different person of the same name.

The Belgravia building where offices of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd are located, in central London

The Belgravia building where offices of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd are located, in central London

Pictured: Mr Steele's empty £1.5million home in Farnham, Surrey, bristles with CCTV cameras

Pictured: Mr Steele’s empty £1.5million home in Farnham, Surrey, bristles with CCTV cameras

Timeline: How the Trump ‘dirty dossier’ scandal unfolded

2007: The Ritz-Carlton opens in Moscow in 2007

2009: Barack Obama and his family stay there when they travel to the city

2013: Donald Trump visits Moscow to judge the Miss Universe pageant

June 2015: Trump officially announces he is entering the race to become Republican presidential nominee

2015-16: A Republican rival hires an investigative firm to uncover dirt on Trump. By the time work has begun, Trump has won the primary vote but now a Democrat wants the same service

July 2016: A large amount of material has been gathered on Trump based on sources, which is believed to be of huge consequence, if true. The allegations are passed to the FBI

September 2016: The FBI asks for more information but gets no reply

The extraordinary - and entirely unverified - allegations that Donald Trump ordered prostitutes to commit degrading sex acts in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow are contained in a dossier drawn up by a former British spy

The extraordinary – and entirely unverified – allegations that Donald Trump ordered prostitutes to commit degrading sex acts in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow are contained in a dossier drawn up by a former British spy

Inside The Ritz-Carlton Moscow where Trump supposedly stayed

October 28: FBI Director James Comey announces the bureau will be investigating Hillary Clinton over mishandling of confidential emails

October 31: The document on Trump is leaked to David Corn, of the Mother Jones online political magazine who run a piece on the dossier without revealing its details

November 9: Trump is elected President

Later in November: The documents are mentioned in an intelligence report on Russian interference given to Barack Obama and possbily Trump

November 18: John McCain discovers the contents of the document

December 9: McCain hands the dossier directly to Comey

January 11: CNN publishes the story on Trump, followed by an unredacted version by Buzzfeed

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4119814/British-former-MI6-spy-desperate-Trump-dirty-dossier-worked-nothing.html#ixzz4Vl9ocAVk

 

Countdown to a sex and spy scandal: How events leading up to leak of Trump ‘dirty dossier’ unfolded

Former British spy, Christopher Steele, has been named as the man behind the document on the US President-elect

US President-elect Donald Trump (Photo: AFP)

Donald Trump has vehemently denied the allegations he paid Russian prostitutes to perform sex acts.

Former British spy, Christopher Steele, has been named as the man behind the document on the US President-elect .

The 52-year-old is reported to have fled his home after his name was made public.

Here are the events leading up to the revelations in the ;dirty dossier’.

  • 2013: It is at the Moscow Ritz Carlton that it is claimed Trump’s alleged sexual conduct took place and was secretly filmed by FSB spies.
    Christopher Steel
    Christopher Steel has been named as the man behind the ‘dirty dossier’ (Photo: Getty)
  • June 2015 Trump formally announces he will run for President.
  • June 2016: Donald Trump launches his campaign bid but behind the scenes a mystery person starts plotting to undermine his bid by digging for dirt and links between the candidate and the Kremlin.
  • Early June 2016: Enquiries are made by a Christopher Steele – a former western intelligence officer – who starts probing alleged links between Trump and Russia for an “opposition research project – financed by a Republican client.
  • August 27, 2016: US Senator Harry Reid writes to the FBI Director James Comey asking if Trump is an “unwitting agent” of Russia and the Kremlin.
  • September 23, 2016: US intelligence begins probing links between Trump adviser and ex-investment banker Carter Page and the Russian government. Page has extensive business links in Russia.
  • November 18, 2016: Sen. John McCain hears about the documents at a security meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and dispatches a middleman to the UK pick up a copy from a retired British official at an airport.
    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump
    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (Photo: Barcroft Media)
  • December 9, 2016: McCain gives the documents to Comey and meets Comey “with no aides present,” giving the intelligence boss the documents.
  • January 10 2017: President Obama and Trump given summary of the dossier.
  • January 12 2017 It is revealed that EU British ambassador SIr Tim Barrow – once linked to the dossier and who worked with Steele when he was our man in Russia – has told bosses he had nothing to do with the report.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/how-timeline-events-leading-up-9613552

Story 2: On The Road To Extinction: The Decline, Fall and Death of Big Lie Media or Mediasaurus Predicted By novelist Michael Crichton in 1993 — “It is basically junk.” — Videos

Image result for Mediasaurus Michael crichton

Image result for Michael crichton and family and wife

Image result for Michael crichton and family and wife

Image result for Michael crichton

 

“The American media produce a product of very poor quality.”

“Its information is not reliable, it has too much chrome and glitz, its doors rattle, it breaks down almost immediately, and it’s sold without warranty. It’s flashy but it’s basically junk.”

~Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton – Mediasaurus Speech – 1993

Published on Mar 28, 2015

A short clip from Michael Crichton’s speech to The National Press Club in 1993 called “Mediasaurus: The Decline of Conventional Media”.

 

CHARLIE ROSE – An Appreciation of MICHAEL CRICHTON

[FULL HD] Donald Trump interview on Charlie Rose (1992)

Charlie Rose to Trump: “We want you at this table.” (Aug 17, 2016) | Charlie Rose

Bono: Trump has “hijacked the party” (Sept 20, 2016) | Charlie Rose

Michael Crichton : on the future

Reflections on Careers in the Entertainment Industry: Michael Crichton (2005)

Michael Crichton interview on Charlie Rose (1994)

Michael Crichton interview on “The Lost World” on Charlie Rose (1995)

Michael Crichton interview on Charlie Rose (1999)

Michael Crichton interview on Charlie Rose (2002)

Michael Crichton in Charlie Rose (2007)

MEDIASAURUS

Michael Crichton, Vindicated

Michael Crichton. Click to expand image.
Michael Crichton

In 1993, novelist Michael Crichton riled the news business with a Wired magazine essay titled “Mediasaurus,” in which he prophesied the death of the mass media—specifically the New York Times and the commercial networks. “Vanished, without a trace,” he wrote.

The mediasaurs had about a decade to live, he wrote, before technological advances—”artificial intelligence agents roaming the databases, downloading stuff I am interested in, and assembling for me a front page”—swept them under. Shedding no tears, Crichton wrote that the shoddy mass media deserved its deadly fate.

“[T]he American media produce a product of very poor quality,” he lectured. “Its information is not reliable, it has too much chrome and glitz, its doors rattle, it breaks down almost immediately, and it’s sold without warranty. It’s flashy but it’s basically junk.”

Had Crichton’s prediction been on track, by 2002 the New York Times should have been half-fossilized. But the newspaper’s vital signs were so positive that its parent company commissioned a 1,046-foot Modernist tower, which now stands in Midtown Manhattan. Other trends predicted by Crichton in 1993 hadn’t materialized in 2002, either. Customized news turned out to be harder to create than hypothesize; news consumers weren’t switching to unfiltered sources such as C-SPAN; and the mainstream media weren’t on anyone’s endangered species list.

When I interviewed Crichton in 2002 about his failed predictions for Slate, he was anything but defensive.

“I assume that nobody can predict the future well. But in this particular case, I doubt I’m wrong; it’s just too early,” Crichton said via e-mail.

As we pass his prediction’s 15-year anniversary, I’ve got to declare advantage Crichton. Rot afflicts the newspaper industry, which is shedding staff, circulation, and revenues. It’s gotten so bad in newspaperville that some people want Google to buy the Times and run it as a charity! Evening news viewership continues to evaporate, and while the mass media aren’t going extinct tomorrow, Crichton’s original observations about the media future now ring more true than false. Ask any journalist.

So with white flag in hand, I approached Crichton to chat him up once more. Magnanimous in victory, he said he had often thought about our 2002 discussion and was happy to revisit it. (Read the uncut e-mail interview in this sidebar.)

Although Crichton still subscribes to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, he dropped the Los Angeles Times a year ago—”with no discernable loss.” He skims those two dailies but spends 95 percent of his “information-gathering time” on the Web.

He concedes with a shrug that the personalized infotopia he crystal-balled in 1993 has yet to arrive. When we talked in 2002, Crichton scoffed at the Web. Too slow. Its page metaphor, too limiting. Design, awful. Excessive hypertexting, too distracting. Noise-to-signal ratio, too high.

Today he’s more positive about the medium. He notes with satisfaction that the Web has made it far easier for the inquisitive to find unmediated information, such as congressional hearings. It’s much faster than it used to be, and more of its pages are professionally assembled. His general bitch is advertisements in the middle of stories, and he’s irritated by animation and sounds in ads. “That, at least, can often be blocked by your browser,” he says.

In 1993, Crichton predicted that future consumers would crave high-quality information instead of the junk they were being fed and that they’d be willing to pay for it. He’s perplexed about that part of his prediction not panning out, but he has a few theories about why it hasn’t.

“Senior scientists running labs don’t read journals; they say the younger people will tell them about anything important that gets published—if they haven’t heard about it beforehand anyway,” he says. “So there may be other networks to transmit information, and it may be that ‘media’ was never as important as we who work in it imagine it was. That’s an argument that says maybe nobody really needs a high-end service.”

It will take a media visionary, he believes—somebody like Ted Turner—to create the high-quality information service he foresaw in his 1993 essay. In addition to building the service, the visionary will also have to convince news consumers that they need it.

Sounding like a press critic, Crichton criticizes much of the news fed to consumers as “repetitive, simplistic, and insulting” and produced on the cheap. Cable TV news is mostly “talking heads and food fights” and newspaper reporting mostly “rewritten press releases,” he says.

Crichton suggests that readers and viewers could more objectively measure the quality of the news they consume by pulling themselves “out of the narcotizing flow of what passes for daily news.” Look at a newspaper from last month or a news broadcast.

“Look at how many stories are unsourced or have unnamed sources. Look at how many stories are about what ‘may’ or ‘might’ or ‘could’ happen,” he says. “Might and could means the story is speculation. Framing as I described means the story is opinion. And opinion is not factual content.”

“The biggest change is that contemporary media has shifted from fact to opinion and speculation. You can watch cable news all day and never hear anything except questions like, ‘How much will the Rev. Wright hurt Obama’s chances?’ ‘Is Hillary now looking toward 2012?’ ‘How will McCain overcome the age argument?’ These are questions for which there are endless answers. Contentious hosts on cable shows keep the arguments rolling,” he says.

Crichton believes that we live in an age of conformity much more confining than the 1950s in which he grew up. Instead of showing news consumers how to approach controversy coolly and intelligently, the media partake of the zealotry and intolerance of many of the advocates they cover. He attributes the public’s interest in Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to its hunger for a wider range of viewpoints than the mass media provide.

He tosses out a basket of questions he’d like to see the press tackle, some of which I’ve seen covered. “What happened at Bear Stearns?” got major play this week, after Crichton answered my questions, in a Wall Street Journalseries. And I know I’ve seen “How much of the current price of gas can be attributed to the weak dollar?” answered a couple of times but can’t remember where. (Answer: a lot.) But such Crichton questions as “Why have hedge funds evaded government regulation?” and what specific lifestyle changes will every American have to make “to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 percent?” would be great assignments for news desks.

“I want a news service that tells me what no one knows but is true nonetheless,” he says.

******

Me, too. What do you want? Send your requests to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name in “The Fray,” Slate‘s readers’ forum, in a future article, or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.) Track my errors: This hand-built RSS feed will ring every time Slate runs a “Press Box” correction. For e-mail notification of errors in this specific column, type the word mediasaurus in the subject head of an e-mail message and send it to

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/press_box/2008/05/michael_crichton_vindicated.html

Michael Crichton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael Crichton
MichaelCrichton 2.jpg

Crichton at Harvard University in 2002
Born John Michael Crichton
October 23, 1942
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died November 4, 2008 (aged 66)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Pen name John Lange
Jeffery Hudson
Michael Douglas
Occupation Author, screenwriter, film director, film producer, television producer, physician
Language English
Nationality American
Education Harvard University B.S.
Harvard Medical School M.D.
Period 1966–2008
Genre Action, adventure, science fiction, techno-thriller
Notable awards 1969 Edgar Award
Spouse Joan Radam (1965–1970)
Kathy St. Johns (1978–1980)
Suzanne Childs (1981–1983)
Anne-Marie Martin (1987–2003)
Sherri Alexander (2005–2008; his death)
Children 2

Signature "Michael Crichton"
Website
www.crichton-official.com

John Michael Crichton (/ˈkrtən/; October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American best-selling author, screenwriter, film director, producer, and former physician best known for his work in the science fiction, medical fiction and thriller genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and many have been adapted into films. In 1994, Crichton became the only creative artist ever to have works simultaneously charting at No. 1 in US television (ER), film (Jurassic Park), and book sales (Disclosure).[2]

His literary works are usually within the action genre and heavily feature technology. His novels epitomize the techno-thriller genre of literature, often exploring technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his future history novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and science background. He wrote, among other works, The Andromeda Strain (1969), Congo (1980), Sphere (1987), Travels (1988), Jurassic Park (1990), Rising Sun (1992), Disclosure (1994), The Lost World (1995), Airframe (1996), Timeline (1999), Prey (2002), State of Fear (2004), Next (2006; the final book published before his death), Pirate Latitudes (2009), an unfinished techno-thriller, Micro, which was published in November 2011, and Dragon Teeth, a historical novel set during the “Bone Wars“, which will be published worldwide in May 2017.[3]

Early life and education

John Michael Crichton[4] was born on October 23, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois,[5][6][7][8] to John Henderson Crichton, a journalist, and Zula Miller Crichton. He was raised on Long Island, in Roslyn, New York,[4] and showed a keen interest in writing from a young age; at 14, he had a column related to travel published in The New York Times.[2] Crichton had always planned on becoming a writer and began his studies at Harvard College in 1960.[2] During his undergraduate study in literature, he conducted an experiment to expose a professor who he believed was giving him abnormally low marks and criticizing his literary style.[9]:4 Informing another professor of his suspicions,[10]Crichton submitted an essay by George Orwell under his own name. The paper was returned by his unwitting professor with a mark of “B−”.[11][12] His issues with the English department led Crichton to switch his undergraduate concentration; he obtained his bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology summa cum laude in 1964[13] and was initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society.[13] He received a Henry Russell Shaw Traveling Fellowship from 1964 to 1965 and was a visiting lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom in 1965.[13]

Crichton later enrolled at Harvard Medical School, when he began publishing work.[9][page needed] By this time he had become exceptionally tall; by his own account he was approximately 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m) tall in 1997.[14][15]In reference to his height, while in medical school, he began writing novels under the pen names “John Lange”[16] and “Jeffrey Hudson”[17] (“Lange” is a surname in Germany, meaning “long”, and Sir Jeffrey Hudson was a famous 17th-century dwarf in the court of Queen consort Henrietta Maria of England).

He later described his Lange books in the following way: “My feeling about the Lange books is that my competition is in-flight movies. One can read the books in an hour and a half, and be more satisfactorily amused than watching Doris Day. I write them fast and the reader reads them fast and I get things off my back.”[18][19]

In Travels he recalls overhearing doctors, who were unaware that he was the author, discussing the flaws in his book The Andromeda Strain.[9][page needed]

A Case of Need, written under the Hudson pseudonym, won him his first Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1969.[20]

He also co-wrote Dealing: or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues (1970) with his younger brother Douglas, under the shared pen name “Michael Douglas”. The back cover of that book carried a picture, taken by their mother, of Michael and Douglas when very young.[citation needed]

During his clinical rotations at the Boston City Hospital, Crichton grew disenchanted with the culture there, which appeared to emphasize the interests and reputations of doctors over the interests of patients.[9][page needed] He graduated from Harvard, obtaining an MD in 1969,[21] and undertook a post-doctoral fellowship study at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, from 1969 to 1970.[citation needed] He never obtained a license to practice medicine, devoting himself to his writing career instead.[22]

Reflecting on his career in medicine years later, Crichton concluded that patients too often shunned responsibility for their own health, relying on doctors as miracle workers rather than advisors. He experimented with astral projection, aura viewing, and clairvoyance, coming to believe that these included real phenomena that scientists had too eagerly dismissed as paranormal.[9][page needed]

In 1988, Crichton was a visiting writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[23]

Writing career

Fiction

Odds On was Michael Crichton’s first published novel. It was published in 1966, under the pseudonym of John Lange. It is a 215-page paperback novel which describes an attempted robbery in an isolated hotel on Costa Brava. The robbery is planned scientifically with the help of a critical path analysis computer program, but unforeseen events get in the way.

The following year, he published Scratch One. The novel relates the story of Roger Carr, a handsome, charming and privileged man who practices law, more as a means to support his playboy lifestyle than a career. Carr is sent to Nice, France, where he has notable political connections, but is mistaken for an assassin and finds his life in jeopardy, implicated in the world of terrorism.

In 1968, he published two novels, Easy Go and A Case of Need, the second of which was re-published in 1993, under his real name. Easy Go relates the story of Harold Barnaby, a brilliant Egyptologist, who discovers a concealed message while translating hieroglyphics, informing him of an unnamed Pharaoh whose tomb is yet to be discovered. A Case of Need, on the other hand, was a medical thriller in which a Boston pathologist, Dr. John Berry, investigates an apparent illegal abortion conducted by an obstetrician friend, which caused the early demise of a young woman. The novel would prove a turning point in Crichton’s future novels, in which technology is important in the subject matter, although this novel was as much about medical practice. The novel earned him an Edgar Award in 1969.

In 1969, Crichton published three novels. The first, Zero Cool, dealt with an American radiologist on vacation in Spain who is caught in a murderous crossfire between rival gangs seeking a precious artifact. The second, The Andromeda Strain, would prove to be the most important novel of his career and establish him as a best-selling author. The novel documented the efforts of a team of scientists investigating a deadly extraterrestrialmicroorganism that fatally clots human blood, causing death within two minutes. The novel became an instant success, and it was turned into a 1971 film. Crichton’s third novel of 1969, The Venom Business relates the story of a smuggler who uses his exceptional skill as a snake handler to his advantage by importing snakes to be used by drug companies and universities for medical research. The snakes are simply a ruse to hide the presence of rare Mexican artifacts. In 1969, Crichton also wrote a review for The New Republic (as J. Michael Crichton), critiquing Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.[24]

In 1970, Crichton again published three novels: Drug of Choice, Grave Descend and Dealing: or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues with his younger brother Douglas Crichton. Dealing, was written under the pen name ‘Michael Douglas’, using their first names. This novel was adapted to the big screen and set a wave for his brother Douglas as well as himself. Grave Descend earned him an Edgar Award nomination the following year.[25]

In 1972, Crichton published two novels. The first, Binary, relates the story of a villainous middle-class businessman, who attempts to assassinate the President of the United States by stealing an army shipment of the two precursor chemicals that form a deadly nerve agent. The second, The Terminal Man, is about a psychomotor epileptic sufferer, Harry Benson, who in regularly suffering seizures followed by blackouts, conducts himself inappropriately during seizures, waking up hours later with no knowledge of what he has done. Believed to be psychotic, he is investigated; electrodes are implanted in his brain, continuing the preoccupation in Crichton’s novels with machine-human interaction and technology. The novel was adapted into a film directed by Mike Hodges and starring George Segal, Joan Hackett, Richard A. Dysart and Donald Moffat, released in June 1974. However, neither the novel nor the film was well received by critics.[citation needed]

In 1975, Crichton ventured into the nineteenth century with his historical novel The Great Train Robbery, which would become a bestseller. The novel is a recreation of the Great Gold Robbery of 1855, a massive gold heist, which takes place on a train traveling through Victorian era England. A considerable portion of the book was set in London. The novel was later made into a 1979 film directed by Crichton himself, starring Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland. The film would go on to be nominated for Best Cinematography Award by the British Society of Cinematographers, also garnering an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture by the Mystery Writers Association of America.

In 1976, Crichton published Eaters of the Dead, a novel about a tenth-century Muslim who travels with a group of Vikings to their settlement. Eaters of the Dead is narrated as a scientific commentary on an old manuscript and was inspired by two sources. The first three chapters retell Ahmad ibn Fadlan‘s personal account of his journey north and his experiences in encountering the Rus’, the early Russian peoples, whilst the remainder is based upon the story of Beowulf, culminating in battles with the ‘mist-monsters’, or ‘wendol’, a relict group of Neanderthals. The novel was adapted into film as The 13th Warrior, initially directed by John McTiernan, who was later fired with Crichton himself taking over direction.

In 1980, Crichton published the novel Congo, which centers on an expedition searching for diamonds in the tropical rain forest of Congo. The novel was loosely adapted into a 1995 film, starring Laura Linney, Tim Curry, and Ernie Hudson.

Seven years later, Crichton published Sphere, a novel which relates the story of psychologist Norman Johnson, who is required by the U.S. Navy to join a team of scientists assembled by the U.S. Government to examine an enormous alien spacecraft discovered on the bed of the Pacific Ocean, and believed to have been there for over 300 years. The novel begins as a science fiction story, but rapidly changes into a psychological thriller, ultimately exploring the nature of the human imagination. The novel was adapted into the film Sphere in 1998, directed by Barry Levinson, with a cast including Dustin Hoffman as Norman Johnson, (renamed Norman Goodman), Samuel L. Jackson, Liev Schreiber and Sharon Stone.

Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park, and its sequels, were made into films that became a part of popular culture, with related parks established in places as far afield as Kletno, Poland.

In 1990, Crichton published the novel Jurassic Park. Crichton utilized the presentation of “fiction as fact“, used in his previous novels, Eaters of the Dead and The Andromeda Strain. In addition, chaos theory and its philosophical implications are used to explain the collapse of an amusement park in a “biological preserve” on Isla Nublar, an island west of Costa Rica. Paleontologist Alan Grant and his paleobotanist graduate student, Ellie Sattler, are brought in by billionaire John Hammond to investigate. The park is revealed to contain genetically recreated dinosaur species, including Dilophosaurus, Velociraptor, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus rex, among others. They have been recreated using damaged dinosaur DNA, found in mosquitoes that sucked saurian blood and were then trapped and preserved in amber.

Crichton had originally conceived a screenplay about a graduate student who recreates a dinosaur, but decided to explore his fascination with dinosaurs and cloning until he began writing the novel.[26] Spielberg learned of the novel in October 1989, while he and Crichton were discussing a screenplay that would become the television series ER. Before the book was published, Crichton demanded a non-negotiable fee of $1.5 million as well as a substantial percentage of the gross. Warner Bros. and Tim Burton, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Richard Donner, and 20th Century Fox and Joe Dante bid for the rights,[27] but Universal eventually acquired them in May 1990, for Spielberg.[28] Universal paid Crichton a further $500,000 to adapt his own novel,[29] which he had completed by the time Spielberg was filming Hook. Crichton noted that because the book was “fairly long”, his script only had about 10–20 percent of the novel’s content.[30] The film, directed by Spielberg, was eventually released in 1993, starring Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm (the chaos theorist), and Richard Attenborough, as John Hammond, the billionaire CEO, of InGen. The film would go on to become extremely successful.

A mosquito preserved in amber. A specimen of this sort was the source of dinosaur DNA in Jurassic Park.

In 1992, Crichton published the novel Rising Sun, an international best-selling crime thriller about a murder in the Los Angeles headquarters of Nakamoto, a fictional Japanese corporation. The book was instantly adapted into a film, released the same year of the movie adaption of Jurassic Park in 1993, and starring Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Tia Carrere and Harvey Keitel.

His next novel, Disclosure, published in 1994, addresses the theme of sexual harassment previously explored in his 1972 Binary. Unlike that novel however, Crichton centers on sexual politics in the workplace, emphasizing an array of paradoxes in traditional gender functions, by featuring a male protagonist who is being sexually harassed by a female executive. As a result, the book has been harshly criticized by feminist commentators and accused of anti-feminism. Crichton, anticipating this response, offered a rebuttal at the close of the novel which states that a “role-reversal” story uncovers aspects of the subject that would not be as easily seen with a female protagonist. The novel was made into a film the same year by Barry Levinson, and starring Michael Douglas, Demi Moore and Donald Sutherland.

Crichton then published The Lost World in 1995, as the sequel to Jurassic Park. It was made into a film sequel two years later in 1997, again directed by Spielberg and starring Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn and Pete Postlethwaite.

Then, in 1996, Crichton published Airframe, an aero-techno-thriller which relates the story of a quality assurance vice-president at the fictional aerospace manufacturer Norton Aircraft, as she investigates an in-flight accident aboard a Norton-manufactured airliner that leaves three passengers dead and fifty-six injured. Again, Crichton uses the false document literary device, presenting numerous technical documents to create a sense of authenticity. In the novel, Crichton draws from real life accidents to increase its sensation of realism, including American Airlines Flight 191 and Aeroflot Flight 593; the latter flew from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport and crashed on its way to Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport in 1994. Crichton challenges the public perception of air safety and the consequences of exaggerated media reports to sell the story. The book also continues Crichton’s overall theme of the failure of humans in human-machine interaction, given that the plane itself worked perfectly and the accident would not have occurred had the pilot reacted properly.

In 1999, Crichton published Timeline, a science fiction novel which tells the story of a team of historians and archaeologists studying a site in the Dordogne region of France, where the medieval towns of Castelgard and La Roque stood. They time travel back to 1357 to uncover some startling truths. The novel, which continues Crichton’s long history of combining technical details and action in his books, addresses quantum physics and time travel directly and received a warm welcome from medieval scholars, who praised his depiction of the challenges in studying the Middle Ages.[31]

The novel quickly spawned Timeline Computer Entertainment, a computer game developer that created the Timeline PC game published by Eidos Interactive in 2000. A film based on the book was released in 2003, by Paramount Pictures, with a screen adaptation by Jeff Maguire and George Nolfi, under the direction of Richard Donner. The film stars Paul Walker, Gerard Butler and Frances O’Connor.

