June 1, 2017: “Fishy” Followers | Paris Pressure | Planned Parenthood Corruption
1. Trump’s “Fishy” Twitter Followers
Since Donald Trump is president of the United States it seemed entirely possible that most of his 31 million Twitter followers were real. (Barack Obama had 89 million.) But Trump’s account is growing so fast — he added 2.4 million followers in May — that social media experts are getting suspicious. Newsweek reported that about half are automated bots of fake accounts and — better still — that the president is so obsessed with ratings that he may even be paying for them even now: “Trump's Twitter account saw an unusual spike in followers over the weekend, many of which appear to have been created artificially.”
The Washington Post added: “There is a strangely large percentage of Trump’s followers — and especially his newest followers — that have only the most rudimentary account information, with no profile picture, few followers and little sign that they have ever tweeted.”
While the Blue Twittersphere was enjoying this almost as much as Trump’s mysterious “covfefe” tweet, the Red Media was at pains to show that liberal organizations also play the bot game. The Daily Caller trained its fire on the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which is pushing for net neutrality, something that Trump and big media corporations like Verizon are against.
"More than 100,000 comments supporting government regulation of the internet appear to have been automatically submitted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a left-leaning nonprofit, according to a forensic analysis published Wednesday."
2. Pressure on Paris
As we got approached publication, Trump was reportedly very close to pulling out of the Paris Climate accords but was continuing to hesitate. This made his loyalists in the media breathless with concern.
Rush Limbaugh, for example, worked himself up into a hyperbolic pretzel on the evils of the climate deal:
"It is indeed hideous, and it is deceptive, and those practicing the deception — weaving this intricate web of deceit — are also Americans, as well as others from around the world who are united in their belief that the United States represents the singular target that must be cut down to size in order to further the concept of global community.”
There’s no debate about this. American sovereignty will be surrendered, and we will cease being a separate and distinct nation. We will cease to have our superpower status, and our climate policy — which incorporates health and economic policy — will be mandated by the terms of this agreement, if we sign it.
There’s literally no common-sense reason to sign it. There’s no scientific reason to sign it for sure. There is no good-vibe reason to sign this. There isn’t a good reason at all to sign this. There is not one even tiny upside to signing this, Mr. President."
3. Planned Parenthood Masks Corruption
This week, Planned Parenthood released its annual report, and the Right was quick to use it as an excuse to rehash every grievance it ever had with the organization. The Daily Caller ran with a story headlined “Planned Parenthood Reveals Shocking Number of Abortion Performed a Year,” pointing to the huge number of abortions the organization performed (328,348) compared with its adoption referrals (2,889).
Meanwhile, Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review railed against the report. First, she called out its attempt to cover up undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress in July 2015. The videos, which Mainstream Media outlets criticized for deceptive editing, suggested that Planned Parenthood has long been profiting from selling the body parts of aborted babies. (It is worth noting that on Tuesday, anti-abortion groups asked the Justice Department to open an investigation, based on the videos, into whether Planned Parenthood has illegally sold fetal tissue obtained from abortions.)
DeSanctis also pointed to the report’s assessment that U.S. women will lose essential care if Planned Parenthood is defunded, reminding readers that essential care is only 3 percent of the group’s services. Finally, she didn’t buy that the majority of Americans support the legal right to abortion, pointing to two Marist polls from January that suggest the contrary.
What We’re Watching:
As we reported, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently downplayed the significance of the right to an abortion as a cause that unites Democrats. Perhaps she has also been watching the Marist polls.
4. Russia Defense
The Right was busy this week defending Jared Kushner’s alleged backchannel communications with Russia. The Gateway Pundit pointed to an appearance by James Woolsey, a C.I.A. director under Bill Clinton, on CNN Tuesday night. Woolsey said backchannel communications are not unusual:
“I don’t see anything untoward about having backchannel communications as long as you’re doing it accurately and within the confines, essentially, of what your superiors have asked of you . . . People have backchannel communications all the time.”
He then went on to say that the real scandal are the leaks themselves:
"There are a lot of things I think have been disclosed too much and I think that is the real scandal here . . . So much disclosed, it makes it hard for the secrecy that’s essential to the operation of the U.S. government in these areas to continue, and I think the people who have broken these tacit and formal agreements and taken classified information and turned it loose are basically traitors to the country."
Gateway Pundit then drew similarities to tweets from Trump that also pointed to leaks as the real problem.
National Review Editor Rich Lowry called out Democrats on Fox News for using the Russia investigation to delegitimize Trump’s presidency and feel better about losing the 2016 election. Lowry said in the clip:
"This is extraordinary about face by progressives and Democrats over Russia...Where Obama…they do everything possible to bend over backwards to appease the Putin regime and now all of a sudden it’s the greatest threat on the planet.”
What We’re Watching:
While many on the Right spent the week defending Trump, it seems others would prefer just to focus elsewhere. Note this Hot Air article, aptly titled “3 Stories that Have Nothing to Do with Russia.”
5. This Day in Hillary: Bitter, Lying, Conspiracist
Speaking of Russia and focusing elsewhere, there’s nothing the Right likes better than to use Hillary Clinton to deflect. Breitbart, Lifezette, and The Daily Caller all covered her talk at a Recode conference on Wednesday, in which she told a moderator: “I set up my campaign and we have our own data operation. I get the nomination. So I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party.” Lifezette’s headline read: “Still Sore: Hillary Blames DNC, SCOTUS, ‘1,000 Russian Agents’ for Loss.”
Meanwhile, The Washington Examiner ran with “Hillary Clinton Suggests Democrats May Have to Lie to Win Elections.” It reported that Clinton said her team did not “engage in false content,” but later told the moderator, "I'm not rethinking it, but everybody else better rethink it, because we have to figure out how to combat this.”
On Twitter, some even tried to turn her joke that “Covfefe is a secret message to the Russians” into a conspiracy theory:
Henry Rodgers @henryrodgersdc:
Hillary Hits Peak Conspiracy: ‘Covfefe’ Is A Secret Message To The Russians.
6. Melania Speaks
In other light news, The Blaze reported that Melania Trump released a statement about a Kathy Griffin photo shoot that depicted the commedienne holding up a bloodied model of Donald Trump’s decapitated head. (Griffin was fired from her co-hosting duties for CNN’s annual New Year’s program after the photos created a furor.) The often silent Melania, perhaps newly confident after winning plaudits on her husband’s overseas trip, said:
As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing. When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it.