In 2002, Crichton published Prey, a cautionary tale about developments in science and technology; specifically nanotechnology. The novel explores relatively recent phenomena engendered by the work of the scientific community, such as artificial life, emergence (and by extension, complexity), genetic algorithms, and agent-based computing. Reiterating components in many of his other novels, Crichton once again devises fictional companies, this time Xymos, a nanorobotics company which is claimed to be on the verge of perfecting a revolutionary new medical imaging technology based on nanotechnology and a rival company, MediaTronics.

In 2004, Crichton published State of Fear, a novel concerning eco-terrorists who attempt mass murder to support their views. Global warming serves as a central theme to the novel, although a review in Nature found it “likely to mislead the unwary”.[32] The novel had an initial print run of 1.5 million copies and reached the No. 1 bestseller position at Amazon.com and No. 2 on The New York Times Best Seller list for one week in January 2005.[33][34]

The last novel published while he was still living was Next, in 2006. The novel follows many characters, including transgenic animals, in the quest to survive in a world dominated by genetic research, corporate greed, and legal interventions, wherein government and private investors spend billions of dollars every year on genetic research.

Pirate Latitudes was found as a manuscript on one of his computers after his death and was published in November 2009.[3] Additionally, Crichton had completed the outline for and was roughly a third of the way through a novel titled Micro.[3][35] Micro was completed by Richard Preston and was published in November 2011.[35]

On July 28, 2016, Michael Crichton’s website and HarperCollins published a press release saying that a new Michael Crichton novel will be published in May 2017 called Dragon Teeth.[36][37]

Non-fiction

Crichton’s first published book of non-fiction, Five Patients, recounts his experiences of practices in the late 1960s at Massachusetts General Hospital and the issues of costs and politics within American health care.

Aside from fiction, Crichton wrote several other books based on medical or scientific themes, often based upon his own observations in his field of expertise. In 1970, he published Five Patients, a book which recounts his experiences of hospital practices in the late 1960s at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. The book follows each of five patients through their hospital experience and the context of their treatment, revealing inadequacies in the hospital institution at the time. The book relates the experiences of Ralph Orlando, a construction worker seriously injured in a scaffold collapse; John O’Connor, a middle-aged dispatcher suffering from fever that has reduced him to a delirious wreck; Peter Luchesi, a young man who severs his hand in an accident; Sylvia Thompson, an airline passenger who suffers chest pains; and Edith Murphy, a mother of three who is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. In Five Patients, Crichton examines a brief history of medicine up to 1969, to help place hospital culture and practice into context, and addresses the costs and politics of American health care.

As a personal friend of the artist Jasper Johns, Crichton compiled many of his works in a coffee table book, published as Jasper Johns. It was originally published in 1970, by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, and again in January 1977, with a second revised edition published in 1994.

In 1983, Crichton wrote Electronic Life, a book that introduces BASIC programming to its readers. The book, written like a glossary, with entries such as “Afraid of Computers (everybody is)”, “Buying a Computer”, and “Computer Crime”, was intended to introduce the idea of personal computers to a reader who might be faced with the hardship of using them at work or at home for the first time. It defined basic computer jargon and assured readers that they could master the machine when it inevitably arrived. In his words, being able to program a computer is liberation; “In my experience, you assert control over a computer—show it who’s the boss—by making it do something unique. That means programming it….If you devote a couple of hours to programming a new machine, you’ll feel better about it ever afterwards”.[38] In the book, Crichton predicts a number of events in the history of computer development, that computer networks would increase in importance as a matter of convenience, including the sharing of information and pictures that we see online today which the telephone never could. He also makes predictions for computer games, dismissing them as “the hula hoops of the ’80s”, and saying “already there are indications that the mania for twitch games may be fading.” In a section of the book called “Microprocessors, or how I flunked biostatistics at Harvard”, Crichton again seeks his revenge on the medical school teacher who had given him abnormally low grades in college. Within the book, Crichton included many self-written demonstrative Applesoft (for Apple II) and BASICA (for IBM PC compatibles) programs.

In 1988, he published Travels, which also contains autobiographical episodes covered in a similar fashion to his 1970 book Five Patients.

Literary techniques

Crichton’s novels, including Jurassic Park, have been described by The Guardian as “harking back to the fantasy adventure fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Edgar Wallace, but with a contemporary spin, assisted by cutting-edge technology references made accessible for the general reader”.[39] According to The Guardian, “Michael Crichton wasn’t really interested in characters, but his innate talent for storytelling enabled him to breathe new life into the science fiction thriller”.[39] Like The Guardian, The New York Times has also noted the boys’ adventure quality to his novels interfused with modern technology and science. According to The New York Times,

All the Crichton books depend to a certain extent on a little frisson of fear and suspense: that’s what kept you turning the pages. But a deeper source of their appeal was the author’s extravagant care in working out the clockwork mechanics of his experiments—the DNA replication in Jurassic Park, the time travel in Timeline, the submarine technology in Sphere. The novels have embedded in them little lectures or mini-seminars on, say, the Bernoulli principle, voice-recognition software or medieval jousting etiquette … The best of the Crichton novels have about them a boys’ adventure quality. They owe something to the Saturday-afternoon movie serials that Mr. Crichton watched as a boy and to the adventure novels of Arthur Conan Doyle (from whom Mr. Crichton borrowed the title The Lost World and whose example showed that a novel could never have too many dinosaurs). These books thrive on yarn spinning, but they also take immense delight in the inner workings of things (as opposed to people, women especially), and they make the world—or the made-up world, anyway—seem boundlessly interesting. Readers come away entertained and also with the belief, not entirely illusory, that they have actually learned something”

— The New York Times on the works of Michael Crichton[40]

Crichton’s works were frequently cautionary; his plots often portrayed scientific advancements going awry, commonly resulting in worst-case scenarios. A notable recurring theme in Crichton’s plots is the pathological failure of complex systems and their safeguards, whether biological (Jurassic Park), military/organizational (The Andromeda Strain), technical (Airframe), or cybernetic (Westworld). This theme of the inevitable breakdown of “perfect” systems and the failure of “fail-safe measures” can be seen strongly in the poster for Westworld, whose slogan was, “Where nothing can possibly go worng [sic]”, and in the discussion of chaos theory in Jurassic Park. His 1973 movie Westworld contains one of the earliest references to a computer virus, and the first mention of the concept of a computer virus in a movie.[41] Crichton believed, however, that his view of technology had been misunderstood as

being out there, doing bad things to us people, like we’re inside the circle of covered wagons and technology is out there firing arrows at us. We’re making the technology and it is a manifestation of how we think. To the extent that we think egotistically and irrationally and paranoically and foolishly, then we have technology that will give us nuclear winters or cars that won’t brake. But that’s because people didn’t design them right.[42]

The use of author surrogate was a feature of Crichton’s writings from the beginning of his career. In A Case of Need, one of his pseudonymous whodunit stories, Crichton used first-person narrative to portray the hero, a Bostonian pathologist, who is running against the clock to clear a friend’s name from medical malpractice in a girl’s death from a hack-job abortion.

Some of Crichton’s fiction used a literary technique called false document. For example, Eaters of the Dead is a fabricated recreation of the Old English epic Beowulf in the form of a scholarly translation of Ahmad ibn Fadlan‘s 10th-century manuscript. Other novels, such as The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park, incorporated fictionalized scientific documents in the form of diagrams, computer output, DNA sequences, footnotes and bibliography. Some of his novels, such as The Terminal Man and State of Fear, included authentic published scientific works to illustrate his point.

Crichton sometimes used a premise in which a diverse group of “experts” or specialists are assembled to tackle a unique problem requiring their individual talents and knowledge. This was done in Andromeda Strain as well as Sphere, Jurassic Park, and to a far lesser extent Timeline. Sometimes the individual characters in this dynamic work in the private sector and are suddenly called upon by the government to form an immediate response team once some incident or discovery triggers their mobilization. This premise or plot device has been imitated and used by other authors and screenwriters in several books, movies and television shows since.

At the prose level, one of Crichton’s trademarks was the single-word paragraph: a dramatic question answered by a single word on its own as a paragraph.

Works

Novels]

Year Title Notes Ref.
1966 Odds On as John Lange [43]
1967 Scratch One as John Lange [44]
1968 Easy Go as John Lange (also titled as The Last Tomb) [45]
1968 A Case of Need as Jeffery Hudson (re-released as Crichton in 1993) [46]
1969 Zero Cool as John Lange [47]
1969 The Andromeda Strain [48]
1969 The Venom Business as John Lange [49]
1970 Drug of Choice as John Lange (also titled Overkill) [50]
1970 Dealing as Michael Douglas (with brother Douglas Crichton) [51]
1970 Grave Descend as John Lange [52]
1972 Binary as John Lange (re-released as by Crichton in 1993) [16]
1972 The Terminal Man [53]
1975 The Great Train Robbery [54]
1976 Eaters of the Dead also titled The 13th Warrior [55]
1980 Congo [56]
1987 Sphere [57]
1990 Jurassic Park [58]
1992 Rising Sun [59]
1994 Disclosure [60]
1995 The Lost World [61]
1996 Airframe [62]
1999 Timeline [63]
2002 Prey [64]
2004 State of Fear [65]
2006 Next [66]
2009 Pirate Latitudes posthumous publication [67]
2011 Micro posthumous publication (completed by Richard Preston) [68]
2017 Dragon Teeth posthumous publication [69]

Non-fiction[edit]

Year Title
1970 Five Patients
1977 Jasper Johns
1983 Electronic Life
1988 Travels

Short stories

Year Title Originally published Notes
1957 “Johnny at 8:30” First Words (1993) poem
1960 “[Untitled]” First Words (1993) fan titled Well, Nothing.
1961 “Life Goes to a Party” First Words (1993)
1961 “The Most Important Part of the Lab” First Words (1993)
1968 “Villa of Assassins” Stag Annual (1968) as John Lange; excerpted from Scratch One (1967)
1968 “How Does That Make You Feel?” Playboy (November 1968) as Jeffrey Hudson
1970 “The Death Divers” Man’s World (December 1970) as John Lange; excerpted from Grave Descend (1970)
1971 “The Most Powerful Tailor in the World” Playboy (September 1971)
1984 “Mousetrap: A Tale of Computer Crime” Life (January 1984)
2003 “Blood Doesn’t Come Out” McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (2003)

As a film director and screenwriter

The first film based on one of his works was The Andromeda Strain (1971), based on his first professionally published novel of the same name, released in 1969. Crichton then wrote three episodes for the television series Insight in the early 1970s. He made his directing debut with Pursuit (1972), a TV movie based on his novel Binary.

Crichton wrote and directed the 1973 science fiction western-thriller film Westworld, which was his feature film directorial debut. It was the first feature film using 2D computer-generated imagery (CGI).

He wrote and directed the suspense film Coma, adapted from a Robin Cook novel. There are other similarities in terms of genre and the fact that both Cook and Crichton had medical degrees, were of similar age, and wrote about similar subjects.

Other films written and directed by Crichton were The Great Train Robbery (1979), Looker (1981), Runaway (1984) and Physical Evidence (1989). The middle two films were science fiction, set in the very near future at the time, and included particularly flashy styles of filmmaking, for their time.

He wrote the screenplay for the films Extreme Close-Up (1973) and Twister (1996), the latter co-written with Anne-Marie Martin, his wife at the time. While Jurassic Park and The Lost World were both based on Crichton’s novels, Jurassic Park III was not (though scenes from the Jurassic Park novel were incorporated into the third film, such as the aviary).

Crichton was also the creator and executive producer of the television drama ER. He had written what became the pilot script “24 Hours” in 1974. Twenty years later Steven Spielberg helped develop the show, serving as a producer on season one and offering advice (he insisted on Julianna Margulies becoming a regular, for example). It was also through Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment that John Wells was contacted to be the show’s executive producer. In 1994, Crichton achieved the unique distinction of having a No. 1 movie, Jurassic Park,[citation needed] a No. 1 TV show, ER,[citation needed] and a No. 1 book, Disclosure.[70][71]

Crichton started a company selling a computer program he had originally written to help him create budgets for his movies.[72]

Video games

Amazon is a graphical adventure game created by Crichton and produced by John Wells. Trillium released it in the United States in 1984, and the game runs on Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and DOS. Amazon sold more than 100,000 copies, making it a significant commercial success at the time. It featured plot elements similar to those previously used in Congo.[73]

In 1999, Crichton founded Timeline Computer Entertainment with David Smith. Despite signing a multi-title publishing deal with Eidos Interactive, only one game was ever published, Timeline. Released on November 10, 2000, for the PC, the game received negative reviews.

Speeches

Crichton delivered a number of notable speeches in his lifetime.

Intelligence Squared “Global Warming is Not a Crisis” debate

On March 14, 2007, Intelligence Squared held a debate in New York City titled Global Warming is Not a Crisis, moderated by Brian Lehrer. Crichton was on the for the motion side along with Richard Lindzen and Philip Stott against Gavin Schmidt, Richard Somerville, and Brenda Ekwurzel. Before the debate, the audience was largely on the against the motion side (57% vs. 30%, with 13% undecided).[74] At the end of the debate, there was a notable shift in the audience vote to prefer for the motion side (46% vs. 42%, with 12% undecided), leaving the debate with the conclusion that Crichton’s group won.[74] Schmidt later described the debate in a RealClimate blog posting, “Crichton went with the crowd-pleasing condemnation of private jet-flying liberals (very popular, even among the private jet-flying Eastsiders present) and the apparent hypocrisy of people who think that global warming is a problem using any energy at all.” While those against the motion had presented the agreed scientific consensus of IPCC reports, the audience was “apparently more convinced by the entertaining narratives from Crichton and Stott (not so sure about Lindzen) than they were by our drier fare. Entertainment-wise it’s hard to blame them. Crichton is extremely polished and Stott has a touch of the revivalist preacher about him. Comparatively, we were pretty dull.” Even though Crichton inspired a lot of blog responses and it was considered one of his best rhetorical performances, reception to his message was mixed.[74][75]

In the debate, although he admitted that man must have at some point contributed to global warming but not necessarily caused it, Crichton argued that most of the media and attention of the general public are being dedicated to the uncertain anthropogenic global warming scares instead of the more urgent issues like poverty. He also suggested that private jets be banned as they add more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for the benefit of the few who could afford them.

Other speeches

Mediasaurus: The Decline of Conventional Media

A 1993 speech which predicted the decline of mainstream media delivered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on April 7, 1993.[76]

Ritual Abuse, Hot Air, and Missed Opportunities: Science Views Media

The AAAS invited Crichton to address scientists’ concerns about how they are portrayed in the media, delivered to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim, California on January 25, 1999.[citation needed]

Environmentalism as Religion

This was not the first discussion of environmentalism as a religion, but it caught on and was widely quoted. Crichton explains his view that religious approaches to the environment are inappropriate and cause damage to the natural world they intend to protect.[77] The speech was delivered to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, California on September 15, 2003.

Science Policy in the 21st century

Crichton outlined several issues before a joint meeting of liberal and conservative think tanks. The speech was delivered at AEIBrookings Institution in Washington, D.C. on January 25, 2005.[citation needed]

The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming

On January 25, 2005 at the National Press Club Washington, D.C., Crichton delivered a detailed explanation of why he criticized the consensus view on global warming. Using published UN data, he argued that claims for catastrophic warming arouse doubt; that reducing CO2 is vastly more difficult than is commonly presumed; and why societies are morally unjustified in spending vast sums on a speculative issue when people around the world are dying of starvation and disease.[77]

Caltech Michelin Lecture

“Aliens Cause Global Warming” January 17, 2003. In the spirit of his science fiction writing Crichton details research on nuclear winter and SETI Drake equations relative to global warming science.[citation needed]

Testimony before the United States Senate

Together with climate scientists, Crichton was invited to testify before the Senate in September 2005, as an expert witness on global warming.[78] The speech was delivered to the Committee on Environment and Public Works in Washington, D.C.

Complexity theory and environmental management

In previous speeches, Crichton criticized environmental groups for failing to incorporate complexity theory. Here he explains in detail why complexity theory is essential to environmental management, using the history of Yellowstone Park as an example of what not to do. The speech was delivered to the Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy in Washington, D.C. on November 6, 2005.[79][80]

Genetic research and legislative needs

While writing Next, Crichton concluded that laws covering genetic research desperately needed to be revised, and spoke to Congressional staff members about problems ahead. The speech was delivered to a group of legislative staffers in Washington, D.C. on September 14, 2006.[81]

Reception

Crichton’s science novels

Most of Crichton’s novels address issues emerging in scientific research fields. In fact, his fiction provides an encyclopedic panorama of contemporary research areas, and his novels can be read as literary laboratories for probing and exploring future implications of cutting-edge, high-tech research endeavors. In quite a few of his novels (Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Next, Congo, Sphere), genomics plays an important role. Usually, the drama revolves around the sudden eruption of a scientific crisis, revealing the disruptive impacts new forms of knowledge and technology may have,[82] as is already stated in The Andromeda Strain, Crichton’s first science novel: “This book recounts the five-day history of a major American scientific crisis” (1969, p. 3). As such, his science novels and techno-thrillers have had an enormous impact on public debates on technology and science.

Criticism of Crichton’s environmental views

Many of Crichton’s publicly expressed views, particularly on subjects like the global warming controversy, have been contested by a number of scientists and commentators.[83] An example is meteorologist Jeffrey Masters‘s review of State of Fear:

Flawed or misleading presentations of global warming science exist in the book, including those on Arctic sea ice thinning, correction of land-based temperature measurements for the urban heat island effect, and satellite vs. ground-based measurements of Earth’s warming. I will spare the reader additional details. On the positive side, Crichton does emphasize the little-appreciated fact that while most of the world has been warming the past few decades, most of Antarctica has seen a cooling trend. The Antarctic ice sheet is actually expected to increase in mass over the next 100 years due to increased precipitation, according to the IPCC.”[84]

Peter Doran, author of the paper in the January 2002 issue of Nature, which reported the finding referred to above that some areas of Antarctica had cooled between 1986 and 2000, wrote an opinion piece in the July 27, 2006, The New York Times in which he stated “Our results have been misused as ‘evidence’ against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel State of Fear.”[33]

Al Gore said on March 21, 2007, before a U.S. House committee: “The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor […] if your doctor tells you you need to intervene here, you don’t say ‘Well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it’s not a problem’.” This has been interpreted by several commentators as a reference to State of Fear.[85][86][87][88]

Michael Crowley

In 2006, Crichton clashed with journalist Michael Crowley, a senior editor of the magazine The New Republic. In March 2006, Crowley wrote a strongly critical review of State of Fear, focusing on Crichton’s stance on global warming.[89] In the same year, Crichton published the novel Next, which contains a minor character named “Mick Crowley”, who is a Yale graduate and a Washington, D.C.-based political columnist. The character was portrayed as a child molester with a small penis.[90] The character does not appear elsewhere in the book.[90] The real Crowley, also a Yale graduate, alleged that by including a similarly named character Crichton had libeled him.[91]

Awards

Associations

‹See Tfd›

Personal life

As an adolescent Crichton felt isolated because of his height (6′ 9″). As an adult he was acutely aware of his intellect, which often left him feeling alienated from the people around him.[citation needed] During the 1970s and 1980s he consulted psychics and enlightenment gurus to make him feel more socially acceptable and to improve his karma. As a result of these experiences, Crichton practiced meditation throughout much of his life. He was a deist.[96]

Crichton was a workaholic. When drafting a novel, which would typically take him six or seven weeks, Crichton withdrew completely to follow what he called “a structured approach” of ritualistic self-denial. As he neared writing the end of each book, he would rise increasingly early each day, meaning that he would sleep for less than four hours by going to bed at 10 pm and waking at 2 am.[2]

In 1992, Crichton was ranked among People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people.[93]

Marriages and children

‹See Tfd›

He married five times. Four of the marriages ended in divorce: with Joan Radam (1965–1970), Kathleen St. Johns (1978–1980), Suzanna Childs (1981–1983), and actress Anne-Marie Martin (1987–2003), the mother of his daughter Taylor Anne (born 1989).[citation needed] At the time of his death, Crichton was married to Sherri Alexander (2005–2008), who was six months pregnant with their son; John Michael Todd Crichton was born on February 12, 2009.[citation needed]

Intellectual property cases

In November 2006, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Crichton joked that he considered himself an expert in intellectual property law. He had been involved in several lawsuits with others claiming credit for his work.[97]

In 1985, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard Berkic v. Crichton, 761 F.2d 1289 (1985). Plaintiff Ted Berkic wrote a screenplay called Reincarnation Inc., which he claims Crichton plagiarized for the movie Coma. The court ruled in Crichton’s favor, stating the works were not substantially similar.[98] In the 1996 case, Williams v. Crichton, 84 F.3d 581 (2d Cir. 1996), Geoffrey Williams claimed that Jurassic Park violated his copyright covering his dinosaur-themed children’s stories published in the late 1980s. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Crichton.[99] In 1998, A United States District Court in Missouri heard the case of Kessler v. Crichton that actually went all the way to a jury trial, unlike the other cases. Plaintiff Stephen Kessler claimed the movie Twister was based on his work Catch the Wind. It took the jury about 45 minutes to reach a verdict in favor of Crichton. After the verdict, Crichton refused to shake Kessler’s hand.[100] At the National Press Club in 2006, Crichton summarized his intellectual property legal problems by stating, “I always win.”[97]

Illness and death

According to Crichton’s brother Douglas, Crichton was diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2008.[101] In accordance with the private way in which Crichton lived, his cancer was not made public until his death. He was undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the time of his death, and Crichton’s physicians and relatives had been expecting him to recover. He died at age 66 on November 4, 2008.[102][103][104]

Michael’s talent outscaled even his own dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave credibility to dinosaurs walking the earth again. In the early days, Michael had just sold The Andromeda Strain to Robert Wise at Universal and I had recently signed on as a contract TV director there. My first assignment was to show Michael Crichton around the Universal lot. We became friends and professionally Jurassic Park, ER, and Twister followed. Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place.[105]

— Steven Spielberg on Michael Crichton’s death

As a pop novelist, he was divine. A Crichton book was a headlong experience driven by a man who was both a natural storyteller and fiendishly clever when it came to verisimilitude; he made you believe that cloning dinosaurs wasn’t just over the horizon but possible tomorrow. Maybe today.[106]

— Stephen King on Crichton, 2008

Crichton had an extensive collection of 20th-century American art, which Christie’s auctioned in May 2010.[107]

Unfinished novels

On April 6, 2009, Crichton’s publisher, HarperCollins, announced the posthumous publication of two of his novels. The first was Pirate Latitudes (published posthumously on November 26, 2009), found completed on his computer by his assistant after he died. This was the second of a two-novel deal that started with Next.

The other novel, titled Micro (published posthumously in 2011), is a techno-thriller that explores the outer edges of new science and technology.[108] The novel is based on Crichton’s notes and files, and was roughly a third of the way finished when he died. HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham and Crichton’s agent Lynn Nesbit looked for a co-writer to finish the novel;[3] ultimately, Richard Preston was chosen to complete the book.[35]

Film and television

Novels adapted into films

Year Title Filmmaker/Director
1971 The Andromeda Strain Robert Wise
1972 Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues Paul Williams
The Carey Treatment (A Case of Need) Blake Edwards
1974 The Terminal Man Mike Hodges
1979 The First Great Train Robbery Michael Crichton
1993 Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg
Rising Sun Philip Kaufman
1994 Disclosure Barry Levinson
1995 Congo Frank Marshall
1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg
1998 Sphere Barry Levinson
1999 The 13th Warrior (Eaters of the Dead) John McTiernan
2003 Timeline Richard Donner
2008 The Andromeda Strain (TV miniseries) Mikael Salomon

As a screenwriter or director

Year Title Notes
1972 Pursuit (TV film) Novel author/director
1973 Extreme Close-Up also titled Sex Through A Window Writer
Westworld Writer/director
1978 Coma Screenwriter/director
1979 The Great Train Robbery Novel author/screenwriter/director
1981 Looker Writer/director
1984 Runaway Writer/director
1989 Physical Evidence Director
1993 Jurassic Park Co-writer
Rising Sun Novel author/co-screenwriter
1996 Twister Co-writer/producer
2001 Jurassic Park III Based on characters created by Crichton
2015 Jurassic World Based on characters created by Crichton

As a television series creator or writer

Year Title Notes
1980 Beyond Westworld Based on his film Westworld
1994–2009 ER Creator/writer/executive producer
2016 Westworld Based on his film Westworld

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Crichton

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The Pronk Pops Show 746, August 30, 2016, Story 1: Biased Big Lie Media Launch More Aggressive Coverage of Trump — How About Aggressive Coverage of Crooked Lying Incompetent Progressive Politician Eugenics Racist Hillary Clinton — Never Mind — Story 2: Ignoring Attacks on Trump Supporters — Big Lie Media Ignore Clinton/Obama Socialist Goons and 15,000 Emails Found At Last — Suppressing Dissent — Shameless Lying — Cover Up of Pay For Play — Public Corruption — Special Prosecutor — Fall-time for Hillary — Story 3: Gene Wilder and Gilder Radner Together Again In Heaven — Pure Imagination — Somewhere Over The Rainbow — Videos

Posted on August 30, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, American History, Art, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Cartoons, College, Comedy, Communications, Constitutional Law, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Employment, Fast and Furious, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Human, Illegal Immigration, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Law, Life, Movies, News, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Success, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 Story 1: Biased Big Lie Media Launch More Aggressive Coverage of Trump — How About More Aggressive Coverage of Crooked Lying Incompetent Progressive Politician Eugenics Racist Hillary Clinton — Never Mind —

clinton cash clinton foundation emailsclinton public scrutiny hillary_stool_ben_garrisondebates

R.J. Matson / Roll Call

R.J. Matson / Roll Call

slimetotally corrutphuma and hillary

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein

Polling Data

Poll Date Sample MoE
Clinton (D)
Trump (R)
Johnson (L)
Stein (G)
Spread
RCP Average 8/9 – 8/28 42.2 37.9 7.8 3.2 Clinton +4.3
PPP (D) 8/26 – 8/28 881 LV 3.3 42 37 6 4 Clinton +5
Monmouth 8/25 – 8/28 689 LV 3.7 46 39 7 2 Clinton +7
NBC News/SM 8/22 – 8/28 24104 RV 1.0 41 37 11 5 Clinton +4
Rasmussen Reports 8/23 – 8/24 1000 LV 3.0 42 38 9 2 Clinton +4
Gravis 8/22 – 8/23 1493 LV 2.5 42 41 4 1 Clinton +1
Reuters/Ipsos 8/20 – 8/24 1049 LV 3.5 39 36 7 3 Clinton +3
Quinnipiac 8/18 – 8/24 1498 LV 2.5 45 38 10 4 Clinton +7
Economist/YouGov 8/19 – 8/23 906 RV 4.1 42 38 6 4 Clinton +4
Pew Research 8/9 – 8/16 1567 RV 2.8 41 37 10 4 Clinton +4

All General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein Polling Data

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html

Media defend aggressive standards for covering Trump

Story 2: Ignoring Attacks on Trump Supporters — Big Lie Media Ignore Clinton/Obama Socialist Goons and 15,000 Emails Found At Last  — Suppressing Dissent — Shameless Lying — Cover Up of Pay For Play — Public Corruption — Special Prosecutor — Fall-time for Hillary — Videos

The Vicious Snake read by Donald J Trump

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Gilda Radner] Miss Emily Litella

BIAS ALERT: Media consumed with Trump

Is the Clinton campaign experiencing its worst week so far? Yes!

Ingraham: Media fail to cover stories that impact Americans

Story 2: Ignoring Attacks on Trump Supporters — Big Lie Media Ignore Clinton/Obama Socialist Goons and 15,000 Emails Found At Last  — Suppressing Dissent — Shameless Lying — Cover Up of Pay For Play — Public Corruption — Special Prosecutor —  Videos 

Media ignoring attacks on Trump supporters?

Breaking Now: AP Bombshell Rocks The Clinton Campaign… STATE FOR SELL

Mountain Trail – Wikileaks Claims Thousands Of Clinton Docs – Fox & Friends

Wikileaks To Expose New Clinton Bombshells – America’s Election HQ

Wikileaks Set To Release Info On Hillary Clinton – The Kelly File

Mike Pence on Clinton controversies: No one is above the law

Ingraham: Clintons, their wealth and Foundation ‘stink’

Story 3: Gene Wilder and Gilder Radner Together Again In Heaven — Pure Imagination —  Videos

Gene Wilder Tribute 1933-2016 – Dancing in the sky (Adrienne)

GENE WILDER FUNNY MOMENTS COMPILATION RIP 1933 – 2016

Gene Wilder Obituary

Gene Wilder 2002 official CNN interview

Gene Wilder, Star of ‘The Producers’ and ‘Willy Wonka,’ Dies

Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder Talks Memoir, Love, Acting In 2005 Interview | Flashback | TODAY

Gilda Radner & Gene Wilder @ Connie Chung

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE SCREEN TEST GILDA RADNER

Gene Wilder & Gilda Radner on set interview – Haunted Honeymoon

The Waco Kid

Blazing Saddles (8/10) Movie CLIP – Applause for the Waco Kid (1974) HD

Springtime for Hitler

Young Frankenstein in Five Minutes

That’s right..We bad.We don’t take no shit…..

Stir Crazy Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor prison scene

FLASHBACK: Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner Gush Over Their ‘Irresistible’ Love

Wonka’s Grand Entrance

Willy Wonka (HD) “Pure Imagination”

Ella Fitzgerald – Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Gene Wilder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gene Wilder
A black-and-white photo of Wilder smiling

Wilder in 1970
Born Jerome Silberman
June 11, 1933
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died August 29, 2016 (aged 83)
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
Cause of death Complications of Alzheimer’s disease
Alma mater University of Iowa
Occupation Actor, screenwriter, director, author
Years active 1961–2016
Spouse(s)
  • Mary Mercier (m. 1960;div. 1965)
  • Mary Joan Schutz (m. 1967;div. 1974)
  • Gilda Radner (m. 1984; her death 1989)
  • Karen Boyer (m. 1991; his death 2016)
Relatives Jordan Walker-Pearlman(nephew)
Signature
Gene Wilder (signature).png

Jerome Silberman (June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016), known professionally as Gene Wilder, was an American comic actor in film and theater, screenwriter, film director, and author.

Wilder began his career on stage, and made his screen debut in an episode of the TV series The Play of the Week in 1961. Although his first film role was portraying a hostage in the 1967 motion picture Bonnie and Clyde,[1] Wilder’s first major role was as Leopold Bloom in the 1968 film The Producers for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. This was the first in a series of collaborations with writer/director Mel Brooks, including 1974’s Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, which Wilder co-wrote, garnering the pair an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Wilder is known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and for his four films with Richard Pryor: Silver Streak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989), and Another You (1991).[1] Wilder directed and wrote several of his own films, including The Woman in Red (1984).

His third wife was actress Gilda Radner, with whom he starred in three films, the last two of which he also directed. Her 1989 death from ovarian cancer led to his active involvement in promoting cancer awareness and treatment, helping found the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles[1] and co-founding Gilda’s Club.

After his last contribution to acting in 2003 – a guest role on Will & Grace for which he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor – Wilder turned his attention to writing. He produced a memoir in 2005, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art; a collection of stories, What Is This Thing Called Love? (2010); and the novels My French Whore(2007), The Woman Who Wouldn’t (2008) and Something to Remember You By (2013).

Early life and education

Wilder was born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, a manufacturer and salesman of novelty items.[2] His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, as were his maternal grandparents.[3] He adopted “Gene Wilder” for his professional name at the age of 26, later explaining, “I had always liked Gene because of Thomas Wolfe‘s character Eugene Gant in Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River. And I was always a great admirer of Thornton Wilder.”[4][5] Wilder first became interested in acting at age 8, when his mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and the doctor told him to “try and make her laugh.”[6]

At the age of 11, he saw his sister, who was studying acting, performing onstage, and he was enthralled by the experience. He asked her teacher if he could become his student, and the teacher said that if he were still interested at age 13, he would take Wilder on as a student. The day after Wilder turned 13, he called the teacher, who accepted him; Wilder studied with him for two years.[7]

When Jeanne Silberman felt that her son’s potential was not being fully realized in Wisconsin, she sent him to Black-Foxe, a military institute in Hollywood, where he was bullied and sexually assaulted, primarily because he was the only Jewish boy in the school, according to his own account.[8] After an unsuccessful short stay at Black-Foxe, Wilder returned home and became increasingly involved with the local theatre community. At age 15, he performed for the first time in front of a paying audience, as Balthasar (Romeo‘s manservant) in a production of Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet.[9] Gene Wilder graduated from Washington High School in Milwaukee in 1951.

Wilder was raised Jewish, but he held only the Golden Rule as his philosophy. In a book published in 2005, he stated, “I have no other religion. I feel very Jewish and I feel very grateful to be Jewish. But I don’t believe in God or anything to do with the Jewish religion”.[10]

Wilder studied Communication and Theatre Arts at the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.

Acting career

Old Vic, Army, and HB Studio

Following his 1955 graduation from Iowa, he was accepted at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. After six months of studying fencing, Wilder became the first freshman to win the All-School Fencing Championship.[11] Desiring to study Stanislavski’s system, he returned to the U.S., living with his sister and her family in Queens. Wilder enrolled at the HB Studio.[12]

Wilder was drafted into the Army on September 10, 1956. At the end of recruit training, he was assigned to the medical corps and sent to Fort Sam Houston for training. He was then given the opportunity to choose any post that was open, and wanting to stay near New York City to attend acting classes at the HB Studio, he chose to serve as paramedic in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Valley Forge Army Hospital, in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.[13] In November 1957, his mother died from ovarian cancer. He was discharged from the army a year later and returned to New York. A scholarship to the HB Studio allowed him to become a full-time student. At first living on unemployment insurance and some savings, he later supported himself with odd jobs such as a limousine driver and fencing instructor.

Early career

Wilder’s first professional acting job was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he played the Second Officer in Herbert Berghof‘s production of Twelfth Night. He also served as a fencing choreographer.[14]

After three years of study with Berghof and Uta Hagen at the HB Studio, Charles Grodin told Wilder about Lee Strasberg‘s method acting. Grodin persuaded him to leave the studio and begin studying with Strasberg in his private class. Several months later, Wilder was accepted into the Actors Studio. Feeling that “Jerry Silberman in Macbeth” did not have the right ring to it, he adopted a stage name.[15] He chose “Wilder” because it reminded him of Our Town author Thornton Wilder, while “Gene” came from Thomas Wolfe‘s first novel, Look Homeward, Angel. He also liked “Gene” because as a boy, he was impressed by a distant relative, a World War II bomber navigator who was “handsome and looked great in his leather flight jacket.”[15][16] He later said that he could not see Gene Wilder playing Macbeth, either. After joining the Actors Studio, he slowly began to be noticed in the off-Broadway scene, thanks to performances in Sir Arnold Wesker‘s Roots and in Graham Greene‘s The Complaisant Lover, for which Wilder received the Clarence Derwent Award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Nonfeatured Role.”[17]

1960s

In 1963, Wilder was cast in a leading role in Mother Courage and Her Children, a production starring Anne Bancroft, who introduced Wilder to her boyfriend Mel Brooks.[18] A few months later, Brooks mentioned that he was working on a screenplay called Springtime for Hitler, for which he thought Wilder would be perfect in the role of Leo Bloom. Brooks elicited a promise from Wilder that he would check with him before making any long-term commitments.[18] Months went by, and Wilder toured the country with different theatre productions, participated in a televised CBS presentation of Death of a Salesman, and was cast for his first role in a film—a minor role inArthur Penn‘s 1967 Bonnie and Clyde. After three years of not hearing from Brooks, Wilder was called for a reading with Zero Mostel, who was to be the star of Springtime for Hitler and had approval of his co-star. Mostel approved, and Wilder was cast for his first leading role in a feature film, 1968’s The Producers.[19]

The Producers eventually became a cult comedy classic,[20][21] with Mel Brooks winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Wilder being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Nevertheless, Brooks’ first directorial effort did not do well at the box office and was not well received by all critics; New York Times critic Renata Adler reviewed the film and described it as “black college humor”.[22][23]

In 1969, Wilder relocated to Paris, accepting a leading role in Bud Yorkin‘s Start the Revolution Without Me, a comedy that took place during the French Revolution. After shooting ended, Wilder returned to New York, where he read the script for Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx and immediately called Sidney Glazier, who produced The Producers. Both men began searching for the perfect director for the film. Jean Renoir was the first candidate, but he would not be able to do the film for at least a year, so British-Indian director Waris Hussein was hired. With Margot Kidder co-starring with Wilder, it was filmed on location in Dublin, and at the nearby Ardmore Studios, in August and September of 1969.[24]

1970s

In 1971, Wilder auditioned to play Willy Wonka in Mel Stuart‘s film adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After reciting some lines, Wilder prepared to leave the auditioning station, but Mel Stuart (who was a fan of Wilder) ran after him and offered the role to him immediately. Wilder was initially hesitant when he learned more on the role, but finally accepted the role under one condition:

When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself… but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.[25]

When Stuart asked why, Wilder replied, “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”[25] The scene appeared in the movie much as Wilder described it.

All three films Wilder did after The Producers were box office failures: Start the Revolution and Quackser seemed to audiences poor copies of Mel Brooks films, while Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was not a commercial success, seeming, to some parents,[who?] a moral story “too cruel” for children to understand, thus failing to attract family audiences.[citation needed] Willy Wonka did gain a cult following and an Oscar nomination for Best Score, as well as a Golden Globe award nomination for Wilder.[23] When Woody Allen offered him a role in one segment of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), Wilder accepted, hoping this would be the hit to put an end to his series of flops. Everything… was a hit, grossing over $18 million in the United States alone against a $2-million budget.[26]

Wilder in 1984

After Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), Wilder began working on a script he called Young Frankenstein. After he wrote a two-page scenario, he called Mel Brooks, who told him that it seemed like a “cute” idea, but showed little interest.[27] A few months later, Wilder received a call from his agent, Mike Medavoy, who asked if he had anything where he could include Peter Boyle and Marty Feldman, his two new clients. Having just seen Feldman on television, Wilder was inspired to write a scene that takes place at Transylvania Station, where Igor and Frederick meet for the first time. The scene was later included in the film almost verbatim. Medavoy liked the idea and called Brooks, asking him to direct. Brooks was not convinced, but having spent four years working on two box-office failures, he decided to accept.[18] While working on the Young Frankenstein script, Wilder was offered the part of the Fox in themusical film adaptation of Saint Exupéry‘s classic book, The Little Prince. When filming was about to begin in London, Wilder received an urgent call from Brooks, who was filming Blazing Saddles, offering Wilder the role of the “Waco Kid” after Dan Dailey dropped out at the last minute, while Gig Young became too ill to continue. Wilder shot his scenes for Blazing Saddles and immediately afterwards filmed The Little Prince.[18]

After Young Frankenstein was written, the rights were to be sold to Columbia Pictures, but after having trouble agreeing on the budget, Wilder, Brooks, and producer Michael Gruskoff went with20th Century Fox, where both Brooks and Wilder had to sign five-year contracts. Young Frankenstein was a commercial success, with Wilder and Brooks receiving Best Adapted Screenplaynominations at the 1975 Oscars,[28] losing to Francis Coppola and Mario Puzo for their adaptation of The Godfather Part II.[29] While filming Young Frankenstein, Wilder had an idea for a romantic musical comedy about a brother of Sherlock Holmes. Marty Feldman and Madeline Kahn agreed to participate in the project, and Wilder began writing what became his directorial début, 1975’sThe Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother.[30]

In 1975, Wilder’s agent sent him a script for a film called Super Chief. Wilder accepted, but told the film’s producers that he thought the only person who could keep the film from being offensive was Richard Pryor. Pryor accepted the role in the film, which had been renamed Silver Streak, the first film to team Wilder and Pryor. They became Hollywood’s first successful interracial movie comedy duo.[31]

While filming Silver Streak, Wilder began working on a script for The World’s Greatest Lover, inspired by Fellini‘s The White Sheik. Wilder wrote, produced, and directed The World’s Greatest Lover, which premièred in 1977, but was a critical failure.[32] The Frisco Kid (1979) was Wilder’s next project. The film was to star John Wayne, but he dropped out and was replaced by Harrison Ford, then an up-and-coming actor.

1980s

For some reason when you pair him [Pryor] with Gene Wilder, they make a particular kind of magic together. And, together, they are probably the funniest pair that’s ever been on screen.

Sidney Poitier[33]

In 1980 Wilder teamed up again with Richard Pryor in Stir Crazy, directed by Sidney Poitier. Pryor was struggling with a severe cocaine addiction, and filming became difficult, but once the film premiered, it became an international success. New York magazine listed “Skip Donahue” (Wilder) and “Harry Monroe” (Pryor) as number nine on their 2007 list of “The Fifteen Most Dynamic Duos in Pop Culture History”, and the film has often appeared in “best comedy” lists and rankings.[34][35]

Poitier and Wilder became friends, with the pair working together on a script called Traces—which became 1982’s Hanky Panky, the film where Wilder met comedian Gilda Radner. Through the remainder of the decade, Wilder and Radner worked on several projects together. After Hanky Panky, Wilder directed his third film, 1984’s The Woman in Red, which starred Wilder, Radner, and Kelly Le Brock. The Woman in Red was not well received by the critics, nor was their next project, 1986’s Haunted Honeymoon, which failed to attract audiences. The Woman in Red did win an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Stevie Wonder‘s song “I Just Called to Say I Love You“.

TriStar Pictures wanted to produce another film starring Wilder and Pryor, and Wilder agreed to do See No Evil, Hear No Evil only if he were allowed to rewrite the script. The studio agreed, and See No Evil, Hear No Evilpremiered on May 1989 to mostly negative reviews. Many critics praised Wilder and Pryor, as well as Kevin Spacey‘s performance, but they mostly agreed that the script was terrible. Roger Ebert called it “a real dud“;[36] theDeseret Morning News described the film as “stupid”, with an “idiotic script” that had a “contrived story” and too many “juvenile gags”,[37] while Vincent Canby called it “by far the most successful co-starring vehicle for Mr. Pryor and Mr. Wilder”, also acknowledging that “this is not elegant movie making, and not all of the gags are equally clever”.[38]

1990s–2000s

After starring as a political cartoonist who falls in love in the 1990 film Funny About Love, Wilder performed in one final movie with Pryor, the 1991 feature Another You, in which Pryor’s physical deterioration from multiple sclerosis was clearly noticeable.[39] It was Pryor’s last starring role in a film (he appeared in a few cameos before he died in 2005) and also marked Wilder’s last appearance in a feature film. Neither of his last two movies were financially successful. His remaining work consisted of television movies and guest appearances in TV shows.

Wilder was inducted into the the Wisconsin Performing Arts Hall of Fame, at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday April 9, 1991.[40]

In 1994, Wilder starred in the NBC sitcom Something Wilder.[41] The show received poor reviews and lasted only one season. He went back to the small screen in 1999, appearing in three television movies, one of which was the NBC adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. The other two, Murder in a Small Town and The Lady in Question, were mystery movies for A&E TV that were cowritten by Wilder, in which he played a theatre director turned amateur detective. Three years later, Wilder guest-starred on two episodes of NBC’s Will & Grace, winning a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor on a Comedy Series for his role as Mr. Stein, Will Truman‘s boss.[42]

Personal life

Wilder with Gilda Radner, 1986

Relationships

Wilder met his first wife, Mary Mercier, while studying at the HB Studio in New York. Although the couple had not been together long, they married on July 22, 1960. They spent long periods of time apart, eventually divorcing in 1965. A few months later, Wilder began dating Mary Joan Schutz, a friend of his sister. Schutz had a daughter, Katharine, from a previous marriage. When Katharine started calling Wilder “Dad”, he decided to do what he felt was “the right thing to do”,[43] marrying Schutz on October 27, 1967, and adopting Katharine that same year. Schutz and Wilder separated after seven years of marriage, with Katharine thinking that Wilder was having an affair with his Young Frankenstein co-star, Madeline Kahn. After the divorce, he briefly dated his other Frankenstein co-star, Teri Garr. Wilder eventually became estranged from Katharine.[18][44]

Wilder met Saturday Night Live actress Gilda Radner on August 13, 1981, while filming Sidney Poitier’s Hanky Panky. Radner was married to guitarist G. E. Smith at the time, but Wilder and she became inseparable friends. When the filming of Hanky Panky ended, Wilder found himself missing Radner, so he called her. The relationship grew, and Radner eventually divorced Smith in 1982. She moved in with Wilder, and the couple married on September 14, 1984, in the south of France. The couple wanted to have children, but Radner sufferedmiscarriages, and doctors could not determine the problem. After experiencing severe fatigue and suffering from pain in her upper legs on the set of Haunted Honeymoon, Radner sought medical treatment. Following a number of false diagnoses, she was found to have ovarian cancer in October 1986.[45] Over the next year and a half, Radner battled the disease, receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. The disease finally went into remission, giving the couple a respite, during which time Wilder filmed See No Evil, Hear No Evil.[45] By May 1989, the cancer returned and had metastasized. Radner died on May 20, 1989.[46] Wilder later stated, “I always thought she’d pull through.”[47]

Following Radner’s death, Wilder became active in promoting cancer awareness and treatment, helping found the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles and co-founding Gilda’s Club, a support group to raise awareness of cancer that began in New York City and now has branches throughout the country.[48]

While preparing for his role as a deaf man in See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Wilder met Karen Webb (née Boyer), who was a clinical supervisor for the New York League for the Hard of Hearing. Webb coached him in lip reading. Following Gilda Radner’s death, Wilder and Webb reconnected, and on September 8, 1991, they married.[47] The two lived in Stamford, Connecticut, in the 1734 Colonial home that he shared with Radner.

Political views

In 2007, Wilder stated, “I’m quietly political. I don’t like advertising. Giving money to someone or support, but not getting on a bandstand. I don’t want to run for president in 2008. I will write another book instead.”[49] Wilder donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.[50]

Semi-retirement and authorship

The Wilders spent most of their time painting watercolors, writing, and participating in charitable efforts.[18]

Wilder at a book signing in 2007

In 1998, Wilder collaborated on the book Gilda’s Disease with oncologist Steven Piver, sharing personal experiences of Radner’s struggle with ovarian cancer. Wilder himself was hospitalized with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 1999, but confirmed in March 2005 that the cancer was in complete remission following chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.[18]

In October 2001, he read from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as part of a special benefit performance held at the Westport Country Playhouse to aid families affected by theSeptember 11 attacks.[18][51] Also in 2001, Wilder donated a collection of scripts, correspondences, documents, photographs, and clipped images to the University of Iowa Libraries.[4]

On March 1, 2005, Wilder released his highly personal memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, an account of his life covering everything from his childhood up to Radner’s death. Two years later, in March 2007, Wilder released his first novel, My French Whore, which is set during World War I.[52] His second novel, The Woman Who Wouldn’t, was released in March 2008.[53]

In a 2008 Turner Classic Movies special, Role Model: Gene Wilder, where Alec Baldwin interviewed Wilder about his career, Wilder said that he was basically retired from acting for good. “I don’t like show business, I realized,” he explained. “I like show, but I don’t like the business.”

In 2010, Wilder released a collection of stories called What Is This Thing Called Love?.[54] His third novel, Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance, was released in April 2013.[55]

When asked in a 2013 Time Out New York magazine interview whether he would act again if a suitable film project came his way, Wilder responded, “I’m tired of watching the bombing, shooting, killing, swearing and 3-D. I get 52 movies a year sent to me, and maybe there are three good [ones]. That’s why I went into writing. It’s not that I wouldn’t act again. I’d say, ‘Give me the script. If it’s something wonderful, I’ll do it.’ But I don’t get anything like that.”[56]

Death

Wilder died at the age of 83 on August 29, 2016, at home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He had kept knowledge of his condition private, but had been diagnosed three years prior to his death.[1][2][57] Wilder’s nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, said that this was so as not to sadden his younger fans.[58]

According to his family, Wilder died while peacefully holding hands with his wife as he listened to his favorite music. [59]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title Role Result Ref.
1962 Clarence Derwent Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Nonfeatured Role The Complaisant Lover Hotel Valet Won [17]
1968 Academy Award
(41st)
Best Supporting Actor The Producers Leo Bloom Nominated [60]
1971 Golden Globe Award Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka Nominated [61]
1974 Academy Award
(47th)
Writing Adapted Screenplay Young Frankenstein Dr. Frederick Frankenstein Nominated [62]
1976 Golden Globe Award Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Silver Streak George Caldwell Nominated [63]
2003 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Will & Grace Dr. Stein Won [42]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1967 Bonnie and Clyde Eugene Grizzard
1968 The Producers Leo Bloom
1970 Start the Revolution Without Me The twins Claude and Philippe
1970 Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx Quackser Fortune
1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka
1972 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) Dr. Doug Ross
1974 Rhinoceros Stanley Based on Eugène Ionesco‘s play Rhinoceros
1974 Blazing Saddles Jim, “The Waco Kid”
1974 The Little Prince The Fox
1974 Young Frankenstein Dr. Frederick Frankenstein Also writer
1975 The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother Sigerson Holmes Also director and writer
1976 Silver Streak George Caldwell
1977 The World’s Greatest Lover Rudy Valentine, aka Rudy Hickman Also producer, director, and writer
1979 The Frisco Kid Avram Belinski
1980 Sunday Lovers Skippy Directed “Skippy” segment
1980 Stir Crazy Skip Donahue
1982 Hanky Panky Michael Jordon
1984 The Woman in Red Teddy Pierce Also director and writer
1986 Haunted Honeymoon Larry Abbot Also director and writer
1989 See No Evil, Hear No Evil Dave Lyons Also writer
1990 Funny About Love Duffy Bergman
1991 Another You George/Abe Fielding

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1966 Death of a Salesman Bernard Television film
1972–77 The Electric Company Voice for The Adventures of Letterman Recurring role
1972 The Scarecrow Lord Ravensbane/The Scarecrow Television film
1974 Thursday’s Game Harry Evers Television film
1994–95 Something Wilder Gene Bergman Lead role
1999 Murder in a Small Town Larry “Cash” Carter Television film; co-written with Gilbert Pearlman
1999 Alice in Wonderland The Mock Turtle Television film
1999 The Lady in Question Larry “Cash” Carter Television film; co-written with Gilbert Pearlman
2002–03 Will & Grace Mr. Stein Episodes: “Boardroom and a Parked Place”, “Sex, Losers & Videotape”

Documentaries

  • “Expo: Magic of the White City” (2005)

Stage

Publications

POLITICOS SPAR OVER ETHICS SURROUNDING CLINTON FOUNDATION

Republicans and Democrats sparred Sunday over whether Hillary Clinton crossed ethical lines during her tenure as secretary of state by talking with people outside the government who had contributed to her family’s philanthropy foundation.

Donna Brazile, the interim head of the Democratic National Committee, said it’s not unusual for supporters and activists to seek out private meetings and that there’s no evidence Clinton did any favors on behalf of foundation donors.

“When Republicans meet with their donors, with their supporters, they call it a meeting,” she told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” ”When Democrats do that, they call it a conflict. It’s not pay-to-play, unless somebody actually gave someone 50 cents to say, ‘I need a meeting.'”

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence countered that because foreign donors can’t contribute to a presidential campaign, it’s possible they were seeking political leverage within the U.S. government by donating to the Clinton Foundation. He reiterated calls by Donald Trump’s campaign for the federal government to appoint a special prosecutor to examine possible corruption.

“This (foundation) becomes a conduit for people to gain access, and gaining access is a favor,” Pence told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The State Department has released all Clinton’s calendars and about half her detailed daily schedules as secretary of state, after The Associated Press sued for access in federal court.

Based on the records released so far, the AP found that more than half the people outside the government who met or spoke by telephone with Clinton during her tenure as a Cabinet secretary had given money – either personally or through companies or groups – to the Clinton Foundation. The AP’s analysis focused on people with private interests and excluded her meetings or calls with U.S. federal employees or foreign government representatives.

The government said Friday it probably won’t release the remainder of the detailed schedules until Dec. 30, weeks after the national election.

Clinton has said the AP’s analysis was flawed because it did not account fully for all meetings and phone calls during her entire term as secretary. She also said the analysis should have included meetings with federal employees and foreign diplomats. The AP said it focused on her meetings with outsiders because those were more discretionary, as Clinton would normally meet with federal officials and foreign officials as part of her job.

Her campaign also objected to an AP tweet that stated “more than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation” and linked to the analysis. The tweet didn’t note what was in the story: that the records only covered part of her tenure and excluded meetings or calls with federal employees or foreign government representatives.

AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll told CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday that the tweet was “sloppy” and “could have used some more precision.” But she said the story linked to the tweet was “completely rock solid.”

“I think the issue about conflict with interest is not whether there’s an actual quid pro quo, it’s the proximity,” she said. “It’s the impression that people have of maybe they got the meeting because they donated, maybe they didn’t.”

She added: “All of us can’t be held responsible for the way that everybody thinks about and responds to and talks about the coverage. Our responsibility is just to give them fair and balanced, rock-solid reporting and let them agree with it, disagree with it, talk about it, think what they might about it.”

Clinton said Friday she would take “additional steps” to ensure there wasn’t a conflict of interest with the foundation if she is elected president. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had already said the foundation would no longer accept foreign or corporate donations and that he would no longer raise money for the organization if she became president. The Clintons’ daughter, Chelsea, would remain on the foundation’s board.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CAMPAIGN_2016_CLINTON_FOUNDATION?SITE=AP

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 620, February 9, Story 1: Trump Endorsed By James Bond and Pussy Galore At Trump Rally — I Must Be Dreaming — Trump Should Win New Hampshire With Twice The Number of Votes Than Whoever Comes in Second — Cruz, Bush, Kasich, Rubio — Make America Great Again Movement — Unbelievable — Videos

Posted on February 9, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Banking System, Ben Carson, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Jeb Bush, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Marco Rubio, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, Movies, Music, News, Obama, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Security, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, U.S. Negotiations with Islamic Republic of Iran, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 620: February 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 619: February 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 618: February 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 617: February 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 616: February 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 615: February 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 614: January 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 613: January 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 612: January 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 611: January 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 610: January 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 609: January 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 608: January 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 607: January 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 606: January 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 605: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 604: January 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 603: January 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 602: January 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 601: January 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 600: January 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 599: January 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 598: January 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 597: December 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 596: December 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 595: December 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 594: December 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 593: December 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 592: December 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 591: December 11, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 590: December 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 589: December 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 588: December 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 587: December 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 586: December 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 585: December 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 584: December 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 583: November 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 582: November 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 581: November 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 580: November 23, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 579: November 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 578: November 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 577: November 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 576: November 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 575: November 16, 2015  (more…)

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The Pronk Pops Show 452, April 23, 2015, Story 1: Did President Obama and Valerie Jarrett Order the National Security Agency To Target Hillary Clinton As A National Security Risk To Recover Her Emails and Gain Political Leverage? — White House Leaking Details To The Press? — Are The Clintons Enemies of The State? — Read Some of The Dirt In The New York Times and Washington Post — Watch For Drones? — Mutual Assured Destruction — It Is Not Paranoia When They Are Really After You! — Turnkey Tyranny — Tragedy and Hope — Videos

Posted on April 23, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Crime, Drones, Education, Elections, Foreign Policy, History, Impeachment, Language, Law, Media, National Security Agency, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Barack Obama, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Security, Servers, Spying, Terror, Terrorism, Transportation, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 407: January 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 406: January 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 405: January 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 404: January 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 403: January 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Story 1: Did President Obama and Valerie Jarrett Order the National Security Agency To Target Hillary Clinton As A National Security Risk To Recover Her Emails and Gain Political Leverage? — White House Leaking Details To The Press? — Are The Clintons Enemies of The State? — Read Some of The Dirt In The New York Times and Washington Post — Watch For Drones? — Mutual Assured Destruction — It Is Not Paranoia When They Are Really After You! — Turnkey Tyranny — Tragedy and Hope — Videos

barack_obama_and_valerie_jarrett_in_the_west_wing_corridor

Obama Defends NSA Spying

Obama Defends NSA Spying

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.

The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed — codenamed ThinThread — was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind); destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.

William Binney speaks out in this feature-length interview with Tragedy and Hope’s Richard Grove, focused on the topic of the ever-growing Surveillance State in America.

On January 22, 2015: (Berlin, Germany) – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is proud to announce that retired NSA Technical Director and GAP client, William “Bill” Binney, will accept the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award today in Berlin, Germany. The award is presented annually by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) to a professional who has taken a strong stand for ethics and integrity. http://whistleblower.org/press/nsa-wh…

Jeb Bush Praises NSA Spying Under President Obama

clinton-cash-cover

clintoncash-web-copy

cash and carry bill

Mitt Romney on Clinton foundation uranium payments: “It looks like bribery”

Sale of Uranium Co. to Russia Connected to Clinton Donors • Clinton Cash • 4/23/15 •

April 23rd, 2015 • Fox News host Bret Baier connects the dots of how donations to the Clinton Foundation and fees paid to Bill Clinton helped to facilitate the sale of a North American uranium company to Russia.

‘Clinton Cash’ Makes Waves Even Before Hitting Shelves

Book claims Clinton Foundation played on family fame while Hillary was in office

Clinton Foundation received “dirty” Russian money from Putin cronies

Cash Flowed To Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

Hillary Clinton dismisses “Clinton Cash,” GOP critics

Chelsea Clinton Defends Family’s Foundation Against Allegations in “Clinton Cash” Book

New York Times, Fox News Strike Deals for Anti-Hillary Clinton Research

Book on ‘Clinton Cash’ reportedly claims foreign donors got State Dept. favors

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’

Still Report #288 – NSA’s Bill Binney – Part 1

SR 290 – NSA’s Bill Binney – Part 2

Still Report #291 – NSA’s Bill Binney – Part 3

Still Report #293 – NSA’s Bill Binney – Part 4

Still Report #294 – NSA’s Bill Binney – Part 5

Still Report #298 – NSA’s Mr. Binney – Part 7

Still Report #299 – NSA’s Mr. Binney – Part 8

SR #302 – NSA’s Bill Binney – Part 9

NSA whistleblower exposes Obama’s secrets

Clinton Corruption – It Keeps Going, And Going, And Going

Frank Giustra Discusses the Motivation Behind the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative

Dalai Lama Humanitarian Award 2014: Frank Giustra

Hillary Clinton Exposed, Movie She Banned From Theaters Full Movie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYW5nmS9ps

Enemy Of The State – Trailer – (1998) – HQ

Enemy Of The State – The NSA Can Read The Time Off Your F**king Wristwatch!

Enemy of the State 1998 – All about the NSA – Said Beautifully (Updated with more video)

Will Smith Movies Full Length – Free Movies HD – Enemy of the State 1998!!!

ABBA Money Money Money (ABBA-DABBA-DOOO!!) US Nautilus LP Audio HD

The Disastrous Clinton Post-Presidency

By Jonathan Chait Follow 

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton listens to the speech of U.S. President Barack Obama during the seventh annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) at the Sheraton New York Hotel on September 21, 2011 in New York City.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton listens to the speech of U.S. President Barack Obama during the seventh annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) at the Sheraton New York Hotel on September 21, 2011 in New York City. Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

The qualities of an effective presidency do not seem to transfer onto a post-presidency. Jimmy Carter was an ineffective president who became an exemplary post-president. Bill Clinton appears to be the reverse. All sorts of unproven worst-case-scenario questions float around the web of connections between Bill’s private work, Hillary Clinton’s public role as secretary of State, the Clintons’ quasi-public charity, and Hillary’s noncompliant email system. But the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.

The news today about the Clintons all fleshes out, in one way or another, their lack of interest in policing serious conflict-of-interest problems that arise in their overlapping roles:

  • The New York Times has a report about the State Department’s decision to approve the sale of Uranium mines to a Russian company that donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Global Initiative, and that a Russian investment bank promoting the deal paid Bill $500,000 for a speech in Moscow.
  • The Washington Post reports that Bill Clinton has received $26 million in speaking fees from entities that also donated to the Clinton Global Initiative.
  • The Washington Examiner reports, “Twenty-two of the 37 corporations nominated for a prestigious State Department award — and six of the eight ultimate winners — while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State were also donors to the Clinton family foundation.”
  • And Reuters reports, “Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.”

The Clinton campaign is batting down the darkest and most conspiratorial interpretation of these stories, and where this all leads remains to be seen. But the most positive interpretation is not exactly good.

When you are a power couple consisting of a former president and a current secretary of State and likely presidential candidate, you have the ability to raise a lot of money for charitable purposes that can do a lot of good. But some of the potential sources of donations will be looking to get something in return for their money other than moral satisfaction or the chance to hobnob with celebrities. Some of them want preferential treatment from the State Department, and others want access to a potential future Clinton administration. To run a private operation where Bill Clinton will deliver a speech for a (huge) fee and a charity that raises money from some of the same clients is a difficult situation to navigate. To overlay that fraught situation onto Hillary’s ongoing and likely future government service makes it all much harder.

And yet the Clintons paid little to no attention to this problem. Nicholas Confessore described their operation as “a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.” Indeed, as Ryan Lizza reported in 2012, Bill Clinton seemed to see the nexus between his role and his wife’s as a positive rather than a negative:

Regardless of Bill Clinton’s personal feelings about Obama, it didn’t take him long to see the advantages of an Obama Presidency. More than anyone, he pushed Hillary to take the job of Secretary of State. “President Clinton was a big supporter of the idea,” an intimate of the Clintons told me. “He advocated very strongly for it and arguably was the tie-breaking reason she took the job.” For one thing, having his spouse in that position didn’t hurt his work at the Clinton Global Initiative. He invites foreign leaders to the initiative’s annual meeting, and her prominence in the Administration can be an asset in attracting foreign donors. “Bill Clinton’s been able to continue to be the Bill Clinton we know, in large part because of his relationship with the White House and because his wife is the Secretary of State,” the Clinton associate continued. “It worked out very well for him. That may be a very cynical way to look at it, but that’s a fact. A lot of the stuff he’s doing internationally is aided by his level of access.”

The Obama administration wanted Hillary Clinton to use official government email. She didn’t. The Obama administration also demandedthat the Clinton Foundation disclose all its donors while she served as Secretary of State. It didn’t comply with that request, either.

The Clintons’ charitable initiatives were a kind of quasi-government run by themselves, which was staffed by their own loyalists and made up the rules as it went along. Their experience running the actual government, with its formal accountability and disclosure, went reasonably well. Their experience running their own privatized mini-state has been a fiasco.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/04/disastrous-clinton-post-presidency.html

Hillary Clinton has a baggage problem

By Chris Cillizza

The single biggest threat to Hillary Clinton’s chances of being elected president next November — more so than any one running against her in the Democratic primary or even her future Republican general election opponent — is a sense among the electorate that the bad of putting another Clinton in office outweighs the good.

What Clinton cannot have — if she wants to win — is lots of voters saying some variant of this: “I like her and I think she’d probably be a good president. But, I just don’t want to go through all of that stuff again.” Which is why today is a not-at-all-good day for Clinton’s presidential hopes.

There’s this from the New York Times: “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company.”

This from the Post: “For Clintons, speech income shows how their wealth is intertwined with charity.”

And this from Politico: “Hillary Clinton struggles to contain media barrage on foreign cash.”

None of these stories are disastrous for Clinton’s campaign. Of the three, the Times piece is the most problematic because it draws direct connections between State Department recommendations regarding Russia and donations from aligned business interests to the Clinton Foundation. This paragraph, in particular, is a tough one for Clinton:

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

The Post story — by the terrific Roz Helderman — provides a much more detailed breakdown of the family’s finances than has previously appeared elsewhere — including the fact that Bill Clinton was paid $26 million in speech fees “by companies and organizations that are also major donors to the foundation he created after leaving the White House.”

Again, not great for the Clintons but also no silver bullet contained therein that would derail her campaign.

But, in terms of raising the “I don’t know if I want to go through all of this again” sentiment among average people, this collection of stories is just terrible. It reminds them — or, if it doesn’t remind them yet, it will — of all the things in the 1990s that they didn’t like and certainly don’t want to go through again. Obviously the top of the mind issue there is Monica Lewinsky but there’s Whitewater, the travel office, the Buddhist monks — and so and so forth.
“It’s the Clinton way: raking in millions from foreign governments behind closed doors while making promises about transparency that they never intended to keep,” said Carly Fiorina, one of the 20 (or so) people likely to run for president on the Republican side. “Have we had enough of a ruling political class that doles out favors to the wealthy and well connected few?”

Republicans would be wise to follow Fiorina’s example as they strategize the best way to effectively attack Clinton in the campaign to come. While hitting her on her resume or readiness for the office is a loser with the American public, raising questions about her honesty is far more fertile soil.

Check out the new Quinnipiac University national poll. More than six in ten (62 percent) of voters said Clinton has “strong leadership qualities.” In that same sample, however, less than four in ten (38 percent) said that Clinton was honest and trustworthy. A majority (54 percent) said she’s not honest and trustworthy, including 61 percent of independents.

That’s a remarkable set of findings — and speaks to the divided mind the public has about the Clintons broadly and Hillary Clinton specifically. There’s a widespread belief in her capability to do the job she is running for. There’s also widespread distrust in her personally. People admire her but don’t know if she’s honest.

And that is the central problem for Clinton with this series of stories today. It affirms for people that there is always some piece — or pieces — of baggage that come with electing the Clintons to anything. It’s part of the deal. You don’t get one without the other.

Make no mistake: Forcing people to decide whether Clinton’s readiness for the job outweighs the fact that it’s always something with these people is not the choice the Clinton team wants on the ballot in November 2016.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/04/23/hillary-clintons-baggage-problem/

For Clintons, speech income shows how their wealth is intertwined with charity

By Rosalind S. Helderman

Bill Clinton was paid at least $26 million in speaking fees by companies and organizations that are also major donors to the foundation he created after leaving the White House, according to a Washington Post analysis of public records and foundation data.

The amount, about one-quarter of Clinton’s overall speaking income between 2001 and 2013, demonstrates how closely intertwined Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable work has become with their growing personal wealth.

The Clintons’ relationships with major funders present an unusual political challenge for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Now that she has formally entered the presidential race, the family may face political pressure and some legal requirements to provide further details of their personal finances and those of the foundation, giving voters a clearer view of the global network of patrons that have supported the Clintons and their work over the past 15 years.
The multiple avenues through which the Clintons and their causes have accepted financial support have provided a variety of ways for wealthy interests in the United States and abroad to build friendly relations with a potential future president. The flow of money also gives political opponents an opportunity to argue that Hillary Clinton would face potential conflicts of interest should she win the White House. Though she did not begin delivering paid speeches or join the foundation until 2013, upon ending her tenure as secretary of state, the proceeds from her husband’s work benefited them both.

Bill Clinton was paid more than $100 million for speeches between 2001 and 2013, according to federal financial disclosure forms filed by Hillary Clinton during her years as a senator and as secretary of state.
At a Council on Foreign Relations event on women’s rights in New York City, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, fielded questions about recent controversies over foreign donations to the foundation. (Council on Foreign Relations)
A spokesman for Bill Clinton declined to comment on the overlap between speech sponsors and foundation donors, saying only that the former president’s speaking schedule has been largely consistent since he left the White House.

Craig Minassian, a spokesman for the foundation, said it makes sense that supporters of the foundation would also be eager to hear from the former president.
“It’s not surprising that organizations who believe strongly in the Clinton Foundation’s mission and are impressed by its results are genuinely interested in President Clinton’s perspective,” Min­assian said. “The president often says the foundation is his life today, and he welcomes any opportunity to educate people about it and encourage more people to work together to solve some of the most critical global challenges we all face.”

The Post analysis shows that, among the approximately 420 organizations that paid Bill Clinton to speak during those years, 67 were also foundation donors that each gave the charity at least $10,000.

Many of those funders were major financial institutions that are viewed suspiciously by liberals whom Clinton has been courting as she seeks to secure the Democratic nomination — and avoid a vigorous primary challenge from the populist left.
Four major financial firms — Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup — collectively have given between $2.75 million and $11.5 million to the charity, which is now called the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Between 2001 and 2013, their combined speech payments to Bill Clinton came to more than $3 million.

The Post analysis also revealed aspects of Bill Clinton’s paid speaking career during Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department that were not clear from her public filings.

Those included:

●The role played by dozens of companies and organizations, some of them associated with foreign governments or with interests before the U.S. government, in serving as secondary hosts for a number of the speeches. In her filings, Hillary Clinton typically disclosed only the primary sponsor of each speech.

One such “sub-sponsor” was Boeing, a major government contractor whose interests Hillary Clinton promoted in her official duties at the State Department.

●Four speeches delivered by Bill Clinton did not appear in Hillary Clinton’s filings. One such speech was a 2012 address to an annual meeting of the Carlyle Group, a politically connected private-equity firm.
A spokesman for Bill Clinton’s office said the former president at times spoke to benefit the foundation, which would not trigger a disclosure requirement for Hillary Clinton. None of the four speech sponsors are listed as foundation donors. The spokesman said the proceeds were classified as non-tax-deductible revenue — not donations.

The Clintons’ finances have already become a political flash point with the much-anticipated release next month of a new book examining the foundation and the family’s personal wealth. The Clinton campaign has dismissed “Clinton Cash,” written by conservative author Peter Schweizer, as a partisan attack.

The Post received a copy of the manuscript after signing a non-disclosure agreement with publisher HarperCollins. This article is based on reporting and documents collected independently from Schweizer’s book.

The foundation itself has also emerged as an issue. In recent weeks, some Democrats have expressed anxiety about the foundation’s receipt of millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Records show that the foundation accepted contributions from seven foreign governments during that time, including one donation that the foundation has acknowledged violated an ethics agreement with the Obama administration designed to limit new foreign-government donors.

Clinton aides have said the foundation goes beyond legal requirements and industry standards in its transparency. Its Web site lists donors and their contribution amounts, expressed in ranges.

It is not unusual for former presidents to boost their income through an active schedule of paid lectures; records show Bill Clinton has often shared the stage with former president George W. Bush or delivered speeches in front of groups that had previously hosted Bush or his father, former president George H.W. Bush.

Clinton has been in particular demand as a speaker because of his renowned oratory and growing popularity in post-presiden­tial life, partly based on the widely respected work of the foundation. Speech organizers, which have included universities, charities and major lecture series, report that the former president is a major draw and that he often boosts attendance for annual events.
What sets the Clintons apart is the vast reach of their donor network and the extent to which they have tapped it for the broad range of their personal, political and charitable work.

The Post’s analysis, based on foundation disclosures, State Department documents, financial filings and other records, shows that the lines between Clinton’s paid speeches and his work for the foundation often blurred as he traveled the world promoting the charity and reaping millions in payments.

Technology companies Microsoft and Cisco Systems, for instance, donated at least $1 million each to the foundation. The two companies paid Bill Clinton a total of $1.02 million in speaking fees for a series of lectures.

In September 2012, the Italian fitness equipment company Technogym paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in the northern Italian city of Cesena at a conference devoted to “creating a better and more sustainable world through people’s health,” according to financial disclosures and documents Bill Clinton’s office submitted to the State Department.

Technogym, which has also given between $25,000 and $50,000 to the foundation, reported in a news release that the speech came about in part because of the foundation’s work fighting childhood obesity.

Clinton spent much of his remarks discussing the work of the foundation to improve global health and comparing it to efforts by the company and its affiliated charity to promote the same ideas. “So I’m very interested in all these things that the Wellness Foundation and that this conference and that Technogym does — because we are trying to do this,” Clinton said, according to a YouTube video of his remarks.

Technogym did not respond to a request for comment.

The intermingling of foundation and paid work was also apparent earlier that year when Bill Clinton addressed an advertising festival in Cannes, France.

Grupo ABC, a major Brazilian advertising company, paid Bill Clinton $450,000 for the June 2012 appearance. Foundation records show that the firm has given the charity between $1.5 million and $6 million.
Excerpts from the event posted on YouTube show that Clinton was introduced with a video devoted to the work of the charity. “I personally believe that if the American people give you the honor of serving them, you should keep doing it after you leave office,” Clinton says in the video.

State Department records show that Bill Clinton gave a speech and participated in a moderated question-and-answer session in Cannes for 1,000 advertising employees and then attended a reception for 75 at a luxury hotel.

Grupo ABC spokesman Sergio Malbergier said the company has worked with a series of global charities and nongovernmental organizations as part of a belief in being a “socially responsible organization.” He said the company has supported the Clinton Foundation “because of the importance and effectiveness of its work.”

Bill Clinton was invited as a keynote speaker to help celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary, Malbergier said, because company leaders have found his vision “a great source of inspiration.”

A Clinton Foundation official said organizations that pay for the former president to speak are often interested in the work of the charity and request that Clinton address it in his remarks.

The Post analysis also found other previously unreported aspects of Bill Clinton’s speaking career.

While Hillary Clinton named the sponsoring organization for each of her husband’s speaking engagements, separate documents show that Bill Clinton’s office listed 97 additional sub-sponsors that had been proposed to help with these speaking events.

Bill Clinton disclosed the additional information as part of a voluntary ethics process undertaken when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. He agreed to seek State Department approval of his paid speaking engagements to avoid conflicts of interest for his wife.

The correspondence between Bill Clinton’s office and the State Department was released in July after the conservative group Judicial Watch sought the records, ultimately filing suit to force their release.

Hillary Clinton was not obligated to disclose the sub-sponsors in her annual filings. The State Department’s correspondence with Bill Clinton’s office provides the only indication of the additional interests that helped support the former president’s paid speaking career.
In 2010, for instance, Hillary Clinton disclosed that her husband had been paid $250,000 to address the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.

But Bill Clinton’s office alerted the State Department that other sponsors for the event were proposed to include Etisalat, a large Middle Eastern telecommunications company whose majority owner is the government of the United Arab Emirates.

Likewise, in 2012, Hillary Clinton’s disclosures show, Bill Clinton was paid $250,000 for a Boston speech to the Global Business Travel Association.

But the documents filed by Bill Clinton’s office show that a proposed sub-sponsor was the aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing. During a 2009 trip to Russia, Hillary Clinton made a personal pitch for a state-owned airline to buy Boeing jets.

Gordon Johndroe, a Boeing spokesman, said the company has sponsored the major travel event for several years, regardless of its invited speakers.

[For Hillary Clinton and Boeing, a beneficial relationship]

Some sub-sponsors also were foundation donors, including Boeing, which has given more than $1 million to the charity.

In addition, the Post analysis found that Bill Clinton delivered some paid speeches during Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department that were not publicly disclosed.

By law, Cabinet members and lawmakers must disclose speeches for which their spouses were paid at least $200. And the foundation has voluntarily updated its donor list on its Web site each year since 2008.

But four speeches were not disclosed in either fashion.

A spokesman for Bill Clinton’s office said that the former president “complied with disclosure requirements in every case” and that any speech fee not disclosed as personal income by Hillary Clinton went to the foundation.

But he said those fees were not tax deductible for the sponsoring organization and thus were not considered donations to the charity. He said they were included in the revenue figure provided in the foundation’s tax filings.

The examples The Post found were:

●A speech delivered in October 2011 in front of 9,000 at the University of Rochester’s Meliora Weekend, the school’s annual reunion and parents weekend. University officials confirmed that he delivered the speech for a fee, which they would not disclose.
●An appearance at the Minneapolis Heart Institute’s annual gala, also in October 2011. Event organizers said Clinton was supposed to attend in person but appeared via video link after a snowstorm confined him to Washington. They said a $25,000 fee was paid for his appearance at the event that, according to State Department records, was also sponsored by the Land O’Lakes dairy company.

“We wanted a speaker who could speak personally about heart disease and heart treatment,” said Minneapolis Heart Institute spokeswoman Melissa Hanson. “In addition, we wanted someone with first-class credibility. President Clinton was a natural fit.”

●A September 2012 question-and-answer session at the annual investors meeting of the politically connected private-equity company the Carlyle Group. A spokesman would not comment on Bill Clinton’s fee. According to Politico, Hillary Clinton was paid to appear at the same event a year later, after she stepped down as secretary of state.

●Bill Clinton’s participation as the guest of honor at a dinner in Limerick, Ireland, in November 2012 at which scholarships were awarded to Irish students. A spokeswoman for the organizing group confirmed Clinton traveled to Ireland to take part in the dinner

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-clintons-speech-income-shows-how-their-wealth-is-intertwined-with-charity/2015/04/22/12709ec0-dc8d-11e4-a500-1c5bb1d8ff6a_story.html.

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?_r=0

Exclusive: Clinton charities will refile tax returns, audit for other errors

image

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims “absurd conspiracy theories.”

The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

The errors, which have not been previously reported, appear on the form 990s that all non-profit organizations must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service to maintain their tax-exempt status. A charity must show copies of the forms to anyone who wants to see them to understand how the charity raises and spends money.

The unsettled numbers on the tax returns are not evidence of wrongdoing but tend to undermine the 990s role as a form of public accountability, experts in charity law and transparency advocates told Reuters.

“If those numbers keep changing – well, actually, we spent this on this, not that on that – it really defeats the purpose,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency advocacy group.

For three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.

Those entries were errors, according to the foundation: several foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation’s work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period. Those governments were identified on the foundation’s annually updated donor list, along with broad indications of how much each had cumulatively given since they began donating.

FOUNDATION DEFENDS TRANSPARENCY

“We are prioritizing an external review to ensure the accuracy of the 990s from 2010, 2011 and 2012 and expect to refile when the review is completed,” Craig Minassian, a foundation spokesman, said in an email.

The decision to review the returns was made last month following inquiries from Reuters, and the foundation has not ruled out extending the review to tax returns extending back 15 or so years.

Minassian declined to comment on why the foundation had not included the necessary break-down of government funding in its 990 forms. He said it was rare to find an organization as transparent as the foundation.

“No charity is required to disclose their donors,” he said. “However, we voluntarily disclose our more than 300,000 donors and post our audited financial statements on our website along with the 990s for anyone to see.”

Separately, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the foundation’s flagship program, is refiling its form 990s for at least two years, 2012 and 2013, CHAI spokeswoman Maura Daley said, describing the incorrect government grant break-outs for those two years as typographical errors.

CHAI, which is best known for providing cheaper drugs for tens of thousands of people with HIV around the world, began filing separate tax returns in 2010, and has previously refiled at least once both its 2010 and 2011 form 990s. For both those years, CHAI said its initial filings had over-reported government grants by more than $100 million.

Some experts in charity law and taxes said it was not remarkable for a charity to refile an erroneous return once in a while, but for a large, global charity to refile three or four years in a row was highly unusual.

“I’ve never seen amendment activity like that,” said Bruce Hopkins, a Kansas City lawyer who has specialized in charity law for more than four decades, referring to the CHAI filings.

Clinton stepped down from the foundation’s board of directors this month but her husband, Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, remain directors.

The foundation said last week after Hillary Clinton became a candidate that it would continue to accept funding from foreign governments, but only from six countries that are already supporting ongoing projects. CHAI will also continue to receive foreign government funding, again with additional restrictions.

Nick Merrill, Clinton’s spokesman, has declined to answer inquiries about the foundation and CHAI.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0NE0CA20150423?irpc=932

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Bizarre week for NSA reformers

“USA Freedom Act” Has All Oversight Of NSA Gutted By Phony Gatekeepers!

Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]

U.S. Freedom act

Real Talk with Julie Borowski: Stop Snooping, NSA!

Is NSA reform being sabotaged?

“The USA FREEDOM Act” Congress Plan To Curb NSA Spying On American Citizens

GOP against Justin Amash The Glenn Beck Talk Show

Report exposes secret NSA snooping tool

Opposing Bulk NSA Surveillance (Rep. Justin Amash)

Rep. Justin Amash cosponsored an amendment that would have defunded the National Security Agency’s unwarranted bulk collection of Americans’ phone data. The measure failed narrowly, but has re-energized the legislative struggle for civil liberties. Amash believes that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, should be prosecuted for lying to Congress. He also says he doesn’t appreciate the “condescending” tone of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with respect to the debate over national security.

Glenn Beck Justin Amash Interview On Nsa Surveillance

Congress’s Abdication on NSA Oversight (U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI))

Justin Amash: President Obama Was ‘Highly Misleading’ In Claiming There’s No Domestic Spying Program

House committee passes NSA reform bill

The House Judiciary Committee passed the National Security Agency reforming “USA Freedom Act” 31-0 Wednesday. The first major piece of legislation seeking to curb the NSA’s collection of electronic information, the bill which has undergone major changes will now proceed to the full House of Representatives. It will be competing with another reform bill that is expected to be approved by the House Intelligence Committee Thursday. RT’s Sam Sacks breaks down the bill and the chances for instituting real reform.

“USA Freedom Act” Bill To Put NSA “Out Of Business”

Fox News Reporting The NSA’s Secret War Who’ The Enemy? 1 of 6

Fox News Reporting The NSA’s Secret War Who’ The Enemy Controversy Not The First Time 2 of

Fox News Reporting The NSA’s Secret War Who’ The Enemy? Controversy? 9 11 3 of 6

Fox News Reporting – The NSA’s Secret War Who’ The Enemy? – Phone Records – 4 of 6

Fox News Reporting – The NSA’s Secret War Who’ The Enemy? – Edward Snowden & Security – 5 of 6

Fox News Reporting – The NSA’s Secret War Who’ The Enemy? – Day Of Reckoning At Hand? – 6 of 6

C-SPAN Callers On The Future Of The National Security Agency (NSA)

James Bamford Says NSA “Exploiting” U.S. Citizens With Info About Their Online Porno Viewing Habits

Congress Pulls Bait-and-Switch on USA FREEDOM Act

Yesterday, C4L sent a letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee strongly opposing the Manager’s Amendment to H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act.

The original version of the act was sold to Americans as a way to rein in the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs, and it would have been a first step towards real reform of the surveillance state since 9/11.

But, that’s seldom the way Congress works. In an effort to “pass something this year,” the Judiciary Committee watered down the legislation and it passed out of the committee unanimously.

Want proof the recent changes to USA Freedom Act make it unworthy of support from civil libertarians? Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger, the NSA’s biggest cheerleaders in the House,just reported it out of their committee by voice vote.

What’s more likely, that Rogers and Ruppersberger had a change of heart on the NSA? Or that Judiciary watered down the USA FREEDOM Act enough to the point that its “reform” is devoid of any substantive changes?

The bill is now earning plaudits from the same guys who said the original version would “make America less safe,” and from the administration that never wanted you to know they were spying on you in the first place.

Read Campaign for Liberty’s letter to the Judiciary Committee below:

Letter to Judiciary Committee – USA FREEDOM Act

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/national-blog/congress-pulls-bait-switch-usa-freedom-act/

USA Freedom Act unanimously clears House Judiciary Committee

Surveillance reform bill designed to prevent collection of US phone data in bulk and is first to proceed onto the House floor

Jim Sensenbrenner

The bill’s architect, Republican James Sensenbrenner, said the bill ‘makes it crystal clear that Congress does not support bulk collection.’ Photo: Chip Somodevilla /Getty

Six months after it was written to restrain the National Security Agency’s sweeping domestic surveillance, a privacy bill cleared a major legislative obstacle on Wednesday, even as its advocates worried that the compromises made to advance the bill have weakened its constraints on mass data collection.

The USA Freedom Act, designed to prevent the US government from collecting US phone data in bulk, passed the House Judiciary Committee by a 32 to zero bi-partisan vote, making it the first surveillance reform bill to proceed out of committee and to the House floor.

But an internal committee breakthrough on Monday that won the support of chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, significantly recast the bill, softening its prohibitions on aspects of bulk collection and requiring transparency around it.

The bill’s architect, Republican James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who also wrote the 2001 Patriot Act, said the bill “makes it crystal clear that Congress does not support bulk collection.”

While changes to the bill now permit the government to gather call records up to two degrees of separation away from a specific target – potentially millions of records – Sensenbrenner urged his colleagues “not to make the perfect the enemy of the good,” expressing confidence that the revamped USA Freedom Act was on “the fast track to passage.”

Supporters in and outside of Congress concede the latest compromises have left the USA Freedom Act less protective of civil liberties than it was when introduced in October. Its distinctions from a rival bill written by the leaders of the House intelligence committee, the NSA’s strongest Capitol Hill advocates, are somewhat blurred, prompting civil libertarians to become less enthusiastic of a measure they have championed as a fix to the broad NSA powers exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Representative John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat and longtime USA Freedom Act supporter, said that the new version of the bill was a “less than perfect compromise” that still makes “important, vital, substantive changes” to US surveillance.

The revised USA Freedom Act, “while still better than any other proposal on the board, is a setback from the original,” said Amie Stepanovich of Access, a human rights and digital rights advocacy group.

While the USA Freedom Act has nearly 150 House co-sponsors, and a stalled Senate companion commands 20 votes in the upper chamber, it was clear on Wednesday that the House intelligence committee will continue attempts to outmaneuvre its rival.

The chairman of the intelligence committee, until now a fervent critic of the USA Freedom Act, is now praising a bill he has long criticized, and which several congressional sources said he attempted to influence ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who is retiring this year, called the changes to the USA Freedom Act a “huge improvement,” adding in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine that the bill’s architects have “come a lot closer [and] now we’re just trying to work out the wording.”

Rogers is scheduled to mark up his alternative bill, the Fisa Transparency and Modernization Act, on Thursday, a decision USA Freedom Act supporters view as a desperation move. But on Wednesday, Rogers’ committee announced it will also mark up the USA Freedom Act on Thursday, prompting Capitol Hill speculation that Rogers will attempt to merge his bill with the Freedom Act rather than attempt to rally more votes.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio had earlier thrown his support behind Rogers’ bill. But now Boehner is said to be monitoring the committe process and keeping his options open. Congressional sources expected Boehner to schedule a vote on a surveillance proposal – of whatever form – as early as the week of 19 May, so the issue does not derail the annual defense budget authorization, though nothing is scheduled yet.

Both bills as originally crafted prevent the NSA from collecting US phone data in bulk, as it has done in secret since 2001, a position that President Barack Obama now embraces. The major difference between the two bills remains the role of judges in authorizing data collection. The Rogers bill permits the government to collect phone and email data absent a judges’ prior order, which the revised USA Freedom Act requires in all but emergency cases.

Additionally, the revised USA Freedom Act permits the government to get phone data two “hops,” or degrees of separation, from the target of the order, which can mean millions of call records reaped from a single court order. The legal standard for that order, for counterterrorism purposes, will be “reasonable articulable suspicion” of connection to an agent of a foreign power, the NSA’s desired framework.

Significantly, the new version of the USA Freedom Act all but stripped out a provision preventing the NSA from combing through its foreign communications dragnets for Americans’ information, something Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon dubbed the “backdoor search provision,” an absence that has deeply upset supporters. Those dragnets exist pursuant to a major 2008 piece of legislation, known as Section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act.

Congressional sources pointed to new language tightening up prohibitions on the NSA intentionally targeting Americans’ communications at the outset as a palliative. But they conceded the absence of the backdoor search ban was a major change – one they said the NSA’s advocates fought hard for, an indication of how central the NSA considers a power it has rarely forthrightly acknowledged using. They indicated that USA Freedom Act supporters lacked the votes within the committee to pass the bill that retained the backdoor search prohibition.

An attempt by Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, to restore the backdoor search provision failed Wednesday. Goodlatte said restoring it would “disrupt this bipartisan agreement.”

Kevin Bankston of the Open Technology Institute said he was “incredibly disappointed” at the new USA Freedom Act’s effective blessing of backdoor searches.

“Especially when we’re expecting the government’s own surveillance watchdog, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, to issue a report on just that issue within a month or so, closing the door to reform on Section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act would be premature,” Bankston said in a statement.

But the Judiciary Committee restored a provision initially struck from the original USA Freedom Act permitting increased transparency for companies receiving surveillance orders for their customers’ data, the absence of which had alarmed supporters.

The language, added back to the bill Wednesday by Representative Suzan Delbene of Washington, had been cut in order to codify a January deal the Justice Department reached with phone and Internet companies allowing them to list received orders only in bands of 1,000 and with a time lag. Congressional sources said companies lobbied hard to restore transparency language.

The Obama administration has withheld endorsement of either bill in public, confusing supporters. But in recent weeks, its guidance to Capitol Hill on surveillance reform included a requirement for up-front judicial authorization for data requests, which only the USA Freedom Act possesses.

“At this stage, I think I’d just say we will be watching closely as these bills go through the process,” said Caitlin Hayden, a White House spokeswoman said shortly before the vote.

Hours after the vote, Hayden issued a statement welcoming the USA Freedom Act as “a very good first step”:

“In March the president laid out his proposal to reform Section 215, and called upon Congress to act quickly to pass implementing legislation. We applaud the House Judiciary Committee for approaching this issue on a bipartisan basis. The Judiciary Committee passed bill is a very good first step in that important effort, and we look forward to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence action on it tomorrow,” Hayden said.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act is the provision cited by the NSA and blessed by the secret Fisa Court for bulk data collection.

Some legislators, distressed by the changes to the USA Freedom Act, are considering a different option for surveillance reform.

As amended, the USA Freedom Act would push back the expiration of Section 215 to the end of 2017, when Section 702 is set to expire. The current expiration is 1 June of next year. Some legislators are already whispering that allowing Section 215 to expire wholesale in 2015 is a preferable reform.

But Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, a Democrat, said the USA Freedom Act was “the first, best and perhaps only chance in a decade” to constrain widespread surveillance.

“This is our chance. We have to seize it,” Nadler said on Wednesday.

Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who sponsored the USA Freedom Act in the Senate, hailed the committee vote, but said he was concerned that the text does not reform the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s national-security letters and makes insufficient changes on transparency and to the Fisa Court.

“I will continue to push for those reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA Freedom Act this summer,” Leahy said in a statement.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/07/usa-freedom-act-clears-house-committee-nsa-surveillance

USA Freedom Act

The USA Freedom Act, formally titled the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-Collection and Online Monitoring Act, is a bill that was introduced in both houses of the U.S. Congress on October 29, 2013.

The House version, introduced by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner as HR 3361, was referred to the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations January 9, 2014,[3] and the Senate version, S. 1599, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy, was read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.[4] An amended version out of the House Judiciary Committee contained many provisions raising concerns among civil libertarians,[5] including an extension of the controversial USA PATRIOT Act through the end of 2017.[6][7] The bill will be considered in the Senate through the summer of 2014.[8]

Purpose

The USA Freedom Act[9] would end the bulk collection of Americans’ metadata, end the secret laws created by the FISA court, and introduce a “Special Advocate” to represent public and privacy matters.[10][11][12] Other proposed changes include limits to programs like PRISM, which “incidentally” retains Americans’ Internet data,[13] and greater transparency by allowing companies such as Google and Facebook to disclose information about government demands for information.[14]

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced the bill, stated that its purpose was:

To rein in the dragnet collection of data by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies, increase transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), provide businesses the ability to release information regarding FISA requests, and create an independent constitutional advocate to argue cases before the FISC.[10][15]

According to the bill’s sponsors, their legislation would amend Section 215 of the Patriot Act to ensure that any phone records obtained by the government were essential in an investigation that involved terrorism or espionage, thereby ending bulk collection,[16] while preserving “the intelligence community’s ability to gather information in a more focused way.”[17] A May 2014 amended version of the bill would also extend thecontroversial USA PATRIOT Act through the end of 2017.[18] The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has criticized the Patriot Act as unconstitutional, especially when “the private communications of law-abiding American citizens might be intercepted incidentally”.[19]

The bill is made up of several titles: FISA business records reforms, FISA pen register and trap and trace device reforms, FISA acquisitions targeting persons outside the United States reforms, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reforms, Office of the Special Advocate, National Security Letter reforms, FISA and National Security Letter transparency reforms, and Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board subpoena authority.[20]

Background

Many members of Congress believed that in the wake of the Snowden disclosures, restoration of public trust would require legislative changes.[21] More than 20 bills have been written since the disclosures began with the goal of reining in government surveillance powers.[13]

Sensenbrenner, who introduced the USA PATRIOT Act (H.R. 3162) in 2001 following the September 11 terrorist attacks to give more power to US intelligence agencies, and who has described himself as “author of the Patriot Act”,[22] declared that it was time to put the NSA’s “metadata program out of business”. With its bulk collection of Americans’ phone data, Sensenbrenner asserted that the intelligence community “misused those powers”, had gone “far beyond” the original intent of the legislation, and had “overstepped its authority”.[21][23]

An opinion piece by Leahy and Sensenbrenner, published in Politico, described the impetus for proposed changes,[24] saying:

The intelligence community has failed to justify its expansive use of [the FISA and Patriot Act] laws. It is simply not accurate to say that the bulk collection of phone records has prevented dozens of terrorist plots. The most senior NSA officials have acknowledged as much in congressional testimony. We also know that the FISA court has admonished the government for making a series of substantial misrepresentations to the court regarding these programs. As a result, the intelligence community now faces a trust deficit with the American public that compromises its ability to do its job. It is not enough to just make minor tweaks around the edges. It is time for real, substantive reform.[17]

Markup in House Judiciary Committee

In May 2014, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee posted a “Manager’s Amendment” on its website. Title VII of the Amendment read “Section 102(b)(1) of the USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (50 U.S.C. 1805 note) is amended by striking “June 1, 2015” and inserting “December 31, 2017”, extending the controversial USA PATRIOT Act through the end of 2017.[25] The Electronic Privacy Information Center(EPIC) has criticized the Patriot Act as unconstitutional, especially when “the private communications of law-abiding American citizens might be intercepted incidentally”.[19] James Dempsey, of the CDT, believes that the Patriot Act unnecessarily overlooks the importance of notice under the Fourth Amendment and under a Title III wiretap,[26] while the American Library Association became so concerned that they formed a resolution condemning the USA PATRIOT Act, and which urged members to defend free speech and protect patrons’ privacy against the Act.[27]

The Guardian wrote “civil libertarians on the Judiciary Committee had to compromise in order to gain support for the act. Significantly, the government will still be able to collect phone data on Americans, pending a judge’s individualized order based on ‘reasonable articulable suspicion‘ – a standard preferred by the NSA – of wrongdoing, and can collect call records two degrees or ‘hops’ of separation from the individual suspected”.[5] Kara Brandeisky of ProPublica said “some worry that the bill does not unequivocally ban bulk collection of American records. Again, a lot depends on how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court interprets the statute”.[28]

The National Journal wrote “one tech lobbyist noted concern that a provision that would have allowed companies to disclose to customers more information about government data requests has been dropped. In addition, an external special advocate that would oversee the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would no longer be selected by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Instead, the court’s judges would designate five ‘amicus curiae‘ who possess appropriate security clearances.”[29]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) stated it remained “concerned that this bill omits important transparency provisions found in the USA FREEDOM Act, which are necessary to shed light on surveillance abuses”. In addition, the EFF said it believed “this bill should do more to address mass surveillance under Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act, a section of law used to collect the communications of users worldwide”.[30] The Open Technology Institute commented “several other key reforms—such as provisions allowing Internet and phone companies to publish more information about the demands they receive, which OTI and a coalition of companies and organizations have been pressing for since last summer—have been removed, while the bill also provides for a new type of court order that the President has requested, allowing for continuous collection by the government of specified telephone records.”[31]

Despite the criticism from civil liberties groups, Mike Rogers, a defender of the NSA‘s surveillance practices and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, praised the amendments. Rogers, who had his own bill which would codify the NSA’s surveillance practices in to law, called the proposed amendments a “huge improvement”. Foreign Policy wrote “any compromise to the Judiciary bill risks an insurrection from civil libertarians in Congress. Michigan Republican Justin Amash led such a revolt last year when he offered an NSA amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would have stripped funding for the NSA’s collection program.” “Just a weakened bill or worse than status quo? I’ll find out,” Representative Amash said.[32]

After passage of the marked up bill, USA Freedom Act co-author and Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy commented that he “remain concerned that the legislation approved today does not include some of the important reforms related to national security letters, a strong special advocate at the FISA Court, and greater transparency. I will continue to push for those reforms when the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the USA FREEDOM Act this summer.”[8]

Reaction

The Act has bipartisan support, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. As of May 8, 2014, it had 150 co-sponsors in the House[1] and 21 in the Senate.[2] Viewed as one of the most comprehensive of the similar bills introduced since the NSA leaks, the USA Freedom Act has support or qualified support from a diverse range of groups such as the ACLUMozilla, and the NRA.[13][33]

Representative Justin Amash, author of the narrowly-defeated Amash Amendment, a proposal that would have de-funded the NSA, backed the legislation. “It’s getting out of control” he commented, “[Courts are issuing] general warrants without specific cause…and you have one agency that’s essentially having superpowers to pass information onto others”.[23]

According to Deputy Attorney General James Cole, even if the Freedom Act becomes law, the NSA could continue its bulk collection of American’s phone records. He explained that “it’s going to depend on how the [FISA] court interprets any number of the provisions” contained within the legislation.[16] Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties at Stanford Law School, stated:

The Administration and the intelligence community believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of the laws Congress passes, so long they can convince one of the judges appointed to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to agree. This isn’t the rule of law. This is a coup d’etat.[16]

Opponents of global surveillance have called for the bill to be strengthened. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a statement saying “we consider this bill to be a floor, not a ceiling”. The ACLU wrote that “although the USA Freedom Act does not fix every problem with the government’s surveillance authorities and programs, it is an important first step and it deserves broad support.”[34][35]

International human rights groups remain somewhat skeptical of specific provisions of the bill. For example, Human Rights Watch expressed its concern that the “bill would do little to increase protections for the right to privacy for people outside the United States, a key problem that plagues U.S. surveillance activities. Nor would the bill address mass surveillance or bulk collection practices that may be occurring under other laws or regulations, such as Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act or Executive Order 12333. These practices affect many more people and include the collection of the actual content of internet communications and phone calls, not just metadata”.[36] Zeke Johnson, Director of Amnesty International‘s Security and Human Rights Program, agreed that “any proposal that fails to ban mass surveillance, end blanket secrecy, or stop discrimination against people outside the U.S. will be a false fix”.[37]

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b “Bill Summary & Status 113th Congress (2013–2014) H.R.3361”THOMAS, Library of Congress. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  2. Jump up to:a b “Bill Summary & Status 113th Congress (2013–2014) H.R.3361”THOMAS, Library of Congress. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  3. Jump up^ “Bill Summary & Status 113th Congress (2013–2014) H.R.3361”. THOMAS, Library of Congress.
  4. Jump up^ “Bill Summary & Status 113th Congress (2013–2014) S.1599”. THOMAS, Library of Congress.
  5. Jump up to:a b The Guardian: Chairman of key House committee agrees to proceed with NSA reform bill
  6. Jump up^ House Judicicary Committee: Manager’s Amendment to USA Freedom Act

    Section 102(b)(1) of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (50 U.S.C. 1805 note) is amended by striking ‘‘June 1, 2015’’ and inserting ‘‘December 31, 2017’’.

  7. Jump up^ The Guardian: USA Freedom Act unanimously clears House Judiciary Committee

    As amended, the USA Freedom Act would push back the expiration of Section 215 to the end of 2017, when Section 702 is set to expire. The current expiration is 1 June of next year. Some legislators are already whispering that allowing Section 215 to expire wholesale in 2015 is a preferable reform.

  8. Jump up to:a b Office of Senator Patrick Leahy: Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Action by the House Judiciary Committee to End Bulk Collection
  9. Jump up^ “Bill Summary & Status: 113th Congress (2013–2014) H.R.3361 CRS Summary”. THOMAS, Library of Congress.
  10. Jump up to:a b Roberts, Dan. “The USA Freedom Act: a look at the key points of the draft bill”Guardian.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  11. Jump up^ Wilhelm, Alex (2013-10-29). “Proposed USA FREEDOM Act Would Dramatically Curtail The NSA’s Surveillance”TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  12. Jump up^ ‘Patriot Act’ Author Seeks ‘USA Freedom Act’ to Rein In NSA – US News and World Report. Usnews.com (October 10, 2013).
  13. Jump up to:a b c Gallagher, Rhan. “U.S. Lawmakers Launch Assault on NSA Domestic Snooping”Slate.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  14. Jump up^ “USA Freedom Act Would Leash the National Security Agency”Businessweek. Bloomberg. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  15. Jump up^ Sensenbrenner, Jim. “The USA Freedom Act”House.gov. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  16. Jump up to:a b c Granick, Jennifer (2013-12-16). “NSA’s Creative Interpretations Of Law Subvert Congress And The Rule Of Law”Forbes. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  17. Jump up to:a b Leahy, Sen. Patrick; Sensenbrenner, Rep. Jim (29 October 2013). “The case for NSA reform”Politico. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  18. Jump up^ House Judicicary Committee: Manager’s Amendment to USA Freedom Act
  19. Jump up to:a b “Analysis of Specific USA PATRIOT Act Provisions: Expanded Dissemination of Information Obtained in Criminal Investigations”AnalysisElectronic Privacy Information Center. Retrieved July 11, 2008.
  20. Jump up^ “Bill Text 113th Congress (2013–2014) H.R.3361.IH”THOMASLibrary of Congress. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
  21. Jump up to:a b Roberts, Dan (2013-10-10). “Patriot Act author prepares bill to put NSA bulk collection ‘out of business'”Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  22. Jump up^ Editorial Board (2013-06-06). “President Obama’s Dragnet”. New York Times.
  23. Jump up to:a b Krietz, Andrew (2013-10-15). “Amash-backed bill aimed to end NSA spying programs garners even bipartisan support”. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  24. Jump up^ Shabad, Rebecca (2014-01-16). “Sen. Leahy on NSA claim: ‘Baloney'”The Hill.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  25. Jump up^ House Judicicary Committee: Manager’s Amendment to USA Freedom Act
  26. Jump up^ James X. Dempsey“Why Sections 209, 212, and 220 Should be Modified” (undated). Retrieved October 15, 2007.
  27. Jump up^ “Resolution on the USA Patriot Act and Related Measures That Infringe on the Rights of Library Users”American Library Association. January 29, 2003. Retrieved July 11, 2008.
  28. Jump up^ ProPublica: What the Proposed NSA Reforms Wouldn’t Do
  29. Jump up^ National Journal: House Panels Race Against Each Other to Reform NSA Spying
  30. Jump up^ EFF Statement on Rep. Sensenbrenner’s USA FREEDOM Act Amendment
  31. Jump up^ Open Technology Institute: OTI Statement on New Version of Surveillance Reform Bill, The USA FREEDOM Act
  32. Jump up^ Foreign Policy: Key NSA Defender: Congress ‘A Lot Closer’ On Surveillance Reform
  33. Jump up^ Handerson (2013-10-29). “The Freedom Act will Help Rebuild User Trust in the Internet”The Mozilla Blog. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  34. Jump up^ Kurt Opsahl and Rainey Reitman (2013-11-14). “A Floor, Not a Ceiling: Supporting the USA FREEDOM Act as a Step Towards Less Surveillance”. Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  35. Jump up^ Michelle Richardson (2013-10-29). “The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform”. American Civil Liberties Union.
  36. Jump up^ Human Rights Watch: US: Modest Step by Congress on NSA Reform
  37. Jump up^ Amnesty International: Congress Must Put Human Rights at the Center of Surveillance Reform

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_Freedom_Act

Fairview (surveillance program)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fairview is a secret mass surveillance programme run by the National Security Agency, aimed at collecting phone, internet and e-mail data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens.[1] According to 2013 revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden:

The NSA partners with a large US telecommunications company…[which] partners with telecoms in the foreign countries, [which] then allow the US company access to those countries’ telecommunications systems, and that access is then exploited to direct traffic to the NSA’s repositories.[2]

According to the revelations, the NSA had collected 2.3 billion separate pieces of data from Brazilian users in January 2013 alone.[1]

Several weeks earlier, Snowden had revealed that the NSA was also harvesting the telephone metadata and text messages from over a billion subscribers in China; however, no precise program name was reported at the time.[3]

Fairview also refers to SIGAD US-990 of the same codename, as well as a “key corporate partner” who is not identified in Snowden documents. However that partner was identified on October 23, 2013 by The Washington Post—quoting NSA historian Matthew Aid—as AT&T.[4]

Media related to FAIRVIEW and Upstream Collection[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b Glenn Greenwald, Roberto Kaz, José Casado (2013-07-06). “EUA espionaram milhões de e-mails e ligações de brasileiros”. O Globo. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  2. Jump up^ Glen Greenwald (2013-07-07). “The NSA’s mass and indiscriminate spying on Brazilians”. The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2013-08-11. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
  3. Jump up^ Lana Lam, Stephen Chen (2013-06-22). “EXCLUSIVE: US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden”. South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  4. Jump up^ Emily Heil (2013-10-22). “What’s the deal with NSA’s operation names?”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-03-23.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairview_%28surveillance_program%29

XKeyscore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Logo for the XKeyscore program

XKeyscore or XKEYSCORE (abbreviated as XKS) is a formerly secret computer system first used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data it collects worldwide every day. The program has been shared with other spy agencies including Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate, New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau and the German Bundesnachrichtendienst.[1]

The program’s existence was publicly revealed in July 2013 by Edward Snowden in The Sydney Morning Herald and O Globo newspapers, though the codename is mentioned in earlier articles, and like many other codenames can also be seen in job postings, and in the online resumes of employees.[2][3]

The scope of XKeyscore

XKeyscore is a complicated system and various authors have different interpretations about its actual capabilities. Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald explained XKeyscore as being a system which enables almost unlimited surveillance of anyone anywhere in the world, while NSA said that usage of the system is limited and restricted.

According to The Washington Post and national security reporter Marc Ambinder, XKeyscore is an NSA data-retrieval system which consists of a series of user interfaces, backend databases, servers and software that selects certain types of data and metadata that the NSA has already collected using other methods.[4][5]

According to Snowden and Greenwald

On January 26, 2014, the German broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk asked Edward Snowden in its TV interview: “What could you do if you would use XKeyscore?” and he answered:[1]

“You could read anyone’s email in the world, anybody you’ve got an email address for. Any website: You can watch traffic to and from it. Any computer that an individual sits at: You can watch it. Any laptop that you’re tracking: you can follow it as it moves from place to place throughout the world. It’s a one-stop-shop for access to the NSA’s information.”
“…You can tag individuals… Let’s say you work at a major German corporation and I want access to that network, I can track your username on a website on a form somewhere, I can track your real name, I can track associations with your friends and I can build what’s called a fingerprint, which is network activity unique to you, which means anywhere you go in the world, anywhere you try to sort of hide your online presence, your identity.”

According to The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, low-level NSA analysts can via systems like XKeyscore “listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.”[6]

He added that the NSA’s databank of collected communications allows its analysts to listen “to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future”.[6]

According to the NSA

Further information: SIGINT

In an official statement from July 30, 2013, the NSA said there is no “unchecked analyst access to NSA collection data. Access to XKeyscore, as well as all of NSA’s analytic tools, is limited to only those personnel who require access for their assigned tasks.” The NSA also states that there are “stringent oversight and compliance mechanisms built in at several levels. One feature is the system’s ability to limit what an analyst can do with a tool, based on the source of the collection and each analyst’s defined responsibilities.”[7]

The agency defended the program, stressing that it was only used to legally obtain information about “legitimate foreign intelligence targets in response to requirements that our leaders need for information necessary to protect our nation and its interests. […] XKeyscore is used as a part of NSA’s lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system. […] These types of programs allow us to collect the information that enables us to perform our missions successfully — to defend the nation and to protect U.S. and allied troops abroad.”[8]

Workings

Slide from a 2008 NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing a worldmap with the locations of XKeyscore servers

Slide from a 2008 NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing the query hierarchy

An NSA presentation about XKeyscore from 2008 says that it’s a “DNI Exploitation System/Analytic Framework”. DNI stands for Digital Network Intelligence, which means intelligence derived from internet traffic.[9] In an interview with the German Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Edward Snowden said about XKeyscore: “It’s a front end search engine”.[10]

Data sources

XKeyscore consists of over 700 servers at approximately 150 sites where the NSA collects data, like “US and allied military and other facilities as well as US embassies and consulates” in many countries around the world.[11][12][13] Among the facilities involved in the program are four bases in Australia and one in New Zealand.[12]

According to an NSA presentation from 2008, these XKeyscore servers are fed with data from the following collection systems:[14]

  1. F6 (Special Collection Service) – joint operation of the CIA and NSA that carries out clandestine operations including espionage on foreign diplomats and leaders
  2. FORNSAT – which stands for “foreign satellite collection”, and refers to intercepts from satellites
  3. SSO (Special Source Operations) – a division of the NSA that cooperates with telecommunication providers

In a single, undated slide published by Swedish media in December 2013, the following additional data sources for XKeyscore are mentioned:[15]

  1. Overhead – intelligence derived from American spy planes, drones and satellites
  2. Tailored Access Operations – a division of the NSA that deals with hacking and cyberwarfare
  3. FISA – all types of surveillance approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
  4. Third party – foreign partners of the NSA such as the (signals) intelligence agencies of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, etc.

From these sources, XKeyscore stores “full-take data”, which are indexed by plug-ins that extract certain types of metadata (like phone numbers, e-mail addresses, log-ins, and user activity) and index them in metadata tables, which can be queried by analysts. XKeyscore has been integrated with MARINA, which is NSA’s database for internet metadata.[9]

However, the system continuously gets so much Internet data that it can be stored only for short periods of time. Content data remain on the system for only three to five days, while metadata is stored for up to 30 days.[16] A detailed commentary on an NSA presentation published in The Guardian in July 2013 cites a document published in 2008 declaring that “At some sites, the amount of data we receive per day (20+ terabytes) can only be stored for as little as 24 hours.”[17]

Capabilities

Slide from a 2008 NSA presentation about XKeyscore, showing the differences between the various NSA database systems

For analysts, XKeyscore provides a “series of viewers for common data types”, which allows them to query terabytes of raw data gathered at the aforementioned collection sites. This enables them to find targets that cannot be found by searching only the metadata, and also to do this against data sets that otherwise would have been dropped by the front-end data processing systems. According to a slide from an XKeyscore presentation, NSA collection sites select and forward less than 5% of the internet traffic to the PINWALE database for internet content.[16]

Because XKeyscore holds raw and unselected communications traffic, analysts can not only perform queries using “strong selectors” like e-mail addresses, but also using “soft selectors”, like keywords, against the body texts of e-mail and chat messages and digital documents and spreadsheets in English, Arabic and Chinese.[9]

This is useful because “a large amount of time spent on the web is performing actions that are anonymous” and therefore those activities can’t be found by just looking for e-mail addresses of a target. When content has been found, the analyst might be able to find new intelligence or a strong selector, which can then be used for starting a traditional search.[9]

Besides using soft selectors, analysts can also use the following other XKeyscore capabilities:[9][18]

  • Look for the usage of Google Maps and terms entered into a search engine by known targets looking for suspicious things or places.
  • Look for “anomalies” without any specific person attached, like detecting the nationality of foreigners by analyzing the language used within intercepted emails. An example would be a German speaker in Pakistan. The Brazilian paper O Globo claims that this has been applied to Latin America and specifically to Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela.[11][19]
  • Detect people who use encryption by do searches like “all PGP usage in Iran”. The caveat given is that very broad queries can result in too much data to transmit back to the analyst.
  • Showing the usage of Virtual private networks (VPNs) and machines that can potentially be hacked via TAO.
  • Track the source and authorship of a document that has passed through many hands.

Most of these things cannot be detected by other NSA tools because they operate with strong selectors (like e-mail and IP addresses and phone numbers) and the raw data volumes are too high to forward them to other NSA databases.[9]

In 2008, it was planned to add a number of new capabilities in the future, like:

Significance

The NSA slides published in The Guardian during 2013 claimed that XKeyscore had played a role in capturing 300 terrorists by 2008.[9] This claim could not be substantiated as the redacted documents do not cite instances of terrorist interventions.

A 2011 report from the NSA unit in Griesheim (Germany) says that XKeyscore made it easier and more efficient to target surveillance. Previously, analysis often accessed data they were not interested in. XKeyscore allowed them to focus on the intended topics, while ignoring unrelated data. XKeyscore also proved to be an outstanding tool for tracking active groups associated with the Anonymous movement in Germany, because it allows for searching on patterns, rather than particular individuals. An analyst is able to determine when targets research new topics, or develop new behaviors.[20]

To create additional motivation, the NSA incorporated various features from computer games into the program. For instance, analysts who were especially good at using XKeyscore could acquire “skilz” points and “unlock achievements.” The training units in Griesheim were apparently successful and analysts there had achieved the “highest average of skilz points” compared with all other NSA departments participating in the training program.[20]

Usage by foreign partners of the NSA

Germany

Excerpt of an NSA document leaked by Edward Snowden that reveals the BND‘s usage of the NSA’s XKeyscore to wiretap a German domestic target

According to documents Der Spiegel acquired from Snowden, the German intelligence agencies BND (foreign intelligence) and BfV (domestic intelligence) were also allowed to use the XKeyscore system. In those documents the BND agency was described as the NSA’s most prolific partner in information gathering.[21] This led to political confrontations, after which the directors of the German intelligence agencies briefed members of the German parliamentary intelligence oversight committee on July 25, 2013. They declared that XKeyscore has been used by the BND since 2007 and that the BfV uses a test version since 2012. The directors also explained that this program is not for collecting data, but only for analyzing them.[22]

Sweden

As part of the UKUSA Agreement, a secret treaty was signed in 1954 by Sweden with the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for the purpose of intelligence collaboration and data sharing.[23] According to documents leaked by Snowden, the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) has been granted access to XKeyscore.[24]

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Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 361: October 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 360: October 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 359: October 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 358: October 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Story 1: Obama’s  House Organ The Shrinking Readership New York Times Reveals Obama Angry With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  — No News Here — Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy Requires U.S. To  — Bomb Bomb Bomb Islamic State and Iran — A Twofer — Bombs Away — Beach Boys — Videos

Iran-Bomb

Dr. Strangelove: Major Kong Rides The Bomb 1080p

Iran-Obama-Nuclear-Bomb branco-cartoon-netanyahu-obama-iranIRAN SANCTIONS, OBAMACARTOON
Obama-War-Iran-Middle-East

 Beach Boys Good Vibrations

The Beach Boys – Help Me Rhonda

Beach Boys ” I Get Around ” Live 1964

US Senate committee approves bill for further sanctions on Iran

White House says fresh Iran sanctions “unconstructive”

Boehner Invite of Netanyahu Debated by Fox News Sunday Panel

White House furious over Netanyahu and Boehner meeting

Krauthammer On How Israel Tension Raises Questions On Iran

Obama And Netanyahu Are In Awkward New Territory

GOP Leadership’s Invitation to Netanyahu a Provocation Aimed at War with Iran

White House: Obama will not sit down with Netanyahu

Israeli PM Netanyahu: U.S. is Number 1 Target to ISIS

John Bolton: Iranian President Rouhani is playing Obama like a “violin”

FLASHBACK : Obama rejects Netanyahu snubs meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister (Sept 11, 2012)

Iran Facts

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran

The Beach Boys ~ Barbara Ann ~ 1965

Beach Boys The Lost Concert (1964)

“The Beach Boys – 25 Years Together” 1987

 

Obama’s Israel Problem

• BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

The Obama administration is angry with Israel. Here’s the administration’s house organ, the New York Times, this morning:

The Obama administration, after days of mounting tension, signaled on Wednesday how angry it is with Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House.

The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.

The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named…

Of course, the official who last summer called Prime Minister Netanyahu a “coward” and a “chickens–t” would not be named either. But there is no reason to think those unnamed angry officials do not speak for an angry president.

The Obama White House usually prides itself on not getting angry. Its self-image is that it’s cool, calm, and collected. And it doesn’t get angry at, for example, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Obama White House understands and appreciates the complexities of the Islamic Republic’s politics and history. It is only with respect to the Jewish state that the Obama White House is impatient, peremptory, and angry.
Why has Obama been lashing out? Because he had a dream. He was to be the American president who would preside at, and take credit for, the founding of a Palestinian state. Obama would be to Palestine what Harry Truman was to Israel. Now it’s clear that’s not going to happen during his presidency. Obama’s frustrated that it’s not going to happen. So he lashes out.

But Obama is still pursuing another dream: to be the American president who goes to Tehran, who achieves with Iran what Richard Nixon achieved with China. And he thinks Israel, and Israel’s friends in the United States, stand in the way of achieving that dream. So he has another reason to be angry.

Of course, it’s not Israel but reality that stands in the way of Obama’s dreams. His Cairo speech, and the policies that followed from it, have crashed on the shoals of reality. Obama said in Cairo in June 2009, that he hoped that his administration would end the “cycle of suspicion and discord” between the United States and much of the Muslim world:

I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. …

There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, “Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.”

But the truth is that Obama’s policies haven’t ameliorated the crisis in Islam or lessened the discord between Islam and the West. They have worsened the discord and exacerbated the crisis. Obama’s policies of retreat have strengthened radical Islam, and undermined those in the Muslim world who do believe in “justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

It is Obama’s failures that explain his anger—his failures, and his hopes that a breakthrough with Iran could erase the memories of failure and appear to vindicate his foreign policy. Israel stands in the way, he thinks, of this breakthrough. Prime Minister Netanyahu stands in the way. And so Obama lashes out.

It’s of course unseemly. But it’s also dangerous. Neville Chamberlain and the British establishment were far angrier with Winston Churchill, and much harsher in their attempts to discredit him, in the late 1930s when the dreams of appeasement were failing, than earlier, when hope for the success of appeasement was alive. When you think your policies are going to be vindicated, you ignore or dismiss critics. It’s when you suspect and fear imminent failure that you lash out.

So we have an angry president, increasingly desperate for vindication of his failed foreign policy, accelerating both his appeasement of Iran and his attacks on Israel. The good news is that the Republican party and the conservative movement—and most of the American people—stand with Israel and against President Obama. Of major parts of the American Jewish community, on the other hand, one can say no such thing.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-s-israel-problem_830240.html

G.O.P.’s Invitation to Netanyahu Is Aiding Obama’s Cause on Iran

President Obama’s relations with Democrats on Capitol Hill have never been especially close. But one man is helping to bring them a little closer together: Benjamin Netanyahu.

The decision by the Israeli prime minister to accept an unusual invitation from House Republicans to address a joint meeting of Congress has had the unintended effect of helping the president rally Democrats as his administration negotiates a delicate nuclear deal with Iran.

For months, the issue of imposing sanctions on Iran split many Democrats from the president, as they feared his posture was emboldening the government in Tehran to further develop itsnuclear program. But Mr. Netanyahu’s planned speech, a provocation of the president that many Democrats found distasteful and undiplomatic, has helped shift the political dynamic.

“For the prime minister to accept made it extremely political, knowing how the invitation played out,” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia and a frequent critic of the White House. Mr. Manchin was one of 10 Democrats who signed a letter agreeing not to vote on a sanctions bill until after the March 24 deadline to have a framework of an agreement in place with the Iranians.

Photo

Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, found the invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu off-putting.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Speaker John A. Boehner’s decision to invite Mr. Netanyahu, and the prime minister’s decision to accept without consulting the Obama administration, Mr. Manchin added, struck some Democrats, like him, as off-putting.

“It didn’t show a lot of class,” Mr. Manchin said. “If it had been George W. Bush or Reagan or Clinton or whoever, protocol is protocol.”

The invitation proved to be opportune for Mr. Obama, who had been making steady progress in persuading Democrats to delay a vote on sanctions to give him some diplomatic breathing room.

The president had been “changing minds,” said Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut.

“I don’t think the invitation has been helpful to the debate in Congress,” Mr. Murphy added, saying he believed Mr. Netanyahu’s speech would only further politicize an issue that should be above partisanship. “My worry all along has been that Republicans are going to oppose this deal simply because it’s President Obama’s deal, and the invitation to Netanyahu confirms that there are some Republicans who simply put politics ahead of what’s best for the country.”

Other Democrats were also quickly lining up behind the president. A group of House Democrats will formally ask Mr. Boehner to delay his invitation to the prime minister until after the March deadline passes. Three Democratic representatives were circulating a letter to the speaker among their colleagues on Wednesday. It was already picking up additional signatures.

The letter accuses the speaker of harming American foreign policy and undermining Mr. Obama. “As members of Congress who support Israel, it appears that you are using a foreign leader as a political tool against the president,” said the letter, which was signed by Representatives Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Maxine Waters of California. “When the Israeli prime minister visits us outside the specter of partisan politics,” the letter continued, “we will be delighted and honored to greet him or her on the floor of the House.”

Getting lawmakers to go on the record criticizing the prime minister will be complicated, however, because many Democrats fear antagonizing Mr. Netanyahu, the powerful pro-Israeli interests aligned with him, and Jewish voters in their districts.

MULTIMEDIA FEATURE

Timeline on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Whether Iran is racing toward nuclear weapon capabilities is one of the most contentious foreign-policy issues challenging the West.

 

“There’s a lot of people who agree with this letter,” Mr. Ellison said. “Some will put their name on it. Some won’t. But the bottom line is, I haven’t run into anyone on our side who thinks this is a good idea.”

The issue is delicate. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and an ardent defender of sanctions against Iran, insisted Wednesday that Mr. Netanyahu’s speech was not a factor in his decision not to press for an immediate vote.

“It had absolutely no effect,” he said.

Mr. Menendez made the surprising announcement on Tuesday that he and a group of nine other Democrats had written to the president to inform him that they would not vote for a sanctions bill before the March 24 deadline. It was a striking step back for a senator who last week likened the administration’s statements on the negotiations to “talking points that come straight out of Tehran.”

Democrats said they saw two political issues in play. Domestically, Mr. Boehner and Republicans want to press their point that Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is weak. And in Israel, which holds its elections March 17, Mr. Netanyahu has political incentive to present himself as a man of steely resolve.

The perception that Republicans and Mr. Netanyahu are approaching the debate over sanctions in an overtly political way has helped those who are opposed to further sanctions make their case, Democrats said.

“It’s been building for days,” said Greg Rosenbaum, the chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, speaking about efforts to persuade Democrats to offer the president more flexibility. “But it really let loose this week.”

Typically, policy on Israel has been one area where both political parties agree. And some observers said they feared the Netanyahu-Boehner episode was eroding that.

“When that sense of mutual values and interest starts to be driven apart by partisan politics,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, an Israeli advocacy group, “it works to the long-term harm of the state of Israel.”

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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The Pronk Pops Show 402, January 23, 2015, Story 1: The Decline and Fall of Network Television News — Leaning Left and Falling Viewers and Ratings — Videos

Posted on January 23, 2015. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Budgetary Policy, Business, College, Communications, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Economics, Empires, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Investments, Law, Media, Networking, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Radio, Scandals, Security, Social Science, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 361: October 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 360: October 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 359: October 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 358: October 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Evening-News-Audience-Continues-a-30-Year-Decline1

Story 1: The Decline and Fall of Network Television News — Leaning Left and Falling Viewers and Ratings — Videos

Network – Mad as Hell Scene

Network (1976) – Ned Beatty – “The World is a Business”

Paddy Chayefsky on “Network”

Nobody cares about you (George Carlin)

[yotuube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi6XV8yBFoU]

New England Patriots Cialis Commercial Parody ‘Deflate gate’ NFL Investigating Patriots

‘Deflate-gate’: NFL Investigating Patriots

The NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots deflated footballs that were used in their AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts. (Jan. 20)

Patriots’ QB Tom Brady Says He Didn’t Deflate the Footballs

CBS Evening News 22 January 2015

Former NFL QB Explains Deflated Footballs

The NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots used under-inflated footballs in the AFC championship game. Former NFL quarterback Hugh Millen says the footballs give quarterbacks a better grip and faster throws. (Jan. 23)

SportsCenter | Science behind New England Patriots deflated footballs

The Declining Influence Of TV News

Ken Auletta: Writer Liberation and the Decline of Broadcast

 

Pew study finds Americans more polarized than ever

A major study by the Pew Research Center finds the increasing polarization in the U.S. is not just in our politics. American adults are less likely to compromise and often decide where to live, who to marry and who their friends should be based on what they already believe. Michael Dimock of the Pew Research Center and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report join Gwen Ifill to assess the data.

 

Major TV Networks’ News Viewership Declining

Mainstream media blends the lines of news and entertainment

“Apparently” This Kid is Awesome, Steals the Show During Interview

It’s the Individual that’s finished.

Network

Network (1976) (Trailer)

The NFL Doesn’t Want to Know How Deflate-gate Happened

By Andrew C. McCarthy

As Brendan’s post reports, at this afternoon’s press conference, Tom Brady flatly denied altering the footballs “in any way,” which I presume includes causing anyone else associated with the Patriots to alter them. Let me add a few points.

The major takeaway of the press conference is that, according to Brady, no one from the NFL has interviewed him. This is simply mind-boggling. Because of the way footballs are handled pregame, the quarterback would be the most essential source of information in the event irregularities occur. Brady is thus the first person the NFL should have spoken with if the league really wanted to get to the bottom of what happened.

One now has to be suspicious that the league would rather not know at this point. Why? Because we are just ten days from the Super Bowl and there is very strong evidence of cheating. If the league quickly learns who is responsible, it would have to suspend the cheater(s) from the big game or be mercilessly ridiculed for turning a blind eye. The NFL obviously does not want to suspend star players or coaches from its showcase event.

But now, the league will be mercilessly ridiculed anyway. There are very few people who handle the balls or might influence how they are handled between the time they are chosen and the time they are used in a game: the starting QB, the equipment manager, the ball boy(s), the referees, and the coaches. That means a competent investigation to get to the bottom of this growing controversy could be completed in a few hours – meaning, it should have been done by now. Plus, if you need to talk to the QB, you do it before he has to start ramping up his prep for the Super Bowl – meaning, between Monday and Wednesday of this week. You don’t wait until now, when he is turning his focus to the game.

If the NFL wanted to interview Tom Brady, it would have been done already. Football turns out to be a lot like politics: Officials avoid information because if they learn something bad has been done, they are expected to do something about it.

This is an extraordinarily foolish way to handle things. The NFL has run out of feet to shoot itself in this year, and this controversy is worse because it actually affects the integrity of the game. Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick claim they simply don’t know what happened, but almost everyone who knows football says that is impossible. Either way, because no explanation has been forthcoming from the Pats, there is a media feeding frenzy at the worst time: when over 5,000 international media figures are descending to cover the Super Bowl, which is as much a cultural phenomenon as a sporting event. Deflate-gate will now surely overwhelm coverage of the game, and the league’s incompetent (at best) handling of the investigation will invite endless reminders of its earlier black eyes this season.

A lot of this seems so unnecessary. Before we rehearse the really damaging facts, let’s cover one that is not well understood and that should have undercut the significance of the ball deflation.

Everyone agrees that, after the Colts raised concerns about the balls just before halftime, the balls were reexamined at halftime, and new balls were substituted for the under-inflated ones. That is, the second half was unquestionably played on the up and up . . . and in it the Patriots outscored the Colts 35-0 28-0. So whatever happened with the balls did not affect the outcome of the game – the right team made it to the Super Bowl.

Other than that, though, the story is bad. The refs examined the balls before the game – 12 from the Pats and 12 from the Colts – and found them to fit the specifications, weighing between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds [of air per square inch].

Right before halftime, a member of the Colts intercepted a Brady pass and noticed the ball was soft – something the Colts already had suspicions about based on (a) a prior game with the Pats in which they intercepted a couple of passes and detected under-inflated balls, and (b) similar suspicions about the Pats harbored by the Baltimore Ravens, who apparently shared those suspicions with the Colts after losing a tight playoff game to the Pats two weeks ago.

After the interception before halftime, the Colts’ sideline informed their general manager, who informed league officials. Based on the complaint, the refs re-examined all 24 balls at halftime. The Colts’ balls were all still within the specs, but 11 of the 12 Pats’ balls were under-inflated by up to two pounds per square inch – i.e., about 10.5 pounds. It was unseasonably mild for Foxboro, Mass., in January – about 51 degrees. Between that and the fact that the Colts’ footballs were unchanged, there seems to be no weather-related explanation for a drop in air pressure in the Pats’ footballs.

There are thus only two apparent possibilities, neither of which is good for the Pats: Either (a) the Pats supplied under-inflated balls and the refs did not competently examine them prior to the game; or (b) the Pats, who had control of their chosen footballs after the pregame examination by the refs, deflated the balls before or during the first-half.

Because the league has not done much of an investigation or released much information, we do not know how thorough the refs’ examination process is. I am also not in a position to say how noticeable the difference between 10.5 and 12.5 pounds is. The refs – football lifers – handle the balls on every play, and they obviously did not notice during the first-half. I saw Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino interviewed on Fox News earlier this week, and upon being presented with two footballs, one fully and one under-inflated, he indicated it was hard to tell the difference. But he also said, after squeezing and throwing them a few times, that the under-inflated one was somewhat easier to grip.

I still think the best case scenario for the Pats is that, based on years of experience, the equipment managers know Brady prefers a ball at the very bottom of the 12.5 to 13.5 pound range (as he said today at his press conference). It would not surprise me if, without there needing to be any discussion, the process is for equipment managers to bring Brady only balls that are at or slightly under 12.5 pounds. Those balls no doubt deflate a bit in the four or five days he breaks them in at practice, so by the time he selects a dozen for the game, they are likely to be under 12.5 pounds – perhaps markedly under, but maybe not enough that you could tell unless you examined very closely.

I’m sure Brady and the equipment manager do not measure the air pressure at that point; Brady just picks the ones he wants. Then, as he said at the press conference, he is done with the process and doesn’t deal with the balls again until game-time. That’s what allows him to say both that he doesn’t know what happened after he chose game balls and that he did not deflate those balls.

The equipment manager brings the balls to the refs for pregame inspection a couple of hours before game-time. So it would be important to know how thorough the refs’ inspection is. If the balls were not up to spec because of the Pats’ routine manner of handling them, and then the refs failed to do a careful enough examination to make sure they were up to spec, that could explain why they were under-inflated when checked at halftime. That is, it is not necessarily true that someone deflated them after the refs’ examination.

Of course, if the refs did do a competent pregame examination, then someone on the Pats has to have deflated the footballs.

One more interesting tidbit that could be relevant. Turns out that it is largely because of Tom Brady that the NFL changed its protocols in order to allow each team to supply game balls for its own use. It used to be that the home teams were responsible for supplying all the game balls. But nine years ago, Brady and Broncos star QB Peyton Manning successfully petitioned the competition committee to change the rules. The rationale was that every QB likes the ball to be broken in differently, and since there is some leeway in the rules about inflation (i.e., the 12.5 to 13.5 range), the league should accommodate the slightly different size and contour preferences of different QBs.

Personally, I would have thought the range allowing a pound of difference simply reflected that air pressure can change depending on climate conditions and how the ball is handled – just like it does with your car’s tires. I seriously doubt the rule was written with the thought that players on opposing teams would not be using the same ball. That would be inconceivable in, say, baseball, in which players for both teams pitch and hit balls that are exactly the same.

Tom Brady indicated at today’s press conference that he did not think the balls used made much difference – he did not, he said, notice any difference between the first-half balls that were under-inflated and the second-half balls that were inflated to league specifications. Maybe . . . but sounds remarkably blasé coming from a guy who previously pushed the league to change its rules so he could always have footballs that conformed to his unique preferences.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/397011/nfl-doesnt-want-know-how-deflate-gate-happened-andrew-c-mccarthy

State of the News Media 2014

Overview

In many ways, 2013 and early 2014 brought a level of energy to the news industry not seen for a long time. Even as challenges of the past several years continue and new ones emerge, the activities this year have created a new sense of optimism – or perhaps hope – for the future of American journalism.

Digital players have exploded onto the news scene, bringing technological knowhow and new money and luring top talent. BuzzFeed, once scoffed at for content viewed as “click bait,” now has a news staff of 170, including top names like Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Schoofs, and is the kind of place that ProPublica’s Paul Steiger says he would want to work at if he were young again. Mashable now has a news staff of 70 and enticed former New York Times assistant managing editor Jim Roberts to become its chief content officer. And in January of this year, Ezra Klein left the Washington Post for Vox media, which will become the new home for his explanatory journalism concept. Many of these companies are already successful digital brands – built around an innate understanding of technology – and are using revenues from other parts of the operation to get the news operations off the ground.

Other kinds of new revenue are flowing into news operations as well. A new breed of entrepreneurs – like Jeff Bezos, John Henry and Pierre Omidyar — are investing their own money in the industry, in some cases creating wholly new entities and in others looking to bring new life to long-standing ones. Among their best credentials – beyond deep pockets – is that they are tech industry insiders and news media outsiders.  Philanthropic money has grown as well, in many cases focused on smaller outlets seeking to fill the gap in news coverage left by legacy cutbacks. As recently as March 2014, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation announced a $10 million grant to New York Public Radio to help build its digital capabilities, an expressed need among nonprofits.

The year also brought more evidence than ever that news is a part of the explosion of social media and mobile devices, and in a way that could offer opportunity to reach more people with news than ever before. Half of Facebook users get news there even though they did not go there looking for it. And the Facebook users who get news at the highest rates are 18-to-29-year-olds. The same is true for the growth area of online video. Half of those who watch some kind of online video watch news videos. Again, young people constitute the greatest portion of these viewers.

Accompanying this momentum is the question of what it adds up to within the full scope of news that consumers receive. Here the events of the last year get put in some perspective. Our first-ever accounting found roughly 5,000 full-time professional jobs at nearly 500 digital news outlets, most of which were created in the past half dozen years. But the vast majority of bodies producing original reporting still comes from the newspaper industry. But those newspaper jobs are far from secure. Full-time professional newsroom employment declined another 6.4% in 2012 with more losses expected for 2013. Gannett alone is estimated to have cut 400 newspaper jobs while the Tribune Co.  announced 700 (not all of them in the newsroom).

The new money from philanthropists, venture capitalists and other individuals and non-media businesses, while promising, amounts to only a sliver of the money supporting professional journalism. Traditional advertising from print and television still accounts for more than half of the total revenue supporting news, even though print ad revenues are in rapid decline. While seeing some small gains in new revenue streams like digital subscriptions and conferences, total newspaper advertising revenue in 2013 was down 49% from 2003. (That 2013 number also includes some niche and non-daily publications.) Television ad revenue, while stable for now, faces an uncertain future as video becomes more accessible online. What’s more, most of the new revenue streams driving the momentum are not earned from the news product itself.

There were a number of other events over the last year for which the impact on citizens is mixed or unclear. Local television, which remains the primary place American adults turn to for news, saw its audience increase for the first time in five years. At the same time, though, there were fewer stations producing original news compared with 2012, primarily the result of television acquisitions that left fewer companies in control of more stations.  At this point, fully a quarter of the 952 U.S. television stations that air newscasts do not produce their news programs. Additional stations have sharing arrangements where much of their content is produced outside their own newsroom. The impact on the consumer seems to vary from market to market, with some markets increasing potential reach by airing news on stations that never had it – even if that newscast is the same one that airs on another local station. In other markets the news has contracted, as news organizations have reduced staff or content production for cost efficiency.     

In digital news, the overlap between public relations and news noted in last year’s State of the News Media report became even more pronounced. One of the greatest areas of revenue experimentation now involves website content that is paid for by commercial advertisers – but often written by journalists on staff – and placed on a news publishers’ page in a way that sometimes makes it indistinguishable from a news story. Following the lead of early adapters like The Atlantic and Mashable, native advertising, as it is called by the industry, caught on rapidly in 2013. The New York Times, The Washington Post and most recently The Wall Street Journal have now begun or announced plans to begin devoting staff to this kind of advertising, often as a part of a new “custom content division.” eMarketer predicts that native ads spending will reach $2.85 billion by 2014.

Many of these publishers initially expressed caution over such ads, with Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker even describing it as a “Faustian pact.” In the end, though, many publishers eventually came down with a conclusion similar to Baker’s, who said that he was  “confident that our readers will appreciate what is sponsor-generated content and what is content from our global staff,” according to a statement released by The Journal. That may be the case, and it could also be the case that stories created for and paid for by advertisers do not bother consumers as long as they are a good read. At this point, though, there is little if any public data that speak to consumer response one way or the other.

And despite evidence of news consumption by Facebook users—half of whom report getting news across at least six topic areas—recent Pew Research data finds these consumers to have rather low levels of engagement with news sites. Another question looming over developments in social media is whether the self-selective process combined with algorithmic feeds are narrowing the kinds of information Americans are exposed to.

One of the biggest stories of the year, the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, shined light on yet another area of challenge for journalism in the digital age: easy access to web-based content. It threatens the security of journalists’ communications and their ability to get sources to share information with them, the ultimate impact of which could be the stories that don’t get reported on and delivered to consumers.

A year ago, the State of the News Media report struck a somber note, citing evidence of continued declines in the mainstream media that were impacting both content and audience satisfaction. As indicated above and throughout this report, many of these issues still exist, some have deepened and new ones have emerged. Still, the level of new activity this past year is creating a perception that something important, perhaps even game-changing, is going on. If the developments in 2013 are at this point only a drop in the bucket, it feels like a heavier drop than most. The momentum behind them is real, if the full impact on citizens and our news system remains unclear.

This year’s Annual Report, our 11th edition, set out to examine these shifts—in revenue, in jobs, in technology, in content, in consumer behavior. It is structured a bit differently than in the past – to account for the widening of the industry, the growing influence of technology and new ways of sharing of our data. This year’s report includes four original research reports and two graphical presentations, along with key findings and a searchable database of all the statistics gathered in past years. From these reports, six major trends emerge:

1) Thirty of the largest digital-only news organizations account for about 3,000 jobs and one area of investment is global coverage.  Vice Media has 35 overseas bureaus; The Huffington Post hopes to grow to 15 countries from 11 this year; BuzzFeed hired a foreign editor to oversee its expansion into places like Mumbai, Mexico City, Berlin and Tokyo. The two-year-old business-oriented Quartz has reporters in London, Bangkok and Hong Kong, and its editorial staff speaks 19 languages. This comes amid pullbacks in global coverage form mainstream media. The amount of airtime network evening newscasts devoted to overseas reporting in 2013 was less than half of what it was in the late 1980s. International reporters working for U.S. newspaper have declined 24% from 2003 to 2010. As the new digital native outlets continue to add staff, the country may be seeing the first real build-up of international reporting in decades – save for a few start- ups like Global Post.

2) So far, the impact of new money flowing into the industry may be more about fostering new ways of reporting and reaching audience than about building a new, sustainable revenue structure.  The news industry in the U.S. brings in a little over $60 billion of revenue annually, according to estimates in our report. Advertising, at least for now, accounts for roughly two-thirds of this pie, most of which remains tied to legacy forms. Audience revenue accounts for about a quarter and is growing both in total dollars and in share. But this revenue may also be coming from a smaller—or at least flat—pool of contributors. New kinds of earned revenue streams like event hosting and web consulting account for about 7%, while investment from sources such as venture capital and philanthropy amount to only about 1% of the total.  One part of the equation worth exploring is what kind of savings occurs at digital news startups free of the legacy infrastructure, but taking on the newer costs of technology development and maintenance.

3) Social and mobile developments are doing more than bringing consumers into the process – they are also changing the dynamics of the process itself. New survey data released here find that half (50%) of social network users share or repost news stories, images or videos while nearly as many (46%) discuss news issues or events on social network sites. And with broader mobile adoption, citizens are playing important eyewitness roles around news events such as the Boston bombing and the Ukrainian uprising. Roughly one-in-ten social network users have posted news videos they took themselves, according to the data.  And 11% of all online news consumers have submitted their own content (including videos, photos, articles or opinion pieces) to news websites or blogs. Just as powerful, though, are the shifts in how news functions in these spaces.  On social sites and even many of the new digital-only sites, news is mixed in with all other kinds of content – people bump into it when they are there doing other things. This bumping into means there may be opportunity for news to reach people who might otherwise have missed it, but less of that may be in the hands of news organizations. Only about a third of people who get news on Facebook follow a news organization or individual journalist. Instead, stories get shared from friends in their networks. And few Facebook visitors, according to a separate Pew Research study of traffic to top news sites, end up also coming to a site directly.  For news providers, this means that a single digital strategy – both in terms of capturing audience and building a viable revenue base – will not be enough.

4) New ways of storytelling bring both promise and challenge. One area of expansion in 2013 was online news video. Ad revenue tied to digital videos over all (no firm calculates a figure specifically for news videos) grew 44% from 2012 to 2013 and is expected to continue to increase. For now, though, its scale is still small, accounting for just 10% of all digital ad revenue in the U.S. YouTube alone already accounts for 20% of these revenues and Facebook has now entered the digital video ad market and, based on its rapid growth in display ad revenue, is expected to quickly account for a significant portion of these dollars. In terms of audience appeal, one-third of U.S. adults watch online news videos, but that growth has slowed considerably. After a 27% increase from 2007 to 2009, the next four years saw just 9% growth. Again, large distributors of video content like YouTube and Facebook already account for a hefty portion of video watching on the web.  Nonetheless, some news providers are making significant investments in digital video. The Huffington Post celebrated the one year anniversary of HuffPost Live, Texas Tribune held a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the purchase of equipment to stream live video coverage of the 2014 Texas governor’s race, and the multimedia company Vice in early 2014 launched a new multimedia portal just for news stories.

5) Local television, which reaches about nine in ten U.S. adults, experienced massive change in 2013, change that stayed under the radar of most. Nearly 300 full-power local TV stations changed hands in 2013 at a price of more than $8 billion. The number of stations sold was up 205% over 2012 and the value up 367%, with big owners getting even bigger. If all the pending sales go through, Sinclair Broadcasting alone will own or provide service to 167 stations in 77 markets, reaching almost 40% of the U.S. population. Sinclair’s CEO, David Smith, at the UBS conference in December 2013 expressed an interest in growing even more: “I’d like to have 80% of the country if I could get it. I’d like to have 90%.” Much of what is driving these purchases is the growth in fees that local stations are able to charge cable companies for re-airing their content – known by the industry as retransmissions fees. Both Meredith (which owns 13 stations) and Scripps (which owns 19) said they saw their retransmission revenues roughly triple in the last three years.  In terms of programming, a clear result is more stations in the same market being operated jointly and sharing more content. As of early 2014, joint service agreements exist in almost half of the 210 local TV markets nationwide, up from 55 in 2011. And fewer stations are producing their own newscasts. The ultimate impact on the consumer is complicated to assess, but the economics benefit to the owner is indisputable.

6) Dramatic changes under way in the makeup of the American population will undoubtedly have an impact on news in the U.S, and in one of the fastest growing demographic groups – Hispanics – we are already seeing shifts. The Hispanic population in the U.S. has grown 50% from 2000 to 2012–to 53 million people. Most of that growth has come from births in the U.S. rather than the arrival of new immigrants, reversing a trend from previous decades. As a result, a growing share of the Hispanic population is American-born and a growing number speak English proficiently.  In response to these trends, more general-market media companies—like ABC, NBC, Fox and The Huffington Post—have started Hispanic news operations. Since 2010, six national Hispanic outlets have been launched, all of which are either owned in full or in partnership by a general-market media company. Not all of them have been successes, however.  Earlier this year, NBC Latino—a website-only outlet—closed, after only 16 months, and CNN Latino, which had both a web and on-air presence, was shut down just a year after its launch. At the same time, Fusion, a joint effort by ABC and Univision, initially described the channel as aimed at Hispanic millennials but later switched to aiming it at millennials more broadly—currently the largest and most diverse generational group in the U.S. As demographic shifts within the U.S. continue, so too will their impact on the news ecosystem.

http://www.journalism.org/2014/03/26/state-of-the-news-media-2014-overview/

Key Indicators in Media & News

Audience

Cable

1 cable tv viewership

In 2013, the cable news audience, by nearly all measures, declined. The combined median prime-time viewership of the three major news channels—CNN, Fox News and MSNBC—dropped 11% to about 3 million, the smallest it has been since 2007. The Nielsen Media Research data show that the biggest decline came at MSNBC, which lost nearly a quarter (24%) of its prime-time audience. CNN, under new management, ended its fourth year in third place, with a 13% decline in prime time. Fox, while down 6%, still drew more viewers (1.75 million) than its two competitors combined (619,500 at MSNBC and 543,000 at CNN).
The daytime audience for cable news was more stable, holding flat at about 2 million viewers across the three news channels. CNN (up 12%) and Fox (up 2%) actually experienced growth here. That was counterbalanced by more deep loses at MSNBC (down 15.5%).

Local TV

After years in decline, local television news showed new signs of life in 2013. Viewership increased in every key time slot. Local morning news (5 to 7 a.m. Eastern Time or equivalent) gained 6.3%, early evening newscasts followed with a 3.3% increase and late night news programs were flat (up 0.1%). This follows declines every year across all time slots from 2008 to 2012, with the exception of a small uptick in 2011. The jump in viewership in the key timeslots was due largely to significant increases in the November sweeps period when morning news was up 12%, early evening grew by 8% and late night increased by 6%.

2 local news viewership in key time slots

The 2013 picture was more mixed for Fox broadcast affiliates. Morning newscasts gained 9% more audience on average, continuing the steady growth of previous years. However, late-night viewership continued to decline, although the loss in 2013 was small, just 1.2%. Over the past six years, these programs have lost more than 25% of their viewers, while one of the worst performing traditional time slots, the 11 p.m. newscasts, have lost 17.3% since 2007.

Local news in nontraditional time slots are expanding their audience. The nontraditional early-morning news slots continued to grow. At 4:30 a.m., viewership increased 13% to 2.9 million. Viewership at 4 a.m. increased by 21% on average, to 257,000, following a 19% increase in 2012. Newscasts at midday and following the network news at 7 p.m. added viewers after having lost audience the year before. Midday newscasts saw a 5% increase of their audience and viewership also grew 2% for 7 p.m. newscasts. Though audiences in these time slots are growing, the programs attract far fewer viewers than some of the most popular hours for local TV. Late-night news programs, for instance, averaged 24.3 million viewers in 2013.

Network

3 network evening news audience

In the evening, an average of 22.6 million viewers tuned into one of the three commercial broadcast news programs on ABC, CBS or NBC, a 2.3% increase over the average viewership for 2012, according to Pew Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data. The ABC World News increased 2.2% to 7.7 million viewers on average and CBS Evening News increased 6.5% to 6.5 million viewers. NBC Nightly News, the ratings leader, was the only evening news program to decrease, dipping 0.7% to 8.4 million viewers on average.

Morning news saw a 6.7% increase in average viewership compared with 2012, to 13.4 million. For years, NBC’s Today show led in viewership and ratings, but ABC’s Good Morning America took the throne in 2012 and grew its margin of victory in 2013. ABC’s Good Morning America increased 11% to 5.5 million viewers on average, CBS This Morning increased 17.9% to 3.2 million viewers and NBC’s Today show decreased 3.7% to 4.7 million.

Newspapers

Newspapers increased their total circulation by 3% daily and 1.6% Sunday, according to an analysis by the Newspaper Association of America’s John Murray. But that result is influenced by liberalized reporting rules by the Association for Audited Media and includes both paying visitors to digital platforms and distribution of Sunday insert packages to nonsubscribers.

Print now accounts for only 71.2% of daily circulation and 74.9% of Sunday, according to Murray. And Murray’s analysis of 15 of the largest newspapers shows that those papers now have just 54.9% of their total circulation in print.

News Magazines

4 news magazines newsstand sales

According to the Alliance for Audited Media, sales of newsstand copies for news magazines, the measure most accepted by the industry, fell 2% on average, following years of declining numbers. In 2013, though, the decrease was smaller than the total industry decline in newsstand sales (10%). The Economist was the hardest hit, losing 16% of its newsstand sales, after a 17% decline in 2012. The Atlantic and The Week were also hit (down 12% and 7% respectively). The New Yorker enjoyed a 16% increase, one of the highest reported in past years. Time posted some significant gains too, up 6% from the year before. Since 2008, when Pew Research started tracking these figures, the news magazines have lost 43% of their single-copy sales on average.

Subscriptions were flat, as they have been in years past. But these are normally kept from declining through discounts or special offers.

Audio

Traditional radio continues to reach the vast majority of Americans 12 and older, 91% in 2013 (roughly unchanged from 2012), but online listening is where the growth is. According to Edison Media research, fully 33% of Americans reported listening to online radio “in the last week” in 2013, up from 29% in 2013. In addition, online radio listening in cars (long a stronghold of AM/FM radio) rose to 21%, from 17% in 2012.

Another form of nontraditional radio, podcasting, has largely leveled off. The number of Americans who have “ever” listened to an audio podcast was down slightly from 29% in 2012 to 27% in 2013.

The other main non-AM/FM audio platform, satellite radio, saw moderate growth in subscribers in 2013. By the end of 2013, Sirius XM had 25.6 million subscribers in the U.S., up from 23.9 million at year end 2012.

Alternative Weeklies

Circulation for the top 20 alternative weekly newspapers declined again in 2013, but at a slower pace than in previous years: 6% in 2013, compared to 8% in 2012.

Digital

The vast majority of Americans now get news in some digital format. In 2013, 82% of Americans said they got news on a desktop or laptop and 54% said they got news on a mobile device. Beyond that, 35% reported that they get news in this way “frequently” on their desktop or laptop, and 21% on a mobile device (cellphone or tablet).

Digital Natives

Commercial

While commercial digital native sites remain a relatively small part of the economics of the news industry, their digital audience figures compete with those of much larger legacy news organizations. In April, May, and June of 2013, for example The Huffington Post averaged 45 million unique monthly visitors, putting it second only to Yahoo among the top news sites. Buzzfeed.com also fared well with 17 million monthly unique visitors, putting it at roughly the same as The Washington Post with 19 million monthly unique visitors.

Nonprofit

Audiences of noncommercial digital native news organizations vary widely and can be hard to determine because of syndication and partnership arrangements with other news outlets. On the national level, for example, ProPublica, an investigative journalism nonprofit site founded in 2007, had 544,799 unique visitors to its site in October 2012, according to a Knight Foundation report. While that is a 176% increase over October 2010, it probably misses a fair amount as the organization syndicates its content to various news organizations.

There are also regionally oriented outlets like the New England Center for Investigative Reporting with far fewer visitors per month: 2,362 unique visitors in October 2012, according to self-reported data in the Knight report. Still, that was up 87% from October 2010.

At the local level, MinnPost attracted 268,955 unique visitors in October 2012, according to the report, while The Lens, which focuses on New Orleans and Gulf Coast news, reported just 20,177 unique visitors in October 2012 (though again a huge increase – 375% – over October 2010). The variation in these data speaks to both the diversity in the scope of noncommercial digital start-ups as well as the degree to which collaboration and syndicated content may mean that site visits is not the best way to assess total audience.

Economics

Cable

5 cable news revenues

The year 2013 was a relatively weak one for economic growth among the cable news outlets. Fox News was projected to increase its total revenue, according to research firm SNL Kagan, by 5% to $1.89 billion. CNN was projected to increase just 2% to $1.11 billion, and MSNBC was projected to decline by 2% to $475 million. Both CNN and MSNBC experienced advertising revenue losses year over year.

Revenue from license fees, which cable channels charge to providers in exchange for the right to carry their programming, continued to grow in 2013, according to projections, becoming a larger part of the revenue pie for the news channels. For CNN, license fee revenue now accounts for 64% of its total intake. For Fox, it is 58%. And for MSNBC, it makes up 51% of total revenue.

Local TV

Local TV stations make the vast majority of their revenue from on-air advertising, which typically follows a cyclical pattern of increases in election years and decrease in non-election years. In 2013, total local TV ad revenue was expected to decline 2.5% from election-year 2012, according to BIA/Kelsey, amounting to $19.7 billion. But this is less of a decline than in 2011, when advertising revenues dropped by about 8% from the year before, and in 2009, when the decline was 22%.

To calculate ad revenue going just to news-producing stations (i.e. stations that include news programming,) we have to go back one year to 2012, the most recent year that BIA has final station-level data. For that year, news-producing stations took in $17.3 billion in total ad revenue, compared with $20.2 billion in the industry over all.

This year, Pew Research also estimated what portion of the $17.3 billion in ad revenues at these news-producing stations is connected to the news programming. Local TV news directors, in an annual survey by Bob Papper, attributed 48.6% of 2012 stations’ revenues to news. That would amount to $8.4 billion in all. Other sources of revenues for the local TV industry have been growing. Retransmission payments have been increasing rapidly in the past decade, according to data from the investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. In 2011, the last year for which there were final data, retransmission revenues equaled almost $1.5 billion, more than 70 times higher than they had been in 2003 ($20 million). And VSS projects that revenue will more than double—to about $3.7 billion—by 2016. In 2013 alone, 21st Century Fox— created after the split-up of News Corp. — doubled its retransmission revenues. And Nexstar, which owns 108 local stations, reported a 66% increase in its retransmission fee revenues for the fourth quarter 2013, which now account for about 23% of its total revenues.

Digital revenues for the local TV market were forecast to grow 23% in 2013, following 17% growth the previous year, according to Borrell Associates. But, the typical local TV station makes only about 4% of its total revenue from online and mobile ads, according to Borrell Associates.

Newspapers (updated April 22, 2014)

The Newspaper Association of America has stopped compiling quarterly reports on advertising revenue. According to its annual numbers, which were released in April 2014, overall revenue for newspapers in 2013 was $37.6 billion, a decrease of 2.6% from 2012. Within that total, combined print and digital ad revenue decreased by 7%—to $20.7 billion. While daily and Sunday print ad revenue dropped 8.6%, digital advertising edged up by 1.5%. That is a slowdown from the 3.7% digital ad growth rate in 2012.

The news was better with circulation revenue which was up 3.7% in 2013, slightly lower than the growth rate in 2012, 4.6%.  Many companies continue to add digital subscriptions and raise rates for a combination of print and digital access. The biggest paywall gains tend to come in the first year with revenues flattening in following years. Many companies are also building other revenue sources like digital marketing services for local businesses, contract printing or events and newsletters. Direct marketing revenue increased by 2.4% in 2013 while new and other revenue increased 5%, in 2013, according to the NAA, but both only constituted a fraction of the total revenue picture.

News Magazines

For a third year in a row, news magazines faced a difficult print advertising environment. Combined ad pages (considered a better measure than ad revenue) for the five magazines studied in this report were down 13% in 2013, following a decline of 12.5% in 2012, and about three times the rate of decline in 2011, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Again, hardest hit was The Week, which suffered a 20% drop in ad pages. The Atlantic fell 17%, The Economist 16%, and Time about 11%, while The New Yorker managed to keep its ad pages losses in single digits (7%). For print magazines, the number of ad pages sold across the industry over all was down in 2013 (4.1%), after a steep decline in 2012 (8.2%).

Network TV

According to Kantar Media, ad revenue for network television evening news programs increased 2% in the first three quarters of 2013 to $401 million. ABC’s World News decreased 3% to $130 million, the CBS Evening News saw an 11% increase to $116 million and NBC Nightly News remained steady at $155 million. Revenue for network television morning shows increased 7% in the first three quarters of 2013. At ABC’s Good Morning America revenues increased 12% to $260 million and CBS This Morning fell 2% to $108 million. At NBC’s Today show, revenue increased 6% to $504 million.

Digital

6 top 5 companies make more than half of total display ad revenue

Total digital ad spending rose to $42.6 billion in 2013, a 15.7% increase over 2012. But the bigger news was that display made up almost as much of that total as search (which is not a source of revenue for news organizations.) In 2013 display ads accounted for about 42% of the total, or $17.7 billion, according to eMarketer, and are projected to outpace search by 2015.

While the ascent of display is a good thing for news organizations, the dominance of large tech companies remains an issue. In 2012 the top five display advertising companies made 47% of all display ad revenue on the web; in 2013 that proportion increased to 51%. And while Google had been on top, Facebook overtook the search giant in 2013, taking in 17.9% of all display ad revenue to Google’s 16.9%.

Commercial

Much of the for-profit digital news landscape is occupied by private or unincorporated concerns that do not disclose detailed financial figures. But based on publicly available estimates and reports, Pew Research analysts identified a minimum of roughly $500 million in annual ad revenue from a range of digital news sites. Even that estimate does not include outlets that had been identified, but for whom no revenue estimates were found. That $500 million figure would account for roughly 1% of all known news ad revenue across U.S. media sectors. While the actual figure is almost certainly higher, even if it were doubled, it would still account for a small fraction of all news revenue in the U.S.

Nonprofit

7 majority of outlets raise 5000 or less in 2011

About one-fifth of nonprofits (21%) surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 2012 said they generated $50,000 or less in annual revenue in 2011, the latest year for which data were available, and 26% took in between $50,001 and $250,000. Foundations have been prominent sources of funding, particularly in the form of start-up grants. For many outlets, this initial funding has been difficult to replace. Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents (61%) began with a start-up grant that accounted for at least one-third of their original funding, and a majority of those grants were for $100,000 or more. Yet less than a third of those outlets had the funding renewed. As with the audience for digital native noncommercial sites, discussed above, the economics for these sites also vary, but a 2013 report by the Pew Research Center finds on average total income is quite small and heavily reliant on foundations.

Audio

Traditional AM/FM radio remains heavily reliant on “spot” advertising (ads aired during radio broadcasts) for its revenue, which saw virtually no year-over-year change in the third quarter of 2013 (the most current data available) compared with the third quarter of 2012. Digital and off-air advertising saw increases of 15% and 3% respectively, but is just a drop in the network advertising bucket.

Sirius XM, the only satellite radio provider in the U.S., grew its revenue in 2013 as well. In 2013, Sirius XM had $3.8 billion in revenue, up from $3.4 billion in 2012, an 11.7% increase. This follows several years of growth in subscriber revenue after the merger of the two companies (Sirius and XM) in 2007.

News Investment

Local TV

8 very early morning news add more stations

Staffing levels in the local TV sector were expected to be stable in 2013, according to the yearly Hofstra University survey. A majority of news directors expected no change in staff size in 2013, while just a third said they anticipated adding more staff, about the same as the year before. And only 2.5% said they expected to have to cut staff, fewer than the year before.

The average amount of weekday local TV news programming declined by six minutes in 2012, the last year for which data exist, to five hours and 24 minutes, according to the same survey. This follows four straight years of increases in the hours of news, but still puts the average hours at 5.4 in 2012, up 46% from what is was in 2003 (3.7 hours). And weekend programming continued to add time: up 11% on Saturday and 6% on Sunday on average.

One area seeing more news is in the very early 4:30 a.m. time slot. The number of stations airing news at 4:30 a.m. increased 159% in 2013 to 634, up from 245 in 2012, according to Nielsen data. Those stations cut across 207 markets, up from 113 in 2012.

Cable

Under Jeff Zucker, CNN, already a sizable global news operation, was projected to increase its spending more than either Fox or MSNBC in 2013. SNL Kagan estimated that CNN would grow its news investment by 11% to $757 million in 2013, compared to Fox’s increase of 4% (to $848.5 million) and MSNBC’s scale-back by 4% (to $272 million).

CNN still maintains by far the largest bureau system among the three major news channels with 33 around the world, though the organization laid off at least 40 journalists in late 2013 and lists one fewer domestic bureau than it had the previous year. (Fox lists two fewer bureaus than it did a year earlier, and no updated information was available from NBC News.)

Newspapers

During 2012, the most recent year for which figures are available, full-time professional newsroom employment at newspaper organizations fell by 2,600 jobs, or 6.4%. The total of 38,000 jobs is down 33.2% from its 1989 peak of 56,900, according to the annual census of the American Society of News Editors. Most of that loss was in the last six years. When the organization’s census for 2013 is released, more job losses are likely.

According to various sources, including media accounts, several major companies eliminated hundreds of newspaper jobs in 2013—including two companies that began investing more heavily in local television stations. Gannett is estimated to have cut about 400 newspaper jobs while the Tribune Co. announced about 700 cuts, not all of them in the newsroom. Media reports put newsroom layoffs at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland at about 50 and at The Oregonian in Portland at about 35 in 2013.

In one eye-catching cutback, The Chicago Sun-Times laid off its entire 28-person photography department in 2013, but hired back four photographers in December. Even Aaron Kushner, a California publisher who attracted considerable attention for hiring scores of journalists and investing heavily in print journalism, implemented about 70 layoffs at The Orange County Register and The Press-Enterprise in Riverside early in 2014.

Digital Native

Commercial

One of the noteworthy developments in 2013 (and early 2014) was the growth of editorial jobs in the expanding world of big commercial digital native news outlets. Rapidly growing Buzzfeed added approximately 170 editorial jobs last year, Gawker’s editorial staff grew to 132, almost double what it was two years earlier. Mashable lured former New York Times editor Jim Roberts to oversee its robust investment in news coverage while Yahoo News hired several high profile Times journalists to build up its original content. Henry Blodget’s Business Insider hired 15 new people to grow its editorial staff to 70. The founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, is building its growing staff at the fledgling First Look Media around Glenn Greenwald, while Ezra Klein’s Project X at Vox Media is signing up former Washington Post staffers at a brisk clip. Vice Media, which has expanded from a Montreal punk magazine to a worldwide news operation, now has more than 1,100 total global employees (that includes all staff positions), and as of the deadline for this report, had hired nearly 50 U.S. new employees in 2014 alone.

Not all of the news was good. AOL’s network of Patch hyperlocal sites at one time employed about 1,000 reporters and editors but that had been cut back to fewer than 100 by early 2014, signaling the failure of the most ambitious effort to create a universe of digital community news sites under one roof.

News Magazines

In January 2013, Time magazine cut six positions as part of broader wave of layoffs (500 jobs) at Time Inc., the publishing division that houses Time magazine. Those cuts were part of a mandate from Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes to shave $100 million from the publishing division’s annual costs. In late 2013, soon after Nancy Gibbs replaced Rick Stengel as Time’s managing editor (becoming the first women to hold that position), Time announced 11 new hires and three promotions. However, in February 2014 Time Inc. proceeded with another round of reductions, reportedly 500 jobs, as part of a restructuring plan to spin off from its parent company, Time Warner.

Audio

News in traditional radio is a hard category to define, one measure being the number of stations that carry news content only. While the number of all-news radio stations in the U.S. remains small, 37 in 2012, according to the latest data available, that number was unchanged from 2011.

Ownership

Local TV

9 total value of local tv acquisitions

Local TV station sales exploded in 2013. Nearly 300 TV stations were sold, up 205% from 2012, according to BIA/Kelsey. Likewise, the total value of these transactions was up, a 367% increase in 2013 from 2012, reaching $8.8 billion.

Sinclair, which already owned more local stations than any other company, purchased 63 more in 2013, the most notable of which were seven stations from Allbritton Communications and 22 from Fisher Communications. Sinclair now operates 167 television stations in 77 markets. The Tribune Co. acquired Local TV Holdings for $2.73 billion (a total of 19 stations) and Gannett purchased Belo, adding 17 stations, in a $2.2 billion transaction. BIA/Kelsey attributes this growth to strong political advertising revenues from the previous year, retransmission consent revenues and continued historically low interest rates.

Network

The only major development in the ownership and executive level positions at the three network news divisions in 2013 was the joint venture between Disney/ABC with Univision to create a new cable channel, Fusion. They each own 50% of the channel.

Cable

A process that began in 2012 was completed in mid-2013 when News Corp.—parent of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network—formally spit in two. The movie and TV division containing the news channels was renamed Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. with Rupert Murdoch continuing as chief executive.

In August of 2013, Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network launched a new channel aimed squarely at U.S. audiences—Al Jazeera America. It occupies the same space on the dial held by Current TV.

Newspapers

Within days in August of 2013, two venerable newspapers changed hands. Multi-millionaire and Red Sox owner John Henry bought The Boston Globe and another Massachusetts newspaper, The Worchester Telegram & Gazette, from The New York Times for $70 million. And, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos acquired The Washington Post for $250 million. In other transactions, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway acquired several more newspapers, The News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., and Tulsa World, among them. A. H. Belo sold one its four newspapers – The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., and plans to sell The Providence Journal in Rhode Island. That will leave just its flagship Dallas Morning News and the nearby Denton Record-Chronicle. Tribune Co., on the other hand, pulled eight of its papers off the market in 2013, after failing to fetch an attractive offer. Tribune now plans to spin them off into a separate company.

Commercial Digital Natives

Unlike other sectors studied here most commercial digital native sites are privately held companies and in 2013 saw little movement. One notable development, though, was AOL’s dropping of the hyperlocal news network Patch. Patch was founded by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong in 2007, at first independent of AOL but then acquired by it in 2009.

In 2009 and 2010, AOL hired 900 employees, Armstrong said, with half of them going to Patch. By early 2011, Patch sites were up and running in about 800 cities and towns across the U.S. Despite this aggressive growth, and plans being made to hire for 1,000 Patch sites by the end of 2011, Armstrong drew back, saying in early 2012, “We don’t have a massive number of Patches on a run-rate profitability, and some of them have bounced in and bounced out.”

Despite the early growth at Patch and investment by AOL the company’s business model quickly came under criticism. In May, 2012 Starboard Value (an investment firm that owned 5.3% of Patch at the time) released a report calling Patch’s business model unsustainable. The report offered some rare estimates of Patch’s finances, which showed that the company had lost $147 million in 2011 and only brought in $13 million in advertising revenue.

Over the course of 2013, Patch suffered more losses. In August 2013 AOL announced the closing of 400 of the 900 Patch sites that existed at the time. Finally, in early 2014, AOL dropped Patch entirely and sold majority ownership of the remaining sites to Hale Global.

News Magazines

In March 2013, Time Warner announced that it would spin off Time Inc. into a separate publicly traded company. In March of 2014, these plans seem to be in full effect as Time Inc. prepares to separate from Time Warner. In the meantime, Time Inc. has been integrating American Express Publishing, which it bought last year.

http://www.journalism.org/2014/03/26/state-of-the-news-media-2014-key-indicators-in-media-and-news/

How Americans Get TV News at Home

TV News ViewingEven at a time of fragmenting media use, television remains the dominant way that Americans get news at home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data. And while the largest audiences tune into local and network broadcast news, it is national cable news that commands the most attention from its viewers.

Almost three out of four U.S. adults (71%) watch local television news and 65% view network newscasts over the course of a month, according to Nielsen data from February 2013. While 38% of adults watch some cable news during the month, cable viewers—particularly the most engaged viewers—spend far more time with that platform than broadcast viewers do with local or network news.1

On average, the cable news audience devotes twice as much time to that news source as local and network news viewers spend on those platforms.  And the heaviest cable users are far more immersed in that coverage—watching for more than an hour a day—than the most loyal viewers of broadcast television news.  Even those adults who are the heaviest viewers of local and network news spend more time watching cable than those broadcast outlets.

Time Spent with TV NewsThe data in this study was prepared specifically for the Pew Research Center by Nielsen, the primary source of ratings and viewership information for the television industry. This comparison of in-home network and local television, cable and internet news consumption offers a unique look at how people get news across different platforms in a rapidly changing media environment. It is based on Nielsen’s national panel of metered homes and reflects viewership in the month of February 2013, which largely coincides with the first television “sweeps” period of the year. (See Methodology)

The numbers in this report dovetail with other data about television news viewership. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey of news consumption habits shows that local television remains the most popular way of accessing news. And Pew Research’s annual State of the News Media reportshows that the nightly network newscasts draw far larger audiences than the prime-time cable news shows.

But the deeper level of viewer engagement with cable news may help to explain why cable television—despite a more limited audience—seems to have an outsized ability to influence the national debate and news agenda. Previous Pew Research Center data have shown that in prime time—when the audience is the largest—cable talk shows tend to hammer away at a somewhat narrow news agenda that magnifies the day’s more polarizing and ideological issues. The Nielsen data make it clear that cable’s audience is staying for a healthy helping of that content.

In one finding that may seem counterintuitive in an era of profound political polarization, significant portions of the Fox News and MSNBC audiences spend time watching both channels. More than a third (34%) of those who watch the liberal MSNBC in their homes also tune in to the conservative Fox News Channel. The reverse is true for roughly a quarter (28%) of Fox News viewers. Even larger proportions of Fox News and MSNBC viewers, roughly half, also spend time watching CNN, which tends to be more ideologically balanced in prime time. (The channel’s new version of Crossfire, which debuted on Sept. 9, follows its formula of delivering opinion from both the left and right.)

Some of the key findings from this initial analysis include:

  • While the largest portion of Americans watch local and network TV news at home, those who tune into cable news do so for an average of 25 minutes a day. That is more than twice as much time as local and network TV viewers spend getting news on those platforms.
  • Even heavy viewers of local TV news and network news spend more time watching cable news than they do watching these respective platforms. The heaviest local news viewers spend, on average, 11 more minutes watching cable news than local news. The heaviest network news viewers spend about one more minute watching cable news than they do network news.
  • Across all three platforms, there is a very large gap between the heaviest news consumers and everyone else. The top third of network news viewers in terms of time spent, for example, average almost 32 minutes a day watching network news. The next third spends about one-sixth as much time, or five minutes, watching network news.
  • There is no news junkie like a cable junkie. The most dedicated cable news viewers average 72 minutes, more than an hour, of home viewing a day. That compares with about 32 minutes for the heaviest network news viewers and 22 minutes for the most engaged local news audience. There is, however, a precipitous drop—to only three minutes a day—for the second most dedicated group of cable watchers.
  • There is widespread news consumption across different platforms, particularly with broadcast news. Fully 90% of network news viewers also watch local news and 82% of local news viewers also tune in to network news. The result is that more than half (58%) of U.S. adults watch both network and local news.

How Many Watch TV News and When

Emerging digital technology has changed news consumption choices and habits, and in a report released last fall, Pew Research Center found that local television has experienced viewership declines in the last several years, most acutely among young people. Additionally, Pew Research has documented significant declines in Americans’ reliance on newspaper and radio over time.

At the same time, the Nielsen data provide a reminder of the central role television still plays in news consumption in the comfort of home. Almost three-quarters of Americans, (71%) watch local TV news and almost two-thirds, (65%) watch network news over the course of a month. And more than one-third (38%) of Americans watch news on cable television.

Although broadcast television may have a wider reach, cable news handily wins the competition for the time and attention of news consumers at home. People who watch cable news do so for an average of about 25 minutes a day, compared with the slightly more than 12 minutes a day local television and network news viewers spend on those platforms. Some of this is no doubt due to cable news’ role as an around-the-clock, news-on-demand operation.

On every television platform, viewership is largest in the evening and nighttime hours. The number of viewers watching cable news is quite stable between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., begins to grow modestly in the late afternoon and then peaks between 8-11 p.m.

The local news audience is highest during the late 11 p.m. newscast, with about 15% more viewers than the slots from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The early morning newscasts, from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., generate about 60% of the viewership that the late night program does.

Heavy vs. Light TV News Viewers

Average Time News Consumers Spend on Various PlatformsA deeper analysis of television news watchers reveals major differences in the amount of time they spend on that activity. To illustrate this, the audience data were sliced into thirds based on the time spent watching each platform, and Nielsen averaged the viewing time for each of the three groups of viewers.

Overall, people in the top category for each platform—the heaviest users in terms of time spent—are far more engaged than those in tiers two and three. That is particularly true for cable. The heaviest users of cable news devote, on average, one hour and 12 minutes (72 minutes) a day to that platform. Viewing time drops off dramatically for the bottom two-thirds of cable news viewers. Those in the middle tier average slightly more than three minutes of viewing time and those at the bottom catch a glimpse for less than a minute.

Similarly, for local TV news, the top tier of viewers averages almost 22 minutes a day, compared with six and a half minutes a day for those in the middle tier and one minute for those on the bottom rung. At the network news level, the most engaged viewers watch for almost 32 minutes day. But that drops off to slightly more than five minutes for the next tier and less than one minute for the lightest viewers.

News Viewing is Dominated by the Very Engaged

According to the numbers, people who are heavy users of any type of television news tend to be heavy viewers of other platforms. But the heaviest viewers of cable news far outpace heavy viewers of local and network news, racking up almost 50 more minutes a day, on average, than the most dedicated local news viewers and approximately 40 more minutes than the top tier of network news viewers.

Even the heavy viewers of local and network news spend more time watching cable news than they do watching network and local news.

The most devoted local news viewers spend an average of about 22 minutes a day on local news compared with about 32 on cable. (They also spend almost 24 minutes a day watching network news.) The heaviest network news users spend about a half minute more (32 minutes) watching cable than network.

The heaviest cable news users also spend more time watching local news (almost 14 minutes) and network news (almost 17 minutes) than the average viewer does (around 12 minutes). But that time is low compared with the 72 minutes they spend watching cable news in the home.

Crossing Over: Many People Get News from More Than One Source

The Nielsen data clearly indicate that those who watch television news on one platform are likely to watch it on another—particularly when it comes to broadcast news. The greatest overlap occurs between local and network newscasts, which often are on the same channel. Fully 90% of network news viewers also watch local news and 82% of local news viewers also tune in to network news.

Cross-Platform News Consumption

The crossover is not as great from broadcast news (network and local) to cable. Slightly less than half—about 44%—of both network and of local news viewers also watch cable news.

Similarly, cable news viewers, while a smaller group overall, are heavy consumers of local and network news. Indeed, cable viewers exhibit the heaviest news consumption habits of any group measured here. Three out of four cable viewers (76%) also watch some network news and even more (82%) watch some local news.

Overall, more than half of adult Americans watch more than one form of television news. The biggest cross platform viewing involves the broadcast platforms, with 58% of the adult population watching both local and network news. Slightly more than half as many, 31%, watch local television and cable news, followed by the 29% of the population that watches both network and cable television news.

Hand Me the Remote: Viewers Flip Among Cable News Channels

Many Americans Consume News on Two PlatformsThe three major cable news competitors differ somewhat in their viewership levels, with CNN reaching 20% of U.S. adults, Fox News reaching 18% and MSNBC reaching 14%. CNN’s viewership lead is supported by years of datashowing it has a wider reach than its competitors, but weaker “appointment” viewership, meaning it is less successful in getting viewers to tune in regularly for scheduled programs, especially in prime time. That helps explain why CNN consistently trails Fox News Channel in the rating wars since Fox News has a clear lead over competitors in its prime-time programming.

Cable News Cross-PlatformOne of the most striking findings in this analysis is the degree to which viewers of one of the three cable news channels also view the competition. While the formats of the three major cable news channels are quite similar, there are significant ideological differences, most pronounced in prime time.

In the evening, Fox News boasts a lineup of conservative talk show hosts while MSNBC features a team of liberal ones. CNN, the original cable news outlet, has built its brand around national and global reporting of breaking news events. It also airs opinion in prime time, but includes commentators from both the right and the left.

The perception is that because of their distinct identities—and particularly because of the divergent ideological leanings of Fox News and MSNBC—the cable news channels appeal to different, politically segmented audiences. However the data show something different.

  • More than one-quarter (28%) of the people who watch Fox News also tune in to MSNBC. An even higher number (34%) of MSNBC viewers turn on Fox News.
  • There is even more crossover viewing when it comes to CNN. Slightly more than half (54%) of MSNBC viewers watch CNN, while 44% of Fox News viewers tune in to CNN. Healthy segments of the CNN audience also watch Fox News (39%) and MSNBC (38%).
  • Overall, 5% of the adult American population watches both MSNBC and Fox News. That is slightly lower than the percentage who watches both CNN and Fox (8%) or CNN and MSNBC (also 8%).
  • Despite some crossover, there are also viewers who watch only one of the three cable channels. Here, Fox News Channel narrowly has the largest singularly dedicated audience. About one- quarter of American adults, (24%) watch only Fox News, 23% watch only CNN and 15% watch only MSNBC.

Online News Consumption at Home

Cable News Websites Cross-PlatformAccording to the February 2013 data used in this study, about 38% of Americans access news online at home via a desktop or laptop computer. Nielsen’s online numbers—based on those who access news websites—do not measure those getting news at home from a smartphone or tablet device. This data also reflect the fact that those getting online news at home generally spend very small amounts of time on that task. On average, that amounts to 90 seconds per day getting news online.

Looking at the data by intensity of use, the heaviest online news users spent only about four minutes a day on that activity. Medium online news searchers spent about 18 seconds per day at that task, while light users spent less than six seconds.

Overlap Among Cable News Sites

Some of the most popular news websites are affiliated with the three major cable news channels. Though all three are consistently among the top 10 most trafficked news websites, their audiences are fairly small as a percentage of U.S. adults.

Nbcnews.com (formerly MSNBC.com) is one of the most trafficked news sites on the web, but it still only reaches about 9% of adults in America, according to Nielsen. About 6% of the public gets news on cnn.com each day. In addition, 5% of Americans get news from foxnews.com.

When it comes to news consumers visiting multiple sites, 37% of those who visit foxnews.com also go to nbcnews.com, while 22% of those who visit nbcnews.com view foxnews.com.  In addition, 28% of those who visited foxnews.com and 21% of those who visited nbcnews.com also go to cnn.com. Among cnn.com users, 26% also went to foxnews.com and 33% also went to nbcnews.com.

For the most part, there is more crossover news consumption on the television side of the three competitive cable news outlets than there is on their digital properties.

 

http://www.journalism.org/2013/10/11/how-americans-get-tv-news-at-home/

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The Pronk Pops Show 392, December 19, 2014, Story 1: Race Racketeers Shakedown SONY — Reverend Rat Al Sharpton of The Alinsky A Team On The Case — National Action Network Payday — Remember What Happened To Al Capone Reverend Rat — Obama Says SONY Made A Mistake — SONY Responds — Cyber Warfare Is An Act of War Not A Criminal Act — CIA Take Out Anyone? — Lights Out — Videos

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